Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Over Night Oats



Lately I’ve been reading a lot about over-night oats (ONO) in the food blogosphere. Given my complete obsession for having oatmeal every morning for breakfast, I had to try the latest craze. Gotta say: Love ’em.

When I was a kid we used to always keep packets of instant Quaker oatmeal in the cupboard. For some reason I started eating them cold, as in: empty packet into bowl, add milk, stir, and consume. ONO are not like-comparable at all. I would not eat instant packets of oatmeal as I did in childhood ever again, trust me. OVO actually take the time to absorb most of the milk, and expand into a nice full bowl over night. They are nice and plump and creamy by the next morning. For some reason they taste sweeter just because they’re not hot. I don’t know what that’s all about, but it works for me.

Like regular oatmeal, the flavors and mix-in options are endless. Recently I fixed my oats with pureed pumpkin, molasses, and pumpkin pie spice. That was awesome. But so far I really enjoy the recipe below the best. It tastes just like an oatmeal raisin cookie without all the unhealthy ingredients.  

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Over-Night Oats
Recipe by me (after reading many base recipes on other blogs)


1/2 cup of oatmeal (not instant)
1 cup vanilla almond milk (or regular milk is fine)
1 tbsp chia seeds
1/4 cup non fat plain yogurt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Mix-ins (When you’re ready to eat):

3 Tbsp sugar-free syrup (or real maple syrup would be tastier, of course)
Toasted walnuts


Mix all ingredients (except add-ins) together in a bowl, cover with lid or Saran wrap, and place in refridgerator over night (or for a couple of hours). When you’re ready to eat, sprinkle in any add-ins you may desire, and feel free to add more milk if you want your oats creamier. Eat chilled.

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Creamy Italian Zucchini Boats


This is my favorite new veggie side dish. It tastes much akin to vegetarian lasagna, sans the noodles, which quite frankly weren’t missed. I prepared but cooked only half the recipe, and put away the other half in the fridge for another day. I could eat these zucchini boats all day long!

Creamy Italian Zucchini Boats
Recipe adapted from a Cooking Light recipe


  • 6 small zucchini (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup grated carrot
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 cup Ricotta Cheese (I used fat-free)
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2/3 cup marinara sauce (I used Trader Joe’s basic marinara sauce)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 400° F.
  • Wash zucchini, cut off the ends, and cut each zucchini in half. Cut each half again lengthwise so you have 12 pieces of zucchini total.
  • With a spoon, scoop out the seeds and compost them, or use them to make soup broth. Place the zucchini boats on a lightly oiled cookie sheet.
  • For the filling: chop the basil and place it in a bowl with the garlic, grated carrot, ricotta, Parmesan, marinara sauce, and salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly.
  • Fill each boat with the creamy mixture, pressing it down with the back of a spoon.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, or until the zucchini is tender. Serve warm and enjoy.
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Banana Fosters Bread


This recipe has gone over very well with my roommates in the past. I made it for them a second time on the morning of Bay 2 Breakers while they “ran” the 12k race. The whole loaf was gobbled up in two days. How lucky am I to live with people who will eat all the breads and cakes I make? Otherwise to the trash most of my stuff would go!

The first time I made this bread it was a “healthier” version. I substituted butter for apple sauce (hey, it worked!), and neglected to make the rum glaze as a topper. I think both versions of this bread are awesome. Honestly, I couldn’t make out a distinct difference between using butter to sauté the bananas or applesauce, so you can probably just go with whatever your heart desires! I also added walnuts because I love crunchiness to my banana bread.

Banana Fosters Bread
Recipe from Cooking Light


  • 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar, divided
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted and divided
  • 1/4 cup cognac or dark rum, divided
  • 1/3 cup plain fat-free yogurt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 3/4 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnut pieces
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar


1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Combine banana, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 5 tablespoons butter, and 3 tablespoons cognac in a nonstick skillet. Cook over medium heat until mixture begins to bubble. Remove from heat; cool. Place banana mixture in a large bowl. Add yogurt, remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar, and eggs. Beat with a mixer at medium speed.

3. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through allspice) in a small bowl. Add flour mixture to banana mixture; beat just until blended, then fold in walnuts. Pour batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray.

4. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven; cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Remove bread from pan; place on wire rack.

5. Combine remaining 1 tablespoon melted butter, remaining 1 tablespoon cognac, and powdered sugar; stir until well blended. Drizzle over the warm bread.

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Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread


I have this co-worker who loves zucchini bread (he’s not vegan). Some mornings he’ll come into work with a thick slice for breakfast… Not homemade. I think he gets it from Trader Joe’s, maybe? Anyways, as I love to bake and will take any excuse to do it, I promised this coworker that I’d make him some one day. So that’s what I did last night, and it came out a great success. I packaged up two out of the five mini loaves for him, set them in a bag, and promptly left them on the counter this morning. ‘Cause that’s what I do best. Forget things. At least I work with him again tomorrow.

I love quick breads. They’re easy to make, super versatile, and create that delicious aroma that lingers throughout the house. As far as zucchini recipes go, this one is definitely a keeper. I love, love, love the orange zest in this bread. It pairs great with the mini chocolate chips that I added, and makes it very unique from other zucchini breads I’ve tried. The cinnamon-sugar “crust” on top is quite smashing as well. I highly recommend trying it out for something a little different.

Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread
Recipe by Sugar Plum blog


3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, plus 3 tablespoons
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
3 large eggs
3/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
2 cups grated zucchini
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a loaf pan.

In a medium mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; whisk in 1 1/4 cups sugar and chocolate chips until combined.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs until combined; add yogurt, oil, vanilla, orange zest and zucchini until well combined. Stir in dry ingredients until just combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Stir together additional 3 tablespoons sugar and cinnamon until combined. Sprinkle half over the top of the surface; using a knife, gently swirl cinnamon-sugar into bread. Sprinkle the additional cinnamon-sugar over the top.

Bake for 1 hour-1 hour 10 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted into bread comes out with moist crumbs attached. Cover bread with foil if it gets too brown. Cool 1 hour in pan, before running a knife around outside edges and removing.

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Peanut Butter Blondies (Vegan)


So on a whim the other day, I finally cracked and purchased this awesome vegan book: Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. What can I say? I love my Amazon free two-day membership. But it’s dangerous. Anyways, I am absolutely planning to recreate every recipe from this book and blog about it. At some point. But probably not for a while since I live with a very unreliable oven. Whenever I make cookies I end up whipping up the dough at home, and then make a visit to my parent’s house to borrow their oven. It’s a good excuse to visit, and everyone gets to try some cookies after all is said and done. Win-win.

On to the blondies! Moist, gooey, peanut buttery goodness is what these babies bring. And they’re packing roasted sunflower seeds to boot.

I know, I know. But I didn’t have any peanuts on hand (not much of a fan), and sunflower seeds sounded so delightful. A shame I didn’t have any of those chocolate covered sunflower seeds they sell at Trader Joe’s. Now that would have been cute.


Peanut Butter Blondies with Sunflower Seeds (Vegan)

Recipe from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar

Makes 16 blondies


3/4 cup Peanut Butter, smooth or crunchy style
1/3 cup Canola Oil
1 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Non-dairy Milk
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 cup All-purpose White Flour
1/3 Peanuts, oil-roasted (with salt)
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease an 8X8 baking pan
Mix peanut butter, oil, and sugar vigorously in mixing bowl with fork. Add vanilla & non-dairy milk (unsweetened vanilla almond milk ) and mix in.
Mix in flour, salt, and baking powder. You may knead it with your hands if it’s easier. It will hold together and not spread.
Place in pan and pat to fit evenly. Sprinkle with sunflower seeds (Mine were purchased roasted from Trader Joe’s. You mayroast your own, substitute with peanuts, or omit completelely) and press lightly into surface.
Bake for 22-25 minutes, only until edges begin to brown slightly.
Set on rack and let cool completely before attempting to cut and serve. They will be too gooey and fragile if you try to cut them right out of the oven. Be patient, they’re definitely worth the wait!
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Marbled Peanut Butter and Chocolate Banana Bread


