No Bake Berry Butterscotch Protein Clusters

Even with giving up chocolate for Lent, my sweet tooth has been out of control. My go-to mix is butterscotch chips and walnuts with Craisins occasionally throw in. Satisfies the beast and serves as a great protein boost at the same time.

berry butterscotch mix

I got to thinking and wondered if I could somehow incorporate quinoa in for an extra protein punch, which led me to wonder if I could do a no bake version of my chewy quinoa bars. I found a no bake energy ball recipe on Gimme Some Oven and just winged things from there. While I was disappointed when my creation didn’t ‘ball up’ perfectly, I think the clusters work just fine. (Truth: I ate five between creating them last night and 8 a.m. this morning.)

I didn’t incorporate quinoa into this round, but am hoping to do a white chocolate quinoa version post-Lent. In the meantime, these are still sweet, chewy and delicious.

no bake protein clusters title

No Bake Berry Butterscotch Protein Clusters

Makes 20-25 clusters

Ingredients
1 c. oats
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
1/2 c. Craisins
1/4 c.  butterscotch chips
1/4 c. honey
1/4 c. peanut butter
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. chia seeds

Directions

1. Pour everything into a medium size bowl. Mix well.

2. Drop mixture by rounded teaspoon on to a wax papered baking sheet.

3. Refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight until clusters can be picked up whole.

4. Store in an airtight container.

What’s your go-to snack when your sweet tooth strikes?

Like this recipe? Check out others on my Recipes page!

strange but good

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Nutty Apple Crisp

I’m not that big of an oatmeal fan. I mean, I like it, but the prepackaged stuff doesn’t exactly make me feel healthy. Overnight oats? Such a weird texture. I can’t get over it enough to like them. More often than not, I use oatmeal as an ingredient in my baking. (See: Quinoa Bars and Banana Bread.)

So when I was approached my My Oatmeal to review their product, I got overly excited. Creating a custom blend of healthy oatmeal would be perfect for the morning! I selected the signature smash blend oats in Oatmeal Cookie flavor (I know, right?) and added blueberries, cranberries, dark raisins, walnuts and pecans to the mix. The company recommended adding some brown cane sugar, so I complied. But before trying it as breakfast, I had an idea for a recipe!

nutty apple crisp

Nutty Apple Crisp

Ingredients
2 1/2 Granny Smith apples, sliced into bite-size pieces
1 cup healthy oatmeal blend (including walnuts & pecans)
1/8c. brown sugar (optional)
2 tbsp. margarine, softened

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375.

2. Place apple pieces in a 9×9 pan coated with cooking spray.

3. Add oatmeal blend over top of apples. Sprinkle brown sugar for added sweetness.

4. Slice margarine into small slivers and distribute throughout mixture.

5. Bake for 30 minutes.

6. Let cool and serve with ice cream (or yogurt in the morning!)

**If you want to use regular oatmeal, add desired nuts/dried fruit into a small bowl with 1 c oatmeal, adding dashes of cinnamon & nutmeg prior to placing over apples. **

It was so nice to just pour and go instead of measuring out all the ingredients. There’s also the added bonus of extra fruit! The sugar content of the oatmeal seemed a bit high for me, but that was my own fault. Selecting a different flavor or carefully selecting the dried fruit you add would most likely reduce this.

MyOatmeal

Disclaimer: I was provided 1 lb. of customized oatmeal from MyOatmeal.com as part of a campaign run by Fit Approach as a Sweat Pink Ambassador. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Like this recipe? Check out others on my Recipes page!

Simplified Mushroom Quiche

Happy Mardi Gras! As winter is still with us, the JA and I have got more creative in the kitchen. One of our goals is to make filling and healthy recipes without a.) breaking the bank, b.) dominating our entire evening, and c.) have warm, comforting food that’s better for you than a traditional version.

