Frozen Banana & PB Oat Bites


That's what I'm going with... Frozen Banana & PB Oat Bites.  I had no idea what to call these, because a more suitable name is probably Garbage Bites, but who wants to eat a bite of garbage??  I threw everything in these no-bake treats without any sort of direction (crispy cereal, coconut, honey, vanilla, mini chocolate chips and of course banana, peanut butter and oats - the 3 ingredients that actually made the title).  The combination tasted great, but when I realized they were a bit too mushy to eat at room temperature, I froze them.  Guess what?  They're delicious frozen!  And without any added sugar, I think they could also be called Frozen Banana & PB Breakfast Oat Bites, don't you?

Frozen Banana & PB Oat Bites
(Makes 30)

2 ripe bananas
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 1/2 cups crispy cereal
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1/4 cup sweetened coconut
1 cup mini chocolate chips
3 T honey (or agave nectar)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt

In a large bowl, mash bananas completely.  Add peanut butter, and stir to combine.  Add the rest of the ingredients, and stir to combine.  Batter will be slightly messy.  Using lightly floured hands, roll into ping-pong sized balls, and place in a parchment lined tupperware.  Place in freezer for an hour or so, and then enjoy when desired!  (All the time.)

Chickpea Burgers


We've been trying to eat a little less red meat this month at our house (I say that after going to Smashburger the other night and ordering bacon on top of my beef), so last night I decided to make Chickpea Burgers.  They were a hit (between Carson and I of course, kids were like, Chickpea wha??).  The coriander, cumin and cilantro added so much flavor, and the mushrooms combined with the beans made it taste hearty and delicious.  I loved them, and will make them again and again.  We served ours with pita pockets, and topped them with avocado, tomato and a store-bought tzatziki sauce (and I will forever have to google the spelling of that word).  

Chickpea Burgers
(Makes 4)

1 19 oz. can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1 clove garlic
2 T chopped cilantro (or parsley)
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 carrot, roughly chopped
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
2 T all-purpose flour
1 egg
1/4 cup panko
2 T olive oil

In a food processor (or blender), combine chickpeas with garlic, cilantro, cumin, coriander and salt and pepper.  Pulse until it reaches a choppy, paste-like consistency.  Remove with a rubber spatula into a large bowl.  Add mushrooms and carrots to food processor and pulse until finely minced.  Add to bowl.  Add flour, egg and panko to bowl and stir everything together until combined.  Form into 4 burger patties.  In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add patties and cook for about 7 minutes per side, until nice and golden brown.  

Spring Veggie Breakfast Pizza


In honor of Earth Day, I present to you this Breakfast Pizza, full of green foods that come from the Earth!  Only mine came from the grocery store because gardening and I are not a thing.  In fact, my son keeps asking me if we can build a glorious garden with carrots and an apple tree and I keep smiling and nodding while crying inside because he's going to discover my black thumb and hate me.  

But anyway, this green egg dish screams spring with vegetables like asparagus, zucchini, broccoli rabe and leeks.  I made it with half full eggs and half egg whites, a dash of 1% milk and a small sprinkling of Parmesan cheese to keep it nice and light.  Who even am I??  Don't worry, later on today I plan on RECYCLING* my old bananas into a peanut butter, coconut, chocolate, oatmeal, crispy cereal bite.  THAT's who I am.  *I love the Earth!         

Spring Veggie Breakfast Pizza
(Serves 4)

8 eggs (you can do some egg whites, all egg whites, whatever you prefer)
1/4 cup low-fat milk
2 T parmesan cheese
2 T olive oil
1 zucchini, chopped
1 leek, chopped (just white and pale green parts)
1 bunch broccoli rabe, chopped
1 bunch asparagus, chopped
1 T chopped fresh basil
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and cheese.  Set aside.  In a large, oven-safe skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add cleaned, chopped veggies and basil, and sauté for 6-8 minutes, tossing a few times with tongs and seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.  Add egg mixture and let sit over heat until edges begin to brown.  Place skillet in oven, and bake for 15-20 minutes, until cooked and top begins to golden.  

p.s. This dish is great for any meal of the day!

Snacking Chocolate


I recently discovered that 'snacking chocolate' is a thing that exists in this world.  Now tell me... what is a more brilliant than taking wholesome foods like nuts, seeds, pretzels and coconut, covering them in dark chocolate, sprinkling them with sea salt and proclaiming to the world, eat this snack and feel good about it!?  I'll tell you what's more brilliant... saving some money and making your own.  It's basically chocolate bark... but if you call it 'snacking chocolate' it's much more acceptable to eat at various times throughout the day, like for a pre-breakfast snack and a mid-morning snack and a pre-lunch snack and then a post-lunch snack and a mid-day snack and so forth...

It's super easy to make.  Just scatter whatever you want on parchment paper, in my case pumpkin seeds and broken-up pretzel pieces...    

Melt good quality dark chocolate in the microwave for 30-second intervals.  Pour over snacks using a rubber spatula to spread (it won't be perfect, but that's the beauty of snacking chocolate!), and immediately sprinkle with sea salt (if desired)...

