High Fiber Orange Chocolate Cookie Dough Bars

 
High Fiber Orange Chocolate Cookie Dough Bars
 

These HIgh Fiber Orange Chocolate Cookie Dough Bars are also vegan and high(er) protein. And can be made gluten free if needed! Everyone is sure to love them! Serve as a snack, or pair one with some plain yogurt for a filling and balanced breakfast. 

This recipe was sponsored by Bob's Red Mill. All ideas and thoughts are my own. 


High Fiber Orange Chocolate Cookie Dough Bars

High Fiber Orange Chocolate Cookie Dough Bars

4 cups Bob's Red Mill Oat Flour*

1 can low sodium black beans, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup avocado oil

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup 100% orange juice

Zest from one orange

3/4 cup chocolate chips

Crushed walnuts for topping

*If you need gluten free, add 4 1/2 cups gluten free oats to a blender and pulse until ground. Then follow insutructions below...

Blend all ingredients (except chocolate chips and walnuts; and only add 1/2 Tbsp orange zest at this time) in a food processor for about a minute until batter is a smooth consistency. You may need to stop the food processor once and scrape down the sides.

Once the batter is one consistency (it will be very thick, like cookie dough), remove the blade. Spread half the batter into a greased square pan. Top with 1/4 cup chocolate chips, then spread the second half of the batter on top. Sprinkle with 2 tsp orange zest.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

About 5 minutes before the bars are done, melt the remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips in the microwave. Remove the bars from the oven and immediately poor the melted chocolate over the top. Spread it to cover the bars. Top with crushed walnuts and remaining orange zest. Let the bars cool in the pan on a wire rack. Once they are cooled completely, cut them and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days... that is if there's any left! 

*Note on texture: These are a very dense bar, and thus VERY filling! A little goes a long way!


Gluten Free Oatmeal Peanut Butter Lace Cookies

 
Gluten Free Oatmeal Peanut Butter Lace Cookies
 

These Gluten Free Oatmeal Peanut Butter Lace Cookies were a staple in our house growing up (the non-gluten free version that is). And once I got to an age where I could make them myself, they were a request of all my friends in high school and college! Fast forward 10 years later when my husband was diagnosed with celiac disease, and I was determined to come up with a gluten free version he could enjoy! They're great for summer as a fun light treat after dinner, or even better crumbled up on top of ice cream!

This recipe was sponsored by Bob's Red Mill. All ideas and thoughts are my own. 


Gluten Free Oatmeal Peanut Butter Lace Cookies

Gluten Free Oatmeal Peanut Butter Lace Cookies

1 cup coconut sugar

1/4 cup Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp salt

4 Tbsp butter, melted

2 eggs, beaten

4 Tbsp creamy unsweetened peanut butter, melted

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup gluten free rolled oats

Pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees. Line baking sheets with foil. 

Combine the coconut sugar, gluten free flour blend, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix briefly to combine. Add the remaining ingredients (except the oats) and mix for 60 seconds. Remove the bowl from the mixer and mix in the oats by hand. 

Drop the batter by tablespoons about 3 inches apart on the foil lined baking sheets (they will spread out a ton!) Bake until golden brown and crispy, approximately 13-15 minutes. Carefully slide the tin foil off the baking sheets and let the cookies cool completely before removing them from the foil. (Getting the cookies off the foil takes a little bit of finesse :-) Make sure to be very light with your touch and gentle when pulling them off the foil... they're very delicate cookies!)

Store the cookies in a sealed container on the counter for up to three days. Enjoy!


2-ingredient Granola Bars

 
2-ingredient granola bars
 

These granola bars are so simple, your kids could make them with little to no help! They're gluten free, dairy free, and very low in sugar! And since they're stored int he freezer, they're super refreshing on a busy spring or summer afternoon!

This recipe was sponsored by Bob's Red Mill. All ideas and thoughts are my own. 


2-ingredient Granola Bars

2-ingredient granola bars

2 cups Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Muesli *

1/2 cup unsweetened cashew butter

Combine the Muesli and cashew butter in a medium sized bowl. Using a rubber spatula, stir until fully combined. Press the mixture into a loaf pan lined with parchment paper. Use another piece of parchment paper to firmly press down on the top. Place in the freezer for 4 hours. Slice and enjoy! Store in the freezer.


