Let’s Talk: Resiliency

If you look up the definition of Resiliency, this is what you’ll find:

  1. the power or ability to return to the original form, position, etc., after being bent, compressed, or stretched
  2. 2. ability to recover readily from illness, depression, adversity, or the like

resiliency photo

I am going to boldly argue with this standard definition because in my opinion, that is only half of what this word encompasses. Resiliency is a very powerful, important characteristic that is much more than “returning to the original form” or the “ability to recover from an illness” etc., because if you have ever been in a situation that requires resilience, than you know there is no returning to the original form or recovering completely as if nothing happened.

Situations that require resilience will forever change you. You will not be the person you were before the event or situation took place.

This is what I know about Resiliency:

  • It comes from being BRAVE and sticking it (whatever “it” is) out
  • It comes from looking FEAR in the face and KICKING it
  • It comes from FEELING that FEAR, embracing it, and still KICKING it in the face
  • It comes from LEARNING who you are
  • It comes from discovering what you are CAPABLE of
  • It comes from NEVER giving up
  • It comes from STRENGTH
  • It comes from WITHIN yourself, even if it’s buried deep

I have had A LOT of situations happen in my life that have required me to be resilient, as most people have. Since situations that conjure the need for resiliency are quite a common occurrence in everyone’s life, you may be thinking – Than why the hell is she talking about this?  What make her the resilience expert?

What does she know that I don’t?

My response to that…is nothing.

I BELIEVE that every single person is born with the ability to be resilient, to look that difficult, heart-wrenching situation in the face and say I’VE GOT THIS. I CAN DO THIS.

So again, what do I know that you don’t know? Nothing…but I do believe that resiliency is a choice and you can choose to harness that resiliency from within or you can choose to break down, to bury that power inside you and never let it free.

It’s a mindset. It’s a choice.  It’s a decision.

Some people seem to be born with the innate ability to harness that resilient power and flourish. I am NOT one of those people.

Say what?

That’s right…I wasn’t born with that innate ability… BUT… I, just like YOU, was born with it inside me. I just had to LEARN how to use it.

I had to WORK at it. HARD.  And of course, I’m not perfect.  I still struggle.  BUT I am proud of how far I’ve come.

resiliency 2

I am a military wife. We have to be resilient!  (It’s in the job description!)  We have to be independent!  We have to be strong and brave.  I was none of those things ten years ago.  I had all of those things in me, I just hadn’t found the key to unlock it yet.

Now, after everything I’ve been through, I can surely say I am ALL of those things!

There have been MANY things military and non-military related in my life that have required resilience and I struggled and clawed my way through them, not having the coping skills or the knowledge I have now.

Let me give you an example:

THEN

In 2008, 2 weeks after I married my husband, after I had just moved in with him, to this new town and this new apartment, he left to go to training for 2 weeks.

I didn’t know anyone.

I didn’t know where anything was in the town.

All I had for company was my little white fluffy dog.

I didn’t have a job. (I had just graduated from my Master’s program)

I didn’t have anything to do.

After he kissed me and closed the apartment door behind him, I fell down on my knees. And I cried.  I cried because I was alone.  I cried because I didn’t know what to do with myself and I cried because I had never truly been on my own before.

Talking about that now, it kind of seems ridiculous to me. What was I so upset about?  It was only 2 weeks!  He was just in training!  He wasn’t in a combat zone or in any danger!

Fast forward to…

NOW

My husband recently left for a 3 week trip to Japan. He kissed me and the kids goodbye.  He closed the door behind him and I turned around, smiled at my two babies, and said “Who wants to have some fun?”

Do I still miss him when he’s gone? Of course!  Is it hard when he’s gone?  Of course!

BUT I have learned that I will be OKAY. That my kids and I will be OKAY.  I have learned that I CAN do it on my own – that I am strong, independent, brave and capable!  I can take care of myself and the kids while he’s gone.  I can go to work, cook healthy meals and continue to exercise and socialize.

resiliency 3

We have been through 3 deployments. My parents got divorced during our first deployment. I have raised my daughter on my own for 8 months straight while my husband was in a combat zone.  I had my son (with no drugs by the way – not by choice) while my husband was away at training.  I have traveled with the kids, by myself, to Texas, to California, to the Dominican Republic.

I have learned how to enjoy myself, how to like myself and how to be on my own. I have learned that I don’t need to fall on my knees and cry every time it gets hard -although sometimes, I will admit, I do.  But the difference is I get up and carry on whereas before I just stayed down.  I have learned that I have the tools and strength within me to be the person I want to be, to do the things I want to do and to live the life I want to live.

