Creamy Avocado Basil Pesto

Hey everyone!

Motherhood has gotten the best of me lately and I forgot to share this recipe with you. I’ve been working on bettering my eating habits because I have completely slacked off lately. Only downfall with me is that I’m the kind of person who gets sick of eating the same foods repeatedly. As much as I enjoy my chicken and vegetables, I just can’t do it every day. I get bored and I want to change things up.

I originally made this pesto to go over top of zucchini noodles, which tasted fantastic. But, I quickly realized that this recipe goes great on a lot of other foods, so I decided to just share the pesto recipe and I’ll let your mind soar from there and let you choose what you want to add it to. Just the other day I added it to chick pea pasta. Delicious. My son even enjoyed it with chips. Healthy and kid approved. I will take it.

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The texture is perfect to use as a sauce and has the perfect variety of ingredients to make your taste buds fall in love. The subtle hints of avocado, garlic, and basil together just made my mouth water. I’m really excited to pair this with other food products. Let’s not forget it’s crazy healthy and so simple to make. You could make a delicious meal in under 30 minutes.

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Ingredients:

2 ripe avocados

1 cup fresh basil leaves

3 cloves garlic

3 tbsp olive oil

¼ cup pine nuts

2 Tbsp lemon juice

½ tsp. sea salt

Cracked black pepper, to taste.

Instructions:

Add all ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth

That’s it! How simple?!

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A few tips though. Avocados tend of brown quickly, so enjoy as soon as possible. Refrigerate any left overs and wrap in plastic wrap (making sure the plastic wrap is pressed against the pesto). This will prevent browning. If you are applying to zucchini noodles, be sure to dry the zucchini before sautéing so any excess water in soaked up.

Enjoy!

Don’t forget to check out my other delicious healthy meals!

Healthy Egg SaladPeanut Butter Protein BallsBig Mac Salad – Skinny Bang Bang Shrimp Mix

 

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Barbecue Pineapple Chicken

If you’re like me, I always get a craving for something sweet and tangy together. Who ever thought of mixing the flavors of barbecue and pineapple together, I thank you.

You are a genius.

Usually when I think of pineapple in a dish, I go right to teriyaki.

I came across this dish and decided to make it and…

Oh. My. Goodness.

DELICIOUS!

It’s so easy to make also.

Just three simple ingredients.

That’s it!

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  • 4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast’s
  • Barbecue Sauce (We are a Sweet Baby Ray’s family, so we chose that)
  • One (or two) cans of diced pineapple. I went with two.

Sprinkle your chicken breast with some salt and pepper on each side.

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Cover each side of your chicken breasts with some barbecue sauce

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Drain and add your pineapple chunks over top of the chicken and layer with barbecue sauce again. (My mouth started drooling here.)

Let chill for 1-2 hours.

You don’t have too, but I think it adds some extra flavor. The pineapples really soak the barbecue sauce up during this time.

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Bake at 400 Degrees for 40 minutes or until chicken is cooked through at 165 Degrees.

Add some additional barbecue sauce on top (optional), and serve!

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I could make this recipe every week. I think it’s one of my new favorites. Along with my Slow Cooker Shrimp Scampi

 Did I also mention it’s a healthy recipe?!

Win, Win!

Enjoy!

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Easter Bunny Cake Pops

Happy Spring Everyone!

For some crazy reason Mother Nature decided to dump over a foot of snow here in Pennsylvania on the first (and second) day of Spring. Totally not what we wanted, but my oldest got a snow day out of it so we decided to celebrate the spring season inside while the snow falls. Since I knew what kind of weather was headed our way, the little one and I went to Walmart to grab some necessities we needed. I came across this adorable bunny shaped silicone baking mat and instantly thought it would be a great idea to make bunny shaped cake pops! My son is in love with eating cake pops and he always gets one when we visit Starbucks, so why not make our own! I wanted to share the recipe because it’s perfect for the Easter season. Over the weekend we made Spring Flower Chocolate Pretzels. Check those out too!

Ingredients:

• Bunny Shaped Silicone Baking Mat

• Lollipop Sticks

• Pastel Colored Chocolate Wafers (however many colors you want)

• One Box of Cake Mix (we went with Funfetti. Make sure you have all the ingredients listed on the back of the box also.)

• Cooking Spray

• Sprinkles (optional)

Directions:

1. Combine your cake mix ingredients together as directed on the back of the box

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2. Preheat your oven to 350 Degrees

3. Place your silicone mat on a baking pan and generously spray the mat with cooking spray

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4. Fill each bunny with cake mix about a quarter to half way full

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5. Bake in the over for 10-15 minutes

6. Let the cake pieces cool for a few minutes then place them on a sheet of parchment paper.

(They should pop right out of the baking mat)

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7. Place a lollipop stick into the center of the bunny cake pieces. This could be done before or after you dip the cake pieces in the chocolate. Whichever you prefer.

