Chicken Teriyaki Tacos

Woeste Girl Wednesday on Facebook this week was maybe a little bit of a flop…..but the recipe was a 2 thumbs up for sure!

This recipe reminds me so much of a wonderful time in my life this summer.  I was surrounded by some amazing people in Nashville, Tennessee and we were enjoying chips, guacamole, nachos, tacos, burritos and margaritas!  It was such a wonderful trip with one of my best friends and some members of my awesome Team of coaches, Team HOPE.  We are a team of health and fitness coaches, but we also know that life is about balance and sometimes that balance includes a great margarita and some delicious Mexican food.
We enjoyed homemade ice cream, a few beers and many many laughs, tears and unforgettable conversations.  Staying up late talking, working out with thousands of people and growing together as a team is an experience like no other.

Now, onto the recipe!
These Chicken Teriyaki Tacos are amazing and they have the most delicious fruit salsa EVER!!!!!!
I found a recipe I followed somewhat on Pinterest, but of course, in typical Valerie fashion….I didn’t follow it!  I AM TERRIBLE AT RECIPES!!!!!

I had so many request for this one, so here it is!!!!

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Chicken Teriyaki Tacos with Pineapple/Pear Salsa and PIneapple Crema

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
4-6 taco size whole wheat tortillas or lettuce for salad or lettuce wraps

For the Teriyaki Sauce:
2 tbsp. orange juice
2 tbsp. reduced sodium teriyaki sauce
2. tbsp. honey
½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

For the Salsa:
1/2 ripe pineapple, trimmed and sliced
1 large medium-firm pear sliced into 1/4” slices
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and quartered
1/2 small red onion, peeled and cut in half (so you have 2 quarters of whole onion)
1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro, finely chopped
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste

For the Crema
1 5.3 oz. pineapple yogurt
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 tablespoon lime juice (or more to taste)

 

Instructions:
For the Teriyaki Sauce and Chicken:
1. Mix all ingredients for the teriyaki sauce together until blended.
2. Place chicken in a container with the teriyaki sauce and marinade for at least 1 hour (I usually do overnight)

Start the Salsa:

  1. Grease grill and heat to medium high heat.
  2. Place fruits and vegetables in a Ziploc bad and pour in olive oil.  Shake to coat.
  3. Place red onions on a skewer
  4. Working in batches as needed depending on grill size, grill pineapple and vegetables at medium high heat (uncovered) until tender crisp and lightly charred all over, about 12 minutes for the onions, turning occasionally, about 8-10 minutes for the pineapple, or until caramelized, flipping once, 6 minutes for the red bell peppers, flipping once, 4 minutes for the pears, flipping once turning occasionally.
  5. Once cool enough to handle, dab (or rinse) off any excess oil with paper towels and chop pineapple (cutting around core), pears, red bell peppers, and onions.
  6. Toss the pineapple, pears, red bell pepper, red onion, cilantro, lime juice, ginger, cumin and salt and pepper to taste in a large bowl.
  7. Can be served immediately and can be chilled for leftovers
    (This salsa is delicious as an appetizer as well.)

    After you take the fruit off the grill, add the chicken to the grill!

  8. Grill the chicken until no longer pink in the center.
  9. Whisk together the Pineapple Crema
  10. Cut up the chicken and place on a whole wheat tortilla, cover with fruit salsa and crema. Add any other favorite taco toppings you might enjoy!   Garnish with freshly chopped Cilantro and Enjoy!

    I hope you love this recipe as much as we do!!!!! Please let me know what you think!!!!

 

 

French Toast Protein Pancakes

I remember when I was little the smell of bacon, pancakes and coffee.  My dad makes the most amazing “Swedish Pancakes”  they are very similar to a crepe and they are just so amazing!
My girls love breakfast food…. and I know they love to help me make breakfast on lazy Saturday mornings (although as they get older we don’t have as many of those)
But I love waking up early sometimes so my girls get to experience the same smell right when they wake up and they know I have cooked them breakfast like my mom and dad used to for me!
If you ask my girls what their favorite breakfast food is……you would have gotten pancakes, bacon and French toast…..and I came up with a solution to prevent me from having to make all of them.

These French Toast Protein Pancakes really do taste like French Toast and they are my kids’ favorite breakfast.
I cook up some turkey bacon and scramble some eggs and it’s a hit for breakfast, lunch or supper!
I also make these for meal prep rather than having to fill them with sugary cereal or frozen pancakes or waffles.  If you are making them ahead of time, place a paper towel on the bottom of the container and put one on top of the pancakes before storing them in your fridge.  You can also freeze them and heat them in the toaster just like an Eggo!!!

