Harvest bread

This is kind of embarrassing figuring I’ve been baking since I was a child, but I have never baked bread before. Like, a real loaf of actual bread. Just banana bread, and variations of that.

Since starting my healthier lifestyle, I have cut bread out of my diet except on cheat days. Then I realized I could make bread, and alter the recipe for my dietary wants and needs.

Enter: proteinpow

This website is loaded with recipes – just search for something you want to eat, and it will automatically return a bunch of lower-carb, lower-sugar, and higher protein versions of how to make that particular food.

Now, I’ll admit, I didn’t get this exact recipe from protein pow. However, I did browse other recipes on the site to get ideas for which ingredients I should be swapping out. This isn’t completely sugar-free or low-carb, but it is a healthier version of wheat bread that is loaded with cranberries and seeds with just a hint of pumpkin.

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Pumpkin pie protein shake

It’s that time of year where pumpkin-flavored items are dominating the grocery stores, bakeries, restaurants, and coffee shops. You can’t escape it. And you don’t want to, because it’s delicious. Call me basic, I don’t care.

Most of those delicious pumpkin treats are loaded with sugar, and have little nutritional value.

Here is where I step in, introducing you to a thick & creamy shake that tastes like pumpkin pie. It’s also loaded with protein and fiber to keep you full, and doesn’t contain a ton of added sugar. Oh, and it’s also vegan. You’re welcome.

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Crockpot apple butter

This is the perfect time of year to go apple picking, especially in New York. The weather isn’t too cold yet, the trees are finally turning their gorgeous fall colors, and the holidays that require apple and pumpkin-themed desserts are right around the corner.

18 lbs of apples later, and I realized I may have went a bit overboard.

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[Dairy free] chocolate banana oat bread

Bananas are something I purchase every week. I wait until they’re very ripe, and I usually freeze them for protein shakes. But this week, I had a real craving for banana bread.

My husband’s aunt makes the most delicious banana bread I have ever tried. Whenever I make banana bread, I use her recipe. It’s the perfect consistency, it isn’t too sweet, and it has just the right amount of banana flavor. So I started to make her recipe, and realized there was one problem: I didn’t have the correct amount of ingredients at home.

I had to switch things up. Since I had to do this anyway… I figured I would turn this into a healthier version of my favorite. The result was awesome.

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Lemony black bean salad

Cilantro has been growing like a weed lately out in the backyard. Since I don’t use it too often in my cooking, I tried giving some of it away. A friend of mine agreed to take some, but then forgot to grab it on her way out the door. Now I have handfuls of cilantro that I need to use.

The humidity has been so overwhelming. I still don’t want to have to turn on the oven, or stand over a hot stove. So this cilantro needed to find its way into a salad.

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The post-workout “milkshake”

As some of you already know, I have a hard time resisting sweets and I’m constantly craving dessert-like foods. However, I can’t eat foods like this as often as I’d like to.

One dessert I absolutely love is ice cream. I can’t get enough of it – especially if it’s in the form of a frozen, thick shake. As a kid I lived around the corner from a Carvel, and my brother and I would always get large vanilla thick shakes (I was not aware of being lactose-intolerant yet).  I enjoyed this tremendously.

As an adult, I can no longer get these awesome shakes whenever I please… so I have to substitute with something a bit healthier and less sugary (even though its OK to just go out and get the shake sometimes). In the past couple of months, I learned a lot about the importance of increasing my protein intake. Protein helps you build muscle, stay lean, gives you energy, and keeps you feeling full for a longer amount of time. So I decided to improvise, and make a protein-based “milkshake” for when I come home from the gym. The best part is that it’s completely dairy free – so if you are also lactose-intolerant there is no need to take a pill, and if you are vegan you can still enjoy this drink without guilt!

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Zoodle pesto rosso with crumbled sausage and roasted cauliflower

zoodle pesto rosso with sausage and cauliflower
low carb deliciousness

 

Three of my good friends came over last night, and we decided to cook dinner together.

Like me, Andrew has certain dietary restrictions. He too is lactose intolerant. He is also on a health kick, and has lost a significant amount of weight in the last few months by going low-carb, low-sugar, and working out.

We wanted Italian food, but didn’t want the guilt of eating pasta. We went over to the grocery store, loaded up on zucchini and some other items, and headed back. With the help of a spiral cutter, we were going to have zoodles.

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Sweet & sour slow cooker cabbage rolls

sweet & sour slow cooker cabbage rolls
comfort food at its finest!

 

This summer has been unbearably hot and humid as of late. I like the heat, but when coupled with this extreme humidity it has been almost crippling. I also only have air conditioning in two rooms of my house, leaving the other rooms sweltering when I walk through the door. The humidity practically smacks you in the face. I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want to do on such a hot and humid day is keep my oven on.

Enter: the slow cooker.

I am completely obsessed with my crockpot. I received it as a gift for my bridal shower two years ago, and I have probably used it (at least) once a week since then. It is perfect for busy work days, when I just toss some ingredients in and let it work its magic. Boom, a home cooked meal that is ready to be devoured once I get home. Another big perk to using the crockpot is that it doesn’t heat up the house. And that is something I definitely did not want to do.

But what was I going to make?

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