Monday, September 29, 2014

Crockpot Peach Salsa Chicken and Vegetables

Happy Crockpot Monday! It has been a glorious Monday for so many reasons, but among my top reasons are I figured out statistics (!!!!!!), the weather was beyond gorgeous and my class got out early because of said gorgeous weather. All in all a fantastic day!

With the summer like weather I saw fit to create a summery crockpot meal. This is definitely among my favorite crockpot recipes. It was so full of flavor and really what's not to love about peach salsa?

  • 3 or 4 chicken breasts
  • 3/4 of a 16 oz jar of peach salsa, or salsa of choice
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 cup carrots, sliced
  • 1 yellow squash, sliced
  • 1/2 tablespoon taco seasoning 
  • 1/2 cup water

Place chicken breasts at the bottom of a lined crockpot. Sprinkle with taco seasoning.

Layer in onions, carrots and yellow squash. 

Pour peach salsa on top of vegetables.

Finally, pour 1/2 cup of water into crockpot. 

Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Healthy Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Pie Pancakes

Does statistics stress anyone else out? I have an exam in stats this week and have been majorly stressing about it, especially since my professor absolutely stinks. 

Anyway this weekend I had to drive home from school for a doctor appointment. Between the doctor appointment, getting lots of blood taken (per usual by now) and studying for stats I really did not get a break. I drove back to school early this morning, grabbed a quick load of groceries before getting back to my apartment, unloaded and hit the study grind again. 

For lunch I wanted something fally, is that even a word?, and frankly after wasting so much time on school this weekend I wanted to cook. So I made chocolate chip pumpkin pie pancakes! It was breakfast for lunch and I regret nothing! These pancakes were the fluffiest pancakes I have ever made and they aren't unhealthy! Pancakes never fail to make everything better, especially when they are healthy!

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole wheat or gluten free flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon (more or less depending on your taste)
  • 1/2 cup canned organic pure pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter of choice, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips

In a large mixing bowl combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.

Once the dry ingredients are mixing together add in egg, butter, pumpkin and melted butter. Thoroughly combine ingredients.

Spray a skillet with nonstick cook spray. Heat to a medium/low heat.

When skillet is warm place batter in amounts of your choosing onto skillet, I did slightly less than 1/4 cup sized pancakes. 

When bubbles start to form flip pancakes, if bubbles do not form (the batter is dense, so this is possible) check the underside of the pancake with a spatula. When it has turned golden flip it and allow other side to cook through. 

Repeat with remaining batter. 

Serve pancakes warm with toppings of choice, or allow pancakes to cool and freeze for later.

Nutrition per pancake (I made 7 medium sized pancakes):
Calories: 80
Carbs: 12
Fat: 3 
Protein: 3
Sodium: 127
Sugar: 2

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Easy Oatmeal

Lately my stomach has been on the fritz. One day last week it got so bad I really just wanted to puke to feel better. My mom recommended I eat a bowl of oatmeal because it is easy on the stomach. I cannot eat plain oatmeal so I threw in some extras that were also easy on the tummy to add some flavor. It was a filling meal and it did help soothe my upset stomach.

Soothing Upset Stomach Oatmeal
  • 3/4 cups GF oats
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, or milk of choice or water
  • 1/3 cup vanilla greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 small granny smith apple, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 tablespoon raisins
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter and co white chocolate wonderful peanut butter

Microwave oats according to package instructions. I don't like my oats runny which is why I used 3/4 cup almond milk instead of an entire cup. 

Top cooked oats with greek yogurt, granny smith apple chunks, frozen blueberries, peanut butter, raisins, cinnamon and sprinkles. The sprinkles are totally necessary component to make any stomach feel better!

The before mixing picture always looks so much better than the after picture!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Italian Herb Vegetable Salad

I have beyond excited to share this recipe with you! I could literally eat this salad every day and never get sick of it, yeah it's that good. 

  • 2 cups earthbound organic spring mix lettuce
  • 1/4 cup diced bell pepper, I used red and orange
  • 1 hard boiled egg, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half 
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 package Green Giant Italian Herb Steamers Vegetables

Combine lettuce, bell pepper, tomatoes, egg, and seeds together in bowl. 

Top with italian herb vegetables. The vegetables are delicious on the salad both warm and cold- either way you can't go wrong! 

The salad is bursting with flavor and I am definitely making it for lunches throughout the week.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

I'll Have S'MORE Please!

