Happy Friday & Happy Labor Day Weekend! It’s my first Labor Day weekend in YEARS that isn’t going to be spent closing up another summer season at the pool. I actually can’t remember the last Labor Day I had off (I think it was 2012?! and only because I was away at school) so this weekend is going to be quite the treat! Labor Day marks the “official” end to summer and it’s a perfect time to celebrate the season with family and friends on the water, at a rooftop bar, or grilling this Chili Lime Steak at home.
Can I just take a moment to express to you all how happy I am for this long weekend? This week was my first full week since August 7th-11th and I definitely felt it. The days felt long and traffic felt even worse. Driving home yesterday was awful; Matt and I spent nearly 2 hours in the car thanks to Cubs, Bears, and long-weekend traffic. GRRR.
I am so looking forward to taking some extended time this weekend to chill out and have some family time this weekend. Megan is home (again!) this weekend. YAY! I haven’t seen her yet but she’s coming over tomorrow! And I might spend the night at my parent’s house with her. Might. I need to figure out my ride situation since Matt and I drove to work. Anyway! This weekend is going to be especially great because she is leaving Clemson with me overnight on Saturday! I am so excited to have a little pupper in the apartment. I wishwishwish I could have my own dog but it’s just not practical right now 🙁 sad!
This sweet, sweet baby of a Chili Lime Steak was made earlier this week because I had a hankerin’ for some red meat. I don’t crave red meat all that often, aside from maybe a burger, but when I do it’s like: gimme a steak. STAT! And this was one of those situations, for sure. Steak is great for so many reasons but I especially love its versatility. You see, I made this piece of meat for dinner on Monday with potatoes and some grilled asparagus. Sounds delicious, right? It was really tasty and I had to all but force Matt to leave enough for Tuesday leftovers. On Tuesday night, I shredded up the steak and tossed it in a skillet to warm up. And then what do you know, I had chili lime steak tacos for dinner! How great does that sound? It’s been a blessed week in the meal department (we had gnocchi on Wednesday ;)).
Now that I’ve talked (typed) your ears (eyes) off, let’s get on with the recipe. Honestly, can you even call this a recipe? I just threw a bunch of things that sound good together in a Ziploc bag and let it marinate for as long as I could stand it. I actually marinated the steak overnight because #FORESIGHT! Actually, I can thank Matt for that. I probably would’ve gotten home Monday and been like, “OKAY STEAK, TIME TO GET SAUCY!” So, yeah. It’s recipe time. I’ve gone on for far too long.
What are your favorite grilled dishes?
Do you have any plans for the long weekend?! Share them below!
HAPPY FRIDAY, FAM! We made it, we made it. Did this week just seem to drag on and on and on for anybody else or was it just me? I mean, my time off of work flies by but the time I’m at work just go s-o-o-o SLOW. And it sucks because, like so many, I enjoy my time off of work much more than my time at work. I mean, there are so many things to be done! Aside from day-to-day chores, there’s the whole running thing, blogging (hi!), exploring Chicago (because I live here now), and spending time with friends and family (I don’t do enough of that). There is just not enough time in the day to do all of the things I love to do.
I don’t wanna get all philosophical on you but time is such a valuable resource, one we won’t get back. So, it only makes sense that we spend less time doing things we don’t always like and more time doing things we enjoy! And, while I l-o-v-e to cook (usually), I also like having my time to do things I like even more. Like, I can spend Saturday afternoon baking cookies or preparing tasty side dishes, but the moment I *need* to cook, I hate it. Making lunches for the work week? Not a fan. My time is better spent elsewhere (in my opinion). Making dinner after work so we don’t starve? Not a fan of that, either.
However, I am certainly of fan of this stupid-easy recipe I’m sharing with you all today. I like to say it’s Korean Beef but… I mean how authentic and “Korean” can this Korean Beef be? It’s definitely got some flavors you’d see in a Korean restaurant, though! From start to finish in 20 minutes and the best part? It’s not only all made from scratch (hurray!), but it’s actually pretty healthy. Affordable! Tasty! And! It’s delicious as a leftover, too. Okay, so that’s actually 5 really good features of this dish. Wow, that must mean it’s a must-make right? Like, you should really add this your regular meal rotations.
