May 18

What I Ate Wednesday II

Let’s talk protein powder.  I use it a lot.


Looking at my restaurant food pics, you’d think I was a bigger meat eater.  However, at home I rarely eat meat.  My diet is more plant-based.  This means I have to work hard to get in the protein I need.


The usual suspects are all staples in my diet: tempeh, tofu, lentils, quinoa, eggs, greek yogurt, etc.

Tempeh Crab-Free Cakes (click for recipe)

I also lift weights 4 times a week.

After a weight workout it’s generally recommend that you get 20g of protein within 30 minutes in order to help build muscle and aid in recovery.  Sometimes that’s hard to do on the go, so I use protein powder. You can add it to virtually anything!


Pineapple Upside-down Shake


…or in oatmeal:

Banana Almond Butter Overnight Oats


Tonight I’m trying a new (to me) form of protein: Casein Protein Powder.


More on Casein:

  • It makes up 80 percent of the protein in cow’s milk
  • Helps further build muscle mass
  • Moves through the digestive tract slower than whey protein
  • Is ideally taken before bed since the majority of muscle repair/regrowth happens when you’re asleep (slooooow release of protein thru the night –> better muscle recovery)


Many women balk at the phrase “build muscle.”  Truth be told, most women have to work very, very hard to build muscle.  Lifting weights and taking in some extra protein isn’t going to make you look like this*:

*Not that there is anything wrong with wanting to look like this.  To each their own.

AND – according to The Drs (don’t judge me!) - an extra pound of muscle can burn 50-100 calories per day!


On to the brilliant Peas and Crayons’ What I Ate Wednesday! Eats from Tuesday.  And yes, it involves protein powder. :)


This was a quick, protein-filled, late-to-work-and-eaten-in-the-car breakfast.  It tasted like banana pudding on bread.  For real.

Banana Pudding Bread

  • 2 slices Ezekiel bread
  • 1 banana
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 T unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Toast the bread.  While toasting bread, mush up your banana and mix with protein powder and milk (you can adjust liquid depending on your consistency preference).

Spread the banana deliciousness on your toast and enjoy!



I really love when there’s just the right amount of spinach left to make a salad right in the container.  So.  Easy.

In my salad:

  • Spinach
  • Cucumber
  • Black beans
  • Radishes
  • Carrots
  • Sprouts
  • Salsa



This Sweet Potato Kale Pizza was one I bookmarked to try months ago. It was worth the wait.

My modifications were few:

  • Halved the recipe to make one big pizza
  • Instead of massaging the kale with the EVOO mix, I used Madras sauce
  • Cherry tomatoes instead of slicing a large one (roasted them on the pizza perfectly!)
  • Parmesan rather than “raw” parm


This was ridiculously filling satisfying.  I’ll be doing this again and experimenting with other toppings!  (I’m thinking coconut butter and garam masla next.)

Check out the recipe by Callie @ Rawxy here.



Items I forgot to take pics of include…

  • Chocolate Toffee Think Thin Bar
  • Celery + Hummus
  • Blueberries
  • Almond milk


Apparently I’m in the mood to list things today…


Do you use protein powder?  Have you ever tried Casein?

How else do you get your protein?



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  1. Alayna @ Thyme Bombe

    I haven’t bit the bullet and bought protein powder yet. All the ones I’m interested in are so pricey.

  2. Cait @ Beyond Bananas

    That banana bread pudding looks REALLY good.

    i use protein powder often in my smoothies and oats. I have also been told by my trainer..that when building muscle.. youshould eat 1.5 grams of protein for every pound you way.. each day. That is A LOT of protein.

    1. Laura

      I have been told 1.5x too. Haven’t made it to that consistently yet… short of snorting protein powder, it’s hard to fathom getting so much. (Kidding, kidding…) :)

  3. Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food


    I love the look of your eats, esp the kale and sweet potato pizza and the no crab cakes. As a Maryland native, I am always looking for ways to enjoy crab cake like dishes because crab is soo expensive and hard to find in Chicago!

    I used to drink quite a lot of casein and whey powder when I worked in fitness but now don’t use any and prefer to just get it my protein from whole foods. I’m like you I do eat meat, but not very often! :)

    1. Laura

      Thank you!!! Check out the cakes – my seafood-eating friends said they were good (I’ve never had an actual crab cake) and that the sauce was right on.

  4. Liz @ IHeartVegetables

    I love the idea of using protein powder as a creamy bread topper!! Great idea :) I don’t use protein powder very often, but sometimes I throw it into a smoothie, or make protein pancakes!

  5. Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen

    I actually NEVER use protein powder (unless you could peanut flour…which I wouldn’t). Although I often eat meat outside of the house, I rarely cook it myself, but I get a lot of protein from yogurt and tofu/tempeh. [Speaking of tempeh, I am VERY intrigued by these "crab" cakes of which you speak.] I do eat the occasional “protein bar” but those are really just candy bars in my mind. :)

    1. Laura

      Thanks! I realllly want to try out peanut flour. Writing TJ’s a letter of complaint!

