Lemon And Vanilla Cheesecake

When I first came to visit in America, the Cheesecake Factory fascinated me! Never had I seen such gigantic portions or such lavish cakes! It was the ultimate ‘American’ experience, something that I ate 2 slices of after my first ever fitness photoshoot! The concept that you can eat cheesecake without blowing a whole day’s worth of calories seems impossible, yet I promise you, this recipe is a tried and trusted low calorie favorite that tastes like the real day. It is also prepared in a flash and so easy to modify according to what flavors you prefer! How about a chocolate cheesecake? Simply reduce the lemon juice to 1 tbsp, use 2 scoops of chocolate protein powder and add in 2tbsp cocao/cocoa powder. If pumpkin is more your thing, add 1/2 can pumpkin to the mixture and use cinnamon protein powder. It is definitely a recipe where you can get very creative!

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Macros per slice (based on 6 servings): 153kcal; 18.3g protein, 16g carbs, 1.7g fat

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 scoops protein powder of choice
  • 2 packs of fat free (or reduced fat) cream cheese
  • 30g sweetener
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

Method

  1. Allow the cream cheese to come to room temperature (if you are in a rush, you can microwave it in 20 second increments until it is soft).
  2. Preheat your oven to 300F.
  3. Add all the ingredients to a medium-sized mixing bowl, and, using a handheld mixer, whisk until the batter is fully combine.
  4. Line a 8″ baking tin with parchment paper – only necessary on the bottom provided you grease the sides of the tin.
  5. Add the batter to the tin and cook in the center of your preheated oven for 45 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin.
  7. Refridgerate for a minimum of 3 hours before serving – it will keep for at least 10 days!

-Benchpressingbaubles, x

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Spiced Apple, Cinnamon & Nutmeg Cake

One slightly cooler morning and it got me craving autumnal flavors! With winter desserts typically heavy and comforting, it can often be a challenge to replicate the flavors and sentiments for a healthy alternative. Here, the spices are key; this cake tastes like autumn in a mouthful! The portions could easily be made smaller, and, if you have a medium sized loaf pan, this recipe would be fantastic served as sliced, spiced apple bread.

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Macros per quarter of the cake: 219kcal; 23.9g protein, 24.8g carbs (5.6g fiber), 1.5g fat

Ingredients

  • 40g rolled/quick cook oats, ground into a flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 32g coconut flour
  • 20g sweetener (I use Stevia baking blend)
  • 4 egg whites
  • 150g 0% Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder (best to use a whey/casein blend, though will work with whey isolate too, just the rise won’t be as good)
  • 1/2 scoop cinnamon protein powder (can sub for an additional 1/2 scoop banana protein powder)
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of cinnamon

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 350f (180c) and line a 8″ circular/square baking tin with parchment paper.
  2. Grind your oats into a flour a blender/Nutribullet.
  3. In a large bowl, sieve the coconut flour, Stevia, oat flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and protein powder.
  4. Add in the apple sauce and stir until combined.
  5. Add in the remainder of the wet ingredients – egg whites, vanilla and Greek yogurt until mixture is fully combined. It should have a very thin consistency.
  6. Pour the mixture into your tin and bake for 30 minutes in the center of your pre-heated oven. The top should wobble when it comes out of the oven to maintain the gooey interior.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack in the tin before slicing into quarters.
  8. These will keep in an air tight container for 2-3 days and a week refridgerated. (I usually opt for refridgerating them as they keep for longer and it makes the centers more gooey. I then heat up before eating).
  9. These are great topped with nuts/nut butter or fresh fruit. They can even be used as a ‘spread’ for pancakes, waffles and bread. (If you’re feeling really wintery, then you can heat this up and have with custard or ice-cream).

