Hot Day!

Yesterday was a long day for me.  I was on the road by 8:00 a.m. to attend the funeral of the Mom of some dear friends – my friend Jacky, her sisters Jody (who is a Cross Fit fanatic and wants me to start Cross Fit and stop drinking hazelnut creamer in my coffee!) Terry and Kelly.  I didn’t know their two older siblings because they are older than me and we wouldn’t have ever been in school together.   I only met their Mom on a couple occasions and didn’t know her well, but Jacky’s son Andrew did the eulogy and did an amazing job describing his grandma – Andrew is the oldest grandchild, thus has the most memories of her.  She was the life of the party, a die hard Democrat, loved her happy hour, and most importantly, loved her family and friends and her husband of nearly 55 years.  What a blessing to be married to your spouse for 55 years!

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Egg white McMuffin for the drive into River Forest.  Traffic wasn’t too bad at that time of day and it only took me an hour and fifteen minutes to get there.  7 smart points, and for the record, I was stopped, and not driving and taking pics. Open-mouthed smile

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This is the church in my hometown, St. Luke’s.  I had no idea they have a massive reconstruction going on outside, but the inside of the church is beautiful.  It’s been years since I’ve been inside.  The service was lovely, I got to see some people I haven’t seen in a long time, and I was happy to be able to give all the sisters big hugs.

I had to work my Lincoln Square market yesterday, so after the service I had enough time to go to Whole Foods and grab some lunch.  I always drool over the cheese area – check out this goat cheese – only $38!

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I ended up getting the salad bar, and then accessorizing with some grilled rosemary chicken from the prepared foods aisle.

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$10 salad – but it was really good and hit the spot.  It kept me full for a long time, and around 6 I ended up eating my snacks – 1/2 cup of grapes, 1 cup watermelon and this snack pack of rice crackers and hummus (that was on sale at Jewel for 10/$10) and 4 smart points.

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I was working with Edmundo, the 18 year old that has an amazing work ethic and most importantly – he’s super organized and clean – check out the sample cups he put together.

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So yesterday when I told you that sales is my jam, and that I had just broken a record at that market?  Well, turns out you need actually customers to sell to – it was such a ghost town at my market.  I get it, it was hot – the temps dropped to 82 on the drive to Chicago, but were back up to 92, with 80% humidity, and I guess everyone wanted to stay inside.

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That picture was taken at 5:30 – normally we are swamped with wrap orders for a solid hour.  Oh well!  One of the things I love though is that all the vendors look out for each other.  I’ve had people help me with my tent when I was new and didn’t know what I was doing, and across the way was a guy that was selling mushrooms and he was struggling a bit with his tents, so I ran over and helped him out. 

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Not long after, Daniel came over and handed me a paper bag as a way of thanks – mushrooms!  Long time readers may remember that I never really liked mushrooms, but in the last few years, I’ve become to love them.  Nothing like a sautéed mushrooms on a perfectly grilled steak.  You can check out the story of River Valley Kitchens here.

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I didn’t post my dinner on Instagram last night, because it was just two pieces of leftover frozen pizza that I broiled in the oven.  I didn’t end up getting home until 10:00 p.m. and I didn’t have the energy to cook anything, or eat the soup that I made the other day.

Do you guys use the app Time Hop?  So crazy how you think your life doesn’t change all that much day to day, but looking year to year – wow!  Let’s take a journey back, shall we?

1 year ago:

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A year ago today was when the beginning of my whole living room reconstruction.  What I thought was going to be a quick $1,000 dry wall job, quickly turned into a $20,000 because the whole front of my house was rotten and had to be rebuilt. 

2 years ago:

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Two years ago today I was standing in the elevator at Extended Stay America where I was a finalist for a cooking competition – who knew that just a few months from them I’d actually be taking to Sunny Anderson!

Three years ago:

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Three years ago I was already on Day 52 of Insanity – I am hoping by reposting pictures like this it will give me the inspiration to get that motivation back.

I am off work today, so I slept in – hence the late post of this blog today.  I was given cherry tomatoes by a vendor last Sunday, so hope to make a roasted tomato soup with them for lunch.  Hannah and Jacob will be having mushrooms tonight – Jacob’s on a steak, and Hannah’s vegetarian with pasta.  Me?  Um, it’s Party Pizza Friday!  On my menu thanks to Helen?  Buffalo Chicken Pizza!  In my head it turns out – you’ll just have to follow me on Instagram to find out.

Hope you have a great weekend and I hope the rain stays away during my markets this weekend.  I’ll be in Glenview on Saturday and Frankfort on Sunday – the Frankfort one is my favorite Open-mouthed smile

Make it a great day!

