Chocolate Cookie Dough Bites

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Or as I call them, little bites of heaven! These things are the best little snacks. They curb my sweet craving and they are actually good me for! My boys love them and request them in their lunch boxes as their snack.

I use Shakeology for these.  I have never made them with any other protein powder so I can’t tell you how they would taste if you tried. Vanilla, Chocolate and Cafe Latte flavored Shakeology all work well for these.  The vanilla actually look like raw cookie dough.  I wouldn’t recommend using the Strawberry or Greenberry flavors.  I haven’t tried it but it doesn’t sound very appetizing.

You just dump all the ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer and let it do the rest.  Once it is completely combined, roll them into 1-inch balls and store them in the refrigerator.

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I use raw honey whenever a recipe calls for honey.  It’s a bit more expensive bit most processed honey today has been heated and filtered, robbing it of its nutritional value and resulting in a product no more valuable than a simple sweetener.  Raw honey contains up to 80 different substances important to human nutrition. Besides glucose and fructose, honey contains: All of the B-complex, A, C, D, E, and K, minerals and trace elements: magnesium, sulfur, phosphorus, iron, calcium, chlorine, potassium, iodine, sodium, copper, and manganese. The live enzyme content of honey is one of the highest of all foods. Raw honey also contains hormones and antimicrobial and antibacterial factors.

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The recipe only makes one batch of 13-14 balls but it can easily be doubled.  Give them a try, they truly are little bites of heaven!

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Serving Size: 1 Ball

Chocolate Cookie Dough Bites

Sweet energy bites that won't ruin your waist line!

15 minPrep Time:

15 minTotal Time:

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup organic almond or peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 2 1/2 scoops Shakeology (Chocolate, Vanilla or Cafe Latte work well)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped almonds
  • 2 TBSP of mini dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in a bowl or bowl of a stand mixer and combine.
  2. Roll mixture into 1-inch balls.
  3. Store in an air tight container for up to a week
  4. (I like to keep mine in the refrigerator)
Recipe Type: Sweet Treats

Notes

Containers= 1 Yellow, 1 tsp

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http://thepotterspantry.com/2016/09/chocolate-cookie-dough-bites/

How to Cook and Freeze Dried Beans

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I know what you are going to say, “canned beans are so much easier!” Well..sort of.  These beans are incredibly easy to do.  You don’t even have to pay attention to them the majority of the time.  Plus, they have significant less sodium and chemicals, the freeze well and the are less expensive.

Pick a day that you’ll be home and let these simmer away on the stove. Cook time will vary depending on size and variety of bean. Black bean tend to take the longest.  I simmered mine for about two and a half hours. White beans only take about an hour but really you cook them to your desired doneness (spellcheck doesn’t like that word but I’m using it anyway).

Some tips before you get started:

1. Don’t mix varieties in one pot as different ones have different cooking times.
2. Use a heavy-bottomed pot  (I used my Le Creuset dutch oven)
3. Be patient – don’t turn up the heat to cook faster or you’ll end up with gross beans.
4. Keep them in their liquid until ready to serve.  Freeze them in freezer safe bags in their liquid and drain only after thawing. This keeps them from shriveling up.
5. Pre-soak your beans!!

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Yield: 10 Cups

How to Cook and Freeze Dried Beans

12 hrPrep Time:

3 hrCook Time:

15 hrTotal Time:

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Ingredients

  • 2 lbs organic beans (black, white, or black-eyed peas, etc)
  • Water
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1½ Tbsp Himalayan Pink Salt

Instructions

  1. Place beans in a large pot or bowl and add enough water to cover 2 inches over the surface (they soak up water like crazy and expand). Pre-soak beans in cold water overnight (10-12 hours). Drain and rinse before cooking.
  2. Place beans in a large dutch oven and add garlic, onion and bay leaves, then add enough water to have 1" water over the surface of your beans.
  3. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer and cook until tender, adding more water as needed to keep them submerged.
  4. For firmer beans cook with the lid off, and for softer/mushier, cook partially covered.
  5. Start checking for doneness after about an hour.
  6. Once they are nearly done, add 1½ Tbsp salt or to taste and continue cooking until at desired firmness (DO NOT DRAIN).
  7. TO FREEZE: cool beans to room temp, then transfer into freezer safe ziploc bags along with enough liquid to keep them wet.
  8. Remove any air from the bags seal well and stack them flat to save space in the freezer.
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http://thepotterspantry.com/2016/07/how-to-cook-and-freeze-dried-beans/

 

 

Loaded Minestrone Soup (Slow Cooker and Stove Top versions)

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This time of year, soup is one of our dinners a couple of times a week.  Especially when the weather is cold and snowy outside.  No that it has been this winter but it is supposed to be a high of 1° this weekend, so this recipe will come in handy.  This minestrone is definitely one of my favorites!  A classic, hearty Italian soup with tomatoes, white beans, fresh vegetables and pasta. You can use Swiss chard or kale instead of spinach if you wish and you can omit the pasta if you don’t want the carbs.  It’s still yummy without it.

