Carob Chip & Cookie Butter Granola Bars

I recently discovered that granola bars are incredible simple (and delicious) to make at home. And, since I am a dairy-free breastfeeding mom, I decided I wanted to experiment with different flavors. Combine this with the fact that I recently discovered the sheer awesomeness that is cookie butter and you get the following husband and ME approved recipe! I hope you enjoy! There is both a lactation-friendly and a standard recipe below … it’s kind of like a choose your path story book (to boob or not to boob). This recipe makes 12 servings.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Sometimes, you just need a freaking cupcake. And sometimes that cupcake craving hits in the the midst of a rare Nashville snow storm. While I can neither confirm nor deny that the entire batch was gone long before the snow melted, I can confirm that these dairy-free Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate “Buttercream” Frosting are to die for … seriously. The frosting might be the most delicious thing I have ever made.


 

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

These muffins are moist, delicious and full of flavor. The original recipe didn’t include vanilla, which is a crime against baked desserts, or chocolate chips (why not, who knows). I could legit eat the entire pan, but you know, self control, pants that fit, whatever.


IMG_8042 IMG_8047

Harvest Granola Bars

Harvest Granola Bars!

Harvest Granola Bars!

Fall is in the air … and if I were a pumpkin spice girl, I’d be rocking a PSL right now. Instead, I’ll munch on these Harvest Granola Bars.

Angel Food Cake

Mmmm cake … I love me some cake; especially Angel Food Cake because it’s sooo fluffy I could die! So, yesterday, I made a declaration that we would make and eat our Angel Food Cake. I took the recipe from All Recipes and The Joy of Cooking and combined them to come up with the recipe below.

GIN Wheat Pizza Crust

GIN Pizza

Sometimes, a girl needs pizza. I haven’t made homemade pizza crust since high school (I am guessing a 6 year stint at Pizza Hut played a part in that). So, we busted out the Joy of Cooking and modified the recipe a bit to make it a smidge healthier (and skipped a few of the prep steps).

 

 

 

 

 

This makes roughly 2 12″ pizzas (we prefer a thinner, crispy crust, so we used a 14″ pan)

1 1/3 cup warm water
1 packet dry active yeast
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 TBS EVOO
2 tsp sea salt

1. Combine warm water and yeast. Let yeast completely dissolve (takes about 5 minutes)

2. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well (I prefer to do this by hand, you will want to have some extra flour nearby to keep your hands from sticky). Continue to knead for about 10 minutes.

3. Transfer to a bowl lightly covered in EVOO, flipping dough to allow both sides to be lightly coated. Cover with a warm, lightly damp towel and let rise for 1-1.5 hours.

4. Preheat over to 475

5. Divide dough in half (if not making both pizzas, freeze other half). Using your hands, flatten dough, gently stretching. Place in the middle of a greased pizza pan (again, we like crispy crust, so we used a pizza pan with holes), gently spreading to the edge. Once dough is spread to the edges, continue to pat the dough, evening it out throughout.

6. Sauce and top as desired (if you want to do it like a pro – a. start with sauce in the middle, working in a circular motion, spread the sauce out to within 1/4 inch edge of the crust. b. take half the cheese, sprinkle from the outside in, in a circular motion. c. add sliced meats or veggies first, then all other toppings. d. add remaining cheese, following the same outside in, circular motion pattern.).

7. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and let sit for 3-5 minutes.

Nutritional Information for Crust per 1/8 of pizza (calculated via MyFitnessPal):
198 Calories
40 Carbs
1 Fat
7 Protein
564 Sodium

Wheat Pizza Crust

GIN Pizza

Sometimes, a girl needs pizza. I haven’t made homemade pizza crust since high school (I am guessing a 6 year stint at Pizza Hut played a part in that). So, we busted out the Joy of Cooking and modified the recipe a bit to make it a smidge healthier (and skipped a few of the prep steps).

 

 

 

 

 

This makes roughly 2 12″ pizzas (we prefer a thinner, crispy crust, so we used a 14″ pan)

1 1/3 cup warm water
1 packet dry active yeast
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 TBS EVOO
2 tsp sea salt

1. Combine warm water and yeast. Let yeast completely dissolve (takes about 5 minutes)

2. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well (I prefer to do this by hand, you will want to have some extra flour nearby to keep your hands from sticky). Continue to knead for about 10 minutes.

3. Transfer to a bowl lightly covered in EVOO, flipping dough to allow both sides to be lightly coated. Cover with a warm, lightly damp towel and let rise for 1-1.5 hours.

4. Preheat over to 475

5. Divide dough in half (if not making both pizzas, freeze other half). Using your hands, flatten dough, gently stretching. Place in the middle of a greased pizza pan (again, we like crispy crust, so we used a pizza pan with holes), gently spreading to the edge. Once dough is spread to the edges, continue to pat the dough, evening it out throughout.

6. Sauce and top as desired (if you want to do it like a pro – a. start with sauce in the middle, working in a circular motion, spread the sauce out to within 1/4 inch edge of the crust. b. take half the cheese, sprinkle from the outside in, in a circular motion. c. add sliced meats or veggies first, then all other toppings. d. add remaining cheese, following the same outside in, circular motion pattern.).

7. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and let sit for 3-5 minutes.

Nutritional Information for Crust per 1/8 of pizza (calculated via MyFitnessPal):
198 Calories
40 Carbs
1 Fat
7 Protein
564 Sodium

Spicy Brown Rice Meatloaf

Two words … Burning Deliciousness. I had plans to make Tosca Reno’s Brown Rice Turkey Meatloaf for dinner, but my taste buds were craving some serious flava flave.

So, I decided to play with the recipe and add in some GIN flavor – salsa, jalapeno and chili powder. And thank heavens it was absolutely delish … the boy had three servings, which is what I call a win.

If you want a less spicy version, cut back on the chili powder or jalapeno.

Ingredients
1 lb Lean ground turkey
1 cup Cooked brown rice
1 Egg
1/2 cup part-skim Mexican blend cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped  yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1 finely chopped jalapeno 
3 tbs Salsa
1 tsp Sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp chili powder  
Preparation
Preheat oven to 350*F
Cook rice according to package directions.

In a large bowl combine all ingredients with a pair of clean hands. Place in a loaf pan with a light coating of non-stick vegetable cooking spray. Bake for about an hour. Let cool ten minutes before serving

Makes 6 Servings
Per Slice:
174 Calories
9 Carbs
8 Fat
18 Protein
590 Sodium
2 Sugar

 

Greek Night!

I love Greek food almost as much as I love ice cream (ok, slight exaggeration, but you get the point). So, it was only a matter of time before I tried a Greek-inspired dish (because, let’s be honest, as an American anything with Feta must be Greek!). I was sold at the works “Chicken artichoke feta.” Yep, I’m that easy. The original recipe called for chicken thighs, but, I’m a breast girl … you know what I mean.

The recipe itself is fairly quick and simple, which was perfect for today … 9 hours at work and an hour workout after. The original recipe was from Skinny Taste. Served with whole wheat pitas, garlic and chive hummus and couscous, the whole meal was about 340 calories … a very filling 340 calories (though when your boyfriend doesn’t know if he like artichokes, it can lead to additional calories when you steal them off of his plate … which, for the record is the one pictured above and contains a smidge over 340 calories.)

Chicken with Artichoke and Feta

2 skinless boneless chicken breasts
6 oz jar marinated artichoke hearts
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp oregano
1/4 cup reduced fat feta cheese
Salt and fresh pepper

Combine artichoke hearts along with liquid and chicken and let it marinade about 20 minutes or longer. After it’s marinated, drain all liquid, add garlic, oregano, salt and pepper.

Broil on low about 6 inches from the flame for about 10 minutes or until golden brown, turn chicken and cook an additional 8-10 minutes and chicken is fully cooked. Top chicken with feta and broil an additional minute. Remove from oven and top with fresh oregano.

Makes 4 servings (one serving is half a chicken breast):
Calories: 122
Carbs: 4
Fat: 5
Protein: 15

Here is the actual serving size …
Before:

After:

Girl in Nashville Turkey Lettuce Wraps

I love P.F. Chang’s Lettuce Wraps and on a day when the thermometer hits 107, nothing is as refreshing as this delicious goodness wrapped in crisp, iceberg lettuce. Each serving has 378 calories.

 

 

Turkey mixture

1 lb extra lean ground turkey
1 ½ tsp Gourmet Garden Chili Pepper Spice BlendPepper (freshly ground) to taste
6 scallions, white & green part chopped
1 can (8 oz) water chestnuts, drained, rinsed & chopped
¼ red bell pepper, chopped fine
¼ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 ½ tbsp Hoisin Sauce
1 tsp ginger powder
1 tbsp water
2 tsp sesame oil
1 large head iceberg lettuce, washed, dried & leaves separated

Sauce
¼ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp seasoned rice wine vinegar
1 tsp Truvia
½ tsp ginger powder
1 tsp sesame oil
½ tsp garlic
1 tsp Gourmet Garden Chili Pepper Spice Blend

1. In a large pan, brown the turkey, breaking up the pieces; add 1 ½ tsp Gourmet Garden Chili Pepper Spice Blend and fresh ground pepper. Pour into a colander in the sink and drain the fat.
2. In a medium bowl mix the scallions, water chestnuts, red pepper, soy sauce, Hoisin sauce, ginger, water, Gourmet Garden Chili Pepper Spice Blend and sesame oil. Mix with turkey.
4. In a small bowl, add all the dipping sauce ingredients together and mix well.
5. To assemble each wrap, spoon desired amount of mixture onto one lettuce leaf, top with about one teaspoon of sauce and then roll it up.

Makes 4 servings

Nutritional Information (calculated with My Fitness Pal) per serving
Calories: 378
Carbs: 22g
Fat 21g
Protein: 25g


This recipe was inspired by Confessions of a Fat Girl’s “Like P.F. Chang’s lettuce wraps” post; with several modifications to the original recipe and ingredients.