Guilt Free Pancakes – Serves 2+

Hello, it’s me.  Hiatus is over and I’m back.  Oh, and Happy 2017!!!

Since late November I’ve been on a series of adventures which included a drive from Texas to California.  I survived the drive and honestly have a new appreciation for road trips especially those that include utilization of an RV (genius idea).  I think the key to any successful road trip is movement, food, hydration, and whomever you are with.  My trip spanned five days and each day was a new adventure.  The only one who didn’t really enjoy the road trip was my poor pup, Theodore Roosevelt III aka Teddy (#TRIIIthecav).

Day 1: Drove straight from the Alamo (San Antonio, Texas) to Santa Fe, New Mexico with a stop in Roswell to find aliens (failed but did find McDonalds), Day 2: Flagstaff, Arizona and dropped my pup off then went to see the Grand Canyon for sunset, Day 3: Phoenix, Arizona where epic friendships were solidified and many laughs were had, Day 4: Oxnard, California with a stop in Hollywood to hike the sign, and Day 5: Drove along route-1 aka the California coast all the way up to San Francisco with multiple photo and hike breaks especially around Big Sur.

pancakes

Now I’m settled and back in the kitchen per usual.  I love easy eats and this is a great staple on my weekends for brunch or during the week.  I absolutely love to pre-make these pancakes to have them ready for a ‘grab ‘n go’ type of post workout item or snack especially since they’re a great source of protein which helps maintain satiety.

Threw together a cool topping for the pancakes which included apple pears which are the new super fruit in my opinion.  They’re loaded with fiber, vitamins (specifically C and K), and minerals.  Therefore, if you have yet to try apple pears, just do it.

Ingredients:

  • 2 scoops of vanilla protein powder of choice
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/2 apple-pear; diced
  • 6 blackberries; halved
  • oil of choice for the pan (I used coconut)
  • OPTIONAL: honey or syrup

Methodology:

  1. In a mixing bowl combine all ingredients but the fruit and optional items.  Stir well until homogeneous.
  2. Heat a frying with enough oil to moisten the surface well.
  3. Pour batter onto the pan to create 2-4 pancakes depending on the size desired.  Cook each side for 2-3 minutes and flip.  Add a final toss for each side of the pancake (20-30 seconds per side).
  4. Combine the fruit pieces then serve atop the pancakes with a drizzle of honey or syrup.
  5. Pair with a mimosa or two…

 

xxx – Sarah

Power Strawberry Pumpkin Pudding – Serves 2+

I seriously love all things pumpkin.  You can tell the moment you step into my home – pumpkin scents everywhere.  Now that it is almost fall there are some gourmands here and there…  Imagine, it’s only September which means there is still time for me to up my game even more.  Look out friends.

Pumpkin.  What do you know?  Well for starters: 1) High in fiber which helps with satiety and blood glucose control, 2) High in antioxidants as well as vitamin-A and vitamin-C which supports retinal function, hair, skin, and nail growth/support, and 3) High in water content thus if you’re slacking with fluids this will help.  This awesome beta carotene/orange goodness is full of flavor which can be enhanced by spices such as cinnamon, cumin, and of course, pumpkin pie spice.  This recipe is a wholesome way to get all your nutrients in while on the run and has been a breakfast lifesaver!

Ingredients:fullsizerender

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin; canned
  • 2 frozen bananas; softened
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tbsp almond butter; smooth (unsalted)
  • 2 tbsp dry oats
  • 1 1/2 scoops vanilla protein powder of choice
  • 4 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2-1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 6 medium-large strawberries; fresh and chopped

Methodology:

  1. Combine all ingredients sans strawberries and mix/mash well until a homogenous mixture is formed.  Divide pumpkin mixture among two mason jars or similar containers.
  2. Top with chopped strawberries and seal with a cover.
  3. Refrigerate overnight or 2-3 hours prior to consumption.
  4. Grab a spoon and get moving!