Sales is My Jam

I actually love my night farmers markets because it gives me time to actually prepare a decent breakfast and not be rushed.  It was already near 80 degrees when I woke up yesterday morning, and the forecast was temps in the low 90s, with a heat index near 100!  Perfect for working a farmers market, no?  Actually, I don’t mind the heat as much as the rain and storms, at least people will still come out if it’s hot, but not if its stormy.

My breakfast was egg white tostadas.  10 smart parts for the two and super filling and delicious.

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In case you are wondering what a day in the life of a food blogger looks like – here it is.  I tool this picture on my living room floor.  Apparently, someone thought this was for her!

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Shelley, you’ll be happy to see my blue toenail polish! Open-mouthed smile

And here is Rummy’s look when I tell her it’s not for her:

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So I packed my lunch for the market.  A ham and rotisserie chicken wrap with pretzel thins, Stubbs BBQ sauce for dipping my wrap, and grapes.  Not shown was watermelon and a banana.  Around 5:00 I got hungry and took one bit of my wrap and it just tasted . . . off.  I think it was the deli ham.  I took the last of it, but it made the sandwich taste like ass, so I ended up eating just my grapes, watermelon and banana.  It held me until I got home.  Another misstep was to place the pretzel thins in the container with the wrap, because sitting on the ice block just turned them into mush.  Lesson learned!

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It’s funny because when I work the markets, I really have no idea how well or bad I am doing.  I talk to so many people, that keeping track of sales in my head as I go is near impossible.  Numbers and I don’t mix all that well – God gives and he takes – I can cook, but math isn’t my best subject.  I knew I did a lot of credit card sales, so that makes it even harder to figure out how well I have done.  Um, turns out, I broke a sales record yesterday for that market!  Whoop!   And at least half a dozen people wanted to know how long I’ve owned this business.  Open-mouthed smile

As I was driving home, I was thinking that I didn’t know that I was or could be a good sales person.  But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I am the quintessential salesperson.  At one restaurant I worked at we sold a lobster bisque soup for $8 a cup.  But, I could upsell that by adding fresh lump lobster to the top and a side of a shot of sherry and 9/10 people would order it just the way I suggested it – which suddenly became an $18 cup of soup!  And I am competitive by nature, so there is that – I want to be the best no matter what.

So remember how I said I didn’t want to eat carbs on the nights I worked the markets and ate dinner late?  Well, after only having 10 points going into dinner, the fact that I was really hangry at that point, I bought a $5 Tombstone pizza and ate three slices.  I had 20 points going into dinner, so I am not too worried about it.  I also drank about two gallons of water yesterday, and today the temps are going to be closer to 100, so it will be a sweaty balls kind of day today.  Again, as long as the rain stays away, it’s all good.

Alright, time to get this show on the road – make it a great day!

Salsa

Tomatillo Jalapeno Salsa

I had my first WI after vacation yesterday.  I lost a pound!  But who are we kidding, I’ve been up, down, up, down the past 11 weeks since I’ve been going to meetings.  But I do enjoy the meetings, and our leader is really good.  I am sure people at the meetings who see my diverse point friendly meals are looking at me like “why doesn’t she lose any weight?!” Smile with tongue out

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One of the women brought in these ziploc bags that she said help her with portion control with stuff like chips.  She bought these at Walmart – when she gets home, she divides the big bag into servings, and then just grabs one bag.  Um, me?  I’d probably grab 2 or 3, hence the no weight loss!

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I’ve been looking at bento boxes for my packed food on the days I work at the market.  Some of them can be very expensive!  I never noticed that Weight Watchers had one, and it was only $5.99.  Sold.  The big container holds 5 1/2 cups, the one on the left holds 2 1/2 cups and each of the small ones is one cup.  I’ve been packing stuff in ziploc bags, but if the bags touch my ice block, sometimes the food feels soggy.

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I normally bring my breakfast to WW, but I was running late.  So when I got home, I had time to put these egg white zucchini breakfast tacos together.   Each taco is only 3 smart points, which made a filling 9 point breakfast.

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3 corn tortillas (5) 1 cup egg whites with shredded zucchini (1) with 1/2 ounce cheese (2) topped with shredded radish and 2 tablespoons guacamole (1).  I could literally eat that for breakfast every day and not get sick of it.  If I had a breakfast food truck, this would definitely be on the menu!

