Birthdays are big around here. It’s not usual that it’s just a one day celebration. In my previous post, I shared the paleo lasagna I made for patricks family birthday dinner. We had a Mexican fiesta a couple days later though.

I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to cook or just get catering. Who am I kidding? When it comes to food I’m so controlling. Patrick wanted enchiladas, but for 50 people… too much work. Taco bar it was. (Along with a few trays of enchiladas). I tried to find a sauce with the least amount of ingredients that wouldn’t cost me a fortune for the amount I needed. Ultimately, I made my own sauce and I’ll never turn back!

I started prepping food Friday night for the party Saturday. Mexican meatballs, enchilada sauce, and icing cookies. I have a 3 burner crockpot that I used along with 2 other crockpots to cook the beef and chicken for tacos.

As appetizers I served Mexican meatballs with enchilada sauce (so good and easy to meal prep!), Buffalo chicken dip, and a 5 ingredient queso dip.

The taco bar had beef barbacoa, chicken, sautéed peppers and a ton of sauces. My Patrick is a sauce man for sure. I served enchiladas, rice and beans, and corn casserole as well.

I always try to have options at parties. There’s nothing worse than watching what you eat and starving at a party because the only thing served is junk. Don’t get me wrong, nobody has the time to slave over the stove to get ready for a party. I enjoy it and try to keep things as simple as possible while keeping ingredients clean. I served grain free chips with fresh salsa and guacamole as well as regular corn chips. Flour tortillas as well as romaine.

Funny enough, I was so busy that I didn’t get a lot of food pictures. Here’s the setup though. It was a great time. Cheers to 35 years, my love!

Meatballs
  • 2.5lbs ground chicken
  • 1 small red onion 
  • 1 green pepper finely diced
  • 1 small finely diced jalapeño
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 tbsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Mix all ingredients until combined. Form into balls. And bake 350 for 15 minutes. Flip and bake another 15 minutes. Serve with enchilada sauce.

Sauce

1 onion chopped

3 tbsp chili powder

1 tbsp ground cumin

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp oregano

1 cup chicken broth

1 can tomato sauce

Sauté the onion in avocado or olive oil until slightly brown.

Add the spices and continue to stir until fragrant.

Add the tomato sauce and chicken broth. Bring to a simmer.

Round Chafing Dishes

Cocktail Tables

Serape table runner

Wilton 4 tier Cupcake Stand

I always get major food envy. I have to know what my husbands ordering before I do (even though I don’t eat like he does). When he said he wanted lasagna for his family birthday dinner on Thursday, I knew I had to make my own as well as a real pasta lasagna for him. I was really happy with the way this turned out! I was so nervous and really unsure while making it.

I definitely need to get a mandolin for slicing the zucchini more easily because a peeler definitely wasn’t ideal. The ricotta, sauce and beef would definitely be good over a spaghetti squash and baked. MUCH less labor intensive too.

Ingredients

1lb ground beef

3 zucchini sliced thinly

1 jar of no sugar added sauce

(For the ricotta)

Slivered almonds -soaked about 20 minutes

Handful of Parsley

1 Egg

2-4tbsp unsweetened almond milk

Directions

Start by soaking the almonds in water. Basically I just covered them and let them sit

While the almonds are soaking, slice the zucchini thinly and brown the beef. Drain the fat from the beef

Drain the almonds and put into a food processor with parsley, an egg and a splash of almond milk. Continue to scrape down the sides and add more almond milk if it needs. It’s done when it’s the consistency of ricotta. Creamy and all of the whole almonds are processed

Layer the bottom of the pan with sauce, then zucchini, ricotta, beef. Continue alternating the zucchini layer horizontally/vertically.

End your top layer with sauce and bake for 30 minutes at 350!

**mine didn’t stay together beautifully, but it tasted SO good. I’ll definitely be making it again!!

I topped with more sauce and served with mixed greens and olive oil and balsamic. A comforting cleanse day meal! Enjoy!

Picture this.. a sleep deprived mother with so much on her mind trying to keep everything together. The first thing I’d do every single morning was make a cup of coffee. (For awhile it was really bad and I’d make a whole pot). I’d sit in a daze drinking my coffee and end up reheating it at least twice because…kids. I started getting really nauseous through the day and still felt exhausted. And at night my heart would race. I NEEDED coffee. More coffee. Or I thought this was the case… Slowly, I started to cut back to one cup a day and if I was going to reheat it, I’d just toss it. In recent weeks I talked to a few friends who had given up coffee. Interesting, why would anyone want to do that?- I thought. A couple weeks ago I bit the bullet and replaced my coffee with a hot tea. After 2 days of no coffee I had SO much more energy. I don’t know why, but my husband has always said coffee has reverse effects on him. He would drink coffee and want to take a nap. The caffeine crash for him was terrible.

