Thursday, February 27, 2014

Chocolate Peanut Butter "Milkshake"

My family and I rely a lot on smoothies and "milk shakes" for snacks and meals. This is one my most favorites. It tastes nothing like health food! Please trust me on these ingredients and just give this a shot. It can be a meal or dessert...

5-6 ice cubes
1 cup of unsweetened vanilla "Silk" almond milk- this brand has great ingredients
1/2 cup of low fat cottage cheese
2 tsp of cocoa
2 tsp of a stevia blend- or any sweetener you enjoy.
heaping tsp of natural peanut butter- I use the Smucker's brand
1 scoop of Swanson's protein powder- again, great ingredients

Add all of the ingredients, except the protein powder, in a blender and blend until very, very smooth. Once it is blended, add the protein powder. This will turn it into a meal. You can enjoy this shake without it but it will not be as thick and creamy. 

Here is a link to the protein powder we use... I have several other smoothie variations here on my blog and we use this is each one. 


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Chocolate or Vanilla Birthday Cupcakes

 My goal was to come up with a cupcake recipe that would make this special treat easy on you and you would never again need to turn to the grocery store bakery for sugar laden, artificial ingredients and preservative filled "treats". These cupcakes are so much more delicious and you can feel good about your little ones... and yourself eating them!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Ingredients for the chocolate cupcakes: 
1 3/4 cups of white whole wheat flour
3/4 cup of cocoa
1 1/2 tsp of baking soda
1 1/2 tsp of baking powder

2 eggs
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup of milk or almond milk
1/2 cup of light olive oil
1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup of hot coffee

Sift or whisk the dry ingredients and set aside. Mix the wet ingredients until smooth. Slowly stir the dry into the wet. Once the dry is just mixed in, add the hot coffee and mix. Fill cupcake papers no more than 3/4 of the way full. They really rise up. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Until just firm. 

*For the vanilla cupcakes, I left out the cocoa, added 3 tsp of vanilla and use hot water instead of coffee. The whole wheat flour will leave them looking like yellow cupcakes* 

This is the flour and sugar that I use. I buy both of them at Walmart. They are both Non-GMO. 

This is another way to use this cake recipe. Ganache is a wonderful way to top these cupcakes. You can cool the Ganache and whip it up like chocolate whipped cream! It so, so perfect! Easy and delicious!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

"No Drive Thru Window" Shamrock Shake

Skip the drive thru and give your body a Shamrock shake that has nutritional benefits in every sip!

5 ice cubes
1 1/2 cups of unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/4 cup of low fat cottage cheese
2 tsp sweetener of your choice - we use a stevia blend
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 scoop of Swanson's protein powder
2 drops of pure peppermint extract
small handful of fresh spinach

Add all ingredients to the blender and blend until very smooth. We add a scoop of Swanson's protein powder and it becomes more of a meal! Pretty good meal if you ask me!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Weekly Menu Plan

Here's the second installment of the weekly meal plan! I hope that some of you made some new dishes last week and found some new go to favorites for your family! On the menu this week is two vegetarian meals and three meals that use chicken. I thought it would be nice to be able to buy one protein and use it in several different ways. This means you will need a large pack of chicken to feed a family of four, several times. Any of the chicken meals can be changed over to vegetarian by simply using white beans in place.
Kale and Purple Cabbage stir fry
Add chicken and broccoli to this to make it a full meal or leave as a rice or kale side dish to some oven roasted chicken breasts. More details in the recipe link.
Vegie Bagel

Spring Mix Salad with our favorite dressing!
Add some sautéed chicken, strawberries and almonds to complete as a meal

Chicken and Pasta with a Lemon and Parmesan sauce

This is our "trying together" meal. I've never made these either but I am excited to try! Greek Chicken Gyros from Annie's Eats. One of my favorite blogs! I am looking forward to it too!

Please leave comments to let me know that you have used the menu plan and found it useful! Thanks!