I had oatmeal, a chocolate protein shake, and broccoli for dinner tonight. Wait… what?! Yes, it’s that time of year. Warm weather is on its way, and soon I’ll be spending my days in oversized sunglasses and a bikini. That’s my plan.
I’m getting ready by eating simple meals, but that only gets you so far. I’ve also been attending hot yoga classes. I’m really hoping the next time I go the guy next to me doesn’t smell like Campbell’s chicken noodle soup. Broth sweat is not cool dude!
Anyway, I’m getting prepared and I’m sure you all can relate. This is real life. I know you want chocolate cake and fluffy cream cheese frosting… I do too. But let’s just play it cool this weekend, okay?
Time to hush up and make some healthy, delicious chili!
I don’t know why but drinking a large cup of hot cocoa before bed makes me incredibly happy. Just one of my newfound obsessions. Other things I’m into lately consist of cinnamon roasted almonds, smiling at everyone I see, working out to this song, and avoiding traffic at all times. At one point this week I was contemplating buying a bus so I could ride the shoulder. It was the only solution I could think of until I discovered the DC Metro. Good news: since I won’t be purchasing a bus, you are still safe on the road.
Besides that I’ve been mega busy! Meeting fabulous new friends, working out at 5am (it has to be done), and working on my 23 things list. I’ve got a couple checked off.
It’s restaurant week in DC as well, which means I finally got to experience lobster for the first time. Baklava too! Finally the world makes sense to me.
…I went on a date too. But that’s a different story for a different time.
We’re here to focus on Burgers people. Simply good and totally dreamy! I’m just looking out for you.
They happen to be really incredible and despite my efforts to use Turkey Day leftovers, it didn’t happen. After my battle with the flu, I didn’t want anything heavy. I know your body needs a break from that comfort food too! Lettuce wraps with sassy sauce and delicious toppings might do the trick.
I made these lettuce wraps once before for some guys. There were not any leftovers. Why do guys love buffalo sauce so much? It’s a little mind boggling.
Thanksgiving comes with family chaos and a ton of laughter.
The end result is learning that no family is perfect. You’re not either. Yep, we’ve got some pretty funky quirks! It’s all apart of Thanksgiving though – The crazy aunts. Drunk uncles. Awkward cousins. Happy bellys. Warm pumpkin pie. Catching up.
What were you thankful for last Thanksgiving? Chances are this year is different. You’ve had 365 more days. Things have changed for you and me, big time! Did you get a new job? Did you meet someone special? Did you have a baby? Did you live through a tragedy? Did you reach a goal?
Write it down! Savor it. Close your eyes, reflect and smile for just a moment.
The truth is, you’ve got to appreciate it all. Cherish it even. This is your history; these will be your memories forever. Celebrate with turkey, wine, and good pie! Drink and eat for your accomplishments and other’s ambitions! Don’t forget to take plenty of snapshots. Be sure to remember it.
These moments will never come again. Maybe that’s what makes them so beautiful.
Was it you who ate all the leftover candy from Halloween? Did you rummage through your child’s bucket to find your favorite kind? Did you promise to eat just one piece, but indulged in about 17? No willpower?
I’ve totally been there.
We need to pull it together. How about a cure for that Halloween candy hangover?
This Asian Edamame Salad should do the trick. It’s full of good nutrients your body will love. This salad is ultra healthy and amazing over a bed of lettuce or even some black beans. It includes a soy sauce, garlic and ginger dressing that you’ll devour.
Has something you created ever started out as nothing special and turned out to be extraordinary?
Example: putting sea salt on chocolate and baking items. Whoever started that was pure genius. Chocolate turned into sensational magic that becomes best friends with sea salt and dances with your tastebuds.
I need to start making some genius decisions that turn things into extraorinary magic like that.
Example: Dining with Shamu.
I went to Seaworld while in California, and you can actually dine with Shamu!
I wish I could have had dinner with Shamu. As long as I wasn’t on the menu, it would have been one of those extraordinary genius decision things.
But, what about decisions to help you live better and be healthier? That could be pretty genius, right?
My Grandma told my Grandpa when she was in 6th grade that she was going to marry him. Now they’ve been married for almost 60 years. How incredible is that?
I’m visiting them in New Mexico right now. The tumbleweeds are just as common as the Walmarts here. Definitely not tropical.
I have been laughing non-stop since I got here though. For instance, my 76 year old Grandma does Zumba. I witnessed it today. Certainly was a sight.
Whatever she is doing though, it works. She woke up at 7am, did Zumba, and made me authentic Spanish rice. Not many Grandmas pump it out to hip hop these days. She puts spice into each day with her active lifestyle.
Thanks Grandma for being so sassy. You inspire me to keep grooving.
But now, back to you.
Let’s get YOU groovy. Like healthy delicious groovy.
The Food Netowork is teaming up with fellow food bloggers to host a Brown-Bag Challenge, a month-long initiative to eat consciously and save money by packing a lunch each weekday instead of eating out. Share what you’re eating on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #brownbag.
It’s easy and the Food Network has some great resources to help you stay on track including recipes, nutrition advice and a lot more!
