delectable dishes 2 (via the interwebz…i can’t cook for sh*t)

I have some really amazing recipes from across the internet to share with you guys this week. I am most delighted to say that along with the cooler temps, and some intense recipe searching, I have a new found love (and skill? debatable maybe…) for cooking. Not exactly recipe creating, but I have gotten quite good at not totally failing when following recipes! The new me perhaps?

Without further ado, and in no particular order, (the order actually doesn’t even make sense) please see the below DELECTABLE dishes i’ve rounded up for this week…

 

paleo pumpkin bars – Elana’s Pantry

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PUMPKIN. Just bought my first cans of the season from Trader Joe’s (who has ALLLL the pumpkin things by the way). I was going to start hoarding in September, but then I also reminded myself that a pumpkin burnout would be imminent if I attempted to keep that pace up for approximately 12 weeks)

creamy tahini dressing – Detoxinista

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I’ve been meaning to do something with tahini I picked up a while ago. This is a great homemade option for a dressing!

banana walnut grain-free granola – Urban Poser

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Banana walnut – a most appetizing marriage of flavors indeed… Again, one of those “treats” I must try to put a limit on. Try. I said try.

buffalo chicken mini meatloaf – PaleOMG

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Not that this is brand new information, but this girl can cook. Totally impressive.

buffalo chicken egg muffins – Balanced Bites

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Continuing with an apparent buffalo flavor pattern, I love egg muffins! So convenient and so filling, especially with the addred protein from the chicken

coconut butter bark – Edible Perspective

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Love the bark variations she demonstrates. I always get carried away with bark though, so I stick to making half the recipe, which I’m able to spread out over a couple weeks days.

stuffed spaghetti squash – The Cavegirl Dish

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Moving back to ‘savory’… Spaghetti squash has been a favorite of mine for years…have yet to meet a spaghetti squash I didn’t like in fact. I totally made this and proceeded to have it for dinner, breakfast, then lunch. Then I ran out. I stirred ground Bison into the sauce, and then, I went for a “four-cheese’ type flavor (a la Cheesecake Factory’s Four Cheese Pasta Dish OMG) and stirred a little whole milk ricotta up in there, and sprinkled a little parm cheese on top. So much cheese, so much dairy, but it was definitely more of a treat. Next time I’ll make it, I’ll only add in a spoonful of ricotta. Maybe a few spoons – tablespoons. Then just a sprinkle of the mozz. And the slightest touch of parm cheese you ever have seen. A kiss of parm if you will.

no-bake peppermint patty bars – Oh She Glows

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Adore all of Oh She Glows recipes. I’m not vegan, but I do like the fact that most of her receipes are dairy/gluten/grain free. And delicious!

rachel’s all american meat lover’s chili – Everyday Paleo

Rachels-chili

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I always want chili when I go out to eat, but they always seem to include beans. I don’t care too much for beans, save for the occasional taste of roasted red pepper hummus (must find paleo hummus recipe…) This recipe looks so filling and delightful.

primal meals in 15 minutes or less – Mark’s Daily Apple

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Okay. Great little recipe roundup here – all look amazing, especially the smoothie (pictured)

chicken with cauliflower and olives – Elana’s Pantry 

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(image found here)

My go-to meal with chicken has been, since the summer, baking either chicken thighs or skinless chicken breasts, along with sliced Roma tomatoes (less juicy than plum, heirloom, yellow…which means great for roasting), olives from the Whole Foods deli bar (kalamata, the black salty pitted ones…), and some balsamic marinated sweet onion slices. Roasted eggplant or roasted green beans on the side. Really really good. Then I found the above recipe on Elena’s site and that’s pretty close to what I came up with. Hers being moons better than mine, naturally. But I like her addition of the cauliflower. Roasted cauliflower – actually, any roasted veggie really – is how I prefer my vegetable consumption.

grain-free no-bake cookie dough protein bars – Your Trainer Page

Must try these! Think I will sub cashew butter for the almond butter to give it a more cookie dough taste, and I’ll do the Enjoy Life brand chocolate chips (dairy free)

roasted fall harvest – Multiply Delicious

Really excited I found this website! Has so many tasty looking recipes. I’m planning on making this for my weekend meals, but instead of the pear, I’ll add just another appls, and instead of the brussels (not because I don’t like them, just because I don’t have them) I’ll do roasted broccoli. And either some ground turkey or a chicken breast/sausage for protein.

