Sweet Date Bites

Date Bites

Here’s the thing. My sweet tooth comes and goes. And lately, it’s been visitng me in full force. I can’t explain it. All of a sudden I want ALL THE SWEETS. So this weekend I said to myself, “Self, enough is enough. Stop this.” So I did a bit of googling and pinteresting, and after reading several recipes, came up with this little dandy. For me, it’s a nice, natural sugar boost. And they are VERY sweet. Like, potent sweet. Last night I had one tiny ball and a cup of tea and was completely satisfied, and I don’t even have to feel bad about it.

Here’s the other thing. I LOVE working out first thing in the morning, mostly because I can go about my day and know it’s over with. But it poses a few issues. The main issue is: To eat beforehand or not to eat beforehand. If I’m just going for a run, I definitely don’t eat first. But I recently joined crossfit (and UGH, more on this another time), and a 6 a.m. crossfit workout on an empty stomach is just stupid. So these little bites of natural sugar worked really well yesterday morning. No stomach cramps, no fatigue. Blam!

Also, I know they look terrible. My sweet husband pointed that out, but trust me, I already knew.

Sweet Date Bites

Ingredients

1.5 oz cashews (or any nut)
1 tablespoon peanut butter
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup chocolate protein powder (really you could probably use any kind)
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
16 pitted dates
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon water

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a food processor, and blend until a sticky dough is formed. If it’s not coming together, slowly add a little bit more water. Use a tablespoon to form small balls. You should end up with 14 or so.

Nutrition info for one ball: Calories-65 Fat-2g Protein-2g Sugar-7g

Tomato, Watermelon, and Basil Bites

This is such a fabulously simple and refreshing appetizer. It could easily be made on much larger skewers or even as a large salad if you were serving this with a meal.

tomato watermelon

Here’s what you’ll need…

Ingredients (quantities depend on how many you hope to make – I made about 40)

One container cherry tomatoes
One small package of pre-cut watermelon
Fresh basil
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil and salt for drizzling

Directions

In a small saucepan, simmer equal parts of balsamic vinegar and sugar. Stir occasionally, until sugar is melted. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Slice your tomatoes in half, and cut pieces of watermelon that are about the same size as the tomatoes. Tear your basil leaves into small pieces, again about the size of your tomatoes and watermelon. Skewer tomatoes, basil, and watermelon onto your toothpicks or skewers. Drizzle with your balsamic syrup, a little bit of olive oil, and some freshly cracked salt.

Eggplant Pizzas

This is the one quick photo I took before devouring my dinner the other night:

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Little eggplant pizzas. Easy peasy! I stole this little tutorial from over here, where she obviously took much more time to make them look pretty than I did. I also was too hungry to wait for the cheese to broil. Don’t judge – it was late and I was starving.

What I love is that you could really do a million things with these, and they totally satisfy that pizza sauce craving without being bad for you. I think these would be great with a little prociutto or some chopped veggies mixed in. Experiment your little hearts out!

Buffalo Chicken Salad Hoagie

This week’s buffalo chicken creation was around long enough for a quick iPhone photo, but that was about it…

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And I must say, this mean was a seriously huge success in our little family. Flavorful, fresh, and completely comforting without being fatty or greasy at all. Easiest recipe ever follows.

Buffalo Chicken Salad Hoagie (4 servings)

Ingredients
2 cups chicken, cooked and cubed
1/4 cup plain, nonfat greek yogurt
1/4 cup Frank’s hot sauce
1 celery stalk, chopped finely
2 green onions (whites and some greens)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

The directions are simple…mix together your yogurt and hot sauce, add in the veggies and seasoning, and last, the chicken! I let mine set in the fridge for a couple of hours, and I think it helps the flavors really meld together. Obviously, you could eat this by itself, over a salad, or, like we did, on a delicious french baguette. Enjoy!

Beet Salad

So this was a tiny bit of an experiment for me. I found this recipe over on whole living, and decided to give it a try for my lunches this week. I made this “beet slaw” with four stalks of celery, two green onions, one cucumber, and two beets.

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Whole Living suggests that you eat this on arugula, topped with 1/2 of an avacado and about 3 tablespoons of sunflower seeds. They suggest dressing it with olive oil and lemon juice. I will likely use avocado and pine nuts, since that’s what I have on hand, and probably a little balsamic vinaigrette.beets2

When you eat a lot of salads, you really need to find some ways to add variety – chicken and veggies on lettuce doesn’t keep a girl happy very long. Did you know beets are one of the absolute best foods for you? They are jam packed with nutrients. Also, they are pretty. And it’s a fact that eating pretty things is way better than eating plain boring things. Happy lunching!

Mexican Hot Chocolate Protein Shake

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Definitely the best protein shake I’ve made yet. If you like Mexican Hot Chocolate, and you like Frozen Hot Chocolate, this is basically the best thing you can make. Enjoy!!

Ingredients

1/2 cup almond milk
1 scoop chocolate protein powder
1-inch piece of ginger (optional, but add extra cayenne if you omit it)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
hefty dash of cayenne
2 packets stevia (or other natural sweetener)
ice (a few handfuls to whatever consistency you like)

Blend them all together, and you’ve got a low calorie, high protein treat! Enjoy!

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Chicken and Veggies

Chicken and veggies are SO BORING, and so of course I’m always trying to find other ways to get my protein and veggies without sacrificing health and flavor. So this week, I tried a little recipe I found over at Paleo Plan. The very straightforward name is Garlic Chicken, Red Peppers, and Mushroom Sauce… and I have to admit, it wasn’t fabulous. It was only slightly more exciting than regular chicken and veggies. And it really didn’t make for very good photos, other than some good prep shots.DSC_0039

The recipe calls for just a little bit of coconut milk, which I guess I expected to create a sauce with a hint of coconut…but while it added some moisture, it really did not create a sauce. And I never tasted coconut. So that might just be me not knowing what coconut milk is really like.

I also chose to keep my chicken tenders in whole pieces rather than chopping them up. Just a personal preference. Still, I don’t think the flavors from the “marinade” really came through. DSC_0051

Regardless, it was fun to take the time to chop veggies and follow a new recipe – something I haven’t made time for in a while. Feel free to test this recipe out and let me know if you find a way to make it a little better. DSC_0047