Make a Simple Dinner a Simply Awesome Dinner

WineBottles

    


It’s funny how adding a bottle of wine to an otherwise normal meal can make it special.

Such was the case the other night when we decided to kick things up a notch as we grilled chicken and my wife made her special roasted potato wedges.

It was sort of a ‘let’s celebrate springtime’ dinner.  With great food and some great wine!

A glass of Ribera y Rueda Protos white wine turned our delicious dinner into something really special. The wine was great – quite bold for a white wine — and we both enjoyed a couple glasses.

Protos Wine Pour

Sometimes we struggle with what to make for dinner. But during the summer months, we like to grill out as much as we can.

Both the boys love grilled chicken and they can’t get enough of their mom’s seasoned potato wedges.

Here’s the recipes for the wedges. Very easy. Very fast. Very good.

  • About six medium to large size baking potatoes (Idaho potatoes are perfect) scrubbed clean and cut into wedges
  • Two tablespoons EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil)
  • Two teaspoons sea salt
  • One tablespoon dried Italian seasonings (oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme, etc.)
  • One tablespoon dried parsley

Pouring potatoes onto baking sheet

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Your rack should be in the middle position.
  2. Place the potato wedges in a very large mixing bowl.
  3. Drizzle the EVOO over the wedges.
  4. Sprinkle on the salt and seasonings. You can also add a small pinch of freshly-ground pepper if you want.
  5. With a couple large spoons (or your clean hands) toss the potatoes so they are completely covered with the oil and seasonings.
  6. Pour the wedges onto a large, rimmed baking sheet. Try to keep just one layer of potatoes on the sheet. If a few overlap, it’s not a big deal – they’ll be fine.
  7. Place the potatoes in the oven and set your kitchen timer for about 12 minutes.

Check the wedges. Remove the baking sheet and using a heat-resistant pancake turner, turn the potatoes over so they cook evenly on both sides.  This helps them to not stick to the baking sheet too!

 

turning potatoes on baking sheet

Return the potatoes to the over and bake for another 10-12 minutes.

Make good use of your time: You can grill your boneless/skinless chicken breasts while the potatoes are baking.

 

chicken breasts on the grill

Non-stick aluminum foil is the best!  We use it when we don’t want a big mess on the grill.

 

chicken on serving platter

 

opening photo

 

For 2,000+ years, winemakers from Ribera and Rueda – located in northwest Spain and only about an hour away from Madrid – have cultivated what’s new and what’s next in every vineyard and vintage they produce:

  • Rueda Verdejos (white grape varietal) are bright, crisp and creative
  • Ribera del Duero Tempranillos (red grape varietal) are bold, rugged and ripe

 

dinner plate with food

Sometimes we keep it really simple with the chicken and simply sprinkle some salt and pepper on them during the cooking process. Other times, we baste them with EVOO and sprinkle Italian seasoning on them too.

A simple lettuce salad with mixed greens and some chopped veggies makes for a perfect accompaniment to this meal. Of course, if you’ve been following me for any length of time, you know that I use oil + vinegar dressing about 99.9% of the time.

Here’s the recipe for my homemade version.

 

A few days later, we tried the bottle of LLEIROSO red wine.

Honestly, I’m NOT a big fan of red wine.  The  Ribera y Rueda red was extremely bold — much too strong for me.

 

red wine and hearty salad

For more information on the Ribera y Rubera wine, visit their Tumblr page.  You’ll find your nearest retailer, some great wine-inspired playlists, and a whole lot more.

 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Paleo Recipe :: Super Simple Sunday Salad

 

simple salad in mixing bowl

If you’re looking for a quick, easy Paleo recipe for a breakfast, lunch, or dinner salad, then this is it.

It was late Sunday morning and I wanted something good for me.

So…here it is.

CONFESSION:  I used lettuce-in-a-bag for this one.

It doesn’t get any easier than that.

All by itself, lettuce-in-a-bag (or plastic container) is pretty darned boring.

So…add some chopped veggies, a hard-boiled egg, and few other flavors and you’re all set.

Oh, and don’t forget the oil + vinegar dressing.

Because an undressed salad is a sad, sad thing.

 

 

The What

  • 2 cups lettuce
  • 1/4 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 hard-boiled egg, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 large Roma tomato, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sunflower kernels
  • 1/2 cup chopped red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon oil + vinegar salad dressing
  • 1 pinch of sea salt
  • 1 large pinch of coarse black pepper

 

The How

  1. Add lettuce, eggs, vegetables, and sunflower kernels to a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the salt, pepper, and salad dressing.  Toss until all ingredients have the beautiful sheen of the oil + vinegar dressing.
  3. Plate up and enjoy!

