If you’re like me, and about a million other folks on Instagram, you’re LOVING charcuterie boards. You love to photograph them, eat them, and you totally want to create them at home. They make the perfect at-home date night or party platter. They’re super easy to throw together but, unfortunately, can be pretty heavy on the wallet. Cheese can be expensive, y’all! However, I recently put one together for the hubby and me that was easy on the budget, delicious, and still LOOKED expensive.
I’m half way through Whole 30! Woohoo! Crazy to think that just about two weeks ago I was binge eating Halo Top ice cream in preparation for my first day. (This is actually discouraged by the program but I did it anyway)
I’m already feeling some positive effects from the eating plan. I have more energy (most days), I feel better mentally, I like the way my skin looks, and I have just a general feeling of being healthier. One of the weirdest things that has happened is that I find myself not really wanting certain foods like I would before. Example: Muffins with mom at Gav’s school was yesterday and I didn’t have any desire to eat the muffin. Like….what? Who am I? (I did, however pretend to take a bite to make Gav happy. If for some reason you’re reading this in the future Gav…Sorry!)
If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I started a Whole 30 last week. Today makes day 9 and I’m actually enjoying the challenge it provides. (Does this make me crazy?) Also, I know that I may not be saying the same thing on day 25 but you never know. Either way, I’m really enjoying that it’s forcing me to cook more and find healthier options. I was thinking about meals I could make with what I already had and I remember a meal I had with my best friend. She uses a food service from time to time since her husband travels a lot and she graciously shares with me whenever she can. (Love her!) One time we shared a sweet potato breakfast bowl and I remembered how yummy it was. I thought I’d take a stab at making one myself.
My first try, while very good, wasn’t really up to par with the fancy food service one. Now breakfast hash 2.0….well here she is!
Have you tried the faux ice cream (AKA nice cream) that’s made with bananas? It’s now my new favorite thing. I’ll be honest, if you don’t like bananas, you should pretty much skip these recipes. However, if that’s not you, these are DELICIOUS. I whipped up the simplest one ever the other day and it’s so good that even my kids like it. I can’t really think of a diet that this wouldn’t fit the guidelines of so feel free to indulge.
I have a pretty big sweet tooth which makes doing a Daniel fast pretty difficult at times. Whole 30 is much the same just with meat. One night while on the Daniel fast (I did a 7 day one at the start of the new year.), I was craving something sweet pretty bad. Usually I can satisfy the sweet tooth with an apple and all natural peanut butter. This particular night, all I wanted was ice cream. I decided I needed to figure out something that would suffice and here’s what I came up with.
It’s three ingredients. That’s it! Here’s what you need for a single serving.
What’s date honey you ask? You can check my post about Daniel fast recipes HERE to find it. But to simplify it for you here, it’s boiled down dates, water, and cinnamon. (It’s the dark brown stuff in picture above.) Sounds kind of unappealing put like that but it’s great for adding sweetness to oatmeal, smoothies, etc.
A note about natural peanut butter: Make sure that it has only peanuts and salt in the ingredient list. If you don’t check, you’d be surprised how many products are labeled “natural” and still have added sugar.
All you need to do is blend everything together in a food processor (I’m loving my mini Kitchenaid I got for Christmas!) and put it in a container back in the freezer for at least an hour.
Top it off with some nuts, unsweetened coconut , and/or some extra nut butter drizzle. Now that I’m not on a fast or diet of any kind, I want to try it with some cocoa powder or at least top it off with some chocolate chips. Because, you know, chocolate! If you want to make more, it’s just a basic 1 to 1 to 1 ratio. (ie: A batch for three people would be 3 bananas, 3 Tbsp date honey, and 3 Tbsp nut butter.)
What are some of you favorite healthier versions of desserts?
Last week I shared about what the Daniel fast is and why I’m doing it. If you’d like to catch up on that, you can check it out HERE. One of my biggest challenges has been just figuring out what to eat.
I’m not a picky eater by any stretch of the imagination so I’m game to eat any and all vegetables but I just don’t know what to do with them. My knowledge is basically salad and microwave steamable packages. Also, since this fast has specific food guidelines, I’m not accustom to using replacement ingredients such as tofu, dates, etc. Having a book, The Ultimate Guide to the Daniel Fast, has been a huge help.
I tried salads at first but the dressing that I made didn’t really do much for me. I tried making things I used to eat but that were compliant with the food list and they were, well, they were terrible. So here are my list of favorite foods that actually taste great and I have on a regular bases.
Smoothies – Smoothies are life savers. With two small kids, these are quick, easy, and even they will drink one. I can pack a ton of spinach in them and not even taste it with the fruit. Adding in a nut based milk add great protein and calories. (Click on “Smoothies” to find a ton of great ideas!)
