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Monday, January 30, 2012

Vegi Chili

Dylan is still not eating much meat. Only chicken and only occasionally if he can't pick around it. SO...I decided to make him some chili without meat. The recipe is pretty similar to my regular chili so he was a happy kid. Weight Watcher counters.. 7 servings, 5.5 per bowl.

What you'll need:

1 medium Onion chopped
1 medium Green Pepper chopped
5 cloves Garlic chopped
1 can Black Beans rinsed
1 can Spicy Chili Beans
1 can Pinto Beans
1 can Tomato Soup
1 Soup can Water
1 sm can Tomato Sauce
1 can Diced Tomatoes and Green Chili's
3 T Chili Powder
2 t Cumin
2 t Chipolte Peppers

Saute onion, green pepper, garlic and diced tomatoes for about 5 minutes. Add everything else, give it a stir, turn the burner to a simmer and cook for about an hour. Serve:)

What you'll need

Saute a bit

Busted, I threw some leftover taco meat into mine but the rest was all vegi for Dylan

Friday, January 27, 2012

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

You all know that I'm not a sweet potato fan but these were really good. I found them on the food network website, courtesy of Tyler Florence. They were super easy to make and a crowd favorite.

What you'll need:

4 Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1/4 C Olive Oil
1/4 C Honey
2 t Ground Cinnamon
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375. Mix the oil, honey and cinnamon together and mix in potatoes. Lay out on sprayed cookie sheet in single layer. Add salt and pepper

Roast for about 40 minutes, until oven tender.

Take sweet potatoes out and transfer to serving platter.

Size of the potatoes

Slice the potatoes and chop

Toss with honey, Olive Oil and cinnamon and spread on pan. Bake

Sorry, I didn't get a photo finish because it got a bit chaotic but they basically looked like the last photos but a bit browned:)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Working Out

I'm just going to say body is falling apart. It doesn't respond like it once did. Skin is hanging. I can't do things as fast as I once did. In a word..ISH!

So, I am making a BIG effort to get healthy and be happy in my skin. I am watching what I eat and I joined a gym again. My health insurance encourages it by paying if you go 12 times each month. Which doesn't sound hard, right? Well, it is. I could blame it on my busy kid schedule but truth be told, it's not my favorite thing to do so it's not a priority.

Last night Max had a rare night off of hockey and I had to drop Claire at dance so it was time to hit the gym. Max was laying cuddled up on the couch when I asked if he wanted to join me at the gym.

He jumped up and changed. Guess that was a yes, where did I get this kid?

We got to the gym and started with a 10 minute warm up on the treadmill. I thought I was pretty snazzy starting with a 3.6 MPH walk until I looked over to find Max started at a 5.5 MPH pace. He increased his incline to a 10 within a minute. He wasn't running, he was walking, talking and asking what we were doing first.

I said, "We're doing first".

He crinkled his forehead and said, "We're just walking".

Off to the machines where he did triple the weight that I could muster and double the reps.

At his suggestion, we ended with a medicine ball, back to back, twisting and handing it to each other.

It was honestly a nice way to spend an evening.

I woke up this morning and thought, I must not be in that bad of shape because I wasn't sore.

Flash forward to later in the day...each hour I got closer to 24 hours post workout I felt a twinge here, a twinge there.

When I asked Max how he was feeling, he crinkled his forehead and said, "fine, why"?

I just smiled at him and wished that I was young again;)

Lo Cal Stir Fry

I've decided that I am DONE with my extra weight. That is a great thing to "say" but it's a tough thing to start. This is the kind of recipe that helps you over the hungry days because the entire pan is 9 points. I only ate half for dinner and had lunch the next day.

The other beauty of stir fry is you can throw in whatever you have in the fridge. This is what I had.

1 large skinless Chicken Breast cut into pieces
3/4 C Salsa
1/4 C Water
1 Clove Garlic chopped
1 C Green Beans
1/2 sliced Mushrooms
1/2 small onion Sliced
2 handfuls fresh Spinach

Pan fry your chicken without any oil in a non stick pan. Season with salt and pepper. Add 1/2 C Salsa and 1/4 C water and scrape the bottom of your pan to get all the flavors from the bottom (the fancy word for this is deglazing). Toss in Green beans, mushrooms, garlic and onion. Saute for a couple of minutes. I like my green beans to have a crunch, if you don't...wrap in a wet paper towel and microwave for 1 minute before you toss in the pan.

If it starts to seem to dry, add a little more water. Add spinach and 1/4 C Salsa. Saute until wilted. Add 1 C cooked Brown Rice. Serve.

Pan fry your chicken, should only take a couple of minutes per side.

See all the yummy brown bits on the pan.

Add your salsa and water and deglaze your pan.

