Friday Foodspiration: Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Bars

My kids are starving after school (I promise I send them a lunch and snack). . . any body else have ravenous kids?

But I am not interested in throwing sugar laden packaged snacks at them when I still need them to have some self control and concentration to get through homework and practicing their instruments.

I understand we don’t always have time to cook make fun snacks and there are healthy options that are grab and go. However, if you have older grade school kids they can make these on the weekend -its an easy measure and stir recipe. They can package them in baggies for the week. They even freeze well if you want to double the recipe.

These treats are loaded with protein, fiber, and healthy fats to keep you full and fueled. What they don’t have? Gluten, dairy, inflammatory oils, or added sugar.

Perfect for kids as a quick and healthy after school snack or post workout refuel!

Friday Foodspiration: Lobster {and Crab Lettuce} Roll

I generally reserve lobster and crab for special occasions at a fancy restaurant, but the health benefits are convincing me its time to make it a more regular thing. Yes, there is an expense, but when I find a sale at a local market I take advantage.

Why do I love these shellfish (other than the fact that I’m a Maryland girl that would add crab to just about anything)?

The red coloration in these crustaceans come from the significant amount of astaxanthin they contain. This is a phytonutrient with big antioxidant benefits. We are talking stabilizing blood sugar, improving liver health, and protecting the skin against UV damage.

Let’s also add that shellfish are also an excellent source of protein, B vitamins, and omega 3’s fatty acids. So scour those grocery circulars for a shellfish sale!

This is roll could be make with just lobster, just crab, or both. Even shrimp would be a fine substitution if that’s what you can get your hands on. Modifications have been made from a traditional lobster roll to be lower in fat and carbohydrates in order to meet the dietary requirements of just about anyone (unless of course you have a shellfish allergy).

Friday Foodspiration: Key Lime Bars

Key Lime Bars

I’ve never been a big key lime pie fan – meringue pies just aren’t my thing. But, what I do love is a slightly tart and cool dessert in the summertime.  

This rich crumbly (gluten, grain, and dairy free) crust is just sweet enough to cut the tartness of the key lime in the filling. 

Friday Foodspiration: Apple Pie Oat Bars

I ‘m having so much fun preparing no-bake, freezer, and oven baked treats in my new Pampered Chef silicone snack bar mold. It has been perfect for meal prep and makes the process so much simpler (and fun for the kids).

No need to remove the bars from the pan and slice them into even pieces (no more “his piece is bigger than mine”). Just take them out of the oven, let them cool, pop them out and store for snacks all week long. Or you can even leave them in the pan because it comes with a lid.

You absolutely could make this recipe in a 8×8 baking dish but you may have to leave it in the oven a few minutes longer in order for the center to be set. No raw eggs in this recipe so you don’t really have to even worry about it being cooked through, but you do want a soft chewy texture.

For this recipe, my goal was an after dinner treat for the kids and a great way to prepare the body for a good nights sleep. A mixture of quick (applesauce) and slow (oats) carbs allow the body to maintain a stable blood sugar and support the production of melatonin. The addition of collagen supports the body’s job to clean up and repair while we sleep.

And of course none of the stuff like gluten, dairy, trans fat, or added sugar that we would normally expect from a piece of pie after dinner.

Friday Foodspiration: Cilantro Chicken Pasta Salad

What do you bring to the cookout when you are gluten, grain, dairy free, or even low FODMAP?

This cilantro chicken pasta salad uses fresh, whole food ingredients. You get protein from the chicken and pasta, and oh so healthy cilantro. I like using chickpea or lentil pasta because it is higher in protein and fiber than other gluten free pastas. Be sure that the only ingredient is chickpeas and lentils (maybe water or sea salt).

Feel free to throw in any additional raw veggies that you might have on hand to up the nutritional value.