East Carolina BBQ Sauce

Going into this weekend, I had a couple of events that I knew could throw me off my plan, but that I semi planned for.  The first one was a birthday party on Saturday – I enjoyed two beers and half a sandwich, and managed to avoid the cheese tray and the ice cream cookie dessert.

On Sunday, my twin sister and I met up with our best friends who are twins to meet at Wildfire.  I always get a burger at Wildfire because they are amazing.  I even told my sister earlier in the week that I was going to get one.  But when I woke up, I asked myself – do you really want to spend 40 points on lunch?

I ordered the shrimp cocktail with a side of broccoli with lemon vinaigrette, and had two glasses of wine.  It was perfect.  I wasn’t overly stuffed, because as much as I would think I’d only eat half of the burger, I knew I would eat it all, as well as all the fries.

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So remember how I told you last week that I just up and decided to rip up the back carpet on my back stairs – with no plan in mind?   Even Roman was like “what the F?!”

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I think I showed you all the layers that were part of the back room – my house was build in 1922, and I think that this back part of the house at one time may have been a three season porch as one time?

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I was blown away when Jacob told me he bought me new flooring, and he, Hannah and Jacob’s Dad spent hours peeling up the old flooring, sanding, sawing.   Not only did they pay for everything, I also found out that they paid some of Jacob’s Dad’s bills to thank him for his time.  So thoughtful.

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It turned out beautiful.  I am planning on hiring the guy who painted the rest of my house come in and pain the paneling the same grey color that’s in the front of the house, and stain all the wood beams from the front of the house to the back of the house so they are all the same. 

And the front of my house that’s been stacked with boxes for the move that Hannah and Jacob didn’t make, Hannah finally got to a point where she was over the disappointment of not moving out, and the clutter trumped her disappointment.  So on Sunday night, we did a clean sweep, and yesterday morning it was so calming to walk out of my bedroom and see this:

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Not only is my house put back together, but since my boss was out of town last week, I finally got rid of a bunch of stuff to offsite storage, and have my desk exactly the way I want it.  There is just something so calming about having things in order.  And it reflects my eating as well.  I had no temptation to each any junk this weekend at all.  It feels good to be back in control.

My Mom came over yesterday, and we had plans to go to a thrift store that was having a 50% off the entire store sale.  I didn’t want to be tied to my grill yesterday, so I pre-grilled a pork roast on Sunday to make chopped pork sandwiches.  That’s grilled sweet potato on the board too – so good!

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Obligatory picture of me and my Mom – spending yet another holiday together.  Once again proving that I am her favorite child.  Oh, and your welcome for the no make up!

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When my Mom comes over I try to fix her stuff that she wouldn’t cook just for herself.  She’s a great cook, but living alone, she’s not about to buy a 4 pound pork shoulder just for herself.

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Her Dad, my grandpa, who died when I was 11, still made the best North Carolina BBQ I’ve ever eaten.  Let me clarify that – best EASTERN North Carolina BBQ.  And that’s a pretty impressionable food memory to have nearly 38 years later.  I think that’s where I got my love of spicy food and vinegar from – I remember a carafe of hot vinegar peppers on my grandparents dinner table when we went to visit.  While my Aunt Martha makes the second best North Carolina BBQ, this is a close third.

East Carolina BBQ is always vinegar based, and what I would call a “mop” sauce.  Next time I will definitely use this as a mop, but since its a new recipe, I didn’t want to put it on there and people not like it, but my Mom and Jacob loved it.  #winning

My Aunt Martha does her pork bbq in the crock pot, cooking it slowly overnight, then dousing it with generous pours of vinegar, Tabasco sauce and crushed red pepper.  She also chops her pork up really fine.  Since Hannah wasn’t eating any, I just did a rough chop on the pork.

And a pork bbq sandwich wouldn’t be complete without topping it with cole slaw! 