GUESS WHAT I FINALLY GOT MY HANDS ON!?!?!?!?! Jif whips S'MORES! I was beyond excited when I saw it in one of the local grocery stores (bonus it was on sale!). I was worried that it wouldn't be gluten free, but it is and I couldn't be happier. I rushed home and ate a spoonful and then another. It really is the da bomb and it's so light and fluffy! I have to restrain myself from eating it by the spoonful...

One of my new favorites is having 1 tablespoon of the Jif Whips S'mores on half of a GF rice cake, then the other half 1 tablespoon prepared PB2. Topped off with banana slices and sprinkles. It's like a party in your mouth!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Crockpot Hawaiian Chicken

Happy Crockpot Monday once again! I apologize for not having a crockpot meal for you last week. I had leftover crockpot chicken jambalaya and crockpot chicken vegetable soup frozen in. I wanted to clear out some space in my freezer so I ate leftover all week- crockpot leftovers make my life so much easier!

This week I am back in action crocking up a storm! Well, sort of anyway because this recipe is so ridiculously easy and there are only a coupon ingredients. Don't be fooled by the fact that it contains only a few ingredients, it packs a flavorful punch. PLUS it only contains 237 calories per serving and has 29 grams of protein, pretty awesome right?!

Hawaiian Chicken
  • 3-4 chicken breasts, you can use frozen chicken breasts
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon organic honey
  • 3 tablespoons cup low sodium, gluten free soy sauce
  • 20 can organic pineapple tidbits in 100% pineapple juice

Place chicken on the bottom of a lined crockpot- I always use crockpot liners they make clean up a breeze, which is always great when you're busy.

Sprinkle the red pepper flakes and garlic over chicken. 

Dump in soy sauce, lime juice and honey.

Finally dump in pineapple tidbits and all the juice in the can. 

Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

One of the things I love the most about this recipe is it's versatility. You can serve it over rice, over mixed greens as a salad, on buns or rolls, there really isn't a bad way to eat this! 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Perfect Pumpkin Waffle

I really should be studying but this was too good not to share right away! I have been craving pumpkin waffles for awhile now and I finally made the perfect waffle tonight. It made one waffle, the recipe is easily doubled and it is perfect for fall.

Perfect Pumpkin Waffle
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons organic canned pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened vanilla almond milk, or milk of choice
  • 1 egg

In a small mixing bowl combine all ingredients until dough forms.

Spray waffle iron with nonstick cook spray or coconut oil.

On a heated waffle iron spread batter and allow to cook until the edges are golden. It took me between 7-10 minutes to cook but cook time depends on the strength of your waffle iron. Check so you don't burn your waffle.

Top with sugar free syrup, honey, peanut butter, greek yogurt, or fresh fruit. All compliment this tasty fall dish perfectly!

Statistics For Days

While cutting up fruit this morning for smoothie packets for the week after my morning workout I munched on a chocolate deluxe pure protein bar, which I had heated up and gotten all melty (seriously it's the best!) and thrown it in 1/3 cup greek yogurt. I have been trying, and failing, not to stress out because I am literally drowning in work. Classes have kept me so incredibly busy that I seriously don't have a life. It makes me miss carefree summer days so much!

I have been seriously stressed out about my statistics class. I am not a math person by any means- how I managed to survive AP Calculus in high school is still beyond me. The professor will blow through and entire chapter in an hour and expect the entire class to understand it. Thankfully I know I am not the only one left wondering what the heck just happened. We have an exam soon and I have been majorly stressed about it because I want to do good on it. Any statistics survival tips would be majorly appreciated! 

Then I feel bad because I have been majorly slacking on the blog! I have so many awesome and quick recipes to post, but finding time hasn't exactly been easy. As I have mentioned in a previous post I got locked out of my email account so I hadn't been able to email back you guys back in almost a month. Well I finally got back into my email for like three days and then got a sign in error. Long story short after numerous conversations with tech support over an extended period I am back in my email AGAIN and working on replies. Thank you so much to all of my awesome readers for your patience! 

I dedicated all day yesterday to studying for statistics, working on a statistics project and doing a graded homework assignment. After an entire day of stats my brain was fried and I was hungry. I was craving salmon because I have not had it in a really long time (since the first day of classes). 

I put my favorite seafood seasoning on the salmon and baked it at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. I was not about to do more cooking than necessary after a long day, so I steamed a potato with onion and red and yellow bell pepper slices. I also had a Green Giant Italian Herb Steamers. If you've never had it I highly recommend it, it was so delicious! The box is technically one serving, but that was way too much for me so I had about half. 