-Benchpressingbaubles, x

Chicken, Mushroom and Pepper Wholemeal pizza

Let’s be honest…who doesn’t love pizza?! It is probably one of the most craved savory foods and is never associated with being healthy. Lots of recipes are available that substitute the carb heavy base for wraps and lots of recipes exist where the base is made from cauliflower or quinoa etc. But, for me, the base being ‘bready’ is crucial in satisfying the taste for pizza. The part I like to avoid is the greasy cheese, dripping fat all down your chin! Cheese is obviously an essential part of pizza and I highly recommend using reduced fat as opposed to fat free – the taste superiority is worth it!

Macros per portion (based on 5 servings): 350kcal; 21.9g protein, 9.1g fat, 46.4g carbs

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups wholemeal flour (can sub for plain flour) + 25g flour for rolling out the dough
  • 1 packet of instant rise yeast
  • 1/4 cup & 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • 200g sliced mushrooms
  • 100g cooked chicken
  • 100g cooked bell peppers/onions
  • 300g salsa (can sub for marinara/pizza sauce)
  • 5oz/138g reduced fat cheese
  • Dried herbs
  • Few sprigs of cilantro

Method

  1. In a small bowl, add the packet of yeast and 1/4 cup warm water. Stir and leave for approximately 5 minutes until the top starts to froth and bubble.
  2. In a large bowl, weigh out the flour, salt, olive oil and 3/4 cup water. Add the yeast mixture and knead until a large ball of dough is formed.
  3. Cover the bowl with a teatowel and let it sit for a couple of hours somewhere warm (I make the most of the Floridian climate and put it outside!)
  4. Once the dough has risen (it should double in size), divide the dough into 5 portions (alternatively, you could make one huge pizza!) Flour your work surface and rolling pin and roll out until the dough is about 1cm/0.5inch thick. (You may need to dust some more flour each side to prevent sticking).
  5. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and transfer the pizzas.
  6. Top each pizza with the salsa (I personally prefer the taste of salsa to marinara sauce; the macros are comparable so comes down to personal preference).
  7. Preheat your oven to 450°f
  8. Add the remainder of your toppings (I used mushrooms, bell peppers, onions and cooked chicken), finishing off with the cheese. Dust with a sprinkling of the dried herbs.
  9. Place in the center of your preheated oven and cook for 15-17 minutes, until the cheese starts to brown.
  10. Remove and garnish with the cilantro.

These are great served hot from the oven, but also make very tasty lunches for the week!

-Benchpressingbaubles, x

Sweet Chili Shrimp Satay With Coconut & Cilantro Rice

I don’t know about you, but Cilantro is my favourite herb. It is so fragrant and a sprinkle of freshly minced Cilantro can really transform a dish. It is commonly used to garnish Mexican food (the combination of cilantro, cumin and black beans is incredible), but here it really ties the whole dish together. If you are not a cilantro fan, or choose to omit it, I highly recommend adding more satay sauce to make the whole dish more flavourful.

Macros per portion (based on 6 servings): 462kcal; 25g protein, 6g fat, 72g carbs

Ingredients

  • 1 lb fresh/thawed fully cooked shrimp
  • 270g jasmine rice
  • 350g broccoli
  • 120g green beans, chopped
  • 350g mixed vegetables of choice; I used Trader Joes Harvest Hodgepodge
  • 1 can lite Coconut milk
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 180ml sweet chili sauce
  • 4 tbsp powdered peanut butter
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro, finely chopped

Method

  1. In a medium saucepan, add the rice and coconut milk. Using the empty coconut milk can, fill with water and add to the pan. Bring the rice to a boil.
  2. Once the rice boils, reduce the heat to a simmer, stirring frequently. You may need to add more water as the rice absorbs the liquid.
  3. Once cooked, stir in the finely chopped cilantro and set aside.
  4. If using frozen/canned vegetables, place a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add your vegetables, stirring until cooked. If using fresh vegetables, cook on the stovetop/steam in the microwave until cooked.
  5. Whilst the vegetables are cooking, make your sweet chili satay by combining the sweet chili sauce and powdered peanut butter in a small bowl. Stir until combined (don’t be alarmed by the flecks in your sauce, these are from the sweet chili).
  6. Add the chickpeas, shrimp, rice and satay sauce to the vegetable pan and cook until hot throughout. (If you are planning to portion out for multiple meals, no need to heat all the ingredients together!)

