3 Banana Free Protein Smoothies

Alright ya’ll! If you’ve been following me on Instagram or read my post yesterday, you know I hate bananas.

Don’t get me wrong – banana bread and banana pudding have a place in my heart, but pretty much anything else I can do without. I’ve never been one for super sweet fruits or vegetables for that matter. Even as a kid, peas and carrots were never my favorite.

With keeping with my blog post yesterday about “Find Your Beet” I thought I’d share a few recipes that are my beat when it comes to smoothies.

My Beat When It Comes to Smoothies

  • Sugar: My body does not do well with a lot of sugar all at once and I tire out quickly, so having a smoothie means also including protein, fiber, and fats and not filling the whole blender with only fruits.
  • Vegetarian & Dairy Free: I am vegetarian and allergic to dairy, so the protein I use is a pea protein powder
  • Dislike: Banana… no banana
  • Like: Thick Smoothies!

The point for these smoothies was to create a thick creamy simple smoothie without bananas. Ya’ll ready? Oh and FYI – drinks/smoothies are not as easy as you might think to photograph come to find out.

#1 Blueberry Crumble Smoothie

This recipe name came about when my husband tried my purple smoothie and said it tasted like a blueberry muffin! YUM! Plus I love any excuse to have oats. Anytime I make oatmeal, I add almond extract. You can substitute this out or use vanilla, but if you have almond extract – it’s so worth it! WARNING: This will leave your tongue blue.

Blueberry Crumble Muffin

  • Servings: 1 smoothie (24oz)
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Ingredients

  • 1 scoop vanilla protein
  • 1 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/4 cup old fashion oats
  • 1 cup frozen peaches
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Directions

  1. Put all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.
  2. NOTE: Sometimes I find it easier when I blend all ingredients other than the protein mix first before adding it in.
  3. NOTE: If you are using fresh fruits, then adding a cup of ice will be needed, and lessening the almond milk.

#2 Peanut Butter Mocha Smoothie

I love me some peanut butter in my smoothies. There’s just something about it. And being able to blend my coffee with my breakfast some mornings is needed on busy days.

Peanut Butter Mocha Smoothie

  • Servings: 1 smoothie (24oz)
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Ingredients

  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 cup frozen zucchini
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 cup cold coffee
  • 1 cup almond milk

Directions

  1. Put all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.
  2. NOTE: Sometimes I find it easier when I blend all ingredients other than the protein mix first before adding it in.
  3. NOTE: If you are using fresh fruits, then adding a cup of ice will be needed, and lessening the almond milk.

#3 Island Chia Smoothie

In the summer, pineapple and mango are a part of my diet. So this one I usually will make in the spring and summer time, but with frozen fruits it can be made any time of year. Although I find using fresh pineapple and mango with this one you can taste the fruit better.

Island Smoothie

  • Servings: 1 smoothie (24oz)
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Ingredients

  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango
  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1-2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 cup almond milk

Directions

  1. Put all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.
  2. NOTE: Sometimes I find it easier when I blend all ingredients other than the protein mix first before adding it in.
  3. NOTE: If you are using fresh fruits, then adding a cup of ice will be needed, and lessening the almond milk.

That’s it! These are my beat when it comes to smoothies. As always, keep finding your beet and I’ll talk to ya’ll soon!

Harissa Chickpea & Sweet Potato Sheet Pan

Sheet pan meals are some of my favorites for an easy dinner! And this one takes a different turn by adding Harissa. If you’ve been following me on Instagram, I did post about what harissa is, but if you are not part of the insta-fam, check it out!

Harissa Blend

It is a spice blend that is smoky, sweet, and spicy. The seasoning blend can differ between countries but usually consists of hot peppers, smoked paprika, garlic, caraway, cumin, and coriander.

Sheet Pan Meals

Usually sheet pan meals consist of a protein source and your veggies all in one ready to roast in the oven together. Sometimes it can include a starch like potatoes, but usually protein and veggies. Since it’s spread out in a thin layer on a baking sheet it’s done within 20-30 minutes depending on the ingredients, and it’s pretty much an all-in-one dinner.

A trick that I usually do is that I take whatever I’m using for veggies after they are chopped, and whatever protein, usually chickpeas/garbanzo beans because they roast well, and throw them all in a mixing bowl. I’ll add my sauce, seasoning, or just olive oil and salt and pepper and toss it in there before pouring it on to the pan. I’ve seen so many recipes showing them drizzling the sauce on the pan, but if you want to make sure everything is coated, mix it in a bowl before.

