A Farewell to Summer: Peachy Keen Overnight Proats

Summer has finally started to wind down; kids are starting to go back to school, nights are getting longer, the weather is getting cooler… The end of August mark my official end of summer.

I don’t care what other people think, its what I call it.

There’s just something about the change of the seasons that leaves me feeling renewed and refreshed. What’s not to love?

Plus, there’s nothing I enjoy more after a hard morning of working out than a nice warm bowl of overnight proats. These overnight protein oats combine the sweet taste of fresh peaches with the warm scent of cinnamon for a perfect, fond farewell to summer, while also gently welcoming the coming harvest season.

I love making proats, because they’re so quick to make ahead of time and you can make them in just about any flavour you can imagine. Once you find the perfect milk:yoghurt:oats ratio mine is 1:1:1, you can use any flavour combination you like to create the perfect post-workout fuel.

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I’m a dummy and forgot to get a photo with the protein powder… so don’t forget that, too!

You Will Need:

  • 1 ripe peach, cut into bite sized chunks
  • 2T sugar free maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup vanilla Greek Yoghurt
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice I use unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1T cinnamon
  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder I used Optimum Nutrition’s 100% whey powder in vanilla ice cream
  • A few drops of almond extract

Instructions:

  1. Pit and cut peach into bite sized pieces and cook on medium heat with sugar free syrup until reduced slightly and a thick syrup starts to form; about 8-10minutes I didn’t time it, so I don’t know exactly. Whoops!
  2. Move your cooked peaches into a dish to cool I was afraid the hot peaches would sour the yoghurt and milk!
  3. Mix together the rest of your ingredients together in a mason jar or another container with a tight fitting lid and top with cooled, cooked peaches.
  4. Store in the refrigerator over night or at least 4 hours if you can’t wait.

You can enjoy these cold… or if you’re like me, you can zap them in the microwave for a minute or so and eat them hot.

 

Nutrition per serving; makes 2
Cal: 199
Carbs: 24.2g
Protein: 19.7g
Fat: 2.7g
Sugar: 9.4g

 

 

 

 

I try really hard to get you an accurate depiction of nutrition facts but this is using the particular brands/ingredients I prefer; please make sure that any substitutions you may use are taken into consideration when you make these recipes for yourself. MyFitnessPal is a great tool to create different foods and calculate nutritional information… USE IT! (:


Quick Hacks: Pita Chips + 2 BONUS salad recipes

Happy Monday, everyone! May your day be short and your weekend come swiftly!

When there’s a shortcut for something, I usually find it. Plus, if it’s going to save me money, I’m all over that shit.

I love Stacy’s pita chips, but I don’t like having a huge bag around the house because I tend to eat them mindlessly. So making them in single batches helps me with portion control. Hello, my name is Karen and I am a mindless munchie eater. 

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That way, when a hankering hits I make my own!

All I do is use Joseph’s 50 calorie mini pita loaves….

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Cut them up. I cut them into 8 pieces, but sometimes I pull the layers apart to get 16; ya dig?

Drizzle with olive oil or coconut oil, whatever you want to use, sprinkle with sea salt and red pepper flakes or any other flavours.. Cinnamon and zero calorie sweetener is also AMAZING.

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Then bake in the toaster oven until crispy.

Nutrition:
per 1 pita loaf

Cal: 50
Carbs: 7g
Protein: 5g
Fat: 1g
Sugar: 0g

BONUS
Tuna or Chicken Salad 2 ways!

I like to switch up my salad a little by using guacamole instead of mayonnaise. Then I use my pita chips as a vessel for my tuna or chicken salad to travel faster into my mouth.

You will need:

  • 2-3 oz tuna, drained or chicken, cooked and pulsed in the food processor
  • ½ T light mayo or ½ of a Wholly Guacamole mini guac cup
  • Red onion to taste
  • Shredded carrot to taste
  • salt/pepper
  • optional: cheese to make it a tuna melt (not included in nutrition info)

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Instructions:

  1. Drain tuna or cook chicken thoroughly and pulse in a food processor to shred into chunks
  2. Mix with mayo or guac and salt and pepper
  3. Mix in your onion and carrots if you’re using them
  4. Dip your pita chips in them and devour.


