Sunday, January 30, 2011

Beef Stew

We made Beef Stew from It was good but it was missing something. I'm not sure what. It needed something to make it heartier. But it was still good and it is a recipe that I will play with to make it better.


  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 3/4 lb lean bison or beef stew meat cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium parsnip, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium russet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Heat a medium saucepan on medium-high and add oil to coat pan. Add half of meat and cook for 5 to 7 minutes turning to brown all sides. Transfer browned meat to a rimmed plate, then repeat cooking steps with remaining meat. Cover plate with meat and set aside.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low and add onion and shallot. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until onions are softened and lightly browned. Add thyme and allspice, stirring for 30 seconds. Add vinegar, then increase heat to medium-high and cook for about 1 minute, until most of liquid has evaporated.
  3. Return meat to pan, adding 3 cups water and bay leaf. Bring mixture to a simmer, then cover and reduce heat to low. Let simmer for about 1½ hours, until meat is tender.Add carrots, parsnip and potato and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove and discard bay leaf.
  4. Remove 1 cup liquid and vegetables from pan and transfer to a blender. Purée vegetables and liquid until smooth. Return purée to pan, add peas and cook on low heat for 5 minutes or until peas are heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Our Menu for the Week

This week we are having:

Beef Stew
Oatmeal Banana Pancakes
Mexican Chicken Wraps (we didn't get to them last week either! They are on the plans for tomorrow)
Steak and Farfalle Pasta
Hamburgers with Breaded Mushrooms and Broccoli

Keep and eye out for the yummy recipes!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

What is Clean Eating?

If you want to find out more about clean eating, here is a great article to check out:

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fondue with Zen Cooking Style

*I want to start out by saying that I am not sponsored and I did not post anything on here by request of any company.*

We made fondue tonight and it was SO YUMMY! We love fondue. Our favorite restaurant is The Melting Pot. It wasn't until we started to go to The Melting Pot that we even knew we liked fondue. Now we go for as many occasions as possible (birthdays, graudations, celebrations, just because...). Well they recently came out with a cookbook and of course we bought one (and gave two as gifts!). Tonight we made the Zen Cooking Style from their cookbook and it was SO GOOD. We had chicken for our meat, and we had baby bella mushrooms, potatoes, broccoli, and carrots in it. We love fondue. :) The best thing about it... it was completely clean!

Here is the recipe (but to get any more, you have to buy the cookbook!)

*5 1/2 cups of warm water
*Juice of 1/2 lime
*3 tbsp of chopped lemon grass
*3 tbsp of finely chopped onion
*1 tbsp of finely chopped celery
*1 tbsp of finely chopped carrot
*2 tbsp of kosher salt (I used sea salt)
*1 tbsp of freshly ground pepper (I just used regular black pepper)
*1 tbsp of ginger
*2 tsp of garlic powder (I made a mistake and used 2 tbsp! Oops! It was still good and you couldn't tell)

1. Combine all of the ingredients into a pot and heat on medium-high until it is in a rolling boil.
2. Pour into a fondue pot and keep it on a low boil.
3. Put your veggies into the fondue pot.
4. Put the raw meat (which should be cut into cubes) one at a time on a fondue fork and cook (about 2 minutes) in the pot until it is completely cooked and then eat it (but not off the fondue fork! It is too hot!) and put a new piece on and back in the pot! The veggies should be ready as soon as they are cooked through. The mushrooms don't take so long. The potatoes and broccoli and carrots do take a while, but they are good once they are ready! We dig our veggies out with a spoon (The Melting Pot calls it a search and rescue spoon! Haha!). If you use metal, don't leave it in the pot because it will get hot!

Enjoy! Fondue is one of my favorite things to cook and eat! I just wish we could make all 4 courses of their meal at our house. We will have to just go out to the restaurant for that! (And I won't complain one bit!)

(Recipe from The Melting Pot Cookbook)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Frozen Mixed Berry and Granola Bars

This was a nice yummy treat and easy to make. This would be a great summer time dessert. There is one change I will make in the recipe, but I will note that below.

