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We are officially two days away from one of the biggest grilling holidays. How excited are you? Hopefully as excited as I am.

We’ve already talked about how much I love the 4th of July but what I haven’t told you is that I’m approaching the holiday with a game plan. Because I have s’mores on my brain and I cannot even wait to roast a million marshmallows over the grill and then smush them in between graham crackers with all sorts of chocolate.

The best.

So my game plan is to cook healthy for our cookout to save calories/stomach space for the s’mores.

Enter this salad. I’ll be making this Blackened Chicken and Quinoa Salad because it’s healthy and filling and it has tons of flavors, textures, and basically all my favorite things.

So the base is quinoa and it’s tossed with a cilantro lime dressing. And then on top of that you put your Blackened Chicken. This grilled chicken is SO perfect. I used thighs because we prefer it over breasts but use what you like. The chicken is rubbed with a delicious mixture of spices and herbs and then it’s grilled until blackened. We’ve been grilling thighs like this every weekend to throw over salads and such during the week.

And then on top of the chicken, you layer avocado slices, mango, grilled corn, blueberries, feta, and more cilantro. I’m telling you, so much flavor going on here.

Click for the full recipe

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Let it be known that I have officially failed Paleo Week. 

Guys, I hate to be a Debbie Downer but I am so frustrated. I’ve been throwing myself pity parties and the best way to do that is with pizza, wine, and a giant bag of Sour Patch Kids. 

My allergies have just been awful since we got here. I lived all my life with horrible allergies so when we moved to Colorado and they disappeared, it was the best thing ever. And now they’re back and worse than ever. And I hate everything. 

My husband thinks I’m nuts because I cry at least once a day because omg, my eyes won’t stop itching. And the Zyrtec stops working about the time I have to pick the kids up from school so I talk to their teachers as a big snotty mess.

TMI?

Yep.

Anyway, I’m blaming allergies for my Paleo-fail. If you see me this summer sitting by the pool in jeans and a sweatshirt, it’s the allergies fault.

That’s the official story.

I made these Crockpot Pesto Ranch Chicken Thighs recently after seeing them go around the interwebs for years. I don’t even like pesto that much but one of my favorite Youtubers raved about the recipe so I had to try it. 

I  was shocked by how much my family loved this one. I will definitely be making it frequently. Feel free to use whatever chicken pieces you like – we pretty only eat thighs these days so I used those but breasts would work as well. 

Click for the full recipe

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Sesame Chicken - better than takeout! And so easy!

Happy Tuesday! 

Moving day is fast approaching. We have less than a week left in our current house which is exciting and terrifying. Exciting because, well, moving is exciting. Terrifying because we’re less than a week out and we still don’t have movers scheduled. Like, we have carpet cleaners scheduled and all our stuff has to be out by that day but the dang Army is totally dragging you-know-what on their part in this.

Also, yesterday my husband was randomly all, “Maybe we should live on post” after YEARS of complaining about living on post here in Colorado. 

So we have no movers and are currently undecided on where to live. 

But the kids have been withdrawn from school (they’ll still be going until the day we leave though), the house has been purged of all crap, and we’re almost out of here. For real. 

I’ve been trying to work my way through the food in the freezer and pantry but it’s sooo hard. There’s only so much you can do with a container of oats, some frozen salmon, and a 3 bags of Cheetos. But I’m trying. 

I did have all the ingredients for my favorite Chinese takeout: Sesame Chicken! This recipe is a favorite of all 3 of the kids and we never have even a single bite of chicken left over. And it’s really easy! There’s no batter, no deep frying, just a simple chicken recipe! 

Sesame Chicken - better than takeout! And so easy!

Click for the full recipe

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Corn and Chicken Chowder

Can we talk about how it just keeps snowing here in Colorado?

I didn’t really expect snow because last I’d heard, the weather guy was literally saying “Expect between 2 inches and 32 inches” which, you know, is kind of a broad range. And the jerk’s been known to lie about snow before. Plus the grocery stores were packed because everyone was buying ALL THE BOTTLED WATER and I just wanted to yell, “Quit! You’re jinxing it and it’s never going to snow and you’re going to be stuck with 57 cases of bottled water in your laundry room!” 

Yeah, I’m totally that annoying person that doesn’t talk about certain things or won’t do certain things because I’m afraid of jinxing something. 

My brain. It does funny things. 

But anyway, it snowed a ton (somewhere between 2 and 32 inches – thanks weather guy!) and like I mentioned yesterday, we went sledding and then we went sledding some more and then we threw snowballs at each other. Because who knows when we’ll live in a snowy place again!

I made this Corn and Chicken Chowder to warm up after all the sledding. I don’t really know what inspired me to make soup because my kids seriously have no idea what to do with soup. But I think this one was thick enough and had enough going on because they were all about it. My oldest even said, “I had no idea I liked soup!” 

It’s got corn and chicken and potatoes. And there may even be some bacon in there! 

Yeah, there’s definitely bacon. 

Corn and Chicken Chowder

Click for the full recipe

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I feel like it’s been days since we talked! I skipped my usual Friday post – see, as soon as we found out that we’re moving, I decided to make a list of all the things we needed to do here in the Springs before we move. That was going to be the Friday post and then I’d update you guys every few weeks or whatever.

And then as I was working on a collage-y thing for it, I realized that 99% of the things on the list were food. So uhhh, I changed my mind about sharing that. Buuuuuut, you should follow me on Instagram because soon I’m gonna start hitting all those restaurants and bakeries and food trucks. And hopefully the top of Pikes Peak for those doughnuts. 

We’ll see though. I won’t be driving up there unless we get a crazy heat wave and all the snow melts. Also, the top of a mountain is quite scary with 3 children. You never know when someone’s going to start flailing around wildly and so much anxiety happens.

But anyway, I’ve been eating my feelings and it’s time to cut it out because I assume people walk around in bikinis all year in Texas.

No?

That’s not how it works?

I made this Paleo Orange Chicken last week when I was dying for Chinese takeout and it did the trick pretty well. And of course this is much healthier than the takeout stuff. The sauce is made from actual fresh orange juice and zest instead of the sugary not-fresh stuff. Plus, the chicken’s not battered and deep fried. 

I’ve got a paleo cauliflower rice recipe that would be delicious with it or you could do lettuce wraps with some veggies or just eat it by itself! 

Click for the full recipe

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