Bleh, Monday.

My husband goes back to work today and it’ll be really strange since he’s been on leave for over a month. He had to shave his beloved “leave beard” yesterday in preparation and I swear he almost cried. And then when the baby (who’s not a baby) saw him without the beard, he said, “Hey. Your head looks funny.”

I died. 

Anyway, I hope your whole weekend was fantastic. Broncos lost. I’m dealing with it. We won’t talk about it anymore.

We went to IKEA on Saturday. And btw, IKEA on a Saturday is not really a great idea. But, you know. 

Since it’s in Denver (like a 40 minute drive for us) we’ve been planning this trip for awhile and I had ridiculously long list of things that we needed. I figured, I only go once a year – I might as well make the best of it. Right?

So then my husband (should I start calling him by his name? I can’t decide) spent all Saturday night and most of yesterday building ALL THE THINGS. The little ones got bunk beds and we got a new bed for the big one and a TV stand and several other things that required lots of sweat and curse words from the husband.

It was fun.

The kids had these Hawaiian Sloppy Joes for lunch yesterday and absolutely loved them. The baby (yeah, the one that’s not a baby) kept eating all the meat mixture off his bun and then yelling, “MORE SLOPPY, PLEASE” which made the meal even more entertaining than it usually is. 

But they’re really delicious and I had way more spoonfuls of the meat than I put in My Fitness Pal. Gahhhh, I love sloppy joes. 

So what makes it Hawaiian? Pineapple juice, soy sauce, ginger, aaaaaaand BACON. How can that be bad? My kids tore through the whole pot during lunch. No leftovers. I was impressed. 

Click for the full recipe

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I am forever looking for new breakfast ideas for myself. I’m not really into typical breakfast foods first thing in the morning (but I love a cinnamon roll in the afternoon or pancakes for dinner) and a girl can only have so many breakfast salads before she starts to lose it.

This Breakfast Stuffed Acorn Squash is my new favorite and I’m going through withdrawals right now because Trader Joe’s was out of acorn squash the other day and I’m refusing to go to any other grocery stores until the excitement of TJ’s wears off.

Life is rough.

And I know you think I’m nuts and you think squash for breakfast is a horrible idea. But trust me, this is so good. It’s just cooked acorn squash with turkey breakfast sausage, onion, garlic, and an egg on top. And then when you’re ready to eat you mash it all together and dump a ton of sriracha on top and you’ve got a healthy, delicious breakfast that’s full of protein and good carbs. Plus, it’s just fun to eat straight out of a squash!

I prepped this one night while binge watching Once Upon a Time (which I always thought sounded super lame but I’m addicted) and it was so nice to wake up the next couple of mornings and not have to worry about breakfast. I just popped a half in the microwave and sat down to eat!

Click for the full recipe

8

Summer lunches have been interesting so far.

One day last week my 4 year old requested a vienna sausage sandwich.

Yeah. Vienna sausages on bread.

Even my husband – who could live on fried bologna sandwiches – gave that one a “WTF” when I told him about it.

I just have no interest in cooking actual meals at lunch time. So it’s microwavable mac & cheese cups and hot dogs most days. With an occasional vienna sausage sandwich thrown in.

I wanted to change things up but still keep it simple. These Zesty Turkey Roll-Ups were perfect for a outside lunch one day when they were splashing around in mud puddles (that they created by dumping out their little pool as soon as I filled it up).

They roll-ups are super colorful and fun and amazingly, my kids did not complain about the lettuce or the tomato. Or the strange green tortilla!

Zesty Turkey Roll-Ups

adapted from Oh Sweet Basil

Ingredients

1 cup mayo
1 (1.25 ounce) packet taco seasoning
6 large spinach flour tortillas
1 pound deli-sliced turkey
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 roma tomatoes, diced
green leaf lettuce

Instructions

  1. Stir together mayo and taco seasoning. Start with about half of the packet and add more to taste.
  2. To assemble, spread desired amount of mayo on each tortilla. Place turkey slices on one side of the tortilla. Layer lettuce, tomatoes, and lettuce in the center of the tortilla.
  3. Starting on the side with the turkey, roll the tortilla up tightly. Use a bit more mayo if you need to, to help keep the tortilla closed.
  4. Sliced each rolled tortilla into 8 slices. Refrigerate until ready to eat.
http://fakeginger.com/2014/06/04/zesty-turkey-roll-ups/

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I’m going through this phase where I’m obsessed with sweet potatoes and spaghetti squash. And I make them both the same way, multiple times a day. Because when your husband deployed and your kids want hot dogs for every meal, you can eat spaghetti squash all day long and no one complains!

