Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Super and SLIM Suppers in a Slow Cooker!

I don't know about the weather over there, where you are, but here in Maryland we are fast approaching fall.. MY FAVORITE! I love to break out the crock pot and let the house slowly fill the with wonderful scent of a home cooked meal. I think it just feels more like home when you come in from a nippy day to the smell of lovin' from the oven!

But I don't want to let my affinity for a nice pot roast ruin the now TWENTY THREE pounds I've lost with a BIG hand from Smart For Life ! So I've scoured the web to find us some great and HEALTHY slow cooker suppers. I'm going to try and get a weekly one up but my other blog, Chicken Nuggets of Wisdom, is a demanding mistress! On a side note I HAVE been running daily or attending Yoga at the gym. I'll get those stats up soon. I hope you are all doing something FOR YOU every day. Even if it's just a nice cup of tea in a quite spot you are SO worth it! Lost some weight or found a bit of your mojo? Email me and you could write your own story here at Smart Girl (with linky love at my other blog as well). Now on to the nosh!

Chicken and Corn Chili

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 green pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 jalapeno chile, seeded and chopped
  • 1-3/4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes with jalapenos, drained
  • 1-1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons stone-ground cornmeal
  • Shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1. In a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker, combine onion, chicken, low-sodium broth, green pepper, jalapeno, 1-1/2 teaspoons of the cumin, 1/4 teaspoon of the cayenne and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 6 hours.

2. Remove the chicken to a cutting board and allow to cool slightly. Shred the chicken and return it to the slow cooker with remaining 1/4 teaspoon each of the cumin and cayenne, and the tomatoes, corn and beans. Gently mash some of the beans against the side of the bowl to thicken the chili. Stir in the cornmeal and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Let sit a few minutes to soften the cornmeal. Serve sprinkled with a little of the Monterey Jack cheese.

Nutrition Facts

Servings Per Recipe 6 servings

  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories 287
  • Total Fat (g) 3
  • Saturated Fat (g) 1
  • Cholesterol (mg) 45
  • Sodium (mg) 736
  • Carbohydrate (g) 38
  • Fiber (g) 9
  • Protein (g) 27
(thanks to Parents on line for this lovely meal)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Talkin' Turkey

With the fall sneaking in now and then, as summer hangs on here and there.. I start thinking about FOOD! Yep I have a thing for it. That's kind of why I'm here no? I love to cook, eat and all that stuff in the fall. There is just something about the smell of a turkey cooking, or bread, cookies and the like that just makes home feel more like home.

But that doesn't mean I have to eat 2 dozen snickerdooles or a deep fried Turkey. I found this FUN new way to do Turkey over at Food TV by the Food Network. Give it a go, it's lower in calories and fat than almost anything I can think of for a quick dinner.

Turkey Souvlaki with Garlic-Yogurt Sauce

* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 4 reserved turkey burgers
* 1 teaspoon allspice
* 1 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1 teaspoon dried oregano
* 1 cup lowfat plain yogurt
* 1/4 cup grated cucumber
* 1 teaspoon garlic powder
* 8 pieces lettuce
* 8 pita pockets (preferably the "pillowy" pockets that are slightly thicker than traditional pita pockets)


Heat large skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Break turkey burgers up into small pieces and add pieces to skillet. Add allspice, cumin, and oregano and mix well. Cook 5 minutes to heat through, stirring frequently.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine yogurt, cucumber and garlic powder. Mix well.

Place a piece of lettuce in the bottom of the pita pocket. Spoon turkey mixture onto lettuce in pita pockets and top with yogurt mixture.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

ooooh, she's a little run away...(sing it Jon!)

I don't know about you but I have GOT to have me work out tunes. I just can't run, walk, jog, flop around on the floor in some crazy quasi-yoga pose with out music. In fact it's become a motivational thing for me. "I can make it though this song!" even when I'm wheezing like Comic Book Guy of Simpson's fame walking across a room I push myself.. JUST MAKE IT THOUGH THIS SONG and you can pass out dead on the floor. Yesterday I employed this method and thanks to Fall Out Boy I had my fastest mile to day. Mind you my fast is more in line with the tortoise than the hare, so at a whopping 10.2 minute mile I made it into my own personal record book. So when I finally take on this 5K with Jennifer I might just make it in under the 3 hours I'd set for myself.. MIGHT.

Monday, September 14, 2009

So here is the deal...

Like I said I'm GONNA RUN (yes run, eeek) a 5k with Jennifer our resident fitness and motivational expert (did you know she is the Style Editor for a Maryland news paper? WOW huh!). SO to keep me and my big old butt on track I'm gonna make a few PUBLIC statements here.

First, I got some emails telling me that running wasn't possible for a few of you. I believe ANYTHING is possible. Like having a fourth child when you KNEW there was just no way.


The thing is you don't have to run a 5k if that isn't your thing. Frankly it's not my THING either. But here is my reasoning... I want to be healthy, I want to challenge myself, I want to eat a Twinkie (oops got side tracked there), I want to do something for those in need.

I'll go even further here and tell you that as of this Saturday morning at 8:12 a.m. I was the 38 year old, exhausted, 202 pound, mom of four kids. To see all that written out for the world (or at least the 12 of YOU) to read is a hard thing. MUCH harder that running a 5k!

I've been doing good with Smart For Life, they have a great support system. I have also fallen off the waggon a few times. For me that means a big fat bacon cheeseburger with fries and a glass or 3 of wine. Stress does that to me and well I do that to me too. But, I'm back at it again and after just two days of being "good" I feel good and that is so where I want to be.

