Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

I have no idea where I found this recipe! When I printed it out the link didn't show up at the bottom of the page so now I have no clue despite trying to search again. This was simple, easy and flavorful! We served it with rice initially but there was enough leftover that I ended up eating it for lunch a couple days with the Trader Joe's cauliflower gnocchi...which I am obsessed with by the way!
(picture from Skinnytaste)

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3-inch pieces
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
2 bell peppers, thinly sliced
1 (14.5 oz) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/4 t crushed red pepper
1 c chicken broth
1/4 c chopped fresh parsley

Directions:
Lightly season chicken with salt and pepper and Place in a 5-7 qt slow cooker.
Top with onion, bell peppers, tomatoes, garlic, red pepper and broth.
Cover and cook on LOW 8 hours.
Sprinkle with parsley.

Creamy Cauliflower, Kale and Rice Soup

A friend of mine has recently started eating a vegan diet and has been sharing all kinds of plant-based recipes. I have been excited to try them out and so far everything I have tried has been really good! When I first made this soup I was SUPER nervous! It made tons, required some work and was bright green and not all that appetizing looking haha! But looks can be deceiving and it was surprisingly good! I portioned out the big batch into smaller containers and have been having it a few times a week for lunch. I love eating soup all the time, but especially in cold weather and to me this is a great replacement for the green smoothies I just can't bring myself to drink when I am already cold. Definitely try this one out!

Recipe from Purpose + Plants
Ingredients:
1/4 cup veggie broth
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 stalks celery, chopped
4 carrots, sliced or chopped
1 head cauliflower, florets removed and chopped to bite sized pieces
2 cartons veggie broth
1 bundle of kale, ribs removed
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3/4 cups cashews, soaked in hot water for 5 min (recommended raw, but if you cant find them, roasted cashews work too!)
2 cups brown rice, cooked (I used 1/2 rice and 1/2 quinoa)
Salt to taste

Directions:
Add broth to a soup pot - saute the onions until translucent and fragrant.
Add the garlic, carrots and celery and cook a few more minutes, stirring them around to tenderize.
Then add some salt, cauliflower and veggie broth. Bring soup to a boil and cook for another 10-15 minutes.
Once the cauliflower is cooked through, add the kale to the soup and let it wilt for a few minutes.
Then at this point I like to take the kale and put it in the blender with the soaked cashews, chickpeas and about 2 cups of the broth and blend that puppy smooth.
Pour that back into the soup and finish it off by stirring in the brown rice! (You'll notice, for the sake of beauty, I held off blending the soup until after I took the pic because it looks like this...)

Easy (and Tasty) Gluten Free Turkey Meatballs


(picture and recipe from Fashionable Foods)
Spaghetti and meatballs is one of my kids' favorite meals and I have used many recipes for meatballs over the years. During the past year none of my older recipes were really doing it for me when I attempted to adjust them to be gluten free so I went searching for something else and found this winner. The meatballs are moist, but stay together, and they pack in lots of flavor considering they are a pretty healthy version. This has been our go-to meatball recipe for quite some time now so I am finally documenting it to make it easier to find!

Ingredients
1 Egg, beaten
2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
1 Small/Medium Onion, peeled and grated
3 Cloves Garlic, finely minced
¼ Cup Fresh Parsley, finely chopped
1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
Salt & Pepper
¼ Cup Almond Flour
1 ½ Pounds Ground Turkey
Extra-Light Olive Oil
Tomato Sauce, for serving
Fresh Basil, for garnish

Directions
Combine the beaten egg, tomato paste, grated onion, garlic, parsley, oregano, salt, pepper, and almond flour. Mix well and then mix in the meat.
Preheat the oven to 400º.
Heat a nonstick skillet over high heat and enough of the olive oil to coat the skillet. Using a medium or large ice cream/cookie scoop*, scoop out the meatballs and drop them directly into the pan. Let them cook for about 30 seconds or until brown, then flip them over using a spoon (I found this was the easiest in order to keep them intact). Cook them until brown on the other side, about 30 seconds, and then transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment or foil. Repeat with remaining meat – you’ll end up with about 18-20 meatballs using a large scoop, and about 30-35 with a medium scoop.
Transfer the meatballs to the oven and bake for about 20 minutes for the large size, or 15 minutes if you used a medium-sized scoop. The meatballs will be firm to the touch when finished.
Serve with tomato sauce.