Let harden on counter or in fridge, and then break apart.  Snack away!

Asian Chicken Burgers


When we were at The Voice last week, craft services (otherwise known as GIANT TABLES OF FOOD CRACK) had a Chicken Lettuce Wrap Bar.  I've had the ground chicken mixture in the crispy, buttery lettuce before, but never with an array of such creative and delicious toppings, like a variety of peppers, hot sauces and sesame seeds.  I thought this was such a good idea that I wanted to recreate it at home, only with my own special (lazy) twist.  Burgers!  Burgers are always easy, right?  You take your choice of protein: chicken, turkey, beef, etc., and add all sorts of veggies and spices that satisfy your desired cuisine.  In this case?  Asian Burgers!  With ginger, garlic, cilantro, soy sauce, hoisin and water chestnuts... these burgers have all the traditional flavors of chicken lettuce wraps in burger form.  We decided to eat them on buns, but you could totally do the butter lettuce route, and we topped them with more hoisin, avocado and orange bell pepper.   

Asian Chicken Burgers
(Makes 4 large burgers)

1 lb. ground chicken
3 Tbsp vegetable oil, divided
1/2 tsp sesame oil
3 green onions, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 cup panko 
1 Tbsp chopped cilantro
1/2 cup chopped water chestnuts

In a large skillet, heat one tablespoon of the vegetable oil along with the sesame oil over medium heat.  Add the green onions, garlic and ginger, and sauté for roughly 5 minutes, until garlic begins to brown and everything smells heavenly.  Remove from heat and let cool for a bit.  In a large bowl, combine ground chicken, egg, hoisin, soy sauce, panko, cilantro and water chestnuts.  Then add the green onion mixture, and stir everything together.  Divide chicken into 4 burger patties.  In same skillet, heat remaining two tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium-high heat.  Cook patties for roughly 6-8 minutes per side.    

Siriously Simple Skillet

So, I'm a little upset that I couldn't catch a shrimp tail in my hat (Carson makes it look so easy!!), but otherwise I had a blast on the Today Show this morning cooking with Carson, Hoda, Natalie and Al.  We made a Shrimp and Noodle Stir Fry inspired by the 117 experiences my family has shared at Benihana, and if you'd like to watch the video or check out the recipe, click here.  I will be back later today with some Asian Chicken Burgers, that's right, I'm posting TWO TIMES TODAY!

Happy Friday Everyone, from my noodles and I...

Dress on sale right now at J.Crew, by the way.  BOOM.

Cookie Butter Stuffed Cookies


Carson works his butt off, and while we miss him - especially when he travels so much - a bonus for me is I have about a million people I can bake for!  It's hard when you have a gigantic sweet tooth and an obsession with trying new recipes, because if I baked as much as I'd LIKE to, I'd have cookies and bars and cakes and so forth up to my eyeballs.  I'd be standing on a street corner like a cute 12 year-old (only I'd be a desperate 34 year-old) begging people to take sweets off my hands.  Luckily for me, Carson gladly takes what I make to work with him.  Like these Cookie Butter Stuffed Cookies.  After coming across this article on BuzzFeed Food (that site is evil), I knew I had to make something with Biscoff - the cookie butter spread that tastes like "a sweet Nutella like peanut butter" according to my son.  Enter, these cookies.  Her recipe calls for white chocolate chips, but I used mini semi-sweet instead, because that's what I had on hand.  I also reduced the flour to 3 cups.  They were delicious, and I hope Carson's co-workers at Today like them too!

SPEAKING OF TODAY, I will be back there tomorrow morning cooking up a Siriously Super Simple Skillet Supper!!  Say that seven times slowly, and please tune in :)   

Black Bean Brownies


Well, hello there Internet, it's nice to see you again.  I've been away, visiting family and friends in Sunny California.  And now I'm back, in Sunny New York.  Sunny, you're my friend, thanks for coming back East with me.  Why don't you stay for awhile?  For like, the next 7 months at least?  You make me happy, you turn me into Fun Mom.  Fun Mom goes outside and blows bubbles and draws on the driveway with chalk.  Fun Mom takes her kids for a walk until the neighbor's puppy attacks us and we all run inside crying with newly developed dog phobias.  Fun Mom puts on her bathing suit and - ohmygosh.  Wait.  Is that me in a bathing suit???  WHAT THE.  Sunny, leave me alone with my hearty winter comfort food and my gigantic sweaters.

I kid, I kid (sort of), but let me introduce you to a brownie that will get you ready for bathing suit weather.  Ok, it won't actually help you LOSE weight, but you don't have to feel guilty about eating one (or two, and licking all the batter).  These brownies have BLACK BEANS in them!  WHAT THE.  I came across this recipe and thought I'd try it, because my daughter with the sweet tooth could use some more iron and protein in her life.  Enter, "healthy" brownies.  They're actually good!  A little more on the "cake" side of the brownie spectrum (I prefer fudgy) but you can definitely not taste the black beans in the finished product.  I added some chocolate chips on top once the brownies were cooked to make them EXTRA healthy (what) and I think you should too.      


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