Thursday, March 28, 2013

Spicy Turkey Burgers with Bacon

Only 4 more days of the Paleo Challenge!  That went really fast.  Not sure what my end results will be, but it has been fun.  I did eat and drank non-Paleo items on St. Patrick’s Day, but other than that, I stuck with it.  I have tried quite a few new recipes and really loved reading about everything all the other members of the challenge were cooking up in their kitchens.  I retested on a workout I completed at the beginning and I shaved two and a half minutes from my time.  Not too bad!  I also have noticed my sleep quality has been improving.   I need to come up with a new challenge now…. Any ideas?  Maybe a running challenge?

Now, let’s talk about the weather.  I am ready for warm weather.  I know it is not even April yet, but I moved south for a reason, haha.  60 degree days are just not where I need it to be.  70’s is where I like it.  I want to be able to run in the mornings in shorts and a tank top.  I am ready to retire my long sleeves for a little while (you know, for the next 6 months).  My husband and I are going to start planning our garden this weekend (you read that right, it said “plan” not “plant” – 1 step at a time).  The “plan” is to plant tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, peppers, and a variety of herbs.  I will provide photo updates. 

One thing I love about living in Georgia is we use our grill all year long.  But, there are some nights I need to cook inside and turkey burgers are one of those items that turn out well in the frying pan.  This is a very easy recipe and very tasty.  Enjoy!

Spicy Turkey Burgers with Bacon
4 slices bacon
1 lb Lean Ground Turkey
1 can diced green chilies
1 egg
2 TBSP HOT salsa
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
Salt, pepper to taste

  1. In a bowl, mix all ingredients.  If you have time, put the bowl in the fridge for about 10 minutes.  This makes it easier to form and the burgers stay together a little better.
  2. Cook your bacon (any way you would like – stove top, oven, or microwave). 
  3. Get out your frying pan and turn it to medium heat.  Allow the pan to heat up.  Spray it with olive oil. 
  4. Form burger out of your mixture and cook until the center is no longer pink.
  5. Serve burger and crumbled bacon over greens with avocado and salsa.

~ Savannah FitNut aka Morgan McNeal

Monday, March 25, 2013

Goals Update

Figure it is about time to check on the status of my 2013 goals – basically because I made some major headway and feel the need to share.
  1. Read more books – at least 2 per month (whether it is on the Kindle, paperback, hardback, whatever, on whatever topic I choose) – Definitely on this one.  I am reading “Eat to Live” right now.  It is a pretty good book, focuses a lot on eating a vegetarian diet, which I do not do.  It does emphasize the need for nutrients though in everything you eat.
  2. 2 Unassisted Pull-ups (No band assistance) – 1 done!!  Woooohhhhh!! I have it, well, one.  I am not sure it looks pretty, but whateve.  That means I still have 9 months to get another one.  J
  3. Prescribed weights on 90% of CF workouts – About 75% of my workouts have been at prescribed weights lately.  Not too bad.
  4. Cook 90% of meals at home (that equates to a maximum of 2 meals out per week) – Consistently sticking to this.  Participating in the Paleo Challenge helps because I rather stay home and eat so I ensure I know what is in the food I am eating – No hidden sugars, wheat, or other non-Paleo items
  5. Maintain my blog – at least one post per week – Check!  Hopefully, you are enjoying the recipes and updates.

Also, I had my Sunday cooking day.  Here is a picture of the fridge in case you wanted to see it (don't mind the beer - that is my husband's portion of the fridge, haha).  I made creamy chicken casserole, ratatouille, grilled vegetables, chili, sweet potatoes, egg frittatta, and roasted cabbage.  It should be enough to last through the week.

Sun-dried Tomato, Kale, and Mushroom Egg Frittatta
6 Eggs
1 cup Egg Whites
1 package mushrooms
1-2 cups kale
½ pkg sun-dried tomatoes
1 onion
1-2 cloves minced garlic (or just throw a heaping spoonful into the pan)
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Sauté onions and garlic with olive oil in pan for a few minutes.  Throw in the mushrooms.  Then throw in the kale and cook until kale is wilting slightly.
3. Put eggs and egg whites into a bowl and beat eggs until mixed.
4. Grease casserole pan with olive oil.
5. Pour egg mixture into casserole pan followed by veggie mixture.  Line the top with the sun dried tomatoes.
6. Bake until firm- about 35 min.

~ Savannah FitNut aka Morgan McNeal

Friday, March 15, 2013

Cold Soup

I enjoy eating cold soup.  Not sure why and not all the time.  And I am not referring to gazpacho, although in the summer, I can definitely devour a good bowl of gazpacho.  I made red pepper cauliflower soup this weekend, and yesterday, I needed a quick snack.  Decided there was no time for heating it up (even though there was) and ate it cold.  It was delicious.  It is delicious hot too.

Week 2 of the Paleo Challenge and everything is going well.  I made even more new recipes this week.  This weekend though is St. Patty’s Day and Savannah has the 2nd largest celebration, 1st going to Chicago.  I do plan on drinking a bit on Saturday with friends as this will be the 1st year I live downtown and do not have to drive anywhere. 

It is also Week 2 of the CrossFit Games.  I did not really know what the CrossFit games were prior to about three weeks ago.  Basically, CrossFit publishes a different workout each week from March 6 – April 7.  People from the entire world compete for a chance to attend Regionals and ultimately “The Games” in July.  I signed up.  Not because I think I am the fittest woman on the planet and plan on attending the games as a competitor, but because it is fun to challenge yourself in new workouts.  You are not allowed to scale the workouts for the games and the 1st workout which involved Overhead snatches forced me into attempting to lift a weight I did not think I could.  One person compared it to signing up for a 5K.  Most people sign up for a 5K not expecting to win, but expecting to hit a new time goal or just push themselves a little harder or a little faster than normal.  I am having fun!

