Category Archives: Kid Friendly

No- Bake Protein Bar Base Recipe

LJ Protein Bar Base (3)

My nutrition client LJ posted this recipe from the Power Hungry blog on our Team Facebook page and I loved the simplicity of it.  With 5 ingredients (all of which you can pronounce) these bars go together in a snap.

I whipped-up a quick batch and these protein bars have been a savior for me the last few days since I have been crazy busy and have been eating on the run a lot.  An added bonus is the fact that these are really filling.

The only modification I made to the recipe was to use 1 cup of almond milk versus the 1 1/3 cups the recipe called for.  Years ago I learned to always add less liquid initially to a recipe than it calls for because you can always add more if necessary and you can’t UNadd liquid once you have too much.

Ingredient-wise I used Trader Joe’s gluten-free old fashioned oats, unsweetened almond milk, Crazy Richard’s Crunchy PB, Kirkland vanilla, and PlantFusion protein powder in Cookies and Cream.

LJ Protein Bar Base (2)

The add-ins you could include in these bars are endless:

  • Powdered PB
  • Cocoa powder
  • Shredded coconut
  • Chocolate chips
  • Carob chips
  • Sprinkles
  • Nuts
  • Dried fruit
  • A layer of low sugar jelly (PB & J bars)
  • Pumpkin
  • Pumpkin pie spice
  • Cinnamon

Here are the nutrition facts for the bars as I made them (It made 8 bars):

LJ Protein Bar Base Nutrition Facts

P.S.  If you are interested in giving Crazy Richards a try use the coupon code FITQUESTMOM for 10% off.

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Filed under Breakfast, Cookies / Bars, Dessert, Energy Bars, Gluten Free, Kid Friendly, Recipes, Vegan

Slow Cooker Kalua Pig

Shredding pork with mixer pulled pork kalua pork

This is seriously the easiest shredded pork recipe I have ever made.  When Fall comes around my crockpot / slow-cooker gets dusted off and is responsible for a lot of my meal prep.

I saw a recipe for Kalua Pork and Cabbage in the Taste of Home magazine I randomly started getting (I didn’t subscribe) and was really excited to try it because it looked so easy.

As usual I made some modifications to suit my taste.  The original recipe called for salting the pork prior to putting it into the slow cooker.  I did that and it was WAY too salty (I used about 1/2 of the recommended salt).  Needless to say, this step is totally unnecessary and I will omit it all together next time since bacon is salty enough on its own.

The original recipe also called for pork shoulder / butt and all I had on hand was pork sirloin roasts from Costco (They come in a 4-pack; see image below from 2 Wired 2 Tired).


The pork turned out really well and is definitely something I will be making again.


2 Costco Pork Sirloin Roasts (6-8 pounds total)

1 package bacon

crockpot kalua pork recipe bacon


Line the bottom of the crockpot / slow cooker with 4-5 pieces of bacon.

Place the 2 pork sirloin (or shoulder/butt) roasts on top of the bacon and cover the roasts with the remaining bacon.

Turn the crockpot / slow cooker on to low for 8-10 hours.

Shred the pork with either 2 forks OR a handheld mixer (only takes 10 seconds…be careful not to overdo it with the mixer or it will become mush).

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Filed under Crock Pot, Gluten Free, Kid Friendly, Main Dish, Paleo, Recipes

PB CUP / FUDGE RECIPE – Healthy Halloween Candy

Healthy Peanut Butter Chocolate Pumpkin PB 4

I teamed-up with in an attempt to make Halloween less scary for your waistline. has been working hard on their Healthy Snack Page and I am happy to help spread the word.

Of course when you think of you think of nuts.  One of the world’s best flavor combos in my opinion is PB and C.  Who doesn’t love peanut butter and chocolate (other than my very own daughter…what???).

I set off on a quest to make a healthier peanut butter cup / peanut butter fudge and the results taste amazing if I do say so myself.  My son offered to eat all of them (such a kind boy).  What’s even more awesome is how quickly these come together.

