Strawberry Kefir Pancakes with Lifeway Kefir Smoothies

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Last summer, when I traveled to Ethiopia twice, I relied heavily on probiotics to help prevent me from getting food poisoning. Because I was traveling, I brought probiotic capsules since bringing yogurt or Kefir across the globe was impossible. I had never tried Kefir before so when I was given the opportunity to try Lifeway Kefir Lowfat Cultured Milk Smoothies, I was very excited. I am always looking for alternatives to probiotic capsules and a smoothie is right up my alley!

I headed to Winn-Dixie to pick up a bottle or two of Lifeway Kefir Lowfat Cultured Milk Smoothies. They were a bit difficult to find. In fact, I had to ask the dairy manager for help! So when you go to purchase them, make sure you look on the top shelf of the dairy case as I show in my picture.

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I purchased two different types of Lifeway Kefir Lowfat Milk Smoothies because I really wanted to try both of them out and I couldn’t choose between the two! I purchased Plain and Strawberry.  The Lifeway Kefir Plain Smoothie is tart. It doesn’t have any sweetness to it. This smoothie would be awesome to add to fruit smoothies or maybe to add a little honey to! The Lifeway Kefir Strawberry Smoothie has a perfect amount of sweetness. In fact, my 21 month old son loved drinking it!

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Lifeway Kefir is a smooth, tart, refreshing cousin of yogurt, often thought of as the “Champagne of Dairy.” Kefir originated in Eastern Europe over 2000 years ago.  Kefir’s probiotic cultures have long been enhancing feelings of well-being. Lifeway Kefir contains 12 live and active Probiotic cultures that support the immune system and balance digestive health. It is Gluten Free, 99% Lactose Free and contains No Artificial Sweeteners and is rich in Calcium. Lifeway also only uses milk that comes from cows that are not treated with pesticides, antibiotics, or synthetic growth hormones. The cows are grass fed and GMO free.

I wanted to create a recipe using my Lifeway Kefir Strawberry Smoothie. I had read that kefir makes an excellent replacement for sour cream or buttermilk. So I decided to create a pancake recipe with the kefir smoothie since we love buttermilk pancakes!

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The finished product was a perfectly sweet pancake with hints of strawberry that was light and fluffy. I topped my pancakes with a few frozen berries that I had thawed and a little powdered sugar. Hubby topped his with loads of syrup since he loves his syrup. And my son ate his pancake without any toppings. I made some very small silver dollar sized pancakes and froze them to give to my son as a quick snack or breakfast. They froze really well and thawed really well too!

Have you tried Lifeway Kefir Lowfat Milk Smoothies? I would love to hear your thoughts! For more information on Lifeway Kefir products AND to sign up for coupons, including a $1/2 Kefir 32 oz coupon, go HERE.

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream Recipe

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I originally posted this recipe last summer but now that we are in the heat of summer I had to pull this refreshing recipe out again!  My hubby isn’t a fan of fruit in his desserts.  So the strawberry ice cream recipe I posted last summer didn’t really float his boat.  But he is loving this Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream recipe!  This recipe utilizes the Raw Cookie Dough Bites recipe and the vanilla ice cream has just three ingredients – whole milk, vanilla beans and maple syrup.

If you have been on the fence about making homemade ice cream, it is time to get off of it!  It is so easy to make and involves just a few ingredients!  If you look at all of the ingredients on the back of your cartons of ice cream, you will most often see ingredients that you have never heard of.  Homemade ice cream, however, includes whole foods and ingredients that you can pronounce!  So pull your ice cream maker out of the closet and put it to use!
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This recipe is adapted from My Whole Food Life

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Quinoa Summer Salad Recipe

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With summertime upon us, I wanted to repost this recipe because it is just so good, so good for you and so easy to make!

This Quinoa Summer Salad recipe carries on my love for all things Quinoa.  Quinoa is a grain that is high in protein, iron, magnesium and potassium.  A one cup serving of quinoa has 222 calories, 8 g of protein, 39 g of carbohydrates and 5 grams of fiber!  (One cup equals one serving of protein!) When I make quinoa, typically I will make more than one meal’s worth of quinoa.  I will then refrigerate the cooked quinoa and use it in additional recipes.

Many of you have asked me where I get my quinoa.  Truthfully, I stocked up at my local Sweetbay Supermarket when it was closing down and everything in the store was 50% off.  But I have also ordered it on Amazon as well as Vitacost.  I will often compare the prices on both websites and order wherever I can get the best deal!

