Monday, January 27, 2014

Curried Sweet Potato Hash

This recipe makes 4 servings at roughly a half of cup each.  I made it on a Sunday so I could have it for breakfast all week.  I've been enjoying this sweet and spicy delight with 2 eggs, a piece of Sesame Ezekiel toast, and a cup of coffee after crossfit :) and before work :(.

Curried Sweet Potato Hash
Time: 20-25 minutes
Servings: roughly 4

1 large sweet potato
1/2 large yellow onion, diced
3 slices bacon, cooked well and crumbled
2 tbsp green onion
2 tbsp cilantro
1 tbsp paprika
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp coriander
1 tsp salt


1.  First, peel and dice your sweet potato.  
2.  After the sweet potato is diced place into a pot of boiling water for 7-8 minutes, depending on your diced potato size.  They should just be a little soft.
3.  While your sweet potato is boiling cook 3 slices of bacon in a large skillet.
4.  When crispy remove from pan, allow to dry out on a paper towel, and crumble when cooled.  Keep the heat on medium, to medium high.  
5. Drain sweet potatoes and place directly into the pan with the bacon grease.
6. Mix in your diced onion.
7.  Mix in your spices, excluding green onion and cilantro.
8.  Put the mixture in the pan in one even layer.  Allow to cook, untouched, for 5-7 minutes until a nice crispy crust is forming underneath.
9.  Repeat on second side.
10.  To serve, garnish with cilantro, green onion, and crumbled bacon.  (If you like it a little spicer,  add red pepper flakes!)

Serve, or allow to cool and refrigerate in a seal-able container

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A Letter to Young Women...

Dear Young Women of the World,

       I think it's important I share some of my knowledge with you.  When I was young, there was no internet--and even when there was it was for AOL Instant Messenger.  There was human contact.  Anything you needed to learn about life, someone told you  in person or over the phone, when you were allowed 30 minutes on the phone a week by your parents. In fact, it was hard even to talk to your friends via phone.  My family had two phone lines--my parents line and the kids line.  Me, being the youngest, had limited rights to the "kids" line.  And, when we did get the internet the phone line was hooked up to the internet so when you picked up the phone all you heard was scramble noises.  If you really needed to know something you looked it up in an encyclopedia or dictionary,  there was no google. 

 Am I blowing your mind yet young child?

      This brings me to my first bit of knowledge for you: GET OUTSIDE AND GET MESSY.  There was no such thing as wifi.  What would we have done with wifi anyway?  There was no smart phones, just big bulky pagers which you couldn't call back anyway if you were outside.  Yes, outside.    We played outside.  We got mucky, muddy, and dirty well into our teenage years.  We partied in the woods and went sledding when it snowed, EVERY TIME,  not one time a year.  We did not bitch it was too cold or too wet out when it snowed.  Every time snow hit the god damn ground we were outside running a muck.  Do more of that, please.  Let go of your smart phone and experience the world a little.  Everything beautiful does not only have to be viewed on facebook.  You, yes you, can actually see the world as it happens..not in a facebook update.

    With that, I am begging you to please put your phone down when someone is speaking to you, when you are walking, or when you are driving.  I work for a school district and when I go into the high school I am terrified.  1. Every single student is 10 times taller than me.  2.  They all are walking with their phones glued to their faces. 3. Running into each other becomes much easier when  your phone is in your face and your thumbs are texting.  It's like a really really big traffic jam of large,  slightly too old for their age, children.

     Secondly, have fun while you can.  I was wild in my former years.  Now, I am lucky to be able to stay up for an awards show on Sunday night that is on past 9:00pm.   Take advantage of that. Do not miss a single thing in those years.  I am not saying go out and do anything illegal or dangerous that could get you killed.  I am saying experience life, stay up late, pig out with friends,  get in trouble (a little, not a lot), and HAVE FUN.

     Third, experience your feelings.  Your feelings are yours, they do not belong to anyone else.  How dare you allow someone else to tell you how to feel.   Let your feelings run their course, put on your big girl pants, and move on after.  There is one person in this world who is allowed you judge you: your mother (I guess two if you believe in wooden Jesus).   Why is your mother allowed to judge you?  Because you likely came out of her woo-haw (which gives her an everlasting hold over you), and she probably has done more in her lifetime for you then you can ever repay.  If your mother is not around or has already maybe passed, then your grandmother or father apply here too.   If you feel like you need to be judged---go out and commit a crime which requires a judge and a jury of your peers to decide your fate.  FEEL WHAT YOU NEED TO FEEL FOR AS LONG AS YOU NEED TO FEEL IT and once you decide you are done feeling it, Let it go.

