Catch-up Saturday

Today was one of those Saturdays where we did nothing but run errands and catch up on IMG_1415things that we had been needing to get around to.  It was a highly productive day, but we spent an incredible amount of it sitting in traffic due to the nearby Iron Man festivities taking place all over town.

After hours of running around, E.J. and I decided to have some Paleo Pizza for dinner and settle in to some T.V. watching to catch up on one of our favorite shows, “Castle”, which will be having its final episode on Monday.  We’re sad to see it go, but it’s had a nice long run and I can’t wait to see what Nathan Fillion does next.

We’ve done pizza a couple of times since the paleo diet began, but we’ve never been super happy with the crust.  Typically I did a cauliflower or almond flour based crust, and it always ended up crumbly and never quite held the weight of the toppings the way I had hoped.  Tonight we tried this recipe from Primally Inspired, and had a MUCH better result. The crust was crispy but doughy, and honestly tasted and felt just like a regular thin crust pizza…. even if it was a little green from the avocado oil.  Brendon happened to be home for dinner and gave it 2 thumbs up also.  I think this will have to become my new standard.

IMG_1417.JPGI also had some leftover melted chocolate in the fridge that needed to be used, so I dropped in some of the natural no-sugar-added dried cherries we picked up at Pike Market in Seattle and made up a new chocolate “cluster” recipe with shredded coconut and tiny pecan pieces.  I can’t wait to try one later!

…And We’re Back

E.J. and I had a lovely vacation last week full of adventures.  As a direct result of all of our weight loss, we were getting up early every morning and pretty much going non-stop until bedtime.  E.J. had so much energy that he was literally running across streets and up hills, and through forest trails.  I had to push to keep up with him, and that’s definitely a first for our vacations.

Here’s a short list of things we saw and did:

  • Ate salmon for breakfast (multiple times)
  • Had AMAZING sushi and Indian food
  • Visited lots of awesome Seattle museums like the EMP Museum, the Museum of Flight and the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum
  • Had dinner in the Space Needle
  • Got a tour of the Boeing plant and watched airplanes being built
  • Walked all the levels of Pike Market and visited the Gum Wall and the Fairmont Troll
  • Watched an Improv show
  • Sang in a Karaoke bar
  • Watched (and E.J. participated in) a Can-can/burlesque show – be sure to ask him about this one!
  • Took a horse-drawn carriage ride tour of Stanley Park
  • Shopped all the stores on Granville Island
  • Walked across the Capilano Suspension Bridge and across all of the platforms and trails in the park
  • Took a Seaplane tour above Vancouver
  • Rode the gondola to the top of Grouse Mountain
  • Walked and played in the snow (and threw snowballs)
  • Visited the waterfalls along the Sea-to-Sky highway
  • Visited Whistler
  • Watched F-18s fly overhead as we drove across Whidbey Island and enjoyed the views of the ocean

13055420_10206166732316386_1108829993677692875_nWe consciously decided that we would allow ourselves to go off-diet on the trip, though we tried to stick with some of our good habits like avoiding sugary drinks and breads at mealtimes and trying not to snack during the day.  Still, we found ourselves choosing to try some local desserts (there were some irresistible chocolate and cobbler-like desserts) and delicacies like poutine and fried pork belly.

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As expected, we gained weight on the trip, but oddly enough we were both ready to get back to our regular diet by the time the week was over, and we’re both within a couple of pounds already today of being where we were before we left.  I consider that a win.

We flew back Saturday, so I spent Sunday doing laundry, unpacking, and making chili and an Enchilada Bake along with some Sweet Potato Bites for lunches this week.

I’m also starting a new role this week with a lot more responsibility, so I’m happy to have my lunches completely covered so I don’t have to leave the office to eat well… yay for planning ahead!

Vacation Pancakes

Today E.J. and I will be heading out for vacation, and we’re both really excited.  So excited that we were up at 5:30 am this morning and wide awake.   So what do you do when you have time to kill and are feeling that vacation high before sunrise?  Blueberry pancakes, that’s what!

