Walnut Red Pepper Dip

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Is it me, or sometimes do you just make a recipe that you just know you can always get along with?  Like… you make it and eat it and just think that you can have this every day forever and not get sick of it?!

Maybe it’s me, but if you don’t know what this feels like, well you just haven’t tried this recipe yet.  I’ve already made it twice this month and I’m making it again this weekend.  It’s that good.

This Dip was something I wanted to try as a “healthy” option for a few things i made for our NYE party this year.  It was the first thing to go… it is SO SO yummy.  I’ll be making it again for the Puppy Bowl Superbowl and think you should too!

Here’s the recipe for all of my friends who have been bugging me all month 🙂

Walnut Red Pepper Dip

Ingredients:
2 cups Raw Walnuts (pieces or whatever is cheaper)
1/2 teaspoon Cumin
1/2 teaspoon Sugar
1 teaspoon Salt
1 jar (12 oz.) Roasted Red Peppers, rinsed and drained
1 Garlic Clove, minced
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 teaspoons Lemon Juice

Directions:
1. Pulse walnuts, cumin, sugar, and salt in a food processor until walnuts are finely ground.
2. Add peppers, garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice, process until smooth.
3. Serve with veggies, crackers, chips, or even slices of crusty bread.

Recipe slightly adapted from:  Cooking Light 

Crush those nuts! :)

Crush those nuts! 🙂

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This dip has been delicious on just about everything I’ve put it on!  I have been buying the walnuts from Trader Joe’s, which the only options are for raw walnuts, but it would be just as good if you have roasted walnuts.  Also, since you’re pulverizing the nuts, don’t spend extra money on getting the whole ones either.

ENJOY!

Baked Oatmeal Bars

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So, Dave (my husband !!!!! ???? !!!!!) totally called me out this weekend on my obsession with bars.  Not the fun kind of bar to be obsessed with… but the kind of bar you eat when you’re like me and are constantly on the go.  I just can’t help myself.  There are literally thousands of types and the flavor options are endless! Recently, I discovered a new favorite that happens to be pretty healthy too.  I absolutely have to tell you about them.  They’re called “Go Macro” bars and I’ve tried almost every flavor… for those of us who can handle foods that taste “healthy”, these are pretty darn good.  They aren’t super sweet so if you’re looking for a candy bar type meal replacement, this one’s not for you.

In an attempt to make my own bars this weekend, I tried out a modified version of the Baked Oatmeal recipe from Cooking Light.  They couldn’t be easier to whip up and bake on a football Sunday afternoon.  I cut these babies up into 8 triangle shaped bars and we have been enjoying the heck out of them this week!  I think next time, I’ll try with less sugar and to add some ground flax too?  The opportunities are endless. 🙂 While I don’t think these bars can replace my love for on-the-go bars… they are so delicious!

Baked Oatmeal Bars

Ingredients:

2 cups Uncooked Old-Fashioned Oats
1/2 cup Light Brown Sugar, packed
1/2 cup Craisins (reduced sugar)
3 Tablespoons Chopped Walnuts
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 1/2 cups Skim Milk
1/2 cup All Natural No Sugar Added Apple Sauce
2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted
1 large Egg, beaten

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 375°.
2.  Combine the first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl. Combine the milk, applesauce, butter, and egg in another bowl. Add milk mixture to oat mixture; stir well.
3.  Pour oat mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes. Check on the bars after 20 minutes and if the top starts to brown, place a piece of foil ontop and continue cooking for another 10 minutes. Serve warm.

Recipe adapted from:  Cooking Light

Makes 8 Servings

 

Looks good already...

Looks good already…

Ready for the oven!

Ready for the oven!

Red Pepper Walnut Relish : BA Cleanse 2014

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It’s time to take a hop in the time machine and go back a few months to the beginning of 2014.  Remember when Dave and I did the Bon Appetit cleanse?  We started the year off with two weeks of this awesome cleanse which gave us guidelines AND recipes to follow for every meal plus snacks for every day of the cleanse.  It was awesome.  I actually sorta miss it!

I wanted to share this recipe from the cleanse with you because I love how versatile it is.  You can really use it in so many ways, as we did during our cleanse.  We used this relish on chicken (seen below), on scrambled eggs, roasted tofu, and even by itself as a snack.  It definitely felt good using a topping that was homemade and not store bought.  Yay!

