Tag: healthy

Blueberry Over-Night Chia Seed Pudding

Blueberry Over-Night Chia Seed Pudding

If there’s one thing I appreciate (I mean, let’s be honest, I appreciate a lot), it is make ahead breakfasts. I would give a lot to stay engulfed in my covers for every absolute second I can in the morning. Seriously, I set my alarm for 6 am this morning, it went off and I thought “Nope, not happening” and set another alarm for 6:30, and then I finally rolled out of bed at 6:40. People love mornings, and I respect those people, but I am not one of those people. That mixed with the fact that I need to eat breakfast, I am TOTALLY not one of those people who are all like “I’m just not hungry in the morning”… I’m hungry. All the time.

Especially with an hour and 15 minute commute, one way, to work, (however, come a few short weeks that will be getting cut down in half !!!!!!!!!) I love make-ahead breakfasts. In the colder months, I enjoy make-ahead oatmeal. Pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds, and you have a satisfying breakfast right in front of you. With spring officially here, and warmer temps *hopefully* coming to the Chicagoland area soon, this chia seed pudding is perfect for a spring/summer make-ahead breakfast.

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Another thing I love about chia seed pudding for breakfast is that it genuinely tastes good in the morning. I am not one of those people who can make a smoothie and let it sit over night. It just does not taste good to me. There is something off about it.

Do I continue to list off why I love chia seed pudding? Sure, why not. Just like oatmeal, you can put whatever you want on top. I mean, make it taste good, but still, whatever you want.

Below you’ll find the recipe for this blueberry over-night chia seed pudding!

Blueberry Over-Night Chia Seed Pudding

Ingredients

  • 1/4 c. Chia Seeds
  • 1 c. Milk, I use unsweetned vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 c. Blueberries, I use frozen blueberries
  • dash of Stevia, optional
  • 1/2-1 banana sliced, optional for topping
  • 1/2 tbsp Ground Organic Flaxseed, optional for topping

Instructions

  1. In an air tight container, combine your chia seeds, milk and blueberries. Close your container and let it sit in the fridge over night.
  2. In the morning, take out your now chia seed pudding, top with whatever toppings you like (bananas & flax seed) and enjoy!
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Greek Chicken Pita with Homemade Tzatziki

Greek Chicken Pita with Homemade Tzatziki

Let’s start off this post with the homemade tzatziki. This is a great appetizer any time of the year, not to mention it is a healthy appetizer as well. With Greek yogurt, olive oil, lemon, raw garlic and cucumber this is such a refreshing dip. This is particularly a great dip for the summer. In the Kelly house, we frequently make this and/or bruschetta to enjoy while sitting out on the back patio.

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Here’s what you’ll need to make this tzatziki. 1 cup Greek Yogurt, 1/2 cup diced cucumber, 1/8th lemon (juiced), 1 tbsp Olive Oil, 1-2 cloves of minced garlic, salt & pepper to taste. You simply combine all ingredients in a bowl, stir and enjoy!

Moving onto this Greek Chicken Pita. The chicken is seasoned with lemon pepper, salt, garlic and oregano. This is the perfect combination of spices for this pita. The pita I used was these 100% Whole Wheat Pocket Thins. They were great. Tasted great and were super easy to stuff with all the goodies of the pita.

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You can include any veggies you want in the pita. I diced tomatoes, cucumbers and green peppers. I topped it with feta cheese, of course.

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Here is the recipe for these Greek Chicken Pitas!

Greek Chicken Pita

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken breast, diced
  • 1 pita
  • 1/2 c. tzatziki
  • Vegetables of your choice to top

Instructions

  1. Dice your uncooked chicken breast. Place in a pan and season with lemon pepper, garlic, salt and oregano. Cook until brown.
  2. On the inside of each half of your pita, spread your tzatziki and stuff with your greens/lettuce.
  3. Once chicken is cooked, place the cooked chicken in your pita. Top with veggies and feta cheese. Enjoy!
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Chocolate Peanut Butter Breakfast Smoothie

Chocolate Peanut Butter Breakfast Smoothie

Chocolate any time of day? For me, yes. My sweet tooth can sometimes (98% of the time) get out of control. When I am able to find recipes, such as this smoothie one, that satisfy my sweet tooth without a ton of calories/fat/sugar/whatever else- I’m a happy camper. This smoothie tastes like someone threw a Reeses’ Peanut Butter Cup in a blender. Yeah, not joking.

