Monthly Archives: April 2012


Sometimes in life you have to prioritize… it might come at you gradually or it might hit you quickly. A great example of “hitting me quickly” was recently when I was reading a blog post over at Iowa Girls Eats I realized that a recipe was a priority.

I mean the title hooked me and I just knew the post was heaven sent… “I Don’t Feel Like Making Dinner” Dinnerย (click for the recipe)… **I was nodding my head as I read the post totally agreeing with the fact I really didn’t want to make dinner either**

Yes… she had me pinned (actually I pinned it on my recipe board… I will never think of pin the same, thanks Pinterest). In that moment, I read the beginning of the post, stopped at the list of ingredients, made a list, ran straight to Winn Dixie, bought the ingredients, and came home and made the “MOST AMAZING” dinner ever (David said… and me too)!

Haha it was the NFL draft night and I thought something “football/tailgate-ish” would be fitting while watching (okay mainly David was watching) the draft… and the fact that it looked AH-mazing.

I guess the Crossfit in me had to actually test the time… so I set the timer to 30 minutes and got to fixin’ dinner… spoiler alert, Iowa Girl Eats and Picky Palateย aren’t fibbing, 30 tops, and easy clean-up!








For the protein, the recipe calls for chicken but I had stuck a beef roast in the crock-pot the day before and had the meat already shredded in a bowl. So I used that for my protein.








Another GREAT thing about this recipe… it is now in my official recipe book. I have been on the hunt for an enchilada recipe that mimicked what I had for dinner one of the first visits to Texas. My cousins made the best enchiladas I have ever had… and this was the closet I have ever tasted to them. This is a deconstructed enchilada… and using my favorite sauce, verde/green chili.








Did I mention you just throw your ingredients together into a baking dish and top with cheese. It is that easy… but for some pretty pictures and great directions go check out the post at Iowa Girl Eats ๐Ÿ™‚ One (of many) of the cool things that I enjoy from her blog… Friday Favorites. Every Friday she flies around the web and finds all sorts of cool things that she shares on the Friday Favorite post. Be sure to check that out too!








When you take this tasty looking dish out of the oven… beware you will want to dig right in! It is good y’all. Promise.








Instead of salsa or pico, I decided to make a little kale-pico!


  • Shredded Kale (massaged in lime juice and salt/pepper)
  • Cherry Tomatoes (sliced)
  • Green Bell Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • Lime Juice
  • Salt/Pepper to taste

This accompanied my serving of the enchiladas along side some blue corn tortilla chips. So good! I was going to make Pico De Gallo, but just decided to change it up with some farm fresh kale I had on hand. I thought the kale replaced the green onion well, the green bell pepper replaced the jalapeno nicely, and the cherry tomatoes made the whole thing just perfect!








Well another thing made it perfect… the (David’s speciality) mojito ๐Ÿ™‚

So the other type of priority (type 2)… the ones that gradually build up to the point where you know you must stop, prioritize, and get things done. So I want to be upfront with you guys… the reason why this whole post is entitled priorities is because well I am officially “down to the wire” with my thesis. In other words, I have deadlines. I have due dates. My first one is next Tuesday, May 9th!ย And I have post-its with my goals now lining my desk area. And if I achieve them one by one I will graduate soon!

All that to say, I will be trimming down on a lot of things that I love in order to give a lot of extra time and attention to my thesis work. One being daily (not lately haha!) blog posts ๐Ÿ™ I have tried to trim down a little but I think it will make it easier on me and my awesome audience if I am upfront with my blog plan. I would like to transition (for the month of May as of now) to a weekly post. I am thinking a weekly post on Wednesdays at a particular time (any ideas??), so you will know when to expect it and then a “Hey, here are my vitals” post whenever I need a break!

I will be focusing onย DC Garden updates and a recipe every week for the weekly blog post ๐Ÿ™‚ So any encouragement… Icees… care packages… ย kind words… you catch my drift will be appreciated. I do have some Love Grown Foods Granola on the way that I won over at Edible Perspectiveย (check her out)!

Have a happy Tuesday and talk to you soon ๐Ÿ™‚


Paleo Bars

Recently I have been ordering some items from Swanson… they emailed me and asked if I would be interested in getting a gift certificate ($25) that I could spend however I wanted to on their site… then they told me to go on their Facebook page and get a free $5 coupon… I was won over! I couldn’t turn that down. And in perfect timing… I was almost out of protein powder, chia seeds, probiotics, and fish oil! So that is exactly what I ordered ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks Swanson… and be sure to go check out what they offer… great deals and great products! You can find them on Facebook with some rockin’ daily promo codes and deals of the day ๐Ÿ™‚

The protein powder is great and of very high quality… the nice thing, it isn’t chalky or weird tasting. NICE! Smoothies are something that we love making because it is a great vehicle for awesome products like these, so we decided to amp up what we normally do with protein powder and chia seeds… creating Paleo Bars!

CAUTION: Be prepared for A LOT of open space after this picture… haha I am working on a new template. Forgive me ๐Ÿ™‚ Just take the time to ponder what you could buy from Swanson!











Paleo Bars- DC Style

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 1 ounce chia seeds
  • 30 grams of hemp seeds
  • 20 grams of whey protein
  • 80 grams of dates

Wet Ingredients:

  • 60 grams of almond butter
  • 60 grams of sunflower butter
  • 42 grams of coconut manna
  • 21 grams of honey

ย How to:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees. These bars are close to being raw, but we did bake them for a short time.
  2. Pulse walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and cashews and give them either a rough chop or a quick pulse in the food processor. Then chop your dates (don’t forget to remove the pit!). Now combine these dry ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Get your measuring cup and spray it with some oil. This makes the butters just slide right out. No waste here ๐Ÿ™‚ So get your almond and sunflower butter, coconut manna, and honey into a bowl. Warm this mixture for roughly 20-30 seconds in the microwave to insure the ingredients are easy to combine (in other words, if your arms are sore from yesterday’s WOD, this will help things along without a lot of work haha!).
  4. Now mix your dry and wet ingredients together! Combine thoroughly… this takes time.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and transfer the bar mixture to the pan. Take the mixture and spread it out to make a square. Roughly 1/4 of an inch thick.
  6. Bake for 12 minutes.
  7. Once out of the oven let them chill out for about 15 minutes. They should be cool to the touch. Now you can cut them- we did 8 bars. Refrigerate and enjoy when you get a hankering for a bar!

Important to note here- this recipe has coconut manna which is a solid at room temperature but is a liquid above 75 degrees. Therefore, this is why you want them to cool so the bars won’t fall apart!ย And before you measure it out you will need to place it in a warm bath so it becomes scoop-able ๐Ÿ™‚

Nutrition Information (roughly): 314 calories, 22 grams of fat, 22 grams of carbs, and 11 grams of protein








We also sprinkled the tops with cinnamon… which was a great touch with some nice flavor ๐Ÿ™‚ I had my first Paleo Bar DC Styleย with some goat milk yogurt and blackberries. So good!

I have made a few MAJOR changes to the blog– I am coming up on my 1 year WordPress blog birthday and I decided it was time to upgrade ๐Ÿ™‚ Hang in there with me while the changes slowly occur. Yesterday was the BIG transition day from to and Cookin Up Life actually didn’t exist for about 5 hours…. which gave me a mini heart attack! But now it is back and running… with DreamHost and VaultPress as back-up! Now just have to hunt for a publishing platform now (I used Blogo before) for Mac. Any recommendations?

Have a great end of the week,

Courtney (and David… he helped with this post A LOT)