Carnitas!!!

Who doesn’t love taco night?!  Especially Taco Tuesday!

In an attempt to keep dinners simple, but new this week, we made 2 Ingredient Pork Carnitas.  Very similar to 2 Ingredient Chicken, just with pork.

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The grill has taken over most of our meals this week…woo hoo…but Sunday, I still pulled out the crockpot.  Great for hearty fall meals but also awesome for warm days that you don’t want to turn on your oven.

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Tuesday night, Cooper was super into our dinner…

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Which turned out absolutely delicious!!!

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We made tacos on Tuesday, and I had leftovers for lunch today.  Both were fantastic, which makes this a good make ahead option!

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And for dessert…the BOY and I made S’mores Ice Cream!

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Which may not look that awesome in this picture but is highly addictive!

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Which we noted as we ate it out of the container with a shared spoon and covered in whipped cream tonight : )

 

2 Ingredient Pork Carnitas

Ingredients

~2 lbs Pork (the BOY picked out ‘center’)

1 jar of smoky salsa (or whatever kind you like)

Directions

Spray crockpot with cooking spray.

Place trimmed pork and salsa in crockpot.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours.  When soft and falls apart easily, shred pork with 2 forks.  Return to crockpot and continue to cook for about 1 hour.

Use for tacos or salads or anything else!

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Sloppy Joe…Slop Sloppy Joes

Happy Hump Day!

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We’ve finally got some consistent sunshine in these parts.  Woo Hoo!  After my work day, I had to get out and enjoy it.  I walked for a bit while chatting with my SIL. 

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Truth, my workouts have been lacking this week due to my work schedule, so I figured any exercise will help my body and mind.  Our food this week, on the other hand, has been pretty on point!

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This week was a bit different because we started the week with a delicious meal at Wildfire.  My Monday was pretty fantastic, and I was able to whip up some Buffalo Chicken Chili and a new Sloppy Joe recipe.  Thank you Adam Sandler for inspiring my post title!

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Funny Story…the store was out of green peppers, but I remembered that I had a small can of diced green chili peppers in my pantry.  I figured that’d be perfect and dumped them into my turkey.  They looked a bit off and when I looked at the can on it’s way into the recycling, I realized that I just poured a ton of jalapeno peppers into my pan!

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Not surprising as I make mistakes a bunch in the kitchen!  To try to fix it, I pulled out about 75% of them and hoped that they’d add flavor and not be too spicy.

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Instead, when I did my initial taste test, I felt there was an overwhelming mustard flavor.  I am new to eating mustard so may have used the wrong kind.  I poured in more ketchup and BBQ sauce, and the end result was superb!

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So I should admit that growing up I was never that into sloppy joe’s while the BOY claims that he was a huge Manwich fan.  I had to ask him for his opinion of this recipe.  Was it good?  Yes!  Did it taste like sloppy joe’s?  Kind of!  So take that for what it’s worth…a tasty dinner (he made a sandwich while I did a quinoa bowl with avocado), but it may not replicate your childhood favorite meal : )

Would love to chat more about the intricate details of sloppy joe’s, but I’ve got a Blackhawks game to watch!

 

Do you like Sloppy Joe’s?

 

Meal Planning 4/11/16

Monday: Out to Eat

Tuesday: Sloppy Joe’s

Wednesday: Sausages and Veggies

Thursday: Buffalo Chicken Chili

 

Slow Cooker Turkey Sloppy Joes

From SkinnyMs

Ingredients

  • 1 pound (454 grams) ground turkey breast (raw)
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup green pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup natural ketchup
  • 1 8 oz can no-salt added tomato sauce
  • 1 Tbsp BBQ sauce

Note: I would recommend combing your sauce well before putting it into the crockpot.  I ended up adjusting my quantities.

Directions

Mist a skillet with oil and brown raw turkey, onions and green pepper over medium heat. (You could skip this step, but you will get a better flavor.)  Place turkey meat, onions & green pepper in the slow cooker. Add all the other ingredients and mix well. (See Note Above!)  Cover and cook on LOW for 3-4 hours or HIGH for 2-3 hours. If you don’t brown the meat first, then cook on LOW for 5-6 hours or HIGH for 3-4 hours.

April Showers and Goals

I should start by telling you that this week’s new recipes have been fantastic…both make again dishes.  However, the pictures of the final meals are a bit sub par (to put it gently).

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I already posted the Thai Chicken with Peanut Sauce recipe, so you know what I’m talking about.  Luckily, I also added in a bunch of selfies with my new adorable haircut.  LOL!  Not sure if that will help again today…

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But just in case…This recipe is another crockpot goodie that I made on Monday.  It’s easy, healthy (thanks Skinny Taste), and versatile.

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Who doesn’t love buffalo chicken?!  My thought was that we could make rice bowls filled with chicken, cheese, rice, and veggies.  I was, of course, planning to add some avocado.

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What actually happened was that the BOY made tacos and I forgot to buy an avocado…womp, womp!  I was bummed but not sad enough not to enjoy this delicious chicken.

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So now that we got that out of the way…don’t judge my pics, but try this recipes because you can do anything with the chicken…bowls, salad, wraps, etc.  Mmm!!!  Moving on now to goals.  It’s April, which for us brought spring showers.  April does not know what it wants weather wise and it’s been alternating between rain and sunshine all day!  I had a fantastic morning (deets to come) and then sat at home doing some work, loving on Cooper, and waiting for our garage door to be fixed.

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March Goals

Workout 5 days a week-GOAL MET!  I definitely got back into my workout routine of strength, yoga, and running.

Start practicing more yoga at home- Still working on it…

Update my blog- There is much to do and I did none of it.  Let’s call this one a Fail!

Unplug and be present! Rocked it and loved it!

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April Goals

Run 10k in less than 52 minutes

Keep up the workouts!

Do yoga at home

Increase the green and eat clean!

 

What are your spring goals?

Any April Fool’s jokes?

 

Crockpot Buffalo Chicken (for lettuce wraps or rice bowls)

From Skinny Taste

Ingredients

  • 24 oz boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 16 oz fat free low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup hot cayenne pepper sauce (I used Frank’s)

Directions
In a crock pot, combine chicken, onions, celery stalk, garlic and broth (enough to cover your chicken, use water if the can of broth isn’t enough). Cover and cook on high 4 hours.

Remove the chicken from pot, reserve 1/2 cup broth and discard the rest. Shred the chicken with two forks, return to the slow cooker with the 1/2 cup broth and the hot sauce and set to on high for an additional 30 minutes. Makes 3 cups chicken.

Welcome Spring!!!

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I finally got around to making these protein balls last week, but never got around to sharing the awesome recipe. 

Note: You will want to make a double batch of this recipe because it is awesome but the servings are NOT plentiful enough!

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Saturday morning, I was up again early and at the gym.  I had another kick butt workout, making it my 5th of the week (way to go on that March goal!).  Then it was a quick change and off to my last yoga class of the session.  The kids were really energetic and fun and dove right into all of the partner work and poses.

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I stayed a little after to fill in our life size bracket hanging on the wall in the gym.  From there, it was back home where the BOY scooped me up for lunch and shopping.  Believe me when I say that I was MORE surprised when the BOY wanted to go to the mall for updated work clothes than I was last weekend when he wanted to clean : )

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We had a successful trip to Nordstrom and arrived back home minutes after the Indiana/Kentucky game started.  We watched on the edge of our seats as Indiana pulled away to make it to the Sweet Sixteen.  Saturday night, we had dinner with my bestie, her hubs, and two amazing kids!  I dove right into the play dough while the BOY initiated a pre-bed time sword fight.

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Sunday morning was a unique treat!  We set no alarm and I didn’t have anything on my schedule until 2:30pm!!  I woke up around 8:30am feeling refreshed.  I ate a bite of breakfast (with my espresso) and drove off in the sunshine to the yoga studio for a hot flow class. 

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On the way, I realized I forgot my water bottle.  Luckily, there is a Walgreens in the parking lot of the studio, so I was able to quickly grab a Smartwater.  When I arrived, the room was PACKED!  I was able to find a small piece of real estate in the front row (not my favorite).  It occurred to me as I transitioned to my mat that this was a PERFECT example of finding peace in the present moment.  The front row is tough because it is up against the wall. I find it harder to balance that close to the wall, and I am more self conscious about my movement with other bodies close by.

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But the benefit of being that close to the wall is easily transitioning from standing splits to handstand with the support and confidence boost of the wall, which is exactly what I did a few times this morning.  Slowly working off the wall as I practiced my strength and balance on two hands.  Our teacher continued to remind us to embrace the awakening of spring as we moved through tough transitions in the hot room.  The morning class was a sweaty one and no one (including me) moved quickly out of savasana, like we usually do, taking the time to cool down before arising from our mats and refilling our water bottles.

