Slow Cooker Turkey Breast with Gravy

I had a BRILLIANT idea for Easter.  I was going to make my first turkey (breast)!!

I shopped for just the right size turkey breast the week of Easter, had it all ready to go… and in the spirit of silly mistakes made in the kitchen, I realized WAY LATE in the game, that the turkey breast I had bought…. was fully cooked.  OMG!

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast with Gravy | No Thanks to Cake

Thankfully on Easter morning, my local grocery store was open and had turkey breasts still available.

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast with Gravy | No Thanks to Cake

It was frozen, so I had some unexpected thawing to take care of… but in the end, my first turkey came out delicious!!

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast with Gravy | No Thanks to Cake

Because cooking a turkey can be a little intimidating, I leaned on my friend Gina and her fabulous crockpot turkey breast recipe.  It was easy to make (once I had the correct ingredients) and cooked perfectly!  I paired it with some mashed potatoes and some of the carrots that cooked in the crockpot.  A perfect Easter meal!!

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast with Gravy

From Skinnytaste

Serves 10

INGREDIENTS

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast with Gravy | No Thanks to Cake

1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped medium
1 celery rib, chopped medium
6 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1/3 cup flour
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tbsp fresh sage
2 bay leaves
4-5 lb. whole boneless turkey breast
salt and pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

1.  Place oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic and cook until onion is soft, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast with Gravy | No Thanks to Cake

2.  Stir in flour and cook until golden, about 2 minutes.

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast with Gravy | No Thanks to Cake

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast with Gravy | No Thanks to Cake

3.  Stir in 1 cup of broth and scrape up any browned bits and smooth out any lumps; transfer to slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast with Gravy | No Thanks to Cake

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast with Gravy | No Thanks to Cake

4.  Stir in remaining broth, water, wine, sage, and bay leaves into the slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast with Gravy | No Thanks to Cake

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast with Gravy | No Thanks to Cake

5.  Season turkey with salt and pepper, place in the slow cooker, cover and cook 5 to 7 hours on low, or until the turkey reaches 165 degrees with an instant-read thermometer.

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast with Gravy | No Thanks to Cake

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast with Gravy | No Thanks to Cake

6.  Transfer turkey to a cutting board tent loosely with with foil and let it rest 20 minutes.

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast with Gravy | No Thanks to Cake

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast with Gravy | No Thanks to Cake

5.  Let braising liquid settle for 5 minutes, then remove the fat from the surface using a large spoon or a gravy fat separator. Strain braising liquid into saucepan, discard celery, bay leaves and simmer until thickened, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Note:  If desired, add a mixture of milk and cornstarch to thicken the gravy quicker.

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast with Gravy | No Thanks to Cake

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast with Gravy | No Thanks to Cake
6.  Slice the turkey and serve with gravy.

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast with Gravy | No Thanks to Cake

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast with Gravy | No Thanks to Cake

Per 4 oz. breast, 1/4 cup gravy serving:

CAL 167; CARB 11g; FAT 4g; PROT 21g; FIB 1g; WW Points Plus:  4

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Quest Bar Cookies

Ok, y’all, I’m interrupting today’s typical programming to advise you of something that I just learned…

Did you realize that today is

National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day??

Now, this “holiday” would have flown right by without notice, if my friends from Quest Nutrition hadn’t reached out to me to notify me of the event!

Now.. you know someone with a blog called “No Thanks to Cake” has  a few favorite chocolate chip cookies…

ChickFilA Chocolate Chunk Cookie | No Thanks to Cake

Chickfila has an INSANE chocolate chunk cookie!  

My work likes to order Chickfila’s catering quite often, and they always bring a tray of cookies.  I usually try to say no, but if I do… I always describe them as “worth-it” cookies.  So good!

Woody Creek Chocolate Chipper | No Thanks to Cake

Woody Creek Bakery and Cafe sells these tiny chocolate chippers that I think are awesome too.  Their tiny factor makes them perfect when you just need a bite of cookie!

Today, I met a brand new Chocolate Chip Cookie that is totally guilt-free, made from real ingredients, and loaded with protein:  The Quest Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bar. O-M-G!!!

Quest Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bar | No Thanks to Cake

The lovely folks over at Quest sent me a whole box of these cookie dough bars, as well as a variety pack of their other flavors.  They are SO GOOD!  To find out which local stores sell these bars in your area, click here.

I find these bars to be so much more filling and to have a much better flavor that most bars I come across.  They also have REAL ingredients, which makes me feel a little better about eating them as well.

For months, I’ve been seeing Quest “cookies” on Instagram and Pinterest, so I decided to try to make a batch of these baked goods in honor of National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day!  Check out how good they came out!

Quest Bar Cookies | No Thanks to Cake

I made my batch of “cookies” with the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough flavored bar, but I can imagine that any of their flavors would be fabulous made into cookies.  AND… there’s just one ingredient.  See below!

Quest Bar Cookies

Serves 1

INGREDIENTS

Quest Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bar | No Thanks to Cake

1 Quest protein bar – Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough flavor or other flavor

INSTRUCTIONS

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Unwrap your Quest bar, and cut it into 8 pieces.

Quest Bar Cookies | No Thanks to Cake

3.  Place your cookie pieces in a microwave-safe bowl lined with plastic wrap.  Soften the pieces in the microwave for 13 seconds.

Quest Bar Cookies | No Thanks to Cake

4.  Roll each piece into a ball.  Flatten the “dough” slightly before placing in the oven.

Quest Bar Cookies | No Thanks to Cake

5.  Bake for 7 minutes.

Quest Bar Cookies | No Thanks to Cake

6.  Enjoy them with milk.

Quest Bar Cookies | No Thanks to Cake

7.  OR… make them into sandwiches using PB2.  Yum!

Quest Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Sandwiches with PB2 | No Thanks to Cake

Quest Bar Cookies | No Thanks to Cake

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Quest Nutrition.  While I received free products to sample and experiment with, all opinions expressed above are my own.

What’s your favorite healthy way to enjoy chocolate chip cookies?

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Green Velvet Angel Food Cake

Happy St. Paddy’s Day, Y’All!

While I am not huge on celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, I do love all things GREEN and amazingly festive recipes.  This season, I’ve already made my version of a Shamrock Shake

Arctic Zero Shamrock Shake | No Thanks to Cake

And, I made a last minute decision to make one more green treat before the holiday passed.  I spent this past weekend in the mountains with a fabulous group of ladies.  Each of us were tasked with bringing a healthy(ish) snack to share.  Not knowing where to begin… I went to Pinterest to see what dishes I had saved that might be perfect for the occasion.

When I spotted this recipe for Red Velvet Angel Food Cake, I knew I wanted to try it.  After all, I had an angel food cake pan that I had never used.  What a great adventure this would be!  Oh, and it certainly was…. I’ll leave a few notes below to guide you along.

Green Velvet Angel Food Cake | No Thanks to Cake

Not only did I make this traditionally light cake for the first time, but I also painted it green for St. Patrick’s Day! It was spongy, airy, and delicious with a light chocolate flavor.  This moist cake is one that I will make again, in ANY color!

Green Velvet Angel Food Cake

Adapted from Healthy Girl on the Run

Serves 16

INGREDIENTS

Green Velvet Angel Food Cake | No Thanks to Cake

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 cup water, boiling
2 tsp. vanilla extract or paste
2 Tbsp. food coloring, green (1 oz)
1/4 tsp. table salt
1 3/4 cup sugar, divided
1 cup cake flour
16 large egg whites, about 2 cups
2 tsp. white vinegar

INSTRUCTIONS

1.  Preheat oven to 350ºF.

2.  In a medium bowl, combine unsweetened cocoa, boiling water, vanilla and food coloring; whisk and set aside.

Green Velvet Angel Food Cake | No Thanks to Cake

Note:  I used a different kind of vanilla for this recipe.  Have you ever used vanilla paste?

Green Velvet Angel Food Cake | No Thanks to Cake

Green Velvet Angel Food Cake | No Thanks to Cake

Green Velvet Angel Food Cake | No Thanks to Cake

3.  In another medium bowl, combine salt, 3/4 cup of sugar, and cake flour; mix well and set aside.

Green Velvet Angel Food Cake | No Thanks to Cake

4.  Using an electric mixer, in a large bowl, beat egg whites until foamy.  Note:  Cracking the eggs and separating them is intense… next time, I may buy the kind in the carton. :)

Green Velvet Angel Food Cake | No Thanks to Cake

Green Velvet Angel Food Cake | No Thanks to Cake

Green Velvet Angel Food Cake | No Thanks to Cake

5.  Add vinegar; continue to beat until soft peaks form.

Green Velvet Angel Food Cake | No Thanks to Cake

Green Velvet Angel Food Cake | No Thanks to Cake

6.  With electric mixer running on slow speed, gradually add remaining cup of sugar; increase to high speed and beat until stiff peaks form.

Green Velvet Angel Food Cake | No Thanks to Cake

Green Velvet Angel Food Cake | No Thanks to Cake

Green Velvet Angel Food Cake | No Thanks to Cake

7.  Remove a heaping cup of egg whites and add it to chocolate mixture; gently combine and set aside.

Green Velvet Angel Food Cake | No Thanks to Cake

Green Velvet Angel Food Cake | No Thanks to Cake

8.  Sift flour mixture over egg whites, a little at a time, and fold after each addition to incorporate.

Green Velvet Angel Food Cake | No Thanks to Cake

9.  Add chocolate mixture and gently fold into egg whites.

Green Velvet Angel Food Cake | No Thanks to Cake

 

Green Velvet Angel Food Cake | No Thanks to Cake

10. When just combined, turn batter into an ungreased two-piece 10-inch angel food cake pan with feet; smooth top into an even layer.

Green Velvet Angel Food Cake | No Thanks to Cake

11.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 40 to 45 minutes.

Green Velvet Angel Food Cake | No Thanks to Cake

12.  Remove cake from oven and invert pan onto its feet so the inverted cake can cool properly (the cake will not fall out of the pan). If your pan does not have feet, invert it over the neck of a wine bottle or a glass soda bottle.  Note:  I did use a wine bottle even though I was skeptical.  It worked!

13.  When cake is completely cool to the touch, loosen edges with a sharp knife and remove cake from pan.  Slice into 16 pieces and serve. Yields 1 piece per serving.  Note:  The cake will naturally bake itself to the pan and will stick.  You will need to use a knife to cut it out.  Loosen the cake around the outer edge and the inner tube.  Invert the cake on a cake holder, and then remove the outer tube carefully.  You will need to use the knife again to loosen the flat bottom of the pan as well.

Green Velvet Angel Food Cake | No Thanks to Cake

Green Velvet Angel Food Cake | No Thanks to Cake

14.  Sprinkle cake with a bit of powdered sugar (to make it look pretty.)

Green Velvet Angel Food Cake | No Thanks to Cake

15.  Slice into 16 pieces and serve with a small dollop of Cool Whip.  Note:  It would also be delicious with your favorite berries as garnish.

Green Velvet Angel Food Cake | No Thanks to Cake

Green Velvet Angel Food Cake | No Thanks to Cake

Per 1/16th of cake:

CAL 129; CARB 28g; FAT 0g; PROT 5g; FIB 1g; WW Points Plus: 3

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Arctic Zero Shamrock Shake

It’s that time of year again…

Arctic Zero Shamrock Shake | No Thanks to Cake

I just love these darn shakes.  They’re minty, sweet, and creamy… and mostly, reminiscent of my teenage years.  I remember enjoying these shakes with friends, and not having a care in the world… nor did I even realize that the 12 oz shake carried a whopping 530 calories.  Unbelievable!

I’ve also not had a Shamrock shake for years… but that doesn’t make me not think about them this time of year.  And, I’m excited that I made a pretty good version of it this year with a tiny fraction of the calories that comes in the original!!

Arctic Zero Shamrock Shake | No Thanks to Cake

Arctic Zero Shamrock Shake

Serves 1

INGREDIENTS

Arctic Zero Shamrock Shake | No Thanks to Cake

1 cup Arctic Zero

1/2 cup skim milk

6 drops of green food coloring

a dash of peppermint extract

INSTRUCTIONS

1.   Place your Arctic Zero on the counter to thaw for about 15 minutes.  This will make it more scoopable.

2.  Place all of the ingredients in your food processor or blender.  Note:  I added about 1/16 tsp. of peppermint flavoring to the mix and it was perfect.  Be VERY careful with the mint extract – - it’s extremely potent!

Arctic Zero Shamrock Shake | No Thanks to Cake

Arctic Zero Shamrock Shake | No Thanks to Cake

3.  Blend until smooth and creamy.  Add more green food coloring, if needed to get the right color.  Because I used a brown  Arctic Zero, the color didn’t end up being a vibrant green, but I loved the flavor combo!

Arctic Zero Shamrock Shake | No Thanks to Cake

4.  Move to a glass and enjoy!

Arctic Zero Shamrock Shake | No Thanks to Cake

Check out how thick it came out!

Check out how thick it came out!

Per entire recipe serving:

CAL 117; CARB 21g; FAT 0g; PROT 11g; FIB 4g; WW Points Plus: 3

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