Back in the Swing of Things

I think I’ve finally adjusted to my new summer routine. My schedule has been a lot less demanding over the past week so I’ve been able to cook and exercise. I am still having a little bit of trouble resisting deserts, but hey, I exercised every morning last week at 6 am! That deserves a little treat right? I guess so, but I’ve let myself go a little crazy in the desert department the past few days. I think I’ve decided I’m going to go at least two weeks without desert. No chocolate, no ice cream, no cookies, no cake, except maybe on the fourth of July, but that’s it. The only “sweets” I’m going to allow are fruit, cocoa dusted almonds, and the fiber one bars that I have as a morning snack sometimes. We’ll see how it goes. In between all the sweet treats I’ve been rewarding myself with I have been cooking some yummy meals. Here ya go!

Mini Veggie Quiche
I have been wanted to make my own quiche for over a year now, and I finally did it! For some reason I thought it was going to be difficult, but it was so simple. I cut this recipe in half so that I wouldn’t have as many leftovers and I decided to make them miniatures for better portion control. I still had a little mixture left over after filling my muffin tin, so if you don’t want to make much, you could probably quarter the recipe or make two separate dishes and freeze one. This particular recipe didn’t call for any meat, but you could definitely add that in if you wanted to. Quiche is pretty easy to experiment with. My sister and I had one and a half quiches and salad on the side when we had it for dinner. We then ate them over the next few days as breakfast or lunch, they worked great for either one and I actually think they tasted better as leftovers. I definitely hope to keep experimenting with quiche, maybe I’ll try on with a crust next time. Just watch out for some of the quiche recipes that have heavy cream or a lot of cheese in them. You can get the recipe for this one here.

Honey Ginger Chicken Bites
I think this recipe is actually designed to be an appetizer, but I really enjoyed having it for dinner. I used two chicken breasts instead of thighs, but everything else was the same. I think I have posted a similar recipe that I also got from cooking light at some point. The two recipes have almost the same ingredients, but do taste a little different. This one was a little sweeter and the previous one that I’ve used has a stronger ginger and orange flavor. I like both of them pretty much equally though. This one is a little easier to prepare because you marinate the chicken in the sauce as opposed to making the chicken and sauce at the same time in the other recipe. This one can also be a time saver because you can prep and marinate the chicken the night before if you want. I pan sauteed brussel sprouts in olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice and cut a fresh tomato to go with this. Everything was delicious. I definitely recommend making this one, especially for a party appetizer or finger food. Click  here for the recipe.

Enchilada Casserole
I always love making new mexican dishes at home. They are usually pretty easy and healthy because of all the spices that provide so much flavor. I’ve never made any kind of enchilada on my own before, so I was excited to try this out. I followed the recipe almost exactly. The only change I made was adding more taco seasoning, I ended up using about half the pack instead of just the few tablespoons that it called for. I wasn’t getting enough spice from it at first. We paired it with corn and a few tortilla chips. The recipe says that it makes four servings of one wedge, so that’s how I served it. I couldn’t finish all of mine because the casserole itself is pretty filling. I had the leftovers for lunch the next day and they were just as delicious as the night before. This is a great recipe that doesn’t take many ingredients or planning to pull together. Click here to try it out.

Homemade Granola Bars
Last recipe for this post! Another thing I’ve really been wanting to try to make myself are granola bars. I really like granola bars but the ones in the store are usually packed with stuff I don’t want to eat. I’m not really sure how much better these are for you but at least I can control what I put in them. I didn’t stick to one particular recipe, instead I looked at several on cooking like and kind of made up my own. I’ll add the recipe below. They turned out better than I expected and were actually kind of addicting. I’m going to have to limit myself on how often I make these because I could probably eat the whole plate at once without even thinking twice. They make a great morning snack or a desert for after dinner. I used raspberry preserves on the top, but you could choose whatever fruit you like and add it or have them just plain. The way I cut them from the pan, they made about 16 1 inch by 1 inch squares. According to the MyFittnessPal app, each serving has 113 calories, 4.4 g fat, 21.6 mg sodium, 11.2 mg cholesterol, 28.7 g potassium, 17.5 g carbs, 8.4 g sugar and 1.4 g protein. These things are delicious!!

 Recipe for Raspberry Granola Bars
1 cup flour                                                                   1 cup uncooked oatmeal
1/2 cup brown sugar                                                 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
6 tablespoons butter                                                  1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup water                                                             3 tablespoons raspberry preserves
3 tablespoons unsalted sunflower seeds                    pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 425. Mix flour oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and sunflower seeds in a bowl. Melt butter and add to oat mixture. Add water and salt and mix well. Place mixture in a greased pan (any size is fine). Bake for about 10 minutes then spread raspberry preserves over the top and bake for another 10 minutes. Slice and let cool. 

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