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Archive for April, 2012

This month I received my Foodie Box from the Alexis at the Pumped Pumpkin. I was Pumped when I opened the box, she had it full of healthy and fun snacks.

The Lean Green Bean

Let’s take a look at all my goodies.

Super Pumped about the Nut Butter, I have never had this brand or flavor. Plus it’s No Stir and Raw! Big Score on that one.

Energy Power Mix from a Local Farm called Willey Farms.

It has all kinds of goodies in the mix, peanut butter chips (awesome right), chocolate chips, papaya, almonds, yogurt covered raisins, dried cherries, soy nuts, peanut butter covered raisins, dried pineapple and chocolate covered raisins. So many wonderful ingredients. I’m really digging all the peanut butter goodies in the mix.

I am a trail mix snob and this batch is a Big Winner.

Alexis also sent these Salted Corn Chips with Flax from Willey Farms.

They sound so yummy. Can not wait to give them a crunch.

Alexis sent me two Larabar’s bars both being flavors I have never tried. I love the fact that my box was made of up fun things I have never tried.

Some strawberry and banana freeze-dried crisps, which I am trying to save for a flight I have coming up soon. I hope I can hold out.

I wasted no time in testing out the Maple flavored Almond Butter.

Slathered it on an English muffin.

Topped with banana slices and sprinkled with chia seeds. This is raw and no stir, I mean really can life get any better. It was delicious, smooth and flavorful.

Alexis thank you for a wonderful box of healthy taste treats. You choose wonderful thoughtful items to include in the box and it has been so much fun meeting you and reading your blog.

Here’s a detailed explanation of the Foodie Pen Pal Program:

-On the 5th of the month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treatsThe spending limit is $15The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you can choose to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.
– Foodie Penpals is open to US, Canadian residents & UK residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. So, I’m going to keep two separate lists and match US w/ US and Canada w/ Canada!

***If you’re in the UK, please contact Carol Anne from This Is Rock Salt at rocksalt@thisisrocksalt.com to get involved!

Question of the Day: Have you thought about joining the Foodie Pen Pal Program? What are you waiting for? 

Check Ya Later.

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Hopefully you are not getting sick of me posting this recipe. Oops I Made it Again, Crock Pot Chicken Taco’s.

When ever I want a dinner that will make a lot of leftovers, I always go to this one. I am traveling with my cousins for an out-of-state family wedding and Jeff is staying home so I wanted something that he could throw together while I am gone.

I will be unplugged for the rest of this week though the weekend, I want to be present and really enjoy my family time with my cousins. I do not get to see them that often so I want to devote every second to having fun and family time.

This is 3 chicken breast. After they cook in the crock I just pull out the breasts and shred them up. You could also shred them right up in the crock along with the mix.

One thing I was missing was the black beans. I thought I had a can on hand, but was totally out, that is normally a staple in my pantry so was bummed when I realized I was out. So I just made a trip to the store and grabbed a can and added them after everything else had already cooked up. I heated them up for a few minutes to soften them up, but they are ready to eat right out of the can.

Assemble on a tortilla and add shredded cheese and you have a healthy easy meal for the next few days.

Keeping the fridge stocked with foods that Jeff can make for dinner’s while I am gone makes me feel better about leaving him behind so he can work and take care of the dogs. Plus I am Italian so I have the deep seeded need to feed people.

Here’s the Recipe:

Crock Pot Chicken Taco’s

This recipe makes 8 really large taco’s.

  • 1 envelope taco seasoning, or seasoned to your taste
  • 2 to 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes with green chilies or a jar of salsa (16 oz)
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can of corn

Dump everything into a crock pot and give it a little stir to blend the seasoning with the salsa or can of tomatoes. Cook on high for 4 to 6 hours or on low for 6 to 8 hours. When done, the chicken should shred easily when stirred with a fork. During the last hour of cooking add a can of corn and can of black beans.

See ya back here next week my foodie friends!

