Banana Nut Muffins

Who doesn’t love muffins!? One of my favorite things about making these and then creating this post has been how many times auto correct wanted to change “nut” to “butt” – these are not banana butt muffins! You could call them that though and they’d still be equally as tasty.

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I’m all about making and baking things that I won’t feel guilty about – that are extremely yummy but that don’t make me feel sick – baked goods that come from whole ingredients. With the exception of some brown sugar, these are just that.

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Nanananananas

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I wanted to eat this with a spoon. #confessions

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These are a great snack to make when you’re having that evening sweet tooth. The recipe makes six little muffins so you won’t have to worry about eating 12 of them – it’s a legit concern – BEEN THERE.

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Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A desire for something sweet
  • The patience to pre-heat the oven
  • The will power to not eat the raw muffin batter
  • 2 ripe bananas – the more ripe they are, the sweeter your muffins shall be
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt – or just a pinch
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp sliced raw almonds

Directions:

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Mash together bananas and egg. Add in remaining ingredients. Grease 6 muffin pan tray (I like to use coconut oil). Evenly distribute the batter. Bake for around 20 minutes or until tops are golden brown.

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These muffins are DENSE (and not like that girl you knew from High School). They are so flavorful and moist (ugh I’ve always hated that word – soft, squishy, dewy and humid in muffin way?) you get the point.

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LOOK AT THE DENSE-NESS!!!

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Enjoy these with a cup of your favorite tea at night. It’s the perfect bedtime snack 🙂

Nutrition facts below.

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Triple Berry Smoothie

Who doesn’t love berries?! Not only is this smoothie a rich full purple color but it’s also delicious and filled with 18g of fiber!

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Round up your ingredients:

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Blend spinach, water, chia and flax seeds first. Then add the berries! What you’ll have is a 300 calorie smoothie that will keep you full all morning.

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This was my fuel for the morning after a rough T25 workout!!

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What a treat!!

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Zucchini Lasagna

I love lasagna and I love cheese. With that being said, I’m always looking for ways to make dishes a little healthier (even if they still have a lot of cheese). The other night I was craving lasagna like crazy but didn’t have any lasagna noodles. I’d heard about using squash before but was always a little hesitant.

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Luckily, I usually have fresh produce in my fridge and zucchini was the perfect experimental substitute for the job. The dish came out amazing and even my husband loved it. The first thing he said was “Wait! Where’s the pasta? There isn’t pasta in this?!” and then chowed down another bite.

I’m excited to try making this again soon and adding new things. The great thing about dishes like this is that there’s really no wrong way to make them and you can add as much (or as little) of anything in them as you want.

I forgot to take an after picture because we devoured it.

What you’ll need:

  • Fresh kale
  • Fresh spinach
  • 2-3 zucchini
  • 1 jar marinara/tomato sauce of choice
  • crumbled feta
  • mozzarella cheese
  • fresh Parmesan
  • olive oil
  • garlic
  • oregano
  • onion or onion powder
  • salt/pepper

Start off by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. I then took about 4-5 cups of spinach and another 3 or so cups of kale and added them to a pan over low-medium heat with 2 TBSP of olive oil. Stir and add in seasonings to taste: garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, onion.

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Next, start laying and building your lasagna. Make sure your pan is lightly greased with olive oil. Then pour marinara for the base, add thin slices of zucchini, spinach/kale mixture, and cheese as you like.

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I just did two full layers and then topped it off with more marinara and mozzarella over the entire thing.

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Bake for about 30-35 minutes until cheese is fully melted. Let sit for about 10-15 minutes to let it solidify. You’ll need to use a spoon to dish it up and will want to eat it out of a bowl. It was heavenly. One thing I’d recommend trying is using a cheese grater to make long, thin slices of the zucchini. I just sliced them with a knife and didn’t get them as thin as I wanted and risked cutting my fingers about eight times.

It’s even amazing the next day heated up in the microwave.

Banana Almond Butter Blondies

These.

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The other night I was craving a Hershey’s bar so bad I was making noises and embarrassing myself at the grocery store. I KNEW though that if I caved, I’d be upset. Not because indulging is bad but because Hershey’s bars are now made with more fake ingredients and isolates (ingredients found naturally that are then isolated and put into products in higher amounts than found in nature) than they once used to. Without going on a rant with this alone, I’ll get to the story about me laying in bed for over an hour pouting that my life was over that night because I wanted a chocolate bar and I couldn’t have it. The 26 year old version of a tantrum.

But I didn’t cave. Instead, I thought about what I had in my kitchen and decided to come up with a healthier recipe to satisfy my sweet tooth. Thus, the birth of the banana almond butter blondie bars was born and let me tell you, these are dynamite delicious! So much so that my husband and I inhaled the entire 12 bars within 20 minutes of them coming out of the oven. But you know, it was for science…and blogging…and all of you! I took one for the team! ….erm. Good lord I already want more of these!

This was also my first time buying and using dates. I’ll be honest, I was always hesitant because they look like a pile of bugs. But great odin’s raven are these things sweet and amazing! In fact, of all the dates I’ve experienced, these were definitely the sweetest (see what I did there – my Dad humor has no end). And while dates are high in fructose, they also are packed with magnesium, fiber, potassium, and antioxidants. In other words. they are a MUCH better alternative to get some sweet in your baking that just using refined sugar.

