Turkey Corn Chowder

With so much turkey left over from Thanksgiving, I decided to make Turkey Corn Chowder with the left over white meat. It is winter season so soup is the perfect accompaniment to a cold winters night.

Ingredients: Left over white meat turkey (about 1 large breast cut into small cubes or shredded), 1/4 cup butter, 4 Tbsp coconut oil, 2 cup corn kernels (split in half), 4 cups of chicken stock, 1 cup cream, 1 cup whole milk, 1 small onion (minced and sauteed until clear), 2 garlic cloves (minced and sauteed with the onions), 2 large carrots peeled and chopped, 4 potatoes peeled and diced, 1 head of broccoli chopped, and 1 head of cauliflower chopped.
Spices: 1 tsp dried marjoram, 1/4 cup cholula, 2 tsp tumeric, 1 tsp smoked                                                paprika, and salt & pepper to taste.

Set the sauteed onions and garlic aside.

Melt down the butter and coconut oil. Toss in 1 cup of the corn kernels and saute till golden. Add in the milk, cream, and chicken stock. Bring to a simmer. Pour into a blender and blend until smooth (or use a hand stick blender). Pour back into the pot and bring to a boil. Add in the chopped turkey, vegetables and onions and garlic (except potatoes and last cup of corn) and all the spices. Bring back to a boil for 5 – 7 minutes. Toss in the potatoes and cook on low/medium heat until the potatoes are tender. Mix in the last cup of corn and serve!

This soup is chunky and creamy and everything I’ve ever wanted on a cold winters night. It’s great for left overs too and will freeze pretty nicely for another day.

This soup is kind of healthy too. I mean there is no flour thickener and the only bad thing technically in it is the butter (I guess you could take the butter out completely and just use oil….but flavor may be lost in the process).

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My Health Journey

So I’ve been doing this Body Fat percentage loss challenge at my gym for the past 8 weeks and I came in 3rd place! I am very proud of myself for this because it’s the 1 thing I actually won (I never win anything), and I actually stuck to this “diet.” But in this article, I want to share my journey with all of you my diet plan.

First off, it wasn’t a fad diet like atkins or south beach, all I did was do an 80-20 diet, which for me was 80% vegetables and 20% proteins. I cut out all starchy carbs like rice, potatoes, dairy, alcohol, red meat, and wheat (except for the 1 piece of Sprouted bread every morning). I ate eggs every day (usually in 2 meals), I ate 6 mini meals a day (all under 300 calories each), and stayed either at or below 1385 calories a day. Being a pastry chef it can be hard, but it was for the most part easy.

First off I drank and I’m continuing to drink Fit Tea 28 day detox every day!

The first week I ate:
Breakfast: 1 egg and 1/4 of an avocado on sprouted toast
Morning snack: any flavor larabar
Lunch: vegetable stir fry (peas, snap peas, cauliflower crumbles, broccoli, onions, garlic, coconut oil, 1 egg scrabbled, soy sauce, and sambal.)
Afternoon snack: Vega protein shake with unsweetened almond milk
Dinner: Usually an apple (because we were busy during service at the restaurant
Evening snack: Baked Chicken wings tossed in a little salt

I ate the same breakfast everyday except once or twice I made protein over night oats and oat pancakes, and I changed the avocado to a teaspoon of coconut oil. My lunch changed to a whole grain wrap come the 2nd week filled with beans and turkey but then I went right back to stir fry. And I changed the larabar to a kind bar.

I was working out 3 times a week with a 90 minute class once a week. I worked out 6 times a week during Hell Week and got injured with a pinched sciatic nerve. Although I got injured I still continued to push myself even though I wasn’t allow to do the row machine and I’ve been instructed to permanently stay off it as well. So I stayed on the elliptical and in the weight room for the last 3 weeks of the challenge.

My husband said after the first week he saw a significant different in my body and that I looked way smaller in the waist area. I started seeing a difference after 4 weeks.

