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Monday, April 14, 2014

{Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie with Chia Seeds}

Feels like it has been forever since I have blogged!  I have kinda gone full speed ahead on the whole wedding planning thing!  I feel like I will calm down a bit on the wedding front once the date is set, and the venue is official!  Lots of little ideas and plans right now but nothing 100% set in stone!  Wedding planning is exciting, but also makes you think a lot!!  And I am a planner with a brain that I feel never shuts off! 

I mentioned a few posts ago that I had been gravitating towards simple and easy to prepare recipes, and this smoothie definitely falls under the simple category.  But don't let the simple preparation turn you away from making this smoothie, because this smoothie is delicious!  This smoothie has a thick and creamy texture and is packed full of good for you protein.  This smoothie was created in an attempt to fit a little more protein into my life, while also providing me sweet tooth with a delicious and healthy dose of chocolate!  I added in chia seeds for a nutritional punch, but feel free to omit the chia seeds if you like!  Make this smoothie for breakfast, an afternoon snack or whip it up for an after dinner treat!  It really is yummy! 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie with Chia Seeds
Brunch N'Cupcakes 
Serves 1 

1 Small Banana 
3/4 Cup Chocolate Soy or Almond Milk 
1 Teaspoon Peanut Butter (Almond Butter would work too) 
2 Tablespoons Greek Yogurt (I used 2%) 
1/2 Tablespoon Chia Seeds (Optional, or throw in some flax seed) 

1- Combine all ingredients in a blender. 
2- Blend until well combined. 
3- Pour into a glass and enjoy! 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

{Fruity Chicken Salad with Creamy Poppyseed Dressing}

The weather has been absolutely beautiful here in Minnesota, it feels like Spring has finally, Finally arrived!  I have been loving the sunny days, and mild temperatures!  It has been great to be able to walk to work without freezing, run outside and not have to worry about ice and snow, and to be able to finally pack up my winter sweaters!  Good bye winter!  I love Spring, the first sign of grass (even if it is brown) after the snow melts, the beautiful flower, and how everyone here in Minnesota seems to come alive once the weather turns nicer!  It is true that in Minnesota conversation can revolve around the weather!  Spring also has me craving things like picnic food.  You know, chicken salad, pasta salad, and fruit!  This warm Spring weather was the inspiration for this fruity chicken salad.  I don't know about you but I love fruit in my chicken salad, it adds a fun surprise!  This chicken salad features a creamy poppy seed dressing (I cheated and used one of my faves), tangy greek yogurt, strawberries, apples and almonds!  Its truly delicious, perfect on a bed of spinach or sandwiched between thick whole wheat bread!  Even better after it has sat in the fridge overnight!  

Fruity Chicken Salad with Creamy Poppyseed Dressing
Brunch N'Cupcakes 
Serves 3-4 

2 Chicken Breasts cooked and shredded (I boiled mine and then shredded the chicken) 
1 Granny Smith Apple Chopped (skin on or removed, your preference) 
1/2 Cup Chopped Strawberries 
1/3 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt 
1/4 Cup Poppy Seed Dressing (I used Briannas Homestyle Dressing, Creamy Poppyseed, my fav!) 
1/4 Cup Chopped Celery 
1/4 Cup Slivered Almonds 
Lemon Pepper to Taste
1/4 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
**Spinach, Avocado Slices, Whole Wheat Wrap or Whole Wheat Bread for serving

1- Combine yogurt, poppy seed dressing, pepper and garlic powder in small bowl.  Stir till well combined. 
2- Place cooked chicken, celery, apple and strawberries into a medium bowl, gently toss to combine. 
3- Pour dressing over chicken mixture and gently stir until dressing is evenly incorporated over salad. 
4- Place chicken salad in fridge for 30 min - hour to chill. 
5- Serve over spinach, in a whole wheat wrap or thick slices of whole wheat bread! 

Check out these other delicious chicken salad recipes from around the web! 


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Happy Birthday To...

...My best friend, biggest supporter and one of the most amazing guys I know! 

You fill my life with love, fun, and adventures! Here is to many more birthdays that we will get to celebrate together!  I cannot wait to celebrate you this evening, I love you!  
Happy Birthday, Derek! 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

{Veggie Packed Quesadilla with Pepper Jack Cheese, Feta and Siracha}

Derek and I have officially been engaged for a week, and wedding thoughts are slowly creeping into my thoughts and maybe even my dreams!  I am excited, a tad overwhelmed and feel like I have no idea where to even begin!  But it is exciting, and I want to enjoy every minute of wedding planning!  I have found that this past week was a bit of a whirlwind and a bit of a blur!  I feel as though I was walking with my head in the clouds, I guess you could say I was and still am on cloud 9 at the thought of our engagement!  I have found that I have been gravitating towards easy and simple meals, pulling odd things together and reconnecting with some old favorites in the food world!  Like these veggie packed quesadillas!  I whipped these up for Derek and I Friday night before hunkered down on the couch for a movie night!  These quesadilla are a healthy spin on my old favorite, adding in plenty of veggies, and spicy bold flavor punch from the pepper jack and feta cheese!  I cooked mine up in my George Forman, but you could easily whip these up in a skillet on the stove! Sub in any veggies you like, serve with sour cream, and your favorite salsa!  

