Take THAT!

I am always SO inspired by the pretty food pictures and delicious sounding recipes on Pinterest. But let’s be real…they NEVER really turn out as pretty as the picture, RIGHT?!

Well…not this time bub! I was so pleased with how pretty this dish was when I made it last week…I had to take a picture of it. In my opinion…it is a work of art! But was it worth ALL of the effort…

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I do believe it WAS!

It really wasn’t ALL that difficult. Just a little time consuming to slice and place all of the veggies just so. So here is what I did for a 9 x 13 inch dish:

Take That Pinterest

  • 1/2 medium sweet onion – diced
  • 3-4 garlic cloves – minced
  • 2-3 zucchinis
  • 2-3 yellow squash
  • 5-6 roma tomatoes (Or adjust depending on the size tomato you want to use.)
  • olive oil
  • 3 T. chopped fresh basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese (Or a little sharp cheddar would be good, too.)

Directions: Preheat oven to 400°. Drizzle the bottom of a glass pan with a little olive oil. Saute onions and garlic in a little olive oil for 3-4 minutes. Meanwhile, slice up all of the veggies! I used a knife, I didn’t want them to be paper thin (using a mandolin would be ok…but just don’t use the thinnest setting). Place the slices int the pan in an alternating pattern. Sprinkle the top with sea salt, pepper and the fresh basil. Cover with foil and cook for 30 minutes. Take out, remove foil and sprinkle on a little freshly grated parmesan cheese!

TA Die For!

Take a picture of YOUR masterpiece and share it with me HERE!

Like this recipe? Want MORE?! Join me on Monday, August 18 for my FREE 7 Day Slim Down group on Facebook! Past groups have lost an average of 5-7 pounds…in one week! You won’t be starving either! We’re eating 5-6 meals/day of good, clean foods!

What’s Included?
✔Daily Meal Plan
✔Shopping List
✔Daily Support
✔Accountability (in a private Facebook group)
✔Daily workout suggestions (or just commit to 30 minutes/day!)

DEADLINE TO SIGN UP Friday August 15th!

Click here for more information and get signed up ➡ CLICK HERE

 

Thanks for LETTING Me Work Mom!

I just wanted to share something that made me happy this morning. I work at the Farmer’s Market every other Saturday for the farm where we are CSA (community supported agriculture) share-members. I’ve learned a great deal about the various vegetables that they grow. I’ve learned that there is so much more of a variety of vegetables that we are not exposed to in our limited grocery store produce section. I’ve learned that there are people who pick up produce the morning of the farmer’s market, from the same place that grocery stores get their mass-produced produce (haha!) and then sell it at the farmer’s market to people like me (the old me) that assume they grew it on a farm somewhere nearby. So really, they are just selling you the very same grocery store fruits and veggies, but up-charging you since you assume it was locally grown and therefore worth a premium. ARGH! So if you go to a farmer’s market this summer and approach a “farmer’s” stand, be sure to ask WHERE their farm is! If they have one…GREAT! If not…keep on walking a support your local farmers. 🙂

Ok, back to what I’ve learned…

I’ve learned that getting up at 5:30 is HARD! I could never be an actual farmer, but I’m happy to be a farmer’s helper every so often. But today I learned something even better. My son voluntarily woke up at 5:30 with me this morning because he wanted to go and work with me at the farmer’s market. He was much more awake than I was at that time in the morning, and ready to get to work. He helped set up, and was eager to assist in any way he could. Once we were set up, he tried his hand at the “good morning” meet-and-greet. He learned that timing, and volume are key! He got it right a couple of times. It was sweet to watch him trying to figure it all out.

farm

It was a relatively slow day, so we got to walk around a bit and check out the other vendors’ wares. We bought some homemade soap that my son picked out for its lovely, lemony scent. We watched a lady write his name, and his sister’s name, on a piece of rice and then put it inside an oil-filled vile where it will be preserved – apparently a Turkish, good-luck tradition. We also bought some delicious cinnamon swirl bread and my son got to pet a puny little dog named “Tiger”. We saw lots of people, got out in the community, had some nice conversations, learned about the food we eat, and had a nice morning.

