Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Chicken Marengo with Roasted Red Pepper Brussels Sprouts and Brown Rice

So tonight I made an amazing dinner all for myself... I know it's sad, but I love to cook, and even though my husband is away, I'm still cooking healthy and wholesome meals for myself :)

Tonight's menu consisted of Chicken Marengo with Roasted Red Pepper Brussels Sprouts and Brown Rice... Can you say YUM?! Imagine browned chicken in a pan deglazed with white wine in a sauce with fire roasted tomatoes and sautéed mushrooms, gala apple chunks, fresh yellow bell pepper slices, and sweet onion slices. Finish it off with a side of brussels sprouts roasted with kosher salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes and brown rice and you have yourself a d-lish meal!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Power Snack

 So today I basically went on a baking/cooking rage spree and made just about anything that I could get my hands on... It started with prepping my chicken for the week for my husband and I. I made him Pineapple Coconut Crumb Muffins and oh my were they heavenly. I didn't make them gluten free for me, but after the fact he asked if they were "glutey free" as he likes to say... I should have so I could have stole a couple from him, but I snuck a bite. 
That's why I know they were super yummy ;)

Anyways, I made a really good power snack for any of you who want something that is really healthy for you and you know exactly what products go into it.
Ladies and Gents let me introduce you to the Protein Power Date Ball!

Look at that goodness!
So this recipe I basically came up with on the fly. I had been eyeing recipes lately utilizing dates, but was too intimidated. So I finally bite the bullet and made these scrumptious bites. You will not regret making these, I promise ya! 
PLUS it also gave me a great excuse to break out one of my birthday gifts from my parents...

Look at that beauty of a kitchen appliance! I think I'm in love? 
Just kidding... but seriously.

Protein Power Date Balls

Yields: One Dozen Quarter Sized Balls

1/2 Cup Gluten Free Oats + 1/4 Cup Reserved
1/4 Cup Organic Carrots
1/4 Cup Dates (Pitted)
2 Tsp Cinnamon
1 Tbsp Dark Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp Peanuts
1 Scoop High Protein Powder (I used Chocolate Flavored)
1/4 Gluten Free Rice Chex
Optional mix-ins (raisins, chia seeds, peanut butter almonds, etc.)

Place 1/4 Cup of dates in a small saucepan of boiling water. Cover and let them sit for around 2 minutes, or until you see them start to split and get moist. 
Place oats, carrots, dates, cinnamon, dark brown sugar, peanuts, protein powder and Chex into a food processor. Turn on for about 15 seconds or until you notice the mixture coming together. 
All in the pot...

 Scoop out mixture into bowl and fold in reserved 1/4 Cup of oats. 
Roll into balls and place into refrigerator. 
So good I could lick the bowl

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Going GREEK!

I must say I used to LOVE Yoplait yogurt with an absolute passion... until I lost weight and decided to look at the label. I had sticker shock as to how much sugar is contained in each little cup. All that sugar is not good for you, especially since there is really no nutritional content besides a few grams of protein. 

This will be your new best friend!
So my search began... And I found a lovely friend in greek yogurt :) My oh my is that sucker yummy! I will admit that at the beginning, it was really extremely hard to get used to the taste and thicker texture, but over time I was able to really come around to love it. Now greek yogurt is my go to snack, part of a meal for me such as breakfast or lunch, as well as a post-workout meal (REALLY IMPORTANT).


My good lunch from the other day... 8 oz. cup of Chobani Greek Yogurt with 1/4 cup cut strawberries and a handful of gluten-free honey nut Chex cereal. Perfect mix of protein and carbs!

1 serving of greek yogurt has 140 calories, 0 grams of fat, only 9 g of sugar, and 23 grams of protein. How can you resist something that is that healthy for you. Any-who, you really should give it a shot... It's perfect with a bit of granola, honey, strawberries, and anything else you can conjure up!

I hope you all have enjoyed your week so far :)

I'm off to keep my dogs company and watch some of my DVR

-Ash <3

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Chipotle Flank Steak Tacos with Black Beans and Yellow Rice

So this recipe is super simple and amazingly yummy so who can complain about that? It's also very healthy for you without any added fat of any kind which is always a great thing when it comes to cooking. 

The steak is a lean cut so its healthy for those of you who still want to eat a good steak without the added calories and fat. On top of all of the good nutrients from the black beans and rice, it's a great meal that has a great amount of protein mixed with carbohydrates, which equals a meal great for metabolism and energy. 

Chipotle Flank Steak Tacos with Black Beans and Yellow Rice

Flank Steak:

1 lb+ flank steak (fat trimmed)
1/2 - 3/4 cup favorite salsa 
2 cloves chopped garlic
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 chipotle pepper in adobo (1 tbsp of adobo sauce)
1/4 - 1/3 cup of grits (OPTIONAL)

Corn tortillas
Reduced-fat our cream
Cilantro leaves
Hot Sauce

Season flank steak with salt and pepper, both sides. Place in the bottom of a slow cooker and top with salsa, chopped garlic, cilantro and chipotle pepper with adobo. Depending on the size of your flank steak, you may want to either add some beef broth for liquid and/or water. Mix together, set for 5 hours, and DONE.
At the end of the 5 hours, you have the option of mixing in some grits to the tender flank steak. The grits acts as a a binder and thickens the sauce that's remaining in the crock pot. I love the way it binds everything together and tastes (Trust me, I'm not a big grits fan either).