I’ve thought 3 reasons why you should do this:
1. You can lose weight before all of the holidays and be really ridiculously good looking while you pile turkey in your mouth at Thanksgiving. People will wonder how you do it.
2. If you’re single, you can attract a potential boy/girl with really delicious food that you will learn how to cook. If you’re attached, you can cook these meals together and both save money for a lovely evening of champagne poppin.
3. You can save about five dollars a day. That’s 100 a month. That’s a massage. Or clothes. Or some really expensive bubbly. Cha Ching.
Please excuse all the alcohol references, clearly I’m craving wine right now.
Don’t you love a good challenge?
I knew you would.
Alright, time to get your dancing shoes on and play that salsa music, because I made a healthy little Mexican dish to knock your socks off!
It’s the third week of August. I’m not ready for Summer to end. You’re probably not either.
-I’m not ready for my hair to turn a dingy blonde. Blah.
-I want to keep wearing my swimsuit all day and night on the weekends.
-I like the farmer’s market and all their delightful cheap produce.
-Sipping skinnygirl margaritas outside will cease, that’s a problem.
-I will be cold for a good seven months. Boooo.
On the bright side, there are some perks to Fall though. Baking with pumpkin, Thanksgiving, and of course giving out fruit on Halloween. Only kidding.
Anyway I’ve decided I need to make the rest of this Summer memorable. Right now, I feel like Judy Moody and the Not So Bummer Summer. Don’t ever watch that movie. Gingers and Big Foots do not make for a good storyline. Ever.
Now I’ve got gingers and Big Foots in your head. Back to food and normal thoughts…
Lately I’ve started to try to encourage healthy family meals. It’s something that I love to do. People are happy and thankful. Food just has that soulful connection and bringing people together for a great meal is important to me. My family is away in Canada right now. I miss them. I miss cooking for them. Come home family.
Hmmm… What else have I done this summer? I’ve been to a lot of potlucks this summer. Boring.
Oh sorry excuse me; I don’t want to offend any potluck lovers. Potlucks are great for getting together with friends and family, but I mean what’s up with the food?
Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I should get used to potato salad saturated and dripping in miracle whip. Oh, and coleslaw from the deli at the local grocer is supposed to be good? I don’t know… it tastes soggy to me. Wait, what about those weird jello cakes with cool whip? That reminds me of a nursing home. Hold on, this is just the worst: mini wieners blown up and sitting in crockpots for hours. Scary.
Anyway I wanted to make these enchiladas because they remind me of my family get togethers. Typically we don’t make traditional food. We get adventurous, or should I say ambitious haha. We make new meals every week. Everyone contributes to the meal and at the end we sit down happy to be in eachothers company and proud of what we created together.
It’s never boring.
My taste buds love a good adventure. They like to party.
These enchiladas were gone that night. My family didn’t know that these were a healthier enchilada. About 300 calories per serving. They had multiple servings though. We had homemade sangrias, layered taco dip, and lots of chips too. Then we had my Summer Berry Peach Pie for dessert. It’s was the perfect summer meal.
Put a little pizzazz in your next potluck adventure. Make these. They are healthy, yummy, and a great way to share a memory with your friends or family.
Black Bean Chicken Enchiladas with Spicy Avocado-Tomato Salsa
Delicious enchiladas! Fresh, flavorful, and better for you.
2 1/2 cups of shredded cooked chicken breast
2 – 15 oz cans of fat-free refried black beans (or regular refried beans will work)
1 cup of frozen sweet corn
2 cloves of garlic, minced
½ cup of diced onion, yellow or white
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of cumin
Optional: 1 large jalapeno, seeded and coarsely chopped
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
20-oz. can low-sodium enchilada sauce
2 1/2 cups of reduced fat Colby jack cheese
7- whole wheat 10 inch tortillas (burrito style)
3 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 avocado, diced
½ cup of yellow onion, finely chopped
½ fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
½ cup fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon lime juice
Salt and Pepper to taste
Spray large pan with non-stick cooking oil and place on medium heat. Add corn, garlic, onion, red pepper flakes, cumin, garlic powder, and the optional jalapeno if you’d like. Cook until onions have softened. Next add chicken and cilantro to mixture and ½ can of the enchilada sauce. Simmer on low for a couple of minutes. Turn off heat and let mixture cool.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray.
Next warm tortillas in microwave for about 20 seconds so they are easier to roll. Then, place about 1/2 cup of refried beans on each tortilla. Next take about 1/2 cup of chicken mixture and place on top of beans. Sprinkle about ¼ cup of cheese in each tortilla. Fold each tortilla and place seam side down in pan.
Add remaining enchilada sauce on top of the tortillas and sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Bake for 30 minutes until cheese is melted and edges of tortillas begin to turn golden brown. Allow enchiladas to cool a few minutes before serving and top with avocado-tomato salsa and sour cream.
While enchiladas are baking, make the salsa. To make salsa: In a medium bowl, combine all salsa ingredients. Stir until evenly mixed. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
These should make 7 large enchiladas. 1 serving = 1/2 enchilada with salsa.