A few of my favorite snack combos!

 Basics, Blue Diamond, Fitbloggin, Food, foodie, guilty, Lenny and Larrys, lifestyle, recipes  Comments Off on A few of my favorite snack combos!
Oct 182013
 

I’ve learned from my dietitian and from personal trainers that the best snacks are ones that have a combo of macro nutrients, or at least one!!

What’s a macro nutrient?  Carb, Protein and Fat are!

One of my morning go-to snacks that is easy to pack  is 1 serving of crackers (either measured out, or usually a snack bag size) and 1 string cheese!! (Carb and Protein!)

Another is homemade trail mix: (this is 10 3/4 cup  servings)

  • 5 cups of Cheerios (or any other healthy, not sugar cereal you like)
  • 2/3 cups of Almonds (or a lower fat kind of nut) – I use Blue Diamond almonds, most recently I’ve been using their Dark Chocolate flavor!!!!
  • 1/2 cup of cashews (or a higher fat kind of nut)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 single serving size bags of M&Ms (or any other brand or generic version, I usually use the Unreal, Unjunked brand)

(The trail mix has Fat, Carb and Protein in it!)

I also like to have a single serving size yogurt (any kind…regular, low fat, greek  (BUT NOT FAT FREE) and a 100 calorie bag/3 cups  of regular microwave popcorn (Fat, Carb, and Protein!)

Sometimes though, I’m in a big hurry….I can only throw a few things in my purse before I head out the door, whether or not I know if I’ll have to be eating or have a challenging food choice later in the day, I always put almonds in my purse!!  You get fat AND protein…plus, umm, there are some really yummy ones out there.

Today at my desk I had these that I mentioned above:

 

Blue Diamond DARK CHOCOLATE almonds - 100 calorie pack

Blue Diamond DARK CHOCOLATE almonds! 100 calorie pack

Yeah, these are chocolate!! Not coated in candy chocolate, but a light dark chocolate powder. Omigosh soo good!

As many of my readers know, Blue Diamond almonds was kind enough to give out lots of samples at Fitbloggin ‘13 and they *did* send me a box of dark chocolate samples because I was so sad that they ran out at the conference! How sweet are they?  However, they did not request in any way that I talk about or review them. I just like them so much and feel that they are so kind, that I wanted to share how much I really do love almonds.

Have you guys had their toasted coconut ones? Wow, if you want a healthy tropical getaway in your mouth, go get a sleeve of them and enjoy guilt free!!

I also have been known to pick up a sleeve or two of their Mocha Cappuccino at the gas station when I want a pick me ‘up, they actually work, plus they fill my tummy 🙂

Other items that I substitute in for snacks are:

2 Babybel cheese rounds instead of the 1 string cheese.

3-4 Graham cracker squares and a single serving of regular chocolate pudding

Goldfish crackers and Cheez It snack bags as my cracker choices

Oooh and …. 2 Oreo Cookies and a single serving yogurt

Yes, yes…things that are sweet are okay and if you know that you can always have them and that nothing is bad….its easy to build up automatic moderation.

I actually haven’t had Oreos for a few months now, not because they are “bad” but I know I can have them anytime and I’ve developed more of a taste for cheese, crackers, yogurt and nuts!!

There is also another cookie that I love to have, its super filling, mouth-wateringly tasty and I also was introduced to it at Fitbloggin!!

Have you tried Lenny & Larry’s complete cookies?

There are lots of flavors, my absolute favorite is Pumpkin!!! But double chocolate is fantastic as well 🙂

They are not “diet” cookies but much healthier and filling than a store bought cookie!!  Scrumptious!!

Lovely Alyssa was representing Lenny & Larry’s at Fitbloggin’ 13 and sent me cookies to sample. She did not request or require any reviews or postings from me, I just love them that much!

dtl_coo_pumpkin3 lennylarry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you guys get some ideas about yummy and easy snacking! Its important to eat every 2-3 hours to keep our blood sugar stable.  Going too long between meals and snacks drops your blood sugar and then you just want to maw down anything you can get your hands on…which is not good!  Keep ahead of blood sugar spikes and valleys by keeping your eating regular and healthy!!

