Tag Archives: clean eating

Homemade Buffalo Chicken Chowder

IMG_0278

Let me start by saying, I love buffalo-flavored anything. Ever since I was introduced to it in college, I haven’t been able to get enough. When a cafe around the corner from my work began offering a buffalo chicken chowder every now and then, I was stoked. Buffalo Chicken…in a soup? Two of my favorite things combined into one? Yes please! I was then on a quest for the perfect recipe.

Now, I’m not creative in the kitchen. I will never be that person who creates a recipe from scratch to give to all of you. I wish I was, but I’m just not. I always second guess my own cooking, even following a recipe exactly.

I decided last night that I wanted to attempt a buffalo chicken chowder, instead of making my normal turkey chili. Something a bit different, but something that would be delicious and hearty, especially as the cold weather starts to set it (not today…70s!). I settled on this recipe from Food.com. I liked that it used real ingredients and it looked like it would be a pretty simple recipe to throw together on a Tuesday evening.

I doubled, well kind of doubled the recipe, to make more than we needed (as always). Here is the recipe and what I did (in bold).

Serves 6 (Even though I doubled this, we probably get 6 servings out of it because that’s just how we roll)

  • 2 tablespoons of butter (I stuck with the 2 tablespoons. 4 tablespoons looked like a lot. I also used Kerrygold.)
  • 1 small onion, chopped (I forgot the onion… whoops. I’m okay with it because I don’t like onions.)
  • 4 celery ribs (8 ribs)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (I used minced garlic out of the jar… we have a Sam’s Club container of it)
  • 1/4 cup flour (1/2 cup of whole wheat flour)
  • 3 cups skim milk (5 1/2 cups 1% milk)
  • 3/4 – 1 cup buffalo wing sauce (I used Frank’s Red Hot Cayenne Pepper Sauce, instead of wing sauce. And I used 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn (2 cans of corn)
  • 2 cups of diced cooked chicken (I used Purdue Fit&Easy Tenderloins. Already small and no need for all the trimming. I probably ended up with 3 cups once I was done chopping)
  • 8 ounces of cream cheese (I used around 12… reduced fat)
  • crumbled blue cheese (for topping!)

Directions

  1. Sauté onions and celery in butter in a large pot until tender. Since I didn’t have the onions it was just celery sauteing in the butter. I like my celery to stay crunchy, so I only sauteed for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and cook for another minute.
  3. Reduce heat and stir in flour, cook for 1-2 minutes. Do not brown. This was confusing… the flour didn’t really seem to absorb and instead stuck to the bottom. I’m thinking it was because I didn’t have enough butter. But it turned out find in the end.
  4. Add milk, wing sauce, corn, chicken and cream cheese and bring to a simmer. Cook until cheese is melted and soup has thickened. It will look like a giant mash of nothing. The cream cheese will just be a giant brick. I turned the heat up to med-high (probably higher than it needed to be), to get it melting more. It says to let it simmer, but I ended up stirring quite a bit to make sure the cream cheese stirred in and the flour wasn’t chunky. Needless to say, I was pretty much questioning if this would even be edible in the end.IMG_0277
    5. Serve topped with bleu cheese crumbles.

Verdict: I was pretty darn proud of myself once it was done. The chowder ended up pretty thick, just like it should be, and it really resembled a chowder. It had the perfect about of buffalo-taste to it, and the chicken ended up softening even more in the soup and almost started to shred. I was skeptical about using cream cheese, but maybe that’s the norm in chowders?, but it definitely gave it that yummy creamy flavor and helped to thicken it.

One word of advice. Make sure to have the chicken cooked before you decide to start cooking the chowder. That chowder only took about 20 minutes, but the chicken took 20 minutes by itself. If you have the chicken pre-cooked in the fridge, it will save you a HUGE step.

Needless to say, I can’t wait to devour more of this for lunch today. Such a hearty soup!

IMG_0278The finished product!

New Signature

40 Days Until Spain – The Countdown is On

Monday again! Seriously, is it just me or do the weekend fly by? It’s like one minute it’s Friday and suddenly, BAM, Monday morning.

However, this Monday starts a whole slew of fantastic things for me! In just under 40 days, I’ll be heading to Spain to visit my best friend and her husband, with my other half. Of course, that means I have 40 days to get myself in as good as shape as I possibly can.

Yes. I know. 40 days isn’t much time, and I’m not expecting miracles. I know I’m not going to lose 50 lbs in 40 days. I know that. But what I can do in that time frame is work out as hard as I can, eat as clean as possible and stay active. And whatever successfully comes off, both inches and weight, will be good news in my book.

Yep. We’ve had this trip booked since January, and planning it since probably November. Yep, I’ve had that long to get myself in shape. And no, I have not been sitting idly by, and just saying I need to do this. Since January, I’ve been focused on eating well and exercising. However, I’ve not been as devoted to either as I should have. What I’ve learned is that eating well and exercising 4 days out of the week, and then gorging myself on whatever 3 days of the week, completely counteracts all the good that went down during the week. So yes, I’ve been working at all of this well before today. But I have no one to blame but myself for the lack of results.

Having said that, our living room has now been re-made into a home gym of sorts. The other half starts back on Insanity, while I have a stability ball and a foam roller hanging out. I’m doing my Couch to 5K in the AM or at lunch, along with a workout plan created by Molly at In a Nutshell Nutrition. I’m focusing on low-carb, limited dairy (VERY limited dairy), and lots of good fats, protein, fruits and veggies. We did our measurements last night and will be measuring each Sunday to track our progress. And I will keep y’all updated.

On that note, this weekend was very relaxing. Friday night, we went to our local Elks club with my parents for a Joker’s Wild raffle. The pot is up to $7,000 and we totally want to win that! Saturday, I spent my morning at the barn (until about 2 PM) where I had the last of the High Tail Acres Mini Sessions. By afternoon, all I wanted to do was curl up and read my book. Which I did, by our campfire. I finished ‘Into the Darkest Corner’ and if you haven’t checked it out yet, you need too. It’s really good! Sunday, we went out to breakfast at The Hollow Cafe in Amesbury (Mediterranean Omelet! Yummmm!), ran some errands and then kicked around the rest of the afternoon. I even cleaned out my closet and drawers! Yay for spring cleaning.

Driving home from the Elks
Driving home from the Elks

photo 2

Now it’s back for a busy week…. but thankfully, the spring weather is finally here! Today actually feels like summer! Hope y’all had a good weekend!

It’s Smoothie Time!

Happy Thursday!

I know, I’ve done a sort of disappearing act in the last couple of weeks, but quite honestly, I haven’t had the time or motivation to post much. After the ‘Growing Up Alex‘ series was completed, I wasn’t quite sure how I could back to my own posting. I was so honored to have her story on here that I didn’t want to cover it up by my own silly posts.

So I took a breather, except for the Boston Strong post last week.

But I’m back, and trying to brainstorm some new posts for y’all. Telling Alex’s story has inspired me to tell me own story as well, except mine has to do with anxiety and depression. That will be coming.

As for today – see below for my latest obsession.

We bought a NutriBullet over the weekend and I’m obsessed. I love making new concoctions and healthy smoothies. I’m definitely jumpstarting my mornings with these delicious drinks and I know I’m giving my body plenty of good vitamins and nutrients it needs. This morning I created one that I’m lovingly calling ‘Everything But the Kitchen Sink’ because I literally threw like 8 different things into it.

  • 2 handfuls of baby spinach
  • 1 banana
  • 8 baby carrots
  • 8 cherry tomatos
  • 2 broccoli florets
  • 3 slices of pineapple
  • 4 raspberries
  • 4 slices of cucumber
  • 1 tsp of xanthum gum (for thickening)
  • Water

I was pleasantly surprised at how delicious this was. And super filling.

My favorite one that I’ve made so far was a Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie.

