Category Archives: Recipes

Karina’s Vanilla Caramel Chai Blondies

Hey there Holy F!t fitfam, I’ve missed you guys! Life has been crazy starting a new job and moving at the same time…It’s been a handful! So needless to say, I haven’t had much time to cook or creative space to come up with new recipes. Lately I’ve been working crazy hours, eating mostly fresh fruits and veggies from work, and falling asleep as soon as I have a moment to myself.

When I do have time, like always, I am checking out other healthy food blogs on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and here. One page I’ve stumbled across a few times is Karina’s blog Liberation 2 Karina.

All of her recipes come with absolutely drool worthy photos, easy to follow directions, and INCREDIBLE results. I always go into a new food blog or cook book with the thought in the back of my mind that things might not quite taste as good as the pictures look…but these Vanilla Caramel Chai Blondies did NOT disappoint! Thank you Karina! You guys seriously have to try these.

Vanilla Chai Carmel Blondies

INGREDIENTS

2 Vanilla Chai Tea Bags

1/2 C Boiling Water

1/2 C Lightly Packed Brown Sugar

1/3 C Butter (use non-fat if following Karina’s recipe strictly, I try to keep my recipes as all natural as possible)

1/2 C Applesauce (I used an unsweetened, all-natural brand)

3/4 C Sweetened (I used Truvia, Karina uses Natvia, but you could also use regular sugar, coconut sugar, or honey powder)

1 Egg

1 t Vanilla Extract

2 C All-Purpose Flour

1 1/2 t Baking Powder

1/2 t Salt

1/3 C Caramel Baking Chips

There are few flavors I love more in this world than caramel! Yum
There are few flavors I love more in this world than caramel! Yum

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish.
  2. Steep the tea bags in the boiling water and set aside.
    I LOVE Chai tea, but this was my first time cooking with it.
    I LOVE Chai tea, but this was my first time cooking with it.

     

  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together brown sugar, butter, and apple sauce until light and fluffy, just a few minutes.

    I always use the real deal when it comes to brown sugar. It is less processed than refined, white sugar. And the few alternatives out there, such as Splenda Brown Sugar Blend, just don't quite cut it when it comes to that special brown sugar flavor.
    I always use the real deal when it comes to brown sugar. It is less processed than refined, white sugar. And the few alternatives out there, such as Splenda Brown Sugar Blend, just don’t quite cut it when it comes to that special brown sugar flavor.
  4. Add sweetener, egg and vanilla, and mix together.
  5. In a small bowl combine dry ingredients (except caramel chips).
  6. Gradually beat try ingredients into wet ingredients.
  7. Make sure to squeeze all the liquids out of your tea bags and add the chai to your batter, mix until combined, but not much more!
  8. Fold in caramel chips.
  9. Pour the batter into the baking tray and spread evenly.
  10. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the edges have turned golden brown.
  11. After removing, make sure the blondies are completely cooled before cutting.

 

By following Karina’s strict recipe and cutting the Blondies into 24 equal pieces, they come to only 83 calories or 2 WW points. Pretty awesome!

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Easy 4-ingredient Yum-Yum Bites

So a co-worker of mine who is so sweet and also training for her first half marathon has a very special birthday today! Happy Birthday Amy! 🙂

As we usually do in my office, all of the girls started an e-mail chain to start plans on the hush-hush, and Nicole was going to make her amazing cupcakes, Kelly was bringing oreo balls (omg don’t eat these things, you’ll never stop until you hit oreo coma heaven!), etc. And I had to take the opportunity to make something with a healthy treat that everyone could enjoy guilt-free!

These little guys are also perfect for a quick snack on the go, or have a few with your eggs for breakfast! Perfect solution for so many different cravings.

Quick and Easy PB Oatmeal Balls

I love sharing healthy treats with my co-workers, and always make a point to share my recipes!
I love sharing healthy treats with my co-workers, and always make a point to share my recipes!

Ingredients

1 Banana, mashed

2/3 C all-natural peanut butter

1 1/2 C oats

1/2 C chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life chips to keep these extra clean!)

Give these a try-perfect for allergies or just keeping that extra dairy out of your diet.
Give these a try-perfect for allergies or just keeping that extra dairy out of your diet.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and prepare a lined baking sheet
  2. Mash banana, if still not quite ripe enough, chop into slices, then pop in the microwave for 15 minutes to soften a bit more!
  3. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.

    You could roll up and bake these…or you could just eat it right out of the bowl like this…just saying!
    You could roll up and bake these…or you could just eat it right out of the bowl like this…just saying!
  4. Roll into small balls and place on baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 8 minutes.
  6. Enjoy!

