Crockpot Beef Picadillo

Last week, I had one of those food fails that I love to laugh about on Instagram.  It’s seriously hilarious… until it happens to you.  Check out #pinterestfail if you’re ever interested in a good laugh…

I had a trip to the mountains planned for the day, and I met my co-worker at 10am to make the drive.  Before I met up with him, I had time to put my dinner in the crockpot, which made me so happy.  I’m usually gone from the house for about 10-12 hours… which is a little long for crock potting.  So, knowing that I would be gone about 6-7 hours… I went for it.

I loaded this very recipe into the crockpot and took off for the day!  When I for home, I found this.

Crockpot Beef Picadillo | No Thanks to Cake

Burnt.  Crispy.  Crunchy.  And mostly, RUINED!

During my frenzy to get ready for the day, I neglected to add the water to the crockpot.  Yes, without enough liquid, things burn:  Cooking 101.

Because I was intrigued by the recipe, I gave it another shot a few days later.  It was definitely worth the wait.  Note that in the following pictures… there is no char.  Water can be an amazingly magical thing!!!

Crockpot Beef Picadillo | No Thanks to Cake

This recipe comes from my friend Gina over at SkinnyTaste.  She had posted it on Instagram recently as a family favorite, and it was time for me to try it.  It’s a flavorful meaty dish to add to salads, rice bowls, and pasta.  It’s certainly something I’ll be making again… including the water in the recipe, of course.

Crockpot Beef Picadillo

From SkinnyTaste

Makes 6 servings

INGREDIENTS

Crockpot Beef Picadillo | No Thanks to Cake

1 lb 93% lean ground beef

1/2 cup minced onion

1/2 cup diced red bell peppers

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbsp. minced cilantro

1/2 small tomato, diced

4 oz. tomato sauce

1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. water

2 Tbsp. capers

3/4 tsp. ground cumin

1/8 tsp. garlic powder

1 bay leaves

Salt, Pepper, and Cayenne Pepper (to taste)

INSTRUCTIONS

1.  Brown meat in a large deep sauté pan on medium-high heat; season with generously with salt and a little pepper. Use a wooden spoon to break the meat up into small pieces. When meat is no longer pink, drain all the liquid from pan.  Grind up the meat in a food processor.  Add the meat back into your skillet.  Note:  The ingredients pic above shows a package of turkey, but I actually made it with lean ground beef.  So good, and highly recommended!

Crockpot Beef Picadillo | No Thanks to Cake

2.  Add the onions, garlic and bell peppers to the meat and cook an addition 3-4 minutes.

Crockpot Beef Picadillo | No Thanks to Cake

Crockpot Beef Picadillo | No Thanks to Cake

3.  Transfer the meat to the slow cooker, then add tomato, cilantro, tomato sauce, water, capers.  Add the spices.  Note:  Gina’s original recipe calls for alcaparrado or green olives.  I just used capers in its place.

Crockpot Beef Picadillo | No Thanks to Cake

Crockpot Beef Picadillo | No Thanks to Cake

4.  Set slow cooker to HIGH for 3 to 4 hours or LOW for 6 to 8. After it’s ready, taste for salt and add more as needed.  Discard the bay leaves.  Note:  I added extra salt, pepper, cayenne, and cumin to the dish at the very end.  Just sprinkled it in, to taste.

5.  Serve your picadillo with rice and veggies… or over pasta.  Note:  I really loved this as a Cuban spaghetti for some reason.  

Crockpot Beef Picadillo | No Thanks to Cake

Crockpot Beef Picadillo | No Thanks to Cake

Crockpot Beef Picadillo | No Thanks to Cake

Per 1/2 cup recipe serving of the meat:

CAL 170; CARB 5g; FAT 7g; PROT 23g; FIB 1g; WW Points Plus: 4

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A Life-Changing {Giveaway} from Betsy Fry Coaching

I’ve got a FANTASTIC giveaway lined up for you guys today.  A few month’s back I hired the lovely Betsy Fry to be my life coach.  I’ve been forever changed by the process, and I’ve really set my sights on my goals, dreams, and perspective in a new way as a result of working with her!  (Click here to read my first month recap, for example.)

