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!

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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 😉

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

Mango, Blackberry, & Cilantro Salad

Ingredients: 

  • 1 mango, cut up
  • 1/2 cup fresh blackberries
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 2-3 cups baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup purple cabbage

Method:
Toss all the ingredients together in a bowl and serve. Easy breezy!

I served this on a warm sunny day with some grilled chicken… it was AWESOME! I don’t really like salad dressing (and this salad definitely doesn’t need it with the juicy fruits on top!) but, if you would like, this would be good with a light vinaigrette or just olive oil.

__

Friday Food Log

Breakfast:
2 eggs
2 cups kale
1 slice bacon

Lunch:
4oz bbq chicken breast
1/2 of the salad above. (SO GOOD!!)

Snack:
Handful of Triscuits

Dinner:
4oz bbq chicken breast
1 cup mushroom risotto
1 glass red wine

2 walks with Jeff and the dogs. Lots of house cleaning. Laying around drinking tea.

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 🙂 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 😉 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

Pretty in Purple Slaw


Ingredients:

  • 1/2 a large head of purple cabbage
  • 1/4 onion
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 green onion
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 tbsp mayo
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp stevia (or whatever sweetener you like)
  • 1/2 a lemon, juice

Method:
Put the veggies in the food processor. Dump it all in a large bowl, add condiments. Mix. Serve. Makes about 8 servings. So easy, so good 🙂

____

Food/Lifting Log Dec 21

Breakfast:
2 eggs,
1 slice home made whole wheat sourdough
1 cup of coffee with splash of cream

Lunch:
Leftovers – pasta with veggies and chicken.
The bowl of purple coleslaw above

Pre-Lifting:
Oatmeal raisin scone

3’s Deadlifts & Back work

Deadlift:

Didn’t wear my belt today… just felt like training without it for some extra work on keeping my back and belly tight without it.

Warm Up: (Double overhand)
70k x 5
80k x 5

Work:
90k x 3 (Double overhand)
100k x 3 (switch grip)
110k x 3 (switch grip)

AMRAP @ 90k
15 reps. (Might have gotten 1 or 2 more but my phone fell out of my pocket and was dangling by my eat buds…)

Snatch Grip Deadlifts
3x AMRAP @ 60k off of 6″ blocks >2min rest between sets:
8 reps
10 reps
12 reps

Clearly, I need to work on my form. It’s silly I get more as I get more fatigued…

Pendlay Rows
3x AMRAP @ 40k >2min rest between sets:
15 reps
15 reps
15 reps

So hard to keep these from going wild.

Conditioning:
30 minutes hiking with Jeff and Roki. Also doing 15 minute row later tonight.

Post-Lifting:
2 scoops whey.

Dinner:
1 bowl pulled pork
1 baked potato
1 bowl purple slaw

Baked Pork Chops with Wild Rice & Mushroom Gravy

For whatever reason, I decided to cook a giant pork chop feast for lunch. I thought I’d share the recipes with ya’ll since everything turned out AMAZING! I really can’t get enough of this wild rice and mushroom gravy!!

Baked Pork Chops

Ingredients:

    • 4 pork chops 
    • 1 tsp kosher salt
    • 3 tbsp fresh rosemary
    • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
    • 1/2 tsp oregano 
    • drizzle of olive oil

Method:
Pre-heat the oven to 350 (or 375 if you’re up in the mountains like me). Place the pork chops in a glass baking dish. Sprinkle with the herbs and drizzle with olive oil. Place in the oven and bake for about 35-40 minutes, or until they are cooked through and crisp/browned at the edges.

You can make your side dishes while the pork chops are in the oven. I would suggest preparing the rice and apple sauce first, so you can let them cook on the back burners while you focus on the gravy at the front.

——

Wild Rice

Ingredients:

    • 2 cups wild rice
    • 4 cups water
    • 1 tsp salt

Method: 

Add all ingredients to a saucepan on the stove, heated to high. Bring to a boil. Once it boils, reduce heat to low, cover, and LEAVE IT ALONE until all the water is absorbed. The rice will take about 20 minutes to cook.

—–

Apple Sauce with Raisins 

Ingredients:

    • 3 large red apples, pealed, cored, and cut into cubes.
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • 1/4 cup raisins 
    • 3/4 cup of water

Method:
Add all the ingredients to a medium sauce pan. Bring the water to a boil then lower the heat, cover, and let simmer for about 30 minutes or until the apples are very soft and able to be mashed with a spoon easily. Stir occasionally and add more water if it gets too dry. Before serving, mash with a spoon or fork.

