Getting Healthy in an Affordably Delicious Way

Welcome to The Newlywed Chef! My goal and desire will always be healthy and budget-wise cooking. If you aren't a follower yet, please become one! Always feel free to e-mail me recipes that sound good to you, and I will cook them! Or, e-mail some family favorite that you want posted for others to try, and I can do that as well, as long as its healthy, AND budget-friendly.

Enjoy the site, cast a vote in the poll, and come back each day to check for new recipes!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Slow Cooked Chicken Tacos and the ULTIMATE Spanish Rice

So- i am tempting you by showing you the end result before we start! Here was the spread of the tacos. Now lets start from the beginning!

So, first you need to slow cook your chicken. (Either allow 6-7 hours for low, or 3-4 for high)
Here's all you need to start it up:
1.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts OR THIGHS! (I used breasts because they are healthier!)
1 packet of taco seasoning
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with green chiles

THATS IT! Place your chicken on the bottom of your slow cooker.
In a separate bowl, mix together taco seasoning, diced tomatoes, tomatoes and green chiles, PLUS 1/2 cup of water. Mix well, then pour over your chicken. Slow cook for 7 hours on low, or about 3 hours on high.

Once its done, allow it to cool enough to either pull it apart with your fingers, or 2 forks. Here's what you'll get!

Keep warm while you prepare the toppings (and ultimate rice if you plan on making it!)

For toppings, GET WHAT YOU LIKE! Here's what I did
1 small can sliced black olives
Leftover mexican cheese we had
Salsa we had in the refrigerator
Diced onions (leftover from the ultimate rice recipe)
A couple of fresh tomatoes diced up
Shredded lettuce
*Don't forget to get tacos*
(You could get taco sauce, sour cream, anything you like!)

Here were our toppings:

Okay! Just heat up some taco shells. I used whole wheat soft shells, but if you like hard tacos, go for those! Its whatever you like here!


Yep! This is all you need! It all fits in a skillet!

1/2 chopped onion
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups brown rice
1 t cumin
1 t salt
15 oz can whole tomatoes
10 oz can Rotel
2 cups chicken broth

First, heat your oil over medium heat and cook your onions and garlic about 2-3 minutes.
Then, add in the cumin and rice. Stir constantly for 3 minutes so rice doesn't burn! (I reduced heat here just to be safe!)

Then, add in your Rotel and whole tomatoes. Cook about 3-4 minutes (increase your heat again at this point.)
Then, add in your chicken broth, bring to a boil, then reduce heat, COVER, and simmer for 40 minutes until broth is mostly absorbed and rice is soft! Serve..... YUM!

Nick called this one of his favorites. THATS HUGE. That means it ranks up there with Mexican Lasagna, Pesto Roll, and Porcupine Meatballs!


Enjoy :)

Sweet Potato Mash..... Because YOU voted for it!

Allow me to first give credit where credit is due. This recipe that we had for HEALTHY potatoes on Thanksgiving came from Eating Well. Note: for you butter, brown sugar, sweet tooth lovers, THIS IS NOT FOR YOU!
On the other hand, all you sweet potato lovers who are craving healthy mashed potatoes- here you go.
Also- credit to Mom for making this, I had to work and was unable to help cook the dish! BUT I DID FIND THE RECIPE!


  • 4 medium sweet potatoes (about 8 ounces each), peeled and cut into a large dice
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk, warmed slightly
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, optional (I didn't use it!)


Steam the potatoes in a large covered pan fitted with a steamer basket until they are tender, about 8 minutes.
In a large bowl mash the potatoes with the buttermilk and orange juice. Stir in the zest, salt, and nutmeg. Serve the potatoes topped with the butter, if desired.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Budget Friendly Greek Pasta!

Yeah! I found the ultimate budge friendly, flavor friendly, and leftover friendly recipe! SO FAST! SO EASY! SO CHEAP!

