Quick, Easy and Nutritious Snack!

I promise I haven’t forgotten about you all!  I have had plenty of time to research and look for new and exciting budget friendly things to incorporate into our lifestyles.

Something super quick, delicious and cheap is my new favorite snack: Frozen Yogurt bites! These are so easy to grab out of your freezer and take while you’re on the go and especially great on a hot day when you don’t want to undo your entire diet and splurge on the high cal ice cream.

All you need is a cup of your favorite yogurt (I prefer Dannon Greek Yogurt), wax paper, cookie sheet, and sliced or diced fruit (optional.)

First, place a sheet of wax paper onto the cookie sheet. Make sure this is WAX paper.  The yogurt will stick to parchment paper and cannot be removed easily.

Second, if you are wanting to do yogurt covered fruit, I found it easier to mix the yogurt and fruit into a bowl. Do this, then scoop out candy sized dallops of a piece of the fruit and yogurt onto the wax paper. 

Once you have filled the cookie sheet, place it into the freezer for about an hour.

Lastly, remove the yogurt bites from the wax paper and place into a freezer friendly ziploc and enjoy!! Make sure when you aren’t enjoying these tasty snacks that they remain in your freezer or they will melt.

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Guilt-free Super Bowl Recipes: Homemade Hummus and Homemade Salsa

Super Bowl Sunday doesn’t have to be sinful (see: Buffalo Chicken Wontons); there are definitely some recipes on the healthier side that are still “snacky” enough for a football game. Check out broke girl Marisa’s post on Fruit Salsa and Cinnamon Chips, or read on!

Homemade Hummus

  • 2 cans (14.5 oz) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup Tahini
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt & pepper
  • Cold Water
  • Olive Oil

Combine the garbanzo beans, tahini, garlic, lemon and seasonings into a food processor or blender.

Blend, and add cold water and olive oil, one Tbsp at a time, until you reach the consistency you prefer.

Serve with pita chips, tortilla chips, or assorted veggies!

Homemade Hummus PlateHomemade Salsa

I found this recipe via Pinterest and it’s amazing!

  • 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (10 oz) orginal Rotel
  • 1/2 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded or not (depends on how spicy you like it)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Small to medium size handful of cilantro, washed
  • Juice of 1 lime

Put all the ingredients in the base of a food processor or blender.

Homemade SalsaFood processor overload!

Pulse to combine for 30 seconds or so until all the ingredients are finely chopped and salsa is desired consistency. Taste for seasoning and adjust to taste. Serve with multi-grain chips. Yum!

Guilty Pleasure Super Bowl Recipe: Buffalo Chicken Wontons

The Super Bowl is right around the corner, and needless to say I am extremely bummed that the Green Bay Packers did not make it this year.  Regardless, the show much go on and there is still a game to play! My friend Maddy passed on this recipe to me and it’s AMAZING. This will be a hit at any Super Bowl party you host or attend; I’ve literally had to guard these with my life so they’re not scarfed down right away!

Buffalo Chicken Wontons

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
  • Salt & pepper
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup wing sauce (recommended Franks)
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 80 wonton wrappers
  • Vegetable oil for frying (I use Canola)
  • Blue cheese or ranch dressing

Preheat over to 350 degrees.  Rub chicken with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and cook in preheated oven for 20 minutes, 10 minutes on each side or until the chicken is fully cooked.  After the chicken is cooked, cut into small chunks.

Add diced chicken, garlic and wing sauce in a bowl.  Mix until chicken is completely coated with the sauce.  Stir in the cheddar and mozzarella cheeses until everything is well mixed.

Buffalo Chicken Wonton MixtureSpoon about a teaspoon of mixture into each wonton wrapper.  Moisten edges of wrapper and bring together in the middle, forming a little purse (this works best if the wrapper edges are wet so you can more easily seal them).

Buffalo Chicken WontonHeat vegetable oil in a deep fryer or large pot/dutch oven. Fry wontons in batches until golden (about two minutes on each side) and then drain on paper towels.

Serve with your choice of dressing.

Buffalo Chicken WontonsThese are DELISH! Seriously.

Stay tuned… a few “guiltless” Super Bowl recipes will be posted later this week!

Fruit Salsa and Cinnamon Chips!

I am a sucker for anything fruit and anything cinnamon, so naturally when I found this recipe on Pinterest, I nailed both sweet obsessions on the head! I have made this fruit salsa twice for two separate get together’s, and it was a hit at both! I have had seven people ask me for the recipe already! Not only is this fruit salsa absolutely delicious, it’s one of the easiest things I’ve ever made!

