No Bake Healthy Cookies

I’ve called these my “cookies when I’m not supposed to be eating cookies” for a good while now and make them year round, but they’re also fantastic for upping your milk supply. It’s as simple as going heavy handed on ingredients like chia seeds, flax seed and oats while adding in some brewer’s yeast but this combo will be a healthier choice over a box of oatmeal cream pies and easier on your wallet than ordering lactation cookies from a local bakery.

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NO BAKE HEALTHY COOKIES

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dry old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seed
  • 2 tblsp chia seeds
  • 4 tblsp brewer's yeast
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tblsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes

Directions

  • Stir together oats, flax seed, chis seeds, brewer's yeast in a medium bowl.
  • Add in peanut butter, vanilla extract, honey, maple syrup and stir.
  • Add in chocolate chips.
  • Toast coconut (either on stovetop or in oven). Then add toasted coconut on top of chocolate chips and wait a couple minutes. (This allows for the chocolate chips to melt a little bit and create a more balanced chocolate flavor. It's optional but I think the recipe tastes better with an even chocolate taste.
  • Stir until well mixed. If you feel like it's too dry, add a bit more of your favorite wet ingredient.
  • Chill mixture for half an hour.
  • Once chilled, roll into small balls. I use a tablespoon to shpe the balls.
  • Store in an airtight container for about a week in the fridge or freeze for a while longer.

If you want to make these without concern over your milk supply, simply skip the brewer’s yeast and go lighter on the chia seeds (mainly to avoid the inconvenience of them getting constantly stuck in your teeth).

Creamy White Chicken Chili

If you’re looking for a healthy, guilt free chili, you should just go ahead and close this tab. This recipe is always a hit and is one of my favorite comfort foods. Also, because of the flavors, it’s one of those recipes that work all year long. You don’t need to be stuck inside on cold and dreary weather to enjoy this one. It works well even when it’s 100F outside.

I recently entered it into a chili cookoff and it took home the winning prize. Since then, it seems to be on a lot of minds to get a hold of the recipe. I’ve been asked enough since last night that I figured I would quickly write up the recipe for easy access. Below is a shot from my favorite recipe book, the Lily & Val Keepsake Kitchen Diary. I love that I can not only only have the recipe but remember the memories that the recipe has been a part of. Of course, I’ve added that it’s officially award winning, now.

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CREAMY WHITE CHICKEN CHILI

Ingredients

  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2-4 tbsp lime juice (I go heavy)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 pounds cooked and shredded chicken (FYI Costco sells 2lbs of shredded rotisserie chicken all ready to go and makes this recipe so much easier)
  • 32-45 ounces low sodium chicken broth
  • 4 cans great northern white beans 15.5 ounce cans, fully drained and rinsed
  • 3 cans diced green chiles 4 ounce cans, drained
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp white pepper (I think the white pepper makes a difference, but that's just me)
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (for an extra kick)
  • 3/4 to 1 cup fresh cilantro chopped (I go heavy here, too)
  • 12 ounces cream cheese (a package and a half)
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Directions

  • In your stock pot, saute the onions and garlic in the olive oil and lime juice over medium high heat.
  • Add in the cooked chicken, chicken broth, beans, chiles, and seasoning. Bring to a boil, stirring often, and then reduce heat to simmer.
  • Simmer uncovered for 45 minutes to an hour to let those flavors soak in. best!
  • Turn off the heat and stir in the cream cheese. Stir constantly until all of the cream cheese melts, then stir in the heavy cream.
  • Top with all kinds of goodness.
  • My favorite toppings are sliced avocado, tortilla chips, (tons and tons) of cilantro and sour cream.

Homemade Taco Seasoning

Something happened when I moved to Texas. The part of my brain that was just ok with tacos seemed to switch on and now I've become one of those people who can always go for one. Last year during my Whole 30 rounds, we introduced to the idea of making our own taco seasoning.

