Baked Cauliflower Chocolate Oatmeal

I love a good oatmeal recipe. I have been making my Peppermint Mocha Oats on repeat. However, when multiple people in the family want these in the morning, the process can be a bit inefficient. So I decided to take the recipe, modify it a bit and make up a large batch by baking it in a baking dish. The result was killer. We actually like it better. It’s almost more brownie/breakfast cake-like this way.

Cake or brownies for breakfast? Sounds great to me!

Baked Chocolate Cauliflower Oatmeal

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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The perfect make-ahead breakfast that is warm, comforting, delicious, nutritious, and a treat that everyone will enjoy.


  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 TBS vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 TBS sugar free sweetener or Maple Syrup
  • 1-2 12 ounce microwavable bags of cauliflower rice, cooked (I have used 1 bag and 2 bags)
  • 100 grams rolled oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 20 grams sugar free chocolate pudding powder mix
  • 4 TBS cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 TBS liquid egg whites
  • 2-4 TBS brown sugar (for sprinkling over the top before baking)


  1. Combine all ingredients (except the brown sugar) in a large bowl.
  2. Pour into prepared 9×13 baking pan (prepare by spraying with nonstick spray).
  3. Refrigerate overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees (when pulling the pan cold from the refrigerator, I put the pan in the oven at the beginning and allow to warm with the oven just to be safe). Right before putting the pan in the oven, sprinkle brown sugar over the top.
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes. If making ahead for the week – it’s ok for it to be a little gooey in the center. It will come together when stored in the refrigerator. Also, when reheating in the microwave it will cook further.
  6. Can be eaten immediately or can be stored for breakfasts for the week.
  7. Reheat in the microwave for 1.5-2 minutes.
  8. Serve with a dash of almond milk, nut butter, berries, and/or other toppings of choice.


Per Serving: 176 Calories; 26.6 g Carbohydrates; 3.8 g Fat; 9 g Protein.

What I Used To Make This Recipe

American Dream Nut Butter is an amazing nut butter addition. I love this company so much. They are a small, local, Indiana-based company that gives 10% of all their proceeds to troops overseas. Their commitment to giving back is one that is admirable – not to mention their nut butters are Off. The. Charts!!! They somehow manage to add amazing flavors and add-ins to their very own almond and peanut butter while also managing to make them with less fat, less carbs, and higher protein than traditional nut butter. Win, Win, Win!!! FITFOODIE10 will save you money when you use my code.

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Instant Pot Cheese Tortellini Vegetable Soup

YUM. I saw this recipe posted on by Tierghan on Half Baked Harvest, and had to try it! When I wasn’t feeling well a friend of mine brought us a soup with tortellini in it, and ever since, I have had a craving for this pasta. So yum.

So when I saw this recipe, I immediately added tortellini to my shopping list🤣. I made some tweaks to lighten it up a bit, but I don’t believe the tweaks compromised the original recipe at all (at least in my opinion).

The original recipe calls for chopped kale to be added at the end. I think spinach works great as well. Also, my kids aren’t huge on greens added to their soups, so I actually don’t add this to the pot of soup. I just put the greens at the bottom of my soup bowl. When the soup is super hot, right out of the pot, it cooks the greens just fine. However, this is maybe why I might prefer the spinach to the kale as it cooks quicker and is more tender.

Instant Pot Cheese Tortellini Vegetable Soup

  • Servings: 6 HUGE servings
  • Difficulty: EASY
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  • 1 TBS EVOO
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 TBS dried basil
  • 1 TBS dried oregano
  • 1.5 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 TBS tomato paste
  • 6 carrots, chopped (about 200 grams)
  • 4 celery stalks, chopped (about 100 grams)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (can sub broth but recommend the wine)
  • 6 cups low sodium vegetable broth (or beef/chicken broth)
  • 4-6 cups roughly chopped spinach or kale
  • 1/2 cup nonfat milk
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese (and more for serving)
  • 1 pound fresh cheese tortellini


  1. Set Instant Pot to saute. Add the olive oil, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, basil, oregano, fennel, paprika, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook 5 minutes, until very fragrant. Stir in the tomato paste. Turn the Instant Pot off.
  2. To the Instant Pot, add the wine, broth, and a pinch of pepper flakes. Cover and cook on high pressure for 6 minutes.
  3. Once the 6 minutes is up, you can allow it to release pressure naturally or quick release is fine if time is of essence. Once ready to proceed with the rest, set the Instant Pot to saute. Stir in the milk, parmesan and tortellini (if using kale – add this as well). Cook until the kale is wilted, about 10 minutes. Turn the Instant Pot off.
  4. If using spinach and/or have other picky eaters eating this, you can put the spinach in the bottom of the soup bowls (for those who like the greens). Leave it out of those who don’t prefer them.
  5. Serve the soup topped with additional parmesan, if desired.


