Fitness Crazed Foodie
Lover of all things food and fitness related
These peanut butter chocolate cookies are quick and easy to make and great for people who need to make a last-minute dessert. They have some healthier modifications, but this doesn't mean they lack in the flavor department. And who doesn't love the OG dessert combination of peanut butter and chocolate? Always a crowd favorite.
1 cup creamy raw peanut butter
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
3 tbsp almond flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Dash of cinnamon
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
(2 more tbsp of dark chocolate chips, if you want a melted drizzle on top)
From start to finish, I spent 15 minutes making these! Just combine all the ingredients together in a bowl and mix until incorporated. Scoop out 1 inch round balls onto a baking sheet and bake at 350 for 10 minutes. I added a little fancy drizzle of melted dark chocolate on top, just to make it extra chocolatey for this Valentine's Day treat. It's best served either right out of the oven or after it's been in the fridge for a couple hours to harden the chocolate drizzle.
The month-long holiday hangover and indulgence has come to an end, and healthy eating is in the air. The gym I work at is buzzing with new faces ready to set their health as a priority and familiar faces that are continuing to chase their goals. I love the outward energy, but I know that the motivation doesn't come easy.
Conversations with my clients have been revolving around shifting and re-setting their schedules (work, personal, fitness) and eating habits to get back on track. With an abundance of articles, blogs, and conversations about how to get back on track, its easy to feel overwhelmed. One piece of advice is to start small!!! You can't change everything at once because your will-power will just give out. Instead, start with one healthy habit to add back into your routine. For example, mine is to reduce added sugars in my diet and say no to desserts (I had my fair share of holiday cookies and desserts to last me for a while). Therefore, I made these no-guilt protein bars that will satisfy my sweet tooth in a healthy way and help normalize my eating routine.
These bars are filled with healthy fats and protein, along with a touch of no-sugar-added dark chocolate chips. This recipe makes 8 squares to last you all week long. Just store in the freezer and cut into squares when you're ready to eat them.
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup almond flour
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
2 tbsp melted almond butter
4 scoops unflavored Vital Protein collagen peptides
3 tbsp ground golden flax seeds
A couple dashes of cinnamon
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (I use lilyssweets.com chips)
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl except chocolate chips and mix until well incorporated. Then, stir in chocolate chips. In a glass tupperware container or small baking sheet, spread the batter evenly to create 1/2''-3/4'' thick bars. Freeze for 2 hours before cutting into squares or eating. Store in the freezer for up to 10 days!
If you're in the process of creating your Thanksgiving menu, or thinking about what dish you can bring to someone else's home, add this recipe to your list asap! I brought it to an early Thanksgiving with family yesterday and I'll just say that there were no leftovers to bring home...
This isn't your average green bean casserole with french fried onions and cream of mushroom soup (I'm sorry, but why is this 1950's dish still a thing?!). BUT it can still win the hearts of green bean casserole lovers or health-nuts at the Thanksgiving dinner table. It is filled with sautéed onions and mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, and fresh, crispy green beans.
1 big bag of green beans (about 3 heaping cups)
1 small white onion
1 large container of cremini mushrooms (about 2 heaping cups)
Mini jar of sun-dried tomatoes in oil
Salt and pepper
Fill a large pot with 6 cups of water and bring to a boil. Chop the ends of the green beans off and add them to the water once rapidly boiling. Cook for 5-8 minutes. You still want them to be crispy and not soggy, so test the consistency at 5 minutes.
In a separate large sauté pan, heat up 2 tbsp of the sun-dried tomatoes oil over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add roughly chopped white onion and mushrooms and cook until translucent (about 7-10 minutes), stirring frequently. Add 2 tbsp of sun-dried tomatoes to the pan.
Once green beans are done, drain the water and add beans to the large sauté pan with other ingredients. Stir around for a minute or two, add seasonings, and turn off the heat. Transport to a casserole dish and let it cool down for 10-15 minutes before serving, covering or putting in the fridge. Enjoy!!
*This dish is vegan, gluten-free, whole30 compliant, etc. It's perfect for all those health-conscious family members :)
Holiday season is right around the corner and so the 6 weeks of indulgences begin... This week I'm planning menus for Friendsgiving's and two different Thanksgiving's, and seeing if I can create some healthy, crowd-pleasing options for everyone. In the meantime, I want simple and nutritious dinners that can keep me on track before the indulgences.
These lettuce wraps are half-filled with mushrooms and onions to add volume and flavor to the turkey with less overall calories. I kept my toppings simple with some green onions and cucumbers for crunch, but there are so many options to spruce up the wrap! You'll find additional topping ideas at the end of the ingredient list.
The whole recipe takes less than 20 minutes to make and makes about 8-10 lettuce wraps. Make this recipe one night and eat them throughout the week!
