Sunday, June 30, 2013

Italian Chix and Rice

Another easy crockpot meal. I found it was pretty bland, so I don't know if adding more herbs would help, or maybe seasoning the chicken before adding to the crockpot would help. Regardless, it was an easy recipe and a great way to prepare a well-rounded meal and not have to spend lots of time in the kitchen.

Crock Pot Creamy Italian Chicken & Rice Casserole  

Adapted from Stacy Makes Cents
2 lbs boneless chicken
4 tsp butter 

4 whole mushrooms, chopped
2 tsp minced garlic
½ cup whole wheat flour
1 ½ cups milk
1/8 cup Italian herbs
1 tsp salt (depending on taste/preference)


Optional add ins/variations:
1 cup rice
1-2 cups water or chicken broth
2 cups fresh veggies – broccoli, peas, carrots, asparagus, etc.

Place chicken in crock pot, turn on the low setting. I added in my chicken frozen...less prep time...yay! Then, in a small sauce pan, melt butter & saute mushrooms a few minutes until tender. Add garlic, turning to brown for only a few seconds, then add whole wheat flour, mixing together, making sure that all the flour is wet. Slowly pour and mix milk constantly stirring with fork. It will be lumpy at first, but have no fear – it will thicken! Add Italian herbs & salt & stir. (I did not saute the mushrooms, but rather added them into the crockpot raw and whole; I didn't want them to get too soggy)

Pour the thick gravy on top of the chicken, and close the lid. Cook on low for 7-9 hours total.

With 2 hours before dinner time, add in 1 cup of rice (wild rice takes about 2 ½ hours) and anywhere from 1-2 cups warm water or (organic) chicken broth. The ratio for rice to water is approximately 1:2.

With 1 hour left, add fresh veggies. Check after about 30-45 minutes, cooking only until vegetables are done.

Friday, June 28, 2013


I had mentioned several weeks ago that we would be getting a cow. No, not as a pet, but to eat. My parents, aunt and uncle and us split half a cow, three ways. It was from a local farmer, grass-fed and organic and a local butcher took care to create various cuts. As you can see from the pics, my freezer is now full of yummy and all-natural beef. 

The meat was priced per pound, so we paid $2.55 per pound for ground beef, hamburger patties, Porterhouse, rump roast and several other cuts of steak. The price per pound was amazing for the ground beef alone, since rarely does it go below $2 a pound anymore. $2.55 per pound for the other cuts is super cheap, especially for grass-fed, organic beef. Obviously, you pay it all upfront and have to have the freezer space for it all, but for us it's been a great deal. 

The other night, we tried the Porterhouse steaks and they were amazing!! Almost as tender as filet Mignon and with wonderful flavor. I'll keep you updated on how it all tastes!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Applesauce Bites

I'm always looking for healthy, all-natural and easy-to-eat snack for the kiddos, since both of them are grazers, and seriously could eat all day long! I saw these on Pinterest (of course!) and they were a hit with the kids. They're applesauce bites and all you do is take a piece of parchment or wax paper, put dabs or circles of applesauce on the paper and freeze. When ready to serve, take out of the freezer and give to the kiddos. Caution...they do melt within 5 to 10 minutes, so have the kids eat quickly or only get a few out at a time. I'm going to try this with some of the flavored applesauces too. Stay tuned :)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Crunch Wrap Supreme Thompson Style

I am so excited about this post! First of all, I LOVE Taco Bell and always have. I still remember the first time I had Taco Bell. It was 7th grade and my parents gave in and finally let me eat Taco Bell with the rest of my basketball team. Back in college, my best girl friends and I would go up once a week for a late night Taco Bell run and conversation. At that time, Ohio University, our alma mater, had the largest Taco Bell in the world :) So, Taco Bell is not only delicious, it make me think of some great time with great friends.

Even after college, I still get a craving for the Bell every few weeks and thankfully, my husband and daughter love it as much as I do. One of my favorite things to get there is the CrunchWrap Supreme. It's just awesome. The perfect combination of crunch taco, soft taco, nacho cheese, sour cream and taco meat. Plus it's portable!