Hannah and I ran all sorts of errands yesterday.  We ended up noshing on some popcorn chicken while grocery shopping at Walmart – I am counting that as my 8 point lunch.   I had some rotisserie chicken to use up, so I decided to make chicken enchiladas for dinner – except with a tomatillo salsa.  This is really a cheaters salsa because I used a small can of spicy red salsa with the fresh tomatillos.  I’ve seen this salsa at Jewel and at Joseph’s, my local grocery store.

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Tomatillo Jalapeno Salsa
Serves 10
A slightly spicy salsa that's delicious on everything from eggs to tacos!
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Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
17 min
Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
17 min
42 calories
7 g
0 g
1 g
1 g
0 g
127 g
357 g
4 g
0 g
0 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
127g
Servings
10
Amount Per Serving
Calories 42
Calories from Fat 12
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 1g
2%
Saturated Fat 0g
1%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 357mg
15%
Total Carbohydrates 7g
2%
Dietary Fiber 2g
9%
Sugars 4g
Protein 1g
Vitamin A
6%
Vitamin C
20%
Calcium
2%
Iron
4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 7 ounce can jalapeno salsa
  2. 2 pounds tomatillos, sliced in half
  3. 2 tablespoons garlic
  4. 1/2 cup water
  5. 1 bunch cilantro
  6. 1 teaspoon salt
  7. 1 teaspoon oil
Instructions
  1. In a stock pot, add the oil and heat pan to medium heat.  Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes.  Toss in the tomatillos and water and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes.  In a food processor or blender, add the jalapeno salsa, the cooked garlic and tomatillos, the cilantro and salt and puree.  Let cool.
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calories
42
fat
1g
protein
1g
carbs
7g
more
My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/
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Or be like Hannah and eat it still warm from the blender.  This was the perfect amount of spice for her #winning!  Love that she calls me the salsa queen too Open-mouthed smile

My enchilada for dinner:  1 Mission low carb wrap (4) three ounces rotisserie chicken and chopped baby spinach (1) 3/4 ounce cheese (3), guacamole (1) and 1/3 cup yellow rice (2).  Topped with red cabbage and radish – so good!

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I heated up a non-stick skillet with Pam, and after the pan got hot, seared the enchilada on both sides, starting with the folded side first to hold it together, so the enchilada had a bit of crunch to it.  Can you guys tell I love Mexican food?!

Timehop showed me that two years ago was when I made my first peach pie.  In nearly 14 years of marriage to Tony, I never knew he loved peach pie!   By the summer of 2014, most food didn’t even appeal to Tony and if I got him to eat anything, it made me happy.  So I went to town on this peach pie.  It was cooling on my kitchen counter when we got the call from Mayo that they wanted us up there asap.  I ended up giving my first and only peach pie I’ve made to our next door neighbors before heading out to Rochester.  My neighbor declared it the best pie he’s ever eaten, so maybe before this summer is over, I’ll get to make it again.  I’ve actually never even eaten peach pie!

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And three years ago, I was already on Day 50 of Insanity!  I wish I could get that motivation back that I had three years ago!

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Today is my long drive farmers market day, but I do it by myself, so that makes me happy.   Just hoping the rain stays away until after the market closes!

Make it a great day!

A healthier version of Lou Malnati's Pizza

Deep Dish Pizza . . .a bit healthier!

One of the most viewed recipes on this blog over the last almost 8 years has to be my copycat Lou Malnati’s Deep Dish Pizza.  I remember the day like it was yesterday when I came home and Tony saw on America’s test kitchen that they made a deep dish pizza, and he asked me if I could make it . . . that night!  I almost fell over, because usually Tony would make every excuse in the book NOT to have pizza.  That recipe calls for over 3 cups of flour, as well as 7 tablespoons of butter for the dough.  Um, no wonder it’s so good!  The key ingredient I believe for Lou’s pizza is corn meal.  I decided to let my no rise pizza dough rise on the counter for half a day last Friday, with the addition of corn meal and I subbed I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter in place of the butter in the dough recipe.

This recipe is enough for two 9 inch cake pan size pizzas.  Best part is that once the dough has risen, you can put these together ahead of time – keep one in the refrigerator until ready to be baked, and even freeze the other one and cook straight from the freezer to the oven – which only adds an additional 10 minutes longer in the oven.