Delicious Shredded Beef Tacos

I haven't been posting any of our new favorite recipes because I have been lazy about taking pictures, but then when I want to make them again I am frustrated that I have to search and find them...so I'm just borrowing other people's pictures and getting some posted!
(picture from Jennifer Cooks)
First up is this delicious new recipe I found for shredded beef. I adjusted things a bit from one I found on allrecipes.com and I really loved! Flavorful and juicy and absolutely heavenly when served in freshly fried corn tortilla shells!

Ingredients
1 large yellow onion, sliced into thin rings
1 (2 pound) boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed
1 (14.5 ounce) can fire roasted tomato salsa
1/2 cup beef broth
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chiles
2 jalapeno peppers, sliced (optional)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions
Layer half the onion rings into the bottom of a slow cooker. Place chuck roast on top of onions.
Pour diced tomatoes, beef broth, and coffee into the cooker over the roast; stir in diced green chiles, jalapeno peppers, garlic, chili powder, cumin, salt, and black pepper. 
Spread remaining onion rings over the mixture.
Cover the cooker and cook on Low until beef is very tender, 6 to 10 hours.
Transfer chuck roast to a bowl and shred meat. Return meat to sauce. 
Remove onions and serve with meat.

Blueberry Almond Buckle from Nordstrom (Gluten-Free!)

My sister discovered this amazing gluten-free creation at the Nordstrom café, shared it with my mom, and then my mom found the recipe HERE and made it while I was in town recently. Although my mom thought it was better baked in individual portions because the edges were able to get more of a crunch to them, this is the only version I have tried and I thought it was heavenly!!!

Blueberry Almond Cake
From our Nordstrom Bistro, Grill, Blue Stove, Ruscello, Bazille and Bar Verde locations
(Serves 12)

Blueberry Almond Cake
1 1/2 cups almond flour, plus more for dusting
1 1/2 cups finely ground polenta (cornmeal)
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 pounds fresh blueberries

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter a 10-by-3-inch springform pan and dust it with a few tablespoons of almond flour. Shake the pan until the flour is distributed evenly across the bottom and sides. Or, for individual portions, lightly butter 8-ounce crème brûlée dishes.
2. In a stand mixer, add almond flour, polenta, baking powder, sugar, salt and lemon zest. Mix on low speed to combine.
3. Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time, to form a smooth batter. Once eggs are incorporated, add butter and continue mixing until combined; do not overwork.
4. Remove bowl from stand mixer and fold in blueberries, trying not to break them, until evenly distributed throughout the batter.
5. With a spatula, transfer batter to prepared baking dishes (about 6 ounces for each individual baking dish, if using). Set aside to make the buckle topping.


Buckle Topping
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
2 ounces (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

1. In a stand mixer, add the almond flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon and salt.
Mix on low speed and add butter, mixing until the topping resembles wet sand.
2. Top the cake(s) with an even coating of the buckle topping (about 2 tablespoons each for the individual portions).
3. Transfer to oven and bake until golden on top and the center is set, about 50 minutes (or 20 minutes for the individual portions.
4. Transfer to a cooling rack, and let cool at least 1o minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature after dusting with confectioner’s sugar and placing a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream on top.

Restaurant Style Mexican Rice


We were having company so I decided to make some yummy rice to go along with our usual sides for the steak fajitas we are currently obsessed with. My kids don't love rice, but I do, so I don't make it that often because I end up eating literally the entire batch haha! But even the kids liked this new version! I was pretty impressed with how legit it tasted I must admit. Maybe a tad too much tomato taste, but really on the whole it was quite authentic. I found the recipe, and the first picture, on Fabulously Delicious and we will definitely make it whenever we are having people over for a Mexican-type meal!

