Berries & Cream Smoothie

If you’re a fan of traditional Berries and Cream this smoothie is for you!

Servings: 1

Ingredients:

1 3/4 Cup Frozen Strawberries

1/3 Cup Whole Milk Greek Yogurt

3 Tbsp Sunbutter

1/2 Cup Water

1/2 Cup Frozen Blueberries

Optional – A dash of a sweetener of choice (such as agave syrup or honey)

Directions:

Blend

Taste test to see if the optional sweetener is preferred

Enjoy!

Ingredient recommendations linked!

Peanut Butter Banana Blueberry Smoothie

This fruity peanut butter combination is perfect on a hot summer day as a snack, light meal, or post-workout recovery treat!  It’s nice and creamy as well as high in protein, fiber, and lots of colorful fruit.  Nutritious and delicious!

Servings: 1

Ingredients:

A Couple Of Frozen Bananas

4 Tbsp Betty Lou’s Inc. Powdered Peanut Butter

1/3 Cup Whole Milk Plain Greek Yogurt

2/3 Cup Water

A Pinch Of Saigon Cinnamon

1/3 Cup Frozen Blueberries

Directions:

Blend all of the ingredients other than the blueberries together in a blender

Once smooth, blend in the blueberries as well

Enjoy!

Ingredient recommendations linked!

A Weekend in Monterey: Food and Destination Guide

If you find yourself within the vicinity of California’s central coast, Monterey is a must see!  My husband and I recently took the 337 mile road trip from Los Angeles, and when you only have a weekend’s worth of time to spend, it can be overwhelming to decide which sites to see!

If you’re planning a weekend visit, I’d like to share everything we enjoyed to help you narrow down your list:

ACTIVITIES & DESTINATIONS

1) Whale Watching

This was a first for me!  We used Discovery Whale Watch and saw tons of Humpbacks!  (A word to the wise: If you struggle with seasickness in any way please do yourself a favor and bring a motion sickness medication such as Bonine.  4+ hours on the water can be a struggle if you’re not prepared!)

2)  Old Fisherman’s Wharf

Whether you stop by to watch the sea lions engage with the passers by, enjoy some ice cream, or hit a restaurant, it’s a fun hangout at any time of day.

3) Carmel-by-the-Sea

This super charming city is straight out of a storybook.  Walking the streets is enough in and of itself, but it’s also filled to the brim with fun shops, amazing restaurants, and beautiful beach views.

4) Point Lobos

You’ll want to save a whole day for this incredible park!  It’s a very short drive from Monterey, and entry is free if you park outside the entrance and come in on foot (though the views are well worth the fee if you have to drive in).  Between the incredible coastline, seal sightings, beaches, and tide pools brimming with life, you’ll never want to leave.

5) Monterey Aquarium

This one is a must!  Whether you go as a larger family or attend solo, this aquarium has so much to offer from otters to penguins to crazy sea life from the deep.  At the time we visited they also had some impressively informative information regarding plastics and microplastics and the detrimental effects on our oceans.  It definitely inspired us to make more changes where we can!

DINING

1) Crepes of Brittany

Offering both sweet or savory, this restaurant is located right by Fisherman’s Wharf and offers very authentic French crepes.  Their savory galettes made with buckwheat were delicious and substantial…Mine held me over until dinner!

2) Lalla Grill Del Monte

This casual dinner spot was a great find.  Their heated outdoor patio was perfect for the weather and the fish tacos were out of this world!  Their menu is super diverse and they have something for everyone.

3) Manasiri’s Crepes & Sandwiches

This is a great cafe for breakfast for lunch.  The Greek salad was delicious!

4) Fandango

It’s a lovely special occasion restaurant. It’s more expensive but if you happen to be celebrating the food is delicious!

5)  Abalonetti Bar and Grill

There’s a reason their calamari is famous!  It was truly the best calamari I’ve ever had, and other reviewers all say the same.  This seafood restaurant is one of the oldest restaurants out on Fisherman’s Wharf, and their outdoor patio was fun and super welcoming.  Their Fish & Chips was also one of the best I’ve had.

6) Old Monterey Cafe

This place has everything on the menu you could think of for breakfast in a fun diner atmosphere.  If you’re looking for pancakes bigger than you are, this is the spot!

7) Enzo

If you want to be transported to Italy, this is the place to go.  Located in Carmel-by-the-Sea, this was the perfect place to end our trip and to celebrate the 5 year anniversary of our Italian honeymoon.  The owner and staff were wonderful and the food is an authentic treat!

