Food to keep you fit, lean, healthy and on track.

Protein Pancakes

Protein Pancakes RecipeEveryone loves pancakes on the weekend, right?  Me too.  What I don’t love is the abundance of carbs that go along with it. What a way to derail your efforts. But we should be able to enjoy things like this once in a while. So here is a way to do that without all the guilt.  I like to make extra and freeze them for the kids.  An easy breakfast during the school week that will keep them full and energized in the morning.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/3 cup plain greek yogurt (non-fat)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together until smooth and set aside.  In a large skillet, set over medium heat and put a thin coat of oil (I just use olive oil) to prevent sticking.  With either a big spoon or a 1/4 cup measureing cup, pour your cakes to about 3 inches wide, let cook until the bubbles start to pop, flip with an oiled spatula.

Makes 2 servings.

Nutrition Info: Calories: 205 | Carbohydrates 25.5 | Protein: 20g | Fat 3.25g | Fiber 4.5g – Note; This recipe was calculated with the protein powder I have at home which has 15g protein.  You may need to adjust this depending on what brand you use.

 

Easy Meal: Scallops & Sprouts

Sounds fancy, but really, this dish took all of 20 minutes total to make and only a handful of ingredients.  Let’s talk about scallops – not everyone likes scallops but if you are a seafood eater I urge you to explore them for a couple of reasons.  They are high in protein and low in calories and fat. For every 100 grams of scallops you’ll get roughly 100 calories and 20 grams of protein.  Scallops also contain vitamin A, B-12 and D, as well as a small amount of folate.  So these delicious little mollusks are a great way to bulk up a meal with protein but still eat light.

Scallops & Sprouts

Let’s move on to the Brussels sprouts. I know, I know…. you hate Brussels sprouts.  Just give this a chance and perhaps I can change your mind.  I happen to love them, and always have but they are really quite good prepared this way.  But before I show you how to make them, I do want to mention why you might want to add them to your diet once in a while.  Leafy green veggies are a known to aid in the prevention of disease and cancer, but these in particular are loaded with Vitamin C! Just 4 of these little sprouts provide you with 120% of your Daily Value.  These babies are also really high in Vitamin K which is essential for bone health and prevention of osteoporosis.  Health lesson over, let’s show you how to make this dish:

Ingredients for Scallops:

  • 3-6 Large Sea Scallops*
  • 2 Tsp Olive Oil
  • 1/4 of a lemon

Ingredients for Sprouts:

  • 2 Cups fresh Brussels sprouts (you can buy these loose at the grocery store)
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt and pepper

Ingredients for glaze:

  • 1 Tsp honey
  • 1 Tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1/4 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • Black pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Rinse and pat dry all the sprouts and remove any loose leaves and stems.  Cut each one in half length-wise.  Arrange on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Toss it all around so evenly coated.  Bake at 375 degrees for about 12 minutes or until they start to look crispy.  Test one to make sure they’re tender.  While they are cooking… Thaw and rinse your sea scallops and pat dry.  Heat oil in a medium pan, add a squeeze of lemon, (Or used lemon infused olive oil!), they lay each scallop in the pan to sear it.  Scallops cook quickly so keep a close eye.  As soon as they start to turn a golden brown color, flip with tongs and sear the other side. This process should only take 3-5 minutes tops.  Remove from pan and set aside.  Remove your sprouts from the oven and get ready to assemble your plate.

For the glaze, I use this really easy method for adding a sweet savory flavor to basic dishes and it pairs really nicely with the sprouts, making it feel more indulgent than it really is.  In a small bowl, whisk together honey, Dijon mustard, cayenne pepper and black pepper until blended well.  Should have the consistency of light syrup.

Assemble your plate with scallops and sprouts, drizzle glaze over sprouts and enjoy your quasi-gourmet meal. This whole dish is about 300 calories, 26 grams of protein and 12 grams of carbohydrates. (For 3-4 scallops, 1 Cup of sprouts and the glaze).

*I buy Sea Scallops frozen and they are just as good, just be sure to thaw them gently.

Family Dinner Recipe: Turkey Taco Wraps

Turkey TacosA lighter version of a family favorite – Taco Night! This is a really easy recipe and you can of course, adapt to your preferences and even use taco shells or tortillas for the kids if they aren’t into the lettuce idea.  However, I assure you they will be a go-to in no time.

Packaged taco seasoning is usually loaded with sodium, preservatives, MSG and sometimes sugar.  Making your own is easy and tastes just as good.  Topping your tacos can be a make or break situation so stick with fresh tomatoes, low fat cheese, and plain greek yogurt to keep your calories low and protein in check.

Replacing high carb tortilla wraps and shells with lettuce sounds like a big bore but I assure you, they’re just as tasty and you cut your calories and carbs considerably with this tactic.  I tried a few different recipes and this one works the best.

