You will rarely find me EXCITED about cooking anything. HOWEVER, I love to eat yummy stuff and I especially love to eat yummy stuff that’s REALLY simple!!
Here is a quick recipe I found to make my sweet potatoes/yams a little different than just… say.. the microwave.
PS– Dairy free, gluten free, and meatless! Whoop!
PS this video was a sponsored vid
Oatmeal Bake (breakfast or dessert)
(revised recipe from Anna Slotnick)
Sometimes the old egg whites and oatmeal breakfast gets a little boring. Maybe you just don’t have time! This Oatmeal Bake you can make the night before and just grab a bar in the morning!
(or sometimes I like to have a bar after dinner for a little something sweet, but not too naughty!)
There are 3 combos I made:
They are all freakin’ awesome and you can create your own combos too!
2 c. old fashioned oats (not quick oats)
4 scoops vanilla whey (I’ve used Dymatize Elite XT and Muscle Pharm Combat, both worked great)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
lots of brisk shaking of cinnamon (2 itsp??)
4 egg whites (or 1/2 c liquid egg whites)
1.5 c cold water (or almond milk if you want)
3/4 c. Pumpkin (or you can use no sugar added applesauce)
Sweetener as desired—4-6 packets of splenda or truvia, 3-4 dropperfuls of lohan (or none)
Then…. this is where the fun starts
Coconut & Almond (1/2 c. coconut, 1/4c. almonds chopped)
Apples & Pecans (1 whole apple chopped, 1/4 c. pecans chopped)
Bananas & Walnuts (1 whole banana sliced, 1/4 c. walnuts chopped)
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
2. Mix together wet ingredients – except fruit, nuts, or coconut
3. Mix together dry ingredients in separate bowl.
4. Spray pan with non-stick baking spray or grease with coconut oil (we used a cake pan– 8×13)
5. Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients – make sure it is distributed evenly. Then add nuts, half of the coconut or fruit. **if doing a banana, line the pan with banana slices
6. Pour mixture into pan and top with extra shredded coconut or extra apple slices
7. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes (make sure a knife/toothpick comes out clean in the center)
They taste amazing when still warm from the oven, but still are delicious when room temp or reheated;)
Cut into 1/4ths. (This makes 4 servings.)
Each serving has:
1/2 c. oats
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 egg white
little bit of: pumpkin, sweetener, spices, etc.
29 g carbs (less than 3g of sugar– from fruit and little bit of pumpkin), 33 g protein, 0.5-2g g fat (depending on if using nuts or not)
• 1 (14-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
• 2 T plus 1/4c extra virgin olive oil
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 2 stalk celery, diced
• 1 small carrot, diced
• 1 yellow onion, diced
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 cup chicken broth (veggie broth, if vegan)
• 1 bay leaf
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 3 T dried basil leaves
• 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Strain the chopped canned tomatoes, reserving the juices, and spread onto a baking sheet, season with salt and pepper, to taste, drizzle with 1/4 cup of the olive oil and roast until caramelized, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat remaining olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the celery, carrot, onion and garlic, cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the roasted chopped canned tomatoes, reserved tomato juices, chicken broth, bay leaf and butter. Simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add basil. Puree with a hand held immersion blender or blender until smooth
Coconut Pumpkin Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 leeks, chopped
1 small white onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 small carrot, chopped
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 medium sugar pumpkin, seeded, peeled and cubed (or 1.5 cups canned)
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 32oz container of chicken broth (use vegetable broth if you want it to be vegan)
1 can coconut milk
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon dried sage
1 tsp whole cloves
½ tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
1. Heat oil in a heavy-bottom pot. Add leeks, onion, celery, carrot, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and garlic, and saute until they start to brown.
2. Add bay leaf, stock, and coconut milk; bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until all vegetables are tender.
Add sage, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt and pepper to taste. Remove bay leaf and puree. Serve hot.
Spicy Thai Coconut Peanut Chicken Crock Pot Recipe
(This recipe was sent to me by my sister-in-law from www.bhg.com and modified by me)
If anyone has seen any of my interviews, you know, Thai food is my favorite cuisine! Anything with coconut, curry, and peanut sauces, I’m there! This one has it all!! Eat alone or over rice (brown, white or jasmine) It has a great dose of healthy fats and is so yummy on a cool fall evening.
