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Posts Tagged ‘chicken’

I didn’t do it on purpose, but layers were a common theme in yesterday’s eats.

When I was cleaning out pantry the other day, I found an upopened box of oatmeal I forgot I’d purchased. I go in spells with oatmeal. I’ll eat it almost every day for breakfast, get burnt out, take a break from it for a while, then rediscover my love for its wholesome goodness. The last few months have been one of those vacations from oatmeal, but finding it made me go “Mmmmmm.”

I didn’t just want a boring bowl of oats with toppings. My solution? Oatmeal parfait!

It’s really just layers of blackberries, vanilla Oikos, and oatmeal with a peanut butter stir-in. Eating it this way made it feel almost more like dessert than breakfast. Food should be fun, right?

There really is coffee in the mug. It was not layered. It was just coffee. And it was delicious.

 

Lunch was a little something I like to call a garbage salad. Basically, I just scour my fridge for leftovers and make a salad out of them. It cuts down on the food waste and the creations tend to be pretty delicious. Plus, it’s fun to be creative! I feel like a mad scientist.

This one turned out to be a hybrid of buffalo chicken salad and taco salad.

~2 handfulls mixed greens
~3 oz. Italian dressing marinated chicken breast (leftover from meal swap), tossed in buffalo wing sauce
~chopped tomato & sliced green onions (leftover from Sunday’s supper salad bar)
~shredded mozzarella cheese
~3 Tbsp. reduced-fat sour cream, mixed with powdered ranch dressing mix

Very, very yum.

Dinner was not made in layers because there was no dinner. Monday nights are fasting nights for my husband and I. This is NOT weight loss related. It’s something we’re doing once a week as part of our Bible study. I’ve started to enjoy the weekly experience and am beginning to truly connect with the meaning behind the practice.

How do you make your food fun?

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Crock Pot Creation

When many people think of crock pot recipes, they think of not-so-healthy ingredients like cream of mushroom/chicken/celery soup and low-grade meat. I think that’s why the crock pot has gotten a bad rap. Well, that and the fact that the word crock pot (pronounced craaack paaat) just doesn’t sound that appetizing. Maybe that’s why we also have the term slow cooker. 🙂

The crock pot can be a great tool to incorporate into your healthy lifestyle. I’ve heard so many people (myself included) say “I don’t have time to cook healthy meals.” The crock pot is also fabulous for saving time. Who couldn’t use a little extra time in their day? If you have 10 minutes, you can make a healthy meal that will be ready the minute you walk in the door.

For starters, you can lighten up those “typical” recipes by using reduced fat versions of those soups and using leaner meats. Oh, and who says your crock pot meal has to be casseroley (yes, I made up that word) at all? Toss a couple of chicken breasts (fresh or frozen) into your crock pot in the morning and you’ve got tender meat when you get home, ready for shredding. Do this at night and you’ve got lunch-ready chicken at your fingertips.

You can also find recipes out there that incorporate fresh or frozen vegetables into the mix, such as this delicious, homey Smothered Buttermilk Chicken. Similar to a veggie-full version of pot pie filling, it’s comfort food at its healthiest.

The basics for this recipe come from a recipe my friend Kate posted on her blog a while back. The only modifications I make are upping the chicken to 1 1/2lbs. (per my husband’s request), throwing in a cup of frozen corn & a cup of mushrooms when I add the peas. I also use skim milk instead of buttermilk because I can’t justify buying a whole container for just one dish. The result is a little more chunky and a little less creamy, but still full of flavor.

My husband likes his served over biscuits. Can I really claim that I “made” them if they come from a tube?

I ike mine over rice or couscous.

Delicious, healthy & very filling!

NOTE: I can’t post Weight Watchers points, but the original recipe post may or may not have it listed. 🙂 Just be sure you adjust for any modifications you make.

Do you ever use a crock pot? If so, what’s your favorite healthy thing to make in it?