Per Serving: 372 Calories; 56 g Carbohydrates; 14 g Protein; 12 g Fat.

What I Used to Make This Recipe

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Grinch Popcorn

A beloved tradition in our house this time of year is to make Grinch Popcorn and watch The Grinch. We love the newest animated version of The Grinch so very much – Cindy Lou Who just has our hearts. In my humble opinion she embodies the spirit of Christmas.

This popcorn is oh so very yummy. Warning – your hands might turn green while making, but no worries. It washes off and just helps you to embody your own “grinch”. 😉

Grinch Popcorn

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

A sweet, decadent sweet popcorn treat perfect for your holiday festivities.


  • 8-10 cups of microwave popcorn popped
  • 3 cups of mini marshmallows
  • 3 TBS I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Light (or butter or other butter replacement)
  • green food coloring
  • 1/2 cup red/green M&Ms


  1. Pop the popcorn and put in a large bowl. Be sure to try to pick out the unpopped seeds.
  2. Melt the butter and marshmallows in a separate bowl – slowly in the microwave (1 minute, stir, 30 seconds, stir, repeat until smooth).
  3. Add green food coloring to the marshmallow mixture – until you get it to the appropriate green color.
  4. Stir the marshmallows into the popcorn. Stir until popcorn is covered with marshmallows.
  5. Lay mixture onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
  6. Sprinkle with M&Ms.
  7. Allow to cool and enjoy.

Peppermint Mocha Oats

Peppermint mocha – YUM. How I love the peppermint mocha this time of year. Eat seasonally, right?🤣There is something about the cold weather and Christmas lights coming out that just inspires everything to be peppermint mocha (IMHO).

I was making myself a batch of oats the other day, and had a craving for chocolate oats. As I was mixing them up I was inspired to add some peppermint and chocolate to the batch. Yum. Such an amazing variation to the usual oats.

Now I have added a few things to the normal bowl of oatmeal that you might be reticent to try or with which to get on board. However, if you are looking for volume, a more filling bowl, more brownie-like oatmeal, I highly suggest you give these options a try.

For starters, cauliflower rice. I learned this tip from Emily. I have posted a cauliflower rice oatmeal recipe before. Why add cauliflower rice? It adds a ton of volume for minimal macros. Also, when cooked well, it is similar in texture to oats – so it is like eating twice the amount of oatmeal without the added carbs and calories.

This is the cauliflower rice I use. I get it in the frozen vegetable section of the grocery store. Simply microwave for 6 minutes.

The second ingredient is liquid egg whites. When added to a bowl of oats – it gives a creamy, cake-like, brownie-like, or baked oatmeal likeness.

You can get these in the egg section of your grocery. I buy them in bulk at Sam’s Club or Costco. They freeze if you can’t get through them quick enough.

In order to make all of this come together in all this deliciousness, it’s important to follow the directions in the recipe step by step.

The third and fourth elements that take the recipe next level is Peppermint Extract (and you can use Peppermint Stevia as well) and Chocolate Pudding mix.

Peppermint Mocha Oats

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: EASY
  • Print

A delicious and satisfying bowl of comfort and joy.


  • 1-12 ounce bag of frozen cauliflower rice
  • 70 g rolled oats
  • 2 TBS cocoa powder
  • 2 TBS Maple Syrup
  • 100 g liquid egg whites
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 11 g (about 1 TBS) Chocolate sugar free pudding mix
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract (this will smell really strong, but when you reheat it will cook off enough that you want to add extra)
  • extra sweetener if you prefer


  1. Microwave the cauliflower rice for 6 minutes until cooked through.
  2. Combine the cauliflower rice and oats in a tall, big microwavable bowl.
  3. Add water to the oats and cauli bowl – enough to cover the two.
  4. Microwave at 70% for 5 minutes.
  5. Remove and stir in the cocoa powder, pudding mix, maple syrup, extra stevia (I add a dropper or two of Stevia).
  6. 6.Using a whisk (or I like to use a fork), stir in the liquid egg whites – stir very well (VERY important to stir well).
  7. Microwave at 70% for 5 minutes. It will look like cake. If not – microwave it for another minute.
  8. Add the extracts and divide into two dishes, allow to cool and refrigerate
  9. When ready to eat, reheat for 3 minutes in the microwave.
  10. I recommend adding a drizzle of nut butter and/or a super light drizzle of pancake syrup and chocolate syrup.
  11. Enjoy!