I'm not sure why it didn't occur to us earlier. It's incredibly easy and it tastes so much better than the pre-made packs (plus, it's healthier too). After a good while of comparing recipes and experimenting with our favorite spices, we finally settled on this recipe for our taco nights. 

 

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HOMEMADE TACO SEASONING

Ingredients

  • 2 tblsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tblsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Directions

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Store in airtight container for up to 6 months.

Recipe Notes

This is perfect for about 1.5lb of beef/chicken. I personally tend to go heavy handed when it comes to smoked paprika because I just love it so much. If you're not as much of a fan, simply cut back. This is also a pretty mild recipe. If you'd like a little more heat, add 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper to the recipe.

Toddler Friendly Spinach Muffins

Well, it was great while it lasted. We look back now and sort of cherish the times when James would eat whatever was on his plate without question. Gone are those days. Luckily, he isn't fully repelled by vegetables, but we have found it harder to make sure he's getting all the nutrients he needs.

I am not an expert on toddler foods, but these little spinach muffins have been a lifesaver for us. They're the perfect afternoon "treat" and make me feel a little better about the fact that he throws most of his veggies from his meal on the floor. 

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I ran across this Organic Coconut Nectar in my pantry which was clearly a Costco impulse buy that I had forgotten about. You can use any sort of sweetener you prefer. I've tried the recipe with both this and granulated sugar. There wasn't a huge difference between the two batches, in my opinion. I would always recommend using ingredients you already have on hand and are familiar with. 

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Don't hesitate to branch out from this recipe! Maybe add in some coconut extract next time or see if you can sneak just one more handful of spinach into the recipe without your little one becoming aware of how healthy these actually are. Play around with it and let me know what fun concoctions you come up with! 

 

TODDLER FRIENDLY SPINACH MUFFINS

Ingredients

  • 7 oz. (or larger) bag of spinach
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4-1/2 cup sweetener of your choice (agave syrup, maple syrup, granulated sugar, etc.)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

Puree the spinach. I emptied the bag (and added some handfuls from another bag) into my steamer for a few minutes before blending. Add the wet ingredients in with the already pureed spinach and blend again. The heat from the spinach brings the coconut oil to a liquid making everything a lot easier to mix together.

In a separate bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt to the blended wet ingredients. Stir to create a dough-like texture. Fill a cupcake pan until it's about 2/3 of the way full, allowing room to rise. This is the cupcake pan I use and I love it.

Bake for 20 minutes at 350F or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Recipe Notes

This recipe makes about 15 muffins. I also want to stress that you can use any sweetener of your choice.

Whole 30 Favorites

Today is day 30 of my Whole 30! I weigh in tomorrow and will share then all about what the past 30 days did for me. In the meantime, I wanted to share with you some of our favorite recipes. These have each been approved by Kyle who although didn’t do the full Whole 30 with me, had a huge say in what we ate everyday.

 

So, onto the recipes!

No-Fuss Salmon Cakes

Ingredients

  • 3 6 ounce cans wild-caught samon (boneless)
  • 1 cup sweet potatoes (mashed/canned/steamed/baked)
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced (in a pinch I used onion powder)
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley (or 2 teaspoons dried)
  • 2 tbsp fresh dill minced (or 2 teaspoons dried)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • dash of paprika (I prefer smoked paprika)
  • dash of black pepper
  • 2 tbsp ghee

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425F. Drain the liquid from the salmon and crumble the fish into a large mixing bowl. Add sweet potato, egg, almond flour (which, for the record we used coconut flour once and it turned out just as great), scallions, parsley, dill, salt, paprika, pepper and mix together. Brush the pan (or parchment paper on pan) with the ghee. Use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to scoop the caked and drop them onto the pan. Flatten or round the patties with your hand until they are uniform in thickness. Bake for 20 minutes, then flip them and bake for 10 more minutes or until golden brown.

Directions

We made this every week. Since we were trying to go easy on the red meat, this was one of our favorite go to meals. We would steam 2-3 sweet potatoes to have on hand for James and for making these.

