Potatoes Many Ways

Many ways might be a bit of a stretch, but I was on Pinterest and daydreaming about different lunch options and it hit me that a baked potato is the perfect vessel for ANYTHING. It’s also filling, counts as a starchy vegetable, and tastes delicious!

Before I jump into my potatoes I did learn that with a savory potato it is most important to oil and season the outside of your potato before throwing it in the oven. This creates that incredibly crispy skin. When you’re ready to open it up and dive in-salt and pepper go a LONG way in preventing a bland potato. Now that we got the technical stuff outta the way let’s jump into the “many” potatoes…

I started off pretty basic with a cheesy baked potato. I could only manage half the potato with each of these meals, but this meal was so simple even though I was full I didn’t feel very satisfied.

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The next time I got a little more creative with my potato. I got some beefless grounds, mini sweet peppers, and cheese and this potato was pretty spectacular. I loved that the beefless grounds got a little crispy, the peppers were a little charred and the cheese added some nice gooeyness. This was much more satisfying!

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I also enjoyed this version with some broccoli and cheese for extra veggie goodness and fiber. Even though the broccoli was just basic steamed broccoli I think the different texture goes a long way into breaking up the monotony.

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Out of all the potatoes though my absolute FAVORITE was this breakfast sweet potato. I baked it ahead of time and when it was time to prep it I would just throw it in the microwave for a bit, smash it up with cinnamon, microwave it some more and then shmear the heck out of it with PB.

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Hubby had talked about sweet potatoes and peanut butter and it always seemed like an incredibly delicious combo, but I never got around to it. After workouts I am ravenous so waiting an hour for a potato to bake was a no go. Having it prepped really helped and made it into a super fast, nutritious, and tasty meal!

Fried potatoes (as much as I enjoy them) don’t always leave me feeling my best, but I really loved having this root vegetable be the base for my dinner. I would love to know how you like to make your potato? What are your favorite toppings/mix-ins?

Thanks for reading! See you loves on Thursday!

Kodiak Cakes Review

Good morning everybody!

Today, I am bringing you a review of the Kodiak Cakes Protein-Packed Power Flapjacks in the buttermilk flavor. Phewww that was a mouthful!

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I love finding more nutrient dense options of the things I already love and eat. I used to get the Kodiak Cakes pancake mix and make it myself, but these seemed like a great option for people who are super busy and need a quick breakfast or even just something easy to make at work with a microwave.

I enjoy pancakes and waffles, but I get full fast so I have a hard time having both pancakes and something else to make sure I get protein. If I just have a waffle or pancake I tend to be hungry again in about an hour or so. Nobody got time for that, so I wanted pancakes that had some protein to keep me fuller for longer.

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When you open the box they have already packaged up each serving size to help make it easy if you do need to pack it up for work because you can just throw it in your lunch bag. The con here is that it’s not environmentally friendly…

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3 in each package…

Of course, it doesn’t matter how quickly you can make it or how much protein it has if it doesn’t taste good. Thankfully, this tastes like pancakes, but the texture is a little on the drier end of the spectrum. I don’t mind because I spread creamy peanut butter on and dip it in maple syrup, but if you’re planning on eating it plain just know it’s dry so bring almond milk to drink.

I liked these and will probably repurchase as a good option to take to work or have on a busy morning. If you have tried these frozen pancakes or the Kodiak Cake mix let me know what you thought in the comments below! Thanks for reading!

 

What we’ve been doing and eating

It feels nice to be somewhat settled in and writing once again! We have finally moved into San Bernardino County and managed to somewhat organize ourselves and our lives.

Once we got everything situated into where we think we would like it we also started tackling alllllll the address changes with all the people. You guys-someone needs to invent a one stop shop way of doing this! It’s crazy how many people you have to call and how many websites you must visit to change your address.

Throughout all of the craziness we did manage to workout first thing every morning just to help the endorphins start flowing and get us both in a good head space to tackle whatever the day had in store!

During this time the cooking was minimal, but we did go out and get some fruit and snacky veggies (baby carrots).

We’ve also been trying to get a lay of the land through the food that is around us so we’ve had some fails and wins-some I took pictures of and some I did not.

