Roasted Cherry Goat Cheese

Hi Friends!

I have a busy day ahead of me today, trying to make some progress on a nutrition presentation I have to give next week during my internship orientation, but I wanted to pop in a share a super simple appetizer idea with you guys! I actually made this before the Survive on 35 Challenge and forgot to share it!

So here’s what you need:

Goat Cheese

That’s it.

Think you can handle that?

Here are your directions:
1. Pit the cherries (I used Rainier)
2. Throw them in a pan and roast at 400 degrees
3. Stir occasionally until soft and roasted
(mine took 30 min but I had something else in the oven)
4. Get out your little food processor
5. Add about 3 Tbsp roasted cherries per 1 oz goat cheese
6. Pulse until well combined

Play with the ratio to get a flavor you like.
Spread on toasted slices of bread for an easy appetizer.
It’s not the prettiest, but I promise it tastes good. 

If you wanna get fancy, top each slice with half a fresh cherry 🙂

I had some leftover roasted cherries so I played around a little more and whipped up a basic balsamic vinegar dressing. Then I added a couple tablespoons of roasted cherries and processed until smooth. Delicious!

Would you believe me if I told you i’d never even purchased cherries until a couple of weeks ago? Hubby and I saw them in the grocery store and determined that neither of us really had any idea if we liked fresh cherries! So we bought some.

Verdict is…we think they’re just ok when they’re fresh! Roasted, however, is a different story! Go ahead, call us crazy if you want to 🙂

What’s your favorite way to eat cherries?



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Sweet & Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

These sweet and spicy chickpeas are a delicious and quick snack, and you can adjust the ingredients to your own flavor preferences!

Hi Friends-

Not a whole lot going on over here today. Just popping in to share a fun little snack recipe with you!

Roasted chickpeas are one of my favorite snacks. I usually make a double batch to munch on during the week. I also add them to my trail mixes. If you haven’t tried them yet, you’re missing out.

Usually I just make them with a little oil and some paprika. But…after devouring an entire package of those sweet and spicy pecans from Trader Joes’s that I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been craving that combo.

My original plan was to try to recreate the pecans….but if you’re not lucky enough to live in Texas, or somewhere that they have pecan trees…those lovely little nuts cost a pretty penny. SO, I decided to start with a more budget friendly option and go from there 🙂

This was my first attempt, and although they aren’t exactly like the pecans…they’re pretty darn good. You taste the sweet first, and then they leave a nice spicy aftertaste. I love them.

The best part is you only need five ingredients!


Sweet & Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

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These sweet and spicy chickpeas are a delicious and quick snack, and you can adjust the ingredients to your own flavor preferences!

  • Author: Lindsay Livingston
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 40
  • Total Time: 45 minutes



  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper


1. Place the chickpeas in a tupperware container.

2. Add the oil and shake well to coat.

3. Add the sugar and spices and shake well.

4. Spread on a baking sheet (with edges) and bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @theleangreenbean on Instagram

Doesn’t get any easier than that my friends.

Play around with the ingredient amounts. I’ll probably use a little less sugar last time and kick up the spice a tiny bit. But that’s just me 🙂


Do you make roasted chickpeas? What’s your favorite flavor combo?




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PB & J Bites and {Attune Foods}

Hi Friends!

**First of all, I just want to say thank you SO MUCH for all your kind words on yesterday’s post. I got so many comments from old readers, new readers and everyone in between. The amount of support I received was incredible and I spent all day yesterday just thinking about how amazing the blogging community really is. So THANK YOU!! It means the world to me.

Also, big thanks to my hubby for these BEAUTIFUL flowers he got me 🙂 I love him.

So, on to today’s post.  I kinda dropped the ball on this one since Janetha informed everyone on Twitter that YESTERDAY was actually national pb & j day. But, as you know, I had some other exciting things going on, so we’re just gonna go ahead and extend our little pb & j celebration to today.

