Sorry for my long absence.

Yeah, yeah.  I know.  I sometimes forget about you.  Please don’t take it personally, it’s not you – it’s me.  But I’m here now and I brought a peace offering:

PB2 Banana Muffins!

Now that Lent is over, peanut butter, almond butter and PB2 have moved back in – YAY!  BFF and I made it (barely).

These bad boys are deeeeeeeelish and the stats rock too!

      Whole Wheat Flour, 1cup
      Bob’s Red Mill Wheat Bran 1 cup
      Bell Plantation PB2, 4 tbsp
      Baking Powder, 1.5 tsp
      Arm & Hammer Baking Soda, 0.5 tsp
      Banana, fresh, 2.5 cup, mashed
      Egg white, 3 serving
      Applesauce, unsweetened, .33 cup
      Chia Seeds CHIA POWER Navitas, 2 tbsp
      Chobani 0% greek yogurt non-fat plain, .5 serving
      ***BSN Syntha 6 100% Whey Protein – Vanilla Ice Cream, 2 serving
    Stir together the flour, bran, PB2, Chia seeds,  baking powder and baking soda.   In another bowl, mix your mashed bananas, applesauce, yogurt and eggs.  Mix the wet ingredients into the dry and scoop into muffin tins.  Bake at 350 for about 18 minutes. I got 16 this time around……
    ***The protein powder is sweet enough for my taste so I don’t add any additional sweetener, but 1/3c dark brown sugar would be plenty for this recipe if you like yours sweeter.  Also, there is almost NO fat in here, make sure you prep your muffin tin well or they WILL stick.  I used muffin liners and sprayed them with cooking spray.  If you wanted to add a little fat, use regular PB.  Just mix it in with the wet ingredients and good to go!
    • Amount Per Serving
    • Calories: 102.6
    • Total Fat: 1.4 g
    • Cholesterol: 5.1 mg
    • Sodium: 62.9 mg
    • Total Carbs: 20.0 g
    • Dietary Fiber: 4.6 g
    • Protein: 6.1 g
Sooooo…….we good now?
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    Kickin’ my craving in the teeth!

    I have been craving carrot cake for about a week now.  Let me explain why.

    A few years ago we began the tradition of having my In-Laws over every St. Paddy’s day.  I make a crock pot Guiness corned beef, traditional colcannon and (if I do say so myself) some damn good soda bread.  Well this year I decided to make carrot cake for dessert. And that is all I’ve been able to think about.  Now, I’m not about to cook a whole carrot cake to appease this craving…..unless…….

    Oh yeah.  You guessed it.

    High protein, low fat, low sugar.  Pretty freakin’ awesome (again, if I do say so myself).

    Cake:

    1c Wheat Bran

    88g BSN Syntha-6 Vanilla Ice Cream Protein Powder**

    2 tsp Baking Powder

    4 egg whites

    1/2c Unsweetened Applesauce

    1/4-1/3 c grated carrots

    Frosting:

    4oz Fat Free Cream Cheese

    3-4 pkts Stevia

    Preheat your oven to 350.  Mix up your dry ingredients and toss in the egg whites, applesauce and carrots.  Mix well and pour into a prepared 8×8 pan.  Bake about 30 minutes.  Mix your cream cheese and stevia and spread on top of the cooled cake.

    **Different protein powders may require you to add sweeteners or more liquid.  You could also try this with pineapple or mashed banana in place of the applesauce.

    Note:  I can’t have nuts because of Lent, but I highly recommend some walnuts in this!

    Here’s the stats folks!

    (I figured it for 4 servings, cause if I’m gonna have a piece of cake, I want a PIECE of cake!  But feel free to cut it smaller – I’ll throw those stats in too!)

