Protein Mug Cake

I love a good protein mug cake at night once in awhile after I’ve had a tough training day or am looking for a healthy treat. Sometimes you just need a baked good once in awhile, am I right? I’m a sucker for muffins and cakes so I love having this as dessert when I’m trying to keep it healthier. Protein before bed helps continuously fuel my muscles while I’m recovering during sleep. The picture below is what the cake looks like once it comes out of the microwave (super appealing, I know).

If you under cook the cake a little it leaves a gooey center when you break into it. HELLOO it’s amazing. Honestly the taste can take some getting used to (seriously it’s not your moms homemade cake) but it’s a great, healthy substitute. Top it with peanut butter or Halo Top ice cream and now we’re talking. Typically, I will cook it in 30 second intervals. Microwaves can all be different so I’d start on the shorter side. 30 seconds gives me time to check on it and see if it’s started to rise into a cake shape or if it still needs time. Usually 1 minute is enough in my microwave.

You can really use any flavor of protein to make these cakes. At night I usually like a little chocolate so I’d prefer that, but you can use vanilla, cinnamon- the possibilities are really endless. Cinnamon roll, strawberry shortcake, peanut butter cup, cookie dough- YUM! The base recipe would be the same regardless of flavor, which is posted below. I would recommend either a whey, casein or a blend. Whey is a fast digesting protein, casein is slow (meaning it takes longer to digest through your body) and a blend will be in between.

My little guy happened to be wearing his muscle shirt when I was testing the recipe and he had a few bites himself. He enjoyed it with the peanut butter but my 5 year old wasn’t much of a fan. It can have a somewhat “spongy” texture to it, but I find having it with a little peanut butter or Halo Top ice cream really helps. I find that having the right flavored protein powder really helps with this (my favorite is chocolate peanut butter). I feel like I need to repeat myself that THIS IS A HEALTHY ALTERNATIVE! 🙂 Hope you enjoy!

Protein Mug Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 serving size protein powder (typically 1-2 scoops)
  • 2 tblsp egg whites
  • 2 tblsp almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Mix protein powder and baking powder in bowl.
  2. In separate bowl, mix egg whites, milk and vanilla.
  3. Pour egg mixture into protein powder and mix until combined. Add extra milk if needed to make a sticky, thick dough.
  4. Microwave in 30 second intervals for 1-1:30 minutes.
  5. Top with peanut butter or Halo Top ice cream.
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Taco Pockets

I love this idea for making taco pockets. Folded up cheesy deliciousness that’s easy for the kids to eat=WIN. Clearly my family and I enjoy taco flavored foods (see here) so I like to try to mix up how we eat it. Hand held grilled pockets sounded great to me! I see more of these variations in the future! 

Us moms (& all wives) put too much pressure on ourselves when it comes to making dinner. Sometimes we’ve had a long day with the kids or at work and the last thing we want to do is come up with a plan for dinner. The husband, the kids, they’re all looking at YOU as the sole source of dinner (seriously what would they do without us?).

The easiest thing for me is to buy a few different meat/protein options that I know an easy recipe for. Like chicken for example. I know I can put it with BBQ sauce and grill it, or boil it and shred it for tacos (shocking I know) or put it on a salad. Ground beef/turkey I make meatballs, meatloaf or simply cooked with tomato sauce. These are my “home base” meals that I know I can turn to when I’m in a pinch and need something quick.

Since my day can get pretty busy on a whim, I do what I can when I can. For this meal, I was able to cook the meat in the afternoon with the spices since it only takes about 20 minutes. Then, when I was ready to make the taco pockets at night, I took the cooked beef out of the refrigerator and started assembling them. Frying them up on the griddle took about 10 minutes and we were ready for dinner. I think these would be great to freeze for a grab and go dinner option as well, though I haven’t tried. I used a jar of salsa instead of tomato sauce (which I usually use) because I had it and wanted to switch it up a bit. Both are great options!

Having some “home base” meals are good to have a few times a week. I like to get adventurous maybe 1-2 times a week depending on what ingredients I have on hand. This meal is not really one of those times, but I’m hoping it can give you inspirations for a new “home base” recipe for your family. I’d love to hear some of yours, let me know!