weekly workouts – 9/30

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the sofie shakes

Monday

barre3 60min, yoga 30min, treadmill hiking* 45min, stationary bike 15min 

Tuesday

Unintended rest day (just dog walking)

Wednesday

run 35min, barre3 60min, yoga 45min

Thursday

walk 45min, yoga 25min, weightlifting 40min 

Friday

run 45min, barre3 40min, treadmill hiking 20min, stationary bike 20min

Saturday

treadmill hiking 20min, stationary bike 20min, yoga 25min, run 45min

Sunday

treadmill hiking 20min, stationary bike 20min (clearly need to switch this gym routine up…), barre3 60min, free weights 30min, yoga 45min

*treadmill hiking is my version of hiking indoors. I usually do a 15% incline at 2.3-2.5 mph. I like to run outside right now before it gets so cold, then I might continue running on the treadmill during winter

As far as eating goes, I’ve been sticking to 2-3 meals per day (skipped lunch on Monday and Tuesday because it’s way too complicated to eat while dog walking during the day, so I had an early dinner instead). I was eating beef jerky for breakfast (Krave & Slant Shack are my favorites), chicken soup & salad for lunch, and then for dinner, either more soup or baked chicken with veggies. Or my sister’s ratatouille, along with a little protein on the side (a chicken sausage or such). We have a ton of apples from apple picking, I’ve been having one apple a day, and then some days, treat myself to frozen grapes or strawberries. But mostly I’m trying to stay away from consuming too much fruit/sugars, because if I eat too much, I notice myself wanting more sugar (chocolate, candy…) and that’s not good for me right now.

I’ve been eating really clean for a couple weeks now, and it’s actually amazing – I have little to no cravings for anything. I really think sticking to a basic, clean diet, has just made me want only un-processed foods. Pretty cool. I don’t even feel like my willpower is ever being tested. When giving the opportunity to eat something clean as opposed to something not-so-much, it’s become a no-brainer for me because of how great I feel after a day of eating just meat, veggies, the occasional fruit, some nuts (and coffee obvi). Tonight was the first time in a minute i’ve had something crazy. Two hard ciders and sweet potato fries from Yard House that came with an out-of-this-world dipping sauce – maple bacon cream. It was the perfect lil late night bite.

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(image – http://aht.seriouseats.com)

This was the perfect amount of “cheat” for me. When I go to town on treats, it makes me feel sick because I haven’t been used to eating like that for awhile. I’ve found my body/stomach responds fast to super clean eating – I stayed away from gluten for a few weeks during the summer, then one night proceeded to consume glutenny/grainy treats and….. oy……

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Also, I’m taking an iron supplement every other day, as well as Chromium Picolinate as I read about in Practical Paleo. I keep forgetting to take measurements and it’s been almost two weeks (9/23) since I’ve been enforcing my plan – so, not good. But hopefully I’ll get around to it sooner rather than later, and also hope to see a change in pictures! Such a huge motivator for me. That’s it for now!

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words i worship

As touched upon in my first post, I am and have always been an ardent reader, even though I tend to cycle reading binges, with reading droughts. I prefer a captivating mystery or something historical, but I am no book snob (yes, I did read Twilight in college and yes, I do fear I one day will come to regret this compromising revelation).

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As long as the plot sounds intriguing to me, I don’t care if the book has been written by a brand new author (the risk is a serious trhill) or if it’s on the NYT Bestsellers’. I really enjoy writing that makes you feel like you are in the story, like Gillian Flynn or Carlos Ruiz Zafon do, for example. They both write with detail and expression but without it seeming cheesy or over the top. Just enough to be able to imagine you are right there along with the characters. I beliebe books are meant to take you out of the world you’re in, and shift you over to another world to let you experience someone else’s life for a beat. When I finish a book, I like the feeling of being in deep thought for a couple days. Or at the very least, traumatized, as if I had literally been experiencing what the characters are going through myself.

