Camping fun and food

Hello, my friends!  I am back from a lovely camping trip to Lake Wallenpaupack, PA with 8 other people.  We had such a blast!!

This was my standard look the entire time:

…kicking back by the lake, beer in hand, cowboy hat on head 😉

We spent lots of time fishing:

…playing silly games:

…..and EATING!!

I swear, I’ve never had so much food in so few days in my life.  I thought it might be fun to share our menus with you, in case you’re planning on camping anytime soon (and I’ve linked to similar recipes that I found online).

All the food was very tasty!  We were lucky, because we had electricity on the campsite (so we could use our crock pot and Keurig coffee maker), and we also had a small propane grill in addition to the fire.  Most of our meals were made using both the grill / griddle and campfire.

Day One:

Day Two:

Day Three:

  • BreakfastPancakes cooked on the griddle and breakfast sausage
  • Lunch – Hot dogs cooked on the fire (standard!).  I don’t eat hot dogs, so I had about 47,000 chips and 26 Woodchuck ciders instead 😉
  • Dinner – Shrimp and veggie kabobs, marinated in teriyaki sauce; along with corn on the cob that we cooked in their husks on the campfire
  • Dessert – More S’mores!!

Day Four:

  • Breakfast – Breakfast casserole made in the crockpot
  • Then we came home and I’ve been chugging water ever since trying to get rid of my food baby / sodium bloat.  Lovely 😉

Do you enjoy camping?  What are your favorite camping recipes?

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Yummy weekend eats

Hey friends!  My sweetheart and I have been doing a lot of relaxing and eating this weekend 🙂

On Friday night, I was in the mood to do some cooking, so I whipped up a few of my favorites for dinner:

Crab cakes topped with garlic aioli, roasted asparagus, and corn salad.

I love making crab cakes!  I like them the REAL way, with very little filler and lots of good crabmeat 🙂  I vary the recipe each time, and I never measure anything, but here’s my best approximation of Friday night’s recipe for you:

Crab Cakes

Ingredients:

  • 2 8oz. containers of lump crab meat (1 lb. total)
  • 2 TB reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cayenne pepper
  • olive oil

Instructions:

  • In a large bowl, mix the beaten egg, mayonnaise, dijon mustard, and scallions
  • Gently fold in the crab meat and breadcrumbs
  • Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper
  • Mold into 5 patties (you may have to add a little more breadcrumbs to help hold it together)
  • Place on a plate and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes and up to 2 hours to the crab cakes set
  • Heat a skillet over medium-high heat with a drizzle of olive oil
  • Add the crab cakes and brown for about 3 minutes on each side
  • Enjoy! 🙂

Makes 5 – 6 servings
Calories per serving:  138
Protein:  18 grams
Carbs:  5 grams
Fat:  4 grams

p.s. The corn salad pictured above is TO DIE for!  Get the recipe here!  (I added one chopped up jalepeno for a little extra heat, which was delicious).

I also made a big batch of gazpacho to enjoy for my lunch next week:

Again, this is another recipe that I’ve made a few times over the years, so the ingredients change each time I make it.  But here’s what’s in this batch:

Spicy Gazpacho

Ingredients:

  • Approximately 1/2 a bottle of Spicy V8 juice (I use the low sodium version)
  • 1/2 of a large red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed (again, I use the low sodium version)
  • 1 can of petite-diced tomatoes with jalepenos
  • 2 zucchinis, chopped
  •  1/2 a bag of frozen corn
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • drizzle of good olive oil (approximately 2 tablespoons)
  • drizzle of red wine vinegar (approximately 2 tablespoons)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • cayenne pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  • Dump everything in a big bowl
  • Refrigerate overnight so the flavors have a chance to develop
  • Devour 🙂

Makes 6 servings
Calories per serving:  162
Protein:  7 grams
Carbs:  27 grams
Fat:  5 grams

Let me know if you try either of these recipes!  What did you cook this weekend?

Sushi night at home!

On our vacation, we took a sushi class, which inspired us to try our hand at making sushi at home last night.  My SIL and her boyfriend stopped by and Trever and I attempted to make made a few rolls for them.

We’ve actually had this kit forever, so it was high time to put it to good use:

Yes ladies, I promise he does occasionally shave 😉

My hubby bought all of our sushi ingredients at Assi, our local Asian grocery store.

Nori, sushi rice, wasabi, pickled ginger, rice vinegar, and cream cheese

Sashimi-grade tuna and salmon

Ground tuna, imitation crab, and shrimp (still frozen in this pic)

First, we made the rice.  Trever has an awesome app on his iPad that walks you step by step how to make different sushi components – I thought the rice tutorial was very helpful!  I would have preferred brown rice, but thought I should stick with traditional sushi rice for this experiment.

Then we started rolling away!

It was fun to experiment with different combinations of ingredients.  Some turned out pretty good:

Others, not so much 😉

 What is this??  LOL!

