Wednesday, February 29, 2012


If you've never had a Runza, well first you obviously haven't visited Nebraska, but furthermore you are missing out! Runzas are a delicious meal-soft bread dough encasing a warm mixture of melty cheese, cabbage & onions and flavorful beef! (Don't get too put off by the cabbage part-it takes on the flavor of the cheese and you won't even notice it's in there!)

So, if you haven't decided on what to put on the table for dinner tonight, have I convinced you to make these amazing little pockets?! I hope so!

Ingredients (makes about 12 good-sized Runzas) :

-Bread dough (can be made from scratch, or a frozen loaf works too)
     ~you will want about 20 ounces of dough
-1 lb. lean ground beef
-3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
-2 cups shredded cabbage
-chopped onion (vary the amount depending on your likings)
-salt & pepper (to taste)

Directions (well...more of just an assembly but still) :

chop up your cabbage very finely (if using onion chop that up during this step as well!)

brown your hamburger

add your onion and cabbage to your browning meat (if using salt and pepper, add that during this step)

take about 1 1/2 - 2 ounces of bread dough (or about the size of 2 golf balls) and roll it out into a long, flat surface

get your cheese ready!

Add your meat mixture to the flattened bread dough (about 1/4 cup of it to each dough slab)

Add 1-2 TBSP of your mozzarella to the top of the meat

Roll up the dough like a fancy burrito- first the two shorter sides in, then one long side, and finally close it up with the other long side

Lay each Runza face down in a greased baking dish
Bake for 20 minutes on 350*

Mmmm.... look at all the gooey melted cheese, smoothering the savory beef enclosed in a warm, soft and comforting blanket of bread! 

Nutritional Info:

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Energy Bites

 You're stuck for time, rundown on energy, and STARVING! What do you do? You could:
A. Not eat anything and continue feeling tiresome and hungry
B. Scarf down whatever thing that looks remotely edible that crosses your path, which is bound to be something unhealthy
C. Eat something that is nutritious and delicious

Wait what?! Choice C! Choice C! Pick choice C!

I know, I know, you're probably thinking choice C is unattainable, only a figment of my imagination right? WRONG! The Blissful Baker is here to help! Read on to see how to make an unbelievably healthy and delicious snack bite that will curb your hunger and provide you with enough energy to make it through the day!

-1 cup almonds
-20 dates
-1/2 cup raisins
-12 dried apricots
-1/4 cup coconut
-1/4 cup flaxseed
-1 tsp. cinnamon
-1/2 tsp. allspice
-1/4 tsp. ginger
-1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Step One

Step Two

Step Three

These little beauties taste like oatmeal raisin cookie dough-but ten-thousand times healthier!

Nutritional Info (1 energy ball)

Corn Dog Bites

Oh the county fair... Carnival rides, Annoying workers asking you to, "Step right up!", and all that Carnival food! Cotton candy...funnel cakes...and corn dogs-my brother's favorite! He regularly asks for us to make these at home, but of course I can't...or perhaps, won't create a deep fried piece of bread and unidentifiable 'meat' to feed him for supper... So what's a good big sister to do?

Create a super amazing healthy makeover of course! :P

So that's is exactly what I did! And I'm here to share it with you! A typical corn dog at the fair has around 400 calories, 25 grams of fat, 36 grams of carbohydrates and NO nutrients, barely any protein and slim if any fiber... not exactly your breakfast of champions!

Have no fear! The Blissful Baker is here! And she has made this meal just as tasty (if not more) and billions and billions times more nutritious!

Ingredients (makes 8-10 muffins, about 4 servings) :
-4 All-Meat hot dogs (can use beef or turkey hot dogs)
-Shredded Cheese (if desired)
-For Cornbread batter:
   -1/3 cup whole wheat flour
   -1/3 cup cornmeal
   -1/3 cup non-fat yogurt
   -1 TBSP. honey
   -1 egg
   -1 tsp. baking soda
   -1/4 tsp. salt
   -chopped celery (if desired)

1. Preheat oven to 350* and line a regular sized muffin tin with 8-10 muffin liners
2. Mix cornbread batter ingredients together until lumpy
3. Cook hot dogs until warmed throughout
4. Chop into bit sized pieces
5. Pour an equal amount of cornbread batter into each liner
6. Add an equal amount of hot dog bites to each batter
7. Top with shredded cheddar cheese if desired

Nutritional Info:

Friday, February 17, 2012

Pina Colada Smoothie

I know, I know, it's only February but I am still dreaming of summer! I love the bright skies, warm weather and delicious treats that are customary to that time of year! Like fruit! Even though we can get fruit year round due to the nifty little invention of airplanes and trucks, there is still a much more plentiful and cheaper assortment of fruit during the summer!

