Thursday, September 6, 2018

Ground Turkey Quinoa Bowls

I was craving some sort of stir fry-ish bowl the other day but one that I could easily make at home and one that was healthy.  I didn't have peas and I totally forgot about the fried egg part so what I ended up with was a really delicious ground turkey quinoa bowl using veggies that I had on hand.  It turned out so good and made a good bit which ended up being a perfect dish that I can meal prep for a couple days!
Two things that are really important to me when it comes to eating healthy are convenience and disguising bland healthy foods into delicious meals.  I've talked before about how adding quinoa to my diet came with a little bit of an adjustment period.  Finding a few tricks to make it more flavorful has been a great way to not only incorporate it into what I eat but also a great way to add more protein into my diet without eating chicken every meal.  For this recipe, I added lime zest and salt & pepper to the quinoa, making it a great supplement for lime rice.  Packed protein and a much healthier option than stir fry, this ground turkey quinoa bowl with definitely be on rotation in our house!

1 lb Lean Ground Turkey
1 Cup Quinoa (Dry Uncooked)
Shredded Carrots
Chopped Brussel Sprouts
Soy Sauce
Sesame Seeds

1. Clean quinoa by running it under cold water until the water runs clear.  Cook according to packaging.  If you are new to quinoa and are not into how bland it is, I sometimes cook mine with a half a cube of vegetable stock to add a little flavor.  I didn't with this recipe but you are more than welcome to!

2. Prepare your veggies.  I diced all of my brussel sprouts up really small so that they almost appeared to be shredded.  I took 3 carrots, peel the outer layer with a vegetable peeler and then shredded them using the widest holes on my grater.  Slice scallions, separating green from white.  Mince garlic.  Zest 1 teaspoon of lime zest and slice the remaining lime.

3. Heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat and sauté veggies until tender.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside when done.

4. Using the same pan, cook scallion whites and minced garlic until soft and translucent. (About 2 minutes.)  Add ground turkey to pan cooking until no longer pink.  Season with salt and pepper.

5. When quinoa is done cooking, fluff with a fork and add lime zest, salt and pepper and half of the lime juice.

6. Add veggies to turkey once the turkey is finished cooking and mix together.  Add Hoisin and soy sauce and mix.  

7. Serve ground turkey mix over quinoa, garnish with green scallions, a lime wedge and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

One thing that is great about this recipe is that it is completely customizable.  Don't care for brussel sprouts? Leave them out!  You could always add in the peas to make it more of a stir fry dish and my husband did say while eating this that a fried egg would be a great addition.  That's actually the moment I realized that I forgot to add it in. :)

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Labor Day Weekend Recap

The Memorial Day Weekend before last, Loyal and I wanted to take the kids to New Orleans to visit family for the extended holiday weekend.   Before we decided on New Orleans, we were torn between doing that or going to the beach.  We ended up stopping in Pensacola, Florida on the way to New Orleans and it was such a great time and a perfect way to make both trips work!  We got a system down where we would leave Thursday afternoon, stay one night and do the beach before we drove to New Orleans during nap time.  Finding ourselves in the same predicament this Labor Day weekend, wanting to see family but also wanting to squeeze in one more beach trip before summer ends, we decided to do another trip incorporating both.  Switching things up a little, we went to Gulf Shores, Alabama this year and we loved it!  It was such a cute little beach town, equipped with bright, colorful restaurants and store fronts, giving us all the beach vibes we were in need of while driving through.  

The night that we were there, we went to The Gulf which is the coolest restaurant that is made out of shipping containers!  It honestly had the best view of the ocean and the coolest vibe with lots of outdoor seating areas in the sand.  It definitely exceeded our expectations for Gulf Shores and because of this place alone, we will absolutely be back!  The food was great, the scenery was amazing and the whole family had a blast!
The kids ran around laughing and playing while Loyal and I had cocktails waiting on our food.  Callie was a total maniac and refused to even sit down at the table for dinner, continuing to run circles instead.  She was wild!  It was also the cutest thing to watch her reaction to the ocean.  She's really into Moana right now and although she's been to the beach before, I think this was the first time that she recognized it as something she knew of.  She kept pointing to the ocean and saying "Moana!"  Seriously the cutest!!!  Other than that, she was a speed of blur the entire time!
Above would be a demonstration of us forcing Callie to be still for just 2 seconds.  SHE. IS. CRAZY.

The next morning we got up early, had breakfast and went down to the beach for a bit.  The kids always love playing at the beach and obviously Loyal and I can't complain!  Even if it was just for one short afternoon, we had so much fun and it made the extra stop so worth it.  
Sticking to our routine, we went to lunch before heading out.  There were a lot of recommendation for The Hangout which was equally as cool as dinner the night before.  With large open windows facing the most picturesque beach view and the cutest decor throughout the restaurant, this place was perfection.  It was great for lunch but I could definitely tell it's a fun party for dinner!  We will most definitely be back!

Making a quick ice cream stop after lunch, we drove into New Orleans Friday afternoon to spend Labor Day Weekend with family.  We took it easy this trip and didn't do too much.  Normally we would take the kids down to the quarter for beignets or to do something fun and exciting but quality time was our main focus.  Loyal and I did manage to sneak away for a date night and it was such a great time.  We went to one of our favorite Mexican restaurants, Johnny Sanchez, and omg it was amazing!  We couldn't stop talking about how good the food was, how incredible the drinks were (hello frozen watermelon margarita!) and what a great time we had over all.  It was exactly what we needed after not having a date night in a while.
Hope you all had a safe and fun Labor Day! Xo
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