A Different Take on Mexican Pizzas

I like to change up my food so I don’t get bored.  My kids don’t appreciate that so much, neither does Aaron.  What I have been doing lately is when I make them a “traditional” dish, I will often make small changes to my meal to create some variety.  I have also been eating a lot less meat lately.  No, I am not becoming a “vegetarian”, I like my chicken & steak (filet) too much.  However, on a day-to-day basis, my stomach & body tend to feel much better the less meat I eat.  My non-meat sources of  protein come from nut butters, eggs (mostly egg whites with an occasional yolk thrown in), tuna, salmon, beans (black, garbanzo, kidney, northern, black-eyed peas), nuts & cheese.  I do some soy, but not a lot.  I mainly do edamame if I do any soy.  I drink almond milk, not cow’s milk (due to lactose intolerance, but cheese is okay with Lactaid).  Anyway, I digress.  Tonight I made Mexican pizzas with refried beans, ground turkey taco meat & cheese for the family and did mine up a little different.


My Mexican pizza consisted of the following:

  • black beans (drained & rinsed) mixed with a touch of sriracha
  • crumbled goat cheese
  • avocado
  • chopped tomatoes
  • plain Greek Fage
  • Frank’s Red Hot

They were amazing!!  YUM!!  Also, instead of using store made tostada shells, I took 2 soft corn tortillas & placed them on an oven sheet @ 350 for about 10 minutes on one side & 3-4 minutes on the other side.  The I topped with the bean mixture & goat cheese and popped back in the oven to get all melty.  YUM!  Oh, another exciting find?  Trader Joe’s frozen avocado halves!  Genius!  I am the only one in my house that will eat avocado and they turn brown after I cut them open no matter what I do!  Very frustrating & expensive!!  These halves are perfect!  I used a half and split it between my pizzas.  Perfect!!  No waste! 

New Toy

As I mentioned in this post, I am training for a half marathon in October.  I usually run at the gym on the treadmill, but I occasionally run outside and now that my long runs are getting longer, not only do I need fuel to keep me going, but I need something to track my running.  I had wanted a Garmin Forerunner, but couldn’t justify that cost.  I already have a Polar Heart Rate Monitor, so another couple hundred dollars to track mileage/distance didn’t make sense.  Enter new Nike shoes & Nike gift card.  The new running shoes I bought last month were Nikes and my credit cards rewards came in the form of a Nike gift card.  I bought a Nike+ iPod Sports Kit for $29.99!


The sensor (on the right), slips in a little slot under the insert in my shoe.  The receiver slips right into your iPod nano or, if you have an itouch, it has a built in sensor!  I had no idea my itouch could do that! 

I used the Nike+ for the first time Friday for my long run.  It said I was running much faster than I thought I was and than what the treadmill was telling me.  I know that treadmills are notoriously wrong when it comes to distance, calories & such, so I don’t put a lot of stock in that.  I had to calibrate the Nike+ today to get the most accurate results.  I ran 1 mile (at a “normal” pace) in 8 min 50 sec.  That is what the calibration was based on.  Now, when I run, the results should be much more accurate. 

Some of my favorite things about this new toy are:

  • Voice comes on to update you on distance ran, distance left (can be turned off)
  • Push a button & it tells you your pace
  • You can custom design workouts, distances or do open-ended workouts
  • You can upload your data to Nike+ website & keep track of your training
  • You can set goals & compete with others on the Nike+ website

For $29.99, this was a great purchase.  I really look forward to using this in my race next week & for training on my longer runs.  Another bonus to the Nike+ over the Garmin is that you don’t need GPS for it to work.  The Garmins won’t work inside (treadmills) or sometimes have issues picking up signals from the satellite. 

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Product Review: Trader Joe’s Crunchy Curls

Yes, I am reviewing yet another Trader Joe’s product.  What can I say?  I probably should own part of TJ’s by now, wouldn’t you think?  LOL!  I first spotted the Crunchy Curls when I was at TJ’s about a month ago.  They are a curly snack made from lentils & potatoes!  How about that?! 


These curls are very crunchy and have a great taste.  They are not spicy in the least.  They are great to dip!  I can think of many things you could dip these into:

  • Flavored Hummus
  • Balela (again, Trader Joe’s & gluten-free)
  • Salsa
  • Red Pepper, eggplant & garlic spread (TJ’s)
  • Peanut or almond butter (okay, that might be a stretch, but you know how I love my nut butters)

They have  great nutritional stats, too!  In one serving, 31 curls, there are 130 calories, 4.5 grams of fat (.5 sat), 4 grams of fiber & 3 grams of protein.  Not bad for a “crunchy snack”.  Another great product from Trader Joe’s!  BTW, I promise TJ’s is not paying me to say good stuff about their products.  😉 


So, next time you reach for a snack, grab these and you won’t have to feel guilty!

Product Review: Trader Joe’s Polenta Provencale

I love Trader Joe’s.  Really, I find something new to try there every time I go.  I love that their labeling is so clear.  I love that they have a list of their gluten-free items.  I love their prices.  I love their 100% satisfaction guaranteed policy.  The 2 times that I have had an issue with any of their products (once, a bunch of rice cakes in the bag I bought were crumbled and another time the French rolls had mold on them after 1 day), they replaced them, no questions, no receipt.  I had just wanted to mention the issues to them, I really hadn’t been looking for a replacement. 

Okay, now down to business.   On my last trip to TJ’s, I picked up this fantastic looking dish…..Polenta Provencale, from the freezer section.  I fully expected to see some kind of gluten (and if not gluten, onions), but much to my surprise, it was gluten & onion free!!  That makes this product “Kim friendly”.   I decided that I was going to have this for dinner last night and tossed in some leftover roasted veggies & maple chicken sausage (another Trader Joe’s product) when it was done cooking. 


From the back of the bag:

Trader Joe’s Polenta Provencale dares to ask the question, “Must polenta be Italian?”  Geographic locations aside, we believe in liberation of polenta, in its freedom to representation to the cuisines of the world.  Thus, Polenta Provencale combines polenta with fresh spinach leaves, peas, tomatoes, cream & herbs de Provence to create a dish that’s an inspired fusion of old world traditions and new world flavors.  Bon appetit!  Buon gusto!  Enjoy!

This dish was super easy to prepare.  I place the frozen meal in a preheated frying pan over medium to med-high heat.  I let the mixture cook for 5-7 minutes, as directed on the package.  Once that was heated, I tossed in my chicken sausage & roasted veggies just to warm through.

In the pan, before adding the sausage:


This dish was awesome!  Would I expect anything less from TJ’s?  There was a little spicy kick to it, but not too much.  I paired my combo with a nice big salad for a satisfying meal.

Here is the back of the package for nutritional info/ingredients:


If you see this at your Trader Joe’s, it is definitely worth trying out & buying again.  Nice to keep on hand for those nights when meals have to be quick!