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Mexi Meatloaf Muffins and Roasted Brussels Sprouts
I can’t tell you all how much I am loving getting back in the kitchen and making delicious and healthy food for my friends and family. I just keep marveling over how great I am feeling and how much I’m enjoying being back in the land of the living. I spent two months not having the energy to make myself dinner, let alone entertain.  So now that I’m feeling better I’m taking full advantage and loving every minute! 
In other sarcoidosis news, yesterday I had an eye appointment to check and see if it was in my eyes or not. Like I’ve mentioned before, this disease affects each person differently. The main places it shows up are in people’s lungs, hearts, eyes and skin. We knew that my skin and heart were not affected but we needed to check that there aren’t any nodules in my eyes.  And luckily there weren’t!  YAY!  My doctor told me I have near perfect vision and no sarcoidosis!  
Since I had to have my eyes dilated, Jeremiah drove me home. We invited Chris and Laurie over for dinner and Jeremiah made cocktails while I made dinner.  Luckily my eyes were back to normal enough for me to read the recipe and cook!
This meal was fantastic!  Not difficult to put together and really flavorful.  Everyone agreed that it needed to be made again, and soon!
The Mexi Meatloaf Muffins were delicious. (If you haven’t already, please check out Emily Bites' amazing website. And see the recipe for this meal HERE.) The muffins come in at 3 PointsPlus or two for 7 PointsPlus. The guacamole on top was amazing! (Side note: if you haven’t tried it already, the reduced guilt guacamole from Trader Joe’s is SOLID and you get 4T for 1 PointsPlus!) 
As a side dish, I just did an easy veggie and made roasted brussels sprouts.  I used THIS recipe because I didn’t know temps or times for cooking, but it literally was the easiest thing ever. I always forget how much I love brussels sprouts! This recipe was perfect because I got a serving of olive oil and the whole side only cost my 1 PointsPlus!
The whole meal pictured came in at 8 PointsPlus! I ended up having another muffin and some beer, so my dinner was a bit higher.   

Mexi Meatloaf Muffins and Roasted Brussels Sprouts

I can’t tell you all how much I am loving getting back in the kitchen and making delicious and healthy food for my friends and family. I just keep marveling over how great I am feeling and how much I’m enjoying being back in the land of the living. I spent two months not having the energy to make myself dinner, let alone entertain.  So now that I’m feeling better I’m taking full advantage and loving every minute! 

In other sarcoidosis news, yesterday I had an eye appointment to check and see if it was in my eyes or not. Like I’ve mentioned before, this disease affects each person differently. The main places it shows up are in people’s lungs, hearts, eyes and skin. We knew that my skin and heart were not affected but we needed to check that there aren’t any nodules in my eyes.  And luckily there weren’t!  YAY!  My doctor told me I have near perfect vision and no sarcoidosis!  

Since I had to have my eyes dilated, Jeremiah drove me home. We invited Chris and Laurie over for dinner and Jeremiah made cocktails while I made dinner.  Luckily my eyes were back to normal enough for me to read the recipe and cook!

This meal was fantastic!  Not difficult to put together and really flavorful.  Everyone agreed that it needed to be made again, and soon!

The Mexi Meatloaf Muffins were delicious. (If you haven’t already, please check out Emily Bites' amazing website. And see the recipe for this meal HERE.) The muffins come in at 3 PointsPlus or two for 7 PointsPlus. The guacamole on top was amazing! (Side note: if you haven’t tried it already, the reduced guilt guacamole from Trader Joe’s is SOLID and you get 4T for 1 PointsPlus!) 

As a side dish, I just did an easy veggie and made roasted brussels sprouts.  I used THIS recipe because I didn’t know temps or times for cooking, but it literally was the easiest thing ever. I always forget how much I love brussels sprouts! This recipe was perfect because I got a serving of olive oil and the whole side only cost my 1 PointsPlus!

The whole meal pictured came in at 8 PointsPlus! I ended up having another muffin and some beer, so my dinner was a bit higher.   

Weigh In Thursday - aka WIT

Yay for my first weigh in back on Weight Watchers!  I’ve never been so pumped up after a meeting where I gained. But I’m so pumped!  