When we got home though, after working for about 3 1/2 hours, I learned the coolest thing of all: I have a pretty awesome son! Before he took off to go play with the neighbors he said, “Thanks Mom!”. I said, “For what?”. To which he replied, “For LETTING me work with you at the farmer’s market today.” We were home before 2 of his siblings were even awake. He learned some pretty cool lessons today, I think! He learned the difference between Moroccan mint and apple mint. He learned what garlic scapes and leek scapes were. He also learned how to set up a big tent, and a folding table, how to keep fresh veggies fresh while they sit on the farm stand, how to meet and greet customers, and how to make his mom really proud and happy! 🙂

Let’s Catch up, and Plan Some Meals!

First, here’s what happens when you’re not the greatest muti-tasker in the world. I get big ideas, and try to spin as many plates as I can at the same time. So, earlier, while I was preparing and putting our dinner into the crock pot to enjoy later, I had some leftover ground turkey that I didn’t want to freeze. I thought, “Hey, I’ll just patty these suckers up and throw them on the grill to enjoy later on this week”. I like to add them to salads, wraps, etc…so I’m thinking ahead, right? Well, thinking ahead is no good, unless you continue thinking until your project is complete. I slapped them on the grill, as planned, and got busy spinning at least four other plates and totally forgot about them until about 45 minutes later. And the only reason I remember them at that point, was because someone randomly used the word “turkey”. TURKEY!!! $#*T! And this was the finished product of that experiment.

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Luckily dinner was a success! That meatloaf recipe is SO good and SO easy! It turns out GREAT every time! And the only thing that I do differently is to add 1 C. ground oats (the old-fashioned, rolled kind), because I don’t know nothing bout no whole wheat panko – I haven’t located such a thing as of yet! My mom always uses oats in her loaves of meat, so I knew it would work out just fine!

I made it through my first week of Insanity…relatively unscathed! It’s become evident that I will be doing extra loads of laundry for the duration! I get sweatier during this workout than any I’ve done thus far. Even sweatier than when I run! I don’t mind it though. It’s a challenge for sure, but I love the feeling of doing something that has been a little out of my comfort zone and finding that I CAN do it! Yes it’s hard, but if it wasn’t, there’d be no point in doing it! I’m flirting with the idea of doing a hybrid with Chalean Extreme and only because I LOVE lifting so much. I really love the results that I get when I do it and I don’t want to lose ground on all of the hard work I’ve put in with Chalean Extreme AND Les Mills Pump. I want the benefits of both cardio AND weights! Also, I’m a little ADD…and it helps to mix it up a little during the week.

And now on to the meal plan…I sat outside on this glorious, sunny, summer-like spring day with some of my Beachbody cookbooks. I grabbed the Food Guides from Les Mills Pump and Chalean Extreme; there’s some good eats in there! Just trying a few different recipes this week…mixing it up…keeping it fresh…you know. Also, I had to include a couple of meals that STILL have not been cooked from like 2 weeks ago. This is the time of year when wrenches are thrown left and right! You gotta stay on your toes! I WILL cook those pizzas on the grill if it KILLS me!!! I’m going to be grilling up some flank steak this week, too. I’m a little nervous, because I don’t believe I’ve had beef more than once since about October! I hope it doesn’t wreak havoc on my already ‘iffy’ digestive system! Fingers crossed!

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Click here to print and link to recipes.

Have an over the top FAN-FREAKIN-TASTIC week! 🙂

Chicken, Fruit and Veggie Stir Fry

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It’s been awhile since I shared a recipe. You won’t believe how easy and delicious this is! This received rave reviews from the family! As always, I started with a recipe in my hand, but then quickly put it down and went my own way with it. 🙂

I think the key here is to let your chicken marinate for at least 30 minutes, but up to 8 hours. Then you’ll just need to chop up your veggies and pineapple and throw it all together.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated (you could use dry if you don’t have fresh)
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/4 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 4 breasts), chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium bell pepper (any color), cut into 1-inch chunks (about 1 cup)
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped into florets
  • 2-3 carrots peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 fresh pineapple, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 1 3/4 cups)
  • 1/4 c. water (or broth)
  • 1 T. corn starch
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice, optional
  • *optional extras: bamboo shoots, water chesnuts, onions (hubby doesn’t like them, but they would be good)

Notes: We like our Chinese food a little ‘saucy’ and a little spicy. You can adjust amounts accordingly.

