Monthly Archives: March 2014

Adventures in Healthy Pt. 3

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Well it’s Monday and we all know how that goes.  Maybe a good dinner can turn this day around?  This is a “skinny” chicken fajita and it is delicious.  I made this as part of my “freezer meal” endeavor with my workout buddy and it was so simple.  I think you could definitely add more peppers if you like things spicy.  I’ll be doing that the next time I make these.

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Ingredients

2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 peppers ( I chose 1 red and 1 green), chopped

1 white onion, chopped

1/2 cup chicken broth

1 taco seasoning packet

1 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp paprika

1 tsp salt

Directions:

Combine all ingredients into a 1 gallon freezer bag and store until ready to cook. Thaw and put in crock pot for 3-4 hours on high or 5-6 hours on low. Serve warm with tortillas, sour cream, cheese, and the other fixings you and your family love. This recipe will serve 5-6.

Happy Monday yall!

Guest Bedroom Paintings Pt. 2

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I think I mentioned on many different occasions that I started a guest bedroom overhaul.  And I was mentally prepared to share it until I spent a day repainting that room, only to later discover that I hated what I had done.  I mentioned stalling out and hitting a road block.  But I’m really only stalling out because I can’t stand the thought of repainting that room a more pleasing color, and I’m lazy.

Probably like most of you, I’ve been burning the candle at both ends so finding the time to paint feels daunting.  I’ve focused a good bit of my creative attention on smaller projects I can knock out in an afternoon (or less).  You might have seen Guest Bedroom Paintings or maybe you didn’t, I dunno.  Anyway, I’ve done another little painting project to gussy up the bedside table on the other side.

I love a good mix of prints and I always have so any chance to exploit that is fine by me.  I had another small canvas to use and I was digging on some stripes at that time. I painted the entire canvas in a stark white paint.  And if you’re asking yourself why I painted a white canvas in white paint it is because no matter how white the canvas is at first glance…you’re going to find tons of smudges and other imperfections.  Just paint the damn thing and keep it moving.  Then, I covered the canvas in strips of a wide painter’s tape.

DSC_0670After that I removed every other strip of tape to expose the canvas that would be painted in black.  It’s a lot easier than getting out the pencil and ruler.  Hello, I ain’t gonna measure this.  I know some other girls that wouldn’t measure it either.

DSC_0671So I painted the exposed canvas in black paint and made sure to paint a thick coat and removed the painter’s tape as soon as I could.  It keeps the acrylic paint from drying and as a result, cracking and chipping, when you remove the tape.  And if you’ve been on Pinterest at all lately, you know state art has become pretty trendy.  I did an image search online and resized the image for my needs and traced it onto some cute scrapbook paper.  And since I love North Carolina, that’s that!

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Adventures in Healthy Pt. 2

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Let’s keep it rolling with some healthy recipes I’ll actually eat.  And more importantly, a recipe that I will make again, a true sign of deliciousness.  Erin and I decided that if we were going to run a food prep marathon, we deserved a decent dinner during the process.  We got some fresh shrimp that day so that dictated which meal we were making that night.  We crossed our fingers and attempted to make Shrimp Scampi.  It was a shot in the dark, I’ve made shrimp once, and homemade sauces, like, never.

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Ingredients:

4 tsp olive oil

1/2 lb raw shrimp, deveined without tails

6-8 cloves minced garlic

1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup white wine

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup minced parsley

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

Directions:

Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet, then saute the shrimp for 3-5 minutes or until barely pink.  Add the garlic to the skillet and stir constantly for 30 seconds.  Remove the shrimp and keep warm.  In the skillet, add broth, wine, lemon juice, parsley, salt, pepper and bring to a boil.  Boil until the sauce is reduced to half the original amount.  Pour the sauce over the shrimp and serve on a bed of rice or with fettuccine noodles (we chose the latter).  Garnish with uncooked parsley if you wish.  This makes 2 servings.

