As always, thank you!

Thank you so much for all your kind words on yesterday’s post – from long time readers who reached out to me, sending me text messages DM on Facebook, leaving comments here, you have no idea how much I appreciate your support!

This was the temperature while I was waiting for the train yesterday morning.  #perfect

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Since I planned food for my neighbors get together on Saturday night and then had my Mom over, I never did a full grocery shop this week.  But turns out I have plenty of food in my house, and plan on calling this week “Chopped!”  I’ll just pretend every meal I make is like I am on an episode of Chopped.

I went freezer diving and found some leftover waffles, so a waffle sammie was breakfast – 4 points for the waffle, 1 point for the egg whites, 2 for the cheese, and 1 for the sugar free syrup.   8 smart points for breakfast.

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My sister and I got our walking shoes on at lunch – it was still only 68 degrees downtown and glorious.  We decided to walk west on the River Walk and it have us some amazing views.

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That’s the building that The Chopping Block was in – I miss working there!  I follow several of my former co-workers on Instagram and I miss seeing all the cool food they make.  Speaking of The Chopping Block, a customer sent a message to TCB about my Everything Quiche!  You can find that recipe here – so good if I do say so myself. Open-mouthed smile

TCB_1

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So remember all the leftover butternut squash from my “tray of happiness?”  That made it’s way into this leftover steak and butternut squash summer salad.  It had cucumbers, carrots, radish, strawberries, beef and butternut squash.  It was nearly perfect, the only thing it needed was a bit of crunch with some nuts or croutons, but delicious nonetheless.  This was 8 smart points.

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Hannah has yet to send back the wrong cable cord to Amazon to switch it with the corret one so that I can play DVD’s on the big t.v. in my living room.  So until then, I bit the bullet and orderd the Beachbody On Demand for a 14 day free trial.  After 14 days it’s only $39 every three months, or I could buy a whole year for $99.  We shall see.  Several of my WW Instagram friends did Shaun T week, so I started there.  Yesterday’s workout was 33 minutes long. 

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Oh good Lord, look at all that gray hair!  I promise it was a tough workout – I just didn’t sweat as much because I had all the windows open, it was windy and 61 degrees.  I am definitely feeling some muscles in my quads that I haven’t felt in a while.  Even though I walk a lot, this is a whole different ball game.  It felt good being back with my buddy Shaun T!

Hannah and Jacob get Chinese food at least once a week and never eat any leftovers.  Like ever.  I always ask them why they even bother putting the leftovers in the fridge when I just throw them out two weeks later.  While I don’t eat their leftover Chinese food (just way too salty these days for me) I will gladly take their leftover fried rice.  

1 cup of leftover rice (6), 3 ounces leftover beef (3), one cooked egg, chopped (2) and 1 tablespoon of House of Tsang spicy Szechwan sauce (1).  This was super filling!  The only downside is that I never checked my blood sugar before eating.  Normally working out later in the day drops my blood sugar, but every once in a while it spikes it – if I could figure out why I’d be a millionaire.  So I did my workout, took insulin for the amount of food I ate, and before I went to bed my blood sugar was 311 – yikes!

Note to self – check blood sugar after the night time workout.  #damndiabetes 😛

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It’s another gorgeous cool day in Chicago, so I’ll be getting my walking shoes on at lunch.  It’s supposed to rain the next few days so I may walk home from the train station to take advantage of the weather while I can.  I am in a Fitbit weekly challenge and I am a tad bit competitive. 😀  

Tonight I am going to try to make butternut squash tots with my turkey burger.  In my head they turn out good – we’ll see! 

Thanks again for taking time out of your day to check in on my little tiny part of the internet – I appreciate you!  Hugs!

Now go make it a great day!

I Don’t Live There Anymore.

I was sitting on the train last week going to work.  I’d already finished writing my blog, I published it, put my laptop away, and switched on my new YouTube music app.  I will choose music over t.v. every day.  I realized I never turned on the t.v. once this whole weekend!  The great thing about the youtube app, is that it will custom build a personalized “radio” station based on other music you’ve watched on YouTube.  Genius.