<3 Merbear

Oct 092013
 

Two weeks ago I couldn’t fall asleep, I was distraught, uncomfortable and crying. I knew that the Emily Program and overcoming an eating disorder would be a long process.  A process that had to start with abolishing all food rules and learning to listen to my body. Then, I slowly learned to listen to my body and I learned the guidelines for fueling my body with what I need…and without judgement.

I spent about 2 months eating what my body craved and wanted, learning to be comfortable with not worrying about food.  That worry slowly subsided and my brain felt so much clearer, I felt so much better with everything day to day. My general anxiety lightened up….but my body didn’t…I went up about 2-3 sizes.  I had to go back to shopping at Lane Bryant, I had to put away all the cute clothes that I got in 2012 when I lost all that weight…

Now, I don’t hate myself for  that, I love myself for getting over an eating disorder and for doing what my brain needs. I could have continued on with diets…and lost weight, not gained weight…but I would have just yo-yo’ed again, its inevitable with my eating disorder history. But, even though I’m happy about the progress in my head, I was incredibly sad about what it did to my body….I was ready to just quit the Emily Program and go back to Weight Watchers…or something…..I wanted the blob attached to me to go away!!

My husband recommended that I tell exactly that to my dietitian, that I was done with putting on and maintaining weight, I needed to start working towards a weight loss goal immediately or I’d have to leave therapy.  At first I was so nervous, I didn’t want to lose my therapy or my dietitian, I had come so far.  I did it though, I kinda teared up as I told her what I needed, fearing she’d tell me that we weren’t done with learning to live without rules and learning about food exchanges and portion sizes..that it would be awhile longer. That I’d have to make the decision to leave when I wasn’t done….

But…she told me I was definitely ready to utilize my success in clearing my head of food rules and food anxiety and move forward with sculpting all the food exchange guidelines into portions/servings that had a weight loss goal.  YIPPEE!!!

Besides the fact that I have to keep a bit of a closer eye on my portions and I have specific servings a day of the different food exchange groups, this isn’t hard to do.  I have been learning and building my way up to this.  If I make a mistake…have too little or too much…its just a mistake, and because of dropping my emotional attachments to food..and my anxiety about food…I don’t obsess, I don’t blow the day or the week…I just move on.  Not that I’ve messed up really. Its only been 2 weeks and the food plan is just real food….all real food…any type of food..and lots of flexibility and exchanges….yes, I”ve been hungry a couple nights…but I realized that some of the food combinations I chose may not have been the best to satisfy me, so I adjusted…and it was okay.

The best part…I’m not craving some big snack attack, some big binge, a whole pizza or a mountain of ice cream….because I know…all those things are there…and will always be there…and I can have them whenever I want.  When I do have them, I don’t have to eat a ton, because again..I can always come back later, the next day or the next week and have it again.

Nothing is forbidden, nothing is wrong, nothing is bad…food is fuel and I use it to make my body healthy.

Some day in the future…like a special occasion…the goal of “weight loss” may not be my #1 priority..instead it might be to relax on vacation, enjoy new foods, have a drink…etc….well that’s okay…I have to go by what my priority is. But right now, my priority is the goal of weight loss..so I’m focusing on the Emily Program guidelines to obtain that.

If you are interested here they are:

6 – 8 servings of protein a day (1 oz of cooked meat is a typical protein, this also includes nuts and vegetarian proteins in other amounts)

2 servings of milk a day (a serving is 1 cup of milk, 1 oz of cheese etc)

5 servings of grain a day (a serving is 1/2 cup of cereal or rice, 3/4 cup of yogurt, a few ozs of crackers etc)

2 servings or more of veggies a day at a minimum, more is always welcome (1 cup of raw vegetables is a serving)

3 servings of fruit a day (handfruit, fruit in yogurt, applesauce, etc)

3 servings of fat a day (1 tsp of butter, 1 TBS heavy cream, 3 TBS hummus, etc)

1/2 Dessert a day (think of this as half of a premium dessert or a WHOLE lighter dessert like a Skinny Cow cone or 1 cup of light ice cream)

 

This is extremely manageable and gives me more than enough food, plus there are a lot of foods that fall in more than one category and so they can be exchanged around….like 1 oz of cheese can be a protein OR a milk..whee!

