I love simple. With two kids and an ambitiously complicated life, I need simple. I also need nutrition, and this purple cabbage salad is certainly nutritious!
This is one of my favorite simple salads – packed with COLOR! That means vitamins, minerals and antioxidants! Make sure you cut the cabbage small enough – otherwise, you won’t enjoy the texture. While purple cabbage is more expensive than green cabbage, it’s still very affordable per pound. It keeps well in the refrigerator. Even better, conventional cabbage is grown with very little pesticide. That means you don’t need to spring the extra cash for organic cabbage.
Do not make the mistake of thinking this is a snacky poo salad that you will be able to serve to a picky eater… this is a straight up, unapologetic vegetable dish. There is nothing to disguise the flavor of the vegetables! However, the combination of olive oil and salt enhances the vegetables and makes it TASTY!
Recipe for Purple Cabbage Salad
I like to serve this at room temperature. I think it’s nice alongside a well prepared lean, red meat and a small portion of baked potato. It must be my Polish heritage – Steak, potatoes and cabbage just go together to me. Like this recipe? Make sure to pin it for later!
- 1 small head of purple cabbage, chopped small or cut thin (slaw style)
- 2 avocados, cut into ½" pieces.
- 1 red pepper, diced into small pieces
- ⅔ cup corn kernels (frozen is fine)
- ⅓ cup quality olive oil
- Pink Himalayan Sea Salt to taste (1 teaspoon +)
- Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste.
- Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl and toss to combine.
Disclaimer: This post about Protein Packed Oatmeal Pancakes contains affiliate links to Amazon.com, which means that if you click on the link then I will receive a percentage of the proceeds from your purchase.
Pancakes are fun, but their nutrition profile is typically a downer: Mostly all carbs, hardly any protein, way too many calories. And that’s without syrup, honey or agave adding extra carbs/sugar. That’s why I came up with a recipe for Protein Packed Oatmeal Pancakes.
Making Them Better
Since eating a high protein diet is a HUGE part of maintaining a healthy body and a lean physique, I’m always looking for ways to take traditional dishes more protein-plentiful. I love oatmeal for a number of reasons, so I decided to make oatmeal pancakes that had a better ratio of protein to carbs. Try them out and let me know what you think!
Warning, they do not taste exactly like pancakes. They are light and fluffy, but they are not bready like a traditional pancake. You can taste the egg in them if you do not add garnish. If you’re looking for a traditional oatmeal pancake, check out my alternate recipe here.
But it works!!
My toddler loved these – especially because I used a cookie cutter to make them into heart shapes for Valentine’s day.
These are both gluten-free and paleo.
Protein Packed Oatmeal Pancakes
- 1 Cup Oatmeal OR ¾ cup oat flour
- ¼ Teaspoon Salt
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 4 Eggs
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- ¼ to ½ cups water (or liquid of your choice)
- To make batter:
- Blend all ingredients together in a food processor, according to your manufacturer's instructions. Blend at the highest speed possible, so the batter is smooth and airy.
- Mix dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl, then add in coconut oil and the water (make it warm water). You may need to melt the coconut oil if it's not already liquid.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix well.
- To cook pancakes:
- Coat a skillet (I prefer cast iron) with the cooking oil of your choice. Heat the skillet on medium heat. Let it heat up before you add the batter.
- Pour the batter in and heat until bubbles form, then flip the pancake.
- Serve with the condiments of your choice. We use fruit and plain whole milk yogurt.
Healthy Italian Food
Having grown up eating Italian food, I never would have dreamed that there is such a thing as Healthy Italian Food. As I’ve grown in my cooking and nutrition, however, I’ve found that many Italian dishes can fit quite well into a nutritious diet.
This Tuscan Riboletta is one of my favorite things to eat at home – it’s so fast to make and I usually have all the ingredients in my kitchen. I whipped this up for a dinner party last week and served it with a side of store bought Italian Turkey Sausage. I made an easy bruschetta for an appetizer and BAM I had an Italian-themed dinner party.
This recipe has tons of veggies in it, along with protein and slow digesting carbs from the white beans. Try it out and let me know what you think!
- 1 carrot, peeled and chopped small.
- 1 stalk celery, peeled and chopped small.
- ½ red onion
- 3 cups kale, chopped and stemmed
- 1 can diced tomatoes - no sodium added.
