Anyone who knows me, knows I love a good pizza. But indulging too often can play havoc with your waistline. So here is a healthier, high protein substitute, which will fill you up for longer and give you all those great flavours that makes pizza so amazing. If you are vegetarian, swap the chicken breast for a large, juicy portabello mushroom.
(For one serving)
– one chicken breast or portobello mushroom with stalk and scales removed
– one small tin of chopped tomatoes in juice
– toppings of your choice: I recommend mixed peppers, mushrooms, onions or even some bacon bits
– mozzarella cheese
How to make it:
Pound the chicken until it is really flat so it forms your pizza base. Cook it in a frying pan until cooked through and place to one side (Do the same if using a mushroom). Meanwhile, place your tomatoes in food processor and season with your favourite herbs and some black pepper. Now blend them until they reach the consistency that you like. If you like your tomato sauce chunky don’t blend for as long.
Now sautee your toppings in a frying pan until they soften up. I like to pour a little bit of water (3-4 tablespoons) into my frying pan, which really helps the veggies to cook nicely and stops them sticking so you don’t need any oil. Once the water has boiled away your veggies should be done.
Spread your chicken (or mushroom) with the tomato sauce, top with veggies and add enough cheese to cover. Now place it under the grill or in the oven until the cheese melts. And there you have it, a tasty pizza alternative for those days when you’re craving your favourite food but you want to stick to your diet.
This is not strictly speaking a healthy recipe but it’s certainly a way to lower the calories when you are wanting a bit of a naughty treat. Take your favourite boxed cake mixture (Betty Crocker devils food cake) works well. If it is a chocolate cake take a can of diet cola or if it’s a vanilla cake, use diet lemonade. These are the only two ingredients you need. Mix together and pour into a muffin pan or paper cases and bake in the oven for around 20 minutes. This will give you a lighter version of your favourite treat and help you when you get those cravings for ‘bad’ food. I don’t believe in banning any foods – we have to be able to enjoy our lives. So give this a try next time you’re craving a cupcake and you won’t be doing your diet too much damage. Just don’t make it a habit.
P.S. if you want some frosting on top of your cake, take some casein protein powder (make sure it’s casein and not whey) and mix it with a drop of water. Add water in very small increments to make sure you get the right consistency. It should form a paste like substance that you can use as a delicious cake frosting. Vanilla or chocolate casein works best.
Protein oat bar
A tasty snack for you or to pack into your child’s lunchbox as they go back to school.
– 2 scoops chocolate protein powder (I use myprotein.com Total Protein in chocolate smooth)
– 100g rolled oats
– 4tbsp unsweetened apple sauce
– 1tbsp cocoa powder
– 2tbsp almond butter or all natural peanut butter (make sure the only ingredients are peanuts and no added salt or sugar)
Mix the whole lot together in a mixer. Put into a dish and put in the fridge or freezer to harden up. Once they are hard (after a few hours) cut into four bars. Wrap in clingfilm if you are putting them in a lunchbox.
Mini carrot cakes
– 1.5 cups of almond flour
– pinch of salt
– 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
– 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
– 3 eggs
– 2 tbsp coconut oil
– 1/2 cup Truvia
– 1.5 cups of grated carrots
– 1/2 cup pecans
Mix almond flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon in one bowl. In another mix eggs, oil, and Truvia. Then stir the grated carrot and pecans into the wet mix. Add dry mix and pour into muffin cases. Bake in oven for 20 minutes.
This sweet treat has plenty of nutrition but will feel decadent. It also contains plenty of good fat, meaning it will keep you satisfied for longer.
Per cake: 146 calories, 6g protein, 7g carbs, 16g fat.
High protein frappuccino
In the hot weather we all love our iced coffee drinks, but did you know that some of those blended drinks from your favourite coffee shop can contain upto 1,000 calories?! It’s really not worth drinking that many calories, especially as they are mainly made up of sugar which will have you craving more food soon after you’ve finished it. So here is a just as tasty, high protein alternative which will boost your energy, cool you down and keep you feeling full and satisfied.
– 3/4 cup cold coffee or a shot of espresso
– one scoop of vanilla or chocolate protein powder (my favourite is Total Protein which is available in a variety of flavours from http://www.myprotein.com but Holland & Barratt and other health food stores also stock some decent ones. Make sure you check the carbohydrate content is below 3-4g per serving as otherwise it is just full of sugar.)