 

Jazzy Things: Clean Banana Bread

Alright guys, if you don’t already know, Jazzy Things is just about the coolest chick of the inter-webs.  I started following her Instagram page the day I realized I could get fitness and nutrition info on my favorite social media. She posts websites, workouts, selfies, waffles, and so much more, I gotta say, I’m pretty pissed she moved to California as I moved out.

I’m sharing with you guys today her clean banana bread recipe she recently posted. I saw the post and immediately thought of those browning bananas wasting away in my fruit bowl (there always seem to be brown bananas around–where do they all come from? I can’t keep up with my banana purchasing habits).

The plight of the lonely, browning banana
The plight of the lonely, browning banana

So please, look her up, follow her, find her on Facebook, buy her e-books. You’ll be doing yourself a favor!

Jazzy Things Clean Banana Bread

banana loaf
banana loaf

Courtesy of Jazzy Things Instagram

Ingredients

3 ripe bananas

3 eggs

1/2C coconut sugar

1/4C melted coconut oil

1t cinnamon

1t vanilla

1t baking powder

1/2t salt

1/2C almond flour

1/2C coconut flour

Instructions

  1. preheat oven to 350F.
  2. mash bananas, microwave for easier mashing.
  3. add eggs, sugar, oil, cinnamon, vanilla, baking powder and salt. Mix well.
  4. add both flours, mix.
  5. Bake for one hour.
  6. Enjoy! And go scroll through Jazzy Things ID page while you nom.

    Perfectly cooked and still ooey-gooey inside.
    Perfectly cooked and still ooey-gooey inside.

Clean Chicken Nuggets

So this recipe comes to you from my amazing Aunt Katie. Not only is she amazing and beautiful but she is also extremely passionate about fitness and nutrition. She has always been an athlete, but began CrossFit about a year ago and dabbles in Paleo as well.

I am very fortunate to have a family that loves to cook and appreciates a healthy lifestyle. We always strive to cook clean recipes with fresh, organic ingredients, and of course, lots of love. At the holidays we always work a hike or long walks into our plans, perfect to help keep up with all of the less-than-clean indulgences.

I’m used to Katie’s christmas delicacies like chocolate rice crispy balls, or her famous anise (ah-nihs) cookies…but she sure knows how to keep it clean in the kitchen too!

I decided to run this recipe by the Tom taste test, not telling him what I was making, or that it was clean, and seeing what he thought. I expected good…but these turned out great! Not only did they receive a serious “yum” from Mr. Picky himself, but they are super clean and totally easy.

Clean Chicken Nuggets

These clean nuggets paired perfectly with waffle-cut sweet potato fries and plain old ketchup.
These clean nuggets paired perfectly with waffle-cut sweet potato fries and plain old ketchup.

Courtesy of Katie Shafer

Ingredients

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 T olive oil

1/2 cup almond flour

1t paprika (not smoked or hot)

1/2t poultry seasoning

salt and pepper to taste

Did you know that almond flour, or almond meal, is literally just ground almonds? You can make it yourself for cheap with just a food processor. This works with cashews too!
Did you know that almond flour, or almond meal, is literally just ground almonds? You can make it yourself for cheap with just a food processor. This works with cashews too!

Instructions

  1. brush a baking sheet literally with olive oil and place in the oven as it preheats to 400F.
  2. cut each breast into nugget size pieces (about 5 each). Use a mallet to pound thicker pieces so they are all the same.
  3. Combine almond flour, paprika, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper in a bowl, mixing together well.
  4. dip each nugget into the mixture, pressing on so it is fully coated. Coat all nuggets before removing the baking sheet from the oven.
  5. lay the nuggets on the baking sheet and gook 10 minutes.
  6. remove pan from oven, turn nuggets, and bake an additional 10 minutes (don’t overcook!!)
  7. serve them up! Include sauce, sweet potato fries, or veggies!

Meathead: Grass-fet Bison Burgers Wrapped in BACON

What do you do when you realize the bison meat you just bought has a sell by date of tomorrow? you improvise!

The best part is, Tom was actually willing to try these bad boys! Unlike 95% of what I cook: “veggies…ew!”

I had looked up a million and a half bison recipes trying to find the most alluring dish, but when it came down to it, I wen’t for simplicity. I’ve definitely learned that simple recipes just work.

These giant burgers are juicy and delicious. Perfect for paleo-ers and everyone else!
These giant burgers are juicy and delicious. Perfect for paleo-ers and everyone else!

