Monthly Archives:

March 2015

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Leftover Chili Zucchini Lasagna

It was 34 degrees when I left on my walk before work.  Although this time of year while it starts out chili it does usually warm up to the 50s, but still – I want it to start out in the 50s and end at a perfect 75!  You know what is a great part about living in the sticks?  You can take your morning walk in your pajama pants.  I am klassy like that.

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I only snuck in 20 minutes, but it was very refreshing and a great way to start the day.  I mean, just look at the view a mere 2 minute walk from my house?!

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Breakfast was leftover steak, egg whites, zucchini and potato hash with 1/2 an ounce of Alpine Cheddar Cabot cheese – that cheese is like butter and a half ounce goes a long way.  On the side was a cup of sliced strawberries.

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When it was time to go to the gym at lunch, I looked at the weather and it was already up to 54 degrees so I drove a couple minutes from my office to the nature preserve and got my steps in with wonderful fresh air.  It was a tad windy, but nice – even nicer when everything turns green!

PicMonkey Collage - walk

So I had this idea about turning my leftover buffalo chicken chili into a buffalo chicken chili lasagna using zucchini in place of noodles.  Jacky gave the idea thumbs up and blog reader Molly suggested blue cheese – genius!

  • 3 cups leftover chili
  • 1 large zucchini, cut into thin strips
  • 1 cup fat free ricotta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons Tapatio hot sauce
  • 2 ounces cheddar cheese
  • 2 ounces crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 ounce shredded Cabot Alpine Cheddar

Heat oven to 350.  Put 1 cup of chili on the bottom of a 9×9 pan.  Mix the Tapatio and ricotta cheese together and set aside.  Cover with a layer of zucchini, then a layer of the spicy ricotta, then some of the cheddar cheese, crumbled blue cheese and keep layering – finishing off with the cheddar cheese.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Let cool completely.  Now I had a bit of liquid in the bottom of my dish, but I just left it in there.  Once I reheated it at lunch it was fine.  Check out the score I got on the blue cheese!

PicMonkey Collage - lasagna

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Not the prettiest picture, but it was delicious.  I did end up adding more Frank’s hot sauce to it though. Open-mouthed smile

I did get a bit hungry later in the afternoon, so I had my new favorite snack – banana peanut butter bites with walnuts.

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Hannah pinned last nights dinner for me to add to the weekly menu.  Although it is kind of funny, after she started eating it she said “I love the sauce, the noodles and the zucchini and cilantro, but I think it’s a bit too much on the shrimp.  She probably left behind 8 shrimp on her plate!  The only thing I changed from Nicole’s recipe was reduced the oil down to 1/2 a tsp. vs. the 2 tablespoons, and left out the crushed red pepper and reduced the sriracha so Hannah would actually eat it – Jacob and I both liberally added sriracha to our dishes!

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I had about 1/2 a cup of noodles and the rest shrimp and zucchini.  With the added sriracha, it was the perfect amount of heat.

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I didn’t get my after work gym workout in because I had to work late, but I still managed to get in a decent amount of steps – I’ll just push back my strength training a day – no big.

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Alright, I am off to the knee doctor before work – fingers crossed it isn’t anything too serious.  Make it a great day!

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Week 1 DietBet Weigh In–Cauliflower Pizza Crust

What the DietBet does for me is make me think twice before putting anything in my mouth.  Literally.  I guess over time I don’t realize how many licks and tastes I have during a particular day and they add up.  I’d find myself breaking off a piece of cheese if I went to the fridge.  Think about eating half a cookie that comes with our office supplies while brewing a pot of coffee at work.  And each time I told myself “that’s not going to win you the money!”  You see, the pot on Brooke’s DietBet is $16,000!

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I lost three pounds this week!  It helped that I ditched my wine for water, a couple days got to or close to 20,000 steps and just was mindful of all the licks and tastes.  And I ate some good food!

PicMonkey Collage - weekly eats

That doesn’t look like grilled chicken, brown rice and broccoli day in and day out as I see some food planners eat.  But herein lies the problem – week 2!  I tend to get complacent, not be as mindful as I was during week one so I am determined to have a loss after week 2.  But I have my meal plan laid out for the week, have my workout clothes all washed and ready to go – it’s going to be a good week!  I did a great grocery shop too – even with buying steak, shrimp, ground beef, and chicken breasts, I only spent $66 for the week on food – well, it helped that I had a 20% coupon!

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I am pissed though because when I took this picture I realized she scanned two containers of egg whites, and I only bought one.  Oh well, at least I got $16.35 off my bill! 

We had a great night out for Jacob’s birthday.  I ended up hitting the gym before dinner since I had the time and so that I could eat my way in beef!  And because I am short, I am still in the obese category, but now with my 3 pound weight loss this week, I am only 1.5 points away from being just overweight – woop!

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The only person I worried about with the menu was Hannah, since she doesn’t eat meat or fish for that matter.  No worries!  When the server asked what she wanted she said “I’ll take the chopped salad without the hearts of palm and blue cheese and I’ll have the onion rings.”  He stopped for a second and questioned “you want both for your entrée?!”  Maybe she’s the first person to do that!  But she loved them both.  Jacob got the Cowboy ribeye and it looked amazeballs.  Jacob’s Mom and I both got the petite filet, and I got mine with shrimp.

PicMonkey Collage jacob dinner

And Mel, I got the Save Me Pinot Noir at your suggestion – so good!  The only sad part of the evening was when he server asked if we’d like to split a bottle of Coppola Claret with our dinner.  I was kind of confused for a second because we hadn’t even ordered drinks yet, when I realized that it was the wine that Tony and I always had when we went there.   They must have looked it up when I made the reservation.  It’s little things like that, that can just stab me out of nowhere and remind me that he’s not here anymore.