That, my friends out there in cyberspace, is RESILIENCE.

I LOVE that you are reading my blog but I would love it even MORE if you would share this link on all of your personal, social media pages! AND I would LOVE it if you would comment below and tell me about a difficult situation you’ve encountered and how you handled it!

http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/road-resilience.aspx

http://www.nationalresilienceresource.com/Resilience-Principles.html

http://www.apapracticecentral.org/outreach/building-resilience.aspx

Book Recommendations:

Building Resilience in Children and Teens: Giving Kids Roots and Wings Paperback –by Kenneth R. Ginsburg MD

Developing Resilience: A Cognitive-Behavioural Approach by Michael Neenan

 

 

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Weekly Recipe Round (5) Up

weekly menu 5

Here is your weekly dinner menu – Round 5!  As always, I’m excited about this week’s menu because I LOVE sharing these HEALTHY and TASTY recipes with y’all!  And I LOVE getting messages from people letting me know they have tried these recipes and liked them!!

Another reason I’m excited about these?  I got them from a variety of sources this time!  Why is that exciting?  Um…I’m not really sure honestly…But I am excited about them nevertheless.  Variety is always good, right?

Before I get to the meat of this blog (pun intended, ha ha) I just wanted to add in a quick bit of advice.  In addition to eating healthy, it’s important to stay active too!  Eating a nutritious, well-balanced diet along with regular exercise is a recipe for a healthy body AND a healthy mind!

I hear from many people that most of their struggle involves eating healthy – whether it’s portion control issues or late-night snacking (I am guilty of having both issues in the past).

My intent with these weekly menus is to help you with that particular area of struggle!   But don’t neglect the rest of the equation –>

(at least) 64 oz Water + Rest + Good Nutrition + Regular Exercise = Happy Lifestyle!

 

Baked Stuffed Sweet Potato

stuffed sweet potatoes

Source: Nutrition Guide from Hammer and Chisel Workout Program

Serves 2

Ingredients

2 med sized sweet potatoes, washed and pierced with a fork

½ cup black beans

1 ½ cup shredded roasted chicken breast (or you could ground turkey meat)

2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

½ tsp ground cumin

½ tsp ground coriander

1 dash sea salt

2 TBSP chopped fresh cilantro

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Bake sweet potatoes for 35-45 min, or until tender. Make a slit in the top (so you can stuff it)
  3. While the potatoes are baking, combine all the ingredients (except cilantro) in a saucepan and stir constantly until hot (4-5 minutes)
  4. Top sweet potatoes with chicken mixture. Sprinkle with cilantro
  5. Eat and enjoy!

Tip: Serve this with a side salad – tomato, cucumber and avocado salad (1 ½ cup chopped cherry tomatoes, 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced, 1 avocado diced, 2 TBSP minced red onion, 2 TBSP minced parsley, 2 TBSP olive oil, 1 TBSP red wine; mix all together in a bowl and add black pepper to taste)

Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Brisket

bbq brisket

Source: http://www.artsyfartsymama.com/2011/11/slow-cooker-bbq-brisket.html

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

5 lb beef brisket

1 3/4 cup BBQ sauce (I use organic but you can also make your own)

2T coconut sugar

2t Worcestershire sauce

2t black pepper

1t garlic salt

1t seasoned salt

1/2t onion powder

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients together (except brisket)
  2. Place brisket in the crockpot
  3. Pour sauce on top
  4. Cook on low for 9-10 hours
  5. Eat and enjoy!

Tip: Serve this with a side salad, corn on the cob, green beans, cauliflower mashed “potatoes” and/or paleo cornbread.

Chipotle Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili

sweet potato black bean chili

Source: Newsletter from my organic produce delivery

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

1 TBSP plus 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1 medium- large sweet potato, peeled and diced

½ large onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 TBSP chili powder

4 tsp ground cumin

½ tsp ground chipotle chili powder

¼ tsp salt

2 ½ cups water (I used vegetable broth instead)

2, 15 oz can of black beans, rinsed

1 14 oz can diced tomatoes

4 tsp lime juice

½ cup fresh cilantro (optional)

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan
  2. Add sweet potato and onion and cook until onion is soft
  3. Add spices and stir constantly for 30 seconds.
  4. Add water (or broth) and bring to a boil.
  5. Cover, reduce heat and simmer until the sweet potato is tender, 10-12 minutes
  6. Add the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes
  7. Stir in cilantro, if desired
  8. Eat and enjoy!

