Cookies & Dreams Protein Truffles {#Quest} +WIAW #3

Link up time! Several #StrangeButGood-ies for my WIAW, plus some recipes!

First off…shameless self plug. Yup. #SorryNotSorry.

Who doesn’t love cookies and cream? Satisfy your cravings while supporting muscle growth! Casein makes these truffles the perfect late night treat… without the guilt!

This is a recipe I entered in a competition at proteinpow.com (read details here).

If you follow this link and click my photo, it will take you to the recipe, and you’ll help we win by voting!

Thanks, and I hope you enjoy!

 

Now that that is out of the way…On to the rest of my WIAW eats!

breakfast

Breakfast: This recipe from Luice topped with a runny egg! Yum!

My hubby commented on my weird food …how is an omelette weird?! Breakfast #StrangeButGood

(Not pictured: coffee). I enjoy mine with cinnamon brewed in the grounds (something one of my former co-workers shared with me), plus 1 tsp coconut oil, splenda, and vanilla stevia drops. Slightly bulletproof?

Post-Workout: (Not pictured) I made some of Lindsay’s PB Coconut Trail Mix Bites in bar form. My favorite flavor!

yogurt

Morning Snack: New yogurt flavor I am loving! Mango Lemonade! It is a limited edition I found, but man do I hope they keep it! Topped it with 2 TBSP Ezekiel Cinnamon Raisin Cereal, 3 Cinnamon Roast, and 3 Vanilla Roast almonds!

I also love Toasted Coconut when I can find them. Have you tried any of them?

lunch

Lunch: Apple and Gouda Cheese Chicken Sausage, sweet potato, and green beans topped with a new find! Blue Cheese Mustard! It was so yum! I mixed it with nutritional yeast. Condiment #StrangeButGood.

butternut protein muffins

Afternoon Snack: this recipe for protein pumpkin cinnamon rolls, but I subbed butternut squash and made a triple batch. Hidden veggie #StrangeButGood!

Next time I’ll try it as instructed …with pumpkin. It was a little dry with the squash. I was just using up my leftovers.

Tuna Spinach Salad

Dinner: Spinach Salad with Tuna, snap peas, broccoli slaw, almonds, and a boiled egg. Home-made salad dressing (another condiment #StrangeButGood). It’s my new go-to salad dressing.

Italian Herb and Honey Goat Cheese Dressing (1 serving):

Night-Time Snack: The above truffles!

Also not pictured is the ridiculous amount of water I consume.

Link up time!

Peas and Crayons

Thanks to Jenn for hosting WIAW!

Sprint 2 the Table

Thanks to Laura for hosting #StrangeButGood!

RecipeFUriday

Thanks to Kierston for hosting #RecipeFriday!

| Kaci

Pumped Up Sweet Potatoes

This super easy recipe is great for a post workout meal, snack, or side dish.

It is similar to the PB&J Sweet Potato recipe I posted a while back, but with a protein “boost.”

 Pumped Up Sweet Potatoes

Pumped Up Sweet Potatoes

1/ Mix all ingredients.

2/ Top with berries.

3/ Eat!

Nutrition ( calculated using 1/3 scoop protein, includes berries)

Pumped Up Sweet Potatoes Nutrition

Linking up!

1

2

Check out all the #StrangeButGoodness with Laura and #RecipeFriday with Kierston.

 

*I am planning to do a review on this brand and their amazing flavors soon. This is by far the best whey protein line I have tried.

Green Pancakes {High Protein}

st-patricks-day-green-food-link-up
Check out the link-up love at The Healthy Maven!

I love that this recipe only requires a blender to prepare the batter! I am all about saving time when making meals.

These pancakes are great to make ahead and freeze for a healthy breakfast on the run during the week. I often make a batch on weekends and pre-bag them into servings for for my husband to grab when he needs something quick. Just pop them in the microwave to thaw and you’re done! The flavor is wonderful, and they hold their own without syrup. If you have a less hectic morning, feel free to top them with some fresh fruit or sugar free syrup.

They offer a well balanced meal–complete with protein, healthy carbs, and even a sneaky dose of veggies. You can’t taste the spinach at all! =)

High in fiber and protein, so you’ll stay full for hours.

Green Pancakes

Makes 16 Pancakes (4 inches in diameter)

Ingredients:

Directions:

1/ In a blender, grind oats and cereal until you get a flour.

