Chicken Taco Chili

Baby, it’s cold outside. Like, friggin cold. Like, I don’t want to leave my house cold. Like, I’m just going to stay in the hot shower today, please inform my boss cold.

It’s love/hate with cold. I love cute coats and leggings with boots as much as the next, well, every girl ever. But it just came so fast. No transition at all! Did anyone else feel that way?! IT SLEETED ON HALLOWEEN. That’s just rude.

And with the cold came… THE colds. The “is this the flu? Am I dying?” colds. I had it for a solid two weeks. Mike has had it for a few days now. Our nightstands are covered in cold medicine and decongestants. We pop zinc like we pop gum. Oh, good times.

But you know what makes it all okay? Chicken taco chili.

IMG_5640.JPG

I got this wonderful idea from Gina from Skinnytaste. I have actually been making it for a while now, but it has saved us this week so I figured it was time to share with you all! So because I make it all of the time, I winged it. I may be missing a few things she uses, but it always tastes amazing. This time it was amazing. I think you’d have to add in something really weird and gross for this to NOT taste amazing.

It kept us warm. It kept us spicy. It kept the nasal passages clear while eating it. I’ll take that tasty 15 minutes of breathing. Oh, yes I’ll take it.

You will need:

– 3 cooked and shredded chicken breasts (or a few cups of shredded rotisserie chicken)
– 1 cup of water
– 1 can diced tomatoes
– 1 small can tomato paste
– 1 can tomato sauce
– 1 small can of diced green chilis
– 1 can of black beans (drained)
– 1 bag frozen corn
– 1 chopped yellow onion
– 1 packet of taco seasoning
– 1 tablespoon of cumin
– 1 lime
– shredded cheese, sour cream/greek yogurt and cilantro for toppings

Combine all ingredients (minus lime and toppings) in your slow cooker on high for four hours.

Stir every hour or so.

Scoop about a cup out into a bowl. Squeeze a wedge of lime juice into the bowl. Add a dollop of sour cream and a little sprinkle of your favorite shredded cheese. Top it off with some cilantro and voila!

IMG_5641.JPG

We eat on this all day every day. Mainly for lunch, but we’re both known to sneak a small bowl in the middle of the night.

It’s a tad spicy. Use less cumin if you’re not a fan of spice. But keep the spice if you’re cold and/or have a clogged nose. I don’t know about you all, but that’s about exactly what we need right now.

This chili is amazing fresh but even more amazing left over. It’s perfect for a packed lunch and it lasted us a full work week!

My goal is to make chili 3,000 ways this season. Chili is perfect. Chili is my spirit animal. Next up, buffalo chicken chili. Awwwww yeaaahhhh.

IMG_5642.JPG

Two last things: 1) This chili is super good for you. It’s low in calories and fat. So don’t feel guilty. Ever. 2) Don’t accidentally drop some cumin on the floor and let your dog sniff it. Or do, because it’s the funniest thing ever.

Xo

Prosciutto Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers

Jeeeeeeeez.

This is the kind of snackatizer that makes me love watching my carbs. And yes, I make up words now. Call me Webster.

This more than makes up for the atrocious things people called low carb muffins I attempted to make twice last night. Can’t win em all.

The theme this week in my life is clearly HEAT. We finally had to turn our heat on, the election here is HEATED and everything on the menu this week is spicy as hell. This was all accidental. But I like it hot. Don’t we all? It’s a week into cold weather here and I’m already like, can we not? Can we just pause on the 60-70 degree weather for forever?

This will keep you warm. I assure you. I got this brilliant idea from the lovely and so hilarious Bev from Bev Cooks. I have made them with just plain old cream cheese and bacon but she put a twist on them that no one should ignore.

I’m as happy as a pig in a peach orchard that I made these babies. Sweet heat is all the yums.

You will need:
-8 jalapeños
-1 small block of cream cheese
-2 tablespoons of your favorite barbecue sauce
-8 slices of prosciutto

Pre-heat (there’s that heat again) the oven to 400 degrees.

Slice the jalapeños in half long ways. Gut them. Gut them good. Show no mercy. They’re already going to be spicy so trust me you do not want the guts and seeds.

