Sweet Winter Kale Power Salad

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I have been making this yummy salad for lunch and I love it! Instead of beans, I also use rotisserie chicken breast. This salad is filling and hearty just like a salad should be. I love this because it is so clean, healthy, and every bite is packed with anti-oxidants. You can add your favorite salad toppers to this so there is no wrong way to make this. I also add feta or blue cheese to this occasionally for even more of a perfect salad!

Ingredients:
1 package of cut kale; pre-washed, ribs removed (about 5 cups)
2 tsp + 1 tsp olive oil
1 lemon
1/4 cup raisins
1 shallot; finely chopped
1/4 of your favorite nut mix (I used pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, and walnuts)
1 can of kidney beans
1 can of corn; drained
1 cucumber; peeled, seeds removed, and chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Steps:
1. Place kale in a large bowl. Squeeze the juice of one lemon and add 2 tsp of olive oil. Massage kale )with your hands)  with olive oil and lemon until it feels tender. This is extremely important because it softens the kale so it is easier to eat. The color of the kale will also turn bright green and look very fresh. Continue to massage for about 3-5 minutes.

2. Bring a frying pan to medium heat. Add 1 tsp of olive oil and shallots. Sauté for 2 minutes and then add raisins. Sauté for another 2 minutes until shallots look cooked and raisins look plump. Pour mixture over kale and stir until combined.

3. Add your favorite nut mixture, beans, corn, cucumbers, cranberries, and season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

****Another great alternative for a salad topper instead of beans, is rotisserie chicken.
*****This is great for make-ahead lunches, the longer the kale sits; the better!
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Spinach and Swiss Cheese Breakfast Bowl

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I love a good hearty breakfast to get me through the day. And you know what they say, breakfast is the most important meal of the day so why not make it delicious and healthy!? This breakfast bowl is filled and layered with wilted spinach, scrambled eggs, melted swiss cheese, and salsa. I also love sliced avocado in it too..You can add your favorite breakfast toppings to this! Stay tuned for more hearty breakfast bowls coming soon! 🙂

Ingredients:
My scrambled eggs recipe
2 cups fresh spinach
1/2 tsp olive oil
1 slice of swiss cheese
1 Tbsp salsa
Avocado (optional)

Steps:
1. Sauté spinach: In a sauté pan on medium heat add a drop of olive oil and then add the spinach. It’s ok to pile it up as it will wilt quickly. It may not all fit in at first. Using a tongs, gently toss and turn the spinach so all of the unwilted leaves make contact with the bottom of the pan. Continue to do so for a few minutes until spinach is cooked down slightly.

2. In a bowl, add spinach to bottom of bowl, then top with a generous scoop of scrambled eggs, swiss cheese, and salsa.

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Banana Nut Bread Oatmeal

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Love banana nut bread? Try this healthy spin on an oatmeal!

Yield: 1-2 (depends on how hungry you are!)

Ingredients:
1 cup milk or almond milk (unsweetened, vanilla flavored)
1/2 cup oats
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp roasted walnuts
1 banana

Steps:
1. In a medium saucepan, add milk, oats, vanilla, cinnamon, brown sugar, and honey. Let simmer and stir constantly on medium heat for about 7 minutes. Then add in 1 tsp of walnuts and half of banana (you can slice or chop it). Continue stiring for another minute or 2 until oatmeal thickens. Top with rest of walnuts, sliced banana, drizzle of honey, and a dash of cinnamon. Done! Healthy and tastes just like banana nut bread!

Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

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Cupcakes are my favorite dessert to bake because you can come up with so many different ideas–they are completely endless! So… thanks to Betty Crocker, I got the idea to bake hot chocolate cupcakes plus its the perfect season for it.. I also finally came up with a great frosting that is fluffy and won’t drip or lose its form. They are so cute you won’t want to bite into them!

Yield: 24

Ingredients:
1 box of Betty Crocker’s French Vanilla cake mix
3 packets of Swiss Miss hot chocolate
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 whole eggs
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup mini marshmallows
Red straws cut in thirds (I bought mine at Target)

Fluffy Whipped Cream Frosting:
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
4-5 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter; room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract

Steps:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix in all ingredients with a mixer until combined. With a spoon or large ice cream scoop, scoop out batter and put into lined cupcake tins. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

2. Time for the frosting! In a mixing bowl, add whipping cream, and slowly add in powdered sugar 1 cup at a time. (Otherwise, you will have a disaster and a mess!) Add in butter and vanilla and mix for 3 minutes or until peaks start to form. Frosting can sometimes be tricky to make so if you feel that the mixture is too thick or too thin, don’t be afraid to add more sugar or cream.

3. Once cupcakes are cooled, place frosting in pipping bag with a french tip and swirl about 1 1/2 Tbsp of frosting per cupcake, or until cupcake is covered. Sprinkle chocolate chips and add 3 mini marshmallows on top. I think these toppings give it the ultimate “hot chocolate” look!

*I recommend frosting 5 cupcakes at a time and then adding the toppings because the frosting will get hard fast!

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