Protein Cinnamon Bread

Baked goods are my ultimate weakness when it comes to trying to eat healthy. Cookies, Cakes, brownies, muffins- it is sweet, buttery, fluffy & carb filled it jumps right in my mouth when I’m not looking. I can’t keep these treats around me- just for this reason. Out of site- out of my mouth!

I still crave the sweet stuff though and baking has always been one of my favorite ways to spend the time. This means I am constantly trying out new “skinny” baked goods recipes from around the net and end up tweaking them to my own tastes. This recipe is a great example- inspired by this recipe on Dashing Dish, my first try was pretty ho-hum, overly sweet and I just had to skip on the glaze all together because I would rather eat these as snacks throughout the week. I tried again mixing in the Splenda and cinnamon and man- I HAD IT. So, here is my most recent LOVE.

 

Protein Cinnamon Bread

Protein Cinnamon Bread- 145 calories, 11g protein!- by FruGAL Fit Chef

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • 1 & ¼ c Old Fashioned Oats (Aldi)
  • ½ Vanilla Protein Powder- I use Designer Whey (Trader Joes or Netrition.com)
  • 1 1/2t Baking Powder (Aldi)
  • 1/2t Baking Soda (Aldi)
  • 2 pinches Salt (Aldi)
  • 1 ¼ c Splenda (Aldi)
  • 3T Cinnamon (Aldi)
  • ½ c Egg Substitute (Aldi)
  • ½ c Unsweetened Almond Milk (Aldi)
  • 1/3 c Unsweetened Applesauce (Aldi or Walmart)
  • 1/3 c Non-Fat Greek Yogurt (Aldi)
  • 1T Vanilla Extract (Aldi)

 

Preheat the oven to about 335. Spray a loaf pan with non-stick spray and set it aside. Grind your oats in into a flour in a Magic Bullet (I love this thing!) or a food processor. Combine all dry ingredients together in a small bowl and wet ingredients in a larger bowl. Slowly add dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and beat until smooth. Pour batter into loaf pan. Bake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when stuck through the middle.

Excellent garnished with a little whipped unsweetened almond milk (from my Nespresso milk frother), light non-dairy whipped topping or a small scoop of sugar free ice cream. I also love it for breakfast or snacks in the middle of the work day.

* Note- Store this in the fridge, otherwise you will be very sad when it starts growing mold!

Makes 6 large slices: 145 calories; 2g fat; 22g carbs; 11g protein; 3g fiber

Lightened-Up BBQ Chicken Monster Burrito!

Lightened Up BBQ Chicken Monster Burrito

 

BBQ has long been a summer favorite- especially a favorite of mine. What’s great about BBQ is that it’s naturally higher protein/low carbs. Unfortunately, at the same time, it’s also 1. famous for sides that are mayonnaise based (coleslaw & potato salad), 2. put on carb heavy buns or bread, 3. a match made in beer heaven and 4. best ended with pie or some sort of ice cream treat.

I spent my high school years and college summers working for a St. Louis based “healthy” quick-serve chain, Crazy Bowls & Wraps. I ate my fill of wraps and one of my favorites was the BBQ Chicken Wrap. Healthy because it’s made of wholesome foods, contained rice and grilled chicken, this delicious behemoth 14oz burrito style wrap clocks in at 730 calories, 14g of fat, and over 100g carbs. Healthy is great marketing- what can I say! I still crave this wrap/burrito, so I have started making it at home, just with some healthier substitutions- which 1. Saves lots of calories & carbs, 2. A trip to the restaurant 3. Like $6 difference in price.

 

Crazy Bowls & Wraps inspired….

Lightened-Up Protein BBQ Chicken Monster Burrito!