No Added Sugar Orange Creamsicles

 
no added sugar orange creamsicles
 

These No Added Sugar Orange Creamsicles are sweetened with just the natural goodness of Florida Orange Juice. It's the classic morning drink. Refreshing, smooth, and delicious. Florida Orange Juice has been a staple in our American diet for decades.

Some pretty cool health benefits...

Not only does Florida Orange Juice taste amazing, but it's also got a lot going for it on the inside too. A single 8oz. glass will provide over 100% of your daily Vitamin C needs, and is also a good source of potassium, folate, and thiamin. Over the years, research has shown postiive associations between consuming Florida Orange Juice as part of a balanced diet and weight management, bone health, brain health, heart health, skin health, and more. And contrary to popular belief, consuming orange juice as a part of a healthy, balanced, and intentional diet, does not increase your risk for diabetes or other metabolic disorders. You can read more about that here.

The recommended Florida Orange Juice serving size for adults is 8oz., and a 4-6oz. glass for kids.

A few things to keep in mind...

Over the last several years, Florida Orange Juice (and other juices too) seems to have gotten a bad wrap health-wise. But, take it from this diabetic dietitian, there are a few things to consider before you go writing Florida Orange Juice off...

  • Note the recommended serving size for Florida Orange Juice is only 8oz. It only takes one small cup to give you ALL of these amazing health benefits. 
  • Florida Orange Juice is not meant to replace your water intake throughout the day. (This is where some people can get themselves in trouble with all beverages in general when they start to replace what should be water with something else.)
  • Many "juices" on the market, actually have a lot of added sugar. This means that in addition to the natural sugars found in juice, manufacturers are adding additional sweeteners. The great thing about Florida Orange Juice is there is never any added sugar. Just the delicious, and natural, sweetness of Florida oranges. 
 
No Added Sugar Orange Creamsicles
 

How a diabetic dietitian drinks her Florida OJ...

But, I get it... you're probably still wondering how in the world someone like myself can still enjoy a good glass of Florida Orange Juice?? Well, it all comes down to one of the first things I mentioned above... Florida Orange Juice is meant to be part of a well balanced and intentional diet.

Yes, Florida Orange Juice has natural sugar in it. About 21g in an 8oz. glass to be exact. (Compare that to the sugar content of your favorite smoothie, or restaurant juice.) So if I were to drink it by itself with nothing else, yes, it would spike my blood sugar. Just like eating a banana, or some dried fruit by itself would. But that's where that whole balanced diet thing comes in.

Whether you're diabetic or not, we shouldn't be eating (or drinking) foods in isolation. This means that everytime you eat, or drink, we should be combining carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. When we eat foods and drinks that have all three of these nutrients, digestion happens at a slow and steady pace. Meaning we're energized and satisfied for hours to come. 

How do I, as a diabetic dietitian, enjoy my Florida Orange Juice? I'll pair a 6-8oz. glass with any of the following:

  • a few scrambled eggs
  • plain yogurt with peanut butter
  • an omelet with cheese and veggies

A few notes about added sugar...

If you've read even just one article on my website or taken a look at any of my recipes, you've probably noticed I like to keep sugar content low and added sugar as close to zero as I can.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that no more than 10% of calories come from ADDED sugar. Most people eat or drink way more than that. In fact, it’s estimated that nearly half of all added sugars in our diets come from the things we drink. I always encourage people to check ingredient lists and labels for added sugar content.

Naturally occurring sugars are meant to be there. They exist in perfect balance with other naturally occurring nutrients. It's easier for our bodies to digest natural sugars than added sugars. But, just like any other food, you can take it too far. Even natural sugars can become unhealthy when eaten in excess.

What about kids?

Kids can safely consume 4-6oz. of 100% orange juice each day as part of a balanced diet. Assuming we're doing the best we can to limit the amount of added sugars they are consuming, the sugar found in 100% Florida Orange Juice isn't a big deal. When paired with the right foods, as I described above, and when drinking the right portion sizes, kids can get some of those amazing health benefits without worrying about getting too much sugar.