Ingredients
1 cup white rice
1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 green bell pepper, sliced and seeds reserved
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 bouillon cube (I use vegetable but chicken is fine, too), chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cumin
Pinch red pepper flakes
Pinch black pepper

Directions
Heat up olive oil in a pan on medium/high. Add in rice and bell pepper seeds. Stir frequently and cook until rice starts to lightly brown; about 5 minutes.
Add in tomato sauce, and 2 cans of water. Stir. Add in salt, garlic salt, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, black pepper and chopped bullion cube. Stir. Add in bell pepper slices. Bring to a boil.
Cover and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 40 minutes (mine only took 30 minutes). Remove bell pepper slices prior to serving.

Avalanche Bars (Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory copy)


I have only occasionally stopped into Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factories for treats, but the Avalanche Bars definitely made an impression on me! While looking for some new dinner recipes to try last week I stumbled upon this version by Cookies & Cups and knew we had to try them. My oldest and her friend actually made these all on their own (hence the handfuls of chocolate chips on top haha) and they turned out so amazingly delicious! We will definitely make them again and again and again! Also, the recipe just makes a square baking dish worth which is nice because then you can enjoy them for a couple days without being tempted anymore :)!

Ingredients
12 oz bag of White Chocolate Chips
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
3 cups Rice Krispies
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips + 2 Tbsp for garnish.
Lightly grease a 9×9 pan

Directions
In microwave-safe bowl pour in white chips and heat on 50% power for 1 minute. Stir and continue in 30 second increments until chips are melted.
Combine the peanut butter with the melted chips and add the krispies.
Let cool approx 15 – 20 minutes stirring every 5 minutes or so to help cool.
Add the marshmallows and the mini chocolate chips and stir to combine.
Pour mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly, pressing lightly with the back of your spoon, but do not compact too much, otherwise they will get hard.
Press the remaining chocolate chips into the top for garnish.
When the bars are completely cooled cut into squares and enjoy!

The Best Steak Fajitas!

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-images-steak-tacos-sliced-meet-salad-tomato-salsa-cutting-board-image75540189
We have made these steak fajitas from Mel's Kitchen Cafe a few times already since discovering them only a couple weeks ago! My grocery store sells "stir-fry steak" that is already cut into thin strips so it makes this the easiest and most flavorful meal! I get the meat marinading the day before and then we grill them up right before meal time and the flavor is out of this world. I haven't even ever made the chipotle sour cream that she included in the original recipe. I sautee some onion and peppers that have been cut into strips and we also top them with guacamole and cilantro (and a little cheese for some of the family). We have charro beans on the side with some chips and salsa and it has become my kids' favorite meal of the week!
(I provide corn and flour tortillas)

Ingredients:
Fajitas:
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup fresh lime juice (from about 4-6 limes) – zest the limes before juicing; you’ll need the zest later
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
10 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 1/2 to 2 pounds flank steak
Chipotle Sour Cream Sauce:
1 cup sour cream, light or regular
1 teaspoon minced chipotle in adobo sauce (more or less to adjust spiciness)
2 to 3 teaspoons adobo sauce (spooned from the can of chipotle chiles)
1 tablespoon fresh lime zest (from about 2 limes)

For Serving:
Tortillas and other toppings of choice, like tomatoes, cilantro, cheese, sautéed or grilled peppers, pickled onions

Directions:
For the fajitas, whisk together the oil, lime juice, vinegar, garlic, sugar, cumin, salt, paprika, and coriander. Place the steak in a dish (like a 9X13-inch pan) and pour the marinade over the top, turning to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours.
Preheat grill to medium-high (I set my pellet grill to 375 degrees). Grill the steak until desired doneness; 4-6 minutes for medium rare (add time if needed for a more well-cooked piece of meat). Remove the steak from the grill and tent with foil for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.
For the chipotle sour cream, stir all the ingredients together. Cover and refrigerate (can be made 2-3 days in advance).
Serve the steak slices on tortillas with the chipotle sour cream and any other favorite toppings or sautéed or grilled peppers and onions.