Add your vegetables and saute a few minutes.

Spinach and more salsa.

Cook until wilted. Add cooked rice.

Dinner is served.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Breast Cancer

A dear friend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer a few weeks ago. She will be having a single mastectomy with reconstruction today. We know that she is at stage 3B, but won't know more until pathology. She will be having chemotherapy and possible radiation in the months to come.

A fundraiser has been planned for February 18th from 4-9 at the American Legion St Louis Park. And an account at Wells Fargo Bank for those that wish to donate money has been set up. All you have to do is call Wells Fargo at 1.800.869.3557 or Dan Quigley @ 952.472.8308 and tell them you want to donate to the Gail Wick Fund.

My good thoughts are with Gail today and in the months to come and you're prayers would be greatly appreciated as well.
at her birthday 2 years ago

Friday, January 20, 2012

Comfort in a bowl

It is FREEZING outside and I needed something warm and yummy in my tummy. You all know how I feel about that Chicken Stuffing hotdish, I LOVE it. This recipe is pretty similar, I just added some potatoes and vegetables. I think it took it to the next level so I called it Comfort in a bowl.

If I wanted to make this for Dylan, I could leave the chicken out, add more vegetables and use vegetable stock for Comfort in a bowl VEGI style.

Chicken & Stuffing Casserole
1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
2 cans cream soup (I used 98% fat free Cream of Celery and Cream of Chicken because that's what I had in the house)
16 ozs Sour Cream (I used light)
1 C frozen Corn
1 C frozen green beans
2 potatoes sliced thin
16 oz box of Stuffing Mix
1/2 C Butter
1 C Chicken Broth~I make my own with chicken bouillon cubes

Slice potato thin, wrap in a wet paper towel and microwave for 2 minutes. You want to get the party started with softening.
Mix chicken, vegetables, potatoes, soup and sour cream.
Spread in 13x9 cake pan sprayed with cooking spray
Top with Stuffing Mix
Melt Butter and mix with Chicken Broth
Drizzle over top of stuffing mix
Bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes until golden brown.

Here is your chicken with the corn and green beans.
Add the potatoes
Spread in the pan, top with stuffing
Make a cup of chicken broth in your microwave with 1 C water and 1 bouillon cube. Add butter to melt.
Pour broth/butter over stuffing
Dinner is served.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Apple Pie without a Pan

I had a pie crust and I had some apples so I decided to make this. I think this technically falls into the "crostata" catagory but since I didn't know that when I made's called Apple Pie without a pan:)

It really was SUPER easy.

What you'll need:

Refrigerator Pie Crust
3 Granny Smith Apples, peeled and sliced thin
3/4 Brown Sugar
1/4 C Sugar
2 t Cinnamon
1 t Nutmeg
1/2 stick of Butter chopped into little pieces

Spread pie crust out on a cookie sheet. Mix everything else together. Pour apples into middle of crust. Fold edges up over the filling. Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes or until crust is golden. Top with caramel ice cream topping and serve.


How thin you want them and make sure they are consistently sliced so they cook the same.

Mix in your sugars, spices and butter.

Pour in the middle.

Out of the oven...Drizzle with caramel sauce if you wish. It's equally good without it

Monday, January 16, 2012

Crockpot Chili

This is basically a repeat since I have posted before. But this time, I threw everything in the crockpot just because we had to run errands and get to a game and I wanted something hot when I got home. I also figured out the Weight Watcher points. I divided this into 7 bowls and it was 6.5 per serving. Pretty nice!!

1 lb 93% lean hamburger~I usually use ground turkey but the points are the same for either.
1/2 green pepper minced
1/3 medium onion diced
1 t chopped garlic~I use the jar stuff most of the time
1 Can Tomato Soup
1 Can diced Tomatoes~I use Petite diced
1 sm Can Tomato Sauce
2 Cans Spicy Chili Beans
1 soup can water
3 T Chili Powder
Optional~Cayenne pepper to taste, I think I used about a teaspoon.

Brown Meat, green pepper, onion and garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Throw in the crockpot and dump in soup, tomatoes, sauce, beans, water, chili powder and cayenne. Crock on low for 4-6 hours and serve.

Here's your ingredients.

Slice the green pepper really thin and then mince. You can also use a little food processor if you feel like extra dishes.

It's hard to see the onions because I used a white cutting board but this is how much of each after they are chopped.

Here is your meat that is browned with the green peppers, onion and garlic. Don't forget to season your meat. Throw in your crockpot, dump in the rest, stir and crock for at least 4 hours.

Dinner is served. You can top with sour cream, cheese, jalapenos. Whatever tickles your fancy.