 
 I made these fun little orange juice cups for my girls a while back. I bought some larger mason jar glasses from the dollar store that had the lids with a straw hole already cut out. I just tranferred them to some smaller 4oz. jars and added a cute straw and they love them! This teaches them to view 100% orange juice just like they do any other food, and that we are intentional about drinking it. And that it doesn't replace their water since I don't serve it in the same cup.

I made these fun little orange juice cups for my girls a while back. I bought some larger mason jar glasses from the dollar store that had the lids with a straw hole already cut out. I just tranferred them to some smaller 4oz. jars and added a cute straw and they love them! This teaches them to view 100% orange juice just like they do any other food, and that we are intentional about drinking it. And that it doesn't replace their water since I don't serve it in the same cup.

 

Let's get to cooking (and baking)...

You probably figured this is where this was going :-) Florida Orange Juice, in addition to all the points I made above, is also a great way to add natural sweetness (and great orange flavor) to some of your favorite recipes. Like these No Added Sugar Orange Creamsicles... they're a great example of combining the amazing taste and nutrition of Florida Orange Juice with some quality protein and fat sources. And they're very kid friendly! What kid doesn't love a good popsicle in the summer?! Gluten free, dairy free, and nut free (see substitution options)... everyone will love these!

This recipe was sponsored by Florida Orange Juice. All thoughts and ideas are my own. 


 
no added sugar orange creamsicles
 

No Added Sugar Orange Creamsicles

2- 2 1/2 cups Florida Orange Juice

1 15oz. can coconut milk or cream*

1/4 cup ground chia seeds

1/4 cup hemp seeds

* If you have a nut allergy in your house, you can replace the coconut milk with another milk or cream of your choice

Add the Florida Orange Juice, the whole can of coconut cream, ground chia seeds, and hemp seeds to the blender jar, and blend on high for 20-30 seconds. Pour the Orange Creamsicle mixture into popsicle molds or ice cube trays and freeze for at least four hours. Enjoy!

For more Florida OJ recipes and nutrition information you can head over to the Florida Orange Juice website to learn more!

 
no added sugar orange creamsicles
 

Bacon Wrapped Balsamic Peaches

 
bacon wrapped balsamic peaches
 

Everything tastes better with bacon right?? These Bacon Wrapped Balsamic Peaches are to die for! The flavors combine together so well for the perfect appetizer or snack!

*Note: you can use fresh peaches with this recipe for Bacon Wrapped Balsamic Peaches, however, starting with frozen peaches makes them much easier to assemble!

This recipe was sponsored by Sprouts Farmers Market. All thoughts and ideas are my own. 


Bacon Wrapped Balsamic Peaches

bacon wrapped balsamic peaches

1 cup frozen peach slices*

6 strips of uncured bacon

Sprouts Brand Organic Balsamic Glaze

Place a cooling rack inside a baking sheet as shown. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. 

Carefully cut the strips of bacon vertically, down the middle so you have 12 thin strips of bacon. 

Gently wrap each strip around a frozen peach slice, and place on top of the baking rack with the end of the bacon strip facing down. Repeat this with 11 more peach slices. Make sure to arrange them at least one inch apart on the rack.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the bacon is cooked through.

Remove the pan from the oven and drizzle with the Organic Balsamic Glaze. Enjoy!

 
Bacon wrapped balsamic peaches
 

Beet and Tuna Salad Wraps

 
Beet and Tuna Salad Wraps
 

This Beet and Tuna Salad Wrap recipe is so simple and makes for the perfect quick lunch! Only takes about 5 minutes to prep. Get creative with the filling too, try a flavored mayo, or maybe add in some chia or flax seeds for crunch as well!

This recipe was sponsored by Love Beets. All thoughts and ideas expressed are my own. 


Beet and Tuna Salad Wraps

Beet and Tuna Salad Wraps

Yield: 4 small wraps

5oz. canned tuna, drained

2 Tbsp avocado oil mayo

2 Love Beets White Wine and Balsamic Beets, chopped

2 large Swiss Chard leaves

In a small bowl combine the canned tuna, mayo, and chopped beets. Mix them together until combined. 

Gently lay out 2 large swiss chard leaves. Using a sharp knife, cut out the stem of each leaf, so you are left with two long thin leaves. 

Spread the tuna salad mixture over each leaf (you should have 4 now) and gently roll them up. Secure with a toothpick if needed and enjoy!