Without further ado, here is another recipe from


  • 1 cup whole-grain granola
  • 2 cups fresh strawberries, raspberries or combination
  • 3 cups low-fat Greek-style yogurt (I would use vanilla, not plain. I used plain today and it was too tangy. Vanilla would make it great!)
  • 1/3 cup agave nectar
  • 1 tsp real vanilla extract


  1. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil.
  2. Sprinkle granola evenly on bottom of pan and set aside.
  3. In a blender, whirl together berries, yogurt, agave nectar and vanilla until blended. Pour berry mixture over granola, smoothing mixture to the edges of the pan. Cover with foil and freeze until firm, approximately 4 hours. Keep frozen until serving.


I made yummy meatloaf tonight! I did my best to make it clean. The loaf itself was clean and it was super yummy. It is my grandmother's recipe, so you better feel special that I am giving it to you! BUT I put in homemade ketchup! I was a little nervous to use the homemade ketchup in this recipe because it is such a classic recipe in my family and I didn't want to ruin a good thing. But it made the meatloaf even BETTER!

The one thing that was not clean was the brown sugar used in the topping. I need to figure out what I can do for that, or just use brown sugar and deal with it. One item out of all isn't so bad. Ok, so here are the recipes:

Homemade Ketchup from
*3 tbsp of tomato paste
*2 tsp of grated onion (I used onion powder and only used about 1/2 tsp)
*1 glove of minced garlic (I used garlic powder and only used about 1/4 tsp)
*1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
*1 tsp of agave nectar

Mix them all together into a bowl and refrigerate.

Meatloaf Recipe (I do have to warn you that I eyeball everything when I make this recipe, so I can't promise I have the right portions for some of the ingredients)
*1 lb of ground beef (the less fat the better)
*1 egg
*1/2 tsp of garlic powder
*1 or 2 cups of whole wheat bread crumbs (you want to make sure that the meatloaf isn't too damp and squishy. If it forms into a loaf and holds pretty well you should be good)
*3 tbsp of ketchup (the whole amount that the above recipe makes would be good)

1. Set oven to 400*. Put foil on and in a broiler pan (makes it easier to clean!) and cut holes in the foil so that the grease can drip to the bottom.
2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Add breadcrumbs as needed until it forms well into a loaf.
3. Form into a loaf and place on the broiler pan.
4. Poke holes in the loaf (all over) and then cover the loaf with the topping (recipe below).
5. Bake until the meat is cooked through.

Meatloaf Topping (This recipe is what we put on our meatloaf before it bakes. It is super good!)

*Dark Brown Sugar (I think I will try to use pure maple syrup next time)

Combine in a bowl equal parts ketchup to brown sugar and mix. Put on top of meatloaf before it bakes.

I used to eat this meal with pierogies, but I had it with steamed broccoli with a little bit of melted cheese on top.

Slow Cooker Chicken and Barley Stew

This was OK. I don't see us making it again because Jeff was not a big fan of it. I did not like the texture of the barely. The potatoes and carrots were so good and the overall flavoring was pretty good, but I just don't see us making it again. BUT since I thought it was OK, here is the recipe, which I got off of

Slow Cooker Chicken Barley Stew (3 g of carbs)


  • 32 oz low-fat, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp garlic sea salt
  • 1/2 tbsp thyme
  • 1/2 tbsp basil
  • 1/2 tbsp cilantro
  • 1/4 tbsp dill
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 12 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed (uncooked)
  • 1/2 cup uncooked black-eyed peas, rinsed and picked through
  • 1/2 cup barley
  • 1 medium sweet onion, cubed
  • 20 oz potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 10 oz carrots (3 large), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 8 tbsp low-fat sour cream (optional)


  1. Fill a slow cooker with broth, 8 oz water, garlic, herbs and pepper. Add chicken, peas and barley, then layer onion, potatoes and carrots overtop. Liquid should just cover vegetables. Do not stir.
  2. Allow to simmer overnight, at least 4 to 6 hours. Remove bay leaves and stir before serving. Spoon 1 cup into each bowl and top with 1 tbsp sour cream, if desired.

