Ally's Sweet & Savory Eats: March 2019

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Peanut Butter Energy Balls

Sometimes just a little bite in the afternoon will sustain you till dinner.
These Peanut Butter Energy Balls are a big hit!

Peanut Butter Energy Balls...the perfect, quick afternoon bite to hold you off till dinner!  Just 4 ingredients: dates, oats, peanut butter & PB chips.  Great recipe for those craving sweet but trying to watch their waistline. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

How's March treating you?

I can say that these last two weeks have been pretty good here.  After a long, hell-ish winter full of record setting temps and LOTS of snow, I'm happy to announce that we can now see the grass in our yard.

Yesterday I read my book on the back deck in the sunshine.  Alas, I had a blanket covering me, but I was sitting outside nonetheless.  Me, along with much of the country has missed that Vitamin D so much.

Peanut Butter Energy Balls...the perfect, quick afternoon bite to hold you off till dinner!  Just 4 ingredients: dates, oats, peanut butter & PB chips.  Great recipe for those craving sweet but trying to watch their waistline. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

I also put on a swimsuit today.

I'll just leave that right there.

It's been Spring Break week so the kids have been home.

I'll also leave that right there.

So far we've been to the trampoline park, done a little shopping, had an 8 year old's birthday sleepover {why don't they ever go to bed?}, sent one child off with the grandparent's for a few days, swam at the local indoor pool, ridden bikes and broken up a few fights.

Here's to school starting back on Monday!

Peanut Butter Energy Balls...the perfect, quick afternoon bite to hold you off till dinner!  Just 4 ingredients: dates, oats, peanut butter & PB chips.  Great recipe for those craving sweet but trying to watch their waistline. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

With these warmer temps {and by warmer I mean 50's, but we'll take it} it has me thinking all things Spring.

Spring means warm and warm means less clothing and less clothing means WHOA, lets get back in shape a bit, shall we?

And getting in some sort of shape means having healthy snacks around when those cravings hit.  I'm not sure how other people are but the hours of 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. are the hardest for me. I love both salty and sweet but in the late afternoons I crave something sweet.

So, ladies and gents...enter in these Peanut Butter Energy Balls.

Peanut Butter Energy Balls...the perfect, quick afternoon bite to hold you off till dinner!  Just 4 ingredients: dates, oats, peanut butter & PB chips.  Great recipe for those craving sweet but trying to watch their waistline. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Let me tell you, after these had been chilling in the freezer for an hour both my girls were BEGGING to try one.  They watched me make them and let's just say they were intrigued.

Neither of them knew what a date was {Mom fail}, nor could they comprehend how just dates, oats and peanut butter could come together and even taste remotely good.  Frankly, I was somehow wondering the same thing.

They both got the first taste test and we all know kids are HONEST.  If they don't like something there will be no hiding their digust.  But, guess what? Their eyes lit up and they wanted another.

Peanut Butter Energy Balls...the perfect, quick afternoon bite to hold you off till dinner!  Just 4 ingredients: dates, oats, peanut butter & PB chips.  Great recipe for those craving sweet but trying to watch their waistline. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

At 115 calories, 4 grams of protein, 7 grams of fat and just 8 carbs they are the perfect snack!  And do yourself a favor, store these babies in the freezer.  They taste incredible cold, keep their shape and still have their soft texture.

This batch makes nine, basically one for each afternoon for a week and a couple to share in case you have little ones in your house too sneaking bites.

Skip out on the peanut butter chips if you want {it saves a few calories and sugar} or add them like I did for a bit of crunch in the bite.  Please share if you make these!  I'd love to give you a shout out.