Tip: Serve this with some chicken apple sausage or chipotle meatballs (for you meat-lovers) and a side of roasted asparagus

stufed chicken bell pepper

Chickened Stuffed Bell Peppers

Source: Fixate Cookbook

Serves 4

Ingredients:

4 medium red (or yellow, orange, green) bell peppers, cut in half, seeds removed

Tsp olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 ½ lbs raw chicken breast, chopped into ¾ inch pieces (you can also use ground beef or turkey meat)

1 ½ tsp of chili powder

1 ½ tsp cumin

1 tsp sea salt

¼ tsp black pepper

1 cup all natural tomato sauce

1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed

5 TBSP of chopped fresh cilantro, save some for garnish

2 TBS fresh lime juice

1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese

Optional topping: organic salsa

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 375F
  2. Place bell peppers, skin side down, in a large baking dish and set aside
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet
  4. Add onion and cook until translucent
  5. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute
  6. Add meat of choice and all seasonings. Cook through
  7. Add tomato sauce, beans, cilantro and lime juice. Reduce heat to medium-low, cook for 3-5 minutes. Stir occasionally
  8. Divide the mixture evenly between the bell peppers and cover lightly with tin foil
  9. Bake for 35 minutes or until peppers are tender. Remove foil
  10. Top each pepper evenly with cheese and bake another 3-5 minutes, until cheese is melted
  11. Sprinkle with cilantro and salsa, if desired

Tip: Serve with a side salad of greens, cherry tomatoes and ¼ of an avocado and/or roasted sweet potatoes and guacamole

 

Don’t forget to share this link on your personal social media pages! AND I would LOVE it and tell me which recipes you’ve tried and which ones you’ve liked from any of the weekly ROUND-UPS!

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THIS IS REAL

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The other day someone told me, “You seem to have it all together! You’re working part time, dealing with military spouse stuff, getting into shape, eating healthy, training for a 15K race, writing a blog, active on the Moms Club board and are raising 2 kids.  How do you do it?”

WOW! What a wonderful thing to hear!  And yes, when put like that, I kind of sound awesome, like Super-Woman awesome…

However, while I appreciate this compliment more than I can say, it’s far from the truth!  It was everything I could do not to throw my head back and laugh out loud.

Here’s the truth – I (embarrassing as it is to admit) still have my Christmas tree up. Today is January 29th just to clarify.  And, even more embarrassing to admit…and I’m not sure if I even want to do this or not…is we still have our orange twinkle lights up for Halloween.  I know, I know!  It’s utterly ridiculous right?

I have piles of papers on my desk and sometimes the clean laundry sits in the hallway in a basket for days (I think 7 is the record). And when my daughter can’t find anymore clean underwear, I direct her to dig through the above-mentioned laundry basket to find some.  And as I watch her do this, I think to myself, she is going to think this is “normal” and she is going to grow up and tell her daughter to dig through the laundry basket to find clean underwear instead of in a drawer where most people keep their clean unmentionables.  *Big Sigh*

Here’s some more of the truth – Most of the time, when friends come over, I send them a text that says: Just FYI, my house is a mess.  I haven’t had a chance to clean it.

In fact, I did that today which I told my husband about. He said, “Didn’t you text her that last time she came over?”

Yeah, thanks honey. Thanks a lot.

Here’s another truth – No matter how much I try (and I really do try) to be organized in the morning so I can get everyone dressed and out the door, it rarely comes to fruition! It’s very rare that I actually get into the car (after strapping my kids in the back of course) and drive off without having to first go back inside (usually a good two times) to get something I forgot.

Here’s the final truth – All of this stuff (plus a lot of other unmentioned stuff, of course) makes me, ME. And I like ME!  I don’t have any excuses for all of these quirky flaws and I really don’t have any explanation for them either.  That’s just how it is, I guess.  That’s who I am.

But, I also know that I am so much more! I am strong.  I am brave.  I am determined.  I am capable of achieving whatever I set my mind to.   I have worked HARD on myself, mentally and physically and I am still working on myself every single day.  It’s a journey, not a destination.

I can honestly say I am proud of the person I am today, of all that I have accomplished and all that I continue to do on a daily basis.

Now don’t get me wrong, it took me a LONG time to get here, to finally be comfortable with who and what I am.

I am flawed. But in those flaws is perfection…because I know, that every day, I am the BEST version of myself that I can be.

