Stuffed Mushrooms

Does anyone else walk down every aisle at the grocery store to get more steps in?  No?  It’s good and bad.  Good that you are getting more steps in, but bad because you tend to throw stuff in the cart that wasn’t on your list.  This Scramble though, was a good decision.  It was in the egg aisle (duh) – they had several different varieties to chose from – I chose the rancheros one because it didn’t have any onions in it – black beans, yellow and red peppers, jalapenos.  

I won a gift card to Corner Bakery, so I picked up some egg whites and a cup of fruit, and topped it with the rancheros – two tablespoons below is only 30 calories and 1 smart point.  I thought it would be spicier with the jalapenos, but you all know I have hot sauce at my desk. 😀

6.22.17 024

6.22.17 026

It was a gorgeous day yesterday – we have really lucked out with our weather while my friends on the West Coast are melting.  I had to private message my friend Rhonda my temps when I think it was 62 here and it was 119 where she lived.  Fuck dry heat – 119 is hot no matter what!

6.22.17 028

My sister and I decided to do the River Walk at lunch.  

6.22.17 031

We walked by this bike rental station, and one day this summer, we are going to rent one of those bikes – its only $30 for an hour – I think we would laugh so hard riding this bike!   

6.22.17 033

I had more lasagna soup for lunch.  I really never get sick of this soup 😀

6.22.17 045

I had defrosted ground beef to make a burger salad, but when I was doing a quick rearrange of the refrigerator, in the back saw that I bought these mushroom caps last Saturday and they needed to be used up.  I still had some Italian sausage leftover, so I decided on the spur of  the moment to make stuffed mushrooms for dinner.  I just used my teaspoon measure to scrape out the fills to make room for the filling.

6.22.17 054

scrape the sides

6.22.17 056

Now I know this doesn’t look that appetizing, but it was delicious!

6.22.17 057

6.22.17 070

Stuffed Mushrooms
Serves 3
Who says you can't have stuffed mushrooms for dinner?! These are spicy, meaty and delicious - feel free to pair with a side salad or fresh fruit for dinner.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
274 calories
8 g
54 g
21 g
14 g
8 g
189 g
497 g
5 g
0 g
12 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
189g
Servings
3
Amount Per Serving
Calories 274
Calories from Fat 191
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 21g
33%
Saturated Fat 8g
42%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 9g
Cholesterol 54mg
18%
Sodium 497mg
21%
Total Carbohydrates 8g
3%
Dietary Fiber 1g
5%
Sugars 5g
Protein 14g
Vitamin A
12%
Vitamin C
10%
Calcium
14%
Iron
8%
* 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. 6 mushroom caps
  2. 6 ounces cooked Italian sausage
  3. 1/2 cup part skim ricotta cheese
  4. 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  5. 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  6. 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  7. 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (reduce or eliminate for less spicy)
  8. 1 ounce cheddar cheese, finely grated
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 400. Prepare mushrooms by scraping out the gills of the mushrooms, careful not to cut through the bottom of the mushroom. Set aside.
  2. In a skillet, brown the Italian sausage (taken out of the casing) and garlic together until cooked through. Add in the ricotta cheese, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper and cook an additional minute.
  3. Divide that mixture among the six mushroom caps. Top with the shredded cheese and bake for 15 minutes.
Notes
  1. These could easily be prepared over the weekend to pop in the oven for a quick week night dinner. They would last a few days before they would need to be baked. You could also freeze them, and defrost in the fridge during the day while you are at work.
beta
calories
274
fat
21g
protein
14g
carbs
8g
more
My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/
****************

SUMMER BUCKET LIST:

As yesterday was the first day of summer, I realized I didn’t have a “bucket list” of things I wanted to do.  I know the summer will be over in the blink of an eye – I am waiting to walk into Walmart any day now and see the school supplies lined up.

One of the things I wanted to do was go to Green City Market, and I am going on Saturday.  They are going to have a Chef’s demo at 10:30 and so many vendors – check it out!  Any Chicago peeps want to meet me there?  Either way, I am going to go.  I’ll be sure to get a lot of great produce and get in lots of steps. 

I need to start doing some research about what else I want to do this summer.  Kayaking on the Chicago River was one of them, but we watched a guy kayaking by himself yesterday on our walk, and there is just too much boat traffic for my  liking.  I may see if they have kayaking near where I live that isn’t so crowded.

What’s on your bucket list this summer?  Do you make a list or just wing it?!

On my way to Weight Watchers for WI – I was a bit snacky and had wine this past weekend, but I also killed it in the step department, averaging 16,000 steps a day.  We will see!  

Make it a great day!