French Toast Protein Pancakes

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cup rolled oats
1 cup cottage cheese
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups egg whites
2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 cup ground flax seed (or flax seed meal)

1. Blend all ingredients in your Blender
2. Spray skillet with cooking spray and cook just like pancakes.  We always look for bubbles in the middle before we flip them!
3.  Top with your favorite pancake topping!

 

The Starting Line

Happy Friday!
If you follow me on Facebook, you know already that I recently (like 2 weeks ago) signed up for my first 1/2 marathon that is tomorrow.  I am nervously excited about the race for a number of reasons.

It is hard for me to put into words the changes that have happened to me since I started running.  (and I was the person who repeatedly said “I am not a runner” “I don’t like to run”)

For me to commit to a running schedule didn’t happen…..I went when I had time and I will be honest in saying that sometimes the only reason I went is because I was signed up for a race.  I was part of a 2 person 1/2 marathon at the end of July and my partner was  someone I know I didn’t want to let down.  She is such an inspiration to me and she will never know just how much she helped me find this new love for running.
My first ever race was a 2 person half marathon on the most ridiculous trail run (and maybe the last trail run) I have ever seen.
I chose this race because it is organized and put together by one of my dearest friends.  Crystal lost her dad a few years ago and she organized this race in his memory and because of her love for the sport of running.  I wanted to support her, but I had no idea…..no clue how hard that trail is.
If you are ever looking for a running challenge….you have found it!  The Dale F. Kilwein half marathon on the Crooked Crane Trail in Dickinson, ND!!!!
I had never ran that far..7 miles.  It was early, my girls wanted to come with me so we were up at 4:30 am to make it to the race in time.  A dear friend of mine kept my girls while I ran.  I wanted to puke all morning because I was so nervous….I had never heard of gel packs, gu chews, aquaphor, flip belts…heck I didn’t even know they made special socks for running.
Yep, I was a newbie……we got there and once I got to hug Crystal and Rachel, they calmed a lot of my fears…..until……we got on a bus and went to the relay exchange…..holy crap it was a long way away from the finish line, it was in the middle of a wet pasture looking area and I was with no one that I knew.  My partner Rachel’s family pulled up to watch her finish and I knew it was them because I looked at her hubby’s photo on Facebook and I went up to introduce myself.  Dusty and Rachel’s aunt and her children will never know how much they helped me to calm my fears……..flirting with her sweet youngest and getting to know Dusty and seeing his support for Rachel was such an awesome way to distract me from the task at hand.
Some of the regular 1/2 marathon runners started coming in and then the first relay handoff was a husband/wife combo and then here comes my kick ass partner…….she ran FAST!  I started and my life changed.

The starting line has become something that I have grown accustomed to in my life…….you see, I am a recovering chronic quitter.  I would start all sorts of things with big ideas and excitement, but then I would never follow through to see the finish line.
I had seen so much failure in this process that it got harder and harder for me to start new things.  Such a vicious cycle and such a mind game.
You might think it sounds cliché to say that my life changed at the starting line, but it’s true….and all of you who have finished a race that was big for you know exactly what I am talking about.

I started and I escaped……..I escaped into a world where nothing else mattered except for starting, going and finishing.  All runners think about different things when they run and I had to dig deep…….after my 1st mile, I knew we were in first place and that kept me going for about another mile……then, when all I could see was the trail still and it felt like I had run 5 miles already, I had to start thinking about my motivation and my inspiration.  One of the most powerful things I have heard on this journey……”Do it for those who can’t but wish they could.”  Yeah, my friend Crystal is pretty amazing!
I started thinking about all the people I know who would give anything to know how to fuel their body for something like this…..for those who might not be physically able to run or to exercise……which led to brainstorming to try and find ideas to help motivate those who have always said they wanted to run but don’t know where to start….(that was me)……
Pretty soon, I ran through a water station that was organized by 2 incredible moms and their sweet kiddos chanting over and over “Yes You Can” “Yes You Can”  and it got me through another 1/2 mile…..

Then, I met up with a man who was running barefoot and who was very talkative and I appreciated his encouragement….we were going around a corner and then in the glare of the sun I saw it!!!!!!!!  I saw a messy blonde bun bouncing up and down all over the place…..I heard cowbells and screams and then I saw the big smile of a sweet sandy blonde 7 year old and the watching eyes of an aspiring 9 year old runner and I lost it!  I started crying like ugly crying.  They were watching every step they were cheering me on and they had no idea what it was doing for me……..THEY ARE THE REASON I AM AS HEALTHY AND STRONG TODAY AS I AM!

