Recipes

Easy Energy Balls

These days it seems like my teenager is never, ever full. So I’ve been trying to find filling but healthier after school snacks as well as quick breakfast ideas. I used to make these super easy energy balls and can’t believe I forgot about them until now.

The recipe that I have makes a small batch which is perfect for myself and the boy, but it can be easily doubled to make more for a larger family. I’m not sure if it’s the oatmeal flakes or not, but I find that they tend to dry out a bit after a day or so, so it’s good to consume them within a day or two.

You only need a handful of ingredients and you probably already have most of them on hand.

Easy Energy Balls – makes about 12 balls
1/3 cup of creamy peanut butter (or any nut/seed butter of choice)
3/4 cup of rolled oats
2 tablespoons of honey
1/2 cups of mini chocolate chips
1/4 cup of crushed peanuts

Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl until well blended. Let chill in refrigerator for about 30 minutes. After chilled roll into small bite size balls. Makes approximately 12. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Modifications:
* If you use crunchy peanut butter, you can omit the additional crushed peanuts.
* Chia or flax seeds can be used instead of the crushed peanuts for a nut free option.
* Raisins could be added in place of chocolate chips

There are so many recipes out there for energy balls but this is the one I have found that the boy likes the best.

Enjoy!

Recipes

Crockpot Chicken Chili

It’s getting to be that time of year where the weather gets cold and rainy (and soon snowy) and I start breaking out the crockpot more often. In fall/winter, I am a big fan of warm, stick to your ribs soups, stews and chili’s. And with a lot of these recipes, it’s pretty much a dump, cook and serve, so it makes the prep work all the more easier.

This recipe for Chicken Chili is super easy and full of flavor. What I also like about it, is it is pretty much set it and forget it so I can make it in the morning and by dinner time, it will be piping hot and ready to serve.

Not everyone likes a lot of spice, so you can easily adjust to your liking and can easily accommodate any food sensitivity. This is a recipe that could quickly become a family favorite. And on the plus side, it is WW friendly which makes it even better in my books.

Crock Pot Chicken Chili
Servings: 8

1 onion, chopped
1 can black beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can tomato sauce (used a 16 oz can)
2 small cans of corn kernels)
2 cans Rotel (use the Mild for less spice)
1 packet chili seasoning
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper (to taste)
chopped fresh cilantro

 Combine beans, onion, Rotel, corn, tomato sauce, and chili seasoning in a slow cooker. Place chicken on top and cover. Cook on low for 6-8 hours until chicken is no longer pink inside. Half hour before serving, remove chicken and shred. Return chicken to slow cooker and stir in.

When serving you can top with fresh cilantro, a dollop of sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt). I like to pair it with a fresh baguette as well.

This is a great recipe to warm up the kids after they come home from school, or playing outside.

ENJOY!

Recipes

The Easiest Black Bean Brownies Ever

I am not going to lie, even when I am being really careful about watching what I eat, I still love a little sweet treat every once in a while.  And when I can find a hack to make those treats just a little bit healthier I am all over it.  This super easy recipe for black bean brownies incorporates the sweetness and somewhat healthier version for me all in to one recipe.

Black Bean brownies done 2

And when I say easy, this recipe is EASY.  All you need is 3 ingredients – your favorite brownie mix, a can of black beans and a little bit of water.  That is it!  I have tried this recipe with a number of different brownie mixes and all have turned out delicious.

Blackbean brownies ingredients

The steps to a yummy batch of brownies are this easy:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Wash and rinse 2/3 cup of black beans.
  3. In a blender add the beans with 1/2 cup water and mix until completely smooth.  This step is very important if you have kids that will run away screaming if there is any sign of a bean in the brownies.  
  4. In a mixing bowl, add the bean mixture to the brownie mix and still until completely mixed.
  5. Pour mixture in to a 9×11 pan.  I used a silicon pan so there is no need for greasing ahead of time.  If you use a metal or glass pan, be sure to great well ahead of time.  I recommend an oblong pan as these brownies tend to have a fudgier consistency.  
  6. Bake for approximately 25 minutes at 350 degrees or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Allow the brownies to cool completely before serving.

Like I said, the easiest brownies you can ever make.  You’re kids will never know that there is anything even remotely healthy in them.  And you can enjoy without all those pangs of guilt.

Black Bean brownies done

 

 

Recipes

Banana Flax Seed Muffins

I can’t believe we are already having to think about back to school.  Not only does it mean summer is over and cooler weather is on the way but it also means back to packing lunches. I am always looking for new go-to recipes to make mornings easier.  This recipe for banana flax seed muffins is definitely one of my go-to recipes.

This recipe can be used for either muffins or a loaf, you just need to adjust your cooking time accordingly.  It’s super easy to prepare and you can add chocolate chips or nuts for variation.

Just start with those browning bananas that we all tend to have sitting around and mash them up well in a large bowl.  When I have a bunch of bananas, I will make multiple batches and then throw them in the freezer and just pull them out when needed.

You then add the rest of our ingredients and mix it all together well.  The flax seed will give you that extra boost of Omega-3 and fiber and even the pickiest eater won’t even know it’s in there.