Deep Dish Pizza - a bit healthier!
Serves 8
The secret to Lou Malnati's deep dish pizza is lots of butter and oil! Mine is just as delicious, and a bit healthier too!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
327 calories
34 g
43 g
15 g
14 g
7 g
177 g
695 g
2 g
0 g
6 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
177g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 327
Calories from Fat 131
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 15g
23%
Saturated Fat 7g
37%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 43mg
14%
Sodium 695mg
29%
Total Carbohydrates 34g
11%
Dietary Fiber 2g
10%
Sugars 2g
Protein 14g
Vitamin A
15%
Vitamin C
13%
Calcium
19%
Iron
7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups flour
  2. 1 teaspoon salt
  3. 1 teaspoon yeast
  4. 1/4 cup corn meal (I use white corn meal)
  5. 1 cup water
  6. 2 tablespoons I Can’t Believe It’s Butter
  7. 4 ounces Italian sausage
  8. 8 ounces mozzarella cheese
  9. 2 cups pizza sauce
  10. 4 tablespoons fresh basil
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, mix the flour, corn meal, salt, yeast and water and using your hands, mix together until combined.  You may have to add a few more tablespoons of water to incorporate all the flour.  Let rise for at least an hour.  Mine rose 4 hours.  Divide the dough into two rounds.  Spray a 9 inch cake pan with Pam.  Roll each dough out and, and spread 1 tablespoon of the mock butter on the dough, and then put back into a ball.  Put back in the fridge and heat oven to 450.  When the oven gets to temp, roll dough out again, press dough into the cake pan and up the sides.  This is going to be a thinner crust than a normal deep dish pizza, but it will still be delicious.
  2. Sprinkle two ounces of the cheese on the bottom of the pizza.  Add 2 ounces of Italian sausage between each pizza, top with 1 cup pizza sauce, and finish off with the last 2 ounces of mozzarella cheese per pizza.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Once out of the oven, sprinkle each pizza with 2 tablespoons fresh basil.  Let cool 10 minutes before slicing.
Notes
  1. The prep time does not include the time for the dough to rise - depends on if you let it rise and hour, or four hours - your choice!
Adapted from America's Test Kitchen
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calories
327
fat
15g
protein
14g
carbs
34g
more
Adapted from America's Test Kitchen
My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/
7.15.16 040

7.15.16 060

My calculations put each 1/4 of a pizza at only 9 smart points – and this is a generous piece of pizza!  Now, the crust obviously isn’t as butter as the real deal copy cat pizza, but this is still a delicious pizza – I actually love all the sauce and didn’t miss all that extra cheese.

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Since it was my day off yesterday, I do like to sleep in a bit later than usual.  I woke up at 8:30, and I could see that Hannah not only was up, but she’d already been to Starbuck’s for her coffee fix, and well, it was as if she slept in her cleaning pants and was ready to go.  I however, still had to blog, I checked email, looked at a couple job boards to see what was new, and then made breakfast.  Hannah ended up starting the cleaning party a good 30 minutes before me!  I made a quick shredded zucchini omelet with 2 tablespoons of guacamole, two pieces of uncured bacon and some cherries – this whole plate is only 6 points!  I just stocked up on egg whites at Sam’s Club – an 8 count container is only $9!

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Then the cleaning commenced.  It’s amazing how much junk one person can hang onto.  At one point it felt like I was on an episode of Hoarder’s because Hannah would tell me “Mom, I’ve never seen you even use this.”  But I really do need that bamboo steamer the next time I make steamed Asian dumplings!   We worked for several hours and have already stock piled 10 garbage bags of stuff to either donate, or throw out.  We decided that going out to lunch would be a nice reward.  I always get the steak tacos for 5 points each – get two and have a 10 point lunch.  I decided to try something different.  A gordita – which was described as meat and beans in a corn tortilla.

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I actually stole some garnish off of Hannah’s plate for that pic – it didn’t have any cilantro, cheese or anything.  And it seemed like it was “fried” with oil or butter on the flat top because the top and bottom were a bit greasy and crunchy.  Delicious though!  I ate 3/4 of it and a few bites of the rice and beans that I shared with Hannah, and decided 15 points would be an accurate calculation for lunch.

Um, just so happens that the thrift store is right next to the taco place, so Hannah and I had to check it out.  I am looking for a filing cabinet to store papers I need to keep off the ground.  My basement has a tendency to flood every once in a while in the spring.  I found these shoes that looked as if they had never been worn!  So comfy – these may become my new farmers market shoes.

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Hannah?  Well, let’s just say this is the look you get when you realize the baby bjorn can be worn as a back pack!

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Roman must have stayed in that backpack for a good 20 minutes before he wanted out – it was so cute how he put his paws on either side of Hannah’s shoulders. 

