A super easy and healthy turkey burger has been my staple at lunch the past couple of weeks. Turkey burgers are super high in protein (you know I like my protein) and low in fat, so you can easily have 2 at one sitting to help you feel full and satiated.
I’ve discovered a few tricks to making burgers lately that I want to share with you:
**Make things easier on yourself by throwing all of the ingredients except the turkey into the food processor. Then you don’t have to chop chop chop which can be time consuming. The juices from the canned peppers and chilies also provide a nice binding agent to help the patties stay together.
**Bake the burgers instead of grilling them. Sometimes when I grill mine indoors or outdoors, then juices run away from the meat. In this case, since turkey is so lean, I like when the juices stay on the meat. The result is a super moist burger.
So I hope you enjoy these little suckers as much as I do…
Green Chili and Roasted Red Pepper Turkey Burgers
makes 10 large burgers: macros for 1 burger: 114 calories, 1g fat, 3.6g carbs, 23g protein
1 cup cilantro
8 whole green chilies (from can) or 2 cans of diced green chilies
3 large roasted red pepper halves (about 4 ounces)
1 small onion (about 150g)
5-10 fresh basil leaves
Salt, pepper, and a pinch of red pepper flakes
2 pounds of ground turkey breast, lean (32 ounces)
Combine first 5 ingredients + spices in a food processor until mixed. Add the mixture to the ground turkey. Form into 10 patties. They will be a bit wet from the juices. Mine measured each about 135g per patty.
Bake in 2 large, greased casserole dishes for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
After the patties have cooled to room temperature, transfer to the fridge or freezer for storing.
- 2 cups dates, pitted (100g)
- 1 cup almonds
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 1-2 T. unsweetened almond milk (optional, if needed)
- Put 1/2 cup of coconut flakes into the food processor and process to break up flakes slightly (about 1 minute). Do not over-process or it will become coconut butter.
- Remove flakes and set aside
- Place dates in the food processor and process until they have broken up and come together into a ball.
- Break up date ball with hands and add in almonds, cocoa powder, 1/4 cup of coconut flakes and sea salt.
- Process for several minutes, scrapping down the sides as needed.
- Add in vanilla and almond extract and 1 T of almond milk.
- Process until mixture comes back together into a ball. If it doesn’t do this, add in 1 more tablespoon of almond milk.
- Remove mixture from the food processor and roll into 20 balls.
- Roll each ball in the remaining 1/4c coconut flakes.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for several weeks.
Happy Valentine’s Day from our family to yours!
After a week in Miami on vacation, I seriously considered skipping this sweets that come with this holiday all-together. I do love to travel, but I also love being home and getting back to my routine of healthy home-cooking and fierce sweat sessions.
But when I went to Whole Foods to do my weekly shopping, I got sucked into the holiday – with husbands and children shopping for the wives and mommies in their life, and I wanted to do something special for my guy. He loves chocolate pudding, and I figured he probably wouldn’t notice if I threw in some healthier alternatives to the standard recipes.
This recipe was adapted from Giada’s Chocolate-Avocado Mousse
Valentine’s Day Chocolate Pudding
macros: 212 calories, 13g fat, 23g carbs, 3g protein, 6g fiber, 14g sugar
3T. mini chocolate chips, used Enjoy Life for dairy-free
1t. unrefined coconut oil
1 large avocado, peeled and pitted, about 5 ounces
4 ounces cultured coconut milk, plain (used So Delicious brand)
6 deglet dates, pitted
6T. unsweetened cocoa powder
1T. vanilla extract
1/2 t. sea salt
1/4 liquid cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
In a microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate chips and coconut oil in 15 second increments until melted, stirring frequently.
Last week I met up with Evie Claire Photography and took a couple of fitness photos with Gianna to celebrate her 6-month birthday. Afterwards, I went and got a slice of carrot cake from a local bakery. I was relieved that the photos were over, and I was happy with how my weight loss was progressing over these past 6 months, with only 4 pounds to go to reach my pre-baby weight of 132. While I do not often celebrate with food, I did feel like having a treat.
So I got home and put my sweatpants on, and I dove into this white flour, white sugar triangle slice of carbs and fat. I ate half of a large slice…and waited…and then it hit me. The sugar rush, followed closely by the sugar crash, and the headache.
It had been a while since I’d had it, since I really do not eat typical baked goods that often, and now I had remembered why. They really make me FEEL like crap!
I follow a flexible dieting plan called IIFYM, so I can eat whatever I want as long as it fits my macros. I just choose foods that are usually free of refined sugar because of the way they make me feel.
I do love the flavors of carrot cake, so that inspired me to create these little bites of goodness. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. They are excellent pre and post workout, since they have less than 5g of fat and fiber per bite and are 60 calories each.