We tried this recipe for Fluffy Blueberry Paleo Pancakes from Civilized Caveman, and OMG were they good.  Fluffy, soft, and every bit as mouthwatering as advertised.  This blog is quickly becoming one of my favorites because it’s regular food that tastes nothing short of amazing.  I highly recommend you check it out if you’re new to Paleo and looking for some familiar flavors within the context of a Paleo diet.

I’m excited about all of the great foods we’re going to get to try in the Pacific northwest (we’re headed out to Seattle and Vancouver), but it’s every bit as awesome to start it all off with a Paleo treat.

We’ve been scoping out some Paleo-friendly restaurants in the cities we’ll be visiting, and I’m sure we’ll have some great ideas to bring back with us.

Paleo Brownies!!

We’re having a department potluck today at work, and I wanted to bring something that was paleo but would still be enjoyable by others… so Paleo Brownies!!  Using this Double Chocolate recipe from Civilized Caveman, I ended up with some super moist and fluffy goodness to share with the team (even the gluten free guy can enjoy)!

E.J. and our son Brendon tried one last night when they were still warm and they got the seal of approval, so even if no one eats them today I know they’ll be enjoyed at home. Fingers crossed for leftovers!

 

Getting Ready for Vacation

Well, we made it through our big band performance this weekend – my husband and daughter and I play in a band that had it’s first performance on Sunday since last August and we didn’t suck!

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Even with all the nerves and worry, I still managed to drop a pound over the weekend and now I’m 3/10 lbs away from 60 lbs lost.  I’m hoping to hit that goal before we head out for vacation , but even if I don’t, I’m planning on enjoying myself.  I’m not planning on going crazy, but I plan to do lots of walking on this trip, so hopefully it will balance out the extra carbs.

Since we played on Sunday, I had to do split my cooking this weekend, so on Saturday I made the Tex Mex Casserole, and a batch of homemade Almond Joys which turned out very well.  On Sunday we put a pork shoulder in the smoker all day so we’d have pulled pork to eat the rest of the week.

This week I’ll mostly be shopping, packing and otherwise getting everything ready for our trip.  I’ll probably take a hiatus from blogging while we’re out and fill you all in on our adventures when we get back!

Balsamic Pot Roast

A few weeks ago, you saw my first attempt at a slow cooker pot roast, and yesterday was my 2nd try.  This time I tried the Balsamic Pot Roast recipe from Civilized Caveman Cooking and was very pleased with the results.  Because of my schedule, crock pot recipes tend to need to run a little longer than intended – mine went for close to 11 hours instead of the recommended 6-8, but the roast was very tender and had a nice flavor – not as sweet or vinegary as I had imagined it would, but rather a smooth, mild, pleasant tomato-y flavor.

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I paired it with a mushroom and asparagus saute with halved cherry tomatoes, basil, garlic salt, onion powder, and the remainder of the goat cheese I had from the previous night’s meal.

E.J. gave this one 2 thumbs-up, so we can add it to our rotation of slow cooker options.

Seared Scallops with Shrimp & Zucchini

I learned something new about E.J. recently after nearly 13 years of marriage: he really likes scallops.  I never knew this about him, probably because they’re kind of expensive, so I typically don’t buy them or plan meals around scallops even though I really like them too.  We were having dinner with friends a few weeks ago, and our hosts served us scallops, and E.J. was so surprisingly enthusiastic that I knew I wanted to incorporate them into our meal planning.

This past weekend, we also picked up some fresh goat cheese with basil and rosemary from a local vendor at the Wine and Art festival, so I went looking for a recipe that would incorporate these 2 items.  I ended up going with this Seared Sea Scallops over Zucchini Ribbons with Goat Cheese recipe, but I added about a pound of shrimp to just extend the volume of food.

We were really pleased with the results, and the sauce that came from the butter, lemon, wine, and goat cheese was delicious.  We will definitely make this one again!