 

xxx – Sarah

Italian Herb Pizza Frittata – Serves 10+

Italian?  Yes.  Herbs?  Yes.  Pizza?  Kinda of…  Minus the bread and cheese.  Frittata?  Yes.  Should you make this?  Absolutely.

Are you looking to change up your breakfast routine?  Well, this is a hearty change that will leave your mouth watering for more.  This is also good for those of you like myself who love the ‘Reverse Diet’ aka breakfast for dinner which is what I do at least 150 days a year.  This recipe is loaded with antioxidants, protein, and slow digesting carbohydrates that will fuel your goals.

I previously mentioned utilizing the bulk section at local grocery spots can help you to select, try, and obtain fresh spices at a lower cost and control your portion to ensure freshness.  I recently loaded up on fennel seeds hence its addition to this recipe and it is fabulous.  Fennel is sweet due to its composition of anise which has a similar taste to licorice.  If you are trying to boost your fiber intake – try fennel.  In addition to its fiber content fennel also has antioxidant, mineral, and vitamin properties.

Ingredients:

  • 10 whole eggs
  • 1/4 cup fresh or canned/drained yellow corn
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 8-10 cherry tomatoes; quartered/slivered
  • 1 cup raw kale; chopped
  • 2 ounces prosciutto; chopped/ripped into various sizes
  • 2 tbsp fresh sage; minced
  • 1 sprig rosemary; minced
  • 1 tbsp parsley; chopped
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • OPTIONAL: 1/2 tsp sea salt

Methodology:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. On a stovetop heat up a frying pan over medium-high heat to toast the corn, fennel seeds, and black pepper.  Toast for 5-8 minutes until fragrant and/or slightly browned then remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients and the corn from step one.
  4. Oil a circular pan and pour in the egg mixture from step two.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a knife can be inserted in the center and removed without residue.
  6. Set the pan aside, inhale, allow to cool, slice, and serve.

 

xxx – Sarah

Berry Walnut Bowl – Serves 1

Smoothies are out this year.  Didn’t you know?  Bowls are in.  The crunch, the chew, and the swirl of a spoon is the latest craze.  I am a major fan because I find that eating with a spoon rather than drinking my food allows for me to digest slowly, calm myself before the day begins, and appreciate each ingredient.

If you do not do this already, you should – check out the bulk section at your grocery store!  The bulk section allows you to try ingredients that you may or may not have heard of.  Best of all you can select the amount of each ingredient which allows freshness and helps with portion control.

The ingredients in this ‘Berry Walnut Bowl’ are super refreshing, energizing, filling, and nutritious.  Best of all this bowl is sans gluten and dairy.  Start your day with the right fuel!

Ingredients:

  • Layer One:
    • 1/4 cup chia seeds
    • 1/4 cup dry oats
    • 3 tbsp unsweetened almond or cashew milk
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • 2 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes
    • 2-3 tbsp water (depending on thickness desired)
  • Layer Two:
    • 1/2 banana; sliced
    • handful of frozen raspberries
    • 1 scoop of protein powder (unsweetened or flavored)
    • handful of chopped walnuts

Methodology:

  1. In a bowl mix all the ingredients listed for layer one.
  2. Allow to set in the refrigerator uncovered for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Remove from the refrigerator.  Distribute each ingredient from layer two in horizontal fashion in the bowl.
  4. Return to the refrigerator to set further…
  5. Or if you’re impatient like I am, grab a spoon, dig in and mix up the ingredients!

 

xxx – Sarah

No Bake Cashew Raspberry Energy Bites – Serves 6+

Summer may be winding down, but the temperatures are still rising, especially in Texas.  Bikini season is still going and that means healthy eats!  However, if you’re like me, bikini season is all day, every day.  These flavor rich bites are a fantastic addition to your morning routine if you’re looking for a workout boost, post-workout snack, or mid-day snack for extra energy.  Not only are the bites easy to make but they are packed with ‘good for you’ nutrients and mouthgasmic worthy.  If you like berries and nuts – this creation is definitely for you.

