A Trip to Stella’s Lounge

One of the last weekend’s of May, the boyfriend came to Michigan for a long weekend. It was my grandma’s 80th birthday party and my entire family was getting together to be with her. We had some extra time and I wanted to show D a little bit more of Michigan as he hasn’t seen too much. So we decided to go out to Grand Rapids for a night. A good friend of mine from college lives out there, so we met him and his girlfriend at a place called Stella’s Lounge.

I did some research before heading out to Grand Rapids and saw that Stella’s Lounge has been voted the best burger in Michigan. As I am a sucker for burgers and french fries, I knew we had to go here.

By the time D and I had gotten there, we had already drank a lot of beer (for him) and cider (for me). And we were starving. We ordered as soon as we could, and devoured our food. Although, I wanted to eat the entire burger, it was so big and the cider filled me up so much that I couldn’t actually eat it all. And then D went to the bathroom and put his napkin on his plate (which I thought was the sign for ‘I’m finished’) and I told the waiter he could take it away. Apparently he wasn’t done….. Oops!

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But just look at this ginormous burger. It’s no wonder I couldn’t eat it all. But it was amazing. Even though I was decently drunk and probably would have eaten anything at this point, it was delicious. And I miss it terribly. Yes I am allowed to feel these things about food. Whatever.

Anyone ever been here? Comment below and let me know how you felt about these burgers. I’m interested in sober thoughts as well!

 

Much Love

xxx

Simple 7 Green Smoothie Challenge

I stumbled upon the Simple Green Smoothie blog and saw that they have a free “Simple 7” program. When you sign up, they send you a PDF file with everything you need to know. It tells you the 7 ingredients you need and how much to buy at the grocery store for a week’s worth of smoothie making. It gives you a new daily recipe for every morning, and they even tell you how to prep it to save time in the mornings. I bought a bunch of mason jars, measured out my portions and put everything into the mason jars. When you’re ready to make your smoothie, just leave it out on the counter for about 10 minutes to thaw and then follow the directions on the recipe to blend.

The name of the program explains itself. It is very simple. And if you prep it all ahead of time, you have no excuses. It actually becomes a perfect on-the-go breakfast. And most of them tasted amazing.

I posted a picture of the smoothies on my Instagram every morning. You can see below for a more in depth analysis and opinions on the smoothies, but be sure to check out my IG account as well!

 

Day 1 – Beginner’s Luck

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For some reason, I do not like banana flavoring in things. I can eat a banana itself (sometimes) but banana bread is the only banana flavored thing I will eat. Therefore, if I can taste a bit of banana in a smoothie, I won’t be able to stop thinking about it. For Beginner’s Luck, that’s all I could think about. It was very creamy and full of all my favorite ingredients, but I couldn’t get past the banana flavor. One thing in the PDF file they send you when you sign up are suggestions for substitutions for those who have allergies or want more choices. Therefore, I began to replace banana with avocado. The rest of the smoothies went way better. I need to try this one again with avocado instead. But if you’re a banana person, you’d probably like it.

Day 2 – Oh Kale Yeah

 

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This one was tiny. I’m not entirely sure how that happened. I must have measured the ingredients wrong, but there wasn’t much of it to taste, which bummed me out because I really did like the flavor. I don’t seem to have a problem with kale, like a lot of other people do. On the contrary, I actually quite like it. I need to try making this one again as the flavor was mild – not too sweet – so my first thoughts were that it would make a fabulous early morning breakfast.

Day 3 – The Green Goblin

 

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From all the research I did, I saw that this was one of the most popular recipes among all the other Simple 7ers. Obviously, I substituted banana for avocado. It was a really thick smoothie and I actually had to add a bit more water so that it would blend better, but I really enjoyed this one. As you can tell, it made a good amount of smoothie and filled me up for the morning.

Day 4 – Simple Strawberry

 

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Now as the name suggests, this one had dominantly strawberries thrown into it which is why it looks brownish red. But don’t let the color fool you – this one was very good. And for those of you who get scared of green smoothies – that they’ll taste like you’re eating grass – this is a perfect one for you. For the challenge, this was the first one that introduced oranges into the mix and the flavor was a bit too much for me.

Ok I feel like this is where I should tell you that I have a really weird relationship with oranges. It’s supposed to be a happy color, and yet I hate it. Everyone seems to love orange juice – I don’t. (I will only drink orange juice so long as there is a LOT of champagne mixed with it). And the smell makes me sick to my stomach. It’s weird. I get it. Let’s move on.

