Skinny Raspberry Margaritas

Skinny Raspberry Margaritas

Writing your dissertation = need for alcohol.

I could end this post without saying another word, but that would be weird.

I love fruity margaritas. But, there is one problem with most margaritas you get out at your local Mexican restaurant or in the liquor store. Any guesses? Ok, I’ll tell you. Sugar. So much sugar. I HATE drinks that taste like pure sugar. Blech. No good.

And ok, so I lied. There is actually more than one problem with store-bought margaritas. I don’t like mixes. And I don’t like all the calories. So there are three problems (yes, I can count gooder than you think. And yes, I just said gooder).

I love me a Skinnygirl Margarita because it has a nice light taste and it’s not loaded with sugar. I really like fruity margaritas so I attempted to do my own twist on the Skinnygirl Marg with a Skinny Raspberry Margarita. My goal was to use as many natural ingredients as possible and to keep the calorie count low. This margarita comes in around 160 calories. The average calories in a regular margarita can range anywhere from 300-750 calories. So, I consider this a win in the calorie department.

Now, I only used fresh raspberry puree. The raspberry flavor in these margaritas is very subtle. If you want it to be fruitier, then I recommend making more of the puree. Or, you can always add some raspberry liquor or triple sec! If you prefer a frozen marg, just throw all of the ingredients in a blender with some ice and there you go! This margarita is perfect to serve at your Cinco De Mayo party!

Peanut Butter Coconut Protein Bars

Peanut Butter Coconut Protein Bars

I don’t eat protein bars too often, but sometimes when I have a crazy day at work and don’t really have time for breakfast or lunch, having a bar in my bag is a life saver. And alright, so this is not my prettiest recipe. I won’t deny that. BUT, trust me when I say that these protein bars are delicious! I hate buying protein bars at the store. At $3 a bar, it adds up fast. These bars are super simple to make and I bet you already have most the ingredients in your kitchen.

I went ahead and calculated the calories for these bars and without the chocolate topping, you are looking at around 263 calories a bar. Certainly not a low calorie snack, but keep in mind that these bars are really meant to be eaten as a meal replacement or as a pre/post workout snack. Although it may not look like it from the photos, I added a thin layer of chocolate on top. While the chocolate certainly makes these more tasty, it also adds calories, so use the chocolate at your own discretion! The great thing about this recipe is you can really tweak it to meet your own dietary needs. I think the key is that you have to use some type of flour to bind the other ingredients together.

These bars are best eaten chilled or out of the freezer. I put mine in a lunch bag with a freezer pack along with my other snacks for the day. The bars get a little crumbly as they get to room temperature, but either way, I think they still taste good!

Peanut Butter Coconut Protein Bars

Yield: 8 bars

Peanut Butter Coconut Protein Bars

Peanut Butter Coconut Protein Bars

Making your own protein bars is seas and tastes so much better than the packaged stuff!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 small ripe banana, mashed
  • 2 tbs. honey or agave nectar (optional or to taste)
  • 1 tbs. coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup oat flour (or whole wheat flour)
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • 3 scoops vanilla whey protein powder (can also use rice protein powder to make vegan)
  • 1/2-3/4 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips + 1/2 tsp. vanilla (both optional)

Instructions

  1. Combine the banana, honey, coconut oil, and peanut butter in a bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the oat flour, oats, coconut, and protein powder.
  3. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until well-combined.
  4. Prepare a baking sheet with foil or wax paper. Divide the batter into 8 equal portions. Shape into bars and place on the baking sheet. If not using chocolate, transfer directly to the freezer or fridge.
  5. If you want to add the chocolate topping, melt the chocolate in the microwave or over a double boiler. Stir in the vanilla extract. Spoon the chocolate over each bar and then place into the freezer or fridge.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 263

Peanut Butter Coconut Protein Bars

Strawberry Avocado Salsa with Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Chips

Strawberry Avocado Salsa with Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Chips

Oi. I’m having extreme difficulty typing this. I’m suffering from the fondue sweats. For those of you who are not familiar with the fondue sweats, it is what happens to you when you consume copious amounts of cheese, chicken and steak, and chocolate fondue. It is both wonderful and the worst thing ever all at the same time. I think I ate enough to hold me over for the entire week. Ok, that is a big exaggeration, but still, you get the point…

Yesterday was the Hubs’ 30th birthday! When it comes to birthdays, he never wants anybody to make a fuss. He would probably have been happy if I made Kraft mac and cheese. Bless his heart. But I, on the other hand, do care about birthdays, and a nice dinner was in order. We always do fondue for special occasions. I contemplated making some crazy cupcake, but dipping bananas and pound cake into chocolate was PLEN-TY!

Strawberry Avocado Salsa with Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Chips

Our fridge has been stocked with crazy amounts of strawberries over the last couple of weeks. I just can’t get enough! I wanted a snack and wanted to use some strawberries, but also wanted to do something a little different. This salsa is SO good! The combo of the strawberries and the avocado work so well together. The strawberries give it a touch of sweetness and the avocado adds a wonderful creamy texture. I ate mine with some whole wheat tortillas that I toasted in the oven with a lil’ cinnamon and sugar sprinkled on top! Perfect!

