Going Cocoa Bananas

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I honestly can’t get enough chocolate in my life.  I sometimes think it’s a goal in my life to figure out how I can incorporate chocolate into every meal I eat.  There are definitely multiple restaurants out there that have become successful at this concept which I really need to go to. I’lll add that one to the food bucket list…

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I’m really trying to clean out my pantry because I will be in Phoenix, AZ all next week- Hallelujah for warm weather! Anyways, breakfast food is hard to come by when cleaning everything out, but I managed to find all the way back in my cupboard some quick oats.  I bet you can’t guess what I decided to make for breakfast with this……….kidding, obviously I made myself some OATMEAL!

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With the lack of other ingredients I had, I managed to scrounge up enough to make a delicious Chocolate Banana Oatmeal.  I freeze bananas every once in a while and was able to thaw one of those to use, utilize my leftover milk from a recipe earlier in the week, and of course I had to use some unsweetened cocoa powder cause that stuff can make any recipe delicious.  Add some vanilla, sweetener, and salt to that combo and you have yourself one helluva easy, chocolaty, homemade oatmeal. Oh and did I mention it’s one serving too!? Great for those cooking for one, but recipe can always be multiplied for more! Check out the recipe below:

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Chocolate Banana Oatmeal: [1 serving]

  • 1/2 Cup Quick Oats
  • 3/4 Cup Skim Milk
  • 1 Ripened Banana
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1/8 Tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 Tsp. Vanilla
  • 1 Packet Truvia
  • Extra milk to serve

Directions:

Mix together all ingredients in a sauce pan over medium-high heat.  Cook, continuously stirring, for about 5-6 minutes or until mixture becomes thick and ready to serve.  Pour into a bowl and top with extra milk if desired.

Adapted from: Chocolate Covered Katie

Have a sweet day!

-Kelcie

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Mexi-Can I?

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What is it that makes Mexican food so addicting, or rather, what is it that makes Chipotle so addicting??? Easy- control of what goes into your meal, variety of choices, speed and convenience, and not to mention the amazing food that you get when you go there.  Chipotle is one of those places where when I get a meal from there, I really go all out; chips, guac, burrito bowl, hot sauce, and an ice cold D Coke.

Almost every Thursday at home, my mom makes a Mexican type meal for her and my dad.  One of my favorite ideas of hers is when she puts a bunch of Mexican style ingredients out and lets us build our own burrito bowls.  It’s like having your own version of Chipotle at home without the weird music and stainless steel/plywood chairs & tables. Clever idea, right?? It’s definitely cheaper per person to make at home and control is all yours when it comes to what goes into your burrito bowl.

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Since I’ve been craving Mexican food lately and checking what ingredients I had around the house, I decided to make my version of homemade Chipotle burrito bowls.  When I am at Chipotle, I usually get a vegetarian bowl with rice, black beans, salsas, sour cream, lettuce, and cheese.  I figured out which of these toppings I could make at home/put my own twist on and my bowl came together as a healthier, smaller version of what I normally get at Chipotle.

The cool thing with homemade burrito bowls is that you can make or add any ingredients that your heart may desire.  Here are some other options you could add to your bowls:

  • Protein: Chicken, Steak, Tofu, Other Beans
  • Grains: White rice, brown rice, grains mix
  • Toppings: Different Salsas, Guacamole, Lettuce, Cheese (shredded or queso), hot sauce

Check out the recipes below that I used to make my Homemade Chipotle Burrito Bowls:

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Cilantro Lime Quinoa:

  • ½ cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 lime
  • ¼ Cup Cilantro, chopped [or desired amount]

Directions:

Place ½ cup quinoa and 1 cup water in a sauce pan.  Turn heat to high and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, turn heat to low and cover until quinoa has soaked up all of the water (about 15 mins)

Fluff quinoa with a fork.  Squeeze in the juice of one lime and mix in the chopped cilantro.


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Copycat Chipotle Corn Salsa:

  • 1 12-ounce bag of frozen sweet yellow corn, defrosted and drained
  • 2 medium-sized jalapenos, seeded and chopped
  • 1/3 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Directions:

Drain corn once thawed.  Mix together all of the ingredients & serve.