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East Carolina BBQ Sauce
Serves 20
A delicious vinegar based bbq "mopping" sauce - can be used to mop your pork while it grills, or drizzle over your grilled pork sandwich.
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Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
13 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
13 min
Total Time
15 min
32 calories
7 g
0 g
0 g
0 g
0 g
41 g
490 g
6 g
0 g
0 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
41g
Servings
20
Amount Per Serving
Calories 32
Calories from Fat 1
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0g
0%
Saturated Fat 0g
0%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 490mg
20%
Total Carbohydrates 7g
2%
Dietary Fiber 0g
1%
Sugars 6g
Protein 0g
Vitamin A
3%
Vitamin C
3%
Calcium
1%
Iron
1%
* 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 apple cider vinegar
  2. 1 cup ketchup
  3. 1/3 cup brown sugar
  4. 1 tablespoon salt
  5. 1 teasoon crushed red pepper
  6. 1 teaspoon black pepper
  7. 1 tablespoon onion powder
Instructions
  1. Mix all the ingredients into a stock pot, and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Once it boils, boil for one minute while whisking, then remove from the heat and let cool. Store in a mason jar.
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calories
32
fat
0g
protein
0g
carbs
7g
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My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/
It was a great weekend.  I stayed on track – used some weekly points, but still have 18 points for the next few days before Thursday’s WI, I didn’t declare it “holiday weekend!” and just go crazy with the eating and drinking to get “back on” today.  I just followed the program, much like I did in January and February and it felt good to be back in control of my eating, instead of it controlling me.

I’ll leave you with this picture of Hannah and Jacob’s dogs – they love me so!  Turns out I love them too Open-mouthed smile

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Huevos Rancheros with Cilantro Lime Potatoes

I hardly ever am hungry right when I get up.  I think its because I am used to eating breakfast at my desk a couple hours after I wake up.  But yesterday?  Hungry!  I ate half of this Premier Protein bar, and that hit the spot.  It’s 4 points for half and to me it tastes like a Snickers bar.  

As most of you know, I have an hour train ride to work every morning.  I had pretty much written my blog post yesterday the night before, so I put my laptop in  my bag 15 minutes into the train ride and proceeded to sleep the remaining 45 minutes to work.  The guy who sat behind me had to wake me up when we got into the station, otherwise who knows how long I could have kept sleeping?!

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Breakfast part 2:  I’ve seen variations of this on Instagram, but it’s basically a breakfast sundae.  A banana sliced down the middle, filled with a 5.3 container of Chobani (2), strawberries, PB2 (1), and a tablespoon of pecans (2).  For 5 points this was super filling, and had everything in a breakfast – sweet/tart/salty/crunchy.

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Even though I am not 100%, I still got my walk in with my twin sister.  It was windy!  We decided to head east on Randolph.  While I’ve driven by here before, I’ve never walked on foot this far east on Randolph.  As soon as we got close enough to read the sign, I think we both said out loud “Is that a Marianos?”  

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And a giant Mariano’s at that!  They are building a Mariano’s in the next town over where a Sears went out of business – right across the street from my regular grocery store, so it will be interesting to see where I shop once Mariano’s opens, because I puffy heart this store.

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I didn’t even notice our reflection until I downloaded this pic!  Ha!

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There is also a park outside, so when it does finally get nice and stay nice outside, we can have a picnic lunch.  This is probably a leisurely 10 minute walk from my office.  The Mariano’s has been there two years and my sister is kicking herself that she didn’t know it existed so close to her office as well. 

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I got back to my desk and quickly threw my lunch together.  A ham/spinach/cheese wrap (6), with carrots and ranch dressing (1) and an apple (I had to throw half away – boo!) with the rest of my PB2 from breakfast (0).

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Later on ate my chicken soup, except without noodles or chicken so it’s basically a zero point soup.  I love sipping on soup out of a coffee cup.  This was hot and delicious and I remember how my sister and I used zero point soups a lot on our last successful Weight Watchers run.  They are hot and filling.  I remember us sipping on these type of soups while making dinner – which prevented us from snacking while cooking.  

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I hit every single light on the way to the train station, and missed my train by a minute.  It’s not a big deal because since it’s rush hour, my next train was only 13 minutes later.  But that train was running 20 minutes late, so I didn’t get home until 7:15.   As soon as I walked in the back door Hannah said “the basement is flooded.”  Rat farts.  I have an old home (1922) and there is an external well outside my walkout basement door.  Many years ago Tony rigged up a sump pump in there because this time of year when we get a lot of rain, that well fills up and well, comes right under my door into the basement.  The only caviat is that you need to plug it in to drain it, and I forgot to tell her to do this.

So after 45 minutes of plugging in that sump pump, mopping up and running fans, I really just wanted to order a pizza and call it a night. 

But, I am participating in Weight Watchers #cincofoodsincinco – and had already prepped everything for dinner, so this was ready in a matter of 10 minutes, still on plan, and I didn’t cave to the stress.