Now, I am BEYOND THRILLED to have a chance to share Betsy with each of you… and to give you an opportunity to work with her FOR FREE!!  Sessions can be held over the phone or in person in Colorado, depending upon your schedule, preference, etc.  Super flexible!

Without further ado, allow me to introduce Betsy Fry of Betsy Fry Coaching

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Y’all are probably here to checkout what delicious recipes that our infamously creative, Kelly, has cooked up!  Usually, I’m here to do the same.  Seriously, have you tried her bubble-up enchilada casserole  or the avocado mousse?   My mouth starts to salivate just thinking of them!

If you recognize my name it’s because Kelly has written about her experience with life coaching a few times, and I am lucky enough to be that coach.  Her tenacity and humor have etched her way onto my heart.

And because I adore Kelly so darn much, I wanted to offer up two coaching sessions for one of her readers. During our time together, I’ll guide you through where you’re feeling stuck and create an easy plan for you to stick to your goals in the future.

Betsy Fry Giveaway | No Thanks to Cake

Not sure what you’d get coached on?  In two sessions, I could teach you how to eat intuitively.  What exactly does that mean?  Read on, NTTC friend, read on…

How many diets have you tried in your life?  How many diets have failed?  Why do you keep thinking that a diet is going to work?

I’ll save you a lot of time, money and hunger:  Diets don’t work.  They never do and they never will. It’s time to move on.

So what are you suppose to do if you want to lose weight and diets are not the answer?

It’s simple:  Start listening to what your body wants and you will lose weight.

**Insert record scratch sound here.**

Intuitive Eating has been making a splash bigger than Kimye’s cover on Vogue.  It’s been covered by national news programs, written about on tons of blogs and is trending on social media.  Even if you’re not trying to lose weight, it’s a practice that you’ll thank yourself for getting into.

Here is the gist….

Intuitive Eating | No Thanks to Cake

That’s it.

Eat when you’re hungry.  Letting go of emotional eating and boredom eating can feel like a hard thing to do.  First you have to establish a new way to deal with your emotions.  Follow these steps until you’ve got it down pat.  If you’re someone who likes to eat when you get bored, then pickup some new hobbies, call a friend, fill up your life with things that bring you true joy…not just the temporary kind that you find in a box of cookies.

Stop eating when you’re satisfied.  Have you ever been around a little kid when they’re eating?  When they are full, they stop eating.  There is no thought process involved, they just know when they’re done. Tap into your inner child, allow yourself to slow down the eating process and start to notice your body signals that tell you that you’re satisfied.  At that point, drop the fork.

Eat things that make you feel good.  Be honest with yourself, does eating pizza and cookies really make you feel good?  I’m not talking about momentary pizza bliss.  I mean, do you feel sustained and ready to tackle the world after eating grease and sugar?  Probably not.  Now think about how you feel when you eat whole foods with serious nutrition.  Your body likes and craves fuel.  Give your body what it needs and you’ll stop craving crappy foods.

Move your body.  When you’re eating like crap, your body doesn’t have the fuel it needs to sustain healthy movement.  When you’re eating well, you’re feeling well and your body wants to move.  Working out + eating well are like peas + carrots, they just go together.  If you’re not used to moving, then start out slow, before you know it you might actually enjoy breaking a sweat.

Trust yourself.  You and your body want the same thing:  to be healthy and taken care of.  It might feel odd at first to cut the calorie counting and lift the food restrictions, but your mind will thank you for the much-needed break.  Once you deprogram your dieting mind, your body will take charge and it will lead you to a place of peace and trust.

Take some time to incorporate these steps into your life and watch how your relationship with food changes.  Remember that you’re breaking free from years of dieting and reprogramming your mind and body to trust the way that it was meant to function.

