04/19/2013

Quick and Easy Turkey 2-Bean Chili

Chili is one of those comfort foods that can be lightened-up and ‘healthified’ by making just a few subtle changes to the base ingredients.  It is also a recipe that can be tweaked to meet your own flavor specifications.  You can make a batch super spicy or with more of a smoky flavor, made with ground beef or shredded chicken, kidney beans or black beans, or topped with cheddar cheese or sour cream.  The possibilities are endless and no matter your taste buds’ preference, I can almost guarantee that you’ll be able to find that perfect recipe to meet all of your chili dreams.

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When I make chili, I usually try to keep it simple, not too spicy, and filled with healthy ingredients, (but not an overwhelming amount of them).  If a recipe requires too many ingredients I probably won’t make it, especially during the work week, because of how costly and time consuming a large recipe can quickly become.  For the most part, I like to keep the base pretty similar every time – ground turkey, a mix of canned beans, tomatoes and fresh diced onions.

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This recipe I am sharing today makes a big batch and is perfect if you like leftovers or want to freeze half of it for a quick dinner another time.  Tim and I both had a bowl the first night I made it, I had it for lunch two more times during the week, and Tim finally ate the rest for dinner one night when I was not home.  This meal was quick to throw together, and only took about 30 minutes start to finish.  Definitely an awesome, healthy and protein-packed recipe to have on hand for any night during the week!

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Oh, and my recipe for Sweet Yogurt Cornbread makes for an awesome side dish to go with this meal.  I made a batch of that too for dinner!

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Talk to Me!

  • Are you a chili fan?  Do you prefer your chili spicy or smokey? Made with ground beef, ground turkey, or shredded chicken?
  • What is your favorite chili topping?
  • Do you tend to stick to one chili recipe, or do you like to mix-up the ingredients?
04/17/2013

WIAW: An Early Saturday Start

** As hard as it is to move forward after tragedies like the one that occurred in Boston, it is extremely encouraging to see how people come together and are there for one another during difficult and unimaginable times like these. As a running lover, I am so proud to be a part of a community that is not only full of strong people who give it their all during races, but also people who show their true brave colors in the tough aftermath that follows as well. The next time I have the privilege of running a race, I know I will be thinking of those whose lives were forever changed Monday and I will be more grateful than ever for the joyous gift of running.

 

Today’s WIAW was documented throughout the day Saturday and it all started bright and early at 6:30 am!

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I had a haircut scheduled for 11:00 am, so I knew if I was going to fit in everything I wanted to I would have to get the day started sooner than later, so I rolled out of bed after turning off my alarm clock and headed downstairs. I signed up for a 7:45 am Pure Barre class so before I got ready, I had a cup of coffee and a quick bowl of cereal, Grape-Nuts Flakes, with almond milk.

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This may sound strange, but I seriously loved Grape-Nuts cereal when I was a kid. I would add sugar to the bowl and then let the cereal sit in the milk until it was all soaked together. What other seven year old enjoyed a nice bowl of Grape-Nuts?  Who knows!  All I do know though is that it was one of my absolute favorite childhood breakfasts.

I went straight to Pure Barre from my house and then headed over to Panera Bread at about 9:00 am to grab something to eat and to work on a little blogging and writing. Panera was right next door to my salon, so I knew getting up early to exercise would allow me extra time to get a little work in before my appointment. I always seem to do my best work at Panera or Starbucks ever since college, and even to this day I still prefer this style of ‘office space.’ I wanted to order a Latte, but the espresso machine was unfortunately out of commission, so instead I ordered an iced coffee and a whole grain bagel with egg. I knew I needed to eat something or I wouldn’t make it until after 1:30 pm when I would get home, and this snack/meal was just the ticket.

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From Panera, I headed next door to give my hair a much needed freshen-up. I went for a subtle change, but had highlights added and got a trim through my layers and around my face. I haven’t gotten my hair cut or colored since the big cut in November, and to say this trip to the salon was necessary is an understatement!

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After I arrived home, I made myself a Dashing Dish Peanut Butter Maple Shake, only without the pudding mix . This is one of my favorite quick and easy smoothies that I have a lot as a snack during the week after work.

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By this point I was feeling a little tired, so I sat down and relaxed for a little bit until I went to go upstairs and get my shower. Tim and I wanted to run a few errands, so we headed to the outlets and to Home Goods to look for some outdoor décor for the front porch and (hopefully) our future renovated back patio. We didn’t have any such luck in the purchasing department, but I was at least able to get some pretty good ideas!

After ‘shopping ‘til we dropped,’ we were both more than ready for dinner and used a gift card for Longhorn Steakhouse that we had gotten for Easter. Tim and I both knew we wanted to order steak, so when we saw the Porterhouse for 2 on the menu, Our largest filet and largest strip in a single, thick steak. Brought to your table on a special serving platter and served with our LongHorn Steak Sauce made tableside, two sides and two salads, we decided to jump on board.

First, I ordered a simple house salad with ranch on the side and picked off the croutons and red onions off the top.  I am usually more of a romaine and mixed greens fan than iceberg, but the lettuce was at least fresh and crisp and I made sure to eat every last bite of my greens, cucumbers and tomatoes.  After a veggie-less day, I had to get my servings in somewhere!  To balance my veggies, I helped myself to a piece of fresh-baked honey wheat bread with butter, because life is all about balance…right?!

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Then came the steak, which was absolutely huge and cooked medium rare just the way we like it! (Sorry to all of you vegetarians and well-done meat eaters out there. I can’t help it, I just love a good steak every once in a while)! Tim took the larger piece and I had the filet, which turned out to be one of the better steaks I have had in a long time. On the side, we split a sweet potato and some mixed veggies.

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We left dinner feeling satisfied, but not stuffed. Only having half the side dishes and a smaller piece of the steak helped to keep my stomach feeling happy and content.

Later in the night, I had a small piece of dark chocolate from the bunny I got at Easter while we watched The Campaign. Wow…that was…quite the movie. Not sure if I would watch it again, but my husband thought it was hilarious. There were a couple parts that even I laughed at, but I can’t say it is in the list of top ten movies I’ve ever seen! Ha!

Talk to Me!

  • What was your favorite cereals as a kid?
  • Do you like working / studying at coffee shops and cafes? Or do you prefer libraries or a home office? Where is the best place for you to get work done?
  • How often do you get your hair done?  Do you tend to choose hairstyles that require more or less maintenance?
04/16/2013

Pray for Boston

During my run this morning, I made a conscious effort to not place my focus on simply getting to the finish line.  Ending my workout was not my goal.  Instead, it was to enjoy every breath and each stride that I was blessed enough to take.

What happened yesterday afternoon at the Boston Marathon was nothing short of a horrific tragedy.  On a day that should have been filled with so much joy and excitement was instead full of fear, anxiety, and grief.   Every time I turn on the news I can feel my eyes water as the nausea grows in the pit of my stomach.  How can something like this happen?  How can we continue to recover every time a tragedy like this strikes?  How do we move forward?

Once again, we have all been reminded how short life truly is.  We are never guaranteed tomorrow, so let’s place our focus and joy into living life today.  Make it a goal to find happiness and peace, go for a run in memory of those who no longer can, and pray for all of those in Boston.

 

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