Don’t Know Until You Try

Anise… licorice  … none of that ever sounded appetizing to me, probably because the taste of black licorice thoroughly sceeved me out. Then, I started hearing about the vegetable called fennel. Being the Dego that I am, I payed attention since it was being used in so many Italian dishes. But then, I started hearing the “licorice ” to describe it. Needless to say, I’ve avoided  this vegetable for, let’s say 24 years.Molly Napolitano » Super Delicious Leek & Fennel Shrimp

Alright, Mario Batali, after countless episodes of The Chew, you have persuaded me to give it a shot.

I found a chicken and apple soup recipe that called toasted fennel seeds. After a little research I found the conversation from seeds to vegetable, and I’m glad I did because I believe it definitely bulks up the soup. This was also my first time pulling apples into a soup, which I was nervous would make it too sweet. I believe that by playing with the combination of spices off sets the sweetness that the apples contribute. The last minute add-in was a small can of sliced carrots, for some color and a little more natural sweetness. This first batch went so quickly, I used raw carrots the next round (see note in recipe).

If you are anything like me, and are completely clueless about fennel prep, I found this great tutorial here. I had no idea there was a hard fibrous center to core out.

Chicken Apple Soup

Inspired by Wholefoods

Makes 8- 1 cup servings20151210_175427 (2)

  • 4 cups reduced fat, lower sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 lb chicken breast, boneless, skinless
  • 1 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup carrots, sliced into coins, OR a small can of sliced*
  • 1/2 lb (8oz) turnip
  • 2 medium gala apples
  • 1 medium to large onion
  • 1 bulb fennel
  • 2 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp ground sage

Preheat the oven to 425 F while you prep. Place chicken breast in a soup pot along with chicken broth, water, cumin, salt, pepper, and bay leaves. Cover with a lid and keep over low heat.

*If using raw carrots, place in the pot, now, as well.

Peel the turnips, cut in half and each half into thirds. This will help you differentiate between the difference veggies. Next, peel and core the apples, cut into quarters,  and the quarters into more bite sized pieces. Peel the onion, trim the ends, cut into quarters, and the quarters into thirds. You don’t need to separate the rings of the onions prior to roasting. Lastly, following the instructions in the link above, cut about an inch above the bulb, then cut off the base. Cut down its center, and remove the tough outer layer, as well as the triangle-shaped core in each half of the bulb. Slice what remains to a size of your liking.

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Line a 9 by 13 Pyrex with parchment and transfer your prepped fruit and veggies. Sprinkle the garlic powder and sage over the fruit and veg and give them a good toss with your hands. Pour about 3/4 cup of water to the dish, cover with foil and roast in the oven about 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, remove the foil from the Pyrex and carefully pick out the turnips (this is where the different sized turnip will help you), while giving the remaining fruit and vegetables a toss. Once the turnip has been removed,  return the Pyrex to the oven, uncovered, for an additional 15 minutes.

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Transfer the roasted turnips into a food processor and begin to puree. Feel free the add a bit of the broth to help get things moving. Transfer puree to pot of broth and and chicken.

When your fruit and veg have finished the last bit of the roast, transfer everything from the pryex into your soup pot, scraping any seasoning and 20151209_191159whatnot off the parchment.

*If using canned, sliced carrots, add those now.

 

Remove the chicken breast to a separate bowl or plate, and use the two-fork technique to shred the chicken. Transfer the shredded chicken back into the pot, cover, and allow to simmer for another 40 minutes, or longer if you’d like. Salt and pepper to taste.

If you reserved any of the fronds of the fennel, top your soup with it before serving; parsley does wonders, as well. And don’t forget those oyster crackers (yeah, they’re kind of my thing, now).

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The original recipe called for a crockpot, but a low simmer, covered pot did me just fine. And I think I’d have to say that this soup tastes even better the next day, as all the flavors really enhance and marry!