1 tbsp olive oil
1 container (2 cups) of cremini mushrooms
4 green onion stalks
1 lb 93% lean ground turkey
1 tbsp sriracha
3 tbsp liquid aminos or low-sodium soy sauce
Garlic salt, pepper, chili powder
1 iceberg lettuce wedge
Additional toppings: water chesnuts, chopped cashews, chickpeas, shredded carrots, jalapeños, cilantro
1) Add olive oil to a large skillet pan on medium heat. Roughly chop mushrooms and add to pan. Chop green onions (after peeling off outside skin layer) and add to pan. Cook these down for about 5 minutes. You might have to drain some water out of the pan, as the mushrooms lose moisture when cooked down. I just spooned out a couple tablespoons of liquid.
2) Add ground turkey to pan and break into pieces with a spatula. Cook for 5-7 minutes until mostly browned and add sriracha, soy sauce, garlic salt, kosher salt and chili powder to taste. Stir around and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
3) Wash the iceberg lettuce and peel off the first layer. Use one layer as the shell of your wrap and scoop 2 hefty spoonfuls inside. Add toppings of your choice!
The massive bowl of Halloween candy in my apartment sparked some cravings for a healthy dessert recipe incorporating these childhood (or adulthood...) favorite treats. I've made chickpea cookie dough before, but this recipe gets festive with the addition of Halloween candies. It isn't overindulgent or too sweet, and should be enjoyed by the spoonful!
1 can chickpeas
1/2 cup raw almond butter
2 tbsp ground golden flax seed
1/4 cup raisins
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-4 tbsp water
1 crushed Reese's
1 packed mini M&Ms (or chocolate chips if you don't care about being festive)
Drain and rinse chickpeas. Combine all ingredients except candy into a high-powered blender. Blend on high for 1 minute, then mix batter and add more water if necessary. Blend 1 more minute until everything is incorporated. Add to a bowl and stir in candy. Refrigerate for up to a week.
Breakfast for dinner is a weekly occurrence for me, and I'm not mad about it. Throwing a crispy over-medium egg on basically anything adds another flavor dimension, and this skillet is a perfect example of that.
This recipe sneaks in about three serving of veggies (remember: you need 5 servings of fruits and veggies A DAY!), and is bursting in flavors from the crispy potatoes, runny yolk, caramelized onions and seasoned greens. Enjoy it for a healthier weekend brunch option, or live a little and join the Breakfast For Dinner club!
1 regular large potato
2 tbsps olive oil
1/2 chopped white onion
1 cup shredded brussel sprouts
2 cups raw spinach
2 chicken sausage links
Salt and pepper
Optional (but really not optional): 2 eggs
Dice up the potato into 1/2 inch cubes. Heat up 1 tbsp olive oil on medium heat in a large skillet pan and add the potato to the pan. Cover the pan to steam the potatoes for 10-12 minutes, and stir every couple minutes.
While they are steaming, in a separate pan, heat up 1 tbsp olive oil on medium heat and add in chopped white onion. Cook for 5-7 minutes and then add in shredded brussel sprouts, raw spinach, and chopped chicken sausage. Cook all ingredients for another 5 minutes.
Uncover the potatoes, add some salt and pepper, and combine the onion and veggie mixture to the potatoes. Stir around to incorporate everything. Dish out the servings and fry up an egg however you like it! Add that delicious yolky goodness to the top of the hash and heavily sprinkle with some salt and pepper.
Added weekend brunch bonus: serve with a homemade mimosa and soak in all that Fall has to offer.
Tomorrow is the last day of summer, so it's time to roll out some fall favorites in the kitchen! You will be seeing some soup, chili, cobbler, and more brisk-weather meals. But first, here is a recipe for homemade low-sugar cinnamon almond granola! It's a great fall kick off, since it pairs perfectly with the apples you're about to get at the apple-picking orchard. It also pairs great with greek yogurt or almond milk, or better yet- eat it by the handful! Careful... it's dangerously good.
This recipe was inspired by and tweaked from a recipe in the Healthyish Cook Book.
Ingredients (serves 6-8)
3 cups uncooked oats
1/4 cup chopped lightly salted almonds
1/2 cup light maple syrup
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/2 cup raw creamy almond butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix the wet ingredients in one bowl and stir until well incorporated. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl and pour over the wet mixture. Combine with a big spoon until all oats are covered.
On a aluminum foil lined baking sheet, spread the oat mixture evenly. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the oats turn a light brown color. The photo at the bottom shows what color the oats should look like!
Let them cool for 20-30 minutes before putting in a zip lock bag. The granola will be good for up to a week if left out, or a couple weeks if kept in the fridge.
Not going to lie... a massive pile of loaded nachos with all the fix-ins is one of America's finest restaurant offerings. Buuuut it's also a bomb to the stomach and doesn't leave you feeling the greatest. My version has all elements you would want in nachos, but it is healthier and won't leave you feeling gross. This recipe is the meal-prepped version that I made for the week days, so it has 3-4 servings. It's also great for family dinners or a make-your-own nacho bar with friends!
3 large regular potatoes
1 large white onion
1 lb of 99% fat-free ground turkey
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
Salsa (no-sugar added)
Fat-free plain greek yogurt
Salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, red pepper flakes
Optional: part-skim mozzarella cheese, jalapeños
Preheat oven to 425. Roughly peel the skin off the potatoes, leaving some on, and slice thin. Place potato slices on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and sprayed. Add sea salt and pepper on top. Bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. Since they are thin, they may burn quickly, so keep an eye on them!