Skinny Chicken Parm Panini Sandwiches

While I posted waffles on my instagram yesterday topped with whipped cream, that was Sunday’s breakfast.  Yesterday I made these sweet and savory strawberry shortcake waffles – holy cow was this delicious!  I used the everything but the bagel seasoning with the egg whites (1) the waffle (4) and a drizzle of sugar free pancake syrup (1).  A delicious and filling 6 smart point breakfast – loved the sweet/savory combo – oops – I also added 1 once of Trader Joe’s lite mozzarella (1) to the egg whites – so a 7 point breakfast.  Yummo.

6.12.17 007

It’s going to be hot and in the 90s all week in Chicago, so my twin sister and I took advantage of the pedway.  You can read up about Chicago’s pedway here – basically an underground walkway that goes miles through the city, just underground.  You can see people swimming at LA Fitness:

6.12.17 012

Or you can find restaurants, both sit down and fast food, stores, etc.  Kym, thought you would like to see these pics!

6.12.17 014

As we were walking, we decided to stop and accessorize our lunches at this Thai place.  We each placed an order for a shrimp spring roll.  We continued walking and came back to get it, and still had to wait – nearly 2o minutes from when we ordered. 

6.12.17 015

So maybe our expectations were a bit high, but we were both disappointed.  First, for $6.50 I only had two small pieces of shrimp – the rest was just veggies.  Which I guess is okay, but it was so sloppily wrapped, and if you didn’t use the dipping sauce (it was really sweet, so I didn’t use it) there was zero flavor in the spring roll itself.  And that one piece with all the lettuce in it?  That one was just lettuce, the spring roll wrapper, and a few cellophane noodles.  Weird.

6.12.17 019

I brought more of my tofu brown rice stir fry that I made over the weekend – I counted lunch as 9 points, but I didn’t even finish it all.  

6.12.17 021

I guess I was expecting something like this below: thanks Heidi of FoodieCrush for me stealing your picture and now I want to make your grilled Vietnamese spring rolls at home!  Don’t these look delicious?!

Grilled-Shrimp-Vietnamese-Spring-Rolls-foodiecrush.com-004 (1)

****************

On Sunday night I grilled up meat to use later in the week – tip from me to you – don’t cook the meat all the way through if you are going to use it later in the week and reheat it.   I cooked these chicken thighs 80%  Love using Newman’s own light balsamic as a marinade. 

6.11.17we 268

I know I’ve talked about Jimmy John’s day old bread before, but its worth repeating.  You can buy a loaf of their day old bread for .50 cents a loaf.  I usually stock up around the holidays when I make stuffing and bread puddings, but just in case you were wondering, it also makes amazing garlic bread.

6.12.17 038

Skinny Chicken Parm Panini
Serves 1
Grill up meat on the weekend when you have time, and this becomes a super quick weeknight dinner.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
348 calories
25 g
95 g
10 g
38 g
5 g
156 g
459 g
1 g
0 g
4 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
156g
Servings
1
Amount Per Serving
Calories 348
Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10g
16%
Saturated Fat 5g
24%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 95mg
32%
Sodium 459mg
19%
Total Carbohydrates 25g
8%
Dietary Fiber 1g
4%
Sugars 1g
Protein 38g
Vitamin A
5%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
18%
Iron
14%
* 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. 1.5 ounce french bread (or day old Jimmy John's bread)
  2. 3 ounces grilled chicken thigh
  3. 1 ounce Trader Joe's lite mozzarella
  4. 1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil
  5. 1/3 cup mariana sauce, divided
Instructions
  1. Since my chicken wasn't fully cooked, I reheated 3 ounces of the meat in a skillet over medium high heat with coconut spray for a couple minutes to heat and cook through.
  2. I pulled out the "guts" of the bread to leave me with 1.5 ounces. I put a couple tablespoons of marinara sauce on the bottom, topped with the cheese and chicken and basil, and cooked in my panini maker for 5 minutes, until the bread got nice and crispy and the cheese melty.
Notes
  1. I sprayed the top and bottom of my panini maker with coconut oil spray, so no butter was needed.
beta
calories
348
fat
10g
protein
38g
carbs
25g
more
My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/
Check out what came in the mail!  Guess who’s about to get insane?!  Tonight is the Fit Test Open-mouthed smile 

6.12.17 029

I got nearly 16,000 steps yesterday – I am in a fitbit challenge, and now my sister is in the group too, and turns out I am a bit competitive!  

Happy Tuesday – make it a great day!

Steak With Lemon Pepper Pan Sauce

I switched bags that I travel to and from work because the zipper on my back pack keeps coming undone without me knowing.  On more than one occasion, my backpack has been wide open while I am walking through the train station with my laptop, wallet, etc. just hanging out in the wind.  So what I failed to do was put my gloves in my temporary new bag and when I got to the train station, realized my mistake.  It was 11 degrees out.