So, I went to my first Thursday morning meeting.  I was kind of nervous because I didn’t know what the expect with the leader and the group, but I was really pleased with everything.  The leader is young and fun and I loved watching her rapport with the members of the group.  It seems like a great meeting and I’m really excited to go back next week. I was even more excited to see some familiar faces from my previous Wednesday meetings and even someone who had attended the meetings a while back. It was great to catch up and also meet new people!

Weigh in wise, I was up 4.6 pounds.  Considering I haven’t tracked any food in almost exactly eight weeks, I would say a five pound gain in a month isn’t terrible.  Especially with all the food I ate on vacation. The gain raised my daily PointsPlus target to 42 and unfortunately pushed me under the fifty pounds lost mark.  I’m now at 49.6 pounds lost.

But guys, I’m SO MOTIVATED!

I’m so excited to be tracking again! Who would have thought?  I’m also so so SO happy that I’m able to be more active!  All day yesterday I marveled at how quickly I was moving.  I was out of breath from walking to my car but this time it was because I was almost power walking, not because my lungs were giving out on me! I just can’t get over it.

I’m also so excited to get back to healthy eating. I went to Trader Joe’s last night and stocked up on everything.  My fridge is now full of fresh fruits and veggies, healthy proteins and lots of good things!  

We had Chris and Laurie over for dinner and I can’t tell you how great it felt to get back in the kitchen and make yummy food.  I had music playing and I was practically dancing around, loving every minute of it.  

I made burgers, sauteed summer squash and zucchini, and french fries.  The fries were frozen from Trader Joe’s but the rest was from scratch! I had never made burgers before and Chris helped me made them super yummy with eggs, bread crumbs, onion, garlic and seasonings.  They turned out fantastic!  The veggies I just sauteed with some olive oil, salt and pepper and garlic.  Everything came out fantastic!  I didn’t count up the points because I didn’t start counting until this morning.  But it felt great to eat healthy food that I made!

This week is off to a great start and I’m loving how fantastic I’m feeling. I’ve already made good decisions today and I’m so motivated to keep it up. I hope you all are feeling great as well!

Today’s lunch is 100% courtesy of Trader Joe’s!
School is on break which means we don’t have a cafeteria serving us three meals a day.  Luckily, the library has a fridge and a microwave so I was able to stop at TJs on my way in and grab fixings for lunch this week.  
Let’s take a peek at what I had:
2 slices sprouted wheat bread
1 slice lite cheddar cheese
2 ounces Applegate Smoked turkey breast
4 tablespoons chipotle hummus (1 on the sandwich and 3 for dipping)
Veggies (cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, jicama, sugar snap peas)
1 ounce Reduced Guilt white corn tortilla chips
Fresh salsa
water!
The whole meal came to 11 PointsPlus!  I ended up not liking the salsa, but everything else was delish!  Especially the cheese!  I think I will have a piece of that later for a snack with a banana.  

Today’s lunch is 100% courtesy of Trader Joe’s!

School is on break which means we don’t have a cafeteria serving us three meals a day.  Luckily, the library has a fridge and a microwave so I was able to stop at TJs on my way in and grab fixings for lunch this week.  

Let’s take a peek at what I had:

  • 2 slices sprouted wheat bread
  • 1 slice lite cheddar cheese
  • 2 ounces Applegate Smoked turkey breast
  • 4 tablespoons chipotle hummus (1 on the sandwich and 3 for dipping)
  • Veggies (cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, jicama, sugar snap peas)
  • 1 ounce Reduced Guilt white corn tortilla chips
  • Fresh salsa
  • water!

The whole meal came to 11 PointsPlus!  I ended up not liking the salsa, but everything else was delish!  Especially the cheese!  I think I will have a piece of that later for a snack with a banana.  

