Today + Menu

Last week I talked about my funky mood and how I couldn’t seem to just snap out of it. I 100% feel as though it is my job to get myself out of whatever ill mood that I am in. My frame of mind is up to me to change. I can read a million inspirational quotes, but unless my heart and mind are open and I am willing to make a change, nothing is going to happen.

I was feeling less grateful than I thought I should, so I decided to start a devotional directed towards taking a moment to breathe and really take things in. I am aware of how lucky I am, but dwelling on all the negative made me feel like I was downplaying all the good things around me. When your husband is gone every night hunting, your four year old suddenly gets the worst case of eczema, your almost 2-year-old is cutting molars, and they both have colds. It is so easy to lose your patience after a long day of 46 other children needing all of you.

So far, my devotional has talked about hospitality and how those that are invited to your home should feel better when they leave than before they arrived. Most of the time we consume ourselves with making sure everything is perfect and everyone is impressed with how the decorations look, how clean the house is, or how great the food is. Appearance is important; however, I am completely guilty of getting too wrapped up in all the details. Sometimes these things distract us from actually attending to your guests and making sure they are satisfied, rather than you being satisfied with the outward appearance.

Honestly, I have not had any great revaluations yet, but I have only been reading it for a week. I haven’t had any major connections with what it is teaching but I hope to soon. I am keeping an open mind and trying to connect what I am reading to my life personally, even reading it two or three times for further understanding. What I do know that there is no perfect time to decide to make a change.

Today is the day that you can completely change your mind about everything. Today is the day that you can start over and turn over a new leaf. You don’t have to make any New Year’s Resolutions in order for change to occur, you just have to change your mind and act. Both your mindset and the effort you make are equally as important. One cannot coexist without the other, not for sustainable change.

That funk that you have been in can change in an instant if you just change your mindset. That is powerful friends. I listen to people talk about the changes they need to make, that they never actually make. I listen to people complain about their situation, but never see them try to fix it. Maybe some people just like to complain or live miserably, but if you know that you have zero intentions of making the first step in changing your circumstances why bother talking about it at all?

You have two options in living a happy life, accept the hand you have been dealt with or change it. No one is a slave to their circumstances, you can always change them. For some, they drown in self-pity and can never see all the possibilities that lie ahead of them if they would just get out of their own way. For others, they pave the way, challenge stereotypes, prove the nay-sayers wrong, and keep on pushing. THAT is the kind of person I want to be. Those are the kind of children that I want to raise. Choose today to act, don’t wait on perfect timing or a stroke of luck, put in the work, open your mind, open your heart, and amazing things will happen for you.


New Food Review

Dan Dan Noodles I really enjoyed this dish, even as someone who does not appreciate mushrooms, so that is saying a lot. The broth in this was amazing. If I am ever on a liquid diet, I am making this again and saving the broth for myself. I did make some adjustments to the ingredients, but the dish was still over 500 calories. My meals are usually around 400 to allot for snacks and pre/post-workout meals. I will 100% make this again though, it was too good not to.

Pappardelle Bolognese + A Lot Of Veggies I am not really sure how I feel about this dish. It wasn’t;t bad, but simply seeing the carrots made me think it should taste like something other than spaghetti. Maybe it was the fact that it was so similar to my spaghetti sauce but didn’t look like it that threw me off. It was good, but I will probably just stick to my usual spaghetti or I will really chop the vegetables up smaller next time.


MENU

Creamy Wild Rice Chicken Soup with Roasted Mushrooms

Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken

Lasagna 

White Chicken Chili

Pulled Pork Sandwich


Creamy Wild Rice Chicken Soup with Roasted Mushrooms

It seems like we are on a mushroom kick lately and I am sure Josh doesn’t mind one bit. I am hoping that this soup is slightly different than the one I made a couple of weeks ago. I loved the soup last week, but I was not a fan of the extra mushrooms. I can’t stand the slimy texture that mushrooms can get. These mushrooms are cooked differently so they should not be mushy/slimy.

I will do a review next week! Be sure to check out the changes I make the ingredients to make it more macro-friendly.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

Ingredients:
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups dry wild rice blend
*1 cup dry
6 carrots, chopped
*around 16 ounces
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 medium shallots, chopped
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme or 2 teaspoons dried
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage or 1 teaspoon dried
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 cups fresh baby spinach or kale
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 cup heavy cream or whole milk
*non fat milk (or whole if high fat diet) 
1/2 cup grated parmesan, plus more for serving
*75 grams reduced fat parmesan
kosher salt and black pepper
2 pounds mixed mushrooms, roughly torn
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
4 cloves garlic, smashed
6 tablespoons salted butter
*3 tablespoons
zest from 1 lemon 

Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken

I am always looking for new crockpot dishes to add to my go-to list. I love the ones that I have, but I need something new. I love taco dishes like this because you can easily make it low-carb by using a tortilla or pump up the carb count, by using rice. I normally like to turn my tacos into bowls, but every now and then I need a low carbohydrate dish.

