Love them from your oven…

Oat-pro12smWM

OATMEAL-PRO BREAKFAST BARS

I remade a classic Oatmeal Cookie recipe into a protein breakfast bar that is full of fiber and other tasty things, just right to keep you going til lunch.  Yes, it’s high in carbs, but they are the stick-to-your-ribs type and should give you a slow burn to keep you from crashing mid-morning.  Kids will love these, too.  They freeze great – wrap individually – throw one at them as they rush out the door.  These are not low calorie, but definitely better than a Pop-Tart or Toaster Strudel…and your house will smell like Heaven for a few hours.  Never a bad thing. 

The add-ins are endless, too.  Any and all chopped nuts, no sugar added dried fruit, coconut, or if you’re feeling extra sweet go with some mini chocolate chips or toffee bits.  Yes, I went there…maybe.  Yes, yes I did.

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Printable Recipe

 

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3/4 cup butter, softened (1 1/2 cubes)

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 cup Whey Low Gold, packed (see note*)

3/4 cup Whey Low Granular (see note*)

2 eggs

3 tablespoons water

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 3/4 cups flour

2 scoops vanilla protein powder (approx 1/3 of a cup is standard scoop size)

3 cups old-fashioned oatmeal

1 cup chopped nuts (peanuts, pecans, walnuts…whatever)

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Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Spray an 11 x 15 baking pan with vegetable cooking spray and, if you have it, line with parchment paper.  Set aside.

In a large bowl (or mixer bowl) cream together the butter, peanut butter, Gold, and Granular until well mixed.  Whip in the eggs, water, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon until fluffy.  Stir in the flour and protein powder JUST until moistened.  Stir in the oatmeal and nuts until mixed through.

Spread (wet fingers worked best for me) evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes.  COVER LOOSELY WITH FOIL (the Whey Low gets dark faster than regular sugar) and bake for another 15 minutes, or until fairly set.  (They will still “give” a little bit…not be firm like a cake.)  Run a knife around the edges and allow  to cool completely.  Remove from pan, if you’ve used paper, and cut into desired size bars.  Makes 20-25 bars.

20 bars
Per Serving: Calories 241; Protein 11 g; Fat 15 g; Carbs 30 g; Fiber 4 g; (NET CARBS 26 g); Sugar 15 g; Sodium 141 mg

25 bars
Per Serving: Calores 193; Protein 9 g; Fat 12 g; Carbs 24 g; Fiber 3 g; (NET CARBS 21 g); Sugar 12 g; Sodium 113 mg

*NOTE: I use Whey Low since it is slower to digest and doesn’t spike my blood sugar.  I’ve had gastric bypass and this doesn’t make me ill.  REGULAR brown and granulated sugar would work beautifully, also, but would change the stats, slightly.

(I use Accu-Chef to figure my stats.)

Oat-pro29smWM

Yes, please!

ALMOND QUINOA PROTEIN GRANOLA BALLS

I do love my No Bake Protein Cookies…yes, I do.  But, for some people (and I can’t believe I’m saying this out loud) chocolate isn’t wanted.  These are full of good-for-you carbs and not too sweet.

These are prefect for mid-afternoon cravings and have enough protein to hold you over till dinner.  Or grab one for breakfast with your pro shake.

For this batch I added in things that I had on hand – but use any nut, NSA dried fruit, chocolate chunks (ooops!  some sneaked in…well, darn), whatever you want to customize for your own tastes.

 **For the balls in the photo I used roasted, salted cashews and almonds, and dried cherries.

Variations that I LOVE:

~ 1/4 cup almonds, crushed, 1/4 cup sun seeds, 2 tablespoons finely chopped dates, drop or two of almond extract

~ 1/2 cup pistachios, finely chopped, 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut, 2 tablespoons crushed dried banana chips, drop or two of coconut extract

~ 1/4 cup walnuts, crushed, 1/4 cup pecans, crushed, 2 tablespoons chopped dark chocolate

~ 1/4 cup macadamia nuts, crushed, 1/4 unsweetened coconut, 2 tablespoons finely chopped NSA dried pineapple, drop or two of coconut extract



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1/2 cup almond butter (or peanut butter)

1 1/2 tablespoons Agave nectar (or honey)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup quick-cooking oats

1/4 rounded cup COOKED quinoa  (cooking instructions below)

1/4 cup almonds, finely chopped

1/4 cup cashews,  finely chopped

2 tablespoons finely chopped dried cranberries/cherries/raisins/etc

1/2 cup vanilla protein powder

1-2 tablespoons water – AS NEEDED  (see below)

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To cook quinoa (this will make more than needed):

1 cup water

1/2 cup rinsed quinoa

1/4 teaspoon salt

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In a small saucepan combine the water, quinoa, and salt.  Bring to boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 18-19 minutes.  All the water should be absorbed and the “tail” or white ring of each seed should be visible.  Fluff with fork.  Leave uncovered and set aside to cool slightly.

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In a bowl stir together the almond butter, Agave, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt.  Add oats, quinoa, cranberries, almonds, cashews, and protein powder.  Stir together until very well combined.   If too dry, add 1-3 tablespoons water – 1 tblsp at a time.  (The mixture should be moist and sticky, but not wet.)