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Nutrition:

Tuna Salad with mayo per 2oz tuna; ½ T light mayo
Cal: 78
Carbs: 3g
Protein: 12g
Fat: 2g
Sugar: 1g

Tuna Salad with guac per 2oz tuna
Cal: 110
Carbs: 5g
Protein: 13g
Fat: 5g
Sugar: 1g

Chicken Salad with mayo per 3oz chicken; ½ T light mayo
Cal: 168
Carbs: 3g
Protein: 19g
Fat: 3g
Sugar: 1g

Chicken Salad with guac per 3oz chicken
Cal: 201
Carbs: 5g
Protein: 19g
Fat: 6g
Sugar: 1g

 

 

 

 

I try really hard to get you an accurate depiction of nutrition facts but this is using the particular brands/ingredients I prefer; please make sure that any substitutions you may use are taken into consideration when you make these recipes for yourself. MyFitnessPal is a great tool to create different foods and calculate nutritional information… USE IT! (:


Taco Tuesday with BONUS Quick Hack: No-carb shells

There is no better reward that says, “I survived Monday,” quite like taco Tuesdays.

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And boy, do I LOVE taco Tuesday.
I’m going to say tacos a lot today, OK? So… I hope you’re hungry. TACO TACO TACO.

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I even go as far as making my own dry seasoning so I can spare the pre-made packets and adjust the flavour to how I like it. This recipe includes instructions to make 2 tablespoons of seasoning for 1lb of meat to replace the pre-packaged store bought type. I sometimes double or quadruple the recipe so I can have it on hand instead of having to make it every time I want tacos… which is a lot…

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Let’s taco-bout it, shall we? Ba dum tsh.

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  • 1lb ground beef or chicken or whatever
  • ~½ cup salsa of your choice I used a black bean salsa <3
  • ~¼- 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper to taste or optional, depending on your desired level of heat
  • Provolone cheese deli slices I like to use the 50 calorie slices
  • Toppings of your choice like shredded cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, salsa, sour cream.. Yadda yadda. You know what you like.

Brown the beef until cooked through and drain excess fat. Mix together the dry spices and add over cooked beef along with salsa and water. I like to add the salsa to give the meat a little extra substance and to help add more flavour.

 

Allow the mixture to simmer with or without a lid; I only recently got a good pan with a matching top for about 3-5 minutes or until the majority of the liquid has been absorbed.

Once it’s finished, I like to scoop out ¼ cup servings and place them into my meal planning containers. That way, they’re pre-measured and ready to eat when I want them!

To make the no-carb shells, take a slice of provolone cheese and place it in the microwave on a piece of parchment paper. Microwave in single batches for 40-60 seconds depending on your microwave until the cheese is completely bubbly and the edges start to brown. I highly suggest that you watch it while it cooks.. At least until you get the timing down. If you overcook them, they get inedible.

 

Take the melted cheese out of the microwave and fold the corners of the parchment paper to create your “shell” shape. I personally balance them in my refrigerator to help speed up the cooling/setting process while the meat finishes cooking.

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straight chillin with the leftovers

Once they’re set, fill up with meat, toppings and enjoy!
Alternatively,when I don’t feel like making the shells, I LOVE to use the Quest Nutrition protein chips and their new protein tortilla chips as a base for nachos OR make a taco salad.

I use 1/2 of a bag of the Quest chips any flavour top with meat and cheese then toss it in the toaster oven on broil until its bubbly.

Get creative! Experiment! Above all.. ENJOY.

 

 

Nutrition:
Meat only; per ¼ cup – based on 85/15 ground beef
Cal: 85
Carbs: 0.5g
Protein: 12g
Fat: 2.2g

Cheese shell will depend on the brand/type of cheese used (per 1 slice)
Cal: 50
Carbs: 0g
Protein: 5g
Fat: 3.5g

 

 

I try really hard to get you an accurate depiction of nutrition facts but this is using the particular brands/ingredients I prefer; please make sure that any substitutions you may use are taken into consideration when you make these recipes for yourself. MyFitnessPal is a great tool to create different foods and calculate nutritional information… USE IT! (:


Quick Hacks: Jell-O Mix

After noticing a post on Instagram several months ago by whom… I’m not too sure about putting sugar-free Jell-O mix in your protein shakes more specifically pudding mix, though I’m pretty sure the gelatin would produce similar results, I practically own Kraft Foods. I use it so much and so often, it’s one of the main staples in my kitchen now.

