It’s Not Very Chilly-5 Minute Slow Cooker Chili

Apparently long weekends leave me a few days behind on catching up!  We had an awesome long weekend playing with family at Shanty Creek Resorts.  If you recall, we were there a few years ago when Mary just started crawling and we basically had the place to ourselves.  A year before that, we got married there in the summer.

Things have changed just a little bit!

This time, these non-skiers enjoyed a winter weekend playing in the snow.  Well Mary and Rock played in the snow and I sat at the Lakeview Restaurant and watched them tube down the runs.  They had a blast.  Lucy and I chowed down and had fun too.

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Just watching some Olympics.

We finished the weekend off by enjoying a delicious meal and flight of beers at Short’s Brewing Company.  I didn’t get any pics because I was fresh off of an 8 mile run and was both ravenous and seriously into my tasting of five delicious IPA’s.

Between our trip to humid Mexico, some dry and stuffy aired flights, and a chilly return to reality, my throat has been soar for a few days.  My tonsils are swollen and I am trying to remedy things with sweaty workouts, lots of hot and cold hydration, and some warm soothing meals.  While I have enjoyed a few meals that involved meat, I’ve stuck to my plant based eating most of the time.  It has been surprisingly easy.

I scoured a few websites to look at various planted based recipes and then decided to try my hand at making my own slow cooker meals.  Last night I made this Slow Cooker Lentil and Quinoa Chili.  I wasn’t certain how this would turn out, but I was pleasantly surprised.  This meal cost around $10 to make and as the lentils and quinoa cooked up, the slow cooker was filled to the brim.  This will last us for several meals.  There’s no browning of meat or veggies.  Just dump the ingredients in and turn your crockpot on.

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Enjoying some chili with her post ballet Happy Meal

I missed the last episode of “This Is Us” when it aired after the Super Bowl.  So I don’t know how things ended up, but I did see the episode when the fire started and I do cringe a bit each time I turn my slow cooker on.  But give this one a try.  I don’t think you will be disappointed.

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Slow Cooker Lentil and Quinoa Chili:

Ingredients:

1 onion (chopped)

1 green bell pepper (chopped)

1 red bell pepper (chopped)

2 cans diced tomatoes

1 can pinto beans (drained)

1 can black beans (drained)

1 can chili beans (drained)

1 can tomato sauce

4 cups vegetable broth

1/2 cup water

1 1/2 cups lentils

1/2 cup quinoa

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon cumin

2 teaspoons oregano

1 teaspoon paprika

3 cloves minced garlic

Salt to taste

Directions:

Pour all ingredients in slow cooker.  Cook on low for 8 hours.  Top with your favorite fixings.  Enjoy!

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Check out my other chili recipes!

3 Cans And 6 Veggies Chili

Super Easy Turkey Chili

 

Which One? Healthy Eating Or Exercise?

The other day I was watching “The Doctors” and someone asked which was better: exercising or eating well?  Despite being an avid exerciser, I immediately shouted, “Eating well!”  As a certified health coach, personal trainer, and running coach, it has become increasingly clear over the years that what we put into our bodies is far more important than exercise.  Don’t get me wrong, exercise is essential to a healthy life.  But you can’t out exercise a poor diet, and you can’t outrun unhealthy eating.

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Sure, we have all put in an extra hour at the gym before, or run a few extra miles after a less than stellar day of eating.  And while that is a great way to bump things up when we fall behind, you certainly can’t rely on doing that every day.

Truth is, we need to eat well most of the time and exercise too.  There should also be some time for rest and relaxation, along with enjoying some indulgence as well.  I prefer the 80%/20% rule with this.  Keep it healthy 80% of the time and enjoy and indulge the other 20%.

When it comes to diet and exercise, what you put in is what you will get out.  If you eat poorly, you will get poor miles or poor results.  You can’t outrun a bad diet.

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This has been weighing on my mind a lot lately.  While I have been busy Netflixing, I spent a few hours watching documentaries.  Last year I had a client who told me she watched “Food Choices” and it changed her life.  She was focused on a plant based diet.  I watched the documentary and it hit me hard.  But it didn’t completely change my mind.

Earlier this fall I caught a bit of a segment on NPR where a doctor was discussing how Americans eat far too much meat.  He said that if you eat meat every day, you should work to go one day without meat each week.  If you eat meat once a week, you should aim for once a month….and so on.  Basically, he discussed how it causes inflammation in our bodies and Americans consume much more meat than most other countries.  I was intrigued, but still didn’t do much about this.