I enjoyed this bread. I did. Unfortunately, I left it in the (toaster) oven for a tad too long, so it ended up a little dry… Very dissapointing. I recommend checking it 10 minutes before time with a toothpick. Make sure there are still some lingering crumbs sticking to the toothpick when you pull it out. Mine was totally clean when I checked… so yeah. Dry.


Anyways, if you’re a fan of peanut butter, chocolate, and bananas, you should enjoy this quick bread. It’s pretty. It’s yummy. It’s not overly sweet. And all the fat comes from peanut butter, which is a nice change from butter an veggie oil. I veered a little from the orginal recipe and used mini chocolate chips in my bread (thinking it would be nicer that regular size). Much to my chagrin, they barely stood out from the chocolate swirls. So next time I’m going for real chocolate chips. Ghiradelli makes them in size HUGE if you get the dark chocolate variety. Or was it milk chocolate? I forget. But you can use whatever you want. The original recipe also called for peanut butter chips, but I went for all chocolate instead. I might try peanut chips next time to add more of that peanut butter flavor. So much for adding my own spin. Overall, good recipe. Just don’t over bake it like I did : )


Marbled Peanut Butter and Chocolate Banana Bread
Recipe from Sugar Plum Blog


2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup semi or dark chocolate chips (I used 2/3 semi sweet chocolate, and omitted the peanut butter chips)
1/3 cup peanut butter chips (I would use these next time)
2 medium bananas, mashed
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-inch loaf pan.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; whisk in chocolate and peanut butter chips until combined. In a large mixing bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat together banana and peanut butter until creamy, about 1 minute; beat in granulated sugar and brown sugar until creamy, about 1 minute. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually beat in flour mixture, alternating with milk, until well combined – about 2 minutes.

Divide half of the batter into medium bowl; sift in cocoa powder, and beat until combined. Alternate spoonfuls of banana batter and chocolate batter into the pan. When all the batter is in the pan, swirl a knife sparingly through the batters to marble them. Sprinkle with additional chocolate and peanut butter chips, if desired.

Bake for 55-60 minutes (check early like I didn’t do!) or until bread pulls away from pan, is well risen, deep golden brown, and a toothpick inserted comes out with moist crumbs attached. Cool on a wire rack for 1 hour; run a knife around outer edges and invert onto wire rack to cool completely before slicing.


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BBQ Chicken Enchiladas


How much do I love these enchiladas? I’ll tell ya, a lot. With so few ingredients and not much work (shredding chicken, mixing sauces, rolling up tortillas, and throwing in the oven?!), this is a perfect lazy night meal. I ate the leftovers for a few days, but mind you I am cooking for one, and brought the portions down on everything excluding the sauce and the onions : )

I don’t prepare meat often, but with Mexican food it’s always a must. I love shredded chicken. Though this dish really isn’t all that Mexicanny in the traditional sense. They are enchiladas with enchilada sauce, though. So kind of. I bet a side of sweet corn and/or an avocado salad would go great with these, too. Eat up!

BBQ Chicken Enchiladas
Recipe from Jessica at How Sweet It Is Blog

Makes 8 enchiladas

8 large whole wheat tortillas (I used small, low-carb tortillas from Trader Joe’s)
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (I probably used a little less chicken, too)
28 ounce can red enchilada sauce
1/2 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce (I used green because it’s all I had, but it was still amazing!)
1/2 large sweet onion, sliced
1 tablespoon BBQ seasoning
pinch of cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded colby jack cheese (I used 1/2 cup of low fat Mexican Cheese blend)

