Zucchini-Poblano Lasagna {recipe}

Remember I’m not great at writing recipes, so just stay with me. This one is good. We started the Keto/Low Carb High Fat diet last fall. John started it in October and I dragged my feet for another month before getting on board. I didn’t want to tell him he was right. Last summer when I went for my check up my doctor even said that I may need to try cutting carbs or whatever it was in my diet that was adding the weight. I workout 5-6 days a week and was gaining weight. News flash: you can’t out exercise a bad diet. In case anyone was unsure.

So here we are 6 months or so in and hubby is down 50+ pounds and I’m down about 18, both of us lots of inches! Funny thing is I/we don’t really miss the carbs and sugar that much. Every once in a while I have a craving but John has some serious self control.

A lot of the recipes we use are ones other people have tried and perfected. This is one I created, although someone out there has probably done something similar. I just kinda threw some things together. A friend of mine puts green chilies in her lasagna and she brought it to me one night and it was so good! That’s what made me think to put the poblano peppers in this lasagna. Plus we’ve been using poblano peppers in a lot of recipes lately.

This recipe is low carb when compared to regular pasta lasagna, but depending on your ingredients could still be 8-10 carbs per serving. That’s way, way less than lasagna noodles! It all depends on your goal for the day.

Zucchini-Poblano Lasagna

First, roast the poblano peppers. Here’s info on how to roast the peppers. I roasted mine about 20 minutes in my oven, this recipe says 30-40. Depends on how charred you want them. Definitely place them in a covered dish and let them cool before peeling the skin and taking the seeds out.
Roast the peppers. I pureed some (more on that later) and left some in flat “sheets”. Here they are straight from the oven. Cover them and let them steam, it makes it easier to peel later.
Make your meat and sauce like normal. I typically use Jennie O’ Turkey sausage. You can use ground turkey, Italian sausage or go meatless if you prefer!
So far, the Kroger Organic 4 cheese spaghetti sauce is the lowest carb I’ve found so far in the store, already seasoned. I bought San Marzano whole tomatoes in a can this weekend and made sauce. It’s 3 carbs compared to 5 + in most jars. I found a brand called Rao’s, but it was $9.29 at Kroger. I don’t have that kind of budget!
Try not to add any other liquid because the zucchini has lots of water.
Next up, the Zucchini.
I cut up 6 this last time, but only needed 5. You may want more depending on how many people you are feeding. Roughly peel it, cut the ends off, slice very thin strips top to bottom. Don’t use the core. Cut strips all the way around. I use a trash bowl when I’m peeling and cutting veggies. Surely I’m not the only one!
Lay all the strips out on paper towels, sprinkle with salt, cover with paper towels and try to squeeze the water out. Mine sat out for several hours and still had water in them. I baked the strips for a few minutes too. Just watch them, they will burn.
Back to the peppers. Peel the charred skin, remove the core and seeds. You can see what I mean by “flat sheets”. These make good replacements for tortillas in a mexican casserole as well. Then I pureed some of the peppers in my food processor.
Pureed peppers! I save the extra for breakfast casserole, soup, just about anything you want to make yummy!
Ricotta cheese mixed with the puréed poblano peppers, if you want. I added Parmesan cheese. You can add basil, spinach, oregano, whatever you like. We have fresh basil growing in our kitchen window. I use it whenever I remember to grab it. It smells amazing!
The sauce is simmering while all this other prep is happening.
I did 3 layers total in my 8×8 pan. I started with zucchini on the bottom.
Then a layer of meat sauce.
Then add ricotta cheese and mozzarella cheese.
Then I did a layer of the pepper “sheets”.
Then more meat sauce, ricotta, and mozzarella cheese. Bottom and top was zucchini with the middle being poblano.
I baked mine for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Remember the zucchini is watery, so the dish may be too. Once it sits in the fridge over night it does hold up better, but right out of the oven you will notice the water. It still tastes good, trust me! If I wasn’t in such a hurry to eat it, it might be better if it rested a little on the counter before serving. Y’all let me know if anyone tries that!
This recipe is time consuming, I’ve only made it twice and it was on my day off.  I initially cut it into 6 servings but we ended up with closer to 8 servings.
Anyone tried a zucchini lasagna?

