“Skinny” Comfort Food Recipe

I’m loving a new cookbook I got called, “Cook This, Not That”. It’s brought to you by the same guys that do “Eat This, Not That” articles in hubby’s Men’s Health magazine. I got it at school for a whopping $5.99 (great price). You can find it here on Amazon. The premise is simple: You can have your comfort food and eat it too IF you make it at home with healthy ingredients.

The first recipe I tried was grilled cheese and tomato soup. It was delicious and perfect for dinner on an overcast, chilly day.


To make the soup, you need to roast the tomatoes in the oven. The recipe called for Roma tomatoes. All I could find at the grocery store were plum tomatoes. They worked just fine. I cut them longways, brushed them with olive oil and roasted at 425 degrees for about 40 minutes. I also heated up some minced garlic from a jar along with it. You should really crush your own cloves, but that’s what I had in the fridge.

Next, you purée the tomatoes, garlic and some more olive oil in your blender. It comes out really smooth. I thought there would be gross skins all trough it, but not so. Chicken stock is added to the mixture and you heat it in a pot. Salt and pepper to taste and it’s soup! Pretty simple.


The cheese mixture was a combo of shredded sharp cheddar cheese, diced pimentos, green onions, plain Greek yogurt, and olive oil mayo. It also called for some jalepeno peppers, but we’re not hot and spicy fans at my house, so we skipped that. The mixture grilled up nicely in our electric skillet. You’ll want to keep the heat a little lower and take your time. The cheese melts slowly and you don’t want the whole wheat bread to burn!


I made some notes on how I would change this recipe a little to suit my own tastes. When I make it again, I’ll post the full recipe. In the meantime, if you like comfort food, but not the extra fat rolls it puts around your waste. Check out “Cook This, Not That”.

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21 Day Fix Shrimp Recipe

When I come home from work, I want something tasty for dinner. What I don’t want is something heavy and unhealthy. I definitely don’t want to spend an hour or more in the kitchen. Thirty minutes from start to finish is my limit! If I post a recipe for you on my blog, it has to pass the test (tasty, quick and healthy). I won’t post it unless I’ve cooked it myself, loved it and plated it in under 30 minutes.

That’s why I’ve picked Jackie Damp’s yummy Shrimp dish. I’ve made this several times. Hubby and I both like this one. It’s easy because the prep is minimal. The shrimp, vegetables and spices mix together for an interesting flavor. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do! If you are a fixer, this recipe is worth 2 reds 1 green and 1 tsp, (plus 1 yellow for the rice or quinoa) Check out Jackie’s website for other great recipes.

 

 

 
You will need:
1 1/2 cups of frozen, cooked shrimp (peeled and deveined)
2 cups fresh spinach
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cloves garlic (you can also use tsp bottled garlic)
2 tsp olive oil
2-3 basil leaves, torn
1 cup cooked brown rice or quinoa

Cook rice or quinoa according to package directions
Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat
Add tomatoes, cover and cook over medium-low heat for a few minutes
Add garlic, simmer for 5-10 minutes
Mash tomatoes and garlic with a potato masher
Add spinach and cook until spinach wilts
Add shrimp and basil leaves cook for a few minutes and stir until all flavored are mixed
Top with shredded Parmesan cheese and put over the rice or quinoa

If you like this recipe, there are a bunch more on my Pinterest boards labeled “21 day fix” and “favorite recipes”.

Let me know how you like this recipe in the comments.

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21 Day Fix Fiesta Chicken

This recipe came into being after I made some 21 day fix enchiladas. There were some ingredients left over and I used them to make this one. It made a delicious, filling lunch. You will need:

1/2 green container of canned corn
1/2 green container of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 red container of cubed, cooked chicken breast (I used chicken I had pre-cooked, but the pre-cooked, pre packeged chicken strips would work well too)
1 tsp non fat, unsweetened Greek yogurt
1 orange container of salsa

1. Mix the cooked chicken and the yogurt
2. Spread the container of corn and beans on a plate
3. Top the corn and beans with the chicken mixture
4. Drizzle with salsa
5. Heat in the microwave for 45 seconds and enjoy

If you make it, let me know how you like it.