Nutrients per 1-cup serving without sour cream: Calories: 230, Total Fat: 2.5 g, Sat. Fat: 0.5 g, Carbs: 3 g, Fiber: 5 g, Sugars: 4 g, Protein: 21 g, Sodium: 240 mg, Cholesterol: 40 mg

I know it is Wednesday... but here is our Menu

Here is our Menu for the week:

Monday: Whole grain spaghetti (I am not blogging about it because we ended up needed to cook something fast, so we used whole grain noodles and the jar of sauce we had in the cabinet instead of making our own. We will make our own next time and I will blog about it then)

Tuesday: Slow Cooker Chicken and Barley Stew

Wednesday: Taco/Loaf night (I hate tacos, so Jeff eats tacos and I eat meatloaf)

We are also planning on having:

Mexican Chicken Wraps

And keep an eye out for my reviews on homemade ketchup as well as frozen granola berry bars!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Chicken and Pineapple Skewers and some fun buys!

Oh yum! This meal was so good! It was from the Clean Eating Magazine website, however we changed the recipe a bit. It was so sweet and good and WONDERFUL! We both loved it and once again, I can't wait for my lunch tomorrow! We served it with jasmine rice, which was WONDERFUL, but we should have used brown whole grain rice, as it is much healthier for you and not so processed! We just didn't have the time for the brown rice today.

Ok so here is the recipe:

*2-3 tbsp of low sodium soy sauce
*1 tbsp of agave nectar
*1/2 tbsp of ginger
*2 chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
*fresh mushrooms (we used baby bella cut into halves)
*1 onion cut into 1 inch thick and long slices
*grape tomatoes
*1/2 of a pineapple, cut into 1 inch cubes

1. Combine the soy sauce, agave nectar, and ginger and whisk until blended. Then pour over the chicken breast and marinate for 30 minutes.
2. Once the chicken is marinated, string onto either bamboo kebob sticks or grilling skewers (we used the metal ones that were bendy and very long, but we do have both), alternating between desired veggies, fruit, and meat.
3. Place on the grill (either indoor our outdoor... we used our George Foreman grill because it is cold and snowing outside!).
4. After about 3-5 minutes, flip.
5. When the chicken is done, take the skewer off the grill and take the food off the skewer.


I am also so excited! We bought a rice cooker tonight! It has a brown rice setting too! WAHOO! I can't wait to try to make brown rice! I wish we had to the time to do that tonight.

AND we bought a food processor! If I have time this weekend, I WILL be making larabars!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Super Exciting Goal!

Ok, I have an awesome goal that I can't wait to share (though if you know me, you probably already know it!).

Barring unforeseen circumstances, I am going to run a half marathon in October! I am hoping to join Team in Training to train and run with them! I went to a meeting the other night and I am so excited about this opportunity, and my opportunity to run for a GREAT cause! I can't join this training season, but the one that starts in April I will be joining to train for this race! I can't wait! I will post more when I know more. :)

A year ago I wasn't even working to run a 5K! Now I am hoping to run a half! I never thought I would say something like that!

Chicken Nuggets and Broccoli with a Low Fat (but not so clean) Creamy Cheese Sauce

Once again, PLEASE excuse my terrible pictures! I really need to work on using my camera instead of my cell phone, which is so much handier!

This meal was SO YUMMY! I can't wait to eat my leftovers for lunch! The chicken nuggets were very healthy and clean and had only 3 grams of carbs! The broccoli was very healthy too. The one thing that that wasn't clean, but it was low fat (though we really want to make it as clean as possible next time! We just were in a pinch for something to go with the broccoli!) was the Creamy Cheese Sauce from our Low Fat Vegetarian Cookbook (Thanks Steph!).

