Baked Oatmeal with Bananas and Blueberries

The best weekends always go by way too fast. As I sit here on Sunday evening (listening to Big Guy try to calm our anxious 5 week old) I can’t help but think how lucky I am to have spent the weekend with my two favorite people in the whole wide world. We did absolutely nothing that would be exciting to anyone. Big Guy sent me away to get a manicure and pedicure on Saturday morning after my workout and took over all baby duties for a few hours. It was glorious – yet weird…I actually missed that nugget while I was gone. I enjoyed a delicious glass of sparking rosé and we ate our weight in meat and cheese. And on Sunday we laughed and Blakely Gray took her longest nap to date. See, nothing too exciting, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

This past week I made a breakfast bake that fueled me through busy mornings around the house. I’ve found that breakfast needs to be pulled together quickly but it also needs to keep me full. If there are oats involved, even better.

To make this baked oatmeal, you start by slicing a couple of bananas and placing in a dish along with blueberries, honey and cinnamon. This is then covered and baked for 20 minutes before being topped with an oat and pecan mixture and then a combination of milk, an egg and vanilla. The entire dish is topped with a few more blueberries and pecans and baked to perfection.

I enjoyed a slice of the baked oatmeal with a little 2% Greek yogurt and a scoop of peanut butter.


Even Big Guy loved this breakfast…and after this morning, it’s gone.

Do you have a favorite make-ahead breakfast?


Pumpkin Mac and Cheese with Roasted Veggies

November 1st.  How did that happen?  I’m actually pretty excited to see November.  I love the holiday season.  But just because October has come and gone, don’t think I’m going to stop with the “pumpkin.”  I actually love pumpkin.  And in this mac and cheese pumpkin not only adds lots of nutrition but it makes the mac and cheese super creamy and will make you feel like you’re eating the cheesiest bowl of noodles.

The mac and cheese is made even more nutrition by adding in roasted veggies:  brussels sprouts and cauliflower.  While the veggies are roasting, start boiling your noodle water. Feel free to use whatever noodle you want – I went with a gluten free spiral noodle.  The cheese part of this mac and cheese is a mixture of gouda and cheddar.  Yum.  Go ahead and grate that so that it’s ready when you are.

When you have about 10 minutes left of roasting, cook your pasta and make your cheese sauce.  Simply sauté onion in a little butter before adding the flour of your choice to thicken the mixture.  Mix well and then whisk in chicken stock (or veggie if you want to keep it vegetarian) and milk.  Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg – my favorite fall spice.  This is where you’ll add in the canned pumpkin.  Stir until the pumpkin completely mixes in and then add in your cheese and stir until melted.  Finally add in the cooked noodles and roasted veggies.


Incredibly creamy and the “orange” of the pumpkin makes you feel like you’re eating Velveeta Mac and Cheese.  Except this one is a whole lot healthier.


Loaded Philly Cheesesteak Baked Potato

I’m not going to lie, Tuesday and Wednesday weren’t the best days of my pregnant life.  Week 24 seems to have brought a weird stomachache along with some heartburn and a lack the desire to really eat anything.  Me not wanting to eat is REALLY weird – I always like food – happy, sad, stressed…I eat.  Basically I just don’t feel like myself and while I want to complain and play the pregnancy card, I’ve tried to rally and be thankful for how healthy I have felt the entire time.  I’m hoping that this is a short phase and that I’ll be back to “normal” in no time.

But you’re here for food…so here’s a peak at dinner this past Monday.  It was a good one.

A meat and potatoes dinner that isn’t a steak and roasted potatoes.  Instead, the famous cheesesteak sandwich is turned into a stuffed baked potato for a nutritious, filling and delicious feeling that your whole family will love.

You can either cook your potatoes in the microwave or in the oven (I prefer the oven if I have the time, I think the skin is so much better).  Thinly sliced steak is seared after being seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder.  The steak needs less than two minutes to cook – so watch it.  Remove the beef and add in your peppers, onions and mushrooms and sauté until softened.  Season with salt and pepper.

Cut the potatoes in half and top with the veggies plus the beef and then a generous amount of cheeeeeeese.  Broil until the cheese is melted and then dig in.


I loved this spin on a classic and found that while it was meaty and cheesy, it wasn’t heavy.

