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Happy Halloween!!

Happy Halloween, friends!  I made my “costume” last night, after we returned from a morning at UPenn hospital for Aaron’s checkup (more on that in a few…).  I’m pretty pleased with how cute it is!!  I’m totally feeling fab-boo-lous!

I’ll be adding a black and white polka dot scarf mid-morning, as I have a funeral to attend.  It’s for one of my dad’s closest friends, so I don’t want to be rude.

I hope everyone has fun tonight, if you’re trick or treating!  If not, please be mindful of little ghouls and goblins while driving home in the dark!  I always worry and drive extra careful on halloween night!

I haven’t been trick or treating in years, and I totally miss it!  Josh is a freshman in college, and this is the first year he dressed up since middle school.  Of course it was for a college costume party.  Hopefully he had fun, but not too much fun.  😉  He went as a character from Book of Mormon, which we saw on stage in NYC this summer and loved. Here’s my “Brother Cunningham”

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So yesterday we had Aaron’s 6 month check up from his pancreatic neuroendrocrine tumor that was removed last June.  Everything looks good and the doctor is moving him to 9 month visits.  I’d actually prefer they keep the 6 months, for piece of mind.  Since there is a chance of recurrence, I’d just prefer to keep a very close eye on everything!  Need to keep my sweetie healthy and cancer free!  I just love this man so much!  Here’s a picture that my brother sent to us from the sixers game the other night.  He spotted us on tv and took a pic.

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Happy Halloween! Don’t eat too much candy today!!

xo, Lori

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What’s on your weekly menu?

Busy weeks are always the hardest to plan dinners for.  We have a basketball game tonight (Go Sixers!) and then are in Philly during the day tomorrow for a doctor visit.  A funeral Wednesday and Friday I’ll be getting ready for my first open house for my jewelry and design business!  We planned a little last night and I roasted a whole chicken to eat for lunches, and a triple batch of chocolate protein muffins for breakfast.  Our menu this week looks like this:

Monday: Chicken, brown rice and roasted carrots (Poor Aaron has to eat in the car on the way to the game).

Tuesday: Chicken Rice bowls.  Make your own style with sweet potatoes, sauteed onions, roasted corn and broccoli to choose from.  Dress with olive oil and lime juice.

Wednesday: Steak, grilled potatoes and roasted veggies.

Thursday: Shrimp tacos on brown rice tortillas

Friday: Either something in the crockpot or take out.

Saturday: Black bean, turkey and sweet potato chili

Tell me what YOU’RE eating this week!  Inspire me to create a more creative menu next week!

xo, Lori

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Homemade Clean pasta sauce

Last night we needed a quick dinner before we headed to my sons university to see him perform with a Mastersingers choir. Usually we would hit a restaurant on the way and eat something expensive and not quite as healthy as home cooking is. I decided to make spaghetti sauce. We never have pasta! In Arbonne 30, brown rice pasta is allowed and I love the taste and texture of it. I usually stay away from the carbs and eat pasta sauce over spaghetti squash, but I wanted the warming comfort of a nice pasta dish last night.

Making clean pasta sauce is pretty easy! I started by sautéing onion, pepper and garlic in a little olive oil.

I love micro planing garlic, so we get all the flavor and no big pieces.

I added 1lb of extra lean grass fed ground beef to the veggies, some oregano, basil, salt and pepper and cooked through.

Next up was 2 cans of organic diced tomatoes. If you like your sauce thick, add a can of tomato sauce or purée, but I like mine full of yummy bites of tomato.

Isn’t that gorgeous?? I add a few drops of liquid stevia to cut the acid and let the sauce simmer for an hour or so. Let all those yummy flavors meld together.

I love Trader Joe’s brown rice pasta. The texture is perfect, and you can’t tell it’s not regular pasta. Plus it only takes 7 minutes to cook!

The final product was a hardy, comforting dinner that we all enjoyed.

Pasta on a clean eating lifestyle is totally manageable! The only thing I missed was the Parmesan cheese, but I know that dairy is mean to my body. Many people are intimidated by making their own sauce, but it’s really very easy! When I’m making a big batch, I usually leave out the meat and just make traditional sauce, but I was making dinner for 3 tonight and I know we all needed the extra protein.

Enjoy! Let me know your thoughts!