Margherita Pasta

Although I found the recipe on the blog Peachtree Cooking, it originally came from A Bountiful Kitchen (as did the picture!).
We have tried a few recipes recently that we LOVE and have been making on a fairly regular basis and this is one of them (I need to get around to blogging the rest as well!). The ingredients and the process are so simple, but the flavors are amazing. This is one of our favorite meatless meals! Nearly as good as being back in Italy ;-)!

Ingredients
1 box spaghetti, cooked "al dente", drained (I used Gluten Free)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter optional, but highly recommended for flavor
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs. Roma tomatoes (about 8-10) coarsely chopped or grape tomatoes
1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/2 lb. fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
½ cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
additional basil leaves for garnish

Instructions
Cook pasta. Set aside, or while pasta is cooking prepare sauce.
In large skillet, heat oil and butter over low heat.
Sauté the garlic until fragrant over low heat, about 1 minute.
Add tomatoes, sugar, salt and pepper.
Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Add basil, and pasta to pan with tomatoes.
Cook for 2-3 minutes, just until all pasta is heated through.
Just before ready to serve, pour into serving bowl, toss with fresh mozzarella and grated cheese. Serve at once with additional grated cheese, and more fresh basil if desired.


Vegetable Lasanga Cupcakes


I was looking for a new meatless meal to try when I came across Yummy Mummy Kitchen's Lasanga Cupcakes and was intrigued! (her picture above) I did one tray as she directed and one with only veggies and no noodles and they were sooo yummy! Easy to put together, easy to clean up and super easy to devour. I wanted to be sure to save this recipe because I will definitely be making them again!


Original recipe, with more pretty pictures, HERE.

Ingredients:
1/2 package lasagna noodles
1 (15 oz) container ricotta cheese (my fam doesn't love this so I used about 2/3 of it)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
1 egg
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 ball of fresh mozzarella, sliced (the kind in water)
1 (24 oz) jar your favorite pasta sauce
1 (about 2″ wide) zucchini, sliced into 1/8″ rounds
1 Japanese eggplant, sliced into 1/8″ rounds (my grocery store was out of eggplant!!! I used 2 zucchini instead)

Directions:
Cook noodles according to package instructions. Set on a lightly oiled cookie sheet so that the sheets don’t stick together.
In a medium bowl, stir together the ricotta, Parmesan, egg, and basil until well combined. Set aside.
Spoon tomato sauce into 12 muffin cups to coat the bottom. Cut cooked lasagna sheets into 2-inch pieces, or 2-inch rounds if you have a cookie cutter. Place one piece of lasagna noodle in each cup over the sauce. Top with 1 tablespoon of ricotta mixture. Top ricotta with one slice of zucchini, mozzarella, and eggplant and press gently into the ricotta. Cover vegetables with a layer of tomato sauce. Top with a teaspoon of the ricotta mixture. Cover ricotta with a second sheet of pasta, then spread tomato sauce over the top. Sprinkle with Parmesan.
You may have enough ingredients left over to make about 5 more, so go ahead and do so in a second muffin tin!
Bake at 375 degrees F for 35 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge to release cups.

Chicken Shawarma Bowls

chicken shwarma
YUM!!! This meal was so easy and so tasty! Great for kids because they can personalize it themselves and it would be great for meal prepping too. The main recipe below is from Skinnytaste, but I used Mel's Kitchen Cafe's hummus/yogurt recipe (it is our go-to all the time!). I served ours with pita bread (for the kids) and with a mix of quinoa and cauliflower-rice for Mike and I. Plus topping choices of cucumbers, tomatoes, kalamata olives and feta cheese. A definite hit in our house!

Chicken:
1 pound (2) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half lengthwise
1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Juice from 1 medium lemon
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon curry powder
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Directions:
Place the chicken breasts, 1 at a time, in a Ziploc bag. Pound each breast to an even thickness, about ½-inch thick, being careful not to puncture the bag. Place pounded chicken breasts back into bag and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine olive oil and lemon juice. Whisk until combined. Add the garlic, cumin, paprika, turmeric, curry powder, cinnamon, red pepper, salt and black pepper and whisk again.
Pour the marinade into the bag with the chicken, massaging it to evenly coat. Refrigerate and marinate for at least 1 hour, up to overnight.
Over medium-high heat, grill the chicken for 3 minutes or until it no longer sticks to the grill. Turn the chicken and grill an additional 3-4 minutes. Allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes then slice it thinly, across the grain. Top each breast with 2 tablespoons sauce and a sprinkle of parsley.

