Category Archives: domesticated
Sunrise and sunset in the country is something else. The golden hour lighting hits the barns and fields and ponds so perfectly, that I don’t think it will ever get old. This morning, my running buddy and I ran 8 miles around a golf course during a pink and purple sunrise. Waking up at 5am is rough BUT we got to see swans in the lake, ponies, and quail. It really beats the clunky treadmill with a view of myself in the mirror that I am used to.
Adjusting to life here is starting to get easier. For a few weeks, there was so many random errands and appointments and events. I really started to miss routine. When I had granola bars and trail mix for dinner multiple times a week, I started to crave simple nights with a home-cooked meal. Which is exactly what I did on Monday. But then I was back to the crazy jam-packed schedule the rest of the week and it’s taken me four days to finish this blog post.
Hence, why I’m bringing you a new clean recipe today!
It has a ton of flavor from seasonings, but it’s also made with clean whole ingredients.
This recipe is fairly quick to throw together, especially if you have a dad who knows how raw chicken repulses you and volunteers to prep the protein while you chop the veggies ;)
I tried out a tri-color quinoa from my friends at BetterBody Foods which makes the dish extra beautiful.
Quinoa Chicken Veggie Bake (<– real creative title, no?)
- 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1″ cubes
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 heads of broccoli, chopped
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- 1 cup baby carrots, chopped
- 1 cup low-fat shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- black pepper
- Mrs. Dash no-sodium seasoning
- optional: chicken broth to cook the quinoa in
(Everything is better with cheeeeeese.)
1.) In a non-stick skillet, cook the chicken over medium heat until they are cooked through.
2.) Add the broccoli, onion, carrot, garlic, and seasonings to the skillet. Heat on low for 10 minutes.
3.) Cook the quinoa in a separate saucepan; bring 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups of water or chicken broth to a boil. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
4.) Remove both pans from the stove top and combine in a baking dish. Stir in cheddar cheese.
5.) Bake for 25 minutes at 375 degrees. **Optional: add panko bread crumbs and additional cheese for a crispy topping**
It felt good to get some nutritious whole ingredients back on my dinner plate!
Then the next night I totally cancelled it out with some zinfandel and flatbread….A couple girls that I’ve met in Idaho got together for “Wine Down Wednesday.”
When we sat down at an outdoor sushi bar for happy hour, the bartender informed us that it was half-off bottles of wine. Since we like the sweeter fruity wines, we went with white zinfandel. I love the color :)
We ended up hanging out at the restaurant for 3 hours, eventually ordering sushi and flatbreads. Then we saw the movie Bad Moms…oh my gosh. I wouldn’t quite put it on the same level as Bridesmaids but it was pretty hysterical and Kristin Bell is too much. It’s especially fun to watch after a couple glasses of wine in a theater full of giggly girls.
The late night out made the next morning’s run a little more difficult. I decided that my plan to do sprint intervals was overly optimistic and I hung out on the treadmill while watching the news instead. I still got in a solid 6 miles before I ran to Wal Mart – I was “snack lady” for my office meeting that day. (It still kills me to go to Wal Mart. I am a Target girl through-and-through and this is the first time I’ve ever lived more than 2 miles from a Target.) Any other day, I would’ve found a cutesy Pinterest crafty recipe. You know I’m busy when I have to resort to a store-bought bag of trail mix.
And that about catches us up. :) Let me know if you try the recipe!
Almost a year ago to the day, I took one of the best vacations of my life so far (what I justified as a “graduation present” to myself). As a country-lovin’ girl with a fascination for small town charm, rural areas, east coast beaches and southern accents, I excitedly planned a roadtrip through North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. I still think about that trip at least once a week.
I’m bringing it up again because my mom and I finally started to save all of our pictures from the trip and put them into a scrapbook. We had started our day with a sprints/HIIT workout during sunrise, and after work I had a strength training/plyometrics workout with our trainer for Boise Elite Running. Suffice it to say, I earned my glass of Riesling, which I think heightened my sense of nostalgia over this trip. I may have ended the night by creating a new Pinterest board planning my next southern road-trip (now to decide: autumn or spring?!).
My mom and I planned a girls night to make dinner together, rent a redbox movie, and hang out together. The low-key girls night without workouts, errands, or social stuff was so refreshing since most nights here have been go-go-go. When the sun is out til 10pm, it’s hard to stay home. But then it makes the rare nights with movies and pajamas so much more appreciated! :)
We knew we wanted a healthy dinner so that we could splurge. The most difficult decision: wine or ice cream?!
