Crustless Quiche Cups

Today was my day off, yay! I started my morning off by relaxing on the couch watching this week’s episode of “The Following” with my big cup of coffee. And then I made some Crustless Quiche Cups for breakfast! Perfectly pre-portioned, low carb and high protein. I made mine in a 6-cup jumbo muffin pan, so if you use a 12-cup muffin pan, be sure to adjust the cooking time.

securedownload (9)

What you need:
1-2 teaspoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/3 cup chopped green bell pepper
6 eggs
1.5 cups liquid egg whites (~8 egg whites)
1/4 cup milk
Thin slices of cheddar cheese (~2 ounces total)
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease your muffin pan using cooking spray and set aside. Heat oil in a medium sized frying pan on low.
Add garlic, veggies, salt and pepper and saute for 8-10 minutes, stirring every few minutes.

securedownload (15)

 

While veggies are cooking, whisk together eggs, egg whites and milk.

securedownload (14)

 

Divide egg mixture evenly between your muffin cups, and spoon veggies into each cup.

securedownload (12)

 

securedownload (11)

Top with thin slices of cheese

securedownload (10)

 

Pop them in the oven for 25 minutes or until the centers are set!

securedownload (8)

securedownload (16)

 

YUMMY!

Calories: 153
Fat: 9 grams
Carbs: 3 grams
Protein: 16 grams

Advertisements

Black Bean Veggie Burgers

For years, I ate Morningstar Farms Veggie Burgers almost every day. And then I discovered a recipe for Black Bean Veggie Burgers, and I haven’t looked back. Frozen veggie burgers are ridiculously expensive ($5 for 4 burgers? No thanks.) Plus, I’m making a conscious effort to not eat any convenience food. I’m not sure where I found the original recipe, but I’ve tweaked it to my own taste, and I love it.

What you need:
1/2 medium sized onion, cut into wedges
1/2 green bell pepper, cut into wedges
2-3 cloves of garlic
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 egg
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
Salt and pepper to taste

Pulse onion, pepper and garlic in a food processor a few times. Add oats and set aside. (Don’t pulse – let the oats soak up the juices from the vegetables. You could transfer the veggies into another bowl and add the oats, but I don’t like doing extra dishes.) Place beans in a medium bowl. Mash with a fork or potato masher until it’s somewhat pasty. Add veggie/oat mix, egg, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper to beans. Stir well to combine. Shape into 6 patties. Either wrap each individual patty in plastic wrap and freeze or to cook, heat 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil in a frying pan on low. Cook burger on each side for 5-7 minutes. Avoid flipping more than once – burgers can fall apart pretty easily. Check to make sure the edges are brown before flipping!

securedownload (7)

Perfect consistency of the mashed beans

securedownload (5)

Big, goopy mess before it turns into beautiful burgers.

securedownload (6)

This is how I freeze them – they don’t get stuck together, and they don’t take up a lot of room.

Oneonta-20121105-01978

Even Baby wants my veggie burger.

Oatmeal Blueberry Banana Bread

I was in the baking mood yesterday, which can be dangerous. I looked through my Healthy Food board on Pinterest and picked out an Oatmeal Blueberry Banana Bread to try out. So delicious. I made it yesterday afternoon, and there’s only one slice left. My mom and I pretty much devoured it. Oh well.

Image

Head on over to Ambitious Kitchen for the recipe. I highly recommend it! The only slight change I made was that I used half whole wheat flour, half all-purpose flour and a cup of frozen berries instead of 3/4 cup. Next time, I want to use all whole wheat flour, and I also want to bake them as muffins, which are more portion controlled than a loaf of bread. (I kept taking a huge slice and thinking “hmm, close enough to on serving.” See? Baked goods don’t stand a chance around this girl.)

Vegan Chili

I started making vegan chili a few years ago. I had never had chili before, never had black beans, so I didn’t know what to expect but I tried it out and loved it. I’ve tweaked the recipe a little since the first time making it, and I change it up every now and then by adding tempeh or other beans or veggies, but generally this is how I make it. This can make two big portions or three decent sized portions.

20130207-204311.jpg

What you need:

2 teaspoons olive oil
2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 of a green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 of a red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 of an onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup vegetable broth
Cumin
Chili Powder
Red Pepper Flakes

(I don’t really measure the spices. I add some then add more as it cooks to my personal taste.)

