3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Caramel Sauce

This sauce is legit knocking my socks off. WHOA. Peanut butter caramel sauce that is not only super easy to make but won’t completely blow up my nutrition for the week?

 

SIGN. ME. UP.

 

As a kid my parents would always take us to Friendly’s which like barely exist anymore {tear} but every time we went I would get this Reese’s Pieces sundae with this AH-MAZING peanut butter sauce on it. It was warm and creamy and had just the right amount of peanut butter flavor to it.

 

I had never been able to recreate this sauce until now. And I want to put it on EVERYTHING. You will too I promise.

 

 

Ever since our online wellness group kicked off this week I have been super motivated to cook and develop new recipes for the peeps in it ? This recipe being one of them since so many people struggle with cravings for desserts. I am all about finding healthier alternatives versus restricting yourself. If you restrict your craving will only get stronger and next thing you know you will be face deep in a pint of Ben and Jerry’s…at least that is what will happen to me! And with the warm weather right around the corner I got some serious swimsuit goals!! And a pint of Phish Food isn’t going to help that goal at all.

 

What else about my group has me so FIRED UP!?  Well, so far this week we did a little “get to know each other” posting, shared our before pictures and measurements along with our goals for the next 21 days, are are giving away an awesome performance line sample pack to one lucky participant Everyone is posting up a storm and getting their workouts in…and the week isn’t even over yet! I am so proud of each and every person in the group!

 

My favorite things about these groups are the brand new people joining us for the 1st time  After 2.5 years I sometimes forget what it’s like to be part of one of these groups for the first time:

 

Feeling so sore you can barely sit on the toilet
Thinking you are NEVER going to be able to get through the one workout you struggle with the most
?Watching people fall in love with their superfoods and feeling the benefits within just the first 3 days

 

I love being able to use my past experience of being a first time challenger to help them navigate through the start of this group


Our community is an open door…what are you waiting for: http://bit.ly/ContactEmilyJ

 

3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Caramel Sauce
Author: Emily Goodman
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp creamy natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt {if your peanut butter has none}
  • Water {to thin if desired}
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients expect for the water in a small sauce pan over a medium heat.
  2. Continuously whisk until it comes to a boil.
  3. Once boiling, whisk for another minute until thickened.
  4. Immediately remove from the heat.
  5. It will continue to thicken even off the heat so add water to thin to your desired consistency if needed.
Notes
[b]To reheat leftovers:[/b] Heat in a sauce pan over a low heat. Add water to help thin out.

 

 

 

Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette

We are almost a full week into the new year…how are you doing with your resolutions to get fit and healthy? When it comes to staying on track with nutrition I am ALL about making things flavorful! I am on a big salad kick this week and one of my favorite things to do is experiment with different homemade dressings. I think I pretty much nailed it with this creamy balsamic vinaigrette.

 

Making your own dressings is great for so many reasons including:

  • You know exactly what is in them so you can avoid all of those pesky processed and artificial ingredients
  • You can make as much or as little as you want depending on how much you need
  • Many dressings can double as marinades for proteins so you can use them in multiple ways
  • They cost SO much less than buying a premade bottled version (some of the organic brands I used to buy to avoid anything processed or artificial would cost me up to $7 a bottle – CRAZY)

 

 

I have been on cloud 9 since the announcement of the Beachbody On Demand All-Access Challenge Pack and I have had a fun start to the year chatting with people who are looking to make their health and fitness a priority in 2017 and will be using this challenge pack and my support and accountability as their coach to reach their goals.

The Beachbody All-Access Challenge Pack is the most comprehensive digital fitness library – think of it like Netflix, but with workout programs by top trainers!!

 

 

So what’s included in this Beachbody On Demand All-Access Challenge Pack?