One of the best things about this soup is the rind of Parmesan that I like to throw in as it cooks.  It gives the soup a wonderful flavor.  I keep them in my freezer.  If you do not have a rind, simply toss in some fresh grated Parmesan as it cooks.

This can be made in both the slow cooker or on the stove.  Either way turns out great.  Serve with a nice loaf of crusty bread or small sandwiches and you have yourself an easy, delicious meal!

Enjoy!

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Serving Size: 1 1/4 cups

Loaded Minestrone Soup (Slow cooker and stove top versions)

10 minPrep Time:

40 minCook Time:

50 minTotal Time:

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Ingredients

  • 1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, drained, rinsed
  • 4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth (Vegetable for vegetarian)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (28 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
  • Parmesan cheese rind (optional)
  • 1 fresh rosemary sprig
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt and fresh black pepper
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • 2 cups chopped fresh (or frozen defrosted) spinach
  • 2 cups COOKED small pasta such as ditalini
  • extra parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Crock Pot Version:
  2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the carrots, celery, onion, garlic and saute until tender and fragrant, about 15 minutes.
  4. Transfer to the crock pot along with the broth, tomatoes, beans, parmesan cheese rind, salt, pepper, rosemary, basil and parsley,
  5. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
  6. Forty minutes before the soup is done cooking, add zucchini and spinach.
  7. Cover and cook 30 more minutes.
  8. Remove bay leaves, rosemary sprig, parmesan rind and season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  9. Ladle 1-1/4 cups soup into bowls with 1/4 cup pasta
  10. Top with extra parmesan cheese if desired.
  11. Stove Top Version:
  12. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
  13. Add the carrots, celery, onion, garlic and saute until tender and fragrant, about 15 minutes.
  14. Add the broth, tomatoes, beans, parmesan cheese rind, salt and pepper.
  15. Add the rosemary, basil and parsley,
  16. Cover and cook on low 40 minutes.
  17. Add the zucchini and spinach, cover and simmer until the zucchini is tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  18. Remove the bay leaves, rosemary sprig, parmesan rind and season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  19. Ladle 1-1/4 cups soup into bowls with 1/4 cup pasta in each
  20. Top with extra parmesan cheese if desired.

Notes

21 Day Fix: 1G, 1/2 R (beans) 1Y, 1/2 B (if adding cheese)

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http://thepotterspantry.com/2016/02/loaded-minestrone-soup-slow-cooker-and-stove-top-versions/

Shakeology Brownies

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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.  f-858847000871

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!

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Serving Size: 1 brownie

Shakeology Brownies

5 minPrep Time:

25 minCook Time:

30 minTotal Time:

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Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. 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)
  2. In a small microwave-safe bowl or stovetop, melt your nut butter.
  3. In a food processor or blender, combine the bananas, cocoa powder, protein powder and nut butter until very smooth.
  4. Pour the mixture into the greased pan, top with optional chocolate chips.
  5. Bake for around 25 minutes or until cooked through.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before slicing into pieces.
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http://thepotterspantry.com/2016/01/shakeology-brownies/

 

Black Bean & Sweet Potato Baked Taquitos

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 425 *F.
  2. Poke a few holes in your sweet potato, wrap it in a damp paper towel and microwave on high for about 8 minutes. ***
  3. Combine corn, diced onion, black beans, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, cilantro and salsa.
  4. 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.
  5. Add salt, pepper and cream cheese and stir to combine.
  6. Working 3-4 tortillas at a time, wrap corn tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwave on high for 30 seconds.
  7. 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.
  8. Top it off with a layer of cheese and roll the tortilla.
  9. Place on a wire cooling rack and seal with a toothpick, if needed.
  10. Repeat these steps until you have a rack full of taquitos.
  11. Give them one more spray of olive oil and set the rack on the baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.
  12. Bake on the middle rack, at 425 *F, for 15 minutes.
Cuisine: Mexican | Recipe Type: Vegetarian

Notes

***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.

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http://thepotterspantry.com/2016/01/black-bean-sweet-potato-baked-taquitos/

 

 

 

 

Vegetable Pancakes

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I know what you are thinking; “Vegetables in pancakes?”