That being said, remember when I was given those Sunshine Burgers to test? The JA had the great idea to incorporate them into our favorite quiche recipe. Acceptable for a meatless Monday (or a filling meal as us Catholics enter into Lent), this recipe is completely worth the wait 🙂

simplified mushroom quiche

Simplified Mushroom Quiche
Makes one 9 inch round quiche

Ingredients

1 pie crust
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1.5 small yellow onions, thinly sliced
2 mushroom veggie burgers
2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 1/2 cups cooked corn
1/2 cup spinach
3 eggs
1 cup milk
1 packed cup shredded cheese
1 tbsp. dried basil
1/2 tbsp. dried chives
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Original quiche recipe is Tomato & Fresh Corn quiche from A Hint of Honey

Directions

1. Prepare pie crust according to recipe directions.

2. To caramelize the onions, heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions and soft and golden brown, about 25 minutes, reducing the heat as necessary to prevent burning.

3. Preheat oven to 350 F. Scatter onions in the bottom of the pre-baked crust.

4. Cook veggie burger according to directions. crumble and place on top of onion. Layer tomatoes, corn, spinach, basil, and chives.

5. In a medium bowl, whisk to combine the eggs, milk, and cheddar. Season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pour over the filling.

6. Bake in preheated oven for 45-60 minutes, until the center is set and the top is golden brown. Let cool slightly before serving.

Notes: A lot of these steps can be done simultaneously. For example, while the pie crust is baking, I caramelized the onions, cooked the veggie burgers, and heated up the corn. Omit the onions if you want to make the recipe even faster!

Sunshine Burgers offer delicious, wholesome, vegan burgers made with non-GMO, organic whole-food ingredients. Burgers are pre-baked and browned, and are free of gluten, wheat, soy, corn, oats, dairy, eggs, tree nuts and peanuts. To find a store selling Sunshine Burgers near you, click here.

Disclaimer: I was provided six boxes of Sunshine Burgers as an ambassador of the Fit Approach Sweat Pink community. All opinions are my own. 

If you liked this recipe, check out others on my Recipes page!

Seasoned Asparagus Fries

You guys, I don’t want to brag, but I will. The recipes I’ve been making recently have been delicious. From the 10-minute nachos to the quinoa bars and now these, I might have to start cooking more often.

Hahaha. Good one, right?

We had a big bunch of asparagus sitting around the house and little time to sit down together and eat. I heard about asparagus fries and turned to Pinterest for inspiration. Saw this recipe, pinned it, made it my own, and here it is for you. Be warned, this is another recipe that you may or may not eat directly out of the oven.

seasoned asparagus fries

Seasoned Asparagus Fries

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 tbsp. Old Bay or other seasoning mix
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed
  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

Directions:

  1. Combine breadcrumbs, cheese, seasoning mix, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Dredge the asparagus in the flour, dip in the egg and place on a plate/platter.
  3. Sprinkle dry mix over egged asparagus. Flip to cover both sides.
  4. Place the asparagus in a single layer on a wire rack on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 425F oven until golden brown, about 7-13 minutes.

Notes:

  • Flat-bottomed containers are ideal for this recipe. I used a baking dish for the dredging stage and a platter for the seasoning stage.
  • You don’t have to season these one by one. I dipped the asparagus in egg separately, but seasoned it in groups.
  • If you don’t have Old Bay on hand (I’m a Baltimore girl, so I can’t fathom this scenario) or don’t like pre-packaged seasoning mixes, try this one. It’s salt free & sounds like it has a good amount of kick to it!
  • If you like your ‘fries’ extra crispy, add a minute or two to the cook time.

I’ll leave you with another photo in case you aren’t convinced at how yummy these are. If you try them, let me know what you think!

asparagus fries 2

Like this dish? Check out others on my Recipes page!

What A Tease

We had a late night at the theatre last night, so today’s post is going to be another of the short but sweet variety.