I made Huevos rancheros – not sure how authentic these are because I saw so many variations online, but I love having these dried peppers on hand.  All you need to do is rehydrate them and they make amazing salsas.  

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As you can see, this made a ton.  However, I am going to try a baked version of this recipe over the weekend, I’ll let you know how it turns out.  I also think this would be an awesome marinade.

Colorado Sauce:

  • 4 dried New Mexico chili peppers
  • 2 dried Ancho chili peppers
  • 1 canned Chipotle pepper (or more if you want it really spicy!)
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/8 cup grapeseed or vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup soaking liquid
  • 2 cups chicken stock

Boil some water.  Add the dried peppers, which the stems and seeds have been removed.  Let the peppers soak for 15 minutes or until soft.  Throw everything into a food processor and let it whirl until everything is completely pureed.  That’s it.  Store in a mason jar for up to two weeks.

I pan toasted my corn tortilla in Pam until it was slightly crunchy, then filled it with a bit of quesadilla cheese, one scrambled egg, baby spinach, drizzled with the Colorado sauce, and topped with sliced jalapeno and radish. 

On the side was cilantro lime potatoes. Um, why haven’t I thought to do that before, I mean I love cilantro lime rice?!  I baked some potatoes over the weekend, and just pan fried 4 ounces of potato in 1/2 a teaspoon of ghee, then tossed it with chopped cilantro, lime zest and a squeeze of lime juice.  A delicious 10 point dinner.  Or brinner. 😀

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I am counting the Colorado sauce as 1 point, because of the grapeseed oil.  It’s smoky, spicy and adds such a depth of flavor to this taco.  Let me know if you try it – I’d love to hear what you think of it!

Another dreary day in Chicago, feels more like October than May, but I know we’ll get spring one of these days. 

Make it a great day!

+1.8 Weekly WI

I knew I would be up this week.  Mainly because after such a big loss last week, I got cocky, thinking I can have another bite of this, or another glass of wine.  That thinking and eating caught up with me, but I am happy to say I am still in the 150s by the hair on my chin!

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Huh, and I just realized that my weekly points went down from 35 to 28!  That could be another reason!  Also, didn’t carb cycle as strict as last week.  And even though its a holiday weekend, I am bound and determined to meal plan and grocery shop for the week, not just for Easter Sunday. My momma is coming over and I’ll be grilling up something – hopefully a ham. 😀

I met Jennifer before work to weigh in and I’ve told her about the Amish people that are in teh train station on Thursdays.  When I walk off the train into the station, it’s like I’ve just walked into my grandmas kitchen it smells so good.  They have pastries, pies, cakes, brittle, muffins, two pounds of butter even! 

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 As I walked by the end table  I picked up this brittle and came SO close to buying it.  But cooler heads prevailed and I put it back and walked on by – didn’t even ask for a sample (which you can by the way!)

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I also wore my new WW uniform.  I think I told you that I cut off a pair of tights to make them leggings, but looking at this picture, um, I think it looks like fricken tights!  They are super comfy though!

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Corner Bakery for the rescue for breakfast.  This is their avocado and spinach power flatbread – I looked again and it’s actually 8 points not the six I posted on Insagram, but this is delicious, the salsa is not oniony and Jenn and I each got a large fruit cup to go. I ate half that cup with breakfast and the second half with lunch.

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I was all set to leave for my WW meeting at lunch, when my boss had a client come in unexpectedly and I had to stick around to put some docs together.  I was  pissed because the topic was protein – protein is my jam! I would have probably taken over the meeting though! Open-mouthed smile

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I haven’t read the whole weekly yet, but I am definitely putting this on my menu next week – works for both Weight Watchers and for a low carb dinner option with my carb cycling.  Mom, do you like capers??  I am not sure I’ve had them like this, but I think I would love the briney/vinegar combo.

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Since I haven’t meal planned, picked up lunch at Pret.  I appreciate that they put the nutrtion labels on all the shelves.  I picked this salad because it was 280 calories, and regardless of how many points that turned out to be, an under 300 calorie salad is fine by me.   I picked up the skinny Dijon dressing, and was happy that I looked at the label, because that small container is TWO servings.  The salad was 8 points, and the dressing was 2.  It was delicious – although I may bring extra veggies to add to it next time.

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I worked through lunch and 45 minutes after quitting time, and just as I was about to leave, my friend Tia texted me to tell me there was a delay on the train.  Rat farts.

