Another busy week. Another easy recipe.

Mashed Beets, Ground Lamb & Sliced Bread

Mashed Beets, Ground Lamb & Sliced Bread

Nectarine Salad

Nectarine Salad

It’s Men’s Health Week this June 11th-17th. And holy crap we’re busy! Jake’s working overtime & I’m in yoga school & Writing In Light course. And we’re moving again soon. We’ve got a lot going on. My bet is you do too!

Why is it that when we’re busy we also seem to eat things that lack flavor? Well I hope I can help. “Where’s the flavor?” This is a question I ask myself when I’m cooking. It’s what drives me to try new things. It’s where I get the permission to use a recipe as a guideline, not what I’m supposed to do.

To help add tons of flavor for my hungry hungry hippo boyfriend (AND keep it easy on myself), I’ve decide on a simple dinner. Nope, you’re right, it’s not completely plant-based. Here’s the thing, we PRIMARILY eat plant-based. We are not vegan, nor vegetarian, nor paleo, nor gluten-free, nor an omnivore. I find the labels alone annoying. We like tasty food. Food that heals is even better. But we’re human and sometimes we mix it up.

Since it’s Men’s Health Week, I decided Jake’s flavor platte could be in charge. I’ll do 2 easy recipes for you today. Make leftovers so you can eat it twice!

  1. Mashed Beets, Ground Lamb & Bread

  2. Nectarine Salad

We did NOT make our own bread. We sliced store-bought bread (remember, keep it easy on yourself). Now that you have that permission, let’s get started:

Mashed Beets
(if you have more than one burner you can simultaneously cook the lamb as well)

4-6 Red Beets
1 Lg Sweet Potato
1 Red Apple
Coconut Oil (for smashing; or Olive oil if you desire)
Almond Milk ¼ cup  (for smashing; slowly add more if needed)
Salt/Pepper

  1. Peel beets, potato & apple
    -also core the apple or cut around it (my favorite, I’m not going for even looking pieces. I don’t own a restaurant.)

  2. Steam for 30-40 min; until soft
    -the smaller your pieces the faster they’ll get soft
    -if you have more than one burner this is a good time to start the lamb & chop your veggies for your salad

  3. Smash with desired amounts of coconut oil & almond milk

  4. Add Salt & Pepper to your desired amount

Ground Lamb
1 lb Ground Lamb
1 tbsp Rosemary
Coconut Oil (or Olive oil if you desire)
Salt/Pepper

  1. Saute lamb with chosen oil, rosemary, salt & pepper (cook through but be careful to not overdry)

  2. Make your plate. Bread slices. Mashed Beets with Ground Lamb on top. ENJOY!

Nectarine Salad
1 Romaine
¼-½ Red Onion (depending on how tart you like it)
2 Nectarines
Handful of Cherry Tomatoes
1 Cucumber
Feta (or leave out)

  1. Cut Romaine into bite-sized pieces and put in your salad bowl

  2. Chop Red Onion and add to bowl

  3. Chop Nectarines (de-seed) and add to bowl

  4. Chop Cherry Tomatoes in half and add to bowl

  5. Slice cucumbers and add to bowl

  6. If desired, sprinkle Feta

  7. Add your favorite dressing (we enjoyed a vinaigrette)

  8. ENJOY!!! You can also have some of your bread slices with your salad.

He’ll be so thankful for the flavor, I’ll bet you could get him to do the dishes. And you get to experience the extra free time while he focuses on his health.

Hope you enjoy!

Love,
Waffle
Ps. Share with anyone you know that needs a tasty and easy meal. Take a pic of your creation & tag me on Instagram @whatsyourwaffle. Enjoy guys. Happy Men’s Health Week. Eat up!

"You're gonna get worms!"

I can see my moms horrified eyes as she would catch me running around barefoot. Dirt on my face. Mud between my toes. Sand between my toes. Grass between my toes. Who needs shoes when you have feet? I can’t get enough of being barefoot. Now I’m not an extremist. You won’t see me hiking without the needed arch support.

