PB & Dark Chocolate Cheerio Bars

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Breakfast. It can be the most difficult meal of the day for me. Most days I’m running out the door because I hold onto every moment of sleep I can. This makes eating something nutritious and healthy incredibly impossible… unless I meal prep.

I’ve been experimenting with some quick, easy and nutritious breakfast options so I’m not stuck eating a single piece of plain bread.

Yep, I’ve done that.

So far I’ve really enjoyed making/eating banana bread, whole wheat muffins and my blueberry crumble bars. I felt like introducing something new to the rotation of make-ahead breakfast options…

Then I decided to channel my inner child and allow my indulgent urges to dictate this recipe. Peanut butter, honey, dark chocolate and cheerios. I would’ve gobbled this up as a kiddo, but you know what? I’m gobbling it up as an adult!

I really love these bars because they are very versatile- breakfast, snack, dessert, all in one! It’s a plus that they are so incredibly easy to make so my meal prep time on Sunday is a lot less thanks to this simple no-bake recipe.

All in all, this sleepy prego lady is a happy camper with this new breakfast/snack favorite 🙂


pb chocolate bars

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3 cups plain whole wheat cheerios
  • 1/2 cup crushed almonds
  • 1/2 cup granola
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips

In a saucepan over a low heat, meltdown the peanut butter and stir in the honey until well combined and silky smooth. In a large bowl, stir together the cheerios, almonds, granola and chocolate chips. While the the peanut butter and honey mixture is still warm, poor over the cheerio mix. Mix everything together, you’ll notice the dark chocolate melting a little bit (yummmmmmmmmmmmm).

Line a pan with parchment paper and spread the mixture out evenly covering the pan. Firmly press down the mixture so it’s nice and solid.

Chill in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.

Remove from the freezer and transfer the now giant solid PB & Dark Chocolate Cheerio Bar onto a cutting board. Cut the bar however you would like, I just made mine into single serving squares. Refrigerate to maintain a solid form.

Is it a snack? A dessert? A breakfast? I don’t know, but I’m eating them all the time 😉 Enjoy!

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Chicken Pasta with a Tomato Basil Cream Sauce

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O, tomatoes. O, basil. How I love thee.

Ok, before I attempt poetry I should probably stop right there to save you from myself. But seriously, this has become one of our favorite dishes, and it’s sonnet worthy.

The classic Italian flavor profile of basil and tomato is one of my all time favorites, and throwing some rich cream in the mix makes for a soul warming dish!

I also love this dish because it’s something I can throw together in about 30 minutes when I come home from work. Up until this post I never made it the same way twice because throwing it all together is just so easy. Have no fear, I’m pretty sure I have the perfect balance of flavors and ingredients to make this pasta just divine for you at home.

So time to channel your inner Italian grandmother–let’s get cookin’!


 

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Ingredients:

  • 2 boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 14.5 ounces diced tomatoes with liquid
  • 8 ounces of tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • Handful of fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

First, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a pan over medium heat and cook the chicken through. Once cooked, remove those little guys from the pan and let cool on a cutting board. Slice them up and put them to the side, they’ll be added to the sauce later.

Now it’s time to start the sauce. In that same pan you cooked the chicken in, heat up the other tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the onion and garlic until the onion becomes translucent. Add in the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and chicken stock. Lightly simmer for about 10 minutes.

Remember that chicken you cooked? Hopefully your dog didn’t jump up and steal it off your counter… I’ve totally never let that happen before… Anyway, add the chicken, basil and heavy cream into the sauce. Sprinkle in a little salt and pepper to your taste–no one is judging you for how many taste tests you’re doing 😉 Just let this heat up a minute or two.

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I prefer this sauce with penne but you can use whatever pasta you like! Serve warm and enjoy the beauty that is tomato and basil!

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Blueberry Crumble Bars

 blueberry crumble bar 1

If you love to bake (and eat baked goods) as much as I do, you understand the difficult decision between sweets and the waistline. Since I’ve been married I’ve been baking a great deal more than I had been previously. Don’t get me wrong, I believe a cookie a day keeps the melt downs away, but my jeans are pleading for an alternative.

I stumbled upon a few “crumble bar” recipes in the past few weeks and decided to give them a try. After doing some research, I figured out how to make them healthy without sacrificing flavor. These bars are sweet, delicious and happen to go great with a scoop of ice cream for dessert or coffee for breakfast!


 

The first step is to make the “crumble”. In a food processor, combine half of the flour, half of the brown sugar, half of the oats, half of the salt, half of the juice and half of the coconut oil. The reason why I say half of all of those ingredients is because I have a small/average sized food processor, so it can only handle half of the recipe at a time. So pulse all of the ingredients, give it a stir and pulse again. Repeat that process till the oats are relatively fine. Empty the contents into a bowl and repeat this process with the other half of the crumble ingredients. It should end up resembling graham cracker crumbs for a pie crust.

Pour half of the “crumble” mixture into a 9×13 baking dish that has been sprayed with oil. Pack down the crumbs until a nice, even crust is created. I usually use a glass and roll it around on top of the crust while pressing down to make it even and packed.
Next, combine your blueberries, lemon juice, flour and sugar together. I used my hands to gently combine this all together to prevent any of the blueberries from getting smushed.
Pour this into your dish and carefully spread them out till the crumble crust is covered.
Cover the blueberries with the rest of the crumble crust and carefully and gently pack it down on top of the blueberries. It doesn’t need to be as packed as the bottom layer, just until you think it’s firm enough to stand on it’s own. Now pop it into your oven and bake it for 35 minutes at 375 degrees. Let it cool and then cut it up into bars.
Viola! A delicious AND seriously nutritious dessert/breakfast that I can get behind! My husband has fallen in love with this recipe- I’ve made it twice the past two weeks and he was disappointed I wasn’t making it AGAIN this week!
Eat up and enjoy!
blueberry crumble bar

Blueberry Crumble Bars Recipe

Ingredients

(crumble)
  • 2 1/2 cups of oats
  • 1 cup of whole wheat flour
  • 2/3 cup of brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons of orange juice
  • 1/2 cup of coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
(filling)
  • 2 1/2 cups of blueberries
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of flour
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pulse all the crumble ingredients in a food processor until oats are fine (I do half the ingredients and then the other half since they don’t all fit at once). Spray a 9×13 baking dish with oil and press half of the crumble mixture into the bottom like a crust. Mix all the filling ingredients gently with your hands, then evenly pour over the crust. Evenly sprinkle the rest of the crumble mixture on top and lightly press down until firm. Bake for 35 minutes, let cool and enjoy!
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