10 Simple and Easy Apple Recipes

10 Simple and Easy Apple Recipes

My all-time favorite Fall activity is going apple picking. It brings back so much nostalgia from my child-hood, from the smell of the cider donuts to the cool brisk air. It’s a great excuse to bust out your fall gear, spend quality time with family and friends and make delicious apple recipes!

This past weekend, we ventured up to Applecrest Farm Orchard and spent the morning apple picking. It was SO much fun. I was so happy and literally am already making plans for next year… we have to arrive right when it opens to avoid the crowds, I need to wear my Bean boots and I might have to have Emerson get her face painted!Apple Picking 2017 Applecrest Farm2

We came home with a giant bag of apples. We will never be able to eat them all, so I was googling fun and easy recipes I could make. There are so many!! I decided to compile a list of the 10 most simple, easy to make apple recipes I found. I don’t know about you, but I do not have a ton of ingredients on hand and I also do not have a ton of time so when I look for a recipe it has to have minimal ingredients, be easy to make, require very little time and taste delicious. I mean, I’m not asking too much, am I!?

For instance, I don’t have apple brandy, I don’t have arrowroot, and I definitely don’t have any of those special extracts. But I do have cinnamon, vanilla extract and lots of apples!10 Simple and Easy Apple Recipes

Here are the recipes. Enjoy!

  1. Applesauce in the Slow Cooker [never done it. have to try. plus, then I can use it in other recipes listed below.] via The Kitchn
  2. Homemade Apple Cider [because what’s better than a hot cup of cider on a cool fall day.] via All Recipes
  3. Baked Apple Stuffed with Oatmeal Brown Sugar [anything single serving is a win in my book. #portioncontrol]via The Kitchn
  4. Apple Pie Bites [had to include some sort of apple pie treat] via the Blond Cook
  5. Cinnamon Apple Quinoa Salad [I figured I needed to throw in some real food. not just desserts and treats] via Love and Zest
  6. Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal [oat bakes are the best breakfast for a working mom on the go; the feed both mom and kid, perfect!] via Five Heart Home
  7. Apple Pumpkin Muffins [because Minimalist Baker and muffins are two of my favorite things!] via Minimalist Baker
  8. 5 Ingredient Apple Crisp [give me all the 5 ingredient recipes you can. This mom is all about ease and convenience!] via Carrots ‘N Cake
  9. Crock Pot Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oatmeal [it meets all the requirements. Crock pot = easy, apple = duh, Oatmeal = yum] via PB Fingers
  10. Apple Cinnamon Blondies [these just look like the ultimate treat and I have to try them.] via Bakerita

What is your favorite apple recipe!? Please share! Maybe I will try to make that too 🙂

Blueberry Lemon Breakfast Oat Bar

I am always trying to find quick, easy meals I can prepare in advance so I can just grab ‘n go in the morning as we are rushing out the door to daycare and work. I love making egg muffins or oat bakes because you just have to mix up the ingredients and throw it in the oven.

This week, I was lazy and didn’t do any meal prep on Sunday. I woke up on Monday morning bummed I didn’t have anything ready for the week so naturally I decided to start meal prepping at 6am. I quickly threw together this recipe and I am super happy with how it came out. It is moist, but not too moist, and sweet, but not too sweet. It is filling and easy to make and it will last you all week which means it meets all my criteria!

Blueberry Lemon Breakfast Oat Bar

Emerson even ate it for dinner last night which is an added bonus. I love when we have meals prepped that the whole family can enjoy!

This breakfast was inspired by Tone It Up Blueberry Lemon Zest Muffins. I added some protein and took out some sugar. You can drizzle with maple syrup or top with a dallop of peanut butter. Both would be amazing additions to this berry delicious breakfast!

Blueberry Lemon Breakfast OatBar

Blueberry Lemon Breakfast Oat Bar

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Serving Size: 6

Calories per serving: 140

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups whole grain oats
  • 1 scoop Tone It Up Vanilla Protein
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 lemon, juiced (save the rind for zest at the end, optional)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • coconut oil spray

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven at 350 degrees
  2. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl
  3. In a separate bowl, combine all the wet ingredients (except blueberries)
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix together
  5. Fold in the blueberries
  6. Spray a baking pan with coconut oil spray and add mixture
  7. Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
  8. Sprinkle with lemon zest
http://www.comfyconfident.com/2017/08/01/blueberry-lemon-breakfast-oat-bar/

 

Veggie Egg Bake

This week, I have made a serious effort to prep my food and plan ahead so I make healthy decisions. I chopped a lot of veggies, cooked chicken and quinoa and made an baked egg dish to have for breakfast. All the prep has been really helpful and I have been much more controlled in my eating and snacking because I am properly fueled through all my meals. Meal Prep2

I am always looking for easy and convenient breakfast options because I am frequently eating at my desk at work. The Veggie Egg Casserole I made this week is by far the easiest, healthiest and most convenient thing I have made in a while. It is loaded with veggies and protein packed eggs.

