Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Blueberry Muffin Protein Bar

Yup, one bar, two favorite eats. Yum!
These really do taste like the fluffy, buttery, fresh blueberry studded muffins that one drools over at any coffee shop. Though the taste is spot on, the texture couldn't be more different. These are dense and chewy, with an added bite from the freeze-dried blueberries...the consistency that I want in a protein bar.

Blueberry Muffin Protein Bar

1 C finely ground oat flour
6 scoops (132g) vanilla protein powder
1 t vanilla extract
1 t Princess Cake and Cookie Flavor by LorAnn Oils
2 t flax seeds

1/3 C almond nut butter
*1/2 t lemon juice (optional)

1 C nonfat dry milk
1/2-3/4 C water, depending on consistency
1 C freeze dried blueberries

Prepare an 8x8 inch dish with cooking spray or parchment.
Add all dry ingredients to a large bowl. Lightly mix together and make a well in the middle of the mix. Add the wet ingredients into the well and lightly stir to break apart the nut butter before incorporating into the rest of the batter. Gently fold freeze dried blueberries into the batter. Press the dough into the prepared baking dish. Cover and let rest in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight before cutting into 9 squares. Store in the fridge, or in the freezer for longer term.
You can individually wrap these in wax paper and pull them out from the fridge for snacks on the go, or you can leave them in the dish like I do and cut chunks away at your leisure.

Happy Breakfast to me! ...and after exercise snack, ...and lunch. Because they're that good. I also really enjoyed them with this Cashew Cream 'Cheese' smudged on top, for more protein goodness. Now they just taste pretty much like a blueberry cupcake with cream cheese frosting. Oh yes, I went there. And I probably will again tomorrow.
But I can share! So here is my new favorite recipe! :)

Yum, a modified cupcake ;)
A note about the Princess Cake and Cookie Flavor:
This is one of those fun buys that I got at a store once, the flavor itself I can only describe as that of a sweet treat and helps give a decadence to these bars. You of course could add any additional flavor you have or would like, from lemon juice to a bit of coconut. These variations I have not *yet* tried, but writing about them is making me think I'm going to be making another batch of these really soon.
If you try another variation, let me know!

What flavor mash-up would you like to see in a protein bar?



Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Coconut Rice and Roasted Curried Carrots

When the weather outside is frightful...

eat coconut rice and curried carrots.

That's not how it goes...but it sure is a delightful meal that will warm you up!
As a whole this dish, in my opinion is simply perfect. It cooks up really quickly with very little prep-work, so you can have a steaming bowl full on the table before the snow has melted off your boots from shoveling. I seasoned the carrots to be a tad spicy, but they were mellowed by the coconut rice. The coconut, curry, carry, and nutty brown rice flavors all meld together very well. I look forward to creating different variations of this dish, and pairing this coconut rice with other meals.
Curry-Roasted Carrots
8-10 carrots, washed and quartered lengthwise
1-2 t olive oil
1 t curry powder
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to  400 degrees.
mix olive oil and curry powder in a bowl.
Add carrots.
Toss to coat.
Spread evenly on a cookie sheet (I did prepare my cookie sheet with cooking spray, just in case).
Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Roast in oven for 20 minutes, or until done. They should be somewhat goldened on the outside and tender.

The great thing about roasted vegetables is that they are very versatile. You can use any vegetables and spices you have on hand and feel in the mood for that day. Feel free to change up this recipe (or any recipe for that matter) to suit your tastes. Please, play with your food.

 The key to this coconut rice is to toast the grains of rice before adding the liquid ingredients. This extra little step makes all the difference, and is step I've incorporated into many of my grain recipes. The toasting gives a nutty flavor that adds a warmth to rice.

Coconut Brown Rice
Serves: 4
1 cup brown rice
1 cup light coconut milk
1.5 cups water
salt and pepper to taste

Toast the brown rice for a few minutes over medium heat in a medium saucepan, stirring frequently so the rice doesn't burn. Add the coconut milk, water, salt and pepper when you can smell a slight nuttiness from the rice. Turn the heat up to high and bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and allow the rice to simmer until the liquid is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes.

The roasted carrots are lightly based off of this recipe:

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Get Ready

Hello there,

Long time no post...
There has been quite the hiatus on this blog, but that's about to change.
I've got a lot of recipes that I'm looking forward to sharing.

So stock up on those oats and berries, because they will be put to good use!