Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheddar Soup

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Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheddar Soup

On a quest to create the perfect Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheddar Soup I spent some time with one recipe I found in The Whole 9 Months Week-by-week Pregnancy Nutrition Guide by Jennifer Lang and another on AllRecipes.com called Copycat Panera® Broccoli Cheddar Soup. Somewhere in the middle, I've found a bowl of creamy goodness chalked full of fresh veggies.  I am trusting my husband on this recipe, as I was never much of a broccoli-anything enthusiast as a child; in fact, I have never had more than a taste of this soup at Panera.  It wasn't until well into my years as an undergraduate at Virginia Tech that I began eating broccoli, and it has taken the better half of a decade since graduation for me to truly appreciate green veggies. 

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Easy As Pie

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Easy As Pie

We might as well talk about it, because I know you’re already thinking about it. As Thanksgiving inches closer, I can’t help but think about pie! As I said last week, I haven’t been reaching for sweets much during this pregnancy — so thoughts of pumpkin and pecan pie haven’t been on my mind. But, this EASY berry pie is tart, simple and satisfies my sweet tooth. Here’s how to make it — it’s as easy as pie.

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Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

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Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

The first soup I ever loved was Chicken Noodle Soup from Panera Bread. I would pick right around the veggies unapologetically slurping up the broth.  Now I enjoy making homemade chicken noodle soup chock-full of seasonal vegetables like carrots, celery, and onions. It's easy to make large batches of soup to save for lazy Sundays and easy lunches; bonus, my husband loves it. 

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Strawberry Banana Protein Smoothie

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Strawberry Banana Protein Smoothie

My husband loves smoothies; in fact, sometimes he makes enough smoothies on Monday to last him for an entire week.  Despite his love for smoothies, he often complains about the consistency and asks me for my magic smoothie making skills. Try out this recipe with the measurements included.  Eventually, you will be able to freehand when making your morning concotions. 

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Gluten Free Oatmeal Pancakes

While I love going out for a good breakfast, I like cooking at home even more.  Today I'm sharing one of my favorite lazy Sunday morning breakfast recipes from Sarabeth's Good Morning Cookbook with a few of my own enhancements - Gluten Free Oatmeal Pancakes! I chose to add a dash of ground nutmeg, bananas, and blueberries to my batch this time around, but I like to switch it up depending on what I'm in the mood for. Try out my go-to pancake recipe below, and let me know in the comments what you like to add in the batter!

Enjoy!

Gluten Free Oatmeal Pancakes

Gluten Free Oatmeal Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup GF flour

  • 1 cup oatmeal

  • 1 tbs baking powder

  • 2 tbs sugar

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 2 1/2 cups milk

  • 2 large eggs, separated

  • Dash of ground nutmeg

  • Kerrygold butter

  • Warm maple syrup

Directions:

  • In the Vitamix, blend the oatmeal on high

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the GF flour, oatmeal, baking powder, sugar, dash of nutmeg, and salt to combine, and make a well in the center.

  • In a medium bowl, whisk the milk and egg yolks until mixed

  • Pour into the well

  • Using a wooden spoon, stir just until the batter is mixed

  • Do not overbeat - a few tiny lumps of flour may remain

  • In a small bowl, beat the egg whites just until soft peaks form

  • Gently fold the whites into the batter & add in bananas and blueberries
  • Preheat the griddle and grease with Kerrygold butter

  • Pour the batter onto the griddle (about 1/3 cup for each pancake), leaving an inch or so between the pancakes

  • Cook until tiny bubbles appear on the surface of the batter (about 1 minute)

  • Carefully flip the pancakes and cook until the other side is golden brown (about 1 more minute)

  • Serve immediately with the syrup and Kerrygold on the side

  • Optional: Add a dash of ground nutmeg, bananas, and blueberries

Gluten Free Flour
Pancake Ingredients
Vitamix
Gluten Free Oatmeal Pancakes
Pancake Batter
Bananas and Blueberries