I wish we could have stayed longer in this beautiful place, and we will definitely be back again!

Breaded Lemon Pepper Chicken & Asparagus

We all need a few easy go-to dinners that require minimal ingredients, minimal time, and have crowd-pleasing flavors.  This breaded lemon pepper chicken with oven roasted lemon asparagus on the side is exactly that!  Easy, delicious, inexpensive, and full of fresh summer flavor!

(Of course if you’d like to prepare only the chicken or only the asparagus, take either part of this recipe and add it into your given meal of choice, but they really do pair wonderfully together!)

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

FOR THE ASPARAGUS

1 Bunch Asparagus (around 50 small/thin stalks)

2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Sea Salt (around 7 grinds or to taste)

Black Pepper (around 15 grinds or to taste)

1/2 Lemon

FOR THE CHICKEN

1 – 1.5 lbs Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, Thinly Sliced (I used 1.4 lbs)

1/2 Cup Flour of Choice (I used White Whole Wheat)

1/4 Cup Dangold Lemon Pepper Seasoning

4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter

1/2 Lemon

Directions:

FOR THE ASPARAGUS

Preheat the oven to 425°

Rinse the asparagus and trim off the ends

Place them in a ziplock bag, pour in the olive oil, and distribute until evenly coated

Add the salt and pepper into the bag and evenly cover

Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and evenly spread the asparagus across the pan

Cook for 9 minutes, flip, then cook for another 9 minutes, or until they’ve reached your preferred texture

Once they’ve been removed from the oven, squeeze fresh lemon juice over top before serving

FOR THE CHICKEN

While the asparagus is cooking, place the flour and lemon pepper seasoning onto a plate and mix together

Melt half of the butter in a medium-large pan on medium heat

Coat each piece of chicken with water, then cover them with the flour and spice mixture

Cook the chicken in the pan for around 4 minutes per side if thin (adding time for thicker pieces until cooked all the way through)

The remaining half of the butter can be added into the pan between cooking chicken pieces if it runs dry

Once the chicken is all removed from the stove, squeeze fresh lemon juice over top before serving

Plate the chicken with the asparagus

Enjoy!

Ingredient recommendations linked!

Raspberry Oat & Honey Yogurt Bowl

This combination is a recent favorite of mine when it comes to needing a quick and easy yet nutrient-dense breakfast or afternoon snack! The ratios can be adjusted to your liking, but think overnight oats meets granola bowl!

Servings: 1

Ingredients:

Plain Greek Yogurt (I used nonfat)

Quick Oats

Hemp Hearts

Local Honey

Frozen Raspberries

Directions:

Start with a helping of the plain greek yogurt

Mix in a large sprinkle of the quick oats for texture

Stir in a spoonful of the hemp hearts for some omega 3s and iron

Add a generous drizzle of the local honey

Top with the frozen raspberries

Enjoy!

Ingredient recommendations linked!

Sunbutter Berry Overnight Oats

Don’t throw out your nearly empty Sunbutter, Peanut Butter, or Nut Butter jars!  They make the perfect vehicle for overnight oats to go!  This breakfast is perfect for a grab-and-go meal when you’re traveling or heading off to work or school.

It doesn’t get any easier: Simply add your ingredients into the jar, combine, refrigerate, and serve.  It’s creamy, filling, not overly sweet, and filled with nutrient-dense ingredients!

Servings: 1

Ingredients:

The End Of A Jar Of Sunbutter

1/2 Cup Rolled Oats

1 Tbsp Chia Powder

1/3 Cup Whole Milk Plain Greek Yogurt

1 Cup Freeze Dried Raspberries

1/2 Cup + 2 Tbsp Water

(Optional) Extra Sunbutter for serving (from your next jar!)

(Optional) Sweetener of choice such as a dash of honey

Directions:

Add the oats, chia powder, and greek yogurt into the jar

Stir with the water, making sure to incorporate any remaining Sunbutter coating the jar

Stir in the dried raspberries

Refrigerate covered for about 24 hours

Once ready to eat, enjoy topped with extra Sunbutter, fresh or additional freeze dried berries, and/or optional sweetener of choice

Ingredient recommendations linked!

Berry Chocolate Protein Smoothie

This smoothie provides such an energy boost!  Whether you’re looking to fuel a workout or simply jumpstart your day, it’s sweet, filling, packed with fruit, and so easy to whip up!