    • Servings Per Recipe: 4
    • Amount Per Serving
    • Calories: 198.6
    • Total Fat: 4.1 g
    • Cholesterol: 32.3 mg
    • Sodium: 470.3 mg
    • Total Carbs: 25.8 g
    • Dietary Fiber: 10.0 g
    • Protein: 22.8 g
    • Servings Per Recipe: 6
    • Amount Per Serving
    • Calories: 132.4
    • Total Fat: 2.7 g
    • Cholesterol: 21.5 mg
    • Sodium: 313.5 mg
    • Total Carbs: 17.2 g
    • Dietary Fiber: 6.7 g
    • Protein: 15.2 g
    • Servings Per Recipe: 8
    • Amount Per Serving
    • Calories: 99.3
    • Total Fat: 2.0 g
    • Cholesterol: 16.1 mg
    • Sodium: 235.1 mg
    • Total Carbs: 12.9 g
    • Dietary Fiber: 5.0 g
    • Protein: 11.4 g

    If you want to be my best friend right now, I totally understand.

    Heaven on my plate.

    It’s been some time since I posted a recipe, and seeing as food is kind of a big topic for this blog, I thought I should get one on here!  So last night we had dinner with the In-laws.  Because my FIL in diabetic I wanted to make something low sugar for desert. 

    I came up with this slice of heaven:

    Cappuccino Cloud Pie

    FOR THE CRUST:

    Bob’s Red Mill Almond Meal, 1 cup

    Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey: Vanilla Ice Cream, 1cup

    Splenda No Calorie Sweetener, 3 tbsp

    Smart Balance “LIght” with Flax Buttery Spread, 1/4c melted

    Salt, 1/8 tsp – optional

    Vanilla Extract, 1 tsp

    1/2tsp baking powder

    Mix the almond meal, salt and protein powder  & baking powder together.  Pour in the melted butter and vanilla and stir until clumpy.  Press into a pie pan and bake at 350 for 10-12 min until the edges start to brown.  Let it cool.

    FILLING:

    Jell-O fat-free/sugar-free Vanilla pudding mix, dry, 2 boxes

    Milk, 1%, 1 cup

    Instant Coffee granules, 1-2 tsp (depending on how much coffee flavor you like)

    Chobani (Non-Fat Greek Yogurt – Plain), 6oz

    Whipped Cream, Cool Whip, Sugar Free 1/2 container

    Bailey’s Irish Cream, Coffee Flavor, 17% Alcohol, 1 oz OPTIONAL

    Dark chocolate for garnish

    Dissolve the coffee granules in the milk.  Add the coffee milk  and yogurt to the 2 packages of pudding mix.  Stir well, it will be very thick.  Stir in the Baily’s Irish Cream if using.  Fold in the whip cream and spread into your pie crust.  Garnish with shaved chocolate and refrigerate for an hour before serving. 

     8 Servings   

    Amount Per Serving
      Calories 252.8
      Total Fat 12.2 g
          Saturated Fat 3.2 g
          Polyunsaturated Fat 1.0 g
          Monounsaturated Fat 0.8 g
      Cholesterol 29.6 mg
      Sodium 124.8 mg
      Potassium 46.5 mg
      Total Carbohydrate 12.1 g
          Dietary Fiber 1.5 g
          Sugars 5.5 g
      Protein 18.4 g

    Now, if you omitted the Bailey’s, used fat-free milk, fat-free whipped cream and a pre-made low-fat crust (Keebler graham) the stats look like this:

    8 Servings    

    Amount Per Serving
      Calories 236.3
      Total Fat 4.5 g
          Saturated Fat 1.6 g
          Polyunsaturated Fat 0.0 g
          Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
      Cholesterol 15.6 mg
      Sodium 160.2 mg
      Potassium 50.8 mg
      Total Carbohydrate 22.1 g
          Dietary Fiber 0.0 g
          Sugars 8.6 g
      Protein 16.4 g

     

    Not to toot my own horn here, but DAY-UM!!  😉

    ~Fabulous Friday~

    TGIF huh folks!

    FIRST AND FOREMOST!  Exciting news!!  Lauri Watson (author of Red Head Recipes) has been poking around my blog!  I see her as a celeb-blogger.  She has a fantastic site with unbelievable recipes that just call to me – see ‘Squash Tuesday’ post.  As a novice blogger, I think it’s awesome she took the time to leave a message! 

    🙂

    I am in pain this morning.  The good pain though.  The ‘I really pushed myself’ pain.

