Monday, October 29, 2012

Crunchy Peanut Butter Chocolate Oatmeal

Today is October 29. In other words:

Happy National Oatmeal Day!

To celebrate quite possibly one of my favorite days of the year, I cooked myself a heaping bowl of steamy yumminess. It's also a great way to take the chill out upon waking in the morning in this frigid weather! This is one of my absolute favorite oatmeal recipes that I originally found here and adapted it to my liking.

Oh oatmeal. How I love thee.

Crunchy PB Chocolate Oatmeal
1/2 cup Old Fashioned oats
1/2 cup light soymilk
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Splenda packet
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1-2 Tbsp PB (I used PB2)
Sprinkle of semi-sweet morsels and chopped nuts

The ingredients!
-In a small pot bring water and milk to a boil.
-Stir in oats and reduce to a simmer.
-After 2 minutes, stir in cocoa powder, Splenda, vanilla, and PB.
-Cook for 3 more minutes.
-Transfer to a bowl and top with chocolate chips and nuts.

Oatmeal and coffee: two of my favorite things.

This bowl of oats brings together two of the tastiest treats on Earth: chocolate and peanut butter.

Question of the Day:

What do you do to help wake yourself up in the morning?

As soon as my alarm sounds, I instantly pop out of bed and make it up. If I don't get up right away there is no turning back. I then do a mini 10 minute workout routine consisting of jumping jacks, planks, squats, crunches, and lunges. This is a great way to get my blood flowing and kickstart my day!

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Blueberry Greek Yogurt Banana Bread

I must admit that I'm going to miss being able to buy blueberries for next to nothing since they're going out of season. After my small pity party I decided that these little gems needed a last hurrah. I originally found this recipe and put my own little healthy spin on it by using white whole wheat flour, egg whites, and zero calorie brown sugar. The end result? Paired with my morning Cup of Joe, nothing could be better!

Blueberry Greek Yogurt Banana Bread

Blueberry Greek Yogurt Banana Bread
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup zero calorie brown sugar (like the kind by Splenda or any off brand)
1/4 cup sugar
2 large ripe bananas
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup liquid egg whites
1/2 cup fat free Greek yogurt
1 cup fresh blueberries

The ingredients!

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
-Start by combining flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
-In a separate bowl, mash bananas with a fork until they are gooey and liquid-like.
-To this bowl, add sugars, egg whites, vanilla, and Greek yogurt.
-Whisk everything together until there are no lumps.
-Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until just combined.
-Fold in the blueberries.
-Pour batter into a greased loaf pan and distribute evenly.
-Bake 50-60 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

Perfect combination

This is a great dish to bring to a brunch, bake for a new neighbor, or just enjoy with that morning coffee.

Question of the Day

Do you prefer flavored or regular coffee?

I'm definitely a flavored coffee girl. My all-time favorite would have to be Buttery Caramel by Archer Farms (Target brand). I drink it straight up, no sweeteners or cream necessary! Granted, there are days where normal coffee hits the spot, but those days are not regularly reoccurring.

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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Crockpot Balsamic Chicken

Sweet, spicy, and crunchy. Yum.

I think this recipe tastes best over something crunchy, like Triscuits!

Not only is this delicious dinner easy to make, it's also extremely affordable. The entire recipe was only $7.66! Who wouldn't love a meal that you throw in a crockpot and leave on your merry way for 5 hours?

I stumbled upon this recipe on Pinterest. I'm in love addicted to that site. I can't get enough of it! I put my own little healthy spin on it by adding some extra veggies and using no salt added diced tomatoes.

Muy delicioso!

Crockpot Balsamic Chicken
2-3 frozen chicken breasts
1 Tbsp EVOO
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 14.5oz can no salt added diced tomatoes
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 Splenda packet
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 small onion, chopped
1 small green pepper, chopped
1 small red pepper, chopped
1 12oz bag of frozen veggies (I used a bag that contained carrots, corn, green beans, and peas)
1 bag broccoli slaw
Crushed red pepper

The ingredients!

-Place frozen chicken in crockpot that's lined with slow cooker liners.
-Drizzle EVOO over chicken.
-Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
-Evenly distribute chopped up peppers, onions, and frozen veggies over chicken.
-In a separate bowl mix together diced tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, Splenda, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and minced garlic. Stir and pour over chicken.
-Cook on low for 4.5 hours.
-Shred chicken with 2 forks and cook for 30 minutes longer.
-Meanwhile, steam broccoli slaw in the microwave for 5 minutes. Add to crockpot right before serving.
-Serve over reduced fat Triscuits, a bed of brown rice, or noodles!
-Sprinkle crushed red pepper over appetizer before consumption!

A spicy chicken Asian slaw!

This recipe is definitely a keeper. I recommend bringing this as an appetizer to a party. Right before serving, top reduced fat Triscuits with a spoonful of this dish. It's also perfect for a crisp Autumn day like today!

Question of the Day

What's your favorite part about Autumn?

Other than the trees turning into beautiful shades of reds, oranges, and yellows, I love caramel apples! It's never an Autumn without one!

Caramel apples covered in nuts!

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Oven Roasted Broccoli

What do you get when you buy a 24 oz. bag of broccoli for $1.79?

I'm always on the hunt for sales

You get a pretty rockin' snack if I do say so myself! Sprinkled with a few spices and roasted in the oven brings out the nuttiness of this cruciferous veggie.

Oven Roasted Broccoli
Broccoli, cut into small pieces
3/4 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp smoke paprika
Cooking spray

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
-Line baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.
-Place broccoli on pan, spray with cooking spray, and sprinkle with spices.
-Cook for 15 minutes, or until the veggie starts crisping.

Out of this world amazing!

I've been trying to snack healthier lately. It's not easy to say the least. I love ice cream. Actually, love is not a strong enough word to describe my passion for the stuff. But eating it every night has not been very kind to me. So subbing this late night snack for real, whole foods has made quite the difference.

Question of the Day

Is there a dessert flavor that you can pass up?

I cannot stand the taste of lemon flavored foods. Never have, never will. I have a sour relationship with this sour fruit.

No thank you!

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Monday, October 8, 2012

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Greek Yogurt

What if I told you that you could have high protein chocolate covered strawberries for breakfast? I know I would flip out too. I mean c'mon, what could possibly be better?

There are just some mornings where I need my chocolate fix instantly. So this is quite the delicious and nutritious way to achieve this goal!

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Greek Yogurt
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp sugar-free chocolate pudding mix
A generous handful of strawberries, quartered

The ingredients!

-Combine yogurt, extract, and pudding mix in a bowl and stir.
-Top with strawberries.

Chocolate covered strawberries for breakfast? Yes please.

Question of the Day

What do you like dipped in chocolate?

I like love the salty-sweet combination. I could eat it all day long. So give me a bowl of pretzels and melted dark chocolate and that's pretty much a meal made in heaven for me.

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