Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Garlic and Paprika Roasted Chicken Thighs

So this is not my recipe can't take any credit for it although I cooked it and ate it haha.  I pinned this recipe a while ago and just lit it sit on a board until my friend cooked this last night and said how good it was.  So I obviously quickly added it to my menu this week.  The original recipe called for drumsticks but I really didn't feel like drumsticks so I used chicken thighs.  Steve loved this chicken and so did I.  Next time I would use probably 1/2 the amt of olive oil there wasn't a need for as much as the recipe called for it left a lot of oil in the dish which I used to baste the chicken half way through.  That is all I would change.
I was terrified to taste this actually.  Why you ask??? Because it seemed like it was going to be like blazing hell spicy.  While it was cooking it was making me cough because I thought it was so spicy....it actually was not spicy at all and was just delicious!!!
I served this with roasted broccoli and potatoes.  The meal was good even after sitting out on the counter for an hour while I took care of everyone else and listened to the baby scream...

Garlic and Paprika Roasted Chicken Thighs

  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil (like I said I'd use a little less than this next time just didnt think all that was necessary. 
  • lg pinch of crushed red peppers
  • 4 large cloves of garlic minced or crushed (I use a Micro Plane zester)
  •  1 tbsp if smoked paprika
  • pepper, onion powder, garlic powder
  • dried or fresh parsley
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Place chicken thighs in a small glass square casserole dish or in whatever you want.  Dry the thighs off and season with pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.
  3. In a small skillet on med lo heat add olive oil, red pepper flakes, paprika, and garlic.  Let it start bubbling and cook for about two minutes.  Do not let the pan get to hot or you will burn the garlic.
  4. Pour oil mixture evenly over chicken.  I sort of smeared it around on top of them.
  5. Bake for about 45 minutes or until tops are crispy and brownish and internal temp is 170.  I took them out half way through and used a spoon to drizzle the liquid in the pan back on top of the chicken to baste.  Remove garnish with diced or dried parsley, and enjoy.  I'd say this dish per thigh is 1 red and your 2 tsp, I didn't eat all of an orange container so I assume the lg amt of oil filled those right up.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

21 Day Fix Creamyish Roasted Vegetable and Chicken Soup

I saw a picture of this chicken soup and had to make it as soon as possible.  My plan was to make it Tuesday, but when I went to go make it I realized I never bought the chicken stock.  I wanted to make it yesterday but I ran out of time.  So today seemed absolutely perfect.  The recipe calls basically for left over chicken so I thought so smart I'll buy a rotisserie chicken (I asked to make sure they do not use any oil or butter in the cooking process and they do not).  So I bought one yesterday (although I went to the store for formula and forgot it!!!)  and brought it home and shredded it.  If you can see where this story is going I left the shredded chicken on the counter overnight and had to throw it away this morning because it was out on the counter for a very long time.   I was determined to finally make this soup so I had to use raw chicken which worked great and I'd do it the same way next time.  I'm midway through only my second 21 day fix.....the changes in my body have been insane...some day when I hit my goal I will share pictures....but literally my before and after pictures already look like different people...I'm so proud of myself and feeling so much stronger and healthier than before!  Today I bought my third set of weights because the two sets I've been using are to light :-).  I also I'm loving my Shakeology, it has made such a difference in my energy level and has curbed my cravings immensely.  Overall this experience has been life changing in more ways than physical ones.  It's changed my out look on lots of things.

The reason I called this creamy soup is because it has a thicker texture to the broth.  Steve looked at the chicken soup and said "Wow, this almost looks like a stew."  I like stews a lot and was psyched about the thicker texture.   It is thick because you roast a bunch of vegetables and puree them you then add this puree to the soup, YUM!

I did take this recipe from a website, but of course I changed it a bit and added my own tweaks here and there.  My favorite of days is when I have dinner simmering on the stove all day and the house just explodes with the aroma of something delicious.   Although with new recipies I get so nervous if I've put so much effort into it smelled it simmering all day and then its not good.... I lose it.  But this was amazing!!!!  It was so flavorful and Steve didn't even salt the soup he said it was so full of flavor.  Steve salts EVERYTHING.  