Raspberry Macadamia Nut Overnight French Toast Casserole for Mother's Day

 
Raspberry Macadamia Nut Overnight French Toast Casserole for Mother's Day
 

Mother's Day breakfast is always such a special opportunity to shower your mom with love and attention (or to let your own kids shower you with said love and attention!). This Raspberry Macadamia Nut Overnight French Toast Casserole for Mother's Day needs to be on your menu!

...BUT, if you're like me and do a majority of the cooking in your home (or let's be real, ALL of the cooking), expecting a gourmet breakfast in bed on Mother's Day might be a little unrealistic.

I remember one day when we were expecting our oldest daughter, I knew I was going to have to be at work late and wouldn't be home to cook dinner for my husband that night. So, being the good financially-responsible wife that I was, I got everything set up on the counter and stove for him to make himself some spaghetti for dinner so he wouldn't have to get takeout. We reviewed the steps for how to prep things. Talked about the order he should do things in. I even pre-filled the pasta pot with water and had it waiting on the stove for him! 

So, I get home later that night and what do I walk into our kitchen to find?? A pot full of water on the stove, an unopened box of pasta on the counter, and a pound of raw ground beef still in our refrigerator... And a knife in the sink with the tell-tale remnants of a PB&J sandwich...His dinner of choice for many years before he met me. (To his credit though, the man does all the cleaning in our house... yes, you read that correctly. Can't remember the last time, I had to mop the floors or vacuum!)

But don't worry, whether your significant other (and kids) are experienced in the kitchen or are like my husband,  I've got you covered!

The best thing about overnight casseroles is they're usually pretty easy to prep... just mixing some ingredients and a little assembly and in the fridge it goes on the night before. And then you just have to pop it in the oven in the morning. 

So your family can make it for you, or you can make it for yourself, and all it needs is a quick run in the oven on Mother's Day!

 
Raspberry Macadamia Nut Overnight French Toast Casserole for Mother's Day
 

What's so special about this Raspberry Macadamia Nut Overnight French Toast Casserole for Mother's Day?

All the flavors in this casserole (raspberries, white chocolate, macadamia nut, vanilla, almond, cinnamon, maple... yes, there's a lot!) combine together into the most decadent tasting sweet breakfast you've ever had! AND it's lower in sugar than most recipes like this. With just a small amount of maple syrup and the natural sweetness of frozen raspberries this is one Mother's Day breakfast that won't leave you with a sugar crash afterwards. In fact, frozen raspberries are a great way to add some natural sweetness to your breakfast any time of year... they're always in season in your freezer! Read more about that here.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab your bread, eggs, milk, frozen raspberries, and all the other goods, and get to prepping!

This recipe was sponsored by the National Processed Raspberry Association. All thoughts and ideas are my own. 


Raspberry Macadamia Nut Overnight French Toast Casserole for Mother's Day

 
Raspberry Macadamia Nut Overnight French Toast Casserole for Mother's Day
 
 
 

Paleo Lemon Poppyseed Bread

 
paleo lemon poppyseed bread
 

This Paleo Lemon Poppyseed bread is the perfect punch of lemon flavor, and just a very subtle hint of banana. Great for breakfast, snack or dessert, it's a super moist and dense bread that will leave you satisfied and energized!

This recipe was sponsored by Bob's Red Mill. All ideas and thoughts are my own. 


Paleo Lemon Poppyseed Bread

paleo lemon poppyseed bread

2 ripe bananas

1/2 cup coconut oil

2 eggs

Zest and juice from one lemon

3/4 cup coconut sugar

1 cup almond flour

1/2 cup coconut flour

3 tsp baking powder

1 tsp xanthan gum

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup Bob's Red Mill poppyseeds *

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.

Add the bananas to the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, beat them until mostly liquid looking. While the mixer is still running, add in the coconut oil, eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Let it blend until fully combined. Stop the mixer. 

Add in coconut sugar and beat for 10-15 seconds. Stop the mixer again, making sure to scrape down the sides if needed. 

Add in all the remaining ingredients, except the poppyseeds, and beat again until smooth. 

Remove the bowl from the mixer, making sure to scrape down the mixer attachment too. Gently stir in the poppyseeds. 

Spread the batter into the parchment-lined loaf pan. Bake for 55-60 minutes until the top is golden brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. 

