Sunday Dinner + Whipped Chocolate Chunk Peanut Butter Pie

Boy do I have a treat for you guys today. I promise it will banish those Monday blues.

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But before I get to that…let me tell you about our dinner last night.

On occasion Craig’s Italian roots really show. For example, he loves pasta. But not just any pasta, Craig LOVES just plain pasta. I think it’s odd, but I make it for him when I’m not hungry for dinner, or when he’s having a rough day. He likes it that much. I other on the other hand need some kind of sauce with it.

Another thing is that he is obsessed and I mean OBSESSED with Italian movies- Goodfellas & The Godfather. I know most guys are, but he is EXTREME. He will quote both movies (well, all of The Godfather movies) LINE BY LINE. He says he can relate things growing up to the movie…not quite sure what that means, considering all of the blood & guts…but hey, whatever floats his boat. 😉

Recently he decided that he wanted to create a new tradition for our little family of three. Big Sunday dinners. But not just any type of dinner, an Italian dinner. Full of pasta, bread, cheeses, you get the picture.

It works out because we usually eat a big breakfast, skip lunch & then have a large dinner. So then we have plenty of room for a feast!

We started it last Sunday, with the Rigatoni Pasta Pie.

This Sunday was another type of pasta- Crunchy Oven Fried Cheese Ravioli.

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I will not be surprised if I immediately get a phone call, email or comment on this post as to WHY on earth I have not made these for her yet. It is one of her FAVORITE foods to order out, and since she was just down her for a girls weekend with me & G, I know she is saying right now WHY didn’t Holly make these for me then?!! Well, Mom it’s because I just found the recipe & I do apologize, I promise to make these for you soon! 🙂

Now the best part of these is that they are NOT at all fried, as the recipe may imply. They are 100% baked! Gotta love a pasta recipe that is somewhat ‘healthified.’

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I followed Jessica’s recipe exactly- no changes were made. No need to mess with a good thing!

I served them, as suggested with a side of marinara for dipping.

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And because it’s necessary to get our greens with every meal, I made a side Caesar salad (with light dressing). Oh, and don’t laugh at my Valentine’s placemats, they are being replaced with St. Patrick’s Day ones tomorrow. 🙂

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Now onto dessert. I mean that’s the part you were really waiting for, right?! Isn’t that WHY we eat dinner, so that we can have dessert?! 😀 I know that’s what I did as a child, my parents said ‘Three more bits & then you can have dessert.’ Oh boy! It was like dangling a carrot in front of a horse. 🙂

This recipe was one that I just came up with on the fly. I saw a big container of Vanilla Chocolate Chunk Chobani in my fridge & decided to run with it.

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And then I got to thinking…which lead to pulling random ingredients out of the pantry and refrigerator. I swear I was just grabbing whatever sounded good.

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Favorite part about this pie? How EASY it is to make. It’s literally dump everything in, mix it up & freeze.

Whipped Chocolate Chunk Peanut Butter Pie

Ingredients:

For the crust:
-1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
-2 tbsp. vanilla chocolate chunk Chobani (or just plain vanilla Chobani)
-2 tbsp. brown sugar
-1 tbsp. smooth peanut butter, melted
-1 tbsp. butter or margarine, melted

For the pie:
-16oz. (one large container) 2% Vanilla Chocolate Chunk Chobani
-8oz. Cool Whip
-3/4 cup chunky peanut butter (can also use smooth)
-1/4 cup light chocolate Silk Soymilk
-1/4 cup powdered sugar
-1/4 cup mini chocolate chips, optional
-Reese’s peanut butter cup, chopped (optional)

Directions:

1. Make the crust. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9” pie pan. Take all of the ingredients for the pie & mix together well. I used a potato masher to really mix it up well. It will NOT be smooth, be course, but that’s how it is supposed to be. Bake for 5 minutes.

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2. While the crust is baking, take all of the ingredients for the pie EXCEPT the Reese’s peanut butter cup & mini chocolate chips. mix well in a stand mixer. I mixed everything for about 3-4 minutes on medium low. It was a nice smooth texture. I then poured in the mini chocolate chips & mixed it by hand, until combined.

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3. Pour the pie mixture into the baked pie crust. Top with chopped Reese’s’ if desired. Freeze for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

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I drizzled melted peanut butter & chocolate syrup over the top….makes for a prettier picture 🙂

**Notes about the pie: ”
-The is PLENTY of filling, it will almost look like too much, but it should JUST fit in the 9” pie pan. It may look like it is about to overflow, but it end up all fitting in the crust.
-I recommend that you like Greek yogurt if you decide to make this pie. Since it is a main ingredient, it definitely does taste like Greek yogurt. Just a heads up!

