Category Archives: beer

Slow Cooker Cream Cheese Chicken

When the weather started to cool off, before snow began to fall, I committed to using my crock pot more. Crock pot meals are fabulous…who would’ve love walking in from a long work day to find a delicious, piping hot meal? Mmm…sign me up! 😀

When I got home really late on Tuesday night (10pm is really late, people!), Mr. Prevention and I quickly popped this meal into the crock pot. It took all of 5 minutes, and 4 minutes of that was hand-washing and trimming up the chicken breasts. That simple, yep. We popped the prepared crock pot in the fridge and Mr. P turned the crock pot on at 2pm yesterday. At 7pm, we were eating a delicious, healthy (albeit higher in sodium), no-fuss meal. Crock pot liners are your friend. Invest.

Slow Cooker Cream Cheese Chicken very slightly adapted from Group Recipes and That’s Damn Good!

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (can be frozen)
15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
15-ounce can corn, drained
16-ounce salsa
8 ounces light cream cheese


Add chicken to slow cooker and cover with black beans, corn and salsa. Cook on high for 4-6 hours until chicken is cooked. Place cream cheese on top and cook an additional 30 minutes. Chicken will naturally shred, and cream cheese will blend nicely after being stirred. Yield: 5 entree portions.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 421 calories; 12.4 g. fat; 90 mg. cholesteorl; 890 mg. sodium; 50 g. carbohydrate; 5 g. fiber; 4.8 g. sugar; 44.8 g. protein

Result: Mr. P said, “It’s not pretty, but it’s good…especially considering how easy and cheap it was.” That pretty much sums it up. It is on the higher side in regards to sodium, due to the canned goods (the salsa added the most sodium), but the fiber, protein, fat, and carbohydrates are all very balanced. I plan to make this again, and will probably try making homemade salsa/pico de gallo to cut out a LOT of the sodium. The portion is generous and can be made into a salad, tacos, or just eaten on its own. Enjoy!

And because it was a night of Illini football and basketball to finish up 2 LONG days at work, I popped open some Trader Joe’s Vintage Ale. It was very dark and I didn’t finish it all. Good thing…9% ABV!


Question: Do you own a crock pot? If so, do you use it?

I am going to a Weight Watchers meeting tonight — I look forward to learning about the program and providing feedback to you all!

Off I go,

Slow Cooker Cream Cheese Chicken
Serves 4-6

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts(can be frozen)
15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
15-ounce can corn, drained
16-ounce salsa
8-ounce cream cheese

Add chicken to slow cooker and cover with black beans, corn and salsa.  Cook on high for 4-6 hours until chicken is cooked.  Place cream cheese on top and cook an additional 30 minutes.  Serve.



Filed under beer, crock pot, dinner, fiber, protein, recipe, reduced-calorie, sodium, Weight Watchers

Beer Cheese Soup (Lightened Up)

Thanks for the accountability, folks. I pounded out a quick 5K before pouring a glass of Pinot Grigio last night. It was just one of those weeks, and the only thing getting me through Thursday and Friday was the thought of a happy hour drink come Friday. It’s the little things in life.

Mr. Prevention and I did a whole lot of NOTHING last night other than catching up with the DVR, and it was glorious. We were planning to go out to eat, but Mr. P has had some really early hours this week (hello, 4:30am…ew), and staying it just seemed like the right things to do 🙂 Of course, Mr. Prevention insisted on leftover pizza for dinner and I would have nothing of it. I had my mind set on bigger, better, and cheesier things. 😉

I had never heard of Beer Cheese Soup until a week ago. And since then, it’s all I’ve wanted. Beer? Please. Always. Cheese? Please. Always. I know I’m not alone here. Well, I wanted the soup, not the calories and fat. So, I remedied that and the result was glooorious.

I don’t know about you, but when my love for nutrition and great-tasting food can come together, it’s a beautiful, beautiful thing. Of course this soup isn’t the most nutritious thing ever, but it sure as heck is way lower in calories and fat than the original version or a dinner out, so there! I justify my guiltless indulgence in this most decadent soup!