Servings: 1

Ingredients:

3 Oz Fresh Raspberries

1/2 Cup Whole Milk Plain Greek Yogurt

2 Frozen Bananas (sliced before freezing to ease blending)

1 Packet Nibmor Traditional Hot Cocoa (dry)

1/2 Cup Water

Directions:

Blend and enjoy!

Ingredient recommendations linked!

Easy Vegan Fruit & Seed Smoothie

This 4-ingredient snack couldn’t be easier to make!  Keeping a stash of a variety of frozen fruit in the freezer is so helpful when creating smoothies on a whim.  I love combining handfuls of it with some sunflower seed butter and water which beautifully blends into a sweet, creamy, and refreshing snack that just so happens to be vegan and gluten free!

This is a snack-size portion, but if you were looking for more of a meal you could easily double the measurements.  I love drinking this as a side with a sandwich at lunch, or as a mid-afternoon bite.  It’s one of my favorite ways to add a couple extra servings of fruit into my day!

Servings: 1

Ingredients:

1 Large Frozen Banana (sliced before freezing to ease blending)

12 Frozen Dark Cherries

2 Large Frozen Strawberries

2 Tbsp Sunbutter

2/3 Cup Water

Directions:

Blend and enjoy!

Ingredient recommendations linked!

Roasted Brussels Sprout Pasta

If you’re a fan of crispy roasted brussels sprouts, you’ll love this super easy pasta dish!  It can function as either a side or main meal depending on what you’re serving.  You can use any type of pasta that you prefer.  I’ve personally utilized everything from traditional Italian wheat pastas to legume and lentil pastas (which are great for a gluten free and protein-packed alternative).

Speaking of protein, if you’re looking to add in a little extra, the addition of a chopped sausage (either traditional meat or veggie-based) would be a delicious option.

If you’d like to prepare the dish for a group, simply multiply these single serving measurements by the amount of diners.  For optimal taste and texture, it’s best to eat this one right away while the brussels sprouts are still warm and crispy from the oven!

Servings: 1

Ingredients:

FOR THE BRUSSELS SPROUTS

1 Pound Brussels Sprouts

1-2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (enough to thoroughly coat)

Sea Salt (to taste)

Black Pepper (to taste)

FOR THE PASTA

1 & 1/3 Cups Pasta Of Choice (dry)

1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Sea Salt (to taste)

Black Pepper (to taste, generous amount recommended)

TO SERVE

Finely Grated Parmesan Cheese

Directions:

FOR THE BRUSSELS SPROUTS

Preheat the oven to 400°

Cut the bottoms/tips off of the sprouts and peel off the outer layer

Cut each sprout in half (smaller ones can be left whole)

Toss in a bowl with the olive oil, salt, and pepper

Spread evenly on a baking sheet

Cook for about 35 minutes (stirring/flipping halfway) or until the outside is brown and crispy

FOR THE PASTA

Based on the cooking time for your pasta of choice, prepare it according to the package instructions timed to finish around when the sprouts will be coming out of the oven

Once cooked and drained, add pasta to serving bowl

Coat lightly with the olive oil

Season with salt and pepper to taste

TO SERVE

Mix the roasted brussels sprouts into the pasta

Add additional salt and pepper if needed after taste testing

Add parmesan cheese to taste when serving

Enjoy!

Chocolate Cherry Protein Oats

Let’s face it, we can’t always know what we’re going to want for breakfast tomorrow. I love the thick and creamy consistency of overnight oats, but rarely do I prepare any the night before the craving hits. My solution: “Instant Overnight Oats”. It’s simple – Prepare quick cooking oats with water in the microwave, then include roughly 1/2 a cup of plain greek yogurt (per 1/2 cup oats) in with your other ingredients and voilà! Slightly cooled and creamy oats à la traditional Overnight Oats. This Chocolate Cherry variety only requires 4 ingredients, is high in protein, and takes less than 5 minutes to make!

Servings: 1

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup Quick Oats

1/2 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt (I used nonfat)

1 Packet NibMor Hot Cocoa

Fresh Or Frozen Cherries

+ Water for the oats

Directions:

Cook up the oats with water (I use the microwave)

Stir in the hot cocoa packet

Stir in the yogurt until creamy and evenly combined

Mix in the cherries

Enjoy!

If you’re looking to enjoy the meal warm, fresh cherries would be recommended.

If you’d rather the meal be cool like traditional Overnight Oats, the combination of using frozen cherries and cold yogurt will bring the temperature down. The warm oats will thaw the frozen fruit while transferring their chill into the rest of the bowl.

Ingredient recommendations linked!