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A Little Bit of Prep…

26 Mar

…goes a long way!

I really wish I could be one of those people who plans out their entire week’s meals in advance. I might need to add this to one of my lists, but for now I know it just isn’t realistic for my lifestyle. That doesn’t mean, however, that I can’t plan ahead sometimes and make my week a little easier with a little bit of prep!

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I ran home from work today and it was gloriously light out the whole way. I decided to swing by the supermarket before heading home to pick up a few random things and I was back at my apartment by 7:45. I started pre-heating the oven immediately and then did some quick slicing, measuring and heating. In no time at all – and with minimal effort – I had a bunch of things cooking and I saved myself a lot of time the rest of the week. Not the greatest picture, I know, but I was able to roast eggplant, bake a sweet potato and make hard boiled eggs and quinoa.

These may not be full meals that I was able to plan ahead for the week, but they are all still great additions to what I will eat over the next few days and I have so many options to keep me focused and eating well.

Like Cold Stone … Sort Of!

20 Mar

It used to be a real struggle for me to eat vegetables – I used to flat out refuse anything green. I slowly worked to incorporate a little here and there into my meals and one of my favorite ‘sneaks’ was turkey burgers. I used to chop up some onions, mushrooms and a little spinach and mix it right into the patties before cooking them up. These days I eat vegetables willingly and happily, but I still like the old standby recipes (if for nothing other than convenience)! So I was excited when I saw this recipe for Turkey Basil Artichoke Meatballs from PaleOMG – they looked delicious, and it was a bunch of new ingredients and flavors I hadn’t thought of adding into a ground turkey mixture before.

Turkey Basil Artichoke Meatballs 
(Makes 20 Meatballs – 4 Meatballs/4 PointsPlus)

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Ingredients:
1 pound, ground turkey (93-97% fat free)
1 (14 ounce) can, artichoke hearts, diced
1/4 onion, diced
4-5 tablespoons, fresh basil

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Place skillet over medium heat, add diced onions and artichoke hearts. Once onions are translucent, remove from heat and let cool a few minutes.
3. In a large bowl mix together ground turkey, artichoke hearts, onions and basil.
4. Scoop the mixture out with a spoon, and form 20 meatballs with your hands. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
5. Bake for 20 minutes, or until cooked through.

This recipe is really great and easy to make. I really liked using artichokes in the mixture since it was a new idea for me, but it also shows the endless possibilities for ingredients to add right in – just like Cold Stone … sort of! Once the meatballs are baked you can eat these plain, wrapped up like a hero, or with pasta. I served mine with spaghetti squash (my favorite, ever) and a little parmesan cheese!

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Recipe adapted from PaleOMG

Spice Up Your Life!

11 Mar

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Losing weight is hard, no secret there. Maintaining weight loss is also a challenge. It can be a lot of work to stay motivated and keep up the momentum. I have found that trying a new food, testing out a recipe, or running a different route can keep things exciting and helps me focus. Sometimes you just have to spice up your life!

My routine has become boring lately and I knew it was time to switch things up. I had friends coming over for dinner and I wanted to make something we could all enjoy and that I would be comfortable eating – plus I could use the leftovers throughout the week! This recipe is simple and delicious, and all the flavors from the spices really help step it up.

I prepped the chicken and onions this morning and let it marinate all day while I was at work. When I got home, everything was ready to go and just needed to be cooked – super simple. The original Weight Watchers recipe is for kebabs but I just cooked it on the stove. I served the chicken with roasted eggplant, quinoa and homemade tzatiki sauce.

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Moroccan Chicken ‘Kebabs’ (4 servings/5 PointsPlus)
Ingredients:
1 1/4 pounds, uncooked boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon, unsweetened orange juice
1/2 teaspoon, ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon, ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon, ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon, ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon, table salt
1/4 teaspoon, garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon, freshly ground black pepper
1/2 uncooked large onion

Instructions:
1. Cut the chicken and onion into 1-inch pieces.
2. Mix the chicken, onion, orange juice and all spices in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours.
3. Saute the chicken and onions together on the stove top until chicken is cooked through.

PS – look forward to a week of 90’s hit music themed blog posts. Ginger Spice is really excited and you should be too. 

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