Rainbow Taco Salad

Rainbow Taco Salad

July is National Black Bean Month.


Do you ever feel like you are in the Chopped Kitchen?  This salad came from such an experience.  After opening the cupboard below the sink, I realized that my sweet potatoes had to be used ASAP.  However, I desperately wanted a salad.


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Butterscotch Peanut Butter Brownies

Butterscotch Peanut Butter Brownies

July is National Black Bean Month!


Last week I warned you that this recipe includes a weird ingredient, but there are just some risks you have to take when celebrating National Black Bean Month.

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Peanut Butter and Jelly Baked Oatmeal Bars

Peanut Butter and Jelly Baked Oatmeal Bars


Is there a more classic combination in the USA than peanut butter and jelly?  Our children are raised on the sweet sandwich from an early age, and we have translated those flavors to many other treats.

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Coconut Straw-nana Chia Pudding

Coconut Straw-nana Chia Pudding

May is National Strawberry Month


Here’s a little known fact about me (or maybe it is a well-known fact):  I love Veggie Tales.  I grew up on regular doses Esther, Jonah, and King George and the Rubber Ducky (on VHS of course).  I had the Madame Blueberry card game.  I often fell asleep while listening to the audio cassette tape of Daniel.  As time passed, my family had DVDs of Wizard of Ha’s, Lord of the Beans, and Sumo of the Opera.  We knew every lyric to every song on Veggie Rocks.  We even met Bob and Larry!

This day was the highlight of my childhood…okay, not really…but it was a great day!

To this day, I regularly quote Veggie Tales.  This is one of the scenes I have perfected:


You can’t eat strawberries without bananas!

So if we are celebrating National Strawberry Month, we need to have some bananas, too!


This chia pudding incorporates strawberries, bananas, and Coconut Macaroon Nut Butter!


If you have never made chia pudding, there is something you need to know.  The chia seeds absorb a lot of the liquid, making the pudding thicker as it sets.  When you make this pudding at night and let it sit until morning, you will get a thick, creamy pudding.  If you don’t wait, you will basically be drinking milk with raw chia seeds.


But trust me, this is worth the wait!



  • One overripe banana
  • One 5.3-oz container of coconut-flavored Greek yogurt
  • Four tablespoons coconut macaroon nut butter
  • One cup of milk (any milk will work.  I used 2%, but I am sure this would be amazing with coconut milk)
  • Eight or more strawberries
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • Extra banana slices and strawberries for topping


  • Using a fork, mash the banana and mix it with the Greek yogurt.  Try to make this mixture as smooth as possible.   Stir in nut butter and milk.  You may have to stir for several minutes to incorporate everything.  Alternately, you could use a blender.
  • Dice at least eight strawberries and stir them into the mixture.
  • Add chia seeds and mix until everything is well-combined.
  • Cover and refrigerate at least two hours, preferably overnight.
  • Top with additional strawberries and banana slices, if desired.
  • Eat and enjoy!


P.S. – I am linking up with Angie and her cohost, Antonia @ Zoale.com, for Fiesta Friday.

Best Lazy Tamales

Best Lazy Tamales

In my mom’s hometown, there is a food stand called The Tamale King.  The owner, Ray, makes the BEST tamales in the United States.

Ray's Tamale King

I am not even going to pretend that my skillet tamales compare to Ray’s real tamales.  These are the lazy version; you don’t have to…

  • Shred the meat
  • Make masa
  •  Soak corn husks
  • Assemble individuals tamales


You just need a skillet and about 30 minutes to cook this delicious dinner.



  • 1 pound ground beef or turkey
  • 1 bell pepper (any color will work; I used yellow)
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 cups salsa
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2/3 cup frozen corn
  • 6 corn tortillas
  • 4 oz. shredded cheese


  • Chop the pepper.  Cook the pepper and the meat in a skillet over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until meat is cooked through and no longer pink. Drain.
  • Return meat to skillet with cumin, chili powder, salsa, water, and corn.  Bring to a boil.
  • Cut tortillas in half and then into 1-inch strips.  Add the tortillas strips to the skillet.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 8 minutes.
  • Top with cheese before serving.


P.S. I am linking up with Angie for Fiesta Friday.

Rocky Road Oatmeal

Rocky Road Oatmeal

This month would be wasted if I did not include at least one recipe for oatmeal in its truest form, cooked on the stove and served warm in a bowl.


But you better believe that this is NOT a recipe for brown goop!


On the contrary, I serve to you a warm winter version of rocky road ice cream.  Rich chocolate, gooey marshmallows, and smooth almonds meld together and form a decadent, protein-rich breakfast.  Rather than inducing brain-freeze, this steaming bowl of chocolate will thaw your heart.


Grab a spoon and dig in!



  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1 tbs cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tbs vanilla protein powder OR 1/2 tbs sweetener (honey, sugar, stevia, etc.) plus 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • small handful marshmallows
  • sliced almonds or other nut of choice (as much as you would like)


  • In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil.
  • Stir in oatmeal and return to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium, and cook 2 minutes.  Add cocoa powder and protein powder (or sweetener and vanilla).  Cook 3-5 minutes (until oatmeal is desired consistency).
  • Turn off the burner, and stir in the marshmallows and almonds.
  • Transfer to a bowl, and let cool for a few minutes (you don’t want to burn your tongue!).
  • Eat and enjoy!


I am linking up with Angie for Fiesta Friday!

Cranberry-Banana Gingerbread (with Blind Spot Nutbutters)

Cranberry-Banana Gingerbread (with Blind Spot Nutbutters)

December is national fruitcake month.


Depending completely on your personal opinion, my childhood was either blessed or deprived.  Why? Because, to my knowledge, I never tasted fruitcake.


This fact doesn’t disappoint me.  Cursory research says that fruitcake was originally created to last for a full 365 days.  A baked good that lasts more than a month is a little freaky.  What do they put in that stuff?


So here is my version of a fruitcake with bananas, cranberries, oatmeal, and (of course) nut butter.  I figure that any loaf with fruit in it can be called “fruitcake,” right?


Unlike real fruitcake, this bread will only last for about a week in the fridge (if you manage not to eat the whole loaf at once).


Makes 1 loaf, about 10 slices


  • 3 overripe bananas
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups oatmeal
  • 1.2 oz (about 3.5 tablespoons) Gingerbread Cookie Blended Nut Butter
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries, chopped


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 8X4 inch bread pan with nonstick spray.
  • In a blender, combine bananas, egg, oatmeal, nut butter, and baking soda.  Blend until smooth.
  • Stir in spices.
  • Fold in chopped cranberries.
  • Pour into greased baking pan. Top with sliced bananas, if desired.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  • Let cool completely.
  • Slice and top with anything you would like! Butter, jam, more nutbutter, etc.
  • Eat and enjoy!