Beer Cheese Soup adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

4 Tbsp butter Smart Balance Light
1 medium onion, chopped fine
2 carrots, peeled & chopped fine
2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 12-ounce bottle beer (I used Great Lakes Pale Ale)
2 cups 2% milk
12 oz 75% reduced-fat Cabot cheddar cheese, shredded
4 oz American Gruyere cheese, shredded
2 tsp cornstarch
Table salt & ground black pepper


Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion and carrots until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in flour and cook until golden, about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in broth, beer, and milk. Bring mixture to simmer, then reduce heat to low and simmer gently (do not boil) until carrots are very soft, 20 to 25 minutes.

Toss shredded cheeses and cornstarch in large bowl until well combined. Puree soup in blender in 2 batches until completely smooth, return to saucepan, and simmer over medium-low heat. Whisk in cheese mixture, 1 cup at a time, until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Serves 6.

Nutrition Information: 344 calories; 16 g. fat; 43 mg. cholesteorl; 652 mg. sodium; 19.3 g. carbohydrate; 1.2 g. fiber; 6.2 g. sugar; 28.2 g. protein

Result: Oh la la, this is AMAZING! 75% reduced fat, what? Doesn’t matter. Delicious, and way less guilt involved. Enjoy!

Question: What’s one word you always spell wrong?

I have trouble with “occasion” (don’t know why..) and “Hanukkah” — I always spell that wrong.

Happy weekend! Gift wrapping, hair cut, workout, Illinois basketball, and date night are on my calendar! 😀

Be well,


Filed under beer, dining out, dinner, exercise, garlic, pizza, recipe, reduced-calorie, saturated fat, vegetarian, wine, work

loooong week…

Catch ya tomorrow. This girl needed a night (all 90 minutes of it, anyways) away from the kitchen…a night with cheap beer and the DVR. 😉

Question: What’s your favorite TV show this fall?

We are loving Mike & Molly, Modern Family, and Private Practice.

See you tomorrow with a new SOUP recipe!! 😀

Today is my protein waffle taste test with my patients…off I go! Hope they like them!! 😀

Sporting my apron,


Filed under beer

Vegan Acorn Squash Muffins

**MAJOR issues with a switch in WordPress themes!!! My home page appears to be okay but all the other pages are a mess! I am working to get this fixed ASAP…sorry!!!**

Guys, I can tell it’s going to be one of THOSE weeks. I completely forgot about a 10th anniversary surgery center dinner party I said I would go to with my business partner last night. Glad she sent me a reminder text that afternoon! The event (and food!) was wonderful, but I am not a fan of 12 hour days. I much prefer the life-work balance. I put “life” before “work” because I am so much a fan of that balance…with a tip in the “life” direction 😉


I adore squash…butternut squash, spaghetti squash, yellow squash…love’em all, but I do believe acorn is my favorite. It is so incredibly sweet and when cooked properly it is a creamy, almost dessert-like texture and flavor. Plus, I grew up on acorn squash filled with butter, pecans, brown sugar, and maple syrup. 😉 Yumm! Mr. Prevention isn’t too crazy about squash, so I used an acorn squash on hand to make this week’s breakfast! You know how I love sneaking veggies into breakfast…nothing like a jump start on your 5-9 colorful F&V’s each day!

Vegan Acorn Squash Muffins from A Whisk and A Prayer

1 cup + 2 Tbsp acorn squash, cooked and mashed (~1 small acorn squash)
3/4 cup soy milk (I used hemp milk)
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup water
¼ cup canola oil
2 Tbsp molasses
2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg


Preheat oven to 400° F and lightly oil a muffin tin, or line with baking cups. In a large bowl, mix together puree, milk, brown sugar, water, oil and molasses. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, soda, salt, and spices.

Combine wet and dry mixtures until just mixed.

Spoon batter evenly into prepared pan, filling muffin cups about 3/4 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Yield: 15 muffins.

Nutrition Information (per muffin): 138 calories; 4.3 g. fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 229 mg. sodium; 23.7 g. carbohydrate; 2.1 g. fiber; 0.3 g. protein

Result: These were really, really good! A lot sweeter than I was expecting. The original recipe called for a glaze, but I don’t think they need it, especially since I like to have muffins for breakfast, not dessert 🙂 Like most vegan baked goods, they are very moist. 🙂 And check out those nutrition stats…woo!


Over the weekend, Mr. Prevention and I shared one of our favorites: Chimay. I am completely and totally FASCINATED by Chimay.

Chimay beer is brewed in Belgium by Trappist Monks. Trappist brewery proceeds are used to support the monastery and good causes. The majority of the brewery profits go to local charities and community development. How awesome is that?

