Author Archives: Rachel (littlechefbigappetite)

My Bachelorette Party in Nashville!

This past weekend I celebrated my bachelorette party in Nashville, TN!

This post would be amiss without saying how appreciative I am of my best friends who were able to travel all the way to Nashville to celebrate with me. They made the weekend incredibly special. It took me nearly all week to finish this blog post because I have SO much I want to say and share about our time in Nashville, but I know you guys don’t want to read a 100-page book!

When researching potential cities for my bachelorette, I was drawn to Nashville because it seemed like a convenient meeting point for my friends who were flying in from all over the country. And after just a quick google search of Nashville bachelorette ideas, I realized that there was so much to do and see in the city, including fantastic restaurants, bars with live music, and wine tasting. Most of my friends had never been to Nashville before, which just made the destination all the more exciting.

 

Thursday

Most of our group flew into Nashville by early evening on Thursday, and arrived at the Airbnb we rented by 6PM. By the time I got to the house, my sister-in-law, Morgan, and college friend Emily had already set everything up and picked up lots of delicious snacks for the weekend.

Morgan also put together these adorable goody bags for all of the girls.

Inside the bags were: matching grey tank tops that said “Rachelorette in Nashville”, pink sunglasses with each girl’s name on the stem, a bottle of gatorade (a bachelorette necessity), and an itinerary for the weekend.

Once everyone arrived, we popped a couple bottles of prosecco to enjoy while the girls got to know each other. My best friends are from all different points of my life: high school sports, college, my sorority, summer camp, etc., so for many of the girls this was their first time meeting. It felt very special to have so many of my favorite people in one room together!

We decided to keep it low key that night, and for dinner we picked up take-out from Hattie B’s Hot Chicken and Coco’s Italian Market. It was also my friend Kelly’s birthday (THANK YOU Kel for flying to Nashville on YOUR birthday!), so we celebrated with a variety of cupcakes from Gigi’s Cupcakes. If you’re an icing person, you’d LOVE Gigi’s Cupcakes because there was a TON of icing!

Pretty soon after dinner we decided to call it a night (it was already midnight) and headed to bed so we would feel rested for the next day.

 

Friday

On Friday morning my friends Liz and Rebecca led us through a quick 15 minute workout in the backyard of our Airbnb. Just by looking at us, you would have thought we worked out for 90+ minutes because we were DRENCHED thanks to the humidity and 90 degree heat that morning! I am not used to that kind of humidity, but it felt really good to get the day started with a quick and sweaty workout.

Afterwards, we quickly showered and got ready for brunch at Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant. Puckett’s was recommended to us by a couple of people and it lived up to the hype! We ordered pretty classic southern dishes, and I dove right a plate of chicken and waffles.

My Bachelorette Party in Nashville, Tennessee! -- www.littlechefbigappetite.com

After brunch we drove to Belle Meade Winery for wine tasting. The tasting was held in an old barn on the property and was led by sommelier, Debbie Van Pelt.

We sampled five different wines and paired them each with a piece of cheese, meat, or chocolate. Since Debbie didn’t have another group after us, she graciously went over our allotted time to talk to us about the wines and answer our (many!) questions. If you’re ever in Nashville and have the opportunity to go to a wine tasting led by Debbie, do it! She was very knowledgable and made the whole experience lots of fun.

After the wine tasting at Belle Meade we went back to the house and played a few games. Without me knowing, my friend Kelly coordinated a really cute game involving Travis. She sent Travis a list of questions and had him answer them over video. At the party, Kelly asked me the same questions and I had to guess what Travis’s answer was. Some of my answers were spot on, but others I guessed completely wrong, which resulted in a LOT of laughter. I guess even after 6+ years of dating you don’t always know what the other person is thinking!

After the games we got ready for dinner and hopped into Ubers for dinner at FLYTE restaurant.

Our dinner at FLYTE was incredible! We sat at a large table overlooking the kitchen, so we could see the chefs at work.

Because we were celebrating, the restaurant generously sent us a round of champagne and some delicious snacks for the table to kick off our meal.

We all ordered different entrées and each of us raved over the presentation and flavor of each dish. Kelly, who is extremely knowledgable about wine, put together some wine pairings for the table, which was awesome! FLYTE has an expansive wine list and two in-house wine directors, so they were also able to offer some fantastic recommendations.

Our meal at FLYTE was a true highlight of the weekend, and I want to give a BIG shoutout to our fantastic server Todd, manager Will, Chef Christopher, the rest of the FLYTE team for providing us with royal treatment that evening. If you’re in Nashville, RUN, don’t walk to FLYTE!

After a 3+ hour dinner (and basically shutting down the restaurant), we jumped in Ubers towards Music Row for some bar hopping. We popped into a few different places with live music and danced the night away. My phone stayed in my bag for the rest of the night, so I unfortunately don’t have any pictures to share, but we had a blast!

 

Saturday

Our late night on Friday resulted in a very slow Saturday morning. We had plans to drive around Nashville on a “party barge” at 11AM, but we woke up to a thunderstorm, so our tour was cancelled. It wasn’t the worst result in the world because most of us were exhausted from the night before and benefited from a couple additional hours of sleep.

Once everyone was up, we ate a late brunch at the house, and played some more games. We were supposed to wear our matching tank tops and sunglasses on the barge, so instead just wore them in the Airbnb that afternoon.

That night, we had an early dinner reservation at Urban Grub. I opted to share a couple of dishes with my friend Emily, which was definitely a good choice because the portions were big! We were seated at a large outdoor booth with a GIANT Lazy Susan in the middle. It made sharing appetizers among a large group and passing drinks around the table much easier. I want one in my future home!

After dinner most of us ended up at The Stage on Broadway and listened to The Matte Gray Band, who was FANTASTIC!! They performed a mix of current country hits and older classics, and the entire audience was singing along and dancing to every song. It was such a perfect way to end our weekend in Nashville!

Sunday

Most people had early morning flights on Sunday, so I set my alarm for 7AM to make sure I was able to say goodbye to all of my friends. I can’t wait to see them again in September at our wedding!

My flight wasn’t until 3PM, so my friend Liz and I swung by EIO and The Hive for a quick brunch before heading to the airport. It was recommended to us by my friend and Nashville native, Laura Lea from LL Balanced. A healthy meal was just what we needed after an indulgent weekend.

Luckily, my trip home went smoothly and I was back in my apartment in Los Angeles by 6:30PM. It felt so nice to be back home with Trav and Bessie!

If you’re planning a bachelor/bachelorette party (or just a weekend) in Nashville and have any questions, feel free to reach out! I am definitely not an expert, but I’m happy to share more information about our itinerary and what we loved.

Thank you again to my friends who traveled to Nashville to celebrate with me! I love you all so much!

Healthy Whole Wheat Banana Bread

Hey guys! Happy belated 4th of July! Hopefully you had Monday off and enjoyed an extra long weekend with family and friends. July is going to be a jam-packed, SUPER fun month for me. I am heading to Boston on Friday for some wedding-related appointments, and the following weekend is my bachelorette party in Nashville! I am SO excited!

Recently, I’ve been working on updating the photos for some of my old recipes. A couple of weeks ago I was remaking my healthy whole wheat banana bread, and I decided to not just update the photos, but also make a few tweaks to the recipe.

This Healthy Whole Wheat Banana Bread is delicious with your morning coffee or as a quick snack when you're on the go! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I couldn’t wait to share this updated recipe with you all because I think this one is even better (and healthier!) than before.

My previous recipe contained butter and milk, but since I try to avoid dairy these days, I decided to make this new banana bread dairy-free. For a vegan version, you can use an egg substitute (like a flax egg) and maple syrup instead of honey. It’s important to use really ripe bananas for this recipe because they provide a lot of natural sweetness to the bread, and that way you don’t have to add as much sugar.

This Healthy Whole Wheat Banana Bread is delicious with your morning coffee or as a quick snack when you're on the go! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Travis and I (okay, mostly me) gobbled up the whole loaf in only three days. So for a larger family, you may want to double the batter and make two loaves because this whole wheat banana bread is bound to go quickly!