You will need:

  • 2 kiwis, peeled and diced
  • 2 Golden Delicious apples – peeled, cored and diced
  • 8 ounces raspberries
  • 1 (16 oz) carton of strawberries, diced
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fruit preserves, any flavor (I prefer strawberry)
  • Stacy’s Cinnamon Sugar Pita Chips

Courtesy The Gunny Sack

  1. Peel, Slice and dice all of your fruit and place into a large mixing bowl.

    Courtesy The Gunny Sack

  2. Add 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 tablespoon of brown sugar.
  3. Mix in 3 tablespoons of fruit preserves.
  4. Stir all ingredients  together until preserves and sugars are thoroughly mixed with fruit.

    Courtesy The Gunny Sack

  5. Chill in refrigerator for at least 15 minutes.
  6. Serve with Stacy’s Cinnamon Sugar Pita Chips

This fruit salsa is guaranteed to be a hit. It’s perfect for get together’s, summer picnics, or something to satisfy your sweet tooth without going overboard on the extremely unhealthy meter!

 

Spaghetti with Chicken, Artichoke Hearts and Tomatoes

Tweaked slightly from Pioneer Woman’s original recipe, this meal is definitely a staple in my household.  I have passed it on to many family members and friends and they always rave about how much they love it!  This recipe is easy to follow and yields a hearty amount of servings (especially if you only have yourself and one other person you’re cooking for like me – which just means more leftovers!).

Spaghetti with Chicken, Artichoke Hearts and Tomatoes

Makes about 8 servings

  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1/2 whole Medium Onion, Finely Diced
  • 1 can Artichoke Hearts (14.5 Oz. Quartered Or Whole) Drained
  • 1 can Diced Tomatoes With Juice (14.5 Oz.)
  • 1 Whole Tomato Diced
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/4 cup Chicken Broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound Thin Spaghetti
  • 1 pound Chicken Breast, cut into cubes or thin strips
  • 1 cup Parmesan Cheese, Freshly Grated
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Chives (or Other Herbs) Chopped

Boil water in a large pasta pot.  Add and cook spaghetti until al dente; once done drain and set aside.

While the pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet with 2 Tablespoons of olive oil.  Once the oil is piping hot, add chicken and saute until cooked through.

Dice up your onion, garlic and tomato.

Tomato garlic onion, diced
I cheated and used minced garlic this time, shhh!

Add 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and the butter into the skillet with the chicken and add the diced onion, garlic. Saute 2-3 minutes.

Add artichoke hearts, diced fresh tomato, and the can of diced tomatoes. Stir and cook for 8 to 10 minutes.

Tomatoes and artichokes for pasta
Reduce heat to low. Stir in cream and chicken broth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook over low heat until heated through, then turn off heat.

Place drained pasta in a large bowl. Sprinkle with 1 cup Parmesan. Pour chicken + sauce over the top. Add chives.

Spaghetti Artichoke Pasta
Toss lightly to combine and coat.

Dinner is served!

Spaghetti with chicken, artichokes and tomatoes
Enjoy! 😀

Ingredients for this recipe are totally based on preference – feel free use marinated artichokes instead of artichoke hearts in a can, use shrimp instead of chicken, basil instead of chives, or even add capers or bacon bits! You can also interchange the pasta – my friend Shannon swears this dish is best served with campanelle pasta instead of spaghetti.

Peanut Butter Heaven!

Do you want to be a hit at the next party that you host? Do you love chocolate and peanut butter together? I found this little slice of heaven while rummaging through Pinterest.  Let me give you the ingredients to be the best host with the best treats! This recipe will definitely be the talk of the night! I recently hosted a holiday party and everyone was talking about “the peanut butter stuff.” So.. Good!!

What you’ll need:

Mix together cream cheese, powdered sugar, peanut butter and brown sugar together in a bowl.  I suggest you mix the ingredients with an electric mixer, such as the popular KitchenAid Mixer. I used a spoon and then realized that a  KitchenAid Mixer will be my next investment .
Once the ingredients are thoroughly mixed together, place onto a sheet of wax paper and pull all 4 corners together.  Mold the mixture into the shape of a ball.
Fold all 4 corners together and twist so it closes the mixture in and will hold its shape or until firm enough to hold its shape.
Remove from the freezer and pour the chocolate chips and peanut butter chips onto seperate piece of wax paper.
Remove dough mixture from wax paper and roll into chocolate chips and peanut butter chips until fully covered.  You may have to press some of the chips into the mixture to get them to stay.
 