Check Ya Later.

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Snack Plate Rules! I love them, and my typical snack plate looks like this. I have been addicted to hummus as long as I can remember. Recently I tried a new brand, I always thought I would never stray from my favorite brand Sabra, but the Kroger brand is just so amazing. I bought it for the first time on my last shopping trip, because the plain Sabra flavor was sold out. The texture and thickness of the Kroger’s brand is perfect.

So on my snack plate is the Kroger’s hummus, a string cheese stick, a whole wheat pita, carrot sticks and a hard-boiled egg. The combination of this snack plate kept me as full as a meal would. Loved it.

In other news, I never heard back from the Luna Bar Winner so I did a Redraw and the New Winner is: Meagan, who I have already notified. Meagan your package is on the way!

BEST BODY BOOTCAMP

Boot Camp Update: 

Well this is the last and final week of Boot Camp, and I can truly say I will be walking away from it with New Friends, New Confidence and New Moves. I have said it before during these last 7 weeks and I will say it again, I love Boot Camp, I learned so much. I cannot think of a time where I pushed myself more to achieve a fitness goal.

Here’s My Fitness Confession: I am no longer a Cardio Junkie, I Love Lifting Weights. 

I’m attending Blend Retreat 2012.

Blend Retreat News:  I have roommates. I am paired up with a non-blogger named Patricia, who I can not wait to meet. I also have two other roommates: Amanda at Diary of a Semi-Health Nut, and Katie at Talk Less, Say More. I am really excited to meet them all and have a great weekend.

Question for the Day: What is your current fitness goal?  

Here’s Mine:  To continue learning new exercises involving weight training.

Check Ya Later.

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Sometimes I just want to try something different. I have 3 packs of these Chicken Sausages in my freezer from a serious coupon savings trip I recently had.

So I grilled them up on my panini maker.

Sliced them into bite size pieces.

Grabbed some Naan Flat Bread and thought about making a sandwich, but then it hit me, Make a Naan Pizza. 

Grabbed a few topping, feta cheese, pasta sauce and some artichokes.

Once I placed all the toppings, I also added some shredded cheese. Sometimes I just can not get enough cheese.

Baked on 400 degrees for 10 minutes.

Came out of the oven crispy and cheesy.

Sliced it up and got to it.

Question of the Day: What do you top your pizza with?

Check Ya Later.

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Tuna is something I always have on hand, and when I want a healthy easy dinner this recipe comes to mind. I adapted this recipe from Beth’s Journey.

On a recent trip to Trader Joe’s I picked up a favorite side dish that I was really excited about making. Polenta Provencale. It has Polenta balls, spinach and peas in it with a spicy cream sauce, it is really good.

I just love all the flavor packed into these little burgers.

They cook up so fast, about 4 minutes on each side.

Once they were done I popped them in the toaster oven to melt a slice of cheese on top of the Tuna Burger.

Grabbed my sides and dug in.

Asian Style Tuna Burgers Recipe

Makes 3-4 Tuna Burgers

Ingredients:

  • 2 Scallions Chopped
  • Handful Shredded Carrot’s
  • 2 Cans Tuna in Water
  • 1/2 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 1/3 Cup Liquid Egg Whites (or one egg)
  • 1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Rice Vinegar

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and form into 3 or 4 patties. Spray pan with nonstick cooking spray and heat up the pan. Cook over medium heat for 4 minutes each or until golden brown.

Question of the Day: Do you have a Trader Joe’s near you? I drive 35 miles one way to go to one. Totally worth it. 

Check Ya Later.

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Any reason to use wonton wrapper is a good enough reason for me. I love them, the things you can stuff into them is endless. You might see them on my blog from time to time. I use them for Wonton Taco Cups . I use them for Kale Ravioli’s. Wonton’s are so easy to work with and they crisp up so nice. I’m going to take you through a fun and easy recipe that is perfect as a side dish or an appetizer, but I will admit I sometimes eat them for dinner.