3.14.17 025

This is what it looked like at 8:00 a.m. yesterday morning – overcast, cold, gross.   We haven’t really had a bad winter, and I can’t complain with all the snow my friends in the Northeast have gotten this winter, but I want to see spring flowers and green grass.  Okay, enough whining about the weather!

It was a low carb eating day for me yesterday, except for breakfast.  And while I love, love my breakfast parfaits, they are high on the carb count because of all the fruit, which is totally insulin worthy if you ask me.  However, after I took this picture, a co-worker stopped to talk about a project, and after we talked, I sat down and started eating my breakfast.  Until about 90 minutes later I thought, did I take my insulin?  Well, the answer to that was a big fat no – and a quick blood sugar check and it was up to 422! Gah.  It’s not the end of the world, I just gave myself fast acting insulin as if I were eating food, and 45 minutes later it was back to normal.  Um, adding chocolate Cheerios was a delicious idea.

3.14.17 035

My day flew by.  Seriously I think I could work at my desk 24 hours a day and still have plenty of work to do.  I had a couple rushes, and the typical time I take lunch just came and went, so I ate lunch at my desk.  I took a video and put it on Instagram (can’t figure out how to put it here) but it doesn’t matter – I made a Thai noodle soup, but it needs tweaking, so back to the drawing board on that one.  I made turkey meatballs to go in the soup, and while they tasted delicious straight out of my cast iron skillet when they had a nice crispy texture, once reheated in the soup they became mushy.  And ladies, am I right that mushy balls in your mouth isn’t all that appealing?!  (#sorrymom!).

Luckily I had my fruit as a snack on my train ride home – loving that it’s light outside by the time I get home.

3.14.17 048

Since it was a low carb day I knew I had steak on the menu with green beans and mushrooms, but thought it needed something to tie it all together.  Duh – a pan sauce!  A pan sauce is nothing more than using all the goodness your steak leaves behind in your cast iron skillet to make a tasty sauce.  This dinner literally cold not have been easier – it was ready in about 15 minutes.

  • 5 ounces sirloin steak
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup fresh green beans
  • 1 teaspoon garlic
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon fat free half and half

Trim the green beans and put in a microwave safe bowl and cook for 1 1/2 minutes.  Set aside.  In a cast iron skillet, or non-stick pan, spray coconut oil spray (or use grapeseed or coconut oil – something that can handle the high heat).  I used Hardcore Carnivore rub on my steak, but feel free to stick with salt and pepper, or your favorite BBQ seasoning.  I like my beef on the rare side, so over high heat, I cooked my beef for 2 minutes per side, then set that aside.  Return the heat to low, add the grapeseed oil and cook the mushrooms for about 2-3 minutes.  Add in the green beans and garlic and cook for 2 minutes.  Mix in the corn starch and lemon pepper seasoning with the chicken broth and add that to the pan.  Cook for a minute or so until the sauce starts to thicken, then stir in the half and half.

I put the green beans and mushrooms in the bottom of the pan, sliced the steak and placed that on top, then drizzled the lemon pepper pan sauce over the top.  You probably won’t use all this pan sauce, but if you had a baked potato, it would be delicious over the top of that.

3.14.17 001

This picture really doesn’t do it justice, but this was so flavorful and delicious.  Can’t wait to do this again with grilled steak.   I just barely made my points today – after dinner I had only eaten 21 points.  If it had been a high carb day that would have been easy to get the points in, so I had 1/3 cup of almonds and a piece of cheese for 7 points to bring me to 28 points for the day.  I always forget how much fuller I feel with so much protein, but, turns out I love carbs, so I like the carb cycling.  We’ll see how it plays out on the scale this week. 

Here is more motivation for you – love this one!

3.14.17 049

So keep moving forward my friends!  #keepswimming 

Make it a great day!

Steak and Shrimp with Creole Pan Sauce

I read that Helen and Caron thought that my overly snacky high point Friday was due to my two glasses of wine, but sadly, that was not the case.  I’d already eaten at least 15 points by then, and I will tell you that the snacking of 31 points was ALL day – not just at night, which is when the urge to snack usually rears its ugly head.

I think what it was, is that I’ve already gotten into the “comfort zone” of Weight Watchers.  I mean, I’ve been down this road so many times, I KNOW the program inside and out, but I think my motivation waned a bit, maybe my eye balling 1/2 a cup of ice cream was more like 2/3 cups – you know the drill.  I have to realize that I need to keep my focus to continue losing the weight.  I am back to journaling, which I did religiously every day since January 1 – but once the calendar flipped to February 1, so did that daily motivation that I need to keep my head in the game.

I did fine over the weekend after Friday night – stayed within my points and both days got nearly 15k in steps.   But as I was meal planning decided to up the protein game with my meals this week.

