150 Calorie Banana Oatmeal Muffins

Bananas have a very limited shelf life in my opinion, I like to eat them when they are barely yellow and as soon as they have brown spots, I turn my nose up! But, ripe bananas make the perfect basis for baking. As bananas ripen, they become sweeter, meaning that you can often use less (or in this case), no added refined sugars! This muffin recipe would be a perfect breakfast alongside some Greek yoghurt and a good cup of coffee. And at 150 calories, you can’t really go wrong…

Macros per muffin (based on 12 servings): 156kcal; 5.6g protein, 23.3g carbs, 5.1g fat

Ingredients 

  • 250g (approximately two medium) overripe bananas
  • 2 large eggs
  • 170g all purpose/plain flour
  • 60g old fashioned oats
  • 85g crunchy almond butter (can substitute for peanut butter or for a smooth consistency nut butter)
  • 85g 0% fat Greek yoghurt
  • 5ml (1tsp) vanilla essence
  • 125ml unsweetened almond milk
  • 45g honey
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 350f and line a muffin pan with 12 muffin cases.
  2. Roughly chop up the banana and add to a large bowl.
  3. Measure out the remainder of the ingredients into the bowl.
  4. Using a handheld whisk (or Kitchenaid) whisk the ingredients together on a low speed. Ensure all the mixture is combined, but don’t over whisk as it will break down the ‘crunch’ of the oats.
  5. Spoon out the mixture into the 12 cases – you can fill to the top as the muffins don’t rise too much and have quite a dense texture.
  6. Bake in the center of the preheated oven for 18 – 22 minutes. Take out when the top is slightly golden and a knife will come out clean.
  7. Enjoy warm with Greek yoghurt and sugar free syrup for a higher protein breakfast or enjoy after a savory meal for a 150kcal sweet treat.

-Benchpressingbaubles, x

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Fiery Pumpkin Pasta Sauce

Hands up, I admit it, two years of living in the States and I am all about the pumpkin hype. Most pumpkin flavored things that crop up here are actually fairly sweet, but pumpkin on its own, is actually very savory. It has a great color and texture and this recipe brings out all the warm, cosy feelings that autumn should bring! I have eaten it with chicken and whole grain spaghetti, and I have also sautéed it with Miracle Noodle rice and egg whites. The sauce is quite strong in flavor so is probably too overpowering for fish, but it would also make a great basis for a soup too! Happy pumpkin season! 

Macros per portion (based on 4 servings): 76kcal; 3.1g protein, 14.1g carbs, 1.4g fat

Ingredients

  • 1 can pumpkin (approximately 425g)
  • 1 bag of spinach (approximately 250g)
  • 65g red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1 cup (240ml) unsweetened original almond milk

Method

  1. In a large, non-stick pan, fry the onion over a medium heat until it softens.
  2. Add the spinach gradually (a large handful at a time), stirring until it wilts and there is room for more. Be careful to ensure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  3. Add the pumpkin, almond milk, cinnamon and cayenne pepper and stir until combined.
  4. Turn up the heat until the sauce starts to bubble and add more almond milk (or water) if the sauce is too thick.
  5. Reduce the heat to low and cook for a further 10 – 15 minutes (I find this allows the spices to really ‘knit together’ well).
  6. Serve over chicken, veggies and pasta for a hearty, autumnal meal.

-Benchpressingbaubles, x

Seaweed and Satay Shrimp Spring Roll Wraps

I came across spring roll wraps in an oriental supermarket whilst traveling and was instantly both fascinated and inspired. I had never used these wraps in my cooking before, and, after a lot of practice, I would offer one word of advice and one word of reassurance. The advice – don’t overfill, it will make rolling them almost impossible. The reassurance – these wraps are a lot more robust than they look. This recipe isn’t messy or difficult to prepare, but it is very wet and I recommend lining a good portion of your kitchen work tops with tea towels! These make a great appetizer or an aspect of an oriental themed spread.

Makes 16 rolls


Macros per two rolls: 192kcal; 19g protein, 22g carbs, 3g fat

Ingredients 

  • 120g cooked shrimp
  • 16 spring roll wrappers (I used Blue Dragon)
  • 1 pack roasted seaweed (I used a teriyaki flavor, but any flavor would work)
  • Vegetables of choice (I used broccoli, shredded carrots and shredded cabbage, but would also recommend bean sprouts, cauliflower rice and red peppers)
  • 12 tbsp powdered peanut butter
  • 25ml coconut aminos/soy sauce
  • 25 ml sriracha
  • Water 
  • 5 tea towels

Method

  1. In a small bowl, measure out the powdered peanut butter, coconut aminos (or soy sauce) and sriracha. Stir carefully, adding water in 25ml quantities until you have made a thick sauce (you don’t want a thick paste as it is difficult to spread and you don’t want a really runny sauce otherwise it will fall out of the wraps). Set aside.
  2. Run your tea towels under the cold tap and wring out so that the tea towels are wet throughout, but not dripping. Lay out across a clean work top. 
  3. Turn the cold tap down so that it is running in a light but steady stream. One by one, run each wrap under the cold water, until it turns translucent and pliable. Lay down flat on top of the wet tea towels. Repeat for each of the wraps in turn. You don’t need to worry about the wraps sticking as long as your tea towels are wet!
  4. Place 2-3 seaweed crackers in the center of each of the wraps. These will help guide your placement of additional ingredients to ensure you don’t over-stuff!
  5. Lay your vegetables of choice on top of the seaweed and place about five shrimp on top of the vegetables.
  6. Top each of vegetables and shrimp mixture with a spoonful of the satay sauce and spread across the shrimp with the underside of a teaspoon.
  7. Roll your wraps by folding down the top and folding up the bottom (this will hide the seams) and then fold over the left side of the wrap so that it covers the mixture in the middle. From here, roll your wrap. Repeat for the other wraps.
  8. These can be enjoyed immediately or refrigerated and eaten later. Refrigeration does cause the wraps to harden more, but it doesn’t make them any less delicious!

-Benchpressingbaubles, x

‘Nutella’ Protein Shake

Nutella will always be one of my vices. I have demolished jars of it in one sitting and back in my first ever ‘prep diet’ Nutella topped oatmeal formed the basis of my refeeds. Chocolate and hazelnuts are just a winning combination, which is why I was delighted to experiment making a ‘Nutella’ protein shake. This contains none of the sugar that real Nutella does but if you like chocolate and hazelnuts, you will like this. The thick, creamy mix of freshly roasted hazelnuts combined with raw cacao powder will have your kitchen smelling delicious and it is especially delicious when paired with a cup of freshly poured coffee.

Macros: 249kcal; 29g protein, 8g carbs, 9g fat

Ingredients 

  • 1 scoop chocolate whey (I used Dymatize double fudge brownie whey isolate)
  • 5g cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
  • 15g hazelnuts (I used raw hazelnuts and roasted them in the oven at 350f for 20 minutes, but this is up to you and your preferences/time restrictions. If you do have time, I do recommend freshly roasting them as it really adds to the flavor and your kitchen will smell incredible!)
  • 170ml unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • (Optional: 30ml calorie free chocolate/hazelnut syrup/few drops of chocolate Stevia)
  • Handful of ice

Method

  1. Add a handful of ice to your Nutribullet or blender.
  2. Measure out your almond milk and liquid sweetener (if using).
  3. Add in the dry ingredients.
  4. Pour water into your blender up until the ‘maximum’ line.
  5. Blend until smooth.

    -Benchpressingbaubles, x

    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!

    20170723_104918

    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