Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sweet Tooth Fix

Hopefully this rainy weather isn't putting you in a bad mood... tomorrow is Friday! That should help cheer you up a bit :) I have been dying to make my own frozen yogurt. I live with a guy who has an extremely large sweet tooth who loves to come home with donuts and ice cream on occasion. Yup, I just totally called my boyfriend out! You bet I went there.

As many of you know my mom had an ice cream maker in the basement that had my name all over it once I spotted that bad boy! Too bad I am completely clueless when it comes to making ice cream/frozen yogurt and didn't know you had to have an army of ice cubes in your freezer to complete the task! What's a girl to do? Make some stuffed oatmeal and chocolate chip cookies! I stuffed reese's peanut cups inside of my cookie dough and let me tell you they lasted approx. .342243 seconds at work this morning!

warning: these cookies are not low in fat but they are high in deliciousness!!!

Reese's Peanut Butter Stuffed Oatmeal Cookies
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup of steel cut oats
Couple dashes of cinnamin
Reese's miniature peanut butter cups

Prepare your cookie dough as follows... Cream together your butter and sugars. Add the egg and vanilla extract. Combine the rest of your dry ingredients. Next take a spoonful of your cookie dough and flatten it out in your hand. Place the peanut butter cup in the center of the flattened dough, cover the entire candy with the surrounding dough and form into a ball. Repeat until your cookie sheet is full of deliciousness! Cook in a 375 degree oven and bake for 8-10 minutes. I like my cookies soft in the center so I take out as soon as they are brown around the edges. Cool on a cooling rack and enjoy!

If that isn't eye candy I don't know what is. Even a chocolate hater like me couldn't resist these bad boys!

Fat Free Strawberry Banana Cheesecake Frozen Yogurt:
8 ounces of chopped strawberries
1 medium sized ripe banana
2 cups fat free yogurt or fat free greek yogurt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar or sugar substitute
8 ounces fat free cream cheese

Chop your strawberries and bananas. Combine all ingredients into a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth. Follow your ice cream machine's directions. Add in chopped walnuts if you'd like :-) For 4 portions this recipe is about 150 calories.

I can't decide what to do with all these cookies and leftover frozen yogurt. Oh, wait. Fro yo cookie sandwiches. My cube is going to be the most popular cube on the block tomorrow at work!

Wrapping these babies in some plastic wrap and freezing over night! I'm off to the gym so my pants still fit tomorrow!

Chic Meets Healthy is now on Facebook!! Check out the latest happenings and find updates on my blog here. <3

What's your favorite frozen yogurt flavor and toppings?


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Turkey Meatloaf in a Pepper

Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Happy rainy/cloudy hump day here in Maryland! I am looking forward to the weekend's higher temperatures! I have rekindled the flame with my long lost love, oatmeal, once again. I picked up some chopped walnuts at the grocery store and have been adding them to my breakfast bowl with sliced strawberries. Can I just tell you how much I love them in my oatmeal?! It adds the perfect crunch.

Looks delish huh! I know most of you enjoy a big honka scoop of PB in your oatmeal, but I guess I am not that strong of a PB lover to mess up this bowl of lightness and perfection!

Over the weekend while watching my second fav channel - Food Network - (nothing will ever bump Bravo from first place) I saw a recipe for meatloaf stuffed inside of sliced peppers. Perfection. It almost reminded me of stuffed peppers, minus the cheese. So I used my own meatloaf recipe and served alongside some brown rice and ketchup (love), delish!

Turkey Meatloaf in a Pepper:
2 green peppers sliced into thirds
1 pound ground turkey
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1.5 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons Worcester sauce
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 egg
1 teaspoon olive oil
2/3 cup of chopped onion
salt and pepper to taste

Slice your peppers into thirds. I cut a square out of the bottoms of the peppers so they still resembled rings and added to my meatloaf mixture.

Combine all ingredients for your meatloaf in a bowl and incorporate together. Stuff your pepper rings.

