Chocolate Espresso Protein Shake

Raise your hand if you are addicted to Pinterest!

:Raises both hands:

I recently tried a coffee protein shake recipe off of Pinterest. I had envisioned it to be granita-esque {thicker than a frappe, with kind of chunky ice pieces… I love ’em}. However, it was a mess! It was thin and made entirely too much shake, which was flavorless because the protein powder was so watered down. So, I restructured the recipe to taste better and be thicker!

Chocolate Espresso Protein Shake


  • 1-1 1/2 cups Ice
  • 1 tsp Instant espresso or coffee granules
  • 1 cup of Milk of choice {I used non-fat, some people prefer almond, etc.}
  • 1 rounded scoop of Chocolate protein of choice
  • Sweetener, such as Splenda or stevia if desired


  1. Fill blender with ice to approximately the 18 oz. line. {More or less depending on how thick you want it}
  2. Dissolve 1 tsp of espresso or coffee granules in 2-3 tsp of warm/hot water.
  3. Add milk, dissolved espresso and 1 scoop of protein. {If you want it sweeter, add sweetener at this point}.
  4. Blend until ice is crushed! And ingredients are mixed.

Disclaimer: This is not intended to be a treat or sweet shake! It will not taste like a mocha frappe. Protein shakes are just that, for protein. This is just a fun way to incorporate your morning coffee fix into your protein! 🙂


Hope y’all have a great weekend!

Chicken Adobo

Good morning! Happy Friday everyone!! 🙂 It is a beautiful morning here in Washington! Look at this happy little cloud that popped up in the sky this morning.

I hope everyone had a happy and safe Fourth of July! Our holiday was very peaceful and relaxed. We spent the afternoon with family and had a barbecue! The Fourth landing on a Wednesday kind of made it difficult to do anything über exciting since we wake up bright and early {3:30am} every morning!

Yup. Yesterday was a rough one… we live in the city and there is a casino nearby as well as a reservation, needless to say fireworks go off all night and our dog is not okay with it! We got hardly any sleep on the night of the fourth. Yet – I still drug my buns to the gym! In all my tired glory. Whoop!

This week I bring to you another quick and simple dinner recipe, and a favorite around the Santie household! Chicken Adobo! My husband and I are often on often ends of the food spectrum, he prefers Asian cuisine and I could eat Mexican anytime of the day or week. This dish however is one we both agree on hands down! It is a healthy recipe, but make sure that you are drinking plenty of water throughout the day to counteract the sodium in the recipe. Even with low-sodium soy sauce, there is still a decent amount of sodium.

A cool thing that I found out – you can ‘adobo’ anything! According to a fellow blogger {Happy Jack Eats}: Adobo refers to the process of simmering in soy sauce, vinegar, and garlic. Anything can be adobo-ed, including pork, ribs, and even veggies. I have only ever had chicken adobo but I must say this dish is delish! If you read upon adobo, they say for it to be ‘authentic’ you should use bone in pieces, however, we have become huge fans of boneless thighs because they are so much easier to eat. You could also use breast pieces, but understand it will not be nearly as tender or fall apart delicious! This is one dish to splurge on, and use dark meat.

Don’t let the picture deter you… Sometimes I get in such a hurry to eat that I don’t take the time to check whether the picture quality was good. :-X Whoops. 😉

Without further ado…

Chicken Adobo


  • 2-3 lbs of chicken {bone-in or boneless thighs are best!}
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 4 T reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp peppercorns {we prefer fresh crushed pepper}
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cloves of garlic


  1. Heat a large skillet or dutch oven on medium heat.
  2. Combine the vinegar, soy sauce, peppercorns, and garlic in a bowl.
  3. Place chicken in pot. Pour sauce over top, and add bay leaves to the pot.
  4. Reduce heat to medium low, place lid on pot and allow to simmer for 20-30 minutes or until cooked through. During cooking, flip chicken occasionally to make sure all sides are coated in the sauce.
  5. Serve with brown rice and green beans or peas. This dish is really good with the adobo sauce over top of the rice.

Source & Recipe: Adapted from many online sources, including Manna and Quail and Happy Jack Eats.

Ahhh, so simple, and yet SO, SO, SO tasty! I love the tangyness of the vinegar, the richness from the soy sauce and of course, the garlic! Delish! If you try it, be sure to let me know if you love it, like it or hate it! I’m curious to get a consensus!

Question/Answer Time:

Q: What fabulous weekend plans do you have planned?  {Leave me a comment about your favorite weekend things!}

A: We are finally getting some gorgeous weather around the Seattle area, so I think the hubby and I might try to go for a hike or head out fishing. And since I have the day off I think I might go for a walk by water!

Naked Enchiladas! Ole!

