Gift Guide: For the Foodie

 

  1. The Skinny Instant Pot Cookbook: $8
    • This cookbook is specifically for Instant Pot recipes, which is how I do 99.9% of my cooking these days. This book has TONS of great recipes, and anyone can make them, they’re not complicated whatsoever. This would be a great gift for a recent college grad, or newlyweds!
  2. Healthy Human Water Bottles: $19
    • These guys keep your water cold for 24 hours minimum, sometimes longer! They’re perfect for the gym, to keep at work, etc. I highly recommend these if you’re in the market for an insulated water bottle. Use “kalekouture” for 10% off!
  3. Healthy Human Tumbler Cruisers: $26
    • These are just like the water bottles, just a different style! I like the water bottles for cold liquds, and the tumblers for hot, but it’s totally a preference thing! I keep my coffee in my tumbler and it stays warm for a LONG time. Use “kalekouture” for 10% off!
  4. Stainless Steel Bowl Set w/ Lids: $20
    • I use these when I’m baking! I love how deep they are, as well as how easy they are to clean, but what I love most is that they have lids. Sometimes I have to chill dough/let things set up in the fridge, so I love being able to pop a lid on them when I do. They also double as great serving bowls if needed!
  5. Large Silicon Smoothie Straws: $5
    • This seems like a weird thing to add to a gift guide, but if you have a protein shake/smoothie lover in your life, these are a game changer. They’re thick, durable, dishwasher safe, and they last forever! Perfect stocking stuffer!
  6. Cookie Dough Scoop: $9
    • If you’ve followed me for awhile, you know this is my protein ball hack. This tool make it so easy to portion out protein balls, energy balls, no bake cookies, etc. I also use it when I’m trying to make sure my batter is even with muffins, pancake bites, etc. Such a versatile tool for a great price!
  7. Mini Food Processor: $19
    • This is something I didn’t really think I needed, until I had it. I HATE chopping, it’s just annoying to me, but I also didn’t want another huge kitchen appliance taking up tons of room in my cabinet. Especially because I don’t chop all that often. This is the best of both worlds; small and compact and it takes the work out of chopping!
  8. Scrub Daddy: $9
    • These bad boys are a hidden gem. I know it’s weird to buy someone scrubbing sponges for the holidays, but trust me when I say, every single person who uses a baking sheet EVER, needs these. They cut through grease, caked on ANYTHING, and smell amazing. They make cleaning such a breeze! They’re super durable too so they last much longer than a regular sponge.
  9. Frother: $14
    • I don’t even need to profess my love for this because I do it on my story on the daily. This makes at home coffee so much more boujee. If you add collagen to your coffee it dissolves it in seconds. Bottom line, if you there’s a coffee lover in your life, they need this.
  10. Yeti Mug: $24
    • To go with your frothed coffee, you need a boujee coffee mug, and this is it. I am known for having to microwave my coffee multiple times by the time I’m done with it and this completely fixes that issue. This keeps your coffee so freaking hot it’s almost too hot, but I love it. Again, this would make the perfect gift in addition to the frother, for the coffee lover in your life!
  11. Instant Pot: $79
    • I love, love, love my Instant Pot. I use it for so many things, but I mainly love it for it’s ability to make the most perfect hard boiled eggs you’ve ever had in your life in under 5 minutes. It’s worth the $79for that feature alone. In addition to that, anything you could do in your crock pot you could do in the Instant Pot in under 20 ish minutes. It’s magical and would make a great gift for just about anyone that doesn’t already have one!