The can chicken breast I get from Sam’s club is so good, it’s all natural with no MSG, or preservatives, plus is it chicken breast meat, no rib meat or other additives are added. So I never feel guilty serving it.

One thing you can always find in my house is a variety of cheese products, so I wanted to try something different in this Quito so I used Laughing Cow cheese wedges instead of shredded cheese.

Just chop into bite size pieces and smash into the chicken and salsa mix, it really gave it a creamy texture.

Add some corn.

Get your wraps ready.

Plop a tablespoon full on the wrap and spread over the entire wrap.

I do suggest getting it as close to the edge as possible so the end of the Quito’s has some filling. It’s such a thin layer that it will not squish out as you roll it.

Assemble on a cookie sheet and bake foe 15 minutes on 375 degrees.

They come out all crispy and ready to be devoured.

Here’s The Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • One 12.5-oz. can chunk white chicken breast in water, drained and flaked (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 3 Laughing Cow Blue Cheese Wedges or 1/3 cup shredded cheese
  • 1/4 cup corn
  • 16 small square wonton wrappers
  • Optional dips: salsa, red enchilada sauce, or sour cream

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet by spraying with nonstick spray and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the chicken, salsa, cheese and then add the corn. Mix thoroughly.

Lay two wrappers flat on a clean, dry surface. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of chicken mixture onto each wrapper, and spread it evenly over the entire surface of each. Roll each wonton up tightly into a cigar-shaped tube. Place wonton on the baking sheet, seam side down. If needed, secure with toothpicks. Repeat with remaining wonton and chicken mixture.

Bake until crispy, about 15 minutes.

Next time I make these will be adding black beans, I want to load them up with some fiber.

So the winner of the 4 Luna Bar’s is: Annie Yarde: I’ve never tried a nutrition bar, but these sound yummy!

Annie just email me at denajeanne@gmail.com with your full mailing address and I will get those right out to you. 

Note: I used Random.org to determine the winner of this giveaway, which by the way is so much fun, I am easily amused. Thanks to everyone who entered.

Question of the Day: What’s your favorite Mexican food?  I can not answer that because I could not choose, I love too many. 

Check Ya Later.

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Today I received a notice from Word Press that I have had 100 plus likes on my posts. Thanks to everyone who liked my previous posts, it is always great to know that someone is reading them.

One thing I really enjoy is Meatless Monday. I look forward to it, I normally make a noodle dish and tofu with a vegetable. So for this Monday’s Meatless Meal I tried something new, Tempeh. I can not get past the fact that I have never tried it before. I have seen many recipes for ways to use it, but I just wanted to try it as simply prepared as I could to really test out the flavor.

Wow, the amount of protein in Tempeh is amazing, 22 grams with two servings in the package. So not only do I have a protein packed dinner, but I will have enough for a protein packed lunch.

I’ve been on a Brussels Sprouts kick lately. I just can not get enough. So I did my favorite preparation and Roasted them on 400 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes, I like them well done so I go the entire 35 minutes, but if you do not like them crispy then 30 minutes is all it will take.

Now to the His part of my post, my husband will eat anything I cook, he is not picky and he loves all kinds of food, but the last few times he has eaten soy or tofu he has broken out in hives. So I surprised him with Home Made Venison Helper.

For the Tempeh and the Her part of the post, I followed the package directions, oil in the pan with 2 teaspoons of soy sauce and brown both sides. This only took about 8 minutes.

Now getting back to the Venison Helper I finished the dish by adding some shredded cheese.  In my opinion cheese makes everything taste better. That is the main reason I could never become a vegetarian. Cheese. Heavenly Cheese.

Can you blame me for being hooked on the Brussels, look at them.

There was so much leftover, that I will not have to cook tomorrow night and I really want to try it out.

His Meal.

This was a total hit with the husband. I think he was relieved that his dinner was soy free. I certainly do not want to serve him anything that he might be allergic to.

