Thursday, July 18, 2013

Chocolate Almond Protein Bars

Get to the kitchen RIGHT NOW and make these amazing snack bars.  They are very filling healthy snack, I even enjoy them as dessert.  Lately I have been having one every afternoon for my snack!  Let me know if you try them and what you think.  I got this recipe from a friend who is very health concious. 

 Yum, look at that layer of chocolate
These are almost as good as peanut butter bars!
Chocolate Almond Protein Bars
1 cup almond flour
1 cup dry roasted almonds (I used unsalted)
1/2 cup flax meal
1/2 cup shredded coconut (I used unsweetened)
3 scoops protein powder (I used 2 scoops chocolate, 1 scoop vanilla)
1 small packet stevia
2 T honey
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted slightly
1 tsp vanilla
1-2 cups dark chocolate chips (for the top of the bars)

Place everything except the chocolate chips in food processor.  Pulse until slightly ground (depends on how chunky you want the almonds).  Press into an 8x8 pan lined with parchment paper.  Place in refrigerator.  Melt chocolate chips according to package directions (I did mine in the microwave because it is so fast).  Pour chocolate over bars and put back in fridge about an hr.  Cut into bars and store in fridge (if chocolate is too hard to cut let it sit on the counter for 10 minutes).
Mine made about 10 bars.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Workout Wednesday

Here it goes!  I changed up my schedule this week because we are working near a different YMCA.  I also plan to get a haircut Thursday so I won't get to go to Body Sculpting.  Anyways here is the schedule for the week:

Monday:  Body Pump
Tuesday:  Walk on the Trail for 40 minutes
Wednesday:  Cardio Circuit (found this on pinterest, looks like fun)
Quick Core and Cardio Circuit 
Thursday:  Walk on the Trail
Friday:  Body Pump or Weight Lifting
Saturday:  Walking on Trail
Sunday:  Off or walk

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

What I Ate Tuesday

I am so excited about a new breakfast recipe I really like.  I have seen it on a couple blogs and have been wanting to try it for a while.  It is hard for me to deviate from my normal breakfast smoothie, but I will be throwing this in the mix often!  Cliff said, I have to admit I really liked it (he can be a little hesitant with my new healthy recipes)!  On to my day of eating

 You stir the ingredients until they form crumbles
I used almond butter instead of sunflower butter.  Topped it with bananas and mini chocolate chips.  Poured whole milk over it-YUM

 Moroccan Inspried Quinoa Salad
 I got this recipe from Kath Eats and followed it exactly.  Only thing I do different is add the spinach each time I serve it because I didn't want it to get soggy after sitting in the fridge combined.  I love this for lunches, it is a great cold lunch.

 Cara Cara Orange, which I had at lunch and a smoothie with trail mix in it for a snack

Leftover Chicken Burgers

 Rice cake with peanut butter and nutella with mini chips, Plus a small glass of milk

I had a busy day.  Work went good and I am exausted.  Hope you all had a great day!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Menu Monday

This day flew by.  I am about to take a shower and go to bed early.  I have some great meals planned for the week.  I will actually start with Sunday

Sunday:  BBQ Chicken Burgers with Baked Zucchini Fries
Monday:  Steak Potato Nachos
Tuesday:  BBQ Chicken Burgers with Sauteed Squash
Wednesday:  Goat Meat Tacos with Homemade Refried Beans
Thursday:  Leftovers
Friday:  Free

I got the Burger Recipe from Iowa Girl Eats (very good burgers) and made the following modifications:
  • Chicken instead of Turkey (what I had on hand)
  • Add 1 egg
  • Use less BBQ sauce (about 2 Tbsp)
  • Splash Worchestershire
  • Quick Oats instead of bread crumbs
  • 3 strips of bacon instead of 6
 Even good without a bun!
 We did them on our panani press because we weren't sure how good they would hold together on the grill.  They were fine so next time we will probably make them on the grill.  Also, I think it helps if you pat them out a few hrs ahead of time.
Our Steak Potato Nachos turned out good tonight.  I did homemade red enchilada sauce.