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Online Fitness Coaching: A (Healthy) Trip to Pittsburgh

This past weekend we combined a trip to see our daughter in Pittsburgh with a trip to the Apple store in Shadyside to get an iPad 3 (yippee!) Since hubby and I are trying to keep it on the healthy side we combined (kind of) skinny dining out, exercise and walking. We didn’t leave until early Saturday morning so I got my ChaLean Extreme weightlifting in on Friday night.  I took my water bottle in the car and made sure I packed two Pure Protein bars to ward off those nasty Sheetz convenience store snacks.

We were at at my daughter Marla’s house in about three hours and from there we walked to the Apple store. It was close to her house in a funky little neighborhood filled with boutiques, shops and restaurants.  I sat in on an iPad basics workshop while hubby talked business with an Apple “genius”. If you have never shopped at an Apple store, it’s a pretty positive experience. Within about an hour we had purchased an iPad 3, had it all set up to use and knew the basics on how to operate it. (Stay tuned for reviews on health and fitness apps for you to try.)

After our big purchase, we all headed for Mercurio’s, a cute little restaurant just around the corner. They serve salads, sandwiches and pizza cooked in a wood fired oven. I ordered a “fungi”. It had mushrooms, marinara, fresh mozzarella and a tasty thin crust. We treated ourselves to some gelato, a Mercurios special. It had half the butter fat of ice cream and was delicious.

Now it was time to check in to our hotel and hit the gym for a workout. The kids decided to hang out in the room and relax. Hubby brought a circuit workout from his trainer. I decided to take advantage of the really nice gym and did 40 minutes on the elliptical and 20 minutes on the recumbent bike. Now we were ready for our complimentary free drink!

Next we headed for an old school restaurant in Greentree Marla found on the Internet. It was decorated in warm wood and featured Italian food. I had pasta in vodka sauce (ok not real healthy but definitely delicious). After dinner we hung out together in our room. Since I rarely sit still at work or home, this was heavenly.

Sunday was brunch at the Cheesecake Factory with my college roomie, Wanda. She and I both opted for the energy breakfast: egg whites, chicken breasts and mushrooms. Yum.  After some relaxing and lots of great conversation, it was time to head back home.  Hubby and I had a (mostly) healthy weekend, a great visit with our daughter and my roomie and a new tech toy to play with.  What could be better?

Online Fitness Coaching: Tough Love

Happy Easter weekend everybody.  I hope you are having a great one.  I spent the weekend with family and friends.  Our grown-up kids had a great time in an extreme egg hunt at my parents house.

Hubby and I took a three mile walk after church this morning.  We are getting ready for a 5k walk coming up in June. The weather was perfect for a long walk; sunny but cool.

I tried a new recipe from Skinnytaste.com for our Easter dinner.  I made Skinny stuffed mushrooms.  I opted for feta cheese instead of bacon since two other dishes at our buffet style dinner were made with bacon.  They turned out delicious and at only 35 calories each, the guilt factor was pretty low.

This is what they looked like before I baked them in the oven for 20 minutes.  There weren’t any left when we came home from my mom’s.

Last week I went to a spaghetti dinner to support my sister’s relay for life team.  They were raffling off several prizes.  You bought raffle tickets and put them in bags for different prizes you wanted to win.  I won a free Zumba class.  The reason I won?  I put my ticket in the bag and there were only two other tickets in the Zumba bag.  The other prizes were things like whoopie pies, movie treat baskets and things for your home.

 

I’ve decided it’s time for a  little fitness coach tough love.  Why were the whoopie pies the popular raffle items and the exercise classes the unpopular ones?  Beacause most of us would rather choose the easy, no work, sugar treat that won’t give you any benefit in the long run than the prize that requires a little effort from the winner, but is a lot more beneficial in the long run.

Most of us say we want to get healthy by eating right and exercising, but when it comes time to do the work to get there we have a hundred excuses.  We spend lots of time talking ourselves out of exercising and eating healthy.  We spend even more time making excuses for overeating and sitting on our butts.  If you want to be healthy, if you want to get strong, if you want to look good, if you want to lower your cholesterol, if you want to get off the meds, if you want to take the stress off your joints, you have to do the work.

There is no magic pill, there is no operation or gadget that makes it easy.  You have to take the time and make the commitment.  You have to do the work.  And guess what?  It doesn’t happen overnight.  It takes time.  If you decide to make the change to be healthy and see it through, you will feel so much better, both inside and out, but YOU have to do the work.  So if you are ready..what are you waiting for?  Get busy..no excuses..GO!

