Healthy Lunch: Chicken Enchilada Bowl with Cauliflower Rice

I’ve been trying to get on the get with being healthy. I somehow managed to gain freaking 10 lbs (yes, you read that correctly) over the course of the move. Putting me at my heaviest weight (not counting pregnancy). I’m uncomfortable. I’m tired.

I started a fitness challenge and am on my 3rd week of that, but my eating has been crap. As my friend Sonya likes to say, I’ve been “treating my body like a trash can”. Eating crap, whenever, however I can get it. Dinners I meal plan for so I find them to be somewhat easier. Lunches are where I struggle. After dinner and at night while watching TV is another struggle, but that’s for another time.

I started pinning the shit out of healthy lunch ideas for adults and decided to start planning my lunches like I do with the kids. I bought all kinds of healthy crap that I can throw together. One recipe I pinned that would make enough for more than one lunch intrigued me so I gave it a go.

Cauliflower rice? I’m sure I’m late on discovering this was a thing (as I am with most food trends). It was super easy. Didn’t take nearly as long as those damn zoodles do. I used this recipe.

I threw a pack of boneless skinless chicken breasts in the crockpot for 4 hours on low with a can of mild red enchilada sauce. I put it in after dropping the kids off and it was ready by lunch time. Yass! Then I started on the rice. I bought a bag like this because I’m lazy.

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Then I cut some of the florets in half so they weren’t as big and threw them all in my Ninja. I pulsed 15 times (per the recipe) until it was about the size of couscous.

So far I was impressed. Mainly because anytime there is an instruction to do something until something else is a certain consistency, I eff it up. I took a skillet and sprayed with a shit ton of cooking spray (also per the recipe) and then threw the cauliflower in. I let it cook for about 4 minutes and then put in those things on the right (plus salt which isn’t pictured). I used 1 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp garlic powder and 1 tsp chili powder. The lime juice and cilantro I guessed.

I also opened and drained a can of black beans, a can of corn (in hindsight I wish I had grabbed some fire roasted corn), chopped up some tomato and an avocado. I put the “rice” in a bowl, threw some of the now shredded chicken on top, added in my toppings and just a tiny bit of Colby Jack shredded cheese.

It was SO GOOD. I was honestly super surprised at how good it was. Especially the rice. It was so fragrant and flavorful. I even told the hubs to eat it and he agreed that it was really good. I even have enough of the meat and toppings to make another meal out of this (maybe two). Luckily I bought two of those bags so today I will be making another batch of rice to go with my nuked chicken. I’ve now pinned a bunch of other cauliflower rice recipes because unlike the zoodles, I didn’t think it required near as much work and turned out way better than I had hoped.

DIY: My stairway to new carpet

If you’ve read any of my posts regarding our house, you know that moving into this place was a shit show. One of the biggest disappointments was the condition of the carpet. Luckily, the only places there are carpet in the house are the stairs, the master closet and the upstairs (which has 3 bedrooms and a landing/hallway). Unfortunately, when we moved in the carpet was covered in bugs and dirt and grossness. Vacuuming didn’t help. Where the carpet met the baseboards was black. It was nasty.

After living with it for a couple of months, we decided to get a quote on getting the carpet replaced. I would physically tense up as I walked up the stairs and had to look at all the gross pee stained nastiness. The kids complained that they hated their rooms and I know the carpet had a lot to do with it. Here’s a picture of what the hallway looked like:

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Gross, right? So I was initially going to replace the carpet on the stairs and just paint the banisters and the part of the stairs that showed from under the stairs. But then once we started ripping it off I changed my mind and decided to go all in. I read some blogs. I felt mildly confident in my ability to pull it off.

We pulled the carpet off and then the padding. Then the hubs went to work on pulling out all the staples and nails. There were so many staples and nails. And he missed a bunch, so then he’d have to come back as I sanded and puttied to grab the ones he missed. It was a pain in the ass.

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After he pulled all that crap off, I went to work puttying the holes. There was clearly a bunch of water damage because of the way the MDF risers were bulging in spots. This wasn’t going to look perfect. But they’re stairs and we just walk up and down them so does it really matter? I think not.

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After I puttied, the hubs came behind me to sand. Because as he put it, I “don’t know what the hell” I’m doing and put it on too thick, so I couldn’t do it myself. Whatever. I didn’t have to sand it, did I?

I did a fair amount of research and googling and then sent him to the store to speak to a live person. I did not want to sand the banister or the stained portions of the stairs that had previously shown from the outside of the carpet. He came home armed with a primer that was supposed to take away the need for sanding. So I primed everything (except the spindles). The parts that had been stained received two coats of primer (since the primer mostly slid around on the first coat).

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This was taken during a lunch break so the 2nd coat had not been applied. The day after putting on all the primer (that took approximately 7 hours of painting), I went to the store and bought Behr Low Luster Porch and Patio paint. Through my research I determined that this would be good for a few reasons. First, it’s meant to be walked on. Second, it’s a one-stop paint, it has something to seal it in the paint, eliminating the need for a coat of poly. I liked that I could get a lower sheen so that it wasn’t super shiny. I planned to use trim paint on the white portions and that would be shinier.

I didn’t want black because I felt that would be too dark so I chose a very dark brown and then had the paint guy at Home Depot match the Behr paint to the paint sample. The color is from a Glidden swatch and it’s called Western Charcoal.

After painting the primer, the next day I started on the steps. The banister is very…round. And curvy. And you can see from the pictures that whoever designed this house decided that what the stairs absolutely needed was a fucking prison made of spindles. Let’s lock that banister up! If I ever meet this person I will punch them in the throat. It was near impossible to get in between those spindles to paint that banister. Imagine just smearing and slopping paint with your eyes closed. That’s pretty close to what I did. It’s another reason why those spindles will wait a very long time before I paint them.

I started by doing the banister upstairs and then the top step. Then every other step I painted the top. I wanted to be able to get back upstairs because I knew the banister would need more than 2 coats and I’m impatient. Finally, I had gotten all the brown parts painted with 2 coats. That’s when I decided I didn’t care if I ever painted that 3rd coat (I will do it eventually once my back has stopped bothering me).

The white trim (minus the devil spindles) has been painted. We still need to get a piece of quarter round and install it at the bottom and paint that as well. The project is finished for now. Those spindles will take forever, especially since I’ll have to get the brown paint off where I messed up and didn’t wipe it off in time. I’m putting that part off. Plus, I’d rather put that 3rd coat of brown on before doing the spindles. For now it’s okay. It looks so much better and goes well with the new carpet. I’ve been very pleased with the paint so far.