I of course love American Idol, the Voice and basically any music talent show.  Danny Gokey was one of my first favorites from American Idol season 2009.   He auditioned for the show a mere four weeks after his wife died – he was only 28 years old and a widower.  I hadn’t really thought about him since that show aired, but probably because I listened to his music at some point in time, his newer songs hit my playlist.  I had no idea he’s become a Christian singer.  I was sitting on the train, sipping my coffee, looking out the window as the world rushed by on the train, I suddenly heard these lyrics from this song:

You’re shattered
Like you’ve never been before
The life you knew
In a thousand pieces on the floor
And words fall short in times like these
When this world drives you to your knees
You think you’re never gonna get back
To the you that used to be

Tell your heart to beat again
Close your eyes and breathe it in
Let the shadows fall away
Step into the light of grace
Yesterday’s a closing door
You don’t live there anymore
Say goodbye to where you’ve been
And tell your heart to beat again

If I wasn’t sitting on a train I think I may have cried right then and there.  It was as if I was listening to a song that was handwritten for me.  I’ve been struggling the last few months (years) still with the loss of my husband.  I am not sure you ever get over losing your spouse, but even though I’ve known that I have to get on with my life, a part of me is still looking behind my shoulder at what was once my life, and trying to overcome the loss of the life I thought I’d have with my husband and I growing old together.

But the problem with that is, if you are looking at the past, you never quite move on to the new life you are supposed to be living.  “Yesterday’s a closing door, you don’t live there anymore.”   I don’t know what it was, the timing, the song lyrics or what, but hearing those words was like a weight was lifted from my shoulders.  I have to stop living in the past and “say goodbye to where you’ve been and and tell your heart to beat again.”

No, that doesn’t mean I am ready to start dating.  But this was the first weekend in the longest time that I just savored every moment and soaked in this amazing life I have.  I have a roof over my head, food in the fridge, great family and friends.  I have so much to be thankful for.

I had plans to go to the Green City Market, but had a later than usual night on Friday night, so slept in a bit on Saturday.  Usually Saturday mornings I get up and start writing my to do list for the weekend.  The mantra for my weekends is usally must be productive!

Instead I got a cup of coffee and went out the hammock under the gazebo.  It was chilly – 62 degrees, but absolutely glorious.  No bugs, no humidity.  I laid in that hammock for an hour just enjoying the sounds of the birds and the dogs jumping in and out and sleeping on me from time to time.

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I went the the farmers market, only the one in the town next to mine.  I bought green beans, tomatoes, corn and mushrooms.

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I bought two containers of green beans and have used them all already!

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Our neighbors have very busy athletes and trying to get together with them is near impossible with their schedule.  As luck would have it, the husband is off work the next two weeks and they had a week where one sport ended before the next one began, so invited us over Saturday night.  They love my pizza, so they asked if I could make that. Yep – I can make pizza in my sleep!

I also wanted to do a “Weight Watcher” friendly appetizer board.  I was at Hannah’s coffee shop when I was telling her what I was going to make when she looked up at me and said “Mom, what the hell are you going to put that food on?!”  Ah, good question!  She loaded me one of her sheet trays and large parchment paper from work, and that worked perfectly.

I made balsamic garlic green beans (that were actually room temp), strawberries with a lemon curd dip, potato croquettes with jalapeno gold drizzle (think jalapeno jelly – so good!), shrimp cocktail with a chipotle mayo dip, sriracha almonds, cheese and crackers and roasted butternut squash bites.

Eventually my neighbor kept referring this as “the tray of happiness.”  It worked out perfect, but next time I’ll know to make four times the amount of shrimp (all 4 of their kids love shrimp) and leave the butternut squash.  I should have taken a picture of the “after” because all that was left was the butternut squash.  No worries, I brought the leftovers home for me. 

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This lemon curd dip.  Holy balls – you need to make this!  This will be your go to summer fruit dip, I promise you. I stumbled across this recipe from Iowa Girl Eats, so simple!  Lemon curd fruit dip.  The only thing I did was use regular Cool Whip, and added fresh lemon zest.  Perfect with strawberries.

I had to show you their great dane Lucy.  She is so loveable, but is giant like a small horse.  When I am sitting in a chair her head is the same level as mine!