  • 1 Joseph’s Bakery Lavash Bread (Walmart or online at Netrition.com)
  • ½c brown rice/quinoa or ancient grain blend (Trader Joes, or for ancient grains, Whole Foods or through US Foods- I can hook you up- just let me know)
  • 6 oz. grilled or sautéed chicken breast (ALDI)
  • 1 small/medium zucchini (ALDI)
  • ½ of a pepper- any color (ALDI)
  • 1/2 c Guy’s Sugar Free BBQ Sauce (Netrition.com)
  • 1/4c Reduced Fat Cheddar Cheese (ALDI)

 

Dice the zucchini & pepper into about ¼” squares- or your choice, they just cook well this size. Microwave to cook the veggies for about 2min 30 seconds. Warm your grain & Chicken in a different bowl for about 2 minutes. Warm the lavash on a plate for 30 seconds. Open your lavash and place in grain & chicken, layer about 2T BBQ sauce, then veggies, followed by about 2T BBQ sauce and finish with shredded cheddar cheese. Microwave the whole burrito still open before you roll it in the microwave for about 2 minutes to melt the cheese. When it is out of the microwave, gently fold it burrito style, First, fold in the shorter sides (and somewhat hold them) then fold in the bottom flap upwards, fold the top flap down over the bottom and flipping the whole burrito over. It’s OK if it breaks open, mine does about half the time. It’s not about looking beautiful as much as it is about tasting great! Take the rest of the BBQ sauce and use it to decorate the top. This thing will be LARGE and SUPER FILLING with about 3-4 servings of vegetables, 14g of fiber and tons of protein.

Lightened Up BBQ Chicken Monster Burrito

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Calories 582; fat 16g; carbs 55g, sugars 7g, fiber 14g, protein 62g

Skinny Greek Balsamic Chicken Flatbread Pizza

The last post I added was for the Balsamic Chicken that is featured in this recipe.  I had leftovers and got creative with other great items I had in my fridge. Being a lover of Greek Food as well as Flatbread Pizzas, this was an awesome recipe I felt I just had to share!.

Skinny Greek Balsamic Chicken Flatbread Pizza

Skinny Greek Balsamic Chicken Pizza

  • ½ Joseph’s Lavash Flatbread –Walmart or Netrition
  • ¼ C. Jar Pasta Sauce- Aldi
  • 3 oz. Balsamic Chicken (previous recipe)
  • 3 Artichoke heart pieces from jar- Aldi
  • 4 Kalamala Olives diced- Trader Joe’s
  • 1 oz. Crumbled Low-fat Feta Cheese- Trader Joe’s
  • 1/3 c. Low-Fat Mozzarella Cheese- Aldi
  • 1 Roasted Red Pepper finely diced from jar – Aldi or Trader Joe’s

Place Lavash on pizza pan or cookie sheet and place in 375 degree oven about 4 minutes or until it begins to brown a bit.  This will get you a crispier crust.  Dice up your ingredients that need to be diced, then remove Lavash from the oven and start layering on the flatbread- generally in the order that I have listed above.  Place the pizza back in the oven for about 7-10 minutes or until all of the mozzarella is melted.  Eat it while it is warm and gooey.  I usually make this as a double and have 1/3 – 1/6 leftover since eat a large dinner most nights.

Calories 469;  Fat 7g; Carbs:  32g; Protein 45g; Fiber 13g;

Balsamic Chicken Breast & Protein Sweet Potato Mash

A beautiful Sunday not only helps me to be more productive, it also reminds me that Spring is eventually going to come, and I don’t want it to catch my bod off guard! Winter is notorious for making it easier to allow ourselves to sleep in and not go to the gym in the morning and eating that cookie in the breakroom at work. Hey, its cold in the morning outside of the covers and what does one (turns into like three) cookies really matter!  I need to once again get myself out of these bad habits!

Tonight, I decided to cook a very healthy dinner for myself because I had the time and I was already needing to go to Aldi today so I could pick up all of the things I need.  So, here’s what I made:

First, the recipe I found for Balsamic Baked Chicken is incredibly delicious.  I make it for New Year’s Eve dinner and it was a huge hit so I have been wanting to make it all for myself ever since.  I got the recipe from this great blog, Alida’s Kitchen. You can get the recipe right here. The only thing I did differently was cut the chicken breast into smaller pieces- maybe tender size because usually when I buy chicken breast at Aldi, each breast is like 10 oz. I swear.