- 1.5 cups white beans, such as Cannelini or Northern Beans
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Bread for croutons, if desired.
- Pour one tablespoon of olive oil into the cast iron dutch oven.
- Add carrots, celery, onion and garlic. Sautee until soft.
- Place the fennel in a mortar and pestle. Grind with the pestle a few times, until the seeds are a little mashed up.
- Add diced tomatoes and fennel. Let cook for another minute.
- Add white beans and broth. Let simmer for 2 minutes and then add the kale.
- If you're making toasted croutons, chop your bread of choice into cubes, place on a baking sheet and spray with olive oil. Either place in a toaster oven or put the bread under a broiling pan for a few minutes - until the bread is crisp and browning.
- Cover and cook until the kale is soft.
After facebooking more with Trisha Oubre (fitness model) about how HER skinny oatmeal waffles have FOUR waffles per serving… clearly, she had a secret I did not. I got back to experimenting with my skinny oatmeal waffles this morning and came out with a new and improved recipe. This one’s especially good for people who like to eat a lot, are on a high protein diet (more than 20g of protein in this one) and don’t mind a softer texture of waffle. If you’re in this for a crispy texture, then check out my original waffle recipe.
SO, here’s my refined waffle recipe – meant to serve ONE with FOUR WAFFLES – which I’ve decided to call the skinny waffle. It’s code name is the womelette, because it’s a hybrid between a waffle and an omelette.
This is a good post workout protein/carbohydrate combination if you leave out the coconut oil – it’s best to avoid fats during the post workout recovery window because they can slow the digestion of other nutrients in your digestive system. Add a high glycemic index (sweet!) garnish like maple syrup or honey to enhance muscle growth if you’re trying to put on muscle mass.
By the way, did you know that waffles freeze well? Make a big batch of these, put them in the freezer and reheat in the toaster oven.
Skinny Oatmeal Waffles
- 5 egg whites (~1 cup)
- ⅓ cup old fashioned oats, uncooked
- 1.5 teaspoons coconut oil
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Preheat waffle iron.
- Add all ingredients to a food processor and blender. Blender until smooth.
- Pour into your waffle iron. These waffles cook faster than a traditional batter, so keep your eye on the waffle iron so they don't burn. My iron takes about 2 minutes to cook these.
- Remove from the iron, garnish and enjoy! I top mine with fresh berries that I smash or muddle.
Enjoy your Skinny Oatmeal Waffles!
This is my twist on broccoli puree with fresh mint, inspired by french chef Patricia Well.
As I gear up for my next NPC Bikini competition, I have a lot of broccoli on my plan. A LOT of broccoli. It’s a very light, nutrient-dense vegetable that’s perfect for nourishing the body while cutting calories and leaning out. Luckily, I love broccoli. However, I may not love it at the end of this prep if I can’t find other ways to prepare it – especially since my favorite way of preparing it uses oil, which is not available to me right now.
For me, it’s imperative to keep food boredom at bay when you’re cutting calories. I don’t coach contest preparation, so I am fortunate that I can make sure my clients have a lot of variety in their food – a luxury I don’t have right now. This recipe is certainly helping to make my “cut” easier.
Broccoli Puree With Fresh Mint
Now listen up – I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that this does not sound good. Mint? Broccoli? Together?? What? Give it a chance. There’s something truly enjoyable about it. Both broccoli and mint have earthy, rich flavors. Together, they create a nice combination. I like it so much, I’m even considering making this into a soup! Give it a chance and let me know what you think.
- 2 lbs broccoli, trimmed of leaves
- 1 cup fresh mint leaves with stems
- Sea salt
- Steaming Rack or Basket
- Food processor or blender.
- Steam the broccoli via your method of choice - I prefer using a steaming rack or basket. Place the rack over simmering water, cover the pot and cook for about 7-10 minutes. Don't let the broccoli get grey - it should still be green and a little crisp.
- Transfer the broccoli to a food processor.
- Add the mint and salt.
- Puree until smooth. Experiment with the texture - you might prefer it on the coarse side or completely smooth.
Broccoli Puree With Fresh Mint – Broccoli Recipes – Adapted from “Vegetable Harvest” by Patricia Well
White Bean Macaroons??? I’m all about finding new ways to make tasty treats!!! And this way is definitely new.
