Quick, Easy, & Healthy Protein Pancakes

  

 

Quick, Easy, & Healthy Protein Pancakes

These Quick, Easy, & Healthy Protein Pancakes are a lot easier to make than I thought they would be! Here’s how to make them. There are a lot of different versions and ways you can make protein pancakes, but I tried to keep these as simple as possible so that you could most likely make them if you were running low on ingredients or hadn’t made your weekly/bi-weekly grocery store run.

Protein Pancakes

  • 2 scoops of protein. (I used Quest’s peanut butter flavor)
  • 2 eggs
  • a pinch of baking powder
  • a generous sprinkle of cinnamon
  • a dash of vanilla extract
  • about 1/4 cup of almond milk (or your choice of milk…I just eyeballed it, so you don’t necessarily need to measure it out, just a quick pour)

Directions

  • preheat buttered skillet on medium
  • mix above ingredients together really well (using quest protein the mixture was very thick, so it’s okay if it doesn’t seem like regular pancake batter)
  • scoop amount of batter to form the size pancake you want and quickly mold the batter into a pancake shape. Let cook 30-45 seconds per side. Remove.
  • Topping Ideas: berries and whip cream, lite pancake syrup, nutella, peanut butter or toppings of choice!

Hope you enjoy!!

Sincerely,
Amanda

Chicken Pesto Spaghetti Squash

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Maybe you missed my previous spaghetti squash (w/turkey meatballs) post, but here’s the story: I’ve been loving spaghetti squash lately. I feel like it’s such a great way to put a healthier spin on one of my favorite things: Italian food (I’d go to Buca di Beppo once a week if I could)! So this week I tried a chicken and pesto parm version and I think it was a lot more fun than the regular spaghetti version. But try it for yourself and let me know what you think!! 🙂

I cut these length ways instead of in half like I did in my previous post which made them perfect little spaghetti squash bowls!

Ingredients:

  • 2 small spaghetti squash
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1/2 red onion (diced)
  • 1 red bell pepper (diced)
  • basil pesto (I used 1 full 6.25 oz. jar)
  • parmesan cheese – grated
  • italian parsley
  • olive oil
  • garlic powder
  • salt
  • pepper

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut squash length ways, coat with olive oil, sprinkle with a healthy dose of salt and pepper and then lay face down on a baking sheet. Bake for 45-55 minutes. When done, face upward and let cool for 10 minutes.
  • Cube two chicken breasts, heat 1tbsp of olive oil over medium-high heat in a skillet and cook the chicken until done. Sprinkle/pour on salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste while cooking.
  • Remove the chicken and place in a big bowl. Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and sautee the diced onions and bell pepper. The onions take a couple minutes longer than the bell pepper, so add the bell pepper 2-3 minutes after the onion. Cook for a total of 5-6 minutes.
  • Add the diced onion and bell pepper into the bowl along with chicken. Add the spaghetti squash noodles from all four halves. Add the jar of pesto. Mix all together to make sure the pesto gets on everything and that the onion and bell pepper are spread throughout the noodles.
  • Divide the pasta back into the spaghetti squash skins and serve with whatever sides you like! I like to serve it along with a side salad and garlic bread 🙂

I’m hoping that all this healthy eating will have me ready for the slopes on Saturday. We road trip to New Mexico tomorrow and I CANT WAIT. Sam and I usually try and go on a boarding trip at least once a year but this year we went with Costa Rica instead because I didn’t think I’d be able to make it to Colorado at the time. Which I’m not complaining about AT ALL. Like I said in this post, I LOVE the beach. But I am excited about brushing up on my snowboarding skills! Can’t get enough of traveling lately… Hope you enjoy this recipe! Happy Thursday!

Sincerely,
Amanda

 

Sparkling Rosemary Grapefruit Spritzer (3 Ways)

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Here’s a drink that would be fun to serve/drink on Valentine’s Day! It’s light pink, it’s sweet but not too sweet and it’s easy to make! There are three different ways to enjoy it as shown below: simply healthy, rosemary infused & sweet, or as a cocktail! Let me know what you think 🙂

Sparkling Healthy Grapefruit Juice + Soda Water

  • Juice 4 small grapefruits and strain to get any seeds and pulp out of the juice.
  • Divide the juice between two glasses over ice.
  • Top with sparkling water.
  • Add a sprig of rosemary in each glass.

