October 17, 2014

It's Coming Along For The Ride

Ron and I are trying to become more health conscience.  I've written a little about our healthy lifestyle changes here and here.

We both go to the gym 4-5 times per week.  In fact, we just got back a little while ago.  I was working on some AB exercises.  Ron was walking on the treadmill and then working with free weights to build his arms.

Another aspect to good healthy habits is eating well.  It's definitely easier said than done.  Practice makes perfect, right?  We try to limit our eating out.  We cut out fast food such as McDonald's, Taco Bell and the like years ago.  I honestly can't remember the last time I stepped into one of those places, except to use the restroom on a long drive.  We do enjoy a tasty pizza or burgers every now and then though.

Breakfast is simple.  We each enjoy a protein shake plus coffee for Ron, tea for me.  Our shakes are more like smoothies with frozen fruit and greek yogurt added.  The only equipment necessary is our Ninja mixer.  It came with a batter bowl and blender.  We primarily use the individual cups but I did have an occasion to use the bowl and it performed great.  Our Ninja will have a place in the RV. 

We bring our lunch to work with us most days.  Lunch is typically a meat and cheese sandwich plus a piece of fruit.  I know that lunch meat isn't the best choice, but it sure is easy.  We'll have a mid afternoon snack around 3:30 or 4 so that we aren't absolutely starving by dinner time.  It also helps with giving us more energy for our gym visits.

Dinner is my absolute favorite meal of the day!  I love to cook, but I don't always have time during the week.  It used to be kids' homework projects, scout meetings and PTA that kept me busy after work.  Now it's reading & writing blogs, boot camp and going to the gym.

So yesterday I looked through my cookbooks and found one that had been hiding...  I read through the tips at the beginning of the book and it said I could use frozen meat.  I didn't know that before.  The tip recommended adding at least a cup of warm water before placing the meat in the stoneware and to add some cooking time.

This morning before work I had a brilliant idea.  I knew I had some frozen chicken, and a jar of Tuscan Simmering Sauce that would make a tasty dinner cooked in the crock pot.  It was so simple!  I warmed water in the microwave and put it in first.  Then I added the frozen chicken breasts.  I then layered zucchini, red potatoes, baby carrots and broccoli.  Lastly I dumped the sauce over the top.  Doesn't that look delicious?  The only real work I had to do was cut one zucchini and three red potatoes.

Our crock pot has four cooking time settings.  I can set it to cook for 4 or 6 hours on HIGH.  I can also set it for 8 or 10 hours on LOW.  When the cooking time has finished it automatically turns on the warmer.  Just be sure to keep the lid on the entire time your food is cooking.

When Ron and I came home from the gym it smelled so good in the house!  Dinner was almost done.  All that was left was to cook some brown rice.
dinner is served!

Ron and I both enjoyed our dinner!  Our crock pot is 5 quarts.  Although a smaller size is available, we like that it makes plenty of food for leftovers.  I read some of the recipes in the cook book.  I like how I can also easily get recipes on-line any time I want.  I found recipes ranging from meatloaf to clams florentine.  There are even dessert recipes.  I think I might have to make 'homestyle apple brown betty' this weekend.  You can sure bet the crock pot will be coming along for the ride!!

Have you ever cooked in a crock pot?  What is your favorite recipe?  What other items would you consider a kitchen necessity?  



  1. Oh yes our blender and crock pot are definitely coming! I love my Breville juicer, but it is large and on the "maybe" list for now. The frozen meat revelation was a big one for me too - since I still forget to thaw the night before :-( My favorite recipe is 2 cans (lge) chili beans, 1 can Rotel, 1 jar mild green chilis with lime and cilantro, left over pork or beef roast (or frozen stew meat) - that's it. No more seasoning needed. Bill adds Tapatio to his serving. Deliciousness for days!

  2. I figure that when the time comes, I'll go through EVERYTHING and if it isn't useful or hasn't been touched in 3-4 months it won't be coming. Of course, some things, like jackets, are seasonal so that might be the exception. You'll certainly have plenty of storage room in your underbelly bays for the juicer.
    I thought the meat had to be thawed too. The chicken turned out just the same as it does when it's thawed. No more worrying about that one :-)
    We love chili too! I'll have to try your recipe-minus the hot sauce...


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