Simple + Menu

I need easy this week, well every week really, but especially right now. Not only is this holiday season difficult, but the season of life I am in is as well. This has been a difficult maternity leave. I have enjoyed my time at home with Thomas and really don’t want to see it end, but it has been hard. We are finally getting into a routine of sorts, which does not include sleeping through the night, but it is nice. He has been such a happy baby…knock on wood…and I hate that it is ending so fast. I would take a leave of absence if I knew my co-workers wouldn’t come to drag me back by my toes.

Haley Cox Photography

I love Christmas. It is by far my favorite holiday, but with this holiday comes a lot of running around and extra stress. Everyone expects all of your time and for you to come to them, in my experience there is not much compromise on family gatherings. I want to see everyone and I am not sure how my parents managed to see so many people when I was younger and not stress out. I know it is the season for spending time with loved ones, but my little loved ones don’t do well off of their routine. Staying up late does not equal to sleeping in late. It means waking up just as early and waking throughout the night. I have created creatures of habit and structure.

Haley Cox Photography

It is a love/hate relationship with all the craziness. What I do love is how many nieces and nephews I have. I grew up with cousins the same age or right there at my age. Really everyone had someone to play with and those are some of my favorite memories. I am so glad that my children get to create those same kind of memories with cousins that will hopefully become best friends. I love going home to my mom’s house where my children get to play with the pigs and cows. It is really like a vacation for them. With six kids in the house it isn’t exactly what you would call relaxing, but at the same time it is. I love going home (just not the act of getting there). I don’t get to see my family often, so I love when we can all be together.

In lieu of the busy season and the new year coming I am going to put together a list of my posts that you might find helpful on counting macros. My posts aren’t always about food and tracking (case and point- the above paragraphs). Sometimes this is more of a ‘dear diary’ for me than a platform to educate about nutrition. It has been almost three years since I started this blog and I don’t like repeating posts, so bare with me if they are not all 100% macro-talk.

These are in no particular order but will be helpful for those that want to start counting macros or are trying to set that 2021 fitness/nutrition goal. I am wanting to put together a beginners level and advanced level macro group after the first of the year. If you are interested let me know!

So those are my top posts that I feel have the most to do with macros and nutrition overall. This week I have gotten more recognition for my blog than ever before and it truly makes me so happy. You have no idea how happy it makes me that people take the time to read what I write. Thank you! If you need any help, just reach out!


M E N U

Lemon Parmesan Salmon+  Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and Orange Vinaigrette Dressing

White Chicken Chili

BLT Chopped Salad + Corn, Avocado, Feta

Deer Stew

Slow Cooker Herbed Chicken + Rice Pilaf


Lemon Parmesan Salmon+  Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and Orange Vinaigrette Dressing

Oh my goodness, I didn’t think I would like salmon any other way than how we normally cook it, but this was great. High protein, low carb, low fat. This left all the room for some good snacks. This is probably one of my favorite meals to make. I love this salmon and this beet salad never disappoints.

Usually, I like salmon our way and try to never deviate from it, but this was too good not to try. Since purchasing a  RecTec Grill, we don’t wrap the salmon in tin foil any more with it being on a pellet grill. It does have a different taste to it, but I really loved it the last time we ate it. It is well worth the money in my opinion.

This recipe has oranges and uses orange juice in the dressing. I make sure to weigh out my orange juice and not to overdo it on the orange slices. The juice/dressing is where you will really get a lot of calories if you are not mindful. To track your dressing, make sure you are weighing every ingredient. Get the total weight of the dressing and then divide it into equal servings.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

Ingredients: 
Salmon:
Salmon 
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 
*spray olive oil 
kosher salt and black pepper 
4 (5-6 ounce) salmon fillets 
2 teaspoons smoked paprika 
4 cloves garlic, minced or grated 
zest of 1 lemon 
1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes 
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese 
*10 grams reduced fat parmesan per serving

Vinaigrette:
1/4 Cup Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
*omit oil 
2 Tablespoons Honey
* 1 Tablespoon Honey 
1/2 teaspoon Stone Ground Mustard
* 1 Tablespoon Stone Ground Mustard 
Pinch Salt/Pepper

Salad:
Fresh Baby Romaine or a Peppery Greens Salad Blend
Micro Greens
4-5 Cooked Beets - cut into chunks
Goat Cheese Crumbles
*1 serving per salad  
1 Orange - segmented 
*1/4th of an orange per salad 

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.

