Please, don’t ever let me skip a night at the gym again.

Thanks to that grueling leg work out I did at the beginning of the week and following it up with kickboxing the next day, my *ahem* inner thighs have been out of commission for two days now.  I didn’t know what to do with myself upon finding an extra 2 hours at home in the evening, so I walked into the kitchen and decided to make a gourmet meal, inspired by my old school Rachael Ray book.

It involved another marinade, and basically any type of protein you want to use it with.  We had some thin sliced sirloin steaks in the fridge so I figure I’d use them and pair them with sweet potatoes to continue my out of character healthy streak.  But then, after using only 1/2 of the onion I had to cut for the marinade, an evil thought filled my head and I couldn’t stop it, there was no more control.

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This is me thinking I am super healthy

Two things today:

I LOVE MARINADES!

I HATE LEG WORKOUTS!  Don’t cardio work outs such as spining, kickboxing, and running work your legs enough?  I did an epic and painfully wobbly leg work out yesterday by combining two livefit leg work outs (also subbing and what not, forget this program, it’s getting ridiculous and I don’t want to look like a body builder so I’m just using it to structure my own made up workouts.).  If you’d like to not be able to walk for the rest of the day because your legs are buckling, I invite you to try the following;

Lol at me being too lazy to recreate this without the stupid red spelling error underline.

Please note that I have no formal training, I just put together work outs that I feel are best for my abilities and body type.  This took me about 1 hour to complete, and I will reiterate again, I’ve been working out for 5 weeks at this intensity level and I was still very sore afterward.  Maybe I’m just a little baby weakling though.

Now to the marinades – I have recently stumbled upon this website: GroceryBudget101.com.  Grilling marinated chicken is my go to healthy meal when I just need something light and wholesome, and this Key West Chicken just sounded divine.  This is the second time I made it and added an extra clove of garlic because I don’t like kissing my husband.

Really though, the lime and garlic just marry together and caramelize into a sweet and tangy glaze on the chicken.  PLEASE grill this, and if you don’t have a grill, cook it on cast iron (like we did).  Also, since I had such a hard time with chicken for so long- I learned to take it out of the fridge about 15 minutes before grilling, that way it won’t toughen up and will cook evenly from room temperature.

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Sometimes diet tips are true.

You know I never really understood the people that tell you that spicy food helps you lose weight, but I had two tiny tacos of this and I felt SO FULL.

This is my new favorite spicy, Mexican style recipe.  The chipotle garlic sauce adds so much depth and beautiful smoky flavor that separates it from the generic lime/salsa/cilantro profile that makes you think every Mexican dish contains the same ingredients stuffed into different starchy vehicles (I’m looking at you, Taco Bell).

The only thing is I hate shredding chicken, but I’ll get over it.  For once, I didn’t modify this recipe AT ALL, it was perfect in every way.  If you can’t handle spicy, add more sour cream to the sauce (maybe Greek yogurt if you’re concerned about health?  i don’t know anything don’t listen to me)…this was hotter than I expected, but welcomed.

I hope your weekend is treating you well – It’s wicked stormy here down on the west coast of Florida… I expect myself to eat copious amounts of cookies this weekend, since when I’m at home and have nothing to do I bake, bake, bake. *facepalm*.

Chicken in Chipotle Cream Sauce

from FromAway.com                                        Serves about 6

 Ingredients:

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 a 7 oz can chipotle in adobo (whole peppers and sauce)
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 white or yellow onion, sliced
  • 8 oz white button mushrooms, sliced (I left them whole)
  • 1 teaspoon flour
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (I used light daisy, which is reflected in the nutrition facts)
  • Flour tortillas

Method:

  1. Combine chipotles and adobo sauce with garlic and milk in a food processor.
  2. Cook seasoned chicken breasts over medium heat in 1 tablespoon vegetable oil; remove to a plate and shred into big pieces.
  3. Add the other teaspoon of oil to the pan and saute onions and mushrooms, approximately 10 minutes.
  4. Return roughly shredded chicken to the pan and turn down the heat.
  5. Add the flour and stir for one-two minutes, then pour in the chipotle mixture. Increase the heat and bring to a boil; let the mixture simmer and reduce
  6. Turn off the heat and stir in the sour cream.  Serve in tacos, over salad, or even on a sandwich!