So what is a girl to do when she wants a summery treat in the dead of winter? Did you guess travel to Hawaii?! That was my first option, but unfortunately I don't quite have enough money...or time off from school for that matter! So I am going to go with my plan B-create an amazing healthy smoothie that reminds us all of Hawaii on a warm July night (not that I've ever actually experienced that, but pretty sure if I had-it'd taste remarkably close to this smoothie! :P

I've combined the sweet flavors of banana and pineapple with the creamy goodness of yogurt and milk, and threw in some protein powder (which mostly goes unnoticed) but, it is this secret ingredient that will assist us in our quest to having that 'Hawaii beach body' as well! :)

-1 container (6 ounces) Dannon Light n' Fit yogurt-FROZEN (best flavors to use: vanilla, plain or pineapple)
-1/2 cup skim milk or Coconut Water
-1 scoop protein powder (vanilla works best)
-1/2 frozen banana
-1/4 cup pineapple chunks (frozen works best but fresh is thawed)
-Ice if necessary 

1. Pretty straight forward...add everything to a blender and blend until smooth
     ~Add ice cubes or more frozen pineapple chunks to create a thicker smoothie
     ~Add more milk if you want a thinner smoothie

Nutritional Info:

Thursday, February 16, 2012

PB&J Pudding

My two absolute favorite snacks at the moment are peanut butter and pudding. But yesterday, I just couldn't decide which to have... should it be peanut butter with its sticky goodness? Or, do I choose pudding, all cool and creamy? Hmm....

Then it hit me! BOTH! So I did it! I took the crazy step and decided to mix peanut butter into my pudding, and while I was at it-Jelly! I was left with an amazing, satisfying not to mention extremely healthy snack! Genius really...

Ingredients (makes 2 servings) :
-2 cups skim milk
-1 pkg. sugar free pudding mix (In my opinion, cheesecake and/or vanilla work the best)
-1/4 cup peanut butter (I always use PB2, wait-you've never heard of PB2? It's an amazing, dried peanut butter, so works extremely well when you want to mix peanut butter into different foods...and it barely has any fat and 1/4 the calories of regular peanut butter!)
-2 tsp. sugar free jelly (again, any kind works but you can never go wrong with a classic grape)

1. Mix your milk and pudding (and PB2 if you are using that for your peanut butter) until it reaches a thick consistency (you may have to refrigerate a few hours to get it to the desired thickness)
2. If using regular peanut butter: fold in the peanut butter
3. Pour pudding mixture into two bowls
4. Dollop 1 tsp. of jelly on each serving

     ~there are many different ways to go about eating this...
straight from the bowl with a spoon
using dipping agents: i.e. apple slices, baby carrots, crackers, pita chips
with granola/high fiber cereal sprinkled on top
spread atop a tortilla, or in a pita pocket
frozen in ice cube trays/Popsicle molds as a frozen treat!
the list goes on and on...

Let me know! What's your signature way to enjoy your PB&J pudding?!

Nutritional Info: (using PB2)


If you can't tell, I've been in the mood for all things cheesecake these past few days! I decided to take my obsessive love to the next level and make a drinkable cheesecake or sorts...yes you read correctly! I'm going to give you my recipe for a CheeseShake! Excuse me while I drool.....

Alright, I'm back! Here we go...

-6 ounces light yogurt (I like to use Dannon Light n' Fit's vanilla in this recipe but any should work!)
     ~Be sure to freeze this a few hours before making this CheeseShake
-1/2 cup milk
-2 TBSP. sugar free cheesecake pudding mix
-4-6 Strawberries (frozen)
-Fat free whipped topping (not necessary per se, but oh so fun!)