Chimay beers are cellared for at least 5 years while the Chimay Bleue Grande Reserve (pictured above, 9% ABV) is aged for approximately 15 years. The water used to make the beer is drawn from a well on the monastery property and the filtered beer solids are recycled for livestock feed, fed to the cows used to produce Chimay cheeses. Charitable AND green…rock on, monks!

Not only do I find the history and philanthropic nature of the Chimay brewery to be upstanding and impressive, but the beer is incredible. Mr. Prevention most enjoys the Chimay Blanche, while I prefer the darker Chimay Bleue. Chimay is available in most larger liquor stores, as well as Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. Check’em out!

Question: Do you make an effort to support companies with a stand-up mission and green operations? If you’re a beer-drinker, have you had or heard of Chimay?



Filed under alcohol, beer, breakfast, doctors, fiber, fruits and vegetables, going "green", guilt-free, healthy cooking, MUFAs and PUFAs, recipe, Trader Joe's, Uncategorized, vegan, vegetarian, work

Chili Contest: Entry 8 (& I have purple hair…)

It’s hard to believe the football season is starting to wind down. It’s gone quickly, especially while enjoying such wonderful chili recipes! Our loss to Michigan this weekend was a heart-breaker. We lost in the 3rd overtime after failing on a 2-point conversion to tie the game.

Bum-mer. Big time.

The Chili Contest continued yesterday with the first and only vegetarian chili entry. The recipe called for vegan meat crumbles and I have to admit to some apprehension over trying them. But, they were good! I think they were a far cry from meat, but not necessarily in a bad way at all! I think they’re a great, healthy option and if nothing else, a nice change.

Vegetarian Chili from Newlywed, Newly Veg

1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 15 oz. can pinto beans
1 15 oz. can chili beans
1 15 oz. can kidney beans
1 15 oz. can corn
3 15 oz. cans diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp tomato paste
3-4 Tbsp chili powder
1 (12 ounce) package vegetarian crumbles (I used Boca)
1/2 cup dark beer
salt and pepper to taste


In a large soup pot, heat olive oil. Add garlic and onions and cook for about 5 minutes, until they begin to soften. Add peppers and cook for another 8-10 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients (beans through vegetarian crumbles) and bring to a slow boil, until chili has thickened and is bubbling. Season with salt and pepper, add beer, and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for at least 30 minutes or longer. Garnish with tortilla chips, avocado, sour cream, and/or shredded cheese (not included in nutrition info). Serves 10.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 247 calories; 4.0 g. fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 1182 mg. sodium; 37 g. carbohydrate; 13 g. fiber; 18.6 g. protein

Result: This was good – it was like a cross between vegetable soup and chili. I liked the addition of corn to give it more of a “Tex Mex” style chili, and therefore I think cumin would’ve added some great flavor. I love the nutrition stats and as a first-time vegan meat crumbles user, I am now a fan!


And you did not read the title of this post wrong. I have purple hair. And no, I do not want purple hair.

I got my hair highlighted on Friday and somehow my “same as last time” request turned into PURPLE on my very blonde hair. I tried not to cry and asked my stylist what she could do to remedy the color. She said she could put red or brown over it, saying that brown would probably cover it best. And this is what I ended up with…:(

[[forced smile]]

The re-dye did take it from a Barney purple to a muted maroon, but I’m still not happy with it. I’m trying to own the rocker chick look, though — that was the advice my friends and family gave, anyways. 😦

Question: Have you tried vegan meat crumbles? Are you a fan? Any hair cut/color horror stories you can share? Misery loves company…



Filed under beer, fruits and vegetables, meat consumption, protein, recipe, vegan, vegetarian

best pizza crust & nutrition for bone density

Last night was Make Mr. Prevention Happy Night, also known as pizza night. I wanted to try a pizza crust recipe that caught my eye…and I’m so glad I did! Keep reading 😉

One of the best things about making homemade pizza…you can please multiple people all at the same time.

Mr. P’s toppings: 2% mozzarella cheese with turkey pepperoni (*yawn*)
My toppings: pesto, 2% mozzarella cheese, pine nuts, cherry tomatoes, shallots, garlic, and parmigiano reggiano shavings

Pizza pairs with beer beautifully 🙂

    Parmesan Pizza Crust from How Sweet It Is

    2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
    1 tsp active dry yeast
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
    1 Tbsp honey
    3/4 cup lukewarm water


    In a large bowl combine flour, salt, yeast and Parmesan cheese. Mix with a spoon and create a well in the middle. Add in 3/4 cups water, honey and olive oil. Stir with a spoon until dough comes together. Continue to form into a ball with your hands. If more water is needed, add it by the tablespoon.

