Sunday, September 28, 2014

Chocolate PB Frozen Protein Bites

This did not start out to be a post about North Coast Naturals unflavored whey protein powder… honestly.  But since I have used it, I cannot quit raving about it.

I have been a fan of North Coast Naturals products since I first started using them during this past year. And every time I open something new from them, I am completely blown away. This unflavored whey protein is no exception there, that’s for sure.

I wanted to make a batch of my Frozen Protein Bites, and try using some PB2 instead of a nut butter, in order to keep the fat content down a bit.  I had picked up several jars of PB2 and Chocolate PB2 while we were on vacation in Portland, OR this past Summer, and then a few more on our way home from Colorado a few weeks ago. I love it.

I decided to try the Chocolate PB2 with some banana in my mixture, but didn’t want to overpower the peanut butter flavor with a chocolate protein powder… or make it too sweet tasting, which can happen with a vanilla protein powder, so I chose this unflavored version from the box of goodies that North Coast sent me a few weeks ago… I hadn’t tried it before and thought this would be the perfect opportunity to give it a test.

And it came through with flying colors… why?  Because it has no taste. It truly is unflavored.  And it doesn’t alter the taste of any of the ingredients you put with it.  These bites are exactly what I wanted… just chocolate with peanut butter and banana. The fact that they are powered up with protein is just a bonus.  YAY!

Chocolate PB Frozen Protein Bites

Chocolate PB2 Frozen Protein Bites
Makes 8 bites
  • 1 small – medium banana, mashed
  • 1 scoop NCN unflavored whey protein powder
  • 2 Tbs Chocolate PB2 reconstituted with 1 Tbs water
  1. Mix the mashed banana with the protein powder till well-blended in a small bowl.
  2. Add the reconstituted PB2 to the mixture and stir altogether.
  3. Place about one tablespoonful of batter into each of 8 silicone muffin cups.
  4. Place in the freezer for a couple of hours.
  5. Store frozen and allow to thaw for a few minutes before eating.
Per serving of one bite.
Weight Watchers P+ = 1.
Calories 31; Protein 4g; Carbohydrate 4g; Fat 0g; Fibre 0g.

Frozen Protein Bites ingredients
Protein powder, mashed banana and Chocolate PB2 mixed with water… that is it!

Frozen Protein Bites mixture
Mix them all together…

Frozen Protein Bites in muffin cups
and spoon into silicone muffin cups and freeze.  I use silicone because the frozen bites just pop right out of them and don’t stick.

Do you like to have a little nibble before you work out?  

What is your favorite pre-workout snack?

Monday, September 22, 2014

Roasted Red Pepper and Carrot Soup

Oh how I love Fall!  Even though our weather continues to be unseasonably warm and dry on the Island, local farmers are flooding the markets with fresh produce and the prices are very appealing!  Red peppers, squashes, potatoes, carrots, corn… all of the lovely and delicious foods that the word harvest brings to mind.  This Roasted Red Pepper and Carrot soup is a direct result.

I love the process of roasting red peppers… washing and drying them, and putting them on a baking sheet under the broiler element of the oven… turning them every few minutes until they are completely charred.  And then leaving them in paper bags to cool and I even like the slippery mess of removing the skins and seeds.  I wrote a post about it a couple of years ago (and a great recipe for Roasted Red Pepper Soup, too) if you are interested.

I actually prepared the peppers for this soup and left them in the fridge for a couple of days before I got around to making it.  It was all I could do to keep from using them up in omelettes and on salads and in sandwiches!  But I knew that they would mix so well with the carrots that I managed to refrain.

I didn’t add any spices or herbs to the veggies as they were cooking… I wanted the flavor of the roasted red peppers and the carrots to shine through…. and they do, very nicely, I think.
And this dish is chock full of Vitamins A and C, if that matters to you!

I used homemade turkey broth and followed my usual soup method to make up this batch of Roasted Red Pepper and Carrot Soup. You could use purchased chicken stock, or even a vegetable broth if you would like to make it vegan. Use olive oil instead of coconut oil if you prefer.  It is easy and so tasty!   I hope you’ll give it a try.

Roasted Red Pepper and Carrot Soup

Roasted Red Pepper and Carrot Soup
Makes 7 servings, approx. 1 cup each
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled, smashed and minced
  • 3 ounces onion, chopped (about 1/3 to 1/2 cup)
  • 20 ounces carrots (about 5 large, cleaned and cut into 2 inch lengths)
  • 3 cups stock of choice
  • 3 red bell peppers, roasted with skin and seeds removed
  • Salt and pepper to season
  1. Put coconut oil in large stock or soup pot on MEDIUM heat.
  2. Add the garlic and onions and saute till translucent and soft, taking care not to brown them.
  3. Add the carrot chunks and let cook about 5  minutes.
  4. Add the stock, cover the pot with a lid, and turn up heat till the stock comes to a boil. Turn heat down to LOW and allow to simmer 45 minutes.
  5. Add the roasted red peppers and any liquid from them to the pot, and heat through.
  6. Remove the pot from heat and allow to cool 10 or 15 minutes.
  7. Puree the soup with immersion blender till smooth.
  8. Season with salt and pepper.
  9. Serve warm with cream or yogurt to garnish, if desired.
Per serving.
Weight Watchers P+ = 2.
Calories 67; Protein 3g; Carbohydrate 13g; Fat 1g; Fibre 4g;

Sept 13 Roasted Red Pepper and Carrot Soup 002
Just look how thick this is!

What is your favorite thing about the coming of Fall?

Won't you consider sharing this recipe if you like it?  Thanks so much.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Bacon and Tomato Sauce

Doesn’t everything just taste better with bacon on it?
I don’t eat regular pasta anymore, preferring zoodles or spaghetti squash strands over wheat flour or even brown rice noodles.  But The Captain does like his pasta so I threw this together for lunch on Tuesday after we came home from the tennis court.

I was hungry, and hoped this might be quick. I already had some zoodles prepared and waiting in the fridge, so I put some water on to boil for The Captain’s linguine noodles while I made this sauce. It all came together in about 20 minutes.

I always keep some cooked, crumbled bacon in the freezer. It is just so handy to add a spoonful or two for a little flavor boost.  I also keep peeled garlic cloves in the fridge, too. If you don’t have crushed tomatoes on hand, use diced, or even fresh.. and you could also use your immersion/handheld blender to puree them if you like.

Bacon and Tomato Sauce

Bacon and Tomato Sauce
Makes 2 servings.
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled, smashed and minced
  • 3/4 cup white onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup cooked and crumbled bacon
  • 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh or dried basil for garnish and flavor punch
  1. Warm the olive oil in a skillet or saucepan over MEDIUM heat.
  2. Add the garlic and onions and saute about till softenened but not browned, about 7 or 8 minutes.
  3. Add the bacon and mix.
  4. Add the tomatoes and red pepper flakes and mix again. Allow to heat through.
  5. Remove from heat and then ladle sauce over noodles of choice on serving plates. Garnish and season before serving.

Per serving, sauce only.
Weight Watchers P+ = 3.
Calories 132; Protein 8g; Carbohydrate 10g; Fat 7g; Fibre 2g.

Printable Recipe

If you like this recipe, won't you please consider Pinning it? Thanks so much.