This Healthy Whole Wheat Banana Bread is delicious with your morning coffee or as a quick snack when you're on the go! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I love it slathered with crunchy peanut butter, and it’s also delicious with a little drizzle of honey. Yum!

This Healthy Whole Wheat Banana Bread is delicious with your morning coffee or as a quick snack when you're on the go! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I hope you guys love this healthy banana bread as much as we do!

 

Healthy Whole Wheat Banana Bread
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 1 loaf
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup canola or avocado oil
  • ⅓ cup coconut sugar*
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 VERY RIPE mashed bananas (about 1.5 cups)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Lightly grease a 9” x 5” loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl beat the oil and coconut sugar until smooth. Add the vanilla, baking soda, salt, bananas and almond milk. Beat until well combined. Next, beat in the honey and eggs. Then add the flour. Stir until smooth.
  3. Spoon the batter into the greased loaf pan. Bake for 45 minutes and then lay a piece of aluminum foil across the top to prevent it from further browning. Bake for another 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  4. Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove it and place directly on a wire rack to cool completely.
Notes
* can substitute brown sugar, but recipe will not be refined sugar free.
 

This Healthy Whole Wheat Banana Bread is delicious with your morning coffee or as a quick snack when you're on the go! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Healthier Challah French Toast with Caramelized Bananas

I am a self-proclaimed carboholic, mainly due to my love of bread. As you guys should know by now, my healthy outlook is all about balance, and so even though I eat bread on a regular basis, I only eat healthy, whole-grain varieties.  Challah is my favorite bread of all time. When made correctly, challah is fluffy, light, and slightly sweet. In recent years, I’ve seen some grocery stores and bakeries start to sell whole wheat challah, and that’s exactly what I used in this Challah French Toast recipe.

Day-old bread is always best for challah french toast because it does a better job of soaking up the egg and milk mixture that you dip the slices in before cooking. Whole wheat challah and unrefined coconut sugar make this typically indulgent breakfast treat a little bit healthier than the traditional version.

The caramelized bananas add a key element of natural sweetness, so don’t skip this step!

Challah French Toast with Caramelized Bananas! Such a delicious weekend brunch recipe! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I’m sharing the full recipe for this Challah French Toast over on The Nosher today, so head over to their site to see it!

Challah French Toast with Caramelized Bananas! Such a delicious weekend brunch recipe! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Happy brunching!

 

What I’m Loving Lately – June 2017

Hey guys! Who’s ready for the weekend!? Hopefully you have fun plans on the agenda, whether it’s enjoying the sun or relaxing inside in front of Netflix. I think we’ll be doing a little bit of both!

Today I’m sharing my June edition of What I’m Loving Lately. In these posts I discuss five items from my daily life (not necessarily food related!) that I am loving lately.

Here we go!

Acai Roots Frozen Acai

You guys know that I am on a serious homemade Acai Bowl kick these days. In case you missed it, I shared my favorite acai bowl recipe in this post. I prefer to buy frozen acai that doesn’t have any extra sugars or additives, but you’d be surprised how hard it is to find! Even some brands that claim the product is pure acai include small amounts of soy lecithin, but since I recently found out I am intolerant to soy, I try to avoid it whenever I can. The one brand that I’ve been buying consistently and LOVE is Acai Roots. They sell pre-portioned frozen packages of pure acai with nothing else added. Honestly, once you blend it with frozen bananas and other fruits,  you really don’t miss the added sweeteners! I love eating real, whole foods as much as possible and this product fits the bill.

 

Lemonade Cookbook

If you live in Southern California, you’ve likely been to a Lemonade restaurant location. Lemonade is known for their delicious, healthy food that’s served in a “cafeteria” style. The salads, proteins, and braises are freshly prepared in advance and displayed behind clear class, similar to a school cafeteria. Only this food is MUCH healthier (and more attractive!) than your standard school cafeteria food.

My friend gifted me with the Lemonade cookbook over the holidays, and I’ve been cooking my way through it over the last few months. We particularly love their braises. They’re healthy, but taste so rich, and leftovers are always delicious throughout the week. If you’re looking for a new healthy cookbook with easy to follow recipes, look no further!