Preheat oven to 375.
In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on low-medium. Add sliced onions with a pinch of salt, and let caramelize until soft and golden – about 10 minutes. While onions are cooking, dump enchilada sauce into a bowl and whisk in your favorite BBQ sauce until combined.
Add shredded chicken to onions with BBQ seasoning and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Mix thoroughly. Pour in about a half of a cup of enchilada/BBQ sauce mixture, and add 1/2 cup cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup colby cheese. Stir until mixture comes together and turn off heat.
Pour a drizzle of enchilada/BBQ sauce in the bottom of a baking dish. Take each tortilla and fill it with 1/2 + of chicken mixture. Roll each up and set it in the baking dish. Dump remaining enchilada/BBQ sauce on top of tortillas and add remaining cheese. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes.


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Moist, Fudgey Brownies (Vegan)


The other day, I decided to make some brownies for a vegan co-worker of mine who deserved some cheering-up. I wanted to find a recipe with ingredients closest to the non-vegan variety (no tofu brownies, thanks) that were still guaranteed to come out ooey-gooey. It didn’t take much hunting. I fell in love with the photos on the recipe creator’s blog, and went to work in the kitchen.
These certainly filled the bill. I would make these brownies again, and next time add some semi-sweet chocolate for an extra chocolately-richness.
Just a forewarning: if you do make these, don’t cut them until they are totally cool. Even then, they will still be quite crumbly, yet incredibly fudgey. I love ’em, but they’re a mess. So good for the chocolate cravings. I bet a quick nuke in the microwave with a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream couldn’t hurt either. Yum.

Moist, Fudgey Brownies (Vegan)
From Montecarte Blog

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups raw turbinado sugar
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
1 cup hot water
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup chopped walnuts (optional – I did not add them)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan with some vegetable oil. (I only had an 8×8 pan available, so my brownies were very thick, and were baked a little longer – about 35 minutes)

2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.

3. Stir coffee granules in hot water until dissolved. Add water to the dry mixture. Add vegetable oil, applesauce and vanilla.

4. Mix well, until blended. Add nuts, if you’re using them.

5. Spread evenly into the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, (about 35 minutes if using 8×8 pan) until the top is no longer shiny. Let cool for at least 20 minutes before cutting into squares.



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Chewy Oatmeal Cookies with Dates, Raisins, and Pecans

Say hello to my new favorite oatmeal cookies.


These cookies are awesome. I am in love with the great collaboration of textures and flavors: Hearty chew-inducing oatmeal, crunchy toasted pecans, sweet pieces of soft yummy fruit… so heavenly. And did I mention the moist honey goodness, too? These cookies have got it all.

Normally I hate nuts in my cookies, cakes, and desserts, but the pecans are a must. I’m sure walnuts would be okay, too, if you don’t like pecans. Or use them both! These cookies, to me, are a lot like a sweetnened-up bowl of Great Grains cereal. Or maybe an outstanding chewy granola bar. They’re just out right addicting, and are officially my new go-to oatmeal cookie recipe. 

‘Nuff said.



Chewy Oatmeal Cookies with Dates, Raisins, and Pecans
Adapted from epicurious.com and Ina Garten
Makes 30-40 Cookies

1 1/2 Cups Flour
2 Sticks (1/2lb) Butter
2 Eggs
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/4 Cup Honey
2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
3 Cups Oatmeal
1 Cup Raisins
1 Cup Medjool Dates (diced and lightly dusted in powdered sugar – a little time consuming, but worth it! I get my dates from Trader Joe’s)
1 1/2 Cups Pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Place the pecans on a sheet pan and bake for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool. Chop coarsely.

In a large bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, add the eggs one at a time, honey, and the vanilla.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and the salt together into a medium bowl. Add dry ingredients a little at a time into the butter mixture on a low speed. Add the oats, raisins, and pecans and mix just until combined.

Using a small cookie dough or ice-cream scoop (a tablespoon will do) drop 2 inch mounds of dough onto sheet pans lined with silpat liner or parchment paper. Flatten cookies slightly with a damp hand.

Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until lightly browned.