One of my all-time favorite meals is roasted root vegetables, no matter what time of year. Chopping up the butternut squash is so time-consuming (and slightly dangerous for my fingers) but so worth it. The rest is just chopping up sweet potatoes, zucchini, carrots, onions, apples, brussels sprouts and whatever else you want to throw on the pan. We mix the veggies with a little bit of olive oil and some marjoram spice, garlic and pepper. Roasted at 425 degrees for 50-ish minutes and they come out so warm, caramelized and flavorful. My mouth is watering!
Have you seen Hello, My Name is Doris? We LOVE Sally Field, especially from the old show Brothers & Sisters. This wasn’t my favorite movie but it was still cute. Some parts were so awkward that it was painful to watch, where you just cringe for the main character. I’d give it a 6.5 out of 10 stars, so we had to add an episode of Friends before we went to bed to end the night on a funny note. :)
Nothing super special about our leisure girls night in but sometimes it’s just what you need. Especially when we’re balancing out such adventurous weekends…..cliff jumping and paddle-boarding are on the agenda for the upcoming weekends. We are living more in Idaho than we did in 20 years in California!
Tomorrow morning, I’ll be meeting a friend I made through the running club in a nearby town for a trail run before work. I love driving when it’s so quiet out and running through the sunrise. The first five minutes after the early alarm clock goes off are the worst but thankfully a pot of coffee is waiting for me. And the feeling after a good run through nature is indescribable; you just have to experience it for yourself.
Hope you have some fun plans this weekend & I’ll catch ya back here Monday!
The name of this healthy recipe requires a little explanation.
My dad has a talent for taking random ingredients in the kitchen and throwing them together for an amazing dinner. He’s not really a recipe-follower. Before he married my mom, he had the stereotypical bachelor pad and one of his easy dinner go-to’s became dubbed the “Bachelor Stir Fry.”
Basically he would take leftover ingredients or random vegetables in the fridge (bell peppers, onions, etc.), dice up some russet potatoes, and mix in some type of meat and cook them all together in a frying pan. Sometimes he included eggs, making a breakfast hash. There is no real recipe, nothing specific, so every time came out a little differently.
Last night I cooked dinner for my dad and I, and came up with my own variation of his classic dish. A few healthy swaps here and there, and BAM – we have Bachelorette stir Fry.
My obsession with sweet potatoes has only grown stronger in the past five years, so I swapped out the russet potatoes for some orange yams. I also included Sprout’s Apple Chicken Sausage, along with yellow zucchinis, yellow and red bell peppers, onion, garlic, spices and my personal secret ingredient ;)
Okay okay I’ll share my secret – I added maple syrup! Just a table spoon so it didn’t overpower anything. I could subtly taste it on the sweet potatoes and it was delicious. This recipe is a lot sweeter than my dad’s usual mix, but I personally loved it and everyone went back for seconds. That always makes a girl feel good! :)
We topped our bowl with some avocado since it was lacking any green color. We could’ve also easily swapped in a green zucchini or a green bell pepper. Dishes like this are very flexible.
Bachelorette Stir Fry (Sweet Potato Hash)
- 1.5 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 sweet onion
- 2 bell peppers, your choice of color
- 2 zucchinis
- 2 6oz. chicken sausage (I used French Apple Chicken from Sprouts)
- 2 medium yams
- 1 Tbs. black pepper
- 1 heaping tablespoon minced garlic
- generous pinch of salt
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1 Tbs. maple syrup (try to use the real stuff, not Aunt Jemimah.)
- Optional avocado for garnish
- In a small skillet, cook the chicken sausages until browned. Let cool, then slice into 1/2″ thick circles. Set aside.
- Dice onion, bell peppers and zucchinis. Peel sweet potatoes and dice.
- In a large frying pan, heat olive oil. Add garlic for 30 seconds. Add in diced onion, bell pepper, zucchini and sweet potatoes. Stir to combine. Add in pepper, salt, and paprika. Cover with a lid on medium-low for 15 minutes until everything is very soft.
- Add in the chicken sausage and maple syrup. Stir to combine. Keep heat on low for another 5 minutes.
- Serve with avocado, ketchup, hot sauce, or whatever your favorite topping is. :)
Earlier this week, I re-joined the world of snapchat. (@kenzalyse) I thought it would be a fun way to share my relocation journey without bombarding Instagram and I felt like I was missing out on some of my friends’ fun stories :) so far the filters are my favorite part.
This morning I have a meeting with a realtor, a cycling class, and an iced coffee date. See you here next week! Xoxo.