My hubby loved these donuts and I thought they were mediocre…

You guys are going to think I’m nuts, but since moving here I have discovered Denny’s. I’m not crazy, but I am obsessed with their veggie egg white skillet. Only, I get it with poached eggs and it is so freaking good! I wish I had gotten a better picture, but such is life when you’re post-gym hangry 😀

I also got these strawberry pancake puppies from there because again #hangry and they smelled and tasted like heaven. I could only manage to eat one, but that one was so good I ate another. I saved the rest and tried them later that night and you guys-still incredible!

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Another day’s bagel-I love a good everything bagel with lox and cream cheese. This one had tomatoes, onions, and capers too!

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We went to Berries for frozen yogurt. They don’t have too many flavors, but they will take whichever flavor of yogurt you pick and smash/mix in any add-ins. It’s very similar to Marble Slab or Cold Stone, but with frozen yogurt. We picked a vanilla base with strawberries and chocolate chips. Since it was frozen yogurt it got melty pretty fast, but man was it yummy!

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We’ve been trying out a local cake place and so far it’s been kind of a hit and miss situation. One we loved and some others not so much…

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We went to Waba for a healthier fare and enjoyed our bowls! I was so full after this because I literally inhaled it down-totally worth it!

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One particular day we headed back to LA and I had “snacks” in the form of tacos from Tocaya. After anything savory I immediately need sweet and so we stopped at Eataly and picked up these adorable treats!

I’m cutting myself off there and hope you guys are having a great start to the week!

 

 

Sardinely Delicious

Get it?? Sardinely like certainly?? Okay maybe just me, but y’all know I’m a big cheese bun 🙂

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Anywho, if you haven’t already guessed this post will about my current favorite thing to eat-sardines. My sardine journey began one day at Costco. The sweet sample lady was handing out smoked sardines on Ritz crackers…I gave it a shot and became a little obsessed.

I love the Wild Planet Wild Sardines in Extra Virgin Olive Oil Lightly Smoked. Say that 5 times fast! I could eat it pretty plain with a little mayo and be perfectly content, but crackers and bread are always nice too.

I won’t lie I start loving food items because of the taste and then I really get excited when I learn that they are good for you and that’s kiiiindaa what happened here.

Sardines are great for you!

They have Omega-3s which is an anti-inflammatory and it can keep your blood pressure down!

Great source of protein especially for someone like me who could live of carbs, fruits, and veggies. I workout plenty and it’s nice to know my body is getting some good protein to help it build up the bones and muscles I work so hard to healthify.

I’m not a fan of dairy milk and even almond milk I only drink occasionally (read: with cookies). I do have cheese, but I still think about calcium intake and sardines are a great source of calcium.

All these things make them that much more delicious to me! How do you feel about sardines? Hate ’em, love ’em? Let me know in the comments!

 

Exercise Lately

Working out is something I hold near and dear to my heart. I don’t remember how or when it happened, but after many years of working out it is now a part of me. It’s now a need more than a want, it keeps me sane, and it’s a part of my life.

I work 3 days a week, 12 hour shifts and I’m on my feet a majority of that time. Because of that I don’t work out on days I work. Instead I save my workouts for my days off. Whether it’s at home or at the gym I try to make the most of it!

At home recently I’ve been more into trading off between HIIT and pilates type workouts. I like having a good variety in my workouts since I get bored when I don’t change it up now and then. I’ve got some dumbbells (5lb and 10lb) and resistance bands at home. These are great for some extra resistance, but you can always use your own body weight for that!

At the gym I jump around between machines and free weights to get a good burn 🙂 I also like a few of the cardio machines and tend to jump between them to keep it interesting. This is a lot easier when you have some good music or some Youtube to watch!

At our house we also love getting in a good walk. It works for us on busier days because we can catch up and talk or vent and get some energy out. We love a good hilly neighborhood for these days because you get your heart rate up too.

I don’t think there is one type of exercise that will work for everybody. It’s about having fun and getting your body moving. I don’t remember ever having worked out and left thinking, “man I wish I hadn’t bothered.” I’m usually much happier post workout regardless of how unmotivated I was before.

I don’t know if this was necessarily useful information, but I like doing these posts to keep you guys filled in on what’s been going on with my workouts. I know I talk a LOT about food a LOT of the time, but I love being my best, healthiest, most balanced self and that includes pizza, but it also includes working out!

What’s your favorite way to workout?

 

Meals and snacks

Happy Thursday my friends!