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The train got in 90 minutes later than usual since all the trains were backed up . . .I had to crack up when Tia told me to go downstairs in the train station because they sell tiny bottles of wine you can drink on the train ride home.  She knows me so well!  But alas, I’ve got to kick the alcohol to the curb again except for special occasions – Mom, you’ll be happy to know that Easter is a special occasion.

When my sister and I were walking Wednesday I mentioned that we stopped at a candy store – one of the things I bought were these:

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I had them in my backpack, and I was thankful they were there because fifteen minutes into the train ride home I felt that I had low blood sugar, and sure enough, it was 70.  I ate 5 points worth approximately, but I didn’t have any fruit with me.  Um, these are delicious though!

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That would be my new Weight Watcher’s journal I finally started using.  I just finished my old journal, so it was good timing.  When I get a few days into it, I’ll show you pics.   At first I thought the days had too much space, but now I realize I may need to write smaller.

So after a long train ride home, I was hangry:

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This is a 10 minute one skillet meal.  It’s not really a recipe, but I got a few messages on IG from yesterdays post.

In a non-stick or cast iron skillet heat pan to medium high.  I used 5 ounces of chicken tenders (3), that I sprinkled with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.  Spray your pan with coconut oil or non-stick spray.  Put the chicken in the pan, let it cook for 1.5 minutes.  Add in 1/2 cup of your favorite marinara sauce (I used my one point sauce from the freezer ), flip your chicken over, put a lid on and cook for another 2 minutes.  Remove the lid, add chopped fresh spinach and 2 tablespoons of shredded Parmesan cheese, put the lid back on for another minute, and you are done. 

Obviously you could serve this over pasta, or spaghetti squash.  Since I didn’t eat until nearly 8:30 I was too lazy to cook my spaghetti squash.  

Stats for the Day:  

  • 28 smart points
  • 1147 calories, 122 carbs, 43 fat, 17 saturated far, 80 grams of protein.

Inspirational quote of the day – “great things take time, belief and persistence.” – Steve Weatherford

Make it a great day and Happy Friday!!

Goat Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Chicken with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

I have to laugh at my blog post title today.  My blog friend Tieghan from Half Baked Harvest (well, she probably doesn’t know who I am, but I still consider us friends!) usually has the longest blog title recipe posts, but I think this beats here longest! Open-mouthed smile

Before we get to dinner though, let’s start with breakfast, shall we?!  Today was a lower carb day, meaning all of my carbs came from fruits and veggies.

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I loved the guacamole on top of the hard boiled eggs – so good!  In my meal prep a baked off a dozen hard boiled eggs.  You can check out this blog post to see how to do that. 

Because my work has been so busy, I’ve been working through lunch a lot, and decided that needed to stop.  I work for four people (two attorneys, two paralegals), so I sent an email out yesterday that I would be taking lunch from 12:30 – 1:30 every day.  And after I sent that email, texted my sister to see if she could walk. 

When I was doing my meal plan for the week, I saw a recipe for a Mexican meatball soup, and thought, did I do that before?  Yep!  Nearly six years ago to the day, I made this ancho chile albondigas soup.  

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I deemed this one a keeper, but like most food bloggers, I have to laugh that it took me nearly six years to the day to make it again.  The only thing I did was add more veggies: carrots, celery and more zucchini.  For instagram purposes, I stole the picture from that 2011 post, but here is the soup below – not as photogenic, but delicious!  The broth has a complex heat.  

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Gave myself too much insulin, moved around too much at work, blood sugar 52.  So I had 1/4 cup granola, with a banana, and then later to get my points up for the day, a package of these nuts.

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And I still had money on a gift card, so got a cold brew for the train ride home – 1 smart point for the fat free milk. 

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I have Kevin of Closet Cooking to thank for last nights recipe.  I adapted his recipe a bit for one serving (although Jacob loved the roasted red pepper sauce over his steak!), but this was a simple, delicious dinner and was ready in about 15 minutes.  This is for one serving, and comes in at 8 smart points.

