Apple Pie Protein Shake

If there’s one dessert I never turn down, it’s pie. I’ll take pie over cake any day, hands down, and I don’t think I’ve ever met a pie I didn’t like! I would probably eat it every day…if only it had no calories and gave me a six pack (I can say from experience, neither of those are true. Sadly.) So I decided to make apple pie in shake form, which turned out to be almost as delicious! I added protein powder to make it the perfect post-workout snack. It tasted like a splurge, but without all the fat and sugar of real pie – I think I’ll save that for special occasions and enjoy these in the meantime!

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Apple Pie Protein Shake

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 apple, sliced into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used soy)
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • Stevia or other sweetener, to taste
  • Ice

Directions:

1.) In a blender, add ice and the rest of the ingredients. Blend to desired consistency. Add stevia/sweetener to taste. Top with more cinnamon and enjoy!

Nutrition Info (Per serving, from My Fitness Pal):

Calories 224
Fat 3 g (1 g saturated)
Fiber 7 g
Carbs 28 g
Sugars 16 g
Protein 23 g

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Sausage and Sweet Potato with Peppers and Onions

I will start off by saying this is the first time I’ve cooked sweet potato. Which is probably surprising, because everyone loves it and it’s good for you and as a future dietitian I should certainly be eating some sweet potato. However, I’ve always hated things that are sweet but should be salty, i.e. sweet potato fries, kettle corn. Therefore I tried hating sweet potato for awhile, but recently became more open to sweet potato fries (with salt and ketchup, of course). Since fries are not remotely healthy, and regular potatoes are not paleo, I decided I needed to try sweet potatoes in another dish. I found this recipe on Pinterest and tweaked it a bit; the result was DELICIOUS. I am now on the sweet potato train. It was awesome with the sausage, peppers, and onions, since it added some sweetness. I used mild Italian sausage, but my boyfriend said the sweet potato would have paired better with spicy sausage…I’m also not super adventurous with spice, but I made a bold move with the sweet potato and it worked, so who knows! Maybe I’ll start eating everything with ghost peppers someday (probably not). Anyways, enjoy this easy and yummy recipe!

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Sausage and Sweet Potato with Peppers and Onions

Adapted from: Infertility Thou Art A Heartless B!&@#

Ingredients:

  • 1.25 lbs. Italian sausage, ground (or take links out of the casing and crumble)
  • 3 sweet potatoes (I got 2 large ones and a small one)
  • Chopped peppers and onions (I use frozen, so however much you would like)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Crushed red pepper (optional)

Directions:

1.) Brown the sausage on a skillet with a little olive oil; set aside in a bowl.

2.) Meanwhile, peel and dice the sweet potatoes.

3.) Using same skillet, heat olive oil on medium heat and cook peppers and onions until slightly soft. Then add sweet potato, stir everything together, and cover skillet with foil. Lower heat to medium low (about 4) and cook for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sweet potatoes are soft.

4.) Mix sausage in, add salt and pepper (to taste) and crushed red pepper (optional). Let cook for about 2 minutes. Serve and enjoy! (I garnished with parsley from our garden, but you don’t need that).

Super Easy Paleo Frittatas

I normally live on a breakfast of toast with banana and peanut butter, or cereal, or a breakfast sandwich. None of which are Paleo! So I needed to find a new breakfast idea that I could also eat on the go, because I always eat in my car on the way to work (oops #imalwaysonthego). Frittatas seemed perfect, and I knew if I made them in my Pampered Chef brownie pan they would be small enough to be portable. These can easily be made with non-Paleo ingredients (cheese…) but there are also tons of Paleo veggie and meat options too. Let me know what ingredients you use!

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Super Easy Frittatas

  • Servings: 12 mini frittatas
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 12 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk (I use unsweetened almond for Paleo)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Spinach and tomatoes (or any ingredients you like!)

1.) Preheat oven to 375 F. Whip up eggs in a bowl with milk.

