Banana Bread Quinoa

IMG_3239 IMG_3234This could not be easier, all ingredients go right in the Crockpot! It comes out tasting like a bowl of oatmeal and a loaf of banana bread had a baby! It is packed with protein and is so yummy! You have to try it!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup of light cream
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1.5 tablespoons of melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • 1/8 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • Fresh Banana, honey, and cinnamon(to garnish)

Directions:

Mash bananas in crockpot. Add all other ingredients (except garnish ingredients) and whisk to mix. Cover and cook on low for 3.5 hours. Garnish with a few slices of fresh banana, a drizzle of 1 tsp of local honey, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Enjoy!!

This recipe makes about seven 1/2 cup servings. Weight watchers Points Plus 2012: 6 points

*This recipe was inspired by nutritionfor.us.

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Friday Fun-day!

In between homework and chores, Mommy and Luchi have been having tons of fun in the kitchen! Luchi had some homemade sweet potato mash and Mommy had a fruity salad and roasted chick peas for lunch! Girls gotta eat! This amazing new popcorn I found has been in a bowl by my computer screen for some of the morning as well! What an awesome snack! Eat whole foods and feel amazing!

I just piled anything fresh I had into a bowl to create this masterpiece. Apples, raspberries, tomatoes, avocado, peppers, feta, and spring mix topped with raspberry walnut dressing.

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These are just organic garbanzo beans from a can, rinsed, dried, tossed in 1 tbsp of olive oil, baked for 25 mins at 400 degrees and then sprinkled with spices of your choice! (I used 1/2 tsp of each, salt, coriander, paprika, and garlic powder) They are crunchy and delicious! 4 points plus for 1/2 cup.

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Look at those little teeth!! I love this baby!!

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We are going to finish our Valentine’s this evening…stay tuned for that post!

Healthier Hot Chocolate, from scratch

downloadIngredients:

  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1.5 tbsp of really good cocoa powder (i like this one)
  • 1 tbsp agave nectar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup of whipped cream or 1/3 cup of mini marshmallows on top (optional, each option are 2 pts+)

Directions:

Put milk and almond milk on the stove and heat until almost boiling. Mix in agave and powder ingredients with a whisk. Pour into a pretty mug and top with whipped cream or marshmallows.

Make your own whipped cream or marshmallows for the most whole product!

Farmer’s markets, specialty stores, and other fun places will sell gourmet cocoa powders or vanilla extracts! These special touches make for an even more fun experience and product! Enjoy!

This is a healthier version of a homemade hot chocolate but it is still a “treat”. The agave will help prevent that sugar crash and the almond milk packs a nice protein punch! And of course, use a really good dark chocolate with antioxidants!

This recipe makes 1 cups of hot chocolate. Weight watchers Points Plus 2012: 6 points

Quinoa Lauren

photo-2Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 1/2 cup of feta
  • 1 medium zucchini, steamed
  • 1 pint of grape tomatoes
  • 1 can of garbanzo beans
  • 3 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp EVOO
  • 1 tsp dry oregano
  • 1/4 cup of chopped fresh basil
  • Salt and Pepper

Directions:

Start by bringing 1 cup of quinoa and 2 cups of water to a boil without lid. Once vigorously boiling reduce heat to medium-low and put lid on for 15 minutes. Fluff with fork. While quinoa is cooking, cut up your steamed zucchini (to steam, I use a steamer basket), tomatoes, and basil. Rinse garbanzo beans. Mix them all together along with the other ingredients and enjoy!!

This recipe makes about 6 cups of salad. Weight watchers Points Plus 2012: 6 points for each salad!

One cup has 10 grams of protein!  Pair with a fruit salad or yogurt and a piece of dark chocolate for an awesome lunch!

Asparagus and Pesto Salad with Shrimp and Goat Cheese

downloadIngredients:

  • 1 bundle of asparagus (cut bottoms off of each spear)
  • 1 pint of grape tomatoes
  • 5 ounce pack of spring mix lettuce
  • Buitoni pesto (will need 1/4 cup for 4 servings)
  • Crumbled Goat Cheese (will need 1/2 cup for 4 servings)
  • 24 Frozen Shrimp
  • Red Wine vinegar (will need 1/4 cup for 4 servings)
  • Salt, Pepper, and Garlic Powder

Directions

First wisk 1/4 cup of pesto into 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar to make your dressing.

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Use steamer basket to steam the asparagus, with a sprinkle of garlic powder on them. In a separate pot, boil 24 shrimp per package directions. You can salt the water or boil them in broth for a little more flavor if you wish.

Pile the spring mix into 4 bowls (divide the 5 oz package into 4 bowls). Top with asparagus, shrimp, tomatoes, and goat cheese (1/8 cup per serving). Pour dressing over the salads, add salt and pepper (as much or as little as you like) and enjoy!

This recipe makes about 4 salads. Weight watchers Points Plus 2012: 4 points for each salad!

