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

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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!

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 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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GWC Day 18 – Holy Lactic Acid!

Morning Weight – 145.2
Pounds to Goal: 20.2

Workout: 1.8 mile stroll in the park with the baby and pup, with a picnic break

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Guys, my body was ACHING today! All the lactic acid from the 8.5 miles I put in yesterday came around to bite me in the rear today! Moral of the story? STRETCH, STRETCH, STRETCH!!! If I had stretched before and after my workouts, I may not have been so sore!

New Recipe Alert!!!!!!
I had dinner with my training partner last night and she made an awesome Clean Eating Taco Soup and boy was it delish! She got the recipe from The Gracious Pantry so click the link and check it out. It’s definitely something easy, flavorful, and a “make again” meal, not to mention it is jam packed with protein and nutrients!

Goal Weight Challenge Day 9

Morning Weight: 144 lbs
Pounds to Goal: 19

Workout: 3.5 mile walk around the park with baby and pup that I work with.
Time: 53 mins
Calories Burned: 352

What I’m Craving:Red Pepper Cauliflower Mash

Ingredients:
2 sweet red peppers, chopped
1 head cauliflower, chopped
1/2 cup water
1/4 stick butter or 2 Tbsp. Olive oil
Sea Salt and cracked Black Pepper, to taste

In a saucepan, combine peppers and cauliflower with water. Boil until fork tender. Transfer to a blender and mix until puréed, adding boiling water if necessary. Mix in butter, salt, and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

Variation: roast the peppers over an open flame instead of boiling to add a smoky flavor.

This sounds a little crazy, but I made some today and fell in love, which is saying a lot figuring I’m not normally a fan of either main ingredient!!

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Goal Weight Challenge Day 3

Morning Weight: 147 lbs
Pounds to Goal: 22

Workout: 4 mile neighborhood walk with the pups
Calories: ??? Forgot to set my tracker! Arghhhh!

So maybe it was because I weighed in this morning before my normal routine or maybe it was the guacamole I ate with dinner that increased my morning weight. Either way, my legs are already feeling stronger!

What I’m craving: Spicy Guacamole Crema
ingredients
4 oz. 0% plain Greek yogurt ( I used Fage)
1/4 cup guacamole ( I used one Holy Guacamole mini cup)
2 Tbsp. Enchilada Sauce or 1 tsp. Sriracha ( I made enchiladas last night so I used the sauce)

Mix them together until smooth and use as dipping sauce for dinner or as a snack with pita/rice chips/veggies.

Super protein packed, high in good fats, and deliciously indulgent without the guilt!

Recipe of the Week: Bacon Pot Pie

Don’t think your eyes are fooling you. You read that title correct…Bacon Pot Pie.

Bad for you? Definitely (if you use the original recipe). Delicious and indulgent and worthy of a major splurge meal? Totally!

Pictures don’t really do this dish justice, as its hard to make it look pretty, but believe me, it is a great recipe for a cool fall day.

Bacon Pot Pie
Modified from Tammilee Tips

Ingredients
1 lb. bacon, diced (low sodium is the best for this recipe, in my opinion)
1 medium sweet onion, minced (I did this in the food processor)
2 stalks celery, minced
2 potatoes, diced (I actually used leftover mashed potatoes and it still worked!)
2 Tbsp. flour
1 cup fat-free sour cream
1/2 cup skim milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 refrigerated prepared pie crust sheet

Directions
1. In a large frying pan, brown diced bacon until crispy. Set aside on paper towels to drain.
2. Pour out all but 1 Tablespoon of the bacon fat, then add in the onions, celery, and potatoes to the pan. Sauté until onions are browned and potatoes are soft, about 15 minutes.
3. Sprinkle flour over veggies and combine until flour is absorbed. Add in the drained bacon, sour cream and milk and simmer until thickened.
4. Take pan off heat and stir in one cup of the cheddar cheese.
5. Spray four to six ramekins with cooking spray and ladle in filling mixture. Top each filed ramekin with remaining cheddar cheese evenly.
6. Using a round cookie cutter or glass, cut out circles of pie dough to cover each ramekin. Once covered, seal the sides to the edge of the ramekins and cut a small “X” into the top of each crust to vent.
7. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes or until the crust is golden and the pot pies are hot.

Keep in mind I do not advocate eating this often. It is not healthy by any means, even with my “lower calorie” substitutes. It is, however, great for a special occasion or a once-a-year treat! Make it even healthier by adding in more fresh veggies!

Recipe of the Week: Red Wine Pot Roast

As I’m sure some of you expected, I missed a few days posts because Jeff came home and our MIL flew back to Ohio yesterday so we have been busy finishing up the apartment decorating and enjoying some time together.

Today is was back to the grind and time for some meat and potatoes cooking!

I found this recipe on Allrecipes.com and haven’t turned back since! I made mine in a crock pot, but if you want to make yours in an oven, follow the recipe in the link above!

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Red Wine Pot Roast

Ingredients
3 lb. beef roast
2 Tbsp. flour
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup red wine (drink the rest with dinner!!)
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried marjoram
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 onion or 2 shallots, sliced

Directions
1. Spray your crock pot with nonstick spray or line with a slow cooker liner.
2. Rub roast with flour. Place in the crock pot
3. Pour in water and wine, covering about halfway up the sides of the roast
4. Sprinkle on basil, marjoram, thyme, salt, and pepper over roast. Press firmly to adhere herbs (I find this gives me better flavor!)
5. Slice onion/shallot and place on top and around roast.
6. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or until meat is falling apart and tender.

I always serve pot roast with mashed potatoes and a green veggie or salad. I also make sure that I make the 3 pound roast just for us two so we can save the rest for the following day! Nothing like transforming the leftover meat into Barbacoa Tacos or BBQ beef!

Let me know when you guys make this! I’d love to hear how it went in your house!!