After the mid-point weigh in at 4 weeks, I started eating rice and potatoes again but kept it to 1/4 – 1/2 a cup when I did. I ate more whole proteins like chicken or turkey breasts. My dinner at work still stayed an apple or if I had left over kale salad from service I would eat that. I stopped eating chicken wings, and started eating my stir fry with white corn tortillas.

My calorie count did go up to 1400 after the mid-point weigh in (which didn’t change anything). I’m starting to slowly introduce foods back into my diet but I’m still going to keep it  80/20 because even though I’ve slimmed down a lot, I’m not quit there yet. I’m also only going to eat fried food once a month, pasta once a month, etc…

In the end I lost 7.1 Lbs in body weight, gained 1.8 Lbs of muscle, lost 9.2 Lbs of fat, lost 5.4% body fat, and lost 13.5 inches all together.

Throughout this entire experience I found out that weight loss wasn’t my problem. I needed to loose body fat. So I did and in the process I did loose weight but it’s fat that I need to loose more of. This has made me realize that it’s not weight that people need to be concerned about or concerned about loosing but body fat. To me it all starts there! I’m not a big girl (not even when I started this challenge) and I didn’t think I would loose as much as I did. But I’m so proud of myself and OrangeTheory Fitness has helped me with this journey and I owe it to them for keeping me on track. In the end it’s all worth it because you live a healthier happier life!

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Deviled Egg Salad

So I’m not a fan of just eating eggs. I will occasionally eat a soft boiled egg and I LOVE deviled eggs. But with me wanting to be on a high protein diet I’m eating a lot more eggs, ergo egg salad. But I’ve found a way to eat it and make it more delicious than anything you’ll buy at the store. Plus I’m trying to eat more protein packed meals that are less calorie and carbs. I’m also trying to eat multiple mini meals throughout the day and this is easy, pre-made, and delicious!

Ingredients: 12 eggs (hard boiled, peeled, and chopped), 1 Tbsp greek yogurt, 1 Tbsp mayo, 1 Tbsp dijon mustard, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp onion powder, 1/4 tsp cayenne, 1/4 tsp paprika, and salt and pepper to taste.

Mix all the ingredients together and let sit over night for the flavors to marinade with each other. I guess you could call it “Deviled Egg Salad” considering it has all the components of deviled eggs.

Now if you want you can add celery and carrots and chopped onion into the salad…personally I don’t like soft and crunchy together unless it’s a cookie. You could even add chopped cooked potatoes or whatever veggies you like or even pasta, which would taste great too! But I’m happy with this recipe and my husband liked it too so I’m definitely going to make it again…even if fall weather is right around the corner and then winter. I mean who says egg, chicken, and potato salads are meant for summer?!

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Hummus

In recent years I’ve started to like Hummus. I don’t know why I didn’t like it either.

In a week I’ll be starting the body fat weight loss challenge at my gym and hummus is healthy for you. Especially when it’s homemade because then you don’t have all those weird ingredients and preservatives.

Ingredients: 1/2 cup sesame seeds, 2 Tbsp canola oil (or sunflower seed oil), 1 small can of chickpeas (drained and rinsed), 3 Tbsp minced garlic, 1 tsp cayenne, 1/4 cup lime juice, 2 Tbsp onion powder, 1 tsp paprika, and salt and pepper to taste.

First heat your oven to 350 degrees.

Bake the sesame seeds for about 10 minutes, stirring every 5. Once done, place in a blender or food processor and blend with the oil.

Add all the other ingredients and blend till smooth. If you have too add more lime juice or oil to the mix (little by little though).

This hummas is great! It’s healthy, tastes amazing, and a great dip for veggies or an awesome sandwich spread.

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All About Food

Alrighty, so this post isn’t about a recipe, but it is about food. Food that most people are stupid about. Food that is 100% natural but people don’t seem to except it!

My problem is “animal by-products.”

For years now, people have been complaining about animal by-products. It pisses me off so much because those are people who don’t understand what exactly an animal by-product actually is.

Animal by-products are…well…they’re basically the parts of the animal that people throw away. It’s all the chicken liver, kidneys, brains, etc… and animals and us used to eat them.

