• Kaylan

Who Says You Can't Have Dessert First?

That's right. Like any grown adult, I made the dessert first. This week, my sweet tooth said some peanut butter tagalong bars from Chocolate Covered Katie looked good. They are really naughty, though. I logged the recipe and at 16 bars in an 8"x8" pan, they are still 277 calories per bar. Worth it.


  • 2 cups almond flour

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp baking soda

  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract

  • 5 1/2 tbsp pure maple syrup

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter

  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used Tollhouse Dark Chocolate Chips)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment, and set aside.

  2. In a measuring bowl, stir together the almond meal, salt, baking soda, vanilla, and sweetener (and water, if using) to form a dough. Transfer the dough to the prepared pan, and use a second sheet of parchment to smush the dough out evenly, pressing down again and again until it covers the bottom of the pan.

  3. Bake 12 minutes on the center rack, then let cool at least 20 minutes before either frosting right in the pan or removing from the pan and then frosting with the peanut butter.

  4. Carefully melt the chocolate. Spread on top of the peanut butter layer. Chill to set.

Next up: Soup. I was really feeling this recipe from Skinnytaste for chicken (but I don't eat chicken, so shrimp) and avocado soup. Then I found a bunch of other stuff that I could use in it, so it became more of a Mexican-style soup. I am not mad about this, and it is very light and filling with the shrimp. Without the shrimp, each serving is 186 calories. Adding 3.25 oz of shrimp is another 88. Perfect for lunch!


  • 2 lb bag of shrimp

  • 1 gallon water

  • 2 tbsp vegetable broth powder

  • 2 tbsp minced garlic

  • 1 large can diced tomatoes, drained

  • 2 small cans Southwestern style diced tomatoes, drained

  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed

  • 2 bags frozen corn

  • 3 green bell peppers, diced

  • 1 bunch green onion

  • 1 bunch of cilantro

  • 4 avocaodos

  • Cajun seasoning, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, lime juice salt, and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Spread the shrimp on parchment paper on a baking sheet and season with Old Bay seasoning or however you would like the shrimp to taste. Bake for 15 minutes.

  2. Bring the water to a boil, add the broth powder.

  3. Put the green peppers in first to soften them.

  4. Add the diced tomatoes, beans, and corn. Simmer for about 20 minutes over medium heat.

  5. Add cilantro and green onions, turn off the heat.

  6. Dice 1/4 of an avocado for garnish.

We kept the shrimp separate from the soup since one of our friends comes over and lets our dog out 2 days a week and we feed her - she is a vegetarian.

Vegetable Stroganoff was supposed to be next. At this point, I was nearing 3 hours of really just dicing up and slicing a bunch of vegetables (I had also sliced a bunch of vegetables for a veggie hummus sandwich I was craving this week and life is just easier if you can grab and go).

Anyway, I was pretty over it at this point so, first of all, this did not become stroganoff. It became more of an Italian-style dish with a red wine vinaigrette sauce that I had Mike make because he is a sauce king (red wine vinegar, olive oil, some Italian seasoning, and garlic). The fully prepared dish is probably like a scoop of wheat egg noodles topped with a couple large scoops of this concoction. Without the vinaigrette, this dish is 311 calories per serving. It is also probably a little less since I drained a bunch of water and oil out of the cooked vegetables. Since they are sauteed, I may or may not use Mike's Special Sauce.


  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter

  • 3 tbsp olive oil

  • 3 1/4 pints cherry tomatoes

  • 3 green bell peppers, julienned

  • 3 medium yellow onions, sliced

  • 10 portobello mushrom caps, sliced

  • 10 oz baby spinach

  • 1 bag wheat egg noodles

  • Italian seasoning


  1. Melt the butter and 1 tbsp olive oil together in a large pot.

  2. Add the mushroom first, cook for 1-2 minutes until lightly browned. Add the peppers, onions, and tomatoes, along with the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil. Sautee together, add Italian seasoning to taste.

  3. When the vegetables are sauteed to your liking, add the spinach to wilt.

  4. Serve 2 scoops of vegetables over a scoop of egg noodles. Yum!

I still want stroganoff, though.

So really, the only thing I made to recipe was the peanut butter bars. #yolo

On this Monday after meal prep, I have had the soup with some shrimp and the veggie sandwich. Sometimes you need to say, "Heck salad!" and have a great sandwich. Next up - going to try these peanut butter bars. RIP my weight loss.