Rosemary Infused Grapefruit Spritzer

  • Make simple syrup by dissolving 1 cup of sugar in 1 cup of water on the stove over medium-high.
  • Once sugar is dissolved, add a few rosemary springs and bring to a boil and then reduce heat and let simmer for a few minutes. Remove from heat and let the rosemary steep. Cover and chill in the fridge until ready to use!
  • Juice 4 small grapefruits and strain to get any seeds and pulp out of the juice.
  • Divide the juice between two glasses, over ice.
  • Put two tablespoons of the rosemary simple syrup into each glass.
  • Top with sparkling water.
  • Add a sprig of Rosemary in each glass.

Rosemary Grapefruit Cocktail

  • Follow the steps above for the ‘Rosemary Infused Grapefruit Spritzer’ and then add either Deep Eddy’s Ruby Red Grapefruit Vodka for an extra grapefruit flavor or add regular vodka or gin if you prefer!

Happy VDAY prepping!
Sincerely,
Amanda 

 

Best Chicken Enchilada Soup EVER (SUPER easy too)

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Remember when I told you guys on Insta that I would share the BEST Chicken tortilla enchilada soup recipe with you?!?!? Well here it is and it’s the EASIEST thing to make in the world. But it tastes like you put a lot of time and effort into it…which is the best because you can act super impressive 😉 Sam loves it, and I love it and I’m actually super excited about leftovers! We had enough for dinner and lunch AND dinner tomorrow!

We plan on getting up before 6am tomorrow to do Body Pump (I plan on setting five alarms and setting out my gym clothes so that this actually happens), and I’m even thinking about eating this after the workout as a second breakfast 😉 So here ya go 🙂 It’s that good!

The original recipe is posted on Gimme Some Oven but shared to me by my momma!

SLOW COOKER CHICKEN ENCHILADA SOUP

This slow cooker chicken enchilada soup recipe only takes about 10 minutes of prep time, and it is oh-so-delicious and comforting.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound)
  • 2 cups good-quality chicken stock
  • 1 1/4 cup (or 1 10-ounce can) red enchilada sauce*, homemade or store-bought
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (14-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 (15-ounce) can whole-kernel corn**, drained
  • 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 white onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or more/less to taste
  • optional garnishes: chopped fresh cilantro, diced avocado, diced red onion, shredded cheese, sour cream, tortilla strips/chips

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Add all ingredients to a slow cooker, and stir to combine. Cook for 3-4 hours on high heat or 6-8 hours on low heat, until the chicken is cooked through and shreds easily. Use two forks to shred the chicken.
  2. Serve warm, with optional garnishes.
  3. You can also refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 5 days. Or freeze it for up to 3 months.

Hope you love it!
Sincerely,
Amanda

Spaghetti Squash w/ Turkey Meatballs

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Cut your spaghetti squash this way for longer noodles! Plus it’s just easier to cut than cutting length ways.

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See the pretty backsplash my dad has been installing? It’s made their kitchen look SO much better. Brighter and more of a gourmet feel to it.

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I feel like I’m all about the veggie pasta lately. It’s just sooo good and it’s good for you so why not!? Spaghetti Squash is low cal, low carb, and low fat which makes it perfect for anyone working on those weight loss resolutions! Plus, just like regular pasta, you can make many different variations of it which keeps it new and exciting.

We’ve been at my parent’s house this week and since they are remodeling the kitchen and I didn’t have access to the stove, this meal worked out perfect because all I needed was the oven! I completely forgot to take pictures of the turkey meatballs, but I’ll share the recipe below. The turkey meatballs had minced zucchini, onion and garlic in them and were baked! So I felt like all around this meal was super healthy (minus the buttery garlic bread and the store bought sodium-dense pasta sauce).

Turkey Meatballs
This recipe was shared on Baker by Nature (click the link above to see the original recipe)

Baked Turkey Zucchini Meatballs

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 44 meatballs with sauce
Serving Size: 5 meatballs with sauce; 8 servings

Juicy and flavorful Turkey Zucchini Meatballs ready in just around 30 minutes! Top with homemade marinara sauce for a delicious dinner.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground turkey meat
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (I used my mom’s fancy Blood Orange olive oil)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste (I suggest starting with 1 and 1/4 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper)
  • 1 zucchini, finely grated. And then squeeze all excess water out before adding to the mixture!
  • 1 small red onion, diced very fine

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees (F). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl combine: ground turkey meat, olive oil, minced garlic, eggs, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, zucchini, and onion. Using your hands mix the meat mixture until the ingredients are evenly combined; the mixture should be very moist but still hold its shape when rolled into balls.
  3. Scoop two tablespoon sized balls of meat from the mix, roll into a firm ball, and place on prepared baking sheet; repeat with remaining meat.
  4. Place the baking sheet in the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes, or until they’re evenly brown and cooked though.
  5. When meatballs are done baking, add them to the sauce, stir to coat, and serve.

Nutrition Facts: (Based on my estimate on SparkRecipes) Amount Per Serving (about 5 meatballs with sauce) Calories 170.1 Total Fat 2.9 g

Spaghetti Squash

  1. Pre-heat oven to 425
  2. Cut squash in half
  3. Scoop out seeds
  4. Place upside down on baking pan
  5. Cook for 45minutes to an hour, checking to see if they are done. (I cooked two whole spaghetti squash at a time so it took around an hour in my mom’s oven).
  6. Once done, flip back over to let them cool. (about ten minutes)
  7. Scoop out the squash noodles!

ENJOY!!!

Sincerely,
Amanda

Zoodles Your Way! Zucchini Noodle Recipes

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So we had zoodles with dinner the other night! I have been wanting so badly to make/try some but I didn’t have a spiralizer! Lo and behold my mom just got one and we are staying with them this week. She had this Kitchenaid spiralizer attachment but I have also seen great deals on Spiralizers at Williams Sonoma. This one is only $39.95!

Anyway, we had ours as a side to our meal. They were sauteed in olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper for a simple way to enjoy them! However I’ve already been looking up Zoodle Recipes to try and have found quite a few that sound super yummy!

Here’s a list:
Zoodle Pad Thai
Zoodle Chow Mein
Turkey Marinara Zoodles
Greek Zoodles w/Feta, Artichokes, Olives & Tomatos
Zoodle Pasta Salad w/Creamy Cashew Sauce
Tomato Basil Zoodles w/Goat Cheese
Mint & Mango Zoodles
Green Coconut Curry Soup w/Zoodles
Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Zoodles

Have you tried any really great Zoodle recipes? Let me know if you try any of these and how they are!!

Sincerely,
Amanda

Mango Avocado Salsa & Salmon

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One of my favorite healthy meals is salmon, quinoa (with garlic, salt & pepper…sometimes some spinach mixed in) and asparagus! It’s so healthy, so simple and so easy – yet there are so many different ways you could spruce it up if you wanted to.

Mango+avocado salsa on top of Salmon? Sounded soo good and when I found this recipe on Pinterest the other day I knew I had to make it for dinner! I’m trying to be super healthy this week because we go to Costa Rica next week – in the middle of January – and who likes showing off their winter warmth lbs in a bikini? Nooo thanks!

So yeah I’m hoping to kick a few spare tires this week 😛 Planning on eating yummy healthy food like this (really good stuff), going to body pump and getting my cardio on 🙂

FOUR days to Costa!!! Ahhh I can’t wait for the beach and a nice January tan 😉

Happy Wednesday!

Sincerely,
Amanda

What to do with those Thanksgiving Leftovers!

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OKAY. All of my best posts are brought to you by my mom. SERIOUSLY, moms are the best. They are like super woman! Among many other talents, my mom cooks wonderfully.

Mom turned all of the leftover Thanksgiving Turkey and Ham into two of the yummiest meals! SERIOUSLY. I didn’t get a picture of the Hawaiian roll Ham and swiss cheese sandwiches, because we literally inhaled them, but you can find the recipe on Just a Pinch. They’re really good, trust me!

Then mom made a tortilla soup with the leftover Turkey that was also super yummy and PERFECT for the current weather. Found on Averie Cooks. SO GOOD. Enjoy 🙂

Easy 30-Minute Homemade [Turkey] Tortilla Soup

The soup has slightly spicy broth with [turkey], corn, black beans, juicy tomatoes, creamy avocado, and addictively good tortilla strips. It’s ready in 30 minutes, easy, hearty, comforting, and better than restaurant versions. Make sure to salt your soup to taste. It makes enough to stash half in the freezer for those nights when you just want to pull something out of the freezer for dinner. And with winter cold and flu season around the corner, soup is perfect.

YIELD: about 10 cups
PREP TIME: 10 minutes
COOK TIME: 20 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

Tortilla [Chips]
Soup

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup sweet Vidalia or yellow onion, peeled and diced small (about 1 medium onion)
  • 1 large jalapeno pepper (about 4 to 5 inches long), diced very small (the seeds are where the heat is concentrated; included or discard them based on preference)
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
  • 32 ounces (4 cups) low-sodium chicken broth
  • two 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes and juice (I used petite diced, no-salt-added)
  • one 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups shredded [leftover turkey]
  • 1 1/2 cups corn (I used frozen straight from the freezer, fresh may be substituted)
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (regular paprika may be substituted)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional and to taste
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves, finely minced
  • diced avocado for serving, optional for serving
  • shredded cheese, optional for serving
  • sour cream, optional for serving

