Chinese Green Beans with Ground Turkey

I love this recipe.  Another amazing Pinterest find, I made it just a few days after I found it!

Chinese Green Beans with Ground Turkey | No Thanks to Cake

It combines one of my favorite vegetables – green beans – with lean ground turkey.  Uh-mazing!  The flavors remind me a lot of those yummy chicken lettuce wraps at PF Changs, but with extra veggies!  Speaking of extra veggies, I doubled the green beans in the dish to add extra volume and color.

Try this dish… it’s delicious and cooks up in no time!

Chinese Green Beans with Ground Turkey

Adapted from The Weary Cook

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

Chinese Green Beans with Ground Turkey | No Thanks to Cake

1 tsp. sesame oil
1/3 large onion, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
1/2 lb. extra lean ground turkey
1 tbsp. chili garlic sauce
1 tbsp. hoisin sauce
1 tsp. crushed ginger
1 lb. washed and trimmed green beans (or Chinese long beans if available)
1/2 tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar

INSTRUCTIONS

1.  Add sesame oil, and sauté onions and garlic for about 2 minutes.

Chinese Green Beans with Ground Turkey | No Thanks to Cake

 

2.  Stir in ground turkey and sauté 3-5 minutes, until meat is mostly cooked. Crumble meat as much as possible.

Chinese Green Beans with Ground Turkey | No Thanks to Cake

3.  Stir in chili garlic sauce, hoisin sauce, and ginger.

Chinese Green Beans with Ground Turkey | No Thanks to Cake

 

4.  Add green beans and soy sauce, and stir to coat.

Chinese Green Beans with Ground Turkey | No Thanks to Cake

 

5.  Continue cooking over high heat for 7-9 minutes longer, stirring frequently, until beans are slightly tender.

Chinese Green Beans with Ground Turkey | No Thanks to Cake

6.  Stir in rice vinegar, and cook one minute longer. If desired, serve over cooked rice or quinoa.

Chinese Green Beans with Ground Turkey | No Thanks to Cake

Chinese Green Beans with Ground Turkey | No Thanks to Cake

Chinese Green Beans with Ground Turkey | No Thanks to Cake

Per 1/2 recipe serving:

CAL 245; CARB 23g; FAT 5g; PROT 31g; FIB 8g; WW Points Plus: 6

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Mocha Icebox Dessert

When 4th of July rolled around and Tiffany asked me to bring a dish to her cookout, I knew that I wanted to bring dessert.  Any chance to put together a healthier, yet decadent dessert… I’m in.

Mocha Icebox Dessert | No Thanks to Cake

This dessert is one my mom used to make when I was little.  Surprisingly, being the pickiest human on the planet… I loved it from a young age!  Cool whip, mocha mousse, and fluffy lady finger cookies make the most perfect dessert!

This was a delicious trip down memory lane and a fluffy light way to enjoy a sweet treat.  Enjoy!

Mocha Icebox Dessert

Serves 9

Mocha Icebox Dessert | No Thanks to Cake

INGREDIENTS

16 large marshmallows
6 Tbsp. hot water
2 1/2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1 Tbsp. butter
3/4 tsp. instant coffee - I used Starbucks Via
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 containers thawed Cool Whip Light
1 (3 oz.) pkg. lady finger cookies
1/4 tsp. salt
Chocolate Curls, for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

1.  Heat marshmallows, water, cocoa, butter, coffee, and salt over medium heat, stirring constantly, until marshmallows are melted. Remove from heat. Let stand until thickened.

Mocha Icebox Dessert | No Thanks to Cake

Mocha Icebox Dessert | No Thanks to Cake

Mocha Icebox Dessert | No Thanks to Cake

2.  Combine 2 1/2 cups Cool Whip, 1/4 tsp. vanilla, and marshmallow-cocoa mixture.  Fold until combined.

Mocha Icebox Dessert | No Thanks to Cake

Mocha Icebox Dessert | No Thanks to Cake

3.  Line bottom and sides of ungreased baking dish 8 x 8 x 2 with ladyfingers.

Mocha Icebox Dessert | No Thanks to Cake

4.  Spread marshmallow mixture evenly over ladyfingers. Cover and refrigerate until set about 5 hours.

Mocha Icebox Dessert | No Thanks to Cake

Mocha Icebox Dessert | No Thanks to Cake

5.  Combine 2 cups Cool Whip with 1/4 tsp. vanilla.  Spread on top of the pudding dish.  Top with chocolate curls created with a vegetable peeler and chocolate bar at room temperature.