—–

Mushroom Gravy

Ingredients:

    • 1 large onion, chopped
    • 1 pint baby bella mushrooms, sliced
    • 1 tbsp butter
    • 1 tbsp flour
    • 3 tbsp heavy cream
    • 1 cup of water
    • salt & pepper to taste

Method:
In a large skillet, saute the onions in the butter on medium, until they are soft and slightly browned. Add the mushrooms and a quarter cup of the water. Saute until the mushrooms are soft. The water will get absorbed as you cook the mushrooms.

Once everything is cooked and browned, slowly add the flour and brown in the pan. Add the cream, and slowly add the water while you stir constantly. The sauce will thicken as you stir it. Leave on very low heat, stirring regularly, until ready to serve. If it gets too thick, add more water, if it is too thin, cook it down for a little while or add a bit more flour.

—–

Serve the gravy over the pork chops and the rice, with the the applesauce on the side. Enjoy!!

Lana’s Paleo Cliche

Below is a super delicious recipe – living up to every paleo cliche ever. The only way it could get more cliche paleo…. is if it was doing burpees. This meal has got WAY too much bacon to be considered healthy… but fuck it. If you’re gonna eat paleo, sometimes a nice bacon splurge is just what you need.

I used some thick sliced nitrate free organic bacon and the meal turned out fucking slammmmiiinnn’ (also, stupidly easy and quick to cook)

Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 pound delicious bacon, cut into 1-2″ chunks
  • 1 small shallot
  • 1 “bunch” (… I don’t know what to call it… whatever you buy in the store… a head… about 4 cups chopped) of Kale
  • 1 sweet potato, pealed and sliced thin

Method: 

Put the bacon and shallots in a caste iron skillet heated to medium-high. Cook for about 5 minutes until the bacon and shallots are beginning to brown. Lower the heat to medium, add the sweet potato slices to the skillet and continue to stir. Once the sweet potatoes start to soften (probably 5 or 10 minutes), add the kale and continue to cook until you think it’s done.

Eat it all because you’re a powerlifter and you can do shit like that 😉

…Then feel bad because you ate all your husbands good bacon and you didn’t even offer him any.

Sept 5, Food Log:

Breakfast

  • 3 eggs
  • butter
  • 1 giant tomato grown by my mother-in-law
  • espresso w/ cream

Lunch: 

  • 6oz salmon filet
  • Garlicy brussel sprouts
  • mashed sweet potatoes

Dinner: 

See above.

Pico De Gallo Recipe

I usually make this pico de gallo every few days, store in the fridge and add to EVERYTHING I eat. Egg tacos, chicken, beef, fish, rice, quinoa, salads seriously… EVERYTHING. I love it and it’s a major staple in my house. Now that I’m watching calories, I love it even more because it’s a giant flavor boost to simple dishes, is low in calories and high in vitamins. Lots of bang for your buck! Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sized tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 of a medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp diced red bell peppers
  • 1 tbsp diced green bell peppers
  • 1 tbsp diced garlic
  • 2 tbsp chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • squish of lime

Method
Chop it up & Mix it up man! Easy as pie.

Week 1 Day 1 – 10 week cut

Training Log

Running – 1 mile:
Today is Day 1 of my fat cut. I’m excited! So excited in fact that I went out on a run this morning with my dog… Just for fun! WOAH! (if you don’t know, I typically loath running and will find any excuse NOT to do it… so this kinda a big deal). I tracked the run when I got back and it was exactly 1 mile – which is kinda exciting. I might do this run as a regular thing and see how I can progress on it over the next 10 weeks.

1 mile run review: Not that hard. Didn’t take that long. Dog loved it. Will run again 😉

Then…
3/4 mile Ruck – 6 bricks in my backpack. Harder than expected! Gonna be a little sore in the traps from this I think. Might need to get a better backpack so I can support the weight on my hips rather than my back.

Food Log 7/21/13

Total Calories – 1700 calories
Total Protein – 190g

Gold Star

Breakfast: 
2 egg tacos – 375 Calories

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 corn tortillas
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp pico de gallo (see recipe above)

Turns out the corn tortillas I bought at the grocery store have 50 more calories per serving than the ones I usually get. So, this was a little higher in calories than expected. I made it up in my other meals.