I mentioned a few posts ago that I’ve been in a more snacky mood recently which has been fun, but I’ve also had to reign it in to make sure I get my colors and protein.

To be completely honest I probably do a pretty okay job at getting in my protein, but I do what I can and don’t stress too much about it. I’m great at eating veggies and fruit so the colors part is a little easier for me 🙂

This was a yummy breakfast one day when I wanted something simple. I did eat half a plate of spinach before this while deciding on what to make for breakfast! Eggs, sourdough toast, and tomatoes noms!

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Boom Chicka Pop has my heart with this sweet and salty kettle corn. I LOVE this stuff and have gone through more bags then I can count. If you haven’t tried it, you absolutely need to! It is crack!

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We had lunch out one day and I got Panera’s pick two while the hubby got a bowl from Cava. I picked the chicken frontega and cobb salad and both were yummy. I definitely did not finish everything and had leftover salad later that day as a snack 🙂

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Okay, so I constantly hear about these Mary’s crackers and I always go back and forth about trying them because to be completely honest I don’t know how I feel about paying $5 for a box of crackers! Recently, though I have been huge into cheese and crackers (going back to the snacking) and have been loving trying new ones out. These were on sale for $3 so I figured I would give them a shot and boy am I glad I did! They are nutty and crunchy and so good!

I’ve been eating them with guac, cheddar, brie, hummus, and just straight outta the box. They are so yummy!

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Speaking of brie (and cheese and crackers), I’ve been loving these little individual brie bites from TJ’s. I like that they are portioned out and easy to eat. They are super creamy and delicious!

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This meal is a perfect example of my recent snacky meals. I could eat this and then have grapes for dessert and be perfectly content. I want to say I would be content forever, but we all know that, that would be a BIG lie and I will be onto something else right after this post comes out 😅

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This next item could be a snack or a dessert or your snacky dessert? I don’t know, but it is pretty darn good! These are a Costco find-Greek yogurt bars coated in dark chocolate. The chocolate is actually really creamy and not bitter like in most dark chocolate. The yogurt part inside is like the texture of soft ice-cream, but thicker. It is a little tart, but enjoyable. They go in your fridge so the texture stays consistent!

Both hubs and I have both been enjoying these. They are pretty small, but I am good with half of one usually. Right now, I prefer the vanilla over the strawberry, but that will probably change soon!

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This post has been long enough I think so I will cut it off there! I will see you lovelies Monday with another post, but meanwhile let me know what your favorite snacks are and if you’re eating has changed in the New  Year. Till next time!

 

Tomato love

You guys know I love eating the rainbow whether that be with vegetables or skittles. Eating in color feeds your eyes and your stomach and I am all about that! Recently, I’ve been on a tomato kick and love having a few with basically every meal.

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It adds a fun juicy texture, some sweetness, and amps up the nutrients in my meals. What more could a girl want?

Did you know that tomatoes are good for your heart health? Lycopene, that is found in tomatoes, can actually decrease the bad cholesterol in your body. There’s never a bad time to start taking care of your heart and if adding in some ketchup or eating a tomato or two can help, why not?

They lycopene in tomatoes also can help in preventing sunburn. I would love to say that I am on top of my skin regimen and wear sun screen every time I go out, but I most definitely do not so if tomatoes will help me out even a little bit with that I will take it!

The fluid in fiber in these delicious guys will also help you out in the digestive department…we all know that a sad gut is a major pain in the butt 😅 We all want to have happy tummies especially with all the cookies that we are consuming so adding in tomatoes can help make sure you stay nice and regular 🙂

I’m not sure if bathing in tomato juice will make skunk smell go bye since I have no experience there, but it does so many other wonderful things!

How do you guys feel about tomatoes? Do you love it or hate it?

Low-Carb Shrimp Fajitas

By now you guys know I like simple, easy to throw together meals ESPECIALLY during the week. These fajitas were just that…they were also unintentionally low carb.

I was initially thinking tortillas, but the idea of spicy shrimp and fajita veggies in a cool, crunchy lettuce wrap wouldn’t leave my head so here we are-lettuce wrap and all!

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I chopped up my bell peps, red onion, and jalapeño for my veggie mixture. I also chopped up some onions, jalapeños, and grape tomatoes for my chunky guac at the same time 🙂

I cooked my veggies first in my favorite pre-made taco seasoning from Trader Joe’s and then did the same with the shrimp. I did it separately since shrimp tends to let out quite a bit of liquid and I didn’t want to sog up the crisp veggies.

