Breakfast Heat Wave

Screen Shot 2013-06-30 at 11.05.21 AM

We’re having a  Washington heat wave. This is probably a joke to the rest of the country, but here in the good old Pacific Northwest we tend to stick to high 60s low 70s. So anywhere in the 80’s pretty much sends everyone into a tizzy of buying fans and swimming in the lake. Mind you the humidity is in the 70’s so that adds to the hot factor. 85 degrees here with 70% humidity feels like 90-95 degrees, which is HOT and SWEATY. Luckily I’m not horribly pregnant, so although I’m hot, I’m not really complaining. My clothing options sorta suck, and I probably look dumpy all the time, but oh well.  It’s a good excuse to lay low in the shade and drink lots of sparkling water. Current obsession Lacroix Water, I can’t get enough of it. Anyway we are on crunch time for our restaurant opening, so my days are filled with running errands, painting and sewing. The sewing has actually been kinda fun and has made me all excited to sew some fun stuff for the baby.

Mr. Gaunt and I are also on a health kick. I finally feel well enough to eat almost anything, and cook! Hoorah! Plus I’m not working right now, and although I’m crazy busy with restaurant stuff, I’m able to schedule my time around making healthy food for us. That’s the joy of self employment right? You’re a little over worked, but its on your own schedule.

Mr. Gaunt is in desperate need to shed some weight, and I need to not really gain anymore. I’m up about 12 pounds so far I think (although I’m NOT weighing myself at home). Mr. Gaunt’s weight drastically effects his health, and he is battling sleep apnea, heartburn, and fatigue really bad right now. All of these things go away when he is at a lower weight, so I’m trying really hard to support him in making healthier choices.

Things that are currently ripe in our garden: Sugar Snap Peas, Red Kale, and Raspberries!For breakfast I used some of our kale and sauteed it up in a little coconut oil with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Mr. Gaunt does not love Kale as much as I do, he probably doesn’t really like it at all, but he ALWAYS eats it. He knows its good for him, and a few bites of Kale wont make him barf. I hate picky eaters. I also made us each 2 eggs on a piece of un-buttered wheat toast with half a slice of cheese each, and half a plum. Yum! We ate in the sweltering sun in our backyard, then watered the gardens, and figured that’s enough sun for us lol!

kale

eggs

breakfast

Advertisements

Pumpkin Mac n Cheese with Kale!

This is a splendid little lunch, that is easier than pie (pumpkin pie) duh.

Use a box of whole grain Mac n Cheese. We like Annie’s, or Kraft, or Hodgson Mill, or you could get all fancy and make some from scratch (in which case this is not as easy as pumpkin pie). So put your noodles on to boil, and saute up some Kale (that maybe you blanched and froze), and throw in some chicken sausage too while you’re at it (unless you don’t eat meat, and then don’t do that).

Once your noodles are done and you have followed the instructions to stir in cheese and milk, and salt n’ pepa (Shoop ba-doop ba-doop ba-doop). Then add in your sautéed kale and sausage, and 1 cup of canned pumpkin. STIR! Add little more milk, because it will get kinda thick. Then eat it, and be thankful for fall, and pumpkins, and husbands who made it all for you (because mine did)

Blanching the Kale

We grew a ton of Kale this year, huge bushy plants that required no maintenance. The only problem was they got aphids on them, and aphids gross me out. Sometime in late September I noticed the aphids had all but disappeared (yay!) so I decided to harvest the whole garden, and blanch and freeze the Kale.

First up I also dug up all my purple potatoes, and my walla walla sweet onions. My onions didn’t get very big, but I kind of like a little onion! You don’t end up with waste.

I ended up cutting a lot (it filled my sink and the dish drainer) of Kale, which was hardly even a dent in the massive Kale plants we have growing. I followed Not Martha’s instructions for blanching and freezing Kale. Although I didn’t have a salad spinner, so I ended up using a bunch of towels to ring out the blanched Kale. It was quite a messy process, and my whole house smelled like Kale (not the most delicious smell), but in the end I got a fair amount of Kale to freeze (think of it like spinach, it cooks down a  LOT). SO I can now toss lumps of the frozen Kale into a pan with a little olive oil, and voila, Kale all winter! Kinda cool.

1. Picking, and Washing.

2. Removing the spine

3. Cutting into bite size pieces.

4. Boiling for 2 minutes

5. Placing in an ice bath to stop the cooking.

6. Drying with towels or a salad spinner

7. Put in freezer zip-lock bags

8. LOVE KALE!

A little of this, a little of that.

Since we are moving across the country in 2 months, I’m trying to slowly eat all the freezer and pantry stuff. This means having really random (but yummy) dinners. Last week we had Pesto Pearl CousCous, Spicy Black Bean Burger patties (with shaved aged cheddar) and Steamed Kale with onions Garlic and mushrooms. We have had Kale a lot lately, as it is Kale season, sigh…I love it lightly salted and Steamed…yum! We had Kale Pizza twice this week too! Tonight will be another scrounging night, I know I have some leftover BBQ Chicken and Dirty Rice….hmm…maybe add Kale to that too!