This salad below is perfect for summer (or all year round eating).  It is light and relies on fresh flavors like basil, lemon, tomatoes and green onions!  If you make any variations to the recipe below, I would love to hear what you made and how it turns out!

Below is the homemade dressing for this salad (recipe is below)
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How amazing do these salad ingredients look? (recipe is below)
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Go HERE to see my Apple Quinoa Bites Recipe

Go HERE to see my Quinoa with Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Red Onion Recipe (Gluten-Free)

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The recipe has been adapted from The Garden Grazer

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Homemade Peanut Butter Recipe

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If you haven’t tried this recipe, you need to! Peanut butter is a staple in our house. My amazing sister-in-law created this Homemade Peanut Butter Recipe.  It is so so easy and involves just one ingredient – peanuts.  This recipe is so easy that my sister-in-law calls this Five Minute Peanut Butter.  You literally need a food processor and five minutes of your time. Love it.

The best thing about this recipe (besides the fact that you just need nuts to make your butter) is that there are no preservatives.  If you look at the back of many store bought peanut butter jars, you will see lots of ingredients.  This recipe just involves one.  You can’t eat much cleaner than this!

Pour your peanuts in the food processor (recipe is below)
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As you process the nuts, they will start out looking like a dry powder. Keep processing.
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As you process your nuts more and more, they will change from a dry powder to most butter. Keep processing until your peanut butter is the consistency you like. I like mine extra smooth! 5-Minute-Peanut-Butter-1

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Comfort Foods Recipes: Chicken Paprika

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I originally posted this recipe about a year and a half ago.  I’m making it for dinner tonight so thought it would be the perfect time to reshare this recipe with all of you :)

Chicken Paprika is a comfort meal my mom prepared for our family growing up. My brother loved the chicken so much that sometimes my mom would make this recipe without the sauce. She would give him the browned chicken and he would eat them like chicken nuggets. (So if you have picky kiddos, you might want to make this recipe without the sauce!) About four years ago, I started craving this meal and my mom gave me the recipe. I was shocked at how easy it is to make and at the same time how tasty it is. I always plate this dish with a fresh veggie (usually broccoli, asparagus or green beans) and brown rice.

Frugal Tips:
To make this recipe affordable, purchase boneless, skinless chicken breasts in bulk when on sale for $1.99/lb or less. Freeze your chicken and thaw when needed versus paying full price when needed. Zaycon Foods is a way to save on meat & seafood.

Healthy Tips:
I make this recipe using whole wheat flour (in lieu of white flour) and skim milk (in lieu of whole milk). The sauce thickens nicely with skim. Also – my mom’s recipe includes canned mushrooms and shredded cheese. I don’t use either when I make it. If you use shredded cheese – using a low fat shredded cheese will save you a few calories.

Recipe: Chicken Paprika

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup Flour
  • 3 t Paprika
  • 2 t Salt
  • Dash Pepper
  • 2 lbs Boneless, Skinless, Chicken Breast cut in pieces
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Large Onion (use more if you prefer)
  • 2 cups Milk
  • 1 can Sliced Mushrooms 3 oz (drained) (optional)
  • 2 T Lemon Juice
  • 2 oz shredded Swiss or Cheddar Cheese (optional)

Instructions

1) Preheat oven to 350
2) In plastic bag combine flour, paprika, salt and pepper.
3) Add a few pieces of chicken to the bag at a time. Coat the chicken.
4) Brown chicken on both sides in a large skillet with EVOO. Only use enough EVOO to coat pan and prevent sticking.
5) Transfer browned chicken to plate with paper towel on it to drain excess oil. Reserve drippings in pan.
6) Add onion to drippings in pan and cook until tender.
7) Stir in 4 T flour mixture to pan.
8) Add milk. Cook and stir until sauce bubbles and thickens.
9) Add lemon juice and mushrooms (if desired).
10) Spray PAM in a casserole dish.  Pour sauce over chicken. Top with cheese (if desired)
11) Cover with Foil.
12) Bake 30 minutes.
13) Serve with a fresh veggies and rice

Enjoy!

