Grilled Chicken with Sriracha Almond Sauce

Grilled Chicken with Sriracha Almond Sauce: The BEST peanut free pad Thai copy cat there is!

Grilled chicken with Sriracha almond sauce has all the flavor of traditional pad Thai with a suped up, peanut-free sauce that tastes even better than the original!

Grilled Chicken with Sriracha Almond Sauce: The BEST peanut free pad Thai copy cat there is!

Peanut allergy suffering friends, I have the bessssttt thing for you! Pad Thai, especially that delicious sweet and spicy peanut-y sauce, has been one of my very favorite crave-able comfort foods for as long as I can remember. It’s been a pretty consistent theme on this li’l blog because the things I love, I love really freakin’ hard and I just can’t get enough.

Grilled Chicken with Sriracha Almond Sauce: The BEST peanut free pad Thai copy cat there is!

Well, I have to admit that I have a new love and it’s peanut-free. This Sriracha almond sauce is just like the original except, um, even better. There is so much flavor that I literally can’t get enough. I even threw some of my leftover sauce on plain ol’ steamed broccoli the next day and, the next thing I knew, I was in love with steamed broccoli too.

Grilled Chicken with Sriracha Almond Sauce: The BEST peanut free pad Thai copy cat there is!

It all started when Blue Diamond sent me their newest Sriracha almonds. I had super high hopes, but I was sure there was no way they could be as delicious as I was dreaming of. Ummm, they were even better! As I was cooking dinner, it took all of my willpower not to eat the entire rest of the container. I kept reaching my hand in for “just a few more”, and by the time I photographed these bad boys, the container was very looking pretty darn shallow. I don’t even feel bad. They are just so good.

Grilled Chicken with Sriracha Almond Sauce: The BEST peanut free pad Thai copy cat there is!

 

Making the sauce was a breeze. I started with the whole Sriracha almonds and threw them into my food processor, then I continued on with my normal pad Thai sauce recipe and did everything right there in the food processor while Steve grilled up the chicken. Almonds do take a particularly long time to break down into almond butter. When I first started making my own almond butter, I was always sure it wasn’t working. Be patient. It’s working. I promise. You don’t need to add oil and your food processor isn’t failing you. Just process, scrape, repeat, and your new favorite sauce will be ready to eat in about 10-12 minutes.

Grilled Chicken with Sriracha Almond Sauce

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 4

Grilled chicken with Sriracha almond sauce has all the flavor of traditional pad Thai with a suped up, peanut-free sauce that tastes even better than the original!
Ingredients
For the grilled chicken
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 6-8 ounces each)
  • salt and pepper
For the Sriracha Almond Sauce
  • ½ cup Blue Diamond Sriracha Almonds
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • ½-1 tablespoon honey (please use real honey and not the kind from a bear)*
  • ½ tablespoon coconut aminos (or gluten-free soy sauce, or regular soy sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha*
  • water, as needed
  • pinch cilantro
For topping
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Thinly sliced green onion
  • Chopped Sriracha almonds
Instructions
  1. To make the grilled chicken, season chicken with salt and pepper. Preheat grill to 350 and cook chicken until juices run clear, about 5 minutes per side.
  2. To make the Sriracha almond sauce, place almonds in your food processor or high quality blender and blend. Almonds will break down into very small pieces, then eventually they will form into a ball. This may take up to 10 minutes. Make sure to turn your food processor off and scrape down the sides every few minutes.
  3. Once almonds are broken down into a ball, keep food processor running and stream in lime juice, honey, coconut aminos, and Sriracha.
  4. Once those are incorporated (it will still resemble a ball more than a sauce), very slowly (about 1 tablespoon at a time) stream in water until the sauce has reached your desired consistency. I used about ¼ cup water. If you like a thinner sauce, feel free to add more--it won't dilute the flavor.
  5. Once sauce has reached your desired consistency, scrape down the sides again and blend in cilantro.
  6. To serve, topped grilled chicken with sauce then top with fresh cilantro, green onions and extra chopped Sriracha almonds.
  7. Leftover sauce should be stored separately from chicken and can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to one week. Sauce will thicken to more of an almond butter texture when refrigerated, when serving again, you can heat it up in the microwave to thin, and also add more water if desired.
Notes
*The Sriracha almonds add their own sweetness. If you don't like a lot of sweetness, you can either omit the honey and then taste, or start on the low end, then taste and add as you wish.
*Feel free to add more/less Sriracha depending on desired taste and heat level.

