The Friday dance, a luau, and Tex-Mex Chipotle Sloppy Joes

Hello!  Happy Friday!

Short weeks are almost tougher than a full week.  I don’t know what it is but when you get rid of a work Monday, Tuesdays just gang up on you and slow the week down.  Add to that, I’m limited in my fitness and I’m watching another marathon training week slip by with no miles logged in my book. *sigh*  But, the good news is I got an appointment with the Physical Therapist!  I’ll have my eval done on Tuesday and then, I can finally start to move forward.  I’ve got a 17-miler on my schedule for Saturday but, clearly, that’s not going to happen.  I’m probably going to knock out another P90X upper body and core workout on Saturday so I don’t feel like a slug. 🙂  And then, back to Crossfit on Monday!  With the “no running” and the “if it hurts, don’t do it” caveats, of course.  I’m hoping that the therapist will allow me to ride a spin bike for cardio to help me maintain my fitness.  I’d really like to come out of the other side of this injury in fairly decent shape so I can still run Tupelo in September. *fingers crossed!*

So, we’re headed to a luau tomorrow evening!  I haven’t been to one of those since we lived in Hawaii back when Thing 2 was born!  Actually, she was still an infant when we went (we were stationed out there and my folks came out to visit and see the baby) and she absolutely loved the drums.  They kept a nice rhythm for rocking her to sleep. 🙂  The only bad thing about that day was we lost her binky.  Guess she spit it out somewhere and she never accepted another one – she wanted that one and that one only.  She’s a little hardheaded.  She must get it from her father. 😉  Anyway, this is not likely to be a full-on luau like that one but there will be a pig buried in the ground and all sorts of food and drink and we’ll be out on the beach.  It should be spectular and I’m really looking forward to it!

Do you have any fun plans for the weekend?

I found this recipe for sloppy joes in an old Cooking Light magazine and I was intrigued.  I have a favorite recipe already for sloppy joes; unfortunately, neither Things 1 or 2 care for it.  Well, fine, they don’t have to eat it!  Anyway, I’m not a Manwich girl – really, when was the last time you bought a can of Manwich? – and I’m game to try new things so I thought I would give this one a try.  Of course, I bought the ground turkey and then ended up using it in Turkey and Brown Rice Chili instead.  Oh, have you made that yet?  So delicious!  You definitely need to make it.  Anyway, so, because I used up the turkey, I obviously didn’t make these when I had originally planned but I did happen to grab some ground bison the other day and figured that would be an acceptable substitution.  Bison is lower in calories than beef, chicken and pork and much lower in fat than beef.  Now, this recipe calls for ground turkey breast which is most definitely lean but some people think it’s too lean and lacks rich flavor.  With bison, you get that flavor without the added fat!   And, it’s actually really tasty – you’ll never know the difference if you substitute bison for beef.  Trust me. 

So, I decided to use the bison instead and that’s why the meat in the pictures looks beefy instead of turkey-y. 😉  And, I’ll tell you what, these were awesome!  The flavor was almost like taco meat and, honestly, would probably make a great substitution FOR taco meat one day.  I didn’t have a jalapeno so I left it out but I did have medium-hot salsa so I still got the heat in.  I served them on Ciabatta rolls that jumped into my cart at the grocery store.  Seriously, I’ve never seen that happen before! And, I think those were the best rolls possible.  They’re a little sturdier than regular kaiser rolls or burger buns so they held together really well.  You know WHY sloppy joes are called sloppy joes?  Well, these don’t make a mess with the Ciabatta rolls!  The sandwich actually stayed together.  No bibs required.  Om nom nom!

What’s your favorite messy food? 🙂


Tex-Mex Chipotle Sloppy Joes
Makes 4 servings

1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons minced seeded jalapeno pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle chile pepper
1 pound ground turkey breast
1 1/2 cups bottled mild salsa
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
4 (2 1/2-ounce) Kaiser rolls, cut in half

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, and jalapeno; saute 2 minutes or until soft. Add sugar and next 5 ingredients (through turkey); cook 5 minutes or until turkey is browned, stirring to crumble. Stir in salsa; cook 4 minutes or until slightly thick. Stir in cilantro. Spread about 3/4 cup turkey mixture on bottom half of each roll; cover with top half of each roll.


Per serving (1 sandwich):
Calories 397; Fat 5.4g (saturated 0.9g, monounsaturated 1.9g, polyunsaturated 1.6g); Protein 35.4g; Carbs 44.8g; Fiber 2.5g; Sodium 870mg; Cholesterol 70mg

– jennifer

A shake-out run, smallest expo ever, and meatloaf muffins!

Want to know how cold it was this morning? 38 degrees! While I’m not afraid of cold weather – in fact, I prefer it to hot and muggy – but we left 80 degrees in Pensacola. Crazy temperature difference! So, we got out for a 2 1/2-mile shake-out run this morning. It was beautiful but the altitude made us huff and puff a bit. We finally settled in and were able to talk more and breathe better. I’m glad we got it done. We feel pretty confident about tomorrow.


Then, breakfast! There was a Corner Bakery and Cafe just down the street. Yum!


The expo was the smallest race expo I’ve ever been to. Seriously, it didn’t even take up the whole room! There are only 1300 marathon bib numbers! Small race! But, the vendors were decent and we met the pacers we might try to stay with tomorrow. Super friendly! I normally don’t buy much at the expos but I snagged an awesome race jacket today. It’s definitely going to come in handy post-race while we’re hanging out at the party.

