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Eating an Award Winning Sandwich: Fat Rooster Review

I ate an award winning sandwich this past weekend, and my taste buds fully agree. I tend to have one fully indulgent meal and this week it was Saturday brunch following an entirely calorie-blasting workout at Orange Theory. (I ate all the calories back and then some, but that is besides the point.)

Gary Rack’s Fat Rooster, which opened several months ago, was our cheat meal of choice.

I had the “Hen Loving Waffle.” A fried chicken thigh on sweet potato waffles, with a peanut, benne, and Granny Smith apple slaw and frisee. There is crunch, there is sweetness, there is awesomeness.

This is an award-winning sandwich if I ever ate one
This is an award-winning sandwich if I ever ate one


Josh had the “Fat Hash — The Farmer”. A sweet potato hash, with scrambled eggs, cheddar, avocado and veggies.IMG_4137

Confession…we also started with “Lucy’s Chicken Biscuit Oh My!” which is fried chicken on a biscuit with apple pepper jelly. IMG_4130IMG_4129

All of it was supremely delicious. It was a perfect indulge meal.

Healthy Eating: Stuffed Peppers

I’ve been eating stuffed peppers for as long as I can remember. My mom used to make them when we were younger. I am pretty sure I used to take them for lunch sometimes. They are just such a good Sunday meal prep option, that are also good for lunch leftovers.

I’ve stuffed them with pretty much everything at this point….they’ve been vegetarian (with Morningstar Crumbles), they’ve had rice or quinoa, and then of course other ground meat…turkey, chicken, buffalo. You can really stuff them with almost anything.

I used to have to get creative in how I positioned the peppers to bake. Then I got a fantastic pan for our wedding, literally designed for peppers. It’s awesome.


Below is a recipe I’ve been using recently, it’s clean, simple and tasty.

Italian-Style Stuffed Bell Peppers

What you need:

4 bell peppers

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1/2 large onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced or grated

1/2 cup diced tomatoes, fresh or canned

1 pound ground beef, bison, turkey, or chicken

Go ahead and preheat the oven to 375 F. While that is preheating, let’s get to chopping.

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In a large skillet heat the coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and saute until they are translucent and slightly brown. You can lightly season the onions with salt and pepper. I also like to add a little more pepper and saute those.

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Reduce the heat to medium, add the garlic and tomatoes, and cook for about two minutes.

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Now we add the meat and cook until fully done. I usually add a little heat here with some red pepper.

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Fill the peppers and pop them into the oven for about 20 minutes. This will leave the peppers soft, but still a little crunchy.

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Peppers 007

Cake Batter Rice Krispie Cupcakes

I made them and they were delicious. Going into NYE I had a small problem. My oven has not been working. Well, it is working it just shuts itself off constantly because the heat sensor isn’t working properly, and it makes baking and roasting and really anything done in the oven annoying.

So I needed to make something to bring to our NYE party that didn’t require an oven.  So these fancies from the magical world of Pinterest made the cut. I haven’t made Rice Krispie treats, or as my father calls them “Runner’s Fuel” in so long that I actually forgot that you didn’t need an oven.

Your ingredients

You will need the following:

  • 6 tbs margarine (3/4 of a stick)
  • 3/4 cup yellow cake mix
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 3 cups Rice Krispies
  • 5 oz of marshmallows (they come in 10 0z)
  • 1 tbs sprinkles

You will do the following:

Melt margarine in the microwave (about 45 seconds). Mix in marshmallows and return to microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring between, until melted. Mix in cake mix and vanilla until combined. Add in sprinkles and 2 cups of Rice Krispies with a spatula. Add in the third cup of Rice Krispies.

Fill each well-greased muffin holder with the Rice Krispie mixture and press it in gently with the back of a spoon. Cool for 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Take them out and frost to your delight.

Now let me show you in picture form. 
You melt the butter, then add the marshmallows
You melt the marshmallows in the microwave in intervals. Stir between them.
You add the vanilla and the cake batter
You add the sprinkles and the Rice Krispies
You painstakingly put the sticky substance into itty bitty muffin tins and place them in the fridge
After 30 minutes, you take them out. Frost them, sprinkle some more and receive many compliments at your party.

Cookies N Cream Popcorn

I have a ridiculous sweet tooth. And when my sweet tooth is really bad it is followed by a craving for something salty. That’s why I usually have yogurt with some sort of salty topping.