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I changed out of my wet clothes for a lunch time trip to Whole Foods.  The BOY requested a sandwich and I ended up with a Whole Foods Hodge Podge (basically what happens at the whole foods salad bar when you are starving after hot yoga!).  I had big plans to glue my side view mirror on, but realized that it was going to take an hour, which I didn’t have.  Instead, I drove my car into the city, carefully merging at all times, to hang out with a friend/old coworker of mine.  We walked throughout the city, making a special stop at the Family Matters house, which she just discovered was in her neighborhood (and I just learned was in Chicago).

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We had coffee and walked some more, swinging by Athleta to scope our the scale items.  On our walk, we caught up on life while appreciating the sunshine on this first day of spring!  I left the city a little before 6pm with plans to swing by the grocery store to pick up my dinner (which I forgot that morning at WF) since the BOY had dinner plans with a friend.  I was also hoping to be home before dark since along with a busted mirror, I also seem to have a head light out on my car.  Ugh!  I will definitely be doing some car maintenance tomorrow!

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I made salmon and brussel sprouts for dinner with a glass of crisp white wine, while watching tonight’s March Madness games.  I was feeling torn between cheering on the Big Ten (out of support for the conference) and Xavier, out of support for my ailing bracket and loved all the close games and over times!

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And that’s a wrap for my weekend (and start to spring), which means that I really should tell you more about these protein balls.  The original recipe calls for cranberries, so feel free to go that route.  I actually had cherries in the house, so decided to use those along with a scoop of protein powder for some added flavor and muscle building goodness.

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Like I mentioned way back at the start of this post, these energy balls are fantastic and well worth doubling the recipe.  They make the perfect afternoon pick me up and even the BOY has enjoyed taking these energy balls as a snack to the office.

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How did you start spring?

Any famous TV landmarks in your town?

 

Cherry Vanilla Protein Bites

Adapted From Recipe Runner (makes 9 large energy balls***)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup chopped medjool dates, about 6-7 dates
  • 2 tbsp vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt (optional)

***I would recommend doubling if you have the room in your food processor!

Directions

  1. In a high speed blender or food processor add the cashews and almonds and pulse until they are finely ground, careful not to turn them into nut butter.
  2. Add in the remaining ingredients and blend or pulse until everything starts to come together.
  3. Scrape down the sides several times and add up to 2 tablespoons of water.
  4. Form into balls, rolling between your hands.
  5. Store the energy bites in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.

When You Clean Up Your House…

Yesterday when my husband looked at me and said, ‘I think we should do some cleaning today’, I couldn’t hide the shock on my face.  It was a rainy Sunday, perfect for napping and movies, and he suggested cleaning?!  So spring clean we did!!!  In the process, I found a TON of recipes that needed to be organized and pinned.  Which got me searching for more recipes, which linked to a few more, and you know where it goes from there…next thing you know you’ve pinned 35 new ‘must make’ dinner recipes and 21 new complex cake recipes.

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And then it’s Monday and you have a crazy busy day of yoga, running around, the grocery store, shoe shopping, a few returns, paperwork and a trip to Costco.  I did manage to get what was going to be tomorrow night’s dinner in the crockpot on low around 2pm, but that’s about it.  Bummer because I had another cookie dough ball recipe that I was eager to make this week…hopefully coming soon!

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Despite the warm temps, the BOY was in the mood for chili.  Technically, he requested bison chili, but I went a totally different direction with a white chicken chili.  Another one of my new found pins!

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I was surprised to see the BOY came home earlier than expected today.  We decided to enjoy the gorgeous air with a walk, but swung by our neighbors first to drop off a gift for their new baby.  We ended up hanging out for an hour holding their sweet baby girl and catching up on life.  By the time we left, a walk was off the table.  The BOY didn’t feel like cooking, so my meal plan got all thrown off before it started and we headed over to our favorite local Mexican restaurant to pick up dinner and come home and watch Spotlight.

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I’m not exactly sure when we’re going going to eat our chili but it looks and smells incredible, and I know there will be plenty for lunch leftovers during the week.

Do you ever fall down the recipe rabbit hole?

What are you cooking this week?

 

Meal Planning {Pie Day} 3.14.16

Monday: Mexican Night

Tuesday: Slow Cooker Verde Chicken Chili

Wednesday: Pork and Veggies

Thursday: Meatloaf and Veggies

 

 

Slow Cooker Verde Chicken Chili

From Simpy Stacie

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 15 oz can white beans (cannellini or great northern), drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup salsa verde
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp hot sauce (I used a smoky chipotle sauce)

Directions

  1. In your slow cooker, add chicken breasts, corn, beans, salsa, onion, garlic, jalapeno, chicken broth, cumin, chili powder, and hot sauce; lightly stir to combine spices.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
  3. Remove chicken from chili; shred using 2 forks. Place shredded chicken back into slow cooker; stir to combine.
  4. Serve topped with tortilla chips, cilantro, mozzarella cheese, and avocado as desired.

