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 15-20 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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Strawberry Shortcake Protein Balls

Ingredients:
Directions:

This is where the recipe gets tough – just kidding. All you have to do is mix everything together! There’s no order or specific way to do it, just mix until combined! Once everything is thoroughly combined, roll into balls, or cheat (like me) and use a cookie dough scoop! My mom taught me this and it is one of the greatest protein ball hacks. No messy hands, and you get the perfect sized ball without having to roll them! The recipe should make around 16 balls total!

Creamy Mexican Chicken

Creamy Mexican chicken has been a weekly staple of mine for years now. My mom made this for us when I was in high school, so this recipe is actually from her! But it’s stuck around due to the fact that it’s extremely simple, it’s versatile, it requires minimal ingredients, and if I’m being really honest, because it requires little effort from me!

There are so many ways to do instant pot/crock pot chicken, and that’s what I love about recipes like this. They’re so versatile and the flavor can be completely changed just by manipulating a couple of the ingredients! It’s also easy to make big batches of, which is always a plus when meal prepping for the week!

I put this chicken on top of salads, in whole wheat wraps, in homemade burrito bowls, etc. It’s extremely high in protein, and can be used just about any way you can possibly imagine!

Ingredients:
  • 4-6 boneless chicken breasts (thawed)
  • 1 12 oz. block of fat free cream cheese (I actually use Kite Hill this week, which is a DF option!)
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning
  • 1 can of low sodium black beans (drained)
  • 1 can of mexicorn (drained)
  • 1 4.5 oz. can of diced green chilis (can be omitted if this isn’t your thing)
Directions
  • Layer the bottom of your pot with the chicken breasts.
  • Throw everything else in on top of the chicken!
  • Cook on “pressure” cook for 20 minutes in the instant pot. Cook on low for 7 hours in a crock pot.
  • Shred the chicken and mix everything together!
  • Refrigerate up to one week.

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Enjoy! Thanks for reading! Have a great #tacotuesday! 😊

XO, A