I love my toes FREE! They came with my body. And the different textures make me giggle and relax.

There’s no real explanation either. Not in words. But I’ll do my best to intentionally try to entice you to wiggle your poor neglected toes. From a day in the life of your toes.

It’s early. You get ready for work. You’re ready to head out and conquer your day. You slide into your shoes. The day official begins. You haven’t even left the seated position, but your feet are already getting a workout. Gas, clutch, brake. Gas, clutch, brake. Gas, clutch, brake.

All day long your feet are stuck in this shoe. Even during lunch and both 15 minute breaks. You couldn’t take your shoes off at work. The political landslide that would occur if you did such a social taboo.

Your day’s far from done. It’s only half way through. If skin can truly breath, your poor toes are suffocating.

By the time you make it home after grocery shopping and a couple of errands, it’s been a 10 hour day. At least in Hawaii it’s required to take off your shoes before you enter a home. But some of you are STILL in your shoes after you’re home.

Dude. Relax. Let those fuckers free. Having a hard time envisioning how amazing your bare feet are? Imagine each toe as a different persona. Name them (one of mine is known as Stumpy). Then at the end of your day, take them out of your socks and shoes. And ask. Ask them individually how good it felt to come back out into the fresh air. Wiggle them like they’re all talking back at you all at once. Listen to what they have to say to you.

There’s nothing I love more than letting my little tribe of toes out. They make me feel grounded. Here’s a couple of ideas to let your feet feel free.

Kick off your shoes and wiggle your toes. Soak them in water. Let them lay in the grass. Dig in the sand. Squish in the mud. Rub them on your carpet. How many ways can you make your feet know that you appreciate them for suffocating all day? Can you let your toes dance with no restrictions? I can’t think of a better way to celebrate June 1st than wearing no socks. June 1st is Go Barefoot Day. That’s a real thing. You’re welcome.

I hope you enjoy your toes… even if just for the day.

Love,
Waffle
Ps. Take a picture of how you’re letting your toes free today. Post it here or tag me in your Instagram @whatsyourwaffle. I can hear all the toes around the world now… “FREEEEEEEEDOM!” And that makes me smile.

go-barefoot.JPG

Ever feel so busy you're not sure how you'll eat healthy?

Holy Heck Its A Week Salad. Sometimes you have everything you need lurking in your fridge.

Holy Heck Its A Week Salad. Sometimes you have everything you need lurking in your fridge.

Totally get it. I feel this way all the time. But I know if I don’t eat healthy I’ll end up feeling sluggish. Which in turn negatively affects how productive I am. Have you ever played the game “My fridge is full of random stuff. What can I make from this shindig?” This is about all I can do to stay sane when my fridge looks like its exploded. Half eaten onions. Veggies that somehow got lost from its original recipe. Random store bought items that you thought you would use. “OMG, what IS that?” Yeah. I get it. Me too. This is my solution to turn my frustration into something fun. So I have to share it. (Cause isn’t it ironic how it’s when we’re frustrated we desperately need a quick meal.)

This week has been a hectic one. Ideas popping. New jobs starting for both of us. New schedules to get used to. Still trying to adjust to our “kitchen” in the basement. Squeezing in the time to eat healthy vs eating out. Ai-yai-yai. I know you get it.

So with Memorial Day coming up, we’ve got a lot of that “AHHHHHHH… I’ve got so much to do this weekend.” I wanted to help. We threw this salad together playing that shindig game. “Ok, well, this is what we have. Which of this stuff will taste good together? Hmmm, I dunno. Let’s try this, this, this and this.” Wham-O. Creation made. Didn’t take up much time at all. Zero cooking. Without further adieu, I’d like to introduce to you a quick meal I hope you try at home.