Greek Pasta
8 oz whole wheat penne pasta (or any pasta, and I used a whole pound)
2 cans italian diced tomatoes (I used fire roasted!)
1 can canellini beans, rinsed and drained
10 oz spinach
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese ( you could use grated parmesan if you have it on hand)

THATS IT! Now, let me say- it would have been fine to add some chopped black olives, maybe a little garlic, a little onion, and even some diced up chicken, BUT- we were going out of town this week, so I didn't want ANY leftover fresh ingredients, or anymore hassle at the grocery store than necessary.

All you do is cook your pasta according to the directions on the box.

Meanwhile, add your tomatoes and beans to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Slowly, start adding your spinach in. As it wilts, add more, until all 10 ounces are in.

YUM, huh? AND THIS IS JUST THE SAUCE. Lets keep going. Once you have all the spinach in, drain your pasta and add the sauce to the pasta pot.

I mixed mine really well here to make sure the spinach wasn't chunked all together and not mixed throughout the pasta. Then.... i sprinkled in my feta cheese and mixed it a little more!

Oh yeah! Is your mouth watering yet? This was so good. Now here's the truth. THERE WILL BE PLENTY OF LEFTOVERS. Me and Nick intentionally ate all of this since we were going out of town. I'm against wasting food. BUT- we were BEYOND full and really didn't need to keep eating. YoU WILL have leftovers. (Unless there are 4 or more of you eating it!) Dish it up, sprinkle with a little more feta or parmesan if you'd like and ENJOY :)

Budget-friendly, yes. Lacking taste? I think not!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Bean Stew, Stuffed Tomatoes.... and THEY'RE BACK! 3 ingredient cookies GO MUFFIN!

Yes, so much to blog here. It's been awhile, huh? Yesterday I made some really good burgers and sweet potato fries, but.... we ate all of it and I took ZERO pictures. Nick and Kelsie can attest to the fact that it was indeed delicious though! I used my new kitchen aid slicer to make sweet potato chip shapes, but i didn't cook them long enough to be qualified as chips. I'd call them round fries.

BESIDES THE POINT. Here we go. I made an older recipe, but changed it up a bit. Lean turkey sausage was on sale 2 for 5 dollars, so i wanted to get sausage. You're supposed to also add chicken to the dish, but I didn't want to buy double meat at the store, so i skimped. It didn't hurt the taste though, rest assured!

Easy! Here it is:

2 kielbasa lean turkey sausages (Usually one pack)
Technically, 1/2 lb chicken, diced and cooked (I left this out today!)
1 can Northern Beans
1 can Dark Red Kidney Beans
1 can diced tomatoes with oil, basil, and oregano (Del Monte makes it)
1 T brown sugar


1. Slice up your sausage, throw in a PAM sprayed skillet. Brown it up. (You would also brown up your chicken, all the way cooked through, if you add chicken here.)
2. Add the rest of the ingredients and allow to simmer on medium-low for 8-10 minutes until flavors have combined
3. Serve- you can also slice up some green onions for garnish if you have them (I didn't!)


I also made stuffed tomatoes. Easy as well, if you have a food processor! Here's all I used:

- 4 firm red tomatoes
- 1 clove of garlic
- 4 oz feta cheese, crumbled
- 3-4 T chopped onion
1 T dried parsley
- 1 t olive oil
-1/4 cup bread crumbs (made my own out of sandwich bread)
Salt and Pepper
Parmesan Cheese

1. Cut the tops off of your tomatoes, scoop out the pulp and place in food processor.
2. Place your tomato shells in a baking dish
3. Add to food processor all ingredients EXCEPT the parmesan cheese
4. Pulse ingredients until combined (not until pureed!)
5. Stuff tomato shells with filling
6. Top with Parmesan Cheese
7. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, or longer until cheese is browned.

There were ZERO leftovers of this meal. Have i ever blogged that there WERE leftovers, I mean seriously!?

Okay, lastly, this past weekend, I had to scramble to get a dish together fast for a party that we went to. My awesome sister-in-law told me to make the 3 ingredient cookies, only, instead of like 3 batches of cookies, just make 12 muffins. Well- I only had white cake mix, so i added some famous spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, cloves, and then added the pumpkin and chocolate chips. THEY TURNED OUT AMAZING! Take a look at these guys!

Oh yeah.... you know you're going to try it! So i packed them up, and off we went. Ready in under 2 hours notice!