  • 6 ounces chicken breast
  • 1 ounce herbed goat cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup jarred red pepper
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon grape seed oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons fat free half and half
  • pinch of crushed red pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, divided
  • 1 cup fresh green beans

Microwave the green beans on vegetable setting.  Meanwhile, lay the two pieces of chicken on a cutting board, season with salt and pepper and use 1/2 the goat cheese in the chicken, top with the baby spinach, and roll up, and season with more salt and pepper.  Heat a skillet with grape seed oil, and cook seam side down first (I should have just kept it on the seam side down, because when I tried to flip the chicken, it unrolled a bit).   While the chicken is cooking, add the red pepper, chicken broth, corn starch, 2 cloves of garlic, crushed red pepper and half and half to a blender and puree.

When the chicken is nearly done (about 6-8 minutes depending on the thickness of your chicken), remove to a plate.  Add the remaining clove of garlic to your skillet and cook for a couple minutes.  Add in the microwaved green beans and salt and pepper – I just added a spray of coconut oil spray, but you could add a touch more grape seed oil.  Cook a couple minutes, and set aside.

Now pour the roasted red pepper sauce back in the pan, add the chicken back in, and put a lid on the pan and cook over medium heat for a couple minutes, until the sauce starts to thicken.

Plate the green beans on the plate, top with the chicken, drizzle the roasted red pepper sauce (which will be too much, but it will be great leftover!) and sprinkle with dried parsley and the remaining 1/2 ounce of goat cheese.

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I don’t normally buy thin sliced chicken, but this package was perfect for two servings for me.  I used just under 6 ounces of chicken for dinner last night, and I’ll use the rest for chicken lettuce wraps with veggies.  Not bad for $1.82!

No need to pound out  either which is a time saver.  Because these were so thin, I just cooked them in my cast iron skillet.  My store had spinach bunches for .69 cents a bunch – look at how big the leaves are!

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Sear on the seam side, and because the chicken is so thin, keep it on this side so it holds together.

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So simple and delicious!   The above dinner comes in at 8 smart points, or 394 calories, 16 carbs, 13 fat, 46 protein, 5 saturated fat and 8 grams of sugar.

So I am tracking both calories and points while I carb cycle this week.  I ate more carbs and calories than I wanted to, but blame that on the low blood sugar by having the banana and granola.  

Stats for the Day:

I had 32 points for the day and 1510 calories, 120 carbs, 69 fat, 107 protein, 22 saturated fat, and 55 grams of sugar.  Without the banana and granola, I would have been at about 80 grams of carbs for the day, and around 1300 calories.

Another dreary day in Chicago, but hopefully the rain will stay away so Jenn and I can walk today.  I had close to 14k steps yesterday.

Happy Tuesday – make it a great day!

Ricotta Pan Pasta with Jennie-O Turkey Meatballs

I hate snow in March.   I really really do.  But I know we are never out of the clear for snow in March.  Some birthdays when Hannah was little we had water balloon fights because it was so warm, other times we had five inches of snow.  I remember on Hannah’s 7th birthday it worked out perfect because she was going to school for an art fair the morning of her birthday party from 9-12, and her party started at 1.  I had it planned perfectly – I’d wrap her gifts, shovel the snow down my front walk, finish decorating her cake – three hours was plenty of time to get that all done!

Except when I went to leave, she begged me to stay.  Not just for a few minutes, but THE WHOLE TIME.  I was in a panic – how was I going to get it all done?  Well, the fast answer was, I didn’t.  And Hannah was none the wiser.  The only caveat was that I never did get a chance to shovel my walk to the front door, and a couple parents gave me a stern look Smile with tongue out

So here is what I woke up to:

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Just noticed Hannah never brought in the extension cord when she and Jacob had a bonfire a couple weeks ago and hung up lights around the gazebo!  #klassy

So my breakfast was a plate of sunshine on the cold, snowy, overcast day.  I made an egg white omelet microwaved dish – 2 ounces of canned potatoes on the bottom, 1/2 cup egg whites, baby spinach – cook on high for 2-3 minutes until the eggs are cooked, then flipped it and added 1/2 ounce of cheese on the top.  On the side was turkey sausage and fresh fruit – pineapple to make me think I was in Hawaii!  #not

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When I took this picture, it looked like I had sliced banana on top of my eggs, and a couple people on Instagram thought I had lost my damn mind!  (thank you Christina and Kym for your concern!) Open-mouthed smileMy sister and I talked mid-morning and she definitely did not want to walk in the cold/snow, and neither did I to tell the truth.  I thought I’d just hit up my office gym and walk on the treadmill for 45 minutes before heating up my lunch.  But I remembered I didn’t have my key card to get into the gym (I switched bags) and it would have been a hassle to get a temporary one from the office of the building, so I just bundled up and got to walking.  I was trying to get the Sears Tower in the picture, and didn’t notice the light post coming out of my head!

