Dinner / Lunch

Hot & Spicy Gameday

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After warming up with some fall french toast this morning (see earlier post) while we watched the first quarter of our alma maters (Indiana University and Army) both offer another weak performance, we headed out to the gym for a dose of cardio. While getting my heart rate up on the stair stepper, I finished a book called Mini Shopaholic … which I give about a 6 out of 10. It was entertaining enough to take to the gym but not enough to warrant curling up on the couch at home. After we got our sweat on, we trekked home to watch Bama (Rolllllll Tide!!) vs Texas A&M – what a let down! Before we got settled on the couch though, you know we had to eat. One of Daniel's favorite things to eat is nachos. And I'm totally fine with that because they're super simple to make.

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Today, since we didn't have any chicken for some protein, I used fat free refried beans (100 calories per half cup) and spread them over tortilla chips. We buy the cheapest chips on the shelf because Daniel goes through them very quickly. I like to keep a bag of Baked Tostitos Scoops so that I can indulge, guilt-free. Anyway, I had some leftover low-sodium black beans and hominy (I prefer hominy to corn) so I sprinkled those on top along with some diced canned tomatoes w/green chilies. Finally, I topped with a 1/4 cup shredded part-skim Mexican style cheese (110 calories), microwaved for 45 seconds and ta-da! In a word, YUM. I like to squeeze a lime over the nachos right when they come out of the microwave just to kick up the flavor. Daniel douses the nachos with hot Chalula sauce and chows down.

My lunch is a bit lighter and a lot less impressive. Some fresh fruit, yogurt, granola and of course, several bites of Daniel's delicious nachos! Okay, okay, and a little frozen snickers, leftover from a lonely Halloween.


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Time for dinner. What a sorry day of football it’s turned out to be. IU lost to Wisconsin, Army lost to Rutgers, Alabama lost to Texas A&M, and as we speak Vanderbilt is losing to Ole Miss with a minute fourteen to go. I would have my fingers crossed but that would make it exceptionally difficult to type. Wait!! Just as I finished that sentence, Vandy scored; leading by 1! Phew.

Nevertheless, gameday continues with the southwest theme … from spicy nachos at lunch to spicy burgers at dinner. These burgers have been in my freezer for about a week. I whipped up a batch last week and froze the leftovers in pre-made patties which made tonight very easy. While I was working on some sautéed onions, red peppers, and green peppers, Daniel helped out by cooking up the burgers. We don’t have a grill right now so we have to do everything on the electric stovetop. Sounds bad, but it works out alright for us. We’re good at improvising.

I also steamed some carrots and cauliflower to add some full-factor to the other veggies. Daniel opted for chips instead … No big deal, more healthy stuff for me! For a “bun” we used the same baguette that I used to make French toast this morning – just sliced, lighted buttered and put under the broiler for a couple minutes.

Spicy Burgers

1 1/2 lb ground beef or turkey

1 small onion chopped finely or minced

1/2 habanero pepper, seeds removed and minced

1 Serrano pepper, seeds removed and minced

2 cloves minced garlic

1 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp salt

Mix a ingredients with hands, and form into 1/2 patties. Be careful not to over handle the meat, thereby making it tough. Spray grill pan with cooking spray and brush burgers with a touch of olive oil. Cook over medium heat to desired doneness. We like medium-rare to medium which turns out to be about 5-6 minutes per side… Cook time seems to vary by stove so the first time you make these, you may need to sacrifice one of the burgers’ curb appeal in order to check.

*These burgers are hot. You can tone down the heat and make them kid-friendly by omitting the habanero pepper and crushed red pepper flakes. Instead, mince 1/4 red bell pepper which adds flavor and texture with virtually no heat.

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