Since my kids don't like Chili, I typically scoop into individual serving bowls and freeze. It's great to grab and bring for lunch.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Curried Lentil Soup

Dylan is still doing the vegetarian thing and he asked me to make him something "curry". I found this recipe on line and it turned out pretty good.

I adjusted the recipe a little. Hope you like it.

2 T Olive Oil
1 large Onion diced
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1 1/2" Fresh Ginger, minced
1 C portabella mushrooms, diced
2 T tomato paste
1 heaping T Garlic Chili Paste
1 C dried lentils
6 C vegetable stock
14 1/2 oz can diced tomatoes with juice
3 T curry powder
1 t dried thyme
2 t fresh cracked pepper
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, to garnish

Preheat a cast iron pan or heavy frying pan over medium heat. Heat the olive oil.
Add the onions and garlic and saute for 3-5 minutes until they begin to brown.
Add the carrots, ginger and portobellos and saute for another 3-5 minutes until the mushrooms begin to absorb the oil. Season this step with 1/2 tsp pepper and salt to taste. Honestly, I think you could skip this step and just throw everything in the crockpot.

Add the tomato paste and chili paste and stir just to combine the vegetables.

In the bottom of your crock pot, add the curry powder, oregano, thyme and remaining pepper. Add the sauteed vegetables and lentils and mix well.
Pour in the can of diced tomatoes and stock. Stir to combine.

Cook in a crock pot on high heat for 6 hours or low for 10 hours.

I like ginger so this is how much I added

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Banana Walnut Cake

I had planned on doing this cake in a bundt pan but didn't have any cooking spray so I went with a 13x9. I also realize that we're all trying to watch it a little bit in the new year so I tried to keep it a bit healthier.

What you'll need:

Yellow Cake Mix
1 C Milk
4 ripe bananas
4 egg whites

Mix everything together. Bake cake according to directions on box and frost with cream cheese frosting when it's cool.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Beet Cake

I know what you're asking yourself. Why in the heck would Christol make a cake with beets? I would ask the same question because I am not a fan of beets but my book club read a book and beets were mentioned quite often so I went searching. I found the recipe here.

I further figured there would be 10 people to try the cake so if it was an epic fail, it at least wouldn't be completely wasted because 10 bites would have been had.

But, a funny thing happened. Everyone really liked the cake and since I know everyone is on their New Year diets...well, you can say you're eating your vegetables if you eat this. You're welcome;)

What you'll need:

15 oz can Beets Drained ~ but save 1/2 C of juice. These are the ones I bought
1 1/4 C Sugar
3/4 C Oil
1/2 C Beet Juice
3 Eggs
1 t Vanilla
1/4 t Salt
1 1/2 t Baking Soda
1 3/4 C Flour
3 1 oz unsweetened chocolate squares~melted

Sift together salt, baking soda, and flour. Set aside. Place beets in blender jar and puree. Add sugar, oil, and beet juice to beets and blend. Add eggs and vanilla. Blend well. Pour the beet mixture into a mixing bowl and add the dry ingredients. Mix well on medium speed for approximately one minute. Stir in melted chocolate. Pour batter into your trusty bundt pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted
comes out clean. Let cool.

Frost with your favorite chocolate frosting which for me is this one...

Fudge Frosting
1/2 C Butter
1/3 C Milk
4 T Cocoa
Bring to a boil. Add
2 t Vanilla
3 1/2 C Powdered Sugar

Whisk until smooth. Pour over your cake and store rest in fridge.

Blogger is not cooperating, so here are the four other photos I took. The beets in the blender, batter "pre" chocolate. I just LOVED the color, Batter with chocolate added and finally the yummy cake on the table.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Salsa Chicken

I know that I've posted this a couple of times BUT it is seriously SO easy and it's low in points/calories. And it's super versatile. It was a huge staple for me when I was doing Weight Watchers because it's only 3 points per chicken breast. I still make it often because my kids like it. You can eat it right out of the crockpot with any type of side.

Or, you can chop up and serve with your favorite salad fixings.

Or, you can add a can of 98% fat free Cream of Chicken soup and make a gravy type topping to put on pasta or rice, although the color isn't all that appetizing.

Or, you can shred the chicken and put it on hoagie buns, melt some cheese on top in the broiler for a yummy sandwich.

Or, you can shred it and make Chicken Barley Chili.

Or, you can shred it and use it to make quesadillas.

Or, you can shred it and use for a base for the Tex Mex Burritos.

Or, you can shred and add 1 C frozen corn, a can of black beans, heat for another hour and use it for easy tacos.

That's just a few of the ways I use it.

What you'll need
Package of Boneless Chicken Breast
1 C Salsa ~ I use thick and chunky
1/2 C Water
1 Chicken Bouillon Cube

Put water and bouillon cube in crock pot. Put your chicken in, season with pepper, garlic and a light sprinkle of salt. Top with Salsa. Cover and crock for 4-6 hours on low~I typically use frozen chicken breast to get the most time out of it.

