Healthy Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Happy Monday!!! I am starting this week of happy, happy, happy because of all of the warm sun shining weather!

I made this pot roast on Friday as I knew I was going to have a long crazy day at work and wouldn’t want to cook dinner when I got home so I planned ahead (go me!). I threw this pot roast together in the crock pot before work (total time: 15 minutes!!!!) and when I got home I was welcomed to the house by the most delicious smell in the world! Walking into your wonderful smelling home after a long day at work knowing you don’t have anything to do but scoop that goodness into a bowl and chow down is an incredible feeling! There is just something about eating meat and potatoes on a cold winters night that warms the soul. 

Pot Roast

I LOVE crock pot meals. Seriously a life saver for busy nights. They are typically cheap, produce leftovers (at least in my house), and take little time and effort to make. They also require minimal clean-up which is always great in my book. I plan on making a ton of freezer meals for when I have my baby this August so be on the lookout for lots more crock pot meals to come!

Healthy Pot Roast

This recipe is a classic pot roast in that it has potatoes, beef, celery, carrots, etc. but it cuts the added sodium, fat, and calories I have seen in many other recipes calling for beef broth, butter, or flour.

Pot Roast

 

Healthy Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Serves: 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 1 (2-3lb) Boneless Chuck Roast
  • 5 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 4 garlic cloves, whole
  • 20-30 baby carrots, whole
  • 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 Tbsp. dried thyme
  • 2 Tbsp. Mesquite seasoning
  • Fresh cracked black pepper and sea salt
  • 3/4 cup cold water
  • 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil

Directions:

  1. Season roast with salt, pepper, and 1 Tbsp. of the mesquite seasoning.
  2. Heat oil in medium sauce pan over high heat. Add roast and turn to sear on each size approximately 1 min. until browned to 1/4 inch thickness. This will keep all the juices locked into the meat, making it more tender.
  3. Measure out the water into small bowl, whisk together worchestershire sauce, thyme, salt, pepper, and remaining mesquite seasoning.
  4. To crock pot, add potatoes, onions, carrots, celery, bay leaf, and top with the seared roast. Pour worchestershire mixture over meat.
  5. Cover with lid and cook on low for 8 hours (or until cooked through and shreds easily with a fork). Serve warm and enjoy!

Surprise…We’re Expecting!

I just couldn’t contain my excitement any longer and had to share the wonderful news with all my loyal, amazing readers…I’m pregnant!! I am 16 weeks along and doing well overall. This is such an exciting and new experience for my husband and I.

While I am absolutely thrilled to be expecting our first child, something I have dreamed about practically my entire life, I noticed that I also have reservations and doubts. I have some worries about my body changing in ways I might not be able to control or want. After all, I have worked SO hard to get to where I am physically, mentally, and emotionally over the past 4 years of first my weight loss and then weight management.

I have watched what I ate everyday for the past 4 years. I have worked out 5 days a week or more tirelessly. You can’t just flip a switch and change how you view food and your body in a few short weeks. I have been having a bit of trouble gaining weight with my pregnancy. That literally has NEVER been an issue for me my entire life. I mean, it is a little thrilling to think I could (and have been told by many) go shove a hamburger, fries, and shake into my mouth. Yet, I refuse. I refuse because that is a slippery slope of food/lifestyle choices and certainly won’t do me or my baby any good in the long run.

I realize many people will read this post and think that I am being selfish or narcissistic. How could I even think of myself when I am going to be a mother to a beautiful baby?! I know what you may be thinking because I think that sometimes as well. But I refuse to pop that cute little buglet out of me and find myself right back at the beginning of where I was 4 years ago. It is a huge fear of mine, yet at the same time has been a huge motivator for me. I choose instead to minimize the excess weight gain the best that I can.

So, here is my game plan: to eat healthy 85% of the time as I did pre-pregnancy, allowing myself treats/craving splurges the other 15% of the time so that I gain the appropriate 25-30 pounds of weight my doctor told me to gain. It has been a huge struggle to continue working out with the limitations of pregnancy and my lack of energy but I will continue to push through and lift light weights 2x a week and go on leisurely walks 3x per week.

What I’m doing seems to be working! I have gained 1.5 pounds in the past week and a 1/2 (yay!) by adding healthy fats (avocado, nuts, etc.) and high quality, unprocessed carbs to my diet.

This picture is of my progress…starting to show!!! 🙂

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I want to inspire other soon-to-be-mamas out there to remember to take  time to care for yourself during your pregnancy. Focus on gaining a ‘healthy’ amount of weight by eating nutrient dense foods and continuing (or start!) to moderately work-out. Not only will this make you mentally more prepared for when baby comes but it will make your pregnancy symptoms less severe, helps to prepare your body for the stamina delivery requires, and helps your body bounce back quicker post-delivery.

I can’t wait to share some new recipes with you all over the course of my pregnancy! I hereby promise to omit any involving pickles, chocolate, potatoes, or hamburgers (my current cravings).