I don’t recall why, but I ended up watching “Forks Over Knives” on Netflix a few weeks ago.  This documentary emphasized again how we eat too much meat and showed a correlation between weight gain, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and many other issues.  As a health coach, I also know that if any diet can be recommended to clients, the Mediterranean Diet is the heart healthiest.

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This information continues to show up and it was starting to make me consider what might happen if I adopted not a vegetarian lifestyle, but more of a plant based emphasis each day.  So while Rock was out of town for work last week, I set about finding recipes.

Here is what I found:  My grocery bill was so cheap!  I thought it would be much more expensive to just buy fresh fruits and veggies.  But the reality was, between produce and some canned and dried options, I was leaving the grocery store with a lot more money in my pockets.

While this wasn’t my main goal, I ended up dropping a few pounds almost immediately.  It was  a pleasant surprise.  One day I was walking by a mirror and noticed that my face looked a bit more thinned out and my muscles looked more noticeable.

A few days in, I was cruising along on the treadmill and found myself bumping the pace up because it felt good!  I was hesitant to run at this pace because I figured I would hit a wall.  However, I suddenly noticed that I was maintaining this pace and I wasn’t tired.  I really did just feel good.

It didn’t end there either.  I was watching the new season of “Grace and Frankie” and I was having such a fun time that I didn’t want to stop running.  My mileage soared and I felt so good, I didn’t even realize that I forgot to take a day off.  I ran eight days in a row and averaged 8-10 miles each day.  I didn’t have a super long run in there, but there was some really great mileage and my muscles weren’t complaining.  In fact, I made a mistake in an earlier post this week.  I actually ran 58 miles last week!

The Verdict:  I still love meat.  I’m still going to eat meat.  But we as a family have agreed that we are going to focus more on plant based meals.  My body felt good and I enjoyed what I was eating.  I made a delicious Indian curry that warmed my body and had some awesome anti-inflammatory spices added in.  The whole house smelled amazing!

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Chickpeas, Onions, Tomatoes, Spinach, and spices over rice.  So fast and so good!

Everyone needs to do what is best for their own lifestyles.  But there is a lot of evidence that adding more fruits and veggies and enjoying even a little bit less meat can make a big difference in your health.  I highly recommend checking out “Forks Over Knives” and “Food Choices” if you are curious about this.

Do you love a good burger like me?  Any thoughts on eating a little bit less meat?

Oh Fudge! And Let’s Spread Some Kindness

Happy Friday.  You made it to the end of the work week and the madness of our holiday weekend is just beginning.  I’m excited and just a tad frazzled!

I wanted to do a quick and delicious dessert recipe for you.  But first I wanted to share a fun idea to make the holiday a little brighter for everyone.

We usually don’t eat fast food unless we are in a major bind on road trips.  However, after Lucy was born and Mary took her first ballet class, she was very hesitant to go into the class alone.  I promised her a “special dinner” afterward and it is now our Tuesday tradition on the way home.  Mary gets a Happy Meal and everyone is happy.

A few weeks ago we were in the drive through and I was in a major hurry to get home, though not for any particular reason.  I just wanted to get home and get things in order for the evening.  When I pulled up to pay for the food, the girl be behind the counter informed me that our bill had been paid for by the car ahead of me.  I was in total shock!  I had tears in my eyes at the thoughtful gesture.  I was in such shock as I pulled away that I told Mary what I should have done was pay for the car behind us.  We decided to do it the next time we stopped for her special dinner.

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Anna recently posted about this idea as well.  We all know how stressful it can be to take little ones out to dinner.  But her sweet kiddos were impressionably adorable to a gentleman and he returned the kindness.  Then they went ahead and returned the kindness to another stranger.  It’s contagious!

This week we were able to repay the favor at the drive-thru.  When we went to pay for Mary’s meal, I asked to take care of the bill for the car behind us.  The girl at the counter asked if we knew the other car and we told her no.  She said she loved when these things happen because it causes a 20 minute parade of every car taking care of each other.

It was a wonderful lesson for my children.  It was heartwarming for me.  I hope that the car behind us needed a little extra love or kindness and that it was as fun for them as it was for us.  Maybe it even was a helpful reminder for them of what the holiday season is about.  I encourage you to find a way to do a random act of kindness this holiday season.  Buy someone’s coffee.  Pick up a meal.  Or just give a stranger a friendly smile.  Kindness doesn’t have to be monetary.  Maybe you simply open a door for someone or carry a bag to a car for a person who looks like they could use a little help.  The holiday season can be a difficult time for some people.  Shine a little light where you can!