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Cheesy Hamburger Dip

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Cheesy Hamburger Dip

I cannot believe I am sharing this recipe with you; in fact, a better title of this post would be, "The Dip I Never Thought I'd Make." This time of year our house is buzzing with football chatter, player rankings, and fantasy football teams. My husband is a football fanatic; admittedly, I didn't know how to use the clicker at our old house, and ESPN was on more often than the news. When gameday arrives, our friends pour in, and there is always a spread of snacks already on the counter.  My go to's include crockpot barbecue chicken, hummus + veggies, and homemade guacamole; although, the snacks are always eaten, I wanted to learn how to make a football dip.

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Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad

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Have you ever really loved a certain food, but hated one of the main ingredients?  Meet, chicken salad.  I must admit, I don't care for mayonnaise, I don't purchase it, and I definitely don't want it all over my chicken salad.  I will never forget the day I sat down with my mother for lunch at Cafe at Pharr, in Atlanta, Georgia; wherein, she handed me a newspaper article praising the lunch spot for their healthy eats and conscious approach to cooking.  Most chicken salad recipes include heavy amounts of mayonnaise, Cafe at Pharr uses greek yogurt and  serves sandwiches alongside a handful of grapes, with two yogurt rolls to satiate the post meal sweet tooth. 

While I love visiting Cafe at Pharr, I like cooking at home even more.  Today I added apples, cherries, and grapes to my batch. Next week, I may choose walnuts.  Try out my recipe below, and let me know in the comments about anything you have added.

Enjoy!

Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of Chicken
  • ½ Cup of Greek Yogurt [Full Fat]
  • 2 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard
  • 1/2 Cup of chopped celery
  • 1/3 Cup of chopped cherries
  • 1/3 Cup of chopped apples
  • 1 Tsp. Fresh Chopped Dill
  • Juice of One Lemon
  • 1/4 Tsp. Sea Salt
  • Freshly Ground Pepper
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • Optional: 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts

Directions:

  • Heat a teaspoon of Kerrygold in a medium skillet over medium heat, place chicken breasts in and cook until edges are golden, about 10 minutes. Flip to the other side, then cover the pan, lower the heat and cook for another 10 minutes.
  • Remove the chicken from heat, set aside
  • Chop and prepare vegetables
  • Cut chicken into small pieces
  • Mix all ingredients together
  • Serve or keep in the refrigerator until you are ready to eat
  • Optional: Buy a loaf of fresh bread, toast lightly, add fresh jelly or lettuce and tomato with a couple spoonfuls of chicken salad
Chopped Veggies
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ChickenSalad

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Banana Bread - The Only Recipe You'll Ever Need

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Sometimes people look at me sideways when I tell them I cook nearly everyday, and when I casually throw in, I also like to bake, the facial expressions are priceless.  Growing up my older sister Erica was the head chef in the Hinchman kitchen. Erica knew so much about cooking, at age 16 she interviewed for a job at Viking and they asked her what type of sauce she'd pair with a chicken pot pie dish. She knew the answer- béchamel. While, I may know my way around the kitchen these days, there wasn't space for me around meal time as a kid.  Instead of trying to wiggle my way into the chaos, I decided I would explore the kitchen when it was quiet (and clean).  

My love for baking began with the oatmeal cookies my mother would make. I recall the aprons she would let me choose from, the little measuring cups, and all the baking trinkets that we would play with.  Before the cookies hit the oven, I got to be mommy's little taste tester as nobody else was around.  Before long, I started working on little projects by myself- blueberry muffins that came with a starter box, pancakes, french toast, and banana bread.  Important note: my older sister didn't like to eat breakfast (unless breakfast was a bagel), and my mother loves to sleep meaning breakfasting was open for projects and creativity.

Meal planning is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and nourishing your body with the nutrients it needs to stay high-energy all day long . We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, which is why I prep for it... I love cooking, and making your food is the best way to control the ingredients and know exactly what you’re putting into your body.  After all, food is your body’s fuel, so respect your body by fueling it well.