Nutrition (1/8 of recipe):

Calories:119, Fat: 2g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 28mg, Sodium: 807mg, Carbs: 14g, Fiber: 4g, Sugars: 9g, Protein: 13g

The end result? Fennel is officially a staple on my grocery list. And I threw out that 1-cup per serving jib-jab. A double serving in each bowl, please! Oh, and the aroma! The smell in the air was enough to cue your salivary glands! As soon as I entered the kitchen its fragrance wrapped around me with a come hither sensation!

Whats your food freaker? I’m still not touching sardines! Leave your comment below!

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Pumpkin Pie for Breakfast

During the crock pot challenge, I made crock pot Pumpkin Sticky Buns! Based off of that recipe, here is the perfect October breakfast for those brisk Fall mornings.

I just can’t get enough of pumpkin! Especiallyon National Pumpkin Day!

Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Buns

makes 12 buns

The Dough:

  • 2 cup plus 1 Tbsp milk of choice (I used unsweetened flax milk)
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 packet dry, active yeast (to help activate the yeast)
  • 2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated Splenda
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup Libby’s pure pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce

The Filling:

  • 3/4 cup pure pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup granulated Splenda
  • 2 Tbsp sugar-free pancake syrup
  • 1 Tbsp Splenda brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
Glaze Ingredients:
  • 3 Tbsp sugar free pancake syrup
  • 1 Tbsp granulated Splenda
  • 1/4 tsp plus 1/8 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 Tbsp pecans
  • 1 Tbsp hulled, unsalted pumpkin seeds
Warm milk and water in a bowl in the microwave for about 45 seconds. Let it sit for a few minutes. You want the liquids warm, not hot. Sprinkle the sugar into the liquid, followed by the packet of yeast. Set aside and allow mixture to bubble and foam.
Sift the flours, baking powder, Splenda, salt, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice into a large bowl and set aside. In a small bowl, warm the applesauce and pumpkin in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds. Stir the vanilla into the warmed mix, then stir this to the milk and yeast bowl. Pour the bowl of liquid ingredients into thelarge bowl of dry, and together to form a dowl. The dough will be moist and tacky. Cover the ball of dough with a towel and set in a warm place to rise for 20 minutes. (My trick: microwave an empty microwave for a minute, then place the covered bowl in the microwave to sit.)
While the dough is rising, stir together the filling ingredients and set aside. You can also chop the pecans and pumpkin seeds and tossed them together, and set aside. When the dough has risen, preheat the oven to 325 F. Sprinkle 1Tbsp of all-purpose flour over the ball. Sprinkle another 1 Tbsp over the clean, flat surface on which you will be rolling the dough. Flip the ball of dough onto the floured surface and sprinkle another 1 Tbsp of flour on top. Use your hands to press out the dough. Flour the dough in 1/2 Tbsp increments, as needed. Flip the dough over, after its been pressed with your fingers, sprinkle with flour and roll it out into a large rectangle.
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Using a spoon or basting brush, brushthe filling ingredients to every edge. (I suggest brushing onto the table to make sure every piece is coated!) With finger tips, carefully roll the dough into a long log. Using a non-serrated knife, cut the log into 12 equal portions, cleaning the blade after each slice. Carefully transfer the 12 rolls into a baking dish, sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  (For really large buns, cover and return the buns to a warm place for another 30 minutes. For regular sized, bake now.) Top the rolls with chopped pecan and pumpkin seed blend and bake for 25 to 28 minutes.
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While baking, stir together the remaining glaze ingredients. Once baked, drizzle the glaze over the buns and serve.
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When I opened the oven, it smelled like a pumpkin pie was baking! After the buns were glazed, I sat down to a cup of Tiramisu coffee (one of the new coffees I bought yesterday) to which I added SF Italian Sweet Cream creamer. What a combo! The creamer totally picked up the sweet notes of the coffee! I pulled apart the first piece of pumpkin bun to see a beautiful orange filling, and warm moist dough. I love that contrast of the firm outer shell with the soft inner layer of sticky buns!
Mom said it was just the right sweetness! My only critique is to make a thicker glaze…
I stared brain storming toppings… Obviously, nuts are a no-brainer, but what about crumbled bacon? Sounds like I might have to make these again in the near future!
Nutrition: per bun
Calories: 151, Fat: 1g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 278mg, Carbs: 30, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 1, Protein: 4g

