HEALTHY MINT CHIP SMOOTHIE

HEALTHY MINT CHIP SMOOTHIE

I love adding smoothie to my diet, especially when the weather warms up. However, I don’t always want a fruit smoothie. Sometimes I want a smoothie that will curb my craving for a sugary snack while still providing nutrients.

I recently got the idea to re-create smoothies from popular brands and put my own twist on them.

Recently my favorite has been my “copycat” Daily Harvest mint chip smoothie.

Ingredients:

  • 1 scoop greens powder (optional)
  • handful of spinach
  • 1 tbs cocoa nibs
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 3 drops peppermint extract
  • 1/2 banana, frozen
  • 1/2 cup of almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean powder
  • 1 tbsp cashew butter
  • 1-3 drops liquid stevia (optional)

This smoothie has been helping me get in my greens, curb my dessert cravings, and it keeps me full between meals. I honestly feel like I am drinking a milkshake!

What is your go-to smoothie lately? Let me know in the comments below! I am always on the look-out for new recipes.

-Lyndsay

9 THINGS IN MY TRADER JOES CART | WINTER EDITION

I love when Trader Joe’s brings out all the holiday items. There is nothing more fun than exploring the isles and finding some holiday favorites to add to my cart. I wanted to share with you which items I pick up every year around the holidays.

HOT CHOCOLATE STICKS

These are my favorite hot chocolate things EVER! You warm up some milk and just stir until they dissolve. The best part is that they are real chocolate and not a powder. So good, especially if you like rich and creamy cocoa. I usually keep these at work for cold winter days.

GLUTEN FREE CANDY CANE JOE-JOE’S

These are a great option for all of my fellow gluten free people who always miss out on the fun holiday flavors that Oreo always come out with during the holiday season.

VEGAN MINT + CHIP BON BONS

These little bites of heaven came out a few years ago, but they were SO hard to get my hands on them. I didn’t actually get to try them until this year. All I can say is I am obsessed with them, and if you see them don’t even think twice– just put them in your cart.

LA COLOMBE PEPPERMINT MOCHA

These are a staple I keep at work during this time of year. They are so delicious and I really like they are not too pepperminty.

COOKIE MUG HANGERS

How cute are these lil guys?! I mean need I say more? These are the perfect addition to hot chocolate or coffee during the Christmas season.

CAULIFLOWER PANCAKES

These are an easy and fun way to shake up breakfast. They taste so good and I personally love them with a little bit of pepper and ketchup on top.

FESTIVE CHEESES

Tis the season for many, many charcuterie boards– at least in my life! I love the holiday cheese that is available at TJ’s during the month of December. My personal favorites are the stilton with fruit, lemon ricotta, and the cinnamon cheese. I recently picked up this fondue cheese blend and it is so good and easy!

COCONUT WHIPPED CREAM

I try to limit my dairy and this honestly is my favorite whipped cream. It is so creamy and light with a hint of coconut flavor.

MINI PEPPERMINT MARSHMALLOWS

These little marshmallows are the perfect topping to hot cocoa or ice cream. I love that the peppermint flavor isn’t too strong and the size is perfect.

What do you usually get during this time of year at Trader Joes? I would love to know so I can try it out for myself. Happy shopping!

-Lyndsay

VALENTINE’S DAY CHARCUTERIE BOARD

VALENTINE’S DAY CHARCUTERIE BOARD

I can’t believe Valentines day is already here. It is one of my favorite holidays because who doesn’t love to celebrate love? Obviously things are very different this year, but I also think it’s a great opportunity to take a step back, and celebrate the way you want to without too much pressure. My boyfriend and I saw this as an opportunity to have a chill Vday with a delicious charcuterie board, and a whole lot of Netflix.

The best part about charcuterie boards is you can literally put anything on them and it looks amazing! We opted for mostly cheese and two meats with a small selection of crackers. We also popped some champagne and bought flowers to feel festive.

