Tag Archives: chocolate chili

Rebooting…

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In all truth, it only took a few days for me to get my days back on track since we returned from Australia on the 15th. {I did have a few nights of going to bed early and then waking up in the middle of the night for four hours at a time.} And surprisingly, catching up at work only took about a week. But that was followed by a $400 vet trip for Sophie Jean to have a tooth removed with the longest recovery time I’ve ever encountered with her.

I also spent evenings having dinners with friends to catch up. Then, I a wonderful birthday weekend celebration including dinner at the best Wine Bar in Minneapolis {more to come!}, golfing with friends, winning a game of Texas Hold ‘Em, enjoying a Crème Brûlée French Toast Brunch and finding Pumking on tap. Nothing to complain about there!

That was followed by a three-day work-week (again – not complaining!) in order to make my way to Green Bay for our second Packer game as a (Gold Package) Season Ticket Holder.

So it’s time to reboot and get back into the routine. That includes finances, workouts, meal-planning and blogging. But that doesn’t mean this doesn’t include fun!

planning

To reboot, here’s what I’ve got planned for the week:

Food

Dinners:

  • MondayChocolate Chili
  • Tuesday – Leftover Chocolate Chili
  • Wednesday Pork Chops with Garlic Parmesan Parmesan Broccoli (Seriously, I made this for Rob and had a bite and had a taste. It wasn’t bad! I’m going to try to eat a whole serving.)
  • Thursday –  Leftover Pork Chops with Garlic Parmesan Parmesan Broccoli
  • Friday – Our monthly Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Tournament begins! Happy Hour will most likely be at Carbone’s, where I love their Cheeseburger Wrap!
  • Saturday – We have Groupons to use that expire this month at The Tangiers, Firehouse Grille and Mattie’s on Main. We’ll most likely use one this day.
  • Sunday – TBD – Packer game at noon!

Lunch:

Breakfasts:

Fitness

I’m having a hard time doing any hard core workouts without having back issues or cramps. I know I can just walk, but that doesn’t feel like enough cardio for me. I’ve been doing HIIT by using the first day of the Couch to 5k as a guide, where I sprint (or run as fast as I possibly can) the running portion. It’s made me very sore. So I’m going to alternate workouts based on how I feel. But here are the days I plan to workout.

  • Monday – Walk 1 hour OR Run 1 mile OR HIIT Run/Walk OR 30 min on recumbent bike.
  • Tuesday Walk 1 hour OR Run 1 mile OR HIIT Run/Walk OR 30 min on recumbent bike.
  • Wednesday – Walk 1 hour OR Run 1 mile OR HIIT Run/Walk OR 30 min on recumbent bike.
  • Thursday – Walk 1 hour OR Run 1 mile OR HIIT Run/Walk OR 30 min on recumbent bike.
  • Friday – REST
  • Saturday – Walk 1 hour OR Run 1 mile OR HIIT Run/Walk OR 30 min on recumbent bike.
  • Sunday – REST

How do you reboot?

Cheers~
Carrie

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Recipe Fails & Wins {Food & Fitness Link-Up}

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Before I list what my Food & Fitness plans are for the coming week, it’s important to note that I added a few things to last week’s menu. There were some changes in plans and some particular foodstuffs that needed to be used…

So I totally went rogue.

Some were wins, some were fails and some were just overseasoned.

#GASP

FAILS

First, my beloved Crockpot Carnitas turned out too salty. Funny. I didn’t add any salt to that two-ingredient recipe. What was different? We used my cousin’s salsa she jarred for us as a topping. But I tasted the salsa on its own. It was not too salty at all. It would be the perfect addition to any carnitas! Then Rob checked the package of my pork loin. It was loaded with sodium! 370 mg per 130 calorie serving. How can that be? Do they inject saline into it? I even rinsed the loin after I took it out of the pacakge.

#recipefail

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Then I made the Chocolate Chili that we love so much. Because the recipe doesn’t really call for any heat, I add cayenne and red chili flakes to taste. And I do taste it before serving. I loved the heat this go round, but Rob said it was was too much.

#sortarecipefail

We counteracted it with a dollop of sour cream.

#recipesaved

But next time, I’ll add a little of the heat at a time and have Rob taste it before adding more. I thought we had the same thoughts about heat, but it could have been just that day that we were off?

#lessonlearned

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I was extremely excited to make this Overnight Slow Cooker Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal. And since it was low calorie, I intended to divvy it up into five bowls for the week. A little warm apple-cinnamon oatmeal sounded perfect for those bitterly cold mornings we endured last week! But upon waking on Monday morning, I found out it was blah and virtually flavorless.

#recipefail

The recipe did suggest toppings. And while my plan was to add a tablespoon of slivered almonds to each bowl every morning after reheating it, I ended up adding another teaspoon of brown sugar, too. The maple syrup suggested may have been a nice touch as well.

#recipesaved

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WINS

Speaking of oatmeal, the weekend prior to this pas one, I got excited to use a coconut butter sample I’ve had for a while in this recipe for Coconut Cookie Dough Oatmeal. Oh, boy is this good! And decadent. It’s a little high in calories {per the Calorie Count Recipe Analysis calculator} when all is said and done. But it’s so worth it. It would even make a great dessert!

Coconut Cookie Dough Oatmeal {Note to self: broil it for less time or broil it further from the heat source to keep the chocolate chips from burning.}

Coconut Cookie Dough Oatmeal {Note to self: broil it for less time or broil it further from the heat source to keep the chocolate chips from burning.}

#recipewin

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We had a last minute girls get together where I decided to host dinner, so I looked in my pantry and decided to make this Mexican Chicken Stew with my fingers crossed that I wouldn’t have to send them home hungry.

My changes: More chicken, less beans. About 20 oz of chicken and only 2 cans of beans {I don’t know how there’d be any liquid with four cans of beans!} And I decided to do one can of the Great Northern and one can of black beans. I also skipped the jalapenos because not only did I not have them on hand, but I had this can of diced tomatoes:

Red Gold Tomatoes with Chiles

We loved it! For “toppings”, I served diced tomatoes, diced onions, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream and Wholly Guacamole minis so that they could decide what they wanted to add. I loved it with the toppings; but I think in a pinch, you wouldn’t need any at all because this recipe is so flavorful.

Bonus: This makes 8 servings. So, yay for yummy leftovers for me! I also thought that we’d be craving some crusty bread, tortilla chip toppings or some sort of carb to balance this meal out. But it wasn’t necessary at all. Instead, it was so filling and delicious. I may try it with pork sometime for Rob. (Well pork without added sodium, that is.)

#recipewin

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For dessert, I made Homemade Raspberry Frozen Yogurt based off of this recipe. I had a gigantic bag of frozen raspberries at in my freezer; so it was the perfect way to use them. Plus I had some Greek yogurt in the fridge needing to be used. Let me tell you guys, this was sooooo incredibly easy. I made it in just minutes in my food processor and it could be served immediately. However, after freezing the leftovers in individual containers, I’d recommend taking the frozen yogurt out about a half hour or so before eating. It’s just way too hard right out of  of the freezer.

#recipewin

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Now for this week!

planning

Food

Dinners:

Lunches:

  • Leftovers or Tuna Cucumber Boats + blood orange and/or applesauce + piece of Dove dark Chocolate

Breakfasts:

Fitness

  • I have been having back issues pain again. It’s nothing like it was pre-surgery. But I don’t want to get to that point. Nor do I want to have surgery again. So it’s off to see the surgeon on Tuesday for a consult. Please just tell me what to do do to prevent it from getting worse!
  • I’ve been walking (even if slowly) on the treadmill for about 45 minutes about 4 days per week, depending on what my back can handle.

What is one big recipe WIN you’ve had lately?

Cheers~
Carrie

Back at It {Food & Fitness Link-Up}

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Was anyone else all messed up with the the holidays in the middle of week somewhere? I can tell you one thing, I don’t mind working just two days at a time!

It’s that time of year, where the cliché is to get back on track… And since I’m finally no longer on “vacation“, I thought I’d take the opportunity to make some plans for the week.

Since my surgery in March, I became discouraged, lost my Not on a Diet / healthy living mentality and gained back about 20 lbs of the 36 I lost. Ouch. Time to find a new way to adapt without running. Or at least build up my strength again. No more pouting, Carrie.

So here’s this week’s plan. One day at a time…

planning

The last time I checked, today’s high was supposed to be -12 degrees.

That’s right, -12.

And that’s before any windchill factored in…

Sounds like a night for chili!

Food:

MondayChocolate Chili
TuesdayCrockpot Carnitas topped with shredded cheese, tomatoes, onions and guacamole
Wednesday – Leftovers
ThursdayChipotle Black Bean Burger with guacamole and tomato
Friday – Poker Night – Happy Hour at Mediterranean Cruise Cafe. I like the Chicken Kabob Munchies. They are all veg and protein and just 5 bucks during Happy Hour.
Saturday – Dinner Out
Sunday – TBD

Lunches – Leftovers from the weekend, leftover chili, leftover carnitas + one piece dark chocolate + one piece fruit

BreakfastsSlow Cooker Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

Fitness:

Walking 45 minutes on the treadmill every day except Friday. I have also uncovered my exercises I was given when I was in physical therapy. Back at it!

What are you making this week?

Cheers~
Carrie

Crunchy Onions & Raw Tomatoes {Food & Fitness Link-up}

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This past week was a real wake-up call for me.

After a vacay of indulging in food, wine, beer and more food/wine/beer, it was time to reset things and start practicing good habits again. {Rob’s mom asked him if ALL we did was eat and drink on that trip and I thought, “Yeah, pretty much!}

I know Biz, is going to scrunch up her nose at this one, but one of the things I learned this week is how much I love diced, crunchy, raw onions on top of things! Seriously. I got the idea when I followed suit in the picture of this Chocolate Chili recipe. I learned in our cooking class last week that soaking and rinsing your onions can take out the bite of that strong onion flavor that can stick with you all day, too.

I also had so many tomatoes leftover from the Farmers Market that I’ve just been chopping them up and putting them on top of anything!

So let’s see how I did following the plan this week:

planning

Last Week’s Food:

  • Dinners
    • Monday – Cheesy Beefy Skillet Melt
    • Tuesday – Lazy Girl’s Chicken Enchilada Casserole (with pork) <<–You must make this! It would be even easier if you have leftover sauteed or shredded pork or chicken. It makes great leftovers, too!
    •  Wednesday –  Spicy Thai Basil Beef Instead, I chose to make this Chocolate Chili I mentioned above. It’s a keeper, especially for Rob, who’s allergic to beans! We like spicy, so the only change I made was to add some extra cayenne and hot chili flakes.
    • Thursday – Cooking Class! We made beef carpaccio, ricotta and sweet potato stuffed ravioli, meatballs and tomato sauce and cannoli. It was the perfect amount that I didn’t feel stuffed.
    • Friday – Poker Night – We had Happy Hour at the Mediterranean Cruise Cafe. I had the half-priced Chicken Kabob Munchies, a Surly Furious IPA and some Turkish Coffee!
    • Saturday – Engagement Party
    • Sunday – A cup of Chicken Wild Rice Soup and a Strawberry Balsamic Steak Salad at McHugh’s.
  • Breakfasts
    • Peanut Butter Toast
    • Protein Granola with Milk
  • Lunches
    • Buffalo Chicken Salad with crackers + pear or applesauce + Laughing Cow-stuffed mini peppers + Chobani yogurt – Next time I’m going to stuff the mini peppers WITH the Buffalo Chicken Salad!
    • Caprese Salad + pear or applesauce + Laughing Cow-stuffed mini peppers + Chobani yogurt
    • Leftovers

Last Week’s Fitness:

  • Monday – Walk on Treadmill – 30 minutes!
  • Tuesday – Pilates – Walk/Run on Treadmill – Tried the Jillian EASY level program. I couldn’t complete it at her inclines and speeds. But I did 30 min, nonetheless. Something to strive toward!
  • Wednesday – Walk/Run on TreadmillEasy Pilates – Yeah, not so much. It’s amazing how much I can’t do still, with my back. I think I’m going to go back to doing my PT exercises.
  • Thursday – Elliptical in am – 20 minutes!
  • Friday – Elliptical in am REST
  • Saturday – Walk REST
  • Sunday – Pilates Walk/Run on Treadmill – 26 minutes
  • 30-day Arm ChallengeDidn’t start until Wed and only did two days. It’s easy and quick, so there is no excuse not to do this.

Now for this week…

Food:

  • Dinners
    • Monday – Spicy Thai Basil BeefRob’s been begging me to make this, although I’m not sure why. He doesn’t care for bell peppers. {I’m going to substitute onions.} He’s allergic to fish, so I”ll need to substitute *something* for the fish sauce. {Although I’m quite certain all of the Thai take-out he’s had is probably made with fish sauce and he is still alive.} And he just told me last week that he’d prefer I’d made green beans on the side rather than in a dish. WHAT?! I’m going to half the recipe, just in case it isn’t a keeper.
    • Tuesday – Pork Chops this way – most likely with green beans on the side.
    •  Wednesday –  Meatballs with Tomato Sauce –  just like we made in class last week!
    • Thursday – TBD – I’m having the girls over for dinner. It will be some sort of chicken or fish! Got any favorite recipes? I don’t get to cook those two proteins very often!
    • Friday – Dinner night out with the girls
    • Saturday – Leftovers for lunch, dinner out
    • Sunday – Leftovers
  • Breakfasts
  • Lunches
    • Leftovers + 1 piece Dove Dark Chocolate + applesauce or Chobani yogurt

Fitness:

  • Monday – Walk on Treadmill 
  • Tuesday – Walk/Run on Treadmill 
  • Wednesday – Walk/Run on Treadmill
  • Thursday – Elliptical in am or REST
  • Friday – REST
  • Saturday – Walk
  • Sunday – Pilates
  • 30-day Arm ChallengeLet’s give it a real go this week

What is your favorite quick and easy chicken recipe when you have company?

Cheers~
Carrie