Let the Paleo Lemon Poppyseed Bread cool in the pan for 5-7 minutes, then gently pull up on the parchment paper to remove the loaf from the pan. Let it cool completely on a wire rack before slicing. Enjoy!


Gluten Free Breakfast Cookies

 
Gluten Free Breakfast Cookies
 

These Gluten Free Breakfast Cookies are a great way to get your kids in the kitchen. Very simple to make. They're also dairy free, vegan, and high in fiber.  Feel free to add some fresh fruit, nut butter or nuts as toppings as well! But don't forget the muesli! It adds the perfect hint of sweetness and crunch on top!

This recipe was sponsored by Bob's Red Mill. All ideas and thoughts are my own. 


Gluten Free Breakfast Cookies

Gluten Free Breakfast Cookies

1 1/2 cup gluten free rolled oats

2 ripe bananas, mashed

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup melted coconut butter

1/2 cup Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Muesli *

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Combine the rolled oats, mashed banana, and cinnamon in a bowl and mix together until well combined. Let the batter/dough sit for 10 minutes. Using a small scoop (I used a cookie scoop), scoop the dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Gently press the dough balls into flat circles. 

Bake for 12-15 minutes until cookies are slightly browned and set. Remove from the oven and carefully transfer cookies to a rack to cool completely. 

Once cooled completely, drizzle with melted cconut butter and top with muesli. Enjoy!

 
Gluten Free Breakfast Cookies
 

Gluten Free Texas Kolaches

 
Gluten Free Texas Kolaches
 

Ever since we found out my husband had Celiac disease, he's been begging me to find a way to make some Gluten Free Texas Kolaches. (Around here, we grew up with meat and other things stuffed inside dough being called a kolache.) These are melt in your mouth delicious and have a hidden sweet treat inside for the perfect salty/sweet combo!

This recipe was sponsored by Natural Delights Medjool Dates. All thoughts and ideas are my own. 


Gluten Free Texas Kolaches

Gluten Free Texas Kolaches

Yield: 6 kolaches

1 batch Gluten Free Cheese Roll Dough

12 Natural Delights™ Pitted Medjool dates

4 oz. uncured sausage of choice (You can use chopped up sausage or small mini links as shown)

Melted butter or coconut oil

Prepare cheese roll dough as directed here (or use a store bought mix.) Refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours. Once chilled and firm, using wet hands divide the dough into 6 balls and then flatten each ball into a circle, getting them as flat as possible.

Carefully slice open (vertically) 12 Medjool dates. Place as much chopped sausage (or a small link) inside one Medjool date, and then top with another sliced Medjool date completely surrounding the sausage. 

Take one dough circle and wrap it around a stuffed Medjool date, pinching at the seems to seal the date and sausage inside. Repeat with the other 5 circles. Place the dough balls in the freezer and freeze for at least 4 hours or until frozen through. 

Remove the frozen dough balls from the freezer. Brush each with a small amount of butter or coconut oil. and arrange on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake on 350 for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes before eating. Enjoy!

Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or freeze. 

 
Gluten Free Texas Kolaches
 

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Mini Cheesecakes

 
Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Mini Cheesecakes
 

These Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Mini Cheesecakes are perfect for any gathering, or just a night at home. With such a simple, high fiber and high protein crust, thanks to the Darj 

This recipe was sponsored by Zing Bars. All ideas and thoughts are my own. 


Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Mini Cheesecakes

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Mini Cheesecakes

Yield: 6 mini cheesecakes

2 Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Zing Bars (Shop here and use code MILKNHONEY10 for 10% off your order!)

1/2 cup soft goat cheese or cream cheese

1/4 cup all natural peanut butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 Tbsp maple syrup

1 egg

Have all ingredients at room temperature.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Crush/crumble the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Zing Bars into pieces. You can do this by hand, and just heat them up in the microwave for 10-15 seconds first. This helps get them nice and soft. Line a small muffin tin with 6 silicone liners. Press the bars into the bottom of the liners, making sure to spread it all the way to the edges. 

Add the remaining ingredients to a small food prcoesser or blender and process until pureed (about 10-15 seconds). Spread the mixture into the liners over the Zing Bar crust. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until the center starts to firm up and forms a crust. 

