The first date that I ever had with my husband over 24 years ago was a homemade meal at his house. I remember it clearly. He plopped a big steak and some canned corn on my plate and asked if I wanted some ketchup. Romantic right? Well, I thought it was. That is about the most cooking he has done over the passed 24 plus years with the exception of his one and only signature meal, spaghetti. It is a family recipe passed down from his mom who isn’t much of a cook herself although she makes some tasty dishes.
However, in fairness my husband never really needed to cook because I love to and his mom always made sure he had something to eat. He’s a simple man with “meat and potato” taste who happened to marry a women who loves to cook. In fact, if you ask him why he married me, he’d probably say “because she’s a great cook!”
While I love to cook and do the majority of cooking, that doesn’t mean that I don’t think that a husband shouldn’t be able and willing to cook. Due to my hectic schedule I often have “fend for yourself nights.” Those are nights when I simply have prepared nothing and everyone is expected to eat leftovers (we always have good leftovers) or prepare something on their own. And then from time to time, I tell my husband he is in charge of making dinner. His Spaghetti is his “go to meal” and for good reason. On this one night only, I promise myself to step back, bite my tongue and let him have at it.
My oldest son, like many teens, loves Taco Bell. I remember loving it as a teen. It’s inexpensive, easy and filling. Most importantly, it’s Mexican. While he prefers Chipotle or other higher end Mexican food, Taco Bell is within his budget, close by and fast. As a mom, while I can appreciate all those qualities, I’d prefer he’d eat something a bit healthier. Therefore, when I saw a recipe for baked Chimichanga’s on pinterest, I immediatley repinned it.
Of course as tasty as the original recipe sounded, I felt like it could use a little cleaning up. The original recipe called for cream cheese and pepper jack which adds too much fat and calories for my taste. I changed a few things to lighten it up and it was just as delicious, but much more nutritious! I make a big batch of these babies, wrap them up, freeze and my son has lunch anytime he wants.
In case you don’t know, I’m a huge Pioneer Women fan. While her “down home” cooking is far from mine in terms of healthy, I love all of her recipes, love her cookbooks (they are beautiful!), love her photography and love her love of family. She makes the perfect cheat meal when I want to treat my family to something special. This meal is actually very healthy and made a perfect date night meal for me and my hubby. I added a few extra veggies to mine to make it even more healthy.
With an Italian husband, we eat a lot of “Italian inspired food.” However, as a FitChick, I stay clear of the pasta so I can stay free of unwanted calories. I love any and all chicken dishes because they are cheap, high in nutrients and family friendly. This recipe is a family favorite due to it’s easy preparation, “One Pot Wonder” power and awesome leftovers. I of course serve it with pasta because my hubby and kids can handle the pasta.
If you were to ask me what my favorite small appliance is, I’d have to say a crock pot. In fact, I’ve had my crock pot for almost 21 year (got it as a wedding present) and it has been used and abused and is still the best thing I own. Stained and splattered with a funky old “country” design that matches nothing I now own, I love it and use it all winter long.
With long work hours and endless obligations, there is nothing better than coming home to a house bursting with the smell of food that has been cooking all day long. It’s like a friendly welcome home from a good friend. While I have some of my tried and true crock pot favorites, I’m always looking for new recipes.
Because I’m a fugal cook, I base a lot of my menu on what is on sale to get my “biggest bang for my buck.” And since I’m a protein “junkie,” I’m especially excited when I find chicken and other lean meats on sale. When it comes to chicken, breast are my favorite due to their leanness and simplicity (no cutting etc.) However, I will not turn my nose up to a whole chicken if the price is right. I recently found beautiful whole chickens for .79 cents a pound so of course threw one in my basket.
The problem with whole chickens is if you roast them in the oven, a lot goes to waste unless you plan on using the carcass for soup (If you have that kind of time, power to you!) It is just so hard to get all that yummy meat off the bones. When you place a whole chicken in a crock pot, nothing goes to waste! Plus, it is moist (unlike the oven often) and falls off the bones so nothing goes to waste. My husband calls it “Road Kill” Chicken because when you take it out of the crock pot it collapses into a pile because it’s so moist.
It’s Friday night which means time for a treat. Nothing satisfies my sweet tooth more than chocolate. These little babies, satisfy my chocolate cravings without “breaking the bank” in the calories area. They take only minutes to make, are chewy and are under 80 calories each. My only complaint is that this recipe only makes two dozen cookies which can disappear in minutes around my house! Might need to double this recipe.
So winter to me means comfort food and there is nothing more comforting than a big pot of homemade soup. So put down those 100 calorie per servings cans of soup and fire up the stove! This is my favorite soup recipe because it stays true to my desire to be fit and healthy. It’s packed with protein and veggies, is hearty and one pot last me all week long.
So if you didn’t notice, I truly believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. In all my years as a trainer, I’ve never seen a client be successful at losing or maintaining their weight if they were not a breakfast eater. Starting your day right sets you up for a successful day of eating and choice making in general. However, that doesn’t mean you should just grab anything. Fill your body with high nutrition, low fat food and your body will run like the amazing machine it is.
So this sudden and welcome rain has me craving some comfort food. While Pizza comes to mind, I know that I’ll thank myself later if I can come up with a saucy alternative that is a lot more healthy. Therefore, I’ve decided to throw on a family favorite, Turkey meatballs with red sauce. They are super easy, low maintenance and are perfect in cold weather. I eat them with veggies on the side, but my family likes them over pasta. Way more healthy then spaghetti and meatballs and packed with the protein that I love. You can do a quick stove top method or pop into a crock pot for the day so you have a meal waiting for you after a long day.
My kids and hubby are crazy picky! None of them are breakfast eaters but as they’ve aged and matured have realized that they need something in the morning. Mostly breakfast entails cold cereal if they’ve left enough time (they are teenagers after all) or a quick grab and go protein shake. I’ve learned that one way to make sure they eat more is to have things on hand that they can grab and go. You will almost always find a fresh baked from scratch item on my counter for my picky eaters. This way I know what is going into their bodies, can sneak in what I want and they will always eat something. This banana bread is moist, healthy and down right yummy!