Mocha Icebox Dessert | No Thanks to Cake

Mocha Icebox Dessert | No Thanks to Cake

Mocha Icebox Dessert | No Thanks to Cake

Per 1/9th recipe:

CAL 268; CARB 44g; FAT 9g; PROT 2g; FIB 0g; WW Points Plus: 7

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7 Things I Loved About Fitbloggin ‘14

While there are really about 500 things I loved about Fitbloggin 2014, I did my best to condense the list to just 7 highlights… If you’ve spent time out in the healthy blogiverse over the past week, I’m certain my other blogger friends have filled in the gaps with their recaps.

Fitbloggin 14  7 Things I Loved About This Conference | No Thanks to Cake(Photo Credit:  Carrie D. Photography)

7.  Thought-Provoking Sessions

Fitbloggin 14, as in years past, came with a full list of sessions that I could attend to grow my blog in new and exciting ways.  I attended a little bit of everything, and walked out with notes from just about every session.

As someone who takes way too many notes everywhere I go, I decided to spend time in the moment this year rather than attempting to capture every word spoken.  Instead, I walked out with a simple notepad speckled with a few notes and a quote or two.  These “nuggets” of information are all I need to upgrade NTTC in the next year… no transcription needed.

Fitbloggin Small Groups | No Thanks to Cake

The small group sessions are always the most moving for me.  I love hearing my peers talk about their experience and sharing my story as well.  I attended two in particular that I loved:  Maintaining the Mojo and Life After Goal.   I’ll tell you more this week about how I was inspired by Roni Noone herself in one of the sessions….

6. That 80’s Dance Party

Every single year, it’s my favorite class.  The energy is fantastic.  The smiles are abundant.  And this year, it was 80’s themed!??  Totally tubular….

80s Zumba | No Thanks to Cake

This Zumba-inspired class was incredible with Sue, Sam, and Nellie making sure that I shook my money maker and laughed all the way through.  I got to dance with Monica, Aliyah, Dawn,  and Nathan and 100 of my closest friends. What’s not to love??

80s Zumba | No Thanks to Cake

PS… This outfit made an appearance.  Thanks, Amazon…

80s Zumba | No Thanks to Cake

Lastly, if I could have squished Sam and Sue (and Thing 2) into a carry-on, I would have brought them back to Denver with me… so that they could make me sweat and dance it out on the regular.  The fact that we’ll be dancing in Denver next year makes me SOOOOOOOO happy.  Thank you for inspiring me… every single year!

5.  Ignite Fitness

In past years, I’ll admit I haven’t loved Ignite… but this year, the presenters REALLY outdid themselves and made it an incredibly interesting, motivating, and entertaining session!

We listened to Dre rap (thanks for the shoutout!), heard Allie’s tremendous story of competing on behalf of the US, watched Alan take the stage, and even learned how to make a proper cuppa tea!

Ignite Fitness | No Thanks to CakePhoto Credit:  Carrie D. Photography

I love the personality and preparation that the team brought to the table.  It’s not easy to rock a mike like they did… and they crushed it!  Can’t wait to see what Fitbloggin 15 brings… 

4.  Savannah Shopping

Oh my, Savannah was so hot… this girl was super sweaty throughout the weekend.  Thank goodness there were a bunch of cute shops to pop into to cool down!

I found two unique culinary stores to stop into that I’m so glad I found.

The Savannah Bee Company:  How often do you walk into a store that offers honey tastings??  It was so awesome!  I ended up with a few flavors for myself (Savannah and whipped honey!) and a few jars for gifts.

Savannah Bee Company | No Thanks to Cake

I was heading to the airport when I stumbled upon The Salt Table, and couldn’t pass it by!  The Foodette sent me to this awesome store, and wow… she made an amazing recommendation!

The Salt Table Savannah | No Thanks to Cake

The shop was full of flavored salts and sugars…. Popcorn seasonings, dips.  I was in heaven!  I ended up walking out with some mesquite flavored salt, maple salt, coconut sugar, and some Ghost Pepper salt for my bro for Christmas!  It was probably better that we were in a hurry.  Had I more time, I would have bought the entire store… and had to figure out a way to get it home in my carry on (along with Sue and Sam)…

3. The Avocados

Prior to the conference beginning, I entered a recipe into the California Avocado Commission’s Culinary Cutting Edge Contest.  And, as luck would have it, I was named to the finals with the lovely Alyssa and Kia, for this recipe!

Grilled Avocado Caprese | No Thanks to Cake

The session on Avocados was amongst my favorite because I got to learn all about one of my favorite fruits… and they announced the big winner:  My roomie Alyssa!!!  While my caprese salad took second place, it was Alyssa’s yummy tarts that brought home the grand prize!!

California Avocados Contest Fitbloggin | No Thanks to Cake Photo Credit:  Double Chin Diary

The chef even did a live demo of her recipe and they let us try the winning recipe!  So delish!!!