Now let’s talk shop.  These bites contain: chia seeds, coconut flakes, cashews, raspberries, dates, protein powder, a banana, and some water.  Basically these bites are a mouthful of antioxidants and protein with natural sweet flavorings.  Next time you’re opting for store bought energy balls, snacks, or protein bars with ingredients that are unpronounceable or contain numbers, try these, you’ll know exactly what you are eating.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups raw cashews (soaked/drained)
  • 1 cup raspberries (frozen or fresh)
  • 1 medium banana (fresh)
  • 2 heaping tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 5 large medjool dates (pits removed)
  • 1 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 3 tablespoons warm water
  • 1 scoop Vanilla Vega Protein Powder (this protein powder can be found just about anywhere – Target, Amazon, Whole Foods, Vitamin Shoppe, Costco, and GNC)

Methodology:

  1. Toss cashews and water into a blender and pulse/blend until soft.
  2. Add coconut flakes, banana, and dates to the nut mixture then pulse/blend until the mixture is homogeneous.
  3. Remove cashew mixture from the blender.  Fold in the raspberries and chia seeds utilizing a fork.  Use the fork to mash up some of the berries so that they are not whole.
  4. Line a cooking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Use a tablespoon to create scoops to drop on the parchment paper.  Aim to make each portion half the size of the tablespoon utilized.
  6. Freeze for 4-5 hours then remove from the freezer and store in a parchment paper lined airtight tupperware container.
  7. Now you’ve got energy bites whenever you want!
  8. Time to get energized.

xxx – Sarah

Loaded Chicken Curry – Serves 5+

Recently a friend asked about cooking curry at home rather than going out…  She wanted a good ‘date night’ type recipe, and frankly, she asked the right person.  This dish is quick and easy so that while the chicken (or other protein is cooking) is tenderizing you can clean and/or get all glammed up.  The quick run-down on this recipe is that it is gluten-free, dairy-free, a great source of protein, antioxidant rich, and loaded with flavor.  The leftovers from this dish taste amazing (ahhhh-mazzzzzing) reheated.  On a final note this dish does not have to be made with chicken rather other proteins such as shrimp, turkey, or beef can be utilized.

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Ingredients

  • 1.5# chicken tenders; chopped into chunks
  • 1 can (8 ounces) light coconut milk
  • 1 medium size zucchini; sliced/halved
  • 1 cup red and orange bell peppers; strips
  • 3 heaping tablespoons of unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 2-3 ounces water
  • 1 medium size yellow onion; minced
  • 4 bay leaves; whole
  • 3 springs rosemary; minced (fresh)
  • Coconut oil to heat up the frying pan
  • 2 (or 3 if you want a bold taste) tablespoons of each spice: tumeric, garlic powder, and ginger, and paprika
  • 3 tablespoons of curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and black pepper
  • If you want an extra kick: 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (probably my favorite ingredient)
  • To taste: garlic salt or sea salt

Methodology

  1. Under medium heat add coconut oil to heat up a large stir-fry pan then add the yellow onions.  Cook until carmelized.
  2. Add the water and coconut milk – stir well.  Allow the mixture to heat up well for about 5 minutes then add the chicken, coconut flakes, vegetables, and spices (including the bay leaves and rosemary).
  3. Stir the mixture well until homogeneous for 5 minutes then reduce to low heat and allow to simmer for 20-25 minutes either covered or uncovered.
  4. Serve atop your favorite rice.  (I used basamati rice with some spicy southwest seasoning for an extra kick.)
  5. Happy date night y’all!

