Whole30 – Still Going Strong

Day 12 is complete!  Here’s what we were up to (food-wise) this week:

Breakfasts – mostly eggs, but we did add some potatoes to one over the weekend, and I also made homemade turkey sausage this weekend – super cheap and definitely something I’ll continue to do beyond these 30 days!

IMG_6352Breakfast for lunch with some homemade turkey sausage

Lunches – mostly leftovers.

Snacks – bananas, almonds, pistacchios, Trader Joe’s ‘Just Mango’, lara bars (they have a list of approved ones here), apples with almond butter, and Matt made some beef jerky this past weekend and these delicious energy bars so that was a treat!

IMG_6402The energy bars! yummmm

Dinners:

Tortilla-less, cheese-less, ‘Rita-less Fajitas – Not as torturous as I thought it was going to be.  We still grilled up our steak and chicken and veggies like we normally would, topped it with some fresh pico de gallo I made with leftover veggies, and it was delicious!  We shared this meal with some good friends on the night before the 4th, I think this made it even better 🙂

Steak and Roasted Potatoes with grilled asparagus – no recipe needed here, we just grilled some steak, tossed some potatoes with olive oil and rosemary andpopped those in the over, and then grilled seasoned asparagus.  We needed to have an extra good dinner this night (the 4th) because we ate before going to a friend’s place where everyone else would be eating pizza and cookie cake, which also went a lot better than I expected.

Paleo Sweet Potato Chili with a salad – we made this for small group on Tuesday and it was a hit with everyone.  Used some of the chili powder from our Penzy’s trip last weekend, and it came out great.  The recipe makes A LOT.  It filled out dutch oven to the top (as you can see in the photo.

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Spicy Shrimp Paleo Spaghetti Noodles – these were delicious, found the recipe from last week’s poster on the whole30 recipes instagram.

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(Modified) Spaghetti Squash Boats with Spinach and (homemade, compliant) pesto – we’ve made the non-whole30 version of these before (and check out that link for other varieties!).  The whole30 version turned out to be just as delicious.

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Grilled Chicken with misc stuff we had laying around.  I went to a movie in the park with a friend on Friday so there was limited dinner time and snacks were needed so I’d avoid the popcorn that was there! (also, not bringing my wallet helped)

We’re headed to Syracuse this weekend and have some family BBQs – our second real test in all this (the first being the previously mentioned pizza and cookie cake on the 4th of July).  We’re headed there with homemade speidie sauce (recipe to come later), so hopefully that on our chicken and the fruit and veggies will be enough to help us resist the rest of the deliciousness we come into contact with!

 

 

Mango Shrimp Tacos

TGIF!  We just wrapped up our last full week of work until 2016!  Yippee!!  Just three days of work next week and then we’re off to Syracuse!  The week after Christmas we both have off from work (thank you, Boeing and PwC!) so we’ll spend some time back here in Arlington that week, relaxing and catching up.  It’s been a great Christmas season so far and we’re excited to head up North and continue it.  We’ve had some great parties and good time with friends, and lots of caramel corn!  I’ve made 4 batches and I think there’s one more to go.  We’ve been blessed with new friends and such a great small group that has grown over the year, so there are lots of people to give caramel corn to for Christmas!  My mom always did this for friends and family at Christmas and I love continuing it with our circles.  Some people have asked if I’m going to post the recipe and I’m not.  Like the molasses cookies last year, some family recipes will stay off the internet 🙂

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Tonight we took some time to ourselves and made dinner together.  These are a winner!  The crema and salsa can be made in advance and if you do that (we didn’t), this would be super fast to whip up.  These sure were delicious and I know Matt is already looking forward to when we make them again!

Mango Shrimp Tacos (recipe from here)

 Serves: 2-4, depends on how hungry you are 🙂

Ingredients

5 Ingredient Mango Salsa

  • 2 ripe mangoes, peeled, pitted and diced (about 3 cups)
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and diced
  • 1-2 jalapenos, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, loosely packed
  • juice of one lime

Sweet Chili Lime Crema

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • juice and zest of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • pinch of salt

Mango Shrimp Tacos

  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • ½ – 1 packet Taco Seasoning (adjust for your preference)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 package (Small) Tortillas (corn or flour, pick what you like!)
  • 1 batch 5-Ingredient Mango Salsa
  • 1 batch Sweet Chili Lime Crema
  • optional toppings: crumbled queso fresco, sliced avocado, extra chopped cilantro