Makes: 6 servings
Prep: 30 mins.
Cook: 5-6 hrs (low) 2-3 hrs (high)
1 medium white onion chopped into wedges
1 cup julienned or quarted baby carrots
1 medium red pepper cut into bite-sized strips
3 lbs. chicken breast cut into chunks (approx. 4-6 breasts)
3/4 c. chicken broth (*I used low-sodium broth)
6 tbsp. natural peanut butter (I used chunky)
1/2 tsp. grates lime peel
2 tbsp. lime juice
2 tbsp. soy sauce (low-sodium) OR Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
2 tbsp. quick-cooking tapioca
1 tsbp. grated fresh ginger
2-3 tsp. red curry paste
4 tsp. minced or chopped garlic
1/2 c. unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup frozen peas
snipped fresh cilantro
1. Chop carrots, onion, red pepper and chicken—> throw in crock-pot
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together: chicken broth, curry paste, peanut butter, lime juice & peel, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and tapioca.
3. Dump mixture on top of veggies & chicken, coat and set heat to low for 5-6 hrs. or on high for 2-3 hours
4. When the chicken is done, add 1/2 c. coconut milk and 1 cup peas. Leave it covered for 5 more mins.
5. Scoop and serve over rice or with veggies— garnish with peanuts and cilantro
Need a delicious and healthy Breakfast or Snack Idea? These bars are where its at!! Plus, you can’t go wrong with pumpkin this time of year!
Its not quite paleo, because there are little bit of oats and protein, it’s as close to Paleo in a delicious bar as I’m gonna get today… Please don’t judge by the picture, because I can’t cook.. but they are moist and delicious!!
Preheat oven to 350.
Lightly grease your pan with olive oil (9×9 square pan works best)
In small bowl combine: (set aside)1/3 cup Truvia and 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup almond flour (you can make almond flour by blending a cup of almonds in a Magic Bullet or food processor)
- 1/2 cup oat flour (you can make oat flour by blending a cup of oats in a Magic Bullet or food processor)
- 2 scoops vanilla whey protein
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 tbsp raw honey
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 2 egg whites
- 1 whole egg
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 1/2 c. pumpkin
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and protein powder.
In a medium bowl, whisk together egg and whites, coconut milk, honey, and pumpkin.
Pour a shallow layer of batter into the loaf pan (about 1/4 of the batter). Sprinkle heavily with half of the cinnamon/sugar mixture. Repeat with remaining batter & cinnamon/sugar on top. Draw a knife through the batter to marble. Bake for 25 minutes or until knife comes out clean when you poke the center of bread.
If you have followed any of my posts from “back-when” you will know that I do not cook. I just don’t. I don’t have many recipe ideas, nor do I care if I eat the same thing (chicken and veggies) every day for the rest of my life. However, my husband cares and since we are moving soon and he is now working out of the home, I thought it would be nice to have some meals ready when he comes in… annnnnnd I’ll be honest, I’m kind of getting bored of the same thing (just too lazy to do anything about it)
Well, my sister-in-law is living on one income with two kids to feed, so she’s always looking for budget-friendly meals AND of course, being a mom keeps her busy, so she doesn’t always want to cook.
She found these recipes on pinterest, did this last month and loved it, so she invited me on the grocery “tour”. I bought more food in one trip than I EVER have in my entire shopping life. I told her that my bill was going to be $120-130.
She said “No, I bet its only $80″… well… beat that! It was only $76 (and that was because I had a few extra things in there)
Total cost for these meals: $68!!** HOLY CRAP! I sure hope I like them, because I love the price.
They are all in the freezer and ready to go, so the first two weeks after moving, while I’m unpacking and have other things to do, we don’t have to spend more money eating out! I can’t wait!! I hope you all enjoy and please share some more crockpot recipes if you have them!!
** Depending on your grocery store and location or “on hand” ingredients, you may spend slightly more or less
I am going to add Notations of MY modifications
We created a big shopping list– bought EVERYTHING for less than $75 and this should last at least 18 meals for 2 people. I have a feeling there will be leftovers in many of the meals.
Not all of them I would consider “the healthiest” but you can make substitutions and change as you wish.
These recipes were taken from Pinterest and ringaroundtherosies.net
We also did not follow the recipes as they were written– Basically–
PUT INGREDIENTS IN BAGS— FREEZE. DONE.
