Friday, November 18, 2016

Clean Turkey Taco Zucchini Boats

So a year later still at it....I guess you could say I've just changed the way I eat and look at life.  Who knew (not me the lover of anything fried) that healthy food could be delicious.  Guess when your a good cook like me you can make anything delicious hahahhaah . 

This is a recipe I stumbled upon last year around this time.  I made this my very first round and very first week of 21 day fix.  I'm at it again with another 21 days and on day 11.  In just 11 days I've lost all the pounds and damage I did to myself all summer.  One of the gals in my Challenge Group made this recipe from my recipe lists and I remembered how much I loved it.  It's the perfect dish to make for my weekends at work because it makes one serving for Steve and three for me for my Saturday, Sunday, and Monday 12 hour days at work.  I serve these over brown rice to get a carb serving in, but you could eat them with out rice.  I also dip them in a little non fat Greek Plain yogurt as a sub for a little sour cream.  These re delish!!!    The first time I made these I didn't add diced onion, but today I added a half a diced white onion.  So onion is optional.

The original recipe says a tbsp of cheese I actually did a half tbsp of cheese (1/4 of a blue container) on each and it appears to be plenty of cheese. 

Clean Turkey Taco Zucchini Boats

  • 4 medium zucchini cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup of salsa
  • 1 lb of lean ground turkey (or chicken)
  •  1/2 white onion diced
  • 1 tsp of chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  •  1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp onion powder (I added this as a new ingredient today I love onion powder)
  • 1/2 tsp of oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt (I don't use the salt, it doesn't need it so if I were you I'd leave this out but up to you, there is enough seasoning that you can't even taste the salt)
  • 4 oz of no salt added tomato sauce (I used 8 this time b/c the small can is 8 oz I dumped the whole thing in before realizing I used to much, but I would use the whole 8 oz)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup of low fat Mexican Shredded cheese
  • chopped green onions for garnish (optional but I can't live with out it)
  1. Preheat oven to 400F.  Use a casserole dish and place 1/4 cup of salsa in the bottom and spread it around.  
  2. Using a small spoon (I used a teaspoon) hollow out the center of the zucchini halves, leaving 1/4 inch thick shell on each half.  Chop the scooped out zucchini flesh and save 1/2 cup.  Squeeze the excess water out of the zucchini with a paper towel.  Throw away the rest of the zucchini or use it for something else.  Place zucchini boats aside.
  3. Brown the turkey (or chicken) in a large skillet.  When no longer pink, drain the excess fat.  Then add the chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, and salt and mix well.
  4. Add the reserved chopped zucchini, tomato sauce, remaining salsa, and water.  Stir and simmer on low for 15 minutes on medium to low heat.
  5. Using a spoon, fill the hollowed out zucchini boats dividing the taco meat evenly, pressing firmly into the boat.  Top each with a tbsp of shredded cheese (I used a half tbsp on each because I wanted to have cheese on my salad at lunch so I had to be sparse but really it seemed like plenty of cheese). Place in casserole dish and cover with foil.
  6. Bake for 35 minutes.  Serve with fresh diced green onion on top or on the side.  (You could also do fresh cilantro on the side but I don't love a ton of cilantro so b/c this is my blog I left it out because I don't like it haha, but if you do, feel free!!!)
Container Value for 21 Day Fix: 1 green, 1 red, 1/2 blue (if you use 1/2 tbsp of cheese if you use a full its pretty much a full blue container.  Serving size is 2 halves.  Enjoy!!!!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Random Thursday Shrimp Stir Fry

So today was yet another crazy day. Seemed like we ran around all day!  Day started with a run with my neighbor then came home cleaned the whole house, did 21 Day Fix Upper Fix work out then folded four loads of laundry, got Jack off the bus, went to the book fair and parent teacher conferences, quick play date with friends, then off to the Pediatricians office for Jack's flu shot.  We got home and the attorney came and we did our closing.  At some point I had to eat....we all know how hangry I get!!!  I had a plan to make this frozen shrimp I had bought but literally had no idea what I was going to do with it.  Sometimes those become the best dishes.    I had to bribe Jackson with chicken parm to get his flu shot, so we stopped on the way home and the three boys split chicken parm with pasta (so not 21 day fix approved so I ate my own dinner).