My husband ran across this recipe for CrunchWrap Supremes at home and I just had to try them to see if I could "clean" them up (because we all know that Taco Bell is not known for its all-natural fare). They turned out great! Not as good as the original, but a great all-natural alternative. They were not difficult to make despite the fact the recipe is like three pages long. If you already make my homemade taco seasoning, you're already halfway there!

Homemade Crunch Wrap Supreme

For the taco sauce: 
1 Tablespoons homemade taco seasoning, found here
One 28-ounce can whole tomatoes

For the nacho cheese sauce:
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup milk, plus more if needed
2 tablespoons cream cheese
1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon homemade taco seasoning,

found here


For the Crunchwrap Supreme:
1 pound ground beef 
2 - 3 tablespoons homemade taco seasoning,
found here
1 tablespoon cornstarch 
1/4 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup water
6 10-inch flour tortillas, warmed
6 tostadas (I had trouble finding all-natural ones, so I cheated a little here!)
1 cup sour cream
2 tomatoes, chopped, tossed with 1/4 cup of the taco sauce
2 cups shredded lettuce
Cooking spray, for frying

For the taco sauce: 
In a food processor or blender, purée the tomatoes until smooth. Add to a small saucepan and add 1 tablespoon (or more to taste) to the tomatoes. Simmer until sauce is thickened, about 30 minutes.

For the nacho cheese sauce: 

In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Whisk in the cornstarch and cook for 1 minute, and then slowly whisk in the milk. If the sauce is too thick, add a little more milk. Simmer until thickened, about 2 minutes, and then add the cream cheese, Cheddar cheese, hot sauce, and seasonings. Keep warm until ready to use.

For the Crunchwrap Supreme: 
Brown the meat in a large skillet over medium-high heat until halfway cooked, breaking it up as little as possible with the spoon. Add the taco seasoning, sugar and cornstarch. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring to evenly distribute the spices, and then add the water. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, until the meat is cooked through and the sauce is thick and flavorful.

To assemble the Crunchwrap Supreme, place 1 flour tortilla out on a work station. Add a spoonful of the meat mixture to the center and top with a similar size spoonful of nacho cheese. The amount you add is up to your personal preference, but make sure to evenly distribute the meat and cheese sauce between all 6 tortillas. Top the meat and cheese mixture with a tostada, and then place 1 tablespoon of sour cream on top. Add a sprinkle of the marinated tomatoes and shredded lettuce on top and then, working counter clockwise, fold the edges of the flour tortilla up over the meat, cheese, tostada, tomato, and lettuce pile. Continue to fold until it is completely wrapped and in the shape of a hexagon.

Heat another medium skillet over high heat and grease it with some cooking spray. Fry the Crunchwrap Supreme on each side for about 1-2 minutes, until it gets a nice golden brown crust. Serve with a side of taco sauce.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Chicken Bacon Avocado Salad

This dish is a perfect summer dish. Easy prep means less time in a hot kitchen and the combination of romaine, avocado, chicken and vinaigrette make it a light, yet filling main course. The dressing has a number of ingredients, but I had them all on-hand and didn't have to make a special trip to buy extra ingredients. 

Sunday's training called for: 120 minute bike
I did: 14.23 miles in 55:12 (Okay, confession time. I really do not like riding bike that much. It's a great workout, but I do not have the attention span or desire to spend 2 straight hours on a bike. I much prefer to run. I feel like I am so much more efficient, meaning I can get a great workout in a shorter amount of time. That's why I love Insanity...hard workout in short time but awesome results. Rant over)

Today's training called for: 60 minute run
I did: 6 miles in 56:40 (booyah! first 10k of the year!)