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I had a leisurely Sunday morning, sitting outside and drinking coffee in 64 degree weather.  My Mom spent the afternoon with us.  Two major NSV for me – I bought two pairs of size 11 pants, and I bought two dresses for my upcoming vacation.  It’s been ages since I’ve worn a dress! 

My Momma is a beef lover, so I picked up two big sirloin steaks at The Fresh Market.  

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While the grill was going, we brought out some board games.  I somehow misplaced the tiles to the Scrabble game, but we pulled out Cranium.  It was so much fun, we laughed so much!

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I pulled the beef at 115 degrees and let it rest 20 minutes before slicing.  On the side is a grilled green bean and mushroom salad that was tossed in a tablespoon of Newman’s own balsamic dressing and an ounce of baby mozzarella, with corn on the cob.  12 delicious Sunday dinner points.

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My Mom left around 8:00 and the kadults and I decided to do a bonfire.  Usually Sunday night I am in complete “must get ready for the whole week” routine, but I decided to ditch that and just sit outside, talk with Hannah and Jacob and just listen to the crackle of the fire.  

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It was the perfect ending to a perfect weekend. 

“So get back up, take step one
Leave the darkness, feel the sun
‘Cause your story’s far from over
And your journey’s just begun!”

It’s time to say goodbye to my past because I don’t live there anymore.

 

Weekly WI . . . -1.0

See that +2.6 from last week?  That week I tracked everything, got a blue dot every day, and had no alcohol.  And was up 2.6.

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This week I had a snacky Father’s Day weekend, had wine, did a little bit of emotional eating with another holiday without Tony, and I lose a pound.  I did kill it on the steps, so I am assuming that helped.  But it is just a reminder that you can’t let the weekly up and downs derail you from the big picture.  Just keep plugging along and eventually there will be losses then gains. 

I’ve declared this summer LOSE SOMETHING EVERY WEEK.  Even if it’s only -.5, my only goal this summer is not have a gain.  

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I didn’t have time to take a better picture of my breakfast, but had more egg whites (1 cup is 1 point!) topped with the Ranchero Scramble topping, (1) half ounce of cheese (2), a slice of whole grain bread (3) and a cup of fruit.  7 smart points for breakfast. 

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It was a great Weight Watchers meeting.  We talked about movement this summer and how to get exercise in when sometimes summer means sitting outside with food and wine and not moving much.  I walked past the Daley Center, but didn’t buy anything since I’ll be going to the Green City Market tomorrow.  But I did pick up Red Curry Chicken from Rock N. Roll Noodles.  So spicy good, but everytime I eat it, I think “Biz, you can make this!”   It may be on my lunch menu next week 😀

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I was night secretary last night and had to stay until 6:30.  Only one tiny problem, my next train wasn’t until 7:30, and I didn’t want to suggest working longer and then the attorney throw more work at me and I’d miss the 7:30.  So I got my walking shoes on.  

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The 7:30 train makes all.the.stops so I know I wouldn’t be getting home until 8:45.  Then I knew I would be so hungry that I’d walk in the house and want to eat everything in site.  As I was walking I suddently remembered Blackwood BBQ!  

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I first asked if I could just get the meat alone.  Lean protein to hold me until I got home.  But the minimum purchase is 1/2 a pound and it would have cost the same by itself as it would to get the dinner platter.  I avoided the mac n cheese (which is f_cking amazing) and got the baked beans and asked for lean brisket.  While I am all about the moist brisket, which is the fattier part of the beef, did you Weight Watcher peeps know that 8 ounces of lean brisket is only 5 smart points?  That tiny container of baked beans?  7 points!  Even still, my dinner was only 12 points and totally fit within my day, with 1 point to spare.

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I used the North Carolina sauce which is very vinegary and thin – so good!

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I have plans this weekend!  Tomorrow is the Farmers Market in Lincoln Park.   I may stay downtown for lunch, but I’ll just play it by ear.  The weather is supposed to be in the low 70s.  I’ll be getting lots of steps, that’s for sure!

Saturday night I am going to my neighbors house for a bonfire.  Sunday, not sure yet.  Momma, do you have plans?  You can come over for a BBQ, or we can meet for lunch after church?  I’ll give you a call tonight.