Her Meal. 

I topped my meal with some leftover pasta sauce. I liked it, but my mind drifted off to my Favorite Tofu Meal. Lime marinated Roasted Tofu. I have a feeling that I will be making it real soon. I will defiantly try tempeh again, but I think I will jazz it up a bit.

In case your interested in the recipe for Homemade Venison Helper. Here you go.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground venison or use ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder or 2-3 tsp. onion flakes
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder (or 1 clove minced garlic)
  • 1 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • hefty squirt of mustard
  • 1 3/4 cup water
  • salt to taste
  • 2 1/2 cup pasta-your choice
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (added once the cooking is completed)

Method:

Brown and drain meat.  Stir in pepper, onion powder, garlic, tomato sauce, and mustard.  Pour in water and pasta.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat; cover and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the water is absorbed and the pasta is cooked.  Turn the heat off and stir in the cheese. Serve and enjoy. 

BEST BODY BOOTCAMP

Boot Camp Update: We are into our last phase of the Boot Camp, we have two weeks left, and the thought of it ending makes me really sad.

Mondays workout had a few boxing exercises in it. I found my self having so much fun doing them. I took a few cardio boxing classes in the past and I forgot how much I loved punching and striking moves.

Question of the Day: Do you ever find yourself making different meals for family members?

Check Ya Later.

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Happy Monday!

My friends over at NutritionFix sent me a box of Luna Chocolate Chunk nutrition bars to review.

NutritionFix Vitamins and Supplements

NutritionFix should be your online source for sports nutrition supplements. They offer over 5000 products from 75 of the top brands in the health and wellness industry. I love nutrition bars, they are loaded with protein and fiber and are a great way to prepare or recover from a workout. I also rely on them for energy, meal replacements and for snacks. I like nutrition bars that the grains are kept whole, so Luna is a brand I trust for whole grains and great flavor combinations.

They sent me Chocolate Chunk, a flavor I have not had, and I am really excited to try. So let’s get to the review.

These bars are amazing, I just could not get over the actual chocolate chunks in the bar. This bar is 70%Organic, which I really like. Textures in food are so important to me and these bars are loaded with organic grains. You can taste the different grains in the bar, the crispy rice, the oatmeal texture and the chunks of chocolate were perfectly balanced.

They have a nice sweetness to them. I really enjoyed trying them. Hope you go over to NutritionFix and check out them out. They have great prices and a huge selection.

Well I’d love to share some of my loot with you. Would you like to try it for yourself?  If so, please leave me a comment telling me what your favorite Nutrition Bar is. I will pick a winner for Wednesday’s Post. The winner will receive 4 Chocolate Chunk Luna Bars to try. For additional entries: Like my Face Book Page and Follow my Twitter Page, for a total of  three entries, and just comment that you did so. If any of the links to the Social Media pages are broken, please go to my side right bar and add from there, Thank-you.

Check Ya Later.

*NutritionFix sent me this product to review, but the opinions are my own.

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Had a great Saturday for many reasons. I did one of my favorite things, I Hiked.  After a hearty Instant Oatmeal Pancake, Jeff and I took a nice long hike at a local farm. Here’s the Instant Oatmeal Recipe and Directions.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Packet Instant Oatmeal (any flavor)
  • ½ Banana , Mashed
  • ½ Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ½ Teaspoon Vanilla
  • ½ Teaspoon Swanson Organic Cinnamon
  • 13 cup Egg Beaters Egg Substitute

Directions:

  • Mix and combine all ingredients.
  • Pour into non-stick skillet and when you shake the pan and the pancake moves, it’s time to flip.
  • Brown on both sides

     

The farm has a path that runs along the crop, it has not been planted yet, but they will be planting it soon. While we were walking a few of the farmers were out plowing the field.

There are also all these amazing trails through the woods just off the path.

We took a walk through the woods after we walked the path. We know the trails really well and only walk them when it is not hunting season. There are several hunters that hunt the property.