Breakfast was a steak “picky plate.”  One PB2 muffin (4) that I microwaved for 20 seconds at work which made it taste like it just came out of the oven.  Four ounces of pan seared steak (4), a hard boiled egg (2) and half a tangelo.  10 points for breakfast and I was full for HOURS.  I ate breakfast between 9-9:30 and didn’t eat lunch until nearly 2:30.

Mid-morning I texted my sister to see if she would be up for walking at lunch and she said yes!  We had temps in the mid-40’s with sunshine, but in the shade it was still  a bit chilly, so we kept walking on the sunny side of the street.

It takes us about 7 minutes from each of our offices to meet up, then we set the clock for 30 minutes, so that I have time to walk back to my office and heat up my lunch before my lunch hour is over.

Lunch was leftover Jennie-O turkey chili.  Six smart points for 2 cups, with a side of tortilla chips for dipping (4).  I got busy right when I got back to our walk, so this isn’t the best picture, but this sure was tasty!

Remember when I was talking about getting your monies worth with the cable bill, and how I felt like I wasn’t getting my $600 of entertainment by having the FoodNetwork and HGTV stations and cut down to basic cable?

The same is true with my Y Membership.  I don’t go often enough, and I think after this month (since I’ve already paid for February) that I am giving it up.  I have a free gym at my office and I can just as easily leave my desk at 5 and go down and workout before catching a later train home.  And now that the weather is getting nicer a gym really isn’t that necessary.  

So before I give up my deluxe gym completely, I decided to see how much I can actually use it this week.  I have an hour train ride home, and decided to see how a banana and a premiere protein shake would be as a pre-workout fuel.  I figured it was just long enough to give me the necessary carbs I need to get in the workout I want without my blood sugar dropping, and give me enough time to digest the shake so it wasn’t all giggly in my tummy by the time I got to the gym. 

I felt fine during my workout: 2000 meter on the rowing machine (took me 12:09), abs for 5 minutes, then 30 minutes on the treadmill for 2 miles.  Happy to say my cough is completely gone, although now Hannah is sick, so I hope I can keep healthy.  

I had 22 points spent before dinner (10 breakfast, 10 lunch and 2 for the protein shake) so a low carb dinner was in order.   I whipped this dinner up in a matter of minutes and it was so delicious!  I added the points up in my head and said it was 6 points on Instagram last night, but it’s actually 7 points – oops!

Steak and Shrimp with Creole Pan Sauce
Serves 1
A quick and easy week night dinner that's fancy enough for a crowd!
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
1 min
Cook Time
9 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
1 min
Cook Time
9 min
Total Time
10 min
375 calories
8 g
268 g
16 g
48 g
7 g
386 g
902 g
5 g
0 g
6 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
386g
Servings
1
Amount Per Serving
Calories 375
Calories from Fat 145
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 16g
25%
Saturated Fat 7g
37%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 268mg
89%
Sodium 902mg
38%
Total Carbohydrates 8g
3%
Dietary Fiber 2g
8%
Sugars 5g
Protein 48g
Vitamin A
17%
Vitamin C
59%
Calcium
13%
Iron
20%
* 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. 3 ounces beef
  2. 3 ounces shrimp
  3. 1 zucchini, thinly sliced
  4. 1 teaspoon butter
  5. 1 tablespoon half and half
  6. 1/2 teaspoon Creole seasoning
  7. 1/2 teaspoon Hardcore Carnivore Black
Instructions
  1. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Sprinkle the room temperature steak with the Hardcore Carnivore rub. Cook steak 2-3 minutes per side, depending on how thick your steak is.
  2. Remove steak to a plate. Reduce heat to medium low. Spray the skillet with Pam. Add the shrimp and cook for about 1-2 minutes. Set on the plate with the steak. Finally, add in the zucchini and cook for 1-2 minutes. Remove the zucchini to the plate, and in the pan melt the butter. Stir in the half and half and Creole seasoning (mine is spicy so 1/2 teaspoon was plenty) and pour over the plate.
beta
calories
375
fat
16g
protein
48g
carbs
8g
more
My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/
 

This was so delicious.  I wonder if my brother or sister would eat this?  Not sure either one of them is a fan of shrimp.  And because I didn’t eat until nearly 8:30, I was completely full and had no desire to nibble on anything, and ended my day with 29/30 points.

*************

My timehop reminded me that it was TWO years since the Sun-Times article came out about Tony being the ultimate White Sox fan.  You can check out that article here.

And if you missed it, my latest blog post is up on The Chopping Block – my take on Sopa Azteca – only 100 calories per cup or 2 smart points – you can find the recipe here – so good! If you could pop over there with some comment love, I’d appreciate it! 😀

Here is a workout for today that needs no equipment.  I plan on doing this as soon as I hit publish.  Make it a great day!