This is my original recipe for White Bean Macaroons – the combination of protein and fat with little sugar means this delicious treat won’t make your blood sugar go on a rollercoaster ride. Even better, they’re really easy. You’ll need a blender or food processor to make the puree.
My one recipe made 22 cookies, clocking in at ~100 calories each with 3.5 grams of protein and less than 1 g of sugar per cookie. I tend to be inconsistent with the size and number of cookies per batch, so know that an entire batch of batter measures at 2,250 calories and 70 g of protein – get an accurate measure of your own batch by dividing these measurements by the number of cookies you make.
I’d love these to have more protein, so I’m going to try adding my favorite unsweetened Sun Warrior Natural Protein powder next time!
White Bean Macaroons
- 3 cups white beans, pureed
- ¼ cup honey (I don't make mine very sweet - just enough to be enjoyable - so I used a little less - use more if you like it sweet)
- Optional: ¼ teaspoon stevia
- 1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1 5 oz package of unsweetened flake coconut (shredded coconut)/approximately 2 cups
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Blend/process the white beans, honey, stevia, eggs and vanilla until smooth.
- Transfer from the blending container into a bowl. Add the package of unsweetened flake coconut and mix.
- Oil a baking pan or use parchment paper.
- Use your hands or a spoon to form balls, making each the size of a flat golf ball.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes, or until the top of the macaroon is golden brown. If they fall apart then they're undercooked.
- Allow to cool and enjoy!
The whole recipe makes 2,000 calories and 53 g of protein – I made 22 cookies with mine, which puts them at 90 calories each with 2.5 grams of protein and less than 1 gram of sugar each.
White Bean Macaroons – Gluten Free & Flourless – Total Lifestyle Management
Do you have a love for pancakes that remains unfulfilled because of dietary restrictions? Re-embrace this classic breakfast comfort food by making flourless pancakes. They’re moist, sweet and simple.
Even better, they’re packed with protein and low in calories – so you don’t have to limit yourself to one or two. Eat them plain or top them with your favorite syrup, fruit or yogurt. They’re grain free, so they fit into paleo and gluten free diets. The bananas make this recipe sweet, so this is most appropriate for the post-workout window if you’re trying to lose body fat. Don’t worry about that if you’re trying to build muscle or if you plan on feeding this to a growing kiddo!
The Finer Points
These cook up best if you make smaller pancakes and use cooking spray. I also find it’s important to use a spatula with a fine edge, like this pancake spatula. Spatulas with thick edges can’t get under the thin pancake and end up tearing it apart.
Have a batter disaster? Just scramble the batter and call it sweet scrambled eggs.
- 1 Banana, Medium to Large and Ripe - Riper bananas yield sweeter pancakes.
- 2 eggs
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- Cooking spray, or 1 tablespoon of butter or cooking oil.
- Add the peeled banana to a blender or food processor with the eggs, vanilla and cinnamon.
- Blend until the mixture is smooth with little bubbles.
- Preheat a cast iron skillet or griddle to low heat.
- Add the cooking oil to the pan and coat it well.
- Pour the batter into the pan, ⅛ cup at a time.
- Cook the pancakes on low to medium heat until bubbles just begin to form throughout the pancake. Be careful not to overcook them or they'll stick to the pan - it may only take a few seconds.
- Use a spatula to flip the pancakes. Let them cook for just a moment on the other side.
- Remove from the pan and enjoy!
Are you dairy free? Paleo? Try this – it’s a dairy and sugar free paleo hot chocolate, without using any artificial sweeteners or chemical junk!
It uses canned coconut milk instead of regular milk. The medjool dates add a nice caramel flavor to the cocoa. They’re also naturally sweet! I think a lot of the flavor depends on the Cocoa powder you use. My favorites are Ghirardelli’s Cocoa Powder and Hershey’s Special Dark CoCoa Powder.
*Note: Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder has a disclaimer on the container saying that their special dark blend does not contain as many antioxidants as the regular blend.
This is a whole food recipe. I think you will enjoy your paleo hot chocolate!
As a side note, nothing says you HAVE to add the dates to this. My 3 year old will drink his completely unsweetened and still thinks it’s a special treat. Likewise, my husband has a taste for savory things and loves having it without the dates! I’d say no sugar means that’s REALLY paleo!
It’s also really good cold – it’s paleo chocolate milk!