  12. Mini Loaf Pan: $10
    • I love this little guy! I use it for banana bread, zucchini bread, pumpkin bread, etc. It makes the most perfect mini loafs when you don’t want to make one big loaf.
  13. Silicon Baking Mat Set: $16
    • These are the sole reason I have not had to buy new baking sheets in years. It doesn’t matter if you bake chicken, cookies, tenderloin, anything, it will not stick. They’re dishwasher safe so you can either wash them with your new scrub daddy sponges, or throw them in the dishwasher! This set of 3 is the cheapest I’ve seen them anywhere!
  14. Silicon Muffin Tins: $8
    • If someone you know makes muffins, pancake bites, cupcakes, anything, this is their new best friend. You don’t have to use any oil, oil spray, etc. I use these for pancake bites every single week and they’re an absolute lifesaver! I have two and I use them constantly. When you’re done with them, you can throw them in the dishwasher and you never have to clean them by hand! I will never use a metal pan again!
  15. Nutri Bullet: $59
    • This is on my Christmas list this year … (hi, Taylor!). But in all seriousness, when I asked for blender recommendations earlier this year, I got over 500 messages about how great this is. I make smoothies or shakes every single day, but having a huge blender take up counter space is inconvenient and creates a huge mess. I love that you can drink your shake out of the cup you blend it in and all of the reviews for this speak for themselves. This is on sale for such a great price and would make an amazing gift for anyone on your list!
  16. Air Fyer: $49
    • This air fryer is Taylor’s favorite appliance in our kitchen! We mainly use this for leftover roasted veggies (it reheats things but makes them really crispy at the same time), and sometimes, leftover pizza. We also use it for air fried chicken tenders which is a favorite in our house. The best way I can describe it is it’s like a toaster oven, but better! This is the cheapest I’ve seen an air fryer so if you’re in the market, jump on this!
  17. Kitchen Aid Mixer: $259
    • My mom got me this exact mixer for my college graduation and I’m 100% sure she paid double this price, or more. It’s a splurge item per say, but it’s well worth the money. I’ve had mine for 4 years now and it’s not going anywhere any time soon. If you have newlyweds in your life, or a new homeowner, this is the best gift. I don’t know any girl with a kitchen who doesn’t want this! I guarantee this won’t be this price after black friday, so jump on this one too!
  18. Skinny Taste: One and Done: $19
    • This is the Skinny Taste version of the Instant Pot cookbook, but what this has that the other does not, are recipes for the crock pot, as well as the air fryer! So it’s kind of a 3 in 1 which I really like! This would also make a great college grad/newlywed gift.
  19. Crux Copper Nonstick Bake ware: $27
    • I ordered this bake ware for myself because of two things: the copper is beautiful, as well as the price is seriously crazy. This whole set is cheaper than buying two of these pieces individually! Well, well worth the price in my opinion. This also has everything you need as far as baking is concerned!
  20. Stasher Bag: $9
    • These are on my wish list this year! We go through way too many plastic bags and I think these are worth the investment. I take my lunch every single day so I feel like these would be so useful. These are dishwasher safe and super durable from what I’ve heard. These would make a great stocking stuffer!
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San Francisco and Napa Valley Recap