2/ Add protein powder, cinnamon, and baking powder and blend until mixed.

3/ Add all wet ingredients and blend until smooth.

4/ Cook over medium heat until they begin to bubble(about 3 minutes); flip and cook until done.

Nutrition is per pancake of 16 (about 4 inches in diameter). We usually eat 3-4 for breakfast.

Green Pancakes Nutrition

Linking up with Laura for #StrangButGood

1

 

 

 

 

Also with Kierston for #RecipeFriday

2

Valentine Superfood Truffles {AKA post-workout protein power balls}

Image

Besides just tasting good(I enjoy eating!), I believe that most of what I eat should serve a purpose. This recipe satisfies my post-workout recovery needs, but can also pass as a stunning treat. With the ingredients used, these qualify as nutritional wonders that are decadent enough to be dessert. Perfect for a Valentine’s day treat!

Because recovery should be rewarding.

****Update: I have decided that the blood orange version is one of my favorite kitchen creations to date! The flavor combo and intensity are just spectacular! The chocolate is also fantastic. Don’t be afraid to try it even if you aren’t a fan of berry flavored things, as the chocolate flavor steals the show.****

Valentine Superfood Truffles {AKA post-workout protein power balls} By: Kaci Cheeseman

Classy or sassy. You decide.

Ingredients:

For the truffles:

  • 2 oz Pomegranate juice (I used this one)
  • 1 oz/28g dried goji berries
  • 1 cup/140g frozen dark sweet cherries; no sugar added
  • 1 blood orange, about 160g, peeled and seeds removed
  • 8 scoops Vanilla Pea Protein Powder (or another vegetarian/vegan protein powder; don’t sub for whey or you will end up with mush!)
  • sweetener of choice to taste, if needed (I used about 1 cup splenda granular)
  • optional: red food coloring if needed/desired

For rolling:

  • 1 TBSP coconut oil, melted
  • 0.5oz/14g goji berries, ground in the food processor
  • 6 packets of Truvia
  • 2 tsp/5g lucuma powder
  • optional: red food coloring if needed, gloves, if desired, for food handling

Instructions:

1/ Let goji berries soak in pomegranate juice to soften for a few hours, or overnight.
2/ In a blender or food processor, add the berries and juice, cherries, blood orange, and sweetener (if using), and process into a liquid.
3/  In a medium bowl, mix protein powder and liquid until you get a dough. If you want to adjust the color, add a few drops of red food coloring.
4/ Place in a plastic bag and chill for an hour or so in the fridge to make it easier to work with.
5/ Roll into balls. I got about 52 out of the batch at 0.5 oz each.
6/ Melt coconut oil.
7/ Place the processed goji berries, lucuma, and truvia in a shallow dish. You could also add food coloring here too, if you want a more pink tint. Just mix a few drops with the truvia first, then add that to the rest.
8/ Use the melted oil to coat hands(I prefer using gloves for this step) and roll each ball in your hands to coat with a little oil. Then roll them in the coating mix. If giving as a gift, place each in a mini muffin cup liner- get creative!
9/ Chill, if you can wait, and enjoy!
10/ Store in the refrigerator up to a week, or you can freeze them. (Makes about 10 servings of 5/serving)

For a chocolate version:

1/ Omit the blood orange.
2/ Use 7 scoops of the protein powder and 6 TBSP/30g Hershey Special Dark Cocoa powder.
3/  1+ 1/4 cup frozen berries of choice(I used 1/2 cup cherries and 3/4 cup blueberries).
4/ Add more sweetener to compensate for the cocoa.
5/ Roll in Lucuma and top with a single goji berry. (Makes 8 servings of 4 per serving)

Nutrition:

1 serving: 5 Truffles

1 Serving: 4 Truffles

That’s What I Ate Wednesday post-workout!

What I Ate Wednesday: Love Your Veggies

Check out what everyone else is eating too at Jenn’s blog!!

Sprint 2 the Table

Linking up at the #StrangeButGood Valentine’s Day fun at Laura’s blog! Check out all the healthy red goodies!

RecipeFUriday

Also linking up for the first time at Kierston’s blog!

the great valentines day bake-off

In the spirit of love, I’m linking up at Davida’s blog too!

healthy bite recipe link up

Adding to Lindsay’s healthy bite round up!

Reader Questions:

Are you a fan of Valentine’s Day or not?

| Kaci

Double Chocolate Chunk Protein Brownies!

