Recipe: Banana Oatmeal Muffins

My mom’s group is the best. Really. We’re always sharing amazing articles, pictures, and best of all –  recipes to help boost supply which are always super helpful. You may recall these cookies also stemmed from that group.

Anyhow, when someone posted a recipe banana oatmeal muffins and saw a mama post about how they boosted her supply I thought, huh, I need to try these out. Banana anything is yum, and oatmeal is a super lactofriendly food. I’ve had some texture issues with oatmeal since I apparently can’t cook it on it’s own but in cookies, breads and muffins, oatmeal and I are go!

I made a few modifications to the recipe posted to my moms group (and the one that those were based off), but over all they were a huge hit (we’ll see how they affect the supply but they taste yummy!)

Banana Oatmeal (Chocolate Chip) Muffins

Ingredients

2.5 c. oats
1 c. greek yogurt (plain non-fat)
2 ripe bananas
3/4 c. sugar (or 1/2 c. honey)
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
2 T. ground flax seed
1 1/2 tsp. nutritional yeast (optional, i added this just for kicks)
2 eggs
1 c. chocolate chips (optional)

banana oatmeal muffins ingredients

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, line muffin tin with either non-stick spray or line with foil liners.

Put oatmeal in a food processor, grind oats. Make sure they’re really fine. Mine could have used some extra grinding.

The other two recipes call for you to just blend all of the ingredients in a food processor. I could have used my kitchen aid but it was late and I didn’t feel like breaking out the beast that is our kitchen aid mixer. So I mixed them together by hand. Expect lumpier muffins. I was cool with that though.

Add in all of the ingredients and mix well. Add in chocolate chips (or walnuts).

Divide batter. You could make 12 larger muffins or 24 smaller muffins. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until a knife/toothpick comes out clean. Ever notice you never have toothpicks around when you bake? I never think to have toothpicks around because I never serve finger foods that require them so I always use a knife. /end random thought.

banana oatmeal muffins

Let cool on a rack, then enjoy! They tasted delicious as the chocolate chips were still melting, would also do great toasted with some butter. Just a touch – don’t want to mess with the chocolate.

Don’t want chocolate chips? I would also try peanut butter chips, or any sort of nuts (walnuts or shaved almonds) would also be tasty.

Enjoy!

If you’re a nursing mama and try these out, let me know if they help your supply! I had the saddest pump last night though not likely because of the muffins but because Ethan got a late bedtime nursing, and I don’t think my water intake was what it should have been.

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Recipe: Sweet Potato Slow Cooker Chili

Last week I hosted my Junior League council meeting here at my apartment.

I hadn’t ever done this before since our apartment is not really fancy, is often a cluttered disaster, and errs on the smaller side.

But with it being a Tuesday, hubs had class and so I offered up if we could push our meeting a touch later so I could get bedtime done with which the girls were okay with. It was really a blessing because it forced me to clean up in these parts more so than I had been doing recently. More like a deep clean if you will.

But hosting my council meant serving a dinner. I knew one of my pals on the council is gluten free so I wanted to serve up something I knew she’d be able to eat. After a bit of research, looking at a few different recipes I figured out sweet potato chili would be a perfect meal. The great thing about chili is not just that it’s gluten free, but  that it’s so flexible – the flavors are to taste, and all it takes is a bit of chili powder, various peppers, some veggies and beans.

It’s so easy and screams autumn to me.

Lucky for me, the girls all happened to love it too!

Sweet Potato Chili

Ingredients

1 lb meat (optional – i used ground turkey)
1 15 oz can black beans
1 15 oz can red kidney beans
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes with green chilis
3 medium sweet potatoes cubed
2 peppers (i used one red and one green) diced
1 medium onion diced(I use sweet yellow)
2 cloves garlic pressed/minced
chili powder (i add to taste – usually 1-2 T)
cayenne pepper (again, to taste usually 1 t.)
paprika (again, to taste but about the amount of the cayenne pepper – 1t. or a few dashes)
dash of nutmeg or all spice (optional – i didn’t use it this time but i have in the past and would go really well with the sweet potato)
salt and pepper

Directions

Cook meat until just browned with onion and garlic
Add meat, beans, tomatoes, peppers and spices to slow cooker. Mix well.
Cook in slow cooker on high for 5 1/2-6 hours or on low for 7-8 hours

I served it up with some sour cream, cheese, and some black bean & quinoa chips from Trader Joes. I got about a weeks worth of meals out of this batch so it makes a decent size.