Check out my recipe for a less-than-30 minute meal and treat yo’ self to better-than-takeout Korean Beef. You’re gonna love it!
What I really like about this dish is that it can be completely customized. Sub your ground beef for a fattier cut (or better yet – use steak!), sub tofu (or another non-meat substitute) for the beef entirely. Add shredded carrots and cabbage. Like it hot? That’s cool, you can add even more red pepper flakes or drizzle with Sriracha. Or maybe you hate heat (like me, hi!), the sweetness of the brown sugar balances whatever amount of red pepper flakes you use. Trust me.
I made this the other night when I was absolutely exhausted and ready to crash. By the time the rice was done cooking, the beef was ready to be served up and all I needed was to saute up some spinach (for greens and things). I served myself up a bowl of this beautiful dish I created and promptly plopped myself on the couch for some Real Housewives of NYC action. What a glorious hour that ended much too soon.
And now? I’m sharing it with you. Make it. Eat it. Love it. Have it for leftovers.
What’s your go-to quick meal?
Good morning & happy Friday, my friends! It has been quite a gloomy week here in Chicagoland and apparently now we’re in a State of Emergency because of all the flooding. Crazy, right? I have never seen so much water! Usually when we get heavy rainfall, only the east side of the town is impacted (close to the river) but the rain was non-stop early on in the week so now, even the west side is effected. Like, even Six Flags was closed due to the flooding and Six Flags NEVER closes. #youknowitsbadwhen… But to make this gloomy week a bit brighter, I’ve got some Blueberry Lemon Muffins to share with you today!
I have been wanting to make Blueberry Lemon Muffins for-freakin-ever and for one reason or another, I put it off. Until now.
Let’s back this up a little bit, okay? About a year and a half ago, I was at my local Jewel when I was roaming through the bakery section. The bakery section smells so good all the time so the smell + my hunger (runger? I stopped by after a workout) = I NEED FOOD. I decided to “be good” and I only bought 1 muffin (instead of a 4-pack) when they caught my eye: BLUEBERRY LEMON MUFFINS. What a delicious combination of flavors! I just had to have one. And I did!
And then I never saw that beautiful combination again. I’ve had my heart broken in the past but never like this. Shame on you, Jewel (I’m kidding, I love Jewel). Instead of creating my own version of a blueberry lemon muffin, I have spent the last year and a half wallowing in my self-pity.
That stops TODAY. These muffins are so gosh darn beautiful. And delicious. And so easy to make! You probably already have everything you need in your refrigerator or pantry. Lucky you! You can have these muffins done in less than 30 minutes if you’re speedy, but definitely less than 45 minutes. Amazing!
Oh, WOAH. It has certainly been a while since we last talked. Like, over a week. I know, I know. SHAME ON ME. Whatever. Let’s catch up, shall we? We shall. If you’re just here for the food (I get it), scroll on down and you’ll see my take on Honey Mustard Chicken. Thighs or breasts. Whatever you have in your fridge is FINE. And if you’re asking me (you obviously are if you’re here), these are THE BEST.
Okay so since we last talked… I had some time off! I took some time off on Thursday to get my teeth cleaned (no cavity club HEY) and some other errands like going to the Farmers Market #priorities. Matt has been talking about lamb burgers for quite some time and while none of the vendors had ground lamb, I got the next best thing (or that was my line of thought, anyway): lamb steaks! Those were… interesting. A little fattier than I was expecting but still very tasty!
I have also been running a lot (duh) and even know I initially made the executive decision to post my Running Recaps on Wednesdays… I’ve changed my mind! I will be publishing them on Monday from here on out. So what does this mean for you?! Well, this Monday = 2 weeks of running for you to read through! HURRAY! *throws confetti*
Oh, and that long weekend we just had? Thank you, America (the OG Brexit) for declaring your Independence so, so long ago. And a big thank you to those who continue to stand for our Freedoms. I actually (not surprisingly) did not do much over the long weekend: running, making food, and yet another attempt at a Spicy Margarita that has yet to turn out well for me. Sad! Matt and I went over to my parents on the 4th to just sit in the backyard and go on the boat for a little bit. We were out on the water for maaaybe 30 minutes(?) and I got sun-burnt. Luckily, my red turns to tan pretty quickly 😉
This Honey Mustard Chicken is so simple and requires next to no effort. And clean-up? EASY PEASY. All you need is a large Ziploc bag, a pan (or a cast-iron skillet), a stove-top and your oven (or grill).Yeah, that’s it. I’ll include both grill & oven directions below. And like I said above, you can use chicken breasts or thighs. For simplicity, I’ll just be sharing the process for thighs but breasts are almost exactly the same (you don’t need to sear your breasts)!
Hellllloooo and happy weekend, my sweet angels! Like most of America, and the working world, I love the weekends. It means two days of not having to shlep myself to the office and two days to do things that I (usually) enjoy doing. Like eating this Bacon, Kale & Sweet Potato Frittata, Trader Joe’s trips, running, watching and re-watching the Game of Thrones trailer (I’ve watched the latest trailer like, 6 times already).
What. A. Week. It felt much longer than 5 days, especially since Wednesday & Thursday seemed to D-R-A-G ON. I got some disappointing news on Thursday that is still a bit of a bummer. Instead of dwelling on it: Matt and I decided on our next vacation: Seattle!! See ya in August, Mer 😉 Uh, just kidding. I KNOW the show is filmed on a set in LA, okay?! I am SO excited to check out Mt Rainier National Park, the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, and the ferries (s/o McDreamy). We thought August would be a good time to check out Seattle: not too hot, not too cold, juuuust right! Hopefully not too touristy. If it is, whatever. We’re tourists too.
Oh, WHAT A GREAT DAY TO BE ALIVE. Matt scored us 2 passes to the NHL Draft Fan Fest so we will probably make our way down to the United Center at some point today! We aren’t sure what to expect but according to the website: games, food, fun, Blackhawks players, and prizes! I’m hoping to win the hockey puck signed by Corey Crawford 😉 I’m not entirely certain how much time we’ll spend at the fan fest but Matt wants to go to the Lincoln Park Zoo or do something else in the city so that’ll be our day right there. Luckily, I planned ahead of time and got my run done & fueled for the day with this Bacon, Kale & Sweet Potato Frittata!
This frittata is DELICIOUS! I sauteed the sweet potatoes and kale in a little bit of bacon grease and just. O-M-G you can taste the bacon in the sweet potatoes! It is absolutely, positively so delicious. The potatoes are really soft, bacon extra crispy, and the kale adds a nice hint of green for health.
I prepared mine in a pie tin (lol) because I do not have a cast iron skillet (yet) and I figured none of the pans I currently own would work for this. For easy clean-up, I highly recommend using a cast-iron or an oven-safe pan that can fit everything. Happy eating!
This frittata, as is, is gluten-free and dairy-free. Feel free to omit the bacon for a vegetarian meal (use olive or sesame oil for the potatoes & kale, then). If you like cheese with your eggs, some shredded cheddar would make an excellent addition. To make this meal higher in protein and lower in fat, omit the yolks from 2-3 eggs and just use the whites.
OMGDear Monday, can you please just… not? I’d greatly appreciate it. I absolutely do not want to go back into the office tomorrow so please, please, please, I am literally begging you, let the weekend stay! Just another day. Okay, I understand I have to go to work tomorrow but there will come a day where I do not have to do that. Can’t wait.
Okay. Anyway – HAPPY FATHER’S DAY! Today is going to be a great day because it’s all about my dad & my grandpa! Ya know, I am really so lucky to have the family that I have. Sure, like all families, I can get irritated with them (except my grandparents… never get irritated with them!! PS HEY GRANDMA) and vice-versa. But holy heck, we are all pretty close with each other and I think that’s really cool, especially now that we’re all getting older and living further away from each other.
Friday evening and Saturday went by WAY TOO FAST. Matt and I had to go to Lake Forest to drop something off and I wanted to show him this super tacky house which then led us to checking its worth on Zillow. And then this led to us going to see Jay Cutler’s and Kristin Cavallari’s old home because we are #STALKERS (they’re NOT living there anymore) and WOW the outside is very underwhelming. But the kitchen is beautiful & it’s 100-yards from Lake Michigan so I guess that’s how the $4.75M price tag is justified? Not sure, all I know is: I won’t be living in that house any time soon (or ever, really). And once we got home, Matt went for a run and I went back to my old stomping grounds: THE POOL! It was teen-night and I gotta say… I do NOT miss working that rental 😉
Saturday morning was weird because I woke up at 6AM. Wide awake. And confused. Confused because when I wake up at 6:15 during the week, I’m exhausted and discombobulated, and have somewhere to be. But on the weekends? Sure, body, wake me up at 6 feeling all refreshed. It’s fine. I spent most of the day doing a whole lot of nothing aside from my run & getting Thai food. I also saw Rough Night which is not as bad as Rotten Tomatoes says it is!