Ingredients:

  • 1.3 lbs 99% lean ground turkey
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 small onion, minced
  • 2 tbsp bell pepper, minced
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 4 oz can tomato sauce
  • 8 large lettuce leaves from Iceberg lettuce

Directions:

Brown turkey in a large skillet. When no longer pink add dry seasoning and mix well. Add onion, pepper, water and tomato sauce and cover. Simmer on low for about 20 minutes. Wash and dry the lettuce. Place meat in the center of leaf and top with tomatoes, low fat cheese and salsa or whatever you prefer.  I put out plain greek yogurt, green onion and topped them with a slice of jalapeno for a little kick.

Greek yogurt, onions, salsa and low fat cheese
Nutritional Info for 2 wraps:
Calories: 134 • Fat: 2 g • Carbs: 10 g • Fiber: 2.4 g • Protein: 21 g
Recipe adapted from SkinnyTaste.com

Slow Cooker Pork & Steamed Veggies Recipe

Slow Cooker Pork and Steamed Veggies

Ingredients:

  • 1 Boneless Pork Tenderloin (1-3 lbs works depending on the size of your family)
  • 1/2 sliced white onion
  • 1/2 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Clove of garlic, minced
  • salt & pepper
  • 3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Light Beer (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp Barbecue sauce
  • pinch cinnamon
  • Veggies of choice

Directions:

Rinse and pat dry your pork and season with salt and pepper.  Slice onions and layer on the bottom of your slow cooker / crock pot.  Place pork on top of onions.  Drizzle in olive oil, add vinegar, 2 Tbsp barbecue sauce, garlic cinnamon and beer. Cover and set on low.  Cook for 3-4 hours depending on the size of your pork and the heat settings on your crock pot.  Mine runs hot and cooks in less time but if you have a good crock pot you could let it go longer.

30 minutes before pork is done, put your veggies in a foil packet with a tiny bit of olive oil and rest on top, inside crock pot to steam.  Before assembling, whisk 1 tbsp barbecue sauce with a bit of cider vinegar. Slice pork and drizzle over it with your veggies.

Another twist on this that I’ve done before is added hearty veggies to the pot with the pork like bell peppers or brussels sprouts. Enjoy!

Weekly Nutrition: Plan Ahead for Better Weight Management Results

We all have busy lives. All of us. So part of being successful at losing weight, changing your body and staying healthy requires a bit of a juggling act to stay on track.  Making time to plan out a successful week is key for us. Even as you reach your goals, staying there is going to be a lifestyle change for life.  One of the best changes you can make a habit is menu planning. I know, I know. That sounds like a daunting task but it doesn’t have to be.  A hour or two of prepping and planning can mean the difference between a week where you struggle, and a week where you succeed.

As a mother of two active boys, I am rarely home long enough to even sit down to eat, so if I don’t have healthy food available that is easy to make, I make less healthy choices and end up eating the wrong things out of desperation or lack of time.  Planning is essential to maintaining my weight.  Here are some of my Sunday Prep secrets that keep me on track.  Not all of you will love everything I eat but adapt the rules to food you like and you’ll be on your way to a better planned week:

1. Wash, Slice and Dice: Wash produce and do preparatory slicing and dicing early in the week.  This allows me to throw together snacks and salads in record time. The weeks I don’t do this I am less likely to eat those types of foods.  I wash and slice up all three colors of peppers, broccoli, carrots, rinse grape tomatoes and anything else in season that I can easily toss on a baking sheet for roasting. This saves me loads of time and I have found that I’ll eat out of a bag of red peppers rather than a salty snack due to the convenience.  Convenience is Key!

2. Boil and Bake: Once a week I hard boil eggs, bake protein and have easy proteins like canned tuna and frozen fish handy.  One of my favorite things to do is bake chicken on Sunday and use it all week on top of salad or along side roasted veggies.  Here’s a simple way to make “ready to go” chicken that is great for any dish or salad:

Ready Ahead Lemon Chicken

 

Sunday Prep Tactics and Pre-baked Lemon Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 Cleaned and trimmed large chicken breasts
  • 1 Lemon
  • 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Season chicken on both sides with a bit of sea salt and fresh ground pepper. In a glass baking dish place chicken side by side, drizzling olive oil over top of chicken.  Cut lemon in half and squeeze lemon juice over chicken breasts. Slice the rest of the lemon in rounds and lay on top.  Place uncovered in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.  Cooking time will vary depending on thickness of your chicken.  You don’t want to over cook, remove once chicken is starting to turn brown.  I like to just cook enough to be safe so that when I re-heat it later on and it’s not dry.

Store in an air tight container un-sliced and use as needed during the week.