Worth coming out of retirement for!

Long time no blog! Just a little bit has been going on since my last update. Most importantly this:

and this:

Now that the wedding is over and I’ve settled into motherhood I once again have time on my hands.  I have been thinking about starting the blog back up and was waiting for the right recipe and knowing I would know it when I saw it. This morning was the morning!

I stumbled upon this recipe on http://www.skinnytaste.com. It is an awesome resource of healthy recipes. I have been craving Mexican lately and even though I wasn’t going to touch any of my wedding presents until we moved the Maserati of all crock pots has been calling my name. So when I spotted this recipe this morning I took it as a sign to break that baby in and satisfy my craving at the same time.

The recipe in its original format (and much prettier pictures) can be found here.  As per usual, based on what I had in my pantry I tweaked it a little bit.  I also halved the portions.

Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken

3/4 LB Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast

8 oz Chicken Broth

1/2 Can Diced Tomatoes

1/2 Can Black Beans

4 oz Trader Joes Fire Roasted Corn

1/4 Cup Cilantro

2 Scallions, chopped

1/2 t diced jalepeno

1/2 t cumin

1/2 t garlic powder

1/2 t cayenne pepper

Jane’s Crazy Mixed Up Salt

Combine in crock pot: chicken broth, beans, corn, tomatoes, cilantro, scallions, jalepeno, spices.

Place chicken breast on top of mixture. Season with Jane’s Crazy Mixed Up Salt. Cook on low for 7.5 hours. Shred chicken with fork and continue to cook another 30 minutes.

There are so many ways that you could serve this dish. It would be delicious as a taco or burrito filling, on top of nachos or a salad, with mexican rice or as I chose to eat it, as a quasi tortilla soup garnished with avocado, light sour cream, cheese and cilantro.

So simple. So healthy. So good! In an odd way it reminded me of my mom/grandmothers chicken soup kicked up a notch. Yum! Yum! Yum!

Buenes Noches!

Portobello Pizza

With about 3 minutes to go on the elliptical I realized that I was ravenous! Am I  the only one this happens to? I’m fine one minute and then the next it’s like I am going to die if I do not get something to eat. I managed to squeak out the last 3 minutes and rushed back home for some nourishment.

Something about an egg on a toasted sandwich thin that just never lets me down! This held me over for a few hours until I found myself staring into the almost bare fridge and wondering what I could put together to save myself from a trip to the store.

I spotted a big Portobello  and thought I would venture into pizza making.

I started by lightly rubbing it in olive oil and then adding S&P.

I cooked it face down over medium low heat for about 5 minutes. While that was cooking I mixed 1 spoonful of ricotta, 2 spoonfuls of Trader Joe’s Garlic Marinara and a small handful of a shredded 4 cheese blend. I then flipped the mushroom onto it’s backside  and covered the face of it with the mixture.

Added some fresh basil and 2 pepperoni and transferred it to a 425 degree oven. If you do this be careful not to come in contact with the oven unless you want a finger that looks like so:

Pretty, huh? Well done Ginny!

After about 7 or 8 minutes I had a really gooey mess on my hands and it was delicious!! Definitely curbed the pizza craving I’ve been having lately. I think next time I’ll go with a little less cheese :)

Hope you all have great weekend plans! We are wrapping up the wedding venue selection process. I will be so excited to have a place and a date on the books!! I must say, I could get used to the wooing that is going on. One of the hotels is treating us to dinner at La Croix tomorrow night. Clearly they know the way to my heart!! We went there in May for Uncles birthday and ate like kings!

Can’t wait to do it all over again. Just wish we were going to have the same great company!!

If you’ve ever loved somebody put your hands up!

So I’ve listened to the new Nelly song Just A Dream about 1,000 times so far this morning and can’t get it out of my head. You should go to iTunes right now and download it :)

I’m sitting here drinking you guessed it, Green Monster with Chocolate Amazing Grass getting ready to go hit the elliptical for 4 miles. (Side note, as I was making it I realized that I have consumed 2 pounds of spinach since Monday night! At this rate I’m going to need to start growing my own!) I am so happy to report that I am now working out at my pre-knee problem level. It feels so good! This has certainly been the summer of health issues. Not for me per se but I just feel like everyone around me is struggling with something. As I was out doing my walk yesterday it hit me that 4 of the people I love the most in the world right now literally can’t go out for a walk. It hit me like a ton of bricks. How basic is going out for a walk? Something we all take for granted. It’s just made me really stop and think about not only what a blessing good health and physical well being is but more than that what a privilege it is. And with all privilege comes responsibility. I am now more than ever committed to the responsibility of taking care of my body from the inside out. If for no other reason than this summer has shown me that it can all come to a screeching halt in a second!

Lunch yesterday was Morning Star Tomato Basil Pizza Burger on a sandwich thin with a side of left over cauliflower and a salad.

