Save the Date

Mark your calendars, next month is PCOS Awareness Month! Got some recipes lined up for y’all and a give away of my favorite low carb snacks, cookbook, and other treats! Plus some other fun things in store to help raise awareness, you don’t want to miss out!

Advertisements

My Cooking Heroes of the 90’s

Two. Fat. Ladies. Nuff said! 😁 Love that I can watch their episodes on youtube, especially the one below! Get cozy and click the link below to watch. Enjoy!

Afternoon Tea

Chewy β€œGranola”

Today’s been a tad busy, but I finally got around to making homemade “granola”. It’s oat free, can be made dairy free, and spices can be added if desired. I love granola in general, especially homemade, but it tends to be too crunchy for my liking and and heavy on the spices and sweetener.

Which is why I love using honey in paleo and GAPS recipes, I’m able to control how much to use and it helps with the final texture. But how can honey be used to make “granola” when it’s not low carb? True, it is 17g of carbs per 1Tblsp serving, but as long as you don’t consume too much every day(per the GAPS Diet code, as I call it) you will be fine. And truly, I have been! Still losing weight a year later and I love to bake with it or have some in my warm lemon water. Those 17g of carbs haven’t impeded my progress, so everything in moderation.

Why did I choose honey for this recipe? Aside from it’s antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-fungal properties, I knew that during the baking process the honey would give the best end results due to it’s natural fructose content. Not over baking it was a good idea too! Honey has a so much to offer us, but not just any honey will do. Specifically, we need to be using raw unfiltered honey. It does have a stronger flavor that some may find unpleasant, but it has the most to offer health wise.

Read more here and here(Dr. Mercola’s site includes a test to know if you have legit raw honey or not).

So here’s what you’ll need:

3 c chopped walnuts, or 1 1/2 c walnuts & 1 1/2 c whole almonds

2 c unsweetened coconut

5 Tblsp ground flax seed

5 Tblsp roasted & salted pepitas

5 Tblsp roasted, salted, and shelled sunflower seeds

3/4 c raw unfiltered honey

2 Tblsp organic butter or ghee

Optional: dried unsweetened cranberries, golden raisins, or dried blueberries

Optional Seasoning: pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and ginger

Optional Nuts: whole or chopped pecans, sliced almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients together. Folding seemed to have worked best in my favor, in making sure that everything was evenly coated.

Spread out onto a lined half sheet pan and bake for 30 minutes. This will result in a chewier texture. Bake a little longer if you want it to be crunchy.

Let it cool completely before storing into food safe jars/container.

The yield for this recipe will depend on how much you plan to consume. We all ate roughly 1/2 cup servings(I had mine with unsweetened almond milk, as pictured above). You can easily measure out less into snack bags and keep to add on top of yogurt, put into your child’s lunch box, or have as a snack for on the go.

And I know in my directions I don’t say “stir every 10-15 minutes”, that’s because I didn’t stir mine. If you want to, go for it. Stirring it while baking will uniformly crisp up the “granola”. But I hope you’ll give this version a try and let me know what you think!

TGIF, have a great weekend!!

~Always Room for Gratitude~

It’s easy to complain about the bad things in life. It’s easy to be negative, to give in to pity parties, and count our losses instead of our blessings.

Today I want to challenge you to take a moment today to think about what you are grateful for. It doesn’t matter if they’re big or small things. Could be anything from someone offering to pay for your coffee this morning to getting a hug from your kid(s) before they left for school. Knowing that a deadline at work has been met and now you can breathe again. Or getting to hold your loved ones hand one last time as they took their final breath.

Gratitude isn’t something we should only feel one month out of the year, it is something we should experience every day. Does this include the bad things in life? Absolutely! If I’ve lost you, let me explain why…

Every day we all experience, at some point to some degree, a bad incident, hurt feelings, anger, etc. We can choose to let that ruin our day or we can choose to find the sunshine through the clouds.

Be like a sunflower, keep your face toward the sun and the shadows will always fall behind you. Count your blessings!

The Fourth Meal Trend Is Back!