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For my smoothies in the morning, I like to add some oatmeal. I find it adds substance and makes the smoothie more of a meal. Between the protein powder, peanut butter and oats, I’m not worried about feeling hungry any time soon. Who am I kidding? I never stay full… for any normal person, this would keep you satisfied for hours.

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With the banana in there, you get that smooth, creamy texture. When I’ve made this smoothie before, I have also substituted half an avocado for the banana. It gives it the same taste/texture. If you happen to not have bananas, but have half an avocado to spare- I suggest trying this!

If you don’t have protein powder, don’t worry. You can use unsweetened cocoa powder or cacao powder. I use half a scoop of protein powder, so that would equal roughly 1-2 tbsp of powder.

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Below you’ll find the printable recipe for this smoothie!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Breakfast Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 Banana
  • 1/2 scoop Chocolate Protein Powder
  • 1 tbsp Peanut Butter
  • 1/4 c. Oats
  • 3/4 c. Milk
  • 4 Ice Cubes

Instructions

  1. In a blender, combine all your ingredients. Blend and enjoy!
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Egg White & Veggie Breakfast Muffins

Egg White & Veggie Breakfast Muffins

Cue the time where New Years Resolutions may be loosing steam. We may be a little more lenient with ourselves and may be looking for some inspiration to stay motivated. One of my resolutions was to be way more organized & clean. Currently, I’m reading the book called The Magic of Tidying Up. I have heard it is life-changing and you all will probably hear about it in my Book Bites: January 2016 Edition. As for being overall healthier, which was a “Graduation Resolution” before it became a “New Year Resolution”… That is going alriiiiiight. However, these Egg White & Veggie Breakfast Muffins are very easy to make, customize-able and great make-ahead breakfasts. Make one batch on Sundays and be ready to start your day off on the right foot all week.

I highly highly HIGHLY suggest adding a bunch of veggies to these. It is such an easy way to start your day with protein and vegetables. I added green peppers and spinach. However, some more add-ins could be red or yellow peppers, onions (sweet, yellow, green-whatever works), tomatoes, mushrooms, ham, or turkey bacon.

These muffins are similar to any other type of muffin or cupcake. You need to cook them until a toothpick or other testing utensil comes out clean. That time is roughly 20 minutes. Depending on your oven, it might be more, it might be less.

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Egg White & Veggie Breakfast Muffins

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp veggies of choice
  • 3 tbsp egg whites
  • 1/2 tbsp shredded cheese, optional

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350 and grease your muffin tins
  • In each muffin tin, put in your 3 tbsp veggies, 3 tbsp egg whites and top with your 1/2 tbsp shredded cheese
  • Repeat these steps for as many muffins as you wish to make
  • Put your muffin tin in the oven for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
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Healthy Blueberry Breakfast Muffins

Healthy Blueberry Breakfast Muffins

These muffins are not only blueberry, they are legit blue. I used frozen blueberries, and while I was stirring them into the batter, the whole batter turned blue. Go big or go home, I guess? Side-note: While making these, I was watching The Food Network and brainstorming for future recipes. I’m excited to share what is ahead with you all!!!

Back to these muffins. They may not be the tallest, most round muffins, but do not doubt the flavor. They are so good. I didn’t use any sugar. I used honey and Truvia Brown Sugar Blend. Also, no butter. I used coconut oil. However, you can use butter or whatever oil you want. Just use it as a 1:1 ratio. I used regular flour, but you can also substitute that for a flour of your choice as well. Be sure to do your research on the ratios of substitution for your particular flour.

Before trying these, I was half tempted to make a lemon glaze on top. However, after trying them, I didn’t want to. I simply topped it with a little bit of extra oats and called it a day. The blueberry flavor was so prominent along with the hints of vanilla extract and honey- believe me, no more flavors needed to be added.

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These are great to make-ahead for the week. They don’t take long to actually make, store them in Tupperware and then grab one on your way to work, the gym or wherever you go every morning. You could also just grab one with nowhere to go!

Below you will find what you need to make these delicious, healthy blueberry breakfast muffins!

