Chocolate Espresso Protein Smoothie

What is it about 3pm that requires something sweet and a little bit of caffeine?

Chocolate Espresso Protein Smoothie

Even on weekends, I feel like I need a pick-me-up. I try to stick to one cup of coffee on weekdays but sometimes I drink two on weekends when I’m relaxing in the mornings. This morning, though, I skipped the second cup of jo’, which gave me full permission to have caffeine in the afternoon.

I made this a couple weeks ago as a breakfast smoothie and added almond butter, flaxseed, and skim milk. Today I made a lighter version to act as a snack. Careful, smoothie lovers. Some smoothies can pack a whopping 400 calories!

Chocolate Espresso Protein Smoothie
The following ingredient amounts are approximations; I didn’t measure anything because smoothies are flexible like that.

3/4 cup milk (I used coconut milk because we had it handy)
1 scoop protein powder (I used Vanilla Latte from but chocolate or vanilla work; this just has caffeine in it)
1 tsp ground espresso
1/2 frozen banana
1 tbsp dark cocoa powder

1 Kaylie Signature

Crunchy Coconut Tofu

I used to be so witty.

coconut tofu 1

I actually glanced through old posts to see what I used to write about to see if it would inspire a spark of wittiness. Nothing. How was I so witty back then?

I think that these days there is so much running through my brain AT ALL TIMES that there isn’t enough room for wittiness. Maybe once I get settled into my new job, I will be able to relax a little and the wittiness will start flowing.

coconut tofu 2

I feel like I want to spit nutrition facts at you. How boring am I?! The boringest. Yes, that’s a word.

Okay, let’s steer away from the wittiness and onto tofu. For the next post, I’ll try to jot down some material so I can post something more interesting than blabbing about how my brain never stops. Well, except when I binge watched Army Wives. I think it might’ve turned off a couple times. Also, Claudia Joy? Life goals. She’s perfect.

coconut tofu 3

Tofu. Let’s go. So there’s this magical thing called thai food. Combine peanut butter and coconut and it passes as thai. Right? I don’t actually know but it feels thai to me. Are you supposed to capitalize Thai? All the time or just sometimes? [See, there goes my brain again…]

This recipe is neat because it’s four ingredients. FOUR. That is beautiful. I hate those recipes that drone on and on about a million ingredients, most of which you don’t have and have to substitute and then who the heck knows if your recipe will turn out.

coconut tofu 4

This one will. Four: tofu, peanut butter, oil, coconut. BAM: meal. Well, protein. Maybe add some veggies next to it.

Crunchy Coconut Tofu
Inspired by Tone It Up’s Nutrition Plan

1 package tofu, cubed
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons finely chopped coconut flakes (the hard kind, not the sweetened kind)

  1. Cut tofu into medium-sized cubes and press between paper towels and with something heavy on top (like a cutting board and textbook) or a tofu press for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once oil has heated, sauté tofu, turning over every few minutes, until tofu is lightly brownish-tan and slightly crunchy. This may take 10 minutes or so.
  3. Add peanut butter and stir in until melted and the tofu is covered.
  4. Take the tofu off the heat and mix in the coconut flakes.


What’s for Lunch?

Okay, I have been thinking long and hard about what I want to blog. I have a couple recipes [Sweet Potato Fritters, Chopped Thai Salad] that have been sitting in the draft section of my blog posts [FOR MONTHS], and I just haven’t taken the time to search for the photos or remake the recipes to make sure that everything is right.

So, I am showing you some of the meals I had during my internship.

Oh. Backup. Update. I’M A DIETITIAN! Yes. A registered and licensed dietitian in the state of North Carolina. [Insert party emoji] How the heck does that sound!? Pretty stinkin’ good. I finished my internship in early May, took my exam late May, and a few weeks ago I accepted a job in the area at a hospital. I will write a post on all of that soon, but I wanted to throw a food post in first.

During my internship, I had to pack lunch almost every day. This was a struggle sometimes but a great learning experience and let’s just say I was eating pretty dang well!

Here are some ideas for lunches and snacks. I eat a morning snack and afternoon snack, so that’s why it looks like so much food, haha! I find lunches to be hard (as well as dinners.. planning can be tough!) so hopefully you can find some inspiration.

Oh, and here’s how this is going to go down: M = meal, so there’s M1-5 (breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner). That means if M2 = morning snack, M3 = lunch, and M4 = afternoon snack. Lastly, please excuse the photo quality. I packed these bad boys at night when there is no sunlight.


M2 .. Okay, I’m really trying to remember how this one went. Hah! We will say M2 grapes & nuts, M3 asian cucumber salad & sweet potato chips, M4 hummus & peppers [and this was probably a Monday, on which I did spin at 6pm and usually ate a banana beforehand, hence TWO M2s!]


M2 Larabar [the best flavors are Coconut Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Chip, and Chocolate Brownie! OH and the Mint Chocolate Brownie is TO DIE FOR], M3 salad with all the fix-ins like black beans, tomatoes, edamame, spinach, carrots, etc. & grapes, M4 granola bites at my internship and a banana on the way to the gym!


M2 Larabar & apple slices, M3 salad & tortellini with homemade sun-dried tomato pesto [holy yum], M4 yogurt & banana [can you tell how much I like bananas yet?]


M2 Clif bar & pear slices, M3 wrap & sweet potato chips, M4 grapes


Pictured above is meal prep madness! This is 2 days worth of food: M2 Larabar, M3 Chopped Thai Salad & pears with cinnamon or mixed berries, M4 banana!


M2 yogurt + clementines, M3 salad [with sun-dried tomato pesto!] & pears, M4 tomatoes


M2 mixed fruit, M3 salad & cucumber with guacamole, M4 banana!


M2 trail mix, M3 salad & apple, M4 not pictured – WHAT?! Maybe a banana?!


And lastly, snack edition! On Wednesdays, I would get a shrimp burrito bowl [Burrito Bowl Wednesdays!] so I only packed snacks. M2 nuts & pear, M4 guacamole & celery!

Hope you all enjoyed this peak into what I’ve been eating. Despite not blogging, I’ve documented a lot of my meals and might incorporate some into posts but I do like an official photoshoot with my food to make it pretty for the blog. Hang tight for that and tips on how to become a dietitian (and how to stay sane while doing it!).

1 Kaylie Signature

Mixed Berry Protein Pancakes

My husband cooks better than I do.

Berry Protein Pancakes 1

I know, I know. I’M the blogger, but he’s really good at it. And he enjoys it. He has this endless energy and rallies and it’s pretty neat. I, on the other hand, am exhausted after a long day of interning and a quick workout. I manage to whip together meals sometimes, but often, I let the pro handle it.

Berry Protein Pancakes 2

In good ol’ North Carolina, it snowed / iced over the last 24+ hours. I woke up yesterday to a winter wonderland, just in time to go to work. Woo! We made it safely there and back and decided we deserved pancakes the next morning. Because all snow days require pancakes. True fact.

Berry Protein Pancakes 3

It’s funny because I don’t believe in buying weird ingredients. If something calls for almond flour, I either don’t use the recipe or substitute whole wheat or all purpose flour. Because ain’t nobody got time to buy almond flour.

Berry Protein Pancakes 4

But you know what almond flour does have? Protein. Hello, SIX grams per 1/4 cup! And it gives these pancakes a fancy spin. I think that almond flour is worth the investment, even if it’s just so that you feel fancy.

Mixed Berry Protein Pancakes
Adapted from Once Upon a Chef

1 c all purpose flour
1/4 c almond flour
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 egg
1 c + 2 tbsp milk
1/4 blackberries, halved
Toppings: maple syrup, chocolate syrup, additional berries

  1. Combine dry ingredients and mix well.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine milk and egg. Add melted butter; stir and blend. Add vanilla.
  3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Stir until mixed well but slightly lumpy.
  4. Cook over medium heat and flip when pancakes start to bubble slightly. Top with maple syrup, berries, and chocolate syrup.

1 Kaylie Signature

2015 Recap.

I know. It’s halfway through January. BUT last year I posted this on January 19, so I’m actually ahead of the curve. By one day. Yes, progress.

Honestly, I was going to acknowledge top posts of this year but I’m pretty sure NONE were from 2015 and all were from past years, like this Nutella Swirl Banana Bread and this Roasted Vegetable Mac and Cheese.

So, I will skip ahead. I want to take a minute to dive into my personal life because a LOT has happened in 2015!

In January, I was accepted to the UNCG Dietetic Internship Program. In April, I got engaged. In May, I went on a lovely vacation in the Dominican Republic with my fiancé. In September, I got MARRIED. And, finally, in October, I started my first rotation in my dietetic internship: community – which I completed at the end of December. Phew! Now, photos.

Engagement! {credit: Katie Salerno Photography & Will Page Photography}

engagement shoes



Will Page Photography

Will Page Photography

Dominican Republic!



Wedding! {credit: Will Page Photography}

Will Page Photography

Will Page Photography


Will Page Photography


Will Page Photography

Dietetic Internship: Community Rotation!

Cancer Services



Cancer Dietitian

It’s been a helluva year. Cheers to 2016. And a lot more delicious recipes.