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!

20170430_122830.jpg

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

20170430_105118.jpg

Cilantro, Ginger and Lime Shrimp Bowl

I love the fragrance of cilantro and together with the kick from the ginger, onion and lime, this makes for a very flavorful low carb, low fat ‘bowl’. It is also a very ‘forgiving’ recipe, so although I have listed exact weights below, you can adapt these easily per your preferences without compromising on taste. For a higher carbohydrate option, add in jasmine rice, pinto beans or serve in a wrap, and for a higher fat option, why not add avocado or chili and lime seasoned nuts.

20170424_140649.jpg

Macros (per portion, based on 5 servings): 227kcal; 24.7g protein, 26.6g carbs, 2.3g fat.

Ingredients

· 500g broccoli, riced (either bought ready riced, or, in a food processor, blitz the stalks of the broccoli on the chop setting to form a rice-like consistency).

· 1 pack/425g shrimp (cooked weight. If using raw, then approximately 500g).

· 50g red onion, diced.

· 1 red bell pepper, chopped.

· 75g fresh cilantro, finely chopped.

· 5g (approximately 2cm/0.75”) fresh ginger, minced.

· Juice of 1 fresh lime.

· 1 tin (approximately 450g) black beans, thoroughly rinsed.

· 500ml water.

· Pinch of salt.

· Pinch of black pepper.

Method

1. Place a large, non-stick frying over a medium heat and add the red onion. Cook until soft.

2. Add in the riced broccoli, half of the cilantro, ginger, salt, pepper and water and cook until the broccoli has absorbed almost all the water (approximately 10 minutes).

3. Stir in the black beans, lime juice and shrimp. Cook for a further 5 minutes over a low heat.

4. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the remainder of the cilantro. Serve immediately, or portion out for lunches. This meal tastes great cold or hot, so is perfect for your lunchbox!

Benchpressingbaubles, x

Garlic Chicken, Broccoli and Artichoke ‘Spaghetti’

Spaghetti squash is a great lower carb alternative to spaghetti – 1 cooked squash yields heaps of volume! The most difficult part of this recipe is cutting the raw squash – don’t do so when hangry!

spaghetti squash

Macros per portion (based on 5 servings): 210kcal; 30g protein, 20g carbs, 2g fat

Ingredients

  • 1/2 raw spaghetti squash (you can use the whole squash, my macros were just limited!)
  • 1 lb raw boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 can artichoke hearts
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 garlic and herb light cheese wedges
  • 850g broccoli (feel free to use less broccoli than this!)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 375f. Using a large knife (and plenty of muscle!) slice the spaghetti squash in half. Remove the seeds and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and place the squash face down on the sheet. Place in the center of your preheated oven for 45 minutes.
  3. Season the chicken with black pepper, cumin, parsley and garlic powder and wrap in foil. Place in the center of the oven, alongside the squash, for 30 minutes.
  4. When the squash is soft, and the flesh comes away from the skin slightly, remove the flesh. It should ‘peel’ away in strands of spaghetti. Transfer to a large bowl.
  5. Steam the broccoli (or cook on the stove top) until just cooked.
  6. Heat a large non-stick pan over a medium heat. Finely slice the red onion and add the onion and garlic to the pan. Cook until soft. Drain the artichoke hearts and finely chop.
  7. Add the artichoke, broccoli and spaghetti squash to the pan. Mix well and turn off the heat.
  8. Add the cheese triangles to the mixture and allow the heat of the veggies to melt the cheese.
  9. Portion out into containers and top with the cooked chicken.

-Benchpressingbaubles, x

 

 

Molten Chocolate Protein Lava Cake

Who doesn’t love chocolate?! This molten chocolate lava cake tastes so indulgent, but is so low calorie, 2 portions are definitely acceptable! The cooking times may vary, depending on your microwave and the protein powder you use. I have used whey isolate, which is not very ‘forgiving’ when cooked, but is ‘cleaner’ than a whey/casein blend. If you are looking for a great protein powder to cook with, then definitely a protein powder that is a blend would be easier. I have yet to find a chocolate protein blend that tastes as good as this whey isolate though!

choc cake with sauce

Macros: 165kcal; 31g protein, 4.3g carbs, 1.3g fat

Ingredients

  • 32g (1 scoop) Dymatize double fudge brownie whey isolate
  • 5g cacao powder (you could use cocoa powder)
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 3 tbsp (approx 1) egg white
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

Optional extra for a chocolate peanut butter cake: 5g powdered peanut butter. (Note, macros will change).

choc cake raw ing

Method

  1. In a small, microwave safe bowl, weigh out the dry ingredients. Combine well with a teaspoon to ensure that there are no lumps!
  2. Add in the wet ingredients and combine thoroughly.
  3. Microwave for between 25 and 50 seconds, depending on desired consistency. From my experience:
    • 25 – 35 seconds = a hot chocolate sauce.
    • 35 – 40 seconds = molten chocolate lava cake (some parts cooked like a cake, other parts are a hot chocolate sauce).
    • 40 – 50 seconds = a fully cooked cake.
  4. Enjoy as it is or, my recommendations for toppings are berries, nut butter or Halo Top ice-cream. In the picture below, I have added toffee Epic Spreads nut butter.