 Balsamic Baked Chicken Breast

Next, I made my Protein Sweet Potato Mash.  It’s a bit like Mashed Sweet Potatoes but with some added sweetness- and hidden protein!  Here’s how I did it:

Protein Sweet Potato Mash

Protein Sweet Potato Mash

(makes 6 servings)

  • 2 lbs. sweet potatoes – Aldi
  • 2 T Bummel & Brown Yogurt Butter – Walmart
  • ¾ C 0% Greek Yogurt- Aldi
  • ½ C MaxPro Cinnamon Bun Protein Powder- Max Muscle Stores  (I bet Vanilla Protein Powder would work well too!)
  • 2T to ¼ C Original Almond Milk- Aldi

First, boil your sweet potatoes until they are very soft when poked with a fork.  The length of time depends quite a bit on how large your sweet potatoes are.  Place them in a large mixing bowl and mash them a bit with your mixer.  Add in all additional ingredients and continue to mix.  If you keep the skins on, which I recommend because that’s where lots of the nutrients is, it will never get totally smooth.  Serve it warm and if you dare, sprinkle some chopped pecans on the top for a little treat!

Calories 165;  Fat 2g; Carbs 18g; Protein 18g; Fiber 3g;  WWP+ 4

I also steamed some broccoli and I am still deciding what I may want to make for a healthy dessert.   I just love productive and healthy cooking Sundays!

Snow Day Cooking with Dashing Dish

So I am somewhat embarrassed by how rarely I have been writing lately… Between work, working out, holidays, etc., the blog has just gone to the back burner.  How bout that cooking pun!  A New Year’s resolution of mine this year is to try and write at least twice per month.  Not necessarily just recipes I have created, I will also be adding posts on things like what recipes I am cooking that other people have created and I have fallen in love with, workout tips & video reviews, short “odes” to my favorite Frugal & Fit products.  I also hope to get to know basic web design and WordPress well enough that I can give this blog a bit of a makeover.  It’s not as beautiful as I want it to be right now.  So, New Years= more posts and more great recipes!

Today is a great start for this New Year’s Resolution.  Why?  Well we have almost a foot of snow on the ground blowing all over the place.  When I get trapped in my house, do you know what happens?  I cook! Today I cooked two amazing recipes from probably my favorite food blog- Dashing Dish.

First, I got my Crock Pot going with her amazing Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili.  It definitely turned out even better than I thought it would.  Just the right amount of spicy & creamy but still less than 200 calories per serving and more that 20 grams of protein.

  Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili

After I was done I separated the soup into my favorite soup “to-go” containers- empty Greek yogurt containers.  They are the perfect size for a bowl of soup and make taking soup to work for lunch a blast (if I can actually get into the office tomorrow!).  If your like me, you go through containers of Greek Yogurt fast enough they are your main form of Tupperware!  I always freeze about half of my soup so I don’t get tired of having the same type for 6 or so bowls in a row.

 Divided Jalapeno Soup

Next, I made a classic that has become part of my regular baking- Blueberry Cheesecake Protein Muffins!  These just rock as a breakfast on the run to take to the office.  I normally make the 12 smaller muffins as suggested in the recipe but I always ate two of them- leading me to believe I should just make 6 big muffins.  These large muffins are are less than 150 calories and 16g Protein and only 20 carbs.  20 carbs for a muffin!  Take that Betty Crocker.

 Blueberry Cheesecake Muffin

Sure, they look like Smurf Turds, but I promise they taste amazing!  Nuke them in the Microwave for about 10 seconds and totally yum!

I would love to post these great recipes for you all on my blog; however Katie (Dashing Dish’s Diva) has these particular recipes only available to members.  She sells a membership for only $5 per month and I don’t want to violate it.  Who can blame a girl for trying to make a livin’! I would highly recommend the membership to anyone who likes to eat the same way I do- high protein, high fiber, low fat but still delicious creative foods.  She has hundreds of recipes on there I swear and I have loved pretty much every one of them I have tried.  I probably make at least two per week!

So, what do you do with your snowy days?  Time in the kitchen for me is always time well spent!