PS Most of these are gluten-free and paleo (if you don’t add the pasta/rice)
BBQ Pineapple Pulled Pork – prep/no cooking, freeze
- one 4 – 6 pound pork shoulder (I bought a pork roast, I’m not sure the difference, but it looked good/less fatty– I’d never bought pork before, so we’ll see how this one works!)
- all purpose seasoning
- one bottle of barbecue sauce (you can buy low-sugar BBQ or just use half the bottle to lessen the sugar)
- one 15 ounce can of diced pineapples, undrained
- Rub pork shoulder all over with all purpose seasoning and place in slow cooker.
- Dump can of pineapples (undrained) over pork.
- Pour bottle of barbecue sauce over pork.
- Lift pork a little to let the sauce get underneath.
- Cook on high for six (6) hours or low for ten (10) hours.
- Shred in the pot and mix with the juice.
Strain & serve!
(We took ALL of the ingredients– dumped in a gallon bag and threw in the freezer– I plan on defrosting for a day and just dumping into the crock pot— serve with brown rice?)
Lemon Garlic Chicken – prep/no cooking, freeze (this one we portioned into TWO bags)
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (1 lb. in each bag)
2 T. butter (1 tbsp. in each bag)
1/4 c. water
3 T. fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. chicken bouillon granules
1 tsp. chopped fresh parsley (I didn’t have fresh parsley, so I just used dried and it worked perfectly)
1 package cream cheese (you can use 1/3 less fat or fat free)
1. In a bowl, mix the oregano, salt, and pepper. Rub the mixture into chicken. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Brown chicken in butter for 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Place chicken in a slow cooker.
2. In the same skillet, mix the water, lemon juice, garlic, and bouillon. Bring the mixture to boil. Pour over the chicken in the slow cooker.
3. Cover, and cook on High for 3 hours, or Low for 6 hours. Add the parsley to the slow cooker 15 to 30 minutes before the end of the cook time.
4. About 15 minutes before you’re ready to serve, remove the chicken and place on a serving platter. Add the cream to cheese to the juice in the crockpot, and whisk until smooth.
Ladle the sauce over rice or pasta, then place your chicken on top!
(Again— dumped everything into two gallon bags and into the freezer– I think it will workout just fine)
Chicken & Spinach – prep/no cook, freeze (split recipe in half between two bags)
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 jar Classico Pasta Sauce (or any marinara– 3 cheese, mushroom, etc.)
Onions, bellpeppers, etc.
Cajun seasoning to taste
Sliced zucchini & squash (the yellow ones that look like cucumbers) (optional)
mushrooms sliced (fresh or can)
Bag or container of fresh spinach (i break off the larger stems)
Pasta of your choice (bow-tie, spaghetti, etc.)
Layer:Chicken breasts, onions, bell peppers, etc., seasoning, other veggies and top with spinach. I cook it about 6 hour (Dumped everything in two bags— freeze)
Beef/Turkey Taco Soup – make day of, freeze leftovers
2 cans of kidney beans (I only used one)
–2 cans of pinto beans (I only used one)
–2 cans of corn (I only used one)
–1 large can of diced tomatoes —1 can tomatoes and chiles
–1 packet taco seasoning
–1 packet ranch dressing mix
–1 lb browned ground turkey or hamburger
–shredded cheese and sour cream for embellishment
–1 package of tortilla chips or bake corn tortillas
–brown meat if you are going to use it
–drain fat and add to crockpot stoneware insert (the meat. not the fat.)
