Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Instapot Greek Chicken

So Mexico is T-5 weeks.  I've still got extra belly flubber to burn off, and it is coming off slower than I'd like.  However, I am feeling so much stronger in my legs and upper body right now from my dedication to workouts, so I'm going to call it a win and keep going :)  This meal fits in great to help me reach my goals, and HELLO...another instapot recipe for the win!

I was scrolling through Instagram the other day and saw this, and I seriously wanted it right then.  I had every ingredient, so lo and behold it was our dinner that night!  We ate it on pita bread with tzatziki sauce, feta, and cucumbers with a side of fruit and it was tasty stuff :)  The next day for lunch, I heated up some cauliflower rice and ate it over that....and that was even better.  Then I ate it again for dinner, and it was finally gone.  Once drained of the juices it would be great in a wrap as well.

Instapot Greek Chicken

1-2 teaspoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 - 2 lbs chicken (boneless skinless breasts or thighs)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon dry oregano
1/2 tablespoon basil
1/2 teaspoon dill
1 lemon
1 cup chicken broth (or 1 cup water and 1 bullion cube)
12oz jar roasted red peppers
12 oz jar marinated artichoke hearts
optional: fresh minced parsley

Set electric pressure cooker to saute mode.  Add olive oil, onion, and garlic and stir for 2-3 minutes until softened.  Turn saute mode off.  

Place chicken breasts in pressure cooker and sprinkle in all seasonings.  Add chicken broth and juice from half of the lemon.  Secure lid.  Cook on manual high pressure for 6 minutes.  Let sit for 5 minutes or so on natural release and then quick-release remaining pressure.  (If you're crammed for time, you can quick release immediately after cooking, I just find the chicken turns out a little better if I let it sit for a few.)

Remove chicken and place on cutting board.  Drain juices from roasted peppers and dice, drain juice from artichokes and leave as is or rough chop as desired.  Add both to pot and stir so they can warm through.  Shred chicken and add back into juices.  Add juice from remaining half lemon.  Stir everything together and add parsley if desired.  

Serve on pitas with cucumber and tzatziki, or over rice or cauliflower rice, or in wraps, or whatever you like!  

*If chicken is larger than 1" thick, cut horizontally to make thinner before placing in pressure cooker.

Alternate Slowcooker instructions:  I prefer bone-in breasts for slow-cooking, but you can use whatever you like.  Place all ingredients in slow cooker and cook on low for 4-ish hours until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

Recipe Source: Our Best Bites    

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Instant Beef Stew

I love kitchen gadgets...like I really love them.  I have run out of room for them, and lets just say my kitchen is not small.  This one is worth making space and retiring some older machines!  I've been wanting one of these babies for a while, and loved seeing posts of those who used it, but never felt like I needed it right away.  My great hubby takes notes on my interests and got me one for Christmas.  We've had lots of fun trying things since then.  

We've done all sorts of things with this, and I am learning that some things don't save time, but others it is a game changer!  Like this stew for instance...it would have taken much longer to get this type of result in a crockpot or stovetop.  Awesome weeknight dinner with just a little bit of chopping.  Throw in a few rolls and BAM, comfort food at it's finest :)

Instapot Beef Stew
Serves 6-8

2 pounds beef stew meat, (cut into bite-sized pieces)  We used a chuck roast
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
6 oz can tomato paste
32 oz beef broth
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 cups baby carrots carrots
4-5 small red potatoes,cut into bite-sized pieces (about 3 cups)
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon oregano
1 cups frozen peas
1 cup frozen corn
¼ cup flour
¼ cup water

Place all ingredients into Instant Pot EXCEPT for the frozen peas, corn and flour/water mixture. Stir until well combined.
Seal Instant Pot at set valve to sealing.

Select the Meat/Stew option.

Once cooking time is complete, let Instant Pot sit for 12 minutes. After 12 minutes is up, quick release pressure, placing the valve to the venting position.

After Instant Pot is depressurized, Stir in frozen corn, peas and flour/water mixture and stir until stew thickens a little bit more and corn/peas are warmed, about 3-5 mins.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Creamy Sausage and Tortellini Soup

My husband is very selective on the soups he will call a meal... most do not fill him up and he is eating again 2 hours later.  Every once and a while I will make one and he will tell me "That's a keeper."  Folks, this is a keeper.  Perfectly hearty, fast to make.  Win-win. 

