Deconstructed Taco?


That’s the best name I can think of for this quick, taco-like dish. This one won’t be winning any pretty awards but it’s delicious! Think of a taco minus the shell. 

Imagine dinner being ready in 20 minutes and none of your kids bitchin’ about “are there onions in there” or “what’s that green stuff”. Lol! JUST EAT IT! Beef, beans and corn, and then you add your toppings.👌🏼

Want the recipe, well here you go….

Note: Cut the recipe in half if necessary because remember, I’m feeding five.

INGREDIENTS:

– 4lbs Lean Ground Beef (Ground Turkey would work too)

– 2 cans Black Beans

– 2 cans (no added sodium) Corn

– 2 pkgs Taco Seasoning

Below are optional. You can also add avocado or maybe tomatoes as well depending on what you like.

– Shredded Mexican Style Cheese

– Shredded Lettuce

– Light Sour Cream

DIRECTIONS:

1. Add beef and taco seasoning to a large pot and brown on medium/high heat. Meanwhile, rinse/drain the black beans and corn and set aside.

2. Once the beef is browned, add the corn and black beans to the pot and cook for 10 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally.

And you’re done! Easy right? Now just serve yourself some of the meat mixture and add in your cheese, shredded lettuce, sour cream and whatever else you like.

Enjoy!

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Pot Roast – A Family Favorite

This is probably my favorite childhood meal, Pot Roast. Growing up it was just me and my mom (my sister is 9 years older than me and moved out the second she turned 18), so my mom didn’t cook too often. This was one of maybe 3 meals that she made. The others weren’t worthy of acquiring the recipe. LOL!

When I grew up and had children of my own I asked my mom for this recipe and I still use it to this day. And my kids, much like myself, love it too.

It’s probably some generic recipe found all over the internet but nevertheless, here it is…

 

INGREDIENTS:

  1. 3lb Chuck Roast (I always buy a bigger one, usually 5-6lbs)
  2. Carrots – Amount is up to you.
  3. Potatoes – Amount is up to you.
  4. 2-3 cans Cream of Mushroom Soup (2 usually does the job)
  5. 1 pkg. Lipton Dried Onion

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Always prep/chop first, it just makes life easier. Peel and chop your carrots (if you have a larger roast you will want to make the carrot chops a little larger because they will be in the oven longer.) Rinse and chop your potatoes into 1” cubes, you can peel if you don’t like the skin but I leave the skin on which is why rinsing well is a must!
  2. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
  3. Cover a 2-3” deep pan with foil and place your roast in the center.
  4. Arrange chopped potatoes and carrots around the roast.
  5. Smother the roast, carrots and potatoes with the Cream of Mushroom soup and then sprinkle the Lipton Dried Onion over all of it.
  6. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 325 degrees for 1 hour per pound of your roast.

ENJOY!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet Potato Soup


Sweet Potato Soup, another yummy one that the whole family loves. I got the recipe out of the February 2017 Southern Living magazine but there were definitely some errors in the print so I’m getting partial credit for this one.

INGREDIENTS:

– 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

– 2 cups chopped Yellow Onion

– 1 cup chopped Carrots

– 1 Tbsp. chopped Garlic

– 3 lbs. Sweet Potatoes, peeled & cut into 1/2″ cubes

– 2 lbs. Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled & cut into 1/2″ cubes

– 1-1/2 tsp. Salt

– 1 tsp. Black Pepper

– 1 tsp. Ground Cumin

– 1/4 tsp. Ground Cinnamon

– 1/8 tsp. Cayenne Pepper

– 7 cups Chicken Stock

*NOTE* I used my Dutch Oven to make this but any large pot will do just fine.👌🏼

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Chop everything first (Always. It makes this whole process a hellova lot easier!) I also measured out all my spices and put them in a small bowl so they’re ready to go as well.
  2. Heat oil in a large Dutch Oven or pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and carrots and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add sweet potatoes, Yukon potatoes, salt, black pepper, cumin, cinnamon and cayenne pepper and cook for another minute, stirring.
  3. Add chicken stock, bring to a boil. Then, reduce heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  4. Strain potatoes BUT, save your stock so put a large bowl under your colander when you strain.
  5. Transfer your potato mixture back into the pot if using an Immersion Blender or put small portions into a blender at a time; blend your potato mixture until smooth. Slowly add the chicken stock to your potato mixture until you reach your desired consistency.
  6. If you’d like, top your Sweet Potato Soup with toasted chopped pecans and plain yogurt. If you’re like me, eat as is because you don’t need all that fancy shit!

ENJOY!

Turkey Taco Bake 

The recipe below makes TWO 9×13 dishes because one serving is 1/4 of the pan. Say what!?!? I made this “mini prep” and since being a parent means I have to feed all these children 😉 I made 2 pans worth so they could enjoy too. Thumbs up all around BUT, I thought is was pretty bland. Next time I may use a pre-packaged taco seasoning pack and add more jalapenos and hot sauce.  This recipe does freeze well.