Next time I’d serve it up over some quinoa, or a baked sweet potato. Would also make a great base for chili nachos if you’re serving up some football Sunday apps!

Enjoy!!

(No i didn’t take any other pictures. Foodie blogger wannabe fail)

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We Be Jammin’

Last weekend I made jam.

I was so inspired by the homemade jams up in Vermont at the farmers market that I came home and was determined to make jam.

One of the easiest and best decisions I’ve made in a while.

I mean, easiest because we have a pretty awesome bread maker that I knew from the get-go made jam, so I figured it couldn’t be too difficult to add some fruit, and just let our Cuisinart do it’s thang.

And do it’s thang it did. I’m obsessed with the jam I made. I’m trying to justify making more but I don’t want it all to go bad so I may refrain.

jam

 

Keep in mind this recipe is to be done with a breadmaker. Though here’s a good and easy explanation of how to do it all semi-old fashioned-y without a bread maker.

Mixed berry Jam

(Makes 1 pint)

1 c. sugar
2-3 c.  of blueberries, black berries, and strawberries
1/8 c. pectin

I didn’t have as many blackberries because a few of them were starting to look moldy so I picked out the ones that were okay and added them in. I wasn’t planning on the strawberries but since I didn’t get all of the blackberries they helped substitute.

Mix together berries, sugar and pectin.

Add to breadmaker pan (with paddle attachment.)

Make sure the settings are on jams/preserves. Hit start. Let it do it’s thang.

After it’s done (I think ours took about an hour and a half) let cool for a few minutes – pan will be dang hot! Transfer jam to a jar of your choosing.

Finally….enjoy!

Best flippin’ jam ever. Yumm.

Have you ever made jam? What type should I make next?? 

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MommyCon Philly: A Review

Confession: I feel like half my blogging persona is a healthy living blogger – writing about running, eating (pseudo) healthy and other yogi persuits.

The other half embraces the inner mommy blogger in me.

So when some moms in my group planned a trip to Mommy Con in Philly, I jumped. I’d never been to Philly and since it’s close I figured why not. So, even though book club was planned for Saturday morning (whoops?) we still trekked up there after. I should have skipped or rescheduled book club but alas, I’m a chronic over scheduler. All told though, there was no way I was leaving the house at 6am to drive to Philly for a 9am conference start time. Nope. No way.

We stayed right in Center City where the conference was going to be thanks to the outstanding group rate they offered. That they were able to upgrade us to a king from a standard double was a super win. Royal Sonesta Philly for the win.

We headed out to dinner shortly after we got there since we knew we weren’t going to stay out too late and after a little online searching we trekked over to Nodding Head Brewery. Despite it being upstairs, it was surprisingly kiddo friendly and Ethan did great while we ate.

Nodding Head Brew Pub

The food was outstanding. I had a vegetarian puttanesca, and adam had a duck BLT – both were incredible.

bacon blt

Adam’s Duck BLT.

nodding head brewery vegetarian

So many noms. My meal was a polenta puttanesca and was delightfully light and hearty at the same time. I could have done without the olives but m’eh.

If you’re ever in Philly, I highly recommend checking out Nodding Head – it was delicious – both food and beer. So good. We met up with friends of ours for brunch on Sunday AM and though they picked the joint – we ended up back at Nodding Head completely by chance. Brunch? Also delicious!

I digress.

After dinner, we headed back to our hotel which had an Elephant and Castle in the lobby to enjoy a night cap which was ended abruptly. The demon baby came out and did not settle down until almost 11:30. I should note we headed up to our room at 8:30pm. Though it was closer to 10pm when the crib came up but he didn’t end up sleeping in it anyhow and instead crashed in bed between us which was fine since he woke up at 1:30a, 3:30a and 7am.