Easy Avocado Tuna Salad Sandwich for One
Oh man, this was yummy! So, Jeremiah is gone for the week and, as per usual, I was struggling with an easy meal idea that is just one serving.  This sandwich definitely fit the bill perfectly!  It took literally about 5 minutes to put together, was really healthy, and very filling.  But most importantly, it tasted awesome!
Ingredients:
one 5 ounce can of tuna packed in water (I used the no salt Trader Joe’s version)
1/2 avocado (I weighed mine and it came to 2.5 ounces)
juice of one lime
pinch of salt
That. Is. It! 
Throw them in a bowl and mix it all up!  The avocado makes it nice and creamy so there is no need for mayo.  And the lime juice adds a nice tangy bite. I started with juice from half the lime but decided I wanted more zest! 
You could eat this plain, add it to a salad, or make a sandwich out of it.  I served mine on two pieces of Trader Joe’s Sprouted Whole Wheat bread and it was great.  I wished I had some cucumbers or lettuce to add a bit of crunch to the sandwich, but it was still tasty. And of course, you can double the recipe really easily if you are feeding more than one! 
PointsPlus wise it was great.  The whole sandwich, bread included, came to 8 PointsPlus.  Without the bread it would have been 6 PointsPlus. I served it with 1/4 cup of hummus and a handful of veggies.  A delicious, healthy and filling meal for just 12 PointsPlus!
Add this to Pinterest HERE!

Easy Avocado Tuna Salad Sandwich for One

Oh man, this was yummy! So, Jeremiah is gone for the week and, as per usual, I was struggling with an easy meal idea that is just one serving.  This sandwich definitely fit the bill perfectly!  It took literally about 5 minutes to put together, was really healthy, and very filling.  But most importantly, it tasted awesome!

Ingredients:

  • one 5 ounce can of tuna packed in water (I used the no salt Trader Joe’s version)
  • 1/2 avocado (I weighed mine and it came to 2.5 ounces)
  • juice of one lime
  • pinch of salt

That. Is. It!

Throw them in a bowl and mix it all up!  The avocado makes it nice and creamy so there is no need for mayo.  And the lime juice adds a nice tangy bite. I started with juice from half the lime but decided I wanted more zest! 

You could eat this plain, add it to a salad, or make a sandwich out of it.  I served mine on two pieces of Trader Joe’s Sprouted Whole Wheat bread and it was great.  I wished I had some cucumbers or lettuce to add a bit of crunch to the sandwich, but it was still tasty. And of course, you can double the recipe really easily if you are feeding more than one! 

PointsPlus wise it was great.  The whole sandwich, bread included, came to 8 PointsPlus.  Without the bread it would have been 6 PointsPlus. I served it with 1/4 cup of hummus and a handful of veggies.  A delicious, healthy and filling meal for just 12 PointsPlus!

Add this to Pinterest HERE!

Thai Chicken Skewers with AMAZING Peanut Sauce!
Last night I had Chris and Laurie over for dinner, and boy was it awesome.  Emily from Emily Bites posted THIS recipe a couple weeks ago and I knew immediately I had to make it.  I LOVE ordering chicken satay at Thai restaurants and this seemed very similar.  Go check out this recipe ASAP…..you can thank me later!
Anyway, the recipe was super easy. I mixed up the marinade and cut up the chicken the night before. It was super flavorful by the time we grilled it up the following evening.  The recipe Emily created called for four skewers of just chicken. I liked the idea of adding some veggies in as well, because I adore grilled veggies. So I split it up into 8 kabobs but the amount of chicken was total to the one kabob the recipe calls for.  Does that make sense? I feel like I’m talking in circles.  
ANYWAY! I put zucchini and broccoli on the skewers. Let me save you some time right now and DON’T USE BROCCOLI!  IT got incredibly burned up and completely crisped.  It tasted terrible!  The zucchini, on the other hand, was delish.  I like it when it gets some darkness because it gets a bit crispy. 
The peanut sauce was seriously amazing. I wanted to drink it. But don’t worry, I didn’t.  So, the recipe called for one tablespoon per serving.  I knew right away that that was not going to be enough.  So I doubled it.  Then, after I had put all the ingredients away, I realized it probably STILL wasn’t enough. So I doubled it again. Yes, I made a quadruple recipe, and I’m really glad I did.  I calculated that I ate about 3 PointsPlus worth of the sauce. I also love finding new ways to use PB2. 
For the side dishes I went simple.  I had stopped at Trader Joe’s right before so I was able to grab some easy, but healthy, options.  
First, I bought their ready to eat green beans.  They come washed and cleaned in a plastic bag.  You just cut the corner and microwave for 4-6 minutes. Guys, I will be buying this all the time.  They were perfectly cooked and super yummy. I’m hooked. I just lightly salted them and they were perfect. 
I also wanted to serve brown rice but didn’t want to wait for the 45 minutes it takes to cook in the rice cooker.  So I saw they sold packets of fully cooked rice (see packaging HERE) and figured I would give it a try. Wowza, this was awesome. All I had to do was cut the top off the package and microwave for 60 seconds.  It was surprisingly great! It was the perfect size for the three of us to have about 1/2-3/4 cup each.  And it tasted great!  I added some of my peanut sauce into the rice which I always do at Thai restaurants. Yum-o.  
Let’s break down the PointsPlus.  The chicken came in at 5 PointsPlus plus 3 PointsPlus for the sauce.  I had a half a cup of rice for 3 PointsPlus and the green beans were zero.  This whole amazing meal was only 11 PointsPlus! I definitely plan on making this again soon.  So yummy! 

