Tandoori Chicken Drumsticks

I added a new recipe to Lifterly¬†and thought I’d share it here as well ūüôā Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 8 chicken drumsticks
  • Marinade
    • 1 cup plain non-fat greek yogurt
    • juice of 3 limes
    • 2 tbsp ground turmeric
    • 1 tbsp ground coriander
    • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
    • 1 tbsp paprika
    • dash of cayenne pepper
    • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed under a knife, then chopped finely
    • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
    • 1 tsp salt
  • Garnish
    • 1 onion, sliced into 1/2 inch thick slices
    • sliced lemon, cut into wedges
    • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Method

Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl until smooth and evenly colored. Throw the drumsticks and the marinade into a large ziplock bag or tupperware container. Shake it up, until the marinade has completely coated all the drumsticks.

Let the drumsticks marinate in the refrigerator anywhere from 2 to 24 hours (I prefer to wait the whole day, but the dish is very good with less marinating as well.)

When you are ready to cook the chicken, heat a gas grill to medium heat & prepare your garnish ingredients.

Remove the chicken legs from the marinade and place them on the grill with at least a half inch of space between them. Also place the onion slices on the grill. Let the chicken legs and onion slices cook for about 15 minutes and then flip them over. Let them cook for another 15 minutes, or until the chicken is charred on the outside and cooked all the way through (The meat will not be pink, juices will run clear, and the inside temperature should be above 165 degrees.)

Remove the legs from the grill and place on a serving dish. Top with lemon wedges, grilled onion slices, and fresh cilantro.

Enjoy!

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Fire Roasted Tri-Pepper Salad with Chickpeas

I made this salad for dinner tonight because I had three BEAUTIFUL bell peppers sitting in my fridge just waiting to be sliced open. This recipe is a play off of my mother-in-law’s tri-pepper salad that we have for New Years every year. I added chick-peas because… well… CARBS!

Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 8.02.00 PM

Ingredients: 

  • 1 red bell pepper, quartered with stem & seeds removed.
  • 1 orange bell pepper,¬†same
  • 1 green bell pepper, same
  • 4 cloves of garlic, pealed
  • 1 can of chick-peas, rinsed thoroughly
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • dash of salt
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley

Method: 

Heat a gas grill to low, and place the the peppers and the garlic cloves on the grates. Close the lid and let them roast for about 15 minutes. Flip everything over and let them roast another 15 minutes. The peppers should be charred on the outside, and softened on the inside. Same with the garlic.

Remove everything from the grill. Chop finely. Toss with all the remaining ingredients and chill for 10-15 minutes or until cool. This salad gets better with age, so feel free to let it sit overnight if you want.

Enjoy!

Lentil Soup — Vegan, Vegetarian, Paleo(ish), Clean… you name it, it’s good!

Last night, for unknown reasons,¬†my body decided it was totally DONE with having food in it and launched into hours of awesome non-stop¬†vomiting (fun…). I¬†was pretty sure I was going to die, shaking in my sweaty cold skin, hugging the toilette like it was my long lost lover. I have no idea what I ate, or¬†who’s awful germs got¬†into my system during all those plane trips recently… but it wasn’t fun!

I’m happy that part is over, but¬†today has been pretty fricken miserable trying to recover from¬†it all. I am running on little to no sleep, I’m dehydrated as hell, and I have absolutely no nutrients in my body. It feels crummy. I actually had to leave work early so that I could get some sleep.

I’ve got a competition in 5 days and I can’t be going in like this!¬†I just want to eat ALL THE FOOD¬†so that I can feel normal again but…¬†my belly is sensitive and it doesn’t want to let me. So, lentil soup was sounding pretty good today! Lots of veggies, fiber, protein, and nutrients. Plus it’s pretty easy on the belly, and able to be eaten¬†niiiice and slow.

This is probably one of the best soups I have ever made.¬†It’s totally from scratch, and I absolutely love it. I might be making it a very regular part of my life from here on out.

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup dried lentils, rinsed
  • 1 vidalia onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 large stalk of celery, chopped
  • 1 tsp rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3¬†tbsp olive oil
  • 8 cups water
Method:

In a large pot, heat the olive oil to medium. Throw in all the vegetables and spices and sauté for 10-15 minutes, stirring constantly as the onions and garlic brown (this part smells AMAZING).