A client recently told me that this type of eating has, allowed her to feel free for the first time in years.

Now it’s your turn.  Let your restrictions go and set yourself free.

Want to learn more about me?  Checkout my website.

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Over the years, many of you have shared that you are trying to Find Food Peace, and these coaching sessions might be just what it takes to get you there!  Good Luck!!

NOTE:  You do not have to be present in Colorado to win.  Coaching sessions can be conducted via phone.  I actually did mine over the phone due to my crazy schedule…

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Currently: April

It’s SPRING!!!  It’s April!  Let’s catch up on what’s going on “Currently”…

Currently

Current Book:

I am proud to report that I finished last month’s book Summer People by Elin Hilderbrand… and LOVED it!

This month, I’ve just started reading Cameron Diaz’s Body Book.  It’s not a diet book, instead a book about living your best life in the strongest, most beautiful body possible!

Body Book | No Thanks to Cake

Current Music:

I’m really missing new music from my girl Kelly Clarkson these days.  It’s been forever since she had a new album, and while I know that she is busy growing a baby… I’d love to have some new tunes to jam out to.  Until then, I’ve been listening to the Smoakstack Sessions, Vol. 2.

The Smoakstack Sessions Vol 2 | No Thanks to Cake

Current Nail Color:

Unfortunately, I found a new line of polish that I love this month.  I really didn’t need any new nail polish, but it was like these colors needed me!

They’re from the OPI 2014 Brazil Collection.  I’m wearing the middle color right now… and these colors are pretty much PERFECT for me!

OPI Brazilian Collection | No Thanks to Cake

From L to R:  OPI’s Don’t Bossa Nova Me Around, Taupe-Less Beach, and I Sao Paulo Over There

Current Drink: 

Still the same… lots of water, and a few Skinny Hazelnut-Mocha Lattes here and there… I do see some wine in my weekend.

Current Food:

I’m completely slightly obsessed with all the new flavors I keep finding at Trader Joe’s.  See last week’s Trader Joe’s post for some of the great things I’ve found.  And, feast your eyes on my latest favorite…

Fresh Mozzarella Sticks Trader Joe's | No Thanks to Cake

While most days I  just eat the cheese from the package, I’ve also made it into a lightning fast caprese salad with some of the fresh tomatoes in my fridge.  Yum!!!

Trader Joe's Fresh Mozzarella Sticks | No Thanks to Cake

Current Favorite Show:

I really don’t watch that much TV… so this section is going to be a lot of repeats of the same shows.   I love what I love.  And, right now, I’m loving Parenthood…

I adore all of these characters so much.   A few of my favorites… Amber, Sara and Hank, and of course, Mr. Knight… Welcome to the show!  The season finale was this week and I still haven’t watched it.  I’m really resisting the end of the season…

Current Outfit:

Shoes.  Shoes have been my obsessions… and it seems like the stores are just full of the cutest shoes right now!

Shoes | No Thanks to Cake

From Target (Clearance!)to Nordstrom Rack, to DSW… I’ve found a lot of cute finds over the past month!  Can’t wait for summer!!

Current Wish List:

I’ve been experimenting with some new wall covering for my kitchen this month.  I bought a few samples and I’m getting closer to the final product.  FYI:  I’m going with the middle grey color.

Vinyl | No Thanks to Cake

I just need to order this and get this installed!

Current Needs:

I’m working on a craft project with a deadline… I need to get this done!  Will keep you posted… it’s for a reader, so I’ll have to tell you more about it later! :)

 Yarn | No Thanks to Cake

Current Online Obsession:

Still Sole Society… it goes along with this whole shoe thing I have going this month.  If you haven’t tried it yet, it’s time.