–sprinkle seasoning packets on top of meat
–drain and rinse the beans and add
–add the ENTIRE contents of the corn and tomato cans
Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-5. I think the longer you cook soup, the better, so if you have the time, opt for cooking on low. About 20 minutes before serving, add desired amount of crushed chips into the crockpot. Then,stir well, and serve with a handful of shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream. (I cooked the meat ahead of time and then just threw all the ingredients in two bags– I may or may not add the cheese and sour cream when the time comes to eat. Will probably make with a salad on the side)
Crock Pot Pizza Soup – prep/no cooking, freeze in zip lock bag (split recipe in half between two bags)
–1 jar (14 oz) of pizza sauce
–3 empty jars full of water
–1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
–1/2 red onion, chopped
–1 cup sliced mushrooms
–1 cup baby tomatoes, cut in quarters (or 1 can diced tomatoes, drained)
–2 cooked Italian sausage (I used chicken Italian sausage)
–1 cup sliced pepperoni, sliced in quarters (Hormel turkey pepperoni is labeled gluten free)
–8 fresh basil leaves, chopped (or 1/2 T dried)
–1 T dried oregano
–1/2 to 1/3 cup of dried pasta (if your pasta is tiny, use 1/3 cup. if it’s big, do 1/2. I used 1/2 cup Trader Joe’s brown rice penne) (I didn’t add any pasta to this one, it might actually be great with garlic bread… mmmm!)
–shredded mozzarella cheese (to add later)
Use a 5 or 6 quart crockpot for this recipe. Serves 4 hungry adults, or 2 hungry adults and 2 kids with enough leftovers to feed them all again.
Wash and prepare veggies. Dump them into the crockpot. Cut up the sausage into small pieces–I sliced, then cut the pieces in fourths. Add to crockpot. Cut up the pepperoni, add it, too. Add basil and oregano. Pour in the pizza sauce, and follow with three empty jars of water.
Cover and cook on low for 7-9 hours. Everything in this is already cooked, so you are really only heating through and allowing the flavors to meld.
Thirty minutes before serving, add the dry pasta, and turn to high. My pasta only took 20 minutes to soften quite nicely.
Garnish/top with shredded mozzarella cheese
(I didn’t make this yet, just threw all ingredients in two bags and freeze)
Slow Cooker San Francisco Pork Chops – prep/no cooking, freeze (I totally didn’t make this recipe at all, my sister did. I personally don’t care for pork chops, ever.)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 pork chops, about 1-inch thick
Salt and pepper for seasoning
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water
Mashed Potatoes or Hot Cooked Rice (for serving)
In a large 12-inch skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until it is simmering and hot. Season the pork chops on both sides with salt and pepper. Brown the pork chops for 1-2 minutes on each side in the hot oil until golden. Transfer the chops to the slow cooker. Add the garlic to the drippings in the skillet and stir constantly over medium heat until the garlic is aromatic and golden (but not burned or it will turn bitter!). Stir in the soy sauce, broth, brown sugar and red pepper flakes; cook and stir until sugar is dissolved. Pour over chops.
Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours until the meat is tender. If using bone-in pork chops, fish out the bones from the slow cooker. Remove the chops from the slow cooker to a shallow pan or plate – they will most likely be falling apart in tenderness at this point. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and cold water until smooth. Whisk the cornstarch slurry into the sauce in the slow cooker. Return the chops to the slow cooker. Turn the slow cooker heat to high and cook for 30 minutes to an hour longer, until the sauce is slightly thickened. If you want a super duper thick sauce, once you remove the chops from the slow cooker, pour the sauce into a pan and place it over medium heat on the stove. Add the cornstarch slurry and bring the sauce to a boil. Boil for 1-2 minutes until the sauce is thick. Add the pork and heat through.
Chicken Curry (this one we put into two bags)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour (I didn’t do this step)
4 tablespoons curry powder (2 tbsp in each bag)
2 teaspoons ground cumin (1 tsp each bag)
1.5-2 pounds chicken thighs, or breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces. (I just put entire breasts in the bags)
2 cups chopped peeled sweet potatoes. (I didn’t add these, but I will chop them fresh, so I marked on the bag to chop potatoes later)
2 cups baby carrots.
1 coarsely chopped mango
1 cup chopped onion (used a white onion)
1 zucchini chopped, about one cup
2 cloves garlic, minced (used 2 tsp. chopped garlic in a jar)
2 chicken bouillon, one per bag (used a half cup of chicken broth from a can)
.5 cup raisins (for garnish) (raisins are nasty!! Did not use! LOL)
.5 cup peanuts or cashews (for garnish) (didn’t use any nuts either)
Savory Chicken (split this recipe between two bags)
(we used a bag of frozen broccoli, threw all the ingredients in a bag and froze.)