Easy Veggie Baked Egg Casserole

Eggs are my favorite thing to have in the morning. Every weekend, Vinnie and I always make some sort of egg breakfast. I have been trying to figure out how to eat eggs during the work week and this recipe fit the bill. I love the ability to wake up in the morning, cut a slice of the egg bake, heat it up and I’m good to go.

Easy Veggie Baked Egg Casserole

I paired my eggs with a side of salsa and grapefruit slices and Vinnie sandwiched his between an English muffin. Easy Veggie Baked Egg Casserole

Veggie Egg Bake

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup Mushroom
  • 1/2 Red Pepper
  • 1/2 Onion
  • 1/2 Cup Tomato
  • 2 1/2 Cups Kale
  • 1 Tbs Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Egg Whites
  • 5 Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • Salt & Pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degree
  2. Chop the mushrooms, red , onion and tomatoes
  3. In a large skillet, melt butter and add chopped veggies. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until the veggies are soft. Add Kale and cook until the kale is wilted.
  4. In a separate bowl, crack the 5 eggs and add egg whites. Mix together until blended. Add almond milk and spices
  5. Grease a 8x8 casserole dish, pour veggie mixture in and spread evenly along the bottom of the dish.
  6. Pour the egg mixture over the veggie mixture and ensure it is spread evenly and coats all the veggies.
  7. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes
  8. Take out and let cool for 5 minutes before eating. Enjoy!
http://www.comfyconfident.com/2015/02/11/veggie-egg-bake/

While I have breakfast figured out for the week, I have been eating some great meals for lunch and dinner as well.

For lunch, sauteed tofu [I never eat tofu, but I am sick of always eating chicken so I gave it a whirl and I am loving it – it’s such a nice change to my typical lean protein choices.], brussels and cole slaw.

Brussels, quinoa and cole slaw

With all the snow, I have been relying heavily on my crock pot. It’s the perfect tool for snow days. It makes your house warm, cozy and smell delicious. On Monday during the storm I made a crock pot chicken dish based off Gina at Skinny Taste’s recipe for Chicken Ropa Veija [I don’t even know what that means, eek!!]. It was really good and flavorful.

Crock Pot Chicken Ropa Vieja, Quinoa and Spinach

 

Today, I am linking up with Jenn for WIAW. I hope you enjoyed it!

Do you have any easy go-to meals you make for breakfast?

Whats your favorite meal you’ve eaten this week?

Special K Chewy Bars

I am not sure if you know this about me but I am constantly on the go. I get up early to work out, eat every meal except dinner at the office, I travel endlessly for work and play, and I am always snacking. At all times, I have snacks on me in case for when I get hungry. My go-to snacks are easy to carry and no hassle to eat such as granola or protein bars, mixed nuts, fruit, gum, carrots or (dare I say it) cookies and treats.

The best thing about these type of snacks is you can also have them as a compliment to any meal. You can have mixed nuts or carrots on top of your salad, fruit or cookies as a treat after lunch and granola bars can be mixed into your oatmeal or yogurt which is exactly what I have been doing all week with Special K Chewy Bars. I have been eating them on the regular as a snack and compliment to my breakfast.

The Special K Chewy Bars are made with wholesome ingredients that you can see like rich chocolate chunks, crunchy salted pretzels (so good!) and real fruit pieces. They are light and satisfying and the variety of flavors allow for options depending on your mood and cravings. The 4 new flavors are berry medley, blueberry bliss, salted caramel chocolate and salted pretzel chocolate. Personally, I like the fruity bars in the morning and the more decedent chocolate bars in the afternoon.

SPECIAL K CHEWY BAR FLAVORS 2

I liked the Berry Medley bar so much I used it as the granola topping on my yogurt. By combining the bar with a banana and yogurt I got a serving of fruit and added protein to my breakfast. I try to incorporate protein into every breakfast because it makes you feel full and remain full for a longer period of time and it helps the body build and repair tissues for muscle recovery and growth. This parfait combines a good mix of protein and wholesome ingredients. It is sweet, satisfying and has a ton of flavor.  I have been eating it all week.

SPECIAL K CHEWY BARS 5

Special K Berry Medley Chewy Bar Parfait

Ingredients

  • 1 Special K Berry Medley Chewy Bar
  • 1/2 cup Chobani non-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 tbs unsweetened coconut flakes

Instructions

  1. Put the yogurt into the bottom of a bowl
  2. Place on top of the yogurt:
  3. Sliced banana
  4. Crumbled Special K Berry Medley
  5. Sprinkle the coconut flakes
http://www.comfyconfident.com/2015/01/15/special-k-chewy-bars/

For 250 calories you can have a wholesome and balanced breakfast full of flavor.

Special K Berry Medley Chewy Bar Parfait Nutrition Info

SPECIAL K CHEWY BAR PARFAITd

These chewy bars are super versatile. Not only did I use them as an add on to my breakfast but I have been snacking on them all week. I had the Blueberry Bliss bar before a cold early morning run and the Salted Pretzel Chocolate bar for a pick-me-up during the usual 3pm workday slump. The chewy bars are very light and satisfying and perfect for a quick snack when on the go.

