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Author Archive | Ami

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Protein Bites

I have one child who will eat almost anything and another who eats… almost nothing. Not in the sense that he doesn’t want to eat, but in the sense that the number of foods he’ll eat is very small. He has five foods he’d eat all day long. I’m working on a post to talk about that but in the mean time, I’m posting about a great success I had!!

I try to cram as many nutrients in him as I can, which is very difficult. This week I decided to turn his favorite flavor (chocolate chip cookies) in to a low-sugar, high protein and healthy fats treat I feel good about sending to school with him. I almost cried when he took a bite and said, “Wow! These are so good!” And he was right! These are good! Plus they are easy to make and store. I keep them in the freezer and pull a few out in the morning for his school snacks. These would be AMAZING with walnuts but walnuts are not one of the foods he’s willing to eat. Let me know if you try adding them!

One key to making these as nutrient-dense as possible is to buy quality ingredients. This recipe calls for both protein powder and collagen peptides. I use this protein powder (click here for link) as a good compromise with me and my son. He’s willing to eat it and I mostly approve of the ingredients. I also like Great Lakes Collagen Peptides (click here for link).

The healthy fats (and awesome flavor) comes from coconut butter. If you haven’t tasted coconut butter, you’re missing out. I use it on pancakes bread or just on a spoon. It’s that good.

For the chocolate chips I use Enjoy Life Brand (click here for link). Yes they have sugar, but the ingredients are minimal and all pronounceable. Plus with one 1/4 cup in the entire recipe, each protein ball has very little added sugar.

Hopefully your family loves these as much as we do.


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Shepherd’s Pie Baked Potatoes

Tonight on the menu in our house was shepherd’s pie. I always try to make dinner as easy as possible, but sometimes even that’s more effort than I feel like giving after a day of being a mom.. The idea of using a pan to cook the meat, two more to cook potatoes (we have to make sweet and regular potatoes in our house because everyone likes something different), and two pans to bake the pies (again for different potatoes) made me want to order a pizza.

Then I thought, “what if I just put the meat on top of a baked potato? Wouldn’t that taste the same?” The answer: YES! It does. I made the potatoes on one foil-lined pan that didn’t need to be washed. I didn’t have to wash a potato masher, and I didn’t have to wash the pans I’d have to use to bake the pies. I ended up washing one skillet. SUCCESS!

I used a lot of vegetables in this dish because I’m always trying to cram in more vegetables. This dish is a perfect way to add vegetables because once it all simmers in the sauce, your kids won’t even notice all the veggies. Mine didn’t!

I had to take a picture of this because it’s so beautiful! When they say, “eat all the colors of the rainbow everyday,” this is a great start.

I topped my husband’s and daughter’s servings with some grass-fed, grated cheese. My daughter hasn’t eaten dinner that fast in a long time. We cook our sweet potatoes using this method from empowered sustenance (click here for link). I always add a russet potato to the pan for my husband and it comes out just as perfectly as the sweet potatoes.


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Easy Salmon Bowls

I have a confession that may get me kicked out of the healthy community. I do not particularly enjoy eating fish. I am okay with white fish, but I don’t love salmon (one of the healthiest fish due to its higher fat content). Fish provides Omega-3 Fats, which help our heart and reduce overall inflammation. A word about buying fish. ALWAYS buy fish labeled “wild-caught.” This means the fish was taken from its natural habitat after eating its natural diet. “Farm-raised” fish was raised in large groups and fed using grain by-products. This makes farm-raised fish richer in Omega-6 fats which we already get way too much of in the standard American diet.

Because I realize how much I need fish in my diet, I’m always looking for a way I can eat salmon and enjoy it. One thing I do love is Asian food. I decided the best way to eat salmon was to give it some Asian flavor. These salmon bowls are DELICIOUS! They come together really fast and are easy to customize. I love meals like this because I don’t have to try to please everyone. I put out the toppings and everyone can just add what they like. These are also great for company for that exact reason. When I eat these bowls I can honestly say I love salmon.

If you’re going to use rice, start it cooking first.

Then start working on the salmon. I’m not willing to spend a lot of time cooking dinner so I love to cook fish in the oven. I don’t want to have to watch a pan. After it cooks, the salmon easily flakes away from the skin in bite-size pieces. If you REALLY don’t like salmon, you can make this with any fish. Shrimp would be DELICIOUS (a fish I actually do love to eat). Just remember to look for that “wild-caught” label.