Chicken Bacon Avocado Salad
    Salad Ingredients:
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 8 cups chopped Romaine lettuce
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked and diced
  • 4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled (I used feta)
  • 2 avocados, pitted and diced
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup garlic vinaigrette (see recipe below)
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • Garlic Herb Vinaigrette Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • pinch of salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. dried Italian seasonings (I used dried oregano)
  • 1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil

To Make The Salad:
Season chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper. Grill until cooked through. Remove chicken and let rest for at least 10 minutes. Dice chicken into small pieces. Add the diced chicken, lettuce, bacon, blue cheese, avocados and tomatoes to a large bowl, and toss until combined. Drizzle or toss with garlic vinaigrette and serve immediately.
To Make The Vinaigrette:
Whisk all ingredients together until combined.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Brownie Batter Dip

Matt and I have seemed to become the go-to dessert people for our monthly small group get-togethers. (I'm not complaining...dessert is one of my favorite things to make!! ;) Last week, I made Brownie Batter Dip....yes, you read that correctly. And, yes, it was as delicious as it sounds. Plus, it was super easy!! You could use all different types of food for dipping (we used jumbo marshmallows, pretzels and strawberries) and really mix it up. 

Brownie Batter Dip
Source: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

8 ounces cream cheese, light or regular, softened
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons cocoa powder, regular or Dutch-process
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-4 tablespoons milk
Chocolate chips for garnish (optional)

Pretzels, strawberries, marshmallows, graham crackers, animal crackers, or apples for dipping
Using an electric mixer, whip the cream cheese and butter together until light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and mix well.  Add the flour, cocoa powder, brown sugar, vanilla and 2 tablespoons milk. Mix until smooth. Add additional powdered sugar or milk if needed, until the desired consistency is reached. You want the dip to be soft enough to easily dip a pretzel without breaking it, but stiff enough to hold its shape and not be runny. Garnish with chocolate chips, if desired.
I mixed chocolate chips in rather than use as garnish.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Ooey Gooey Cheerio Treats

I saw this on Pinterest and thought they looked great until I checked out the ingredients...the original recipe called for 1 cup sugar AND 1 cup of corn syrup! Holy sugar high batman! I decided to "clean" them up a bit and they turned out great! There were actually a little two sweet, so I am going to use less honey next time. 

While they tasted awesome, they were pretty messy to eat, so not a great snack for toddlers. 

Training plan called for: 45 minute run
I did: 4.12 miles in 38:36

Cheerio Treats
1 cup honey (use 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup for less-sweet version)
1 cup all-natural creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
5 cups Cheerios (I used Mom's Best Honey Nut Cheerios)

In a large sauce pan, combine honey and peanut butter until smooth. Allow mixture to boil for one minute and remove from heat. Add vanilla to mixture and mix until smooth. Add Cheerios and mix until all coated. Drop mixture by spoonful onto waxed paper and allow to cool.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Crockpot Chicken Stock

A lot of crockpot recipes call for chicken stock, but unfortunately, many store-bought stocks have preservatives. The ones that don't are pretty expensive! I had been researching different homemade chicken stock recipes but was afraid to try any because they seemed pretty involved. Lo and behold, I happened across this one made in the crockpot. Hallejuah! That's more my style :) I was pleasantly surprised how easy (and cheap!) it was to make!! Now, every time we have chicken, I'll be making some homemade crockpot chicken stock. 

Training called for: 60 minute bike
What I did: 12 miles in 50 minutes

Crockpot Chicken Stock 
From Out of the Box Foods

Special Equipment: crockpot, quart freezer bags, fine mesh strainer/colander, medium bowl

1 leftover roasted or rotisserie chicken (bones, skin and meat)
2 carrots, washed and cut/broken into three pieces each
2 celery stalks (w/leaves), washed and cut/broken into three pieces each
1 onion, quartered
1 tbsp whole peppercorns
16 Cups water (approximately)

Place the chicken, carrots, celery, onion and peppercorns in crock-pot. Pour water over ingredients. Put lid on crock-pot and cook on low 10-12 hours. (The longer you cook the richer the stock so don’t hesitate to let it cook longer.)
Using a small mesh colander/strainer and bowl, strain out liquid. Discard vegetables. Measure liquid into desired serving size and pour into quart freezer bags. I used the snack size baggies and measured out 1 cup serving sizes. I also found it easy to put the open bag in a bowl or measuring cup to keep it open while you pour in the stock. Otherwise, I had trouble holding the bag open and pouring and it got all over the place. Seal, label and lay flat in freezer to freeze. (Measuring servings and labeling the bags makes for easy use in your next recipe.)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Honey Muffins

