Oatmeal Protein Cookie Balls

My inner fat kid loves baked goods.

 

So does my outer fat kid.

I really could eat baked goods all day long.  Keep your Twizzlers and Sour Patch Kids, I’ll take the homemade oatmeal cookies.

Sadly, cookies aren’t exactly on my training plan.  Until now.  I strange’d it up in a storm of “use everything in my pantry.”

Oatmeal Protein Cookie Balls

 

I balled up a version of one of my favorite cookies because everything’s better as balls.  I also altered the ingredient list a bit so it can be eaten guilt-free.  Not that I feel guilty about eating dessert… but sometimes my abs do.

These chocolate chip-laced treats are just as good as the real thing.  Really!  My boss ate one and said “oh my god… these are good!” with a only slightly suppressed tone of  surprise.

Oatmeal Protein Cookie Balls

 

You could probably use any flour here – try coconut flour to make it gluten free.  They can easily be made vegan with a flax egg.  And, if you’re not ready to bring back pumpkin yet, try mashed sweet potato or banana!

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Oatmeal Protein Cookie Balls

Oatmeal Protein Cookie Balls

  • 1 C almond meal
  • 1 C rolled oats
  • 1/2 C spelt flour
  • 2 scoops (62 g) vanilla protein powder (I used Growing Naturals rice protein)
  • 2 T  brown sugar, packed
  • 2 T Stevia (or more brown sugar)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 C pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 C water
  • 3 T coconut oil
  • 3 T egg white (or flax egg)
  • 2 tsp NuNaturals simple syrup (or maple syrup)
  • 1/2 tsp maple pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 C sugar-free chocolate chips

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place dry ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine.

In a small bowl mix coconut oil (softened in micro if necessary), syrup, egg white, water, and extract.  Pour wet mixture into the dry.  Stir until well-combined (you can use your CLEAN hands).

Fold in the chocolate chips.  Make balls of ~2 T of dough, place on cookie sheet and and flatten with your palm.

Bake for 10-12 mins at 350 degrees.  Remove from oven and let cool.

Makes about 30 cookies.

*See notes in post above for gluten-free, vegan, and other options!

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How have you enjoyed making co-workers, friends, or family stare with strange but good creations this week? The link up rules can be found here or by clicking on “Strange But Good” in the menu bar above. In short, I want to see what concoctions have earned you weird looks from co-workers, family and friends! Post your Strange But Good creations, grab the logo below for your blog, and link up here.

Sprint 2 the Table

 

 

Remember to use #strangebutgood in any Tweets and Instagrams of your creations. :)



***

I’m thinking I need to finally try a clean(er) cheesecake of my own next!

Baked goods or candy?

What childhood favorite would you like to health-ify?

 

#MoveHappy 4: Fudgy Plantain Protein Muffins

I’m high on my #MoveHappy this week!

 

I’m in Colorado… what were you thinking?

This week I get to do my #MoveHappy challenge with Heather in Colorado!  In case you missed it, Heather and I are co-hosting a challenge to have FUN with fitness in July.  You can read the details here.  We have a lots of prizes and 5 chances to win some of our favorite fitness-related items.  Last week’s prize was announced on Heather’s blog, and this week I have the goods again!

First let’s talk about how awesome is is to be here for Heather’s 2nd bikini competition!  She decided to start competing almost a year ago this week when we were on vacation in Napa.  I told her if she did, I’d come to Colorado and do a competition with her… this time she’s competing in a different organization and I’m taking a year off, so I came to spectate.  Doesn’t she look great? 

We celebrated a great show with lot of tasty food at Session Kitchen.  The server was amazing – she even brought out a special dessert for Heather!  Chocolate Chip Blondie S’mores with streusel sucre and White Russian gelato.

2014 WBFF Denver… 

Read More »

Dips, Dessert, and a Drink

Happy 4th of July!

 

aka National Sunburn Day.

I have a tradition of running the Peachtree Roadrace (the world’s largest 10K) and enjoying the sweltering heat sunshine.  Since I’m off doing that, today’s #strangebutgood is a round of of things you might like to enjoy during your weekend festivities.

Some are stranger than others, but I assure you they’re all good.  And they’re relatively quick and easy – especially the oh-so-addicting S’Mores Brownies!