 

While the salmon cooks, prep all your toppings. There is really no wrong way to do this. We use cucumber, carrot, red pepper, spinach, cilantro and avocado but if you want to use something different, go for it.

Then make the sauce. I love this sauce because it only requires one bowl and no cooking. Make and store extra for salad dressing. I like to use tahini, my husband likes peanut butter. Either is delicious. You can also use almond butter or really any nut butter you have on hand. Don’t go out and buy something if you have ingredients that work.

Now just build your bowl how you like it. I like to add a scoop of rice a huge handful of spinach, one whole flaked salmon fillet and then top it with my veggie strips. Then I just drizzle the whole thing with the sauce. My family members pick the veggies they like so there’s not complaining about not liking certain ingredients.

And that’s it! Dinner is ready! Enjoy your fish!!

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5 Ingredient Healthy Chocolate Peanut Butter Pudding

We do dessert every Sunday night because it just makes life better. A few weeks ago I made some grain-free, refined sugar-free, dairy-free cookies. They were DELICIOUS, but I wanted something more. I didn’t have much time so I decided to whip up some extremely easy, creamy, sweet chocolate peanut butter pudding. Dipping the cookies in the pudding was basically heaven!

It all starts with coconut cream. Coconut cream is the solid portion of canned coconut milk. Getting it is super simple. Just stick a can of full-fat coconut milk in the fridge for a few hours (I usually stick mine in the night before). I really like to use the Thai Kitchen brand. I prefer the taste and consistency to other coconut milks. Then using a spoon, gently scoop the solid cream into a bowl. You’ll be left with a clear liquid. Save this for smoothies or to thin out your pudding a bit.

Coconut cream is so stable, you can add it the honey, cocoa powder and vanilla all at the same time.

Whip this up with a hand mixer and then add in the peanut butter. I call it good there. But this pudding is extremely thick. So thick this could even double for a frosting. If you like a thinner pudding, just keep whipping in the liquid from the coconut milk until you’re satisfied.

I highly recommend this with a cookie… or three…


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Gluten-Free Brownie Pudding Cake

When I was a kid, my mom would make brownie pudding cake on cold, wet days. It was so comforting topped with a big scoop of whipped cream that melted into the gooey chocolate. It really doesn’t get more comforting than that. One bowl of that and every problem would disappear. It was basically unicorn tears topped with whipped unicorn tears. Tears of joy that is. There’s no room for sadness here. Best. Thing. Ever.

A few weeks ago we got one of those miserable spring snow storms. Snow in winter is expected, but snow when I’ve spent the last week in skirts and flip flops? Not cool. I needed some warm gooey comfort. But I didn’t want the next day sugar/gluten hangover I get. So I set out to make a grain-free, low sugar version. I was so pleased with the results, the unicorns and I cried together.

This brownie pudding cake is super rich and dark. If you don’t like it that dark, up the sugar and down the cocoa powder. But I can’t image finding comfort from chocolate that isn’t dark chocolate. That’s just me though…

The reason this is so good is that it’s a moist rich cake with a gooey, smooth inside. I topped it with whipped coconut cream that melted into the warm cake just like the version from my childhood. It was so nostalgic I felt like putting on my rainbow bright leg warmers.

This cake comes together in three layers that all come together to make a gooey bowl of joy.

The cake layer:

The topping layer:

The boiling water which makes a crispy top and a gooey middle:

You can’t look at this without smiling.

 

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natural deodorant copy

Does Natural Deodorant Really Work?

About a year ago I decided I wanted to switch to an all-natural deodorant. I’d been reading a lot about the toxins contained in heavy metals and how they can affect our health and it kind of freaked me out. Since then, I’ve gone through 7 different natural deodorants. Lucky for all of you, I’ve […]

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Cage Free Chickens

The Truth About Egg Labels

I’ve always bought “cage-free” eggs. I was so proud picturing my eggs being laid by chickens roaming around a field of grass and flowers listening to Simon and Garfunkel. Then I learned that “cage-free” may not mean what I thought it meant. What about Organic? Free Range? Pasture Raised? What does it all mean?!

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