All and all it was a cra cra day, with a perfect easy simple dinner ending.  This was 1 red container, 1 green container, and 1 yellow container if following the 21 Day Fix.  This meal is gluten free and makes two portions. 

Thursday Shrimp Stir Fry

  • 1 bag of frozen shrimp, I bought Trader Joe's Raw De-veined tail on shrimp.  I defrosted them then removed the tails.  I HATE pulling the poop vein out, was grateful they had these.
  • 3/4 bag of mixed vegetable, Trader Joe's has this carrot, edamame, mushroom, water chestnut, and pea pod stir fry mix.
  •  1/2 bag of fresh baby spinach
  • some Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • black pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder
  • 1 cup of cooked pasta (I used Organic Brown Rice & Quinoa Pasta, I usually use Pasta Joy Brown rice pasta, but this was way cheaper and I wanted to try it.  It exceeded my expectations)
  1. Heat a tbsp of the Extra Virgin Olive Oil on Medium High heat.  Heavily season the shrimp on both sides with black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and chili powder.  I sort of did one side and then tossed them around.  Once the oil is hot throw the shrimp in and cook until pink and slightly curled.    Remove shrimp from pan.
  2. Add the veggies to the pan until cooked through and hot then add the baby spinach. Throw in the noodles and the shrimp.  Season with a decent amt of all of the above seasoning.  And put in 2 or 3 more tbsp of olive oil.  Lit simmer and stir frequently for a few minutes.  Mine sat for about 30 minutes or so in the pan because the attorney showed up for the closing.  It was delicious.  Better than I expected.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Roasted Delicata Squash

So last month's Rachael Ray Every Day magazine she talked about Delicata Squash like a hundred times (ok maybe I'm exaggerating) but seriously talked about it in several recipes and I thought this was some made up thing.  The other day while running through Trader Joe's I stumbled across these squash and had to get them.  My brother in law Dave had said they were amazing so I brought the little suckers home.  You know whats cool about these do not have to peel butternut is so annoying because you have to cut all the skin off....these you can eat the skin!!

I really enjoyed these little suckers.  Steve ate them like an orange saying that the skin "weirded him out".  I felt the same way with my first bite, but then after that LOVED them.  I think if I had roasted them for about 5 minutes longer it would have eliminated weirding Steve out.

These were super easy to make, and I will certainly make them again.  We had them with brown rice and steak made with my fav clean marinade (Bragg's Liquid Aminos, Sesame Oil, Pepper, dried onion flakes, pinch of crushed red pepper, cumin, garlic powder, Dijon mustard, and squirt of raw organic honey).  My plan for the left overs is to chop 'em up and throw them on a salad.  Or I may just eat them cold as a snack.  They had a semi sweet flavor with a starchy texture.  They were a good carb sub, almost sweet potato in flavor. 

Not really much a recipe here.  I preheated the oven to 425 degrees.  I cut the ends off the squash, cut them in half length wise, then scooped out the seeds, and sliced into moon shaped pieces.  The thinner pieces roasted better and skin was softer.  I sprayed them with some olive oil spray and then tossed them with some black pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.  I think sage would have been delish on these, I'll try it next time. 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Quick Shrimp Fajita Bowls - 21 Day Fix

So Fridays before my work weekend are a busy day.  I work Saturday, Sunday, Monday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m..  This weekend is a bit different because of short staffing.  Yesterday I ended up working 7 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., yep 16 hours straight and today I'm working 3 p.m. - 11:30 p.m., but either way its a long weekend.  I prep all my food on Friday's before my work weekend down to every last morsel and have to get my scrubs ironed for the weekend and make sure the house is in order for Daddy day care.