Chipotle Corn Hummus

Chipotle Corn Hummus

 

Cilantro Hummus Salsa

Hummus Salsa

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treats (Lightened Up)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treats

 

 

S’mores Brownies

Smore Brownies

 

Piña Mezcalita

Piña Mezcalita

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How have you enjoyed making co-workers, friends, or family stare with strange but good creations this week? The link up rules can be found here or by clicking on “Strange But Good” in the menu bar above. In short, I want to see what concoctions have earned you weird looks from co-workers, family and friends! Post your Strange But Good creations, grab the logo below for your blog, and link up here.

If you’re not a blogger, you can still share your recipes on Instagram with the #strangebutgood hashtag.

Sprint 2 the Table

 

 

Remember to use #strangebutgood in any Tweets and Instagrams of your creations. :)



***

I may have to cool off at the mall.  There are sales… all the things… this won’t end well.

What are your plans for the 4th?

What is your favorite poolside treat?

 

Bread, Breakfast, & Jackson Pollack

Weekends are for wandering.

 

But don’t get lost.

I did lose a car key… but I had a spare!  I have no idea where it is.  This is not at all relevant to this wandering post.. My weekend started out strong with an attempt at homemade bread on Friday morning.  I had bookmarked Sarena’s gluten-free bread recipe when she shared it on Lindsay’s blog weeks ago.  I have a fear of making yeast bread, but I’d had bread made by Sarena before and couldn’t wait to try it for myself.

The flavor was great, but I think the chef was to blame for the too-dense texture.  Sarena’s recipe says to use a mixer.  I used my hands.  Next time I’ll try whipping the eggs first to get some air in!  Or I may crash my mom’s house to use her mixer. ;)

Gluten-Free Bread

… 

Read More »

Banana Chocolate Chip Protein Muffins

Elvis had it right.

 

Except for the whole dying on the toilet thing…

The King was known for banana and peanut butter sandwiches.  And music, of course.  That classic combo has been one of my favorites for years.  My mom used to make those sandwiches for us… with mayonnaise.  #strangebutgood from an early age!

Banana Chocolate Chip Protein Muffin stack

 

I left the mayo out of these muffins, but added chocolate.  They also contain protein.  Probably not strange to many of you, but my co-worker called me a “nut bag.”

(She calls me this In an affectionate way – she’s my tater tot-eating work wife.  Sometimes I steal a tot, but she never steals my food.  I win!)

Banana Chocolate Chip Protein Muffin insides

 

Anyway, eat these.  The bananas, Greek yogurt, and nut butter give these a rich but not-too-sweet taste and a velvet-like texture.

Once you pop, you can’t stop.

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Banana Chocolate Chip Protein Muffins

Banana Chocolate Chip Protein Muffins

Inspired by Ari’s muffins

  • 1 large ripe banana, mashed
  • 2 T Xylitol (or other sweetener)
  • 1/4 C plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 egg whites (6 T)
  • 3 T unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 C nut butter (I used Onnit Cashew Walnut Butter)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 T melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 flour (I used spelt)
  • 2 scoops (62g) vanilla protein powder (I used Growing Naturals Rice Protein)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 C chocolate (or carob) chips
 

In a large bowl, add banana, sugar, yogurt, egg whites, milk, nut butter, vanilla, and coconut oil in a bowl and whisk together until combined.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.

Add the dry to wet ingredients and stir together until just combined.

Fold in chocolate chips.

Pour batter into greased muffin tins.  Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick come out clean.

Makes 10 muffins.

Approximate Nutritionals (per muffin): 131 calories, 5.8g fat, 38.6g sodium, 12.2g carbohydrates, 2.2g fiber, 2.9g sugar, 8.6g protein
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How have you enjoyed making co-workers, friends, or family stare with strange but good creations this week? The link up rules can be found here or by clicking on “Strange But Good” in the menu bar above. In short, I want to see what concoctions have earned you weird looks from co-workers, family and friends! Post your Strange But Good creations, grab the logo below for your blog, and link up here.

Sprint 2 the Table

Remember to use #strangebutgood in any Tweets and Instagrams of your creations. :)


***

Now I have “Love Me Tender” stuck in my head.

Are you a banana and peanut butter fan?

What’s your favorite Elvis song?

 

Strange But Good: I’m Seeing Red

Red is an extreme color.

 

And I love extremes.

Red is typically used as either a color of danger or a color of love.  Obviously, this season is of love.