Yep!

You eat zucchini in breads, carrots in cake, why not combine those to make a yummy healthy breakfast food?  I am one of “those people” who could eat breakfast for every meal of the day.  LOVE IT!!  These are a great way to have your breakfast foods and sneak some veggies in at the same time!

I originally tried this with my Cottage Cheese Pancake recipe but with the zucchini, they didn’t set right and came out way to watery for my liking.  I decided to go with a whole wheat version instead.

My kids and husband actually love most vegetables so my intention is not to hide the vegetables from them, but if you have a child that is picky about veggies sometimes, you gotta do whatcha gotta do, to get the veggies in them!  These are the perfect way!

Serving Size: 3 Pancakes

Vegetable Pancakes

10 minPrep Time:

10 minCook Time:

20 minTotal Time:

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3 beaten eggs or 1/2 cup egg beaters
  • 3 cups shredded veggies*

Instructions

  1. Preheat a griddle over medium heat.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.
  3. In a separate bowl, add the milk to the eggs and whisk to combine.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until incorporated.
  5. Stir in the shredded vegetables.
  6. Using a 1/4 measuring cup, pour the batter into the hot griddle.
  7. Cook for 2-4 minutes and then flip and repeat. (it’s time to flip when bubbles rise to the surface).
  8. Plate and serve with pure maple syrup!

Notes

*You can use a mixture of many different types of vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes, zucchini, butternut squash)

21 Day Fix: 1 Serving = 2 Y, 1 G, 2 tsp (maple syrup)

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http://thepotterspantry.com/2015/10/vegetable-pancakes/

This recipe calls for 3 cups of finely shredded vegetables.  I used half zucchini and half carrots but you could totally substitute sweet potatoes, butternut squash or even steamed chunks of pumpkin!

And you all thought I was done with zucchini because summer is over.  HHAHA!  Never!

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“Skinny” Fettuccine Alfredo

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If you head to the Olive Garden and order a bowl of Fettuccine Alfredo, how many calories do you think you would be consuming?  A whopping 1100 calories for one bowl of pasta.  Add the salad and breadsticks, because you know you ate those too, you are looking at an approximate total of 1400 calories for one meal.  Give or take 140 calories for how many breadsticks you consumed.  One meal!!!!

Now what if I told you, I found a way to lighten up that calorie overload while also keeping all the flavor?  Well, I have!!

Introducing…Skinny Fettuccine Alfredo! 140 calories for the sauce and added to one serving of whole grain pasta, 340 calories for one serving!

You’re welcome.

The husband is a huge alfredo lover.  Anytime we go somewhere and it’s on the menu, that’s what he orders.  Especially seafood alfredo.  Me? I could take it or leave it. I don’t dislike it, but it’s not the first thing I am going to order off the menu.  Unless, someone says you absolutely have to try this.

Gone is the not-so-good for you heavy cream, butter and cream cheese base.  Instead it is made with olive oil, garlic, flour, chicken broth (or Vegetable if you looking to go vegetarian), low fat milk and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.  I actually used unsweetened cashew milk to make mine.  Yep, you read that right!  You don’t taste it at all!  Only 35 calories for the one cup that you will use.

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Even better?  It all comes together in less then 30 minutes!  Paired with a nice salad, this meal can satisfy the pickiest of alfredo eaters without sacrificing their waist line!  I served ours with some fresh steamed broccoli!

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Yield: 4 Servings

Skinny Fettuccine Alfredo

10 minPrep Time:

12 minCook Time:

22 minTotal Time:

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Ingredients

  • 12 ounces fettuccine
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 3 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth (or vegetable broth to make vegetarian)
  • 1 cup any low-fat milk (I used unsweetened cashew milk)
  • 3/4 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg

Instructions

  1. In salted water, cook pasta al dente according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat.
  3. Add garlic and saute one minute, stirring occasionally, until fragrant.
  4. Sprinkle with flour, and stir.
  5. Saute for an additional minute to cook the flour, stirring occasionally.
  6. Slowly add the broth, whisking to combine until smooth.
  7. Whisk in the milk, and bring the mixture to a low simmer.
  8. Let cook for an additional minute until thickened, then stir in Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and nutmeg until the cheese melted.
  9. Reduce heat to medium-low until pasta reaches al dente.
  10. Drain pasta, then immediately add to the saute pan with sauce.
  11. Toss to combine.

