Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Cookie Dough Hummus

Yep! You read that right! I have found an amazing recipe for hummus that tastes like cookie dough! It is a delicious healthy way to curb those sweet cravings. It pairs perfectly with some sliced apples, raw baby carrots, graham crackers, or even wheat Ritz crackers. You can even bake the hummus and have yourself some healthy cookies!

Cookie Dough Hummus

What you'll need for the hummus dip: 
1 can chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1/4c peanut butter or almond butter
1/4 oats (I use Mom's Natural Quick Oats)
1/4c milk (I use almond milk) 
1/4c brown sugar
1/3 to 1/2c chocolate chips (I use dark chocolate chips)

To Make: 
Mix all ingredients, except for the chocolate chips, together in a blender or food processor. Fold in chocolate chips. Chill before serving. 

What you'll need to make cookies: 
Follow the same ingredients and instructions above, but also add 1/4tsp salt, 1/4tsp baking soda and 1/2tsp vanilla before combining together. Then drop by the tablespoon onto a greased cookie sheet and bake at 375 for 6-8 minutes. 

There you have it! One of my favorite afternoon snacks! 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Freezer Meals - Done!

Our last bill at the grocery store was ridiculous, so I gathered some ideas on ways to save on groceries. These freezer meals seemed to keep popping up. I read one ladies blog about it and decided to give it a try. I pulled some recipes, from many different blogs and website and made my grocery list. Not only did I save on my grocery bill, cut it back by about $100, I prepared more meals! The last trip to the grocery store, the expensive one, only made 9 meals, while this trip I was able to prepare 16 meals! I spent 3 hours in the kitchen on Sunday cutting up all the veggies and gathering all the meals together. The best part was that I did most of the preparing while the kids were napping and I only had to cook one meat. All, except one, of these meals you just throw all the raw ingredients together in a baggie and freeze until you are ready to cook! 

Here are the recipes for the meals currently in my freezer: 

1. BBQ Chicken (Crock Pot) (2 bagged meals)

Chop the following ingredients & divide them between the 2 gallon size ziploc bags
3 sweet potatoes, cubed1 zucchini, chopped1 onion, sliced2 green bell peppers, sliced1 red bell peper, sliced4-5 chicken breasts, diced
In each bag, place... 8oz tomato paste1T Worcestershire2T brown sugar1T mustard powder1 garlic clove1/4tsp salt
Reheating - This can go in the crock pot while still frozen. Add about 3/4C water or chicken broth. Cook on low for about 6 hours.

Update: This was the first meal that I made and it was delicious. All the flavors of the vegetables and sweet potatoes came together very nicely! I think it is very important to cook this meal on low for 6 hours! I was gone from the house longer than that (wouldn't it be nice to only have a 6 hour workday!) and my meal was a little overcooked. It was still tasty, just a little mushy. 

2. Spaghetti Chicken  (1 casserole)

4 chicken breasts 
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
4oz jar of pimentos, diced
8oz  Velveeta sliced
1 tsp seasoned salt
1/8 tsp cayenne
salt & pepper to taste

3C thin spaghetti, broken into small pieces 
Place chicken in an 8x8 foil casserole pan, sprinkle with seasonings, place peppers, onions and pimentos on top, pour cans of soup over chicken mixture, place sliced velveeta on top. Cover with foil and plastic lid, freeze.
Reheating - Thaw casserole. Remove foil & bake at 350 for 45m. Serve over cooked spaghetti noodles.

3. Citrus Ginger Chicken (1 bagged meal)

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup orange marmalade
1 tablespoon Honey Mustard
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon red pepper -- ground

 For freezing: Place all ingredients into a 1 Gallon freezer bag. Lay flat
in freezer.

Thaw meal, pour in baking dish and bake at 350 until juices run clear, about 30 minutes.

4. Chicken & Spinach - (2 bagged meals)
 6-8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
 1 jar Classico Pasta (Three Cheese)
 Onions, bellpeppers, etc.
 Cajun seasoning to taste
 Sliced zucchini & squash 
 mushrooms sliced 
 Bag or container of fresh spinach 
 Pasta of your choice (bow-tie, spaghetti, etc.)
  Layer:Chicken breasts, onions, bell peppers, etc., seasoning, other veggies in two gallon sized ziploc baggies and top with  spinach.  Freeze.
Place in crockpot, still frozen and cook on low for about 6-8 hours. 