I just made two small meatballs with my leftover meatloaf. If you don't like meatloaf feel free to use my meatball recipe, which is very similar. Brown each side of the meatloaf peppers in a pan (with cooking spray or olive oil) for 5 minutes. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. After browning each side, cook in the oven for an additional 20-25 minutes. Serve with ketchup or crushed tomatoes.

We could only finish one slice each so be prepared for leftovers or cut the recipe in half! I also tried another brand of greek yogurt yesterday. Ahtenos. I have to say I wasn't that impressed. I still prefer Chobani over this!

I can't wait to get home and hang out with my sister (and make some fro-yo)! I am thinking of creating a scrapbook of all my recipes. It will be something I can pass down to my future (way future) kids and a way to keep all my recipe finds in one place.

Have a fab rest of your hump day!

Monday, March 28, 2011

When I’m with you I could stay there, close my eyes, feel you’re here forever, you and me together, nothing is better.

Today we finally moved into our new office! The day flew by and I enjoyed working in my brand new cube with tons of natural light.

We also like to find funny, awkward things to surprise our neighbors with. I don't think it counts as sexual harassment if it comes from a shark! He looked pretty angry though haha. For lunch I had a big bowl of roasted veggies and brown rice. Our refrigerator and shelves were practically bare so I had to get crafty!

Not to worry, I stocked up today after work especially since my sister is coming over for dinner on Wednesday.... and she is bringing an ice cream maker my mom had in the basement and has never opened. Such a waste! I could honestly go into our basement and find presents my mom bought for us when we were 5 that she forgot about. So silly, we were definitely spoiled.

I plan on making my first frozen yogurt. I am over the moon excited for this! I am going to make a fat free strawberry cheesecake fro-yo for me and a chocolate version for my sister and Chris. I'll have to share the recipe with all of you guys! Goodbye Tasti D-Lite, hello Cara's Fro Yo Shoppe!

Like I said, we were running out of food fast. So what do you do when you have nothing to eat but 3 roma tomatoes? Make homemade tomato-basil soup of course!

Homemade Tomato Basil Soup:
3 roma tomatoes sliced
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon basil, dried or chopped
pinch of red pepper flakes for a little kick
2 tablespoons fat free sour cream or greek yogurt
2 tablespoons brown rice cooked - optional

Add olive oil, sliced tomatoes and spices to a pot and boil until tomatoes are tender. Place into a blender and blend until smooth. I wanted my soup thicker so I added cooked brown rice and sour cream. It was delicious and gave me added fiber! Who doesn't usually add crackers to their tomato soup anyways? Same thing but healthier for you in my opinion!

I also made some turkey chili over the weekend to heat up the cold weather outside! I pride myself on the salads I pack Chris for lunch. Especially when I get a text mid-day from him telling me how good it was! He is a simple salad guy - throw anything and everything in there with homemade dressing. I usually try to add black beans or brown rice for added protein/fiber.

I'll leave you guys with literally my favorite song from Adele. The amazing people I work with put their itunes/albums on the server so we can all share music! I scored the new Adele cd and have been playing it non-stop on the treadmill/car/office/laptop - everrrywwhheerre!


Friday, March 25, 2011

Move Day

"When people say, 'She's got everything', I've got one answer - I haven't had tomorrow." -Elizabeth Taylor

Today our offices at GKV are moving! Which means all employees gets the day off. No connection to email, servers, or the new building! Which means I can replace my morning smoothie with a glass of white wine right? Chris woke me up and took me to breakfast. Two egg whites, turkey bacon and whole wheat pancakes. The best part about this was I didn't have to make a single thing! I love cooking and adore my time in the kitchen, but I could easily get used to days off like this!

So what's on my schedule for today? Catching up with all of you, cleaning the house, taking the dogs for a walk, a five mile run, napping and meeting up with friends tonight to celebrate my friend Rachel's 24th birthday.

Since I have been lacking in the recipes section, I decided to share with you all my roasted chicken recipe. I think this is going to become a bi-weekly staple in our house. It was so moist, easy and the dogs love when dinner is over they get to snack on the treats when I am putting away the leftovers!

