Weekend Ramblings (Including a Trip to Woodman’s)

Since the marathon took over last weekend, the BOY and I didn’t make it to the grocery store (nor did I do any laundry or cleaning…ooops!). We ate dinner out almost every night, except for Wednesday when Chinese came to us.  The BOY loved a week like this!  The last few weeks, I’ve been really careful about what I’ve been eating to fuel my runs and keep my stomach in check.  The BOY has been craving pizza and grease and I’ve been eating non stop.  It was definitely a different week for us. 


After a week of eating out, I was more than ready to get back to my meal planning.  The BOY declared a household state of emergency because we are out of his special green relish that we can only get at Woodman’s.  Yes, he’s that dramatic about his relish.  We made a date to head to Woodman’s Saturday afternoon with my parents, who were also craving a trip to our favorite far away grocery store.


Saturday morning started out like this…it didn’t look like we would be leaving the house at all.




But by lunch, my stomach was growling and I was ready for breakfast food for lunch.  I took this opportunity to order the most decadent breakfast, Banana Bread French Toast at our favorite local pancake place.  I have been eyeing it for years and it was just as good as I could have hoped!






Our next stop was the farmer’s market, but on our way, the BOY thought we should stop at the pumpkin patch to pick up a fresh pie for dinner.  The place was packed with families, and we actually bumped into one of my BFF’s celebrating her daughter’s birthday.  It took us longer to park than to shop, but it was totally worth it when we dug into a taste of that spicy pie.




Then we grabbed some veggies at the farmer’s market. 


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Then went home to watch some college football.  Around 4pm, my parents arrived and we made our way west to Woodman’s.  We had two full carts by the time we were finished.  Don’t worry…it included 4 container’s of the BOY’s special relish. 


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We came back to our house where the BOY prepared a beautiful dinner of shrimp and veggie skewers on the grill while my Mom kept Cooper busy and out of our hair and I poured fall mosas.  My new favorite beverage!  For dessert, we had pumpkin pie with whipped cream.  After my parents left, the BOY, Cooper, and I had a quiet Saturday night in.




Cooper was so warn out after yesterday’s excitement that he slept until 8am!  I had some leftover French Toast and herbal tea for breakfast before leaving for the spa.  This morning, I had scheduled a 90 minute full body deep tissue massage followed by a 60 minute facial.  I emerged from the salon 3 hours later feeling like a new person!  I’ve had services with both of these people before, so I knew it would be amazing!  I switched off between catching up on life and totally zoning out.  It was really refreshing!




When I got home, the BOY filled me in on what was going on with the Bears.  Jay Cutler’s injury makes the Jay Cutler signs at the marathon last weekend, even funnier!  Not so funny, was watching the Bears struggle with injuries and bounce back and forth with Washington.  I listened to most of the game from the kitchen where I got started on tonight’s dinner (recipe to come) and whipped up a White Chicken Chili for lunch this week.




I adapted the original recipe a bit because I prefer my chicken shredded, and I left out the zucchini in hopes that the BOY might eat some this week as well.




We spent the late afternoon cleaning closets and switching over to fall clothes.  Since last week, the temperature has dropped significantly, and so it was time to dig out some warmer wear and donate two huge bags of clothes.


Meal Planning 10/20/13

Sunday Funday: Slow Cooker Pot Roast


Monday: Mexican Taco Casserole


Tuesday: Leftovers


Wednesday: Out for Dinner


Thursday: TBD


Lunch: White Chicken Chili (recipe below)



Do you plan your meals for the week ahead?

What’s up this week?



White Chicken Chili

Adapted from Wanna Bite

Not Surprisingly found on Pinterest*



1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast

2 medium onions, diced

1 lb of mushrooms, full or diced

4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth

1 tbsp olive oil

6 cloves of garlic

¼ cup chili powder

1 tsp of coriander

2 (16 oz) can diced no salt added tomatoes, fire roasted

1 (4 oz) can green chilies

2 (16 oz) cans of your favorite beans, rinsed and drained (I used kidney and white)

Toppings: cheese, avocado, tortilla chips



Sauté the mushrooms and onions in 1 cup of chicken broth for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cover chicken with coriander, chili powder, and salt and pepper to taste.  Heat oil over medium low in separate pan and add chicken.  Cook until no longer pink in the middle.

