To start off on a very happy note: today, I’m wearing a pair of black Citizens of Humanity jeans that I couldn’t ever wear in college. EVER. Today, I can’t keep them up and really regret not wearing a belt. Have I mentioned that I can’t wait to do some Black Friday shopping because all of my clothes are too big? I’d do a happy dance, but I’m almost positive my pants would fall off if I tried.
I haven’t been this excited to start a new week in a while. I took a sick day on Friday (turns out germs travel quickly in big offices), so I was more than ready to be out of my apartment and around people. I used my lame Friday at home to plan out all of our meals and the corresponding grocery list. Here’s what I’ve got on deck:
Thank goodness for Evernote. I built this out on my computer at home, but I can pull it up on my work laptop if I decide to change things up later in the week (or forget what I’m cooking for dinner). AND, when I did my grocery shopping yesterday evening, I could pull this up and cross-check my meals with my grocery list to make sure I wasn’t forgetting anything. I hate the grocery store (shopping is my least favorite chore of all time), so anything that helps me make sure I only have to make one trip is a big win.
After planning out meals, I put together a master grocery list that I’ll save a copy of and tweak for each week based on what I need. I don’t just hate going to the store and doing the shopping; I hate everything related to the whole entire process, including making the list. After almost 6 months of eating clean, I realized that — for the most part — I buy the same exact groceries each week, even if my meals are completely different. I’ve been re-writing the same list each week since June. Huge waste of time and super annoying. NOT doing that anymore! Now, I’ve got this to work from.
I figured it’d be valuable to post the master list here because — here’s an important little nugget of information that hit me yesterday — everything starts at the grocery store. If you make unhealthy choices in what you buy, you’re setting yourself up for failure. I’ve heard tons of people say “Everything starts in the kitchen” (in fact, I almost bought a workout shirt that has the saying written on it), but I kind of disagree. Simply put, if you stock your kitchen with processed, pre-packaged food instead of buying the REAL, good-for-you stuff, you won’t see the results you’re working your ass off for. You have to supply yourself with the best tools and fuel (whole, clean foods) to set yourself up for true success. When hunger creeps up on you while you’re at home, the simplicity of grabbing a bag of chips from the pantry WILL be more appealing than mixing together some Greek yogurt with fruit from the fridge. If you don’t spend your money on crap and don’t allow it in your kitchen, you’ll thank yourself later. I promise. I do deviate from this list every once in a while, but I try to stick as close to it as possible. It’s lengthy because it’s a dump of EVERYTHING that I cook with. I definitely don’t buy every single item each week.
Master Grocery List
I was a little nervous to try this out. I found it on Pinterest, and it seemed SUPER labor-intensive (which, I’ll be honest — it kind of was). I was terrified it would completely flop, but I’m so glad I bit the bullet and went for it. Pizza and I have a love/hate relationship. I can’t eat just one piece and I know it’s not the healthiest, but it’s so damn delicious. And, it’s versatile. You can put anything on top of crust and call it a pizza without looking crazy. The possibilities are endless. I chose to go with BBQ Chicken and it turned out deliciously, but my crust was too thin to hold all of the heavier chicken, cheese, and BBQ sauce. I’d go with sliced tomatoes and basil or something lighter next time just to be able to eat it with my hands instead of a form… Or maybe I’d just make the crust about twice as thick. :o)
If you’re wanting pizza but aren’t a fan of the BBQ Chicken flavor, use the crust ingredients listed below and replace the ingredients in Step 8 with whatever the hell you want! (There’s that versatility I was talking about.) For the crust only, this recipe has 259 calories, 12.5g fat, 22.5g carbs, and 18g protein. If you improvise on the toppings, add this to the details of whatever you use. The crust alone is worth a shot. I couldn’t tell a difference from regular thin-crust pizza, and I worked in a NY-style, family-owned, LEGIT Italian restaurant throughout high school. Believe me, I know my pizza.
Clean BBQ Chicken Pizza on Cauliflower Crust
Nutritional Overview (1/2 recipe, including toppings)
Cook time: 20 min (active) + 30min (baking)
– 1 medium head of cauliflower
– 2 tsp Almond flour
– 1/4c reduced fat Parmesan cheese
– 1/4c part-skim Mozzarella cheese
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1/2 tsp pepper
– 1 tsp dried Basil
– 1 tsp dried Oregano
– 1 tsp Garlic powder
– 1/2 tsp Onion powder
– 1 egg
BBQ Chicken Toppings:
– 8oz shredded cooked chicken
– Walden Farms Honey BBQ sauce (OR use this recipe to make your own!)
– Chopped red onions
– Chopped fresh cilantro
– 1/4c shredded Gouda cheese
– Red pepper flakes
- Place pizza stone in oven and preheat to 450. (If you don’t have a pizza stone, line a baking sheet with parchment paper.)
- Wash and cut your cauliflower head into chunks (you won’t need too much of the stem). Place in food processor and pulse until you have rice-like flakes (1 medium head will make about 3c. total)
- Transfer to a microwave-safe bowl and cover. Nuke it for about 4-5 minutes; cool completely before attempting next step (or else you’ll burn yourself)
- Pour about half of the cauliflower flakes out onto a few layers of paper towel, then lay a few more paper towels on top. Press down HARD and repeat with dry paper towels until you’re not getting any additional water out of the cauliflower. Repeat with the second half. NOTE: If you have a boyfriend/husband sitting around, I’d recommend having them help with this step. It was my least favorite part and took a bit of muscle. This step is IMPORTANT as it ensures that your crust doesn’t get too crumbly and stays intact, so make sure you get all of the water out!
- Transfer back to your bowl and add remaining crust ingredients. Mix with your hands until cheese, spices, and egg are evenly distributed
- Place dough on parchment paper and roll out into a circle. (Mine was about 1/5in. thick, but I wish it would have been much thicker)
- Transfer to baking stone/sheet and bake for 8-10min until it starts to turn a light/golden brown
- Remove crust from oven and top with a layer of barbeque sauce, chicken, onion, cilantro, and cheese. I threw an extra layer of sauce on top of mine just because I cooked my chicken in a slow cooker and there was a TON of sauce left, but just add as much of each item as you’d like.
- Return pizza to oven and bake for another 10-15 minutes