Monday, January 30, 2012

Homemade Kale Chips

This was one of those things that I heard about and never really got around to trying. Mr. Allan and I are heard about of town for a mini vacation and this weekend was a mission to clear the fridge of perishable items. I had a bunch of kale in the veggie drawer and'd be a great time to give this a whirl!

I had looked at some recipes last year and just kind of winged this...

First, take a bunch of kale and wash it thoroughly. Take each piece and rip it into bite sized pieces and try to omit using the stems and spines. Throw them in a large bowl, drizzle with olive oil. Spread onto a cookie sheet and season with salt. Cook at 300 degrees for about 20-22 minutes.

Here's (what's left) of the final product. They are these light crispy chips and they were so good. I think both myself and Mr. Allan were surprised at how roasting the kale on a lower temp could make them turn into such a crispy snack!

Kick Ass Kale Chips

1 large bunch of kale, washed, and torn into bite sized piece
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place kale in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil (you can eyeball the amount, but just make sure the leaves are mostly covered, don't drench it.)

Mix well and spread evenly on a cookie sheet. Season with salt. Cook for 20-22 minutes. Let cool and enjoy!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

I've been eating so well in this new year so far...but sometimes you just need something sweet. So, I set out to find a "healthy" as I could make it cookie or treat to make. While I love love love to bake, it's a tricky double edged sword. When there's only two of you in the house, you inevitably eat all the baked goods. So, when I came upon this recipe on, I was happy to see that it only had 2 tbsp of butter and a lot of healthier I gave it a whirl...with a couple substitutions ...and was pleased with the final result! I bring you....Chewy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies...

On the cookie sheet ready for baking. I must admit..I was a little nervous..the batter had a little bit of trouble making it from my cookie scoop to the cookie sheet and was falling apart. I had to sort of shape the dough a little..but the end result turned out fabulous!

Fresh out of the oven

Cooled and ready to eat

Low Fat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie
(from and

1 cup all purpose flour*
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp butter, room temperature
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup plain, unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups quick cooking oats
1 cup  dark chocolate chips*

*I used whole wheat flour. Instead of chocolate chips, I used a 3oz dark chocolate 70% cacoa bar and chopped it up.

Preheat oven to 350°

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. In a large bowl, with a mixer, cream together the butter and the sugars on medium speed.

Add the egg, followed by the applesauce and vanilla extract.

Working by hand, stir in the flour mixture and the oats until just combined and no streaks of flour remain; stir in the chocolate chips.

Drop heaping tablespoonfuls (approx 1 tbsp each) of the dough onto prepared baking sheets, flattening each cookie slightly (I forgot to do this). Bake for about 10-12 minutes, or until cookies become light brown at the edges.

Let cool on baking sheet for 3 or 4 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack  to cool

Makes about 30 cookies (my batch yielded 27 cookies)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday!

Time for another edition of What I'm Loving Wednesday with !

First off...I'm loving that next week Mr. Allan and I are going on a spur of the moment getaway. A few weeks ago we were complaining about how we never got around to planning a vacation, how it was too late to plan some type of big vacation and how it's miserable and cold in New England. So, we decided to jet to Sedona, Arizona for a quick 4 days. It's winter there as well, but I'll take there 60 degree temps over our 20 degree temps. I'm excited for some hiking and relaxing and checking out a new area! come the Allans!

I'm also loving/borderline obsessed with the new Urban Decay Palette...Naked 2! I loved the original palette..loved loved loved it..and maybe I didn't really need a whole second palette of eyeshadow, but I got it in the mail last week and have yet to go a day without using it!
One of my New Year's resolutions was to practice more yoga. I love to run, take kickboxing and step classes and I'm starting to feel some wear and tear on my knees and ankles from these high impact exercises that I pound my body with. So, I decided to take a step back from these types of workouts and replace them with just as challenging, yet gentler, exercises. I've fallen in love with Heated Prana Flow Yoga. The heat gets me sweating and the Prana Flow classes keep me moving and I definitely feel the burn! One problem with taking lots of heated yoga yoga mat needs a little refreshing! I grabbed this mat spray and it's working wonders for my poor yoga mat that's used multiple times a week...I have Manduka's Energizing Wheat Grass has great prices for it!
After a hearty workout...I like to reward myself..I can afford to eat a little something I normally wouldn't since I took the time to workout and burn some calories. One snack I've been loving...Trader Joe's 100 calorie dark chocolate bars...