2.) Heat olive oil over medium heat and add any ingredients you would like until cooked. I wilted a small bag of spinach and added sliced Roma tomatoes and Italian seasoning. I want to try broccoli and sausage, or bacon, peppers and onions, or…so many options!

3.) Add cooked ingredients to the bowl of eggs. Mix together and pour into oiled (I used olive oil on a paper towel) muffin/brownie tin or baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes or until egg is firm.

**When they first came out of the oven, they were all puffed up over the top of the brownie wells (you can see it in the top picture). But by the time they cooled they had sunk back down. I bagged 6 servings of 2 frittatas and have been grabbing a bag each morning for breakfast; I heat them for 1 minute and they’re delicious!

Georgia Roadtrip, Grad School, and Eating Like a Caveman

Hey everyone! So it’s hump day and I have a had a busy weekend and week so far, from my roadtrip to Georgia to adapting to Paleo (two days in and going strong). Here are a few pictures from my weekend; my friend Nykita was a beautiful bride and we had a great time seeing her and visiting Atlanta. It was short lived (and a longggg ride) but a fun roadtrip!

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Such a beautiful bride!

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Pre-wedding selfie!

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The trip would not have been complete without some Southern ribs and a Fat Tire…

…or possibly the largest peach in the world?

My sister is a manager at Dillards in SC…had to take a pic!

I also started grad school yesterday! I am only taking 2 classes since I work full-time, but I am still excited to get started. I am taking Experimental Study of Foods and Management of Food and Nutrition Services, both of which will come in handy as a dietitian (and just in the kitchen)!

Yesterday also marked day 1 of Paleo, which has been going quite well. I made frittatas for breakfast (recipe in the next post), Paleo-ized my salad for lunch, and had chicken skewers with broccoli for dinner at the bar. Tonight I am making sausage and sweet potatoes with peppers and onions!

Made my usual salad of spring mix, tomatoes, green peppers, cucumbers, and avocado while swapping walnuts and bacon for my usual feta and croutons. Was delicious with balsamic and olive oil!

Thanks for reading 🙂

Lightened-up Italian: Spaghetti Squash Sausage Lasagna!

So we all know I love Italian food. I’ve been eating cheesy, saucy deliciousness probably since birth (when I was 2 my favorite food was spaghetti). Now that I am trying to make healthy versions of my Italian favorites, my go-to has been spaghetti squash. I had yet to try a “lasagna”, so when I saw this recipe I knew I had to make it (plus the picture was mouthwatering!) Last week I had picked up two hefty spaghetti squashes at the local farm, so last night I got to work and whipped this up! I tweaked the recipe a bit, because my squash were pretty big, and I made it as a casserole rather than in the little boats (which are much cuter, but the two squashes were too big).  I also added diced tomato because I had a bunch of fresh tomatoes! I am not a huge fan of ricotta, so I didn’t add a ton, but feel free to add more if you would like!

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Spaghetti Squash Sausage Lasagna

Adapted from: Skinnytaste

Ingredients:

  • 2 large spaghetti squash (I actually only used the “spaghetti” from 1.5 of the squashes and froze the last half – it made a ton!)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Italian seasoning, to taste
  • 1 tbsp basil (I used 3 of the Trader Joe’s frozen cubes)
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (I used part skim)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 14 oz (4 links) Italian turkey sausage
  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes (or any pasta/marinara sauce!)

Directions:


1.) Preheat oven to 400ºF. Poke a hole in the side of the squash and heat for 1 minute in the microwave (I find that this softens it a bit before cutting). Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds and membrane. Season lightly with salt and black pepper; bake about 45 minutes (or longer if needed) on a baking sheet, cut side down.

2.) While the squash is cooking, 
heat oil and add onions and garlic in a large sauté pan on medium-low for about 3 to 4 minutes, until soft. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up into smaller pieces until browned and cooked through.

