Clean Eating Challenge, Day 1

Yesterday was day one of the Arbonne clean eating challenge, and “challenge” was exactly the right word for it. It was the first time in months that I didn’t drink a cup of coffee, and I was making conscious, informed choices about what I was eating. My products, like my energy fizz sticks, won’t be here until Thursday, so maybe it will be good for me to get off the caffeine a little bit. I’m also so used to adding flavor to my waters, like the Kool-Aid, Crystal Light or Mio flavor infuser liquid, but once I looked at the ingredients and realized it contained a lot of things I couldn’t pronounce, I decided against it. Instead, I made a big jug of Tazo passion tea.

Okay, so I do have to admit… the food was pretty darn good! For breakfast, I had oatmeal with blueberries. Lunch was leftover kale and hummus salad with sweet potatoes. I snuck in a quick workout after work and a protein shake.

arbonne-taco-saladDinner was the first meal from the challenge recipes, a taco salad, with the addition of all natural ground turkey. Honestly, everything was already what I was used to eating, for the most part. It was a lot of familiar flavors. The taco salad was different because I made the cilantro lime brown rice from the set of recipes (YUM!) and I used rice chips for mine (double-YUM!). (Anyone who hasn’t had the opportunity to taste these delicious vegan/gluten free chips… go, buy some now. They’re awesome!) I also made fresh chunky guacamole like I used to make all the time in college… and I’m pretty sure my hubby wanted to lick the bowl.

Overall, I’m feeling pretty good. I have to admit that I wish results were overnight… but who doesn’t? I’m looking forward to my products getting here so that I can use the fizz sticks and the fiber… I think that will help it feel more like a lifestyle change and less like a challenge. I’m also looking forward to doing some more research on recipes I can use in the long haul.

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Crockpot Chicken Taco Bake

crockpot-chicken-taco

I actually made this wonderfulness a couple nights ago, but I’ve been eating it through the week. It’s so easy and so yummy! I got the chance to share it with two of my best friends last night and they agreed! James even tried to lick the bowl! A healthy, zesty combination of chicken, black beans and corn, this is a set it and forget it easy weeknight crowd-pleaser. As you can see here, it didn’t need a whole lot to be filling.

Of course, I did get it from Pinterest (I’ve been trying to make stuff I’ve pinned, can you tell?), so I have to give some credit! So I got the recipe from a blog called Budget Bytes, and it’s so easy! Make some rice, top with avocado and cheese and maybe even some sour cream. Yum.

According to the blog, it’s also very tasty with tortillas or taco shells instead of the rice.

Want to see some more recipes I’ve pinned? Follow me on Pinterest.

Chicken Taco Bake

  • 1.5 lbs chicken breasts – I used a combo of breasts and thighs because I like the taste of the dark meat
  • 1 16 oz jar of salsa – Walmart brand Zesty Cilantro is delicious! I’m betting that the black bean and corn or mango salsa would be really good here too.
  • 1 16 oz can of black beans, drained
  • 1/2 lb frozen corn
  • 1 tbsp each chili powder, cumin, minced garlic
  • 1 tsp each dried oregano, cayenne and salt
  • (If you don’t have these spices, use a packet of taco mix instead)
  • to taste, cracked pepper
  • 8 oz shredded cheddar
  • cilantro for garnish (optional)
  • Avocado, chopped, for garnish (optional)

Throw everything but the cilantro, avocado and cheese in the crockpot, along with a cup of water. Mix it together, make sure the chicken is covered with the sauce. Turn on low for 8 hours. Or high for 4, low for 2 if you have a little less time.

At about hour 7.5, go ahead and make some white rice, either in a rice cooker or on the stove. When it’s ready, shred the chicken with two forks, and serve over rice, topped with cheese, avocado and cilantro.

Sit. Eat. Enjoy. 🙂

Here Fishy, Fishy

IMAG0547Fish tacos. Among most people, there seems to be a love hate relationship with this delight. For me, it depends on the ingredients, how the fish is cooked and the overall combination of flavors. I prefer a crisp, crunchy, clean flavor. And I managed to achieve that with my most recent creation. I looked in my freezer as I was leaving my house at the horribly awful hour of 5 a.m. and decided I should use the fish that has been in there for quite a long time. And for some reason, though I am usually of the mantra “fish are friends, not food,” fish sounded good.