Once upon a time, there was a recipe. I decided to play around with it (go figure). It’s not that it wasn’t good; I was just inspired to take it in a different direction.

Fast forward a bit. One idea led to another…and to multiple experiments.

#Recipe rabbit trail.

This is one of those recipe rabbit trails. This is the version that ended up as a fudgy protein brownie.  A brownie that happens to be good for you, and yet still somehow manages to taste like it’s not.

It is nothing but magical. l think I chased that rabbit right into wonderland.

All I ask is that you trust me on the ingredients. #StrangeButGood

Image

Notes:

I found that the combination of the vanilla pea protein powder, PB 2, and oat flour worked best for taste and texture, and most resembled the fudge brownie quality I was trying to achieve.

I would NOT recommend using whey protein powder for this recipe. It will likely yield a gummy product. If you would like to substitute a different protein powder, I would suggest it be vegetable based/vegan. Keep in mind that taste of your product will vary based on the quality of the taste of your ingredients. I don’t know how they would turn out if you use all peanut flour or all protein powder. Any flour should substitute for the oat flour.

I did test the recipe with all oat flour, and it works, however, both my husband and myself did not think that the taste or texture were anywhere near as good as the high protein version. Which is weird, as usually the  opposite is true. Also, the nutrition/macros are obviously going to change.

To make oat flour, simply grind pre-measured oatmeal ina blender until fine.

Double Chocolate Chunk Protein Brownies 

By: Kaci Cheeseman

*I highly recommend using a kitchen scale to measure the ingredients for this recipe, as it will make a substantial difference in the final product . Even so, I have listed both weight and volume.

Ingredients:

  • 150 grams/a little over 0.5 cup black beans (low sodium canned, very well rinsed)
  • 138 grams/9 TBSP liquid egg whites
  • 112 grams/0.5 cups fat free cottage cheese
  •  4 oz/0.5 cup no sugar added apple sauce (or, possibly cooked sweet potato, pumpkin, maybe even Greek yogurt or more cottage cheese.  I don’t think banana would work due to flavor).
  • 120 grams Hass avocado (about one small, or ¾ of a medium)
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste, or vanilla extract
  • 40 grams/1 serving vanilla pea protein powder
  • 24 grams/2 servings PB 2
  • 20 grams oat flour (weigh 20 grams of plain rolled or quick oats, then process in a blender until flour)
  • 60 grams/12 TBSP Hershey Special Dark cocoa powder (*I WOULDN’T substitute for regular dutch…)
  • 3-5 cups (to taste, and based on the sweetness of your protein powder) Splenda granular (or equivalent sugar sub of choice)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1(or two!) double chocolate chunk quest bars, chopped (or a few TBSP chocolate chips, but macros will change)

Instructions:

1/ Preheat oven to 325 F.

2/ Combine all dry ingredients (except the quest bar) in a blender and mix until combined, and any lumps are broken up. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.

3/ Combine all wet ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth, stirring and scraping sides as needed.

4/ Add wet ingredients to the dry and mix until smooth.

5/ Stir in the chopped Quest bars.

6/ Spray an 8×8 in square pan with cooking spray and pour in the batter. It will be thick.

7/ Bake 30-35 minutes. Don’t over-bake! Keep checking them with a toothpick-you want them to be a little less cooked looking in the middle than the edges. When the toothpick comes out with gooey crumbles, take them out of the oven and cool on a wire rack. (If it comes out clean, they are too done!) Allow to cool. I find them best after chilling in the refrigerator and the chocolate bar sets up like chocolate chips.

MACROS:

Whole Recipe with 1 quest bar:

  • Calories: 1,146
  • Fat: 38.1
  • Protein: 106.4
  • Carbs: 154.1(Sugar: 19.9/Fiber: 69.1)

Whole Recipe with 2 quest bars:

  • Calories: 1,306
  • Fat: 44.1
  • Protein:126.4
  • Carbs: 179.1(Sugar: 20.9/Fiber: 85.1)

I prefer to use 2 quest bars and usually cut them into 9 or 12 servings so here are those macros:

1 Serving (based on 12 Servings):

1 Serving (Based on 9 Servings):

New Quest Bar Flavor!

Just a quick post to say that I am super excited…because…I was able to get a box of these bad boys yesterday!

They technically don’t even go on sale until tomorrow!

I can’t wait to try one! I am already brainstorming recipes….

