Every so often you get a massive chocolate craving that you just can’t ignore. Tonight was one of those nights for me.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a cake or pie person and I am not the type to sit and eat a chocolate bar (truffles are another story) BUT put cookies or a pan of brownies in front of me and I can rival any competitive eater. It’s shameful but true.
Enter Shakeology brownies. Four to five (one is optional) HEALTHY ingredients and that’s it! Chocolate craving gone!
My kids actually ate these for breakfast the other day. Yep, that’s how healthy and full of good stuff they are!
Now, I used Shakeology for this brownies, hence the name, because it’s my super food shake that I drink daily. Could you use another type of “protein powder?” Though Shakeology is SO much more than a protein powder, I guess you could. I haven’t tested it, so you are on your own with what you use and how it tastes. These came out more of a fudgey brownie than a cakey one. That’s the way I prefer my brownies.
I also used this Cacao powder (thanks Val). You could use a different one but I do not recommend Dutch Processed.
The flavor of Shakeology is also up to you. I used Vanilla and 1/4 of cacao powder for a richer chocolate flavor. If you use chocolate Shakeology, I wouldn’t use as much cacao powder, maybe 2 tablespoons. The new Cafe Latte flavor would be great too! Coffee and chocolate go wonderfully together!
Serving Size: 1 brownie
5 minPrep Time:
25 minCook Time:
30 minTotal Time:
3 medium overripe bananas
1/2 cup melted peanut butter or almond butter (can sub for any nut/seed or soy nut butter)
2 T - 1/4 cup cacao/cocoa powder (more = richer taste)
2 scoops of Shakeology
Handful of dark chocolate chips, optional
Preheat the oven the 350 degrees, grease a small pan and set aside. (Mine was approx 10x6, the larger the pan the thinner the brownies)
In a small microwave-safe bowl or stovetop, melt your nut butter.
In a food processor or blender, combine the bananas, cocoa powder, protein powder and nut butter until very smooth.
Pour the mixture into the greased pan, top with optional chocolate chips.
Bake for around 25 minutes or until cooked through.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before slicing into pieces.
My family seems to love anything that is Mexican/Southwestern. I was worried at first that my kids would not eat these because everything is mashed together but they loved them! My oldest son actually said, that “they were they best thing he had ever eaten.” Of course, he also thought that they were burritos, but close enough, right?
In an effort to eat more meals that are meatless, I have been experimenting a lot with ways to cook different veggies. We have chili and quesadillas that I make that are all vegetables but I wanted something different. I even tried making a cauliflower taco but that didn’t turn out so well. These can be made with sweet potatoes or butternut squash. They are interchangeable in my book. I happened to use sweet potato because I bought a few to make sweet potato muffins (recipe for another time) so I had one on hand.
I also used 8″ white corn tortillas but flour tortillas would work just fine as well, but I think those are considered Flautas. Not that there is much difference in my humble opinion. Please correct me if I’m wrong on this.
These little delights are also baked, not fried like normal taquitos. To get them crisp like the fried ones you will need two things. Olive oil spray and an oven proof cooling rack. You want the heat to be able to crisp both sides at once so you want them elevated. If you don’t have a cooling rack that can go in the oven, just remember to flip the taquitos half way through cooking.
Quick, easy and perfect for a meatless Monday!
Serving Size: 2 Taquitos
Black Bean & Sweet Potato Baked Taquitos
20 minPrep Time:
15 minCook Time:
35 minTotal Time:
10, 8” corn tortillas
1 1/2 cups of black beans
1 cup corn
1 medium sweet potato or 1 1/2 cups diced butternut squash
1/3 cup red onion
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cilantro
1/2 tsp cumin
2 oz ? fat cream cheese, room temperature
6 ounces of grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup of your favorite salsa
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil spray
Pre-heat your oven to 425 *F.
Poke a few holes in your sweet potato, wrap it in a damp paper towel and microwave on high for about 8 minutes. ***
Combine corn, diced onion, black beans, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, cilantro and salsa.
Once your sweet potato is cooked, fluff the inside with a fork and add the flesh to the rest of your veggies and mix thoroughly.
Add salt, pepper and cream cheese and stir to combine.
Working 3-4 tortillas at a time, wrap corn tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwave on high for 30 seconds.
Immediately spray one side each tortilla with oil and add "line" of veggie filling (aprrox 3 tablespoons) to the center of the "dry side" of each tortilla.
Top it off with a layer of cheese and roll the tortilla.
Place on a wire cooling rack and seal with a toothpick, if needed.
Repeat these steps until you have a rack full of taquitos.
Give them one more spray of olive oil and set the rack on the baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.
Bake on the middle rack, at 425 *F, for 15 minutes.
Cuisine: Mexican |Recipe Type: Vegetarian
***If using butternut squash, roast the squash in a 425*F oven with a little olive oil for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and do a rough mash and add to other ingredients.
The day after Christmas, we had a Fortieth birthday party for my husband. In an effort to keep things “easy” because it was the day after Christmas, my mother and I grabbed massive quantities of Italian cuisine from our wholesale club. We got Spinach Chicken Alfredo, Mac and Cheese for the kids, Vegetable Lasagna, Angus Meatballs and sauce, Caesar Salad and loads of Italian bread. It ended up being cheaper than the catering I was originally going to order and it was pretty easy to prepare. Most went in a crock pot while the rest , by some miracle, went in the oven at the same temp.
As I was running through Wegman’s at the last minute picking things up for the party, I passed the frozen section and saw a family pack of something called Eggplant Rollatini. I had never seen it before but it looked fabulous! I am a BIG fan of Eggplant so I grabbed it and thought, well, even if others don’t eat it, I will and I’ll have leftovers. Yeah, I was totally thinking about me.
I was right. It was delicious and I had leftovers to enjoy! It also got me thinking that I good totally make this at home using homemade sauce. So this past weekend, I set out to recreate the dish with a few changes. First, I used my recipe for ricotta filling (halved that is) that I use from lasagna or stuffed shells. I am fairly sure it’s pretty common. Second, I used my homemade marinara. Third, I added spinach because I add spinach to pretty much everything. And last, I didn’t bread mine like theirs’ is. I had totally planned to but I ran out of foil and had to make a trip to the store so I cut that step out in order to save time. I still loved it and don’t believe it needs it.
Eggplant has a lot of moisture in it just like zucchini so I knew that I must get some of it out or it was going to be very watery. To do that, all you do it slice the eggplant (a mandolin works perfect for this and I was able to get 12 good slices out of 2 eggplants) and sprinkle some Himalayan Pink salt over the slice and let them sit for 15-20 minutes. I placed mine in a colander so it could drain into the sink but you don’t have to.
Once that’s done, take some paper towels and dry it very well. Bake the eggplant, pat dry again and place two tablespoons (1 wasn’t enough, 3 oozed out the sides) of cheese mixture on the eggplant and roll it up.
Place in a 9×13 casserole dish, add some sauce and cheese and bake covered with foil (see I needed the foil) for 55- 60 minutes.
It sounds like a lot of steps but I assure you, it is very easy and well worth the cook time. It’s not a meal I could make during the week because of time constraints but it is perfect for cold snowy weekend dinner!
Serving Size: 2 Eggplant Rollatini
Eggplant Spinach Rollatini
30 minPrep Time:
1 hrCook Time:
1 hr, 30 Total Time:
2 medium Italian eggplants, cut lengthwise into a total of 12 (1/4-inch thick) slices
Himalayan Pink salt
2 cups homemade or jarred marinara sauce
1 large egg
1/2 cup part skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
10 oz frozen spinach, heated through and squeezed well
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup (4 oz) shredded mozzarella
Cut the 2 ends off the eggplants.
Cut the eggplants lengthwise, into 1/4-inch thick slices until you have a total of 12 slices about the same size. (It's easiest to do this with a mandolin.)
Sprinkle the eggplant with the salt to help remove excess moisture from the eggplants. Set aside for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Pat dry with a towel.
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Season the eggplant with a little more salt and pepper, then arrange on two silicone mats (or parchment) on baking sheets.
Cover tightly with foil and bake until eggplant is tender but NOT fully cooked, (about 8 minutes).
Spread 1/2 cup marinara sauce on the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
In a medium bowl, beat the egg mix with ricotta, Romano cheese, spinach, garlic, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper.
Pat eggplant dry with paper towels again. Dividing the ricotta-spinach mixture (about 2 tablespoons each) evenly and spoon onto one end of each eggplant slice, spreading to cover. Starting at the short end, roll up slices and arrange them each seam side down in the prepared dish.
Top with remaining marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese and tightly cover with foil.
Bake until the eggplant is very tender, about 55-60 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes before serving.
Who doesn’t love a quick, one pan dinner? Less mess to clean up and so easy to assemble and throw in the oven! And even better? You cook your veggies alongside that savory garlic chicken sauce, letting the juices run loose as your vegetables get roasted to crisp-tender perfection. Yum!
Now you can use any type of veggies that you want, you just have to be be aware of cooking times for them. I used red skinned potatoes because I had some that I needed to use up. Sweet potatoes or butternut squash would work just as nicely. Green beans, carrots or cauliflower could be used instead of broccoli.
My kids love this dish!
Don’t have time when you get home to throw this in the oven? That’s okay! This dish can also be made in the slow cooker! Just mix up the sauce, put everything in the slow cooker, pour the sauce over and 7-8 hours later, your dinner is ready when you walk in the door! It can’t get any easier then that!
