Nice to Know + Menu

At work, we recently evaluated the standards across all grade levels. We combed through every standard of all the grades to determine what is nice to know, important, and critical. As you know, there are only so many hours in the day. Things come up from time to time and school is unexpectedly canceled, pushing you further down on the pacing guide.

Lessons turn out to be duds, children are pulled throughout the day for individualized interventions, there is little control over what needs to be taught and HOW it needs to be taught, etc. So there comes a point where you must focus on what is critical, then focus on what is important, then hit the nice to know. I might be wrong, but to me, poems aren’t nearly as important as learning how to write a narrative or persuasive essay in the fourth grade.

My nutrition isn’t just a nice to know or even important. It is critical that I know my nutrition. It is critical that I lead a healthy lifestyle. I don’t say this because you must be healthy to live a good life. You can live a good life without being able to run a few miles without stopping. You can live a good life without tracking your macros.

It really won’t be the end of the world, but is that living your best life? Is eating junk everyday, drinking sodas all day, wearing clothes that are not comfortable, and avoiding mirrors really living your best life? Is all of that food really critical to your life or just nice to know? Things that make my life better are critical to me. Those things like cake or doughnuts are just nice to know every once in a while.

ONCE IN A WHILE.

No one is asking you to ban those treats from your life, but for goodness sake, for your health’s sake, make them nice to know. You can have your cake and eat it too, if you limit the amount of times you have cake every month. Replace cake with anything that you consume in excess amounts, not necessarily something that is unhealthy for you. Alcohol, sausage, rice, fruit, chips, dip, etc. If you eat too much of anything it can really have adverse effects. That is why it is critical to know what is in your food. It is important to know what you are eating so that you know what choices to make. If you don’t know anything about what you are eating, how can you make an informed decision on how to get healthy?


New Food Review


M E N U

Garlic Butter Creamed Spinach Salmon

BLT Chopped Salad + Corn, Avocado, Feta

Hamburgers + Sweet Potato Fries

30 Minute Chicken Roasted Fajitas

Pineapple Glazed Pork Roast with Bacon Wild Rice Stuffing


Garlic Butter Creamed Spinach Salmon

Seriously, the best. Personally, I do not think I could handle the dish with all the fat she intended for it to have. Since I don’t consume a lot of fat, I am very sensitive to it. This dish is super rich even with the modifications I make. The last time I made this I was very strapped on fat for the rest of the day, but it was well worth it. As soon as I made this, Josh told me all the different ways we could use this sauce. I haven’t used it with shrimp yet, but I know it is going to be great.

I have yet to use it on salmon, I just like my salmon to taste fresh and not be heavy. You could top this sauce with pasta, rice, or some sort of mash and it would be great! I don’t recommend using the cauliflower mash though, just because the flavors would really clash.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

Ingredients:  
4 salmon filets, skin on or off (your preference)
*2.5 pounds shrimp
kosher salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
*omit oil 
2 tablespoons salted butter
*1 tablespoon
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced or grated
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup canned full-fat coconut milk, or heavy cream
*3/4 light coconut milk & 1/4 whole milk 
2 ounces cream cheese, cubed
* low fat cream cheese 
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
4 cups fresh baby spinach
juice from 1 lemon
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives, plus more for serving 

BLT Chopped Salad + Corn, Avocado, Feta

Josh mentioned this week how much he HATES salads. He doesn’t dislike the taste of lettuce or kale, but the messiness of it and the difficulty of getting a perfect bite is what irritates him the most. First world problems. So if we don’t have lettuce with this meal, I will make it into a bowl. I am going to add-in pan-seared roasted chicken breast. If you aren’t counting macros a good option would be to buy a rotisserie chicken and add it to the salad for more protein. The bacon is not going to get you where you need to be.

I will do a review on this dish next week!