 

super_simple_salad

This recipe makes enough for two nice-sized salads.

You could share it with someone, or…pack up half and have it later.

It makes a great addition to your lunch bag.

Make it great.

Make it paleo.

 

Shop. Chop. Plop. My Three Steps to Meal Prep

onions-282428_1280

 

The old saying “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail” is certainly apropos when it comes to a food plan.

ANY food plan.

I don’t know about you, but it’s a challenge sometimes to stay engaged in my Paleo food plan. It’s not because I don’t like it – I LOVE the food and how it makes me feel – it’s just the time and energy required to stay on top of it.

Hey, (in case you’ve wondered) I’ve fallen off the wagon many times.

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I’m Losing Weight with the Lose It! App

I'm losing it

 

Without doing any research, I would bet a lot of money that the most-popular New Year’s resolution is losing weight. And I’d be right there with the rest of the crowd.

I promised myself that I wouldn’t go the ‘resolution route’ this year. Instead, I’m creating a MANIFESTO that will help guide me through the year (and into the next year). You’ll see all the details in an upcoming blog post — I promise!

OpenClips / Pixabay

Wow!  That’s a BIG number, isn’t it?

One of the sections of my manifesto is Health and Wellness.   So, no matter whether I call it a resolution or a goal or a line item on my manifesto, I really do want to (need to) lose about 50 pounds.

That sounds like a lot of weight. But…when you do the math, that comes out to a little more than four pounds each month. Or about a pound a week.

I really think I can do that!

Three of my best friends at work asked me to join them on the health improvement and weight-loss journey today by signing up for the free app LoseIt!. So I did.

{I need all the help I can get.}

I’ve added my profile information and even logged the food I’ve eaten for the past few days.

Gulp!

And, to my surprise (not really) the food that I’ve been eating at lunch during the work week is killing me.  My cheat meals at Garden Wok are over — at least for now.  I have to totally concentrate on good food choices — every day of the week.

Literally.

clip art weighing scale with footprints

I guess you can only trick yourself for so long. And today was the last day for that.

I’m at the highest weight of my life and that’s sad. Sad because I allowed it to happen. Yes, I could blame it on some of the medications I take. One of the biggest side effects of one of them is weight gain. But…since I know that, I should be taking action to prevent the weight gain from happening in the first place. At least that’s my thought.

Instead, I’ve just allowed myself to get fat and lazy.

Sad. Sad. Sad.

It’s time to turn the bus around and get VERY serious about food choices and exercise (which has been non-existent for a long time). Because “I’m busy and I don’t have time.” (READ: I’m just lazy and don’t want to move.)

I won’t be running any marathons in the near future; however, I need to get up and MOVE.

In addition to my poor choices for lunch, I am a charter member of the Clean Plate Club. And I have to learn to break that habit too. The club will have to go on with out me. Blah. Blah. Blah.

Here’s a screen capture of the Lose It! home page.

home page of lose it screen capture

 

 

You can access your information from your computer and your smart phone.  And it’s FREE.  There’s a premium version that you can pay for, but (so far) the free version is perfect for what I need to do.

lose it screen capture

 

And here’s where I track my weight.  The scale at work weighs heavier than my scale at home (don’t you hate that?) but we all agreed that we should use the same scale.  We’re having weekly weigh ins.  On Fridays.

screen capture lose it with weight tracking

So far, Lose It! seems to be a great way to keep track of my meals and exercise.  There are also several support groups you can join (for free).  I’ve joined two.  I haven’t done much with them (yet) so I can’t give you any feedback on them.

I’ll be posting my weight loss progress here on the blog at least weekly.  I’ll really appreciate your support.  And I’ll be happy to encourage you too.

 

P.S.  I’m all done posting all the ‘bad’ food pictures on Instagram.  I know I went pretty crazy with the heavy, carb-laden foods lately.  College Boy and Tall Child were on Christmas break and we tend to stay home and cook big, hearty meals when they are home.  They love to eat.  And my wife and love it when we can all be together.
P.P.S. If YOU are interested in joining LoseIt! and want to keep tabs on me, just email me and I’ll share my ID so you can be my ‘friend’.  : )
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