And for an even easier clean up – line it with parchment paper.

Recipe Side and Substitutions

Let’s move on to it shall we! I’ve not only included what I’ve used a the sheet pan, but also the couscous side that I made with it. A simple plain grain will work too if you don’t want the couscous pasta. And I think having the fresh herbs tossed in with the side is the perfect cool touch to eat with the harissa seasoned chickpeas and veggies.

Additionally, I had unsweetened plain plant based yogurt to dollop on top of my bowl, but sour cream or even a few slices of avocado will work too as a cool creamy addition.

Now, onto the recipe!

Harissa Chickpea & Sweet Potato Sheet Pan with Herb Couscous

  • Servings: 4 Servings
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Ingredients

  • 2 cans chickpeas/garbanzo beans, drained or about 3 cups cooked
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, chopped
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp Harissa blend
  • Salt and Pepper
  • COUSCOUS
  • 1 cup pearl couscous, uncooked
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil or butter
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, minced
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • plain unsweet yogurt, sour cream, or avocado to top

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the 1/4 cup olive oil, honey, harissa blend, and salt and pepper.
  3. Add chickpeas, chopped sweet potatoes, and sliced red onion to the bowl and toss with the harissa mixture.
  4. Pour out the contents of the bowl onto the lined baking sheet and spread evenly. Once the oven is preheated, bake for 20 minutes, check on the sheet, toss, and bake for another 20-25 minutes until it starts to brown.
  5. Meanwhile, you can prepare the couscous. Bring 1 1/2 cups water and 1 tbsp either olive oil or butter to a boil. Add in 1 cup dry pearl couscous and simmer for 8-10 minutes.
  6. Take off heat, and fluff with a fork. Let it sit for about 5 minutes.
  7. Add in the fresh parsley, cilantro, and green onion and the juice from 1 lemon.
  8. Once the sheet pan is out of the oven and cooled for a few minutes, put your bowl together with couscous, chickpea/sweet potato mixture, and topped with lemon juice, and unsweetened yogurt or sour cream.

Italian Sausage Skillet

I have to tell ya’ll about our first time eating this dinner. I had planned for it to make enough so that we could have leftovers, possibly for one meal the next day. The day I made it for dinner however, was an off day for both James and I and come to find out, neither of us had lunch. So I started cooking dinner at 4:00 pm. We were eating by 4:45 pm. And scrapped the skillet clean. It’s so good and apparently, not only were we hungry, but it hit the spots we needed it to that day.

This is a great recipe if you’ve planned to have something with brown rice earlier in the week and then by the end just want a recipe to throw together in a skillet and serve in 20 minutes. Love these types of recipes!

NOTE: This recipe uses 1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice. You can either use leftover brown rice or microwaveable brown rice. However, I started cooking the rice and then prepping the rest of the meal and by the time it was done cooking, I was ready to incorporate it with the skillet. Whatever you prefer.

Italian Sausage Skillet

  • Servings: 3-4 servings
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Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 14 oz, or 4, fully cooked Italian sausages, sliced (We used the hot Italian Beyond sausages, but any cooked sausage will work)
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 cup white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup fresh tomato, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 heaping tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 15oz can cannellini beans, or white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
  • fresh parsley to top
  • salt and pepper if desired

Directions

  1. Heat oil in skillet on medium high. Add in sausages, sliced onion, mushrooms, and chopped tomato. Cook for about 10-15 minutes or until mushrooms and onions are soft. If you need to add some liquid if the skillet is too dry, you can add 1/4-1/2 cup water or broth. There should be some juice from the mushrooms and tomatoes to be enough to where it won’t burn.
  2. Add in minced garlic and Italian seasoning. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Stir in drained cannellini beans and cooked brown rice. Cook on medium-low heat for another 5-10 minutes.
  4. Take off heat. Top with parsley if desired. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Serve immediately.

You can use any kind of Italian sausage you’d like, but to keep the macros balanced, using a turkey or chicken sausage instead of a pork sausage would even it out.

Macro Balance

(With using a basic Italian Turkey Sausage)

  • 51% Carbohydrates
  • 23% Protein
  • 26% Fat

Citrus Moroccan Carrot Lentil Salad

Okay so this is one of the recipes that has come out of myself wanting to be more adventurous with the meals I make for myself for lunch. Since we are eating at home more than before I wanted to venture out of my normal cooking and start cooking with other flavors or use them in a way I wouldn’t have thought of.