Veggie Packed Quesadilla with Pepper Jack Cheese, Feta and Siracha
Brunch N'Cupcakes 
Serves 2 for dinner or 4 for an App 

2 Whole Wheat Tortillas 
1/2 Cup Cherry Tomatos, Halved 
1/2 Medium Red or Green Pepper Chopped 
1/4 Cup Chopped Red Onion 
2 Tablespoons Feta Cheese 
1/4 Cup Pepper Jack Cheese
Salsa, Avocado, Sour Cream/Greek Yogurt for Serving 
2 Teaspoons Melted Butter or Olive Oil for tortilla 

1- In a skillet saute onions until tender.  Add in pepper and cherry tomatoes.  Once all veggies are tender sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper. 
2- Lightly brush outside of tortilla with butter or olive oil.  Place buttered side down on a clean plate.  Top half of the tortilla with 2 tablespoons pepper jack cheese.  Layer small handful of fresh spinach on top of cheese followed by half the sauteed veggies.  Top Veggies with remaining 2 tablepsoons pepper jack cheese and 1 tablespoon feta.  Fold tortilla closed over cheese and veggie picture.  Place on heated George Forman grill and cook until cheese is melted and tortilla is crispy  (about 5 minutes).  Repeat with remaining tortilla.  **Note if using a skillet cook on each side for about 3 minutes or until golden brown.  Make sure cheese is melted! 

Serve drizzled with siracha, sour cream, avocado slices and salsa! 


Thursday, April 3, 2014

{BBQ Chicken Tacos}

Hi Friends!  I have missed blogging and sharing recipes with you this week!   But it has been a whirlwind of a week, and is almost a blur in my mind!  Lots going on, lots of excitement, and lots of preliminary planning!  Derek and I are over the moon excited for this next chapter in our lives and so thankful for the support and love we have been experiencing from family and friends.  Read our engagement story here.  

But today, I want to share these delicious BBQ Chicken Tacos with you!  They are super easy to make and absolutely delicious!  I whipped these up the other night while Derek and I discussed wedding plans!  He even texted me the next day saying, "Not sure what exactly we had for dinner last night, but they were really good, and I liked it!"  Man I love him!   So here you go, BBQ Chicken Tacos! 

BBQ Chicken Tacos 
Brunch N'Cupcakes 
Serves 4 - 6 (Depending on how 

2-3 Chicken Breast Shredded (I used about a pound, and boiled the chicken)
3/4 Cup BBQ Sauce (Look for one with no High Fructose Corn Syrup)
2 Teaspoons Siracha
1 Bag Broccoli Slaw
Juice from one Lime
1/2 Cup Chopped Fresh Cilantro
2 Teaspoons Cumin
1 Teaspoon Chile Powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
Avocado, Greek Yogurt/Sour Cream for Serving
4-6 Whole Wheat Tortillas

1- Combine shredded chicken with BBQ Sauce and Siracha.  Stir till well combined and set aside.
2- In a medium bowl combine broccoli slaw through olive oil.  Make sure all ingredients are well combined.
3- To serve - Divide broccoli slaw among 4-6 whole wheat tortillas and top with BBQ chicken, Avocado Slices and taco toppings of choice!  I used siracha and avocado for ours - Derek LOVED them!


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

{Our Next Chapter}

Well, it is official...Derek and I are engaged!  He popped the question this past Saturday, April 29th.  He proposed on our two year anniversary, at the restaurant we had our first date, and at the site of our very first kiss!  

We are filled with excitement as we begin thinking about this new chapter in our lives, and have been overwhelmed with well wishes, and support from our family and friends!  We truly feel blessed to have such amazing family and friends, and are grateful for everyone who has helped us celebrate this milestone! So, would you like to here the tale of our engagement?  Derek asked in the most perfect way!  He truly surprised me, and knows me all to well!  Here it is, warning it's long!  

Friday, March 28, 2014

Recipe Round Up; Snack Time!

Happy Friday All!  I wanted to take the time to talk to you about some of my favorite snack recipes/ideas that I have been featured on the blog in the past month/months!  You see,  half marathon training is fully underway (I am talking long runs and sometimes double digit long weekend runs) and I find myself hungry all the time!  It is important to me to have healthy snacks accessible at all times, and not just healthy snacks but delicious snacks too!  So, enjoy my top snack picks from the blog!