Thai Chicken Skewers with AMAZING Peanut Sauce!

Last night I had Chris and Laurie over for dinner, and boy was it awesome.  Emily from Emily Bites posted THIS recipe a couple weeks ago and I knew immediately I had to make it.  I LOVE ordering chicken satay at Thai restaurants and this seemed very similar.  Go check out this recipe ASAP…..you can thank me later!

Anyway, the recipe was super easy. I mixed up the marinade and cut up the chicken the night before. It was super flavorful by the time we grilled it up the following evening.  The recipe Emily created called for four skewers of just chicken. I liked the idea of adding some veggies in as well, because I adore grilled veggies. So I split it up into 8 kabobs but the amount of chicken was total to the one kabob the recipe calls for.  Does that make sense? I feel like I’m talking in circles.  

ANYWAY! I put zucchini and broccoli on the skewers. Let me save you some time right now and DON’T USE BROCCOLI!  IT got incredibly burned up and completely crisped.  It tasted terrible!  The zucchini, on the other hand, was delish.  I like it when it gets some darkness because it gets a bit crispy. 

The peanut sauce was seriously amazing. I wanted to drink it. But don’t worry, I didn’t.  So, the recipe called for one tablespoon per serving.  I knew right away that that was not going to be enough.  So I doubled it.  Then, after I had put all the ingredients away, I realized it probably STILL wasn’t enough. So I doubled it again. Yes, I made a quadruple recipe, and I’m really glad I did.  I calculated that I ate about 3 PointsPlus worth of the sauce. I also love finding new ways to use PB2

For the side dishes I went simple.  I had stopped at Trader Joe’s right before so I was able to grab some easy, but healthy, options.  

First, I bought their ready to eat green beans.  They come washed and cleaned in a plastic bag.  You just cut the corner and microwave for 4-6 minutes. Guys, I will be buying this all the time.  They were perfectly cooked and super yummy. I’m hooked. I just lightly salted them and they were perfect. 

I also wanted to serve brown rice but didn’t want to wait for the 45 minutes it takes to cook in the rice cooker.  So I saw they sold packets of fully cooked rice (see packaging HERE) and figured I would give it a try. Wowza, this was awesome. All I had to do was cut the top off the package and microwave for 60 seconds.  It was surprisingly great! It was the perfect size for the three of us to have about 1/2-3/4 cup each.  And it tasted great!  I added some of my peanut sauce into the rice which I always do at Thai restaurants. Yum-o.  

Let’s break down the PointsPlus.  The chicken came in at 5 PointsPlus plus 3 PointsPlus for the sauce.  I had a half a cup of rice for 3 PointsPlus and the green beans were zero.  This whole amazing meal was only 11 PointsPlus! I definitely plan on making this again soon.  So yummy! 

I got creative tonight for dinner. I knew I wanted a hearty pasta dish but I also knew I was running low on PointsPlus. So here is what I came up with! 

I browned 1/2 pound of really lean ground beef and then drained it. I added 2 links of sliced italian chicken sausage plus some garlic and seasonings and browned that as well. Then 3/4 of jar of pasta sauce and some veggies. I defrosted some frozen veggies and added them along with some canned green beans and peas. 

I served it over two servings of PastaZero and topped with a little cheese for pizzazz! 

