Leader + Menu

Lead by Example

Leaders are looked to for guidance, they make the tough decisions no one else wants to, they take the fall for the failures of their company whether it’s their doing or not, stress the most, sacrifice the most, they set expectations, hold those under them accountable for upholding said expectations, etc. I am a leader in my classroom and home, but I am not the one making the shots on who gets hired, fired, schedules for work, financial investments, etc. When our school gets a bad rating, I am not singled out, my principal is. I do not get reprimanded when a parent is unhappy with how the car pick-up line moves and my name doesn’t get dragged through the mud if a kid brings something inappropriate to school or if there is a fight…my boss does.

On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, leaders do not always get the recognition they deserve. Usually, the busy-bees get the credit for the hard work done, and usually, that is just. If my students are performing well in class, my principal does not get credit for that, I do. I am after all the one teaching the students the information they need to know. I am the one pushing my students every day; however, my boss made the decision to hire me. He saw something in me that fit with the culture he had established and hired me based on qualities that he assumed would add value to his team. He is not the one continually upholding the culture of the school, the teachers are. The mission and vision of the school set the tone, but the actual “busy-bees” are the ones keeping that going. The job of our leader is to make sure we don’t get too lax with that and start slipping on those core beliefs. His job is just as important as ours, if not more.

Culture is the ‘way of life’ for groups of people, the way they do things. It is having common beliefs, behavior, outlook on topics, attitudes, values, morals, goals, and customs shared. Every group has a different culture. The people I work with are different than the people I work out with, who are different from my family. No one group is exactly the same.

For me, I surround myself with people that share similar core values and morals. I cannot pick who I work with, but it is my employer’s job to have those norms set in place to where he picks people that will work well together and also complement each other. It would be difficult to stick those key values if I was to surround myself with people that do not share the same ideals. Lay with dogs you get fleas, is what I was taught growing up. If I surround myself with people that are immoral then the assumption is that I am also immoral. If I sit with the girls that constantly gossip about others, even if I am not, people will assume that I partake in that same sort of nastiness. Get the point? If a leader allows for immoral or questionable things then that is the reflection of his/her company.

At that point, it is the leader’s job to get rid of those that no longer uphold those morals and values that they once did or were thought to have possessed. If there is someone jeopardizing the “brand” of a company, how on earth is it beneficial for that leader to just keep that person on? Why would someone want to create a bad name for themselves and their livelihood for the sake of someone’s feelings? I wouldn’t.

If I feel like if there is someone or something in my life that does not fit in a manner that is beneficial to me, my family, or my goals then I simply don’t need it/them. I am no longer at the mercy of who is in my homeroom, I left high school a long time ago. I am allowed to pick and choose those that I am surrounded by and who gets to have an effect on my life and who does not. You have the option to let people continue to bring you down to their level or fire them. I might not run a company of my own, but I can use those same principals to guide me on the decisions I make for my personal life. If something feels wrong, then it probably is. Find a group of people that lift you up and support your goals, for those that don’t keep them at a safe distance.


M E N U

Roasted Lemon Artichoke + Browned Butter Pasta

Crispy Chicken Tinga Taquitos + Lime Avocado Crema

Shrimp Wedge Salad + Old Bay Breadcrumbs + Hot Sauce Dressing

Spaghetti

Black Bean Tacos + Avocado Cilantro-Lime Sauce


Roasted Lemon Artichoke + Browned Butter Pasta

This is a new recipe for me. I am going to use carba-nada as my pasta. I won’t have to add in much chicken since it is full of protein and can really take in the flavor of the dish. I love trying new pasta dishes and attempting to make them healthy. Most kinds of pasta are not and can be super heavy. I like the lighter sauces that don’t ruin my macros for the day. I will do a review of this dish next week.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

Ingredients:
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus additional oil for drizzling
*spray olive oil
2 jars (12 ounce) marinated artichokes drained
*regular artichoke hearts
3 cloves garlic, smashed
zest from 1 lemon
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
kosher salt and black pepper
1 pound of your favorite long-cut pasta
*carba-nada
3 tablespoons salted butter
*1 Tablespoon
3 tablespoons raw walnuts, roughly chopped
*omit
1 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped, plus more for serving (or 2 tablespoon dried basil)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
*reduced fat parmesan
8 ounces burrata cheese, torn (or Ricotta cheese)
*skim milk ricotta

Crispy Chicken Tinga Taquitos + Lime Avocado Crema

I made these two weeks ago and seriously they became my new favorite dish. I went easy on the cheese, but if I didn’t count macros I would have used a whole lot more. It was delicious and had the perfect crunch. 10 out of 10 I recommend putting these into your menu rotation.