Recipe from The Whole 30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom

 

Dump Ranch

Ingredients

  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 cup light olive-oil or avocado oil
  • ½ cup full fat coconut milk
  • ½ cup packed fresh herbs (I used cilantro, parsley and rosemary)
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¾ tsp onion powder
  • ¾ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper

Directions

In a wide mouth quart-size jar, combine all of the ingredients. Blend with an immersion blender for 1 minute. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Recipe Notes

I put this on almost everything. Seriously, it goes so well on everything. Neither of us are really into ranch but this tasted so good. You can use any combo of herbs. I love rosemary, so of course that had to end up in the recipe.

Recipe from The Whole 30 Cookbook

 

Prosciutto & Rosemary Baked Apples

Ingredients

  • 2 apples, cored and sliced
  • 5 pieces of prosciutto, cut in half into long strips
  • ½ tbsp coconut oil (melted)
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • a couple sprigs of fresh rosemary

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wrap each apple slice with prosciutto and place on baking sheet. Combine melted coconut oil and cinnamon in a small bowl and brush onto apples, reserving half for later. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove, flip, and brush with remaining brown butter mixture. Sprinkle with rosemary. Bake an additional 10 minutes until apples are cooked and prosciutto is crispy.

Recipe Notes

I went heavy on the coconut oil, cinnamon and rosemary . . . because, why not?

Recipe from Food and Sunshine Blog

 

Garlic and Paprika Chicken

Ingredients

  • 4-6 chicken drumsticks (thighs work great too)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 F degrees. Clean and dry the drumsticks and season with salt and pepper. Set aside. In a small skillet heat the olive oil. Add the garlic, smoked paprika, red pepper flakes and the herbs. Cook for about 1 minute over medium heat, do not burn the garlic. Pour this olive oil mixture over the drumsticks and make sure the drumsticks are coated thoroughly with the olive oil/paprika mixture. Place the drumsticks in a 9x13 baking dish and bake for about 45 minutes or until chicken legs are cooked through.

Recipe Notes

We used thighs more than drumsticks and it still turned out wonderfully. For us, the chicken came out more blackened each time. I'm not sure how to go about fixing this and will be experimenting in the future to try and achieve that perfect red color.

Recipe from Jo Cooks Blog

Homemade Dairy-Free Mango-Peach Lassis

We had a small group dinner this week that was Indian themed. Kyle and I were so excited because I kind of dropped Indian in the first trimester and I'm ready to get back on the train. We volunteered to make dessert. I spent way too long looking for a good Indian dessert, but a lot of it was rice pudding or something similar in texture. Don't get me wrong, we love rice pudding. It's just that we were going to a dinner in Texas and the people here don't really strike me as ethnic food enthusiasts. 

I scanned a few different recipes for homemade lassis, but I wanted something dairy free. Eventually, I ended up making my own recipe where I kind of just threw everything together. 

It should be noted that this recipe filled a huge pitcher. You could easily cut it to the number of people you're serving or even just make your own with completely different fruit. 

HOMEMADE DAIRY-FREE MANGO-PEACH LASSIS

Ingredients

  • 5 mangos, peeled and cubed
  • 4 peaches, cubed
  • 2 cans organic coconut milk
  • 2 cups of Silk Coconut Milk
  • 2 tbls honey

Directions

Blend mangos, peaches, honey and both cans of coconut milk together. Use the Silk Coconut Milk to thin to the desired consistency.

Prep time: 20 minutes Yield: 10-15 servings

Blackened Chicken on Cilantro-Lime Quinoa with an Avocado Cream Sauce

I've recently developed a love of cilantro. Sure, it seems like an herb I would have developed a love for a long time ago, but it just hadn't happened. This recipe is easy, full of flavor and holy smokes is it healthy. Also, I'm not a fan of spicy food. I want to be. I really do. It just hasn't happened yet. This is a spicy combo for the chicken, plus the cilantro in the quinoa and the avocado cream sauce is a perfect pair to cool it down. 

