Tag Archives: healthy

Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal


About 80% of the time, I crave sweet, unhealthy breakfasts… like donuts. And cinnamon rolls.  And Reese’s Puffs.  It’s really hard to pass up these options when I’m rushing around in the morning trying to get ready for work.

But, I’d like to live a while so, I find healthy and quick alternatives.  Obviously this oatmeal doesn’t taste like Reese’s Puffs, but it’s a totally sufficient substitute.  Especially topped with heavy cream… balance, right?


Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal

1/2 cup quick oats
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
splash of milk or cream

1.  Mix water, quick oats, cocoa powder, and salt in a pot on the stove (or make in the microwave).
2. Cook until you’ve reached a desired consistency, then stir in the honey and vanilla.
3.  Top with peanut butter and cream and mix!



Roasted Beet Salad

I went to a wonderful local cooking class the other day and was inspired!! I’ve eaten beets prepared by other people, but I’ll be honest… this was my first time buying and cooking them myself. 

Paige, from For Love of the Table, showed us how to make so many awesome recipes, but this beet salad was one of my favorites.  If you don’t really like beets, I think this recipe is a game changer for you.


Roasted Beet Salad
Recipe from:  For Love of the Table

3 or 4 beets
½ cup plain greek yogurt
lemon juice

1. Roast the beets. Trim off the tops, leaving about an inch of stem, scrub them and place them in a roasting pan with about a quarter inch of water in the bottom. Cover the pan with foil and roast at 375° to 400° until tender, about 40 minutes.
2. When they are cool enough to handle, trim the top and the root and rub the skins off with a paper towel. Slice them and dress them with lemon juice to taste. (Acidity accentuates the sweetness). Season with salt and pepper and toss with olive oil.  
3.  Make the Greek yogurt topping:  mix the yogurt with garlic and salt to taste.  Drizzle over beets and top with walnuts and mint.  

Pasta Puttanesca

If I had to pick a favorite pasta recipe, this would be it.  Not only is it really simple, but it’s healthy and the ingredients all compliment each other well.

My mom used to make this all the time when I lived at home and I always looked forward to it.

If you’re looking for a quick dinner tonight, this is it.  It’ll be done in 30 minutes!

Recipe from: Food Network


8 ounces spaghetti
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced (or not)
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
¼ cup pitted, chopped Greek olives (I used Kalamata)
2 tablespoons capers
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
¼ cup grated Parmesan
salt and pepper to taste


1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add pasta and cook according to the directions on the package.
2. While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large skillet over a medium flame. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant. Add the parsley, olives, capers and oregano to the skillet, and saute for 2 minutes more. 
3. Add the tomatoes and simmer for about 5 minutes.
4. When the pasta is al dente, add it to the skillet and mix with the sauce. Top with grated Parmesan.

Grapefruit Carrot Smoothie

After many blog technology failures and a lot of thought about where I want this blog to go, I’ve decided to switch to Tumblr.  I’m changing the idea of What Katie’s Baking because my priorities are changing.  My blog is still important to me, but I want this to be more of a raw documentation of recipes and things that inspire me than an “I have to take a million pictures with my Nikon just so I can post this recipe” blog.  I will admit, it was getting to be more of a chore than the fun it used to be.  So, here I am on Tumblr with my first “raw” iPhone photo and a recipe for you:

Grapefruit Carrot Smoothie


1 grapefruit, skinned and pulled apart into pieces
5-7 baby carrots (a handful)
1 cup orange juice
5-7 ice cubes (a handful)

Healthy Chicken Taco Salad

I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Just Tell Me What to Eat!  I received the PDF file and was excited about that, but then I received the hard cover copy in the mail and cannot express how excited I was!

Needless to say, I started reading it and was surprised to find 8 whole weeks full of healthy meals.

The book isn’t one of those “lose weight fast” books, it’s one that tells you how to eat healthily.  The right way to lose weight.  I’m not looking to lose weight, but this book has taught me how to eat healthy.

The book just came out and it already has 5 stars on Amazon.

I’ve already tried 2 or 3 of the recipes and they’ve all been amazing!!!

You should buy this book even if you’re just looking for some good and healthy dinner recipes.

I’ll be posting them sporadically, but I’m not going to post the recipe.

This taco salad is so delicious.  It doesn’t taste healthy, and it’s chock-full of things that are good for you.  And it’s made with chicken instead of beef.  Buy the book.  Try it.  You won’t regret it. 🙂

Chicken Taco Salad

Orange Nut and Date Biscotti

Normally, I’m not a big fan of Biscotti.  I’m Italian, though, so I should love it, right? 😉

Well, I don’t.  I prefer my cookies to be softer.  And I know that I could make them softer by dipping them in coffee, but I don’t really like coffee all that much either.

So, um, why did I make Biscotti?

I’ll tell you why.

I wanted to put store-bought Biscotti to shame and make some that tasted good.  