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds. All opinions are my own.

Pesto Parmesan Green Eggs & Ham

Parmesan Pesto Green Eggs & Ham: A healthy and flavorful breakfast, lunch or dinner

Hearty and full of flavor, pesto parmesan green eggs & ham are the perfect healthy breakfast, lunch or dinner!

Parmesan Pesto Green Eggs & Ham: A healthy and flavorful breakfast, lunch or dinner

I went to college in a verrrry small town in Idaho with approximately 2 breakfast options: The Bagel Shop, which was awesome, but more for for those 2am after the bar kinda nights, and The Breakfast Club, which was packed every single weekend morning with all the college kids making their visiting parents take them out for breakfast. Myself included.

Parmesan Pesto Green Eggs & Ham: A healthy and flavorful breakfast, lunch or dinner

I would always either get pancakes (with bacon and eggs and maple syrup on top, of course) or their almost-famous green eggs and ham with pesto and parmesan cheese. It was the bomb. I know nobody says the bomb anymore, but I am stuck in 1997. Don’t judge me. Anyway, I’ve been meaning to recreate this dish for a good long time, and after 20 hours of travel and a crap ton of jet lag, this super easy dish was the absolute perfect dinner.

Parmesan Pesto Green Eggs & Ham: A healthy and flavorful breakfast, lunch or dinner

Lately I’ve been eating a lot of eggs and I’ve been using Eggland’s Best eggs. Compared to regular eggs, Eggland’s Best eggs have 25% less saturated fat, 1o x more vitamin E, 4 x more vitamin D and 3 x more vitamin B12. If you’d like more information on their nutrition benefits, you can check out their nutrition info. They worked out great in this dish with the creamy pesto, and simple balance of flavors.

Pesto Parmesan Green Eggs & Ham

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 2-4

Hearty and full of flavor, pesto parmesan green eggs & ham are the perfect healthy breakfast, lunch or dinner!
Ingredients
  • 4 eggs (I used Eggland's Best)
  • 4 egg whites
  • small pinch salt
  • generous pinch pepper
  • 2 tablespoons pesto sauce
  • large handful baby spinach
  • 3 ounces chopped Canadian bacon
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese (+ more for topping)
  • fresh basil for topping
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and egg whites until well combined. Heat a medium-low nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spray with nonstick spray (or olive oil or butter). Add eggs and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Cook about ¾ of the way (about 5-7 minutes, depending on the size of your pan), stirring often using a spatula or wooden spoon. Add pesto, spinach, Canadian bacon and parmesan cheese, and cook until eggs are fully cooked and spinach has wilted.
  3. Serve immediately topped with more parmesan cheese (if desired) and chopped fresh basil.

 

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Eggland’s Best.

Fig, Prosciutto & Brie Cracker Bites

Fig, Prosciutto & Brie Cracker Bites: The perfect easy and delicious appetizer or snack!

Ridiculously simple and easy fig, prosciutto & brie cracker bites are the perfect appetizer for entertaining, or just an afternoon snack. Just 4 delicious ingredients and next to no prep time!

Fig, Prosciutto & Brie Cracker Bites: The perfect easy and delicious appetizer or snack!

One of my very favorite sandwiches comes from an awesome little wine bar here in Arizona. They have a great wine selection (obviously), but also lots of delicious sandwiches, salads and the BEST bruschetta. I always get sandwich that comes with fig jam, prosciutto and brie. I love sweet and salty. I will choose it almost every time.

Fig, Prosciutto & Brie Cracker Bites: The perfect easy and delicious appetizer or snack!

Now that summer is officially in full swing (well, I know not technically, but technically…), the pool/grilling parties have begun, and I have already eaten my weight in grilled corn and zucchini. I always have a hard time figuring out what to put out for when people arrive, so the other night I had these delicious Nut Thins crackers from Blue Diamond hangin’ out in my pantry and I decided to put them to good use!

