All The Christmas Goodies!

Good morning everyone!! It’s 2 days after Christmas, and I am tired and ready to get back to a normal routine! While the past few days have been amazing, I am ready to go for a run, meal prep, and cook an easy and simple dinner tonight.

The past few days have been filled with lots of yummy food, family, friends, and drinks. We spent our first Christmas morning in our new home, and it was so nice to be able to wake up and cook a delicious breakfast for Jeff and I. I think I have eaten more chocolate and cheese in the past 72 hours than I have all year!

I have 2 yummy recipes to share that definitely should make your holiday menu next year. One is an easy sweet and salty snack that your guests will love, and the other can be added to your holiday brunch. Like I mentioned, chocolate has been a key ingredient in my diet the past few days so you can expect it to be a key ingredient in these recipes as well!

I love breakfast food, so any time I get a chance to make it a little extra special I jump on the opportunity! While my usual breakfast consists of eggs, oatmeal, or a smoothie filled with fruits and veggies, special times call for something a little more fun and definitely on the sweet side. Jeff and I both have a serious sweet tooth, so why not indulge a little on Christmas morning?

Side note —- it’s ok to indulge during the holidays!! A day or two of eating foods that aren’t in your “typical diet” is not going to make or break your health and fitness goals of 2017. So don’t sweat the small stuff and enjoy what is in front of you!

The two recipes I’m going to share today are for my Christmas Reindeer Chow and Baked Chocolate Chip French Toast.

If I had to pick a favorite it would probably be the reindeer chow, but only because I’m a sucker for a salty and sweet combo. They are both super easy and can feed a crowd. I hope you all enjoyed your holiday weekend as much as we did! Merry Christmas and happy almost New Year! Let me know what you think if you give these recipes a try!

Christmas Reindeer Chow

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2-3 cups pretzel sticks
  • 1/3 cup red, green, and brown M&Ms
  • 3/4 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup lightly salted peanuts
  • 1 cup cinnamon Chex cereal (optional)
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 2 Tbsp powdered sugar

Directions

Cover a large cookie sheet with wax paper.

Spread all ingredients out evenly onto wax paper. You can break apart some of the pretzels so all pieces aren’t so big.

Melt the white chocolate either in the microwave or with a double boiler. If microwaving, be sure to stop and stir every 15-20 seconds to avoid the chocolate from burning.

Drizzle the white chocolate on top of the pretzels, marshmallows, peanuts, cereal (optional), and M&Ms. Use as much chocolate as desired.

As the chocolate dries, sprinkle powdered sugar over the top of the ingredients. Let site for 15 to 20 minutes or until the white chocolate is fully dry. Once dry, break apart the mixture into bite size pieces. Some of the M&Ms and peanuts may fall off; that’s ok!

Put your Reindeer Chow into a large decorative or festive bowl for serving! Leftovers can be kept in a ziploc bag or air tight container.

Baked Chocolate Chip French Toast

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: medium
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Ingredients

  • 1 loaf of freshly baked bread (I used a whole wheat loaf from a bakery)
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice (I used 1%)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (other options – fresh blueberries, blackberries, peaches, peanut butter chips, white chocolate chips, chopped nuts, etc.)

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut loaf of bread into large chunks. Set aside in a large mixing bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk 2 eggs, milk, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Once the sugar has dissolved, pour milk and egg mixture on top of the bread. Massage the bread to assure all pieces are moistened.

Grease a medium sized baking dish that is shallow enough to contain any extra liquid that may not be absorbed. Evenly distribute the bread in the pan. Sprinkle dark chocolate chips on top (I pushed a few into cracks between the bread as well).

Allow bread to bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top starts to become golden brown and crispy. Serve warms with a side of fruit, nut butter, syrup, or honey on top.


Apple Spiced Baked Oatmeal

Is anyone else in total Christmas mode?! We have our Christmas tree up, decorations out, and cozy blankets all over our house (because believe it or not it is COLD in the morning!). What is better on a cozy Sunday morning than a warm and comforting breakfast?! Don’t get me wrong, I love my smoothie bowls, but sometimes I want something a little more comforting and hearty when the mornings are crisp and cool.

This oatmeal bake is SERIOUSLY so easy. I don’t know if I can really emphasize that enough. All of the ingredients I already had in my house, and it took a total of about 30 minutes form start to finish. It is also delicious, so it was definitely a win all around!

This base of this recipe is very simple: oats, egg, and banana. It is slightly sweet and best straight out of the oven. If you are cooking for yourself, leftover oatmeal can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days and re-heated for breakfast as desired!