Gumbo

Shrimp and Andouille Sausage Gumbo

What’s weird about my new job is that the days of the week really don’t have any meaning anymore.  When I worked Monday through Friday, I woke up knowing how many more days it was until the weekend.  Now?  Every day could be Thursday and I wouldn’t know!  Which is why I missed my Weight Watchers meeting this morning – I forgot it was Tuesday!

Speaking of Weight Watchers, I was recently asked to be a Weight Watcher Ambassador.  I know, it sounds a bit ironic considering the fact that I’ve not lost any weight since joining this past spring, but they follow me on Instagram – they have nearly half a million followers and only follow 915 people, and I am one of the ones they follow.  They like how creative I am with the Weight Watcher friendly food I make.  I am hoping that by being asked to be a WW Ambassador that it will help me get the scale to move in the right direction.  The first steps I made last night?  I got rid of all the trigger foods that I’ve been binge eating.   I remembered that’s how it helped with Tony was alive, I would stand in front of the pantry wanting to eat shit, but there wasn’t anything that I wanted and the feeling went away.

10.10.16 003

I am also going to keep a journal and write in it every time I want to eat anything I shouldn’t.  I am hoping that I can break this stupid cycle and get my life together.   I am still struggling with my job decision – I know I made the right decision – I seriously love every minute I am at work, but financially I can hear Tony telling me that it was a mistake.   I haven’t gotten the hours yet that I had hoped, and while I know that will change as we get into the holiday season, I can’t make a living if I only work 25 hours a week.   I just have to find confidence in myself to embrace this new life I have, even when I am desperately trying to hold onto my past life.

*************

I hadn’t been grocery shopping and our fridge was quite bare – well, for the exception of take out containers from Hannah and Jacob.  I have the three day rule with take out food – if you haven’t eaten it three days after you brought it home, it’s fair game.

10.10.16 002

I had three slices of deli ham (1) that I stuffed with egg whites, baby spinach and 1/2 an ounce of cheese (3), then Pam fried it so it got a bit crispy like bacon.  On the bottom?  That would be three ounces of leftover French fries that I chopped and made into hash browns (6) with strawberries on the side.  A delicious 10 point breakfast.

I got everything done on my to do list yesterday except the emissions test.  I drove over there and it was closed and a few other cars pulled in too.  We were trying to figure out why, when I pulled out my form and realized it was closed because it was Columbus Day – I should have known that because all the neighborhood kids were out yesterday.  I had to hit up Sam’s Club for k-cups – their store brand is only .25 a cup and it’s really good.  I normally pick up a rotisserie chicken every time I go because they are really big and only $4.98.  But the display was completely empty when I walked by.   But about 5 minutes later when I passed by again, I realized they were just coming out of the oven – all of a sudden there were like 20 people waiting for chicken!

10.10.16 005

When I got home, sliced chicken was actually my lunch.  I wasn’t too hungry, but I sliced off a wing and some breast meat and let it cool on the counter before putting it in the fridge.

Sunday night at work we made a sausage and shrimp gumbo.  I was trying to remember if I’d ever made gumbo on the blog before, and it turns out I have a couple times.

gumbo-027-1024x682

gumbo-0081

Looking at both of my previous attempts, um, neither one of them look like gumbo.  The second dish just looks like a chicken and carrot stew!  I did adapt The Chopping Block’s recipe a bit because I reduced the butter by half (original recipe called for 1 stick of butter) and I left out the okra because that’s gross and subbed in Brussels sprouts in it’s place.  I also reduced the shrimp to 3/4 of a pound.  So I am not sure how “authentic” this is, but the broth was spot on.  Nice and spicy.

