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. 😉

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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.

Triple Berry Muffins

Good Morning! So, guess what??! You made it past yet another Monday. That should make you smile just knowing that little piece of information. 😉 I think getting past each Monday just makes the week a bit better, don’t you agree?

I know what else will brighten up your morning.
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Aren’t they pretty? Those are my flowers that Craig sent to me for Valentine’s day. Normally I’m not a big rose person (sunflowers are my favorite), but these roses are just particularly pretty. I love when they always bloom in unison. Some flowers that I have received in the past were pretty, but they never bloomed. Luckily these turned out perfect!

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You know what else will help brighten your morning?! A new muffin recipe. (ok, so maybe that doesn’t really brighten your morning, but I’d like to think so. 🙂 )

You know how I shared my love of Chobani with you yesterday?? (Have you entered the giveaway yet? You definitely should, if not.) Well, one of my favorite things to do with the yogurt is to bake with it. (I know this girl does too! Oh, and by the way, have you seen her latest creation?!?! DORITO BROWNIES, yep, you read that right. Check it out!!)

It’s great to bake with because you can cut out the oil, and it still leaves the baked goods moist. It also helps to add a bit of protein. (at 14g per container, you can’t beat that!)

Fruit is finally coming into season, so I have been buying strawberries & blueberries like a crazy woman. I go through BOTH of the LARGE cartons about every 3 days. It’s almost ridiculous how much I eat them. I think I’ve just been missing the summertime fruit, and getting just a bit sick of eating apples everyday. Look at how HUGE this strawberry is that I found in my container. It’s the size of my hand!!!
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When I was coming up with this recipe I decided to include BOTH strawberries & blueberries, since I can’t get enough of them. While I was making these I also think I ate my weight in fruit. I’m shocked I had some left for the recipe. I decided to add even more fruit to the recipe by using a Passion Fruit Chobani in the batter. So I shall call these…

Triple Berry Muffins

Yield: 12 large muffins

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. + 2 tsp. Truvia (you could also replace this with 1/4 cup white sugar)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1 container 2% Passion Fruit Chobani
  • 2 egg whites, beaten
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup strawberries, chopped
  • 1 cup blueberries

Preparation:

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a muffin pan. (or use muffin liners)
2. In a large bowl combine all of the dry ingredients. (flours through salt)
3. In another bowl, combine the wet ingredients. (applesauce through vanilla) Then add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix well.
4. Add the strawberries & blueberries to the batter combine.
5. Divide the batter equally between the 12 muffin tins. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean.

I suggest topping them with just a pat of butter. Butter makes all things a tad tastier. (I sound like Paula Deen)
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Now just wait. Check out what these look like on the inside.

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I always hate eating a muffin that has like two blueberries in it. Every bite of these are chock-full of berries.

Want to know what else is great about these muffins? Check out these stats: (per muffin)
Calories: 117, Fat: 1g, Carbs: 26g, Protein: 4g

So now you don’t have to feel bad about eating one. Or two. Or ten. 😉

A Guilt Free Dessert Recipe

**Edited to add: Sorry if you saw/ received this post yesterday afternoon. It was not supposed to publish until this morning.**

I don’t know about you, but I’m always trying to find recipes for ‘healthier’ desserts. I don’t want them to be too healthy (like an apple for dessert?! NO WAY jose!), because what’s the fun in that!? 😉 But I also don’t want to eat a huge piece of rich pie every night. I need something in between. I want something that can satisfy my sweet tooth, yet not cause me to regret eating it.

I happen to be browsing the internet for a chocolate chip cookie recipe when Katie’s ‘World’s Healthiest Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe.’ I mean how could you go wrong with the WORLD’s healthiest?!?

I thought I would give it a try, but because I was feeling lazy & didn’t want to make individual cookies, I just doubled the recipe & made chocolate chip cookie bars.

I did change the recipe a bit, but it is based off of Katie’s recipe that you can find here! I added some chia seeds & flax seeds to the mix, because well I love the additional texture & the added health benefits. (& you can’t taste them, so why not add them in?!)

Guilt Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
(Recipe adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie)

  • 1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda (not baking powder)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips, depending on your preference
  • 1/4 cup + 1T brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp. flax seeds (whole or ground)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2T vegetable oil (or pre-melted margarine)
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup nondairy milk, as needed (if it is too dry, you will need to add milk)

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Mix your dry ingredients, then add in wet.
3. Pour into a greased 8×8 pan.
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(you can probably see the little chia seeds in there!)
4. Bake 22- 25 minutes.
5. Let cool, then cut into 9- 12 pieces.
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Now because I was making this recipe to kind of ‘test out’ on Craig, I decided to ‘spice’ it up a bit. I added a tiny bit of chocolate sauce, and then about a teaspoon of melted peanut butter as a topping. I figured this could totally fool him, since he always turns his nose up to ‘healthier’ desserts.
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MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. He had no idea! I think the only thing that might of lead him to believe it was ‘healthier’ was the addition of chia & flax seeds..since most desserts don’t really have a crunch to them. 🙂
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I made this for Valentine’s day dessert, since we ‘celebrated’ our Valentine’s on Saturday night. It was the perfect ending to our at home Valentine’s night! 🙂 (Oh & I made this recipe for dinner with spaghetti squash for me & angel hair pasta for Craig…SO GOOD- highly recommended!)