I hate when people are always like “animal by-products are bad for my pet.” Those people are stupid because our pets used to be wild animals who ate basically every part of the animal it hunted! I mean what do people think they’re pet used to eat when it was wild? French Pate? No they ate animal by-products! Wild animals eat every part of the prey they kill…THAT’S LIFE PEOPLE!

So why are people so concerned about their pets eating animal by-products? This makes no sense to me what so ever.

We as people eat some animal by-products. I mean do people even know what chicken or beef stock is made out of?

In other countries, people eat the unwanted parts of the animal because it’s a waste of food not too. Or the parts that people in our country would throw away…in another country would be used for medicinal problems. By-products have benefits for our bodies, for our pets bodies too. But people don’t understand because they don’t look up what a by-product is so they get scared. Goes with saying about the rest of the ingredients that people can’t pronounce or don’t even try to understand.

The reason why I’m writing this is because every body needs to be educated about this problem! There needs to be a high school class (that’s is required to graduate) about the education of food and the history of food.

I don’t care is people get angry while reading this post. This is how I feel and it’s the honest truth. People are too closed minded about food that it’s hurting our pets and ourselves.

Peach Cobbler

Well it’s finally Peach season and that means that out here in Colorado we get the famous Palisade Peaches! And with it being my husbands birthday tomorrow (yes I have recently gotten married at the beginning of July) and with him loving peaches, I’m making peach cobbler. I also received a toaster oven and I absolutely love it because I don’t have to turn on my big oven on 100 degree days.

Ingredients: 5 fresh peaches (sliced), 1/3 cup butter (melted), 1 cup flour, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 Tbsp vanilla, 2 tsp baking powder, 3/4 cup milk, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, and another 3/4 cup sugar for the topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Pour melted butter in 8X8 pan.

Mix together the flour, 3/4 cup sugar, baking powder, milk, and vanilla. Pour over the melted butter. Top with the peaches. Mix the sugar topping, cinnamon, and nutmeg together and sprinkle over the top. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the top is completely golden brown.

Let cool for about 5 minutes and let the juices settle. Cut out a piece and top with some nice cold vanilla ice cream and ENJOY!

The one thing I absolutely love about cobblers is that they’re so easy to make. There may be multiple steps but it’s so easy to do from scratch.

Kaiser Buns/Rolls

A couple months ago I picked up some Kangaroo Meat that was on sale at Sprouts. I was super excited but because the weather was too cold to grill, I froze the meat until this weekend (mainly because it’s going to be like 90 degrees here in Colorado). And instead of going to the store and buying buns for like $3’s, I made my own because I already had the ingredients!

Ingredients: 1 package active dry yeast, 1 cup warm water (about 112 degrees F), 3 cups of bread flour (you can use all purpose if you want i just think the texture doesn’t come out as good), 1 Tbsp honey, 1/2 Tbsp salt, 1 Egg white, and 1 Tbsp shortening or butter.

First combine the yeast and water and let sit for about 5 minutes (if no foam shows then your yeast is too old and you have to buy new). Add in all the other ingredients except the egg white and mix with the dough hook (or with you hands) until a ball of dough is formed. Blend in the egg white and knead of medium speed for about 5 minutes. Let sit covered in a bowl for at least 2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size

Once the dough has doubled in size, punch the dough down. Now tare and form 4.5 oz balls (if you don’t have a scale use a 1/3 cup measurement as a reference). Roll each ball into a foot long rope. Now take a rope and knot it in the middle. Take each end and tuck into the middle as to leave no opening and the top and bottom look exactly the same. Let rise for another 2 hours (until doubled).

Heat oven to 425 degrees F with a pan full of water on bottom rack for steaming.

Brush or dip each bun (just the tops though) with an egg wash (1 egg to 1 cup milk). You can sprinkle on poppy seeds and/or sesame seeds if you would like, but it’s not necessary.

Bake for about 10 – 15 minutes

Move to a cooling rack and ENJOY! I absolutely love Kaiser Buns/Rolls and I wouldn’t buy anything else for my burgers.

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