Chili(y)

I went to Barry’s after work yesterday morning and immediately crashed! I couldn’t believe how tired I was. I actually slept! For like 5 hours! I woke up and it was 130 in the afternoon! Barry and I headed over to the Newark Co-op so I could pick up a few things. Hes been teaching me how to drive stick shift, so I got to drive. I think each time I drive, I’m getting better! We made it in one piece to the co-op and I found these babies!

If you recall, my first experience with POPCORNERS was addicting. I saw them on the shelves and directly below them, the words “Whole Grain.” Then came the words, “Memphis BBQ.” I thought about resisting and decided against it. Pretty darn hungry, Barry and I got in the car and dug in! Wow! Once again, POPCORNERS has me hooked!

Most of my evening was what I would consider insatiable! Once I got home, I made myself a large steamed vegetable and roast turkey salad. I microwaved bell peppers, onions, artichoke hearts, and turkey, and added them to a bunch of chopped iceberg. I finished it off with diced cucumbers and dill pickles, crushed red pepper flakes, salsa, and SF Balsamic Vinaigrette.

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Despite such a scrumptious salad, I still felt unsatisfied. I found myself nibbling. Ugh! I hate that “N” word! It really gets to me. I just felt insatiable.

Earlier in the day, every time I ate or drank, even water, I would get a sharp pain in my abdomen. Barry thinks because it hurt to eat earlier that maybe I really was hungry. I mean, it makes sense. I eventually steamed a bag of Italian blend vegetables and topped it with Walden Farms Alfredo and some spices. That helped. But my sweet tooth was not silenced!

I kept nibbling on Fiber One 80 Chocolate, celery and salsa… nothing was doing it. It was driving me crazy that I could not be satisfied. Sitting for 12 hours last night didn’t exactly help my calorie paranoia. Ahah! Pumpkin Ice Cream! After a bowl of Edy’s Slow Churned Pumpkin Ice Cream topped with Kashi Nutty Chia Flax cereal was quite satisfying.

My eating renegade ended with more sliced bell pepper and salsa. Whatever satisfies my crunch crave.

I would venture to say that salsa is probably the most used condiment in this house. I’ve actually gotten my dad pretty hooked on the stuff, too.

I spent the evening cuddled up with Beauty on the couch, struggling to stay awake for the season premiere of Glee.

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Isn’t she cute? Rub my belly, Please, please rub my belly?!?!?

I’m so glad I made it to Glee because the entire episode was The Beatles- my favorite band of all time! The music of The Beatles kept me wide awake until the end of the episode!  I crashed as soon as I saw coming attractions for next week.

I planned on accomplishing a few things when I woke up and I managed to do most of them!

Fall has been hitting hard around here, especially early AM and late PM. Before the it gets too cold and I have absolutely NO motivation to go outside, I grabbed a run and found two more great Refrain Running songs to the add to the playlist: See You Go by 3 Oh! 3 and Crazy Bitch by Buckcherry. By the time the Buckcherry song was over, I hadn’t stopped running, I was ampt, singing outloud, and completely out of breath! But I loved it!

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I ran about 2.5 miles and was pretty tired. I haven’t run in a while! When I got home, I got everything ready for my Crock Pot White Turkey Chili. I wanted to wait until October, National Chili Month, to make chili, but with the last bit of the turkey in the fridge, I figured it would be nice way to warm us up!

