These Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Chia Bites are one of my favorite go to recipes for a high protein, delicious snack. They are super easy and very healthy as well! This is great to have around to snack on and it’s even great to carry on the trails for a run or hike. Make sure you put them in a hard container like a Tupperware so they don’t get mashed. 

 I always make mine dairy and egg free so that my son can eat them so they are naturally plant based. I like to use the mini chocolate chips by Enjoy Life. The bigger chips are too bulky and too crunchy for my taste. 

It takes a little time to roll out all the little peanut butter chocolate chip chia bites but the time and effort is well worth the end result.



3 c of dry, quick cook oats

1 1/2 c of mini chocolate chips

1 1/2 c of peanut butter

1 1/2 c of ground flax seed

1 c of honey 

3 tsp of vanilla

3 teaspoons of chia seeds 



Put all of your dry ingredients into a large bowl



Add the wet ingredients. 


Using clean hands, mix it all together until it is all combined. Then put it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Depending on how my day is going, sometimes mine will chill for hours. Other times I’ve skipped the chilling step. If you do that, your mixture will be harder to roll into a ball but it can be done. After the mixture has chilled, roll it into small bite-size or two bite-size balls. Place the balls on a very large baking sheet covered in parchment paper. Chill the balls once more in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (this chilling step is essential). Then store them in a container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. This recipe will make around 40-50 bites. 



Here is another strawberry recipe, it’s time for round 2! I am loving this strawberry season! One thing strawberries pair really well with is dairy – whipped cream, cream cheese, cottage cheese, etc. But, my husband can’t eat dairy anymore. He developed an allergy to it about 5 years ago and he has really missed it. Especially when it comes to desserts. So I love to experiment with dairy substitutes in the hopes that I can create something delicious that he can enjoy. I’ve had several misses and a few hits. This one I must say though – was pretty darn amazing.

You can find many of the dairy substitutes at Publix, Sprouts, and/or Kroger. You can definitely find them all at a Whole Foods Market. My picture as usual isn’t the greatest but it tastes much better than the picture looks! This recipe takes a little extra prep time but let me tell you – it is worth ever minute! There was not one single morsel left of this dish after we got a hold of it!



Continue reading “Vegan Strawberry Cream Cheese Delight”

It is strawberry season in middle Tennessee! Hooray! Just a little warning, the next few posts may be strawberry related. We love strawberries around here, especially my son. I had hoped to take him strawberry picking this year but an unfortunate fracture in his foot and the resulting cast prevented us from traipsing through the strawberry fields. But that did not keep us from partaking of the strawberries as they offer them already picked as well.

This was the first recipe that I made when we got home with our fresh strawberries. We were ready for a strawberry treat and this one is so quick and easy. This version is completely vegan so it is safe for those allergic to dairy and/or egg. We like serving ours with coco whip (coconut based whipped cream – dairy free). I think this recipe took maybe 30 minutes from when I started to when I put it in the oven. It is such a beautiful dish too! Look at the beautiful bright red from the strawberry. No artificial dyes in this beautiful dish!



Continue reading “Easy, Vegan Strawberry Crisp”

This dish is the perfect meal after a long day of physical activity. It’s healthy, it”s full of protein and best of all – it is delicious! My best running buddy gave me a wonderful cookbook a few years ago for my birthday, The Runner’s World Cookbook. It’s a great collection of recipes for pre-run, post-run, recovery meals from a race, et. created by other runners. I have thoroughly enjoyed that cookbook and this is one of my favorite recipes from it. This is a recipe that lends itself to some creative embellishment if you so desire. A friend of mine added mushrooms to his dish and really liked it. I’ve added spinach instead of parsley and there are times it didn’t have any green color to it at all because I didn’t have any in my fridge. I’ve also changed up some of the amounts so its a bit different than the original recipe.

My son loves this meal but we have to sometimes bribe him to eat the beans and tomatoes too. He will pick all the shrimp out if you let him. And, if you have leftovers – you have to keep a close watch on them or the shrimp will go missing from those too!



Continue reading “White Beans and Shrimp with Tomatoes”

This is another favorite of my family. I know lamb is not utilized very much in the south but we absolutely love it. It’s quick and easy and delicious.

I found this recipe in the Food and Wine Cooking From Scratch Pasta Cookbook several years ago. It’s just a basic tomato sauce with spaghetti and ground lamb except this recipe uses cumin. Cumin is a spice often used in middle eastern and Mediterranean cuisine. It pairs beautifully with the lamb. You can find ground lamb pretty easily now at Publix or whole foods. 

My 11 year old even loves this dish. If you have the fresh mint on hand, I would highly suggest using it, it really brings the dish together.