I happen to love food.  Desserts especially.  Even better if it’s strange (but good).  My contribution to the #strangebutgood linkup today is a round-up of red-themed healthy treats.  Many are even one-serving for Singles Awareness Day. ;)

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Mocha Beet Frappuccino

I make this 4-5 times a week.  Usually without the coffee – I rarely drink it so I don’t keep it around.

Mocha Beet Frappuccino

 

Red Velvet Chia Cheesecake

It’s been too long since I’ve made this.  Happening again next week.  For breakfast.

Red Velvet Chia Cheesecake

 

Red Velvet Protein Mugcake

You guys know I’m a mugcake addict.  I married this with my Marshmallow cake this week… there are no words.

Red Velvet Protein Mugcake

 

Red Velvet Protein Bars

I didn’t come up with these, but I wish I had.  These were a guest post by Kammie.  They taste as good as they look.  I keep a batch in my freezer for a quick snack when I need a chocolate fix.  Which is quite often.

Red Velvet Protein Bars

 

Vegan Goat Cheese Stuffed Oven-Roasted Tomatoes

No, I’m not going to try to tell you a tomato is dessert.  Just in case you already have dessert plans I wanted to include a savory item for you.  This is a complicated-looking, gorgeous dish.  And it’s extremely easy.

Vegan Goat Cheese Tomatoes

♥ Happy Valentine’s Day! ♥

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How have you enjoyed making co-workers, friends, or family stare with strange but good creations this week? The link up rules can be found here or by clicking on “Strange But Good” in the menu bar above. In short, I want to see what concoctions have earned you weird looks from co-workers, family and friends! Post your Strange But Good creations, grab the logo below for your blog, and link up here.

Sprint 2 the Table

Remember to use #strangebutgood in any Tweets and Instagrams of your creations. :)



***

Curious about the Fitmark giveaway?  Click here to check to see the winner!  Now, I must go get ready for my hot date.

What are you doing to celebrate VD?  *snicker*

What’s your favorite red recipe?  Link it up!

 

Strange But Good: Sriracha Veggie Muffins

Sriracha and I have a long relationship.

 

Second only to my relationship with my hair stylist.

Spicy is a food group all its own in my house.  I put Sriracha or some sort of heat source on nearly everything.  Even my chocolate sauce is “Mexican” with the addition of cayenne.  Why should muffins be any different?

Rooster Veggie Muffins

 

If adding Sriracha to muffins isn’t strange enough, I also added veggies.  I choose red peppers, zucchini, and shiitake mushrooms to compliment the Vietnamese feels of the Sriracha.  You can easily change it up with your favorites.

This spicy little number is also low carb thanks to coconut flour.  I also added stay-powder with healthy amount of cottage cheese and eggs to amp up the protein.

Sriracha Veggie Muffin

 

Heat up your morning (or your evening) with a spicy little number.  They’re good from the freezer too – just pop it in the microwave ~30 seconds to thaw.

It may sound strange, but it’s good.

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Sriracha Veggie Muffins

Sriracha Veggie Muffins

  • 1 small red pepper, diced
  • 1 C cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 C shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 C zucchini, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 C spelt flour
  • 1/4 C coconut flour
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp sodium-free baking powder
  • 1/2 C no-salt cottage cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1.5 C egg whites
  • 1 T sriracha

 

Preheat oven to 375.  Coat a muffin tin with cooking spray.  

Heat pan over medium-high heat and coat with cooking spray.  Saute veggies until tender.  Set aside.

Meanwhile, mix together dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Stir in wet ingredients.  Lastly, fold in sautéed veggies.

Divide evenly into muffin tins.  Bake 20-25 mins, until toothpick come out clean.

Makes 12 muffins.  Can be stored 5-6 days in the refrigerator, or 3 months in the freezer. 

Approximate nutrition (per muffin): 81 calories, 1.6g fat, 88.8mg sodium, 8.5g carbohydrates, 2.2g fiber, 1.3g sugar, 7.3g protein

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How have you enjoyed making co-workers, friends, or family stare with strange but good creations this week? The link up rules can be found here or by clicking on “Strange But Good” in the menu bar above. In short, I want to see what concoctions have earned you weird looks from co-workers, family and friends! Post your Strange But Good creations, grab the logo below for your blog, and link up here.

Sprint 2 the Table

Remember to use #strangebutgood in any Tweets and Instagrams of your creations. :)


***

It's finally going to be sunny all weekend here!  Perfect timing for a long weekend.

