Barking dogs, burning legs, and Spicy Chickpea Stew


Happy holiday Monday!

Guess what I did this morning?

I went to CrossFit!!!


It was GREAT!

There’s a box about 10 minutes from my house and I was finally able to check them out.

They have 4 scheduled classes a day and I went to the 6:15 AM class.

Yes, I know it’s a holiday and I didn’t have to get up early but the neighbor’s dog had other ideas.

Incessant barking at 4:30 this morning.


Shooting him didn’t seem like the right thing to do so I just made the best of it, got up and went to the early class.

It’s a small box (which is fine) and there were 3 of us there this morning plus the coach.

Holy. Leg burner. WOD.


I definitely appreciated the small group this morning because my front squats were a little wonky to start and I really needed the attention/coaching.

And, I learned how out of shape I really am. Running schmunning. I missed HARD WORK.

I can’t wait to check out the PM class on Wednesday!

Tomorrow is speed work. And, it’s supposed to possibly get up into the 60s! Shorts & t-shirt running weather!

CrossFit this morning was definitely the kick in the pants I needed.

My motivation really waned this past week and I’m so ready to get back to business. 🙂

I’ve also fallen off the “healthy” train a little.

Um, hello, red velvet cheesecake swirl brownies!


And lovely box of chocolates!


It was worth it. 🙂

Anywho, enough about dessert, let’s talk about dinner.

I found an AMAZING Clean Eating recipe for chickpea stew!

I do love the chickpea.

This stew is lightly spiced (seriously, use more jalapeño if you want it to fight back) and amazingly delicious.

AND, you get to cook with a whole cinnamon stick!


Okay, fine, maybe I’m a dork but I thought it was pretty cool. 🙂

And, it adds a whole different flavor level than just adding ground cinnamon.

It was a delicious combination with the toasted cumin seeds, turmeric, fresh ginger and garlic.

My kitchen smelled AWESOME!

I served this up with some toasted Naan and called it dinner.


Tomorrow, at work, I’ll call it lunch. 😉

NOTE: This stew calls for dried chickpeas that require overnight soaking. If you don’t want to do that, use canned. Just make sure you rinse them really well.

Spicy Chickpea Stew
makes 4 (1 cup) servings

1 tablespoon organic extra-virgin coconut oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 yellow onion, diced
2 stalks celery, chopped carrots, diced
1 teaspoon sea salt
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 jalapeño pepper, minced (remove seeds if you don’t want even a little kick)
1 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 cinnamon stick
4 vine-ripened tomatoes, chopped
1 cup dried chickpeas
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, stemmed and chopped, for garnish (optional)

1. In a large bowl, add chickpeas and enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Soak overnight, for 8 to 18 hours. Drain.

2. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat oil on medium until melted. Add cumin and toast, stirring frequently, until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add onion, celery, carrots and salt and sauté, stirring frequently, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic, jalapeño, and ginger and sauté for 1 more minute. Add turmeric and cinnamon stick and stir to combine.

3. Stir in 2 cups water, tomatoes, and chickpeas. Increase heat to bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until beans are tender, 30 to 45 minutes. Add garam masala and stir to combine; remove cinnamon stick. Ladle soup into serving bowls and garnish with cilantro (if desired), dividing evenly.

4. Nom it down! 🙂

Talk to me: Why is my cat so weird?


– jennifer

King Kong 1.0 and Succotash Veggie Chili

Good morning! If you’re reading this on your computer, what do you think of my new layout? I’m just trying out something different. Thoughts?

This morning’s CrossFit workout was, as Gil put it, short and to the point. Uh, yeah. Point taken. This WOD is tough!


I mean, seriously. It’s called King Kong, for crying out loud! And this girl hasn’t done muscle-ups or handstand pushups before. Yikes! But, I wouldn’t go if I didn’t want to improve so, to this workout I said, “yes, please.” And, *pats self on back*, I survived! I managed jumping muscle-ups (once you figure out the mechanics of keeping your elbows in tight to your body, they become doable – still HARD but doable) and I survived the banded handstand pushups! Those are really tough freakin’ ridiculous and require complete confidence in your equipment and a belief in yourself and your ability to push your head back up off the floor. Holy. Cow. I also learned that I can deadlift 120 pounds and that I canNOT deadlift 135 pounds. So, new goal. I will work towards that weight. I’m not disappointed that I couldn’t – hell, I’m still so new that practically everything is a PR! – but, it gives me something to work towards. 🙂


I subscribe to a variety of food/cooking magazines. I can’t help it. I love them. I’m always searching for new recipes to try and new things to serve my family. We don’t want to get stuck in a rut and eat the same things over and over. I’m sort of a vegetarian in that I. Love. Vegetables. Except Brussels sprouts and mushrooms. I don’t love those. At all. And, I’m only in like with peas and lima beans. So, anyway, when I came across this recipe, I just knew I had to make it. And, I’m so glad I did! Delicious, fresh veggies hanging out with a flavorful tomato “soup” all day? Om nom nom!


Succotash Veggie Chili
Serves 10-12

1 can (28 ounce) whole peeled tomatoes, with juices
1 can (6 ounce) tomato paste
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cans (15 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed
2 zucchini, cut into small dice
3 large red, yellow or green bell peppers, cut into small dice
1 large red onion, finely onion
1 jalapeno chile, minced (no seeds or membranes)
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 pound frozen corn, thawed
1 pound frozen baby limas, thawed

1. In a large bowl, mash together the tomatoes with their juices, tomato paste, lime juice, 1 1/2-teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and the cumin.

2. In a large slow cooker, stir together the beans, zucchini, bell peppers, onion, jalapeno, and garlic. Pour the tomato mixture on top. Cover and cook on low heat until the vegetables are tender but still retain their color and shape, 4 to 6 hours (four if you prefer your vegetables more al dente; six if you like them more cooked through).


3. Stir the corn and lima beans into the chili and let sit for a couple of minutes to warm them up. Serve the chili with all the toppings (sour cream, shredded monterey jack, shredded cheddar, diced avocado, lime wedges, and chopped cilantro, if desired).


Recipe from

It’s taco night!

Ah, taco night. Who doesn’t love taco night? Regardless of what night you make your family dance with joy, have I got a recipe for you to try! Put down that packet and makes these easy and delicious “from scratch” tacos. These are perfect for “Taco Tuesday” or your next football party. Hey, the Super Bowl is right around the corner – you could be the star of that party! Spicy but not causing anyone to breathe fire, these tacos are meaty, flavorful, fabulous, and certainly won’t be forgotten anytime soon. Enjoy!


Spicy Chipotle Beef Tacos
serves 8-10

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 pounds ground beef
2 cups finely diced onion
1 tablespoon finely diced jalapeno
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
3 tablespoons chopped canned chipotle in adobo
2 cups tomato puree
1 bottle amber beer of your preference
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 bunch cilantro,  chopped

Heat a large skillet over moderately high heat.  Add vegetable oil and continue heating until oil just begins to smoke.  Add ground beef and cook until it is cooked through and has released allof its excess juices.  Transfer meat to a strainer, reserving juices.  Return skillet to heat and add 1 tablespoon of the reserved juice.  Adf onion and cook for 1 minute. Add jalapeno and garlic and cook for one minute more.  Add drained meat to pan along with spices and chipotle.  Cook, stirring for 1 minute.  Add tomato, beer, lime juice,  salt, and pepper. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.  Stir in cilantro and remove from heat.


Serve immediately with accompaniments – cheddar cheese, sour cream, diced onion,  diced tomatoes, salsa, guacamole, and shredded lettuce,  if desired.