Healthy Recipes to Keep You Fit and Fabulous

Archive for the ‘Slow Cooker’ Category

Pork Tacos

I’m seriously gonna need to get an intravenous supply of coffee going if I’m expected to stay awake through my class tonight.  I haven’t stopped going since 5:15 this morning!  But, I’ll fill ya in on that tomorrow.

Work Out

I started my day yesterday with spin class!  I really like the instructor of the class I’ve been going to, but I must say, “adult” spin classes are a little too “laid back” for my liking- at least, when compared to the ones I used to take at my college’s gym.  Don’t worry- I definitely still get extremely sweaty, which always makes me feel like I did something right.

Breakfast

I came home and made a lovely little yogurt bowl.

I topped a cup of Chobani 0% Plain Greek Yogurt with a sliced banana, a chopped pear, some Splenda, and 1/4 cup of Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs cereal, for crunch.

Lunch

My midday meal came in the form of leftovers, thanks to Baked Spinach Ziti from Monday night.

This was even better the second time around!

Before I left for class last night, I got started on dinner.  I bought a lean pork roast from the store, and I decided to turn it into pork tacos!


I simply placed the roast in the slow cooker with:

  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can enchilada sauce
  • 1/2 packet Taco Seasoning

That’s it!  I gave it a stir, put on the lid and let it cook for 7 hours on Low.

When I got home from class, all I had to do was pull the meat using two forks.

I drained the liquid from the meat and placed what I was planning to use into a separate container.

To make the tacos, I heated up some whole wheat tortillas in the microwave for about 15 seconds.  Then I placed a portion of the meat down the center and topped it with Roasted Garlic Salsa from the store, a drizzle of Green Sauce, and a few avocado slices.

I’m pretty sure there has never been a more simple weeknight recipe than this one.

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Peanut Butter Creme

Gooooood morning, folks!

I am happy to announce that I made it through this hellish school week unscathed.  However, a combined 6 hours of sleep for 2 days definitely takes a toll on the ol’ bod.  I slept in a little this morning, but for some reason, I feel like I got hit by a train.  I didn’t work out the last two days, and I think today is going to need to be a day off, as well, because I’m feeling a cold trying to take hold of me!

Breakfast

Yesterday’s breakfast was berry beautiful 🙂

I topped 3/4 cup of Fage Total 0% Greek Yogurt with a lot of sliced strawberries, and a sprinkling of cinnamon.

I spent the day studying, and next thing I knew, it was already 4 o’clock and I hadn’t eaten lunch!  I went to the kitchen to make something, and decided a simple bagel sandwich would do the trick.  However, I couldn’t decide if I wanted to go with a sweet sandwich or a savory sandwich, so I made both!

Lunch

I toasted 1 Thomas’ Whole Wheat Bagel Thin, and topped one half with 1 tablespoon peanut butter and banana slices, and I topped the other half with 1 wedge Laughing Cow French Onion Cheese and homemade tuna salad.

Good...

vs. Good-er

The best of both worlds!

Dinner

Before I left for class, I got out my trusty slow cooker, and followed this recipe for Smokey BBQ Pulled Chicken.  I set it on High for 4 hours, and when I came home, it was ready for pullin’!

To round out the meal, I turned it into a healthified plate of southern BBQ by serving it with Steamfresh Lightly Sauced Rotini and Broccoli with Cheese Sauce, in place of the usual macaroni and cheese.

After dinner, I was really craving some dessert.  I knew we didn’t have anything good in the kitchen, and I couldn’t convince Corey to go with me to get frozen yogurt.  It looked like I was out of luck, but after some brainstorming, I came up with a healthy dessert that I am now obsessed with.

Cinnamon Sugar Chips with Peanut Butter Creme


Servings: 2

Ingredients:

3 Whole Wheat medium-sized tortillas, cut into points

non-stick spray

2 tablespoons Splenda, divided (or other calorie-free sweetener)

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 tablespoons Fage Total 0% Greek Yogurt (plain)

1 tablespoon peanut butter

sliced fruit of your choice (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven on BROIL. Lay the tortilla points on a cookie sheet, making sure they don’t overlap too much.  Spray with nonstick spray.

Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon Splenda, and the cinnamon.

Place the cookie sheet in the oven and broil for 2-3 minutes, or until lightly browned. (Don’t walk away from the oven- they burn very quickly!)

In a bowl, add the yogurt, peanut butter, and other tablespoon of Splenda, and mix together until well combined.  (Adding sweetener or sugar is a MUST, or else the result will be very salty!)

Serve the chips with an individual bowl of peanut butter creme, and fresh fruit on the side.

Peanut. Butter. Creme.  I may have invented the greatest thing since simple carbohydrates. This would make a great fruit dip, a great spread in place of cream cheese, or you could even just make a bowl of it and eat it!  Obsessed.  In fact, I’m going into the kitchen right now to whip up a batch and put it on a bagel!

See ya lata!

Green With Envy

Blah. Today needs to be over!

While all my wild friends (and wild fiance, I might add) are out at the bars around campus chugging unhealthy amounts of FD&C Green No. 3 mixed with crappy beer, here I sit, on my couch, after just getting home from the longest day ever. I am exhausted, and the only shade of green I am sporting is on my face- green with envy!

I woke up early this morning, made breakfast, and headed to the middle school to teach a 7th grade math class.

Breakfast

Like I said earlier, as of this morning, my refrigerator looked like no one lives in our apartment, so my breakfast was pretty boring:

Booooring

Next stop- Boresville

Just your standard Quaker Weight Control Maple and Brown Sugar Oatmeal, topped with a drizzle of sugar-free syrup.

Lunch

Thank goodness I made extra tuna salad the other day, or else I would’ve been screwed in the lunch department today.

Tuna to the Rescue

I topped a good helping of broccoli slaw with tuna salad, and then topped that with a drizzle of Kraft Toasted Sesame Dressing.

After teaching, I had just enough time to run to the grocery store and pick up the ingredients I needed for the traditional St. Patrick’s Day meal of corned beef and cabbage.  I walked through the door after class to the aroma of corned beef and cabbage cooking away in the slow cooker!

Dinner

My mom has made this every year for St. Patrick’s Day since I can remember, and it’s a tradition I plan to carry on for my own family one day, too! Even though we’re Scottish, not Irish, I always tell people it’s basically the same thing (which I’m pretty sure is not true at all).  Corey, however, is actually very Irish and very Polish, so he makes up for my deficiency.

You’re supposed to cook this dish for a long time, but I didn’t have a long time to spare!  I brainstormed ways to speed up the process, and figured the best option would be to brown the meat on both sides in a skillet, and then cook it on high for 5 hours in the slow cooker.

Into the slow cooker went:

  • 1 package of Mosey’s Corned Beef + Seasoning Packet
  • 3/4 small package of baby carrots
  • 4 peeled and quartered Russet potatoes
  • 1 head of cabbage, cut into wedges
  • 2 cups water

That’s it!  I put the lid on and hoped for the best.

It tasted just as good as I remember my mom’s tasting.  I think the only mistake I made was browning it before cooking- it kind of made the meat a little tough. But it was still great! I went back for seconds.

Time to watch Jersey Shore and get started on the mountain of laundry that’s calling my name.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Crying Into My Curry

I simply could not get around to blogging last night.

Why?

Because I looked like this after watching The Bachelor Finale:

Source

I have never been so overwhelmed with emotion by any TV show in my life!  Brad’s proposal to Emily was so beautiful, they’re so beautiful, it’s all SO BEAUTIFUL! I was a mess!

"Be my forever!"

THEN…I watched the “After the Final Rose” show immediately after ending of The Bachelor, and my sobbing turned into pure heartache after hearing all the horrible things Emily and Brad had to say about their relationship post-proposal.

I HATE WHEN SHOWS MAKE ME REALIZE THAT REALITY TV ISN’T REALITY!