 

Kamikoto 7 inch Chef’s Knife

Kamikoto 7-Inch Santoku Chef's Knife

When chopping, mincing, or cutting anything in the kitchen, it’s crucial to have a good-quality SHARP knife. It may sound counter-intuitive, but it’s actually safer to cut with a sharp knife than it is a dull one. When using a dull kitchen knife, you put more pressure on it as you cut, making it more likely that the blade will slip and cut your hand.

The Kamikoto Japanese 7 inch Santoku knife is extremely sharp and easy to cut with. The handle is slim and coated with a non-slip surface, providing a very comfortable grip. This is now the only knife I use when I cook. If you’re interested, it looks like Kamikoto is running a BIG sale on this knife on their website right now!

 

Sizzlefish

A couple of months ago, Sizzlefish reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in trying their fish delivery service. After doing a bit of research, I immediately said yes. Sizzlefish ships individual portions of top-quality fish (mostly wild-caught) direct to consumer. The fish is flash-frozen and vacuum sealed within days of being caught, so once it’s defrosted it tastes just as fresh as non-frozen fish.

Frozen fish can get a bad reputation, but this fish is REALLY good. Travis and I regularly purchase a few different frozen wild-caught fish varieties from Whole Foods, and we both agree that the Sizzlefish fish tastes better! We had the Sizzlefish Atlantic Cod for dinner last night, and we couldn’t believe how juicy and flakey it was compared to some very rubbery cod we’ve had in the past. I also love that the Sizzlefish portions are individually packaged, so you can defrost just as much as you need for one meal.

 

ThredUp

ThredUp

I’ve mentioned ThredUp on the blog before, but it’s definitely worth a second shoutout! If you haven’t heard of it, ThredUp is an online consignment platform for women’s clothing, kids clothing, and accessories. You can sell your own used clothes (that are still in good condition) by ordering a “Clean Out Kit”. The clean out bags are really big, and can fit everything from a large handbag, a pair of winter boots, and a large pile of clothing. I love ThredUp because they tend to accept brands that other local “designer” consignment shops won’t (e.g. Banana Republic and Zara).

I always feel great cleaning out my closet each season, and I use the cash I earn from selling on ThredUp to order new-to-me clothes from their site. They have a wide range of sizes, including petite, tall, plus, and maternity, and the prices are awesome. The best part is that there are always new things to find on the site since people are constantly sending in their Clean Out Kits. I don’t think I’ve ever left the website without buying something. Check it out for yourself!

 

 

 

Meatless Meals That Will Fill You Up

I’ve always considered myself a carnivore, but lately I’ve been craving veggie-packed meals. I used to think that protein sources such as chicken, steak and turkey were the only things that would keep me full for a long period of time, but I recently realized how wrong I was. I love the way I feel after I eat a hearty vegetarian meal, so I’ve been on a quest to find more yummy protein-packed vegetarian recipes. While I don’t plan to become a vegetarian any time soon, right now I am really enjoying trying different vegan and vegetarian recipes.

I know lots of you are also trying to incorporate more vegetables into your diet, so I’ve put together a list of meatless meals that will fill you up! These recipes, created by an awesome group of healthy food bloggers, all contain short, simple ingredient lists because who has the time to search through grocery store aisles for unusual ingredients!?

Enjoy!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 

Grilled Green Goddess Wraps from Strength and Sunshine

 

Vegetarian Eggplant Meatballs from Byte Sized Nutrition

 

Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers from Joy Food Sunshine

 

Spicy Barbecue Lentils from Scones and Patron

 

Moroccan Crockpot Lentil Stew from Lenses and Lentils

 

Pumpkin Curry Buddha Bowl from Emily Ruth Weir

One Pan Ratatouille from I Heart Vegetables

 

Butternut Squash and Quinoa Salad from Hungry By Nature

 

Summer Farro Salad with Cherry Tomatoes and Mozzarella from Little Chef Big Appetite

 

9 Meatless Meals that Will Actually Fill You Up! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Lime Corn Salad + Delicious Healthy Summer Recipes

Hey guys! Today I’m linking up with some of my favorite healthy bloggers to bring you a full healthy summer meal, including main dishes, sides, and dessert. There are some delicious gluten-free, vegetarian, and paleo options on this list, so there’s something for everyone.

