Monday, April 29, 2013

Gym Class Hero

Lockers are pretty much all the rage these days and there are some seriously swoon-worthy ones out there. Unfortunately, most of them pack a hefty price tag.

Like this beauty at $699 from Restoration Hardware. I mean, it's gorgeous but $699 for a child's desk?! Please, RH, be serious.

Or this one, on Etsy. It'll set you back $675 + $150 shipping. Yes, that's in American dollars.

Well, if you're lucky enough to have husband that hoards collects as a hobby, you may just be able to be graced with one of these bad boys for $100 (actually free. He got two for $100 and sold the other one for $100). He's the William Shatner of our household. 

The Hubs, ever so crafty and creative as he is (if he dressed better and I wasn't married to him, I'd really question his sexuality...) found some letters at our local home improvement store, painted them and 'roughed them up' a little bit. Then glued each one on. Not sure if you can tell down the right hand side, but it's got my little guy's name down the side.

He did this project a little over three years ago, so I'm pretty impressed with his ahead-of-the-curve taste. Now, if we can just do something about his wardrobe, we'll be in business :)

I really wish I had a photo editor to make this prettier and add a fun little graphic, but alas, I'm still searching. Any advice would be much appreciated!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

{Recipe} Salmon Salad

My. New. Jam.

This is seriously amazing. I was pleasantly surprised. I had some leftover salmon from last night's dinner and reheated, plain salmon is not my thing, but I definitely can't waste protein (uhm, have you seen the price of ground turkey lately?! Seriously? I'm in the wrong business). I searched around and found this (a site I'm loving, btw)...get ready to stock up on salmon.

Ok, not the most appealing picture, but I promise. What it lacks in gorgeousness, it makes up for in taste. This is the first time I've made it but it seems to be one of those forgiving recipes that you can tweak to your little hearts desire.

Here's my version:

1 4oz cooked salmon filet (you could also use 1 can of salmon)
1/2 c (or so) of black beans - rinsed and drained
Diced red onion (I'd say 1 T. or so)
Diced tomato 
Dollop of olive oil mayo or greek yogurt (I used mayo)
Squirt of dijon mustard
1 tsp. or so of balsamic vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste

All of the ingredients were either cold (salmon from fridge) or room temp. Mix up and dig in! 

I scooped up with a serving size (15 crackers) of gluten-free multi-seed crackers. 

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! 

Love to hear your tweaks if you make them :)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

{Recipe} Quick & Clean Chili

Happy Thursday, Everyone! It's a rainy day here - perfect for blogging...and chili (if you follow me on instagram (niki_hellostripes), you've already seen this). This has quickly become one of my favorite go to meals (apparently, much to the Golden Boy's dismay. He doesn't like beans? Crazy person.). It's quick, clean and you're more than likely to have all the ingredients already in your freezer, fridge or pantry. The original recipe can be found here, but I've tweaked it after several times of making it, until I found a way that I like best. Feel free to tweak to your tastes. It's a pretty forgiving recipe.

Quick & Clean Chili::Hello Stripes Style


2 - 2.5 lbs. extra lean ground turkey (grass-fed beef or bison)
½ cup chopped onions (or 1 tbsp. onion powder)
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 -- 15 oz. can dark red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
1 – 15 oz. can pinto beans (drained and rinsed)
2 - 3 – 14.5 oz. cans Organic Diced Tomatoes (do not drain)
1 -- 14.5 oz. can yellow corn (drained)
1 -- 28 oz. can Rotel (do not drain)
1 -- 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1/2 tbsp. Splenda Brown Sugar blend
1 tbsp. chili powder
2 tbsp. white vinegar
3 tbsp. regular yellow mustard
2 tsp. cumin
1 - 2 tsp. salt


In a large pot add onions/onion powder and meat, sprinkled with garlic powder and cook until no longer
pink and drain.

Next add all the ingredients and stir
until combined.  

Simmer for about 10 minutes.  

May sprinkle veggie shreds or a light cheese on top. I also slice 1/2 of an avocado on top.  
Makes 10 servings (or 5, if you're like me...).

I usually make cornbread with this. It just seems to really make it into an actual meal. I will have a small, small piece. Just enough to get my fix :)


Thursday, April 4, 2013

{Recipe} My favorite way to do chicken

This is my favorite way to do chicken. We had it a couple nights ago, but I forgot to take a picture so, lets just pretend I cooked this perfect looking meal. I cook this probably once a week.

Ok, first the marinade - the pi├Ęce de r├ęsistance. Back when I used to have time to watch TV, I loved me some Giada. This is her Mixed Grill Marinade and it. is. BALLIN'. I use it and love it so much, that it prompted me to buy a lemon tree. Seriously.

For marinade:
5 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup fresh lemon juice, from about 5 lemons

2 cups extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons smoked salt, or kosher salt

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

I take 2 organic chicken breasts (this is usually the only time I use this brand because it's about $10/lb. but the flavor and quality really is noticeable) and marinate them in the above marinade in the fridge for at least an hour. Sometimes two. I'll put them out about 20 minutes and let the chill come off of them before I throw them in the grill pan.

Here's how it's done:

In a medium bowl, combine the marinade ingredients.

In a large bowl, combine the marinade with the chicken breasts. Toss to combine. Cover and let marinate for at least 1 hour. If marinating for longer than 1 hour, make sure to refrigerate.

Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Grill the chicken breasts to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, about 7 minutes a side.

It is the juciest, most awesome chicken ever. I will usually serve it with a green of some sort (usually zuchinni, asparagus, or fresh green beans, sometimes broccoli for me) and a complex carb (wild rice, quinoa, and if I'm feeling especially nice, I make cornbread for the Golden Boy) I'll slice the pan into 12's and I'll usually eat 1 serving. No clue on how much that is, but it's a small portion. Just enough to have it, but not enough to completely derail my clean eating. 

Giada's Mixed Grill is incredible, if you're feeling like going all out. Back in my gluten-loving days, I did the saffron orzo with it. Insane. I'd probably try saffron quinoa now, if I had time to do the whole shebang. I'll keep you posted if I try that one out and how it goes.