Now I do NOT normally make dessert for dinner when it is just Craig & I. But yesterday I just felt like baking, and I thought Craig deserved a treat. I mean he does have to live in a household with two crazy girls. 😉

Poor little Gabriella is teething & she has been pretty fussy for the past couple of days. She is too little to use Oragel, so we are just giving her lots of things to chew on. Her favorite is my finger though, and she LOVES when I rub her little gums. She just smiles at me. Craig has been awesome with her, and I really appreciate it. I had to run a few errands yesterday, and although I normally do them with her, it’s MUCH quicker if I can run them without her. Nothing like a little chocolate &peanut butter to show him my appreciation. …the way to a man’s heart…;)

I hope that you have a great Monday, if you are working! For those that have off for President’s Day, ENJOY every moment!!

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Streusel Pear Coffee Cake

Good Morning!

It’s finally back to reality in these parts…well, kind of. I think we will be living on our Superbowl high for a while! 🙂

But it’s back to regular blogging, and as promised I have a DELICIOUS recipe to share with you today.

First I have to share with you the package that arrived at my doorstep Friday morning.

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Oh Chobani, you spoil me!

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I was SO EXCITED to tear into this package, but I never expected to see that cute spoon!

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Adorable, right?! You better believe that I ate my Chobani with my new spoon that very day!

& then I kept digging into the box for the GOOD STUFF….

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YUM!! The new flavors- Pear (0%) & Banana (2%)! You guys, I had been hunting HIGH & LOW for these flavors ever since I saw they were released. I found the pear about a week ago, but I had yet to find the banana.

The pear was love.at.first.bite! Pears are, by far, my favorite fruit. I typically eat at LEAST one a day. I cannot get enough of them. As for the banana, another HUGE HIT by Chobani. I don’t think they have made a flavor a don’t like! But these two flavors are topping the charts on my favorites. Pear has definitely taken over my #1 favorite spot, it was once dominated by black cherry. The 2% Strawberry banana & 2% Banana are TIED as my #2 favorites. Too hard to pick between the two. 🙂

With all of the greek yogurt that was in my fridge, I got a REALLY bad itch to bake. As you know I LOVE substituting not so healthy ingredients in recipes with greek yogurt and I was on a mission to come up with a recipe using Pear Chobani.

I had a few ideas go through my head, the first one being a pear breakfast bread, but I wanted something a little different than just bread. I mean, don’t get me wrong I LOVE all types of breakfast breads (especially banana bread), but I felt the need to branch out a bit.

Then this came to mind….

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Streusel Pear Coffee Cake

(recipe adapted from this recipe)

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour or regular whole-wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tsp Truvia baking blend (or 3 tbsp sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 2- 6oz. containers Pear Chobani
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fresh pears, seeded and finely chopped, & divided
  • A dash of cinnamon, for topping, if desired
  • Powdered sugar, optional

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8-inch square cake pan with cooking spray.

Whisk together the all-purpose and whole-wheat flours, the baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, stir together the granulated sugar, cinnamon and walnuts. In a large bowl, beat the brown sugar, butter and 1 of the 6 oz. Pear Chobani containers. If necessary, use the back of a spoon to press out any lumps in the brown sugar. Beat in the egg whites, 1 at a time, beating until fully combined. Beat in the vanilla.

Add the flour mixture in 2 batches. Then add the other 6oz. container of Pear Chobani. Stir until just combined.

Spread half of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle half of the nut mixture over the batter and top with half of the pears, gently pressing them into the batter.

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Spoon the rest of the batter into the pan, smoothing the top. Sprinkle the remaining nut mixture over the cake, and then finally the rest of the pears pressing them gently into the batter. Sprinkle with a dash of cinnamon, if desired.

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Bake until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 35 to 45 minutes. Let cool slightly and then unmold and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.

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Now I have some real feedback for you on the recipe! My Mom came down to stay with me & G Friday & Saturday night, because Craig was out of town, and we just had a girls’ weekend. 😀

While I was baking this, the whole house smelled of cinnamon & brown sugar. Drool. But once it came out of the oven, I was so happy to see how much it had risen- it was nice & fluffy.

I let it cool for a bit & then we dug in. The first thing both of us said was that it’s not OVER the top sweet. In our opinion, it was the perfect amount of sweetness. Sometimes coffee cake can be a bit too sweet, in my opinion, and you can only have a small piece without feeling like sugar overload. But not with this cake, it’s more of a subtle sweetness.