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Yesterday was a higher carb day, so I had chicken fried rice for lunch.  Since I was walking by myself, I walked to Mariano’s – not even thinking of buying anything, but just walking around getting more steps indoors.  But then I saw this wasabi sauce and it made me stop in my tracks.  I did not alter that picture below at all – that’s the actual color of the sauce, and if you love wasabi like I do, go buy this.  It’s only 10 calories (zero points) a serving and it has the zip of heat that goes away after a few seconds like wasabi does.  Even though Tony didn’t like spicy stuff, he could tolerate wasabi when he ate sushi because the heat didn’t last.  I still have yet to recreate a stir fry like Tony even close to what he could make.  I even watched the video Tony made, but to no avail.  I did use less soy sauce than he normally did, although his always turned out great, so I don’t know why I question the amount I use.  My plate came in at 8 smart points – 6 for the rice, 2 for the chicken and the rest was free.

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I actually got a lot of stuff done at work that I wanted to.  Are any of you like me that have a list of things you want to get off your desk, but constant interruptions foil your attempts to cross anything of your list?  Well surprisingly yesterday both my attorneys hardly bothered me at all.   So that means today I’ll probably be swamped Open-mouthed smile

I am on Jennie-O Turkey’s Blogger program and I am given products to try every other month.  In January I made the perfect turkey burger and turkey and bean chili.   I did just realize that I was supposed to make a breakfast dish with this turkey sausage they sent me, but is it wrong that I thought of meatballs when I first saw the product?  You all know how I am about the balls!

This dinner was ready in less than 20 minutes, and while I only made one serving, I am writing the recipe for 4 servings.  Each serving on the WW recipe app is 12 smart points.

Serves 1 cup pasta with 3 ounces turkey meatballs

Ricotta Pan Pasta with Jennie-O Turkey Meatballs

5 minPrep Time

15 minCook Time

20 minTotal Time

Save Recipe

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces dry pasta
  • 2 cups marinara sauce
  • 4 tablespoons part skim ricotta
  • 12 ounces Jennie-O turkey sausage
  • 1 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach

Instructions

  1. Heat water for pasta.  Meanwhile mix the sausage, Italian seasoning, garlic, crushed red pepper, parsley, salt and pepper and mix just until combined.  For each 3 ounce portion, I made 6 meatballs, but feel free to make them however big you like them.  Heat a cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium high heat and spray with coconut oil spray (it can withstand the high heat) and sear the outside of the turkey meatballs.  Reduce the heat, and add the marinara sauce and let the meatballs simmer in the sauce until the pasta is ready.  Drain the pasta, add that to the meatball marinara pan, stir in the ricotta cheese and baby spinach, and put a lid on the pan for 1-2 minutes until the spinach starts to wilt - it will seem like too much, but no worries!
Cuisine: Italian | Recipe Type: dinner
7.3
http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/2017/03/14/ricotta-pan-pasta-jennie-o-turkey-meatballs/

Each serving is 1 cup of the cooked pasta and 6 meatballs (or three ounces).  Sprinkle with a bit of Parmesan cheese and dinner is served!

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This was so delicious.  Pure healthy comfort food at it’s best.  I defrosted my zero point marinara for this dinner before I went to work, but just check the labels of store bought marinara if you go that route – a lot have a ton of added sugar in them (look at the ingredient list). 

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On my way home from work I saw two different people make my chili and each gave it two thumbs up!  First up my friend Meg from Instagram:

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And then my high school friend Matt who I am friends with on Facebook made my buffalo chicken chili.

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That’s basically what I do – changing lives, one chili recipe at a time! (ha!)

I forgot to mention that my latest post is on The Chopping Block website – Kris, you’ll be happy to see a Vegan dish for my daughter-in-law.  If you could send me some comment love over there, I would appreciate it!  I made a lentil pasta with a kale pesto – so good, even coming from a meat eater like myself. Open-mouthed smile

One Point Marinara Sauce

One of the things that I love about the WW app – is that there is something called WW Connect – think of it as a mini-Facebook for WW members.  I love how it will pick out random posts of people to “trend” – let’s say that an online member reached goal, and when they entered the weight online, only got a “you weigh xyz.”  No pomp and circumstance like you would at a meeting.  But that post will trend, and then suddenly 3000 people will be cheering that person on.  Love that kind of support!