Healthy Blueberry Breakfast Muffins

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

12 Muffins

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp Oil
  • 3 tbsp Honey
  • 1/4 c. Truvia Brown Sugar Blend, this converts to 1/2 c. regular light brown sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 c. Milk
  • 1 1/2 c. Flour
  • 1/2 c. Oats
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 c. Blueberries, fresh or frozen

Instructions

  • In a small to medium sized bowl, combine your dry ingredients (flour, oats, baking powder and salt)
  • Preheat your oven to 350 and grease 12 muffin liners
  • Using a mixer, beat together your oil, honey and sugar.
  • Once mixed, beat in (one by one) your two eggs
  • Alternating between your milk and your dry mixture, on low, mix until the batter is just fully incorporated
  • Using a spatula, fold in your blueberries
  • Scoop your batter into the 12 greased muffin liners fill the majority of the liner
  • Bake for 20 minutes and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes.
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Banana Nut Oatmeal

Banana Nut Oatmeal

Banana nut bread is great. Such a great breakfast, snack, lunch, whatever- it is so yummy. I’ve had this bag of Trader Joe’s Rolled Oats sitting in the pantry for months now. My mom recently said “wow I haven’t had oatmeal in a long time, I need to have some” and light-bulb (!!!!) I remembered my huge bag!!!!!

I was searching through my cabinets thinking of what I could possibly incorporate into the oatmeal. I had bought some pecans to put on a citrus salad I am making this week (stay tuned it is going to be great!!!!), I love putting bananas in or on any recipe I can and I just recently bought some honey (we were out of some for weeks and I kept forgetting to get some)… then bam, I realized I could do a banana nut oatmeal.

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I used my new rice cooker/slow-cooker/steamer machine I got for Christmas to cook the oatmeal. (See the Amazon link below) When I’ve made oatmeal before, I have either used the stove top or I put it in the Crock Pot for 8 hours. I’m thinking to myself “Ok, I’ll let it cook on the slow cooker setting for 7 hours” uhhhhh, nope. I checked it (cause I made it this morning being too nervous to leave it over night- thank GOD I did) after one hour… ONE HOUR!!!! and it was pretty much done. I stirred it, let it cook for another hour, then left the top off and allowed it to cool for about 20 minutes. Oatmeal always thickens up when it is cooling down.

While the oatmeal was cooling, I chopped my banana and 1/4 c. pecans (I measured the pecans before I chopped them. So, 1/4 c. whole pecans)… 1/4 cup of pecans is seriously like 6-8 pecans, which doesn’t seem like a lot. Butttttt chop them up and it won’t seem like a little bit, it will turn into a lot. Plus, I didn’t want to add anymore, because the serving size was 1/4 cup. In 1 serving size there was 210 calories, 160 of those came from fat. Which, I know, is good for you fat. Still, that doesn’t mean you can eat a whole bag and they will be good for you.

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Ok, below is everything you will need to make this banana nut oatmeal!

Banana Nut Oatmeal

Ingredients

  • 2 c. Rolled Oats
  • 2 c. Water
  • 2 1/2 c. Milk, I use Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  • 2 tbsp + more for topping Truvia Brown Sugar Blend
  • 1 Banana, sliced
  • 1/4 c. Pecans, chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp Honey

Instructions

  • For Crock Pot or Slow Cookers- put your oats, water, milk and 2 tbsp truvia in the pot. Cook on low for 6 hours
  • For a Rice Cooker (like mine above)- put your oats, water, milk and 2 tbsp Truvia in the pot. Cook on "Slow Cooker" setting for 2 hours
  • For Stove Top: Bring your liquid to a boil, add in your oats, stir until desired consistency
  • Once your Oats are cooked and while they are cooling, prepare your toppings.
  • After about 15 minutes, top your oats and enjoy! This is a great breakfast to divvy up and have your breakfast for the week!

Notes

You don't have to split up the liquid like I did. You can just use 4 1/2 c. liquid of your choice. All milk, all water- do your thing!

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Very Berry Smoothie

Very Berry Smoothie

With the turn of yet another year, it is now time for those “New Years Resolutions”… I’ve never been one to set concrete resolutions. In 2016, want to really work on this site, create and experiment with recipes, craft and create more and be overall happier and healthier. Not super concrete resolutions or goals, maybe a goal should be to set more concrete and measurable goals?

After New Years celebrations, I neeeeeeeeeeeed some nutrition and vitamins in my body. For a quick, easy fix- I made this very berry smoothie. This is one of my favorite smoothie combinations. I love smoothies any day any time. One of my “resolutions” is to post more smoothie recipes, it is such an easy way to get in some fruit and veggie servings.

