February 16, 2013

PB2 Review & Healthy Chocolate Banana Ice Cream

I had seen a few recipes for ice cream using a frozen banana on Pinterest so I decided to try it out. I like to call myself an expert when it comes to two things: peanut butter and bananas. I am truly obsessed with these two foods- both separate and together. 

Peanut Butter. Basically my Achilles Heel. I'm a total sucker for it, but unfortunately there is a lot of fat and added sugars in peanut butter. If you're eating a good, natural peanut butter (no hydrogenated oils), I don't think there is anything wrong with the little bit of fat, but with how much I crave it (and give into the craving for that matter), I thought that I had better either slow down or find an alternative.

I had heard about PB2 which is a powdered peanut butter that you can mix with water to get a creamy consistency, but when I read reviews online people talked about how you might as well eat real peanut butter because it has more protein which is what a lot of fitness people apparently eat it for. Clearly, their excessive exercising has ruined their taste buds because I eat peanut butter because it tastes like the Nectar of the Gods. but to each their own. 

So I bought the PB2 despite what I read and the first thing I was surprised by was the nutrition facts. Here's a comparison:

Peanut Butter (Jif Natural Creamy): 2 Tbsp.
Calories: 190
Fat: 16 g. (3 g. Saturated fat)
Sugars: 3 g.
Protein: 7 g.

PB2: 2 Tbsp.
Calories: 45
Fat: 1.5 g. (0 g. Saturated fat)
Sugars: 1 g.
Protein: 5 g.

To me, the major cut in fat, sugar, and calories is worth missing out on 2 grams of protein. Another argument I read was that you don't get the healthy fats with PB2, but there are plenty of other sources for that.

My mom told me that seeing as I wasn't an astronaut, I didn't need to eat powdered peanut butter but I promise it is delicious. [Plus how does she know I'm not an astronaut?] My original plan was just to use it in my protein shakes for the flavor, but I actually don't have a problem at all mixing it with water and using it like you would any regular peanut butter (on sandwiches, apples, bananas, etc.). I ordered mine on amazon, but I'm pretty sure you can get it from Whole Foods. There is also a chocolate PB2 which my friend told me is amazing. 

Anyway... on to the recipe

 Healthy Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream:

1/4 to 1/2 C. Almond Milk (I use original Almond Breeze. Start out with 1/4 C. and add more if needed)
2 Tbsp. PB2 (or peanut butter)
1 Frozen Banana
1-2 Tbsp of Cocoa (depending on your taste preference)
*Optional: 1/2 tsp. of Cinnamon

Blend all together and add whatever toppings you like. (I have unsweetened coconut and slivered almonds on mine.)


February 5, 2013

Tuesday Ten: Healthy/Lightened Up Recipes

It’s hard for me to trust random sources for recipes. Pinterest always boasts “The Best ______ Ever” and 7 times out of ten, not only is it most definitely not the best _____ ever… it’s actually the worst ever. Is that only my experience?

Story of my life.

Anyway, I have found myself trying to look for recipes on friends/family members blogs when I need a good recipe I can trust. So I decided to put up some recipes that I love, most of them are pretty quick and all of them are healthy or lightened up recipes. When I first started cooking when Clint and I got married (scratch that, I didn't start cooking until 6 months after we got married), I was scared to try new things for fear of not having a very good dinner.

Well...good news for all you newlyweds (or 6 months weds), I now consider myself a martyr when it comes to trying new and healthy recipes because I am willing to risk my life and try anything. Including asparagus soup which was a trainwreck that tasted like I was drinking water out of a straw made of asparagus. or something.

So here are some light(er) recipes that I love... 

Skillet Lasagna from the blog "The Realistic Nutritionist."
Definitely use fresh basil like the recipe calls for. I have used dried basil, and it’s still good but not quite the same. Also it asks for 6 oz. of lasagna noodles. I have figured out that that is about 7 noodles. I also like to add about 1-2 c of spinach for extra nutrients. This one is probably my go to recipe if I need something quick and delicious.

Cheesy Jalapeno Popper Baked Chicken from SkinnyTaste. SkinnyTaste is my all time favorite healthy recipe blog. Her recipes are realistically healthy- as in they're not 5 pieces of kale with hemp seeds and raw chicken blended together type of healthy. I actually lightened up this recipe even more by using jalapeno greek yogurt dip (from Costco- to die for!) instead of cream cheese, and turkey bacon instead of regular bacon. It was still delicious! The first time I tried turkey bacon and ground turkey (as opposed to ground beef) I thought we would be sacrificing a lot of taste by making the switch, but I actually love both of these even more than I do regular ground beef or bacon. So try them if you haven’t!

Cauliflower Crust Pizza from "Eat, Drink, Smile." Sometimes (ok, a lot of times) I try a recipe that sounds wild and it turns out pretty bad. (Like I said, Clint is the victim of my healthy recipe attempts). I was totally expecting this recipe to be one of those bad turn outs, but it is seriously amazing. It tastes just like the breadsticks you buy when you get pizza. I let a few people at work try this, and they were just as amazed with it as I was. This one is a must try!

Light Cauliflower and Mac and Cheese from Eat Yourself Skinny. Another crazy one that I didn't expect to turn out, but it did and I loved it! The only reason I attempted this in the first place is because I LOVE (love love love) macaroni and cheese but despite my attempt to be in complete denial about it, I knew it was super unhealthy. I have only made this once because Clint doesn't like Mac and Cheese (we have nothing in common, apparently), but I plan on making it again soon. The only thing I would change is using more cauliflower and less noodles. Next time I make it, I'll see what I end up using and let you guys know how it works out.

I also really like this blog's recipe for Chicken Pot Pie (Here's a picture from Insta of the cute little things). The only reason it's not making my list is because there was something off about the spices and I wanted to figure it out before I suggest the recipe (I think it was probably too much thyme).

Lightened up Orange Chicken from "Eat Well, Living Thin." Clint loves this recipe which is saying a lot because he is a food diva. (Also a diva in general.) This recipe has so much flavor and it seriously tastes like it's from a restaurant. The flavor is great and the chicken comes out super tender. I use the "Simply Orange" orange juice, and maybe I'm the one being a diva, but I think it makes a difference. Also, this one takes a while to cook but is totally worth it. 

Cajun Chicken Pasta from "SkinnyTastse." I'm a big fan of this one because it has a lot of vegetables, and I have a hard time getting all my veggies in. I follow this recipe exactly as it is, and it's great. (I tell you, this lady knows her stuff.)

Chicken & White Bean Enchiladas with Creamy Salsa Verde from "SkinnyTaste." I made this for my mom when she came to visit and she thought I was Rachael Ray. I wish I was friends with Rachael in real life, just fyi. I like this recipe because the sauce is all homemade and delicious. I use fresh jalapeƱos, but you can use canned as well. Also sometimes when you used fresh, you accidentally rub your eye with your jalapeƱo fingers and then half of your face burns up and your eye waters profusely. Well, that's what I've heard anyway. 

Basil Pesto Tilapia. This isn’t even a recipe. It’s frozen fish from Costco that is to.die.for. I was never a big fish eater, until recently and I still don’t like things that are super fishy tasting. I try to eat fish once a week for the antioxidants and all that miracle crap, so this is my go-to.  Tilapia is not too fishy at all and the basil pesto flavor is awesome. You just put this in the oven for about 15 minutes and you’re done! We always eat it with vegetables and rice because I’m Asian and it’s required at every meal (basically), but just plain is great too. And each filet is only 150 calories.

Pumpkin Banana Bread from "SkinnyTaste". Clearly not a dinner recipe, but I could definitely eat the whole loaf for dinner and be happy. Not only is this a lightened up recipe, but it’s my all-time favorite recipe for banana bread. Don't judge it by the picture on her blog which looks pretty nasty. This stuff is golden. And sometimes I add chocolate chips. Ok, all the time I add chocolate chips. no regrets. 

Crockpot Santa Fe Chicken from "SkinnyTaste." I thought I better include at least one crockpot recipe on here. Another one from SkinnyTaste. Every single recipe I have tried from her blog is great. The only ones that I am not in love with are the soup recipes (I think I have tried 4 of them). Other than that, I would say her blog is a great go-to for recipes. Her desserts are great too.

No Bake Energy Bites from "Key Ingredient." I wouldn't necessarily categorize these as "healthy" but they are a healthier treat for when you just need a little sweet snack.

I also have a board on Pinterest that I titled "Tried & True Recipes." These are recipes from Pinterest that I have actually tried, and love enough to make again (ok, so there's a whole 7 recipes on there, but it's a work in progress). So if you're interested, follow along.



It's so lame that I don't have any pictures, but I didn't want to steal any from these blogger's websites and I like food too much to stop and take pictures of it. Fact.

February 3, 2013

Happy Sunday.

"Jesus said, 'Without me, ye can do nothing.' I testify that that is God's truth. Christ is everything to us and we are to abide in Him permanently, unyieldingly, steadfastly, forever. For the fruit of the gospel to blossom and bless our lives, we must be firmly attached to Him."