Scroll down to see what everyone made, and at the bottom of this post I’m sharing my Grilled Lime Corn Salad recipe. I’ve been making this recipe for years, so it’s about time that I share it on the blog!

Healthy Summer Recipes: Main Dishes, Side Dishes, Salads and Desserts. Everything you need for a healthy and delicious summer meal! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Here’s what’s on the menu!

Liz from The Clean Eating Couple made Honey-Thyme Balsamic Grilled Chicken.

Madison from Joyfully Mad made Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken.

Marisa from Marisa Moore made Watermelon, Feta, and Arugula Salad.

Brie from Lean Clean Brie made Paleo Key Lime Pie Bites.

Jessie from Just Jessie B made No Bake Berry Tarts.

And finally, I made a Grilled Lime Corn Salad!

Head over to their blogs to check out their recipes and gorgeous photos.

Healthy Summer Recipes: Main Dishes, Side Dishes, Salads and Desserts. Everything you need for a healthy and delicious summer meal! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Now onto this lime corn salad! As I mentioned before, I’ve been making this recipe for years, but every time I change it up just a bit.

Healthy Summer Recipes: Main Dishes, Side Dishes, Salads and Desserts. Everything you need for a healthy and delicious summer meal! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

The original recipe I found years ago called for 1 stick of butter for 4 ears of corn, which sounded outrageous to me. I use just 2 Tablespoons of grass-fed butter, and I think it’s plenty!

Healthy Summer Recipes: Main Dishes, Side Dishes, Salads and Desserts. Everything you need for a healthy and delicious summer meal! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

The fresh lime and cilantro give this salad a big punch of summer flavor, making it a perfect barbecue side dish.

Healthy Summer Recipes: Main Dishes, Side Dishes, Salads and Desserts. Everything you need for a healthy and delicious summer meal! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Between grilling the corn and prepping the remaining ingredients, this salad comes together in just under 10 minutes, which you really can’t beat.

 

Lime Corn Salad
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • 4 ears corn, shucked
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground pepper
Instructions
  1. Lightly coat the corn with oil or cooking spray and grill over direct heat for 5-7 minutes, until lightly charred on all sides.
  2. Once cooled slightly, cut the kernels from the corn into a large bowl.
  3. Heat a small skillet over low heat and add the butter to the pan. Once the butter is melted, add the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes, until fragrant. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl with the corn, add the remaining ingredients, including the garlic-butter mixture. Toss to combine. Serve right away or chill and serve later.
 

Healthy Summer Recipes: Main Dishes, Side Dishes, Salads and Desserts. Everything you need for a healthy and delicious summer meal! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

The Easiest Smashed Potatoes

These smashed potatoes are so simple to make, and only require two ingredients. Once you try them, you won’t want to eat potatoes any other way!

The Easiest Smashed Potatoes Recipe. A delicious vegan & gluten-free side dish! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

You all know how much I love my Crispy Roasted Potatoes recipe, but I also love shortcuts (especially when I’m cooking a bunch of things at once). These smashed potatoes are so easy because you don’t even need a knife and cutting board.

The Easiest Smashed Potatoes Recipe. A delicious vegan & gluten-free side dish! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

To make these easy smashed potatoes, all you need to do is par-boil a half pound of peewee potatoes for about 15 minutes, or until they’re tender. Next, drain them and spread them onto a greased and lined baking sheet.

The Easiest Smashed Potatoes Recipe. A delicious vegan & gluten-free side dish! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Then, use a fork to press down gently on each potato. The flatter you make the potato, the crispier it will be. Just be careful not to press too hard, or the potato will crumble.

The Easiest Smashed Potatoes Recipe. A delicious vegan & gluten-free side dish! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Finally, brush each potato with a light coat of olive oil and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. After roasting in a very hot oven for 25 minutes, you’ll have delicious, crispy smashed potatoes that are reminiscent of potato chips!