Chop the white onion. In a sauté pan over medium heat, spray with cooking spray and onion. Cook until brown and caramelized. Remove onion from the pan and set aside on a plate. Spray the pan again with cooking spray and add ground turkey. Once browned, sprinkle on equivalent amounts of salt, pepper, paprika, cumin and red pepper flakes. Cook the meat fully in the pan.
Time to assemble the nachos!
Fill the base of your plate with roasted potatoes and add onions on top.
Add 1/4 of the ground turkey (about 4 oz) on top.
Add a handful of halved cherry tomatoes, a scoop of salsa, 2 tbsp of greek yogurt, 1/3 of chopped avocado.
Enjoy with a fork and knife, or get messy and dig right in!
Meal prepping salads can seem bland and unsatisfying, especially if you are making multiple servings to eat throughout the week. However, it's probably because you haven't found the right salad that does the mid-day trick.
I have found that this Shredded Brussel Sprout Salad is the perfect big-batch option to make on Sundays and toss with different proteins all week. It is flavorful, sweet, savory, and fiber-filled! Your taste buds will thank you for the combination of salty from the almonds, sweet from the grapes, tangy from the lemon, and nutritious from the greens. You're welcome.
1 big bag of shredded brussel sprouts (should have about 4-5 servings)
1 head of broccoli
1/4 cup lightly salted almonds (my favorite are Trader Joe's dry roasted 50% less salt)
1/2 cup red grapes
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Steam the bag of brussel sprouts in the microwave for 3 minutes. Chop the head of broccoli and steam in a microwaveable bowl for 4 minutes once the brussel sprouts are done. Roughly chop the almonds and halve the grapes. Combine steamed greens with the rest of the ingredients and toss until well combined. Let the salad cool down before serving and storing in the fridge.
- grilled chicken
- sautéed tofu
- baked salmon
- garlic sautéed shrimp
- roasted cubed sweet potatoes
I know what most people are thinking: cheesy tortellini isn't healthy! Why is this on the blog?!
Well, let's set this straight. Pasta can be a healthy choice if served in the right portion, with the right add-ins, and if used as fuel for your workouts. I have my first olympic-distance triathlon coming up this Sunday, so I thought making a hearty, green pasta dish was appropriate for this week. Obviously, you don't have to be training for a triathlon to eat pasta, but timing of a carb-heavy meals is important. Carbohydrates, regardless of whether they're from pasta, bread, vegetables, fruit, etc., will be used as energy/fuel when eaten before or after a good workout, rather than being stored away as excess calories.
Bottom line: you don't have to shy away from carbs like pasta, but just make sure you're being active enough to use it as fuel!
This recipe has a great balance of green vegetables, lean protein, flavorful spices, and a liiiiiitle cheesiness from the tortellini filling. It's great served with a chilled summer salad, too! I added a simple recipe at the end of this post for a great summertime side dish that compliments the Veggie-Loaded Tortellini & Chicken perfectly. Enjoy!
1 package of Trader Joe's Spinach Tortellini
1 lb of boneless skinless chicken breast
1 bundle of asparagus
2 heads of broccoli
Salt and pepper
Optional: nutritional yeast, red pepper flakes, tomatoes
Ambitious Kitchen's Cilantro Pesto Sauce
1 cup cilantro leaves (about ½ a bunch)
1/3 cup roasted or raw cashews
1 small lime, juiced
1 clove garlic
1 jalapeño, seeded
2 tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil
¼ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
1-2 tablespoons water, if necessary to thin the pesto
Chop up asparagus and broccoli and put in a big bowl with 1/3 cup of water. Cover with paper towel and steam in the microwave for 5 minutes. Drain and keep in the bowl.
While veggies are steaming, chop chicken into big chunks and sauté on medium heat with olive oil, salt and pepper until cooked through the center.
In a separate stove pan, boil water and cook tortellinis based on instructions. After boiling, the pasta should only take 2-4 minutes to cook thoroughly. Add cooked pasta, chicken, and veggies into the large bowl and mix.
For the sauce, add cilantro, cashews, lime juice, garlic clove, jalapeno, olive oil, and salt and pepper to a blender. Process on high speed until smooth and add water, if necessary, to help thin the pesto and make it easier to process. Add the pesto directly to the bowl with the pasta and mix to combine.
Once ready to serve, top with nutritional yeast (or parmesan cheese) and additional spices if preferred. You can serve it hot or cold- both are delish!
Corn, Avocado & Tomato Summertime Salad
1 bag of frozen corn
1 cup of cherry tomatoes
Paprika, chilli powder, salt and pepper
Steam the frozen corn until thawed (a couple minutes in the microwave). Pour into a bowl with roughly chopped avocado, halved cherry tomatoes, a handful of chopped cilantro and spices to taste.
Set in fridge for 1 hour before serving chilled.
About this Section
This section is here to share my experiences in the kitchen and to give you inspiration to try out healthy and fun recipes!