Category Archives for "Recipes"

Breakfast Hash in a Hurry – Reboot

Great recipes don't get lost they get memorized. I love breakfast. I remember having my mom serve my brothers, sister, and I breakfast each day before school. It was a family event which is one reason I love it so. This recipe I make for my kids before they hit the books. 

Carlson Family Breakfast Hash

  • 1 onion chopped, I used a bag of frozen chopped onion
  • ½ green pepper, I used a half bag of frozen green peppers
  • ½ red pepper, I used a half bag of frozen red peppers
  • 2 cups cooked butternut squash, cubed – guess what I had leftovers so it was already done for me
  • 2 cups Sausage (or ham cut into bite size pieces – and again I had it leftover so super easy)
  • 1 apple cut into bit size pieces
  • 1 Tablespoon of coconut oil

Sauté the onions and peppers in the oil until soft and translucent. After about 4 minutes add in the apple. Let this cook for a few minutes before adding in the rest. Heat until everything is hot. (about 5 minutes)

I fried two eggs to add on top of each portion. It was yummy.

Options: Vary the amounts for your family size, but if you make a large batch you have breakfast for the week all done. Use Chorizo or other flavorful meat you have on hand in place of the ham. Substituting sweet potato or other winter squash for the butternut squash adds a new twist on the taste. I like to add cinnamon to this dish too. If you like other veggies add them in too. But always, always enjoy. If you have someone whose not fond of eggs, it is super yummy on its own.

Enjoy good food,

Coach Nancy

Frosting for Breakfast

I am so glad Dean is a helpful type of guy. Yesterday he helped a friend move a bedroom set and in return they gave him some hand picked blueberries from their freezer. YUM. So today at breakfast I remembered this fabulous recipe that Coach Dean came up with years ago. Frosting for breakfast. You've got to try this. 

Frosting for Breakfast

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 scoops Beverly International Angel Food Cake protein or Vanilla Protein
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Whip this in your blender for true frosting consistency. I mixed it by hand which tastes the same but is a denser version. 

Since I mixed this by hand it was perfect for the top of my oatmeal. It melted down into the oatmeal as I ate. Fantastic. 

We've whipped this with a mixer and then used the frosting as a dip for strawberries or any other fruit. Also truly delicious. 

Give it a whirl. 

Thank you Coach Dean for helping others, and also having a creative mind to create this recipe for your family and others to enjoy.

Eat Good Food,

Coach Nancy


Italian Sausage in the Crockpot

Searching through my archives of recipes, I came across this favorite. It is soooooo easy. I mean it is soooooo easy. Add in that my entire family loves this recipe and I've hit the jackpot. 

Italian Sausage in the Crockpot

  • 2 pounds Italian Sausage
  • 1 16 - ounce bag frozen peppers and onions
  • 2 cans Italian diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder

Put all the ingredients in your crockpot and turn on low for 6-8 hours. I use frozen but you can also use fresh peppers and onions you've cut up and thawed sausages. It'll cook a bit faster but the time in the crockpot adds to the flavors. 

Eat Good Food,

Coach Nancy

Oven Baked Chicken Thighs

During recovery week I have a bit more time. Today I'm planning to make a dinner feast for my family. It includes the chicken thigh recipe below as well as sautéed summer squash, microgreen salad, applesauce, and cheddar bacon biscuits. I'm getting hungry just thinking about this meal. Here's the recipe for the chicken thighs. I'll post the biscuit recipe if they turn out good. 🙂

Oven Baked Chicken Thighs

  • 1/2 cup stone ground mustard
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 chicken thigh, bone-in, skin-on
  • 5 sprig thyme
  • Salt and pepper , to taste


Preheat oven to 375˚F.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together mustard, stock, and garlic. Set aside. Place a large skillet over medium high heat. Once skillet is hot, add oil. Season chicken thighs generously with salt and pepper.