When dinner came around, I decided I should use up what I have before going to the grocery store.  I still had chicken wings and Hannah had tofu and noodles.  4 ounces of wings with radishes on the side – 10 smart points, so I ended up with 31/30 points for the day.  Promise I’ll buy and eat veggies today Open-mouthed smile

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Is there anything better than a chicken wing?  It’s funny because my other blog friend Ally LOVES buffalo anything as much as me.  When I mentioned my blog friend Melissa as loving buffalo chicken wings as much as I do, she called me out on Instagram and said “what am I, chopped liver?!”  To tell you how much Ally loves buffalo anything, a few of her dishes:

I still need to make a plan to meet Ally half way for lunch before the summer gets away from us – Ally, I’ll be in touch!

Alright, off to shower and then to WW – I did pretty good with the extra bites and licks, until yesterday of all days – I kept thinking I wanted to eat more stuff and after a couple bites of pretzel thins, an extra piece of cheese, I had to just tell myself the kitchen was closed.  I find that the days I am home are the ones where food is always in reach, so I need to pay extra attention on those days.

Another beautiful day!  My only exercise yesterday was cleaning, and while Hannah wants to spend at least another hour down there today, I will get a long walk in before it gets too hot – it’s a perfect 75 degrees right now.

Now go make it a great day!

Stir fry Sauce

PB Bit Stir fry Sauce

Another whirlwind weekend is in the books.  Could you please tell the summer to slow down?  Before you know it, we’ll be seeing fricken Halloween decorations in the stores!   Friday both Hannah and Jacob worked so I had a whole day to recipe develop in the kitchen and I had such a fun day.  I had Spotify on, jammed to Macklemore and Pitbull (yes, I am 19 at heart!) and just enjoyed being Bizzy in My Kitchen.  The first recipe I am sharing today (the other two will be later this week) is a stir fry sauce using PB Fit.  PB Fit is a powdered peanut butter that you reconstitute with water.  I bought mine at Sam’s Club for like $13 for a 30 ounce container.  Which in case you are wondering, is a lot of peanut butter!  I even split my can with my twin sister and I still have a ton left.  But as with most things, it got pushed to the back of the pantry and was temporarily forgotten. 

I had some extra firm tofu in the fridge, and after breakfast took it out of the package and wrapped it in a clean kitchen towel and put my cast iron skillet on top of it to get all the moisture out of it.  The other veggies I had was broccoli slaw, mushrooms and zucchini, so tofu stir fry was born.

PB Fit Stir fry sauce
Serves 1
A healthier version of a peanut stir fry sauce - only 2 smart points for the sauce!
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Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
7 min
Total Time
9 min
Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
7 min
Total Time
9 min
121 calories
11 g
0 g
6 g
10 g
1 g
245 g
628 g
4 g
0 g
4 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
245g
Servings
1
Amount Per Serving
Calories 121
Calories from Fat 48
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6g
9%
Saturated Fat 1g
4%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 628mg
26%
Total Carbohydrates 11g
4%
Dietary Fiber 3g
11%
Sugars 4g
Protein 10g
Vitamin A
10%
Vitamin C
87%
Calcium
35%
Iron
31%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons PB fit
  2. 1 tablespoon water
  3. 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  4. 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
  5. 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  6. 1 teaspoon Thai chili garlic sauce
  7. 1/2 teaspoon agave nectar
  8. 3 ounces tofu
  9. 1/2 cup broccoli slaw
  10. 1/2 cup zucchini
  11. 1/4 cup mushrooms, sliced
Instructions
  1. Mix all the ingredients (PB fit to agave nectar) together in a small bowl.  Heat skillet to medium heat and add Pam spray.  Add 3 ounces of tofu to the pan.  Add 2 teaspoons of the stir fry sauce to the pan and sauté for about 3-4 minutes, you’ll notice that the sauce gets sucked into the tofu and start to caramelize.   Remove from the pan, add in the broccoli slaw, zucchini and mushrooms and sauté for a few minutes.  Add back in the tofu and the rest of the stir fry sauce and cook an additional minute or so.
beta
calories
121
fat
6g
protein
10g
carbs
11g
more
My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/
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The stir fry sauce ended up being 2 smart points, and it was delicious.  Just enough to coat everything, and you got the peanutty taste from the PB fit, a hint of sesame from the oil and spicy from the Thai chili sauce.  I was so happy when Better Body Foods reposted my pic on Instagram!

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I ended up making a deep dish pizza Friday night (duh!) but I will post that recipe tomorrow – I revamped my deep dish dough to make 1/4 of a cake size pan slice only 9 smart points!  Can’t wait to share that with you.

The weather on Saturday was perfect for a farmers market.  I didn’t do this market the Saturday before and it only made $650.  I was in Glenview and made $1250 at that market!  So I was back to Evanston, and not surprisingly if I can toot my own sales horn, sales were back to $1208! 

