This weekend was jam-packed with to-dos. But luckily, I was able to squeeze in a few of my favorite things to celebrate the first of day of fall, my favorite season!
Saturday started bright and early at 6:15am. The girls had important appointments; one at the vet and one at the groomers. I dropped Edie off at the vet for her dental cleaning and check-up, while Eve and I went for a trail run/walk before heading to the grocery store. I thought the leaves would be a little more colorful on our run, but it was still great to be in the crisper air. After indulging in a homemade pumpkin spice latte, I put on my orange skinny jeans (another ode to fall!) and dragged Nathan into town. We dropped Eve off for her trim, and continued on with our errands.
The aftermath of the girls’ day was mixed.
After enjoying a fun dinner with friends, I called it a pretty early night. Since I was laid up with the flu last weekend, quite a few things were piling up at home.
Since my back has felt better, I decided to risk a two-mile run with the girls. I didn’t go very fast and felt a little pain on the run, but I stretched a good ten minutes when I got home. So far, everything is feeling good.
From 10am until 2:30pm, I was on my feet cooking, baking, and doing laundry. I started out making some Multi-grain Waffles from Tosca Reno‘s The Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook 2. Since my husband’s friend spent the night, I made the boys “normal” waffles; my husband is a picky eater and I pick and choose when to make him go outside the box. It’s all about compromise! I put the rest of my multi-grain waffles in the freezer so I can just pop them in the toaster.
I like to make homemade bars and snack bars when I can. Sometimes they cost as much as $2 at the grocery store. I haven’t tallied up how much it costs to make them on your own, but I know it’s certainly cheaper than that! Plus, you get the added benefit of knowing exactly what goes into your food. I found a great recipe from a fellow blogger for homemade Kind bars. The first time I made them, I knew I had to Pin the recipe. They honestly taste so much like Kind bars, I’m not even sure I would be able to tell a difference! You can check out the recipe at The Whole Kitchen. I used pecans (my parents live in New Mexico and send me some since they are grown there), almonds, pepitas, and hemps seeds.
I also made some granola from a Clean Eating Magazine recipe and some Blueberry Oat Protein Muffins from EatCleanDiet.Com. I followed the Blueberry Oat Protein Muffins recipe exactly (except for adding a pinch of cinnamon), using frozen blueberries. I would recommend using fresh blueberries or thaw blueberries the night before and make sure all the liquid is drained out. I chose to defrost my this morning and my muffins were a little too wet, but they still taste wonderful.
For the granola, I replaced the cranberries with apricots since I have quite a few on hand. That’s what I like about nut bars and granola–you can switch up what kind of nuts and fruits you use depending on what’s in your pantry. I also only baked the granola for 30 minutes; when I did 40 last time, the granola burned. The recipe makes about 12 1/2 cup servings.
And now for a new recipe! I like to make stews and soups in the fall/winter. I’m sure I’ve said this before, but it’s a great way to get in some lean protein, lots of veggies, and healthy carbs all in one. Plus, if you can cook it in the slow cooker, even better–saves you time and clean up.
Bulgur Chicken Stew
(After plugging everything into calorieking.com, I estimate the soup yields eight 1 1/2 cup servings at about 300 calories)
1 large sweet onion, diced
3 carrots, diced
2 celery sticks, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1b chicken breast tenders, diced
1/2 cup black-eyed peas, dried and sorted
1/2 cup whole wheat bulgur
6 medium baby red potatoes, diced
32-40 ounces chicken stock (reduced sodium)
1 tsp each, dried oregano, basil, thyme, parsley, black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cups baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
1) Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add sweet onion, carrots, celery, and garlic cloves to pan. You could also add the chicken to the pan to brown a little if you like. Heat for a few minutes until onions become translucent.
2) Begin to add all ingredients through the bay leaves to your crock pot. Set on high. Cook for two hours.
3) After two hours, add the baby portabella mushrooms (depending on the size of your pot, it can get pretty tight in there!).
4) Cook for another two hours.
Divide and enjoy!
The bulgur becomes soft, making the stew almost creamy. Delicious!
Get set for the week! Plan your meals, portion out healthy snacks and your lunches. If you have your food ready, you’re more likely to pick something healthy. Enjoy your bites!