Mikey’s Key Lime Pie

So, this Easter, my brother, Mikey, and I volunteered to make the desserts. Mikey started making this key lime pie a couple of years ago for our family get-togethers. This year, I also made a pie since we had a big group and one pie wouldn’t be enough. I opted for a strawberry pie (recipe coming soon). Mikey made his key lime pie Saturday afternoon and then I made mine Saturday night. After I stuck my pie in the oven, I went upstairs to play Disney’s Sing It with our younger brother, Nick. All of the sudden right in the middle of singing Selena Gomez’s awful version of “It’s Magic”, my aunt and stepdad came rushing into the room screaming that my pie was burning and that Mike didn’t want to take it out of the oven because he wanted to sabotage my pie. What the heck?! Why is nobody removing my pie from the oven it if is burning?!! I raced downstairs to the kitchen to find everyone just sitting around the table laughing and talking. Again, I ask, WHAT THE HECK, PEOPLE?!!

Turns out, my pie was not really burning, but some of the strawberry goodness leaked over the crust and dripped onto the bottom of the oven so it just smelled like it was burning. Talk about blowing things out of proportion. But, still, Mike had a dirty look on his face. Apparently, this was a competition. Mike said my pie looked like a meat pie! How rude!

On Easter, we all couldn’t wait to dig into our pies. To be diplomatic, everyone in the family had a little slice of both because let’s face it, if you choose only one, then you are saying you love the other person more. We contemplated having an anonymous voting system, but I mean, this was a holiday after all. No voting necessary. Both pies were demolished by the fam. I declared both pies a success. Not sure if Mikey agrees though…

But, seriously, Mikey makes a good key lime pie. And I don’t even normally like key lime pie as it is often too sweet for me, but this pie is perfect. My favorite part is that he infuses the whipped cream with lime juice and lime zest. Here is Mikey’s recipe!

Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken

Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken

You know how when you go out of town for a long weekend, then drive back to your house and then feel like doing absolutely nothing? Yeah, that was me yesterday after we finally got home last night. I wanted to put on jammies, order in, and relax. But nooo, we had to go to the grocery store (which you know I do not enjoy) because we had no food in the house, and worst of all, it was dinner time. Oh Lordy. The grocery store was out of control. We could barely find a place to park. There were people everywhere. And the produce section was wiped clean. Couldn’t get green onion, couldn’t get cilantro, couldn’t get good strawberries. WHY?! It’s like there is really nothing to do in this town except go to the grocery store.

And after a long day at work today, another slow cooker recipe was definitely in order. Hubs loves to order Chinese, but I don’t like to order it very often as it is not the healthiest thing to order. I’ve been wanting to try some new Chinese recipes that I can make at home. I love sesame chicken and I love honey chicken. What better idea than to combine the two?! This version skips the heavy breading and you can tweak the sauce to meet your needs. I used a little honey, low sodium soy sauce, and reduced sugar ketchup. Serve this chicken over rice, quinoa, noodles, and/or veggies!

Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken

Lemon Rosemary White Bean Dip

Lemon Rosemary White Bean Dip

Good morning, friends! I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend! We went to my mom’s for the weekend and had a great time visiting with family from out of town. I spent most of Saturday afternoon making manicotti shells for our Easter feast. 40 shells. One.At.A.Time. But, it was so worth it because the meal was so delicious!

I also tried to take some photos of some of the desserts we made. Taking photos outside your own home is a little tough. This was especially difficult with my mom and brother trying to help style my photos. “No, Mom, the random pair of decorative Chinese slippers you found in the hutch do not go with my strawberry pie just because they are red.” And, “No, Mike, the mini Cinderella pumpkin carriage does not go with my pie either.” Umm…yeah…

Let’s move to this dip for now. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m a snacker. I also love dip. Hummus is definitely one of my faves. I had a craving for some last week, but I had no chick peas. I did have some white beans though. Why the heck not? This dip is lemony, garlicky, so yummy, and ready in a flash. White beans are perfect for dips because they get all smooth and creamy. Serve the dip with veggies, pretzels, or crackers.

Lemon Rosemary White Bean Dip

Yield: 4-6 servings

Lemon Rosemary White Bean Dip

Lemon Rosemary White Bean Dip

Lemon Rosemary White Bean Dip - easy low-fat dip made with white beans and fresh lemon juice.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 can white beans, drained (can use cannelini or northern beans)
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2-3 tsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Add the beans, garlic cloves, lemon zest, and lemon juice to the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. With the machine running, drizzle the olive oil into the bowl. Add in the rosemary and salt and pepper to taste, blend until combined. Add more olive oil if you want a smoother consistency. Transfer to a bowl and serve.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 185Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 436mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 5gSugar: 0gProtein: 8g

Lemon Rosemary White Bean Dip