White Chocolate Macadamia Protein Bites

My husband has been bugging me for MONTHS to make some protein bites for him to have as healthy grab and go snacks. I finally got around to it… you’re gonna love these White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Protein Bites!  At 5g of protein per serving, they’re a filling, easy snack!

The recipe is super easy, and you most likely already have the ingredients on hand.  I put together this little 30 second video for you to show you just how easy they are!

The best part?  You can sub different mix-ins to create a flavor combo that you love!  I added dried cranberries to a few, I’m going to try them without nuts next time… I might even do some dark chocolate chips! Just make sure that you don’t go too crazy with the number of mix ins or the bites won’t roll up nicely.

Print

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Protein Bites

Course Snack
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 15
Author huntersmama

Ingredients

  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder
  • 1/3 cup chopped macadamia nuts
  • 1/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl.

  2. Roll into bite size balls (about 1.5 inches) and place on a cookie sheet.

  3. Refrigerate on cookie sheet for 1 hour before transferring to an airtight container.

  4. Store in fridge.

Hope you enjoy!

Love,

Hunter and Mama

 

Roasted Bell Pepper Salad

This roasted bell pepper salad with southwestern ranch dressing is my new favorite way to eat bell peppers… seriously! Although this recipe is meatless, but you could easily add your favorite grilled protein to make it a heartier meal.  We added smoked pork, it was a winning combo!

Sheet Pan Sausage and Veggies

We’ve been focusing on healthier eating for the last few weeks at our house.  From the results of our little Facebook poll last week, it sounds like many of you have, too!  Our Quick and Healthy option- Sheet Pan Sausage and Veggies, was the recipe you wanted to try most.  So here we are!

 

Garlic and Bacon Mashed Cauliflower

Today we’re going to talk about mashed cauliflower.  It’s delicious.  In fact, it has surpassed mashed potatoes as a favorite side in our house… which is no easy feat!

In looking for ways to eat a little bit lighter, I came across the idea of mashed cauliflower. I was skeptical… carb-lover that I am.  We tried it anyway, and we’ve been in love ever since!

It was one of Hunter’s favorite first foods, and a regular request from Cale, too! Look! That’s a clean bowl from a one year old!

I like big flavor from my veggies, so I add garlic and bacon crumbles to our cauli mash.  You can leave these out if you want (but I don’t know why you would!!)

A Dinner Party for 3- New Years Eve

Happy New Year!! We hope you all had a happy and safe time celebrating the start of 2017.

New Year’s Eve is a magical night, don’t you think?  It’s always full of hope, no matter what the previous year brought your way.  It’s a night to ring in a fresh start by doing something special.

This year, our something special was a cozy dinner party at home.  We briefly considered going out to a nice dinner as a family… but when we called to make reservations and couldn’t get anything before 9:30, we quickly revised our plans. And I’m so happy it ended up that way anyway!

We decided that we’d make some of our restaurant favorites at home, and create something super special for the last night of 2016. We thought about getting all dressed up for approximately 2 seconds, but ended up eating our fancy meal in our pjs and snuggling up on the couch after. No regrets!

Our meal would’ve easily been a couple hundred dollars if we’d gone out to a restaurant. Plus, I’m pretty sure one year olds, pajamas and unlimited wine refills aren’t what a restaurant has in mind on the biggest party night of the year.

Our NYE Dinner Party Menu:

Bacon Dip with Rosemary Olive Oil Crackers

Cale’s Bruschetta Sampler

Baked Jumbo Scallops

Stuffed Clams on the Shell

Garlic Tomato Zucchini Noodles

Brownie Sundaes

Hunter happily sat in his chair in the kitchen and munched on all kinds of goodies while we danced and sang and cooked all the components of our little feast.

For our appetizers, we chose an OUTSTANDING bacon dip recipe that we served with rosemary and olive oil crackers. The only adjustment I made from the original recipe, using real bacon crumbles(the Costco kind… lifechanging timesaver!) instead of frying, cooling and crumbling bacon.  In case you’re dying to try it tonight…

Bacon Ranch Dip (recipe credit: CountryLiving.com)

1 block softened cream cheese

1/3 C crumbled bacon

3 sun dried tomatoes, chopped

3 green onions, chopped

2/3 C ranch dressing

Mix all ingredients until well combined and let sit at least 30 minutes before serving with your favorite crackers or chips.

Cale also made bruschetta for us, one of his specialties.  If you’ve enjoyed fancy bruschetta at a restaurant, you know that you can mix and match different ingredients for endless possibilities.  For this reason, we’ve come to really enjoy making this at home because you aren’t limited to choosing 2 or 3 flavors from a menu list… you can try as many as you can think up!  We get a nice french loaf from the bakery section and have them slice it for us in store (your grocery store probably has a slicer that you can use yourself or ask a bakery employee to use for you!). Then we pick up whatever cheeses and meats sound good, and occasionally we’ll pick up a jarred bruschetta mix to add in.