Creamy Sausage and Tortellini Soup

1 lb. Italian sausage
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 small shallot, diced
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
¼ c. all-purpose flour
5 c. chicken broth
14 oz. refrigerated cheese tortellini*
1 tsp. kosher sea salt
½ tsp. ground black pepper
½ tsp. Italian seasoning
6 ounces chopped fresh spinach
2 c. half & half (or heavy cream)

In a large stockpot set over medium-high, cook the sausage until browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked sausage to a paper towel lined plate; set aside.

Add onion, shallot and carrot, sauté for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Add the garlic and sauté for an additional 2 minutes, or until fragrant, stirring occasionally to prevent it from burning.

Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Gradually add in the chicken broth, whisk to combine. Continue cooking until the mixture reaches a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 6 minutes.

Pat as much grease as possible off of the sausage, then add it along with the tortellini, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, spinach, and half & half. Simmer for 5 minutes, or until the tortellini is fully cooked.

Serve immediately with freshly grated parmesan, if desired.

Recipe Source:  The Best Blog Recipes

Copycat Cafe DaVinci Blackened Chicken Pasta

I tell you what...one of my favorite food destinations is....Columbus Ohio.  I've been to lots of big cities, and the one place that has me craving certain dishes over and over again is this city.   We went and visited last year with friends and seriously just went from restaurant to restaurant and threw a football game in the mix.  It was glorious!  Here are just a few of our selections...

Olive Tree


Jenis Ice Cream

North Star Cafe

And Cafe DaVinci

It's amazing how food brings people together and brings back the best of memories, isn't it?!  Anyhow, after years of weekend cravings not being fulfilled, we decided it was time to try our hand at Cafe DaVinci's blackened chicken.  It is a great mix of cajun/italian, definitely not something I would have dreamed up on my own.  Lets just say this turned out rather spectacular and cravings were satisfied!  Give it a try, just be warned this definitely has KICK :)

Copycat Cafe DaVinci Blackened Chicken Pasta

Kosher salt
Four 5-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/4 pounds)
Blackening Spice Rub, recipe follows
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons minced garlic
1/4 cup dry white wine
3 cups heavy cream
1 cup roughly chopped marinated sun-dried tomatoes
1 pound fettuccine
3/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion, for garnish
Basalmic Glaze (bought or homemade)

Blackening Spice Rub: (or can buy pre-mixed...we bought a Zatarains brand)

1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons granulated onion
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon chili powder

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over very high heat. 

Dredge the chicken breasts in the Blackening Spice Rub. Place in the cast-iron skillet. Blacken both sides of the chicken, 2 to 3 minutes per side. 

Transfer the chicken to a baking sheet and place in the oven until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, about 10 minutes. 

Remove from the oven and slice the chicken into strips on the bias. 

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and lightly brown it, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the wine. Pour in the heavy cream, bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce is reduced by half. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and chicken slices. 

Meanwhile, cook the fettuccine al dente, according to the package directions. Drain. 

When the cream sauce is at the desired consistency, stir in 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, the sea salt, pepper and pasta. 

To serve, toss the pasta with the cream sauce and serve on large rimmed plates. Garnish with the green onions and the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan.  Drizzle with basalmic glaze.  

Blackening Spice Rub:
Combine the garlic, black pepper, salt cumin, onion, cayenne pepper, Italian seasoning, paprika and chili powder in a small bowl. Store in an airtight container.

Recipe Source:  Food Network

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Strawberry Almond Overnight Oats

We have been digging overnight oats at our house lately!  It's an easy way for me to make my hubby breakfast he can take to the office, because lets be honest...I'm ALWAYS asleep when he walks out the door.  We have made some we loved, others leave something to be desired.  So the good ones are the ones you will see here.  My other go-to one is the Blueberry Muffin Overnight Oats.  In our trials of different oats, I have found I need texture.  I can't just have oats with mashed up bananas.  I need chunks of fruit, or nuts, or both.  Hence this one made the cut!  It was super yummy...in fact I got a text the morning after I made it from the mister saying "these oats are super good!"  So there you go...husband approved ;)  Enjoy!  

Strawberry Almond Overnight Oats

1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup vanilla almond milk (sweetened or unsweetened)
1 teaspoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon strawberry jam (plus more, if desired)
2 teaspoons honey, or more to taste
1 tablespoon almond butter
1 tablespoon sliced almonds
4 strawberries

In a jar or bowl, combine oats, almond milk, chia seeds, jam, and honey. Stir until well combined and all the oats are covered in liquid. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

For serving: warm oats in the microwave, if desired. Add almond butter and little more jam and stir just slightly so that you can see the swirls. Top with sliced almonds and strawberries.