The chicken nuggets were super easy to make and took 30 minutes total (including cooking time) to make. I think that kids will LOVE it (especially with clean, homemade ketchup... which we didn't have so we used a tad bit of regular ketchup). I love to dip my chicken in honey and I think that next time I am going to try to dip it in Agave Nectar.

Ok, ok... enough talk. Here is the chicken recipe! See below for the review and recipe for the Creamy Cheese Sauce!

Crispy Chicken Nuggets (3g)


• 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts weighing about 6 oz / 170 g each
• 1/4 cup / 60 ml oat bran
• 1/4 cup / 60 ml wheat germ
• 1 Tbsp / 15 ml coarsely ground flaxseed (I used my Pampered Chef slap chopper and chopped them... it worked OK, but took a while)
• 1/4 cup / 60 ml coarsely ground almonds (I used my Pampered Chef slap chopper and it worked great on these!)
• 1/2 tsp / 2 1/2 ml sea salt
• 1/2 tsp / 2 1/2 ml white pepper (I didn't have white so I used black)
• Pinch garlic powder
• 1/2 cup / 120 ml water or low-sodium chicken broth (we used low sodium, all natural chicken stock... but water would have been fine and I will use that next time instead of spending the extra money!)
• 1 large egg white, lightly beaten


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F / 232°C. Prepare baking sheet by lining with parchment paper or coating lightly with best-quality olive oil.
  2. Cut chicken breasts into nugget-sized pieces, about 1.5 inches square. Set aside.
  3. Next, combine all dry ingredients in a large container with a tightly fitting lid. Shake well. This is your coating mixture.
  4. Combine water and egg in a medium bowl. Dip each piece in the water/egg-white mixture. Then dip each piece in the coating mixture. Make sure each piece is well coated.
  5. Place on the baking sheet. When all of your chicken has been coated and your baking sheet is full, place in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden.

Ok... the Low Fat Creamy Cheese Sauce from 1001 Low-Fat Vegetarian Recipes... I think I said in the beginning that we aren't going to be making our own cheese or anything TOO extreme, but that we are going to try to get as clean as possible. I just wanted to say that from the start of this recipe! We decided to make this recipe because we wanted something on top of the broccoli that wasn't going to be too full of calories or unhealthy junk. So here is the recipe, with our alterations to it. It was very yummy and we can't wait to make it a little cleaner next time!

*2 tbsp of minced onion (we didn't have fresh onion on hand and it was such a small amount that we used dried minced onion, which was fine)
*2 tbsp of whole-wheat flour (this was another change we made... we used whole wheat instead of regular, which was great!)
*1 cup of skim milk
*1/4 tsp of dried mustard
*2-3 drops of red pepper sauce
*1/2 cup (2 oz) of cheese (we used what we had... a little bit of all natural mozzarella and some American Cheese to make up the difference since we didn't have 2 oz)

1. Saute onion in 1 tbsp of margarine (we didn't do this step since we used dried onion so we excluded the butter/margarine) in small saucepan 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in flour; cook over medium low heat, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Whisk in milk and heat to boiling; boil, whisking constantly until thickened, about 1 minute. (We started with the milk and whisked everything into the milk since we weren't sauteeing the onions, etc.
2. Reduce heat to low. Add cheese, dry mustard, and pepper sauce, whisking until cheese is melted.

We drizzled a small amount over steamed broccoli and it was very yummy and added that flavor we wanted!


Friday, January 14, 2011

Menu for the Week

My Clean Menu for dinners for the week is as follows (in no particular order):

-Chicken and Pineapple skewers on the grill (we may use the indoor grill for this, but it won't be as good)
-Chicken Nuggets (I can't wait to try this! The breading sounds very interesting! We are having steamed broccoli as a side.
-Hamburgers on a Whole Wheat roll
-Whole Grain Spaghetti with homemade spaghetti sauce
-Mexican Chicken Wraps on Whole Grain Tortillas

I am also hoping to make homemade granola bars. I also found a recipe for larabars that I really want to try, but I have to get a food processor. Any recommendations?

