Peanut Butter Choffy Protein Shake

Choffy smoothie

In my effort to to find quasi healthy foods and snacks for myself and more importantly my picky eater, I decided to start making protein/fiber shakes to satisfy the sweet tooth yet not fill little one with total junk and stave off hunger. As you may know, I like to drink Choffy 100% brewed chocolate. What you may not know is that you can use your Choffy grounds for much more than brewing. This is great as you get more bang for your buck when you can reuse the brewed grounds PLUS you get the benefit of “eating” the whole bean! This is just one of many recipes, but it was a big hit when we tried it out yesterday!

Peanut Butter Choffy Protein Shake:

Ingredients:

1 frozen banana

6 ice cubes

2 Tbsp peanut butter (I used Adam’s chunky this time)

2 scoops protein powder – I used Arbonne’s Vanilla Protein

1/2 scoop fiber powder – again I used Arbonne’s (I only use half as more seems to make a certain stink in the house, if you know what I mean 😉 )

2 heaping Tbsp spent Choffy grounds (you can use more too)

1 cup liquid (we used unsweetened almond milk, but I will be trying it with brewed Choffy next time)

Directions:

Combine in blender and blend until desired consistency is met. You can add more liquid if you’d like it a little thinner. This made enough for my self and two little guys!

Enjoy!

Protein Packed Peanut Butter Cups

protein pb cup

First off, I want to apologize for the weird breaks (or lack there of) on this post. Every time I edit this post to separate the ingredients and different methods of preparing, I hit save and everything scrunches back together with no space between sentences or different lines between methods. ARGH!!!

Does anyone else have a picky toddler in their house??? Or are you having a hard time behaving while trying to eat healthy and/or lose weight? How about both? (Or is that just me…) Well, I don’t know what it is, but I can do just fine with limited sweets until I suddenly decide it’s time to get serious about losing some weight. Then, all of a sudden, I want something sweet every time I open my mouth. UGH!

So, today I resolved to make a “healthy” sweet snack to satisfy all the sweet tooths in this house. Enter, the protein packed peanut butter cups. You could easily substitute the peanut butter with almond butter. I just didn’t happen to have any in the house.

A friend of mine recently started selling Arbonne products. I’ve been searching high and low for a good protein powder that did not contain silicon dioxide or artificial sweeteners. I went to her Arbonne launch party and, FINALLY, I found it! Eureka!! Her knowledgeable leader was there to share some pointers and I was so grateful as she introduced me to the idea of making protein snacks with the protein powder. (I’m sure someone is reading this thinking, DUH! But this was an idea I hadn’t come across yet and it seemed perfect for my situation.) Even better, I can add the fiber powder as well for my veggie and fruit refusing two year old! This morning I tried searching Pinterest for recipes to make the protein bars, as per the suggestion of the Arbonne leader. Everything I found contained oats or rice cereal, neither of which I currently have since I’m really trying to minimize grain intake right now. So I decided to just throw together my own little recipe and hope for the best!

Here’s what I came up with (mind you the measurements aren’t exact. Measuring cups? WHAT?! 😉 )

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup peanut butter (I used Adam’s Natural creamy. Although I’ll try it with chunky next time!)

  • 1 scoop Arbonne Vanilla Protein Powder

  • 1/2 scoop Arbonne Fiber Powder

  • 2 Tbsp almond flour

  • 2 Tbsp coconut flour

  • Approximately 1/2 cup chocolate chips

The long way:

Combine everything but the chocolate chips in a bowl and mix thoroughly. I stirred in one dry ingredient at a time into the peanut butter. Melt chocolate chips on low heat in a small saucepan. Using a 1 Tbsp scoop, make balls with peanut butter mixture. This should yield 20-24 balls (I can’t say for sure as little man and I were snacking on it as we went!) You can roll the balls between your hands to pack it down and keep in a ball shape or smash into “peanut butter cups”. Dip in melted chocolate and cool on wax paper. We put it in the freezer to expedite the process. Oh and we just dipped and ate a couple with warm melted chocolate!