Yield: 9

Peanut Butter Energy Balls

These little bursting bites of peanut butter are a great mid-afternoon snack for a pick-me-up without all the unhealthy ingredients!
prep time: 10 minscook time: total time: 10 mins

ingredients

  • 5 Medjool dates (pitted and cut into thirds)
  • 4 T old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup all-natural, creamy peanut butter
  • 1/8 cup peanut butter chips

instructions

  1. Using a cutting board, cut the dates in half and remove the pit. Then cut the slices into thirds and place all dates in the food processor.
  2. Pulse the dates until chopped and dates form into a ball.
  3. Add in the oats, again pulsing to combine until incorporated.
  4. Add in the peanut butter pulsing to combine into the date/oat mixture. If it looks too greasy add in another tablespoon of oats.
  5. Form the energy ball mixture into 9 balls.
  6. Push 4 peanut butter chips into each ball.
  7. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and freeze.
  8. Eat straight out of the freezer!
Calories
115.81
Fat (grams)
7.93
Sat. Fat (grams)
1.68
Carbs (grams)
8.98
Fiber (grams)
1.47
Net carbs
7.50
Sugar (grams)
4.31
Protein (grams)
3.95
Sodium (milligrams)
74.04
Cholesterol (grams)
0.02
Created using The Recipes Generator

Friday, March 15, 2019

Chicken Bacon and Ranch Pasta Salad

Spring is arriving soon, so that has me screaming SALADS!
This creamy ranch pasta salad is filled with grilled chicken, bacon and veggies.

Chicken Bacon and Ranch Pasta Salad...a creamy, homemade dressing is tossed with grilled chicken, bacon, pasta, veggies and cheese!  Such a great salad for entertaining, grilling out, a fun side dish or even the main meal! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Well, it's been a month.

I'm only going to chat about it for a hot second because frankly I want to forget it forever, but here it goes.

From the span of February 8 to March 10 we had five case of Influenza A {if you're counting, that would be our whole family}, two ear infections and one case of bronchitis {me}.  I will not sugar coat the misery.  It was awful.

As soon as one would semi-recover, another one would go down.  I've never spent so much time in my bedroom in bed.  The husband was a trooper, as though he did get sick, it was early in the process and didn't seem to last as long as the rest of us.  So he became the housekeeper, errand runner, activity scheduler and school picker-upper.

I'm fairly certain he wants to forget this season as well.

On the plus side, I got in a lot of good TV binging.

Chicken Bacon and Ranch Pasta Salad...a creamy, homemade dressing is tossed with grilled chicken, bacon, pasta, veggies and cheese!  Such a great salad for entertaining, grilling out, a fun side dish or even the main meal! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Needless to say my blog suffered a bit!  I wasn't eating much, therefore I was cooking VERY little.  We existed on a lot of sandwiches, cereal, scrambled eggs and well whatever looked good at the moment.

BUT....I have since recovered.  And my appetite is finally back.  So guess what I made yesterday? This delicious Chicken Bacon and Ranch Pasta Salad.

It's insanely good.  So creamy and tangy and full of flavor.  Plus, the best part is that it can be a side dish or a full meal.  Because, you see I added grilled chicken AND bacon.  When you add meat to anything it's a full dish, right?

Chicken Bacon and Ranch Pasta Salad...a creamy, homemade dressing is tossed with grilled chicken, bacon, pasta, veggies and cheese!  Such a great salad for entertaining, grilling out, a fun side dish or even the main meal! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

This time of year is the best time to break out these types of salads.  We are approaching warmer weather {finally}, we are grilling and barbecuing our dinners {finally} and all things are a bit more casual {picnics, eating on the deck, Spring activities}.

This pasta salad is best when served immediately.  I would recommend making it right before you eat and tossing it together right before eating.  The creaminess is on point then!  If you do need to refrigerate for awhile use some of the homemade ranch dressing you make {you'll have extra} and drizzle again before eating.

Pasta always soaks up whatever you put on it and no one wants a dry salad!

Chicken Bacon and Ranch Pasta Salad...a creamy, homemade dressing is tossed with grilled chicken, bacon, pasta, veggies and cheese!  Such a great salad for entertaining, grilling out, a fun side dish or even the main meal! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

I'd love to hear if you try this pasta salad! It is all of my favorite flavors wrapped up in one bowl. Share the love on social media by tagging me {@sweetsavoryeats} and I'll be sure to share the love with my followers.

Now go grab a fork and dig in.