 

Chicken Lo Mein recipe

I am not a food blogger or photographer, please excuse the barbaric photos. 

A few months ago Ally found this recipe for Chinese Lo Mein. We tried it out and loved it. I’ve made a few adjustments and have now switched out the peanut butter for PB2. The original recipe is here.

My version of Chicken Lo Mein

Ingredients:

  • Chicken, I use chicken breast, cut up into bite size pieces and saute it in my wok with Coconut oil
  • Coconut oil or Olive oil
  • Noodles, I use Linguine but you can use whatever you like
  • Broccoli Slaw
  • Shredded Carrots
  • Green onion to garnish

Peanut Butter Sauce: I usually double the sauce recipe

  • 2 Tablespoons of Peanut Butter or 4 tablespoons of PB2 with 2 tablespoons of water
  • 2 Tablespoons of hot water
  • 3 Tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil (I use olive oil)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

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Don’t you love my empty box? I didn’t think to take a picture before I emptied it.

You can use a wok or big sauce pan. My wok’s nonscratch surface started flaking off so it went in the trash. I used a sauce pan last night. I saute the chicken in coconut oil then add the broccoli slaw and shredded carrots to the pan, let it cook down a little and soften the veggies. Boil the noodles.

To make the sauce:

The PB2 ratio is 2 T powder to 1 T water. Since I double the sauce I used 8 T powder and 4 T water. Then add the hot water, soy sauce, oil and spices (all doubled). Mix it up until it’s all smooth.

Once the noodles are done, add in the chicken and veggies and pour the sauce on. Toss it real well and add the green onions at the end. You can also add fresh garlic and onions to the chicken when you saute it or try different veggies.

I love the texture of this dish with the crunchy veggies and the noodles. The peanut butter just gives it an extra kick.

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I decided to sub the peanut butter for PB2 because of the fat and calorie content. In a doubled sauce recipe: the reduced fat peanut butter has 400 calories and 26g fat; the PB2 has 180 calories and 6g fat. Not to mention lower carbs, no saturated fat, lower sodium and lower sugar, per serving. We got 6-7 good size servings out of this dish.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

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Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Hebrews 12:1

A few new recipes!

Disclaimer: I am not a food blogger or photographer! I can’t make food look pretty in pictures.

I love all the recipes on Pinterest, but I never know how they are going to turn out. I tried a few this week and thought I’d share them with you. They were a success!

First we made these egg muffin/omelets from Skinny Taste. Her original recipe is here. She uses broccoli. I used spinach instead and added canadian bacon since I had it. I don’t eat eggs much unless it has cheese, meat, salsa and is wrapped in a tortilla! But, I love quiche and this was very close. I meant to add onions, will do that next time. The recipe made 9 muffins. I used the eggs/egg white combo she did. We ate them with hot sauce.

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Tuesday I made meatloaf and serves these carrots with it. I had to buy the whole grain mustard since I didn’t have any on hand. I don’t think I’ve ever bought it before. This recipe is from Daydream Kitchen and the recipe is here. I kept thinking they’d be sweet but they aren’t. But they are sooo good! I did not use as many carrots as she did, we needed a few more.

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I made these potatoes, no they are not healthy. But, they were yummy!

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I also sort of made this recipe, but I changed it up a bit. I already had shredded chicken on hand that I cooked Monday. I boiled the bowtie pasta, added cream cheese when it was hot so it melted. I had a can of Ro-tel, about 1/2 jar of tomato sauce and spinach heating up, added that to the pasta/cream cheese. Added the chicken and then baked it for a few minutes. It was good, had a little kick with the Ro-tel and a fairly quick dinner since the chicken was already done.

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Tried any good recipes lately? Any not work for you?

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#SummerRefresh Focus on Nutrition

This week we are starting a new series with Fit Approach called #SummerRefresh. The topic this week is nutrition written by Sara at She Cooks, She Crafts, She Runs.

 

It’s August and Fit Approach has a big initiative this month called the #SummerRefresh.  So we are taking cues from them and helping you follow along with their cool challenges.  If you want to participate please join the Google+ community Living+.