Carrot Cake Energy Bites
recipe modified from A Sunshine Mission
Makes 17 bites. Macros per bite: 60 calories, 1g fat, 13g carbs, 1g protein, 2g fiber, 8g natural sugar
1 cup pitted dates (150g)
1+1/2 cup shredded carrots (150g)
1 cup oatmeal (quick or old-fashioned)
1/4 cup raisins (optional)
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut
pinch of sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fresh or ground ginger
- Process all ingredients in a food processor until a ball of dough forms.
- Remove dough from food processor and roll into bite-sized balls with your hands.
- Place in the fridge for 1 hour to harden, and store them there between enjoyment.
I love these dense little bites of goodness because they are packed with protein (12g per bite) and low in sugar. They are perfect post workout or right before bed as a sweet nighttime treat.
Mix the following in a bowl:
1 scoop chocolate protein powder (recommend Vega)
2T. powdered peanut butter
2T. ground flaxseed
1/4c. quick oats
4t. cacao nibs
1/2c. unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or use plain)
1-2T. Stevia (to taste)
Form into 3 large bites. Add more almond milk if needed. Roll in unsweetened coconut.
They are very dense, so you really only need 1/2 or 1 at a sitting. I like to enjoy mine with coffee or almond milk.
**For best results refrigerate for at least 8 hours before eating.**
I work with clients all of the time on how to add more protein to their diets. Protein builds muscles, keeps you full and is so good for you! So I tweaked my original protein pancake recipe to make this new one which is higher in protein and lower in fat. 11g of protein per pancake. Boooooom! Thank you egg whites and protein powder!
These pancakes are great served warm or cold, and they freeze very well. This recipe made 17, so save half in the freezer for a rainy day.
Do not leave the lemon juice out of this recipe. The purpose of it is not to add flavor. When heated, baking soda also produces sodium carbonate, which doesn’t taste so great. It leaves an unpleasant, alkaline flavor behind. But if you mix baking soda with an acid (like lemon juice or another citric acid carrier) then the sodium carbonate is partially neutralized and leaves behind less aftertaste. This acid also helps the carbon dioxide gas release more quickly.
I have made this recipe with and without the coconut palm sugar, and I do think it adds a lot of extra flavor, so I would recommend keeping it, unless you are really finicky about added sugar. Coconut sugar is definitely a better option than cane sugar.
If you do not like blueberries, I would recommend adding a different berry that you enjoy. They really act as a syrup when heated, eliminating the need for an added sugar, and they keep the pancakes moist.
I hope you enjoy these little treats as much as we do in the Davis household!
Peanut Butter Vanilla Protein Pancakes
macros (per pancake, makes 17): 102 calories, 0.7g fat, 13.1g carbs, 1.9g fiber, 7.6g sugar, 11.1g protein
500g very ripe bananas (about 4 large)
2c. liquid egg whites (36T.)
8T. powdered peanut butter (recommend organic Just Great Stuff brand)
4 scoops (4.8 ounces) Vega Sport Vanilla protein powder
2t. baking powder
1t. baking soda
1T. lemon juice
2t. vanilla extract
2T. coconut flour (recommend Bob’s Red Mill)
2T. coconut palm sugar
1T. ground cinnamon
1t. sea salt
- Using an electric mixer. Blend the bananas and egg whites until frothy. Continue adding the remaining ingredients (except blueberries), one at a time, blending between each addition. Fold in berries.
- Heat a non-stick pan over medium-low heat. Lightly oil the surface with coconut oil and/or cooking spray.
- Once the surface of the pan is hot enough that a drop of water sizzles on it, pour ¼ cup of batter onto the pan. Let the pancake cook for about 3 minutes.
- Once the underside of the pancake is lightly golden, flip it with a spatula and cook for another 90 seconds or so, until golden brown on both sides. You may need to adjust the heat up or down at this point.
- Serve the pancakes immediately or allow to cool and refrigerate or freeze.
In an attempt to create a recipe that did not produce a food that was brown (chocolatey), I spent some time in the kitchen last week on a new sweet protein treat using Vanilla protein powder. The result was a moist, delicious, decadent new muffin that I am totally obsessed with.
Because of the low fat and fiber content, this would work well as a pre or post workout snack. Try to limit your fat and fiber pre and immediate post workout to less than 5g when possible.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Peanut Butter Banana Protein Muffins with Shredded Coconut Topping
macros per muffin (makes 15): 123 calories, 5.6g fat, 14.3g carbs, 6.8g protein, 4g fiber, 5.4g sugar
4 large bananas (475g), mashed
1/2c. unsweetened apple sauce
2 scoops (2.6 ounces) Vanilla Protein Powder, recommend Vega Sport
4T. peanut butter (I used crunchy and like the random nut crunch I get in some of my bites!)