For our New Year’s feast we ended up with the following combos:

  • sun dried tomato bruschetta mix with fresh mozzarella
  • fig jam, brie, and prosciutto
  • brie with bacon crumbles
  • basil, fresh tomato, and fresh mozzarella
  • mascarpone with prosciutto

I’ll be honest, we got done with appetizers and both Cale and I were full and had to wait a while to move on to our main course!  But move on we did, because we had some special treats we prepared and we WEREN’T going to miss out!

For our main course, we chose a seafood combo.  Scallops were on sale at the store, so we did these awesome baked scallops. Cale sent me a recipe from AllRecipes.com, and I made a few adjustments to fit our taste and use ingredients we already had on hand.

Baked Scallops

1 lb fresh jumbo sea scallops

4 T melted butter

4 cloves minced garlic

1/2 C diced yellow onion

Dash nutmeg

Salt and pepper to taste

1 C bread crumbs (we used traditional, but I think it would be good with Panko too!)

4 T olive oil

Mix the butter, garlic, onion, nutmeg, salt and pepper.  Add in the rinsed and drained scallops and toss to coat. Turn out into a casserole dish. 

Combine the olive oil and bread crumbs. Season with salt, pepper and dried parsley if desired. Spoon mixture over the scallops. Bake in a 425 degree oven for 12-15 minutes, or until topping is brown and scallops are done.

 

While we were at the seafood counter, we saw fresh prepared stuffed clams… so naturally we added them to the night’s menu as well!

As a side dish, I made zucchini noodles because I was itching to try out my new spiralizer attachment for my mixer!

After spiralizing 5 zucchinis,  I warmed about 4 T of olive oil in a pot with 1/2 C sliced red onion and 3 cloves of minced garlic. Then I added in my zucchini noodles, some basil, salt and pepper and let that cook for about 5 minutes with the lid on, stirring occasionally.  Lastly, I added in 1 C of halved cherry tomatoes and continued cooking until the zucchini noodles were to the desired softness.  For the first go at my ‘zoodles’ I think it was pretty successful! And a great side for our seafood, too.

We said goodbye to 2016 as a family, and had a countdown to bath time (no midnight for Hunter just yet!) with party poppers and conffetti.

Our dessert was brownie ice cream sundaes, and because we weren’t ready for them before Hunter’s bedtime, he got his baby sundae on New Year’s Day…

Complete with diced banana, a tiny scoop of vanilla ice cream, a dribble of chocolate and some whipped cream for good measure!

I hope you all enjoyed your New Year’s celebrations, I know we certainly had a special little night! Hopefully you’ll use some of these ideas to inspire your next date night in or little holiday celebration!  After all, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner!

Happy New Year to you, our Hunter and Mama supporters! We can’t wait to share 2017 with you!

Love,

Hunter and Mama

 

 

 

 

BBQ Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Today I’m sharing one of our weeknight go-to recipes for dinner.  It’s a quick and healthy recipe, the kind we all need more of!

When I say quick, I mean this is a record time dinner. I use leftover cooked chicken again in this one, so the longest part of your cooking will be however long it takes to make a baked potato in your microwave!  No joke!

First, scrub your sweet potatoes and poke them with a fork. You’ll want one small sweet potato per person.  I made a little extra for Hunter’s dinner and for lunch the following day!

img_6213

Get the sweet potatoes into the microwave on a plate covered with  a paper towel. I use the microwave preset for baked potatoes, and mine always come out perfect!

While your sweet potatoes are cooking, shred your cooked chicken. You’ll want about 3/4 cup chicken per person.  Mix with 1-2 tablespoons per serving of your favorite BBQ sauce.

img_6218

Once your sweet potatoes are fork tender, it’s time for assembly.  Halve the sweet potato, and make a few additional cuts per half to allow the topping to mix in better. Then, melt 1/2 tablespoon or butter or margarine on each sweet potato.  This is optional, and if you’re on a stricter diet you can simply omit this part.  You still get a ton of flavor from the chicken topping, I promise!

img_6219

Finally, pile on the BBQ chicken and garnish with a little chopped green onion.  I serve this with a side salad and dinner is on the table in about 10 minutes… you really can’t beat that!

sweet-potato-with-logo

Side note: If you have a little one at home, some chopped baked sweet potato and bits of shredded chicken make a great baby dinner!

img_6217

 

 

BBQ Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

(Per one serving)

1 Small-Medium Sweet Potato

3/4 Cup Cooked Shredded Chicken

1-2 Tablespoons BBQ Sauce

1/2 Tablespoon Butter or Margarine (optional)

Green Onion

Scrub sweet potato and poke with a fork before cooking in the microwave.  Use the baked potato preset on your microwave for best results.