Shrimp and Andouille Sausage Gumbo
Serves 8
A super spicy soup that can be made on the weekend to enjoy for a quick weeknight dinner.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
294 calories
16 g
127 g
17 g
18 g
7 g
285 g
907 g
4 g
0 g
8 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
285g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 294
Calories from Fat 152
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 17g
26%
Saturated Fat 7g
35%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 127mg
42%
Sodium 907mg
38%
Total Carbohydrates 16g
5%
Dietary Fiber 1g
6%
Sugars 4g
Protein 18g
Vitamin A
60%
Vitamin C
26%
Calcium
7%
Iron
5%
* 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 teaspoon grapeseed oil
  2. 3/4 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  3. salt and pepper to taste
  4. 4 tablespoons butter
  5. 1/2 pound andouille sausage, cut in 1/4 inch rounds
  6. 1/2 cup flour
  7. 1/2 onion, diced
  8. 2 stalks celery, diced
  9. 2 carrots, diced
  10. 3/4 cup Brussels sprouts, rough chopped
  11. 1/2 green pepper, diced (which I forgot!)
  12. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  13. 1 tablespoon Cajun Creole seasoning
  14. 5 cups chicken stock
Instructions
  1. Heat a heavy pot over medium high heat, and add the oil.  Season the shrimp with salt and pepper and sear in the hot pan until lightly golden brown on each side.  Remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside.
  2. Add the sausage to the same pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown.  Remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. To make the roux, reduce the heat to medium, and melt the butter.  Whisk in the flour into the butter. Stir the roux constantly until it reaches a deep reddish-brown color.  I may not have let mine get that dark – it could take up to 15 minutes.  Add in the onions, celery, carrots (green pepper if you remember!) and Brussels sprouts to the roux, and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add in the garlic and Cajun spice and stir until aromatic.  Season with salt and pepper.  Return the sausage to the pot, along with the chicken stock.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, and cook uncovered for 45 minutes.
  4. Stir in the shrimp and continue to cook an additional 2 minutes.  Taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary.
beta
calories
294
fat
17g
protein
18g
carbs
16g
more
Adapted from The Chopping Block
My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/
10.10.16 006

10.10.16 012

Yep, we are back to awful kitchen lighting, and it was only 6:45 when I served this.  The broth was thick, spicy and delicious.  I served mine with 1/2 cup of white rice.   Jacob had a friend whose Dad made gumbo (with okra, which turns out Jacob loves) who spent two days making it, so while he enjoyed this “soup” he was expecting something like his friends Dad made.  Hannah?  She ate leftover broccoli cheddar soup that I brought home from the class. 

Today is a work day – whoop!  It’s Beef on the Grill at Lincoln Square – grilled strip steaks with bacon-chive butter and grilled corn and green bean succotash; Greek burgers on Pita with Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce and Feta and Ginger and Cumin Spiced Beef and Pineapple Kebabs with cilantro-mint chutney – sounds delicious!

Make it a great day!

Mini Falafel Bites

Mini Falafel

This is going to be a very disjointed post, so just be prepared Smile with tongue out

I am blogging late because I slept in until the last dog was hung before having to get my ass out of bed to Weight Watchers, which I haven’t been to in the last three weeks.  My eats and schedule have been all over the map, and I am realizing that I really have to plan my food a lot better than I have been doing.  Oh, and maybe ditching the wine and extra licks and tastes at work.  I gained 2.8 these last three weeks, which puts me 1.6 above where I started back in April – but still, I consider basically maintaining a victory in and of itself, so it’s all good.

Yesterday was on the cool side, a bit over cast and I got my stuff together to meal plan, grocery shop and just map out my week.

10.4.16 033

I love my Cabot Cheese coffee mug – the handle and size of the mug is perfect.   As I was sitting outside doing my healthy meal plan, the mail came and my Aunt Cele sent me this magazine:

10.4.16 034

A good friend of hers in South Carolina’s sister writes for the publication.  Her name is Terri Milligan and you have to check out some of her recipes here.   Lynne, Mel and Jessica I thought of you guys because she does cooking demonstrations all around Wisconsin, even in Door County and Louise, she even has a cooking class coming up in Appleton!

I am making braised carrots from that magazine later this week, I’ve never cooked carrots like that before (and they have a recipe for carrot top pesto which I am going to try too).  But what I really want to do is make that cherry apple pie on the cover!  Even after smelling and tasting pies at Apple Fest this last weekend, I still could eat pie.

**************

I had my 30th high school reunion on Saturday night.  My twin sister didn’t go because it was her daughters first high school homecoming, so the question of the night was “where is your sister?!” 

10.1.AF 107

I spent the night at my Mom’s house because I had to be back to work at the Apple Fest early the next night.  Before I left I got the lecture “don’t drink too much, drive safe and do you have a key to the house?”  Unbeknownst to me though, was that while my Mom left the back porch light on for me, I didn’t realize that I should have turned it off when I got home at 11:15.  She woke up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and saw the light was on and thought I was still out!  Well, maybe there was precedent there, because that’s something I would have done 25 years ago!

10.1.AF 106

My outfit?  $9 at my local thrift store, including the shoes.   Andrea, I thought you’d be impressed with my thrift store score (but I really could have used your styling skills!)  I was actually belting out I am Beautiful by Christina Agulera when my Mom took this picture – it cracks me up every time I look at it!