Snickerdoodle Smoothie – This is a recipe from The Ultimate Guide to the Daniel Fast. I was skeptical at first but it said snickerdoodle so I had to try it. It’s flippin’ amazing!
The ingredient list is almond milk, silken tofu, date honey, frozen banana, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.
Date Honey – This is also from the same book as the snickerdoodle smoothie and is included in that recipe. What’s great about it is that it has two ingredients. Dates and cinnamon. It’s a bit time consuming to make but not labor intensive.
Oatmeal Bowl – These are great for days when you may have to go a little longer in between meals. A 1/2 cup if oats and 1 cup of water (try using almond milk for a creamier texture) in the microwave for 2 minutes (give or take depending on your microwave wattage) makes an easy and filling base for tons of toppings. I usually use the date honey to sweeten it, a scoop of natural peanut butter for protein, an extra dash of cinnamon, and some fruit on top.
Easy to Pack Snacks – Sometimes you just need a munch on something and that can be hard to do when just about every option out there has added sugar. (This fast has seriously made question what the heck is going on in the food industry!) Your best bet to be successful is to be prepared. Prepackaged nuts are great and full of protein. We bought a huge box from Costco and all that is in them are the dry roasted nuts and sea salt.
Another great snack I love are That’s It bars. I first came across these at a Starbucks but now they are sold in more stores. All they are is fruit…That’s It! (Get it?!) They taste great and can help satisfy a sweet craving in a pinch.
Do you have some favorite plant-based recipes? I’d love to try them!
I’ve really been trying to add more vegetables into my diet. I know it’s not been a very popular idea with my boys (hubby included) but I really want to be healthier and spend less money at the same time. This means making more myself instead of relying on the microwave and finding new ways to make vegetables taste delicious. Don’t get me wrong, I like vegetables. I love salads. But it does get old after awhile and I also like variety. Today I’m sharing one of my favorite go to meals that incorporates two veggies and can be made Whole 30 compliant!
I’ve recently taken on a new love for baking. At first it was just fun cookies for Gav and I (and Ro when he’s older) to do for holidays. Then, after making Ro’s first birthday smash cake, I decided that I wanted to keep doing it. Banana bread has been my go to the past month or so and its so easy to make. I often find that I buy too many bananas and the last few tend to go bad. Those overripe bananas are PERFECT for banana bread!
So I found a simple recipe that I really love and we have banana bread every couple weeks or so. Then I got a crazy idea to start experimenting with adding flavors. The first one I tried was honey. Towards the end of baking, I drizzled honey over the top and it gave the bread a delicious taste, sweetness, and a pretty glaze. Today’s recipe was my second attempt at adding in a new flavor.
Vegetables are probably the hardest thing to add to my diet. However, it’s not because I don’t like them. I’m just not a fan of all the prep that goes into cooking most of them so when I found this broccoli slaw at the store, I knew I had to figure out how to incorporate it into an easy dish! Well, now I have two! This first one was a recipe that one of my bosses told me about and I adapted to add this type of slaw to and the second is one of my own.
Preheat your oven to 375. Slice the chicken into pieces/strips and cook/grill them. While the chicken is cooking, mix the slaw and about half the bottle of dressing in a large bowl. Assemble your wraps by placing a few pieces of chicken and spoonful of slaw in the center then wrapping it up as you would a burrito. Bake for 10-15 minutes until lightly toasted.
Italian Pasta, Veggie, and Tuna Salad
1 Box Veggie Pasta
1 Bottle Italian Dressing
1-2 Canned Tuna
Cook the pasta, drain, and let cool. Once the pasta has cooled off, place all of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. The amount of tuna you add is up to you. This recipe os also great with canned chicken.
These recipes are so simple to make, take little time to prepare, and can last for quite a few meals! Not to mention, they cost very little to make. So win win!
It’s so hard to get Mr. G to eat anything remotely related to a vegetable these days. Not that he’s different from other toddlers, and occasionally I can get him to drink a spinach packed smoothie, but it would be nice if he’d eat something green other than a fruit snack.
I can’t remember where I read about this sneaky little trick but I knew I had to try it. I think when I originally read about it, it as a full on, made from scratch recipe which I’m not really big on. I love to cook and bake for my family, but I also like simple and quick recipes too. I so came up with a quick way to make some nutrient packed muffins for the little man.
1. Prepare the muffin mix, I suggest a fruit based mix, as directed on the box minus the liquid. The muffin mix I used was Jiffy raspberry.
2. Pour the baby food into a measuring cup then pour liquid required by your muffin mix on top to equal the tool amount of liquid needed.
3. Add to the dry ingredients, mix well and bake according to the directions.
You will probably have to bake your muffins a little longer than required due to the puree. They will also be very moist for the same reason.
Would you believe these have spinach and peas in them? Yummy AND packed with nutrients!