Sunday, May 26, 2013

Healthy Low Carb Chicken Parm

I'm trying to work on more entree recipes rather than breakfast and desserts, but most of my lunch and dinner recipes are fairly simple.  Simple but delicious and good for you!  I am a big lover of pasta, but with trying to lose weight, I can't really have all of that high carb goodness.  So walking around the grocery store, I found some vegan shirataki noodles that are absolutely amazing as a low carb, low calorie replacement for pasta.
My favorite thing to make using this pasta is a low carb Chicken Parm.

Nasoya Shirataki Fettucine noodles
Hunt's 100% Natural Tomato Sauce
Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
Portobello mushrooms (optional)
Parmesan cheese
Garlic powder

First step is to prepare all of the ingredients.  Chop up and saute the mushrooms in a pan sprayed with cooking oil and seasoned with garlic powder.
Heat the sauce.  Cook the chicken (also may be seasoned in garlic powder).  In order to prepare the noodles, follow the package instructions.  Drain and rinse the noodles, then toss in a hot pan.  Fair warning: the noodles smell a little fishy but don't let that deter you!  Personally, I tossed the noodles in the same pan as the mushrooms so that they got some of that flavoring on them.

The next step is to layer all of your ingredients in a bowl.
The very last step is to microwave it for 30 seconds to a minute to mix all the flavors and wilt the spinach.

Macros per serving:
214 calories
4 grams of fat
17 grams of carbs
8 grams of dietary fiber
5 grams of sugar
30 grams of protein

Caramel Apple Protein Pancakes

So I may be a little bit in love with breakfast food, especially pancakes, and these were pretty amazing if I do say so myself!  Same base recipe as my other protein pancakes with a few differences.

1/4 c. rolled oats
2 T fat free cottage cheese
1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
1/2 apple
1 t ground cinnamon
9 T liquid egg whites
1 T Walden Farms caramel syrup

The first step has nothing to do with the actual pancake but with the topping.  Take the other half of the apple that you are not using in the batter and chop it up into bite size pieces.  Spray a non stick pan with cooking oil like Pam and toss the apple pieces in with a pinch of cinnamon.
Using the other half of the apple as a topping allows for a little crunch and more sweetness.  It is a fantastic topping addition.  The apple pieces need sauteed just to the point where they start to get a little bit mushy.
While the apple pieces are in the pan cooking, you can blend together the pancake ingredients listed.  I used my Ninja single serve smoothie cup and blended it really smooth, so there were no apple chunks or oat chunks left.

Cook the pancakes in the heated pan you used for the apples.  Don't put the heat up too high, and I would suggest spraying the pan again for each new pancake.  I have found that pancakes with a fruit base tend to be thinner and stick to the pan more.
When the pancakes have all been cooked, layer them with the pieces of cooked apple pieces.
When layering mine, I did not put apples between the first two layers in order to give it a stronger base and have some more apples to put on the top.  I also topped mine with more cinnamon and Walden Farms caramel sauce.
These pancakes were absolutely amazing!  I could've eaten them by themselves without any topping at all.

Macros for whole batch including topping:
426 calories
4 grams of fat
54 grams of carbs
10 grams of dietary fiber
23 grams of sugar (all natural because of the apple)
47 grams of protein

Enjoy everyone!!!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Broccoli Cauliflower Pizza Crust Take Two

Alright, I said I would try it again, and I did.  Same ingredients and steps as last time, which you can see in my original entry Broccoli Cauliflower Pizza Crust; however, this time in order to make the crust a little more crispy, I separated the dough into four small pizzas instead of one big one.

Using a 1/3 measuring cup, I scooped out the dough and placed it on a greased cookie sheet covered in aluminum foil, pressing it into small circles.  Because the pizzas are smaller, I only needed to cook them for 20 minutes.  They got all golden brown and delicious looking!!

I think the smaller pizzas make it easier for portion control too.  I found that I used less toppings.  I used 1/16 c. Hunt's Tomato Sauce, 1 slice of tomato, 2 oz. of chicken breast, portobello mushrooms, spinach, red pepper, and mozzarella cheese.  After topping, I put it bake in the oven for about 5 more minutes.  Seasoned with a little bit of garlic powder and oregano.

Yum!!  Yum!!  Seriously if you haven't tried this yet, DO IT!!!  It's so good!!!

One whole pizza with the toppings I used is only 198 calories! The juice from the tomato slices does make the crust a little bit more difficult to pick up, so I would also suggest putting them on the top or omitting them.  I just really like fresh tomatoes on pizza!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Jazzythings Chickpea PB Cookies

I have a feeling that I am going to be trying a lot of @jazzythings recipes, because they always seem to turn out amazing!  I'll admit that I was a little weary about trying this one because of the base ingredient, and even though they didn't seem to turn out like hers, the taste was still amazing.