This Week’s Eats {and a recipe}

OMG! I found the most amazing cashew butter at the store on Monday. I was actually looking for almond butter (my jar was almost empty) but there weren’t many options and they were CRAZY expensive.  I decided this would do…

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I, of course, tried it immediately when I got home.  Just to check that it was worth the money.  Now, I don’t even have to tell you how delish this is alone on a spoon but even better smothered over a dark chocolate square…Mmm! 

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Wednesday morning, I went to another incredible yoga class.  It’s been a good week for those!  I will have an entire phone of post yoga glow selfies before this week is over.  On a whim, the BOY and I ditched meal planning and ate Wednesday night dinner cuddled in a booth at Coopers Hawk.

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We had an incredible dinner and a macadamia nut truffle for dessert…

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Thursday mornings breakfast looked a lot like this…espresso + whipped cream + cinnamon = a new FAVORITE!!!

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And of course, I devoured a Pancake a la Jen.  This one includes 1 banana, 1 egg, egg whites, 2 tbsp flax, and cinnamon.

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Needless to say, I made it to Friday with another delicious espresso bevvie this morning : )  I brought an oldie back for breakfast.  The occasion…an almost empty jar of almond butter, of course!

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And although it’s a bit late, here is this week’s latest recipe.  I discover recipes in all different places, but this one came via Instagram.  Kind of random, but I am adding to my following of friends and yoga gurus some foodies.  Hence this Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken recipe from The Cookie Rookie.

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I added in a big bag of frozen broccoli because it’s one of my fave veggies in stir fry and I thought it needed some greens.  This recipe was easy and tasty and reheated perfectly for lunch this week.

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What were your favorite eats this week?

Who do you follow on Instagram?

Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken

From The Cookie Rookie

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. bonesless skinless chicken tenders, sliced into small strips
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 bag frozen broccoli
  • 1 cup cashews

Directions

  1. Heat oil on medium high heat in a large skillet. Add chicken and cook each side for 2 minutes until browned.
  2. Place chicken in the slow cooker and top with soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes.
  3. Stir to combine and add in broccoli.
  4. Cook for 2 hours on high or 4 hours on low.
  5. 30 minutes before done, stir in cashews.
  6. Enjoy topped over rice or quinoa!

Tuesdays Tangents on Meal Planning

How do you pick your food for the week?

Since we meal plan, this is usually done Sunday or Monday and goes a little something like this…

How much time do I have to meal plan?  Tons…let’s look through books and pinterest and find some fun new things to try.  None…and it’s back to the the usual turkey tacos and crockpot chicken.

After that, it’s on to…What do we have in the house?  What have we not eaten in awhile?

And then most importantly…What can I do Monday for the week ahead?  What meat will last until later in the week?  And, how much time do we have each night to make dinner?  On my late nights, I get home close to 8 (tonight it was 8:45!) so the answer is no time.  Other nights, I’m home closer to 7, so there is time to throw something together.  Question is…do I want to?!

I’m lucky because the BOY is into cooking and super helpful in the kitchen (unless you include putting his dishes in the dishwasher).  Ha ha!

It’s easy to make Tuesday’s dinner on Monday in the crockpot because the flavors are usually even better the next day and I typically have leftovers for lunch on Wednesday.  Which is exactly what I did this week…

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This recipe is an exciting version of 2 Ingredient Chicken. Super easy and VERY flavorful!  I almost didn’t get this post out to you tonight and certainly didn’t get to take any pictures due to the late arrival home.

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So you’ll just have to trust me that this makes a great and versatile make ahead dinner and give it a try yourself!

 

Meal Planning 2/15/16

Monday: Island Pork Tenderloin

Tuesday: Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken

Wednesday: Sausage and Veggies

Thursday: Take Out Something

Friday: Fish and Veggies

What are you eating this week?

Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken

From Carls Bad Cravings

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup mild salsa (medium if you like spicy)
  • 1 4 oz. can mild green chilies
  • 1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • hot sauce to taste

Directions

  1. Rub chicken breasts with oil and place in the bottom of your slow cooker. Add all of the remaining ingredients except for the hot sauce. Cook on high for 2-4 hours or on low for 6-7 hours or until chicken is tender enough to shred.
  2. Remove chicken to a cutting board, and let rest 5 minutes before shredding (there will be liquid remaining). Return shredded chicken and let cook on low for an additional 20 minutes to absorb some of the liquid/juices. Drain all excess liquid. Taste and add hot sauce to taste if desired.

See Website for Notes!