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Monthly Archives: April 2013

TGIF – Chicken Apple Meatballs

TGIF Followers!
One of my favorite things in life is chicken-apple sausage. However traditional sausage is usually very processed and full of preservatives and other things that quite possibly might be the reason why children these days have Triple-D boobs at the age of 9. I decided to try making something similar without all the crap. I chose cupcake sized meatballs because i’m not in any sort of denial about how greedy I am, therefore I need pre-fixed portions of food…even the “good for you” food. These easy meatballs provide the perfect portion-controlled balance of sweet and savory. This is an experiment and my first time making these so lets pause briefly for a prayer that they turn out ok…

FYI I used a combination of 1/2lb of 98% fat free ground chicken and 1/2lb of ground turkey. You can use which ever meat your heart desires (beef, pork, bison, etc.)

Ingredients
▶Extra virgin olive oil for spray
▶1/2 lb ground chicken
▶1/2 lb ground turkey
▶1 large or 2 small red apple (peeled and diced finely)
▶Medium onion, diced finely (about 1/4 cup diced)
▶2 garlic cloves, minced Pantry
▶1 egg, lightly-beaten
▶1/4 cup almond meal
▶1 tbsp honey
▶3/4-1tsp each of: garlic powder, jamaican jerk blend, cayenne pepper, Trader Joes 21seasoning salute & fine herbs from Savory Spice

▶(Note: Season to your likeness, the above are just my faves…you perhaps can you use simple sea salt and pepper if you prefer)

Directions
▶Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

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▶Preheat oven to 375 degrees
▶Lightly spray cupcake tins
▶Form mixture into meatballs w/your hands or use ice cream scooper

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▶Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until meatballs are lightly-browned on the outside and cooked through on the inside.

Perfect as a breakfast side with eggs & Paleo oatmeal or lunch with mashed sweet Potatos

Side Note: I’m thinking it will be a good idea next time to brown on the stove-top before baking in the oven…hmmmm

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Posted by on April 5, 2013 in Food

 

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Going Green!

Sweetened Iced tea tea is somewhat of a staple here in the south. The tea at places like Bojangles and McCalisters (one of my favorites previously) is sweet enough to give you a stroke at first sip…ok maybe not an instant stroke but you’re sure to have diabetes before you leave the restaurant. LOL

For the longest time, I thought the only way to make real/good tea was the old fashioned way: boiled, add entire 5lb bag of sugar and stir. I know many people that make iced tea this way but savvy tea drinkers like myself do a cold press or cold-brewed tea. Actually I’m “newly savvy” because I just started doing this but that’s not the point …LOL

Recently one of my Instagram followers put me up on game about cold brewing her green tea; thankfully so because I have undiagnosed A.D.D and standing over a stove watching water boil is like torture for me. Also, cold brewed contains less tannin than hot tea, so the flavor is smoother and contains more anti-oxidants than hot tea.

I make mine in mason jars at night (mason jars aren’t necessary but a great idea) and its suggested that you use 1.5-2 times the amount of tea you would normally use. My Mason jars are super small (less than 8oz) so I use one tea bag per jar. If you are doing quart or liter sized jars, It has been also been suggested to use at least 2-3 tea bags in your mix.

Benefits of Green Tea:
Evidence suggests that incorporating at least a few cups of green tea every day will positively affect your health in several ways, here’s a short list:

▶Green tea and its extract have been shown to fight obesity and lower LDL “bad” cholesterol — two risk factors for heart disease and diabetes.
▶ Green tea’s processing avoids the fermentation process. As a result, green tea retains maximum amount of antioxidants and poly-phenols.
Increases metabolism. The polyphenol found in green tea works to intensify levels of fat oxidation and the rate at which your body turns food into calories.
Esophageal Cancer. It can reduce the risk of esophageal cancer, but it is also widely thought to kill cancer cells in general without damaging the healthy tissue around them.
▶It is said to delay the deterioration caused by Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
Blood Pressure. Regular consumption of green tea is thought to reduce the risk of high blood pressure.
Skincare. Green tea can apparently also help with wrinkles and the signs of aging, This is because of their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities.

Disclaimer: I’m no research scientist or claim to be a tea expert so if you are employed by the “tea police”, have an affinity for any other tea (besides green), prefer it hot than cold or have heard otherwise that green tea sucks…that’s perfectly ok. This blog is not intended to persuade or suggest you try anything that you don’t want to.

Cheers!

Recipe:
▶ Put 1-3 tea bags (depending on jar size)along with (optional) lemon slice/wedge in mason jar.
▶Fill with room temperature water (add liquid stevia drops or all natural powdered version if you need some sweetness–FYI Stevia is NOT Paleo)
▶Screw lid tightly and refrigerate over night.
▶Enjoy daily

“Benefits or Green Tea” information is courtesy of: WebMD & Lifehack

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Posted by on April 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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K.I.S.S

For the most part I’m a pretty simple chick. You can usually catch me in Jeans and a white tee, with the most simplest of jewelry, no make-up and no fancy condiments on my food or ice in my water. Simple!