We went for a bike ride Sunday after church.  It was nice (it is always quite the task loading out bikes up)     
 Well, I think that is it for Menu Monday.  Hope you get some good ideas from it and let me know if you have any questions.  Have a great week, see you tomorrow for What I Ate Tuesday, I have a new breakfast recipe coming.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Encouragement Thursday

From time to time I struggle with anxiety.  This week out of nowhere, I got anxiety, about nothing in particular.  Sometimes when I get this anxiety, I am scared that God is not with me or something is wrong with me to make me feel like this.  Today I was reading my Jesus Calling Devotional and it spoke directly to this anxiety.  Hope it encourages you like it did me.  Here is a little piece of the devotional.  Click here if you would like to see the whole thing.

April 18 Jesus Calling
Just as the Isrealites could not store up manna for the future but had to gather it daily, so it is with My Peace.  The day-by-day collecting of manna kept My people aware of their dependence on Me.  Similarly, I give you sufficient Peace for the present, when you come to me by prayer and petition with thanksgiving.  If I gave you my permanent Peace, independent of My Presence, you might fall into the trap of self-sufficincy.  May that never be!....Approach My throne of grace with bold confidence, receiving My Peace with a thankful heart.  

Thank you Jesus for this encouraging word to me today. 

Scripture reference:  
Exodus 16:14-20
Philippians 4:6-7, 19
Hebrews 4:16

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Workout Wednesday

I am not sure how I am going to approach Workout Wednesday.  I think I will start by writing my workout plans for the week.  Over time I also plan to write about different go-to workouts that I enjoy.  There are so many great workout plans out there.  I typically do the same routine each week.  It varies depending on when I get off work.  Here is what it is looking like for me this week.

Monday:  50 minute walk on trail
Tuesday:  Weight Loss Yoga (I am not trying to lose weight but that is what the Biggest Loser Yoga DVD is called and I really like it)
Wednesday:  Body Combat at the YMCA or walk on the trail
Thursday:  Body Sculpting at YMCA (strength training class)
Friday:  Walk hopefully (may not have time)
Saturday:  Walk
Sunday:  Walk

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

What I Ate Tuesday

Are you ready for my exciting day of eats?

Strawberry Banana Smoothie with Oats
(1/2 cup plain greek yogurt, 1/2 cup milk, 3 ice cubes, 1/2 frozen banana, 3 or 4 frozen strawberries, sprinkle cinnamon and blend.  Add 1/3 cup uncooked oats at the end, stir up and enjoy.  The longer it sits the better the oats taste)
Green Tea to go with it
 This is at lunch after I had added in my spinach, tomato and cheese
 This is the night before
Quinoa Salad from Breanna (she uses pasta but I use quinoa, both are awesome)
It turned out really good and the recipe follows

Strawberries and 1/2 of a mango (sorry no pic, I ate it on the run)
Baby Carrots dipped in peanut butter (also no pic)

 Had a little corn tortilla with butter and jelly on the side
 This is the tricky part, I had to flip this, then add toppings
 Sauteed cauliflower, bell pepper and sausage
 Add cheese and fold over.  Then I put my corn tortilla in the skillet
(2 eggs, ground sausage, cauliflower, bell pepper and cheese)

Snack:  Mixed nuts with dark chocolate chips (walnuts, dry roasted peanuts, slivered almonds, tiny amount of dried cranberries and dark chocolate chips.

Quinoa Salad
1 cup dry quinoa, cooked according to directions (makes 3 cups cooked)
1/2 package halved pepperonis
1/2 bell pepper, diced (you could use olives instead, that is how Breanna makes it)
3/4 cup Italian dressing
Cherry tomatoes
1/2 pound mozzarella, cubed
Drizzle olive oil

Combine all ingredients together and refrigerate.  Serve over spinach.  I made a few modifications to this for my lunch because I didn't have enough pepperoni (so I just used less) and I only had a roma tomato and shredded mozzerella so I decided to add them each time I eat it.
I added the cheese, fresh cut tomato and spinach at lunch when I ate it.  Delish