 

Started Like this...

 

 

...And was turned into this...Im a food mixer.

 

 

 

Please Forgive

I havent cooked anything worth photographing, nor anything else health related. And to be honest, all I really want to blog about is my life-woes (or non-woes) and my wedding. For this I am sorry that for the next 10 months I may be slightly useless as far as weight loss motivation.

And do I still plan on losing weight for the big day? Well it depends. I spent a good week doing the hunger diet. Oh whats that you ask? It’s where I don’t eat unless I am VERY hungry, and I always go to bed a little hungry. It might seem like starving yourself, but it’s not, I swear I eat. However in 10 days I lost 8 pounds. Yup 8 pounds in 10 days. Wanna guess how many days it took me to gain back? Ok I only gained back 4 pounds, but as you can see I can drop weight and pack it on like its my job! Ha! So I really feel like its futile. I know I eat healthy. I eat when I’m hungry. I make good choices. I don’t work out at a gym, but I have a pretty labor intensive job (for instance last week I was harnessed onto a moving platform 20 feet in the air, where I had to hold a cordless circular saw to cut down a 50 foot wall for a 45 minutes!). I don’t know. I mostly wanted to lose weight for the dress, but over the last few days (and after a dress trying on Hell) I realized that I DO want to look and feel like myself. I want to be comfortable and happy, not stressed. And so I may continue to work on it a little, but I’m going to give a good effort in not stressing. I’m also re thinking my entire feeling on dresses, even lowering my previous budget of **trying to find one under $700*** to insisting on spending less than $250!

So that’s that.

The holidays are coming up! This is nice and not so nice. Again its hard for me to get excited when A. I have so many other plans and things I’m focusing on (especially financially) and B. I’m not with my family. However they are here, and its our first “engaged” Christmas and our last “Not-Married” Christmas so I want to celebrate!

Mr. Gaunt and I have decided to get each other undergarments for Christmas…lol! Seriously. We both are in dire need of all new underwear, socks, undershirts, camis and bras. So that’s what we are getting each other! Lots and lots of underwear! Whats not to like? That way we are buying useful things and not stuff we don’t need. We are moving AND getting married so purchasing other stuff seems silly right now.

We are doing Thanksgiving at Ms. G’s house again. It’s always a good time of cooking and sitting on the porch and drinking Champagne. She’s already planning the menu, and has some amazing Kale recipes in the works! I’ll be making pies, because I like that.

Mr. Gaunt’s Birthday is the 28th, and I want to get him a new portable DVD player. I think I might (for the first time ever) attempt to hit up Target and maybe Best Buy on Black Friday to see if I can’t get a good deal. I don’t have to work that morning, so why not? Im also hoping to get a dinner party at a restaurant planned for his actual birthday, since it’s the big 3-0 and all.

Lastly I have ordered some pieces to put together little surprises for my bridesmaids that will go out next week…eek! And I have a graphic designer working on a quote for all of our paper wedding goods (invites and such) that I will get tonight. Fingers crossed I can afford it!

Last but not least I leave you with a few recipes to remind you how diverse and amazing Kale is! Use it in your Holiday meals!:

Kale Pesto Spread (click the photo to go to the recipe)

Chinese Noodles with Kale and Mushrooms (click the photo to go to the recipe)

Mashed Potatoes and Kale (click the photo to go to the recipe)

Vegan Sweet Potato, Corn, and Kale Chowder

Sweet Potato and Kale Hash

This was an “empty the fridge” kind of night that just happened to turn into something wonderful! Mr. Gaunt loves Sweet Potatoes, so I buy them and try to use them in recipes that make them a bit more interesting to me. Now I kind of winged this one, so I don’t have exact measurements or directions, but it goes a little something this:

INGREDIENTS:

2 Medium Sweet Potatoes

1 Avocado

1 Large bunch of kale chopped up

1/2 a diced onion

Parmesan Cheese

1 Chicken Sausage (optional)

Olive Oil

Minced Garlic

Red Pepper Flakes

Salt and Pepper

DIRECTIONS:

-Peel and dice (into dice size cubes) Sweet Potatoes. Chop Kale, Put both into a large pot of boiling water.

-You only want the Sweet Potatoes al dente, not mush. Watch them carefully and pull one out to verify its al dente.

-Get a separate LARGE pan and heat up olive oil. Add minced garlic, onions and red pepper flakes. Cook until onions are clear-ish.

-Cut sausage into small chunks and add it to the pan.

– When sweet potatoes are ready drain them (and the kale) and put into the pan.

-Turn heat up and cook like you would frozen hash browns. Letting them sit for a bit to fry up then turning them. Let them get slightly brown. If they seem to not be getting mushy enough you can cover the pan and let them steam a bit.

-When everything is nice and cooked add chopped avocado, sprinkle with salt and pepper and parmesan. Let cheese melt and serve.

Sorry the directions are kind of crappy. Feel free to edit them to work best for you. The Garlicy Cheesy Kale and Sweet Potato makes such a nice combo. This makes a fair amount too, and the leftovers are great! Will make again!