Vanilla-frosted chocolate cake donuts (vegan & low-sugar)

Who doesn’t love a chocolate donut?!

I’ve been obsessing over my new donut pans, and this particular recipe I used for my third attempt at homemade donuts. Prior to this flavor, I already made an oatmeal chocolate chip donut (recipe from sarah lynn) and a vanilla cinnamon donut. Both came out absolutely fabulous. It was time to attempt chocolate.

sarah lynn’s oatmeal chocolate chip donuts
complete with chocolate glaze… omg

Donuts are VERY sugary, and most of the recipes I came across also had added fat from eggs and dairy. I tried lightening things up a bit by using stevia in place of sugar, nondairy milk, and applesauce as a binder instead of eggs. The texture still came out perfect and the donuts were still sweet. Unfortunately, I still have yet to come up with a low-sugar frosting that still tastes great…

Continue reading Vanilla-frosted chocolate cake donuts (vegan & low-sugar)

Tuscan barley dinner

This was actually the first time I’ve ever had barley.

I heard it was similar to rice – but with a heartier texture, nuttier taste, and a decent amount of protein. Sounds like a carb I could get used to.

However, I didn’t really know what to pair it with. I searched online for some recipes, but nothing really jumped out at me. Since a plain carb is somewhat of a blank canvas I decided to liven it up with sausage, peas, onions, and cheese – as if it were a pasta dish.

The result was absolutely delicious & super filling! My husband and I practically licked our plates clean, and I’m definitely looking forward to making this again.

Continue reading Tuscan barley dinner

Fruity crunch cake (a dump cake variation)

This is basically my own twist on a classic dump cake. I don’t personally like how a dump cake is baked in layers – with the fruity pie filling on the bottom of the pan. I like a more cakey texture, so I combine my fruit filling with a cup of the cake mix and some fresh fruit – and use the rest of the dry mix to make the buttery crunchy topping.

For this particular cake I used blackberry pie filling and lemon cake mix. My family LOVES lemon, and blackberries (or blueberries) work so nicely with lemon cake. Other pairings I love for this recipe are:

peach (or strawberry) pie filling + yellow (or golden butter) cake mix

cherry pie filling + devil’s food (or chocolate) cake mix

pumpkin (or apple) pie filling + spice cake mix

Continue reading Fruity crunch cake (a dump cake variation)

Spicy lemon baked shrimp

It’s been a while since I’ve eaten (let alone cooked) seafood.

I was really craving flounder fillet… maybe broiled with some lemon, butter, and parsley…  but when I got to the fish market, these jumbo shrimp just caught my eye. They were huge.

I needed to buy them and eat them for dinner ASAP.

That broiled flounder does sound delicious, though. There’s always next time 🙂

Continue reading Spicy lemon baked shrimp

Loaded protein pancakes

My husband and I LOVE breakfast foods, especially pancakes and waffles. On the down side, they have little to no nutritional value – especially protein.

For me this is a big no-no. Since I work out regularly and lift weights, I need to eat enough protein to remain full, fueled, and ready to build muscle. This pancake recipe uses hemp, a plant-based protein. Though I prefer the taste of standard whey protein, it often gives me an upset stomach where hemp does not. The vanilla flavored hemp has a pleasant taste, and it blends in seamlessly with the Bisquick powder to create a mildly sweet pancake with great texture.

With a mix-in of chocolate chips, blueberries, or whatever else you want to toss in there – these pancakes will keep you full & energized and are super tasty.

Continue reading Loaded protein pancakes

Mediterranean chick pea salad

My mother always says I’m like my grandmother because I have a sweet tooth and a knack for making killer salads. She was known for eating a pack of kitkat bars for dinner, but could seriously jazz up any entrĂ©e with an amazing salad.

Sure, salads aren’t a difficult thing to make. Many of them don’t even require cooking of any sort. But when one is composed of the perfect combination of veggies, a tangy dressing, and spices that brighten up the dish – it can truly be something wonderful.

Continue reading Mediterranean chick pea salad

Low-sugar BREAD MACHINE banana bread

Well… LOWER sugar, at least. This recipe makes about 16 servings, and each one is around 9.5 grams of sugar… which is pretty damn low for a fruit-based bread. This is still as yummy and sweet as ever, and super simple to make because the bread machine does everything for you – from mixing to baking!

This bread makes a killer french toast for breakfast, or warmed up with butter and jam. It’s also perfect if you want it for dessert with a dollop of fresh whipped cream and some berries.

Continue reading Low-sugar BREAD MACHINE banana bread

Tex-Mex turkey stuffed peppers

September is drawing near a close, and the first full month of school is almost over. The mornings and evenings are becoming more brisk, and soon enough we will have true autumn weather.

Autumn is definitely my favorite season. I love the colors of all the leaves, the cooler (but not too cold) weather, apple and pumpkin picking, hot apple cider – the list can go on and on. But the BEST thing about the weather getting cooler is eating hearty, stick-to-your-ribs comfort food. That’s right – the warmer weather is on its way out, and its time for me to start turning the oven on once more.

This dish is the perfect segue between light summery meals and autumn comfort. You still get to eat a low-carb meal that incorporates beautiful peppers and a good deal of tex-mex heat, while the filling is hearty and cheesy.

Continue reading Tex-Mex turkey stuffed peppers

Lemon chicken stew

Unfortunately, kids have germs. And now that I’m teaching again, I’m surrounded by kids. Welcome to my first upset stomach of the school year.

Whenever I’m having tummy troubles, I eat chicken soup for lunch and dinner. But I HATE most canned soups – they have practically no flavor and barely any chicken. I prefer to make my own in the crock pot – it’s relatively little prep, I can add a substantial amount of protein, and I can season it the way I want to.

My favorite type of chicken soup is Greek Avgolemono. There’s something about lemon and chicken that pairs so well together. I love that the soup is thick, almost like a stew.

I decided to make this lemony chicken stew as a spinoff of standard chicken noodle soup and greek avgolemono soup. I kick it up a notch with some Italian dressing seasoning, two different kinds of pepper, and some protein pasta. It’s soothing enough to heal a troubled tummy but tasty enough to eat when you’re feeling great.

Continue reading Lemon chicken stew