Yield: 16

Chicken Bacon & Ranch Pasta Salad

All your favorite flavors in pasta salad! This creamy, zesty ranch salad can be a side or the main meal. Grilled chicken and bacon really amp it up!
prep time: 10 minscook time: 20 minstotal time: 30 mins

ingredients

  • 1 boneless skinless chicken breast, pounded flat
  • 2 T barbecue rub or seasoning
  • 2 T canola oil
  • 3 strips bacon
  • 1 lb farfalle pasta
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1 dry ranch seasoning packet
  • 1 T Mrs. Dash original seasoning
  • 2 t. salt
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup chopped grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas

instructions

  1. Heat a skillet to medium heat. Add in the canola oil.  Rub the chicken breast with the barbecue seasoning and place in the pan.  Cook 6-7 minutes a side or until the chicken is firm and the juices run clear.  Remove from the pan and set aside. When cool dice into bite sized pieces.
  2. While the chicken is cooking combine the buttermilk, mayo and ranch seasoning packet in a bowl and set in the fridge.
  3. In the same hot skillet dice the bacon and cook until crisp. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
  4. In a large pot heat water to a boil.  Add in the pasta and cook until al dente, according to the package directions.  Drain and place back in the pot.
  5. To the cooked pasta add in the cream cheese, homemade ranch dressing, diced bacon and chicken, chopped tomatoes, peas, Parmesan cheese, Mrs. Dash's seasoning and salt. Toss to combine.
  6. Serve immediately. If needing to store in the fridge for a bit, keep the extra ranch in the fridge and drizzle/toss with a bit again before serving.
calories
227.19
fat (grams)
16.41
sat. fat (grams)
3.90
carbs (grams)
12.61
net carbs
11.58
protein (grams)
7.23
sugar (grams)
2.34
Created using The Recipes Generator

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

23 Sheet Pan Meals

Families are busy and we need dinner in a snap!
These 23 hand-picked sheet pan dinners are easy and family friendly.

23 Sheet Pan Meals...from chicken to beef to seafood...even breakfast! These family friendly meal options are easy and delicious. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

I'm not sure why it took us so many years to figure out that assembling a full meal on a sheet pan was the bee's knees....but it did!

You have all been asking for easy-fully-assembled meals for a long, long time.  You are busy! I'm busy! Which is why these sheet pan dinners are even a bit fun.  Assemble all the parts {meat/protein, veggie, starch} and watch it cook together all at once.

When searching the interwebs for some of my favorites I wanted to make sure I had a wide variety of meals.  A few chicken, some beef, some seafood even a couple breakfast for dinner options.  Nothing says BORING like a repeat of the same meal on a weekly basis.


The most fun meal from this list? Sheet Pan Banana Blueberry Pancake.

I'm sure you'll find your favorites.  Be sure to pick one from the list to add to your weekly meal plan. Picking just one a week will last you 23 weeks!  Don't say this girl didn't ever help you out.

Oh, and P.S. ----- > this is the jelly roll pan I use for all my sheet pan meals.  If you need one I highly recommend this one.

23 Sheet Pan Meals...from chicken to beef to seafood...even breakfast! These family friendly meal options are easy and delicious. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)





23 Sheet Pan Meals...from chicken to beef to seafood...even breakfast! These family friendly meal options are easy and delicious. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)





23 Sheet Pan Meals...from chicken to beef to seafood...even breakfast! These family friendly meal options are easy and delicious. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)





23 Sheet Pan Meals...from chicken to beef to seafood...even breakfast! These family friendly meal options are easy and delicious. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)





23 Sheet Pan Meals...from chicken to beef to seafood...even breakfast! These family friendly meal options are easy and delicious. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)





23 Sheet Pan Meals...from chicken to beef to seafood...even breakfast! These family friendly meal options are easy and delicious. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)




23 Sheet Pan Meals...from chicken to beef to seafood...even breakfast! These family friendly meal options are easy and delicious. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)
Which one is your favorite?

Out of 23, I'm sure there are at least 5 you want to try.  Share this post with your friends who are just as busy as you are - they will thank you!