Then I saw this gem of a recipe on Pinterest and thought “perfect.” Mostly because it was something sweet that also excited my cookies n cream loving husband. A few of my friends (more like a lot)  immediately responded to a picture I posted about starting the experiment so I decided to write up a quick recipe post. (This is for you, person who was having trouble with understanding how to crush Oreos.)


1. Popcorn (we used microwaveable, natural..no butter)

2. Oreos (we were suckered into purchasing Cookies N Cream Oreos, which taste exactly like regular Oreos)

3. Vanilla candies (we went with Hershey’s Cookies N Cream, please see hubby’s favorite sweet)

Making It

1. Pop the popcorn as directed. Try to remove all the unopened kernels.

2. Place the Oreos into a plastic bag (use as many as you want depending on your chocolatey desire) and crush with the back of a spoon.

3. Mix the Oreos and popcorn together in a SUPER LARGE bowl (this keeps the spill over to a minimum).

4. In 30 sec. intervals melt the vanilla candies in the microwave. Stir after each.

5. Once melted pour over the popcorn/Oreo mixture. Stir. (Our large bowl comes with a lid so I shook mine up to spread the wealth.)

6. Place on a cooling rack.

We will be enjoying ours while watching the Walking Dead this evening. Hope you like it!


Slim & Scrumptious (and a Giveaway)

I love new recipes, especially quick and easy ones that are healthy. So much so, that my bridesmaids collected recipes from all my friends and family members to make this really sweet book for me.

Anyway, I also got a bunch of new recipes when a member of Joy Bauer’s team contacted me and asked me to review Slim & Scrumptious. So I obviously took the offer.

The things that make a recipe good for me: quick, easily adjusted to fit my vegetarian lifestyle and healthy.

So far we have made two recipes from the book.

Sesame Chicken Tenders

I made these with Quorn Chickun (vegetarian chicken) and real-life chicken for Josh. I also made it with vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. It didn’t take too long, but making the sauce was a little laborious.

This wasn’t bad and I was pretty satisfied. Josh however, wasn’t a huge fan and added a lot of hot sauce. I probably should have added a few more spices into it for more flavor.

Fake Chicken



Real Chicken







Baked Tilapia with Spice Tomato-Pineapple Relish

We both LOVED LOVED this recipe. It was quick, simple and spicy. We had time to go to the gym beforehand and make a delicious dinner. 

They gave me another book that I can give to one of you lucky people, so here is the deal.

There are two ways to enter:

#1) Mandatory: Leave a comment telling me what makes a recipe top-notch for you.

#2) Bonus Entry: Tweet this giveaway saying: “Check out this tasty giveaway from @lanes0220 & @joy_bauer. Enter to win Slim & Scrumptious http://bit.ly/hMSJxE″

Winner will be announced August 10th on Twitter and on the blog.



Tasty Tuesday 9/14

Who are you calling shrimp?

Grilled Curried Shrimp with Mango Couscous

Gingered Shrimp and Asparagus

Caribbean Shrimp Salad

Shrimp Salad Nicoise

  • 2 tablespoons tarragon vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
  • 6 ounces haricots verts (French green beans) or fresh thin green beans, trimmed
  • 3/4 pound frozen shelled and deveined large shrimp, thawed
  • 1/2 pound small (1-1/2 inches in diameter) new potatoes
  • 4 large heads Bibb or 2 small heads Boston lettuce, trimmed, leaves separated and torn slightly
  • 2 large eggs, hard-boiled
  • 1 loaf crusty bread (optional)


1. Whisk together vinegar and mustard in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in oil until emulsified and thickened. Whisk in water, then shallot; salt and pepper to taste, for vinaigrette.

2. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil; add salt. Add beans and cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl filled with ice and cold water, reserving water in saucepan. Add shrimp to reserved boiling water and cook until pink and opaque, about 3 minutes. Transfer to bowl with ice and cold water. Drain beans and shrimp; pat both dry.

3. Place potatoes in a clean saucepan, cover with cold water by 2 inches and bring to a boil; add salt. Simmer until potatoes are tender but not falling apart, about 15 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water; halve. Separately arrange beans, shrimp, potatoes, and lettuce on a large serving platter. Peel and quarter eggs; tuck into lettuce.

4. Drizzle vinaigrette over all; salt and pepper to taste. Serve with bread, if desired. Makes 4 servings.

Tasty Tuesday 9/7

Stirring it up edition

I love Stir Fry. I could probably make a different kind every night….

