Last week I went to a work-sponsored lecture on Foods that Fuel. While the hour wasn't enough for what the presenter wanted to convey, and my objective of getting some more ideas for "foods that fuel" was left unfulfilled, I did realize that my protein intake is woefully inadequate. Apparently it is for most women. And, keeping in mind that "protein" is not synonymous with "meat". Important distinction there. So I'll be exploring "protein" in coming posts.
The Meal Plan for the week:
Sun - Grilled cheese, bacon and spinach sandwiches
Mon (yoga/Parents out for dinner) Kielbasa and potato packets on the grill
Tues - Turkey Salsa Burgers
Wed (Husband Brat Feed) leftover burger
Thurs (yoga) Chicken Salad
Fri - leftovers
Sat - (Yoga Workshop; Husband Work Fishing Contest BBQ) supper - leftovers
Lunches - Slow Cooked Squash Stew, fruit, luna bars, nut cups...the usual.
Grilled Cheese, Bacon and Spinach Sandwiches (self creation)
Okay, not really a recipe but this was really good. Not something I'd recommend eating every week, but it was a great "throw together meal" when I needed one.
4 slices American cheese or similar
6 slices bacon
4 slices sandwich bread of choice
Fry (or oven bake) 6 slices of bacon. Set aside. Prepare grilled cheese sandwiches as normal, but don't put on "top" - leave cheese side open-faced. Toast second slice on other side of pan. Once the cheese starts to nicely melt, add bacon. Remove from pan, add spinach, and serve. Delicious!
Ultimate Protein Pancakes (source unknown) gluten free option**
I'm all for protein packed pancakes and my Cottage Cheese pancake go-to recipe needs a rest. These were super fast to assemble and cook. I've started using Bob's Red Mill Whey Protein (unflavored) because it was less expensive than what I was buying at the co-op with less chemicals. Because it's unflavored, you will want to add some vanilla or almond flavoring. I used the whole egg because I hate waste. The recipe does cook true to the directions - give the batter room to expand! Verdict? I have another protein pancake recipe! Recommended.
6 oz plain Greek yogurt
1 large egg white (I used the whole egg)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour ** or gluten free option
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla, (1 tsp wasn't enough)
Anything else you'd like to add for flavor. In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients (protein powder, flour, and baking soda), and mix with a fork until well combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, stirring as you go. The batter should become thick. Add in any extras for flavor and keep mixing until everything is totally combined.
Heat a skillet over medium heat and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Drop batter by the spoonful into the pan. Pancakes will expand as they cook, so don't put them too close together. When little bubbles start to form all throughout the pancake, it's time to flip. Transfer pancakes to a plate, and top with whatever you'd like. They're plenty flavorful on their own!
Makes 6 large pancakes.
Calories: 314 | Carbs: 34g | Fat: 1g | Protein: 43g
Turkey Salsa Burgers (source unknown) gluten free
Okay, burgers don't get any simpler or tastier than this - and I'm not a burger person! I served on a whole wheat Kaiser bun with mayo, yellow peppers and spinach. Avocado, yellow peppers and spinach would have been even better, but I didn't have an avocado. Homemade sweet potato fries were my side dish. Delicious!
1 lb turkey burger
7 tbsp salsa of choice (I used Pace salsa verde with garlic and lime? I think? It was Pace and it was green)
1/4 cup-ish grated cheddar cheese (this was my addition)
Combine well. Form into patties. Cook until juices run clear. Serve on or off bun as desired.
**I started these on the grill on a cookie sheet covered in aluminum foil because I was warned that turkey burgers can be crumbly. I ended up sliding them onto the grill proper and had no problem finishing on the grill grate. Broiling or pan frying would also work well.
Butternut Squash Chowder (modified, Slow Cooker Revolution, ATK) vegetarian and gluten free option**
The good news with the recipe is, I was able to use my LAST 2013 butternut squash. Yes! I had one small squash still in the basement, and it was still good! I thought for sure I would have to compost it, but nope, into the soup it went!
This was not my favorite butternut squash recipe assembly wise or in the flavor department. Preparation was putzy, adding things in stages at the end of the cooking process so I simplified as written below. The recipe itself has you making a foil packet for part of the squash, that is "supposed" to just nestle in on top of everything else in the slow cooker. Well, talk about a mess and futzy. After I had liquid overflow, I pulled out the packet and just dumped the chunks in with everything else. This is supposed to be a chunky soup/stew, but I ended up blending it just enough to leave some larger chunks. Not the Husband's favorite - he likes his soup pureed completely. Ultimately, a so-so recipe.
4 oz bacon (about four slices) minced** (I used whole slices and removed from pan)
(can skip if you don't want it)
1 onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/3 cup flour** (or thickening substitute)
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 cups vegetable broth
3 lbs of butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2" chunks
2 bay leaves
8 oz kale, stemmed and leaves sliced 1/2" thick (I used a handful of dried kale, crumbled)
1/2 cup Half n Half
1 tsp dried sage
1 tsp brown sugar (I may have forgotten this...)
1) Cook bacon in a large skillet, (remove, reserve 1 tbsp bacon drippings in pan); Stir in onion, garlic, thyme and nutmeg and cook until softened and lightly browned, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in flour and cook for one minute. Slowly whisk in 2 cups of chicken broth, scraping up browned bits; transfer to slow cooker.
2) Combine rest of chicken broth, vegetaable broth, squash, and bay leaves. Cover and cook on low 4 to 6 hours.
3) Discard bay leaves, add kale, half and half, sage and brown sugar, and cook until tender, about 30 minutes on high, one hour on low.