Ok, this one may be a little cliche. We’ve long since passed the point where people figured out how to make their own Larabars…got it.
But (according to my husband, at least) these are the best he’s had, homemade or no. As a guy who, working construction, subsists on a diet of trail mix, larabars, and Justin’s nut butter packs…I think I’ll take that as a compliment.
So I happened to find myself at a loss of dinner ideas, and for once Pinterest really wasn’t helping. I texted my husband asking what he wanted for dinner, and he responded “Swedish meatballs.”
I took a double take. Did he mean the ones like at Ikea with all the brown gravy? Or the ones my parents’ friends used to have in a crockpot at parties in the ’80s? You know, the ones with the reddish brown sauce that was so freaking addictive? The ones that aren’t actually Swedish meatballs at all but we call them that because we have absolutely no clue what they are? Yeah. he meant those.
I found a bunch of recipes for cocktail meatballs that fit the profile. Thank goodness I’m not the only one who loves them so much…except they’ve all got gobs of sugar and apparently a lot of recipes use grape jelly. I mean, sounds absolutely delightful but not really my cup of tea these days. At least, not on a weeknight. So I came up with these…and as usually I feel the need to apologize for my crappy photography skills. I wish I could do them justice. Hard to do when the dish is such a sloppy mess…which is part of the reason they’re so freaking good. And totally worth the shame of your husband walking through the door and catching you spooning the sauce out of the pan into your mouth. I know. So classy.
So, remember my Cheezey Spaghetti? Well, if Pinterest is to be trusted, the new big thing in dairy free “cheese”-making is butternut squash. Its got that hint of sweetness but takes on a really nice savory quality without being overpowering, which made it the perfect substitute for the cashews in my original “cheeze” recipe. Hell, it’s even got the perfect color, right?
Good lord…these pictures are gross. That’s what I get for using a crap camera. And for eating at 9 at night.
This recipe really reminds me of those casseroles of old my mom used to make with Velveeta…*sigh*. Epic. What we’ve ended up with here is a pretty rich plate of goodness that is probably one of the most nutrient dense meals you can put together in 30 minutes that isn’t, like, plain chicken and vegetables. And, obviously, without velveeta. Whole30? 21DSD? GAPS? Autoimmune? Yep, gotcha. Don’t like chicken? My next little experiment is going to be with some ground beef…I’m thinking a kind of cheeseburger casserole kind of thing? Enchiladas? Vegan option? I’m dying, you guys. Possibilities. Endless.
Know what happened to me yesterday? I was doing homework and reached into my bag to grab my Orgo notes and *almost completed* homework assignment when I realized it wasn’t there. Panic ensued. THEN I realized I *may* have left it in the student lounge in my physics building so I drove all the way to campus. Doors locked. Not to be thwarted, I walked the entire perimeter of the building until I found a delivery entrance that was open. Then navigated through the basement maze till I found a stairwell that was open. Then made it to the lounge where I saw my notebook and homework sitting untouched on the table…through the glass of the locked door. Cue tantrum. Echos of my displeasure rang down the empty halls. No janitors to be found. The lock was resistant to being picked by a hairpin. Or pens. Or my car keys.
So…I had to print a new copy of the assignment (due first thing Monday…I was not going to chance the lounge still being locked at 7am). I’d already done it once, how bad could it be? Yup…genius I am that bitch took me 3 hours. Cue tantrum #2.
So Super Bowl! Actually, I’m not sure if I’m allowed to use the actual name of the event without infringing copyright or something. It’s true. No, really. Ever wonder why all the TV commercials just call it “The Big Game?” The NFL is protective like that.
This it fortunately or unfortnately one of those years where I have no legitimate preference for either team–Seattle and Denver both have awesome programs, great coaching, great cities, and hot quarterbacks. I guess I’ll pick Denver, though, since I actually lived there for a year. Fair? Good. Let’s go eat football food.
For those of you who may be skeptical, I admit collards don’t have the best reputation. I mean, generally they come out straight up *boiled*…goopy, bland, and just plain nasty. These are not like that. Sauteeing them with all this simple goodness not only lets the flavor permeate and keep the texture right where it should be, but actually keeps too many of the oh-so-lovely nutrients in these deep green leaves from leaching out and getting thrown away. Whoever thought it was ok to boil leafy greens…ew. Just ew.