For this first week we are focusing on nutrition.  So I’ve decided to take their challenges and make it easier for you to follow along.  I’ve gone day by day for this week and given you examples to help you make the challenges.

Meatless Monday

  • Salmon:  I love this super simple take on salmon on lemon baked.
  • Crab cakes:  Here’s some healthier versions from Cooking Light
  • Tofu:  This Spicy Garlic Tofu recipe looks pretty yummy for such a typified meal

Take your lunch to work Tuesday

Whatever you made the night before…heat it up!  For example, make a salmon sandwich by putting it between 2 slices of bread with some roasted red pepper and dijon mustard.  The crab cakes, lay one on top of a spinach salad with some baby tomatoes and a splash of balsamic vinegar and EVOO.
You can look in your fridge and grab and go.  It’s funny the different combos you can come up with.  Need some ideas?  Leave a blog comment and I’ll come up with something for you!

What I ate Wednesday

Write down what you eat all day.  It’s funny all the things we don’t even realize we put in our mouths!

Thirsty Thursday

Water is so very important.  Especially this time of year.  The easiest way to stay hydrated that I’ve found is to carry a bottle of water around with me.  It becomes a habit and you find yourself almost addicted to getting a sip whenever your heart desires.
Get tired of plain old water?  Check out my post on Infused waters using natural fruits and herbs to taste up the tasteless!

Paleo Friday

What is Paleo you ask?

Well don’t worry, I didn’t know before this post either!  I have just seen bits and pieces around Pinterest and Facebook.  From what I gather, it’s like a caveman diet, you only eat what the caveman had access to.  Here’s some graphics that help explain.
Make a little better sense?
I even took the liberty of finding some tasty looking recipes for you to try!

Sara is training for her first sprint tri and as a kick-off we have an app download to giveaway. Check out her first day of training here.

1stTimeTri App Giveaway

Check out our giveaway for the 1stTimeTri App!
Hope you have a great week and we look forward to some new challenges this month!
Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Hebrews 12:1

WIAW on Thursday

No, I didn’t look at the calendar wrong. I realize it’s Thursday, but I worked yesterday and it was too hard to get a post out. So, my What I Ate Wednesday is Thursday this week.

Started my day with a 5 mile run at 5AM, it was cold. And it sleeted on us the last 3 minutes or so. Have I said I’m done with the cold? It was 69 degrees for Tuesday’s 5AM run.

My post run snack was a Fiber One bar and this yummy Isopure protein drink.

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I had breakfast with a friend, it wasn’t the healthiest but it was a great time to catch up. I had my favorite migas! I am not a big breakfast eater but I love migas and these are good, really good. I really wish I had remembered to take a picture of it. I’ll have to remember next time!

For lunch (late afternoon snack) I made a protein shake at home, I was still pretty full from breakfast. Tonight is Book club so it’ll be pizza and salad for me.

I did make a trip to the Run On! store today. Ally “stole” my Newton’s. She’s been needing a pair of running shoes and she tried out both my Newton’s and Asics to see what she liked and decided she like the Newton’s. I hadn’t put very many miles on them yet so it worked out. I need another pair to start rotating in, I’m about to bump my miles up for marathon training. In 2 days I’ll run my first run past 13.1….14 miles it is. Yikes! So, I ended up with a pair of Brooks Ravenna’s in a lovely shade of purple, grabbed some energy chews, body glide and a hand held water bottle for short summer runs.

shoes

 Isopure

First off, if you aren’t entering giveaways you are missing out! I’ve won 2 recently – Quest Protein bars and Isopure Protein drinks. I’m a fan of the Isopure, still taste testing the Quest bars. Thanks Laura @ Fit Running Mama for hosting the giveaway!

These drinks have 40g of protein, 160 calories, 80mg of Sodium and 45mg of potassium and 0 carbs. I’ve tried the punch, the green apple and one other I can’t remember but the punch is my favorite so far. **I won these drinks and was not required to write this review.

I’ll definitely be stocking up on these!

isopure

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Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Hebrews 12:1

What I Ate (and did) Wednesday

It’s a dreary and rainy Wednesday here. Breakfast was a small protein shake and 1/2 a banana, pre-workout. After the gym I had a wheat bagel with peanut butter. That is some good stuff! I had a little mishap with the Almond butter and need to buy more. An unknown person accidentally put it in the pantry instead of the fridge. Bummer.