Taco Pockets

Ingredients

  • 1lb ground beef/turkey
  • 1 cup salsa/tomato sauce 8oz
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 tblsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 6 whole wheat tortilla wraps
  • 1 package mixed mexican cheese

Instructions

  1. Cook ground beef in a skillet over medium high heat in oil.
  2. Drain oil from beef.
  3. Add 1/2 jar of salsa or whole can of tomato sauce to beef.
  4. Add spices and combine.
  5. Add drained black beans and let simmer over low heat.
  6. Fill tortilla wrap with 1/4 cup mixture and 1/8 cup mixed cheese.
  7. Fold tortilla to make it into a pocket and it's the beef is completely enclosed.
  8. Place tortilla pocket fold side down on medium high skillet.
  9. Flip after 3-5 minutes or when pocket is heated thoroughly.
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All Things Almond

I’ve been wanting to make almond milk for awhile now so I finally went for it. That and the fact that I realized I didn’t have milk for my morning coffee. So I knew something needed to be done to avert a crisis. Everyone talks about how easy it is and well- it is easy. I would recommend something good to strain the milk with though because even the cheese cloth I got still leaves a few residues. I don’t mind the added texture though.

Travis saw me soaking the almonds the night before and after telling him how it turns into milk, he wanted to be sure to help when it came time to in the morning. He liked pushing the button for the blender and watching the almonds turn into a white milk. 

He didn’t drink it which is fine with me because I used it for my coffee and with some other baking I did. How cute are these milk bottles? I saved them a few years ago after a camping trip we took up Maine. The farm had lots of farmish stuff for sale including their homemade strawberry and blueberry milk. I knew the bottles would come in handy one day.

After making my homemade almond milk I had a lot of this leftover pulp. I hated to see it go to waste so I made them into energy bites. My kids love dried fruit so I like adding some fat and carbs to help keep them full a little bit more. They’re also easy to take in the car or for school lunches.

Homemade Almond Milk & Energy Bites

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • optional: 2-4 pitted dates for sweetness
  • For the Energy Bites
  • 1 cup almond pulp
  • 1 cup oats
  • 3/4 cup teddies smooth peanut butter
  • 1tblsp flax seed
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup dried mixed berries (cranberries, blueberries, cherries)

Instructions

  1. Soak almonds in 2 cups water overnight on counter.
  2. Rinse almonds, put in blender with 4 cups fresh filtered water.
  3. Add vanilla, cinnamon and dates to blender.
  4. Strain over cheese cloth into a bowl/mason jar. I recommend having a strainer underneath the cheese cloth as well to catch any extra residue.
  5. Store in refrigerator.
  6. For the Energy Bites
  7. Simply mix all ingredients together and form small balls. Store in refrigerator.
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I made everything in the morning without much effort. It’s always nice to have some homemade milk once in awhile and an easy, healthy snack for me and the kids. What are some of your favorite things to make with almonds? Let me know!

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Hi! Welcome to my healthy eating blog!

Hi there! I’m Kara. Being a personal trainer and health coach, I tend to talk to people about food- A LOT. I’m a huge foodie. I love making new recipes I find, creating new ones when I get inspiration from browsing recipes, and new food ingredients. My recipes almost always need to be healthy with some treats thrown in here and there (hello chocolate) but I like to think that homemade is always better than store bought or processed ingredients. I think creating healthy recipes can be easy with the right mindset and ingredients. Not aiming for perfection in recipes is important and I love experimenting with an open mind. Colorful food provides the variety our bodies need and makes you excited to eat.

2 of the things I hear most when I talk to people about my food is:

1- Kara, come cook for me!

2- HOW do you do it?

I want to let you know: YOU CAN DO IT! I’m not a chef. I find easy, healthy recipes and make sure I always have ingredients to easily put something together. Giving myself 20-30 minutes to cook dinner (insert tv/nap time/dad time) is crucial. Making my family healthy food is important to me since we are all active either playing sports or in the gym. My other passion is lifting weights so I like to make sure my meals are fueling me in that aspect as well.

My hopes for the blog is to inspire you to make healthy meals for:

Your family (#fueledupfam #familyfuel)

Your kids (#fueledupkids #funkidfuel)

YOU! (#fueledupforme #allaboutme)

Let’s get cooking!

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