IMG_5612.JPG

Mix one block of softened cream cheese with 2 tablespoons of any barbecue sauce. Whip it. Into shape. Someone stop me, please.

Take a butter knife and scoop the mixture into the middle of each jalapeño piece. Or do it Bev’s really cool way that I used and put the mix in a baggy. Cut a little corner of the baggy off and squeeze for less mess. And more pretty.

Slice the prosciutto long ways into one inch slices. Use one long piece to wrap each jalapeño piece. It should be about the length of bacon. Maybe a little shorter.

The prosciutto sticks well to the surface of the jalapeño so I promise it’s easy!

IMG_5613.JPG

Place your little heat babies on a non stick baking sheet. Put them in the oven for 10 minutes. Then turn the pan around in the oven to ensure they’re cooked evenly. Put them back in for another 10 minutes.

BAM. Snackatizers for everyone.

IMG_5614.JPG

We’ll be eating on these all week when we want something to munch on instead of reaching for carb loaded snacks.

“Come on! Make it. Make it now. What are you waiting for!?” -Arnold Schwarzenegger

IMG_5615.JPG

Xo

One Skillet Italian Chicken

Did I ever tell you all that when I was younger, I wished so badly I was italian? Pasta was all I was good at cooking, I have blackish hair, I loved the accents and I thought the country was beautiful. I had to be part italian, right? No. Not at all. Turns out I’m Irish and German. BOORRRRRINGGG. Just kidding. Didn’t everyone go through an “I wish I was italian” phase? Before the Jersey Shore? No? Great, I’m a weirdo.

IMG_5288.JPG

I used to ONLY be able to cook pasta dishes. I could make ANYTHING into pasta form. And make it delicious. But there’s so much more to italian cooking. And there’s way healthier options! Especially for someone trying to lose weight. Womp womp. BUT WAIT. This doesn’t taste healthy. Or boring. Or womp womp. No no. Quite the opposite! The flavors in this dish pop like WHOA. It’s hearty, rich and loaded with good for you stuff. It’s perfect for two people. It’s perfect for dinner. It’s perfect for packed lunches the next day. It’s perfect if you want to try and convince people you are Italian. I won’t tell.

You will need:
-2 large chicken breasts (or 3 small) cut into strips
-1 jar of sundried tomatoes
-1 can of roasted tomatoes
-1 can of artichoke hearts
-1 zucchini squash, cut into rounds
-1/2 cup of chopped yellow onion
-3 garlic cloves
-1 tablespoon of italian seasoning
-2 tablespoons of olive oil
-2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

IMG_5289.JPG

In an oven safe skillet (we used a cast iron skillet), put in one tablespoon of olive oil over medium/high heat. Add chicken strips. Brown on one side for 7-8 minutes. Flip over and cook for another 5-6 minutes.

Scoop out the chicken and set aside on a plate.

Add in onion, the chopped zucchini and the garlic. Add your last tablespoon of olive oil. Cook until soft, about 5-8 minutes. Add in both tomatoes and artichoke hearts. Drain all of them before putting into the skillet. Cook for another 3-5 minutes.

Add the chicken back in. At this time, stir in your two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar! Put skillet in the oven on 425 for 5-7 minutes, until fragrant as hell and bubbly. Sprinkle the italian seasoning on top! Voila!

IMG_5287.JPG

Does your house smell like a cottage on a hill overlooking a vineyard and olive oil presses? Mine sure did.

I got mike’s seal of approval. And my own, of course. This is a meal fit for italian royalty. Do yourself a favor and make this now. One skillet gourmet italian? I mean, what more could you want? And low carb/gluten free/loaded with veggies and good for you fat to boot.

IMG_5286.JPG

Enjoy guys!

Xo

Chicken Tortilla Chili (low carb)

Happy Monday! (Womp womp)

But, at least I have this delicious chili recipe!!! Right?!? Right?…..

Oh my gosh and it is so perfect for a cold night like tonight. And for windy fall lunches. Mmm. Fall.