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Now let me share a quick and awesome recipe that you can share with friends and family.  It is bound to brighten their day too!  This S’mores fudge comes together in minutes.  It is creamy and has some fun little flavors going on.

S’mores Fudge: Prep and cooking time 10 minutes total

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Ingredients:

1 can condensed milk

1 bag milk chocolate chips

4 graham crackers

1 cup marshmallows

Directions:

Line a square baking dish with tinfoil and then spray.  Crumble the graham crackers and set aside.  In a microwave safe bowl, pour the chocolate chips and condensed milk in and microwave in 30 second intervals.  Stir in between and continue until mixture is thoroughly melted.  Dump in the graham crackers and marshmallows and mix well.  Pour into baking dish and cool in the fridge until set.

Note:  I double this recipe, otherwise there isn’t nearly enough to share!

Have a wonderful weekend!

 

 

Holiday Fun and Delicious Recipes For The Season

Happy Monday!  What a fun week we just had and things are about to get crazy this coming week.

Michigan was freezing cold and all of my 49 miles of running were done on the treadmill.  When the thermometer plays tricks by saying it is a frigid 29 degrees out but actually feels like 9, there is no chance that I want to head outside.  Thank goodness for our treadmill.  It was nice and toasty in our basement!

I got into the gym to train clients a few times this past week.  And on Thursday we went on a family adventure to Traverse City.  My mom took us to Moomers, a local dairy, that is nationally known for their delicious ice cream.  Before they close for the season, they host gingerbread making for children (or adults).  For $30 you get a large pre-made gingerbread house, a muffin tin full of various candies, and plenty of messy frosting.  You can also make a sleigh or a gingerbread boy/girl for $15.

Mary and her cousin had a blast making houses.  This basically entailed us trying to hurry and get the candy on the house before the kids ate all of it.  Moomers does offer you extra candy if you need some.  Needless to say, we required seconds of a few things.

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The adventure wrapped up with pictures with their projects, which were later made into ornaments to take home.  Moomers also had boxes to carry the masterpieces home in.  It was really an awesome time and very well thought out.

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We then went downtown T.C. to try out a new to us venue.  The State Street Market Place opened in the last little while and houses several restaurants, a coffee bar, brewery, and a few shops.  Everything is open with communal tables to gather at.  We tried some delicious Lebanese food at Ziatun.  I am a sucker for beef Shwarma and spices.

Our weekend was filled with gymnastic classes, and a nice long run for me, followed by our first Christmas party of the year.  It was great to get together with family and enjoy delicious food and drinks.  There has been an influx of babies on my dad’s side of the family over the last year and it was a blast to see the cousins meeting each other for the first time.

We wrapped up Sunday with lots of baking, cooking, church and some great family time.  To start of the week I want to share some of the delicious recipes we have tried and loved this week.

These chewy white chocolate dipped ginger cookies are fantastic.  We are adding this to our cookie baking rotation.  I didn’t take a picture because mine look nothing like these beauties!  If you like a great ginger cookie, this one is chewy and the addition of white chocolate is perfect.

I found this recipe for shortbread while flipping through Better Homes and Gardens yesterday.  I tore out the recipe and immediately made these.  They are so easy and taste amazing!

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Recipe:  Simply combine 1 1/4 cups flour, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, and 2/3 butter.  Use a pastry blender to combine.  Knead into a ball and then roll out on a floured surface.  Slice as you wish and place on an ungreased baking sheet.  Sprinkle generously and then bake at 325ºF for 15-18 minutes until edges are golden.  Cool for a few minutes and transfer to a rack.

I am also a huge fan of Six Sister’s Stuff.  I made this delicious and super easy fudge.  I prefer make it without the marshmallows and nuts.  This comes together in minutes with just a few ingredients.

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Rock finished off Sunday evening in grand style.  He made these Six Sixter’s Stuff Fall Off The Bone Ribs in the slow cooker and then finished them off in the broiler.  They might have been the best ribs we have ever had!  I have yet to have a recipe go wrong from this website.  It is my favorite.

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Do you have a favorite holiday recipe you care to share?  I’m baking all week because we have 3 holiday parties next weekend and are hosting two of them!

Veggie Based Dessert Dip

Happy Monday!  I hope you had a great weekend!  I spent a long week working at the gym and playing in the snow with Mary.  A fellow trainer mentioned that she was at Sam’s Club earlier in the week and found dessert hummus.  I asked her about it and she couldn’t stop raving.  It might sound odd but she said she was in love and her so were her kids.  In fact, she had to ask her husband to hide this new version of dessert.  We discussed what went into this and both agreed that it could be made at home.

