Friday, November 15, 2013

Pappy’s Stew

Oh my goodness. This is a GREAT recipe for some YUMMY SOUP!! So, there is a story behind the name! My dad makes the best cabbage soup ever! Well, none of us would ever try it when we were kids because #1- the name! (who wants to eat cabbage, right!??) and #2- because of the smell of it cooking!!! Cabbage has an ‘odor’ while it cooks, enough said! LOL!  But, as I got older and braved up the courage to taste it, I fell in love! It is AWESOME! So much flavor and great on a cold day! So, when my dad made it one day when we were at my parent’s house visiting I knew that I didn’t want to tell my kids it was “cabbage soup” so we told them that it was Pappy’s Stew. They were all excited about that one!! So, they tried it and loved it! Ate the whole bowl and asked for more. They request Pappy’s Stew weekly and that is no exaggeration! I am actually planning to make it for dinner tonight!! It is filling, so healthy and doesn’t make you feel guilty after eating it! Give it a try!! It is worth it all the way!!

Pappy’s Stew

1/2 Head of cabbage, chopped
1/2 bag of baby carrots
1 onion, sliced thin
3-4 potatoes, peeled and cubed
2-3 cups of water (until soupy!)
1-2 cups cubed ham
1 stalk celery, chopped (optional)
2 cups chicken broth (maybe more, add for flavor)
salt to taste
pepper to taste
Put everything in a big pot together and let simmer on the stove until ready to eat! It’s soup, so the longer it sits together, the better it tastes!
You can really put anything in it you would like!! It is just a great base for a yummy soup! 


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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Zucchini Lasagna

Okay!! So, last night it was so cold and icky outside that I knew that we needed a warm, yummy, hearty meal!!! BUT, I also like to know that it isn’t going to break all of the hard work that I do with my workouts and also with my clean eating for myself and my family! I have had this once before and it was yummy, but it has been awhile! So, I changed up last night’s dinner plans and decided to make the Zucchini Lasagna again for my family!  SUCCESS!! I mean it was so delicious! I forgot how good it really is! I mean, after ONE BITE my four year old was telling my husband and I how YUMMY it was for her tummy and she wanted it for breakfast the next morning!! That is definitely music to any momma’s ears! Healthy food can taste great! Just make it right!!  My husband loved it and my six year old (who gave me grief BEFORE trying it) ended up loving it too! WIN WIN!!
So, on to the recipe!!!

Zucchini Lasagna

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 lb of lean ground turkey
  • Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  •  4 small zucchini, sliced lengthwise
  • 24 oz of low fat cottage cheese 
  • 1 jar of no sugar added spaghetti sauce (I use whatever I find that is organic)
  •  1 cup low fat mozzarella cheese



Directions:

  • Preheat Oven to 350 degrees
  • Combine onion, ground turkey, salt, pepper, garlic powder in a skillet and brown turkey until no longer pink.
  • Layer Zucchini in the bottom of your pan, then spread a layer of cottage cheese, then a little bit of mozzarella cheese, follow that with a layer of ground turkey mixture, spread a layer of sauce on top.
  • Repeat this over again.  Then layer one final row of zucchini on top and cover with sauce and a little sprinkle of mozzarella cheese.


  • Cover with foil and bake in the oven for approximately 1 hour.
  • Remove the foil and continue to bake for 10 more minutes then remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes.



Yes it will be a little bit runny due to the water in the zucchini, sauce and the cottage cheese.  I used a slotted spoon to scoop out the lasagna which allows the liquids to stay in the dish. 

It is honestly amazing!  I hope you enjoy it!!!

I know we will be having this as a weekly meal!! It is THAT GOOD!!! 


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Sunday, November 10, 2013

CHILI- the healthy version!

THE BEST CHILI EVER!


Okay, so as soon as fall gets here I am all about soup! I want it all the time! A different kind every night of the week. No joke! How many of you feel the same way? So, chili is something that I have made for years. I have tried so many different recipes and each one that I have tried is good in its own way, but this one… MAN, I FINALLY nailed it! I made a cleaner version of chili that is so delicious that you won’t even notice the missing fat content! I’ve tweaked it to perfection! Now, try it and let me know what you think!

MY FAVE CHILI RECIPE!!
1 pound lean ground turkey
1/2 pound chicken breast
1 59 ounce ‘bottle’ of tomato juice
1 big can of tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp white organic sugar
1/8 tsp ground cayenne pepper
2 cans dark kidney beans (RINSED!)
So, this is how I make mine. I will give you a few other ‘options below!! I put the ground turkey and chicken in the crockpot and cook it for 4-5 hours on low when it is NOT frozen. If it is frozen meat, then I will cook it on high for about 5 hours.  In a big pot combine all of the other ingredients and cook on low/simmer for about 2 hours. I usually chop all of the veggies in a food processor. My family and I like everything chopped really fine. My kids don’t like to see ‘chunks’ of veggies in their soup.. So, puree or chop very fine and they will never know!! After the meat is cooked, chop it up and shred the chicken then add it to the pot of sauce. Cook on low for about another 30 minutes then…Ready to go!!! 🙂 Remember, the longer chili sits together the better it tastes!!

*I just put the chicken in there to try it and I LOVE it this way! It adds something and it is so good!!*


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Friday, November 8, 2013

CROCKPOT CHICKEN TACOS

Okay everyone, this recipe is a MUST for your menu this week. If you’ve never tried it, just wait! It is seriously so delicious! My family and I usually have it once a week! It’s almost funny because at this point friends who come over for dinner either request that I make it or they already know that it is probably what we are having for dinner that night anyways! A staple is an understatement and you will see why!