After the chili got started, I whipped up a shake bowl- a Four Chocolate Shake! So today is National Chocolate Milk Day, so I made a chocolate shake for dad and myself. He took his to work, and I enjoyed mine at home.

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  • 1 scoop chocolate protein
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp Chocolate PB2
  • 1 Tbsp SF White Chocolate syrup
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • handful of spinach
  • guar gum
  • water
  • ice

It was a weird color that was perfectly thickened. I had a bit of a Gnu Espresso Chip bar left, and I crumbled that on top so I had something to chew, plus it has espresso in it! Wow! I really enjoyed my breakfast.

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Frank was outside working on his car and I asked if I could help. I honestly love to learn! I wish I could have a career as a Professional Student! It doesn’t really matter what it is, but I have a constant thirst for knowledge. I was very excited when Frank said I could help. Today, I got my hands really dirty! He taught me how to rotate the tires and change the brake pads! I loved it and really it tired my arms out.

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I offered Frank some comic relief as I tried to help. At one point, while trying to loosen the caliper, I lost the grip on my socket wrench and went rolling back on my butt and then my back. I looked like a turtle lying on my back! I couldn’t stop laughing. Another time, Frank recommended I stand on the braker bar to help loosen a lug nut, so I did. Guess what? It went nowhere and I stood on the bar elevated above the tire like I was Queen of the Grease Balls! haha Everyone… my neighbor, the mailman, my dad… everyone has deemed my new nickname as “Grease Monkey.”

I wasn’t really hungry until dinner. I called dad and we both agreed we were starving! Dinner did not disappoint! So yummy with a bit of a kick, topped with a little shredded cheddar! It was served with grilled cheeses on the side, each one unique.

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Franks was provolone tomato, and turkey salad, Dad’s was Honey Mustard, a smidge of turkey salad, roasted red peppers, half provolone and half American. Mine was simply horseradish mustard, roasted red peppers, and American. I was shocked by how full we were! I was stuffed and content until close to 930pm.

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After dinner, Dad and I got a Redbox rental of “Stand Up Guys.” It was great! know these actors, their past films, their age, and the story line made it so entertaining!

We returned the movie and I ran into my elderly neighbor. He always asks me to pick out new ice creams for him and he always loves my choices. Tonight, we got Phish Food and Chubby Hubby. Finally! I get to try Chubby Hubby! I made sure that my one bite I allowed myself had the giant chocolate covered pretzel! I’m content with my bite and have no guilt! Plus this Chubby Hubby thing is finally out of my system.

But this did put me in quite the ice cream mood. After a tablespoon of my Edy’s Pumpkin, I decided that I wanted chocolate and a cone and a Lil’ Drum was the winner. I love these things. After a mild bought of nibbling (stupid nibbling), I settled down with some filling romaine and salsa. Nice and satisfied, guilt free, and feeling like I had a good day!

Enjoy your Friday night! I’m spending mine with mom and Beauty…

Fiesta with a Naked Face

I really upset my stomach last night, following my purge, and arriving home, I snack on a rice cake with PB2 to absorb some of the acid. Frank came into to my room to talk, and to see how I was feeling. Even with the final rice cake of the night, I was still slightly less than 600 calories.

Today was a much better day. I made sure of it!

I knew I needed to pick a few thing s up from the grocery store, and was better way to get there, but to jog. With a bit of refrain running, and some extreme muggy weather, I made the 1 1/2 mile hike. Refrain running has become such a great outlet, even if I’m not really in the mood to run. Plus its technically interval work!

Heres a quick run down on the benefits of interval training: Burn More Calories Walking

WP_003739On my sweaty walk home, the weather started to play some games. The last 5-10 minutes home it began to rain. I arrived home, hungry and wet! Thank you air conditioned house for making put a hoodie on in 85 degree weather! Haha!

Anyway, breakfast soon followed with Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Shakes for Frank and myself. As always, I added spinach, xanthum, and guar to make a grey blob in a bowl! It hit the spot, and then I was off to Barrys.