Rosemary-Baked Chicken:
5 pound whole chicken
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon paprika
1/2  lemon cut into forths
1.5 teaspoons dried rosemary
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 cup chicken stock

Set your whole chicken in a baking dish and rub the olive oil all over the chicken. Give him a good massage. Combine all other ingredients (minus the lemon slices) and sprinkle all over the chicken and inside. Give him another healthy massage. Place the lemon slices inside of the chicken. Pour the chicken stock in the bottom of the baking dish. Preheat oven to 375 and cook for about an hour and a half uncovered. It is important to baste the chicken every 20 minutes or so, this will help keep your chicken extra moist and juicy. Your whole kitchen will smell wonderful!

I used the leftovers on salads and in quesadillas/burritos with some black beans, corn, jalapeno and tomatoes. You could also use it to make practically any other dishes that require shredded chicken.

Sometimes a girl just craves some toast and laughing cow cheese wedge for breakfast. It doesn't get much easier than that.

Recently Chris and I have been discussing buying our first house. Did you know the average age a person buys a home is between 28 and 32? We are on the early bloomers side of things, but we both have steady jobs and everyone has been telling us now is the time to buy. So combined with the stress of work, talking to a realtor, spending every free minute looking at houses online and talking to a mortgage broker we have been exhausted. It is going to be a long, but exciting process!

I always get excited when I am the first to tag the lobby's flowers to take home at the end of the week. I love fresh flowers in the kitchen.

Lately I have been mixing in canned pumpkin with the dogs dinner. Not only is it a healthy staple for us, but is a common ingredient to help manage a dogs weight, help upset stomachs and used in many homemade dog treats. It has a high content of vitamin A that keeps your dogs healthy and resistant to infections, helps ward off cancerous cells and improves their night vision.The potassium helps their iron levels and keeps their blood healthy.

Hope you all have a great Friday! It is surprisingly gorgeous out in Maryland after the past two days filled with rain!


Monday, March 21, 2011

Back in the Game

 Maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets. 

After 8 days off from blogging I am back in the game! Not to worry, just because I took a little break doesn't mean I also threw out the gym and healthy eating! I have been one busy bumble at work and enjoying my time with friends, which I think everyone can relate to.

Two weeks ago I entered Chris and I into a photo contest on Facebook with a local Annapolis photographer for the chance to win a two hour photo shoot where we would be able to keep all of the edited, high res photos. We won by nine! It was so crazy close and down to the minute but I am sooo thankful for each and every person who voted for us. My stomach was doing backflips!

I would like to personally thank a few of my blogger friends who were so amazing and voted for us!
Bess - BessBeFit
Kristina - Life as Kristina

This past weekend we spent the day in Baltimore listening to live music and drinking with a few of our college friends ending the day at RA Sushi's happy hour. I could live off of ahi tuna! Chris went running with me Saturday morning around our neighborhood and we took the pups for a walk! I am sooo glad Spring is here and my lil pups get to go outside for walks once again!

Here are a few photos to recap my life this past week! 

Took these two Troublemakers for a Walk
Enjoyed the Amazing Weather at Work from our Rooftop
Made a Spinach Pea soup and Homemade Spinach Pesto
Roasted my First Chicken - SUCCESS
Spent Quality Time with Good Friends
My camera's flash always turns photos out strange! This girl needs a tan! Since I skipped the classes at the gym last week and just ran, I felt so amazing after today's spin class! I left dripping in sweat with a big grin on my face!

I made some lemon, honey soy salmon for dinner with a HUGE serving of brussel sprouts and broccoli! Hope everyone enjoys the rest of their night!


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Revived - Weekend Workouts and Eats

It takes 21 days to form a habit. Looking back it has been almost 2 months (55 days) since I rejuvenated my lifestyle of cooking healthier and working out 5 days a week. How do I feel?

Honestly, I feel like a new person.

I feel healthier, more awake, more comfortable in my own skin and proud of myself for taking control of my body {on a higher level}. We all know how hard we can be on ourselves. I can honestly admit I am my own worst critic. I have always felt pretty {most days}, but now my perspective of my own beauty includes being fit and active. My goal was to tone, to not dread the first day I slip into my bikini.

