Choo Choo!

Hi there!

So even though today started out disappointing with the blender blow up, it turned out to be a pretty great day!  After Stroller Strides, we met a friend and her two daughters for outdoor play time.  The weather was so nice for a change so we went to a small play area by one of my favorite shopping centers.

Then we took the kids on the little train that they have there.

The love nugget thought it was fun!

We came home just in time for a nap and to clean up a little bit.  Then we headed off to meet the hubby at Costco to purchase our new blender.  We ended up getting the Ninja after a few people gave us good reviews.  Plus… it was on sale!   I’ll let you know how it works tomorrow 🙂

I didn’t have anything planned for dinner tonight but the last time we made pizza we froze some of the whole wheat dough.  So I pulled that out to defrost for the hubby and I decided to make a cauliflower pizza for me.   I’ve been wanting to try this recipe from Eat. Drink. Smile.

The only thing was that I didn’t have any mozzarella cheese nor did I have a whole head of cauliflower.  So I riced just enough to make 1 packed cup of cauliflower and used 1/2 cup cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese instead of the mozzarella cheese.  It actually turned out pretty good!  Does it taste like real pizza crust?  No.  But… it had great favor and held up pretty well.  I usually eat my pizza with a fork so this was no different to me.  I topped mine with a little quick pizza sauce, goat cheese, spinach, artichoke hearts and tofu sausage.

The hubby had his normal cheese and tofu sausage but with cheddar and parmesan as well.

We used to buy our pizza sauce and pizza dough from The Nugget or Trader Joes.  I guess I never realized how easy it was to make our own.  Thought I’d share my simple, quick easy pizza sauce recipe.

Quick and Easy Pizza Sauce

1 can of low sodium tomato sauce

1 tbsp tomato paste

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 tsp olive oil

1 tsp oregano

salt and pepper

Heat olive oil in a small saucepan and add garlic.  Cook just a few minutes until softened.  Add in the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 8 – 10 minutes.

The other night when the hubby and I were pulling out discussion starters from our “Let’s talk” box one of the questions was, “what’s your favorite ice cream?”  I’ve always been more of a frozen yogurt fan but when given the choice of ice cream flavors I always choose mint chip.  So I thought I’d make something similar tonight.

Mint Chip Frozen Yogurt  (adapted from Sugar-Free Mom)

1 banana mashed

1/2 cup greek yogurt

1/2 tsp nustevia

1/2 tsp mint extract

1 tbsp dark chocolate chips

Place all ingredients into a food processor.

Process until smooth pausing to scrape down the sides.

Put mixture in the freezer for at least 1 hour.  Stir a few times during freezing.  Scoop into a bowl and enjoy!

I think that it’s yummy for being so low-fat!  It doesn’t taste exactly like ice cream for frozen yogurt but it’s pretty close!

Hope everyone has a great night!

Ahhh sunshine :-)

Hi!

The love nugget really enjoyed gymnastics class today.  He even stood by himself numerous times which he doesn’t do that often at home.  I think he gets lazy.  He was crawling and cruising all over the place too.  I think his favorite thing was getting to jump on the big trampoline.  So fun!  We had a great lunch with a friend and finally made it to Hobby Lobby.  I picked up plates, cups, and napkins for his party AND… found a large frame on clearance perfect for the “photo booth.”  I’ve been searching every Goodwill store for months so this was a big score!

When we got home the love nugget passed out so I got started on our dinner for tonight.  Since I thought it was going to be a rainy day, I had planned a white bean chicken chili in the crock pot.  I decided to just go with it.

Chicken and White Bean Crock pot Chili

2 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth

2 organic chicken breasts, diced

1 can no salt added white beans, rinsed

1 cup frozen corn

1 cup chopped red bell pepper

1 small diced onion

2 cups chopped swiss chard

1 tbsp cumin

1/2 tbsp chili powder

1/2 tbsp paprika

Juice from 1 lime

salt and pepper to taste

Dump all ingredients except chard into crock pot.  Stir and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.  About a half hour before it is finished cooking, add in swiss chard.  Add your choice of toppings.   We had avocado, cheddar cheese, and greek yogurt.

While the chili was cooking, I started on the love nugget’s dinner.

Chicken and Vegetable Barley

1 small chicken organic breast

1/2 cup of barley

2 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable broth

1/2 cup of diced organic red bell peppers

1/2 cup of chopped organic baby carrots

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp garlic powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a small baking dish with cooking spray and add chicken breast.  Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until cooked well. While the chicken is cooking, pour vegetable broth into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and add barley, red bell peppers, carrots and seasonings.   Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.  Add in diced chicken and mix well.  Cover and continue to cook for 10 minutes more or until the mixture is thick and creamy. 

And… love nugget says…

Yummy!  He has a thing lately with feeding himself.  Whatever I put into his mouth, he spits out and put is back in himself.  He picked up every last little piece of barley, chicken, and carrots and ate them up!  I tasted this dish and it was pretty good!  I would eat it too 🙂

See how much food he has in his mouth?  He is such an oinker!  After he ate all his chicken and barley, he had cantaloupe and cottage cheese too!

I also had some time today to make a few treats.  One of the few bars that I’ll ever buy for myself is a Larabar because they usually have less than 5 ingredients and no added sugar.  So instead of buying them lately I just make something similar.  Today I made larabar coconut balls.

Coconut Balls

1/2 cup raw walnuts

1/2 cup raw almonds

4-5 pitted dates

1/4 cup unsweetened coconut

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 tbsp agave

In a food processor, puree walnuts and almonds together.

