No French Fry Bars

The bad news is when you play all weekend, there is a lot of work to do on Monday.  And I don’t mean work, work because it is still the weekend (for me), but house work!  I would have loved to have spent Monday on my couch, cuddled with Cooper, and catching up on Scandal.  Instead, I woke up and immediately started creating laundry piles. 

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Saturday morning, the BOY and I woke up to snow.  Not a lot of it, but more than anyone wants to see in April!

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The BOY and I went to the gym for our training sessions and then quickly packed up before driving downtown.  My sister in law has been wanting to try Soul Cycle and I was more than  happy to accompany here to the Old Rihanna vs. New Rihanna class.

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We had a lot of fun working up a sweat.  Then the guys met us for lunch and beer at Corridor.  The weather was odd, alternating between hail and sunshine, but we managed to walk around and shop before making our way back to their house.  We had a little bit of down time before getting ready for our family friend’s wedding.  My mom, SIL, and I drank bubbles while we got our hair done at the dry bar, and then everyone got all dressed up for the wedding.

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We danced the night away and had a great time together!  Sunday was another fun family day, but this time the weather was gorgeous!

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We walked all over the city, racking up close to 7 miles.  Along the way, we discovered an amazing little bakery and fueled up with cupcakes (and a not pictured cookie sandwich that was consumed during the walk)!

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The BOY and I didn’t get home until late Sunday night, and we stopped and picked up Thai for dinner on our way home.  I was feeling exhilarated with the excitement of the weekend and crashed for a good 10 hours Sunday night.  Which brings me back to this morning.  After getting a few loads of laundry going, I grabbed leftovers for breakfast and debated if I wanted to go to the 9:30am yoga class.  A run would have been ideal, but after yesterday’s 60 degree weather, this morning was chilly.

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So off to yoga I went!  And then came back home to get myself organized for the day while sipping on a Peanut Butter and Banana Protein Smoothie.  I made my grocery list and our meal plan. 

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With the cold weather, chili was top on my list…Mmm!

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So I had the opportunity to bump into an old coworker of the BOY’s last week.  She mentioned that she saw him eating one of the protein balls I had made.  When she asked him what was with the healthy fare, he said that I made them so that he doesn’t eat French Fries (LOL!).  I actually make them so that we have healthy snack options throughout the day, but the French Fry comment had me cracking up.

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On that note, I made another batch of bars this week and we can just call them ‘No French Fry’ bars!

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These are actually a Luna bar knock off and absolutely delicious!

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You’ll have to make a batch and let me know if they keep you away from the drive through : )

 

What is your favorite mid afternoon snack?

 

Meal Planning 4/04/16

Monday: Chili

Tuesday: Sesame Honey Chicken

Wednesday: Burgers and Veggies

Thursday: TBD

 

(Homemade) Peanut Butter

Chocolate Chip Luna Bars

From Lauren’s Latest

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup dry roasted unsalted peanuts
  • 24 oz. pitted dates
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • pinch sea salt

Directions

  1. Place peanuts into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to chop into fine pieces without turning into a paste. Add in dates, chocolate chips and salt. Continue pulsing until one large mass comes together in the bowl. Line a 9×9 baking dish with parchment paper or plastic wrap and press date mixture evenly into the dish. Dip your fingers into water to prevent sticking. Place into freezer or fridge for 30 minutes.
  2. Remove completely from pan using excess plastic wrap as help and cut into 10 even pieces. Wrap each bar individually in plastic wrap and store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Savasana Then Easter Bunny

Holla!

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Meant to have this post to you last night, but after two non stop days, I crashed Sunday night with a mild tension headache.  Would have much rather been watching basketball and blogging, but had to get ready for the day ahead (I worked today!) which included a 6am yoga class and then I taught a 90 minute spring break yoga workshop for kids.

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Had a super busy weekend. Spent Saturday running from here to there putting on a good 100 miles on my car, but all totally worth it for a facial, refreshing new haircut, lunch with my P’s, and dinner with two of my favorite girls!