Anywho here is my new plot to take over the world, um I mean to keep me on track for my 5k with Jennifer.

I'm adding a progress window to this blog. It will track my daily efforts to run/walk/jog so that when I get out there with Jennifer she can't run a 10k in the time it takes me to do 3k! But that is just words and figures right? I need MORE than that to motivate me and that's where YOU come in.

Daily I'll post my numbers: time, distance, calories. Every day that I get on that road or treadmill I'll put a dollar in my charity jar. Every day I miss I won't put the money in and that will be like taking something away from someone in need, I'll feel guilty, get depressed, beat myself up and then GET OFF MY BUTT and get back at it.

So how do YOU fit in there? I'd like each of you to pick a charitable cause. It can be anything. I'm big on Breast Cancer issues, well cuz I dig "the girls" and because I lost my Aunt Paula to it. Kids in need or ill, cats, dogs, horses, education, food pantries, military families, wounded soldiers are all charities I give to as well. I know some of us help out bloggy families in need like McMamma (Stellan's Mom) and Phoenix's Fight. Here is what you do, email me the charity you'd like the money in my jar to go to. Make the subject "Smart Girl for Life 5k Charity Challenge".

December 1st I'll get my resident randomizers (aka the offspring) to pick one of them and send a check in YOUR name for the full amount in the jar. It's a win/win thing right. I get my butt moving, get healthier, maybe loose a pound or 50 AND we all get to help out someone in need.

Do a mitzvah here, pass this post on, tweet it, FB it, hire a sky writer... just help get the word out. The more people who participate the more pressure I feel to keep my butt in gear, the more money for charity!

That's the deal... you in?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

You Ready To Run A 5K?

No, I'm actually not kidding. Yes, little ole YOU could easily run a 5K.

For those of you who are wondering, a 5K is 3.1 miles. And running one is not nearly as difficult as you might imagine. You can trust me on this, I'm one of YOU. A normal person.

Or at least I used to be.

Now, I am a runner. I suppose that makes me a bit loco in some people's minds. At this point in my life, I've run two full marathons and completed five 1/2 marathons. Last September I ran a 181 mile relay race from Cumberland, MD to Washington, D.C. I get up early on weekends to run with a gaggle of girlfriends. I truly prefer it over a night out on the town. Hmmm... I guess I am a bit crazy, come to think of it.

But to run a 5K you don't need to be anything like me or commit to a life-altering training plan. You just need to start. And you start with... A WALK.

I know, I know... you are probably thinking that you can't do it. "I could never even run a mile, let alone a 5K!" I can't tell you how many people have said that to me.

Give me a break. Just start simply. Start with a walk.

There is an old saying that goes something like this: "How do you eat an elephant?" A. One bite at a time.

Same thing goes for running a 5K. One STEP at a time. One BLOCK at a time. One MILE at a time.

So if you would like to one day conquer this thing called the 5K, then join me here and I will take you through the process.

Your first assignment: Set a goal then move your butt! Figure out when you would like to complete your first 5K. Be realistic. If you have never run before please don't try to run a 5K by next week. Shoot for something more realistic like "spring."

Then - get moving! Start by walking. Set a walking goal - around the block, 1 mile, 2 miles... a realistic goal. The key here is to take some action. Try to get out there at least 3x a week. Um, yeah... three times a week. Minimum.

Who the heck am I anyway? My name is Jennifer and I am the creator of Hip As I Wanna Be, a blog about one working mom (ME!) and her quest to successfully juggle life, marriage and the mania of male offspring while struggling to get her mojo back. (Whew! Quite a mouthful, huh?) If you must know, you can find out more about me here.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I want to EAT this Wednesday

OOOOH doesn't that look GREAT?! It tastes even better! Thanks to Eating Well (.com) for this wonderful Chicken & Fruit Salad!

1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
3 tablespoons fruit-flavored vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons poppy seeds
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
8 cups mixed salad greens
2 cups sliced cooked chicken breast, (see Tip)
2 cups chopped melon, such as cantaloupe and/or honeydew
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (see Tip)
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
Whisk sour cream, vinegar, sugar, poppy seeds, salt and pepper in a large bowl until smooth. Reserve 1/4 cup of the dressing in a small bowl. Add the mixed greens to the large bowl and toss to coat. Divide among 4 plates and top with chicken, melon, walnuts and feta. Drizzle each portion with 1 tablespoon of the reserved dressing.
Tips & Notes
Tips: To poach chicken breast: Place boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a medium skillet or saucepan and add lightly salted water to cover; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer gently until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the middle, 10 to 12 minutes.
To toast chopped or sliced nuts, heat a small dry skillet over medium-low heat. Add nuts and cook, stirring, until lightly browned and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.

Per serving : 248 Calories; 11 g Fat; 4 g Sat; 2 g Mono; 55 mg Cholesterol; 18 g Carbohydrates; 21 g Protein; 4 g Fiber; 346 mg Sodium; 371 mg Potassium;

1 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 1 fruit, 1 vegetable, 2 lean meat, 2 fat

(I cut out the Feta, Though I love it! It's not really part of my SmartForLife game plan. Neither is the sour cream or the fruit (which I cut down on) but I splurged on that. I also baked my chicken w/non-stick spray. I'm not a big fan of poaching unless it's fish.)

Oh my KIDS loved this too.. BONUS!