Monday, June 24, 2013

Crockpot French Dip & Roasted Radishes

Mmm - Mmm!
Don't you just love when you come and dinner is already made?
I know I do!!!
Plus, I ALSO love when I have enough leftovers for dinner the next night - Sweet!

Crockpot French Dip Sandwiches is an easy-peasy recipe-peasy     
 (I apologize...not sure where that comment came from...must be the inner "cornball" comin' out.)
Wanna know how easy this is?
Just literally 1) open cans, 2) put a roast in the crock pot, and 3) push start
I'm not lyin'.
It's that easy.

Okay, well you do have to shred the roast with a fork when you get home and assemble the sammies, but, ya know, that's so easy, say...the hubby could help? (Just a thought.)

I served this with a side of Chips & Dip and Roasted Radishes
Yeppers! Roasted Radishes!

I spontaneously purchased a bag of radishes the other day during my grocery run, and, thought I'd eat them raw. Well, apparently, it's been a looong time since this chick has eaten raw radishes - them suckers are hot! Whew! After I ate one, I scoured the Internet for "cooking radishes." Gotta find a solution - I just didn't think I would eat a whole bag of 'em raw. So, what did I find?
The aforementioned Roasted Radishes.
Huh. I honestly have never thought of or didn't think I had ever tasted of cooked radishes. 
When you think you've tasted it all.....

A blogger wrote that the bitter hotness is magically transformed into "soft and luscious."
Well, it was time for me to find out. 

Wow! Who knew?!?! (Obviously, not I.)
Roasted Radishes are waaay different than raw radishes! Say good-bye to hot-bitter-crunchy wang (that's probably not a word.) From now on, I will not shy away from radishes but look forward to the roasty-goodness. If you are currently not a lover of radishes, I highly recommend roasting them. I strongly think your mind will be changed.

Crockpot French Dip Sandwiches - LINK HERE for original recipe
3 lbs chuck roast

  • 1 (10 3/4 oz) can French onion soup
  • 1 (10 3/4 oz) can beef consomme
  • 1 (10 3/4 oz) can condensed beef broth*
  • 1 teaspoon beef bouillon granules*
  • **I also added spices: 1 Tbs dried parsley, 1 tsp dried onion, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, & 1/2 black pepper
  • Provolone, slice (optional)
  • 8 -10 kimmelwick or hoagie rolls
*(I omitted the beef broth and added extra au jus base + water instead.)

1) Cut roast in half, place pieces into crockpot.
2) Combine canned soups with bouillon granules-DO NOT DILUTE SOUPS!
4) Pour over meat. Add additional spices, if desired.
5) Cover, cook on low 8 hours.
6) Remove meat from crockpot,shred with forks.
7) Skim fat from aujus in crockpot.
8) Return meat to crockpot, to rewarm.
9) Pile meat (and Provolone, if desired) on rolls.
10) Serve juice as dipping sauce on the side.


Thyme & Dill Roasted Radishes 

  • 1 lb Radishes, cleaned and halved
  • 1 Tbs Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Tbs dried Dill
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste

1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees
2) Combine all ingredients on a cookie sheet
3) Roast for about 30 minutes or until tender and lightly browned.
4) Serve and Yum!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

A Bit of This & That

What's crack-a-lacking?
This & That for moi. 
As far as workouts, I've been participating in Fitnesssista's {free} Summer Shape-Up Plan. 
Whew! It's Great!
I love her how workouts kind of "sneak up" on you in that you don't realize how well they work you body until the day AFTER. 
This week, my calves are screaming! (In a good way, naturally.)

As far as other stuff....

My first time making Tina's from Carrots 'N Cake 2-Ingredient Pancakes (<--Link with Tips).
I think I need to work on perfecting Tina's techniques, but, but overall, I liked it - One of the better non-traditional pancakes I've tried. I kept me full all morning long! Score!!!

The Hubby's "new" car!
It's a gently used Hyundai Genesis - manual 6-speed Rspec (which means not a ton to me, except for I need to now learn to drive a "stick.")
I told my husband I'd proudly be his "hot babe in the passenger seat." Ha!

Poolside Relaxation!
My apartment complex recently opened the pool. 
Oh, yeah. It's been nice going for a quick swim and lounge after work.
(Yep, workout on my tan lines - with SPF, of course.) ;)

Egg + Veggies + Hummus
I just now tried Hummus with my Eggs. The combination is DELICIOUS!
What have I been missing?
Yummy-ness, that's what. 