Yield: 4 Servings
One Pan Sweet Garlic Chicken with Vegetables (Slow Cooker recipe also included)
Sweet and Savory and done in one pan for an easy clean up!
10 minPrep Time:
30 minCook Time:
40 minTotal Time:
1 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 lbs (~2 large) regular or sweet potatoes, cubed
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
24 ounces (~4 cups) broccoli florets
parsley for garnish, optional
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Lightly coat a baking sheet with nonstick spray.
In a small bowl, whisk together coconut oil, honey, brown sugar, Dijon, garlic, oregano and basil. Set aside.
Place potatoes in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Top with chicken in a single layer and brush each chicken breast completely with the honey mixture.
Place into oven and roast until the chicken is completely cooked through, (thermometer read 165 degrees F) or about 30 minutes*.
Stir in broccoli during the last 10 minutes of cooking.
Garnished with parsley, if desired and serve immediately.
*Cooking times will vary depending on thickness of chicken and size of potato cubes
**Slow Cooker- combine sauce ingredients. Place chicken, potatoes and sauce mixture into a 6-qt slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours, basting every hour. Add broccoli during the last 30 minutes of cooking time.**
21 Day Fix (with Broccoli and Potatoes): 1G, 1R, 1Y, 1O
First let me apologize for being M.I.A for awhile. I have been fighting a nasty infection for a few weeks that has me completely worn out. That, on top of the holidays and life here has been crazy! I’m somewhat back though and have a yummy recipe to share with you! Spaghetti Squash Casserole! So good and comforting and my children devoured it! Spaghetti squash mixed with cream of homemade mushroom soup and tomato sauce, cheese and ground turkey, then topped with a crunchy whole wheat Panko breadcrumb topping and baked until bubbly and golden. Yum!
You can totally make this using whole grain spaghetti instead of spaghetti squash but since my family actually eats the squash, I choose to go healthier with it. I find the best way to bake spaghetti squash is for 30 minutes at 375 degrees F oven. When you take it out it might appear under cooked and not separating easily into strands, but it will finish cooking while cooling down. Do not overcook the squash otherwise it will release a lot of water in the baking process. We want it to be crunchy, not a soggy mess.
I used store brought Panko breadcrumbs because I am a push over for a crunchy topping and I can never match the crunchiness of panko breadcrumbs when I try to make them homemade. Feel free to use homemade whole wheat regular breadcrumbs instead. Whole wheat breadcrumbs can sometimes be hard to find, so I often make my own by baking left over whole wheat bread in the oven and then pulsing in the food processor for a couple seconds.
Throw almost everything in a bowl and stir, then dump it in a casserole dish and add the crunchiness and you’re done! Prep is easy, it’s the that takes baking that takes the longest. It’s completely worth it though!
Serving Size: 1 Slice
Spaghetti Squash Casserole
15 minPrep Time:
1 hrCook Time:
1 hr, 15 Total Time:
3 lb spaghetti squash*
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp olive oil, extra virgin
1 lb ground turkey, extra lean
1 can (11 oz) organic cream of mushroom soup or homemade version (see link above)
1 cup tomato sauce
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 cup (4 oz) low fat Cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Panko or whole wheat breadcrumbs
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup (2 oz) low fat Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Panko or whole wheat breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 375 F degrees.
Cut squash in half lengthwise and spoon the seeds out. Punch randomly with a fork, place cut side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, let it cool and separate into strands with a fork.
Place in a large bowl and set aside.
While squash is baking, preheat large non-stick skillet on low heat and add olive oil.
Add garlic and onion, saute until translucent or for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add turkey and cook for another 7 minutes, breaking into pieces with spatula.
Add mushroom soup, tomato sauce and cornstarch, stir and bring to a boil by raising heat to medium.
Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes or until mixture has thickened a bit.
Remove from heat, add cheese, stir and transfer to the bowl with spaghetti squash.
Add breadcrumbs and gently mix to combine.
To make the topping, in a small bowl, melt coconut oil in a microwave. Add cheese, breadcrumbs and mix.
Reduce thr oven temperature to 350 degrees F and spray 9" x 13" baking dish with cooking spray. Transfer squash and turkey mixture into the dish, level with spatula, sprinkle with topping and bake uncovered for 35 minutes or until the edges are bubbling.
Broil on high for 5 minutes or until crust is a bit golden.
Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.
Cut into 8 slices and serve hot.
21 Day Fix: 1G, 1/2 P (tomato sauce if homemade), 1R, 1Y, 1B, 1 tsp
Aprrox Calories: 235 per slice
Refrigerate covered in an airtight container for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 4 months.