Week 3: Fall Is Coming

Week 3: Fall Is Coming

Hi there!

I apologize for the lateness of my post… This weekend was insanely busy for me and I completely lost track of time.

So let’s jump right into it!

Breakfast: Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls (5*)-

Talk about fall comfort food. These little babies were the perfect start to every morning of my week.

This recipe was not too terribly difficult to follow. However, the dough was incredibly wet the first time around and I had to keep adding more flour in order to get it to roll up correctly. When I made them for a second time, I followed every step to the letter and it seemed to turn out better. For all of you newbie bakers out there, you do have to perfectly follow recipes for baking- cooking is much more lenient. Also, I recommend cooking them about 5 minutes less- I like my cinnamon rolls nice and gooey🙂

http://girlwhobakes.blogspot.com/2014/02/low-fat-whole-wheat-cinnamon-rolls-no.html

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Snack: Caramel Popcorn (4*)-

I am in love with caramel popcorn, and felt entirely more accomplished over the fact that I homemade it!

The serving size for this recipe was much smaller than I anticipated. Also, I did everything the recipe stated but I did not wind up with the expected serving size. What trickery is this??

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http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/caramel-popcorn

Dinner:

1) Tex-Mex Lasagna (5*)-

Portions for this meal were a total non-issue, primarily due to the lack of meat. This whole lasagna was only cut into fourths and that was way more than enough.

I cannot think of a single note to add! Perfectly delicious.

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http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/tex-mex-lasagna-1

2) Bacon, Ranch and Chicken Mac & Cheese (4*)-

I like to think of this meal as an “adult” mac and cheese recipe. The dill seasoning was my favorite part- a little goes a long way. And as you may have noticed, I clearly got too excited eating it every time and never took my own picture…

The serving size was projected to be 4, at 2 cups a piece, however I had only 4 servings at 1 cup a piece. I believe this may have been because of the small, organic macaroni noodles that I used. Also, I just cooked the chicken without any seasonings in a pan beforehand and that lack of taste came through in the combined dish- definitely add some flavor to your chicken. Finally, I used two pieces of turkey bacon rather than the one regular piece of apple-wood.

bacon-chicken-mac-cheese-ck-x

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/bacon-ranch-chicken-mac-cheese

Dessert: Pumpkin Bread Pudding (4*)-

This was my first experience making bread pudding and I was a little nervous, but the result was well worth it.

I was able to double the serving size by baking them in a muffin pan. This was way more convenient and plus, they look pretty cute😉
12038308_10154228205537501_5611248325464348772_nhttp://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Dairy-Free-Pumpkin-Bread-Pudding-Recipe-25709569

As per usual, tell me your favorite!

Bonus: My mom graciously bought me Quest bars when I traveled home to Kansas this weekend. Three of these boxes (apple pie, chocolate brownie and mixed berry) are worth a small fortune but they’ll last me a while.

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In case you all didn’t know, they are the most amazing brand of protein bars on the planet. Not only are they high in protein (around 20 grams) but they are also low in calories (normally close to 150) and they taste incredible. This is the rare trifecta people, get yours now!

Until next time,

-Skylar

Week 2: Classic Dishes Reborn

Week 2: Classic Dishes Reborn

Hi there,

What foods come to mind if you were to think of your all-time favorite meals? Hopefully some of yours match with mine!

This week I made over some of my beloved dishes and the results are as follows:

Breakfast: Baked Oatmeal (4*)

One of my favorite breakfast foods is oatmeal- and as of late, overnight oats. Baked oatmeal sounded like a great alternative for easy pickings in the morning.

This recipe calls for 2 1/2 cups of mixed fruit- I decided on frozen blueberries and peaches. It also calls for 1/4 cup honey, syrup, brown sugar or sugar- I picked syrup.

I added a cup of mixed fruit on the side: strawberries, watermelon and raspberries. After reheating, I also drizzled a teaspoon of honey over the oatmeal.

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http://www.snack-girl.com/snack/healthy-baked-oatmeal/

 

Snack: Blueberry Muffins (4*)-

You’ve probably heard that blueberries are one of the best antioxidants… But I understand them to be an incredibly versatile fruit to use in many recipes!