I do not like soup that has had noodles or rice sitting in it for a long time.  I hate those really weird bloated noodles that sort of slip around in our mouth then mush in your mouth.  I also don't like bloated rice.  I add the noodles and rice when the soup is served.  I served mine over  3/4 of a yellow container of brown rice (I figured the pureed sweet potato added some starch and so I didn't fill the container with rice) and Steve had his over a serving of Jasmine rice.  It was so good and filling but a good filling, not like stuffed can't move filling.  I'd say each serving was 1 Yellow, 1 Red and 1/2 Green.  I meant to add spinach....but as my scatter mommy brain has proved in the above paragraphs I forgot it.  With additional servings I'll throw in some baby spinach and wilt after I heat up.   I can not wait to eat this again this weekend at work and Steve wants to bring left overs to work tomorrow (which means I nailed it BTW).    Ok enough jibba jabba.....here it goes!!! I made a double recipe because who doesn't want left over soup, I'm just giving you the doubled recipe because trust me you want left overs and it didn't make a crazy amount of soup.

Creamyish Roasted Vegetable and Chicken Soup

  • 6  chicken breasts (I like Harvestland by Perdue Organic Pre Packaged chicken breasts, they are exactly 1 Red container, thin (I hate thick chicken), and also no weird tendons in them) 
  • 3 Large cardboard things of Chicken Stock (I got organic no salt added) It called for 8 cups, and the two containers had like 9 ish cups so I just used it all.
  • 4 celery sticks diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 white onions quartered
  • 2 small sweet potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 4 carrots peeled and chopped ( I forgot carrots haha, so I used a ton of baby carrots and just sliced them into chunks) 
  • 2 cups of butternut squash cubed (I bought pre peeled and cut b/c I was attempting to be lazy with this soup and used about 1/2 the container the other half I roasted for William to eat)
  • olive oil
  • Pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder to season veggies
  • 2 cups of water 
  • 1-2 Portabella mushrooms chopped up (I bought like the pre sliced ones and used about half of a 16 oz package)  Steve always jokes I add mushrooms to EVERYTHING, hes right I do but they add such a deep rich flavor how can you not.  
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 4 cups of baby spinach
Veggies before they were pureed
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Place stock in a large stock pot (I used a dutch oven and it was very close to the top)  Bring to a boil and throw in the chicken breasts let them bubble away for 30 minutes in there.  
  2. Place the carrot, onion, garlic, sweet potato, and squash onto a foil lined tray drizzle with olive oil and season with black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.  Roast in the oven for 25 minutes while the chicken is cooking.
  3. Take chicken out of broth, shred with a fork and add to pot again with celery.
  4. Take all the veggies except the carrots and place them in a large bowl (or blender if you don't have an immersion blender).  Steve loves carrots in his soup so I didn't want to puree any of these and I'm glad I didn't.    Take the squash, onion, garlic, and sweet potato and puree adding the two cups of water with either an immersion blender or regular blender until smooth.  Add this smooth purree to the soup.  Also throw in the carrots.  Simmer on the stove on lowish for at least three hours, mine simmered for 6 hours and it was perfection!!!!!!!!  If you are going to remember to put the spinach in throw in 15 minutes before serving.  Also throw some cooked rice or cooked noodles in the bottom of the a bowl then ladle hot soup on top, serve and enjoy!!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

21 Day Fix Taco Seasoning

I'm going to start this post off with I'm not the healthiest eater and I do not have the healthiest lifestyle...but I'm trying.  So I'm not preaching here about eating non processed foods just sharing my experience today. 

Tonight is taco night...and tomorrow for dinner will be taco salad.  

