As promised, here is our post about the delish meals the Riley family whipped up for us this past weekend in Houston. You can find more about our trip HERE since it was Nash's first road trip and what a success. We love going to visit the Rileys for many reasons but one imparticular has to do with food. They are both such amazing cooks. Creamy casseroles, decadent desserts, smoked meat and buffet breakfasts used to be on the agenda. But this family has recently caught the healthy eating bug and I am amazed at the changes, both in their life, pant size and pantry.
It's almost like I have to joke and ask, 'Who are you people and what did you do with our Rileys?' Some serious healthy changes are taking place under that roof. You can read more on those HERE but I'll share what I noticed. They're up before we wake up to get their daily run in and are frequenting a pick your own strawberry farm (HERE). They're eating kale chips for snack and doing Insanity workouts during the weekday. They're picking up co-op produce boxes (HERE) and Luann is now a wealth of information on her healthy eating/cooking crusade.
Ok so now that I've laid the groundwork for you, I can honestly say that Justin has lost some 50+ pounds so far and really does look like a new person. Luann has always looked absolutely amazing (even after giving birth to two twins) but I just have to point out that her bottom has never looked better. That is one tight tush, haha! So not only internal changes are taking place but some pretty drastic physical changes too. Justin swears his massive dietary changes have even cured his ongoing battles with eczema and athlete's foot too. How awesome is that? They're GONE!
So here are some health(ier) recipes that Luann whipped up this weekend. I will absolutely be trying the asparagus, but adding my own spin on things. As for the Greek Crockpot Chicken, Luann used the So Delicious brand coconut yogurt instead so that it was dairy free to Justin and me and it was so delish. The steak marinade is one that I know Walt will love in the coming months. Although for us, just like the Rileys, steak really is a rarity anymore and such a treat. Thank you Rileys for all the awesome meals and insight into all the changes y'all are making. We're so proud of all four of you!
PS - If you're a big Pinterest user, make sure to follow Luann HERE. I love her board 'Can You Taste the Love In It' (HERE) for many reasons. First and foremost, this is a lady that cooks from the heart and loves to entertain. She really is a kitchen whiz but I love looking at this particular board and seeing her lifestyle change right there. Scan to the bottom, all cheesy and gooey goodness. Now back to the top of the board and fresh ingredients abound. She's also quite crafty as evidenced HERE...love me some Lu!
Carmelized Sesame Roasted Asparagus
1 bunch of asparagus, about 20-25 spears, stems removed
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire rack on top. Spray the rack with nonstick spray. In a small bowl, whisk together oils, brown sugar and garlic. Using a pastry brush, a spoon or even your hands (I did this…), brush the spears thoroughly with the oil/sugar mixture. Give the whole tray a hefty sprinkle of sesame seeds. Roast for 20-30 minutes, or until spears are crispy. Serve warm.
Best Steak Marinade Ever
1/3 cup soy sauce (Luann used Bragg's amino acids)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
3 tablespoons dried basil
1 1/2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon dried minced garlic (optional)
Place the soy sauce, olive oil, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, basil, parsley, and pepper in a blender. Add garlic, if desired. Blend on high speed for 30 seconds until thoroughly mixed. Pour marinade over desired type of meat. Cover, and refrigerate for up to 8 hours. Cook meat as desired.
The yummy grilled veggies we had 'on the side' with our steak and asparagus! What a delish and yummy meal! I'm soy/citrus free right now for Nash so I just had a tiny bite of Walt's marinated steak and yummers, it was great!
And the twangel (twin angels) shenanigans that were going on while we all cooked dinner. Such gorgeous little smiles and souls.
Easy (Diary Free) Crockpot Greek Chicken with Quinoa
1 Small Whole Chicken (3-5 lbs.), skin removed
(Luann used chicken tenders and it turned out great!)
1 Red Onion, diced
2 Cups Vegetable Broth
1/2 cup Greek Yogurt (or So Delicious coconut yogurt for dairy free)
1 cup Quinoa
Juice of 1 Lemon
1 Tbs. Oregano
1 Tbs. Basil
Place all ingredients except chicken in crock pot and stir well. Add in chicken (you can keep it whole or break it into breast, thigh, leg wing etc. This recipe also works with frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts). Cook on low for 6+ hours. Use a thermometer to make sure the internal tempature of the chicken has reached 165 degrees (F). Serve chicken on top of quinoa dressing.
Nash was too busy tending to his sippy cup of milk to even notice all the good eats that were going on around him. He also loved sitting in one of the big boy's high chairs. He was snug as a bug!
And I'll leave you with this hilariously adorable pic. Eli jumping away on his trampoline in MY COWBOY BOOTS! Hee hee, I love it!