Fig, Prosciutto & Brie Cracker Bites: The perfect easy and delicious appetizer or snack!

The crackers were fantastic! Salty and crunchy–the perfect base for any dip, cheese, or just straight from the box! It took me only a matter of minutes to spread on some fig jam (I used a balsamic fig jam and it was an excellent life choice), added a thin slice of brie, then topped it off with some cute little rolled up prosciutto. For someone who usually does not make “cute food”, I’d say these little babies are pretty darn cute.

Fig, Prosciutto & Brie Cracker Bites: The perfect easy and delicious appetizer or snack!

With the sweet and salty flavors, crunchy and sweet textures and perfect simplicity, these little bites will easily become the hit at all your gatherings!

Fig, Prosciutto & Brie Cracker Bites

Prep time: 

Total time: 

Ridiculously simple and easy fig, prosciutto & brie cracker bites are the perfect appetizer for entertaining, or just an afternoon snack. Just 4 delicious ingredients and next to no prep time!
Ingredients
  • Blue Diamond Nut Thins (I used the original flavor)
  • Fig jam
  • Brie cheese, cut into 1" very thin slices
  • Sliced prosciutto, cut into 2" pieces, loosely rolled
Instructions
  1. Assemble by spreading fig jam onto crackers, then top with brie and prosciutto. Serve.

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond. All opinions are my own.

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus with a Poached Egg: The perfect healthy & easy summer side dish!

Prosciutto wrapped asparagus gives the best of this summer produce with perfectly roasted asparagus, flavorful prosciutto, and a creamy poached egg. Tons of flavor with only a handful of ingredients!

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus with a Poached Egg: The perfect healthy & easy summer side dish!

You guys, you guys, you guyyyyysss! I poached my first egg today!!! It was so exciting, and nerve wracking, and I was 99% sure I was going to mess it up like 17 times before I got it right, but then this beautiful, perfectly cooked poached egg came out on my very first try, and I squealed like a little girl, and then immediately took 700 pictures, and came here to tell you about it.

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus with a Poached Egg: The perfect healthy & easy summer side dish!

I’m pretty sure I will never eat an egg cooked any other way again. A perfectly soft white with a creamy, drippy yolk…uggghhh I die. I used Eggland’s Best eggs, and they worked out great!. Compared to regular eggs, Eggland’s Best eggs have 25% less saturated fat, 1o x more vitamin E, 4 x more vitamin D and 3 x more vitamin B12. Also, I may just be biased, but I think they make bomb poached eggs. If you’d like more information on their nutrition benefits, you can check out their nutrition info.

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus with a Poached Egg: The perfect healthy & easy summer side dish!

Okay so let’s talk about this little combo. I am a huge fan of roasted asparagus. In fact, I will only eat it roasted or grilled. Steamed asparagus? Gag. I need those crispy, crunchy bites on the end. Asparagus is usually my go-to veggie. It’s so easy to make, and it comes out perfect every time. A little olive oil, salt and lemon pepper and you’re good to go.

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus with a Poached Egg: The perfect healthy & easy summer side dish!

I roasted my asparagus like normal, then just divided into two bundles, and wrapped each with half a slice of prosciutto and topped each bundle with a poached egg. Insanely easy (who ever thought you could say that about a recipe involving a poached egg! But it was!), and so delicious. Perfect for a side dish, appetizer or even breakfast!

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 2

Prosciutto wrapped asparagus gives the best of this summer produce with perfectly roasted asparagus, flavorful prosciutto, and a creamy poached egg. Tons of flavor with only a handful of ingredients!
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (or less--just a light drizzle)
  • pinch salt
  • pinch lemon pepper
  • 1 slice prosciutto, sliced length-wise
  • 2 poached eggs
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400. Lay asparagus in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Add salt and lemon pepper. Roast until lightly browned and ends are crispy, about 20 minutes.
  2. Divide into two bundles and wrap each bundle with prosciutto. Top with a poached egg. Serve immediately.
Notes
I used this tutorial for my poached eggs and it worked great! I did not have a ruler or a thermometer so I eyeballed all of it based on what I saw on the video, and everything still turned out ok. I used a paper towel for drying.

