Strawberry Protein Cheesecake


So, a few months back I posted my low fat protein pumpkin cheesecake recipe. I posted some recommendations of other flavors at the bottom of that recipe, but I still had people complaining that they don’t like pumpkin and don’t know how to modify for the recommended substitutions. So I decided to help out!! This is the exact same recipe I used a few months back, just modified without pumpkin purée.

I made a delicious strawberry cheesecake and it turned out fantastic!! I feel like I’m cheating on my diet, but I’m not!

The best part of this cheesecake, aside from it being low calorie, low fat, and delicious — is that it is so versatile. You can make whatever flavor you fancy by trying out different yogurt and protein powder flavors. Seriously, get creative!!! Continue reading

Mushroom Parmesan Spaghetti Squash

So, I may have a new (and obvious) obsession with spaghetti squash.  It is so diet friendly and versatile! It is packed with vitamins and nutrients, low-carb, and low calorie. The texture is just like pasta and it’s flavor is whatever you cook it with! Hopefully I do not begin to turn yellow from all the extra beta carotene!  I have stumbled upon another flavor combination for the squash and it was my boyfriends personal favorite, so I figured I must share the recipe.

I got the inspiration from this dish from a trader joes Mushroom Risotto I found one day in the frozen food section.  (If you have a trader joes near you, I recommend it!) I love mushrooms.  And when I think of mushrooms, I immediately think of fresh rosemary.  I think they pair so well together. I am always sauteing mushrooms with a bit of fresh rosemary to top sirlion with.  So originally for the dish, I was thinking of incorporating some tender steak into the recipe as the protein content, but I only had ground turkey available–and honestly, I’m glad, because it turned out great and there is enough fat in the dish from the parmesan cheese!

 

 Ingredients Continue reading

Chicken Spinach & Artichoke “Pasta”

Don’t be fooled by the title, you will be able to make this delicious dinner fit into your diet!  The pasta is actually spaghetti squash, so it is a much lower carbohydrate and calorie-friendly option to satiate any pasta-cravers palate.


I am a sucker for spinach and artichoke anything!  Pizzas (obviously..), dips, pinwheels, you name it!  So I wanted to incorporate it into a high-protein chicken dish.  I originally was just going to make a spinach and artichoke covered chicken, but I thought a pasta element would be perfect!  Thus, the idea for spaghetti squash was born.  Continue reading

Mushroom Cap Personal Pizzas

If you know anything about me, it is that my obsession with pizza is REAL. It is my ultimate favorite meal– I wish I could eat it for every meal of every day, I promise I wouldn’t get sick of it, but I cannot. I am constantly coming up with healthy variations to satiate my pizza cravings. This variation uses a top of a portabella mushroom as the base for the pizza.  It is very simple to make.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Portbello Mushroom caps
  • 8 slices Turkey Pepporoni
  • 1/2 cup fat free mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce of choice
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Pinch of garlic powder

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White Chicken Chili


The season of winter is finally being felt in Florida. The temperatures are hitting low enough to give me a chill — I won’t specify what these temperatures are because it will probably seem warm to most, but coming from 80 plus degrees on Christmas these Temps are cool and refreshing.  The perfect chill to make you crave comfort foods.  Comfort foods to me are best served hot. Anything with broths, gravies, or sauces.

I was open minded when grocery shopping for the week– unsure what I wanted to prepare for this weeks’ meals.  I found a great deal on ground chicken.  Each package of 1 lb was 3.99, 2 dollars off— so $1.99 each!  Needless to say I stocked up.  I immediately thought of my buffalo chicken meatballs (see recipes) and I pondered what else I could prepare.  I came up with the idea for a white chicken chili.   Continue reading

Spaghetti Squash Scampi

Two shrimp recipes back to back.  Can you tell what I found in sale at the grocery store this week?! This time it is my spin on an Italian favorite, shrimp scampi. This recipe is made low carb using spaghetti squash instead of the normal angel hair pasta.

If you have never worked with sphagetti squash because you are intimidated by its size and have no clue what to do with it, now is the time to overcome that fear. Spaghetti squash is extremely versatile and can replace pasta in any of your favorite dishes. When cooked, it strands into fibers and looks like — you guessed it, spaghetti!

The easiest ways I’ve found to use sphagetti squash  Continue reading

Cauli-Fried Rice

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Cauliflower is such a versatile veggie! It really tastes like what ever you cook it with! This allows for a world of possibilities!  I’ve already made faux mashed potatoes with the cauliflower.  Now, I’d like to share a recipe starring cauliflower as a substitute for rice.  I found these need packages of already “riced” or crumbled cauliflower at Target, and it made life much easier!