Xo, Lori

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Simple yet satisfying dinner

The end of the week is always a struggle when it comes to meal planning. I had planned on making turkey chili with black beans and sweet potatoes, but since I made white chicken chili last night we did a quick switch. We ended up having turkey burgers and roasted vegetables. I love vegetables, but roasted is definitely my favorite way to prepare them. A little olive oil and some spices and throw them in the oven. Tonight I roasted carrots, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and onions and then coined up some white potatoes for Aaron and sweet for me. I wish he liked sweet potatoes! I seasoned the veggies with rosemary, onion and garlic powders, oregano, salt and pepper. I like them almost burnt, and they did not disappoint! Aaron threw the turkey burgers on the grill and dinner was ready! I seasoned the extra lean ground turkey with onion, garlic, 21 season salute, salt and pepper. They were super flavorful and Aaron cooked them just right. He added cheese to his, but since I’m dairy free I topped mine with half an avocado.

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Lemon Thyme Chicken

Remember how I told you I love lemon??  The other night, I wanted to make a healthy but romantic dinner for Aaron and I.  You know what I mean, a meal that takes a little more time and love to create. ;o)  I had bought a huge pack of chicken breasts on sale to use for a few meals and thought of the whole roasted chicken that I like to cook for special meals.  It’s kind of a version of Ina Garten’s engagement chicken.  Ok, it IS Ina Garten’s recipe and it DID work.  For real, I made Aaron engagement chicken one Valentine’s day and we were engaged on March 23.  That shit works!

Anyway, I subbed Thyme for Rosemary, but most of the elements were the same.

Lemon Thyme Chicken

1 lb Chicken breast

2 lemons, juiced, zested and quartered

6 cloves of garlic

3/4c chicken broth

bunch of thyme

1 small onion, thinly sliced

1 tsp oregano

Preheat oven to 400*.  Sautee onions in olive oil and add garlic for the last few minutes.  Add broth, seasonings and lemon juice and zest to saucepan and then pour into baking dish.  Top with chicken and a few extra sprigs of thyme, add the quartered lemons and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the chicken juices run clear. (I use a meat thermometer to tell me when it’s done).  Serve with roasted sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts for a wholesome meal.  Bon Appetit!

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You probably have learned by now that my photography skills suck. This picture was taken after my husband had already served himself, and it’s not especially pretty, but it tasted damn good!

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Crockpot White Chicken Chili

I love when fall rolls around and the air turns crisp and I can pull out the boots and scarves and sweaters.  It also means it’s soup and chili season!!!  I love chili.  White chili, turkey chili, texas chili, chili chili chili!  Yesterday was a busy day at work and I knew I’d be exhausted by the time I got home.  I depended on my fizzies and my crockpot to get me through, and neither of them disappointed!!  I went home at lunch and threw two chicken breasts, 2 cups of chicken stock (I keep homemade in the freezer), a bunch of diced veggies and spices in the crockpot on high.  When I got home from work, the house smelled amazing!!  It was a hit with both my husband and my mom, and luckily there was enough for all 3 of us to have leftovers for lunch today!

Crockpot White Chicken Chili – Gluten and Dairy free!

1lb chicken breast

2c chicken stock

1 diced onion

1 diced green pepper

1 diced and seeded jalapeno pepper

2 cans white beans

5 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp oregano

1 1/2 tsp cumin

1 1/2 tsp chili powder

salt and pepper

Cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 4-5.  Shred the chicken and add back to the pot, and add 1/2 c unsweetened coconut milk and 1 tbl brown rice flour (mixed) to the crockpot and let cook for another 1/2 hour.  Add a squeeze of lime to bring all the flavors together and top with cilantro!  So comforting and delish!!

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Arbonne Protein Pancakes

Most mornings I’m satisfied with protein shakes or muffins, but on weekends I want something more substantial.  Veggie omelet with avocado, maybe some roasted sweet potato on the side.  Some black beans cooked with onion and peppers and topped with fried eggs and hot sauce.  Chili topped with eggs.  You see where I’m going.  Sometimes, I want the comfort of a pancake!!  Who doesn’t love pancakes???  These protein pancakes are thebomb.com.  They have a nice texture, unlike the egg and banana ones I’ve tried.  I like to throw some frozen or fresh berries in a saucepan with a splash of water and a few drops of liquid stevia and let it cook down into a syrupy consistency to top it with!  So good, you guys!!  And totally compliant!!!

Arbonne Protein Pancakes

1 scoop Arbonne Vanilla protein

1 egg

1/4c coconut, almond milk or water

That’s it!  How simple, but totally scrumptious!

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