    Ivy and I went to the Y yesterday and did bi’s, tri’s and back followed by a 2 mile jog on their AWESOME treadmills.  I think today will have to be a rest day…..

    Today is also going to be a soup day!  I LOVE soup.  I actually miss it in the summer.  Last night I made a huge pot of cabbage and bean soup with the chicken stock from Sunday’s roast chicken lunch.  Just 8 cups of stock, 1 head of shredded cabbage, lots of onion and garlic, canillini (sp?) beans and curry powder.  It made about 10 cups, so I’ll be eating it all week. 

    Tonight I’ll be taking the kids to the Rag Shag parade.  It’s so cute.  The kids get dressed in their Halloween costumes and we line up at the town hall.  The police close off a portion of the main street and we walk – parade style- 1/8 of a mile to the looooong drive leading up to the boys and girls club.  There they have games and music and treats.  It’s safe and really geared for the smaller kids who don’t really ‘get’ Halloween yet.

    Time to get my butt in gear.  Starting with Protein Oat Bran and granola!

    Have a fab Friday!

    Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

    Today was the 5K for Farmland Race and we couldn’t have ORDERED better weather!  I started today with old faithful:  Pumpkin Protein Pancake!  I topped with PB made from 2 tbsp Trader Joe’s peanut flour and 9g of my vanilla protein powder.  Less the a quarter of the fat of regular peanut butter with a bunch of protein. 

     Ivy showed up right on time (I was running late!):

    I think I was a lot less nervous this time around.  We got there in plenty of time to get our numbers and hit the potty (you know you’re a mom when it is forever referred to as ‘the potty’) and do a warm up jog.  We were mid-pack at the starting line, but ended up weaving through the crowd a bit in the beginning.  Ivy stayed with me for almost the first full mile and then hit her stride.  It was an up and back run so it was very easy to gauge distance.  Ivy finished ahead of me with a time of 25:10 (WHOOT!) and I finished a full minute better than my last race at 26:32.  Over all Ivy was 71 out of 221 and 5th in our age range.  I was 98th overall and 8th in our age range.  Not too shabby.

    On to the chicken dinner!!

    Last night I set my frozen chicken in a salt and garlic spice brine.  This morning I rinsed it down, patted it dry and seasoned it up:

    I forgot to take a picture of the finished product because I was STAHVING!!!!  But it looked pretty much exactly like this:

    And now it looks like this:

    To make this SUPER easy Chicken/Turkey Brine:

    4.5 lb chicken

    3-4 tablespoons Kosher Salt

    Enough Water to cover the chicken

    Spices of your choosing (put in LOTS cause you’ll end up dumping it later)

    If your chicken is frozen, let it sit overnight in a pot in the fridge.  If it’s fresh, it won’t need more than 4-6 hours.  This brine will suck the juices into the meat making it unbelievably tender and juicy.  Before putting it in the oven, rinse it, pat it dry and brush it with Olive or Grapeseed oil and rub on some more spice.  I don’t add any more salt.  Bake it at 350 degrees for 20 min per pound.  Remember to let it sit 10 minutes before cutting in!

    Once the carcass is picked clean of all desirable meat; toss into a large pot a bunch of carrot, celery, onion and garlic.  Add the carcass, salt, pepper, 8 cups of water and let it simmer for a couple of hours.  Drain through a mesh colander.  Discard the veg and meat and you’ve got an easy stock.  Once it cools, I pour it into ice-cube trays and freeze them into little cubes.

    That’s all I got for today.  I’m out!

    🙂

    It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

    -_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_

    Autumn is, by far, the best season of them all!  Go ahead – try to argue….YOU CAN’T!  The temperature is perfect, the foliage (in New England) is breath-taking, and it’s Pumpkin Season!!

    On my last trip to the grocery store I found a MOUNTAIN of canned pumpkin 🙂 ~ at 2.69 a pop though. 😦

    This calls for Pumpkin Protein Bars:

    (adapted from www.foodsofapril.com)

     

    1c Bobs Red Mill Wheat Bran

    100g Vanilla Protein Powder (I use BSN Syntha6)

    2 egg Whites

    1tsp Baking Powder

    1tsp sweetener of your choice (I use Stevia)

    3/4c Cottage Cheese (FF)

    1/2 c Pumpkin

    Cinnamon and Pumpkin Pie Spice to taste – I don’t measure these, I just dump them in until it smells like Thanksgiving!

