What I’ve Been Eating

I am not the kind of person who enjoys cooking. This is mostly because I usually wait to cook until I am already starving, but that’s beside the point. Last week, I found myself drinking my breakfast shake while making a big pot of chili for lunch and a chicken skillet for dinner at the same time and even though I wasn’t hungry while cooking, I still didn’t enjoy myself. 😉

If I don’t plan out a few meals during the week, I find myself drinking a shake for breakfast, eating a salad for lunch, and having an omelette for dinner. It just works for me, and I don’t really feel the need to eat out unless it’s the weekend. You’d be surprised at just how often I eat these three meals (with snacks in between, of course). Recently, I have been trying to break my routine and add some different flavors to my meals. You’ll notice that most of the meals I make have vegetables hidden in there somewhere…it just makes eating veggies so much easier! Most of my recipe ideas come from Pinterest…or else I find myself taking a screenshot of someone’s recipe on Instagram Stories. Do you do that too?!

Here’s a look at what I’ve been cooking lately:

– Turkey Chili –

This is one of my favorite recipes, and it comes together quickly. This is key for me. 🙂 I prefer ground turkey to ground meat, and while there aren’t a ton of ingredients, there are enough to be flavorful and tasty. Plus a warm lunch is just better than a salad sometimes, am I right?

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– Cauliflower Pizza –

Trader Joe’s has all kinds of goodies that you just need to buy, and after making cauliflower pizza from scratch several times, I knew I had to try their frozen variety. It’s put together with minimal ingredients, which I appreciate, and it’s MUCH faster than making the dough from scratch. I made a half pepperoni, half buffalo chicken pizza last week. Hit the spot!

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– Mexican Chicken Cauliflower Rice Skillet –

Keeping with the theme…if I buy cauliflower rice, I usually buy it in the produce section. However, I’ve had a frozen bag in my freezer for way too long and after checking out the ingredients in this recipe, I knew I could put this together if I just ran to the store and got chicken! I think rubbing the chicken breasts with taco seasoning before cooking really made a difference. This tasted good on its own or with a side of tortilla chips. Added bonus: there were plenty of leftovers, even after sharing with Joe!

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– Bacon Garlic Spaghetti Squash –

The bacon garlic spaghetti squash recipe is actually a paleo recipe I found on Pinterest, and although it contained some different ingredients, the list was still short enough that I could justify making it. 😉 I’ve rarely cooked with coconut milk, but it was part of the sauce in this recipe and I think it was supposed to remind me of Alfredo sauce. While I can’t say that it was really like creamy Alfredo sauce, Joe ate this with no complaints and he doesn’t even know what Paleo means so I think that’s a win. 😉

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And just for fun, I recently found Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheerios at the grocery store and didn’t think twice before tossing them in my cart. I was so obsessed with peanut butter Cheerios before they discontinued the flavor a few years ago! I wasn’t sure if I’d just pick all the peanut butter circles out of this mix or completely dislike the chocolate (because I don’t really like chocolate Cheerios on their own), but I’m happy to report the combination is a good one and it makes a great afternoon snack!

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Linking up with Peas & Crayons

What I’ve Been Eating: Buzzfeed Video Edition

Good morning and happy Wednesday! Today I want to share one of the most decadent desserts that I have eaten recently. I mentioned that one of my friends came over this weekend to watch Christmas movies and she decided that we just had to make this dessert. Well, if you show up with baking ingredients, I’m not going to fight ya!

We originally saw this recipe posted on Facebook in a Buzzfeed video. You can watch the 20 second version of the baking here. 🙂

Ingredients

2 packages of break-apart chocolate chip cookie dough
1 bag of chocolate chips
1 bag of caramels

Directions

Preheat your oven to 350*F.

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Take one pack of break apart cookie dough and flatten it out in a baking pan of your choice.

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Unwrap the caramels in a separate dish. Melt the caramels in the microwave for 45 seconds. Then, pour the now liquid caramel on top of the cookie dough. Note: it can be difficult to spread out! It is most “spreadable” the moment it comes out of the microwave.

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Add chocolate chips to your caramel layer.

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Take the second pack of cookie dough and flatten it on top of the first three layers.

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Bake at 350*F for 30 minutes! Note: check at 25 minutes. My edges (or crust) were a little more golden brown than I would have liked.

The video showed a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of the “pie” or whatever you would like to call this dish, but we felt like it was delicious enough sans ice cream. 😉

A note about this dessert: it is best served warm. If you have leftovers (which you will), just pop a scoop in the microwave for a few seconds to soften it before eating.