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Good morning, bloggies! Guess what? It’s FRIDAY!!! Who’s excited? I know I am. It’s going to be a busier than usual weekend for us, but all fun stuff.

Starting the morning off with some great news, I was down 3.8 at Weight Watchers weigh-in yesterday! Woo to the hoo fo sho! It was a huge boost to my confidence after two weeks of small gains.

In my running news, Peanut and I went to visit my parents in my hometown on Wednesday. I’d intended on using their treadmill, but it ended up being out of commission. I took to the streets (well, sidewalks) of my old neighborhood and did 2.5 miles in 28 minutes to complete C25k Week 8 Day 2. Obviously I’m still not fast, but my pace was a little quicker than it is when I’m pushing the stroller.

I’ve eaten mostly leftovers for the last few days so I didn’t take pictures. Tuesday night was a fun dinner. My husband got home early and we grilled out.

chicken & vegetable kabobs + foil-packet asparagus

I dumped all of mine into a bowl with some leftover brown rice and tossed it all in just a little bit of dijon mustard. I also added a couple of cherry tomatoes.

My husband loves BBQ sauce and received this as a gift recently:

Unfortunately, he wasn’t a fan. He said it had too bourbon-y. I found that funny because the sauce came from this place, a bourbon distillery. LOL I’m not a big BBQ sauce fan, but I did take a taste. All I could taste was vinegar.

I hope everyone has a lovely weekend! I’ll be tweeting from my phone tonight during Food Revolution. 9 EST. Be there or be square. 🙂

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First and foremost, don’t forget to head over to Erin’s blog today for the final hours of her Auction & Bake Sale to benefit cancer research. A little birdie told me that she’s getting extremely close to the milestone mark of $1,000 raised. How exciting would it be to meet and even exceed? Head on over and get your bids e-mailed to her soon. Bidding ends TODAY at 5pm EST.

My next 5k is coming up in about a week and half (yay!) and I’m already thinking about what to wear. The problem is that my growing belly isn’t very compatible with the running gear that I already own. Shirts are fine, but shorts are becoming a struggle. The maternity stores and departments only seem to carry yoga pants which are fine for strength training or (duh) yoga, but they’re less than ideal in this situation. I tried on a pair of running shorts in a larger size at Target yesterday. They fit in the front, but the back was droopy and slid off my waist when I moved around.

So, now I’m on a mission to find some maternity workout gear suitable for running and longer walks outdoors this summer. I’m honestly surprised that this is uncharted territory. My ideal would be shorts or not-too-long capris made of a wicking material. Bonus would be if I could find something with a pocket large enough to hold my camera so I could always be ready for that perfect, bloggable moment. This is when I wish l was one of those creative minds on Project Runway and could just sketch what I want, buy the fabric and sew away while Tim Gunn critiqued over my shoulder and told me to “make it work.”

I didn’t realize how little I ate yesterday until I uploaded the pictures this morning. Trust me, though. The calorie content was plenty sufficient. Not my most outstanding day.

Before leaving the house, I made a yummy egg white & turkey bacon sandwich on a whole wheat English muffin…and then I left it sitting on the kitchen counter! I was so mad. I didn’t have any breakfast goodies in my desk so I was left to hit the deli across the street for coffee and a homemade banana nut muffin.

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I felt slow and weak during my workout at work session on my lunch hour. I’m blaming it on the sugar overload from my impromptu breakfast choice.

I was excited to try my new soup, Amy’s Organics Curried Lentil, for lunch. I really wish I could tell you that I loved this. Truth is, it was pretty disappointing. It was almost flavorless and I didn’t really like the consistency. It didn’t look any more appetizing in person than it does in the picture, either. I ended up only eating about half of the bowl which was probably a good thing because the calories and sodium content weren’t the greatest. I’d try more soups from this brand. Just not this one. The one yummy thing about my lunch was the big glass of cold water with a packet of True Lemon. Love that stuff!

