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!

Vegetarians Beware…I Made MEATZA!

My hands-down favorite food of all time is pizza.  I like fancy-pants pizza – you know, the kind with the thin crust and crazy toppings (have you ever tried clam & bacon?  I’m not even joking – it’s delish).  I’ve even tried the gluten-free crust pizza….it was meh.  But what I really love is the totally basic take and bake pepperoni classic.  I love it.  It’s a go-to dinner when we have the kids b/c it’s easy and they love it and there’s leftovers for lunch (or breakfast).

I’ve tried stopping at one piece and it never works.  Inevitably, I eat 3 more, plus cutting tiny corners off here and there just to have “one more bite”.  Every. Single. Time.  I feel sick to my stomach and wonder why I did that to myself.

I tried the cauliflower pizza.  It looked like pizza, tasted like pizza…I didn’t even miss the crust!  Unfortunately cauliflower and I are not friends, if you know what I mean.

So…how can I shovel all of my favorite toppings (mainly pepperoni) into my mouth?

Enter MEATZA!  Check this out – looks like pizza, tastes like pizza, still don’t miss the crust!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 an egg (I know that sounds weird, I needed to bind it somehow and I thought a whole egg would be too much….next time I will just make 1 lb beef + 1 egg, and have 2 pieces of meatza…so much easier)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp italian herbs
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup shredded cheese (I used an italian mix)
  • 1/4 cup marinara
  • pepperoni or whatever toppings YOU like on your meatza.

Directions:

  1. heat oven to 350*
  2. mix the meat, egg, spices by hand in a bowl
  3. press out into a greased pan (I used a 7X5X1.5 pyrex)
  4. cook for 15 min
  5. take out and pour out the excess liquid then top with your marinara, cheese, and other toppings.
  6. cook for another 15 min
  7. enjoy!

I served it with roasted veggies (red onion, eggplant, summer squash, zucchini, broccoli) – I just tossed in olive oil and salt & pepper and cooked at 350* for 45 min, mixing it all up at the halfway point so nothing burned too bad on one side.  I topped it with a drizzle of homemade balsamic vinaigrette.

It was so yummy I had it the next night – using homemade pesto  (instead of the vinaigrette) & pesto chicken burger, topped with more cheese.  No pic, it wasn’t pretty…but it was SUPER yummy.

I used 1 Tbsp for my veggie pesto mix and froze the rest in a ice tray – which makes 1 Tbsp servings to use whenever you are in the mood for some yummy pesto.

Clearly these recipes include a lot of cheese.  So perhaps this is more “primal” more than paleo.  I’m ok with it b/c I don’t eat a whole lot of cheese in general.  If you don’t do cheese, just skip it.  Meatza is yummy any way you top it!

Mmmmm…Chocolate Chip Cookies!

I was planning on making these chocolate chip cookies from Primal Palate….but then saw this recipe from my bff Holly at Holly Would If She Could.  BTW, she does not know she is my bff, but I think it’s a realistic assumption were we to ever meet.  If you don’t read her blog, you should.  I don’t think she’s ever posted anything that I haven’t loved.  And that includes the crossfit posts – I don’t even do crossfit!  (I know, *gasp*)  But I’m always learning and loving and laughing with her over on her blog.

But back to the cookies.  I did exactly as she said, so I’m not going to repeat the recipe here.  The only thing I changed was that I used milk chocolate chips instead of semi-sweet.  Just sounded better to me when I bought them.  And oh. my. gaw.  Check out the results:

I mean – those are some regular ol’ chocolate chip cookies!  And tasted like it too!  I’m all for eating the real deal just as much as I like paleofying recipes.  And this one worked.

PS – they did NOT work when I shoved them in a ziploc at the bottom of my purse for my flight to Phoenix.  They were just a crumbly mess by the time I landed.  I think that would happen with regular chocolate chip cookies too.  My bad for not putting them in tupperware.  Duly noted for next time.  😉

Heroin Chicken & Sweet Potato Stackers

I mentioned the Ambien chicken a couple weeks ago – it’s a staple at our house.  However, I no longer eat it because it requires Stove Top.  Well, I found a recipe called Heroin Chicken on Mark’s Daily Apple and tried it out last week and I think my bf will be happy to replace Ambien with Heroin – ha!  That sounds horrible…but it’s actually quite tasty and much healthier.  Who would’ve thought that Heroin anything would be the healthier choice?!

Heroin Chicken

Ingredients:

  • chicken – breasts, thighs, drumsticks, however you like it, however much you need of it.  (This recipe is for 4 lbs of chicken, I eyeballed it for 1 chicken breast.  Also you can add/subtract any kind of spices you like!)
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 1 tbsp basil
  • 1/2 tbsp oregano
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. melt one stick of butter (I used about 1 Tbsp for my 1 chicken breast and it was more than enough)
  2. take your chicken and dip it in the butter then roll them in the cheese/spice mix.  I shook mine in a ziploc baggie – shake & bake baby, shake & bake!
  3. place onto greased pan.
  4. bake @ 375 for 50 minutes (or less depending on your cut of chicken).

Also on my plate are Sweet Potato Gratin Stackers from the book Sweet Potato Power  They kinda look like salami slices in my picture above…but trust me, they are like gooey stacks of potatoes au gratin!

I started to write out the recipe for that and I always link my recipes to the originals I find online.  Well, I can’t find this one online so I’m not sure I can repost it.  I’m relatively new to this whole blogging thing and I would never want to infringe on an author’s intellectual property (although maybe I already have by posting all of these other recipes??)  I don’t know!  I just know that I don’t see a recipe online from the source I used that matches the recipe I made.  So I will just have to highly recommend and urge you to go out and buy Sweet Potato Power by Ashley Tudor.  The book itself has so much information and a ton of delicious recipes.  Like Sweet Potato Gratin Stackers.   And then make yourself some Sweet Potato bars for dessert why don’t you!  They were another hit over here.  Sweet potatoes for dessert?! Who knew!

Serve it all up with a salad and/or some green beans (and lotsa butter in my case!) or your favorite veg and dig in!

Paleo Traveler

I used to travel for a living.  On the road, around the world, 200+ days/year.  I was an expert traveler.  I had a system.  I brought snacks, I brought books, I had a cd walkman….oops…ok, now you know how long ago it was.

It’s a whole new world traveling nowadays.  I have a kindle, I have an iphone…how did I ever manage without these things?!?!  And how do I manage now that I am no longer eating gummy bears and pretzels or chips and whatever they serve me on the plane?

Two weekends ago I went to visit friends in FL (hi Steph!).  2 flights and a decent layover.  I left prepared.  I brought hard boiled eggs, apples, berky, almonds, chocolate (cuz a girl needs chocolate on the road), and oodles of larabars…you would think I was going to the other side of the world with all of this!  Needless to say most of it went uneaten.  Every last one of those larabars included.

Next weekend I’m going to AZ…a much shorter flight and now that I’ve had a dry-run I think I have a better handle on what (and how much!) food to pack.  This time I will bring ONE apple and some turkey lettuce wraps for dinner.  I’ll bring ONE paleo kit for the flight home and grab another apple and probably be good to go.

What do you like to bring with you when you travel??

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