Update: This was the 2nd meal that I made and it was delicious!! I think this should be titled Chicken & Veggies, not just Chicken & Spinach. It has some of my favorite veggies all mixed together in a yummy cheese tomato sauce with pasta! What's not to like about that!? After my crockpot experience on Monday, I decided not to use the crockpot for this one, even though it suggests to. There were too many veggies in this bag that I didn't want them to get mushy, since I'd be gone from the house for 10 hours. So, I thawed out my meal by placing it in the fridge the night before and poured all the ingredients from the bag into a large heated saucepan when I got home. I kept stirring it and it took about 30 minutes for it to cook through. I cooked the pasta in a separate saucepan as directed on the package, I used Ronzoni Garden Delight Penne. Once the noodles were cooked, drained, and the chicken/veggie mixture was done I mixed them all together and sprinkled a little Italian cheese on top. The whole family approved of this recipe. I am excited that this made 2 meals, I'm looking forward to having this again! 

5. Crock Pot Pizza Soup - (2 bagged meals)
1 jar (14 oz) of pizza sauce
4 empty jars full of water
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
2 already-cooked Italian sausage (I used chicken Italian sausage)
1 cup sliced pepperoni, sliced in quarters 
8 fresh basil leaves, chopped (or 1/2 T dried)
1 T dried oregano
1/2 to 1/3 cup of dried penne pasta
shredded mozzarella cheese (to add later)
The Directions.
Divide all ingredients between two gallon sized ziploc bags, freeze. Place in crockpot while still frozen and cook on low for about 6 hours. Top with cheese.

6. PEACHY CHICKEN (1 bagged meal)

1 1/2 Pounds Chicken Pieces -- (4 to 6)
1 heaping tablespoon orange marmalade
1/3 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
2 teaspoon honey
1 1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 to 1 cup frozen sliced peaches

 For freezing: Place all ingredients into a 1 Gallon freezer bag. Lay flat
in freezer.
Thaw meal, pour in baking dish and bake at 350 until juices run clear, about 30 minutes.

7. Sticky Chicky "DUMP" Recipe (1 bagged meal)

2 Tablespoons Oil
1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
3 Tablespoons Smooth Peanut Butter
3 Tablespoons Ketchup
1 1/2 Pounds Chicken Pieces
For freezing: Place all ingredients into a 1 Gallon freezer bag. Lay flat
in freezer. 
Thaw meal, pour in baking dish and bake at 350 until juices run clear, about 30 minutes.

8. Summer Vegetables with Sausage (2 bagged meals)

1 lb baby red potatoes, cut in half or quartered
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp kosher salt
fresh cracked pepper
14 oz Italian sausage, sliced 1-inch thick
1 large onion, chopped
4-5 cloves garlic, smashed with the side of the knife
1/2 orange bell pepper, diced 1-inch squares
1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced 1-inch squares 
1 red bell pepper, diced 1-inch squares
2 tbsp fresh rosemary (or other fresh herb such as thyme)
2 cups zucchini, 1/2 inch thick and quartered
1 tablespoon oil

Divide ingredients except for the oil between two gallon sized ziploc bags, freeze. Thaw meal. Cook in large oiled skillet until sausage is cooked through and veggies are tender, and more oil as needed. 
Update: This meal was fabulous. I really love cooking with lots of vegetables, it really creates a flavorful dish. Leftovers were yummy too. My husband gave the meal two thumbs up, and we are both glad there is still another bag in the freezer to enjoy! 

9. Ginger Cilantro Tilapia (2 bagged meals)

6-8 tilapia fillets
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 minced garlic
1 inch fresh ginger, grated, about 1 tablespoon
1 jalapeƱo pepper, roughly chopped (optional
1/3 cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves
1/4 cup white wine
2 tablespoons soy sauce 
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Scallions, chopped for garnish

Divide all ingredients between two gallon sized ziploc bags, freeze. Thaw meal and place in baking dish. Bake at 475 for 8-10 minutes until fish flakes easily with fork. Serve with orzo pasta and carrots. 
Update: This was a slightly spicy, tasty dish. I wasn't sure how preparing this meal and freezing it ahead of time would work. I was worried that the juices wouldn't thaw right, but they did. It had just a little kick, not too much. We didn't have any orzo, so I served it with some brown rice. My husband went back for seconds, so he was either really hungry or liked it.

