Saturday, 31 March 2012

Skinny Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo

I think we are all a little excited when we see a traditionally delicious meal with the word "skinny" in front of it!  Once again I was browsing Pinterest and I saw a skinny recipe.  It has broccoli in it, so it really was not on the top of my list of things to cook.  My husband does not like broccoli.  I decided the recipe looked quick and easy so we may as well give it a try. He can just pick out the bits he dosen't like.

I didn't feel like dealing with chicken, or mincing garlic (yet again), so I picked up a rotisserie chicken when we were at Costco, and used the garlic in a jar.  We also decided that we would like shrimp for dinner too, so I decided to toss some of those in the mix too.  I had planned on putting mushrooms in the sauce, but I forgot to buy those.

The recipe was pretty simple to follow. Boil the noodles, fettuccine for us, macaroni for the baby.  Sautee the garlic in olive oil, add the flour and whisk.  I don't have a whisk, so a fork worked just fine.  I added all the ingredients, then got to the Parmesan cheese, bugger, I forgot to buy some.  So off to the store my husband goes.  He came back without the cheese so off again he went.  I turned the sauce off during all of this so it didn't spoil or get clumpy.  When he finally got home, being the lazy chef I am, I just dumped the cheese in the sauce without measuring (similar to the way I did with the seasoning).  I think I may have put a little too much cheese in, because it took quite a while to melt.  The sauce was a little thick, so I ended up adding a little extra milk.

All in all, the meal was delicious!!  My husband and I ate entirely too much, (yes he picked out all of the broccoli) and even the baby ate hers.  I am not sure how skinny it is at just over 400 calories per serving without the noodles, but it was a nice quick easy meal.

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, grilled and cut into chunks (about 2 cups)
2 cups roasted broccoli florets
8 ounces fettuccine
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup fat-free, low sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup skim milk
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 pinch ground nutmeg
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


In a pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

 In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic is golden, 1 to 2 minutes.

 Whisk in the flour until smooth, about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the chicken broth, Greek yogurt, milk, pepper and nutmeg. Bring to a low boil, stirring constantly. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring gently, until the mixture thickens, about 3 minutes. Stir in 3/4 cup Parmesan.

Add cooked chicken and broccoli to sauce mixture, followed by the cooked pasta. Toss to combine and serve with more Parmesan, if desired.

Original recipe courtesy of:

Happy Cooking!!


Friday, 30 March 2012

Under The Weather

I finally took my stupid cold to the Dr yesterday, and it turns out I have a sinus infection. I guess that explains why my "cold" isn't going away, and why I am having such a rough time running!  I decided I should take a few days off running and let my antibiotics do their job.  I feel horrible the days I don't run!!  It also means I will not be meeting my weekly goal of being up and running at 8am 3 times this week.  Disappointing, but once in a while you have to give your pat on the back for what you have accomplished, and not be too discouraged by what you were unable to achieve.  I have come a long way from where I started in January. Today I will celebrate all I have been able to do, and not focus on the things I could not finish.

Happy Running!!


Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Balsamic Roasted Carrots and Brussels Sprouts

I kept looking at this recipe and looking at it.  I absolutely love brussels sprouts, my husband hates them.  I just had to try it!
Easy enough recipe! Peeling brussels can be a bit of a pain in the butt, and I hate chopping carrots.  I need to invest in some good knives!

I cooked my veggies for 30 min and flipped them once through out.  The came out with a nice crisp on them.  I found the flavor a little mild, so I re-tossed them in a little extra balsamic vinegar.  Depending on how crunchy you like your cooked carrots, you may want to chop them a little smaller, or cook them a little prior to putting them in the oven.  I cut my carrots into sticks, and I enjoyed the crunch they had.  I also added some brown mushrooms to the mix.  I cut these way too small, they were a tad over cooked, but still delicious!

