WritersButt Wednesday Recipes!!
It’s WritersButt Wednesday AGAIN! My, how the week flies by, oodles and oodles of water is consumed, so many minutes squatting against the wall while the toilet refills. Ah – good times!!!
My favorite comment of the week came from the sweet and funny Myndi Shafer on Facebook: “Not to whine (liar, of course I’m whining!), but I think I have the slowest-flushing toilets on the planet. Mercy!!”
Did anyone else consider faster-flowing toilets this week? And while we’re on the subject, there seems to be a predominant toilet theme for WritersButt? I don’t even like toilets, well at least not cleaning them. How did this happen? Ah well … we’ll soldier on.
Recently, August McLaughlin wrote a fantastic blog about how important movement and regular exercise is for not only your body and mind, but how it positively affects your creative self. In the blog, she writes, “A sedentary writing lifestyle leads to one thing: creative atrophy.” Wow! I highly recommend reading her post. It mirrors what WritersButt is all about.
Today I’m going to share a couple of recipes with you. I eat a grain-free diet. I know, shocking, right! But it’s delicious and has a lot of variety. I’m not saying everyone should follow a grain-free diet but if you’d like some reasons why you might want to try it, read this article showing 10 reason to go Grain-Free.
The diet that I follow (about 90% of the time) is called the Paleo diet, or Caveman diet. You get the idea here right? If a caveperson couldn’t eat it, you shouldn’t either. This means NO processed foods. This also means, if you’re being strict, no dairy. For the record, you can get enough fiber and calcium in your diet from a wide assortment of vegetables and fruits. (I bet you want to know what the other 10% is that I eat which is not Paleo. Well, it’s occasional beans, lentils, brown rice in sushi, some thin mints in girl scout cookie season, chips and salsa, and wine. We all have our vices — I have mine too!)
The healthiest diet for most people (note I did not say ALL) consists of lean meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. I know this sounds extremely restrictive, but it does not have to be. In fact, cropping up all over the place are websites, blogs and cookbooks about the Paleo Diet.
Someone new to this no-grain sort of eating will initially miss crunchy snacks. I have found a snack, which is a protein-rich, power food that is also very delicious. It’s kale chips. You know, kale is that garnish this is often showcasing that big tuna sandwich on your plate at your local bistro. It kills me how much kale is probably just thrown away when it’s far healthier than that sourdough rye or ‘whole grain’ bread.
I make kale chips a lot and my kids go nuts for them. Here’s my recipe and process. Preheat oven to 350. Wash a bunch of fresh kale and then tear off the leafy part from the thick stem, breaking them up into ‘chip-sized’ pieces. Spread all your chips on a cookie sheet. (I like to line my sheet with tin foil because I’m totally lazy and don’t want to wash it.) Drizzle extra virgin olive oil on chips. Don’t drench them, but don’t be entirely skimpy either. (maybe 2-3 tablespoons –I don’t measure anything, probably why I don’t bake, I’d suck at it.) Sprinkle your kale with some kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. My little extra somethin’-somethin’ is I also sprinkle minced garlic (the dried kind in the spice aisle or bulk food section) all over. YUM!!! Then I get my hands dirty by massaging the leaves so that they are all covered with oil and spices. (This is when I usually lick a finger or two because of the garlic and oil—seriously delish!)
It will now look like this … see all those garlic crunchies!
Then into the 350 oven for about 10-15 minutes. WATCH them! They will go from not done, to crispy and perfect, to burnt in a moment. I usually take tongs and fluff them from time to time to check on them. Once crispy and dry, remove, enjoy, and share only if you feel like it. Here’s the finished kale chips. The pictures don’t look that different, but trust me, big difference!
One more recipe for you, that you can cook in a crock pot, is called Marvelous Meatballs from my Everyday Paleo cookbook. Mix this up, make the meatballs, dump in crock pot and go about your day while your house smells divine and your dinner awaits you later, all done and delicious. I modify this to meet my needs and so can you. It’s a method that can be altered to your tastes.
Ingredients I used:
2 lbs of ground turkey
1 lb of ground chicken sausage
~4 stalks of celery finely chopped
small onion finely chopped
~3 carrots, finely chopped
½ cup almond meal (I skipped this because I didn’t have any on hand, hence wetter meatballs)
spiced to taste: I used minced garlic, kosher salt, ground pepper, cayenne, chili powder, Italian seasoning.
Get your hands dirty and mix all ingredients and then make large meatballs, layering them in your Crockpot.
Mix up the sauce and pour it over the meatballs and cook on low all day (6-8 hours).
16 ounce can of diced tomatoes (I used fire-roasted)
6 ounce can of tomato paste
minced garlic, the fresh kind or one that comes in a jar — ~ 5-6 cloves worth
salt and pepper
And here is where I’m supposed to have a ‘finished product’ picture for you. Only, and this is the truth, by the time we got to dinner, we were all so hungry and it smelled so good, we dug in and I totally forgot to take another picture.
I served the meatballs over sautéed cabbage. You could also do spaghetti squash if you wanted a spaghetti and meatball dinner. Or, really, just dish up the meatballs and dig in. They are so good.
What’s in store for you this week? (Picture Ginger rubbing hands together gleefully!)
***One thing before I get to your weekly challenge. Next week, I’d like to incorporate a more intense workout for those who want to step it up a bit. For this, you will need a set of dumbbells (at least 15 lbs and up to 25 lbs) This is not mandatory. I will still offer no-equipment challenges as well.
Stay hydrated (100 ounces daily) and Grateful in your journal.
Potty Breaks: ONE-LEGGED wall squats, so same as last week, while that infernally slow tank refills (we are targeting AT LEAST 30 seconds to a minute here!) squat against the wall, only lift one leg to parallel and then switch about every 10 seconds. Oh — FEEL THE BURN!!
Water refills: I challenge you to do a walking lunge on your way to refill your water bottle. I KNOW you’ll be refilling it because you have to get those 100 ounces in. Lunge your way there!
Extra Workout for those who’d like one: At least one time this week (3 would be ideal!!!), schedule a time you can get outside for a brisk walk. Note: if you can, plan for this to be a jog/run. I’d like for you to continue for 10 minutes. And about every minute, stop and give me 10 squats (just like your potty squats!), then keep going. Put on some music that inspires you, look around you, feel the environment, love the beauty, feel the cold or sun on your face, breath deep. Feel in the presence of creative energy. It’s there – feel it, tap into it, use it!!
Have a great week everyone. Oh, and I’d LOVE LOVE LOVE it if you make a healthy meal this week, post about it in the comments and share your recipe!
Rock on WritersButts!!