Add in dates and pulse until blended.

Add in the rest of the ingredients then pulse again until the mixture is sticky enough to hold together.

Roll into small balls and pop into the refrigerator.  Enjoy!

Even though we started the day soggy it actually ended up being a great afternoon!  It made it even better that the hubby got off work early and we were able to go for a great interval run.  For 10 blocks, we would sprint one block then jog one block.  We took a short break in the middle then finished with another 10 block interval.   It felt great to be back outdoors running and the love nugget was just as happy as can be.  He loves going for runs!

We came home and I chugged my favorite after workout drink, Naked Coconut Water.

Since the love nugget decided he wanted to feed himself, I had some time to make the hubby one of his favorite breakfasts lately, a breakfast cookie. 

Breakfast cookie (adapted from Fitnessista)

1/3 cup of quick cooking oats

2 tbsp all natural peanut butter

1 tbsp hemp seeds

1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder

2 tbsp chopped walnuts

1/4 cup frozen blueberries

1/4 cup of Almond milk

Using the back of a spoon, mix together oats and peanut butter until crumbly.

Add everything else but the milk.

 Mix together.

Then add in milk and mush altogether.  Press mixture onto a small plate or the bottom of a bowl and place in the refrigerator over night to harden up.  It will still be somewhat soft but will harden up enough to take out of the dish and enjoy with a fork.  There are a lot of variations you can do here!  When I make one for myself I make it much smaller than the hubbies and use almond butter instead of peanut butter.  We’ve made them with chocolate chips, dried cranberries, dried blueberries, all sorts of different yummy add ins!

It looks blueish because of the blueberries and the red is a few frozen raspberries that were in with the frozen blueberries.  It tastes much better than it looks, promise!

Okay, off to bed to catch up on some reading and get some rest for spin and Stroller Strides tomorrow morning!  Hope everyone has a great night!

Peanut butter and chocolate, yum!

Good morning!

We are off to a rainy start again today.  My goal this morning was to get up and do my elliptical when the hubby got up for work but… when his alarm went off and I heard the rain I decided to stay in bed.  Which means I’ll have to work out tonight.  Oh well!  The love nugget woke up in a much better mood today.  Not as much fussing through breakfast which meant I got to enjoy my smoothie and get a few things done around the kitchen.

One of my favorite food combinations is peanut butter and bananas.  Second to that is peanut butter and chocolate.   I never really have it because I know where it will end up on my butt or thighs 🙁  However, I discovered a way to have all three in a delicious green smoothie!  A much healthier way to enjoy my favs!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Green Smoothie

half a frozen banana

1/2 cup of frozen blueberries

1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder

1 tbsp PB2 or natural peanut butter

1/2 -1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup of almond milk

2 handfuls of chard,  spinach or kale

Optional squirt of agave or honey

Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.  Enjoy!

The love nugget had some pancakes, cantaloupe, cottage cheese and applesauce for breakfast.  This is why I wait to get him dressed until after breakfast!

You can’t really tell but he has food all over his face, hair, and arms.  Messy eater!

We are off to our first day of gymnastics class then lunch with a friend and hopefully a stop to Hobby Lobby.  The love nugget’s birthday is fast approaching and I’ve got a ton of things to do to prepare.  Have a great day!

Monthday!

Happy Friday everyone!

Today is my love nuggets 10 month birthday!  I can’t believe it’s already been 10 months AND… in two months he’ll be one!  Holy moly!  I know everyone always says the first year flies by but you never really believe them until it actually does.

We’ve had a very nice day so far!  Went for a run at the gym this morning before the hubby left for work.  Then headed to Stroller Strides for another workout and a play date after at a friends.

I wanted to share my yummy breakfast recipes from this morning!  I saw a great quick and healthy mug muffin on Dr. Oz the other day and gave it a try today.  It was pretty good alongside my protein berry smoothie

Protein berry smoothie

1/2 frozen banana

1/2 cup of frozen blueberries

1 scoop of whey protein powder

1 tbsp chai seeds (flax seeds or flax meal would work good)

1 – 2 handfuls of spinach

1 cup of almond milk, coconut milk or regular milk.

Blend and enjoy!

Flaxmeal mug muffin (from Dr. Oz)

1/3 cup flaxmeal

1 egg

1 tsp coconut oil melted

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp of nustevia or 1 packet of sugar substitute

Place all ingredients into a coffee mug.  Mix well then pop into the microwave for 1 minute.  It actually took mine just under a minute, maybe 45 seconds.

I put a little coconut spread on mine and enjoyed it with my protein smoothie!  Delish!

Can  you guess what’s on my apple?

If you said almond butter you’re right!  But… can you guess where it came from?   Mi casa!  Yep, that’s right, I made my own honey roasted almond butter today.  SUPER easy and really tasty!

Honey Roasted Almond Butter

2 cups of raw almonds

1 tbsp raw honey

1/2 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place almonds onto a cookie sheet and drizzle with honey.  Roast for 8-10 minutes stirring halfway through.  Watch them because they burn easily!

Once roasted, place into a food processor and process for 7-10 minutes.  Mine took about 8 minutes to be completely processed.  Enjoy however your heart desires 🙂  Told you I was addicted to it!

The hubby is coming home early so we can take the love nugget and his trusted companion (Ziggy the dog) on a walk while the weather is nice.  It is supposed to rain all weekend 🙁  Have a great weekend and please leave feed back if you try any of my yummy recipes!

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