Yellow Rice:

2 cups white or brown rice (depends upon preference)
2 cups chicken stock (preferably homemade)
1/2 TSP of Spanish saffron
1/3 cup of chopped red and yellow bell pepper
1/3 cup chopped red onion
1/3 cup cooked peas (OPTIONAL)
1/3 cup cooked carrots (OPTIONAL)

In a medium saucepan, boil 2 cups of chicken stock. When at a rolling boil, dump in rice, spanish saffron, and stir until combined. Turn heat down to a simmer, and cover for 25-30 minutes. In a small pan over medium/high heat, spray lightly with cooking spray and place chopped onions, bell pepper, peas and carrots. Season with a moderate amount of salt and pepper and cook until tender. 
At the end of 25-30 minutes, check rice and make sure all liquid is absorbed. Take off of heat and fluff with a fork. Toss in the cooked vegetables and lightly stir to combine.

Black Beans:

1 can of organic black beans reduced sodium
1 lime
1 TBSP chopped cilantro

In a medium saucepan over medium heat pour in black beans and add cilantro. When fully heated, cut lime in half and juice both sides into beans. Stir well. Take a potato masher and mash until they are broken up a little bit, but still very chunky.

Day at the "Beach"

So my husband gets to come home on the weekends from his training before they send him somewhere else for even more training (UGH..) for his upcoming deployment. So we get to enjoy a 96, which means he gets 96 hours off, or 4 days off. I'm glad he gets to relax a little bit in between everything they're throwing at him. 
So because of that we went on a little adventure with our fur babies, Colt and Finn :)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sunday is a Day of Rest... Or Not

Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest.
But unfortunately for me, Sunday has become my catch up day on anything that I decided to procrastinate on during the week.

Today has been busy filled with dealing with our fur babies (dogs), Colt and Finn, teaching Sunday school at church, getting last minute things for groceries this week, fitting in my workout, along with wrapping up my Valentine's Day present for my hubby.

Once again, we will not be together for Valentine's Day since he will be away for training before he deploys. Lucky me right? So, as a little surprise I'm creating a playlist on his MacBook of my favorite songs that remind me of him that he can listen to. I'm also laminating a photo collage of him and I, along with our dogs, getting some chocolate and tequila and hiding it in his car so he can find it by himself on Tuesday. I'm leaving clues that I know he won't find/look for in his car before Valentine's Day, so I think my plan should work :)
I hope everyone is having a great day of rest. I'll be posting a yummy recipe later today so stay tuned!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Best Banana Bread EVER.... And It's Actually Healthy (Shhh don't tell anyone)

Can you say yum?!

Recipe Day!

I love baking, cooking meals... well basically anything that allows me to get creative, get my hands dirty with great ingredients and sneak in a few taste tests is my favorite thing in the world. 

I have a passion for cooking and this is a sneak peak into my arsenal of recipes!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Training, Training and More Training!

So exciting news! Yesterday I made a contract with a Professional Trainer/Bodybuilder to kick up my game when it comes to the gym. It will be amazing having someone to be there for me as well as push me to my breaking point. I'm beyond excited to get started because I'm ready to just lean up the last few problem areas I think I have (even though people say I don't lol). I believe that by having myself on a weight training program, as well as nutrition plan, as well as running and Insanity will get me to my ideal body :)

Also, this will keep me busy over the next year. 

Unfortunately, my husband is getting deployed sometime soon. It's not a very exciting thing to share, but I am so proud of him in every way possible. He is my rock and my best friend. I love him with all my heart and soul and I only hope for his safety when he leaves. I already can't wait until he comes home and he isn't even gone yet lol.

This basically explain us my crazy self.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out and proclaiming, WOW what a ride!"

Today is the Day!

So.... Today is the day I turn 21! Woop woop!

These past 21 years have treated me so great and I couldn't ask for a better life than the one I live. I'm surrounded by a loving husband, family and friends and am incredibly blessed.

But there were a few years of my life where things were more difficult. I had a large amount of stress on me from dealing with family illness, and it took a toll on me mentally and physically. Mentally, I was sad and falling into a depression. Because of my depression, I began my emotional relationship with food. I ate away my feelings. Everything went away when I put that piece of cake, cookie, or bite of ice cream in my mouth. I felt happy, until I looked at myself in the mirror.

Here's to New Beginnings

So this kick-starts a brand new journey for myself. 

I’ve always used writing as a personal outlet to express what I’m feeling. I’m one of those people who can’t spit out what I want to say, but rather hand me a pen and some paper, and I bust it out like its nothing.

So because of that, I felt what better way to share with everyone the adventures of my life, by writing. 

I do not live a glamorous life by any means, but I LOVE IT!

I have struggled in my life with weight and self-esteem issues, but I fixed all of that by taking initiative and changing my body and mind. Along the way I have learned so much about life and loving myself, along with gaining tools I need to succeed.

Hopefully you enjoy everything that I have to share on here whether it be my healthy recipes, workout tips, stories from my life, fabulous finds from shopping, or just plain ol’ things I stumble upon. 

Enjoy and heres to new beginnings!