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Who am I? Wife. Mother of 2. "Newbie" to fitness. Personal Trainer-in-training. Lover of health. Fitness. Religion. Family. Gluten and refined sugar intolerant. Welcome to my journey. Learn with me.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Supper-Time Sunday!

Sorry for the hiatus. Between mid terms at school, race season and plans for our anniversary vacation things have been incredibly busy around here. I am trying to get things back in order and get on top of life again. Visit my Pinterest Board "Tried and True Recipes" in the meantime!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Supper-Time Sunday!

Overnight Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oats (Slow Cooker)
Rating: A
Hearty and delicious - this recipe is definitely a keeper! Since I don't eat added sugars if I can avoid it I didn't add the brown sugar to this recipe at all. I doubled the cinnamon and substituted the butter for coconut oil 1:1. My family just added pure maple syrup to their portions when it was done. I ate mine with just the sweetness from the apples. You also have to be really careful about cooking time. Although this calls for 7 hours mine only took 3 in my INSANE crockpot. 

Instant Mug 'O Mac in the Microwave
Rating: ...B-?
This is a really great idea for a toddler who loves macaroni and cheese. They get to have their favorite dish and you get to feel more confident that they aren't eating a bunch of preservatives and added colors. That being said, however, this technique didn't work for me. I bought a big box of noodles from Sam's Club and I guess the noodles are too "premium" quality for microwave. I had to cook them on the stove top after all. Which is fine. Abrielle still loved it. Maybe you'll have better luck!

Pasta with Fresh Garden Tomato Sauce
Rating: A+
We have established that I haven't liked tomatoes for my whole life, right? Well I had no anticipation that I would like this but I was making dinner at my parent's house in exchange for my mom cutting Jake's hair. I decided to try it and WOW!!!! I absolutely loved it. Love love love love love. We topped ours with feta instead of parmesan cheese and didn't drizzle any additional olive oil on it. We had it again the next day on top of bread, and again a few days later. It is amazing. Make it. Soooo easy and wonderful!

Chocolate Protein Power Balls
Rating: A+
These are excellent! I made a big batch and keep them in the freezer. I take 2 of them with me to eat after a big workout or eat 1 occasionally for a snack. The only substitution that I made was to use natural peanut butter instead of almond butter (I didn't have it). LOVE the flavor, texture, everything!

Thai Turkey Burgers
Rating: A+
We have had these twice now. Once I made them with ground chicken and the second time I did turkey. Both were fabulous. The sauce is a perfect combination of sweet and spicy and they are very filling. We will make these again and again!

Baked Cinnamon Breakfast Bites
Rating on cooking technique: A-, Rating on crowd consumption: A
These were quite easy to make and seemed to be a great hit at the party I took them to. My husband tried one for me and said they were great and my aunt asked me for the recipe for them. The only change that I made was to use cake flour instead of just all-purpose flour. If you don't have it on hand you can make it by measuring out 1 cup of all-purpose flour and taking out 2 tbsp of it. You then replace those tbsp with 2 tbsp of cornstarch. It helps them to be a little bit lighter and not quite so dense. 
NOTE: I didn't actually taste these so I can't give you a rating on taste... I can only tell you what others told me!

Clean Eating Gingerbread Waffles
Rating: A-
I really like gingerbread... although Jake does not. I decided to try these anyways and I really liked them. It calls for 5 cups milk and I only used 3 although next time I will probably use 3 1/2 because they turned out very thick. Still delicious. I need to draw your attention to the fact that the recipe calls for NO added sugar. I like them this way and only topped mine with fresh banana slices and peach slices. That was perfect for me. My kids loved them also. I think it could use a little bit of salt added to the batter but otherwise I think it is great.

Clean Eating Turkey Rice Bowls
Rating: B-
These were okay but were honestly kind of bland. We remedied this situation by adding Sriracha to our portions but it isn't one that I would make again. And if I did I would use fresh pineapple and not canned. But I don't plan on making it again. Maybe you'll like it better?

The "Best" Snickerdoodle Cookie
Rating on cooking technique: A-, Rating on crowd reception: A
These were pretty easy to put together - Abrielle and I did them together. I refrigerated them for too long though and I had to leave them out for a while before they were not too hard to roll out. However, if they get too warm then they flatten a lot more while cooking. They are a bit finicky like that. But my hubby and our neighbors loved them and so I will probably make them again.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Supper-Time Sunday!