10. Italian Baked Chicken (1 casserole) 

4-6 chicken breasts
1-2 cans green beans
diced red potatoes, about 1 lb. 
Italian dressing mix
1 stick melted butter

Place all ingredients in a foil casserole dish, pouring melted butter over top, freeze. Thaw meal and bake at 350 for about 1 hour. 
Update: DO NOT FREEZE this meal! Learn from me, when you freeze fresh potatoes, they will turn black! YUK! This is, however, a very easy and delicious meal to make. Just throw everything together in a casserole dish and bake! 

11. Turkey Meatloaf  (1 meatloaf)
1 lb ground turkey
1/2c quick oats
1/4c ketchup
1 2 eggs
1onion chopped
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
1 teaspoon marjoram

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Place into a foil lined loaf pan and wrap tightly in pan. Freeze for 1 hour then remove from loaf pan and place foil wrapped meatloaf back in freezer. Meatloaf will keep it's shape and you don't have to keep your pan in the freezer. Thaw meal and bake at 375 for 45 minutes to 1 hour. 

Update: Why did I not know you could freeze meatloaf!? My family loves meatloaf, especially this recipe using oats instead of breadcrumbs. I would probably add one more egg next time (I updated the recipe above to 2 eggs instead of 1). The meatloaf was a little crumbly, and I think adding the additional egg would help hold it together better. I served this with some steamed broccoli and mashed potatoes. It was great for lunch the next day too. 

I will update this post and let y'all know how they turned out as I cook them. 


Monday, July 9, 2012

It's Hot! Cool off with a Banana Popsicle

Summer is in full swing and it's HOT outside! Here is a tasty treat to cool you off. It's fun to make and fun to eat!

Banana Popsicles

What you'll need: 
4-5 medium size firm bananas
8oz semi sweet chocolate, melted
1tsp canola oil
colored sprinkles 
4 Popsicle sticks

To Make: 

Cut each of your bananas in half. Insert Popsicle stick into each banana half and freeze on a wax paper lined cookie sheet. When the bananas are frozen, melt the chocolate in a coffee mug, microwave for about 2mins at 1/2 power. Stir in 1tsp oil. Dip frozen bananas in the melted chocolate and place back on wax paper lined cookie sheet. Return to the freezer until you are ready to eat. Eat cold and enjoy! 

After playing outside in the sprinklers, we came in and enjoyed our Popsicle! My boys LOVED them, as you can tell by their chocolate covered faces! And yes, those are cupcake liners, to "catch" the drippings! :-) 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Granola Energy Balls

These tastey little treats are sure to give you the afternoon pick me up you need, without undoing your whole day. 

Granola Energy Balls

  • 2 cups oats
  • 2 cups coconut flakes
  • 1 cup peanut butter or almond butter
  • 1 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate chips)
  • 2/3 cup honey 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon 
To Make:
  1. Mix all ingredients thoroughly.
  2. Roll into bite-size balls.  The size you roll them will determine how many the recipe yields. I rolled mine a little bigger and the recipe made about 2 dozen balls. You could also flatten the mixture out onto a 9x13 pan and cut up as granola bars, if you prefer. 
  3. Store in fridge.
You could easily cut this recipe in half, but they stay good in the fridge for about a week, so stock up and snack away! I popped 2 at a time as my afternoon snack last week. 

Nutella Brownies

These two words together explain everything, not much more details needed. This would have to be my second favorite brownie recipe! My first would be the dark chocolate peanut butter brownies, I will make those for you all soon and post up the recipe. These brownies were perfect, to me. They had the perfect chocolate flavor and were so deliciously fudgy, just the way a brownie should be.

Nutella Brownies

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup Nutella
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
½ cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chocolate chips

To Make: 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 9x13 (for thin brownies) or a 8x8 square pan (for thicker brownies) or a Perfect Brownie Pan (if you have one, which I do and I love mine!). Cream together the sugar and butter. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add the salt, cinnamon, cocoa powder, and Nutella. Fold in the flour and the chocolate chips; combine all the ingredients. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool completely in pan and then slice and serve.