Avocado Cream Tarts Double Chin Diary | No Thanks to CakePhoto Credit:  Double Chin Diary

I loved this contest for many reasons… my love of avocado being one of them, but also I love the art of creating deliciously healthy dishes.  I put some time into coming up with just the right dish to present… and I’m incredibly proud of what I entered.  I also am bursting with ideas for more avocado dishes.  So get ready, readers, there’s more avocado recipes on the way!

Lastly, it also made me really consider the types of brands that I want to work with in the future.  These guys completely align with my vision for NTTC… so, expect more like it in the future!

2.  Reflecting on the Year that Passed

2013 was a rough year for this girl.  So much going on… and frankly, not a lot of happy.  I battled with myself trying to figure out what my next steps were going to be… and felt a little lost at Fitbloggin 2013, as a result.

There were multiple sessions where I just cried.  (Yep)  I cried because the topics touched a little too close to home… and I felt sort of lonely in a crowd of people.  It’s not something I’ve spoken of until now, but it was a tough time… mostly, I was just trying to Pollyana my way through, hoping that it would pass.

Thank goodness it did!!!!!

AND THIS YEAR… so different.  For the past few months, I’ve been so genuinely happy.  To be at Fitbloggin and to be able to share that “happy” was awesome.  Nice to have my head held high again.  It’s so nice to be back…

1.  The People

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.  The people are what make Fitbloggin for me.  This picture below is from my favorite moment of the conference…

Fitbloggin | No Thanks to Cake

You’ll notice that we aren’t even at the conference.  We didn’t even find a swanky restaurant to dine at.  We’re at a cheesy Mexican joint across from the hotel that could seat 8 with no wait, and later add a table to grow our group even more.

This is the night I got to meet Beth, hear about Jessica’s job transformation, understand how Sarah’s world is changing, sit next to my girl Monica and unknowingly order the same dinner (life twins!), visit with Dawn and meet her friend Lynne and plan yoga time for my December visit, hear about Sam’s tattoo plans, visit with Emily and gush about how I adore Harper, and spend more time with my girl Ash fiercely getting to know these women.  Awesome night.  Beautiful people.  

It’s moments like this that keep me coming back for more.  It’s people like this that make me want to be a better person.

Roni, I can’t thank you enough for another wonderful conference year.  I can’t wait to see you all in Denver for Fitbloggin 15.

xoxo

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Amazing Chocolate Yellow Cake

Greetings from Georgia!  You heard me, y’all!

Savannah | No Thanks to Cake

I’m back in the South.  This time, I’m attending my FAVORITE conference of the year:  Fitbloggin.  While I’m traveling today to the event, I can already tell you… by the time you read this, I’m already having a great time!  So excited to share back with you all the fun that’s certain to be had… stay tuned!!

So, I’m known to be quite a baker in my office, and I’m happy to own that reputation!  Example:  I had one guy tell me his birthday was in August (and it was only January!)  Needless to say… I bring sweet treats to the office from time to time for my sales teams to enjoy, and for me to enjoy a little sliver… After all, I can’t always say no, especially when I make a cake like this…

Amazing Chocolate Yellow Cake | No Thanks to Cake

Being that I am in Paula Deen’s town… I figured you guys might allow me to share something a little bit more decadent for this Thursday, especially considering that I am about to burn a million calories with Fitbloggin workouts.

This is hands-down my favorite cake.  It is made with a yellow cake mix… and moistened up with chocolate pudding.  People will think it’s from scratch, or maybe loaded with butter.  No need to confuse them with all the details, my dear… just smile and appreciate that they love your cake. :)

Amazing Chocolate Yellow Cake

Serves 12

INGREDIENTS

Amazing Chocolate Cake | No Thanks to Cake

1 Yellow Cake Mix
1 small pkg. instant chocolate pudding mix
1/2 cup oil
1 1/2 cup water
4 eggs
6 oz chocolate chips

INSTRUCTIONS

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Mix cake mix, pudding mix, oil, and water in a mixing bowl.

Amazing Chocolate Cake | No Thanks to Cake

3.  Add eggs and beat until combined well.

Amazing Chocolate Cake | No Thanks to Cake

4.  Stir in chocolate chips with a spatula.

Amazing Chocolate Cake | No Thanks to Cake

5.  Pour into a greased and floured bundt pan.

Amazing Chocolate Cake | No Thanks to Cake

6.  Bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.  Allow to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before flipping out to a cake plate /cake stand.

Amazing Chocolate Cake | No Thanks to Cake

7.  Top with your favorite chocolate frosting.  Note:  I used this one for fudgy amazing frosting from the Pioneer Woman.

Amazing Chocolate Cake | No Thanks to Cake

8.  Slice and enjoy amongst family, friends, co-workers… anyone who can enjoy the best chocolate cakes of their lives!

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