Balsamic Roasted Carrots and Brussels Sprouts
serves 2

1/2 pound brussels sprouts, stem ends trimmed and sprouts cut in half

3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into 3/4 inch-thick rounds
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Toss brussels sprouts and sliced carrots with the balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil directly on the baking sheet, making sure each piece is coated in the oil and vinegar.  Sprinkle with the salt and pepper.

Roast for 25-30 minutes until sprouts and carrots are golden, flipping the pieces and stirring 2 or 3 times during cooking to ensure even browning and so they don't burn.  Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

Original recipe:

Southwestern Turkey Burgers

All I had in the house in terms of meat was ground turkey, and I though to myself, what on earth should we have for dinner?!?!  I decided to consult my Pinterest recipe board to help me out a little. I had a few turkey burger recipes to choose from, but the Southwest burgers just jumped out at me!  Since it isn't treat day, I put the recipe into myfitnesspal to see if the calorie count would be ok.  Surprisingly the burgers are about 120 calories per patti (it you divide them into 6).

The recipe is super easy. No major work involved other than chopping the onion, red pepper, cilantro, and garlic.  I couldn't be bothered to use fresh garlic, so I opened up a jar of pre-chopped.  I always add a little more than the recipe calls for, because I find the stuff fin the jar doesn't have as strong of a flavor.  We seem to have run out of paprika, so I added a little cayenne pepper instead. 

I bought the weight watchers hamburger buns, 110 calories each. Topped it with a slice mozzarella, tomato, banana pepper, and spinach.  Oh yes, and all the little bits of deliciousness that fell out of the burger too!! I really enjoyed the burger. I thought it was delicious!!

As usual, my comments are in RED

for the burger patties-
1.25 lbs. ground turkey {93/7}
2 tablespoons butter, divided - I used olive oil instead
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup sweet corn
1/3 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon each of salt & pepper
1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika

topping-  these are the original suggestions
diced avocados
tomato slices
cheddar cheese
lime wedges

4-6 soft kaiser rolls or hamburger buns


Place large skillet over medium heat and melt 1/2 tablespoon butter. Saute onions, red pepper and garlic until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in corn, black beans, salt and pepper to taste.

In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, sauteed vegetables, and seasonings. Divide into 6 patties {or 4 large patties}.

In the same large skillet the veggies were sauteed in, place over medium high heat again and melt half the remaining butter {which should be 3/4 tablespoon}. Cook burgers in two batches until thoroughly cooked, about 4 minutes per side. Remove and place in oven to keep warm or serve immediately on buns with desired toppings. 

Happy Cooking


Tuesday, 27 March 2012

8am Run

One of my weekly goals is to be out and running, or on my way to the gym by 8am.  Today was day one and I made it out of the door just in time!!

Today's homework run was a 45 min run.  Last night I planned out an 8km route for the morning. 

My run today was 8.04km, and it took me 45:10, average pace of 5'37/km, 520 calories burned, and a battle of the hills.  Slower pace than I would have liked, but I will take it compared to my last 3 runs!!  Today was my first fun since being sick that I did not want or need to "Pause" my workout.  

It felt so good to be able to keep running! I had to stop at some lights, but that doesnt count ;) unless its my excuse for my slower pace. hahaha. I really should not complain. Like I said, today was a battle of the hills. I counted 7 hills in my run, and that doesn't include inclines.  Hills take a lot out of your legs!

I'm not sure if my cold is getting better, or it is my diet change that gave me that extra kick today, but either way I will take it and hope that my runs continue to improve!!  I am really excited for my next run

Happy Running


Monday, 26 March 2012



Yesterday the discussion/presenter before our run was supposed to be discussing motivation.  He probably needs to lecture himself a little because he was not motivated enough to show up for our clinic!  One of the clinic leaders spoke briefly on the topic, and he asked the group for their ideas on how to stay motivated.  This really got me thinking. What is that I do now to motivate myself to do my homework runs and push myself? What can I do to keep myself motivated to run after the clinic ends?  What can I do to help others either get motivated or stay motivated?