When the veggies are soft and fragrant,  add in the chilies, tomatoes undrained, and the rest of the chicken broth. Bring to a gentle boil and reduce to medium heat.

When chicken is cooked, shred chicken with two forks and stir into soup pot.   Simmer for 30 minutes uncovered.

Drain and rinse the beans and add to the pot.

Cook for 30 minutes until beans are tender

Top chili with your favorite toppings!

Labor/Lazy Day Weekend

So I know I alluded (a few times) to a busy Labor Day Weekend, but it appears I may not have been completely honest with you!  We did have an exciting Friday evening with our Fall Fiesta, which led to the BOY and I deciding not to set an alarm for Saturday morning.  When we finally woke up at 8am to stormy skies, it was more because of Cooper’s love of breakfast than our own desire to get out of bed.  What proceeded was quite possibly the LAZIEST day I have had in years.  I made some breakfast, read some blogs, watched TV, made leftovers for lunch before the BOY, Cooper, and I took a 2 1/2 hour nap!  We only woke up when I dragged us out of bed for fear we wouldn’t sleep that night, or worse get our nights and days mixed up like our crazy (yet adorable) kitten.  After our nap, we made some popcorn, finally watched Silver Linings Playbook, and then whipped up a simple but satisfying dinner.  After dinner, there was some more playing on the computer and an episode of Dexter before going back to bed.  Do I even need to tell you that I never changed out of my PJ’s.  I almost felt guilty for taking the day off but then remembered that I didn’t want to : )


Thankfully, Sunday had a little more action as I did leave the house for yoga.  That’s two weeks in a row…woo hoo!  Sunday afternoon, a friend, her two kids, and I took a road trip about 2 hours south to visit another one of our college roommates and celebrate her baby shower.  It was a great afternoon to be outside catching up with old friends and reliving good times.  We left just as the sun was starting to set over the fields.






Monday was a do over from Saturday.  I could have spent another day inside, but instead went out for a run.  Even though it rained most of last night (here, not where we were BBQing), it was still hot and humid today.  I’ve been feeling a little slow and down on my training, so I was hoping to have a speedy and strong run.  My legs (and abs) felt tired from yesterday’s yoga class, but despite a slow start, I was able to finish my 5 miles in 44:15 with a negative second half split.  That was a great way to start the day.  The BOY and I went out for lunch and then swung by the grocery store for the necessities.  He has been talking about chili all weekend, so despite the heat, we decided to throw a batch into the crockpot for dinner. 




We are a little rusty on our technique, but pulled together a bold tasting Turkey, Black Bean, and Brew Chili based on this Vegetarian Times recipe.




Just the smell of chili in the air brought a smile to my face!




This wasn’t our favorite chili recipe, a little more watery than we typically like (I would recommend only using one bottle of beer), but it was extremely tasty with the dark ale!  There will be plenty left over for lunch this week, which I am looking forward to!  Sadly, the long weekend has come to an end, but fall is just around the corner!  Hope you had a wonderful labor day weekend filled with adventures and down time!



Turkey, Black Bean, and Brew Chili

Adapted from Vegetarian Times



2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, drained and minced

1.25 lbs lean turkey (we used 93%)

2 Tbs. ground cumin

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 medium red bell pepper, diced

5 cloves garlic, minced

2 14-oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained

1 can corn, rinsed and drained

24 oz. dark beer (2 bottles, but you can decrease to 1)

1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes



-Brown meat in skillet over medium heat.

-Place meat in the bottom of crockpot sprayed with cooking spray.  Add chilies, onion, red bell peppers, black beans, corn and tomatoes.

-Stir in spices and beer.

-Set crockpot per instructions 6-8 hours.

Soup for Sick Days

Although yesterday I was feeling much better, storms rolled in last night wreaking their usual havoc on my sinuses. Ahhh!  Bummer!  My scheduled 8 mile run was out of the question, and Cooper and I became semi-permanent fixtures on my couch with hot tea and multiple old episodes of So You Think You Can Dance.  Some of us napped…




While others tried to blog : )


On days like today…only soup will do!  As I debated whether or not I was going to make the drive to the grocery store, I started thinking about all of my favorite soup recipes.  This blog is FULL of them!


