Paleo-Friendly Moroccan Chicken Kebobs

John and I had fallen into a rut. We were eating out way more than we should have. My body was angry, his tummy was off. It was time for a change. So I approached John about it. I asked him if he would have any interest in doing a bit of a Paleo challenge for the month of July. For me, it’s a returning to the way I had been eating but for John it’s a major change. Cutting back on eating out and amping up our cooking home will be the biggest change for him. The other big change is the reduction of carbs like rice and bread. We’ve discussed though and we’ll allow some cheats here and there namely because we have weddings coming up (3 in July alone!) but also because John is Asian and can’t do without the rice for long periods of time. It’s apparently become part of him and taking it away will turn him into a crazed monster man. 

Anywho, yesterday was the first day of our grand Paleo adventure. In addition to going on a 12-mile bike ride with some friends, we made a really nice dinner. With the summer in full-swing, the grill is a necessary cooking implement. I’m always trying out new things to cook on it. Kebobs are one of those easy go-to grilling meals but I find that too often it’s just slapping meat and veg on a stick and throwing it on the grill – no real flavor or invention. These bad boys are definitely not lacking in the flavor department. So, if you’re looking for something relatively easy and full of flavor, check them out.

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Paleo-Friendly Moroccan Chicken Kebobs

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Paleo-Friendly Moroccan Chicken Kebobs

Recipe adapted from: 100 Delicious Paleo Diet Recipes by Kelly Deane

Ingredients:

  • 2 large chicken breasts, diced
  • 2 bell peppers, any color (I used 1 yellow and 1 green), chopped
  • 1 large grape tomato per skewer
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 4 or 5 large baby bellas, steams removed and quartered
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 1/3 c water
  • 12 skewer sticks

Directions

  1. Create marinade by whisking together all spices, lemon juice, oil, and water.
  2. Place all remaining ingredients (chicken and veggies) in a large mixing bowl. Pour marinade over top and stir together.
  3. Cover and place in fridge for several hours.
  4. Soak wooden skewer sticks for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Pre-heat grill.
  6. Load up each of your skewers with equal amounts of each of your ingredients. 
  7. Evenly space on grill and cook for 10-15 turning occasionally. Brush with remaining marinade after each flip

Makes 4 servings of 3 kebobs each.

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Overnight Oats Two Ways

If you’ve ever been on pinterest for more than a few minutes, you’ve probably seen at least one of the dozens of overnight oats recipes that are so gosh darn popular there. They all sound super tasty and the pictures make them look really fantastic. Needless to say, seeing them over and over again made me super curious. When I finally got around to trying my hand at overnight oats, I found that none of the 4 or 5 recipes I looked at had all the elements I wanted and some of them required ingredients I either can’t eat (mangos, gluten, etc) or I didn’t have on hand. So I combined elements from each and made up my own.

For me, the main ingredients included Quaker quick oats and coconut milk. I know that many of the recipes require soy or almond milk and greek yogurt, but I don’t drink soy milk and I had neither greek yogurt or almond milk on hand. Thankfully, coconut milk has a thicker consistency than it’s other non-dairy friends, so it worked out nicely. The recipes also want you to use rolled oats, but quick oats is what I had and they worked beautifully so I see no problem.

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The main ingredients to both of my recipes.

The first night, I assembled my main ingredients and went looking for fruits and the like. Several of the recipes I came across had bananas and blueberries in them. I knew I had both on hand, so that’s what I went with for my first night. The second night, I wanted to try something a little funkier and maybe add some chocolate to the mix. I knew I had a bag of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips on hand and was sure to put them to good use.

Dark Chocolate Blueberry Quick Oats

Dark Chocolate Blueberry Quick Oats

So, without further ado…

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Blueberry Banana Nut Overnight Oats

Ingredients:

  • 1c Quaker Quick Oats
  • 1c Coconut Milk, Original
  • 1 very ripe banana (read: browning), sliced
  • 1/3c blueberries
  • 1/3c chopped walnuts
  • ground cinnamon to taste (I used about a half teaspoon)

Directions:

  1. Add blueberries and sliced banana to a small mixing bowl. Smash together with wooden sppon.
  2. Add oats and coconut milk. Stir well.
  3. Sprinkle with cinnamon and stir well.
  4. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Makes 2 to 3 servings.