Last night I indulged in dessert. I rarely have dessert because normally I get really sick from sweets, but I threw all caution to the wind and went for it. I had a Healthy Choice Frozen Greek Yogurt topped with a Justin's organic milk chocolate peanut butter cup. It was the perfect relaxing dessert to eat while watching the Big Bang Theory to unwind.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Stress Free Saturday Night Dinner

Saturday night I felt like cooking. Cooking is relaxing to me and after a stressful day of working on a statistics project, hundreds of pages of reading and memorizing terms and concepts for an upcoming exam I needed to unwind. 

I still had one leftover turkey sausage frozen in from when I made crockpot jambalaya so I put it in the fridge to thaw for a bit. I had a hankering for vegetables, so I made lots of them, besides you can never go wrong with leftovers! 

My meal was basically thrown together from what sounded good and what I had in my fridge/freezer. I ended up eating a ton, but it was much needed fuel. I had my turkey sausage stir fry, 1 cup spaghetti squash topped with GF organic marinara sauce and a tablespoon of freshly grated mozzarella cheese, a baby sweet potato and a gluten free corn muffin. I was in a food coma afterward.

I have made a similar turkey sausage stir fry before, but I will post the recipe anyways!

Turkey Sausage Stir Fry
  • 1 low fat turkey sausage
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow squash, sliced
  • 1 zucchini, sliced

Spray a skillet with nonstick cook spray. Heat skillet to a medium/low setting.

Add turkey sausage to skillet. Brown the sausage on both sides. Once both sides are brown remove turkey sausage from skillet, place in a bowl and cover with tinfoil. 

Respray pan with nonstick cook spray. Add onion, bell peppers, zucchini and squash to pan. 

Sauté vegetable until lightly browned on both sides. Stir and flip occasionally to cook all vegetable evenly. 

When vegetables are brown reduce heat to a low setting, or just low, and add turkey sausage back in.

Allow the turkey sausage to soak up flavors of the vegetables for two to three minutes stirring occasionally. 

Remove pan from heat and serve. Store leftovers in airtight container in refrigerator for up to three days or freeze for later use.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Study Fuel

Sometimes you just need a break when studying. Especially when your tummy is growling, your statistics project is not going as planned and you are getting cranky. 

I immediately whipped up my go to- a parfait. I used one dark chocolate nuts and sea salt KIND Bar cut into chunks, 1/3 cup vanilla greek yogurt, one teaspoon KIND granola clusters and one teaspoon chocolate chips.

It was not the healthiest parfait I have ever made, especially since there was no fruit, but sometimes you do what you have to do to get through a statistics project.

Girls Night!

One of the first Friday nights of the semester one of my friends from a summer small group invited a few of our friends over for a girls night. We decided beforehand to have a dinner and movie night at one of the girls apartments. They ordered pizza and had a salad and of course I baked cookies! By now everyone knows I will bring some form of a dessert. There were only seven of us, but it was so much fun just to see everyone and catch up!

I had pondered for awhile what kind of dessert I wanted to bring. I didn't want to do a classic chocolate chip cookie or fudge brownie. I have seen cake cookies all over Pintrest and they seemed to be pretty popular so I thought I would test them out. Between being gluten free and just getting plain sick from eating sweets I had to rely on my trusty taste testers to give me the results...

The results were outstanding! Everyone loved them (and the dinosaur sprinkles I used) and kept asking how I got the cookies to be so moist. Little did they know they were really eating a cake! One note about the recipe, I am all about making everything from scratch, but I did take the easy way out on this one and used a boxed cake mix.

Triple Fudge Cake Mix Cookies

  • 1 Duncan Hines Triple Chocolate Cake Mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup vegetable or safflower oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with tinfoil.

In a large mixing bowl combine triple chocolate cake mix (NOT THE FUDGE POUCH), eggs, baking powder, vegetable oil and vanilla. 

In a small separate bowl mix the fudge pouch and instructed amount of water. Whisk together until smooth. 

Pour prepared fudge mix into cake mix bowl and thoroughly combine. Add in sprinkles if desired or extra chocolate chips.

Place the dough in the refrigerator for half an hour to chill. It is very important that you don't skip this step because it allows the dough to firm up so it won't be too liquidly when you make your cookies.

