Overnight Fridge Oats and the Flexibility of Meal-Prepping Them

cherrypiefridgeoats1

Let’s face it. A lot of us aren’t morning people and even if we were, how many really want to cook a well-balanced breakfast each and every morning? I know I don’t. Especially after a hard workout or a late night. It’s more ideal to have something already prepped and ready to just pop in the microwave or in a bowl. 

There’s a lot of quick and convenient store-bought breakfasts that you can buy, but why trust manufacturers to actually produce something entirely healthy? Half of the stuff listed on the nutrient guide of packages I can’t even pronounce. I feel so much safe when I know what ingredients are used in the foods I cook because I put them there. 

cherrypiefridge

With Overnight Fridge Oats, you can choose from any sort of fruit to your liking as well as added ingredients. This makes them flexible to those with a vegan, gluten-free and paleo diet as well. You just need a few ingredients and a container to store them in. I use mason jars for mine. But best part? They stay fresh and impact in the refrigerator for up to 4 days! So you can make four breakfasts in one meal-prep session. 

blueberryyogurtgranola

Add all ingredients in order for the best results:

1/2 cup of Step 1 Basic Ingredients: Old-Fashioned Oats. Mulesi. 

1/4 cup of Step 2 Basic Ingredients: Yogurt. Almond Milk. Whole Milk.

1 Tablespoon of Step 3 Basic Ingredients: Honey. Artificial Sweetener. 

1 teaspoon of Step 4 Basic Ingredients: Peanut Butter. Chia Seeds. 

1/2 cup of Step 5 Basic Ingredients: Blueberries. Tart Cherries. Strawberries. Banana. Apples.

1 Tablespoon of Optional Step 6 Toppings: Mini Chocolate Chips. Cinnamon. 

 

French Toast Sticks

frenchtoaststicks

Sunday is here and that means a night with a “Breakfast for Dinner” theme. I try and switch it up so we aren’t eating the same breakfast foods weekly. Last week we had Breakfast Burritos. Those are mighty delicious and mighty unhealthy, so last Sunday was known as “mighty cheat meal day.” This week I opted for something that I thought the kids would enjoy (and adults) – and then I made more than our needed serving so that I could save a few for tomorrow’s breakfast. 

French Toast is so easy to make. I love to make a batch using texas toast whenever I can locate some, although come to think of it; texas toast seems awfully hard to come by around these neck of the woods. I’m not sure why. Nag some if you see some in your grocery the next time you’re doing your shopping. You get a more thick piece of french toast and you can also cut them into sticks, like this recipe! They make fun for dunking into maple syrup.

frenchtoast2

French Toast Sticks
Serves 4
Use a few slices of Texas Toast to make these fun French Toast Sticks. Perfect for dunking into maple syrup!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 6 slices of Texas Toast, cut into four sticks.
  2. 3 large eggs
  3. 3/4 cup whole milk
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  5. maple syrup, for serving
  6. cinnamon, for serving
  7. confectioners sugar, for serving
Instructions
  1. Cut each Texas toast slices into four sticks. Set aside.
  2. Using a large bowl, add eggs, milk and vanilla. Whisk together well.
  3. Heat a well-greased large skillet over med-high heat.
  4. Dip each texas toast stick into egg and milk mixture, making sure to coat each side well. Add texas toast stick to skillet. Repeat with each stick, leaving a few inches in-between. Cook until slightly golden brown on each side, flipping when needed.
  5. When all have cooked throughly, add to a plate. Lightly sprinkle cinnamon and confectioners sugar overtop each individual stick. Serve immediately with small bowls of maple syrup for dunking.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

Egg, Sausage and Potato Breakfast Casserole

breakfastcasserole

How delicious does a breakfast casserole sound? Not to mention the convenience of it already been prepared. All you have to do is pop it in the microwave for a few seconds and enjoy for the remainder of the week. Perfect if you’re like me and prefer to prep your breakfast and lunches for the week on Sunday. Afterall, if you “fail to plan, plan to fail” and I refuse to fail with just a little over fifty days left until summer!