– 4 tbsp Greek yoghurt
– ice cubes
Put the whole lot in a blender and mix until it’s all blended together.
Low carb chilli with cauliflower rice
– 500 grams extra lean beef mince (can substitute turkey mince if you prefer or Quorn if you are vegetarian)
– 2 onions (chopped)
– 2 bell peppers (chopped, in the colours of your choice)
– 3 cans of chopped tomatoes in juice
– 1 tbsp cocoa powder
– 1 tsp chilli powder (or more if you like things spicy)
– 2 heads of cauliflower
– 1 tbsp coconut oil (available from all good health food shops or online – this really is a miracle food and tastes delicious)
How you do it:
In a saucepan dry fry the beef (or turkey) until brown, then add onion and peppers and continue to fry for a further 5 minutes or so, until they have softened. Add in tins of tomato, stir in cocoa powder and chilli powder. Bring to a light simmer and leave on a low heat for around 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, take your raw cauliflower and put it through the grater on your food processor (I wouldn’t recommend doing this by hand, although that could be a workout in itself!) Then place a few tablespoons of water in a frying pan, bring this to a boil and add in your grated cauliflower. Keep frying it until the water runs dry. Then add in your coconut oil and stir fry it until all the cauliflower rice is coated in oil and it’s softened up. If you like your rice crispier, fry it for a bit longer.
To serve, place the cauliflower rice in the bottom of a bowl and cover it with a cup of the chilli. You should easily get 6 portions out of this, so if you have leftovers, just put them in tupperware and enjoy the next day or the day after. It keeps nicely in the fridge for several days and actually seems to get tastier the next day.
– one scoop of casein powder (vanilla, chocolate or strawberry)
– 100g frozen berries (strawberries, blueberries or raspberries)
This makes a delicious cool dessert on a summer’s evening and the joy is that you can pick your favourite flavour, or experiment with different ones.
All you need to do is blend the ingredients together really well in a blender. The water content in the berries should be enough but if it seems a bit dry, add in a splash of water or milk.
Finally, use an electric whisk to fluff it all up – the longer you whisk, the bigger it will get. Sprinkle some whole berries over the top and enjoy. This is a delicious and balanced dessert as berries are good carbs that won’t spike your blood sugar too much and the protein will help keep you full for longer. Casein is a slow release protein, so is great taken just before bed as it will release protein to repair your muscles throughout the night – perfect for those of you who are training hard.
Chocolate peanut butter ice cream
(Makes 4 servings)
– 1/4 cup fat free Greek yoghurt
– 1/2 cup almond milk (unsweetened)
– 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
– 1 tbsp Truvia
– 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
– 1.5 tbsp cocoa powder
– 1.5 scoops of chocolate protein powder (whey or whey/casein blend)
Mix all the ingredients together, either in a food processor or by hand. If doing it by hand, melt the peanut butter in the microwave for 20 seconds first so it stirs in more easily. Then pour the mixture into ice lolly moulds or 4 small containers and place in the freezer for at least an hour, but better to leave it overnight. And then enjoy an indulgent, high protein, low calorie dessert.
Calories 161, fat 9.1g, carbs 7.6g, protein 14.2g
500g extra lean beef mince/turkey mince/quorn mince
Handful of sliced mushrooms
2 garlic cloves
3 egg whites
1 cup (250g) fat free Greek yoghurt
60g low fat cheese
4 tbsp Parmesan cheese
4 tbsp almond flour (ground almonds)
1 cup (250ml) almond milk
Fry your mince in a frying pan with some chopped up onion and mushrooms (if you like them). Then put it in a cooking tin (or even in individual muffin pans. Combine eggs and egg whites, Greek yoghurt, low fat cheese, parmesan cheese, almond flour and almond milk (available in larger supermarkets, either in with normal milk or in the long life section). Pour mixture over the top of your mince and cook in the oven for about an hour, until it’s springy to the touch. Let it cool and then you can cut it into at least 4 good portion sizes. It’s great warm or cold, so ideal for taking to work with you. Serve with side salad for a very filling meal.