But my Mom had a good idea, if you wanted to sweeten it up a bit- either sprinkle it with a bit of powdered sugar OR make a simple glaze with powdered sugar & milk- which you can just drizzle over the top. The two of us enjoyed it as is and we both thoroughly enjoyed it.

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What I also love about the cake is that there is NO oil & minimal butter. It’s also full of protein from the greek yogurt and very low in fat. For one serving of the cake, which there are 9 servings in this recipe, the nutrition stats are AWESOME!

Calories: 225, Fat: 3 grams, Carbs: 44 grams, & Protein: 8 grams.

You cannot beat that! This is perfect for breakfast on the go- just make the coffee cake on the weekend & you have breakfast for the week! It’s also freezer friendly, so you could always make it & freeze half of it for later.

This has to be one of the best recipes that I have ever come up with. It might be because I’m a little partial to anything pear, but I also thought it was nice & fluffy, with the perfect balance of sweetness.

Please let me know if you try this recipe, I would love to hear what you think! 🙂

Thanks again to Chobani for helping supply my Greek yogurt addiction. 😉

Skinny Bowtie Cheesy Pasta with Chicken Sausage

Good Morning!

We’ve made it half way thru the week. That’s an accomplishment in itself this week! I don’t know why, but this week has been NON stop for me. I’m looking forward to the weekend, especially because of that little game known as the Super Bowl on Sunday 😉

I know I’ve talked about my Pinterest addiction before, don’t we all have it..at least a little bit?! 🙂 I love going on there for new ideas, particularly for new recipes. I found one for Spicy Romano Chicken with Artichoke Hearts & Sundried Tomatos and I knew I had to try it right away.

I actually tried it about a month ago, but added the two teaspoons of cayenne pepper as the directions indicated…even though the author warns about the extreme spiciness of the dish. I figured, eh, why not?! I can handle the heat. HA! Boy was I wrong. I thoroughly enjoyed the dish, but literally had to chug a glass of water between each bite.

I KNEW I wanted to make this meal again, but I just had to put my own little spin on it. I made it healthier by using Greek Yogurt instead of heavy cream, added some seasonings, left out the cayenne (replaced it with red pepper flakes), and changed the type of cheese used.

Skinny Bowtie Cheesy Pasta with Chicken Sausage

(Adapted from this recipe )

Ingredients:

The Sauce:

  • 2 cups plain Greek Yogurt (I used 0% Chobani)
  • 4 Tbsp butter (or margarine)
  • 2 tsp  salt
  • 1 – 2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth (optional, but makes it a little more ‘saucy’)

The Rest:

  • 12 ounce package of bowtie pasta cooked and drained according to package directions – al dente.
  • 1  Tbsp melted butter (or margarine)
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms (or small can sliced mushrooms, drained)
  • 1 small jar artichoke hearts, drained
  • 12 oz chicken sausage (can be more than 12oz if you wish- can also interchange different protein types)
  • 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Greek Yogurt (again, I used 0% Chobani)
  • 2 Tbsp parmesan cheese

How To Make It:

Sauce:

  • Melt butter in saute pan or skillet. Add greek yogurt, salt and pepper, heat to a boil. Remove from heat and fold in cheeses, cayenne pepper, Italian seasoning and chicken broth. Set aside.
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(Yes, I know that looks kind of gross, but I promise it tastes good!)

The Rest:

  • In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter, then add mushrooms, and sundried tomatoes. Stir for one minute.
  • Next add artichokes and chicken sausage. Stir.

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(that’s the sausage that I used- DELICIOUS- and from Target.)

  • Stir in 1 ounce heavy cream and 1/2 of the sauce. Add bowtie pasta followed by rest of the sauce. Stir gently. Serve. Top each portion with a bit of parmesan cheese.

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This dish is SO easy to make, and it comes to together pretty quicky. You can also MAKE IT AHEAD of time (which is what I did), just make the meal, cover & refrigerate it. Once you are ready to eat it, heat you oven to 300 degrees, and bake covered with foil for about 25 minutes, or until heated.

I love taking recipes & making them healthier. One of my favorite substitutions for butter, sour cream & heavy cream is Chobani 0% greek yogurt. Not only does it reduce the calories in the recipe, but it also adds protein!

We are VERY much a Chobani family! 🙂

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G is working on becoming the next spokeswoman for Chobani 😉

As always, I would love to know if you try the recipe, ALL feedback is welcome.