Who remembers when Taco Bell came out with fourth meal? It was back in 2007 and for those late night munchies they were hoping you’d show up to get some gut busting snackage in before calling it a night. I don’t recall it going over very well, or lasting very long. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

One of the 2018 food trends is the fourth meal. So what is it? Naturally, we already have breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The way I understand it, the fourth meal is after dinner but before breakfast. According to certain cultures dinner is already considered the fourth meal. So long as you include tea, biscuits, and jam as the third meal after lunch. (See below)

I have no personal qualms with this notion, if that’s how you roll more power to you. After living in Brazil for a year and half I got used to eating dinner later in the evening as it was cooler and more comfortable to do so. Some nights we weren’t eating till 8pm sometimes as late as 9-10pm. But now, I struggle getting a second and sometimes a third meal in. As for my caloric intake, getting what MyFitnessPal deems what I ought to be getting is an absolute joke! Most days I can barely break 1200. How on earth am I suppose to fit in a fourth meal? πŸ€¨πŸ€”

I recall back in late 2003, I was roughly 5-6 months pregnant with G, both my OB/GYN and Nutritionist told me that I needed to start eating 5-6 small meals a day. I earnestly tried, I did EXACTLY what they said but I started to feel sick to my stomach. It was basically too much food, mixed the constant clock watching, writing it all down, monitoring what I was eating and when…I started to hate food. So, I went back to my three lower carb meals a day, fitting in one to two complex carbs a day with my meals, making sure to measure out the servings, and IF I felt like having a snack then I made sure it was something healthy. I was maintaining the 35 pounds I had gained during my pregnancy, didn’t have a single issue with bloat, Gestational Diabetes, and more or less felt normal. My blood pressure was near textbook which apparently is unheard of for someone of my size. πŸ˜’ In the end, I proved for myself, that 5-6 smaller meals wasn’t for me.

Perhaps the fourth meal is designed for the night owls/hawks. With insomnia on the rise it’s plausible, I guess. Would this also include 3rd shift workers? Or other people who work the graveyard shift? I can’t help but wonder though…

…who would have the room for it? With the shoddy metabolism I was blessed with I know I personally don’t. 🀒

Which begs the question, do you see the fourth meal taking off again?

Granted I don’t think it’s about being glutenous, rather it’s along the same lines as having 5-6 smaller healthier meals a day.

Do you think this trend will stick around a second time? If it does, then I think it will only benefit those who are up late at night and people with faster metabolisms. I could be wrong and often am.

Please feel free to comment below! Let me know what you think, who do you think might benefit from it, and what are some healthier fourth meal options?

Happy Eating(fourth meal included)!!! πŸ˜‰

Back to School Dinner Recipes

“Let’s keep it easy this year. Keep it simple.” That’s what I tell myself as the new school year approaches. Sometimes I’m successful, other times not so much. The problem with living low carb/GAPS is that you can’t order out on those nights when you’re not in the mood to cook. Trust me though, the temptation is there. 😈

Which is why I’ve decided to share some of my favorite go to recipes that take 30 minutes or less to cook. Trust me, I wouldn’t share these if I thought they were anything but reliable.

This is of course a recipe roundup, but it’s all recipes that we have enjoyed one time or another. As most of y’all know, I’m a huge fan of sheet pan recipes. Thankfully those can take up to 30 minutes to bake, taking all the guess work and slaving away over a hot stove out of the equation. Just add it all to a sheet pan, place in the oven and just like Elsa, let it go!

As always, I encourage you to play with the seasonings, change things up to fit your dietary needs, and make substitutions where needed. You don’t have to follow the recipe exactly, unless you want to. Plus the bulk of these recipes your kid(s) can help prepare. Hope you all enjoy and welcome back to school!!