The Easiest Smashed Potatoes Recipe. A delicious vegan & gluten-free side dish! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I make these smashed potatoes at least once a week because they’re delicious with everything. It’s also fun to change things up by adding minced garlic, red pepper flakes, or other spices that pair with what you’re eating.

The Easiest Smashed Potatoes Recipe. A delicious vegan & gluten-free side dish! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Give these a shot. You won’t be disappointed!

 

The Easiest Smashed Potatoes
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 2-3 servings
Ingredients
  • ½ lb. peewee potatoes, cleaned
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Course sea salt and ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Drizzle 1 Tablespoon of olive oil on the baking sheet and brush to coat all of the parchment paper.
  3. Place the potatoes in a medium pot and fill the pot with water, just enough to cover the potatoes. Bring the water to a boil and cook the potatoes for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. Drain the potatoes and spread on the lined baking sheet.
  4. Use a fork to press down gently on each potato. The flatter you make the potato, the crispier it will be. Press down carefully because the potatoes will be very delicate and break easily.
  5. Brush the tops of each smashed potato with a small amount of olive oil. Then sprinkle each with course sea salt and ground black pepper.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the potatoes are crispy.
 

The Easiest Smashed Potatoes Recipe. A delicious vegan & gluten-free side dish! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Protein Acai Bowl Recipe and a $100 Naked Nutrition Giveaway!

Thank you Naked Nutrition for sponsoring this post. Make sure to read all the way to the bottom to learn how to enter this awesome giveaway!

I am on a major acai kick right now! Acai bowls are nothing new, and they’ve been incredibly popular here in LA for the last 5 years or so. I’ve had them at juice shops around here, but I usually find them to be way too sweet, and I never felt like I was truly eating something that healthy. It wasn’t until recently, per the great recommendation of my friend Kelly, that I started buying frozen acai from Whole Foods and making my own Protein Acai Bowls at home.

Protein-Packed Acai Bowl with Blueberries and Spinach! This recipe is gluten-free, vegan, and refined sugar-free! Plus, you can make it in under 5 minutes! // www.littlechefbigappetite.com

So, you might wondering, what the heck is acai anyway? You can think of it as a cross between a blueberry and a grape, and they grow on skinny palm trees in South America. Acai is so popular to eat because it’s very high in antioxidants (which keep us healthy and prevent illness), while being extremely low in sugar.

Protein-Packed Acai Bowl with Blueberries and Spinach! This recipe is gluten-free, vegan, and refined sugar-free! Plus, you can make it in under 5 minutes! // www.littlechefbigappetite.com

You can find acai packets in the frozen section of your grocery store. Make sure to check the ingredients, though, because some contain added sugar. I really like these organic smoothie pouches from Acai Roots and they contain 0g of sugar.

Protein-Packed Acai Bowl with Blueberries and Spinach! This recipe is gluten-free, vegan, and refined sugar-free! Plus, you can make it in under 5 minutes! // www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I love adding Naked Nutrition’s Pea Protein Powder to my acai bowls. Their products are called “naked” for a reason. There are no added colors, sweeteners, or anything artificial in their protein powders. In fact, the only ingredient in the pea protein powder is pea protein.  I add just one tablespoon of it to my acai bowl, and that contains 6-7 grams of pure protein. Because their protein powders are unsweetened (and unflavored), I always mix it with natural sweeteners like frozen bananas and dates.

Protein-Packed Acai Bowl with Blueberries and Spinach! This recipe is gluten-free, vegan, and refined sugar-free! Plus, you can make it in under 5 minutes! // www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I’ve been looking for a good non-dairy protein powder for a long time because I can’t digest whey or casein, but most vegan protein powders I’ve tried tasted so earthy. When you blend this Naked Nutrition Pea Protein with the right ingredients in a high-speed blender, you’d barely know it’s there. You guys know I’m all about eating natural, whole foods, and this protein powder fits the bill.