Maybe more protein truffles

(Update! We now have these!!)

Honestly, I am surprised this wasn’t a flavor that Quest made sooner. Cookies and cream was definitely one of my top favorite flavors in junk food selections as a kid.

Reader Questions:

What is your favorite Quest flavor?

Do you eat them as is, or do you ever use them in recipes?

What flavor do you think would be a great addition to the family that they don’t already have? I am thinking gingerbread cookie, s’mores, shortbread, pecan pie, cake batter, oatmeal raisin, key lime, red velvet peppermint patty, or peppermint bark! Ok, I need to stop!

| Kaci

WIAW #2 + recipe

{WIAW} Peas and Crayons

Snow cone!

Image

 

So…no… that’s actually NOT part of my WIAW.

Yes. That was a joke. Yes. I am a nerd.

I live in Alabama…and we have snow. Which I am not so much used to. I am also not used to being confined indoors for this long except by choice. But, I get 3 PAID days off of work because we are under a “sate of emergency!” Woot!

Yep I will be saying this in about 5 months! Let it snow! #ecards #funny

It worked…

snow day

This is our “state of emergency.”

Anyway…back to the food.

coffee

Wake up…need coffee…ALWAYS.

————–

yogurt

 Meal #1 (preworkout)

1 cup Greek yogurt + splenda + 1 serving Advocare Arginine Extreme + 1 serving mango pineapple Advocare Rehydrate.

Not pictured. Morning shot! Inspired by Laura’s morning cocktail.

Morning Shot: Mix 1 TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar, 1 oz POM Hula, and 2 oz POM Coconut. Then…

Funny Party Ecard: Shots, shots, shots-shots, shots shots. Everybody.

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0nWySStZbM)

————–

Image

 Meal #2 (post workout)

Egg nog protein shake… recipe posted soon…

————–

Protein Brownies

Meal #3 (morning snack time!)

A (#StrangeButGood) protein brownie! SO excited to share this recipe soon…been working on it for for awhile. I still need some decent photos. I blame the delay on my hubby…I didn’t get pictures before they were attacked. Yup, they are THAT good. In his defense, he wasn’t aware the batch was for blog pics.

————–

PB&J Banana Wrap

 Meal #4 (Lunch)

PB&J Banana Wrap {recipe below}

————–

Pumpkin Protein Bar

Meal #5 (afternoon snack)

Pumpkin Protein Bars/Bread…another recipe not yet posted…

————–

shrimp avocado cream zoodles

 Meal #6 (Dinner)

I made a surf and turf version of Samantha’s Shrimp Avocado Cream Zoodles. Holy Yum!

————–

Green Monster Microwave Protein Cake

Meal #7 (before bed snackaroo!)

I have been experimenting/perfecting a few versions of microwave protein mug cakes. This version was vanilla-cinnamon with a gooey center of honey goat cheese, crushed walnuts, and raisins. Although, I guess you could say it was an angry muffin! (I tossed in a handful of spinach–I promise, you can’t taste it!)

————–

RECIPE: Cinnamon Oatmeal Flax Flatbread

oatmeal flax flatbread

Cinnamon Oatmeal Flax Flatbread (inspired by this recipe)

Ingredients:

  • 2 TBSP (10g) Oats, ground into flour
  • 2 tsp (8g) Flaxseed, ground into flaxmeal
  • 9 TBSP (136g) liquid egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 packets splenda

Directions

1/ Mix all ingredients together.

2/ Cook in a small non-stick pan on medium heat like a pancake, about 3 minutes, then flip and cook for about another 3 minutes.

PBJ Banana Wrap

Topped with 2 TBSP of PB 2, 2 TBSP of sugar free strawberry preserves, and sliced banana. Side of sugar free maple syrup for dipping!

Thanks to Jenn at Peas and Crayons!

PB&J Sweet Potatoes (#StrangeButGood)

I am convinced that peanut butter and sweet potatoes were meant for each other! My hubby on the other hand… not so much. When I announced this, he gave me a look that I often get from others in reference to the foods I eat (#strangebutgood).

Even if you don’t agree with me on the PB and sweet potatoes, you have to admit that peanut butter and jelly are soul mates.

This recipe brings the two ideas together!

(I promised to post this recipe a while back. I am finally getting around to it!)