PicMonkey Collage - reunion

The man standing on the bar doing an OPRF cheer is Spe, our class President.  He has a ten year old son who is so cute.  The top right picture?  That’s John, and I’ve known him since I was 4.  Middle picture is my friend Beth (who just moved back to the area – once you get settled I am coming over to make pizza!) and my friend Ellyn.  Bottom picture is my buddy Franck who I was in homeroom with.   It was great catching up with people, although with the advent of Facebook and all the other social media, there really weren’t any surprises.  My only complaint was that the music was really loud and it made having conversations a bit tough – I had a scratchy voice the next day do to all the loud talking I did the night before.  Is that a sign that I am getting old, that I am complaining about the loud music?!

******************

Last week when my friend Jacky told me I should have gotten the falafel at the Merchandise Mart before work last week, I’ve been having a jones for it ever since.  When my Mom and I were downtown last week to have her birthday lunch, I picked up some pita bread at Naf Naf Grill.  Holy balls is it fluffy and delicious!  Only one tiny problem – one pita bread after I weighed it was just under 8 smart points.   So I decided to make mini falafel bites and place them on sliced cucumber, and cut half of the pita in half and toasted it to make a more point friendly lunch.  The recipe below is for the falafel – you can accessorize with store bought hummus, tzatziki or olives.

Mini Falafel
Serves 3
A quick and easy vegetarian dish that even meat lovers will love!
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
334 calories
52 g
0 g
9 g
14 g
1 g
98 g
414 g
7 g
0 g
7 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
98g
Servings
3
Amount Per Serving
Calories 334
Calories from Fat 75
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g
13%
Saturated Fat 1g
4%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 5g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 414mg
17%
Total Carbohydrates 52g
17%
Dietary Fiber 12g
50%
Sugars 7g
Protein 14g
Vitamin A
8%
Vitamin C
10%
Calcium
16%
Iron
26%
* 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 cup chick peas (I used canned, drained)
  2. 1 cup cilantro (I really, really love cilantro!)
  3. 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  4. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  5. 4 tablespoons flour
  6. 1 teaspoon cumin
  7. 1 teaspoon pepper spice blend (see note below)
  8. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  9. 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil (for pan frying)
Instructions
  1. In a food processor, add cilantro and pulse until chopped up.  Add in remaining ingredients except for the grapeseed oil, and pulse just until combined.  I got 12 patties out of this using my melon baller, so if you make bigger falafel, just adjust the points.  My calculation is that four (including the oil for frying) come in at 5 smart points.  I fried four at a time, using 1 teaspoon of grapeseed oil per pan fry, for about 2 minutes a side.  I topped mine with tzatziki and a bit of sriracha for a spicy kick.
Notes
  1. * I used The Spice & Tea Exchange Gourmet Pepper Spice Blend, but you could substitute 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper in it's place.
beta
calories
334
fat
9g
protein
14g
carbs
52g
more
My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/
10.1.AF 001

10.1.AF 002

These were so delicious!  Crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside and I opened up each pita, stuffed the cucumber and falafel into each triangle of the pita and had mini falafel bites.  I will definitely make this again.  And soon!

This is the spice packet I used from The Spice & Tea Exchange for the pepper in the recipe – I’d substitute 1/2 a teaspoon of crushed red pepper in it’s place if you don’t have it. 

10.4.16 067

***************

Hannah and I hung outside late yesterday afternoon and decided to burn down our fire pit since we haven’t had a fire since early spring.   The luxury of living in an unincorporated area, we can pretty much burn anything we want.  The only problem is that once we let the pit go, all the vegetation grows around it, so I feel like I am burning nature and wood at the same time Open-mouthed smile

10.4.16 040

***********

I was supposed to work today, but got called off because of low attendance for the class I was going to work.  And I was already scheduled off tomorrow, so my next work day isn’t until Thursday.  I am taking advantage of the time off and spending time organizing my basement more before garbage day on Friday.  I also need to get a filing cabinet to put important stuff in that’s off the floor in case of water in my basement that happens from time to time.  Hannah and I are going to get our eyebrows threaded at Wal-mart this afternoon and I’ll checkout the Goodwill there to see if I can find some organizational stuff. 

Let me know if you make the falafel – I’d love to hear what you think of it!  Make it a great day!

We Made A lot of Pie. . .dough

When I was scheduled for “pie production” I really didn’t know exactly what I was going to be doing.  All I knew is that it was going to be a long day because I started at 8:00 a.m. and was scheduled to 5:00 p.m.  Did I mention this was at the Lincoln Square location, which meant I would be driving exactly during rush hour.  Let’s just say it took me two hours to drive to work – I need to do a dry run to take public transportation to Lincoln Square, which would require me taking the Metra from Cary to Chicago, then switching to the Brown Line for 15 stops before exiting a block away from work.  The price I pay for living a country life and working in the city! 

But it’s totally worth it.  I was telling my Mom the other day that I can hear Tony’s voice telling me how stupid it is working 40 miles away from where I live, but I keep having to tell him to be quiet, that I’ve got this and everything will be okay.