Place back in wax paper and into the freezer for an hour or until ready to serve.
Place onto serving dish and serve with graham crackers or whatever you choose.

Holiday Eggnog Martini

In the mood for a fun holiday drink?  I came up with the following super easy recipe based on what I had on hand!

Holiday Eggnog Martini

Ingredients:

  • Ice
  • Vodka (any kind works, seriously)
  • Store-bought eggnog
  • Kahlua
  • Nutmeg for garnish

Grab a cocktail shaker (or any large glass) and combine ice, four counts of vodka, three counts of eggnog, and two counts of Kahlua.  I consider my “counts” as literally counting the seconds as I pour.  So, four counts of vodka translates to pouring vodka for four seconds, counting out loud (tip courtesy of Bethenny Frankel!).  Feel free to play around with the ingredient ratio, as each person has different tastes and may prefer their drink slightly tweaked to their liking.

Shake shake shake the cocktail shaker (or use a stirrer if using a large glass) until all ingredients are well mixed and chilled.  Pour into martini glasses (without the ice) and add a dash of nutmeg on top.

Cheers!

Holiday Cookie Exchange: Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprints

I was invited to a cookie exchange this past weekend – each person makes a batch of cookies to share and everyone leaves with a great assortment of holiday treats.  I knew that I wanted to make my friend Trinity’s famous Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprint cookies, so once I scored the recipe from her I got to work!

*I apologize in advance for my crappy Blackberry photos! 😀

Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprints

The recipe claims to make 3 1/2 dozen cookies, but I made two batches as they yielded only about 1 1/2 dozen each for me.

Cookie

  • 1 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup raspberry jam

Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 – 3 teaspoons water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract

Combine butter, sugar and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract in large bowl.

Raspberry Shortbread ThumbprintsBeat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Reduce speed to low; add flour. Note to high altitude peeps – I added two extra tablespoons of flour. Beat, scraping bowl often, until well mixed. Cover; refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Heat oven to 350°F. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Make indentation in center of each cookie with thumb (edges may crack slightly). Fill each indentation with about 1/4 teaspoon jam.

Raspberry Shortbread Thumbprints BakingBake for 14 to 18 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Let stand 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire cooling rack. Cool completely.

Combine all glaze ingredients in small bowl with wire whisk until smooth. Note: I added about two extra teaspoons of water to make the glaze the consistency I preferred.

Drizzle over cookies.

Raspberry Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies GlazeLet the glaze dry completely and the cookies are ready to go!

Raspberry Shortbread ThumbprintsThese cookies were right up my alley – amazingly tasty, easy to make, and called for very few ingredients.  They were a huge hit at the cookie exchange and I will definitely make them again!

Roasted Kale Chips

A cheap, tasty treat that anyone with an oven can make is roasted kale!  It is  ridiculously good and unbelievably easy to make.

You will need:

  • 1 or 2 bunches of kale (they shrink down a lot)
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • rice vinegar (optional)

Turn the broiler on in your oven.  Thoroughly wash the kale and let dry.  Cut the stalk out of each kale leaf (running up through the middle of each).  Cut up the leafy parts and put in a mixing bowl.  Drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil over the mixture.  A little goes a long, long way.  Even a tablespoon might be too much for some people.  Very modestly sprinkle some sea salt into mixture. I also enjoy adding rice vinegar; just a touch!  Again, a little goes a long way; i’d do less than a tablespoon.  If you opt for this step, I wouldn’t even put salt on it.  The salty taste can be very overpowering!

Mix contents of the bowl with a spatula or large spoon until all leaves are evenly covered.  Some people prefer to put the ingredients in a large ziplock bag and shake it until evenly dispersed; a pretty good method but I never have those bags in my house.  Spread contents onto a cookie sheet.

Broil the kale for 5 minutes on one side.  Remove from oven and carefull flip the kale over.  It browns very quickly so you might want to move the darker pieces to a different place on the sheet to get the most even cooking.  Broil for another 5 minutes.

They shrink up quite a bit!  This is why I recommend preparing 2 bunches of kale.  Looks a little pathetic, doesn’t it?

It is OK if some pieces are more green or brown than others.  They are all tasty.  As with all recipes, the more often you make this quick snack, the better you will be at gaging how you like it.  Some people like more or less oil, vinegar, etc.  Find out what is perfect for you!

Last photo courtesy of Kalyn’s Kitchen.