{ charcuterie board | sweater | jeans | glasses | Fitbit band | headband | bracelet }

My boyfriend and I had a fun trip to Trader Joe’s where we spent far too much time standing in front of the the cheese selection. We usually don’t get the chance to see each other on Valentine’s Day, but this year we are making up for lost time by celebrating two days in a row. How are you planning on celebrating Valentine’s Day? I hope whatever you have planned, that you are able to enjoy delicious food and good company (even if it’s virtual).

-Lyndsay

PUMPKIN RISOTTO

PUMPKIN RISOTTO

When Fall rolls around I love to switch up my dishes in the kitchen. I like to add pumpkin, squash, and more hearty meals to my weekly line-up. One of my all time favorites is this pumpkin risotto. I love making risotto all year long, but there is something so cozy about this Fall version. Not only is this super filling, it’s actually pretty easy to make!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp. butter

DIRECTIONS

  1. Add butter to a large pan on medium-high heat. Once butter is melted add diced onions. Stir frequently to prevent onions from sticking. Once the onions are translucent, add in the rice. Cook for about 3 minuets or until rice has a white dot in the center.
  2. Add in the white wine and cook until reduced.
  3. Slowly add in vegetable broth about a cup at a time. Stir the rice slowly and constantly. Once the liquid is absorbed add in another cup of broth. Continue until the all the broth has been added and fully absorbed.
  4. Add spices, pumpkin puree, and parmesan cheese. Stir until cheese is melted and mixed in.
  5. I like to add in some petite green peas at the end. This is optional, but I think it adds a nice flavor and texture to the dish.

What kind of dishes do you like to make when the weather starts to cool down? I’m always on the look out for new recipes to try!

-Lyndsay

A “HEALTHIER” PINA COLADA

A “HEALTHIER” PINA COLADA

I have always been a huge fan of Pina coladas. Even as a child, I would always order virgin Pina Coladas every chance I got. Nothing says summer more to me that a great blended Pina Colada in a fancy glass. Now here’s the problem: they are super unhealthy AND there are a lot of bad ones out there!

I have been perfecting a “healthier” version of my favorite drink. I cut out all the syrups, added juices, and the fake coconut goop you buy in the store. I put healthier in quotes because, well, drinking is never considered healthy-HA!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
  • 2 ounces white rum (I used Malibu-not the flavored one, the original)
  • 1/4 cup organic coconut milk (I like the So Delicious brand)

HOW TO MAKE:

put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. You might need to adjust the coconut milk depending on how thick you like it. Serve in glass of choice and enjoy!

{ Pineapple Glasses | Mirror Tray | Coasters (Sold Out)- Similar Here | Book | Candle | Plant }

I love how simple and easy this is with the added bonus that I’m not consume a lot of extra sugar and artificial things. Nothing says summer more to me than a good blended Pina Colada! What is your favorite summer drink?

-Lyndsay

WHAT I BUY AT TRADER JOE’S

WHAT I BUY AT TRADER JOE’S

I love Trader Joe’s and do 90% of my grocery shopping there. I am always interested in what people buy and love seeing grocery hauls. I feel more inspired to cook after and I find it fascinating! So I thought it would be fun to share with you what I get on my trips to Trader Joe’s.

PRODUCE

To be honest, I mostly buy produce when I go to Trader Joe’s. I love that it is affordable and the quality is top notch! Things I typically buy are carrots, celery, potatoes, baby spinach, onions, apples, pears, lemons, limes, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and fresh herbs (if my herb garden is on the “used” side).

During the summer I am always buying cherries, corn, and asparagus. If you haven’t tried the prepackaged ready to cook corn you are seriously missing out! It is always so delicious and easy to make. Hello Mexican corn!!

DAIRY, MEAT & CHEESES

I love the variety of cheese you can find at Trader Joe’s! When I need to do a cheese board I typically spend too much time staring at all the cute wedges they have. I also really love their ground beef. I know, it sounds strange, but it is so delicious and extra lean.

On a regular grocery run I like to stock up on the blend bags they have (cheese goes really fast in my house). I love the Swiss/Gruyere blend they have. It elevates any dish you put it on…soooo good!