Are you struggling to love yourself, to accept yourself for who and what you are? Do you find you are constantly putting yourself down and listening to that inner critic (as Andrea Owen calls it)?

Here are some worksheets to help build up your self-esteem and self-confidence!

http://www.therapistaid.com/content/0046.pdf

Which traits do you have? Circle them! http://www.therapistaid.com/content/0057.pdf

http://www.therapistaid.com/content/0103.pdf

 

 

 

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To Diet or Not to Diet – That is the Question

To diet or not to diet – that is the question…and my answer is…NO!  Always…NO!

Wait…What?

That’s right….NO!

Diets don’t work!  Healthy eating does.

THERE IS NO DIET CHERRY PIC

There seems to be a misconception about what the word “diet” means.  When we think of the word, “diet”, today, we typically think of the Flat Belly diet, the South Beach diet, the Atkins diet, etc…But the actual definition of the word “diet” is:  the customary food and drink of a culture, a person, or an animal.

I think my mom put it best when she told me the other day, “It’s so confusing!  There’s the paleo diet, the Atkins diet, the Weight Watchers diet…how do I know which one is the right one to choose?”

And, as you can probably guess, my answer to her was, “None of those.  Just eat healthy.”

Perhaps you may be thinking to yourself – “Now wait a minute, Kimmy.  You post Paleo and 21 day fix and whole30 recipes all the time.  What do you mean diets don’t work?”

Allow me to clarify:  The recipes I post are a WAY of eating.  I don’t do JUST paleo  or JUST 21 day fix or just Whole30.  I make a variety of meals from a variety of different meal plans.  I make meals that are balanced and have a lot of vegetables, lean protein (when my husband is around and tofu when he isn’t), fruits and good fats (like bananas and avocados – we eat a lot of those in my house).

Okay, so raise your hand if you have ever been on a diet?

All of you?  Yup, I thought so  (Me too.  I’ve done it before, don’t get me wrong).

Now, raise your hand if you are still on that diet?  Only a few of you?  Yup, that sounds about right.

Now, raise your hand if you completed your diet program, but gained all the weight back and than some within the next several months?  Most of you, right?   (To include me, I’m raising my hand)

diets don't work

Diets don’t work!  They are NOT sustainable.  Healthy eating is!

Did you know that 95% of people who diet for weight loss end up gaining that weight back within 1-5 years?  Yikes!  All of that work…down the drain.  Why not try something that is sustainable, that is good for your body and your self-esteem (because if you can fit into your favorite pair of jeans you know you are feeling good on the inside).

Tons of research has been done on why diets don’t work.  I don’t have enough space and you don’t have enough time for me to go into it all BUT I will give you some of the top reasons right now:

  1.  Restrictive diets can lead to a diet-overeat or a diet-binge cycle.

why diets don't work pic2. Fad diets can be harmful plus they don’t teach you anything about healthy eating which can, and often does, lead to yo-yo dieting.

3. Dieting can lead to eating disorders due to the constant obsession of thinking about food and weighing yourself on the scale.  People who diet are 8 times as likely to develop some kind of eating disorder.

4.  Dieting can be a form of self-torture!  If you are on a restrictive diet and you are not allowed to eat cheese, for example, what are you going to think about all the time?  Cheese, of course!  If someone tells you that you can’t have something, you are going to want it even more!  Have you ever been on a diet and been so hungry that you decide to torture yourself and go on Pinterest and look at the dessert pictures and recipes that you CAN’T have?  (Come on.  I know you have.  I know you have because I’ve done it too!)

So, before you throw your hands up in the air in frustration and say – “Well what am I supposed to do then?  I need to lose 10 lbs before my vacation next month” or “I need to lose 20 lbs for my wedding in 3 months.”

It’s okay…take a breath!  Just eat well balanced meals (if you need some ideas, check out my recipes!) and exercise 3-5 times per week for at least 30 minutes per day.  That’s it!  You don’t have to eat lettuce and carrots all day to lose weight!  You can eat good, satisfying, nutritious food that feeds your body in a healthy way and helps you to look and feel your best (again if you need ideas, check out my weekly meal posts!)

happy life healthy life

Why I like healthy eating and exercising AKA why I like leading a healthy lifestyle:

  1. I feel good on the inside!  I have more confidence and energy!
  2. I am setting a good example for my children.  I want them to learn how to lead a healthy lifestyle and the best way to do that is to show them!
  3. When I feel good and take care of myself, I can take care of everyone else in my life too!
  4. I have the energy and desire to get on the floor and roll around with my kids!
  5. I am proud of the fitness goals I have achieved because I have worked hard at it (and am still working at it)
  6. I take pride in cooking my family healthy, delicious meals because I am taking care of them in the best way I know how

Remember, diets don’t work!  Healthy eating does!  There are no quick fixes!

