Really Delicious Protein Balls

I ripped this recipe out of a magazine that I got at a local health food store and held onto it for a long time before finally giving it a try, with only a few modifications. When my husband tried one and told me to put this recipe at the top of the pile, I figured it was worth sharing.  It is a great source of protein and healthy fat.  Just remember, serving size is 1.

Grab N’ Go Protein Bites

Adapted from a Recipe by Gwen Eager for Garden of Life https://www.gardenoflife.com/content/garden-recipes/grab-n-go-bites/

Ingredients:

  • 1 scoop of protein powder (I used Garden of Life Sport Vanilla Powder)
  • 2 cups of unsalted cashews (I used salted cashews, oops)
  • 1 T coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup raisins (recipe called for dried cranberries but I was trying to avoid the added sugar and haven’t found any that are apple juice sweetened)
  • 1/2 cup dried coconut flakes
  • 20 small dates soaked in water for 20 minutes
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  1. In a bowl, combine coconut flakes and cinnamon and set aside.
  2. Place protein powder and cashews in food processor and process until well mixed with a flour-like consistency.
  3. Remove dates from water.
  4. Add coconut oil, dates and cranberries to mixture in food processor and pulse until everything begins to stick (about 20 pulses).
  5. Roll cookie balls and coat in coconut flake/cinnamon mixture.
  6. Refrigerate to harden the texture of the cookies.

Approximate nutritional Information (per cookie ball, assuming unsalted cashews)

170 cal; 5 g protein; 9 g total fat (3.5 g sat fat); 18 g carb; 0 mg chol; 2 g fiber; 13g sugars

Please note, I tried making these in my Vitamix.  I highly recommend that you use an actual food processor as step 4 didn’t go very well in the Vitamix and I almost burned out the motor.

 

Black Bean Soup With A Secret Ingredient

This recipe is a winner in my household and it’s so simple, healthy and loaded with nutrients.  It came from a cookbook my mother gave to me years ago called Mom’s Updated Quick Meals Recipe Box – 250 Family Favorites in Thirty Minutes or Less by Donna L. Weihofen, RD.  The secret ingredient is pumpkin.  You can easily add meat to this recipe.

Ingredients

1 T oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 tsp minced garlic
1 T ground cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
4 cups chicken broth
3 cans (15 oz each) black beans, drained
1 can (16 oz) pumpkin
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes
2 T apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)
In a large soup pot, heat oil.  Add onion and cook over medium heat until lightly brown.  Add garlic, cumin, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper.  Cook for 1 minute.  Add all remaining ingredients except cheese.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes or until ready to serve.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Top with grated Parmesan if desired.

Serves 10

Easy, Tasty, Healthy Lentil Stew

I’ve given this away many times and people say they like it a lot (and their kids!).  This is one of the healthiest meals you can make, and so easy!  Only labor intensive piece is the chopping but worth it!

1 T olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup chopped carrot

1 tsp garlic

4 cups chicken broth  .  Many broths on the market, even organic ones, have MSG (monosodium glutamate) or hidden forms of it’s most active ingredient, free glutamate (autolyzed yeast extract, yeast extract, disodium inosinate, hydrolyzed proteins and autolyzed proteins to name a few) in them.   If you are trying to avoid MSG you may want to make your own broth.  There are many recipes out there.  Here’s a simple one.

https://www.google.com/search?q=easy+homemade+chicken+broth&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

1 cup water

1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes, undrained

1 cup dried lentils

3/4 cup instant brown rice

1/2 tsp crushed pepper (this gives it just the kick it needs but doesn’t make it too spicy)

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

Heat oil in large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add onion, celery, carrot and garlic to pan and saute for 8 minutes or until tender.  Add broth, water and tomatoes.  Bring to boil.  Stir in lentils, simmer 25 minutes.  Stir in rice, simmer 20 minutes.  Stir in red pepper, salt and black pepper.  To make it even easier just add the lentils and regular brown rice at the same time and simmer for 45 minutes or until rice is to your liking!