And I did just that!  This Biscotti is amazing!  The orange flavor really accentuates all of the other flavors in just the right way… and it has just the right amount of crunch/chewiness… and they’re good for you!

I even put on my big girl panties and had it with coffee this morning.  And I loved it!

Orange Nut and Date Biscotti
Adapted from Ivory Hut via  The Perfect Recipe for Losing Weight and Eating Great by Pam Anderson
Makes 4 dozen biscotti sliced ½ inch thick or 2 dozen sliced 1 inch thick as seen in the photos.

3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest of 1 whole orange (about 2 tablespoons)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or you can just use 2 cups all purpose flour)
¼ cup sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup almonds, pecans, walnuts, toasted pistachios (or a combination of nuts)

1 cup chopped dates 

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

2. In a small bowl, mix the eggs, vanilla and orange zest. 
3. Add the remaining ingredients except the nuts.
4. Stir using a spoon first and then using your hands. The dough will be very sticky and tacky, so I suggest greasing or flouring your hands. Stir in the nuts and dates.

5. Flouring your hands and working surface, roll half of the dough into a 12-inch log. Place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat. Repeat with the remaining dough.
6. Bake in the center position of the oven for about 40-50 minutes, until golden brown. Take the logs off the sheet and onto a cooling rack, let cool for about 5 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 275 degrees and line another baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.
7. Use a serrated knife to slice the logs into ½-inch thick slices. 
8, Return the slices to the baking sheets and bake for another 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown and almost crisp. 
9. Transfer to cooling racks and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Low Cal Blondies

This dreary and dark weather is really messing with my food photos.

Once I learned that natural light was the best way to photograph food, I quit using flash for good!  I even quit baking at night and started baking in the morning so by the time I got finished, I could use the natural light from my kitchen window to photograph the finished product.

But that’s changed lately.  It’s been cloudy for a couple of weeks now and I can’t seem to get a good picture.

Which is where a light box comes in handy!

No need to buy one.  I’ll show you how to make one!!

Homemade Light Box

You’ll need:
1 big box
some tissue paper or other semi-transparent paper

Cut out the centers of the sides of the box.  Leave one side, though!
It will look like this.
 Fill the sides of your cut out box with paper.
You’ll need more lights than this, but this is the gist.
After all of that hard work, you’ll probably need some blondies. 😉

I took this from Katie.  They have beans in them, but I trusted Katie’s judgement and made them anyway.  I’m impressed!!  I wasn’t expecting them to be that good.  I took mine out a little early so they were gooey and delicious!  If you’re looking for a low-cal treat, these are the ones you should make.  My only complaint is that the flax seeds made them a little grainy, so next time I might sub in flour instead.  

Low Cal Blondies
For this delicious recipe, click here: Choc. Covered Katie

Fruity Banana Smoothie? Sorbet? Ice Cream?

Sometimes you just have to stop and relax.

It’s harder to do than you think.  Most of us are constantly on the go and never have any down time.

Think about the last time that you just sat down for 20 minutes doing absolutely nothing but relaxing.

Was it a long time ago?

If so, I’d advise you to do some relaxing.  Just sit down for 20 minutes and maybe even meditate.  Meditating isn’t some weird thing freaks do, I promise.  I do it all the time (not that that proves anything.)  Meditating is just controlling your breaths and releasing all thoughts.  It’s been proven to reduce Cortisol levels and Cortisol is what (apparently) causes stress and mindless eating.  So, there you have it.  Take some time for yourself just to relax.  You deserve it!

And before you head off to relax, make a banana mango smoothie.  Check out the title… I wasn’t quite sure what to call it because I couldn’t decide if it’s a smoothie, sorbet, or ice cream.  It’s just like the “1 ingredient banana ice cream” except it’s got 3 ingredients… so does that make it a smoothie?  Or a sorbet since one of the other ingredients is frozen fruit?!  Don’t ask me; I’m obviously confused!  Whatever it is, it’s so simple, delicious, and healthy.  I’ve made one almost every day for the past two weeks.  And if you make it, please tell me what you’d call it.  🙂

Fruity Mango Smoothie/Sorbet/Ice Cream

1 frozen banana, chopped up
½ large frozen mango, chopped up (or fruit of choice)
¼ cup yogurt

1.  Chop your banana and mango.
2.  Put in freezer a couple of hours or until frozen.
3.  Blend all ingredients in a food processor.
4.  Enjoy!

I also made one with about a cup of frozen strawberries.  Delicious!

