Monthly Archives: January 2013

Just Too Easy!

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I love Panera’s black bean soup. But I have a few problems:
1. The closest Panera is about a half hour drive.
2. One bowl is never enough (where are the next day leftovers??)
3. I have a freezer full of ground beef that I’m trying to incorporate into different types of dishes.
Here is what I came up with.

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Just too good!! If that isn’t enough, it’s super easy to make (cheaper too!)

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Here is all you’ll need for this dish:
1 pound ground beef
2 cans seasoned black beans
1 can diced tomatoes (drained)
1 cup of beef broth
sliced Jalepeño, diced and to taste (I used 5-6 slices)
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp olive oil
shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream or plain Greek yogurt optional

1. In a large pot add olive oil and garlic and bring up to medium heat.
2. Once fragrant (don’t let garlic burn), add beef. Crumble and cook until no longer pink. Drain fat and return to pot. Add in diced Jalepeño, chili powder and cumin.

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3. For the beans, either mash some of them in the can with fork or use a potato masher and mash some of the beans up in the pot to make the soup thicker.

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4. Add in broth and tomatoes.

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5. Ladle in a bowl and top with cheese, sour cream or yogurt.
Serve!
Aside from using my potato masher to mash beans, I also use my garlic mincer to mince Jalepeño (doesn’t always work out the best but I can be lazy!).
Do you any kitchen gadgets to make cooking easie in other ways?

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A Winning Combination

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I just signed up for a three month program at my gym that will focus on preparing me for a half marathon! Although I think I could do this on my own, I’m really excited to get out there with others who have the same goal. For me it isn’t even about “socializing” just their presence is motivating. It totally brings out the competitor in me. The program starts next month and is going to keep me busy for two nights (and one morning). So that dinners don’t become neglected, I’m going to have to really plan to have good “leftover” meals or crockpot meals. Some people hate leftovers but for me it is all about how much I really liked the dish the first time around. Hint: I really loved this dish the first time around…

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Cajun Chicken Pasta! Normally, when pasta and creamy sauces are put together you get one heck of a calorie laden meal. Not with this recipe! A whole 11/2 cups of this pasta comes in at only 328 calories. Not bad! Also, I just love all the veggies packed into it!

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I think the chicken is hiding in my pictures but don’t worry, there was just the right amount in each dish.

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I followed the suggested recipe, however I added just a pinch of ground red pepper at the end just to make it a little more spicy! It was even a great leftovers meal for the next day which was great for today because my kids had a ton of homework and I needed to help them and not be busy cooking.

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So do you have any favorite healthy leftover meals or crockpot meals? I’d love to hear about them!
The recipe for this yummy dish can be found at Skinnytaste.com.

Frothy on the Cheap!

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So you didn’t get one of those fancy schmancy home coffee brewers for Christmas? No worries!! Let me introduce you to this little guy…

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A milk frother (thanks Auntie M)! I picked this little guy up for $3.99 (I believe) at Ikea! So what can this little guy do exactly? Let me demonstrate it’s magic!

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So what does this all mean exactly? Well let me show you!

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Beautiful isn’t it?!? I found that lower fat milk seems to get more foamy than the higher fat. Let me know what your findings are! Also, I believe, I may be making another road trip to Ikea so for my hometown buddies, let me know if you want me to grab you one!
And now that you have the coffee shop drink, let’s pair it with a coffee shop sandwich shall we?

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This sandwich just happens to take care of that pizza craving too!

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I found this sandwich idea Pinterest! I just love banana peppers (I eat them straight out of the jar) so I topped my sandwich with them.

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I cook mine open faced in the toaster oven and slap them together after the cheese starts getting melty.

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Add a cup of soup and you have a happy lunch!
Original sandwich idea is from Green Lite Bites.

Back at it.

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Well the New Year is here. Did you make a resolution? Have you kept it? I’ve really not been much of a resolution person in the past, but between the family being sick, being busy with the holidays, eating too much “comfort food,” I used the New Year to get back into my fitness routines.
These helped too…

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This, although it is super beautiful, did not…

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The good news is, my gym is pretty close so I can cruise on over there until it’s not so chilly! Also there is always sled riding for some physical activity!
If you play outside, be sure to make this dish for when you come back in. Spicy Chicken Stew!

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