Recently I was sent some samples from a pretty amazing company called Attune Foods. If you’ve never heard of them, you should definitely head over and take a look at their website. They make some pretty awesome cereals, bars and crackers and they also have several gluten-free products. I was able to pick out three of their products to try. Here’s what I picked:

First up:

What I love best about all of Attune’s products are how simple the ingredient lists are. I can pronounce all of the ingredients and the lists are short and sweet. I tried eating these plain as I would a regular bowl of cereal…but as you know, I eat the same two cereals every single morning and it’s pretty hard to change my ways. So, since these flakes were actually a lot smaller than I expected…more like granola or oats, I have big plans to use this cereal to make some healthy no-bake granola bars!!! The flavor was delicious.

Second pick:

I swoon over these. I’m a HUGE graham cracker fan and these are absolutely fantastic. I’ve eaten them plain, made s’mores with them and dipped them in yogurt. They were delicious on each occasion. But I must say my favorite way to enjoy these was by making a big batch of my Almond Graham Banana Bites. These are one of my favorite treats and the grahams were perfect for it. This time I left out the almonds so it was all graham, baby 🙂

Yeah, I’m gonna go ahead and recommend you make these immediately. YUMMM. Wanna kick it up a notch? Mix some pb in with that chocolate and then cover more of banana with it- don’t be lazy like me and just do the tops.

Third choice:

I got SO excited when I saw this one. I’m a HUGE advocate of watching your salt intake and I spend a lot of time looking at the salt content of packaged food. So when I saw these, I immediately knew I had to try them! I mean check out the ingredients. Doesn’t get any simpler than that folks!

I wanted to come up with a fun way to use these so I did some experimenting and I’m super happy with the result! When I think of crispy rice I automatically think of rice krispy treats. I used to eat them ALL the time when I was little and they were one of my favorite things to make. This time I decided to try to recreate them and make them a bit healthier. So I didn’t use marshmallows! GASP! I know!! I wasn’t sure how they would work out, but I was willing to take a chance.


I added some pb and vanilla for flavor and some brown rice syrup to help them stick together and sweeten them up a little bit. 4 ingredients. That’s it!

And what goes better with pb than j?! But in this case, I made my own healthy chia seed jam! It’s so easy. Only takes 2 ingredients. Frozen berries…and chia seeds. Plus sweetener if you want, but I think it’s sweet enough from the fruit. I’ve made chia jam with blackberries (my fav), raspberries and strawberries. This time strawberries were all I had on hand. I’ve found it works better with smaller berries, but I made it work with whole frozen berries. All you have to do is combine the berries and chia seeds in a bowl, microwave for 2 minutes or so, smash the berries with a fork and refrigerate to let set.

I put the jam in a small container to set and let the crispy bites set in their muffin tins. A couple hours later I came back for a taste test. The verdict? Amazing. A fun new snack for me to enjoy 🙂


Want the recipe?!

PB & J Bites

by Lindsay L

Prep Time: 5 min

Keywords: stovetop appetizer breakfast snack healthy low-sodium vegetarian chia seeds peanut butter strawberry



Ingredients (approx 40 bites)

For the bites

  • 2/3 c peanut butter
  • 1/2 c brown rice syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 c Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice cereal

For the jam

  • 1 c frozen berries
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds


For the Bites

In a medium saucepan, melt the peanut butter and brown rice syrup.
Add the vanilla and stir until well-combined.
Add the crispy rice and mix well
Press by spoonful into greased mini muffin tins and let set until cooled.
Remove from muffin tins and store in an airtight container.
Just before serving, top with chia jam!

**Note: You could also press the mixture into a large pan and cut into squares later.

For the Jam

Combine the frozen berries and chia seeds in a bowl.
Microwave on high for 2 and a half minutes.
Use a fork to smash the berries and mix well.
Transfer to an airtight container and place in the refrigerator to set for at least 30 min.