  • 1-Year Membership to Beachbody On Demand (BOD) with every single fitness program Beachbody has ever launched pre-loaded and ready for you to use right away, PLUS any new program releases during 2017 along with workout calendars
  • Shakeology (choice of 30-day supply or Home Direct in the flavor(s) of your choice)
  • Portion Fix (includes 7-piece portion control container set, eating guide, large blue container & shaker cup) and every eating guide, food list, and meal plan for every fitness program Beachbody has as well

 

 

With Beachbody On Demand you stream your workouts online from anywhere you have an internet connection or from the mobile app where you can even DOWNLOAD up to 7 workouts at a time to do offline. No WiFi? No problem!! You can use your mobile device (Android app launching Spring 2017 but it’s still available via browser), laptop or tablet and have your workouts ready and waiting to do anywhere – home, gym, hotel room, beach, WHEREVER! There are also apps available on the Apple TV (4th generation), Amazon Fire Stick, and Roku.

If you want a behind the scenes look into what Beachbody On Demand looks like, the content loaded in there, and exactly what you are getting with the All-Access Challenge Pack check out my video:

 

 

If you are interested in getting started with the Beachbody On Demand All-Access Challenge Pack right away start here!

 

Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette
Author: Emily Goodman
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • ¼ c plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ c balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoons honey
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl or jar and shake or whisk until combined and smooth. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if needed.
Serving size: 2.5 tablespoons
Notes
21 Day Fix container equivalents per serving: 1 orange

Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce

This is not my first attempt at Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce. You can find my first attempt here. However, I wanted to tweak that version to omit the heavy cream but still get that thickness and depth of flavor that alfredo sauces are known for.

For those who know me, you know pasta is my favorite food. I could honestly eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner and never get sick of it. It doesn’t help that I also love the heavy and creamy sauces so this cauliflower sauce hits that spot when I am craving that saucy goodness. I have ZERO guilt about eating it because I know exactly what is in it!

Cauliflower is an amazing vegetable if you cook it the right way. Roasting it brings out a depth of flavor that you won’t know was even there if eaten raw and I use it regularly in place of rice in fried rice dishes.  It is also one of the main ingredients in my Broccoli Cheddar Soup.

 

 

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Since I started my health and fitness journey in 2014 I have found so many opportunities to swap ingredients without sacrificing any flavor. This is why I have been able to keep up with this lifestyle for the long haul.

Reading the Compound Effect by Darren Hardy last year totally changed they way I think about the decisions that I make on a day to day basis.  Every small choice is important. And if you continue to make small, healthy choices those choices add up over over time (aka compound) and become behaviors that then turn into habits that have some seriously amazing results!

 

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For example, making small swaps with my nutrition such as switching from sour cream to Greek yogurt, or rice to quinoa doesn’t make too much of a difference in my life at the time I am eating it but it makes a huge difference in the long run.

I have tried countless times to follow a restrictive plan for a set period of time with hopes to see results quickly and let me tell you, it didn’t work! I have tried the no carbs plan, the chicken and and steamed vegetables for every meal plan, the tracking every bite of food and counting every calories plan and each time I did that I set myself up for failure because I was unhappy throughout the process and it left no wiggle room to enjoy life during that time. This led to me constantly thinking about my meals, dreading them because they were boring and bland, and avoiding going out to dinner because I had an all or nothing mentality.

It wasn’t until I started the 21 Day Fix back in September 2014 where I really started to learn more about the quality of my food choices, how to prepare them the right way using spices to layer in flavor, and focusing on portion control that I finally knew I found something I was able to stick with!

I am so excited to share this Cauliflower Alfredo recipe with you today. It’s simple, it’s flavorful, and it’s guilt-free! Serve it over your favorite pasta, zucchini noodles, or spaghetti squash.

 

Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce
Author: Emily Goodman
Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce Author: Emily Goodman Prep time: 10 mins Cook time: 15 mins Total time: 25 mins
Ingredients
  • 1 cauliflower head, cut into florets
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Place a steamer basket into a large pot filled with 1-2 inches of water.
  2. Steam covered for 10 minutes until the cauliflower is fork tender.
  3. While the cauliflower is steaming melt the butter in a small pan over a low heat.
  4. Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds until fragrant. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  5. Using a slotted spoon transfer the steamed cauliflower to a blender.
  6. Add the melted butter and garlic, salt, pepper, 1 cup of the water used to steam the cauliflower. Blend until smooth.
  7. Transfer the mixture back to the pot you steamed in.
  8. Add the almond milk and Parmesan cheese. Stir to combine over a medium low heat until the cheese melts and the milk is incorporated.
  9. Serve over your favorite pasta or zucchini noodles.
Serving size: 1 cup
Notes
21 Day Fix container equivalents for a 1 cup serving = 1 green, 1 blue, 1 yellow