Anyone that has known me for a while knows that I have suffered from canker sores my entire life. And I truly do mean suffered because those suckers are miserable!!!! I have tried every remedy known to man. You name it I’ve tried it! After eating that salad at lunch yesterday I was in so much pain I was in tears. It made think of the one remedy that everyone always says, which never works for me, rinsing with warm salt water. I decided to give it a shot with the Himalayan Salt I was talking about yesterday. I rinsed with it probably 3 or 4 times between lunch and going to bed. Miracle of all miracles they are gone this morning!!!! This is a life changer for me!!! Just the night before the pain woke me up from a dead sleep it was so bad. Now just like that they are gone! The normal life span of one for me is a minimum of 10 days to 2 weeks. Yesterday was day 3 for me. Holy Himalayan Salt!!!

I was on my own for dinner last night and due to said canker sores I had to go with something soft and mild. I decided on a some more of the Trader Joe’s Potstickers and a Green Monster.

This time instead of cooking with the recommended 2 T of oil I used 1 t and I still think I could have gotten away with less!

Hope you have a great Friday!!

Cobbler, Nuggets and Beans Oh My!

I was just looking at my pictures and man a lot happens in this kitchen when I don’t post for one day! So let’s get right to it.

On the way back from Virginia this weekend we stopped at a farm stand. To my wonderment it was on the honor system and there was a cash box. You just picked the fruits/vegetables that you wanted and put the cash in the box. We stocked up on a bunch of stuff including blueberries and blackberries. After looking at them on my counter for a couple of days I decided that clearly the best way to use them was in a cobbler!

Aren’t they pretty?

The first thing that I did was combine them (roughly 3 cups of berries) with 1/3 Cup of OJ and 3 T of Splenda and place in an 8×8 baking pan like so.

Combined the dry ingredients. 1/3 C of all purpose flour, 1/3 C of whole wheat flour, 1/4 t. baking powder, pinch of salt and set aside.

I love any recipe that lets me use my pretty Breville mixer :) Into that I added 1/2 C Smart Balance Butter, 1/2 sugar (the real stuff!). I mixed until they were fluffy and then added 1 egg and 1 tsp of vanilla.

Once this was mixed I slowly added the dry ingredients and until everything was combined. Then added this buttery sugary goodness by rounded tablespoons to the top of the berries. Finally I sprinkled the top with cinnamon and then popped it into a 375  oven for 35 to 40 minutes.

The end result:

The CBF proclaimed it to be the best cobbler of any type he had ever eaten from anywhere! The greatest part is that he never even realized it was tweaked with whole wheat flour, splenda and smart balance butter.  You really can mix healthy into an otherwise indulgent recipe and not even tell the difference. I really believe it’s these little steps over time that build up to big changes in our overall health!

At the same farmers stand we bought fresh string beans. I have to admit that this was my first time cooking string beans that weren’t from a can. Being from the south I like my vegetables cooked until all of the nutrients are cooked right out and then cooked a little bit more. But I found this recipe on Oh She Glows and decided to give it a whirl.

The first step was to wash the string beans. Check.

Then I removed the ends and placed in a baking dish along with 2 t of olive oil, 2 t of balsamic vinegar and S & P.

I baked them at 400 for 35 minutes and served them along side some incredible chicken nuggets.

The beans were fine. Honestly, I prefer them cooked all day with a little bit of ham hock. But these are much quicker to prepare and much healthier. Now back to the chicken nuggets! Almost 3 years ago I visited my friends Rachel and Mark in Boston. Side note, they introduced me to the CBF so we LOVE them! While there Rachel and I were having dinner one night with their 3 little girls. She fixed what were the best chicken nuggets that I’d ever eaten. She said she had gotten them at Whole Foods. At the time I was living in Richmond and it was pre-WF Richmond. Then I moved to California and faithfully looked in Whole Foods all of the time but they never had the right brand. Tuesday I was in my local Whole Foods here in Ardmore and this blue box caught my eye.  By this time I had forgotten the name but the box looked familiar. I was so excited when I took my first bite and jackpot! It was them!!! Now, unfortunately the entire box has been consumed and I neglected to take a picture of it nor do I remember the name. But I assure that I will be going back this weekend when the family size box is on sale, buy one get one free, and I will report back with the name.

They were so good I had them again yesterday. This time with mashed cauliflower.

This was seriously one of the most satisfying meals I’ve had in a while. So simply perfect. The cauliflower was the best I’ve ever fixed. The only thing I did differently was use Himalayan Salt as opposed to regular salt. I’ve been hearing for some time now about the healthy benefits of Himalayan salt and there is a great article from the Livestrong website here that you can check out.  From a taste stand point it’s just more flavorful and you can use less but get extra taste.

This morning I’ve started off with the usual. I can really tell the difference in adding the Amazing Grass .

Yum! Yum!

See you later today!

Catching Up

Hi guys! So much to get caught up on and in no particular order:

1. Unsolicited Product Reviews

There are tons of bloggers out there that are sent samples to review and/or paid to review products. My little blog would not be one of those. So when I’m giving you my opinion on something it is truly that, just my opinion.

