Ginger Peanut Butter Cashew Quinoa Salad

I am super happy with life! Stephen and I have been eating healthy dinners and it feels great. I love finding healthy, quick dinners that I want to continue to make. I can’t take credit for this recipe but I can definitely promote it.

First recipe that i highly recommend comes from Ambitious Kitchen. This Crunch Cashew Thai salad is BEYOND! I used PB2 instead of the suggest peanut butter. Also, I used gluten free soy sauce so this dish is 100% gluten free and vegan. I think it serves 6 people which means according to My Fitness Pal this amazing recipe is only 183 calories per serving!!!

photo (7)

The ginger peanut butter combo is great!

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The perfect green smoothie

I have quite a few cook books sitting on my shelf that I rarely touch. One of the cook books I own I purchased years ago when I began to shift how I consume food. Hungry Girl takes ordinary brands and manipulates their purpose to create a “healthy” alternative. I admire their effort and creativity, however its not really my thing. Most of the recipes require too much fake sugar or processed items. With that being said, I was looking through the pages and noticed how they utilized diet hot cocoa mix in multiple recipes. This idea got me thinking and the result of those thoughts is what I would like to think of as perfection.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Protein Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c cold water
  • 5 ice cubes
  • 1/2 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 scoop of 365 vanilla whey
  • 2 tbsp pb2
  • 1 diet hot cocoa mix (25 calorie mix)
  • 1 banana
  • 2 c of spinach
heaven.

heaven.

Directions:

Place liquids, banana, and powders in blender. Top off mixture with spinach and place in liquefy setting. Blend until completely smooth and mixture becomes frothy. Serve and enjoy!

great treat on the way to work

great treat on the way to work

Nutrition facts (calculated on MyFitnessPal)

Calories: 277
Carbs: 38
Fats: 5
Proteins: 27

Peanut Butter Ball

Today we were invited to our wonderful friend Jill and Nate’ for the Rose Bowl. I knew that we would have delicious food at their house because Jill is a great cook and is very detailed oriented. My expectations were met. Jill cooked two types of chili (vegetarian and not veg), had toppings, dips, options to accompany the chili (rice, spaghetti, chips), veggies, and candies. In classic Jill style she labeled each item so that her guests would know what every item they consumed was comprised of.

jill

The set up

Prior to going to the festivities I researched items that went well at football parties (yes this is what I do in my spare time). While sifting through Pinterest I found the infamous peanut butter ball recipe. While in Springfield last week my friend Christina mentioned that she recently ate the ball at a Christmas party and said it was a hit. I decided to give it a try. Honestly, I wasn’t going to blog about this recipe because its not healthy and I thought it was a fairly common treat, but after people’s responses I decided to go ahead and share the wealth!

Peanut Butter Ball

Serve with apples, graham crackers, teddy grahams, or pretzels

Serve with apples, graham crackers, teddy grahams, or pretzels

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 c creamy peanut butter
  • 1 package of cream cheese (I used non fat, I don’t think it makes a difference)- room temperature or microwave for 20 seconds if you are impatient like me
  • 1 c of powdered sugar
  • milk chocolate chips
  • peanut butter chips

Options to serve with:

  • Sliced apples
  • Pretzel thins
  • Chocolate chip teddy grahams
  • Graham cracker sticks
  • Honey graham crackers

Directions:

1. Beat together peanut butter, cream cheese and sugar until well blended.

2. Spoon mixture onto wax paper and form into a ball.

3. Place wax paper ball into freezer for 1.5 hours.

4. Take ball out of wax paper and roll onto assorted chip mixture. (I placed the chips onto the used wax paper so that I didn’t have to dirty extra dishes.

5. Place on dish and serve!

Bar Exam Bars

bar cartoon

Stephen has started studying for the Illinois State Bar Exam. This has been a long time coming and I am super excited for him. He is currently enrolled in a prep course that spans from now until the exam in February. Its an intensive course that will require approximately 8 to 10 hours of studying a day. As you can imagine I am not super excited to see less of him but I am happy he is crossing the finish line of this long journey that has been law school.

Since the weather has been gloomy and friends are out of town I have been baking like mad. I wanted to make Stephen treats to brighten up his study experience. The boy loves peanut butter and chocolate so I figured I would make some Bar Exam Bars.

I created this recipe and am quite pleased with the outcome. As I was making these bars I realized that the texture and consistency reminded me of my favorite Little Debbie… Star Crunch. As a kid I had a star crunch in my lunch everyday. Star crunch makes any boring lunch better and hopefully these bars will make study sessions just a little bit better too!

Classic

Classic

Disclaimer: I am not going to declare these are healthy in the least but a little sweet treat every now and then is okay… right? 🙂

Ooey Gooey Bar Exam Bars

I had a bunch of pictures and deleted them ALL on accident, tragic.

I had a bunch of pictures and deleted them ALL on accident, tragic.

Ingredients:

Bars

  • 5 c of Rice Krispies (I used 365 Brown Puffed Rice)
  • 1/4 c of butter
  • 1 bag of mini marshmallows
  • 3/4 c chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp PB2
  • 1/2 c trail mix (I used Trader Joes PB Cup mix) OR assorted peanut mix

Topping

  • 1/2 tsp peanut oil
  • 1/3 c white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tbsp peanut butter

Directions:

  1. Line a baking dish (the smaller the pan the thicker bars) with wax paper and set aside.
  2. In a microwave safe dish melt butter. Pour butter in mixing bowl (something deep enough to use an electric mixer if you do not have a stand mixer).
  3. Microwave marshmallows for 30 seconds. Pour marshmallows into mixing bowl. Mix butter and marshmallows on a medium speed until the mixture becomes very gooey.
  4. In a separate small bowl combine Pb2 mixture with water. Normally Pb2 calls for 1 tbsp of water… add more. You want this to equal about a 1/4 c o liquid.
  5. Slowly pour rice cereal into mixture. Make sure the cereal is evenly coated. Pour pb2 mixture into cereal mix.
  6. Pour chocolate chips and trail mix into mixture.
  7. Spoon mixture onto wax paper. Use a spoon to evenly distribute mixture in pan. Try to get the bars even and the sides in a straight line.
  8. Place the baking dish in the freezer for approximately 30 minutes (you need the mixture to harden).
  9. Take the wax paper out of the dish and flip the mixture onto cutting board. Use a sharp knife or dough cutter to evenly cut bars into squares.
  10. Once the bars are cut prepare the topping mixture. Place all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl and melt chocolate and peanut butter together. Use a fork to drizzle tops of bar.

Wrap bars in wax paper and secure with tape. Place in freezer until serving.

Pack your bar for studying and enjoy!