OMG okay enough about my weekend; if you read that, I’m sorry. I can go on and on and on. It’s time to talk about this Garlicky Kale. And let me just preface this by saying: I am not huge on kale. I can do baby kale in my smoothies and that’s about it. But no. I actually was reading how Juli Bauer of PaleOMG makes her kale and was like, “omg, she makes kale sound delicious.” So I took a few liberties with the recipe; namely, I just prepared the kale in bacon fat, sprinkled in minced garlic, and topped with a healthy dose of sea salt. UM, YES. I’m a KALE CONVERT, Y’ALL.. Like, I still probably wouldn’t eat it raw, like in a salad. But toss it in some bacon fat and garlic and I’M IN THERE LIKE SWIMWEAR for Garlicky Kale. You can also toss your Garlicky Kale in with some sweet potatoes and top with an egg & BAM! You’ve got a great meal.
Over the stove, cook up your bacon the way you like it. I like mine nice and crispy 😉
Remove bacon from your pan and drain most of the bacon grease out, but not all, before tossing in your kale and garlic
Saute the kale until wilted - it tastes too much like dirt when it's still hard
Combine your chopped bacon, kale & garlic and give a good mixin'
Serve it up & sprinkle the sea salt on top!
No, this recipe is not vegetarian or vegan thanks to the bacon grease but you can easily omit the bacon grease and replace with something like olive oil! Or coconut oil!
GOOOOOD MORNING MY SUNSHINEY FRIENDS! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. I know mine was pretty good! On Friday night, I made Grilled Chicken Gyros with homemade tzatziki and a cucumber tomato salad. YUM, right? Okay, stop drooling. It’s unbecoming.
Saturday was Matt’s birthday and I got him Cubs tickets for Cubs v Pirates in July! I am, admittedly, not very good at the whole gift-giving thing but he loves sports and loves the Cubs so it seemed like a perfect combination, right? Right. I’m excited!! I’m not big on baseball but the Wrigley experience is a must to get the Summertime Chicago experience 😉
We were supposed to spend the morning in the city looking at apartments but one of the leasing agents failed to confirm the showing. And then he finally emailed Matt only to let him know that the apartment had been rented. LOVE WHEN THAT HAPPENS! Good God Almighty, I cannot wait for this whole search to be over. Truly. Looking for a rental apartment sucks because you’re kinda stuck with what ya got. Like… even if you have the funds, you can’t do any renovations and usually can’t even paint the walls. But on the other hand, if you could do those things, why would you? You’re putting money into a home that, when your lease is up, is no longer yours! So, yeah. Renting sucks. But it’s fine for the time being.
So, since one of the apartments we were going to look at fell through, we had a few extra hours in the morning. We watched a little 10 Things I Hate About You (a classic) and I went to get some new sandals. I had a difficult time deciding between Birkenstocks or replacing my Rainbows but I went with the Rainbows because they’re a classic and last FOREVER.
On our way home from the city, we had to pick up the cake I ordered! Matt has been talking about this Birthday Cake from Coldstone since we started dating a few years ago and he hasn’t gotten it yet so – BEST GIRLFRIEND AWARD TO ME. Thank you, thank you.
We then went over to Matt’s parents for some pizza, cake and presents! Later that evening, we went out with some friends.
Sunday was for napping, relaxing, and going on the wave runners! We got up early and got our grocery shopping done so we could spend the rest of the day doing whatever we wanted. We went over to my parents house for a few hours to ride the wave runners and just spend some time by the lake. I got to talking with my step-mom and man, oh, man: retiring early sounds preeeetty nice! I cannot imagine working for somebody else for the next 35-40 years of my life. No thank you!