Ah, mornings. How quickly you lose your appeal once I have to start getting up for school again.
I really shouldn’t complain. My husband is up around 4:45 every morning for work since his commute is hellacious (welcome to the mid-atlantic…), and it was he who inspired me to make these little guys.
You see, my darling husband is kind of a manorexic child. And I’m kind of an overbearing, secretly 80 year old housewife. He’s one of these people who just…won’t eat if he feels like it’s easier to stay in bed an extra 5 minutes than to eat something. And it drive me bonkers…mostly because he’ll bitch for days about how tired he feels and wonder if he’s sick. No, dear, you’re just starving to death. I imagine mothers of teenagers feel the same.
If a cookie is too much work to grab first thing in the morning, then I suppose you’re beyond help…
I don’t know what it is but I’ve had this wicked craving for barbecue for the last few weeks. Which is totally weird because…at least I’m pretty sure…that’s summer food and we just got snowed on for the zillionth time the other day. I had a 7am shift at the hospital, too…meaning I got to drive down St. Paul while it was still dark, negative degrees out, and before anything had been plowed or salted. And, sorry Maryland drivers…but you’re not very good at driving even when it’s sunny and 75. Not cool.
So anyway, the thing about the sauce. It’s totally a cop-out to waste a whole post on a sauce. I’m fully aware. But for realsies I love this sauce. It also happens to be sugar-free, which is always a good thing, but is kinda important since we’re on the 21DSD at the moment. Notice I didn’t add an optional tablespoon of honey or molasses though…and that’s because this stuff is crazy good without it. On anything…and I mean anything, like steaks, eggs or even on veggies or as a dipping sauce for (Paleo) chicken nuggets. Spoiler alert…I made a little something with this stuff I’m going to share tomorrow that Ross and I have been inhaling all day. Lovely mental image, I’m sure, but I think you’ll be OK with it
I made some health-related New Years Resolutions this year. Hey, even on a Paleo diet it’s easy to fall into a rut when you get a little too cozy with all the junk food that seems like a good idea just because it’s “Paleo.” Live and learn.
The theme of the dietary stuff is to get more veggies. It’s pretty simple, and if ANY diet can agree on anything it’s that we could always get more veggies. So my biggest resolution is to include something green at every meal…I’m also committing to at least one meatless meal a week. Too easy.
Ross and I are also doing a 21DSD this month. Which means I’m going to be really cranky for the next week, then totally high on life. I love Diane’s program…more than anything it’s a great wakeup call. Unlike a generic Paleo challenge or even a Whole30, it hits you hard by cutting out anything that contains sugar…to include fruit sugar…and get your system back on track. I feel like other challenges–while great and highly effective for folks new and/or skeptical of the whole Paleo thing–offer a little too much room for error since you’re allowed fruit and starch. And I also like that the sugar detox is only 21 days…that extra week makes a difference
So here’s a quick side I threw together. I made an ass-ton, since I’ve had this weird craving for summery food even though it’s 7 degrees outside. It’s great for any meal of the day, too…try it with eggs in the morning, on a salad for lunch, and just as-is for dinner and I’ve met my green veggie goal for the day. Another bonus? I didn’t have to make home-made mayo. I love it SO much but it’s more work than I have energy for at the moment. And that’s probably because I’m balls deep in my sugar detox hangover. Yeesh.
Yeah, I know. I didn’t realize you could roast fruit, either. Well, not until the foodie blogosphere started blowing up with roasted strawberries on, in, and around all kinds of stuff. Crazy, but I like it.
I love making my own jam since it’s really the only way to get any kind of jam or jelly without all the additives. Kinda sad, since all it is is mashed up fruit and you’d think it would be easier than having to find the ONE health food store in the state that carries something like that. Don’t worry. This is way easier. The roasting of the strawberries gives it a lovely, almost smokey flavor, too. So devilish.
If you want to sweeten it up a bit, feel free to add a tablespoon or two of honey. This stores really well in the fridge–I don’t “formally” can mine so it only lasts two weeks or so. You can absolutely can it, or do what I do and just keep it in an airtight container.