    Pre-heat the oven to 350 and prepare an 8×8 (or 9×9) pan with non-stick spray.  Mix the bran, protein powder and baking powder together.  In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and add in the cheese, pumpkin, sweetener and spices.  Pour the wet mixture into the dry.  Fold it all together and pour into your dish.  Bake for about 25-30 minutes.

    • Servings Per Recipe: 8
    • Amount Per Serving
    • Calories: 98.1
    • Total Fat: 2.1 g
    • Cholesterol: 18.9 mg
    • Sodium: 206.6 mg
    • Total Carbs: 11.6 g
    • Dietary Fiber: 5.1 g
    • Protein: 11.6 g

    ****IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT YOU EAT THESE WITH A SMATHER OF ALMOND/PEANUT BUTTER***

    {{Foodgasm}}

    You can thank me later. 

     

    Oh, it’s been broughten!

    ***I love getting in a good workout first thing in the am!  Makes me feel productive!

    Ivy came over this morning to get in some strength training, seeing as we skipped Thursday.

    We KILLED the P90X Legs and Back workout, but added in 1 minute incline sprints for some added burn!  BIG props to Ivy, she rocked it this morning!  Check out the definition in her arms:

    The numbers weren’t too shabby either:

    I don’t like using the P90X videos anymore because there’s too much downtime between moves.  Doing it this way with the sprints keeps my heart rate up more.

    After a workout like that, you need recovery fuel.  Enter the protein ‘Candy’ Bar!

    Looks like poo, tastes like heaven:

    1/3 cup oats

    1 heaping tablespoon peanut butter

    1/2 scoop protein powder (I use chocolate Syntha6)

    1/2 medium (ripe) banana

    Throw all into the Magic Bullet, or processor, and give it a good whirl.  Leave it chunky though.   Plop onto wax paper (4 tablespoon sized globs) and freeze.

    Stats:

    Calories 86.4
      Total Fat 3.9 g
          Saturated Fat 0.9 g
          Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2 g
          Monounsaturated Fat 0.2 g
          Trans Fat 0.0 g
      Cholesterol 3.4 mg
      Sodium 42.0 mg
      Potassium 69.0 mg
      Total Carbohydrate 10.0 g
          Dietary Fiber 1.7 g
          Sugars 2.7 g
      Protein 3.7 g

    Check back later for the Good News!  🙂

    More Zucchini? Heck Yeah! It’s the wonder vegetable!

    I love Oatmeal.   ❤ 😛

    I love the taste, texture, nutritional value.  That being said, Oat Bran is totally my dirty mistress!  Almost identical nutritionally (a little more protein tho), but smoother and creamier and nuttier.  MMMMmmmm.  My recent breakfast obsession seeing as I’m out of pumpkin:

    Protien Packed Oat Bran

    1 c Water

    1/3 c Oat Bran

    1/3 scoop of Vanilla Protein Powder ( I use Syntha6 Vanilla Milkshake)

    2 Egg Whites

    Cinnamon

    1 tsp each Raisins and Slivered Almonds

    Bring the water to a slow boil and add oats, stir immediately and continuously for about 30-40 seconds.  Add in egg whites one at a time whisking each one as you add them.  Cook about a minute.  Add in powder and cinnamon (if you like it sweeter – add in some sweetener here) and shut off the heat.  Stir well, top with raisins and almonds.

    Nutritional Info 

    Fat: 5.3g
    Carbohydrates: 30.1g
    Calories:266.0
    Protein: 25.7g

    Ran over to the BFF’s this morning for some quick yoga and back home to feed lunch to the munchkins.  Once Bugga went down for a nap, Peyton and I got cracking!

    Reese’s brithday  is tomorrow 🙂 so we are making ZUCCHINI BROWNIES and SPICED ZUCCHINI MUFFINS!!!!