My "I can't" attitude has now turned into "I can".

I am not measuring my success by the number on my bathroom scale, but rather how I feel inside. How I feel in the morning when I am getting dressed. How I feel after eating dinner. When I would go out to eat I never thought twice about what I was putting into my body. Now, I look for healthy alternatives when out and say no to things I know I will regret and beat myself up about. I allow myself to indulge on occasion, but know I will have to work twice as hard the next day at the gym. And I accept that. 

I no longer give up easily.

I am now pushing and challenging myself in new ways at the gym. I played club field hockey in college and even worked at a gym my senior year, but I never really pushed myself. I don't let my mind give up as quickly as it used to. Yesterday and today I ran intervals for 4 miles for a total of 50 minutes. 50 minutes may seem long, but I alternate running with walking at a 6.5% incline which is my "recovery" time. 

0-5 minutes: 3.6 0% incline warm-up
5-20 minutes: 5.6
20-26 mintues: 6.2
26-30 minutes: 3.6 at 6.5% incline
30-35 minutes: 5.6
35-40 minutes: 3.6 and 6.5% incline
40-45 minutes: 5.6
45-46 minutes: 6.3
46-50 minutes: 3.6 at 6.5% incline

"Interval training combines short, high intensity bursts of speed, with slow, recovery phases, repeated during one exercise session... According to the American College of Sports Medicine, more calories are burned in short, high intensity exercise." source

Do you run intervals at the gym or are you a distance runner? My legs are finally getting used to running and I feel better hopping off the treadmill dripping with sweat then when I would just do the elliptical.

Honestly, how cute are these guys? Maggie and Chance were exhausted after our long walk around the neighborhood today. I am so glad it is finally nice out! AND Alyssa at FashionFitnessFoodie would be extra proud of me because Friday I finally went to Tasti D-Lite for some frozen yogurt!

I got a cup of 70 calorie french vanilla with half heath bar and half strawberries. I couldn't even finish this bad boy! I am now hooked, and good thing because it's only 10 minutes from my house!

what's on my salmon?
low sodium soy sauce
lime juice
splash of vegetable oil

So good and so easy! I roasted some skinny asparagus with olive oil and garlic and cooked some red potatoes with Old Bay. 

I'm off to enjoy my food and watch Real Housewives of OC! Hope you had a good weekend!


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Veggie Tilapia Cakes

Focus on what you have rather than what you do not have. If what you have is good, pinch yourself and move on. 

Does anyone know if it really is horrible for you to eat late at night? I usually get home from the gym at  8:30 and then cook dinner. Is it okay because I am not snacking, but eating healthy meals plus my metabolism is still up from the work out? I have read so many articles and they go back and forth!

Yesterday was national crab meat day. Umm, best holiday ever! Living in Maryland I am a big time crab lover! It doesn't bother me that they never fill me up because I work off my hunger by spending 15 minutes cracking just one puppy open. To celebrate I decided to come up with a recipe for tilapia cakes - crab meat out of season is expensive and not fresh! I found a few recipes and decided I would just invent my own! So flippin' good! If you like crab cakes you have to make this!

Bee-t-dubbs I pre-made tonight's dinner before going to the gym so I could work out a little later tonight. I ran for two miles then finished my last mile with intervals of 5.6 at 0% incline and 3.6 at 7.5% incline. I wish I could have ran more, but it was getting super late!

My Veggie Tilapia Cakes:
3 frozen tilapia fillets, thawed and diced
4 egg whites
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 cup chopped fresh spinach
2 heaping tablespoons diced red pepper
2 heaping tablespoons corn
1/2 tablespoon old bay seasoning
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

Chop your red peppers and fish. Add to a mixing bowl with the rest of your ingredients. Mix well. 

Divide into 4 sections so your cakes will be of similar size and form into patties. Spray a lined sheet pan with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 375 and cook for 25-30 minutes.

I paired these bad boys with my spicy baked fries

No we didn't eat all of those, but we could have! Not enough food photos for you to drool over? Lunch was a salad made with last nights leftover fajitas + edamame + a sprinkle of RF mex cheese, grapes, peaches and Annie's chedder bunnies to snack on. I had half of a protein shake for breakfast. 