*Changes I make to meet my macros

Ingredients:
2 cups butter lettuce, chopped
*lettuce or rice for a bowl option
2 cups fresh arugula, chopped
*1/2 cup cooked rice per bowl 
1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered
*10 tomatoes per salad
4 slices thick-cut bacon, fried and crumbled
*0.5 - 0.8 ounces cooked bacon per salad 
1 cup sweet corn
*pan seared sweet corn 60 grams per salad  
1 avocado, chopped
*0.7 ounces per salad 
4 ounces feta, crumbled
*non-fat feta 
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
*omit oil 
1 lime, juiced
1/4 tablespoons salt
1/4 tablespoons pepper 
*cooked chicken breast

Hamburgers + Sweet Potato Fries

Hamburgers will never go out of style and can be healthy if you don’t smother them in cheese, bacon, and mayonnaise. When I track my hamburger I weigh out my meat after it has cooked. This is controversial in the world of tracking food, but I think that it makes sense. The fat is going to cook out of the meat, so I don’t actually end up eating all of the fat that is cooked out.

I am going to add some sweet potato fries with the hamburgers. It is going to add a good bit of carbs so make sure you pick a low-carb bun or opt for a lettuce wrap. I usually don’t have a side to go with the hamburgers, but I love oven-roasted sweet potato fries and the kids will eat them too!

*Changes I make to meet my macros

Ingredients
Hamburgers: 
80/20 meat 
Brioche buns 
Heirloom tomatoes 
Lettuce 
Onion 
Yellow mustard 
Ketchup 
Pickles 

Fries: 
1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
*spray olive oil 
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
fine sea salt, to taste 

30 Minute Chicken Roasted Fajitas

Usually, I use pork butt with this meal, but you can’t beat the leanness of a chicken breast. Sheet pan meals and crockpot meals are always on my menu for their simplcity and ease. Chicken breast can be super boring, once you add some salsa it changes everything! I love this salsa so much and all the vegetables are a great addition.

A good tip would be to always roast more vegetables than what you think and add an extra chicken breast to the crockpot. They both really shrink up small. If you can’t find tomatillos, pick up a good verde and purée some jalapeños and garlic with it.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

Ingredients:  
1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
*omit 
1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
kosher salt and black pepper
2 bell peppers, sliced
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
6-8 small flour tortillas, warmed
*1/2 cup cooked jasmine rice per bowl 
*limes for topping 

ROASTED PINEAPPLE SALSA VERDE
6 small tomatillos, husked
*salsa verde if no tomatillos
1 jalapeño
4 green onions
juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
* add garlic 
1 cup diced pineapple 
*1/2 cup per bowl

Pineapple Glazed Pork Roast with Bacon Wild Rice Stuffing

This dish is beautiful, really tasty, but it can be difficult to track! I am going to try a different approach and see if cooking it in the crockpot works better. I always have a hard time with not getting the pineapple to completely burn up and roast in the oven. I want to keep that intact, so I am going to attempt to cook this in the crockpot instead. This will also allow me to skip stuffing the loin and just have the rice on the side! Major win!

If you still want to roll the rice mixture in the loin, here is a step-by-step tutorial on how to cut the meat. I am going to omit the squash so I can have more rice with each serving and will also add pineapple juice to the crockpot so the loin does not dry out.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

Ingredients:  
1 1/2 cup uncooked wild rice 
* 1 cup rice uncooked 
1 teaspoon salt 
6 slices thick cut bacon chopped 
* 0.5 ounces cooked  
8 ounces button mushrooms sliced 
10 ounces fresh or frozen spinach thawed if frozen 
1 cup roasted pistachios 
* omit pistachios  
8 ounces feta cheese crumbled 
*20 grams non fat feta 
1 pound pork loin roast 
1/2 cup grainy mustard 
1/2 cup brown sugar 
*20 grams  
pinch of cayenne pepper 
1 cup medium pineapple peeled 
1 medium delicata squash halved, deseeded + sliced into half moons  
*omitting squash for more rice 
*add in pineapple juice to crockpot

E N J O Y !

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