Thursday, February 18, 2010

Fat Tuesday? Who says? Can't it be Phat Tuesday?

Fat Tuesday came and mom and I were faced with a choice. To eat fat or "phat". I had just arrived back from a whirlwind Valentine's weekend with my honey Scott and his family. We had made donuts, homemade pizza (from the Abby's Makin Pizza blog) and eaten meatballs, and steak and shrimp dipped in butter. Needless to say I felt like I had just undergone a "Fat Weekend" without the 'ph'. When mom reminded me about Fat Tuesday, I suggested we have a "Phat" Tuesday instead. You know like rad, supercool, neato? Ooops, I'm showing my age aren't I? Anyway, lucky for me, mom didn't resist the idea and we chose healthy.

We made a delicious Skinny Mini Mexican Stew and ate it with baked corn tortilla strips. Now my mom didn't want to let Fat Tuesday go by without something decadent, so I made us a White Russian for a night cap and of course had a piece of chocolate. Now, we consider chocolate a health food. It has tons of anti-oxidants and is known to affect your brain similarly to falling in love. Which may explain why men are always bringing chocolate home when they are in trouble. Smart thinking on their part. Since my mom is missing my dad something fierce I thought chocolate might help her mental state as well. My mom's thinking... "Chocolate never hurts." My answer is... "Either does flowers!"

In line with this thinking, my mom thinks that this is a time when we rededicate ourselves to being healthy, loving, and happy. Instead of giving up something we love for one month, we prefer to focus on giving ourselves treats in moderation, but treating ourselves well everyday. Lent for us, being Buddhist and all, is really a time to expand our awareness of how we treat ourselves and others. In my family, this is a time to refocus our energy on good and positive things and spread those good vibrations to everyone we see and touch.

We have shifted our focus from fat to "phat" and had a great Tuesday night without any guilt on Wednesday morning. Whatever you do for lent remember to keep it real and keep your days "phat"! And as always, try a recipe and share with us how it went! We hope someone is out there reading this...

Skinny Mini Mexican Soup

1 medium white onion; chopped
1 medium zuchinni; chopped
4 cloves garlic; minced
1 cup baby carrots
1 cup frozen sweet corn
1 can black bans (14.5 oz); rinsed
1 can To-Tel diced tomatoes and green chilies (14.5 oz)
1 small can chopped green chilis (4 oz)
1 jar chipotle corn salsa (we love Mrs. Renfro's_
1 can low sodiom chicken broth (14.5 oz)
2 cups low sodium V-8 juice
1/2 tsp. red pepper
1/4 tsp.paprika
2 tsp. cumin and chili pepper
1/2 tsp. chicken rub
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 cooked chicken breasts; chopped

Saute onion, zuchinni, and garlic for 3-5 minutes or onions are transluscent. Deglaze the pan with chick broth. Then pour all ingredients in the slow cooker saving the cilantro aside.

Cook for 6-8 hours.

Serve with green onions, cilantro, shredded cheddar cheese, avocado, and sour cream if desired. Serve along side tortilla chips or corn tortillas for a complete meal.

Corn Tortilla Strips

8 corn tortillas
2 tbsp olive oil

Preheat oven for 375 degrees. Slice corn tortillas into strips and toss in olive oil. Place in single layer on a cookie sheet. Bake for 8 - 10 minutes or until crisp and brown.
Salt and pepper to taste

White Russian (or as we call it a Montana Iceberg)

1 shot vodka
1/2 shot coffee liquor
4 oz fat free cream

Pour all ingredients into an 8 oz glass that has been filled with ice. Stir with a straw and enjoy. It is a great er dinner drink on a cold winter's night. Nothing like a little Montana Iceberg in your glass!

Mental Health Tip: When given a choice, the answers may not be obvious. Take a moment to look at the options from all angles and you may be able to come up with something even more imaginative than the original solutions. When in doubt, remember there is nothing wrong with a little chocolate and flowers! Take if from mom and I, despite us missing dad, we are still holding on! Okay, and a little whip cream helps even more!

Here is wishing you a "phat" day and life from our kitchen to yours!

~ "Too Lovely" Hot Messes in the kitchen

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