Skinny- 4 Ingredient Pulled BBQ Pork

I love pulled pork in sandwiches, on pizza (BBQ pork pizza- yum!), on my salads and in my wraps. When you purchase this at a restaurant or pre-made at the grocery store it is usually a fattier cut of meat absolutely slathered in a high-fructose-corn syrup BBQ Sauce. After trying a few Pintrest recipes out, I have come up with this version that is easy, cheap and super skinny!

1- ½ Pork Loin- mine was about 5 lbs (ALDI)

3/4 – 1 bottle of Guy’s Sugar Free BBQ Sauce (Netrition.com)

1 1/2 Cup Coke Zero, Diet Coke or Dr. Pepper- All are good!

Salt & Pepper to taste. (You may also want to throw in some Lawry’s seasoning salt if your Pork Loin is less salty)

Raw Pulled Pork

First, take the Pork Loin out of the bag and trim off any visible fat. I probably trim off about 6 oz. of fat off of the leanest cut I can grab off of the shelf. I then cut the loin into smaller pieces, about ever 2-3 inches so that it fits in my Crock-Pot. Add the pork, and the soda and about ½ cup of the Sugar-Free BBQ Sauce. Cook on high for about 6 hours. I turn the pork pieces over and stir it around a few times to make sure the parts sticking out eventually get in the liquid. At around 6 hours, pull the pieces out of pork out of the Crock-Pot and let them cool on a plate, probably about 30 minutes. With a fork, shred the pork pieces as small as you like or have patience for. Return the pork to the Crock-Pot. If you have tons of excess liquid making your pork seem like it’s more of a stew than pulled pork (sometimes happens for some reason) use a large spoon and remove some of the liquid. You want it to be 80% pork, 20% liquid. Add another ½ C BBQ Sauce to the mixture, stir and let cook for another hour stirring a few times. Serve it on a bun with a slice of light cheddar on top and skinny coleslaw, on a Lavash Pizza (coming soon!) or over brown rice with microwaved zucchini and bell peppers.

 

Cooked Pulled Pork

I managed to not take a picture of the finished BBQ Sauced Pulled Pork.  It will turn out saucier than this and oh so delicious!

 

Use the nutritional facts provided on your Pork Loin but give yourself the benefit of subtracting a couple of grams of fat per servings since you purchased the leanest one and trimmed more fat off.

 

Greek Yogurt Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo

Ooey Gooey Fettuccine Alfredo- Mega Yum along with major calories and fat. Ordering this at a restaurant means probably at least 1,000 calories, that gross bloated feeling and who knows how much guilt! A couple of years ago I heard someone on TV discussing making Fettuccine Alfredo using Greek Yogurt. I googled it later and came across this recipe. Over the last couple of years I have modified it to what you see below.

 Skinny Chicken Fettuccinewith Greek Yogurt Alfredo

Greek Yogurt Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo

4 servings; about 15 minutes

 

6 oz. Ronzoni Smart Pasta Fettuccine Noodles (local grocery store) I usually just sub spaghetti noodles because I can get them at Walmart)

12 oz. Grilled or Baked Chicken (Aldi) Grill or bake it yourself ahead of time.

1 T Bummel & Brown Light butter (Walmart)

3 cloves garlic- more or less per taste (Aldi)

2t Cornstarch (Walmart)

¾ cup chicken broth (Aldi)- regular sodium is best

½ c grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese (Trader Joe’s)

¾ c 0% Greek Yogurt (Aldi or Trader Joe’s)

 

Cook your chicken if it’s not already cooked in your fridge. Boil your noodles till they are just a little bit al-dente. While those are cooking, melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet and add in the minced garlic and let it simmer about 3 minutes. While you are waiting, whisk together the Chicken Broth with the cornstarch until it’s no longer lumpy. Add that to the skillet. Whisk in the Parm-reggiano cheese and let it melt. Take it off the stove and then mix in the Greek yogurt until the whole mixture is smooth. Microwave your chicken until it’s warm (if it’s not already)and add the chicken and drained pasta to your Alfredo Sauce. It’s great with the zucchini recipe I posted a while back!