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. If you leave out the sour cream and refrain from grabbing the crackers, this is a super healthy meal and a great option for these cold days.

*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 

BLT Chopped Salad + Corn, Avocado, Feta

I made this salad into a BLT bowl and added chicken for extra protein. I planned poorly and ended up using leftover shrimp and steak the next day for lunch and that was the best choice I ever made! This BLT bowl WILL be made again and with shrimp. I was very unsure of how this would taste with a little seasoning and chicken. Honestly, it was so good, I was pretty surprised.

I was unable to use the avocado I bought last time because the outside was soft but the inside was super hard, but I am sure it would have been great. I can’t wait to make this one again and hopefully will be able to add in the avocado.

*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

Deer Stew

When deer season rolls around, deer stew is always something that I like to make. I am not a fan of fried meat anymore, french fries heck yeah, but I just don’t like my meat fried. I searched and searched for recipes with cubed steak that did not include flour and grease/oil. It took me a while, but I found a few good ones that I have stuck to come deer season. I don’t recommend using cubed steak in fajitas, it just doesn’t hold up, but this recipe is a great option.

The only thing I am going to change is the amount of butter used in this recipe. It calls for 1/2 a stick, but I am going to use 1/4 a stick instead. I am using small new potatoes, not baking potatoes and I like to use a cubed steak. If you don’t have deer meat, you can always use any thin, low-fat strips of steak.

I have tried cooking this in the crockpot and it turns out fine, but the meat is hard to track when it is cooked like that. The meat really falls apart and makes it difficult to accurately separate the meat from the other ingredients. I am going to try the crockpot one more time, This time I will keep the meat on the bottom and pull off the other ingredients first.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

Ingredients:
3-4 Potatoes
*8-9 New Potatoes 
3-4 Large Carrots
*16 ounces baby carrots 
1 Onion 
Vinegar 
*1-2 cups
Worcestershire
*1/2-1 cup 
Salt 
Pepper 
Butter
*1/4 stick 
Bacon
*4 slices or 6 ounces 
Cubed Steak or Thin Lean Steak 

Slow Cooker Herbed Chicken + Rice Pilaf

This is a great easy recipe. I love anything I can throw into the crockpot and just let it cook on its own, especially right now with the kids and I home 24/7. When I cook this I don’t shred the chicken into the dish after it has cooked. I take the chicken out and keep it separate from the rest of the dish. This makes it much easier to count my macros. I weigh out the rest of the food from the crockpot and divide it into 4 containers equally. A lot of crockpot meals I encounter with carrots end up being sweet, but this one is not.

Without the chicken accounted for, the macros for 4 servings the last time I cooked it was 174 calories, 5.8 grams of protein, 31.7 grams of carbohydrates, and 2.5 grams of fat. Make sure to put the chicken on top of the rice mixture, so you can easily take it out and add it into the bowl depending on your macro needs. The recipe calls for you to sear the chicken but if you are in a hurry you can skip that step. It still tastes great.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

Ingredients: 
1 1/2 cups wild rice
*3/4 to 1 cup
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
*2 cups 
juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 carrot, cut into 1 inch pieces
*17 ounces whole baby carrots
1 cup wild mushrooms, torn
*272 grams 
2 pounds bone-in chicken breast and or thighs
*boneless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
*spray olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon fresh chopped sage
kosher salt and pepper
4 shallots, halved
1 sprig fresh rosemary 

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