The quick way:

Since I didn’t actually measure the chocolate chips, I didn’t quite melt enough and didn’t want to spend anymore time on it. So here’s what I did with the final 2 balls (you can do this for a short cut version if you want)

Mix chocolate chips into peanut butter mixture. Form balls or patties and freeze.

The final outcome:

These were a HUGE hit! The only thing I can say for sure, chunky peanut butter or an extra tbsp of almond flour or so would firm it up a little more. If you do the short cut version, you will definitely want to adapt it or keep frozen until ready to eat, otherwise it’s a little soft. Still awesome, but it would be harder to handle if you took this in your go bag for a mid day snack. It may be more of a floppy disk! If you dip it in the melted chocolate, the  chocolate holds it together, but it melts when handled just like “real” peanut butter cups.

 

Protein cups

Enjoy!

“S’mores” in a Bowl – Gluten Free!!

Okay, so this doesn’t exactly fall into my healthy, non-GMO super duper goodness snack idea…but in the 80/20 rule of life, I created this on a whim at snack time for my kids! And it only took 30 seconds to make! If anyone knows of an organic and/or non-GMO Chex like cereal, let me know. (Same goes for Marshmallow bits!) I know other cereals in general would work too so feel free to adapt to your personal preference. Ooh, I just had an amazing idea: this would be great with gluten free granola as well! Mmm…anyway!

S'mores in a bowl final

Gluten Free “S’mores” in a Bowl:

1 cup Chocolate Chex

1/4 cup Chocolate Chips

1/4 cup Marshmallow Bits

Dump. Shake. Enjoy!

Cheesy Chicken Mexican “Lasagna”

Ugh, I haven’t been doing my freezer meals lately and boy oh boy am I regretting it! Although I still managed to make quite a delicious and simple meal last night! (It’s like enchiladas without getting your hands dirty.) I made due with ingredients I had on hand and it was DELICIOUS! There are lots of variations you could make with this recipe as well. While we had chicken, you could make it with beef or pork as well. You could add black beans, cream cheese, just use your imagination or let your pantry do the talking (that’s whay I did)!

Mexican lasagna

Cheesy Chicken Mexican “Lasagna”

1 Tbsp Jalapeno Pepper Grapeseed Oil

1 lb chicken-I used boneless skinless thighs (or beef or pork)

1/2 onion diced-I used red since that’s what we had

2 cups shredded cheese

1 bottle Tia Rosa’s enchilada sauce

6- 8″ corn tortillas (or 12- 6″ tortillas)

Preheat oven to 350 °.  Meanwhile heat Grapeseed oil in 10″ skillet and add chicken. While chicken is cooking, dice onion. Pour 1/4 bottle of enchilada sauce in 9×13 pan or deep baking dish. Once chicken is cooked, cube or shred using two forks to pull meat apart. In baking dish, layer 2- 8″ (or 4- 6″ tortillas),  1/2 of the chicken and onion and 1/3 of the cheese. Repeat with 1/4 of enchilada sauce, tortillas ect. Top with 2 (or 4) tortillas and the last of the enchilada sauce and cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes. I like my cheese browned on top so I broiled the last 2 minutes. Enjoy!

If you are going to add black beans, combine it with your meat and layer meat mixture accordingly. If you are going to add cream cheese, make sure it is softened and combine 1 1/3 cup of shreded cheese with it. Spread on the two middle layers.

“Almond Joy” Oatmeal

Say whaaa…? Okay, so this is more like a “Mound”, but I have some great ideas to try that would make it more “Almond Joy”-ish. They’re included in the recipe. I just thought Almond Joy oatmeal sounded catchier. So, my new favorite beverage is Choffy brewed chocolate. I love it so much I can’t stand to throw the grounds away. And now I’ve found the perfect answer to that dilemma. Use the spent grounds for cooking, baking, gardening…the possibilities are endless. Anywho, here’s the recipe for a healthy breakfast treat:

Almond Joy oatmeal text

Almond Joy Oatmeal:

1 c Gluten Free oats
2 c water
2 Tbsp spent Choffy grounds
2 Tbsp Wildtree Hearty Oatmeal Mix In-Coconut
Optional ingredients:
2 Tbsp Almond meal
Almond or Coconut milk to taste

Boil water. Stir in oats and cover. Cook for specified time according to package directions (10-15 min or 3-5 min if using quick cooking oats). Stir in Choffy grounds and Hearty Oatmeal Mix In (and almond meal if you are using it). Let stand for a few minutes to cool and allow flavors to develop. Add milk of choice if desired.

