Fanciness, ice cream cones, and spinach, bacon & sweet tater salad

Hello, hello!

Happy Monday!

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Did you have a fantastic weekend? Did you do anything fun?

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you probably know I had a decent weekend. 🙂

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There was definitely not enough sleeping this weekend. 🙂

Although, honestly, I made up for it yesterday by sitting on my couch and watching CrossFit Regionals all day long. Like, literally, All. Day.

Plugged my sailor’s phone into the TV (mine, for some reason, does not have an HDMI out slot) and watched the live streaming action on the big screen.

It was awesome!

Two words – Julie. Foucher.

Badassery.

Anywho, we also ate pretty well this weekend. I promise there was more than just ice cream – um, hello, MOOSE TRACKS! – and coffee.

Thing 1 gave me the best gift ever for Mother’s Day – the Runner’s World Cookbook!

You know I was bookmarking recipes in there!

First up – spinach, bacon, and sweet potato salad.

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Oh. Em. Gee.

I sauteed some shrimp in garlic and olive oil as an accompaniment. So delicious!

As you can tell by more than just spinach leaves in that picture, I changed up the recipe a little (hey, I can’t help it! It’s what I do.).

But honestly, it doesn’t really  need it. There’s not really anything more perfect than sweet potatoes and bacon and this recipe has them BOTH!

Spinach, Bacon, and Sweet Potato Salad
makes 4 servings

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
4 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 slices thick-cut bacon (or 3-4 slices regular bacon)
1 red bell pepper, cored and chopped
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Juice from 1 orange (or about 1/4-1/3 cup OJ)
1 pound fresh spinach (or use a spinach blend, if you prefer, which is what I did)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Put the taters on a baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Toss to coat. Roast, turning occasionally, for 25 minutes, or until crisp and brown on the outside and tender inside. Remove from oven and keep on the pan until ready to use.

2. While the taters are roasting, place the bacon in a skillet (cast iron, if you got it!) over medium heat. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until crisp. Drain on paper towels. **Now, the recipe says to pour off the fat but I chose to keep it for the veggies. Do what you want.** When bacon is cooled, break into pieces.

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3. Return the pan to medium heat and, if not using bacon fat, add remaining 2 tablespoons oil (I added a couple of teaspoons because there was only about a tablespoon of bacon fat). When it’s hot, add the bell pepper, onion, and ginger. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until just softened.

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Stir in the cumin and the orange juice and turn off the heat. (The recipe can be made up to an hour or so ahead to this point. Gently warm the dressing again before proceeding.)

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freshly ground cumin smells so amazing!

4. Put the spinach in a bowl large enough so you can toss the ingredients together without them ending up all over the counter or floor (although, 5 second rule on the bacon!). Add the sweet taters, bacon, and the warm dressing. Toss to combine. Try to remember that it makes 4 servings and you should share.

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Nutrition per serving (according to the exact recipe):
262 calories, 22g carbs, 6g fiber, 8g protein, 18g total fat, 3g saturated fat, 409mg sodium

Talk to me: Did you watch any of the CrossFit Regionals this weekend? Were you lucky enough to actually BE there? Do you know anyone who’s never had a sweet potato?

– jennifer

Barbecue Stuffed Sweet Taters. Nuff said. (oh, and then there was dessert!)

Happy Friday!

Friday puppy

Holy cow, am I tired!

Traveling last week and a busy week this week plus some really hard workouts and I’m ready to nap the weekend away. Alas, I have things to do but maybe I’ll squeeze in a nap or two. Aw, who am I kidding? I don’t nap. Maybe I’ll just sleep in tomorrow morning! Until 7 or 7:30!!

I know. Go me. Woohoo. 7:30.

sarcasm

🙂

Anywho, my foot bothered me a whole lot yesterday so, I made the game time decision to not go to the 5pm Crossfit class. I seriously debated it all day. I really, really wanted to but … well, I know I need to be better about taking pain and potential injuries more seriously so I decided that some rest was necessary. Even if it makes me feel like a slacker. I probably need to work on that.

So, no Crossfit meant I had to come up with something for dinner. Normally, I menu plan and have everything I need but, remember, traveling so none of that happened last weekend. I’ve just kind of been cobbling things together this whole week. That’s a little stressful for me! I’m so glad the weekend is here so I can get back on track!

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But, I think I did pretty well! I found a 5 ingredient recipe on Cooking Light and, um, yeah, well, it was only 5 ingredients! WIN!

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Barbecue Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
makes 4 servings

4 sweet potatoes
1 1/3 cups shredded barbecue chicken (such as Lloyd’s or whatever)
1/2 cup Light sour cream (if desired, which I don’t)
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1. Cook sweet potatoes. You can bake, grill, or microwave them. Obviously, microwaving is the fastest. To microwave potatoes: after washing, pierce potatoes with a fork; arrange in a circle on paper towels in microwave oven. Microwave at HIGH 10 minutes or until done, rearranging potatoes after 5 minutes.

2. Heat barbecue chicken in microwave or on stove top according to package directions.

3. Top sweet potatoes with chicken, sour cream (if desired), green onions, and shredded cheddar.

4. Om nom nom!

Oh, and then I made dessert. Because, you know, it was Thursday.

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Better than s’mores! Click the photo to go to the recipe. 🙂

Questions:

1. Do you meal plan? What are your processes? Do you plan for a week or longer? Do you do bulk cooking on one day and then reheat/assemble during the week? Spill it!

2. S’mores – YUM or YUCK?

– jennifer

Chili-topped Sweet Potato Fries

Hello there!

How’s everyone’s weekend? Ours has been busy, busy, busy, rainy, rainy, rainy!

Yesterday, Thing 2 went to CrossFit with me!

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She made it through 2 1/2 rounds before the WOD wiped her out! I’m so proud of her! I knocked out the 5 rounds in 31:40. And, I’ll tell you what, my booty is feeling those lunges!

Then, my sailor and I finished clearing and cleaning out Thing 1’s room. Oof, THAT was quite a job.

This morning, this happened.

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Yep, smiley-face pancakes! Om nom nom!

Oh, and this also happened.

Yep. The skies opened up while I was walking the dogs. Good times. Wet dogs. Fun.

Oh yeah, this happened too.

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Chili-topped Sweet Potato Fries!

I found this recipe on Paleomg. I changed it up a little to suit our tastes. So delicious!

CAUTION: THIS CHILI IS HOT!

Consider yourself warned. So, if you don’t like hot, tone down the heat. Or be a fire-breathing dragon. Your choice.

Green dragon

Ingredients
2-3 sweet potatoes (this will do fine for 3 people + 1 who doesn’t like sweet potatoes)
Olive oil
1 pound grass fed beef
1/2 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 can (14.5 ounces) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
10 ounces tomato paste
2 cups chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste
Avocado, sliced

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Scrub sweet potatoes and slice into matchsticks. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake 25 minutes.

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3. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in large dutch oven. Add onion and garlic and cook about 4 minutes, or until onions are translucent.

4. Add beef and seasonings. Cook beef for 4-5 minutes, stirring to combine spices, until beef is cooked almost all the way through.

5. Add tomatoes and tomato paste; stir to combine.

6. Add broth and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

7. Cook on low until sweet potatoes are finished. Check seasonings and adjust as necessary (although, honestly, if it’s too spicy, it’s a little too late for you to change that at this point).

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8. Place desired amount of sweet potatoes on a plate or in a bowl and top with chili. Top with avocado slices and NOM!

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– jennifer