 

 

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Eggland’s Best.

Honey Goat Cheese Spread

Honey Goat Cheese Spread: Smooth, creamy, sweet and tangy--the perfect spread to jazz up your crackers!

Smooth, creamy, sweet and tangy honey goat cheese spread is perfect for entertaining, or even just a delicious snack to keep on hand.

Honey Goat Cheese Spread: Smooth, creamy, sweet and tangy--the perfect spread to jazz up your crackers!

It’s been a while since we discussed my love of goat cheese. It’s like in my top 5 favorite foods along with sweet potatoes, fro yo, dark chocolate and cilantro. I love the soft, creamy texture and bold taste. People who don’t like goat cheese? I will never understand you.

Honey Goat Cheese Spread: Smooth, creamy, sweet and tangy--the perfect spread to jazz up your crackers!

I was super stoked when Breton sent me their gluten-free crackers to sample. I love crackers, but I haven’t found too many gluten-free options that do the trick. These, though? OMG so much herb and garlic flavor! No weird textures!are certified gluten free by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness Gluten Free Certification Program, and I promise they will please all of your gluten-loving friends and family as well! I tried the herb & garlic flavor first, and it was so good on its own that I had a hard time figuring out a pairing that would stand up, but not overwhelm. I wanted to taste this cracker, not hide it.

Honey Goat Cheese Spread Recipe

I wandered around TJ’s looking for inspiration when I saw this perfect little package of honey goat cheese. So simple, but the perfect flavor combination. So I bought some regular goat cheese and added some local Arizona spring honey (if you still buy “honey” in a bear, you are doing it SO wrong!). You don’t need much–just a little touch of sweetness. Finish it off with a pinch of salt and pepper, and that’s it. It is seriously the easiest spread ever, but it tastes incredible!

Honey Goat Cheese Spread: Smooth, creamy, sweet and tangy--the perfect spread to jazz up your crackers!

I love entertaining, but I don’t love stressing out and cooking for 17 days ahead of time to get everything together. This spread is so simple you could make it 5 minutes before your guests arrive and they’ll never know. 😉

Honey Goat Cheese Spread

Rating 

Prep time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 4

Smooth, creamy, sweet and tangy honey goat cheese spread is perfect for entertaining, or even just a delicious snack to keep on hand.
Ingredients
  • 4 ounces goat cheese (in a log, not crumbled)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • pinch salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Place honey and goat cheese in your food processor and process until smooth and creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste (I used a small pinch of each). Serve immediately or cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Notes
If you don't have a food processor, feel free to use a mixer to beat ingredients together.

 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Running Lately

2014PalmSprings-Half-Ironman-61


Once upon a time I used to write weekly updates about all of my training. They were actually some of my favorite posts to write. I love having a place to talk about my training, and reflect on how the week went, but I guess it just got to a point where I felt like, without training for any type of new distance or event, it had all kinda been said before. Also, life gets busy, and I can barely keep up with one recipe post per week, let alone anything about life. Hopefully soon that will change because if you’ve read this blog. um ever? then you know my favorite thing is to talk about myself.

2014PalmSprings-Half-Ironman-61

So…running lately. Last year was all about the big challenges. Running a marathon (like, really running one…not hobbling through 5 hours of injury the way the first one went down), and completing my first half ironman.  As soon as the half ironman was over, I came back to the one thing I’ve wanted forever…a sub 2 hour half marathon. I’d never actually trained just for a goal time. I’ve had goals in mind, but the idea of completion had always been enough.

marathon

I’ve spent the last 5 months working super hard for this goal with one failed attempt, and now I find myself just two weeks away from my 10th half marathon, and what I’m hoping will be the day I reach my goal. Training for a time is so different. It’s scary and hard and intimidating. I sometimes wish I was the type of person who could just stick with running because it’s fun and not seek out new goals, but that’s just not me, and I’m about out of new distances I plan to conquer for the time being, so I’ve been focusing on speed–something that does not come easily to me, but it is actually improving!

