Baked Buffalo Chicken Tenders

Perfect for the Superbowl or ANY time! This is a family favorite recipe! And since they’re baked, I don’t mind making them! I make lots of extra so that we have leftovers for wraps and salads, too!



Looking for some healthier food options to bring to a Superbowl party, or serve up to your team at home? These are SO good! I’ve made them this way for several years of Superbowls, and they’re ALWAYS a crowd-pleaser! You won’t miss the grease OR the bones! 🙂

BAKED Buffalo Chicken Tenders

8 servings (adjust accordingly)

½ C. all-purpose flour

¼ t. paprika

¼ t. salt (or seasoned salt)

¼ t. cayenne pepper

¼ t. onion powder

¼ t. garlic powder

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips/tenders

Cooking spray

Hot sauce (Frank’s or your favorite brand)

1 dash ground black pepper

1 dash garlic powder

Blue Cheese Dip
¼ cup nonfat plain yogurt
1 Tbsp. crumbled blue cheese



In a large Ziploc bag mix together the flour, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, garlic and onion powder. Place chicken strips into the bag, a few at a time and shake until they are evenly coated. Repeat with remaining strips. Place coated chicken into a non-porous, glass dish. Cover and refrigerate for 60 to 90 minutes. *Do NOT skip this step!

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray large baking sheet with cooking spray, place chicken on the pan and spray the chicken until evenly coated. Bake the coated chicken for 30-40 minutes, (turning once) or until parts of the tenders begin to turn brown. Meanwhile, warm the hot sauce, pepper and garlic powder in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir together and heat until mixture is warm. Remove from heat and reserve for serving.

*For extra crisping, you can broil the chicken for 3-5 minutes at the end. Remove from oven, place baked tenders in serving bowl, add hot sauce mixture and stir together. Serve with celery and carrot sticks and a the blue cheese dip.

Nutritional info per serving (2-3 tenders)

Container equivalents: 1 RED and 1 tsp.

Calories: 158, Protein: 26 g.


The Portion Fix container system has helped so many people SEE what proper nutrition and portion sizes look like. Planning is easy: if it fits in the container, you can eat it! 🙂 When combined with daily exercise, my customers who follow this plan lose up to 3-5 pounds per week. And you’re eating clean, whole foods, which keeps you full longer!

What’s on SALE this month?

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Salad Dressing with your Pancakes?

Alright, these are the two recipes that people are asking me about lately, so I wanted to get them both here for you. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend pairing them together…but that’s up to you. 🙂

protein_pancakesThese protein pancakes are my new love. They are so tasty, and filling and adaptable. You could even make a savory pancake with the right ingredients and toppings. The recipe below is the basic recipe I’ve been using, but play around with it and let me know if you come up with some good combinations!



Protein Pancakes (Sound weird, taste delicious)
Makes 1-2 servings (depends on how hungry you are and IF you like sharing)
1/2 C. Oats (regular or quick)
1/2 C. egg substitute (or 2 eggs)
1/2 C. cottage cheese (stay with me)
1/2 t. baking powder

Instructions: Add all of the ingredients to a  food processor or blender. Blend until completely combined and smooth. Let sit for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet to medium heat. Add batter to the pan (you should get 4-5 regular-sized pancakes). Cook until bubbles form. Flip and cook and 2-3 minutes until done. Serve with fruit, berries, real maple syrup, low-sugar preserves, etc.

Nutritional facts: 297 calories & 32 grams of protein (if you eat them all yourself).



Ideas: Shred some apple into the mixture before blending and sprinkle in some cinnamon. Yum! Add some berries to the mix, it’ll be pretty and tasty (or pretty tasty)! Chia seeds would be an excellent, nutritious add-in! How about some different extracts: vanilla, almond, lemon, cherry, etc. You could even add in some natural almond/peanut butter, sprinkle a little shaved dark chocolate on top! Oh BOY the possibilities are endless! And I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!


Ok, on to the Salad dressing. I have found that when I make my own salad dressing, there is a very basic formula that seems to work well for every time. You could make multiply this recipe and store extra servings in the fridge for the week, but I have found that it’s so quick and easy to do, that I just make it as needed. 🙂

Basic Salad Dressing Formula  sunny_salad

1 T. acid + 2 t. oil +  1/2 t. thickener + seasonings = Yum!

Acids: vinegar, citrus juices

Oil: I really only use extra virgin olive oil for my dressings, but you could probably play around with that a bit.