Let’s get chopping shall we. I’ll call this one, Holy Heck it’s a Week Salad.

Ingredients

1 Head Romaine Lettuce, chopped
5oz Spinach
(You know I love fresh. But if you’re having a crazy week buy the pre-rinsed stuff.)
1 Cucumber, chopped
1 Apple, chopped
(Minus core. I cut around it cause I’m lazy & hate too many gadgets. Looks the
same to my stomach if the pieces aren’t all symmetrical)

½ Yellow Bell Pepper, chopped
½ Yellow or Sweet Onion, chopped
½ Cup Walnuts, chopped
(I do like chopping these myself. Their more oily with a smooth texture vs cotton
mouth texture. But again, if holy heck week is holy heck, buy them already chopped.)

Feta (optional - leave out if you’re vegan)
½ Cup Chopped Cilantro (optional)

Instructions

  1. Chop each ingredient into pieces that you enjoy. I like small bite-sized pieces for my salads. Otherwise I'm eating like a horse if the lettuce is super long.
  2. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl (I make BIG salads… they need to feed me & Jake)
  3. Toss with dressing of your choice (Jake had a raspberry vinaigrette and I tried a Jalapeno Ranch. Both were great. Again, if you can, make the dressing yourself. But heck, this is holy heck week.)
  4.  Do a jig. You’re done.

Hope I’ve helped any of you save some time this Memorial Day weekend. (I love a quick meal.) Put your feet up & Oooo-SA!

Love,
Waffle
Ps. Share this blog with anyone who could use a quick meal today! Enjoy!

Fly Fishing. You taught me balance.

“SET! SET! SET!” Chris yelled. My face expressed “Huh?” Oh yeah. Statue of Liberty. Right. I slam my arm straight up like I’m holding the torch. “Now dance” Chris starts cooing as he sways his entire body. I didn’t know I needed dance classes to learn how to fly fish. All I know, is fish dancing is hard. And I’m a dancer. Put on a good beat, yeah, let’s conga. Fly fishing has a lot more feeling involved than I first gave it credit. This might be part of the reason why it’s so challenging. It requires a lot of detailed analytical thinking, but it also requires it’s opposite, feeling.

“You need to FEEL the fish. Remember when you were a fish in class? (Yes, true story) Yeah, remember how we danced? I would pull and you would release. You would pull and I would release. Do that. But with the real fish.” Chris was like the Buddha of fly fishing. In practicing having more quality time, Jake and I enrolled in Fly Fishing 101 at Idaho Angler’s here in Boise. Neither of us with much fishing experience (me, zero). We figured we needed to start at the beginning.

As with most beginnings, let’s start with the words involved. Holy crap! I thought I made up a lot of words. If you ever want free entertainment, look up fly fishing jargon. It was almost what I would relate to when someone hears Pidgin (Hawaiian slang) for the first time. Whhhhhhhat? Was that English? “So I’m going to cast with a 5-lb fast action rod that has a dry fly attached to my first tipit which is attached to my lead and a bobber and a nymph fly at the end of my second tipit?! Then I’m going to work on my drag by watching the current and my bobber?!?! If I see the bobber sink or feel a pull, set it and forget it like the Statue of Liberty?!?!?!?!?! Then dance with my fish till I reel him in?! Did I get this right?” I’m being kind right now. Truth is I didn’t absorb enough of the lingo to properly use it. Fly fishing lingo is intense. Like a foreign language listening to customers walk in while we get the basics. “This. Is a fly.”

After we took the class at the shop, we decided to do one of their Guided Tours. It would be me, Jake & Chris (our instructor from 101). I keep reading that there are better ways to learn. In other words, don’t try to mow a new path learning anything new. Get help. Go to the best if you can. Second or third, even better because they have to work a bit harder beyond their comfort zone. Like you will be doing. We decided this would be the best way for us to give Fly Fishing a chance. The learning curve seems astronomical. Why take a whole year to learn what the fuck a drag was without heels or a cigarette? I’m glad we decided to give this mindset a try.