     Fourth, and along with that,  don't be afraid to fall in love.  I fell in love twice in my life.  I do not regret a single second of either time.   Have I had my heart broken?  Of course.  Have I lived to tell about it?  Of course.   What does not kill you, makes you smarter.  Even if you learn nothing from having your heart broken,  its your heart, do with it what you will in your lifetime.  You only get one heart and one lifetime.  Take the risks you need to take to find love.  If you never fall in love with a person, fall in love with something.  Fall in love with your job, art, traveling, etc.

    Fifth,  fight with your mind not your fists.  There is nothing more disturbing to me then seeing people yelling at each other or even worse--fist fighting.   I hung out with a pretty rowdy crew when I was your age and back then, there was a lot less to lose when fist fighting.  Today, you can go to jail or kill someone.  Be smart.  Do not raise your fists or your voice, improve your argument.  When I was your age my mom always said "kill them with kindness" which then, drove me insane.  How can you be nice to someone who is being an asshole?  Easy, control your anger and reply.   It will drive the person either 1. insane or 2. completely befuddle them.   If anything, the people around you will think highly of you for walking away or being kind. 

   Sixth, everyone you meet is fighting their own battle.  You have NO IDEA what someone else life is like.  Remember that.   It is not your job on this earth to judge others, it is your job to be KIND to them.  I know I have talked about my best friend Holly before, but just the other day she said to me "I am your friend, not your judge".  That was probably the best thing she has ever said to me.

   Seventh,  JUST TAKE THE JACKET.  In my entire life I have never heard my mom say "You better bring a jacket" and regretted bringing the jacket.  I have however, regretted not bringing a jacket.  Moms have this spidey sense that tells them the temperature at ANY given place at ANY given time.  Not a single mother in the ENTIRE WORLD has been wrong about the temperature.  This includes temperatures in restaurants,  movie theaters, parks, and states they've never even traveled to. 

   Eight,  whatever happened yesterday happened yesterday--let it go.  The only way one day predicts the next is if you let it.  Life is funny like that.  I've encountered a lot of stress, nay-sayers, horrible days, and sticky situations.  When I was young, I carried it with me every day like a brick in my purse.   Now, I still struggle with it, but I am 100% happier when I let it go and start over the next day.
   Lastly,  make sure you love the people who love you.  You will lose people in this lifetime.  You get no warning before it happens.  Make sure your parents and family know you are grateful for them, and your friends know you love them.  As an example,  I cannot imagine a world without my best friend Holly.  The other day I told her that "she's my person".  She then responded "Your totally my person".  Of course I have other people who are my best friends--Talia, Kate, Alli, Brielle, Lisa.  But Holly, she just so happens to be my person.  Talia could be my person too, but she's my sister.  So,  by default, Holly is my person.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Paleo Honey Mustard Chicken with Sweet Potato Butternut Squash Hash

Oh my goodness, where has the time gone.  I have been MIA.  Sorry, it was all the moving and working.  I work way too many jobs.  Some days,  I wonder why I don't just work one full time job and no little side jobs.  I remember being in college and thinking "Oh my god, I cannot wait to only work Monday through Friday 9-5".  Yeah, no,  that bubble burst fast.  Oh well, I digress...

So, I think a lot of people think Paleo is hard or has difficult ingredients to find.  Untrue, this recipe is quick, easy, painless, and has ingredients you may already have in your home.  No "coconut aminos" (whatever that is) here.   You'll find if you follow my blog you can do Paleo in a cinch.  This recipe is hardy, sweet, and tangy.

 Paleo Honey Mustard Chicken with Sweet Potato Butternut Squash Hash
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 7 hours (crockpot)
Serves: 3

Ingredients for Honey Mustard Chicken
3 large chicken breasts, raw
1/3 cup olive oil or coconut oil
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup grainy mustard (I prefer ground mustard seed, they sell that at shoprite)
1 tbsp salt, 1 tsp pepper

Ingredients for Sweet Potato Butternut Squash Hash
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 large white onion, diced 
1/2-1lb butternut squash, peeled and diced (I buy it precut because AINT NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT
1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
Cooking Spray for pan

Directions for Chicken

1.  Place 3 chicken breasts at the bottom of a crockpot, turn the crockpot to low.
2.  Salt and pepper the chicken.
3.  In a bowl whisk together honey, mustard, and olive oil.  
4. Pour over chicken.
5. Cover chicken with lid and allow to cook on low for 6 hours.
6. After 6 hours shred the chicken with two forks. 
7. Mix everything together so your remaining sauce incorporates and turn your crock pot to keep warm.

 Directions for Hash
1. About an hour before your chicken is done preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
2. Spray the bottom of a rimmed cookie sheet with olive oil.
3. Place diced onion, butternut squash, and sweet potato on the cookie sheet.
4. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
5. Mix everything together with your hands.
6. Cook for 1 hour, flipping occasionally,  or until sides are crisp.

Serve :)  

The hash would be excellent with eggs as a sweet and savory deal in the morning!