Healthy chocolate banana waffles!

Healthy chocolate banana waffles!

First timer over here for the chocolate waffles, and I have to say I am definitely a fan!! My kids: one had already eaten a plum and declined waffles. The other ate Cheerios and also declined a waffle. Whaaaat!?  I ate 2 eggs with a turkey sausage/mushroom and onion scramble, and being the good mom that I am, had to eat at least one waffle to taste test it and make sure it was edible. It was good plain and that’s how I ate it! It would have been over the top amazing with butter and syrup, as would pretty much anything, but I decided to not go too crazy since I’m *trying* to stick to a lower carb plan for this week following the week 3 Shift Shop nutrition plan and workout. More about that in another post!

The original recipe can be found here – this is listed as an allergen free recipe. I didn’t have buckwheat flour, so I used whole wheat flour+ almond meal so it took away the gluten free element. It also resulted in a drier mix so then I had to modify and add more egg & milk. Here’s what I did below and it turned out perfect.

Chocolate banana waffles

1/2 c whole wheat flour
1/4 c almond meal or almond flour
1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder (baking cocoa)- I used Ghirardelli 100% unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 medium banana, mashed
1 TBsp coconut oil, melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 – 3/4 c milk

Combine dry ingredients, set aside. Combine wet ingredients until mixed – start with 1/2 cup milk. Combine wet and dry ingredients. If you think the batter is too thick, add an additional 1 TBsp of milk at a time and combine. I probably added 2-3 TBsp in addition to the 1/2 cup. Scoop into waffle maker and cook according to your device’s instructions! I have an Oster large waffle maker, I had mine on second to highest heat setting and cooked for 5 minutes. This yielded 3 full size waffles for me. I think next time I make this, I will add another banana (or applesauce) to make it a little sweeter, which will probably change the consistency a bit but I think it will be good. Let me know if you try them and like them!

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Sun-dried tomato pesto zoodles with chicken and spinach

Sun-dried tomato pesto zoodles with chicken and spinach

This was one of those everything but the kitchen sink recipes that actually turned out pretty amazing. I had some leftover Rosso Pesto from Aldi (sun dried tomato pesto) that I wanted to use up and it worked out great combining it with a number of other yummy ingredients! There are so many ways you could add variety to this and it would still taste great. I was going to add bite sized chunks of fresh mozzarella too! But I’m trying to stay a little tighter on a budget with the “wants” and “needs” of my grocery list. I already had Parmesan cheese at home, so decided to go with that instead of buying a chunk of mozzarella.

Ingredients (serves 4):
1 package chicken breasts
1/2 tsp chili powder
2  medium squash, yellow or green, spiralized (if you buy this spiralized in a package probably want 2 packages)
2 Tbsp sun dried tomato pesto (love Aldi’s brand and price for this)
1/2 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
2 handfuls fresh baby spinach
grated parmesan for topping
Salt & pepper to taste

Cut up chicken in bite size pieces, season with 1/2 tsp chili powder and salt & pepper to taste and saute in 2 tsp EVOO in large skillet over medium high heat, stirring occasionally until fully cooked. Remove from skillet. Add 1-2 Tbsp of water to pan, return to heat and add spiralized squash. Cook on medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add pesto, gently combining with spiralized squash until fully mixed (this takes a minute to get it all mixed in!) Once mixed, add in grape tomato halves and fresh spinach, cook 2-3 more minutes to wilt spinach and cook tomatoes. Return chicken to skillet to heat up.  Once everything is hot, remove from heat and top with parmesan to taste!

Portion fix – I would count this as 1.5 green, 1 red, 2 tsp. Depending on the amount of parmesan you use, may need to count as 1/2 blue also.

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Maple pumpkin baked oatmeal

Maple pumpkin baked oatmeal

Somehow I am feeling pumpkin-y this spring! Actually, I’ve really been wanting to make a baked oatmeal recipe, and I had leftover pumpkin from the pancakes I made last week, so the baked oatmeal became pumpkin by default. I took my favorite baked pumpkin oatmeal recipe and made a few little tweaks to make it healthier and fit in my portion fix containers.

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Maple pumpkin baked oatmeal

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Ingredients:
1/2 c pecans, chopped (walnuts would be good too)
1.5 c pumpkin puree (I use from a can, just make sure not the pumpkin pie kind!)
3/4 c vanilla unsweetened almond milk (or 2% reg milk) at room temperature (mic for 30 seconds)
2 eggs at room temperature (so the coconut oil doesn’t solidify! Place them in a dish of warm water for a few minutes)
3 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
3 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 c rolled oats
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 350. Grease or spray an 8×8 baking pan.
In a large bowl, mix all wet ingredients together. Mix in rolled oats, spices and nuts. Spread in pan and bake approximately 25 minutes until set. Cut into 8 slices (It took me a few minutes to figure out how to get 8 out of this vs my usual 9 slicing method for a square. Here it is to save you some time: X across the middle, then divide it again with a cross. Who says you never use geometry outside of high school?!).

I like to top mine with Oikos Triple Zero French Vanilla greek yogurt and a few more pecans! For container counters: 1 yellow, 1 red(if you do yogurt), 1/2 purple, 1 orange, 2 tsp.

Pureed pumpkin counts as a purple – in it’s original state (chunks) it counts as a green but as a puree, it counts as purple because you can fit more in a container and you get less purple containers. I don’t really get that either, you can listen to Autumn explains why here; but that’s basically how it is!  I think it’s really just to make sure you eat your veggies! If that really bothers you just count it as a green. It’s not going to make a big difference in my opinion unless you are eating 3 cans of it every day, haha. Enjoy!!!