Homemade Ketchup
Rating: A
I have a hard time with ketchup because it almost always has high fructose corn syrup in it. Since I react badly to HFCS I usually just avoid ketchup altogether; however, I have some recipes that call for ketchup and wanted to have an option. Now I know that they make ketchup without HFCS but I wanted to try my hand at making my own. It was surprisingly easy and I had all of the ingredients on hand. It was really tasty too. I even omitted the extra tsp of sugar and just went with the agave/honey. I didn't think it made very much so I will probably double or triple the recipe next time around but I would definitely like to make it again!

One Minute Paleo Flax Muffin
Rating: F
I'm sorry... I have made microwave flax muffins before that I liked but this one was terrible. The bread part had an awful flavor and called for WAY too much flax seed. I tried to stir it really well before baking and still had a bunch of leftover flax at the bottom of my cup. I will definitely NOT be making this recipe again. Maybe you will have better luck?

Egg White Crust
Rating: A
I have made this recipe twice now in two different ways. I have no egg protein on hand so the first time I just used whole wheat flour and flax seed. I mixed it up with some garlic and italian spices and topped it with hummus, cottage cheese and a bunch of veggies. VERY delicious! The second time I used my vanilla whey protein powder in place of the egg protein and topped it with cottage cheese, mashed blueberries and peach slices. ALSO very delicious! This recipe is a keeper for sure.

Healthy Homemade Graham Crackers
Rating: B-
These were fun to make but I probably wouldn't make them again. They aren't the easiest things in the world to put together and they aren't as tasty as boxed grahams. Now, I think that this can be easily fixed with a few tweaks - you can up the amount of sugar that it calls for or add other things to it like cocoa. When you cook it make sure to not overcook. I overcooked one batch and they crumbled like crazy. The second batch was much softer and tastier, especially with milk, but still lacking in something. Also, make sure you roll out the dough REALLY thin because they do rise in the oven and my second batch was more like soft cookies than crunchy grahams. Good luck if you try it!

Quinoa Fruit Parfait
Rating: B+
This was a tasty idea and I loved the cinnamon/vanilla/greek yogurt layer. I actually made mine with raw oatmeal and cooked oatmeal for my mom and sister. I haven't tried the quinoa but I would be willing to. It isn't the best thing that I have ever had but it was decent.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Supper-Time Sunday!

Zucchini & Yellow Squash Spaghetti
What a fantastic way to use up all of those zucchini and squash people have coming out of their ears at this time of year! This light and refreshing dish had a wonderful zip of flavor and was loved by the whole family. It is a bit more intensive to have to make... I only had a box grater to grate my zucchini and squash and it took a decent amount of time. Make sure that when you do yours that you grate all around the outside and leave the seeded part in the middle. It will make it SOOO much easier to grate and tastier too. I wish I had known that when I started! I also didn't want to buy fresh basil so I just used dry. The conversion ratio is 1 tsp dried = 1 tbsp fresh. I used whole wheat noodles and we will most likely make this one again.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Supper-Time Sunday!

Key Lime Coconut Bars
Rating on cooking method: B-, Rating on taste (for me): B, Rating on taste (for everyone else): A+
Lol. Are you laughing at my ratings? Well I needed to give you an accurate representation of this recipe! This is not an easy dessert to make. And make no mistake - this is not a healthy dessert. This is an indulgent dessert that I made for a really big family party. :-) Squeezing enough key limes to give you the juice you  need for this is a PAIN. And if that weren't bad enough, you have to zest them too. Luckily we have a cool squeezy tool that made the job a bit easier. But you will need a TON of key limes. I made the mistake of underestimating how many I would need. If you happen to do the same thing, make up the rest of the "key lime" juice with a mixture of 1/2 lemon juice and 1/2 lime juice. It will taste almost exactly the same.

I doubled the amounts called for in this recipe since I was making it for a big party and it fit into a BIG pan. Like, the one bigger than the 9x13. I am not exactly sure on the size... 11x17? Something like that. But it filled it to the BRIM.