I do have to say that so far it has been fun trying all of these recipes, but it is frustrating when you really look forward to a recipe and it turns out not so good! I hope that this turns around and we build a base of foods we really like! We are also spending a lot on food each week because we are still in the "stocking phase" (we didn't have much of the spices, flours, etc that the recipes called for). Hopefully we will be out of it soon and just be able to cook! But it is fun, especially exploring them with my husband!


We had my husband's brother and his girlfriend over to make pizza with us. It was a lot of fun! We made our own dough and our own sauce. The sauce turned out GREAT. We kind of winged it with what to put in it, but we did have a recipe to follow with the spices in the sauce. We did have a recipe to follow for the dough. I didn't like the dough. It tasted like frozen pizza dough to me, which I don't like. I'm not a pizza person anyway... but I thought it would be a lot of fun. If you would like the recipe for the dough, let me know. Below is the recipe (sort of) for the sauce. Like I said... we didn't follow it exactly. We used fresh tomatoes instead of canned. We did use some tomato paste, but not a lot. And we put more spices in than it called for. But the sauce was SO GOOD! So without further ado:

Pizza sauce Ingredients

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced (or 1/2 tsp of dried minced garlic)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (only if you are sauteeing the garlic. If you are using dried minced you won't need this)
  • 1 (29 ounce) can tomato paste (we used 18 oz and then 2 fresh, finely chopped tomatoes)
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes (we did not use this because of our fresh tomatoes)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (we put in 4)
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (we put in about 3 tbsp! Too much but it really added some great flavor to the sauce!)


  1. In a large saucepan, saute garlic in oil until tender (only if you are using fresh garlic! If not start with the next step by combining everything in a pan). Stir in the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until sauce reaches desired thickness. Use in Deep-Dish Sausage Pizza, Tomato Artichoke Chicken or any recipe that calls for pizza sauce. Sauce may be refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Chicken Cutlets with Button Mushrooms

Another yummy meal from! We will definitely make this one again! And once again, sorry for the bad picture!

We decided to add peas to this and the peas were wonderful! We also didn't use button mushrooms because our store didn't have them this trip, but we did find a baby mushroom that was yummy. We also didn't use capers.And we used a lemon seasoning because we didn't have any lemon juice and I had used our fresh lemons the day before (oops!). But the flavoring was still good! Here is the recipe:

  • 1½ lbs Chicken cutlets (about 6)
  • ¼ t sea salt
  • ¼ t pepper
  • 4 tbsp fresh lemon juice, divided
  • 2 t olive oil
  • 1 c fresh button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tbsp Italian Parsley
  • 2 t whole capers
  • Lemon Slices for garnish (optional)

Season chicken with salt and pepper and drizzle with 2 T lemon juice. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and mushrooms and cook chicken for 2 to 3 minutes per side or until golden brown and until mushrooms are softened. Add remaining 2 T lemon juice, parsley and capers and cook for 2 more minutes. Garnish with lemon slices before serving if desired.

French Toast

No picture! Sorry! I forgot to take a picture!

I had very yummy french toast this week. I always pack my leftovers (actually, I cut what I am eating in half and put it in a dish) for lunch the next day and I was concerned about the french toast, but this turned out pretty good even left over! I froze them in the freezer and then just took them out and put the bag with the 2 pieces in my lunchbox with a cold back and it kept them cold but thawed them by the time I got to lunch.

I got the idea from I did change their recipe, but the directions were similar. Here is what I did:

*Whole wheat bread (desired amount... I used 8 pieces for dinner and lunch the next day)
*6-8 egg whites (I did include 2 yolks)
*1 tsp of nutmeg (I won't use this next time. I wasn't a fan)
*1 tsp of cinnamon (or more if you desire)

-Mix the eggs and the spices together and then coat each side of the pieces of bread. Cook them on a medium pan at medium heat on your stove until they are browned on both sides and cooked through in the middle. Enjoy!