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Dark Chocolate Blueberry Overnight Oats

Ingredients:

  • 1c Quaker Quick Oats
  • 1c Coconut Milk, Original
  • 1/3c blueberries (heaping or rounded , not leveled off)
  • 1/3c Toll House Mini Semi-Sweet Morsels

Directions:

  1. Add blueberries to small mixing bowl and smash with wooden spoon.
  2. Add oats and coconut milk. Stir well.
  3. Add in chocolate chips. Stir well.
  4. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Makes 2 to 3 servings.

It’s worth noting that, because they are sitting in the mixture overnight, the chocolate chips will lighten in color. Don’t let this worry you. It’s what naturally happens.

Days 10 to 16: I suck at this kind of thing

There’s no getting around it, I really and truly suck at posting on a consistent basis. Yes, I even suck at it when I’m doing a challenge type thingy. It’s funny because back in high school and college (the hay-days of livejournal and the like), I posted a ton. I was posting multiple times a day at times. But now, I can’t seem to post even every other day consistently. Ah well.

Day 10 we shared our happiest memories. While, strictly speaking, my photo was not of my happiest memory, it comes pretty close. It was taken the day I found out, officially, that I had passed my NCLEX and was a licensed nurse.

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Day 10: Happiest Memory.

Day 11 we shared a moonlight photo. I chose to share a photo I had taken under cover of the night sky, but it’s definitely not the moon. This photo shows what happens when you drink and drive. The driver first hit a parked car on her side of the road and then crossed to the opposite side, came up over the curb, across the sidewalk, through the front yard, and then smacked into the tree in my neighbor’s yard. Needless to say, she was taken away in handcuffs. Moral of the story? Don’t drink and drive folks.

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Day 11: Moonlight.

On Day 12, birds were on the agenda. It was a day I worked and was stuck inside all day. When I got home, it was raining and all the birds were hiding. So, I grabbed Katniss’s duck toy and snapped a photo of that instead. If it works…

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Day 12: Birds.

Day 13 was a day to share a photo of our mother’s. Yes, it was a day late as Mother’s Day was the 12th, but better late than never, I suppose. This is my mom and I when I was still a very small fry. Apparently, I used to love running around the house naked.

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Day 13: Your Mom.

Day 14 was flag day. Despite my efforts, there were no flags to be seen anywhere I went. I wound up sharing a photo with a banner in it. Banners are kinda like flags, right?

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Day 14: Flag.

Yesterday, Day 15, we shared a photo of family. I snapped this picture that evening and thought it very well summed up my current little family.

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Day 15: Family.

And that brings us to today, Day 16. Our photo mission of the day was to capture something beautiful. There is beauty pretty much everywhere you look, but when Sadie plopped down on the chair next to me as I prepared to take my photo and chirped at me, I knew she wanted to be today’s subject.

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Day 16: Beautiful.

Having worked a lot, and at a crazy variety of hours, over the weekend left me really rather exhausted. It took from getting off Monday evening until yesterday evening before I felt human enough to do any physical activity again. John and I attempted to do the Ride of Silence, but he got a flat very early in. We had to walk our bikes back down the road at a pretty quick pace in order to get to the bike shop before it closed. So, all told, we got in about 10.2 miles in roughly 50 minutes on our bikes and another 1.6 miles in 24 minutes on foot. Not too shabby.

My bike is Sexy. Columbus is Pretty. (Day 9)

Tonight, John and I decided to take a bike ride. After the ride Saturday had my crotch down to my toes going numb, I knew I had to buy a new bike saddle. I’ve had the old one since I bought the bike – it was the one that came with it, after all. But I’m down 20 to 30 pounds since then and that makes a huge difference, it would appear. So, Sunday I bought the new saddle and finally got around to testing it out tonight. MUCH better. Thank goodness.

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Columbus is a really pretty city with lots of interesting architecture and rivers running through it. Makes it very photogenic. And yes, my bike is sexy.

We stopped at one of the newer parks and watched some kids playing in the fountains. Talk about heart-lifting. Hearing them giggle and splash and squeal was better than any antidepressant I’ve tried so far.

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And finally, I can’t forget to share my photo from the challenge.

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Day 9: Work.

Yes, I’m a nurse. Yes, I work for Goodwill Columbus. Yes, they do so much more than just thrift stores. I’ll post more on that later.