  • 2 handfuls of spinach
  • 1 banana
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of Teddie Peanut Butter
  • 8 oz of almond milk
  • 2 tsp of cinnamon
  • ice (to make it nice and cold!)

photoIn other news, I’ve decided to stop tracking everything I’m eating and just focus on eating clean and good portions. I feel like I’m starting to focus to heavily on calorie intake and calorie burn, and instead just want to focus on being healthy. I know what makes me feel good when I eat and I know what makes me feel crappy, so we’re going to stick with that for now.

Anyways, I hope you all have a fabulous Thursday!

 

 

I’m terrible at blogging.

Yep. It’s official. I can’t keep up with my own blog. I keep saying I’ll do it. Then suddenly, three months have passed and I’ve written nothing. But I want to keep up with this. It has become a good outlet for me to write, to be accountable for things and just be me. It’s my little place on the web that I call home.

Lucky for all of you, my inspiration is back and I’m ready to start writing again. After a failed attempt at a ‘healthy living’ blog, I decided to end that one and bring everything back here. In reality, my goal of healthy living is part of my world, therefore, it should be here.

For the record, my weight is still an endless struggle. But I’m working on it. I’m trying to focus on it as a lifestyle change, instead of a diet. That’s the only way I can keep my focus. So here is what’s up!

On July 8th, 10 of us began a DietBet. If you haven’t heard of DietBet, it’s a website represents themselves as social dieting. It’s not gambling, but simply people putting money on the line that they will lose 4% of their starting weight in 28 days. Everyone that loses at least 4% takes home a piece of the pot. When I heard about it, I was immediately interested. So, I managed to get people to join. If you’re interested in joining, here is the link. We’re on Day 3, so there is still time!

In other news, last night was one of those nights where the craving to cook just hit me. After work, off to the grocery store I went where I loaded up on tons of fresh fruits and veggies, and other healthy things. I got home and suddenly, the motivation to cook was gone. I almost cooked one of my microwave dinners because I was so not in the mood. But instead,  I sucked it up and sauteed some delicious summer vegetables in olive oil and herbs (basil, oregano and rosemary) and put them in a low carb torilla with two slices of provolone cheese. It was HEAVEN. So delicious and only took me about 10 minutes to cook.

imageA little before and after – left: the veggies cooking… smelled so delicious! and right: ready to devour in my plate!

The leftovers are lunch today. I can’t wait to dig in!

In other news:

1. Currently reading – “The Beach House” by Georgia Bockoven. One of my cheap finds on Barnes and Noble. So good. Read it. You won’t regret it.

images

2. The photography business is booming – those who may have followed this blog previously will remember how this is where the business started out. It’s been really exciting to watch it grow. Check it out here and here.

3. We’ve slowly started planning our wedding. I never blogged about it, but my other half and I got engaged in November at the top of the Eiffel Tower in Las Vegas. It was super romantic and I feel like the luckiest woman in the world to be marrying such a wonderful man. We’re planning very slowly. Like not rushing at all. But would love any advice on planning on destination wedding (think warm summer sun, sandy beaches and turquoise water!)

I think that’s about it for now!

See y’all soon!

5 down. 35 to go.

I promise. I have not been lazy… Okay, I’m lying. I’ve totally been lazy. But only because I’ve been sick. And not just with a cold. I finally went to the doctors and yep, sinus infection. On the plus side, my voice is finally coming back. If you consider the honking and squeaking instead of words, coming back.

I have to say. Despite being sick, I’ve maintained my eating healthy and calorie counting. I’ve splurged a little bit on comfort food (grilled cheese, ramen noodles, etc.) but made sure I stayed in my daily limit. And it paid off!

I got on the scale this morning and had officially lost 5 pounds!

I know it doesn’t see like a lot…but I can definitely already feel my pants loosening up and just feeling overall a lot better health wise. As soon as the coughing subsides, back to to the gym I go. I mean, I need to lose another 5 before I head to DC in March.

Okay short post today. Just be forewarned… When I lose another five, you may see the Carlton dance happen.