The best part about this recipe is that YES, it tastes DELICIOUS & it satisfies that little sweet tooth. (or big sweet tooth 😉 ) But you also do NOT have to feel guilty after eating it. You might think it’s high in calories, since it tastes decadent, but it’s NOT! Winning.

Another thing that I loved about this recipe is that I didn’t just use any old chocolate chips. I used Dark Chocolate Morsels from Nestle.
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I love those little things!! I had to try my best to keep my hand out of the bag while I was baking these bars. 🙂

I think these bars would also be delicious with peanut butter added INTO the dough before baking. I might just have to try that next time.

Enjoy your day!!

What is your favorite ‘healthier’ dessert?? (feel free to link away 🙂 )

Pumpkin Protein Bars

Good Morning! Welcome to a new week.

This weekend we decided to celebrate our Valentine’s day early, since it falls on a Tuesday this year. Neither of us are big Valentine’s day people, we typically just go to a new place for dinner. That’s what we did again this year, and we topped our night off with some frozen yogurt. (well, frozen yogurt for me, a cupcake for Craig 😉 ) It was a perfect night, if you ask me! Dinner, frozen yogurt & then a movie. We happened to be browsing over the movies that were on & ‘Seven’ was one of them.
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Craig was surprised that I had never seen it; as he stays that it is a ‘classic.’ Oops! I am REALLY behind on all of those ‘classic’ movies. I’m almost too embarrassed to admit to some that I haven’t seen. (like The Goonies, Dirty Dancing, Gone with the Wind….& I could go on but you are already probably in shock.)

It was an awesome movie though! I’m glad Craig convinced me to watch it. I love Morgan Freeman, he is one of my favorite actors. And can I tell you how this movie changed my feelings about Kevin Spacey?! OMG…what a part he plays- so convincing!!!…and kind of creepy!

Besides celebrating Valentine’s day early I finally got to try a recipe that I’ve been wanting to try for months now. I only remembered because I saw it in a post that Courtney wrote.

Jamie Eason’s Pumpkin Protein Bars! Sounds more like a fall recipe, since it has pumpkin in it, but since I have PLENTY of pumpkin (thanks to my Aunt) in my house, I figured why not try it!

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I’m so glad I did because they were SO good!

Pumpkin Protein Bars (Recipe Copied directly from the site, my changes are noted in italics)

Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Spray a 9 X 13 Pyrex dish with non-stick spray.
  3. Combine first 11 ingredients and mix well.
  4. Add the final 3 ingredients (4, if adding walnuts), and mix until incorporated. (I also sprinkled the whole thing with more cinnamon before baking it)
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  5. Spread batter into the Pyrex dish and bake for 30 min.
  6. Makes 24 squares.

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I think you can tell by the picture that these were not dry at all! I am always kind of hesitant when making these ‘protein’ recipes, because they tend to come out pretty dry & un flavorful. Well, I have to stay, these are my new favorite protein packed recipe! Just take a look at the stats:
Nutrition (without pecans): 1 square = 47 calories, .7 g fat, 8 g carbs, 3.7 g protein

Nutrition (with pecans): 1 square = 63 calories, 2.3 g fat, 8 g carbs, 4 g protein
(Stats copied from the original recipe, they could be a bit different based on the ingredients that I changed, but I’m sure that they are still VERYclose, especially in the amount of protein)

The protein I used was BSN Lean Dessert Protein, the Whipped Vanilla flavor.
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Those are some pretty packed pumpkin protein squares, right?! And like I said, they actually taste GOOD too. Not grainy like some protein bars can taste. I also am NOT a fan of Splenda products, but since it was such a small amount it didn’t affect my stomach at all. (usually Splenda makes me feel very bloated)

I ate THREE (yes 3 <—they were that good! I couldn’t stop- I just kept going back to the kitchen for more) of them for breakfast on Saturday with some honey Chobani.
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Delicious! And the good thing is that since this recipe makes 24 bars, I will have enough for the rest of the week. They make the perfect snack, especially if you are on the go. I don’t know if you are like me, but I always like having some kind of snack in my purse, you never know when hunger might strike. 😉

I think you should definitely try the recipe, if you enjoy pumpkin. I was pleasantly surprised how they turned out…and Craig even liked them! (& he hates pumpkin, so that definitely says something!)

Hope you have a great week!!

Do you have a favorite ‘classic’ movie?
Favorite on the go snack? (that you always have with you)