If you want something bad enough you have to work hard enough to get it

There are resources listed below for you to check out and don’t forget to share this blog on your personal social media pages!!

Source: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/changepower/201010/why-diets-dont-workand-what-does

http://www.fatnutritionist.com/index.php/why-diets-dont-work/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/why-diets-dont-work/

http://weightlossrevelation.info/tag/some-diets-that-dont-work/

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Weekly Recipe Round (4) Up

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Here is another week of dinners for you…all planned out…all you have to do is go to the grocery store, buy the ingredients and cook them. Come on now, I can’t do everything for you!

I probably say this every time (there’s just something that really lights my fire when I’m able to share TASTY and HEALTHY meals) but I’m particularly excited about this week’s meals! There’s not only variety, and deliciousness, of course, but there is creativity and good nutrition!

I have something to say about each of these recipes…so before you get to the “meat” of this post, let’s talk first.

I did a babysitting swap with a friend of mine because, really, who wants to spend $15/hour on a babysitter (which is the going rate around here) on top of dinner, drinks and movie tickets? I made the mini meatloaf recipe for the four kids I was watching and I was particularly proud of myself because I thought – how cute- I have four little kids here and I am going to serve them each a little meat loaf. Perfect! This is a great recipe to use for a party, an appetizer-type dish or, like I did, for little kids!

The Mexican-inspired burgers are seriously delicious! I have made these for various people and they have all raved about them! My husband and I hosted an Iron Chef competition for a friend’s birthday party one year and these were our entry (We won. In case you were wondering). Plus, my mother-in-law asked for this recipe and she is a GREAT cook so that was a huge compliment! This recipe comes from Paleo OMG and if you haven’t checked out that website you need to do so immediately! Julie has great recipes on there!

So, moving on…I am of course excited about the butternut squash dish because… it’s vegetarian! Yay! (And yes, I will definitely have to add a chicken breast on the side for my meat-eating husband) Plus, it’s a perfect winter recipe for a cold day.

And finally, last but not least, the stuffed chicken recipe. I just want to keep it real here – especially for those of you who know me. I’m not going to pretend that I’m the one cooking this dish. Confession time: I don’t cook chicken. Raw chicken grosses me out. (It reminds me of a frog I had to dissect in middle school and after that I wouldn’t eat chicken for a month. At least I eat it now. I just don’t cook it.) Just writing about it makes me want to gag. The only way I will cook chicken is if it’s frozen and all I have to do is close my eyes and dump it in the crockpot. And of course, go figure, chicken is my husband’s favorite type of meat.

So…who cooks this dish? My husband!

Okay. Enough talking now. Let’s get down to business.

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Mini Paleo Meatloaf

Source: http://www.paleonewbie.com/not-your-ordinary-meatloaf/

Makes about 18 mini meatloaf muffins

Ingredients

1 lb lean ground beef and 1lb ground turkey

1 egg

1/2 cup almond flour

1/2 onion, chopped small

5 oz chopped spinach (I used frozen)

5 oz chopped kale (I used frozen)

½ can of diced tomatoes

1 tsp of chili powder

1 tsp of salt

1 tsp black pepper

3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed

1 tsp of oregano

1 tsp of thyme

1/2 tsp of cayenne

Instructions

  1. Add all of the ingredients into a large bowl and mix well.
  2. Prepare a muffin pan and liners
  3. Scoop out a heaping spoonful of the mixture and place into each muffin liner.
  4. Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for approximately 20 minutes. Make sure it’s cooked all the way through! (Internal temp should be around 155-160 degrees)
  5. Eat and enjoy!

Tip: Serve it with roasted vegetables (such as sliced potatoes, carrots, zucchini, yellow squash; place them on a baking pan, add olive oil, salt and pepper to taste; roast them at 400 degrees for at least 25 minutes) and a side salad!

