Monthly Archives: July 2016

Chocolate Caramel Banana Protein Shake



Today was my long run day! I am training for a half marathon in Asheville, NC. The race is right before my sister’s wedding at the end of August. I am getting very excited!  Both of the events are less than a month away.

My husband and I had one of our good friends over this morning. She is also training for a half marathon and we did a very hilly workout in our neighborhood.  After the run I felt like I needed a good cool off and protein boost. This protein shake did the trick. I added a frozen banana and some fresh baby spinach for extra fiber and nutrients for the recovery period. It was delicious!! I cannot wait to go for a run again and make another.

This recipe yields two large shakes: (serving size 2 cups per shake)

Recommended tools for the job: Vitamix, Small rubber spatula.



3/4 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk

3/4 cup of water

1/4 teaspoon of caramel extract

1 scoop of chocolate protein powder (look for one with about 100 calories per scoop)

1/3 cup of packed fresh baby spinach


1 small frozen banana

1 & 1/2 cups of ice


  1. Place the first 5 ingredients into the blender. Place the blender on smoothie mode.
  2. Once the first cycle has elapsed, remove lid and add frozen banana and ice.  Secure the lid.
  3. Place the blender on smoothie mode again this time use the blender wand to move the ice around to create a smooth texture. Continue stirring until the cycle has elapsed.
  4. Pour the shake into two large mason jars and enjoy. I like to use a spoon to savor the flavor and my hubby enjoys his with a straw.  


Baked Barbecue Zucchini Chips

We have so much Zucchini in the garden! We could not even fit two more in the refrigerator.  I have been wanting to try baked zucchini chips for a while now so no better time than now. 

This recipe is very easy especially if you have a mandolin. These chips take a little extra time and patience; however, they are worth the wait.  I ate the entire first batch… oops and then had to make another. 


One small-medium zucchini

Add half a teaspoon a barbecue 3001 seasoning 

Canola Oil Cooking Spray

2 Half sheet pans with parchment paper

Pre-directions preheat the oven to 230 degrees and line two half sheet pans with parchment paper.


1. Using a mandolin safely cut up one zucchini. 

2. Blot the cut zucchini slices with paper towels to remove the excess moisture.

3. Line the zucchini slices on parchment paper lined pan. 

4. Spray the zucchini with cooking spray & sprinkle with the BBQ powder. The trick to even distribution is using a powder sugar metal shaker (all purpose shaker). 

5. Place the pans in the oven. Bake for an hour at 230 degrees. Rotate out the pans and bake for another hour, at same temperature, or until golden in color. 

Enjoy !

Cinn-licious Chia Overnight Oats

I am pretty routine when it comes to breakfast staples.  If it is not oats & eggs it is probably Greek yogurt and eggs. That said I like to spice up the different variations or combine the two. 

This recipe I usually heat up but since today there is a heat advisory for our county. I decided to keep this breakfast cool.

Serving size: one just for me


1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoon of old fashioned oats 

1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk 

1 1/2 cup water 

1 teaspoon of Ground Vietnesmeese Cinnamon 

1 tablespoon of chia seeds

2 packets of truvia 

1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup of frozen blueberries

24 oz mason jar

1. Place the first 7 ingredients in a mason jar. 

2. Add blueberries place the lif and seal on the jar. Give the jar a good shake. Place in the refrigerator overnight and allow the ingredients to marry. 

3. In the morning give the jar a good shake and enjoy. These oats are very liquidy. You can almost drink them so they would be a good for a long morning commute. 

Peanuts & Berry Overnight Greek Yogurt Pick Me Up

Mason jar madness, these containers are too cute not to use for everything. I recently found a steal on vintage Ball jars at an estate sale. Garage saleing and picking is another one of my favorite past times. Buying more jars, just means more fun things to make in the perfect portioned food vessels. 

I have to admit that Plain Greek yogurt is one of my all time favorite proteins and when I put it in a mason jar it makes it ten times more enjoyable. I’m not sure if it is the seethrough glass, the sealable lid, the reusable container, or the fact it reminds me of canning vegetables and jam with my grandma. 

Serving size: one just for me (I am not a good sharer)


1 pint size mason jar

1/2 cup Plain Greek Yogurt

2 tablespoon of unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 1/2 teaspoons of chai seeds

1 teaspoon of ground Vietnamase cinnamon

2 tablespoon of peanut butter flavored protein powder 

1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

10 peanuts, spilt


1. Place the first 5 ingredients in the mason jar and mix with a mini spatula. 

2. Top the yogurt mix with the blueberries. Finish with sprinkling the peanuts. Place the seal & lid on the jar. 

3. Place the jar in the refrigerator overnight. 

4. Before enjoying give the jar contents a good stir. 

Protein Packed Powerhouse Granola Bars

Today we have our monthly Nutrition Support Team meeting. The meeting is at noon, I always like to come prepared with a snack or treat of some sort. These are super packed with plant based protein! Bonus is these are no-bake for this fabulous hot July day! No need to turn on your oven and make it any hotter. 

