Tagged: chicken

WIAW #17 – The Saturday Edition!

Hey party people!!

TGIW, amiright?!

Actually, it’s Tuesday night as I write this… because I do what I want. 😀

I mentioned last week that one of these days I would share my weekend eats with you. Well, you’re in luck, today’s that day!! This right here is my Saturday. I start off pretty strong, but I go out with a bang. Haha. You shall see.

Big thanks to Jenn at Peas and Crayons, as per ush (pronounced “yoozsh”…ya know, like, the abbreviated revision of “usual”…how the heck are you supposed to spell that?!) for hosting this fabulouuus link-up par-tay.

On to the nommies!!

Breakfast: I love breakfast on the weekends!! I love being able to take a little bit of extra time to throw something special together, relax in my pjs, and just enjoy it. During the week, I eat breakfast at my desk at work while going through emails, so it’s really a nice to just sit and eat and do nothing else. This Saturday I threw together one of my favorite oatmeal concoctions. I’m sure you’ll be shocked to hear the ingredient: 1 cup almond milk, 1/2 cup rolled oats, 1 banana, 1 tablespoon chia seeds, 1 tablespoon peanut butter, and a sprinkle of chocolate chips!! I make this whipped banana style, slicing it really thin and mixing it right into the oats. I also mix in most of the peanut butter while I cook the oats, too. Then I top it off with a few reserved banana slices, some more peanut butters (because you can never have too much peanut butter) and chocolate chips. It’s decadent and amazing and I love it so, so, so much. In fact I just ate dinner (aka stuffed my face with mac & cheese because the hubby said “It’s Fat Tuesday, make something awesome” ) and now all I want to do is whip up a big pot of them. *sigh*

banana, pb, chia oatsI got up bright and early (which means about 7:30 on a weekend) on Saturday to make sure I had time to enjoy my oatmeal prior to my yoga class. I’m telling you, man, the more I yoga the more I love it and the more I know that I genuinely want to become an instructor after my baby is born. I’m absolutely in the love with the studio I’ve been going to and the instructors there are wonderful!! I took an hour and fifteen minute vinyassa to get my Saturday going and helped myself after to some Blackberry Sage tea for the road!! It’s perfection in a cup!!

tea for the roadLunch: We popped by the mall after my yoga class so I could get re-sized for a bra at Victoria’s Secret. #pregnancyproblems. Whaaaat a process. Really, the size I should be doesn’t exist. And they didn’t have what I wanted in the store. So I just got my “size” from a spectacularly helpful employee and went home and ordered everything online. C’est la vie. I was supppper hungry by the time I got home and showered. I had a leftover fajita burrito (Ya know, kinda like a burrito with no rice…plus all the stuff in fajitias. I make mine with chicken, black beans, peppers, onions, chipotles, and orange juice – among some other spices) but it was mostly beans so I was happy. I wrapped it up in a whole wheat tortilla with some melty cheese, topped it with salsa, and dug in fork and knife style. I also had some baby carrots for good measure, but I wound up sharing a few with Quincy.

fajita buttiro and carrots

Snack: My MIL and I had to snag some groceries for Sunday before the “big storm” hit. (Big storm, my fanny!! I wanted another snow day…I got like 3 inches. At least it’s almost Spring. Sigh. That’s what I keep telling myself anyway.) On the way out I treated us to some coffee – decaf Hazelnut for this gal, please and thank you!! When we got home I also had what has become one of my new favorite snack obsessions – pistachios and blueberry flavored craisins (thanks a lot, Susan! lolz)!

wegmans coffeepistachios and craisins

Dinner: Saturday night the family and I attended a fundraiser dinner. It was the 7th Annual Angels for Alyssa Spaghetti Dinner. This is the 3rd year we’ve attended and we always have a great time! One of my mother-in-law’s dear friends from work is the Aunt of Miss Alyssa, a 15 year old girl who was prenatally diagnosed with a rare condition called methylmalonic acidemia (MMA). MMA prevents her body from metabolizing protein. It’s a very touching story, and we’re always more than happy to support Alyssa and her family as they work with their doctor to find a cure! Over the last 7 years they’ve raised over a half a million dollars for MMA research!! The fundraiser is quite a money maker – there is a live auction which is always exciting, a silent auction, and basket raffles!! This year Johnny and I didn’t win anything, but my MIL won a basket filled with Yankee Candles and a $50 visa gift card!! You get a TON of food, too. A big plate of spaghetti with meat sauce, bread and butter, salad, and a ridiculous array of dessert.

spaghetti dinner

Dessert: It’s always a hard time picking out dessert when there are sooooo many options. I wound up going with a plate of cookies – chocolate chip and peanut butter!! I also had a piece of chocolate peanut butter fudge, two fun sized Reese’s…and another peanut butter cookie Melinda brought me later!!

cookies!