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, broth, honey, garlic, ginger and pepper flakes. Place chicken in a large shallow dish or Ziploc bag. Pour soy sauce mixture over chicken, tossing gently. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 8 hours.
  2. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and marinade and sauté for 5-10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from pan and reserve. Add broccoli and cook for about 3-5 minutes. Then add the sliced carrots and bell peppers and cook for 5 minutes or until vegetables are slightly tender. Add pineapple and cook for 2 more minutes. Add reserved chicken back to the pan. Whisk together the water (or broth) and corn starch and stir into the pan to thicken the sauce. Serve over brown rice.

This recipe made about 8 servings. One serving of the chicken mixture is about 135 calories and 13 grams of protein. Served over one serving (1/2 cup) of brown rice (@170 calories), will be a grand total of 305 calories.

Another Sunday, Another Meal Plan

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I have a little bit of ADD. Seriously…don’t we all? I sat down to do my meal plan, got about 20 minutes into it, and found myself making turkey meatloaf muffins and cleaning the kitchen. I like to start a project, and then start 3 more projects in the meantime. I’m not sure why that is, but it is. I will go to do a load of laundry. On the way to the laundry room, I’ll get sidetracked by a library book that should have been returned weeks ago! I’ll pick that up and go to put it in my bag, so that I won’t forget, and notice my checkbook. Oops, forgot to write that check for gymnastics class. Looking for a pen, I see the phone. First I’ll call my mom back and see what she wanted. While I’m talking, I’ll walk around and put the kids’ toys away that they left out all over the house. I’ll walk up to their bedrooms and notice my laptop that they swiped from me. I’ll carry that downstairs and remember I was looking for a pen. I’ll go get a pen and see the dogs bowl is empty…better feed him. Go get the dog food and see the laundry basket that I set in front of the washer 2 hours ago. And that’s how it goes most days. It’s a wonder I get anything done at all!

But I DID get my meal plan done for the week! So at least there’s that!

meal_4-21
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Another Meal Plan! Is it Sunday Already?!

This weekend, in a nutshell, was AWESOME! Super Saturday was 10 tons of fun! I got in killer workout with my childhood BFF Jenelle Summers. And after that workout, we all got to do a preview of Shaun T’s new program, coming out this summer, Focus T-25! It was simple yet intense! Basic moves are combined to create a heart-pumping cardio workout for the full 25 minutes…no breaks! The craziest move was 1-armed burpees! Not a surprise from the creator of Insanity, I guess! 🙂 I give it 2 thumbs up! If you’d like to be notified when it comes out and is available to purchase, provide your email below and I’ll let you know!

So without further ado…here is this weeks meal plan.

meal_4-14
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This is Only a Test

thisisonlyatest

When you see this:

~ps431.tmp

What do you say to yourself? “Oh…I’m dieting, I can’t have that.” or “I want that so bad, but I shouldn’t.” Think about it for a minute, because I think what you say to yourself in this situation says a lot about your mindset, which translates directly to the kind of results you can expect. So while you’re stirring that around for a minute…let me tell you a little about WHY I’m thinking about this.

I posted something on Facebook and Instagram a couple of days ago about changing your mind before you can change your body. We all agree on this right? I feel like I’ve written at length about how health and fitness is so much more of a mental than a physical struggle. I made a comment that if you haven’t changed your mindset, than you’re just going through the motions. I firmly believe that. Sure you might be working out, and you might be eating some healthy foods, but if health/fitness doesn’t guide almost every decision you make…you’re not quite there.

I don’t mean that in an obsessive kind of way at all. I know to some it might sound that way. How could health/fitness guide every decision? Well, honestly, if you put yourself first…that’s it! What about you? What about your goals, hopes, desires? If that is in the front of your mind as you go throughout your day, you will almost always make the right decisions for YOU! In other words, don’t forget what you want, and what you wish for yourself. If it’s important to you, if it’s in the front of your mind at all times, than you’ll find the ways to achieve it.