Why couldn’t they let me just go on believing that Brad would reel in the moon for Emily, and that Emily’s brain is filled with rainbows and unicorns?!  Ugh.  Needless to say, I went to bed sad, deceived and betrayed by my friend, Reality TV.

Ok, I’m done being pathetic…onto the real purpose!  FOOD!

Breakfast

After my workout, which can be found here, I ended the weekend’s caloriefest by starting my morning with a Power Smoothie!

Power in a Glass

Berry Good!

Into the blender went:

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup Chobani 0% Vanilla Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1/2 scoop Muscle Milk Chocolate Protein Powder
  • handful of ice cubes
  • Splenda

I ran out of my Biggest Loser Protein, so I decided to use just a tiny portion of Corey’s Muscle Milk. Muscle Milk is loaded with calories, but the serving size is for FOUR scoops- I figured I would be OK with just a 1/2 a scoop.  Since I’m in the market for a new protein powder, any suggestions out there?

Lunch

Lunch came in the form of good ol’ broccoli slaw, topped with tuna salad and Kraft Toasted Sesame Dressing:

Tuna

Bite O' Tuna

I think I need to invest in some regular lettuce for my salads- the slaw plus the crunchy veggies in my tuna salad made my jaw hurt from chewing so much!

I made my tuna salad with:

  • 2 cans Chicken of the Sea Solid White Albacore Tuna
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons light mayo
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced

The amount I made should last for about 4 servings.

Before I left for class, I decided to get a head start on dinner.  I got out the slow cooker and added

  • 4 chicken cutlets
  • 3 cloves of chopped garlic
  • 1 can of Progresso Low Sodium Vegetable Soup (just the liquid, I strained out the veggies and threw them away)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

That was it!  I placed it on Low for 5 hours, and when I got home, I removed the chicken breasts and shredded them using two forks:

When I was visiting my parents this weekend, my dad gave me some packages of fresh veggies, including a package of brussel sprouts and a package of yellow squash.  When I got home from class, I sliced all the veggies, layed them on a cookie sheet, sprayed them with non-stick spray, sprinkled them with garlic powder and salt, and popped them in a 425 degree oven for 25 minutes until they were nice and browned:

This is my favorite way to cook vegetables!

I used a jar of Thai Kitchen Yellow Curry to bring this meal together:

I brought the sauce to a boil in a pot, and then I threw in the cooked shredded chicken and roasted veggies.  I gave it a stir, and dinner was ready!

I served our curry dinner over brown rice.  I used a packet of Uncle Ben’s 90-Second Ready Rice, which made this dinner even easier.

Little did I know that I would soon be sobbing like a 5-year-old into my chicken curry, hence, the title of this post.

If you watch The Bachelor, do you think Brad and Emily will make it?!

OCD Runner

I am by no means a person with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  But today, I felt like I may have needed to be institutionalized for it.  I opted for an afternoon workout so I could study in the morning, so we headed over to the gym when Corey got home from work.  I don’t exactly have a plethora of workout clothes, but I have a good amount that usually lasts me between laundry loads.  I was running low today, so I grabbed two things I don’t normally wear to workout- a purple, stretchy tank top that is made for exercise, and a pair of Nike running shorts.  The shorts were laughably big on me.  I don’t even know where they came from, or why I own them, but I pray that they never actually fit me in this life.  Anyway, I had nothing else, so I had to make it work.  I pinned the shorts a little on the sides with safety pins, rolled them twice, and headed out the door.

Here’s the thing- it takes a lot for this chick to actually go running, so when I do, everything must be perfect!  By that I mean that my hair has to be pulled completely away from my face- not a single hair can touch my face- my ponytail needs to stay put and not fall out or touch my shoulders when I’m running.  My shorts have to fit and stay put, my iPod cannot even insinuate that it’s about to run out of battery, and it can’t be too hot outside!  Today, was not my kind of running day.  And I wasn’t even outside!  As soon as I started running on the treadmill, everything went to crap.  My T.V. wouldn’t go to the one channel I wanted to watch, my hair, which was in a bun, flopped up and down until it came completely out, my stretchy tank was riding up to the point where my entire stomach was showing, and my makeshift shorts were getting stuck up my butt thanks to the safety pinning job I did.  I honestly almost lost my mind.  To top it all off, there was some girl behind me on the bike who appeared to be one of those I-weigh-89-pounds-but-go-to-the-gym-to-watch-TV-and-look-hot types, and I’m pretty sure she was laughing at my visible frustration.  I’ll deal with her next time.