 

Alright this post has gotten long and I wanted to let you all know how I’m doing.  I’m open to answering any questions and also hearing what you guys think about what I’m doing and how I ‘m doing!

Soon, I will learn if I can actually look at the scale again, I haven’t since March!! MARCH!! It feels kinda good, but now I want to see how my weight loss goal efforts are panning out, too!

<3 

Merbear

May 062013
 

My cravings to eat compulsively or binge have already started to wane away, because I have allowed myself to eat whatever I want, whenever I want. Imagine that, allow myself to have any food, whenever I feel hungry….and I eat LESS

Last week when I met with my dietitian at The Emily Program, she talked to me about how there is a physical and mental part of everything we eat. The physical part is the nutrition, the mental part is how our brain reports back to our emotions about being full..or I could even say “fulfilled.”

She said I’m pretty good at the physically full/comfortable part of things, but not the mentally full.  Which is why I tend to overeat, have cravings, and can’t stop thinking about food.

I now need to make sure I have 3 meals and 3 snacks a day and even my snacks need to give my brain the message that I am fulfilled.   We put together some snacks based on things that I love and her nutritional know how.

One of key things is that whether our body eats a light cracker/cookie or a regular cracker/cookie our physical need may be filled,we gave ourselves a “grain” and maybe a “sugar”  but our mental side sees the light ones and how they have less fat, less calories, more empty processed stuff and isn’t fulfilled.

Our body mentally and physically also needs a grain/fat/protein/fruit or veggie  in every meal or snack…so a fat free or light yogurt is seen/processed as a dairy…where as a regular one is dairy, fat and fruit! Ooh, that regular yogurt hit a couple of the must haves of a meal or snack!  (yes, we need dairy but it doesn’t have to be in every meal or snack).

A bit of a “showstopper” for me, to tell my brain that a meal is over is fat and/or sugar.  So, if I have two Dove chocolates at the end of lunch, that tells my brain lunch is over..and it removes and/or majorly limits my compulsion to overeat, keep grazing, or eventually binge on something for fulfillment.

Snacks we put together for me to use this week for morning snack and afternoon snack (since evening snack is ice cream always!!)

Homemade trail mix: Cheerios, cashews, coated almonds, m&m’s (I make an amount with a mixture per her recipe that will last me 7-10 days)

Actual snacks:

  • homemade trail mix with 1/2 banana (or a small banana)
  • snack bag of regular crackers(CheezIts are my choice) with 2 light laughing cow/1 regular laughing cow/1 baby bel
  • snack bag of Goldfish with regular string cheese
  • regular single serving yogurt & two cookies (Oreos are my choice)
  • Chobani bites (small, sweet yogurt) with 100 calorie pack of regular buttered popcorn
  • 3-4 graham crackers and a regular pudding cup

She also suggested that I have a bit of chocolate after lunch 🙂

So far, I’m feeling much happier with food 🙂

<3 Merbear

Mar 272013
 

I chatted a bit about this in my PNP Trackstar Challenge Facebook group, so thanks to those of you that are reading this again. I thought this would be a good topic to bring up to all my readers.

I haven’t been to a WW meeting for two weeks until today (I was on business trips, couldn’t find another meeting out of town that would fit in either)…..I’m up 9 lbs from my last weigh in. Ugh. I’m very glad that I don’t have any more traveling for quite awhile..and this was the first time I have ever traveled for work. So, I think I will recoup (I actually reset my WW start weight to start over)….and I will be ready with a plan next time I business travel.

There are things that I need to remember to plan ahead for:

1) Barley’s Angel’s meetings..there will be beer..I will be tasting it and discussing it with my friends (1x a month)

2) Parties on weekends….my friends get together and do gaming parties with lots of snacks and alcohol

3) No last minute food challenges…have snacks on hand, meal plans on hand, preview menus or have a plan for when I can’t preview a menu

4) I’m a foodie and a beer geek…there are so many awesome (healthy or not so healthy) things to try out there…I want to try them because I love the variety and trying new things….same with when I see a new beer that I haven’t tried…need to save my activity and weekly extra points for those NOT for a random snack on a Tuesday night unless I’m hungry and need it!

