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Ok, so we’ve gotten pretty “heavy” (no pun intended) in this column in the last few weeks, so this week, I’m going to keep it “light” – with some light recipes that is. (I hate myself right now.) Also, my weight loss was flat this week (I’m blaming PMS), so it seems like a good time to look up some of my old favorites.
A few people have asked me for my favorite recipes or recipe sites, so I figure it’s time to give the people what they want with five of my favorites. Keep in mind, I follow a low-carb/high protein diet, so sometimes the recipes don’t seem too “diet-like” – as in they may have a high fat or calorie content. Also, the normal disclosures – I am not a nutritionist; check with your doctor before changing your diet; etc. – apply.
Peanut Butter Cookies from Andrea’s Protein Cakery
This site is a literal treasure trove of high-protein sweets and this is one of my favorites. To the people that say you shouldn’t have sweets while you are losing weight, I counter back that a world without sweets is not a world I want to live in, so I’m having a damn cookie. Which is fine as long as the cookie A.) falls within my metrics for the day and B.) has some protein in it.
⅓ cup natural peanut butter, raw if desired (85g)
¼ cup filtered water (2oz)
1 teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla extract
a pinch of sea salt
⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ cup natural vanilla rice protein powder (28g)
Preheat the oven to 325F (163C).
Mix peanut butter, water, and vanilla until combined.
Add salt and cinnamon. Mix well.
Add rice protein. Mix well.
If the batter is too sticky (sticks to your fingers), add a little more protein powder.
Form the batter into 12 balls, and place onto parchment-lined cookie sheet. (If dehydrating, place directly on the mesh dehydrator sheets.)
Using a fork, flatten each ball with a criss-cross pattern.
Bake for 20-25 minutes. (Or dehydrate at 115F for 12-14 hours.)
Protein for 1 cookie serving if you make 12: 10 grams per cookie (although sometimes I make smaller cookies and eat two so I feel like I’m having more)
Buffalo Blue Chicken Meatballs from Peace Love Low Carb
You know those commercials where the old lady is talking about Frank’s Red Hot and said she “puts that shit on everything”? Yeah, that’s true of me too, so she’s my spirit animal. As is the woman who writes Peace Love Low Carb, where this buffalo favorite comes from; she’s gained and lost like all of us, and continues to document it despite the haters. A bunch of her recipes have some weird (to me, anyway) things like pork rinds, but this is one of my favs.
1 lb ground chicken
1/2 cup Buffalo Wing Sauce, divided (I use this brand)
1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
2 large ribs celery, divided
3 large cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp onion powder
sea salt and black pepper, to taste
(optional): 2 large green onions, chopped
Preheat oven to 400° Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Dice up one rib of celery to put into the meatball mixture. Cut the other rib into dipping stick sized pieces.
In a large mixing bowl, combine, ground chicken, blue cheese crumbles, garlic, diced celery, 2 tbsp. buffalo wing sauce, onion powder, sea salt and black pepper.
Form meat mixture into 16 meatballs. Line the meatballs on the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes.
While the meatballs are in the oven, heat the remainder of the buffalo wing sauce, and the butter over low heat, until the butter is completely melted and is well combined with the buffalo wing sauce.
Once the meatballs have finished cooking, gently toss them in the sauce until they are generously coated.
Garnish: Sprinkle chopped green onions over meatballs before serving.
Protein for 4 meatball serving if you make 16: 29 grams
Beef, Tomato and Acini di Pepe Soup from SkinnyTaste
I’ve long been a devotee of SkinnyTaste, but as the site is not specifically low-carb/high-protein, sometimes I have to make modifications to bring the recipes more in line with my nutrition targets as you’ll see below. But this recipe, along with her Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps are two of my go-tos.
1 lb 90% lean ground beef
1- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced carrot
28 oz can diced tomatoes
32 oz beef stock*
2 bay leaves
4 oz small pasta such as Acini di pepei
grated parmesan cheese, optional
Instructions for Slow Cooker (Instant Pot and Stovetop directions are on the website)
In a large nonstick skillet, saute the beef and salt on high heat until browned, breaking the meat up into small bits. Add the onion, celery and carrots and saute 3 to 4 minutes.