Day 8

I find some of these daily challenges more interesting than others. Some leave room for interpretation. While I guess you could interpret “No Socks” in different ways, the only way I’m seeing is the way I chose to take it. Feet. Lots and lots of feet.

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Day 8: No Socks = Lots and lots of feet.

We were going to try and get out on a bike ride or walk tonight, but we found it raining again. Le sigh. So, instead, I walked back and forth around my house for 50 minutes. Not particularly exciting, but at least I got some movement in.

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Bonus Photo of Katniss

Days 6 and 7

No excuse for missing yesterday. I was just being incredibly lazy. For instance, the only exercise I did yesterday was in the form of the 30-day squat challenge (day 3) and the ab challenge. All told, 15 minutes. I was just totally wiped from lack of sleep, working, and long bike ride over the weekend. These things happen though.

So, here’s Day 6:

Day 6: Nature. This is what the sky looked like on Monday. It was rainy and cloudy all day.

Day 6: Nature. This is what the sky looked like on Monday. It was rainy and cloudy all day.

And here’s today, Day 7:

Day 7: Love. Because, really, a cuddly pile of lovey kitties is about as close to pure love as you're gonna get.

Day 7: Love. Because, really, a cuddly pile of lovey kitties is about as close to pure love as you’re gonna get.

And, as a bonus, here is what I did for my exercise today:

Total Garden Makeover!

Total Garden Makeover!

Days 4 and 5

I was on the Market to Market bike ride yesterday. It’s a lovely ride here in Columbus that runs from The North Market, in the Brewery District, to The Hills Market, north of 270. If you know anything about Columbus, you know that’s a fairly decent distance. All told, we rode 27.2 miles yesterday. Wasn’t a bad ride since the weather was perfect.

Anywho, because of that, I missed Day 4 of the photo challenge. So, here it is now:

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Day 4: Lines

And here is my photo from today:

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Day 5: Something You Can’t Live Without. Shut up, I know. But, in all honesty, he’s made me a better, happier, more mellow person. I would hate to be myself without him. And, BONUS!, he still says he likes me after nearly 5 years. I’m as surprised as you probably are. =P

And I’ll leave you with the message I found in my fortune cookie with dinner tonight. I found it very apropos for what I’ve been going through in the last few months.

“It takes guts to get out of the ruts.”

Day 3: Hometown

As you may, or may not, already know, I’m a Navy brat. I moved around a lot as a child. This means that I don’t have a traditional hometown. I just never really settled in to a place. We Navy brats tend to pick our hometowns based on a feeling we get in our guts about a place we have lived. For me, I call Pensacola, Florida my hometown. It’s where my parents met, fell in love, married, and where I was born. My very first glimmer of a memory is there. It’s where my one surviving grandparent lives. So, while there may be other cities that feel like home too (San Francisco [I left my heart there], Fort Thomas [my hardest years were there], Columbus [the only city in Ohio I really like]), Pensacola is my hometown.

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Taken at the park my parents were married in. Pensacola, Florida.

What I Did Today

A friend and I were discussing keeping each other accountable for the exercising we are doing. She and I are both fairly motivated by partners and buddies when it comes to working out or losing weight so I think this will really help us both. With that in mind, I’ve decided to go ahead and post that stuff here too. I use endomondo to track my outside workouts, so that data is very easily accessible to anyone interested. The other stuff… well, you’ll just have to trust me on it.

On Thursday, May 2, 2013 I:

Photo a Day in May

There is this little “challenge” going around on Instagram right now. It’s called Photo a Day May. The basic gist being that you take a photo of whatever the days challenge is and share it on Instagram. I really liked that idea.

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The Challenge

As you can tell, some of those objectives are rather vague and others are very specific. All should provide a fun challenge though. And, I’ve been trying to focus on finding meaningful or positive moments every day to help me get through my personal darkness. So having something like this to work on will help with that task for sure.

Obviously I’m a day late, so I had to provide two pictures today. Here they are:

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Day 1: Self Portrait. Not the best but it will do.

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Day 2: Favorite Color. My favorite color is green and there is an abundance of it in the spring time. This is a photo taken in the triangle park down the street. Off in the distance you can see John and Katniss (our new puppy) running around the tree.

I’ve decided all pop in here every day I work on this challenge and share the days photo with you all. Maybe coming by so often will actually have me updating more often too? One can hope.