1. Throw everything in the blender (except whipped topping!) and blend
2. Add additional frozen strawberries if needed to reach desired thickness
3. Top with whipped topping!

Nutritional Info:

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Cheesecake... one of the most popular desserts in America... with its sweet yet creamy top, perfectly matched by its crunchy, crispy bottom... oops! I drooled all over my keyboard! :S

But-with just one slice of the Cheesecake Factory's cheesecake having over 700 calories, 29 grams of fat-all of them being saturated!, and 62 grams of's a girl to enjoy this delectable dessert without the guilt? By using the Blissful Baker's makeover recipe and creating a CheeseFake that is TO DIE FOR!

My recipe is so healthy, I regularly eat it for breakfast without feeling one 'twinge' of guilt!

Ingredients (serves 2):
-1 box sugar-free cheesecake pudding mix
-2 cups low-fat milk
-1/4 cup berries (I like blueberries in this recipe but whatever floats your boat!)
-1/2 cup FiberOne cereal (or any high fiber, low sugar cereal/granola)
-Fat-Free whipped topping (if isn't exactly necessary-but it makes this snack all the more fun!)

I layered mine a little differently here, but however you do it, you will end up with one sweet treat!

1. Mix pudding mix and milk until pudding is all dissolved and has started to 'thicken'
2. Refrigerate until pudding is completely set (around 1 hour)
3. Layer in 2 tall glasses in this order: 2 TBSP. cereal, 1 TBSP berries, 1/4 of pudding mixture
4. Repeat that layer again, and do the same with the other glass
5. Top with whipped topping-if desired
6. Enjoy!!!
I want to make myself one of these right NOW!

Nutritional Info:

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

California Chicken Pita

Oh California... sunny skies, blue oceans, inviting beaches... Brings back memories... Oh wait, I've never actually been to California-but I'm pretty sure it's quite similar to what I've described!

Even if you aren't living in sunny California, you can still enjoy a delightful meal named after the Golden State. This pita is amazing! But, if you don't have any pita bread on hand, feel free to use a couple slices of bread, or a bun in its place.

Ingredients (for one pita):
-3 ounces chicken breast (cooked)
-2 Fat Free Swiss Cheese slices
-1 TBSP. Ranch dressing (or a Ranch dip, either way-if you can find a lower fat variety, get it!)
-Tomato slices
-1 Pita Bread

It's pretty straight forward...I'm almost certain any of you could figure it out without directions, but just in case...

1. Slice chicken breast in half (so you have two thin fillets, not into two chicken fingers!)
2. Lay 1 slice of Swiss on top each fillet and  microwave (or broil) until cheese melts
3. Slice your pita bread in half
4. Place a layer of spinach into each pita bread half
5. Slide each chicken/cheese fillet into each pita bread
6. Slide a tomato slice in each if desired
7. Broil a few more seconds (this will warm everything and create a crispy pita crust)

I did a few things differently in the California Chicken Pita above... no tomato and I used the chopped chicken we had on hand-still delicious!

Nutritional Info:

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Chicken Salad

What has an average of 45 grams of fat, 75 mg of cholesterol and 600 calories per serving? If you guessed chicken salad you are correct! This is another prime example of when 'salad' doesn't exactly mean healthy. So once again, I've decided to figure out some way I can transform the once completely unhealthy chicken salad into a well rounded meal...that won't make you well rounded!

I've finally perfected this recipe... I started by swapping the mayonnaise for Greek yogurt, regular sour cream for fat free, and added grapes and apples for bulk, vitamins and fiber.. and viola! Chicken Salad for the health conscious!

Ingredients (Makes 4 servings) :
-3/4 cup Greek low-fat yogurt
-1/4 cup fat free sour cream
-1 small apple
-1/2 cup grapes
-8 ounces chicken breast (cooked and shredded)
-Celery seed (or finely diced celery)

1. Chop apple and grapes into small pieces
2. Shred chicken breast
3. Mix yogurt and sour cream well
4. Fold in apple, grapes, chicken and celery seed
5. Enjoy in pita pockets, atop a bed of greens, in a whole wheat wrap, with crackers... the possibilities are endless!
In the bowl...

