Smoky Maple Brussels Sprouts

It’s Friday, and I don’t usually do recipes on a Friday… but I thought this was a quick one that you guys might enjoy trying over the weekend!

During my trip to Baltimore for Fitbloggin, my dear friend Hilary and I and our 150 closest friends took a tour of the McCormick Consumer Testing Site and fell in love with McCormick and their passion for healthy cooking!  We loved it so much that we took a trip to their local super store in the Inner Harbor to get some spices to bring home!

With Hilary at McCormick Spice Store in the Inner Harbor

There was one spice I saw on the shelves at the HQ site that I just had to find… it seemed like the perfect combination of some of my favorite flavors…


Are you kidding me???

I absolutely love maple… and I love the smoky flavor that comes with smoked meats and cheeses.  I had to have this seasoning.

Well, then I got it home…. and I couldn’t think of what to do with it.  The packaging says it’s great on chicken, salmon, and pork.  The ingredients list included garlic, maple syrup, brown sugar, cayenne, red bell pepper, paprika… still loving it.  But what the heck should I make with it?

Then, it came to me!

I adore brussels sprouts… and I roast them like crazy.  What if I roasted them with this seasoning??  At that moment, Smoky Maple Brussels Sprouts were born.  It’s a super easy and amazingly delicious idea… I may have to eat them again tonight!

You barely need this “recipe.”  You moreso just need the ingredients.  You’re welcome.

Smoky Maple Brussels Sprouts

Inspired by my friends at McCormick


brussels sprouts

McCormick Grill Mates Smokehouse Maple seasoning

Cooking Spray


1.  Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Prepare your brussels sprouts by trimming the stem, removing outer leaves and washing thoroughly.  Depending upon the size of your sprouts, slice them or quarter them.  Note:  Mine were GINORMOUS, so I quartered them for faster cooking.

2.  Spray your cooking sheet with cooking spray.  Place your sprouts on the pan.

3.  Spray the veggies lightly with more cooking spray.  Note:  This is my secret to avoiding olive oil when roasting veggies.  A little spritz of cooking spray is all you’ll need!

4.  Sprinkle the sprouts with the Smokehouse Maple seasoning making sure each sprout has a little seasoning on it..  Note:  I was a little conservative the first time around, because I wasn’t sure how much flavor this would bring.  Next time, I’ll add a few extra shakes.

5.  Cook for 30-40 minutes, stirring the sprouts about half way through so that they get toasty brown on both sides.

6.  Serve and enjoy!!!

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Mongolian Beef

I really would have liked to have shared one more recipe using the delicious Popchips tortilla chips that are part of this week’s giveaway.  But, my stash of Popchips has vanished!  Meaning, that I’ve sadly eaten them all…

If you haven’t entered yet, by the way… click here to enter!

In the absence of my new favorite chip, I was forced to move to a different type of cuisine. Quickly, I found myself craving Mongolian Beef.  How better to enjoy Mongolian Beef than with a yummy low-fat, low-calorie version?  I can’t think of anything better.

I’ve had a recent obsession with quinoa, so I used quinoa instead of rice in my healthier version of this recipe.  When you choose quinoa, get ready for a protein rich and really filling grain.  I’ll show you how to make it in the below as well.  You’re going to love it!

Mongolian Beef

Serves 4


1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
4 green onions, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 pound flank steak, trimmed and cut crosswise into thin strips
¼ cup water
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoons red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons brown sugar
Toasted sesame seeds
1 cup dry quinoa


1.  Measure out your quinoa and place in a strainer.  Rinse thoroughly.

2.  Place rinsed quinoa and 2 1/4 cups of water in a rice cooker.  Note:  See rice cooker instruction books to determine cooking time and water proportions.  My rice cooker shuts off once the liquid has been absorbed.

3.  Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; add green onions, and cook, stirring frequently, 1 minute.

4.  Add beef, and cook 5 minutes or until beef is browned, stirring frequently.

5.  While beef cooks, combine water and next 4 ingredients in a small bowl.

6.  Pour mixture over beef, cook 2 minutes or until sauce is thickened and beef is cooked through.

7  Garnish with sesame seeds if desired.  Serve with 1/2 cup quinoa (optional.)

Per 1 cup serving:

CAL 234, FAT 11g; FIB 0.7g

Note:  If you add the quinoa, adjust your nutritional information according to the package labeling.  I added 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa in the picture above.

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WOW: Treadmill Time

There was a time when I first started working out (and likely during my C25K training) where I couldn’t stand the treadmill.  There was NOTHING more annoying than watching time tick down on that darn thing.  It felt like when have a leaky faucet and you hear that drip… Chinese water torture, if you will!

Well… lately, I’ve been loving it!

I’ve been on a roll for the past few weeks… rocking that treadmill every single day (or close to it.)

Now, I wish I could say that I’d been highly motivated and just so darn excited to get on the treadmill every day because I love the burn of working out and I love to sweat.

But… I don’t like to lie to my readers.

What’s been getting me on the treadmill every day (and twice on Sundays?)


Yes… Books!  I’ve been spending 30-60 minutes every single day on the treadmill READING.  I read via eBook, and I take my iPad with me every day.  I use the Nook app and blow up the FONT to HUGE (AKA BLIND because I am) size and get my walk on!

The past three books I’ve read have been via this method, and I’ve become that girl at the gym.  You know me, I’m the one who laughs out loud… and walks with a big smile on my face.  I’m also the one that gasps from time to time when I read something I like.  Yep, I’m practically singing out loud to my iPod…. but it’s getting me to the gym consistently, and I’m loving it!