Book of Mormon

I’ve got a few great posts in the pipeline for you and figured I’d give a sneak peek:

Recipe for these fellas.

asparagus fries

A post about my ever-present sidekick.

iphone

Talking a bit more about motivation in the morning.

morning quote

Another recipe.

quiche

Blogging about blogging.

W blogging

Get excited because that’s only half the stuff tumbling around in my brain today 🙂

Happy Thursday!

What are you thinking about right now? Anything exciting up ahead?

Chewy Quinoa Bars

It’s been said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It helps you boost your metabolism, sets the tone for your body to fuel correctly during the day, yada yada.

But for some people (like me), breakfast can be overlooked and undervalued. Especially if I run in the morning, it often gets pulled together last minute. This usually means that instead of a thought out, balanced, great looking and great tasting meal, I end up housing cereal and greek yogurt at my desk. Not so pretty, not so fun.

So I began the search for a quick, easy, filling breakfast recipe. I found a ton of quinoa breakfast bar recipes, and attempted to make these from Lindsay at the Lean Green Bean.  All was going well, until I realized that I left out the flour…and the cinnamon in her recipe. Oops. So I winged it and these were born. So yummy and easy for anyone on the go!

I have found myself grabbing for these before and after runs, as midday snacks, and even before bed. Now it’s time to share the recipe with you!

chewy quinoa bars

Chewy Quinoa Bars (adapted from The Lean Green Bean’s Quinoa Breakfast Bar recipe)

Ingredients

  • 1/3 c. applesauce
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 c. peanut butter
  • 1/4 c. honey
  • 1 c. cooked quinoa
  • 1 c. oats
  • 1/2 c. walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 c. craisins
  • 1/2 tsp. – 1/2 tbsp. cinnamon (depending on personal preference)

Instructions
1. Combine applesauce, vanilla, egg, peanut butter and honey in a small bowl and mix well.
2. Add the remaining ingredients EXCLUDING CINNAMON and stir until just mixed.
3. Spoon into a greased 9×9 pan and sprinkle cinnamon over top.
4. Bake at 375 for 20 min or until golden brown.
5. Let cool and cut into 8 bars.
6. Store in the refrigerator.

Notes: For an easy measure, I use one single serve applesauce ‘cup.’ The JA has them on hand for a snack and so I snag one for the recipe! The cinnamon ones give an extra punch and can be used in conjunction or in lieu of the sprinkled cinnamon on top.

quinoa bars 2

I was also thinking about changing the recipe even further to include some chocolate. I’ll make sure to keep you posted if I do!

Breakfast – best meal of the day or something to get through?

Psst – for more deliciousness, check out my Recipes page!

Whole Wheat Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yesterday I showed you pictures of these bad boys.

choc peppermint cookies

I’m a huge fan of the chocolate/peppermint combination, as it seems are many others in my life. Even those who aren’t completely on board couldn’t refute the deliciousness of these cookies. So today, I’m sharing the recipe with you!

ww peppermint cookies

Whole Wheat Peppermint Chocolate Cookies  (adapted from this recipe by Two Peas and Their Pod)

1 ¼ cups white whole wheat flour
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (or, if you’re like me, one 11.5 oz bag)
30ish Starlight Mints, crushed
Sea salt, for sprinkling on cookies

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet, or line it with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat . Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugars together until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla until well combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Stir in the chocolate chips.

3. Form chocolate chip dough in tablespoon-sized balls.  Roll dough in crushed candy cane or sprinkle crushed candy cane pieces over dough once it’s placed on the cookie sheet. Sprinkle sea salt over each cookie.

4. Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes, or until edges just start to turn golden brown. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Notes:
– Make sure candy cane pieces are small, but not completely crushed.
– If greasing the baking sheet, make sure to do so before each batch.
– Be prepared for your first batch to look a hot mess. I had melted peppermint all over the place! To prevent this, push candy cane pieces into chocolate chip dough and try to keep it toward the middle of the cookie as opposed to the sides.

Enjoy 🙂