Thickeners: Dijon mustard, honey, greek yogurt, etc.

Seasonings: ALWAYS salt & pepper (they make the world go ’round!), often minced garlic, oregano, basil, (whatever you like)…


Balsamic Vinaigrette

1 T. Balsamic vinegar, 2 t. olive oil, 1/2 t. Dijon mustard, 1 clove minced garlic, S & P

Greek Dressing


1 T. lemon juice, 2 t. olive oil, 1/2-1 t. greek yogurt, 1/2 t. juice from beets (pretty), 1/2 Stevia packet (or honey), 1 minced garlic clove, salt, pepper and dash of oregano

Honey Lime Dressing

* Good for a Tex/Mex salad!

1 T. lime juice, 2 t. olive oil, 1/2 t. honey, 1 clove minced garlic, salt, pepper, dash of cayenne (BAM!)

Similar to the pancake recipe above, there is a lot of room for experimentation here. Have fun and know you are saving a TON of cash and a zillion calories by making your own! Plus…it’s FUN! 😀

What’s on SALE this month?

Upcoming Groups

White Chicken Chili, a Family-Pleaser!


This is SO tasty. The kids liked it as is, but you could spice it up a little more by adding some diced jalapenos, and/or a little more cayenne pepper. This is very satisfying and very healthy. Each serving will be about 285 calories. Makes about 6 servings. Enjoy!


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 (4 ounce) cans chopped green chile peppers
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (or to taste)
2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cooked & diced)
3 (15 ounce) cans white beans
1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Slowly cook and stir the onion until tender. Mix in the garlic, green chile peppers, cumin, oregano and cayenne. Continue to cook and stir the mixture until tender, about 3 minutes. Mix in the chicken broth, chicken and 2 cans of the white beans. Puree the 3rd can of beans with a little of the broth from the chili. Add to the rest of the ingredients in the pot. Simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Remove the mixture from heat. Optional: Before serving, top w/diced avocado, light sour cream, reduced fat cheese, cilantro, etc…

For the salad: I made a tossed salad with a Honey Lime Vinaigrette Dressing.

Salad for 3-4

1 T. olive oil

juice of 1 lime

1 t. honey

1 crushed garlic clove

salt and pepper to taste

Wisk, toss and enjoy!

Try This! Kale Quinoa Salad


I made this salad today for lunch, and it was SO good! I highly recommend that you try it. Even my six year old couldn’t resist the yummy smells coming out of the kitchen, and enjoyed a bowl of the finished product with her lunch. Not sure you like quinoa? Do you like rice? I think it really has the same texture as rice, but it’s so much more nutritious, and high in protein, too! BONUS! Not sure you like kale? I found a giant bag of ‘baby’ kale at Costco, and it’s much more tender and mild. Good for adding to salads, or sautes…quite nice.

Anyway, back to my salad. It’s a New Year! If you’re working on a New You…then you’ll want to incorporate some New Foods! 😀

Kale & Quinoa Salad (makes 6 servings)

2 Cups of water

1 Cup of quinoa

6-8 loosely-packed cups of kale

2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 Tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon dijon mustard

1 garlic clove (minced)

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3/4 C. Almond pieces or slivers

3/4 C. dried cranberries

1/2 C. reduced fat feta cheese


  1. Bring water to a boil in a saucepan. Stir quinoa into the boiling water, reduce heat to medium-low, place cover on the saucepan, and cook until water absorbs into the quinoa, about 15 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat and let rest covered for 5 minutes. Remove cover and allow quinoa to cool completely.
  2. Put kale in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Whisk olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, garlic, pepper, and salt together in a bowl until oil emulsifies into the mixture; drizzle over kale. Add cooled quinoa, almonds, cranberries, and feta cheese to the dressed kale and toss to incorporate.

 Nutritional Information: 297 calories, 12 g. fat, 11 g. protein per serving

A Public Service Announcement


Unless you WANT your husband to get buff, healthy and totally hot…forget about getting fit! This is a warning to women everywhere. The following events will happen, and it’ll be your fault!