San Francisco

This past weekend, Taylor and I spent a couple of days in San Francisco and Napa Valley. It was an amazing trip, and I’m so excited to write about it for those of you who have trips planned there/are planning to go soon!

Where we ate

The most important part right? San Francisco has SO many great food options. You could eat somewhere new every meal of the day for years and never try the same restaurant twice, I swear! I am so glad I already had in mind some places I wanted to knock out; I would have been so overwhelmed otherwise!

Breakfast:
  • Ferry Building Farmers Market
    • The Ferry Building is a MUST if you’re in town on a Saturday or Sunday. It’s a huge, indoor/outdoor farmers market with all local, fresh produce. There are also permanent restaurants inside the building that offer some amazing items as well. We quite literally ate our way through the farmers market and I wouldn’t have done it any other way!
  • Golden Gate Meat Company
    • This is a restaurant inside the Ferry Building! Taylor and I shared a breakfast sandwich from here and it was excellent!
  • The Mill
    • This place is frequented by the locals, so you know it’s good! They serve specialty toast and it is to die for. Taylor and I shared a couple of different options including the almond butter and pumpkin butter toast, but the cinnamon sugar toast was one of our favorite things we ate on our trip! They also serve lattes, cold brew, etc. A must try for a quick breakfast!
Lunch:
  • Bourdin:
    • This is a chain located at Pier 39. Taylor got the clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl and said it was okay, but nothing to rave about. Just a good, cheap option for lunch if you’re at the pier around lunch time!
  • Super Duper Burgers:
    • This is located near Union Square, so if you’re out shopping and need something fairly quick, I highly recommend it! It’s similar to Smash Burger or Shake Shack; a fast casual place to grab a burger, veggie burger, salad or chicken sandwich. The garlic fries were phenomenal!
Dinner:
  • Oz Pizza
    • We ate at Oz after we got in super, super late on Thursday night. If you’re in need of some late night pizza, this is a great spot! Two pieces of pizza and a drink were less than $10 so if you need something super quick and cheap, this is your spot.
  • Original Joes North Beach
    • Original Joes was highly recommended to us, and we loved it! It was definitely more on the expensive side but it was well worth the money. It’s traditional Italian; we shared the spinach artichoke dip and pasta carbonarra and were super impressed. Be sure to share the entrees, they’re huge!
  • El Farolito
    • This is place is the number one reason I love asking locals for recommendations when it comes to food. It’s the definition of hole in the wall and we never would’ve stopped to look twice had we not heard about how great it was! It’s a family owned Mexican restaurant known for their gigantic portions of phenomenal Mexican food. Taylor got a burrito and I got a quesadilla and they are two of the best things we ate on our trip. It’s super cheap, and great for late night/post bar eats if you’re in need of something along those lines!
  • Tipsy Pig
    • This was our favorite restaurant of the entire trip. It’s a “Californian Gastropub”; even the locals rave about it, so you know its a hot spot. We split the mini burgers and Taylor and I agreed, they were the best burgers we’ve ever had. I can’t recommend this place enough. Their drinks were great too! We recommend both the Moscow Mule and the Mamacita Margarita!
Snacks:
  • Tiffanys Mini Donuts
    • If you’re at Pier 39, don’t leave without trying these mini donuts! They’re warm, cinnamon sugary pockets of heaven. They come in a pack of 6, or a mini bucket if you’re really hungry! They’re cute, different, and you won’t find them anywhere else!

Happy Hour
  • Palm House
    • This place is one of my favorite places we went! They’re known for their tiki/island style drinks, and you’ll feel like you’re at the cutest beach bar from the minute you walk in! I had the chipotle mango margarita, and Taylor had the lychee dark and stormy; we highly recommend both! Check out their happy hour if you can make it in time!
  • Corridor
    • We spent the afternoon drinking wine here on Saturday! The drinks aren’t super cheap but the ambiance is really cool and the service was fantastic. We had garlic monkey bread as we waited for our drinks and if you ask Taylor, he’d say it’s the best thing we ate the entire trip! Definitely worth checking out if you’re in the area.
  • Anchor Steam Brewery
    • If you have a free afternoon, this place is a must. It’s an awesome brewery with a ton of beer options we loved. It’s also just a really fun place to sit and hang out. They had football games on and a big open outside seating area. We did a couple of flights, but the “Blood Orange Blonde” ended up being our favorite!
What We Did

We didn’t have a ton of time in San Francisco, but a couple of things we did that/we would recommend!

  • Ferry Building Farmers Market
    • This is a local farmers market and it’s HUGE! Like I said previously, if you’re in town on a Saturday or Sunday, it’s a must! Be prepared to eat your way through the entire market!
  • Walk around Union Square
    • This is where the shopping is! High dollar shopping that is. I would describe it as New York City on a smaller scale. There are a couple of stores like Zara, Forever 21, and Nordstrom Rack, but the majority of the stores we didn’t even venture into. Louis Vuitton, YSL, Harry Winston, are just a few of the big names in this area.
  • Walk/bike the Golden Gate Bridge
    • If you’re up for the bike ride, we heard this is such a fun thing to do! I’m still not quite up for biking the 10ish mile trek, but we did walk along the beach to the Golden Gate and it was just as fun. There were tons of dogs along the beach (the park is actually called Chrissy Field) and it’s such a beautiful and scenic view, but definitely pack your tennis shoes!
  • Picnic in Delores Park
    • Delores park was only a 30 second walk from where we stayed and I can attest to the fact that it looks exactly like all the pictures! It’s a fun place to take a blanket, relax, enjoy a picnic, and partake in some pretty great people watching. This park doesn’t allow any alcohol, so make sure to leave the wine at home when packing your picnic!
  • Walk around Ghiradelli Square
    • Ghiradelli Square is a 5 minute walk from Fisherman’s Wharf. It’s a cute, newer area and there are a couple of really cute shops and places to eat. Ghiradelli is obviously there, but there’s a fun brewery, area to sit outside, and cheese/wine shop that are all worth checking out!
  • Fisherman’s Wharf/Pier 39
    • These are technically two separate places, but they’re super close together and extremely similar. There are tons of touristy shops, restaurants, and things to see. My favorite part of this area was watching the sea lions on the docks. They were the most entertaining thing we saw our whole trip. If you’re into clam chowder, there are about 10 different places in this area for you to get some here! Just a forewarning, this place is NUTS. It was the most highly concentrated with tourists of any place we went, so just be prepared!
Other Highly Recommended Options:
  • Take the ferry to Sausilito
  • Hike Muir Woods
  • Alcatraz Tour
  • Ride the cable car
  • Chinatown

