Carrot Cake Protein Smoothie

If you don’t like carrot cake, then, well…. who doesn’t like carrot cake?! Definitely my favorite cake due to the moist sponge, abundance of spices and textures and not let’s not forget the cream cheese frosting! Although this recipe doesn’t replicate the frosting aspect of carrot cake, it does contain the flavours and is easy to whip up at any time of the day! I drink more smoothies on the weekend, but smoothies are the perfect grab and go breakfast and this will definitely satisfy any sweet tooth!

Macros: 234kcal; 33g protein, 18g carbs, 3g fat

Ingredients

  • 3/4 scoop vanilla whey (I used Dymatize vanilla whey isolate)
  • 1/2 scoop cinnamon/snickerdoodle whey (I used PeScience snickerdoodle whey blend)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 150ml unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 200ml carrot juice (I have tried this recipe with shredded carrots and it will result in you almost having to bite through your smoothie)
  • Handful of ice
  • (Optional: 15g raisins. This will make it sweeter and have a slightly thicker texture and will add approximately 45kcal and 12g carbs to your smoothie)

Method

  1. Add a few cubes of ice to a Nutribullet/blender. (I always do this first to avoid splashing the other ingredients everywhere!)
  2. Measure out the almond milk and carrot juice into the blender.
  3. Add the dry ingredients.
  4. Top up to the line on your blender with water.
  5. Blend until smooth.

-Benchpressingbaubles, x

Blueberry Muffin Protein Smoothie

Sunshine makes me want smoothies. They are refreshing and always seem somewhat more indulgent than a regular drink. Most smoothies in restaurants are laden with additional sugar, instead of embracing the natural fructose from fruit. I have been craving anything blueberry muffin flavored since my Mum started burning this blueberry waffle cone candle from Bath and Bodyworks, so this protein packed smoothie satisfied my tastebuds that had been teased by that delicious smell!

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Macros: 278kcal; 29g protein, 28g carbs, 5g fat

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (approximately 250ml)
  • 1 scoop vanilla whey (approximately 30g; I used Dymatize whey isolate)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 100g fresh/frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 20g oats/oat flour/instant oatmeal (I used Ready Brek)
  • Handful of ice
  • Water

Method

  1. Add a handful of ice cubes to a Nutribullet/blender.
  2. Measure out all your ingredients into your Nutribullet and add water until you reach the ‘maximum’ line.
  3. Blend until thoroughly mixed.

-Benchpressingbaubles, x

Cajun Cod and Dirty Rice

Cajun food is extremely popular in southern states – I typically associate it with Louisiana. Living in the south, cajun flavours and restaurants are fairly common. There is an abundance of spice in cajun cuisine, but also a lot of fat due to the high butter content. I rarely use any fat in my cooking methods because I think it is both useless if you have a good non-stick pan and I also don’t like the texture. This recipe excludes the butter, but definitely does not exclude any flavour! It is easy to prepare and cook and I don’t think that anyone would miss the butter! If you would like more of a seal on the fish, then I recommend adding a couple of tablespoons of corn starch to your seasoning. Catfish is often used in cajun cooking too, but is far less readily available than cod and I also don’t like the flavour of catfish very much. But, if you want to be truly authentic, I would substitute the cod for catfish. Enjoy!

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Macros per portion (based on 5 servings): 265kcal: 28g protein; 35g carbs; 0.5g fat

Ingredients

For the fish

  • 1.25 – 1.5lbs fresh or frozen cod (I used Trader Joes frozen Alaskan cod pieces)
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

For the rice

  • 200g long grain rice
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper

Method

*If you are using frozen fish, make sure it is thoroughly defrosted prior to use.

  1. On a large dinner plate, measure out the spices needed for the fish. Combine well to ensure each of the spices are evenly dispersed.
  2. In a small bowl, measure out and combine the spices needed for the rice.
  3. Cook the long grain rice according to packet instructions.
  4. While the rice is cooking, place the fish on the seasoned plate and ensure both sides of the cod are covered in the seasoning.
  5. Place a large non-stick pan over a high heat and add the fish when the pan is hot enough. Reduce the heat to medium and cook the fish for approximately 5 minutes per side. When the fish is cooked through, turn off the heat. (You may want to keep flipping the fish to ensure it doesn’t stick and that it doesn’t get over-cooked).
  6. Once the rice is cooked, add the spices from the bowl and stir well.
  7. Serve immediately – or portion out for a weekly lunch! I have teamed mine this week with steamed haricot verts and sliced fresh red bell pepper.

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-Benchpressingbaubles, x

 

 

 

Sweet and Sour Chicken with Udon Noodles

I typically associate Chinese food with being greasy take-outs with inconsistent quality (often resulting in stomach aches and regret the day after!) I love the flavor of sweet and sour chicken, but rarely eat it because of this. Most supermarket sauces, for me, are overly sweet and processed – this recipe is low calorie and SO much more delicious. It would work perfectly for an evening family meal as well as for a lunchtime weekly meal prep. I don’t recommend you eating this cold though, so if you haven’t got access to a microwave at work, save it for the evening!

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Macros per portion (based on 6 servings): 331kcal; 27g protein, 48g carbs, 2g fat

Ingredients

  • 1.2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 single serve packets sweetener
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp reduced salt and sugar ketchup
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch + 2 tbsp cold water
  • 4 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 21 oz Udon noodles
  • 36 oz broccoli
  • 10oz water chestnuts

Method

  1. Add sweetener, vinegar, coconut aminos, garlic powder, salt, pepper, onion powder and ketchup to a small pan. Stir and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer.
  2. In a small bowl, add the 1tbsp cornstarch to the 2tbsp cold water and stir thoroughly until the cornstarch has dissolved. Add to the saucepan and stir continuously until the sauce has thickened. Reduce the heat further and stir every couple of minutes to ensure the cornstarch doesn’t ‘clump’.
  3. Slice the chicken breast into small pieces and transfer to a large bowl. Add the 4tbsp cornstarch to the bowl and, with a large spoon, ensure each piece of the chicken is thoroughly coated.
  4. Place a medium non-stick pan over a high heat. Add the chicken only when the pan is hot enough that it ‘sizzles’ when it touches the pan. Cook the chicken over a high heat, flipping continuously to ensure it is cooked through and does not burn. Once cooked through, reduce the heat.
  5. Add the water chestnuts to the pan with the chicken and then add the sauce. Meanwhile, steam the broccoli and heat the Udon noodles. (I kept the peppers, broccoli and noodles separate from the chicken, but you can add these to the pan with the chicken if you want all the ingredients incorporated).
  6. Serve hot!

-Benchpressingbaubles, x

 

 

Thai Coconut Cod Curry

Thai curries are always so fragrant; this recipe makes use of homegrown, fresh and aromatic herbs and, combined with the creamy indulgence of the coconut milk, makes for a delicious curry. Paired with jasmine rice or noodles (or broccoli/cauliflower rice for a lower carb option), it will definitely be a meal that satsfies the whole family, or a meal that makes everyone jealous in the office when it is reheated!

Macros per portion (based on 3 servings): 286kcal; 31.4g protein, 20.1g carbs, 9.9g fat

cod and coconut curry

Ingredients

  • 1 large red bell pepper (approximately 200g), roughly chopped
  • 75g red onion, diced
  • 3 large zucchinis, sliced (approximately 650g)
  • 2 medium cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp Thai red curry paste
  • 1 can lite coconut milk
  • 1lb cod (I used Trader Joes frozen wild Alaskan cod pieces which I had defrosted the night before)
  • 8 leaves of fresh basil, chopped
  • 3 stalks of fresh lemongrass, chopped
  • 2 tsp Sriracha

Method

  1. Place a large, non-stick pan over a medium heat and add the red onion and garlic. Cook until soft and then add the zucchini and red bell pepper. Reduce the heat and cook for about 10 mins, stirring frequently to ensure all the vegetables are cooked.
  2. Once the vegetables are soft, but still holding their shape, remove from the heat and set the vegetables aside.
  3. In the same pan, add the cod to and cook over a low/medium heat until the fish is white and cooked through.
  4. Add the curry paste, basil, lemongrass and Sriracha and combine with the cod.
  5. Add the vegetables back to the pan with the curry paste and cod and pour in the can of coconut milk. Bring the pan to the boil and reduce the heat to a simmer.
  6. Cook for between 20 and 25 minutes, stirring frequently to ensure the sauce is well-combined, thickening and none of the vegetables are sticking.
  7. Remove from the heat and enjoy!