Yogurt-Hummus Sauce:
2/3 cup Greek yogurt (nonfat or regular)
1/3 cup hummus (storebought or homemade)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, finely minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1/2 teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon coarse, kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Directions:
For the sauce, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until smooth. Add hot water a teaspoon at a time to thin the sauce, if needed.

Butter Chicken for Meal-Prep

I've been incorporating a little meal-prepping into my routine for awhile now (nothing too crazy yet), and was excited when I came across this recipe to add some new flavors to me usually weekly lunches. If you make it as described below it isn't the healthiest lunch option but with a few easy changes it fits the bill for sure. I used low fat greek yogurt instead of heavy cream and served over cauliflower rice with roasted veggies. The sauce was heavenly!
Original recipe is from Gimme Delicious Food.
butter chicken

Ingredients:
For the butter chicken
2 tablespoons oil
1 medium onion diced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger finely minced or grated
2-3 cloves garlic finely minced or crushed
1 ½ pounds about 2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into ¾-inch chunks
1 can 6 oz. tomato paste
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 teaspoon chili powder or paprika, adjust to taste
1 teaspoon Fenugreek I use powder, but seeds or mustard seeds can be used too
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 cup heavy cream (sub for half &half or yogurt for low fat)
For the rice
1 cup basmati rice or jasmine
1 3/4 cups water
Large pinch salt
For the garlic naan
small Pizza dough
4 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup minced cilantro optional
2 tablespoon melted butter

Instructions:
To cook butter chicken: Heat a large skillet or medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the oil and onions and cook onions down until lightly golden, about 3-4 minutes. Add ginger and garlic and let cook for 30 seconds, stirring so it doesn’t burn. Add the chicken, tomato paste, and spices. Cook for 5-6 minutes or until everything is cooked through. Add the heavy cream and simmer for 8-10 minutes stirring occasionally.

To make naan: Combine the garlic, butter, cilantro and butter in a small bowl. Set aside. Divide pizza dough into 8 equal portions. Roll the dough into a small circle using a rolling-pin. Heat up a skillet (cast-iron preferred) over high heat and lightly grease the surface with some oil to avoid the dough from sticking to the skillet. Place the dough in the skillet. When it puffs up and bubbles and burnt spots appear, flip it over and spread with the garlic butter mixture. Cook until done. Repeat the same until all dough is done.

To cook rice:Wash rice until it runs clear then rinse. In a saucepan bring water to a boil. Add rice and stir. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let stand for 5 minutes.

To Assemble: Measure 1 cup of cooked rice into each meal prep container. Pour about 1 cup of the butter chicken on the rice. Wrap a naan with foil or plastic wrap. To heat, microwave containers for 2 minutes or until steamy. Microwave naan for just 20 seconds.

Super Healthy Turkey Vegetable Soup

turkey veggie soup
I made this recipe expecting it to be something healthy I could have for lunches for a few days after everyone else in the family complained at dinner time. BUT it was surprisingly flavorful and quite a hit! I served it with garlic bread for everyone else to dip in the soup and we all loved it! I will definitely be making it again, especially in this cold weather. Thanks to The Lyons' Share Wellness for another great one! (my adaptations included in the recipe below)

Ingredients:
10 ounces 99% lean ground turkey
1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 ounces)
1 cup salsa (I used salsa verde)
1/2 cup corn kernels (I leave these out)
2 zucchini, chopped
1 yellow squash, chopped
2 large stalks of celery, diced
6-10 baby carrots, chopped (or 2-3 regular carrots)
1 onion, diced
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
4-5 cups low-sodium chicken broth