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8. Melt your chocolate wafers in the microwave (or as desired) in a microwave safe bowl. I usually do 30 seconds intervals on defrost until chocolate is fully melted

9. Dip the cake pieces into the melted chocolate until fully covered, let the extra chocolate drip off, then place back on the parchment paper to harden

10. Design the bunny pieces as desired and enjoy! We decided to drizzle a different color on some and add sprinkles to the other. If you are using sprinkles, be sure the add them before the chocolate fully hardens so they stick

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These were definitely a hit in my household, and I hope they are with yours also! Enjoy! We sure did! Also, a special thanks to my little helper. We had a blast making these together.

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Spring Flower Chocolate Pretzels

With Easter right around the corner and the first day of spring quickly approaching, I wanted to make something that could relate to both occasions. I have major spring fever. My four year old has been asking for something sweet to eat, so I came across these adorable spring flower chocolate pretzels and I just had to make them! They are the perfect mix of salty and sweet. I could honestly eat the entire batch to myself and both of my kiddo’s loved them! They are only three ingredients and so easy to put together.

It’s the perfect spring treat!

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Ingredients:

• Pretzel Snaps

• Pastel M&M’s

• White Chocolate Melting Wafers

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 225 degrees

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the pretzel snaps on the paper topping them with the white chocolate melting wafers

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3. Place the pretzel pieces in the oven for only 2-3 minutes. You want to soften the chocolate, not completely melt it.

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4. Remove from oven and gently place the M&M’s on the softened white chocolate to form a flower.

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5. Let them cool in the refrigerator for a few minutes or until hardened and enjoy!

We love them and already ate just about the whole batch, and they are 100% kid approved! Give them a try! They could be the perfect little treat for Easter Sunday!

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Lunch Made Easy: Featuring Nuby’s Sure Grip Miracle Mat Section Plate.

Hey Everyone!

When it comes to meal time for my youngest, it can be a nightmare! She is the queen of sliding her hand back and forth on her high chair top and knocking all of her food to the ground for the dogs to eat. Most of the time she thinks her food is just to play with, so she barely consumes any, except her ice cream. That she won’t share. She also enjoys feeding the dogs so I’m sure that’s half the reason why she does what she does, and I’m sure the pups don’t mind it either. She thinks it’s hilarious to throw the food off of the high chair and watch the dogs try and catch it. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve had to pick up food off the floor, or I find a three week old nugget piece underneath the sofa. It’s a never ending cycle when it comes to meal time with Miss ‘Do What I Want’.

Then I was introduced to the Nuby Sure Grip Miracle Mat Section Plate. First off, I can’t rave enough about adorable the Elephant design is! I just love it. Not only are they stylish, but these silicone plates are BPA and PVC free, come in multiple different colors and are for little one’s six months and older. It’s an integrated section plate with a non-slip base the sticks to flat surfaces. Best part is that it’s a plate and place mat all in one. It’s like a one stop shop for giving meals to the kiddos. You never have to worry about misplacing one or the other, it’s all together. Easy Peasy!

When I gave the Nuby Section Plate to my daughter at first, she gave me this side eye look which I’m sure she was thinking in her mind

“what’s this mom, are you seriously trying to ruin my fun”.

She could no longer fling her food right off her high chair and give it to the dogs. After a moment or two of staring at it, I could tell she liked her new plate. She noticed her ham, strawberries, and veggie straws were nicely placed in three separate sections, and she actually started eating her own food and not feeding the dogs! Total mom win! Thank goodness, my daughter was finally eating her food! Of course, near the end once she started getting full, she slipped the pups a few left over pieces, but no crazy messes like before! Plus, she couldn’t pick this plate up and toss it on the ground either. I was so relieved and she was nice a full. It was a win win situation.

Happy Mommy, Happy Baby.

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Once lunch time was over, the cleanup was simple! The silicone plate easily wiped clean with no hassle at all. Although I’m old school and wash my dishes by hand, these plates are dishwasher safe, so you can pop it right in the dishwasher for a simple, quick clean. I just gently wiped mine with some baby dish soap and water, sat it on my drying towel, and I was done! No hard scrubbing or anything!

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I 100% recommend this Nuby product. I am all for simplifying my daily routines when it comes to being a stay at home mom of two kids. There’s already so much on our plates to get completed throughout the day, and this product definitely simplifies my lunch time routine, which gives me a few extra minutes to get other household chores finished. You can find these adorable little silicone plates at your local Babies R Us. Check them out!

Follow Nuby on:

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

*I received this product from Nuby as a review, but all opinions are entirely my own*

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Healthy Snack Alternatives: My Personal Favorites

One of my biggest guilty pleasures is snacking. I couldn’t possibly get through the day with just eating three meals. When I first started my weight loss journey, my hardest challenge was letting go of the snacks. It took me a little while to get into the groove of completely changing my eating habits. I attempted to completely cut out snacks and just eat strictly three meals a day, but nope. I couldn’t do it. After researching meal plans, I decided to incorporate two to three snacks into my daily eating routine. Of course, those snacks couldn’t be chips and cookies, I wish though, so I found my own personal favorites that I wanted to share. With these extra snacks in my day, I still lost close to 50 pounds.

Biggest part of snacking is the serving size. I make sure to measure out each snack and eat the correct serving size amount. It can be as simple as buying pre-packaged 100 calorie snacks or measuring them yourself using a food scale. Either way works, you just never want to overeat a snack, because that defeats the purpose.