Remove the pan from the oven, and then carefully transfer the silicone liners to a cooling rack. Let them cool completely. Transfer to the refrigeratir and chill for at least 4 hours. Enjoy!

 
Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Mini Cheesecakes
 

Kale & Beet Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

 
Kale & Beet Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
 

Happy National Grilled Cheese Day! These Kale & Beet Grilled Cheese Sandwiches are the perfect way to celebrate! But then again, I could celebrate grilled cheese day anytime of year...


Kale & Beet Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Kale & Beet Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

4 slices of whole grain bread (use gluten free if needed)

2-3oz. soft goat cheese

1/4 cup crumbled kale chips or beet chips (I use these)

2 Tbsp shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat a large skillet over medium heat on the stove.

Add the kale chips or beet chips to a small food processor and process until ground. Add in the goat cheese and mozzarella and proces until semi-smooth. Divide the mixture in half and spread each half onto a slice of bread. Top each with another slice of bread.

Add an oil of your choice to the pan. (I like to use avocado oil.) Add the sandwiches to the pan and cook for 5 minutes. Flip. And then cook for another 2-3 minutes. Enjoy!

 
Kale & Beet Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
 

Roasted Cauliflower with Thai Peanut Sauce

 
Roasted Cauliflower with Thai Peanut Sauce
 

A good Thai peanut sauce is so versatile and this Roasted Cauliflower with Thai Peanut Sauce is no exception! It tastes great hot or cold and can be paired with so many things to make the perfect lunch or dinner!

This recipe was sponsored by Natural DelightsV Medjool Dates. All thoughts and ideas are my own. 


Roasted Cauliflower with Thai Peanut Sauce

Roasted Cauliflower with Thai Peanut Sauce

1 head of cauliflower, washed, with core removed

2 Natural Delights™ Pitted Medjool dates

2 Tbsp natural peanut butter

4 tsp rice vinegar

4 tsp tamari sauce

1 tsp ginger, chopped fine

1/4 cup sesame oil

2 Tbsp water

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Carefully, slice the head of cauliflower into 1/2 - 3/4 inch pieces. 

To make the Thai Peanut Sauce, combine all of the remaining ingredients in a food processor or high powered blender and process until smooth.

Add the cauliflower pieces to a large ziploc bag along with 1/2 of the Thai Peanut Sauce and shake to coat the cauliflower. Arrange the cauliflower on a lined baking sheet. Bake for 18-20 minutes.

Reserve the other half of the Thai Peanut Sauce for dipping or save for another recipe!

Serve immediately and enjoy!


Lamb, Feta, and Black Bean Burgers with Greek Yogurt Tzatziki Sauce

 
Lamb, Feta, and Black Bean Burgers with Greek Yogurt Tzatziki Sauce
 

These Lamb, Feta, and Black Bean Burgers with Greek Yogurt Tzatziki Sauce are perfect for summer. Packed full of fiber (thanks to the onions and black beans) and flavor, everyone will love these! And the homeade tzatziki sauce is the perfect way to finish them off!


Lamb, Feta, and Black Bean Burgers with Greek Yogurt Tzatziki Sauce

Yield: 5-6 burgers

Burgers:

1 pound ground lamb meat

1/2 cup feta cheese

1 15oz. can low sodium black beans, rinsed and drained

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 red onion, finely chopped

5-6 fresh dill sprigs, finely chopped

Juice from 1/2 lemon

Tzatziki sauce:

1/2 cucumber, diced and drained

Salt

1 cup plain greek yogurt

Juice from another 1/2 lemon

1 Tbsp minced garlic

3-4 fresh dill sprigs

1/4 tsp black pepper

 
Lamb, Feta, and Black Bean Burgers with Greek Yogurt Tzatziki Sauce
 

In a medium sized bowl, add all of the burger ingredients. Using your hands, mix together thoroughly. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop out meat mixture onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Refrigerate scoops for 30 minutes. 

While the meat in chilling, combine all of the ingredients for the tzatziki sauce in a bowl and stir to combine. (Make sure to strain the cucumber before mixing it in. I like to use a thin towel or cheesecloth to do this.)

Remove the chilled meat mixture from the refrigerator and press two of the scoops together to form one patty. Repeat this until you have 5-6 burgers. 

You can now cook the patties on the grill or in a skillet. 5-6 minutes/side or shorter depending on how much you like them cooked. 

