Last week both of us found ourselves running around more than usual and looking for something to grab and go without the luxury of sitting down at a table. Keeping up with your calories is a great way to boost energy levels and limit the temptation to overeat.  This is our first time making energy bars and protein balls. One of the best things about making them yourself is being able to cut out the sugar content while still maintaining a great flavor. Enjoy!

Chicken Quinoa Soup

http://happyhealthymama.com/chicken-quinoa-soup.html

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 2 large carrots, sliced diagonally
  • 2 celery ribs, cut in half length wise, and then sliced diagonally
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1½ teaspoons dried thyme
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • ⅔ cups quinoa, rinsed well
  • 1½ cups shredded/chopped cooked chicken
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. In a large stock, heat the oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, the bay leaf, and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken stock and quinoa and bring it to a boil.
  4. Reduce the heat and simmer until the quinoa is cooked, about 15-20 minutes.
  5. Stir in the chicken and allow to cook a few minutes, until the chicken is thoroughly heated.
  6. Remove the bay leaf before serving. Enjoy!

Rainbow Veggie Pinwheels

http://www.dinneratthezoo.com/rainbow-veggie-pinwheels-sesame-lime-quinoa-salad/

Ingredients

  • 4 large tortillas
  • ⅔ cup whipped cream cheese (can use light)
  • 1 tablespoon dry ranch powder (you can also use store bought)
  • ½ cup thinly sliced red bell pepper strips
  • ½ cup thinly sliced carrot strips
  • ½ cup thinly sliced yellow bell pepper strips
  • ½ cup baby spinach leaves
  • ½ cup shredded purple cabbage
  • 1 cup cooked shredded chicken (optional)

Directions

  1. Mix together the cream cheese and ranch powder until thoroughly combined.
  2. Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over the 4 tortillas.
  3. Leaving a 1 inch border on all sides, lay out 2 tablespoons of each vegetable in rows across the tortillas; top with shredded chicken.
  4. Roll up each tortilla tightly; if the ends don't stay shut you can add a bit more cream cheese to seal. Cut crosswise into pinwheels and serve.

Apple Cinnamon Energy Bars

http://bakeeatrepeat.ca/apple-cinnamon-energy-bars-recipe/

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dates
  • 1 cup quick oats, old fashioned rolled oats are also fine
  • 1 apple, cored
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1 tablespoon flax meal
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9x9 inch baking dish with parchment paper, leaving an overhang, and set aside.
  2. Place the dates in a small bowl, pour hot water over top, and let them soak for 10 minutes while you get out your ingredients.
  3. Drain the dates and add them to the bowl of a food processor.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until everything is finely chopped and mixed well.
  5. Press the mixture into the prepared baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes until it is set.
  6. Allow to cool then lift the bars out of the dish with the parchment overhang. Slice into bars.

Notes: Bars keep well in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Chia Peanut Butter Protein Balls

http://www.veganfamilyrecipes.com/chia-peanut-butter-protein-balls

Ingredients

  • 6 Dates or 4 Medjool Dates
  • 1 scoop (25g) Natural Raw Vegan Protein Powder
  • 4 tablespoons Crunchy or Natural Peanut Butter 
  • 2 teaspoons Chia Seeds (ground)

Directions

  1. Pulse all ingredients together in a food processor.
  2. Roll into 10 tablespoon sized balls.
  3. Store in refrigerator.
  4. NOTES: Smooth peanut butter can also be used in place of crunchy. Use your favorite protein powder for this recipe. I do recommend using a unflavored protein powder but that's just a taste preference.

Chicken Stuffed with Mozzarella, Tomato, and Basil

http://www.walkingonsunshinerecipes.com/2016/04/hasselback-chicken-stuffed-with.html#more

Ingredients

  • chicken breasts
  • Sliced mozzarella cheese
  • Grape tomatoes; sliced in half
  • Basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • salt, pepper
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

Directions

  1. Place the chicken breasts on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut slits across the chicken breast about 3/4 of the way through the chicken breast being careful not to cut all the way through.
  2. Depending on the size of your chicken breast, you're going to want around 6 to 8 slits per chicken breast.
  3. Stuff each slit with a slice of mozzarella cheese, half a grape tomato and a basil leaf.
  4. Place chicken breasts in a baking dish that has been coated with non-stick baking spray.
  5. Brush each chicken breast with olive oil.
  6. Sprinkle each chicken breast with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.
  7. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 30 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 160 degrees

One Pot Cajun Chicken and Sausage Alfredo Pasta

http://www.number-2-pencil.com/2015/10/15/one-pot-cajun-chicken-and-sausage-alfredo/

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound of chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste  Coupons
  • 14 oz smoked sausage, sliced on the diagonal
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 quart of low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 1/2 cups of heavy cream
  • 1 pound of dried penne pasta
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of Cajun seasoning plus more for topping
  • 4 oz of freshly shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup of Italian flat leaf parsley, minced

Directions

  1. Start with a large covered cooking pot.
  2. Season chicken with salt and pepper and brown in olive oil over medium high heat.
  3. Add sausage and continue to cook until lightly browned.
  4. Stir in garlic and cook for for about two minutes.
  5. Add chicken broth, heavy cream, dried pasta and cajun seasoning to pot.
  6. Stir together and bring to a simmer over medium high heat.
  7. Reduce heat to low and let cook covered for 15-20 minutes, or until pasta is tender.
  8. Remove pot from heat and stir in parmesan cheese.
  9. Stir in chopped parsley and sprinkle with additional cajun seasoning to taste.

Shopping List

  • 1 cup cooked shredded chicken 
  • 1½ cups shredded/chopped cooked chicken
  • chicken breasts
  • 1 pound of chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 14 oz smoked sausage, sliced on the diagonal
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • ⅔ cups quinoa, rinsed well
  • 4 large tortillas
  • ⅔ cup whipped cream cheese (can use light)
  • 1 tablespoon dry ranch powder (you can also use store bought)
  • ½ cup thinly sliced red bell pepper strips
  • ½ cup thinly sliced carrot strips
  • ½ cup thinly sliced yellow bell pepper strips
  • ½ cup baby spinach leaves
  • ½ cup shredded purple cabbage
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 2 large carrots, sliced diagonally
  • 2 celery ribs, cut in half length wise, and then sliced diagonally
  • 1/2 cup dates, 6 Dates or 4 Medjool Dates
  • 1 cup quick oats, old fashioned rolled oats are also fine
  • 1 apple, cored
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1 tablespoon flax meal
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 scoop (25g) Natural Raw Vegan Protein Powder
  • 4 tablespoons Crunchy or Natural Peanut Butter 
  • 2 teaspoons Chia Seeds (ground)
  • Sliced mozzarella cheese
  • Grape tomatoes; sliced in half
  • Basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 quart of low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 1/2 cups of heavy cream
  • 1 pound of dried penne pasta
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of Cajun seasoning plus more for topping
  • 4 oz of freshly shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup of Italian flat leaf parsley, minced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1½ teaspoons dried thyme
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