I hope you have a great weekend.  I feel as if a weight has been lifted from me . . . but you’ll have to wait for Monday’s post to find out why.  😀

Make it a great day!

Stuffed Mushrooms

Does anyone else walk down every aisle at the grocery store to get more steps in?  No?  It’s good and bad.  Good that you are getting more steps in, but bad because you tend to throw stuff in the cart that wasn’t on your list.  This Scramble though, was a good decision.  It was in the egg aisle (duh) – they had several different varieties to chose from – I chose the rancheros one because it didn’t have any onions in it – black beans, yellow and red peppers, jalapenos.  

I won a gift card to Corner Bakery, so I picked up some egg whites and a cup of fruit, and topped it with the rancheros – two tablespoons below is only 30 calories and 1 smart point.  I thought it would be spicier with the jalapenos, but you all know I have hot sauce at my desk. 😀

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It was a gorgeous day yesterday – we have really lucked out with our weather while my friends on the West Coast are melting.  I had to private message my friend Rhonda my temps when I think it was 62 here and it was 119 where she lived.  Fuck dry heat – 119 is hot no matter what!

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My sister and I decided to do the River Walk at lunch.  

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We walked by this bike rental station, and one day this summer, we are going to rent one of those bikes – its only $30 for an hour – I think we would laugh so hard riding this bike!   

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I had more lasagna soup for lunch.  I really never get sick of this soup 😀

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I had defrosted ground beef to make a burger salad, but when I was doing a quick rearrange of the refrigerator, in the back saw that I bought these mushroom caps last Saturday and they needed to be used up.  I still had some Italian sausage leftover, so I decided on the spur of  the moment to make stuffed mushrooms for dinner.  I just used my teaspoon measure to scrape out the fills to make room for the filling.

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scrape the sides

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Now I know this doesn’t look that appetizing, but it was delicious!

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Stuffed Mushrooms
Serves 3
Who says you can't have stuffed mushrooms for dinner?! These are spicy, meaty and delicious - feel free to pair with a side salad or fresh fruit for dinner.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
274 calories
8 g
54 g
21 g
14 g
8 g
189 g
497 g
5 g
0 g
12 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
189g
Servings
3
Amount Per Serving
Calories 274
Calories from Fat 191
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 21g
33%
Saturated Fat 8g
42%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 9g
Cholesterol 54mg
18%
Sodium 497mg
21%
Total Carbohydrates 8g
3%
Dietary Fiber 1g
5%
Sugars 5g
Protein 14g
Vitamin A
12%
Vitamin C
10%
Calcium
14%
Iron
8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 6 mushroom caps
  2. 6 ounces cooked Italian sausage
  3. 1/2 cup part skim ricotta cheese
  4. 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  5. 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  6. 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  7. 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (reduce or eliminate for less spicy)
  8. 1 ounce cheddar cheese, finely grated
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 400. Prepare mushrooms by scraping out the gills of the mushrooms, careful not to cut through the bottom of the mushroom. Set aside.
  2. In a skillet, brown the Italian sausage (taken out of the casing) and garlic together until cooked through. Add in the ricotta cheese, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper and cook an additional minute.
  3. Divide that mixture among the six mushroom caps. Top with the shredded cheese and bake for 15 minutes.
Notes
  1. These could easily be prepared over the weekend to pop in the oven for a quick week night dinner. They would last a few days before they would need to be baked. You could also freeze them, and defrost in the fridge during the day while you are at work.
beta
calories
274
fat
21g
protein
14g
carbs
8g
more
My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/
****************

SUMMER BUCKET LIST:

As yesterday was the first day of summer, I realized I didn’t have a “bucket list” of things I wanted to do.  I know the summer will be over in the blink of an eye – I am waiting to walk into Walmart any day now and see the school supplies lined up.

One of the things I wanted to do was go to Green City Market, and I am going on Saturday.  They are going to have a Chef’s demo at 10:30 and so many vendors – check it out!  Any Chicago peeps want to meet me there?  Either way, I am going to go.  I’ll be sure to get a lot of great produce and get in lots of steps. 