5k

In January I ran a new 5k PR and then in March I ran a minute faster than that and set a shiny new PR of 24:38. I never in my wildest dreams imagined I’d be able to run a sub 25 minute 5k, so it feels like my work is paying off, and all that’s left to do as I go into my taper is get all my things together for the big day. I love to get a brand new pair of shoes just a couple weeks out from the race–the same kind I’ve been running in, of course, but just a new, extra cushy pair that doesn’t have the ware of my entire training cycle on it. And I love that Zappos makes it so easy!

If you haven’t heard of Zappos (have you been living under a rock?), they are a customer service company known for shoes, but there is so much more–they also sell clothing (jeans, fashion trends, you name it!) and accessories. They’ve been around for 15 years and they now offer over 150,000 styles from over 1,000 brands, which means if you want it, there’s a great chance you can find it on their website. The company is based on a community and team culture with a focus on customer service. They always have fast and free (my favorites) shipping which means that when I order shoes for a big race, I know they’ll arrive on time. Don’t like your purchase? They have a super rad 365 day return policy. That is crazy good! Have more questions, but want to talk to a real live human being? I prefer that too. That’s why I love that Zappo’s customer loyalty team is hangin’ around waiting to answer my questions 24/7.

 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Truffle Turkey Club {with a fried egg}

Truffle Turkey Club {with a fried egg}: An update on the classic sandwich with truffle mayo and a perfectly drippy fried egg

This truffle turkey club with a fried egg has roasted turkey, truffle mayo, crispy bacon, tomato, arugula and a perfect, drippy fried egg for the perfect combination of flavors and textures.

Truffle Turkey Club {with a fried egg}: An update on the classic sandwich with truffle mayo and a perfectly drippy fried egg

If you put an egg on a sandwich does that make it a breakfast sandwich? Or does the turkey make it lunch/dinner? I’m pretty sure it just makes it a sandwich for all meals, and that a drippy egg on just about anything makes it instantly 10x better. I know some people are freaked out by egg yolk, but I just think they’re missing out on one of the most delicious things life has to offer.

Truffle Turkey Club {with a fried egg}: An update on the classic sandwich with truffle mayo and a perfectly drippy fried egg

Okay, so you know those people that get their sandwich with just meat and cheese? I don’t understand that. I loooove sandwiches, but they have to be crazy, unique and have lots of different flavors. A delicious spread is mandatory, and bacon is always a plus. Add a drippy egg and you’ve made sandwich perfection.

Truffle Turkey Club {with a fried egg}: An update on the classic sandwich with truffle mayo and a perfectly drippy fried egg

For my sandwich I used Eggland’s Best eggs. Compared to regular eggs, Eggland’s Best eggs have 25% less saturated fat, 1o x more vitamin E, 4 x more vitamin D and 3 x more vitamin B12. Whoa! For more information on their nutrition, check out their nutrition info. I also use center cut bacon which is healthier than turkey bacon and about 20x better if you ask me. It all comes together to create the perfect, memorable sandwich.

Truffle Turkey Club {with a fried egg}

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 2 sandwiches

This truffle turkey club with a fried egg has roasted turkey, truffle mayo, crispy bacon, tomato, arugula and a perfect, drippy fried egg for the perfect combination of flavors and textures.
Ingredients
For the truffle mayo:
  • 2 tablespoons light olive oil mayo
  • 2 tablespoons nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ teaspoon truffle oil
  • pinch sea salt
For the sandwich:
  • 4 slices whole grain bread (I used gluten-free), toasted
  • truffle mayo
  • handful arugula
  • 3-4 ounces sliced turkey
  • 1 roma tomato, sliced
  • 2 eggs, pan fried with a pinch each of salt and pepper
  • 4 slices cooked center cut bacon
Instructions
  1. To make the truffle mayo, whisk all ingredients together in a medium bowl. Taste and add more truffle oil and/or salt if desired. Assemble sandwich and serve immediately.

 

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Eggland’s Best.

