Nekeesh’s Quiche

It’s been a long time, shouldn’t have left you..

I woke up this morning with the “fail to plan then plan to fail” mindset and decided to make breakfast for the rest of the week. I wanted to have a good dose of protein and carbs all in one so I decided on a quiche. Fancy huh? Not so much…it’s actually the easiest thing I’ve ever made in life and only takes about 10mins (or less) to prep and 30mins to bake. Here’s the info:

INGREDIENTS
▶1cup pre steamed or sautéed shrimp
▶1 cup (approx) Broccoli Florets
▶1/2 bag of Trader Joes Sundried Tomatoes (only $1.99 in store)
▶12 large Egg Whites or 1.5carton of “All Whites” Egg Whites
▶Mrs. Dash, Trader Joes 21 Seasoning Salute or whatever you usually season your eggs with

DIRECTIONS
▶Dice shrimp & broccoli
▶Line oiled cake pan, round glass casserole dish or muffin tins with broken broccoli florets, diced shrimp and tomatoes
▶Pour egg whites and seasoning over everything
▶Bake on 350 for 40-45 minutes or until eggs are baked all the way through.

You can add just about anything you’d like to this recipe to make it to your liking. Some suggestions are pre-cooked ground beef/turkey, mushrooms, onions, peppers, etc.

(bottom picture is lined pan before adding egg whites)

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Going Green!

Sweetened Iced tea tea is somewhat of a staple here in the south. The tea at places like Bojangles and McCalisters (one of my favorites previously) is sweet enough to give you a stroke at first sip…ok maybe not an instant stroke but you’re sure to have diabetes before you leave the restaurant. LOL

For the longest time, I thought the only way to make real/good tea was the old fashioned way: boiled, add entire 5lb bag of sugar and stir. I know many people that make iced tea this way but savvy tea drinkers like myself do a cold press or cold-brewed tea. Actually I’m “newly savvy” because I just started doing this but that’s not the point …LOL

Recently one of my Instagram followers put me up on game about cold brewing her green tea; thankfully so because I have undiagnosed A.D.D and standing over a stove watching water boil is like torture for me. Also, cold brewed contains less tannin than hot tea, so the flavor is smoother and contains more anti-oxidants than hot tea.

I make mine in mason jars at night (mason jars aren’t necessary but a great idea) and its suggested that you use 1.5-2 times the amount of tea you would normally use. My Mason jars are super small (less than 8oz) so I use one tea bag per jar. If you are doing quart or liter sized jars, It has been also been suggested to use at least 2-3 tea bags in your mix.

Benefits of Green Tea:
Evidence suggests that incorporating at least a few cups of green tea every day will positively affect your health in several ways, here’s a short list:

▶Green tea and its extract have been shown to fight obesity and lower LDL “bad” cholesterol — two risk factors for heart disease and diabetes.
▶ Green tea’s processing avoids the fermentation process. As a result, green tea retains maximum amount of antioxidants and poly-phenols.
Increases metabolism. The polyphenol found in green tea works to intensify levels of fat oxidation and the rate at which your body turns food into calories.
Esophageal Cancer. It can reduce the risk of esophageal cancer, but it is also widely thought to kill cancer cells in general without damaging the healthy tissue around them.
▶It is said to delay the deterioration caused by Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
Blood Pressure. Regular consumption of green tea is thought to reduce the risk of high blood pressure.
Skincare. Green tea can apparently also help with wrinkles and the signs of aging, This is because of their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities.

Disclaimer: I’m no research scientist or claim to be a tea expert so if you are employed by the “tea police”, have an affinity for any other tea (besides green), prefer it hot than cold or have heard otherwise that green tea sucks…that’s perfectly ok. This blog is not intended to persuade or suggest you try anything that you don’t want to.

Cheers!

Recipe:
▶ Put 1-3 tea bags (depending on jar size)along with (optional) lemon slice/wedge in mason jar.
▶Fill with room temperature water (add liquid stevia drops or all natural powdered version if you need some sweetness–FYI Stevia is NOT Paleo)
▶Screw lid tightly and refrigerate over night.
▶Enjoy daily

“Benefits or Green Tea” information is courtesy of: WebMD & Lifehack

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K.I.S.S

For the most part I’m a pretty simple chick. You can usually catch me in Jeans and a white tee, with the most simplest of jewelry, no make-up and no fancy condiments on my food or ice in my water. Simple!