We had a great time dancing a bit, too! There’s a live band that plays throughout the night and they just play classic rock. I loooooved how the dance floor was filled with people all night! That’s the sign of a good time! It’s pretty fantastic to have such fun while supporting such a wonderful cause!! I know we’ll be back next year.

Melinda, Johnny, and I

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diiiiiidn’t I tell you that my weekend eats aren’t as spectacular as my weekday ones. Now you’ve seen proof!! If chocolate and peanut butter weren’t so perfect together I might have an easier time – but who cares really? One of my favorite philosophies of eating that I’ve seen floating around the interwebs essentially says that one bad day of eating won’t make you fat…just like one day of healthy eating won’t make you skinny!! Moderation is my motto. And sometimes, baby just wants a peanut butter cookie … or 3. 😀

Do you tend to eat more healthy or less healthy on the weekends?

What foods are your weakness that you can never say no to?? (Like how I can never say no to chocolate and peanut butter together!! )

 

Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right – National Nutrition Month

G’day Mates!! Happy Tuesday!! I hope you’re all peachy-keen!! Me? I’m swell! I had a fabbbulous breakfast and I’m sippin’ on some tea (decaf earl gray, obvi), and I’ve decided it’s time to get serious with you for a moment!

I feel like some of you may know this already, particularly my fellow healthy living bloggers, but some of you may not.

March is National Nutrition Month!!

Never heard of it? Here’s a quick summary:

National Nutrition Month® is a nutrition education and information campaign sponsored annually by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign is designed to focus attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. NNM also promotes the Academy and its members to the public and the media as the most valuable and credible source of timely, scientifically based food and nutrition information. (http://www.eatright.org/NNM/#.UxXVVvmwJiI)

I think it’s pretty evident at this point in time that proper nutrition is something that I’m extraordinarily passionate about. I’ve decided to join in on the party again this year and share my two cents with you about this year’s theme:

Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right!

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, consumer research has proven time and time again that taste trumps nutrition in the majority of consumer food purchases.

This seems like it’s pretty obvious to me.  Take McDonald’s, for example. According to Forbes, McDonald’s ended 2013 with “lackluster earnings” – a measly $7.09 billion, up 2% from their 2012 fourth quarter earnings. What this says to me as a health conscious consumer (not in any way, shape, or form from a business standpoint) is that even posting the nutrition facts on menus hasn’t seemed to deter consumers from eating less McDonald’s. As such, I believe it is imperative that we all realize that healthy, whole, nutrient rich foods are just as capable of being as delicious (even more delicious, actually!) as the processed junk that so many people gravitate towards.

Now please keep in mind that I am nothing if not realistic. I absolutely understand that, sometimes, it’s really hard to make a healthy choice. We’re too busy, or too tired, or too broke, or too anything…these are all factors that impact the choices we make in fueling our bodies.  It’s too often, I think, that we forget that that’s really what food is: fuel! It’s what we need to keep our bodies functioning at their optimal levels. We need food, tasty or not, to live and to thrive – regardless of how busy, tired, and broke we all are! It doesn’t need to be hard to do. If we all take a little time to educate ourselves and fuel our bodies properly with foods that we enjoy, I know that we could all live and thrive with smiles on our faces, happy taste buds, and healthy bodies.

Here are some of my favorite recipes that use real, whole ingredients and help me Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right!

Barbecue Chicken Tortilla Pizzas

IMG_20130102_203759

Chocolate, Peanut Butter, and Banana Oatmeal

proats

Greek Salad

Grilled Chili Lime Shrimp with Mango Salsa

Honey Walnut Apple Crisp

apple crisp

My Favorite Chili Recipe Ever

chili!

Sweet and Spicy Pineapple, Black Bean Quinoa

sweetandspicypineapplequinoa

Tilapia Tacos with Southwest Slaw

tilapia tacos with southwest slaw

I hope you can find inspiration in these recipes!!
How are you celebrating National Nutrition Month??
And how do you Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right??

 

 

 

Soup for Days

So I’m not sure if you’ve gathered this about me based on some of my more recent posts (like White Chicken Chili, Loaded Baked Potato Soup, and My Favorite Chili Recipe Ever…buuuuuut I really like soup.

Like, I reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaly like soup.

Like I could eat soup every day and be totally happy with my life.