     

    Zucchini Brownies

     

    1/4 c Applesauce, unsweetened

    1 tbsp Canola Oil

    1tsp Vanilla Extract

    1.25c Zucchini, shredded (do not drain the liquid)

    1C Whole Wheat Flour

    1/2 c Granulated Sugar

    1/4 c Brown Sugar, unpacked

    1/4 c Cocoa, dry powder, unsweetened

    3/4 tsp Baking Soda

    pinch Salt

    1tbsp Mini Chocolate Chips

    Preheat oven to 350.

    Mix oil, applesauce, sugars and vanilla in a small bowl.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and chocolate chips.  Stir wet into dry and fold in zucchini.  Pour into a prepared 8×8 or 9×9 pan and bake 25-30 minutes. 

    9 Servings    

    Amount Per Serving
      Calories 139.9
      Total Fat 2.6 g
          Saturated Fat 0.6 g
          Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5 g
          Monounsaturated Fat 1.0 g
      Cholesterol 0.0 mg
      Sodium 125.4 mg
      Potassium 140.7 mg
      Total Carbohydrate 30.7 g
          Dietary Fiber 3.0 g
          Sugars 18.7 g
      Protein 2.5 g

      

    Spiced Zucchini Muffins 

     

    3 Egg Whites 

    1/3 c Canola Oil 

    1/2 c Applesauce 

    3 tsp Vanilla 

    1 c Granulated Sugar 

    1c Granulated Brown Sugar 

    2 c Shredded Zucchini 

    2 c Wheat Flour 

    1 c Oats 

    dash Salt 

    1 tsp Baking Powder 

    1/4 tsp Baking Soda 

    1 tbsp  EACH Cinnamon and Pumpkin Pie Spice (or to taste) 

    Preheat Oven to 350. 

    In a large bowl beat together eggs, oil, vanilla and sugar.  Fold in zucchini.  Beat in flour, oats, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices.   Scoop into prepared muffin tin and bake for 20-22 minutes.   

    18 Servings    

    Amount Per Serving
      Calories 157.2
      Total Fat 4.6 g
          Saturated Fat 0.4 g
          Polyunsaturated Fat 1.3 g
          Monounsaturated Fat 2.5 g
      Cholesterol 0.0 mg
      Sodium 62.8 mg
      Potassium 19.2 mg
      Total Carbohydrate 20.3 g
          Dietary Fiber 2.5 g
          Sugars 14.5 g
      Protein 3.3 g

     

    I have a couple of appointments before kickboxing tonight and I am officially a mess, so gotta go make my self presentable!  Have a great day!!

    5K & PB2 – No this is not code.

    Did I tell you I signed up for a 5K in September?  I’m actually a little nervous about it to tell you the truth!  I can kill a 5K on the treadmill, but running outside is a whole other beast.  I’m going to start carving out time to run by myself at the reservoir (I can’t run with the double stroller – it makes my shoulders lock up!). 

     This morning I just ran on the treadmill as I planned – 2 miles @ 9:15 m/m and a warmup and cooldown walk – 1 mile at 15m/m and 2-5% incline.  Also did my chest and back, just for good measure!

    Today I made a couple of easy items that I pulled off of other food blogs. 

    First up the ‘Crack Wrap’ (which I believe came from Healthy Tipping Point).  The only difference is that I added eggs whites.  Here’s the breakdown:

    La Tortilla Co Healthy Wheat Wrap (low carb)

    Wedge Laughing Cow Cheese (low fat)

    1 tbsp Cedar’s Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

    3 egg whites

    Yummmm.  Very similar to the wrap I was making but this one has cheese!  Sorry no pic – I deleted it on accident!

    Next up: Protein Cake-In-a-Mug (from Foods of April)

    1/2 Scoop Chocolate Protein Powder of your choice

    1 Egg White

    1/4 tsp baking powder

    1tsp sweetener of your choice

    1tsp cocoa

    1 tbsp pumpkin or applesauce

    Mix all ingredients in a mug (or some other microwaveable vessel) and nuke it for a minute.  Top with some PB.  Pretty darn good for what it is….

    I also needed to do something with the cauliflower and eggplant in the fridge.  Roasting it with garlic seemed to be the easiest solution.

