Recipe Round Up

I’ve tried some new recipes lately. I wanted to share a few of them with you guys because they were good ones! If you are looking for a quick and easy dinner recipe, this post is for you.

5 Ingredient Salsa Verde Beef Tacos

I am a sucker for “5 ingredients or less” recipes but often times they are disappointing. This one was not disappointing in any way. It was actually one of my favorite new recipes. It was simple, it was easy, it was fast AND it was delicious. The salsa verde made the beef flavorful in a subtle, different way. The best part? I go 4 servings out of this recipe and that made it around 260 calories.  Add 100 calories for a tortilla, throw in some raw spinach and avocado and you’ve got a fantastic dinner for less than 500 calories and it’s filling, too. This recipe will become a staple in our house I think.

 

Creamy Mushroom Pork Chops

I like that pork chops are low in calories. Sadly, they are also often very bland. If we make pork chops I prefer to try recipes that have some gravy or sauce to kind of freshen it up and make it a little more savory.

gravy
This recipe was super easy and fairly quick. I had all the ingredients on hand and I am happy with how it turned out. While the pork chops were cooking I baked some sweet potatoes as a side and made a salad. The recipe was simple but I thought it tasted good. It made boring pork chops a little more interesting. I would definitely make this recipe again but I think I would add some fresh tarragon or rosemary to the cream of mushroom mixture. Other than that, I wouldn’t change anything!

Cranberry Chicken

I recently bought a cookbook of all crockpot recipes (recently meaning this summer). I’ve been dying to try some of them but just haven’t gotten around to it until now.  I had all the ingredients on hand for this one except for the quick-cooking tapioca. It’s something I’d never heard of before or used but looking into it I guess it’s used for thickening stews and sauces. When I didn’t have this I went to the handy-dandy Google and found that flour or cornstarch worked just as well. So I used flour instead. I WILL be buying some of the tapioca soon, though, because a lot of the recipes in this book call for it and I want to give it a try.

When the chicken was close to being done, I cooked some rice in my rice cooker that I got at Trader Joe’s. It was a basmati and wild rice mixture with herbs in it. I was excited to try it!

The chicken I used was boneless, skinless chicken breasts and it worked well, perhaps not as the recipe intended, but it still worked. The chicken breasts fell apart and I shredded the chicken a bit, then mixed it around in the sauce. I liked the chicken shredded like this. It soaked up all the saucy goodness. I had a few nibbles as it was finishing up and it was delicious!

photo

Dinner was finally ready and it was by far, one of my favorite crockpot recipes I’ve done in a long time. The chicken was perfect, not dried out at all, and the cranberry sauce was sweet but not too sweet. It was just perfect. I also loved the Trader Joe’s rice. this dinner was fantastic! Give this recipe a try.

Things I’m Loving Lately

I am totally an Amazon Prime junkie. I buy way too much stuff on there. It’s just easy and convenient. I wanted to share some of the finds I’ve loved lately. Here is the list:

Omega Sunlight SAD Light Therapy (Seasonal Affective Disorder) Super Bright

This is the newest item and I’m still checking it out. I most definitely suffer from seasonal malaise. I am not a dark,gray,rainy kind of person. When the winter rain starts here in Oregon I just feel like a giant wet blanket has been thrown over me. It’s such a bummer. I know I need to live somewhere else and I’m reminded of this every winter. So either I need to move to like California (preferably near the beach) or win the lottery so I can move to Bali.

Since neither of those things are really going to happen any time soon, I bought a light therapy device. Finally. I’ve wanted one for years but never got around to getting one. I’m glad I did. I’ve only been using it for about a month now and I usually only use it Monday-Fridays. I plug it in on the kitchen counter and have it one while I make breakfast, eat breakfast and pack my lunch for work. So for about 20-35 minutes depending on the day.

light

 

I don’t know that I’ve noticed a difference in the winter depression yet but what I did notice right away was that I felt more ALERT and awake in the morning after using the light. That’s huge. I am so NOT a morning person (my ideal work schedule would be like 10am-4pm–where is that job?!!). I am going to continue using the light to see if it effects the winter blues. Stay tuned.

Mueller Cold/hot Wrap, Elastic, Black, One Size

I bought this a few months ago and I’ve been using it a lot. Whenever I have a particularly difficult workout, I use it on my knees. It works GREAT. I like that the ice pack is separate and you just slip it into the wrap and then strap it on a body part and it doesn’t slide. For years I was using a traditional ice pack and it was annoying having to hold it in place. I love this thing.

Mueller Jumper’s Knee Strap, Black, One Size Fits Most, 1-Count Packages (Pack of 3)

Speaking of knees….

I think two things fixed my Runner’s Knee (or at least, made it tolerable). The first is the Warrior Room and strengthen my glutes to offset the muscle imbalance that causes my knee pain (the WR did more for me than physical therapy ever did). The second are these straps. I always use them when I run or use the elliptical now.

It’s so much better than taping my knees. I was taping for a long time, per my physical therapist, and while that worked okay it was really uncomfortable. My skin is super sensitive to begin with and using tape on my skin just irritated it beyond belief. It would be itchy, red, blotchy, nearly scarring me. I quit the tape and changed to the straps and never looked back. Such a better option.

Aikiou Stimulo Activity Food Center for Cats Grey/Green

I bought this earlier this year because Fat Kitty is a little piggy. He’s always been this way, even when I got him as a baby. You can read his history here: Fat Kitty Still Needs a Diet…The short story: he tends to binge eat and then throw up. I tried a LOT of different methods and different foods, different feeding methods, to try and get him to slow down. Nothing worked.

Finally I found this on Amazon and decided to give it a try. For the first two days the cats were both MAD. They were pissed. They sat in front of the feeder and meowed angrily. They refused to use it. Finally, they broke down and started using the feeder. It didn’t take them long to figure it out and it’s been great ever since! The cats love it (or at least they don’t complain anymore), they slowed down with their food and Fat Kitty did lose a little weight. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still a big boy. But he’s not bingeing and puking anymore, so I’m happy.

feeder

 

If you have a cat with a weight issue, this thing works! Give it a try! It definitely slows them down and there is actually food left over sometimes. I highly recommend this item!

Have you found something you are loving lately and want to share?