Although there are many soups I am quite fond of, for as long as I can remember, Matzo Ball Soup has always been one of my most favorites!. If you’re not familiar with Matzo Ball Soup, it’s essentially like a delicious chicken noodle soup, minus the noodles, plus matzo balls. Matzo, if you’re not familiar with it (which ,if you’re a child of the Rugrats generation, I find hard to believe – but ya never know) is an unleavened bread traditionally eaten by Jews during the week of Passover among other holidays, like Hanukkah!

Now, I don’t talk much about religion or faith – particularly on my blog. It’s  just one of those things, ya know? But, in sum, although some of my family is Jewish and actively practices the religion, I wasn’t raised to follow any particular religion. I was just raised with faith. We celebrated Christmas… and sometimes I lit a menorah. I participated in a few Passover Sedars in my time, I learned to write my name in Hebrew, and I know what L’shanah tovah means.

My husband is Catholic, our wedding was Catholic, our children will be Catholic, and I’m confident when I say that there will come a day where I will be Catholic. Regardless of my choice of religion, I’m proud of my Jewish heritage. (Some people have a hard time separating those two and understand the difference. That’s pretty much why I don’t talk about it.) Ultimately, though, the extent of my Judaism is my constant use of Oy Vey in everyday conversation, letting my friends know if they’ve got a schmutz on their face, and my ability to make a perfect pot of Matzoh Ball Soup.

Every good Jewish girl (or lover of Matzo Ball Soup) knows the key…is schmaltz. Schmaltz is chicken fat. Yuppers! Chicken fat. You cannot make a perfect pot of Matzo Ball Soup in a day. You make the stock ahead of time, chill it, and remove the fat from the top of the chilled stock. That fat is what makes Matzo Ball perfection. Here is my recipe for Matzo Ball Soup.

Matzo Ball Soup

For The Stock

  • 1 whole chicken, about 5 lbs, giblets removed
  • 4 cups of low sodium chicken broth (I always use part chicken broth and part water when I make my stock for soups. I think it gives it a much richer quality. If you’re ambitious and confident in your stock making abilities, you can use all water)
  • 4 cups of water
  • 2 yellow onions, quartered
  • 6 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 4 carrots, quartered
  • 4 stalks of celery, quartered
  • 6 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • A big handful of fresh parsely
  • 2 tablespoons of salt, or to taste
  • 10-12 black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves

Put everything in a large stock pot and bring it up to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and let simmer gently for about an hour and a half to two hours – until the chicken is cooked through and shreds easily with a fork.

CAREFULLY remove the chicken from the pot and place it on a large cutting board (or something like it) to cool. Once cool, remove and discard the skin. Shred the meat with two forks and place in a container.

Strain the stock into a separate large stock pot. Let your stock cool to room temperature before placing it in the refrigerator to chill completely overnight. TIP: To cool your stock as quickly as possible to avoid the risk of any food born illnesses, one of my favorite tricks is to take an  empty 2 liter bottle and fill it 3/4 with water and freeze it. Use the frozen bottle to stir the stock to cool it faster from the inside, out!  

For the Soup

  • 4 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 5 carrots, sliced into coins
  • 5 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 cups of cooked chicken, shredded

Add all of the ingredients except the chicken to a large stock pot. Bring the heat up to a boil and reduce it to a simmer. Let simmer for 30 to 40 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add the chicken during the last ten minutes of cook time to heat through.

For The Matzo Balls

  • 1 box Manischewitz® Reduced Sodium Matzo Ball mix (both packets) (yes, I use mix and not just Matzo Meal – it’s pretty much the same the mix just already has salt and baking soda added it it)
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons schmaltz (skimmed from the top of the chilled stock. it’s solid when chilled, so heat  it in the microwave for about 15 seconds to liquify)
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced parsley
  • 1 tablespoon of onion, grated fine on a microplane

Whisk the eggs, schmaltz, parsley, and onion together until combined. Add both packets of matzo ball mix and mix until just combined. Place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 1 minutes, but up to an hour is kosher (heh…get it…nevermind).

To cook the matzoh balls, bring a pot a chicken stock up to a boil. Reduce the heat to a slight simmer.

Moisten your hands with a bit of cold water (I like to keep a little bowl of it handy to keep the matzo mixture from sticking to me) and gently form the matzo balls in your hand.  They are deceiving and get much bigger once they start to soak up all of the liquid they are cooked in, so only make them about the size of a golf ball.

As you complete them, gently place the formed matzo balls into the simmering stock. Once all of the matzo balls are added cover the pot and let simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until they are cooked through.

To Serve

To serve, ladle the soup into soup bowl and top with matzo balls. I like to start with 3. Sprinkle with a little fresh parsley.