This recipe yields 16 bars


1/2 cup slivered almonds

1/4 cup milled flaxseed

1/4 cup sesame seeds

3 tablespoons of chia seeds

1 1/2 cup of quick oats

1 teaspoon apple pie spice

1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt

1 cup creamy cashew butter ( I am fairly excited I found this nut butter at ALDI)

1/2 cup honey

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Pre-directions take a 9 x 9 baking dish and line it with parchment paper make sure to allow for some of the paper to overlay on the sides. This step will help you pull out the bars for easy cutting. Set aside.


1. Take the first eight ingredients and mix them in a large bowl. Set aside. 

2. Place peanut butter and honey in a large microwavable safe glass bowl. Place in microwave in 30 second intervals. Stir between each intervals until soft and creamy. Add in the vanilla and stir to incorporate. 

3. Take the dry ingredients and add them to the creamy cashew butter mixture. Fold to incorporate all the ingredients together. 

4. Take the granola bar batter and add it into the prepared 9 x 9 baking dish. Take an extra piece of parchment paper and press it into the top to evenly distribute the batter this will allow for a nice even distribution of your batter for your protein bars.

5. Cover the bars with saran wrap in the baking dish. Place in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. This step will allow them to firm.

6. Remove the bars utilizing the parchment paper access from the sides. Place on a cutting board and cut into 16 bars. Now you can either individually wrap and freeze to pack them lunches or take to your next meeting. Keep these granola bars chilled or frozen for best results and optimal taste.

Chipotle Chicken Sausage with Summer Squash 

If you are looking for a quick vibrant dinner than look no further. If you have an actifry this is a simple dinner that only requires one vessel for cooking. I love my actifry! I use it at least weekly if not a few times a week to make entrees or side dishes and snacks! 

Servings: 2 

2 chipotle chicken sausage 

1 small zucchini or any summer squash (cut into quarters)

1/2 a large Green pepper

1/4 large red onion

1 tablespoon Dijon whole grain mustard 

1 tablespoon olive oil 

1/c cup baby carrots

1/8 tsp kosher salt

Place everything in the actifry. 

Mini Mediterranean Kalamata Olive & Spinach Frittatas

These mini frittatas are just what you need to get you going in the morning. These tiny protein powerhouses are full of vegetables and flavor. Today was day two for the Vintage Grand Prix Car festivities and I sent these along with my husband to fuel up the drivers for the event. They bite size egg muffins are the perfect size for dinning on the run and freeze well if you want to enjoy them longer than a week. 
This recipe yields 10 mini frittatas



Cooking Spray

1/4 cup of red onion, chopped

3/4 cup of red bell pepper, chopped

1/4 cup kalatata olives, pitted and chopped

2 cups of fresh spinach

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 cup skim milk

3 whole eggs

3/4 cup egg whites or 6 egg whites

1/4 cup of fat free or reduced fat feta

1/4 teaspoon cracked fresh pepper


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cooking spray line vessels in a standard muffin tin. I used stoneware for this recipe which generally requires longer baking time.

2. Heat sauté pan to medium heat, cooking spray the pan, once the pan is ready, add onions,& peppers. Cook on medium heat for 2 minutes. Add spinach, oregano and olives. 

3. In a large separate bowl whisk together the pepper, skim milk, eggs, egg whites, and feta. Set aside. 

4. Once the spinach has wilted take the cooked vegetables and add them to the egg mixture. Whisk all the ingredients together. 

5. Take a 1/4 cup measuring cup and add the batter to the prepared muffin tins 1/4 cup at a time. Place the muffin tin in oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Using the stoneware pan this recipe did take 25 minutes. Remove the frittatas from oven when internal temperature reads 160 degrees. Allow the frittatas to cool slightly before removing from the pan and enjoy alone or on a toasted English muffin. 


Tri-Color Quinoa

I love quinoa! This Tri-Color Quinoa goes well with just about any dish. I make it in bulk on the weekends and serve it up with most of my lunches or dinners during the week. Add it to beans, salads, place onto of portobello mushrooms, stuff peppers with. Really you can use it just about anywhere you typically use rice. I prefer it over rice because of it’s nutty flavor and fluffy texture. Quinoa provides more protein than traditional grain products. A 1/2 of cup uncooked quinoa provides 8 grams of protein.


