Sunday Food Prep – what went down in my kitchen (10)

Hello, hello!

Welp, Monday’s back…

hooray monday

…and that means I get to share my Sunday food prep adventures with you!

I was feeling less than inspired – much like the Redskins offense – and only accomplished a little – much better than the Redskins offense. *sigh*

I decided that I needed to make some brownies. Because … duh … brownies.

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I’ve been fiddling with my recipe a little and I like what I did this time around. I decreased the flour (gluten-free) to 3/4 cup, only used 1 egg, subbed peanut butter chips for the dark chocolate chips, and threw in some chopped pecans from the pecan tree in our backyard. We have a few so I figured why not?

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I also added a couple teaspoons of this new chia, hemp, and buckwheat cereal I found at the Fresh Market.

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These are definitely winners! Not overly sweet and dense but still thick and fudgy. Just the way a brownie should be! Have you tried them yet?

I roasted a chuck roast in my crockpot.

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I defrosted some homemade chicken broth and used that as the liquid. I skipped all the fanciness and just went with salt and pepper and a little bit of garlic powder as my seasonings.

For a girl who doesn’t like pot roast, I was really reluctant to share!  So good!

My sailor and I had some last night for dinner with some quinoa and roasted broccoli and there’s plenty leftover for a few sandwiches or to top a sweet tater throughout the week. 🙂

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This broccoli. It’s like veggie crack. Seriously, I could eat the whole pan.

Finally, I decided to make a loaf of The Lean Green Bean’s Dutch Oven bread.

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Yeah, yeah, I know. I’m not doing that whole gluten thing right now.

Well, I’ve been gluten free for a few weeks now and I’ve been assessing my tummy situation. I’m not exactly sure that gluten is the problem (I see my doc tomorrow and we’ll discuss all the tummy things then) and I read Erin’s post about why she stopped being gluten free and it really resonated with me. I mean, I don’t eat a lot of gluten anyway (as long as I don’t eat an entire baguette in one sitting!) but I also wasn’t having any of those other, more serious issues like balance and headaches, etc.  So, unless a test comes back indicating that I need to eliminate all gluten, I figure I’ll eat it in moderation. And maybe only in homemade foods so I can control all the ingredients.

Like in this bread.

Which, incidentally, I made with 2 cups of whole wheat flour and 1 cup of gluten-free flour and, while the loaf might be smaller than one that uses all gluten-y flour, it was still pretty delicious toasted and smeared with avocado this morning. And my tummy wasn’t mad. 🙂

Random Spam Comment Time!

…in response to this post

“Today, I went to the beach with my kids. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is totally off topic but I had to tell someone!”

Talk to me: Have you ever done an “elimination” diet? What did you eliminate? What did you learn about yourself?

– jennifer

Quick and Easy Crockpot Roast

Hello, hello!

Happy Thursday! 🙂

thursday

So, our town has a really awesome farmer’s market on Saturdays.

In addition to local produce, cheeses, crafts, and other products, local meat farms (or ranches?) come out with various cuts of beef, pork, and chicken.

I’ve purchased eggs that have literally just been laid!

(that’s what she said)

Anyway, we have, in this super short amount of time that we’ve lived there, grown to LOVE our beef vendor – Lane Angus Beef Farm.

They’re so friendly and the beef is so stinkin’ good!

Anyway, we bought a chuck roast and 2 strip steaks on our first visit (on the first day it opened) just to test it out.

We did the steaks first and they were AMAZING!

Then, the chuck roast.

Now, pretty sure I’ve mentioned this before but … I’m kinda funny when it comes to cooking a chuck roast.

I LOVE to cook beef stew and I LOVE to cook pot roast but then, when it comes time for the eating part, I’m usually super unhappy. The meat is always dried out, super chewy, and just downright unpleasant. Well, to me, anyway because my sailor and the Things have never complained about any stew or roast recipe I ever made.

I don’t know what it is about me and my finicky taste buds.

Anyway, I wanted to do something simple with this chuck roast to allow the flavor of the meat to take center stage and not be overwhelmed by too many other things.

I also didn’t want to cook it for too long. That would totally bum me out.

So, I browsed around for ideas and I found a pretty decent looking recipe over at Wellness Mama.

I took some inspiration from that recipe and changed it up a little to fit what I had in my pantry and how I wanted to cook the meat.

Have you ever seen the Weber line of seasonings?

They’re pretty delicious and they’re not full of questionable ingredients.

They’re an excellent substitute for fresh, if you don’t have that.

So, I used the Roasted Garlic and Herb because, well, garlic is one of the greatest things on the planet. Om nom nom!