So I've previously posted a homemade taco seasoning recipe but it had sugar and flour in it so I decided on this new recipe.  Well actually to be truthful I actually went to the grocery store in this insane rain we are having and got soaked, which Jack thought was fun, but literally I was soaking wet.  I looked at all the packets of taco seasoning and ended up deciding on a low sodium one.  As I was driving home I couldn't stop thinking that this defeated my no processed foods streak and really was feeling guilty about it as I'm trying to put good things in my body and I don't even know what some of this stuff is.  If people are right and whats listed in the ingredients is like from the most abundant to least abundant than looking at this label that I bought, Maltodextrin is the second ingredient.  Knowing this obviously isn't a natural product I googled it just to see what it was.   This is what I found about it:  "Maltodextrin is a polysaccaride that is used as a food additive.  It is produced from starch by partial hydrolysis and is usually found as a white hygroscopic spray dried powder.  Maltodextrin is easily digestible, being absorbed as rapidly as glucose, and might be either moderately sweet or almost flavorless. It is commonly used for the production of soft drinks and candy. It can also be found as an ingredient in a variety of other processed foods."  This info was taken directly from Wikepedia.  I don't know this description to me does not seem like it fits in the clean eating philosophy of what I've been trying to follow.  Feeling like it was the easy way out I bought it, but just kept thinking its so easy to make my own taco seasoning.  I got home and decided to make my own.  

Oh and wait for it I just googled Silicon Dioxide........do you know what this is??? its made from quartz and this is directly taken from Wikepedia what this product is "An estimated 95% of silicon dioxide produced is consumed in the construction industry, e.g. for the production of Portland Cement."

I'm not saying I'll never use one of these quick packets again....but for tonight I'm going to keep the cement in the package and use my own!!!

Taco Seasoning
  • 1 tbsp of chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp of onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp of sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  1.  Mix all of the above ingredients together.  Use 2 tbsp with about 1/2 cup of water.  Brown meat add water and seasoning and simmer.

21 Day Fix Turkey Zucchini Burgers

On day 7 of my second round of the "Fix".  I cheated yesterday because I was hungover and needing unhealthy food.  I attempted to stay on track but dinner and out and hungover threw me off big time.  I caught up today with workouts and am starting my meal prep so I don't get off track this week!!!  I am also doing a biggest loser competition at work and I am psyched at the potential of reaching my goals and losing some weight and winning some cash (because it doesn't look like Power Ball will work out for us grrrr, there's always next Wednesday).

I've been wanting to make these burgers for weeks now.  I have this obsession with turkey burgers from work (which I'd rather make myself b/c then  I know they are clean and fix approved).  I have been getting them topped with reduced fat cheese, banana peppers, and grilled onions.  I have them over a bed of lettuce and tomato.  It is amazing I have an obsession with banana peppers lately.  Anyways I made these burgers and aside from falling apart a tiny bit (just two of them though) they look amazing!!!! 

These burgers were good, not sure what I'd change next time.  They didn't hold together as much as I wanted them to.  I ate it and it was good.  and I'm going to eat it again tomorrow.....but it wasn't as amazing as I had hoped.  I topped it with some shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese and banana peppers and ate with no bun.  Tomorrow I'm going to add some baby spinach and red onion and eat it in a pita bread.   The original recipe called for salt to taste, I didn't add any salt because I didn't think it really needed it, and it didn't.

Turkey Zucchini Burgers 
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 1 zucchini grated and squeezed in paper towels to remove excess water
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/4 minced red onion
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper 
  • oil spray
  1.  Heat a skillet to medium high heat.  
  2. Mix together all the ingredients and form into five patties making them as thin as possible.
  3. When skillit is hot spray with cooking spray.  Add burgers letting them brown on one side and then flip and brown on the other.  Total cook time was about 14 minutes about 7 minutes per side.  Make sure internal temp is 165.  
  4. Top with whatever you want and serve either over a bed of lettuce or in a fix approved carb product (I'll use Joseph's Pita tomorrow but today just ate right out of the container with the cheese and banana peppers).  Enjoy.
Each burger patty is 1 Red and 1/4 Green.