Serve on your favoite buns with the tzatziki sauce and other toppings. Enjoy!


Homemade Garlic and Basil Pickles

 
homemade garlic and basil pickles
 

There's something about a fat, crunchy pickle that just screams SUMMER to me! These Homemade Garlic and Basil Pickles are loaded with crunch and flavor, without all the preservatives and food coloring found in store bought pickles. Feel free to play around with the flavorings and you can multiply this recipe as many times as you like. All of the ingredients listed will fit in a wide mouth 12oz. mason jar. Make as many jars as you'd like. 


Homemade Garlic and Basil Pickles

1 pickling cucumber

12oz. wide mouth mason jar

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp minced garlic

1/2 tsp dried basil leaves

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

1/3 cup distilled white vinegar

Water

Chop the cucumber into desried shapes (leave whole, halves, spears, or round slices). Place into your mason jar. Add the salt, garlic, basil, and vinegars. Then fill the jar just to the top with water. Secure lid and shake to mix ingredients. Store in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours before eating. Enjoy!

 
homemade garlic and basil pickles
 

Chilled Ancient Grain and Cucumber Salad

 
Chilled Ancient Grain and Cucumber Salad
 

Spring has officially sprung! And this Chilled Ancient Grain and Cucumber Salad needs to be on every Spring dinner (or lunch) gathering's menu! Add some chicken or salmon to round it out a bit, or leave it as is for a perfect side dish.

This recipe was sponsored by Bob's Red Mill. All ideas and thoughts are my own. 


Chilled Ancient Grain and Cucumber Salad

Chilled Ancient Grain and Cucumber Salad

1 cup quinoa

1 head of kale

1/2 cup Bob's Red Mill Buckwheat Groats *

2 cups cucumber slices

1 cup raisins

1/2 cup feta cheese

1/2 tsp salt

Juice from 1/2 of a large lemon

1 Tbsp Avocado oil

Cook the quinoa according to package instructions. 

While the quinoa is cooking, wash and finely chop the kale leaves. Once the quinoa has finished cooking, stir the chopped kale leaves into the hot quinoa to cook/wilt them down.

Pour the quinoa/kale mixture into a large mixing bowl and refrigerate. Once the mixture is chilled, add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and stir thoroughly to combine.  Serve chilled immediately, or store in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to three days. Enjoy!

*You can toast the buckwheat groats for 2-3 minutes under your broiler for an added flavor punch!

 
Chilled Ancient Grain and Cucumber Salad
 

No-Bake Carrot Cake Energy Balls

 
No-Bake Carrot Cake Energy Balls
 

These No-Bake Carrot Cake Energy Balls are the perfect on-the-go snack to keep you full and energized. Loaded up with healthy fats, plant-based protein, and delicious flavor; they're also gluten free, grain free, dairy free, and paleo-friendly.

This recipe was sponsored by Natural Delights Medjool Dates. All thoughts and ideas are my own. 


No-Bake Carrot Cake Energy Balls

No-Bake Carrot Cake Energy Balls

Yield: 12-14 balls

10 baby carrots

1/2 cup macadamia nuts

1 cup raw cashews

1/4 cup melted coconut butter, cooled

6 Natural Delights™ Pitted Medjool dates

Set up your food processor (9-cup or larger) with the grater attachment. Turn the processor on, and grate 10-12 baby carrots. Turn the processor off, and remove the grater attachment. Carefully scrape the grated carrot to the outside of the food processor bowl. Place the S-blade in the food processor and secure the lid. Add the macadamia nuts and cashews, and process until the mixture becomes semi-smooth. While the processor is still on, remove the column lid, and pour in the coconut butter. Then (still with the processor on) add in the Medjool dates one-by-one and let it process for about 60 seconds more after the last date has been added. 

Remove the bowl from the food processor. Carefully remove the blade. Roll the dough into tbsp-sized balls. (You can then roll the balls in some extra crushed up nuts, or drizzle with more coconut butter if you'd like!). Refrigerate the balls for at least 1 hour and enjoy! Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.


Green Matcha Ombre Chia Pudding

 
Green Matcha Ombre Chia Pudding
 

What better way to celebrate the arrival of Spring than with this Green Matcha Ombre Chia Pudding?! No need for artificial food coloring or dyes. Superfood matcha not only offers antioxidants, but also makes for a fun festive, and green, breakfast option!