Notes

21 Day Fix= 2 Y, 1 B, 1 TSP

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http://thepotterspantry.com/2015/09/skinny-fettuccine-alfredo/

 

 

Gnocchi with Cannellini Beans & Spinach

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This is one of my favorite recipes to make.  It’s warm, inviting and smells delicious!  Especially when made in the summer time when your garden is full of these:

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From my backyard to my skillet.  Can’t get much better than that!  This is a one skillet dinner, that combines diced tomatoes, cannellini beans (white beans), spinach and fresh mozzarella cheese melted over the top!

Start with a large skillet that has a cover.  Add olive oil to a the skillet that has been heating over medium heat.  When the olive oil is heated through add the gnocchi and saute till it is a nice golden color and the gnocchi has plumped up.  I usually use Whole Wheat gnocchi but the store was out that day and I didn’t want to stop at the Italian Specialty store.  Regular or whole wheat is fine.

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Remove the gnocchi from the skillet and add the diced onion.  Let the onion cook for a couple of minutes, then add the garlic and water and cover the skillet to let it all cook till the onion is soft.  Add in the spinach and stir till it starts to wilt, then add in chopped tomatoes, beans, pepper and Italian seasoning and bring to a simmer.

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Add the gnocchi back into the skillet and stir.  Sprinkle the fresh mozzarella over the top, cover and let the mixture cook till the cheese has melted and the mixture is bubbly!  Serve with a nice salad and dinner is done!  Quick, easy and hardly any clean up!  My kind of dinner!

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Yield: 6 Servings

Gnocchi with Cannellini Beans & Spinach

10 minPrep Time:

20 minCook Time:

30 minTotal Time:

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Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 16-ounce package shelf-stable whole wheat gnocchi
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 6 cups chopped baby spinach or baby kale
  • 2 cups roma tomatoes seeded and chopped OR 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes with Italian seasonings
  • 1 1/2 cups cannellini beans soaked per package instructions OR 1 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed well
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 cup fresh shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add gnocchi and cook, stirring often, until plumped and starting to brown, 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Transfer gnocchi to a bowl.
  4. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and onion to the pan and cook, stirring, over medium heat, for 2 minutes.
  5. Stir in garlic and water. Cover and cook until the onion is soft, 4 to 6 minutes.
  6. Add spinach or kale and cook, stirring, until starting to wilt, 1 to 2 minutes.
  7. Stir in tomatoes, beans, It. seasoning and pepper and bring to a simmer.
  8. Stir in the gnocchi and sprinkle with mozzarella.
  9. Cover and cook until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling, about 3 minutes.

Notes

Gnocchi can be found in the pasta aisle.

Approx. Per serving: 320 calories; 7 g fat; 8 mg cholesterol; 55 g carbohydrates; 14 g protein; 6 g fiber; 616 mg sodium; 360 mg potassium.

2 Yellow (Carbs), 1 Green (vegetable), 1 tsp (fat), 1/2 Blue (cheese)

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http://thepotterspantry.com/2015/08/gnocchi-with-cannellini-beans-spinach/

Healthy Mac & Cheese

So I wasn’t going to post this recipe till next week but when I posted it as a sneak peek for what’s to come, I got an overwhelming number of, “we must have this recipe now,” from my accountability groups and personal Facebook friends.  Okay!  Ask and ye shall receive I guess!  Without further ado, I present Healthy Mac & Cheese!!

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Mac & Cheese appears to be a comfort food for A LOT of people.  Don’t get me wrong, I love it too!  Especially Stouffer’s Mac & Cheese.  When its baked and the edges get all crusty and crunchy, (drool) it’s extremely hard to resist.  BUT…let’s be honest.  Even if the majority of us could eat it everyday, our bodies would hate us.  I don’t even want to think about the number of burpees we would have to do to burn a serving off.  I don’t mind burpees but there is a limit to my tolerance for them.  I am most sure that tolerance would be tested and I would fail miserably.  Best to stick with the burpee friendly version of Mac & Cheese.