What you need:

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

½ tsp of paprika

¼ tsp of salt

¼ tsp of pepper

¼ tsp of cayenne pepper

¼ tsp of onion powder

¼ tsp of cumin

1 tsp of olive oil

2 cups of low sodium chicken stock

1 cup of quinoa

Juice and zest from two limes

2 tbsp of chopped cilantro

2 avocados

¼ cup 0% greek yogurt

 

What you do:

Combine all the dry seasonings in a small bowl. Mix them together and then season both sides of each chicken breast.

Add the teaspoon of olive oil to a large pan or skillet. Heat the olive oil for a minute over medium/high heat. Add the chicken breasts to the pan. Cook for seven minutes on each side with the lid on.

Add the chicken stock and (rinsed) quinoa to a medium sauce pan. Bring to a simmer over medium/low heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for ten to fifteen minutes with the lid on, until all the stock has been absorbed.

After the chicken breasts have cooked all the way through, remove them from the pan and let them rest for seven minutes before slicing them.

Add the warm quinoa to a large bowl. Toss in the lime zest, lime juice, salt and pepper, and chopped cilantro. Mix to combine.

Serve the sliced chicken breast on top of the quinoa. If you find the blackened seasoning too spicy, you can add a quick and easy avocado cream sauce to cool it down. For the avocado cream sauce, add both avocados to processor and then add greek yogurt to taste.

 

Baked Brie

My ultimate favorite and super easy snack is baked brie. You can make it so many different ways and in so little time. I recently took advantage of a home sale at Chapters and purchased their little brie baker out of curiosity. Turns out, it's incredible. Looks like I'll be getting one of these for all my friends this year! 

Here's my favorite new recipe for baked brie. Olive oil, cracked pepper and rosemary baked brie. Sprinkle as much as you want on (go easy on the olive oil. It's easy to get too much and it mess with the texture of the creamy cheese). Put it in the oven for 10/15 min on 350 and boom . . . an instant crowdpleaser! 


Easy Banana Bread

Our grocery store only seems to stock huge amounts of bright green bananas. We prefer ripe bananas but hey, that's just us. This means that we usually have to buy bananas in larger bunches and hope we eat them when ripe. Sometimes we do. Sometimes we don't. This was a week we didn't. Instead of throwing them out in the compost this time, I decided to whip up a quick loaf of banana bread. It was easy, quick and kind of fun. Who doesn't love a little afternoon baking?

 

What you need: 

·      3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed (I used four)

·      1/3 cup melted butter

·      1 egg, beaten

·      ¾ cup sugar

·      1 teaspoon vanilla

·      1 teaspoon baking soda

·      Pinch of salt

·      1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour

·      ½ cup of chopped pecans

 

What you do:

·      Mash up the bananas in the medium sized bowl

·      Add the melted butter

·      Mix in the sugar, egg and vanilla

·      Add the flour, baking soda and pecans

·      Bake at 350F for 45 minutes

·      Let sit in the pan for 10 minutes before putting onto cooling rack

 

* I actually ran out of regular sugar halfway through and so I did half of the 3/4 cup sugar as brown sugar which is what gives it that rich brown coloring.

 

Goat Cheese, Bacon and Pistachio Truffles

I found this recipe a couple weeks ago and fell in love. This has been the year of food exploration for me. I'm learning what to eat, how much to eat and most importantly what not to eat. I served these up at a small group and they were gone fast. When one of my friends who is currently pregnant and has gestational diabetes was able to eat quite a few of these with no complications, I decided to make them again for her baby shower in a double batch. Gone again! 

What you need:

  • 8 ounces softened goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup crumbled bacon
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pistachios

 

What you do:

In a large mixing bowl, mix together goat cheese, bacon, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt. Make small (roughly 1 inch) balls with your hands. I used a round tablespoon to scoop.

