Thursday, July 26, 2012

BBQ Chicken Quesadillas (made from leftovers)

As I promised!!
Here is the second meal I created with my initial Crock Pot Hawaiian BBQ Chicken recipe (from blog 7-24-12).  Although, it was indeed delicious, I was thinking about variety and decided to take the left overs and make something different.  For the first dinner, I served the Crock Pot dish over brown rice and voila...very simple and very delish.

Now, just as easy but different here is.......

Dinner #2
BBQ Chicken Quesadillas

Whole Wheat Tortillas
Crock Pot Hawaiian BBQ Chicken (see blog 7-24-12)
Reduced Fat Colby & Monterey Cheese Blend

Heat wheat tortilla on stovetop.
Sprinkle cheese blend on 1/2 tortilla.
Spread BBQ chicken over cheese.
Fold tortilla and microwave for 30 seconds (just to warm up chicken and melt cheese blend).

Amazing the second day!  Super easy and delicious.  
I have added light sour cream and guacamole to my quesadillas but this time I kept it simple and it was YUMMY! 


Tomorrows dinner.......Whole Wheat BBQ Chicken Pizza.......

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Crock Pot Hawaiian BBQ Chicken

I have a handful of recipes that I turn to when all else fails.
I am going back to basics!!  I am talking about less than 5 minutes prep time!!

BONUS::  This recipe can be used as two or more different dinners!!  We all know that left overs can sometimes be just that, LEFT OVER (on purpose).  This is a MUST KEEP!!

I am going to use this Crock Pot mixture for the next three dinners and make them all different.

Crock Pot Hawaiian BBQ Chicken

2 1/2 -3 oz bag of frozen chicken breast
1 bottle of favorite bbq sauce (I used Hot & Spicy from Fresh & Easy and I have used Baby Rays)
1 can of pineapple chunks, 2/3 drained (I keep a little of the pineapple juice to help marinate the chicken).

Dump frozen chicken into Crock Pot.
Pour bbq sauce over frozen chicken.
Throw in the can of pineapple chunks + 1/3 of pineapple juice.

Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 5-6 hours.
**I cooked my batch on low for 6 hours.

Dinner #1
Hawaiian BBQ Chicken over Brown Rice

Super yummy and light but very filling.  The pineapple gives it a good twist and using a spicy bbq sauce helps to give the recipe a kick!  I loved using Baby Rays, but we recently had a Fresh & Easy neighborhood market open up very close to home so I try and get everything I need from there.  Their Hot & Spicy bbq sauce is amazing and does the magical trick!  


For tomorrows dinner.....BBQ Chicken Quesadillas.  Yes Please!

Stay tuned....

Single Mommy Status

My husband has been working out of town for over a week now and I have been trying my best to hold it all down while he is away.  My best is not always good enough but I have chosen to make it my mission to be better each day.  God willing.

Someone help me please.  I know for certain that I am yelling far more than I am talking!  At this point, I am on ALL CAPS.  I always stop myself while trying to collect my thoughts and approach the situation differently but just as soon as I try and approach it rationally, I find that my 1 year old son has my 2 year old daughter on the floor laughing as if he just won the heavyweight championship.  Or one is chasing the other because they have the "toy of the hour"  and "it's theirs" and there is no such thing as sharing!  What ever happened to "sharing is caring"?!!  I always hear that "they will be so close later" and I do believe it but meanwhile, they are driving me insane.  I just want to be able to get a grip on things and handle all the madness with some calmness.  Is that possible?  Maybe not for me.  

Here's the thing, I do understand that I am blessed and I understand how lucky I am to have such healthy and happy children.  In fact, I thank God for that!!  Now, I just need the patience to go along with all of that.  My two year old just found out that she LOVES sleeping in our bed much better than in her own and has now refused to sleep in her own bed for over a month now.  I miss my sleep!!  My one year old son thinks he is running the show here.  He runs around chucking things at mirrors, at people, and down the stairs!  He bites, hits, and snarls at us.....
Sometimes, I have to stop and laugh at the craziness here.  

Of course, we have our good times!!  They DO sleep ;)

On a more serious note.  I am trying to put things in perspective.  They are my babies and I wouldn't want it any other way.  I am checking in and being accountable so that I can check out of the insane asylum.  I need to turn around and address each of these problems as calm as possible head on.  I am mommy, the superhero right?  After all, I did create life!!

Where's that next glass of wine?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Crock Pot Low Cal Creamy Chicken

I have a collection of super duper easy go-to recipes for those days that I don't even want to think about "what's for dinner".  I will share them as I make them.  I know how important it is to be able to put something together without necessarily requiring a lot of time and preparation.  My #1 tool that has proven to be extremely helpful, especially now with toddlers, has been my CROCK POT!!  I tend to keep my eyes peeled for those Crock Pot recipes!!!

Upon my search for low calorie and super easy no nonsense recipes, I found probably the #1 so far.  I had everyones approval (even both my toddlers) so I will share!!

Crock Pot Creamy Chicken

2 1/2 - 3oz bag of frozen chicken breast tenders
8 oz cream cheese, 1/3 less fat
1 can of black beans, drained
1 can of corn, drained
1 can rotel

**My own note:  The first time I made this recipe, I used neufchatel cheese and it tasted the same in case you do not find the lower fat cream cheese.  Do not use fat free cream cheese.  Also, I love a "kick" in my food, so in the end I added fresh salsa to top it.