I didn't think that the crust held together well enough. It seemed like it needed more butter to help it along. But it worked just fine with the amount called for and I used fat free sweetened condensed milk and it still worked out perfectly. 

If you choose to whip your own topping instead of using Cool whip like I did I used 1 pint of whipping cream and it covered the whole thing in a nice thin layer that offset the richness of the dessert. It was a bit too rich and sweet for me (remember I don't eat a lot of sugar) but everyone seriously ooohed and aaahed over it. And what matters most is that my mom loved it and since I made it special for her that is what I care about!

Spinach Quesadillas
Rating: A
This is a really easy and tasty lunch (or dinner) idea. I added some red pepper flakes to mine since I like things a bit spicy and used whole wheat tortillas.

Vegan Quinoa & Sweet Potato Chili
Rating: A-
I really enjoyed this chili and liked the different textures. My whole family liked it as well, including my children. We topped ours with avocado and a little bit of Greek yogurt. That would nullify the fact that it is supposed to be Vegan but it is a wonderful addition and a great alternative to sour cream. I thought that it tasted a lot like a regular chili and since it is so much healthier that is great. My husband didn't agree but he liked it all the same. We will definitely be making this one again!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Supper-Time Sunday!

Banana Pudding Poke Cake
Rating: A+
Okay, maybe I am a bit biased but my all-time favorite "guilty" dessert is banana pudding. Why? I have no idea. Something about the flavor combination. Is this a healthy dessert? No. However, you can improve the recipe in many ways. When using a boxed cake mix the oil can be completely replaced with unsweetened applesauce. I have done it twice now and both times it turned out the most gorgeous boxed cake I have ever made. Secondly, if you whip your own whipping cream you get to control the amount of sugar that goes into it and it won't have a bunch of yucky additives like high fructose corn syrup. I added a layer of freshly sliced bananas between the pudding and whipped topping and it was soooo delicious. Everyone raved about this dessert at my baby boy's birthday party. Yummy!

Pasta with Cilantro-Peanut Pesto
Rating: F
No, I am not kidding. This dish was terrible. The lime zest was completely and totally overwhelming - So badly that you couldn't even taste anything else (and there are a lot of other ingredients that should have strong flavors!) This was bad enough that we rinsed off the noodles to try and save dinner and we could STILL taste the lime. Wow. Steer clear of this one. 
Link: The site is down right now so I can't get the link but if you really want to try this one here is the link to my pin on Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/pin/206954545347039565/

Zucchini Lasagna
Rating: A+
This meal was so tasty and I thought it tasted a lot like normal lasagna. I didn't miss the noodles at all and, even though the cute hubby wouldn't admit it, I don't think he did either. It came out with the most amazing pops of flavor. I used ground chicken instead of shredded and I ran out of zucchini and so I used part yellow squash. Ironically, we liked the yellow squash best. It takes on an almost cheesy taste to it. We will absolutely be making this dish again.

Oatmeal Chocolate Peanut Butter No-Bake Candy Bars
Rating: A- on flavor and texture
Sound healthy? Surprisingly, they are very respectable for a dessert. All natural ingredients and no added sugars except for honey (which isn't processed nearly as heavily as white sugar) and whatever sugar might be on your dried cranberries. These had a very rich and creamy flavor and texture and a little bit goes a long way. Unfortunately, a long way isn't very long for me when it comes to sweets and even after just a little bit my body went into "sugar shock" and I felt sick to my stomach for the rest of the night. *Sigh* So even though these were delicious I probably won't make them again. I bet you would enjoy them though!

Oatmeal Breakfast Cookie
Rating: B
I really like the concept of this "cookie" and it turned out pretty good. I made a blueberry version and did agave instead of maple syrup. I also didn't have vanilla yogurt and so I added a tsp of 100% vanilla whey protein powder and just used plain, nonfat yogurt. It was tasty and I enjoyed it, however it didn't keep me feeling full for very long. That is a deal breaker for me and breakfast so I won't make this one again for me but maybe for my kids?