After the dough has chilled dropped tablespoon sized dough ball onto a lined cookie sheet. Add some more sprinkles on top for decoration, and because who doesn't love sprinkles?

Bake cookies at 350 degrees for 13 minutes. Insert a toothpick to check for doneness. If the toothpick comes out clean the cookies are done, if not bake for an additional two minutes and check again. 

Allow the cookies to cool completely before storing.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Olympic Sandwich Stacking and a Sweet Treat

Good morning or shall I say good night? It's a little after five in the morning, but I've been up for way too long already- the wonderful part about being sick. Needless to say there will be no gym session today. I haven't had time to post because I've been so busy with school, so I figured now is a good time since homework is not happening this early.

Friday I indulged in a delicious sandwich. Some of my awesome fellow foodies on Instagram started Olympic Sandwich Stacking, so I jumped in on the fun. My sandwich is no where near as creative as theirs are, but it was tasty!

I used two slices of gluten free bread, three slices of oven roasted turkey breast, three organic cherry tomatoes cut in half, a slice of avocado smeared on one slice of bread and a handful of organic spring mix lettuce.

After my Friday morning workout, cardio and a Jillian Michael's workout, I had a GF rice cake smeared with peanut butter and topped with banana and dinosaur sprinkles. It helped me refuel and prevent me from getting hangry while grocery shopping. 

I ended my Friday night with a Healthy Choice Frozen Greek Yogurt. Between a killer morning workout and a very full day of doing homework it was a much needed indulgence, besides one of the cups is only 100 calories! I may have added a few extra calories with some added chocolate chips, but you have to live a little right?!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Dinosaur Sprinkles!

I am sorry to say I have been slacking on the blog front recently. I have a ginormous backlog of photos and recipes to post, but classes have been keeping me so busy! If I had the remote from the movie Click I would freeze time to get all my homework and studying done and catch up on posts. Wouldn't that be wonderful?! 

First things first though, this delicious rice cake is one of my absolute favorite post workout snacks! I know it may seem childish to use sprinkles, but those sprinkles are dinosaur sprinkles, making them a bagillion times more awesome, and who doesn't love sprinkles?  Peanut butter and banana is my favorite combination and it's a great way to refuel after a long workout.

For the rice cake I use one Quaker plain lightly salted gluten free rice cake. I smear it with two tablespoons prepared PB2, 1/3 of a banana, sliced, and top it off with dinosaur sprinkles and a few chocolate chips. And if you want to you can add a teaspoon of honey drizzled over top for the perfect snack.

A lot of the times I have my rice cake pretty bare. My go to is one rice cake with 2 tablespoons PB2 and 2 teaspoons honey. Sorry about the bad picture. I was really hungry after a workout and forgot to take a picture until I had eaten over half of the rice cake...whoops :)

Recently I have been on a salad kick. It probably has to do with the fact that they are so quick and easy. Of course I am a creature of habit and love to stick to my classic, but I have been getting braver and trying new toppings like shredded mozzarella cheese. 

I need to get back to getting things done, unless someone wants to do my statistics homework for me...any takers?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Jillian Michael's Kicked My Butt...Again

I love switching up my morning workouts so I can target different muscle groups and because who wants to do the same thing every day? Not me! I love Jillian Michael's workouts because she never fails to kick my butt every single time. 

I don't think there's a better feeling than completing a kick butt workout. I always feel empowered after a good workout. Plus I enjoy refueling. It is so important to refuel after a workout! When I have time I like to make something a little more elaborate, but in a time crunch my go to is always a simple parfait.

It's no secret I love Quest Bars and I always get way too excited when I open one and see ginormous chunks. Who doesn't love a chunky Quest Bar?! Plus Quest Bars give me added protein and deliciousness in a parfait. 

I didn't have a ton of time so it certainly was not the prettiest parfait I have ever made, but it got the job done. It has 1/2 cup vanilla greek yogurt, 1/3 banana, sliced topped with a little blob of PB Crave Cookie Nookie, 1/8 cup fresh blueberries and one Cookies and Cream Quest Bar cut into chunks and microwaved. Microwaved Quest Bars are the best, they get all warm and gooey and it's beyond amazing! 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Crockpot Chicken Vegetable Soup

Crockpot Monday is BACK! I know some people are going to raise their eyebrows and think I am crazy, but I promise I'm not (although over 6 hours of history and gender studies reading does push a person to the brink...). The weather is finally getting a bit cooler making it totally acceptable to use the crockpot.