In generous 1/8th cup portions, roll into balls, without pressing too hard, and place on waxed paper to set up.  Store in an air-tight container.

OR line an 8×8 inch square pan with waxed paper, extending up two sides.  Press the mixture into it the prepared pan.  Cover and chill in the fridge for an hour.  Lift the mixture out of the pan with the waxed paper and cut into 10 bars.  Makes 10 pieces.  Store in an air-tight container.

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Per ball: Calories 190; Protein 10g; Tot Fat 8g; NET Carb 14g; Sugar 4g; Sodium 88mg

Smooth Operator…

CRLS51!wm

CURRIED RED LENTIL SOUP

When you’re in the mood for something decadent tasting but not a heavy meal, this will do just fine.  Silky smooth and slightly spicy, with an exotic bent that is luxurious and comforting, this soup takes no time at all.  I used chicken broth, but using vegetable broth makes it completely vegan.

I love this one!!

Inspired by Cookie + Kate…thank you!

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Printable Recipe

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1 tablespoon olive oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 cup finely diced shallots (or sweet onion)

2 large carrots, shredded

1 cup dried red lentils – picked over

1/4 cup unsweetened dried cherries

1 (14 oz) can vegetable or chicken broth

3 cups water

1/2 cup lite coconut milk – unsweetened

2 teaspoons sweet curry powder – I use this one from Penzey’s

1/2 teaspoon salt (I added a little more once it was cooked…just my preference)

1/4 teaspoon dried cilantro

1/4 teaspoon sugar

1/8 powdered ginger

Dash freshly grated nutmeg

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In a large sauce pan, over medium heat, saute the garlic, shallots, and carrots in the olive oil for 5 minutes.  Add the lentils, cherries, chicken/vegetable broth, water, coconut milk, curry powder, salt, cilantro, sugar, ginger, and nutmeg.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until lentils are very soft.  Allow to cool slightly.

In batches, add soup to blender and process until smooth.  Reheat gently over low.  Serve with a drizzle of coconut milk and garnish with cherries, if desired.  Makes approx. 6 (1 cup) servings.

Per Serving: 196 Cal; 10 g Protein; 5 g Tot Fat; 31 g Carb; 5 g Fiber; (26 NET Carb); 4 g Sugar; 520 mg Sodium

CRLS53wm

Pucker up…!

 

LEMON CUSTARD CREAM PIE

This is such a gorgeous, summery dessert!  Tart, creamy, and light, it’s made with Greek yogurt to make it a little more figure-friendly, but no one will ever guess it’s low sugar and not completely sinful.  

A few fresh blueberries or blackberries folded into this would be absolutely delish!

Cut calories even more by skipping the crust and serving in beautiful tall glasses!

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Filling:
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/4 cup Splenda Granular
1 cup 2 % milk
3 egg yolks, beaten
3 tablespoons cold butter, cut into chunks
1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup plain Greek yogurt (regular yogurt is too thin)
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped (whip after measuring) OR 1 1/2 cups Cool Whip

Crust:
One pkg Murray’s sugar free Shortbread cookies, crushed into fine crumbs (1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup almond flour
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1/4 cup butter, melted

In a medium saucepan over medium heat combine cornstarch, Splenda Granular, and milk. Whisk continually until thickened, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk 1 tablespoon of the cornstarch mixture into the beaten egg yolks. Rapidly whisk the tempered egg yolks into the cornstarch mixture. This will be very thick.

Return to medium heat and, stirring constantly, bring to a boil. This will be very thick and will have big bubbles popping on the surface. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the cold butter until incorporated. Whisk in the lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla. Cover and cool completely. (This will be VERY thick when cooled.) Beat with a whisk to loosen up and gently stir in yogurt and whipped cream OR Cool Whip.

While filling is cooling prepare crust. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With a fork combine the cookie crumbs, almond flour, and lemon zest. Stir in melted butter until incorporated. Pat mixture into a 9 or 10-inch tart shell or a 9-inch pie plate. Bake for 10 minutes or until just golden. Allow to cool on wire rack completely.  Pour filling into cooled crust and garnish with more zest or thin lemon slices.  Chill until very cold.

Makes 10 servings.

Per Serving: Calories 229; Protein 6 g; Fat 16 g; Carbs 15 g; Fiber 0 g; Sugar 2 g; Sodium 142 mg

SAVORY SUN-DRIED TOMATO APPETIZER CHEESECAKE

A little different…but when it comes to cheesecake anything is good!  This one will be a hit on your celebration tables, or at any potluck, BBQ, or picnic. For low-carb-hardly-any-calories serve with assorted cut veggies to dip.  

The add-ins are really up to you.  Sub out the tomatoes for greek olives and part of the mozzarella for feta cheese.  Stir in a little crushed pineapple or jalapenos…anything you’d like.  Leave off the crust altogether for even lower calories – I’ve given stats for either way.

(For complete fabulous-ness don’t be tempted to use fat-free cream cheese as it tends to make cheesecakes rubbery!)