Oh, and our garden is still producing lots of bell peppers which is one benefit of still having warm weather.

Balsamic Roasted Veggie and White Bean Pasta

Yesterday I shared an indulgent dinner and today I share a recipe that is LOADED with veggies.  In fact, you’ll feel good eating this dinner and serving it to your family.

Dinner starts by roasted all of the vegetables including broccoli, sliced mushrooms, red bell pepper, zucchini, squash, cherry tomatoes and red onion.


The veggies were tossed with a mixture of balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, dried herbs, garlic, salt and EVOO before roasting at 425 degrees for 30 minutes.  While the veggies were cooking I went ahead and brought my pasta water to a boil so that it was ready when I needed it.  No one has time to watch a pot of water come to a boil.  I also prepped a batch of skinny pesto.

When the veggies were almost done cooking, I tossed the pasta into the boiling water and let it cook until al dente (about 9 minutes for gluten-free pasta).

As soon as the pasta was perfectly cooked, it was drained and then mixed with the white beans, pesto and parmesan before adding all the yummy veggies.

To serve, I sprinkled a little bit of crushed red pepper flakes over my portion.


Another successful dinner loaded with veggies from the garden.

Not only is this a great dinner option but it’s perfect to make ahead and have for quick lunches throughout the week.  The portion size is large and the recipe makes a TON of food.


BLT Lettuce Cups with Avocado

I’m fairly certain I could eat these lettuce wraps once a week during the summer and never grow tired of them.  It’s basically a BLT sandwich without the bread.  But don’t worry – you won’t miss the bread at all.  Especially if you add creamy, rich avocado.

This meal couldn’t be easier to prepare.  If you can cook bacon, you can make these wraps.  Cook your bacon and then crumble.  Dice your tomatoes (I used some cherry tomatoes from our garden, so I simply halved them).  Once the tomatoes are diced, mix with a little light mayo (Duke’s is the only mayo we know in the South).  Slice your avocado.

To assemble, carefully “peel” off the lettuce leaves from a head of iceberg lettuce.  Note:  I will probably use romaine or bibb lettuce next time.  Fill the lettuce leaves with the sliced avocado, in-season tomatoes and crispy bacon.  Sprinkle it all with a little salt and pepper.


Just as delicious as ANY BLT you could ever eat.  It was messy and crunchy, salty but refreshing and totally addicting.

Don’t leave off the avocado!


Avocado and Lump Crab Salad

As promised, a crab recipe!  And this lunch or dinner option is naturally gluten-free, requires no cooking and is ready in a matter of minutes.  Double the recipe so you can have leftovers.

Sweet crab is jazzed up with zesty lime juice, a drizzle of EVOO, pungent red onion, and in-season tomatoes for a simple yet incredibly satisfying meal.  Season with salt and pepper and if you remember to pick it up at the store (fail), cilantro.  The crab mixture is served in an avocado half that adds the most perfect amount of creaminess to every.single.bite.


This recipe could not be simpler.  Perfect for hot days when you don’t want to turn on the oven and it requires minimal ingredients.  Splurge on high-quality crab, though.  Your taste buds will thank you.


Waffled Crab Cakes

Hey friends!  I hope everyone is having a lovely Tuesday.  We spent the weekend at Ocean Isle Beach and it was glorious.  My brother + SIL + baby nephew were down with us and we enjoyed lots of sunshine, baby snuggles and delicious eats.  Yesterday as we were leaving the beach to head back home we made a pit stop at our favorite seafood “shack.”  I’ve been craving crab cakes ever since I saw waffled crab cakes on the SkinnyTaste website.  We grabbed a pound of crab to go and last night we devoured these tasty cakes.

Using the waffle iron is a fun way to make crab cakes and the best part is the crispy little edges.  These crab cakes are loaded with crab and very little “filler.”  Flavor is added with Old Bay seasoning, lots of chives and parsley, paprika and a little tabasco sauce.  And they are kept tender and moist with a little mayo (always Duke’s), mustard and egg + egg white.

The crab cakes take only about 3 minutes to cook in the waffle iron and I kept the warm in the oven while I made all the cakes.  I doubled the recipe to make sure we had leftovers for tonight.


I served our crab cakes with a squeeze of lemon and sliced up avocado on top.

I’ve never been more excited to eat leftovers for dinner.