I’ve been rather out of commission on social media for the last two weeks. Well, not that you can tell from the trickle of photos throughout my Facebook page, but it feels like I’ve been disconnected because I’ve been much too busy making memories and savoring moments than staring at a screen for more than a few minutes.
My sweet husband conspired with my sister and her boyfriend and planned a surprise getaway to Pennsylvania for me to spend time with my family. Unselfish man. I left around the time that the garden began producing, so while I was gone, his responsibilities doubled. Cooking for himself, long days working at his job, picking and putting up green beans, paying bills, and more.
It was pretty hard for me to let go and fully enjoy myself, but I did learn. It was by far my favorite trip with my family. Hubsy joined me after a week, and we both spent the second week drinking in the cooler weather, laid back events with family and friends, and just having fun.
I love when life is full and productive with quality time and simple joys. I love being fully present. But I did miss my pensive, introvert quiet times while vacationing. Even if I made time to be alone, writing seemed to take too much energy.
Maybe it’s something about being back in my very own home sanctuary, but my first morning back, I was laying awake in bed at 6:30 typing out notes on my phone. (I am not a morning person.) So here I am. Getting my pensive groove on. 🙂
Out of one’s normal routine and environment, food arrangements can be a challenge. It’s almost impossible to keep a diet completely the same when away from home and dining out occasionally, but it is possible to keep things pretty clean if you stick to basics.
If I feel uneasy trying an entree with ingredients I no longer cook with, nearly every restaurant has salad options. I often add chicken for protein. One restaurant had an amazing veggie and chicken stir fry over rice.
All things considered, I only overate and bloated severely one time this trip, and that was more due to the portion size than bad quality. We won’t discuss the measures taken to resolve that issue. 😀
Thankfully my family has a common interest in cleaner eating, so it can be pretty fun to have that in common. I enjoyed cooking a few times while I was gone, but amazingly, it’s nice to be back in my little kitchen with all things familiar. Considering that I used to detest being in the kitchen, that is a miracle.
I only started investing in the kitchen because we drastically changed our diets. Now I see that good food will require time and a cutting board.
On our five week diet, spices were limited, so fresh herbs and lemons became staple items. Since then, I honestly don’t remember a time that I haven had real lemons in my kitchen. Cooking with fresh food is actually fun when you let it be.
Tonight, I realized that every single item on my dinner menu had some form of lemon in it. How many different forms of lemon are there? Up until last month, I had only used the juice. Then I stumbled across a recipe that called for lemon jest. I had no idea. Zest is the very outside yellow of the lemon. (or any citrus. I used orange zest in granola. Yum.) Not the bitter white stuff underneath.
I was intrigued, so I tried it. Loved it, so I invested in my very own lemon zester. Cute as can be and works like a charm. It’s a shame to let any part of a wonderful, antioxidant rich lemon go to waste. 🙂
Here are tonight’s recipe links. When it comes to recipe inspiration, the world wide web is my friend.
This recipe is forgiving, and I throw it together by heart sometimes. It’ s a great framework for a general flavor. I’ve already subbed red wine vinegar for white wine, and it was great too. I use this recipe for chicken thighs as well as breasts. The bake time simply needs to be adjusted. Just make sure it’s done.
Rice. No link. Just brown rice with sea salt and pan juice from the chicken poured over it. (for me) Hubby wanted some leftover homemade dressing that I made for salad yesterday instead. That sweet man loves his sauces and dressings. Glory glory, there are cleaner options out there.
I used lemon because I didn’t have lime on hand. I overdid it a bit on the jalapeno, and I didn’t like the spicy after taste, but it is according to my dear man’s liking, so we’re good. I prefer vinaigrette’s, so this was my first time making a creamy dressing. I am now my husband’s famous cook.
Yes, it’s green.
I’ve been experimenting with different Paleo protein bar recipes for my hard working man to snack on. He loves his munchies, and if his wife makes them clean, it’s a big hit. 🙂
Granola and bars are forgiving as long as you stick to a basic dry/wet ratio. The mixture was too wet at first, and didn’t have more almonds. I added chopped pecans and walnuts instead to make it work. I’ve added rolled oats to bars before too.
Seriously, these bars are incredible. The lemon topping totally sets it off.
I just noticed that my recipes included a lot of husband/wife lingo. Sorry about that. We just like each other a lot. He’s a sweetheart. 🙂
Have a beautiful evening.