Embarking on any new diet or life changing journey can be quite overwhelming. Just deciding what I would eat this week and which store to get all this healthy food from without going poor was quite the feat. What I’m learning is that not all of your food and preparation need to be as difficult as Chinese arithmetic. I mean if you like spending 2 hours in the kitchen making fancy grain free pancakes, quiche, and sugar free muffins, have at it; but me, myself and I keeps it simple.

There are tons of simple Paleo offerings for meals, especially breakfast–the most important meal of the day. I can appreciate anything that takes a few moments to shop for and even less time to prepare. If you’ve decided to embark on this or any new journey, my advice is to embrace the challenge with a K.I.S.S ~~> keep it simple stupid 🙂

I did so with a breakfast this week that consisted of simple egg white muffins and cold pressed green tea (see tomorrows post for my green tea potion and simple preparation). I prepare the muffins on Sunday and they last all week. I prepare the green tea every night and its ready to go in the a.m.

Egg White Muffins:
▶Sautéed shrimp (cooked just enough to remove the excess water)
▶Sun dried tomatoes
▶Or any other ingredients you would like in an omlette.
▶Trader Joes 21 Season Salute (or preferred flavors of Mrs Dash)

Some other suggestions are:
▶Ground beef
▶Turkey burger
▶Shredded chicken
▶Mushrooms
▶Onions
▶Spinach

Directions:
▶Lightly coat muffin tins with olive oil spray
▶Fill each slot with veggies/meat and egg whites (carton egg whites or egg beaters will do…or you can use beaten whole eggs)
▶Make sure each slot is no more than 3/4 of the way full so they don’t boil over
▶Bake 20-25minutes at 350 degrees. Use a toothpick to ensure they are done all the way through before removing.

As you can tell by the recipe above, I’m not related in any way to Barefoot Contessa or Martha Stewart…told you, Im simple! So I’ve taken the liberty of looking up another recipe for you that’s inclusive of all the fancy measurements and every step you’ll ever need to make some simple egg (white) muffins. 🙂 Click the link below

Paleo Egg Muffins from Paleo Spirit

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Who Says You Have to EAT Your Veggies?

If you grew up anything like me, your parents forced you to eat your veggies or made you sit there all through the night until you finished. This of course was before kids were putting the Department of Social Services on speed dial.

Fast forward to the new millennium where they have appliances for everything under the sun: pancake makers, rice cookers, vegetable steamers and of course juicers. Juicing is a way to get many nutrients from high volumes of veggies in a single serving…and the best part, if you use the right mixture of fruits and veggies in your juice, it taste good enough so that your kid won’t have to sit at the dining room table all through the night playing face-off with their spinach and broccoli. LOL

I always put some sort of dark leafy greens in my “green juices”. Here’s a little background on kale. Turns out there’s quite a bit of science behind this super food – Kale is rich in many different things. The cruciferous veggie is an excellent, potent source of Vitamin K, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, fiber and carotenoids. Research shows that kale contains 4 different flavonoids with a variety of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. So Drink up but shhhh don’t let the kiddies know that its anything more than “green apple juice”. 🙂

Green Machine
▶Kale
▶Spinach
▶2-3 Small Oranges
▶1 Gala Apple
▶Couple Stalks of Celery

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Im well aware that most die-hard Paleo folks aren’t huge fans of juicing. However I (Nekesha) am a fan of both. So if you are a member of the Paleo Police, please spare me the “this is not Paleo” advice…LOL Carry On!

Cinnamon Apple Scones

So I found out the other day from one of my Instagram followers (@juicingtips) that I have what is called a masticating juicer. This means that the slow auger, is a like a large drill bit or screw. As it turns, it crushes the fruits and produce and squeezes them against the outside wall of the juicer. Often the filter or screen is in the side of the wall and this forces the juice out. Since it does it slowly, it does not heat up the juice. This keeps the enzymes and nutrients at a temperature that they can survive at thus giving you the benefits of drinking them.

The downside is that I have a lot of leftover pulp that usually goes in the trash. I found a recipe from the civilizedcaveman site that allowed me to use the pulp from the apple juice I made yesterday.

These are Paleo Cinnamon Apple Scones that I plan to have as a snack each day this week (1 triangle section per day). The recipe can be found on his site (linked above).

Like I said, I used juicing pulp instead of the “minced apples” in his recipe.

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Before (going in the oven) product.

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Final product. They Came out GREAT! Side Note: if you are a lover of sweets, you may need to up the ante on the amount of honey you use or add sweeter fruits (i.e. bananas) but remember these arent generally super sweet. They are scones not brownies. LOL

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BONUS: Red Delicious Apples I used for the recipe and the resulting juice I had left over. The non-processed, perservative free juice Makes for a great addition to breakfast!

