Protein Packed Nachos

Now that the new Quest Nutrition chips are in stores, I finally got my hands on a couple bags so I could try them out. First up: sea salt and sour cream and cheddar.

I’m not a giant chip eater– I really only grab a few chips if there’s a bowl sitting in front of me at a party. Other than that, they are something I could definitely live without (…and pretty much do). Because of this, I didn’t really feel like just eating the protein chips straight out of the bag.

Unfortunately Fortunately, I was starving and I needed to throw something together quickly. Quest Nachos it was!

To Make: (1 serving)

You Will Need:
1 bag of Sea Salt Quest Nutrition chips
4 oz. ground meat of choice (I used 99% lean ground turkey)
1 oz. cheddar cheese (shredded or chopped very small)
1/4 of a red bell pepper
1 slice onion
1/4 cup sliced mushrooms
Shredded lettuce
4 cherry tomatoes
Hot sauce
Seasonings of choice (I used garlic powder, chili powder and cayenne pepper)

Before cooking

Before cooking

To Make:
Begin by preheating oven to 400 degrees.

In a large skillet, sauté meat with seasonings until halfway cooked. Add peppers, onion, mushrooms and stir occasionally until fully cooked.*

Empty bag of chips onto a baking sheet lined with foil and spread so they are flat.

Sprinkle 1/4 of the cheese over the chips.

Spoon meat mixture over top of the chips, spreading evenly.

Top with lettuce, tomatoes and the remainder of the cheese.

Bake for 10 minutes or until all the cheese is melted.

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*To cook my meat, I use a cast iron skillet. I add the meat and cover the bottom of the pan with water. I then add spices and cook most of the way, add in extras and cook until no pink remains.

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Primal Coconut Flour Pancakes

I never used to consider myself a pancake person. For some reason, the whole pancake-thing never really did it for me. I was always left unsatisfied, always wanting more, not because I was still hungry, just not thrilled.

As I’ve become more of a “foodie,” the idea of different pancakes has intrigued me. You can do almost anything with them–sweet or savory, thick or thin. Big stacks or one big cake. While I never enjoyed drenching my plate in maple syrup, the idea of special sauces on top or in between each fluffy layer is something I think about when planning a new recipe.

These pancakes are simple, healthy and filling with only a few ingredients and minimal effort. If you follow a dairy-free diet, I would think that the yogurt could be replaced with applesauce or mashed banana–other types of pancakes on their own and definitely worth a try!

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Ingredients:

1.5 TBL plain Greek yogurt
2 TBL coconut flour
1 flax egg (1 TBL flax+2 TBL water, mix and let sit for 2 minutes)
1 egg
1/2 TBL chia seeds (optional)
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Sprinkle of cinnamon
Blueberries

To Top:
Remainder of plain Greek yogurt container or 1/3 of a cup or so if using a larger tub
1/2 TBL peanut flour (or peanut butter/almond butter)
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
Blueberries

To Prepare:

In a small bowl, make your flax egg and put aside. In another bowl, combine coconut flour, chia seeds, yogurt, egg, vanilla and cinnamon. Mix to combine using a fork. Add coconut milk a little at a time until the batter is thick but can easily be mixed and spooned onto a pan. Ensure all lumps are mixed out. Fold in blueberries and let sit for 2 minutes.

While waiting, mix together yogurt, vanilla and peanut flour in a bowl and put to the side.

Grease a skillet and place over medium heat. When up to temperature, check consistency of batter. If it has thickened, add a little more coconut milk to get it back to the original consistency. Spoon batter into the pan and spread evenly into a circle. It will not expand or rise.

Do not turn until the sides and top begin to cook, then flip. When pancake is cooked completely through, remove from pan. Spoon a dollop (about 1/2 a tablespoon) of peanut butter yogurt onto the top. Repeat with remainder of the batter.

Spoon all leftover yogurt over the top of the pancakes and sprinkle with additional berries.