I hope you enjoy this much as my boys and I did!

I Feel Like Chicken Tonight!

If you just flashed back to 1990 and have an annoying jingle stuck in your head, welcome to my club! Sorry to enlist you. I can’t get that song out of my head and need some company in crazy land! Bwahaha! Okay, back to the good stuff…

The following before and after picture shows about 7.5 lbs of chicken turned into 5 Freezer Meals which fed this family of 3 (technically 4 but the two kiddos eat about the equivalent of one adult) about 9 meals! So it’s safe to say each meal (main course) cost around $6-7. That’s less than $3 person! Beat that “fast food”! And really the 45 minutes it took me to prepare is well worth the 3 hours it saved me during the busy week. That’s assuming I spend about 20 minutes average preparing (cutting, seasoning, and cleaning up). I LOVE not having to clean up after prepping more than once a month!!! Bleh! 😛

Here’s what I made:
Chicken and Salsa Soup
Jerk Chicken Satay
Chipotle Lime Chicken
Southwest Chicken Soup
Zesty Lime Fajitas

Here’s what you need:
7.5 lbs chicken (I used breast tenders so half the cutting was done already!)
Lime juice
1 Red pepper
1 Green Pepper
1 Yellow Pepper
3 medium yellow onions
1 c rice
15 oz can black beans
3 14.5 oz cans dized tomatoes
2 4oz cans diced green chiles
3 cups frozen corn
Wildtree ingredients(already in my pantry):
Fajita Seasoning Blend
Fiesta Salsa Mix
Chipotle Lime Rub
Jamaican Jerk Seasoning
Roasted Garlic Grapeseed Oil
Natural Grapeseed Oil
Taco Seasoning

The end result:
chicken b4&after

For full recipes, contact themom@wahmbahmsahmiam.com

4 lbs. of beef equals dinner x 5!

Payday, check! Costco, check! Time to make some freezer meals! I didn’t have the motivation to tackle all the meat at once so I decided to break it down in to one meat per night until I was finished. Hey, 3 nights with a little extra time spent on dinner is worth it to know dinner is planned and ready for the next two weeks plus! Tonight we tackle the beef.

4 lbs burger FM

So how do those three ziploc bags amount to 5 meals you ask!? Well, I’ll tell you what, that meatloaf isn’t going down in one sitting! And believe it or not, that loner pound with the skillet meal mix, once you add the mix and rice to the meal, it’ll feed this family two times, especially if you want to add some extra goodness like corn or black beans or maybe roll it up into a tortilla. Oh man and those burgers, my new FAVE!!! That’s a LOTTA burger. Once you beef it up (no pun intended) those “quarter pounders” are more like 1/3 or more.

So this is how freezer meals work, you take the ingredients, mash up in a bag and freeze them until you’re ready to use! Obviously there’s still some cooking and maybe even a few more ingredients required to complete the meal. For instance, the above recipes will require spaghetti sauce, Wildtree’s Mexican Skillet Meal, milk, rice, and hamburger buns (optional). These are often staples you keep in your pantry anyway. For the complete recipes with cooking instructions contact themom@wahmbahmsahmiam.com!

 

Chocolate pudding for dinner!

Along with my recent obsession with what to do with overripe bananas, a new obsession has emerged. What to do with overripe avocados! I bought a bag of avocados with good intentions…Life sometimes gets in the way of that! And as the mother of a child who refuses to eat pretty much anything, I’m always looking for creative ways to use healthy foods. I know I’ve neglected my blog lately (as I said life sometimes happens 😉 ) but eventually we’ll get back to the meals and not just my little sides of goodness! If you’d like to have or feed someone chocolate pudding for dinner and not feel guilty about it, then look on! I think the picture says it all. Enjoy!

pudding text

“Make you Banana Pancakes” Mmmmm…

If Jack Johnson music is resonating in your head, at some point or another you’ve probably craved banana pancakes after listening to that song!

