Recipes

I go through phases with food. One particular item will dominate my menu and dining table only to be tossed away and replaced by another in a few months. Fortunately, the Sour Jacks  and mashed potatoes phase is over. Instead, two items have decided to stick around for the long term…cauliflower “rice” and Laughing Cow cheese wedges.

I’ve got two recent meals to share with you that utilize these items and have become staple meals in my diet. Nothing fancy. Nothing to serve at an uptown dinner party. But they are good and super filling!

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First, lets chat about Cauliflower Rice. Everyone has their own take on how to make this dish, but I’m going to show you the way I have perfected it for myself.

You need two things for Cauli Rice.
-Steamed Cauliflower
-Food Processor w/ a Shredding Disk

Now I should let you know ahead of the game that I’m extremely cheap and lazy sometimes. Yes, you can steam fresh cauliflower and use it. I encourage you to do so. However, there are those of us who don’t want to pay $3.49 for a dinky head of cauliflower when I can get a store brand SteamReady Frozen Cauliflower bag for 10/$10. Done and done.

I cook my cauliflower in the microwave according to the directions on the bag. Once it has been cooked I bust out my food processor with shredding disk. This is the disk that came with your machine that you have never used and have no idea how it works.

When installed in my Cuisinart food processor, it looks like this. No blade on the bottom. Just the disk on the top. If you aren’t sure how your processor all fits together, check the website. They have all the manuals online and they are actually pretty helpful.

 

From there I add on the top of the food processor and slowly feed in my cooked cauliflower.

The disk shreds the cauliflower and it comes out as a rice type shape and texture.

I cook up a batch of cauliflower rice on Sunday night for my meal prep and it will usually last me for 2-3 meals based on 1/2 cup serving for each meal.

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Now on to my meals. While I wrote these out as recipes, I wouldn’t really think of them as that. These are just some combos that I happen to like. You can add more cheese if you want. You can add different seasonings. Think of it as almost a mashup of sorts?! Well, doesn’t that sound appetizing. 😉

Turkey Taco Skillet

In the Mix:
-4 oz. cooked lean ground turkey
-1/2 diced tomatoes with chilies (better known as Rotel)
-1 c. cooked Cauliflower Rice
-2 tsp Taco Seasoning with Less Sodium
-1 Laughing Cow Queso Fresco & Chipotle wedge

Directions:
-Cook cauliflower rice as described above. Set aside.

-Brown the turkey, drain any leftover fat, and set aside. I normally use the 99% lean turkey, but they were out of it at my store. This was a fun treat. When I’m cooking my turkey I cook the entire package and then just save whatever is leftover after I portion out my 4 oz. I typically season it too. I have a small blood pressure issue (so annoying) so stick to the Mrs. Dash seasonings. My current favorite is the Garlic & Herb.

-In a skillet sprayed with cooking spray, add  cauliflower rice and diced tomatoes. I just let it warm all the way through. This allows the cauliflower rice to cook a little more and get a bit softer. I usually let mine cook for about 2-3 minutes.

-Once the rice and tomatoes are warm, add in the Laughing Cow wedge and 1 tsp of the taco seasoning. This cheese will not really melt but it will become soft and start to mix through the rice pretty well. There will be bits of clumps that can just be pushed out with your spatula.

-Add in 4 oz of turkey and the last tsp of taco seasoning to the rice mixture. Let it heat through for a few more minutes. About 2 minutes.

Enjoy!

 

I topped my dish off with 1 tbsp of Trader Joe’s Lite Shredded Mexican Cheese. You know, for a little bit of fun. 😉

When I prep all my food on Sunday night I will make a batch of ground turkey and a batch of cauliflower rice. I usually wait until the night that I plan to eat this dish to put it all together. I have no idea how it would taste heated up in the microwave, but I imagine it wouldn’t be too much different. Sometimes I will just eat the rice as a side to grilled chicken and sometimes I will eat the ground turkey straight out of the ziploc bag  while sitting on the couch like I’m some kind of barbarian.

Another dish that I make often with the cauliflower rice and Laughing Cow is Shrimp & Cheesy Rice, or “risotto”.

Everything is made *almost* the same way!

Shrimp & Cheesy Rice

In the Mix:
-4 oz. cooked shrimp
-1 c. cooked Cauliflower Rice
-2 tbsp shallot, chopped
-1 Laughing Cow wedge (sometimes 2)

 

Directions:

– Cook cauliflower rice and set aside.

-Cook shrimp and set aside. You can grill, cook in the skillet, or do anything else you want. I usually cook mine in a skillet and I season my shrimp with whatever Mrs. Dash I have on hand. I also overcook them because I can’t stand when they are any form of soft. *gross*

-In a medium skillet sprayed with cooking spray, add shallots and let them cook for 1-2 minutes. If I don’t have shallots I sometimes will use red onion or garlic. Whatever works for you!

-Add Laughing Cow wedge to the pan. The cheese will get soft, but won’t melt. That is just fine. I use any flavor I have on hand. The only one I don’t care for in this dish is the French Onion flavor.

-Add cauliflower rice and mix together with the shallot and cheese mixture. Allow it to cook for about 1-2 minutes.

-Add in shrimp and mix together.

Enjoy!

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I hope this was helpful to some of you! Tonight my goal is to eat another round of the Taco Turkey Skillet, but there is a good chance it could be a turkey out of the bag kind of night. I’ll let ya know. 😉

See ya tomorrow with a weekly weigh-in update!

{ 7 comments }

Does running ever get easier?

by agirlandhermutt on May 7, 2013

I’ve heard rumors that people actually enjoy running. Unfortunately, I am not one of them. Yet. I’m convinced I could be one of those people though! I’m just not sure if I can make it to that point.

Last night I started Week 3 of the Zombies, Run! app and it was HARD. Week 2 was a combo of run for 30 seconds, walk 1 minute with a free form walk/run at the end of the workout. It was doable, but I felt like I was pushing myself too.

Unfortunately, due to scheduling, I had to take last week off from running outside. I don’t like to run in the dark and that was really the only time I could workout. The gym ended up winning every day.

When I got home last night, I laced up my sneaks and set out to start Week 3. Then I got sidetracked. I started messing around with my phone, answering emails, and basically doing anything that didn’t require me leaving my house. When I finally got my foot out the door it was much cooler than I planned and the sun was starting to set.

The format of this week wasn’t that much different. Run 1 minute, walk 1 minute. Nothing too tough. However, the minute I started the warm-up walk I knew it wasn’t going to go well. For some reason the app was stuck on playing Taylor Swift’s I Knew You Were Trouble and I am all Swifted out. I kept with it though. I finally hit a spot on my normal path that I usually start to really enjoy the workout.

Not so much last night. I came across a weird swarm of bugs that kept getting in my eyes, nose and mouth. I’m not exactly sure but I’m pretty convinced that there is a dead body around there. I didn’t look because I just can’t be on the news looking like a hot mess.

The rest of the workout continued on in a similar fashion. I tried to hop over a puddle only to actually miscalculate and land right in it. The puddle was definitely not made out of just water. If you have ever been to New Orleans around Mardi Gras time then you know the kind of puddle I am talking about.  As I ran past a park where they were playing softball, a ball flew out into the path and I thought it was some weird bird trying to attack me. I screamed and they laughed. A dog ran up to me and sniffed my crotch.

All in all…not a fun night. By the time I got home I was tired and grumpy. I had also only covered about 2.5 miles. Great. Plus, I had some kind of weird stomach cramp that made me want to just lay down and cry.

On a bright note, I wore my Boston Strong tshirt for the first time. I also managed to get a bathroom selfie. Bonus for all of you.

I wallowed in my own self pity for a bit in my big red chair. There were a lot of thoughts along the lines of not being built to be a runner and how do people run for hours on end without stopping. I thought about how proud of my BF I was when he finished his half marathon and at the same time in shock that he ran for 2 hours straight. I tried to remember why I wanted to try running in the first place. I had flashbacks to boot camp and having to run laps around this stupid little patch of grass.  I’m a firm believer in allowing yourself to be miserable for a few minutes and I can do it like a pro.

And then I have to snap out of it! Which is what I did. I got off the couch, finally showered (I found a bug in my hair) and made dinner. The entire time I thought about how far I have come since January (only 4 months!!!) and how far I know I am going to get in losing weight while getting fit. I also thought about how proud myself I will be when I actually *run* an entire 5k without stopping. One night of a crappy workout isn’t the end of the world. I’ll just try again on Wednesday! Right?! I will also be removing the Taylor Swift song from my phone. *Shudder*

It should be noted that I only have about 7 songs on my phone for some reason.

-Whistle by Flo Rida
-Scream & Shout by Will.i.Am
-Ho Hey by The Lumineers
-Thrift Shop by Macklemore
-I Love It by Iconic
-Come & Get It by Selena Gomez

This does not accurately represent my taste in music and I would be so embarrassed if someone found my phone and mistook it for a 14 year old girl’s phone.

For dinner, I threw a few things together and was pleasantly surprised by the results. Things were starting to look up at the end of the night.

Grilled chicken w/ goat cheese, salsa and a little bit of lemon juice & Green Beans w/ Garlic and 1/2 a Laughing Cow wedge.

I sprinkled S&P with a little bit of Coconut Oil cooking spray over 4 oz of chicken and then baked for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Once it is almost fully cooked I squeezed about 1/2 tbsp of lemon juice over the chicken and topped it with one Trader Joe’s Goat Cheese Medallion (1 oz) and 2 tbsp of Trader Joe’s Salsa Authentica. I stuck it back in the oven for about 10 more minutes and it came out perfectly cooked with a nice cheesy topping.

  

Once I was done eating I was feeling in better spirits. I made a promise to myself to at least finish the 8 week Zombies training app. Once I am done with that I can make the decision to continue hating running or continue on in my journey to become the next Olympic athlete. Or run a 5k without wanting to die at the end. You know. Whichever comes first.

 

Runner friends…please tell me that I will get better if I stick with it! I can spin, lift heavy weights, and yoga with the best of them. I will eventually be able to add running to my resume too, right?! Please share your lazy to runner story below, if you have one. If running comes easily to you…just keep that story to yourself. 😉

{ 16 comments }

30 Day Challenge: Spend Less in May

by agirlandhermutt on May 2, 2013

Yesterday I mentioned starting a new 30 day challenge that I referred to as “No Spend May”. I really should have called it “Not As Much Spending May”. Lets be real.

I’ve seen tons of these types of challenges online where people limit their spending to just essentials (rent, gas, bills, etc) and then give a ridiculously small budget for things like groceries and other misc items you might have to pick up for the month.

I’ll be honest…that doesn’t seem like fun to me. Yes, I COULD do this, but I don’t really have to. I’m a single gal with no kids and a dog that is as cute as a button. So I decided to modify the challenge to fit me and my goals.

I want to appreciate the things I already have more. I want to be pushed to be creative with my food. I want to do things outside of my every day routine and get out of the comfort zone.

I’m a willy nilly spender. I’m an emotional shopper. Oddly enough, this matches my eating habits. Coincidence?! Riiiiight.

I have a few big events this month that I know I will be spending money at, but I don’t necessarily need to go overboard. So with all that in mind, my goals for the month are:

1. Spend $25 or less on groceries each week. I have lots of items in the pantry and freezer.  I want to use the items I have up and put everything to good use. That said, I must have fresh produce and that stuff is expensive. I have the feeling the majority of my budget will go to that area of the store.

2. Limit meals out to no more than 6 times the whole month. For some that may seem like a lot, but I’m a socializer and going out to eat is what we do. Don’t judge.

3. Cut out unnecessary purchases. No buying nail polish at Target because I was feeling bad on the way home from work and there was tons of traffic. No shopping for a new top online at Forever 21 because I saw some teenage girl at Target while I was buying nail polish wearing a cute top that I *must* have. No buying any of those “I NEED those shoes” from Zappos.com. My goal constantly is to get rid of crap in my house. I think a good start would be to stop bringing more of it in first.

4. Evaluate necessary purchases before actually making purchase. For instance, I might think I need Clorox wipes. But do I really need them or is a container hidden underneath the sink that I’m too lazy to dig out? Do I have other products that maybe I don’t like the smell of but  I could use up first before buying the wipes? Think before I buy!

5. Any spending done is done with cash. I want to use cash all month long. So basically, I’m putting away the debit card for the month! That sucker has seen some heat on it lately so I think it will appreciate the nap. I plan on tracking all my cash expenses on my phone. I even got a FREE app to help me out.

So those are the basics. Nothing fancy or outlandish. I’m sure a lot of you probably do these types of things on a regular basis. You fancy, huh?

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In totally related news. I made dinner at home last night with things from my food stash. I had a few tomatoes that were on the verge of getting gross, but still tasty. I also picked up a bunch of Persian Cucumbers from Trader Joe’s a few days ago and I have no idea why. There also seems to be an abundance of goat cheese in my house.

Put them all together…

Originally I was just going to make a few of these up for a snack, but by the time I got motivated enough to make anything after spinning class it was dinner time. Obviously this wasn’t going to make the cut for dinner so I cooked up some frozen scallops I picked up at Target a few weeks ago when they were on sale. They are Archer Farms Wild Sea Scallops. Not bad actually.

To cook them I sprayed a pan with this fun Coconut Oil Spray I picked up at Trader Joe’s last week and sprinkled the scallops with some of the TJ’s South African Smoked Seasoning.

 

Super easy and really tasty!

I smacked down a scallop on each tomato slice right on top of the goat cheese. Hot scallop and goat cheese=Amazing.

I sprinkled a little of the TJ’s Everyday Seasoning across the top and called it a day.

One meal down, 25 more to go!

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I hope you guys are having a good week. I’m gearing up for a busy weekend. I’m going to start it off with a trip to the Apple store to see what I can do about this.

Annoyed. This happened at Trader Joe’s. With the abundance of items I have from them and this cracked screen incident, I’m officially on strike from TJ’s.

See ya tomorrow with some type of workout update. Maybe a little complaining too. Fair warning. 😉

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