Monday, January 4, 2016

21 Day Fix "Chicken Parmish"

So starting my second round of 21 day fix today.  Last time I lost 10 lbs in a month and just under 23 inches total.  I'm determined to hit my goals and make myself and our family healthier.  I am exhausted today from only getting 3 hours of sleep after working an insane 14 hours yesterday.  I managed to get out to the store and get some delicious food to cook up this week for the food portion of the Fix.  I finished my work out which I didn't want to do at all, all I wanted to do was nap...but I did it and its done!  I was craving like pizza or something for lunch so badly.  I was going to use a whole wheat pita bread and make a pizza but I wanted to have some starch with dinner so I didn't want to eat my pita with lunch.  I found at the store lean ground chicken on clearance for $2.04 a pound!!!  I thought I can work with that.  I of course bought all of it (three of them) and froze them.  This meal total cost me about $5.00 total and I got four equal portions out of this so each serving is about $1.25 a piece.  People say clean eating is expensive.....You can't even get a full lunch at McDonalds for that cheap!!  Anyways it was really good!  This probably would have been great tossed with some zoodles.  I used the red container and sort of overflowed it to make a serving, this made 4 servings as stated before.  I'm going to follow it up with my Chocolate Shakeology that tastes like brownies for my after lunch treat!!

21 Day Fix "Chicken Parmish"

  • 1 lb lean ground chicken
  • 1 large yellow onion diced
  • 2 large tomatoes diced very small and then mashed with a tomato masher
  • fat free mozzarella cheese 
  • garlic powder, oregano, pepper
  • baby spinach I used about a 1/2 a bag
  1. Heat a skillet to med high.
  2. Throw in onion and chicken season with a lot of pepper, garlic powder, and oregano, and cook chicken until no longer pink.
  3. Throw in tomato mush and cook for a few minutes.  
  4. Throw in spinach toss to wilt.
  5. Divide into four equal portions and top with mozzarella.  I used a 1/2 a blue for mozzarella because I'm using some cheese in dinner tonight so I needed to save my blue container but you could always use more cheese if your plan allows it.  Enjoy!  
Each Serving is: 1 Red, 1/2-3/4 Green, and 1/2 Blue

Thursday, December 10, 2015

21 Day Fix Beef Stew

So I finished my first 21 Day Fix.  I have never been so proud of myself.  I am lazy I typically hate to work out and I'm the crappiest eater.  Even on weight watchers when I lost 30 lbs after Jackson I still ate crap processed food just counted the points and starved the rest of the day.  I actually enjoy the workouts and look forward to them, if I don't get them done I'm actually sad I didn't do them because I feel so great afterwards.  Before I weighed in and measured on my final day I already knew I felt better.  I'm not quite ready to share my before and after photos yet as I have more work to do.  But literally huge changes in 21 days.   I stuck to the diet 95% for the 21 days, maybe even 97%. 

I lost 7 lbs and 18.62 total inches!!!  In 21 days!!  My goal initially was 10 lbs, but I do realized I gained a ton of muscle!  Most of those inches lost were chest waist and hips so really great areas to drop inches!!  I feel motivated and going right into a second 21 days starting next monday.

Any who, Steve has been amazing throughout this entire process.  He has been so supportive and so motivating, he was the one who suggested I give this a shot.  I'm so happy he believes and me and motivates me every day!!  So I asked him what he wants for dinner and he says "Beef Stew".  Since we have been married I think I've made it once, never mind make it 21 day fix approved.  But my challenge group I'm a part of was glad to give up a recipe from the 21 Day Fix Cook Book.  I pretty much followed it just changed a few seasonings and added some of the already existing seasonings.  I do not even really like beef stew, well I like the stew but I do not really like the meat, but this recipe was amazing and flavorful and the meat was actually so tender and delish!  Steve said it was great.  Little does he know there were tons of fresh tomatoes (which he hates) hehe.  I also added mushrooms which Steve says I add to everything but I think mushrooms add another element of beefy flavor they make the taste of the stew rich and meaty.  The photo was taken after step 5 so there was no picture of the sweet potatoes in it, I will try to take one tonight.  I was just to hungry to take a picture and the baby was screaming.  Just trust me it was so tasty.