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Sour Cream Banana Bread Recipe

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sour-cream-banana-bread**Pin this Recipe**

I recently got an awesome deal on Greek Sour Cream when I was grocery shopping.  So I stocked up.  And then I realized, I didn’t have a ton of recipes that utilized sour cream.  I didn’t want it to go to waste.  I had a few bananas on my counter that were overly ripe and I decided to try my hand at making Sour Cream Banana Bread.  And let me tell you, we ate my first loaf in less than 24 hours.  Since then I’ve been making this Sour Cream Banana Bread recipe weekly.  It is so so moist and so good.

sour-cream-banana-bread-ingredientsThe ingredients for this banana bread are comparable to most banana bread ingredients. Except for the sour cream.  The recipe calls for 3 ripe bananas. However, one of the loaves I made I only had 2 bananas and they were not overly ripe. The bread still came out delicious!  Most of these ingredients you should have in your stockpile so if you have sour cream in your fridge, you shouldn’t have to make an extra trip to the grocery store to make this bread!

sour-cream-banana-bread-ingredients-1The banana bread bakes for 60-70 minutes at 350 degrees.  Your house will smell heavenly as it is baking!

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Brown Butter Pasta with Arugula Recipe

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I originally posted this recipe last summer but it is so good I had to post it again! Pasta is a go-to staple in my house.  And even after I started eating only gluten free foods, I still was able to eat pasta by using gluten free pasta.  While I’m don’t love the taste of plain gluten free pasta quite as much as regular pasta, I find that if I make a yummy sauce with lots of flavor, I don’t even realize that my pasta isn’t made with traditional flour!

If you haven’t tried making brown butter sauce for your pasta, you have to try it.  Brown butter has a creamy and almost nutty flavor that goes perfectly with pasta and fresh vegetables.  This Brown Butter Pasta with Arugula recipe is simple to make and an easy introduction into the world of Brown Butter sauce if you are new to it!  Like most of my recipes, if you want to substitute out any of the vegetables in this dish, you can most definitely do so.  The recipe below calls for arugula and tomatoes.  If you prefer spinach, that would work really well too.  This recipe also calls for pine nuts which I ADORE (especially toasted pine nuts).  However, they are pricey.  So if you have almonds or even walnuts in your stockpile, you could chop them up and toast them and they would add yummy flavor to this dish as well.

If you have made Brown Butter Pasta, I would love to hear the ingredients you used!  And, if you try out this recipe, I would love to hear your thoughts after you eat it!
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This recipe has been adapted from Food Network

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Gevalia Coffee and Sour Cream Banana Bread #CookinComfort #CollectiveBias

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I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for #CollectiveBias #CookinComfort and its advertiser. As always, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

gevalia-coffee-2It was about 8 years ago when I discovered I had a love for coffee. I loved the taste, the smell, the slow process of drinking it.. basically, I realized I loved everything about it. Hubby has a love for coffee that is as strong as mine (if not stronger). Together, the two of us can very easily put a huge dent into our budget if we purchase gourmet coffee while we are out driving. We’ve learned that we can not only save a ton of money, but really make tasty cups of coffee in the comfort of our own home. Have you tried Gevalia coffee? They have many different strengths and flavors to choose from. Go HERE to see the learn about Cooking up Magic with Kraft Foods and view all of the different Gevalia Coffees and K-cups that are available!

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I purchased my Gevalia House Blend coffee at my local Walmart. The coffee aisle was clearly marked and it wasn’t difficult to find the Gevalia coffee!  I was armed with a $1.50 off Gevalia Coffee 12 oz bag coupon which brought the cost of my coffee down to just $3.98! Talk about frugal!  It was interesting because it was apparent that Gevalia Coffee is very popular at my Walmart! One flavor was completely sold out and there were only a few bags of House Blend available.

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Instantly when I opened the bag of Gevalia Coffee I was happy. The coffee smells amazing and I was excited to brew it and drink it. How do you drink your coffee? I find that most days, I will have a cup of coffee while working and then a second cup of coffee with either a morning snack or an early afternoon snack.

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Today I was in the mood to enjoy a cup of coffee while eating fresh baked Sour Cream Banana Bread so I decided to whip up a loaf. Instead of waiting to have a cup with the baked bread, I decided to pour a cup to enjoy while I prepared the bread. (See below for the Sour Cream Banana Bread Recipe.) I don’t know how you like your coffee, but I like mine with cream and just a little sugar. The House Blend is smooth – not to0 strong but yet full of flavor. The cup of coffee was divine and was the perfect accompaniment to baking.gevalia-coffee-1 #shop

Once the banana bread was baked, I poured a cup of coffee and enjoyed it with a piece of banana bread. The coffee went perfectly with the sweetness of the sour cream banana bread.

Have you tried Gevalia coffee? Leave a commenting sharing how you enjoy your coffee!

 

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