Anyways, I ended up only completing 20-minutes of semi-running, but I used my anger to power me through a great weights session.

Today’s workout can be found here.

Lunch

For lunch, I grabbed something new that I’ve never tried before:

An EatSmart Asian Salad Kit!  The kit included a mixture of shredded lettuce and cabbage, a packet of Asian dressing, and a small packet of “crunchies”- wonton noodles and almonds.

I will definitely be buying another kit in the future!

Dinner

Before I left for class, I decided to try a new recipe.  I threw some ingredients in the Crock Pot, and when I came home, dinner was basically ready to go, and it smelled delicious.  Here’s what I made:

Smokey BBQ Pulled Chicken

Servings: 2-3

Ingredients:


2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts

8 oz. tomato sauce

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 tablespoon Chipotle mustard

1 tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar

1 onion or shallot, chopped

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Sauce

Several shakes of your favorite hot sauce (I used Paula Deen’s!)

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 tablespoon paprika

salt and pepper, several pinches

Directions:

Mix together all of the above ingredients, except the chicken, in the crock pot until smooth.

Before

Add the chicken breasts, cover, and cook on low for 6 hours.

Pull, pull, pull!

When the chicken is done cooking, remove it from the pot and place on a cutting board.  Use two forks to pull the chicken apart, then add it back into the pot with the sauce and mix together.  Serve!

After

I have to say, this was awesome.  It’s so easy to get sick of chicken when you run out of ideas for making it, but this made me want to eat it every day!  I served our chicken with two frozen sides:

Frozen Friends

Dinna

After dinner, I was craving something sweet (of course) so I asked Corey if he was in the mood for frozen yogurt.  He wasn’t, but that wasn’t the right answer, so we hopped in the car and hurried over to the frozen yogurt place down the street.  Alas, we were too late and they were closed.  I was on a mission and wasn’t about to go home empty-handed, so we went to Publix and I grabbed our favorite flavor of their Premium No-Sugar-Added, Light Ice Cream:

Butter Pecan

Why would I buy evil ice cream instead of perfectly healthy frozen yogurt, you ask? Well, I used to buy their frozen yogurt all the time, until I decided to check the Nutrition Facts one day, and realized that this was a huge mistake!  In comparison to the above ice cream, Publix’s Premium Frozen Yogurt has roughly 13 more grams of sugar, which is bad.  Therefore, we eat light ice cream sweetened with my B.F.F., Splenda.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I have to go study AGAIN.  I can’t wait until this week is over!

 

Pot Roast Remix

 

We "meat" again...

It’s another cold night in Orlando!  Corey and I knew we were going to be in the mood for some hot food when we got home, so, this morning, I got to work on a pot roast and put it in the slow cooker.

I’ve posted a pot roast recipe previously, but this recipe is a little different.  I actually forgot to buy celery, so that didn’t make it in the mix.  As I mentioned in the other pot roast post, Corey’s mom has a great recipe which uses a jar of gravy, along with the other liquids.  I decided to go that route this time, except, a jar of Heinz Homestyle Rich Mushroom Gravy caught my eye, and I decided to go with that instead of turkey. When I was at the produce market over the weekend, I happened to pick up some white mushrooms, so I also added those to the pot, as well.  We cooked a big roast (3lb), so we will be eating those leftovers all weekend!

There’s just one problem.  The first step of slow-cooking pot roast involves browning each side of the meat before adding it to the pot.  Living in an apartment means my kitchen, and basically every other room in the place, gets filled immediately with smoke anytime I cook something on a higher heat level.  Not that big of a deal, right?