I normally just cook up a couple pieces of chopped up bacon, cook the spaghetti squash (or shredded sweet potatoes) in the yummy bacon fat, and then top it all with a runny-yolk egg.

But this weekend I went back to an old favorite: Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai!

And I realize there is absolutely nothing authentic about this Pad Thai but when you’re doing the paleo thing, this feels like a takeout cheat meal. But it’s still paleo! And delicious!

It’s really easy to customize to suit your needs/likes too. I add all sorts of veggies to it typically and have use ground beef, chicken breasts, even ground pork.

One year ago: The Seductive Swan
Two years ago:  Chocolate Ganache Ice Cream
Three years ago: Taco Pasta
Four years ago: Cardamom Crumb Cake
Five years ago: Cheesecake

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

Ingredients

For the sauce:
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar
1/4 cup sunflower seed butter or almond butter
1/4 cup coconut milk
To make the Pad Thai:
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
2 teaspoons coconut oil, divided
1/2 pound ground turkey (or any meat, really)
1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 cup snap peas, thinly sliced lengthwise
2 cups cooked spaghetti squash

Instructions

    To make the sauce:
  1. Combine all sauce ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Set aside.
  2. To make the Pad Thai:
  3. Whisk the eggs with the coconut aminos (or soy sauce).
  4. Heat 1 teaspoon of coconut oil over medium heat in a medium-sized pan until melted. Add egg mixture and scramble until cooked through. Set aside.
  5. In a separate large pan, heat remaining teaspoon of coconut oil over medium heat. Add turkey and cook, breaking up, until no pink remained. Drain if necessary. Add onion and snap peas and stir until vegetables have softened, about 2 minutes.
  6. Stir in spaghetti squash and sauce. Stir to coat everything with the sauce. Heat until everything is hot.
  7. Garnish with raw, sliced snap peas, green onions, and cashews or almonds.
http://fakeginger.com/2014/04/28/spaghetti-squash-pad-thai/

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My kids love meatballs. I could literally put a bowl of meatballs – no sauce, no pasta, nothing – in front of them and they would tell me it was the best meal they ever had.

I’ve had these Turkey Teriyaki Meatballs bookmarked forever but kept putting it off because I wasn’t sure if they would dig the teriyaki sauce. I finally made these a few weeks ago and my kids gobbled them up. There were zero meatballs left when my husband came home from the gym. Whoops.

They really are delicious and pretty healthy. And I especially love that the recipe only calls for things that I always have in the house! I served them on brown rice and drizzled some of the sauce over the rice but you could just serve them on toothpicks as an appetizer if you wanted.

Three years ago: Salted Butter Break-Ups
Four years ago: Peanut Butter Granola Bars
Five years ago: Parmesan Pull-Aparts

Turkey Teriyaki Meatballs

Ingredients

For the meatballs:
1 1/4 lb. ground turkey
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons grated ginger
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the sauce:
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil (for easy clean-up) and spray with cooking spray.
  2. Add all of the ingredients for the meatballs to a large bowl and use your hands to combine until evenly distributed – try not to overmix. Using about 2 tablespoons of the mixture (I just eyeballed it), form the meatballs by rolling the mixture into a ball in your hands. Arrange the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until browned and cooked through.
  3. To make the sauce: Whisk together all of the sauce ingredients in a small pan and place over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce thickens slightly, about 10 minutes.
  4. When the meatballs have finished cooking, remove them from the oven and brush liberally with the sauce then return to the oven for 5 minutes. Serve with remaining sauce.
http://fakeginger.com/2014/03/18/turkey-teriyaki-meatballs/

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