It’s up to you whether or not you add chocolate.  These cups / fudge taste great either way.


40g dark chocolate

2Tbs (28g) raw cacao butter

1/4c (64g) peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)

1/4c (24g) peanut butter powder

1/2 dropperful Liquid Sweetleaf Stevia (English Toffee flavor is my favorite)


If using the chocolate, place 4 grams of chocolate into each of the 10 candy molds (I used THIS one).  Microwave in 15 second increments to melt (you have to be REALLY careful not to burn the chocolate in the microwave).  Once sufficiently melted, spread the chocolate and place the mold into the freezer.

In a double boiler melt the cacao butter, chocolate, and peanut butter powder stirring constantly with a whisk.

Once melted, remove the molds from the freezer and divide the peanut butter mixture evenly between the 10 candy molds.

Place the candies in the fridge to set-up.  Store uneaten candies (if there are any) in the fridge or freezer.

Nutrition Information:

Per Candy (Chocolate & PB) – 82 cal / 2.7C / 3P / 6.8F

Per Candy (Just PB Mixture) – 75 cal / 1.8C / 2.8P / 6.3F

Healthy Peanut Butter Chocolate Pumpkin PB 5

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Filed under Candy / Fudge, Dessert, Gluten Free, Holiday, Kid Friendly, Nuts, Quick, Recipe Redux, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

My Favorite Gluten-Free Lower Carb Waffle Recipe

Balanced Grettie Lower Carb Gluten Free Waffle with Syrup BITE

This is my go-to waffle recipe.  It has taken me a while to perfect, but I know it’s good when the rest of my family actually likes them and tries to steal bites when I make one for myself.  Let’s face it, I like a lot of foods that the general public probably wouldn’t be into…this is a recipe the general public will be into.

I like this recipe as either a HUGE Belgian waffle or pancakes.  The only difference between making these into waffles or pancakes will be the batter consistency (aka how much water you add).  Waffle batter tends to be thicker and pancake batter thinner (it is basically personal preference).

I like to eat the whole recipe myself, but you can easily split it in half or eat as much as your macros allow.  I also like to top my waffle with strawberries, but again that is personal preference.

If you don’t want to use syrup you can add a little stevia to the batter.

Balanced Grettie Lower Carb Waffle Ingredients


40 grams Krusteaz gluten -free buttermilk pancake mix

1 Tbs coconut flour (pack it into the Tbs vs. the scoop and scrape method)

2 Tbs Fufu (Plantain Flour)

6 Tbs organic egg whites

Water (amount varies)


Preheat your waffle maker or a pan on medium heat if making pancakes.

Place the pancake mix, coconut flour, and fufu flour into a mixing bowl.  Add the egg whites and a little water to start (2-3Tbs).  Mix.

The coconut flour will absorb a lot of water, so add water a little at a time until it reaches the right consistency.  It seems like the amount of water I use is different every time, so play around with it.  You can also add some more egg whites if you have more protein macros to use-up.  I have used as little as 4Tbs and as much as 8Tbs with great results.

Spray coconut oil onto the waffle maker or pan.

Cook as you would any regular waffle or pancake.

Here is the macro breakdown for the recipe as written:

Balanced Grettie Lower Carb Waffle Macros IIFYM


Balanced Grettie Lower Carb Gluten Free Waffle with Syrup

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Filed under Breads / Crackers / Muffins, Breakfast, Cake, Dessert, Family Recipe Make-Over, Gluten Free, Kid Friendly, Quick, Recipe Redux, Recipes

High Protein Taco Trick

High Protein Taco Trick

I thought I’d share a quick trick with you that will help you get more protein in your diet.

The one glaring consistency I see among my clients is that prior to working with me they drastically under-eat protein.  Most of my clients struggle at first to find ways to add protein to their diets and this is one solution I use frequently in my own meals.

Egg whites are an amazing source of protein and they make an appearance on my table daily in one form or another.