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2/3 cup plain bread crumbs (unseasoned)
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Two 8-ounce pkgs reduced-fat cream cheese
2 cups shredded part skim mozzarella
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 eggs
3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, blotted with paper towel and finely minced
1 cup light sour cream OR plain Greek yogurt for added protein
1/2 teaspoon Italian Herb seasoning

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Stir together bread crumbs and melted butter. Pat into the bottom of a greased 9-inch springform pan (OR 9-inch deep dish pie plate). Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

In large bowl whip cream cheese just to soften. Add shredded cheese, green onions, black pepper, and cayenne pepper, and mix to combine. Add eggs, one at a time and beat just until each egg is no longer visible. Fold in tomatoes. Pour filling into crust. Place pan on a cookie sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until almost firm in the middle.

Combine sour cream and Italian seasonings and pour over cheesecake. Return to oven for 5 minutes. Turn off oven, leaving door slightly open, let cake cool in oven for about 20 minutes.

Remove to a wire rack and run a sharp knife around the edge of the cake. Let cool completely before removing sides of pan. When cooled, wrap tightly and chill overnight or preferably a couple days. Makes 20 appetizer servings.


 With crust:
Per Serving: Calories 149; Protein 7 g; Fat 9 g; Carbs 5 g; Fiber 0 g; Sugar 0 g; Sodium 226 mg
 Without crust
Per Serving: Calories 125; Protein 7 g; Fat 7 g; Carbs 3 g; Fiber 0 g; Sugar 0 g; Sodium 192 mg

Hello, Lover!

RED VELVET WAFFLES

Cream Cheese Whipped Cream “Frosting”

Valentine’s Breakfast for a special someone?  Perfect.  Lazy Sunday morning for those you love all year?  Amazing gesture!

These are gorgeous and have the familiar red velvet flavor that’s coveted.  A hint of cocoa, slightly sweet…and a fun deep red that makes them seem more work than they are!  I topped them with a traditional cream cheese-whipped cream “frosting”, and a drizzle of syrup.   

No matter when you make them, or who you make them for…you’ll be loved in return!

I also think this batter would work as pancakes, if you don’t have a waffle maker…might as well give it a shot! 

(These are not low carb…simply low in sugar.  But for a special day, we’ll live through it!)

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Waffles:

1 1/2 cups cake flour

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 cup Whey Low Granular (Splenda or sugar)

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 cup skim or 2% milk  (if making into pancakes reduce to 1 1/4 cup)

3 eggs, separated

6 tablespoons melted butter

1 tablespoon red food coloring

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon cider vinegar

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In a large bowl whisk together the cake flour, cocoa powder, Splenda (sugar), salt, and baking powder.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl whisk together the milk, egg yolks, melted butter, food coloring, vanilla, and vinegar.  Add to the dry ingredients and whisk just until combined.

In another bowl beat the egg whites until stiff.  With a spatula, fold into the batter mixture.  (It’s okay if a few fluffs remain.)

Make in a preheated waffle iron per instructions.  Serve immediately with Cream Cheese Whipped Cream.

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Cream Cheese Whipped Cream:

1 cup whipping cream

1/2 cup Splenda (or powdered sugar)

2 teaspoon vanilla extract

8 ounces fat-free cream cheese, softened

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Beat the whipping cream, Splenda, and vanilla until stiff peaks form.  Beat in the cream cheese until smooth.

Makes approx 7 servings, depending on your waffle maker.  I used a Belgium maker and the photo below is from one batch in the maker.  Stats are for seven servings (two waffles, each about 5 inches square; approx 1/3 cup of topping) that look like the photo.

Per Serving:  Calories 341; Fat 15 g, Protein 13 g; Carbs 30 g, Fiber 2 g; Sugar 7 g; Sodium 399 mg

 

 

Could it look more healthy?!

QUINOA CORN EDAMAME SALAD

It is no secret that I love quinoa and eat it every chance I get!  This salad is a re-make and a new favorite of mine – very light, summery, and fresh.  The original had barley, but quinoa is so…NOW!  I also cut the amount of corn in half, and added the edamame, some chili powder, and lime.  It’s a completely different salad than what I started with and, frankly, I’m thrilled!

These are fabulously complex carbs that give staying power to fuel you up.  And the added protein from the quinoa and the edamame keeps you full longer.   (You could add some diced chicken to this, if you felt so inclined.)

It may seem like you won’t have enough dressing, but it’s just right.

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2 cups frozen, shelled, edamame

1 cup frozen corn

1 cup cooked, cooled quinoa (leftover is great)

1 green onion, sliced (just green parts)

1/2 red sweet bell pepper, diced

1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Dash cayenne

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Briefly boil the edamame and the corn, just until tender.  Drain very well and cool completely.

In a large bowl combine the edamame, corn, quinoa, green onion, red pepper, and cilantro.  In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, lime juice, salt, chili powder, black pepper, thyme and cayenne until emulsified.  Drizzle over the salad and toss to coat.  Cover and chill for at least two hours.  Makes approx 8 (1/2 cup) servings.

Per Serving: Calories 133; Protein 7 g; Fat 6 g; Carbs 14 g; Fiber 3 g; Sugar 1 g; Sodium 82 mg

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