I lightly sauteed some zucchini in a non-stick skillet with salt and pepper. 
Then, seasoned my eggs with Rosemary (I love rosemary & eggs), basil, salt & pepper.
Add the eggs and tomato to the skillet. 
Cook until eggs are no longer runny. 
Remove from pan and top with Hummus! (I like Red Pepper Hummus.)

What about you? What have YOU been up to lately?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Southwestern Quinoa

I really need to quit slacking on the quality of my food photos....'Cause this picture doesn't do this recipe justice.

Again, this recipe is a result of my trying to plan ahead for the recent (and temporary) change of working 4 10-hour shifts. Plus, I don't know about you, but, sometimes, you just want to eat food that is better for you, fresher, and tastier than "freezer food." I mean, frozen meals are convenient "in a pinch," but, who doesn't love some homemade goodness all the better? Ain't that the truth.

As such, I'm utilizing Quinoa a lot more. It's tasty cold or hot, stores well in the fridge, and takes minimal prep time. Did I mention it is darn good for you? Well, it is!
Check out these stats:

  • 7 grams of protein per serving 
  • all 9 of the essential amino acids
  • a complex carb 
  • a great substitute for rice or couscous (okay, maybe that fact is just a bonus) 

Oh, yeah, and to sweeten the deal..I found an organic, pre-washed bag at Sam's Club!
Whoot-Whoot! I love me some savings! ($$$) :)

I based my version of Southwestern Quinoa from THIS RECIPE on, but I changed up the proportions of the ingredients plus added and omitted a couple of ingredients, as well. 

This is a great on-the-go/portable lunch - just prep on Sunday and store in the refrigerator to eat during the week. 
Southwestern Quinoa
Makes 3 Servings

3/4 cup uncooked Quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 (14 oz) can of Black Beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup of Corn
2 Roma Tomatoes
1/2 - 1 Red Bell Pepper, seeded and diced
1 Green Onion, diced
1/4 tsp Cumin
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp Coriander OR 1 Tbs of fresh Cilantro
Juice of half a Lime
Salt & Pepper, to taste

1) Cook Quinoa according to packaged directions. 
2) After Quinoa is fully cooked, remove quinoa from direct heat. 
3) Stir in remaining ingredients. 
4) Portion as preferred and store in refrigerator or Serve and Yum!

Recipe Fail: Roasted Chickpeas!!! (Argh!)

First off...Does swimming make anybody else starvin' like a crazy person???
What is it with swimming?
Also, swimming usually makes me want Cheetos and Hot Dogs. Yeah, real nutritious. What can I say? It's a childhood thing. the foodie fail. (Oh, the horror!)

The pictures say it all. 
1) They are burnt
2) I didn't follow the directions exactly (go figure - but it was an accident!)
3) I will probably not attempt these for a while. :)

I tried to make THIS RECIPE from FitSugar for Roasted Honey Cinnamon Chickpeas
How could I go wrong? 
I love Honey. I love Cinnamon. I love Chickpeas. 
It's a win-win, right?

I dunno. I think I just had some bad luck with this recipe the first go around. 
I've you have great success with Roasted Chickpeas, help a girl out!
What can I say, you can't win 'em all. (Whomp. Whomp.)

On the other hand, the same day I had two recipe success - Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Muffins and a Southwestern Quinoa Recipe (to come later!). 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Muffins

Since I've (temporarily) switched to working 4 10-hour days, I've been making an extra effort to prep all I can in the night or weekend before the workday. 
Lately, I've been cooking my lunches and making up breakfasts on Sunday, so, I can just "grab and go" in the mornings - that way, I will have something healthy and yummy!
Plus, I have to rearrange my typical routine to squeeze in my preferred Eeeaaarrlly morning workouts!
 But, ya know...I'm finding out how much time it saves if I just prep the night/weekend before. Who knew how much time I've been wasting? Well, now I know. 
Crazy how we all get use to doing things "a certain way" and fall into a routine (B/c I am a routine-lovin' gal!)
Yeah, anyway...the Muffins! 
It seems like I pinned the recipe, oh, forever ago, and, now, I've finally made them.
Check out these Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Muffins on FitandHealthywithDebi
They are Tasty!
They are Filling!
They are Easy!
(Do I have you excited now?)
Nummers! (translation: Yum)


 Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Muffins

Blurry Pic! But, you get the idea. :)
  • 2.5 cups old fashioned oats 
  • 1 cup plain low fat Greek yogurt (I used Fage 0%)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup honey (I ran out of honey, so, I used 1/4 cup honey + 1/4 cup Truvia Baking Blend)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 TBSP ground flax seed
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 ripe bananas
Instructions:1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray tin with non-stick cooking spray or line 12 muffin tins with silicone or foil liners.
2. Place the oats in the food processor and pulse for about 10 seconds. Add remaining ingredients to the food processor.
3. Process until everything is mixed together and oats are smooth.
4. Divide batter among cupcake liners, and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

I whipped up the recipe, which makes 12 muffins, and ate on these all week for breakfast.
Just bake and store in the refrigerator or freezer (depending on when you plan to eat them).

When you are ready to eat them, heat them in the microwave for a few seconds, top with peanut butter, and Ooh-wee!

(I strongrly recommend eating them warm AND with Peanut Butter...unless you're a weirdo person who doesn't like peanut butter
I love how the muffins "stuck with me" and kept me FULL!
Perfect Portable Breakfast!

P.S. I calculated these to be 125 calories each (5g protein, 20g carbs)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Roasted Garlic & Mozzarella Chicken Sausage Pizza

YES, this is another pizza recipe...I can't help it!
I have really been lovin' me some pizza lately.
Guess I've got my Lovin' in the Oven.

Roasted Garlic & Mozzarella Chicken Sausage Pizza  is based off THIS RECIPE recipe I found at 

I had been "eyeing" some Chicken Sausage at Sam's Club and finally "bucked up" and bought a package.
(Plus, Julie at PBFingers always makes chicken sausage look so delicious!)
Sam's Club had several flavors including Fajita, Red Pepper, Italian, Spinach & Asiago, and Roasted Garlic & Mozzarella. 

Clearly, I went with the Roasted Garlic & Mozzarella

Now, I have 15 chicken sausage links to use....
1st recipe using 2 (of the 15) sausage links was this:


It was Yum in my Tum!
For the crust, I used one of the hubby's friend's recipes (Dan's the name, cooking's his game - har har). 
Yeah. I've had that crust recipe for, oh, 2 years and just now finally decided to make it, BUT, better late than never!
The crust was great! The best homemade crust in this house to date! 
The Dan's Pizza Crust was thick, sturdy, yet soft, with a nice crispy bottom. 
Oh, yeah.

Dan's Pizza Dough (aka the crust)
1 envelope active dry yeast
1 cup warm water, 110-120 degrees F
1 1/2 tsp sugar
2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
2 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp salt
dried Oregano, Garlic, dried Basil, to taste
cornmeal, for dusting dough

1) Put Warm water in a cup; sprinkle yeast over water and stir in sugar; let stand for about 10 minutes, or until mixture begins to bubble
2) Separately, combine 2 1/4 cups of flour and salt in a large bowl; pour in oil and yeast mixture and stir until a stiff dough is formed.
3) Turn dough out on a floured surface; knead for about 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Add extra flour as needed to keep from sticking to hands and surface.
4) Place dough in a large, greased bowl; turn dough over to coat dough well; Cover with a wet towl and let rise in a warm place (like a warm oven) for about 30 minutes. Dough should double in bulk.
5) After rising, punch down dough. Sprinkle dough with cornmeal and shape to fit a lightly greased pizza pan.
6) Top with toppings (below) and bake on 425 degrees  for 15-20 minutes

The Toppings:
10 ounces of diced tomatoes (if using canned tomatoes, drain tomatoes well)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
Roasted Garlic & Mozzarella chicken sausage links (a different flavor would do fine)
1 cup of shredded Italian 5-cheese blend
5 oz. fresh mozzarella


On a side note: I think my new favorite flavored coffee is Red Velvet coffee!!!
This is actually my 2nd variety of Red Velvet coffee - I had tried a different brand before this and wondered if my new love was dependent on the brand itself. 
Nope! I think I just looove Red Velvet coffee. 

I picked up this yum at TJ Maxx.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Lemony Greek Yogurt "Cheesecake"

Hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day!
I am indebted to all those who gave the ultimate sacrifice one can give - I'm glad I live in the good ol' U.S.A.!!!