Recipe Source:  Julie's Eats and Treats

Sunday, April 2, 2017

New Orleans Style Gumbo

After returning from Disneyland and craving some gumbo from the Orleans Cafe, I went on a hunt for a recipe to satisfy my cravings!  Granted, this may not be the easiest dinner out there as it takes a long time to brown the roux.  It. Is. Worth. The. Time.  Seriously!  What is the saying...the secret ingredient is love?!  I say the secret ingredient to many recipes is TIME, which I think equals LOVE. So, next time you are craving some Southern comfort food or want to host a Mardi Gras party...make this.  It is soooo worth it! Enjoy :)

New Orleans Style Gumbo

For the Roux:

1 heaping cup flour
2/3 cup oil

For the Gumbo:
1 whole bunch/stock celery, diced, leaves and all
1 green pepper, diced
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 bunch of green onion, finely chopped
1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
2-3 cloves garlic
1-2 Tbsp Cajun Seasoning
6-8 cups of homemade chicken stock
1 Andouille Sausage, sliced into "coins" (substitute Polska Kielbasa if you can't find a good Andouille)
Meat from 1 Rotisserie Chicken*
2 cups cooked Shrimp
Cooked white rice, for serving

For the Roux*:
In a large, heavy bottom stock pot combine flour and oil. Cook on medium-low heat, stirring constantly for 30-45 minutes. This part takes patience--when it's finished it should be as dark as chocolate and have a soft, "cookie dough" like consistency. Be careful not to let it burn! Feel free to add a little more flour or oil as needed to reach this consistency.

In a separate skillet on medium-high heat place the sausage slices in one layer in the pan. Brown them well on one side (2-3 minutes) and then use a fork to flip each over onto the other side to brown. Remove to a plate.

Add 1/2 cup of the chicken broth to the hot skillet that had the sausage to deglaze the pan. Pour the broth and drippings into your large soup pot. Add remaining 5 1/2 cups of chicken broth. Add veggies, parsley, and roux to the pot and stir well. Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil for 5-7 minutes, or until the vegetables are slightly tender. (Skim off any foam that may rise to the top of the pot.) Stir in cajun seasoning, to taste. Add chicken, sausage, and shrimp.

At this point taste it and add more seasonings to your liking--salt, pepper, chicken bullion paste, garlic, more Joe's stuff or more chicken broth--until you reach the perfect flavor. Serve warm over rice. (Tastes even better the next day!)


*You can make the roux a day or two in advance to cut down on prep time!

*The best way to make this gumbo is by buying a rotisserie chicken--removing all the chicken, and using the carcass to make homemade chicken stock. Then make the gumbo using the homemade broth. You could use store-bought chicken broth, but homemade is way better! 

Recipe Source: Tastes Better From Scratch

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Huevos Rancheros Tosdada

I LOVE Mexican food and flavors.  We live in an area where we can get absolutely AMAZING Mexican food, I have become a snob when it comes to many dishes.  Places I used to love just don't compare anymore.  It's a rough problem to have ;)  

So we can't always head out to the restaurants because we'd go broke...so on occasion I will try and re-create some dishes to eat at home.  This one has become a new favorite at home for a quick dinner or breakfast.  It is fantastic!

Huevos Rancheros Tosdadas

For the Avocado Salsa Verde:
2 medium tomatillos, husked and rinsed
1/2 jalapeno, sliced (seeds removed if you prefer less spice)
1 large California Avocado, peeled and pit removed
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, packed
1/2 lime, juiced
salt to taste

For the Black Beans:
1 (14.5 oz) can black beans, mostly drained
1/2 tsp each: Chili Powder, Garlic Powder, Cumin
1/2 lime, juiced
pinch of salt

For the Tostadas:
8 crunchy corn tostada shells
1 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese
8 eggs
salt and pepper
cotija cheese
fresh cilantro
sliced cherry tomatoes


For the Avocado Salsa Verde:
Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse a few times, until mixture is mostly combined, but still slightly chunky. Set aside. (can be made up to a week ahead of time, store in an air-tight container in the fridge)

For the black beans:
Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. These can be made up to 4 days ahead of time. (store in an air-tight container in the fridge)

For the Tostadas:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with tinfoil and lightly spray with cooking spray. Place the tostada shells in an even layer on the baking sheet.
Spread about 1 to 2 tablespoons of the black bean mixture over the top of each tostada, then sprinkle with a couple tablespoons of shredded cheese. Bake for 3 to 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Meanwhile cook your eggs to your preference. The eggs pictured are "sunny side up." Lightly coat a skillet with non-stick spray and heat over medium-high heat. Crack the egg into the skillet, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until whites have set and yolk is still runny.
Place cooked eggs on top of the hot tostadas, top with the avocado salsa verde, sliced tomatoes, fresh cilantro and a little cotija cheese. Enjoy!

