Red Velvet Protein Mugcake + WIAW

Here comes the rooster.

Bonus points if you can name that song..


Many of us have fallen in love with the spicy sauce, but did you know it has an interesting back story?  Yesterday I came across this article explaining  the history of “the world’s coolest hot sauce.”

It’s inventor and CEO, David Tran, came to the US from Vietnam in 1980 homeless.  Unable to find a hot sauce to satisfy him in the States, he simply made his own with hybrid red jalapeño peppers, vinegar, sugar, salt, and garlic.  He only hoped to make a sauce worthy of a traditional Vietnamese pho.  He just discovered that sushi chefs have been using it for years to make spicy rolls!  His use of a specific fresh chili is what sets him apart – and manufacturing is dictated by their 10 week, 100 million pound harvest.

Even more mind-blowing is that he has never hired a single salesman, spent any money on advertising, or used social media.  “It’s all been word of mouth,” Tran says.  As a marketing professional, this blows my mind!


I don’t know where my brain was last week when I said 3 weeks.  THIS WIAW I am 3 weeks from my next competition!  Just a couple of diet tweaks so far, and we added 15 mins of HIIT cardio.  Anticipation of asparagus is high…


Read on for my eats, and then check out Jenn’s blog for everyone else delicious creations!



As usual, I started the day I with my Aminos and ACV morning cocktail.  I swear it’s more energizing than coffee.

My breakfast was warm and comforting one on a chilly, rainy morning.  Pumpkin pie-esque oatmeal, with a serious protein punch.  I really like adding eggs and TVP for texture as well as protein; it makes this into a custard-like bowl of oatmeal.

Pumpkin Pie Spiced Oatmeal

Pumpkin Pie Spiced Oatmeal

  • 1/4 C TVP
  • 1/4 C rolled oats
  • 1/2 C water
  • 1/2 C egg whites
  • 1/4 c pumpkin purée
  • 1.2 tsp cinnamon,
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • Stevia or other sweetener, to taste

In a small pot prepare oatmeal and TVP as normal.  

When just done, add remaining  ingredients, stirring rapidly to incorporate eggs before they scramble.

Pour into a bowl (or coffee mug) and enjoy!

Mid-Morning Snack:

Leftovers from this Sheepshead fish I prepared over the weekend, along with some roasted veggies.  And a few unpictured rice cakes.

Sheepshead fish


Cod, hummus, red pepper slices, cucumber, and sweet potato doused in cinnamon.  Standard fare for Gantt chart reviewing.

Mid-Afternoon Snack:

I love that I can get salmon sashimi from the massive international market here.  It’s fresh and it’s cheap.  Often I eat it plain, but I saw Jenn’s cucumber rolls and had to give it a go.

I only had 4 survivors (I need more practice), but they are so much fun to eat!  I rolled them up with red peppers and asparagus, and dipped it all (including that sweet potato) in wasabi.

salmon cucumber rolls

As delicious as it was, the best part was that my pancake-on-stick-eating coworker said it was so “pretty” that he wanted one.  I handed it over and he loved it!  Our food comparisons have become a running office joke… I love these guys.


Dinner was a super-quick saute of bok choy, green onions, sugar peas, and garlic in lime juice, coconut oil, and an Indian spice blend.  It turned out so well that the rest was just details – chicken (made during Sunday food prep) and injera (Ethiopian teff bread).


I’ve been on a giant Greek yogurt bowl kick lately.  That has to stop.  3 weeks out from my competition my trainer sad no more.  The idea is to eliminate foods that could bloat.  Dairy is one of them.  No worries.  I’ll just have Red Velvet Cake.

The deliciousness below is basically my 150 Calorie Chocolate Protein Cake, but I used Cocoa Cardio* instead of cocoa powder.  Topped with popcorn, cacao nibs, and Nuttzo.

 *Cocoa Cardio from iHerb. Use discount code USO924 for $5-10 off your order!


Red Velvet Protein Mugcake

Red Velvet Protein Mugcake

  • 22g chocolate protein powder (I used 2/3 scoop Growing Naturals)
  • 1 scoop (7.5 g) Cocoa Cardio*
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp no sodium baking powder
  • 3 T unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 egg white (or flax egg)
  • 2 T pumpkin puree (can also use applesauce)
  • ~8 drops NuNaturals orange pure liquid stevia
  • Optional toppings: popcorn, cacao nibs, nut butter

Place dry ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine.  Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until smooth.

Transfer to a large, greased (I use coconut oil) coffee mug and microwave for 1:30 mins.

Tip the cake out onto a plate and top as desired.  My cake was topped with nut butter, cacao nibs, and popcorn.

Makes 1 cake.

 *Cocoa Cardio from iHerb. Use discount code USO924 for $5-10 off your order!  You can also leave it out or use cocoa powder and 1/8 C beet puree to keep it red. 


Thank you all of all of the kind comment on yesterday’s post.  It’s sometimes hard for me to tap into the more emotional side – I use humor more often than not. So thank you for being empathetic and kind.

Are you a sriracha fan?  What’s your favorite thing to add it to?

Have you ever attempted a homemade Asian roll?  Oddly, I found the cucumber easier than dealing with rice paper or seaweed.


  1. says

    THOSE CUCUMBER ROLLS> I order them whenever I am at my favorite sushi joint. But now I should just really make them at home. I saw them on Jenn’s site the other day, tried to pin, failed miserably and walked away from my computer is dismay. And now you just reminded me of my FAIL! lol!!

    However, you made me feel MUCH MUCH better with that Sriracha picture 😉 however, I already KNEW! lol!!

  2. says

    Alice in chains? Gosh, I love 90s grunge!
    My husband is Sriracha fan, too, but I prefer that sweet chili sauces that is often served with mini springrolls. So sugary, but so so good!
    Those cucumber rolls look so cute! We sometimes make regular sushi (we call it kimbap) at home. It’s actually a great finger food, ideal for long road trips. I fill my rolls with avocado, cucumber, pickled radish, and omlett stripes, and my husband adds surimi to his.

  3. says

    Oh my Gosh, I was the freakiest Grunge Chic back in the 90’s. Bring back those memories!
    I do my tvp/oatmeal EXACTLY like you, love it! I sometimes leave it overnight and it turns into a bake. SO good. I love that the pancake-guy wanted your sushi roll! My coworkers ate my organic/healthy chocolate-apple muffins yesterday, score!
    Oooh, 3 weeks!! So exciting!

  4. says

    I never tried sriracha until I visited the states- here its all about Tabasco- silly us, not knowing what we’re missing!

    Cant wait to see how some asparagus twerking- its in season here now so lets see some unique ways to use it….and some… nice scents 😉

    Red velvet mug cake…. you proteinius!

  5. says

    super impressed with your homemade sushi! i love sushi but have never and probably will never attempt to make it at home! my older brother makes his own and itz AMAZING! (& super time consuming lol)

    • Laura says

      These were actually faster than rolls… but it’s one of those things you have to do 1-2x to get the hang of it!

  6. says

    We add sriracha to lots of things! Vishnu is a spicy food fanatic so it’s perfect for when I make something the perfect amount of spicy for me and not enough for him. Luckily it blends well with Indian food. :)

  7. says

    I’ve made sushi at a friends house a couple of times. We weren’t half bad at it!

    When are we going out for Ethiopian food again? The injera made me want some.

  8. says

    Word of mouth is the best for advertisements! I know I’m ten times more likely to buy a product recommended by a friend or family member than just off a tv ad. That story about the sriracha man is so interesting!

    I thought Jenn’s sushi rolls sounded fabulous. And that red velvet mug cake beats greek yogurt any day in my opinion 😉

  9. says

    That is insane, I wish I could do that word of mouth I mean I do travel all over I guess I just need to be a bit more VOCAL. I just started eating greek yogurt and its been so addicting! I do notice my abs are not poking out so much anymore but thats ok for now..maybe one day I will be competing like you!! I can not wait to see all of your posts on the competition! Lots of Love! C

  10. says

    Gotta love Alice in Chains. We go through a ton of sriracha in our household. Pretty much goes with everything right? And I finally started using the tvp for oatmeal – but good golly the first time I tried 1/4 cup and like 1 tbsp oats, I couldn’t finish it. Thought my tummy was going to blow up. I can only do about 1/8 cup and about 2 – 2 1/2 tbsp oats. I don’t know how you add egg to that. OH, I will say that I soak the oats and tvp overnight and then just add more water and nuke in the morning. Timesaver tip.

