Monday, July 23, 2012

Never take ribs from a man. Just don't.

Good morning peeps, I hope you all had a fun-filled weekend despite all the nasty weather! At my house, we don't ever let a little rain ruin a potentially fabulous day! Sunday was another busy productive day at the Noel casa. I like to use Sunday as a prep day to for my upcoming week, I get my kicks in stealing the sting from mean Monday, muahaha! Take that Monday! Today is day 8 of the 14 day challenge, and I am still cheat-less with my diet and I've put in 9 work outs in 7 days. I'll weigh in on day 15 and post results.

Yesterday, I was able to get all the laundry done, which means that everything we own was clean for about ten minutes, you know how that works. I got in some housekeeping, an hour long work out, cooked one mean " I can't believe this is skinny!" meal ( of course I'm going to share this recipe with you, der!), AND my man took me on a movie date! Great day right??

On a Sunday, I'll usually go for an early morning run, but I just didn't feel like running yesterday. I may have pushed my body a little to far Saturday I was having some pain in my outer left hip and inner left knee, so I listened to my body and took it down a notch. It paid off , I feel nearly 100% better this morning. In my mind, just because I couldn't run, didn't mean I couldn't get in some exercise. I have a stability ball at home that I bought about four years ago. I went to Academy, two weeks before a scheduled summer trip to the beach with friends, in a bid to crash diet and work out crazy lady style. At the time, I convinced myself that was how I needed to prep for a trip I had known about for months. During this stint I dropped 15 pounds, but after the vacation I put it all back, plus some - have you ever done something like this? Most of us yo-yo's have, crash diets don't work people. Slow and steady wins the race! After that beach trip, I cruelly abandoned that poor unfortunate stability ball in an upstairs closet at my Mom's house where it collected lots of dust until April of last year. I now use the stability ball for an at home work out on "get creative" Sunday. The ball came with a 30 minute cardio & core training DVD produced by The Firm. Have you ever heard of the Firm workouts?  In the '90s, I remember my Mom and her sisters living and breathing these work out tapes ( Yeah, I mean VHS, remember that?). They would bring the tapes and gear on our family vacations to the beach and work up a sweat. My cousins and I found this absolutely hysterical then, and I still do now just thinking about it. I don't know why, but I have fond memories of The Firm. It cracks me up to see it come full circle, minus the uni-tard, tights, and sweat bands. Ya'll know I'm too cool for that. Here's a look at the 30 minute stability ball work out I did yesterday:

After this, my hip and knee were feeling much better, so I decided to try some pins from my Beastmode board. I did one room cardio and Do you really want those abs? I picked that last one because I like answering questions, especially the ones I know the answer to. I want those abs! I'm going to get me some! Those two pins made up the last 30 minutes of my work out.

Now what ya'll really want to know- my "I can't believe this is skinny" recipe. Saturday, my husband picked up a rack of spare ribs that he wanted to cook for Sunday dinner. My first thought was, "Really dude? Are you trying to make me cheat?", but when you're sharing meals with someone else you have to compromise. One of my BFFs and most favorite girl friends in the whole wide world, happens to be one of the most amazing cooks I know. She makes a crawfish fettuccine every year for Mardi Gras that is simply to die for. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Anyway, she had been hard-core bragging to me- we do this a lot with tons of random things but one upping one another is always in jest, again with the weirdness- about this melt in your mouth spare ribs recipe she has for her slow cooker. When I think ribs, I think fat. I can't eat that! I ain't trying to gain ten pounds people! However, I had her send me the recipe, and I set out to make it "skinny". What I really love about the slow cooker is the minimal amount of attention it requires from me. This recipe can be done on low for 8-10 hours, perfect for the work day, or on high for 4-5 hours, perfect for a Sunday! Win, win!

Elle Noel's Skinny Ribs- Slow Cooker
Serves 6 - 239 calories per serving
3lb rack of pork ribs
1/4 cup Hodgson Mill - Whole Wheat Graham Flour
1 tsp Thyme Leaves
2 Tablespoons (4g) Domino - Light Brown Sugar
3 tbsp Garlic powder
1 cup chopped raw onions
1.5 cup(s) Beef Broth 99% Fat Free
1 Guinness Draught Beer, 14.9 oz.
3 tsp Tony Chacheres - Salt-Free Creole Seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix the beer, beef broth, and onion in a bowl and set to the side.
Coat the meat with flour, thyme,Tony Chacheres, brown sugar & garlic powder, place in slow cooker with the "curve" of the rib facing down. Pour the beer, beef broth, & onion mixture on top. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-5 hours. The meat will literally fall off the bone so be careful when removing the rack from the slow cooker when it's time to serve.

Here's what it looks like in the slow cooker:

Here's what it will look like ready to serve:

This was melt in your mouth, pinch me I must be dreaming, amazing. I can't wait to make it again. It felt like a diet cheat, and it wasn't. Even better? It was incredibly easy! I love turning on the slow cooker and going about my business!

I served mine with green beans and cauliflower mock mashed potatoes. Cauliflower mock mashed potatoes have become a family favorite. Anytime you can turn this,

 Into this,

 It's a good day people. Here's how I make mine:

Elle Noel style cauliflower mock mashed potatoes
Serves 6
46 calories per serving
1 head of cauliflower chopped and boiled until extremely tender
4 tbsp Blue Bonnet - Light Butter - Margarine
1 tbsp Spices - Garlic powder
1 tsp Tony Chacheres - Salt-Free Creole Seasoning

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until smooth, and voila!

Green Beans-
Serves 4
28 calories per serving
1 container  Del Monte - French Style Green Beans (No Salt Added)
1 tbsp Blue Bonnet - Light Butter - Margarine
1 tsp Tony Chacheres - Salt-Free Creole Seasoning

Here's a look at my plate

 I wolfed down all of that for a grand total of 313 calories. Believe it people! This was so good and I was stuffed like turkey dinner. Mmmm mmmmm. I cant wait to make this again!

After our winning Sunday dinner, my husband and I headed to the movies to see The Dark Knight Rises. It was a a really great movie, and honestly I was terrified at times. The villain in this film ain't no joke! As you know, I am a slave to my popcorn addiction. My husband and I split a medium- perfect end to a great weekend!

Wishing you all a happy productive day and be sure to tell mean Monday who is boss!

Here I am running to work- a cute outfit is a sure way to kick the Monday shnooze. That and coffee, lots of coffee.

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Thanks for reading!!

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