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I drove with the Pokemon Go kid, but made him keep the phone in his pocket on the drive there, although I did notice he had his phone out the entire time while he was making wraps, with head phones in to boot!  I complained to the owner about how this kid works, and am happy to report that when I saw this weeks schedule, I am not working with him this week.  I am working with an 18 year old kid that has an amazing work ethic for his age, is super clean when he cooks, and most importantly, actually smiles to the customers!  So happy.

Both Hannah and Jacob worked on Saturday so I was home first and ended up making chicken wings that I found in the freezer.  I defrosted them in the fridge during the day, and just tossed them in flour seasoned with salt, pepper and creole seasoning, and then had them sit in the fridge for an hour before frying.  My four wings and 2 ounces of fries was 15 smart points and completely delicious.  I loves me some buffalo sauce!  Although my friend Helen tagged my twin sister and I that she was making pizza on Friday too (her husband loves pizza just as much as me!) and posted that she made a buffalo chicken pizza.  Um, how the hell have I not made that pizza before?  Let’s just make it clear, that pizza will be on my menu this Friday.

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Sunday the weather looked a bit iffy.  It was super cloudy on the drive to Frankfort, but I kept thinking it might blow over.

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Sadly, not five minutes after that picture was taken, it was a torrential downpour for 20 minutes, then drizzled pretty hard for another 25 minutes before it cleared up.  I got soaked, but had left my jacket in my car which was back in my car.  But my buddy Alberto took care of me and gave me his flannel shirt from his car.

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My boss told me that the record for this market on a stormy day was $1090.  It became my goal to break that goal.   Um, I ended up selling $1750!   Pretty much a rock star.  But in between the rain I had a chance to talk to the guy next to me who was selling fresh gulf shrimp at a farmers market in a far south suburb of Chicago.  Huh.  As we were closing down, he asked me if I wanted any shrimp.  I asked how much and he said $8 a pound – sold!

I had planned to go to my Mom’s for Sunday dinner, so that was perfect.  So even though Mom had a chicken dish planned, we quickly switched gears and decided to make surf and turf.  When I got to my Mom’s house (which is literally 5 minutes from the store front!) I got to peeling and deveining the shrimp.  He even tossed in a couple giant ones!

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We sat outside and it turned into a nice night.  I got to my Mom’s around 3:30 and I didn’t leave until after 8, so it was a nice time to catch up.  She stayed in Virginia several days after I left, so it was nice to see the pics of the places she went to with my Aunt and her boyfriend.

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The shrimp was delicious!  We each had about 3-4 ounces of beef, the shrimp and Mom made fresh green beans and baby potatoes.  Perfect summer meal.

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One of the vendors brought Alberto and me a croissant from Rustic Knead out of Lemont

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Mom and I ended up splitting this for dessert.  We thing the filling is almond paste, but we aren’t sure – either way, it was delicious.  Croissants are so intimidating to make, I haven’t had the guts to try it yet – but it’s on my fall bucket list to attempt.  Look at all these flaky layers!

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So a great busy weekend was had.  Hannah is off today and tomorrow as well, but has her cleaning pants on.  Last night she decided that it was time to tackle our basement.  Pretty much our whole upstairs is company ready since I’ve had my bedroom, living room and dining room done last October.  I am proud that I actually make my bed every day, something I never did before my bedroom looked so nice. Open-mouthed smile

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So Hannah, being a list writer and check off the list type of person, started writing down our list of things to do in the basement and we are going to spend a good chunk of the day tackling that project.  I guess I need to put my cleaning pants on this morning!

Hope you had a great weekend – what was the highlight for you?

Quote of the Day:  Real success is finding your lifework in the work that you love.  – David McCullough   

Make it a great day!

I didn’t need to see that.

Another gorgeous summer day in the books.  I am happy to say that I got out before work for a run/walk.  This time I ended up walking a song, and then running a song.  The best part was that I never really knew when the running would end, but I knew most songs couldn’t be more than four minutes or so, so I stuck with it.  Sometimes it’s mind over matter when running – you can feel fine but talk yourself out of continuing. I ended up doing 3 miles in just under 40 minutes.

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Since it was a work day, another staggered eats day.  I ended up making my 1 point fruit sauce, but ended up making it into a waffle topping.  1 cup mixed frozen fruit (mine was mixed berry) 1/2 cup water mixed with 1 teaspoon corn starch.  Cook that over medium heat for 5 minutes until the sauce gets thick.  This time I ditched the added 1 teaspoon sugar if I were making this into a parfait, and instead added 1 tablespoon Smuckers sugar free pancake syrupMy waffles were 4 points, the fruit topping 1, then an egg for 2, and two pieces of uncured bacon for 2.  9 points for breakfast that I ate around 10:45.