    Knead dough for 1-2 minutes before placing it in a lightly oiled bowl and covering. Let rise for 1 1/2-2 hours.

    Preheat oven to 425° F.

    Roll dough to desired pizza dough thickness and place onto a pizza pan. Allow to rise 5-10 minutes. Pre-bake crust without toppings for 4-6 minutes. Remove crust from oven and layer with toppings. Return pizza to oven for 10-12 minutes or until cheese just begins to brown. Serves 5.

    Nutrition Information (for 1/5th of crust): 276 calories; 7.8 g. fat; 3 mg. cholesterol; 489 mg. sodium; 39 g. carbohydrate; 4.8 g. fiber; 5.8 g. protein

    Result: I looooved this crust! The Parmesan cheese adds such a richness…without a ton of calories. I love the whole wheat pastry flour that gives the health benefits of whole wheat without the overly dense, whole grain taste of other wheat pizza crusts. Definitely give this one a try! Yum! 😀



    Morgan of Healthy Happy Place requested I write about bone density on my blog.

    Firstly, this is a great topic…thanks, Morgan. It’s a common misunderstanding that getting enough dairy servings each day is what preserves our bones, but bone health goes far beyond calcium and Vitamin D. In fact, most vitamins and minerals play some role in bone health and density.

    FUN FACT: Healthy women’s bodies contain 2 POUNDS of calcium! And healthy men’s bodies contain 2 1/2 to 3 POUNDS of calcium!

    Tips for building (and keeping) strong, healthy bones:
    • Limit alcohol — alcohol can reduce the amount of calcium your body absorbs.
    • Limit sodium (2,300 milligram a day or less) and reduce the use of processed foods. There are conflicting studies on the validity of sodium’s role in bone health, but it is wise to limit sodium regardless.
    • Adequate potassium (4,700 mg. for healthy adults)
    • Limit carbonated beverages (study on the association between soda and bone health)
    • Avoid excessive caffeine intake — caffeine can increase the amount of calcium your body loses through urine
    Recommended Intakes:
    • Calcium DRI (Dietary Reference Intake): 1300 milligrams daily for those 9 to 18 years old, 1000 milligrams daily for those 19 to 50, and 1200 milligrams daily for those older than 50
    • Vitamin D recommendations: ages 14-50 years old need 200 International Units (IU) or 5 micrograms daily, and ages 51-70 years need 400 IU or 10 micrograms daily, and those over 71 need 600 IU or 15 micrograms daily
    Best non-dairy sources of calcium: broccoli (45 mg. for 1/2 cup cooked), kale (100 mg. for 1/2 cup cooked), spinach (120 mg. for 1/2 cup cooked), pinto beans (45 mg. for 1/2 cup), kidney beans (40 mg. for 1/2 cup). Soymilk, tofu, calcium-fortified orange juice, cereal, and bread products are also good sources of calcium.

    In addition to a sound diet, physical activity is a vital part of bone health. Ideally, physical activity should include both cardiovascular and strength-training.

    Question: What’s one thing you think you could do to improve your bone density or bone health?

    I could drink water instead of beer with my pizza, for starters 😉 And add more strength training to my workout regimen.



    Filed under alcohol, beer, blog topic request, coffee, diet, dinner, exercise, fiber, fruits and vegetables, garlic, physical activity, pizza, recipe, Uncategorized

    Chili Contest: Entry 1

    Happy Labor Day! I hope everyone is enjoying a day off work doing whatever makes them happy!

    Have I mentioned how our new surroundings make me happy? How could they not?! City girl gone country? A lil bit, I reckon! 😉

    This weekend my parents and brother visited from Chicago — we had a blast! We went for walks, went to a Greek festival, enjoyed wine and bonfires, watched football & movies, went shopping, and just relaxed & enjoyed good company. 😀 Seeing as this was the first weekend for college football, it was the first weekend for my Prevention Chili Contest!