-Benchpressingbaubles, x

choc cake with peanut butter

 

Shredded chicken in a garlic and red pepper sauce with pearled farro

I first discovered farro when exploring the ‘healthy’ menu at the Cheesecake Factory. It is a great carbohydrate that is lower in carbs than rice. Each grain is quite ‘thick’ and crunchy and it is becoming more common in salads, soups and as a side too. It adds a great comparative texture to the shredded chicken here, and when calories are lower, I have found that different texture combinations are important to my levels of content!

Farro dish

Macros per portion (based on 5 servings, with the addition of steamed broccoli): 193kcal; 23g protein, 23.6g carbs, 1.3g fat

Ingredients

  • 375g boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 200g (approx 1 whole) red bell pepper
  • 300g (approx 1 can) chopped tomatoes
  • 1 fresh green chilli
  • 1 tbsp fajita seasoning
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 30g red onion
  • 2 tsp cayenne chilli pepper
  • 50g mushrooms
  • 110g pearled farro (feel free to add more farro, my macros limited how much farro I could use, but 1 serving is 45g dry).

Method

  1. Thoroughly rinse the farro. Bring a medium pan of water to the boil and add the farro. When the water starts to bubble, reduce the heat and cook for 25 minutes. (Keep checking the water levels as the farro absorbs water similar to quinoa).Add more water if necessary. Allow to cool.
  2. Preheat your oven to 350f. Season the chicken with the fajita seasoning and cover in foil. Bake in the centre of your oven for 30 minutes. Cooking in the foil will help to keep the chicken moist and juicy!
  3. Roughly chop the red onion, garlic, red pepper, mushrooms and chilli. Add to a small pan, along with the chopped tomatoes and cayenne pepper (this can be omitted if you don’t like spice!). Cook for approximately 10 minutes over a medium heat until the vegetables start to soften.
  4. Allow the sauce to cool. When the sauce has cooled, blend in a Nutribullet/blender (may have to do in a couple of batches) to create a thick sauce.
  5. When the chicken has cooked, transfer to a large bowl. Using two forks, ‘pull’ the chicken apart to shred it. Top the chicken with the sauce and combine well.
  6. Portion out the farro and chicken for easy lunches for the week. I steamed some broccoli to accompany, but would work well with corn, asparagus or peas too!

-Benchpressingbaubles, x

Smoky paprika and cracked black pepper ‘French Fries’

Fries get a bad name in the health and fitness world, with the only acceptable alternative seeming to be sweet potato fries. In fact, oven baked fries from the grocery store are a good source of carbohydrates and relatively low in fat, so don’t fear the good old regular chip (in the British sense of the word!) If you would like a lower calorie, fat free, low carb alternative though, then these Fries are your answer! They are super simple, time efficient, versatile and flavoursome…the perfect side dish!

polenta-fries.jpg

Macros per portion (based on 5 servings): 60kcal; 1g protein, 14g carbs, 0g fat

Ingredients

1 pack (500g) cooked polenta

1 tbsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp pink Himalayan salt (or any salt)

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Method

1. Preheat your oven to 350f.

2. On a chopping board, slice the polenta roll in half. Lay the polenta halves with the flat side down on the board.

3. Slice the polenta into strips (about half a centimeter in width). If the strips are too long, then slice in half.

4. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and transfer the polenta onto it.

5. Sprinkle the polenta with the salt, crack half the pepper over the top along with half of the paprika. Using a spoon, lightly move the polenta so the seasoned side is face down. Add the remainder of the seasoning and ensure each piece of polenta is covered.

6. Transfer to the oven and cook for 10 minutes.

7. After 10 minutes, remove from the oven. Shake the tray and transfer to the oven for a further 10 – 15 minutes (depending on how crispy you like your fries!)

8. Serve immediately! The seasoning is easily substituted for any alternatives. Some suggestions are: mixed herbs and garlic; coconut oil or cinnamon and paprika for a sweet and savory mix.

-Benchpressingbaubles, x