I'm also loving that the New England Patriots are in the Superbowl! Can't wait for Superbowl Sunday! I love the parties, getting together with friends and it's all so much more fun when your team is in it!

Hope you have a great rest of your week!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Cincinnatti Chili

I had never heard of this before some friends introduced us to it...and I'm a big chili lover. I love to make chili since it's so easy to substitute leaner meats, fill it with veggies and beans, and make a nice warm dinner. Last year we went over a friend's house and her husband made this dish. He had eaten it at an airport and we had heard him mention it before and tell us how much he enjoyed it. Cincinnati chili is basically a smokey chili served over pasta...and we loved it just as much as he did!

I was excited to open this month's Clean Eating Magazine and see a slimmed down "cleaned" up version. I thought it would be the perfect meal to accompany a day of football watching.

this month's Clean this magazine!
Here's the Cincinnati Chili over about 1 cup of whole wheat spaghetti

Then I remembered I forgot the cheese...this was a perfect cold January meal and would be easy to make for a crowd. This recipe made dinner for myself and Mr. Allan, one night of leftovers, and then we froze the a container of chili to have on hand for later this winter.

Cincinnati Chili
from Clean Eating Magazine

1 large yellow onion, diced
1 lb extra lean (93%) turkey or beef
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa
2 cups low sodium tomato sauce
2 cups low sodium beef broth
1 cup canned solid pumpkin
1 15 oz can of kidney beans
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp honey
14 oz Whole Wheat Spaghetti
low fat shredded cheddar


Heat a large nonstick skillet on medium. Add onion and cook until softened. Add meat and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, chili powder, oregano, cinnamon, and allspice. Cook for an additional minute. Transfer mixture to a large dutch oven or stockpot.

Add cocoa, tomato sauce, broth, pumpkin, beans, vinegar and honey. Cook for about 30 minutes.

Cook pasta according to package directions and top with a scoop of chili and cheddar cheese.

Just a couple notes...the original recipe called for a slow cooker. Instead of transferring the meat mixture to a dutch oven, you could put it in the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.


Friday, January 20, 2012

Now this is a great idea....

Tomato Paste in a tube...every time I open a can of tomato paste, I feel like I use a tablespoon or so and then have a weird can in my fridge covered in foil for weeks...sometimes I forget how long it's been in there and I just buy a new can and throw the old one out. This solves the problem of the weird half used cans of tomato paste in my fridge problem..and I think it's pretty genius!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Heat Wars

They say that a girl marries a man that reminds her of her father...that statement definitely rings true when it comes to the thermostat in our house.

I grew up in a cold household. I can never remember our house being a toasty 70 degrees. The thermostat barely inched above 62 degrees and we always seemed to be huddled under afghans on the couch. If we complained about being cold, my dad told us to put on a sweater. If we still complained about being cold, he'd tell us the dishwater was nice and warm and to stick our hands in it and wash some dishes and we wouldn't be cold anymore.  Fast Forward 20 I am, in my own home, and the battle of the thermostat continues...

Every night Mr. Allan's handy dandy weather center lets us know how cold it is outside...and then that temperature in the middle is how cold it is inside.

That's was a balmy 60 degrees in the Allan household last night. Sadly, it's somewhat the norm. If I complain that I'm cold, Mr. Allan tells me to do 15 jumping jacks and if I'm still cold after that, he'll turn up the heat.

So, you must probably be asking the question...if it's so cold outside, why don't I just turn up the heat? The answer...because we have a super ninja mastermind like Yoda digital thermostat that's programmed to raise the heat for an hour in the morning and 3 hours in the evening courtesy of my husband.