As Americans, what do we generally do on all holidays?
I shouldn't judge, because I am right up with the rest of us "gettin' my grub on."
What can I say, I AM an American. :)

Well, I've been havin' one of my hankerin's.
A hankerin' for a good desert.
Either something uber-chocolatey or something dreamy-creamy.
I went with the dreamy-creamy.

Although, alas, my sweet tooth was rarin' up. 
However, I still thought I'd try to make a healthier dessert - but I wanted the dessert to be G-O-O-D. Because, I don't know about you, but to me, almost nothing is as disappointing as wasting all those calories on something that just isn't worth it. 
Ya feel me, dawg?

I stumbled upon THIS RECIPE for 
Lemony Greek Yogurt Cheesecake.
The recipe replaces the cream cheese and sour cream in traditional cheesecakes with Greek yogurt. 
Hmmm...I was a bit skeptical.
The recipes take out ALL of the cream cheese and sour cream????
I decided to be "gutsy."
Just call me a risk-taker.
Bring. it. on.

I (of course) tweaked the recipe both on purpose and accidentally.
Don't judge.
Yes, doing both is possible.

On purpose: Instead of sugar, I used Truvia Baking Blend (It consists of both sugar and stevia and cuts calories by 75% of white sugar). 
Accidentally: I omitted one egg (Darn!)


Lemony Greek Yogurt Cheesecake
Makes 1 cake
Graham Cracker Crust (you can also use a store-bought crust):
1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs (about 9 whole cookies)
¼ cup Truvia Baking Blend
¼ cup melted light butter (plus 1-2 tsp for preparing pan)

1)  Preheat oven to 300° F. 
2)  Break cookies and place in food processor*. Pulse until ground into medium-fine crumbs. 
3)  Put crumbs into medium mixing bowl. With a fork, stir in melted butter and sugar. 
4)  Turn out crumb mixture into a buttered nine-inch springform pan (or other pan, if you don't have a     
      springform pan) and, using your fingers, press mixture into an even crust along the bottom. (You can also    
      use a buttered glass pie plate and form the crumbs into a traditional crust along the bottom and up the   
5)  Bake the crust for 10-15 minutes until firm and dry. 
6)  Remove from oven and set on a wire rack.

*Don't have a food processor? You can also make crumbs in the blender or by hand. Place crackers in a heavy duty plastic freezer bag and crush with a rolling pin.

Lemon Greek Yogurt Filling:
4 eggs
1/3 cup + 1 Tbs Truvia Baking Blend
1 Tbs. cornstarch
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups plain Greek Yogurt (I used 0% b/c it's what I had)
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest

7)   With an electric mixer, beat eggs a few times to combine. 
8)   Beat in sugar, cornstarch, salt, vanilla, and yogurt until light and slightly bubbly. 
9)   Add lemon and lemon zest and pulse or beat briefly to incorporate. 
10) Pour mixture into prepared crust (it's fine if the crust is still warm).
11) Place in center of oven. Start checking cheesecake after 50 minutes and then every 5-10 minutes after that. Shake pan gently. The filling should look creamy but firm at the edges, and still appear slightly jiggly in the center. It will firm up as it cools. 
12) Remove from oven and set on a wire rack. Cool to room temperature. 
13) Refrigerate for at least 4 hours (or overnight) before serving.

Optional topping: 3 cups of sliced strawberries, raspberries, blackberries or mixed berries tossed with two tablespoons sugar. Let mixture sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour so the berries get nice and juicy. Spoon desired amount of topping over a slice of cheesecake before serving.


So, how was it?
I was pleasantly surprised. 
Lemony Greek Yogurt Cheesecake is actually a GREAT substitute for a traditional cheesecake. 
I honestly really enjoyed it (and it satisfied my hankerin').
This recipe even passed the hubby test!!!
He likes it!
Trust me, my husband will tell me what he thinks about the new recipes I make - he's like my own personal food critic. :) 
(No worries, he's not like a "Gordon Ramsay" or anything.)
It's funny b/c as "foodies", we critique a new recipe and discuss what, if anything, the recipe is missing, whether it's better than a previous recipe, etc.- just to give you some idea- this couple takes our food seriously.

 Oh, yeah, Great News, I calculated the calories per serving for each piece of "cheesecake":
6 slices per pie: about 270 calories
8 slices per pie: about 200 calories
Plus, a major "bump up" in protein and less sugar than typical cheesecake.
Could it get any better?