Breakfast · Snack · Sweet Treats · Under 200 calories

Soft Baked Brown Sugar Oatmeal Squares

Hi Friends.

Have you reached panic mode about Christmas being next week? ‘Cause I have! Holy moly I have so much to do it’s not funny… I decided to make a lot of my gifts this year because A.) I am a broke intern B.) I am pretty crafty and C.) it’s fun. Well, I am starting to regret that decision a little bit as I have TONS of work left to do. If ya’ need me… I’ll be bonding with my sewing machine for hours on end…

Okay, no more talk of the Holiday’s… Stressin’ me out, man.

Let’s discuss a happier topic, quite possibly one of my favorite things: Costco (am I a foodie or what….) Particularly when my parents go without me and bring home lots of yummy, surprise goodies. It’s like Christmas! (Okay, from NOW on… no more)

One of my favorite snacks are the Quaker soft-baked oatmeal squares.

Yum! But what’s a girl to do when there are none in the house and Costco is just way too far away? Make your own.. that’s what. And I will tell you JUST how to do it.. Ready?


[gmc_recipe 2328]


Nutrition info per bar (1/12th recipe)

nutrition info per 12

They have less fat, the same amount of sugar and less sodium.

Gobble these bad boys up for a snack or as you’re running out the door in the morning.

Want to see another copy-cat recipe? Feel free to make a suggestion



Breads & Muffins · Under 200 calories

Cinnamon Roll Bread

Good news friends! This girl has broken out of her cooking rut. *insert HUGE sigh of relief here.* Finally! After multiple failed recipes, I finally made one I am proud of. Like I have mentioned before, I won’t post recipes I don’t love or anything that doesn’t turn out to perfection. This one definitely has the Colleen seal of approval.

No oil, no shortening, next to no butter, about 1/2 the sugar of others, only 1 egg, whole wheat… the list of good things about this recipe goes on and on. And it tastes delishhh. Seriously, it was gone in about 24 hours… Okay, maybe I shouldn’t be proud of that considering there are 3 people in my household… Is there a Sweet Tooth gene? I am convinced there is….

Here it is folks.. Cinnamon Roll Bread!


[gmc_recipe 2300]


This loaf of bread is pretty giant. My eyes were the size of saucers when I opened the oven about 45 minutes in and saw how large it was. That being said, the serving sizes ain’t wimpy! No one wants a slice of bread the size of a crumb, let’s be real.

Nutrition info per 1/16th recipe


per sixteen

Have guests coming over for the holidays? This would be perfect to have to nibble on in the morning. It’ll fill you up and not fill you out. That’s dinners job!

Entree · Fiber · Uncategorized · Under 200 calories · Vegan

Fruit & Nut Sticky Rice


The number of hours I spent interning and working this week. And that is considered a light week! Whew. It doesn’t sound crazy until I do the math… Thankfully I actually really enjoy both my internship and my job, which happen to be at the same place. Maybe I should just live at the hospital? Hey, I’d save money on gas! Okay.. maybe not the greatest idea….

Anywho, it’s just been the usual hustle and bustle that is the life of Grandma Colleen.  Thanks to a supportive family and an amazing boyfriend, I am getting by just fine. I have no idea how Joseph deals with my by choice. No complaints though, he’s a trooper. (who brought me cupcakes during my lunch break)

Lately I’ve been having days where I will get home from work and starting cooking before I even get my coat off. I will be thinking of recipes in my head all day long and by the time I get home I just HAVE to get making them. It’s an addiction. One of the girls at work says I need to go to bakers anonymous. It’s just so stress relieving and the end product is pretty yummy… usually… Let’s not talk about the wheat pie crust I tried to make the other day.. I’ve done it a few times before, but have no idea what I did wrong! It was a dry, chalky mess… I am pretending that never happened… and you should too.

This recipe was created on one of those addiction-driven days. I wanted to make something quick with ingredients that we had in the house (trip to the store? No thank you.) Serve it as a side dish or mix in your choice of protein to give it a little more bulk to be a main dish. The choice is yours.



[gmc_recipe 2275]

Nutrition Info per 1/8th recipe, about ½ cup serving

info for 8 half cup servings



Go Green. Go White. Go State!!!!!


Entree · Poultry · Protein · Uncategorized · Under 300 calories

Grilled Chicken With Blueberry-Basil Salsa

Hi friends,

I finally ran out of blueberries, such a sad day it was. But no worries, I went picking again yesterday =] This time we headed out toward the lake shore. My goodness does that make a difference! I love the local orchard because it is so convenient and it has always kind of been my little escape from the city (sentimental value) but the berries are just giant and gushing when they are grown further out. We were headed out that way to go see a Beatles Tribute Concert at the Grand Haven, MI Coastguard Festival. Okay, laugh all you want about how I sound like a 60 year old woman… but it was really cool! Here is who we saw: Preeeetty cool. (ha.ha.)

Back to food.

What caused me to run out of blueberries (okay maybe not the cause…that was my snacking… but what used them up) was this delicious dinner dish: Grilled chicken with blueberry-basil salsa(Adapted from good ol’ Martha Stewart). My favorite part of this recipe- besides the blueberry goodness- was that it was SO quick to make! I was done in about 30 minutes. Can’t beat that!



Hey, Rachel Ray? You can go ahead and use this in your next “30 Minute Meals” book. It’s alright 😉


[gmc_recipe 2103]

Nutrition info per 1/4th recipe

Nutrition info per one fourth

I also grilled up some kale (which is what the chicken is sitting on) for a little extra veggie-ness.

Since I have more blueberries, guess what? You guys have more blueberry recipes to look forward to! If you don’t like blueberries… well… I can’t help you there. Just kidding! But that’s seriously unfortunate.

Have a fantastical Friday and an even better weekend. It’s AugustToodles!

Oh! PS!! We put my childhood dog down about 2 years ago. He was a 120lb loveable yellow lab named Arby. (my sister ran over a smashed Arby’s cup while we were thinking of names and that’s how it came to be…) Anywho, today was his birthday. He would have been 14. Happy Birthday to my “little brother”!


Entree · Exercise · Fish & seafood

Barbecued Salmon

I apologize for my recent absence from posting. 60 hour work weeks have been the normal for the past few weeks.I am not making any excuses though! My sincere apologies. Some people (especially recently) think I am crazy for working so much, but I actually like it. I like being busy and I like working towards paying off my student loans myself. All of my hard work will pay off one day when I am a successful RD.

Speaking of becoming a RD… Yesterday I realized that my dietetic internship (basically a year of working in different fields of dietetics which qualifies you to take the RD exam) starts in about a month and a half. How have I not realized that it is creeping up so soon?! I got so excited just thinking about it. I will be one step closer to my dream job! Yahooo!

So, yesterday I was miraculously out of work at 2 and had the rest of the day to myself. What a joy!  It was much needed relaxation time too because A. my alarm didn’t go off so I got ready in 10 minutes and booked it out the door to get there on time B. I could hardly keep my eyes open from lack of coffee and lack of sleep and C. the phones in the diet office were not working (i.e. no one in the hospital could call us to order food and they didn’t have our help in choosing what best fit into their specific diet). What a day!

My perfect way to relax? Cook, of course! The dish of choice was barbecued salmon. I have been eyeing a recipe in my Simply In Season cookbook for it. I modified it a little bit to make it more healthful.

[gmc_recipe 2013]

It turned out really good, better than I was expecting actually. I was a little worried about the whole barbecue flavor part. Would it be too subtle? Too overpowering? I was nervous. Well, I kissed the nerves good-bye the minute I tasted it… it was perfect.


I have been doing a lot of strength training lately (my wimpy little limbs were craving a little more definition) so my muscles sure thanked me for this protein-packed dinner.

Nutrition info per fillet

Nutrition info

Soups, salads, and sandwiches · Under 100 calories · Vegetarian

Rhubarb Poppy Seed Salad Dressing

Guess what season it is?! If you said spring, well, I guess you are right, but that’s not exactly what I had in mind… RHUBARB SEASON! A.k.a. Colleen’s favorite time of the year. Rhubarb crumble, rhubarb bread, rhubarb jam, etc. I love it all. This year I am doing a lot of experimenting with it, straying away from my usual go-to rhubarb recipes.

I had a few stalks in the fridge that were about to go bad (One down fall of my favorite ingredient: you have to use it pretty quickly)and needed to make something ASAP. It was super hot and I didn’t want to turn on the oven (this kinda puts a damper on baking during the summer =[ ). After a little thinking I decided to try a rhubarb salad dressing. Guess what? I now have a new favorite dressing. It has the tang of rhubarb and vinegar yet is sweetened with a hint of orange flavor. The perfect pair.


I also LOVE that this dressing is creamy, yet not loaded with fat. SCOREEEE.

[gmc_recipe 1969]

I think this recipe would be great in a strawberry or raspberry variety too. Or heck, why not even blueberry? Take your pick. If you tried another berry I may suggest switching the OJ to lemon juice. It might pair a little better with it.


Give this one a try and let me know what you think!

Nutrition info per 2 tbsp (Recipe makes about 2 cups)

Nutrition Info 2 tbsp

Entree · Under 300 calories · Vegetable · Vegetarian

Grilled Spinach Pizza With A Balsamic Reduction

Harmony Brewery in Grand Rapids, MI has my absolute favorite pizza, “The Good Earth”. Now, their pizzas aren’t like Hot-N-Ready’s. No no no. These gourmet pies are in a league of their own. The Good Earth is loaded with mouth watering flavors, has a crispy thin crust and is a touch sweet. (I may or may not be drooling just describing it…) In addition to the delish pies? The atmosphere is cozy and quaint and they have fantastic beers to go with the good food.

I really wanted to try to re-create this pizza. So I did.

My favorite part of the good earth is the balsamic reduction that is in place of your typical red pizza sauce. I was a little nervous about attempting to make the reduction. Mostly because it sounds hard and intimidating. Guess what? It isn’t! Super simple actually. I fist pumped when it started to reduce and thicken. Embarrassing? Yes. But the feat warranted it.


[gmc_recipe 1946]

I love super thin crust pizzas. Almost to the point of them being a cracker-y crust. If you don’t like quite THAT thin of a crust you could easily sub a regular whole wheat pizza crust for the tortillas and just make one larger pizza to share. The choice is yours. I think that is one of my favorite things about food: The choice is always yours! You are free to change whatever you like about a recipe to tailor it to satisfy your taste buds. Oh, I just love cooking.


Nutrition info per pizza

Nutrition info