We went right to work painting the living the room! The guys of the house did a great job picking out colors! I must say, I did not know they had it in them. I can not wait for tomorrow for when the much needed new furniture comes! The color change, makes this room some much more inviting, already.

Before garbing up for painting, I threw two chicken breasts, from some very well-endowed chickens into the crock pot for a recipe which has been featured before. Even though I added more chicken, the 1 packet of taco seasoning and 1 1/2 cups of salsa still sufficed. We even added some crushed read pepper flakes!

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As Barry’s friend Kevin arrived, and my best  friend, Maggie came over, we had a fiesta taco bar. I set up a buffet of nonfat sour cream, fat free shredded cheddar, chopped romaine, toasted taco shells, salsa, whole kernel corn, and  a bunch of cebollitas! We decided to move dinner to the deck and throw in some Corona Light’s to finish the meal!

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As we ate dinner, Maggie asked, did you take your nose ring out? Oh no! Where’d it go? Now my face feels naked! Yay, for dad who said he’d grab them for me on his way to work, tomorrow!

It was interesting to see how divided the table was. The guys ate the tacos, and the girls went with salads. The sour cream mixing with the warm sauce from the chicken created the perfect dressing! And I loved the crisp sweetness the steamed corn added!

WP_003743We finished the night with some Guitar Hero and Wii Bowling. Wii Bowling is about the only electronic game I’m coordinated enough for.

And for Dinner, I’m Making Falafel

Every time I say “falafel,” I think of Donkey from Shrek… “And in the morning, I’m making waffles!”

Waffle… -lafel… you get my connection?

After dad’s experience with Falafel at Moaz, hes been insistant on eating it for a Lenten Friday night dinner. Even at the store, he wants to buy it! I talked him into letting me try to make if from scratch!

Last night, I used the Hungry Girl recipe for it and made the dip that goes with it. Dad ate his pita-style while I deconstructed mine into a spinach salad! I was iffy about the dill dip for a few reasons: A) dill can be a really strong flvor that tends to overwhelm my palate, and B) iI’m not a huge fan of plain yogurt. Let me just start by saying how simple this recipe was and how shocked I was that this dip was perfection! After combining the ingredients for the dip, and sampling it, I actually verbally exclaimed, “Oh wow! Oh yeah! mmm…” My mom, who can’t stand yogurt of any kind actually ate this dip too! I think it had a lot to do with cuccumber. It really mellowed out the greek yogurt’s natural tang. This stuff is officially a Bundo house staple! I’m thinking it would be a great sub for mayo on a sandwich!

Any way… back to falafel.. I followed everything in the recipe, with a few minor adjustments:WP_001613

  • 1/4 tsp and both paprika and black pepper for the falafel mix
  • half a peeled and deseeded large cucumber for the dip
  • I also did not have fresh herb, so I used dry herbs

* Just a note: If you do not have fresh herbs, you can use 1/3 the amount of dried herbs. For every 1Tbsp of fresh herbs, use 1 tsp of the dried stuff.

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all mashed up

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all rolled out

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all baked

To semi mirror the variety  of toppings that Moaz has, we mixed the dill cucumber yogurt dip with some bagged shredded coleslaw  vegetables, and I sliced some red pepper and roasted them! The slaw gave it a nice crunch and the red peppers were warm and sweet!

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While the falafel baked, I cut up this monsterouly large pineapple!  Great dessert!

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If you enjoy chickpeas, check out these other chickpea recipes: Chicken Garam Masala and Chickpea based bars.

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Dad’s pita

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Sammy’s Salad

After dinner, I met up with some people from work at the bowling alley, and took dad as my date. When I was younger, and it was still affordable, dad and I went bowling every Friday night. Bowling with such good company was a lot of fun! We did a unit shot of Pucker’s Sour Apple, and majority of the group indulged in Miller Lite.