INGREDIENTS:

▪️2 cups uncooked Brown Rice

▪️2 Yellow Onions, chopped

▪️6 Cloves of Garlic, minced

▪️2 Jalapeños, chopped

▪️48oz (3 pkgs.) Lean or Extra Lean Ground Turkey

▪️2 Bell Peppers (any color), chopped

▪️3 Limes – Squeezed for fresh juice

▪️4 Tbsp. Chili Powder

▪️2 tsp. Oregano

▪️1 tsp. Thyme

▪️Hot Sauce to taste (you’re gonna want to use this if you like a little kick)

▪️2 cups Shredded Mexican Four Cheese

▪️2 – 15oz cans of Tomato Sauce (no added sodium)

DIRECTIONS:

1️⃣Cook Brown Rice according to box instructions and set aside.

2️⃣Let’s get everything chopped, minced and juiced so it’s ready to go! Chop/Mince onions, garlic and jalapeño and set aside in same bowl. Chop peppers and set aside in same bowl. Juice limes and set aside.

3️⃣Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray two 9×13 baking dishes with cooking spray.

4️⃣In a large pot set to medium/high heat, sauté Onion, Garlic and Jalapeños until onion becomes translucent, about 5 minutes.

5️⃣Add ground turkey to the pot and cook for 5 minutes. Add peppers and continue to cook until the turkey is no longer pink.

6️⃣Drain turkey mixture and return to the pot. Add lime juice and seasonings stirring to combine. Then add tomato sauce, 1/2 cup of cheese and hot sauce (if using), stirring well.

7️⃣Split the turkey mixture into the two baking dishes and top both with the remaining cheese. Cover each dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes.

8️⃣Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is completely melted and the edges are bubbling. Let it cool 10 minutes before serving.

ENJOY!

 

MACROS for my exact ingredients…

46g Protein

29.5g Carbs

14.4g Fat

439 Calories

If You’re Struggling with Your Fitness/Health Goals, or Starving, PLEASE READ!

Confused by the image below? I don’t blame you, it’s a little crazy looking; but scroll down and read the information below the image. You’ll be happy you did.

These printouts are from my personal body scan that I do at a local nutrition shop. I’ve been doing these scans since January 10, 2015 at the same location, using the same machine.

On November 12, 2016 (the left image), I discovered that my calorie counting alone was no longer working because I lost 3 pounds of muscle and gained 3% body fat since my previous scan on October 25, 2016. Please Note: Calorie counting is a GREAT way to lose weight and it worked for me for a very long time.

At the discovery of the fat gain and muscle loss, I decided that it was time to start counting my macros (protein, carbs, fat). I have avoided macro counting for a while for two very good reasons…

  1. I was progressing fine with calorie counting alone, losing fat and gaining/maintaining muscle.
  2. I know how tedious macro counting can be and if I didn’t have to, I wasn’t going to. Because sanity matters people. 😉

I calculated my macros for my protein, carbs and fat and since implementing this new lifestyle change a little over a week ago, I have done pretty good at hitting those numbers. Not perfect, but good.

The printout on the right is from today, December 1, 2016. There is less than 3 weeks between the two images and check out those numbers!!

From November 12, 2016 to December 1, 2016 I gained 2.2 pounds (that doesn’t matter and I’ll explain why below*), BUT my body fat percentage went DOWN from 25.2% to 22.1% and my muscle went UP from 74.5 pounds of muscle to 79.6 pounds of muscle.

In less than 3 weeks I put on 5.1 pounds of muscle and dropped my body fat a little over 3%.

*Let’s talk Body Composition. The number on the scale doesn’t tell me how much fat or muscle I have or even how heavy my bones are and how much my organs and blood weighs. And in addition to that, it also doesn’t tell me how hard I work in the gym, how smart I am or what my worth is on this planet. DON’T GIVE THE SCALE SO MUCH POWER! Because I gained muscle and lost fat, my body composition has improved and physically I will appear leaner because although muscle weighs more than fat, it takes up less space. So that increase in the scale doesn’t bother me one bit!

When figuring out what my macros should be, I ended up with an additional 600 calories a day that I could eat. I don’t know anyone who’s on a fitness journey who would hate to hear the words, “Eat More Calories”. I’m sure those words may be scary but it works! And the proof is in the paperwork.

I knew immediately what changes needed to be made in order to correct my muscle loss and fat gain but you may not know what to do. If you’re frustrated and struggling, if you’re hungry and on the verge of quitting all together – DON’T! I can help you. And me helping you doesn’t mean that you have to start counting macros and buy a food scale. Me helping you may just mean that you need an adjustment to your caloric intake. 

Let’s fuel your body with the nutrients it needs and with exercising and patience, you’ll be on your way!

Contact me TODAY!

 

Zucchini Pizza Bites

Zucchini Pizza Bites, a guilt-free alternative to one of my favorite foods and probably a lot of yours as well.

I kept it simple with a pre-made sauce and cheese but you can definitely jazz these up a bit more.

Use a homemade sauce for an even lighter option and top with mini pepperoni, turkey sausage, etc. One thing to remember is that the cook time is quite short (see below), so if you’re putting any meat other than pepperoni on these, it will need to be precooked.