This recipe was sponsored by Sprouts Farmers Market. All thoughts and ideas are my own. 


Green Matcha Ombre Chia Pudding

Green Matcha Ombre Chia Pudding

Yield: 2 servings

1 cup chia seeds

3 cups unsweetened almond milk

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 Tbsp + 2 1/2 tsp Love Matcha culinary matcha powder

Using three 12oz. mason jars, add the following to each jar: 1/3 cup chia seeds, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, and 1 Tbsp maple syrup (add 2 Tbsp to the last jar). Add 1/2 tsp matcha powder to the first mason jar, 2 tsp to the second, and 2 Tbsp to the third. Secure the lids, and shake each well until fully combined. Refrigerate the jars for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Using two clear glasses, layer the chia pudding from darkest to lightest as shown. Top with a layer of plain yogurt. Enjoy as is, or pair with your favorite frozen fruit, or nuts!

 
Green Matcha Ombre Chia Pudding
 

Paleo Fig Bars

 
paleo fig bars
 

Spring Break is almost here and i know everyone needs good snacks in order to have a good time. These Paleo Fig Bars are made with real food ingredients that kids and adults alike will love. AND, making them is a great opportunity to get the kids in the kitchen with you!

This recipe was sponsored by Bob's Red Mill. All ideas and thoughts are my own. 


Paleo Fig Bars

paleo fig bars

Yield: 8 bars

Crust:

1 1/2 cups Bob's Red Mill Paleo Flour Blend

2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 cup pumpkin puree

2 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce

2 Tbsp maple syrup

Filling:

3/4 cup dried figs

Line a loaf pan with parchment paper. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. 

To make the crust: Combine all 4 ingredients for the crust in a bowl and mix to combine. Press half the mixture into the loaf pan, covering the bottom. (The dough will be sticky. It helps to wet your fingertips slightly with cold water before handling the dough, or chill the dough for an hour before handling it.)

To make the filling: Next, boil the figs in a small saucepan with just enough water to cover them for 5-10 minutes. Remove the figs from the heat and drain the water. Add the figs to a food processor and process until smooth. Spread the fig mixture over the crust in the loaf pan, leaving a small edge bare all the way around the edges.  

Spread the second half of the crust mixture over the filling. (Tip: do small pieces at a time, using wet fingers to flatten the dough, and then place the pieces on top of the fig mixture.) Gently press the dough edges together to seal the fig mixture inside.  

Bake for 25 minutes. Immediately, lift the fig bars out of the pan using the parchment paper and place on a wire rack. Carefully, using a wide/flat spatula, slide the parchment paper out from under the bars. Let the bars cool completely before slicing. Enjoy!

 
paleo fig bars
 

Cheesy Beef & Kale Pasta Bake

 
Cheesy Beef & Kale Pasta Bake
 

This recipe for Cheesy Beef & Kale Pasta Bake was adapted from one of my favorite recipes my mom used to make growing up. We always just referred to it as "penne pasta," and everyone knew what we were talking about. I've added some veggies and changed the original shredded chicken to beef to come up with this version. But if you prefer chicken, feel free to sub shredded chicken!


Cheesy Beef & Kale Pasta Bake

Cheesy Beef & Kale Pasta Bake

1 1/2 pounds ground beef

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

1 pound penne pasta of choice

2 heads of kale, chopped, stems removed

24oz. seasoned marinara sauce (I use Rao's Homemade Marinara Sauce )

8oz. soft havarti cheese, shredded

1/2 cup parmesean cheese, shredded

Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat on the stove. Add the the yellow onions and sautee in avocado oil for 10-15 minutes until they start to brown. Add the ground beef to the sauteeing onions, and cook until it is no longer pink. Set the beef and onion mixture aside. 

While the beef is cooking, cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet with the beef and onions. Next, add the chopped kale, marinara sauce, and havarti cheese and mix it all up together to combine. 

Transfer the mixture to a greased 9x13 baking dish. Sprinkle the top with the parmesan cheese. Bake on 350 degrees for about 30 minutes until it starts to brown and bubble. Enjoy!

 
Cheesy Beef & Kale Pasta Bake