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In case you are wondering, that’s my living room floor – the light seemed to be okay there, but within 10 seconds of me putting that on the floor, both dogs thought my plate was theirs for the taking!  Luckily I scooped it up in time.  I love, love this fruit topping.  Lori, you would love this!   It’s tart and just slightly sweet.  And my twin sister made waffles for breakfast too – #twinpowersactivate!

The market I do on Thursday’s is in Lincoln Square in Chicago.  It’s hit or miss on the traffic, so we give ourselves a lot of wiggle room, and ended up getting there nearly an hour and a half early!  It was okay, because we weren’t rushed to unpack and the weather was nice.  It wasn’t until we finished unpacking that I realized we were missing one thing.  A knife!  Pretty sure it would be hard to cut a flour tortilla wrap with just a plastic spoon.  As luck would have it, The Chopping Block was right down the street.   I puffy heart that store.  That’s where we had one of our beef events back in 2013.   And when I was doing a photo shoot for a diabetes magazine a mere three weeks after being at The Chopping Block, and the photographer was looking for a place to shoot, I called The Chopping Block downtown, and they more than accommodated us – gave us one of their test kitchens for 1/2 a day for free!  I really can’t believe this picture is almost 3 years old already!

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For the record, I still don’t own anything red, even though I think it’s a good color on me, no?  Anywho, I bought an $11.95 knife to get us through the market and I am keeping it and bringing it with me just in case.  And with that new knife I was able to cut my wrap for lunch in half.  I brought a ham, cheese, greens and added our house made giardinera with buffalo pretzel thins and cherries for dessert.  Lunch came in at 8 smart points.

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I actually slept in this morning, and when I checked my phone, I saw that The Chopping Block left me a comment and is now following me – cool beans!  I would love to work in their store – how fun would that be?!

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So the kid I worked with is TOTALLY into this new Pokemon Go.   He recently bought his first car – a 1995 Astro van with wood paneling on the inside.  In case you are wondering, that’s the same year this kid was born.  Anywho, he had all these sayings written on all the windows of his van “This van makes frequent stops – go Team Yellow!” and stuff like that.  The problem was that he had this Pokemon Go thing on his phone THE ENTIRE TIME we were driving to the market.  Let me clarify that.  The entire time HE was driving.  He kept looking down at his phone – I don’t know what he was looking for because the screen always looked like this:

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I finally had to tell him to turn the phone around because it was driving me insane.  This kid also doesn’t believe in belts, and more than once I’ve had to make him a belt out of saran wrap to keep his pants up.  As he was helping unload the van, he bent down, and his pants went so far down that I saw that he had a tattoo smack dab in the middle of his left butt cheek.  Um, I didn’t need to see that!   The market went by fast – we sold a ton of wraps, even ran out of spinach tortillas and greens by 6:30 – a full hour before we normally would shut down.  Again, the owner wanted the kid to cook – kind of drives me nuts because I am a multi-tasker, and this kid definitely is not and was in the weeds pretty much the whole time.  No matter how many times I asked him to pre-make burgers so people wouldn’t have to wait 10 minutes for a wrap, he never did so he was always behind.  For some people it didn’t matter to wait, they could just walk around the market.  But I had a couple people cancel their order because it was taking too long. Sad smile

I ended up not getting home until nearly 10:15 last night.  Again, doing the low carb thing on the nights I work late, I ended up making steak.  Jewel had t-bone steak on sale for $5.99 a pound.  The steak I picked up came in at exactly $5.  The points are higher on t-bone steak because of the higher fat content, but totally worth it in my opinion.   I ended up eating 4 ounces of this beef for dinner for 8 points.  I added sautéed mushrooms and sliced peach on top – and actually really loved the sweet/salty/beefy combo.

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The perfect bite:

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I used the Hardcore Carnivore black rub again, and cooked it in my cast iron skillet over medium high heat for 3 minutes a side exactly for medium rare.   So good!

And with the leftovers I am going to be making a beef and egg breakfast burrito this morning, and probably have a beef stir fry of some sort for lunch today.  I am off today – our high today is only 70 degrees and I have all the windows open and it’s glorious!  We may have some rain this afternoon, which is fine with me.  I’ll still have time to get my run/walk in and do Day 4 of 30 of my Betty Rocker 30 day challenge.  I actually love this girls enthusiasm!  Each workout is hard, but only 15 minutes, although today is a type of yoga workout, which I am looking forward to.  I don’t think I’ve been stretching as much as I should be.

Quote of the Day:  “Don’t waste time looking back on what you’ve lost.  Move on, for life is not meant to be traveled backwards.”