I was kinda nervous about this because I don’t usually go rouge with food and really like to use recipes. But I was pleasantly surprised! The meal was filling, flavorful, and full of veggies. The whole plate came in around 11PP. I did my best to guess the quantities. 

Anyway, I will totally be doing this again. I had some sauce left over that I’m bringing to work for lunch. Hopefully it is good on its own!

I got creative tonight for dinner. I knew I wanted a hearty pasta dish but I also knew I was running low on PointsPlus. So here is what I came up with!

I browned 1/2 pound of really lean ground beef and then drained it. I added 2 links of sliced italian chicken sausage plus some garlic and seasonings and browned that as well. Then 3/4 of jar of pasta sauce and some veggies. I defrosted some frozen veggies and added them along with some canned green beans and peas.

I served it over two servings of PastaZero and topped with a little cheese for pizzazz!

I was kinda nervous about this because I don’t usually go rouge with food and really like to use recipes. But I was pleasantly surprised! The meal was filling, flavorful, and full of veggies. The whole plate came in around 11PP. I did my best to guess the quantities.

Anyway, I will totally be doing this again. I had some sauce left over that I’m bringing to work for lunch. Hopefully it is good on its own!

Hummus-Crusted Chicken 
Oh. My. Word. 
You guys, this was amazing.  Like, really really amazing.  It had two of my most favorite foods in the world (lemons and hummus!) in one amazing dish. And it was super easy to make.  AND it was delicious. 
I love adore hummus.  Like, I eat it almost every day.  It is a great snack that is healthy and keeps me feeling full for a long time.  But I had never thought to use it as a sauce.  That is, until I saw this pin! I repinned it immediately and decided to try it as soon as possible.  Last week when I went grocery shopping I got all the fixings for it, but then I got sick. Luckily everything was still good and I was able to make it last night and not waste any of the veggies! 
So, the recipe. It can be found HERE!  I did exactly what Ali over at Gimme Some Oven said in her instructions.  There are so many ways you can vary this recipe but I wanted to try the original recipe first. And boy was it a winner!  Jeremiah and I both loved it and I will definitely be making it again soon.  
The recipe couldn’t have been easier.  Just chop up the veggies, season them, and lay them in a pan.  Lay the chicken on top of it and season again.  Then spread the hummus down and sprinkle with lemon juice.  The one little variation I did do was to use chicken tender pieces instead of full chicken breasts.  This was purely on accident because I bought the wrong thing!  But I ended up really liking it.  The chicken stayed really moist (I HATE that word!) because it didn’t have to cook for quite as long.  
Anyway, I don’t know if I mentioned it, but this recipe was wonderful!  I love a one pot meal.  I packed up leftovers for lunch today but forgot them at home (booooo!) but I’ll let you know tomorrow how it reheats.  
Points wise, it was great. I ended up having three of the chicken pieces and a pile of vegetables and it calculated out to 10PP.  Nice! I can totally dig that. 
Oh, and I can’t remember if I posted about my new water bottle or not.  Ob-sessed! It is a Citrus Zinger and I’m in love.  The bottom part, under the lemon, is a lemon juicer for super easy and non messy lemon, lime, or orange water.  Love. It.  It is so great and it helps me drink lots of water.  Funnily enough, I’m allergic to all citrus juices so I have ration how often I use it or I get a really bad cough! 

Hummus-Crusted Chicken 

Oh. My. Word. 

You guys, this was amazing.  Like, really really amazing.  It had two of my most favorite foods in the world (lemons and hummus!) in one amazing dish. And it was super easy to make.  AND it was delicious. 

I love adore hummus.  Like, I eat it almost every day.  It is a great snack that is healthy and keeps me feeling full for a long time.  But I had never thought to use it as a sauce.  That is, until I saw this pin! I repinned it immediately and decided to try it as soon as possible.  Last week when I went grocery shopping I got all the fixings for it, but then I got sick. Luckily everything was still good and I was able to make it last night and not waste any of the veggies! 

So, the recipe. It can be found HERE!  I did exactly what Ali over at Gimme Some Oven said in her instructions.  There are so many ways you can vary this recipe but I wanted to try the original recipe first. And boy was it a winner!  Jeremiah and I both loved it and I will definitely be making it again soon.  