 

Pumpkin Bread

I was in a baking mood this weekend. Even though I’m not Paleo anymore, I try and make baked goods that use Paleo ingredients not only for health reasons but it’s fun to see what can come out of almonds and coconuts.

I had BIG plans to make banana bread, banana bread donuts and something with pumpkin. A word of advice: baked paleo banana bread donuts don’t work so well without a donut pan. They come out very flat. Live and learn.

What did come out of my incessant creating was the best pumpkin bread I’ve ever baked. It rose perfectly, looked pretty and most importantly, is crazy moist and delicious. The only thing I wish I did was throw in some chocolate chips. Luckily, there will be a next time for this bread.

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Pumpkin Bread:

1 cup almond flour
2 tsp. coconut flour
1 tbl. + 1 tsp. vanilla protein powder
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 flax egg (1/2 tbl. flax+1.5tbl. water mixed and set for a few minutes in the fridge)
1 egg
1 tbl. maple syrup (i used Walden Farms)
2 tbl. peanut butter
1 packet stevia (or two teaspoons regular sugar)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1.5 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. cinnamon
Shake of ginger
Pinch of salt

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and liberally grease a small loaf pan. 

In a bowl, mix together almond flour, coconut flour, protein powder, stevia, baking soda and spices. 

In another bowl, mix pumpkin, flax egg, egg, syrup and peanut butter. 

Add wet to dry and mix thoroughly. 

Add in apple cider vinegar and mix again. 

Pour into loaf pan and smooth out the top. 

Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the top springs back and a knife comes out dry and clean. 

Let it cool completely before slicing and removing from pan. Store in the fridge.

Cauliflower Pizza

(Photo from my phone. This pizza was gone too quickly to take real pictures).

Sorry it’s been a little while. Returning to school has gotten the best of me these last 10 days.

While I’ve mentioned that I eat what I want, I have also talked about how I try to watch my carbohydrate intake, especially at dinner time. Luckily, my best friend does as well so we end up occasionally sharing meals and looking for recipes together.

When searching through Pinterest for food ideas, I stumbled upon a recipe for cauliflower pizza which immediately sounded appealing. It was low-carb and filled with veggies which meant almost nothing could be better.

I didn’t expect this pizza to be one of the best thing’s I’ve potentially ever eaten. Really. It was absolutely delicious.

Recipe is originally from Your Lighter Side. Toppings were of our choice.

You Need:

Crust:

2 cups of cauliflower mashed/cut very tiny (this was about 1/2 a large cauliflower)

2 eggs

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Salt, Pepper, Oregano, Parsley Flakes, Garlic Powder (these are you choice–a sprinkle of each is what I used)

Toppings:

Pizza Sauce

About a cup of mozzarella cheese

Pepperoni (sliced thin)

Few slices cooked turkey bacon

Sliced Mushrooms

 

To Make:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Begin the crust by making the cauliflower small. We used a Magic Bullet for this process and it worked very well. You could also use a food processor or blender. The cauliflower should almost look like mashed potatoes and the pieces should be about the size of a grain of rice.

Crack 2 eggs into a large bowl and mix so they are not separated.  Add cheese and cauliflower and mix well. Add in spices and mix again.

Grease either a round baking sheet (that you would make pizza on) or a small cookie sheet (like I used) and pour mixture out onto it. Using a fork, press the cauliflower mix down onto the sheet to make a flat crust. Ensure there are no holes or pieces that are much higher than others.

Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes. The sides will be golden brown.

Prepare toppings while the crust bakes.

Remove crust from oven and let sit for about 5 minutes.

Top with sauce, cheese and other desired toppings then place back in the oven for around 8 minutes or until the cheese melts.

Remove from oven and allow to sit for at least 5 minutes so that the crust can set.

Cut and enjoy!

While eating, my friend and I thought of a variety of toppings we’d like to try on this crust including:

Buffalo Chicken

Meatball+/ sausage

Peppers and Onions

BBQ Chicken

Philly Cheese steak

All would be absolutely delicious.