Sear chicken thighs skin side down for about 3 minutes or until browned. Flip each thigh over and continue to cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat. (this can be done in batches so you don’t overcrowd the skillet when searing). Once all thighs have been seared, drain all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet and fit all thighs into skillet, if done in batches.

Pour sauce over chicken thighs and add thyme sprigs.

Place skillet in oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes (or until the internal temperature of chicken reaches 175˚F and juices run clear when pierced with a knife).

Remove skillet from oven and allow chicken to rest, about 5 minutes.

Spoon sauce over chicken thighs, season with a little more salt and pepper and sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves. Serve.

Enjoy good food,

Coach Nancy

Bacon Deviled Eggs

Everything is Better with Bacon. Deviled Eggs just got kicked up a notch. How to make them got easier too. It's almost Easter so many of us will be coloring eggs. I know my family loves to color the eggs but not so hot on eating hard boiled eggs for the next 10 days. They like deviled eggs and these little guys have bacon in them. I let the girls taste test one. They gave it a thumbs up. They probably would have told me how awesome they were but since they had food in their mouths a thumbs up worked well.

Bacon Deviled Eggs

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon mayonaise
  • 1 Tablespoon mustard
  • paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 3-4 slices of cooked bacon (about 1/4 cup chopped)

Hard boil the eggs, let them cool completely before peeling. Then cut them in half, scoop out the yolk. Add the yolks with the mayo, mustard, salt and pepper along with 1/8 teaspoon of paprika. Mix until the mixture is smooth. Then add in half of the bacon. Spoon this into each 1/2 egg white shell. Garnish with the remainder of the bacon and sprinkle with more paprika. 

Two thumbs up. 

That is not the end of the story. Dan from 6:15am, not to be confused with Danno from 6:15am. introduced me to an egg cooker. In fact he presented me with a gift of one last week. Dean already tried it out but I wanted to use it too. It is the fastest and easiest way to make hard boiled eggs. I know some love the traditional method. Others love the instant pot for hard boiled eggs. I haven't had much luck especially peeling them to look deviled egg quality. The Egg Cooker works! I don't get a kick back for saying I like this kitchen tool. I can't even tell you where to find it because mine was a gift. I can tell you it works. I'm going to try poached eggs in it next. 

No matter how  you get all those eggs hard boiled for Easter, this recipe will make quick use of the eggs after they've been colored. 

Enjoy good food,

Coach Nancy


The Winner of YOU 2.0 in 2021 is……

Back in January of this year, we began a 6 -week nutrition challenge. There were 56 people who joined this challenge to eat healthier, lose some fat, and gain some health. What is crazy about this challenge is 24 of those people do not train with us at Cr8 Fitness. You spread the word and invited friends and family to join you on this quest. We had people from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Texas and Greece. (Kinda cool if you ask me.) Since my life goal is to change the world, you made me proud that you spread the word like that. 

Winning this challenge took consistency. Since we were not looking for losing just body weight but body fat, you had to work a bit harder to achieve results. We used the InBody scan to determine our results. The InBody can delineate between overall weight, muscle mass, body fat, and hydration levels. The results were close. In fact the winner took the prize by just one tenth of a percent. Let me say that again. the winner won by just the smallest of fractions. Not only that but there were 8 people within 1.72 percentage points away from winning. I am so proud of this group. If only I could award them all a prize.

The prize is a week's worth of dinner meals prepared by me, Coach Nancy. The winner will be able to choose their 7 meals from a menu. That way they can order ahead what they know their family will enjoy. You can check out the Winner's Menu plus see all the recipes here

So knowing that this person won by .1% and that 7 other people were within 1.5% you know the competition was tight.

In fact I need to shout out some of the accomplishments of this person before I disclose their name. They were involved in helping others through this challenge from day one. Our group had a private Facebook group and we often shared recipes, tips, ideas, struggles, and inspirational quotes. One person took it on themself to organize all the recipes that were posted in the group during the six week period of time. She accumulated 77 pages of recipes for our group to use going forward. She also won a mini challenge at the beginning of YOU 2.0 and walked away with this knife set.