To make the high protein taco base, I spray some olive oil (a tiny bit) into a pan, add in my measured egg whites (I used 1/3c per taco today), season with salt, top with a corn tortilla (I like the Don Pancho corn tortillas…only 10g carbs per tortilla), top with a cover and cook until no longer liquid, then flip and cook for another 30 seconds or so.

I love this method because it keeps the egg and tortilla together vs. trying to add scrambled egg whites to a taco which just ends-up getting messy and falling apart.

Today I had three tacos for lunch.  The egg whites and corn tortilla usually form the base of my taco because it is filling and nutritious…the toppings change and vary between:

  • grilled chicken
  • pulled pork (my husband makes the most amazing pulled pork!)
  • shrimp*
  • white fish
  • salmon
  • steak

*I have been buying shrimp pre-cooked from Costco and pre-portioning it into 3oz. bags to keep in the freezer for quick meals

You can pretty much guarantee that I will usually add:

  • Good Foods guacamole (the singles from Costco are a favorite)
  • Tapatillo
  • shredded cabbage (for further bulk)

What are your favorite tricks for getting your daily protein in???


Filed under Gluten Free, Kid Friendly, Main Dish, Protein, Quick, Quick Tips, Recipes


With chicken thighs in the fridge and a hankering for coconut curry, I set off on a web search for a recipe that I could put together before lunch and have ready for us to eat when we cruise on in after saxophone lessons around 6:30pm.  I came across this recipe on the blog, Sweet Treats and More.

Mondays are our CRAZY BUSY days and the slow cooker is my saving grace.

This recipe was an absolute winner! I served the curry with jasmine rice for those who wanted it and poured my portion of the curry over steamed veggies.  At the end of the meal all the slow cooker was left with was sauce.

The next time I make this recipe I will be doubling the amount of chicken which will leave us with enough food for two meals.  I love making a big pot of something and freezing half for dinner on another day.

I also used 1/2 tsp. chili flakes vs. the 1 tsp the recipe called for since my youngest is not a fan of spice.  I then put more chili flakes on the table for those who wanted more heat.

It would be great to add some sweet potato or Yukon golds to the recipe as well.

Click HERE for the recipe.

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Filed under Crock Pot, Gluten Free, Kid Friendly, Main Dish, Recipes


Elana's Pantry Egg-Free Paleo Macaroonsphoto provided courtesy of


Summer is here for my kids…yay!!!  School just got out and I couldn’t be happier.  I just made these Egg-Free Paleo Macaroons and they are in the oven as I type.  The macaroons came together insanely fast and I already had all of the ingredients in my pantry.  If the batter is any indication, these are going to be amazing.


Egg-Free Paleo Macaroons

Recipe provided courtesy of Elana’s Pantry

  1. In a food processor, combine shredded coconut and coconut flour
  2. Pulse in salt, coconut oil, honey, and vanilla
  3. Dough will form a ball
  4. Scoop batter 1 level tablespoon at a time onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet
  5. Bake at 350° for 7 minutes
  6. Cool and serve

Makes 12 macaroons


For a printable version of this recipe click HERE.


Filed under Cookies / Bars, Dessert, Gluten Free, Kid Friendly, Quick, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

THE BEST DARN CORNBREAD MUFFINS – GFree, Refined Sugar-Free, Fat-Free

Best Darn Cornbread Muffins (18) CROPPED

I really like cornbread.  There is just something about ending a cold day with a bowl of hot stew, chili, or soup and a side of cornbread.

When I was really young that meant opening a box of Jiffy corn muffin mix and as I got older my family transitioned to Marie Callender’s cornbread mix.  Let’s just say that Marie set the bar pretty stinkin’ high…that stuff is gooood!!!

When we found out that my daughter needed to go gluten-free I began purchasing pre-packaged gluten-free cornbread mixes and I have to say that I have just been tolerating them.  In my opinion I have yet to come across one that is good.  The mixes I have purchased through the years tend to be bland and DRY.

I finally decided to tackle the gluten-free cornbread monster and came-up with a recipe that I am really happy with.  The muffins taste like corn and honey and they are nice and moist.  To top it off there is no refined sugar and these moist muffins have NO OIL!!!