    This recipe comes from Amanda of Our Italian Kitchen. As I read this recipe I really questioned the outcome. It sounded…bizzare, but unique. I knew it would either turn out really good…or really bad. Luckily, it turned out REALLY good — everyone loved it! I don’t know how else to describe this chili other than “American chili meets Italy”. It was a hit…a huge hit! This chili turned out spicy, but not too spicy. So I’m glad I scaled back the heat by eliminating and decreasing the pepper quantity. It will be hard to even compare this recipe to other chili recipes because it is so different, but we’ll do our best 😉 Week 1 definitely leaves big shoes to fill for the upcoming 11 chili recipes, however! Thanks, Amanda!

    A few modifications:

    • I couldn’t find finger peppers or long, hot peppers so I used 1 serrano pepper
    • I think I would sub cannellini beans for black beans to keep with the Italian theme
    • I used half the recommended number of dried chilies…16 just seemed like a LOT
    • I removed all seeds and membranes from the peppers
    • I used deer instead of ground beef
    • Halve the recipe unless you’re cooking for a TON of people — it makes a lot. I fed 5 people for 2 meals and had 5+ servings of leftovers.

    Six-Pack Pepper Chili slightly adapted from Our Italian Kitchen

    3 large onions, diced
    2 whole bulbs of garlic (not cloves…bulbs!), diced
    2 green bell peppers, diced
    1 yellow bell pepper, diced
    2 green, long hot peppers 1 serrano pepper, diced
    6 finger hot peppers
    16 8 dried hot chilies, chopped
    2 jalapeño peppers, diced
    10 8 cherry peppers, diced
    2 lbs of hot Italian sausage
    2 lbs ground beef deer
    (3) 28 oz cans of plum (whole) tomatoes
    (2) 14.5 oz cans of fire roasted tomatoes
    (1) 10 oz can of diced tomatoes and green chilies (Rotel)
    2 cans of black beans
    2 cans of red beans
    2 eggs
    ¾ can of regular American beer (I used Michelob Ultra)
    3/4 cup bread crumbs
    3 Tbs fresh chives, chopped
    2 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
    2 Tbsp chili powder
    2 Tbsp paprika
    1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil


    Sauté 3 onions, 2 whole bulbs of garlic, 2 green bell peppers, and 1 yellow bell pepper in oil with salt until soft.

    Combine 2 pounds of hot Italian sausage (uncased), 2 pounds ground beef deer, 2 eggs, and bread crumbs in a bowl. Shape into meatballs. Brown in a frying pan and then add to chili.

    Chop and add 2 green, long hot peppers, 6 finger hot peppers, 1 serrano pepper, 16 8 dried hot chilies, 2 jalapeño peppers, and 10 8 cherry peppers. Add 2 tablespoons paprika and 2 tablespoons chili powder. Add three (3) 28 ounce cans of whole tomatoes, two (2) 14.5 ounce cans of Fire Roasted tomatoes, and one (1) 10 ounce can of diced tomatoes and green chilies (e.g. Rotel).

    Strain, rinse, and add 2 cans of black beans and 2 cans of red beans. Let chili simmer for 1½ hours.

    Add ¾ can of regular American beer, 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, and 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary. Let chili simmer for 1 hour before serving. Serves 18 (about 1 1/2 cups per serving).

    Nutrition Information (per serving): 414 calories; 17.7 g. fat; 93 mg. cholesterol; 1086 mg. sodium*; 35.4 g. carbohydrate; 7.6 g. fiber; 27 g. protein

    Lighten it up: I wanted to use turkey Italian sausage to cut a lot of calories and saturated fat, but in fairness to contestants, I wanted to closely mimic their recipes. By using turkey Italian sausage the recipes would drop to 359 calories per serving and 11 grams of fat per serving — HUGE difference without sacrificing much flavor at all! The sodium* content is also deceivingly high after I plugged it into my nutrient analysis simply because all the beans were rinsed and drained. I think the sodium content is more like 836 mg. per serving — not low, but a lot lower…about 20% lower. When you used canned beans and tomatoes it’s just hard to cut the sodium, but by adjusting other meals, a higher sodium meal can fit into most any healthy diet.

    Question: Do you like meatballs?

    I used to not like’em…but now I love them! It takes a life-changing meatball to bring people to the other side. But once a meatball lover, always a meatball lover!

    P.S. Check in tomorrow to see how I did on the 101 Days of Summer challenge!

    Happy Labor Day,


    Filed under beer, challenge, dining out, dinner, exercise, garlic, healthy cooking, herbs, meat consumption, recipe, reduced-calorie, sodium