Recipe Source:  I Wash You Dry

Monday, December 19, 2016

Turtle Thumbprint Cookies

Hello there Christmas baking season!  It just makes my heart happy to make treats for the holidays :)  This month I decided to make treats for my husband's work every week for the month.  This way, I can get my baking fix in and yet not eat an obscene amount of goodies.  I can try one or two and then send the rest on their way.  Win-win.  

These little delicious morsels were perfect!  A little more time consuming than some other cookie varieties, but a little more time is worth. every. bite.  Enjoy! 

Turtle Thumbprint Cookies
Yield: 20 small cookies

For the cookies:
1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
½ cup (1 stick) butter
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg, separated
2 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup pecans, finely chopped

For the Caramel:
2/3 cup Kraft caramel bits (or regular caramels, melted)
1/2 tsp water

Combine flour, cocoa and salt. In a separate bowl cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg yolk, milk and vanilla.  Stir in flour mixture, just until combined. Chill dough in the refrigerator for one hour.
Whisk egg whites in a bowl until frothy.  Place chopped pecans in another shallow bowl. Remove dough from fridge and roll into small balls (however many cookies you want--I made 20 small ones).

Roll each dough ball in the frothy egg whites, and then roll and press in the chopped pecans. Place on a greased baking sheet.  

Use the back of a small measuring spoon to make an indentation in the center of each dough ball.

Bake at 350 Degrees F for about 10-12 minutes, or until set.

As the cookies come out of the oven, gently re-press the indentations with a small spoon.
In a microwavable bowl mix the caramel bits and water. Microwave at 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until caramel is melted (1-2 minutes). Pour small spoonfuls of caramel into the indented cookies.  *Optional: Drizzle with melted chocolate (or sprinkle with sea salt)!

Recipe Source:  Tastes Better From Scratch

Friday, July 15, 2016

Ultimate Granola

I am always on the hunt for new healthy options for meals and snacks for the fam.  I was excited to see this recipe with healthy oil and honey as a sweetener.  It is delicious on it's own, over yogurt, and I am excited to try it over ice cream when I'm feeling indulgent :) It's super yummy and you won't feel guilty eating it. Win-win!

Ultimate Granola

6 c. old fashioned oats
1 c. wheat germ
2 c. coconut 
1 c. peanuts or cashews (I use roasted peanuts)
1 c. slivered or sliced almonds
1 c. pecan pieces
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 c. coconut oil
1-1/2 c. honey

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Combine first 7 ingredients in large bowl.  Heat coconut oil and honey in microwave safe bowl until melted.  Pour over oat mixture.  Stir well. Divide mixture onto 2 cookie sheets and spread out into an even layer.  Place on separate shelves in oven and cook 6 minutes.  Swap the two pans places and cook 6 more minutes.  Stir well.  Put back in oven for 6 minutes, swap and cook 6 more minutes.  Stir well.  Turn oven off and place pans back in oven and let cool.  This may take overnight.  Enjoy!

Recipe Source:  Leah Young's Instagram :)

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Grilled Stuffed Jalapeno Chiles

I have recently really started liking the show on Food Network, The Kitchen.  It's fun because it has a group of chefs with totally different styles and it shows how they use different ingredients and give some good tips as well.  

A few weeks back the Mister and I were watching their Father's Day episode and one of the chefs made these.  My husband immediately said he wanted these for Father's Day the next day.  So he got them.  

They turned out super yummy, but I think they are too hot for most kiddos, so he and I had to polish them off ourselves, which wasn't a bad thing ;)  Super easy, super yummy, and a great way to use up some of your garden peppers!  

Grilled Stuffed Jalapeno Chiles
Yield:8 poppers
8 whole fresh jalapenos
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 slices center-cut smoked bacon

Preheat a gas or charcoal grill or stovetop grill pan over high heat.