Red Pepper Walnut Relish

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup Walnuts
  • 2 Red Bell Peppers (1lb)
  • 1 clove Garlic, grated
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Mint, finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon (or more) Aleppo Pepper* or ½ teaspoon Hot Smoked Paprika 
  • ½ teaspoon (or more) fresh Lemon Juice
  • ½ teaspoon Pomegranate Molasses** or Balsamic Vinegar
  • Kosher Salt & freshly ground Black Pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Toast walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing occasionally, until fragrant and slightly darker, 8–10 minutes. Let cool; coarsely chop.  DO NOT BURN!!  (I had to re-do this step THREE times lol)
  2. Heat broiler. Broil bell peppers on a rimmed baking sheet, turning occasionally, until softened and skins are blackened in spots, 20–25 minutes. Transfer bell peppers to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap (or a brown paper bag), and let steam 15 minutes. Peel peppers, seed, and chop.
  3. Toss bell peppers, garlic, mint, oil, Aleppo pepper, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, and walnuts in a small bowl; season with salt, black pepper, and more Aleppo pepper and lemon juice, if desired.
  4. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before serving.

*Aleppo Pepper is a great spice to have handy.  See if you can find it at Whole Foods or another spice market

**Pomegranate Molasses can be found at most grocery stores, just ask someone where it is.  This is a great item to have for other mediterranean recipes.  It’s delicious.

This relish can be kept in a sealed container in the refrigerator for a week.

Recipe from:  Bon Appetit 2014

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The relish was such a delicious topping on this chicken recipe from the cleanse.  It adds a super flavorful punch and a really nice crunchy texture too.  I love the flavor that is brought to the table by the pomegranate molasses.  You can absolutely taste it and I totally recommend going out and buying it even if it’s just for this.

If you’re wondering what that gorgeous lookin’ side of white beans is, you can read about it here.  These are just a few of the recipes from the cleanse… pretty awesome right?

You can find a few of my favorite cleanse recipes here…

Multigrain Hot Cereal w/ Pomegranate & Crunch

Multigrain Hot Cereal w/ Pomegranate & Crunch

Avocado Smoothie

Avocado Smoothie

Spiced Cashew Crunch

Spiced Cashew Crunch

Greek Yogurt Breakfast

I am soooo stuck right now.  I need to lose 5 more pounds to be at my goal weight.  UGHHH!  I was supposed to be at my goal for Halloween.  Okay, that’s so not happening.

Re-joining Weight Watchers might be in my near future… but before I go back to keeping track and obsessive counting, I wanted to give myself one last try at doing this on my own.

Last Thursday, I went to see “John the Dietitian” for some advice.  The first thing he suggested to me was to change up my breakfast.  I got super comfortable ditching my old Fiber One Oats & Chocolate (ugh but they’re soooooooooo good) bars for Kashi Go Lean Cereal… also suggested by John at the beginning of the summer.  Well, that’s the problem… I’ve been eating Kashi cereal every single day during the week since JUNE!  It’s time for a change.

John suggested this recipe to me using Greek Yogurt and i am LOVING it.  I have eaten this for breakfast three times now, and every single time I am left feeling completely satisfied, stuffed, and even better, I don’t get hungry for HOURS.

Greek Yogurt Breakfast

Ingredients:

3/4 cup Fat Free Plain Greek Yogurt 

1 Banana, cut into slices

2 Tablespoons Frozen Berries 

1 Tablespoon Ground Flax

1 Tablespoon Fig Butter (Trader Joe’s)

1 heaping Tablespoon Chopped Walnuts

Directions:

Put it all together in a tupperware container and bring to work.  Enjoy.

A few side notes about this one:  

1.  It’s absolutely delicious despite being ugly

2.  If you’re going to make this the night before, frozen fruit works great.  It will thaw out overnight and also as it melts, it will make it a little extra juicy!  If you’re going to eat it right away, use normal fresh fruit.

3.  I use 3/4 cup of FF Plain Greek Yogurt because the full serving size of 1 Cup ends up being SO MUCH food.  I do actually measure this out I just plop a few giant spoonfuls in the cup measure and don’t fill it up all the way.

4.  I’ve talked about the Fig Butter from TJ’s before, and I’m sure this won’t be the last time either.  It’s freakin’ amazing stuff.  Try it out!  If you don’t have it or like it or suck and won’t even try it… use a Tablespoon of Polaner’s All Fruit Jelly!  This will mix into the yogurt really well and sweeten it up a bit without being overly sugary.

I told you… not pretty!

 

As for my new breakfast helping my diet, we will find out soon enough!  I have been “bad” on the past few weekends which of course things like this:

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… doesn’t help.  I really need to buckle down and lose these last 5 pounds!  No one ask me out to dinner…. lol.

More of John’s suggestions and foods in my new work-day diet to come soon!