A successful day of healthy foods that definitely don't taste like they are good for you! Those are the best kinds right?

If you, your dog, your boyfriend, your friends have Facebook please take 2 minutes out of your night to vote for me and Chris to win a free photography session. We are so neck and neck with another couple and it makes me nervous! Here's what to do:

Step Two: Click on the 2011 Lovebirds Giveaway photo album
Step Three: Like Chris and Cara (photo one) to help us win!

So easy and so simple.You'll probably keep seeing this until next Wednesday when the contest is over. We are only 6 ahead of another couple!


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Fajita Night

 Nobody said, it'd be easy they just promised it'd be Worth It.

It's over half way through the week! Woohoo! (Channeling Vicki from RHOC). I have been swamped at work and exhausted from the gym this week. I haven't even turned on the tv to watch BRAVO which is very rare for this time of night if you know me. How is everyone coming along with their March goals? I think I may have found the perfect sushi making class for us to take! It is combined with a pottery painting class so you learn how to roll and paint your own sushi dish afterward.

 I decided to start this morning with a positive affirmation. I wrote my post mega late last night, feeling stressed and that is NOT the energy I want to be passing out.

I can reach my goals and succeed.
I am strong and healthy.
I am intelligent and driven.

Feeling stressed? Here was my dad's advice to me last night: set goals for yourself but don't give them a certain date to be accomplished. Measure your goals by your level of achievements. If you set time limits on the things you want to accomplish in life you will end up stressing yourself out even more.

I used to always set deadlines for my goals. I wanted to get married by 25 (which I no longer hold my relationship to), have a kid by 30, buy a house sometime later this year (more of Chris' goal), make more money... the list goes on and on. But, he is right. Maybe the more you think about the end date, the more you will miss out on life and the experiences it has to offer. You can't always speed to the finish line. I mean, the tortoise did win the race.

Now onto food and fitness. It's Wednesday so that can only mean one thing... Cardio Kickboxing! Maybe my teacher will let me film turbo-time for you guys, or maybe one night I will be super bored and will make a vlog showing you exactly what we do in that one minute!  I think I am the only one in class who gets excited for the finale with screamers, lounges, squats and abs. Dinner was a big ball of fab-u-losity.

Cara's Fajitas:
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
roughly 1/4 cup olive/veg oil (i just drizzled the bottom of my dish)
1/2 jalapeno diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
flank steak (our choice), chicken or shrimp
cilantro chopped

Combine all ingredients (sans protein) into plastic bag or baking dish. Add protein. Marinate up to 8 hours, I only marinated for 30 minutes. Cook at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Meat will be cooked medium and nice and tender!


This was the perfect meal... Yes, I am tooting my own horn. {toot toot} Chris and I RARELY eat red meat, but he came home from the grocery store with flank steak the other night. The first two days I just stared at it like it was an alien invading my refrigerator. But then it came to me! FAJITAS! I had all the ingredients in my kitchen and it is ready in a snap!

Toppings Included:
Black Beans
Red Peppers
Chobani 0% Plain Greek Yogurt for dipping (Sour Cream taste-a-like)
Cilantro Rice

I cooked the peppers and onions in olive oil, a tablespoon of fajita seasoning (i keep it in stock) and a dash of cumin - which I am running out of since it has been my go-to spice!

I love wedding receptions if you couldn't tell by now.

Source, Source, Source

Holy Old Bay Batman! You probably would only see that at a Maryland wedding... you all know my obsession with OB. Don't have it in your area? I'll ship some to you!

If you, your dog, your boyfriend, your friends have Facebook please take 2 minutes out to vote for me and Chris to win a free photography session. We are so neck and neck with another couple and it makes me nervous! Here's what to do:

Step Two: Click on the 2011 Lovebirds Giveaway photo album
Step Three: Like Chris and Cara (photo one) to help us win!

So easy and so simple. If you vote for me, I'll vote for you in the Woman's Health Mag's Blogger Contest!