In my smoothies, I like to add in Chia Seeds or Ground Flaxseed. I also always, always, always add at least 2 handfuls of spinach. Spinach is tasteless, yet packed with vitamins and nutrients. Anything I can add it to, I do.

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I used vanilla Greek yogurt in this smoothie, which I really like vanilla Greek yogurt when making smoothies. The only downside of including Greek yogurt, especially flavored, is the amount of sugar. If you are watching your sugar, then I would either omit the the Greek yogurt, or really read the labels and do some research on which Greek yogurts have the lowest sugar content.  But watch out for those artifical sweetners (if you’re into that kinda thing, if not- have at it!!!)

Here’s what you need to make this Very Berry Smoothie!

Very Berry Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 c. Milk, I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 c. Frozen Mixed Berries
  • 1 c. Vanilla Greek Yogurt
  • 1 tbsp Flaxseed or Chia Seeds
  • 2-3 handfuls Spinach

Instructions

  • Put all your ingredients in a blender, and blend until fully mixed!
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Ground Turkey Chili

Ground Turkey Chili

Yesterday in the Chicago-land area, we had a huge winter storm. It started in the wee hours of the morning, and ended at roughly 7:30/8.   It was an ice storm, and I knew that this was the perfect day to make the ground turkey chili I have been itching to cook.

I love chili. Last year while I was at school, I made a sweet potato chicken chili. That was unlike anything I’ve ever had. I really enjoyed it. This chili recipe is more your typical chili recipe, which still doesn’t disappoint.

I cooked this is a dutch oven. You could cook it in a large pot, or a slow-cooker. If you do cook it in a slow cooker, then ignore my instructions about boiling. You can just cook this on high for 3-4 hours.

To go along with the chili I made a healthy Greek yogurt mac and cheese. Because who doesn’t love a nice chili mac dinner?! I got the recipe off of Chocolate Covered Katie (find it here)

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Like my super fancy purple plastic bowls??

The dinner was a hit with my family (minus my little brother, Tommy. We won’t dive into his picky eating habits, hi Tommy)

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You’ve got the chili mixed with the mac and topped with avocado. Lots of complimentary flavors and textures.

Ground Turkey Chili

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours, 10 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours, 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Ground Turkey
  • 2 tbsp Oil, I use coconut
  • 1 large Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves Garlic,_minced_
  • 1 28 oz can Diced Tomatoes, with the juice
  • 1 15 oz can White Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 oz can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 oz can Whole Kernel Corn, drained and rinsed
  • 2 c. Chicken Stock
  • 1 6 oz can Tomato Paste
  • 1 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Chipotle Peppers
  • 1/2 tsp Taco seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp Sriracha
  • 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

  • In a large frying pan, cook and ground your turkey until it is browned. Set aside.
  • In a large pot, heat up your 2 tbsp oil. After a few minutes, dump in your chopped onion and your minced garlic. Allow to sautee for 3 minutes.
  • Dump in your diced tomatoes (including the liquid inside can!), your beans and your corn. Stir.
  • Pour in your chicken stock, and add your cooked ground turkey. Then add in your tomato paste. Stir until paste is fully incorporated.
  • Pour in your seasonings, and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Once everything is incorporated, and on high heat, bring your chili to a boil. Leave it boiling for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • After 10 minutes, switch your heat to low, give it a good stir, cover the pot, and let it sit on low and simmer for 3 hours.
  • Pair with mac and cheese, top with cheese, plain Greek yogurt, avocados, green onion- the toppings are yours for the making!
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Banana Peanut Butter Muffins

Banana Peanut Butter Muffins

I have TOTALLY been slacking with posts. I didn’t even post my 12th cupcake for the 12 cupcakes of Christmas!!!!!! Ah!!! I told myself I was going to be productive and post throughout the holiday….. well, obviously that didn’t happen.

My 12th cupcake was a cupcake wreath. You could use any cupcake you want to make this. All you need is 12 cupcakes (of your choice), and vanilla buttercream or cream cheese frosting dyed green. Melted red chocolates (to make into a bow- I slacked and didn’t do that) and “fun” sprinkles as I like to call them. (aka those different colored sprinkles)

You can find any cupcake recipe on my blog or the internet.

Here is where you can find my vanilla buttercream and here is where you can find my vanilla cream cheese frosting!