This recipe is one that has come from that challenge that ended up being really tasty! This will probably be a really good recipe to keep in mind in the winter since citrus fruits are at their peak.

If you are someone that likes to mix flavors this you will like this sweet/savory/citrus-y “salad”. And side note – I might just start roasting my carrots with these spices on the regular. I was never much of a carrot person when I was little. Something kids are suppose to love right? Not me. I did not like sweet vegetables – carrots and peas – you can forget about it. Slowly I’ve come to love them both, and for carrots especially roasting them. Well almost any vegetable, roasting I feel brings out all the flavors.

With this salad you have a serving of fruit with the oranges, vegetable with the carrots, and your protein with the toasted almonds and lentils. 1 cup of lentils = 18g of protein! And I don’t think I need to mention the amount of fiber, but trust me there’s plenty in this recipe.

I hope you enjoy venturing out to try this if this looks like something out of the ordinary!

Citrus Moroccan Carrot Lentil Salad

  • Servings: 4 lunch servings
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Ingredients

  • 1 c green lentils, dry
  • 2 c vegetable broth
  • 1 lb carrots cut on bias
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1-2 Tbsp fresh dill
  • 1 orange, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup toasted almond slivers

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Add green lentils and broth to a pan and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the liquid is almost completely absorbed.
  3. Meanwhile, toss your cut carrots pieces in a large bag with 2 Tablespoons olive oil, cinnamon, paprika, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder. You can also add a sprinkle of salt and pepper if you desire. Toss to coat.
  4. Add carrots to a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 30 minutes, moving them around about 15 minutes in.
  5. Once lentils are done cooking, drain any excess liquid and add to a large mixing bowl or dish to cool.
  6. Cook the chopped onion on a small skillet and wait until the onion is translucent and starts to brown slightly. (6-8 minutes) Once cooked, add them to the mixing bowl.
  7. Clean out small skillet and add 1/4 cup slivered almonds and cook on low constantly stirring so they don’t burn and toast the almonds. 3-4 minutes. Add to the lentil/onion mixture.
  8. Whisk together in small bowl the other 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the 1/4 cup lemon juice. Chop up the orange and get the fresh dill chopped.
  9. Once the carrots are done, toss them with the lentils, onion, and almond mixture. Wait for them to cool, about 10 minutes. Add in the dressing, dill, and orange pieces. Mix together. Add salt if needed.
  10. Eat immediately, or after cooled in the fridge. Enjoy!

Summer Peach & Roasted Chickpea Salad

For some reason I have been craving peaches. Don’t get me wrong – peaches are delicious and it’s their season to shine, but I don’t usually crave them. Or when I think about what I wanted to put in a smoothie, or thinking of what I want for lunch, peaches don’t usually come to mind.

Well that’s changed! For a week every time I thought about what I was hungry for, peaches came to mind. I was truly craving them! I know when I keep thinking of a food throughout the day or think about it over days, it’s gonna have to happen.

I thought I’d share one of the meals I made with them that turned out so good! Here is another non-scheduled, just so happened I made it, and it was delicious so I thought I’d share – recipe. Enjoy!

Summer Peach & Roasted Chickpea Salad

  • Servings: 4 Servings
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Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas or garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed OR about 2 cups cooked
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 4-5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • salt and pepper, if desired
  • 2 large peaches, or 4 small (I used 4 small yellow peaches)
  • 4 slices red onion
  • 1 cup toasted slivered almonds
  • 1 cup goat cheese crumbles
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • Baby Spinach

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Put chickpeas in sandwich ziplock bag. Add spices, 1-2 tbsp of olive oil, and salt and pepper if desired. Toss until coated.
  3. Add chickpeas to a baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes. Let cool for about 10 minutes.
  4. If slivered almonds are not already toasted, add the almonds to a dry skillet and toast on medium heat. Continually toss to make sure they do not burn. Take off heat when they are browned (about 5 minutes).
  5. Make the dressing. Whisk together balsamic vinegar, 3 tbsp olive oil, garlic clove, and dijon mustard.
  6. Once chickpeas are cooled you can start to assemble your salad.
  7. Since this makes 4 servings, it would be 1/4 of the chickpeas, 1/4 cup toasted almonds, 1/2 peach or 1 small peach sliced, 1 slice of red onion, 1/4 cup goat cheese crumbles on top of a bed of spinach. Drizzle with the dressing.