What are your favorite on the go snacks?

*This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Special K. The product was provided to me by Special K but all opinions and reviews are my own.

Turkey Beer Chili

I am back from a whirlwind weekend trip in Michigan for work. It was full of back-to-back meetings and presentations. The weather in Michigan was super cold and snowy. I woke up on Sunday morning a couple inches of snow accumulation on the ground. I went to Starbucks for breakfast and between the red cups and the snow on the ground, it really felt like the Holidays were coming! Starbucks Coffe On A Snowy DayBefore then, I was feeling overwhelmed by how quickly Christmas was coming, but I have to say seeing snow, drinking hot coffee and sitting in Starbucks made we excited. This is always my favorite time of year, it just came really fast this year. 2014 has been a total and complete blur.

Snowy Day Of Flying

I was nervous that I wouldn’t make it home, because it was so snowy. We had to be de-iced but there were no major delays and I made it home on-time. Vinnie picked me up and brought me home to a house smelling absolutely amazing. I had left a magazine tear on the kitchen counter of few Runner’s World Chili recipes that I wanted to try and Vinnie went ahead and decided to make one for dinner. It was such a great surprise! The article had 3 recipes and of course, he picked the Beef and Beer Chili because what guy doesn’t like beer and beef! He did make a few small tweaks to make it a little leaner and add more flavor.

Runners World Chili Power Recipes

Vinnie and I love chili, we make it all the time on the weekend and eat leftovers for lunch through out the week. This chili was really good and satisfying. We topped it with shredded cheddar cheese and tortilla chips for a creamy and crunchy bonus!

Turkey Beer Chili

Turkey Beer Chili
This classic combo is both filling and satisfying.
*recipe adapted from Runners World

1 pound ground turkey
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup dark beer
1 can (15 ounces) diced fire-roasted tomatoes
2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, drained

Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add turkey and cook until just barely pink, breaking meat into crumbles while cooking. Add onion, garlic, and bell pepper. Cook 2 minutes, or until beginning to soften. Add beer and scrape to release any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Add tomatoes (with their juices). Stir in spices. Gently stir in beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serves 4.

Per serving: 267 cals, 27 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 27 g protein, 5 g fat

 

Quick Interval Treadmill Run + Bruins

I hope you had a nice weekend. Vinnie and I had no plans and enjoyed a very lazy and relaxing few days. Most weekends, we seem to always have friends visiting, family gatherings or trips to VT/NH planned.

On Friday I got home just in time to catch the Halloween festivities in Charlestown. We met up with our friends and walked up to the Bunker Hill Monument to join in on the celebrations. There was a Halloween parade, live music and tons of people!  It was so cute seeing all the kids dressed up and celebrating Halloween. We walked around for a bit and then headed home to hand out candy to the trick-or-treaters. It was a mellow Halloween with no dressing up but that is exactly how I like it!

Bunker Hill Charlestown Halloween 2014

The forecast for Saturday was very dark and dreary so I set my alarm to wake up in time to beat the weather. I did get up early, but I ended up sipping coffee, sitting on the couch and doing some work. By the time I got dressed to run the weather was starting to turn so I bundled up and prepared for a cold, rainy, windy run. I got about 20 minutes in and decided to head to the gym because it was so crappy out.  I got to the YMCA and scanned the class schedule, there was a Power Yoga class starting in 25 minutes! I am a new member to the Y and I am having a lot of fun exploring all the classes they offer. I have not taken this yoga class yet, so I was excited to try it out but I wanted to run a little longer so I jumped on the treadmill and did a quick interval workout to get the most out of the 20 minutes I had.

Quick Treadmill Workout

I worked up a good sweat and felt accomplished and ready to take on yoga. The yoga class was good, but I had a hard time focusing and calming my mind. The class is in a big open room with a wall of windows and I kept getting distracted by all the people walking by.

After the gym, I decided to get a jumpstart on prepping for the work week and started to make a grocery list. Vinnie and I are big into making a big meal that we can make ahead and eat leftovers for lunch. It was so cold and rainy, we were both craving warm, hearty meals. I looked around Pinterest and found some awesome healthy recipes. On the menu this week is Creamy (no cream) Corn Chowder, Paleo Butternut Squash Soup, and Baked Acorn Squash Bowls.

Cooking Soup

I started making the Cream Corn Chowder made with a cauliflower as the base when Vinnie came into the kitchen with a big smirk on his face. A friend of ours had extra tickets to the Bruins game and invited us to go. Obviously, we said yes! So, I quickly finished making the soup, bundled up for the cold walk to The Garden. The game was really fun and we had great seats. Sports games are always more fun when your team is winning!

Box Seats

Sunday we slept in, had a great breakfast and watched the Patriots game. Again, sports games are always way more fun when your team is winning.

Oh PS – The Cauliflower Corn Chowder is super good – and Vinnie approves! I made some small tweaks to the recipe and I will share later this week. That’s the only food prep I got done; the couch was just too comfy to get off it today.