This turned out to be a fun night at home.  We like to always try different things when it comes to food.

Have you ever attempted to make your own sushi rolls?  Any tips you can give us for next time??  What’s the craziest food you’ve ever made at home?

Hope you’re having a great weekend 🙂

Meal planning made easy

Good morning!  Hope your week is fabulous so far 🙂

I’ve had a couple of questions about meal planning and how I eat.  I like to create a meal plan every week, and have posted mine on this page if you’re interested in seeing them (and if you can read my chicken scratch handwriting).  The print-outs are courtesy of Artsy Fartsy Mama (aren’t they cute and isn’t that the cutest name for a blog?).

So – here’s how I plan my meals:

1.  Survey your fridge and pantry:

Each week, I take a look at what I have in my fridge.  This week, we just returned from vacation and our fridge was totally empty with the exception of some mustard and hot sauce, haha!  However, we have a ton of stuff in our freezer that I want to eat before buying a lot of new groceries.  In our freezer, we have turkey burgers, frozen shrimp, and some steaks and salmon.  (We tend to buy a lot of our meats from Costco, then portion them and freeze them.)

2.  Start with planning your dinners and lunches first:

I always plan our dinners first, then I usually like to make enough dinner each night to have leftovers for the next day for lunch.  I won’t eat leftovers for more than one day, so I don’t like to make huge meals and eat them all week – some people do, though!

Our dinners are usually pretty simple – a protein and a veggie.  Because it’s finally summer, we are using our grill more and more!  So this week, dinners look like this:

Sunday – Bunless turkey burgers on the grill with quinoa salad (recipe to come soon!)
Monday – Cedar plank salmon with veggies on the grill
Tuesday – Bunless turkey burgers with grilled asparagus
Wednesday – Baked shrimp and tomatoes with feta cheese
Thursday – Steak on the grill and salad with homemade balsamic dressing
Friday – TREAT MEAL!!
Saturday – Will probably eat dinner out

Trever and I avoid eating starches with our dinner, so I’ll make a big batch of something like quinoa or brown rice and eat that with my lunches during the week.

3.  Next, plan your breakfasts:

Right now, I’m eating the same breakfast over and over:  egg whites with broccoli and steelcut oatmeal with berries.  I’m sure I’ll get sick of it eventually, but it makes my breakfast meal planning pretty easy 🙂  When I’m not stuck in the pattern of eating the same thing every day, I like to plan a few breakfast meals and rotate them.  For example, I might have the following for breakfast on any given day:

– Egg whites scrambled with spinach and feta cheese and a slice of Ezekiel toast
– Steelcut oatmeal with a 1/2 scoop of protein powder mixed in and some mixed berries
– A whole wheat wrap with a banana, almond butter, and sprinkled with cinnamon
– A protein smoothie made with a 1/2 of a frozen banana, frozen berries, unsweetened almond milk, protein powder, and ground flax seeds

4.  Plan your snacks:

I eat 5 – 6 small meals per day.  I am currently using Isagenix products as a supplement for my 2nd and 4th meal, so I simply have an Isagenix shake for each of those meals.  Here are some other ideas for snacks:

– An apple and a handful of raw almonds
– Cucumber and tomato salad drizzled with balsamic and olive oil
– Steamed edamame sprinkled with salt
– Greek yogurt with mixed berries and a small handful of granola
– A couple of slices of low-sodium turkey and a piece of string cheese rolled up together
– Your favorite raw veggies dipped in hummus

At night, if I’m still hungry after dinner, I’ll have a little bit of cottage cheese sprinkled with cinnamon and Truvia or with a spoonful of sugar-free jam.  Cottage cheese contains casein, a slow-digesting protein, which helps with growing muscles while you sleep 😉  This is an optional meal that I only have if I am still hungry.

5.  Plan your treats!

This is so important!  My goal is to eat “clean” about 90% of the time.  When you do the math, that means that out of all the meals I have in a week, 3 of them can be “treats.”  This gives so much flexibility!

If I know I have something planned during the week – like dinner with a girlfriend, or a happy hour at work – I’ll plan my meals to include those as my “treat meals.”  I don’t go super crazy with treat meals, but I’ll eat what I want and have a glass or two of wine and not make a big deal about it!

6.  Stick to your plan!

Make up your grocery list according to what’s on your meal plan for the week, and only buy what’s on the list.  This will keep you from buying food that may go to waste or buying a bunch of junk that you don’t want in your kitchen anyway 😉

And try to stick to your meal plan during the week – but have flexibility as well!  If your plans change and you have an unplanned meal or if you slip up and eat an unplanned treat meal, it’s ok…no biggie!  Just get back on your plan and move on!

 

I hope this post has been helpful!  Thank you so much for your questions, comments, and input on the types of things you’d like to see on this blog – keep the feedback coming!!  xoxo