Between classes and the ridiculous amount of homework and reading I have to do every single day I really don't have time to cook dinner. My crockpot is my lifesaver during the school year. I also have a ton of recipes I've been itching to try! I am not one who normally likes soup, but I cannot get enough of this! I made a similar version for a family friend and taste tested a little bit. I really liked it and wanted to make it for myself, so I tweaked my recipe more to my tastes and I know I will be making this soup a ton during the winter.

Crockpot Chicken Vegetable Soup
  • Pack of 4 chicken breasts (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 2 cups diced carrots
  • 1 pound green beans (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 8 ounces sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 32 ounces organic low sodium chicken broth
  • salt and pepper to taste

Line a crockpot with a liner.

Place chicken breasts on the bottom of crockpot. I did not dice up my chicken ahead of time, you can, but I prefer to break it apart once it's already cooked because it's much easier.

Layer in diced onion and carrots.

Next, dump in minced garlic, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, salt and pepper and chicken broth.

Finally, place green beans and mushrooms on top.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Before serving be sure to break apart chicken if you haven't already and stir the green beans and mushrooms into the soup.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Labor Day Catch Up

I have so many posts to catch up on it is ridiculous. Thank goodness I have had scheduled posts because between Internet issues and school I just have not had time to do anything. First I want to send a major apology to those who have emailed be and probably think I have fallen off the face of the earth. There has been a problem with my account and I have been locked out for a few weeks now- the issue is now resolved and I promise I will be responding as soon as I can! (Major apology to the awesome Sam from Minor Numbers!)

After a week of classes I had a long weekend for Labor Day. I know it sounds crazy because I only have a week of classes (four days technically because I don't have Friday classes), but I really needed a long weekend. Adjusting back to school has been harder than I thought with the lupus. I was exhausted by the time I got home and just fell into bed. I had an early morning doctor appointment on Friday and by the time I got home I was starving! 

I threw together a quick turkey, spinach and kale and tomato sandwich on GF bread. With My sandwich I had raw cauliflower, cucumber slices, a giant tomato slices (because it wouldn't fit in my sandwich) and some carrots.

Of course a lunch wouldn't be complete without a mini-parfait! I went with the usual 1/2 cup Dannon light and fit vanilla greek yogurt. I threw in a small handful of blueberries (maybe an 1/8 cup), I chopped up a dark chocolate mocha almond KIND Bar and topped it off with one Justin's Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup cut into chunks. This was definitely one of my favorite parfaits I've made so far.

I had a food coma afterward, but I regret nothing.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Move In Meal

Does moving make anyone else grumpy? I hate moving. It's stressful and somehow it never fails to be close to 90 degrees with 100% humidity on the days I move. This year moving back to school was no different, however I finally got a bit smarter. 

Instead of unloading all the boxes, being all sweaty and grumpy and then having to go grocery shopping I packed food for dinner and breakfast the next day so I could be in a pleasanter state of being while I grocery shopped. 

I was not hungry for dinner by the time I got all the boxed unloaded and some things put away. Because I knew it would be hot I packed a basic salad and a sweet potato, so I wouldn't have something heavy sitting in my gut. The salad is the same salad as the firework salad so I'm using the picture from that post because my salad wasn't exactly 'photogenic' after being excessively tossed during the moving process. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

First Meal in the Apartment

The second night after moving into my apartment I had gone grocery shopping so I actually had food in my refrigerator and could make a proper meal. Plus the stove in the apartment is brand new and I was dying to test it out! It was really hot outside and I was not overly hungry, so I settled on a simple meal of baked chicken with oven roasted vegetables. 

I didn't do anything fancy to the chicken. I simply brushed a bit of olive oil over the top to prevent it from drying out and baked it for 20 minutes, flipping it halfway through. 

The vegetables are super simple to make and absolutely delicious. I made a giant batch of them so I could heat them up throughout the week. I have posted the recipe for my roasted vegetables before, but I'll post it again below.

Oven Roasted Vegetables
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 broccoli crown or 1/2 large head of broccoli
  • 1/2 head cauliflower
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Wash and cut up all vegetables. 

Line a baking sheet with tinfoil and spray with nonstick cook spray so vegetables won't stick to sheet and burn.

Spread vegetables out evenly over baking sheet. They should be as close to a single layer as possible.

Carefully drizzle olive oil over vegetables. 

Sprinkle salt and pepper over vegetables to your liking. 

Bake veggies at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. The vegetables will be golden and slightly crispy when done.