I like to set myself little challenges. This generally comes with trying to find my latest breakfast that meets my nutritional needs whilst tasting awesome.
I wanted brownies for breakfast.
I made brownies for breakfast.
They were good.
I had to share!
Chocolate Beetroot Breakfast Brownies
Makes 16, 480 calories, 20g protein, 14g fat, 27g carbs (6g fibre)
- 200g 85% cocoa chocolate
- 45g coconut oil (or other oil to taste)
- 200g oats
- 50g oat bran (or another 50g oats)
- 75g pea protein isolate powder
- 75g brown rice protein powder(or more pea protein or both can be substituted with a vegan protein blend)
- 100g unflavoured whey protein powder (chocolate, vanilla or any other chocolate-friendly flavour will also work but the brownies will be sweeter)
- 20g fine ground espresso or Greek/Turkish coffee
- 30g cocoa
- 125g dark muscovado sugar
- 75g pecan nuts (or other tasty nuts, chunks or even marshmallows if that’s the way you swing)
- 600g pre-cooked beetroot (not pickled, obviously)
- 250g fat free fromage frais or Greek yoghurt
- 2 large eggs
- Water as needed (details below)
- Pre-heat oven to 180C/160C fan/350F
- Grease and line a baking tray with non-stick baking parchment and then grease the baking parchment.
- Mix together all dry ingredients (the three protein powders, oats, bran, cocoa, sugar, coffee and pecans) until combined.
- Break chocolate into small pieces, place in a bowl with the coconut oil and melt both together in the microwave (or a bain marie).
- Roughly chop the beetroot and blend until smooth with the fromage frais/yoghurt and eggs.
- Stir the chocolate into the beetroot puree.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and then add water until it has the consistency of chocolate pudding.
- Pour the mixture into the tin and tap to get rid of any bubbles.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes until set solid (it will still be a bit gooey).
- Cut into the desired number of portions (16 worked for me but 24 or even 32 would still be reasonable-sized brownies).
Okay, so it looks like a lot of steps, but I had them in the oven in about 15 minutes. I froze most of the brownies and just heat them up each morning in the oven at 120C for 15 minutes. Perfect fudgey goodness!
I hold The Ranting Chef entirely responsible for this utterly unhealthy treat. His post about “The Bacon Industrial Complex” inspired me to have a go at making a protein-enhanced version of his cookies and darn they’re good!
Around four and a half hours (and a mega workout) after eating one and I’m only just starting to feel hungry!
Peanut Butter Bacon Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Protein Cookies
Makes 18, 350 calories, 34g carbs (3g fibre, 21g sugar), 14g protein, 18g fat
- 6 rashers of streaky bacon
- 200g smooth peanut butter
- 125g crunchy wholenut peanut butter
- 75g butter (or margarine)
- 275g golden caster sugar or soft light brown sugar
- 150g pea protein isolate
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 175g dark chocolate chips
- 260g rolled oats
- Water to bind
- Pre-heat oven to 170C/160C (fan)/340F
- Place the bacon in a non-stick baking tray and put in the oven for 15 minutes whilst you prepare the rest.
- Line two large baking trays with non-stick baking paper.
- Beat peanut butters and butter/magarine together until well combined.
- Add sugar and cream together.
- Add pea protein isolate and bicarb and beat in.
- Add eggs and vanilla extract and mix well (the mixture will look like breadcrumbs at this point).
- Mix in the oats and chocolate chips then add enough water to bring the mix together.
- Take the bacon out of the oven. Drain the fat into the cookie mix and crumble in the (now crispy) bacon.
- Take fistfuls of dough, roll into rough balls and place on the tray and then flatten. They won’t spread so you don’t need to leave a lot of space between them.
- Bake for around 20-25 minutes until starting to turn golden around the edges.
- Leave to cool for 10 minutes before eating (or they’ll fall apart).
By popular request, here’s the mass gainer shake recipe I made for my husband.
Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Banana Protein Shake
Serves one (absolute mega pig)
1448 calories, 105g carbohydrate (64g sugar and 29g fibre), 81g fat and 87g protein
- 300ml whole milk
- 75g whole nut peanut butter
- 50g dark chocolate
- 2 small bananas (or one large)
- 50g fat reduced cocoa powder
- 50g whey protein (chocolate or unflavoured)
- Ice to taste
- Blend all ingredients ’til smooth.
Sunday seems to be the day of pain as well as the day of rest at the moment. Spending an hour or two grimacing on the foam roller (and tennis balls) seems to be the way of things and psyching myself up for the week ahead.
I’m three weeks into my first ever bulking cycle and I’m getting to grips with eating enough for that. Admittedly, I seem to be utterly hyperactive at times and starving at others, but it’s kinda fun eating a lot.
So recently Sundays have meant two things in terms of eating:
- Full cooked breakfast
- Too full to eat again ’til dinner.
Now seriously, I don’t have a problem with the former (as I make it and it’s GOOD), if I don’t eat again until dinner then it has to be a big dinner. So I’m giving smoothies another go. 🙂
The other glass in the picture is my husband’s chocolate peanut butter protein shake… clocking in at around 1450 calories. I’m not even going to share that one unless asked…
Chocolate, Berry and Avocado Protein Smoothie
Totals for mix – can serve one or two
537 calories, 51g protein, 25g fat, 35g carbohydrate (including 17g sugar and 19g fibre)
- 1 small hass avocado
- 130g frozen mixed berries
- 50g cherries
- 25g whey protein (unflavoured or chocolate)
- 25g soy protein (unflavoured or chocolate)
- 20g reduced fat cocoa powder
- 200-300ml water
- Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Looks like I’m getting back into the swing of things. This is a nice simple slow-cooker recipe. You don’t have to use lamb hearts, or even lamb, but the combination of juicy lamb leg and meaty lamb hearts really works well. The lamb hearts are incredibly cheap and they work really well with the strong flavoured sauce.
If you didn’t tell people, they would never guess that what the hearts were. They have a lovely firm texture but aren’t obviously “offally”.
Whilst you all know that I’m not a proponent of paleo, I do like to share recipes which are suitable for friends who are every now and again.
Lamb’s Heart Curry
Serves 6 (I know, I know, but this one’s really filling)
389 Calories, 10g carbohydrate (4g sugar, 2g fibre), 35g protein, 23g fat
- 3 lamb hearts
- 600g lamb leg (diced) – You could just use another 6 lamb hearts, but the combination works well.
- One large onion
- One 400g tin tomatoes
- One 400g tin coconut milk
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp fenugreek
- 2 tsp ginger
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground chilli
- 2 tsp ground turmeric
- 2 tsp garam masala
- (Or replace all spices with 2 tbsp of curry powder, all measures are approximate)
- Salt to taste
- Prepare the lamb hearts. Cut into quarters lengthwise and remove the tube that goes into the top. Then chop into roughly 2cm/1″ dice.
- Chop the onion roughly (or slice… honestly, it will be good however you prep it)
- Put all ingredients in a slow cooker and stir through.
- Cook on low for 8-12 hours (i.e. put on when you go to work and eat after the evening’s workout… or when you get home.)
- Serve with rice, naan bread, vegetable curry and/or dahl.
I know kale is meant to be a wonder food… but generally I don’t like it! It’s bitter, it’s tough and it seems to have few redeeming features other than its nutritional value. (Come on, we all know I like food to be tasty!)
This soup seems to make it palatable… Actually, pretty tasty!
Kale, Cauliflower and Chorizo Soup
Serves 4 (massive portions)
184 calories, 20g carbohydrate (7g sugar, 6g fibre), 10g protein, 8g fat
- 1 small-ish head of cauliflower
- 1 large onion
- 2 medium carrots
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 75g chorizo
- 200g kale
- 1 red chilli (optional)
- Roughly chop the carrots, cauliflower, chilli and onion and cut the chorizo into strips.
- Put in a saucepan (or pressure cooker) with enough water to cover by 1″.
- Boil until the carrots are soft (about 20 minutes).
- Add kale and boil for another 10 minutes.
- Blend until smooth.
- Serve in BIG bowls and enjoy.