Lazy Day Stew
(I didn’t use stewing beef, I used ground turkey on this one and I even added another can of corn and NO lima beans, I used kidney beans instead. We also did not use the tapioca– it was probably just for texture anyway. Dumped everything into two bags and froze)
I’ve been on the road for about 4 weeks now and boy oh boy am I glad I know a few tricks on this topic! Once you make a commitment to eat healthier you start to realize how much eating healthier requires preparation, having good food on hand and the ability to cook or prepare your food on your own.
I’ve taken two 7+ hour road trips and two flights in the past 4 weeks. Let me tell you a few tips that have saved my ass (literally) and also saved a few bucks from the expense of eating out so much!
TEN TIPS TO “KINDA” STAY ON TRACK WHILE TRAVELING
1. Realize that things will NOT be ideal and you are just going to do the best you can. (and if you’re visiting friends, relax and have a “fun” meal or two, you WILL get back to your routine soon)
2. Eat your regular meals before leaving: if you’re driving, make sure to have breakfast at home, this will keep you from easily grabbing snacks at the first gas station or airport ($$$$)
3. Pack a few MEALS to take with you. You CAN fly with food (just not liquids) and if you’re on a road trip, its super easy to throw a few meals in tupperware in a cooler and go.
4. If you KNOW you’re going to be eating out with friends and there will be treats or alcohol involved– eat HEALTHY meals and lots of veggies during the day– don’t skip any meals. Watch portions, but enjoy yourself!
5. Walk as much as you can. Whether shopping or site seeing, get out on foot and just take a few extra laps around the mall. If you stop for gas on a road trip, do 50 squats before getting back in the car! (yes I did this) Get the blood flowing!
6. BRING snacks with you! Whether you are driving or flying, its easy to get “munchy” while sitting for so long. There will be a list of great options below…
7. Don’t FORGET to eat. Its easy to get busy doing activities and realize you haven’t eaten all day. Then its really easy to make bad choices when you’re starving. Set an alarm on your phone to remind you to stop and get a healthy snack or meal. Aim for at least 300 calories to hold you over.
8. Eat all your veggies first. This is an easy tip. When you are eating out, you can ask for extra veggies and make sure to eat them before a lot of your starches and desserts. This will help you feel full and also slow the digestion of some of your sugars.
9. Stay hydrated! Flying and driving can dehydrate you which you may mistake dehydration for hunger. Bring a bottle of water and make sure to refill it a few times a day.
10. Don’t forget to have fun! Sometimes we get so stressed about the food choices, that we forget to realize its only a temporary condition (in my case a month! LOL) Do your best, but don’t stress. The time off can fuel your motivation to get back on track when you get home!
Here are a few of my favorite snacks to bring on the road or plane:
- apples, grapes, oranges, cherries
- jerky (turkey or beef)
- tuna packets (people on the plane don’t usually like these, but I do)
- snap peas
- baby carrots
- protein bars (I like kinds that don’t melt like KIND, Quest Bars, or LaraBars)
- Nuts! Almonds, pistachios, cashews, peanuts
- Fruit Snacks (hey, not the healthiest, but my husband loves these)
- dried fruit- magoes, craisins, banana chips, etc.
- deli meat — not SUPER healthy, but not bad. Stays great in coolers on road trips
If you’re like me, you LOVE, love, LOVE Girl Scout cookies… but there are two problems- #1 they only sell them once a year (this is actually, probably a good thing)
and #2 I can’t stop at just one (box, that is) so they aren’t too “pants friendly” LOL
How about a little shake that gets your “Samoa” fix and keeps you on track to stay in your clothes? uhmmm yes please.
**Recipe from Egg Whites International
8 oz egg whites (8 pumps or 1 cup)
2-4 oz milk of choice (We suggest almond milk) or water (use less if a thicker shake is desired)
- 2 tbsp vanilla sugar free, fat free instant pudding powder*
- 1 tbsp chocolate sugar free, fat free instant pudding powder*
- 1 tablespoon sugar free caramel sauce**
- 2 tablespoons sugar free coconut syrup***
- 2-3 ounces (app ¼ cup) very strong coffee, optional
1. Add all ingredients and pulse in a blender until smooth.
* Optional = substitute protein powder in place of pudding powder!
** try Walden’s sugar free sauces
*** try Torani or DaVinci brands for these syrups
Nutrition (using 4 oz. almond milk)
Calories: 166 Fat: 1.2g Carb: 8g Protein: 26.5g