We know what has worked for me before, I lost about 4 lbs at my meeting two weeks ago…so what gives? What worked?

1) Meal Planning – it was fun, I loved knowing what meals I could make/have ready all week and I loved having leftovers and lunches!

2) Previewing menus before going out – decide what I want ahead of time..so that I can just enjoy the company when I’m out

3) Bring my own snacks and drinks to house parties, no one cares what I’m drinking

4) Be my own best friend, put myself first…its hard for me to say no when I have pressure (even if its fun, non-threatening pressure)

5) I am better at managing my choices when I get my anxiety in check, so I need to meditate/yoga/exercise/take some me time DAILY

6) I feel like my Weight Watcher’s meetings are Wednesdays are definitely important, but its a group and not a buddy, I need to find a buddy who is doing Weight Watchers and also “gets it”, someone from my regular day-to-day life. I have so many support groups online…so I’m reaching out to friends who may want to be a buddy.

I’d love some suggestions you guys might have about eating out, needing a snack last minute..what do you eat?,

What you might do if you have several “food related” things going on in one week…..

What do you do to have some “me” time..how do you make sure and take it?

I’m glad that I finished Slimgenics…that wasn’t real life…it was SO restrictive so I know why I lost all the weight, but I wasn’t going to be able to maintain that lifestyle…I can’t say no to everything , all the time for the rest of my life.  Weight Watchers has taught me some great lessons on building healthy spaces, meal planning, etc…I just need to get it INTO MY HEAD!

Also, I LOVE that it is finally brightening up and getting a bit warmer here in Minnesnowta!  I am so much better at exercising when I can get outside!!!! Go away winter blahs!!! I need to get my running times back to something acceptable and I want to get back on my bike! YAY!!!

<3 Merbear

Jan 032013
 

No! Seriously! They’re good!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

I got home from work, hubby wanted to make tacos…but he had to do some work first..and I was pretty hungry.

Did I eat chips? No

Did I eat crackers and cheese? No

I said, hmm….I feel like having brussels sprouts…seriously! You can go from raw brussels sprouts to a yummy roasted snack in 20 minutes!! NSV!!! Vegetable snacking!

I grabbed my bag of sprouts, chopped off the bottoms, split them in half, tossed them in olive oil and baked them at 425 for 20 minutes! Voila! YUMMMY!

While I was waiting for them to bake I had a banana, a quick, sweet, tasty healthy treat.

But then, while I was waiting for tacos to be ready…I snacked on roasted salty brussels sprouts and watched TV…ate it just like popcorn or chips…mmmm mmm!!!

Another yummy vegetable appetizer that I’ve had  was at the Cheesecake Factory of all places…..on the Skinnylicious menu they have roasted artichokes…sooo yummy, too!

Keep those eyes open for new tastes!

McCormick Recipe Refresh – Crockpot Slimgenics Pot Roast

 Food, foodie, recipes, slimgenics  Comments Off on McCormick Recipe Refresh – Crockpot Slimgenics Pot Roast
Oct 302012
 

Priorfatgirl Dawn is having a McCormick Recipe Refresh Contest through November 2nd! This is my blog post for the recipe I refreshed with McCormick spices!

As most of you know I’m using the Slimgenics program to lose weight and so far I’ve kept 38 lbs off, but I have more to go!

There are some limitations on Slimgenics, so I can’t have what you’d call a more traditional pot roast recipe…carrots and white or yellow onions are a no-no to those of us in the weight loss plan.

I *love* the new McCormick Perfect Pinch salt-free seasonings that have been showing up recently, I got to try quite a few at Fitbloggin ’12 as well.