What is your favorite hot sauce or spice?

Do you prefer savory or sweet muffins?

 

Merry Monday

Christmas ends so quickly!

 

So does the dessert.

I took a nice, long blog break last week to enjoy the time with my family.  It was great to take some rest… but I was excited to come back and share, and to read everyone else’s recaps!  Is anyone else still full? ;)

Our Christmas Eve was a little different this year – we went out to dinner!  That was fun, but the best part was our tradition of sharing dessert and drinks at home with some family friends.  I make something different every year.  This year was chocolate-hazelnut martinis and an amazing Sweet & Salty Chocolate Guinness Pie topped with marshmallow meringue.

Sweet & Salty Chocolate Guinness Pie

 

I followed this recipe, with a few adjustments.  I halved everything to make just 1 pie.  Instead of graham crackers I mixed pretzels with ginger snaps in the crust.  I also made a simpler meringue.  Rather than doing it over heat, beat the egg whites into a fluff and slowly added sugar to keep it light. Then, I melted the marshmallows in the microwave before adding them in.  I skipped the Guinness reduction and in favor of bourbon extract.

That meringue was insanely good… I must say this is one of the best desserts to date!

 

Christmas morning was a sure sign we are all grown up – after a late night, we slept until 9am and no one touched a present until almost 10:30!  This is unheard of in my family.

It gave me time to take some pictures of my favorite ornaments.  The one on the bottom right was my great grandmother’s!

Christmas ornaments

 

French press coffee in hand and fire built, we dug into the bounty.  Even Honey (the dog) waited patiently for her turn to explore her stocking.

Mom out did herself, as always.  We are lucky girls!  I got a ton of clothes, a pizza stone, new towels (my only request – another sure sign of being an adult!), some cool glass bottles, make-up, chocolates… and bacon duct tape.  Wouldn’t it be awesome if it was scratch ‘n sniff tape?!

Presents

 

Brunch is the big-deal meal in my family.  So is taking pictures of everything we eat.

Mom staged a shot of the sparkling wine and ambrosia:

 

One of our most-loved traditions is the champagne brunch.  I brought a bottle of sparkling from my Napa trip – a Schramsberg Brut Rosé.

It went well with our smorgasbord.  We had ambrosia, Italian sausage and cabbage saute, local bacon, toast, scrambled eggs, mâché (greens), and mushrooms (so good sautéed in bacon remnants and fresh rosemary).

Christmas champagne brunch

 

Then we lounged.  We Skyped my other sister in Portland.  I napped.  I never nap… bacon and sparkling are to blame!  ;)

But we aren’t total lushes couch potatoes.  A few hours later we took Honey for a 3 mile walk by the river.  It’s pretty close to where my dad is buried, so we made a pit stop to say hi.  Honey jumped right up on the bench there to say hi.  It was really sweet.  And really cold… we hauled it back home for hot tea and to begin dinner.

Honey

 

Dinner was another tradition – my friend Ben and his partner came over.  Ben makes the best chocolate-coated toffee I have ever had, and every year he comes over for a meal and to deliver a bag of crack toffee.  We snacked on a cheese plate, enjoyed some wine, and prepared dinner.

Mom helped me to roast my first whole chicken.  It turned out really well!  We ate that with a spaghetti squash and bacon creation and a salad.  And more wine.  (Read: we slept in again.)

Christmas Dinner

This marvelous Christmas deserves a link up over at Katie’s MIMM!

***

I’m prepping for a NYE pairing dinner I’m co-hosting… and then I must admit I’m excited to get back on the clean eating train.

What is the big holiday meal in your family?

What was the best gift Santa brought you this year?

 

3 Ingredient Coconut Macaroons

This is for those that think my recipes have too many ingredients.

 

Not really, but it should make you happy.

These coconut macaroons are the most requested Christmas cookie I make.  Ironic, since I don’t love coconut.  But if you DO like coconut, you’ll love these.  If you don’t, you’ll still eat a couple because they really are good.  Especially after I had the brilliant idea to dip them in chocolate.

Coconut Macaroons

They technically have 4 ingredients, but I refuse to count vanilla.

When you form balls, you’ll feel like they aren’t sticking together enough.  Don’t be scared.  Just roll them together as best you can.  The sugar will melt and bind with the egg as it bakes – just be sure to let the cookies cool before you touch them.