Sole Society | No Thanks to Cake

Current Inspiration:

I took a class yesterday that caught my attention.  While it was a work training, it was a Franklin Covey class that really got me thinking about how I spend my time and what’s important to me.  More to come on this…

Current Plans:

Heading into the weekend, it’s going to be a busy one!!!  I’m going to see Draft Day on Friday night.  A movie about the Cleveland Browns, starring Kevin Costner??  Yes, please…

Draft Day | No Thanks to Cake

 

Seriously, does this man age???  I’ve got brunch plans on Saturday, plans with friends on Saturday night… and then Sunday is Easter.  It’s going to be a busy one, to say the least!!!

Current Mood:

VERY ready for the weekend!!!

Friday Humor | No Thanks to Cake

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View my previous “Currently” posts here:

Currently: March 

Currently: February

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Quinoa PB2 Breakfast Bake

I stay pretty consistent with breakfast.  There are only a few things that I really like to eat…

It really comes down to specific ingredients that I like to eat in the morning… When I heard that Tiffany had fallen in love with Marissa‘s latest quinoa recipe, I knew I wanted to try it.

As expected, I made quite a few modifications to Marissa’s original recipe, to suit my picky palate.  I definitely recommend you check out her version which includes apricots, and all of her recipes for that matter.  They all look so good!  (Note:  I’ve got my eyes on that Broccoli Pizza Crust she shared…)

Quinoa PB2 Breakfast Bake

The quinoa in this dish makes it extra filling as a breakfast dish.  It reminds me of a warm sister dish to the PB Overnight Oats I usually eat, with an extra protein punch that keeps me full for hours.  Try it… you’re going to love it!

Quinoa PB2 Breakfast Bake

Adapted from Uproot from Oregon

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup old fashioned oats + 1 Tbsp. for garnish
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 1/2 Tbsp. ground flaxseed + 1/4 cup water (1 1/2 flax eggs)
1/2 cup skim milk
1/4 cup prepared PB2 (about 6 Tbsp. PB2 powder + 4 Tbsp. water)
1/2 tsp. vanilla paste
1 1/2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt

Optional Toppings:

sugar-free maple syrup, PB2

INSTRUCTIONS

1.  Make “flax eggs” by combining the ground flaxseed with water and letting it sit for 15 minutes until you get an eggy consistency.  Note:  This is the first time I ever experimented with this.  Will definitely be using it in the future, as I don’t always have eggs on hand!

Quinoa PB2 Breakfast Bake | No Thanks to Cake

2.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

3.  In a large bowl, combine oats, PB2, flax eggs, milk brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt.  Stir to combine.

Quinoa PB2 Breakfast Bake  No Thanks to Cake

Quinoa PB2 Breakfast Bake | No Thanks to Cake

4.  Add quinoa and stir to combine.  Note:  I used cooked red quinoa, but  you can use any color you prefer.

Quinoa PB2 Breakfast Bake | No Thanks to Cake

Quinoa PB2 Breakfast Bake | No Thanks to Cake

5.  Grease your baking pan with cooking spray, and pour the contents of the bowl into the pan. Top with 1 Tbsp. of oatmeal to make it look pretty.

Quinoa PB2 Breakfast Bake | No Thanks to Cake

Quinoa PB2 Breakfast Bake | No Thanks to Cake

Quinoa PB2 Breakfast Bake | No Thanks to Cake

6.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, checking starting around 20 minutes to ensure the middle is no longer ‘jiggly’ and that a crust has formed on top.

Quinoa PB2 Breakfast Bake | No Thanks to Cake

7.  Let the oatmeal sit and cool for a few minutes, then slice into it and top with maple syrup and/or extra PB2.

Quinoa PB2 Breakfast Bake | No Thanks to Cake

Quinoa PB2 Breakfast Bake | No Thanks to Cake

Per 1/8 recipe serving (without toppings):

CAL 134; CARB 24g; FAT 2g; PROT 6g; FIB 3g; WW Points Plus: 3

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If you like the sounds of this quinoa breakfast, you might also like this one:

True Foods Kitchen Quinoa Johnny Cakes | No Thanks to Cake

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