And so, I introduce to you: Bacon-Wrapped Grass-Fed Bison Burgers

Ingredients

1 lb grass-fed ground bison meat (found at my regular grocery store!)

1 whole egg

1/2 white onion, finely diced

prepared steak seasoning (yeah, I know its not strict paleo or “clean”…it’s just easy!)

salt and pepper to taste

4 slices thick cut bacon

Directions

  1. preheat oven to 350 F
  2. combine bison, onion, egg, seasonings in a bowl
  3. form into 4 even “patties” but keep them pretty thick! (they will seem huge!)
  4. Wrap each patty with one slice of bacon, it should be the perfect length to not have to cut any excess off. Secure with toothpick for baking.
  5. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and back for 30 minutes.

Chicken Apple Breakfast Patties

In deciding to give the paleo diet an honest go, I’ve encountered more struggles than benefits so far.  Now before you go and tell me that the science behind the “cave man diet” is bogus: I know! But there are still benefits to avoiding dairy and grains that can’t be underestimated. It’s all about trying it all until you find what works for you…and then trying even more just to see!

So my biggest struggle right off the bat has been breakfast. I lived off oatmeal or Ezikiel bread and peanut butter….now all of those have been taken off the table. In order to get a quick and easy protein/carb combo, I came up with these little sausage-like patties that are completely paleo and will make your kitchen smell amazing!

Chicken Apple Breakfast Patties

Three chicken apple patties and some yolk porn
Three chicken apple patties and some yolk porn

Ingredients

1 lb ground chicken

1 apple peeled and diced (I used a Fuji apple)

1 T fresh thyme

3 T fresh parsley

1 T fresh oregano

2 t garlic powder

coconut oil

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Using about 3 T of coconut oil in a skillet, cook down the apples with the thyme, parsley and oregano until apples are soft. This will take about 7 minutes. More if you use less coconut oil.

    The smell of the apple, thyme, parsley and oregano is incredible
    The smell of the apple, thyme, parsley and oregano is incredible
  3. Once cooked and cooled, combine apple mixture with ground chicken, garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste.
  4. form into 12 even patties spread out on a foil-lined baking tray
    ready to pop into the oven, consider doubling your batch, as I did, and freezing half for later use.
    ready to pop into the oven, consider doubling your batch, as I did, and freezing half for later use.

     

  5. bake for 20 minutes.
  6. Store either by refrigerating, freezing, or both!

A Fresh Twist: Pesto

Growing up in a 100% Italian household has always been delicious. Has it always been healthy? That’s a more difficult question to answer. Ever since I began this food and fitness journey, I have sought to stay true to my Italian roots.

One of my favorite Christmas presents finally getting thrown into action
One of my favorite Christmas presents finally getting thrown into action

This recipe takes a fresh twist on an Italian staple and stays true to Paleo guidelines. Also…it was freakin’ delicious!!

The final product, almost as pretty as it is delicious
The final product, almost as pretty as it is delicious

Artichoke Pesto and Chicken

Ingredients:

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed

1 large spaghetti squash

1 jar artichoke hearts (I used a small jar)

1/3 C walnuts

5 T EVOO

5 T vegetable broth

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 handful fresh Italian parsley (NOT cilantro!)

1 handful fresh basil

1 lemon, juiced

5 cups baby spinach

My own brand of Spaghetti Squash?
My own brand of Spaghetti Squash?

Directions

  1. preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. cut squash in half, length wise, and remove seeds and loose strings with a spoon.  Place face down on a foil-lined baking sheet, and roast for 45-50 minutes.
  3. Use a fork to scrape the isnide and loosen the “spaghetti” from the skin.
  4. While in the oven, in a large pan over medium-high heat, add a little bit of the oil preserving the artichoke hearts in the jar and 1 minced garlic clove.  When the garlic becomes fragrant, add the halved artichokes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and saute for about 5-8 minutes, until sides are slightly browned.
  5. Add browned artichokes to a food processor along  walnuts, olive oil, vegetable broth, and second garlic clove (I threw it in whole). Puree until smooth.
  6. Add the parsley, basil, lemon, and salt and pepper. Puree once more until smooth.
  7. In the pan used to brown the artichoke hearts, cook cubed chicken breasts, adding salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Once chicken is cooked, add a few spoonfuls of the pesto and the baby spinach. Cover and let spinach steam.
  9. Combine “spaghetti”, the rest of your pesto sauce, chicken, and spinach.
  10. Enjoy!