This makes for a great family dinner and also great fuel for a workout; high protein, high carb and low fat! For those of you following a low carb diet, you can easily substitute the rice for cauliflower rice. For those of you who are not meat eaters, I would suggest substituting the shrimp for egg whites or additional chickpeas/veggies.

-Benchpressingbaubles, x

‘It’s Not My Birthday’ Birthday Cake Protein Bars

‘Birthday cake’, until emigrating, always either made me think of my Mum’s homemade chocolate cakes that she would bake for our birthdays, or (the less favorable choice) of British shop-bought Victoria sponge/jam/overly sweet icing that you would get in your party bag from your friend’s elementary school party. In the States, however, birthday cake is an actual cake flavor; a sweeter version of vanilla. In the protein world, I personally think birthday cake flavored items tend to be superior to vanilla…and not just due to the sprinkles! Both Oh Yeah and Quest make excellent birthday cake bars, but protein bars are expensive and this recipe is infinitely more reminiscent of actual cake than both of those bars!

Macros per slice (based on 5 servings): 238kcal; 20.6p, 23.8c, 6.4f

Ingredients

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup (approx 120g) 0% Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) milk of choice. I used unsweetened vanilla cashew milk
  • 130g unsweetened apple sauce
  • 32g coconut butter
  • 20g sprinkles
  • 1 cup (80g) oat flour
  • 2 scoops of birthday cake protein powder (I used Dymatize whey isolate)
  • 30g unflavored/vanilla plant based protein powder (I used coconut a protein blend. Can sub for 30g coconut flour – the key here is you need a dry ingredient with a “thicker” texture in addition to a pure isolate)
  • 20g Stevia
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2tsp baking powder

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 350f (180c) and line a 9″ baking tin with parchment paper.
  2. Grind your oats into a flour by popping in a blender/Nutribullet until they resemble a flour-like consistency.
  3. Sieve the dry ingredients into a medium bowl (except the sprinkles).
  4. Place the coconut butter into a small, microwave safe bowl and microwave at 20 second intervals until it melts. Stir after each interval to ensure the heat is evenly dispersed.
  5. Add the melted coconut butter to the dry ingredients and stir.
  6. Add in the remainder of the wet ingredients – egg whites, milk, apple sauce and Greek yogurt and stir until mixture is fully combined. It should have a cake batter type consistency (if it is too thin, add 5g more coconut flour).
  7. Pour the mixture into your tin and scatter the sprinkles on top.
  8. Cook for 30 minutes in the center of your pre-heated oven. The top should be golden brown. Don’t panic if you can’t see most of the sprinkles; the density can mean they sink to the bottom.
  9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack. The cake will firm up as it cools.
  10. Once cool, flip the cake upside down onto a plate (you will see the sprinkles on top!) and slice into pieces and refridgerate (these will keep well for a week!)

-Benchpressingbaubles, x

Protein Packed Chocolate Fudge Mousse Cake

Who doesn’t love chocolate? I associate chocolate with my childhood when a good homemade chocolate cake was enjoyed on many a birthday (and sometimes even “just because”). Growing up in the UK, my pallette is accustomed to a very different chocolate taste to the US. European chocolate is just SO much tastier in every way. This chocolate mousse cake is packed full of goodness, not overly sweet and costs pennies to make in comparison to your average protein bar.