Transfer to the slow cooker along with the tomatoes, stock and bay leaf, cover and cook low 8 hours.
Just before it’s ready cook the pasta on the stove according to package directions. Add the pasta, stir
and cook according to package directions.
Protein for 1 serving if you divide into 6: 21 grams (although I use Banza chickpea pasta elbows instead of regular pasta to bring the protein up and the carbs down)
Cheesy Cauli Tots from Sugar Free Mom
Not everything on this website is low-carb, but there is an entire section of low-carb recipes and some of them are delish.
For those you that are like “Ick, cauliflower!” I’m with you. I hate plain cauliflower, but I’ve discovered that you can turn cauliflower into almost anything – pizza crust, tortillas, mashed potatoes, and, like this recipe, tater tots. I’ve done my fair share of experimenting with cauliflower recipes, and to be honest, some of them are horrible, but this is one of the good ones.
4 cups steamed cauliflower
1 cup grated parmesan
1/3 cup coconut flour
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp garlic salt
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Place steamed cauliflower in a food processor and pulse until it resembles crumbs.
Pour it into a bowl and stir in the remaining ingredients until combined.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Using a cookie scoop, scoop about a tablespoon of the mixture, form cylinder shapes.
I was able to make 32 tots.
Bake for 15 minutes then flip them over for cook another 5 minutes.
Cool slightly then enjoy!
Protein for a 4 tot serving if you make 32 tots: 11 grams
Fat Head Pizza Crust from Ditch The Carbs
Like 90% of the time I can be satisfied with cauliflower crust pizza. But sometimes, I just need something more, and the something more is what lots of low-carbers call “the holy grail” of pizza crust – the Fat Head crust. You can find lots of variations of this online, but this is the one I tend to use the most.
1 3/4cups pre shredded/grated cheese (I use mozzarella mixed with a little parmesan)
¾ cup almond meal/flour
2 tbsp cream cheese
Pinch salt to taste
½ tsp dried rosemary/ garlic or other spices as wanted
Any pizza toppings you like
Mix the shredded/grated cheese and almond flour/meal in a microwaveable bowl. Add the cream cheese. Microwave on HIGH for 1 minute.
Stir then microwave on HIGH for another 30 seconds.
Add the egg, salt, rosemary and any other flavourings, mix gently.
Place in between 2 pieces of baking parchment/paper and roll into a circular pizza shape.
Remove the top baking paper/parchment. If the mixture hardens and becomes difficult to work with, pop it back in the microwave for 10-20 seconds to soften again but not too long or you will cook the egg.
Make fork holes all over the pizza base to ensure it cooks evenly.
Slide the baking paper/parchment with the pizza base, on a baking tray (cookie tray) or pizza stone, and bake at 425F for 12-15 minutes, or until brown.
To make the base really crispy and sturdy, flip the pizza over (onto baking paper/parchment) once the top has browned.
Once cooked, remove from the oven and add all the toppings you like. Make sure any meat is already cooked as this time it goes back into the oven just to heat up the toppings and melt the cheese. Bake again at 425F for 5 minutes.
Protein for 1 serving (crust only; recipe is 6 servings): 11 grams
Starting weight to Lose: 30 pounds
Week 1 Results: – 1.1 pounds
Week 2 Results: – 2.1 pounds
Week 3 Results: +0.4 pounds
Week 4 Results: – 0.2 pounds
Week 5 Results: – 0.2 pounds
Week 6 Results: – 0.1 pounds
Week 7 Results: -0.9 pounds
Week 8 Results: 0.0 pounds
Remaining weight to lose: 25.8 pounds
If you want to follow along with me, friend me on MyFitnessPal or FitBit!
Also, I’ll be chatting weekly about my progress with JR Hickey on our podcast, “Don’t Take It From Us.” New eps will be released every Wednesday, so check it out on Soundcloud below or Subscribe on iTunes!