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Chicken Pad Thai (Hungry Girl’s low-calorie swap)


Alright, three main points in relation to this satisfying and super-low-calorie dish. (And just as some background information, I have never eaten pad Thai chicken before, so this is in no way in comparison to the real thing. In actuality, I’m sure it’s nothing like the original…which is fine with me.)

First point: The calorie count compared to the amount of food per serving is jaw-droppingly low. I was definitely full from my 1.5 cups (half the recipe) without going over 300 calories. Yay for guilt-free!

Second point: I’m going to make a suggestion here. If you choose to try out this recipe, double the sauce. Yes it will add calories, but I think there is plenty of room to spare. While I enjoyed this meal as was, I felt that the sauce did not shine through as much as it could have. But that’s an easy fix. The sauce itself is delish, so make more.

Third point: The noodles. Has anyone else ever heard of these shirataki things? I had not until looking through the Hungry Girl book, and WOW are they low freakin’ calorie. Only problem is, they’re a difficult to find. At least they were for me. They’re supposed to be in the same section as tofu, from what I hear. Well, first I looked for them at Target; then I tried my luck at the new Grocery Outlet to no avail; then I went to Trader Joe’s; then to this Asian market in Dublin called Ranch 99 (smells like fish inside… yuck). I was sure that if anyone carried this stuff, it would be an Asian market. Lucky for me, no one there spoke much English. I even pulled up a picture of the ingredient I was looking for, yet still no one could help. They just looked confused and kept pointing to the noodle section I’d been muttling through for what felt like an hour. I kept telling them I’d already checked, but they didn’t get it. Such a waste of time and olfactory senses. Ugh. Anyway…

I finally found the illusive shirataki noodles at my local Whole Foods. Now, Safeway or Raley’s may actually carry these as well; I know that not everyone has a Whole Foods nearby. But I happened to check WF first. I’m lucky to have one just down the street from work. At least shirataki is affordable (something like $1.69 a package), and does not consume my Whole Paycheck as the store nickname implies. Score.

Now on to the recipe…

Hungry Girl’s Chiky Pad Thai
From Hungry Girl 300 Under 300 by Lisa Lillien

2 packages House Foods Tofu Shirataki Fettuccine Shaped Noodle Substitute
2 tbsp. ketchup
2 tbsp. lime juice
1 tbsp. sugar-free apricot preserves (I had strawberry on hand, and it worked fine)
2 tsp. crushed dry-roasted peanuts (I ommited)
2 tsp. brown sugar (not packed)
1 tsp. lite/low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 tsp. chopped garlic
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper, or more to taste
1/2 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters Original)
6 oz. raw boneless skinless lean chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
Dash each salt and black pepper
2 cups chopped broccoli
1 1/2 cups bean sprouts
3/4 cup 1-inch scallion pieces
Optional topping: chopped cilantro (I recommend it!)

Use a strainer to drain and rinse shirataki noodles well. Pat dry. In a large microwave-safe bowl, microwave for 1 minute. Drain excess liquid. Dry as thoroughly as possible, using paper towels. Cut noodles up a bit and set aside.

To make the sauce: in a small bowl, combine ketchup, lime juice, preserves, peanuts, brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic, and crushed red pepper. Stir thoroughly and set aside.
Spray a wok or large skillet with nonstick spray and bring to medium-high heat on the stove. Add egg substitute and scramble until fully cooked, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Remove wok/skillet from heat (if needed, clean it once cooled), re-spray, and return to medium-high heat. Add chicken and season with salt and black pepper. Add broccoli, bean sprouts, scallion pieces, and 2 tablespoons water. Stirring occasionally, cook until chicken is no longer pink and broccoli is tender, about 4 minutes.
Add sauce, stir to evenly distribute, and continue to cook for about 2 minutes, until sauce is hot. Add scrambled egg substitute and noodles, mix well, and continue to cook until hot, about 3 minutes.
If you like, season to taste with additional crushed red pepper and/or top with cilantro. Serve and enjoy!


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