Chicken Tortilla Soup




CSA Soup


Curried Butternut Red Lentil Soup


Mushroom Barley Soup




Crockpot Chickpea, Butternut Squash and Red Lentil Stew


Healthy New Year Soup




Crockpot Vegetarian Chili


Jen’s Jumbo


African Peanut Stew







What is your favorite rainy sick day soup recipe???


I’m certainly glad I took advantage of sleeping Cooper because it wasn’t long before he was back up to his wild ways!



Dealing with Dreary

The weather might be dark and dreary, but that didn’t keep the BOY and I indoors.  Sunday Funday was SUPER fun yesterday because we went into the city to hang with my family!




And had lunch at Revolution Brewery, where the BOY and I have never been, and my Mom has now declared her favorite place to go.




Historically, spring day light savings can be rough, but not this year.  This could be because after losing 3 hours coming home from Las Vegas last year, one hour doesn’t seem so bad.  The good food, brew, and company didn’t hurt either.




We had an awesome day and I was in bed early Sunday night with my book after an eventful weekend.  I had no difficulty falling asleep and only woke up this morning when my alarm started beeping 10 hours later.  This morning’s breakfast was a variation of this recipe smothered in almond butter before CrossFit.  I wasn’t sure what to expect from this morning’s workout, but the Harlem shake picture definitely had me laughing.  And I was excited to wear the new headband that I picked up at Athleta yesterday!




This morning’s workout was 7 reps max weight of snatches with rest in between.  We started off by breaking down the motion and then practicing on some light bars.  I wasn’t sure what to expect or what I would be able to do, but I ended up in a group of three girls lifting weight, giving feedback on form, and working together to safely add more weight. I was able to lift 55-65-75-75-75-75-75.  Not to shabby for my first attempt at snatches.


After CrossFit, I picked up the BOY for this week’s grocery store run and meal planning.  I was starving and actually craving some protein with lunch on the brain.  Let me tell you…if you are ever shopping at Mariano’s and hungry for lunch, swing by the meat counter and have them grill you up a chicken breast.  I finished my shopping and on the way to check out, scooped up my lunch.  The BOY did the same with a white arugula pizza.




On the way home, I remembered that I had leftover salad from Saturday night (that my friend made and sent home with me).  You can’t see it in the picture, but this salad also has goat cheese, cranberries, pine nuts, and I added chopped chicken and avocado.




The BOY was right when he said that this is a restaurant quality lunch.  I totally agree!  Thanks to Mariano’s and Dana this is one of the best salads I’ve had in awhile!  I only had a short amount of time to eat lunch before it was time to leave again.  Although I didn’t know when I made the appointment that today would be rainy, a massage really is the BEST thing to do on a day like today.  I had a $20 off coupon to use before the end of the month, and I basked in the 60 minutes of relaxation while hands firmly worked out the tension and knots in my back and neck.  It was pure bliss and only afterwards did I return home to camp out indoors for the rest of the day.  With such a busy weekend, I had a lot to do.




Some of which included getting my food prepared for the week ahead.  Nothing says rainy days like chili.  One of the things that I love about this new slow cooker book is that it has separate chapters on soup, stew, and chili.  They are plenty of recipes to choose from!




I used the Mushroom Chili recipe but added in some eggplant since the beautiful purple veggies was on sale.  I ended up with a thick batch of chili, so I decided to stir in a cup of vegetable broth before cooking.




I’m looking forward to digging into this thick and hearty chili soon!



This Week’s Meal Plan…


Monday: Breakfast for Dinner (the BOY’s request)

Featuring Challah French Toast, Eggs, and Potatoes


Tuesday: BBQ Turkey Meatballs


Wednesday: Chicken or Salmon with Veggies


Thursday: Leftovers


Friday: Trip to St. Louis!!!


Lunch: Portobello and Eggplant Chili (recipe below)




Portobello and Eggplant Chili

Adapted from The Big Book of Slow Cooker Recipes



3 Portobello mushrooms, cleaned well and cubed

1 small eggplant, cubed

1 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, sliced

1 28 ounce and 1 15 ounce canned tomatoes, drained lightly (or you can use chopped fresh tomatoes)

1 jalapeno, seeded, deveined, and minced

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup low sodium vegetable broth



Place all ingredients into a slow cooker sprayed with cooking spray.

