FOOD REVIEW: PASTA LENSI CHICKPEA

I have two problems. CARBS AND SWEETS! Who is with me here? I know I am not the only person with this problem. Sometimes in the middle of the day I will find myself craving pasta or Chick Fil -A waffle fries with extra ketchup (sorry that’s the foodie coming out of me)!

Although, I am on my journey to becoming a better me doesn’t mean I hold my family hostage of all of the great things in life like carbs. My kids will still have the occasional food coloring dye in their frosting with their cupcakes that we bought at the store or made out of the box. I still give them chips and cookies and all the fine things in life. It’s called balance and of course my husband loves pasta so as the great wife I am I try to find a middle ground by looking at alternative pasta! We are a big fan of Zoodles and whole wheat noodles but we may have hit the jack pot when I decided to buy this!

Disclaimer: If you hate Walmart check on Lensi website to see if they sell this elsewhere because I found this at Walmart!

I must admit I was a little skeptical of how this would taste but like I said before I will try anything once! What sort of won me over was that there are 22 grams of protein. I decided this would be a perfect pasta for Spaghetti and to be honest I love a pasta meal where there are always left overs because I couldn’t imagine life without leftovers.

It does take longer for this to cook than regular pasta but the consistency was just like regular pasta. I didn’t try to throw the pasta on to the cabinet when it was ready, like I usually do! (Please tell me I am not the only one who does this too!) It did not exactly taste just like regular noodles but to be honest the taste was very similar.

It worked perfect with the turkey meat and spaghetti sauce and the kids and hubby approved of it! Not only was it good but the kids asked for seconds so in my book that is what I call a win.

If your looking for something healthier than past, with way more protein, way less carbs and want to trick your kids into eating healthy well this is a way to go. They also have black bean pasta that I want to try once I find a recipe!

TOASTED CHICKEN KALE SALAD WITH LEMON DIJON SALAD DRESSING

Do you need a chicken kale salad? If you follow me, well then you know I rant and rave over the Chick Fil A — Kale Salad! After tasting that I never thought I would find something even remotely close that I would love. This chicken kale salad was sent by the goods because not only is it yummy but it is so healthy.  I have made this for dinner and this is something that my husband has requested over and over. Tip: This is one of my go to meal prep meals and it last for a three days! It’s not expensive and really easy!

 

What you will need:

  • 1 slice of low sprouted whole grain bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 ground black pepper
  • 4 oz. raw chicken breast, boneless, skinless (cut into strips)
  • 1/4 tsp. ground chili powder
  • 1 bunch kale (torn into large pieces) (6 oz)
  • 2 tbsp Lemon Dijon Salad Dressing
  • 1 Tsp finely chopped lemon peel

 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450*F
  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil
  3. Combine bread, oil, salt and pepper in a medium bowl; toss until wet blended. Place on prepared

 

 

Lemon Dijon Salad Dressing

What you will need: 

  • 1 large egg yolk, pasteurized
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1/4 tsp Sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 4 Tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp Finely Chopped Lemon Peel
  • 1/4 cup Extra- Virgin Olive Oil

Instructions:

  1. Place egg yolk, mustard, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and lemon peel in a blender or (food processor); cover and blend until smooth.
  2. Slowly add oil, blending continuously until well blended.

4 Easy + Healthy Meal Ideas For Halloween

healthier-halloween

Halloween is just around the corner which means your kids are going to have junk food by the literal bucketful at their disposal. It is possible, though, to let your family indulge in some festive treats without all that sugar and other unhealthy ingredients. Whether you need to plan a classroom party or want to host a spooky soiree at home with appetizers, these ideas may offer up healthier swaps for your guests.

Healthy Halloween Meal Ideas

Here are some easy alternatives to candy bars and other sugary snacks to give your family this Halloween season:

Candy Apples: You might not think that apples coated in chocolate or other forms of candy are the healthiest alternative to candy bars. Candied apples encourages your kids to eat their fruit in a fun and festive way. Instead of just coating the apples in caramel, consider dipping them in a low-fat and low-sugar candy, such as cinnamon candy. This will give them a sweet and attractive treat that is both festive and and healthy. You can also involve your family as you dip them together and add toppings like sliced almonds or shredded coconut.