-Benchpressingbaubles, x

Spicy Maple Turkey Breast

I typically prefer chicken to turkey because I prefer the milder flavor of chicken, but I decided to change it up a bit and capitalize on the stronger flavor with a strong seasoning too. This is super simple to make, keeps the turkey breast moist and can be served with a multitude of veggies and other carb sources. It would make a great alternative to a family roast, and, best of all, is super easy to clean up!


Macros per portion (based on 7 servings): 105kcal; 23.5g protein, 0.3g carbs, 0.5g fat

Ingredients

1.5lbs skinless and boneless turkey breasts

3 tbsp Walden Farms pancake syrup

2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp dried Italian herbs

Pinch of black pepper

2 tsp water



Method

  1. In a small bowl, measure out the pancake syrup, cumin, paprika, herbs, black pepper and water. Stir thoroughly.
  2. Line a medium baking pan with foil and add the turkey breasts.
  3. With a large spoon, cover the turkey breasts with half of the marinade, turning the breasts to ensure both sides are covered. Leave to marinade for approximately 20 minutes.
  4. Preheat your oven to 450f.
  5. Cover the breasts with the remainder of the marinade and then cover with foil.
  6. Place in the center of your preheated oven and cook for 25 minutes, ensuring the breasts are cooked thoroughly through. By covering the turkey with foil, you will help to keep the breasts moist and also ensure the marinade stays on the turkey.
  7. Leave to rest for 5 minutes. Slice and serve! I have teamed mine with pearled Fargo, pan fried zucchini discs and raw sugar snap peas. This would work really well with a host of roasted veggies and potatoes!

-Benchpressingbaubles, x

Cacao and Diet Coke Turkey Chili

There are plenty of low fat, low carbohydrate chili recipes around, but I have found that these have lacked a real ‘sauce’ and that the ingredients haven’t knitted together very well. It has been a challenge for me to make a chili that didn’t taste like a healthy imitation… until now! The unusual additions of cacao and diet coke add real depth and color to the recipe. The key here is to cook it long and slow!

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Macros per portion (based on 5 servings): 224kcal; 29.1g protein, 23g carbs, 1.4g fat

Ingredients

  • 50g red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1.5 tbsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 0.5 tbsp ground cumin
  • 450g/16oz 99% lean ground turkey
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 can (approx 450g) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 15g cacao powder (cocoa powder would also work)
  • ½ can (approximately 115ml) diet Coke
  • 3 tbsp Cholula chili and lime hot sauce (any hot sauce/tabasco would work)

Method

  1. Place a large non-stick pan over a medium heat and cook the onion until soft, but still holding its shape.
  2. Add the ground turkey and cook until it is cooked through.
  3. Add in the chopped bell pepper, kidney beans, cayenne pepper, cumin and chopped tomatoes.
  4. Mix thoroughly and bring to the boil.
  5. Once the dish has reached the boil, reduce to a simmer and add in the cacao powder, diet Coke and hot sauce. Mix thoroughly.
  6. Place a lid over the pan and reduce the heat further, so the chili is very slightly bubbling. Cook for an hour – two hours, making sure to check on it frequently (the diet Coke may cause your stove to get messy if you don’t stir it every 15 minutes or so!) Once the sauce has formed together to the lovely thick, dark and rich color, the chili is ready.

This makes for a great family dinner, and can be kept cooking over a very low heat for hours. It is equally as good for a Tupperware lunch. I have prepared mine this week with either white jasmine rice and lettuce, or gnocchi.

Benchpressingbaubles, x

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