This is what it looks like shredded and ready for whatever you choose. You can freeze in ziplocs at this point and defrost as needed.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Jack's Pledge

Our hockey association is hoping to make a difference. They are trying to minimize the violence and enhance the safety of hockey by instituting Jack's Pledge in honor of Jack Jablonski. Here is more information for your team or association if you are interested in participating. I could think of nothing better than to show up a tournament and see one of the above stickers on every single helmet with playerss who are living up to the pledge.

Asparagus Frittata

Another of my favorite 7 point dinners, 7 points for the entire thing. I only ate half with a side of fresh strawberries so it was easy on the calories too!

What you'll need:

6 spears Asparagus ~ snapped into pieces
Handful of Spinach
3 Eggs beaten
Salt and Pepper~I probably used 1/4 t of each
2 T Feta Cheese

Using a non stick, oven safe pan. Stir fry the asparagus in a couple of teaspoons of water for about 2 minutes. Add spinach and cook until wilted, another minute. Turn off the heat on your stove and spray with cooking spray. Pour eggs over vegetables, sprinkle with salt and pepper. DON'T stir, cook until edges set up, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle feta and pop under broiler for 2 minutes or until eggs are set in the center. Invert onto dinner plate and serve.

Just cook the asparagus in a couple teaspoons of water
Wilt the spinach like this, spray with cooking spray..don't forget to take off the heat. Pour beaten eggs on top
See how the egg is setting up on the edges
Add cheese and throw under the broiler to set the middle
Flip onto a plate and serve

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Stir Fry Mexican Style

If you're starting the New Year counting your points and/or watching what you eat, this recipe is for YOU!

Sorry, I didn't take step by step photos because I wasn't sure what I was doing when I started. It turned out awesome and the entire pan was 20 points and this made 5 solid servings, that means only 4 points for dinner! That's using the NEW point system.

Here's what you'll need:

2 Zucchini chopped~I chopped the zucchini into thirds and then each third in half and then each half into strips. Kind of like match sticks. You can simply chop, I just wanted a different shape
1 Green Pepper chopped
1 Red Pepper chopped
1 C fresh Green Beans ~ cut into bite size pieces
1 sm Onion sliced
2 cloves Garlic ~ minced
1/2 can Black Beans rinsed
1/2 C frozen Corn
2 Chicken breasts ~ I used leftover Salsa Chicken but you could use anything you have
1 C Salsa
1 C Chicken Broth
1 1/2 C Brown Rice cooked
1 t Cayenne
1 t Cumin
1 t Chili Powder

Throw the zucchini, green and red pepper, green beans, onion and garlic in a wok, saute for a couple of minutes on a medium high heat, you can put a little bit of the chicken broth in now if you want to get the party started faster.

Add salsa, chicken broth and corn and cook for another couple of minutes. Throw in chicken, beans, rice and seasoning. Heat thoroughly and serve. I topped mine with 2 Tablespoons of Light Sour Cream for an added point.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Jack Jablonski

I received an email on Sunday afternoon about an older brother of Max's teammate from last year that was checked from behind and was in the ICU. He can't feel anything from the waist down and minimal feeling in his hands. Tears sprung to my eyes, my stomach turned, my heart hurts.

As a hockey parent, one that has a child who is now checking, it's my worst nightmare. Max and I have an understanding. If he gets checked and goes down, he is to move his legs immediately for me to see from the stands. I have watched for those legs and I canNOT imagine if they didn't move. Just as I have watched a line drive flying at my son on the pitching mound and life stops for a second while I wait for him to get out of the way.

I know what a lot of you are thinking. Why would you allow your child to play a sport that could have a life changing injury? The answer is simply that I believe that everything you do in life comes with a risk. I truly believe that you should live each day to the fullest because tomorrow is not guaranteed. I don't want to come to the end of my life and say, "I should have..." and I raise my children to embrace the same. I further realize that I could "protect" my children with every ounce of my being and they could still have a life changing accident without the life experiences.

With all of that said, what brings me to today's post is Jack. Jack Jablonski. He has a CaringBridge site that has over 10,000 hits in a couple of days. His Facebook wall is filled with well wishes and prayers. But what I found the most touching was reading the almost 500 guestbook entries. Sure, there were a lot from friends and family but there were also posts from hockey players and parents from all over that heard the news...complete strangers. Complete strangers who are united by a sport and are sending prayers and positive thoughts. So, this is me...spreading the word because I believe there is force in numbers and sending support, positive thoughts and energy to Jack and his family, Leslie, Mike and Max.