Snack: 
1 apricot – 25 calories

Lunch:

Screen Shot 2013-07-21 at 1.27.43 PM Chicken, Quinoa Salad & Cottage Cheese – 500 calories

  • 150g chicken breast (boiled in adobo spices)
  • 150g quinoa salad
    • 100g cooked quinoa
    • 25g chick peas
    • 25g veggies – cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes
    • salt & pepper
  • 100g Cottage cheese
  • 1 tbsp pico de gallo

Snack:
6oz Greek Yogurt & 1/2 cup Blueberries – 150 Calories

Dinner:
Same as lunch: Chicken, Quinoa Salad & Cottage Cheese – 500 calories

Snack:
6oz Greek Yogurt & 1/2 cup Blueberries – 150 Calories

American Vegetable Fried Rice

Since I stopped “dieting” and started trying to eat more of what my body is asking for, I have been eating a lot of rice (as you may have noticed). It’s super simple and doesn’t have much going on with it but it tastes awesome and it seems to make my deadlifts come up faster 😉 Overall I’ve really been enjoying having added it back into my diet, so for the first time ever on this blog, I’m posting a rice recipe!

I’m calling this ‘American Vegetable Fried Rice’ because it’s not fucking Asian and that’s what everyone assumes when I say fried rice. It has celery, carrots, garlic and onions, so it tastes almost cajun in a way (close to the Holy Trinity of cajun food — celery, onions, and peppers). This dish is hearty savory and full of veggies! I was really really happy with the way this turned out and I’m super excited for someone else to try it!

Recipe makes about 4 cups of food – 50% rice, 50% veggies.

Ingredients: 

  •  2 cups cooked white rice
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, pressed
  • 1 large carrot, sliced thin
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 egg

Method: 

In a large skillet heat the oil and brown the garlic. Add the rest of the veggies and saute until the onions have browned and the carrots are softened. Add the (pre-cooked) rice and sauté for another 5-10 minutes. Whisk the egg in a bowl and dump it in. Stir it in as the egg cooks. At the end, throw in a little butter if you want and serve hot.

I had this with a steak and a salad on my deck and I wanted to die of happiness 🙂 SOOOO GOOD!

5/21/13 – Food/Lifting Log

If you haven’t noticed from my log, my lifting days are my highest in calories and carbs. As I said, I’m doing what my body tells me and it is very fucking clear about that shit! EAT LANA EAT!!!! Then, on non-lifting days… not so much.  So far I have maintained my weight at 155# and have been feeling very strong and lean. Really happy to be experimenting with my foods and for it to be going well. Most meals have been very clean (and honestly aside from the rice and dairy not too far from paleo), but I’m allowing the occasional treat because I hate feeling like a robot and that’s what I was feeling like when I was “dieting”.

Breakfast/Pre-Lifting:

  • 3 corn tortillas
  • 3 eggs
  • cilantro & hot sauce
  • C4
CUBE Method: Cycle 2: Heavy Bench

Bench: 3×2 @ 90# Easy peasy!
Bench More: 2×15 @ 75#
Overhead Press: 3×10 @ 45#
Dumbbell Curls (near the squat rack, but not in it): 3×15 @ 15# each
Lat Pulldowns: 3×12 @ 90# These were hard today, I think because I did them on Saturday.
Weighted Decline Bench Sit Ups: 3×15 @ 15# Going up in weight!! These are getting better every week. I think it’s really helping my lifts too.
Back Extensions: 3×15

Post-Lifting: 

  • Sauna Protein
  • 1 greek yogurt with cherry snack pack thing
  • 1 yerba matte

Lunch (OMG SO FUCKING HUNGRY FROM LIFTING!!):

  • Holy mother of god delicious chicken burrito bowl from a lunch truck. 
    • 2x chicken
    • mad dirty rice
    • mad black beans
    • 1 tbsp guacamole
    • hot sauce

Snack:

  • a tiny mango sorbe (100 calories on the label) 

Dinner on my deck with my amazing husband: 

  • 1 cup of the above rice concoction
  • 6oz grass fed organic steak
  • 2 cups salad greens w/ oil and vinegar

3 days no booze! Still been easy, but I haven’t tried to be social at all yet… that’s usually when it sucks but I know I will be fine.