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One thing I will give the soup is that it was filling. I didn’t need an afternoon snack. I made it comfortably through until dinner which was one of our classic favorites, chicken baseballs. Check out the previous post for photos and the recipe. The beauty of these is that they’re a protein and a starch. Our only side dish was salad.

The rest of the evening was spent curled up on the couch with my pooch and my husband while watching The Biggest Loser. We’re exciting, aren’t we? We hit the hay pretty early so that he could make his 3:00 alarm clock and I could get up early to workout.

By the way, HAPPY EARTH DAY!


What are you doing today (or every day) to preserve Mother Earth?

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Yesterday was a frustrating day for a few reasons. Luckily, it ended on a great note.

I splurged all of my caffeine allowance for coffee day and ordered a large frozen skim latte with sugar free hazelnut syrup and a scoop of protein powder. I drank it pretty fast and definitely felt the buzz.

Breakfast was where things got frustrating. Well, it actually started on Tuesday and just continued into my Wednesday. For some reason, my coworkers all suddenly feel the need to critique my food and tell me how gross it is. Tuesday, it was tofu. No fewer than 6 people stopped me on my way from the microwave to my desk. The conversations all went something like this:

Coworker: What IS that?
Me: Tofu. Would you like to try a piece?
Coworker: Gross! Yuck! Disgusting! Nasty! Gag! How in the world can you eat that?
Me: Have you ever tried tofu?
Coworker: No! I can’t even imagine. It’s awful.
Me: *walking away*

Very few people in my office have any concept of healthy eating or exercise nor do they care about either. Most of them are female and older than me by at least 20 years or so. Several of them have health issues which could benefit greatly from a more healthy lifestyle.

Save three of four people, my coworkers aren’t the easiest to get along with and they tend to be extremely nosy. I try to be pleasant, respectful and cordial at all times. While I do often notice their unhealthy food choices, it’s none of my business and not for me to judge. I can’t imagine walking up to someone and telling them how disgusting the food they were about to eat looked. I just wish they would show me the same courtesy.

…which brings us to breakfast yesterday morning. I made up a packet of Quaker Simple Harvest Vanilla, Honey, Almond oatmeal. Then, I stirred in a couple handfuls of blueberries and some unsweetened coconut.

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One coworker was pouring herself a cup of coffee while I was mixing this up in the work kitchen. She turned her nose up and asked, in a disgusted voice, “What IS that?” I tried not to sound annoyed and replied back simply. “It’s oatmeal.” “Oh,” she said. “That’s not what it LOOKS like.” She then huffed away, mumbling under her breath, and proceeded to tell other people how gross my food was. Of course, they all had to come over, check it out and share their opinions. My boss said it looked like “horse food.”

Vent over. Just needed to get that out there.

Around noon the IT people came down to swap out my hard drive. This left me computerless until about 3:00. While it was down I took a brisk 15 minute walk to soak up the sunshine, filed, wiped my desk down, wrote my to-do list and tidied up my office.

Somewhere in there I ate my lunch of leftover buffalo chicken, a Laughing Cow Light Swiss cheese wedge and lettuce all on a La Tortilla Factory EVOO Tomato & Basil Softwrap.

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I also had a snack. Kashi TLC Roasted Vegetable crackers and another Laughing Cow Light Swiss cheese wedge.

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Shortly before I left, I had a juicy plum to hold me over until dinner.

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Dinner was a rare weeknight meal out. I met a friend at Dakota’s Roadhouse. We were so wrapped up in conversation that I forgot to photograph my house salad with bacon tomato dressing and a baked potato with cheese, bacon & sour cream. We were all geared up for dessert, but they only had 3 choices and nothing looked good.

I got home a little before 9, watched Criminal Minds with my husband and headed to bed. That show always creeps me out and then I have trouble sleeping.