I was too hungry to take a picture before taking a bite!

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Gym workout included 20 minutes on the elliptical, 75 sit-ups, worked on back and arm weights, plank on the Bosu ball and then only about 10 push-ups (my arms were tired)!

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Lunch was leftover spaghetti and meatballs made with turkey sausage. I had 4 glasses of water checked off by lunch time. I also managed to clean out two junk drawers in the kitchen….yes we have 2 of them.

Dinner was open face Caprese sandwiches. I found the recipe on Pinterest a while ago, but unfortunately it looks like the original link isn’t working. Basically you grill or saute the chicken, stack it on sourdough bread with mozzarella cheese, tomato, basil, a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I’m sure there was more to the recipe than that, but it’s what I remember.

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I also tried to make Sweet Potato chips. They didn’t exactly turn out like I hoped. The non-burnt parts were good, so I will keep trying!

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I’m ready for the weather to warm back up. It’s been rainy and cool today and probably tomorrow but this weekend is supposed to be nice! Running 7 miles this weekend and then heading to the gym for a fitness assessment. Basically measurements, weight and BMI. Hoping to get the trainer to show me some new weights to use as well.

Did you workout today? How did you #EarnYourShower?

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Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Hebrews 12:1

 

 

What I Ate (and did) Wednesday!

It’s time for What I Ate Wednesday, originally started by Peas and Crayons!

 ”What WIAW isn’t about—-

Comparison – Judgement – Restriction – Guilt
—-What WIAW is about—-
Celebrating one of the glorious things we all have in common: We all eat!
WIAW is about food and fun! It’s about making new friends, breaking out of a food rut, noting changes in your diet/lifestyle, inspiring yourself & others, embracing fruit & vegetables, nourishing your body with the foods that work for you, finding new ways to eat your favorite foods, and so. much. more. <3
Celebrate Food.  Celebrate blogging.  Celebrate Individuality.”

So today was my first day back at the gym, actually first workout since Sunday. It seems like forever ago but it was only 2 days off. My legs were pretty sore and tired on Monday but I am ready to go now! I got 20 minutes on the elliptical, quite a bit of weights, sit ups, push-ups and planks and then finished with about 8 minutes on the stationary bike. Burned 500 calories in 1 hour.
My pre-gym snack was homemade granola bites and then post-gym a protein shake from Smoothie King. That kept me from buying too many snacks at the grocery store.
I decided to run an experiment with my Nike + Sport Watch and heart rate monitor today. After I left the gym, I reset it and headed over to the grocery store. I got my groceries bought, took them home, put them up, then cleaned and mopped by bathroom. I almost forgot I still had my heart rate monitor running ~ I burned another 240 calories doing all that (about 80 minutes).
Lunch was pizza, decided to try that on Naan bread again. Pineapple, canadian bacon and cheese makes a pretty good pizza!
And of course my usual day of errands and laundry, guess I should have left that heart rate monitor on all day! I got these muffins to try, so I’m baking, sort of.
Dinner was rotisserie chicken, home -made mashed potatoes, carrots and green beans. Yummy!
Tomorrow’s agenda includes 5 miles at 5AM. Right now the forecast says 49 degrees, I’ll take it!
Did you workout today? Eat anything yummy?

Hungry Much?

Last run before Rock N’ Roll Dallas was this morning, 3.10 miles at 9:53 pace. It was 52 degrees, but it felt colder, I guess the wind was the culprit.

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Hungry Much?

A friend of mine mentioned the other day she was hungry all the time, it seems I am too. Not just barely growling tummy, like I could do some serious-damage-at-a-buffet-hungry!

Am I alone?

I know on long run days I’m going to be hungry and so I eat more those days. Who wouldn’t be when usually I burn as many calories in a run as I get for the whole day. Even on days when I run 5 miles at 5AM, I eat when I get home about 6. That’s usually toast or a bagel and peanut butter, then I’m hungry by 9 so I’m having yogurt or fruit. Then I’m hungry at 11-11:30 so it’s lunchtime. Then comes the afternoon snack and then I’m always ready for dinner. Am I eating the wrong foods? Am I still not eating enough?