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Soup – To a large Dutch oven or stockpot, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and heat over medium-high heat to warm.
  2. Add the onion, jalapeno, and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until vegetables begin to soften. Stir intermittently.
  3. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir intermittently.
  4. Add the chicken broth, tomatoes and juice, black beans, [turkey], corn, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, 2 teaspoons salt, pepper, smoked paprika, optional cayenne pepper, and bring to a boil. Allow mixture to boil gently for about 5 to 7 minutes. If at any point the overall liquid level looks low or you prefer your soup to have more broth, add 1 to 2 cups of water; you’ll adjust the salt and seasoning levels at the end.
  5. Add the cilantro and boil 1 minute.
  6. Taste soup and add salt to taste. This will vary based on how salty the chicken broth, tomatoes, black beans, and [turkey] are, and personal preference. Make any necessary seasoning adjustments (i.e. more salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, etc.).
  7. Ladle soup into bowls, top with tortilla [chips] to taste, optionally garnish with avocado, cheese and/or sour cream; serve immediately. Soup will keep airtight in the fridge for 5 to 7 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

 

Sally’s Skinny Pumpkin Frappuccino

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Not gonna lie, I’ve been inhaling apple pie all weekend. I LOVE pumpkin pie and pumpkin everything but apple pie and vanilla ice cream is my all time favorite pie! Anyway…since it’s almost Thanksgiving and all I thought I should enjoy some pumpkin things! And since I’ve been eating so much pie I figured this skinny Pumpkin Frappuccino was perfect! The recipe comes from Sally’s Baking Addiction and it’s a really light alternative to a regular pumpkin frappe. Skimp on the frappe and make room for more pie 😉

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups (12 oz) cold coffee
  • 1 and 1/4 cups (10 oz) unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or any milk)
  • 1/4 cup (57 grams) pumpkin puree
  • 3 Tablespoons pure maple syrup (or equal amount of honey, agave, or 4 packets stevia or other sweetener)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon1
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves1
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg1
  • light whipped cream, optional

Directions:

  1. Brew the coffee. Pour coffee into a large mug and refrigerate overnight. Coffee MUST be very cold.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the milk, pumpkin, sweetener of choice, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg together until combined.  Pour into ice cube tray and allow to freeze.
  3. Once coffee is cold and pumpkin ice cubes are frozen, add everything to your blender and blend on high until smooth and icy.  Add more milk if your blender isn’t blending it well.  Taste the frozen drink and add more sweetener or spices if needed. Top with whipped cream, if desired. Serve immediately.

Additional Notes:

  1. Instead of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves – use 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice.

This drink is naturally gluten free. Keep it vegan by using non-dairy milk and excluding whipped cream.

 

Easy & Delicious Chicken Sausage Whole Wheat Penne Bake w/ Spinach, Tomato, Mushroom, Garlic & Mozzarella

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Found this recipe and tweaked it a little. Made it using spinach and feta chicken sausage instead, added mushrooms, used mozzarella pearls and shredded mozzarella, and doubled the garlic! Served it with a kale side salad and a buttered garlic french baguette (just melt one tbsp of butter and mix in a little bit of garlic salt and garlic powder to taste, then brush on the bread and pop in the oven for a quick minute)

Chicken Sausage Penne Bake w/Spinach, Tomato, Mushroom, Garlic & Mozarella

Ingredients
For 5-6 servings

10 ounces whole wheat penne pasta
1 lb Spinach & Feta chicken sausage from HEB
1 5 oz. bag/tub of baby spinach
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped grape tomatoes
1 cup prepared tomato sauce of choice
3/4 cup plain greek yogurt
1/4 cup milk
1 cup mozzarella pearls
Shredded Mozarella for topping
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente.
  • Cook chicken sausage in 1 tbsp butter over medium heat for 12-14 minutes, or until browned. When almost done, add in garlic and cook for 30 seconds more. Turn off heat and remove sausage with tongs, placing on cutting board. Slice into bite-sized pieces.
  • Save garlic in a bowl.
  • Add more butter to your pan and saute your mushrooms.
  • Place the spinach in the bottom of your pasta strainer. When pasta is done, pour pasta and pasta water over the spinach into the strainer, allowing the spinach to wilt slightly.
  • Chop grape tomatoes into quarters, for a total of 1 cup.
  • Pour pasta, sausage, spinach, mushrooms, garlic and tomatoes into a large bowl.
  • Add tomato sauce, yogurt, milk, mozzarella pearls, and spices to bowl. Mix very well.
  • Pour into casserole dish. Top with shredded mozzarella. Cover dish with foil.
  • Cook for 30 minutes covered. Remove foil, cook for an additional 10 minutes.

Bon Apetit!

  Sincerely,
Amanda