This was perfect because Mary has recently taken to dipping everything.  She loves to dip her pancakes in syrup (as well as her cereal).  She always asks for ketchup with anything we are eating.  And if we want her to eat something, we add dip on the side.  This girl loves chips and salsa!

I have recently made it my goal to find healthy dips for her to try.  So why not dessert dip?  I made 2 versions; peanut butter and chocolate peanut butter.  Both of these took less than 5 minutes to whip up.  I then pulled out pear and apple slices, celery sticks, and animal crackers for her to test out.  She ended up eating it with a spoon.  I can’t say that I blame her.

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These recipes are deliciously sweet, high in fiber, full of healthy ingredients, but also low in calories.

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Check out the two recipes below!

Peanut Butter Hummus

Ingredients:

1 can garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed)

2 tablespoons peanut butter powder (such as PB2 or Jif Peanut Powder)

1-2 tablespoons syrup

Optional tablespoon coconut oil

Chocolately Peanut Butter Black Bean Hummus

Ingredients:

1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)

2 tablespoons Jif Chocolate Peanut Powder

1-2 tablespoons syrup

Directions:

Combine ingredients in food processor.  Blend until well combined.  Enjoy!

The black beans have a little bit more of a wet consistency and do not require any extra oils or liquids.  I ended up adding a little extra peanut butter to the black bean concoction for a creamier peanut butter flavor.

What would you add to your dessert dip?

Cooking Inspiration and Recipe Revamp

Happy Friday!  The weekend is almost upon us and it might just snow here tomorrow.   While I am not ready for that, I do love cooking and baking when the cold weather rolls around.

Fall and winter inspire me to turn on the oven and start trying out new recipes.  Today I want to share a few of my favorite websites to visit for recipe inspirations:

Cooking Light:  I have been a subscriber of Cooking Light since I was in high school.  I even recall having all of my friends come over for lunch one day and try out a loaded potato soup that I made.  Even back then, I loved finding healthier versions of my favorite foods.  This site is easy to search.

This Brownie Cheesecake Torte from a 1997 issue is still one of my favorite treats to make!

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Six Sisters Stuff:  This is my absolute favorite website for searching recipes.  I honestly have never had a failed recipe from these ladies.  I love their slow cooker options and this is the first place I go to when I want to try a new soup.  Perfect place to visit for winter weather!

Their Nacho Grande Soup is a huge hit with our family and friends.  You can make it in the slow cooker or on the stove.  I make it with either beef or turkey and it always comes out just right.  I like to add a can of kidney beans and black beans to give it a bit more substance.

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Skinny Taste:  This is a great resource for healthy eating.  Breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert ideas can all be found here.  I love being able to search the under 30 minute meals.  Having access to quick dinners keeps the excuses for takeout away.

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Foot Network:  Another magazine that I love to subscribe to is Food Network.  I love the variety of chefs and great ideas that come out of this magazine.  When I am not sure what to make for a party or special dinner, I turn to this site.  There are so many different types of recipes, you are bound to find something you like.

For the holidays, I love making these Peppermint Cream’s.  They are so simple and delicious.  These are the perfect gifts to share with family and friends.

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Finally, I love searching my favorite blogger’s sites for their shared inspiration.  I follow such an awesome variety of people, that my blogroll is full of great ideas.

I wanted to share my newish concoction with you.  These may not qualify as healthy, but they are the perfect occasional splurge.  These Pudgies showed up on my site several years ago.  I have since found a wonderful new twist for this fall season.  Jello-O makes Pumpkin Spice pudding mixes.  Swap the Banana Cream out for Pumpkin Spice and add a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice to your dry ingredients and you will have an incredibly delicious treat on your hands!  The flavor and consistency of this treat is a favorite around here.

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What is your go-to site for finding delicious recipes?  Do you have a favorite recipe that can’t be missed?

Simple Brie and Herb Sticks

It’s cooling off and that means I’m spending more time in the kitchen baking and cooking.  Last night we popped a big tray of spaghetti pie out of the freezer and into the oven for a delicious leftover treat.

We rarely do spaghetti or any other pasta, but when we do we like to go for it.  Nothing goes better with a pasta dinner than some garlic bread.