The recipe couldn’t have been easier.  Just chop up the veggies, season them, and lay them in a pan.  Lay the chicken on top of it and season again.  Then spread the hummus down and sprinkle with lemon juice.  The one little variation I did do was to use chicken tender pieces instead of full chicken breasts.  This was purely on accident because I bought the wrong thing!  But I ended up really liking it.  The chicken stayed really moist (I HATE that word!) because it didn’t have to cook for quite as long.  

Anyway, I don’t know if I mentioned it, but this recipe was wonderful!  I love a one pot meal.  I packed up leftovers for lunch today but forgot them at home (booooo!) but I’ll let you know tomorrow how it reheats.  

Points wise, it was great. I ended up having three of the chicken pieces and a pile of vegetables and it calculated out to 10PP.  Nice! I can totally dig that. 

Oh, and I can’t remember if I posted about my new water bottle or not.  Ob-sessed! It is a Citrus Zinger and I’m in love.  The bottom part, under the lemon, is a lemon juicer for super easy and non messy lemon, lime, or orange water.  Love. It.  It is so great and it helps me drink lots of water.  Funnily enough, I’m allergic to all citrus juices so I have ration how often I use it or I get a really bad cough! 

French Dip Cupcakes with Balsamic Roasted Vegetables
We had our friends C & L over for dinner yesterday and I had a great time cooking for them!  They requested the French Dip Cupcakes that I have made quite a few times before.  I love them as well so I was more than happy to oblige!  
I decided to try out of one Emily Bites' new recipes along with the tried and true cupcakes.  I made her recipe for Balsamic Roasted Vegetables and they were a hit! Super, and I mean SUPER easy to make but so full of flavor!  I cheated a little bit and bought a couple bags of stir-fry vegetable medley to cut down on some of the prep.  The medley included broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots.  I supplemented that with zucchini, yellow squash and red onion. Add is some olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt and you have a simple dish with fantastic flavor. I highly recommend it!  
This whole meal came in at 10 PP!  The cupcakes are 4PP each and the veggies were 2PP.  Awesome, right?! 

French Dip Cupcakes with Balsamic Roasted Vegetables

We had our friends C & L over for dinner yesterday and I had a great time cooking for them!  They requested the French Dip Cupcakes that I have made quite a few times before.  I love them as well so I was more than happy to oblige!  

I decided to try out of one Emily Bites' new recipes along with the tried and true cupcakes.  I made her recipe for Balsamic Roasted Vegetables and they were a hit! Super, and I mean SUPER easy to make but so full of flavor!  I cheated a little bit and bought a couple bags of stir-fry vegetable medley to cut down on some of the prep.  The medley included broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots.  I supplemented that with zucchini, yellow squash and red onion. Add is some olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt and you have a simple dish with fantastic flavor. I highly recommend it!  

This whole meal came in at 10 PP!  The cupcakes are 4PP each and the veggies were 2PP.  Awesome, right?! 

Ah! I forgot to post on Friday and I left you all hanging!  This is what I was talking about when I said sometimes working at a culinary school has its benefits.  

So, someone worked out a deal with a local produce person to offer “market baskets” to the faculty and staff!  This means that we can buy a bag full of fruits and vegetables at cost!  Hooray!!! See all those beautiful, locally grown tasties up there? I got ALL of that for $9!  NINE DOLLARS!  

The downside is that you don’t get to choose what you get.  They provide the basket and you get what you get.  There are a couple things in there that I hate. (red peppers and peaches - go ahead and judge away…I just don’t like them) But I love that it challenges me to try new things!  

For example….I had never cooked corn before.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Yes, I know that it is a sad statement.  I just don’t get super excited about corn on the cob.  But that all changed last week!  Those two ears of corn were seriously amazing.  We grilled them, sprayed them lightly with some olive oil and added salt, pepper, and chipotle seasoning.  Can you say delicious??? 

I’m so excited to have this wonderful perk available to me!  I am putting in another order this week and can’t wait to see what kind of surprises show up.  It kind of reminds me of Birchbox! Birchbox is a fun service where for $10 a month they send you a box of makeup samples.  You get to try new products without buying the whole thing.  Love love love it.  

Anyway, I have been chowing down on all those gorgeous apples, oranges, plums and bananas since Friday!