Turn the heat to med-low, add the dry lentils and salt to the pot, and saut√© everything another 5 minutes — letting the veggies and lentils roast¬†and brown in¬†any¬†remaining oil.

Add the water to the pot. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the lentils and carrots have softened completely.

Serve hot, Eat up!

How to Make a Pot Roast

As any of you who follow me on¬†Instagram know, I made a pot roast for dinner last night, and it was DELICIOUS. I’m a big fan of slow cooked, 1 pot, meals like this because it doesn’t take much effort to have reeeaaaallly good food for the next couple¬†days.¬†Also, the house smells rockin¬†all day long.

I like to keep my recipes short, sweet, and to the point, so I am going to do just that. You can read 100 recipes on how to cook a pot roast but it’s really not rocket science. In fact, it’s one of the easiest things ever to cook. You pretty much just brown some food, throw it in a pot, and let it sit in the oven for 4 hours. Don’t let it seem like more than it is ūüėČ

Ingredients: 

1 Chuck Roast with good striations of fat across it (Probably 3-5# is a good weight)
2 cups of beef broth
1/2 cup red wine
1 large parsnip chopped into 1-2″ size chunks
3 carrots chopped into 1-2″ chunks
1 large onion, cut into 4 large pieces
1-2 tbsp bacon fat (or whatever kind of oil you like to cook things in)
2 sprigs of fresh (or about a tbsp dried) rosemary
1 sprig of fresh (or about 1 tsp dried) thyme
Salt

Method: 

Prep it:

Heat your oven to 275 degrees. Rub some salt on all sides of your roast. Chop your veggies. Make your stock. Pour the wine (one for the pot & one for yourself). Set everything to the side.

Brown it:

Heat the bacon fat in a large dutch-oven, over medium-high heat. Once the fat is hot, drop in the quartered onions and let it sit there to brown on their¬†flat sides (don’t break it apart, leave it big). Remove the onion. Do the same with the carrots and parsnips. (we are not looking for cooked here, just a little browned on the edges). Remove the carrots and set aside with the onion pieces.

Throw the roast into the remaining¬†fat (there shouldn’t be much left at this point, but if there is none, feel free to add another tbsp… a little extra bacon fat never hurt anybody). Let it sear about¬†1-2 minutes/side, until it has a nice browning going on. Remove the roast from the pot.

Arrange¬†the vegetables at the bottom of the pot. Pour the stock & wine over them. Then, place the roast on top of¬†everything. Basically, you are creating a little shelf for the meat to sit on with the vegetables. The meat shouldn’t be sitting in the stock, it should be raised up on the veggies. In essence, you are creating a little steaming platform for the meat… in all it’s glory.

Throw your rosemary and thyme in the pot. Put the lid on it. Throw it in the oven.

Screen Shot 2014-05-21 at 10.01.39 PM

Cook it: 

Now that it’s in the oven, here come’s the suuuuuper hard part — LEAVE IT ALONE!!!! DO NOT OPEN THAT OVEN, AND DO NOT OPEN THAT LID! ¬†You want it to cook slow and steady in the steamy delicious stocked up pot,¬†for¬†about¬†45-50 minutes/pound of meat. (If you used a 5# roast, it should cook¬†for about 4 hours total.)

After 4 hours or so (or however long the math works out to for you), you can open the lid and check it out. It should be soft falling apart meat on the inside, and a bunch of very softened vegetables/stock at the bottom. The vegetables will be very mussy — they are absolutely delicious and full of juicy brothy fat, but they aren’t going to be beautiful or anything. ¬†They are pretty much a sacrifice to the glorious meat.

Once it cools for a few minutes, I usually transfer everything into a serving dish. It will have¬†shrunk¬†down a lot, and doesn’t really need to be in that giant pot anymore.

I enjoyed this recipe as is, but a lot of people like it with mashed potatoes or home made egg noodles to soak up the stock juices. Either way, don’t let your dogs near it ūüėČ

This is a perfect post-deadlift dinner, and it makes great leftovers (especially with a handful of cheese curds on top for, ‘the poutine of pot roasts’.)