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However, I have been craving a treat that I used to enjoy back in college.  This randomly came to mind the other day and I looked to see if the Silver Moon Bakery was still in operation on the Upper West Side of NYC and sure enough, it is!  When I was in my early college years and living on a pretty tight budget, I would walk by the Silver Moon with envy on weekends as I trudged to work.  Everyone would be sitting outside sipping coffee and eating pastries.  I couldn’t wait for a day when I didn’t have to work weekends and had some spare cash to dine out.

When I graduated and had a bit more free time, I would swing in after church on Sundays.  This was when I discovered their amazing brie and herb breadsticks.  I would base what I made for dinner that night to pair perfectly with these delicious treats.

Yesterday I wasn’t quite in the mood to actually bake bread.  So while I was at the store, I opted for a speedy version of this delicious treat.  While these are super simple, they taste like you toiled in the kitchen all afternoon.  Perfect with a pasta dinner but also great with any entree.  Make these ahead of time and impress your family or guests.  Or just horde them for yourself.

Ingredients:

2 tubes of crescent rolls

1 triangle of brie cheese

Herbs de Provence

Optional: Peppermill

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Unroll the crescent crust but keep flat and do not separate.  Keep 2 triangles of crust together to form a rectangle.  Lay flat on an ungreased baking sheet.  Slice a thin piece of brie and lay down the length of crust.  Sprinkle generously with Herbs de Provence.  A little fresh pepper can add a great zest too.

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Place another rectangle of crust on top.  Repeat until you have used all of the crust.  Bake for 11-13 minutes or until golden brown.  Slice diagonally to make sticks.

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Enjoy!

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These were a hit with Mary.  She kept asking for more.

Where is your favorite bakery?   What is your favorite bakery purchase?

Super Easy Turkey Chili

Fall has me craving warm, simple meals.  I love something that I can pull together while Mary naps and then let simmer on the stove all day.  Soups are one of my favorite fall treats, especially on a chilly afternoon.

Last Sunday Mary and I got up nice and early and took a crisp run together with the jogging stroller.  Mary was going as candy corn the next day for Halloween and she kept trying to put her costume on.  So we popped her costume on her and she spent the day amusing everyone on our run and then later at the grocery store.

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I had just arrived back from NYC the night before and our fridge was bare.  So we took a quick swing through the store to load up.  I wasn’t sure what to do for dinner but as we moseyed around, I decided to wing it with a nice warm turkey chili.

In a means to make this chili both healthy and filling, I opted for a variety of beans.  High in fiber and protein, they are the perfect choice.  Next I opted for lean ground turkey over beef (mind you, I am still a fan of beef).

Everything came together in less than 20 minutes and then I covered it up and let it simmer all afternoon.  It was the perfect fall dinner and we had several days worth of delicious leftovers.

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I prefer to do a double recipe when I make soup so that I have plenty of leftovers for both the fridge and the freezer.  Nothing is better than not knowing what to make for dinner and pulling one of these out and warming it up on a busy night.

Ingredients:

2 pounds lean ground turkey

1 white onion (diced)

1 can red kidney beans

1 can light kidney beans

1 can black beans

1 can garbanzo beans

2 cans minced tomatoes

1 can tomato sauce

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon oregano

Directions:

In a large pot, begin browning your ground turkey (about 10 minutes).  It should be lean enough that you likely won’t need to drain it.  Add in the diced onion and simmer (about 5 minutes).  Add in spices and stir.  Drain all of the cans of beans and add to pot.  Add tomatoes and sauce.  Cover and turn to low.  Simmer until ready to eat.  I recommend at least 1 hour before serving.

If you are looking for a meatless option, this would be delicious with quinoa or rice too!

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How do you like your chili?

Blue Apron For The Win

Happy Monday and congrats to all of the runners who had big races this weekend.  I had a blast tracking so many people at multiple marathons.  You guys are all rockstars!

A few weeks ago I saw a coupon code on Facebook (are you following me @runonhealthy?) for $40 off of your first order on Blue Apron.  I had read a few reviews on various blogs and I did a little Googling to see what other’s had to say.  I couldn’t find a bad review, so I decided to give it a try.

How it works:  I simply signed up online and gave them my credit card info plus my $40 coupon code.  Each week that you choose to use Blue Apron, you pick 3 meals to be delivered to you.  Each meal costs $9.99 per person for a total of $59.94 per week for 3 meals for two adults.  Meals are delivered at your door in an ice packed box every Friday.

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Inside the box you will find cards with directions and pictures.  All of the ingredients are also provided except for olive oil, salt, pepper, and water.  Otherwise you receive “knick knack” bags that include all spices and other essentials.

