Strawberry and Avocado Spinach Salad with Candied Pecans

Strawberry and Avocado Spinach Salad with Stovetop Candied Pecans

A super simple strawberry and avocado spinach salad with a creamy poppyseed dressing and candied pecans.

Strawberry and Avocado Spinach Salad with 3-ingredient  Candied Pecans

Aaaaaaand we are back in the US of A! Sorry for the little bit of absence on the blog. We ended up last minute changing our flight and coming home earlier than planned on since the husband’s work study ended a bit early. In a few hours the flight was changed, we packed everything up, said our good-byes, and we started our nearly 30-hour journey back.

I’ll admit, coming out to Perth was a lot easier than returning to the States with the babe. He was a bit of a handful on our long flight from Sydney to L.A. but overall he did pretty great all things considered. I mean traveling for 30 hours isn’t too exciting for anyone I’m sure, especially not a BUSY 19-month old little boy.

We are still all crazy jet-lagged and working towards adjusting to mountain time! Hopefully we’ll be moving into our place in the next week or so and things will be getting settled down a bit. I’m pretty excited to get all of our stuff out of the storage unit its been in for the last three months!… 

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Healthy Greek Yogurt Pancakes with a Blueberry-Peach Syrup

Healthy Greek Yogurt Pancakes with Blueberry Syrup

Light and fluffy Greek yogurt pancakes made with wholesome ingredients and a refined-sugar free blueberry-peach syrup. The syrup is a delicious addition to these pancakes made with 100% fruit and only 3 ingredients.

Healthy Greek Yogurt Pancakes with Blueberry Peach SyrupThese are the first ever pancakes on Chelsea’s Messy Apron. This is a momentous occasion, right?! I don’t really make pancakes all that often for a few reasons which are all changing thanks to this recipe.

First, I feel like they are just WAY too much sugar in the morning. (I know, coming from me who loves dessert for breakfast. But generally, my “dessert” breakfast recipes are fairly low on sugar and high on other wholesome ingredients. So there’s that.) It’s not the pancakes that have too much sugar for me, it’s the syrup…. 

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Pine Nut Broccoli Quinoa

Pine Nut Broccoli Quinoa

A delicious and easy one-dish broccoli quinoa with toasted pine nuts. This makes a perfect side dish or a great main course with some added protein.

ONE POT Healthy Pine Nut Broccoli Quinoa

How was your weekend? Did you all have a wonderful Valentine’s Day? I love when holidays end up on the weekend because it tends to turn the whole weekend into a holiday – or at least that’s how we like to do things. :)

We had a pretty low-key Valentine’s day which is my favorite way to do it. In the morning, we went to the beach and did lots of swimming. Or, actually, we probably spent more time on the actual beach because the little guy had a sudden and intense desire to collect all the sea shells. Like all of them. And he refused to have help holding them which meant every time he tried to grab another one, all of the other shells were dropped. Haha – cute little guy…. 

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Fresh Lemon Cucumber Salad

Cucumber Salad

A very easy and fresh lemon cucumber salad with tomatoes and a sweet bell pepper. This light salad makes a perfect side dish to just about any dinner!

Fresh, easy, and healthy lemon cucumber salad with tomato

Growing up, my mom would make a cucumber and tomato salad pretty much every single Sunday night. She would slice the cucumbers, chop up tomatoes, add in some lemon juice, salt + pepper, and that was it!

My family loves the salad so much that it’s still a Sunday night tradition.

I wanted to keep this salad as close to my mom’s recipe because it’s delicious. Sometimes (I’m finding a lot of times actually) less is more. Less ingredients and simplicity sometimes make for the best and freshest tasting food…. 

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Easy Chicken Curry and Rice {One Skillet}

one pot easy chicken curry

An incredibly simple chicken curry and rice dish with fresh vegetables. This dish is all made in one pot (even the rice) and can easily be customized to personal preference. One Pot Chicken Curry

I’ve had quite a few comments and e-mails asking for some Australian-inspired food! I can’t even begin to explain how inspired I’ve been with food and recipes since being here, but it’s hard to put a finger on what “Australian” food is.

