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Why is oatmeal such a healthy breakfast option?

Why is oatmeal such a healthy breakfast option?

Oatmeal…some love it, some hate it. Texture, I know, is a big concern for many eaters out there. But I’m here to give you some new recipe ideas and tell you why oatmeal is such an incredible food and an especially healthy breakfast option.

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I am crazy for oatmeal. I absolutely love it. But I will tell you, I am ridiculously picky about the texture of my oatmeal. Runny, no thank you. I could eat mine with a fork. And I can feel good about my addiction, too, knowing that it is incredibly healthy! 😀

Some great benefits of oatmeal include:

  • Helps to improve cholesterol.
  • May reduce blood pressure.
  • High in fiber to keep you regular, fill you up and improve colon health.
  • Contains heart-healthy soluble fiber.
  • Contains proteins.
  • Low glycemic carbohydrate source.
  • Great for an energizing, balanced breakfast.
  • They are very versatile.
  • They are cheap and delicious!

Some call oatmeal a superfood, and I couldn’t agree more. Eating it regularly can improve your health in a number of ways from cholesterol to blood pressure to digestive health and energy. That being said, let me give you some helpful tips for great-tasting oatmeal.

  • If you don’t like the texture, try making it with less liquid to give it a denser, dryer texture.
  • For more protein, add in protein powder.
  • For more crunch, try flaxseeds or chia seeds and/or nuts in oatmeal.
  • Experiment with fruits. I’ve done berries, pineapple, peaches, apples, bananas in my oatmeal and they are all so good!
  • Top cooked oatmeal with coconut oil to give it a nice, tasty glaze on top.
  • Also, for more crunch, top cooked oatmeal with a sprinkle of dry granola.
  • If you are pinched for time and need a quick fix, try overnight oats in the refrigerator. 

I hope you try out this delicious food and find a liking for it to reap the many benefits!

Quick and Easy Low Carb Egg Cups Recipe

Quick and Easy Low Carb Egg Cups Recipe

Want a quick and easy breakfast or a healthy snack that you can prepare ahead of time? This is a go-to!

I call these egg cups because I don’t like to think of my eggs in the form of a muffin, but you will use a muffin tin to bake these.

They are…super easy, super flexible and super tasty. Why wouldn’t you try them? They are great for a quick, healthy breakfast or lunch option. I have added these as a brunch go-to item, as well, when we have brunch get togethers. They are so easy and you can make a few different kinds to choose from.

Also, I could use this disclaimer on many of my recipes, but I don’t always measure my ingredients. Most times, I just wing it and see how it turns out. Experience makes a great teacher 😉

Ingredients:

  • 5 Eggs
  • Dab of milk (I used almond)
  • Tomatoes, diced
  • Onion, diced
  • Spinach, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Cheese, sprinkle on top, if desired

What to do:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • Grease muffin tin.
  • Chop spinach, set aside.
  • Dice tomatoes and onions, set aside.

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  • Break eggs into small bowl, whisk well. Add about 1-2 tbsp of milk, whisk more.
  • Add salt and pepper to eggs, as desired.
  • Evenly distribute egg mix to make 6-7 bowls in tin.

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  • Top each egg bowl with onion, tomato and spinach as desired, being careful to leave extra room at top of each bowl.

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  • Place in heated oven and bake for 13-15 minutes or until eggs are no longer runny on top.

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  • Take out of oven, add cheese on top of each egg bowl to melt, if desired.
  • Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

*Notes

Get creative with these! You could add a variety of difference spices or ingredients to fit your preferences. My meat-loving husband suggested I add cooked sausage to the next batch so I will try that variation.

Easy Energy Balls Recipe – Multiple Variations

Easy Energy Balls Recipe – Multiple Variations

One of my favorite go to snacks are protein bars but these can get pricey and questionable when bought packaged in the store. Protein bars often have added sweeteners and hard-to-pronounce ingredients. I’ll admit, I still do buy them for convenience from time to time but I definitely prefer to make my own healthier protein treats, especially since knowing how simple and easy they really are. These protein balls are one of my all time favorite healthy snacks.

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Don’t over-complicate making a good tasting protein bar/ball. All you need is a few simple ingredients and a little bit of time. I will include below common ingredients I use in my protein balls or bars but the amount and measurements are up to you! Experiment! I only measure these out if I am strictly counting my calories and macro-ingredients (fats, proteins, carbs). Otherwise, mix away and have fun!