Stir well and cook on low for 8 hours.



How do you deal with dreary?

Me? I dream of SPRING!


To Peek or Not to Peek

I was finally able to sleep past 7 this morning (both Saturday and Sunday I was up at 7 for no reason and couldn’t fall back asleep), but I was afraid to get out of bed and see the state of my car.  Luckily, the temperature was well on its way to today’s 40 degree high, so my car looked wet and not frozen.  That’s a bonus!




I had all of the ingredients needed to make Elixer, so that is how I started my day.




I got a little overzealous with the cayenne pepper, but I was able to fix it and enjoy my morning beverage.  This is definitely a spicy way to start the day, but I liked it.  The only problem was that I started to overheat a little bit which may be secondary to the above mentioned 40 degree weather combined with our heat still being turned on and the cayenne pepper.




Breakfast was Trader Joe’s frozen oatmeal with mashed banana and covered in homemade peanut butter.  While I nibbled on my breakfast, I debated whether or not I should look up today’s WOD before CrossFit.  I was curious, but sometimes I think the element of surprise is helpful with a tough workout.  But…I checked it out anyways!


Pull Ups (to fatigue) *I used the green band

1 minute rest

Push Ups (to fatigue)

1 minute rest

x7 Rounds


Yikes!  I might not be able to move my arms for a week.  Just like last week, everyone was very friendly when I arrived.  One of the benefits of the 9:30 Monday morning class is that it’s mostly women which I find less intimidating.  We all got down to business when the clock started. I was surprised by how many pull ups/push ups I was able to do, but my arms were exhausted before I was halfway done.  But I stuck with it, pushed a little farther, and was proud of my finish.  One of the things that I like about CrossFit is that as everyone finishes, they stay and cheer each other on.  One of the harder things for me is remembering to keep my form.  I am all about alignment and preventing injury, which I had to remind myself as I was trying to crank out my last few reps each round.  As expected, my arms felt like jello before I even walked out the door.  I finally made it to get my oil changed before coming back home for lunch.


I had an early lunch of leftover Lentil Chili, which was even better reheated today.




A few hours later, I was watching Scandal and craving a green smoothie.  Typically, I have a few favorite recipes that I use, but I got a new idea while flipping through the pages of Cooking Light magazine last night.




This one involves ginger and apples with my favorite green leafy veggies.  I would have loved to make green juice, but I didn’t know if my blender could handle it.




So I added in a little almond milk with a few ice cubes to make a smoothie.  It was a little thick and pulpy, but I loved it!  One of the best green smoothies I’ve had in a long time.  The addition of ginger is genius!


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As I look back through these pictures, it was definitely an awesome day of eating!  I have a few more recipes from this weekend to share throughout the week, but for now I am logging off for a quick trip into the city.  I need to go pick out a book for the train!





Green Juice Smoothie


1 big handful of spinach

3/4 apple chopped with peel on (I ate the other 1/4)

1/2 chunk ginger, peeled and chopped

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

5-6 ice cubes


Place all ingredients in blender and blend on high until everything is smooth.  Drink fresh!

Slow Cooker Turkey and Bean Chili

We haven’t made chili in a few weeks, so it was time to grease up the crockpot and chop up some veggies.




I found a wonderful looking chili recipe in Clean Eating Magazine.  I picked up all my ingredients at the store last week, so that I could get right to work Saturday morning.




Unfortunately, I didn’t have white beans (kind of a big deal since it is in the title of the original recipe), but I knew that black beans would be a fair substitution.  I was able to find tomato puree (I’ve never used that in chili before), and decided to use sweet potato instead of white potatoes for taste and nutritional value.




I like to slow cook on low heat.  I don’t know much about slow cookers of the past but I think that my crockpot is super strong and therefore I can cook something on low (8-10 hours) for only 6 hours and have a thick bowl of chili.



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After a few hours, my chili was smelling good but not as thick as I would have expected.  I added in the roasted corn.  Yes, it appears that microwaving a premade bag of roasted corn could be considered cheating, but when I saw this in the frozen section, I knew it would make life this recipe MUCH easier.


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A few more hours back in the crockpot with some additional seasonings, and I had a THICK and smoky chili!