This was the perfect pick-me-up snack, especially during that 3:00 hunger hour at work.

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Dinner-

1) Avocado Chicken Salad (5*)-

Chicken salad is delicious in of itself, but mix in some avocado and it’s close to perfection. I absolutely loved this served in a pita pocket.

If you worry about your salad turning brown in the fridge (although mine really didn’t even after four days), you can always drizzle in some lemon juice to retain the green color.

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http://www.organizeyourselfskinny.com/2014/06/18/avocado-and-greek-yogurt-chicken-salad-no-mayonnaise/

2) Turkey Chili with Rice (5*)-

Chili is my ultimate comfort food. Although, rather than the typical beef, ground turkey is a healthier option. And while the recipe calls for rice, I burnt mine so I ate the chili alone (yes, even I make mistakes😉.

This recipe was super easy given the amount of ingredients. And while I’m not sure how the tradition started, I’m like the “if you give a mouse a cookie” character- If you make Skylar chili, she will want a peanut butter sandwich to go with it. Something about these two dishes go together wonderfully (although, what doesn’t pair well with peanut butter?!)

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http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/twenty-minute-chili

 

Dessert: Peanut Butter & Jelly Thumbprints (5*)-

Can you say childhood dream brought to real “adult” life? These were little bites of the perfect sandwich heaven. Many of my friends and family were able to test these out given the high yield.

Rather than the raspberry preserves, I used strawberry- I’m pretty picky when it comes to my complimentary peanut butter flavors.
12039399_10154206841887501_203516353036601091_nhttp://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/peanut-butter-jelly-thumbprints

 

I hope you all enjoy! I’ve added a poll so you can tell me your favorites.

Food Love,

S

P.S. Prepare yourself for plenty of fall treats in the weeks ahead: Pumpkin, Apple, Caramel and more!

Week 1: Peanut Butter, Turkey, & Hello Dolly’s, Oh My!

Week 1: Peanut Butter, Turkey, & Hello Dolly’s, Oh My!

Hello beautiful people,

I have to tell you all that this first week’s worth of recipes was one for the books. For each one, I’ve added my overall thoughts, corrections (if needed), the link to the recipe and an actual picture of my at-home result.

Without further adieu, here they are:

(*Warning: May induce salivating while scrolling*)

Breakfast: Banana Chocolate Walnut Bread (5*)

This bread was so moist (the only time I’ll ever want to use that word), soft and completely delicious.

I have no corrections to make for this recipe so follow along and you will be in breakfast heaven. However, I did not have any regular chocolate chips so I had to use my leftover white chocolate chips, which were still yummy! After warming it up, I added half a banana, a sprinkle of extra walnuts and of course, an extra-large cup of coffee.

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http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/banana-chocolate-walnut-bread

 

Snack: Peanut Butter, Coconut & Dried Cherries Rice Cake (5*)

This was a super easy recipe. Peanut butter may be one of my favorite things on Earth, so this snack was spot on for me.

I did not make any special changes, although I do recommend Old Home’s peanut butter (especially the creamy honey, its life-changing).

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http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/recipe-collections-favorites/quick-easy/healthy-snack-ideas/rice-cake-peanut-butter-cherries

 

Dinner-

1) Crispy Peanut Tofu & Cauliflower Rice Stir Fry (3*)

I had a friend over to try this dish. Overall, it was pretty good! But, it had cooled down by the time we ate and it definitely should be warm to fully enjoy.

Rather than going through the process of draining and cooking the tofu, stores have excellent pre-made versions (among them is Teriyaki) and make that step quite a bit easier. Also, make sure to pat dry the cauliflower rice- mine was a bit more soupy and could have used it.

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http://minimalistbaker.com/crispy-peanut-tofu-cauliflower-rice-stir-fry/\

2) Turkey Meatloaf (5*)

One of my favorite comfort foods is meatloaf- I have my mom make this when I come home from time to time because her’s rocks. However, I wanted to take this recipe a step farther in the health factor by using turkey and the result was phenomenal.

As far as my notes, I don’t have many. I’m not the biggest ketchup fan in the world but I am partial to the Whataburger spicy flavor (I know, not the most nutritional option, but it’s alright if you use it sparingly!).