XOXO,

Keri

 

 

Skinny 7-Layer Dip

Sigh. That game was a tough game to watch for us Carolina fans last night. In my opinion the refs were calling the Panther’s on every little thing whereas the Bronco’s got away with murder with 0 penalties in the second half. We would have lost regardless since the Bronco’s defense just outplayed our offense but it definitely cost us a ton of yards and possession time that we desperately needed!! Oh well, there’s always next year, right?

7 layer dip

I promised I would share my absolute FAV recipe for parties with you guys today so here it is! I made this yesterday for our Superbowl party, which turned out to be the best decision ever as it helped me to eat my feelings 😉 . Trust me, this dip will be a huge hit at your next party! I also served this at our New Year’s Eve party and people were raving about how much they loved it. They must have because that is the only time I’ve seen that much dip disappear!

Ignore the top right corner that was dug into...I couldn't resist!
Ignore the top right corner that was dug into…I couldn’t resist!

This dip usually comes loaded with tons of sodium, fat, and calories and normally would be one I would shy away from when watching my waistline. This version of it cuts the sodium down immensely as well as slashing the total fat and calorie counts while adding a healthy dose of protein.

7 layer dip 4

Go grab yourself a (baked) chip and dig in!!

7 layer dip


Skinny 7 Layer Dip

Serves: 10-12 people

Ingredients:

Sour Cream/Greek Yogurt Mixture:

  • 6oz. low-fat sour cream
  • 6oz. 0% fat plain greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)

Other Ingredients:

  • 12oz. can low-fat refried black beans
  • 1 cup medium salsa (try to find one low in sodium!)
  • 12oz. guacamole (store bought works well too)
  • 2 cups shredded low-fat sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • Optional add-ons: olives, lettuce, green onions, jalapenos.

Directions:

  1. In medium bowl, combine all ingredients for the sour cream and greek yogurt mixture until well incorporated. Taste, and season with more salt and pepper to your liking. Set aside.
  2. In 8×13 glass casserole dish (or dish of choice), layer ingredients in this order:
    1. Refried Black Beans
    2. Sour cream/Greek yogurt
    3. Salsa
    4. Guacamole
    5. Cheese
    6. Tomatoes
    7. Green onions, jalapenos, olives, or other toppings of choice.
  3. Refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour before serving. Serve with baked tortilla chips or veggies for dipping.

Enjoy!!

 

 

 

Super Bowl 50: Party Menu

I have never before been so excited for a Super Bowl in my life. I was (and still sort of am) the girl who watched the game for the food and half-time show. All that changed when my husband and I started living together a couple of years ago. Football is always on in our house every single Sunday…ALL DAY. I had no choice but to sit and watch his favorite NFL team, the Panthers, every time they played. Slowly I started caring who won and lost and turned over to the dark side (or the black-and-blue side =) ). I am now a full-fledged Panther’s fan!

Photo credit: Cookingchanneltv.com
Photo credit: Cookingchanneltv.com

They have done extremely well this year and I am SO proud of the team they have become under Cam Newton. But seeing as this is a healthy food blog and not a sports blog I’ll just jump straight to what you came here for…the FOOD!

Vegetable herb dip

Super bowl food is better than all other party food in my opinion. It is the ultimate of tailgating food and you get to eat as much as you can stuff your face with for a 4+ hour game while cheering alongside your friends and family.

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That being said, if you are anything like me and stuff your face with the tasty (albeit bad for you) foods, you leave the party feeling bloated and guilty. Luckily, there is a solution to this age-old problem! I came up with a list of my favorite SKINNY recipes for you guys to try. I promise even the macho men at your party won’t notice they are reduced in calories, fat, and sodium! So go on, stuff that pretty little face (within reason of course!).

NOTE: Some of the recipes listed below are what I will be cooking up this Sunday so stay tuned for pictures of my creations here on Monday after the big game!

Even if you haven’t turned into a raving football fan like I have, be sure to cook up some of these delish, simple recipes for your friends and family this Sunday then sit down to enjoy the awesome commercials and half-time show (Coldplay, Beyonce, and Bruno Mars are set to perform)!!

 

Photo credit: Popsugar.com
Photo credit: Popsugar.com

Super Bowl Menu Ideas:

  1. Skinny 7-Layer Dip and Baked Chips
  2. Spicy Honey-Garlic Boneless Wings (I might grill mine!)
  3. Skinny Buffalo Chicken Wings
  4. Loaded Sweet Potato Skins
  5. Turkey Burger Sliders (sans mayo and use whole wheat buns!)
  6. Guacamole Dip
  7. Skinny Pizza Quesadilla (instead of ordering those large pizzas!)
  8. Baked (not fried) Pickles with light herb ranch dip
  9. Mixed fruit on skewers
  10. Vegetable herb dip with carrots, celery, bell peppers, broccoli, and cucumbers for dipping!
  11. Mozzarella Sticks with marinara dipping sauce
  12. Buffalo Chicken Jalapeno Poppers
  13. Mamas Roadhouse Chili (serve with low-fat sour cream and low-fat cheddar cheese for topping!)
  14. Team colors dessert Popcorn (better be panthers colors ya’ll! Can be creative with this one and sub healthier add-in’s).
  15. Skinny Brownie Bites

GO PANTHERS!!!!!