20+ Easy Low Carb Dinner Recipes:

  1. Roasted Peppers Onions with Italian Sausage
  1. One Pan Garlic Lovers Shrimp and Veggies
  1. LC Sesame Chicken and Broccoli Sheet Pan Meal
  1. Sheet Pan Meatloaf with Potatoes and Green Beans (turnips or cauliflower maybe substituted for potatoes)
  1. Low Carb Goulash
  1. Baked Chicken and Zucchini Casserole
  1. Eggplant Mini Pizzas
  1. Where’s the Crust Pizza
  2. Easy Chicken Paprika with Sour Cream Gravy (Low Card, Gluten Free)
  1. Sheet Pan Chicken Parmesan
  1. Sheet Pan Garlic Lemon Butter Salmon (good served with pan roasted vegetable medley or salad)
  1. Sheet Pan Chicken Thighs with Bacon (boneless thighs is preferred)
  1. Sheet Pan Taco Bowls
  1. Low Carb Jalapeno Popper Chicken (a family fave, I like using rotisserie chicken)
  1. BLTA Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps
  1. Low Carb Chili Cheese Dog Casserole (a great recipe to use leftover low carb chili with)
  1. BBQ Chicken with Bacon and Cheese (low carb, keto friendly)
  1. Easy 10 Minute Asian Zucchini Noodles
  1. Cowboy Butter Chicken and Zucchini Noodles
  1. California Turkey and Bacon Lettuce Wraps with Basil Mayo
  1. Quick Keto Dinner
  1. Buffalo Chicken Jalapeno Popper Casserole
  1. Chicken in Creamy Parmesan and Sun-dried Tomatoes (serve with Zucchini Noodles and Salad)
  2. Keto Broccoli Casserole
  • 20 Facts About Me!

    Good morning everyone! Today’s post should be fun! ☺️ 20 facts about me, nothing security related but things that most people could only guess and get wrong. How many of us can accurately say we know 20 things about our closest friend? Probably not many and even I would fail miserably. So here goes…

    1) Any nicknames? Growing up my mom used to call me Amanda panda. In my teen years certain friends would call me Manda Jo, and my Great Uncle Moon(RIP) was the only one to ever call me Mandi.

    2) Eye Color? Hazel green or chameleon eyes. They tend to change with whatever I’m wearing. Rather cool!

    3) Hair Color? Originally it was dark brown with natural red highlights. I was the closest thing to a redhead that my parents had. And then I started going gray at 15. Now I’m a salt & pepper head. πŸ˜‰

    4) Favorite Color? Teal and the various shades thereof. I love wearing it in support of me and my PCOS Cysters. (Reminder: September is PCOS Awareness Month)

    5) Favorite Place: Yankton, SD. Went there on a youth mission trip and absolutely loved it! Gorgeous scenery, the weather was perfect even for the summer. I could easily live there!

    6) Favorite Celebrity? Ryan Reynolds. Enough said. (Call me sometime πŸ˜‰)

    7) Favorite Animal? Pit bulls hands down. We have pit/lab mix and because of him I am completely won over. And sloths have a special place tucked away in my heart as well!

    8) Favorite Song? I don’t have just one, I have lots! Off the top of my head Cass Elliot’s version of “Dream a Little Dream of Me.” Love her voice!

    9) Favorite Book? Sense & Sensibility hit close to home during my teen years. At the time I had a crush on someone and was too sensible to tell him right away. Once I did though, I lost him as a friend. I still love that book to this day among so many others!

    10) Favorite flower? Variegated tulips, especially red and white. Not a fan of roses, they’re ok.

    11) Chocolate? No. I’m not a chocolate fan. Shocking since I bake a lot with chocolate, thing is I make that stuff mostly for the family. The only time I crave chocolate is during my monthly cycle. Any other time, no thanks. I know, I’m a disgrace to my sex.

    12) Favorite holiday? Hands down Christmas. I like getting the Christmas tree up before Halloween, weird I know. πŸŽ„145 Days till ChristmasπŸŽ„

    13) Dream vacation? Well it’s not the beach. I have said for years, since 1998, that I would love to go up to Maine, stay in a B&B for a few days and then take a ferry up to PEI. I love the Anne of Green Gables series and it would be a DREAM to visit “Avonlea” or Cavendish.