About 30 seconds ago I finished my first Green Monster made with Amazing Grass. Let me just tell you that the name does not lie! Oh my Amazing!!!!

For the past few weeks I’ve been trying to come up with ways to boost the power of my Green Monsters. I am such a believer in the power of greens and vegetables.  I’ve been trying to figure out how to get more in my GM without compromising the taste or needing to add additional fruits. Due to the sugar content I try to keep my fruit down to 1 serving per GM plus a splash of Odwalla OJ. Don’t get me wrong, fruits are perfect additions to the GM and if you like them in yours by all means keep adding them. For me personally, I know my body can only take so much sugar at a time before I turn into an addict but I digress. I’ve been reading for sometime now in other blogs about Amazing Grass and when I saw the single serving packet in Whole Foods I decided to give it a go. Huge score! That one little packet contains 5 servings of fruits and vegetables!!!  It also is a “Naturally balanced powerhouse of Anti-oxidants, B-Vitamins, Beta Carotene, Bioflavonoids, Lycopene, Folic Acid, Dietary Fiber, Super Oxide Dismutase (SOD), and Omega 3, 6 & 9 Essential Fatty Acids.” To read about all of it’s other benefits or to order online click here. Earlier today I found a coupon for it online that is good through the end of the month for 25% off of your total order: HLS10 so be sure to use that as well!

Another recent find came from you guessed it! Trader Joes :)

These potstickers are awesome! Not to mention you get 7 of them for 230 calories and 10 grams of protein!! Healthiness aside they just taste great! I had a potsticker for the first time when we moved to Ardmore. The CBF ordered them with our chinese delivery one night and I was hooked. So when I saw these in Trader Joe’s I picked them up and couldn’t believe how much better they were than the one’s in the restaurant. Not to mention I’m sure the one’s from the restaurant were laden with fat & calories. The bag gives directions for both the microwave and pan frying. I highly recommend either the microwave or going for much less oil than they call for the pan frying. They call for 2 Tablespoons. If I were to make them that way again I would probably use 1 Teaspoon! I had them for lunch with a salad and it was fabulous!!

The last review I have today is on Zero Calorie Vitamin Water. I found these on sale at Target a couple of weeks ago and bought several flavors to try out.  I’m sorry that I do not have pictures but I tried the Go-Go (mixed berry), Rise (orange), XXX (acai-blueberry-pomegranate) and one that had dragon in the name. They were all terrible! Save yourself the money and stick a straw directly into a bottle of Robitussin! Gross, gross, gross. They just had a medicine-y taste to them and were nothing I would ever, ever buy again.

2. New Blog Alert!

One of my oldest (as in we’ve been friends the longest not that she’s old!) friends in the world started a new blog. It’s really cute and you should really check it out!! It’s called Party of Six and it chronicles her daily life as a full time teacher/mother of four young children/preacher’s wife. How she does it I will never know!!! Even if you do not fall into any of those categories (which I do not) it is still fun to read about their escapades from a toddler being locked in the church office to the 2 cart trips to the supermarket!

3. Friday night dinner.

Need I say more?

Ok, so that’s all I have at the moment. I’m on strike from my real job today and I feel like baking so stay tuned. Am I the only one that goes on strike from time to time? Tell me I’m not. I just have a thresh hold for how much ignorance I can be asked to take in a 24 hour period. Unfortunately one of my coworkers has recently dished out enough to last me the rest of the month so today I shall bake!

Gone in 60 Seconds

That is exactly what this breakfast was!

I wasn’t hungry all morning and then about 9 it hit me that I needed a scrambled egg with cheese on top almost as badly as I needed my next breath. It did the trick too because it’s almost 1:30 and I’m still not hungry for lunch. A rarity, but I’m going with it.  We’ll see what the afternoon holds…

TGIF!

Eating With the Field Hands

Hi guys! Hope your Wednesday has gone well! Mine was great. I had a great walk and then came in to churn out some work before heading down town.  I know I say this repeatedly but man I love Philadelphia!! Before I headed out I munched on this:

I picked up both the hummus and the chips at Costco. The chips are made by Food Should Taste Good and they are awesome! These are the Multigrain Tortilla and they are all natural, kosher, no msg, low sodium, transfat free, gluten free, vegan, lactose free, cholesterol free, no preservatives and high in fiber. With a list like that you wouldn’t think they could possibly taste good, ha!ha! But trust me they are just as addictive as any Dorito that has ever crossed these lips. They come in a ton of flavors. I just checked their website and other than Wal Mart and Food Lion it looks like they are in every other super market in the country. Check them out!

The CBF had a dinner for work tonight so I was on my own. I ate with the field hands like I love to do! I was both hungry & lazy so I went around the corner and had my favorite salad:

Pardon the picture it was taken with my phone and not my camera. I love this salad so much that last week I had it 3 times. When I realized it was already Wednesday and I hadn’t had it yet it was the obvious choice.

Now I’m off to watch Episode 4 of John Adams. Cornwallis just surrendered so it’s an exciting time around here :)