They drove past me one more time and as I came into the complex and saw the finish line, I spotted that messy blonde bun and then I saw…..my 3 girls, my partner and her sweet family, and I saw the finish line in a whole new light.
It wasn’t about the race that my feet were running….It was about the journey in my head…..It was about daring to start again knowing how easy it would have been to give up.
It was about showing my girls and being an example of not giving up!
It was about FINALLY being strong enough to do this!
It was about overcoming my fear of the starting line……

Don’t be afraid to start…….
Don’t be afraid to find people to inspire you……
Don’t be afraid to put your goals out there…….

It is what made me stick to it!  It is what made me actually finally FINISH!
It is what helped change my life!

Whether your starting line is committing to race, adding in 10 minutes of activity, starting a new job, a fresh start in a relationship, a new start in life in general…..
It is scary, but don’t let that fear hold you back from accomplishing something that has the ability to change your life and give you a whole new outlook.
Never in a million years did I think running would do that for me….but it has!
More to come after tomorrow’s race!

 

Pumpkin Poppers

Happy Fall to you all!
When I was in high school, my house was an awesome place to be….all of my friends loved coming to my house.  They knew my mom and dad would always cook for them and that no matter what was on the menu…it would be homemade and delicious.
One thing people would always say is that they loved the smell of our house…and back then I didn’t notice it.  But, now when I go home…I totally get it!  It smells like HOME and it is one of the best smells in the world.
Bath and Body works has a candle with the title HOME but it doesn’t hold a flame next to the smell of my mom and dad’s house….my HOME!
Well, I take great pride in how my house smells too🙂.  I like the smell of homemade, love, and memories…..and that is what I try to make my house smell like.
I often hear people when they walk in say “oh my goodness, it smells so good in here.”  and I just smile because it reminds me of my mom and dad’s house.

Last night, my 3 girls and I had the privilege of going Live on Facebook again for a new episode of Woeste Girl Wednesday.
We made a recipe that if anyone came to your house while you were baking them, they would say “oh my goodness….your house smells amazing/”

Pumpkin Poppers were our recipe of the evening and I got the original recipe from Pinterest and it was a pin from “The Clever Housewife”
We have changed the recipe a little bit since I first started baking these, but the original is delicious.  We just tried to make them a little more healthy🙂

Here is our version of Pumpkin Poppers

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Pumpkin Poppers

  • 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp Chia seeds
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin (fresh or canned, but not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/2 cup low-fat milk

 

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350° and spray your mini muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Combine all the dry ingredients in one bowl and whisk till combined.
  3. In another bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients (oil, chia seeds, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, pumpkin and milk).
  4. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until just combined (do not overmix).
  5. Using a cookie scoop, fill mini muffin tins until almost full. There should be plenty of batter to do this.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  7. Enjoy!

My girls love them sprinkled with a little extra cinnamon🙂
I hope you and your family enjoy!!!!

 

Vanilla Almond Granola

This evening my sweet little mini muffins and I had the privilege of entertaining a crowd on Facebook with us whipping up this delicious recipe.
I have had numerous people ask me for this recipe so I HAD to share it!  (I need to figure out how to put the videos on here so you all can see them too…my girls are super cute in the kitchen)

I love cooking with my children.  I love making messes and memories and I love to share the recipes that work for my family with all of you!
This delicious recipe was one that I found when I was scrolling through Pinterest…..and her recipe can be found on Sallys Baking Addiction.
I tweak ours just a little bit, but we loved her recipe as it is too!

Granola is something that is easy to find in any grocery store, but finding one that isn’t filled with sugar, raisins (only because my kiddos don’t love them) and that my girls like was next to impossible.
So, we tried a few recipes and this was the one that my girls were eating right off the pan as soon as it came out of the oven!

I hope that you enjoy this granola just as much as we do!
My girls love to eat it on apples and peanut butter, in yogurt partfaits and just plain!

Vanilla Almond Granola
Ingredients:
*2 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
*3/4 cup slivered or sliced almonds
*1 tsp ground cinnamon
*1/2 cup pure maple syrup
*1/4 cup melted coconut oil
*1/2 tsp almond extract
*1 Tbsp vanilla extract

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 300F degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Toss the oats, almonds and cinnamon in a large bowl.  Set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk the maple syrup and coconut oil together until combined.
Whisk in the almond and vanilla extracts.
4.  Pour over the oats and toss  (or stir) to coat.  Make sure all the oats are moistened.
5.  Spread onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for 40-45 minutes….stirring every 15 minutes.  Allow the granola to cool completely.  The air will help the granola get a crunchier texture.

This recipe stays fresh for up to 3 weeks!  You can also freeze the granola for up to 3 months!