I was even more surprised to see how much thicker my chili was when I poured myself a bowl for lunch today.  Although I shouldn’t be too surprised as soups and chilies usually taste even better the second day.  I think some of my substitutions changed the flavor of the recipe as written, but I am totally digging this colorful chili.  The sweet potatoes add the right amount of sweetness that compliment the smoky corn.  Covered in avocado, this was a filling lunch after this morning’s challenging Hot Yoga class.




Meanwhile, the BOY grilled up some burgers for our Dad’s who came over to watch the Indiana v Northwestern basketball game today.  It took a little convincing but the BOY braved the cold (it was in the 30’s) to make juicy burgers for the guys’ lunch.  He even took the time to make roasted mushrooms and caramelized onions to go with the burgers.




We had a wonderful afternoon relaxing in the living room, devouring our lunches, chatting about sports, and telling stories.  This was the first time that just our Dads came over and it was an awesome way to spend the afternoon.  The boys were more than happy to save room for dessert, Peanut Butter Bon Bons.




And the Dad’s even took a few to go home.  FYI, the BOY has decided that the vanilla coated bonbons taste even better than the chocolate ones in case you are already making your Valentine treat list!


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I know it sounds crazy, but I could totally go for another bowl of chili for dinner.  Maybe that’s because we are watching the football playoffs and chili just seems appropriate : )


Have you made any new recipes in your crockpot?




Turkey and Bean Chili with Roasted Corn

Adapted from Clean Eating Magazine



1 1/2 pounds lean ground turkey breast

4 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped

1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped

1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed (can sub in min red skin potatoes halved per original recipe)

1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped

2 cups low sodium chicken or veggie broth

1 can black beans, rinsed (original recipe calls for navy beans but any white bean will work)

1 cup tomato puree

3 tbsp chili powder

1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

1/4 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper

salt to taste

3 medium cobs of corn or 2 cups frozen and thawed corn kernels



In a large skillet, heat oil or cooking spray over medium heat.  Add turkey and cook, stirring frequently until beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.  Add garlic and onion, stir and cook for 5 minutes until soft and well cooked.

Transfer turkey mixture to slow cooker sprayed with cooking spray.  Add potato, pepper, broth, beans, tomato puree, and all seasonings.  Stir and cook on low (6-8 hour setting) or high for closer to 3 hours.

Meanwhile, if using corn cobs, char on grill or over grill pan.  When cool, shave kernels from cob.  About 1 hour before finished, stir in fresh or microwaved corn and cook until potatoes are soft and chili has thickened.

Store in airtight container in refrigerator or freezer.

Follow Me Around with Clorox

I spent yesterday watching Law&Order reruns and rubbing Vasoline onto my raw, red nose (Rudolf?) instead of making this Gingerbread recipe using my new mixer blade like I would have preferred.  Total Bummer…right?  Similarly, I had some big plans for my Saturday that I cancelled .  I REALLY wanted to go to yoga this morning, but the thought of downward dog got my head pounding, and I wasn’t sure it was fair to the other yogi’s if I walked in with a box of Kleenex as the heat would totally get my nose running.  The BOY and I had talked about some Saturday errands, but we can revisit the idea of leaving the house after some of my meds kick in!




On the positive front, I have some serious housework to get done.  Every single cabinet in my kitchen is completely disheveled and in need of some organization.  Plus, I haven’t swiped out my tanks for sweaters in my closet.  So as I suffer with a swollen nose…I’m at that point where I wonder if I will ever breath through my nose again…my house will (possibly) benefit from me being stuck in it!




Lunch today is leftover Crockpot Chili from last night.  When I’ve finished with lunch, does that mean I need to remove myself from my comfy sick haven on the couch and get to work?  Maybe!  I’ll let you know how I do on my chores after this episode of L&O.




Most likely I will continue trolling the Athleta Website (all sale items are 20% off)…Dangerous!

And I have big plans to revamp my Recipe Page.  I did take a little time to update my 2013 Race and Ride Calendar.  I haven’t signed up for all of these races yet, but I am looking forward to an active year.  February 19th…I’ll be signing up for the Chicago Marathon!  Want to join me???  That definitely gets me excited during lazy weekends like this one.




Thanks for all of your warm get well wishes!  I appreciate all of your positive thoughts!


Have a Wonderful Weekend!