And going back to cold soup, this is another item you can eat hot or cold – red pepper avocado dressing.  I made this sauce/dressing last night and had it with a steak salad.  It was delicious and very versatile.  It can be a topping for steak, chicken, fish or on top a vegetable salad.  I even paired it with eggs the next day.  The recipe is from  I love her website!

Red Pepper Avocado Dressing
1 Ripe Avocado
½ jar Roasted Red Peppers (drained if you want more of a thick sauce, not drained if you want a salad dressing consistency)
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Place all ingredients in a food processor. Blend. Place in bowl to refrigerate.  Done!

~ Savannah FitNut aka Morgan McNeal

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Mashed Cauliflower

I always stress to anyone looking to change their diet that planning is a very important piece of the puzzle.  I have been a little lax on the whole planning piece recently, but this week I decided to be a good little planner.  On Saturday before going to the grocery store, I checked out a few recipe blogs, and my binder full of recipes.  From that, I chose the dinners I was going to make for the week.  Wrote them down and published them to my husband, haha.  He likes to know what to expect for dinner.  It did not take very long to do the planning and ensured I had all the ingredients needed for my Sunday Cookathon.  I know everyone hates having to run to the grocery store because you forgot a key ingredient.  It was also 50 degrees in Savannah on Sunday, and I was not going outside!  Brrrrrrr!

I spent $165.21 on groceries for the week.  The amount of food I bought is enough to feed my husband and me for a week for all meals and snacks.  If I break it down and assume 3 meals per day, it equates to $3.93 per person per meal.  Could I spend less?  Yes.  However, I buy grass-fed meats, wild-caught fish, and some organic fruits and vegetables.  It is money I am willing to spend.

Cauliflower was on sale for $2.00 per head this week.  It was not organic (it is not on the dirty dozen list).  I bought 4 heads.  I steamed two heads to have to take to work for lunch.  I also used one head to make mashed cauliflower.  I absolutely love mashed cauliflower.  It is easy to make, tastes delicious, and is a side that goes with a lot of main dishes.  I have used frozen cauliflower to make it before, but I have found the dish is much creamier when I use fresh cauliflower.  We had it alongside turkey burgers and it was a great meal!

Mashed Cauliflower

1 Head of Cauliflower
1 heaping spoonful of minced garlic
1 cup Coconut milk
1 TBSP coconut oil or EVOO
1 TBSP Italian Seasoning
Salt, Pepper to taste

  1. Cook the cauliflower.  Steam it; microwave it, whatever you want to do.
  2. While the cauliflower is cooking, add garlic, coconut milk, oil, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper to a bowl.  Heat in microwave for about 1 min.
  3. When the cauliflower is done, throw it in the food processor along with the rest of the heated ingredients.
  4. Let the food processor mix it all up and voila!  Mashed Cauliflower.

Note: This does not taste like mashed potatoes.  It tastes like cauliflower, but believe me, it is delicious!

~ Savannah FitNut aka Morgan McNeal

Monday, March 4, 2013

Old Ladies at the Grocery Store

Crab Stuffed Portabella with Asparagus

I am not sure if this is a Georgia thing or what, but does anyone else have random old ladies rummage through your cart and comment on the items you are buying.  This has happened to me numerous times in the past few months.  I am not knocking on the old ladies of GA, but recently, this has been my experience.  Last weekend, I was waiting to buy fish at the counter and an older woman stops at my cart and comments “Wow, you eat very healthy.”  I told her “I try,” as she began leafing through my cart to see what other items I was about to purchase.  As she laid her eyes upon the huge bag of baby spinach, we went into a 10 minute conversation on whether or not she should put spinach in her smoothies.  I tried to convince her she would not taste it at all.  She then began to give me various recipes of smoothies and ask if she could add spinach to those.  “Blueberries, milk, and spinach?”  Yes!  “Strawberries, almond milk, and spinach?” Yes!  “Bananas, peanut butter, coconut milk, and spinach?”  Yes, yes, yes!  She wanted to know if her smoothies would turn green.  I told her in some cases, depending on the amount of spinach she put in it.  After the spinach talk, we then turned to kale.  I am pretty sure I convinced her to eat more kale.  J 

In my previous post, I mentioned my Gym’s paleo challenge starting March 1st.  It is in full swing now and I am three days into it.  All is well, no cheats yet.  I spent about two hours yesterday making food for the week.  I roasted vegetables, grilled chicken, dehydrated sweet potatoes to make chips, and made egg muffins.  All in all, not too much time to have most meals prepared for the week.

The recipe I wanted to share this week is a really easy one.  Might want to use it for a special occasion, because you want to buy the real crab meat and it is a little expensive.

Crab Stuffed Portabella
1 cup crab meat (please do not buy imitation)
2 Portabella Mushrooms
½ small onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
2 tsp minced garlic
Salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste

Preheat the oven to Broil.
Remove the stems and gills from the mushrooms so you have room to stuff them.
While the oven is heating up, heat up the olive oil in a pan on medium heat.  When the oil has heated, add the garlic, onions, and peppers.  Allow them to caramelize, this can take 10 minutes.  After this has caramelized, add the crab meat and the rest of the ingredients (not the mushrooms) into the pan and mix it all together.
On a greased cookie sheet, brush the mushrooms with EVOO and place in the oven for 5-7 minutes.  That will flatten out and get smaller.
Remove the mushrooms from the oven and place the crab meat mixture on top.  Broil for another 5-7 minutes.

~ Savannah FitNut aka Morgan McNeal