nourish

Copycat Reese’s Peanut Butter and Chocolate Eggs (or hearts, or cups, or pumpkins, or trees or any other Reese’s Shapes!) Less than 50 Calories apiece!! 

Everybody that has tried these little nuggets of deliciousness has asked me for the recipe. Now, I was inspired by my lady, Chocolate Covered Katie, but this recipe  is my adaptation. So when my Uncle Russ was like, “Lauren, I really need to get that recipe from you for those Reese’s,” after my family crushed about 50 of them over Easter weekend, I told him I would type it up and be happy to oblige. “Oh, you don’t need to type it up, just send it to me in an email,” he replied. When I divulged that I have to type it up because the recipe did not exist on the world wide web as of yet, he went on to say many nice things about my PB-egg making skills. Yay. But now it is time to release the kracken! So, without further adieu, here is a recipe for the chocolate+peanut butter ages. Enjoy!

Reese’s Peanut Butter Knock-Offs : You will not believe how freaking delicious these are..pinky promise. 

Makes about 30 eggs

  • One jar of PB2 (Powdered Peanut Butter)
  • 1 Cup powdered sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 package of chocolate almond bark. (Or white chocolate, dark chocolate, chocolate chips, cacao nibs..anything you want your eggs to be dipped and covered in! I just find almond bark to be the easiest to work with.

Empty the jar of PB2 into a large mixing bowl. Add 1/3 cup of water to the powder and mix very well. If there is still dry powder and the PB2 is not the consistency of very thick peanut butter, then add more water until you get this consistency. Throw in your pinch of salt, then start mixing in your powdered sugar. I recommend leaving a little powdered sugar unmixed so you can use it to help mold the eggs so they won’t stick to your hands…kind of like how you use flour to keep dough from sticking 🙂

Then take spoonfuls of the mixture and roll them with your hands into egg shapes, and place them on a baking sheet. When you have shaped all of them, place them into the fridge to let them set up for about 10-15 minutes, so they are easier to dip. Melt the almond bark (I put mine in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in the microwave for a minute and a half). After you rescue the eggs from the fridge, dip each in the chocolatey goodness and place back onto the baking sheet so the chocolate can set up. I scoop each egg up with a fork and dip them, so the excess chocolate can drain off of the fork.

When all of them are dipped, give them 10 more minutes in the fridge and then they are ready to rumble. Enjoy!

Nutrition (per egg):

  • Calories: 44

No Excuse Substitutions

recipe-substitutions

Runs of Steele Original Recipes: Yes, I made them up all by myself 🙂

Dressing-Less Deliciousness Salad: I have learned to love my salad without dressing..and I know I’m not missing out!

  • 3 cups mixed greens
  • 1/4 cup low fat cottage cheese
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Ground pepper and Italian seasoning to taste

Fill your bowl with the greens. Then cottage cheese, then garlic–followed by the balsamic and your seasonings. Couldn’t be easier!

Nutrition (for entire recipe):

  • Calories: 90
  • Protein: 8g
  • Carbs: 9.5g

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Chicken Qui-Sketti: Yes, a childhood favorite grew up and turned into a power-meal. My track girlies loved this stuff and asked for the recipe before I had even written it out!

  • 1 box white quinoa
  • 1 can of chicken (drained)
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup pesto
  • Pepper to taste (as always)

Prepare the quinoa just as the box says. This means bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a pretty hefty saucepan, then add the quinoa and turn the heat down so the quinoa can simmer until all of the water is soaked up. When the water disappears and the quinoa is cooked, add the chicken and crushed tomatoes. Turn off the burner or keep it on low. Follow up with the pesto and balsamic. Your sauce is boss! Add pepper and serve up. This makes 6 servings, so you have a lot to enjoy!

Nutrition (per serving):

  • Calories: 327.5
  • Protein: 20g
  • Carbs: 45g

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The Skinniest Buffalo Chicken Dip of ALL TIME: Seriously so good too, I didn’t even get a chance to photograph it before it was inhaled. 

  • 1 lb chicken breast, trimmed
  • 1 cup lowfat cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped white onion
  • 1 cup 2% shredded colby jack cheese
  • 2 ounces neufchatel cheese
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of Louisiana (or Frank’s, or Cholula’s, or whatever) hot sauce. Just depends on how hot you like it!

Preheat your oven to 325. Boil the chicken breasts on the stove until they are cooked all the way through. This should take about 10-15 minutes (no biggie at all). When they are done and cooled, take a fork and shred them and put it into a large mixing bowl. Then add the cottage cheese, neufchatel cheese, hot sauce and onion and pop into the microwave for 30 seconds, or just enough to soften up the neufchatel. Stir it all together really well and spread the mix into a casserole dish. Top it off with the colby jack cheese and pop it into the oven for 15 minutes so the cheese melts and makes a nice bubbly crust on top. Take it on out and serve it up with celery, carrots or Wasa multigrain crackers! And try to share 🙂 Makes 12 servings.

