New Year, New Recipe–Kale Chips

Happy 2015!! I just made homemade Kale Chips for the first time and I have to share. Preheat oven to 300. You will need the following ingredients:

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Note that this is my first time making and so all I had was baby kale. Next time I will not use baby kale as they were very tender and easily broke when trying to remove them from the baking sheet. I was able to carefully pick up the majority of the cooked chips, but just FYI, next time I will try regular kale.

I used what would fit on my baking sheet, which was about two handfuls of the kale, stems removed. In separate bowl, whisk approx 1 tbs olive oil and 1/2 tbs Braggs’s together. Pour over the kale and toss until evenly spread. Place the kale evenly on your baking sheet. Cover the baking sheet with another baking sheet and bake for approx 10 minutes or until crispy.

This was my finished Kale:

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It’s the first day of Spring!!! Yippee!!!

It’s been awhile since I’ve updated so I thought, today is the perfect day for an update since Spring is here!! Although, I’m not feeling all that great today …. My 5 year old had some sort of stomach bug yesterday and now I’m feeling the same:-( Let’s hope it passes quickly!

My husband and I began using AdvoCare products in October and I know it sounds so cliche, but we honestly feel better than we have in over 10 years!!! I am so proud of my husband. He is down 20 pounds!!!! He is exercising and more alert and energetic and I love seeing him this way.

For me, I am down 12 inches and haven’t had coke or coffee and I don’t miss it!!!! I love coffee, by the way–but not black coffee….I like the yummy stuff in it and now I have my two Sparks a day and feel better than I ever could have imagined. I also can teach my classes at the Y and can come home and am not totally exhausted like I used to be.

DJ and I plan to keep going down the road of even better health! I’m here to support him and at the same time, I still have some work I need to accomplish on myself. Our boys are benefiting as well!! They see this change in us and they want to be “healthy” too!! I love that this is a family thing for us–we are changing our lifestyle and our patterns for good!!!

So, as I close, I hope that in some way, my journey has touched/inspired/motivated you as well. I have chosen to take this one day at a time and never losing sight of my goal: a stronger me all around.

Cucumber and Tomato Salad

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So simple and so delicious!! You will need:

2 cucumbers-peeled and sliced or quartered

5 Roma tomatoes-quartered

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoons rice vinegar

Dill seasoning and salt and pepper to taste

Combine all above ingredients and shake well. Refrigerate for a few hours before serving. No carbs!! And it’s healthy and delicious!!

Hearty Tomato Basil Chicken Soup

I made this yesterday for my husband and I who are on Day 13 of our 2nd AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge. We made it through our cleanse–woop woop!! This was so delicious and perfect for the cold weather day we had yesterday. We had the leftovers for dinner tonight. It was perfect!! If you are doing the AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge, I would recommend this recipe for when you are past the Cleanse Phase (day 11 or after). Hope you enjoy:-)

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Ingredients:

1 tablespoon Olive Oil

1 onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic

2 stalks celery, sliced or chopped

2 carrots, sliced and peeled

3 cans diced tomatoes (no salt added)

1 can cannellini beans

3 cups shredded (cooked) chicken–I used an organic rotisserie chicken using no skin or fat and white meat

2 to 3 handfuls fresh spinach

1/4 cup fresh basil (I tore mine into small pieces)

Dash crushed red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper to taste (I only used pepper)

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and carrots. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook an additional minute or two. Add in the remaining ingredients. Stir well. Bring to a boil. Then cook on low and simmer for at least 20 minutes. I let mine cook about 45 minutes to allow the flavors to combine.

This should serve 4 to 6 bowls.

Turkey Meatloaf

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My picture skills might not do this recipe much justice–but I have to say that this meatloaf was really good!! I liked it as good as a “regular” meatloaf:-)

Ingredients:

1 pound ground turkey (93% lean or greater)

1 small to medium chopped onion

1 egg

1/4 cup oatmeal

1/2 cup no sugar added applesauce or a small/medium apple blended with a little water

1 can tomato paste (no salt added)

1 tablespoon agave nectar

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp mustard

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

salt and pepper to taste

Spray a loaf pan with Pam cooking spray. Saute the onion with Pam spray until translucent. In a large bowl, mix the ground turkey, sautéed onion, oatmeal, egg, applesauce, 1/4 cup only of the tomato paste, salt and pepper. Form mixture into a loaf and put into the loaf pan.

In smaller bowl, mix the remaining tomato paste, agave nectar, worcestershire sauce, mustard and chili powder. Spread over the top of the loaf. Bake uncovered at 375 for approximately 40 to 45 minutes. Turn the broiler on low for the last 1 to 2 minutes to give it a nice caramelized flavor.

My husband and I really enjoyed this!!! I will definitely be making it again.

Crockpot Mexi Chicken Lettuce Wraps

So bummed, I forgot to take the after picture when it was done cooking:-( But here is the picture right as everything was put into the crockpot.

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Ingredients:

4 to 6 chicken breasts

2 tablespoons taco seasoning (preferably low sodium)

1 jalapeño, seeded and sliced

1 16 ounce jar of salsa

1 onion, chopped

Iceberg Lettuce or Romaine Leaves (for wrapping when done)

Rub the taco seasoning on all the chicken breasts. Place the chicken with seasoning in the crockpot. Scatter onion and sliced jalapeño over the chicken. Pour the salsa on top. Cover the crockpot and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours.

Then, shred the chicken. We simply left the chicken in the crockpot and began shredding it with a fork and knife.

Serve with your lettuce leaves. Enjoy!

I’ll call this: Herb Roasted Chicken and Sides

If you are like me, you have probably seen this next recipe all over Pinterest and Facebook, so I had to try it myself and make my own modifications to make it AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge friendly. It was easy and something different. I hope you enjoy.

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This is a picture of it BEFORE it was cooked. FYI. The next picture is of all the ingredients I used. First, put 3 to 4 chicken breasts in the center of the baking dish. Be sure to spray with Pam first. Then on either side of the chicken place your fresh green beans and diced potatoes. I used petite golden potatoes. I’m sure it would be good also with red potatoes.

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First, I brushed about 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the chicken and sides. I also sprayed some of the Bertolli Olive Oil Spray (I love, love this product–great olive oil flavor without the calories!!). Then I simply seasoned until it “looked good.” The seasonings you see here are Italian seasoning, pepper, garlic powder, thyme and garlic pepper.

I baked uncovered at 375 for approximately 45 minutes. You can tell when it is done:-)