Weekly Review: Good Eats, Friends Date & The Weekend

Another week of March has come and gone, what?! In exactly five days we are going to be into April and I am so excited! April is my favorite month! Why you ask?

It’s BIRTHDAY MONTH!

One of my favorite parts of life is being able to celebrate my beautiful sister’s and my birthday together since they are only two days apart! This year will be different, for the mister and I are traveling during birthday week, but that doesn’t mean anything in regards to birthday month! 😉

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I thought we’d have coffee together on this dreary Monday and just recap our last week. Was yours good? I hope so! Not a lot of sunshine the past few days, but I know that it’s coming. “Be patient Melissa.”

Monday

Monday was a typical day in the life, meal planning, grocery store for vegetables, cleaning & organizing, and of course some time in the kitchen!

I made up a delicious Beef & Veggie Taco Pasta for dinner. Low carb √, healthy , dairy free  and easy √ ! I’m going to have to make it again, so I can share what I did, but all you need to do is make taco meat, add all the vegetable you want, pasta of choice, add a little pasta water to help make a sauce and there you have it!

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I also tried out a new recipe for dessert Almond Flour Blondies. I substituted swerve sweetener for the sugar, and halved the amount brown sugar called for by using truvia brown sugar. Then used dairy free chocolate chips. OMG. Get on that recipe. It’s good!

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Wednesday

Wednesday started out on a happy note, the sun was shining and I got to enjoy a lovely breakfast while reading my early birthday present from a dear friend!

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Trim Healthy Mama cookbook is amazing! So if you are looking for great recipes to add to your current way of eating, get on that! Thank you so much to my Lauren for the awesome surprise!

I then joined some of my favorites from work to see Beauty & the Beast! It is everything you dreamed it would be. At one point I did feel like I might be tripping (although I never have so hmmm). Just go see it!

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We ended up getting a late lunch at J. Timothy’s Taverne and it was really nice spending time with these lovelies outside of work.

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Buffalo Chicken Cobb Salad

I’m very grateful to have a job where we can all get together on a Wednesday, it really made for a great midweek treat!

Thursday

By the time Thursday came around, I was feeling the need to slow down {for no apparent reason} so the day is a blur. I’m sure I spent most of it relaxing and looking at recipes, because that’s what a foodie does, when she wants to do nothing!

We did have some delicious Roasted Cauliflower & White Cheddar Soup paired with some leftover ham. I used Kerrygold’s grass fed white cheddar (which I know is not dairy free) but sometimes, we have to indulge a little!

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Friday

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Can you believe this sunrise? That’s what Friday started with before work, and it was just gorgeous. I really need to start using my “adult camera” more. I am amazed at how beautiful nature, life, everything is, if we just take a moment to really see it.

Before we knew it, the weekend was here!

Saturday & Sunday

Our plans for the weekend were up in the air and I’m happy with how relaxed it was.

We enjoyed a delicious weekend breakfast.

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We went grocery store hopping- Market 32, Costco, Adam’s and Whole Foods in one weekend! (I would live in grocery stores if I could)

We hit up Whole Foods Hot/Cold Bar for some lunch.

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I found some great new items to add to my list of wholesome products I love. We are prepared for some healthy good eats this week!

We ate our favorite The Best Turkey Sloppy Joes over spaghetti squash.

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We marathon watched Bridget Jones, all three of them! Well, the dogs and I did.

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We spent time with our family for Sunday dinner.

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This handsome boy is always on the go, so that’s the best we did! I still love it.

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And we ended our weekend on a sweet note. Sugar free Strawberry Banana Jello, strawberries and coconut whip!

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All in all, a great week of good eats, some wonderful moments with the ones we love, and another week to be thankful for.

Until next time, enjoy all your moments, whatever they may be. They all count!

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Low Carb Vegetable Lasagna Soup

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Spring is in the air people! The birds have been singing, we’ve had a lot of warm sunny days and I’m personally absolutely thrilled! So are my buddies, obviously.

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Despite good weather being on the cusp, there is snow on the horizon, and I decided to make some tummy warming soup. The kind that fills you up, makes you happy, and tastes unbelievably decadent. Although, it’s healthier for you and easy to make in one pot!

One pot meals are my  jam. Because I literally hate doing all the dishes and when you cook at home, dishes pile up everywhere. It’s the one major downside to eating at home, in my opinion. The good outweighs the bad though, delicious food made to show how much you love your family, that is winning every time.

I found this recipe on one of my favorite blogs Carls Bad Cravings. I had to tweak it though to fit my nutritional needs- lower carb, no meat {Lent}, and limited dairy. I have eliminated most dairy for over a week now, and I feel so good! Less bloat, more energy and I have restarted my weight loss from the plateau I’ve been in for a few months. I say limited, because I completely put parmesan cheese in this soup, and I’m not upset about it! 😉

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Vegetable Lasagna Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp grass-fed butter or ghee
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 4-5 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp each of dried basil, oregano, thyme, crushed red pepper and garlic powder
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 tsp xantham gum
  • 1-2 tbsp gluten-free cornstarch {depending on how thick you want your soup}
  • 15 oz can cannellini beans
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 oz of uncooked pasta of choice {I use thinslim pasta}
  • 1 cup cashew milk {or almond milk, cream, milk, etc}
  • 9 oz fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, shredded or grated
  • water to thin recipe, if desired
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter/ghee in a large Dutch oven/soup pot over medium high heat. Add onions and carrots, cook for 4-5 minutes while stirring. Add bell pepper and garlic and cook for 1 minute, until garlic is fragrant. Add in all your spices and mix into vegetables. Sprinkle in xantham gum.

Turn heat to medium low and gradually stir in 7 cups of the chicken broth. Stir in beans, bay leaves and pasta, bring to a boil then reduce to simmer to allow vegetables to fully soften and pasta to cook. Stir occasionally so pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom (approximately 15-20 minutes).

Whisk 1-2 tablespoons cornstarch with 1 cup additional chicken broth and add to soup, to thicken.

Turn heat to low, discard bay leaf and stir in milk {of choice} and spinach, warming through. Stir in 1 cup Parmesan cheese until melted. Stir in additional chicken broth or water if desired for a less “chunky” soup. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

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Now it’s time to enjoy! This is a thick, creamy soup that is so good. I didn’t miss the meat, but if you want to add it, go ahead!

What I love most about soup is that it is so versatile. You can add anything to it, and it usually will end up being the best bowl of soup you’ve ever had!

So while we have some snow coming our way over the next week, grab your veggies and get chopping! Soup’s on!

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