Also, my Bircher Muesli recipe has so many health benefits between the fatty acids (aka “good” fats) in the nuts and grains, the probiotics in the yogurt, and the vitamins in the fruit. These breakfast on-the-go recipes give me the long-lasting energy needed not only for my yoga practice, but for the day ahead. Enjoy!


Overripe Bananas
Ingredients
Gluten Free Flour, King Arthur

Banana Bread

Ingredients:

  • ½ Cup of Kerry Gold softened
  • ½ Cup Brown Sugar
  • ½ Cup White Sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 bananas - the darker the better
  • 1 ½ Cups of GF Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • Optional: 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • Cream butter and sugars
  • Add eggs, crushed bananas,  and walnuts, combine well. Don't overmix- the bananas should stay chunky.
  • Sift together flour, soda, and salt. Add to the cream, butter and sugars.
  • Add vanilla. Mix until just combined.
  • Pour into greased loaf pan.
  • Bake for 55 minutes 
  • *If you would prefer muffins, this will make 12 nice sized muffins (bake for 18 minutes)
  • Keep in the refrigerator all week long!

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Skinny Jalapeno Margarita

by Carly Grace Yoga

Skinny Jalapeno Margarita [Gluten-Free, Paleo, Dairy Free]

Produce

  • Limes, 1 bag
  • Jalapeno, 2

Liquor

  • Don Julio
  • Patron Orange

Sugar

  • Stevia

Preparation

  • Mix 2 ounces of fresh squeezed Lime, 2 ounces of Don Julio, and 1/2 ounce of Orange Patron with a few small pieces of diced jalapeno 
  • Add combination to ice and shake vigorously, pour over ice

Notes

  • Microwave your lime for 15-20 seconds to get an easier squeeze and more juice
  • The mixture above yields 1 Margarita; keep the proportions to make additional margaritas or an entire batch
  • Add Salt to the rim of your glass, optional

Meal Ideas

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Chicken Fajita Skillet

by Carly Grace Yoga

Chicken Fajita Skillet [Gluten-Free, Paleo, Dairy Free]

Protein

  • 1 1b boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips

Produce

  • 1 Cup Chopped Fresh Cilantro
  • 1 Onion, peeled
  • 5 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Jalapeño, diced
  • Juice of 2 Limes
  • 1 Bell Pepper, Chopped
  • 1 Cup of Corn
  • 2 Zucchini, diced

Herbs & Spices

  • 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Cumin

Fats

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil EVOO

Preparation

  • Preheat your large deep skillet on medium heat and add the EVOO to the pan.  Add your onion, add your garlic, and saute until the onion softens and the consistency looks a bit soupy. Add your bell pepper, add your zucchini, add salt, pepper, and cumin, and allow the vegetables to saute in the herbs and spices for 5 minutes.
  • If your skillet is large enough you can cook the chicken in the same skillet; otherwise, preheat another skillet and cook the chicken on medium heat with EVOO, Salt, and Pepper until the Chicken can be cut through with no remaining pink.
  • Add corn, add beans, add seasoning (my favorite is Mexican Fiesta) to the vegetable mixture and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes.
  •  I like to use my Vitamix; however, it is important to gently combine the ingredients.  If you are using a food processor or blender, pulse a couple of times only.  If you over-process the mixture,  you will end up with a purée consistency rather than a salsa consistency. 
  • Top with cilantro

Optional Additions/ Notes

  • Microwave your lime for 15-20 seconds to get an easier squeeze and more juice
  • Top with Goat or Feta Cheese
  • Add Guacamole or Avocado to top off your skillet
  • Add additional Hot Sauce, I love Sriracha
  • Top with Whole30 Mango Salsa, or the Salsa of your choice

Meal Ideas

  • Serve with GF Lime Chips and Guacamole or Salsa
  • Make a batch of my favorite Spicy Margaritas to enjoy alongside your skillet
  • Share your ideas with me below or on instagram @carlygraceyoga

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