    14) Favorite Movie? Like the music it’s tough to pick just one for I am a movie hound! Everything from old classics to a few new releases. For a chick flick night I always like watching The Proposal. Seriously, Ryan…call me πŸ˜‰ LOL!!!

    15) OCD? Absolutely, but not about everything. After I became a parent I had to learn that it was ok to not have everything a certain way. Kids are unpredictable. When you’re child is a climber and makes a mess every few seconds you have to learn, for your own sanity, to not worry about every single little thing. Now I’m only OCD when it comes to how I clean, how I organize things, the way I shop, and if I start writing in a notebook with say a black pen then I will only use a black pen for that notebook. Same for journals, doesn’t matter color pen or pencil I use. Whatever I start with that’s what I have to finish with. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

    16) Allergies? Lactose intolerant and mosquitoes. The LI has been since I was pregnant and my allergy to mosquitoes has been fairly recent, since 2011. I’ve learned how to pretty much reduce my dairy intake, not that I like to but it’s necessary. As for the mosquitoes, I had to give up outdoor activities such as gardening and playing outside with G-Man. Every time I get a bite it swells up into a welt, burns like it’s on fire, and if I have too many at once it’s almost anaphylactic. To get any relief I have to take an antihistamine. Fun. πŸ˜’ So any outdoor gatherings from Spring till a hard freeze hits I am indoors. Have had to miss out on a lot of activities and functions simply because showing up in a bubble would be too weird.

    17) Musical Instrument? I played the flute back in Jr. High and High School. I was a bank geek that then turned into an orchestra geek. After my pregnancy I picked up the Irish Tin Whistle again and play purely for fun. No gigs or tour dates are set any time soon. πŸ˜‰

    18) Art Skills? I love crafting of any kind. Mostly paper crafting, I have dabbled in painting, jewelry making, and scrapbooking. Several years ago I started painting my own Christmas village. Haven’t picked it up again but would like to.

    19) Coffee or Tea? Always coffee. I’ll drink unsweetened iced tea, but coffee is life! 😜

    20) Donut? Fresh sour cream cake donut from Dunkin’ Donuts. I could easily eat my weight in them…probably have…😬

    So that’s me! A few fun facts and favorites! I hope you all have a spectacular Thursday, share your smile with someone who doesn’t have one and enjoy a donut for me!

    It’s August Already?!

    What in the world? Where is this year going? 😱 Feels like everything is flying by and I have nothing to show for it. That’s okay, this month I’m going to challenge myself to get back into blogging every day. Sharing something different, not necessarily recipes, but hopefully things that will get my creative juices flowing again. It’s been at least a year, if not two, where I haven’t really done a lot of sharing. Feeling a touch burned out and not sure why. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

    Since it’s a brand new month, there are lots of wonderful possibilities ahead! Already I have started doing weekly Facebook Live videos on Fridays at 8amCST. This past Friday was all about introducing myself, answering some food related questions…I’ll admit I was a bit squirrely jumping around with my thoughts. As a sweet friend suggested, “write down your thoughts every day this week”, hopefully by doing so I will help stay on topic! There are plans to also do some live cooking videos, you WILL NOT want to miss out on those! If you are on FB and want to see me LIVE you can go here directly to my Night Owl Kitchen FB Page and tune in.

    I have also started an Instagram challenge where I’m posting every day, which is a challenge for me. Sometimes the posts will be food related and other times not. Depends on the prompt for that day! πŸ˜‰ Be sure to check those out those posts, my handle is @nok_amandagayle. Today’s post is already up. #workspace

    There are also plans for FB polls on the Night Owl Kitchen Page, and perhaps a guest post or two as well. So there is a lot planned, thank goodness for daily planners, legal size pads of paper, and journals to keep it all straight! πŸ€ͺ Otherwise this mama would be running all over the place and that is the last thing we need. A hot southern crazy mess on the loose, never know what might happen!!

    Got my bulletproof coffee and ready to go!

    CHEERS to a new month, happy birthday to all the August babies(my mom, Papaw, uncle, nephew, and younger brother included), and have a blessed Wednesday!!