**Note: You can store this in the fridge for up to one week.

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There you go 🙂



**I received these samples for free from Attune Foods. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


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NatureBox & Healthy No Bakes

Recently I was contacted by a super cool company called NatureBox. For $19.95 per month, you can subscribe to NatureBox and receive a box jam-packed with healthy snacks, delivered right to your doorstep!

NatureBox products contain no high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, artificial sweeteners, flavors or colors. Each box has a theme such as healthy alternatives, heart-healthy fats, etc. From their website:

I was lucky enough to receive the March Box and was super impressed by the snacks inside.

It showed up on my doorstep right before I had to go to work one afternoon so I threw it in the car and when I got to work, I took a quick peak to see if there was anything in there that could tide me over until dinner time!

The first thing I found, after opening the box, was an info sheet that gave me a little information about each of the snacks included, a recipe using some of the products and some suggestions as to how I  could enjoy a few of the snacks.

The March box included the following:

  • Figgy Bars
  • Dried Cherries
  • Granola
  • Firecrackers
  • Sunshine Chips

I immediately dug into the figgy bars. I used to LOVE fig newtons when I was little. These were similar, but larger and more substantial. Yummm….

I’m pretty familiar with granola and cherries so I saved those for later, but when I got home I checked out the other two snacks I wasn’t familiar with.

The firecrackers were fun to snack on. The best way I can describe them is like giant flavorful rice puffs with a subtle spice. They would be great in trail mix!

I was a little scared to try the sunshine chips because I wasn’t sure what to expect. They weren’t my absolute favorite, but I enjoyed the crunchiness! The carrots were actually my favorite. They were even better than the sweet potatoes and green beans!  I probably would have never have chosen to try theses on my own so it was fun to give them a try!

I added some of the granola to my daily yogurt mess and it was delicious as well! It wasn’t overly sweet and had great flavor. I never buy cherries myself…I’m usually more of a Craisins kinda girl, but since I had these on hand, I decided to make some quick no-bake cookies!

Here’s what mine looked like:

Chocolate Cherry No Bakes

1 1/2c granola (you could also use oats)
1/2 c cherries, chopped
1/2 c almond butter
1/4 c dark chocolate chips
2 Tbsp chia seeds

Combine granola, cherries and chia seeds in a small bowl.
Melt the chocolate chips, and almond butter if necessary.
Add the melted almond butter and chocolate to the bowl.
Stir to combine.
Drop by spoonful onto a baking sheet.
Refrigerate until set.

These are much healthier than a lot of the no-bake recipes I found that had tons of added sugar and butter. They’re a little crumbly but if you keep them in the fridge they hold together pretty well! You could easily sub your favorite kind of nut butter for the almond butter, try a different kind of dried fruit or leave out/add more chocolate if desired!



Overall, I was very impressed with NatureBox. A few more tidbits:


I love that you can decide month-to-month whether you want to get another box. That makes it super easy to send these as gifts to others! Or to purchase a box for yourself as a treat a few months a year 🙂

As a future RD, I’m all about making healthy choices and Nature’s Box makes it easy by providing you with fun, healthy snacks to enjoy

AND, as a bonus for you guys, NatureBox is offering you 25% off your first month of a month-to-month subscription! Just enter the promo code HEALTHY when checking out to get your discount! If you want to commit to a number of consecutive months, you can pay for 6 months and get 1 month free or pay for 12 months and get 3 months free!


*Disclaimer- I was provided with this box for free. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


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Mexican Chocolate Peanut Butter

Hi Friends!

Today you’re in for a real treat. On of my best blog friends is here to entertain you. If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you already know how much I love her. Following my best friend and the hubby, she’s one of the best at making me laugh 🙂 So i’m just gonna sit back and let you enjoy her!



Howdy, y’all! Seasons Greetings from The Smart Kitchen!*
*I have already exceeded my exclamation point quota. Curses!^

My name is Miss Smart,* and as a food blogger I like to think I’m known for three things:
*OK, it’s actually Sarah. But I like the idea of an alter-ego, and Miss Frizzle was taken.

1. Having a love affair with my food processor
2. Licking my plate in public (and asking people to take pictures of it)
3. Being generally awesome^
^And (usually) having very high self-esteem?*
*Also, if there were a #4, it would be my excessive use of footnotes.

Today, we’re going to focus on #1. There may also be spatula-licking involved, but #3 you’ll have to determine on your own.

Yes, I have a love affair with my food processor. This pretty much stems from the fact that I make ludicrous amounts of hummus and nut butters, in every possible flavor or fashion I concoct in my little ol’ brain.*
*which I actually hope is quite large

I’ve reviewed how to make homemade nut butter a million times on my blog. [OK, maybe three. Whatever.] I’ve offered tips and tricks and suggestions. Still, I find people are scared of the concept.
Maybe it sounds like a really good idea but you always forget to follow through?
Maybe it’s the scary noise made during the initial crunching that frightens roommates and pets?
Maybe it’s the potential for your food processor to start smoking while you are churning away?

Whatever it is, today I’m solving the problem of making your own, flavored peanut butter at home. How? I’m giving you permission to cheat.*
*I’m a teacher. I can do that.

You don’t have to start from scratch all the time…especially not when there companies out there making perfectly affordable (and frankly, quite tasty) creamy peanut butters made from nothing more than peanuts.

From there, the world is your oyster. Or, perhaps I should say, the world is your peanut?*
*Both are in shells? Maybe?

Really, you can go anywhere from here. I get flavor inspiration from cookies, from pie, from seasons, from tea, from other flavored peanut butters…once from a flavor of instant oatmeal! Today, I was inspired by chocolate. Mexican chocolate.


Perhaps it was my recent obsession with PB&Co.’s Dark Chocolate Dreams combined with my current habit of putting cinnamon into everything, but the idea of combining cinnamon and chocolate into a delicious peanut butter treat would not get out of my head.

Into the processor went my flavorings and spice: unsweetened cocoa and cinnamon. If I’d had Mexican vanilla–or any vanilla at all*– I probably would have added some of that as well.
*Don’t ask me how that went missing.^
^And no, that was not a lead-in to a story. I really just don’t know.

Then comes the fun part: turning and tasting!

After all, you want to make sure it tastes good before you share it with anyone, right? [Or eat it all yourself. Your choice.]

I find that generally speaking, I have to add WAY more seasoning that I think, especially with cinnamon, but if you put extracts in (like vanilla), it’s easy to go overboard.*
*Like Goldie Hawn, in the 1987 family classic.

Also, unless you’ve started with salted peanut butter, adding a little of your own sodium chloride* generally brings out the flavor.
*That would be salt.^
^ It might taste the same if you get it from the big blue canister…but it’s certainly not as much FUN that way, now is it?

And if you want to sweeten things up, you can give Mr. Snowman a plus one to this Mexican wedding (cake).

And that’s really all there is to it.

Unless of course you want to make a fancy label for it featuring (attempted) recreations of the Mexican flag, chocolate bars, and cinnamon in both its stick and powder form

But while that’s totally optional…

…licking the bowl is not.


So tell us, do you make your own nut butter? What’s your favorite flavor combo??


Today’s Workout:

30 Min Quarter Mile Workout

Inspired by this workout: and this workout:

I ran all of my quarter miles at 7.0 mph and finished the two miles in 17:40. Adding the 8 minutes of exercises and the few minutes of walking warmup I did brought me to just under ½ an hour. I was dripping sweat.

If you want to make this harder you could: run faster, run longer in between exercises, or use dumbells. I did all of the exercises with just body weight and did as many as I could in 1 min. I also didn’t rest at all.

Next time I’m going to add another mile and alternate running my quarter miles at 7.0 and 7.5, or increase my speed each quarter mile for a mile and then start over, pyramid style. I really liked this workout because it got me sweating, kept my heart rate up and the time flew by!


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No Bake Chocolate PB Oatmeal Balls

Hi Friends!

Yesterday I was looking for a quick treat I could whip up that were semi-healthy. After I’d settled on a no-bake cookie ball of sorts, I did my prerequisite googling. Then I did my favorite thing: recipe combining.

I started with these three recipes: One, Two, Three. All of them looked good, but weren’t quite what I was looking for. So, I lined them all up in a word document and added, subtracted and combined things until I came up with this:

No Bake Chocolate PB Oatmeal Balls

by Lindsay L

Prep Time: 5 min

Keywords: raw dessert snack healthy vegetarian chocolate peanut butter oats almonds

Ingredients (14 balls)

  • 1 1/2 c oats
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 c chopped raw almonds
  • 1/2 c Craisins
  • 1/4 c natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 c dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 c honey


1. In a medium bowl, combine the oats, chia seeds, almonds and cranberries.

2. In a small bowl, combine the chocolate chips, honey and peanut butter. Microwave on low until melted and mix well to combine.

3. Add the melted mixture to the oat mixture and use your hands to mix well. Form into balls and refrigerate until chilled.

4. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

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When I made these I actually used 2 cups of oats, and I ended up with about 1/2 a cup of oats that I couldn’t make stick together into balls. So, I’ve adjusted the recipe above accordingly and I think 1 1/2 cups would be the right amount. Not to worry though, I didn’t let those extras go to waste! They tasted great in my Greek yogurt!

I made about 14 balls that were the perfect size for snacking. In addition, you could also use brown rice syrup or agave nectar in place of honey!



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Homemade Lara-Bites!

I’m generally not a big fan of snack bars because of all the added sugar and processing that come along with them. BUT, I do occasionally eat them, especially if someone- like Sarah- sends them to me 🙂 Way back in April, Sarah sent me my very first Larabar. I was SUPER impressed by the short list of ingredients and how natural they were. I loved every bite.

I thought, with an ingredient list that short, surely I can make these at home! But I never got around to buying dates…the key ingredient. So, when I found some Organic Medjool Dates when choosing my Swanson products, I immediately added them to my cart. To by honest, I don’t really know anything about dates other than that I’m constantly getting them confused with figs in my mind 🙂

After doing some research to find the correct ratios, I found this great post and immediately zeroed in on the PB & J flavor.

Lara Bites

by Lindsay L

Prep Time: 5 min

Keywords: raw snack vegetarian healthy nuts raisins dates

Ingredients (15-20 bites)

  • 1/3 c chopped dates
  • 1/4 c raisins
  • 1/4 c unsalted peanuts


In your food processor, add the roughly chopped dates and raisins and process into a paste. Transfer to a bowl.

Add the peanuts to the food processor and process until well chopped. Transfer to the bowl with the fruit.

Using your hands or a spatula, mix the two together.

Divide the mixture in half and place on two sections of plastic wrap.

Shape into bars, bites, balls…whatever shape your heart desires and store in the fridge

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*This makes 2 bars or about 12 bites. You could easily double or triple the recipe.

Don’t forget to remove the pit in the dates when you chop them up.

*Sorry for the terrible pictures. It was 11pm.

I shaped mine into thin logs and stuck them in the fridge overnight.

In the morning, I removed the saran wrap and cut them into bites!

For more flavor combos, check out these ideas from Enlightened Cooking or these Key Lime balls from Jenn!

What’s your favorite Larabar flavor? Have you ever made them at home?



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Homemade Wheat Thins

An easy, homemade version store-bought Wheat Thins!

**Pictures updated 2/2015**

Over the weekend I made a batch of Homemade Wheat Thins thanks to a deliciously simple recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod. They were simple to make and taste even better than store-bought! If you’re a cracker lover like me, give them a try!


What’s your favorite cracker? Have you ever tried to make it at home?

Enjoy, my friends!



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