Anyway, this smoothie was hard for me because of the orange flavor. Normal people would like this and it wouldn’t be a problem. I promise.

Day 5 – Takes Two to Mango

 

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Love love love love love love. Ok? I love the mango flavor in my smoothies. I will never not choose that. And this one was perfect. And the name is adorable. I’ve got nothing else to say. If you like mangos, you’ll love this one.

Day 6 – Kalifornia Sunshine

 

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I messed this one up a bit as I forgot to freeze all the ingredients so it actually was a bit more liquidy than I usually like my smoothies, so that was a rather unfortunate situation. And that’s also why the spinach didn’t blend very well – because it wasn’t frozen ahead of time. But we cannot be mad at the smoothie for my mistakes can we? No we can’t! The taste was great. I enjoyed it muy much.

I’m trying to be funny. Laugh with me.

Day 7 – Citrus Breeze

 

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I took a really artsy photo with this one didn’t I??

Ended the 7-day challenge perfectly with this one. Fabulous! I didn’t want it to end! I was very sad when I guzzled this one down because I wanted more of it. And it’s pretty isn’t it? The bright green smoothies just look SO APPETIZING to me. Same with you? Yeah, thought so.

I ended this on a Sunday. And I went a day or two without a smoothie in the morning and immediately noticed how tired I was!! I did the same exact thing as the week before, was getting enough sleep, and yet I was very sleepy throughout the day. So I tried something. I had a green smoothie for breakfast the next day and immediately felt more energized. Coincidence? Placebo effect? I think not. Because I had no idea this was happening. Now I won’t pretend to know how this made sense. Probably because I was beginning my day with healthy nutrient-filled food and not a bagel. My skin was glowing. Even my boyfriend noticed a difference.

There was a lot gained from this experience. And it feels a lot less like a sacrifice and lot more like a positive way to improve my overall health and wellness. I plan to continue with a green smoothie for breakfast every day when I can as I see no reason not to.

I highly suggest you try this out. Whether you try the Simple 7 program, or do something else on your own, there are a lot of benefits and you don’t have anything to lose.

Have you guys had successful results with green smoothies? Comment below or write me on Twitter @knackeredchaos!

P.S. Send me any recipes you have with your Instagram username – I love to try new ones and I’ll s/o to you if I do! My email is samb@knackeredbychaos.com.

 

Much Love

xxx

Mmh Turkey Chili

In the Fall, I decided to look online for some soup and chili recipes as the weather was getting cooler and I really wanted to start cooking more. I ended up stumbling upon the most amazing Turkey Chili recipe on Pinterest. It looked amazing and was advertised as healthy and under 400 calories per serving, so I had to try it.

Since then, I have made this recipe countless times – on the stove and in the Crockpot. It is so simple and so very delicious.

I generally make it on Sundays and then will pack it in a Tupperware container in the morning while preparing my lunch. I actually have to actively stop myself from emptying the entire pot into the Tupperware – no joke. The last time I made this recipe, I took pictures of every step. Look below to see how it gets put together. And then go to Ambitious Kitchen (link here) to read the actual recipe and thank Monique for bringing this into our lives.

First, you cut up the vegetables. I added green peppers, even though the recipe only calls out for red. I love love love green peppers so I add them to everything I can.

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Then you cook the vegetables. See how easy this is?

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Then you add the spices. The recipe will tell you exactly how and what, but this intuitive picture does as well. It’s the 21st Century, look how cool the internet can be!

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So you mix it into the cooked ground Turkey with the vegetables and it’ll look something like this…

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Next you have to add all chicken broth, diced tomatoes, corn, and dark red kidney beans! The recipe calls out for 1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes, but the cans I buy are 14 oz. As I don’t like my chili to be watery and cooked tomatoes kinda weird me out, I just use the one can…

I realize the picture below is misleading as I accidentally opened two without realizing that I only use one. My sincerest apologies.

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So then I threw it all into the Crock Pot and put it on high for three hours. And this is the end result. How amazing does that look???

 

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When I eat this, I just put it in a bowl, add some cheddar cheese and oyster crackers and shovel it in my mouth.

No, I really do shovel it. It’s very attractive – I promise you.

 

Let me know your thoughts once you’ve made this yourself! Click here for the recipe if you didn’t already click on it above. Just make it. Do it. And thank Monique from Ambitious Kitchen after you do… 🙂

 

Much Love

xxx