Grill the jalapenos until browned or blistered on all sides and slightly softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, mix the cheese and oregano in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
To remove the seeds from the jalapenos, make a crosswise cut at the stem end of each jalapeno, then slice lengthwise down the middle, being careful not to cut the jalapeno completely in half. Peel open the sides of each jalapeno and, using a spoon, gently scrape out the seeds and veins. Fill the cavities with 1 tablespoon of the cheese-oregano mixture. Wrap 1 slice of bacon tightly around each stuffed jalapeno to seal in the cheese.

Grill, starting the poppers on the side where the bacon-wrapping ends, until the bacon is crisp and fully cooked, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

Recipe courtesy of Marcela Valladolid (Food Network's The Kitchen)

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Blueberry Muffin Overnight Oats

I feel like I have been going through old-fashioned oats by the bucketful lately.  There are much worse things I could be consuming, I suppose ;)  Anyhow, this last weekend we headed out to our favorite berry patch to get our first dibs on this season's blueberries.  We also got 30 pounds of cherries, which we froze most of, and some dang delicious strawberries.  

I've had overnight oats pinned for years on my breakfast board and thought it was high time I tried them.  They fit in perfectly to my new ways of eating, are filling, and lets be honest-dang delicious.  My favorite is fresh fruit in these (enter my previously stated blueberries).  I am really excited to try the other 20 varieties I've had pinned!  The Mr. also gave this one 2 thumbs way up :)

Blueberry Muffin Overnight Oats

1/2 c. old-fashioned oats
1/2 c. unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice, or water)
1/2 of a medium-large banana, mashed
2-3 Tbsp. fresh blueberries
1/2 tsp. maple syrup
1/4 tsp. lemon zest

Mix all ingredients up and place in a 1/2 pint mason jar.  Cover and place in fridge overnight.  Top with extra blueberries in the morning, and breakfast is served!

Recipe Source:  Another Root

Monster Cookie Energy Balls

I have been so happy about my progress over the last 7ish weeks.  I followed the 21-Day Fix meal plan fairly closely for a few weeks, and since then I have just been doing my own thing.  If anything else, it gave me a better idea on what portions should be and how much of certain food groups I should be eating.  My weight loss has slowed, but I am still losing while not counting containers either.  I have still been eating many 21-Day fix meals, just not worrying about the container counts.  

So, during my whole pregnancy I am pretty sure the only thing I ate was sweets.  No joke.  Cookies for breakfast, pudding cups for snacks, and lets just say I stocked up on Halloween and Christmas candy (yikes).  Cutting back on sweets has been hard, so what I've tried to do is find healthy alternatives.  Frozen grapes work sometimes, and my Shakeology holds of my morning cravings, but in the afternoon or after dinner I need a little something.  Enter energy balls.  I have been so happy with these!  My kids have been requesting these over cookies, and since they are filled with things like flax, chia, what germ, and small amounts of sugar, I am glad to have these for them for after school snacks or an on-the-go breakfast. 

Try them.  You will like them, especially cold out of the refrigerator.  YUM!

Here's some benefits to some of the components of these balls:  

Peanut Butter- Full of protein, fiber and potassium. Gives you an energy boost.

Oats- Filling, whole-grain, full of fiber and so much more!

Honey- Natural sweetener and full of vitamins.

Flax Seed- High in Omega 3, full of antioxidants and vitamins.

Chia Seed- Full of Iron, Omega 3, and even more vitamins and minerals.

Wheat Germ- Boosts immune system, full of nutrients.

Monster Cookie Energy Balls

½ cup creamy Peanut Butter
⅓ cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup old fashioned oats
⅓ cup ground flaxseed
1 Tablespoon chia seeds
optional: 2 Tbsp. wheat germ
¼ cup mini chocolate chips
¼ cup mini M&M's

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Refrigerate for 15-30 minutes then roll into balls. Keep energy bites stored in an air tight container in the fridge or freezer.

This recipe can easily be adapted to your preference. M&M's can be omitted and substituted with your favorite nut or dried fruit etc. I usually add shredded coconut instead.

Recipe Source:  Love To Be In the Kitchen

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Chicken Sausage and Veggie Stir Fry

Well, I've decided to start posting some of my healthy meals, regardless if there is an actual recipe or not.  I need to keep motivated, and looking back on here for healthy meal ideas will help me do that :)

Anyhow, I just threw this together for lunch...I had a package of broccoli/broccoli slaw/snow pea mix that I needed to use up and half a bag of quinoa/brown rice that needed to be used as well.  So this is what I came up with.  Now, this isn't 100% 21-Day Fix approved.  I did add an orange container of stir fry sauce, but I highly doubt 2 Tbsp of sauce is going to ruin my day!