Make it a great day – and have a great weekend!

Zucchini Lasagna Rollups

I’ve been making the excuse lately on the days I work the market, that because my job is a lot of manual labor (packing up coolers, packing up my car, unpacking at the market, repacking after the market, putting everything back when I get to the shop) that I just take it easy and do work on the computer and stuff like that.  Yesterday I decided that was stupid.  I got up at 7:00 and I didn’t have to leave the house until noon – plenty of time to get a workout in!

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I then walked to a road not far from my house.  I would walk one side, and then when it got to the turn around, I would run the other side, and I repeated that for about 30 minutes.  It felt great!  As I was walking though, I had an epiphany.  I don’t even know what to call it – overeating/bingeing/emotional eating – whatever it is.  It suddenly dawned on me that if a friend came over upset, sad or angry, I wouldn’t push a deep dish pizza and a pint of ice cream over to her and say “this will make everything better!”  If I wouldn’t do that for a friend, why would I do it to myself?  It was kind of an AHA moment!

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Since it was a market day, I did my usual stagger of breakfast/lunch/dinner.  I ate breakfast around 10:30 – egg white scramble with 3 ounces frozen hash browns, 1/2 ounce of Swiss cheese with chopped greens, uncured bacon and cherries.  Breakfast came in at 9 smart points.

The weather forecast kept changing, and I thought that I might get home before the storms started.  But around 6:00 p.m. the market manager blew her whistle and told everyone to pack up – there was a tornado warning in the area.  I was able to break down my whole tent and station in just 15 minutes!  I ended up eating half of my sandwich and veggie straws on the drive back to the shop.  Since I only ate half of my sandwich, lunch came in at 7 points.

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I lucked out and only had a drizzle of rain driving home – most of the storms went south and east of where I was.  When I got back to the shop though, I saw a rainbow!

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I think I mentioned it before, but on the nights that I work late, I’ve decided to ditch the carbs (and frozen pizza!).  I planned ahead yesterday morning and make zucchini lasagna rollups so when I got home, I only had to pop them in the oven for 15 minutes.

Zucchini Lasagna Rollups
Serves 1
A delicious meatless meal!
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
188 calories
24 g
10 g
5 g
16 g
2 g
411 g
626 g
14 g
0 g
1 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
411g
Servings
1
Amount Per Serving
Calories 188
Calories from Fat 42
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g
8%
Saturated Fat 2g
11%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 10mg
3%
Sodium 626mg
26%
Total Carbohydrates 24g
8%
Dietary Fiber 8g
31%
Sugars 14g
Protein 16g
Vitamin A
26%
Vitamin C
61%
Calcium
53%
Iron
54%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 medium zucchini, sliced thin
  2. 1/3 part skim ricotta cheese
  3. 2 tablespoons basil, divided
  4. 2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
  5. 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  6. salt and pepper to taste
  7. 1/2 cup pasta sauce
  8. 1 ounce 50% reduced fat Cabot white cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. In a skillet, heat your pan to medium heat and spray with Pam.  Cook the sliced zucchini for about 2-3 minutes a side – just enough to make them pliable to stuff and roll.  In a bowl, mix the ricotta cheese, 1 tablespoon of the basil, the almond milk, crushed red pepper and salt and pepper.  Divide mixture between the zucchini slices.    Roll up – it’s okay if some of the cheese oozes out.  Place the pasta sauce on the bottom of a baking pan.   When ready to cook, top with the Cabot cheese and bake at 350 for 15 minutes, and then a couple minutes under the broiler.  This ended up being 8 smart points.
Notes
  1. You can use any jarred pasta sauce - but be sure to read the labels - some brands have a super high sugar content, which will raise the smart point value of the dish.
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calories
188
fat
5g
protein
16g
carbs
24g
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My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/
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This was all sorts of deliciousness!  And for the record, I used canned pasta sauce – I bought two cans for $1 at the Dollar General – and it’s only 2 points per 1/2 cup.

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So I had a great day yesterday.  I plan my meals, got my steps in (and then some – I think I had 12k) and didn’t eat any crap after dinner, even though I was still a bit hungry.  Next time I think I’ll add some Italian sausage to the dish above for more protein, but still delicious.  When Hannah came home from school last night it was already in the oven and she said “it smells like pizza!”  She may or may not have been a bit disappointed that it was zucchini!

Another work day, but I have plenty of time to get my workout in.  I have a jones for waffles so that may be on the breakfast menu today. 

Quote of the Day:  “Work hard, be kind, and amazing things will happen.”  – Conan O’Brien

Make it a great day!