Sunday morning, I met up with my mama pals bright and early. E-man and I grabbed breakfast in the lobby (no brekky for the conference? Fail #1.)

Mommy Con Philly

The first session was on Baby Wearing. I’m a big fan of my Tula and I really enjoyed the K’tan Breeze
until it got to stress my back too much. But this session? Was sponsored by Becco & Ergo and I felt like it was  “Here’s the Moby, the gemini and the ergo…kbye.” Literally, it lasted ten minutes. Talked briefly about the ages each carrier was good for and that’s it.

The other morning sessions were just okay. Nothing to write home about I didn’t think. I skipped one at 11:30 just before lunch so we could meet up with our pals. When this awesomeness happened. Dualing car seats atop upside down high chairs (who knew you could do that?! Outstanding!!)

We headed back, I skipped a second session on cloth diapering (101! Yes there were two. of the same.) and tried to nap before our late check out. Monstr there in the blue and white had other ideas and decided it was not in fact nap time, and he was going to SCREAM. Hellooooo over stimulation. #mamafail

Eventually we made it back, met up with our mama group, and then this happened. Hello sleeping, happy, baby!

A sleeping baby is a happy baby.

Baby Guy NYC Mommy Con Philly

We saw jessica from the Leaky B@@b who was, simply put, incredbile. The Baby Guy – who was hilarious and did the giveaways. No I didn’t win anything and no I don’t want to talk about it. They also had a great talk on carseat safety which is always helpful. There’s so much information out there but this was super helpful about everything from infant bucket seats to convertibles. Not all in that order but you get the point.

After it was figured out that I didn’t win anything, I met up with the hubs (who kind of just hung out during the day. He saw it as a vacay and had zero interest in the conference) and we popped out to grab a quick dinner at Honey Grow a few blocks from the hotel. Oh em gee, the biggest thing I miss about living in the city is super interesting little joints like this who pride themselves on farm to table. I had a little stir fry and it was deeeeelish.

Of course, after that we had the drive home from hell thanks to an accident in Maryland on I-95. A 2 hour trip took us almost four hours (with a short stop to feed Ethan in Delaware). 45 minutes of screaming later, somewhere in Maryland on 95, homeboy finally fell asleep. But not before I seriously contemplated opening the car door and throwing myself out of it. Into hardly moving traffic. There is nothing worse than a screaming baby in a car. In traffic. Nothing.

Oh em gee.

Thankfully, we finally made it home. We’re all mostly recovered (traumatized I tell you. Trau-ma-tized.) and baby’s sleep regression rolls on into another week. Another week, another hour earlier he wakes up….what’s the difference at this point? Sleep is for babies…other babies.

Overall, Mommy-con was….fun. Mostly because of the people I went with. Would I go again? Ehhh, probably not to Philly. Baltimore or DC, maybe but no where that I would have to stay overnight or drive more than an hour. There was not enough variety in the seminars, the space was too small (did they over sell? I suspect they may have since their facebook page indicates they expected 200-300 and had almost 500 !!!) they ran out of water and snacks (uhhhh….nursing mamas need water yo!), the advertised “shopping” was non-existent and the swag was simply just okay (I like to go to conferences for swag what can I say). Never mind the fact that you have 100+ cranky infants and toddlers in one room – by 3:30p it was getting bad. Ethan was…aside from the earlier incidents a champ. He saved it all for the car ride home though. Of course he did.

That all being said, I paid like $30 for the ticket since our group managed to snag a discount code (thats what happens when you send almost 15 mamas) so I’m not too upset because I had lower expectations anyhow.

Adam and I got a night out of the house, I got to spend some time with my mama pals and that in itself is worth it’s weight in gold.

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{Review} Green Giant Veggie Chips

I often find that as a part time work at home mama, I forget to feed myself a real meal or two during the day. Between entertaining baby, churning out articles and blog posts and getting work done for my job, I struggle to find or make the time. Time flies when you’re having fun, what can I say?

The other day, I actually had lunch, and then, later in the afternoon as I was writing more during nap time, had a snack. Let me tell you about the amazing chips I got to try out from Green Giant.

Green Giant Veggie Chips Key Visual 1

Listen up friends, there’s a new chip in town.