We’ve eaten out A LOT. And I say that feeling like the caps are still an understatement. We want to really take advantage of being here and trying all the new places. So although I’ve been so inspired by all types of foods and tried many different things that I typically wouldn’t, I don’t know that I really have an “Australian dish” for you all. At least, not yet.

I can tell you what seems to be very popular here – meat pies (still can’t find that appetizing, but I’m not a huge “meat” person), lots of muesli, tons of pastries (different from America and YUM), vegemite on toast (definitely an acquired taste in my opinion – it tastes like straight iron), and biscuits which are basically unique types of cookies.  Oh yeah, and I even saw kangeroo meat at the local market!… 

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Lemon Chia Seed Muffins {Healthy + Flourless}

Healthy + Flourless (GF) Lemon Chia Seed Muffins

Gluten-free and healthy lemon chia seed muffins. The chia seeds could also be replaced with poppyseeds for a delicious traditional lemon poppyseed muffin. These muffins are free of refined white flour, oil, and butter. Leave off the glaze for an even healthier muffin!

Healthy Lemon Chia Seed Muffins - NO flour, butter, or oil!

Return of the flourless and healthy muffins! Because you all figured there would be more right?! I mean I have told you about our obsession with muffins. And it is lemon season…

It’s kind of funny how often muffins are on the blog and how often I make them, because I never really ate ‘em growing up. And then in college occasionally I did, but not that often. However, since being a mom, I make a batch at least once a week. Oh, and that is how often I make them with only one kid. He barrels through muffins like it’s nobody’s business.

They make him so happy and he is always asking for more. And by asking, I mean pointing and grunting in the direction of where they are kept :) PLUS they are a lot healthier than store-bought muffins so it’s totally a win-win.

… 

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Peanut Butter Cup Yogurt Parfaits

PB Cup Parfait

The tastiest peanut butter cup granola mixed into a creamy and delicious yogurt parfait. A healthy and flavorful breakfast that can easily be taken on-the-go.

EASY Peanut Butter Cup Granola

It’s time we talk about one of my favorite people ever which would be my father-in-law. The first time I ever met him I was on my second date with my now husband.

My (now) husband had gone home from college for the weekend. I happened to be pretty close to his parent’s home so he invited me over to see a movie at his home. When I came into their house (after obviously driving around lost for close to an hour because that’s just how I do things), he introduced me to his parents and guess what his dad did? He came right over and gave me a big hug. He gives some of the best hugs by the way.

Anyways I thought that was the cutest thing ever and instantly fell in love with his parents. Which is a good thing since they are my parents kind of now too. So you may be wondering why I’m telling you gushy dating stories or introducing my father-in-law here on the blog? Well the reason is this recipe is all his idea…. 

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Vanilla-Almond + Creamy Peach Overnight Chia Pudding

Peach Chia Seed Pudding

5-minutes prep and a delicious + healthy breakfast will be ready the next morning! This tasty vanilla-almond crunch and creamy peach chia pudding will be your new favorite breakfast!

Vanilla-Almond + Creamy Peach Overnight Chia Seed Pudding #chia #seed #breakfast #healthy

I love overnight breakfast ideas – you probably know this from my overnight oats obsession (here, here, here, here, here, here).  Or perhaps from my overnight slow cooker quinoa, OR maybe even the fact that I bake cookies for breakfast so I can grab a cookie in the morning and go.

So I guess saying I love overnight breakfast ideas was probably an understatement…. 

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{No Bake} Healthy Tropical Breakfast Cookies

tropical breakfast cookies

These delicious no bake breakfast cookies are naturally sweetened with no refined sugars. The perfect on-the-go easy breakfast or snack option!

No Bake Coconut and Greek Yogurt Tropical Breakfast CookiesHappy Friday everyone! Any big plans for the weekend? We are planning to head up to the beach in Perth tomorrow and maybe stop by the zoo that’s pretty close to where we are staying. I know it’s still frigid cold most place in the states, so in attempts to not make you all envious I won’t tell you about the beautiful warm weather we’ve been enjoying. And the fun times we’ve had going swimming. Or the summery foods we’ve been eating. Or the few parks we’ve been playing at. Or the shorts and flip-flops I’ve been wearing all. the. time. :)

I won’t even mention those things…

No. not another word. Instead I’ll share some of the summer weather with you all in the form of tropical breakfast cookies! This is the first recipe I’ve made in Australia and of course it had to be a summer-y type recipe because that’s totally what I’m feeling like since being here…. 