IMG_5146-0.JPG

So grab your ingredients, a blanket then enjoy while watching Gilmore Girls non stop on Netflix. Isn’t everyone doing this? Oh, just me? Okay then watch whatever you want!

You will need:
-4 cups of chicken broth (usually one large box at Trader Joe’s equals 4 cups)
-1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cooked and shredded)
-1 can of roasted diced tomatoes
-2 small cans of diced green chilis
-1 can of white beans
-1 jalapeño gutted and cut up (we omit seeds to keep down on spice)
-1 cup of frozen onion (or freshly chopped onion)
-1 chopped red pepper
-1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
-1/2 cup of sour cream
-1 tablespoon of garlic paste
-2 tablespoons of cumin
-2 tablespoons of your favorite mexican hot sauce
-1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper
-1 like for squeezing and garnishing
-Shredded cheese and cilantro for topping, if so desired. (Who doesn’t desire those things? Give me all of the cheese and cilantro.)

Get that slow cooker going on high for four hours.

Add in all ingredients (except chicken if it hasn’t been cooked!)

Stir it all up nice.

You can cheat and use rotisserie chicken if you are short on time and/or are lazy. No judgment here!

If you’re cooking your chicken, lay the thawed chicken breasts out on a greased baking pan.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Massage chicken with garlic salt and cumin.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, depending on how thick your chicken breasts are! Make sure there is no pink inside!

Shred up the chicken and add to your chili!

Cook for 3-4 hours on high.

IMG_5147.JPG

Demolish immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge to have a deliciously spicy and hearty lunch every day! So perfect.

This is such a healthy, low carb, extremely low sugar meal. It’s perfect for us. And it will be perfect for you.

This is really hard to mess up, so if you want to add anything it will be delicious. If you aren’t worried about carbs, hell, add two more cans of white beans. Or use fat free sour cream. It’s totally customizable. This is just what was absolutely perfect and delicious for us!

I hope you enjoy this as much as we did.

Go ahead and top it with some cilantro and a squeeze of lime and eat up. I won’t judge you if you add a cup of cheese to your bowl and watch 7 episodes in a row of Gilmore Girls while eating.

IMG_5148.JPG

Xo

Taco Truck Carnitas and this week’s menu!

Hey guys!

I’m so excited to have a new recipe for you. I can honestly say, this may be my favorite thing I have ever made. We frequent (we live at) this cute little taco place in town who also has a taco truck. Words can’t explain the love I have for this place. And that’s saying a lot. Because they don’t use a lot of cheese in their tacos, and when I first heard that I was sketched out. But now, I NEVER serve cheese on tacos. It’s forced me to create delicious sauces on my own in place of cheese and my god. Cue the Little Mermaid’s “A Whole New World.”

I want to start by saying these carnitas are so freaking easy. They have a seemingly hefty list of ingredients but you all know me. I’m a lazy cook. So if I can do it, I promise you can too! Another thing I’d like to add is that these are NOT great quality photos. I made these bad boys for a get together so I was a little rushed. I need to be better about my photo taking.

I’m going to very quickly tell you what is on the menu this week and then I’ll get right to the recipe!

Today: spiced pecan goat cheese salad for lunch, low carb jalapeño popper stuffed chicken wrapped in bacon!!(what?!?) for dinner. Thanks target!
Monday: grilled steak with herbed butter and mashed goat cheese cauliflower
Tuesday: spicy fish tacos with the jalapeño ranch I’m going to share with you in a sec!
Wednesday: buffalo and barbecue wings with zucchini
Thursday: Sweet Chili Baked Salmon

For lunch I’m making creamy white chicken chili with one can of high fiber beans to keep it low carb! Mmm

Doesn’t that all sound amazing? I’m so excited!

Okay. Let’s get to these phenomenal tacos.

you will need:

-2 pounds of either pork butt or pork tenderloin.
-3 tablespoons of olive oil
-2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
-2 tablespoons of brown sugar
-1 tablespoon oregano
-2 tablespoons cumin
-2 teaspoons of garlic paste (or two cloves)
-1 orange
-1 jalapeño, cut and seeded (I’m a wimp)
-salt and pepper to rub on the pork

IMG_5097.JPG

Get that trusty crockpot! Set it on high for 4 hours. Rub one tablespoon of olive oil into the bottom of the crockpot and add your cut up jalapeño!

