Pinterest Post: Morphing Recipes – Chorizo Meatloaf + Clean Chicken Chili

Pinterest is my favorite way to waste spend time. I get new outfit ideas, recipes, and quotes to live by that I write on my chalkboard wall (now freshly painted in anticipation of selling our condo).

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This one stayed up every day as a friendly reminder before I headed out the door:

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Every Thursday I’ll be posting tried and true pins along with my favorite quote of the week that I’ll be living by.

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Note: all pins can be found on my Quotable board as some have mis-documented source credits so I am not always able to give proper credit to the talented designers who have created these.

Onward and Upward! This week we celebrated the 1st birthday of the son of a dear friend of ours. This momma is amazingly domestic in all the best ways and made this amazing clean chili recipe. And Holy mother of pearl, it was some of the best chili I had ever tasted. That’s saying a lot coming from a Midwestern girl like me!

Now while I was craving it again, I only had ingredients on hand to make my favorite paleo chorizo meatloaf.

So what did I do? RECIPE MORPHING COMMENCE! (Say that in your best transformers voice and it sounds way cooler in your head….judge me.)

Clean(ish?) CrockpotChorizo Chili
Ingredients
– 1 lb. ground mild chorizo, cooked
– 1 lb. lean ground beef or turkey, cooked and drained
– 1 cup crimini mushrooms, chopped
– 3 medium carrots, cubed
– 1 small onion, diced
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 can black beans with liquid
– 2 cans fire-roasted tomatoes with liquid
– 1 small can tomato paste
– 2 Tablespoons Chili powder
– salt, and pepper to taste

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Directions
1. In your crock pot, combine all ingredients except salt, pepper, and spinach.
2. Mix well and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8.
3. Taste mixture and add salt and pepper to taste. I wait to do this because depending on where you get your chorizo, the flavor will differ. Ohio chorizo bought from the big box grocer tastes nothing like its equivalent in California!
4. If you want, you can add in 2 cups of baby spinach (chopped) to the mix and cook a half hour longer. I think it beefs up the nutrition value even more and you can hardly taste it!
5. Serve with plain Greek yogurt or light sour cream, shredded sharp cheddar, and scallions for a completed dinner!

for those of you on Weight Watchers like me, this recipe is 8PP+ for 1 cup of chili, not counting the toppings. I like to serve it with this cornbread for a well rounded and satisfying meal

Cotija Deviled Eggs

Hey y’all! It’s been forever since I’ve posted since I’m trying to get my other blog, The Dessert Project, up and off the ground and we have been renovating all three of our bathrooms in the condo, but I had to share this easy, delicious recipe with you all!

We are painting two of our bathrooms now and before and afters will come once we are done, but I hope to be posting intermittently. For now, try this recipe ASAP!

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Cotija Deviled Eggs
Ingredients
– 8 eggs, hard-boiled
– 3 Tbsp. Mayo
– 3 Tbsp. Cotija cheese, crumbled (you can use feta if you can’t find Cotija)
– 1/2 tsp. paprika
– extra Cotija and paprika for sprinkling

Directions
1. Halve your eggs and place yolks in a small mixing bowl.
2. Mix egg yolks, mayo, Cotija, and paprika until creamy.
3. Place a tablespoon or two of the mixture back into the empty egg whites.
4. Sprinkle with extra Cotija and dust with paprika.
5. Try not to eat them all in one sitting…

Let me know in the comments below if you want to see more recipes like this in the future!

Summer Activity Bucket List + Recipe!

Hey guys! Now that all of my family is safely back in Ohio and I’ve done a deep clean of the house to prep for warmer weather, I’ve decided to make a Summer Activity Bucket List.

Now, this list is a little less lofty and morbid as a traditional bucket list, but is going to give me a constant reminder of all of the fun things I want to do to take advantage of perfect weather.

– Kayaking in the ocean – CHECK! 5/3 – pictures to come!
– Kayaking in the bay
– Paddleboarding in the bay – Going tomorrow morning! EEEK!
– Paddleboarding in the ocean
– Hike Potato Chip Rock
– Rent a bicycle and tour a boardwalk
– Ride the Aerial Tram
– Go Sailing – CHECK 4/12 – photos here
– Run a 5K
– Golf 9 holes (walking)
– Whale Watching or Harbor Cruise
– Visit a beach outside of San Diego county
– Walk/Run all of Seaport Village
– Tour Petco Park
– Run stairs at a local attaraction

I’ll add more items as I think of them, but I think that’s a pretty good start.

With all of these physically active tasks on my plate, I’ll need to nutrient-load my system to keep my energy up and my body in tip-top shape. Juicing is a fast, easy way for me to do just that. Here’s a great recipe for my current favorite juice when I get a big sweet tooth.

Watermelon Punch
Yields about 40 ounces

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Ingredients
– 1 mini watermelon, chunked and rind removed
– 1 lb. strawberries, hulled
– 1 lb. black grapes, stemmed
– 2 oranges, peeled
Optional: 2 carrots ( I was out 😦 )

Directions
1. Run all ingredients through your juicer.
2. Strain juice to remove any pulp
3. Pop in a large mason jar or wine glass and drink up!

99 Bananas Smoothie + Updates

Hey everyone! Writing has slipped past me the past few days, but I’ve come bearing updates and a great new smoothie recipe!

Ok, so, updates:
1. Ankle is definitely still not up for running, or really any activity for that matter. I tried going on a slow 5 mile walk with a friend, but a half mile in my ankle was already hurting. I still knocked out the miles, but it wasn’t a pretty sight afterwards.

2. Jeff surprised me with a 2 hour sailing tour of San Diego and we had a blast! We also went to Temecula (wine country near us) and had an amazing time sampling local wines and cheeses.

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3. I made an amazing clean chili recipe last week and I’m still reaping its benefits for lunch this week out of the freezer. It’s pretty much a boatload of mushrooms, onions, carrots, and tomatoes with your standard ground meat, tomato sauce, tomato paste, broth, and chili spices, but I let mine stew away in my slow cooker all day long so the veggies almost melted into the sauce and was meaty, making my meat-and-potatoes-loving husband happy 🙂

Ok, so there’s that. Now that that part is over, I can get down to the yummy stuff!

Have you ever had one of those weeks where you’ve binge-watched YouTube and convinced yourself that all of the diet lifestyle channels are the one you’re going to convert your whole life to match? No? That’s only me? Oh well….

Anywho, I was watching a few different channels including Freelee the Banana Girl and it got me craving a banana smoothie, so I present to you….

The “99 Bananas” Smoothie
note: no alcohol involved…unfortunately 😉

Ingredients
– 3 very ripe bananas
– 1 handful frozen pineapple
– 1 handful baby spinach
– 4 large frozen strawberries
– 1 cup water or coconut water

Directions
1. Blend that bad boy up! I mean, layer ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth and silky.
2. Devour. Preferably on a patio in the warm spring air. It tastes better that way. Trust me.

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GWC Day 50 – Confessions + Recipe

Ok guys. Confession time: I skipped my Day 12 and Day 15 workouts to let my ankle have some rest from jumping and high knees…horrible, I know!

So this morning I vowed that I would get myself all caught up (with today being Day 16) and just go for a morning walk.

That didn’t happen….

Instead I beasted out 2.5 miles at a 9:50 pace run (!!!!!!!!!!!) and then my ankle forced me to walk the rest. Side note: isn’t it so frustrating when you’re about to hit a goal, and a slight injury is stopping you?! I could’ve had my under-30-minute 5K today, but nooooooo……stupid ankle. Who needs you anyways?!

Then during the baby’s nap, I completed Day 12 and Day 15’s workout, swapping the ankle-hurting cardio parts for box squats and resistance obliques. Boy was I sweating by the end of that!

Then, on top of all of that, I took the pups on a 3.3 mile walk at a local shaded park since it was 90 degrees outside when I got home from work!

Go, me, Go!

I also watched Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead again last night (it’s one of my fave food documentaries!) and it inspired me to break out my juicer. This morning, after drinking 20 oz of water, I had a glass of apple, carrot, orange juice, but the real winner – and included recipe – is my new favorite juice. Try it ASAP!!

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Lisa’s Aloha Punch

Ingredients

6 small Gala apples
1/4 fresh pineapple
2 small/medium carrots or 1 large carrot

Directions
1. Juice together all ingredients with carrots being the first item to be put into the juicer.
2. Strain juice to remove any excess pulp
3. Pour over ice and serve in a wine glass if you’re feeling fancy like me 😉

This recipe makes about 3 cups of juice. Share it with family or hoard it all to yourself….not that I did that or anything….

ENJOY!

GWC Day 43 – Last Day of March + Recipe

Can you believe that tomorrow is April 1st?!

Where did the first quarter of 2014 go?!

Anywho. Today I knocked out a 3 mile walk because I felt as if my hip flexors were tight and I didn’t want to take the chance of pulling them and taking myself out of training for the week. My walks lately have felt sooooo good after my runs, though, because everything stretches and I can really feel the impact that all my training has been having.

This weekend I told Jeff, “You know what makes me the most motivated to keep going? The fact that my legs don’t jiggle so much when I walk anymore…. Is that bad? Hahahahaha”

Yes. I laughed. Mainly because who gets excited for something like that? ME! Anybody else feel motivated when you see small changes in the amount that your body wiggles and jiggles? Is that super vain of me?

