Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Treats in the heat.

Last night's dinner was another specialty a lá Doug. There was brief talk about taking advantage of a special at Domino's Pizza, but remembering how much cake I ate over the weekend and into Monday, I quickly shut that idea down. So back to healthy meal planning we went.

We ended up with a Quinoa salad, topped with grilled chicken and homemade vinaigrette dressing:

For the salad mix, Doug tossed together diced tomatoes, sliced radishes, green onion and cooked quinoa. For the dressing, he whisked together:

  • Minced garlic
  • Lemon juice
  • Olive oil
  • Dijon mustard
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Ancho chile powder
  • Dried cilantro flakes
  • Salt & pepper

The chicken was cooked on the grill and brushed with Famous Dave's Texas Pit BBQ sauce. If you want to go meatless, this salad would go great with black beans and corn.

Fresh, clean flavors and a great summer dish that required minimal use of the stove. Works for me! And apparently it also worked for Randal, who did a great job of cleaning up some quinoa that spilled on the floor:

Before dinner, I already had dessert on the brain, so I decided to try a couple of recipes I had seen in the latest issue of Oxygen Magazine, both of which featured whey protein powder.

The first recipe was a batch of Almond Butter Whey Cookies:

Bite-sized, of course:

For this recipe, you'll need:

  • 1/2 cup Oats
  • 1 tbsp creamy almond butter (I used Barney Butter; it's so smooth!)
  • 1 scoop whey protein powder (I used Designer Whey's chocolate variety)
  • 1 egg white (or 1/4 cup liquid egg whites)
  • 2 packets Stevia (or sweetener of choice; I used a generous tablespoon of granulated Splenda)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 cup carob chips (optional; I used semi-sweet chocolate chips)

(I also added about a tablespoon of cocoa powder for extra flavor, along with a dash of salt.)

Whisk together the dry ingredients in a bowl, then stir in the wet ingredients with a spoon. The dough will be really sticky and kinda difficult to work with, but mix as well as you can.

Use a teaspoon to make the dough into golfball-sized portions. Bake in a 350˚F oven for 10 minutes. I ended up with 10 cookies instead of 12, but whatevs. Each cookie is about 30 calories!

Things to do differently next time: While the chocolate flavor in these cookies was spot-on, Doug and I both agreed that they were DRY. Like really, really, I-need-copious-amounts-of-milk-stat! dry. I'm already planning to make another batch, but I will definitely play around with adding milk and/or unsweetened applesauce to give them some much-needed moisture. A little softer, and these could be a pretty satisfying, guilt-free treat when the chocolate craving hits.

The second recipe I tried was for Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups:

In a blender, add:
  • 4 oz water
  • 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder (I used Designer Whey)
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter (I used Peanut Butter & Co's Dark Chocolate Dreams)
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1-2 packets of preferred sweetener (I used a generous tablespoon of granulated Splenda)

Blend until well mixed, pour into a muffin tray and freeze for 1-2 hours. (I used a mini muffin pan and ended up with 10 cups total.)

Things to do differently next time: As far as the recipe goes, I don't think I'd change much because they tasted pretty darn good. But they're also super-messy to eat because it's basically like eating pieces of a frozen fudge bar without the stick. That said, I think this recipe would work as a really great base for a low-cal ice cream. I'm going to try mixing it with a few cups of almond milk, freezing it and seeing what I end up with. Given the creaminess of the cups, I think the ice cream would turn out pretty good.

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