Wednesday, March 26, 2014

#1800MinuteChallenge Accepted

Happy Hump Day everyone!!
I hope you are all having a FABULOUS week!

Today, I wanted to share with you an exciting announcement AND an awesome opportunity!

One of my all time favorite bloggers, Erin over at Living In Yellow, is teaming up with three  incredible bloggers (Alissa from Alissa CircleEmily from The Freckled Fox, and Alycia from Crowley Party) to host the


Image via LivingInYellow

What the heck is a #1800MinuteChallenge, you say? 

Let me fill ya in on the deets:

Beginning April 1st (thru May 31st) I am joining forces, along with Erin, Alycia, Alissa, and Emily and a whole bunch of other awesome ladies to challenge ourselves, and commit to completing 1800 minutes of physical activity within the next 60 days!
(You can also read ALL about it here)

Well, because, let's be honest here, Swimsuit season is UPON us! (ahhhh!)
And, to say I've been needing to get into the habit of a fitness regimen and STICK with IT, would be a huge understatement. 

I thought this would be the perfect opportunity!
(and not to mention there's a grand prize drawing at the end for those who complete the 1800 minutes)

I love this challenge for a few reasons:

#1: ANYONE can participate. 
It doesn't matter if you're a fitness guru or never stepped foot on a treadmill.
Just get your fitness on, and you'll be good to go.

#2: This challenge is such a DOABLE, and obtainable goal. 
You can schedule your minutes however you'd like. Want to do 10 minutes today, 45 tomorrow, none the next? You CAN! 
As long as you can do 1800 minutes in 60 days, you've reached the goal!
(All in all it really equates to only about 30 minutes of physical activity)
Can we say VICTORY!!

#3: and, lastly, you'll have the SUPPORT of other awesome bloggers, followers, and kick-ass women all over the country that can help cheer you on, and provide you with a wealth of fitness tips, guide, tools and knowledge via Instagram, Twitter, Blogs ect. 
How cool is that?!
Pretty freakin' COOL!

So, are you willing to accept the #1800MinuteChallenge with me? 

Let's get moving, grooving, into shape and ready for those bikinis!

Ready to sign up?
Head over to Erin's post here and fill out the quick the survey to sign up. 
That's it! Super easy! 

I can't wait to take on this challenge with YOU!


Monday, March 24, 2014

{lighter} Chicken Tetrazzini

Chicken Tetrazzini is one of those great dishes that are so versatile yet so satisfying.
If you're serving up Chicken Tetrazzini you  really can't go wrong. 

I came across this lightened-up version of the recipe in my Comfort Foods Makeovers cookbook by America's Test Kitchen. 
(This is one cookbook I really cherish and  love oh so much!! I know you will too and can purchase the cookbook here).

One thing that I really love about this dish is that you can make this casserole ahead of time,  store it in the fridge until you're ready to eat, and then just simply pop in the oven - making it a quick, no-fuss week night meal. 

This dish is also packed with satisfying and healthy ingredients, like lean chicken breast, mushrooms, and peas.

This particular (lightened-up) version calls for a cup of frozen peas, and I must admit  I was very a little skeptical at first.
However, and much to my surprise, the peas give this dish such a great texture with the added benefit of vegetables. 
Needless to say, I am a skeptic no longer! 
And, let's also just say, I'll never make Chicken Tetrazzini with out them!

With the addition of the frozen peas, it also made me ponder what other veggies I could add.
Carrots?  Celery? Finely chopped Bell-Peppers? Maybe even some broccoli?!!
Yes, I'll definitely be giving the broccoli idea a try one of these days.

Anyway, broccoli, peas, and peppers aside, this dish is definitely a keeper!
{lighter} Chicken Tetrazzini is a husband-friendly (and I assume kid-friendly) dish that the whole family will be sure to love. 

If you've never had Chicken Tetrazzini before, you must give it a try! 
I promise you won't be dissatisfied.

{lighter} Chicken Tetrazzini

(the order of events)

Begin by trimming the fat from your chicken and cut your chicken breasts into 1/4 inch pieces. 
Add your chicken pieces to a bowl.

Marinate chicken with soy sauce, garlic salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
(BTW, I found out this process makes your chicken super flavorful and extra tender)

Meanwhile, begin cooking your egg noodles. Cook until al dente.

Melt one tablespoon of butter in a 12-inch skillet over med-high heat. 
Add your mushrooms and onions, as well as some garlic salt and pepper (to taste).
Cook until golden brown. 
Next, add your flour and continue to cook for about 2 minutes, or until golden. 
Next, whisk in the broth and sherry and bring to a simmer. 
Add cream cheese and 6 tablespoons Parmesan cheese. 
Simmer until slightly thickened. 
Next, grab your marinated chicken and a cup of frozen peas and add them to your skillet.
Simmer for a couple of minutes. (note: the chicken is not fully cooked)
Next, add the al dente noodles to a large bowl and pour in the chicken & peas mixture. 
Toss together, or stir to combine.

Once everything is nice and combined add it to a square baking dish. 
Top with breadcrumbs, remaining parm. cheese, salt and pepper to taste. 
(I also like to add a few dashes of paprika for extra flavor. 
Pop it in the oven at 400 degrees, for about 12 to 14 minutes, or until hot all the way through.
Let cool for a few minutes before serving. 

You can also use cooked turkey, making this a must have for Thanksgiving left overs. 

{lighter} Chicken Tetrazzini


  • 12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast (cut into 1/4- inch pieces)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (use low-sodium for a lighter option)
  • ounce bag medium egg noodles
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 1 white onion, chopped fine
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons sherry
  • 3 ounces neufchatel cream-cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • garlic salt & pepper (to taste)
  • a few dashes of paprika (optional)

  • Directions:

    • Heat oven to 400 degrees
    • Combine chicken pieces soy sauce, garlic salt and pepper in a bowl - Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
    • Cook egg noodles, just al dente, according to package directions (reserve 1 cup of cooking water)
    • While pasta is cooking, melt butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat
    • Add mushrooms, onions, 1/2 tsp. garlic salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper and cook until browned (about 6-8 minutes)
    • Stir in flour and cook an additional 2 minutes, or until golden brown
    • Next, whisk in broth, sherry, and reserved cooking water, scrapping up any brown bits, and bring to a simmer.
    • Whisk in cream cheese and 6 tablespoons Parmesan cheese and simmer about 1 minute, until slightly thickened
    • Stir in marinated chicken and peas, simmer gently for about 1 minute (note: chicken will not be fully cooked)
    • Add chicken mixture to cooked pasta in a large bowl, and toss to combine
    • Transfer chicken and pasta mixture to square baking dish
    • Top with panko and remaining Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and a few dashes of paprika (optional) to taste
    • Bake about 12 - 14 minutes until hot throughout
    • Let cool slightly before serving
    • Enjoy!