Chicken and Vegetable Soup

I have to say…I’m ROCKING this sugar detox! It’s been a full 8 days now and I haven’t had one cookie, one bite of brownie, any bread, or even a glass of milk. I’m sugar-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, and caffeine-free and I feel really good.

One of the questions I get a lot is “What do you eat all day?” because, really, what is life without carbs??? I eat a nice variety of food, and one of my favorite meals so far is this Chicken and Vegetable Soup. It’s sweet, it’s hearty, it’s filling, and it’s healthy.

You can customize it to your tastes. Leave out the quinoa and it’s Paleo. Add some cream to up the richness. Sub the spinach for some collard greens. That’s the great thing about soup; you can swap out all sorts of stuff and it’ll still turn out great.

Paleo Chicken and Vegetable Soup

 

Chicken and Vegetable Soup

Recipe from Fit Tip Daily

Ingredients

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • ½ yellow onion, quartered
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2-3 cups leftover shredded or cubed chicken
  • ¾ teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups baby spinach

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and lightly oil with olive oil. Lay the veggies out in one layer and drizzle more olive oil over them. Roast vegetables for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
  3. While the veggies are roasting, bring the chicken stock to a simmer in a large stockpot. Add the chicken, herbs, and salt and pepper.
  4. Add half the vegetables to the soup, and place the other half in a blender. However, MAKE SURE you add all of the onions quarters into the blender. Puree the vegetables with the 1 cup of water.
  5. Add the vegetable puree and baby spinach to the soup. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, until the spinach is wilted and the soup is hot. Adjust seasonings to your taste.
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Sweet Potato Hash with Sausage and Egg

Yesterday I began a 28-day sugar detox. My biggest concern was breakfast since I usually eat oatmeal, cereal, or muffins. Dairy, sugar, and gluten are no-nos on this detox so those ideas were out. Hence, this sweet potato hash was born.

Day One went very well. Breakfast was sweet potato hash and eggs. It was delicious! Then I had a mid-morning banana, and a late-morning apple with cashew butter. Lunch was salad greens with turkey ham and egg.  I snacked on some nuts and raisins and then had almond-crusted chicken with broccoli for dinner. I was never hungry and I didn’t have a drop of sugar, dairy or gluten all day!

So, this hash. So good, y’all. My husband has been doing a Paleo diet for a month or so now but that’s just not the kind of thing I’d do well on.  Especially considering I don’t eat red meat or pork.  But the good thing about it is that he’s pretty much off sugar (though he’s allowed honey and I’m not) and gluten already so it’s an easier transition for me.  He makes a breakfast casserole with sweet potatoes and had some leftover shredded potatoes last week so I took advantage of the opportunity to test it out.  

sweet potato hash

Sweet Potato Hash with Sausage and Egg

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup grated sweet potato
  • 1/4 onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped kale
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 sausage patty, cooked
  • 1 egg, cooked over-medium

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a medium or large pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add sweet potato to onion and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occassionally, until sweet potato is soft.
  3. Add kale and cook for an addition 3 minutes.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve with sausage and egg.
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Another option I did for work was to crack 2 eggs in a container that had my sweet potato hash in it.  Then, when I got to work, I stirred it all together and microwaved for 2 minutes, stirring every 20 seconds.  That was delicious too!

St. Patrick’s Day Recipe Roundup

With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, I thought it would be fun to share some of the cool St. Patty’s Day recipes I’ve seen in my web travels.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t start with my favorite green cupcakes:

Green Spinach Cupcake

If sweets aren’t your thing, here are some Irish recipes to get your celebration going:

crockpot irish stew

irish soda bread

colcannon

Looking for a fine beverage?

shamrock shake

Lime Sherbet Floats

What about you? Do you have a favorite St. Patrick’s Day recipe? Link to it in the comments.

Adventures in Baby Food: Banana Bites

Chase is starting to explore finger foods and it’s a lot of fun seeing him try to pick up things and put them in his mouth. Sometimes he’ll delicately use his thumb and forefinger, and other times he’ll grab a fistful and shove everything in his mouth like Cookie Monster.

I noticed when I gave him banana pieces that he had a lot of difficulty picking them up to eat. They get slimy very quickly and slip right out of his hands. So it occurred to me that maybe I could coat them in something first, and this “recipe” was born!

banana bites

 

Adventures in Baby Food: Banana Bites

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Cheerios
  • 1 small banana

Instructions

  1. Process the Cheerios in a food processor. I used our Magic Bullet.
  2. Cut the banana into small pieces. I did pea-sized for my 9-month-old but the size could vary based on what your child can handle.
  3. Toss the banana pieces in the Cheerios dust.
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Last Minute Creative Valentines (on the cheap!)

Looking for a cheap, creative last-minute Valentine idea? Look no further!

I didn’t want to do the same store-bought superhero valentines that every other little boy has so I went to my favorite friend, Pinterest, looking for ideas that I could actually pull off. I saw a bunch of personalized photo cards that people had done and loved that idea. Plus, you don’t need to be crafty to do it!

I went to Target and got a 24-pack of robot pencils for $3.  Then I came home, took Carter outside and stood him against a brick wall, and took a few pictures of him. You’ll want to do the pictures vertically so they can support the length of the pencil, and if you have the ability, it’s a cute look to have your aperture wide open so the hand comes out a bit blurry (Carter’s hand got a little blown out but do as I say, not as I do!)…gives it a better 3D look that way.

I uploaded the picture to PicMonkey, cropped it, resized it to be 4×6, and then added some text.  Next step was to upload to Target  Photo’s site to pick up in the store. They were having a photo sale so I was able to get 24 pictures for another $3.  30 minutes later I got an email that the photos were done and I left to go pick them up.

I thought I could use a hole punch to make the holes for the pencil but when I inserted the pencil it made the photo way too bendy. So don’t do that.

Instead, I took the Internet’s advice and used an Exacto knife to score two 1/2″ lines along the top and bottom of his hand.  That worked perfectly!

valentine pencil holder For $6 and almost no time at all, we have a very cute, personalized Valentine. And there’s no candy so it conforms to a lot of new school rules.

Looking for more last-minutes Valentine ideas? Check out my Valentine’s Day Pinterest board for more (including some awesome Minecraft valentines!)