So of course, a casserole is the way to go if you want a little bit of everythin’, There really is no wrong ingredient. I used turkey sausage for mine to keep the healthy factor still there. I basically use turkey for everything though..

breakfastcasserole1

 

Eggs, Sausage and Potatoes Breakfast Casserole
Serves 6
A delicious breakfast casserole that can be prepped and enjoyed for an entire week, or served at brunch.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
55 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
55 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 russet potatoes, peeled and diced into ½ cubes
  2. 1lb turkey or italian sausage, chopped
  3. 1 small onion, diced
  4. 1 red pepper, diced
  5. 3 garlic cloves, minced
  6. 6 eggs
  7. 1/3 cup skim milk
  8. 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  9. ¼ teaspoon black pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Well-grease a 9x13 baking pan.
  2. Over medium-heat, boil a medium sized saucepan until water is boiling. Add diced potatoe cubes and cook for 5-7 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook sausage until lightly browned. When sausage appears done, add onion, red pepper and garlic to skillet. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add to greased baking pan and set aside.
  4. Using a large bowl, add eggs, milk, 1½ cups sharp cheddar cheese, and black pepper. Whisk well. Next add your egg mixture to the potato and sausage mixture in baking pan. Make sure to stir so that all ingredients are combined well. Sprinkle additional ½ cup sharp cheddar cheese ontop and cover with foil.
  5. Add baking pan to oven and cook for 20 minutes. When 20 minutes are up, remove foil and cook an additional 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cook off momentarily before serving.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

Frosted Oatmeal Blueberry Donuts

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Two weeks ago I bought a donut pan anticipating the thought of baking a patch of protein donuts. I’ve seen friends post pictures of them and I’ve browsed past them while looking on Pinterest. They seem like a fantastic breakfast or even post-workout snack. 

I’m not a real big fan of protein powder for the most part, so I wanted to try something a little less tasting like a recipe made with it. Because a lot of my past breakfast recipes have consisted of oatmeal, I thought why not incorporate it into a donut? It works with muffins! 

blueberrydonutsoatmeal

Now oatmeal baked alone doesn’t necessarily have that great of a taste. You need to add something else to adjust the flavor and usually fruit is your best bet on doing so. I love blueberries, so of course, those are my first fruit pick 🙂 They are always bursting with flavor and also give the donut a more ‘pretty’ look. You can also eat it with or without a glaze. The glaze just happens to give it a little more of a sweet taste so that your tastebuds aren’t confusing it with a round muffin.

Frosted Oatmeal Blueberry Donuts
Serves 12
A healthier take on donuts with fruit.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
17 min
Total Time
32 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
17 min
Total Time
32 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  2. 1½ cup skim milk
  3. ¼ cup natural applesauce
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  5. ¼ cup butter, melted
  6. 1½ cup all-purpose flour
  7. 1 tablespoon baking powder
  8. ½ teaspoon salt
  9. ½ cup light brown sugar
  10. ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  11. 3/4 cup blueberries
Donut Glaze Frosting
  1. 2 cups confectioners sugar
  2. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  3. ¼ skim milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Well grease a donut pan. Set aside.
  2. Using a medium size bowl, add old-fashioned oats, milk, applesauce vanilla and butter. Whisk until combined.
  3. In a large size bowl, add all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, brown sugar and cinnamon. Whisk until combined.
  4. Add blueberries to old-fashioned oats mixture. Gently fold.
  5. Pour old-fashioned oats mix into large bowl, combining liquid ingredients with dry ingredients. Combine well, but try not to over mix. That takes away from the donuts taking on a more "fluffier" look.
  6. Add mixture to donut pan, filling each to the top. Bake in oven for 17 minutes, or until they appear a light golden color.
  7. While donuts are baking, start glaze frosting by adding confectioners sugar, vanilla and milk to a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until well combined. Remove from heat and place over a medium-size bowl of water to keep glaze from thickening.
  8. Remove donuts from oven, gently adding each donut to a cooling rack momentarily. When cooled off enough, dip donuts into glaze and return to cooling rack.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

Homemade Maple Granola

homemadegranola
I like granola. I like that it’s convenient for those week days when your morning is rushed and you don’t want to wait in the long line at Starbucks for a muffin. I also like that it doesn’t take a chef in the kitchen to make a batch of it. Infact, you really don’t need to have any kitchen skills; it’s pretty foolproof. You just need a few ingredients and an oven. 

homemadegranola1Some like it plain. 

Granola is just like most other recipes; you can tweak the ingredients to your liking or to what you already have in the pantry. I like to add a little flavor to mine by using dried up fruit. Both cherries, cranberries, bananas and apple chips do wonders for a batch of granola. If you’re not the fruit-kind, simply sprinkle some cinnamon ontop to add a little more.