Prepping food for that much takes some time, but worth it because in the morning before work I can grab my food and run out the door and I have fresh cooked healthy food for the entire day at work.  This helps me avoid the muffins, donuts, cookies, endless snack size candy bars, and delicious unhealthy food from the cafeteria. 

This week was a budget week for us Ford's.  I really wanted to spend as little as possible on food because it was a tough money week.  I spent under 100$ at the grocery store which was my goal.  That being said, we have lots of random meat in the freezer and lots of random things in my stock in the basement so I planned our meals around that and bought only what was necessary for the week. 

This looks amazing, am I right???
I had bought a while back two bags of frozen shrimp when they were buy 1 get one free.  I used one a while back and others just been sitting there.  I was expecting they were old and needed to be tossed but the expiration date was actually really far out.  So I planned on making shrimp fajitas of some sort.  We ended up ordering out on Friday and so I decided to make the shrimp for my weekend at work.  All I had to buy was two peppers and two onions the rest of the stuff I had lying around and whipped up this DELICIOUS meal.

I waited to blog this until I actually tasted it.  I ate it at work last night (I'm totally against microwaving any fish product at work because it smells, but I warned all my co workers prior to me eating I had shrimp and they would have to deal, it actually didn't smell).  It was soooo good.  I said out loud I can not wait to eat this again tomorrow.  Someone asked me "You don't mind eating the same things day after day?"  My answer was no.  I love the food I cook, it tastes amazing, and I like using up all the food and not wasting.  I usually re-purpose leftovers into something delicious so that no food goes to waste.    I literally can not wait to eat this again tonight.  Also the bag of shrimp was only enough for two protein portions so I grilled up a chicken breast with the same seasoning and chopped that up, so tomorrow night it will be a chicken fajita bowl at work instead of shrimp, yum!
Love colorful veggies, make me smile

Frozen shrimp, I love you but I hate you.   I love you because you are delicious and cook so fast and I do not eat you that frequently.  I hate you because your package says "ready to cook" but its a lie.  Your damn tails and your yucky poop vein I have to chisel out drive me crazy!!!!  I need to pay attention and buy de-veined shrimp.  Ok, in the end I love you.

In the picture I show my Greek Yogurt/Salsa dipping sauce in a purple container, I just used it for a travel container, the meal is not a purple container on the 21 Day Fix Program.  I used only a tiny bit of salsa, so one of my fruit portions that day I just measured a little short to equal one purple.  This meal is 1 red (shrimp), 1 Green (onions and peppers), and 1 yellow (brown rice).

Quick Shrimp Fajita Bowls

  • 1 bag of raw frozen shrimp (not sure what size they were on the smaller side maybe U-30-40 or something like that) defrosted, tails removed and icky poop vein out.  Could also use chicken breasts
  • black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, cumin, and chili powder for seasoning. 
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil (you'll use one in one place one in another)
  • 1 red pepper and 1 green pepper sliced
  • 2 white onions sliced
  • 1 lime
  • brown rice (I used 1 boil in a bag of brown rice because it equals three carb servings for my 21 day fix diet, so I boiled one bag and divided it between three containers with my yellow container).  Cook according to package directions
  • green onions sliced (optional)
  • fat free plain Greek yogurt (optional for topping)
  • mango salsa (optional for topping)
Container values, minus the purple
  1.  Use a dutch oven or some sort of pan, I love my dutch oven and not just because the name refers to a stinky fart in bed hahaha.  Put in a tbsp of olive oil and heat on medium heat.  While the pan is heating season the shrimp heavily with all of the spices listed above.  I wished I had put a little more chili powder on them.  
  2.  Once pan is hot throw in the shrimp.  Cook for about two minutes until all are curled and pink, do not over cook they go over quickly.  Remove from the pot.
  3. Throw in second tbsp of olive oil then the onions and peppers.  Season with black pepper, garlic powder, and a dash of chili powder.  Cook for 7-10 minutes until desired softness, I do not like my veggies mushy so I tend to under cook them especially because I'm going to reheat them at work. Scrape the yummy stuff off the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon as you are cooking, don't miss out on the bottom of the pan flavors they are the best.  Especially as the veggies cook down the moisture will allow you to scrape this off more.
  4.  Remove veggies from heat.  Portion out peppers and onions and place over the rice.  Then top that with a portion of the shrimp.  Roll the lime hard w/ the palm of your hand on the counter to loosen up the juices.  Cut the lime in half and squeeze the lime juice on top of each fajita bowl.  
  5. Chicken Option
  6. I brought a small serving (maybe 3 tbsp) of non fat Greek Yogurt mixed with a tbsp or two of mango salsa to dip in.  I topped with sliced green onions.  For the chicken one I seasoned the chicken with the same spices as the shrimp, grilled to a charred perfection diced it up then also topped with lemon juice.  This dish was easy and total cook time was like 15 minutes.  I'm hungry just thinking about this for dinner tonight!!!