Per Serving: 287 Calories; 51 g Carbohydrates; 3 g Fat; 14 g Protein.

Infamous Sugar Cookies

My mom makes the BEST sugar cookies. The BEST. She has flat out spoiled me and ruined all other sugar cookies. Hers are the standard by which I will forever compare all cookies. Think you don’t like sugar cookies? Well might I suggest trying these? And don’t worry. The recipe doesn’t make THAT many. Just enough to give you a really good batch to enjoy and freeze for later parties and treats throughout the holidays. In fact, when really doing heavy holiday baking, I will double (and have even tripled) the recipe. Because, in my opinion, when the mess is made – may as well just go with it.

We were quarantined this past week. So with nowhere to go, we took advantage of some of these fun, messy projects. The kids loved it. I was especially surprised by my 6 year old. He was maybe my most faithful “helper”!

Believe it or not underneath all of that goodness is a cookie. 🤣 This was his first cookie…he got less ambitious as his decorating progressed.

Iced Cut-Out Sugar Cookies

The cookie recipe that is the standard by which all other sugar cookie recipes are compared.


    Wet Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Dry Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  1. In an electric mixer, mix together the wet ingredients.
  2. Add in the dry ingredients.
  3. Combine. The dough will be sticky.
  4. Cover dough in the bowl. Or spray cling wrap with nonstick spray. Roll the dough in the cling wrap.
  5. Refrigerate for 2+ hours (or overnight).
  6. Allow dough to warm just enough to be able to handle.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  8. Roll dough on floured surface and cut into desired shapes. It’s easier to work in batches. We like our cookies to be a little thicker and softer, so I roll out the dough to be about 1/4 of an inch thick.
  9. Bake cut-outs for 8-10 minutes. We prefer ours soft.
  10. Allow the cut-outs to cool before icing.
  11. While the cut-outs are cooling make the frosting: 3-4 cups of powdered sugar (depending on how thick you prefer), 1/2 cup melted butter, 1.5 tsp vanilla extract, 1/2 tsp almond extract, 1/8-1/4 cup milk. Mix well, whipping until nice and fluffy.
  12. Ice the cookies, decorate and enjoy!


Per Serving: 73 Calories; 9.2 g Carbohydrates; 3.5 g Fat; 0.9 g Protein.

Instant Pot Wild Rice Soup

The instant pot. Such a wonderful invention. If you have not yet gotten yourself one. Might I suggest just do it!? Especially right now! They are priced so well during this month. On Amazon, the very one I have is on sale, $20 off. I held out for such a long time. I kept thinking, “I don’t have space for just another kitchen gadget.” However, I kept hearing so much about them. I finally rationalized the purchase by replacing a crockpot that I didn’t like (it cooked everything way too hot and fast); because it serves as a crockpot as well.

This is the exact one I have and LOVE.

Onto to this recipe. We love chicken and wild rice soup. In fact my oldest daughter requests it for her birthday meal – every year. It’s such a favorite. However, so many of the recipes call for Cream of… whatever. Which – ok – is fine every now and then, but the one recipe that we love in particular calls for A LOT of Cream of and then also instant soup packets. These things I tend to not have on hand. If you know the way I cook – it’s basically making something of what I have on hand. I don’t do well with recipes that call for really specific ingredients needed for specific times. I like recipes that are flexible with veggies, rice or pasta, meat, etc. If I can mix and match – count me in.

This is definitely that kind of recipe. In fact I made this two weeks in a row with different meats and veggies. The only thing that was consistent was the rice, chicken broth and spices.

This recipe was inspired by Pinch of Yum.

I have made this several ways. I have made it would ground turkey and chicken breast. I have added cauliflower. I have made it both with and without carrots, with and without onion…You could certainly add mushrooms…SERIOUSLY it is FLEXIBLE! Consider the recipe below the base recipe.

Instant Pot Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

A healthy, versatile, quick, and easy comfort soup.