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http://www.food.com/recipe/richies-turkey-meatloaf-213359

3) Brown Rice Bowl with Turkey (3*)

I was so excited to try this and while it turned out good, it should have been great.

I’m still new with cooking meat, turkey being among them. My turkey turned out dry (fairly certain my oven is hotter than it shows), so baking it for a less amount of time could help. Also, the recipe called for sesame oil as the “dressing” but I didn’t really like the taste it gave to the bowl. When I ate it as leftovers, I added a tablespoon of balsamic vinaigrette and this significantly improved my opinion overall. Finally, I believe it tasted better cold after some time in the fridge.

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http://www.health.com/health/recipe/0,,50400000120335,00.html

 

Dessert: Hello Dolly Bars

Oh dolly oh my- I have no clue why these are called hello dolly’s (although after some time on google, maybe you can enlighten me). These were SO GOOD and melt in your mouth delicious.

I’m on the fence for whether they’re better served hot or cold- both are equally amazing options. My one note is regarding the crust- definitely be careful when the recipe says to not overstir. I had to start over because I did that the first time and wound up with a runny crust.

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http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/hello-dolly-bars-1

Wahoo! We made it through the first week, and it was a tasty one. Tell me which one you liked the most on my poll: 

Food love,

-S

Collection of Past Recipes

Collection of Past Recipes

Hi foodies,

Here’s an accumulation of all the past recipes (blog worthy) that I have done. They all include respective nutritional information. For your benefit, I’ve included a 5 star scale rating in order to give you an idea of the ones I loved🙂.

From here on out, I will be updating you all with my weekly recipes. Until then, here you go!

Breakfast-

1) Peanut Butter Bread (4*)

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http://www.blendtec.com/recipes/peanut-butter-bread

2) French Toast (5*)

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http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recipes/healthy-french-toast.html

3) Blueberry Banana Overnight Oats (5*)

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http://www.skinnytaste.com/2012/06/skinny-overnight-oats-in-jar.html

4) Chocolate Covered Strawberry Overnight Oats (3*)

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http://www.organizeyourselfskinny.com/2014/06/06/chocolate-covered-strawberry-overnight-oats-oatmeal-in-a-jar/

5) Blueberry Pancakes (5*)

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http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/blueberry-pancakes-1

Snack-

1) Cocoa-Nut Bananas (3*)

bananas

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/cocoa_nut_bananas.html

2) Cookie Dough Dip (4*)

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http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Chickpea-Cookie-Dough-Recipe-28371473

3) Mango & Toasted Coconut (4*)

mango_dessert

http://www.foodnetwork.com/healthy/photos/10-snacks-under-250-calories.page-4.html

4) Popcorn Balls (4*)

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http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/popcorn-balls-1

Dinner-

1) Apple Spinach Chicken (5*)

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http://www.health.com/health/recipe/0,,10000001571540,00.html

2) Avocado & Spinach Pasta (3*)

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http://www.jocooks.com/healthy-eating/creamy-avocado-spinach-pasta/

3) Baked Ziti with Fire Roasted Tomatoes (5*)

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http://italian.food.com/recipe/baked-ziti-with-fire-roasted-tomatoes-151234

4) BBQ Chicken Pizza/Strawberry Spinach Salad (5*/4*)

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http://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/meal-ideas/10-healthy-pizza-recipes/slide/2

http://cookieandkate.com/2011/strawberry-spinach-salad-with-sweet-and-spicy-walnuts/

5) Cashew Chicken (5*)

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http://www.hungry-girl.com/recipe-makeovers/show/2437-healthy-cashew-chicken-recipe

6) Cauliflower Crust Grilled Cheese (4*)

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http://www.theironyou.com/2014/05/cauliflower-crust-grilled-cheese.html

7) Chicken Spaghetti Casserole (5*)

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http://www.cookinglight.com/food/recipe-finder/healthy-chicken-casseroles/aunt-liz-chicken-spaghetti-casserole

8) Chili Stuffed Sweet Potatoes (3*)

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http://www.food.com/slideshow/healthy-dinner-recipes-159/chili-stuffed-sweet-potatoes-11

9) Curried Egg Salad Sandwich (4*)

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http://www.health.com/health/recipe/0,,10000001992628,00.html

10) Avocado & Egg Spaghetti Squash Boats (3*)

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http://ifoodreal.com/avocado-and-egg-spaghetti-squash-boats-recipe/

11) Ham, Apple & Cheese Quesadilla (5*)

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http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/ham-apple-and-cheese-quesadilla-recipe.html

12) Kale, Grapefruit & Hazelnut Salad (5*)

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http://www.health.com/health/recipe/0,,50400000126000,00.html

13) Roasted Zucchini Flatbread (4*)

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https://www.entwine-wines.com/pairings/roasted-zucchini-flatbread-hummus-arugula-goat-cheese-and-almonds

14) Oven Fried Chicken Chimichangas (5*)

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http://www.food.com/recipe/oven-fried-chicken-chimichangas-28148

15) Skillet Poached Huevos Rancheros (5*)

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http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/skillet-poached-huevos-rancheros

16) Southwest Crustless Black Bean Quiche (5*)

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http://www.cookincanuck.com/2014/03/skinny-southwestern-crustless-quiche-recipe-vegetarian/

17) Stone Fruit Rice Chicken Salad (5*)

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http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/stone-fruit-chicken-rice-salad

18) Vegetarian Fajitas (4*)

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http://pickyeaterblog.com/15-minute-vegetarian-fajitas/

Dessert-

1) Black Bean Brownies (5*)

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http://ifoodreal.com/black-bean-brownies-recipe/

2) Butterscotch Bars (5*)

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http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/butterscotch-bars-0

3) Chocolate Almond Cherry Crisps (5*)

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http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/chocolate-almond-cherry-crisps

4) Nutella Fudge Pops (4*)

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http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2012/03/26/nutella-fudge-pops/

5) Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Cookies (3*)

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http://www.food.com/recipe/healthy-peanut-butter-banana-oatmeal-cookies-499315

Hope you all enjoy these as much as I did!

Sending all the food love,

S

Another Food Blog

Another Food Blog

For those of you who have followed “lessons from mann,” welcome back! And for those of you just now joining, hey, hello, how ya doin??

I decided to start this companion blog, “food from mann for mankind” (clever, I know) in order to share another very important part of my life as of late.

Since July, I revamped my dining options and began cooking/baking nearly every meal from scratch. I was getting tired of the same ole, same ole (cereal for breakfast and lean cuisines for dinner among others). Not only was I bored with what I was eating (which made me “cheat” on my clean eating efforts), I was also not seeing the results that I wanted in my body- surprise, surprise.

After two months of home cooking, I have to say that I feel incredible. My options have increased ten fold and I am extremely satisfied with the recipes I have found and continue to find. I strive to look for ones that are nutritious and delicious, and because of my successes, I wanted to share them all with you!

My goal for this blog is to provide you with weekly updates of the food that I make. Normally, I cook a breakfast, snack and dessert as well as a few dinners that I can eat off all throughout the week. I will leave lunches to your own imagination as I literally must eat on the go in my car while traveling between school and work.

Along with the recipes, I will provide my thoughts on the results and my tips on making them even better- not every meal turns out to be a winner😀. I also hope to pass along any other wellness information that I have found to be useful in my endeavor to be the healthiest version of myself. Fair warning: a popular topic may wind up being workout related as it is my ultimate outlet.

I hope to encourage, and perhaps inspire, each and every one of you to begin your own cooking/baking journey. While I started this out as a way of feeling better, I inadvertently fell in love with it. Food has an incredible way of bringing people together, and I thoroughly enjoy making food for myself, and more importantly, for others- I believe I can speak on behalf of my closest friends and family when I say that I am starting to be known as that “crazy food girl” because I continuously use them as guinea pigs for new recipes.

Feel free to ask questions, or leave your own advice as I always am open to learning more.

My first week of meals will be posted tomorrow!

I leave you all with a quote…

“There is no sincerer love than the love of food.”

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If you’re in a “I need ice cream NOW mood,” give Burton’s Creamery in Fayetteville, AR a try. Their unique ice cream cones do not disappoint- the PB&J is out of this world.

Love,

S