Nutrition (per serving):

  • Calories: 114.8
  • Protein: 16g
  • Carbs: 2g

The Upper (Pizza) Crust: I am giving you the foundation of the best pizza recipe ever. Different strokes for different folks, so top your pizza off with some pizza sauce and whatever toppings you like! Just remember that toppings such as extra cheese, pepperoni, turkey/chicken sausage, or other cured meats will add some delicious flavor but also excess sodium, fat and calories. Onions, peppers, mushrooms, pineapple, broccoli and other veggies/fruits are nutritious, delicious and can give your pizza pie just as much personality!

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 up of egg whites Egg Beaters (Must be egg beaters!)
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • dash of salt

Preheat your oven to 350. Chop up the head of cauliflower and microwave the florets for ten minutes, or until cooked and soft (Don’t add water!). Mash them with a masher or with a mixer if you have one on hand, until you have mashed it all up to your liking (Tip: the smoother and more clump-free the cauliflower, the more bread-like the crust turns out). Add the egg whites, baking powder and salt and mash/mix again until you get a froth going. Pour the mixture onto a large baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the crust is golden and browning on the edges. Take out from the oven and get creative!

*After you have added your pizza sauce/cheese/toppings, put the whole thing back in the oven for 10 minutes. Now you have your perfect pizza 🙂 Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition (per serving):

  • Calories: 45
  • Protein: 6.2g
  • Carbs: 6g

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Scrumptious SquashtaThe era of pasta in my life is long gone. To me, spaghetti squash has a much better flavor than tasteless, flour-y noodles. This is by far my favorite “pasta recipe.” And in true college fashion, no part of the ingredients goes to waste..not even the spaghetti squash seeds!

  • 1 whole spaghetti squash
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 4 oz of flounder (or tilapia, or cod, or swhai)
  • 1/4 cup roasted squash seeds
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1Tbsp lemon pepper
  • dash of salt

Preheat your oven to 350. Place spaghetti squash directly in the oven and let it bake for about 45-60 minutes, until it gives when you press on the outside. Remove the squash from the oven and set it aside so it can cool. Chop up your broccoli and put it in a large microwave-safe bowl with 1 cup of water. Cover it up and steam it in the microwave for 7-8 minutes. Be careful not to burn yourself when you take it out of the microwave and drain the water! Set the broccoli aside and come back to the squash. Cut it in half lengthwise and remove the seeds just like you would a pumpkin. Save those seeds! Take your flounder and season it to your liking (I enjoy mine with cajun or blackening seasoning), and place it on a large baking sheet. Toss the seeds in a little salt and seasoning and spread onto the same baking sheet. Put them in the oven on high-broil for 10 minutes. Take the spaghetti squash and fork the insides (the noodles!) out and into the bowl with the broccoli. Then chop up the flounder and add it, along with the squash seeds, into the mixing bowl with the broccoli and spaghetti squash. Now add your seasonings and enjoy! Makes 4 LARGE servings

Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories: 167.5
  • Protein: 11g
  • Carbs: 32

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Yum Yum Yam!

Sweet potatoes, yams–whichever way you spin it they are all-the-same delicious. And even better, there are about a bajillion never-the-same delicious ways to prepare them. Sweet potatoes do not have to be the diet traps that Grandma prepares with gobs of butter, brown sugar and sickly sweet marshmallows. No, you can have all of the goodness without any of the bad. As you should! Last night, I baked mine with onions, a little brown sugar, pepper, chili powder and salt all wrapped up into the tin foil. The smell that wafted through my apartment was unreal. The taste was even better. The onions caramelized and the chili powder made for a spicy-savory-sweet treat. May sound weird but it was heavenly.

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Sweet potatoes are nutritional wonders as well as freakin’ yummy. One medium-sized (5 oz) sweet potato has only 100 calories, 4x your daily vitamin A requirement, more potassium than a banana, 15% of your daily fiber intake, offers antioxidants and most importantly–fills you up! These puppies are rib sticking. I know that today I felt like Wonder Woman on my run thanks to the high quality energy I was getting from my onion topped masterpiece last night. Complex carbs are good! Carbs are not the enemy..case in point here. Just make sure you are getting quality food and everything will fall into nutritional feng-shui.

Here are some yummy-yam variations so you can get your sweet potato on. I love the idea of a stuffed-baked sweet potato. It’s like a souped-up version of shepherd’s pie. Another one of my favorites is my own personal sweet potato quinoa. Let the sweetness begin!