Here is a tutorial on how to make chocolate garnishes!

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Ok, let’s get to the actual point of this post. These super yummy and healthy (yes!!!! healthy!!!!) banana peanut butter muffins. The only unhealthy thing in these is the all-purpose flour I used. I should really invest in some other flour.

These make for a great grab and go breakfast. They are packed with protein (peanut butter + greek yogurt + an egg), they have no sugar in them (Truvia Brown Sugar baking blend!!!) and they have ground flaxseed (hello, superfood!)

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A note for when you bake these: I would just grease the pan instead of using muffin liners.

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If you do use muffin liners, be sure that the muffins are COMPLETELY cooled before peeling them off. I was too anxious in this picture and it came off on the liner.

Here is what you need to make these delicious muffins!

Banana Peanut Butter Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 c. Flour
  • 1/2 c. Ground Flax-seed
  • 1/2 c. Oats
  • 1 tbsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Ripe Banana
  • 1/4 c. Peanut Butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c. Plain or Vanilla Greek Yogurt
  • 1 c. + 2 tbsp Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350 and either line 15 muffin tins or grease 15 muffin tins
  • In a small bowl, combine all of your dry ingredients. That includes: flour, flax-seed, oats and baking powder. Whisk or sift together.
  • In a large bowl, combine all of your wet ingredients. That includes: banana, peanut butter, egg, Greek yogurt, vanilla almond milk and brown sugar (not a liquid/wet ingredient, but still include it)
  • Beat your wet mixture on slow and slowly add in your dry mixture.
  • Beat on slow-medium speed until just combined. Fill your muffin tins about 3/4 of the way full
  • Cook for 18-20 minutes. Enjoy!
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Dark Chocolate Bark

Dark Chocolate Bark

I love cookies, candy, cakes, cupcakes, you name any sweet- I love it. However, the calories, the fat, the sugar, everything starts to add up. Plus, I love ending meals with a little morsel of something sweet. That is why I love having a healthy dessert option on hand. How many times can I say “I love” in one paragraph???

This particular dark chocolate bark is made with pomegranates and crushed pistachios. Not only does this make for a great healthy dessert, bark is also a super easy holiday gift idea! (Lil’ side-note for you all)

You can switch up the toppings to whatever you prefer. If you wish to put other dried fruits on there, such as apricots, or another nut on there, such as almonds- feel free! One blogger I follow made bark with candied ginger- talk about yum! Check it out here.

This bark is truly yours for the making. The whole bark making process is a very easy one. You simply melt the chocolate, pour it onto a cookie sheet (covered in parchment paper), top with your toppings, let freeze, and crack into pieces. The longest step for this particular bark was probably unshelling the pistachios- it was so tempting not to eat the whole bag!! How are pistachios so dang addictive to chomp on?! I only had a very small handful *proud of myself*

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The pomegranates add a nice little juicy crunch for this bark. I did find, though, that as I was breaking the bark into pieces, the pomegranate did not stay on as easily as I had hoped. The pistachios? Stuck like glue… The pomegranates? Well, some came off. Not all, but some.

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Below you’ll find the printable recipe for this delicious, healthy dark chocolate bark! But remember, just because there is pistachios, pomegranate and dark chocolate doesn’t mean you can eat the whole thing and it’ll still be healthy (only in a perfect world would that be possible- a girl can dream though)

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Dark Chocolate Bark

Ingredients

  • 1 10 oz. bag Dark Chocolate Chips, I used 60% Cacao Ghirardelli Chips
  • 1/4 c. Pistachios, shelled and chopped
  • 1/4 c. Pomegranate seeds

Instructions

  • On a flat cookie/baking sheet, place a sheet of parchment paper.
  • Prep your toppings. In this case, shell and chop the pistachios. Place in a bowl. Gather your pomegranate seeds, place in another bowl.
  • Once toppings are prepped and set out next to the cookie sheet, melt your chocolate according to the directions on the bag.
  • When the chocolate is fully melted, pour on middle of the parchment paper, making somewhat of a square. Using the back of a spoon or a flat spatula, spread the chocolate out in a rectangle.
  • Top with pistachios and pomegranate seeds, and place in freezer (or in your garage if you live in the cold states like Illinois!)
  • Allow to cool for at least 2 hours. After it is cooled, break into squares. Store in an air tight container in a cool place, like your refrigerator.
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