after what has seemed like 2 straight weeks of rainy, gloomy days in houston, this is my friday the 13th mood:
so our iMac's hard drive started doing weird things last week and Sonny immediately took it to the Apple store. i have been using that 27 inch beast of a screen to blog since we got it 2 years ago and i kinda couldn't function without it this past week! seriously. blogging from anywhere else is just not the same. translation: i am terribly behind. but that ain't nothin' new.
Dego has been taking 2 naps per day and the first one usually starts at 11am without fail. the second one is tricky though! he'll wake up around 1ish, but then he doesn't get sleepy again til 7. one would hope that he would just sleep through the rest of the night at that point, but no, he takes another 'nap' and wakes up again at 9. so then i'm ready to hit the sack around 10 and he is WIDE. AWAKE. and wants to play. soooo i've been trying to put him down around 5ish to prevent this so we can all go to bed at the same time. not going so well yet lol. but consistency will take care of that in the coming days. that said, i only got about 4 hours of sleep before i had to get up and teach Barbell Strength thursday morning! but i made it. my lazy selfie proves it.
one of the moms brought a layered mexican dip type dish to small group this week that i could not get off my mind! after i left, i was officially on a mission to create a dairy-free mexican dip kinda deal so i stopped by Wally World (aka walmart) to get some avocados. gotta have avo. then i came across this new (well, new to me) Weber seasoning blend in the spice isle: Garlic Sriracha!!!!
so i made some homemade Garlic Sriracha Guac, naturally!
- 4 ripe avocados
- juice of half a large lemon
- 1 heaping tbsp Weber Garlic Sriracha seasoning blend
- 1 tsp sea salt (optional) *i actually added this by habit before i added the Weber seasoning. not sure i needed it.*
then, i got a little surprise visit from... my brother! he is back from working overseas in Afghanistan again for a lil' bit! so i made him a homemade meal and deemed him my guinea pig for the garlic sriracha. i chopped up some boneless, skinless chicken breasts and threw them into my hot wok with the seasoning...and that's it! once the chunks were almost done, i added some red and orange mini peppers and sautéed them for about 2 min. i paired that with steamed brown rice, the Garlic Sriracha Guac, and some shredded monterey jack cheese. he was one happy home-sick guy.
then this happened. it all came together perfectly.
Mexican Mess Dip (cold or hot)
- 1 cup organic vegetarian refried back beans (mine are HEB organic brand)
- 1 cup Tofutti dairy-free cream cheese spread
- 1 cup Garlic Sriracha Guac (see above)
- 1 cup chopped grape tomatoes OR your fave salsa
- 2 cups cheese diary-free cheese of choice (mozzarella, cheddar, jalapeño jack), shredded
- 1 cup black olives, sliced
- 1/2 cup green onion, chopped
- i made one hot (rectangle pan) and one cold (mixing bowl) dip.
- layer away! starting from the bottom add your beans and smooth each layer flat using the back of your spoon or a spatula.
- next, add cream cheese, then guacamole, then salsa/tomatoes, shredded cheese, olives, green onion.
- if eating cold, you are done! if hot (which is what we preferred) bake in the oven on 400 degrees until the cheese is melty, bout 10-15 min.
for the homemade chips, i used La Tortilla Factory low carb, high fiber light flour tortillas. cut them into 8's, coat them with no-stick cooking spray and place them flat on a large, foiled baking pan. bake for 5-6 minutes tops!!! they burn easily so keep an eye on them. k?
an IGer pointed out that Lisanatti almond cheese is lactose free, but not dairy-free and she's exactly right. Daiya is another popular dairy-cheese brand you could use for this dip though, which is available at Sprouts Farmer's Market and also Whole Foods Market.
Q: do you prefer hot or cold dips?
bootcamp is tomorroooooow! also, prenatal classes will be available beginning in APRIL guys!! if you're interested or know a Preggo Patty who might be, send her my way. email me: firstname.lastname@example.org. even if you are unable to workout, meal plans are available as well. here's to healthy, fit pregnancies!
Bey and J are performing in Houston tonight and guess who's going!??!?! all of Houston!!! except us. we're at home eating zucchini pizzas and staring at each other.
these healthy, light snacks are bursting with Italian, cheesy goodness and make THE perfect party appetizers by the way! you just need to serve them immediately while they are hot and bubbling. else, the cheese hardens up. but i can eat cheese at any temperature. especially burnt cheese. yummy.
Zucchini Pepperoni Pizza Poppers
- 2 raw zucchini, coined 1/2 in thick
- 1/3 cup homemade marinara
- 1/4 cup turkey pepperoni rounds, chopped
- no stick cooking spray
- Italian seasoning
- 1/2 cup shredded cheese of your choice (vegan, dairy-free, cheddar, monterey jack, pepperjack, mozzarella, etc.)