I refreshed a salty, old-fashioned pot roast recipe to make it McCormick & Slimgenics worthy!

picture of pot roast in the crockpot

Yummy Pot Roast and Broth

Crockpot Pot Roast

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 4 hours OR 8 hours

Ingredients:

  • Small Roast (3-5 lbs)
  • McCormick Perfect Pinch Garlic & Herb Salt Free Seasoning
  • Morton’s Light Salt (OR regular salt)*
  • Olive Oil
  • 4-5 green onions
  • 4-5 stalks of celery
  • 4-5 red potatoes
  • Slimgenics Chicken Bullion Soup Mix Prepared  (OR 18 1/2 ounces of chicken broth)*

*using regular salt/standard chicken broth is also VERY TASTY, but is not Slimgenics approved

Directions:

  1. Rub Olive oil all over the roast, enough for a light coating
  2. Sprinkle a generous amount of McCormick’s Perfect Pinch Garlic & Herb Salt Free Seasoning on all sides of the roast
  3. Sprinkle salt on all sides as well
  4. Place roast in your crock pot
  5. Chop up green onions, celery and potatoes, then place around the roast
  6. Add in chicken broth

Cooking:

Two options:

  • Set on high for 4 hours, check after 3 if you want medium rare, otherwise after 4 hours you should get medium well
  • Set on low for 8 hours, if you can check after 6 hours you could stop for medium rare, othewise after 8 hours it’ll be medium to medium well.

Temp guide:

( These are NOT USDA recommendation numbers, these are the chef recommended temps for doneness)

  • 130 degrees – medium rare to medium
  • 145 degrees – medium
  • 160 degrees – medium well
  • 170+ degrees – well done

 

ENJOY!!

Pot Roast Dinner!

Popchips Contest Winner & Norwex Party on Saturday!

 awesome, contests, Food, foodie, friends, fun, lifestyle, popchips, weekend  Comments Off on Popchips Contest Winner & Norwex Party on Saturday!
Oct 052012
 

The Popchips winner!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Second…

I’m having a Norwex party tomorrow folks 🙂  If you are in Minnesota and are free around 3pm….come! Bring a friend and get a free gift! I love meeting new locals. I made pumpkin bread, pumpkin whoopie pies, and I’ll have a key lime cheeseball, you know you want to come!!! Food and SCIENCE…Norwex is uber geeky cool cleaning stuff!

I went to a Norwex party, was awed by how well the products work! I am excited to not go through rolls and rolls of paper towels and napkins. To not have to keep stocking up on sponges, wipes and cleaners. You have to see how this stuff works!
If you can’t come or just want to preview…check out my friend Anna Berend’s Norwex page….call her or I with questions or orders towards my party if you wish! http://www.annaberend.norwex.biz/

Bring a friend for a free gift! Drop me a note here if you’re bringing someone 🙂

Norwex is committed to radically reducing the use of chemicals in personal care and cleaning to promote health. More than ever we feel the need to emphasize the positive environmental impact of reducing chemical use.
During the past several hundred years, human activity has significantly altered our global environment, and the negative effects of this are becoming alarmingly clear. No longer can we ignore the warning signs from nature. This trend can be changed if we all work together and take honest responsibility for our planet. It is a fact; household pollutants have a profound impact on our environment.
A radical reduction in the use of chemicals is an important step to improve the health of our planet and our quality of life.
The Norwex corporate vision for our products reaches far beyond the limited horizon of just making a profit; we are striving for a better quality of life for present and future generations. Our deep central theme is reverence for the value and beauty of all life on a healthy planet. Join us in our effort to improve quality of life in a profound way!
Sep 272012
 

Yum yum yum yum people!!

I know you love popchips! I know you love tortilla chips! Guess, what?? Now popchips makes tortilla chips!!! Woohoo!!

I got to taste these babies at Fitbloggin this year and they are just as a-maz-ing as the original ones…but, yeah, they have tortilla chip flavors now, too!!

 

Chili Limon, Nacho, Ranch & Salsa!