Saturday I asked the kids (ahem, young adults living with me!) what they wanted for dinner and they both said deep dish pizza.  I decided to make another stab at a cauliflower pizza crust.   The first and only time I made it was nearly six years ago!  Please forgive the awful photography back then.  I used this recipe, but reduced the cheese down to 2 ounces instead of a cup.  I drained the cooked cauliflower in a strainer in my sink for a good 30 minutes and then pressed all the moisture out of it as I could.  One of the perks of being a food blogger is that you get free stuff – my friends at Cabot Cheese sent me some more cheese – one of which was new to me – smokey bacon!

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And I also got these “cow pots” and some seeds with some gardening gloves.  I didn’t see a green thumb though in the box though, so we’ll see how that goes!

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I topped my pizza with an ounce of Italian sausage, an ounce of pepperoni, baby spinach and 2 ounces of the smoky bacon shredded on top.  I baked it on my baking steel that had been in the oven while the deep dish pizza cooked.  I got the crust so that I could eat it with my hands instead of a knife and fork – it was delicious!  I ate half of this pizza.

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The kids had the deep dish – that buttery crust is to die for!

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It was a super cold yesterday – rainy, blustery, with temps not even getting out of the 30s.  It’s almost April – what the hell?!  I went to the gym instead of walking outside, then did my grocery shopping and then of course got Bizzy in my Kitchen.  Hannah requested chicken gyros for later in the week, so I made up another batch of naan bread – this time using a spice I got when we were in Key West – it has lemon and lime zest in it and it’s amazing!

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This batch makes 16 naan – each one only 127 calories and 25 grams of carbs.  Perfect for a breakfast panini, or naan pizza.  I am sure in a couple days they will be all gone, because the kids love it.

They actually went out last night to a concert that they have been looking forward to – Circa Survive, Balance and I don’t know what the other band is. 

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So I had the house to myself last night which was actually nice.  I prepped the food for the day, repacked my gym bag and just relaxed and watched t.v. before calling it an early night, and made a quick beef and veggie lo mein for dinner.  No real recipe, just tossed some veggies and beef in my Green pan and added some soy sauce, a touch of sesame oil, sriracha and added in some cooked lo mein noodles at the end.

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Here’s to Week 2 on the DietBet!  It’s 34 degrees outside, but I have time to squeeze in a 20 minute walk before getting ready for work.  It’s like Brooke says: #WYCWYC – What You Can When You Can – it all adds up!  Make it a great day!

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Happy Birthday Jacob!

Today is Hannah’s fiancés birthday – Happy Birthday Jacob!  We are celebrating tonight at Ruth’s Chris and I cannot wait.  It’s been over two years ago that I’ve been there and I just love their beef.  Well, and the sizzling buttery platter they serve it on!  And I will probably have one glass of pinot noir to go with my steak.  I’ve been good all week with my 21 Day Detox, and I am using the 90/10 rule, and it is a special occasion.

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Yesterday morning I looked at the clock and I had 25 minutes to go before I had to leave for work and I was like “I have time to make pancakes!”  I totally threw this together with what I had on hand, and I seriously had doubts if it was going to work or not.  This batter takes a bit longer to cook than regular pancakes.  I had to cook them on medium low heat so that they bottom didn’t burn before it was set enough to flip.  I had time to cook exactly two pancakes before throwing the rest of the batter in the fridge and hitting the road.

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I heated them up about 45 seconds at work.  My syrup was 1/2 teaspoon almond butter mixed with 1 tablespoon sugar free pancake syrup, then drizzled with 5 chopped pecans.

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Still plenty fluffy and so good.  I normally don’t gravitate towards sweet breakfasts, but the almond butter and pecans gave it just enough salty savory flavor to offset the sweetness.  And because there’s only 3 tablespoons of brown sugar in the batter, the pancakes in and of themselves weren’t too sweet.  Best part?  The stats!  Each pancakes comes in at 99 calories, 2.2 fat, 13 carbs, .8 fiber and 6.1 protein.  These are a keeper!

It was party sunny yesterday, and even though it was only 40 degrees, I put on an extra jacket and got my steps outside – I am hoping that if I walk outside more it will feel more like spring than winter!  This is at a forest preserve a mere 3 minute drive from my office – nice!

PicMonkey Collage - walk

Then more lasagna soup for lunch – except this time I grated a medium size zucchini into the soup while it heated up – delish!

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I finished getting my steps in after work, just a 5k because I had to make a cake for Jacob – his favorite?  German Chocolate Cake – just like my Dad!  The recipe was super easy to follow, and even though I was a bit worried about my frosting, once I cooled it in the fridge it was fine.

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Since I was busy making cake and frosting, dinner was on the fly, just heated up buffalo chicken chili and some cheese and I had a serving of tortilla chips for dipping.

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I will admit I did have a couple licks and tastes while I was baking the cake and making the frosting.  Um, let’s just say that on more than half a dozen occasions I’ve forgotten to add sugar to cake and/or muffin batters?

So I am killing it with my steps these last couple days!

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I’ll post a picture of the German Chocolate Cake on Instagram tomorrow.  I haven’t frosted it yet because I had the frosting in the fridge overnight.  Hope you have a great weekend!  Other than dinner tonight I don’t have anything planned, but of course, you know I’ll be Bizzy in My Kitchen on Sunday.  The kids have requested my rosemary sea salt artisan bread, and when I looked at the picture I realized its been a while since I made it!

artisan bread

Make it a great day!