Many of those in YOU 2.0 in 2021 already have guessed who is our overall challenge winner. Congratulations to Holly Kemp for losing 12.1% body fat in the last six weeks.  

Here is what Chris said about Holly during the challenge: "When this busy mom of a tribe is not cranking out homemade sausage or making a recipe book she’s probably ...researching a new vaccine for Covid while doing pushups!! Holly you are awesome!!" (by the way I don't think Chris and Holly have ever met personally- they are YOU 2.0 friends) Holly also celebrated a birthday during the challenge, Happy Birthday Holly. 

Congratulations to all who worked hard during YOU 2.0 in 2021. Taking steps to make yourself healthier will automagically make you happier. The whole world needs a bit more happier!

Watch for an InBody Scan Challenge to start in April.

Coach Nancy

Remember if you want to sneak a peak at what she has won here is the Winner's Menu. 10 Recipes for YOU.  

Chocolate Raspberry Protein Shake

Today I did an experiment as Coach Dean put it. I wanted a protein shake that included chocolate - my favorite- and a fruit. I wanted it to feel fun and festive. I usually like dark cherries and chocolate but I am all out. So I did a little experimenting and came up with this cheerful and very tasty shake. 

Chocolate Raspberry Protein Shake

  • 1 scoop Chocolate UMP protein by Beverly International
  • 1/2 cup frozen rasberries
  • 1 cup of water
  • 3 chocolate chips

I put the first three ingredients in a blender and gave it a good whirl. After I poured it in a glass I added the chips. The chips just make it look like a party is just about to happen, so why not?

Enjoy Good Food,

Coach Nancy

P.S. I wonder what other flavors of protein would work well with raspberries? What do you think? 


Sweet Potato Sliders

I found this recipe hiding in the back corner of my brain the other day. Why oh why? And how did I forget about these? There isn’t anything so sweet as a sister. For the last 30 years, I’ve been able to call Dean’s sister mine as well. She posted this delicious looking picture and I had to make them right away. Now it is your turn. Make these sliders right away.  Next step is to post the link for this recipe for others to make.  Keep these gems going.

Sweet Potato Sliders

  • 1.5 pound ground turkey or lean ground beef, thawed
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1.5 teaspoon steak seasoning
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3-4 slices cooked bacon
  • lettuce torn into small pieces (slider size)

Mix ground turkey with garlic salt and steak seasoning. Shape into 8-10 mini patties (about 1/4 of a cup meat). Set aside. Remember these are small patties. Look at the size of your sweet potato slices to judge what size to make each patty. The slices will be the bun.

Slice sweet potatoes into 1/4-1/2 inch thick slices. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in oven at 400 for 20-30 minutes (flipping half-way through). You want edges to be slightly crispy.

While potatoes are roasting, grill the burgers. Place patties on a well-heated grill flipping after 3-4 minutes, and cook until cooked through (and desired done-ness).

Assemble burgers, placing a mini burger in between two roasted sweet potato slices. Garnish burgers with lettuce, bacon, guacamole, and/or mustard.

Be creative.  What do you like on your burger?

(I used McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning.)

Enjoy Good Food,

Coach Nancy


Foods You’ll Love For the Big Game

My family will be watching The GAME Sunday. We love football. On top of that despite the fact that Tom Brady isn't a Patriot anymore, we still like him. We'll be rooting for the Bucs to win this year. I haven't quite decided what we'll be eating but here are some of our options. 

Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos

  • 3 sweet potato, large and sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper , to taste
  • 1 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup black bean, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup green onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 avocado, pit removed and diced
  • 1/4 cup sour cream , or greek yogurt

Cooking Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the sweet potato rounds on a large baking sheet. You might need two baking sheets if you run out of room. You don't want to overcrowd the sweet potatoes. Toss the sweet potatoes in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes. Use a spatula to flip the sweet potato rounds. Bake for an additional 10 minutes or until sweet potatoes are crisp.

Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle cheese and black beans over the sweet potatoes. Bake until cheese is melted, about 5-7 minutes.

Remove pan from oven and top with green onions, cilantro, avocado, and sour cream or Greek yogurt. Serve immediately.

Braised Short Rib and Bacon chili

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 lbs. boneless short ribs, cut into cubes
  • 2 clove garlic
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, deseeded and diced (optional)
  • 2 - 3 teaspoons cumin
  • 3 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 15 - ounce can fire roasted diced tomato
  • 1 4 - ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked and crumble
  • 1 32 - ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Heat the oil in a dutch oven over medium- high heat.

Add the beef in batches and cook until browned on all sides.

Remove the beef from the dutch oven and set aside in a bowl.

Add the onion and sauté, adding more oil if necessary, until tender and golden. About 3 - 5 minutes.

Add the garlic and jalapeño and sauté for a minute until fragrant.

Return the beef to the pan along with the cumin, chili powder, tomatoes, tomato paste, stock, bacon, and beans.

Cover and cook over low heat for 3 1/2 hours. (Alternatively, the chili can be placed in a slow cooker and cooked over low heat for the same amount of time.)

After 3 1/2 hours add the red and green peppers, salt and pepper to your personal preference, and replace the lid.

Cook an additional 30 - 60 minutes, or until the peppers and beef reach your preferred tenderness.


Slow Cooker Balsamic Pulled Pork

  • 1 lb Pork shoulder
  • 1⁄2 cup Water or broth
  • 1⁄2 cup Balsamic vinegar
  • 1⁄2 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1⁄4 tsp Red pepper flakes
  • salt
  • pepper


Place the pork shoulder in a slow cooker. Mix water/broth and balsamic vinegar and pour over pork. Season pork with garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Drizzle with honey. Cook on low for 8 - 10 hours. Shred and enjoy!

● Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 - 4 days.

● Enjoy in many different ways including mixed with eggs, served with coleslaw or sauerkraut. 

If it was you, what would you serve for the BIG game this year?

Enjoy Good Food,

Coach Nancy

Creamy Italian Salad Dressing

Have you ever contemplated Salad Dressing? If you are the one who does the grocery shopping, you might have wondered why it is sooooo expensive to buy. And you might be like me and wonder why don't I make my own. 

Well for probably the last 10 years, I've made my own. I've tried a zillion recipes and this one is my favorite. I have others I really like but this is hands down Delicious. If you don't tell anyone, no one will know how easy and fast making salad dressing can be. 

Creamy Italian Salad Dressing

  • 1 cup mayonaise
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 clove garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper , to taste

Add and then shake everything inside a mason jar with the lid on tight. Refrigerate the leftovers.

There you have it, super simple.

Here are a few benefits of making your own dressing:

  1. Saves you money
  2. gives you the control on how much sugar or lack of is inside your dressing
  3. No added preservatives
  4. All the ingredients are in my kitchen
  5. Its easy
  6. You can control how much you make

If you really want to try something crazy, make your won mayonaise. It is a totally different taste. 

Homemade Mayonaise

  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp. dry mustard
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 ¼ cup light olive oil

SLOWLY incorporate the remaining olive oil. Drizzle it in with as small a stream as possible. You’ll hear it start to emulsify. Don’t rush this. Be Patient. Continue to blend until all the oil is incorporated and your mayo is light and fluffly. (Do not use extra virgin olive oil. I’ve tried this, it is not a good choice at any time. Trust me on this). If you don't go slow your mayo will not end up like mayonaise. Don't throw it out, use it in the recipe for Creamy Italian Salad Dressing.

To Good Food,

Coach Nancy

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