While I did the cooking hubs mashed up the ‘cados for guac and added salt and chili powder to season.

I ended up piling my fajita mixture into some fresh romain lettuce while the hubs made a fajita salad of sorts.

It was quick, yummy, and delicious!

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Cooking with Jess ;)

Okay peeps it’s not that serious! I’m not making a cooking video or proclaiming myself a recipe blogger. Lord knows I am not that and let’s face it I am awful at creating recipes since my measurements involve eyeballing, pinches, and to your tastes a lot of the time.

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I do like to cook, but sometimes I forget! It’s a problem, I know.

I have picked it back up recently and have been making things other than breakfast burritos and cheese quesadillas (don’t get me wrong, I still make those).

For dinner one night I made an Indian spiced salmon and some roasted brussels sprouts. Honestly, I decided to make this because salmon and brussels sprouts were on sale and I had all the seasoning I needed at home.

Actually, my recipe decisions this week were all based on items that were on sale 🙂

Back to the salmon and brussels sprouts:

I would start with getting the brussels in the oven since they will take longer to prep and cook. The fish takes no time at all once it’s in the pan and very little prep time.

Preheat oven to 425-450. Grease a baking sheet. Chop up your brussels to bite size pieces.

Drizzle some EVOO, salt, pep, chili powder and any other seasoning you would like and mix together.

I take off my rings and do it with my hands because I feel like it coats the pieces better, but that might just be something I made up in my head.

Throw it in the oven for 30ish minutes until it is done to your preferred crispiness.

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You can either make your own curry spice blend (literally hundreds of recipes on they interwebs)

OR

You can buy a pre-made version.

If you’re not a curry person you can use cajun seasoning, taco seasoning, whatever fun spice blend you want.

Once you’ve decided and are ready to cook up your fish sprinkle on salt (unless your seasoning has salt) and seasoning and gently pat/rub it in. While I was seasoning my fish I had some chopped garlic and jalapeño sautéing up.

If you skip the garlic and jalapeño part just make sure your pan is well greased and hot before adding your fish. This will get the skin crispy and blacken the meat of the salmon when you flip.

Once the salmon is in the pan keep an eye on it. When the fish gets flaky, you are done cooking. Resist the urge to keep it on heat because you don’t want overcooked, dry salmon. THAT is actually the worst. Trust me, I know!

This fish ended up being perfectly spiced, crispy, flaky and juicy. The brussels sprouts were a little burnt (but that’s how I like it), and added a nice textural contrast to the fish.

This is something you can whip up on a week night especially if you have your brussels sprouts chopped up and ready to go.

This is how a “recipe” plays through my head when I am cooking. I figure out what flavors I am craving and play with seasonings to get what I want.

I hope you are have a light and breezy Monday and have yummy dinners to look forward to at the end of your day!

What I Do…

Good morning friends! I wanted to name this post What I Do When I am Broken Down, Exhausted, and Need Some TLC, but I did not because that is one long title and nobody got time for that 😉

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But here is what I do when I am all of those things and feel like a pile of poop.

I let myself linger over coffee. Coffee is one of the first things I do in the morning, but most mornings I am taking it down like someone is going to snatch my cup away. When I’m off from work and I have no where to be I take my sweet time…

After the coffee I workout. At the gym or at home I get my heart rate up and enjoy the endorphins. It’s not always jumping around and squats. When I feel super beat I just stretch myself out and enjoy warming up my muscles.

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I take the time to make myself some yummy, wholesome, nutritious meals. Not that I don’t have nutrient dense meals at work, but I always feel rushed. When I eat at work it’s for energy and sustenance. When I get to cook and eat at home it’s for those things, but enjoyment as well.

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I take the time to clean up my act. I love cleaning up my brows or doing a face mask. Basically, anything that makes me feel like a human again.

This may go into that previous category, but I love doing my nails. There is something soothing about prepping and painting them. I also like that every time I look and see my nails it makes me happy to see the color.

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I also enjoy watching YouTube. I binge on a lot of it throughout the day while I am cooking, working out, doing my nails, etc. I like having some background noise and sometimes I learn a thing or two whether it’s about cooking, beauty, health or just find some inspiration.

What do you guys do when you need a pick me up? Let me know in the comments!