2 1/2 c. no salt added chick peas
1/2 c. natural peanut butter
1/4 c. honey (I used agave nectar)
1 t. baking powder
2 1/2 t. vanilla extract
Organic dark chocolate chips

Drain, rinse and dry chick peas.  In order to dry them, simply pat with a towel.  (I think this is where I screwed my recipe up a little bit.  My dad couldn't find canned no salt added chick peas in the store, so he got bagged chick peas that had to be reconstituted in water.  I left them to soak overnight, but I think they probably needed to soak a little longer.  It didn't seem to matter how many times I blended them up; there were still chunks.)  Combine all ingredients except chocolate chips in a food processor until it forms a dough.  Stir in some chocolate chips.  I used about three tablespoons.

Jazzythings's recipe says that your should be able to roll the dough into balls to put onto a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with cooking oil.  My dough turned out to be a little bit more runny and didn't roll into balls.  Instead I used a small scooper to evenly scoop out the cookies onto the tray.  I love my little scooper!  Perfect portion sizes!

Bake at 350F for 10 minutes.  My batch made about 32 cookies.  Even though it didn't turn out the same as the recipe stated, they still made my kitchen smell fantastic while they were baking.  The taste was also really good; I couldn't stop eating them!  I just wish the texture had been better, but maybe that will change if I use canned chick peas instead of reconstituted ones.

Macros per cookie:
48.6 calories
1 gram of fat
9 grams of carbs
2 grams of dietary fiber
4 grams of sugar
2 grams of protein

I will definitely be making these again, and I will let y'all know how they turn out the second time around!

Broccoli Cauliflower Pizza Crust

The most difficult food for me to give up when "dieting" and eating very clean is pizza, especially my favorite Coccia House pizza.  That stuff is amazing.  It is my choice for my birthday dinner every year!

Anyway I've tried a couple of clean crust recipes, but this one has the lowest calories and still tastes amazing!  I've seen many variations of the recipe, but this one came from the Instagram account of @mindovermunch.  I will definitely be making this recipe again, maybe even this week since I still have some ingredients left over.

2 c. raw cauliflower
1 c. raw broccoli florets
1 oz. fat free mozzarella shredded cheese
1 oz. Parmesan cheese
1 whole egg, lightly beaten

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.  In a food processor, blend cauliflower and broccoli until you get a rice like consistency.

Microwave this mixture 5-8 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes.  While warm, stir in cheeses and egg briskly.  This will form a dough-like consistency.  Then press out the dough onto a cookie sheet or pizza pan that has been lined with foil and sprayed with cooking oil.  You'll want to press the dough out fairly thin, leaving the edges a little thicker.  This will help it to crisp up more.  I also sprinkled a little bit of garlic powder over the top of the crust for some added flavor.

Bake 20-30 minutes until lightly browned.  I cooked it about 5 or 10 minutes longer to try to make it a little crispier.  When baking is complete, top with your desired toppings.
Put the pizza back in the oven until the cheese is melted.

Macros for entire pizza crust (no toppings):
210 calories
7 grams of fat
17 grams of carbs
7 grams of dietary fiber
7 grams of sugars
24 grams of protein

I sliced it into 16 pieces, had 4 for lunch and the rest for leftovers.  It's even good the next day microwaved. The next time I make this, I might divide the two into four pizzas and cook them as mini personal sizes.  I think they'll crisp up better this way and be easier to track.

Seriously try this recipe!  When you microwave the broccoli and cauliflower, it'll get a little stinky in your kitchen, but the end results is so worth it.  My dad even admitted that it looked really good.  Although I still couldn't get him to actually try it.  Maybe I will next time!

Clean Chocolate Frosty

Alrighty, so I'm sure many of you are like me in that you love Wendy's Frostys, but have you ever wondered what is in one of those?  Wendy's bodes that the Frosty contains real milk, but it also contains a lot of other ingredients that are absolutely terrible for you.  According to Food Facts, a Medium 16 oz. Wendy's Frosty contains: milk, sugar, cream, corn syrup, whey, non-fat milk, cocoa, dextrose, guar gum, mono and diglycerides, carrageenan, calcium sulphate, disodium phosphate, vitamin A palmitate, artificial and natural flavoring.  Do you know what half of those ingredients are?  I sure don't.

On top of that, the macros for that same 16 oz. Frosty are as follows:
430 calories
11 grams of fat
74 grams of carbs
55 grams of sugar
10 grams of protein

The other day, my mom found a recipe on Facebook for what they called a knockoff of the Wendy's Frosty.  It had just a few, simple and clean ingredients and came out to be much lower in calories.  I adjusted the recipe to fit my needs and make it higher in protein.

Ingredients: Makes one serving
3/4 c. unsweetened vanilla almond milk
about 15 ice cubes
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1-2 T unsweetened cocoa powder (I used 2, because I love love love chocolate!)
1/3 banana
1 scoop chocolate protein powder (I used GNC Egg Protein in order to keep it lower in carbs.)

Blend all of the ingredients together.  I used my single serve smoothie cup on my Ninja.  It's as easy as that!  You can make a vanilla version by using vanilla protein powder and subtracting the unsweetened cocoa powder.  It would be really fun to experiment with this to make other flavors.  I added a little no calorie sweetener to mine as well, because I like things sweeter.