Saute the garlic, peppers, carrots and onions in olive oil for 7-10 minutes on medium-low heat until the onions become slightly translucent. Add beans, tomatoes, vegetable broth and spices. Stir and cover, reduce heat to low and let it simmer for an hour or so. Check on it frequently to stir and add more spices if necessary. When the carrots aren’t crunchy anymore, it’s done! Serve by itself or over brown rice. You could also make this in a slow cooker on low for 7-8 hours, but saute the veggies first before throwing everything in.

20130207-204240.jpg

20130207-204249.jpg

20130207-204257.jpg

20130207-204303.jpg

20130207-204324.jpg

One of my favorite meals to have in the wintertime!

Perfect smoothies

Smoothies are wonderful. The options are endless. Almost any fruit combination works, and you can add anything from spinach or kale to flax seed. I make mine with greek yogurt (protein, yay!) and a combination of fresh/frozen fruit. Never ice or milk. Ice never crushes that well in my blender, plus it gets watered down. Milk always got too frothy. Yesterday I made a yummy smoothie, and I thought I’d share. What I used:

One cup of frozen blueberries

20130205-140803.jpg

One medium banana, sliced (my slices were slightly frozen)
20130205-140810.jpg

One cup fresh strawberries
20130205-140823.jpg

One cup plain greek yogurt and a splash (~1/4 cup) of juice to get things moving a little easier.

20130205-140831.jpg

Yum. Blend away!
20130205-140837.jpg

Perfect consistency, thickness, and it tasted damn good. 
20130205-140844.jpg

No added sugar (unless you count the splash of juice, which contained probably 2 grams of sugar) and full of protein, vitamins and minerals. Perfect snack!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana “Ice Cream”

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana “Ice Cream” – another one of my favorite healthy alternatives! This stuff may or may not be one of my favorite things ever. I love ice cream. Way too much. Unfortunately, there’s REALLY nothing about it that makes it remotely healthy. I could practice portion control and moderation, but just like any other decadent sweet treat, once I start, I can’t stop.

I discovered this pseudo-ice cream recipe on Pinterest, tried it out, and fell in love. Chocolate, peanut butter and bananas are one of my favorite combinations.

20130204-213425.jpg

All you need for one serving:
1 cup frozen banana slices (approximately 1 large banana)
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

(You might want to let your bananas thaw slightly for 20-30 minutes prior to making.) Combine everything in a food processor and pulse until well blended. Either serve right away for soft-serve consistency or freeze. You can make multiple servings ahead of time and keep in the freezer to enjoy at a later date. (My bananas weren’t frozen enough, so it wasn’t as thick, but it still tastes amazing.)

20130204-213433.jpg

So good! And it has healthy fats, protein and carbs. It’s a well balanced dessert. Win-win!

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

A few months ago, I found a recipe that would be the perfect alternative to traditional homemade mac and cheese, which is one of my all-time favorite meals. Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese! I found the recipe on SparkRecipes.com and fell in love. I love butternut squash, so if you don’t, you may not like this recipe, but it’s worth a try. This is the original recipe, but I made a few changes here and there. Mmm, doesn’t it look good?

20130128-224947.jpg

_______________________________
What  you’ll need:

3 cups cubed butternut squash (about a pound or so)
1 cup vegetable broth
1.5 cups milk (I use 2%)
1 12-ounce box whole wheat pasta
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add pasta and cook when the water is ready.* Meanwhile, combine squash, milk, broth, salt and pepper in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil and let it simmer until squash is tender and turn off heat. Mash contents of saucepan, and add the cheddar, Parmesan and ricotta cheeses. Drain pasta and transfer to 9×9 casserole or baking dish. Stir in squash/cheese mixture and mix around so it’s evenly distributed. Top with mozzarella cheese. Cover with lid or foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove lid and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Serves 8.

*I under-cook my pasta by a minute or two. It will continue cooking once it’s in the oven. If you don’t want mushy pasta, under-cook it a little!

Calories: 378
Fat: 17 grams
Carbs: 40 grams
Protein: 20 grams

Traditional Mac and Cheese can have upwards of 600 calories and 30 grams of fat for one serving. I love my healthier alternative!

Plyometrics, barbells and groceries

This won’t be a very informative post; my energy and excitement is minimal today. A few months ago, we found out that my 14-year-old kitty has oral cancer, and he was doing okay for awhile but it seems like he’s starting to go downhill more and more each day. Just looking at him makes me want to cry because I know what we’ll have to do eventually.