My 3 year old rarely makes specific requests for food, but when he does I try my best to fulfill his request as it’s usually actually fairly reasonable. Case in point, earlier this week he wanted pancakes for breakfast. Since I was on a ‘use up the bananas in my freezer’ kick, and I’m trying to be more conscious of what I eat I decided to try the easiest banana pancakes recipe I saw on Pinterest. Here we go:

1 banana

1 egg

Banana pancakes too thin

You can’t really tell here, but this concoction is so thin, it’s nearly impossible to flip. It cooks so fast you have to flip it relatively soon so as not to burn it. (Definitely a low temperature required food!)

20130502_094843

This is what it does after the first flip! So I’ll definitely need to flip it again to get that raw part to cook.

Banana pancake thin mess

Argh!!!! Back to the drawing board. I’d just seen another recipe for banana pancakes on the internet. Let’s try that…Hmm…too complex. Don’t have all those ingredients. What can it do without?…Think, think, think! Aha! I’ll just add 1 Tbsp of coconut flour for each egg/banana. (And yes, for some reason I had coconut flour in my house!)

Banana pancakes thickend1

Much better! Almost a little too thick though, I’ll give it a good shake and try to flatten out that mound!

Banana pancake thickened2

Okay…okay, now let’s see how it flips!

20130502_101648

BAM!

Banana pancake final

We have banana pancakes! So not only is my son satisfied, because he has pancakes upon request, mom is satisfied knowing she’s not eating grains for breakfast and getting good protein! My new recipe:

Banana Pancakes (gluten free/grain free)

1 banana

1  egg

1Tbsp coconut flour

multiply by the number of mouths you plan to feed!

Ice Cream for Breakfast!

That’s right, I said it! In an effort to get my 1 year old to eat, I made the infamous “ice cream” recipe we see floating around the internet. It’s healthy, it’s natural, it has ONE ingredient. So here’s my experience:

banana icecream prep with text

This is supposed to be a great way to use up your ripe bananas as well! I let my bananas get pretty ripe as you can see. Peel and slice the bananas and freeze them in bag. Due to the ripeness of my bananas I laid mine on a piece of wax paper in a single layer and placed them in my zipvac bag. I didn’t want to just throw them in and have a big glob of frozen banana!

processing bananas with text

Once frozen, you can use a food processor or blender to blend the bananas into a smooth ice cream like texture. If you’re like me and only have a dinky 2 cup food processor you bought to  make homemade baby food and then had a child who refused to eat the delightfulness you poured your sweat into making him, take note: I didn’t get a satisfactory consistency with my food processor so I recommend the blender! Either way, due to the small blade, you’ll need your rubber spatula (aka scraper) to push down the sides during blending. (STATING THE OBVIOUS: you’ll want to turn the motor off for that step…MOM!) She knows what I mean!

The result!

Banana ice cream with text

My taste test revealed that using overly ripe bananas results in an overly ripe banana flavored “ice cream”. I added about a tsp (I never measure!) of Wildtree Chocolate Lover’s Syrup. We like to eat our ice cream out of coffee mugs so here you see my soft serve like chocolatey goodness. Needless to say, my 1 year old ate it like a champ! A single banana made about the equivalent of a large scoop of ice cream. In the future I will be using a less ripe banana! I’m sure it would be AMAZING with some frozen berries thrown in there! I used the chocolate syrup as a quick fix as my son was WAITING… and I figured he’d like the overly ripe banana flavor as much as I! 😛

I hope you found this helpful and “real” as the sites I found showed that perfect consistency that probably comes with practice. Just because it doesn’t look like the other guys, doesn’t mean it doesn’t taste just as good! Also, if you make a large batch and put it back in the freezer, I’m sure it will look more like real ice cream!