How to bake a sweet potato, PERFECTLY

This is a super simple recipe that I use a LOT. I make it every week, and today I realized…¬†¬†“Maybe I should post the recipe for it,¬†since it is a staple for me.” Also,¬†seriously, this is probably the most delicious food in the world, so why would I not share.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large sweet potato (use more if you want… I’m doing a single serving recipe here, but I often make 3-5 of these to save for later in the day/week)
  • 1¬†tsp of olive oil or coconut oil
  • dash of salt
  • Butter & salt for topping

Method:
Pre-heat your oven to about 400 degrees F. Place the baking rack in the center of the oven. I often use convection bake for these just to help get the skin crispier.

Take your sweet potato and wash it off with cold water. Scrub it down with a brush, until you get all the dirt and weirdness off, and have a nice clean potato. After you have scrubbed it down, dry it off with a towel, and then rub a tsp of olive oil or coconut oil all over the skin. Sprinkle a little salt on the potato while it is moist with the oil.

Throw it in the oven, directly on the rack, for about an hour. If you are concerned about dirtying up the oven, lay a piece of tin foil on the next rack down. Usually these don’t make a mess, but every once in a while one will have a puncture in it and the sugary goodness with pour out of it all over your oven. On that note, DO NOT STAB THE POTATO WITH A FORK like you may do with a normal potato, it will make a mess.

After the potato has cooked for about an hour, remove from the oven with a pot holder (it will be super hot) and let cool for 5-10 minutes. Cut it open lengthwise with a butter knife, and then squeeze/pinch it from the sides to make the soft middle squish out of the top.  Top with butter and salt, and ENJOY! AMAZING RIGHT?!

Feel free to add cinnamon for a sweeter desert like meal. Also, I have enjoyed these with coconut oil, or browned butter instead of regular butter. There is no wrong way to eat a baked sweet potato!¬†So so simple, so so delicious. SUPER HEALTHY. Eat the skin, or don’t. Up to you ūüėČ

(P.S. this recipe works great for regular baked potatoes as well)

Thrice Used Chicken – A Poem by Lana Z.

Friday
Baked Chicken Pieces

Friday:
A whole chicken,
cut into pieces,
on sale,
at the grocer.

I decided to roast the chicken.
It was a delicious chicken.
I coated it with salt,
pepper,
lemon zest,
fresh thyme,
and lots,
LOTS,
of butter.

I roast it in the oven.
At around 400 degrees.
Give or take 30 minutes.

The skin was crisp.
The meat was juicy.

I ate it with risotto.
And, I LOVED it.
My husband and I at the juicy thighs.
The tender legs.
Even the little bits of crunchy meat on the wings.
Low and behold however, we could not finish.
Our bellies were full.

I left the breasts for another day.
I fed the skin to the dogs.
I looked at the bones…

“Perhaps I’ll save these”

Saturday
Chicken Stock

I looked at the cold chicken in the tupperware, in the fridge…
It just didn’t look as savory anymore.
No longer crispy,
hot, or juicy
Instead… cold,
and almost gelatinous on the edges.
YUCK.

“Let’s be honest here. I’m not going to eat this as it is” I said.

I pulled the remaining meat off the bones.
I put it in the fridge for something else.
Maybe chicken salad.
Maybe a soup.
Maybe chicken tacos.
Who knows!

The bones go in a pot.
Carrots,
Celery,
ONION!
BAY LEAF!!

Water.

I boil it all.
I simmer it all.
12 hours goes by and I SIMMER IT ALL!

I strain the juice from the broth.
I refrigerate it.

Sunday
With a case of the sniffles
Chicken and Dumpling Soup 

The chicken,
off the bones,
shredded,
waiting to be used.

The stock,
in a pot,
waiting to be used.

Shredded Chicken goes in a pot
Sweet Potatoes,
Carrots,
Celery,
ONION!
BAY LEAF!!

STOCK.

I boil it all.
I simmer it all.
30 minutes goes by and I SIMMER IT ALL!

Just at the end, right as I thought I was finished…
Jeff demanded dumplings.

Flour,
Water,
Salt & Baking Powder

PLOP PLOP PLOP
Simmer Simmer Simmer
YUM.