In a bowl, whisk together the last 2 tablespoons of olive oil with everything but the salt, pepper and orange. The vegetable oil will be used later.

Take your butt or tenderloin and massage salt and pepper into it. Place it on top of the jalapeño in the crock pot.

Rub olive oil/spice mixture all over tenderloin in the crock pot. I covered the entire top of the loin. Don’t worry about the bottom, it’s being flavored by the jalapeño!

Cut one orange in half and squeeze both pieces all over the loin or butt. Then place the orange slices in the crockpot with it!

IMG_5096.JPG

4 hours later, shred that pork up with a fork!

Heat vegetable oil in a large pan on the stove on medium/high heat. Take a slotted spoon and scoop out the shredded pork, letting some of the juices fall out. Add to the hot pan. Let the bottom side of the pork get all fried and crusty! Yum yum!

That’s it! Serve on soft corn tortillas! I recommend pico, cilantro and my creamy jalapeño ranch on top! I recommend eating like 10. Hehe

IMG_5108.JPG

So, really quickly, let me tell you how easy this delicious crema is. My friends went nuts over it. You will too.

All you need it a seeded jalapeño, one ranch packet, half of an avocado, cut into slices, 2 cups of sour cream of your choice, one cup of reduced fat mayo and one solid squeeze of lime juice! Put all of that in a blender and blend until smooth! Tada! It’s. Perfect. I put it in my Nutribullet and it works perfectly!

I hope you get to make this amazing dish soon! Your family and/or friends will be so impressed. I assure you.

Quick note: I would usually use a pork butt but Trader Joe’s only had tenderloin so I accidentally made this a leaner, healthier taco. And it turned out great! So please use whichever!

Xo

Copycat Alice Springs Chicken

When I was in high school, I lost 50 pounds by eating super strict low carb and playing sports. And thanks to my loving family who took me to Outback Steakhouse once a week to feel indulgent while on this crappy ass diet. Alice Springs Chicken became one of my major tools for success. It will forever have a special place in my fat loving heart.

If I could eat at Outback every night, life would be grand. But there are many pitfalls to that plan. One includes the temptation of their mystery brown bread, a second being their delicious, crispy croutons and lastly, well, that would cost a fortune.

I figured there was no way re-creating this dish would be hard. And boy was I right!! This tasted JUST as good. And I didn’t have any yummy bread sitting on the table singing me love songs, begging me to just listen to my heart and eat it.

While I definitely do not do super strict low carb, I definitely don’t eat any past 5pm. And this, my friends, was the perfect dinner for us.

Wanna Be Alice Springs Chicken

You will need:
-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
-8 slices of bacon of your choice (you can use turkey, but being as I eat lower carb, I allow fat in my “diet”)
-2 cups of raw button mushrooms
-4 large slices of medium cheddar cheese (use fresh, organic cheese. Trust me.)
-low sugar honey mustard either homemade or store bought
-salt and pepper

Serves 4 (or three, if you have a really hungry boyfriend.)

IMG_5023.JPG

This was the honey mustard in our local grocery store that had the least amount of sugar! And it was damn tasty.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Take a glass baking dish and spray lightly with cooking spray.

Lay completely thawed chicken breasts down in the baking dish.

Massage some salt and pepper into the chicken.

I then poured the two cups of raw mushrooms all over the top of the chicken and around the pan. You can be more precise and “fancy” if that’s how you roll.

Splash some honey mustard onto the chicken breasts. As much as you prefer. But remember, you will be dipping the chicken in the mustard as well when you’re eating it so you don’t need a lot!

Top each breast with two slices of bacon. Then add a large slice of cheddar cheese on top to finish off the chicken!

IMG_5024.JPG

At this point in the game, I imagined how beautiful this was going to be when it was finished. Because cheesy melty anything is a work of art to me. Am I crazy?

Bake in the oven for about 30-40 minutes, depending on how thick of a cut your chicken is. Ours took about 30-32 minutes!