Continue reading “Spaghetti with Lamb Meat Sauce”

If you’re like me, sometimes you just need a good fix of Chinese Food. We used to order take out but that can get expensive over time!  I started trying to experiment with my own recipes about 10 years ago. We love this one, it uses shrimp and I think it’s better than what you can get at most take out restaurants. It makes quite a bit so you’ll have plenty of leftovers if you don’t have a large family. I also love that it is gluten free, egg free and dairy free. Finding a Chinese dish free of those three things can be difficult! Our son’s dairy and egg allergies are so severe that we can’t even take a chance on eating Chinese food out and about. Even a small cross contamination could send him to the emergency room.  Szechuan cuisine is typically very spicy and originated in the Sichuan province of China. We have younger tastebuds at our dinner table so this recipe has a very small kick to it. You can definitely increase the amount of red pepper flakes to increase your heat. This takes a little more time than most of my recipes, about 45 minutes from start to finish. But oh my it’s worth it when you taste it!

So this recipe has been a recent discovery. I found it a couple of years ago in one of my quick from scratch food and wine cookbooks. I have adapted so that our family could eat it. It was one of my first forays into cooking with leeks and I must say – they are quite tasty! I will definitely be cooking with them again.

 I used bacon in my recipe but you could also use pancetta or probably even prosciutto. If you’ve read my blog before you know my love affair with bacon. I should probably seek some kind of counseling. But as I see it – as long as I can keep running and keep my cholesterol down  – I should get some kind of reward right? Why not bacon?!

Ok. Back to the recipe. This one is fairly easy to make and quite tasty. My 11 year old even liked it but he probably inherited my love for bacon. You could also substitute just about any type of pasta. But I like the thickness of the linguine, I think it holds the sauce well since it’s a non-traditional sauce.

Continue reading “Bacon Leek Linguine with Goat Cheese”

Steak Pizzaiola is a classic Italian dish with fresh tomato sauce. It’s often served with steak or sirloin. You can serve it with potatoes, rice or even spaghetti but we love it with orzo. Orzo is a rice shaped pasta and I love the texture of everything together – a bite steak, the fresh tomato sauce and the small pieces of pasta just go together perfectly.

This is one of the first dishes I made when we got married. Justin and I both love this dish and now Atticus does too. It’s fairly easy to make and I love it year round – especially in the summer time with fresh garden tomatoes. But, any tomatoes will work – I used Romas this time because that’s what I had on hand.

I love that it is naturally dairy and egg free and you can easily make it gluten free as well. I also love that it incorporates fresh ingredients which really come through when you sit down at the table to enjoy it. It is quite an easy dish to make. You could also use just about any cut of steak. We like ribeyes and they were on sale so that it what I used last night.


Continue reading “Steak Pizzaiola with Orzo”


I absolutely, positively love risotto. I love any type of risotto. Plain risotto made with chicken broth and a little onion and butter or the fancy kind like in

this recipe. For the longest time I was intimidated to make it because it can be complicated. But – I have finally perfected making it and we eat it as often as I have the time to cook it! Now, many of the recipes that I post on this blog are quick and easy foods that can be prepared in 30 minutes or less. That is not the case with this meal. I usually allow for about an hour of total prep and cooking time. And let me tell you – it is worth every single minute. Also, when cooking risotto, make sure you that can give it your undivided attention. This is not one of the dishes where you can start it and walk away. You must stay close by, especially during the stirring portion which takes 30 minutes. I really hope I haven’t discouraged you from trying this recipe! It is so delicious! And – you can find every single ingredient at your local wal-mart. Yes, even the dried porcini mushrooms. I use the earth balance vegan butter so that my husband can eat it. He can’t eat dairy but he can tolerate goat’s milk/cheese. I leave out the goat cheese for my little guy as he is highly allergic to all types of animal milk/dairy.

I found this recipe in the Italian Food and Wine Quick From Scratch cookbook. I honestly didn’t change much of anything from their recipe. But, I have included a LOT more details in the instructions. If you are a seasoned cook, I hope you thoroughly enjoy this recipe. If you’re nervous, just take your time and if your first batch doesn’t turn out well then try it again! My first couple of tries with risotto weren’t terrible but it was definitely edible. It takes time to figure out the right texture that you want. The creaminess along with the flavors are amazing!


Continue reading “Porcini Mushroom Risotto”

Picadillo is a classic Cuban dish and we absolutely love this version of it. I found the recipe in the Food and Wine Cooking From Scratch One Dish Meals cookbook years ago. I’ve made it several times and tweaked it to accommodate our family’s dietary restrictions. This dish is dairy free, egg free, and gluten free. You can serve it with warm, flour tortillas or you can just eat it plain. We often eat it without tortillas and it is still just as delicious. It is even better warmed up the next day.


Continue reading “Picadillo”