Here’s how: First, you’ll start working out with HIS weights! Not to be outdone, he’ll work in a couple sets of his own, and ask you to “spot” him, which means…”Look how STRONG I am”! Then, you’ll take the dog out for a few runs, and suddenly he’ll be dusting off his running shoes and “testing” them out to see if they still feel good. You’ll inevitably start cooking and eating healthier foods. He’ll  begrudgingly take one bite, and then he’ll clean his plate, get a second helping, but save enough of the leftovers to take for lunch the next day.  You see where this is going. Go ahead…get healthy…see what happens!

Here’s the truly discouraging thing about this phenomenon. Your husband will ‘decide’ to get fit, and the next day…he’ll be down 10 pounds!  Just deciding seems to work up enough of a burn to accomplish this feat…overnight! Before you know it, his pants won’t stay up, he’ll need new belts and you won’t be able to pry him away from the mirrors in your house. 🙂  It’ll happen. Trust me.

It won’t stop with your husband either…nope. Your mom will be calling you and wanting to know what healthy recipes you’re making for dinner this week. She’ll want to start working out with the latest and greatest programs available and taught be women half her age! 😉 She’ll be leading a revolution in her own house and then guess who’s next…yep…your dad! (See above for how that’s going to turn out)

Don’t even get me started on your kids! They are going to be running downstairs to follow along with your workout video. Your 5-year-old might even decide that he is strong enough to pick up your 15 pound dumbbell after you explained to him at least a dozen times that he should not pick it up because he’ll likely drop it, it’ll land on his foot, and he’ll break a toe! But he won’t listen to you. He’ll pick it up anyway, drop it on his foot and break a toe! Your six-year-old might be learning how to read all of the big words in the world around her, but pay special attention to food labels and words like: calories, sugar grams, high fructose corn syrup, etc. She’ll point out again and again what ingredients are in the foods you’re all eating and make dinner time a real learning experience for everyone.

So you can see…this is not a decision to take lightly. Are you ready for the consequences of your actions? If so, I suggest you buy men’s pants on sale, get more mirrors, some protective foot coverings for your children and a dictionary. Then, you might be prepared to take on this new healthy lifestyle, and all that comes with it! Good luck! 😀

What is this “Clean Eating” you Speak of?

veggiesDid you know that you don’t have to diet anymore? Dieting is SO last decade. Seriously though…just eat clean, whole foods and combine it with some phyical activity at least 3-5 times/week, and that’s IT! So easy!

Want to know what I’m always talking about when I say “clean eating” this and “eat clean” that? Watch this quick little video that I made to get an idea of how to eat, without dieting, and still get the results you want.

Have Box, Must Climb

What are you doing RIGHT now? Where are you right now? Because NOW is what matters the most. You’ve heard this before right? It’s not a new concept, but I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. I am all for learning from the past, and having goals for your future, but I think we all need to focus a lot more on being present, in the present tense and living for the moment of now.

What is ‘now’? Now is happening every second, in every opportunity and in every choice you make. Every step you take, every move you make…no wait, that’s a Police song, and I won’t be watching you, cause that’s creepy. But consider this, there are 86,400 seconds in a 24 hour day. So let’s say a third of those are spent sleeping, which leaves 57,600 seconds every day that you spend awake, and engaged in the activities of the day. That means you have 57,600 opportunities in your day. How will you spend them?

Will you reflect on the past? Or will you just be in the moment of now? I think that when you spend your time thinking too much about the past, you might become complacent and assume that not much you do will change your course. Let’s talk about this in terms of health. Maybe you’ve dieted in the past, and fallen back to old habits. Maybe you tried a new exercise, and slowly fell away from that, too.  Well, now you have a story, and that story becomes an excuse, and you don’t seize the opportunity to make a change NOW. You have 57,600 opportunities a day that can make a difference now. You can’t change your past, but you can start with now. Take a walk, choose the fruit-not the doughnut, park farther away from the store instead of wasting time circling the parking lot, take the stairs, try to a new exercise program, look for a healthy recipe on the internet to make for dinner…etc. These choices take seconds to make. Just think how many good choices you could make in one day, rather than let time tick by…grab a second by the neck, and show it who’s boss!