 

Chocolate-Dipped Fruit: Apples aren’t the only fruit that can make for a delicious your Halloween-themed snack. Try some chocolate-dipped fruit this month. Orange slices combined with dark or milk chocolate will get you in the mood with its orange and black appearance. Just melt the chocolate, then dip a small part of the orange slice into the chocolate, and place on wax paper to harden.

 

Jack-O-Lantern Grilled Cheese: If you are looking for a spooky snack for the kids, try some Halloween-themed grilled cheese. Start with whole wheat or whole grain bread, and cut the slices with a Jack-O-Lantern  cookie cutter. Cook your grilled cheese sandwich as you normally would, and serve your kids a fun and healthy meal. Add veggies to your sandwich for an extra pack of protein. Baby spinach, tomatoes, and green and red bell peppers are excellent options!

 

Pumpkin Biscuits: Want a healthy alternative with a fall twist? Try using pumpkin butter as a substitute  in your next recipe. Your biscuits still come out fluffy and flavorful, but they will have less saturated fat and calories. Try sprinkling in some nutmeg or cinnamon for added seasoning. You won’t even need to add more butter to them when they are done, since there is plenty of seasoning with them on their own.

 

Fall Smoothies: Combine ice, pumpkin puree, milk and/or yogurt, a dash of pumpkin spice, and finish it off with a sprinkle of cinnamon. This pumpkin flavored smoothie is best  as a snack or a meal replacement. Enjoy it ice cold and blended to your desired consistency.

 

Candy Corn Fruit Cups: Combine orange and yellow fruit for a simple snack. Layer your orange fruit on the bottom of a mason jar and then add yellow fruit. Think oranges, pineapples, melon. Top with whipped cream.
Whether you need to host friends or family members, these clever ideas can help you serve seasonal snacks that aren’t full of added sugar. 

OVERNIGHT STEEL CUT OATS

overnight-steel-cut-oats

Overnight Steel Cut Oats are the best thing man has created! This is great for meal preps because you can make it on Sunday and it still be yummy by the end of the week! Also you can add just about anything you want and it will still taste amazing.

Whats the difference between Steel Cut Oats vs Old Fashion Oats? Steel Cut Oats are less processed than Old Fashion Oats. The calorie count is the same and the protein count is also the same. Steel cut oats take longer to cook and has zero grams of sugar!

OVERNIGHT STEEL CUT OATS

OVERNIGHT-STEEL- CUT- OATS

 

You will need: 

*Mason Jar 

*Almond Milk

*Steel Cut Oats

*Honey

*Vanilla or Original Greek Yogurt 

*Fresh fruit or dried fruit (like cranberries)

 

  1. In a mason jar put 1/4 cup of Steel Cut Oats at the bottom
  2. Add 1/4 cup of Almond Milk
  3. Add 2/3 cup of Greek Yogurt
  4. 1 tsp. of Honey
  5. Add your fruit

Put the lid on and set in the refrigerator until the next morning or when your ready! You don’t have to be a cook to get this right! My family loves it and when my baby first started eating regular table food this was perfect for her.

I hope you enjoy this recipe! 

 

4 INGREDIENTS THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR PROTEIN SHAKE

It taste like Reese's Peanut Butter #proteinshake #chocolateforbreakfast @eas

Having a protein shake is part of my morning like brushing my teeth (well besides coffee). When I first started my journey to get healthy, I wasn’t sure if I could hack drinking a protein shake all the time.

All of the protein shakes, no matter how expensive or cheap you can still taste the protein.  I am a Chocolate person and personally would rather have cookies and cake for breakfast but because I know I will gain tons of weight— well that’s not an option!

When I first starting losing weight I strictly did a protein shake or smoothie in the morning. I tried so many different powder proteins, that I have actually donated some to the gym I go to! I learned very quickly to make everything my own and get creative. These 4 ingredients will change your protein shake and your life, just be mindful that some ingredients will increase your calories in your protein shake.

Add Peanut Butter Powder Add a scope of Peanut Butter Powder. 2 Tbsp of powder peanut butter is only 45 calories compared to your Jiffy which is 190 calories!

Add 1/2 cup of Vanilla Almond Milk- With every protein mixture it tells you to add water. They suggest water because adding other liquids like Almond milk will increase the calorie intake. This is true so cute the calorie in half by add 1/2 cup! The vanilla almond milk will add another taste!

Add Fruit- This will also increase the calorie intake but I am a big fan of adding fruit. Adding a half of banana makes it taste like a chocolate, banana milk shake!

Add Iced Coffee- Instead of the almond milk or water add the Iced coffee! I love the Starbucks Iced coffee and sometimes you just need a pick me up! Super delicious!

There are so many options you can add to your protein shake. Shake it up a little!

What do you add to your protein shake? I want to hear from you!

 

4 Ingredients That Will Change Your Protein Shake

Meal Prepping Week Of August 7

Meal Prepping

Meal prepping and planning has to be a priority if you want to shed the weight and keep the weight off. When people ask me how I did it– well it’s simple– Move more eat less! Watch what you put in your mouth. You can’t eat 2 donuts and expect to lose weight because that was the only thing you had all day!



If your not sure how to meal prep check out this great post I wrote Meal Prep 101. I am thinking about starting a series but want to hear what you think of me helping you with your meal prep! I plan all my meals including dinner for the following week starting on Fridays and meal prep every Sunday. baked-chicken-meal

If you have not looked at Targets grocery section well you need to start. This chicken is originally$6 and I got it for $3! I love finding a good deal on anything but healthy food makes me feel like I have won the lottery. When buying chicken you should always make sure your chicken is 100% all real chicken because some chicken will say including RIB MEAT…..

meal-prep-august

Meal Prep Week of August 7

BreakfastBanana Almond Protein Muffins

Lunch– Baked Chicken (Trader Joes Seasoning) with a Spinach and Kale salad w/ cucumbers and tomatoes

Snack– Tangerine & Quest Bar ( not shown)

cucumber-ranch-hiddenvalley

I also tried the Hidden Valley Cucumber Ranch and it is so good! My kids also loved it with their carrots that I packed for lunch! Also these cute containers are from Walmart and I got these for $1.50 from their Back To School section! Meal prepping is the key to staying healthy, losing weight and not spending any unnecessary money on fast food. Sunday is a little hard but it is worth it because during the week it saves me time and money.

I want to hear from you, would you like me to help you on meal prepping and planning?




Banana Almond Protein Muffins

BANANA-ALMOND-PROTEIN

Protein pancakes are amazing but protein muffins are a little better! I will literally make my own recipe up and my husband is always thrilled to be my guinea pig!

Meal prepping is probably one of the hardest things I have had to do. Not when it comes to lunch but definitely when it comes to breakfast. I always say the only way you will not get bored with healthy lifestyle is if you try new things. I don’t always want the same baked chicken with veggies for lunch and thats when Pinterest can be your biggest support system.

kodiak-power-cakes

I came across this gem at my favorite store Target in the Pancake/ Breakfast food section. I never heard of Kodiak cakes but considering they were almost sold out, well I was sold on trying it.  I love how this mix can be used for so many different ways when it comes to food.kodiak-banana-cakes

I decided to make my own recipe for my meal prep and make muffins. 2 cups of the mix, 1 cup of water, 2 mashed up bananas, almonds, brown sugar, honey and a little vanilla extract made for a great breakfast. The kids and my husband were fighting over these because they only received 5 muffins to split because this mama had to take them for breakfast.




This is my first time using protein pancake mix and I am a big fan. I was always a Bisquick type of girl and grow up on that, which now my kids love this, after trying Kodiak Cakes I wont buy another brand. There are so many protein products that taste like protein but I forgot I was actually eating something healthy because it taste better than ihop pancakes. The best part is you can add anything to your protein muffins like more protein!

What do you like to eat in your Protein Muffins? I want to hear from you!

Breakfast Protein Banana Muffins

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Breakfast Protein Banana Muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 cups_Kodiak Power Cake Mix
  • 1 cup_Water
  • 2 Bananas
  • 1 cup_Almonds (chopped)
  • 1 tsp_Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp_ Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp_ Honey

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400*
  2. Mash the bananas in a bowl.
  3. After it is all mashed mix all ingredients together. Mix well.
  4. Put the mix in a 12 cup muffin pan.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes.
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GET IT TOGETHER LINK PARTY: RECIPE FEATURES + DIY LINK UP!