    Cut it all up and tossed it into a ziplock with fresh garlic and a touch of grapeseed oil:

    Spread it onto a baking sheet and roast for 20-25 min at 375 while I cleaned the house.

    Money shots:

    Now my house was clean AND smelled like garlic!  Heaven!

    After I finished at home, I headed over to the BFF’s to help unpack some more today.  As a thank you she gave me this:

    CHOCOLATE PB2!!  I have been wanting to try this for a while now!  Basically this stuff is powdered peanuts that have had the oil removed.  You’re supposed to add water to it until you get the consistency you’re happy with.  I’ll try it in my protein shake tomorrow and let you know!

    On to dinner:

    Grilled chicken, the roasted veg from earlier and my Warm Bruschetta (see recipe page).

    The kids helped me pick some basil –

    And I got to use the little basket that came with my salad spinner!  Forgot about that thing!

    This time I grilled the garlic cloves whole with the onions and tomato and it came out AWESOME!  I will be dumping the rest of this on EVERYTHING for the next 2 days!

    That’ll do for today I think.   Gotta go scrub a few layers of dirt off my kids!  Have a good nite 🙂

    Beans, beans the magical fruit. Black Bean Brownies ROCK!

    “What!? Black bean brownies you say?’

    Yup. Don’t knock it till you try it!

    Today has been a go, go, go day and, let me tell ya, I kinda miss being this busy since the housing market has slowed….but anyway….

    Up at 6 am and two cups O’Joe later getting my arms and shoulders done.  I realized during last friday’s S&C class that my home workouts have been…..well, sucking!  So I amped up the weights today.  It felt gooooood.  After that, a quick shower, some Eggs N Oats, packed a protein yogurt and out the door for my weekly office meeting.  Which I proceeded to skip 😉   I had a lot to do in a small amount of time!  At noon I headed over to my new listing (gorgeous house!) and a quick stop at home for lunch:

    Starting to look familiar?

    I made a LOT of Corn and Black Bean Salad!  It’s almost gone, I swear!

    Then off to my 4, 4:30 and 5pm appointments.  Which happens to be at the BFF’s property – coffee time!

    When I got home I decided that I really needed to get in some cardio today too.  Fed the kids and jumped on the treadmill for 2.5 miles and then……

    BLACK BEAN BROWNIES!  I promised Peyton we would make some like, 3 days ago, but it’s been so stinkin hot!

    1 15oz can Black Beans (rinsed)

    3 Egg Whites

    2 tbsp Applesauce

    1 tbsp Canola Oil

    1/3 c Cocoa Powder  – unsweetened

    pinch salt

    1tsp Vanilla

    1/2 c Splenda (or sweetener of your choosing)

    1/4c Brown Sugar

    2 tsp Instant Coffee Granules

    1/2 tsp each baking powder and soda

    Cinnamon (optional)

    Chocolate Chips (optional)

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine beans, applesauce, oil, sugars, baking powder and soda, vanilla, cinnamon, coffee, salt and cocoa powder.  So basically everything but the eggs:

    An immersion blender is awesome for this recipe:

    Looks fudgy huh?  Then in a separate bowl, I whip the egg whites:

    And fold them into the batter.  Pour into a prepared 8×8 dish and top with chocolate chips:

    Bake for 23-25 minutes.  While you wait, make some Chocolate Protein ‘Ice Cream’ but add cinnamon to it…

    Yummmm…. 🙂

    Once the brownies have cooled, cut into 16 mini squares.  Here’s the stats

    Nutrition Facts     

     

      16 Servings      

    Amount Per Serving
      Calories 65.0
      Total Fat 1.5 g
          Saturated Fat 0.4 g
          Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3 g
          Monounsaturated Fat 0.6 g
      Cholesterol 0.0 mg
      Sodium 105.9 mg
      Potassium 142.9 mg
      Total Carbohydrate 12.4 g
          Dietary Fiber 3.2 g
          Sugars 3.8 g
      Protein 3.7 g

     

    I promise they do NOT taste like beans at all, and if you don’t trust me, maybe you’ll trust a 3 1/2 year old’s taste buds…

    This is her second piece!

    Nite 🙂