But now that we are starting a brand new year, it’s hard to read some of these posts.

  • “I feel useless.”
  • “I fell out of control.”
  • “I am on day 2 and all I want to do is eat a loaf of bread.”
  • “I’ll probably always be big.”

The majority of people on WW are women – I would guess 90% are women?  At least based on any WW meeting I’ve ever been to.  It got me thinking.  Why do we have to self-sabotage ourselves so much?  What’s the point?  Would you ever go up to another woman and tell her she’s useless and out of control?  Nope – so why do we do it to ourselves?  I follow many WW peeps on Instagram and a couple of them have come so close to goal, only to have a binge and be a few farther pounds away from goal.  Almost as if the “goal” was the finish line, and once met, what comes next?

The rest of your life, that’s what!   Getting to goal is just part of the journey, not the destination, and if I can help anyone out there (including myself!) on keeping that in the back of our minds, I think we will enjoy this journey of life a lot more.  And to help me visualize myself getting to goal, I’ve already started putting together in my head my goal video from where I am to where I will be.  My brother Charlie doesn’t know it yet, but he’s going to help me when the time comes – thanks Charlie! 😀

Yesterday I made my mock Starbuck’s protein plate and it was delish.  We have a stash of condiments in our work fridge, and I found an individual pack of no sugar added strawberry jam (0 points!) which was a nice topping to the Muesli bread.  This whole plate is 8 smart points:   egg (2)  Muesli bread (3)  ½ ounce almonds (2)  Light string cheese (1)  Fruit (0)

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I had every intention of going to the gym at lunch, until I remembered that I switched into my yoga pants before WI last Thursday, got back to the office and got busy, and ended up wearing them home.  (I’ve got clothes packed today).  And even though it’s was raining slightly at lunch, got my walking shoes and walked for 30 minutes.  Hannah and Jacob got me this new small Totes umbrella and it’s amazeballs – it didn’t flip inside out even though it was rainy and it was dry by the time I made it back to my desk – weird!

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In my day long meal prep on Monday, I made a batch of my veggie marinara, and I don’t think I’ve posted this recipe before, and if I did – Google couldn’t find it.  Kinda sad that my recipes are so unorganized that I need Google to find them! Open-mouthed smile

One Point Marinara Sauce
Serves 8
A quick and delicious marinara sauce made from loads of veggies - just 30 minutes on the stove top and dinner is served!
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
35 min
43 calories
6 g
0 g
2 g
1 g
0 g
145 g
222 g
3 g
0 g
1 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
145g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 43
Calories from Fat 17
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 2g
3%
Saturated Fat 0g
1%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 222mg
9%
Total Carbohydrates 6g
2%
Dietary Fiber 2g
7%
Sugars 3g
Protein 1g
Vitamin A
61%
Vitamin C
56%
Calcium
4%
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 tablespoon olive oil
  2. 2 15 ounce cans diced tomatoes
  3. 1 cup carrots
  4. 1 cup celery
  5. 1 cup red peppers
  6. 3 garlic cloves
  7. 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  8. 1/2 teaspoon crushed red peppers
  9. 1 cup vegetable broth
Instructions
  1. salt and pepper to taste
  2. Heat a stock pot over medium high heat.  Add the olive oil and add the carrots, celery, red pepper and cook for about 5 minutes, until slightly softened.  Add remaining ingredients, reduce heat to simmer, and cook for about 30 minutes.   Use a stick blender to puree. Use you judgment on the vegetable broth – sometimes I use all of it, sometimes only half – depends on what consistency you like.  This is 8 servings (very generous 3/4 cup?) and only 1 smart point.
Notes
  1. Depending on how much veggie broth you use, each serving is 3/4 to 1 cup.
beta
calories
43
fat
2g
protein
1g
carbs
6g
more
My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/
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I had mine over spaghetti squash with Italian sausage – lunch came in at 6 smart points.   But I hit a wall at about 4 p.m. – I was really hungry and forgot to pack my Premiere Protein shakes for my desk, so had to eat a 6 point granola bar that was in my bag.  It was interesting to see the comparison between a tiny granola bar and that giant plate of food above equal the same amount of points.  