I need to start doing some research about what else I want to do this summer.  Kayaking on the Chicago River was one of them, but we watched a guy kayaking by himself yesterday on our walk, and there is just too much boat traffic for my  liking.  I may see if they have kayaking near where I live that isn’t so crowded.

What’s on your bucket list this summer?  Do you make a list or just wing it?!

On my way to Weight Watchers for WI – I was a bit snacky and had wine this past weekend, but I also killed it in the step department, averaging 16,000 steps a day.  We will see!  

Make it a great day!

Skinny Lasagna Soup

I am pretty bad about putting stuff in the freezer and then never remembering what’s in there, or stuff gets buried to the bottom – the only thing I don’t like about my freezer being on the bottom, is that even with the drawers, inevitably stuff gets shoved to the bottom.  I used to have a list of things on the refrigerator of what was in the fridge and freezer, and cross it off as I used it, but with a stainless steel fridge, I don’t have the magnetic capability to do that, and just taping a list to my fridge seems tacky.  Plus I like the clean look of stainless steel.

Usually the top drawer is for ice and the kadults ice cream, but I realized I stashed away some of my strawberry shortcake waffles, so this breakfast sammie was quick to put together.  Waffle (4), scrambled egg white with lite mozzarella cheese (2) drizzle of sf pancake syrup (1) and strawberries and bananas.  I used the everything but the bagel seasoning on the eggs and love this sweet/savory combo.

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My sister and her friend were available to walk – it looked like it was going to storm at one point, but we made it.  The temps were in the low 70’s – love!

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I had forgotten that there was a private event in our main lunch room yesterday, and the lunch I brought was being held hostage.  I couldn’t enter the room until the event was over at 2 p.m. – I saw the email that said we couldn’t use the room, just missed the part about not storing our lunch in there.  Luckily I accessorized my lunch with chicken tortilla soup from Corner Bakery – this was so delicious.  Note to self, make chicken tortilla soup!

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Well, so much for heating up the lunch I brought.  I got super busy and made this picky plate with stuff I had in my lunch bag and fridge and ate this at 4:00 p.m. – 3 points for the cheese, 1 for the ham and the rest was zero.

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Joe, I forgot to send you this picture below – it was as close as I could get because they had security all around the Civic Opera House for the Transformers new movie – it was the Chicago premiere last night.  

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Even though I drove to the train, it was only 68 degrees and sunny and I couldn’t not walk home.  I texted Hannah and Jacob “will one of you drive me back to my car later tonight?”

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Hannah texted me back, “no problem – I’ll drive you.”  Followed up with “we have a surprise for you!”

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Hannah and Jacob have become a landscaping duo – they bought chain saws and a couple hours later had the giant tree in my backyard cut to the edge of the woods and trimmed all the debris on the trees in the yard and driveway.  I tried using that giant saw, it was heavy!  I told them I’d be happy to help, but on the cleaning crew.  I quickly changed clothes, got my lasagna soup started and spent about 45 minutes clearing all the trimmings to the side yard so that the lawn service could mow the grass today.

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Even though the bottom trunk of the tree was pretty dry, the top parts were still green, and try as they might, they could not burn this pile.  It may take a couple weeks for it to dry out before we try again. 

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Is this not the cutest picture ever?!  Hannah bought a hammock – much like the one Shelley got her husband – I have to ask you though Shelley, does Paco go in the hammock by himself?  They sat in there while the kadults worked in the yard – and if Hannah is lying in it, the dogs pile on top of her too.  

***************

Long time readers will know that I’ve had a love affair with lasagna soup for several years now.  I love how versatile it is – you can switch up the protein, add in veggies, switch the type of pasta.  It suddenly dawned on me last night that I should try to make it a bit healthier by reducing the amount of Italian sausage – I bulked it up with zucchini and mushrooms and the result is that the base of this soup for 1.25 cups is only 3 smart points.  I left the points of the pasta out, because it depends on how much and what type you use – I never store the noodles in the soup if there will be leftovers because they will got soggy and gross.  I just reheat the noodles in the soup when I eat it later, and the noodles stay al dente.