Last time I posted, I shared with you that we began a new journey or rather restarted an old journey – healthy eating! So far things have been great, I feel great and making smarted food choices is becoming easier. It is still so hard to not want to eat junk food, but having a treat day once a week really helps! Tonight we are having a delicious dessert, that’ll be coming soon to a post near you!!

But first, on to the naked enchiladas! It is becoming more difficult each week to come up with inventive ways to eat chicken, steak and fish. And, to balance it with my love of Mexican cuisine! I decided I wanted to make a spin on my favorite dish – enchiladas! If you think about it, they aren’t half bad for you if take away the tortilla and the delicious, ooey-gooey cheese. :sigh: So I reinvented them without those not-so-good-for you ingredients. The result? Pretty darn delish and totally satisfying!


Naked Enchiladas


  • 2 T EVOO
  • 2 lbs chicken {we used thigh fillets – boneless and skinless}
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 red pepper, roughly chopped
  • 4 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, zesty or Mexican seasoned
  • 1 small can enchilada sauce
  • 1 can of water
  • 1 T Chili powder
  • 1 t Cumin
  • 1 t Garlic powder
  • Brown rice, for serving
  • Black beans, for serving


  1. Heat EVOO in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Mean while, season chicken with salt and pepper.
  2. Saute garlic in oil for 1 minute. Add chicken and brown on both sides for 2 minutes.
  3. Add vegetables {onion, pepper, celery and tomatoes}. Pour enchilada sauce and water {I pre-mixed the water and sauce before pouring in} over the top of the chicken and vegetables. Season with chili powder, cumin and garlic powder.
  4. Simmer over medium heat with the lid on for approximately 25-30 minutes. Check to see if the chicken beginning to fall apart, and then pull the chicken out and shred. Once shredded, add back to the pot and continue to simmer for at least another 20 minutes. The longer you simmer, the more flavor the chicken picks up!


Serve over a bed of brown rice and black beans. Delish!

I hope everyone has a great weekend! If the Pacific Northwest weather holds out, we’re heading to the river to do some fishing. What are your weekend plans?!


Healthified Chicken Parmigiana!

One of my all-time favorite dishes to order when out at an Italian restaurant is chicken parmigiana. 🙂 I love the crispy chicken covered in marinara with gooey melted mozz on top! Delish! However, I know that meal is probably worth 3 meals and goes straight to my stomach and/or hips! Every once in a while it is worth the splurge. But at home I am not as willing to drop my daily calories on one meal {not that I count calories, although I should if I want to get serious about weight training again!}!! So, when I stumbled across this healthified remix of chicken parm I was so excited!  I just had to get the hubby on board to be my taste tester!

This recipe cuts the calories by using whole grain crackers and egg whites versus full egg and bread crumbs. Also, the addition of fresh herbs really helps this dish stand out. I loved that you could still get the crunch that chicken parm has, but with a healthy spin. It was nice knowing that you were eating whole grain versus white bread crumbs. Also, this version is baked and not fried whereas a lot of restaurant versions are pan fried in oil. All in all – this recipe was a keeper! Aside from a few extra dishes to clean thanks to the use of the food processor, I think this recipe is a keeper!

Delish! Don’t let the pictures fool you. This was a yummy dish! {Forgive me for the horrible photo quality – I chalk it up to absolutely no free time. Oh the life of a grad student/student teacher!}

Healthifed Chicken Parmigiana


  • 3 ounces baked whole-grain wheat crackers, such as Triscuits {about 12 }
    **I would suggest throwing in a few extra for good measure!
  • 1/3 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cans {28 ounces} diced tomatoes (no salt added), with juice
  • 1 can {8 ounces} tomato puree
  • 1/2 medium onion {3 ounces}, coarsely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped {3 teaspoons}
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves {6 ounces each}
  • 3 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, grated {about 1 cup}
  • 1 ounce Parmesan cheese, finely grated {about 1/2 cup}


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Pulse crackers, parsley, oregano, and 1 teaspoon salt in a food processor until finely ground. Season with pepper, and transfer to a plate. Puree tomatoes with juice, onion, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt with an immersion blender or in clean food processor until smooth.
  2. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with oil. Lightly whisk egg whites, and transfer to a shallow dish. Dip each chicken breast half in whites to fully coat; let excess drip off. Dredge chicken in crumb mixture, lightly pressing, to coat both sides.
  3. Transfer chicken to prepared baking dish, and flip once to coat in oil. Bake until crisp, about 10 minutes.
  4. Pour tomato sauce over chicken, allowing some sauce underneath each piece. Top with cheeses, and bake until bubbling and top is lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes.

Source & recipe adapted from: Whole Living

Weekly Question – What is your favorite restaurant meal? Leave me your answer either on the blog as a comment or on the {Santies Sunnyside Up} Facebook page! By the way, if you haven’t, go like the official Facebook page!!!