Not So Fried Chicken

This was YUMMY! YAY! Finally a recipe I can talk about and proudly share! We got it from The one thing we changed was that we used whole wheat bread crumbs instead of whole wheat panko. We can't find whole wheat panko anywhere in our grocery store! You also need to remember to marinate this in the buttermilk for 6 hours! We kept forgetting and then have to change our plans for dinner that night. But once we remembered, we were happy!

With this I made my own version of "fries". I cut up a potato into chunks, brushed it with olive oil, and then sprinkled it with garlic salt. I baked them the same amount of time I baked the chicken on the same tray as the chicken, taking them out and turning them halfway. They were yummy also!

Here is the recipe copied from

Not so Fried Chicken (17 g of carbs)


  • 4 7-oz bone-in chicken breasts
  • 1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
  • Extra-virgin olive oil cooking spray
  • 2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup whole-wheat panko


  1. Using a sharp knife, thoroughly remove skin and visible fat from chicken breasts.
  2. Place chicken breasts in a resealable plastic container that is slightly larger than the breasts. Pour buttermilk over breasts, then turn them so they are completely coated. Let marinate in refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight, rotating them once or twice.
  3. Preheat oven to 450°F. Lightly mist a medium, nonstick baking sheet with spray.
  4. In a small bowl, mix mustard, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, black pepper and cayenne.
  5. Add panko to a medium, shallow bowl.
  6. Remove 1 chicken breast from buttermilk, allowing any excess liquid to drip off. Sprinkle both sides of breast evenly with 1/4 of seasoning mixture. Then transfer it to bowl of panko, covering it completely with crumbs. Place breaded chicken breast face down (ribs up) on prepared pan. Repeat with remaining chicken breasts.
  7. Lightly mist top of breasts with spray. Bake chicken for 10 minutes, then gently, being careful not to remove any breading, flip the breasts. Lightly mist them again with spray and continue to bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until breading is crispy and chicken is no longer pink inside. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 days to eat cold. Tip: To make your breaded chicken a bit more golden in color, try toasting the panko in a skillet over medium heat before using it to cover the chicken. Just remember to consistently shake the skillet over the stove to ensure you don't burn the panko.

Nutrients Per Chicken Breast: Calories: 267, Total Fat: 5 g, Sat. Fat: 1 g, Carbs: 17 g, Fiber: 2 g, Protein: 37 g, Sodium: 255 mg, Cholesterol: 91 mg

Chicken Pot Pie

(Once again, sorry for the crappy picture. There will be a bunch of posts with crappy pictures! Sorry!)

Anyway... this did not wow us. I am not going to post the recipe. If you want it, please feel free to ask and I will send it to you. This was very bland. It had almost no flavor. I think we were having issues for a few reasons. Reason 1- I grew up on PA German cooking, which is pot pies, casseroles, breads, pastas, etc. I am used to that creamy, not very spicy but yummy taste. I love bland foods, so for me to say this was bland wasn't very good. Reason 2- We are still getting used to the whole wheat flour. We aren't a fan yet, as that is all we tasted!

It wasn't BAD, but it definitely isn't something we will make again. I think I've realized that I can't recreate the recipes that I LOVE that aren't clean with clean and healthy products because they won't be the same and I need to get over that and find NEW recipes that we love.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

My Menu

Here is my menu for this week:

Beef Chickpea Chili (see review in previous post)
French Toast
Not So Fried Chicken
Chicken Pot Pie
Homemade pizza
Chicken Cutlets with button mushrooms

I can't wait to see if chicken pot pie will be as good as the chicken pot pie I am used to eating! And I think Jeff is most looking forward to the homemade pizza. I have also been craving french toast since seeing this recipe for french toast on Clean Eating magazine's website!

Beef Chickpea Chili

Please excuse the crappy picture! I took it with my phone, which doesn't have the best camera (get on that, BlackBerry!). I promise better pictures of the future meals!

