News

Grain Free Protein Banana Bread

Super easy and tasty banana bread! I have been experimenting with different ingredients, and this recipe is grain free/gluten free and JUST as delicious as my other baked goods! It can also be dairy free (making it Paleo-friendly) by using an egg white or plant-based protein powder. I have only made this as a loaf but feel free to try as muffins. You may also get creative and add crushed walnuts/pecans, chocolate chips, cinnamon etc! :)

20170108_2221011

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/8 cup ground golden flaxseed
  • 1 scoop protein powder (whey/casein blend)
  • 1/2 cup baking stevia
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 3 egg whites
  • 150g mashed banana
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients. In a separate smaller bowl, add all wet ingredients and mix. Add wet to dry and combine well. Careful to not over mix as the coconut flour soaks up a lot of the liquid.

Transfer to a well-sprayed baking loaf pan. Bake at 350F for 35 minutes. It will look slightly not done, but the sides should be lightly browned and a toothpick should come out clean from the center.

20170108_2221361

Makes 8 slices (450 grams total weight)

Nutrition Facts:

1 slice (Approx 55grams): 95 calories/3g fat/9g carbs (3g sugar and 3g fiber) 8g protein

Read more →

Healthy Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles

A healthy dessert option that is great for those holiday parties or just for a sweet treat without the guilt! These use healthy substitutions such as all natural peanut butter & all natural baking sweetener Stevia. They also contain a secret punch of protein...!

For an even lighter calorie option, just drizzle the chocolate over the truffles (as shown below). I did both as to have both a "naughty and nice" option ;)

They taste just like the "real thing", I swear! :)


truffles-1

Ingredients: (makes 14 truffles)

  • 150g (about 1/3 cup) all natural (creamy) peanut butter
  • 2 scoops (70g) vanilla protein powder
  • 1/3 cup baking stevia

Chocolate coating:

  • 85g (6 tbsp) milk chocolate chips
  • 7g (1/2 Tbsp) coconut oil

Directions:

Mix PB, protein powder & stevia in a bowl. Knead with your hands into a large ball; you want it cookie dough consistency. If it is too dry & crumbling too much, add a tsp of water at a time until it sticks together. Chill in the fridge for at least 15 min.


Once chilled, take the dough and form into small balls (I measured mine at 16g each). Place on sprayed cookie spray & place in freezer for at least an hour. This ensures that they don't fall apart when you put the melted chocolate on them.


When its time, microwave the oil & chocolate chips until melted (can also melt in a saucepan on the stove top). Be careful to not overheat it! I only did 15 seconds in the microwave then kept stirring it until it was all liquid. Less time is always better!


Drizzle the chocolate over the PB balls or drop the balls into the chocolate (I had mine in a Pyrex measuring cup) & cover completely. Place back on the baking sheet & add sprinkles if desired. Freeze for several hours to have them set completely. Keep in the fridge until you are ready to enjoy them! Makes approximately 14 truffles.

truffles-2
Nutrition Facts: (for completely dipped truffles)

For 1 truffle:
116 cals/6.5g carbs (1.2g fiber & 4g sugar) 6g protein/8g fat

Read more →

Italian Turkey Meatloaf

Comfort food that is delicious yet healthy at the same time! To eliminate the use of refined flour, I substitute bread crumbs for oat flour/oatmeal. I also use ground turkey in place of beef to cut back on the fat. Extra lean ground chicken is also a great alternative! (Using lean 93/7 ground turkey is another option if extra lean is not available).

Extra lean meat can turn out dry, but the addition of the zucchini and other veggies lock in the moisture & give it great texture as well :)

20161023_163723_resized

Ingredients:

  • 1 16oz package of extra lean 99/1 (or lean ground 93/7 turkey or ground chicken)
  • 100g grated zucchini
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped sweet onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped (green) bell pepper
  • Optional: 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 whole (cage free) brown egg
  • 2 Tbsp reduced sugar ketchup (+1 Tbsp for on top)
  • 2 Tbsp plain tomato paste
  • Spices (1 tsp each): garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning blend, oregano cumin, red pepper & 1/2 tsp sea salt

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 375F. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well until all combined evenly.

Spray a loaf pan generously with nonstick spray (I personally line it with foil then spray it for easy clean up!)

Transfer meatloaf to the pan and spread evenly. Add additional 1 Tbsp of ketchup on top.

Bake at 375F for 60-70 minutes. A meat thermometer should read at least 160 degrees from the center of the loaf.

Nutrition Info:

Makes 8 servings (700g total weight)

Using extra lean 99/1 ground turkey: 98 calories/1.5g fat/6g carbs (1g fiber & 2g sugar) 15g protein

Using lean 93/7 ground turkey: 112 calories/5g fat/6g carbs (1g fiber & 2g sugar) 14g protein

 

Read more →

Butternut Squash & Cranberry Quinoa Salad

An easy yet delicious recipe that is filled with nutrients & healthy ingredients! It is a great side dish or main entrée. Adding chicken breast on top if desired is excellent as well! This recipe is also gluten free and vegan :)

butternut-squash-quinoa

 

Fun Fact:

Did you know that quinoa is one of the grains that is a complete protein source? This means that it contains all of the essential amino acids (protein building blocks) that your body requires from food. Thus it makes a great plant-based (non-meat) source of protein!

Ingredients: (Makes 6 cups/12 servings)

  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • ¼ cup dried no sugar added cranberries
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion
  • 1 ½ cups roasted & cubed butternut squash
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup chopped fresh spinach
  • ¼ cup light/balsamic dressing of choice (My top choice is Maplegrove Farms Fat Free Balsamic)
  • Salt/Pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Prep the squash: Cut in half & scoop out the seeds. Place up on baking sheet & roast at 375 for approximately 45 minutes until soft. Once cooled, peel off skin & cut into ½ inch cubes.
  • Prep the quinoa: In a medium saucepan, boil your water & add quinoa; let it simmer & cook as directed until all the liquid is absorbed.
  • To assemble salad: Combine the quinoa, squash and all other ingredients. Mix well until evenly combined. Store covered in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving.

butternut-squash-quinoa-2

Salad with added chicken breast & additional fresh spinach “base” for more volume & nutrients :)

Nutrition Info:

1 serving (1/2 cup):

95 calories-18g carbs (2g fiber & 3.5g sugar) 3g fat-2.5g protein

Read more →

Baked Tuna Cakes

Looking for a new way to eat your canned tuna? Getting bored of your typical tuna salad or sandwich? Then try this easy, simple, healthy and delicious recipe!

RECIPE: (makes approx 6 patties/2 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 2 small cans tuna or salmon packed in water, drained
  • 2 tbsp oat flour (ground up oatmeal) or ground flaxseed
  • ½ cup finely grated zucchini (excess water squeezed out)
  • 1 egg white
  • ½ cup chopped veggies: bell pepper, onion, tomato etc.
  • Spices: garlic/onion powder, Mrs. Dash, sea salt and pepper, lemon pepper etc.

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Form into patties into approximately the size of your palm. If the mixture is too dry, add an egg white. If it is too wet, add an extra Tbsp of oat flour.

Place on baking sheet and bake at 375F for approx. 20-25 minutes. Flip after 15 minutes. Check at 20 minutes and continue baking until your liking. I prefer them to be a little crispy and “well done” 

Serve with lemon, mustards, avocado or yogurt sauce.

Screenshot_2016-07-05-23-27-16-1

Optional Yogurt Sauce: Mix 2 Tbsp plain greek yogurt with ½ Tbsp Dijon mustard, lemon pepper seasoning, dried dill, & lemon juice.

Nutrition Information:

1 serving (using oat flour) & not including yogurt sauce:

190 calories/30g Protein/3g Fat /11g Carbs (2g fiber & 3g sugar)

Read more →

Protein Cheesecake

This cheesecake is super healthy but tastes just as good as the real thing! Using healthier ingredients and substitutions, this dessert is low in fat & calories but loaded with protein. And have I mentioned it is delicious?? It is a great healthy dessert option that is very "macro-friendly". This is not my original recipe, and there are a multiple versions to make this. But after making this several times, this is the version I have found that works the best. This is only the "base recipe" and you may definitely get creative & make different flavors by changing the protein powder flavor or putting in additions like chocolate chips, nuts, etc. There are tons of options! So you really can "Have your Cake and Eat it too!" :)

20150923_222731

Pictured: Pumpkin Cheesecake with walnuts , pumpkin spice chips, Arctic Zero icecream and whipped cream

Ingredients:

  • 8oz Fat Free Cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 8oz Fat Free Greek Yogurt (may use low-fat but nutrition facts will change)
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 serving (30g) protein powder (I use a vanilla whey/casein blend)
  • 2/3 cup Baking Stevia

Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake: Add approx 1/2 cup plain pumpkin puree & reduce Greek yogurt to 6oz. Add:
1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, ginger, and 1/4 tsp allspice. Optional 1/2 tsp maple or pumpkin pie extract.

Pre-heat oven to 300F. In a large bowl add all wet ingredients. Make sure your cream cheese is softened/at room temperature (as this will make mixing SO much easier and prevent the batter from clumping). Use a hand mixer and blend all wet ingredients.

Add in dry ingredients and using the hand mixer again, mix well on the lowest speed setting. Make sure to not over mix as this will lead to cracking in your cake (still tastes good but not as pretty!) Stir in any optional add-ins at this time.

Pour into a 8 inch (circular glass) Pyrex dish and spread evenly. Bake at 300F for 30 minutes. Then lower to 250F and bake for an additional 20-30 minutes. Check at 20 minutes; the cake should be solid and the sides slightly browned and pulling away from the dish. Let it cool completely (preferably overnight but at least 4-6 hours) in the fridge before enjoying.

Makes 8 slices

Nutrition Info: (For 1 slice & no additional add-ins or ingredients)

70 calories-1.5g Fat-4.5g Carbs (1g sugar) 11g Protein

Read more →

Chicken Tortilla Soup

image

A super easy, healthy AND delicious soup recipe, just in time for the fall and winter months! This can be made in the crockpot or stove-top, whichever you prefer!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups free-range low-sodium chicken broth/stock
  • 24oz (raw) boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup whole kernel corn, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15oz) diced tomatoes, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup low-sodium (preferred) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup green or red (or both!) bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup mild green chilies, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (May use more)
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Mrs. Dash Chipotle or Fiesta Lime seasoning
  • Optional: Finely chopped jalapeño peppers (if you like spicy!)

 

Directions:

Pull out your crockpot and pour in your chicken broth. Gently place the (whole) chicken breasts into the pot. Add in the remaining ingredients (beans, corn, veggies, spices). Cover and turn on the Low setting.

Cook on low for 3-5 hours, stirring occasionally (if possible) and allow the chicken breasts to fully cook through and the flavors marinate together :)

When the soup is ready, carefully remove the chicken breasts. With two forks, gently shred the chicken into small hunks and place back into the soup.

Serve and enjoy with some yummy toppings: light shredded cheese, plain Greek yogurt (a great substitute for sour cream!) sliced avocado, etc :)

Stovetop method: If you do not have a crockpot, not to worry! You may use a (very large) pot instead. Place all ingredients in your pot and set on medium-low temperature. Let it cook for 1-2 hours, or until the chicken is cooked through.

Note: You may use (pre) cooked chicken instead! Feel free to grill or bake it beforehand, shred and then add it with the remaining ingredients :)

Hope you enjoy!

Nutrition Facts: (Makes 10 cups, approximately 225g) (Total weight of recipe: 2200g)

120 calories/18g protein/8g carbs/1.25g fat  (1.75g fiber & 2g sugar)

Read more →

Healthy Pumpkin Spice Latte

This is JUST as satisfying as the ever-popular Starbucks Pumpkin Latte, but without all the unhealthy fat and sugar! This method is super easy and can be made without a frother or espresso maker! 

pumpkin spice latte 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup strong brewed coffee (divided)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond/cashew milk
  • 2-3 tbsp pumpkin purée
  • 1 tbsp stevia (to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • few dashes of nutmeg and ginger 
  • few dashes of Pumpkin Pie Spice (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Optional: 1 scoop vanilla protein powder 

Take a 1/2 cup of coffee and all the other ingredients and blend well (I used my magic bullet). It should be a “frothy” mix.

Pour over your remaining 1/2 cup of coffee. Sprinkle with cinnamon and/or whipped cream, and enjoy!! 

It’s as simple as that!

Another option: Heat the milk, pumpkin, and spices in a saucepan for a few minutes to “simmer”, and then blend. But I found when you add 1/2 of the hot coffee then blend, it creates the same great texture and flavor! :)

Read more →

Pumpkin White Bean Chili

screenshot_2016-09-27-21-21-33-1

This super easy yet delicious chili recipe provides a new spin on the typical "chili" recipe. The pumpkin adds a nice consistency and great twist of flavor without overpowering the dish. Serve with my Healthy Cornbread (found in my e-cookbook!) for the ultimate guilt-free comfort food meal! :)

Ingredients:

  • 1 package (20 oz) of extra lean (97-99%) ground turkey or chicken
  • 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree (not pie mix)
  • 1 can (15 oz) white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small can (4 oz) diced green chilies (I used fire-roasted)
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp Mrs. Dash Chipotle seasoning (or other salt-free seasoning)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (more or less depending on your preference)
  • 1 tsp cumin

Directions:

Crock Pot Method:

Chop all your veggies and place in your crockpot. Break up the ground meat into small pieces and add to the crockpot. Lastly, add all remaining ingredients and spices.

Cook on low for 4-6 hours or High for 2-3 hours. The meat will be cooked all the way through. Stir occasionally if possible.

Stove Top Method:

In a large pan, combine the chopped onion and package of ground turkey. On medium heat, cook the mixture until the meat is browned. Transfer the meat into a large pot (or crockpot). Over low heat, add your remaining ingredients (pumpkin, beans, chilies, chicken broth, spices and spices to the pot. Stir all ingredients together thoroughly. Keep the chili on low heat and cover. Stir occasionally every few minutes, but keep it covered and simmering for at least 30 minutes in order for all the flavors to mix :)

Once the chili is ready, get your toppings ready: plain greek yogurt (instead of sour cream), shredded cheese, and/or cilantro. Serve with my healthy cornbread and enjoy!

Nutrition Info: (For 10 cups)

1 cup: 160 calories   15g carbs  15g protein   4g fat

Read more →

Healthy Pumpkin Butter

pumpkin-butter

Fall is in the air! What better way to kick it off with a healthy pumpkin recipe! :)

Most all pre-made pumpkin/apple butters are high in sugar and highly processed. Making your own is actually quite simple and you can control the ingredients!

This is very low in sugar, low calorie, super easy to make, healthier & less expensive than buying it! And did I mention it's delicious?!

It goes great on toast or with baked goods...like a Cinnamon Buff Brownie perhaps? :)

I used a liquid sweetener called Organic Agave Five by Madhava. It is a mix of organic agave, stevia & monk fruit. It is not as thick as regular agave/honey, but only has 5 cals per tsp, making it a great natural low sugar/cal substitute for regular sugar! 

If you prefer (or cannot find the Agave 5) feel free to substitute regular agave nectar, honey, or possible even maple syrup or brown rice syrup. Keep in mind the nutrition/calorie info will change.

This recipe can be modified based on your preference & ingredients available. Add less/more spice or sweetener...I think it tastes great the way it is! 

Recipe:

I cup pumpkin puree (canned or fresh)
1/4 cup Baking Stevia
2 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp Agave Five sweetener
1/2 tsp vanilla or maple extract
1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp each: nutmeg, ginger, allspice
Optional: 1/4 tsp Pumpkin pie spice

Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan on medium low heat. Let it simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent any burning. Let it cook for anywhere from 5-10 minutes. Turn heat off & cover, letting the flavors blend for an additional few minutes. When it is completely cool, transfer to an airtight jar (this made 2 small jars.)
Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks!

Nutrition for the WHOLE recipe (using the above ingredients):

113 calories, with 3g protein, 0g fat, 26g carbs, 7g fiber, & only 14g sugar! 

Read more →