I’m here to report it was fantastic.  It might sound crazy but I think this would be perfect for a summer dinner party because it’s so light.  Sangria, scampi, a fabulous dessert.  Yes, I said dessert…because everything in moderation.  If you know of any crowd-pleasing skinny recipes please send them over!  Have a great week yall!

Adventures in Healthy

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Like I mentioned before, eating in doesn’t always sound so appealing.  When you compare it to the probable sabotage of eating out though, you might be like me and want to find a way to make it work.  Now,  I’m no foodie and I do not have a refined palate.  I’m good to eat a chicken sandwich for dinner from now until kingdom come.  But I figure if I’m going to try to cook some healthy options at home and expect my husband to eat, I’m going to have to venture out of my comfort zone.

So my workout partner, Erin, and I discussed “freezer meals” in an effort to have real food to eat while at work and attempting some healthier recipes in the process.  It was an all day marathon of selecting our recipes, making our list, shopping at 3 different stores, making our dinner, two snacks, and four freezer dinners.  It remains to be seen if all these recipes will be edible…I don’t have much hope for any kind of sauce made from cauliflower but we’ll see.

But right off the bat, we do know there are a couple of recipes that are winners.  Erin really wanted to try these no-bake energy bites.  They remind me of those no-bake cookies I have made in the past.  You know the ones….2 cups of sugar, a ton of butter, cocoa, oatmeal.  Yeah, they’re delicious.  Delicious and terrible for you.  Cue the energy bites.  I could certainly eat those and not feel like I cheated myself out of what I wanted.  And not in that, “I wanted something sweet so I settled for this thing instead, but now my craving really hasn’t subsided because my substitute was no real substitute” sort of way.  Like, it’s a real substitute and can satisfy whatever craving you’re having.

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Ingredients:

1 cup old fashioned rolled oats

1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

1 cup sweetened coconut flakes

1/2 cup ground flaxseed

1/2 mini chocolate chips

1 tsp vanilla flavoring

Directions:

Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Roll into bite-size balls and store in the refrigerator.

Eat in!

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Sometimes, cooking in just will not do.  Either you’re tired or uninspired or craving something you cannot replicate in your kitchen.  I get it, I totally binged on Chinese food the other day.  But with all this gym going and the reintroduction of apps into my life that calculate my caloric intake and nutrition…eating out just isn’t looking all that great.

I had made some easy decisions at the beginning of the year that would impact me at work: I was absolutely not going to eat from the cafeteria unless I had to since everything served to nightshifters is deep-fried and fabulous, I was not going to partake in the fresh doughnut train as it made its way through my unit (which is just about every other day), I was going to pay attention to my fluid intake since I hardly drink anything while working, and I wasn’t going to eat any vending machine treats (a dang Air Head takes more than a 1/2 mile on the elliptical to work off!).  All that was great but then there’s the other battle: if you don’t put any thought into your meals for work you end up packing your lunch and eating for convenience.  That’s almost as bad as all the rest of the things I was trying to avoid.

Truthfully, I would like to attempt some “skinny recipes” too.  But for now, I’m just focusing on increasing cooking and preparing food at home.  Now I’m not about to suggest that this recipe is a healthy option…but it’s certainly not the worst thing for you if you compare it to what you might consume outside your kitchen.  It’s simple and quick and has very few ingredients and that’s perfect.

Rosemary and Dijon Chicken          

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Ingredients:

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1/2 cup dijon mustard

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

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Directions:

Mix mustard, syrup and vinegar together.  In a greased dish, place chicken breasts and season with salt and pepper (minimal salt, lots of pepper).  Pour the mustard mixture over the top of the chicken, coating each piece.  Bake for 35 minutes at 425 degrees.  Add chopped rosemary ( I only used 1/8 of a cup) over the top of each piece of chicken and bake an additional 10 minutes.  Serve warm!

This recipe was husband approved, and that doesn’t happen often with these internet-Pinterest recipes.  I will say though, to use the rosemary sparingly…it’s potent.  Happy cooking yall!