There’s also some days where I’m just not ready to get off the treadmill.  I just want to read one more chapter… I just want to see what the character is going to do next, and before I know it, I’m walking an extra 30 minutes.

Here are a few of the books I’ve read recently.  I tend to pick books that will bring me growth… and I usually pick books like this one when I’m struggling and need inspiration.

I read Women Food and God by Geneen Roth, and found it to be mostly about food rather than women and God.  Or maybe that’s where I focused.  Geneen challenged the way we eat and why we eat.  She challenges her clients to consider that “Eat to Live” attitude that I wrote about a few days ago.  I’d like to read more by Geneen, and to read it in paperback where I can take better notes.

150 Pounds by Kate Rockland was definitely a shift from Women Food and God… I chose this book because it’s about two bloggers!  I knew I could relate to their journey to wellness.  Shoshanna is an overweight blogger who encourages women to be proud of their bodies, regardless of size, and Alexis is the infamous “Skinny Bitch” blogger who writes that being overweight is disgusting.  She and Shoshanna go head to head on Oprah… and create quite the stir within each of them.  The books switches back and forth between the lives of these two ladies… and eventually their paths cross again, after dramatic transformations take place.

I loved this one.  To me, it was just an easy fun read… and their blogging habits, while vastly different than mine, were highly relatable.

If you’re looking for a light, fun read, check 150 Pounds out!

Right now, I’m reading my all-time favorite book – Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.  Re-reading to be exact.  I have this book on audiobook and used to listen to it during my long drives in Montana, and I have it in paperback from my first time through.  I also have the DVD.  Oh, and I now have it on eBook, so I can enjoy it at the gym.

You could say… I’m a fan!

Tonight, I finished the first part of the story:  EAT.  If you’re not familiar with Eat Pray Love, I’m happy to tell you a little more about it.  It’s based upon the true story of Elizabeth Gilbert as she travels to Italy (EAT), India (PRAY), and Indonesia (LOVE.)  She spends an entire year abroad, indulging in each of the practices used to describe each country.

I absolutely adore the EAT chapters.  Maybe because it includes Italy’s decadent eats… but also because I believe that it could have very easily been called BELIEVE.  During this first part, Liz makes herself BELIEVE that she deserves to be happy again.  As she travels through Italy eating gelato, pizza, and speaking that beautiful language… we see Liz bloom once again.  It’s powerful.

I warn you, I’ll probably talk more about Eat Pray Love this month as I dig deeper into the story.  It’s nearly impossible not to talk about something when you find it to be so moving.  If you’ve never read it, pick up a copy… and keep me posted on how you like it.

While it’s a little hard to read and do yoga, I am thrilled to get back to the gym tomorrow to start the second part of the story… and just thankful that I have this new motivation!

Do you read when you’re on the treadmill?  Most people have a playlist, but do you have any books I should add to my booklist?


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Fiesta Flatbread {+ a Popchips GIVEAWAY}

Ever since I’ve started making pizzas with Flatout Bread, I’ve considered making a mexican pizza.

There’s something awesome about taco meat, cheddar cheese, topped with veggies.  When I received a case of Popchips to create recipes with, I knew that it was prime time to create this Mexican pizza I’d been thinking about, and the recipe I wanted to use to launch my giveaway!

*** Scroll to the very bottom for Popchips giveaway details ***

This pizza is going to knock your socks off… it’s got the spicy taco meat and yummy pepperjack cheese.  Then, it’s topped with cool veggies and crunchy Popchips – – Yum-O!

When I made this dish a week or so ago, I challenged my Instagram friends to help me devise a name for it.  Ashley came up with Fiesta Flatbread… and it was PERFECT!

Now, about your case of Popchips Tortilla Chips…. I’ve showed you a few different recipes that you can use with these tasty tortillas (PopChip-Topped Taco Soup and today’s Fiesta Flatbread, of course), but mostly… they’re just amazing to snack on!  I absolutely love the ones I’m offering today because they’re in snack-sized (AKA portion-controlled) bags, and you’ll get a chance to try all the flavors:  Chili Limon, Nacho Cheese, Ranch, and Salsa!

Enter the Rafflecopter below to win!  I’ll be drawing a winner next week… Maybe it will be you!

Fiesta Flatbread

Serves 1


1/8 lb. lean ground turkey or beef

1-2 tsp. taco or fajita seasoning

2 slices Kraft 2% Pepperjack singles

1 wedge Laughing Cow Queso Fresco & Chiptole cheese

shredded lettuce


diced tomatoes

sliced olives

1 Tbsp. Kraft Light Ranch Dressing

3-4 Popchips Nacho Cheese flavor


1.  Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Brown ground meat in a skillet.

2.  Move browned, fully cooked ground meat to the food processor and add taco or fajita seasoning.  Note:  I prefer to use taco seasoning, but I only had fajita seasoning… that worked too!

 3.  Spray a pizza pan with cooking spray and place the Flatout Bread on the pan.  Spread the wedge of Laughing Cow cheese on the flatbread.


4.  Top your flatbread with seasoned ground meat.

5.  Add two slices of Kraft Pepperjack.  Place in oven and bake for 14 minutes, or until cheese is melted and edges are browned.

6.  Prepare your toppings by chopping them.

7.  Place lettuce and tomatoes in a bowl and toss the veggies with Light Ranch.

8.  Remove pizza from oven once ready, and top it with salad mixture.

9.  Top pizza with scallions and a few olive slices.  Then crumble 3-4 Popchips on top of the pizza.

10.  Slice and serve this masterpiece.

Per Entire Recipe Serving:

CAL 375; CARB 28g; FAT 20g; PROT 27g; FIB 20g

Here’s your chance to win your very own case of Popchips! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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