Date and Pecan Drops {Healthy Recipe}

I’m feeling a little blah right now.  Ever since Kellen and I got back from New York, my mind has been elsewhere.  I’ve had no motivation to exercise, do homework, or work.  I’m just super ready for summer to roll around.  This cold weather at the start of “spring” isn’t helping either!
When I start feeling like this, I do a few things to get myself out of the “rut”.
1.  Find inspiration elsewhere (E.g. Flickr, PostSecret, StumbleUpon):
2.  Make a list of things I’m looking forward to. 
My list right now consists of: 
1) The weekend/sleeping in/spending it with Kellen.  
2) Working a Taste of Home cooking show! 
3) Enrolling at Park
4) Summer 
5) A high of 78 on Saturday.  
They may just be little things, but that’s all it takes.
3. Indulge in hobbies.  Today, I baked these cookies just so I could photograph them.  Now I’m writing.  I like to keep a journal other than this blog, too.  I think writing is a good way to keep things from bottling up.  
4.  Listen to music.  Right now my favorite is “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele… and the John Legend remake, too.   
5.  Pray!
What do you do when you’re in a rut??
Anyway, I figured I’d give you all a break from the 3 cups of sugar, 3 sticks of butter, and who knows how much chocolate from the last post.  I’ve had a lot of people asking me for “healthy” and “low calorie” recipes lately…. so here you guys go!  They’re pretty tasty if you ask me.  The ingredient list is a little random…

Date and Pecan Drops
1 cup cream of wheat 
1/8 cup whole wheat pastry flour
¼ cup applesauce
1 tablespoon oil
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ cup chopped dates
¼ cup chopped and toasted pecans
¼ cup coconut flakes (I used unsweetened)
½ cup Splenda
1 tablespoon honey or agave
*Sprinkles, optional
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Mix all ingredients.
3.  Drop by 1/8 cup balls onto a lined baking sheet.
4.  Bake for 8-10 minutes.  
5.  While cookies are in the oven, mix together topping.  Once you take the cookies out, sprinkle the topping over cookies.  *Don’t turn oven off! 
6. Put cookies back in for another 2 minutes or so, while the topping caramelizes a little.
7.  Let cool, devour. 🙂

Healthy Banana Nut Bread

I wouldn’t call myself an unlucky person, but I never, ever win anything, so winning this just completely made me day… week, even.  I’ve been reading Cindy’s blog for a while now and I love it.  Her recipes are mouthwatering and her photography skills are definitely something I’m envious of. I’m just waiting for summer to roll around so I can make her cantaloupe sorbet. Thank you, Cindy! 🙂 🙂

In other good news today:

I really enjoyed the sermon today at church.  Sometimes I feel bad because I walk away not getting anything from it, but today I did.  It’s days like today that remind me to keep believing because it’s worth it.  “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.” -Matthew 6:34.  So true!!

After church, I had a wonderful lunch with Kellen and his family.  I always do; they’re such great people and I’m lucky to be able to be around them.

Also, it’s raining, which means I’m sleeping with the windows open tonight!

All of these good things today are really helping me procrastinate studying for the tests I have this week.  Oh well, take the good with the bad. Haha 🙂

I’m going to be a copycat and ask a question of the day:

What’s your favorite summer treat?
If you go to church, do you ever walk away feeling like you didn’t get anything from the sermon?  and 
If you don’t go to church, what have you walked away from, feeling bad, that you expected more out of?

Just feelin’ a little curious today, I suppose.

In other news, check out Katie’s giveaway!

Make flaxseed mixture.

Sift the dry’s.

Melt your banana, if you want.

My favorite part!  Mix everything together and do some quality control.
Wonder why your cat was hiding in the spice rack…

Just stoppin’ by.

I made a little topping of ¼ cup applesauce, ¼ cup chopped nuts, 1/8 cup flour, 1 tbsp brown sugar and 1/8 tsp baking powder)


Healthy Banana Nut Bread
Adapted from: Ecurry

Ingredients: (yields one loaf in a 9 X 12 pan)

  1. 3 cups whole wheat flour + more for dusting
  2. a pinch of salt
  3. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  4. 1/3 cup flaxseed powder
  5. 1/3 cup + 1 cup orange juice or milk (I used almond milk)
  6. ¼ cup applesauce
  7. 1 teaspoon almond extract or vanilla extract (I used vanilla and it turned out really well, but next time I think I’ll use almond, just to try it)
  8. 1 cup sugar, or ¾ cup agave or honey
  9. 1 cup mashed banana, about 3-4 bananas depending on the size (I microwaved mine until they got melty, then added them)
  10. 1 cups chopped nuts (I used walnuts)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Lightly grease a 9 X 12 loaf pan.
2.  Sift flour, salt and baking powder.
3.  Combine flaxseed powder with 1/3 cup orange juice/milk/almond milk (depending on what you are using), and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
4.  In another large bowl combine oil, sugar (or honey), mashed banana, and the rest of the juice/milk/almond milk, vanilla/almond extract. Add the flaxseed powder mix to this and stir to combine.
5.  Add the flour mix to this wet ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until just blended. This is going to be a sticky gooey mix.
6.  Dust the the nuts with flour. Carefully fold them into the dough.
7.  Spoon the dough into the loaf pan and bake for about an hour to hour and a half or till the toothpick comes out clean (it took 60 minutes in the convection oven).
8.  Cool completely for about 15 minutes before turning the bread over. Slice only when completely cool or it will fall apart.