Tug-A-war In The Kitchen

Two weeks ago I cooked baked ziti for my family.  This week it’s authentic baked mac & cheese.

While they enjoy the dish and look forward to traditional meals, I feel like a heel for feeding it to them.

Some of the meal are loaded with the unhealthy fats.  Whenever possible, I substitute with “low fat” this, “low sodium” that, Non -GMO Verified, ingredients and more. So although, I do what I can to prepare healthy meals, mom and hubby are grown folks and I have no right to make them adapt to my eating styles. I can only encourage and educate them and hope they make healthier choices.

I had a moment while running through the aisle of Shoprite.  Lol!!  I like using the new smaller carts with two baskets; one on top and one on the bottom.  I was filling my cart with one gallon water jugs and got a glimpse of the contrast of the basket contents.

cart1There was no more low fat cheese; cheese was on sale.  They like the mac & cheese better with the whole milk. I can’t find whole wheat pasta in elbows. And the corn muffins, well, their delicious!  Lol!


Water. Chicken breast (I wish it were organic).  Flaxseed. Brown rice. Black Rice (new to me).  I don’t know what this black rice is going to taste like, but I’m always up for trying new foods.

mac and cheeseThey will be grubbin on a scrupulous (Yes, I tasted it…OMG! It’s delicious) pan of mac & cheese, while I experiment with great anticipation, a plate of hot fluffy black rice.  🙂

I could very easily eat the mac and cheese with dinner, but I won’t.  Why?

  1. Goals!  written-goalsIn 2015 I will compete again, so I’m on a mission.

  2. My body no longer appreciates the cheese, milk, and the pasta, so I’d rather not suffer through the consequences. Feeling bloated, gassy, and down right uncomfortable.
  3. I understand the health benefits of avoiding certain foods and eating clean, so all is good. 🙂

Best believe the next meal I cook for my fam is going to be healthier!  Lol!!  To help me (mentally) and them (health wise), I try to rotate and vary meals.

I have to go check on the black rice and finish cooking vegetables (broccoli and kale) for dinner.

Enjoy the day; make it a good one! 🙂

Trim The Fat

You will not find bacon (not even turkey bacon) on my plate; however, you can bust me eating leaner cuts of pork like tenderloin, center cut pork loin or boneless chops.

Sometimes I get sick and tired of eating chicken, but I still need a lean source of protein. Since I don’t eat beef, a lean cut of pork does the trick. Tonight I cooked center cut boneless pork loin for me not the family. I am not being selfish, they want something different.

Yesterday I cooked them baked ziti (whole grain pasta) with ground turkey, fresh green beans, and baked barbecue wings.  I actually feel guilty cooking this food, but they don’t care to eat off my menu. I get it.

I will compete again in 2015 and need more size and definition. It starts with my diet.

Taking the smallest steps in the kitchen, can net the greatest gains in your long-term fitness goals. Don’t cheat yourself, trim the fat. Ya hear me!  Trim it!



As a teen helping mom in the kitchen, I learned that the fat has the flavor.  Don’t trim it off!  Please, don’t believe the hype… you can add flavor (using fresh spices) without the fat.IMG_3327.JPG

IMG_3328.JPGThe finished product was delicious!  Ingredients:  fresh garlic cloves (handful), fresh black pepper, cayenne pepper, McCormick’s Grill Mates, bourbon & brown sugar (closer to competition, I will cut this from my diet due to sugar & sodium content), olive oil, red wine vinaigrette (I will eliminate this too).

I broiled the chops 15 minutes on low on one side, then flipped over on high for about 15 min.  I like my meat well done… no pink!

On to my 100HappyDaysChallenge…

OUTLETI saw these outlets on TV and told hubby about them. He surprised me and installed one in the kitchen. Love them!  Now we can charge our devices and still have room for other electronics in the kitchen.  Their pricy, so we’ll slowly replace other outlets. #100HappyDaysChallenge4Lexa #100HappyDaysChallenge #Day48

BAKED ZITIBaked ziti for my peeps.  They are so damn happy to eat something other than brown rice and sweet potatoes. They’re happy to have pasta.  I am happy because they are happy and I taste tested it (about 4 noodles), it was delicious but I ate brown rice instead.  It’s called discipline and I have it!  🙂   #100HappyDaysChallenge #100HappyDays4Lexa #Day49

Sweet dreams!!  🙂



Hearty whole wheat pasta salad

For all the nay sayers and anti-whole wheat pasta folks who say it’s nasty, I disagree and challenge you to try this recipe. Haahaa!

1 16 oz. box of whole wheat pasta
1 red pepper
1 orange pepper (optional)
1 yellow pepper (optional)
3-5 fresh garlic cloves minced (depending on your love for garlic
2 medium size zucchini (quartered or diced)
6-12 cherry or another small tomato variety
1 15.5 oz. garbanzo beans (drained & rinsed)
1- 2 Tbs. granulated garlic powder to your taste
1-2 Tbs. fresh ground black pepper to your taste
1/4 cup of olive oil (I prefer garlic roasted olive oil, but plain olive oil will do)
1 cup (approximately) Lawry’s perfect blend chicken & poultry rub (I’m not sure how much I use, I just continue to add the rub until I like the taste.  You do the same.
1/2 cup red wine vinaigrette

Boil a pot of water with a dash of olive oil.  Add 1-16 oz. box of whole wheat pasta.  Follow package instructions.  Drain well and set aside.  Thoroughly wash and dry peppers, garlic, and zucchini. Chop/dice up peppers, and fresh garlic and toss in dish or bowl that will hold your pasta. Chop or quarter fresh zucchini and toss in the same bowl. Drain and rinse beans under cold water and add to bowl.  Add drained pasta and stir well.  Add olive oil and stir.  Add garlic powder and pepper and stir.  Add Lawry’s  to taste.  Add red wine vinaigrette and stir well. Continue to taste and add whatever spices to make the dish perfect for you.

Variation:  Grill, broil or bake 1-2 whole skinless, boneless chicken breasts.  Use Lawry’s Season Salt  or Adobe All Season Salt, garlic & black pepper.  Cool chicken.  Cut into cubes and add to pasta.  The chicken adds protein and makes the dish hardy.

Disclaimer:  I don’t measure my ingredients, but I am working on this. Taste buds vary. What tastes flavorful to me might be a tad bit too spicy for you, so I recommend that you use less of the spices first then gradually add to your liking.