Tart Cherry Margaritas

Tart Cherry Margaritas: The perfect, refreshing margarita--lightly sweet with a punch of tequila

Tons of fresh flavor and the perfect amount of sweetness, tart cherry margaritas will disappear in minutes at any gathering.

Tart Cherry Margaritas: The perfect, refreshing margarita--lightly sweet with a punch of tequila..

Maaaar-gaaaaa-riiiiiitas! Only, like, the very best margaritas I have ever had in my entire life. And I do not use the words “very best” lightly I have had, and made, some bomb margaritas (does anyone still say bomb anymore?), but these babies take the cake.

Tart Cherry Margaritas: The perfect, refreshing margarita--lightly sweet with a punch of tequila

I made an entire pitcher–like HUGE pitcher–for friends and family and literally the entire thing was gone in approximately 90 minutes. Even my friends who rarely drink kept going back for more, and I had to cut Steve off so there would be enough left for our guests. Not that I blame him though…I was equally obsessed.

Tart Cherry Margaritas: The perfect, refreshing margarita--lightly sweet with a punch of tequila

I like a margarita where I can taste my tequila. I love a hint of sweetness, but I hate those margs that taste like pure sweet and sour mix. Ummm…gross. These are sweetened by with a little simple syrup. I use sugar, but you could always use agave to keep it naturally sweetened. The tart cherry juice and sour lime give it a little bite that you’d expect from a great margarita.

Tart Cherry Margaritas: The perfect, refreshing margarita--lightly sweet with a punch of tequila

With just 5 ingredients and a big, bold taste, these will quickly become your favorite margarita, just like it has for me!

Tart Cherry Margaritas

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 12

Tons of fresh flavor and the perfect amount of sweetness, tart cherry margaritas will disappear in minutes at any gathering.
Ingredients
For the simple syrup:
  • 2 cups water
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
For the margaritas:
  • 3 cups 100% tart cherry juice
  • 2 cups fresh lime juice (I used about 15 limes)
  • 2½ cups tequila
  • ½ cup triple sec
  • simple syrup
Instructions
  1. To make the simple syrup, heat water and sugar in a large sauce pan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer, stirring constantly until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and let it cool for about 15 minutes.
  2. To make the margaritas, gently stir all ingredients together in a large pitcher. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

 

Banana Bread Smoothie

Rich and creamy banana bread smoothie

This thick and creamy banana bread smoothie tastes like a milkshake, but it’s naturally light, vegan and gluten-free. 

Rich and creamy banana bread smoothie

Sponsored Post

Summer is coming. I know those of you that don’t live in Arizona are super excited that it’s finally Spring but, here in Phoenix, it’s been Spring since about November and the summer temps are taunting us. In fact, next week it’s already supposed to hit 100 degrees. Wahhhhh.

Rich and creamy banana bread smoothie

This will be the first summer in a long time that I’m not training for a marathon (I trained for the New York marathon 3 years in a row and finally crossed the finish line last year!), but it will also be the first summer in an even longer time that I am staying in Phoenix almost the entire summer. I’m kind of terrified. And even though I’m not training for a marathon, I do have to keep training for the Bourbon Chase which means 90 degree runs at 4am and plenty of ice cold smoothies immediately to follow.

Rich and creamy banana bread smoothie

I have a confession: I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m not into protein powder. I know most of the healthy living community likes to put protein powder in their smoothies, but I just prefer to get my protein from foods that already contain it. The cup of Silk soy milk I used in this recipe has 8 grams of plant based protein, and often times I’ll beef that up with some nonfat plain Greek yogurt, but this recipe is so smooth and creamy without it, plus I wanted to keep it vegan and dairy free.

Rich and creamy banana bread smoothie

You can get an extra protein boost from lots of soy products–tofu, edamame and more will bulk up the protein in your diet. And this smoothie? You will fall in love with how creamy, dreamy and delicious it is. The oats and frozen banana give it the flavor of freshly baked banana bread, and the dates add a little extra sweetness naturally.