Josh’s birthday is this week, so I am sure that I will need a low carb dish on the menu to balance out his birthday meal. I will review this dish next week!

*Changes I make to meet my macros

Ingredients
1/2 c chicken broth
1/4 c olive oil
*omit oil add extra lime juice 
1/4 c lime juice
4 cloves garlic peeled and smashed
1 jalapeno seeded and chopped
2 tsp sea or kosher salt
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cracked black pepper
2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 c chopped cilantro 

Lasagna 

• H A P P Y • B I R T H D A Y • J O S H U A •

The last time I cooked lasagna per Josh’s request was for his birthday last year and this year he has asked for the same meal. We don’t lasagna very often because it is LOADED down with calories and there is just no way around that if you want a real lasagna. I know people substitute noodles for zucchini but I can’t bring myself to do that to lasagna, especially a birthday lasagna.

Where the calories really kick in is with the cheese. I will try my best to keep the cheese to a minimum. I am not planning to use a particular recipe as I did last year. I will use the combination of cheeses like in the recipe from last year, but that is about it. I am going to use the Bolognese sauce that I make for my spaghetti and layer it with a combination of provolone and parmesan.

To make the sauce, dice the onion and bell pepper, and saute’ with the minced garlic until soft. Add the mushrooms to the pan (mushrooms are not in the lasagna). Once the mushrooms have cooked down, drain any excess water. Add the vegetables to a large pot, along with the canned tomatoes. Once the meat has cooked thoroughly, drain and add to the tomatoes and vegetables.

Stir in the milk and wine, if you are going to put those in. Let the spaghetti simmer on low. Add the tomato paste to thicken the sauce if needed. The amount of tomato paste you add depends on how thick you want your sauce to be. I use to add the whole milk and wine but have recently opted out of putting it in. It is delicious with or without the wine and milk.

I like to add dried oregano, thyme, salt, pepper, parsley, and any other Italian herbs I have on hand. If you want to make this a bit healthier you can just make spaghetti. Carba-nada is a great low-carbohydrate noodle option or spaghetti squash!

Ingredients: 
4 cans Fire Roasted Tomatoes  
1 can Tomato Paste (about 1 cup) 
3 cloves Garlic 
1 Yellow Bell Pepper (diced) 
1 Onion (diced) 
8 ounces Mushrooms (diced)  
2-4 pounds 80/20 cooked and drained (depending on amount of people serving, I use 3.5 pounds typically and always have leftovers for the kids) 
8 ounces Whole Milk (optional) 
4 ounces Red Wine (optional) 
Italian Herbs  
2 cups provolone cheese shredded, divided
1/2 cup parmesan cheese grated, plus more for serving
*Reduced Fat Parmesan 
1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
chopped parsley for garnish
Whole Wheat lasagna noodles 

White Chicken Chili

I have two different chili recipes that I use for white chicken chili. One has very few ingredients and the other just gives you more options as far as flavor goes. You can’t really go wrong with either one. Josh requested this dish specifically for this week and since it is his birthday week, I will happily oblige.

There is a local restaurant in town that makes white chicken chili that he adores, so I tried my best to find a recipe that could hold its own. If I tweak the recipe that contains very few ingredients, then it is a hit.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

Ingredients:
6 C. Reduced Sodium Chicken Broth
*4-6 depending on broth
3-4 C. Cooked & Chopped/Shredded Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast (1 1/2 lb.)
2 (15 Oz.) Cans White Beans, Drained & Rinsed
2 C. Salsa Verde
2 Tsp. Cumin
Salt & Pepper to Taste 
*add in: onion, cilantro, jalapeno 

Pulled Pork Sandwich

There is no link for this recipe because it is so simple that you don’t need anything to guide you. I love being able to get a pork butt to cook it one way and make two completely different meals. Usually, I will have a sandwich and tacos on the menu to use up the whole pork butt. I am planning on freezing half of the meat for tacos next week.

I cook the meat in the crockpot for 8 hours on low. To season, I evenly coat all sides with yellow mustard, then season with salt, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, and paprika. Once the meat is cooked thoroughly, let it cool and then separate the meat from the fat. It really does defeat the purpose of healthy tacos and sandwiches if you leave the fat in there. Plus it is just gross.

I do not add the BBQ sauce until I am ready to eat each serving. I make sure to weigh out my sauce for every sandwich before I put on the bun. I make sure to get a low carbohydrate sauce, so I don’t over waste too many of my carbs on the sauce. Simply put the bowl on the scale, weigh out the meat and the sauce in grams or ounces, depending on the nutritional label. Toast your bun, top with the meat, and pickles, and enjoy!

*Changes I make to meet my macros 

Ingredients: 
1 Boston Butt 
Paprika 
Salt 
Pepper
Yellow Mustard 
Onion Powder 
Chili Powder 
Garlic Powder 
Brioche Bun 
Pickles 
Low Carbohydrate BBQ Sauce

E N J O Y !

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