 

This recipe makes a LOT of sauce…enough to use along with a full pound of cooked pasta and possibly then some. Since I was just using it on an individual portion I stored the leftover sauce in a mason jar. This will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days. If I still have some left I will transfer it to a freezer safe ziploc bag or container and keep frozen until I plan to use it again.

 

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TIP:

Freeze in smaller portions and defrost only what is needed if you don’t plan to use all of your leftovers at one time.

 

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Runny eggs over any dish makes it even that much better! This lunch totally hit the spot and provided me with that extra protein I needed mid-day. Show me how you are eating this sauce by posting a picture on Instagram and tagging me (@emilyjgoodman).

 

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Basil Pesto

I have made arugula pesto before but have wanted to make traditional basil pesto for a while now.
This recipe was super easy and you can store in your freezer if you don’t want to use it right away!
Enjoy!
 
Basil Pesto
Author: Emily Goodman
Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1 large package of basil, approx. 4oz
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Instructions
  1. Toast the pine nuts over low to medium heat until they are slightly browned – you will be able to smell them once they start toasting!
  2. Transfer the pine nuts to a food processor. Add the basil. Pulse until combined.
  3. Add the garlic and juice from 1/2 a lemon and pulse again.
  4. With the food processor running and add the olive oil in a continuous stream, stopping and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  5. Add the grated cheese and pulse until combined.
  6. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
Notes
Makes approx. 1 cup

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Arugula Pesto with Walnuts and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

I’ve been on a pesto kick lately (you wouldn’t know this because I have been slacking at cooking and posting but I swear it’s true!).

I just finished up some Linabella’s Traditional Pesto Sauce I had at home with another meal so I was ready to make some of my own pesto.

**If you do want to use pre-made pesto it is worth checking out Linabella’s. They grow their own garlic and basil and use it to create traditional “Pesto alla Genovese” (the true green pesto). They freeze the pesto right after making it and will ship with 2nd day delivery. When you want to use it just let it sit on the counter for 20-30 minutes until you can scoop some out. Put the rest back in the freezer. I have tried the Traditional and Garlic Lovers – the Traditional has a strong garlic flavor so I felt the Garlic Lovers was a little too much for me.

I found them this past fall set up with a stand in the small farmers market right outside of South Station.**

I pretty much made up this recipe on my own and I’m happy to say it came out really good! I used arugula which is a more peppery green so if you don’t like that you can always use basil, cilantro or spinach. The recipe is also quite garlicky so feel free to cut down the garlic cloves as well.

This time I made just enough for this recipe but I bought a huge bag of arugula and walnuts so I plan on making more and keeping it in the freezer. It is great to throw into dips, use on panini’s, or add it to marinades.
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Arugula Pesto with Walnuts and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Author: Emily Goodman
Ingredients
  • 1 box whole wheat pasta (I used farfalle)
  • 4 cups of arugula
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup walnuts (you could toast your walnuts before, I did not)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup marinated sun-dried tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Salt and add the whole wheat pasta. Cook until al dente then drain reserving a few ladles of the pasta cooking water aside.
  2. While the pasta is cooking put the arugula, parmesan cheese, walnuts and garlic cloves in a food processor.
  3. Pulse until everything is chopped into little bits.
  4. Slowly stream in olive oil until you get the consistency you like. Add the lemon juice and pulse for a few more seconds.
  5. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed. Set aside.
  6. After draining the pasta add the sun dried tomatoes to the pot over medium heat and saute for about a minute just to heat them.
  7. Add back in the cooked pasta. Top with the pesto and mix. Add a little of the pasta cooking water if you want to thin out the sauce a little. Season with more salt and pepper if needed.

 

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 Serve with a little more parmesan cheese!
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So easy!!