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I’ll stop teasing and give you the recipe already 😛

Recipe:

  • 3 bananas
  • 6 pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup whole grain oats
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a smaller baking dish (I used a glass 6×8 or so) with wax paper and cooking spray. Mash together bananas until creamy. Slice up pitted dates. Combine all ingredients into a bowl with mashed bananas. Pour mixture into lined baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

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The beauty of these is you can eat them immediately for more of a bread pudding type treat. If you were really being bad you could add ice cream. Letting them cool for at least 20 minutes though gives them time to solidify more into bars. I can’t tell you what they are like cooled further or even refrigerated because we ate them too fast (nom nom nom) but I will do an update soon.

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Slice them into 12 pieces for the following nutritional info per serving.

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Baked Pickle Chips

There’s nothing like going to a bar and ordering a basket of deep-fried pickle chips, crispy, dilly bites of delicious. But they are deep-fried and then my body hurts. Last night I decided to try baking them homemade and not only did I like them more, but they were just as crispy and wonderful.

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There’s also something indescribable about taking the time to hand bake your own food. Gathering all of the ingredients, hand dipping each slice into the mixture and watching them crisp in the oven. Food always tastes more enjoyable when it’s not just something going mindlessly into your mouth, but something you’re proud of, something you hand crafted.

This recipe was inspired by some recent posts I’ve seen about baking vegetables into chips. You could do this with a variety of things like sweet potatoes, zucchini, carrots, kale, etc.

For this recipe (feel free to double it or quadruple it for more people) you’ll need:

  • A jar of dill pickles
  • Grated Parmesan (I used a store-bought bottle because it was what I had in my fridge, but fresh parm would probably be better)
  • Bread crumbs (I used organic ones from Trader Joe’s)
  • Cooking spray or olive oil
  • Eggs
  • Fresh dill

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Measurements:

  • 3 dill pickles
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • Loose and sprinkled fresh dill

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Start by rinsing off your pickles so they aren’t overwhelmingly salty. Then slice 3 of them into tiny chip size slices. Next time I might also try letting them air dry on the cutting board for an hour or so they get a bit more crispy in the oven. For this round, I used them right away.

Crack your egg into a bowl and scramble with a fork.

Mix together Parmesan, bread crumbs, and fresh dill.

Spray baking sheet with cooking spray or lightly coat with olive oil.

Then one by one, dip pickle slices into egg and then coat with bread crumb mixture. Press each piece firmly to make sure they stick. I had to wash my hands a lot since the mixture would clump on my fingers.

Bake chips for 8-10 minutes, then flip and bake an additional 5 minutes. The tops should be lightly browned and crispy. You should be able to dive right in. This recipe made about 35 pickle chips and clocked out at around 170 calories.

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Turkey Sandwich with Raspberry and Cream Cheese

Sandwich possibilities are endless, it’s probably why they are some of the most versatile and well loved food items around. This afternoon I made an amazing sandwich with cream cheese I just had to share.

Meet the turkey breast sandwich with cream cheese, raspberry preserves, and baby arugula. Nom nom nom.

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What you’ll need:

  • 2 slices of your favorite whole wheat bread (I used Dave’s Killer Bread thin sliced)
  • 4 oz turkey breast
  • fresh baby arugula
  • 1 tsp raspberry preserves (or fresh cranberry sauce if you have it)
  • 1 tablespoon cream cheese

Boom. You have a sandwich you won’t want to share 😉

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Each sandwich: 293 calories

 

Healthy Salmon Dinner Under 450 Calories

I don’t know about you but sometimes I just need food pictures to inspire me to eat healthy and cook something amazing. It’s probably why restaurants put pictures on their menus, that LOOKS delicious, I’m going to order it.

The other night I was feeling ambitious and excited about food. So I decided to make a super easy dinner that turned into a meal event with me saying “oh my god” about a thousand times as I ate my dinner.

A lot of people hate brussel sprouts but let me tell you, they are my new favorite.

Here’s what went down:

Caprese salad

  • 1 tomato
  • 1 slice mozzarella
  • 2-3 fresh basil leaves
  • Light dab of olive oil

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Brussel Sprouts

  • 1/2 pound Brussel sprouts (only about 100 calories)
  • Sea salt
  • Ground Pepper
  • Olive oil

Season Brussel sprouts to taste and lightly top with olive oil. Bake at 350 degrees until lightly browned and crispy.

Baked Salmon with Lemon and Dill

  • Salmon
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Lemon slices
  • Fresh dill
  • Pepper to taste

I took a full piece of frozen salmon (fresh is always preferred but do what you can do) and then seasoned it with EVOO, lemon slices (squeezing them a bit over the top as well), fresh dill, and ground pepper. Bake at 400 degrees until fully cooked, usually around 15-20 minutes.

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Best of all you can eat half of that salmon and EVERYTHING else and it’s only 440 calories. It was seriously one of the best meals I’ve ever had.

 

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