Have a blessed day friends!

46/52: 3 Bean and Turkey Soup

Brr! The weather has quickly turned frigid this week. We are definitely approaching winter up here in the Pacific Northwest! In my house, freezing cold weather calls for a nice big pot of soup. My husband works outside, so he certainly welcomes a hot bowl of soup without complaint during the week, or really any time. I came up with this soup this week and it was full of flavor and protein, and best of all is über healthy. Tons of veggies and good for you stuff. My only complaint was I accidentally added too much pasta and it soaked up all of my broth. I added an additional 4 cups of broth but it was still way too thick. The recipe below is adapted to remedy this! So, serve this up with a crispy, gooey grilled cheese and this is a definite comfort meal for a chilly evening! 🙂

Hopefully everyone is gearing up for a wonderful Thanksgiving… I know we are. We are so excited for this year. We’ve decided to start a new tradition in our home. We are going to have 2 Thanksgiving dinners! We have family dinners on Thanksgiving day and we don’t want to forgo those for anything. We love spending time with our family. But we also want a chance to try out recipes and have our own little dinner. Solution? Black Friday Thanksgiving! 🙂 Eee. I am excited. Now I have quite a menu to plan — what desserts I’m bringing to our family dinner, and then an entire menu for our own dinner. Do you have any suggestions on cooking the perfect turkey? I have never made one! Any advice would be much appreciated.

3 Bean and Turkey Soup


1 small onion, diced
2 large carrots, shredded
2 stalks of celery, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 red pepper, chopped
3 TB of tomato paste
1 can of petite diced tomatoes
salt and pepper
1-2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp parsley
1 pound of ground turkey or sausage
1 can white kidney {canelli} beans, rinsed
1 can light red kidney beans, rinsed
1 can dark red kidney beans, rinsed
4-6 cups of chicken broth (or use a vegetable broth) I like to use a hearty stock when I can
1 C of ditallini pasta, or another small pasta
1 C of broken spaghetti
freshly grated Parmesan for garnish


1. In large pot or dutch oven, heat 2 TB oil over medium heat. Add onions, and saute for a few minutes, then add garlic and saute a minute more. Add remaining vegetables and tomato paste. Saute until tender.
2. Meanwhile, in a skillet, brown turkey meat and season with salt and pepper.
3. Add browned turkey to dutch oven, stir to combine. Add garlic, oregano and parsley.
4. Add rinsed beans to dutch oven, stir to combine.
5. Add broth and bring to a boil. Add pasta and simmer until pasta is tender.

Bon Apetite!

42/52: Braised Short Rib, Stout and Potato Potpies

Quite possibly my favorite thing about fall is comfort food. I love slow cooking a meal all day, and then digging in all cozied up inside when it’s chilly outside! This meal encompasses all that and more! It really reminds me of my trip to London. My favorite pub meal was steak & ale pie… ohhhh man. What I wouldn’t give for a steak & ale pie from The Eagle and Child in Oxford, England again! {If my laptop hadn’t crashed I would show you a lovely picture of said delicious steak & ale pie!} It was this neat little pub our professor told us about. It is only a few blocks from Oxford University. It is acclaimed for housing famous literary geniuses such as J.R.R. Tolkein and C.S. Lewis… such a fun little place! Anyway… this recipe is delicious and definitely a keeper for the winter.

**Quick substitution note… the recipe calls for boneless short ribs. We couldn’t find any nearby so we opted for stew meat which worked wonderfully. The key is having a cut of meat with some marbelization, you need the fat to make this recipe everything it is! We also couldn’t find cipollini onions, so we substituted shallots. Also — the recipe calls for 6 medium potatoes. I would hesitate slicing all of these until you need them. The amount you need will depend on the serving dishes you use.

Yumm! Serve with peas and dinner rolls for a yummy english inspired dinner!

Braised Short Rib, Stout and Potato Potpies


For the filling:

4 lbs boneless short ribs, cut into 2-inch pieces
Course salt and freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 T safflower oil
1 medium yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
5 garlic gloves, thinly sliced
2 bottles {2 ounces} stout, preferably Guinness {3 cups}
2 rosemary sprigs
1 lb cipollini onions, peeled

For the topping:

6 medium russet potatoes {3 1/2 lbs}
Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
Course salt and freshly ground pepper


1. Make the filling: Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Season short ribs with salt and pepper. Dredge the short ribs in flour, coating all sides. Transfer to a large plate. Heat oil in a large dutch oven in batches, brown short ribs, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to a large plate using kitchen tongs.

2. Reduce heat to medium. Add yellow onion to dutch oven and cook until golden, about 8 minutes. Add garlic. Cook for 2 minutes. Return meat to dutch oven. Add stout and rosemary. Bring to a simmer. Cover and transfer to oven. Bake for 2 1/2 hours.

3. Remove dutch oven from oven and add cipollini onions. Braise until meat is tender and onions are cooked through, about 30 minutes. Shred meat using 2 forks. Season with salt and pepper. Divide filling among eight mini {1 cup} pie plates, or transfer to a 12 inch {8 cup} gratin dish.

4. Make the topping: Raise the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Peel potatoes, and very thinly slice each {preferably on a mandolin}. Arrange potatoes over meat to form tight concentric circles, working around the edge and overlapping each potato by three-quarters. Brush with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until topping is golden and filling is bubbling, about 45 minutes for mini potpies {1 hour for large potpie}.

Source & Recipe: Martha Stewart Living – October 2011 Issue

I also made some yummy dinner rolls to go with the potpies. I absolutely love dinner rolls and feel that there are some meals that are incomplete without them! Since I was running short on time when I decided to make them, I opted to go for my fall back recipe — the Kitchenaid Sixty-Minute rolls! Yes. They really only take 60 minutes from the time you combine ingredients until they’re coming out of the oven. Including rise time! Love, love, love this recipe.

Kitchenaid Sixty-Minute Rolls


4-5 cups flour
3 T sugar
1 tsp salt
2 – 1/4 ounce packages quick rising yeast
1 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup butter
*optional: additional melted butter for brushing on top of baked rolls


1. Combine 3 1/2 cups flour, sugar, salt and undissolved yeast in bowl.

2. Attach bowl and dough hook. Turn to speed 2 and mix for 1 minute.

3. Combine milk, water and margarine in a saucepan. Heat over low heat, until liquids are very warm (120 to 130). Margarine does not need to melt.

4. Turn to speed 2 and gradually add liquid to flour mixture, about 30 seconds. Mix 1 minute longer. Continue on speed 2, adding remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, as needed. Mix until dough clings to hook, about 5 minutes.

5. Knead dough on speed 2 for 7-10 minutes longer, or until dough is smooth and elastic. Stop.

6. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover, let rise in a warm place 15 minutes.

7. Turn dough out onto floured board. Divide in half and shape as desired. Cover; let rise in slightly warm oven {about 90 degrees} for 15 minutes or until doubled in bulk {usually 15 minutes works just fine!}. **My note: I usually make “clover leaf” dinner rolls. Using a pizza cutter, cut dough in half. Cut one half of dough into 6 pieces. Cut each of the 6 pieces into 3 more pieces. Form the 3 pieces into balls and place all 3 balls in one cup in your muffin tin. Repeat until you have 24 dinner rolls.**

8. Bake at 425, for 12 minutes, or until nice and brown. Remove from baking sheets and cool on wire racks.

Source & Recipe:


39/52: Shrimp, Chicken and Sausage Cajun Jambalya

Lately my favorite dishes seem to be the ones we re-create from a really good restaurant meal. The other day we were out and about and stopped into a restaurant for lunch. I ordered some disappointing buffalo chicken pizza {who puts BBQ sauce on a buffalo chicken pizza?! Wth?}, but my husband ordered some delicious jambalaya. I was honestly surprised because we were at a regular restaurant, but the jambalaya was surprisingly yummy! He decided we had to re-create it. After much searching we settled on a base recipe and altered it to our likings. I think the results were perfect. Next time we might try to develop the flavors a little differently, such as with smoked paprika. The thing I love about this dish is you can totally play around with the flavors and get a different result every time. A totally easy dish, and one that screamed comfort food! I’d even venture to say that it was better than the restaurant version. Yum!

Mmm… shrimp, chicken and sausage?! Yum.

Shrimp, Chicken and Sausage Cajun Jambalaya


2 tsp olive oil
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into pieces
8 ounces polska kielbasa or andouille sausage
15 small-medium shrimp
1 onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1/2 cup diced celery
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
2 T chopped garlic
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
3/4 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 T paprika
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups uncooked white rice
4 cups chicken stock
3 bay leaves
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp hot sauce


1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Saute chicken and kielbasa until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

2. Stir in onion, bell pepper, celery, tomato and garlic. Season with cayenne, onion powder, paprika, salt and pepper to taste {the measurements here are just an estimate. We tend to season things like this with a lot of onion and garlic powder for extra flavor}. Cook for 5 minutes, or until onion is tender and translucent.

3. Add rice, then stir in chicken stock and bay leaves. Bring to a boil , reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is tender.

4. Stir in Worcestershire sauce and hot pepper sauce and simmer for another few minutes.

5. Add shrimp. {We couldn’t find any good fresh shrimp so we used frozen already cooked shrimp. If you are using fresh shrimp, cook in the mixture until done. If using frozen just add them with enough time for them to warm up}

Source and recipe: Adapted from All Recipes.

Have an awesome weekend!