Thai Green Curry

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (12oz) coconut milk (I used Thai Kitchen, because it’s the yummiest!)
  • 1/2 thai kitchen green curry paste (this isn’t 100% paleo, but I am not 100% paleo…)
  • 1 tsp oil to brown the garlic
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 can (4oz) bamboo shoots
  • 1 can (4oz) water chestnuts
  • 1/2 cup sliced red pepper
  • 1/2 cup sliced green pepper
  • 1/2 cup sliced purple cabbage
  • 1/2 cup sliced carrots
  • handful of fresh cilantro
  • dash of salt
  • squish of lime
  • 2 cups protein of your choice – I used shrimp and cooked them in the sauce (which was pretty good!)
  • fresh cilantro & crushed cashews to garnish

Method: 

I did this pretty simply:

  1. Prepare all your veggies
  2. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan
  3. Brown the garlic.
  4. Add all the other ingredients
  5. Simmer on low heat for about 15 minutes or until the veggies are soft and the protein is cooked through.
  6. Serve over your favorite “sauce absorber” – Because today was a rest day and I wanted to keep my carbs lower, I had this over a bowl of spaghetti squash (and it was awesome!). Had it been a lifting day I may have served it over a pile of sweet potatoes, or rice.

ENJOY!

Colorful Cucumber Salad & Time for Myself

So, after my rant yesterday I put some thought into what was really irking me about my diet lately. I’m pretty sure the quality of food I’ve been eating is fine with me, the issue is that I am BORED. I have put a lot of effort into cakes and desserts, but I haven’t been thinking creatively about my regular meals, making me feel like I am eating poorly. I’m not for the most part. BUT, I am putting my effort into the wrong spots.


Today’s small step in the right direction – Colorful Cucumber Salad

I have been letting my job/cozy lifestyle determine a lot of my food choices lately. For example: I am consumed with conversation with co-workers during the day, so I just sit at my desk and drink a protein shake rather than taking a break and making lunch (which I really enjoy) -or- I am tired after work, so I just eat some leftover rice and chicken for dinner rather than cooking something I am proud to have put together. Most of the foods I am eating lately aren’t bad, but I am so uninspired with them… and honestly, totally bored. I was feeling upset yesterday because I felt like my diet has been crappy. The truth is, it’s not “crappy” or “unhealthy” it is just lazy and boring.

All that said,¬†I really enjoy cooking and I really enjoy feeling like I am filling my body with quality foods. So I want to tackle this issue. This time, however, I am not making crazy rules for myself and I am not “starting a new diet”. Fuck that noise. I know myself well enough at this point to know that setting a hundred “DO NOT BREAK” rules for the next 30 days will blow up in my face once I hit a rough patch. Instead, I am going to push for 2 small (do-able) changes:¬†

1.) Go grocery shopping if you are frustrated with what’s available in the refrigerator – this is a big one for me. Most of my crappy food choices come when I am looking in the fridge and there isn’t anything to cook. Rather than go grocery shoping, I will often just microwave some leftover baked-ziti or sourdough bread that Jeff made earlier in the week. The grocery store is literally 3 minutes away I seriously need to get in the habit of going when I need to. I can not be lazy about this anymore.

2.) Post at least 1 recipe on the blog every week – This may sound weird, but one way I have been able to stay on track in the past is by being creative with my recipes and sharing them with others. I am an artsy person at heart — I draw, I paint, I like to think creatively. Concocting delicious foods and taking pretty pictures of them makes me happy. I think working toward this goal will help me stay entertained with eating well, and encourage me to look beyond my lazy tenancies.

My intention here is to do something that I KNOW I can do, specifically, something that I will enjoy (and will tangentially help me make better choices regularly). I need to make more time for myself so that I can re-discover my interest in cooking healthy foods. I think making a specific effort to get to the grocery store regularly, and post some interesting recipes on my blog will do just that.

In honor of this, a recipe: 

Colorful Cucumber Salad

I hit up the grocery store today, stuck to my Paleo Powerlifters Grocery List, and came home inspired to make something yummy for lunch!

Ingredients:
1 large cucumber, halved (lengthwise) then sliced.
1/4 cup purple cabbage sliced thin
1 tbsp red pepper, chopped
1 tbsp green pepper, chopped
1 tbsp green onion, chopped
1 tbsp cilantro
1 tbsp parsley
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
dash of salt & pepper

Method:
Prepare your veggies and throw them all in a large bowl. Toss together with ACV, Salt, and pepper. Serve as a colorful side dish and a healthy dose of fresh veggies! Super crunchy, fresh, and tasty. I had this with ginger and sesame pork chops today! YUM!