Commonly used ingredients:

  • Oats
  • Peanut/almond butter
  • Coconut oil
  • Protein powder
  • Stevia
  • Honey
  • Chia or Flax seed
  • Vanilla extract
  • Dried fruit
  • Yogurt* (as needed for binding)
  • Milk* (as needed for binding)

Mix your dry ingredients together and separately mix your wet ingredients together. Then add wet and dry mixes together. Test the consistency when rolling into a ball or pressing into a pan; if too dry, add yogurt or milk. You want the balls or bars to hold their shape and not crumble apart. Add the yogurt and/or milk in small quantities to reach desired consistency. Once formed into balls or pressed into foiled or wax paper lined pan, put in refrigerator or freezer and store.

These also make great treats to take to gatherings or add to your child’s lunch. A friend of mine makes these for healthier Halloween party treats for kids. You can feel better about handing them out knowing they are nutritious and are made with good-for-you foods! You can even make these seasonal by adding in spices or flavorings  (i.e. pumpkin pie spice, peppermint) as you wish.

Enjoy!

 

Anytime Oven-Roasted Veggies

Anytime Oven-Roasted Veggies

So on the first day of spring, I roasted mostly fall vegetables. Now I know sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts aren’t necessarily your traditional Spring-time veggies of choice, but they are some of my favorites and I’ll eat them any day of the year. 🙂 Roasting vegetables is one of my favorite methods of preparation because it brings out the natural sweetness of the veggies in a sort of caramelizing, delicious process. You can roast nearly any vegetable and the natural sweetness will be intensified and the veggie more flavorful! Another reason I like roasting foods is because it is a very easy method of cooking, as it does not require much ‘babysitting’ once you get it in the oven and that is something we can all appreciate, I’m certain. Experiment, give it a try and fall in love with roasted veggies!

What you need:

  • 2 lbs Brussels sprouts, halved and roots cut off (my preference)
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, skin peeled (my preference) and cubed
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced, optional
  • Coconut oil
  • Salt and Pepper

What you do:

  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Line 2 baking sheets with aluminum foil and coat with coconut oil.
  • Wash all veggies.
  • Peel potato, if desired, and cut into cubes.
  • Trim roots off Brussels sprouts, if desire, and cut in half.

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  • Dice pepper into 1/4 inch squares.
  • Dice onion into desired size. (I omitted onion in this recipe simply because I did not have any but I encourage you to add it for extra sweetness and caramelization!)
  • Evenly distribute veggies onto both pans and do your best to try for only one layer of vegetables per sheet, as this will help with cooking the veggies more evenly.

 

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  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Place into preheated oven and cook for 25-30 minutes.
  • Enjoy with your favorite protein for a balanced, nutritious meal!

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Perfectly roasted, perfectly delicious!

Salt and Vinegar Kale Chips

Salt and Vinegar Kale Chips

Kale – a superfood! Why not give this a try?! Maybe you’re like me and have given kale chips a try and burnt them the first time…oops! It’s ok, just try again! Experimenting with food is so fun, challenging and most often, very rewarding. Making kale chips can be a delicate process to get them at the right crispiness, but I assure you, it can be done.

So here you have a classic potato chip flavor baked right into this great, green superfood…a much healthier alternative! Follow along below and achieve kale chip success!

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of kale
  • Olive oil (eyeballed approximately 1 tbsp)
  • Vinegar, I used distilled white vinegar (eyeballed approximately 2 tbsp)
  • Salt (and Pepper, too)

What you do:

  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Line baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  • Pick kale off of stem and wash with cold water.
  • Shake excess water off leaves the best you can.
  • Pull kale into desire size. I made them into about the size of a deck of cards. (I like big chips!)
  • Place into large bowl.
  • Mix together olive oil, vinegar and about 1 tsp salt in a small bowl.
  • Drizzle mixture over kale pieces and massage into leaves for a couple minutes to coat leaves evenly.
  • Place leaves on foil-lined baking sheet.
    • 1 bunch of kale was too much for 1 round of cooking for my sheet. I had to do a few rounds.
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Place in preheated oven for 6-8 minutes.
  • Turn oven on high broil. Broil leaves for 30-60 seconds.
  • Take out of oven and enjoy!

And to give you a better visual of the whole process…

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Pull kale into desire size after pulling from the stem and washing with cold water.

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Massage kale with oil and vinegar mixture.

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Place on foil-lined baking sheet and bake at 375°F fro 6-8 minutes. Then, broil for 30-60 seconds.

Enjoy! 🙂

 

Healthy Paleo Sweet Potato Hash Recipe

Healthy Paleo Sweet Potato Hash Recipe

Paleo or not, this one is a must try for you! This colorful, fiber-rich, one-skillet meal will be sure to please. This sweet potato hash could be made for either a savory breakfast or breakfast-for-dinner option. You’ll be glad to know that this recipe is simple to make with easy ingredients…you can’t beat that! I found this one online but made a few adjustments for personal preference.

A healthy balance of carbs, proteins and fats makes this a well-balanced and satisfying meal. There is a small amount of prep time with this but it’s all easy and totally worth it! And I can tell you, I’ll be making this one again.

Ingredients:

  • Cast iron skillet
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 2 cups kale
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 2-4 eggs
  • Coconut oil
  • Salt and Pepper

What you do:

  • First, fry the bacon in a cast iron skillet.

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  • While bacon is frying, prep the veggies.
  • Cut sweet potatoes into cubes. Dice green peppers. Pick kale off of stems and pull apart into desired size. Set aside.

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  • Once bacon is cooked through, remove from skilled and transfer to a paper-towel plate. Set aside.
  • If desired, add on tablespoon of coconut oil to the bacon grease (pleasantly delicious, in my opinion)!
  • Place cubed sweet potatoes into bacon grease gently, being careful of grease popping!
  • On medium heat, allow sweet potatoes to cook for a few minutes without touching.
  • Flip them over once they start to become soft on one side. Allow to cook a few more minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F.

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  • Next, add diced green pepper and kale pieces. Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
  • Stir evenly to coat.
  • Stir occasionally until veggies become soft.
  • Turn off stove.

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  • To make a space for the eggs, push veggies around to form 2-4 open spots within the skillet mixture and crack eggs in the opening.
  • Place skillet in preheated oven.
  • Bake for 5-10 minutes, depending on how runny you want your eggs.

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  • Remove skillet from oven. Top with more salt and pepper, if desired.

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  • Serve yourself and top with crumbled bacon! Enjoy!

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Healthy Baked Cinnamon Bananas Recipe

Healthy Baked Cinnamon Bananas Recipe

Bananas are one of my favorite fruits because they are so tasty and because they can be very versatile. This take on bananas is a must try! These baked cinnamon bananas are quick, easy and will satisfy your sweet tooth without packing on the calories.

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana (or 2 or 3, depending on how many you’re making these for!)
  • Cinnamon
  • Coconut oil

What you do:

  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Cut banana into 1/4 inch slices.
  • Spread out on baking sheet.
  • Top each with just a dab of coconut oil.
  • Sprinkle cinnamon on top.
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  • Bake for 10 minutes.
  • Turn oven to broil. Broil for a 30-90 seconds on high. (Keep close eye on these, as they could burn easily!)
  • Enjoy 🙂 (dog not included)
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Easy Oven-Baked Hawaiian Chicken Recipe

Easy Oven-Baked Hawaiian Chicken Recipe

If you are like me, you are looking for a quick and simple dinner to make and don’t want to spend hours cooking in the evenings. So when it comes to cooking, it doesn’t get much easier than this. This Hawaiian chicken recipe has just 3 simple ingredients. In addition, you’ll only have to get one pan dirty. I’d say that is a win-win!

Ingredients:

  • 3 chicken breasts
  • BBQ sauce of choice (I used Sweet Baby Rays)
  • 1 can of sliced pineapple

What you do:

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Line your baking sheet with aluminum foil. I do this for even easier clean up but you don’t have to.
  • Place thawed chicken breasts on foil-lined baking sheet.

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  • Cover with preferred amount of BBQ sauce.

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  • Top with slices of pineapple.

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  • Place prepared chicken in preheated oven for 40-50 min or until chicken is cooked through.
  • Pair with vibrant green veggies and, a personal favorite, sweet potatoes for a well-balanced, colorful meal!

*Note:

I also poured in the remainder of the juices from the can of pineapple in the bottom of the baking sheet and the chicken came out wonderfully moist and juicy!