Oreo Puddin' Poke Cake
Rating: A+ according to my husband
I have to confess... I didn't actually eat this one. My baby sister turned 7 yesterday and specifically requested a "Special Shayla Dessert" and she wanted chocolate cake. I knew that she would love this cake although I don't personally eat Oreos. Once again, you can replace the oil in the cake mix for unsweetened applesauce 1:1. My sister had 2 BIG pieces of this cake and my husband went on and on and on about how good it was. He doesn't normally like cake but he said this one was so perfectly moist and the perfect amount of sweet without being overbearing. I added a layer of whipped topping on top of the pudding after it had completely set (8 ounce container) and I think that that is what balanced the sweetness out. 

Tijuana Tortas
Rating: A+
I cannot possibly say enough to praise this meal. It comes together in no time at all (like 5 minutes) and is incredibly tasty. I think I had it for 4 or 5 meals over the course of 2 days because we loved it so much. The avocado mixture is really what makes it. The limey, oniony creaminess is just a burst of flavor. I didn't want to search for pickled jalapenos so I used chopped banana peppers instead. I am actually planning on making this again tonight. Really. We also didn't hollow out our whole wheat sub rolls - we just ate these like sandwiches. I know that that is cheating and not really a torta but they were fantastic, nonetheless. And meatless too!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Supper-time Sunday!

Chicken Coconut Curry
Rating: B-
We love curry around here and I was excited to try this one out; however, I didn't feel like it lived up to our curry standard as it was written. It was bland and too thin. I added 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper and  about 1 1/2 more tsp curry powder and still topped my portion with Sriracha. What can I say? We like things spicy. I think that this dish has potential and my mom is going to try it with curry paste instead of ground curry powder. My husband liked it just fine and we might do it again but it definitely wasn't a favorite. 

Banana Vanilla Protein Pancakes
Rating: C
These ones had an okay flavor but they were really dense. They had a strange texture... it was like a mix between a pancake and a cookie. Too hard. If you are looking for a protein pancake that resembles a normal pancake really closely... this is not the one for you. I won't make them again.

Peanut Butter Banana Oat Pancakes (Vegan)
Rating: B
Her method for adding the bananas is CRAZY!!! They made the pancakes fall apart and they were SOOO unmanageable I was going insane. The texture is really good and very much like a normal pancake despite being vegan and the peanut butter flavor is quite strong but good if you really like peanut butter. We just topped our pancakes with bananas after they were cooked and didn't add them to the uncooked batter. I also didn't have buckwheat flour or vanilla soy milk. Instead we used all wheat flour and regular milk and just added 1/2 scoop of vanilla whey protein powder. Not vegan, but it works. :-)

Greek Yogurt Pancakes
Rating: A-
This is a wonderful basic recipe for pancakes. My mom didn't have baking soda on hand so we had to use baking powder and they did NOT fluff up, but we added 1/3 cup blueberries and 1 tsp lemon extract to the batter and they had an AMAZING flavor. They were my dad's favorite. I think you could add a bunch of different flavors or fruits to this one or just top them with it afterwards. We will definitely repeat this one. 

Banana Chips
Rating: B-
This was a link on Pinterest that doesn't link to anything but a picture so here is the "recipe": 

Slice banana into thin chips, dip in lemon juice, and spread on a cookie sheet. Bake for 2 hours @ 200 degrees and flip. Bake for another 1.5-2 hours or until crisp. (They wont be totally crisp in the oven, but will harden as they cool) IMPORTANT STEP: Spray the cookie sheet with PAM

These were decent but the cooking method caramelizes the bananas and makes them really sweet. I could only eat three before they were too sweet for me. They weren't easy enough or good enough to warrant repeating for us but it is a good healthy treat.

Greek Yogurt Blueberry Banana Bread
Rating: A
Oh  my deliciousness! This one was a great one. The whole family loved it and my husband had 3 pieces after it came out of the oven. I didn't have pastry flour but so I just used normal whole wheat flour. I used agave instead of the brown sugar. And I also didn't have vanilla flavored greek yogurt so I just used my plain, nonfat yogurt and added 1/2 scoop of vanilla whey protein powder to my batter. It was just the right amount of sweet without being overly sweet.

You have to be careful about cooking it. Banana bread bakes REALLY fast on the outside and gets very dark. Mine got a little bit too dark for my liking on the outside but I was diligent about checking the inside so that it wouldn't be raw. Mine took about 55 minutes and the outside was BORDERLINE too dark. But it was still yummy and we will definitely repeat it. 