I plan to end my reading hiatus with a few books I just picked up: Snow Child (Eowyn Ivey), Sometimes a Great Notion (Ken Kesey), and Wilderness (lance Weller).  I have been going through a Pacific Northwest phase and I actually picked up these picks books based on their location in the PNW and Alaska.

recent reads:

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Dark Places, Gillian Flynn

This book. So perverted and demented one cannot help to love it. I swear when I got up to the satanic cult part (remember the cows anyone?) I could not sleep for two nights. It gave me that creepy, campy feling that American Horror Story does (unrelated side note: 5 DAYS TIL THE PREMIERE). And as I mentioned, she is so so descriptive (sometimes too much maybe??? Nahhhh) and does an amazing job with the characters and how they act. The scenes she paints make you feel like you’re right there, even when you don’t want to be haha. She makes the characters detestable when it’s called for, and makes you feel sympathy for others. Just unbelievable writing here and and such a TWISTED ending. If I wasn’t into creepy things, I could see myself not having liked this book. But since I happen to be strange, I adored it. I would re-read it again in a few years even thought I never re-read books (the first time is so sprecial and magical…whereas during the second time, those feelings just aren’t there. I just realized how pervy that sentence sounded…) Anyways, I give this smashing book 920 brilliant stars.

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Fear Itself, Andrew Rosenheim

Touted as a “spy thriller,” I so wanted to enjoy this one. But sadly, it just did not capture my attention. Not even at the climax. I found it a little predictable and I just did not feel satisfied at all by the ending. Or any part for that matter. It was a little luckluster to me and I can’t quite put my finger on why. Well, maybe one reason is that I just could not connect to the main character at all. He seemed like a handsome, strapping young lad, and even then, I just really didn’t care to get to know him that well. And in my humble opinion, the descriptiveness just wasn’t there. I will say, as a disclaimer, I’d finished Devil in the White City shortly before reading Fear Itself.  And anyone that has read DITWC knows that that is hell of a tough act to follow (at least it was for me). Over all, this read gets an underwhelming 65 stars.

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The Round House, Louise Erdrich

(Such a pretty cover!) This review is a little difficult to write. I liked some parts and disliked others. Though there is a very traumatic personal struggle in the book, I felt like I couldn’t eat up the book as much as I wanted, but it’s hard to pinpoint why. I’m just not sure what the disconnect was. At any rate, Ms Erdrich is a terrific writer. The quotes from the teenage boys are spot on. There was humor when needed. And she does give the personal struggle, that later spreads all throughout the family, a realistic perception. This book made me sad. Sad for what the mother went through, and even more unhappy to see how this tragedy affected her family so much. At some points, I felt myself being like, “just try to move on, make an effort with your family,” but obviously, an assault is one of the most traumatic experience one could ever go through, so you come to understand how it really just screws up a victim’s life so that they can’t ever fully move on. So heartbreaking, and it made me have so much empathy for not only the victim, but for her kid and husband that had to see her go through the pain. But one of the main things I appreciated about this book, is that it brought attention to the frustrating fight that this community of people living on reservations throughout the country face. Seems so unfair and so skewed, but it is nonetheless so omnipresent. My favorite quote from the book: “We are never so poor that we cannot bless another human being, are we? So it is that every evil, whether moral or material, results in good. You’ll see. Such an interesting perspective that is so hard to absorb, but there is so much truth to it.

To summarize, since I’m so wishy washy about my feelings for the book, I am not going to rate it. I’ve already filled my “difficult decisions” quota for today anyhow (purple shirt or white flowy top for tonight…the great questions of our time indeed)

workouts i’m lovin

yoga: currently anything by Erin Motz. I’ve been doing her 30 day yoga challenge for the past few weeks and I’ve fallen in love with her style of teaching. Her videos are so relaxing and she has you hold poses for just the right amount, like she’s reading my mind. They’re very restorative also. She does yoga for the neck/upper back (stretches in that video have practically saved my life…) and yoga for the IT bands, which feels awesome as well, especially if you’re a runner. For a person who hasn’t done yoga in awhile, it’s also a relief to not feel pressured into turning myself into a pretzel to get a good stretch. So she is very beginner friendly and her videos are so very meditative. Love, love, love!

