Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Spaghetti Squash with Cheesy Creamy Boca Sauce!

This is one of the most fabulous comfort food-type dinners I've made in a while! This is really something you HAVE to try. I based my recipe off of this recipe by Emily Malone. Her recipe calls for mushrooms as the bulky base of the sauce, but I already had mushrooms at lunch . . . SO I replaced the mushrooms with Boca Crumbles, left out the non-dairy creamer (partially because I didn't have any) and ended up with a savory, creamy, cheesy, stick-to-your-guts sauce. Plus, I accomplished my goal of adding a "meaty" protein to round out the meal. I really liked Emily's technique for cooking the spaghetti squash; instead of scooping out the gooey seeds and membrane AFTER baking it in the oven, she cuts it open BEFORE, scoops it out, and rubs the insides with chopped garlic and a little olive oil. So I prepared mine just like that for a little over an hour and it came out perfect. While that was in the oven, I sauteed some garlic and onion in a pan with non-stick spray. I added my Boca Crumbles, cooked it for a few minutes, then poured in about 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk. I let that cook down and thicken up a little, then I added about 1 1/2 T nutritional yeast :). I added a little more almond milk (about another 1/4 cup)and 1/2 teaspoon of cornstarch that I previously mixed with some water (DO NOT add the cornstarch directly to the sauce). Finally, I seasoned it with a little salt and pepper- that's it!! I must say- I never got why nutritional yeast was described as "cheesey", and now I definitely do. This sauce is the reason I will definitely be incorporating it in future recipes.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Saturday's Lunchbox

II had to work a double Saturday so I packed my lunchbox with two mini feasts :)

I made my favorite protein panini and a pumpkin protein pancake/roll that I threw together last minute. I had about a tablespoon left of my pumpkin purée so I mixed it with vanilla protein powder, 1/4 t baking powder, cinnamon, Truvia, and about 2 T liquid eggs whites. Cooked it like a pancake and spread 2 T PB2 on it-YUM.

I also packed some sliced red bell peppers and thanks to my sister, I've recently become a fan of Bai 5 calorie drinks. They are sweetened with stevia so they don't have that fake/chemical-y after taste. I love taking a sip then putting it in the freezer so it starts to get a little slushy/icy-like :)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Oat-less Oatmeal

I worked the late shift at my internship, so after eating a bunch of mini-meals throughout the day I wasn't hungry enough for a big dinner. I came across a recipe for "Oat-less Oatmeal". I had experimented with a similar recipe in the past, but I remembered there was something about the texture that I didn't like. However, the idea of "oat-less oatmeal" intrigues me and I'm determined to find a recipe that works. The recipe I found called for one whole mashed banana, but I knew I had some extra pumpkin in the fridge and thought it would be a tasty substitution. There seemed to be a limit to how firm of a texture I could achieve on the stove top, so I put the "oatmeal" in the fridge after I cooked it. I actually did firm up and tasted better, but not really up to my oatmeal standards. I auctioned it off to my sister who brought it with her to school as a snack today. She LOVED it, so I was inspired to post the recipe anyway . . . more experimenting to come.

Oat-Less Oatmeal ( Slightly adapted from here ):

1/4 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk
6 T egg whites
2 Tbsp ground flaxseed
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Whisk together egg whites and milk. Add in flaxseed, cinnamon, mashed banana, and vanilla and whisk until completely combined. Pour mixture into a medium saucepan and cook over medium-low heat. Constantly stir the mixture until you reach a cooked oatmeal consistency. I cooked mine around 7-8 minutes, but 5 minutes is probably fine.

My sister ate it cold the next day topped with almonds and strawberries:

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Savory Pumpkin Protein Bread and Pumpkin Protein Muffins!

Two confessions: 1. I'm OBSESSED with pumpkin 2. I've been slacking on my blogging. I've been cooking and packing lunches like crazy, but I haven't been blogging as much as I would like to be :(. Interning and working full-time and taking classes does not give me much free time. However, I am now in my food service rotation and find myself with a little extra "me" time here and there. So, I get to post two new pumpkin recipes!!

I used the Savory Pumpkin Protein Bread recipe that Anna posted, but modified it a bit. The first time I made it, the 5 T of soy sauce that the recipe called for was WAY too much. So I lowered the amount and it came out perfect!

Savory Pumpkin Protein Bread


3/4 cup egg whites
1/2 cup pea protein (I use Swanson)
1/4 cup coconut powder
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2.5 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 cup unsweetened almond Milk
1/4 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon baking powder


1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
3. Place in a loaf pan sprayed with cooking spray.
4. Bake for about 30 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack.

YUM. I brought a slice with me for lunch today along with zucchini noodles in avocado cream sauce and a veggie burger :). Here's a picture of a slice that I semi-kinda already bit into:

I had some pumpkin left over, so I decided to throw together another fun snack. What happened? Pumpkin Protein Muffins! I couldn't find any that were in my carbohydrate/calorie range, so I made this one up on a whim. . . Success!

Pumpkin Protein Muffins


1/2 cup pumpkin
1/2-3/4 cup unsweetened Vanilla Coconut Almond Milk
3 tablespoons egg whites
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup vanilla whey protein powder
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
4 slices banana (optional)


1. Mix the dry ingredients together. Add the pumpkin and blend well.
2. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and blend well. Divide mixture into four muffin tins sprayed with cooking spray. Place a banana slice the center of each one.
3. Bake at 350 for about 15-20 minutes.

I have to calculate the exact nutrition facts, but one muffin (out of the four) was roughly 110 calories! I put one in my sister's lunchbox. Her reaction?: "Holy balls, this is soooo good!"

Black Bean Protein Brownie

I was in the mood to try something new, so I modified a recipe posted on proteinpow.com and made a delish new protein snack! The black bean part? Don't let it scare you! It created a dense, fudge-y texture.

This recipe needs only five ingredients and it's super easy to make! I made a batch and froze half (it freezes well!). I just nuke it in the micro for 20 seconds and its just as delicious as when I first baked it!


Black Bean Protein Brownies


1 can low-sodium black beans (I used a can that had 3 servings at 100 calories each)
1/2 cup chocolate protein powder
3 tablespoons coconut flour
3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla coconut/almond milk
Truvia to taste (optional)


Just blend all of the ingredients together, place in a sprayed bread tin, and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes (knife should come out clean). Let cool on a cooling rack then cut into 6 bars.

Per one bar: 104 calories, 2.0 g Fat, 12 g CHO, 6 g Fiber, 11 g Protein

I brought one bar with me to my internship yesterday along with two tofu mini-meals I made. I buy the Light Firm Tofu, so one whole block is only 210 calories. Therefore, I eat the whole thing. I decided to make two totally different mini-meals instead of making a larger batch of the same recipe (just to keep it exciting). So, I came up with my Italian Baked Tofu:

AND my Tofu and Green Bean Stir-fry with Sichuan Sauce:

Friday, October 5, 2012

Current Salad Obsession

I've been switching up my typical lunch of a protein "panini" and zucchini noodles with an absolutely delicious, easy, healthy, hearty, salad. So I wanted to share :). There's no oil in my salad dressing- it doesn't need any!! And since there isn't, it allows me to throw in a little more avocado than I normally would when there's other sources of fat in my meal :)!

Mixed Greens with Avocado, Feta, and Lemon Garlic Dressing


1 garlic clove chopped
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Mix these three together at the bottom of the bowl you'll be making your salad in (I use a BIG one). That's it- dressing DONE! Now the salad:

2 cups mixed greens with herbs (I use an organic brand from Whole Foods
1/4 avocado, cubed
2 T corn
5 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cucumber, sliced
3 T fat free feta
1/2 t oregano
Cooked shrimp (I've also used steamed lobster and baked tofu!)

So, Add the lettuce to the bowl and toss it around a little. Add the rest of the ingredients and EAT!

NOTE: I keep a bag of frozen corn in the freezer, nuke what I need in the microwave or just let it defrost on a plate while I prepare the rest of the salad.

Also, you can also throw a few sliced black olives in there which would be tasty.

Here's my salad with shrimp:

Salt and pepper to taste

Here's my salad with Baked Tofu:

Monday, October 1, 2012

Pumpkin-Based Protein Pizza!

This week I decided to take on the Cauliflower Pizza Experiment (again). I made one before and while it tasted great, it didn't have the texture I was hoping for. The cheese/cauliflower/egg white combination was a little too soft and flimsy. I got inspired to try again by one of favorite bloggers- Anna Sward at . I discovered her blog after I made my first attempt at a protein pancake. I had this idea that since protein powder reminded me of flour, why not use it as a substitute? Well, apparently Anna beat me to it. And I have been following her and experimenting on my own ever since- Thanks Anna!

So back to the pizza. My recipe differs slightly from Anna's. I didn't have as much cauliflower as she did and I wanted to adjust it to my calorie range preference. I did it, however, I have yet to find my sloppily written post-it that I wrote everything down on :(. I want to be precise so I will make it again to get the recipe down pat and post it ASAP.

I also have to share my other pizza experiment inspired by Anna- The Pumpkin Protein Pizza :)!

Just the crust:

With my toppings!!

1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup egg whites
2 T oat flour (I ground up oats with my Magic Bullet)
2 t Parmesan cheese
1 T Pea Protein Powder
1/2 t Salt
1 t Basil
1 t Oregano

Preheat oven to 325. Blend all ingredients together. Form dough into a 7" round and bake about 25-30 min. Be sure you spray your baking pan so it doesn't stick! Top with your favorite toppings. Place back in the oven until cheese melts (if using). Eat!

Mini Farmer's Market

The facility I'm working at decided to set up a mini farmer's market in the cafeteria. I LOVE farmer's markets- the produce is always super fresh and it allows you to support your local farmers! I was asked to "man" the farmers market table during lunch time last week:

I really thought I had ate, saw, and prepared it all when it came to veggies, but this was the first time I'd ever seen a white bell pepper. I bought it right away and sliced it up. Unfortunately, it wasn't as exciting as I'd anticipated. It tasted like a blander version of celery. . . at least I can say I tried one.

Pumpkin Protein Bars

So, I'm pretty much obsessed with pumpkin. Not only is it delish, but its only 80 calories for one cup and its amazing in soups, pancakes, breads, or just as a side dish. YUM. Anyway, I decided I wanted to make a protein/snack bar using pumpkin. I had a few standards in mind as I searched:

1. Easy to make
2. Low in carbohydrates
3. Less than 150 calories
4. Yummy and satisfying

After searching and trying different recipes I finally found this one from this blog (adapted slightly):


1 cup pumpkin puree
3/4 cup egg whites (from carton)
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup Vanilla Protein Powder
4 Tablespoons coconut flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 Truvia packet
Pinch of salt
Sprinkle ground ginger


1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Mix wet ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
3. Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Whisk dry ingredients and wet ingredients together with an electric mixer.
4. Spray a 8X8 baking dish with non-stick spray and pour mixture into it. Bake for 20-30 minutes.
5. Remove from oven and let cool. Cut into 8 squares.

86 CAL, 6.7 g CHO, 11.6 g PRO, 1.4 g FAT

Side Note: These freeze well. I wrap them individually in saran wrap. They either defrost in my lunchbox or you can microwave or toast them up! I like to slice mine and spread half of a Laughing Cow wedge in Cinnamon Roll flavor OR 1-2 T PB2 :)