I chose to top my baked oats with a little peanut butter. Other yummy toppings may include chopped nuts, honey, maple syrup, greek yogurt, or other nut butters. If you are looking for a simple and fast breakfast to serve at your upcoming holiday brunch, this would definitely be a good option! I hope you enjoy this tasty and simple recipe! Happy Sunday everyone!

Apple Spiced Baked Oatmeal

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 brown banana, mashed
  • 1 whole large egg
  • 1/8 c brown sugar, unpacked
  • 1 capful (~1/8 tsp) vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch pink Himalayan salt
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 whole Granny Smith apple
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • cooking spray

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

In a medium size bowl, smash banana until fairly smooth. Whisk in 1 whole egg, ~1/8 cup (or fill 1/4 cup half way) brown sugar, cinnamon, pink salt, and vanilla.

Dice 1/2 of a large granny smith apple (or apple of choice), and cut the other half into thin slices. Granny smith apples are fairly tart and flavorful, which is why they are a great choice when baking.

Add the oats, diced apple, and almond milk to the banana and egg mixture. Mix until all oats are moistened.

In a lightly greased baking dish or pie pan, spread the oats out evenly. Use the leftover apple slices to create a fun design on top of the oats or just place at random evenly across the top.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the sides of the oats begin to pull away from the dish and turn golden brown. Let cool for 3-5 minutes and enjoy!


Overnight Chocolatey Chia Oat Pudding

Who doesn’t love dessert for breakfast?! Ok… this isn’t really DESSERT, but bear with me. It’s lent and hub and I gave up sweets, so I’ll take whatever I can get right now! In all honesty, eliminating sweets (we all know I have a REALLY bad sweet tooth) has actually been really good to help get my sugar cravings back in check. I giggled this morning when I was watching the news because they were doing a segment on how addictive sugar is. Well, living proof of that right here! Hello my name is Chelsea… and I’m a sugar addict.

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OK… I’ll stop! Sorry everyone it’s been a long few weeks, and I think the lack of sleep and constant high gear at work and home has began to get to me. On to the recipe, that’s the important part right?

I have tried overnight oats and chia pudding before. Chia pudding isn’t my absolute fav; I’ve realized I’m not a huge fan of the texture. When combined with oats, I enjoy the flavor a lot more and enjoy the little change in breakfast from my usual eggs. This past weekend, I purchased a few of the vegan protein powders from Sprouts to try out. I tend to not really use protein powders that often, but thought maybe I could find a use for these. A little extra protein for me never hurt!

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When it comes to oats, I always use banana as a base. It adds natural sweetness, plus the banana flavor that I love. It’s also no secret that huge amounts of nut butter tend to find its way into my breakfast every day, so of course that served as one of my topping for this sweet little bowl. This is super easy, can be made in advance, and is perfect for all of you sugar-nuts out there like myself. The good thing is outside of the sweetness from the banana, the chia seeds, and any sweetener in the protein powder, there actually isn’t any added sugar or sugar substitute such as agave or honey! I really hope you add this recipe to your weekly breakfast rotation! It is definitely going to become more of a regular for me!

P.S. It is SUPER filling! I actually could’t even finish it and ended up eating the second half after work, so be prepared for a little leftovers. It keeps great in the refrigerator, but I wouldn’t suggest keeping it much past 24 hours.

Overnight Chocolatey Chia Oat Pudding

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1/2 banana, mashed
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 heaping spoonful of Sprout’s vegan chocolate protein powder (about 1 1/2 Tbsp) OR your favorite chocolate protein powder
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or milk of choice, have not tried with others)
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1-2 Tbsp nut butter of choice
  • Toppings of choice: fruit (berries, bananas, etc), shredded coconut, raw nuts, extra chia seeds, chopped Lara Bar

Directions

In a medium size bowl, smash 1/2 banana until fairly smooth. Add oats, chia seeds, almond milk, and cinnamon. Stir until well combined then transfer to a  mason jar or tupperware with a lid. Let sit overnight for at least 7-8 hours in the refrigerator.

In the morning, agitate with a fork to fluff the oats. Add toppings of choice and enjoy!

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Go Green Breakfast Bowl

Hello HHK readers!! Hope your week started off better than mine did. Of course with the start of steamy weather, the last thing I was hoping for was a kink in our air conditioning. Darn it! Hopefully we can get that figured out before the really, really hot afternoons arrive!

Typically on Tuesday mornings I go for a run and then come back and make myself a special breakfast that takes a little extra love and effort. Tuesdays I go into work a little later, so I try to take advantage of the added time and whip up something special! Today I’m going to share my Go Green Breakfast Bowl, which incorporates a healthy serving of vegetables and protein that gets me going for the day and checks off a serving of vegetables before 9 am!