I haven’t been entering my food like I should on My Fitness Pal, so I’ve made a commitment to start doing that because I weighed and I’m up 5-6 pounds, which some would say no big deal. But I know me and 5-6 pounds will easily become 8-9 pounds so I’m getting it in check now. Since I’m trying to lose a few,  Fitness Pal of course lowered my calories by 300 per day. When I started losing weight almost 2 years ago I was eating 1200 calories per day and not eating my exercise calories at first. I did start eating some of them after I had about 30 pounds off. I could tell I was hungry more.

I just don’t think 1200 calories is enough for me these days. I’m running 3-4 days a week plus usually 2 days in the gym. I burn a lot of calories. I try to eat the best I can. But lately when I’m hungry I don’t make good choices. So, where’s the balance? How do I lose/maintain weight without being hungry (all the time)?

Thoughts on this? Anyone else dealing with this?

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What I ate (and did) Wednesday

It’s What I Ate Wednesday! I’m a creature of habit so I had my usual breakfast of bagel, peanut butter and banana. I was going to eat Almond butter but apparently I put it in the pantry and it’s supposed to be refrigerated. So, I’ll have to buy another jar.

I went to the gym after dropping Ally at school. I was absolutely starving when I left there, I drank my water, ran my errands and tried not to focus on food. I grabbed a smoothie from Smoothie King about 11 and then had a snack after that. As I’m typing this, I’m hungry again.

I had a great workout at the gym, cardio and lots of weights, lunges and ab work. I hope I can walk tomorrow!

82 minutes = 680 calories!

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I’ve been lacking on my planking, back on the train today!

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I grabbed a new snack at the store today. Special K is how I started my journey 2 years ago, I was eating their protein bars as meal replacements for about the first 2-3 weeks to break my bad lunch habits. My co-worker found these new popcorn snacks and they are pretty good!

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Wednesday is also usually errand day, so of course there were errands and….taxes!  I should really pay someone to do them! It’s also eat out night and Ally chose Culver’s so I know dinner won’t be a perfect choice. It happens sometimes, my lifestyle change is not about restricting foods. That will lead to failure. It’s why nothing ever worked for me before.

I am getting back in the habit of entering my food in My Fitness Pal. Anyone use that app? It’s really great to help keep you on track.

And another snack to satisfy my craving for chocolate and caramel.

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I also got a new toy today, a Samsung ChromeBook. It’s going to take some getting used to, but so far I really like it. It was really easy to set up and it’s light. I will like being able to carry it around a lot easier than our other laptop. We are Mac people but I just needed something smaller and easier to travel with and to use for blogging.

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It’s also only 4 days until Rock N’ Roll!  Can’t wait to show you what I’m wearing.

Crazy week and 2 races this weekend!

Finally I’m back in business! Blog is mostly up, I can at least write this post so that’s improvement. Thank you RFE Hosting! So, here I am in the world of self-hosting. Not much has changed on the back side, it’s still WordPress so at least I don’t have to learn everything new. Still a few things to work out, but I’m glad to be back.

This week has been taper week for me leading up to 2 races this weekend ~ a 5k on Saturday with Ally and my half marathon on Sunday! Cowtown here we come!

I worked out on Tuesday and Wednesday this week but I’ve been resting since then (feeling like I’m lazy). Rest days and taper week is hard for me.

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I had a new toy to try out this week. Bought I rice cooker, I know we are living on the edge here! Made baked fish I bought from Costco with brown rice and veggies in the cooker and it was probably my favorite meal this week.

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And here are a few of the foods we’ve been eating this week!

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I’m excited about this week, feels like forever since I’ve raced. I’ll keep you all posted!

Hope you all had a great week. We have a new exercise for you today from Running Pfuhl. This one is a killer ab and leg workout! Don’t forget to tag us on Twitter with #thth!

I just got accepted to be an affiliate for Personal Savers. If you don’t know about them, they make personal safety products (ie. mace) and it comes ready to go on your wrist, stroller, bag, bike or hand held! I’ll have a review and more info up soon. You can check them out here. I also have a link on my blog.

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Anyone else racing this weekend? Try any new workouts lately?