Friday, September 23, 2016

DON'T TOUCH THE HAPPY MEAL!! -- Soy Sauce Alternative Review too....

Walk w/ my little whiny guy
So like I said on the last post, I'm really making a conscious effort to make better choices.  The summer got the best of me although I ate healthy 60-80% of the time I found myself slipping back into crappy processed food choices over healthy natural clean foods. 

The last two days I've been 100% on my 21 Day Fix Diet, eating correct portions and clean food.  Yesterday I had to take Jack to the doctors for a follow up his appointment was at 4 p.m. in the next town over but all the way across town.  Jackson got off the bus I made my Cafe Late Shakeology and we hit the road.  I also went for a run, did an upper body work out, and a walk with William so it was an active day for us.

We waited 45 minutes for the doctor, had to pay a 20$ copay and then also only spent 5 minutes with the doctor.  All the while William was a BEAST.  By the time we left there all three of us were dangerously hangry and it was already 5 p.m., which is when the boys typically eat.   And we still had a TON of traffic to get through to get home.  We had to make two stops and I said forget it I will get the boys McDonalds.  Just because I eat clean and healthy doesn't mean I can always do the same for my kids.  Judge me if you will, everyone loves some good McDonalds once in a while.   During my strict days back in November to April I didn't let the kids eat it, because I can't say no to a fry a left over nugget, I just can't say no.   Last night I figured I was setting myself up for failure, BUT I DIDN'T TOUCH IT!!!!!!!  Drove all the way home with those delicious smelling frys sitting next to me and didn't touch it. 

Off to the doctor's with the healthiest meal of my day
Got home served the kids up and then was in panic mode about what to cook for Steve and I.  I wanted to badly to just say forget it, get a pizza....I didn't again.  And at this point I was beyond hangry. 

Here's what I ate.  I had some chicken thighs out so I seasoned them very heavily with black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, and cumin.  I grilled them on like 350-400 heat for 20 minutes skin side down first.  Steve's I put some non clean BBQ sauce on but mine I just had plain with all those yummy seasoning on them .  I chopped 'em up and measured them into a red container it was about 1.5 chicken thighs.  I took some brown rice 1 yellow worth and microwaved that.  I needed a vegetable and I just happen to have some organic frozen broccoli florets in the freezer.  I microwaved those (threw some cheese on top of Steve's to melt) had mine plain.  I mixed together my chicken, broccoli, and rice and threw some Bragg's Liquid Aminos on it.   DONE dinner quick and easy.