I don’t even want to begin to guess the nutrition facts behind this dish, but I know that there is a 100% chance you will enjoy this if you make it! It was fun to finally see a video and put it into action. It’s like those pins we have on our boards on Pinterest that we NEVER do. Will I make this again? Possibly! It was fun to make for a random girls night and I’m sure those at your holiday parties this season would enjoy it, too. Even sharing it with a friend, my roommate, and her boyfriend, we still had leftovers, so it definitely makes a ton of dessert. You will have to let me know if you try it!

Have you ever made one of the recipes from a Buzzfeed Food Video?

What’s your favorite dessert?

A Decadent Mini Dessert

One of my favorite holiday traditions is all the baking that occurs! In the past, I have been pretty disordered in my thinking about food, and to this day, I still don’t like everything to revolve around food, because we are not meant to live to eat. However, the holidays bring you a little bit of grace  because there is so much yummy food to be had!

Today I am sharing a recipe that I recently saw posted on Astleigh’s blog because it is so delicious and it is so easy! Previous food posts on this blog will have you knowing that I’m a five ingredients or less kind of recipe gal, and this one certainly fits the bill. Even though you don’t have to do much, your guests or family or friends (or whoever you are feeding!) will think you slaved away in the kitchen for hours.

Behold: Mini Gingerbread Cheesecake Bites.

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Original recipe found on Hill Collection Blog!

Directions

Take the cream cheese out of the fridge to soften.
Preheat the oven to 350*F.
Store the cheesecake bites in the refrigerator.

Recipe List

Crust:
Gingerbread cookie dough

Filling:
1 block cream cheese
1/2 c powdered sugar
1 t vanilla extract

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First, you will take your prepackaged cookie dough and round the pieces to the size of your mini muffin pan. In my case, there were 12 pre-cut cookies. I broke those 12 pieces in half and rolled all 24 of them to fill my pan!

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You will bake these mini crusts for 10 minutes at 350*F.

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While that is baking, you can soften your cream cheese and mix it with 1/2 cup of powdered sugar and 1 t of vanilla extract. I knew that I was making cheesecake bites, but I still expected this “icing” to taste very sugary and I was kind of disappointed when I licked my finger. 😉 That feeling quickly passed!

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When the crusts are done baking, use a cookie dough scooper to create a half circle indent in them to make room for the cheesecake filling. Now for the part that scared me most: creating my piping bag with a Ziploc bag! All I did was scoop my filling into the Ziploc, seal it tight, and cut off a tiny corner of the bag. I almost wish I would have cut the corner a little bit wider so the filling would’ve spread differently!

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In any case, you will squeeze cheesecake filling into each of the 24 mini crusts…and then you will probably have some filling left over, so you will have to go back and make each of your bites even! All that’s left to do is arrange them on a pretty plate, take them to Friendsgiving, and explain the recipe to every guest who takes a bite. 😉 At least, that’s what happened to me!

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Then, if you are anything like me, you will pawn the leftover cheesecake bites on the rest of the guests at the party and bring only a measly three bites home for yourself…but as you can see, I needed just a little bite before I put them in the fridge. 😉

So tell me…what will you be baking this Thanksgiving?!

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Linking up with Andrea for Recipe Club!

  

What I’ve Been Eating Wednesday V

Are you cooking or eating out tonight?! I have been doing a little bit of both recently, which is always lots of fun for me because I get to meet up with friends and eat food that I didn’t have to cook, but it’s always a little sad for my bank account. 😉 Not that I am eating luxurious five star meals over here…I wish!

Last week, I ate this flatbread pizza for dinner three times. Because it was that good.

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Super easy to throw together! Read about it HERE.

I’ve also been busy recreating Panera Bread’s Strawberry Chicken Poppyseed salad, which is evident by how little salad dressing I have left in the bottle. 😉

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I was so excited to find this dressing at Target! I made a few minor modifications so the Kylie version of this salad includes spinach, grilled chicken, strawberries, pineapple, feta cheese, and dressing. My mom would skip the feta cheese but I think you should try it my way first!

Then there was the moment this past weekend where I tried Mango Bubble Tea. It has been at least 95* in D.C. for two weeks and it is SO humid…I was thirsty and desperate as my friend and I were walking to our cars from church and lunch, so I thought trying something new would be fun! We stopped in Capital Teas and I had such high hopes…

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…but three sips later, I said no thank you. Actually, scratch that. Four sips. I was in traffic and thought maybe my taste buds were wrong the first three times. 😉 If you’re unfamiliar, bubble tea is a tea base mixed with fruit or milk and chewy tapioca balls. I thought my flavor (mango) plus almond milk (my favorite milk) would for sure be a winner! I just wasn’t a fan of the tapioca balls. And my bubble tea didn’t have that “foamy” or “smoothie-like” consistency that so many people mention! It truly was like iced tea with tapioca balls. So strange. Have you tried this?!