14.Serve hot, eat and enjoy!

mx burgers

Paleo Mexican Inspired Burgers

Source: http://paleomg.com/mexican-inspired-burgers/

Ingredients

For the burgers:

  • 1.5 lb ground beef or turkey
  • 1 (6oz) can of green chiles
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon chipotle red pepper (or chili powder)

 

For the toppings:

  • 1 package mushrooms
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ 14oz jar of roasted peppers, sliced
  • 2-3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • ¼ teaspoon chipotle red pepper or chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper, to taste

 

For the Avocado Roasted Red Pepper sauce:

  • 2 avocados
  • ½ 14oz jar of roasted peppers, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ lemon, juiced

Instructions:

  1. For the topping à Heat up the coconut oil in a pan. Add the red onion and cook until they soften. Next add the mushrooms, roasted red peppers and spices. Cook on low heat while you make the burgers.
  2. For the burgers à Now make the burgers! Mix all ingredients for the burgers in a bowl. Form patties. Either cook them in a skillet or the grill (or you could even broil them in the oven).
  3. While the burgers are cooking and the toppings are still simmering, make your avocado sauceà Put all of the ingredients for the avocado sauce, place in a blender or food processor, mix well. It needs to be smooth and silky.
  4. Okay, now it’s time to assemble this delicious, perfect burger! Place a burger on the plate (duh), add the toppings (on top of course), and pile the sauce on top of that or use it to dip the burger in.

Tip: Eat this burger with a knife and fork. No bun. WHY? Because it’s paleo!   Serve with a side of homemade sweet potato fries.

Butternut Squash Quinoa with Kale, Cranberries, Walnuts and Goat Cheese

butternut squash quinoa

Source: My January fitness and nutrition accountability group

Prep time: 8 mins

Cook time: 12 mins

Total time: 20 mins

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

1 small/medium butternut squash, diced (I use frozen, already cut because have you ever tried to cut one of those suckers? It’s a pain!)

1 large leaf of kale, stem removed (could use frozen as well)

½ cup cranberries

¼ cup walnuts, toasted

¼ cup crumbled goat cheese

1 cup quinoa

2 cup chicken stock

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Prepare Quinoa according to package direction. Use

chicken stock instead of water to add flavor. Cool

completely.

  1. White quinoa is cooking, add a few drizzles of olive oil

to a sauté pan and place over medium heat. Add diced

butternut squash and sauté until tender, about 10-12

minutes. Remove from pan and let cool.

  1. In the same sauté pan add a little more olive oil and the

kale. Wilt slightly, 1-2 minutes, you want the kale to still be

slightly crunchy. Remove from pan and roughly chop. Set

aside to also cool.

  1. Again, in the same pan add walnuts, no olive oil is

necessary. Toast for a few minutes on low heat – careful

not to burn! Remove from pan and let cool.

  1. Add all of the cooled ingredients along with the

cranberries, goat cheese, a little salt and a little pepper,

and gently mix.

  1. Eat and enjoy!

Tip: You could easily serve this with grilled chicken breast and/or over a bed of greens. Yum!

Tomato, Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast

stuffed chicken pic

Source: http://www.yammiesnoshery.com/2015/05/sun-dried-tomato-spinach-and-cheese.html?m=1

Serves 2 (double the recipe to serve 4)

Ingredients:

Two large chicken breasts

3/4 cup Kraft Sun Dried Tomato Vinaigrette Dressing & Marinade (salt and pepper and olive oil would also work fine – which is what I would use so I know exactly what’s going into my food)

1/2 cup sundried tomatoes

1/2 cup roughly chopped spinach (I use frozen – because it’s already chopped and it’s easy!)

1/2 cup feta cheese

1/2 cup mozzarella cheese

Directions:

  1. Marinade the chicken breasts in the dressing for a few hours (or if you are short on time just dump it on before you start cooking)
  2. With a large sharp knife, carefully cut the chicken breasts like hot dog buns. Don’t cut all the way through. (My husband will definitely be doing this part…)
  3. Open the chicken breasts up where you cut them and layer on the remaining ingredients. It’s okay if you can’t fit all of it in, you can just leave some out. Just squish in as much as you can. Stick a couple of toothpicks in near the opening to keep it all together (My husband will also be doing this part…)
  4. Place chicken breasts on a baking pan and put it in the oven at 375 degrees for approximately 20 minutes. Make sure it is cooked all the way through!! We don’t need anybody getting sick!
  5. Eat and Enjoy!

Tip: Serve this with a salad and some paleo garlic bread.

Another tip: You could add additional toppings to this or stuff it with more ingredients such as mushrooms, bell peppers, olives, peperoni, etc and make it more like a pizza without the extra calories.

Which recipes did you make? Which ones did you like? Comment below!

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