Bragg's Liquid Aminos is one of my favorite products.  Do you like soy sauce?  Do you not like all the sodium?  I remember my dad used to have this in the house and I went through a period when I lived there that I used to make perogies with sauteed vegetables and put this on it.  So when I started this eating lifestyle I remembered this product and bought it right away because I love soy sauce.   "Bragg Liquid Aminos is a non-GMO Project Verified liquid protein concentrate, derived from soybeans. It contains the following naturally-occurring Essential and Non-essential Amino Acids."  This product is amazing and is made from non-GMO soybeans and purified water.    There is only naturally occurring sodium and its much less than even low sodium soy sauce.  I use it in my steak stir frys and in many stir frys I make for lunch or dinner.  It's powerful stuff and you can just add a little bit.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Greek Zoodles and Chicken - 21 Day Fix Update

So I planned on making this dish last week and was so excited for it all week.  Well life and fun got in the way and we ended up ordering out 3 times last week and I went out to dinner once.  Ok none of that stuff was 21 Day Fix Approved, I'll admit.  I've fallen off the wagon a bit this summer with my eating and exercising.  I still exercise 3-5 times per week and eat healthy most of the time, but I do find myself slipping back into my old ways.  A few handfuls of chips or Cheez It's here, some ice cream once in a while before bed.  I gained 5 lbs this summer, and you know what its 5 lbs of fun.  I had a blast this summer and only managed to gain 5 lbs (2 I'm pretty sure is water weight so really gained 3).  I am determined to hit a goal this winter, a goal I never thought was achievable.  But it won't happen on my summer diet.

Starting today I'm committing to 7 days of 21 day fix diet and exercise plan.  I'm going to take it 7 days at a time.  I have created a million healthy changes in my life since starting this but I need to get back on track.  I'm saying right now I want to get back to my pre summer weight by Halloween.  There it is first goal I've set since the summer.  It'll take a lot of restraint, a lot less take out, and a lot less alcohol.  But I'm determined.
Out for a walk before dinner

Enough about me let's talk about Feeding the Fords.  So the dish I made last night is one I've blogged about before.  I prepped all the veggies during the day so I could enjoy an afternoon walk with my boys and have Jackson attempt no training wheels.  I ran home and threw it all on the grill because it was all prepped.  *Updates through out the recipe which is how I changed it last night.  You could use regular pasta (not 21 Day Fix Approved) or brown rice pasta with this, but I love the zucchini noodles aka zoodles.

It's delicious, the idea came from my sister and law, and I love it.  Last night when I made it it was way better than the first time.  I also fixed the recipe up to be more 21 Day Fix approved.  I am going to post my new pictures from last night here, but then follow the link below to the old recipe and you will find

Steve and I ate out on the deck while the kids soaked themselves in the water table.  Felt like summer never ended, certainly didn't feel like fall.

Link to the recipe:

Friday, September 16, 2016

Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Peppers - 21 Day Fix

So I know its been a while I've been talking about these puppies.  I made them almost a month ago now and have raved about them ever since but for some reason just haven't had the time or energy to blog about it.  This recipe is so good and does not feel healthy at all.  I make these on the Friday before my weekend at work and I literally will eat them for dinner Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.  I'll eat anything buffalo flavored. 

So I started this entry about a week died and I had NO idea where the charger was.  Finally after searching for days I decided to ask my hubby.  Thinking if I haven't found it during all my chores, there is NO WAY he has a clue where it is.  Open mouth insert foot.  He knew exactly where it was.  So now that my computer is all charged I can finish up this entry, FINALLY, I know right.

So this week I had the intention of cooking every single night, went to the store and bought tons of delicious food.  Well we ordered take out Wednesday and Thursday and tonight I am going out for a couples night turned girls night because no one could get sitters.  I felt bad leaving Steve alone last night so I decided I had the food I might as well cook it for him.  This way I have lunch today and Steve will have dinner when he gets home from work.  These puppies smelt so good cooking in the house.

I have now made them three times I made them different all three times and I think I've mastered it.  There are two different ways you can cook the chicken.  The easiest way is in the crock pot the second is to boil the chicken.  I think I liked the flavor of the hot sauce sans crock pot, seemed thicker or something.  And I liked that the onions weren't like disintegrate although you still get their flavor in the crock pot they do not add any textural component.  So if I'm short for time and don't feel like shredding chicken I'll slow cook it.  If not I'd probably boil.  If you use the crock pot eliminate the chicken broth in the recipe.  Really the boiling wasn't difficult either, I just have this thing against shredding boiled chicken, I hate it.  But I guess you could just pulse it in the food processor, I just didn't want to do more dishes.

