Kids

So I bought myself an Instant Pot for Christmas during the Black Friday sales... I even wrapped it, put it under the tree and acted surprised on Christmas morning.

And while I was genuinely excited to get one, I had no idea any kitchen gadget could be this AMAZING ..... I mean, I'm in ❤️. I've cooked several meals in it now and it's consistently 30 minutes from prep to table. And it creates flavor depth that usually takes all day to develop.

But I'll admit, I was a little nervous about any take on a pressure cooker. I've seen scary internet videos of pressure cookers gone wrong. But now that I've got the hang of the seal/vent valve.... I'm feeling pretty confident I won't blow my face off.

So tonight I made vegetarian Cheesy Southwestern Lentils & Brown Rice from Platings and Pairings. Her recipe is easy, fast and delicious. I love the spices and the crunch of the brown rice and that all of my boys ate it happily. Even my picky 6 year old made a point to give me a hug and say, "Thank you for making a good dinner" ..... I'm going to take that as a compliment for tonight's dinner and not as a knock against my other dinner offerings..... 

I also served it with homemade guacamole and Louisiana's Hola Nola tortilla chips. And if you want to amp up your Louisiana-local game, grab Camellia Brand lentils, Cajun Boy brown rice and Hola Nola taco seasoning

Next up: steel cut oats on delay start to be ready when I roll out of bed at the last minute.

gray_la_heartTHIBODAUX

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My 11 year old is into all the sports... And I've gotten really tired of fueling him with prepackaged sports bars with preservatives and so. much. sugar.

Also, I've tried a few commercial brands and flavors and I really don't think they taste good either...kinda chemically. So, together, we've looked for some easy and portable protein snacks that actually taste good... and are made with whole foods.

The only thing they aren’t is prepackaged, which makes them a little less pack and go. But to that, I say plastic baggie.

The first protein ball, peanut butter oat balls, is the easiest. Four ingredients and only dirties 1 bowl and 1 spoon... the first time I made them I did pull out my scale and measured the ingredients, but now, I just eyeball it. Dump and mix. Since it's so forgiving, this is a great one to have the kids make for themselves. 

Peanut Butter Oat Balls
Yields 6
Each ball has 4.5 grams protein
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup rolled oats
  2. 1/3 cup natural peanut butter (or any nut or seed butter)
  3. 1 tablespoon raw honey
  4. 1 tablespoon+ dark chocolate chips (optional)
  5. pinch of sea salt
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in bowl and mix well
  2. Refrigerate for 30 minutes
  3. Roll into balls
Finding Fresh http://finding-fresh.com/wordpress/
The second protein ball, a peanut butter brownie ball from Fit Foodie Finds, requires a few more ingredients (6), but is still a super easy food processor recipe.

And these can be frozen for up to 2 months, which I love since the school year can get a little crazy and I like to be able to make things ahead of time. So check out her awesome recipe with videos and commentary on her blog.... or here's a duplicate of her recipe for convenience.

Peanut Butter Brownie Balls
Yields 34
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups raw almonds
  2. 20 medjool dates, pitted
  3. 1/4 cups + 2 tablespoons cocoa powder (I like dark cocoa powder)
  4. 1/2 cup all-natural peanut butter
  5. 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  6. 1/3 teaspoon sea salt
Instructions
  1. Place almonds into a food processor and process on high until you’ve created a fine almond meal.
  2. Next, pit 20 medjool dates. Then, add those into the food processor along with the cocoa powder, peanut butter, maple syrup, and sea salt. Process on high until everything is pulverized. You may need to add a few teaspoons of water to the mixture depending on how sticky your dates are.
  3. Scoop a heaping tablespoon of dough into your hands and roll into a ball. Repeat.
Notes
  1. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Finding Fresh http://finding-fresh.com/wordpress/
And these are totally not just for kids. It's a great quick bite for me in a busy day or before working out too. And whenever I'm craving something sweet... these satisfy my mind and body. Something to feel good about. 😊

gray_la_heartTHIBODAUX

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