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Maple-Lime Chicken Skewers

26 Jul

One of my goals for the week the year my life is to eat better.  Since I started gearing up for this 10K last week, things got more serious.  If my body isn’t fueled properly, I am feeling it in every step.

I’ve been trying some new things and last night’s dinner was a keeper!  (Do you follow me on Instagram (@MichelleSFTS)? Because if you do, you get a sneak preview of things coming up on the blog!

Maple-Lime Chicken Skewers (inspired by Kitchen Meets Girl)

MapleLimeChicken

Ingredients:

  • 3 T. soy sauce
  • 2 T. maple-agave syrup
  • 1 T. canola oil
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 2 T. Frank’s Red Hot
  • red pepper flakes
  • cilantro to taste
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed

Whisk together the soy sauce, syrup, oil, lime juice, garlic, hot sauce, and red pepper flakes.  Add the chicken and make sure the chicken is covered with the marinade.  (I usually mix everything in my Snapware, add the meat, lock on the cover, and then shake it all up.)  Marinate from 1 hr – 6 hrs.

I don’t have a grill, so while I preheated my broiler, I skewered the chicken.  They were in about 8 minutes on each side.  I garnished with a bit of cilantro.

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Chicken Burgers + My First Lettuce Harvest!

10 Jun

Don’t you love it when you make something that tastes so incredibly good and you don’t feel bad about it because its healthy?!  I love when that happens.  No doubt this would be “cleaner” if I had omitted the cheese, but….who the heck wants to omit cheese.

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First, throw this into a food processor:

  • 4 oz. wilted spinach
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 green onions, roughly chopped

ChickBurg1

ChickBurg2

Try not to drool into the food processor when your kitchen becomes overwhelmed with the smell of fresh garlic and onion.  Then, stir this mixture into 1 lb. ground chicken  and add:

  • 2 T. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 t. soy sauce
  • 1 t. lemon juice
  • 1/2 t. chili powder
  • 1/4 c. shredded cheddar cheese

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Then, I added about 1/2 c. of Panko (NO EGG!), mixed it all together, and formed them into patties:

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I refrigerated these for about 2 hours prior to dinner.  It allowed all the garlic and onion to release into the meat.  Also, the soy sauce and balsamic are super flavorful – more so after a few hours in the box.  You could grill or broil these, but I chose to cook them in my 10″ skillet.  Then, I WALKED OUT INTO MY FRONT YARD AND HARVESTED LETTUCE, Y’ALL.  No, really.  How cool is that?

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Recipe inspired by Super Pickle

Lucky Number Three

23 Apr

I had taken a week off from running since the Tuesday after my 5K.  Not intentionally, really, just my body demanding some R&R.  I spent the week eating whatever I wanted and drinking more beer than I should have.  No regrets – I needed a break.   In between doing work for Changin’ Time, participating in the Great Cloth Diaper Change, and renovating our new rental, I managed to carefully devise my 10K training plan.  Don’t worry, I’m still running with Hal.

There are several big changes that I knew I had to make based on my 5K training.

1.  Integrate strength training into my program.  Stronger legs and core can help a struggling runner keep proper form, especially when they’re at the point of fatigue.  Maintaining proper form can even keep a runner from feeling fatigued too quickly.  (I can’t find the exact article where I read this, but it was at somewhere on Runner’s World.)  With my 10K program, I am going to be doing strength training 3-4 times a week along with cross training 2 times a week.  I even played around with some basic strength moves yesterday to see where my skill level is.

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But, then it got awkward when customers started coming in and I was grunting around in the office.  I’m even a little sore today, so I guess a little bit is better than none at all!

2.  Run more.  To quote Christina, “Three days a week ain’t cuttin’ it.”  After nine weeks of training, I still struggled, and it was clear to both of us that I needed to run 4-5 days a week.  My 10K program has 3 days of running.  This first week, for example, looks like this:  2.5mi run today (Tuesday), 2 mile run on Thursday, and a long run of 3 miles on Sunday.  For the first few weeks, the only distance that increases in the long run, eventually building up to 5.5 miles the week before my 10K.  I plan on integrating some easy runs into my cross training, just so that I build a good mileage base.

Today was my first day back to running.  I took it slow and I’m happy with how I did.

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It might have had something to do with the cool temperatures and the absolute bluest sky I’ve seen in a long time.

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3.  Stop eating crap.  Every time I say that, there’s this little voice in the back of my head that says:  “Obvi,” and rolls its eyes.  But, its not always as easy to follow through with as it to say.  Processed foods are extremely tempting and easily accessible; so is grabbing a bite during the few minutes of down time we have in our hectic lives.  For the most part, the junk food is out of our house (which I hear about by someone who isn’t training for a 10K and is wondering where all the snack food is).  I’ve noticed that the rumors are true: when I have healthy food within reach, I am more likely to grab healthy food to snack on.  In fact, I even noticed that one of my old favorite snacks (tortilla chips & salsa) didn’t even taste good to me anymore.  Isn’t that weird?

As usual, I’ve been turning to Pinterest for healthy dinner ideas.  Last night, I made chicken and kale stuffed ‘bella caps.  The chicken mixture included shredded chicken, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, Alouette creamed cheese pats, shredded Parmesan cheese, and kale.  I topped it with a little more shredded cheese and baked them.  She♥ did NOT like them.  At all.  Perhaps because she expected it to be spinach and upon tasting, realized it was kale and it was just all off.

I, on the other hand, wish I could eat them every day.

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So, those are the three big changes that you’ll be hearing me complain talk about over the next 8 weeks.  I’m going to try to keep up with weekly updates about my progress.  I don’t want to jinx a potential “Fitness Friday” series because obviously my “Fish Friday” series has been a total bust for the last two years!  (I can’t help it if I live a mile away from the best lenten fish fry in the entire city, Holy Angels Fish Fry!!

Southwest Smothered Sweet Potato Skins

10 Apr

Doesn’t my breakfast look yummy?

Breakfast

We’ve been making a solid attempt at eating healthier, substantial meals instead of skipping meals and resorting to snacking.  My breakfast burrito has 3 scrambled eggs (no milk), chicken sausage, a little bit of low fat cheddar cheese, a dab of salsa, and 1/4 of an avocado on a whole wheat tortilla.  It was basically a breakfast taco because it was too fat to fold like a burrito.

Speaking of mexi-inspired clean eating, we had a seriously scrumptious dinner last night.

Southwest Smothered Sweet Potato Skins (inspired by Half Baked Harvest)

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I saw a variation of this recipe on Pinterest (of course) and knew we had to try it.  The concept is the same as baked potato skins, except the filling is more substantial and its in a sweet potato skin.

I baked three sweet potatoes in the oven, during which time I made the “fixin’s” and let them sit the entire time the potatoes were baking.  I like my favors to really get a chance to combine.

My mixture was:

1/4 c. olive oil
2 diced jalapeno peppers (without seeds)
3 cloves pressed garlic
2 T. lime juice
1 t. cumin
1 t. oregano
2 t. ancho chili powder
salt & pepper
 
PepperMix

I added this mixture to the spinach that we had leftover from strawberry spinach salads (about 3 cups) and 2 shredded chicken breasts:

Chicken

Once the potatoes were cooked and had cooled enough to handle, I scooped out the middle to create a pocket.

Potato Boats

A great idea I got from the recipe was to baste the potatoes in some of the spice mixture and bake for 10 minutes to give them even more crisp.  Then, I topped with my spicy chicken mixture and sprinkled some shredded mozzarella (the only kind I had on hand) on top.  Bake into the oven until the cheese is brown and the potato skins are crisp enough!

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These were super delicious and really healthy!  I ended up mashing the sweet potato insides and serving them as a side.

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What are some of your favorite Pinterest recipes??

Albuquerque In Our ♥

28 Dec

One of the benefits of having Spanish in-laws:  the food!

For Christmas Eve, the MIL came over and I attempted a little heritage-themed dinner.

She brought over her famous Spanish tortilla, which is primarily made from eggs & potatoes:

SpanishTortilla

My dish, however, ended up more Tex-Mex than Spanish.  So we had an Albuquerque themed Christmas Eve dinner. ♥

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I’m thinking that they name this recipe “Smother Chili Colorado” because its got a cowboy feel to it.  Heavy, smoky flavors and not a lot of spice.

I started by throwing a pound and a half of dry-rubbed (ancho chili powder, salt, & garlic) beef tips into a crockpot.

Then, I added a full can of red enchilada sauce and let them cook on low for 7 hours.

They literally fell apart.

ColoradoBeef

About an hour before the meat timer was scheduled to go off, I made some cilantro-lime rice (recipe below):

CilantroLimeRice

And black beans cooked in cumin, coriander, salt and pepper:

SpicedBlackBeans

Once everything was finished, I just had to assemble the burritos,

RolledBurritos

smother them with the remaining enchilada sauce and shredded cheddar cheese.

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Then, I set them to broil for around 7 minutes.

We served them with a side of our favorite red beans and rice.

¡Feliz navidad!

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