1homemadegranola

Some like it with a little extra sweet flavor

 

Homemade Maple Granola
Easy to make granola that goes great with a side of yogurt or as a mid-day snack.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  2. ½ cup pecans, shopped
  3. ½ cup almonds, chopped
  4. 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  5. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  6. ½ teaspoon sea salt
  7. ½ stick of unsalted butter
  8. ½ cup pure maple syrup
  9. ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  10. handful of dried cranberries
  11. handful of dried cherries, optional
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 300. Place parchment paper onto a cookie sheet.
  2. Combine old-fashioned oats, pecans, almonds, dark brown sugar, cinnamon and sea salt in a large bowl. Mix well.
  3. Melt unsalted butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Swoosh that pan around a bit, it helps the butter melt a little faster. Remove from heat and pour into a small bowl. Add maple syrup and vanilla extract. Whisk well.
  4. Pour butter mixture into bowl of dry ingredients. Stir well until all dry ingredients are covered and layer thinly on parchment paper covered cookie sheet.
  5. Bake for 35 minutes, or until granola is golden brown. Make sure you stir granola around every 10-15 minutes.
  6. Add dried cranberries after removing granola from oven and letting cool off slightly. Package when granola is completely cooled off.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

Green Juice: Benefits + Recipe

greenjuice

Need to increase your energy? Leafy greens to the rescue! The quickest way to help get your daily dose of fruits and vegetables without eating a salad, or side of grapefruit is by drinking an 8-ounce (at least!) glass of green juice.

By digesting raw vegetables, you’re able to fully absorb all their nutrients verses getting bits and pieces broken down when vegetables are steamed, grilled or broiled. For starters, greens contain loads of calcium, potassium and iron; all important must-haves for a healthy body. But that’s not all – you can also get an abundance amount of vitamin B, C, E and K from them as well.

So what can you expect in a green juice? Most recipes call for a base:  (Spinach. Kale. Chard. Collards) with additional ingredients to help build a flavor: (Banana. Pineapple. Apple. Celery. Carrots. Beets) 

greenjuice1

 

Green Juice
Serves 1
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Ingredients
  1. 1 medium banana
  2. ½ cup pineapple
  3. ½ teaspoon chia seeds
  4. handful of baby spinach
  5. 1 cup coconut water
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients into a blender. Enjoy chilled.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

Baked Denver Omelette Quiche

quiche

Meals should almost always be about variety. We don’t eat the same dinners each night, right? And if we did, I assume we wouldn’t look forward to doing so. However, there can be exceptions! Take a quiche for example. When I make a quiche, it’s usually with the intention of eating it for breakfast every day for the next week because it’s nutritious and so good.

This particular quiche doesn’t ask for much of you, and even with the simple ingredients; it’s still packed with a lot of flavor. Best next thing? It takes a whopping 10 minutes max to put it together and after doing so, you get to sit back, relax and engulf the delicious smell as it bakes. 

Baked Denver Omelette Quiche
Serves 4
A crowd pleasing crustless quiche packed with lots of flavor.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 8 eggs
  2. ½ cup fat-free milk
  3. 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  4. 1 cup chopped fully cooked ham, diced into small cubes
  5. ½ cup onion, chopped
  6. ½ cup green pepper, chopped
Instructions
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. 2. Grease well a quiche pan, or 9x9 casserole pan. Set aside.
  3. 3. Whisk together ingredients in a large size bowl, adding to a greased pan after combined well.
  4. 4. Bake for 25 minutes.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

 

 

Oatmeal Blueberry Protein Pancakes

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Breakfast for dinner regularly happens at least once a week in our household. Throw protein pancakes in the mix and you’ve got yourself an even healthier (and muscle building) meal. 

 

Oatmeal Blueberry Protein Pancakes
Serves 2
Love oatmeal and pancakes? Why not add them together with some blueberries.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. ½ cup uncooked rolled oats (Old fashioned oatmeal)
  2. 1/3 cup Egg whites
  3. 1 scoop of Vanilla Protein Powder (23grm protein per scoop)
  4. 1 tablespoon Ground Flaxseed
  5. ¼ of a ripe Banana
  6. 1 tablespoon Greek Yogurt
  7. 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  8. 1 teaspoon of good Vanilla extract
  9. ¼ cup frozen Blueberries
Instructions
  1. 1. Throw everything except blueberries in the blender and blend until smooth.
  2. 2. Over medium heat, spray a skillet pan with cooking spray and pouring ¼ cup of the mixture into pan with a few blueberries on top.
  3. 3. When bottom is lightly brown flip and cook the other side.
  4. 4. Repeat with each pancake.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

The Importance of Meal-Planning and Meal-Prep.

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “Fail to plan, plan to fail.” I often wonder if the individual who thought it up was trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Healthy is not easy. There’s several components that go into the equation when it comes to trying to reroute your daily diet into something that your body will appreciate more than those greasy drive-through french fries. The most important components? Meal-Planning and Meal-Prep. Lets face it though. Not everyone loves meal-planning and not everyone loves cooking. I think you have to enjoy both in order to have a deep and committed relationship with planning a menu and looking forward to prepping food. And while meal planning can be time-consuming and meal-prep, a process (think 2-4 hours spent in your kitchen on a Sunday morning) they’re also the key to a successful healthy lifestyle.
foodprep

When I started out on my journey towards becoming more fit and healthy one year ago, I actually looked forward to the process of meal-prep. I was following an e-guide program that lasted 28 days and came with an already scheduled meal-plan for the week, grocery list to check off, which foods I was prepping on what day and what my workout was. Everything is easier when simply laid out for you. But doing so, this taught me how to continue making healthy choices when the program was over. I just had to follow two rules

1. Allow yourself 5 meals a day. That’s right. FIVE!:

Now before you get all bug-eyed, hear me out. I understand you’re either looking to lose weight or maintain. Eating 5 meals a day isn’t going to contribute to weight gain if you’re eating correctly and not just anything and everything in the fridge or pantry – in fact, 5 meals allows your body to use energy stores and burn more fat.