    For the Instant Pot:
  • 200 g carrots (about 3 carrots), chopped
  • 200 g celery (about 5 stalks), chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped (or 1 tsp onion powder)
  • 1 TBS minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup uncooked wild rice blend
  • 1 pound of chicken or turkey, cooked (I have used both)
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute (or Mrs. Dash seasoning)
  • 1 tsp Everything But The Bagel Seasoning (or dried minced onion)
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • For the Stovetop:
  • 2 TBS I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter (or butter)
  • 2 TBS flour (or arrowroot powder or cornstarch if GF)
  • 1 cup milk (I have used both unsweetened Almond Milk and Nonfat Dairy Milk)


  1. Throw all your ingredients in the instant pot. Set the instant pot to pressure cook for 40 minutes (manual, high pressure).
  2. You can allow the pressure to naturally release or you can quick release as well (time-permitting).
  3. When the soup is done, in a small saucepan melt the butter, whisk in the flour. Cook just a minute, whisking, and then whisk in the milk (pro tip – if you get tired of whisking or are in a hurry – pop this mixture in the blender. Zero lumps).
  4. Add the creamy sauce into the instant pot. Stir. I set the pot to saute for just a minute while stirring the two.
  5. Enjoy!


Per Serving: 218 Calories; 25 g Carbohydrates; 3.6 g Fat; 25.2 g Protein.

What I Used To Make This Recipe:

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Macro Friendly Candy Cane Brownies

So I went from pumpkin everything to peppermint, chocolate everything. My favorite new little go-to product is this Peppermint Stevia. A dropperful of this in hot chocolate? YUM! My favorite, macro-friendly hot cocoa mix is here.

I love a good mint and peppermint brownie. I wanted to make one that was something I could eat any day of the week and still be consistent with my nutrition goals. This time of year it’s good for me to try to be as consistent as I can so to maximize my health and energy.

There is too much at stake the month of December! It’s a season of hustle and bustle, lots to time with family and friends, lots of events, lots of fun, lots of sickness…just A LOT of everything! It’s important to have fun and enjoy oneself this time of year, but I have found it’s equally important to stay dialed in when and where I can.

So here you go – a YUMMY treat, but one that you can enjoy without compromising your nutrition goals!

Macro-Friendly Candy Cane Brownies

A nutritious yet fun and yummy treat for your the holidays and winter comfort.


  • 200 grams overripe banana (2 medium)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup almond butter (I used American Dream Nut Butter – S’mores)
  • 1 scoops mint or peppermint protein powder (I used 1st Phorm Peppermint Bark)
  • 4 dropperfuls of peppermint stevia (or other sweetener)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp peppermint extract
  • 5 Candy Cane, white chocolate Hershey kisses, chopped
  • 1 Candy Cane, crushed
  • 1 TBS dark chocolate chips
  • 1 TBS white chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Prepare 8×8 with nonstick cooking spray and line with parchment paper.
  2. Blend the banana, applesauce, vanilla and wet ingredients until smooth.
  3. In a stand mixer mix together the rest of the ingredients, except for the candy and chocolate chips
  4. With a spoon stir in 1/2 of the candy cane and Hershey’s kisses.
  5. Pour the batter into your prepared dish and spread evenly.
  6. Sprinkle the candy, white chips and chocolate chips over the top.
  7. Bake for 22 minutes. A toothpick should come out mostly clean.
  8. Allow to cool and cut into 9 pieces.
  9. They will get sweeter with time.
  10. Can store on the counter for a day or so, but then after that will store best in the refrigerator.


Per Serving: 116 Calories; 12 g Carbohydrates; 6 g Fat; 6 g Protein.

Chai Tea Latte

Wow! This Oregon Chai is YUM!!! If you have been around my site for any length of time, you know I am all in for warm comforting drinks right now. Throughout the fall and winter I almost always have a mug of some warm drink in my hands.

Want a warm, sweet, satisfying mug of a treat with barely any macros at all!? Literally – none. This Oregon Chai has 0 of everything. Literally. Warm it with some Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk, and you are consuming about 1 g fat, 0.5 g carbs and 0.5 g protein. To add a little more yum and sweetness I like to add just an ounce of Vanilla Premier Protein. I also like to add about 1/4 teaspoon of Gingerbread Cookie seasoning. Then, if you REALLY want to up your game and really treat yourself add a dollop of RediWhip (and I mean a dollop 😉).