Maybe I don't wager too big of a war over this because I'm used to a cold household or we're not breaking the bank with heat bills but mostly I think it's the little reminders and glimpses of my dad that I now see in my husband...even if it means flannel sheets on the bed at all times and no exposed extremities.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Urban Decay's NAKED 2 Palette

I'm beyond excited to get my grubby little hands on this....

It's currently sold out on Urban Decay's website...but Sephora has HERE....mine is on it's way!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Friday, January 6, 2012

Chicken Pot Pie Soup from Skinny Taste

It might not look like anything too special as it simmers in a pot on my stove...but this soup was down right delicious! It was just what we needed on a lazy Saturday afternoon when the temps dipped colder than they've been all year. This soup is a perfect low fat comfort food!

If you haven't checked out Skinny taste ( it's a fabulous site with tons of recipes and all the nutritional info, weight watcher points etc! I printed off so many recipes and have been making a Skinny Taste meal (if not more!) a week.

Skinny Taste Chicken Pot Pie Soup

1/4 cup flour (to make gluten-free use 2 tbsp cornstarch instead)
2 cups water
4 cups fat free milk
1 large celery stalk, chopped
1/2 medium chopped onion
8 oz sliced baby portabella mushrooms
2 chicken bouillons
fresh ground pepper
pinch of thyme
10 oz frozen classic mixed vegetables (peas, carrots, green beans, corn)
2 potatoes, peeled and cubed small
16 oz cooked chicken breast, diced small

Create a slurry by combining 1/2 cup of the cold water with flour in a medium bowl and whisk until well blended. Set aside.

Pour remaining water and milk into a large pot and slowly bring to a boil. Add celery, onion, mushrooms, chicken bullion, thyme, fresh pepper, frozen vegetables and return to a boil. Partially cover and simmer on low until vegetables are soft, about 20 minutes. Remove lid, add potatoes and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add chicken, and slowly whisk in slurry, stirring well as you add. Cook another 2-3 minutes, until soup thickens, adjust salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Here's a Link to the recipe on Skinny Taste complete with nutrional information and weight watcher points! Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday!

It's Wednesday and time for What I'm Loving Wednesdays with !

Here's what I'm loving this week....

Neutrogena's Naturals Pore Scrub. This was one of my sister's Favorite Things for Christmas this year. (Here's a LINK explaining our Favorite Things Christmas Tradition). This scrub smells fantastic and it's all no chemicals or additives to harm or irritate your skin.

Even works so perfectly with my Clarisonic Skin Brush. I love a good scrub but most got all gunked up and stuck in the brush of my Clarisonic. This one works perfectly and gives me a good just like I get when I go for a facial!
During the holiday break, Mr Allan was away for a few days. This gave me lots of time to watch some bad tv. Thank God for On helped me discover so many shows I feel like I've been missing! One of them...Scouted on E!. It's the reality show where model scouts submit their local models to a team from One Management in NY for the opportunity to be signed. Mostly I just like to see these average teens and their transformation and ultimately what the experts think and whether they'll make it in the modeling world or not!

And, of course we can't forget that this show is back on...The bad bad bad addiction. Every season I complain about the 2 hour long episodes, the crazy chicks, the same lines that Chris Harrison uses...yet I watch. I didn't think I'd get into this year because I wasn't a Ben fan on the Bachelorette and I don't think he's this outstandingly handsome guy that merits having 25 girls drooling over him. But, kudos to ABC for putting it on right in the New Year when everything is a rerun and there's been nothing on TV because of the holiday.

I've been doing more than just laying on my couch watching reality tv...I've also been reading like a mad woman. My Kindle has truly been one of the best things I bought in the past year. It has made one of my great accessible. It's always in my purse and I've read more in this past year than I have in quite some time. The latest good read... Rich Boy by Sharon Pomerantz

I really enjoyed this book. I hadn't heard about it or stumbled upon it through my many searches. I think I saw a review on some one's blog and downloaded it to my Kindle. A great story about a kid who grew up with not a lot and goes on to live quite the different lifestyle.

Come check out what I'm reading on Good Reads...a great site to keep tabs on what you and your friends are reading! My GoodReads Bookshelf

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

Here's to 2012! Hope you had as fun of a night as we did!