Napa Valley

We only spent one day in Napa and I’m already actively planning trip #2 because I could’ve stayed at least two more days. I loved it SO much and I cannot wait to go back. If I were picking between San Francisco and Napa, I’d choose Napa in a heartbeat. It totally depends on what you’re looking for in a vacation, but Napa is so much more up my alley!

Note: I don’t have any food recommendations (besides V. Sattui; it’s the only one that served food of any kind) because we only spent about 8 hours there. We went on a guided winery tour so we didn’t have any say in regard to where we went!

Wineries:
  • Roberto Mondavi Winery
    • This winery was the most beautiful in my opinion. The landscape is seriously incredible and hard to even portray in pictures. We sat outside and could not get over how amazing the landscape was. You truly feel like you’re in a postcard. Highly recommend this one just to sit outside and soak in the view!
  • Castello De Amoroso Winery
    • This winery is most known for it’s architecture which is a castle! It’s really cool and unlike any other wineries we saw. It’s definitely pretty commercial and that’s the one thing I didn’t love about this one. The wine was really good, but the service was just okay, and there isn’t much to see once you’ve done your tasting.
  • V Sattui
    • This was by far our favorite winery we visited. The wine is not the most extravagant, however it ended up being our favorite. Not only that, but the service is incredible and I truly felt like the tasting was personalized just for us. The sommeliers are so friendly and truly make every tasting special. We tried multiple wines that were not a part of our tasting, but ones they knew we would love based on our feedback in regard to other wines we tasted. It’s a smaller winery, much less commercialized and this is so evident in the experience we had. I highly, highly recommend! This winery also has a market where you can buy sandwiches, cheese, oils, etc., and have a picnic in the beautiful outside area.

 

That’s a wrap on the recap! I hope you enjoyed reading about San Fran/Napa, and if you are heading out that way soon, please let me know if you try anything on this list! Also, don’t hesitate to ask me if you have any other specific questions! As always, thanks for reading!

XO, A

Brownie Baked Oatmeal

If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you know I’m the world’s biggest proponent of a meal prepped breakfast. I know it’s not everyone’s jam, but it’s very much the deciding factor between eating breakfast and not when it comes to my busy weekday mornings. That being said, it’s vital that I prep something on Sunday that I can grab quickly and warm up during the week!

I fell in love with this recipe because I love oatmeal to begin with. The problem is that I don’t always have time to doctor it up and make it just how I like it when I’m trying to run out the door in the mornings. I also feel like it stays hot for FOREVER, which makes it hard even when I do have time to prep it. I can’t sit around and wait for it to cool all morning long!

Needless to say, this has combined my love of meal prep and oatmeal all in one! I can have my oatmeal and eat it too, so to speak! l will definitely be making this all the time this fall. I’m all about warm breakfasts in the colder months, so this is perfect for those chilly mornings! Not to mention, it tastes like a peanut butter brownie in oatmeal form. What’s not to love?

Slice it, warm it up, eat it cold, take it to go, whatever floats your boat! You’ll love it regardless!