You certainly do not need to buy the pre-crumbled cauliflower– it is cheaper to actually buy by the head.  If this is how you purchase you can simply finely chop the cauliflower, or grate the cauliflower raw into a large bowl.  Once you have your grated cauliflower– add veggies!! Any and all veggies you would like in your stir fried rice.  I chose peas, onions, carrots, broccoli, and green beans!  I supersized this recipe so I could meal prep with it for the next few days!  I made a total of 10 1-cup servings!! If you do not plan on meal prepping leftovers, I would recommend cutting the recipe in half!

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No Bake Peanut Butter Protein Bars

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Protein is an essential part to your diet.  It keeps you full longer and helps grow and repair muscles, especially when teamed with weight lifting. Protein bars are great–When you can find one without the extra sugar and carbs! Most protein bars that you find in the grocery store or health food store have very frightening nutrition labels.  Please be mindful next time you grab a bar for some quick protein power, because you might be consuming the equivalent to a candy bar in sugars and fats. When looking for a protein bar, choose one that has approximately 200 or less calories per bar.  Aim for 7 or less grams per fat, but keep the saturated fats as low as possible, healthy fats from almonds or omega-3s are common in protein bars and are good!  Your protein and carbohydrates should be at a similar number, ideally around 20.   Sugars are an important factor to look into when reading the nutrition label.  I usually recommend looking for a bar with as little sugar as possible.  Shoot for 7g or less of sugar.

Few of my personal store bought recommendations are:

Quest Bars- Quest Nutrition Protein Bar, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, 20g Protein, 2.1oz Bar, 12 Count

The Lions Choice Bars- The Lions Choice Superfood Protein Bars

Otherwise, you could simply make your own protein bars! Making your own is great because you can choose your own flavors, you know exactly what is going into the mix, and you can make large batches at a time. Continue reading

Low Carb Mashed “Potatoes”

Fall is upon us. Yes, believe it or not, we do have fall in Florida.  I miss the change in foliage, the fall colors, but we do have a noticeable change in temperature. The weather is turning cooler, the air is crisp, and my mind immediately goes to comfort food.  Because, my mind immediately goes to food all the time.  Unfortunately, the comfort food I know and love is not very healthy or prep-friendly.  As my days are counting down and I am less than three weeks away from my second bikini competition, I need to get fancy with my low calorie options before I go crazy.  I am not–and will never be– the type of person that can just eat chicken and broccoli for every single meal of every day.  That will never happen.  Which is why I have been having such a great success with IIFYM, or If It Fits Your Macros style of dieting.  It is flexible dieting and I can eat what I what in moderation, as long as it fits into my macros (daily grams of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins–as well as calories)  For more information on IIFYM, you can visit my page here

Comfort food, to me, is meat and potatoes.  Hearty and full.  Gravy comes to mind–and now I’m drooling.  Anyway, before I force you to read a paragraph of me describing potatoes and gravy, I wanted to share with you my recipe for mashed cauliflower. Continue reading

Zucchini Pizza Boats

  If you know me, you know I am a lover of all things pizza! But, this love really nips me in the butt when it comes time for me to eliminate my weekly cheat meals for bikini competition prep. My next show is in November, only five short weeks away!  I really wanted to compete in another to see how I would do now that I know what to expect.  Also, I paid for the NPC entry card that is only good until the end of 2015, so I figured I should definitely get my moneys worth!  I’m really looking forward to prep this time around.  I feel comfortable with different recipes I’ve been working on, so I will be able to stay sane –not following the Tilapia and veggies diet for 5 straight weeks!  I found some great condiments, such as this Sugar-Free BBQ sauce at Walmart that I am excited to use for chicken–only 20 calories per serving!   I am happy to have found The Lions Choice protein bars, because they really appease my sweet tooth and have great macros (most under 170 calories with less than 5g of fat and 20g protein)

I’ve been experimenting with a lot of pure pumpkin and zucchini for recipes (I’ve been putting pumpkin in my oatmeal every morning, or mixing it with cinnamon flavored protein powder and fat free cream cheese for a decadent high protein spread/icing for toast)  I think I am going to begin experimenting with cauliflower next!  I used to make a cauliflower mash that tasted like mashed potatoes  that would be perfect for a low calorie meal prep.  I’ll be sure to post any and all  recipes for you to follow 🙂