The easiest and most foul-proof way to do it is to fit one small snack in after breakfast and another after lunch. This leaves less need to over-indulge at dinner and less chance of finding your hand in the chip bag. That’s right – no more Doritos fingers!

2. Prep twice a week.

Yes, my friends. When I say twice a week, I mean you will be eating left-overs. I’m sure when you were younger the thought of eating last night’s dinner again for dinner tonight gave you the hebeegeebees. Not anymore! Left-overs are now your body’s best friend. Please don’t imagine microwaving frozen pizza. That’s not the kind of left-overs I meant.

It’s a lot more easier for you to schedule repetitive meals for a few days. This calls for less overall prepping and saves you some cash at the grocery store. It also rids you of that “what should I cook for dinner tonight?” headache. I, personally, meal-prep on Sunday and Wednesday. That means Monday-Wednesday I eat the same breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, and dinner. Thursday-Saturday, same thing. Sunday is my exception day. I try to maintain healthy choices, but don’t have a set plan.

Seems easy enough, right? Everything is as enjoyable as you allow it to be. Prep and dice your vegetables while listening to music or use Pinterest to find healthy alternatives to your favorite foods. And don’t forget the tupperware! Not only are you going to need plenty of it, but you get to pick some out in all shapes and sizes. The cute little dressing ones are my favorite!

 

(Pictured above is ingredients for Chorizo Breakfast Burrito)

131 Calorie Blueberry Muffins

131 Calorie Blueberry Muffins
Did you click on the link to this recipe because of the pretty pictures without looking at the post title? Look at it now. Look closely. No, your eyes are not deceiving you. You read correctly.

 
Blueberry muffins that are only 131 calories a piece. I think that deserves repeating in capital, bold letters. 131 CALORIES
 

And the second best part is that they taste AMAZING. It’s almost unbelievable that something this low in fat could be this yum. But it is. And you’ll use that as an excuse to eat two of them in one sitting. I did. I don’t regret it.

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Like most, I spend a good majority of my Sundays meal-prepping for the upcoming week. It makes life so much more easier. And while I like to have a variety as far as breakfast goes, I almost always prefer a good and sweet treat to start the day. 
 
Blueberries are my most absolute favorite fruit. I like to stock up on them when prices are low in the grocery store and I like to whine when prices are extremely high. This week, I happened to have 2 pints in the fridge that needed to be used soon or they were headed to the freezer where they would see Smoothie-Days in the near future. 
 
So because I had made loaf of blueberry banana bread (that recipe, soon!) and a loaf of healthy banana bread in the past two weeks, a blueberry muffin sounded perfect. Small and fluffy and easily thrown in a ziplock bag to take along to work, run errands or even have as a little mid-day snack.
 
Just make sure you remind yourself, they’re only 131 calories. That itself will feel like an accomplishment. Enjoy!
131 Calorie Blueberry Muffins
Serves 6
Low-Calorie, Delicious Blueberry Muffins. Finally, you can have more than just one!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
18 min
Total Time
33 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
18 min
Total Time
33 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
  2. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  3. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  4. 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  5. 1/4 cup organic honey
  6. 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  7. 2 large ripe bananas, mashed
  8. 1/4 cup greek nonfat yogurt
  9. 1 large egg, beaten
  10. 3/4 cup almond milk
  11. 1 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
Instructions
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Using nonstick cooking spray, grease muffin pan.
  2. 2. Combine dry ingredients; flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Shift well.
  3. 3. In a separate bowl, combine honey and brown sugar. Use a fork to break up heavy clumps that may form. Add mashed bananas, greek yogurt and egg. Mix well.
  4. 4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well. Continue to mix together gently adding milk. Mixture at this point will feel and look doughy. Add blueberries, folding gently.
  5. 5. Spoon batter into muffin tin, filling each muffin nearly to the top. Bake for 18 minutes or lightly brown. Check to see if their done by using a toothpick. If the toothpick does not remove clean, muffins may need to cook a couple additional minutes. Be sure to supervise if so to prevent from burning.
  6. 6. Allow to cool completely on a baking rack before serving.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/