Directions:  Dump frozen bag of chicken in Crock Pot.
                   Next, add less fat cream cheese on top of frozen chicken.
                   Add can of drained black beans and corn.
                   Add can of rotel.

Cover and cook in the Crock Pot on low for 6-8 hours.
Every couple of hours, stir the ingredients. 
After 6 hours, shred chicken and mix the mixture together.

Serve as desired.  I served it over whole wheat tortillas or over brown rice.  I top it with fresh salsa to add a "kick".  This filling is tasty in tacos, burritos, quesadillas, tostadas, nachos, and even by itself.
Mixture serves 6-8 adults with leftovers.

And for a treat.....I pair it with a glass of Skinny Girl Margarita or Skinny Girl Sangria ;)  
This is a great combo!!

Looking forward to starting the week on a good note.  Waking up early for a beast mode workout and my blended iced green protein shake immediately to follow.  


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sweet & Spicy Glazed Salmon

One of my biggest "excuses" for not cooking healthier more often than not is because I have to think about my family too.  Although my teenagers seem to be easy going in terms of what I cook, my husband on the other hand tends to be pickier.  If he even THINKS it's healthy, he automatically finds something to complain about with the dish.  I guess I need to remember that if he is hungry, he will eat.  That's something my pediatrician told me about my daughter and I suppose it can also apply to him!!  No more excuses.

"Excuses" set aside, I am on a search for some healthy yet tasty recipes!!  A serious scavenger hunt, if you will.  I am following some awesome blogs that share theirs and of course I would love to share mine.  Here was last nights dinner.  My husband and kids LOVE this.  It has been in our "family cook book" for a few years now.  Here it is.......

Sweet & Spicy Glazed Salmon

3 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
4 tsp chinese-style hot mustard
1 tsp rice vinegar
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets (about 1 inch thick)
cooking spray
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper


Preheat oven to 425°.
Combine first 4 ingredients in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove from heat.
  1. Place fish on a foil-lined pan coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 425° for 12 minutes. Remove from oven.
  2. Preheat broiler.
  3. Brush sugar mixture evenly over salmon; broil 3 inches from heat 3 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

Deliciously paired with brown rice and asparagus.  YUMMY!!!

Blended Iced Green Protein Coffee Shake

Good morning and Happy Thursday!!

This morning, I got in my 5am workout and I couldn't feel any better than I do.  I recognize that my days are best after I make time for a workout.  Hmmm, why do I ever stop?  Laziness....  I have to get that under control!!  It is a well known fact that exercise releases endorphins which helps boost moods and lowers the rate of depression.  FREE ANTIDEPRESSANT!!  In fact, research has shown that exercise is an affective treatment for mild depression.

But it can't stop there.....

I need to fuel that workout with a GREAT MEAL!!

Because I workout so early, I tend to not be so hungry after.  I have learned that it is important to consume soon after the workout between 30 minutes to no longer than an hour.  So, I go for my POWER BREAKFAST in a cup!

Here it is......

Blended Iced Green Protein Coffee Shake

1 cup Spinach
1 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
1 scoop Whey Protein
1/2 Banana
2 tbsp Greek Yogurt
1 tbsp Instant Coffee

Blend it up and VOILA!!!

An awesome tasting protein packed Go-Go shake!!  The coffee helps me to keep moving ;)  Happy Thursday!!  

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

No Coincidence

I believe that there are no coincidences only divine order.  You are exactly where you are supposed to be at this exact time.  I had the finale of the Oprah show saved on my DVR for over a year now (originally aired May 2011).  Strangely, it wasn't until last week that I actually sat down to watch it in it's entirety even though the show had to be one of my all time favorites.  During this finale, her words inspired me to dig deep to find my sense of self. It is no coincidence that I needed to do that now more than ever.

She spoke about the difference between THINKING you deserve to be happy and KNOWING that you are worthy of happiness.  I have times where I subconsciously block my own blessings because I tend to not feel good enough.  And there you have it.  It has been spoken for the first time.  I don't think I ever got that before I sat and watched the finale.  I now can think back on different occasions where it was clear that I did not feel good enough but yet I couldn't see it to be able to set myself straight.  Those "life whispers" went unheard.  I continued to not feel good enough to accept my life's blessings.  Oprah's finale, was the "hit over the head" that I needed in order to see that I didn't feel good enough. Although I wish that this reveal came much earlier, I am certain that it is no coincidence that it happened now.

I have been on the road to recovery for some time now.  I have experienced symptoms of depression for many years.  These feelings intensified after the birth of my two toddlers, ages 2 and 1.  In the midst of suffering from postpartum depression after my daughter was born, I found out I was pregnant again when she was only 4 months old.  The delivery of my son was traumatic.  After losing more than half of my blood and almost losing my life, God blessed me with a beautiful baby boy and another chance to live.  Because of that gift,  I spent some time working on myself to "chase" my happy.  Even progressing on my journey to good health, I never really gave myself the credit that I see now, I deserved.  In four months, I dropped 35 pounds, working my heart out and eating healthy.  I definitely was well on my way to finding happy.  Then something happened.  Life happened.  My kids got sick, I got sick, and then I lost my routine.  I quickly found myself reverting to old behaviors and felt like I was unworthy of those successes that I worked my ass off for.

Fast forward to today.  I am no where close to where I wanted to be BUT I am much farther than where I once was.  I believe that happiness is not a condition but rather a decision.  I have decided to be okay where I am even though I want to change.  Because I now see that I am worthy of happiness, I can be excited to do the work.  That is exactly where I needed to be in order to move on  to where I need to go.  No coincidence.