 

xxx – Sarah

Salted Coco(a) Banana Bites – Serves 2+

Basically Summer screams frozen everything.  I love salt and I love sugar aka I go nuts for combinations with hints of both – why not mix them together and get crazy?!  However, since I’m ‘adulting’ that means make some swaps for healthier ingredients…  Rather than adding traditional chocolate in the recipe I swapped for chocolate protein powder which allows for a bit more protein compared to a regular dessert.

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Methodology

  1. Line a cooking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Add the sliced bananas to the parchment paper and freeze for 10-20 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl, mix protein powder with very little water, stir and/or add water until a pudding consistency is reached.  Set aside the chocolate protein pudding mixture.
  4. Heat up coconut oil under medium-high heat in a frying pan then add the oatmeal, coconut flakes, and sea salt.  Toss the coconut/oatmeal mixture until golden then remove from heat and set aside.
    1. SIDEBAR – the toasted mixture almost tastes like popcorn and it’s heavenly.  
  5. Remove the cooking sheet from the freezer.  Add a dollop of the protein pudding to each banana slice then top with a sprinkling of the coconut/oatmeal mix.
  6. Put the banana slices back into the freezer for minimum 20 minutes.
  7. Sandwich two banana slices together with a toothpick so that the chocolate pudding mixture is in the middle.  Return the cooking sheet to the freezer for 20 minutes or longer.
  8. Remove banana sandwiches from parchment paper and serve as a the perfect guilt-free dessert.
  9. Absolute H-E-A-V-E-N!!!

 

 

xxx – Sarah

Grab and Go Egg Scramble – Serves 4+

Inspiration came to me late Monday night as I was dancing to Mirrors by JT and perusing my refrigerator to utilize what I had at home to make an easy ‘grab/go’ meal.  As Maya Angelou says, ‘Everything in the universe has a rhythm, everything dances.’  Cooking and dancing – now that’s a perfect night.

This is a terrific breakfast if you want something wholesome and uncomplicated to last for the week.  The dish is loaded with antioxidants from the vegetables and high in protein from the egg base.  Also this dish is dairy/nut/gluten-free!  Best of all is that it tastes fantastic whether cold or hot.  So, as many wise women and men say, do not skip breakfast (#grabandgomeal).

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So much happiness awaiting consumption!

 

Ingredients:

  • 9 eggs; whole
  • 3 bell peppers of your choice; chopped/minced/diced
  • 1 small yellow onion; minced
  • 3 cups kale; washed/rinsed
  • 1.5 tbsp FlavorGod’s ‘Everything Spicy’ seasoning
  • EVOO to heat frying pan and coat shallow baking pan

Methodology:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Under medium heat, cook onions in a slightly oiled frying pan until slightly browned.
  3. Add the peppers, kale, and spice, stir/cook for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Add eggs to the vegetable mixture then scramble.  Allow dish to sit for 1-2 minutes.  Transfer egg/vegetable scramble to a slightly oiled 10×15 rectangular Pyrex dish (click the link for the exact item I used) and insert in the oven.
  5. Cook in the oven for 15 minutes.  Remove dish from heat and allow to cool.
  6. Set aside for breakfasts by itself, create a traditional sandwich, or create an open-faced sandwich.  My favorite spin to this is a slice of gluten-free bread or rice cake with this scramble served on top!
  7. Start your day right.  Bon appetit.

 

xxx – Sarah

 

Thyme Spiced Lamb Chops & Vinegar Loaded Brussels – Serves 2

As a kid my mother used to make lamb chops once a month and it was a favorite amongst us kids!  I was feeling ultra nostalgic today…  Must have been my recent visit to New York that led to the cravings and water works.  Hmm.

Lamb is a great source of protein and a great way to change up your oral intake.  Lamb can be grilled, roasted, pan fried, and much more.  I love to roast lamb in a makeshift tinfoil dish since it means no mess, no fuss.  This is a simple and quick dish that will leave your dinner guests wanting more – I swear.  Also, cooking with parchment paper on baking pans/sheets is another great way to save time (and your manicure).