Another breakfast attempt. These turned out good too, except I only got to eat one of them because my stupid dog ate the rest :/ Hence why there is no picture either!! The original recipe called for coconut oil, coconut flour and coconut milk (to make them paleo). I went to Whole Foods to get said ingredients, but once I saw that coconut flour was $14.99 for a tiny bag and coconut oil was $12.99 for a very small container, I decided mine would be just clean and not paleo honey muffins! They were easy to throw together, tasted sweet, but not too sweet and were nice and moist.

Today's Training Plan called for 15 minute run, 30 minute bike, 15 minute run
I did 2 mile run, 5 mile bike, 1.5 mile run

Honey Muffins
Adapted from Civilized Caveman Cooking
3 eggs
3 tbsp honey
2 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp milk
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 Degrees F. Mix together your eggs, honey, oil, milk, salt and vanilla. Sift together your baking powder and flour and then combine with your wet ingredients. Mix your batter well and then fold in your chopped pecans if you are using them. If not, divide your batter into 6 muffin tins and bake for 15 minutes.

    Monday, June 17, 2013

    Breakfast Taquitos

    I know this blog is primarily about food, but it takes both a good diet AND exercise to live a healthy and balanced life. As I've gotten older, I've realized that just because I work out that doesn't mean I can eat anything I want anymore. Even though my running headband says "Eat Hard, Run Hard" doesn't mean I can necessarily do that :P With that being said, I need a little motivation and accountability for a duathalon I have coming up 4th of July weekend. So, I'm going to talk about my exercise each day, in hopes that I will keep up my training schedule since I am going to have to post about it. 

    Today, the schedule called for a 45 minute bike ride. I did a 10-mile ride in 41:26. Close enough ;)

    I made another attempt at low-carb, low-sugar breakfast with breakfast taquitos. They were excellent! They took some prep time, but it was worth it. I doubled the recipe and froze them all. Makes for an easy and convenient breakfast...take out of the freezer, heat and enjoy!

    Breakfast Taquitos
    4 Tbs. Butter – Divided
    1/3 Cup Yellow Bell Peppers - Chopped
    1/4 Cup Onion - Chopped
    1/3 Cup Red Bell Peppers - Chopped
    8 oz. Hot Italian Breakfast Sausage
    6 Large Eggs
    ¼ Cup Salsa
    4 Large Low Carb Tortillas     
    1 Cup Sharp White Cheddar Cheese - Shredded (I used mild cheddar because I had it on hand)

    Preheat oven to 400°  Lightly oil or butter a baking sheet.

    In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add 2 Tbs. butter, peppers, onion and salt and pepper, to taste.  Saute until tender.
    In a separate pan, over medium heat, brown the sausage.  Once the sausage is cooked all the way through, drain excess grease, and combine with vegetables.
    In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs and salsa, and fork whisk.
    Add egg mixture to the meat/vegetable mixture and cook until the eggs are scrambled.
    Lay the tortillas flat and put a layer of cheese down the center of each one. Next, layer 1/4 of the scramble mixture down the center of each one. Top each one with another layer of cheese.  
    Roll tortillas tightly, packing the ends with any extra scramble mixture.  Place on baking sheet, fold side down.
    Melt remaining 2 Tbs. of butter and brush on top of the rolled tortillas. 
    Bake on the top rack 10-12 minutes.  Flip each roll over, give another light brushing of melted butter and cook for 10-12 minutes more or until nice and crispy on both sides.  Allow to cool and cut in half to serve or freeze in large ziploc bags.

    Friday, June 14, 2013

    Oats in a Jar

    I kept seeing recipes on Pinterest for Oats in a Jar. I love peanut butter and have empty peanut butter jars at least once a week, so I thought oats in a jar would be another good breakfast option.  I've also been trying to learn to like oatmeal, so I decided to give them a try using a recipe I found on They did not turn out so well :/ On take two, I decided to do my own thing and they turned out much better. Sorry there is no picture, the pictures made oats in jar not very appetizing :)

    Overnight Oats in a Jar
    empty peanut butter jar
    1/4 cup quick oats
    1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or regular milk)
    1 to 2 teaspoons cocoa powder

    Place all the ingredient in a jar, shake, cover and refrigerate overnight. Add your favorite crunchy toppings such as nuts, granola, etc and enjoy the next day warmed up.  