21 Day Fix Beef Stew
  • 1 lb 10 oz of lean beef stew meat seasoned with pepper and garlic powder
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 carrots sliced
  • 2 celery stocks diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped small (I know seems odd, you will wont know they are even there)
  • 16 oz sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 8 cups of low sodium organic beef broth (You will use 1 cup in one place and 7 cups in another place)
  • 1/2 cup of red wine
  • 1 tsp of pepper
  • 1 tsp of sea salt or Himalayan Salt
  • 1 tsp of paprika
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary
  • dash of dried sage
  • 3 bay leaves 
  • 2 sweet potatoes cut into 1 inch cubes (The recipe said two large and I bought two huge sweet potatoes but I really only used one and a half.  I diced both and then just kept adding them in until it looked like enough)
  • 2 tsp of corn starch (GMO-free and gluten free)
  • lukewarm tepid water to mix with cornstarch
  1.   I used my dutch oven and heated the tsp of oil of medium high heat I put the burner on like 8. When oil is hot add the seasoned stew meat and brown meat stirring frequently for about 5 minutes.  
  2. Add onion, carrot, and celery cook for 5-6 minutes until onion is translucent.  Stir frequently.  I may have cooked it a few minuets longer than this.  I was really concerned I was destroying the beef but it actually came out amazing.  
  3. Add the garlic and stir in, let cook for about a minute or two until garlic is fragrent.  
  4. Add 1 cup of broth and the wine.  Cook and stir frequently and scraping the bottom of the pan if it all starts to stick or burn.  Cook until liquid is reduced by half which for me took about 10 minutes.  Actually to be truthful I had a hard time getting it to reduce at all, so after 10 minutes I got bored and moved on to the next step hoping I wasn't screwing it up.   
  5. Add salt, pepper, paprika, bay leaves, sage, rosemary, mushrooms, and tomatoes.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat so it gently boils.  Stir occasionally for 5-8 minutes.  Original recipe says until liquid is almost evaporated.  On this step it did reduce by a lot but it did not evaporate there was still plenty of liquid there again I got impatient and moved on after it reduced on this step.  But do make sure the tomatoes have started to breakdown.
  6.  Add remaining 7 cups of broth.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce to a gentle boil stirring occasionally for 1 hr 45 mins.  I kept it on about a 3 or 2 on the burner.  
  7. About 25 minutes before serving add the sweet potatoes and stir in.  Gently boil like in step 6 for the 20-25 minutes or until the sweet potato are fork tender.
  8. Combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl and whisk together.  Add this to the stew and stir for about three minutes until it thickens up.  If iniitally it doesn't look thick just let it sit for a few minutes off heat it will thicken up.
Steve is really a meat and potatoes kind of guy and even though he loves sweet potatoes I thought I'm going to be in trouble for making this beef stew with non white potatoes.  But Steve loved it!  And I'm glad because we will be eating the left overs again tonight!!  
This makes 6 servings and each serving is 1.5 Red 1/2 Yellow 1/2 Green 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Day 4, Grilled Chili Lime Pork

Day 4.  I talked all about how its going in my other stuffed chicken post.  Just really proud of myself for grilling this thing so deliciously.  I could have left it on a minute longer, but it was so juicy with a charred delicious outside.  I made some green beans which I thought were out of this world but Steve didn't love them.  Also I made super plain mashed potatoes (basically I just boiled them seasoned with some garlic powder and black pepper). 

Grilled Chili Lime Pork
  • 2 lb pork tenderloin or pork loin roast
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice (I just used the juice from a whole lime)
  • 1 tbsp Braggs Liquid Aminos  (soy sauce could be used to just wanted to keep the sodium low)
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp of chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  1.   Drop pork in a gallon sized zip lock.  Throw all the ingredients in smoosh it all around.  Marinate for a few hours I did about 3 hours.  Take out about 1/2 hour before grilling.
  2. Preheat grill to 500 degrees, original recipe stated 550 but my grill wouldn't get past 500 degrees so 500 it was.  
  3. Throw pork on the grill for 5 minutes, flip grill for 5 more.  Turn heat down to med - high (truthfully I don't know if my temp varied all that much) Then go back to the first side for 6ish minutes then the second side for another 6 minutes.   I like my pork to be about
    165 degrees.  Let rest for about 5 minutes slice and serve.  Portion in a red container.  1R
My green beans I boiled for 6 minutes then drained them.  I tossed them with 1 orange container of the creamy herb dressing from day 1.  And a blue container of feta cheese.  I LOVED them, but I also love any time its meal time now.  Steve thought they were a little two acidic.  I would have licked his plate and mine.  I threw them back in the pot tossed them with the dressing and the cheese and served.  So good.  Container value is 1G, 1/2B, 1/2O