Will you dwell on the future? Do you live in the land of ‘someday’? Make someday happen today. Sure, write down your goals, visualize the future, and then do something about it. Someday never happens if you don’t start now. Did you miss an opportunity a second ago? That’s ok, because you have 57,599 other seconds to get it right. Why start your diet on Monday, when you can do it now? Why wait until after the holidays to undo all of the mistakes that seem inevitable? You give yourself permission to fail when you ignore the opportunities that you have right now. Plan less, act more. 🙂

Now exists in the middle of “I did” and “I will”. What will you DO today. Do something that flies in the face of the past, and brightens your future. Just Do It…Now! (Nike should have added “now” to their slogan, don’t ya think?)

Here are the last 2 days of my Clean Eating Challenge:

And finally, if you haven’t seen my results already, here they are. I cannot believe what I was able to accomplish in 25 days! I made a lot of really deliberate choices everyday during this challenge. And they were choices! You can make them, too….guess when…NOW!

Just a Quick Post Today + BONUS Sushi Recipe!

We started having a little too much fun with my clean-eating challenge pictures.  If you look hard enough you’ll find the Green Lantern in one of the food pictures each day.  We crack ourselves up over here.  Day 14 started with coffee, and my homemade vanilla coffee cream (the recipe is a few days down in the blog), and an “omelette” that sort of fell apart :(. I had an apple with chocolate PB2, mixed with a little yogurt for dipping, as a snack. Lunch was another tasty, colorful salad. I did my workout and then ENJOYED a Tropical Strawberry Vegan Shakeology…so tasty! And for dinner, I had part of a spicy tuna sushi roll made with brown rice.  I was low in the calorie department, but felt fine…so there ya go.

Day 15 was organic oatmeal for breakfast (with coffee…duh!) and a hard-boiled egg. I grabbed a honey crisp apple and some almonds for snack.  Of course I had my Shakeology after my Chalean Extreme workout. I made an extra lean turkey burger and sweet potatoes from our CSA for dinner.  I LOVE PICKLES (sorry, I just had to get that off my chest!) And when I’m low on calories…it’s popcorn, for a little chill time on the couch with the family. 🙂

Day 16…more than half-way done with my challenge.  Can you find the Green Lantern.  He may never recover from this challenge.  He might be scarred for life. I had an omelette and some cinnamon raisin Ezekiel toast for breakfast. I enjoyed my Shakeology after a super sweaty TurboFire workout. Look at my pretty salad that I made for lunch. Eating a rainbow just isn’t a sacrifice! I made a snack with plain greek yogurt, blueberries and almonds. And then I rocked a tasty dinner of HOMEMADE quinoa and brown rice California roll sushi for dinner! Anyone can make this! You can use the tried and true old-school method of rolling with a bamboo mat, or you can use one of these nifty contraptions:

 It kind of looks like some sort of Star Wars laser shooter thingie. You can order it on Amazon and it really makes the whole process easy and fun.  The kids enjoyed helping me make our sushi!

And here is the recipe to make your own HEALTHY brown rice & quinoa sushi rolls:


The Glass is Almost Totally Full! and Challenge Catch Up

I am an optimist.  It has mostly served me well in my life.  I say ‘mostly’ because I can think of a few instances where it hasn’t…like believing that people are always good, nobody will ever hurt me, and nothing bad could possibly happen.  I’ve been wrong a few times about those things.  But overall I’d say I’m right most of the time.  I like to give people the benefit of the doubt.  Actually, I have no choice.  I’m a die-hard optimist.

I was thinking about this today in terms of health and nutrition.  Here’s how an optimist looks at these particular goals: I like to think of what I CAN eat, as opposed to what I CAN’T.  As you know I’m participating in this cleaner eating challenge, and when I look at the pictures I’m taking, I can’t help but think how pretty and delicious everything looks.  It doesn’t seem like a sacrifice at all to me when I GET to eat all of that yummy food.  I go to the store with a different mindset.  I’m looking for what I can have, and not begrudging what I can not have. I come home with bags of fruits and veggies and other healthy foods. I get excited to cook new recipes and try new foods.  Maybe I’m weird.  Ya, probably.  😉