    Next time, I am going to add some mini chocolate chips instead of cocoa powder. 

    Thursday, June 13, 2013

    Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

    The hubs and I have been on a low-carb, low-sugar kick lately in preparation for some upcoming races this summer. I know, we're nuts...eating clean AND low-carb, low-sugar. My biggest struggle with low-card, low-sugar (beside the obvious not eating carbs or sugar) is what to eat for breakfast. I'm not a huge egg fan (thanks to both my pregnancies!) and can't stand the thought of even opening up a container of cottage cheese. Gag. So, I've been trying a bunch of different low-carb, low-sugar breakfast recipes. My first try was peanut butter banana chocolate chip muffins. They were dense, but had good flavor. I would definitely make these again but use more peanut butter and maybe less banana because the banana flavor was pretty dominant.

    Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
    From Making Food and Other Stuff
    • 3/4 cup flour
    • 3 T peanut butter
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1 1/2 medium bananas, mashed
    • 1 egg
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 1/3 cup sugar
    • 1 T canola oil
    • 1/3 cup chocolate chips
    Mix banana, egg, vanilla, sugar, and oil in small bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, peanut butter, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, pour in wet and mix until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips. The dough will be extremely dry and almost crumbly. I had to add a few teaspoons of water. Fill muffin tins about 3/4 full and bake at 350 for 12-15 min.

    Wednesday, June 12, 2013

    Eating Clean on Vacay - Monday

    On Monday, we enjoyed another breakfast at the hotel's breakfast buffet and spent the rest of the day outside. We went for a long, long bike ride, did some hiking along the Niagara River and walked the rest of the Fallsview area. It was such a enjoyable day out and probably my favorite day of the trip. For dinner, we had another dinner voucher for Brasa, a Brazilian steakhouse.

    Neither one of us had ever been to a Brazilian steakhouse before and were unprepared for the amount of food were about to consume! It was amazing...the salad/side bar had over 70 cold and hot salads, sides, appetizers and breads. My favorite was the chicken salad, grilled veggies and fresh salami. Then came the meat. And more meat. And even more meat. Chicken, beef, pork, chicken, lamb...everything you could every want in meat :) I definitely could not eat like that often, but it was a great for a once-in-awhile dinner out.

    Monday, June 10, 2013

    Eating Clean on Vacay - Sunday

    The hotel deal we got was awesome and came with two vouchers for winery tours, as well as a breakfast buffet each morning and two dinner vouchers for restaurants in the hotel. 

    The breakfast buffet was pretty good and I was pretty good with my choices. I opted for the fresh-made omelette with lots of veggies and cheese and a side of bacon. I also cheated a bit and got a waffle and a bowl of Fruit Loops because this meal was it till dinner :)

    The afternoon was spent in Niagara-on-the-Lake, a quaint little town just north of the falls, full of boutiques, restaurants and wineries. We went on two winery tours and tastings, Peller Estates and Trius at Hillebrand. Peller boasts a VQA rating, which in Canada means that the wine does not have anything other than added flavors, additives, etc. They are also a sustainable vineyard.

    Dinner was at the Watermark, a restaurant on the 33rd floor of our hotel and overlooking the falls. Honestly, we probably wouldn't have chosen this restaurant if it hadn't been for the voucher we got with our hotel deal because it was a little expensive and pretentious for us. But, thanks to the voucher, we enjoyed a delicious meal with an amazing view. I had the Heirloom salad with arugula, frisee, heirloom cherry tomatoes and white balsamic vinaigrette. For my entree, I had butternut squash ravioli with Gorgonzola bourbon sauce and chorizo. YUMMO!