I distracted/tortured myself with a 20-minute Plyometric (jump training) workout. I love (and hate) Plyometrics. I compiled a list of 20 Plyo moves, and I did each one for 20 seconds and rested for 10, and did that sequence twice (after a brief 3 minute break between sets). I felt like my legs were going to fall off…but in a good way. I might post the workout tomorrow, so stay tuned. AND THEN, after that torturous 20-ish minutes, I ventured down to the basement to dust off and use the old bench down there. But first I had to move all of the booze and soda. How ridiculous is this? It didn’t go as well as I had hoped; there’s simply too much junk down there so I have to relocate it or relocate the junk.

20130124-193032.jpg

And what makes me happier than Plyometrics? Grocery shopping for good food. (Chocolate is a vegetable, okay?)

20130124-193744.jpg

I found a recipe for Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk cookies from How Crazy Cooks, which is what the chocolate was for. And I loved them! I had to pop them in the freezer or else the entire batch would’ve been gone by tonight. Sigh, hopefully tomorrow I’ll have a better blog post.

Vegetable Lasagna

Boyfriend requested Vegetable Lasagna for dinner last night, to which I replied, “Sure, why not?” I had never made lasagna, so I had NO IDEA that it would take FOR-FREAKING-EVER between boiling the noodles, prepping the veggies and assembling the entire thing, AND I was doing dishes for what felt like a lifetime. The entire time, I kept telling him, “YOU BETTER LIKE THIS LASAGNA, OR ELSE I’M NEVER MAKING DINNER FOR YOU AGAIN.” But it was worth all of the work because it was ahhhhhh-mazing. Boyfriend thought so too. I gave myself a well-deserved pat on the back.

72813_10151405726139400_2073457348_n

I didn’t really keep track of any measurements when I made this. (Oops?) But I used an entire box of Ronzoni Healthy Harvest lasagna noodles, a 16 ounce block of whole milk mozzarella (cheaper than shredded), an entire batch of my homemade marinara (recipe posted below), maybe 4-5 ounces of reduced fat Ricotta, 2-3 cups fresh chopped broccoli, 2-3 cups kale, a small thing of sliced mushrooms, half of red bell pepper and half of a green bell pepper chopped into smaller pieces. And then I just did the whole layering business. Sauce on the bottom, noodles, veggies, sauce, cheese, noodles, veggies, sauce, cheese. Or something like that. I winged it. And it was good.

I’m not a fan of store-bought marinara, so I always make my own:
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1/4-1/2 cup EVOO
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2-1 tsp Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste

Saute garlic and Italian seasoning in olive oil in a stock pot on low for 3-4 minutes. Add tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste. Let simmer for at least an hour. The more it simmers, the better it will taste! Stir occasionally and add salt and pepper to taste. (Tip: if your pot isn’t very deep, invest in a splatter screen OR if you’re cheap like me and don’t want to buy one, poke lots of holes in a piece of aluminum foil and place over the pot. BOOM. Makeshift splatter screen.)

Now it’s time for some football! Between the 49ers and Falcons, I really don’t care who wins. I’ll root for either one in the Superbowl. I’m just crossing my fingers that the Ravens beat the Patriots. As a Giants fan, I would not be happy seeing the Patriots in the Superbowl.

High-Protein Oatmeal Banana Pancakes

I love breakfast. No really, I absolutely LOVE breakfast food, especially the ones that can be high in fat, sugar and flour: pancakes, muffins, waffles, french toast; oh yum.

Awhile back, I discovered a recipe for Blueberry Pancakes (original recipe: http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=416405) that are high in protein, low in fat and have zero flour. It’s super quick and easy to make, plus you can make it the night before and cook them the next morning for breakfast. I rarely have blueberries on hand in the wintertime (you could use frozen) so when I make mine, I use a banana instead and add some peanut butter in the batter for a little more protein. And then I eat the whole batch.

For my version (no added sugar/sweetener), all you need:

1/2 cup old fashioned oats
3 egg whites or 1/2 cup liquid egg whites
1 banana, broken into smaller pieces
1 Tablespoon of peanut butter
Dash of cinnamon

Throw it all in a blender and process until everything is combined. Let it sit for at least 5 minutes, then cook them up like regular pancakes. You can top them with maple syrup, fresh strawberries slices, apple slices, or even more peanut butter (not included in nutritional information).

Calories: 428
Carbs: 61 grams
Fat: 12 grams
Protein: 25 grams

20130118-133111.jpg

20130118-133103.jpg

I love this recipe. This is a great pre- or post-workout meal. There are so many ways you can make these, and I love experimenting with different fruit and toppings!