Embarking on any new diet or life changing journey can be quite overwhelming. Just deciding what I would eat this week and which store to get all this healthy food from without going poor was quite the feat. What I’m learning is that not all of your food and preparation need to be as difficult as Chinese arithmetic. I mean if you like spending 2 hours in the kitchen making fancy grain free pancakes, quiche, and sugar free muffins, have at it; but me, myself and I keeps it simple.

There are tons of simple Paleo offerings for meals, especially breakfast–the most important meal of the day. I can appreciate anything that takes a few moments to shop for and even less time to prepare. If you’ve decided to embark on this or any new journey, my advice is to embrace the challenge with a K.I.S.S ~~> keep it simple stupid 🙂

I did so with a breakfast this week that consisted of simple egg white muffins and cold pressed green tea (see tomorrows post for my green tea potion and simple preparation). I prepare the muffins on Sunday and they last all week. I prepare the green tea every night and its ready to go in the a.m.

Egg White Muffins:
▶Sautéed shrimp (cooked just enough to remove the excess water)
▶Sun dried tomatoes
▶Or any other ingredients you would like in an omlette.
▶Trader Joes 21 Season Salute (or preferred flavors of Mrs Dash)

Some other suggestions are:
▶Ground beef
▶Turkey burger
▶Shredded chicken
▶Mushrooms
▶Onions
▶Spinach

Directions:
▶Lightly coat muffin tins with olive oil spray
▶Fill each slot with veggies/meat and egg whites (carton egg whites or egg beaters will do…or you can use beaten whole eggs)
▶Make sure each slot is no more than 3/4 of the way full so they don’t boil over
▶Bake 20-25minutes at 350 degrees. Use a toothpick to ensure they are done all the way through before removing.

As you can tell by the recipe above, I’m not related in any way to Barefoot Contessa or Martha Stewart…told you, Im simple! So I’ve taken the liberty of looking up another recipe for you that’s inclusive of all the fancy measurements and every step you’ll ever need to make some simple egg (white) muffins. 🙂 Click the link below

Paleo Egg Muffins from Paleo Spirit

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Posted by on April 3, 2013 in Food

 

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Cinnamon Apple Scones

So I found out the other day from one of my Instagram followers (@juicingtips) that I have what is called a masticating juicer. This means that the slow auger, is a like a large drill bit or screw. As it turns, it crushes the fruits and produce and squeezes them against the outside wall of the juicer. Often the filter or screen is in the side of the wall and this forces the juice out. Since it does it slowly, it does not heat up the juice. This keeps the enzymes and nutrients at a temperature that they can survive at thus giving you the benefits of drinking them.

The downside is that I have a lot of leftover pulp that usually goes in the trash. I found a recipe from the civilizedcaveman site that allowed me to use the pulp from the apple juice I made yesterday.

These are Paleo Cinnamon Apple Scones that I plan to have as a snack each day this week (1 triangle section per day). The recipe can be found on his site (linked above).

Like I said, I used juicing pulp instead of the “minced apples” in his recipe.

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Before (going in the oven) product.

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Final product. They Came out GREAT! Side Note: if you are a lover of sweets, you may need to up the ante on the amount of honey you use or add sweeter fruits (i.e. bananas) but remember these arent generally super sweet. They are scones not brownies. LOL

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BONUS: Red Delicious Apples I used for the recipe and the resulting juice I had left over. The non-processed, perservative free juice Makes for a great addition to breakfast!

 

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Posted by on April 1, 2013 in Food, Juicing

 

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The Failure to Plan

I love it when Oprah asks people at the end of every interview, “so what do you know for sure?” I envision myself on them dope butter soft leather couches of hers saying something very professional, something my momma and grad school professors would be very proud of, something that contains a lot of big words with long syllables. LOL 🙂

If she asked me that question today (as it pertains to improved eating, diet and health), I would say something cliché but very true: If you fail to plan, plan to fail.

I know this for sure. No matter what “diet” or life plan you are on, if you don’t plan (meals) and prepare ahead, please believe your efforts will result in epic fail. Trust me, I’ve been there, done that. Just look at your grocers freezers section, it’s stocked with tons of varieties of prepackaged processed meals. It’s a billion dollar industry because planning meals is KEY and those frozen meals are already “planned” for you. Problem is, majority of the unpronounceable ingredients in those things are not “food”.

I know committing and following through with a PLAN is a pain in the *bleep* but It’s a necessary evil that Im learning to become ok with because failure is no longer an option. I think I did a mediocre job planning for this first week of the Paleo challenge Ms. Alia (talkpaleo) has me on but the second thing I also know is: Im a work in progress.

Breakfast Plans for this week:
Egg white muffins

Snack plans for this week:
Apple Cinnamon Scones
Juicing/Smoothies

Dinner plans for this week:
Salmon
Shrimp
Butternut squash/Sweet Potato mash
Steam Veggies

Stay tuned this week to the blog for cool pictures and recipes to some of the items mentioned above.

Happy Planning!
~Nekesha

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2013 in Food, Uncategorized

 

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