Problem solved.


Best Darn Vegan Gluten-Free Cornbread Muffin COLLAGE 2

INGREDIENTS – Makes 12 muffins

1 cup finely ground cornmeal
3/4 cup gluten-free flour mix (I used King Arthur)
1/2 cup blanched almond flour
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup applesauce
1 cup creamed corn (8.5 oz. can…make sure it is dairy-free)
8.75 oz. can whole kernel corn (no salt added), drained (chop finely if desired)
2-4 Tbs honey (I prefer 2 Tbs) (to make vegan, use maple syrup or agave)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (I used convection bake).

Combine the cornmeal, flours, xanthan gum, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl.  Whisk to combine.

In a separate bowl combine the applesauce, creamed corn and honey.  Whisk together until fully incorporated.

Add the wet to the dry ingredients and mix well with a spoon until fully mixed.

Chop up the whole kernel corn until it is the size you prefer for your muffins.  Fold the corn kernels into the batter.

Line your muffin tins (grease lightly with coconut oil spray) and fill each muffin 2/3 full with batter.

Bake for 14-18 minutes (rotating half-way through) until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean.  Allow to cool completely. *

These muffins taste great straight out of the refrigerator.

.Best Darn Cornbread Muffins (26)

*Remember that homemade gluten-free baked goods taste best once they have cooled completely.  Straight out of the oven they tend to be gummy.

For a printable recipe click HERE.


Filed under Breads / Crackers / Muffins, Cake, Dessert, Gluten Free, Grains, Kid Friendly, Recipes, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetarian


homemade vegan peanut butter cups collage

Now that we are into the holiday season I do make a few more treats than normal (though I do feel the need to admit that I generally do not eat many of them).

People tend to think that making candy is complicated…it doesn’t have to be.  Last year the kids and I make homemade peanut butter cups.  These peanut butter cups were made with only three ingredients:

  1. Freshly ground peanut butter
  2. Chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life chips)
  3. Coconut oil

Melt the bag of chocolate chips over a double boiler along with 1-2 tsp. of oil.

Once melted, pour a small layer into mini cupcake liners and place it in the fridge for approximately 10 minutes.  Place the melted chocolate over the double boiler to ensure that it remains melted.

Top the hardened chocolate with some peanut butter and try to keep it in the center allowing a rim of chocolate to remain around it (this will allow the next layer of chocolate to completely cover the peanut butter).

Cover the peanut butter with another layer of chocolate and place in the refrigerator to harden.


This year I used the same method to make chocolate covered pretzels (gluten-free) and peanuts.  My daughter and I broke small pretzel sticks in half and mixed them with the melted chocolate.  We then placed spoonfuls of the chocolate covered pretzels on waxed paper to cool and harden…little chocolate bird’s nests.  We had some left over at the end with a little too much chocolate, so we mixed in some peanuts and made spoonfuls of that.  They have been a total hit with my family!


Filed under Candy / Fudge, Dessert, Gluten Free, Holidays, Kid Friendly, Quick, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian


I am in the thick of preparing gifts for the coaches and teachers in my children’s lives and I thought I would share with you what we are gifting food-wise this year.

My daughter wanted to gift her teachers with some body butters, and my son will be giving some of his middle school teachers gift certificates, but we will be giving the coaches in our lives the “healthier” caramel popcorn that I made one month as my Secret Recipe Club assignment.

The original version was loaded with butter and sugar, so I rolled-up my sleeves and did my best to remake the recipe. My family loves the recipe I came-up with and while it is definitely a treat, it is much healthier than the traditional version.

I just air popped the popcorn and will be making it into caramel popcorn tomorrow.  This recipe is SO EASY.  I have made caramel popcorn before where you have to stir and stir and stir and with this recipe you shake it all up in a big brown paper bag…it couldn’t be more simple.

Click HERE for the recipe or HERE for the original post with detailed pictures.


Filed under Dessert, Gifts, Gluten Free, Holiday, Holidays, Kid Friendly, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian