Thanksgiving Recap & a Recipe Roundup

Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that I love to love.  I enjoyed every single bite.  No guilt, just indulgence.  We go to my boyfriend’s parents house every year.  They have allllll the fixins and everyone brings something.  And knowing I was going to indulge, I wanted to make sure I had a big side of veggies to put on my plate.  I also wanted to make sure I had something to snack on before the big meal.  And I wanted a sweet treat at the end of the meal but knew I wouldn’t be able to stuff a whole slice of pie down my gullet after all that yummy food.

So here’s what I brought:

spinach artichoke dip (adapted from my vitamix cookbook)

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup mayo
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 slice lemon, peeled & seeded
  • 1 large package of fresh spinach
  • a pinch of salt & pepper
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ¼ cup shredded parmesan
  • ½ cup canned artichokes, drained

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients except artichoke hearts in vita-mix
  2. Turn it on (variable 1, increase to 4)
  3. Blend, blend, blend (took me a while to get all that spinach in there and blended up)
  4. Add artichokes and blend a little more
  5. Usually I put it in the oven on 350* for 20-25 min, but this year I brought a cute little mini warmer.  Poured that in there and gave it about 20 min to warm up, stirring every now and then.
  6. Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan on top and tortilla chips to dip.
  7. Enjoy!

No pic – it was green and not very photo-worthy.

guacamole – my boyfriend’s special secret recipe 😉  also green and not very photo-worthy.

roasted veg – the great thing about this recipe is that I cooked it in the morning and dumped it all in the crockpot to take over.  Plugged that bad boy in and set it on warm.  When it was time to put it on the table, I just took porcelain container over to the table and drizzled some balsamic on top and sprinkled it with shredded parmesan.  Voila!  Easiest dish to bring for Thanksgiving ever.

pumpkin cheesecake truffles – totally not primal or paleo or even gluten-free but VERY tasty

My plate was full of spinach salad and roasted veg, a big serving of turkey (mmm…dark meat), and a little bit of mashed potatoes, stuffing, and gravy.  And a dreamy buttered roll.  I didn’t finish it all (my plate that is, you can be damn sure I ate every bite of anything I describe as “dreamy“).  And I enjoyed every bite.  And most of all I was grateful to have a wonderful family to celebrate with.

What did you have for Thanksgiving?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here’s something to be grateful for and very useful for all that holiday cooking you might be doing this week and in the coming month:

How to peel garlic in less than 10 seconds – seriously!

 

In addition to not smelling like garlic this long holiday weekend, I’m super grateful for all the likes and comments on this blog.

Thanks for reading and happy Thanksgiving!!!

Banana “Ice Cream”

Here’s a quick, easy treat that is ice-cold and dairy-free.  I know it has been posted up and down on pinterest, but here it is all the same – Banana “Ice Cream”

Ingredients:

  • Banana
  • Nutella or almond butter or strawberries or whatever your heart desires

Directions:

  1. Blend
  2. Freeze
  3. Enjoy your guilt-free dairy-free “ice cream”!

I like to keep some bananas frozen on standby to blend whenever I feel like a treat.   And apparently there’s a device out there called a yonanas that does exactly this.  I’m not really sure how it differs from my vitamix other than taking up precious storage space.  Still want one.

Pesto Meatloaf

What’s more stick-to-your-ribs-comfort-fall-food than meatloaf?  It’s one of those meals that I actually really love but never make…until now.

I kind of combined 2 recipes (this one and this one) to create one ultimate meatloaf!

Pesto Meatloaf served w/ mashed sweet potatoes and broccoli slaw & mushrooms.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1T garlic
  • 1lb ground beef
  • 1/4 cup pesto (I used my vitamix pesto recipe)
  • ½ cup sundried tomatoes (I meant to include these but forgot in this photo…)
  • 2 T parmesan
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup marinara
  • 2 tsp balsamic

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350*
  2. Sauté onion until it starts to brown.
  3. Add garlic, lower the heat and sauté for a couple more minutes.
  4. Combine your meat, sautéed onion/garlic, pesto, sundried tomatoes, parmesan, salt, almond flour, and egg.  Best to use your hands!
  5. Last time I used a deep glass pyrex dish, but next time, I will shape my meat mixture into a loaf-like shape and put it on a sprayed rack on top of a cookie sheet so that the fat drips off into the pan.  But either way will work.
  6. Bake for 30 min.
  7. Stir together your marinara sauce and balsamic vinegar.
  8. Brush – or spoon – it on top of your meatloaf when the first 30 min are up.
  9. Continue to bake for another 30 min and brush on some more of that yummy marinara/balsamic sauce on top a few more times.
  10. Slice that bad boy up and enjoy!

It’s My Mediversary!

1 year ago today, I reached my goal weight with Take Shape For Life (TSFL) and began transitioning from Medifast meals to regular foods.  Yay me!  Get it, it’s not just an anniversary…it’s a Medi-versary!

I am extremely proud to say that I weigh right in the range as I did one year ago.  I fluctuate about 2 pounds in either direction at any given time (currently at the upper end of those 2 lbs right now), but I’m basically the same weight as I was a year ago and it feels good!

And it’s still a journey. I’ve spent most of the year being a little ocd with the calorie counting/weighing.  A little too obsessed actually – it’s kinda embarrassing.  I just can’t quit you, Livestrong Calorie Counter (my app of choice).

I’ve kept track of my calories all year and can see that I have been within about the same range all year.  In fact, the couple months I increased my calories a little, I weighed the lowest.  But I had one month where I did not track at all and was at my highest weight.  I think that freaked me out and so I kept on tracking.  I may go on vacation and let all the adding up go on vacation too…but I keep coming back.  I think I’ve been counting for fear that I’ll lose all control and gain those dreaded 30 lbs back.  I feel like the stress of counting and staying in a certain (self-determined) range is not good for me.  I know what a portion size is now.  I’m not serving myself Cheesecake Factory-sized dinners.  And I’m not knocking calorie counting for weight-loss – it’s a great tool.  But I think I can keep it in my toolbox for now and just take it out when I need it, not obsess over it every day.

So for now, for the holidays, until the New Year…I’m letting it all go.  Buh-bye Calorie Counter.  I will not miss you.  I’m going to enjoy the carefree freedom of not knowing and not caring how many calories are in every single bite.  I’m going to eat whole foods, healthy foods, like I have all along.  I’m going to keep on keepin on with the Paleo/Primal thing.  No grains, bread, pasta, processed food or sugar – I still do some dairy (HWC in my coffee every morning and occasionally some cheese).  I have even started adding in *gasp* white potatoes (look at me, gettin’ crazy up in here!).  And I also know I’m going to indulge over the holidays sometimes, but not every day.

And if I gain over the next couple months, then I’ll reassess in January.  I know that TSFL works in minimal time (typical results are weightloss of 2-5 lbs/week and up to 20 lbs in the first month! Results will vary.).  I know that cutting back on dairy and fruit and nuts (and those oh-so-delicious paleo treats!) can get me there.  I know that calorie counting will also work.  I have lots of options and so do you.

But for now, let’s enjoy every bite…

Well Hello Alisonreinvented Friends!

I’ve been a little slack with my blogging…sometimes I get overwhelmed with even the little things.  Does that ever happen to you?  I keep coming up with ideas to write about and then I get bogged down with thoughts like How often should I be blogging?  How many recipes should I post vs anything else?  Who am I to share these recipes?  I’m no expert! Is anyone even reading this besides my mom? (hi Mom!)

But I want you to know I’m back and I have a plan.  I admire the bloggers out there who go at it every day or even every few days – there are even some blogs that I check every day in the hopes of a new post b/c I love them so much!  But to be honest, for me to write twice a week stresses me out and when I get stressed out, I don’t write at all…apparently for months at a time *ahem*.  And I’d like to keep writing, if only for me…and my mom.

So the plan is to write once/week.  No set day, but by Friday of every week a new blog should be up.  I have so many ideas of what to write about that I’ve sketched it out and I have something for every week through August 2013 (WHAT?!? How did that happen??).  And by then, I’ll figure out what to do with the rest of the year.  I’ll include some lists (ooooh boy do I love me a list!) – like favorite products, other blogs, and even some of the failed recipes.  I have accumulated so many cookbooks, that I think I’ll start to review each of them until I run out and then I’ll think of something else to review 😉

So that’s where I’m at.  I hope you will continue to check in, try some new recipes, maybe learn a few things, and most of all enjoy.  And as always, let me know what YOU would like to read about!