 

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The Failure to Plan

I love it when Oprah asks people at the end of every interview, “so what do you know for sure?” I envision myself on them dope butter soft leather couches of hers saying something very professional, something my momma and grad school professors would be very proud of, something that contains a lot of big words with long syllables. LOL 😂

If she asked me that question today (as it pertains to improved eating, diet and health), I would say something cliché but very true: If you fail to plan, plan to fail.

I know this for sure. No matter what “diet” or life plan you are on, if you don’t plan (meals) and prepare ahead, please believe your efforts will result in epic fail. Trust me, I’ve been there, done that. Just look at your grocers freezers section, it’s stocked with tons of varieties of prepackaged processed meals. It’s a billion dollar industry because planning meals is KEY and those frozen meals are already “planned” for you. Problem is, majority of the unpronounceable ingredients in those things are not “food”.

I know committing and following through with a PLAN is a pain in the *bleep* but It’s a necessary evil that Im learning to become ok with because failure is no longer an option. I think I did a mediocre job planning for this first week of the Paleo challenge Ms. Alia (talkpaleo) has me on but the second thing I also know is: Im a work in progress.

Breakfast Plans for this week:
Egg white muffins

Snack plans for this week:
Apple Cinnamon Scones
Juicing/Smoothies

Dinner plans for this week:
Salmon
Shrimp
Butternut squash/Sweet Potato mash
Steam Veggies

Stay tuned this week to the blog for cool pictures and recipes to some of the items mentioned above.

Happy Planning!
~Nekesha

R.I.P Oatmeal

Growing up, I ate oatmeal like it was going out of style. In the 80s it was old fashion oats. Nothing fancy ya know cause my mom worked fifty-eleven jobs and had no time for breakfast that took much time to create. Then we discovered the instant stuff in the box with all the cool flavors (ie apple cinnamon spice). Along with the cool stuff also came the processed “stuff”. I mean how long could REAL apples last on a shelf inside oatmeal if it wasn’t processed in some way? something to think about. Anywho traditional oatmeal is clearly not Paleo (which makes me sad on occasion…but I digress). Im currently reading a book called Wheat Belly by Dr.William Davis and it does a boring but exceptional job of explaining why processed cereals (especially those containing gluten) are very toxic to the digestive system. With that being said, I had to come up with some alternative for my dearly beloved oatmeal.

Disclaimer: there is store bought almond/coconut milk in this recipe which begs to differ if this recipe is indeed 100% Paleo. Rule of thumb, I try to be 100% Paleo, 80% of the time…shall we pause to digest that fancy mathematic equation? 🙂 Basically this recipe has the potential to be 100% approved by the Paleo gods but for now what we have below here is ummmm lets say 93% Paleo. Considering from where I came, I think that’s pretty darn good. If you are so inclined to make your own non processed almond milk (see link below), then this would give you your other 7%.

Recipe: “Oatmeal” Minus the Oats
This recipe for oatmeal Tastes ok but think I will experiment with the addition of other fruit (i.e apples puree leftover from juicing) next time.

Ingredients:
▶1/4 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)
▶1/4 cup chopped almonds
▶1 tbsp ground flaxseed
▶1 tsp ground cinnamon (or 1 tsp apple pie spice)
▶1 banana, mashed
▶3/4 cup liquid egg whites (or 3 egg whites)
▶1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (add more if desired)
▶1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:
⏩Blend pecan/almonds in blender or food processor (just enough to crumble them all together).
⏩Whisk together egg whites and almond milk and then stir in nuts, ground flax, mashed banana, vanilla extract, and cinnamon; blend well.
⏩In a medium saucepan, warm the mixture on the stove, stirring frequently, until the “oatmeal” reaches the desired consistency; this should only take a few minutes.
⏩Top with berries, nut butter, seeds, or whatever else your little heart desires.

Also here’s a good link to a discussion on whether or not almond milk is Paleo:
Is Almond Milk Paleo?

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The Thing with me & Food…

This thing with me, food and health is quite entertaining…well no not really. It’s actually quite sad. You ever heard that saying, “when you know better you do better”? Ok well I know better but for some reason I refuse to do better. What is that? I read somewhere that the food we eat is designed to be addictive so I’m going to blame my lack of doing better on that for now LOL. Im thinking though, this blogging thing may help me realize that it’s not the food as much as it is me.

Thanks Alia for creating a forum that will help us get on track, stay on track and sometimes even allow us to fall off track….and get back up (without judgement).

This should be fun…or maybe not; but at least it will be healthy. LETS GO PaleoTalk Team!

Nekesha