I got this recipe from

This was OK. There are definitely some changes I will make. I give it one thumb up, and the husband gives it NO thumbs up (except he did like the meat in it... he isn't a fan of beans so the chick peas weren't awesome to him). Part of the problem with the meal was that the chick peas weren't cooked enough, though I followed the directions on the bag (I bought them hard, so I needed to cook them before I prepared the chili. We are trying not to eat canned beans because of the high amounts of sodium in them). I am hoping they will be better left over after they absorb some moisture. Next time I make it (I want to make it one more time to give it another chance) I am going to only do one cup of chopped tomatoes, and I am going to half the chick peas. I am also going to include some greens in this (peas, zucchini, those fuzzy green bean things that look like snap peas... I have a long way to go with the names of ingredients!) . It tasted more like a vegetable beef soup than a chili, so I want to play on that instead of turning it into chili, which I already make.

So here is the recipe, though please take what I said above into consideration! It will help!

Beef Chickpea Chili


  • 1 lb top-round buffalo steak or lean beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 2 1/2 cups yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 2 cups carrots, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 tbsp cumin, ground
  • 2 tsp dried coriander
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp saffron (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 3 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1 cup frozen corn (no need to thaw)
  • 2 cups tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 6-oz jar tomato paste
  • 2 lemons (optional)


  1. In a large nonstick pot, cook steak for 2 minutes over medium-high heat. Add garlic, onion, celery, carrots and all spices. Cook for 5 minutes. Then add chickpeas, cooking for 2 more minutes.
  2. Turn up heat to high and pour in 4 cups water, corn, tomatoes and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and stir in tomato paste. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, for 30 to 35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until liquid reduces and chili thickens. Squeeze juice of both lemons into chili, if desired, and stir. Remove bay leaf before serving. Chili can be stored in refrigerator for 5 days or frozen for 2 to 3 months.

Clean Eating

The husband and I have started to eat clean (or as clean as we can without going completely overboard... for example, we don't make our own cheese or cut our own meat, or anything along those lines). But basically we go by this quote that I heard recently "If it was grown on a plant, eat it. If it was made in a plant, avoid it". Clean eating cuts out all of the processed foods and preservatives. It doesn't cut down on flavor or things you can cook. it just changes the way you make your food and the way you eat. We now eat a lot of whole grain products, we eat a lot of fresh veggies, and we are cooking almost every night at home. I am trying to make sure we have lots of protein in our foods. I am also watching carbs on top of it all.

So the hunt as been on for meals and snacks that are clean and low carb. It has been fun and difficult all at once! Everything is new to us. I likened it to when we switched grocery stores last year. We switched from the grocery store we had been going to since we moved to this house 3 1/2 years ago (then it was 2 1/2 years) to another grocery store. When we came to this new grocery store we felt lost. We had no idea where to find certain items and it was hard to get used to. We were so tempted to go back to our other store, but then it started to get easier. We learned where we could find things in the store, and we now feel like we are used to the store. When it comes to eating, we were so used to eating the food we had all of our lives. We aren't going to be used to this change over night. For Jeff, he was brought up on meat and potatoes. What was made was what you ate. I was brought up on Pennsylvania Dutch foods. Lots of pot pies, casseroles, carbs, carbs, carbs. It isn't something that is going to change overnight. But as we make recipes we see what we like and don't like and we will begin to find a base of foods we like and will make regularly.

It has been an interesting week and a half of food so far. It has been expensive as we build the things we need in the house to make regular meals. It has been excited to try new meals, disappointing when we find meals we don't like that we really hoped we would like (like the chicken and dumplings that we made last week... yuck) but we've found some that we do like.

So here we go on this journey to change our lifestyle. I am going to try to take a picture of each meal and give a review on the meal. If we like it, I will include the recipe so that you can enjoy it as well. I am also going to post our weekly dinner menu. If you see something you would like to try and I haven't included the recipe, please feel free to send a message and ask! Not everyone's tastes are the same.

I was also told that if we were successful 90% of the time, then that is considered successful. We aren't always going to be able to eat clean (like when we go to family's house. We have no desire to dictate what they cook! Or when I am craving chocolate because I just can't give that up!).

So on top of life and exercise (which has been lacking the last few days!), I will be hopefully blogging about food.