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. 



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!



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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!



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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.


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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.


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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.


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You may be thinking to yourself, dairy free fudge pie? Is there such a thing? Well, yes there is! My sweet husband loves chocolate. He really, really loves chocolate. So when he was unable to tolerate dairy anymore, I had to get creative when it came to our desserts. One of our very favorites around here is homemade fudge pie. It’s easy, it’s delicious, and it’s chocolate. Need I say more? 

Now the key to making it dairy free is in your butter, pie crust, and chocolate. We prefer to use the earth balance vegan butter because I know for sure it is safe for both my husband and my son. For the pie crust, I tend to get a little lazy. You can make your own crust if you so desire but did you know that most of the frozen, ready to go pie crusts are dairy free? Yes, even the ones you can find at Wal-Mart are dairy free. Now, if you want to make this gluten free, just make sure your pie crust is GF and you should be good to go. Last, for the chocolate chips – “Enjoy Life” makes a very delicious semi-sweet chocolate that you can find in mini chip form at Whole Foods or often at Publix Supermarket. It is dairy free, egg free and gluten free.




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This recipe is a hit with all ages. It is fairly easy to make, especially if you are using leftover chicken that is already cooked. Even if you have to cook your chicken, it can all be done in less than 35 minutes. If you’re feeling frisky, you can even make some salsa to serve with it. Some folks like sour cream and the other fixings with their quesadillas. We’ve found that these are tasty enough all on their own with no extras.

I like making my own fajita seasoning because that way I know exactly what’s going into our food. No extra ingredients that I can’t pronounce! You can always add additional vegetables or you can even take the chicken out and make it vegetarian or substitute a different protein. This is one of my favorite recipes for leftovers. All I really need to have on hand is tortillas. The other things are staples we tend to keep on hand.

You will notice in the recipe that I don’t specify amounts for this one. That’s because you can add however much you want in each tortilla. If you’re cooking your own chicken, I usually use 2 nice sized chicken breasts. We also like to use the larger, 10 inch tortillas as you can just fold them over and cook 1 tasty quesadilla using 1 tortilla instead of 2.

We started using the goat cheese because my husband developed an allergy to cow’s milk. I think it is even more delicious! I use a mixture of sharp goat cheese and soft goat cheese.

I’ve been cooking this Thai soup for at least 10 years. We love all kinds of food but we really love Thai food. We had many a date at the Thai restaurant in Huntsville before we got married. In fact, it’s still there and still a tiny little restaurant that serves amazing Thai food. If you’re ever in 5 points in Huntsville, AL, we highly recommend The Thai Garden. Anyway, we fell in love with Thai coconut soup many years ago. This recipe originated from the Food and Wine Cooking From Scratch with Herbs cookbook. However, I’ve changed it considerably over the years. It is so delicious and the lemon and ginger broth smell so amazing when it’s cooking. It’s a fairly easy meal to make and it is very yummy as a leftover the next day.

One bit of advice if you plan to serve it to guests – you may want to find the lemon peel and ginger chunks before you serve it. It won’t hurt you if you don’t, in fact we like them in there. I like crunching down on the ginger for a blast of flavor. But, if you’re not expecting it, it might be quite the surprise.

When it comes to rice, I highly recommend using jasmine or basmati rice. It costs a little more but the flavor and texture make ALL the difference in the world. If you don’t have cilantro, you can omit it without losing a whole lot of flavor. But if you can help it, do not skip on the fresh lime juice. It makes all the difference in the chicken marinade and then later right before you serve it. I think the fresh squeeze of lime juice right before you serve it wakes up all of the flavors in the soup and melds them together beautifully.


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