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Sunday morning, I was up before my alarm and the BOY made us a tasty Easter breakfast.  I met my mom for a hot yoga class (realizing that short hair means creative yoga hair).  The class was inspiring, one of my favorite teachers talked about shedding our winter self, the past, and pieces no longer needed and opening to the beautiful opportunities ahead.  It was also REALLY tough and REALLY hot!  Hence our pink, pink cheeks!

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Afterwards, we definitely deserved a Starbucks, so we scooped up the BOY and made our way to the new store by our house.  I had a free drink which meant a ginormous drink…Mmm!  Afterwards the 3 of us did our weekly grocery store run.  My mom dropped us off at home where we made lunch and spent the afternoon cleaning and getting organized.

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For me, this meant a weeknight dinner in the crockpot and busting out the rice cooker.  I planned to also do another crockpot recipe but didn’t get my timing right before we had to run out the door for dinner with the BOY’s family.  Instead, I put all the ingredients into a ziploc and figured one of us could get it into the crockpot when we get home this week.

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Which is exactly what we did today!  The pictures aren’t anything glamorous, but the recipe is so amazing that it is worth sharing!  I didn’t eat a huge dinner because I had BIG DQ blizzard instead…more to come about that…but the BOY dug right in and said that it might be the best peanut chicken I’ve made!

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Everything this week is turning up yoga…This morning, I did a 6am class before work and then taught an enthusiastic group of kids a spring break workshop.  And later this week, I am attending a yoga event in the city!

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How was your Easter?

Whatcha eating this week?

Meal Planning 3/28/16

Monday: Slow Cooker Thai Chicken with Peanut Sauce

Tuesday: Buffalo Chicken Bowls

Wednesday: Tilapia and Veggies

Thursday: Dinner in the City (for me!)

 

Slow Cooker Thai Chicken with Peanut Sauce

From Five Heart Home

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup chunky natural peanut butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (more or less, to taste)
  • 1/3 cup chopped peanuts, for garnish
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped, for garnish
  • Rice, rice noodles, or lettuce leaves, for serving

Directions

  1. Arrange chicken breasts in the bottom of a large slow cooker. In a medium bowl, stir together coconut milk, peanut butter, garlic, honey, soy sauce, lime juice, rice wine vinegar, and red pepper flakes; mix until (mostly) smooth. Pour over chicken.
  2. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours, or HIGH for 3 to 4 hours (or until chicken is tender but not overcooked, depending on the strength of your slow cooker). Reduce slow cooker temperature to WARM. Remove chicken from slow cooker, cut into chunks, and shred. Return shredded chicken to slow cooker to allow it to absorb sauce and heat through.
  3. Serve chicken and sauce over cooked white or brown rice, cooked rice noodles, or stuffed inside large lettuce leaves, as wraps. Garnish with chopped peanuts, fresh cilantro, and additional red pepper flakes, if desired.

NOTE: You can mix chicken and sauce ahead of time in a bag to place in your crockpot at a later time.

I Cheated {But Only a Little!}

So…since I got that confession out of the way, I can dive right into this recipe!

A dessert recipe on Monday…what a treat!

Along with my weekly meal plan, I was in the mood to do a bit of baking today.  However, I had a super busy day of car maintenance (no my sideview mirror is still not attached) and phone calls (still finishing off that name change).  After an incredible 5 mile run along the path this morning, of course!

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I did an afternoon run to the grocery store and returned home to get ready for the week ahead.  I feel like I need a new hashtag…meal planning Monday!  And as my Insta friends saw…this week included a glass of spring inspired white wine.

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So back to the cheating part, I wanted to make these amazing brownies, but I didn’t have the time to make the brownies from scratch, so I just bought a box of rich and delicious brownies. 

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I followed the instructions on the box and with the brownie batter done (and sampled), I got to work on the peanut butter cookies.

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There was way more peanut butter dough than I expected, so I tried to use as much as possible knowing that I would devour anything left over.  Which is exactly what I did!

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Sadly, my oven seems to be a bit sluggish, so I had to bake the brownies longer than written.  I am hoping the middle is set, but if not, I do still love some gooey, under cooked, brownie dough!

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This brownie is a guilty pleasure, which I devoured while catching up on my other guilty pleasure, Scandal.

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The BOY is working late tonight, and I’m confident that he will be thrilled to return home to one of his favorite (and truly everybody’s favorite) combos…chocolate and peanut butter!

