Recent Posts

Thai Basil Chicken

Thai Basil Chicken

I’m on a Thai food and Asian cuisine kick. It’s truly some of my favorite flavor combinations. When it’s about to freeze outside (we had our first frost last night!), I love to use tender garden herbs en masse in tasty meals like tomato basil […]

Two Ways to Preserve Herbs

Two Ways to Preserve Herbs

Our Minnesota temps at night are dipping into the mid forties which means that tender annual herbs like basil are starting to turn. Perennial herbs like sage, thyme, chives and oregano hold out a little longer until it frosts. I like to have nearly everything harvested […]

28 Day Meal Plan and Clean Eating Challenge – Are you in?

28 Day Meal Plan and Clean Eating Challenge – Are you in?

I’m so super excited to share with you a major meal plan project I’ve worked on. In addition to the amazing recipes found on my site, I’ve created a a 28 day all inclusive meal plan in partnership with the awesome team at BreakingMuscle.com! I am a regular article contributor and recipe writer for their website in addition to this blog so if you’re looking for more healthy recipes, you can find links to all of the ones I’ve created exclusively for them via this link to my coaches page. The 28 Day Clean Eating Challenge is a special exclusive collection of recipes including a meal plan for a full month of clean eating.

Knowing how to fuel your body with high quality whole foods is an important skill that anyone can learn. With this 28 day meal plan, I’ve created a foolproof framework for an entire month of healthy eating so you can experience your full potential through eating clean and learn how to incorporate clean eating into your routine after the challenge. In this plan, I’ve done all of the hard work for you. I’ve created a menu of nutritionally balanced meals, calculated the nutritional data for each meal and each day, and put together the shopping lists to take to the store for each week. The meal plan takes into account using leftovers which results in little to no food waste and keeps you on budget. For those with busy schedules, I’ve also had you in mind! I have made lunches easier by utilizing leftovers or have created lunch meals that can mostly be prepared in advance.

Who is this meal plan designed for?

  • Active individuals looking to directly experience how eating clean can benefit them.
  • Anyone who wants to learn how to season and make delicious foods using clean ingredients.
  • Athletes and non-athletes alike who wish to learn more about a clean eating lifestyle and how to apply this knowledge during and after the challenge.
  • Note: if you have specific dietary needs based on heavy athletic training, this plan can still be used for the basic clean eating guidelines and serve as a nutritional starting point for meals. You may need to alter to fit your higher specific calorie and macronutrient needs.

What this meal plan includes:

  • Delicious menu of what to eat for 4 full weeks, 3 meals a day, plus snacks and optional desserts.
  • Recipes and instructions for each meal with photographs.
  • Calorie counts and macronutrient numbers per meal and also a tallied total for the day.
  • Shopping list by week and pantry items used for the week.
  • Online support throughout the meal plan via email or via Facebook messenger by connecting with me on the Cooking Up Clean Facebook page.

 

What you will learn:

  • Which foods are considered clean eating and how to eat clean, each day, every day.
  • The knowledge of how to put together meals so you can continue eating clean after the challenge.
  • How to make better and more nutritious food choices whether you’re at home, at work or out to eat.
  • Awareness of what you’re eating.
  • The understanding and ability to make food choices based on how food affects your body.
  • How to plan ahead. Making food from scratch takes time and effort. I’ll share with you my tips to make it easier and keep motivated in the kitchen.
  • How to eat clean on a budget. I’ve included tips on how to shop and stay on budget within this meal plan which you can use well beyond this challenge.

What this meal plan ISN’T:

  • No supplements or additional vitamins needed. You’ll just be eating real, wholesome food.
  • This is not a plan for weight loss. Learning how to eat clean in a nutritionally balanced way and discovering how food makes you feel is the first step to later being able to minimize what you eat in order for weight loss to happen. You may, however, experience some weight loss on this plan depending on what your eating style was prior to beginning this challenge.
  • This meal plan is anything but boring. My plan includes the most flavorful combinations to keep you motivated and excited for your next meal. No plain boiled chicken being served here.