But can we afford this? I have the tendency to be tight with my money. Always needing a savings account. You never know when something bad is going to happen. And it has. You’ll be happy you didn’t do anything with that money. Whoa. That’s too expensive. I can’t. I don’t have enough. I’ve been working on that. I read Kate Northrup’s books “Money, the Love Story”. It inspired me to work on my mindset on money and focus more on my abundance. Ok, here’s an opportunity to practice. One guided tour later, the coming weekend. We were doing this? Yup.

“SET. SET. SET. Awwww, are ya gonna let this one get away too?” Chris inquired playfully. “Add it to the roster.” I replied with confidence. 1 stick and about 7 hooks later, I was still unable to reel the fish in. What would have frustrated the most experienced fly fishers I thought was hilarious. This fish dance is tough. I can feel my compulsion to grasp my money in the same way I’m grasping onto this damn fish. And every time I do that for too long, guess what, the fish got away. There’s an equal amount of resistance and fluidity needed to reel a fish in. Funny, I’m getting life lessons while the fish are making fun of me. I can hear them laughing. “Dude, get her hook. It’s hilarious. Don’t worry, she won’t reel you in. Trust me. Jon, Dolores, Suzie, Curtis, Gavin, Cyndi AND Augustus have already gotten hooked. Hahahahaha. Can you believe it? She can’t fish dance.”

One fish, Victor, he felt sorry for me. He thought that it was a shame that I didn’t know how to fish dance. That fish dancing could help teach me to dance in life. Balancing my responsibilities. All while still making the choice to spend money on experiences and fun. Victor wanted to help. So he did. “STATUE OF LIBERTY. STATUE OF LIBERTY.” (I get excited) “I’m gonna take out my net.” You gotta keep dancing. Chris must think I’m a lunatic at this point. My hysterical laughter projects after losing each fish. Oh well. Something to learn each time I guess. To be fair, Chris is great. He’s perfect actually because he’s laughing with me. We created a good banter about it between the 3 of us. (Of course Jake did awesome) Chris' recommendation: I hook the fish. Jake reels them in. Hopefully we will never have to play “The Walking Dead”, but if we did, that tactic might come in handy.

As Victor drew closer, the ‘ooo’s’ and ‘ahhh’s’ and ‘omg is it happening’ came out of all 3 of us. No way. No fricking way. I’m gonna get Victor in the bag aren’t I? Like that, I wanted to learn more. What a spectacular day. Out in nature. Learning something new with Jake. Laughing with Chris about my new ‘skills’. Then it occurred to me. This was worth every penny. Every single one. We could have spent the same money on our beginners gear. Sure. Then we would have spent trip after trip getting tangled, caught in the rocks and not knowing how to fish dance. If I left myself to learn that on my own, we most likely would have given up the sport out of frustration. Making the money wasted. Confirming my money fears. Keeping me from experiences in the future. Why do we do that? Let’s remember to fish dance in life. Sometimes we need to restrain (and save our money). Yet sometimes we need to release (and enjoy the experiences with loved ones).

And remember, just because you’re great at hook-ing, doesn’t make ya a good dancer. Ya know, food for thought.

May you go out there and treat yourself to an experience. Take a class. Go on a retreat. Whatever. You know what it is if you’d let yourself believe that you could have it. Go on. Go catch your fish and reel it in.

Love,
Waffle
Ps. We all tend to get caught when knowing what's our balance with responsibility and fun. Share this with anyone you know that will love the analogy of fly fishing. “SET! SET! SET!”


The infamous stick! Hahaha.

The infamous stick! Hahaha.

Jake and his first catch.

Jake and his first catch.

Victor!!! My saving grace! Thank you for teaching me how to fish dance.

Victor!!! My saving grace! Thank you for teaching me how to fish dance.