Image

PB & J Sweet Potatoes (adapted from this recipe)

Ingredients:

  • 1 sweet potato, cooked, cooled, and peeled(about 120 grams)
  • 1/8 cup milk
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 oz sugar free maple syrup
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla extract(or, vanilla butter and nut extract! *my favorite*)
  • sweetener, to taste(may not need it, depending on the potatoes) I used 1/8 cup Splenda granular
  • 48 grams/8 TBSP PB2
  • 2 TBSP sugar free strawberry preserves

Directions:

1/ Mix the first 6 ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth.

2/ Add the PB 2 and continue mixing until well incorporated.

3/ Divide into 2 servings, and top each with a TBSP of preserves.

Image

Great for an in-between meals boost!

Macros Per Serving (recipe yields 2 servings):

  • Calories: 172
  • Fat: 3.2 g
  • Carbs: 32.7(fiber: 6g, net sugars: 11.4g)
  • Protein: 11.5 g

Check out the rest of the party at:

http://www.sprint2thetable.com/2014/01/strange-good-recipe-trials/

Thanks to our hostess, Laura!

Pumped-Up Hummus (#StrangeButGood)

strangebutgood

I am always looking for a way to get the most out of my time spent in meal prep. If I can prep one item and meet two needs, it is a real time saver!

I came up with the idea for this recipe in an effort to give my hummus an extra “boost” of protein. That way, I could avoid having to prep an additional protein source for my meal. While I don’t meticulously track calories, I keep a fairly good account of my intake with the LoseIt! application. This has really helped me to make sure I am meeting my macros for gaining lean muscle (one of my main fitness goals).

You can use your favorite hummus for this recipe. I usually make my own, but was running short on time and used pre-made.

I love that the addition of the egg whites and cottage cheese resulted in a less dense and almost whipped-style final product!

 

Image

PUMPED-UP HUMMUS

Ingredients:

1 container (17 oz) Sabra Garden Hummus

460g liquid egg whites(or the whites of 10 eggs)

150g Fat Free Cottage Cheese

½ tsp smoked paprika

¼ tsp garlic salt

Directions:

1/ Cook the egg whites in a frying pan sprayed with cooking spray until set(like you would make an omelet, but just flip and cook through without stuffing and folding).

2/ Allow to cool for a few minutes after cooking.

3/ Place the cooked egg whites and all remaining ingredients in a blender or food processor and run until smooth.

4/ Serve with raw veggies, rolled up in deli meat, as a spread on wraps/sandwiches, or however else you like to use your hummus!!

Image

Feeling really experimental? Try this: cook 2 eggs over-easy, then top with some diced tomatoes, , hummus, a couple crumbled Morningstar Farms veggie sausage links (or your turkey/chicken/veggie sausage of preference) and a TBSP or two of nutritional yeast! I know it sounds odd, but if you are a fan of runny yolks, it is pheNOMenal!!

Image

Don’t forget to stop in at the #strange but good headquarters!

Reader Question:

What is your favorite hummus flavor?

| Kaci

Cottage Cheese Power Bowl(#Strange But Good)

What do you get when you combine an empty belly and a very bare fridge? Often times at my house, you get #strangebutgood.

Image

Without having a lot on hand to work with, I basically just threw together some random ingredients that sounded like they might work. The result was shockingly delicious! This happy little accident has since been one of my go-to quick and easy meals. It is often in my weekly meal prep rotation, as it makes for an easy lunch at work.

While I have gotten numerous comments on how yummy it looks and smells (garlic + Parmesan always = win), I have also gotten some stares from picky less experimental eaters. So, I’m filing this one under #strangebutgood, and participating in the link-up love! See more on Laura’s page!

Image

Cottage Cheese Power Bowl

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup fat free cottage cheese
  • 1/5 of an avocado (30g/1 oz)
  • 1/4 cup chopped tomato
  • 1 TBSP Parmesan-Romano cheese
  • 1 TBSP nutritional yeast
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/8 sp Greek seasoning
  • 1 serving Sami’s Italian Herb Millet and Flax Chips

Directions:

1/ Throw all ingredients except the chips in a bowl and mix well.

2/ Use the chips to scoop up your concoction, or try it my favorite way: crumble them over the top and inhale it enjoy eating it with a spoon.

Approximate Nutritionals:

Calories: 325

Fat: 9.5g

Carbs: 35 (fiber 12g)

Protein: 25g

Reader question:

Do you avoid taking odd things to work to eat?

|Kaci