Empower yourself with the knowledge on how to eat clean and it will be one of the best decisions you can make for your future. Eating clean has changed me and my family in so many positive ways. It makes me happy. I want that feeling for everyone as they take on a cleaner eating style and I look forward to hearing about all of your experiences.

Clicking on the image below will take you to my page on the Breaking Muscle site where you can purchase this detailed plan!

Thanks to all of you for the support through this adventure 🙂

Cheers – Kari

 

Hangover Hashbrowns

Hangover Hashbrowns

Poison ivy is not an experience I’d recommend. I was moving some of my raspberry plants last weekend out of an area that I knew had poison ivy into a better spot without poison ivy in it. Well, I forgot to wash my gloves and […]

Pickled Jalepenos

Pickled Jalepenos

Many of you know that I have a fairly large garden for growing fresh veggies all summer long. The trick to gardening is to either limit yourself to growing only what you can eat fresh or to learn what to do with it when you […]

Country Breakfast Sausage

Country Breakfast Sausage

This week my littlest little went off to kindergarten embarking on a new adventure for himself and spreading his wings. Of course, that makes me a little teary-eyed because the house feels a little too quiet but I welcome the change. I’ve been home with my kids for nine years so this is also a new adventure in freedom and opportunity for me to do the things that I’ve been putting off or just haven’t had time to do while I’ve had kiddos in the house full time. For example, this morning I went for a peaceful two-mile run. I hadn’t really been able to do that during the weekdays as I couldn’t leave my little guy unattended and he wasn’t yet fast enough on his bike to ride beside me. After my run, I immersed myself in the kitchen canning tomatoes and making other delectable items of my own choosing rather than dictated by the kids. Country breakfast sausage was one of those delightful items I enjoyed as a post-run brunch this morning with a berry smoothie eaten at a leisurely pace with a big cup of joe and a cat on my lap.

Country breakfast sausage is a savory blend of sage, thyme, pepper, coriander and paprika that I’ve fine-tuned to my liking. I often use a smoked salt to add a hint of smokiness to the sausage as well. This spice blend works well with ground pork as well as ground turkey or chicken. Breakfast sausage is one of my guilty pleasures. I love it more than bacon… and creating it homemade is a surefire way to avoid nasty additives and preservatives that can be found in a lot of commercially purchased breakfast sausage. Mixing the sausage up with your hands ensures that the spices are blended evenly throughout making each bite a perfect breakfasty morsel. After mixing, you can form the sausage into patties like I did or you can cook it as a crumble which I love to do over hashbrowns. Because these are savory instead of sweet, this country breakfast sausage also makes a killer sausage gravy!

Now while the kids are back in school and I have more free time, I’m looking forward to posting recipes here more often and focusing on my professional articles that I create for the athletes at Breaking Muscle. Perhaps I’ll even delve into creating another meal plan! Which by the way, if you haven’t checked it out yet, I have a recently published subscription site with a full month’s meal plan of clean tasty eats ready and waiting for you to try.

Country Breakfast Sausage
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds ground pork, chicken, or turkey
  • 1 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt or smoked salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander seed
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½-1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon thyme
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine ground meat and all spices. The best way to do this is with your hands to be sure spices are evenly blended.
  2. Form sausage into patties.
  3. Cook on medium heat about 15 minutes flipping a few times until cooked through with a nice crust and juices run clear.
Notes
Recipe can easily be halved. Or just refrigerate/freeze leftovers!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 patty Calories: 241 Fat: 19 Carbohydrates: 1 Protein: 15

 

 

 

How to Freeze Sweet Corn

How to Freeze Sweet Corn

One of my most favorite experiences of the summer is that first bite of sweet corn on the cob around the 4th of July when the sweet corn is just starting to be ready. The sweet corn crop continues through the rest of the summer […]