I was going through my cupboards the other day to organize, take stock of current inventory and get an idea of what I may have forgotten about when I found SIX boxes of pudding mix. And that was just the cheesecake flavour; I also have white chocolate, chocolate fudge, butterscotch, vanilla, and banana cream I may or may not have a legitimate addiction to the cheesecake pudding mix.. Please.. Send help.

 

What I’ve been doing with it is simple; add 8g of the powdered pudding mix or gelatin… I have yet to try it, but I’ll let you know once I do! to your protein powder, mix with water or milk I always use unsweetened vanilla almond milk and you’ve got a wholly different animal on your hands.

The pudding mix helps to create a thicker, creamier shake and only adds 25-40 calories depending on the flavour and how much you add. I’ve found that 8g which is 1 serving size adds the perfect amount of flavour and texture; but play around with it… add more, use less.. Find what you like!

 

Try blending it up with your protein and some frozen fruit for an icy cold milkshake.

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Another trick of mine has been adding the pudding mix to my Greek yoghurt. I’ve been attempting to reduce the amount of waste I produce by moving mostly away from the individually packaged yoghurt cups and buying the big tubs of it instead. I still recycle the tubs that I don’t re-use for freezing soup and big batches of tomato sauce.

I like to use Dannon Light and Fit vanilla Greek yoghurt because it has the best nutritional stats for my personal liking. AND.. its delicious.

 

For yoghurts, I take about ½ cup of yoghurt and stir in 4g half a serving of the pudding mix. For bonus points, add some extracts to further enhance the flavour! The result is a super rich, and decadent mousse-like concoction that will blow. Your. MIND.

 

Feel free to get crazy and top it all off with your favourite granola, chocolate chippies, coconut, or dip your Quest bar in it.

Thinking about it now… I bet if you put the mix in the freezer for a few hours and stir it occasionally, it would be like…. Frozen yoghurt. OMG.

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Try it out for yourself and let me know how you like it! Has anyone tried using Jell-O gelatin instead of pudding? How was it? Comment below and tell me your favourite flavour combination!

UPDATE:
I have tried mixing ~1g half of a serving of sugar-free black cherry Jell-O with 2g of the sugar-free cheesecake pudding mix and the result was… just as magical as I had anticipated.

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for the love of food, try this today. Thank me later.

 

I try really hard to get you an accurate depiction of nutritional facts but this is using the particular brands/ingredients I prefer; please make sure that any substitutions you may use are taken into consideration when you make these recipes for yourself. MyFitnessPal is a great tool to create different foods and calculate nutritional information… USE IT! (:


Oven Fried Honey Mustard Chicken

I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know by telling you that Monday’s suck. It’s the first day back to work for most people after a day or two off, you usually have a mountain of paperwork to come back to. Well I am also here to tell you comfort food is always welcome here, folks.

For those of you looking for some extra crunch to your chicken without adding the extra oil and fat, look no further. I present for your viewing and eating pleasure; oven-fried honey mustard chicken.

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I normally buy chicken breast when they’re on sale and stock up so I can freeze them and use them when I need them. But this time, I decided to use chicken tenderloins, if only to make things easier on myself.

Yes, you could pound the chicken and cut them into strips, but I had already had a loooooong day of working out, visiting families socializing is very mentally taxing on me as I’m sure it can be for a lot of people and to be honest, sometimes I’m just lazy. I’m really trying trying to tell you that you have plenty of options 😉

You will need:

  • ~2lbs chicken breasts, cut into 1” strips; or chicken tenderloins
  • ⅓ c light mayonnaise
  • ⅓ c honey
  • ⅓ c dijon mustard
  • 2-3 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 cups seasoned panko crumbs

For the sauce:

  • ⅓ cup honey
  • ⅓ cup dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp lemon juice
  1. Preheat oven to 450F and line a baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick spray or coconut oil.
  2. Whisk together mayonnaise, honey, mustard and garlic together until smooth. Pour over chicken and allow to marinate in the fridge for at least an hour.
  3. Coat the strips in panko crumbs reeeeeally really press the panko into the chicken. If you use gloves like I did, it’ll be that much easier to clean up afterwards and you can get a nice even coating for each piece. Discard any left-over marinade.
  4. Bake in the oven for 15-17 minutes until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165F.
  5. While the chicken is cooking or even prepare it ahead of time whisk together the sauce ingredients and store in the fridge.
  6. Plate, add extra honey mustard for dipping and DEVOUR.