Protein-Packed Acai Bowl with Blueberries and Spinach! This recipe is gluten-free, vegan, and refined sugar-free! Plus, you can make it in under 5 minutes! // www.littlechefbigappetite.com

If you’re interested in trying a Naked Nutrition product, you can use the code LILCHEF for 10% off your order

Plus, Naked Nutrition is giving away a $100 credit to one lucky reader! To enter, leave a comment on this post letting me know your favorite way to use protein powder. I will randomly select one winner on Thursday, June 8th at 5PM ET. Good luck!

 

Protein Acai Bowl Recipe
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Serves: 1 serving
Ingredients
  • 1 packet frozen acai
  • ¾ cup almond milk
  • ⅔ cup frozen banana chunks (about ¾ of a banana)
  • ½ cup fresh spinach
  • ¼ cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 Tablespoon (1/2 scoop) Naked Nutrition Pea Protein
  • Granola and nut butter of your choice for topping
Instructions
  1. Run the frozen acai packet under hot water for 10 seconds. Cut the packet open and break the frozen acai into chunks.
  2. In a high speed blender, combine the acai pieces, almond milk, frozen banana, spinach, frozen blueberries, and protein powder. Blend for 1 minute, scraping down the sides and adding additional almond milk as needed. The consistency should be smooth, like a very thick smoothie.
  3. Pour into a bowl and top with your favorite granola and nut butter.
 

Protein Acai Bowl with Blueberries and Spinach! This recipe is gluten-free, vegan, and refined sugar-free! Plus, you can make it in under 5 minutes! // www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Perfectly Crispy Roasted Vegetables

For as long as I can remember I’ve loved crispy foods. I think I get this from my mom. I love the edges around a brownie pan, pizza crust, extra crispy french fries, and any type of crunchy topping.  So it’s no surprise that when I roast vegetables, I like getting them nice and charred, also.

If you’re like me, keep reading because I’m going to teach you my tips for perfectly crispy roasted vegetables!

How to Make Perfectly Crispy Roasted Vegetables ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

How to make perfectly crispy roasted vegetables:

  1. Turn the oven temperature up to 450F.
  2. Preheat a large baking sheet in the oven. This way when the vegetables touch the baking sheet they will immediately start cooking.
  3. Cut your vegetables based on known cooking times. Vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes will take longer to cook than bell peppers and onion pieces, so cut sweet potatoes smaller than bell peppers. That way everything will roast in the same amount of time.
  4. Spread the vegetables in an even layer on the sheet. If they sit on top of each other then they will steam and become soggy, not crispy.
  5. Only flip the vegetables once during the cooking time.

How to Make Perfectly Crispy Roasted Vegetables ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

When your veggies are done roasting they’ll look like this. Yes, the baking sheet itself won’t look very pretty, but it’s all for a good cause. 😉

How to Make Perfectly Crispy Roasted Vegetables ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Crispy Roasted Vegetables are the perfect side dish to meal prep for the week. I make a large batch (two baking sheets worth) to last a couple of days. You can eat them with any protein for a quick, healthy meal.

How to Make Perfectly Crispy Roasted Vegetables ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

 

Perfectly Crispy Roasted Vegetables
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 medium sweet potato, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 3 large carrots, peeled, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 large bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped into 2 inch pieces
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper (I like to use coarse Kosher salt)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450F degrees.
  2. In a large bowl combine the sweet potatoes, carrots, bell pepper, and onion. Toss with the olive oil and thyme. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Spread the vegetables into an even layer on a baking sheet, ensuring that the pieces are not resting on top of each other.
  4. Roast for 40 minutes, flipping halfway through. Remove from oven when vegetables are browned and crispy at the edges. Either serve immediately or allow to cool and store in tupperware.
 

How to Make Perfectly Crispy Roasted Vegetables ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

10 Favorite Kitchen Tools Under $10

When I was in college and first starting teaching myself to cook, a lot of the kitchen tools I used were hand-me-downs from my parents. Many of those same tools I still use (and love!) today, but I’ve also upgraded a few things over the years. As with most things I buy, if I know I am going to use something cooking-related over and over again, I like to invest in a good quality product that will last, rather than just buy the cheapest thing. That said, I’ve found that many of the smallest and least expensive items in my kitchen drawers are actually the most useful.

