Friday, October 14, 2011

Sweet potatoes, turnips & Grandma

I LOVE SWEET POTATOES! I always have. As a young girl, it made me very sad that we only ate sweet potatoes twice a year, Thanksgiving & Christmas. I always thought they were so yummy they deserved to be eaten more than twice a year. Luckily, my Grandma Allison loved them, too. She was such a great cook. I would sit on her kitchen counter & watch her cook. That is where I ate my first sweet potatoes without brown sugar and marshmallows. Grandma sliced those sweet potatoes & fried them in a skillet! I sat there drooling. As she pulled them out of the hot oil to cool off, I could not wait, I was eating them & they were burning my mouth, but it was one the best things I had ever tasted.

For several years, I have baked sweet potatoes and put butter & cinnamon on them. But the last couple of years, I have seen all the chefs on Food Network roasting sweet potatoes (along with lots of other yummy veggies). So now my favorite way to eat them is to slice them in circles, place on foil lined cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt & pepper and roast in 375 degree oven for about 45 minutes. After about 20 minutes, turn them over. Absolute YUMMINESS!!! I actually like to use the same technique for almost all veggies. Kevin's favorite combination is potatoes, zuchini, yellow squash & onions.

Last night I roasted turnips & sweet potatoes together. YUMMY!! If you have never roasted your veggies before, give it a try. It makes all veggies taste better. I just wish Grandma was here to eat my roasted turnips & sweet potatoes. I know that she would have loved them, too. She passed away my senior year of high school and I still miss her terribly. She lived down the street from us & I would walk to her house everyday after school. She raised 5 boys, I have 2. She loved her boys fiercely, just as I do mine. There are so many things I want to tell her & share with her.

Fall is here. The weather is fantastic. Roast yourself some sweet potatoes. Hug your loved ones. And make great memories.


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Healthy spagetti & meatballs....AND 37 pds gone

Happy October 1st! We are getting into my favorite time of year. Cool, crisp mornings & evenings and comfortable afternoons. I wish it could be Fall all year long.

Drum roll..... I have now officially lost 37 pounds! Praise God! I could not be doing any of this without His help. My pain is decreasing. I am moving more freely than I have in years. And I am just feeling better & stronger than I have felt in years. My feet still hurt, but at least it is tolerable & I don't cry myself to sleep every night because I'm in so much pain. Now that I'm moving better & the weather is so beautiful, I am going to try to start walking on my lunch hour. My hiney & legs are shrinking rapidly, but my belly is still not shrinking like I want. Hopefully once I start walking on a regular basis the belly will shrink also & now I need to tone up my hiney & legs.

Tiffany LOVES pasta. Any kind of pasta. Last weekend I made healthy spagetti & meatballs. On Saturday, I made a batch of meatballs. I used organic 90% lean ground beef to which I added a thawed box of frozen spinach, bread crumbs (I had been taking left over bread & putting in ziploc bag in freezer. I took 3 pieces of whole grain bread & 2 croissants & soaked them in milk then tore them up into the beef mixture), garlic salt, paprika, basil, oregano, parsley, 2 eggs, 2/3 cup oats & a cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese. Mixed that up together real good with my hands, made into balls, placed on foil lined cookie sheet & baked at 375 for about 50 minutes. After meatballs cooled, I put in ziploc bag & placed in refrigerator.

Sunday morning I put the meatballs in a crockpot. Poured 2 jars of Ragu spagetti sauce over them, then added a small can of tomato paste, a few tablespoons of minced garlic, basil, parsley & oregano & a little water. Turned the crockpot on low & went to church. After church, all I had to do was cook the organic whole grain spagetti. Everyone ate it up! Tiffany loved it. I wasn't going to tell the guys that I put spinach in the meatballs, but Tiffany noticed. But by that time, the guys were already hooked. Kevin & Cole don't even care for spagetti that much, but they loved it & said they definitely want me to keep making it. Who ever said that healthy food doesn't taste good is WRONG.

I hope you all have a wonderful Fall day and always remember that God is good and faithful... ALL the time.