Today I felt brave and climbed up a tree stand. Well almost to the top. I was a bit freaked out about being up so high.

Jeff waited patiently for me to test out my fear’s.

I never realized I had a fear of heights, I normally don’t but I guess the climbing combined with the height is really what got me. I climbed to the top step, but could not step onto the deck, I just took a few pictures and stepped back down the latter really slowly.

I just love hiking through the woods and along the path’s I really cannot think of a better way to spend the day with my husband.

No rest day for the farmers, they always seem to be in the fields this time of year.

We got a bit dirty on the trail, but it was worth it, I had a blast.

I also planning on hitting the trails as often as I can before the Blend Retreat, it’s less than 3 weeks away now. We have a planned hike on the retreats agenda and I want to be ready for it. It always seems like Hiking engages different muscles than walking and the elliptical machine does. So getting a few hikes in before should help.

I’m attending Blend Retreat 2012.

Question of the Day: If you could choose, would you rather Walk, Run or Hike? 

Check Ya Later.

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Trying to keep dinner’s fun and healthy is something I enjoy doing. I like to spend time looking at recipes and planning meals. I always try to have balanced meals. One way I balance meals is to always include a vegetable and a grain or bread with a protein. Over the years I have learned how I like to eat and prepare vegetables.  One thing I can not stand is when you go to a restaurant and get a side of vegetables that are limb and soaked in butter, yuck. I love to roast vegetables with a little oil and seasoned with salt and pepper. For me that’s perfection.

Sweet potatoes to me are a root vegetable that is hands down a true winner all by itself. Sweet, hearty and good for you, sign me up for some Wedged Sweet Eats.

I went with a wedge cut on these three beauties.

After I wedged them I put them in a ziplock bag and added salt, pepper and olive oil and shook them up in the bag to coat all the wedges.

I also added another pinch or two of a really coarse sea salt to the top before putting them in the oven. I roasted them on 425 degrees for 30 minutes. The skin and the top of the wedges come out crispy with a salty bite and on the inside they are soft and sweet.

Made an easy side dish of pearled couscous with a basil and herb seasoning. I really liked it you could really taste the basil.

These pearled couscous were huge compared to the standard couscous.

Picked up these Seafood Stuffed Salmon steak’s at Sam’s Club while I was picking up some paper products. I warned myself before I went in that I was only getting paper products, but clearly that did not happen, and I am so glad. These were amazing. My husband ate two of them. I had one and saved one to take to work for lunch.

I was so excited to see how these tasted.

I have seen these in the seafood area of Sam’s Club before but always passed them by. I will be getting these again, for $12.00 it was a great deal on something that we both loved.

This meal reminds me of a post I did a while back about being an Orange Eater. I think color has so much to do with the foods we eat and the foods we find more appealing than others.

I am drawn to Green Foods like: Kale, Spinach, Pea’s, Avocados, Cucumbers, Broccoli, Asparagus. Orange Foods like: Pumpkin, Sweet Potatoes, Salmon, Carrots, Papaya. Red Foods like: Apples, Strawberries, Cherries, Watermelons, Raspberries.  

No let’s get Physical.

BEST BODY BOOTCAMP

Boot Camp Update: During Boot Camp, Tina  included Modified Options for all the exercises in case it was too much of a challenge for your fitness level, and for those who needed more of a challenge she include an Increased Challenge Option, and for those without gym memberships like myself there was an At Home Option. I used all the options at one time or another during these past 6 weeks.

One thing that has been the best aid during the Boot Camp has been the links to each exercise. This has been so helpful. Having it explained so clearly or to have an actual video showing proper movements has made it easy and fun to tackle all the new exercises.

Plank Club Update: I have been holding a 42 second Plank and doing it at least 3 times per day. In addition to the Standard Plank, I started adding the Reverse Plank.

Question of the Day: What’s Color Food are you drawn to?

Check Ya Later.

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