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup peanut/almond butter
  • 2 1/2 cup ripe mashed banana (just a quick note: make sure to use really brown/overripe bananas for the utmost sweetness!)
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup or honey (I can get away with 2Tbsp, but if you like your oatmeal sweeter, go with 1/4 cup)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder (if you like a less of a dark chocolate flavor, go with 1/4 cup)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips for sprinkling on top
  • melted peanut butter for drizzling
  • sea salt for garnish
Instructions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Grease a 9×13 baking pan.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the peanut butter, banana, milk, maple syrup, and vanilla until evenly combined.
  4. Stir in remaining ingredients.
  5. Smooth into the baking pan, top with chocolate chips if desired.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes, then turn the oven off and let the pan sit in the turned-off oven for an additional 20 minutes.
  7. Take it out, drizzle with peanut butter and sprinkle with sea salt!
  8. Garnish with additional peanut butter or maple syrup if desired, and serve hot or cold. This recipe can be enjoyed hot or cold!

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Creamy Cauli Chicken Bake

I have not been this excited to share a recipe with you guys in forever. My mom has been following the keto diet for awhile now, so she was actually the one that shared this with me! I am not a keto gal, and I adapted this recipe quite a bit, so it’s definitely a lighter version!

Do not let the cauliflower rice scare you, Taylor actually told me this was the best thing I’ve ever made and he HATES healthy food, so there you go. If you’ve ever made cheesy potato casserole at Thanksgiving or Christmas, you know, the one with the cornflakes on top, THIS is exactly what it tastes like! I hope you love it!

Ingredients:
  • 4 cups boiled/canned/crock pot shredded chicken
  • 2/3  cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 block fat free cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup bacon bits
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup shredded cheese of your choice (I used cheddar)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 cup low sodium chicken stock
  • 4 cups cauliflower rice, steamed
Instructions:
  1. Preheat your oven to 400ºF.
  2. Lightly spray a 9×13-inch pan with olive oil spray and set aside.
  3. Steam cauliflower rice for 7 minutes in the microwave with 1/4 cup water. Make sure to drain the cauli rice if there’s excess water when it’s done so the mixture doesn’t get runny!
  4. In a large bowl, combine chicken, cream, cream cheese, bacon bits, garlic powder, paprika, chicken stock and cauliflower rice. Pour into the prepared pan and top with shredded cheddar cheese.
  5. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Enjoy!

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Paleo Pancake Bake

School is back in session which means the days of lounging around, binge watching Southern Charm, and slowly sipping coffee until 11am are longgg gone. I’m back to the 5:45am grind for the next nine months! As relaxing as the last month at home as been, it’s been somewhat lonely and I have been craving routine like nobody’s business so I’m super excited to have some normalcy back in my life!

Because my mornings are back to a tight schedule, meal prepping my breakfasts is the only way I can stay sane when I’m rushing around. Rushing is a term that should be used loosely when on crutches, FYI.

This week I decided to try something new, a pancake bake! I am OBSESSED with this Birchbenders pancake mix, and as much as I wanted to spend my Sunday night at my stove flipping a million pancakes, hoping they all turned out perfectly, it was not in the cards this week. I decided to grease an 8×8 pan, throw some things together, and hope for the best. It turned out better than I imagined, and I can’t wait to share it with all of you!

This recipe is quick and easy, and can totally be modified to include whatever mix ins you like! I did mine with peanut butter chips, but I can think of 100 different things that would be amazing! Chopped fruit, chocolate chips, pumpkin puree, etc., anything would work, so get creative! I will warn you that it it definitely isn’t super sweet, it’s just a thicker, fluffier pancake! So feel free to top with my favorite, peanut butter and a drizzle of syrup or honey!

The recipe is below! If you make it, be sure to send me a picture or tag me on IG so I can see all of your pancake bakes! Happy hump day, yall!

Paleo Pancake Bake
Ingredients:
Procedure
  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Thoroughly combine all ingredients
  • Pour into a greased 8×8 baking pan/dish
  • Bake for 15-17 minutes
  • Makes 6 servings

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Eggless + Easy Cookie Dough Bites

Cookie dough is my kryptonite; I truly believe it is my all time favorite food. I’m talkin’ straight up, raw cookie dough. Raw eggs, no eggs, day, night, chocolate chips, no chocolate chips, it doesn’t matter, I’ll eat it. I know, I’m a “health blogger” and probably shouldn’t condone eating raw eggs, but some things in life are non negotiable. Cookie dough is one of them.