After we got home, I think we both ended up falling asleep for an hour or so. MUCH NEEDED! The sun, and heat, and not-getting-enough-sleep on Saturday night made for some very sleepy people. We both needed to do our training runs (me: 6, Matt: 10) so we woke up, ran, and had leftover grilled chicken gyros for dinner with a watermelon & mint salad!
So these “gyros” are the perfect summer meal: they can be prepared on the grill and topped with a cold salad & creamy tzatziki sauce. The sauce is actually made with Greek yogurt + a little bit of olive oil so it’s an excellent topping AND you can dip snack veggies into it!
Okay. Enough chatter. Let’s grub on these Grilled Chicken Gyros!
Mix together marinade ingredients and pour into a zipper bag with chicken. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, longer if you're able!
While your chicken is marinating, mix together all of the ingredients for your tzatziki and store in refrigerator until you're ready to serve.
Once you're ready to grill the chicken, heat up your grill. Chicken will need 4-6 minutes per side, depending on size of breasts.
After removing chicken from grill, place your pitas on the grill to toast up while you cut the chicken into bite-size pieces.
Place chicken pieces into pita and top with cucumber-tomato salad & tzatziki sauce.
The ingredient list for this recipe looks long but most of the ingredients overlap! I would recommend preparing the chicken the night before and allow to marinade overnight, unless you have time the day-of!
I’m assuming you’ve read the title but if not: Grilled Mango Habanero Chicken. Is that drool-worthy or WHAT?! I’m going with drool-worthy. I know that the ~official start to summer isn’t until June 21 but Memorial Day Weekend + warm temps have got me feelin’ some type of way. And I’m breakin’ out the grill. Well, Matt broke out the grill. And cleaned it because it was really gross in there. And now we be grillin’.
Ugh, but in all seriousness, grilling is my favorite. Grilled meats, grilled vegetables, grilled bread, grilled FRUITS! I love it all. I’ll grill anything and everything. Except maybe ice cream. That is best served cold. Vanilla. In a cone or in a cup, preferably covered with caramel sauce.
Woah, that got off-topic real quick. Reign it in, Erin, reign. it. in. AND WE’RE BACK. Back to the Mango Habanero Chicken I grilled up the other day. If you know me, you know I do not eat spicy food. Like, not too long ago, I ordered a Chicken Tinga taco from a local chain and 1) I could not finish eating it and 2) I was sick to my stomach. It was really spicy.
But since then, I’ve been sort of… experimenting? with spicy foods. Matt will chop a jalapeno and put it in his guacamole, I make Pad Grapao and will use a Serrano chili or two in the recipe. So, I’m getting better. Expanding my horizons. I mean, I did mention that my favorite ice cream is vanilla with caramel topping so what do you expect? I won’t be eating eating spicy hot wings anytime soon. But I will eat this Grilled Mango Habanero Chicken. It’s nice because I can get the heat from the habanero but it’s definitely balanced out from the sweet mango. Without further ado, I present to you: Grilled Mango Habanero Chicken.
This recipe may look daunting but I promise you… it’s not! I mean, once you get the marinade made, all you have to do is let the chicken bathe in it (that sounds disgusting) & then toss on the grill for a few minutes on each side.
So for the mango habanero marinade, all you need is two mangoes, a habanero (deseeded and deveined), some water, and a little bit of honey. Dat suga suga. Slice and dice your mangoes and place into a pot along with your habanero, 1 cup of water, and 1/4C honey. Crank the heat on your stove-top and boil the mixture until the water has evaporated. You could even put your pot over the grill and boil it that way! No heating up your kitchen ;)
Once the water has evaporated, scoop out the habanero piece(s) and mash mash mash until your mixture is, essentially, pureed. This is your marinade. Slice your chicken breasts into tender-size pieces and toss into a bag with this marinade. LET IT BATHE for 30 minutes in the fridge, or longer.
Since your chicken is chillin’ in the fridge, now would be a good time to start the grill (assuming you’re using a charcoal grill like I do). You wanna make sure your grill is niiice and hot before you cook your chicken. Since we’re using tender-size pieces, the chicken will cook quickly so keep an eye on your tenders.
Once the chicken is done, plate & serve. I ate mine with white rice and Mexican street-corn salad (I’ll be sharing this at a later time!)& it was deeelicious. So tasty, so easy, and so HEALTHY!