IMG_5025.JPG

Plate em and eat em. Simple as that! Dip it in honey mustard or pour more on top and it will truly remind you of being at Outback!

Serve with your favorite roasted green veggie for a delicious, balanced and low carb meal! Guys. Seriously trust me on this one. Omg I’m so full and I’m feeling good about it. DELICIOUS.

IMG_5026.JPG

And that concludes day one of Healthy Eating until the Holidays! Which is basically my own version of primal/paleo with cheese. Because people who don’t eat cheese are crazy. Seriously. Come back next week and see if I’ve turned into a cave woman. I’m currently monitoring my brow line. So far no change.

Xo

Pour some sugar on me.

We had our last shebang tonight. Before a complete overhaul. While I have been eating relatively healthy, after watching Fed Up last night, there’s just no better time than right now.

I had a menu planned for the week and when mike texted me to ask what was for dinner tonight, I said either grilled chicken and asparagus or the little mexican restaurant by our house. We both have migraines and feel so yucky so mexican it was. The movie (Fed Up) moved both of us. So, we decided, let’s have our crappy yucky yummy food and start fresh tomorrow.

IMG_4905.JPG

Us. Right now.

IMG_4899.JPG

So, this movie. Fed Up. Have you all heard about it? It’s crazy. I mean, yes, I know a diet high in sugar causes obesity and metabolic syndromes such as type 2 diabetes. But this movie makes you go, oh my god, no wonder we’re in this boat. Then it reveals a lot about the government and how it’s all a vicious cycle to get us fat, get us hooked, then require health care, then require dieting help and everyone is rich. And we’re just sick and fat. And not like sick. Like, pass out, 5 years to live type of sick.

The beginning of the movie, I was already ready to cry. These extremely respected scholars explaining how you being fat is not because you’re a p.o.s. human being or a willpower-less bum, it just hit home for me. I blame myself for EVERYTHING always. And it certainly takes a toll on your mental health. It was like someone that mattered in the doctor world sat me down and said, look, this is going to be so hard. Losing weight is going to suck and there’s 1 million reasons why you could fail at every turn. But this is not all your fault. You will just have to be a lot stronger than other people.

<a href="https://burgersinmycakehole.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/img_4903-0.jpg”>IMG_4903-0.JPG

They went on to explain how, even from birth you can begin to get “obese” and launch metabolic issues. For instance, when I was born, I was Lactose intolerant. Therefore, my mom, not knowing any better, gives me lactose free formula. Because that is what she was told to do. But guess what? That formula was loaded with sugar! WTF FORMULA COMPANIES?! How do you live with yourselves?! Knowing you’re putting sugary milk powder on the market as ideal for babies. Crazy. And that’s just a DABBLE into all of the insane information in this movie.

IMG_4902-0.JPG

I think my favorite thing that this movie totally accomplished for me, was making sugar look like a straight up sketchy ass drug. It went into scientific detail to how sugar is basically cocaine to people the way it reacts in their brains. But not only did it prove sugar is an addiction, it also made one of the most amazing conclusions that I had never thought of before. In the 90’s, early 2000’s, it slowly but surely became repulsive to smoke. The TV and Internet were loaded with anti-smoking campaigns. And cities banned it from indoor settings. Not only that, but in most places, you have to be yards away from a building to smoke. I work in a downtown building and its RARE to see a person smoking. Because they made it so hard to do so. And also, because it’s almost become “trashy”. So, why can’t they do that with sugar? Why can’t they expose it like they exposed smoking hazards, and why can’t sodas come with a warning label? Why can’t I know the daily percentage of sugar on nutrition labels? So. Many. Good. Questions.

So, try it with us. No sugar. No head fog. No sugar turning to fat storage in our bodies. I’m very excited to go forward with the new information I’ve learned from this amazing documentary. I hope the whole world sees it. And I hope we all can win the fight. Our future looks bleak without a change. I know mine certainly does.

If you made it through my insane ramblings, you deserve the most delicious sugar free cookie ever!!!

Be back tomorrow with what we’re eating this week and a recipe!

Xo