I’ve made many varieties of protein muffins over the past few months but these have to be my absolute favourites. They’re moist, lush, sweet and still under 200 calories each.
Honestly, they mostly came about because of a glut of cheap cherries in the summer and were repeated endlessly with frozen cherries since because they’re just so darn tasty!
Chocolate, Cherry and Almond Protein Muffins
Makes 24 muffins
192 calories, 17g carbohydrate (2g fibre, 8g sugar), 13g protein, 8g fat
- 200g Porridge oats
- 150g Pea protein isolate
- 100g Chocolate whey
- 100g Gram/chickpea flour
- 125g Caster sugar
- 50g Cocoa
- 2 tbsp Baking Powder
- 180g Whole almonds, chopped or pulsed in a food processor until roughly chopped (or half and half ground almonds and flaked almonds)
- 350g Frozen cherries (or 500g fresh cherries, pitted)
- 250g Fat free Greek yoghurt
- 3 tbsp Olive oil (or any other vegetable oil you like)
- 2 Eggs
- 1 tsp Almond extract (entirely optional)
- 500ml Water
- Pre-heat oven to 200C/180C Fan
- Combine all dry ingredients (everything up to the almonds) in a bowl and stir thoroughly.
- Combine yoghurt, oil, eggs and almond extract in a bowl until smooth.
- Add cherries and water to the yoghurt mixture and add the whole lot to the dry ingredients.
- Take two 24 hole non-stick muffin tins and grease thoroughly (I use oil spray, but whatever method you like will work).
- Divide the mix between the tins evenly (an ice cream scoop is a useful tool here).
- Bake for around half an hour or until fully set.
Once again, these freeze really well and can be reheated easily at 120C/100C fan for around 20-30 minutes.
We all have UFOs in our house:
I knew it was meat. I suspected it was venison (as it had come from one of my father in law’s shooting trips) but I wasn’t entirely sure what cut or whether I might have been confused and it was actually beef.
Yes, this is not the best start to a recipe but I have a real soft spot for those UFOs.
It was the last day of our week off, so I felt that this beautiful piece of meat deserved a little extra respect. Venison is high in protein, pretty low in fat and blinking delicious with the sweet autumn vegetables.
P.S. For once, actually Paleo… Shock! Horror!
Roast Loin of Venison with Autumn Vegetables and Savoy Cabbage (stir-fried with bacon)
Serves 4 (pigs as usual)
714 calories, 60g Carbohydrate (12g Fibre, 14g Sugar), 82g Protein, 16g Fat
- 1kg Loin of Venison (or thereabouts, the figures above are based on 965g)
- 1/2 Celeriac bulb
- 1/2 Butternut squash
- 450g Sweet potato
- 1-2 Large carrots (figures based on 200g)
- 1/2 Savoy Cabbage (although you can use a whole one if you like)
- 6 rashers Dry cure, smoked streaky bacon
- 2-3 Shallots
- 20g Goose fat
- Black pepper to taste
- Pre-heat oven to 220C/200C fan/430F
- Chop the celeriac, butternut squash, sweet potato and carrots into finger-sized wedges and place on a roasting tray (which you should then place in the oven).
- Roast vegetables for around 40 minutes before the next step.
- Pre-heat a large frying pan and add 10g of the goose fat. Brown the venison all over (including the ends) and place on another tray in the oven.
- Roast the venison for around 10 minutes (15-20 if you want it medium to medium well, if you want well done… find less lovely meat to ruin).
- Shred the cabbage, finely dice the shallots and slice the bacon
- Take the venison out to rest until everything else is ready. The vegetables can come out as soon as they’re cooked to your personal preference, I like them quite well done.
- Heat the rest of the goose fat in the same frying pan you used for the venison.
- Add the bacon and fry until golden brown and crispy before adding the shallots.
- Fry the shallots until soft but not coloured, then add the cabbage and stir-fry until softened.
- Season the cabbage to taste with salt and black pepper.
- Serve on heated plates. I had mine with some quince and rosemary jelly, which a lovely friend gave me, but I would usually have made gravy.
I’ll do a post on gravy sometime before Christmas. Good gravy is time-consuming but tastes so good that it’s worth it.