Add water, honey, mangoes, and habanero to a pot and bring to a boil
Cover pot once boiling & simmer for 10-15 minutes
Once water has evaporated, scoop out habanero
Mash remaining mixture together
Pour the mango and habanero mixture into a bag with chicken and refrigerate +30 minutes
Grill chicken for 3-4 minutes on each side (or longer, if using larger pieces of chicken)
Slice into bite-sized pieces and serve with your favorite sides!
Remember in my last training log post when I said I’d share a healthy breakfast recipe? I did. And it’s here! This afternoon, I’m sharing my Egg White Muffins. They are healthy (52 calories a serving and nearly 6g protein!), delicious, easy, and perfect for busy mornings or snack-time!
There’s not a whole lot to share with this recipe, if you can even call it that. All I know is that I live for breakfast food and gotta have it. But there are some days during the work-week that are so busy (okay, it’s usually because I hit the snooze button too many times) that I have to settle for a protein shake. Blech.
I prepared these muffins on Sunday and popped them into some Tupperware. These will keep fresh for about a week in the fridge but if you don’t plan on eating them within 5 days, I’d definitely put them in a Ziploc freezer bag and thaw overnight. These are best served warm, duh, so feel free to zap them in the microwave for 30 seconds.
So anyway, the first thing you’ll want to do is preheat your oven to 350F and coat a muffin tin in non-stick spray or line with muffin liners. While the oven is preheating, you’re gonna wanna chop up some bell peppers and a white onion. I went with a yellow and green bell pepper for no reason other than these were the cheapest at the grocery store this week.
Then, in a medium or large-size mixing bowl, crack two whole eggs & 4 servings of egg beaters (approx. 12T) and whisk. I like these egg whites. Once whisked well, stir in the chopped bell peppers and onion and sprinkle some salt, pepper, and any other seasonings into the mix. Maybe, if you’re feeling it, you can add some shredded cheese. This is entirely optional and would alter the nutrition information!
Fill your muffin tins with the mixture, about 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 20-23 minutes and voila – you’ve got breakfast! Or… part of it, anyway.
Like I said earlier, you can eat these Egg White Muffin Delights on their own, freeze them, refrigerate them, WHATEVER. They’re especially good smashed between an everything bagel, a slice of cheese, and some breakfast chicken sausage 🙂
Preheat oven to 350F and coat muffin tins with non-stick spray (or muffin liners)
Chop bell peppers and onion
Whisk together eggs and egg beaters
Mix bell peppers and onion in with the egg mixture
Pour the egg, pepper, and onion mixture into muffin tins about 3/4 full
Bake for 20-22 minutes until desired doneness
Approximately 60 calories, 6g protein, 1.5g fat, 5g carb for 2 muffins
I feel like now that we’re all friends here, I can finally confess something to you: I love eating out of a bowl. There. I said it. Have you noticed yet? I’m sure you have. You know what else I love? Mediterranean-style food. Last week I shared my 30-Minute Greek Chicken & Veggie Packets and today I’m sharing my take on a Mediterranean Steak Bowl.
One day, Matt was like, “let’s make this.” And I was like “okay, let’s do it.” So we did it. And it was great. Delicious. Healthy, even!
So, I like to say this meal was semi-homemade because I had some help: I used store-bought hummus and a 90-second packet of garlic quinoa and brown rice. I also had some help from Martha Stewart because I used her Mediterranean Steak Marinade. I threw a beautiful flank steak in a zip-bag with the marinade and let it sit.
Martha (yeah, we’re on a first-name basis) recommends anywhere from 4-24 hours but I let the steak marinade for 36 hours. I have no real reason for that other than I was going to make it one night but then when I got home from work and my run, I was too tired and lazy so I put it off to the next day.
ANYWAY: aside from the steak, quinoa & hummus, I roasted some vegetables, cayenne chickpeas, and added some purple cabbage and parsley. The cayenne chickpeas? I actually made those myself. Well, I roasted them myself. All I had to do was drain some canned beans, toss in olive oil, bake at 450F for ~20 or so minutes (my smoke detector went off, btw), and then you toss in the cayenne and salt. Very important: do not toss your chickpeas in the cayenne and salt (or other seasonings) until after you’ve roasted them.