Macros for chocolate with egg protein powder:
205 calories
3.5 grams of fat
20 grams of carbs
6 grams of dietary fiber
8 grams of sugar
28 grams of protein

Macros for chocolate without protein powder:
85 calories
3 grams of fat
17 grams of carbs
6 grams of dietary fiber
7 grams of sugar
3 grams of protein

This thing almost overflowed my single serve smoothie cup! Way more than 16 oz!  Enjoy this amazing dessert at home.  Save yourself some money and some calories!!!  I know I sure enjoyed it!!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Jazzything's Brownies

This recipe comes from the amazing Instagram of @jazzythings.  I have used a couple of her recipes, and they are always amazing!  She is truly an inspiration.  If you have an Insta, you should go follow her!

I did make a couple of substitutions to her original recipe based on what I had on hand.

1 medium avocado (Crazy right?)
3 egg whites
2 whole eggs
1/3 c. honey (I used agave nectar.)
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder

Scoop out the insides of the avocado.  You obviously don't want to eat the pit or the skin.  My avocado wasn't as ripe as it should have been, so it was very difficult to scoop out and separate.  Add the rest of the ingredients.  If you're like me and struggle to separate the egg white from the egg yolk, there are some pretty cool kitchen contraptions that can help remedy this situation.  I will take a picture of mine and add it to the Kitchen Tools page.  Blend together all ingredients with a food processor or blender.

The batter was runnier than I thought it would be, but I think that may have been because my avocado was smaller and not very ripe.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Pour batter into an 8 x 8 pan that has been sprayed with cooking oil, like Pam.  Place in oven and cook for roughly 30 minutes.

That's it!!  Easy peasy!  Keep an eye on it while it is baking in case your oven cooks differently than mine.

I cut mine into about 16 small pieces and calculated the macros using myfitnesspal.

Macros per serving:
51.3 calories
2.5 grams of fat
7.5 grams of carbs
2.1 grams of dietary fiber
4.7 grams of sugar
2.1 grams of protein


Chocolate Protein Pancakes

Before starting this healthy eating kick, I hated breakfast, and I would often just skip it altogether.  However, I learned that it is definitely true that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and now that I've started truly experimenting in the kitchen, it is my favorite meal of the day, especially when I could eat pancakes every day if I wanted to!  Be prepared for many variations on the protein pancake, because I absolutely love experimenting with these.  They don't taste like "diet food" at all!  It's the perfect way to start my day!

I chose to share the Chocolate Protein Pancake recipe first, because chocolate just makes everything better!!  This recipe came from my own experimenting in the kitchen after reading numerous protein pancake recipes online and wanting to eat as much chocolate as possible!

1/4 c. Oats (I use Bob's Mill Gluten Free Rolled Oats.)
9 T. liquid egg whites
2 T. fat free cottage cheese
1/4 c. pure pumpkin (Be sure to get pure pumpkin in the can not pumpkin pie mix.)
1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder (I used Body Fortress, because it was cheap at Wal-Mart.)
2 T. unsweetened cocoa powder (My favorite is Hershey's.)

Mix all ingredients in a blender until smooth.  I used the single serve cup on my Ninja.

The batter will be somewhat thick or at least it's thicker than some other healthy pancake recipes I've made.  Taste test the batter for sweetness.  The first time I made these, I chose to add some Stevia, because I was wanting something really sweet.  But the second time I made it I did it without the Stevia, and it tasted just as good.

Pour the batter into a small circle in a pan sprayed with cooking oil.  Don't make it too thick as it will take much longer to cook.

When the top starts to bubble up a little bit and the edges lighten, flip the pancake over.

I like to smoosh the pancake down in order to make sure it cooks all the way through.  The cottage cheese will keep the pancake fluffy, but I have found that when you cook with whole foods, they tend to be a little bit more dense.  The texture may throw some people off, but trust me when I say it still tastes amazing!!

My mixture made about 4 medium sized pancakes.  Once they are all cooked, stack them up and top with whatever you want.  I topped mine with a little PB2 dissolved in water.

Other delicious toppings would be fresh strawberries nuked in the microwave to make a sort of compote, Walden Farms chocolate sauce or pancake syrup, bananas, or dark chocolate chips!  I really wanted to top mine with strawberries, but the only kind my parents had in the fridge were full of sugar, and by full of sugar, I mean over 20 grams!!

Macros per one serving without toppings (which is the entire batter mixture, about 4 medium sized pancakes):
355 calories
2.8 grams of fat
30.1 grams of carbs
8 grams of dietary fiber
3.5 grams of sugar
83.1 grams of protein

Yea, I know that's a crazy amount of protein, but when you're trying to build muscle and burn fat, it is more than necessary!  With macros like these, it is a perfect way to start your day.  Personally I love doing some fasted cardio first thing in the morning, eating these babies, then heading off to the gym to lift!  I may try using a version of this batter to make cake at some point in time as well.  Yummy!!!