Since I couldn’t find it on erinmotz.com or doyouyoga.com, this is the link to the challenge that was uploaded to Youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wJtQjQ4HI8&list=PLuFCRuBgKhk-cHCfmLs8R3ntdObazpxzg

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(image – http://www.erinmotz.com)

barre3: I have done most of the videos online, and even though I have my favorites, I can’t say there’s one class I have disliked/felt like I didn’t get enough bang for my buck. They’re just soooo good. So good I could do it every day (side note, I know since it’s pretty low-impact, it’s supposed to be safe to do back-to-back, but I’m a little paranoid of getting injured from overdoing it, and I personally think when you do the same exercise all the time – too much maybe – it can set you up for injury and I’m just really not willing to risk it, hence my all-over-the-place workout routine). At any rate, Barre3 has been a godsend and I feel my body changing even though I’ve only been 10 days in. I can’t wait to do some progress updates…

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(image – http://www.barre3.com)

weightlifting: I’ll admit, tonight was the first time in a damn long time I have picked up a weight. I do love lifting (nothing too intense – just free weights) but for some reason, we’ve drifted apart the last few months… I used to love creating circuits – hopefully I can find where I’ve tucked them away, that would be fun – but the below one is from Self magazine several years ago, but it’s just really good and fun and when I couldn’t think of things to do with weights, I would do this circuit and change things up a bit or add some things on so my body didn’t get used to it. I love it because they’re all combo total body moves. Working out specific body parts has never been my thing, so I like workouts that target the whole body (yoga, barre, weights…)

http://www.self.com/fitness/workouts/2006/06/toning-with-dumbbells-slideshow#slide=1

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(image – http://www.self.com)

running: I haven’t been following any running workouts per say – my main goal in running has been to just not die for the past few weeks while I’ve been able to get back into it more regularly. Trail running is my absolute favorite because it’s fun and doesn’t hurt my feet/knees as much when I have to run on the road. And cause it’s so scenic, especially this time of year (Horn Pond in Woburn, MA pictured below). Running really does always help my body transform, so I just have to be good about sticking to it (not overdoing it) to see the change I want to see. And also, must keep remembering to tape up my toes so my feet don’t become too atrocious looking…(I have invested too much moolah into nail polish!!)

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new music

My taste in music is so varied – I really do like a little of everything. I like my playlist to sound completely different and mildly schizophrenic. I also have music seasons – for instance, I only like to listen to Jazz in the fall. That being said, belows playlist contains songs that are new, new to me, and some favorites. The songs in red are more up tempo – great for running – and the songs in blue are more chill songs, for yoga or a cool down.

Chill in the Air Amos Lee
Dark Horse Katy Perry (Ft. Juicy J)
Come As You Are Nirvana
Hey Brother Avicii
House of the Rising Sun Lauren O’Connell
Sorry Naya Rivera (Ft. Big Sean)
Family Tree Kings of Leon
Back to Back Wolfgang
Cat’s in the Cradle Harry Chapin
Soulshine The Allman Brothers Band
This is What Makes Us Girls Lana Del Ray
I Wish Cher Lloyd (Ft. T.I.)
Whatever You Like Anya Marina
Red Hands Walk off the Earth
Didn’t I Blow Your Mind This Time New Kids on the Block
Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow Lykke Li
Gold Rush Clinton Sparks
Yeah Yeah Yeah New Politics
Come a Little Closer Cage the Elephant

delectable dishes (via the interwebs – I can’t cook for sh*t)

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no-bake vegan elvis bars – Oh She Glows

(image – Oh She Glows)

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harvest breakfast cookies – Detoxinista

(image – Detoxinista)

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paleo baked chicken tenders – Allergy Free Alaska

(image – Allergy Free Alaska)

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chipotle barbacoa tacos – Against All Grain

(Image – Against All Grain)

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paleo pumpkin muffin mounds – Healthful Pursuit

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hatch chile mexican casserole – PaleOMG

(Image – PaleOMG)

 

a few of my favorite things…

the ridiculous puppy

the ridiculous puppy

august sunset over Peddocks island aka Shutter Island (Hull, MA)

august sunset over Peddocks island aka Shutter Island (Hull, MA)

Nantasket Beach

Nantasket Beach

apple picking at Cider Hill Farm (Amesbury, MA)

apple picking at Cider Hill Farm (Amesbury, MA)

as many puppy friends as possible

as many puppy friends as possible

cloudy day at the beach house

cloudy day at the beach house

Boston from a harbor view
Boston from a harbor view

abandoned military fort on Peddocks

abandoned military fort on Peddocks

my Gram's house (NH)

my Gram’s house (NH)

under the planes at Logan in the boat

under the planes at Logan in the boat