Banana Bread Baked Oatmeal
Rating: A
This was a lovely and easy breakfast to put together for the family. We all enjoyed it and I didn't add any extras to the dish except for a little bit of cinnamon. It really doesn't require any sweetener since the banana sweetens it nicely. I didn't add the coconut oil but wouldn't be against trying it. I made mine in individual ramekins for easy serving to the family and topped with a bit of plain Greek yogurt. We will definitely repeat this one!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Supper-Time Sunday! (lol... ish)

Dump Chicken ~ Teriyaki Chicken
Rating: B-
Now, to be fair to this site... I think that it is a great idea and there are a TON of recipes. I only tried one of them this week. The teriyaki chicken had a good flavor but it wasn't nearly strong enough for us. Unfortunately, that may have been because of changes I had to make: #1: No sherry - substituted for apple juice, #2: No fresh ginger on hand (a CRIME!) - had to use ground. If you also have to make these substitutions make sure you use 1/4 tsp ground ginger for ever 1 Tbsp of fresh that the recipe calls for. I cooked mine in my crockpot for 1.5 hours on high and about 2.5 - 3 hours on low but this will vary with every crockpot. I mixed a bunch of sauteed vegetables in and we served it over pineapple brown rice. The final dish was very tasty and would've earned a rating of B+ but I made a LOT of changes to get it to that point. 

Crock Pot Chicken Cacciatore
Rating: B-
This is a great idea for a healthier spaghetti sauce, however we are pretty used to more flavorful sauces. This dish relies completely on the flavors of the onion and peppers until you add a few herbs to your individual dish. We are just too much in love with garlic to fully enjoy a sauce that doesn't call for any. The sauce was really thin too which Skinny Taste addresses but we didn't like it enough to repeat it. If you like Chicken Cacciatore I think that this is a good, solid recipe and it was really easy to make. Try it out!

Perfect Protein Pancakes
Rating: A
I had heard of protein pancakes before this week but had never tried them - I had no idea what I have been missing! I love them and they will be my go-to breakfast for a while, at least. I don't have buckwheat or almond flour on hand so I have tried this recipe once with 1/2 cup whole wheat flour and once with heaping 1/2 cup rolled oats. I just throw the ingredients in my blender and blend until smooth. My biggest complaint about this recipe is actually the cooking method. It is HARD to flip such a large pancake. I will probably start doing what is implied in the picture - make a bunch of smaller ones. I add blueberries to my pancakes once I have poured them onto the pan and top with organic, unsweetened applesauce. If you have never tried that method before - do it! It is delicious and saves you countless of needless calories from butter and syrup. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Supper-Time Sunday!

So I have come to a decision. I really don't have time to be a regular blogger. I just don't. I have 2 very busy children and I am about to go back to school and I am working. So here is the new game plan. I am going to post every Sunday about recipes that I have made throughout the week that are non-original. I will post a picture, include any changes that I made, give it a rating and include a link to the recipe where you can find it. All other recipes posted on this blog will be original recipes, created by me, whenever I so happen to make something original. Sound good? Okay. Here we go:

Easy Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers
Rating: A+
We absolutely loved these. Really. We had them like 3 days in a row because the recipe makes a LOT. The recipe says 7-8 large patties but I made almost 24 smaller patties, not kidding. Jake liked his with a little bit of Greek yogurt ranch or mustard but I ate mine plain. I couldn't find tahini anywhere so I used a mixture of all natural peanut butter and toasted sesame oil. You use 3 parts peanut butter to every 1 part sesame oil in place of the tahini. I also baked mine in the oven instead of frying them in a pan. It took about 30 - 40 minutes at 350 and then I broiled them for just a few minutes. A few of the reviewers said that the patties easily fell apart so I added 1 egg to my batch. They kept together excellently. They reheat really well too so you can make a bunch and eat them later or the next day. This one is going in our permanent file!

Lemony Pesto Pasta with Edamame & Almonds
Rating: B-
This dish has a lot of good elements too it but I wasn't a huge fan of it. I love every ingredient individually but the dish relies heavily on the lemon for most of the flavor and then you get a few kicks of pesto in the mouth. It isn't one that I think we will make again.