I am working for an attorney on a different floor, and by the time I left the office, I already had 11k steps!  I had this recipe pinned on Pinterest for dinner last night.  I actually realized that my dinner was actually inspired by that recipe, because I switched things up a bit.  I am going to tweak my recipe a bit more before posting, but I am close.  It was delicious and this plate came in at 10 smart points.

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I had the kitchen cleaned by 7:45 so I hit up the gym.  I did another two miles on the treadmill and then did 20 minutes of upper body and 5 minutes of abs.  I wish I had looked to see how close I was to 20k!

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So here’s how I got that all done last night: came home, made dinner from scratch, cleaned the kitchen, went to the gym, came home and put my food together for today AND wrote this blog post.  I didn’t watch a second of t.v.  Turns out there is plenty of time if you don’t spend 2-3 hours watching t.v. at night to get stuff done!

If you don’t follow weatherford5 on Instagram – go do it now.  This guy doesn’t stop – he is a spokesman, t.v. personality, former football player, husband and father to 4 kids.   He always does these motivational screen shots, and I keep the ones that speak to me.  I like this one and I have it hanging by my desk as a constant reminder . . . that I control both my attitude and effort!

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Alright, lets kick some Wednesday ass – make it a great day!

Smoque BBQ

I am somehow managing to put stuff together to eat with what we have on hand.  Once I get past Wednesday without having to make a trip to the grocery store for a full grocery shop, it becomes a game to see how long I can actually go.  I just worry about myself, not the kadults.  They can fend for themselves if they don’t want to eat what I put together.  😀

I bought a dozen apples on the $1 rack (which by the way, I am going to have to call the $1.50 rack because they upped the prices!) so I have no idea what kind of apple this is.  I love the sweet/tart flavor, but it’s a bit pithy.  Not sure because it’s on the verge of being rotten, or if that’s just what type of apple it is.  BUT, I would take a bit of apple, a bit of cheese and wrap it in the ham and spinach for the ultimate sweet/tart bite.  Love picky plates.

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My boss wasn’t going to be in the office until mid-afternoon and my blood sugar was only 82 when it was lunch time.  I made a quick call to my sister to see if she wanted to meet for lunch and we were good to go.  We walked until we met each other half way, then decided to go to Revival Food Hall.  So many choices!   We decided on Smoque BBQ.  While my sister doesn’t cook a lot of beef or pork because of her family (well, and her!) being picky, we decided to split the chopped brisket on top of a slice of white bread, the jalapeno smoked sausage, pickles, pickled jalapenos, a side of their BBQ beans and two diet cokes.

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The person behind the counter asked if we wanted to pick out our four complimentary BBQ sauces, or let him pick them.  We let him pick them, and I have to say, I loved each one for different reasons.  That Luling Sauce on the bottom right was a mustard based BBQ sauce – swoon.  But I have to say my favorite was the Carolina sauce – thin and vinegary – you know, just like me!  (ha!)

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Both meats were delicious.  The brisket was tender, juicy and had the burnt ends which I love.  The jalapeno sausage actually wasn’t too spicy, but mixed with that mustard BBQ sauce, winning!  We split the tray (she paid – thanks Jenn) and I figured out the points on my app on the walk back to my office.  15 points for half.  And while that may seem like a lot, back in the day we each would have gotten one of those trays, so that’s a step in the right direction.  And life is too short not to have BBQ brisket, am I right?!

I actually thought I might not even be hungry for dinner, but who am I kidding?!  We ate a bit later, and I fixed the grilled chicken salads I had planned the night before last before the train delay.  Jacob isn’t a fan of taco seasoning, so we all decided that lemon pepper on the chicken would be delicious, and that was a good choice.  I have had this recipe pinned for the spicy cilantro lime dressing alone.   The only thing I did was reduce the mayo to 2 tablespoons and it came out to 2 smart points per 2 tablespoons.

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Awful food photography, but this was straight up delish.  And I had 9 smart points left for dinner and this came in at exactly 9 points.  I think Hannah could eat beef if I drizzled this cilantro dressing over the top!

I cannot believe it’s December 1.  It’s the first time in the longest time that I can remember that we haven’t had a lick of snow before December.  Now I probably jinxed myself and we’ll have a blizzard next week.

I still don’t have access to the new gym yet, it’s in the hands of the office of the building, and I may have to be a squeaky wheel about that – while I don’t mind walking when it’s in the 40’s, walking around in the 30s with the wind chill off the lake isn’t that fun.

Alright, let’s do this – make it a great day!