    Saturday, June 8, 2013

    Eating Clean on Vacay - Saturday

    On Saturday, we made our way to Canada and Niagara Falls. On the way, we indulged in Krispy Kreme donuts. Seriously, I cannot pass a Krispy Kreme without stopping so it's a good thing I only see them occasionally! 

    After arriving in Niagara and checking into our amazing fallsview room on the 39th floor, we went exploring before our dinner reservations. This is were the pre-planning came in handy. While planning the trip, I did a lot of research into area restaurants. I was excited to come across a local restaurant that got rave reviews and boasted farm-to-table meals. Right up our alley! Plus, it's also a brewery, so I knew the hubby would be happy :) 

    The Syndicate was located about a mile from the main tourist drag in Niagara Falls, but was worth the walk. The outside exterior was deceiving as it wasn't much to look at, but when you walked in, you're welcomed with a cozy bar, warm wide-plank hardwood flours and delicious smells. The menu is a fixed menu, where you get to pick a starter, entree and dessert. I went with the Caesar salad, which was wonderful...light on the dressing and the addition of crumbled bacon was spot on!

    For my entree, I went with the Fork Tender Beer Braised "Potroast". It was farm-to-table beef that was dry aged 14 days and slow-cooked in sinister sams, red wine and pearl onions. It was served with mashed potatoes and veggies. I thought the potatoes were nice and creamy, but the veggies were a little bland. The roast was indeed fork tender with great flavor. 

    To round out the meal, I had chocolate no bake cheesecake with stewed black cherries. I think that speaks for was as amazing as it looks ;)

    Friday, June 7, 2013

    Eating Clean on Vacay - Friday

    Sorry for the lack of blog posts lately. The hubby and I went on a much-needed long weekend getaway to Niagara Falls. This was our first major vacation since going clean and I have to say we didn't do too badly. Usually, vacation means totally ditching the diet and eating crap the whole time away. However, with a little pre-planning, we were able to maintain our clean eating regime away from home. 

    On Friday for lunch, we stopped at our friend's winery and vineyards, Paper Moon. Paper Moon is located in Vermilion, Ohio and has a wonderful tasting room, great outdoor seating and yummy wine and food. I had the Hot Italian Panini with chips and pickle and a glass of the blackberry sangria. Mostly clean too! I love that they also serve a selection of gluten-free dishes. If you're ever in the Northeast Ohio area, stop by and check them out and pick up a bottle of Twilight, my personal favorite :)
    Friday night, the plan was to take in a game at Progressive Field. I hadn't been to an Indians game in forever, and my husband was gracious enough to take me even though he's a Reds fan. It was $1 hot dog night and we indulged in the not-so-natural and not-so-clean treat. Unfortunately, the game had a massive rain delay and we didn't end up staying. We headed back to the hotel and had a really late dinner of brick-oven pizza and Caesar salads, both of which were all natural and really yummy. I didn't get a picture because we were so hungry by that time we went straight to eating!


    Me and the hubs at Progressive Field before the massive rain delay.

    Wednesday, June 5, 2013

    Bourbon Crack Chicken

    My hubby LOVES, and I mean LOVES bourbon, so anytime I find a recipe that includes bourbon I try it. Well, I pinned this recipe for Bourbon "Crack" Chicken on Pinterest without looking at the ingredients. When I finally went to make it this week, I realized there is absolutely no bourbon in Bourbon "Crack" Chicken. 


    It still ended up being a really good dish even without the bourbon. It was very similar to the Crockpot Cashew Chicken I made a few weeks ago.

    Overall, good taste and super easy to throw together. I served mine with broccoli and brown rice.

    Bourbon “Crack” Chicken – Crockpot Style
    From My Time Passages

    2 lbs boneless chicken breasts cut into bite-size pieces
    2 tablespoon cornstarch
    2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (evoo)
    1 garlic clove crushed
    1/4 teaspoon ginger (I omitted this b/c I don't like ginger and I didn't have any)
    3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    1/4 cup light apple juice
    1/3 cup light brown sugar
    2 tablespoons organic ketchup or chili sauce (depending on how hot you like stuff)
    1 tablespoon cider vinegar
    1/2 cup water
    1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce

    Whisk all ingredients into crockpot and add chicken. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4. 30 minutes before serving, add in frozen broccoli.