And now I want to share the easiest recipe with you! I really outdid myself this time…my mom and I agree that five ingredients or less is the way to go. This time, I only used two ingredients. 🙂 I started cooking on Sunday night with every intention of making turkey burgers, but I found a recipe on the back of the package and changed gears right away!

Taco Turkey Meatballs

1 package Ground Turkey
1 packet Taco Seasoning

Preheat oven to 350*.
Cook until meatballs are 165*F in temperature or until crisp.

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I mixed the ground turkey with a package of taco seasoning with a spatula. Then, I used a cookie scoop to make the meatballs. I am not a fan of touching raw meat so the spatula and cookie scoop were so helpful here. I will also spare you a picture of the raw meat in the bowl and on the tray because that freaks me out, too. I’m such a legitimate chef. 😉 But I am a legitimate blogger because I really did take pictures of those steps…they are just so gross looking. Ha! The package’s cook time said cook until the meatballs are 165*F in temperature or until they are crisp. I do not have a kitchen thermometer, so I baked the meatballs for 10 minutes, flipped them over, and then cooked them for 10 more minutes. That worked, at least in my oven!

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So, how do they taste? SPICY! I ate them with salsa and guacamole. The perfect dipping sauces!

Enjoy 🙂

What are you eating this Wednesday?!

{Healthy} Treats on Tuesday

So, I don’t know what you like to do on the Internet, but I like to read blogs. Running blogs, food blogs, lifestyle blogs…I love them all. And that’s how this little corner of the blog world was born. 🙂 One of my best friends looked at me like I was crazy when I explained how many different blogs I read and how invested I am in all of them. I love that those bloggers share their pictures and their lives with the world! I love reading each and every post. I now feel like I am reading about my friends. Ha! Anyways, my friend really likes to watch YouTube videos. Some may call them vlogs. You know, those tutorials about clothes and makeup and food and anything else that people want to post…I guess just like a blog, but in video form. I can’t get into the videos! I’m still on the blog train. But she sent me a video last week that reminded her of me and now I HAVE to share the recipe with you!

These flourless peanut butter cookies are about to make your day. And amaze you. They amazed me. You know I love easy recipes. Here is your ingredient list:

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Yep. That’s all.

1/2 cup peanut butter (or nut butter of choice)
1/2 cup sugar (the video called for coconut sugar, I chose my own alternative)
1 egg

If you make these following my recipe, they are delicious, but you should feel free to play with the ingredients, too! After all, it’s only three things, so if it tastes terrible, try again. 😉 That’s what I would do! Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and get to mixing.

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I mixed the egg and sugar with a spatula and then added the peanut butter. Peanut butter is so darn tasty but it is definitely my least favorite thing to mix! It doesn’t just mix right in…you have to work for it. Ha!

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The video claimed this “cookie dough” would make eight cookies, but with my cookie scoop, I made nine. #littlevictories Bake for 7-9 minutes and then let them cool! The center may be a little “uncooked” so they need to set before you move them to a plate.

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I never claimed they were pretty cookies, I just said they were good. And only 90 calories a pop!

Find the original video on YouTube here.
Now get to baking! 🙂

Greek Yogurt Madness

You don’t have to scroll very far on Pinterest to realize that greek yogurt is a pretty popular health food. My favorite three reasons to eat greek yogurt are:

1. Protein. Protein is what makes you feel “full” at meal time or snack time…it helps you maintain a healthy weight…and it helps you recover after a hard workout. We need protein and greek yogurt has almost twice as much protein as regular yogurt!
2. Probiotics, which help improve digestion and make our immune systems stronger.
3. Versatility. I love to eat yogurt as a snack with nuts or granola (or peanut butter Cheerios), but I also realized that I can replace some higher-calorie ingredients in other recipes with greek yogurt. The thick texture and rich flavor make it a perfect substitute for milk, sour cream, or cream cheese.
{Read more about greek yogurt from this source.}

I’ve tried many different brands of greek yogurt, but I cannot jump on the Chobani bandwagon! My favorite is Dannon Light & Fit.