Eat with friends and family and enjoy.

mbs

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coulda Been Worse – What I Ate Wednesday #12

Hey Dudes! I hope you’re all swell.  We made it to Wednesday!! (Thank, goodness!!)

I swear I’m already just having “one of those days.” You know the kind I’m talking about. I’ve been lovingly referring to them as “pregnancy days.” Where all I want to do is cry for no reason whatsoever and everything that comes out of everyones mouth sounds stupid and makes me want to punch them in he head. Doesn’t matter what they say. “Hey Jen, look at this puppy!” *punch* “Hey Jen, I  ended world hunger!” *punch* Moody McMooderson today. C’est la vie. At least it’s a little cathartic just to type it all out and share my crazy with all of you. 😀

Oh! And just in case you haven’t had the chance to check it out…we found out if Baby Yoder is a boy or a girl over the weekend!!!! CHECK OUT MY AWESOME POST ABOUT IT!!!

Anywho, on to the foods! Thanks to Jenn at Peas and Crayons for hosting another week of the party.

PreGym Snack: So Johnny and I decided that this week we are going to give morning workouts a try. We’ve never really done it before, and we have no idea what our routine will be like post-baby, so we figured why not give it a whirl! I’m pretty sure he’s enjoying it more than I am, but he also doesn’t have hair to dry and makeup to put on in a locker room. We’ve been up by 5:35 and out the door by 5:50. I don’t want to get up earlier, but I think we may have to if we keep it up. This means we’re at the gym by 6:00 and I need to be in the locker room ready to shower by 6:45 so that I’m ready and raring to head to work by 7:20. I’d really like to be able to get in a full hour. *Sigh* Lots to figure out.  I’m really not super hungry when I get up in the morning, but I know I need to get something down. Yesterday I went with a piece of whole wheat toast with a schmear of smart balance and a schmear of strawberry jam. I poured myself that milk, didn’t drink it, then used it for tea for the rest of the day at work.

toastBreakfast:  Even though it was only 8 degrees out yesterday I still went with a cold breakfast. An icy cold banana (because it was sitting in our 8 degree car while we worked out) with some plain nonfat greek yogurt mixed with a tablespoon on peanut butter, a teaspoon of honey, and a dozen chocolate chips. Cold, but flippin delicious!

breakfastSnack: I definitely could tell that I worked out in the morning, as I was much hungrier than usual after that breakfast. Around 10 I nommed on a hard-boiled egg, some triscuit crackers, and a french onion laughing cow cheese wedge. (French onion are my favorite! Do you have a favorite laughing cow cheese?!)

eggs

Lunch: I was thrilled it was finally time for lunch. I don’t often have Lean Cuisines anymore, but when I do, the Tortilla Crusted Fish is one of my favorites. It’s only 300 calories with 14 grams of protein and 9 grams of fat.  I actually cooked this up and steamed a cup of  some fresh spinach in the microwave at the same time. I mixed the rice with the steamed spinach for an extra dose of veggies and I topped the fish with some fresh avocado. I think that when you do have frozen entrees, serving them with a little something fresh in a bowl or on a plate (not the plastic tray it comes in) definitely makes for a much more enjoyable eating experience. I munched on this for lunch while Johnny and I caught up on some Parks & Rec on Hulu+. I love how Chris and Anne are having a baby this season!! They’re so silly and perfect together!

box fish2

Snack: Me and my Luna Bars. Chocolate peppermint stick is just too delicious for me to stop myself. I could certainly have worse addictions! I also had a string cheese on my way out the door at work…but I figured you guys have seen enough string cheeses for a while…so I didn’t take a pic.

luna

Dinner: Dinner time was fun last night. I’d never made white chicken chili before and I decided it was time I give it a whirl! I sauteed a white onion and yellow bell pepper in just a wee bit of olive oil just until they were soft.  I added about half of a chopped up rotisserie chicken, 2 cans of white beans, 2 cans of green chilies, a can of hominy, and half a box of chicken stock. I seasoned it with 2 teaspoons of garlic powder, 2 teaspoons of cumin, 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon of chili powder, and 1 teaspoon of oregano. I also added the juice and zest of half of a lime. It was amusing, because of our AM workout Johnny was like “I don’t know what to do with my time!” so  he started helping me with dinner by stirring the pot while I added everything to it. Then he was like ” I don’t know how you do this every night…it’s so boring!” Oh, my love bug. What a nut! I also whipped up a quick batch of biscuits with some Bisquick Heart Smart Baking Mix. Just the baking mix and some skim milk whipped up together, dropped on a sheet pan, and baked for 7 minutes at 450. Done and done. Topped my chili with a wee bit of cheese, sliced avocado, and a squeeze more lime. It was delightful!!

chickenchili

Dessert: It’s funny, I look at my day of food and I’m like “Good job, me. You worked out. You ate well. You’re a rock star.” And then I’m like…oh wait you’re pregnant…go ahead and have that cookie.  Heh – just one though! And some skim milk. Definitely could have been worse, right? 😉

cookie


 

So, do you prefer AM or PM workouts? Why do you prefer them??
What’s your preferred frozen entree if you resort to them??
Are you watching Parks & Rec this season?
Do you ever have a day of eating well and then finish it up with something less healthy?