Monday, April 15, 2013

Menu Monday

Happy Monday!  I was at a Women't Retreat with our church all weekend.  It was a very good experience.  I did not have time to prep food this weekend so I am doing this menu on the fly, trying to use up all my groceries.  Tonight I made a yeast free Mexican Pizza.  The crust was super easy and I would definately make it again.  I want to try it with normal pizza toppings (but I needed to use up my refried beans).  Anyways, here is the menu for the week:
Monday:  Mexican Pizza
Tuesday:  Omelets with Sausage, bell pepper, cauliflower (weird but good) and cheese
Wednesday:  Sausage, Beans and Rice
Thursday:  Leftovers
Friday:  Dinner with Kourt and Keith
Saturday:  Open
Sunday:  Steak Potato Nachos

 Before baking
Topped with refried beans, bell pepper and spinach
 After it is baked
 With a little creamy salsa-yum!

Mexican Pizza
Yeast Free Crust for 1:
1/4 cup oat flour
3 Tbsp. almond meal
1 Tbsp. rice flour
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. italian seasoning
1 egg
1 tsp. olive oil, plus a little on pan
1/2 cup refried beans (I added cumin and chili powder to mine)
1/4 to 1/3 cup cheese
bell pepper

Preheat oven to 350 (I used toaster oven).  Line your pan with with nonstick foil and a little oil.  Mix all ingredients in a bowl and then spread onto your pan and shape into a circle.  It will be a little sticky, you can just put some rice flour on your fingers.  Bake for 10 minutes.  When it comes out of the oven top with refried beans, cheese, bell peppers and spinach (feel free to vary your toppings).  Bake for 15 more minutes or until the cheese starts to bubble.  Enjoy.
I dipped mine in yogurt salsa (greek yogurt mixed with salsa, it is like sour cream salsa)

"If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.  I will be found by you," declares the Lord.
Jeremeiah 29: 13-14a

Hope you are all off to a great week.  See you tomorrow for What I Ate Tuesday.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Blog Structure

As you may know, I have not blogged consistenly in a long time.  I really miss it but have found it difficult to get back in the groove because I don't know where to start.  After some thought I think structure would motivate me to blog more often!
Menu Monday
What I Ate Tuesday
Workout Wednesday
Encouragement Thursday
Free Friday
I plan to have a least one new recipe a week, as well as workouts, Scripture, Faux Finishing and what I typically eat in a day.  It should be a fun change.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.  In going with the theme of Free Friday, how bout some pictures from our Small Group Camping Trip.  Enjoy.
 Me and my Hubby
 Our fearless leader Kyle
 He made it
 We did some intense hiking
 Less intense sleeping, yes that is an air mattress and it took up our whole tent.
Kim and Aaron on our hike

 Good food
 Amber, Shaun and Gig'em
 Drinking coffee-coffee is always better when you are camping
Didn't mean to take this but thought the tree looked cool.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Where to Start

Let me just say I have a lot of pictures in my camera because I have not blogged in a long time.  I have still been cooking and trying lots of new recipes.  Since my last post  my eating habits have changed a lot.  I have been trying to figure out what foods cause my stomach problems (also known as Irritable Bowel Syndrome). It has been a rough road but I am starting to feel a lot better.  After a lot of reading and a consultation with an alternative medicine clinic, I have come to the conclusion that yeast is my problem (too much yeast in the gut creates a lot of digestive distress.  This creates a MAJOR change in my typical way of eating.  I have found this link very helpful in knowing how to reduce yeast in my diet.  I have been eating yeasty foods many times a day for a long time, so it makes sense that my stomach was in pain 80% of the time.  These changes have kept me plenty busy in the kitchen trying to find new recipes.  Thankfully, there are a lot of great blogs and recipes out there that make this adjustment a little easier.  Hopefully my blog can help people in the same situation.  What better time to write about a great breakfast option for someone avoiding yeast.  I think I shall call it Hearty Yeast Free English Muffin.  The recipe I found is for a single serve microwave english muffin, but I like to double it and bake it in my toaster oven (I also changed it quite a bit because I didn't want as much almond meal in mine).  The results were good and I have made them 2 times in the last week.
  This morning I had an egg and cheese sandwich.  I made sausage egg and cheese over the weekend and it was even better.