What I Use For This Recipe

Macro-Friendly, Low Sugar Chai Tea Latte

A delicious sweet mug of comfort without compromising your macros or calories, which can be enjoyed morning, noon, and night.


  • 3/4 cup Oregon Chai Latte (sugar free)
  • 1/2 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  • 1 ounce Vanilla Premier Protein (recommended but optional)
  • 1/4 tsp Flavor God Gingerbread Cookie spice (recommended but optional)
  • 2 TBS or 5 g whipped cream (recommended but optional)


  1. Warm in a saucepan the almond milk and Chai Latte. This can be done in the microwave as well.
  2. Once this combination is nice and hot, you can add the Premier Protein (note if refrigerated, you will want your liquid nice and hot)
  3. Froth in the Gingerbread spice.
  4. Add whipped cream and an extra sprinkle of spice.
  5. Relax and Enjoy!


Per Serving: 45 Calories; 1.9 g Carbohydrates; 2.5 g Fat; 3.2 g Protein.

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Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs

It is no secret that I LOVE my instant pot. I use it for soups, meats, stews, rice (it’s the BEST rice cooker), mac n cheese…you name it. However, my favorite use of the instant pot is probably for hard boiling eggs. I have had the hardest time finding the best way to hard boil eggs. I mean if the eggs are nice and old – they boil nicely, but fresh eggs? Forget about it! Trying to peel the shell off a farm fresh egg hard boiled? What a mess! Until that is – the instant pot.

Wow – I have finally mastered the perfectly hard boiled egg. And peeling it? The shell comes off so easily and beautifully! I love it!

So here is my technique. Now, if you like a soft boiled egg, you will want to pressure cook for 6 minutes. For a perfect hard boiled egg yoke, 8 minutes is perfect.

  1. Place your trivet in your pot.
  2. Arrange the eggs on the trivet. You can cook as few as 4 eggs and as many as 10 eggs. It’s ideal to have some spacing, but we have made the trivet nice and full of eggs as well. They turn out perfectly each way.
  3. Pour 1 cup of water in the bowl under the trivet. You can just pour the water right over the eggs. It will go to the bottom of the bowl.
  4. Lock the lid on your pot.
  5. Manually select pressure cook and high pressure. Set the time for 8 minutes.
  6. Allow the pressure cooker to do it’s thing. It will take a few minutes to come to pressure.
  7. Once it beeps that it is finished. Set your timer for 8 minutes. Let the pressure release on its own for another 8 minutes.
  8. Once the 8 minutes of release is up, do a quick release (be careful of the steam).
  9. Fill up a bowl with ice and water for ice bath.
  10. Using tongs put the eggs in the ice bath for several minutes.
  11. Once the eggs have cooled some, peel the shell in the sink under a trickle of warmish water.
  12. Allow the eggs to cool completely and refrigerate for up to a week (especially if using fresh eggs).

We love to eat eggs plain with some salt and pepper, in egg salad or on top off a fresh lettuce salad.

The instant pot that I have and use is on sale right now on Amazon.

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Birthday Cake Pancakes

We have a birthday morning tradition in our house – these birthday pancakes. I have made these all sorts of ways. Sometimes with cake mix when I have it on hand; however, I have made it without as well. They are still super delicious, special and sweet like a birthday cake (made either way). The keys to make these pancakes extra special are the sprinkles (how great are sprinkles?), extra vanilla, and then a powdered sugar glaze (with extra sprinkles of course!).

Birthday Cake Pancakes

The perfect breakfast for birthdays or other special mornings that everyone will be sure to love.


    For the pancakes
  • 1.5 cup pancake mix (I used Kodiak)
  • 1/2 cup yellow cake mix (or just use all pancake mix)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • sprinkles
  • 3 TBS egg whites
  • 1 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • For the frosting
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 TBS Unsweetened Almond Milk (+/- for your desired consistency)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 TBS sprinkles, and then extra sprinkles for topping


  1. Preheat your pancake griddle or pan.
  2. Mix up your pancake batter (can be done the night before – may just need to add a little water or milk morning of).
  3. Mix up the frosting ingredients.
  4. Cook pancakes (about 1/4 cup batter per cake) until bubbly, flip, pull off, and stack.
  5. Top with more sprinkles and frosting glaze. Serve warm.
  6. Leftover pancakes and frosting keep in the refrigerator for several days. Simply reheat the pancakes. Spread a little of the frosting over the heated cakes, and let it melt.

What I Used To Make This Recipe

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some of the commission.