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Healthy Cookie Dough-Filled Chocolate Cups (GF)

HEALTHY Cookie Dough Cups

A delicious “energy bite” type of treat – a center cookie dough filling made with natural ingredients such as cashews and oats. The “cookie dough” bites are coated in a rich dark chocolate shell. These delicious treats are gluten-free, packed with protein, and an indulgent treat to satisfy your cravings in a healthier way.Secretly Healthy Cookie Dough Chocolate Truffles - the cookie dough has no butter, flour, or refined sugar!

So back when I was experimenting on these deeelectable brownie chocolate chip thumbprint cookies (have you tried them yet?!), I also experimented making some cookie dough-filled chocolate cups. Since the cookie dough used for the thumbprint cookies is egg-less and totally edible without being cooked, I thought, why not?!

So that’s exactly what happened – out of one of the final test batches for those cookies, I used half the dough to make these little candies. Of course I fell in love with them. Because what’s not to love – cookie dough + chocolate? I mean that’s straight happiness right there.

And then I took pictures of them and planned on sharing them, but it’s already mid-January and this whole healthy eating thing is going so well. I mean besides all of the tourist-y eating I’ve been doing for just about every meal. Okay, right, I am totally failing at this healthy January thing. But dang. The food and restaurants here are delicious. There’s a little restaurant called Nando’s that I’m mildly obsessed with. It’s been 3 out of the past 5 meals for me. So that’s probably classified as more than a mild obsession, but I digress…. 

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{Metabolism Boosting} Blueberry Coconut Lime Smoothie

This delicious and easy blueberry and coconut smoothie delivers a metabolism and energy boost -- no greens required!

You can thank all of the super-ingredients in this delicious and easy smoothie for the metabolic boost this drink provides. Plus the taste is absolutely fantastic and no greens are required!

Boost your metabolism and LOSE WEIGHT Smoothie

We’ve finally made it to Australia and wow has it been an exciting journey!! We made the 30+ hour travel to Perth last week so I apologize for being absent in responding to comments, e-mails, social media, etc.  And as we are adjusting to the 15 hour time difference I may still be a bit slow. Turns out trying to get an 18-month old to change his entire schedule is going to be quite the feat. Read = any advice greatly appreciated!

I really can’t complain one bit though because he was SUCH a trooper on all the long airplane rides. There were a few meltdowns and a couple of tantrums, but overall he did fantastic. A nice man that sat right behind us on our long flight (17 hours) said little Grey did “quite remarkable really.” I can’t even tell you all how nervous I was for making these long flights with such an active little guy! So grateful it all went so well :)

Right now we are living in a hotel while we are looking for a place to live. Hopefully we’ll all be settled in somewhere within the week. But in the meantime, being right in the center of the city has been wonderful. Plus we aren’t too far from King’s Park which is the most beautiful park I’ve ever been to. I’m hoping to have some pictures of the area sometime this weekend so stay tuned…. 

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{One Skillet} Cheesy Taco Quinoa

Taco Quinoa in One Skillet

An incredibly easy (one skillet needed) + super healthy cheesy taco quinoa dish. This dish is kid-friendly, veggie-filled, and a perfect meatless meal. Meat can easily be added and still be done in one skillet.

One Skillet EASY and healthy cheesy taco quinoa

In between our move from Ohio to Australia, we were able to visit our family in Utah for a couple of weeks. One of the nights we were there my mom asked me to make a dinner — one that required very little dish clean-up was somewhere in that request. I decided to do her one better and use only ONE dish, because you all know how much I like my one dish dinners. You do know, right? Exhibit 1, Exhibit 2, Exhibit 3, Exhibit 4…bored yet?

The tricky part of this one-dish dinner was making sure to please everyone. With 8 people around the house, there are plenty of preferences to be met. Luckily my entire family is pretty health conscious and enjoy veggie-filled meals. That being said, there are the big meat-eaters too and making a meatless meal was a bit of a gamble…. 

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