Peppermint Hot Cocoa Protein Cupcakes


Ingredients

Hot Cocoa Cupcakes
1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or oat flour)
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1/3 cup baking stevia or Vitacost xylitol
¼ cup plain greek yogurt (or unsweetened applesauce)
1 egg
½ tsp. peppermint extract

Peppermint Icing
¼ cup + 2 Tbsp. low fat cream cheese
¼ cup plain greek yogurt
¼ tsp. peppermint extract
4 Tbsp. baking stevia (or sweetener of choice)

Optional Topping: crushed peppermint
Method

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place 5 silicone cupcake liners on a sheet pan and set aside.

2. In a bowl, whisk together all of the cupcake ingredients until mixture is smooth and well combined. Evenly spoon cupcake batter in all 5 cupcake liners and bake in the oven for 16-20 minutes, or until toothpick is inserted in cupcake and comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool while the icing is made.

3. For the icing, heat up the cream cheese in the microwave for 10 seconds. Whisk until smooth then add in the remainder of icing ingredients and stir together. Evenly spoon icing on top of each cupcake and add crushed peppermint, if desired. Serve immediately. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Makes 5 servings
1 serving is 1 cupcake with icing

Macros for 1 serving
159 calories, 8.2g protein, 9.2g carbs, 9.8g fat, 1g sugar, 1.7g fiber 

Nicolette’s Tips
* If you don’t have silicone cupcake liners, you can use regular liners but make sure to spray them with non-stick spray and place them in a cupcake tin for baking.
* For an added hot cocoa flavor, use your favorite hot chocolate powder mix instead of protein powder. Note the macros will change.




Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Southwestern Quinoa and Guacamole


Ingredients

Pork
1 whole pork tenderloin, approximately 1-1¼ pounds
1 tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. dry mustard
½ tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 ¼ tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. salt

Guacamole
2 Haas avocados, seeded and peeled
¼ cup cherry tomatoes, diced
2 tsp. fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
1 tsp. garlic powder (or ½ clove garlic, finely diced)
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground cumin
¼ onion, diced
Optional: ¼ jalapeno, seeded and diced

Southwestern Quinoa
Roasted Red Pepper
Feta Cheese
Optional: corn, cilantro, and tomatoes

Method

1. To make the tenderloin, trim the meat of excess fat and silver skin. Toss together all of the spices in a bowl. Using your fingers, evenly coat the pork with spice mixture.

2. Place the pork in a zip-lock freezer bag and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours before grilling.

3.  Turn your grill on high heat, or prepare your charcoal grill. Grill pork until internal temperature reaches 140 degrees F. I like to grill the pork on one side about 6 minutes (to create a good seared crust) then turn the pork occasionally until internal temperature is reached. I keep the grill covered during the cooking.  

4. Transfer the pork to a serving platter, wrap with foil, and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

5. For the guacamole, scoop out the avocado pulp into a mixing bowl and add the lime juice. Gently mash mixture with a fork, leaving it slightly chunky. Add the remainder of the guacamole ingredients and stir gently until well combined.

6. Serve sliced pork on top of cooked quinoa that is mixed with roasted red peppers, feta cheese, and black beans with a scoop of guacamole on the side.


Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Protein Pancakes


You all know I have a special place in my heart for. Cookies! To me, they are the perfect little treat. So what happens when I wake up craving cookies? I transform them into pancake form. Duh! This was my first time doing this miraculous transformation and let me add that it will most certainly not be my last. A few simple additions to your favorite pre-made or homemade pancake mix and you've got yourself cookie style pancakes. Enjoy!

Ingredients

Pancakes
1 serving of healthy protein pancake mix (I used Kodiak Cakes)
¼ cup rolled oats
2 Tbsp. raisins 
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
1 stevia packet
1 Tbsp. almond butter

White Chocolate Cheesecake Icing
2 Tbsp. low fat cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp. plain greek yogurt
8 drops liquid stevia
1 Tbsp. sugar free white chocolate pudding mix
2 Tbsp. almond milk

Method

1. Mix pancakes according to package directions. Add in the rolled oats, raisins, cinnamon, stevia, and almond butter. Whisk or stir together. This will thicken the batter making it more similar to a cookie consistency.

2. Heat a skillet on the stove top over medium head. Coat with cooking spray and cook pancakes, about 2-3 minutes on each side, until both sides are golden brown. I was able to make 5 pancakes total.

3. While the pancakes cool, whisk together all of the icing ingredients until smooth. Spoon icing in between and/or on top of pancakes and finish off with desired toppings. I used blueberries and maple syrup. Serve immediately.


"Chipotle" Bison Bowl


So last night I was craving Chipotle. But Chipotle is over an hour way from where I live. The nerve. And by craving....I'm not talking about "oh it would be nice to have that, but it's just not going to happen". What I am talking about is "I AM PREGNANT AND THESE HORMONES MAKE ME FEEL MENTAL SOMETIMES AND I'M CRAVING CHIPOTLE AND THAT MEANS I NEED IT NOW. ASAP. LIKE IN 30 MINUTES OR I WILL EXPERIENCE PSYCHO-NESS YOU AIN'T SEEN COMING" So, anyways, lucky me I was planning on making guacamole last night to go along with bison stuffed peppers. Hmmm. So I had those ingredients plus brown rice, canned black beans (thank goodness I ordered them from Vitacost), & canned corn. Hallelujah! So I made a "Chipotle Bowl" and I have never been happier to see this concoction. So, with my happy ass mood still ensuing today, I will share the recipe with you. 

The Recipe
Well, kind of.

I cooked 2 lb. of ground bison with chopped onion (about 1/2) on the stovetop and added some pepper, chili powder, paprika, Flavor God spicy everything seasoning, and garlic powder to taste. I also cooked brown rice but added some chopped cilantro and lime juice to mimic the cilantro lime rice from Chipotle. For the guacamole, I mashed two avocado with diced cherry tomatoes, cilantro, a little salt, pepper, diced red onion, garlic powder, cumin, and lime juice to taste. Listen, I don't measure for savory dishes in all honesty. I measure all day with baking so...yeah. But I promise to do better next time :) Then I plopped all this in a bowl, added the corn and beans, and devoured it. So. Friggin. Good. I would have added lettuce if I had any but I ate the rest in a salad for lunch. I know I don't post savory dishes much but I am hoping to start posting them more often. Happy Thursday!