Healthy ice cream
(serves 1 or 2)
What you need:
– one overripe banana
– optional: cocoa powder, vanilla extract, honey, nuts, nut butter, cinnamon, chocolate chips etc
Take your banana, peel it and cut it into chunks. Put these in a container and stick it in the freezer for at least two hours, but overnight is better. Once it has frozen, take it out and put it in a blender. It will form the consistency of soft serve ice cream. If you like the taste of banana just leave it plain like this. If you’d prefer another flavour, add a tablespoon of cocoa powder and some honey or sweetener to taste for a chocolate ice cream. Another great option is to add nut butter like peanut or almond butter to the mix as this will give it a nice creamy texture.
Experiment with different flavours and add spices like ginger or cinnamon for a bit of interest. You can also stir in some nuts or chocolate chips to make the whole thing more decadent. Give it a try and let me know what you come up with at firstname.lastname@example.org
Cauliflower pizza crust
Yes folks, it’s another cauliflower recipe. If you like cauliflower cheese, you’ll love this. It’s low in carbs and calories and will satisfy those pizza cravings.
What you need:
– one cup of cauliflower (grated)
– one egg, or two egg whites
– 100g low fat cheddar or mozzarella
– toppings of your choice
How to make it:
Grate the cauliflower, either with a cheese grater or in the food processor. Place it in a bowl and microwave for 5 to 8 minutes. No need to add water as the natural water in the cauliflower will be enough to cook it. Then add in egg and about 30g of your cheese and stir.
Then take some baking paper, spray it with low fat cooking spray and smooth out the cauliflower mixture onto it so it forms the shape of a pizza base. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes so it’s nice and crispy.
Once your crust is browned you can add your toppings. I like to use sachets of tomato sauce from the baby food aisle as they are already portioned out and they tend to have all natural ingredients. A brand called Ella’s Kitchen makes a nice one called the Italian one. Then and any veggies, like mushrooms, peppers etc, lean meats and the rest of your cheese. Make sure your toppings are already cooked because you are now just going to put your pizza under the grill until the cheese melts.
Now enjoy your guilt free pizza. You may not be able to pick it up properly like a normal pizza unless you’ve made it really crispy but experiment and see what you like.
Chocolate and pear oatmeal
– 40 grams whole porridge oats (not instant)
– 1 cup of water
– 1 small pear
– 1 scoop of chocolate whey protein powder (check out http://www.myprotein.com for a variety of great flavours at a good price, or go to Holland and Barrett – make sure it’s pure whey protein with a very low carbohydrate content)
– 2 packets of Truvia sweetener (optional)
Chop up the pear and mix with your oats, water and cinnamon (you can do this the night before and leave it soaking in the fridge overnight for an even better effect, plus it saves you time in the morning). Put the oatmeal in the microwave for about 5 minutes. Make sure you use a large bowl as it has a tendency to expand and go everywhere. When it’s done, take it out and leave it to cool for a few minutes. Then stir in your protein powder and sweetener, if using, and enjoy.
You can also make this with other flavours. Vanilla whey protein and blueberries or raspberries works well, or strawberry protein powder with strawberries.
Home made popcorn
What you need:
– Popcorn kernels
– A brown paper bag (a paper shopping bag will do)
– Herbs, spices and flavourings of your choice
How you do it:
Take a brown paper bag and just cover the bottom of it with popcorn kernels (don’t use too many as they will expand rapidly). Fold the opening of the bag over a couple of times and place it in the microwave. Set the timer for about 2-3 minutes. Within about 30 seconds you should start to hear it popping. Then treat it like any microwave popcorn you have used in the past – wait until the popping becomes less frequent and then stop the microwave. Make sure it doesn’t burn. Be very careful when taking the bag out, and particularly when opening it as it will be very hot! Once it has cooled slightly you can spray it with a little light cooking spray (olive oil is ideal) and then add your favourite flavouring. Options include: chilli powder (for a spicy kick), a little bit of salt and some Truvia (the best artificial sweetener if you are going to go down that road), some cinnamon (great for balancing your blood sugar), some mixed herbs. The joy of making popcorn this way is that there is no excess oil (extra calories) and you can be creative and create your own favourite flavourings. I’d love to hear what you come up with.