Chocolate Cheesecake Shake

Every once in awhile I like to add cottage cheese to my Medifast shakes. It helps me on those days when I am feeling extra hungry or before a tough workout. You can sneak it into any flavored shake, but Dutch Chocolate and French Vanilla are my favorites. Mainly because you can come up with so many delicious flavor combinations just by adding powdered peanut butter, a variety of extracts, or sugar free syrups! The possibilities are endless!

Cottage cheese makes the shakes come out smooth, thick and creamy... just like a yummy milkshake! Even if you can't stand the taste of cottage cheese, you have to try it in a shake at least once. I don't think you can really taste the cottage cheese flavor anyways and that is coming from a person who isn't a big fan of it.

The Medifast shakes already have 14 grams of protein, but adding an extra 1/2 cup of cottage cheese adds another 14 grams of protein! That's almost 30 grams of protein for just a little shake! Also, cottage cheese has a high content of casein protein, which is a longer lasting protein, so it helps keep you fuller longer. That makes my tummy very happy!


Adding cottage cheese to the Dutch Chocolate shake makes it taste like chocolate cheesecake! I like chocolate anything, but chocolate cheesecake? I am in heaven! I added unsweetened cashew milk, vanilla extract, and ice. Then I topped it with Reddi Wip and a light sprinkle of walnuts. Sometimes I like to use a drizzle of Walden Farms Chocolate Syrup on top, but unfortunately I was out. Feel free to add extra sweetener, such as Stevia Sweet Leaf Vanilla Drops or Stevia packets, if you like. I think it tastes fine without it.

Enjoy this delicious twist on the shakes!


Chocolate Cheesecake Shake

Ingredients:
1 packet Medifast Dutch Chocolate Shake (1 Meal)
1/2 cup 1% cottage cheese (1/3 Lean)
1/2 cup unsweetened cashew or almond milk (1/2 Condiment)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (1/2 Condiment)
1 cup ice

Optional Toppings:
2 tbsp or 5 grams fat free Reddi Wip (1 Condiment)
7 walnut halves, chopped - I used a little sprinkle as a garnish (1 Snack)

Directions:
Combine chocolate shake mix, cottage cheese, cashew or almond milk, vanilla extract and ice in a blender. Blend until mixture is smooth.

1 Serving with 1 Meal, 1/3 Lean, 2 Condiments and 1 Snack


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ITALIAN SEASONING BLEND

I seldom buy spice blends because I don't use them very much AND you never really know what is in them; some are heavy on garlic, some are heavy on onion and even more of them are heavy on ..."what the heck is that?". When that happens, the $5 jar goes right in the trash, what a waste.  Nowadays, when the occasional recipe calls for Italian seasoning, I just mix up this one, it is excellent.



2  1/4  teaspoons dry basil
2  1/4  teaspoons dry oregano
2  1/4  teaspoons dry parsley
1/4     teaspoon garlic powder (not garlic salt)
1/4     teaspoon onion  powder (not onion salt)
1/4     teaspoon fennel seed
1/4     teaspoon dry thyme
1/4     teaspoon dry rosemary
1/4     teaspoon black pepper
pinch   dry red chili flakes

Basically you just mix all of these ingredients together, however I do an extra step: I measure out the bulky spices, like the fennel seed, rosemary and chili flakes, THEN I work them over a little in my mortar and pestle so it breaks them up which helps distribute their flavor more evenly to the finished spice blend.  This step isn't absolutely necessary, but  it works well.

ENJOY !!!
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EASY CROCKPOT CHICKEN and NOODLES

Crockpot chicken and noodles is pure comfort food in our home. Easy and inexpensive, it pleases everyone.........even picky-picky husband !!

This is one of those super yummy recipes that just doesn't photograph well......... but trust me, it's GOOOOOOD !!!


1 pound of boneless-skinless chicken breast
2  10.75 ounce cans of cream of chicken soup
4 cups of chicken broth or stock
1 small onion diced
1 cup chopped celery
1 large carrot grated
1 cup peas
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Flat wide egg noodles

Spray your Crockpot with a little cooking spray to make cleanup easier. This recipe (as written) requires a nice big Crockpot. If you only have a smaller one, just make half of the recipe.

Dice the onion and celery and grate the carrot. Sautee in a little butter until the onions and celery soften a little.

Put the sautéed veggies, soup, broth and pepper into the Crockpot and stir or whisk it around until it is smooth. Add whole (boneless-skinless) chicken breasts and cook on low for three hours.

After 3 hours, the broth will look a little thin, but that's ok because the noodles with thicken it as they cook. Remove the chicken and cut it into pieces, then return it to the Crockpot.

After 3 hours (on low), add about 3-4 cups UNCOOKED egg noodles and the peas. The noodles will expand (and drink up some of the gravy) so be careful how many noodles you add. It also depends on what KIND of noodles you use, so use your best judgment as to how many dry noodles you put in.    