Carrots w/ Red Pepper from the NYT

Stir Fried Tofu with Carrots and Red Peppers

Shrimp and Broccoli Stir Fry

Tofu, Mushrooms, Sugar Snap Peas and Green Onions

Spicy Tofu and Cashew Stir Fry with Snow Peas and Red Pepper

1 tablespoon medium-dry Sherry

2 teaspoons cornstarch

3 tablespoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil

1 12 oz package of tofu

1 teaspoon sugar

3 tablespoons peanut oil

2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes

1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips

1/2 lb snow peas, trimmed

1 cup salted roasted cashews

Tasty Tuesday 8/31

Last grilling day of the season edition

It’s Labor Day Weekend, which means grilling season is almost over. So to make sure you get the most out of it, check out the non-red meat options to serve.


Shrimp and Corn Salad (throw the shrimp and the corn on the grill to add extra mmmmm)

The no beef-burger

(and if that is too much…)

Portobello Mushroom Burgers (for 2)

2 portobello mushroom caps

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1-1/2 teaspoons minced garlic

salt and pepper to taste

2 (1 ounce) slices provolone cheese

  1. Place the mushroom caps, smooth side up, in a shallow dish. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil, basil, oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper. Pour over the mushrooms. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes or so, turning twice.
  2. Preheat grill for medium-high heat.
  3. Brush grate with oil. Place mushrooms on the grill, reserving marinade for basting. Grill for 5 to 8 minutes on each side, or until tender. Brush with marinade frequently. Top with cheese during the last 2 minutes of grilling.

Reinventing Your Food

Last week on Top Chef: DC the contestants were brought to the CIA and asked to disguise their dishes. While, I am still not sure how you could create a “cover” for French onion soup, it got me thinking.

How can you reinvent your favorite foods so that they are healthier? So I took some of MY favorite foods and tried to figure out how to make them better.

Tell me in the comments how you make your meals healthier without losing the tastiness.

Mac ‘n Cheese

There are days, especially when it has been raining a ridiculous amount outside, when I just want a steaming bowl of mac ‘n cheese. But instead of reaching for the blue box, I create a different kind.

Adding a vegetable (I like cauliflower or broccoli), nonfat milk and whole wheat macaroni adds more fiber without losing the deliciousness. The recipe below is for 6 servings (I like to make for multiple meals) and is about 294 calories per serving

What you need:

  • 1 box (13.25 ounces) whole-grain penne pasta
  • 4 cups borccoli florets (about 2 stalks)
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Pinch   cayenne pepper
  • 8 ounces 2% sharp Cheddar cheese, grated (2 cups)

How you do it:

  1. Heat large pot of lightly salted water to boiling. Add pasta and cook 6 minutes. Add broccoli and cook an additional 4 minutes. Drain.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk milk and flour together in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then simmer 3 minutes, until thickened. Remove from heat and whisk in mustard, salt, pepper and cayenne.
  3. Add grated Cheddar, whisking constantly until melted. Transfer pasta and broccoli to serving bowl. Pour cheese sauce over pasta-broccoli mixture and stir until coated.

BLT (with a fake B and no added B)

Coming home late from work or the gym means I want something quick, tasty but not too high in carbs. Enter BLT in a bowl. Also, what I love about this is that my meat loving fiancé can still eat it, by adding real bacon to his. And by making your own dressing you can save a lot of calories. Recipe below is for 2 servings, 185 calories per serving.

What you need:


  • 4  slices cooked bacon (FAKE)
  • 2 cups  sliced green-leaf lettuce
  • 1/2 cup  halved yellow and red grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup  low-fat croutons (optional)


  • 1/8 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tablespoon  water
  • 1/2 tablespoon  cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon  sugar
  • Pinch of pepper

How you do it:

  1. Combine all the ingredients for the salad in a large bowl. Then, in a smaller bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients; toss salad with dressing

Tasty Tuesday 8/24

Spicing up your lunch edition

Egg-cellent Asparagus Salad

Grilled Portobello Sandwich with Mozz and Red Pepper

Fiesta Bowl Salad

Combine 1/4 cup each canned black beans (rinsed and drained), chopped avocado, canned corn (drained), and chopped cherry tomatoes with the juice of 1/2 fresh lime and salt to taste. Serve on top of 2 cups romaine.

Marinated Artichoke, Tomato, and Goat Cheese Sandwich

Halve a small whole wheat baguette lengthwise; spread with soft goat cheese. Top with thinly sliced ripe tomatoes, drained marinated artichoke hearts, and arugula or baby spinach leaves.