Spinach and Parmesan Omelet
Rating: A+
I love this meal. I really really really do. I think I could eat it every single day for breakfast. The Tabasco sauce is a MUST and the Parmesan cheese is totally optional. This entire breakfast is part of Fitness Magazine's Fat-Fighting 300-calorie breakfasts.

Mini Chocolate-Chip Breakfast Cookies
Rating: A 
First off, make no mistake about the size of these - they are VERY mini. One big bite or two smaller bites at the most. And they don't turn out looking a whole lot like a normal cookie; however, they have an excellent taste and texture and they are certainly ones that I would make again. I love that they are healthy as well. I didn't have raspberries on hand so I used Craisins and 70% dark chocolate chunks in mine. Yummy!

Amy's Spicy Beans and Rice
Rating: A+
I made quite a few changes to this recipe. I drained the beans completely and rinsed them off. I added a can of diced tomatoes (15 ounce) that I mostly drained and about 1 1/2 cups frozen corn. I also used banana peppers in place of the jalapeno. I think I sprinkled a little bit of crushed red pepper in there too... we like things spicy here! We served it over gluten free Multigrain chips and myself and my husband absolutely loved it. It is definitely one that we will make again. This is a really low calorie and low fat meal.
*Just as a side note... I don't know how good the original recipe would be... just a warning!

Chef Meg's Orange Chicken
Rating: B-
Orange chicken is not supposed to be friend with a slight hint of an orange flavor - this is more of an authentic version. Unfortunately, unless you REALLY like orange flavor, this dish isn't for you. It is very strong and the orange is very powerful. My family loved it but it wasn't really my cup of tea and not one that I would make again. (Since I am the one cooking). I followed the advice of a reviewer and added 2 cloves garlic, 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger, a few splashes of low sodium soy sauce and some crushed red pepper to my marinade. I also added 1 tsp cornstarch to the sauce.

Secret Detox Drink
Rating on Taste: D.. ish
Why do I drink this if it tastes bad? Look at these amazing health benefits (source HERE):

Apple Cider Vinegar is full of enzymes and good bacteria. It contains acetic acid which has been shown to lower blood pressure up to 6%. It can also help eat up the starches if you do eat grains in your diet.
Lemon juice helps balance blood sugar and has an alkaline effect on your body helping to regulate ph. It contains, Vitamin C. 
Cinnamon is one of the best anti-oxidants on the planet. It is the number one herb/spice for balancing blood sugar.
Cayenne Pepper has been shown to drop blood pressure, increase metabolism.
Stevia is an all natural sweetener made from the stevia plant and it is a great replacement for any artificial sweeteners. 

It really isn't as bad as you might be thinking. The biggest problems are the cayenne and the cinnamon. They hit the back of your throat pretty strongly and it can be hard to get the cinnamon down. The apple cider/lemon/water/stevia mixture really isn't bad at all. I would probably give it a B on taste. It is just the cayenne and cinnamon... oh man! But I have already felt the benefits of it in the 1 day I have been trying it so I will continue my love-hate relationship with this drink. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

I'll be Back!

I'm sorry to my followers that I have been neglectful. Things are incredibly busy at my house right now since 2 of my my husband's 3 sisters are getting married this weekend. We have so much going on and I really need to get busy instead of worrying about blogging right now. I will be back next week with my regular postings as well as the recipes for the Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers, Lemony Pesto Pasta with Edamame and Almonds and the Chicken N' Peppers Pasta Skillet. 

Love to all!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

My Menu!

Coming soon! Updates on Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers and Lemony Pesto Pasta with Edamame and Almonds!

*Please note that all menu plans are subject to LIFE! If you get your heart set on seeing a particular recipe appear on the blog within the next week and it never appears... just send me a message and I will send the recipe on to you.

MONDAY, MAY 28TH =  Happy Memorial Day! Spicy Hawaiian Burgers (repeat)
*Recipe update: I added 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper this time and they definitely had a spiciness to them that we loved! I did not double the chili powder, just added the cayenne. Yummy!

TUESDAY, MAY 29TH  = Leftovers!

WEDNESDAY, MAY 30TH = Make Your Own Pizzas

THURSDAY, MAY 31ST = Chicken 'N Peppers Pasta Skillet

FRIDAY, JUNE 1st = Date Night!