 

Directions:

  1. Make the Salsa – Toss all ingredients together until combined. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Can be prepared up to 3 days in advanced and stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
  2. Make the Crema – Whisk all ingredients together until combined. Taste, and add extra salt or honey if needed.
  3. Toss the shrimp in a large bowl with the taco seasoning until the shrimp are evenly coated.
  4. Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and saute for 4-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are completely cooked through and opaque inside.  Remove from heat, transfer the shrimp to a separate plate, and set aside.
  5. While the shrimp are cooking, heat the tortillas
  6. To assemble your tacos, portion the shrimp evenly between 6-8 flour tortillas, topped with a few spoonfuls of mango salsa. Then drizzle with the sweet chili lime crema to taste.  Add optional toppings if desired.  Serve warm.

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Brown Butter Brussels Sprouts and Fettuccine, Apple Pie with French Crumble Topping, and Shrimp Perloo

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Ahh it’s been a while!  Sorry everyone, busy season got real bad at the end.  But that is in the past and I have some exciting news (and then some recipes to catch you up on)!  As of November 1 I will be transferring into PwC’s financial education practice.  I have worked on some projects with this group in the past and I am beyond excited for the transition.  This has been in the works since June and my current partner and the partner of the new group agreed that I could make the switch after busy season. So what will I be doing?  Basically companies hire PwC’s financial education to be a benefit to their employees.  We do in person presentations on financial planning topics such as cash and debt management, 401(k), pre-retirement planning, and topics like that.  We also have a phone line that the employees can call and ask us financial planning questions, anddd one of my favorite things we have is a “financial fitness assessment.”  The employees can take this and then schedule a one on one call with me or one of my teammates.

‘How did this all come about?’ you may wonder.  Well, you may recall that back in June they were doing a “money matters” series at our church that I was super pumped about.  During the first sermon I’m just sitting there on the edge of my seat, resisting the urge to yell “amen” and clap after everything the pastor said.  I quickly realized that this was a topic that stirred something up in me and started to think about how I could switch into doing more of this for work (I was also already studying for the CFP exam at the time and getting really excited about everything I was learning).  I talked to a few people at work and called one of the managers in the FEP group to see if the switch was something we could make happen.  Since I’d done a good amount of work with the group in the past the answer was a quick “yes!!”  Then it was just a waiting game until my group would give me up.  Knowing the switch was coming was one of the only things that kept me going this busy season.  I’m pumped!  Also, this group does have busy seasons at the same time as the old group (we share people in between tax deadlines and then lose the extra help during tax season), but they’re a lot less extreme and don’t require weekends.  Just icing on the cake 🙂

Alright, now to the recipes.  We made a couple during the last weeks of busy season but I didn’t have time to post them!

First up – Brown Butter Brussels Sprouts and Fettucine.  This was pretty delicious, Matt made it one night during busy season and added garlic to the original recipe – great call on his part.

Second Up – Apple Pie with a French Crumble.  We went apple picking with our friends a few Sundays ago and somebody thought that we needed 12 lbs of apples, so there were plenty around for making a pie.

Lastly – we got Blue Apron this week (thanks to my bday gift from my brother)!  The recipe from the first meal we made had fairly normal ingredients that’s easy enough to remake, and it was pretty delicious too!

Brown Butter Brussels Sprouts and Fettuccine (recipe from here)

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, sliced
  • 12 ounces whole-wheat fettuccine, cooked, plus 1 cup reserved cooking liquid
  • 1 cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted
  • 3 or 4 cloves garlic, minced

Directions:

  1. Cook fettuccine according to the package instructions. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water.
  2. In skillet, cook butter over medium until golden, 3 minutes. Add minced garlic during the last 30-60 seconds of cooking
  3. Add sprouts; cook until tender, 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in pasta, cooking liquid and 1/2 cup each cheese and nuts; season.
  5. Top with remaining cheese and nuts.
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Apple Pie with a French Crumble

Makes: One 9 inch pie (8 inch pies have different proportions! Or just a bit of leftovers from this recipe)

Ingredients

For the Crust

  • 2/3 cup plus 2 Tbsp shortening, or 2/3 cup lard
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4-5 Tbsp cold water