Each salad has about 21g of protein, healthy fats, and veg! Serve with some fruit or a small yogurt for lunch or have this as an appetizer for dinner! I hope you try it and love it!

Banana “Ice Cream” & Granola Mug

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Ingredients:

You are going to need a Yonanas machine (I know some people use blenders or food processors to make these whips but the Yonanas machine is specifically made to make them).

When you have 3 or 4 bananas that are overripe at the end of the week, DO NOT throw them away! Cut them in half and freeze them for this recipe, smoothies, or anything else!

To make the “ice cream”, you simply place your favorite coffee mug under the machine’s spout, put your frozen banana in the top and and use the plunger to push the banana through the machine! They will come out with a very similar consistency to ice cream. You can also visit the Yonanas site to see how it works with photos and videos!

I like mine a few ways: with mini chocolate chips, with sliced almonds and a drizzle of good caramel sauce, or with granola!

This recipe makes one mugful of “ice cream”. With the 1/3 cup of Banana Sunbelt Granola: Weight watchers Points Plus 2012: 3 points

I consider this a special weekend treat because you have to have the bananas ready to go, need to wash the machine after you are done (which can take a little extra time than your normal breakfast clean up), and because even though it is only technically 3 points, there are 2 bananas in this which are high in sugar (even though its the best kind of sugar, in its most natural form).

*The machine is dishwasher safe, so you better believe mine is going in there!

Overall this is super healthy and incredibly delicious!! Let me know what you think of it!

Feta Bruschetta

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Ingredients:

  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup of feta cheese
  • 2 tbs of good seasons italian dressing
  • 8 basil leaves, cut into very thin strips
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 slices of wheat bread (from the bakery)

Directions:

Place 4 slices of wheat bread in toaster. While the bread is toasting, combine first five ingredients. Pile the mixture on top of the toasted bread and enjoy!

Weight watchers Points Plus 2012: 4 points for 1 bruschetta topped slice of toast

This balanced snack is packed with whole grains, protein from the feta, and lycopene from the tomatoes! The basil makes these taste so fresh and delicious!!

2 Great Salads, 4 Points each!

These 2 easy salads have 3 of the same ingredients and 3 different ingredients; this makes for little waste, easier shopping, and easier points tracking!

The 3 constant ingredients in the salads are Organic Baby Spinach leaves (1 cup), Crumbled Feta (1.5 tbsp), and Honey Roasted Almond Slices (1 tbsp). CLICK HERE FOR COUPON FOR ALMOND ACCENTS!

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Salad #1: Honey Balsamic Watermelon Salad

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To make this salad, place the 3 constant ingredients (listed above) into the bowl. Add 1/2 cup of sliced tomato, 1/2 cup of cubed watermelon, and 2 tbsp of Ken’s Honey Balsamic Dressing!

Salad #2: Sesame Ginger Mandarin Orange Salad

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To make this salad, place the 3 constant ingredients (listed above) into the bowl. Add cucumber slices (about 1/4 cup), 1/4 cup of drained mandarin oranges, and 2 tbsp of Newman’s Own Low Fat Sesame Ginger Dressing!

Weight Watchers Points Plus 2012: 4 points for each salad!!

Enjoy a whole wheat roll and fresh baked cookie alongside of one of these salads to make a great lunch! Wash it down with my Blueberry-Lemon Iced Tea!

The spinach is packed with antioxidants and the protein provided by the almonds and feta will help these salads keep you full until dinner!

Enjoy and let me know what you think!

Crock Pot Sweet Potatoes

The very best way to cook sweet potatoes, in my experience, is in the crock pot! They come out PERFECT every single time! This is easiest way to get the best outcome with the least prep time!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 or 3 sweet potatoes (similar in size, about 5″ is great for a single person)
  • 1/4 cup of water

Directions:

Pour the 1/4 cup of water into the crock pot, the temperature of the water doesn’t matter. Clean the outside of the potatoes off with warm water; you can use a vegetable brush if you have one but I just do the best I can with my hands. Place the potatoes in the pot, cover, and cook on high for 4 hours.

Serve with a little butter, salt, and pepper or gravy! Delicious.

I also really like to put these into a salad, especially with a red wine vinegar dressing! (see photo above)

The water and the heat steam the potatoes; when they come out they are so soft!

If nutients were money, sweet potatoes would be considered the Oprahs, Bill Gates’, and Beyonces of the vegetables. They are full of fiber, potassium and a variety of vitamins. This article discusses the benefits of sweet potatoes in even more detail, if you are interested!

Weight watchers Points Plus 2012: 4 Points for 5″ potato with 1/2 tbsp of butter spread (I like Smart Balance Butter & Canola and Extra Virgin Olive Oil Blend), salt and pepper.

*I have only ever used this technique to cook 2-3 potatoes at a time so if you were looking to make more, I would be lying if I told you it works, or not. I don’t think it could hurt to try…if you do, let me know how it goes…

 
Enjoy!!