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Voila Gourmet

I needed a second opinion yesterday morning regarding the weather. I just didn’t want to believe the meteorologist on television so I consulted my weather app to decide if it was truly too cold outside for my “planned”  hilly run.

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“Poor day for outside fitness.”

Uh huh. And I could have done without the big red exclamation point thank you very much.

Anyone that knows me knows that I can’t stand punctuation. Especially overpunctuation ???!!!! 

A giant red ! counts as overpunctuation in my book.

Anyway, I may not be able to rely on consistent weather patterns, but I can rely on Fairway Market’s sale patterns.

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They even threw in a sale on Asparagus. This must be my lucky week.

The weather is looking up for today so I do plan on running outside.

Anything will beat my gym experience yesterday.

I had ventured into the gym yesterday morning not knowing what I was going to do in there, still annoyed at the weather app for shouting out me for considering an outdoor run.

I didn’t realize how ill prepared I was to be running indoors until I started up on the mill.

Slowly my pants started to slide, followed by my underpants. It was quite a fabulous experience.

I clearly had on the wrong pants and  wrong undergarments.

Yet I had the right running shoes on. Of course I did. I am afraid of upsetting the rainbow shoes so I wear them every time I leave the house.

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I tried switching to the elliptical in an attempt to keep my pants on. My legs really weren’t interested in the random hill program. Or any program for that matter.

I hopped around from machine to machine to the point where I am unsure as to what I really did or how long I was there.

The only positive was that my pants and underwear began to  stay up unassisted about 25 minutes into the mish mosh of a workout.

It took me a few minutes  to realize that they were being held up by sweat.

Perhaps the sweat signified a decent work out? 

MEAL ALERT:

We all know I am raising a little man. And my little man has a healthy, hearty appetite, especially after a full day of school. He has come to expect a gourmet meal promptly as the school bus drops him off each day.

dinner on table

I never should have introduced him to classic  television. Although Leave it to Beaver is better than watching Sponge Bob.

Lately I have been experimenting with some new dinners for him. I really use the same ingredients as in his usual meals but shake up the arrangement and presentation.

Enter the Stuffed Potato. I want him to realize he can like a baked potato just as much as  french fries, mashed potatoes or roasted potato wedges.

Last night’s dinner was what we called the “Mexican Stuffed Potato”:

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So simple, so healthy and the best part – so delicious.

Ingredients:

  • Black beans (I use Organic canned beans)
  • Diced tomatoes (I always use Trader Joe’s No Salt Added but you can use any kind you wish)
  • A dab of Tomato Paste
  • Taco seasoning ( I use Trader Joe’s but you can use any kind you wish or combine your own spices)
  • Corn (I used frozen but you can use canned, fresh or frozen – doesn’t matter)
  • ****Pinch of Cinnamon*** – I swear the addition of cinnamon makes such a tasty difference. Adds an interesting touch of sweetness. Amazing. I use cinnamon whenever I make tacos or chili.
  • Cheddar Cheese (light, mild, sharp, shredded, sliced, string cheese cut up – your choice)

I would love to give you specific amounts of the ingredients but honestly, it is all up to you, your taste buds and how many stuffed potatoes you feel like making.

I planned on making one stuffed potato.

I mixed about 1/2 cup of the black beans with about 1/4 cup of corn, a spoonful of diced tomatoes with a spoonful of tomato paste, added a drop of seasoning and a pinch of cinnamon.

***Add seasoning amount according to YOUR taste buds. The boy doesn’t like too spicy so I don’t use a lot.

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Baked Potato Short Cut Tip – To quickly bake a potato, I first microwave the potato on the “baked potato” setting.  I usually let it microwave for about 4 -5 minutes (microwave oven cooking times may vary according to your oven). I then finish it up in the oven at 450 degrees to crisp the skin. Usually takes about 20 minutes in total.

Once potato cooked, scoop out the insides and combine it with the bean mixture. Once combined, put it all back in the potato.

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Place back in the oven for a few minutes prior to adding the cheese.

cheddar

I crumbled Trader Joe’s Light Mild Cheddar Cheese on top and broiled for a few minutes.

The cheese sticks are perfect for us to have on hand because he can bring it to school as a snack, or we can use it to crumble instead of buying shredded cheese. Cheese sticks are the perfect multi-tasker, and save us some money too!

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Voila. Gourmet meal. He loved it so much that when he ran out of the bean mix and still had potato left, I quickly threw together another helping of beans, corn, diced tomato and seasoning to add to the remaining potato.

He. Ate. The. Whole. Thing.

The fact that I was able to quickly throw this meal together signifies how simple and easy it is to make. You can even bake the potatoes beforehand and have them ready to go when you get home from work.

The bean mix can be made beforehand as well and stored in the fridge in an airtight container.

You can use the bean mixture on top of a sweet potato, brown rice, quinoa, tortilla chips, in a wrap or on a salad. 

Perfect topped with avocado, plain greek yogurt (in place of sour cream).

Possibilities are endless.

If I had more time, I would have sautéed the ingredients in a pan with chopped onion as well as hidden some vegetables such as spinach or butternut squash.

Remember, he only likes to see and eat his vegetables as his “late night snack”.

Although last night he went with America’s classic dessert. Well, Trader Joe’s version of American’s favorite cookie:

joe joes

Go figure. I would rather be whipping up a good dessert than creating gourmet meals everyday yet sometimes all he wants is a packaged cookie.

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As long as I don’t have to share my apples (my supply is dwindling), I can’t complain.

 

I need to know:

Do you make stuffed potatoes?

Do you buy Joe Joe’s, if so, do you think they taste as good or better than Oreo’s?

Do your pants fall down like mine on the treadmill?

 

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  • Alex @ Cookie Dough Katzen April 4, 2013, 10:14 am

    Thanks for the baked potato tip! Do you have to cut any holes in the potato when you microwave it? Mexican stuffed potatoss look and sound delicious. I’m definitely going to have to try that recipe out!

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles April 4, 2013, 10:20 am

      Nope. I never cut holes. Just experiment with your microwave. I know for mine, I stop it before it fully cooks so that it can finish in oven. I also use this method for quickly making roasted potato wedges/fries. By microwaving the potato first, you can then slice and bake in oven and it cuts the cooking time drastically.

      Meredith Sent from my iPhone