What Motivates Me Now?
Mostly it is knowing I meet my clinic group for a run and Sunday, and I want to be able to keep up with them.  I mentioned in a previous blog that I use the Nike + GPS app to track my runs.  On Nike + you can set goals for yourself too. I have goals to increase the number of runs I do, increase the number of calories I burn, increase my mileage, and increase how many runs I complete with an average goal pace.  I check my progress regularly to make sure I am not falling behind.  Currently it is informing me that I am 16.27km behind my my goal of running 100km in 4 weeks.  

Another big motivator for me is weight loss, and my love for dessert and delicious foods.  I am still trying to shed the last 5-7 vanity pounds of my baby weight.  The only way I can indulge in a guilt free meal is by burning those calories running. I use the myfitnesspal app to track my calorie intake, and how many calories I burn exercising.  It's a lot of work, but so worth it! I have the app on my phone, but you can also do it online

What Will I Do To Keep Myself Motivated?
This is a biggie.  I have along history of giving up on running once I have run the 10km, so what will  I do to stay motivated to run?  My plan is to continue signing up for races.  Not picking a race in 6 months to run, but races every month or two.  I will continue to set goals for myself on Nike +, and write small weekly goals for myself to achieve. These goals I will share with you on the weekly goals tab.

What Can I Do To Help Others Either Get Motivated Or Stay Motivated?
On my Facebook page I post a thought of the day photo, which is usually a motivational quote. I have running boards and motivation boards on Pinterest.  I share my runs on FB too.  I am hoping that this blog will help get some of you motivated to get out there and run with me.  If you have any suggestions or things I can do to help you either get motivated or stay motivated, please leave me comments! I will do what I can!

Happy Running!!


Sunday, 25 March 2012

Sunday Run Day!

Sunday is my running clinic day!

In January I joined the Peninsula Runners TC10km Running Clinic at Cedar Hill Rec Center.  My first day i couldn't decide which group to join, "run fast" or "run strong".  The run fast group seems a little challenging, and the run strong group didn't seem quite challenging enough. I joined the run fast group, not sure what the heck I was thinking!!

I run with my clinic group on Sunday's, and we have 2 homework runs to complete throughout the week.  This group has really helped me stay motivated and do my homework runs. I'm terrified of not being able to keep up with the group!  

I use the Nike+GPS on my phone iPhone to time my runs and track my distance.  The nice thing is it saves all your info online. It creates maps, and keeps track of my fastest 1km, 5km, 10km, mile, longest run, and furthest run.  It also allows you to set personal goals which i find useful to stay motivated. 

Today's run was a TOUGH one.  Our plan was 60 minutes, 10 minute warm up, 45 minute tempo run, 5 minute cool down.  Our clinic leader is very ambitious and mapped out a 14km run for us! Yikes!  I asked him how he planned for us to run 14km in 60min and he basically said who cares about the 60min!!

Ordinarily I would be up for the challenge, I am learning to enjoy pushing myself, but for the past 2 weeks I have had this awful sinus cold.  I took 10 days off from running, and only got back to things last Wednesday.  My runs up until today have been a struggle.  Today was NO exception. 

Of course our clinic group leader throws a curve ball and says "Lets do a timed 1km and see how fast we can go" BAH! At about 6.5km we started our timed km.  I was already exhausted. I still picked up the pace a little and clocked a 4'33km, which happens to be my fastest km so far in a long run.  After that I barely made it the rest of the way home.  KM 11 was a slow gradual uphill climb, and I just could not find it within myself to keep running, i have to take 5-10 step walking breaks. NOT a good feeling at all.  I don't know about you, but I am very easily discouraged.  Not being able to keep my pace hurts me deep!!!

Despite the tough course, how awful I felt, and how much my legs felt like lead from the get go, and the fact that I wanted to sit down from the minute I started, I still managed to finish 13.8km, my farthest run yet.  I ran my fastest 10km - 56.27, my fastest 1km 4:33, and my longest run at 1hr 14 min.  Not a bad accomplishment for a Sunday morning!

