recipe

2019 Goals & A Recipe

I have a few goals for the new year. NOT resolutions. The usual, of course: lose the weight. Yadda Yadda Yadda. I am working on a post about that that I will share at a later date. But for sure:

  1. Drink more water.
  2. Read 165 books.
  3. Eat more vegetables in my diet.
  4. Practice patience. 
  5. Learn how to alleviate stress/anxiety (without medication).

I think the first three goals are definitely doable. The last goal, I do not know if I can do. That’s part of the weight loss post I am working.

Drink more water — when I was breastfeeding I was doing SO GOOD at drinking water. Seriously, I was a rockstar. I had to be. To keep my supply up. But then once that was over with, I kinda got lazy. I am good at drinking water at work and I am good at drinking water at the gym. But at home? On the weekends? Not so much. I don’t know why I am so bad at it but I need to be better. I am noticing the effects of not drinking it and I need to fix that asap.

Read 165 books — that’s how many I read in 2018! I think my goal last year was 120 and I exceeded it! I am already off to a decent start.

Eat more veggies — I love vegetables, so that’s not too bad of a goal for me. However, when I snack, I usually reach for fruit. I am going to make a sincere effort to try and incorporate more veggies as snacks, too.

Patience — Logan is a joy for sure but we are definitely in a time period in his development that is challenging for all of us. He is almost three years old (!!!!!) and strong willed, determined and wants to do EVERYTHING himself. Which often takes forever. It can sometimes be very frustrating for me. We get into power struggles and I need to really work on patience and stopping the power struggles. 

What are your goals for the new year?

Now on to the recipe…

In an effort to eat more veggies AND try and satisfy that pizza craving without all the carbs, I experimented with zucchini pizzas last night! It actually turned out really well! We both liked it a lot. With some tweaking, I will make it again.

But first, for the funny little story — I got ready to make dinner and realized I had bought cucumbers instead of zucchinis (are you kidding me?!?!). I went to the store near our house (THEY WERE OUT!!) and had to go to ANOTHER grocery store. Sheesh.

Ok, so back home, I cute the ends off the zucchini, cut them in half, and then scraped the insides out to create “boats”. Next time I would make a little cute on the bottom so they would stay more flat on the tray.

Then I filled the indentations with the pizza sauce, pizza seasoning, cheese, topped it with pepperoni, olives and onions and a little more cheese. I baked it at 375 for about 20 minutes. Michael had a good idea to bake the zucchini naked for some of that time before doing all the toppings and then baking it the rest of the time. I will try that next time.

It was delicious and sort of satisfied the pizza craving, but not the bread craving. I would definitely make this again though!

Happy 2019!

We rang in 2019 at home with a good night’s sleep and got to sleep in! Logan slept in til like 8am!!! Wow! It was nice. My cold from before Christmas turned into a sinus infection but thankfully over the weekend I got antibiotics and they were finally kicking in. Man, I’ve been injured and sick for basically the month of December. I’ve barely worked out. It sucked!

But New Year’s Day we had breakfast and then braved the cold and went to Tryon Creek State Park for a “hike.”

It was cold indeed–34 degrees! We bundled in layers and hats and mittens. It was cold but honestly it wasn’t that miserable. It felt okay out in the woods. And it seemed like everyone else had the same idea. The parking lots were full and people were parking on the road.

We took the trail in from the road through the parking lot to the activity center and the trails. Since we had Bella with us, we didn’t go inside. We just “hiked” on the trails. Logan did a great job! He usually has about 1-1.5 miles in him tops. Which was fine. We spent about 40 minutes walking in the woods exploring the frosty ferns and fallen trees. He did 1.16 miles total.

His favorite part was standing on the stump. And jumping off, of course. Tryon Creek is a super cool park and if you are in the area you should definitely check it out. There are so many different trails and they all connect, so you can make it as long or as short as you want. It’s very family friendly.

Afterward we headed home. Logan had lunch and then went down for a nap. I went to the gym for a short weight lifting session–the first one I’ve done in about 2.5 weeks. It felt good to try. It felt even better to sit in the sauna for 15 minutes afterwards!!

New Year’s Day dinner was black eyed pea stew!

I adapted this recipe from Budget Bytes:

SLOW SIMMERED BLACK EYE PEAS AND GREENS

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. black eyed peas (dry)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 bunch celery
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 12 oz. fresh greens*

Instructions

  1. The night before, place the black eyed peas in a large bowl or container and fill with cool water (there should be at least three times as much water as peas). Allow the peas to soak overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. When you're ready to begin cooking, add the olive oil to a large pot. Dice the onion, mince the garlic, and slice the celery. Add the onion, garlic, and celery to the pot and sauté over medium heat until the onions are transparent.
  3. Drain the soaked peas in a colander and rinse them with cool water. Add the rinsed peas to the pot with the vegetables. Also add the oregano, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, some freshly cracked pepper (about 20 cranks of a pepper mill), bay leaf, and vegetable broth. Stir to combine.
  4. Add a lid to the pot, turn the heat up to high, and bring the pot to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low, and allow it to simmer for 1 hour.
  5. After one hour of simmering, the black eyed peas should be tender. Add the greens to the pot and stir them in until wilted. Smash some of the peas against the side of the pot as you stir to help thicken the liquid.
  6. Turn the heat up to medium to bring the pot back up to a simmer, and allow the peas and greens to simmer for 30 minutes more, without a lid. After simmering for 30 minutes, the greens should be tender and the peas should have broken down further and thickened the liquid even more. Taste the peas and add salt to your liking (I added about 3/4 tsp, but the amount needed will depend on the salt content of your vegetable broth). Serve with crusty bread or over rice.
  7. RECIPE NOTES
  8. *I used bagged pre-chopped mustard greens, but you can use other hearty greens like collard greens or kale. If using greens in a bunch, remove the stems and chop the leaves into 1 to 2-inch pieces.
http://www.110pounds.com/?p=56132

I say “adapted” because New Year’s Day I opened the pantry and realized I was running low on a lot of staples! I did not have vegetable broth. Instead I used 2 cups chicken broth, 2 cups beef broth and 2 cups water. It worked and actually made it very rich and flavorful. I also didn’t have celery–which was no big deal because I mean really…does celery every really add to a recipe??

I used kale instead of collard greens. I used the precut bag of kale, and cut off the stems. I also added diced ham. I prefer to add a meat of some kind to black eye pea stew and the ham was a nice touch.

I added a little bit of shaved parmesan cheese to the top and we had some crusty sourdough bread (store bought, I didn’t have time to make my own–next time!) on the side.

The stew turned out delicious! It was a little bit different than last year’s version! Not sure which one I like better. Happy new year!