1 cup of dry (rinsed through a strainer) Quinoa (I like the tri-colored but you pick your favorite)

2 cups of water

1 tsp of Penzey’s Vegetarian Soup Base

1 tsp of Pasta Sprinkle (or Italian seasoning)

1 tsp Roasted Garlic Powder


  1. Place a 2 quart pan on a burner with vegetable base, garlic powder, water & quinoa on high. Allow the quinoa to come to a boil.
  2. Once the quinoa is boiling, decrease the temperature to simmer and place lid over pan.
  3. Allow the quinoa to simmer for 15 minutes with lid on. After 15 minutes have elasped check to see if the grain is fluffy and no water remains.

Spiced Zucchini & Date Muffins




Zucchini is a vegetable I know I could not live without. You can make just about anything with this adaptable vegetable.  I don’t know if it is because growing up we always had it in the garden and we baked it and cooked it every which way we could (Zucchini Stuffing, Zucchini Pancakes, Zucchini Fries, Zucchini Sweet Pickles, Zucchini Quiche, Zucchini Mock Apple Pie).  There is something about when it is baked with all my favorite spices, I find comfort in the memories created by my grandma and mom from growing up. If you grow zucchini in your garden, I am sure you know what I am talking about. And if you do not, I recommend you try to grow this summer vegetable. Summer squash is probably one of the easiest vegetables to grown; however, it will take over your garden so beware.

Today my grandpa and dad are coming down to the city to go to my husband and I’s favorite car show Vintage Grand Prix. I made these muffins to eat as we travel to the event. My husband this year is driving one of the minis for the track rides. I also sent him some to enjoy while he works hard at volunteering for the event.

Pre-Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cooking spray with cooking spray 18 muffin tins with paper liners. 


1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 cup of liquid egg whites (or 4 eggs lightly beaten)

1/4 cup canola oil

2 tablespoons flaxseed, milled

1 1/4 cup of sugar

1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry floor

1/2 cup quick oats

1 cup AP flour

1 teaspoon of kosher salt

1 Tablespoon of baking powder

1/2 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice

1/2 teaspoon ground Vietnamese cinnamon

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

1/2 cup dates, chopped

1 1/2 cup of shredded zucchini (not peeled)

This recipe yields 18 muffins using a number 16 scoop


  1. Place the first 5 ingredients (applesauce, oil, flaxseed, sugar,& egg whites) into a large bowl. By hand whisk the ingredients together and set aside.
  2. Take the next 7 ingredients (flours, oats,salt, baking powder, & spices) into a medium bowl whisk together to blend thoroughly.
  3. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients prepared batter. Fold together by using a rubber spatula.
  4. Lastly add the zucchini, dates, and walnuts into the batter. Fold these ingredients into the batter. Be careful not to over mix.
  5. Portion the batter into the prepared muffin tins using a number 16 scoop.
  6. Bake for 16 minutes at 400 degrees, rotate half way through or they might start to burn on the bottom. Check to see if they are done by using a toothpick and if when you insert the toothpick into the muffin and it comes out clean or with dry residue remove from the oven. Allow to cool in the tin for 1 minute and carefully remove the muffins from the tin  (caution the pan will still be hot) and allow to cool the remainder of the way on a wire rack.
  7. Enjoy!

Roasted Cauliflower Rice




IMG_8283Cauliflower rice is a fairly new concept, well everything cauliflower replacing traditional grain products is all the rage. But this idea is not the first time cauliflower has replaced a traditionally starchy food at the dinner table. I can remember 20 years ago, my mom making cauliflower mock mashed potatoes when I was growing up.  When everyone was low carb and loving it.  I love whole grains please don’t get me wrong. I eat whole grains daily, matter of fact several times a day. Whole grains are superfoods, rich in many vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

I strongly advocate for incorporating more vegetables into any diet. Actually, everyone can use a more vegetables in their lifestyle.  Cauliflower rice is one way of sneaking in (aka increasing) vegetables into you and your families meals . Switching out regular rice and substituting it with cauliflower rice can significantly decrease the calories in a dish as well.   This rice recipe is something you have to try! One of my colleagues has me hooked. I love this side dish. You will eat half a head of cauliflower in a sitting and not even bat an eyelash.



1 large head of cauliflower

Salt to taste

1/4 Teaspoon of  Black Pepper

1 & 1/2 Teaspoons of Roasted Garlic Powder from Penzey’s

Low Sodium Soy Sauce (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper. Set aside
  2. Prepare a food processor with the grater attachment. Take the cauliflower feed it through the top using the plastic plunger. Pour the shredded cauliflower onto the baking dish evenly.
  3. Sprinkle with roasted garlic, pepper, & salt and mix. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until the rice starts to brown.Every 10 minutes, toss the “rice” with a spatula.
  4. Enjoy!