(All food pictures (except the pizza) are from Pinterest and I stake NO claim to them! I will site proper sources with each recipe as I make them this week!)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Penna Rosa

This is a wonderful meatless pasta dish that is pretty healthy and very delicious - 367 calories per serving and a whopping 15 grams protein! It is also incredibly easy to make - not to knock my husband's amazing cooking skills, but he did a great job making this one while I was working. It has a great combination of flavors and not too much of any one thing. The original recipe calls for shrimp so if you want some meat go ahead and add shrimp or chicken.

I'm not sure why I didn't take a picture of this... It was probably on a night that I was trying to eat quickly. Who knows? Oh well. The original recipe and picture are courtesy of Back to Her Roots and can be found at this site HERE.

Adapted from Back to Her Roots
Servings 6

Nutritional Information per serving (calculated on MyFitnessPal.com): Calories 367, Carbs 62, Fat grams 5, Protein 15

  • 12 ounces whole wheat penne
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes (we will definitely increase this next time)
  • 8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 medium tomatoes (about 1/2 lb.) chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 cups fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce
  • 1/3 cup 0% plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

  1. Cook penne according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet with a lid, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add in garlic and red pepper flakes, cook for 2 minutes or until garlic begins to soften.
  3. Add in mushrooms, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, or until mushrooms begin to release their water.
  4. Remove from heat, add in spinach and cover skillet. Let spinach wilt for 2 minutes.
  5. Remove lid and place skillet back over low heat. Add the penne, Greek yogurt and pasta sauce. Stir until sauce is mixed well and all pasta and veggies are coated. Heat until just warmed through. Divide into pasta bowls and serve topped with parmesan cheese.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

High Protein Quinoa Almond Berry Salad

Wow. I have been so neglectful! So sorry. We have been adjusting to a new schedule around here with the start of the "summer" and things have been pretty busy.

Like I said on my last post, I actually made this salad twice last week - once for a combined Family Home Evening and once for a Bridal Shower. It was devoured both times. Everyone commented on the unusual ingredients but talked about how they still liked it. LOL.

The greatest thing about this salad is how versatile it is. It calls for cherries but have you seen the price of cherries? OH MAN! This would be an intensely expensive salad! I was lucky the first time around and caught blueberries on sale. So the first salad consisted of strawberries, blueberries, and 1 1/2 large banana slices. The second time around blueberries were no longer on sale so I only did strawberries (2 lbs. worth) and bananas (3 bananas worth). It was delicious both ways. I will admit that I liked it better with the blueberries and I am sure it would be amazing with the cherries as well. Whatever way you do it - do it! This salad rocks!

The picture from the original recipe is too gorgeous to not post. My picture didn't turn out anywhere as beautiful as this one. So extra special thanks to Oh She Glows for the courtesy of the recipe and the picture found at this site HERE.

High Protein Quinoa Almond Berry Salad (Vegan & GF)
From Oh She Glows
Yield: 2-3 as a main, 4-6 as a side. (I think that this isn't quite accurate for a side dish... I think we could easily serve at LEAST 6 with this salad but the nutritional information is based on 6 anyways.)

Nutritional Information per serving (calculated on MyFitnessPal.com): Calories 214, Carbs 38, Fat grams 6, Protein 6 (This would be lower without the almonds but almonds are SOOOO good for you!)

  • 3/4 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 pint strawberries, sliced (2.5-3 cups)
  • 16 oz. fresh blueberries (1.5-2 cups)
  • 1 cup cherries, pitted and sliced
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener)
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice (or lemon might work!)
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup almonds, chopped

1. Cook quinoa according to package directions.
2. Meanwhile, chop the fruit and place in a large bowl.
3. Mix the dressing ingredients (maple syrup, balsamic, lime juice, salt) in a small jar and adjust to taste if necessary. Note: You may have to double the dressing recipe if your salad is quite large.
4. Fluff cooked quinoa with a fork and add to large bowl with fruit. Combine. Pour on dressing and mix well. Serve immediately or chill in the fridge until serving time. Serves 2-3 as a main or 4-6 as a side. Or if you are reeeeally hungry 2 people!