I’m usually more of a sweets kind of gal but sweet potato anything has me drooling. Same with Ranch. Nom nom nom. So when I got the opportunity to try out some new chippers, I jumped up – after all, I’m quite familiar with Green Giant veggies – especially their frozen selections which I’m a big fan of.

green giant sweet potato veggie chips

Normally, I’m not a huge fan of BBQ chips. My dad used to always get them on car trips and the smell used to really just…irk me. But these? Not too salty, not too BBQ-y, and the sweet potato isn’t greasy like other potato chips. Really it was just a yummy combination. That handful you see there? Is a serving.

I did however, enjoy the sweet potato chips a bit more than the Roasted Veggie Tortilla Chips – they were still tasty but reminded me a little too much of Cooler Ranch Dorito chips. That being said, these re decidedly much better than my lunch of choice from 1997. The flavor wasn’t over powering and definitely had that distinct tortilla chip texture. Yum.

green giant veggie tortilla chips

{Again, that’s a serving of the Roasted Veggie Tortilla Chips – a nice sized snack for a mid afternoon salt craving!}

Both types of Green Giant chips are made with real veggies. Neither flavor was overly salty nor were the flavors over powering. If there’s one thing I really don’t like when it comes to chips is greasy-ness and residue. These had neither! Huzzah!

Next time, I’m going to dip these in hummus – perhaps Roasted Red Pepper hummus or Tomato Basil Hummus (from Trader Joes that I eat with EVERYTHING) because it goes with everything and the creaminess would be a delicious compliment to the flavors and textures these have. But really, they’re pretty amazing on their own too.

What’s your favorite afternoon snack? Are you a sweet or salty treat eater?

 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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Moms Night Out: The Point Crab House

I hadn’t heard of The Point before last week. I was up in the air about whether or not I could justify two MNO (Mom’s Night Out for those of you not in the know) in two weeks but I consider it networking and blog foder at the very least. The social aspect and sanity keeping aspect is the icing (aka the best part).

First of all, The Point is completely open. It sits in an old garage type structure right on the Magothy River behind a residential neighborhood in Arnold. It was a bit convoluted to get to but once I figured out where I was it wasn’t so bad.

The Point Crab House Arnold MD

The view of the marina and the river is absolutely gorgeous. You can sit inside where they have fans keeping the temperature tolerable (even in 90 degree weather).

ahi tacos the point arnold maryland

The food was delicious. I had the Ahi Tuna Tacos – a nice light summery choice. I loved the slaw on top and the tacos themselves had a crunchy taco inside a soft taco which gave them a touch of structure and flavor. The tuna was seasoned and seared perfectly – definitely a dish I would order again.

The portion sizes were perfect and a side salad as the side instead of fries or other fatty choices was delectable. Really though, lets chat about the drinks. While tasty – I can’t go anywhere on the water without having a perfect summery Orange Crush,  I did think my orange crush might have had a touch too much ice in it since it began to taste watered down pretty quickly. Still delicious and refreshing though.

the point crab house arnold drinks

I did love the water in the mason jars – a delightful southern touch.

The service was great and I loved how the waitress went around a second time to make sure she had everyone’s orders correct. The menu was a balanced mix of traditional Maryland seafood (Crab Cakes, Crabs, dips…etc..) with some southern touches like fried pickles, deviled eggs and of course your every day burger and fries. While the atmosphere was definitely a bit noisy, it wasn’t nearly as crowded or as expensive as say Cantlers (Annapolis/St. Catherines) or Mike’s Crab House (Riva). Crabs will be expensive no matter where you go this season, so I’m talking about the rest of the menu

I probably wouldn’t go on a weekend, but a weeknight for dinner, when it’s not sweat your ass off hot would be perfect. They have happy hour from 3pm-6pm every day Monday-Friday which includes $2 domestics, $3 crafts/imports, $5 House Wine, $1 off rails and 1/2 price on select appetizers including items such as deviled eggs (which I almost tried), fried pickles (which a couple of girls got and loved), crab dip, mussels, wings, fried oysters and steamed shrimp. Also, Wednesday night is half price bottle of wine night (house wine mind you)… so there’s that.

The Point is open from 11-10p Sunday-Thursday and 11am-11pm on Friday and Saturday and should be on everyone’s list of places to check out in the greater Annapolis area this summer!

Many thanks to Karen from Stroller Strides Annapolis/Plum Moms Group for organizing this awesome mama’s night out! 

The Point Crab House & Grill
 700 Mill Creek Road
Arnold, Maryland 21012

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Recipe: Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken

Last night I decided to experiment with dinner. Thankfully, it turned out to be a huge win in our book because of tastiness and time it took to cook the meal. You see, I don’t often experiment in the kitchen, most of my kitchen endeavors come from recipes or as inspiration from other bloggers with some tweaks here and there. But last night? Full on experimentation and a huge, huge win.

I was craving bbq chicken and wanted to try it in the slow cooker but all the recipes I found were for boneless/skinless chicken (duh right? Easy to pull apart) but I wanted to do almost a rotisserie style, roast chicken pulled with bbq. Thankfully, it worked out, if it hadn’t I would have been really upset about the wasted Whole Foods chicken!

Slow Cooker Pulled BBQ Chicken

pulled chicken slow cooker

There was a lot more chicken than this. But unfortunately, I didn’t get pictures of the start, or the final chicken product before hubs started shredding it. Whoops?

Ingredients

1 whole chicken (we got a 3-4 lber at Whole Foods for $6!!)
1 onion sliced
mixture of spices: onion powder, chili powder, garlic (I used garlic paste), paprika, cayenne pepper, cumin and a dash of tabasco
~1/2 – 1 c. of your favorite bbq sauce

Directions

Layer the bottom of slow cooker with the onions

Mix together the spices adding the tabasco and garlic (1 dash of tabasco and ~ 1/2 t of garlic paste) to make it into a dry rub with a touch of pastiness and coated the chicken well.

Lay chicken in slow cooker, rub about 1/2c. – 1 c. your favorite bbq sauce into the chicken to add a touch of moisture.

Cook for ~4 hours on high or until fleshiest part of chicken is 165 degrees F.

Kind of a lame recipe, mostly because I don’t measure anything. ever. unless I’m baking. But it was super easy, I winged the rub based on the smell and well, bbq sauce can fix just about anything.

pulled slow cooker bbq chicken

You can kind of see the rub there…this was half way through hubs shredding it. Oh em gee, it was soo good.

To make a sammich…add to whole wheat rolls, top with more of your favorite bbq sauce and arugula, and enjoy!

I topped mine with Sweet Baby Rays Hickory and Brown Sugar sauce. YUM. Also had a side of fresh sweet corn on the cob. A perfect summer side.

slow cooker pulled bbq chicken sweet corn sweet baby rays

Happy Summer eating friends – enjoy!

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Recipe: Veggie & Shrimp Stir fry

So I’m like, the queen of easy recipes. Seriously, if it takes longer than fifteen minutes to cook, I’ll convince the hubs to get take out and won’t cook at all.

But here’s the thing, being healthy and eating out don’t really go hand in hand. Sometimes they do (depending on where you go) but not really because who knows how much butter and oil is put into your favorite dishes. Not to mention the sheer cost of eating out more often than we should. So, I’ve made a renewed effort to committing to eating in during the week and being a little more lax on the weekend because well, it’s the weekend (though we’ve been getting better about eating in on the weekends too!)

The other night, we made a delicious meal that was super easy and really light which I’ve found is key in this heat. Anything too heavy just makes you feel super blah. And that’s the great thing about japanese style noodles – they’re super easy to cook (I think easier than regular pasta) and if you go with Soba noodles (which I thought we had, but nope.) they’re gluten free.

{Stir fried veggies and Shrimp with Udon}

{Ingredients}
2 c. shrimp (I used medium precooked from Trader Joes)
1/2 c. broccoli
1/2 c. frozen pepper trio from Trader Joes
1 small onion
2 bundles Udon noodles
1 T coconut oil
Terriyaki to taste
Soy sauce to taste

{Directions}

Melt coconut oil in large pan (or wok if you have one, we do but I opted not to get it out because it’s a pain to clean), add onion and broccoli. When broccoli is bright green, add peppers then add shrimp.

Cook noodles in a separate pot in boiling water per package directions (they cook quickly – usually within 5 minutes so watch the clock!). Drain noodles and add to pan with veggies and shrimp – add terriyaki sauce (I usually add about 1T) and a touch of soy sauce. Mix together and cook for a couple minutes until all flavors are blended together.

Serve and enjoy!

 

 

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Recipe: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you’re a nursing mama, you know that there are number of foods that can assist with any sort of supply issues that may arise. When I saw lactation cookies come up in conversation on my mama group’s facebook page, I knew I had to try them.

What makes them so lactation friendly? This post does a good job explaining the key ingredients and how they help, but it’s all about the oatmeal, brewers yeast and flax seed. I accidentally forgot the brewers yeast but I did have the oatmeal and flax seed. I did still see a slight uptick in my supply (and I mean very slight). Lately I’ve been mildly concerned about whether Ethan is getting enough to eat – he seems to be eating for shorter periods of time, and more frequently. Whether this is a concern or not, I don’t know, since he still seems to be gaining weight. I’m going to make another batch in the next few days after I pick up some brewers yeast. In addition, I’ll start eating more, not that I’m dieting (I don’t believe in diets. I believe in eating healthy and balanced) but I think I often don’t eat enough calories. Because I’ve been working out, I need to make sure that I’m eating enough to compensate for the fact that I’m nursing AND working out. Do I need to worry about my supply? Ehh, probably not according to KellyMom but can you ever be too cautious?

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Lactation cookies
{via my mama’s group/an LC at AAMC}

Ingredients

1 c. butter/margarine
1 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar
4 T water
2 T flaxseed meal
2 large eggs
1 t vanilla
2 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
3 c. oats (thick cut if you have them)
1 c. (or more) chocolate chips
2 T. brewers yeast (be generous)

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Mix together flaxseed meal and water and set aside for 3-5 minutes.

Cream butter (or margarine) and sugars. Add eggs one at a time and mix well. Stir flaxseed mixture and add with vanilla to the butter mixture. Beat until blended.

 

Stir together dry ingredients except oats and chips. Add to butter mixture. Stir in oats and chips.

Scoop or drop onto baking sheet, preferably lined with parchment.

The dough is a little crumbly, so it may help to use a scoop.

Bake for 8-12 minutes. Makes about 6 dozen (depending on size of cookie). May be frozen for future use.

All in all, regardless of whether they really help with milk supply, it’s still a delightful cookie recipe. Next time? I might add peanut butter chips.

Don’t want to make your own cookies? Check out the MilkMakers website to order a pre-made mix subscribe to mail order cookies.

Hey mamas: did you have any supply issues? Any miracle cures that worked to boost your supply? 

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Recipe: BBQ Chicken Naan Pizzas

I’m a big fan of being healthy. I’m not always perfect at it, but I do go for 80/20.

However, as a new mama, and chief executive meal planner, I look for easy recipes that are filled with nutrition. While this one hits the easy mark, the nutrition is on the edge but the delicious factor trumps all. Last week, somewhere on the internet, I saw someone use Naan as a pizza base. I was craving BBQ chicken pizza so I thought the two would be perfect together. I couldn’t have been more correct. It was delightfully satisfying without being overly filling. Tangy and sweet in the perfect way BBQ is, and well, the arugula ups the health factor right? Right.

 

{Ingredients}
(yields 4 pizzas)

4 pieces of garlic naan (I got mine from Trader Joes)
2 handfuls of arugula
Your favorite BBQ Sauce
chicken cubed (I used precooked grilled chicken and cut it into smaller pieces)
Gouda cheese shredded
Fresh mozzarella balls sliced

{Directions}

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook chicken – the Trader Joes chicken that I used took about 4 minutes in the microwave since it’s precooked.

Shred gouda cheese using cheese grater to add base to pizza.

Add desired amount of arugula, cubed chicken, and top with 3-4 slices of mozzarella cheese. Drizzle with desired amount of bbq sauce.

Bake in oven for 5-8 minutes – or until mozzarella cheese is just melted.

Enjoy! 

 

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