  6. Jenny (Fit Girl Foodie)

    I like Casein, it’s very pudding like as opposed to whey. I drink it if I find myself low on protein. That Banana Almond Butter Overnight Oats looks really good. I think a lot of people under eat protein because they’ve cut off all kinda of meat but to build muscle you should really aim for at least 1g of protein for 1lb of body weight :)

  7. Linda Brewer

    I use Manitoba Harvest Hemp Pro 70 protein concentrate to make banana shakes and their dark chocolate one to make chocolate strawberry shakes. Just wrote a review on it today, actually. I have an issue always being anemic, so I have to consume lots of protein, and don’t want to kill my cholesterol with constant meat intake, though I do eat meat. I love your blog, by the way!!

    1. Laura

      Love your post – I’ve been curious about hemp-based powders. Thanks for stopping by!! :)

  8. Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking

    Oh that pizza looks awesome!! I used to use a lot of protein power and now after reading this I think I need to get started back!!

  9. Allie

    I hate how people think protein powder will make you HUGE.. I agree.. it is SUPER hard to actually gain muscle LOL!

    Your breakfast looks sooo good! Ahh!

  10. Heather@girlyeverafter

    Your salad look great! I love adding salsa to anyhing I can. I use protein powder more in the warmer months with smoothies for breakfast.

  11. Jenn L @ Peas and Crayons

    Oooh I adore your modifications to the kale and SP pizza! it sounds soooo good! and everything looks awesome as always!!!! <3 Happy WIAW! <3

  12. Tiffany

    I pretty much stick with soy protein. Everything else pretty much tears my tummy up! BTW… I love the banana pudding toast for breakfast!

  13. melissa

    I’m actually researching vegan protein powders now but am worried about the flavor. I bought HORRIBLE tasting propow before and hate wasting money like that.

    I usually get my protein from eggs, fish, greek yogurt, and dark greens.

    1. Laura

      I hear a lot of people use Vega. One way I try new powders is getting the sample-size packets for $1-3 ate Whole foods or my local health food store. I did a taste test a while back… I should recap that… :)

  14. Lee

    I just bought some Sun Warrior protein powder from Amazon after hearing everyone rave about it. What can I say? I’m a jump on the bandwagon type of blogger.

    1. Laura

      I just bought the vanilla! Can’t wait to try it out.

  15. Ari@ThE DiVa DiSh

    I love the idea of making that “banana pudding”
    I use protein, but not whey because it makes me sick, so I usually do a vegan or raw kind.

  16. Jess@Healthy Exposures

    As soon as I tried that sweet potato pizza I was kicking myself for not having tried it sooner. Is it not wonderful?! Makes me scoff at “normal” pizza :P
    I don’t use protein powder, but wouldn’t mind having some smaller packets around. I’ve just found that when I have a big container of it, I either rely on it too much and start eating less protein from real food, or get halfway through the container and get sick of it :P

  17. Hannah@mindrunningwild

    Such a good idea to mush banana on toast! I’ve got some tofu banana pudding in the fridge, I’m going to have to try that toast thing.
    I get my protein from egg whites, yogurt, non dairy milks and tofu. I also eat beans sometimes.

  18. Parita

    I have a friend that truly with all her heart believes that weight lifting will turn her into a guy with huge muscles…it annoys me SO much! I’ve sent her articles, blogs, anything and everything I can find to convince her otherwise, but she just won’t listen. Oh well, you win some you lose some!!!

  19. ta

    i just wanted to say that I’ve found that I can’t go wrong with your recipes. I tried the banana pudding today- :D. I’ve also made the zucchini banana muffins, paired salmon with grapes for the first time, tried cocoa, cinnamon and cayenne pepper together…. Thanks for the food inspiration.

    1. Laura

      Thank you so much – I am flattered. I really appreciate the comment!

      Wait til you see what I paired salmon with today… ;)

  20. Krystle

    Awesome, thanks for the post!
    So why would one purchase casein over whey isolate, for example? (BTW, what’s your favorite whey?)
    Casein seems to be more expensive.
    Also, I saw a different post of yours about lower sodium casein, so i’ve been looking around and found met-rx 100% Micellar Casein. 120 cal, 25g protein, no sugar, and 30mg of sodium per scoop! Beats Dynamitze!

    P.s. You should make a microwave protein cookie/cracker (something crunchy) recipe! :)

    1. Laura

      They are good at different times – casein is though to best be eaten at night as it’s a slow digesting protein that keeps your muscles fed so they can continue to repair during sleep. I don’t like the texture of casein powders, so most often I just have Greek yogurt or cottage cheese.

      P.S. I do have a microwave protein cookie. ;) http://www.sprint2thetable.com/2012/09/microwave-protein-cookie-wiaw/

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