1c. wheat bran
1/2c. almond meal/flour, recommend Bob’s Red Mill
1T. ground cinnamon
1t. baking soda
1t. vanilla extract
8 ounces unsweetened almond milk
7T. reduced fat coconut flakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray.
Using a an electric mixer, mash the bananas, egg and apple sauce together in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients, and mix well until thoroughly combined. Divide batter into 15 muffin cups, and top with coconut.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out almost clean. Muffins will continue to cook once you remove them from the oven, so I always under cook them a little to keep them moist.
After muffins have cooled, store in an airtight container in the fridge. Enjoy!
Recently, I have been finding myself in the Whole Foods bakery…A LOT.
I am completely hooked on their Vegan Gingersnaps. They are big, chewy and delicious, and I love ginger. Since I track my macros (carbs-protein-fats), I try to build them into my day so that I can treat myself to them a couple of times a week. I found in My Fitness Pal that the “Lg. Vegan Gingerbread Cookie (Whole Foods)” had only 70 calories, was low in sugar and low in fat. Score, right?! Well, I am starting to think that this is too good to be true, and unfortunately, when things are too good to be true, they are not true.
So, I took it upon myself to create my own recipe, using a few different recipes and a lot of trial and error, and here’s what I came up with.
And no, they don’t have 70 calories each, more like 129 calories each, but they are damn delicious.
I hope you enjoy them as much as I do (and am, right now)!
Vegan Chocolate Chip Gingersnaps
macros per cookie, makes 12: 129 calories, 9.8g fat, 8.6 carbs, 3.1g protein, 1.9g fiber, 5.5g sugar
Ingredients (recommend organic when possible):
1 1/2 c. almond meal flour (recommend Bob’s Red Mill)
2T. coconut oil, melted
3T. unsulphured blackstrap molasses
1T. pure maple syrup
1/4t. ground cloves
1T. ground cinnamon
1t. baking powder
1T. semi-sweet mini chocolate chips (use Enjoy Life for vegan)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Add the dry ingredients to a bowl and mix together.
- Pour in the molasses and oil and mix well.
- Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes to allow to harden.
- Use a spoon to scoop out mounds of cookie dough. Form the dough into balls and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Use a fork to press them down and form a cookie shape.
- Bake for 10 to 14 minutes or until browned around the edges.
- Allow cookies to cool at least 10 minutes before removing from the cookie sheet and enjoying.
One of the most requested recipes is for my protein muffins. I make these muffins a few times a month, and I always double the recipe and freeze all but 4 at a time in quart-sized freezer bags. That way, I can easily pull out 4 more from the freezer and always have fresh muffins on hand.
You can use any protein powder for this recipe, but I always recommend Vega because it tastes great, is plant-based (I eat meat but prefer it in the burger form in moderation), and is non-GMO (no weird, fake ingredients).
Chocolate Banana Protein Muffins
macros per muffin (makes 15): 170 calories, 5.6g fat, 24.1 carbs, 8.1g protein, 7.1g sugar, 6.2g fiber
Mix the following in a high-powered blender or Vitamix:
3 medium bananas (275g)
1 1/2 cups of pitted medjool dates (150g)
8T. nut butter (peanut, almond or cashew)
1 cup unsweetened vanilla (or regular) almond milk
Pour into a bowl and add the following:
2 scoops (2.6 oz) Vega Sport Chocolate protein powder
1.5 cups of wheat bran (recommend Bob’s Red Mill)
1.5 cups high fiber oat bran cereal (recommend Bob’s Red Mill), or quick oats (not instant)
2T. unsweetened coco powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
Divide into 15 greased muffin tins, and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes until a toothpick comes out almost clear. It’s okay if they are a little undercooked, because they will cook more when you pull them out of the oven, and they are more moist this way. When cool, leave a few out, and freeze the rest for a rainy day.
These bites should come with a warning label. They are the perfect on-the-go snack pre or post workout or late night after dinner.
Be mindful and don’t sit down and eat 4-5 at once. This is very easy to do, and I speak from experience. While they are small, they are nutrient-dense. Enjoy!
macros (per bite, without coconut flakes, makes 16): 78 calories, 4.8g fat, 7g carbs, 3.2g protein, 4.5g sugar, 1.9g fiber
1c. (100g) pitted Medjool dates
3/4c. (84g) raw almonds
1T. finely ground flaxseed
1T. ground chia seed
1 scoop (1.3 ounces) chocolate protein powder
1T. unrefined coconut oil, melted
1/4c. (28g) organic raw cacao nibs
1/3c. unsweetened almond milk
optional: unsweetened coconut flakes
Pulverize all ingredients in a food processor. Form into 16 bites. Optional: Roll in unsweetened coconut flakes until covered. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. Enjoy mindfully!