Quest Bars. My number one favorite. These bars fill me up long enough between meals that I’m completely satisfied. They come in so many flavors you’ll never get bored of eating them. They are packed with protein and other healthy nutrition. They also have protein cookies and chips, check them out here!

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Raw Almonds. The nutrients in almonds are so great for you! Healthy fats, Vitamin E, Calcium, Magnesium… the list goes on! Not only do they have great nutrients, they help manage weight, lower cholesterol, improve digestive health, and lowers the risk of heart disease. I usually buy the Blue Diamond 100 Packs for a perfect on the go snack.

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Frozen Yogurt Blueberries. These are great when I am craving some ice cream. I get some vanilla greek yogurt, dip the blueberries in it, freeze them and that’s it. Another easy on the go snack, and totally kid approved! My son will eat these up.

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Peanut Butter Protein Bites. These are my go to when I want something sweet. They have just enough chocolate to curb my cravings and get my sweet tooth under control. This is another protein packed snack that keeps me full throughout the day. Check out my no bake, five ingredient recipe here!

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Rice Cakes with Peanut Butter. Another sweet snack for me (can you tell I like sweets?). I buy the Quaker Apple Cinnamon Rice Cakes, spread the serving size amount of creamy peanut butter on top and enjoy. Quick, easy, and delicious!

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Try them out and let me know what you think! What are your favorite healthy snacks? I’d love to hear!

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Homemade Peanut Butter Protein Bites

These delicious little bites are one of my favorites quick recipes to make. These no bake snacks take only minutes to make and are super delicious. They are the perfect snack for a healthy lifestyle and are packed with protein and fiber to keep you feeling fuller during the day. They are an easy on the go snack if you live a busy lifestyle like mine. Best thing about them is that they help curb my sweet tooth when I’m craving something with chocolate. Each bite tastes more like a dessert than healthy protein and fiber rich snack.

My kids approve of them also, which is a total mom win.

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5 Simple Ingredients:
2 tbsp. Honey
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup old fashioned oats
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ cup ground flax seeds

All you do is simply combine all the ingredients in a bowl and place in the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes until chilled.
Once chilled, roll into mini balls and enjoy!
(I made mine about 1 inch in diameter)

If you don’t eat them within a week, you can also freeze them and eat them at a later time.

These balls are also super versatile and you can mix them up however you’d like. You can add in some coconut or shredded almonds. Maybe trade out the semi-sweet chocolate chips for dark chocolate chips. Whichever you prefer.

Hope you enjoy!

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Big Mac Salad

Happy Monday!

So I know this recipe sounds a little odd, but my goodness is it delicious! When I was pregnant I always craved Big Mac’s from McDonalds. So, I found this healthier version and just had to make it! (Don’t worry no baby number three, yet!) I was really surprised with how similar this bowl tasted compared to the actual sandwich. It’s a must try if you get a craving for a juicy burger!

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Note: In my photo’s, I made 4x the amount of the actual recipe! This recipe is the single serving amount.

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Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 tbsp lite thousand island dressing
  • 1 1/2 tsp finely minced onion
  • 1/8 tsp granulated white sugar (or a dash of no calorie sweetener!)
  • 1/8 tsp white time vinegar

Bowl Ingredients:

  • 3 cups shredded lettuce
  • 4oz raw extra-lean ground beef
  • 1/3 cups finely chopped onion
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp onion powder
  • Dash of salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp yellow mustard
  • 2 tbsp shredded reduce fat cheddar cheese
  • 3 hamburger dill pickle chips, chopped
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds

You can also add tomato, ketchup, and extra mustard if desired!

Directions:

For the sauce, add all the ingredients into a bowl and mix

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Bring a nonstick sprayed skillet to medium-high heat and combine meat, onion, and spices until the meat is thoroughly cooked and onions have softened.

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Once cooked through, remove from heat and add mustard to the meat and combine.

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Place the shredded lettuce at the bottom of your bowl, add the meat and your toppings and enjoy.

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Let me know what you think!

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Skinny Bang Bang Shrimp Mix

Happy Thursday!

This is one of my most favorite quick, healthy meals to put together and it only takes minutes! I’ve made this numerous times, and it’s just a skinnier version of the Bonefish Grill version. It’s a pretty popular recipe, but I just want to share for everyone! The serving size is about 4oz of shrimp. I usually just measure mine out with a food scale.

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Ingredients: 

  • 2lbs raw peeled and divined shrimp
  • 4 Tablespoon Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 2 Tablespoons Light Mayonaise
  • 3 Tablespoons Sweet Chili Sauce
  • 1-1 1/2 Tablespoons Sriracha
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Crushed Red Pepper (Optional)
  • 2 Tablespoon Chopped Green Onion (To Garnish Also)

All you have to do is mix up all the ingredients in a bowl, cook your shrimp and add to the sauce! If you just want to make one pound of shrimp, cut the recipe in half! I usually mix mine up with some organic brown rice, or you could even serve it over pasta.

I hope you enjoy!

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