Banana Bread Smoothie

Rating 

Prep time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 1

This thick and creamy banana bread smoothie tastes like a milkshake, but it's naturally light, vegan and gluten-free.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Silk soy milk (I used light vanilla)
  • 2 dates, pitted
  • 1 banana, peeled and frozen
  • ¼ cup oats (use certified gluten-free if necessary)
  • 1 cup ice
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Soak dates in soy milk covered in your refrigerator for 30-60 minutes. Blend all ingredients in a high quality blender until smooth. If smoothie is too thick, add a little more soy milk. Drink immediately.

Make sure to check out Silk’s website to get a coupon and fall back in love with soy yourself!

This conversation is sponsored by Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Chicken Enchilada Casserole: Easy, cheesy and delicious!

Fast, easy and cheesy chicken enchilada casserole has all your favorite flavors, but no rolling and stuffing–just stack and bake. It doesn’t get much simpler or much more delicious!

Chicken Enchilada Casserole: Easy, cheesy and delicious!

I never realized my Mexican food obsession was even a thing for most of my life. I live in Arizona. Mexican food is basically just food. Not to mention that most Mexican dishes include my favorite food group: CHEESE!

Chicken Enchilada Casserole: Easy, cheesy and delicious!

Did I ever tell you about in my “before” days I would go out to eat and then when I’d get full, I would pick all of the cheese off of my dish and leave the rest? I’m pretty sure it was something like #20 in this article. PS: I laughed out loud for so long. Maybe my favorite BuzzFeed article ever?

Chicken Enchilada Casserole: Easy, cheesy and delicious!

Anyway, I love enchiladas, but every time I make them, the rolling takes me forevvveeerrrrr, and then they never stay, and I just end up eating a mess of enchilada filling rather than actual enchiladas. So this time I took a different approach and stacked it all up. It stayed together perfectly. I don’t know if I will ever make regular enchiladas again.

Chicken Enchilada Casserole: Easy, cheesy and delicious!

This is like you ordered enchiladas, then mixed your whole plate of enchiladas and beans together making it even more awesome, and with practically no work!

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 9-12

Ingredients
  • 1½ pounds chicken breast, cooked and shredded
  • 2½ cups enchilada sauce (I used this one, but green or red will work)
  • 6 small corn tortillas
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can fat free re-fried beans, heated
  • ½ cup shredded cheese (sharp cheddar, Mexican blend, whatever you like)
  • fresh cilantro, optional
  • thinly sliced green onions, optional
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9" square pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl combine shredded chicken with 2 cups enchilada sauce. Line the bottom of prepared 9" pan with 3 tortillas, then add half the beans and half the chicken and enchilada sauce mixture. Repeat with remaining tortillas, beans and chicken. Add remaining ½ cup enchilada sauce on top, then top with shredded cheese.
  3. Bake until cheese is bubbly, about 20 minutes. Top with fresh cilantro and green onions if desired. Serve immediately. Leftovers may be refrigerated in an airtight container for 5-7 days.

 

 

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Carrot Cake Cupcakes: Perfectly soft and tender with fluffy cream cheese frosting

Ultra soft and tender carrot cake cupcakes with light and fluffy cream cheese frosting are the perfect spring dessert. So delicious no one will know they’re lightened up and gluten-free!

Carrot Cake Cupcakes: Perfectly soft and tender with fluffy cream cheese frosting

Can we just live in a world where anything that has a vegetable is automatically healthy? Like, can these be the side veggie side dish for my grilled chicken? Or zucchini bread. Or I’d even settle for throwing some spinach in my milkshake. That constitutes a green smoothie, right??

Carrot Cake Cupcakes: Perfectly soft and tender with fluffy cream cheese frosting

Okay, so maybe these aren’t quite as healthy as snacking on baby carrots, but sometimes you just need your veggies in the form of a giant, ridiculously good cupcake. And today is one of those days. I’ve been working an absolutely insane amount (which is so worth it because it’s leading to GREAT things that I can’t wait to share!) and pretty much living off canned soup and cheese toast. I am the model of healthy living over here. I miss vegetables, and at the same time I have the overwhelming urge to stress eat about a dozen cupcakes, so I’m pretty sure carrot cake is the perfect solution.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes: Perfectly soft and tender with fluffy cream cheese frosting