My lesson for the day.... when you feel like rubbish, and run like rubbish, I am pretty sure you can find something positive about your run!!  And just keep in pushing....

Happy Running to you all....


Triple Chocolate Cheesecake

I was craving Cheesecake as I often do, and  I was looking at all the cheesecake recipes on Pinterest.  I finally decided to give into my craving, which I have not done since I was pregnant!!  I was debating between the cupcake looking cheesecakes and this recipe, but chocolate usually wins ;-)

It was a fairly easy recipe to follow.  Although the measurments are a little odd for us Canadians.  We don't deal with ounces, all our products are listed in grams. I do have a handy app on my iPhone that does conversions if needed, and its FREE!! 

Making the pie crust was a pain in the butt.  I could not find chocolate animal crackers, so I used Chocolate Teddy Grahams. It wasnt quite a 9oz bag, so I also mixed in some chocolate wafer cookies.  I think next time I would leave them out and just go with the Teddy Grahams.  I didnt find that 1/4 cup of margarine was enough, so next time I will research some other crust options, or increase the amount of margarine.  I don't really enjoy a crumbly crust. Oh, and I beat my cookies to a crumb with a hammer, it might be easier to toss them in the bullet / food processor.

The cheesecake, well, I had a few minor complications.  A bag of chocolate chips is not 2 cups of chips. Who Knew?!?!  Well you may have, but I didn't!  I didn't have enough dark chocolate chips, so I threw in some milk chocolate chips to fill up the cup.  There is no melting instructions, so I threw the chocolate in the microwave for 30 second intervals.  Did not melt very smoothly.  I added a little cream and butter, and that seemed to help. I threw it in my Kitchenaid with the other ingredients and it seemed to work itself out.  I think next time I would try melting the chocolate with the butter and cream in a pot on the stove.

The topping, a complete mess!! It tells  you to pour the white chocolate mix over the cake, then drizzle the chocolate mix over it.  I did this, and the sauce was still very warm and runny. It melted my cake a little and it ran EVERYWHERE!!!  Next time I will be letting the mixes cool, much longer than the recommended 5 minutes.

This is my cake, you can see the crumbly crust, its not quite as pretty as the original, but it was DELICIOUS, and I will definitely make it again!

Here is the recipe I got online, and as before my comments are in RED

-  9oz chocolate wafer cookies (i use animal crackers) - i used chocolate teddy grahams
-  1/4 c. margarine (melted) i used a little more than this

- 2 (80z.) packages of Philadelphia Cream Cheese (softened)
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups Nestle Dark Chocolate Morsels (melted)
- 1 c. heavy whipping cream
- 2 tbsp. margarine (melted)
- 3 tsp. vanilla

- 1 c. heavy whipping cream (divided)
- 1/4 c. white chocolate chips
- 1/4 c. milk chocolate chips

- Preheat oven to 325 degrees
- crush cookies into fine crumbs and add melted margarine. Combine well and press into the bottom of a 9-inch Springform Pan - crush the cookies in a blender or food processor
- Beat softened cream cheese with sugar until smooth
- Pour into crust and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes - i forgot this step :-0
- Place on cookie sheet and bake for 60 minutes
- Turn off oven, open oven door a little and allow to sit for another 30 min
- Remove from oven and run knife around edge of pan.  Remove edge of pan
- Allow cheesecake to cool to room temperature before adding toppings

- put 1/2 c. whipping cream into saucepan and heat just until bubbling at edges.  Turn heat off, add white chocolate chips, cover and allow to sit for 5 minutes
- After 5 minutes, stir until smooth - stir the white chocolate well, it doesn't melt as quickly and smoothly as milk chocolate
- Repeat this process in another saucepan with the milk chocolate chips.
- Pour white chocolate over cheesecake and then drizzle with milk chocolate until entire cheesecake is covered. This step I recommend allowing the mixes to cool so the sauce is not so thin and runny
- Chill overnight before serving

Here is the original recipe i got from Pinterest

Happy Baking!!