If making muffins, distribute the mixture evenly into a well greased pan and cook in a 350 degree oven for approximately 35 minutes until golden brown.  If adding chocolate chips, sprinkle the top of each muffin with a few chips.

If making a loaf pour the mixture into a well greased pan and bake for approximately 55 minutes until golden brown.   If adding chocolate chips or nuts, stir into mixture prior to pouring into pan.  Use a toothpick to test that the loaf is fully cooked.

Let cool for approximately 10-15 and remove from pan to cool completely.  If making multiple batches to freeze, you can put them in plastic freezer bags but I have had better luck storing them in a freezer safe storage container.

These muffins are great for busy morning breakfasts when the kids are back to school and if you do not add nuts, they also make a great snack to send in their lunches.

banana bread muffins

Banana Flax Seed Muffins

These easy muffins/bread are great for back to school breakfasts or lunches. Make a few batches in advance, as they freeze well.

  • 2 to 3 bananas (very ripe, peeled)
  • 1/3 cup butter (melted)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp flax seeds
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar (I used a combination of brown and white sugar)
  • 1 large egg (beaten)
  • 1 tsp vanilla (extract)
  • 1 1/2 cup flour (I used a combination of whole wheat and white)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (Optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350.

    Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, mash up bananas.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
  4. In a well greased pan, add mixture. If making muffins, cook for approximately 35 minutes until golden brown or a toothpick comes clean. If making a loaf, cook for approximately 55 minutes.
  5. Let cool for 10 – 15 minutes in pan Remove from pan and let cool completely.

Recipes

Warm up to a Hearty Harvest Stew

I don’t know about you, but as soon as the first hints of fall arrives I want to get my crockpot out and start making a warm, hearty stew.  With the fall harvest, there are so many great options to use.  My recipe for stew is pretty basic and is more stepping stone, if anything.  I start with the basics of stewing beef, beef broth and an onion soup mix and go from there.  It’s kind of like a kitchen sink version, where I basically add whatever I have available to me at the time.  Aside from the ingredients listed below, I have also used corn, butternut squash, zucchini and even canned tomatoes before.  It really depends on what you like and have available.  I find it’s hard to go wrong with stew.

After a long, cold day, it’s nice to come home to something warm and ready to go for dinner.  All you need to do is serve the stew with a nice, crusty bread and you’ve got a meal that everyone in your family can enjoy. This recipes freezes well and makes for a perfect warm me up lunch for the family on a cold winter day.

 

Hearty Harvest Stew

A hearty, warm, filling stew that can easily tailored to your suit any taste buds

  • 1 lb stewing beef
  • 1 carton beef broth
  • 1 packet onion soup mix
  • 3 large potatoes, chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 whole onions, chopped
  • 3 whole carrots, chopped
  • 2 whole sweet potatoes, chopped
  • 5 tablespoons flour, divided
  1. Cut stewing beef, if necessary, into smaller, bite size pieces. Coat in flour and cook in frying pan until brown. Does not need to be fully cooked, just browned.
  2. Chop up all your veggies and put them into your crockpot.
  3. Once beef has browned, add to crockpot with broth and onion soup mix. Add enough water to almost cover the contents.
  4. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. If you wish the stew to have a thicker, more gravy like consistency, mix 2-3 tablespoons of flour with water to make a paste. Stir in to stew approximately 20 minutes prior to serving to thicken.

Recipes · Uncategorized

Versatile Veggie/Ham Egg “burgers”

 

finished

After going through my refrigerator the other day and was seeing what I had to use up before they went bad,  I found had a 1/2 dozen eggs,  a bunch of veggies and some leftover ham.  Also wanting to be able to make something I could use for several meals this week, I through together these egg “burgers”.  Using a larger muffin tin, the end product was a burger size patty that I find gives it much more versatility.    They can be eaten as a main with some additional veggies on the side or as part of a sandwich/burger.

These freeze quite nicely and can be reheated easily in the microwave or thawed overnight and reheated in the oven.

With harvest season soon upon us, there are so many variations of this recipe that you could make depending on what veggies you have on hand.  I have seen similar recipes where grated cheese has been added.  For this recipe, I opted out of the cheese, planning to add it to my “burger” instead.

 

Veggie/Ham Egg "burgers"

Stuffed with veggies and ham, this egg “burger” can be used for any meal of the day.

  • 6 each eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup diced sweet peppers ((I used a bit of each for a variety of color))
  • 1/4 cup green onions
  • 1/2 cup diced spinach
  • 1/3 cup diced ham
  • 1 tsp spices ((I used Epicure's Fine Herbs))
  1. Preheat oven to 375. Dice sweet peppers, onions, spinach and ham.
  2. In a medium heated pan with a bit of Pam, add the peppers and saute for a minute or 2, then add the onion and ham. After another minute or 2 add the spinach. Stir and remove from heat.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, milk and spices.
  4. Pour equal amounts of the egg mixture into a well greased muffin tin. I used the larger muffin tin (6 per pan) as I want the end product more “burger” size. Add equal amounts of the veggie/ham mixture to each muffin.
  5. Cook for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes clean.
  6. Let sit until cooled and remove from pan. If you wish to freeze, let them cool completely.