Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Why


I'd like to start the post off this week by saying how sorry I am for the loss of Jack Pittman, Jordan's grandfather. If you read this, you either know me or know well enough to know how important Jordan is to me. It's weird getting older and realizing that the heroes in your family don't live forever. I'm so fortunate to have 3 living grandparents that care for me. "Papa Jack," as he is called, was a sweet and quiet man. While I didn't know him well, I know how much Jordan loves him and always will. I'd like to send out positive thoughts to the whole Pittman family. You are all incredibly tough people and though I'm not the most religious person, I can't help but hoping that Papa Jack and Angel are somewhere smiling and reminiscing. 


Jordan's grandfather passed away yesterday and my friend, David Earp, passed away a year ago today. I have not gone one single day without thinking about, or wishing I could talk to David. So many people loved him so even if I was worried I'd start to forget him (which I never could), I see his face in my news feed almost every day because people loved him and post pictures and say how much they miss him. Today, the lack of his presence is sticking out like a sore thumb. Memories flood my time hop every day and I can still hear his voice and still laugh at all the ridiculous Facebook conversations he had with me and other people. I'm not sure why anniversaries are harder than other days. It's hard to believe a whole year has passed. There's not much I can do, I guess. The good news is, the pictures and the memories make me smile. I just wish I had more time with him, as I know so many people do. Cheers to you, David! You were honestly such a bright spot not only in my life but the life of so many! 

It's difficult to transition from the uplifting topic of death to talk about the mundane, never-ending struggle of food and health but I'm going to try. I have managed to gain three pounds in the past couple weeks which is always fun, especially since I exercise until I can barely move every day and eat things like fat free milk and fiber-rich cereal for breakfast, but you know what, IT'S FINE! I was telling someone the other day that I have decided I don't care if I stay this size at this point. I've settled in for a long winter's nap as far as that goes. What bothers me is how hard I have to work to maintain a weight I'm not even happy with. I'm trying not to let it get me down. I know where I could improve from the past couple weeks. I'm still attempting a balance between insane planning and just throwing caution to the wind. I'd like to lose back that three before I go on Spring Break on March 12th. That is a doable goal. Today, I have more recipes from MLWOW, the book. I'm preparing a pitch for this book and presenting it to an agent at a writers conference on Friday. I have to sell myself in ten minutes. This conference will be a valuable learning experience for me but I'm SO NERVOUS. I've been working on this material for so long and now that it's "done," I have no idea what to do. I know it is going to require a lot of work. I'm taking deep breaths at this point and I know I will figure it all out. 

The first recipe I wanted to share is what I call, "Sloppy Chicken Heathers." I don't eat Manwhich, and I'm not a fan of the traditional tomato-based sauce and green peppers.


Sloppy Chicken Heathers

Ingredients
1 Tablespoon Low Fat Butter Spread
1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
Half Yellow Onion, Chopped
1 LB Ground Chicken
½ Cup of your favorite BBQ Sauce
Low fat buns or whatever your preference
Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder to taste

Directions
Heat butter spread in a skillet on medium heat. Saute chopped onions for 5-6 minutes. Add garlic. Stir a few minutes. Push onions and garlic to side of the skillet. Add ground chicken after seasoning with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Break up the chicken and let it cook all the way through. Mix chicken, onions and garlic together. Take a paper towel to dab up any grease in the pan. Add barbecue sauce. Mix it all together and you’re done. I prefer the taste of BBQ sauce to the tomato-based sloppy joe sauce and I don’t like peppers so, this is my version.


Here's a ground chicken burger that I love! There are tons of ways to prepare it.


Ground Chicken Burgers

Ground chicken works well for burgers. They don’t hold up as well as beef patties do on the grill so I usually prepare them in a skillet but I have made them a ton of different ways.

Ingredients for all ground chicken burgers
1 LB Ground Chicken
Your favorite buns (you can use lettuce, or nothing, or sandwich thins, or wheat buns or whatever you want)
Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder to taste

For Taco Burgers
1 Packet of Taco seasoning mix
1 Chopped Onion
Shredded Lettuce (for the top of the burger)
4 Tablespoons Salsa (for the top of the burger)

For Asian Inspired Burgers
2 Chopped Green Onions
1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon Peanut Sauce
1 Teaspoon Sriracha
¼ Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
Shredded Lettuce (for top of bun)
Toasted Sesame Seeds (for top of bun)

Blue Cheese Burgers
You guessed it, blue cheese

California Burgers
1 Cup Feta Cheese
Sliced Avacado (for top of burger)
Some type of trendy green for the top (like arugula)

Directions
Mix ingredients in with the ground meat. Heat up a skillet using either non-stick spray or your choice of fat (olive oil, sesame oil and even low fat butter spray work well) on medium heat. Form the meat mixture into patties and when the skillet is hot, heat the patties around 4 minutes on each side. When they are done, add them to your bread and include the fixins.

How about an Asian Chicken Salad. It's so easy to throw together and has plenty of flavor. 


Asian Chicken Salad

The key to making chicken less boring is adding lots of flavor. It’s important to know that flavor doesn’t necessarily mean fat. Adding a spicy flare to your food makes your mind think that you are getting something more decadent. That’s why I love spicing things up with Asian or Mexican flavors.

Ingredients

1 Grilled Chicken Breast
1 Teaspoon Chili Sauce
1 Tablespoon Peanut Sauce
2 Tablespoons Ginger Sesame Dressing
2 Tablespoons Reduced Fat Feta Cheese
3-4 Kalamata Olives (chopped and also optional. I put olives in everything. I’v also added grilled corn to this salad which was another great addition)
2 Tablespoons Chopped Peanuts
1 Tablespoon Toasted Sesame Seeds
1 Chopped Green Onion

Directions

If you haven’t already, grill or bake the chicken breast. I personally enjoy the grilled flavor that is added to the chicken. Some of these ingredients aren’t traditionally “Asian” but they work well in the salad. Once the chicken is grilled, you are ready to assemble the salad. Toss the chicken in the chili sauce and peanut sauce. Lay it on top of a bed of lettuce. Add the peanuts, dressing, feta, olives, sesame seeds and green onions.

For those that like zucchini.


Grilled Zucchini

My parents bought me a grill when I moved into a house with a backyard. I was so excited because I had been wanting one and since I’ve had it, I use it at least a couple times a week. We love the simplicity of the grill. It moves quickly and grilling things adds fantastic flavor.

Zucchini holds up really well on the grill and it takes on whatever flavor you want to give it so I enjoy popping it on there because it’s so quick and delicious.

Ingredients.
Zuccini (I cut it into horizontal slices but you could slice it up if you have one of those grill cages)
Olive Oil (amount of ingredients depend on how much zucchini you have…maybe one teaspoon of olive oil per every large zucchini)
Salt
Pepper
Garlic Powder
Reduced Fat Feta Cheese
Tablespoon of Reduced Fat Balsamic Vinaigrette

Directions

Once you cut the zucchini into wedges or spears (I just cut the length of the zucchini), put them in a bowl and toss them with olive oil and spices. At this point, you should already have the grill fired up and ready to go. Take them outside and place them horizontally on the grill so they don’t fall through. They only take 2-3 minutes per side depending on how hot you have the grill and how close they are to the flames.

When they are done, pop them on a plate and sprinkle with cheese and dressing. That adds just a little additional touch and flavor. It also makes it look fancy.






4 comments:

  1. Nice tribute. Thanks for the text. Love you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you so much. This is so sweet and thoughtful. You are truly the best friend ever and I'm so lucky to have you. David was lucky to have you, too. 💜 Love you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love! You are an amazing person and friend! <3

      Delete