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Food & Recipes

DIY Daily Harvest Protein Energy Bites

September 10, 2020

You all know by now how much I love Daily Harvest, right? Well when I started to realize that Truett also loved Daily Harvest snacks + smoothies, it because clear to me that I needed to be able to make all these goodies at home, from scratch, because Daily Harvest is way too expensive to justify feeding to my whole family.

One of our favorite Daily Harvest treats are their “bites” that are stored in the freezer and eaten cold. I figured I could make an at-home version, and after four different batches, I think I found a recipe that tastes VERY similar to the original.

Note that I did add nut-butter to mine, but I believe the original recipe bites have pumpkin. I tried pumpkin, and it works, but I felt the taste was much better with nut butter. Adjust as needed to suit your tastes!

1 can (15 oz.) low sodium garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained, with skins removed
1 package (8 oz.) pitted dates
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup cacao nibs

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the garbanzo beans and dates. Process for 1 minute or until mixture is fairly smooth and no large chunks remain.

Add in the peanut butter, almond flour, cinnamon and vanilla and process another 30 seconds until well combined. Stir in the cacao nibs by hand.

Use a small cookie scoop or your hands to scoop into small balls. Drop onto parchment-lined cookie sheet. Freeze for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Transfer to airtight storage container and keep frozen until ready to eat. These will be soft enough to eat straight from the freezer. If too hard, let sit a couple minutes at room temp before eating.

Healthy Guacamole Salsa Chicken Enchiladas

August 20, 2020

Hello, friends! Checking in today with a healthier version of my favorite Green Chicken Chile Enchiladas. While I LOVE the original recipe, this is a much healthier “everyday” version that tastes just as good as the original but without the added indulgence.

Our family enjoyed these this weekend and ate the leftovers throughout the week for lunches! If you have little kids, the guacamole salsa might be a tad too spicy for littles. I would suggest using a mild green salsa instead if you want things on the milder side, but I LOVE Herdez guacamole salsa on everything.

Excited to be sharing more truly EASY weeknight meals with you guys as we head into the school year!

1 1/2 to 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 jar (15.7 oz) Herdez guacamole salsa
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup full-fat plain Greek yogurt
8 whole wheat tortillas
3/4 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
Avocado, additional plain Greek yogurt and salsa for serving, if desired

In the bowl of a slow cooker, combine the chicken and guacamole salsa. Cook on HIGH 4 hours or until chicken shreds easily when tested with a fork.

Remove 3/4 cup of the salsa mixture from the slow cooker and set aside.

Use two forks to shred chicken in slow cooker. Add a can of rinsed and drained black beans along with the 1/2 cup Greek yogurt. Stir until well combined.

Coat the bottom of a 13×9-inch baking dish with olive oil. Divide the chicken mixture evenly between the 8 tortillas. Roll tortillas and arrange in baking dish. Top with the reserved salsa mixture followed by the cheese. Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake at 350°F. for 20 minutes. Uncover and cook 5 to 10 minutes more or until cheese is bubbly and hot.

Cool 10 minutes in pan. Top enchiladas with sour cream, avocados and additional salsa, if desired.

Chicken Burrito Bowl Bake

August 12, 2020

To say our family has been in a dinner rut would be an understatement. Anyone else feel a little “blah” about meal time lately? With “back to school” fast approaching, I’m feeling the pull to refresh our family dinner round-up. But since Joe is also coaching football and busier than ever, dinner is best in our house if it’s easy to pull together and can be prepared in advance.

This recipe was a hit with our family – well, all besides Ainsley – and we had plenty of leftovers for Joe’s lunches during the week. It was much easier than making separate components and assembling right at meal time and tasted great.

I’ll cut through all the talking and get straight to the recipe, because heavens knows that busy moms really only have time for that anyway, right? Here you go!

Chicken Burrito Bowl Bake
Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs
1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 jar (16 oz.) salsa
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons taco seasoning (I like Spice Island from Costco)

Burrito Bowl Bake
2 packages Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice – Cilantro Lime
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 oz.) sweet corn, rinsed and drained
1 can (4.5 oz.) diced green chiles
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt to taste
1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
Sour cream, avocado and tortilla chips for serving

In a slow cooker, combine chicken thighs, salsa, water and taco seasoning. Cook on HIGH 3 to 4 hours or until chicken shreds easily when tested with a fork. Remove chicken thighs from slow cooker and shred with two forks. Set aside.

Microwave rice according to package directions. Transfer to a bowl along with the black beans, corn, green chiles, oil and salt to taste. Stir until combined. Pour mixture into a 13×9-inch baking dish. Top with the shredded chicken thighs. Spoon some of the remaining salsa mixture in slow cooker over top of the chicken. Top with the cheese.

Cover baking dish with aluminum foil. Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted and slightly bubbly. Cool 5 minutes. Scoop into bowls and top with desired toppings, such as avocado, sour cream and/or tortilla chips.