3.) When sausage is cooked, add the diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, and basil, then cover, reducing heat to low. Simmer 20 to 30 minutes.

4.) 
When spaghetti squash is cooked (it will feel soft when you poke it with a knife/fork), let it cool for about 10 minutes, keeping the oven on.

5.) In a small bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, and Italian seasoning.

6.) When the spaghetti squash is cool enough to handle, use a fork to remove flesh, which will come out in spaghetti looking strands. Drain the squash on paper towels to soak up any excess liquid (I line a colander with paper towels), then toss with half of the sauce in a 9 x 13 baking dish.

7.) Top with remaining sauce, ricotta cheese mixture, and  mozzarella cheese, then bake for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted. Then cut into 8 squares and enjoy!

I was recently given a large basket of fresh veggies (thanks to my friend Gary and Harvey’s Farm!) so I used some of the tomatoes in this sauce. I also had big ambitions to cook another Skinnytaste recipe (Eggplant Rollatini!) last night, since there was some eggplant in the basket and I had never cooked it before. However, I didn’t realize quite how long it would take me to make the eggplant dish, since I was already using the oven for the squash; basically I was just trying to be a beast in the kitchen and failed.

I had cut the eggplant into strips, salted it (to remove moisture/bitterness), and baked it, but that was as far as I got since the parchment paper under the eggplant tried to set itself on fire in the stove (while the lasagna was in there of course).  I pulled the eggplant out of the oven, fuming and running around trying to do 20 things at once, until my boyfriend convinced me to calm myself and just sit down and watch TV. He also helped me do dishes and finish the squash lasagna (bless his soul for dealing with me in the kitchen!) So in the end, I froze the cooked eggplant, hoping I can come back and finish the rollatini at another time, and successfully made the squash lasagna. Note to self: don’t try to make multiple complicated dishes at once! However, later this week I plan to try at least one zucchini/summer squash “spiralized noodle” recipe – stay tuned!

Crock Pot Fiesta Chicken Recipe

I think I may have already expressed this, but I think the crock pot is one of the greatest inventions in the world. It makes life so much easier; I love being able to throw a bunch of stuff in it, go to work, and come home to a hot, ready-to-eat meal. I have also made it clear that I reallllly love Mexican food. So when I mix the crock pot with a Mexican recipe…it’s a great day. Here is one of the easiest, but also most versatile, crock pot recipes that I have made multiple times and it’s always delicious. My sister made a similar chicken dish in Myrtle and it inspired me to break out this recipe again. Let me know how you like it!

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Crock Pot Fiesta Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound chicken breasts/tenderloins, frozen or raw
  • 16 ounces salsa
  • 1 can black beans (I used reduced sodium)
  • 1-2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 packet taco seasoning

Directions:

1.) Throw all of the ingredients into a crock pot, mix together, and cook on low for 8-10 hours, or until chicken is done. The chicken pieces can then be kept whole or shredded, and served with brown rice, in whole wheat tortillas, or simply eaten as is (a nice low-carb option). Endless possibilities!

Buffalo Chicken Flatbread “Panini”

Hello everyone! I had another busy weekend; I went to the cape with friends and my boyfriend, then to the Zac Brown Band concert at Fenway! I can’t believe tomorrow will be July. Time is flying!

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Wallpaper at my hotel on the cape…need this in my future home!

Last week was pretty busy, so I needed something quick and easy to make for dinner. I bought these flatbreads at Wal-Mart and they made the perfect quick dinner! You can make pizzas, paninis, sandwiches…so many options!

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I decided to make buffalo chicken paninis with them…I cooked some chicken breasts, shredded them, and threw it in a flatbread with buffalo sauce, soy cheese and reduced fat blue cheese crumbles. Grilled them in my quesadilla maker (you could also use the stove top or a George Foreman grill) and they were ready! I made a side of Ranch dipping sauce, which was just plain Greek yogurt with ranch dip mix and dill flakes. Voila!

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