Red Velvet Pancakes with a Cream Cheese Maple Syrup

Oh goodness! Just typing in the title of this blog post is making me drool and want to indulge in some more of these yummy pancakes! My best friend's favorite dessert is red velvet anything - red velvet cake, red velvet brownies, red velvet cheesecake, etc. I found this recipe on Pinterest awhile back and have been waiting to have breakfast with her just so I could make these for her, and oh goodness it was heaven in our mouths. It was very hard to limit myself to just two pancakes, but somehow I managed! I just ate really slow and savored every bite.

Red Velvet Pancakes 
with a Cream Cheese Maple Syrup

Pancake Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 large eggs
1-1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons red food coloring
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips

To Make: 
Mix all ingredients (except chocolate chips) together in a small bowl until smooth, fold in chocolate chips. Pour about 1/3 cup onto medium/high griddle and lightly brown on both sides.

Syrup Ingredients: 
4oz cream cheese
1/4c maple syrup
2tblsp heavy cream

Melt the cream cheese in a microwaveable bowl for about 30-40 seconds, stir until smooth. Stir in the maple syrup and heavy cream. Pour generously over pancakes! 

Banana Peanut Butter Oatmeal Muffins

These little muffins are every bit delicious and nutritious. They are a perfect morning treat, especially after an intense workout. They are sure to get your morning off to a great, healthy start. 

Banana Peanut Butter Oatmeal Muffins

Adapted from: Dashing Dish


  • 1-2 small ripe bananas, ripe, mashed
  • 3/4 cup egg whites
  • 1/2 cup plain low fat greek yogurt (I like Danon OIKOS vanilla)
  • 1 cup whole grain old fashioned oats (use gluten free if sensitive to gluten)
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter (I use JIF natural creamy, you could also use almond butter)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

To Make:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray, or line with silicone or foil liners, (spray liners if using). I used regular paper muffins and my muffins didn't stick too bad, but make sure to use the foil liners and spray them with cooking or flour spray so they won't stick. 
2. Place all of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix until mixture is smooth. 
3. Divide mixture evenly between 12 muffin tins. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

Enjoy, one or more! With just about 75 calories in each muffin, you can have more than one at a time, without any guilt! 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Baked Oatmeal

Baked Oatmeal with Strawberries, Banana and Chocolate Chips

  • 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five spice or cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces, chopped
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 ripe banana, peeled, 1/2-inch slices
1.    Preheat oven to 375°F and generously spray the inside of a 10-1/2 by 7 inch baking dish with cooking spray and place on a baking sheet.
2.    In a large bowl, mix together the oats, sugar, baking powder, orange zest, Chinese five spice, salt, half the walnuts, half the strawberries and half the chocolate. (Save the other half of strawberries, walnuts and chocolate for the top of the oatmeal).
3.    In another large bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, butter and vanilla extract.
4.    Add the oat mixture to prepared baking dish. Arrange the remaining strawberries, walnuts and chocolate on top. Add the banana slices to the top then pour the milk mixture over everything. Gently shimmy/shake the baking dish to help the milk mixture go throughout the oats.
Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until the top is nicely golden brown and the milk mixture has set. For an extra tasty top, sprinkle a tablespoon or so of extra brown sugar on top then place back in the oven under the broiler and broil for 20-30 seconds. Serve warm with an extra sprinkle of sugar or drizzle of maple syrup.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year! Don't forget to eat your Black-eyed Peas!

It's a new year, full of hope and possibilities! Make it count! Make sure to eat some black-eyed peas today for good luck all year round! My husband doesn't like black-eyed peas so I disguised them in a bean dip! Shhh, don't tell him.

Black-eyed Pea Dip

What you'll need:
1 can black eyed peas
1/2 onion, chopped
1tbls choped jalepenos
1/4c hot sauce
1/4c sour cream
1/2c shredded cheddar cheese, divided

To Make:
Preheat oven to 400. Mash beans in a quart sized dish. Mix in all remaining ingredients, using 1/2 of the shredded cheese. Top with remaining cheese. Bake for 15-20mins, until hot and bubbly.

Ejoy with some of your favorite tortilla chips. I wrapped heaping tablespoons up in some warm corn tortillas for a healthy lunch to start off the new year right.