In today’s post I’m sharing my 10 favorite kitchen tools under $10. These tools are useful for both beginner and experienced cooks, and if you’re shopping on a budget, I think you’ll love these affordable items.

The 10 Best Kitchen Tools Under $10 ll Great for everyone from beginner cooks to advanced, and these products are perfect for anyone shopping on a budget! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

 

Joseph Joseph Garlic Rocker

 

What I love about this product: Mincing garlic can be tedious and time consuming, but this garlic rocker allows you to mince a whole clove in just 1 second. It’s especially handy if your recipe requires 2 or more cloves of garlic, so you don’t have to waste time chopping.

 

Microplane Zester/Grater

What I love about this product: I use this tool multiple times a week to grate or zest fresh garlic, ginger, limes, and lemons. The zest is very fine, which is much better than if you were to use a typical box grater.

 

KitchenIQ 50009 Edge Grip 2 Stage Knife Sharpener

What I love about this product: Cutting with a dull kitchen knife is both frustrating and dangerous. There is no need to send your knives to get professionally sharpened when you have this $5 knife sharpener. It’s extremely easy to use and barely takes up any drawer space. I use it about twice a month to keep my knives extra sharp.

 

ZYLISS Pizza Cutter Wheel and Slicer

What I love about this product: This pizza wheel is very sharp and easy to roll. While it’s great for slicing homemade pizzas, I’ve found that it’s come in handy for so many other things like cutting granola bars and scoring dough.

 

OXO Good Grips Swivel Peeler

What I love about this product: I’ve had this same vegetable peeler for nine years and it was a hand-me-down from me parents. I can’t believe how long it’s lasted! The sharp stainless steel blades easily cut through tough fruit and vegetable skin, and the cushions on the handle help secure a good grip.

 

Wrenwane Digital Refrigerator Thermometer

What I love about this product: If your refrigerator does not come with a built-in thermometer, I highly recommend that you get this one. It’s crucial that your raw poultry, beef, and seafood stay at a safe temperature (32F-40F degrees), or else they will go bad. We threw out way too many packages of smelly chicken before we finally ordered this thermometer. After we hung it up, we found that our fridge could not go below 43F degrees, which is why our food went off. We were able to get the fridge repaired, but we continue to keep an eye on the temperature just in case.

 

OXO Good Grips Bottle Brush

What I love about this product: I’ve always thought I was never sufficiently cleaning my wine and champagne glasses because it’s impossible to get a sponge all the way to the bottom of the glass. I love this brush because it’s flexible enough to get inside a narrow champagne flute and thoroughly clean down at the bottom. Plus, the bristles are soft and won’t scratch your fancy glasses.

 

Spring Chef Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Metal Measuring Spoons

What I love about this product: The narrow design of these measuring spoons means that the larger spoons can actually fit inside your spice jars. Hallelujah! I also love that a 1/8 teaspoon and 3/4 teaspoon are included in this set because I often divide recipes in half and need these measurements.

 

Cooper-Atkins Stainless Steel Bi-Metal Oven Thermometer

What I love about this product: We live in a rental apartment, so the appliances that come with it are far from perfect. Just like our refrigerator, when we first moved in, I noticed that our oven temperature was off because none of my baked goods were cooking correctly. After purchasing this $5 oven thermometer, we discovered that our oven temperature was off by a whole 75 degrees compared to what was listed on the dial! Now we know the actual temperature inside our oven and go by the thermometer, rather than the dial.

 

Joseph Joseph Slotted Turner

What I love about this product: This is my longest surviving spatula! It’s dishwasher safe and extremely heat resistant, so the ends haven’t peeled or disintegrated away like so many of my other spatulas. My favorite part is that it has a built in rest at the bottom, that keeps the top part of the spatula from touching a dirty countertop.

 

 

 

This post contains some affiliate links, which means if you purchase one of these product I may earn a small commission. That money goes directly towards new recipe and blog post development. Also note that pricing on Amazon can fluctuate, but at the time of this post, all items listed are under $10. Thank you for your support!

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