 

You can definitely snack on these by themselves…..OR…

popchips has teamed up with award-winning Chef Aaron Sanchez of Food Network’s Heat Seekers and Chopped to bring you four exclusive recipes to pair with your favorite tortilla popchips and beer:

 

  • Grilled Chicken Cemitas and Garlic-Chipotle Love with salsa tortilla popchips and Goose Island 312
  • Ceviche with chili limón tortilla popchips and Bud Light
  • Crab Dip with ranch tortilla popchips and Stella
  • All-Beef Chile Colorado with nacho cheese tortilla popchips and Shocktop
Want to win a case of tortilla popchips?  Enter my drawing on rafflecopter!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Grilled Chicken Cemitas and Garlic-Chipotle Love

Grilled Chicken Cemitas and Garlic-Chipotle Love with salsa tortilla popchips Goose Island 312

These hulking sandwiches are like Mexican subs—overstuffed with all sorts of goodness, bursting with flavor, and topped with a mind-blowingly delicious sauce of roasted garlic pureed with smoky chipotles. Have a lot of napkins on hand! salsa tortilla popchips bring a crispy counterpoint to all the juicy sandwich fillings and a bright flavor that can withstand everything going on inside that bun.

 

Makes 4 servings

For the Chipotle Love Sauce:

1 cup of canola oil

12 garlic cloves

3 tablespoon chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce

1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro

zest of one lime

2 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Cemitas:

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon cumin

1 ripe Haas avocado

Juice of 1 lime

4 cemita rolls or hamburger rolls with sesame seeds

Olive oil

1 cup refried beans, warmed (from 1 15-ounce can)

8 ounces Oaxaca or mozzarella cheese, grated

Sliced ripe tomato

Thinly sliced lettuce

Fresh cilantro leaves

1. Make the Chipotle Love: In a dry medium heavy nonreactive sauce pot place oil and garlic cloves and cover with foil and place in 300 degree oven for 45 minutes till garlic has browned and become soft. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Then place remaining ingredients and cooled garlic oil mix in a food processor and puree till a smooth paste.

2. Prepare a medium-hot charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill with the lid down for 10 minutes on high.

3. Split each chicken breast in half horizontally and lay each piece between two pieces of plastic wrap. Pound each breast half until it’s one-quarter inch thick (if you don’t have a meat pounder, use the bottom of a small saucepan). Sprinkle each piece with salt, pepper and cumin on each side.

4. Mash the avocado with the lime juice and season with salt, and warm the refried beans on the stovetop or in the microwave.

5. Grill the chicken breasts for 4 to 5 minutes, turning once. Set aside and keep warm. Split the buns and brush lightly with olive oil. Grill, cut sides down, until just golden brown, about a minute.

6. To assemble each sandwich, spread the bottom half of each toasted roll with a quarter of the mashed avocado. Top with a chicken breast, then spoon on a quarter of the refried beans. Divide the cheese among the sandwiches, and top with tomato, lettuce and a sprinkle of cilantro. Drizzle on a generous amount of Chipotle Love and top with the remaining bun half. Cut each sandwich in half before serving.

 

Crab Dip with ranch tortilla popchips

Crab Dip with ranch tortilla popchips Stella

Sweet and delicate crabmeat in a creamy sauce with a dash of lime highlights the tanginess of ranch tortilla popchips. The buttermilk in the dip echoes the buttermilk flavor of classic ranch, and the jalapeno offers color and bite. While fresh crabmeat is always delicious, this recipe works equally well with frozen.

Makes 6 servings

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

1 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup buttermilk

Juice of 1 lime

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 jalapeno, finely minced

1 pound lump crab meat, picked over, any shells discarded

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 scallion, white and green parts thinly sliced

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 1-quart baking dish.

2. In a mixing bowl, blend the cream cheese and mayonnaise with an electric mixer on medium speed. Blend in the buttermilk, lime juice and salt until the mixture is smooth.

3. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, gently fold in the crabmeat. Turn the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes, until the mixture is golden and bubbling.

4. Sprinkle with the cilantro and scallion and serve warm with ranch tortilla popchips to scoop up the dip. 

All-Beef Chile Colorado with nacho cheese tortilla popchips

 

All-Beef Chile Colorado with nacho cheese tortilla popchips & Shocktop

A Tex-Mex style chili is all about the meat—and the chilies. Layering the different types of chilies adds depth and a rich heartiness, a perfect foil for nacho cheese tortilla popchips, which become a crunchy base for each bowlful. Throw a handful in each bowl and ladle on a generous scoop of the meaty chili. A sprinkle of sharp cheddar cheese echoes the flavor of each chip and makes this a real meal.