I'm always looking for new ways to switch things up on this diet...feel free to share!

I counted this recipe as follows:

1.5 YELLOW  
2 tsp

Chicken Sausage and Veggie Stir Fry 
(for my one serving)

3/4 cup Seeds of Change quinoa/brown rice mix
2 Cups mixed veggies (I used broccoli, carrots, snow peas, broccoli slaw)
3/4 cup sliced chicken sausage
2 Tbsp Stir Fry Sauce
2 tsp coconut oil

Cook up sausage and veggies in coconut oil until tender and heated through.  Heat Seeds of change as indicated on package.  Stir stirfry sauce into veggie mixture until coated.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

21-Day Fix No Bake Cookies

21 Day Fix Round One Summary

Well, finished 21 days, and overall I think I am doing ok.  My total tally after 21 days is 7 pounds, 3.8% of my body weight.  I know I could have lost more, but lets just say I wasn't super strict to the eating plan...I went more by the 80/20 rule.  By the 80/20 rule I mean I stuck to my diet plan 80 percent of the time, which is pretty good.  I still saw results, even with going up a calorie level with the breastfeeding.    My biggest struggle....pop.  I love it.  I drink Diet, and I know that really isn't much better so I am trying to wean myself down to once a week like my hubby is doing.  I'm just not there yet.  The containers really aren't hard to follow, and I never feel STARVING, but I have had a few days the breastfeeding munchies have gotten the best of me.  

The exercises have made me stronger.  I can see more definition, and in the photos I took of myself I can see a big difference in the size of my belly especially.  As I continue the diet up, I plan on mixing up my exercises with the 21-Day Fix and T-25.  I am not quite ready for Insanity yet...maybe after this next round.  

Moving on...these cookies are great!  I dare say that I like these better than their butter-loaded counterparts!  I definitely got my chocolate fix from these and was able to enjoy a few out of the fridge the whole next week.  They are super easy...a 10-minute dessert that my whole family enjoyed.  Win-win!

21-Day Fix No Bake Cookies

1 cup natural peanut butter
3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup coconut oil
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cup oatmeal
6 Tbsp cocoa powder

Melt peanut butter, honey and coconut oil in a sauce pan over medium heat.  Stir.  Once melted remove from heat and add vanilla, cocoa powder, and oatmeal.

Stir and drop by spoonfuls on parchment paper.  Place in fridge to harden.  Enjoy!  Place extra cookies back in the fridge for later.

I usually can make between 24-30 cookies with this recipe, depending on the size.

21 day fix container:  1 yellow treat swap

Recipe Source:  Pearls and Pushups

Friday, May 13, 2016

Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

I am not going to pretend I calculated the containers for this on the 21-Day Fix...I did not (although all the ingredients are approved, it just depends on how you top your bowls off).  I needed a "cheat" meal, but didn't want to fall off the wagon either.  I came across this recipe browsing Mediterranean recipes since that was what I've been craving lately and this immediately caught my eye.  It is good...like craveable good.  It is just fresh, healthy, satisfying, versatile, and easy to put together.   I see this in my future for lunches all week long :)  To make my husband happy, if I serve this to him, I will serve it alongside some Greek Chicken skewers or a simple grilled chicken breast.  

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce:
1 16 ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained (or roast your own red peppers )
1 clove garlic
½ teaspoon salt (more to taste)
juice of one lemon
½ cup olive oil
½ cup almonds

For the Mediterranean Bowls (build your own bowls based on what you like)
cooked quinoa (I used the Seeds of Change quinoa/brown rice mix from Costco for an easy fix)
spinach, kale, or cucumber
feta cheese
kalamata olives
thinly sliced red onion
fresh basil or parsley (it is definitely worth having your own plant in your yard for summer use!)
olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper

Pulse all the ingredients for the sauce in a food processor or blender until mostly smooth. The texture should be thick and textured.

Cook the quinoa according to package directions (I always do mine in a rice cooker while I get everything else ready). When the quinoa is done, build yourself a Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl!
Store leftovers in separate containers and assemble each bowl just before serving, especially the greens and the sauces, as those will get soggy when stored with all the other ingredients.

Recipe Source:  Pinch of Yum