Most of the way home, I was trying to decide what I was going to do with the filets calling me from the freezer – I’ve found that if I really exhaust all the possible cooking options in my mind, I’m less likely to be lazy and stop somewhere to just pick something up. I didn’t think that this breaded tilapia would be good on tacos, and then I realized using my schnoz that it was actually  flavored breadcrumbs. Ok. Now it had possibilities.

One of the other fish that I have in my freezer is cod, and I was thinking about making a hoisin glazed cod as well. So I kind of combined my two ideas by making a slightly tangy/spicy hoisin sauce for these as well. It was definitely the perfect finishing touch that made for the perfect crispy, crunchy, clean, tangy taco that totally hit the spot.

And you can’t see it here but I also had a delicious half of an acorn squash with this. MMM Veggies. MMM Squash really, I really do enjoy just about all the kinds of squash when it’s cold outside.

Hoisin Tilapia Tacos

Ingredients:

Tortilla – one per taco

Lettuce, chopped or shredded – a fresh made, lightly sauced, cold coleslaw would be good here too

1 Tomato, chopped – I made two tacos and had some left over

Avocado, chopped – I used about half an avocado for my two tacos because I’m an avocado freak

Feta cheese, to taste

Breaded (seasoned) Tilapia – freshly made or frozen. I’m lazy, I did my from a frozen state. I used one filet for my two tacos.

Cooking spray in a small Pyrex casserole dish to cook your fish

For the sauce:

Hoisin, about 2 tbsp

Frank’s Red Hot sauce, about 2 tsp… 10 dashes or so?

1/2 tsp horseradish

Directions:

  1. Prepare your fish how you prefer. I stuck my frozen fish in the greased pyrex casserole in a preheated 425 degree oven for about 25 minutes. While that’s cooking, make everything else.
  2. For the sauce, mix the three ingredients in a small ramikin and adjust seasoning to taste.
  3. Prepare toppings, warm the tortillas on a paper plate with a damp paper towel covering them for about 30 seconds in the microwave.
  4. Prepare taco with desired toppings minus the sauce in the warm tortillas. Either put the cheese directly on the tortilla or directly under the fish so that it will melt a little.
  5. Once the fish is cooked, remove from the pan and let sit about two minutes so it stiffens a little bit and gets the nice crispiness. Then cut in half and place on the tacos.
  6. Fold, eat, enjoy. Yum.

On a final note, apparently I’m feeling very hyper today. It’s probably from lack of sleep and coffee. I’ve been talking about a hundred miles an hour and I just reread my post….slowly noticing that I am forcing you my loyal readers to bounce along a very winding train of thought that has no clear final destination. Sorry about that.

Experimentation

How many of you are on Pinterest? I got addicted by a friend of mine before it got really popular. Well this recipe came from a post on Pinterest. It’s a no-cook refrigerator oatmeal, in a couple different flavors. The science behind it is that the oatmeal absorbs the liquid while it’s in the refrigerator, and it eliminates the overheating feeling of trying to eat oatmeal in the summer time.

Now, I’m not going to go into too much detail about it just yet – I want to see how it works. But it’s basically a mixture of oatmeal, greek yogurt, milk, and honey with the other ingredients that add the flavor. I made a peanut butter cocoa version, a mocha, a peanut butter banana and an apple cinnamon. We’ll see how at least one of them tastes in the morning.

To continue on the path of yummy, dinner was a taco salad. You know how when you’re eating at Taco Bell, and everything falls out of the taco shell on to the paper? And then you use a spork and scoop it up and it usually tastes better than the taco itself did? Well, that’s what my salad tasted like. And it was amazing. It had a lot more calories than I wanted it to because avocado is expensive on the calories. But it was totally worth it and totally delicious. Avocado, tomato, lettuce and spinach, a mango salsa, ground beef with green bell peppers and onions, cheese and a home made taco seasoning. Try it for a quick dinner on a hot evening.

On a side note, when did Lego come out with Polly Pocket -esque figurines and Barbie-like scenery?

Oh, and dessert! I got dessert!! It’s a glorious day. My friend and I made a chocolate cake yesterday with chocolate whipped topping frosting. It’s delicious, light and moist. And tastes even better after a day in the fridge. Oh and 160 calories per slice. Yay dessert!!