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While that link up was focused on social media networks, this NEW and improved link up is co-hosted by some of my favorite blog buddies and features #BloggersGetSocial! Bloggers Get Social is a network and accountability group, and I created it with the hopes of bringing new and veteran bloggers together to collaborate on their goals. With this link up, we hope to share the best home and organizational tips and tricks and focus on bringing YOUR content in front of new readers! Let’s get started!

Thanks for stopping by the Get It Together Link Up! This is a fun Monday blog hop and link party that encourages bloggers to share their best posts of the week in the following topics:

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Lemon Shrimp & Asparagus

Lemon Shrimp

Cooking has been very therapeutic all the days that I am not busy, probably because of the co-op I have joined. I am satisfied knowing that everything I am cooking for my family is fresh and healthy for them. Along with my lifestyle change my cooking has changed drastically. Fresh veggies like Asparagus and any kind of seafood like shrimp (families favorite) has been very important for dinner.



Stir-Fry in my house is a big hit. Not only for mommy because its always a less than 30 minutes meal but so does my kids and the husband. My 3 year old loves how there is always sauce on it because it probably reminds him chicken nuggets and BBQ sauce.

 

Ingredients
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed and each stalk cut into 3″ pieces
  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2 teaspoon ginger paste
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 pound large raw shrimp (peeled)
  • ⅔ cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  1. In a small bowl mix together chicken stock, soy sauce, sugar, lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of ginger. After it is put together set it aside.
  2. In a large pan heat tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high. Add shrimp to pan and cook until its slightly pink. Season with whatever salt product you want. Also add 1 tablespoon of ginger. I like to use seasoning salt or sea salt both are great. Shrimp needs to be a little undercooked.IMG_4070
  3. In the same frying pan add 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add asparagus to pan and cook for 2 minutes and turn over. The asparagus should turn bright green. Once it turns bright green add the shrimp you put aside and also add the lemon sauce you set aside. IMG_4058
  4. Cover with lid and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

 

I made this meal all the time for my family when I started my lifestyle change. I would serve them rice or noodles with it and I would have an extra serving of veggies. Now that my goal is to maintain it all, I still will rarely have carbs at dinner. Carbs just sit there and will turn into sugar and that sugar will make you gain weight. I am hoping that now that I only cook good food for my family that my kids will grow up to make healthy choices.

 




Top 5 Smoothie Recipes

TOP 5 SMOOTHIE

If you know me, well then you know I’m kind of obsessed with green smoothies! I have no idea why but I love shots of wheatgrass and will try almost any green smoothie! Green smoothies can be a hit or miss depending on who is making them and how heavy handed they are. I always make sure to watch my sugar intake because you can drink a smoothie everyday and think your losing weight. The amount of sugar in your smoothie can be the equivalent of eating 10 pancakes. Green smoothies were vital to losing weight because I would use it as a meal replacement and often times I would add protein to it, that way I know I am not missing anything!





Here are 5 of my top smoothie recipes:

  • 1 Cup Almond Milk
  • 1 big handful Kale
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 Cup of strawberries
  • Protein (optional) I always use vanilla protein

 

  • 1 Cup Almond Milk
  • 1 cup of Spinach
  • 1 cup of berries (blueberries, strawberries or raspberries)
  • 1/2 tsp honey
  • Protein (optional)

 

  • 1 cup of Almond Milk
  • 1 cup of Carrots
  • 1/2 Apple (Skin off)
  • 3/4 cup frozen pineapples
  • 1 cup kale
  • 1/2 banana

 

  • 1 cup of greek yogurt (plain)
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup of OJ
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • Protein optional

 

 

IMG_3675

My favorite and the one on my instagram @allaboutdenea

  • 1 tsp almond butter
  • 1 cup Almond Milk
  • 1 cup Kale
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen peaches
  • 1/2 cup of frozen strawberries

With all of these smoothies blend until smooth and serve over ice! You can use smoothies as a meal replacement, drink them before the gym or after you workout. It has been vital in my journey of losing weight. I suggest also investing in a great protein. There are many out there and some are really expensive and some are cheap but make sure you check your labels!