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After a few round of enjoyable, yet completely terrible bowling, Dad and I headed out to a social club he belongs to. There I drank a glass of merlot and woah did that hit me quick! I felt like I was a freshman in college, again… not being able to hold my alcohol! I get silly and giggly when I drink, and last night was no different. He was alot of fun though, spending a nice night out with my dad!

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When I got home (dad drove) I was craving the pizza my mom ordered.one of the bad things about drinking is the loss of  inhibition, causing us to make poor decisions, including food ones. I have to say though, I ate a slice of pizza and a 100 cal bag of popcorn, with nutella. I could have done worse!

This morning, I was not too hungry (since my tipsy tummy fill last night), but after a little tidying up and a cup of hot tea, I decided to try another new yogurt. I get really excited about trying new things. Thats how you know I have a passion for food. Anyway, I found Fage Passion Fruit Clementine yogurt and the combination really intrigued me! The fruit puree was tart and taste and sweet and exotic. I sprinkled some chia on top and  really enjoyed it!

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The last couples days, I’ve been in a funk and extrememly tired. Today, I was finally able to get myself sort-of moving. I completed on of my favorite circuits, Julie’s Super Sweaty Ab Workout. Although, it doesn’t sound like much, it helped make me feel like I did something. My girlfriend reminded me to be proud of my workouts. No matter what I did, its better than doing nothing. This, my friends, is called looking at the glass half full.

After this short spurt, I cut into a fuji apple. This baby was perfectly ripe! Mmmm so crisp! And a teaspoon of raw almond butter was a nice touch! (I finished this apple when I got home from work!)

WP_001639I am working for a girl tonight, since she covered my shift last weekend when I was in the Vagina Monolgues. I brought Pacific Food’s Hearty Corn Chowder, and ate this with saltines. While here, I also snacked on some dangerously delicious decedent trail mix! I recognized my fullness and went back to work! (I don’t think I’d recommend this soup.)WP_001640

I am sitting with a patient tonight. This patient ran out of the room and I ran after! I had no idea I could run that fast. Another nurse ran down the other side of the hallway! It was great team work and an unexpected way to break up the night.

Speaking of teamwork, I have never experienced such great teamwork than I have tonight! Six of us in a room! All working together to accomplish a task! Beautiful!

I’m heading to bed with a full tummy! Good night!

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Crock Pot Challenge Recap

As you know, Julie put out a challenge beginning January 11th until the end of February to complete 10 new crock pot recipes!

This challenge was something I fully excepted and enjoyed!

You can find all of these recipes in the links below or on the side bar.

Tamale Pie

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Mexican Chicken (my favorite)

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Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns

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Roasted Vegetables

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Beef Stew

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Chicken Garam Masala

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Apple Cinnamon Oats

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Chili Jamb

White Turkey Chili

Venison (the recipe that started it all)

Also check out Julie’s recap here for more recipes!

I hope you play around with your crack pot and share with us in the comments below!

Tamale Pie: Crock Pot Recipe #10

Yay! We did it! 10 new crock pot recipes before the end of February!

Dad seemed super excited about this one! He actually found this recipe.

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serves 8

Filling Ingredients:

1 lb lean ground beef
1 lb lean ground turkey

3 Tablespoons chili seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) stewed tomatoes, cut-up
1 can (14 1/2 ounces)  beans , drained and rinsed (1/3 dry beans, then partiallycooked)
1 can (4 ounces) chopped fire-roasted green chiles
1/2 cup water
Cornbread Topping Ingredients:

1 box (8 1/2 ounces) corn muffin mix
1 cup fat free shredded Cheddar cheese
Directions:

Brown ground meat in large skillet on medium-high heat; drain.Place ground beef in slow cooker. Add chili seasoning, onion powder, stewed tomatoes, beans, chiles and water. Mix all ingredients well.Cover and cook 8 hours on low.