**** Midday update****
I just ate my lunch at 1030 b/c I was starving and craving something unhealthy so I knew if I ate this I'd feel like I was eating something unhealthy but all healthy.  I must say I prefer the boiled chicken, as much as I hate shredding it after I boil it, I thought they had better flavor.  You could taste the chicken and taste the onions and the blue cheese.  I feel like sometimes in the slow cooker everything just tastes the same.  I'm not saying don't try the slow cooker b/c its easier especially if your running around like I usually am, however I think the boiled method had so much more flavor.  To each his own.

For this dish I used those massive chicken breasts that the grocery store sells that  are like the size of my thigh, and are several servings of chicken, if you use smaller breasts than just use three whole or if you use those pre portioned breasts (like I typically use Perdue Harvestland Organic Chicken because they are the perfect serving. use as many as you have peppers).  I tried using chicken thighs which I think are ALWAYS better than breasts and surprisingly they were not......I liked this recipe with chicken breasts best.

Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Peppers - 21 Day Fix Style

  • 2.5 large chicken breasts (read above about the size of my breasts hahahah)
  • 1 carton of no sodium added chicken broth
  • some water (I just used this as a filler in the pot for boiling water)
  • 5 peppers (for this recipe I like orange or yellow peppers, then red and I wouldn't use green.  I only like green peppers for Italian stuffed peppers I love the sweetness the yellow, orange, or red peppers add)   tops cut off then pull out the seeds and ribs
  • 1 package of boil in a bag brown rice (came out to be about a cup and half of rice or three yellows....but use the whole boil in a bag packet and save a dish with the measuring cups) cooked according to package directions.
  • 1/2 bottle of Frank's Buffalo Wing sauce
  • 1/2 cup of fresh crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 tbsp of 0% Fat Plain Organic Greek Yogurt 
  • 1/4 red/bermuda/ purple/whatever the heck you call it onion minced 
  • a bunch of garlic powder, black pepper, and onion powder
  • 1 full blue container or 1/3 cup (separated into 1/2 and 1/2)on each pepper of reduced fat mexican cheese (truthfully I measured the first then just pinched to match that one.
  • If your not following 21 day fix or not eating healthy you can dip in blue cheese dressing like my hubby does, I typically take a tbsp or two extra of the non fat Greek yogurt and dip in that.
  1.   If you are using a slow cooker turn on low and throw in chicken and hot sauce and let cook for 6-8 hours on low or 4-6 on high.  When done skip to step 3.
  2.   If you are going to boil the chicken (like I said I sort of liked this better although only tasted one bite this way after I eat my lunch I will let you know for sure my opinion on cooking method) follow these instructions.   Put the stock in a pot and then fill with some water up to where you think will be enough to boil the chicken.  Season heavily with black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.  Bring to a boil and throw in the chicken (cut the breasts in half).  Cook until cooked through I think it was about 20 mins.  Remove from water.
  3.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Shred the chicken.  Throw in the hot sauce if you didn't use the slow cooker method.  Then toss in the rice, blue cheese, 1/2 the reduced fat Mexican cheese, diced onion, Greek yogurt, and then season heavily with black pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.   Stir together.
  4. Spray the bottom of a dish with some cooking spray or use olive oil (I like to use my dutch oven because the peppers stand up nice.  I've also cut them in half an made open faced and thrown 'em on a baking sheet but I like to stand them up).  
  5.  Stuff the peppers to the brim.  Place them in whatever dish you want.  Bake for 30 mins on 425.  Then top with cheese and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes until melted.  Enjoy yummmmmmmm.
1 pepper is a serving size, I always counted it as a whole yellow container but there's only 3 yellows of rice for five peppers so I'd call this recipe 1 Red, 1/2 Yellow, 1 Green, and 1 Blue.  I'm no container expert this is my guess.