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A Weekend At Chez Jamison

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This weekend was a bit of a slow one. Hubs has another big trial this week so he worked both Saturday and Sunday. I had a number of things to catch up on after being gone, as well as a few recipes to try.
So I ran a bunch of errands and then cooked up a storm to prep for the week.
On the menu this week was vegetarian sloppy joes, mock curried ” chicken” salad, Gardener’s Shepherd Pie and a bison tri tip roast.
But before we get started, can I say how much I LOVE this awesome camera strap Husband surprised me with as part of our anniversary present?!
He knows me so well 🙂
I worked on was this Gardner’s Shepherd Pie for dinner Saturday night (and leftovers for later in the week). I had high hopes for this. I subbed sweet potatoes and white beans for the white russet potatoes and greek yogurt for the sour cream.  I thought surely with the abundance of delicious vegetables the flavor would be spectacular. As it turns out it was completely bland.
In fact, I later made a gravy to go over it to make it a bit more enjoyable. Anyone wanting to give it a try, I would recommend adding a can of cream of mushroom soup in with the vegetables to create a more flavorful base. 

I had a number of cleaning tasks to get done on Saturday. In our house any cleaning day involves vacuuming. Jim’s hair is like a plague. It’s long, and just soft enough to catch and stick to absolutely everything.  Regular lent removers hardly touch it, and it finds it’s way into every.single.crevice of our home.
So you can imagine the strain it puts on our poor vacuum. Ol’ trusty lasted us about five years, but Saturday it finally threw in the towel. It gave out a low groan then dove down into a deep growl. The next thing I know there are rubber bits flying over the carpet, smoke filling the room, and a horrendous burnt rubber smell wafting through the house. 
So, Saturday afternoon was spent reading and comparing reviews and finding a new vacuum.
And after the easiest assembly process ever, I broke in this puppy.

It’s the Hoover Windtunnel Pet Rewind. 
Of course everyone’s first suggestion, and my first thought, was to finally get the Dyson I’ve been wanting for so many years. But, after reading countless mixed reviews about the Dyson animal, and determining this Hoover to be one of the top 3 in the affordable models, I went with it. For the $130 price tag I figured if it does a decent job and lasts me a few years, it will have saved me over $350 and been well worth it’s service. It also has a retractable cord, which could almost sell me on that fact alone.
Funny enough, while packing it into my cart I met a couple who had gone through 3 Dysons in the past 5 years and may or may not have had to get a little possessive over my new prize as they had their eyes on it, and it happened to be the last one on the shelves.
Anyway, enough about vacuums, onto more food.
My next task was to create a mock curried “chicken” salad, I’m pretty pleased with how this turned out. Recipe coming later this week!

And then it was Sunday. I anticipated taking advantage of the extra hour of sleep, but when Hubs’ alarm went off I couldn’t go back to sleep. I felt like I worked on things all day long, but come 6:45 when he finally came home I had hardly a thing to show for it. 
Except this…

I’ve mentioned before that health and nutrition is a journey for every individual, and since moving to South Dakota I’ve really had to think about nutrition and diet for me personally. Anyone who has been reading knows that I more or less gave up meat a few years ago, with the exception of fish. This was all well and good when fresh produce was abundantly available, and the shores of North Carolina being only a few hours away ensured that fresh fish was easy to come by. 
Up here however, I haven’t seen a piece of fresh salmon (or any other fish besides trout) since we arrived, and finding garden fresh (you can forget organic) vegetables is impossible. Even the farmer’s market lacks anything outside of a few tomatoes and some homemade jams. 
So, I’ve had to think about what that means for me, and how to adjust my diet to provide the nutrients I need as well as continuing to prevent the migraines from returning.

The biggest issue with meat was the hormones and antibiotics pumped through the majority of meats on the market, and their effect on the hormone balance in my body. 
I am also not a huge fan of depending heavily on fake meats or lots of soy products, not that I don’t love tofu!
Keeping this in mind, as well as my non-existent desire for chicken or pork, I’ve ultimately decided to give the local grass-fed, hormone free bison that South Dakota is prided for, a chance. 

I still don’t see meat as making more than a night or two appearance during the week (I can tell how much harder it is for my body to process), but I can appreciate that bison helps me to feel full on less, offers a very lean protein for my diet, and is one of the healthiest, if not THE healthiest meats available. And it happens to be raised in our relative back yard. 
For those interested, here are the stats on grass-fed bison compared to other popular meats and fishes.
The two most important things to me as far as my diet is concerned, is feeling good physically (and mentally of course), and eating as close to the whole, natural way God intended. 
For now, and in our current situation, bison seems to fulfill that criteria.
Sunday nights dinner involved a larger bison tri tip (also known as a bottom sirloin, or rump roast). I followed this recipe with the addition of yellow mustard in the rub (it helps to tenderize the meat and doesn’t really add flavor), and used carrot, parsnips, kohlrabi, and brussels sprouts in the roasting pan, and added a side of roasted broccoli.
Our oven is on the fritz so the cooking time had to be lengthened considerably to reach the 140 degree meat temp, and after over an hour of roasting the veggies, I had to resort to microwaving them for a few minutes if we were going to eat before 8:00.
But it was worth it.

Bon appetite!

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