So, I saw a recipe for Zucchini pizza crust– it contained grated zucchini, eggs, and cheese  baked as a crust for your pizza. I am on night shift so when I saw “grate zucchini and ring out excess water from zucchini shavings with paper towels…..” I knew I was feeling WAY TOO LAZY for that.  Sounds great, but not for that much effort today.. Maybe another time!  So I decided I would try just using the zucchini itself as the base for the pizza.  Turned out well!  My boyfriend was even pleasantly surprised at how good they were!  He was skeptical at first, being a veggie avoider, but scarfed two down in a couple minutes! Continue reading

Protein Pumpkin Cheesecake

Now you can have your cheesecake AND eat it too!  I am absolutely amazed how this turned out.  It may be my favorite recipe I’ve posted yet!  It is extremely macro friendly–only 125 calories!–AND IT TASTES LIKE THE REAL DEAL!  It’s low in fat & carbs with high protein.  This is honestly macro-friendly enough for me to incorporate into my bikini competition prep!  Take this cheesecake to any holiday party and I can guarantee no one will know it’s not store bought–let alone decently healthy.


Ingredients:

  • 16 ounces fat free cream cheese (room temperature works best)
  • 1 individual package Dannon Light n Fit Greek Yogurt (I chose to use Caramel Apple Pie flavor, but you can use whatever you fancy– Stick with vanilla if you want to remain neutral!)
  • 2 scoops (~65g) whey protein powder (I used Cellucor Cinnamon Swirl – 2 Lbs)
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 120g pure pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup stevia in the raw (~6 stevia packets—or sweetener of your choice)

Continue reading

Healthy “Fried” Chicken Fingers

Happy Sunday Ya’ll! I wanted to share with you another healthy family dinner idea.  These chicken tenders are bound to be a new family favorite, loved by both adults and kids alike.  They are breaded in an oat mixture and baked for a faux “fried” chicken crisp without all the fats and calories.  They are extremely simple to prepare as well!  You can double or triple the recipe for a great appetizer to take to a party. Perfect for football season!

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Ingredients:  (for 6 chicken tenders)

  • two chicken breasts–each cut into 3 tenders
  • 1 cup oats (I used instant, but I’m sure old fashioned would work as well)
  • 1/2 cup liquid egg whites  (about 3 whites from large eggs)
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 tbs. parsley flakes
  • Dash of black pepper, to taste

Continue reading

Simple and Healthy Breakfast Cookies

Hey everyone!!

I am excited to share another healthy baking recipe!  I had two very ripe bananas hanging around and I wanted to put them to good use–and trust me, I sure did!  These cookies turned out even better than I expected!  They are a perfect grab and go breakfast or snack.  I’m going to be using them pre-workout as they have a higher carb ratio.  Each cookie only contains 68 calories–so feel free to have more than 1.  They are thick and chewy like an oatmeal cookie, but less guilt.  The banana and sugar free syrup bring enough sweetness, without being overbearing or artificial tasting.

Ingredients needed for cookies: Continue reading

Low Calorie Protein Banana Bread Muffins

I have been CRAVING banana bread!! I had a slice on vacation at the continental breakfast and it was absolutely delicious, but it just wasn’t enough!  It was just a mere tease to my craving.  So like I promised, now that my calories aren’t so restricted I am going to be posting up different diet friendly baked goods 🙂  I attempted to bake a zucchini based low calorie brownie last week—but the texture was not 100% so I did not post it.. I will only post my recipes if I KNOW you’ll like them!

Anyway, this recipe was originally made banana bread–but I have come to realize that I do not own a loaf pan, so It was either a Banana Cake  or Muffins!!!  And I went with the muffin idea!  I love muffins because they are already portioned out for you– easy grab and go breakfast.

Ingredients Continue reading

Fresh Summer Salad with Homemade Stevia and Cinnamon Candied Walnuts 

The other evening, I hosted a ladies wine and cheese night at my house. I wanted to add something to the menu that wasn’t so heavy since there was going to be cheeses and meats galore.  I decided a salad would be the perfect addition to our buffet.  I knew I wanted to do a light fresh salad with a balsamic dressing—we are red wine drinkers and balsamic would be a good pair with a red wine, at least in my opinion, I am certainly no wine snob. I went to the store and picked up a few ingredients for the salad I thought would pair well.   It turned out awesome and it was extremely easy to assemble.  This salad could be as a side dish or the main course.

Ingredients: Continue reading