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I probably don’t even need to tell him that I cheated…right?!  Shh…you won’t tell!

 

What is your favorite box mix recipe?

 

Meal Planning 3/21/16

Monday: Island Pork Tenderloin

Tuesday: Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Wednesday: Turkey Tacos

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Out to Eat

 

Peanut Butter Cookie Brownies

From Lovely Little Kitchen

Ingredients

FOR THE BROWNIES (if you don’t want to use a box)

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

FOR THE COOKIE

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare a 9 by 9 inch baking pan by lining it with parchment paper, leaving excess hanging over the sides for easy removal later.

BROWNIE BATTER

  1. In a small pan over medium heat, melt butter and stir in sugar.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in eggs and vanilla extract. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder. Stir the butter, sugar and eggs into the dry ingredients until just mixed. A few lumps are okay.
  4. Pour the brownie batter into the pan and set aside.

PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE DOUGH

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together vegetable oil and sugar. Then add the egg, vanilla extract, and peanut butter and mix well.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda and salt and then add to the wet ingredients to form a dough.
  3. Drop tablespoon sized scoops of peanut butter cookie dough onto the brownie batter.
  4. Bake for 27-30 minutes, then cool completely before cutting into bars.

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.

Coconut Cashew Cookie Dough Bites

This weekend was a bit of a whirlwind…

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It had some highs…beautiful weather, good workouts, and dinner and beers with friends.

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But the low was that I’m not sure that I got nearly enough sleep!  Ain’t that always the truth?!

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Saturday morning, I taught two fun kids yoga classes with an amazing group of kids.  Afterwards, my yoga volunteer and I had coffee and quiches at All Chocolate Kitchen.  I am borderline obsessed with the place and love any excuse to go!  Saturday night, we met friends for dinner and beers at a local brewery.  We had wonderful food and conversation!

Sunday was a beautiful day and I enjoyed a speedy 5 mile run along the path.  My first mile was 7:46, which shocked me and I somehow averaged out my miles to around 8:15.  I was exhausted when I was done, but thrilled to be running outdoors.  We had a nice Sunday afternoon hanging out with the BOY’s family.

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Monday was another sunny day!  Woo hoo!  I headed off to a 9:30am yoga class, which was truly incredible.  Love starting my week on my mat!  The rest of my day was pretty typical with the addition of a dentist appointment (no cavities!).

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When I got home, I put away groceries and started on this week’s food prep.  Dinner went into the crockpot, I chopped veggies, and then whipped up another batch of Power Balls.  This week’s flavor was inspired by the delicious Coconut Cashew Butter I bought last week.

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I decided to add in a bit of protein powder as well.

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I think that I could probably add in some more nutrition powerhouses next time, but didn’t want to mess with the recipe the first time I made it.

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The texture of these balls turned out perfect and I love the flavor!  I know they will be exactly what the BOY and I need to fuel us throughout the week.  I tried to do some paperwork tonight, but my computer wouldn’t connect to the internet (bummer!), so instead, the BOY, Cooper, and I are watching Big Hero 6 (also important for my work…ha ha!)

What were your weekend highs and lows?

What’s your favorite snack bar/ball recipe? Share the Link!

 

Meal Planning 3/07/16

Monday: Steak and Fish

Tuesday: Slow Cooker Indian Butter Chicken with Cauliflower

Wednesday: Potato Bar with Chicken and Veggies

Thursday: TBD

 

Coconut Cashew Cookie Dough Bites

From Grain Crazy

Ingredients

1 cup cashews

1 cup unsweetened coconut shredded

1 cup old fashioned oatmeal

1/4 C honey

1 tsp vanilla

2 tbsp vanilla protein powder (optional)

1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (optional and totally tasty!)

Directions

1. In a blender or food processor blend cashews and coconut until combined and broken down.
2. Set aside 1/2 cup of the mixture and then pour in everything else in to the blender except the chips. Blend until all combined.
3. Fold in the chips. Roll into small bite size balls.
4. Roll the balls into the 1/2 cup mixture you set aside. Place on a plate or into a covered container. Let them harden in the fridge and enjoy.
5. Store leftovers in the fridge.