For the Filling

  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • Dash of salt
  • 6 cups thinly sliced tart apples (about 6 medium sized apples)

For the French Crumble Topping

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup firm margarine or butter
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar

Directions:

For the Crust –

  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cut shortening into flour and salt until particles are the size of small peas (this can also be done in a food processor or a kitchen aid mixer with the whisk add on.
  3. Sprinkle in water, 1 Tbsp at a time, tossing with a fork until all flour moistened and the pastry almost cleans the side of the bowl. (A couple more Tbsp can be added if necessary)
  4. Gather the pastry into a ball; shape into a flattened round on lightly floured surface.
  5. Roll pastry 2 inches larger than the inverted pie plate.
  6. Transfer crust into the pie plate and trim/shape the edges as desired.

For the Filling –

  1. Peel and slice apples
  2. Combine, sugar, flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt, then stir in apples.
  3. Pour into the pie dish (already lined with raw crust).

For the Crumble Topping – 

  1. Mix the crumb topping ingredients (flour, butter, brown sugar) until crumbly.
  2. Top pie with crumble before baking.
  3. Bake 50 minutes, cover pie with foil during the last 10-15 minutes of baking to avoid excessive browning.

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Matt helped peel the apples!  anyone seen that video of using a drill to peel apples?  He saw it and had to try it!

One Pot Shrimp Perloo

Eh, just go to the website for the recipe – https://www.blueapron.com/recipes/one-pot-shrimp-perloo.   Blue Apron has pretty recipe cards you can print too.  Picture is below, it was delicious and definitely made more than two servings.

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Gremolata Bowties & Spicy Shrimp Stir Fry

Another week has passed!  Busy season is going surprisingly well so far, but there are still almost 7 weeks left until October 15 so I’m sure I’ll be eating those words in a week or two.  Still working overtime, but not as much as I’ve historically been slaving away at this time of year so that’s a big win!

This week was the last week of the Financial Peace class I’ve been helping out with at church.  Gosh that stuff was so good.  People can hate on Dave Ramsey all they want, and while I will admit that I don’t agree with everything he says (and that’s okay!), I will say that the man is changing lives.  And if more people could get into this and follow the principles he teaches, this world would be a different place.  It’s funny how big of a difference having a written budget makes!  It sounds so simple, but that’s really at the heart of this.  I think people hear the word budget and think they’re only for people who are poor or living paycheck to paycheck, but it’s for everyone!  It is AMAZING how much money we’ve “found” since starting to just actually keep a budget.  I could go on forever.  If you want to know more about that stuff, ask me some time.  But be warned that apparently I get really excited and talk really loud when I get going about it (Matt shhh-ed me a few times while I was on the phone talking to mom today).  I’m really excited to see where this stuff takes us.  We’re probably going to be coordinating another one in the new year, it’s going to be great!

Another two quick, easy, and few ingredient recipes for you this week!  Both were absolutely delicious, easy, healthy, and will be made again (probably in the next 6 weeks…).  The bowties are the PERFECT mix of lemon, garlic, cheese, and deliciousness.  And the stir fry I was definitely skeptical about, but ended up being very pleasantly surprised with how good it was.  That lime did a lot for it.  Thanks, Rachel Ray.

Gremolata Bowties (recipe from here)

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound bowtie pasta (aka farfalle)
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1 cup grated pecorino
  • 1/2 cup minced parsley
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest, plus 2 tbsp. juice
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta according to directions, reserving ¾ cup of the pasta water.
  2. In skillet, cook chicken in oil over high, stirring, until cooked through; season.
  3. Stir in remaining ingredients to warm; season.

*Note that peas are not pictured in the pasta below because someone conveniently “forgot” to get them….

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Spicy Shrimp Stir Fry (recipe from here)

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 14 ounce bag coleslaw mix
  • 4 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 lime (1 tsp. zest and 1 tbsp. juice)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sriracha
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Optional: thin sliced bell peppers

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet, cook coleslaw (and peppers, if desired) in 2 tbsp. oil over medium-high, stirring, 2 minutes; season.
  2. Stir in lime zest and juice; divide among plates.
  3. In same skillet, simmer remaining oil, sriracha and 2 tbsp. water over medium-high, 1 minute.
  4. Add shrimp; cook, stirring, until opaque in center, about 3 minutes; season.
  5. Top plates with shrimp and sauce and enjoy.

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