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I got an e-mail yesterday that I have to share. I get so frustrated when I’m trying to tear off a sheet of aluminum foil or plastic wrap because the roll always seems to fall out. Apparently, there’s a really easy fix for this. I was skeptical after reading it because the solution seemed so obvious. I checked as soon as I got home to see if it was true. Sure enough, ….

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Yes. There are “push here” tabs on either end of the boxes. When you press them in, little tabs are inserted into the hollow part of the roll so it can’t escape from the box.

I checked every box I had that contained a roll. My aluminum foil, plastic wrap and and Press ‘n’ Seal boxes also had the tabs. The parchment paper and wax paper boxes did not.

Please tell me I’m not the last one to figure this out. I’m guessing not since my friend past the e-mail along, but it could just be because she knows I’m slow sometimes. lol

On to yesterday’s eats!

I had a disagreeable stomach most of the morning so I pieced on some of my pre-prepped strawberries when I got to work, then stuck with just water and hot Lipton Red Rose tea for the rest of the morning.

Around 10, I had a Babybel Light cheese wheel and some Gliding Calm tofu dipped in yellow mustard.

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That kept me full for quite a while. I was working away when I felt my tummy growl and decided to feed it with some sliced peaches.

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I had to run to the Green Machine at lunch to get “allowance” money for my husband and I. The bank branch closest to my work is conveniently located inside a grocery store so I hit up the salad bar for lunch. My container looked like this:

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The largest compartment was the salad made up of:

  • spinach
  • yellow, red & orange peppers
  • cucumbers
  • diced tomatoes
  • bacon crumbles
  • chopped hard boiled egg
  • black olives
  • mozzarella cheese
  • chickpeas
  • a few jalapeno pepper slices

I really need to start being more strategic when I build my salads for photographic purposes. The healthiest stuff is always on the bottom and it looks like I only have “extras.”

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One small compartment held summer coleslaw. I find this ironic because it’s not summer. From what I could tell, it was cabbage, red onion, diced tomatoes and diced cucumbers in a typical slaw dressing. Pardon the runaway chickpea.

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The other small compartment was broccoli & cheddar pasta salad.

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I ate the whole salad and about two bites each of the pasta salad and coleslaw. They were disgusting! The coleslaw was mostly onion (which I don’t like) and the pasta was still a little crunchy. Not sure what I was thinking when I got those two. I typically don’t even like creamy salads. Oh, well. I’ll know next time.

***Product Review***

I was really thirsty after making my salad and decided to grab something refreshing. I was thinking POM Wonderful because I’m addicted since receiving my samples, but I found something on the shelf below that looked interesting: POM Light Tea Pomegranate and Hibiscus Flower Green Tea.

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It was excellent! I had hibiscus flower tea for the first time when I visited San Francisco in December and have been on the lookout for similar products closer to home. This was the perfect blend of pomegranate and hibiscus flower flavors. It wasn’t overly sweet, but it wasn’t bitter either. I will certainly be buying more of these. It’s a perfect warm-weather beverage. I’m eager to try the other flavors, too.

This is from the back of the bottle:

Paradise found. Flavor breezes through our all-natural Pomegranate Hibiscus Light POM Tea. It’s a lightly floral green tea made from the finest Far East tea leaves. Our tea is gently brewed, and brims with powerful pomegranate antioxidants and the tropical nuances of sweet hibiscus.

There are two 8oz. servings per bottle. The nutrition information per serving is as follows:

Calories: 35
Total Fat: 0g
Sodium: 0g
Total Carb: 16g
Sugars: 8g
Erythritol: 6g
Protein: 0g
Caffeine: less than 2mg

On to dinner! This was a special one. Why? Because I didn’t cook it. My husband planned the menu and volunteered to do the work. I eagerly accepted the offer and sat at the table to chat while he prepared everything. I enjoy cooking and it helps me relax after a day of work. It’s still nice to have that break every now and then.