Shred chicken and combine with 1-2 Tablespoons of BBQ Sauce.

Cut open sweet potato once it is fork tender and top with butter or margarine if desired.  Top with BBQ chicken and garnish with green onion.

Serve with a side salad or steamed veggies for a quick and healthy meal!

Hope you enjoy!

Love,

Hunter and Mama

 

Skinny Chicken Salad

After the Green Protein Smoothies were all done, Hunter and I started working on another of my favorite make ahead recipes… Skinny Chicken Salad.  This is a go-to for weekday lunches, and it’s nice to have a healthy option ready to go in the fridge ahead of time!

I know some of my friends and family are big fans of the 21 Day Fix and similar programs, and the ingredients in this recipe all work perfectly into those meal plans! (container counts: 1 Red, 1/2 Green, 1/2 Purple. Add 1 yellow if serving in a whole wheat tortilla)

I love to add both fruit and veggies into my chicken salad for a little extra texture and variety. I’m a big fan of apple in savory recipes, this one is no exception! And Hunter likes when I add apple so he can steal bites as I’m chopping….

img_6179

 

I used leftover chicken from the fridge this time, you can shred or cube your chicken depending on what you prefer.

img_6182-2

 

Then I chopped up my cucumber.  You could easily sub in some celery if you have some on hand, too. Next, I cut up one green onion. This is essential, it adds great flavor in health-minded recipes. One of my favorite kitchen shortcuts is using kitchen shears to snip the green onion over the bowl instead of a knife and cutting board. I use the same trick for fresh herbs!

img_6187

Lastly, I add in the greek yogurt, a little bit of mustard, some dried parsley and some black pepper.  Stir it all to combine and pop it in the fridge until you’re ready to eat! I do like to let this one sit for a little bit so that all the flavors have time to marry together.

img_6190

When you’re ready to eat, this makes a great wrap on a whole wheat tortilla or really awesome lettuce cups. Or you can just take a fork and dig in!

Print

Skinny Chicken Salad

Course Main Course
Cuisine lunch
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings 1
Author huntersmama

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup Cooked Chicken diced or shredded
  • 1/2 Cup Diced Apple
  • 1/2 Cup Diced Cucumber
  • 1 Green Onion
  • 1/4 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 Tsp Mustard
  • 1/2 Tsp Dried Parsley
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper To Taste

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients and store in the fridge until serving. Serve in a whole wheat tortilla or lettuce cups.

Hope you enjoy!

Love,

Hunter and Mama

Green Protein Smoothie

Like everyone, we’ve been trying to make a conscious effort at our house to eat healthier.  We are really pretty successful at it most of the time, but last week was a tough one!

With all three of us sick, we got by on takeout and anything quick and easy… it’s called SURVIVAL MODE! Thankfully, we were all feeling a little more human by Sunday, just in time for some healthy meal prep for the week.Green Smoothie-with logo

Hunter and I put together a few things so that we could start the week off right, including our favorite Green Protein Smoothie. These smoothies are so easy to prep, and we put them in the fridge overnight and blend them before we leave the house in the morning.

Full serving each of fruit, veggies and protein to go… and it makes the mornings a breeze!

I use a vanilla flavored protein powder, it helps to make the overall flavor not so…. green (if you’ve tried and failed at green smoothies before, you know what I mean!) You could use a different flavor, but then you’ll want to be a little more mindful of the fruits you choose to put in (for example: cookies and cream flavor doesn’t mix well with oranges!) I also use vanilla almond milk, but you could use regular almond milk, coconut milk, or even juice if you prefer. You really just need some liquid to get everything moving in the blender.Green Protein Smoothie- add almond milk

You can use fresh or frozen fruit, whatever you have on hand! This week we had some clementines and raspberries to use up, along with some frozen fruit I keep on hand to add up to 1 cup.Green Protein Smoothie- 1 cup fruit

 

We use spinach in these, it’s what we have on hand most often at our house.  1 cup just loosely packed (about one good handful) is just right.

Green Protein Smoothie- 1 cup spinach

Green Protein Smoothie

1 Cup Fruit (fresh or frozen)

1 Scoop Vanilla Protein Powder

1 Cup Spinach (loosely packed)    

1/4 Cup Almond Milk (or more if you like a thinner consistency)

Combine all ingredients in blender. Store overnight in fridge if desired.  Blend thoroughly before enjoying! 

Note: I make sure the spinach is next to the blade when I’m packing everything in (nobody wants big spinach chunks in their drink!) I also make sure the protein powder is the middle layer if I’m storing it overnight, it prevents the powder from getting gummy and sticking to the container.

Hope you enjoy!

Love,

Hunter and Mama