Updates-Taco Tuesday Recipe-Music

Hi All,

Can’t believe it’s already September! Speaking of which….Why are Halloween decorations already for sale? No, wait, why are THANKSGIVING decorations already for sale?

Stop- slow down…smell the roses! Time is flying by so fast… everybody needs to relax.

My Husband and I completed our second mud run- Warrior Dash … what can I say, we love getting down and dirty.

We wanted to get one more trip in before the end of the year so we will be celebrating Thanksgiving in Prague!

This past weekend my two other blog-mates and I got to stand along side our friend and watched her marry the love of her life.

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I discovered a delicious taco bake recipe that I would like to share with all of you! I am in love with this recipe for several reasons: It’s versatile (can add/swap ingredients), make a big batch to last all week or to freeze, it’s low carb, easy and quick to cook.

Taco bake recipe found here *I did make some changes to fit my needs so check out the original if you do not wish to follow mine

Ingredients

Crust

  • 4oz of cream cheese softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon taco seasoning
  • 8oz shredded cheddar cheese (I used taco blend- that’s what I had on hand)

Topping

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 3 teaspoons taco seasoning
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce (I did not have this on hand so I used marinara and tasted just fine!)
  • 4oz chopped green chilies
  • 4oz shredded cheddar cheese (I used taco blend)

Directions 

  • Preheat oven to 375F
  • Beat cream cheese and eggs until smooth
  • Add whipping cream and seasoning- blend well
  • Grease a 9 x 13 pan
  • Spread shredded cheese evenly throughout the bottom of the pan and slowly and evenly pour egg/cream cheese mixture on top
  • Bake for approx 30 min
  • While your crust is baking, cook the beef until brown.
  • Drain fat
  • Stir in chilies, taco seasoning and tomato sauce
  • Once crust is cooked, remove from oven and let it sit for 5 min. Then spread meat mixture over crust, top with additional shredded cheese.
  • Lower oven temp to 350F
  • Bake for another 20 min or until bubbly. I like my cheese more burnt so I baked for approx 30 min.

Additional topping ideas:

  • Salsa, guacamole, sour cream, scallions.

I divided the pan into 8 squares- one square for lunch each day this week and some left over slices for Hubby to enjoy with a side of brown rice and salad.

Sooooo… some music for ya. I have to listen to people all day long and sometimes, I just love the silence. Don’t we all? But, I don’t like to work out in silence… that’s just boring. I have found a happy medium for anyone in the same predicament.

Instrumental music! Don’t sigh at me. Give it a chance… here is some of the music I’ve been listening to:

Lindsey Stirling- Swag

Lindsey Stirling- The Arena

Lindsey Stirling- First light

Audiomachine- Legions of Doom

Jorge Quintero- 300 Violin Orchestra

London Music Works- Requiem For a Tower

Roberto Concina Escala Chris Elliot- Children

I have some more recipes for you but I will be posting in the days to come. Let me know if you like this music, I can give you all some more ideas.

Xoxo,

Rachel

 

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Dress Appropriately

A lot of salad dressings are terrible for you. They are made of processed horribleness that totally kill your whole “I’m healthy because I’m eating a salad” vibe. Dressings, particularly the ones that claim to be “fat free” or “sugar free,” are diet dream crushers, dressed from head to toe in a web of lies.

Like most things, if you can’t explain where it came from or how it was made, then you should probably avoid it. Modified ingredients that cause certain food items such as dressing to be “low fat” “low carb” or “no sugar added” make up for these losses with other items, not natural to your body. Your body reacts to these foreign ingredients in a number of ways, typically with effects the opposite of weight loss. When your body is distressed or confused, it typically likes to play it safe, and hoards sugars and fats, which are useful for survival. But when we are trying to lose weight, we want our bodies to be preppin’ for thriving, not surviving.

I get it though: plain salad can be kind of lame. But its easy to make a basic dressing and get creative with other flavors without having to worry about ingesting the scum of the universe atop your mixed greens.