Depending on what style noodles you are using, it can take as little as 20 minutes for the noodles to cook. If you use a thicker noodle like a Penne, it can take as much as 45 minutes.

If you use the flat egg style noodles, be careful how vigorously you stir them, because they break easily once they start to get soft.

ENJOY !!!

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Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino

Fall is coming just around the corner and everything pumpkin or pumpkin spice is everywhere! I recently just saw Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Twinkies at the grocery store! I mean it has got to be good because the box says limited edition right? Maybe. Maybe not, but they sure did look good. Although they were extremely tempting, I did not cave in. Mainly because my husband just gave me that look as he said "Really?". I said, "Ummmm... of course not. I was just looking.", but in my head I was thinking... but they are pumpkin spice! You just don't see it too often. Pumpkin spice things ONLY come out a few weeks of the year. Oh well. I guess I am going to have to make my own pumpkin spice things to satisfy my cravings.


Of course the first thing I had to make was Starbuck's Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino. Oh my goodness! That coffee drink just screams Fall! I love the combination of warm spices that make up pumpkin spice. Then you add it to cold coffee with a few other ingredients and you have yourself one heck of a drink. If you do not have pumpkin spice at home, don't fret! You can can easily make it yourself. 

Here is the recipe:

Pumpkin Spice

1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves

Combine all ingredients together and store in an airtight container.

Now that you know how to make pumpkin spice, don't go putting it everything. People may start to look at you weird. Although, you could always blame it on the Fall season. I do!


One thing I wanted to add is that we can have pumpkin puree on the Medifast plan. Hallelujah because you know how much I love pumpkin! We can not have a whole bunch of it, but 1 tbsp of pumpkin puree is 1 Condiment. A little bit of pumpkin can go a long way, especially in your shakes! I usually get the canned pumpkin because it is convenient. You are probably wondering well gosh... that whole can of pumpkin is going to go to waste if I can only have one tbsp at a time. You are right, but I found a way to save my pumpkin! I put one tbsp of pumpkin in each compartment of an ice tray.


Then I freeze the tray and then add the pumpkin cubes into a Ziploc bag. I used a small sandwich sized Ziploc bag for one small can of pumpkin puree. Make sure you do not use the pumpkin pie filling which is usually next to the pumpkin puree.


 Then when you need one tbsp of pumpkin puree for your shake, your brownies, your pancakes or whatever you may have in mind, just grab one of those frozen cubes. It is easy peasy because you already measured it out. 

To make the Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino, add one of these pumpkin puree cubes in a blender.


Then add really cold coffee. I like to use this coffee because it is really bold and strong. I say the stronger the better when it comes to coffee!


Next add pumpkin spice and ground cinnamon. I actually had some pumpkin spice in my pantry, so I didn't have to use the recipe above. Once I do run out, I will be making more!


I added Walden Farms Maple Walnut Syrup to the coffee drink because I think it enhances the flavor. I am not a huge fan of all Walden Farms products, but I do like their sugar free syrups. This includes their pancake, chocolate, and caramel syrups. You could also use Medifast's pancake syrup if you have it or a little bit of maple extract. If you do not have any of these ingredients, I am sure the drink will still taste great without them.


Add everything into a blender with a few more ice cubes. Blend and enjoy this delicious treat! 


Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino

Ingredients:
3/4 cups cold coffee
1/2 cup unsweetened cashew milk (1/2 Condiment)
1 tbsp pumpkin puree (1 Condiment)
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon (1/2 Condiment)
1/4 tsp pumpkin spice (1/2 Condiment)
1 tbsp Walden Farms Walnut Maple Syrup or Medifast Pancake Syrup (1/2 Condiment)
1 pkg Medifast French Vanilla Shake (1 Meal)

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a blender.
Add desired amount of ice and blend until smooth.

Makes 1 Serving
1 Medifast Meal and 3 Condiments


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FRENCH FRY SAUCE

This French fry dipping sauce is a delicious condiment that is quick, easy to make and very versatile. It goes together in minutes and everyone loves it.

There are a MILLION fry sauce recipes out there; some have a TON of ingredients, some have just a handful. This is our recipe.


1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons finely minced dill pickles (see note below)
1 teaspoon regular old yellow mustard
dash of salt
scant 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar

When I make this, I put the pickle into the food processor first and pulse it until it is finely minced (2 tablespoons minced pickle is about 1 large pickle). NOTE: You can also just use 2 tablespoons of your favorite pickle relish.

Then add the rest of the ingredients and pulse them all together until the sauce is well mixed and smooth.  You can do this in a full size food processor, although a small food processor (or an hand held immersion blender) works even better.

This recipe makes one cup of French fry sauce. Keep chilled. It is excellent to dip just about anything in, but it is also good on hamburgers.


ENJOY !!!
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