Note that this is best eaten the day it is made. If you are going to microwave leftovers later you will need to add in a tablespoon or two of water before your microwave it. After its warm add in another tablespoon of Greek yogurt to get the creamy texture back.

 

Makes 4 servings

Calories 310; Fat 7g; Carbs 32g; Protein 32g; Fiber 4g; WWP+ 8

 

Skinny 25 Calorie Mocha

Like most people, I learned to drink coffee as a teenager with the sugar-filled Mocha treats at the mall. They were, and still are totally delicious. Their price and calories though, can really break the bank! Who has at least 200 calories, an extra 15 minutes in the morning and $5 extra a day to spend on this habit- not me! So I started experimenting a few years ago with the cheap work coffee and creating my own cheap, easy and super-low-calorie Mocha. Here is what I found. I drink one almost every work day. Sometimes two-if it’s one of those days!

Use Diet Swiss Miss to make a a great 25 calorie Mocha in seconds!

25 Calorie Morning Mocha

8- 16 oz. coffee that is either free at the office or whatever brand you like.

1 packet of Swiss Miss Diet Cocoa Mix (Walmart, when they aren’t sold out or Target)

1-2 packets of Splenda

 

It’s as simple as mixing this all together well and drinking. Also note that the “Sugar-Free Hot Cocoa” is not the same as the diet and has like 60 calories in it. Still a good option but the Diet even has like 20% of the daily calcium recommendation as well!

 

To find calories and everything else- just look at the box of Diet Swiss Miss!

 

Funfetti Fruit Dip

I love cake- like a fat kid loves cake!  Being smarter and more nutritiously minded that I was when I was a fat kid, I have come up with a much smarter alternative that is just as good- if not better!

About a year ago a friend of mine introduced to me Funfetti Dip- A mixture of non-fat yogurt, light whipped topping and a box of cake mix.  It was soooooo delicious.  You are supposed to dip animal crackers or other semi-sweet cookies in it, which I did until I noticed we also had strawberries at girls night.  I gave dipping those a try and DAMN it was just as good if not better than dipping the cookies!  The dip though, was a bit thick, which is fine for animal crackers but made it difficult to really get the right amount on the strawberry.  I also tried experimenting with using Greek wogurt, which I read online can also be used to make the recipe.  Greek yogurt needs a little protein to the mix.  So, after experimenting, here is the perfect consistency skinner version of Funfetti Dip, perfect for fruit dipping!

 

Funfetti Fruit Dip

Funfetti Fruit Dip

½ cup Non-fat Greek Yogurt (Aldi)

½ cup Light Whipped Topping-Thawed (Aldi)

½ cup Funfetti Cake Mix (Walmart)

½ cup Original Almond Milk (Aldi)

2 packets of Splenda (Aldi)

1 T Cake Flavored Vodka (Walmart)-Optional but gives plenty of flavor!

Mix all ingredients together until smooth. Try to get out all of the cake batter lumps- even though it’s almost impossible. Let this sit in the fridge or about an hour. It’s amazing with strawberries and pineapple. I haven’t tried other fruits but I’m sure it would be great with plenty of other fruits.

 

Makes 4 HUGE ½ Cup servings!

Calories 90; Fat 1g; Carbs: 13g; Protein 3g; Fiber .5g; WWP+ 2

Summer Is Salad Time!

Summer is Salad Time: Sweet Spinach Salad Recipe and my tips for making great salads!

Summer is almost here: a time of laying at the pool, days long enough for long runs before work, a plethora of inexpensive fresh fruits & vegetables and of course don’t-want-to –heat-up-the-kitchen-cooking. It’s the perfect time of year for bright, bold but light salads. I love to experiment with salads because they are flexible and are so much more than the “diet food” of years ago. A trend for years in the restaurant industry, salads have gotten bigger and heartier. Often they have also increased in price as well! So, here are my tips for making great “restaurant quality” salads at home that are lighter and generally cheaper than the salads you would get when dining out.

1. Use what is in season. The same rule applies as my previous post about Fruit Salad. Fruits and vegetables that are in season taste better and are less expensive.