Macros per slice (based on 5 servings): 220kcal; 19.7p, 23.1c, 5.2f

Ingredients

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup (approx 120g) 0% Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) milk of choice. I used unsweetened vanilla cashew milk
  • 130g unsweetened apple sauce
  • 30g peanut butter
  • 15g cacao powder (can sub for cocoa powder)
  • 1/2 cup (40g) oat flour
  • 1.5 scoops of chocolate protein powder (using a whey/casein blend or vegan protein powder will bake better than an isolate)
  • 50g powdered chocolate/regular peanut butter
  • 20g Stevia
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2tsp baking powder

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 350f (180c) and line a 9″ baking tin with parchment paper.
  2. Grind your oats into a flour by popping in a blender/Nutribullet until they resemble a flour-like consistency.
  3. Sieve the dry ingredients into a medium bowl.
  4. Place the peanut butter into a small, microwave safe bowl and microwave at 20 second intervals until it melts. Stir after each interval to ensure the heat is evenly dispersed.
  5. Add the melted peanut butter to the dry ingredients and stir.
  6. Add in the remainder of the wet ingredients – egg whites, milk, apple sauce and Greek yogurt and stir until mixture is fully combined. It should have a very liquidy consistency (this is what helps to create the mousse texture inside).
  7. Pour the mixture into your tin and cook for 20 minutes in the center of your pre-heated oven. The top should be dark and firm to the touch, but the cake should wobble.
  8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack. The cake will firm up as it cools.
  9. Once cool, slice into pieces and refridgerate (these will keep well for a week, potentially longer but they have never hung around long enough to test!)
  10. My favorite way to enjoy these is heated up for 20 seconds in the microwave and then topped with berries, pumpkin seeds and chocolate nut butter.

-Benchpressingbaubles, x

Banana Bread Breakfast Bites (Virtually fat free)

Bananas have a shelf life that is only rivalled by avocados. You wait all week to get them just to your preference and then…too late, their skins are spotty and they start to lose their firmness. For this recipe though, the more overripe they are, the better! Both the texture and flavor of the bananas being overripe will only help your finished recipe! These delicious bites are virtually fat free, which I love, as it makes them so versatile. For a breakfast on the go, you can top with nuts or nut butter (my preference is Trader Joes chia and flax peanut butter or Crazy Go Nuts coconut walnut butter) or you can serve warmed up with vanilla Greek yogurt for a great pre/post workout snack).

Macros per bite (based on 16 servings): 63kcal; 6g protein, 7.8g carbs (1.6g fiber), 0.6g fat

Ingredients

  • 40g rolled/quick cook oats, ground into a flour
  • 200g over-ripe banana
  • 32g coconut flour
  • 20g sweetener (I use Stevia baking blend)
  • 4 egg whites
  • 150g 0% Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 scoops banana protein powder (best to use a whey/casein blend, though will work with whey isolate too, just the rise won’t be as good)
  • 1/2 scoop cinnamon protein powder (can sub for an additional 1/2 scoop banana protein powder)
  • 60ml milk/milk alternative (my milk of choice is unsweetened vanilla cashew milk but regular/almond milk will work!)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of cinnamon

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 350f (180c) and line a 8″ baking tin with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, mash the banana with a fork until it forms a smooth puree.
  3. Grind your oats into a flour a blender/Nutribullet.
  4. In a large bowl, sieve the coconut flour, Stevia, oat flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and protein powder.
  5. Add in the mashed banana and stir until combined.
  6. Add in the remainder of the wet ingredients – egg whites, milk and Greek yogurt until mixture is fully combined. It should have a very thin consistency.
  7. Pour the mixture into your tin and bake for 20 minutes in the center of your pre-heated oven. The top should be golden brown and firm.
  8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack before slicing into squares.
  9. These will keep in an air tight container for 2-3 days and a week refridgerated. (I usually opt for refridgerating them as they keep for longer and it makes the centers more gooey. I then heat up before eating).
  10. These are great topped with nuts/nut butter (I have mine topped with walnut butter in the photo). Equally, you can incorporate chopped nuts or chocolate chips into the mixture. With calories as low as these are, zero guilt for eating 4 at a time!

-Benchpressingbaubles, x