 

Makes 6 servings

 

6 guajillo chilies, stems and seeds removed

1 1/2 cups boiling water

6 fresh tomatillos, papery skins peeled off

6 garlic cloves, unpeeled

2 chipotle chiles in adobo

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 large yellow onions, coarsely chopped

2 pounds ground beef (preferably chuck)

1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes

2 tablespoons ancho chile powder

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Grated sharp cheddar

1. In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the guajillo chilies on each side for 30 seconds, until just softened. Put them immediately in a glass bowl and pour the boiling water over them to cover. Soak for 15 minutes.

2. In the same dry skillet, toast the tomatillos and garlic, turning several times until the vegetables have softened slightly and the exteriors have brown marks, 3 to 4 minutes. Discard the paper skins on the garlic.

3. Put the guajillo chilies in a blender with the soaking water, the tomatillos, the peeled garlic, and the chipotle chilies in adobo. Pulse to make a smooth puree.

4. In a large stewpot over medium heat, cook the onions until softened and just turning golden, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the ground beef and cook through, breaking it up with a spoon as you cook, about 10 minutes.

5. Add the pureed chiles and tomatillos, the tomatoes, ancho chile powder, cumin, salt and a few grindings of black pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 1 hour, loosely covered, until the deep orange-red sauce is thick. You may need to add a little more water, but take it easy. The finished chili should not be too wet.

6. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. For each serving, put a handful of nacho cheese tortilla popchips in the bottom of a bowl and ladle a serving of chili on top. Scatter with a handful of cheese and eat at once.

 

Ceviche with chili limón tortilla popchips

 

Ceviche with chili limón tortilla popchips and Bud Light

Usually the fish in a ceviche is trimmed into large chunks, but for scooping up this tangy-sweet version with brightly flavored and spicy chili limón tortilla popchips, I’ve trimmed the fish into small cubes, 1/4- to 1/2-inch in size. The result not only makes a ceviche that’s perfect for scooping, but also a speedy version that “cooks” in the fresh lime juice in less than an hour.

 

Makes 6 servings

 

1 pound fresh halibut filets (or any firm-fleshed white fish, such as haddock, red snapper or sea bass), diced into 1/2-inch cubes

1 cup fresh lime juice (from approximately 8 to 10 limes)

1 fresh red Serrano chili, seeds discarded, chili thinly sliced

1 teaspoon salt

1 small mango, cut into 1/4-inch cubes

1 scallion, white and green parts thinly sliced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1. In a medium-sized glass bowl, combine the fish with the lime juice, Serrano and salt. Cover and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours. The fish cubes will “cook” in the lime juice until they are opaque.

2. Half an hour before serving, stir the mango, scallion, cilantro and olive oil into the ceviche. Cover and refrigerate 20 minutes to let the flavors meld. Serve with chili limón tortilla popchips for scooping up the ceviche.

BBQ Extravaganza..planning meals ahead!

 Food, foodie, lifestyle, weekend  Comments Off on BBQ Extravaganza..planning meals ahead!
Oct 172011
 

I’m about to go to bed after a lovely weekend.

Ryan and I planned ahead for lunches and dinners this week, I’m so proud of us! Not only did we put together a menu for the week, we cooked ahead…and it was a BBQ extravanganza!

We grilled chicken drumsticks, chicken breasts, country style short ribs and asparagus! We ate some of the ribs and asparagus for a late dinner tonight, too. So good!

Ryan is grilling with an led light attached to is ball cap!

Seriously, lots of chicken here folks

 

Barbeque Chicken!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boiling the ribs first

Ryan is saucin' up the ribs with some Famous Dave's Rich 'n Sassy

Sauced up ribs ready to grill

First time we grilled asparagus, turned out amazing

 

This is just the chicken ready for lunches, the ribs add even more!

This stuff is the best! Pumpkin to spread on things? YES PLEASE!

 < Merbear