That being said, eating cookie dough every day probably isn’t the greatest idea for anyone. Alas, the reason I decided to come up with a healthier spin on my favorite food! This cookie dough calls for two versions of an artificial sweetener called Swerve: one is their brown sugar, and the other is their regular granulated sugar. Swerve is a line of all natural, zero calorie sweeteners. Do not get me started on the fake sugar debate. They’re okay in small amounts, just like anything in life. It won’t kill you, I promise. However, if you are 100% against using artificial sweeteners, this recipe would work just fine with real sugar and brown sugar.

You can click this link to find out where you can purchase Swerve products near you. If they’re not sold near you, click here and you can order from Amazon! The recipe is posted below! Let me know if you have questions. If you make them, be sure to take a picture and tag me on Instgram so I can see your beautiful cookie dough bites!

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Easy Chipless Nachos

As many of you know, I spent the last week in Mexico! Mexican food has been on my mind ever since I got back; I think I could eat it every single day and never get sick of it! Alas, chipless nachos were born!

I’m not sure you can even call it a recipe, it’s THAT simple. It requires minimal ingredients, but it’s downright delicious. I didn’t miss the chips whatsoever! I’m going to hop to it because I know y’all scroll past me blabbing, and I don’t blame you. I would too. So, here we go!

Ingredients:
  • 1 bag of mini sweet peppers
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey (I like to use 93% or 99% lean to cut down a little bit on the fat, but use what you like!)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 bag of Trader Joes frozen Mexican style roasted corn with Cotija cheese
  • 1 cup cheese (use what you like! I used a Mexican blend)
  • Trader Joes cowboy caviar (or salsa of your choice)
  • 2 tsp Trader Joes chili lime seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste
Directions:
  1. Preheat your oven to 400.
  2. Brown the ground turkey in a pan with olive oil.
  3. When the ground turkey is 1-2 minutes away from being done, add in the frozen Mexican style corn and the chili lime seasoning with the ground turkey.
  4. When the corn and ground turkey are both done, mix in the Cotija cheese that comes in the bag with the corn.
  5. Set aside the ground turkey mix to cool.
  6. Slice the mini sweet peppers lengthwise and remove all seeds.
  7. Lay the peppers cut side up, close together, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  8. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. I didn’t measure the S&P, just a sprinkle or two to season the peppers!
  9. Layer the ground turkey and corn mix evenly among the peppers.
  10. Top with shredded cheese.
  11. Bake for 8-10 minutes until cheese is melted! Keep an eye on them, every oven varies.
  12. Top with Trader Joes cowboy caviar and avocado and enjoy!

Air Fried/Baked Chicken Fingers

I don’t know why it has taken me so dang long to break out my air fryer to make these. I’ve bought chicken breast tenders each week, for the past two months – the sole purpose of making chicken fingers. Yet every single week, I got lazy and decided to do something with the Instant Pot instead. I’m kicking myself now, because had I just bucked up to make these in the first place, I’d have realized how amazing they were two months ago!

For those of you who have an air fryer, I’ve gotten so much feedback from you saying you’re in the same boat. It seems daunting to bring it out and use it. I’m here to tell you, it is the simplest appliance I own. There was no set up required, there’s no pre heating, nothing. You turn it on your desired temp, put your food in, and set the timer. That’s it. I use the Von Shef Air Fryer and I can’t say enough good things about it. There are tons of uses for an air fryer but I’ll save that for another day!

However all that to say, if you don’t have an air fryer, you can still make these chicken fingers! You can do them just as easily in the oven, so don’t feel like you have to buy one to make these.

Ingredients
  • 1 lb boneless chicken tenderloins
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 2 Tbsp dry ranch seasoning
  • 1 tsp Trader Joes Chili Lime seasoning (can omit, but I think it adds great flavor!)
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
Directions
  1. In a small bowl, whisk eggs
  2. In another bowl, mix together almond flour and spices, combine evenly
  3. Turn your air fryer/oven on 400 degrees, and spray the air fryer basket/cookie sheet with olive oil spray
  4. Fully coat each chicken breast tender in the egg mixture, let the excess mixture drip off
  5. Dip each piece of chicken into the almond flour mixture, make sure to evenly coat
  6. Place 3-4 tenders into the basket/onto a cookie sheet and fry for 8 minutes, flipping halfway through! Keep an eye on them, all air fryers are different!
    1. If baking, cook for 20-25 mins, flipping halfway through, until each tender is crispy.
  7. Repeat until all tenders are fried! If baking, bake all at once.
  8. Enjoy!