I still dare someone to try this with chocolate cake mix. I had brownie mix, and I'm a little angry I didn't think to use that!!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Mexican Fiesta of A Meal!

Okay. If you are a salsa lover, stay tuned. If you are Mexican hater, log off immediately. If you are a cilantro hater- just leave it out! DON'T WRITE OFF THIS RECIPE. Just take out the stuff you don't like if it sketches you out. However, we love Mexican. We love cilantro. And we LOVED THIS DISH. I'll tell you another good way to do the chicken- but the CHICKEN was amazing.

So here's what I made: Chicken with Tomatillo Salsa with Pico de Gallo Rice Pilaf

I got the rice idea from the infamous RACHAEL RAY! And the chicken came from a Best Homes Cookbook, or something like that.

Here's a list of the ingredients you will need for THE WHOLE MEAL:

  • 1 lb chicken breasts (I get thinly sliced breasts because they cook super fast and they taste better to me!)
  • 2 T flour
  • 2 T yellow cornmeal
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 lime (zest reserved, and juice reserved)
  • 1 jalepeno pepper, seeded
  • 13-oz can tomatillos
  • Fresh cilantro
  • 4 plum tomatoes, seeded
  • 1 small onion, chopped, reserve 3 Tablespoons
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat orzo (or white)
  • 1 cup brown rice (or white)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
Now, this list looks intimidating. BUT- you use the ingredients in both dishes, so its easy. AND. If you want to cut costs- top the chicken with a green store-bought salsa. Or even red salsa if you prefer! But the tomatillos were something new to me, and i wanted to try them out! Plus, i love making my own salsa!

You're going to want to start cooking your rice first. It takes about 20 minutes to fully cook. So, first, put a little oil in the bottom of a small pot. Toast your orzo in there about 4-5 minutes until it gets brown and toasty. Add your rice and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and then let it simmer for 18 minutes uncovered.

Meanwhile, get going on the pico de gallo that you will mix into the rice:

Throw in your plum tomatoes, your lime zest, half of a jalepeno pepper, a handful of cilantro, all the onion (except the reserved 3T), and pulse it out in a food processor. Here's what it looks like.... if you've been to a Mexican Restaurant, this should look VERY familiar:

Once thats done, let it sit until your rice and orzo have absorbed all of that broth. Again, that will take about 18 minutes (keep stirring throughout process). Once done, add in your pico de gallo mixture and kind of let it warm for about 2 minutes.

Remove from heat, and cover until chicken is ready!

Lets go! You're gonna get a gallon size zip lock bag- throw the cornmeal, flour, chili powder, and a little pepper. Throw the cutlets in the bag, seal it, and SHAKE IT UP. A lot. Coat them. You want to TASTE that "breading" on the chicken, believe me. Its super good! (I started this process once i was done making the pico de gallo, but still waiting on the rice to finish cooking)

Once they are coated. Throw them in a saute pan with about 2T of oil on the bottom. Use more or less if you like. Let that go about 4-5 minutes per side. 

Meanwhile, get going on your salsa for them. I drained and rinsed the tomatillos, then threw them in a food processor along with half the jalepeno pepper, the lime juice, 3 T of onion, and a little less than a handful of cilantro. Pulse that about 10 seconds.

Put your chicken in a serving pan

Top those tenders with a little homemade salsa (or store bough if thats the way you choose to go!)

How beautiful and easy is this dish?
Serve with your pico de gallo rice and voila! No need to go out and fill up on chips and salsa. Make your own Mexican right at home!

There were no leftovers. NONE. We devoured all of it. ENJOY :)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Homemade Pizza .... and spaghetti squash!

Yes- homemade pizza. Who can really pass it up, right?! I throw herbs into this crust to make it more than just whole wheat dough, but if you don't want to buy them, just add some cumin and some chili powder and make it more of a mexican crust taste. I also whipped up a random side dish of spaghetti squash.. just because I had the ingredients. I'll show you all of it!

Herbed-Pizza Crust:
1/2 cup warm water
1 packet dry active yeast
1/2 cup wheat flour
1/2 cup tomato juice
1 T chopped rosemary
2 T chopped chives
1/4 t white pepper
1 t olive oil
1 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour

Pizza Toppings:
Pizza Sauce
Mozzarella Cheese
Any toppings you like- but here's what I used
4 oz can sliced black olives
1 plum tomato sliced
Some chopped chives
Some pepperoncini (only because it was in my fridge)

Here it was pre-bake!

I sometimes could just eat it as dough. But I wait. Here's all you do:

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add all ingredients except all purpose flour and mix well. Gradually add all purpose flour as it works into the dough. Once all flour is mixed in, place dough on a lightly floured surface and knead it for about 5 minutes, until its smooth and elastic. Let it rise, preferably in a warm place, for 45-60 minutes. Once it has doubled in size, punch down into pizza pan and spread out to desired shape and thickness.

Top with whatever you prefer. Sauce, cheese, and the good stuff!
Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes, until cheese is melted and turning golden brown, at 425 degrees. And your result should look something like this

Too good! I promise you'll love it. If you can splurge on the herbs, DO IT! Its totally worth it!

So, my random side dish was herbed spaghetti squash. You just cut a spaghetti squash right down the middle. Place about 1.5 cups of chicken or veggie broth into a 9X13 baking dish. I put 2 sprigs of rosemary (which you already have from the pizza) and 2 sprigs of sage (it came in a mixed herb pack along with rosemary at Kroger!) in the pan. I banged mine with a knife so it would open up the leaves and release that herby-ness. Place the squash, hollow side down, into the broth.
Place in the oven for about an hour at 375 degrees until the skin gives way a little when you push on it, and squash is completely tender on the inside.

Remove from the oven and flip onto a plate. ALLOW TO COOL BEFORE THE NEXT STEP!

About 10 minutes later, seed the squash carefully. Then take a fork and go at the flesh of the squash. It will come out like noodles! Go all the way to the rind. Place in a bowl, toss with a little olive oil, or butter, some salt, pepper, and parsley flakes. Serve:

Looks kind of odd, I know. But its good. Its healthy. Its easy. Here's the ingredient list since I didn't list it earlier:

1 spaghetti squash
Rosemary (2 sprigs)
Sage (2 sprigs)
Butter or EVOO (about 1 tsp)
Salt and Pepper
Dried Parsley (about 2 tsp)

ENJOY! Try this pizza! You'll never order in again. Well, you probably will, but it will never taste as good and as healthy!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Autumn Fruit Salad... Seasonally Delicious!

So, this is actually a fruit salad I had forgotten about. I found it last fall while I was still at Auburn and LOVED IT. Totally forgot about it until recently when Kelsie brought it up. So... its back! And its delicious! Seriously- if you like fruit, you can't help but like this salad. TOO good!

Autumn Fruit Salad
2 Red delicious apples
1 Granny Smith apples
2 Bartlett pears
1/2 lb grapes
1/2 cup slivered/sliced almonds, toasted
1 banana
1 cup vanilla yogurt (I use Dannon Light and Fit- SOOO good!)
1 T apple cider (I bought the cheap just add water packets)
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg (I actually didn't have this, so I couldn't add it...)
1/2 t ground ginger

Just core and dice up the apples. Same with the bears. Slice the banana, and cut the grapes in half.
Toss fruit with almonds.
In a separate bowl, mix yogurt with spices. Add to fruit bowl and toss GENTLY until well mixed.
Serve immediately, or refrigerate immediately. It will last in the fridge longer than you would expect cut fruit to last! Enjoy :)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sloppy Chipotle Joes!

My best friend, Kelsie, came over to cook (and eat) with us and insisted I put a picture of myself up here since I'm the chef! I'm actually holding the side dish, which I will tell you about later, but I just wanted to caption this picture first!

So chipotle sloppy joes. They taste just as good as they sound! Here's the basic recipe for healthier sloppy joes, and then i'll show you how i kicked them up to chipotle flavor!

Sloppy Joes:
1 lb ground turkey
1 packet of sloppy joe seasoning
1 small can tomato paste
1/2 small onion diced
Toasted Wheat Buns

And thats it! You brown the turkey and onions in the olive oil. Once brown, add the tomato paste, the seasonings, and about 1 cup of water to the skillet. Boil about 10 minutes until thick and hearty.

Here's what i added

1/2 red bell pepper chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped
1 T Worcestire sauce

I cooked the pepper, garlic, and adobo with the turkey like in the directions above. Once browned up, I added the water, tomato paste, seasoning packet, and Worcestire sauce. Let it simmer for 10 minutes and cook down. Serve on toasted wheat buns!

Now, the side I cooked, that I happen to be holding in the first picture, was called Ceasar Asian Veggies. SO EASY! Here's the recipe that I kinda made up on the fly... I'll tell you how to make it easier if you want:

Ceasar Asian Veggies
1 bag of frozen broccolli and cauliflower (mixed)
1 bag of frozen snap peas
(Easy idea: One packet of caesar salad dressing mix, DRY!)
1 T Olive Oil
IF YOU DON'T GO WITH THE PACKET, use these ingredients:
1 T lemon peel, grated
1/4 t garlic powder
1/2 t pepper
1 t oregano (Dried)
1 t thyme (Dried)
6 T grated parmesan cheese
1/2 t salt

All you do is add the veggies to the oil, and toss with the seasonings! Cover and cook on medium to medium-high for about 8-10 minutes, or until soft and tender.

These were truly delicious. I thought they might be a joke since there were so few ingredients, but between the 3 of us, we devoured them. Kelsie and Nick probably ate less than i did, but i was pretty crazy about them!

Another view:

If you use the caesar dressing packet, this would be a cheap and easy side dish. I recommend trying it! I just couldn't find a packet in my Kroger, so i went with my own mix. You could also probably try Italian dressing mix!

Here was the final plate:

The orzo was leftover from my mom's house. That recipe will come one day in the future. Nick loves that orzo salad, but I can't post a recipe until i make it. You know the way i work by now, right?


And did i mention that my husband surprised me with flowers on our one month anniversary???? He's the best!

Monday, November 2, 2009

WINNER WINNER, CHICKEN, sun-dried tomato, and orzo DINNER!

Now THIS is a keeper! Nick said it was one of his favorites! Try it out, and see what you think. I pulled this off of and it had received 5 stars. We agree with the ratings! I took step by step photos, so enjoy the progress of the pictures. Here's a teaser though of the end product!

Okay so here we go!

8 oz of whole wheat orzo (WHOLE WHEAT TASTES COMPLETELY DIFFERENT THAN WHITE, but if you can't find it, go with white anyways!)
1 cup water
1/2 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes, divided
1 plum tomato, diced
1 clove of garlic, peeled
1.5 t dried marjoram, divided
1 T red wine vinegar
2 t plus  1T olive oil, divided
4 boneless, skinless, chicken breast halves (I bought 3 big whole breasts and butterflied them because they were cheaper!)
1/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1 bag frozen artichoke hearts (Couldn't find these, so I used 2 cans of whole artichoke hearts, but really, 1 can would have been plenty, quartered!)
1/2 cup grated parmesan

First, cook the orzo according to the box directions. Drain and rinse. Set aside.
Meanwhile,  place the water, half of the sun-dried tomatoes, the plum tomato, the garlic, 1 t of the marjoram, the vinegar, and 2 t of the olive oil in a food processor or blender. Pulse until mixed, but still chunky! It will resemble salsa:

A this point, transfer the juice/sauce into a pan to boil it in soon!
Season your chicken on both sides with salt and pepper and brown in a skillet with 1 T of the remaining olive oil. My chicken took awhile, but if you have thinner pieces, probably about 2-3 minutes per side. Mine were more like 5-6 minutes per side!

At this point, once they have finished cooking, set them aside and cover them to keep them warm.
Now, pour your tomato sauce into a pan and bring to a boil. Measure out about 1/2 of a cup and set aside (to pour over chicken at the end before serving!)

Once it is boiling, reduce heat and add the remaining sun-dried tomatoes, orzo, artichoke hearts (drain these if you buy the canned kind!), and 6 T of parmesan cheese. Cook about 2 minutes until orzo has been warmed and cheese is melted throughout pot:

At this point, you may be sketched out by my pictures. BUT PLEASE. I wouldn't post a bad recipe!
You can either slice up the chicken and serve it over the orzo, or you can leave it as breasts (which for time's sake, I did!)
Top each person's plate of chicken and orzo with a sprinkle of dried marjoram, parmesan cheese, and reserved sauce.
TO DIE FOR. Eat 2 servings- there's no way you can't! AND TRY TO FIND THE WHOLE WHEAT ORZO!

A couple pictures for you!


Nick sure did! WE BOTH went back for seconds! I cannot urge you enough to MAKE THIS DISH! It only takes a total of about 30 minutes!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Porcupine Meatballs.... and some fresh banana muffins!

So... today I was home alone until about 2pm when Nick got home from Tennessee. I had 2 leftover over-ripe bananas that I didn't want to throw away. Well- banana bread is boring, but banana muffins... not so much!

For dinner, we had porcupine meatballs (they get their name from the rice that sticks out of them like quills) over some spaghetti. ALWAYS a delicious and fool-proof dish! I'm going to feature our dinner first, just because, muffins aren't nearly as exciting as a budget dinner, right!?

So, the first thing you need to know about this dish, is it takes a lot of time. Give yourself 1.5 to 2 hours from start to finish. You have to boil the rice, saute the onions until they are soft and translucent, then mix it all together, and still bake for ONE HOUR! Worth it, I promise, but just set aside the time, or you will be rushed, frustrated, and upset at the end!

Porcupine Meatballs:
1 lb ground turkey
2 cups cooked rice (I use Boil in the Bag- KROGER brand! One bag will yield your 2 cups)
3/4 cups onion, chopped very small
1 teaspoon Olive Oil
1 can 28 oz crushed tomatoes
1 bay leaf
Salt and Pepper
(I happened to have had leftover chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, so I diced those up and threw them in for extra kick!)
If you want spaghetti with these, add some whole wheat pasta to your grocery list!

So here's how it goes. Cook your rice according to the box. Cook the onions in a skillet with the olive oil. Add about 1 tablespoon of water and cover them. Let them soften about 10 minutes in the pan over medium heat. Watch them- if the water runs out, they can burn! Add water if you need to as they go! Throw the rice and the onions in a mixing bowl. I added some chipotle peppers, and then SALT AND PEPPER! Then, add your turkey and MIX WELL. I use my hands, but do whatever you prefer!

Form into 8 porcupines, I mean meatballs! Place them in a 9X13 pan. Cover with the crushed tomatoes and their juice. Add bay leaf. Cook at 350 degrees for one hour. Here mine are at about 50 minutes:

Once you take them out, and serve over pasta, top with some parmesan cheese! DELICIOUS. You'll want to eat the whole pan, but, they are filling, so you'll probably stop around 2. Unless you're my husband... 3 or 4 is his stopping point!

TOO GOOD! TOO EASY! TOO CHEAP! Look how small that grocery list is! These are healthy, but if you aren't so concerned about healthy, use ground beef, or even regular ground turkey (I use the extra lean kind!) ENJOY!

Now, for the banana muffins. Nothing too special or crazy here. I just wanted to use up the bananas, but they really did turn out pretty good. We like them a lot! Easy recipe too!

Basic Banana Muffins
1 and 3/4 cups floud (I used soft wheat and ground my own flour, but all purpose works!)
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 t salt
2 t baking powder
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup cooking oil
1/2 cup milk
2 mashed bananas (the riper and browner, the better!)
Ground cinnamon

So... mix the dry ingredients together. Set aside. Mix the wet ingredients together (not including the banana yet!) Add the wet to the dry. Mix well. Stir in the mashed bananas. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. It was closer to about 17 for me... but just start watching them after 15! Don't let them get too brown!

You could add chocolate chips, or nuts. I'd say throw in 1/2 of a cup of either. But I just wanted easy! THE BEST PART: Didn't have to go to the store to make these. I had all the ingredients on hand! They are in their tupperware sitting in the pantry for snacks now :) YUM!