Blueberry Flax Greek Yogurt Muffins

100_1439Many have gathered the notion that if a food is low calorie, it is healthy and if there are a lot of calories– it is not. It really is not this simple. We need a balance of vitamins, minerals, fat, protein, and of course the right amount of calories. The best foods tend to be really dense in nutrients, but also low in calories. Kale is a good example of this, but I didn’t use any kale in this recipe. ūüôā¬† You will simply buy a good quality blueberry muffin mix (to me this means one that doesn’t use cheap ingredients like animal shortening) and follow the instructions, but with my additions and replacements. You will need:

  • Quality blueberry muffin mix
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • Coconut milk (replace water in recipe)
  • Flavorless oil (I used grapeseed)
  • 3 tbsp flaxseed meal
  • Water
  • 1 egg (other 2 eggs replaced with flax)

In a separate bowl, add 3 tablespoons of ground flaxseed meal with 8 to 9 tablespoons of warm water. Let sit for 5 minutes and you will see it take on a gel like texture. Mix all ingredients until flour lumps are nearly gone. Bake according to instructions, but note it may take 5 to 7 minutes longer to bake!  Watch this quick 2 minute video to see how it comes together!

xoxo,

Fifi

Daniel Fast: Veganized Grits and Eggs

Serves 4

You will need:
Quick cooking grits
Extra virgin olive oil
8 to 10 ounces of firm tofu
White onion
Spinach
Paprika
Garlic powder
Balsamic vinegar
21 seasoning (salt free blend of seasoning)

1. Cook grits according to directions. I only add a tiny dash of salt to cut the blandness.

2. In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium high heat.

3. With a fork or your hands, break tofu into crumbles and add to heated oil. Drizzle 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar over tofu as it cooks.

4. Thinly slice 1/4 cup of onion and add to skillet.

5. Next add 1 tsp each of paprika, garlic power, and 21 seasoning.

6. Last, add spinach and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until spinach wilts.

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Overnight Oats & Quinoa

Just curious how it might taste to add quinoa to my steel cut oats. The quinoa needs more time to soak, so next time I’ll do a 24 hour soak. With the added flaxseed meal the mixture was hearty and nutty. I’m sure I got a good dose of omega 3 from this combination!

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Overnight Oats with Light Coconut Milk

Last week I posted a short tutorial on making overnight oats from steel cut oats. Many asked for a written recipe, so here it is! Steel cut oats are the better option because they are less processed than the more popular rolled oats. As a result, steel cut oats are far easier to digest causing less discomfort after meals. Usually they take 8 to 10 minutes to cook, but with the overnight option, there is little preparation and less clean up time. It’s really a win-win.

You will need:

1/3 cup light coconut milk
1/4 steel cut oats
bowl
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup filtered water
1/8 cup dried blueberries
1/8 chopped walnuts

Add coconut milk and steel cut oats to a bowl and cover in the fridge overnight. After at least 4 hours, oats will have completely absorbed milk. Now add filtered water slowly (stirring occasionally) until they reach desired texture. Mix in cinnamon, blueberries, and chopped walnuts. Enjoy cold, or microwave for 30 seconds.

Strawberry Lemon Cream Smoothie

When my protein intake is too low, or when I work out very intensely, I have protein powder to give me more nutrients. Protein powder is great, because in one small drink I can add 20 or more grams of protein and with very few calories. The drawback though, is that as many powders as I’ve tried– the ones with the lowest sugar, do not taste very good. I’m always looking for healthy ways to mask the flavor. Before this, I never added lemon juice to a smoothie. The lemon was perfect! The flavor of this drink is a cross between strawberry lemonade and cheesecake. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

  • 1/3 cup light coconut milk
  • 1 serving of protein powder
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of crushed ice
  • 1/2 cup of strawberry halves
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp honey or alternative sweetener
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

 If you do not have crushed ice, simply add ice cubes to the blender first to crush. Next combine all ingredients and blend on high for 30 to 60 seconds, depending on the blender.

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Scrambled Egg Whites: Give Them a Chance!

Me being into egg whites is a very recent thing. I never thought much about cholesterol, and separating the yolks from the whites just seemed like unnecessary,extra work. I know I’m not the only one, because people who have never even had egg whites say they know they won’t like them. It really takes me back to my days of reading Dr. Seuss. Remember Green Eggs and Ham? I hope I’m not ruining the story for anyone, but in the end, the eggs and ham are delicious! The same can be said for my scrambled eggs whites. Trying something new is worth while, especially when there are immediate, healthy benefits. I combine spices in a unique way so that for just 51 calories, nearly 11g of protein are yielded with no cholesterol. The egg whites are great for an omelet, or a more creative scramble mixed with your favorite veggies. The possibilities are endless!

 Ingredients (per serving):

  • 3 egg whites
  • nonstick spray (or oil)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt free seasoning salute
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 crushed red pepper
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon of milk
Separate egg whites and in a small bowl, whisk together spices. Use either nonstick spray or lightly oil the surface and place skillet on medium high. Once heated, add eggs and scramble. To prevent eggs from becoming too dry, remove from heat when about 80 to¬† 90% firm and let them cook the rest of the way on their own. 
   