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There are a TON of crazy flavors out there now! I usually stick to vanilla (it’s just my favorite) but sometimes it’s nice to switch things up a bit. 🙂 Notice that even though this is Greek yogurt, the crazy (or fun) flavor adds a little debate to it…is it as healthy as it could be? Most likely, there is added sugar and such to give this the perfect flavor. Some people think this isn’t “healthy” or something that can be considered “real food” since it contains other added ingredients. They believe eating plain greek yogurt in its purest form is the healthy way, but I think a compromise is acceptable every once in awhile. I try to eat as much “real food” as possible but I don’t have any super strict guidelines for myself. So occasionally, you will see me eating something “healthy” that might also have some not-so-healthy ingredients, like artificial flavoring. That is just my opinion and you should eat what you believe. I have never baked with caramel apple pie greek yogurt, but I have baked with my beloved vanilla. Here is one way you can eat greek yogurt without a spoon. 🙂

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Going back in the iPhoto archives, I found these cupcakes that I made in the summer of 2013. 🙂 That is the first summer I started experimenting with food and recipes in the kitchen. The left is what they are supposed to look like…mine are on the right. 😉 You will need:

2 Dannon Light & Fit vanilla greek yogurt cups (or approximately 10 oz. greek yogurt)
1 1/2 cups Truvia
2 egg whites
3/4 cup flour
2 T milk of choice
1 t baking powder
1 t vanilla
1/4 t salt
1/2 cup cocoa powder
Mix ingredients, pour in muffin tins, and bake on 350* for 15-20 minutes!

Then there are the possibilities of plain greek yogurt. Vanilla works well too, but depending on what you’re making, you might not want the vanilla flavor and prefer or need something plain. Now, because PLAIN greek yogurt is supposed to be so good for me, I have tried it on a handful of occasions. And I’m not going to lie, I have thrown it away more times than I’ve eaten it.

Plain greek yogurt has quite a bitter taste. Dare I even say…sour. I would not recommend scooping plain greek yogurt out the container into your bowl, but maybe we have different palates. 🙂 In any case, here are a few ways I have found I can disguise plain greek yogurt to reap all the health benefits without sacrificing my taste buds.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

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(source)

No, your eyes are not deceiving you. This dip can become a protein powerhouse if you add plain greek yogurt! The above image is from Frank’s RedHot website because that’s the recipe I like to use. I just simply replaced the cream cheese with greek yogurt and BAM! My mom is the one who taught me to favor recipes that don’t call for many ingredients, and this one sure wins with only five! We also like to eyeball most ingredients (i.e. desired amount of hot sauce and cheese), but I was a little more specific for you. 🙂

1 cup plain greek yogurt
*The recipe calls for one block of Philadelphia Cream Cheese which is 8 oz.*
1/2 cup Frank’s RedHot sauce
1/2 cup Ranch dressing
1/2 shredded cheese of choice
Shredded chicken breast
Combine all ingredients and bake on 350* for 20 minutes. Sprinkle cheese on top and bake until melted.
*Let the dip “set” in the pan when you remove it from the oven. The greek yogurt does change the consistency a bit and the few minutes to cool after cooking are important.*

Protein Pancakes

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For every protein pancake recipe you see, there are five more. I have tried many and my favorite “from scratch” includes bananas and oats but that’s another story. These are a recent find from Nikki over at Antos Does Life. I made them on Friday morning and they were delicious! You could definitely get creative with toppings. I just had mine with Walden Farms syrup and I was good to go. Typically pancakes and waffles don’t keep me feeling full for very long, but I went about my day for four hours before I ate again. That’s a serious win for me! Here’s what you will need if you’re whipping these up for breakfast (or dinner)!

1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
1/2 cup liquid egg whites
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 T all purpose flour
1 packet of Splenda (I used Stevia)
1 t vanilla extract
1 t baking soda
Whisk ingredients in a bowl and cook pancakes as usual.

And now…the most recent discovery…

Plain Greek Yogurt. In a bowl. As a snack.

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“Add frozen fruit.”
“Add PB2.”

“Add cocoa powder.”
“Add cinnamon and nuts.”
“Add sweetener.”

People. I have tried it all. I usually get my bowl out in excitement…get the “extras” lined up on the counter…create a concoction that lasts for one bite and then ditch it. TODAY I perfected my bowl of plain greek yogurt.

1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
splash of vanilla extract
a little bit of Truvia
a few shakes of cinnamon
…and my favorite topping. 🙂

I’m not going to say it’s better than my beloved Dannon vanilla greek yogurt…but I definitely didn’t want to spit this mixture out! I was Googling ideas and found a comment that said “five drops of vanilla extract and sweetener” made a world of difference…so I decided to try it. The first bite was not exactly what I was expecting, but it was good enough to eat the whole bowl and that has never happened before! You can see that my measurements are not so specific;) That won’t exactly help in recreating this snack, but at least now I know what to combine!

– Are you a fan of plain greek yogurt?

– What’s your favorite “healthy” snack?