What’s Cookin in Kell’s Kitchen?

Hey, y’all! I’m Kelly (the Kell in Kell’s Kitchen)- wife, mom of twins, Crossfit fanatic, lover of food, and aspiring entrepreneur. I’ve been cross-fitting for just over 2 years and meal prepping for most of that time, but I literally started my meal prep business only about 2 weeks ago. I created this blog to share my food and nutrition journey with others who may find it helpful. I can empathize with athletes who experiment with their diets to improve performance. I’ve taken out and added back in more foods than I care to enumerate here searching for the perfect balance. I can also relate to parents who are so tired that we’d trade in meals for a solid chunk of sleep (my husband and I call that “eating sleep” for dinner). I also stand with those of you who have struggled to get to/stay at a healthy weight. That last statement may be surprising to people who know me because I’ve been on the skinny side for most of my life. However, after I gave birth to my twins, I lost too much weight. The doctor told me to stop losing weight, and I was like, “Okay, you tell me how”. The things I tried (mostly drinking milkshakes and avoiding all things cardio) didn’t work. I know, I know…you’re rolling your eyes, but I was unhealthy and that’s bad news at either end of the weight spectrum.  I’ll explain more later, but to make a long story short, starting Crossfit became a gateway that led me to discover more about how my body works and encouraged me to make better decisions on how I want to fuel it. I say all this to say, I’ve been there. I’m still there. Let’s work this out together, huh?

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That’s me with twin #1

Disclaimer: That process I mentioned about finding out how to fuel my body…it’s a very personal one. I’m telling you what I’m cooking and sharing tips I’ve learned to make meal prep easier. Hopefully, you’ll try some things out and exercise the freedom to make it your own!

What I ate this past week:

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Top Sirloin Beef Stroganoff with egg noodles and lemon-garlic green beans

Here’s the recipe link I used for the stroganoff. It’s classic comfort food with a slight upgrade over the ground beef version.

For the green beans, I snapped off the tops, added water to almost cover the beans and boiled for about 5 minutes. Next, I melted about a tablespoon of butter, added the drained beans to the pan, mixing in some lemon zest, 1 clove of minced garlic, and the juice from half a lemon. Finished off with a few grinds of Himalayan pink salt. So good!

Citrus Herb Chicken Thighs with wild rice and quinoa mix and sauteed kale

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Recipe for Citrus Herb Chicken. I highly recommend marinading overnight for the best flavor!

I use Harris Teeter’s wild rice blend and organic quinoa (3:1 ratio) and cook in half chicken stock/half water (using the amount on the rice container as a guide). I also add EVOO or butter and a ranch seasoning blend that I use on everything!

The secret to good kale starts with the art of massage. Rub the EVOO into the kale like you love it and indeed, you will love it! A little salt, dash of lemon juice, splash of soy and sautee until it’s bright green but not too wilted.

Apple pulled pork with paleo peach BBQ sauce, roasted cabbage, and mashed sweet potatoes

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I use this recipe to cook the pulled pork in the crock pot. I mostly followed this recipe for my BBQ sauce, but I used red onions instead of shallots (because that’s what I had, will try with shallots eventually) and added a splash of liquid smoke.

Cut your cabbage horizontally into “steaks”. Use a pastry brush to paint it with a mixture of EVOO, minced garlic, salt and pepper. Roast at 400 to desired texture. I like mine a bit burned on the edges and a slight crunch. Stir around so it doesn’t burn more than you want.

I bake my sweet potatoes at 400 for about an hour. To prep them, rub with a little EVOO and poke with fork. Turn halfway through cooking time to avoid burning on the bottom. Once the potatoes cool, I peel them and mash with a fork in a large glass bowl. I add coconut oil, cinnamon and pure vanilla extract. I could literally eat these at every meal!

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I would add a recipe link, but I’ve refined this from several different soup iterations I’ve tried, and I’ll probably continue to perfect it. Here’s what I did this time, nonetheless:

Step 1: The chicken. I’ve used boiled chicken, pulled rotisserie chicken, crockpot fajita chicken, etc. All are good, but I was in a hurry so boiled it was. I brined it for a couple hours then boiled with my aromatics still in (bay leaf, garlic, onion, whole peppercorns). Wait for it to cool (important step to save your fingers), then shred. Mix up 2 & 1/2 tsp. chili powder, 1 tsp. paprika, 3/4 tsp. pepper, 1 tsp. salt, and 2 Tbsp cumin. Add this to the shredded chicken and mix well. Set that aside to absorb all the yummy spices.

Step 2: The veggies. All soups start here. Heat up the EVOO and sautee a bell pepper and an onion for about 5 minutes or until onion is translucent. I love red onions, but it doesn’t have to be a red one. Next, add 4-6 cloves garlic (depending on how much you hate vampires), a chopped jalapeno with seeds, and a handful of cilantro. Next add all that plus a can of tomatoes with chilies (14.5 oz) and a can of regular diced tomatoes to the blender.

Step 3: Putting it all together. Pour the contents of your blender back into the back in the pot, add your seasoned chicken, 32 oz. or so of chicken broth, some lime juice, and salt to taste.

Okay, lastly, the jar salad. I make my own dressing because it’s cheaper and better. You can make nearly any kind of vinaigrette with 1/4 cup EVOO and 1/4 cup red wine vinegar. After that base, you can add Dijon mustard, honey, Italian spices, garlic…basically whatever you like from there! The dressing goes on the bottom, then you can add any veggies that mix well with liquid (tomatoes, carrots, radishes, cucumbers). Next layer is usually feta for me. This week, I added some chick peas roasted in paprika and cumin on top of the cheese. Lettuce/greens on top. When layered right, these babies will stay fresh for about a week. Much longer than in the “crisper” drawer.

Thanks for checking out my menu. Leave a comment if you give any of these dishes a try! Stay tuned for next week’s menu post!

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