While it still has some cheese in it, (how can it be called Mac & Cheese if it didn’t?!?) the main ingredient is none other than; BUTTERNUT SQUASH! Gone is the loads of butter, flour and whole milk or cream.  On the 21 Day Fix, butternut squash is a vegetable.  While it is one of starchier (yes, I know, not a word) vegetables, it is still a vegetable.  A vegetable that when blended leaves you with a thick but smooth, creamy texture.  Combine that with sweet caramelized onions, zesty garlic and sharp cheddar and you get a robust, healthy comfort food that will leave your mac & cheese craving sated and your thighs and abs relieved!  You’ll thank me later!

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Yield: 4 Servings

Healthy Mac & Cheese

10 minPrep Time:

30 minCook Time:

40 minTotal Time:

Save RecipeSave Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2.5 cups whole grain elbow macaroni, uncooked
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small butternut squash (4-5 cups cubed)
  • 5 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth if vegetarian
  • 2/3 cup milk (I used unsweetened almond but whatever you have is fine)
  • 1 oz light cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese - shredded
  • parsley for topping
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive in a skillet over low heat. When heated through, add onions and let caramelize* for about 30 minutes.
  2. Cook macaroni according to directions making sure to salt the water.
  3. Meanwhile, remove the skin and the seeds from the squash.
  4. Cut the flesh into small cubes.
  5. Bring the broth to a rolling boil and add the squash, cooking for 5 minutes or until fork tender. Drain, reserving ½ cup broth, and transfer squash to the blender.
  6. Add the minced garlic to the onions and cook for 1 more minute.
  7. Add the onions and garlic, milk, cream cheese, salt, and reserved broth to the blender with the squash and puree until smooth and creamy. (yields about 4 cups of sauce)
  8. Pour the sauce over the noodles and add the shredded cheese, stirring to melt.
  9. Add water or milk to adjust consistency as needed.
  10. Serve with parsley, salt, and pepper to taste.

Notes

*Caramelize means to cook something low and slowly until it becomes brown and sweet

If you are not a cheddar person, feel free to use whichever kind of cheese you prefer.

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http://thepotterspantry.com/2015/08/healthy-mac-cheese/

 

Portobello Pesto Pizzas

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So, I love pizza. LOVE IT. Especially NY style. This is a new found love for me.  I HATED pizza as a kid.  I know, I know…insert every single comment regarding that, I have ever received {here}.  But pizza is not so great for you. Especially when your kids want you to make/order it pretty much every single day. FORTUNATELY, portobello mushrooms make pretty delicious substitutes for crust. Which means you can make mushroom pizza and load it up with cheese guilt-free…right?

So, are you having a carving for pizza but don’t want all the carbs?  Then you have to try these Pesto Portobello Pizzas!  Fresh homemade basil pesto, garden ripe tomatoes with garlic and mozzarella all over a savory grilled portobello mushroom.  OMG!!  These grilled portobellos make for the perfect summer outdoor meal. It stands alone as vegetarian meal if you serve it with fresh fruit or a garden salad!

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Serving Size: 1 Mushroom Cap

Portobello Pesto Pizzas

10 minPrep Time:

15 minCook Time:

25 minTotal Time:

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Ingredients

  • For the basil pesto:
  • 2 tablespoons of pine nuts
  • 2 cups loosely packed basil leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1/2 small avocado
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • For the portobello pesto pizza:
  • 4 portobello mushrooms
  • 2 small tomatoes, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 ounces shredded mozzarella

Instructions

  1. Preheat an indoor or outdoor grill on high.
  2. In a food processor, combine pine nuts, basil, garlic and avocado.
  3. Pulse until ingredients are broken up.
  4. Drizzle in the olive oil, while keeping the food processor on, until you get a sauce-like consistency.
  5. In a small bowl, combine diced tomatoes, garlic and 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil. Set aside.
  6. Remove stems from portobellos.
  7. Brush the mushrooms with the remaining olive oil on both sides.
  8. Place the mushrooms cap side down on the grill.
  9. Grill till the mushrooms are softened, turning once (approx 5 minutes on each side).
  10. Remove the mushrooms from the grill and place on a baking sheet.
  11. Spoon approximately 1/4 cup of basil pesto onto each mushroom.
  12. Top with the tomato mixture and sprinkle with the cheese.
  13. Broil the mushrooms until the cheese has melted. Watch carefully!
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http://thepotterspantry.com/2015/08/portobello-pesto-pizzas/