My Breakfast Favorites

I am a breakfast girl through and through. I would prefer breakfast over any other meal, at any time of day! Growing up, breakfast for dinner was my absolute favorite. I would venture to guess it was probably because it gave me an excuse to eat a Toaster Pastry for dinner, (remember those?!) but nonetheless, the trend has continued into my mid 20’s.

Because I eat breakfast around 6am, and don’t get the chance to eat again until 10:30am, my breakfast has to pack a punch or I’m ravenous by 8am. I’ve spent the past two years trying different recipes and combinations of things that keep me satisfied all morning long, but it really hasn’t been until recently that I’ve felt like I nailed it.

Obviously what works for me, may not work for everyone. I know a lot of people that have more flexibility than I do as far as being able to eat throughout the day, so eating a big breakfast isn’t quite as important as it is for me. Regardless, it is critical to start your day with a well rounded breakfast. I know, such a cliche thing for a food/health blogger to say, but it couldn’t be more true. Eating breakfast gets your brain going, it helps wake you up in the morning, and it gets your metabolism going.

Below are my three favorite breakfast staple recipes/combos. If you’ve been following me for awhile, you’ve probably seen these make an appearance or two!

Protein Pancake Bites
Cottage Cheese w/ Eggs + Egg Whites + avocado
  • Recipe:
    • 1/2 cup of egg whites + 1 egg, scrambled, on top of 1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese
    • 1/2 avocado on top
Egg White Oatmeal
  • Recipe:
    • 1/2 cup of oatmeal + 1/2 cup of water, microwave for 1 minute
    • add 1/3 cup of egg whites, microwave for another another minute

In addition to any of these breakfast options, I always pair them with a serving of fruit, as well as a protein. These are always interchangeable, and truly just depend on what’s on sale for the week, what’s in season, and what I have on hand!

Fruit Options:
  • 1/2 cup strawberries
  • 1/2 cup blackberries
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 an apple
  • 1/2 a banana
Protein Options:
  • turkey bacon egg cup (recipe is on my Instagram highlights!)
  • hard boiled egg
  • chicken sausage
  • turkey sausage
What my meals typically look like
  • egg white oatmeal + 1/2 cup berries or banana on top + hard boiled egg on the side
  • 4 mini pancake bites + 1/2 an apple + 1 turkey bacon egg cup
  • cottage cheese/egg mixture + 1/2 banana + 2 turkey sausage links or 1/2 avocado

35 Minute Sheet Pan Lunch

I’ve gotten a ton of great feedback lately asking for quick and easy lunch/dinner recipes. I’ve really tried to brainstorm some new recipes lately so that I can deliver! The minute I threw this together the other night, I knew it would become a weekly staple for me, and it definitely will! It’s quick and easy, the two requirements I have for all things meal prep! So to those of you who have inspired me to start thinking about new lunch/dinner options, thank you!

The prep time is about 5 minutes, the bake time is 30, and in 35 minutes you have a week’s worth of extremely healthy lunches/dinners. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: meal prep doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming! I also happen to think this is delish, so it doesn’t have to be bland or boring either!

Ingredients:
  • 5 chicken sausages (or whatever sausage you like – the chicken sausage from Trader Joe’s is my other favorite!)
  • 3 cups chopped, mini sweet peppers (you could do bell peppers too, whatever you have on hand!)
  • 2 cups fresh green beans
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp dry ranch seasoning
  • salt/pepper to taste
Directions
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Chop peppers, cut green beans in half, slice the chicken sausage, and spread evenly on a greased baking sheet. I keep all my items separate on the baking sheet because I’m OCD about things touching, but if it doesn’t bother you, you can mix everything together!
  • Drizzle the olive oil over everything and toss the veggies and sausage to make sure everything gets coated evenly.
  • Season everything with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Sprinkle ranch seasoning on the green beans.
  • Bake in the oven for 30 minutes!
  • Voila! You’re done! If you’re meal prepping, distribute into 4-5 tupperware containers and store in the refrigerator.

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