Protein Pumpkin Pancakes. Say that five times fast.

Protein Pumpkin Pancakes. Say that five times fast.

It’s been getting in the 70’s every day, the kids are in shorts and playing outside…in February!  I know a lot of the country is getting the same weather and it’s amazing, and also frightening. Oh hey #globalwarming. Not gonna lie, I am enjoying it. And for some reason I wanted pumpkin pancakes with this weather. Makes total sense haha! These pancakes are super easy to make, gluten free and full of protein and they taste good!

Ingredients:
1/2 c pumpkin puree (from a can is totally fine. Just don’t get the pie mix)
2 eggs
1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder or shakeology (optional)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp coconut oil

Combine together and mix well. Heat griddle or pan with 1 tsp coconut oil. Pour pancakes (this mix made 5 for me); cook until edges are dried, flip.

Optional toppings: combine 1 tsp nut butter (I used almond) with 1 tsp pure maple syrup or honey (I used syrup) – microwave for 10 seconds, mix well and spread on top of pancakes. It doesn’t make a lot but enough for a little sweetness on each pancake!

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Container count for portion fix: 1.5 red, 1/2 purple, 3 tsp

Lemon Herb Chicken with Parmesan Pesto Zucchini Noodles

Lemon Herb Chicken with Parmesan Pesto Zucchini Noodles

I’ve been wanting to make this for so long and finally got around to it.  I don’t have a veggie spiralizer, so used my mandolin instead and it worked out great.  My kids weren’t really a fan of the zoodles, but I think the pesto was the turnoff, not the zoodles.  It’s a great option if you are watching your carbs and wanting to get more veggies in your diet!

Lemon Herb Chicken:
-2 lbs chicken breast tenders
-juice of 1 lemon
-2 Tbsp olive oil
-1 tsp dried basil
-1 tsp garlic powder
-1/2 tsp onion powder
-1/4 tsp pepper
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp oregano

Zoodles (zucchini noodles!)
-Coconut Oil cooking spray
-1/2 medium red onion, chopped
-3 cloves garlic, minced
-2 cups sliced mushrooms
-3-4 medium zucchini
-2 Tbsp basil pesto sauce
-1/2 Parmesan cheese grated plus more for top

Instructions

1. Mix together all of the chicken marinade ingredients, put in a ziplock bag with the chicken breast tenders and for 4 hours (up to overnight).

2. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and cook for 3 – 5 minutes, or until nicely browned on one side. Turn chicken over, cover, and reduce heat to medium. Cook for approximately 8 more minutes (depending on thickness of chicken,) or until chicken is cooked through.

3. While chicken is cooking, spiralize zucchini noodles.

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4. Spray a non stick skillet with coconut oil and heat over medium heat.

5. Add onion, and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes, until onion is translucent. Add garlic, and cook for 1 minute.

6. Add mushrooms and cook until mushrooms are browning and have released all of their liquid, approximately 5 minutes.IMG_20160927_174957506.jpg

7. Add zoodles to mixture and heat up for approximately 3-5 minutes, depending on your preference.  I like mine soft and hot so did for about 5 minutes, they were almost mushy.  Add pesto and parmesan cheese and combine.

8.  Evenly divide portions between 4 plates, top with chicken and more parmesan.

21 day fixers: 1 green, 1 red, 1/2 blue, 1 tsp

Greek yogurt love!!

Greek yogurt love!!

I’ve FALLen head over heels for Greek yogurt lately. So many delicious combinations and ways to enjoy it.  I’m getting protein – and it’s 21 day fix approved so fits in my nutrition plan!  Yaaaaaas.  Here are two ways(sweet and savory) I enjoyed today, try it!

Sweet potato pancakes with Proyo

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Sweet potato pancake recipe can be found here.  And for the Proyo – just add in some protein powder (vanilla whey, etc or even better, Shakeology – probiotics!) to plain nonfat greek yogurt.  I added some unsweetened coconut flakes on top too.  I felt like I was eating cake with pudding in the middle!

A little spice for my lunch –  Chobani Meze Dip in three pepper salsa.  LOOOVE that it has less fat than hummus and that I recognize all the ingredients on the label!  It’s pretty hard to find a healthy dip that you can actually have more than 2 Tbsp of.  This fits the bill!  I added it onto my lettuce wraps along with low sodium turkey, cheese, tomato and red onion.

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Yay for back to school & homemade no bake granola bars!!

Yay for back to school & homemade no bake granola bars!!

I’ve been wanting to make my own granola bars for a while, but wanted something super easy.  I found some good ones I liked and modified them just a bit for the perfect bar!  What’s great is that this can be modified for gluten free, nut free, dairy free – so many options.

Ingredients:
2 cups rolled oats
1/4-1/2 c coconut flour
3/4 nut butter of choice (sunbutter for nut free)
1/4 c honey
cinnamon
1/2 c mini choc chips
milk of choice (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)

Combine rolled oats & coconut flour and cinnamon (a few dashes). Mix nut butter & honey and melt in microwave until liquidy and combined. Mix with dry ingredients until thick batter is formed.  If too dry, add small amounts of milk until everything is combined in a very thick batter.  Press into an 8×8 dish with parchment paper lining, cover and refrigerate 24 hours for best results!  You can eat sooner than that, but will be a little sticky.

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