Make your own dressing!

Mix:
1/4 C Olive Oil
1/4 C Agave
Juice of 1 lemon or lime
Mix with any dried spices (+salt and pepper) or add avocado, juice from berries, etc. to mix it up! You can also look into some Greek yogurt based dressings! Also delicious and with great health benefits!

So easy! Oh yeah!

Let me know what healthy dressing recipes you come up with to stay away from bottled dressings!

Later,

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The Great American Cobbler

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One of the greatest things about being an American is freedom.  Freedom of speech. Freedom of religion. The freedom to make a delicious berry cobbler using only my roommate’s ingredients.

Great American Cobbler facts:

  • Tastes healthier than most (although I’m not sure if that’s a good thing).
  • Very simple to make. #basic
  • Yummy for breakfast.
  • Relatively inexpensive, provided that you use only your roommate’s ingredients.

Warning: I don’t generally recommend cobbler of any kind if you are trying to lose weight.  But if you’re looking for a decent dessert choice, this one is OK.  You can vastly increase the fruit to cobbler ratio for an even better choice.

Ingredients:

  • Whole Wheat Flour;  3/4 cup
  • Milk; 1/2 cup
  • White or Brown Sugar; 1/4 cup
  • Baking Powder; 1 teaspoon
  • Salt; 1/4 teaspoon
  • Honey; amount uncertain
  • Vanilla extract; just a drop
  • Frozen or Fresh berries; 2 cups or more
  • Non-stick Spray
  •  Optional: Stevia; to taste
  • Optional: 1 tsp butter (to coat pan)

Steps:

  • Pre-heat oven to 350
  • Mix the following in a bowl
    • Whole Wheat Flour;  3/4 cup
    • Milk; 1/2 cup
    • White or Brown Sugar; 1/4 cup
    • Baking Powder; 1 teaspoon
    • Salt; 1/4 teaspoon
    • Honey; amount uncertain
    • Vanilla extract; just a drop
    • Optional: Stevia, to taste
  • Coat 9 inch pan
    • I use nonstick coconut oil spray. You can also melt 1 tsp butter in the pan, this improves the taste.
  • Pour batter into pan
  • Sprinkle frozen or fresh berries on top, don’t mix in
  • Sprinkle just a touch of sugar on top of berries
  • Bake 50 min – 1 hour.
  • Eat the fucking cobbler.

FAQ’s

  • Q: What if I don’t have a roommate?
    • A: Unfortunately, you may need to purchase your own ingredients.
  • Q: How much honey should I use?
    • A: I’m not sure. I just squeeze a bunch in.

Happy nomming!

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Ice Cream Treat!

We’ve all been guilty of it at some point: we creep on some celebrity’s daily diet — Googling to see just what the Jennifer Anistons and Beyonces of the world are eating every day to keep their body fat percentage so ridiculously low, trying desperately to understand how they remain sane enough to maintain success in their careers despite such limited diets, yet never get fat.

 

Enter: Ice Cream Treat!

 

(Disclaimer: I’m putting this out there right away: I am a HUGE proponent of eating foods that are as close to natural as possible and do believe refined sugars are the devil. With that in mind, eat my beloved Ice Cream Treat knowing that this still counts as a “cheat food”.)
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This complex blend of high-quality locally sourced ingredients may seem intimidating, but I assure you, anyone can master this recipe with a little dedication.

 

Ingredient 1: Reddi Whip
Ingredient 2: Mini Ice Cream Cone

 

Directions: Squeeze Reddi Whip into mini ice cream cone so it takes on an ice cream-like appearance. This could potentially fool you into thinking you are having a luscious cone of ice cream rather than my pathetic creation that sounds more like what a desperate, broke and stoned college kid would come up with.

 

There are alternatives to Ice Cream Treat that are slightly more organic and nutritionally beneficial: you can replace the Reddi Whip with Greek yogurt and add some honey or fruit to add a pinch of sweetness. You can also make your own coconut whipped cream (higher in calories but all natural).

