Sunday, March 22, 2015

RockCrok Sausage & Cheese Tortellini

This is quite the indulgence meal on 21-Day Fix. Though I don't think it's any worse then what you might find eating out though. We planned to have this for Valentine's Day dinner this year, but we both weren't feeling well so we had a few days later. Serve it with a nice french loaf bread.

I made it in the RockCrok but you could also alter it to make it in a sauce pan on the stove or maybe the crock pot. 

Sausage & Cheese Tortellini
Ingredients

  • 1 package of chicken broth (32 oz)
  • 1 package of your favorite tortellini (20 oz, we used three cheese)
  • 1 lb spicy italian sausage
  • 2 Cans Diced Tomatoes (seasoned with basil, garlic & oregano), not drained
  • 8 oz. Cream Cheese (try low fat).
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese for toppings

Directions

  1. Take your cream cheese out of the fridge, and let it sit while you brown your sausage in your RockCrok.
  2. Add tortellini, tomatoes, and broth to the RockCrok and stir. Cook for 12 minutes in the microwave. 
  3. Dice the cream cheese into small cubes. 
  4. Remove from microwave, add the cream cheese, put lid back on. Let sit 5-minutes. Stir and serve!

If making in a crockpot: 
  1. Take your cream cheese out of the fridge, and let it sit while you brown your sausage. 
  2. Add the sausage, tortellini, tomatoes, and broth to your crock pot and stir. 
  3. Dice the cream cheese into small cubes and place on top. 
  4. Cook on LOW for a total of 4 1/2 hours. Stir at 2 hours, and again at 4 hours, removing the lid for the last 30 minutes of cooking. This will give the sauce some time to thicken up.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Banana-Strawberry "Ice Cream" (21 Day Fix Approved)


Have I mentioned yet this week how much I love my food processor? If I had more counter space it would be a permanent fixture. I use it for so much! Everyone should get one. Getting married? Put it on the registry. Having a baby? Put it on the registry (you'll use it to make baby food, so it's a need.) Birthday coming up? Ask for this. I have the 14-cup Cuisinart. My mom and grandma gave it to me at my Bridal Shower. (I remember things like that.) 


4 Ingredient "Ice Cream"
Ingredients
  • 2 bananas, cut into 1-inch slices(frozen)
  • ½ cup frozen strawberries, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp Almond Milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla

Instructions
1. Place banana slices on a plate, separating each slice. Place slices in freezer for 2 hours (overnight is best!).
2. Remove strawberries and bananas from freezer and place in food processor, blend until they are the consistency of soft serve ice cream.
3. Add almond milk(more or less for desired texture)and vanilla and blend until smooth and well-mixed.
4. Transfer ice cream to a freezer container and freeze until solid. (You don't have to wait if fruit is frozen, it is like soft serve ice cream)
5. Scoop with ice cream scoop and serve.

One CUP of this counts as a purple container on the 21 Day Fix! 

You can really use any frozen fruit to make this. I might add some cocoa powder next time and peanut butter to make Chocolate PB. And brownie pieces. (Just kidding!) My husband doesn't like bananas, but I bet I could get him to eat some of this ice cream. 

CrockPot (RockCrok) Buffalo Chicken Chili

This is one of my new favorite soups. I shared the recipe with a coworker and he raved about it. Additionally, it was requested at our work potluck. I'm trying to dig up a picture, but it's orange. The wing sauce turns it orange.  

The original recipe can be found here. I've added a few extra things and noted my actual measurements. Additionally, while you can do it in the crock pot, I made it in the RockCrok!! 

Buffalo Chicken Chili
Ingredients
  • 1 pound of ground chicken
  • 1 can white navy beans, drained and rinsed
  • 14.5 oz can fire roasted tomatoes, drained
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • ¼ - ½ cup buffalo wing sauce (start with ¼ cup and add more at end if needed)
  • 1 package ranch dressing mix
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon celery salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried cilantro
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • Blue cheese crumbles (optional)
Crockpot Instructions
  • Brown ground chicken until fully cooked, place in crockpot (or brown ahead of time and store in fridge until ready to assemble)
  • Add remaining ingredients except for cream cheese and blue cheese and stir to combine
  • Add block of cream cheese on the top and cover
  • Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8
  • Stir to incorporate cream cheese and add additional wing sauce as desired
  • Top individual bowls with blue cheese crumbles if desired
RockCrok Instructions
  • Brown ground chicken until fully cooked (or brown ahead of time and store in fridge until ready to assemble)
  • Add remaining ingredients except for cream cheese and blue cheese and stir to combine
  • Cook in the microwave (with LID) for 13 minutes. 
  • Add the block of cream cheese on the top and cover
  • Stir to incorporate cream cheese and add additional wing sauce as desired
  • Top individual bowls with blue cheese crumbles if desired

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

What can a "cleaner" diet do for you?

IT CAN LOWER YOUR CHOLESTEROL!!!!

Most people are told they need to lower their cholesterol. I won't go into details - we all know why, high cholesterol = elevated heart attack risk. But how do you lower it? That's so much harder!! The answer you're always given is Diet & Exercise. Well that's kinda general, right? And how long will it take? It can take a while. But, if you work hard and make a lot of changes, you can get your numbers down too! 

How did I do it? Note - I did this in TWO months, not necessarily five. My eating habits last September through December didn't change. Probably got worse actually.


For those paying attention -- why the sudden drop from July 2009 to November in 2010? Unemployment plus a new job. I lost my job in February 2009 and then lost 30+ pounds. Started a new job in June 2009 and my eating and exercising went out the window. Look what a YEAR can do!

When I got engaged (August 2011), my total cholesterol (the blue line) was still high and peaking, and the triglycerides weren't going anywhere either. My doctor told me if I wanted to have a baby, I had to get my cholesterol numbers down because you can't be on the medication and pregnant. So I did. They weren't perfect, but April 2012 showed improvement.

So I had my baby (September 2013) and then let my eating habits get the best of me again. And I was home, eating Sloppy Joe Burritos and Oreos. Then I started the new job (July 2014) and the new diet (January 2015).

2015 is still all about change. My scale hasn't moved in a little while, but look at this non-scale victory!! My doctor says to keep it up. While I crave a few junk items, I don't crave fast food. The only thing I really crave and miss is chips. And I eat them every once in a while. We had Mexican this past weekend. And I got the chimichanga . Because that's what I crave. Chips and a fried burrito. :)  So once every 3 months I'll go get one.

My other cravings include the simple things like White Bread Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup (it was just winter...), Chocolate, Soda, and Cookies. I have to feed those cravings every now and then, but it's a lot less frequency and a lot less quantity then before the new year. 

I have been drinking a daily protein shake too. Big splurge and I drink the Beach Body's Shakeology. I'm not sure if everything that's packed into helps, but it can't be hurting. It also satisfies my chocolate & sweet craving 99% of the time. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Greek Turkey Burgers

This is one of my favorite recipes. I haven't made them recently and I plan to make them again soon! I served them up on Pita bread with the homemade Tzatziki sauce. They are delicious!!!

Greek Turkey Burgers
Ingredients

  • 1 package (.7 oz.) Italian dressing mix
  • 1 1/4 pound ground turkey (93% lean)
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 egg , lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/4 cup crumbled Feta cheese
  • Pita Bread
  • Optional Topping: Dice up 2 Roma Tomatoes and 1/2 a cucumber, more feta cheese

Directions

  1. Mix the burger ingredients together. Measure out 1/2 cup portions and form into patties (should form 5 patties.
  2. Grill up the hamburgers 
  3. Shove in a pita (I had to cut them in half!) with Tzatziki sauce and the tom/cuc mixture. ENJOY!
If you're counting this on the 21 Day Fix, I'd count it as 1 Red, 1/2 Yellow, and 1/2 Blue (if you add more cheese.)