In a small bowl, add the chopped pistachios. Roll each ball in the pistachios to coat then place on a plate. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

 

Strawberry, Basil & Goat Cheese Quesadillas

Good Lord, I hit the jackpot tonight with a simple recipe that was just as much of a hit as it was easy. One of the great things about this recipe is the simplicity. It has room to incorporate more of what you love. Next time, I'm going to mix in a tablespoon of honey with the goat cheese before I spread it on. This makes for a great snack or light lunch and I will definitely be making them again. 

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What you need:

  • 2 Tortillas 
  • Your favorite goat cheese
  • Strawberries
  • Fresh basil chopped (I threw a few leaves in my nutribullet for about 2 seconds and saved my arm a ton of work)

 

What you do:

  • Slice strawberries so that they lie flat (rather than in quarters)
  • Lay out tortilla and spread goat cheese over half
  • Place strawberries on top of goat cheese
  • Sprinkle chopped basil over strawberries 
  • Fold tortilla and place on skillet or grill for 2/3 min on each side
  • Slice into sections
  • Sprinkle a couple pieces of basil over finished product

 

Now just sit back and enjoy the compliments. 

Chicken, Artichoke, Bacon Bake

I bought a large pack of boneless chicken thighs and when it came ready to marinate it and grill it, my husband casually asked that I not make it the same way I had a few days earlier. I quickly jumped on pinterest and tried to find something quick, easy and healthy. Turns out that's not that easy. So, I decided to kind of make my own. Kyle and I love garlic, so we went heavy on it. If you want to add some of your own favorites and minimize others, go for it. This is my first time trying this recipe but it seems easily customizable to whatever you prefer.

What you need:

  • Boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts

  • 1 regular sized can of quartered artichoke hearts (I used two small 170ml jars)

  • ½ yellow onion

  • 6 cloves fresh garlic

  • 1 tbsp olive oil (we use a garlic-infused olive oil)

  • ½ lemon

  • salt/pepper

  • Bacon crumbles

 

What you do:

  • Preheat the oven to 350F (176C)

  • Grease/spray baking pan

  • Put half of the chopped onion, 3 cloves of garlic, half of the artichokes, and a couple thin slices of lemon on the bottom of the pan

  • Lay chicken over (we did half thighs, half breasts)

  • Put the other half of the fun stuff over the chicken

  • Drizzle olive oil over it all

  • Sprinkle bacon crumbles on top

  • Bake for 40min uncovered

 

It turned out great and will make excellent leftovers. Best of all is that it isn't heavy and won't have you feeling like you're about to explode after eating it.

Note: these pictures are before it went to the oven. Everything is so colorful before it gets cooked!

Note: these pictures are before it went to the oven. Everything is so colorful before it gets cooked!

Note: these pictures are before it went to the oven. Everything is so colorful before it gets cooked!

Note: these pictures are before it went to the oven. Everything is so colorful before it gets cooked!



Cottage Cheese Pancakes

I love this version of pancakes so much that I don't think I'll be able to ever go back to the normal version. Not only that but it is packed with protein, with just around 14g of protein in every pancake (that's right, each one), it gives you a great boost to start your morning without already feeling like you have to work extra hard to burn it off. The measurements aren't exact, which is why I say around 14g each. Check the labels and do the math, then, make sure to give yourself a huge pat on the back because you haven't actually indulged much at all.

This recipe makes enough for both me and Kyle.

  • 3/4 Cup 1% Cottage Cheese
  • 3/4 Cup Dry Oats
  • Somewhere between 1/2-3/4 cup egg whites (more egg whites = more liquid texture so it depends on your personal preference of thick or thin pancakes)
  • Vanilla Extract 

Put all of the ingredients in your blender or processor and then make regular pancakes. The texture will be a little different when cooked, maybe not as fluffy as a regular pancake, but you know what? That's something I'm definitely willing to sacrifice for being able to eat a pancake breakfast with zero guilt.