So when someone asks me HOW? “How can I stop going through the motions, and be ALL in?” My answer is sadly: I don’t know. Not helpful at all right!? I’m sorry…but it is different for everyone. Your needs and wants are different from mine. We’re all waiting for the CLICK! The click is when you just get it. The choices are clear. The decisions are easy. Once you’ve experienced the click, you’re turned on and tuned in to what you want. And then it’s easy. I can’t create the click for you, nor can anyone else for that matter. However, I can tell you where to start. Just try. Yep, that’s it…try. Because here is what could happen: That conscious decision to try could lead you to make better choices. You might decide to set some goals. Maybe you’ll put together a plan of action. You might stick with your plan long enough to reach some of your goals. Maybe you won’t get frustrated with setbacks and impatient with slow results. Maybe you’ll start to feel better. Perhaps your mindset will start to change and then…CLICK! Now you’re on your way to real changes. It will be contagious. People around you will begin to notice and EXPECT you to make the right choices for yourself. They’ll say, “I wish I could do that.” Or “I wish I had that kind of will power.” …and that’s a beautiful thing!

And then one day, you’ll be approached with THIS.

cheeseburger_fries

And do you know what you’ll say…

I CAN have it, but I don’t WANT it!

And that is when you will truly have the power over every decision you make. You can do anything you want. You get to decide! When faced with the choice to do your scheduled workout, you COULD choose to skip, but you won’t WANT to. Your mind is made up. CLICK!

Did you pass the test?

Put Down the Chocolate!

chocolate_factoryAnother holiday weekend is in the books. I made it through relatively unscathed. I’m not gonna lie though, those little Robin Eggs are a delicious little candy-coated temptation. Why do I even buy them? I LOVE malt balls, always have. I’ll admit that while I was preparing Easter baskets, one or two might have fallen out of the bag and directly into my hand which then accidentally put them into my mouth! 😉 I’m human; these things happen. Other than that…and a little piece of the carrot cake I made for Easter dinner (with applesauce in place of MOST of the oil!) I was pretty darn good! Got my workouts in and everything! I am happy however to approach a new week, with a new plan, albeit a little late. Here it is:

mealplan3_31
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Meal Plan for March 10 – March 16

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Weekly meal planner

I find myself eating basically the same things for breakfast, lunch and snacks. So rather than type it over and over again, I’m just going to show you that depending on what’s in the fridge, and what we’re doing for the day, I’m going to grab one of the options above. 🙂

I don’t even have much more to say anything about this week’s plan except that I hope you find it useful!

-Angie

Sweet, Spicy and Satisfying!

soup_for_you Lucky for us, my husband had a bit of a dental emergency this past weekend which was the driving force behind this soup. It needed to be something that was easy to eat (no chewing), tasty AND satisfying. He’d begun to grow weary of smoothies and oatmeal. I came up with this delightful recipe. And though he groaned and doubted the tastiness, and potential to satisfy…when dinner time rolled around he RAVED that it might be the most delicious soup he’s ever eaten; a new favorite!  AND the kids liked it, too! It’s a little sweet, a little spicy and a LOT delicious! 🙂

Lentil, Sweet Potato, Carrot, Apple Soup

2-3 T. coconut oil, olive oil (or butter)
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup lentils
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh (or dry) ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 pinch cayenne pepper (or to taste)
4 cups vegetable broth
water
plain non-fat Greek yogurt

Directions

Melt the oil or butter in a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Place the chopped sweet potatoes, carrots, apple, and onion in the pot. Stir and cook the apples and vegetables until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes.
Stir the lentils, ginger, ground black pepper, salt, cumin, chili powder, paprika, and vegetable broth into the pot with the apple and vegetable mixture. Bring the soup to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the lentils and vegetables are soft, about 30 minutes. Puree about half of the soup with a standard OR immersion blender. You can leave the half that’s in the pot as it is, or mash it a little with a potato masher (until it’s at your desired consistency)

Return the pureed soup to the cooking pot. Bring back to a simmer over medium-high heat, about 10 minutes. Add water as needed to thin the soup to your liking. Serve with yogurt for garnish.

Enjoy!

322 calories per serving – Makes 6-8 servings