- wrap a large flat baking plan with foil and coat with no-stick cooking spray and set your oven broiler to high
- heat a large griddle to med-high heat (i made pancakes for breakfast and the griddle was already out but you can use a very large skillet too) and coat it with no-stick cooking spray
- place as many zucchini coins flat on the griddle as possible and cook for 1 minute (you may have to work in batches)
- flip the coins over and cook for an additional minute
- transfer the cooked coins to the baking sheet lined with foil
- dab some marinara sauce on the top of each coin and using the back of a small spoon, spread mixture out
- sprinkle a few shreds of cheese on top of the sauce
- sprinkle some chopped turkey pepperoni on top of the cheese
- place entire pan in your oven as close to the broiler flames as you can get and cook for approx. 5 minutes or until the cheese is melty and bubbly
- sprinkle with Italian seasoning. done.
s/n: if you have more zucchini to use up, see if you can stretch your ingredients even further as you might have sauce/cheese, etc. left over.
i upgraded my fry cutter! this is the Deluxe Fry Cutter from Bed Bath & Beyond and i got it for 13 bucks after using the 5 bucks off coupon that comes in the snail mail flyer. great, affordable investment. the only thing i did have to do first is peel the potato, then slice it in half. the device only opens so wide, so you might have to cut the ends off to make it fit. other than that, no microwaving needed before cutting! sign up for their ads directly on their website to get their coupons.
what a big helper! not just in the kitchen with me but with his little brother as well which is a huge answered prayer. many have asked how the transition with the boys has been and i can honestly say smooth. putting Dego's dirty diapers in the diaper genie for me is exciting to him. yeah, i'm milking that for as long as he lets me.
also, these are the delish, Spicy Smoky Sweet Potato Fries from my ebook!
WHY didn't i think of this sooner... Quest Bars help out big time with my sweet toof. i really i only get them when i go to my gym, so now that i'm going almost regularly the bars are making appearances again. THIS time though, i'm going to GNC and buying an entire box. can't keep buying them for 3 bucks at a time, pretty stupid and not cost-effective. 20g protein, 17g fiber, 170-180 cals. coconut cashew is one of my fave flavors! .
didn't get to have my early gym rendezvous this morning so i went power walking this evening.
i strapped down the girls with two sports bras and hit the bricks. let me tell you how much i appreciate working my back 2 or more times a week when i was preggo! the weight of these boobs right now..... whew.
finally, huh! let me keep it real... i made this dip last week and i was tryin to be cool and different and i used 2% sharp cheddar. i thought the sharp flavor would be an excellent way to change up the recipe a lil. it tasted ok (and we ate it ALL), but it just didn't look right. also, 2% cheese just does not melt like i need it to! soooo, i went back to the store and got some white cheese. pepperjack to be exact. it made a world of difference in flavor and texture. anyway, thank you for being so patient- here it is.
hot & skinny spinach dip
- 1 10 oz bag frozen spinach
- 1 med shallot, chopped
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 can diced tomatoes, drained
- 1/2 cup 0% greek yogurt
- 2 wedges laughing cow garlic & herb cheese
- 2 wedges laughing cow cream cheese
- 1/2 cup pepperjack cheese, shredded (or mozzarella)
- 1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano cheese, shredded
- 1/4 cup pepperjack to top
- sea salt & cracked black pepper to taste
yes, that did say tomatoes up there! when i add tomatoes to my homemade guacamole it makes it super creamy. same concept- it makes a difference. turn your oven on 350 deg. now. microwave your spinach on high for about 5 min then drain/squeeze all the water out. don't forget to drain your tomatoes too- you don't need the excess liquid. chop up the shallots and onion and throw them into a med heated pan. after they become translucent (2-3 min) throw in the spinach and tomatoes; toss.
time for the best part...CHEESE. use the back of your spoon to smash and break up the wedges and go ahead and incorporate the greek yogurt too.
then, add in your cup of pepperjack and parmigiano reggiano.
once everything is all mixed and melted, transport the dip to your baking pan. spray it with no-stick cooking spray first, then top it with that remaining 1/4 cup of cheese.
i am not even a chip person but these multigrain tostitos are so addicting. my aunt had them @ her Easter party and they were perfect for this dip. use your favorite or try these.
you can keep this snack super skinny and use veggies for dipping instead, no doubt.
who loves instagram?! *raises hand* i mean just look at what i have concocted in a matter of minutes:
my husband traded my EVO in for an iPhone4s- just one of my many birthday gifts from him:) but i'll get to that post next, can't wait to share. anyway, this was dinner tonight- grilled ranch chicken breasts, brown rice and black-eyed peas topped with homemade mango salsa.
if you don't have a grill pan, listen to me- it is SO worth the investment. i got mine from wally world (walmart) for 17 bucks.
when grilling with this thing, you gotta make sure the fire is high and the pan is HOT. i turned it on and let it warm up a bit before throwing my marinated chicken breasts in.
throw them in and listen to that sizzle!
i did about 8-10 min on each side. look @ those grill marks. i like grill marks.
this will be our lunch for tomorrow, naturally.
i never told you guys about my Easter brunch! this was our menu: salmon fritatta
ranch new potatoes, mini maple-pecan monkey bread, and fresh fruit.
my guys and i then traveled over to my aunt Annette's house for my little one's first Easter egg hunt! she always makes GREAT food, so i made sure to bring my camera. if only i had used it more though- i was too busy eating and making my to-go plates to take pictures!! i will so be making some of these appetizers for sure. this was only a super small portion of everything she had.
this one was full of flavor- tart and sweet. gorgonzola bites with candied walnuts:
i believe i ate like 7, no kidding. crostini bread, slice of pear, slice of gorgonzola, then topped with a candied walnut and broiled in the oven for a few minutes. you must eat each element in one bite to get the full effect! next (and unfortunately last- booooo, i know), salmon crostini. will have to get the recipe from her, but they tasted fab. fitfoodiele approved!
what special/traditional dishes did you make for Easter?