3 Kid-Friendly Smoothies

July 20, 2020

Happy Monday, friends! I’m checking in today to talk SMOOTHIES! Aka my lifeline on busy days, the way I pack a lot of nutrition into a single meal, and something my kids are almost always happy to eat.

On nights when dad is busy, it’s not uncommon for us to have smoothies for dinner, and while I pack my own smoothies full of different ingredients and powders, I do keep things on the simpler side for the kids. We love to mix things up and try different flavors and combos each week.

Note About Milk:
I prefer to use almond milk for the smoothies because my girls drink plenty of milk throughout the day. But you can use whatever milk you prefer!

Note About Honey:
When feeding these smoothies to littles under the age of 1, leave out that honey! If you don’t want to use honey at all, even for older kiddos, you could up the banana to increase sweetness.

Note About Protein:
Sometimes I’ll add a scoop of collagen or pea protein into their smoothies for an added boost and extra staying power.

Peanut Butter + Banana
1/2 cup milk of choice
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1/4 frozen banana, cut into slices
Drizzle of honey to taste
3-4 ice cubes

Raspberry + Orange
1/4 cup milk of choice
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup frozen raspberries
Drizzle of honey to taste
3 to 4 ice cubes

Chocolate + Greens
1/2 cup milk of choice
1/4 cup frozen spinach
1/4 frozen banana, cut into slices
1 tablespoon cacao nibs
Drizzle of honey to taste
3 to 4 ice cubes

Daily Harvest Review + DIY Daily Harvest Mint Cacao Smoothie

June 30, 2020

I have had my eye on Daily Harvest and their yummy-looking smoothies + bowls + bites for a while. If you’re not familiar with Daily Harvest, you can read all about it here, but the basic premise is that it’s a high-quality food delivery service. You fill a box (either monthly or weekly or in a frequency that suits you) and it comes on dry ice with your selections.

The Good:
-The quality of the ingredients used in their products is great and thoughtfully sourced with a wide variety of fruits and vegetables as well as other supplemental ingredients
-There were a lot of tasty options. I didn’t like every smoothie or bowl I got, but I can see how once you found your favorites you could stick with those on a regular basis. My favorite smoothies were the Mint Cacao (obviously) and the Cacao and Avocado. I also liked a few of their bowls, especially the Sweet Potato Hash.
-They are convenient. Just add your liquid to the ingredients in the cup. transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. The cup also has a lid and a place for a straw so they were great to have on hand for portable lunches and dinners when time was tight.
-The sweetness level was nice! Nothing overly sweet and nothing artificial sweetening these smoothies.
-The smoothies that I gravitated toward had enough nutrition to be a full meal – between 360-560 calories in each smoothie before adding in the milk. Some varieties were more nutritionally akin to a snack, but the two mentioned above are definitely full meals.
-They come frozen and can stay frozen for quite some time! So you could get a box of 24 smoothies and then pause your membership and work through them over time.

The Bad:
-If you’re on a budget, cost is definitely the biggest inhibiting factor. It’s pricey – around $170 for 24 smoothies. If you eat out a lot and this replaces a meal out, it’s probably not much more expensive or less expensive than eating out, but if you’re making smoothies at home it’s definitely MORE expensive.
-There were some flavors I flat out didn’t care for. But, as I mentioned above, if you figure out what you do and don’t like then you can simply avoid the flavors you don’t care for.

So, I guess the question comes down to “Would you get another box?”

And my answer is “yes!” but with some modifications. After thinking it over, I really loved the convenience, taste and quality of the smoothies. Some of the flavors are so dang crave-worthy that I’ve been eagerly waiting for my next shipment. This time, I edited my box to include nearly exclusively Mint Cacao and Cacao + Avocado smoothies. And I’m pretty dang excited about that.

While it IS cheaper to make your own at home (I’ve done my best version of a Mint + Cacao knock-off below) when you account for the ingredients in each smoothie, it’s still an investment to make your own at home with all the necessary ingredients.

Because we don’t have a money tree in our backyard (sigh) I decided to make some cuts to other shipments we get regularly in order to make room in the budget for a monthly Daily Harvest Delivery.

So, if you have it in the budget, I give Daily Harvest a BIG thumbs up! You can get $25 off your first shipment using this link. But if it’s not in the budget? Well the recipe below us a great place to start.

1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of chooice)
1 scoop Vanilla protein powder (I like the neutral taste and clean ingredients of this pea protein from Thrive Market)
1 medium banana (even better if it’s a frozen banana)
1/4 cup frozen spinach
5-6 Chlorella tablets (optional)
1 large handful of ice
1 tablespoon cacao powder or cocoa powder
2 tablespoons cacao nibs
Stevia to taste (I used 1 packet)
Couple drops of peppermint extract to taste

Combine all the ingredients above and blend with a high-powered blender until very smooth. Add additional ice if necessary to make the smoothie very thick.