 

 

 

Online Fitness Coaching: Featured Blog

The featured blog for the first week in April is Carrots N Cake.  Tina writes this blog from her home in Boston, Massachussets.  She originally started it as a personal journal to keep her focused on healthy eating and exercise.  The blog caught on and has a large readership.  She also recently secured a book deal based on her blog.  What I like abou this one is the variety of fitness and food info. you can find on here.  It’s vast!

She’s got weekly meal plans, weekly workout plans, a half marathon training guide and treadmill workouts.  She has 30, count ’em, 30 different blog categories.  The cool thing about them is they are health and fitness based, but there’s more that gives you a peek into Tina’s very busy life.  You can check out “Boston” where you get a glimpse into the excitement of Boston Marathon day and what it’s like at “Local 149” a downtown eatery where Tina and her husband head for date night. Click on “Home” and you can follow along while Tina updates her home office.

This is a blog to go back to again and again, because you will always find something new to motivate you in your fitness journey.  Check out Carrots N Cake and tell me what you think.

Online Fitness Coaching: Featured Blog of the Week

The featured blog for the first week of March is Fit Bottomed Girls.  This is a great blog for a number of reasons.  First, it’s not just a blog by one person, it’s a blog by four people. Jennipher Walters and Erin Whitehead are the original founders.  They were later joined by Tish Merritt and Kristen Seymour.  They are all journalists with a passion for fitness.  Second, you could literally spend hours surfing this site.  There is a wealth of information from exercise DVD reviews, nutritious recipes, and words of encouragement to workout playlists and give-aways. Whether you are just getting started in the world of fitness, or you are a seasoned veteran, Fit Bottomed Girls is a great blog to put on your go-to list.

Online Fitness Coaching: Featured Blog of the Week

This week’s featured blog is another of my favorite foodie blogs.  Eating Bird Food is a labor of love for Brittany Mullins.  Her story is inspirational because she changed over to a healthy lifestyle as a college student and has continued her healthy ways ever since.  She wants to help others eat well and stay active.

She has great recipes (with colorful photos).  Her latest blog is a review of a restaurant near her home in Richmond, VA.  I like her writing style.  It kind of makes you feel like you are sitting in her living room having a chat. You can also follow her wedding plans in progress along with all the recipes and healthy eating advice.

So check out Eating Bird Food and add it to your favorite foodie blogs!

Online Fitness Coaching: Featured Blog of the Week

This week’s featured blog is snack-girl.com I actually got acquainted with Snack girl when I started to follow her on Twitter.  Whenever a snack looked tasty to me, I checked into her web site.  I have quite a collection of healthy recipes and snack advice from Snack girl. Here’s what she says about why she got into healthy snack blogging.

Lisa Cain, Ph.D., is an avid snacker, foodie, published author, and mother of 2.  An evolutionary biologist by training, she has become obsessed with how food contributes to our overall health.

For example, she is fascinated with the fact that Americans in the 1950’s weighed on average MUCH less than they do now.  Obviously the root cause of the epidemic is what we eat, and she wants to help people make better decisions about what they eat.

She believes that the study of nutrition is overrated and that we should eat as our ancestors did.  Since our ancestors didn’t have convenience stores and Starbucks, she decided to write about snacks to help people understand how to decipher food marketing messages.

She is also a big proponent of food that doesn’t have any packaging at all.”

Snack a little healthier with snack-girl.com

 

Online Fitness Coaching: Featured Blog of the Week

This week’s featured blog of the week is Meals and Miles.  This blog was started by Meghann Anderson.  Her story is familiar to many.  She was active in high school and college, but was not that concerned with healthy nutrition.  After graduation came a desk job. She wasn’t getting any exercise and slowy put on 20 pounds.

This wake up call got Meghann motivated to change her eating habits and start running a little.  Her goal was to lose those 20 pounds.  She did that plus 5 more.  During her journey to get healthy, the blogging community was a big support, so she is giving back by blogging about her newfound healthy lifestyle.

This blog is well organized.  There is a section where you can read about all the races Meghann has participated in and recipes she has tried.  There’s a blogroll of her fav blogs.  She has some really nice reviews of fun things to do in Orlando, Florida and oh yes…she’s getting ready to get married and there’s a nice section on that.

So check out Meals and Miles.  If you are starting a fitness journey, Meghann can be a big help to you.