Then prepare the cornbread topping. Increase the heat setting to high. Prepare corn muffin batter as directed on package. Drop batter by spoonfuls on top of filling in slow cooker. Cover. Cook 30 minutes longer or until toothpick inserted into center of cornbread topping comes out clean. Turn off slow cooker. Sprinkle cornbread topping with cheddar cheese,  cover for 5 minutes longer until cheese begins to melt.

I browned the ground beef last night, so this morning I could just dump everything in the crock and skidaddle off to clinical.

Mom and dad both enjoyed this. I needed to add hot sauce.  Next time, I think I’ll add another can of chiles. It must have been good though, because I’ve never seen my mom eat so fast and ask for seconds!

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After clinical, I planned on stopping by campus on my way home to take advantage of their gym… well, with all the construction, I missed the exit… Therefore, I decided to tackle another day of Couch to 5K. The pace picked up on this one with longer intervals of running!

Although the day started off great, it ended miserably. This eating disorder reared its ugly head, again. Its amazing what the min can do. I actually ate and ate with the intention of purging. I so I purged.

I can’t figure out why this is still happening. I’m spiraling down and I feel like I’m falling deeper. I try so hard to remember mantras to keep my head up but theres always that other voice in my head, reminding me how much I’ve failed myself. This is all so new to me.

Double the Crock Pots, Double the Fun: Mexican Chicken: Crock Pot Recipe #9

This is so funny! I’ve never had dueling crock pots before!

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This is the easiest of all the crock pot recipes of this challenge. Since breakfast was  a bit more involved, I’m  glad this was a simple one. And just like the roasted vegetables, the possibilities are endless!

Mexican Chicken

serves 4

12 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast

1 jar salsa, or 1 1/2 cups

1 packet low sodium Taco Seasoning

Remove the fat from the breast and lay in the crock pot. In a bowl, combine the salsa and taco seasoning. Pour over top of the chicken, cover, and cook on low. When ready, remove from crock pot, shred with two forks, and place back into crock pot until its time to be served.

Is that simple or what?!

I used a jar of Southwest Black Bean and White Corn salsa. Dad really wanted soft tacos, but I couldn’t help but create a salad with mixed greens, shredded chicken, fat free shredded cheddar,  and a few Guiltless Gourmet Spicy Black Bean tortilla chips.  I stuck with the mexi- theme and combined some avocado with some fat free sour cream and cilantro for a dressing!

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Rave Reviews! Dad went back for seconds! (so did I).

I’ve been in a kind of freak out mode! I have some dresses that do not fit me anymore! Ugh! This is the worst feeling a girl with an eating disorder can have! Situations like these really make a girl want to relapse. The worse part, is that I have to energy or motivation to get moving! The weather has been super crap-tastic lately, so I have not been able to go running and the house just looks so dark and gloomy without any sunlight. Thank God today was a nice day! It was the first day in a while I could walk outside without gloves and a scarf.

I’m hoping this dress incident can snap me back to normal eating habits!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns: Crock Pot Recipe #8

I could not resist when I found this on a vegan recipe page!

I prepared everything this morning and headed to Church. (Yes, I woke up early on my day off). When I arrived home, after a run, the smell of fall spices was in the air!

I prepared them Sammy style, but check the original recipe for the vegan way.