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You can skip weeks or put your orders on hold.  You also can earn free meals to share with friends.

What we got:  The first week we received 3 meals and I gave one of my meals to my brother and sister-in-law to try because we had a busy schedule and couldn’t make everything.  We received the Paprika Shrimp and Cheddar Grits, Spicy Hoisin Chicken Stir-Fry and Sloppy Joe’s.  We shared the Sloppy Joe’s and made the other two meals.

How it went:  The ingredients we received were of excellent quality.  Fresh corn on the cob, beautiful and plentiful shrimp, and perfectly picked produce were stocked in our refrigerator.  I’ve never used tomatillos before and had a blast trying new ingredients and spices.

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The directions were spot on and we were both pleasantly surprised by how delicious the meals were.  Both meals took about 20-30 minutes from prep to finish.  The cards we were provided with had excellent directions along with estimated cooking times and calorie content.

I wouldn’t regularly make grits but having made this once, I will absolutely recreate it again.  I love that we received meals and ingredients we typically wouldn’t make or try.  The stir fry was also of restaurant quality and we saved both recipe cards for later.

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Shrimp and Cheddar Grits

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Spicy Hoisin Stir Fry (you control the spice).

We made a second order:  The first time went so well that I made another order a few weeks later.  This time we received Pork Chops with Spicy Chow Chow, Seared Chicken with Caramelized Vegetables, and Basque-Style Cod.  This time we had three major winners!

I loved the Basque-Style Cod and enjoyed the chance to try freekeh (essentially a young wheat loaded with protein and fiber) for the first time.  The cod was topped with a delicious relish made of chopped parsley, garlic paste, olive oil, and chopped almonds.  The combination of flavors were new for me to use with a fish.  But I will be repeating this one again for sure.

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The Seared Chicken may have been my surprise favorite.  I absolutely loved the homemade, simple mashed potatoes topped with caramelized onion and fennel.  This is the perfect simple dinner to make for family and friends on a winter evening.

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Seared Chicken with Oven Roasted Tomatoes

I mentioned the spicy sweet potatoes that I loved with the pork chops in an earlier post.  You can find the recipe here.  I have made this quick and delicious side several times and love making extra for adding the leftovers to my salads.

The low down:  For about $60 a week you can receive restaurant quality meals delivered to your door.  I believe that for the price of food and delivery, you receive a great deal.  For the moment I have my orders on hold but will continue to order from time to time.

I was not contacted by Blue Apron.  All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this post.  If you would like to try this service out for yourself they are currently offering 3 meals free on your first order.

Have you ever tried Blue Apron or another meal delivery service?  

Simple and Delicious Jambalaya Recipe

I don’t know about you guys but winter makes me want to make big pots of warm food.  I love making soup.  Last Sunday I had a rare full day off and didn’t have anything to do except hang out with the family all day.  I wanted to make a nice winter soup but I also wanted to do something fun and “football-esque.”  While I know that jambalaya isn’t necessarily a typical football food, I thought it would be a nice change up from the traditional chili tailgate recipe.

I searched online and found several recipes.  Each had it’s own unique twist and in the end, I decided to wing it and do my own version.  This recipe is relatively light and could feed a crowd, or these Dudek’s for several dinners.  Give it a whirl and then let me know what spin you would give this.

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Ingredients:

2 chicken breasts (cubed)

1 package of Andouille sausage (sliced)

1 lb. cleaned and cooked shrimp

2 cups cooked rice

4 cups chicken stock

2-24 ounce cans tomato sauce

1 bell pepper diced

1 large onion diced

4 stalks of celery sliced thinly

1 clove of garlic minced

1 tablespoon hot sauce

1 tablespoon dried parsley

1 tablespoon basil

1-2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning

2 bayleaves

Directions:

In a large pot with a touch of olive oil, cook the pepper, onion, celery and garlic for a few minutes until tender.  Add in the sausage and allow to cook for about 8 minutes.  At the same time, add the chicken to a skillet with a touch of olive oil and cook for about 3-4 minutes, or until mostly done.  Put the chicken in the pot along with parsley, basil, bayleaf and Old Bay seasoning.  Add in the chicken stock and tomato sauce.  Add in hot sauce to taste.

Bring everything to a boil.  Then simmer for 25-40 minutes uncovered.  Throw in the rice and shrimp during the last 5-10 minutes.  You can also then set it on low for up to an hour.

We made cornbread with cheddar to go with this.  It also pairs well with a beer!