I realized I forgot to download a picture of the soup, but I’ll fix that when I get to work.  I am sitting on the train right now about 20 minutes from downtown Chicago.  I love being able to blog on the train ride to work, the only downside is that I’ll sometimes get bumped off my server, so I have to save my blog post every few minutes just in case.  Not a big deal considering I have an hour train ride!

Another gorgeous day in Chicago – I finished my day with just over 21,000 steps.  I’ll likely walk home from work again tonight – it’s a great way to wind down the day.  

Make it a great day!

Skinny Lasagna Soup
Serves 6
I reduced the Italian sausage to just 8 ounces for the whole recipe, and bulked it up with mushrooms and zucchini - so good!
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
215 calories
16 g
29 g
12 g
12 g
4 g
467 g
863 g
10 g
0 g
7 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
467g
Servings
6
Amount Per Serving
Calories 215
Calories from Fat 111
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 12g
19%
Saturated Fat 4g
22%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 29mg
10%
Sodium 863mg
36%
Total Carbohydrates 16g
5%
Dietary Fiber 3g
14%
Sugars 10g
Protein 12g
Vitamin A
22%
Vitamin C
35%
Calcium
6%
Iron
19%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 3 cups no sugar added tomato sauce
  2. 6 cups chicken broth
  3. 8 ounces Italian sausage, removed from the casing and crumbled
  4. 6 ounces tomato paste
  5. 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  6. 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  7. 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  8. 1 cup chopped mushrooms
  9. 1 cup chopped zucchini
Instructions
  1. In a stock pot, cook the Italian sausage for a few minutes, until it starts releasing some of the fat. Add in the mushrooms and zucchini, and cook and additional 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for one minute. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Add in the chicken broth, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper and reduce the heat to simmer, and cook for 10 minutes. Add in pasta of your choice, and add fresh Parmesan cheese.
Notes
  1. * I used my zero point marinara for the tomato sauce - feel free to use jarred sauce in place of the tomato sauce, just check the nutrition lable on prepared pasta sauces - lots of them have sugar as the second ingredient. I think Rio's brand is a low point option.
Adapted from The Farmsgirl Dabbles
beta
calories
215
fat
12g
protein
12g
carbs
16g
more
Adapted from The Farmsgirl Dabbles
My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/

Greek Chickpea Salad

I know a lot of people would be upset at temps in the low 60s in the middle of June, but that is my favorite temperature.  Just cool enough to need a light jacket, but you aren’t sweating balls walking to work.  I really wished I could have worked outside yesterday!  Oh, but wait, when I did that, I worked farmers markets and had to be up at the crack of 4:00 a.m. – never mind!

I guess I was feeling patriotic because I didn’t realize my parfait was red, white and blue until I put it together.  With 1/4 cup of granola on top, this parfait comes in at 5 points.

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My sister couldn’t walk yesterday, so I stopped by her office for a bit on my walk.  Gorgeous puffy clouds.  Love.

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Last Friday my sister had a work event, so it was a solo Fun Food Day Friday for me.  I found a Mediterrean Grill called – Olive Mediterranean Grill (OMG) –  OMG is right – this plate was bursting with flavor.  The chicken was spicy and tender, the rice seasoned so well.  The hummus was so creamy, and that chickpea salad?  I would eat a whole plate of just that side dish alone.

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That chick pea salad . . . couldn’t get my mind off of it!  So over the weekend I tried to recreate the spicy chicken and the chickpea salad.

Here’s the marinade for one pound of chicken breasts:

  • 1.5 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin

Mix together and marinate chicken breasts for two hours, or overnight.