He pounded out some chicken breasts, dipped them in egg whites, breaded them, cooked them on the grill pan and then tossed them in some homemade buffalo wing sauce. These were served on Arnold’s Whole Wheat Sandwhich Thins with lettuce and light ranch dressing.

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with steamed asparagus on the side, drizzled with EVOO.

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Ta da!

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I cleaned up the kitchen and then we settled in to watch The Big Bang Theory. We both think this is by far the funniest show on TV right now. I was in bed and asleep shortly after it ended.

Eating Bender is giving away not one, but TWO fabulous prizes to celebrate her 1st Blogiversary. Fabulousness!

In honor of National Nutrition Month, the health nut is giving away a reusable “Eat Right” tote from the American Dietetic Association. So cool!

I’m in the market for another BPA-free water bottle.I have one SIGG bottle which I love, but it seems to have disappeared *cough*myhusbandtookittoworknevertobeseenagain*cough*. I’d like it to be at least 32oz, easy to clean and nonbreakable. Anyone have brand suggestions?

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Today is our first anniversary! To celebrate, we stayed last night at the state park lodge where both our ceremony and reception were held. We did a lot of reminiscing about that special day, what’s happened since then and what lies ahead. I love this man more and more every single day. In case you hadn’t guessed, the picture above is of our ceremony taken from the mezzanine level where our reception was held. It still touches my heart that so many friends and family were there to share in our special day.

I’m SO UPSET that I forgot my camera. Dinner on Saturday was amazing! We ate in the restaurant at the lodge where most of the food is local, organic and sustainable. To start, I had a house salad which was romaine, chopped hard boiled egg, bacon crumbles and their fabulous Creole dressing. Deciding on an entree was tough. I finally settled on the herb-rubbed grilled free range chicken served with sausage fennel stuffing and rosemary jus. There aren’t words to describe the flavors. My mouth was watering out of control and it tasted so good I’m afraid I nearly inhaled the entire dish in under 30 second. My husband had an open-face pulled pork sandwich with Yukon Gold mashed potatoes. After a little digestion walk, we headed to the bar to hang out for a bit. The bartender was so sweet. I was craving a fruity umbrella drink, but that clearly wasn’t going to happen. She offered to make me a blend of pineapple, cranberry & orange juices which I happily accepted. It was exactly what I was after and I didn’t feel one little bit deprived as my husband sipped his whisky sours.

We took along the top tier of our cake (well, cupcake tower) to enjoy for dessert. While it wasn’t nearly as bad as I’d expected, it certainly wasn’t as good as it was on the big day. It was tradition for tradition sake though and we made the best of it.

This morning we got up and had breakfast in the lodge. It was your typical hotel breakfast buffet spread. My parents kept the pooch overnight and her back to meet us around noon. The weather was too gorgeous to waste so we took her for a walk on one the 1.5 mile loop hiking trail before heading home.

I started watching Jon+Kate plus 8 as soon as I got home. Watching Kate and her stellar organization skills put me in the mood to do some housekeeping. I turned on the TV in the kitchen and set to work. First, I cleaned out the refrigerator. Then, I started some food prepping for the week ahead.

I baked up a batch of Gliding Calm tofu.

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While that was in the oven, I cut some celery into sticks and portioned them out into baggies for quick lunch packing. I also sliced some strawberries

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and chopped some romaine and green leaf lettuces so we’d have salad for the week.

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Oh, and I have to brag a little on my husband. His anniversary gift to me was a sweet card and a beautiful necklace. I LOVE pearls and have been wanting a new everyday necklace. I didn’t get him anything special other than a card. His birthday was last weekend so I pooled the money I’d budgeted for both occasions and bought him the semi-pricey tool he really wanted for his birthday which he appreciated more (I think) than two smaller gifts.
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I hate this part of Sunday when I stop enjoying the weekend and start dreading work tomorrow. I’m going to go pick my clothes out for the week and then sit down to read and relax for a bit until The Amazing Race.

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