For exercise, I like to think of what I CAN do, and not what I CAN’T.  Maybe not everyone can, or wants to try, to run.  So, what CAN you do?  Can you walk?  I bet you can.  Maybe not everyone has weights in their house.  Can you do push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups (there are a lot of “ups” here that require only your body as weight) squats, lunges, etc? I bet you can.  Maybe you can’t go to the gym, but do you own a DVD player?  I’ve got some awesome workouts I could recommend to you.  And they’re FUN, too!  You see where I’m going here.  Start with what you CAN do.  Focus on what you CAN eat. Your mindset will change, and so will your habits. You’ll be on your way to eternal optimism. Well…maybe. 🙂

Who would think that they could start a new health and fitness business at 40?…Me! But this one was kind of a no-brainer for me.  I love to workout.  I enjoy eating healthy foods. And I LOVE to talk.  That just about sums up my new job.  These are things I most definitely CAN do.  🙂

So here are my weekend Clean Eating Challenge pictures and a couple of recipes:

 Nothing remarkable on Day 5, except I learned how to make my own “almost” fat free coffee cream.  Want the recipe? Click here:   Oh, and the pretty green drink is a spinach, kale, strawberry, pineapple smoothie that was delicious!  Seriously, don’t knock it til you try it.

Day 6 looked like this:

  This was my “cheat” day, well sort of.  I ate really clean during the day and then it was “Ladies Night Out”.  So for dinner I splurged on 2 small pieces of veggie pizza and a salad with a little drizzle of raspberry vinaigrette dressing…oh…and 2 vodka tonics :o. Ladies night out doesn’t happen very often, so I forgave me.

Day 7 looked like this:

 I had a big salad for lunch, with lots of veggies and 1/2 of a very lean turkey burger sliced on top. Raw almonds are an excellent snack to keep in the house. I had mine with half of a honey crisp apple and a tall glass of water and felt very full.  Dinner was so yummy, I’ll have to share the recipe.  I made a spinach, ricotta (low-fat), tomato frittata.  It was delicious!  Recipe here:  (I added tomatoes to mine, but it wasn’t part of the original recipe).

So there you go!  What CAN you do today?

Clean Eating Challenge, Day 2

    So Here is what yesterday looked like.  I did a jumping, kicking, sweating, calorie-torching workout in the morning which I believe made me feel a little hungrier throughout the day.  So in short, Day 2 was a little more challenging than Day 1.

I started the day with Santa Claus and coffee; I seriously need some giant coffee mugs that aren’t so seasonally inappropriate. So, I was getting ready for my workout when I realized that there is no way I would make it through the entire thing without food.  So I quick grabbed a half of a banana that one of the kids left on the counter and sloppily spattered it with some natural almond butter.  I also had a glass of water, but by the end of the workout, I was grossing myself out with my growling and sloshy stomach noises.  I came up and made myself a quick Shakeology to take the edge off.

For lunch I made one of my favorite salads:  Greek salad complete with chick peas, pickled beets, farm tomatoes and onions and a little leftover grilled chicken breast. I make my own dressing with 1 T. of olive oil, 1 T. of red wine vinegar and a few shakes of oregano. I don’t miss store-bought dressing.  Seriously!

For a snack I cut up a honey crisp apple and mixed up some chocolate PB2 for dipping.  That one always hits the spot.

So on to dinner.  I had some Un-refried beans that I had done up in my crock pot.  I love this recipe.  It makes a ton and it’s so easy to slap some beans in a tortilla for quick tacos/bean burritos.  They freeze well, too! The kids like to put them on tortilla chips with some cheese and make nachos.  I made mine with whole wheat tortillas, some slivers of avocado, a little reduced fat cheese and homemade salsa. They were super deelish!

Click here for the UN-refried beans recipe.

For a snack later on, I had some green tomatoes on the counter that I dipped in egg whites, then in a cornmeal/seasoned breadcrumb/garlic powder mixture and cooked them up in a tsp. of olive oil until they were tender on the inside and crispy/golden on the outside.  I set them on some Ezekiel toast triangles, and they were quite tasty! My darling husband begged to differ.  His palate is not as refined as mine, I guess. 😉

Before I went to bed last night I put steel-cut oats into my crock pot with some cut up apples and cinnamon.  Oh boy…I can’t wait to tell you about that!