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Greek Chickpea Salad
Serves 6
A great side dish with spicy grilled chicken in a pita, or use it as a dip for sliced cucumbers or tortilla chips at your next BBQ.
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Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
115 calories
13 g
7 g
5 g
4 g
1 g
114 g
235 g
2 g
0 g
3 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
114g
Servings
6
Amount Per Serving
Calories 115
Calories from Fat 48
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g
8%
Saturated Fat 1g
7%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 7mg
2%
Sodium 235mg
10%
Total Carbohydrates 13g
4%
Dietary Fiber 1g
3%
Sugars 2g
Protein 4g
Vitamin A
18%
Vitamin C
55%
Calcium
6%
Iron
5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups diced English cucumber
  2. 1 cup diced peppers (I used a yellow pepper)
  3. 1 cup canned chickpeas (from a 15 ounce can, drained)
  4. 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  5. 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  6. 1 teaspoon dried dill
  7. 2 tablespoons Wishbone EVOO Caesar dressing
Instructions
  1. Mix everything together. I left out the icky red onions that are in most recipes, but feel free to add this if you like. I just mixed this together and left it on my counter for 30 minutes before serving it. Next time I'll add diced tomatoes or roasted red peppers.
beta
calories
115
fat
5g
protein
4g
carbs
13g
more
My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/
I love this dish.  So light and fresh!  And I just realized I didn’t add radish to the recipe, but there is diced radish in there too – you could basically add any veggie you want – I imagine this would be delicious with grilled zucchini!  After putting the recipe into the Weight Watchers recipe builder, this is 3 points per 1/2 cup.

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My pita lunch:  homemade naan (2), 4 ounces chicken (3), chickpea salad (3) and fruit for dessert.

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I used to think that I didn’t like fruit salsas.  I texted this picture to my family last night, and my twin sister gave it the stink eye and said “No thanks!”  Jenn, you really need to try this, it’s amazing!  The recipe was from the Weight Watchers website, but I tweaked it a bit.  I left out the sugar completely because the fruit was sweet enough on its own, and I reduced the oil to just 1 teaspoon for the whole recipe, so it’s basically zero points.

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If that doesn’t scream smmer, not sure what does.  I think I am going to make this into a dish for my family reunion next month.  It’s typically finger food, but I may grill up some chicken and then slice them into medallions and top it with this salsa.  

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Since I did all my grilling on Sunday night, I just reheated my chicken in my cast iron skillet for a few minutes to warm it up while I made the salsa and butternut squash fries.  I have leftovers for lunch which makes me very happy!

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After dinner I put on a jacket (it was 59!) and got in a quick 25 minute walk before it got too dark.  Not a bad view at the end of the day.

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Hoping my sister can get away from work and we can get our walk in.  If not, no big deal.  I tried to wake up to walk to the train this morning, but I hit the snooze way too many times, even though I was in bed at 10:45.  I may walk home though and have Hannah bring me back to my car later on if it’s not raining.

Question of the Day:  are you a fan of fruit salsa?  

Skinny French Toast Sticks

Friday night was of course, Party Pizza Friday.  I normally pick up a frozen deep dish to cook at home, but the problem with that?  Leftovers.  And Lou Malnati’s is not that point friendly.  I looked up their menu on the train ride home Friday night, and realized they had a tiny personal deep dish pizza that serves 1!  It looks big in this picture, but it’s probably 4-5 inches across?  Perfect!  I looked up the nutrition and it was 14 smart points – totally doable!

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I didn’t realize until AFTER I ate it that while the menu said a personal pizza serves 1, the nutritional value said that it as two servings.  🙁  So my baby deep dish pizza was 28 points.  I still love you Lou, but really?!

While you all know that I only buy my clothes at thrift stores and garage sales, a few items I do buy new – underwear, bras and bathing suits.  Hannah and I went to get a mani/pedi but there was a 30 minute wait, so we walked down to Ross.  Not sure why I never thought to go there for bathing suits before, they had hundreds! 

I picked this one up for our vacation next month.  I love the shorts, and the stripes help distract my muffin top.  Thoughts?!

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Out of all the colors to choose from, Hannah chose black.  I love the colors I picked – its written down but I don’t have it with me, but its OPI.  We both got the hot rock pedicure ($35) and the no chip manicure ($35) and as we were getting the rock massage, we both said “why don’t we do this more often?” Um, because of the price tag!  $90 with tip, but it was worth it for me, because I had two  in grown toe nails that were killing me – Tony used to take care of that for me – my Mom and I are both prone to them.  So that in itself was worth the $$.

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The kadults and I watched a movie together Saturday night.  We had big storms roll through, it rained pretty hard.

I woke up yesterday morning and the weather was amazing – 65 degrees, no humidity.  Love.  I had a taste for French toast and thought maybe I could use the vanilla Premier Protein for the batter.