                       Amazing with spinach in a pita pocket!

Nutritional Information: (1/4 of this recipe, about 1/2 cup)
Do not adjust your computer screens! This analysis is correct! I really did manage to slim it down to about 100 calories, less than 2 grams of fat and over 13 grams of protein for a serving! (applause)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Nutella Peanut Butter Cookies

Pop Quiz! Which is better: Nutella or Peanut butter?

Don't worry! I couldn't make this decision either! They are both so delicious in their own, beautiful way! So, in celebration of World Nutella Day, I set out to find a new Nutella recipe to try! I was babysitting and recruited the help of an ambitious 4 year old. When I asked her what we should make she said, "Peanut Butter!"
I kindly replied and told her we were going to make something with Nutella... She wouldn't take it...all she wanted was peanut butter! And then it hit me! Duh! Why not combine these two amazing taste-superpowers and create one cookie!

So we were off! Ready to tackle the task of combining a peanut butter cookie with Nutella. I knew we would have to have some sort of stabilizing ingredient, but was feeling like giving the cookie just a bit more nutritional boost and decided to use oatmeal instead of just flour. 

1/3 cup brown sugar
1 pinch salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 egg
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup Nutella
1. Preheat oven to 350*; Cream sugar, egg and peanut butter together.
2. Add salt, vanilla, and baking soda
3. Stir in oatmeal
4. Gently swirl in Nutella (this will create beautiful swirls of delicious Nutella throughout the cookie)
5. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet
6. Bake for 8-10 minutes
     -you should get about 24 cookies

Somebody liked the dough! :)

So warm, so gooey, so peanutbutternutella-y... 

First she wanted peanut butter on crackers....     Then Nutella on crackers.....        
But couldn't decide which was better-so like any genius, she mixed and had them together! Brilliant! :)

Nutritional Info: (1 cookie- 1/24 of recipe)

Pita Chips

Who likes chips?! Ummm....pretty much everyone in America! But chips are not the most nutritional sound snack you can possibly have. Aside from being low in almost all vitamins and nutrients, they are usually loaded with fat, sodium, cholesterol and calories. (Because really, who sticks to only 13 chips?!)

So I set out to find a Super-food Swap I could switch out my usual potato chips with... after some looking and taste testing I found a perfect fit! They are "Stacey's Pita Chips" and these bad boys are DELICIOUS! I like them with sweet dips, salsa, savory spreads, peanut butter, you name it! (Not to mention, they are amazing on their own!) limited access to Walmart and dwindling funds have led me to look for a pita chip that was still as nutritionally sound as "Stacey's" but easier on my pocketbook and that could be made at home.

Now, while I am still using pre-bought Pita is a step in the right direction! Soon, I will perfect my Pita Pocket recipe and be able to make these from complete scratch...But until then, I will provide you all with the technique I used to bake Pita Pockets into crispy, delectable pita chips.

You will need:
-Pita Pocket Bread (Here I used Kangaroo brand, they are pretty economical and have an amazing taste-but feel free to use whatever kind you like or have on hand)
-Cooking Spray (I like to use Pam, but again-"To each his own..."
1. Take your pita pocket pieces and cut them in half (if they are not already pre-cut)
2. Cut each of those halves into equal sized pieces (I made 4 out of each half)
3. Since they will be connected on the bottom, either break apart or slice (I now had 8 pieces out of one half of pita pocket bread) Make sense?? I hope so!

4. Arrange your pita pocket triangles on a wire rack placed atop a cookie sheet
5. Lightly spray with your cooking spray
6. Turn each triangle over and spray lightly again
7. Bake on 400* for about 10 minutes...they will start to brown around the edges
8. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes! This is vital! I don't want you to burn your tongue! :)
These are soooo good with Cowboy Caviar! (Recipe coming soon!)
Of course your nutritional information will differ based upon what type of pita bread you use and how many pieces you cut them into

Here is the nutritional facts for 1 pita pocket, which is actually 1/2 disc of the Kangaroo Brand