Guilt-Free Dessert

Hope you all enjoyed your weekend! We both had a relaxing and productive weekend, and had a FaceTime date to catch up with each other! We did some brainstorming, and decided to share some easy and healthy dessert recipes that we indulged in on Sunday night.

It is no secret that we both enjoy dessert (who doesn’t?). However, we try to limit ourselves and are always looking for healthy dessert alternatives to satisfy our sweet tooth. We hope you enjoy these fruit and chocolate treats in place of the usual ice cream or cookie after dinner.

Amanda’s Sweet Banana Bites:

I made some yummy chocolate covered peanut butter banana bites inspired by a recipe I found on SkinnyMom. These are pretty easy to make, and are a healthier alternative to an after meal dessert or snack.

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Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup dark chocolate chips, melted
  • ⅛ cup natural peanut butter
  • ⅛ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • sea salt

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Directions:

Slice two ripe bananas into 1/2 inch pieces. I found it easier to dip the larger slices, so don’t cut them too skinny. Mix peanut butter and applesauce and cover each banana slice with a thin layer of the mixture. Place on a baking tray with parchment paper and freeze for 30 minutes. When the bananas are frozen, melt chocolate chips and dip each banana slice into the melted chocolate so one side is covered. Sprinkle the tray of bananas with sea salt, and freeze for another 15-20 minutes. Enjoy!

Meg’s Easy Apple Snack 

After visiting the local cider mill today, I was eager to eat one of the delicious Honeycrisp apples I bought so I decided to make a sweet, yet healthy dessert inspired by Pinterest of course.

Ingredients: 

  • One apple
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • Handful of chocolate chips

Directions:

Cut up the apple into bite-sized pieces (I use an apple slicer then cut up the apple further using a knife). Place the apple pieces in a bowl. Microwave the peanut butter until it is a pourable consistency (about 30 seconds). Pour peanut butter over apple slices. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top. And eat up! Easy right?

Talk to you guys soon!

– A & M –

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Tailgate Chip Dip

Happy Monday! I hope you all had an exciting, football-filled weekend like I did! I attended the MSU vs Oregon football game on Saturday. Not only did the Spartans pull out a victory (GO GREEN!), but I had a great time tailgating and celebrating with friends and family!

Along with tailgating comes yummy food, drinks, and getting excited for the upcoming game. I’m always looking for new recipes to try and came across a delicious chip dip because someone was serving it at their party. It is always a good sign when everyone is surrounding and devouring one specific dish, and I loved it myself. My mom and I have made it a few times now, and every time it is completely gone and numerous people have asked for the recipe. Bonus that it is packed with veggies and beans so you don’t feel super guilty eating it. I hope you all enjoy it as much as everyone at the tailgate did! Beware it is highly addicting!

Veggie and Bean Chip Dip

Ingredients:

  • 1 15.25 oz can corn
  • 1 15 oz black beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 small red onion chopped
  • 2 tomatoes chopped
  • 2 avocados diced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1 packet good seasons dressing mix

Directions:

  • Place corn, beans, and chopped veggies in a medium bowl.
  • Mix oil, vinegar, and seasoning packet.
  • Add liquid dressing to veggie and bean mix.

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I intended on taking a picture of the dip at the tailgate, but the fun and craziness got the best of me, oops! When my mom, and I make it, we dice the avocado smaller than what’s shown in the above picture.

(Picture from http://www.rachelcooks.com/2011/07/01/black-bean-and-avocado-dip-or-salad/)

– M –

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

Hello my friends! I hope you all had an amazing weekend!

Today I want to share my favorite smoothie recipe with you. To be honest, I make this smoothie on a weekly basis (I may be addicted). It is the perfect post-workout treat as it has protein, fruit, and is refreshing. It is also a great way to beat the heat on these summer days and perfect to enjoy poolside or at night as dessert. I will share the recipe based on one serving, but it is easy to double or triple the recipe to share with friends.

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 2 tablespoons of PB2 powdered peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons of greek yogurt (I use Dannon Light & Fit vanilla flavored)
  • Almond milk- start with 1/4 cup and add more until it reaches a smoothie-like consistency

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Directions:

Cut bananas into slices and freeze in Ziploc baggy prior to making a smoothie. Add frozen bananas, PB2, greek yogurt, and almond milk to blender. Blend ingredients together adding more almond milk as necessary until it reaches your desired consistency. Pour into cup of your choice and sip away!