Chocolate Covered Katie’s “Super Sleepy Sweet Potatoes” (the shepherd’s pie version)

Taralynn McNitt’s Sweet Potato and Sausage Hash (I love hash. A lot. I sub turkey/chicken sausage for vegetarian sausage in this recipe though 🙂 )

Orange Sweet Potato Chips from Paleoaholic (Double the orange, double the fun! So crispy and crunchy)

Fit Sugar’s Black Bean and Sweet Potato Soup (A little more effort, a few more ingredients…so worth it)

Sweet Potatoes and Quinoa by Runs of Steele:

Ingredients:

1 large sweet potato (pre-baked)

1 Cup uncooked white quinoa

3 Tablespoons plain greek yogurt

1/2  Cup canned tomatoes 

1/4 cup sliced onions

Any seasonings your heart desires! Try curry, chili powder, oregano, basil, lemon pepper, thyme or the classic salt and pepper

Assembly:

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil and add quinoa, bringing the heat down to a simmer. Simmer the quinoa for 15 minutes or until most of the water is soaked up. Add the crushed tomatoes and greek yogurt and stir together really well. Cut up the sweet potato. Then add the onions and the sweet potato. Now spice it up to your liking and stir it all together. Enjoy!

Protein Bars for My Muscu-Lars

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I could seriously LIVE on Life Choice protein bars. I don’t really know why they don’t get more credit than they do…oh yeah it’s because Larabars and Clif Bars rule the world of pre-packaged, rectangles of goodness. But allow me to step up on my soapbox and advocate.

Firstly, and most importantly, these things are scrumptious. In fact, I devoured mine tonight before I actually thought to take a picture of the chocolatey goodness. No powdery, chalky protein taste. In fact, I warmed my double chocolate flavored bar in the microwave for about 10 seconds (in an attempt to harness my sweet tooth) and it was better than a brownie and probably on par with a big, yummy slab of chocolate cake. Minus the guilt, because these things sport 190 calories, less than 15 grams of carbs and 21 whopping grams of protein! Hellloo lean queen! These bars are pretty large and in charge, and also contain oodles of vitamins and important stuff like iron and potassium to fuel you and your workouts.

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In the past I have ventured into the flavor realms of chocolate-mint and peanut butter and they were super tasty. But there is just something about double chocolate that simply cannot be beat 🙂

My Standbys. These are the blogs that I frequent and would recommend to anyone! You will always find something amazing and healthy on any of these blogs if you don’t find quite what you are looking for here. Hey, just helping some fellow lady-bloggers out. 🙂

Chocolate Covered KatieKatie never fails to impress me with her scrumptious recipes and innovative ingredients. Some of my personal favorite Chocolate Covered Katie concoctions are her Chocolate Chip Blondies (pictured here, courtesy of her website), any and all of her pancakes, and the deep dish cookie pie. The most indulgent of all healthy desserts! A normal piece of cookie cake/pie will set you back 700 calories with no nutritional value, but with her sneaky chickpeas and cut-down sugar, this cookie pie weighs in at around 220 calories a slice and has oodles of protein and fiber. It’s a true win-win. Try any and all of these recipes, and trust the crazy ingredients (i.e., chickpeas, black beans and coconut butter)–this lady knows what she is doing!blonde_thumb

Undressed SkeletonAlthough the name seems slightly unhealthy or intimidating, blogger Taralynn McNitt’s blog is a gold mine for information, motivation, and most importantly–recipes! Heck, she even has a recipe for healthy, homemade gummy bears. While you are at it, read her story, you will be inspired beyond belief. My favorite recipe off of this blog is her cauliflower crust pizza. It is only 80 calories per honkin’ slice and is simply veggies and cheese (all of us lady runners need our calcium!). Plus, it is delicious and fills you up. I know that seems like a steep claim for only 80 calories, but I wouldn’t lie to you. Here is a lovely look at the pizza courtesy of Miss McNitt herself 🙂 I could probably eat this stuff everyday.

pizza

I definitely utilize other blogs and websites for recipe and meal inspiration, but these two are my very favorite. And I have learned to improvise and create things for myself. Part of nutrition is making it work for you, not you working for it. Has a nice ring to it, right? Here are a few of my tips to health-ify any recipe!

The Tricks of the Trade:

1. Sub applesauce for oil/butter in all recipes! It actually makes baked goods sweeter, naturally, and it cuts out on unhealthy fats and unnecessary calories.

2. If you can, make the switch to Almond Milk. It has 50% calcium for our runners bones, all of the protein of it’s bovine equivalent, and half the calories.

3. Mash bananas for pancake batter. If it is fall, use pumpkin. Add a little baking soda and whip up some healthy flapjacks!

4. Nix the pasta and try quinoa. Don’t be afraid! It is so delicious. Every possible way that you could prepare pasta, you can prepare quinoa. Pesto, Alfredo, marinara, you name it! And if you get sick of quinoa, eat all the spaghetti squash your heart desires 🙂

5. Greek Yogurt. Two words. That’s all you need. Freeze it and eat it as ice cream. Use it in place of sour cream, cream cheese, and the unhealthy like in recipes. Sub it into your baked goods for a moist, decadent texture. Mayo in your cake? No! Fage in your cake!

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