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Oh, hey, friends!

Thank you to Katie @ Healthy Diva Eats for hosting MIMM!

How was everyone’s weekend? Mine was fantastic up until Saturday night around midnight when Nick and I got home from an awesome BBQ at my co-workers house, I slammed my thumb in his car door. And get this, I had to OPEN THE DOOR back up to get my thumb out. I am in a ridiculous amount of pain but trying to make it through. Typing is actually really challening. My thumb has officially turned purple and it is twice the size of my other thumb. I also can’t bend it. OWWWWWWWWWWW.

Moving on. The BBQ was so much fun. Thank you, Kristen! They had awesome food – a huge fruit tray (totally forgot to take a picture), pulled pork, a hot dog bar, pasta salads, veggie trays, and so many desserts. I am sure you can guess what I ate 🙂 Lots of fruit, veggies, and some pulled pork, but then way too many beers, oops?! Who can forget the ice luge, too… shots, anyone? Don’t mind if I do!

So, today might not be the most Marvelous Monday for me, but I am going to keep a positive attitude and focus on the good things – 2 recipe’s I tried Friday night, great time with friends, awesome shopping trips this past weekend, and even better things to look forward to in the upcoming weeks.

Let’s back track a little shall we? Friday Night I made 2 awesome recipe’s I wanted to document via the blog.

1. Buffalo Chicken adapted from Skinnytaste.com and Cait @ Beyond Bananas

2. Z Bar Recipe adapted from Danielle @ Clean Food Creative Fitness

Just to warn you, both made huge messes in the kitchen. However, it was worth it. They came out great, and only in time will I improve my cooking skillz and these 2 now staples will be not only be good, but AWESOME.

For the 4th time last week, I was back at the grocery store. This time just Stop N Shop, which is not my favorite, but it was most likely going to have everything I needed. And since it was Friday after a long day at work, I just wanted to get IN and OUT. Ya feel me?

While shopping, I snacked on a new luna bar I came across: Luna Bar, Protein Cookie Dough flavor. 170 calories & 9 grams of protein or maybe it was 12 grams (ah, I can’t remember exactly). It was just OKAY. Which means, I will not be buying again, ha. I just needed something to hold me over since I still had about an hour of preparation and cooking ahead of me before Nick and I sat down to eat. I guess it did the trick, because I was not hungry while I was cooking. Success? Sure.

My Shopping Cart, because you all care so much, I know! Ingredients speak for themselves…

Once I was home, I started on the Buffalo Chicken immediately. Nick must have asked me 10x within 2 minutes if dinner was ready, FYI…lol.

Baked Buffalo Chicken

Ingredients called for:

  • 1lb thin sliced chicken breasts
  • A few carrot sticks, minced (in my case, I just cut up as small as possible)
  • A few celery sticks, minced (in my case, I just cut up as small as possible)
  • A couple green onion strands, cut up
  • 3 LC cheese wedges
  • 2 T 2% Cottage Cheese (I also used no salt added)
  • 1 T Plain 0% Greek Yogurt…and an extra spoonful, just because
  • 4 T Hot Sauce, Divided (I use Frank’s and Sriracha, because the spicier the better in this house)
  • A few “flackers” (savory kind) I had on hand to use as “bread crumbs” (ground up in the Magic Bullet)

Directions

  1. Set oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Mix together the cottage cheese, minced celery & carrots, green onions, LC cheese wedges, and 1 TBSP hot sauces (I honestly didn’t measure the sauce, I just threw some in the mix.. the more, the merrier)
  3. Lay out the chicken breasts and spoon the mixture from step 2 on to the raw chicken. Roll up the chicken.
  4. (not pictured) Roll chicken in the greek yogurt mixed with some hot sauce, coating both sides. *this was tricky. My hands were a mess and sticky. So I took a spool and then spread greek yogurt + hot sauce combo onto the chicken breasts, to coat them as best as I could.
  5. Put the “flacker” bread crumbs on to chicken breasts. I put them in the Magic Bullet to grind them up like bread crumb-type pieces. Again I used a spoon to sprinkle the crumbs over the chicken and tried to get both sides.
  6. Place on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray, and bake for 30 minutes.

Side Note: S&S (Stop & Shop) was lame and didn’t have LC Blue Cheese Wedges. I thought this would be an OK substitute. And it was…. just ok. Next time, BLUE CHEESE for sure.

All said and done:

Buffalo Stuffed Chicken, sweet potato with smart balance butter, and a side arugula salad with balsamic vinegar (of course, I love to eat as many veggies as possible ;)) It was very good and filling, I only ended up eating 1/2 the sweet potato. Well mainly because I wanted room for some “cookies”…which leads me to…

Home Made Z Bar “cookies”

So Danielle’s recipe made these more like Z bars, but I made them circular and smaller, and more like “cookies”. Don’t ask me why I did it that way, it’s just what I felt like doing at the time, ha. I made a few changes – used SF Maple Syrup instead of Agave and added in some slivered almonds and dark chocolate chips.

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/4 cup Quick Oats
  • lots of shakes of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • dash of sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons flax
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons SF Maple Syrup
  • small handful slivered almonds
  • small handful of dark chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In the Magic Bullet (or blender) blend up 1 cup of the Oats into flour.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the flour from step 2, 1/4 cup of raw oats, lots of dashes of cinnamon, baking soda, flax, and a dash of salt.
  4. Put 1/2 cup of raisins into a blender and blend into a paste-like consistency, and add to the bowl of stuff from step 3.
  5. Add in the remaining 1/4 cup of raisins, maple syrup, vanilla extract, slivered almonds, and chocolate chips.
  6. Place little circles of “cookies” onto a greased baking sheet (I made 8 cookies out of this mixture), bake for 8-10 minutes.

Verdict: Nick and I loved these! The dark chocolate added such a nice touch. I cannot wait to make these again. I had 2 after dinner on Friday night and was so full. Nick loved them because he said these are a perfect thing to eat before Crossfit Saturday morning. Thanks, Danielle!

Some considerations: I think more cinnamon and maybe even more maple syrup can be added next time, just to give it a bit more sweetness, since I didn’t think they were sweet at all- and this is coming from the girl who doesn’t have a sweet tooth.

I am proud of myself for cooking so much these days! I have to say, it’s really a thanks to you all in the blog world for posting so many great AND HEALTHY recipe’s – I just can’t resist trying to make them myself. This weekend I found myself wanting to cook almost every meal, as opposed to eating out. You see, I LOVE to eat out on the weekends, so for me to say that I’d rather cook is kind of a big deal. Even with my thumb injury I cooked up some protein pancakes Saturday morning! Who am I?

So Marvelous In My Monday at it’s finest, friends. Hope you enjoyed my recipe steals from Cait and Danielle. I’m so original, I know!

Question of the day – Has anyone ever slammed their finger in a door? I can’t be the only one here.. ha ha.

I’ll leave you with an image…

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