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This is such a simple and healthy recipe to enjoy anytime of the day. When we purchased our Ninja blender last summer I was constantly experimenting with smoothie recipes. As soon as I created this recipe I was hooked! The most challenging part is adding the right amount of almond milk. I don’t exactly measure the almond milk but instead I eyeball it and add more as the ingredients blend together.

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I usually enjoy my smoothies in this mason-jar like cup from Target that has a lid and straw so it keeps my smoothies cold (and I can’t resist a cute mason jar). I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I do!

Talk to you soon.

M

Saturday Morning – Healthy Pancakes

Hello everyone!

We hope that you were able to enjoy some great breakfast like we did this weekend! We have always been breakfast lovers and have many memories growing up that include breakfast. Our mom used to make us green pancakes for St. Patrick’s Day every year. We also enjoy having a breakfast casserole after opening gifts on Christmas morning. Since breakfast is not always healthy, we decided to search for some delicious and nutritious pancake recipes.

Here is the recipe for the pancakes we decided to make. Enjoy!

Prep time: 5 min  Cook time: 10 min

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Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 6 egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions: 

Put all of the ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.

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Bake in non-stick pan over medium heat for 1-2 minutes on each side until the pancake is cooked to your liking.

Top your pancakes with whatever you desire from berries to bananas or syrup.

We liked that the pancakes were healthier and made us feel full without the extra calories. They didn’t have any flour and hardly any sugar. The cottage cheese added some protein and the egg whites lowered the cholesterol as opposed to whole eggs. While the pancakes were healthier, they were not as fluffy as typical pancakes. They were a little more chewy (french-toast like). However, we enjoyed them without feeling guilty about indulging in Saturday morning breakfast. We would definitely make them again. We hope you like them as well! Enjoy and talk to you guys soon!

-A & M-

*Disclaimer: This recipe is not our own.  It is a Biggest Loser Recipe found via Pinterest.

Easy Weekday Recipe – Chicken Sausage and Veggie Pasta

Hello Everyone!

I wanted to share one of my favorite weekday meals that’s quick, easy, and healthy! It’s full of veggies and made with whole grain pasta. I enjoy cooking dinner at home, but often find myself with little time and energy to think about dinner after work. I also tend to shy away from recipes that require a lot of ingredients to avoid inflating the grocery bill and I’m often left with wasted ingredients since I’m usually only cooking for myself during the week. This recipe requires few ingredients, has little prep, and is ready to eat in 30 minutes. It’s also great for lunch the next day, as it heats up easily and tastes great!

I add sweet Italian style chicken sausage to add some protein and flavor. For veggies I use green and red pepper and mushrooms since those are my favorite, but these can be substituted based on your preferences.

Prep Time: 10 Minutes  Cook Time: 20 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • 7 oz of whole grain penne pasta
  • 3 pre-cooked Italian style chicken sausages (I use Al Fresco brand)
  • 2 bell peppers (I use one red and one green)
  • 2 cups of sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup of tomato pasta sauce (I use roasted garlic)
  • 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning (I use McCormick)
  • 2 tbs. Parmesan cheese

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Directions: 

  1. Chop peppers, mushrooms and place in a bowl to the side
  2. Slice chicken sausage into half-inch pieces and put into a separate bowl
  3. Begin boiling 2-3 quarts of water for the pasta
  4. Add 2 tbs. of olive oil to a large heated skillet
  5. Add peppers, mushrooms and italian seasoning, cooking for five minutes
  6. Add chicken sausage and continue cooking for 10-12 minutes
  7. Add pasta to boiling water and cook until al-dente
  8. Drain pasta and add it to the skillet with the veggies and sausage
  9. Add pasta sauce and remaining olive oil to pan
  10. Simmer until the pasta is warm throughout
  11. Add your finished pasta to a plate and sprinkle some Parmesan cheese on top
  12. Enjoy!

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This recipe makes about three to four servings. I usually eat one serving for dinner and package the rest for lunch during the week. It’s amazing how great it tastes the next day!

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– A –