    Tuesday, June 4, 2013

    How Does Your Garden Grow?

    Even though I have a horrible brown thumb, I really do enjoy gardening. Last year, we had our first garden and were really happy with how it turned out. So happy, in fact, we doubled the size this year! This year is also exciting because Liesl is really getting into it as well. She picked out what fruits (strawberries and watermelon) and veggies (zucchini) she wanted to grow and goes out to check the progress every morning. 
    This year, we planted onions, yellow, red and green bell peppers, zucchini squash, tomatoes, romaine lettuce, strawberries, watermelon and cherry tomatoes. I also created a smaller herb garden in a large pot with oregano, basil and chives. I'm still searching for one around here is selling it! Last year, my herbs were overtaken by the rest of the veggies in the garden, so I gave them their own space. 
    I'll be updated you throughout the summer on the Thompson Family Garden :)

    What are you growing this summer?

    Monday, June 3, 2013

    6 Reasons You're Not Losing Weight

    While eating clean had nothing to do with trying to lose weight for us, I was secretly hoping to lose those extra 10 pounds just hanging around my middle, souvenirs of two kids. Unfortunately, in the past six months, I may have only lost 2 to 3 pounds, but that could be my daily fluctuation in water weight. I ran across this article in Fitness magazine that offers some weight loss plateau tips I thought were pretty helpful.

    You Don't Drink Enough Water
    Dealing with multiple UTIs and bladder infections during both pregnancies, I drank more water than a camel. So, when the babies came, I slacked off on my water consumption. The article said that we should be drinking one-half of our body weight in ounces, so a 130 pound person should drink 65 ounces of water a day, plus more if you eat a lot of fiber and/or are active.
    You Skimp on Protein
    I'm pretty good here thanks to all the nuts and peanut butter I eat everyday!
    You Sit at a Desk All Day
    Studies have found that even high-intensity workouts cannot make up for sitting for long periods of time. When working at my computer, I try to get up and get another glass of water (killing two birds with one stone!) every 30-45 minutes. 

    Your Numbers Are Off
    Get your BMR (basal metabolic rate) to figure out how many calories you should be consuming each day based on your current weight, how much you want to lose and your activity and workout level.

    You Work Out Regularly
    As the article says, many times we overeat because we feel we've earned it since we've worked out regularly. Totally guilty of that!!! Running 5 miles does not equal eating a pan of brownies :P

    You're a Stress Case
    Okay, guilty again! I'm working on this one too :)

    Saturday, June 1, 2013

    7 Foods to Avoid

    I'm not sure where this originated from, but I was sent it by our good family friend, Evelyn. She has been clean and organic eating for many years now and even raises her own chickens! :) The article lists 7 foods we should stop eating that would considerably reduce obesity and the occurrence of different diseases. You can read the full article here.

    Here's the list and my thoughts on each item:

    1. Wheat--super hard for me to give up completely. I am such a carb-lover and giving up all wheat-based foods would be miserable. Our family has cut down on the amount of wheat-based products we eat, cutting out a lot of carbs at every meal. 

    2. Soy--Beside soy sauce that I buy organically, I don't eat soy.

    3. Corn--Again, we don't eat a lot of corn products. We love corn-on-the-cob in the summer, but buy from local organic farmers. Also, we've pretty much eliminated high-fructose corn syrup from our diet too.

    4. Processed Food--see the last six months :)

    5. Refined Grains/Flour--again, have already been doing this through clean eating. 

    6. Processed (Preserved Meat)/Conventional (Factory-Produced) Meat--another hard one; we love hot dogs and sausage in our house, but thankfully I've found all-natural alternatives (Hebrews All-Natural hot dogs, buying sausage from local farmers). We are also buying 1/2 an organic, grain-fed cow. 

    7. Conventional Dairy--Again, do this already. 

    What are your thoughts on these 7 foods??

    preserved by smoking or adding chemical preservatives - See more at:
    preserved by smoking or adding chemical preservatives - See more at: Meat (Factory)