 

 

What I Ate Wednesday #10

Hello, world!! A very happy Wednesday to you.

I’ve grown particularly fond of Wednesday’s lately, thanks (pretty much in ALL parts) to Jenn at Peas and Crayons for hosting the wonderful linkup that is What I Ate Wednesday. I really do love sitting around Wednesday nights and going through as many other blogs as I can to check out what everyone else is munching. I think it’s silly and fun to see how we’re really all the same, you know. We all get stuck in ruts. We all have a few favorite things that we eat all the time (like my string cheese!). We all seek inspiration from others at times to shake up our food routines. And we all love to eat! Taking a peek into someone else’s life for a day can be kind of exciting, don’t you think?! Here are my Wednesday eats!!

Breakfast: I had a big bowl of Special K Chocolaty Delight with Red Berries with some 1% milk, a clementine, and some decaf Lady Grey tea. I actually keep cereals like this on hand for dessert most of the time! Late at night (ya know, 9 o’clock) and when I want something sweet I’d rather have a little 100 calorie bowl of cereal and low fat milk than cookies or candy, ya know what I mean?
specialk

Snack: I had a hard-boiled egg, followed shortly by a string cheese. 

hbegg stringcheeseLunch: Very soon after my snacks I felt suuuuuper hungry. Like…I had the hungry shakes. Does anyone else ever experience those?? I stood up and was like “Whoa, man, I need to eat something right now before I fall over.” Not qutie sure what the deal was with this today, as I felt like I had eaten enough up to that point in time. I decided not to mess around, though, and I got up and made my lunch right away. I had a Morning Star Farms Spicy Black Bean Burger on a whole wheat engish muffin with 1/4 of a perfectly ripe avocado, cilantro, and butter lettuce leaves! I had some baby carrots on the side, too. I usually bring along some cheese and salsa to go with my veggie burgers, too, but I forgot them today. Oh well, it was still delicious (and I made much less of a mess eating it!)!

veggieburger

Snack: I ate lunch at my desk today so Johnny and I had our full lunch hour to head over to the outlets on our break. We made a pitstop at Starbucks and I snagged a decaf-short-soy-latte with cinnamon dolce sprinkles on top!! It was perfect to sip while we walked around outside, as it’s a tad bit chilly out. I can’t complain too much, though, as 45 degrees is waaaaaaaaaaay better than 2 degrees! I also had a few dried apple slices when we got back to work. (Thanks again, Nicole!)

babylatte driedapples

PreGym Snack: Today I had a Carrot Cake Luna Bar. Chocolate Peppermint Stick is still my favorite of the Luna Bars (followed VERY closely by S’mores). I like the carrot cake one, but not as much as I hoped considering how much I adore carrot cake! What’s your favorite Luna Bar flavor??

lunabar

Dinner: Oh man. I loved dinner tonight. So quick and tasty, which in my opinion are two adjectives that should describe every dinner ever! NO RECIPE RECIPE: I grilled some chicken on the George Forman grill that I rubbed with some store bought pesto. When I pulled them off the grill I topped each with a slice of 2% milk provolone cheese. I sauteed some cherry tomatoes in garlic with a touch more pesto to top mine and had some green beans with garlic, lemon, and olive oil on the side. Absolutely perfect dinner!!

pesto chicken and green beansThat’s all she wrote, today!! Though, I won’t lie, I’m pretty sure imma snag a piece of toast with some pb&j on it and a glass of milk when I watch Top Chef later!! Perhaps I’ll update the post later with a photo. We’ll see! Anyone else out there a Top Chef fan?? I’m routing for Shirley this season…or for Louis to come back and win it all from last chance kitchen!! His smile …. he’s so adorable … and I’d eat the heck out of his food!!!

Until next time! Hopefully I’ll be posting a recipe later this weekend! And you’ll be getting a Baby Yoder update soon, too! Only TWO WEEKS until we know if it’s a boy or a girl!!!!