I’ve always been a huge fan of carrot cake (except when it has nuts–no thank you), and I’ve tried a couple of times to make carrot cake cupcakes, but they always ended up as a bust. Especially the time I tried to stuff them with whipped coconut cream and they ended up a soggy mess. That was fun. Finally, I decided to stick to a more traditional version, and they ended up being everything I wanted and more! So flavorful, so tender, and better than any carrot cake I have ever tasted. I seriously couldn’t get enough of them, and they are hands down one of my all time favorite desserts.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 1 dozen

Ultra soft and tender carrot cake cupcakes with light and fluffy cream cheese frosting are the perfect spring dessert. So delicious no one will know they're lightened up and gluten-free!
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups gluten-free baking blend (or white whole wheat flour)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • dash salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup melted coconut oil
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ pound carrots, grated
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • ½ cup butter, at room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line muffin tins with paper liners. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together baking blend, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, baking soda and nutmeg. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, coconut oil, applesauce, egg and vanilla. Stir in dry ingredients until just combined, then fold in grated carrot.
  3. Fill muffin tins ¾ full with batter. Bake until edges lightly brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes. Cool completely.
  4. To make frosting, beat butter and sugar together in a large bowl or stand mixer. Beat in powdered sugar ½ cup at a time. Add vanilla and continue to beat until everything is smooth and incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  5. Frost completely cooled cupcakes. Serve immediately or store refrigerated in an airtight container for 3-5 days.

 

Breakfast Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Breakfast Stuffed Sweet Potatoes: Healthy, delicious and naturally paleo

Whether it’s breakfast for dinner or dinner for breakfast, these perfectly roasted breakfast stuffed sweet potatoes filled with drippy eggs, crispy bacon and a drizzle of maple syrup are sure to impress!

Breakfast Stuffed Sweet Potatoes: Healthy, delicious and naturally paleo

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Okay so don’t think I’m weird because I love maple syrup on my bacon and eggs. My favorite thing is a stack of fluffy pancakes with drippy eggs, crispy bacon and real maple syrup. The sweet and salty together…sooo good.

Breakfast Stuffed Sweet Potatoes: Healthy, delicious and naturally paleo

My other favorite thing? Stuffed sweet potatoes. Obviously. And what better to stuff them with when ya want something a little different than some protein-packed eggs? I love eggs. They are pretty much the cheapest and easiest way to instantly bulk up the protein in any dish.

For this dish, I used more of my Eggland’s Best eggs. I’m super into them. Compared to regular eggs, Eggland’s Best eggs have 25% less saturated fat, 1o x more vitamin E, 4 x more vitamin D and 3 x more vitamin B12. Whoa! For more information on their nutrition, check out their nutrition info. I’m sold!

Breakfast Stuffed Sweet Potatoes: Healthy, delicious and naturally paleo

I usually eat this as breakfast for dinner, but it totally works as a super filling breakfast–especially  if you roast the sweet potatoes and cook your bacon ahead of time. With just a handful of ingredients, it’s naturally paleo, gluten-free and dairy-free. And the perfect bite of sweet and salty deliciousness.

Breakfast Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 2

Whether it's breakfast for dinner or dinner for breakfast, these perfectly roasted breakfast stuffed sweet potatoes filled with drippy eggs, crispy bacon and a drizzle of maple syrup are sure to impress!
Ingredients
  • 2 small sweet potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • coarse sea salt
  • 3 slices center cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 4 eggs, cooked to your liking (I did over medium)
  • pure maple syrup for drizzling, optional
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400. Use a fork to poke several holes into sweet potatoes. Brush each sweet potato with approx ½ tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle to coat lightly with sea salt. Roast until fork tender (meaning a fork easily slides right into the sweet potato), about 45-60 minutes depending on size of your potatoes.
  2. Once your potatoes have cooked, cook up your eggs. Slice cooked sweet potatoes down the middle leaving about an inch uncut. Stuff each potato with 2 eggs and a generous pinch of crumbled bacon. Drizzle with maple syrup of desired (you only need a small amount) and serve immediately

 

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Eggland’s Best.