Eat. Drink. Love.

Chicken Sausage and Kale Pasta

Chicken Sausage and Kale Pasta

When you start a food blog, you challenge yourself every week to come up with new recipe ideas. While this process is usually really fun, my brain has been feeling so “blah” lately. Long work hours have me coming home totally exhausted and not even in the mood to cook and experiment. We try to only buy dinner out on Fridays and cook at home the rest of the week. It’s cheaper and healthier so I have been pushing through!

With this little slump I have been stuck in, I have been making really quick and easy dinners (which is totally not a bad thing!). I think most of the stuff I post here is easy because I know we all be busy peeps! This chicken sausage and kale pasta is one of those dishes. Truthfully, I’m not a big sausage person. I don’t dislike it, but it’s also not my first choice, but my husband loves it so I have been trying to incorporate it more into some of our meals. Chicken sausage seemed like a very fair compromise and he didn’t even notice the difference!

Chicken Sausage and Kale Pasta

This is a very versatile dish actually. You can use whatever type of pasta you want (regular, low carb, whole wheat, etc.). If you don’t love chicken sausage, you can use regular pork or turkey sausage or heck, even just plain chicken if you wanted! I loaded mine up with fresh kale, but you can get crazy with your veggies too with broccoli and/or spinach. Load it up! The more veggies, the better, right?!

Homemade Coffee Creamer: Vanilla Almond and Chocolate

Homemade Coffee Creamer

Have you ever looked at the ingredients in coffee creamers? I recently did and it kind of freaked me out. So many weird chemicals and loads of trans fats. Despite the fact that they are yummy, it grossed me out and I have started making my own at home.

Homemade Coffee Creamer

I’ve seen a lot of people use heavy cream or condensed milk which while I know it adds a nice creamy texture, I don’t want the fat that comes along with it. So my base for my homemade creamers is..you ready? It’s really complicated. Ok, it’s fat free half and half. Yup, that’s it. Fat free half and half and then you just mix in whatever flavors you want! It takes no time to make and you’ll feel much better knowing you aren’t drinking tons of weird ingredients!

Today I am sharing my two favorite flavor combos I have created thus far: Vanilla Almond and Chocolate. The flavor combos and possibilities are really endless here though. Just stir in your favorite extracts and sweeten however you like (if at all!)! It shouldn’t be any surprise to you guys that the chocolate is my favorite. Though, the vanilla almond is also really addicting and I love the nutty flavor it adds to my coffee!

Homemade Coffee Creamer

Chicken Madeira

Chicken Madeira

Today we are going to talk about The Cheesecake Factory. I love it. So many delicious things going on there. Oh, and cheesecake. Lots and lots of heavenly cheesecake.

You know what else The Cheesecake Factory has a lot of? Calories. Fat. I could go on and on. While I have a handful of dishes I really enjoy ordering, the amount of fat and calories in a lot of their dishes is downright ridiculous. Part of this is due to the fact that their serving sizes are often enough to feed a small family.

Their Chicken Madeira is one of my favorites. Sauteed chicken smothered in butter and a delicious wine sauce served with a mountain of mashed potatoes. While it is super delicious, the calories are just too much for me to bear. The dish (not including the mashed potatoes) has 1020 calories and 30 grams of fat. Yes, this is a lot.

I’ve been wanting to attempt to make it at home myself and finally got around to it last weekend. It was really simple and my version cuts half the calories and fat! While it’s still a heavier dish than we normally eat, I think it’s fine for a nice Sunday dinner! I’m not sure how much butter is usually used in CF version, but this version doesn’t require much. I also cut out the cheese. While I love cheese, it’s just not necessary here. The Madeira wine sauce is really flavorful on it’s own!

Chicken Madeira

Raspberry Almond Smoothie

Raspberry Almond Smoothie

February is American Heart Month and although the month is almost ever, I say it’s never too late to be thinking about heart health! Driscoll’s is celebrating Heart Health Month and asked me to create a recipe using their delicious berries!

When it comes to heart health, raspberries are one of the best foods you can eat. They are packed with fiber and vitamin C. Red raspberries contain a compound called anthocyanin. Some studies have shown that anthocyanins reduce the risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Anthocyanins are also good for protecting your eye sight from deterioration. Raspberries can also prevent and help regulate blood sugar levels. Raspberries have so many health benefits!

Raspberry Almond Smoothie

I have been making lots of coconut almond smoothies lately. It’s definitely one of my favorites. It’s so creamy it tastes more like dessert. For this smoothie, I swapped out the coconut milk for almond milk and added lots of fresh raspberries! This smoothie is the best of both worlds because it is still creamy and dessert-like, but it also has a nice fruity flavor from the raspberries. And also, look at the pretty color! It’s so girly, I’m kind of obsessed and it makes me want to pile on a bunch of sprinkles.

Breakfast Brownies

Breakfast Brownies

Sayyyyy what? Brownies. For breakfast. And if it’s not a thing now, I hereby declare that they are a thing. Starting now.

These brownies are all kinds of amazing, yet they are totally healthy which means that you can eat them pretty much whenever you want, including breakfast! You’re welcome.

Breakfast Brownies

Seriously, look how chocolatey they are! And you don’t need any butter, eggs, or sugar to make them. These are brownies you can feel good about eating!

If you have been to my blog before, you know I love making breakfast cookies. They are easy to bake up and portable so you eat them anywhere! And if you give a girl a cookie, she’s going to want…a brownie.

These brownies are made with everything I love about my breakfast cookies: oats, banana, applesauce, coconut oil, flax, and sweetened with agave nectar. But then, there is the chocolate! All kinds of good stuff. They are under 150 calories each which means you can eat two (maybe 3!). I actually have also been stealing them for a dessert or snack too. I like eating them straight from the fridge and they almost have a fudge-like texture which makes them seem like they should be so wrong!

Breakfast Brownies

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos

I think I could eat tacos every single day of my life and be totally happy. The ingredient and flavor possibilities are basically endless which means I’ll never get tired of them.

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos

I want to stuff these sweet potato and black bean tacos in my face right now. For breakfast. That’s how good they are.

They are also ridiculously easy to prepare so they are great for lunch or an easy weeknight meal. Done and done in just under 30 minutes. Obviously, they are also meatless which means your veggie and vegan friends will love you forever and always. But you carnivores need not worry, you don’t need the meat. Sweet potatoes and black beans are plenty filling, trust me, okay? I had some shredded cabbage in my fridge so I threw it on top and it was pretty much perfect because it added some crunch. Oh, then cilantro, I know some of you hate it, but I piled it on. I didn’t even need to add cheese, and that’s saying a lot my friends! I did have to add some sour cream though, because I cannot just not be stopped there.

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos