Three Ingredient Banana Smoothie

Looking for a super easy breakfast or snack recipe idea?  This Three Ingredient Banana Smoothie recipe is effortless. We have been making a lot of smoothies lately, and this one is the simplest. This recipe is quick and easy with very little cleanup. It is also great for kids and adults, gluten free and is only 3 ingredients.

If you want to increase the protein in this recipe add 1 (6 ounce) container of nonfat plain Greek yogurt and/or your favorite protein powder. My favorite plain nonfat Greek yogurt brands are the Fage and Trader Joes. With this addition, I add an extra teaspoon of honey. Also, I add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of ground flaxseeds to this recipe. You can’t taste it and adding it increases the fiber and antioxidants.

Even though you don’t always see bananas on superfood lists, I definitely consider it to be one. Bananas contain fiber and antioxidants (such as including dopamine and catechins), potassium, Vitamin C and folate. There are also studies that state that bananas can reduce bloat, fight cancer, help with digestive issues and increase energy. One banana provides nearly 500 milligrams of potassium, giving athletes a quick dose of this very essential mineral.

Chocolate-Coconut and Toffee Bars

Need a great dessert or sweet snack to feed a crowd? A friend of mine passed me a version of a recipe which I tweaked to create these Chocolate-Coconut Toffee Bars. These remind me of  a cross between S’mores and Hello Dolly bars, but these are a little less fattening.  I used low-fat graham crackers as the base with a toffee layer topped with coconut, pecans and dark chocolate. They are so easy to make, and the kids loved them (especially for a study break snack).

Panko-Crusted Fish Sticks with Edamame Salsa

On a busy school night or jam-packed weekend, these Panko-Crusted Fish Sticks are a snap to prepare and one of my kids’ favorites! They taste and look so fantastic – no one will ever know they are oven-fried. And with only 390 calories and 10 grams of fat, I feel good about serving this recipe to the kids and their friends. Whether you pair them with this Edamame Salsa or chop them up for a salad, they are perfect for football parties, picnics and casual dinners! On top of it all, what I really love is that the exact measurements can be used to make fish “cakes” as well.

I developed these crunchy fish sticks as part of the CanolaInfo “Home is Where the Heart is” Recipe Collection for World Heart Day 2011 (Sept. 29). This observance encourages families to take their health into their own hands starting at home with diet and exercise. To learn more about World Heart Day or to view the complete recipe collection, visit CanolaInfo.org. Lastly, be sure to check out CanolaInfo’s new interactive Facebook game, which features my recipes!

Simple Summery Peach Pie

Living in Alabama does have its perks, especially living near easy access to fresh Chilton County Peaches. I have been visiting Durbin Farms since I was a child, and they still have the most unbelievable peaches. These peaches (below) were bigger than a softball, sweet, juicy and bursting with fresh peach flavor. A friend of mine passed me this recipe for Simple Peach Pie, and it really can’t get much easier than this. It’s fast with very few ingredients, and it was gone before I could turn around. When you have peaches this sweet, you don’t even need vanilla ice cream on the side, but it is a good addition :).

Kid Approved: Balsamic Penne Pasta Salad

IMG_3501

My daughter, Leigh, begged me to make penne pasta salad that she saw a friend bring to school. She called to find out what was in it, and she made up this recipe herself for Balsamic Pasta Salad. This recipe is a breeze, and the kids absolutely loved it. Feel free to add chicken or turkey and top with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese.

IMG_3506

Kid and Adult-Friendly: Easy Pizza Quesadillas

img_1752

It’s my oldest son, Alec’s, birthday this weekend so I thought I would feature a recipe that he actually made up himself. It’s Pizza Quesadillas, and for those of you who have kids, take note. My kids actually make these by themselves with little help (except turning on and off the stove) so when you’re in a pinch on what to have for dinner, give these quesadillas a try.

img_1722