Instructions:
Chop all your vegetables and add all ingredients (besides broth) to the crockpot.
Pour broth on top of all ingredients, allowing the spices to get mixed into the dish.
Give it a good stir. Set your crockpot on low for 6 hours or so.
(I had cooked a bunch of ground turkey and onion the day before so I left it out until the last couple hours and then added it in)
*Notes from Megan.. I usually stir once throughout the cooking process, but you really don’t have to. You shouldn’t stir TOO much, because it allows a ton of heat to escape from the crockpot. (If you don’t have a crockpot, brown the turkey first in a frying pan, then add all ingredients to a large pot, bring to a boil, and simmer for 30 minutes or so – the longer the better!).*
Ladle into bowls and add toppings of choice (she chose nutritional yeast and avocado, but suggests cheese, cilantro, Greek yogurt, sour cream, or tortilla chips). Enjoy!
If made according to these instructions (for 5 servings pre-toppings), each serving will contain 174 calories, 3g fat, 21g carbs, and 17g protein.

Easy, Tasty Powerballs

powerballs
I've been browsing a lot of clean and healthy eating sites recently, probably like everyone else who is trying to start the new year off with a healthy bang, and have come across many variations of powerballs. I decided to try this recipe from Clean Eats and Treats for my first go and was really happy with how they came out. I've adjusted them a bit since and have put the changes below. They satisfy a sweet craving or when I need a little boost. The kids didn't love them unfortunately, but oh well :-).

Ingredients:
2 cups old fashioned oats (slightly broken down in the blender) (I used Gluten Free)
1 1/2 cups peanut butter (she suggests using Adams all natural no stir which our Walmart didn't have so I got a different natural no stir brand and it worked great)
1/2 cups honey
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut (optional)
1/2-1 cup mix ins (mini chocolate chips, dried fruit or nuts)
2 scoops vanilla or chocolate protein powder
1/8 cup hemp seeds (I didn't have these so used all chia seeds)
1/8 cup chia seeds
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
dash of sea salt

Instructions:
Combine all dry ingredients in a kitchen-aid mixing bowl.
Using the paddle attachment, mix until well blended. (I just used a bowl and wood spoon)
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until a "dough" forms.
Scoop into balls with a 2-inch cookie scoop. (I used a Tablespoon to scoop ours and ended up with 28 balls)
Place onto a cookie sheet and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.
Store in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Greek Chicken Kebabs with Homemade Tzatziki Sauce

kebabs
I have really been missing one of my favorite restaurants in Katy where we get the most delicious kebabs so this recipe really caught my eye and I couldn't wait to try it. The homemade Tzatziki sauce was easy to make and so delicious. Since we don't have a grill right now I baked ours in the oven (and also, baked the veggies about 5 minutes extra on their own before adding them to the skewers with the chicken for the rest of the cook time). The marinade for the meat was amazing as well and I have been enjoying the leftovers immensely! Thanks Mel's Kitchen Cafe for the recipe!

Ingredients:
Tzatziki Sauce:
2 cups plain Greek yogurt
1 English cucumber, shredded
1 clove garlic, pressed through a garlic press (or finely minced)
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Extra virgin olive oil

Marinade:
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from about 1 large lemon)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Chicken and Vegetables:
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 small to medium zucchini, sliced 1/2-inch thick
1-2 red peppers, cut into squares
1 red onion, cut into squares
(I also used a can of artichoke hearts)

Directions:
For the tzatziki sauce, wrap the shredded cucumber in a kitchen towel and squeeze to remove as much water as possible. Mix together the yogurt, shredded cucumber, garlic, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, and lemon juice. Drizzle lightly with olive oil. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to blend.
For the marinade, in a liquid measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together all the marinade ingredients.
Place the chicken in a resealable gallon-size ziploc bag (or in a shallow dish) and pour in the marinade. Seal the bag (or cover the dish) and let marinade for 1-2 hours.
If using wooden skewers, soak them for 15-20 minutes prior to assembling.
Thread the chicken, zucchini, peppers and onion onto skewers. Give the kebabs a little sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides.
Grill over medium to medium-high heat until cooked through, about 2-3 minutes per side.
Serve immediately with tzatziki sauce for dipping.