Paleo Hot Chocolate Recipe
- 3 tablespoons canned coconut milk (make sure you shake it first so the cream is mixed evenly throughout the coconut milk - you may even want to blend it briefly, first)
- ¾ cup water
- 3 soft pitted Medjool dates
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon cacao powder
- Dash of cinnamon and nutmeg
- Put all the ingredients in a blender (Vitamix!!) and puree until very smooth. If you have a Vitamix, then turn slowly turn to Variable 10, then High and leave it on until the liquid is hot.
- If not, transfer it to a pot and heat it until it's just warm.
Just when you think you’ve tried everything, another strange food shows up in the grocery store. This time it was sun chokes, the bulbous root of the sunflower. Also called Jerusalem artichokes, I used them to make roasted sun chokes. These little babies are wholesome and cook up beautifully. They have a nutty flavor without any bitterness. Use them like you would use sweet potatoes and potatoes.
Sunchokes are surprisingly high in Iron, with one serving having 15% of your daily value. You can find them at certain grocery stores. I found mine at Kroger, pictured below.
I love roasting because I like to keep it simple when I try a new food. Simple means I can taste the true flavor of it.
Vikalinka also has a great recipe for Roast Chicken with Lemons and Sunflower chokes. The Nourish Evolutionhas a recipe for Caramelized Sunchokes with Meyer Lemon & Zest – I’m not a fan of the added sugar, but it’s worth looking at!
Roasted Sun Chokes
- 1 Package of Sunchokes
- Spray Olive Oil or "Homemade" Olive Oil Spray (ie a Misto)
- Himalayan Salt and Pepper to Taste
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Scrub and rinse the sunchokes. They've been sitting in the dirt for their whole lives, so get them good and clean!!
- Make slices ¼" thick.
- Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Line sheet with sliced sunchokes. Lightly spray again.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Roast in the oven until tender and starting to turn golden brown. Cooking times vary depending upon the oven. Mine cooked for ~18 minutes in a counter top toaster oven.
I love this Green Bean and Feta Salad! Labor Day weekend of last year brought my husband and I to the city of Avalon on Catalina Island, a beautiful island community about 26 miles off the Southern California coast. I came away from the weekend completely relaxed, having enjoyed hiking, kayaking, snorkeling, dolphins, seals and this green bean & feta salad!
I had this salad during lunch at the Metropole Cafe in Avalon and immediately fell in love! I’ve never been a big fan of green beans – I would pick them off of my plate as a kid and only have rarely eaten them as an adult. This salad, however, was hearty and zesty. I wanted to recreate the Metropole green bean & feta salad at home.
Enjoy my version of the Metropole Green Bean & Feta Salad
Green Bean and Feta Salad Recipe
- 12 Oz Fresh Green Beans, cut to bite-appropriate pieces and trimmed as necessary.
- 2-4 Medium Stalks of Chives (aka Green Onion), cut on the diagonal into thin slices [I used 3 stalks]
- ½ Cup Plain Feta Cheese, crumbled
- 3 T olive oil
- 2 T red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp. lemon zest (zest the lemon first and then squeeze the juice)
- 1 T fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- To Taste or ¾ tsp. salt (I used sea salt)
- To Taste or ½ tsp. freshly-ground black pepper
- Bring a small pot of water to boil, large enough to blanch your beans. Prepare the dressing as the water boils.
- Drop the beans into the boiling pot of water and allow them to cook for 3-4 minutes. Your beans should remain crisp and green, not soggy and grey.
- Strain the green beans, rinse with cold water until cool and blot dry with a towel or whirl in a salad spinner. I found that I needed to put the beans in the refrigerator for ~5 minutes to cool them completely.
- Combine the green beans, green onions and dressing. Mix until the beans are evenly coated.
- Add the feta cheese crumbles to your mixture. Mix until the feta cheese is evenly distributed.
- Serve immediately or chill until you are ready to serve.
- NOTE: I think that this salad is best at room temperature or slightly chilled, so consider removing the salad from the refrigerator for a few minutes before serving it.
Other Suggestions to improve this Green Bean and Feta Salad:
– Add chopped cherry or grape tomatoes.
– Substitute green onions/chives for thinly sliced rings of red onion.
– My husband decided to add raw chopped spinach to his and really enjoyed it.