Ingredients:
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated Splenda
1 package active dry yeast
1/2 cup unsweetened flax milk
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup Libby’s pure pumpkin
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 Flaxseed egg (1 TBS flaxseed to 1 1/2 TBS warm water, let it sit for 5 minutes)
1/4 tsp sugar (to help activate the yeast)
Filling Ingredients:
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 Tbsp plus 2 tsp Splenda brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp ground gloves
Icing Ingredients:
4 oz fat free cream cheese, soft
2 1/2 Tbsp granulated Splenda
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Directions:
Prepare flaxseed egg. Combine flour, sugar and yeast in a large bowl. Fold in milk, water, pumpkin, flaxseed egg and applesauce into dry ingredients. Form into a ball and let it sit in bowl, covered with a towel, for 30-45 minutes. Roll the dough into a rectangle on a lightly floured surface.
Mix together filling and brush the dough with it.
Roll the rectangle long side to long side and pinch the ends to seal. Slice the log into 12 to 14 rolls.
Place in wide and very well sprayed crock pot and cook on high for 60-90 minutes. Use a toothpick to determine if fully cooked.
Mix up icing and pour over hot rolls. Top with pecans, walnuts, raisins, or what ever you’d like.
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I went for a quick run to knock out another day of Couch to 5K. I’m hoping that this helps fuel me for a productive day.
Dad came over after Church to enjoy these sticky buns and a cup of coffee!
The Verdict: the consistency of the buns were perfect and I could not believe how much the buns grew; however, there was too much clove for the tastes of this family, and not enough sweetness. This recipe has tremendous potential and dad and I are excited to play around with it. (Dad is like a little kid when he bakes… he loves cookie cutters!)
I sprinkled a bit of Splenda over top to help add some sweetness.WP_001277
Don’t get me wrong, these things are most definitely edible, but they need some work.
When I was ready to roll the dough, I searched high and low for the rolling pin. Then I remembered I left it at my dads house…
So I laid down some plastic wrap over the dough and improvised.
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Thank you, Libby!

Low-Carb Pizza

I loved sleeping in this morning!

I didn’t want to eat anything too heavy this morning, so I pulled out another new yogurt to try: Chobani Key Lime Crumble Greek yogurt. When I bought it, I thought “mmmm grahams and yogurt.” When I peeled back the foil, I noticed white chocolate chips in with the graham!

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SCORE!

I sprinkled a little ground flax on top to play off the graham! Perfecto! Sweet, tart, crunchy!

My girlfriend Megan (not Meaghen from NY, Megan from clinical) told me about this recipe awhile back and I knew it was a must-make meal! Megan is someone I guess you could say admire. Shes a runner and lives a very healthy lifestyle. She also is one of the people that helped smack me back into reality with me eating disorder. Because of her, I found running as an amazing outlet for my crazy days! Thanks, Megan, not just for the recipe, but for helping me find myself again, the healthy way.

Cauli- CrustWP_001242

1 md head of cauliflower, riced

1/2 cup fat free shredded mozzarella

1/4 cup liquid egg whites

2 cloves garlic, minced

spices, to taste

I used Italian seasonings like basil, oregano, black pepper, garlic, and parsley. Give this a good mix and spread onto a pizza stone or baking sheet and bake at 400 F for about 20 min.

Remove from the oven, and top with whatever you please. Since its a Friday during Lent, I’m utilizing yesterday’s crock pot recipe and topping the crust with roasted vegetables, pesto,  2 sticks, grated, of Weight Watcher’s smoked mozzarella, and another 1/4 cup of shredded fat free mozzarella!

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The original recipe calls for 1 cup of cheese, but I used 1/2 and chopped it into smaller pieces to ensure it was equally spread throughout.

Everyone really liked the unique and crisp flavor of the crust! This meal was a big hit! We already started discussing other ways to play with the recipe!

I was the queen of procrastination, today! Rather than watching lectures, I loaded the dish washer, cooked and baked, unloaded the dishwasher, re-loaded it with the dishes I had just made, got on the phone with dad to harass him about when her was coming over for dinner, cleaned off the kitchen table, and right as I was going to go back to the lectures, dad came over… good timing!

I baked one of my favorite breakfast/desserts! I had it for the first time in NY with Meaghen, and wanted to play around with it to make it myself! Success! I’ll share the recipe to my Cranberry Walnut Apple Pear Crumb Cake with you tomorrow! (I say dessert because its great warm, with a scoop of vanilla froyo!)

I’m off to study!