HOW TO MAKE

  1. Set your oven to broil. If you don’t have a broil function, 500 degrees should be sufficient.
  2. Using a baking sheet, line with foil and spray with cooking spray. I use an Olive Oil spray.
  3. Using a medium to large size zucchini, cut in 1/4” slices. If you have a smaller zucchini you can cut at an angle to create larger oval-shaped slices.
  4. Place sliced zucchini on baking sheet, spray tops with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Bake zucchini for 2 minutes on each side. Remove from oven, top with sauce, cheese and any other toppings you desire and bake for 1-2 more minutes, careful not to burn the cheese.

ENJOY!

Meal Prep Monday

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This weeks meal prep looks a bit different but it’s DELICIOUS! It will last quite a while too because I was able to make 22 total meals for the hubs and I PLUS 7 meals for the kids.

Here we have BBQ Sloppy Joe Cups with Brussels Sprouts (recipe link below). Mine look a bit empty because I’m only eating 2 cups per meal (they’re very filling) and Jonesy (the hubs) is having three. He has 1 cup of brussels sprouts and I have 3/4 cup.

After spending $55 on 5 meal preps last week because I was too tired to prep myself, I thought I would tally this one up and see how much each meal costs when I make them myself.

I am including the 7 meals for the kids because those count too, right? I spent $81.04 on everything and that includes the foil muffin cups, the milk, eggs, of which I have extras of all.

$81.04 / 29 total meals = $2.79

Crazy huh!? If you were ever unsure about whether or not meal prepping was worth it or if you could afford it, here’s your proof.

For my serving size (2 BBQ cups & 3/4 cup of Brussels Sprouts) the macros are…

447 Calories
59g Carbs
14g Fat
23g Protein

!!IMPORTANT NOTE!! I make my Sloppy Joe Cups with a sugar free BBQ sauce which I was able to find at my local (healthier) grocery store, Sprouts.

The recipe (for 12 sloppy joe cups) can be found at the link below.

https://sarahjonesfitness.com/2016/05/29/bbq-sloppy-joe-cups/

ENJOY!

Meal Prep Ideas

Recently I purchased a weeks worth of meal preps instead of making them myself. The great thing about ordering from a meal prep company is that you can mix it up.

Here are a few of the meals I ordered and I also have a Chicken Teriyaki, Yams and Brussels Sprouts prep that isn’t pictured but that’s another combo idea for you.

CHILI COCONUT CHICKEN with Mixed Veggies and Cilantro Rice.

SKIRT STEAK with Baked Potatoes and Asparagus

SALMON with Brown Rice and Asparagus


I was worried about how well the salmon would taste after frozen but it was still very good.

When it’s time to pull out a meal prep that’s been frozen, I put it on the counter for about 3-4 hours to defrost and then into the refrigerator until I’m ready to warm it up.

If you have meal prepping questions or ideas, please feel free to share. 

Protein

How important is Protein? It’s so important that without it, we could die or become severely malnourished.

All of your enzymes, cell transporters, blood transporters, all your cells scaffolding and structures, 100% of your hair and fingernails, much of your muscle, bone and internal organs and many hormones are mostly protein.

Makes sense now why Protein is so important.

The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for Protein is 0.8g per kg of body weight (0.4g/lb) for the sedentary adult. For strength athletes that number increases to about 1.2-1.7g per kg of body weight(0.5-0.8g/lb) and for endurance athletes the RDA is 1.2-1.4g per kg of body weight (0.5-0.6g/lb).

There are many different factors that play a role in how much protein you should be consuming each day. Some of those factors are…

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Activity Level
  • How many total calories we eat/need
  • Our carbohydrate intake

Finding the right amount of protein to consume can involve a bit of trial and error. The RDA’s provided above are a good starting point. Determine which category you fall under and begin there. I personally consume a little less than 1g of Protein per pound of body weight.

For those who have a plant-based diet (Vegetarian or Vegan), you’ll have to work a little harder to get more protein from a mix of different sources in order to meet your protein needs.

Crockpot Paleo Turkey Meatballs and Garlic Parmesan Zoodles

This weeks meal prep is Crockpot Paleo Turkey Meatballs and Garlic Parmesan Zoodles. This meal is full of flavor and really filling!

I used a recipe from Pinterest to make the meatballs. Link below.

Crockpot Paleo Turkey Meatballs

I saw a video on Facebook of the Garlic Parmesan Zoodles and quickly jotted down the steps so I don’t have a real recipe for that but I’ll share what I did.

 

 

Garlic Parmesan Zoodles

1. Zoodle your Zucchini (I use a spiralizer).

2. Add Ghee (clarified butter) and chopped garlic to a pan set on medium and allow Ghee to melt.

3. Add Zoodles to pan and cook for a few minutes before adding the shredded Parmesan, tossing Zoodles to help melt the Parmesan.

4. Add salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste.

Here’s the problem I had…the Parmesan didn’t melt very pretty and was kind of clumpy. I think next time I’ll prepare the Zoodles the same way but only add the Parmesan once the Zoodles are done. The kick provided by the red pepper flakes was perfect!

I “plated” the food in my meal prep containers sans tomato sauce and additional Parmesan. I’ll only add those two elements when I’m ready to eat, as seen in this photo above.