Hearty Yeast Free English Muffin (for 2)
3 T. almond meal
3 T. oat flour
2 T. rice flour
3 T. flax
1 tsp. baking powder
1 T. butter, melted
2 large eggs

Spray 2 ramekins with non-stick spray and preheat your toaster oven to 350 (or oven or you you can microwave).  In a bowl mix your dry ingredients.  Add your eggs and butter and stir until combined.  Scoop into ramekins (it is pretty thick batter) and bake for 15-20 minutes.  If you want to microwave it, it should take about 60-90 according to recipe.  Use a knife to loosen the muffin from the edges and let cool.  While that is cooking feel free to fry and egg or some breakfast meat make your breakfast sandwich.  I'm sure it would be good toasted with peanut butter and bananas or jelly.  
*My ramekens are about 3 inchs.  This morning I used my 4 in. glass pyrex storage container and I liked the size of it better.  Either is fine.  Also, I'm sure you could play around with the flours and flax as long as you keep the dry measurements the same. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Lazy Dinner

This is what you make when you have had a tiring workweek and you are having a night in on Friday-TGIF!!!!  Cliff had already eaten at a work party so I decided to make a simple, but delicious bean quesidilla.  It was mighty tasty.
 A little oil in the skillet
 Refried beans and cheese inside the tortilla, melted to perfection
 A little sour cream salsa (just add a little sour cream to salsa) to dip.  Heat till both sides look brown and toasty.  I cooked mine over medium heat

Happy Friday Everyone

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Busy In The Kitchen

I have been spending a lot of time in the kitchen lately.  It takes a lot of time to prep for lunches and dinners each week-AND keep it clean with all the cooking.  Here is an example my prepping in the kitchen (I try to do most of my prepping Sunday evenings for the work week, it really helps:)
 Washed apples, ready to make applesauce, crock-pot baked potatoes, steamed mixed veggies, the broth ready to make pinto beans.
Though it creates a big mess, it is so nice to get most of my stuff ready before the work week starts.  I like to make my menu and then wash and prep my veggies, thaw my meat and make snacks/desserts/breads.  I think it is a lot of fun.  Anyways, on to posting a delicious recipe.  I know it is a little late in the game to be posting apple recipes, but there are a lot of good apples at the store right now, so take advantage of it.  After Christmas, we had so many Red Delicious apples from gift baskets and such.  I don't really like the texture of Red Delicious so I decided to make applesauce with them (because they have good flavor).  Homemade applesauce is very simple to make, it just takes a while to peel and chop the apples. 
 After you peel and chop your apples, just put them in a pot on medium heat with 1/2 to 1 cup of apple juice or apple cider and cinnamon.  Let them cook down for about 30 minutes.  I used an emersion blender to make it smooth, you could use a normal blender, leave it chunky, or cut the apples smaller and let them cook longer.
 I like to eat it warm!  It is good with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream...or just plain!

Simple Homemade Applesauce
3 lbs Red Delicious apples (could use any variety)
1 cup apple juice or cider
1 tsp cinnamon (could vary depending on preference)

Wash, peel and chop your apples.  In a large saucepan heat apples, juice and cinnamon over medium heat for about 30 minutes.  Blend or leave chunky.  Enjoy

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

I am totally hooked on Hummus.  I have been having it every day in my lunches for work (because I have to take cold lunches).  I am not sick of it yet.  It can get kind of pricy to buy at the store so I figured it was high time I learn to make it myself!  I finally gave in and bought tahini (ground sesame seeds found in peanut butter isle) and I am glad I did.  I am loving the homemade version even more than the store bought.  It is a lot cheaper to make your own.  If you like hummus, you need to try this recipe.