These are great served as a regular taco on either a soft whole wheat tortilla shell or even on a hard shell taco. They are great made into a quesadilla and it tastes wonderful served over a bed of lettuce! Whatever way you decide to make it, you won’t be disappointed!

Here you go!

Crockpot Chicken Tacos

1 lb. chicken breasts
1 can of organic black beans
1 container of fresh salsa
1 packet taco seasoning
1/3 brick of cream cheese
1/2 cup water (only use water if chicken is thawed)

Put everything in the crockpot and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4 hours! You can use frozen or fresh chicken breasts. But remember, if you are using frozen, omit the water 🙂  It makes it really runny if you use the water with the frozen chicken.
About 20 minutes before serving stir in the cream cheese! 
ENJOY!!

We usually have some salsa, tomatoes, onions and lettuce on ours. We also use greek yogurt in place of sour cream! If you have never tried to use plain greek yogurt instead of sour cream, you’re missing out!! Try it! You can’t even tell the difference, but greek yogurt is so much better for you!


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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Tidbits for Fall

Fall is HERE!! And although I live in the super hot south and temps are still in the 90’s, I am holding out for one day when I can wear sweaters, skinny jeans and cute boots! One day soon, I HOPE! Along with cute outfits fall can also mean goodies galore with Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas quickly approaching! What are you going to do to keep up your workout routine? I know that we all hear that it’s okay to hide the ‘fluff’ behind the sweaters, but in all reality.. do you really want to do that? I didn’t think so. Don’t sabotage all of the hard work and dedication that you’ve put in over the summer to allow yourself to let it all go!
Here are a few tips to keep yourself moving during the cold months and all through the holiday season!

1. Keep up your workout routine! Is it cold when your alarm goes off? YES! Is it dark when your alarm goes off? Yep! Does that mean you should hit snooze 5 times before you HAVE to get up? NO WAY! It means that you suck it up, roll over, put your feet on the floor and get UP!
A TIP: Lay all of your clothes out the night before so you literally won’t even have time to think about your workout. You can get up, get dressed, put your shoes on and head out to your living room, garage, basement or wherever you do your workouts! You can also already have your workout area prepped and ready to go! If you do a DVD, have the disc in the DVD player or computer the night before too so all that you have to do is literally turn it on and PUSH PLAY!
Do you need a workout program? Ask me about how I can help you! I would LOVE work with YOU!

My go to workout is TurboFire! I love any Beachbody workout and I do switch it up often, but the one that I do the most is definitely TurboFire! I just love it!

2. MEAL PLAN, MEAL PLAN, MEAL PLAN! It is the KEY to success! When you already know what you are going to eat for the day then it takes most of the guess work out of it! Prepare everything on Sunday nights (or whatever day of the week works best for you) and hang that weekly meal plan on your fridge, in your car, in the pantry.. anywhere that you need to see it if you are tempted to cheat or get off track! Plan your one cheat meal a week and go all out for that, but in between… stick with it! You don’t want to start getting layers of ‘fluff’ over that six pack you created, right? And you will feel so icky and it is much harder to get re-motivated after you’ve gained weight than it is to stay motivated while you are working hard!

3. Put the candy in the freezer and leave it alone! The Halloween candy will be bombarding our house in a month. Let’s not allow it to win! And we are all human, I know that… so choose a number of pieces of candy that you will allow yourself to eat without guilt. So, what is your number? 2? 3? 4?  Pick your number and then once you eat that many pieces of candy. YOU’RE DONE! Freeze the rest or give it away. Don’t allow it to haunt you. Remember, food doesn’t have control over you! Let it go!

4. How many cookies are you going to eat at Christmas time? Use the same strategy as in number 3.  Choose a number. Say 12? 15? Cookies over the holiday season. Write it down and cross off each number as you eat a cookie! This way you will have to think about what you are eating! Do you love your mom’s sugar cookies? Well, make sure that you save a few of those cookies for hers! Don’t waste them on a store bought cookie that isn’t really even that good! This will just make you more accountable for your actions!

5. Flavored coffee! It is a staple around my house. When I am craving something sweet, I choose some yummy coffee and brew it! It is so yummy and especially on those cool fall nights it hits the spot! I am obsessed with Dunkin’ Donuts flavored coffee. It’s super yummy and hits the spot every time!

6. Here is a recipe just because it’s fall and butternut squash is in season!
Butternut Squash Soup 

Total Time: 1 hr.
Prep Time: 15 min.
Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 medium onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1-inch pieces
5½ cups low-sodium, organic vegetable broth
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
3 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves removed and chopped, stem discarded, divided use
Sea salt and ground black pepper (to taste; optional)
6 tsp. nonfat plain yogurt

Preparation:
1. Heat oil in large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add onions; cook, stirring frequently, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until translucent.
2. Add garlic; cook for 1 minute, or until tender.
3. Add squash, broth, and red pepper. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; gently boil, covered, for 25 to 30 minutes, or until squash is soft. Remove from heat. 4. Place soup in a blender or food processor, in 4 or more batches, if necessary; cover with lid and kitchen towel. Blend until smooth.

5. Return soup to sauce pan over medium heat. Add 1 tsp. thyme; cook, stirring constantly, until soup is hot.
6. Season with salt and pepper if desired.
7. Ladle soup into 6 serving bowls. Garnish each with 1 tsp. yogurt, and sprinkle all with remaining 2 tsp. thyme

7. Fall is all about fun fashion too! Like I mentioned before, I’m obsessed with cute boots and sweaters! Here is a pic of the next outfit I’m buying! Thought I would share! You will all want to be in shape to look adorbs in your awesome outfits!! Stay on track and love yourself!


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