Nutrition:
For a ~4oz serving size

Cal: 175
Carbs: 15g
Protein: 23g
Fat: 5g

I hope you give this a try! I loved it, and I can’t wait to try out different flavour combinations; ranch, taco..cheese?? OMG. The possibilities are endless.

Let me know in the comments your favourite comfort food to fight off a case of the Mondays! Make today awesome, you majestic fucking unicorns.

 

I try really hard to get you an accurate depiction of nutrition facts but this is using the particular brands/ingredients I prefer; please make sure that any substitutions you may use are taken into consideration when you make these recipes for yourself. MyFitnessPal is a great tool to create different foods and calculate nutritional information… USE IT! (:


Avocado Spaghetti Squash

I found this recipe for Avocado Pasta from Damn Delicous.

And let me tell you, it was DAMN. Delicious.

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a majestical fucking unicorn in her natural habitat

I used to be obsessed with carbs. Pasta, rice, bread, potatoes; you name it, I ate it. And that’s how Karen got fat. Since having weight loss surgery, I still eat small amounts of real pasta from time to time, though surprisingly, I don’t miss it all that much! Prior to surgery I thought I’d be craving pasta and bread like crazy… but honestly its a nice treat now and again. When I DO eat it, it fills me up much quicker than anything else and it usually weighs very heavily in my stomach.

Don’t get it twisted, now. I’m still obsessed with carbs. I’m just… a little more aware of the impact they have on my body.

So here we have it, my favourite pasta substitute; spaghetti squash.

 

Now, please forgive my lack of food photography skills… as.. Well. We have none. Ryan was kind enough to snap some photos as I was cooking.. But we honestly have very little idea of what we are doing.

But, just like everything else, it’ll be a learning experience! YAY FOR NEW THINGS.

For this recipe you will need:

  • 1 medium sized spaghetti squash (with seasoning to taste; I used olive oil, salt, pepper, basil, garlic powder and red pepper flakes)
  • Protein of choice (I used leftover chicken breast from the day before)
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2T lemon juice
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • ½ can yellow corn*
  • Halved cherry tomatoes*

*these were part of the original recipe, but I omitted them.

To prepare:

  1. Poke a few holes in the spaghetti squash and nuke in the microwave for around 5 minutes or so and let it cool slightly; it makes it much easier to cut in half..
  2. Cut that sucker in half and scoop out its guts.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil and seasonings of choice. Spaghetti squash is pretty bland on its own, so be generous with your flavouring.
  4. Place on a baking sheet or in a 9×13 pan with a little bit of water (just enough to cover the bottom) and bake at 375 for 45-50 minutes.
  5. When it’s out of the oven, take a fork and shred the “meat” off the skin and you’ll have a load of spaghetti!

 

While your squash is cooking, you can prepare the avocado sauce. All you have left to do is take the remaining ingredients (except the chicken or other protein) and blend it up in a food processor until smooth and creamy.

 

Once everything is done, add your protein if you want it, plate it up and enjoy!

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I hope my photography skills get better with practice…

When I put my ingredients into MyFitnessPal for the avocado sauce it came out to around 75 calories per 2T. It’s a bit of an estimate, as I don’t know precisely how many servings there really were, but it’s a pretty close idea.

for the sauce; per ~2T
Cal: 74
Fat: 7.7g
Carbs: 1.8g
Protein: 0.4g

for the squash; per 1/4 cup
Cal: 10
Fat: 0.1g
Carbs: 2.5g

Protein: 0.2g

I try really hard to get you an accurate depiction of nutrition facts but my calculations are done by using the particular brands/ingredients I prefer; please make sure that any substitutions you may use are taken into consideration when you make these recipes for yourself. MyFitnessPal is a great tool to create different, unique foods and calculate nutritional information… USE IT! (: