Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Protein Mugcakes!

Who said you can't have delicious food when eating clean?! This is a perfect protein-packed snack or dessert that is SO simple to make. Just make sure you don't overcook them. Different microwaves call for different cooking times, so you'll have to cook in short increments to find the time that works best for you. Here are some great ones to get you started:

Strawberry Shortcake Mugcake
By @cocomommy


2 Tablespoons egg beaters (or one egg white)
1 1/2 tablespoons coconut flour
1 tablespoon vanilla whey protein powder
1 1/2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 packet Truvia
2 tablespoons almond milk


1. Mix all ingredients together and pour into a mug coated with cooking spray.
2. Cook in the microwave for 40 seconds. Then, cook in increments of 10-20 seconds until done. (I did 40, then 20, then 15)
3. Top with Greek yogurt mixed with Truvia and strawberries. 

 Chocolate Cake Batter Mini Mugcake with Cinnamon "Frosting"


1/2 scoop Casein (I used Chocolate Cake Batter Flavor)
1/2 tablespoon coconut flour
1/4 t baking powder
1/2 tablespoon sugar-free chocolate pudding mix
3 tablespoons egg beaters
2 tablespoons water
Truvia to taste


1. Mix all ingredients together and pour into a mug coated with cooking spray.
2. Cook in the microwave for 40 seconds. Then, cook in increments of 10-20 seconds until done. (I did 40, then 20, then 15)
3. Top with cottage cheese mixed with Truvia and cinnamon.

This was unbelievably moist and cake-like! You can easily double the ingredients for a full-size mugcake. I made a mini version to adjust to my calorie/macros goal for the day.

 Brown Rice Protein Mugmuffin


1 scoop Brown Rice Protein Powder
1/2 teaspoon coconut flour
pinch baking powder
2 tablespoons egg beaters
1/2-1 tablespoon unsweetened almond milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Truvia and cinnamon to taste


1. Mix all ingredients together and pour into a mug coated with cooking spray.
2. Cook in the microwave for 20-30 seconds

Went deliciously with my poached egg stuffed avocado (inspired by @fitmencook!)

Yea, so . . . I have a new addiction.


Cottage Cheese: The Healthy and Versatile Snack

I LOVE cottage cheese. It is incorporated as one of my "mini-feasts" every single day. My favorite brand is Breakstone's 30% Less Sodium 2% Cottage Cheese.

There's really no reason to buy fat-free cottage cheese. A little fat not only makes it taste better, but it's more filling as well. PLUS there's only a minimal calorie difference anyway!

Per 1/2 cup:

Breakstone's Fat-Free: 80 calories, 12 grams of protein
Breakstone's 30%  Reduced Sodium 2%: 90 calories, 11 grams protein
Breakstone's 2%: 100 calories, 11 grams protein

Cottage cheese is an excellent source of:
Phosphorus: Plays an important role in the formation of strong bones and teeth, needed for growth, maintenance, and repair of cells, reduces muscle pain after a work-out, and helps filter out waste from the kidneys
Calcium: Required for vascular contraction and dilation, muscle function, nerve transmission, and supports the structure of bones and teeth
Selenium: A mineral with antioxidant properties; prevents free radicals from damaging cells
Riboflavin: Helps the body convert food into fuel, which is "burned" to produce energy

The main source of protein in cottage cheese is casein. Casein is a protein found in milk. It is digested slowly in the body, which is helpful for preventing muscle catabolism (or breakdown). This makes cottage an especially great bedtime snack since you won't be eating for several hours.

My two favorite ways to eat cottage cheese:

1. Cottage Cheese + Chocolate Cake Batter Casein Protein Powder + Truvia + Strawberries
2. Cottage Cheese + 1 Tablespoon Pistachio Nuts + Truvia + Cinnamon + Blueberries

Get creative with different flavored protein powders, nuts, fruit, etc. Cottage cheese is a nutritious, easy, and satisfying "mini-feast" with endless possibilities!

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Protein Pancakes

Fact: Pumpkin and peanut butter are two of my favorite foods. Perfect combination post-workout this morning :)

Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Protein Pancakes


1 scoop Cellucor Peanut Butter Marshmellow whey (or any flavor whey works!)
1/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 tablespoon PB2 (optional, could use organic peanut butter too)
1/4 cup egg beaters
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Cinnamon and Truvia to taste


Blend together and cook your pancakes!!

I topped mine with PB2 (surprise, surprise), sugar free syrup, and a few slices of banana. Holy YUM.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

"V" is for Vegetarian Italian Tofu Bake!

I've been SO busy and all I've wanted to do is cook and blog! Interning, working, and school are ruining my blog-life :( . I've made so many delicious meals this week and I want to share all of them. But FIRST I'm am SO excited to announce that I was one out of the four winners for the V: ABC #plantPOWER February challenge!! It was my very first entry- I had no idea if I entered correctly or what the rules were, so it was a complete shock when I saw my picture next to the other winners! Not only that, @heatherwaxman featured my picture on her amazing blog (check it out if you haven't already). So a HUGE thank you to @heatherwaxman and @proteincakes for making my day! Here's the dish:

This is actually a favorite of mine that I posted previously. Check out my tofu tutorial for information on preparing the tofu before baking (it is KEY to get the moisture out before cooking). You can basically use any veggies you have on hand- I used one large yellow summer squash and about 1 1/2 cups of white mushrooms. Preheat your oven to 400. Spray a large baking pan with non-stick spray. Place the tofu and the veggies on the pan and season with garlic powder and Italian seasoning. Cover with about 1/2 cup tomato sauce (I used Hunt's organic). Bake for about 40 minutes stirring the veggies and flipping the tofu once in between. Feel free to add a little more sauce on top of the tofu after they are flipped. Toss in some fresh herbs at the end (I used basil and parsley) and serve!! I actually made this ahead of time and ate it cold the next day- SO delicious!! Feel free to sprinkle with some grated cheese :).

Speaking of #plantPOWER, I made an incredible roasted kale salad this week!! If you've never tried roasting kale before, you need to seriously considering making it- like NOW. I had leftover roasted brussel sprouts, roasted butternut squash, and roasted baby bell peppers. So after making my kale, I threw everything together and whipped up my favorite kale salad dressing: Susan's Lite Goddess Dressing. I don't follow it exactly, so I'll post my version here.

 Lite Goddess Dressing:

Roasted Kale Salad with Butternut Squash, Feta Cheese, and Lite Goddess Dressing


1 Bunch fresh kale
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1/2 cup roasted butternut squash (or sweet potato, pumpkin, etc.)
1 cup roasted veggies (I used brussel sprouts and bell peppers- use whatever you have!)
1/4 cup fat free feta cheese
1/3 avocado diced
1 tablespoon toasted pumpkin seeds (use any nuts or seeds you have on hand)
2 tablespoons diced apple (use as much as you like or leave it out)
3 tablespoons Lite Goddess Dressing


1. Preheat your oven to 425. Place a large baking pan in the oven for about 5 minutes.
2. Separate the leaves of the kale from the stem. Wash and dry thoroughly.
3. Spray kale leaves with olive oil mister (or just toss lightly with olive oil). Toss with the sliced garlic. Sprinkle with sea salt to taste.
4. Place the mixture on the warmed baking pan. Bake for about 7 minutes, stir, then bake about five more minutes until crisp and tender (don't go too long or you'll end up with kale chips!)
5. Toss with the remaining ingredients and enjoy!!

Lite Goddess Dressing
Inspired by


6 ounces Lite Silken Tofu
3 tablespoons water
1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon tahini


1. Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor (I used my Ninja and have also used The Magic Bullet for this) and process until smooth.

This dressing is creamy and delicious and only about 10 calories a tablespoon!

I enjoyed my SUPERFOOD salad with my cheesecake flavor tofu protein bar (I used sugar-free cheesecake pudding mix instead of the banana flavor in the original recipe)!! This was a great way for me to use up the rest of the silken tofu that I had left over from the dressing I made.

And what's a post without some pancakes?! I'm currently working on perfecting my Peanut Butter and Fluff Protein Pancakes:

Stay tuned . . .

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Apricot Chili Glazed Tofu

Tofu is SO versatile and takes on the flavor of anything it's prepared with. The only tricky part about tofu is getting the right texture, which is why you need to take the time to get the moisture out (slice it into slabs and place on a plate with paper towels or dish towel, then top with another heavy plate or pan). Check out my tofu tutorial post :)

This dish was quick, easy, and full of flavor:

 All I did was stir-fry the tofu and blended together the following: sugar-free apricot preserves, Bragg's Liquid Aminos (or low-sodium soy sauce), a little chili garlic sauce, and sake. I didn't measure anything, but if I had to guess: 3 tablespoons of preserves, 1 1/2 tablespoons Bragg's Liquid Aminos, 1/2 teaspoon chili garlic sauce, and about a tablespoon of sake. This was the perfect amount for half a block of tofu. Cut your tofu into cubes and stir-fry in a non-stick pan coated with cooking spray. BE PATIENT. I probably didn't touch mine for a good 10 minutes before I flipped it. I like it to get nice and golden brown:

  When tofu has been flipped and turns golden brown on the other side, pour the sauce over the tofu, lower the heat, and let it cook and reduce for a minute or two. I served this dish with roasted brussel sprouts and baby bell peppers that came out PERFECT. To make this side dish, preheat your oven to 425 on the convection setting (just heat to 450 if you don't have convection). Quarter the brussel sprouts and slice the bell peppers. I sprayed my veggies with my olive oil mister and sprinkled on some sea salt and pepper. Then, I placed them on a baking pan coated with cooking spray, and covered with foil. I cooked them for about 30 minutes.

 My apologies for not being very official with this post/recipe- but it was too good not to share!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Indian Spiced Lentils with Greek Yogurt

I noticed this recipe on a few food blogs. The original recipe came from The Bengali Five Spice Chronicles Cookbook. I modified it slightly, and seriously could not get enough of it! It's basically an Indian spice explosion in your mouth. I had this as a side dish 3 days in a row. First, with roasted kale (YUM!!!) and vegetarian meatballs, then AGAIN with roasted mahi-mahi, and finally, it somehow ended up in my egg white veggie omelet (don't knock it till you try it!!).

Indian Spiced Lentils
Adapted from The Bengali Five SPice Chronicles Cookbook


2/3 cup dried lentils
1 teaspoon tumeric
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder
1 teaspoon ginger paste
1 teaspoon garlic powder (the original called for 2 cloves finely chopped garlic but I was all out!)
4 cherry tomatoes, quartered (the original called for two chopped tomatoes, but this was all I had)
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt


1. Place the lentils in a cooking pot with 3 cups of water. Bring lentils to a simmer.
2. Add the tumeric, salt, cayenne pepper, ginger paste, garlic, and tomatoes and simmer on medium-low heat for about 30-35 minutes. The lentils should be soft and easily mashed. 
3. Stir in Greek yogurt. Serve!

Vanilla-Scented Orange Almond Protein Pancakes

When I was picking up my usual items at Trader Joe's, I slipped a tub of ricotta cheese into my basket. I figured if cottage cheese and yogurt made protein pancakes moist and delicious, why not ricotta cheese? After some experimenting, I finally achieved a great texture using ricotta cheese- and the fresh orange zest and juice were a killer combination in this recipe. And look how pretty they are!

Orange Almond Protein Pancakes


1/4 cup fat-free ricotta cheese (I used Trader Joe's)
1/4 cup egg beaters
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
zest of 1/3 an orange (save a little for the topping!)
2 tablespoons vanilla whey protein powder
2 tablespoons almond flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon psyllium husk
Truvia and cinnamon to taste


1. Blend the ricotta cheese, egg beaters, orange juice, orange zest and vanilla (I used my Ninja).
2. Mix together the dry ingredients.
3. Heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat and coat with cooking spray. Place batter by the tablespoon onto the pan. Cook until the edges set and the pancake starts to form bubbles. Flip.
4. Layer with greek yogurt mixed with a little orange juice and Truvia. Top with slivered almonds and orange zest. YUM!

Nutrition Facts (without the filling):  223 Calories, 6 g Fat, 14 g CHO, 6 g Fiber, 27 g Pro (!!)

Fun Fact: New research regarding the calorie content of almonds!!

    Did you hear that whole almonds provide about 20% fewer calories than originally thought? A new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a one ounce serving of whole almonds (about 23 almonds) provides 129 calories versus the 160 calories currently listed on the nutrition label. The purpose of the study was to determine the energy value of almonds in the human diet and to compare the measured energy value with the value calculated from Atwater factors. The Atwater system is one of the methods used to calculate the calorie content of foods by assigning nutrients a specific caloric value per gram. For example, carbohydrates and protein both have about four calories per gram, while fat has nine calories per gram.

        Eighteen healthy adults participated in this study which consisted of a randomized, crossover, controlled feeding trial consisting of three different phases. Each phase was 18 days in length. The participants were administered a controlled diet containing almonds at either either 0  ounces per day, 1.5 ounces per day, or 3 ounces per day. During the last nine days of the study, volunteers collected all urine and feces which were analyzed for macronutrient and energy contents in order to determine the metabolizable energy content of almonds.

        According to the authors of the study, "When an 84 g serving of almonds was incorporated into the diet daily, the energy digestibility of the diet as a whole decreased by ~5%. Therefore, for individuals with energy intakes between 2000 and 3000 kcal/d, incorporation of 84 g of almonds into the diet daily in exchange for highly digestible foods would result in a reduction of available energy of 100-150 kcal/d. With a weight-reduction diet, this deficit could result in more than a pound of weight loss per month."

I have a feeling more studies like this one will follow . . . what other foods have been overestimated?!


Novotny JA, Gebauer SK, Baer DJ. Discrepancy between the Atwater factor predicted and empirically measured energy values of almonds in human diets. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012; 96(2):296-301. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.112.035782.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Teriyaki Braised Cabbage with Creamy Goat Cheese

 I got this recipe idea from a co-worker (thanks Colleen!!) and decided I had to try it for two good reasons: 1. I have never made cabbage as a side dish (I usually use it for soups) and wanted to expand my cabbage cooking horizons 2. I'm obsessed with goat cheese. Good enough, right? Stirring in the goat cheese at the end was KEY. Goat cheese has such a creamy, rich flavor- just a little goes a long way. I had it three days in a row! The first night I made it, I paired it with a simply roasted wild Alaskan cod that I bought from Trader Joe's. I like to keep my protein simple when I have a lot of flavor going on with a side. It was such a satisfying and healthy meal!
I don't feel like I should write an official recipe because I didn't measure anything. So here's my easy directions: 

Roughly chop one head of red cabbage. Cook over medium high heat on a pan coated with cooking spray and drizzled with a little olive oil. Cook for about 5-10 minutes until the cabbage begins to soften slightly. Add about 2 tablespoons low-sodium teriyaki sauce, cover the pan with a lid, and cook for about 20 minutes until the cabbage is soft. Stir in about 2 tablespoons of goat cheese at the end of cooking until melted through.

Bonus: When compared to cow's milk products like cream cheese, goat cheese (also known as chevre) is lower in fat, calories, and cholesterol!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Savory Protein Quiche

I don't particularly love quiche, but I couldn't refuse this challenge. I am on a mission to modify every calorie, fat, and carbohydrate-laden recipe to make them healthier. A typical quiche is made with white flour and butter, then filled with eggs, cheese, milk, heavy cream, etc. There are many variations, but the crust is usually standard- perfect candidate for a nutrition upgrade :)

I got inspired to try this recipe after Anna posted it. She used pea protein in her recipe, which I have, but I have a special place in my heart (or should I say stomach?) for using brown rice protein for savory-ish recipes. I took her advice and added some flaxseed to mine. The texture of this crust is unbelievable- it held together and stood its ground after I cut into it. It is such a great mini-meal or snack.

Note: I do not own any special kind of quiche tin. I simply baked mine in a muffin tin. Going forward, I will be keeping my eye out for a small quiche tin :)

Brown Rice Protein Quiche


2 tablespoons egg whites
2 scoops brown rice protein powder
1 tablespoon coconut flour
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 tablespoon flaxseed
Salt and onion powder to taste


1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. Blend all ingredients together (I used my Ninja).
3. Scoop out your batter and roll into a ball. Place into a mini quiche tin or muffin tin sprayed with non-stick spray.
4. Use your fingers to form the dough into the shape of the tin. Spread fairly thin.
5. Bake about 15-20 minutes, or until it starts to brown. Take it out and allow your quiche to cool slightly.
6. Top with your fillings and bake until fillings are set.

After I baked my quiche crust, I filled it with egg beaters mixed with a little cottage cheese and seasonings- definitely recommend this!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Cauliflower: Pizza'd, Riced, and Bun'd

I had leftover cauliflower from my pizza experiment, so I decided to make Cauliflower Fried Rice! It’s amazing how much it really resembled the texture of rice- and it was SO easy. I grated my cauliflower in my Ninja. Next, I beat a whole egg and “fried” it on a pan coated with cooking spray. I put the egg aside then sautéed some baby bell peppers, onion,garlic, and lots of grated ginger. Once the veggies were soft, I added some chopped steamed broccoli. Finally, I added the cauliflower “rice” and let it cook for a few minutes. Splashed the whole thing with some sake and Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (could use soy sauce), then sprinkled it with a  little stevia and BAM- Cauliflower fried rice!!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Hearty Kale, Bean, and "Sausage" Ragout

I've been making this dish for years. It's SO simple, yet so delicious. It's a thick, hearty, nutrient packed, comfort-food-status pretty little feast :).

I consider kale a SUPERFOOD- it's a nutritional powerhouse packed with  vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals- substances associated with the prevention of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension.  One cup of cooked kale provides 36 calories, 354% the daily value for vitamin A, 88% the daily value for vitamin C, 1,327% the daily value for vitamin K, 10% the daily value for fiber, and 9% of the daily value for calcium.

Kale is also a rich source of glucosinolates, sulfur-containing compounds that give kale and other cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, califlower, cabbage, etc.) their aroma and taste. Glucosinolates break down into biologically active compounds  including indoles and isothiocyanates. According the the Linus Pauling Institute, these compounds could help prevent cancer by enhancing the removal of carcinogens before they can damage DNA, or by altering cell-signaling pathways in order to prevent normal cells from becoming cancerous. Some glucosinolate hydrolysis products may influence hormones in ways that inhibit the development of hormone-sensitive cancers. 


Ok, ok,  no more science . . . onto the recipe ;) 

I got this recipe from Cooking Light, but modified it slightly to fit my preferred calorie, protein, and carbohydrate preferences. I also substituted the chicken sausage for Trader Joe's Vegetarian Sausage. Trader Joe's brand seriously has the best vegetarian sausage out there. These links are higher in protein, lower in calories, and lower in CHO's than it's competitors (Tofurky, Lightlife, etc.). AND they win the taste test hands down. No "fake" chemically taste that I notice in some other brands. Anyway, you are more than welcome to use chicken sausage instead. Applegate Organics makes a wonderful chicken sausage that is only 140 calories and packs 14 g of protein. The best part? It has a short, simple ingredient list - no hidden additives or weird ingredients. The chicken and apple sausage would be great with this ragout. (Ingredients: organic chicken, organic dried apples, sodium lactate (from beets) and  less than 2% of the following: sea salt, organic apple juice concentrate, organic spices, organic garlic.

Hearty Kale, Bean, and "Sausage" Ragout


1/4 cup onion, diced
2 Trader Joe's Vegetarian Sausage Links, halved lengthwise and sliced (or chicken sausage)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 medium zucchini, quartered and sliced 
4 cups roughly chopped kale leaves (many stores now sell kale already chopped and ready to go!)
1/2 can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup cannellini beans (or other white bean)
1/2 cup water
Salt and pepper to taste


1. Spray a medium size sauce pan with non-stick spray. Add one teaspoon of olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add diced onion and sausage. Cook until sausage begins to brown on all sides, stirring frequently.
2. Add garlic and zucchini and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
3. Add kale, beans, tomatoes, water, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer about 15-20 minutes.
4. Serve! I like to top mine with a little parmesan cheese.

Extra kale? Make kale chips!! Savory, crispy, and totally addicting healthy substitution for potato chips. Lightly drizzle kale leaves with olive oil (I use my olive oil mister), sprinkle with sea salt, and bake at 350 for about 10-15 minutes until lightly browned and crispy! Note: Make sure the leaves are dry and free of moisture for best results.


Higdon JV, Delage B, Williams DE, et al. Cruciferous Vegetables and Human Cancer Risk: Epidemiologic Evidence and Mechanistic Basis. Pharmacol Res. 2007 March; 55(3): 224-236. 2007.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The 3-Ingredient Protein Crepe

This recipe holds a special place in my heart because it is my VERY FIRST protein powder creation. It's so simple its ridiculous. And delicious. You can vary it up with different flavored protein powders and fillings (my favorite is PB2 and bananas). Greek yogurt and fresh fruit is also a great combo.

The 3-Ingredient Protein Crepe


1 scoop of your favorite flavor whey protein powder
1/4-1/3 cup egg whites
Truvia to taste


1. Whisk all ingredients well in a small bowl.
2. Heat a medium-sized nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Pour your batter into the pan (it should be nice and thin). Wait until the crepe sets (the edges will start to cook and you might see some tiny bubbles throughout).
3. Flip the entire crepe and let it cook about another 30 seconds.
4. Stuff your crepe with yummy fillings!!

The Super-fast Super Omelet

I found myself making this omelet concoction pretty regularly lately. It's a great way to use up leftovers and whip up a healthy, filling meal really quickly. There's basically no rules- you just have to be willing to think outside the "omelet box". Just a few simple steps:

1. Grab some veggies (fresh, frozen, leftover- whatever! Just make sure to cook the frozen or uncooked veggies first) and some cooked sweet potato/butternut squash/acorn squash/spaghetti squash (optional but highly recommended!)

2. Throw everything into a non-stick pan and cover with your egg whites

3. Add cheese!

Yes, the sweet potato/butternut squash/acorn squash may sound odd, but they taste so buttery and creamy and delicious with the veggies and cheese! My omelet below was packed-out with superfoods- sweet potato, spinach, mushrooms, and peppers. I topped this monster omelet with parmesan cheese and plenty of paprika (obessed with this spice). You can also add some chopped up veggie burger, boca crumbles, chicken, turkey, cooked salmon, etc.- the possibilities are endless. I also love using Light Laughing Cow wedges- just dollop it on and let it melt right in (YUM).

Typing this post made me think of another egg dish I love- it's a sunny side up egg over spaghetti squash and sauteed spinach, topped with parmesan cheese. The egg yolk (AKA ooey-gooey-yolk deliciousness) serves as the "sauce" in this dish.

Who says eggs are only for breakfast?

Monday, February 4, 2013

Yogurt Flax Protein Panckes

I wanted to create a new pancake recipe this morning to switch it up a bit, and came up with this one on a whim as I rushed to get ready for work (I had a hard time leaving the gym this morning ;) ). I opened my fridge, and noticed I had a little greek yogurt left. I'm a big fan of plain greek yogurt- it has a creamy, thick texture, and contains almost twice the amount of protein of regular yogurt. One 6 ounce container of low fat Greek yogurt contains 13-16 grams of protein. My favorite brand is Total Fage 0% because it has the creamiest texture. Although it's a great healthy snack option, beware of the flavored versions- they contain a lot of added sugar. For example, Chobani Blueberry contains 20 g of sugar while The plain contains only 7 g (which comes from the natural sugars in milk). Chobani blueberry contains naturally occuring sugars from milk and fruit, but also from evaporated cane juice. Necessary? I think not. I always buy plain and sweeten it myself with Truvia, cinnamon, and fresh fruit. Other uses for Greek yogurt? I use it for dressings, sauces, as a substitute for sour cream, as a topper for pancakes, and as a protein frosting (by mixing it with protein powder-YUM).

Ok, back to the pancakes! Ingredients like cottage cheese, yogurt, ricotta cheese, pureed banana, butternut squash, sweet potato, etc., all add moisture and enhance the texture of pancakes. I've tried all of the previously mentioned, so I figured it was yogurt's time to shine. This recipe is flour-free and oat-free. I'm sure they would be pretty tasty with ground oats, but it's been done a million times and I wanted to take on the challenge of making them without added carbohydrates. These were really flavorful and moist. Best part? This recipe yielded a HUGE 8 layer stack of pancakes!! (The picture below shows only 7 because I ate one before taking it- couldn't help it).

Yogurt Flax Protein Pancakes


1/4 cup plain 0% Total Fage Greek Yogurt
3 tablespoons egg beaters
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup vanilla whey protein powder
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
Truvia and Cinnamon to taste


1. Whisk together the yogurt, egg beaters, and vanilla.
2. In a separate bowl, mix the remaining dry ingredients together.
3. Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until smooth.
4. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Spray with cooking spray. Drop the batter by the spoonful onto the pan. Cook until bubbles start to form adn the pancake sets around the edges. Flip and cook another minute or so on the other side.

Serves 1

Nutrition Facts: 146 Calories, 2.8 g Fat, 8.7 g CHO, 2.6 g Fiber, 22 g Protein

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Peanut Butter Protein Blondies. . . With Beans!

I've made my black bean brownie bars so many times, and it finally occurred to me- why not try white beans and make blondies? Apparently, I wasn't the only one who thought of this idea. There were several recipes already floating around on different blogs and websites, but they either included flour, too many ingredients, or the calories were not where I wanted them to be. So, I decided to ignore what's been done already and create my own. My goal was to create an easy recipe with just a few simple ingredients. I'm really excited about how delicious these came out. Even better was that all my family members and my co-workers agree (thank you everyone)!

 Now, we must note: I tried to make this recipe a crowd pleaser. When I make these type of treats for myself, I use stevia (usually Truvia) in place of sugar. I know that not everyone is a fan of stevia, so for this recipe I used a Splenda baking blend. You can substitute according to your preferences.

Peanut Butter Protein Blondies


1 can (14.5 ounces) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup vanilla whey protein powder
1/3 cup organic peanut butter
1/3 cup Splenda baking blend (or 1/2 cup stevia)
1/2 cup milk (I use unsweetened almond milk, but any milk will work)
Cacao chips or chocolate chips (optional)


1. I used the convection bake option on my oven and preheated it to 325. If you don't have convection just preheat your oven to 350.
2. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth (yes, it's that easy!). If needed, add a little bit of milk or water if the batter is too thick.
3. Use all of your willpower to not eat the batter ;)
4. Spray a nonstick 8" inch square pan with cooking spray. Pour batter into pan. Sprinkle with cacao or chocolate chips if desired.
5. Bake about 20 minutes, or until knife comes out clean.
6. Slice into 16 squares and enjoy!

Nutrition facts for recipe: 87 Calories, 3 g Fat, 9 g CHO, 2 g Fiber, 5 g Pro*

*Substituting with stevia and PB2 knock down the calorie and CHO content quite a bit. Substituting with stevia brings the calories down to 65. Substituting with stevia AND PB2 knocks it down to about 44 calories. Substitutions will change the texture of the bar*

WAIT . . . there's more!

Throughout my peanut butter blondie experimentation phase, I tried to make a snack/protein bar version that was slightly bigger, with less calories. I know, I know, who wouldn't want more food and less calories? I just say, bring on the challenge :)

When I first pulled my bars out of the oven, I was disappointed and thought I totally failed. I got upset for a hot second and then put the bars on the counter in a corner like I was putting them in time-out. They didn't taste bad, but the texture was not "bar-like". They seemed a little fluffy and. . . crumbly? Anyway, I came home from work today and decided to give them a second chance- and they were delicious! They were much fluffier and lighter than a bar, yet still had that stick-to-your-guts yummy peanut butter flavor. I just needed to be more patient and let them cool down and set. Silly me. I also decided that they didn't have to conform to the "Blondie" theme, but that they would shine on their own as . . . Peanut Butter Protein Bread!

Peanut Butter Protein Bread


1 1/4 cup cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
1/4 cup organic peanut butter
1/2-1/3 cup stevia (depending on how sweet you like them- I used 5 tablespoons)
1/3 cup milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)


1.Same as above except cut into 8 bars :)

Nutrition Facts for 1 Bar: 100 Calories, 4 g Fat, 7 g CHO, 3 g Fiber, 10 g Pro

Bigger bar. Less calories and CHO. More protein and fiber. Yea, it happened ;) .