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pretty fancy, huh?

So, anyway, here’s what you need to do.

Quick and Easy Crockpot Roast

serves a few depending on the size of the roast and the size of the appetite 😉

1 tbsp olive oil or fat of choice
1 2-3 pound bone-in chuck roast (the bone adds a whole new level of flavor. if you can’t find bone-in, it’s okay.)
seasoning of choice (amount is up to you)
1-2 onions
1 to 1 1/2 cups broth (I used organic chicken broth) or half broth/half red wine (haven’t done this yet but I know it will be awesome!)
5-6 garlic cloves, peeled

1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Season chuck roast liberally, both sides. Add roast to skillet and brown on both sides – about 5 minutes a side, just enough to sear the outside and lock in some of that flavor.

2. Slice your onions and place in the bottom of a 4-6 quart crockpot (depending on the size of your roast). Throw in garlic cloves. Place roast on top of onion and add liquid (more for a bigger roast, less for smaller).

3. Cook roast on HIGH 4 hours. (Okay, now remember, I’m super picky and afraid of it being dried out so I prepped the roast in the morning and had Thing 2 start it up at the 4 hours until dinner mark. If you don’t have that option, you can certainly cook it on low for probably 8-10 hours with the same result.)

4. Take roast out of crockpot and serve with a fork. 🙂

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O. M. G.

Seriously, the best roast I’ve ever had.

I even brought leftovers for lunch.

That’s big.

Talk to me: Do you have a farmer’s market in your area? What’s your favorite find? Are you a fan of pot roast?

– jennifer

Running fast & some Paleo Beef Stew

Hello!

Happy Wednesday!

I saw this on Facebook today. Cracked me up!

can you see friday

So, I jumped both feet into my 8 week marathon training plan yesterday.  Knocked out a quick 7.28 miles. I honestly didn’t mean it to be so quick but … well, it was cold! I had to run fast! 🙂

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Actually, I pretty much just went out on an “explore” and checked out the running routes around my house (preliminary testing for those early morning runs once I find a J.O.B.) and then headed up to the park.

I took the long way to the park and was a little afraid I was going to overshoot my mileage.  Luckily, there are 2 routes once inside the park and I took the short one back.  I could have done more but – it’s an aggressive plan and I didn’t want to overdo it.

So, I overdid it when I got home by finally getting all the boxes in the bedroom unpacked and rearranging the dresser drawers.

This is what I looked like by dinner time:

owie back

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So, I tried to stretch some while I was making dinner.

And  do some pistol squats.

Because, those seemed like a good idea.

Yeah.

Not so much.

But, dinner was a GREAT idea!

My sailor unpacked my cookbooks while I was unpacking the bedroom boxes and arranged them all on my cookbook bookcase.

Yes, I have a bookcase for just my cookbooks.

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some cookbooks not pictured. 🙂

I need another one because it’s stuffed.

Or less cookbooks.

Hmm.

Anywho, it was pretty chilly yesterday so I was in the mood for a stew of some sort.

But, not one that would take forever to cook – which I normally love! – but, well, I didn’t have time for that.

got no time

I found a recipe for a beef and vegetable stew in my Paleo Diet Cookbook.

So, a little about me and beef stew.

I WANT to love beef stew.

I try so hard to love beef stew.

I’ve tried quite a few different recipes and they all smell just so good while they’re cooking but, when I get to the finished product, I’m always a little disappointed.

Everyone else always loves it but there’s something about the texture and doneness of the meat.  Yes, doneness is a word.

But, I keep trying them because – well, apparently, I’m a glutton for punishment.

And, sometimes, I find a gem in the coal mine that is beef stew recipes.

And, this one, my friends, is a sparkling diamond!

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O.

M.

G.

This was SO GOOD!

It doesn’t require all day to cook and I think that’s a major part of why I liked it so much.  The beef cooks just enough.

Plus, it has butternut squash in it.

I ❤ butternut squash.

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Beef Stew with Vegetables
serves 4

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 pounds chuck steak, cut into cubes
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
4 celery stalks, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a cast iron skillet over medium flame (I used my Dutch oven). Add meat to skillet and brown evenly on all sides, for approximately twelve minutes. Remove from skillet.

2. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, onion, and garlic to pan. Saute for 5 minutes. Toss in carrots, celery, and squash and saute for 5 additional minutes.

3. Return beef to skillet. Pour in broth. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low. Add bay leaf, rosemary, and oregano. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with black pepper.

4. OM. NOM. NOM!

Question: How do you feel about beef stew? Do you have a favorite recipe?

– jennifer