Coconut Macaroons

I’ve made these for a couple of years sans chocolate.  I have no idea why.  This year I melted chocolate, added some bourbon extract (yes, I put booze in everything), and painted the bottoms.

If you do this, place them in the fridge to harden before you serve them.  It’s good with the gooey chocolate, but extremely messy. ;)

Coconut Macaroons with chocolate

Linking these up to Katie’s MIMM… because cookies are marvelous.

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Coconut Macaroons

Coconut Macaroons

  • 3 C sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 C granulated sugar
  • 5 egg whites
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • Melting chocolate (optional)

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Place all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix with (clean) hands until the ingredients are completely combined.

Place tablespoon sized dollops of batter onto a baking sheet making sure cookies are at least an inch apart.  They will feel loose, but don’t worry.  They will bind as the sugar melt during cooking.

Bake, one sheet at a time, for 10-15 minutes or until edges are browned.  Let cool for 10 minutes.

Dip in melting chocolate, if using.  Store up to 1 week in fridge.

***

I may not blog again until after Christmas… resting and enjoying the season is a glorious thing.  Happy Holidays!

What are your favorite Christmas Cookies?

Do you like coconut or chocolate better?  Both?

 

Strange But Good: Mexican Chocolate Cake

Dessert is my favorite part of a fiesta.

 

Christmas counts as a fiesta, no?

I made this for Thanksgiving, but it would be fantastic for a Christmas dinner, too.  Or New Years.  Or just for breakfast.

When you read the ingredients in this cake, you’ll see that it actually wouldn’t be so bad to have at breakfast.  It’s full of healthy fats and protein, and sugar-free!  This brings me to the strange.  The healthy fat in this one is avocado.  It’s good, I swear.

Mexican Chocolate Cake

 

Between the avocado, eggs, and yogurt, this is one of the lightest, moist cakes you’ll ever have.  It’s the perfect end to a heavier dinner.  You could eat half of it without blinking an eye.  Not that I would know.

The almond, cinnamon, and cayenne are the Mexican part.  If you’re concerned about the cayenne, you could leave it out.  It’s not overwhelming; it simple gives the smallest hint of “hmmmm” at the end of a bite.

Mexican Chocolate Cake with Coconut Icing

 

The icing on this cake was yet another healthy fat addition.  I whipped coconut cream into a pillow-y spread for the cake.  Don’t worry if it doesn’t seem stiff enough at first – it will firm up as it settles.

You can have fun with the flavors here.  I added vanilla and cinnamon, but a liqueur like Frangelico or pie spice would be excellent as well.

I know several of you made these Chocolate Avocado Cookies or these (Vegan) Blood Orange Scones… vouch for me! You really can’t taste the avocado.

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Mexican Chocolate Cake

Mexican Chocolate Cake

  • 1 small avocado
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 C xylitol (or other sugar substitute)
  • 3/4 C Icelandic yogurt (or Greek)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 C whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1 C unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • Coconut Icing

 

Preheat oven to 350.  Prepare a bundt pan.

In a small blender, mix the avocado and eggs until smoother.  Stir in xylitol, yogurt, and extracts until combined.

Whisk together dry ingredients.  Gradually add dry ingredients to the wet.

Once combined, add in milk and beat well.

Pour into bundt pan.  Bake for 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Cool for 10-15 minutes in pan and then transfer to wire rack to completely cool.

Eat as-is, or ice the cake with whipped coconut cream frosting.  I used this recipe for the coconut cream whip, only I subbed more xylitol for the sugar, and added vanilla and cinnamon.

Note: Like most cakes, the flavors improve after that cake has a day to rest.  Do wait to frost it until the day of.

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How have you enjoyed making co-workers, friends, or family stare with strange but good creations this week? The link up rules can be found here or by clicking on “Strange But Good” in the menu bar above. In short, I want to see what concoctions have earned you weird looks from co-workers, family and friends! Post your Strange But Good creations, grab the logo below for your blog, and link up here.

Sprint 2 the Table

Remember to use #strangebutgood in any Tweets and Instagrams of your creations. :)


***

My mom took home a couple of slices and called the next day (at breakfast) to tell me it had gotten even better!  I think day 2 is the perfect storm for this one.

Avocado.  Would you bake with it? Have you ever?

What is your favorite dessert for the holiday season?