Skinny French Toast Sticks
Serves 1
Using Premier Protein in your batter bumps up the protein in these French toast sticks - perfect for dipping!
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
610 calories
59 g
186 g
7 g
14 g
2 g
242 g
493 g
22 g
0 g
4 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
242g
Servings
1
Amount Per Serving
Calories 610
Calories from Fat 67
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 7g
12%
Saturated Fat 2g
11%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 186mg
62%
Sodium 493mg
21%
Total Carbohydrates 59g
20%
Dietary Fiber 2g
9%
Sugars 22g
Protein 14g
Vitamin A
5%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
26%
Iron
22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 3 slices Healthy Life bread, but into three pieces
  2. 1/2 cup vanilla Premier Protein
  3. 1 large egg
  4. 1 teaspoon cinnamon sugar (I use McCormick)
  5. coconut oil spray
Instructions
  1. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Mix the vanilla Premier Protein, the large egg and the cinnamon sugar in a bowl. Dip the bread into the batter, letting it soak up the protein shake. Spray your skillet with coconut oil spray, and cook the French toasts sticks for 2-3 minutes per side, or until desired doneness. Serve with sugar free pancake syrup.
Notes
  1. Health Life bread (3) egg (2) protein shake (1) pancake syrup (1) = 7 smart points total
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calories
610
fat
7g
protein
14g
carbs
59g
more
My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/

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I really liked these.  Even with the light bread (I would have loved to use French bread – but that would kill on the points!) these were perfect dippers.  I use Smuckers sugar free pancake syrup – it’s by far the best sugar free pancake syrup on the market, and it’s usually the cheapest too!

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Tony’s car needed new tires.  Hannah and Jacob switch off using that car with their own depending on their schedules, which is why I held onto it.  It will finally be paid off in October, but the tires were really worn down, so I went to Sam’s Club and got new tires.  I was told it would be 30 minutes, so I walked behind Sam’s Club in the neighborhood – glorious day – 72 degrees and my favorite puffy clouds.

I started heading back thinking my car would be done, but they sold me the wrong tires initally, and the process to exchange the wrong tires with the new tires turned into a 30 minute process – no one knew how to account for the $80 rebate I got on the first set, the second set of tires had no rebate.  I could see the cashier getting really flustered and I told him “no one is dying on the table, it’s all good.”  He thanked me for my patience – he said he’s gotten yelled at from customers before.  That did remind me of Tony, because he had little patience when it came to stuff like that.

In the end, not only was the second set of tires $140 less, they also gave me the $80 rebate and a $30 store gift card for my patience.  Score!

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I went grocery shopping after that.  Chicken legs and thighs were .99 cents a pound, and chicken breasts were $1.29 a pound.  I grilled ahead for the week and for dinner last night.   

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I made a chick pea salad that reminded me of a salad I had for lunch last Friday.  I am going to post that recipe tomorrow, because it’s delicious.  I tried a new naan bread recipe yesterday.  I had a recipe on here, but there are some recipe plugins I used in the past, but then for some reason, the recipe just goes away when the plugin goes away.  These were tasty, but didn’t get fluffy like they normally do.

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The storm on Saturday night took down yet another tree in my backyard.  Luckily it didn’t hit anything since it was in the back of the woods.   There is so much dead wood in the back of my property, but I imagine it would cost thousands to get it cleaned out.  Although every time we go to the back of the property, Hannah remarks at how big it is, and I can see her planning to build a cottage for her and Jacob back there. 

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I am sad to say I had both wine and extra snacks this weekend.  I was really missing Tony yesterday – it would have been the perfect day to sit outside and listen to Frank Sinatra and watch him smoke his cigar and me taking a million pictures of him like I did.  I am so happy I have so many pictures of him.  It was the third Father’s Day without him and 19 years since my Dad died.  

But, today is a new day.  The snacks and wine are gone, I’ve got healthy meals planned, including this recipe – I am using some of the grilled chicken from last night to make this Grilled Chicken with Strawberry Chili Salsa – the salsa is made with strawberries, pineapple, and jalapenos and sounds so refreshing!

Happy Monday – how was your weekend??  Make it a great day!