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Thyme Spiced Lamb Chops 

Ingredients:

  • 4 lamb chops (about 1#)
  • A mix of the following spices to coat the chops on both sides:
    • French thyme (about 1.5 tbsp)
    • Paprika (about 1.5 tbsp)
    • Black pepper (about 1 tbsp)
  • OPTIONAL: on one side of the chops add a pinch or two of coarse sea salt

Methodology:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix the spices evenly together and cover the chops.
  3. Create a makeshift tinfoil pan with at least two layers of foil on the bottom then add the chops.
  4. Roast the chops in the oven for 15-18 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat, drain out the juices, discard the tinfoil, and plate.
  6. If you’re looking for a game changer then pair with my ‘Vinegar Loaded Brussels’ – absolute heaven.

Vinegar Loaded Brussels

Ingredients:

  • 1/2# Brussels sprouts; halved/quartered
  • Vinegar mixture:
    • 1 tbsp black pepper
    • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
    • 1/2 tbsp cayenne pepper
    • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
    • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
    • 1/4 cup olive oil

Methodology:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large bowl combine all the ingredients for the vinegar mixture.
  3. Add the Brussels sprouts and toss well.
  4. Layer on a baking pan one sheet of parchment paper then spread the Brussels evenly on the paper.  Some of the vinegar mixture may left in the bowl and that’s okay!
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes depending on crispiness desired… I love a little bit of crispy and ‘not so crispy’ so I opted for 23 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and pair with a protein of choice – I highly recommend my ‘Thyme Spiced Lamb Chops.’
  7. Bon appétit!

 

xxx – Sarah

 

Flanken Style Peppered Ribs – Serves 3+

Long live BBQ season…  Then again, I live in Texas now.  BBQ is life.  I was recently abroad in China and Thailand eating my way through the towns.  Now that was heaven.  Since I’ve been home all I’ve craved is BBQ.  I wanted ribs last night so I made it happen.  In my opinion good ribs need a perfect rub and/or sauce.  The ribs were made sans sauce since many contain an insane amount of sugar and frankly a good rub can be more than enough.  All I have to say post-creation is that these ribs were mouthwatering and I really didn’t want to share.

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Flanken style ribs.  From its name you can derive that they are from the back of the cow aka the flank.  These ribs are awesome, I’ll tell you why:  1) Ultra meaty and well-marbled, 2) Cut across bone meaning the bone pieces are oval, 3) Best when slow cooked to release the bone marrow, collagen, and fat, and 4) Usually cut thin.  Lastly these ribs are half the price of the much loved ‘short ribs.’

Fun fact  ::  If you don’t already know, most grocery spots have bulk sections, utilize this.   Rather than spending $4.00-10.00 on bottled spices – package your own in sealable bags, get the exact amount you need, and spend a fraction of the cost!  Spices are usually best for 6 months to a year therefore don’t be wasteful with a bottle that won’t be finished.

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds flanken style ribs (thin cut with 3-4 oval shaped bones per strip)
  • 2 tbsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp. vanilla pepper
  • 1 tbsp. sea salt
  • 2 tbsp. brown mustard seeds
  • 1-1.5 tbsp. paprika

Methodology:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a mixing bowl combine all spices to create the rub.
  3. Create tinfoil bowl out of at least 2 sheets of tinfoil.
  4. Cover the ribs with the spice mixture.FullSizeRender_6
  5. Place the ribs atop the tinfoil then cover with a single sheet creating a tinfoil boat.
  6. Place tinfoil covered ribs in the middle of the oven directly on the oven grid
    with a cooking sheet below in case juices fall out. 
  7. Cook for 2.5 hours then remove from heat and drain out the juices (goodbye fat/liquid love).
  8. Cut into the ribs into pieces with either 1 or 2 bones and serve with your favorite sides.
  9. Time to get messy! 

 

xxx – Sarah

PS – Have some hand wipes nearby…