I’m not saying I’ll never drink coffee, or even suggest that you stop. But, if you’re like me and feel the nausea and jitters, coffee could be the culprit. Since not having coffee on the daily, I really feel SO much better and have an incredible amount of energy. I’m sleeping less, yet, feel so much more energized in the morning.

So, if you decide to break up with coffee too, I’d suggest doing it slowly. Nobody has time for withdrawal symptoms. Start by nixing your afternoon coffee then cut down your morning cup a joe. Once you’re down to 1/2 cup a day cut it out all together.

I thought I was just excited about life with all of this new energy I have but I’m pretty sure it’s directly related to not having caffeine. I hope you have similar results if you give it a go!!

I’m not one for the bitter cold (like it was in Delaware today). I was so thankful to have my freezer stocked because that’s where dinner came from. I made tuna steak with cauliflower rice and broccoli. Keeping things simple is the best route. I dipped the tuna in coconut aminos mixed with a little sir Kensington’s mayo. Delicious!

With two small kids, the grocery store isn’t my favorite place. I buy most of the same stuff regularly and stock my pantry and freezer to eliminate multiple trips. Theres nothing more frustrating than trying to look at “sell by” dates while the kids are throwing things in the cart or fighting over who’s driving the cart car. (Which is almost harder to push than it is to parallel park). Anyway, I have several things I keep in my pantry or fridge/freezer at all times. It makes it much easier to come up with something for dinner when you actually have stuff that isn’t going bad anytime soon.

Pantry Staples

Diced tomatoes (usually on deal)

Tomato paste

Coconut aminos

Nuts (cashews, almonds, macadamia nuts)

No sugar added almond butter

Almond flour (bobs red mill)

Tapioca flour (Anthony’s goods)

Pure Maple Syrup

Olive oil

Balsamic vinegar

Sir Kensington’s Mayo

Franks hot sauce

Unsweetened cocoa powder (Anthony’s goods)

Unsweetened coconut milk

No sugar added tomato sauce (Raos)

Frozen cauliflower rice

Frozen broccoli

Frozen meat (pork chops, shrimp, chicken, ground meat)

No sugar added (check labels) chicken broth

(Fresh veggies that I always grab)

Peppers

Onions

Mushrooms

Carrots

Celery

Brussels sprouts

Spaghetti squash

Zucchini

This list is actually longer than I intended. It’s accurate though, I keep my pantry stocked because there’s so many recipes that call for a lot of the same ingredients. Most of the time I use fresh meat and veggies but I always keep something frozen in case I don’t make it out.

Here’s some recipes I’ve tried that you can make from these ingredients.

Chicken cauliflower soup

Paleo Brownies

Sloppy joes (I replace the paleo ketchup with a 6oz can of tomato paste. That makes it cleanse approved)

Short ribs

Buffalo chicken dip or curried chicken salad

Eggs, coffee, bacon, butter, repeat… by day 4 on cleanse you’re probably tired of eggs. Am I right? My advice is switch up the way you cook them. Grab a dozen eggs and start by hard boiling them. I usually bring them to a boil, remove them from the heat, and let them sit covered for 10-12 minutes. I like the yolk a little softer. Once you remove from the heat, place them in an ice bath… basically a bowl of ice water… until room temperature and peel them. I’ve heard so many different ways to get the shell off easily but the reality is you win some, you lose some. Now, once your eggs are peeled, what do you do with them.

First you can eat them hard boiled, duh.

Next, if you ended up with a bunch of hard boiled eggs that look like they’ve really been through it, you can make Egg Salad.

3 hardboiled eggs, smashed

1/4c Sir Kensington’s Mayonnaise

1tsp Dijon mustard (check ingredients; no sugar Or preservatives)

Pepper to taste

Celery

Mix all ingredients together. Serve in a lettuce wrap with bacon and tomatoes. YUM

Lastly, and my favorite for summer BBQs is Deviled Eggs. These measurements are slightly off because I usually just go by sight. If you need a little more mayo or Dijon, go ahead and add it. My yolks are usually a little softer which leads to a creamier texture.

12 hardboiled eggs sliced in half lengthwise

1tbsp Sir Kensington mayo

1tbsp Dijon mustard (no sugar no preservatives)

Pepper to taste

Paprika for sprinkling

Remove the yolk from the egg and add to a bowl. Add mayo, Dijon and pepper. Smash together until there are no lumps. I like to add the mixture to a piping bag but you can also use a plastic bag and cut the corner off.

Pipe the mixture into the egg and sprinkle with paprika. Top with bacon, dill pickle, red pepper flakes, fresh dill or pepper. These have been a party favorite and nobody knows they’re clean eating.