I love it with crackers and veggies.
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
3 tablespoons juice from 1 to 2 lemons
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup tahini, stirred well
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 (14-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or use 3/4 cup dried chickpeas, cooked ahead of time and drained)
1/4 of a red bell pepper chopped, and skilleted until soft and browned
1 small garlic clove, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1/2 teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch cayenne
Combine lemon juice and water in small bowl or measuring cup. Whisk together tahini and 2 tablespoons oil in second small bowl or measuring cup.
Process chickpeas, bell pepper, garlic, salt, cumin, and cayenne in food processor until almost fully ground, about 15 seconds. Scrape down bowl with rubber spatula. With machine running, add lemon juice-water mixture in steady stream through feed tube. Scrape down bowl and continue to process for 1 minute. With machine running, add oil-tahini mixture in steady stream through feed tube; continue to process until hummus is smooth and creamy, about 15 seconds, scraping down bowl as needed.
 *This stays good for about 5 days in the refrigerator.  Enjoy on sandwiches or in wraps, take to a party with pita chips.  For my lunches I take cut up veggies (celery, carrots, baby tomatos, bell peppers) and crackers.  It is awesome to get my veggies servings in at lunchtime:)  Enjoy
Modified slightly from Mels Kitchen Cafe

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Spinach Artichoke Dip Pizza

Pizza is one of our favorite foods.  We have been really inventive with pizza lately:  bbq chicken pizza, breakfast pizza, spinach artichoke dip pizza.  The Spinach Artichoke Pizza is not all that healthy, but I made a few changes to help us out a little.  I got the idea online and used a recipe for Spinach Artichoke Dip from my Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook.  It was a very fast weeknight meal for us.  I used a store bought dough (had one left over from our breakfast pizza, the pack comes with two).  All I did was make the dip, top the crust, then added some cheese and chicken.  I really liked it!
 Spinach Artichoke Dip
 Layer dip, extra spinach, mozz cheese and shredded chicken
  Dinner was done in 30 minutes flat!
Spinach Artichoke Dip Pizza
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup greek yogurt
1/4 cup mayo (I like the olive oil mayo, might also be good with cream cheese here)
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
Dash white pepper (or normal pepper)
1/2 can (14-oz) drained artichoke hearts, coasly chopped
1 cup spinach, coasly chopped (will use a little more next time)
1 Tbsp. dried onion flakes
For Pizza: 
1 pizza crust, 12in (pre-made or homemade)
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded chicken (more or less)
Italian seasoning over the top

Pre-heat oven to 400.  Top pizza crust with Dip (use all of it, it is the perfect amount).  Top with cheese and shredded chicken (I also put a little extra spinach, but next time I will just put the spinach right in the dip).  Sprinkle with Italian Seasoning and bake for 10 minutes or until cheese starts to bubble.  Cut into 6 slices.  Enjoy

Dip recipe modified from:  Better Homes and Gardens

Tomato Soup and Salad

I am so excited to tell you I have an excellent Tomato Soup recipe now.  I always figured tomato soup was too difficult to make homemade (tried it once and it wasn't great).  I came across this simple recipe in my Taste of Homes Magazine.  I made it for friends and we really enjoyed it.  It tastes great leftover too.  It is really cheap to make, I don't know if I can go back to the canned tomato soup after having this recipe!
 Cozy Sunday evening meal
 It is good with a little dried basil on top

I made and awesome salad:  spinach, grilled chicken, bell peppers, carmelized onions, tomatoes, croutons, and avocado.  Drizzle with BBQ Ranch and you are set!
Best Tomato Soup (Serves 6-7)
2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes with basil, oregano and garlic, undrained
3 Tbsp. tomato paste
1/4 cup butter 
1/2 cup finely chopped onion 
2 garlic cloves, minced 
1/3 cup all-purpose flour 
1 carton (48 ounces) chicken broth 
1/2-1 cup milk (if you want it a little creamy)

Place tomatoes with juices in a blender; cover and process until pureed. In a large saucepan, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook and stir until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.
Remove from the heat; stir in flour until smooth. Cook for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in broth. Add pureed tomatoes; bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes to allow flavors to blend. If desired, sprinkle with cheese. Yield: 2 quarts. 
Slightly modifed from Taste of Homes Magazine (have to have account to see recipe, but can create one easily).
*There are a lot of cool topping ideas with this recipe:  popcorn, tater tots, baked tortillas, gold fish, grilled cheese, pretzels, pasta, pepperonis, cheese slices...they had it as a kid-friendly recipe and the kids could have add-ins for their soup, I thought it was cute.  I served mine with toasted sandwiches and cheesy tortillas (when we had company).