Right now I have the luxury of not meal prepping, but 100% still am. I will have everything cooked and ready to go but will wait to toast the tortillas when I am going to consume this meal.

If you are still going to work and do not have access to an oven, I would opt to skip the crunchy tortilla. A crunchy tortilla in the microwave is not going to taste very good. Keep the tortilla and stuffing separate, heat the chicken, then assemble with cheese and avocado.

Make sure to keep your fat intake in mind when using the avocado and cheese. It is delicious but can easily put you over on your calories.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

Ingredients: 
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus more for rubbing
*spray olive oil 
1 pound ground chicken, beef, or turkey
*chicken breast cut into strips
1 yellow onion, chopped
2-3 chipotle peppers in adobo finely chopped, use to your taste
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup red enchilada sauce homemade or store-bought
16-20 corn tortillas warmed
*1-2 high fiber/low carb tortilla per serving or 1/3 cup cooked rice
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese
*22 grams per serving 
pineapple salsa, shredded lettuce, and pickled onion, for serving
*optional

LIME AVOCADO CREMA
1 avocado, halved
*3 ounces
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup pickled jalapeños
juice from 2 limes
kosher or flaky salt

Shrimp Wedge Salad + Old Bay Breadcrumbs + Hot Sauce Dressing

I saw a woman I follow on Instagram making a grilled wedge salad about a month or two ago and since then I have been wanting to make one. Pregnancy has me wanting more simple foods, but still super tasty foods. I could not find any good romaine lettuce, so I grabbed some iceberg lettuce that will do the trick.

This is a new recipe for me, so I will let you know what I think of it next week! If you make this this week, make sure to look at the changes I will be making to make this a little more healthy. Small changes do make a big difference.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
*spray olive oil 
20 peeled and deveined raw large shrimp (about 1 pound)
*5-6 ounces per serving
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/4 cups fresh breadcrumbs (about 3 3/8 ounces)
*toasted brioche bun chopped
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1/2 cup mayonnaise
*20-30 grams non-fat greek yogurt per serving 
2 tablespoons whole milk
*1 ounce non fat milk per serving
4 teaspoons hot sauce (such as Crystal)
1 (20-ounce) head iceberg lettuce, cut into 4 wedges
Capers, for garnish
*fresh parmesan cheese + bacon

Spaghetti

The spaghetti sauce I use is adapted from a bolognese lasagna sauce. It is a thicker sauce, with lots of meat and vegetables.

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, to simply cut down on the calories. Save the wine and just drink it. 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. I don’t use noodles anymore with my spaghetti. If you still want noodles, Carba-nada is a great low-carbohydrate noodle option!

Once I tried spaghetti squash I never went back. It really is not that difficult to make. I cut my squash lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, spray with olive oil and bake in the oven on 425 degrees until I can stick a skewer all the way through the squash to the outside (not through the outside). I allow the squash to cool and then use a fork to scrape noddle-like strands out of the squash. 1 cup of cooked spaghetti squash is 42 calories, 10 grams of carbohydrates, and 0.5 grams of fat.

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 
2-3 spaghetti squash or noodles of your choice

Black Bean Tacos + Avocado Cilantro-Lime Sauce

We made these a few months ago. They used to be a staple in our house before Anderson was born and I used tilapia then instead of chicken. I had to scroll to the very bottom of my Pinterest board to find these, but I am so glad that I started making these again. With the shortage of food, these are easy to make, don’t take many ingredients, are quick to throw together.

To add protein to this dish we are going to use steak instead of fish. Sirloin steak is on sale this week. It is already a cheaper piece of steak and is also super lean.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

Ingredients: 
Two 15 oz. cans black beans
*1 can 
1 cup salsa
*2-4 tablespoons Fresh salsa in the produce section 
1 tsp. cumin
Corn tortillas
*high fiber/low carb tortilla 

Optional Toppings:
Lettuce, tomato, onion, roasted red peppers, corn, avocado, cilantro, dairy-free cheese, etc.
*cilantro, lime

FOR THE CREAMY AVOCADO SAUCE
1/2 ripe avocado
*3 ounces 
3/4 cup cilantro (stems removed)
Juice from 1 lime
1 clove garlic
1 Tbsp. olive oil (omit for oil-free)
*omit 
1 tsp. agave (or other sweetener)
*1/2 ounce honey 
1/8 tsp. salt 

meat of choice: shrimp, steak, chicken, ground beef
*zero calorie olive oil spray
2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder 
1 teaspoon smoked paprika 
salt
pepper

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