Chioggia Beet Caprese Salad

Chioggia Beet Caprese Salad

I returned from immersing myself in nature camping on the bluffs of the Mississippi river this past week rejuvenated and ready to eat roots. Not tree roots or anything THAT crazy… just beet roots. Which, if you know me, is sorta along the lines of […]

Quinoa Tabouli

Quinoa Tabouli

quinoa tabouli

This weekend, I’ll be hosting a number of my mom’s side of the family for great food (quinoa tabouli!), great games (badminton!) and great conversation. It’s been a year since I’ve seen many of these amazing peeps so it’s about time we make an occasion to get together again. In the meantime, I’ve been busy attempting to clean the house and get the yard in order. However, those of you with kids know as well as I do that cleaning the house in the summer is an exasperating event for multiple reasons.

1. They don’t want to help but they have no choice (insert long drawn out whining about how it’s summer and why do they HAVE to work and learn responsibility?). I know, Mom is such a slave driver!

2. The moment the bathroom or kitchen is clean, it’s immediately disgustingly dirty with yogurt fingerprints, soap accidentally sprayed all over the floor or toothpaste on the mirror (the “but mom! it wasn’t my fault!” argument now ensues when asking them to re-clean their mess).

3. The toys finally get cleaned up and then the kids decide to drag them all out again 20 minutes later because, well, it’s just too clean without them on the floor (more whining about picking up the newly dispersed mess of toys for the 3rd time today).

4. The windows have been ceremoniously wiped clean of finger prints. This also lasts a mere 30 seconds. Thank you, children.

5. The carpet and floors are all vacuumed and washed. This lasts perhaps 31 seconds until one child forgets to take off their shoes and creates a trail of muddy flip flop feet across the floor. Awesome. I now say a short prayer and accept my fate… Dear family, please accept my semi-dirty house. A dirty house is a happy house 😉  Sincerely, one tired (and happily fulfilled) mom.

And so it goes on. Really, my girls are pretty good with their chores as they do know the expectation is that we all use the space in our house and therefore we all share in the cleanup duties each week. The other “chore” they’ve gotten very good at is helping me in the kitchen. Yesterday, the girls and I made and canned pickled onions, a balsamic caramelized onion relish and then made dill pickles for the first time. They did great! The next few days they’ll be helping me with a few food items like a caramelized banana bread made with Einkorn flour for Sunday breakfast, my favorite spicy yogurt dip, perhaps a marinated venison or steak cut into kebobs for grilling, and this fresh quinoa tabouli.

quinoa tabouleh

A staple among Lebanese families, tabouli (or tabouleh) is a cold salad made from bulgar wheat, parsley, tomatoes, onion, mint, lemon juice and olive oil. Bulgar wheat has a very similar size and shape to quinoa so I’ve replaced the wheat in the recipe creating a quinoa tabouli. I really enjoy the nuttiness that this ancient grain has and it gives the quinoa tabouli a light crunch as well. Quinoa is naturally gluten-free making this perfect for those of you who avoid wheat or just like to vary up your grain selection a bit. This light and delicious salad is equally amazing served alongside meat dishes or on a vegetarian spread as a part of any summery picnic fare.

quinoa tabouli

 

Quinoa Tabouli
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: salad
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (cook in chicken broth or vegetable broth instead of water)
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 bunch of parsley, finely chopped
  • 10-12 mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Toss all ingredients into a bowl and combine.
  2. Serve cold or at room temperature.
Notes
Try this with cilantro in place of parsley and lime in place of the lemon juice for a unique twist!

Tabouli can be made 2-3 days in advance and refrigerated.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 139 Fat: 5 Carbohydrates: 23 Protein: 3

 

How to Preserve Spinach

How to Preserve Spinach

  I was gone for a week camping and getting in touch with nature and upon my return, my once manageable spinach crop was suddenly out of control! The whole garden was really pretty impressive but seriously, check out the ridiculous size of those spinach […]


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