    • Laura says

      I dipped coconut soft serv in sriracha once… so, yeah… agreed it goes with anything. 😉

      This is why I run late every day: I make oats fresh in a pot the old school way. One day I’ll learn…

  11. says

    LOVE your easy recipes!!!! That mug cake sounds amazing – now to find out what that cocoa cardio is & if I can replaces with cocoa powder.. :)

    I keep seeing sriracha at TJs & have not bought in case I don’t like – of course I could take back but what does it taste like? :)

    3 weeks – YIKES!!!!!

  12. says

    AIC!!! Love me some Alice and Chains, I saw them in concert. Totally awesome.

    I love Sriracha. It is terrible, but I put it on all sorts of things. Soups, eggs, sammies…love it!

    I need to try those cuke rolls! YUM

  13. says

    I’ve been having that hot sauce since I was a kid. It’s always been in our fridge :) It’s amazing how much it has grown in popularity!

    Lovin’ the eats today! I also like how you added popcorn to your cake!

  14. says

    How are we being so similar recently yet living so far apart? You know I was a week off of the competition date too, right? Kirk corrected me this weekend (which I was both happy & sad about). And both posting TVP Oatmeal today? Craziness. And yes…I love sriracha. It’s amazing!

  15. says

    My favorite food to eat doused in sriracha is avocado…something about the creamy-ness + spicy= perfection. Also, I now have “Rooster” from Alice in Chains in my head. Oh yeah, gotta love 90s grunge metal! Do I get the points?? 😉

  16. says

    LOVE me some Sriracha on just about everything! I would have to say my favorite is PIZZA! I have never attempted making sushi…I leave that up to the professionals. 😉 Happy Hump Day!

  17. says

    I looove Sriracha! I was so pleasantly surprised to see it as the Thai restaurant I lunched in earlier this week- it defo added a necessary kick to the meal :D!

  18. says

    THREE WEEKS?! Woo hoo…it’s getting close!! So excited for you sweetie! And ok, I have to say I’m getting a bit of a chuckle out of the fact that I just noticed those plates have names on them! Hahaha! I know I already said this on Insta, but gah, I’m so dang jealous of your sashimi!! The closest thing I can get around here is smoked salmon which is good, but yeah, you can only eat so much of that stuff before your tongue starts getting raw! 😛 I’ve only attempted sushi-making once (remember my avocado cabbage rolls for MMAZ?) and yeah, that was a biotch! I much rather prefer making summer rolls…even if I do sometimes curse the rice paper for sticking to every damn thing! Lol

    I like sriracha but only in smaaaaaaaaaaaaall doses…because I’m a pansy…and it gives me heartburn! I think I’ll just stick to my chili garlic Cholula which I used to dose a plate of eggs, veggies, and butternut squash the other day! So good!

    • Laura says

      Kristina tried to teach me how to do rice rolls, but I’m still hopeless. At least with sushi it still tasted good when you ruin it (unlike all the stuff I burn… LOL!).

      I’m just glad we got you hooked on the Cholula. It’s the gateway drug – mark my words! 😉

  19. Wendy says

    I am a huge fan of anything hot and spicy! I love sriracha and also some of the hot sauces from TJ’s. I would love to try the cuke rolls- but am afraid to use my mandolin- LOL! For now, I’ll continue to pick them up from my local Asian restaurant. I cannot wait to try the Red Velvet Mugcake- YUM!!!!

    • Laura says

      Everyone has said TJs hot sauces. I’m going to have to try them out – I rarely shop there!

      Let m know if you try the mugcake. It’s my new favorite. :)

  20. says

    Wow, I work a lot in Marketing & Sales, too, and had no idea about the sriracha guy – makes me want to support it even more! Great story. I said to Heather after her TVP oatmeal post this week that I would try it, but yesterday I ran out of time and today I’m trying to eat only familiar things because I have a race tomorrow. After that … no excuses!!! Gotta try this.


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