Tell that to this crazy dog:

“Let me in! LET ME IN!!!”

Every single time I cook and the slightest bit of smoke gets in the air, Bella goes running for the closet and hides until the smoke disappears.  This time, the door happened to closed, so she panicked even more.  I opened the door for her and got this look:

"Why must you torture me so?"

I guess we will be safe if there’s a real fire in the apartment!  Or…she will be safe in the closet?

We’re off to watch a movie, go to bed, and get our stomachs prepared for the Chili Cook-Off tomorrow morning!  We’re gonna get to taste over 50 chili’s…including one made with kangaroo meat?  Not sure how I feel about that, but I’ll take pictures!

Mushroom Pot Roast

Servings: 6

Ingredients:


3lb. Chuck Tender Roast

1 large onion, peeled and sliced into wedges

6 medium red potatoes, washed and cut into quarters

6-8 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks

8-10 white mushrooms, stems removed and caps sliced

3 teaspoons garlic powder, 2 for the meat, 1 for the pot

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 bay leaf

3 cups beef broth

1 jar Heinz Homestyle Rich Mushroom Gravy

1/2 cup water

Directions:

 

Before...

Heat a skillet over medium high heat and spray with nonstick spray.  Sprinkle each side of the roast with 2 teaspoons garlic powder and 2 teaspoons salt.  Brown on each side, about 4 minutes each.  Remove from skillet and place in slow cooker.  Add chopped veggies to the cooker.  Pour in the broth, water, gravy, and seasonings.  Give everything a big stir and place the lid on the cooker.  Cook on LOW for 8 hours.  Shred meat with 2 forks and serve!

 

After!

 

The Ultimate Comfort Meal: Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Pot roast is one of those meals that almost everyone’s mom has their own recipe for.  My mom makes a delicious pot roast in the oven, with carrots, potatoes, celery and onion.  Corey’s mom’s recipe uses a special cooking method with the oven, and one ingredient is a jar of turkey gravy!  It’s just one of those meals that you have to know how to make if you’re going to be a domestic goddess.  That’s obviously everyone’s goal here, right?  Ha. Anyways, the other night, I decided that I would try to tackle the task of creating my own pot roast recipe (with some help from our favorite Publix sample lady, who inspired this idea!)  Surprisingly, it didn’t take that many ingredients for me to get a very flavorful dish, using my handy dandy slow cooker, of course.

Slow Cooker Pot Roast


Servings: 3-4

Ingredients:

1 pound chuck roast (we used less than this, and a thinner cut, but it wasn’t really enough so I recommend going for the bigger, more expensive roasts)

Our cut of meat

 

2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks

4 medium celery stalks, ends removed, the rest cut into chunks

6 medium red potatoes, washed and cut into quarters

1 Vidalia onion, cut into wedges

2 cups chicken stock

1 cup water

3 tablespoons Reduced-Sodium Soy Sauce

2 tablespoons Worcestershire

1 teaspoon salt and pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon Montreal Steak Seasoning

1 tablespoon EVOO

*optional: I served ours over whole wheat farfalle*

Directions:

Heat a skillet with the EVOO over medium-high heat.  Season the meat with just a sprinkling of salt, pepper and garlic powder on each side.

 

 

 

 

Browned

 

 

Place the meat in the skillet and brown 1-2 minutes on both sides.  Remove from skillet and place in the slow cooker.

 

 

 

 

Chopped Veggies

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everybody in the pool!

 

Chop your vegetables and add them to the slow cooker, on top of the meat.

Pour in the chicken stock, water, soy sauce, Worcestershire, and seasonings.  Meat should be covered with liquid and vegetables should be almost covered (if not, add a little more water).  Give it a little stir, put the lid on top, and cook on LOW for 8 hours.

 

Big Bowl of Comfort Food!

Serve over whole wheat egg noodles, whole wheat farfalle (like I did) or brown rice.

 

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