Also at the expo was a banner for everyone to sign and share thoughts and prayers about Boston. They’re sending it to the Boston Athletic Association. Very cool. Here’s me leaving my thoughts:


So, for your recipe fix, here’s another from my previous blog. Cute little meat loaf muffins! Om nom nom!!

This recipe comes from the Cooking Light magazine, March 2006 issue – diner meat loaf “muffins”. Sounds interesting, right? Well, they are! And, they were easy too! Something I need to add here is that I am not a huge meatloaf fan. I know some people LOVE their meatloaf and even turn them into sandwiches – yes, mom, I’m talking about you. I never did that and I was always less than thrilled when meatloaf showed up for dinner. I was not as disgusted as when liver showed up (EW!) but I never did a “yay meatloaf!” dance. But, I have grown into the comfort food aspect of it and when prepared properly, meatloaf can be quite tasty. So, when I saw meatloaf in muffin form, I knew I had to try it.

As already stated, the recipe comes from Cooking Light so you know it’s not going to be laden down with fat. Make sure you buy extra lean ground beef. I found 96% lean at my grocery store – I know that I’ve seen 97% lean ground beef in some stores. If you can’t find that, get the leanest available. Be aware that if you can only find 80/20, the calorie and fat count is going to be much different and you will likely have to remove the muffins from the pan prior to serving to help eliminate some of the fat that will be in the muffin cups. Anyway, lean, lean, lean ground beef. You can certainly add some ground pork to the mixture for a flavor difference. If you opt for ground turkey breast, it will definitely be lean but it will also be dry so be sure to mix in a small amount of regular ground turkey or ground pork and a little extra liquid for moisture. Dry meatloaf is NOT tasty.

So, on to the meat of my story…. (ha! Okay, sorry, bad pun.) This recipe was really, really easy to put together and from start to finish took up about 45 minutes of my time. There’s some chopping at the start – onion, carrot, garlic – and a short sauté prior to mixing but once that’s done, it’s all in the oven and you have time to rest, read an email, play Words with Friends, whatever. With a small amount of pre-preparation, this recipe makes for a great weeknight meal that will come together in just over 30 minutes. Seriously, just chop up the onion, carrot and garlic the night before and all you have to do is preheat the oven, mix the ingredients, fill the muffin cups and bake!

Cooking Light often gives “serve with” suggestions and for this one, they suggested roasted potato wedges and green beans. Sounded good to me so I went that route. You, of course, could do mashed potatoes or whatever you want. The final product? These little muffins o’ meat were pretty darned tasty! Even Things 1 and 2 liked them, although Thing 2 would have preferred no ketchup on the top. She thought they had a sloppy joe taste about them and that dish ranks high on her yuck list. But, she’s crazy. They don’t taste like sloppy joes. They taste like meatloaf with ketchup on the top.

Anyway, here’s the recipe. Happy cooking, eating and drinking!


Diner Meat Loaf “Muffins”

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
½ cup finely chopped carrot
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup ketchup, divided
1 ½ pounds ground beef, extra lean (raw)
1 cup finely crushed fat-free saltine crackers (about 20)
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
Cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion, chopped carrot, dried oregano, and minced garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Cool.

3. Combine onion mixture, ½ cup ketchup, and the remaining ingredients except cooking spray in a large bowl.

4. Spoon the meat mixture into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Top each with 2 teaspoons ketchup. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160 degrees. Let stand for 5 minutes.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 2 “muffins”)

Calories 276 (28% from fat); Fat 8.6g (sat 3g, mono 4g, poly 0.8g): Protein 28.7g; Carbohydrates 21.7g; Fiber 1.8g; Cholesterol 131mg; Iron 3.9mg; Sodium 759mg; Calcium 48mg

An Easter-themed WOD and (better than Bush’s) Baked Beans

I got a sneak peek last night of this morning’s CrossFit WOD – the workouts are usually posted on the box’s blog around 5pm the night before. I’ll admit, I was a bit intimidated but I was game! So, of course, I had to rock an awesome headband to help put me in the right frame of mind. Who let the dogs out?!


And, then, this morning, the WOD was on the whiteboard. Oof.


In honor of Easter, Gil went with the biblical reference. Golgotha was the site outside Jerusalem’s walls where Jesus was crucified. It was a place of great suffering and each move in this WOD was symbolic of the crucifixion. And, while our suffering was minor compared to that day, suffer we did this morning. Through 14 rounds. What’s a TGU? That’s a fun thing called a “Turkish Get-Up.” Looks like this. Thank goodness we only did that for 3 out of the 14 rounds! Anyway, I finished it in 53:07. Worked my butt off and have matching “battle scars” on my thumbs to show for it. 🙂

Food time!

So, I made the best baked beans for dinner last night. Seriously. Better. Than. Bush’s. Not kidding. This shall be my go-to baked bean recipe – especially for potlucks. I promise, if you make these and take to a potluck, bbq, party, or whatever, you absolutely, positively will NOT be bringing any leftovers home.


Carla’s Baked Beans
Makes 10 servings

1/2 pound ground beef (I used 93/7)
1/2 pound bacon, chopped (I used center cut)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
16-ounce can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
16-ounce can pork and beans, drained
15-ounce can butter, or green lima, beans
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
2 tablespoons molasses

1. Brown meats and onion in skillet; drain.

2. Add salt, pepper, and beans. Stir in remaining ingredients. Mix well. Pour into slow cooker.

3. Cook on high 4-5 hours or low 8-10 hours.

Here’s the nutritional breakdown according to myfitnesspal:
Calories 232; Fat 3.1g; Cholesterol 14.5mg; Sodium 618mg; Carbs 41.2g (fiber 3.4g, sugar 20.6g); Protein 13.4g