Berry Protein Pancakes

Who doesn’t love pancakes? Usually, such a breakfast treat would be reserved for weekends when there is generally more time to cook, and a little leeway to indulge. I’ve long since wondered what mystery ingredients are in those “ready to pour” containers and have usually opted for a pre-made multi-grain mix or in most cases, settled for cereal.The protein powder and egg whites make this breakfast a great way to get a head start on your protein intake and start your day right. I’ve tried many protein powders, and I can always detect them in my smoothies. With this recipe, the protein powder goes unnoticed. I love this delicious pancake alternative because it is the perfect combination of naughty and nice; the high protein content makes it nutritious, yet the fact that it’s pancakes makes me feel like I’m actually getting away with something! The deep color of the pancakes reflects well the flavor o blueberries, blackberries and raspberries that have been blended well into the batter.I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did! Enjoy!Serves: 1

Cook time: 10 minutes

  • 1/4 Quick cook steel cut oats
  • 1/3 cup light coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup mixed berres (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 serving protein powder
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Non-stick spray or cooking oil
  1. Overnight: place 1/4 cup steel cut oats in a container along with 1/2 cup water, or until the oats are covered. They will absorb the water over night. Refrigerate till morning (you may skip this step and just use instant oatmeal).
  2. In a blender combine oats, coconut milk, 1/4 berries, protein powder, egg whites, honey, and cinnamon. Blend ingredients well for 30 to 60 seconds, or until the consistency is like a smoothie.
  3. Heat skillet on high and once heated, coat skillet with cooking spray or oil and pour batter directly from blender. I found that my protein pancakes took a little longer on each side than normal pancakes. You’ll want to wait till the pancake is nice and firm before flipping.

 

Individual Frittata

This morning I was really in the mood to make eggs, but something not as traditional. I have always loved quiche, but when someone told me about the Italian version–frittatas, I was intrigued. It takes less prep time because there is no crust, and leaving out the crust really saves a lot of calories. Frittatas come in many assortments and sizes, and are great for any meal of the day. In the oven, they have a beautiful rising souffle look, with nice golden brown coloring.¬† Nearly any variety of shredded cheese will work for this recipe, but I used fat free shredded cheddar.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large egg
  • ¬ľ cup shredded cheese
  • 2 TBSP low fat milk
  • ¬ľ cup cooked vegetables
  • Sea salt as needed
  • Crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 1 tsp fresh or freeze-dried parsley
  • 21 seasoning salute or Mrs. Dash original
  • 1 3.5 ounce ramekin per serving
Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. In a small bowl, scramble egg with milk, salt, crushed pepper, parsley, seasoning solute, and a small pinch of shredded cheese.
  3. Spray inside of ramekin with non-stick spray or coat lightly with olive oil.
  4. Pour egg mixture into ramekin. Add vegetables. I used French green beans and 2 asparagus spears that I quickly sautéed in the skillet. You may also use leftover vegetables you have from a previous meal.
  5. Top with the remaining portion of shredded cheese and bake for 20 minutes, or until frittata has risen and become a nice golden brown.
 

Egg Florentine Breakfast Sandwich

I always intend to eat breakfast, but it does not always happen. If I had more time added to my day, I’d sit for an hour with the newspaper and enjoy a delicious omelet and some fresh-squeezed OJ. I believe most people have breakfast on the go whether it is fruit, a protein bar, or a value meal from a fast-food chain. I created this easy little sandwich out of my love for omelets, yet my lifestyle of being constantly in motion. Eggs Florentine is in my opinion the perfect omelet: sauteed spinach and eggs for a ton of iron, balanced with protein-rich cheese which is delicious and also full of calcium. I highly recommend using those nifty 100 calorie sandwich thins since they are full of fiber and save on calories.

You will need:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • a dash of coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 cup baby spinach
  • 21 seasoning solute
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • your cheese of choice, I used light Havarti cheese
  • 100 calorie sandwich rounds (or any bread is fine)
  • 1/2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • Vegetable oil cooking spray

1. In a non-stick skillet, heat olive oil on medium high heat. If you’d like to use less oil, spray the pan with a cooking spray, and use oil very sparingly (1 tsp approximately). Once oil is heated, add garlic to heat for about 15 seconds.

2. In a small bowl, crack egg and add salt, pepper and 21 seasoning solute. Set aside.

3. Saute spinach and once nearly wilted, add egg and spices to the skillet to combine with spinach. Much like an omelet, let the egg spread into a thin layer, and with a spatula flip once the egg is firm and congealed. Once the egg is cooked, add cheese and let it melt.

4. Fold the very thin layer to fit bread. Assemble sandwich and serve.

Green Vegan Protein Smoothie

I’ll admit it: I’m a creature of habit. When I think a certain food is delicious, I eat it repeatedly until I get sick of it. I’m just that way. When I hit Jamba Juice, I get the same two smoothies, and at some restaurants, I don’t even know what’s on the rest of the menu. I know what *I* came for. Something about owning a blender now, though…I’ve become¬† a little more adventurous. I am on a mission to get proper nutrition, especially protein and calcium, which I lack. I picked up some protein powder from Trader Joe’s, and it has 25g of protein. The results were absolutely delicious! Now, for the actual smoothie.

Ingredients:

  • 1 serving of vanilla protein powder
  • 1/4 cup frozen banana slices
  • 1/8 avocado (more if you like)
  • 1/4 light coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango chunks
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk, this is different from the aforementioned coconut milk, which is more like cream. You can use almond, soy, regular milk.
  • 1.5 cups baby spinach
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of filtered water depending on thickness of smoothie

1. Place coconut milk, frozen fruit, protein powder and cinnamon in the blender on high setting. If you have any trouble acheiving smoothness, add a tad bit of water

2. Once ingredients are fairly well blended, leave the blender setting on high, remove the smaller top of your blender and add baby spinach in small handful until well blended.

*Yields about 12 to 14 flowing ounces

Calories:306 Protein: 29g  Fat: 11g