I just love it that on the very day I decide to start a little get-into-shape-for-summer bootcamp (yes, the jeans are fitting a bit tighter, which is why I make a point of wearing jeans on my telecommuting days, and not yoga pants or pajamas…you can get into a lot more backsliding trouble over the cold, dark winter months when you wear stretchy pants), I get the new issue of Bon Appetit in the mail with ooey, gooey mac and cheese on the cover. Nice. Oddly, I was pretty sure I had let my subscription lapse, so now I’m getting all conspiracy theorist…like someone is trying to force me to buy bigger pants! Not gonna happen!

Anyway, I shook up my weekday workout routine on Monday by getting up a the crack to go for a four-mile walk before lifting weights. I can’t tell you how energized I felt! I am sooooo glad the sunrise is coming earlier and earlier. We had gross rainy, slushy weather the last two mornings, so instead of walking I took to some hard pedaling on my stationary bike, and then lifted weights. Fantastic!

I also started using Sparkpeople to track calories again. Not surprisingly, I had been experiencing a bit of calorie creep. Which is precisely why tracking calories at least periodically is a really excellent way of checking in with yourself and staying on track (or at least preventing a total derailment).

While gooey mac and cheese is NOT on my horizon anytime soon (which is OK, because it’s not one of my top food indulgence choices, anyway), we polished off the leftovers from this super-easy-and-healthy salsa chicken recipe that I pulled and tweaked from one of my slow-cooker cookbooks (yes, I have more than one).

Here’s what you do: Throw 4 to 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts into a slow-cooker with 1.5 to 2 cups of your favorite salsa (I used the green salsa from Trader Joe’s). Turn the cooker to high, and cook for 3 to 3.5 hours. Stir in a teaspoon of cumin, three tablespoons of lime juice, and a can of black beans (or pinto, if you prefer). Cook for 15 minutes more.

Do stick to the cooking time. You might not think that chicken breasts slow cooked in moisture could dry out, but they can. The first time we made this a few weekends ago, we left it for around 5 hours. This week, we stuck to the correct time. Noticeable difference.

I served the chicken over shredded cabbage, with a little avocado, cilantro and nonfat plain Greek yogurt on top, with some cherry tomatoes on the side. It would also work well served over rice, as well as with your favorite Mexican or Southwestern garnishes.

This recipe was so easy, and really tasty. If Jeff had his way, we would make it every week. Or we would at least cook something with salsa in the slow cooker every week. Really, he might not be too particular. If I ever have a shoe missing, I think I should probably look in the slow cooker…