2. Start with a great “lettuce” base. Think Romaine, Spinach, or a Spring Mix/ Mesclun are my favorites. Make sure it’s fresh & crispy. No one likes wilty “yucky” lettuce.

3. Add 1-2 fruits or vegetables accompaniments. Think about adding diced broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, snap peas, celery, peppers, or even Zucchini or squash. Fruit is also amazing on salads and can give your salad another taste dimension: sweet! I love diced strawberries, blueberries, diced apple, grapes, mandarin oranges, diced pears or be bold with tropical fruits like mango or pineapple.

4. Maybe a dairy component is needed as well: any type of cheese is usually a great flavor addition to your salads. Low-Fat Cheeses like Light Feta, Light Cheddar or even full fat strongly flavored cheeses like Gorgonzola or Blue are worth their extra fat grams for all of the flavor that they contribute.

5. Now you need your crunch! Croutons are traditional but what other great light substitutes can you make? What about hand crushed crackers or Special K Crisps? Baked chips are an unexpected crunch as well, depending on the flavor profile of your salad. Maybe make your own light croutons with your going-stale Healthy Life Bread? For those who are less calories conscious, nuts are amazing in salads. Usually, a small amount of nuts go a long way in a salad. Peanuts, walnuts, pecans and cashews add healthy fats and help make the salad more filling. Candied nuts may not be the healthiest or cheapest additions but they make an awesome salad “splurge”.

6. Need or want protein? Really, I’ve seen pretty much every type of meat placed on a salad (ok, not hot dogs…yet). Personal favorites include turkey, chicken, hard boiled eggs, grilled steak, or even lamb. The protein helps to make the salad fill you up and feel more like a full meal.

7. The dressing! It’s so essential that most grocery stores have about 30 feet of options on their stores. Things to consider when selecting the perfect dressing: Is it light? Generally, I consider less than 60 calories and 3 grams of fat for 2 tbs. to be light but sometimes if the dressing is super strong and therefore, you can use less, this is a bit less important. What’s the flavor profile of your salad? Old world European with Spinach, light feta, grapes and diced tomatoes? Opt for a balsamic, light Greek, or even a fruit based dressing like my favorite Trader Joe’s Champagne Pear Vinaigrette. Maybe you are going all American- romaine, carrots, broccoli, cheddar and ham? Light Thousand Island or even skinny homemade ranch (coming soon) is perfect! Southwest or Mexican themed salads call for something a bit spicy but still creamy. I will be posting my Skinny Southwest dressing soon!

Salad making tips

1. Don’t dress too soon, otherwise your lettuce gets all gross.

2. Don’t overdress. Nothing is worse than getting a plate of dressing with a little bit of lettuce. You can always add more, but taking it off is impossible.

3. Experiment with mixing flavors but remember that generally sticking within the same cuisine genera is a good idea. Sometimes sweet and spicy together is great- sometimes it’s a flavor mess.

4. Really love a high calorie dressing? You can still eat it, just dip your fork into a side cup of the dressing. This allows you to get dressing on every bite and you will be amazed at how much less dressing you use this way.

5. Making a salad at home and it always ends up with all of your dressing on top and dry lettuce on the bottom? Shake it up. Place your ingredients into a bowl and place a larger plate over the top, hold firmly in your hands and shake shake shake! This is a restaurant trick for distributing the dressing throughout the salad.

Shake Salad

My current favorite Summer Salad:

Sweet Summer Spinach Salad

(that’s more S’s than my Initials!)

6 cups packed fresh spinach (Aldi)

1 oz Light Feta Cheese (Trader Joe’s)

About 4 medium strawberries- diced (Aldi)

About 20 red grapes (Aldi)

Optional but delish: 2T Chopped Walnuts (Aldi)

3T Champagne Pear Vinaigrette Dressing (Trader Joe’s)

Add everything together in a bowl. Shake to distribute the dressing.

Summer Spinach Salad

Cal 315; 16g Fat; 17g Carbs; 15g Protein; 9g Fiber; WWP+ 7

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