Leap Day

Leap year would make day light savings look weak if only it were an extra Sunday : )

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#whenyouworkSaturdaymornings

It’s only fitting that I started this year’s extra day with a little ME time (and some leaping into handstand).  I had a fantastic weekend…Saturday, I taught a kids yoga class and then went for a 4 mile run.  The weather was AMAZING and it felt like spring.  The BOY and I had lunch together and then I drove into the city to spend some time with my SIL (and Roscoe).

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We caught up on life over some bubbles and then headed out for the night!  It was a well deserved night out that ended with a little dancing before we headed to bed around 2am.  Sunday morning was even more beautiful than Saturday and so we spent most of the day out and about. We walked to get coffee and breakfast, then took Roscoe for a muddy run in the park, followed by a hose off.  We walked to the grocery store for provisions and then it was couch/nap/Lifetime movie time!  We made dinner in and watched a bit of the Oscars before settling in to watch ROOM.  Have you seen it?  By 11pm, I was exhausted and ready for bed.

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This morning, I was up to say goodbye to my SIL before she went off to work.  Then went back to bed for about a half hour.  I enjoyed my morning tea while meal planning for the week on Pinterest before making my way outside.  It was a bit chilly but seriously another incredible day for February.  I loved every minute of my 30 minute walk through the city…so different than my usual commute. I arrived at Zen Yoga Garage (never been before) with enough time to look around, take a selfie, and get to know the girl up front.

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I chose to take a Vinyasa II class because I was craving some introspection and piece of mind.  I had no idea what to expect, but the class surpassed my expectations.  There were only 4 of us and the teacher was incredible.  The class featured some challenging but exciting transitions and handstand play at the wall.  Totally my cup of tea!

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One of the things that resonated with me the most was when the teacher said that we should let go of what we don’t need…okay, we all know that.  But, then she said as we moved into cobra/up dog…open to what you want to receive, to what you need.  All of the heart openers left me feeling happy and the handstands made me feel strong. I ended up walking out with the teacher and as ex gymnasts we hit it off and chatted a bit about yoga and life.

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I stopped by bucks for a latte to appreciate on my walk home (also awesome!).  I changed quickly and met a few friends for lunch in the city before heading back to the burbs.  The weather began to get colder (we have a snow warning…boo!).  I swung by the grocery store to pick up the ingredients for this week’s meal plan.  I ran around the house for about an hour (getting food put away and laundry going).  Then settled into the couch where I soaked up some Cooper love.

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This week’s meal plan is sponsored by Pinterest!  Tonight’s dinner actually comes from Wildtree.  Since I own not one Wildtree product, I had to improvise a bit so this is an adapted version.   And since the BOY doesn’t eat sweet potatoes, I changed up the veggies.

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I was a bit nervous about how it would turn out but it is incredible!  Even the BOY raved about his dinner when he got home late from work around 9pm!

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I am exhausted after my weekend but feeling really good!  The fresh air, family time, and yoga were exactly what I needed this weekend.

How was your leap day?

Do you use Wildtree products?

Meal Plan 2/29/16

Monday: Zesty Mustard Chicken with Roasted Veggies

Tuesday: Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken

Wednesday: Fish and Broccoli

Thursday: Leftovers

 

Zesty Mustard Chicken with Roasted Veggies

Adapted from Wildtree

Ingredients

5 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

1/3 cup Honey Dijon Mustard + a drizzle of olive oil

1 tablespoon Herbes de Provence Blend (or some random herbs in your cabinet)

3 small yellow potatoes, chopped into 3/4-inch cubes

1 pound Brussels sprouts, halved

2 shallots, peeled and sliced

2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

Preheat oven to 450°F and line a sheet pan with foil. In a gallon freezer bag, add chicken, mustard and herb blend and toss to coat chicken well. Set aside for 10 minutes while preparing vegetables. Toss potato, Brussels sprouts, and shallots, with olive oil and spread into an even layer on prepared sheet pan. Season with salt (and pepper if desired). Place chicken thighs, and any remaining sauce in the bag, on top of vegetables. Bake for 35 minutes or until chicken is cooked through: 165°F.

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!