Kabobs & Cucumber Yogurt Salad

Very yummy dinner tonight, and super simple at that! The picture turned out like dog ass, but I thought I should post the recipe anyway… since I thoroughly enjoyed the meal. Plus, it’s been a while since I’ve posted a recipe.

kabob

 Kabobs

Ingredients: 

  • 8oz steak, cut into chunks (I got about 16 chunks)
  • 1 bell pepper, cut into large chunks
  • 1 onion, cut into large chunks
  • mushrooms (I didn’t have these, but I wish I did)
  • skewer sticks
  • lemon juice & salt

Method: 

Skewer the meat and veggies, alternating one after another, until you use up your ingredients (I got 4 kabobs and some extra veggies). Squeeze the lemon over the skewers and sprinkle with salt. Place the kabobs on top of a broiling rack, add the potatoes (see below), and broil on high for about 10 minutes or until the steak has cooked through and the veggies have browned. Generally, when the steak is finished, the other veggies are as well.

Broiled Potatoes

Ingredients: 

  • 1 large potato, chopped into 1-2″ chunks
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • onion salt
  • garlic salt
  • dried oregano
  • dried parsley

Method: 

Cut up the potato and throw it into the microwave, loosely covered, for about 2 minutes (or until the potato has softened). Remove from the microwave, put in a tupperware with other ingredients — Pop the lid on and shake it up. Dump the potatoes onto the broiling rack with the kabobs before broiling.

Cucumber Yogurt Salad

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cucumbers, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped onion
  • 1 tbsp chopped green onion
  • 1 tbsp chopped dill
  • 2 tbsp chopped parley
  • 1/4 of a lemon juice

Method: 

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl ūüôā E.Z.

SERVE!

_____

Jan 7 Food Log

Low key day today. No lifting. Just some good recovery and lots of thinking while working. Very productive day at the desk.

Morning hike with the dogs… there are two, Bubba is just super¬†camouflaged¬†into the snowy grass ūüėČ Bet you can’t find him.

Breakfast:
2 eggs
3 slices bacon
2 tiny slices of bread

Lunch:
4oz steak – pan seared in bacon fat
1/2 cup brown rice
green peppers
onions


And then….the dogs never stopped being absolutely terrible all friggen day. Really helpful while I tried to get work done.

Snack:
1 slice of Jeff’s sourdough
1/2 cup cottage cheese

Dinner:
see the plate above (half the recipe):
4oz steak
1/2 a potato
1 cup cucumber salad

Dessert:
1 banana
1oz chocolate

Fastest Chili in the West

I made this from a bunch of leftovers in like 10 minutes… and it rocked. YESSSSSS.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cup leftover ground beef (which had onions and shit in it)
  • 1 cup of leftover tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup chopped bell peppers
  • 1 medium tomato chopped
  • 1/2 cup of black beans
  • 1-2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1-2 tbsp paprika
  • Salt & Pepper

Method:
Stir in a pot for like 10-15 minutes
Add a plop of sour cream on top
BAM!
______

Food/Lifting Log Dec 20:

Breakfast:
2 breakfast scones w/ creme fraiche
1 protein shake (2 scoops whey)
1 coffee

Lunch:
slice of sourdough bread w/ butter
The bowl of chili pictured above

Dinner:
Fat slice of sourdough bread with butter
3 eggs

3’s week Bench +powercleans + rowing:

Bench: 

Warmup:
20k x 10
30k x 5

Work:
35k x 3
40k x 3
45k x 3

AMRAP x 3 @ 30K
25 reps
15 reps
10 reps
Total 50 reps WOO! Moving up and out next week. Maybe 35K

Power Cleans:
25k x 5
25k x 3
30k x 3
30k x 3
35k x 1 x 5
40k x 1 x 5
42k x 1
35 x 1 x 10

Rowing:
3000 meter row – 15 minutes (I did 2000 m in 10 minutes… which was my goal for the year, so… I might reassess that goal)

Snack:
1 apple
1 scoop whey