Damage (just the chicken & sauce): 431 calories/10g carbs/13g fat/43g protein/3g fiber

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I think I did something naughty and wonderful.  It included these two things.

You know not of my love for baking because I am always far too excited during the process to take pictures and the treats are usually gone before I can make a post about them, and that would just be inauthentic.  Don’t you think?  I don’t know because I still don’t know much about food blogs.

This was the first affair I had with a real vanilla bean and the first time I ever baked with bourbon…and brown butter.

I’m starting to reveal my inner soul and I’m uncomfortable now so let’s just talk about the cookies.

These are a work in progress.  I got the recipe from The Vanilla Bean blog, but I want to work on these a little bit.  They were a bit too greasy for my liking and while I loved the chewy factor, I could use them to be a bit more thick and cakey.  It’s all a matter of preference, baby.

Don’t eat the dough, because I’m pretty certain with the amount I binge on cookie dough that things could have gone down hill really fast if I didnt’ stop when I felt my legs start feeling tingly.

But holy crap it looks so good.  I promise that regular cookie dough tastes better if you’re not an alcoholic.  I think next time I’ll try omitting the extra egg yolk, and a few tablespoons of butter and see what happens … just play it safe for now if you try these, let me take the risks 😉

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Queso Dip Mac & Cheese

Well lookie what I made.

Big ball of home made queso going into my pasta. I LIKE

I made queso for … what else…. mac and cheese!  I can’t get away from mac and cheese and I’m convinced I’ll never be able to try all of the different variations I have inspiration for before I die.

I made the sauce Sunday night simply because I am always ravenous when I get home from the gym and if I try and cook when I’m that hungry… my kitchen would look like a tornado blew through it and you’d find me licking cheese off the floor.

No bueno.  Also no bueno?  My husband’s comment in a sing song toddler voice about my first ever home made queso dip.

“It’s not like it’s the BEST ONE ever, Raychel.  Stop being obsessed with it.”

Thanks doting and appreciative husband of mine ❤  See what happens when I leave you for a week with nothing but a pantry and a stove (I promise you the only product of that environment would be omlettes and pb&j for the rest of the week).

Here is what you really want, the recipe for my new version of Mexican mac & cheese.   The website I got this inspiration from prepared it in a baked fashion with TWO CUPS of cheese sprinkled on top but I wanted to keep it under 50g of fat per serving, so I just made it the traditional way as a sauce.   Don’t pass out when you see the nutrition facts, you could serve this in smaller portions as the original recipe intended it for 8.  Also, there was no low fat cheddar at the store for some reason this time, so i had to use full fat.  This will probably shave about 5-10 g fat per serving off.

Queso Dip Mac & Cheese

Adapted from Picky Palate, Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup pico de gallo
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onions
  • 1 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • One 10 ounce can Rotel tomatoes, mild
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 pound small pasta of your choice (I used Alma’s whole wheat)

Method

  1. Place butter into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir to melt. Whisk in flour, salt and pepper for about 30 seconds until bubbly. Slowly whisk in chicken broth until smooth. Increase heat to high while whisking until thickened. Takes 3-5 minutes. Stir in cheese and salsa, turn off heat and set aside.
  2. Place 2 tablespoons olive oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Saute onions until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add ground beef, salt and pepper, cooking until browned. Add tomatoes, cumin and lime juice, stir to combine.
  3. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and run under cold water
  4. Combine beef, queso sauce, and pasta and serve with sprinkled cheddar on top

Damage: 584 calories/49g carbs/30g fat/30g protein/6g fiber