 

As long as you don’t go full-on animal with this, Ice Cream Treat is a great low carb and low calorie way to give into your sweet tooth without feeling full of sorrow and regret for the rest of the week. Your body will thank you and, while your friends might call you a pathetic loser to your face for eating such a tragic item, secretly, they’ll be enjoying it themselves!

 

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Famed Roommate and Fat Girls Fitness blogger, Dori, getting down with the sweetness…

 

I really hope this helps strengthen your relationship with your sweet tooth because it’s been asking me a lot lately why you never return it’s calls!

 

Later,
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Life and….Cauliflower Fried Rice

I want to apologize for not being around lately. I’ve been super busy with family gatherings, work out/training, work… life in general!

Around 9:30 last night, I said to my husband, “I haven’t sat down yet and it’s almost time for bed.” That is mentally draining for me. I need some time to decompress or else I get anxious and impatient. Definitely the opposite of my usual bubbly self.

I didn’t get to meal prep this weekend (so sad) but Serge and I did accomplish one thing that’s been tearing at my soul: Spring cleaning!

We got rid of so much crap. I feel a weight lifted off my shoulders and even though the scale hasn’t moved down, I feel like I’ve dropped a ton of weight by getting rid of “things”.

Thanks for listening to my mini rant. I’ll get to the good stuff now.

My Mama and I go nuts over cauliflower, especially when they are so crispy right out of the oven! My Grandma recently nailed the whole cauliflower pizza thing (thanks Grandma for keeping the pizza dream alive!)…So you could say that cauliflower is sort of a big deal. I mean how can it not be a big deal? You can make rice, pizza, mashed “potato”, buffalo cauliflower bites, etc… etc…

So, making cauliflower rice isn’t hard. It’s just time consuming and you need to clean all the gadgets and stuff you use to make the rice. Ain’t nobody got time for that! Thanks to Green Giant and Target for making my life so much easier.

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Image taken from Green Giant (click link to see product info)

The only thing I got to make in advance this week was chicken cutlets… easy enough… fry them or bake them and you’re set.

People at work have been eating Chinese food this week and Serge ate Chinese food this weekend. It’s haunting me. I made cauliflower fried rice and thinly sliced a chicken cutlet on top.

I’m sure if you search the web you’ll find tons of recipes but I had zero patience and energy to do my research so I took my chances and did my own thing. Came out pretty awesome. Only problem is, I don’t have measurements for you.

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So heavenly looking… like it could almost be hash browns… mmm hash browns and eggs…  you’re welcome. another idea for ya.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

  • Bag of cauliflower rice
  • diced veggies (I used onions, garlic, mushrooms and scallions)
  • One egg
  • Protein of choice (I used chicken cutlets… you can do shrimp, tofu, beef, pork etc)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • EVOO
  • Soy Sauce
  • Optional *Hot sauce/ red pepper flakes

Directions:

  • Heat EVOO on skillet
  • Sautee veggies of choice
  • Cook cauliflower rice as directed on bag while veggies are cooking
  • Dump “rice” onto skillet
  • Add seasonings to taste
  • When cauliflower is cooked (I like mine extra crispy), crack an egg on top and mix all together
  • Add protein of choice

Yummy yummy yummy! This is my lunch for the next two days. I get to eat mock Chinese food without the extra calories and carbs and bathroom attacks (was that TMI? well, I don’t care… I know you all suffer from stomach issues after Chinese. WE ALL DO!)

 

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“One Step” Slow Cooker Chicken

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Ok, so really it’s TWO steps.  Three if you count buying the chicken, and four if you count turning the knob on your slow cooker. Reasons why this recipe is awesome:

  • Simplicity/Affordability
    • Ridiculously simple;
    • Only takes TWO ingredients;
    • Perfect for people who can’t afford salt.
  • Deliciousness. Juiciness factor = high; A++
  • Appeal to Sadism. You get to bathe a chicken breast in its own broth.  And then you get to eat it.

BUT! Take heed: This dish is NOT pretty. In fact, it looks gross. Save something else for date night.

You’ll need:

  • A Slow Cooker
  • Chicken Breast (as a typical white person, I prefer Organic)
  • Chicken Broth (as a typical white person, I prefer Swanson)

Procedure:

1. Apply raw chicken breast to slow cooker. To avoid contracting Salmonella, ask an elderly neighbor to handle the chicken for you.

2. Apply broth to chicken. One cup broth per chicken breast = good, but you can probably get away with a little less.

3. Turn knob. Try not to hurt your wrist.

  • For juicy results: 7 to 8 hours on LOW is ideal.
    • 3.5 to 4 hours on HIGH works too.
  • Time Adjustments: Cook time assumes you’re cooking three lightly frozen chicken breasts in three cups of broth. Adjust up or down based on:
    • how many breasts you’re handling; AND
    • the frostiness of said breasts

Dinner is Served!

This chicken is PERFECT for shredding (imagine – salads/tacos) but also quite yummy whole. There’s no need to season or salt it, but if that is your most urgent desire, I’m not going to jump through your computer screen and stop you.

If you’re interested in experiencing heaven on earth, try it with a side of aromatic jasmine rice and greek yogurt.  It’s yummy, healthy, and (presumably) John Stamos approved.

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So good for you. 

Added bonus – your kitchen will smell awesome for hours.

Happy Slow Cooking 🙂

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Make ahead Chicken and Quinoa Stew

A few things before we get started on this DELICIOUS recipe.

  • This is a make ahead recipe. YAY! Do it on Sunday and it should last a minimum of 4 meals. So, you either got dinner covered Monday through Thursday or your lunches covered… However you decide to split this meal up, you end up with some free time on your hands 🙂
  • Healthy- you get protein/grains from quinoa and brown rice, protein from chicken, you get veggies and cheese and poblano peppers and tomatoes. EEEEE!!!! So good.
  • This recipe was adapted from the Cooking Light April 2016 issue. They called it King Ranch Chicken and Quinoa Casserole. My husband and I both agreed that it tasted more like a stew.
  • Final point- the pictures do it no justice. Stews always look like a mish mosh of stuff. But stews are usually so delicious. So here ya go!
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Stew/Casserole cheese laying situation happening here
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Crispy quinoa and brown rice final layer
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Final layer of cheese

1.5 cups per serving about 4 servings in this dish

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups of rotisserie chicken chopped/shredded or homemade shredded chicken
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa or brown rice
  • 5 tbls EVOO
  • 3 poblano peppers chopped and seeded
  • 1.5 cups chopped onion
  • 1 tbsl minced garlic
  • 2 tbls all purpose flour
  • 2 tsps cumin
  • 1 tsp chile powder
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1- 14.5 ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1- 4 ounce can of mild chopped green chiles
  • 3.5 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  • 8inch square baking dish
  • Optional: chopped scallions on top

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400F
  • Mix 1 tbls EVOO with cooked quinoa and spread across baking sheet and bake for 10-15 min (this step is really optional… it just gives a crispiness to the quinoa). We also used a quinoa/brown rice blend because that’s all we had on hand and it came out delicious… so if you don’t have quinoa, think about substituting it with brown rice.
  • Heat a dutch oven with olive oil, add poblano peppers, onion and garlic. Sautee for about 5 minutes.
  • Stir flour, cumin, chili powder. Then add stock, tomatoes, and green chiles. Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Remove pan from heat and stir in chicken.
  • Pour half the mixture at the bottom of the dish, top with half quinoa/brown rice and add 2 ounces of cheese. Repeat layers once more.
  • Bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes

I seriously wanted to eat the entire thing in one sitting. I hope you guys enjoy this as much as I did.

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