Trader Joe’s also has THE best gluten free products around and these egg fettuccine noodles are no exception!

So this is the other section of the store I buy a lot from. I love their lactose free whole milk and their oat beverage! I go through a carton every two weeks. I also stock up on unsalted butter, greek yogurt, eggs, and orange juice.

FROZEN GOODS

I usually get frozen fruit for smoothies, carrot spirals, hash brown patties, and croissants.

I love the cauliflower cheese pizza and the gluten free Mac & Cheese! They are the best and great for days when I don’t want to cook and am craving some comfort food.

MISCELLANEOUS

On this trip I was stocking up on some usual things, but I also have an “at-home movie night” planned that I was buying a few things for. I typically get maple syrup, chai concentrate, matcha powder, and sourdough bread.

I go through this pancake mix pretty fast, especially in the summer. It is so delicious and I love adding blueberries to mine.

I am a huge fan of the shade grown coffee and espresso ever since I went on a Safari Tour at the San Diego Zoo and learned that it is better for the environment because it grows naturally. The flavor is so amazing that I literally can’t use anything else now!

I also picked up some gluten free bread and hamburger buns to have for the week. This bread is so versatile! I can use it for sandwiches and French toast…yumm! The burger buns only come around during the summer so I like to snatch them up and freeze for when I have burgers.

I love the dark chocolate PB cups and these crisps! I don’t always buy them but again…movie night!

Well, there you have it! That is what I get on my Trader Joe’s run. Do you shop at Trader Joe’s? If so, I would love to know what you pick up! Also let me know if you like posts like these.

-Lyndsay

EASY SHREDDED CHICKEN TACOS

EASY  SHREDDED CHICKEN TACOS

I have been on a big Mexican food kick lately and these are my go-to chicken tacos. Not only are they delicious (and a little spicy) but they are super easy to make!

INGREDIENTS:

  • one jar of chipotle roasted peppers
  • 2 large or 3 medium sized chicken breasts
  • either 1/2 can of diced tomatoes OR a handful of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tbsp chili powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • corn tortillas (or whichever taco shells you like)
  • cheese of choice to garnish (optional)
  • cilantro and diced onion to garnish (optional)

HOW TO MAKE:

  • put everything in the crockpot and cook on high for 2 hours or until chicken is soft enough to shred.
  • Once chicken is ready, turn the crock pot to low and remove chicken.
  • On a plate (or cutting board) take two forks and shred the chicken. It should be very easy, if not the chicken needs to cook longer.
  • once shredded, put chicken back in the crock pot and stir. Let cook for an additional 15 minutes.
  • Serve in your choice of taco shell and garnish!

I love making these! They are super easy and great to make when there are a million things on your to-do list. I hop you try them out and if you do let me know how you liked them!

-Lyndsay

MY GO-TO GREEN SMOOTHIE

MY GO-TO GREEN SMOOTHIE

It took me a good long time before I jumped on the green smoothie bandwagon. I honestly am not a fan of spinach and the thought of drinking raw spinach use to gross me out UNTIL I discovered a smoothie that I honestly can not get sick of! If you are a fan of Pina Coladas and a fan of matcha then you are going to love this smoothie. It literally taste like a matcha Pina Colada! This is the only smoothie I ever really make now and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

INGREDIENTS

  • handful of spinach
  • 1/2 tbsp matcha powder
  • 1 + 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1 cup banana almond milk
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt

TO MAKE:

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth!

There you have it! It’s super easy and quick and you get the added bonus of some greens. Let me know if you have a go-to smoothie recipe!

-Lyndsay

QUARANTINE COFFEE & TEA RECIPES

QUARANTINE COFFEE & TEA RECIPES

One of the hardest parts of being stuck at home for me has been not being able to go to a coffee shop regularly. I do make quite a bit of coffee drinks at home but there are certain ones that just can’t be made at home. I have spent the past few weeks creating my own versions of my usual go-to drinks from some of my local coffee shops. These aren’t exact replicas but they are delicious enough to get me through this quarantine!