While I call this a “green” breakfast bowl, there is a little more color in there than green, but the majority of the bowl consists of kale — hens the name green! I top this delicious bowl with a runny egg that adds a helping of healthy fats, protein, and a variety of vitamins and minerals such as iron and lutein (an antioxidant that helps maintain good eye health!).

Let’s talk about eggs for a second.

Eggs get such a bad wrap. I often hear people talk about eggs with fear, thinking it will surely effect their cholesterol if they eat eggs for breakfast. Well, as with anything, too much can of course be a bad thing. I would never recommend eating 4-5 eggs daily, but an egg a day in my book is perfectly fine. Eggs are filled with vitamins, minerals, protein, and yes a little saturated fat, but the good outweighs the bad. If you take away the yolk, you will use a lot of the nutritional quality of the food. I tend to mix 1 egg with 1-2 egg whites to bulk up my meal. If you are filling the rest of your diet with fiber and nutrient dense-fruits and vegetables, cholesterol should not be a concern of yours when eating eggs!

Now on to that yummy recipe! If you tend to like “breakfast bowls” I would definitely give this one a try! I have also added quinoa to this bowl in the past or a small scoop of black beans. See what you like and as always feel free to reach out with questions or other ideas!


Go Green Breakfast Bowl

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

Bowl:

  • 2-3 cups raw, chopped kale
  • 1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped white or yellow onion
  • 1/2 large avocado
  • 1 egg + 1 egg white (can sub for 2 eggs or add an additional egg white if needed)
  • 1-2 tsp olive oil, olive oil spray or cooking fat of choice
  • 2 Tbsp salsa of choice
  • season to taste with: garlic powder (~1/2 tsp), onion powder (~1/4 tsp), paprika (~1/8 tsp), black pepper (~1/8 tsp), salt (pinch!)

Directions

In a large saute pan, saute onions and chopped bell pepper in fat of choice for about 3-4 minutes or until slightly soft. Add chopped kale and seasonings; you may need to add a little water to help the kale wilt (I find this helpful).

In a separate pan, cook egg + egg white as desired. I enjoy a runny yolk, but you can cook scrambled or however you please for your dish. I tend to just top the egg with a little salt and pepper.

Once the veggies are soft and fully cooked, place in a shallow dish. Top with the egg, a few slices of avocado, and 1-2 Tbsp of your favorite salsa. Enjoy!

 


Peachy Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal

So I’m the type of person that welcomes stress into my life. When I’m overwhelmed, I tend to pack on a little more because of course, “I can handle it!” After this weekend, I really think I’m going to try to stop doing this.. and this time I mean it! As I’m in the process of developing my applied project for Master’s program, starting my literature review, and beginning to write my introduction, I decided to travel to Minnesota and participate in the Certificate of Training for Childhood and Adolescent Weight Management. While this conference was fantastic and I am happy I went, all I could think about during my flight home was 1. I am exhausted, 2. I REALLY need to do some yoga and have a good meal or I’m going to explode, and 3. I miss my hub!

This morning I was determined to have a good breakfast and start my day off well, hens these oats were created! While I love my hubby, he’s not the best grocery shopper, so of course I needed to go grocery shopping and didn’t have much to work with. With limited options, I knew I had oats, a bag of frozen peaches, a VERY brown banana, and a few other ingredients that I commonly put into my oatmeal.

My Peachy Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal was a success! It is very easy to throw together and is warm, comforting, and the perfect start to a Sunday. It can also provide about 3-4 servings (depending on how big a scoop you choose!), so you will have breakfast for the next few days as well! I hope you give it a try and let me know what you think! Happy Sunday 🙂

img_5221img_5222Ingredients:

  • 1 brown banana, mashed
  • 1 chia egg (1 Tbsp chia + 2 Tbsp water, let sit for 5 min then agitate)
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk (may sub other milk)
  • 1 capful vanilla extract (about 1/4 tsp)
  • cinnamon (I did not measure, I would say at least 1 tsp)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 heaping Tbsp of brown sugar
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups frozen peaches
  • honey (to drizzle afterwards)

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Combine your banana, chia egg, almond milk, vanilla, and brown sugar. Mix until brown sugar is dissolved. Add in your oats, cinnamon, and pinch of salt and stir until all oats are covered and moistened. In a square baking dish, add a little cooking spray and spread your frozen peaches around evenly. Add your oat mixture on top of the peaches and spread until the peaches are evenly covered.

Bake in the oven for 25-28 minutes or until the oats are set. Once finished, let cool for 5-10 minutes. Serve warm with a drizzle of honey and a little extra dusting of cinnamon. enjoy!

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