Adapted from: How Sweet Eats


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Chipotle Style Black Beans: [7 servings]

  • 2 Cans Black Beans
  • 1 Tsp. Chili Powder
  • ½ Tsp. Cumin
  • 1 Garlic Clove, Minced
  • ½ Tsp. Salt
  • ¼ Tsp. Sugar

Directions:

Pour the full can of beans and drained beans into a small saucepan.  Add to the beans each of the other ingredients.  Heat over medium until hot.

Adapted from: Savings Lifestyle

Have a sweet day!

-Kelcie

Great Eggspectations

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Eggs– the go-to, cheap and easy ingredient that can be made into something beautiful- like a frittata, quiche, omelet, OR baked eggs like I decided to make this week. Making baked eggs is just a fancier way to cook regular old eggs- you figure out ingredients to mix with the eggs, put them in a baking dish, and wait until the egg whites sit.  You don’t have to be Bobby Flay to cook this dish.

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I really like like to cook eggs for meals because they are easy for 1 serving dishes.  I’m all about the one serving dishes…mostly because I don’t enjoy eating leftovers and I also really only cook for myself.  If I haven’t mentioned before, I also have portion control problem- so the less servings I make, the better off I am.

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Back to this week’s dish- I made Baked Ricotta Eggs.  Doesn’t sound appealing yet? Well I first mixed together the ricotta with garlic, olive oil, lemon zest, parsley, & power greens (kale, spinach, and swiss chard).  After placing that mixture in a ramekin, I nuzzled on top two eggs and drizzled with a little olive oil.  After they baked I sprinkled with salt and pepper and dunked strips of toast into the egg and ricotta mixture.  The way I know this was good is because I did not feel the need to even put one ounce of hot sauce on my eggs- that literally never happens.

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Check out this easy recipe to satisfy your eggspectations:

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Baked Ricotta Eggs: [1 serving]

  • 1 tablespoons olive oil (+ more for greasing, drizzling)
  • 1/4 cup ricotta
  • 1 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup chopped raw spinach, kale, or a mix of both
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped parsley
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1-2 pieces of toast, cut into slices for serving

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix first six ingredients in a small mixing bowl and place mixture into a greased ramekin or baking dish.

Carefully, crack in two eggs into the dish, pushing aside ingredients to make room. Then drizzle with olive oil, and season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

Bake for 15 minutes or until whites have set, but yokes are still soft (check every so often… all depends on the size of the ramekin being used).  Serve immediately with toast.

Adapted from: Camille Styles

Have a sweet day!

-Kelcie

It’s All Lentil From Here

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I had never shopped at Trader Joes until this past Monday.  I really hate myself for it now because I feel like for the past years that I have been doing my own grocery shopping, I have missed out on the amazingness that Trader Joe’s has to offer. Whatever- now it’s all the rage in my life and I will be frequenting there more often- and it isn’t expensive like I assumed.  You know what they say about assuming…..

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Well, Trader Joe’s had this great sample station when I went there. I am not one to ever pass up a sample or conversation with the sample giver-outer, so naturally, I tried what they had to offer and I loved it!!! They were sampling this great lentil, feta, and bruschetta cold salad.  Didn’t take much peer pressure for me to give in and buy all of the ingredients myself.  This is a cheap, easy meal that only contains three ingredients and no effort whatsoever.

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I thought I would share the recipe just in case anyone is ever at Trader Joe’s and needs an easy side dish, appetizer, something to snack on with crackers or chips, or something extra to put in a lunch.  I also thought it was one of those things that would be easy to put your own spin on.  Some variations could be:

Sweet pepper bruschetta, goat cheese, and lentils

Pear, blue cheese, and lentil salad

Or even warm lentil recipes like curried lentils or lentils with squash or sweet potatoes

As you can see- lentils can be very versatile, which is great because they are really good for you with their high levels of fiber, iron, and protein.  Check out this easy recipe below…

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Trader Joe’s Lentil Salad:

  • 1 Package of Pre-Cooked Trader Joe’s Lentils (refrigerated)
  • ½ Jar Trader Joe’s Bruschetta
  • 1-6oz. Package of Crumbled Feta Cheese
  • Optional-Crackers/Chips to serve with

Mix all together & serve.  If serving warm, heat up lentils separately beforehand.

Adapted From: Trader Joe’s

Have a sweet day!

-Kelcie