VANILLA GREEN TEA LATTE

I am a huge fan of green tea lattes. I normally order (from Starbucks) a green tea latte with almond milk and vanilla. I know that by adding in the vanilla it isn’t the healthiest option so for my at-home version I have subbed out the vanilla syrup to make a healthier alternative.

Here’s how to make it:

  • 1 tbsp. matcha powder
  • 1 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 2-4 drops liquid stevia (only if using unsweetened almond milk)

mix all ingredients together with a whisk or in a nutra/magic bullet to get frothy and serve over ice.

CHAI TEA LATTE

I also love an iced chai latte on warm, sunny days. Out of all of the drinks I make at home the chai was the easiest to master AFTER I found the right chai blend. For myself, I like it a little more on the spicy side rather than the sweet side so this comes down to personal preference. If you prefer the spicy side I highly recommend the Trader Joe’s Chai Concentrate. If you prefer the more sweet blend the Tazo version is really good! This recipe is really about how YOU like your chai so the portions may vary based on your taste.

Here’s how to make it:

  • 1/4 cup chai
  • 1 cup vanilla almond milk (unsweetened)
  • a splash of milk of choice (I use lactose free whole milk)

mix together by stirring and serve over ice.

CHOCOLATE MILK COLD BREW

this is one of my more recent coffee obsessions from a local coffee shop. I know that it may sound like a strange combo but it’s essentially a cold brew mocha and it’s AHMAZING! This is also probably the most simple coffee to make.

Here’s how to make it:

  • chocolate milk of choice (I use chocolate almond milk)
  • cold brew of choice (I use store bought Stok brand)

put ice in a tall glass and pour in cold brew until it fills up half the cup and then top off with chocolate milk.

WHIPPED (DALGONIA) COFFEE

Okay, so I admit that this isn’t something I had ever heard of until quarantine BUT it quickly became one of my go-to coffee drinks! Not only is it delicious but it is also fun to make. I am a big fan of strong coffee so I love it but I have had a lot of people who reached out to me (after seeing me post it 24-7) saying they didn’t like it because it is too strong.

Here’s how to make it:

  • 2 tbsp instant coffee
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 2 tbsp hot water
  • milk of choice (I prefer oat milk)

blend mixture together in a bowl using a hand mixer until mixture is whipped cream consistency. Spoon over ice and milk of choice.

What drinks have you been missing from your favorite coffee shop? There are still a few more on mine! I think next I want to tackle Thai tea and the Dragon Drink from Starbucks.

-Lyndsay

EASY VEGGIE TACOS

EASY VEGGIE TACOS

I love Love LOVE Mexican food! I also love a good healthy Mexican option that I won’t feel guilty binge eating. I found a recipe years ago for veggie tacos that I have made my own. Every time I make these my entire (picky) family loves them and never leave any leftovers.

INGREDIENTS:

1 can black beans (drained + rinsed)

1 can diced tomatoes (drained)

1 can corn (drained)

1 red or white onion

2 medium zucchinis (diced into cubes)

1 round of quest fresco (crumbled)

1 lime

salt + pepper to taste

cumin to taste

corn tortillas

cilantro (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

combine tomatoes, corn, beans, zucchini, onion, and spices in an oven proof baking dish. Toss to combine ingredients. Preheat oven to 425 and cook for 40 minutes stirring half way.

While veggies are cooking, start heating up corn tortillas by warming them (one-by-one) in a skillet on the stove. Warm until each side is slightly golden brown. Place on a plate for serving. If tortillas are done before veggies, I keep the plate on the stove to keep warm.

Once veggies are out of the oven, squeeze the lime over the veggies and stir. Serve a scoop of veggies on a tortilla and sprinkle with queso fresco and/or cilantro. Enjoy!

I hope you guys try this recipe out and love it as much as I do! I think it is such a great healthy swap for traditional/takeout Mexican food.

-Lyndsay