Anywho. After my walk, I knocked out Day 8 of my BodyRock Challenge and pushed myself to do lunge jumps for the cardio intervals and holy leg burn!. Today was supposed to be all about abs and arms, but I’d be lying if I said that my legs weren’t feeling it too when I finished!

If you’re not joining me in this BodyRock challenge yet, get on it! it’s never too late to start as all of the workouts are on Lisa’s BodyRock YouTube Channel!

After all my working out, I realized I hadn’t eaten since 10 a.m. when I scarfed down my lunch like a hungry hungry hippo….so I decided instead of making my post-workout protein shake, I’d make a protein packed dinner instead. Preface that with the fact that I haven’t gone grocery shopping in awhile and what do you get?

Protein Pancakes with Fresh Strawberry Sauce>

Ingredients
1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 Tablespoon sugar (or honey)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

For the strawberry sauce:
5 large strawberries
1-2 Tablespoons water
<1 Tablespoon honey (if strawberries are sour like mine were….)

Directions
1. In a mixing bowl, combine yogurt, egg, and vanilla.
2. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon
3. Pour dry ingredients into wet and mix until just combined. Add a touch of milk if you like your pancakes thinner.
4. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of the batter onto a hot pan and flip when bubbly.

5. Heat strawberries and water together in the microwave until warm and soft. Blend until smooth with a blender/food processor or mash with a fork for a chunkier sauce. Strain if need be (I did…I hate strawberry seeds in my sauce!) and add honey if necessary.

I ate mine with a few strips of bacon….and convinced myself it was ok because bacon is protein, right?! I will never give up bacon….ever. gotta love breakfast for dinner!!

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Try it out and let me know what you think!

GWC Day 41 – Rewards + Recipe

It’s the WEEKEND!!!! Yea Buddy!

So on Thursday I shared with you all that I had met my first overall goal of my Goal Weight Challenge which was to run a 5K without stopping. I’m not going to lie, I was terrified that it was a fluke occurrence and I wouldn’t be able to keep it up, but I am happy to announce that I did it again today!!!!

So this morning, I got up extra early to knock out Day 5 of the BodyRock Challenge, and holy arm death! Push-ups, push-ups, and more push-ups left my arms burning so what would be the most logical solution? Go for a run!

Wait….what?!

Yep. I headed right outside to clock my miles. I wasn’t sure how it was going to go since my legs are sore from all of my workouts plus running, not to mention the hilly terrain near my house, but I figured “what the hell…might as well try.”

An lo and behold, BOOM! Beast-mode kicked in and I kicked my 5Ks butt again today! My time was a bit slower (35 mins) but besides the many inclines, I stopped to give some love to an adorable blue nose pitbull that lives in my complex who gave me the biggest bear hug ever!!! So adorbs!

So after all my workouts and the worlds best shower, I ran a few errands. Now as most of you know, I’ve been trying to be frugal non-existent when it comes to shopping for myself, but I really felt I deserved a reward for all of my hard work in the past 40 days! I mean, come on, I went from zero miles a day to running for 35 minutes without stopping!

Normally, I would have treated myself with food, but figuring that to be ultimately counterproductive, and noticing that Target had a Buy One, Get One for 50% off all C9 workout gear, I treated myself to these!

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So cute, right?! I totally plan on hiiting Day 6 of the BodyRock Challenge tonight wearing one! That’s right, 3 workouts in 1 day! I’m crazy pumped….

Anywho, I mentioned last night that I was bringing you guys a new recipe, so here it is!

Whole Wheat Banana Bread

ingredients

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3 ripe bananas
2 eggs
1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar (if you use vanilla flavored yogurt, you can probably omit this…)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (I forgot to put mine in! GAAAHHHHH!!!)
1.5 cups whole wheat flour

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 and spray a loaf pan with nonstick spray.
2. Using an electric mixer, beat together the bananas, eggs, yogurt, vanilla, and sugar (if using) until creamy.
3. In a separate bowl, combine salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and flour and stir to combine.
4. Add dry ingredients into wet ingredients and mix just until moistened. Lumps are ok! Don’t over mix it or it’ll get tough when baked!
5. Pour batter into your loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes or until golden and cooked through.
6. Let cool on a cooling rack, then slice and enjoy with some natural peanut butter, some strawberry jam, or just by itself!

This bread is so moist and so yummy! Try it sometime this week!

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GWC Day 31 – PB Cup Brownies

Hey guys! Today I decided to do things a little different and give my legs a rest for one day since my race is coming up in 4 days and my knee was giving me grief at the end of my 5.5 miles yesterday.