I ate an English muffin with peanut butter and a banana in the car ride to work.  I was 15 minutes late, and didn’t realize that the owner of the company was going to be there all day – you all know how I hate being late!  It ended up being fine.  After the owner gave us a quick tutorial on how she makes her pie crust we were off to the races.  We were a team of 5 including the owner and we were like an assembly line of two teams.  The owner chopped up the butter and shortening and would portion out exactly how much was needed for each pie crust (top and bottom) 6 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of shortening if you were wondering.  They were frozen so they would stay cold.  Then one of us would portion out the dry ingredients, and another person manned the robot coupe to process the dry ingredients with the fat, then add in the ice cold water, while another person wrapped up the individual crusts in plastic wrap.

9.27.16 024

This was supposed to be a two day production of making 500 pie crusts for Apple Fest this weekend.   250 pie crusts yesterday and 250 pie crusts today.  But we had such a rhythm going, that we managed to make all 504 pie crusts from 8:40 a.m. until 4:40 p.m.  We only took a 30 minute break for lunch, which was chicken tacos.  I had one chicken taco and a Diet Coke.

9.27.16 025

Um, turns out making pie dough is a bit messy, but my station was the messiest!

9.27.16 029

It actually went by super fast.  We listened to music, shared food stories.  It was a lot of fun even if the task was repetitious.   And yes, I was toggling between Diet Coke and coffee.

By the time we cleaned up and I was heading home, it was 5:30 and I thought for sure I’d run into rush hour traffic, but outbound traffic wasn’t bad at all and made it home in just over an hour.  I really didn’t eat much during the day so I was hungry, and literally wanted to stop at every fast food place I saw, but I knew I had stuff to make a quick fried rice, and that’s what I made for dinner.

Beef and Veggie Fried Rice
Serves 1
A super quick dinner using leftover cooked rice. You'll be ready to eat in about 5 minutes!
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
1 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
6 min
Prep Time
1 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
6 min
537 calories
62 g
257 g
15 g
35 g
5 g
446 g
601 g
4 g
0 g
9 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
446g
Servings
1
Amount Per Serving
Calories 537
Calories from Fat 136
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 15g
23%
Saturated Fat 5g
26%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 257mg
86%
Sodium 601mg
25%
Total Carbohydrates 62g
21%
Dietary Fiber 3g
12%
Sugars 4g
Protein 35g
Vitamin A
195%
Vitamin C
91%
Calcium
9%
Iron
18%
* 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. 3 ounces lean sirloin steak, chopped
  2. 1 cup cooked white rice
  3. 1/2 cup broccoli, chopped
  4. 1/2 cup carrots
  5. 1 tablespoon pot sticker sauce
  6. 1 teaspoon hot mustard
  7. 1 tablespoon sriracha
  8. 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  9. 1 large egg, cooked and chopped
Instructions
  1. In a skillet, heat to medium temperature and cook one large egg, just until the yolk isn’t runny.  Set aside and let cool.  Heat pan up to medium high heat.  Spray with Pam and add in your bite size chopped steak to the pan and cook for about a minute and a half.  Set aside with the egg.  Add in the broccoli and carrots and cook for about 2 minutes – you still want them to be crisp tender.  While the veggies are cooking, mix the pot sticker sauce, hot mustard, sriracha and rice wine vinegar together.  Add the chopped egg and steak in with the veggies.  Add the leftover cooked rice, stir to combine.  Pour in the sauce and cook for 1 minute.  Garnish with sesame seeds.  The sauce is 20 calories, so barely a point, but I am counting it as 1 smart point.
beta
calories
537
fat
15g
protein
35g
carbs
62g
more
My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/
9.27.16 032

9.27.16 021

This was hearty, delicious and super quick to put together.  And turns out much healthier than fast food!

I am excited about work tonight at The Chopping Block.  There is going to be a meet and greet with JeanMarie Brownson, who is a local Chef and Writer from the Chicago Tribune.   She will be demonstrating her prosciutto parmesan puffs to start the evening.  Then you’ll dine family style on a roasted beet, radicchio and walnut salad; Chicken Osso Bucco; Crispy Baguette with Herbed Cheese Spread; finished with a Latte Brownie and ice cream while you hear JeanMarie talk about her passion for food and life.  The $85 price tag includes a copy of her cookbook “Dinner at Home.”  Only 3 seats are left!  And I am happy that my schedule allows me to take public transportation, so I can watch youtube videos on my way to work. Open-mouthed smile

It’s a chilly morning, which I love.  Right now I am wrapped up in a snowman throw, with my hot cup of coffee and all the windows open.   And it’s 54 degrees – love!   I love this time of year.

Hope you have an awesome day!