So instead of running, Today’s workout included arm circuits with my resistance band. I also did a few sets of back strengthening stretches and resistance bicycles to increase my core strength.

And what did I do to reward myself for sticking with my workout for a whole month and in celebration of my race coming up? I made myself some brownies. Rich, fudgy, chocolate brownies.

And that’s not even the best part. They’re Peanut Butter Cup Brownies. Peanut butter + chocolate? Get in my belly NOW!!!

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Now before you go all “Lisa. this is why you aren’t losing weight!!! Fatty….” you need to know that my brownies are healthy. Like Raw Food, clean eating healthy!

These brownies are Full of fiber and protein and still manage to be deliciously chocolatey. Here’s the recipe:

Raw PB Cup Brownies (modified from Scaling Back)

Ingredients
1.5 cups walnuts
1/2 cup oats (any kind will do)
1 cup raw, unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
16 oz. fresh dates, pitted (I found mine at Trader Joes for under $5)
2 Tbsp. All Natural Peanut Butter (only peanuts and salt in the ingredient list if possible)
Optional: Melted Peanut Butter to drizzle on top

Directions
1. In a food processor, pulse walnuts and oats until they form a fine powder.
2. Add in cocoa powder and sea salt and pulse to combine.
3. With the food processor running, drop in the pitted dates, one at a time, until all are added and mixture is crumbly, but presses together when pinched (think playdough consistency)
4. Add in peanut butter and mix to combine.
5. Line a square baking pan with wax paper or nonstick foil and firmly press brownie mixture evenly into pan.
6. Refrigerate overnight or freeze for 1 hour to help it firm up. This makes slicing them waaaaaay easier, trust me.
7. Remove brownies from pan and cut into 12-16 squares. These are really rich and decadent so you won’t want them much bigger!
8. If you would like, drizzle melted peanut butter over the top before serving. Refrigerate for 10 minutes to help the PB firm up.

Before

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After

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Way better, right? Yes is the only answer to that rhetorical question…

Please, please, please try this recipe ASAP! Coming from a picky eater, these are AMAZING and well worth the effort (if you can even call it that…)

Let me know what you think!

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Goal weight Challenge Day 6 & 7

Saturday
Morning Weight – 143.5 lbs
Pounds to Goal – 18.5

Workout – interval run with the hubby. Tracker says we went 3 miles, but I’m pretty sure it’s closer to 3.5-4
Calories burned: 276

Sunday
Morning Weight – 145.9 lbs (too much sushi fun last night?! Haha)
Pounds to Goal – 20.9

Workout: Walked the pups on the same route as yesterday. Tracker says I went 2.3 miles in 42 minutes with a 10mph pace….I’m no mathematician but that doesn’t add up to me….needless to say I’m pretty sure that my tracker needs an update and I’m going to redo the same walk later with a different GPS app to see the true mileage.

What I’m craving: My favorite “Tropical Island Smoothie!”

ingredients
1 large handful baby spinach
1/2 banana, frozen
1 cup frozen pineapple
~1 cup 100% orange juice

Layer ingredients in the blender as listed and then blend on high until smooth. Add more OJ if needed to reach desired consistency.

As you can see, my smoothie made a little extra today!!

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Hope you all have been working hard and enjoying your weekend!

Pinterest Post: Chocolate Chess Pie Recipe

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends yesterday!

Since we were unable to go back East to spend the holiday with family, we got together with some Navy friends and had dinner. For this special occasion I made a Chocolate Chess Pie.

What is that? Good question! Imagine your favorite gooey brownie batter baked until just molten in the center. Now combine that with a pie crust shell and whipped topping. Yum, right?!

Make this recipe ASAP, just know it is super rich, so I suggest cutting the pie into at least 8-10 pieces.

Chocolate Chess Pie
from Ezra Pound Cake

Ingredients
1 unbaked pie crust (I used the frozen deep dish variety!)
1&1/2 cups sugar
3 heaping Tablespoons cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
5 ounces evaporated milk
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together sugar, cocoa powder, and salt until blended.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the evaporated milk, melted butter, beaten eggs, and vanilla. If you’re like me, though, you’d do all of this in the measuring cup containing the evaporated milk. The less dirty dishes, the better 🙂
4. Pour liquid ingredients onto dry and whisk to combine.
5. Pour pie filling into unbaked pie crust and tap to release air bubbles.
6. Bake for 40-50 minutes. The center should still be a bit jiggly, but the top will be set.
Optional: Once cooled completely, pipe or spread whipped topping onto pie and dust with chocolate sprinkles.

Enjoy!

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