Thursday, June 22, 2017

Easy protein for those crazy busy days

So I am always on the go, and sometimes it doesn't work to grill a chicken breast or make some eggs and veggies. Sometimes I have one minute to get something to eat and to stay on track, planning is key. I love to have hard boiled eggs on hand (try this fool proof, easy peel way), but it's also nice to have something with a bit more flavor, right?!

Here are two things that are almost always in my freezer for a quick meal or snack: Meatloaf Muffins and Egg Muffins. I should say they are "muffins" as they are just baked in muffin tins, but you get the picture. Both recipes are super adaptable-in fact, I make them two different ways each time so I have a low carb/high fat day option as well as a high carb/lower fat option when carb cycling. That sounds like a lot of work but it's not, before you add the carbs into the mix (the quinoa or oatmeal), spoon out half the mixture into muffin tins and those are your low carb options, then add the carbs in and make the rest-your high carb option (super simple!)

Check it out.

Meatloaf Muffins:

Super duper easy and delicious. I've simply adapted Ina Garten's amazing meatloaf recipe to be gluten free and lower carb for low carb days.

What you need: 

  • 2 smallish white onions, finely chopped
  • 2 lbs ground turkey (I love turkey but you could totally go with beef)
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup quick oats (for your higher carb muffins)
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 eggs (if you don't do eggs...applesauce would work well too...or you can just leave them out)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

What you do:

  1. Heat the olive oil on medium heat
  2. Saute onions for a few minutes until they turn a bit translucent but not brown
  3. Remove the onions from the heat to let cool a bit and then add the thyme, salt, ground pepper, Worcestershire sauce and chicken broth-stir together.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the meat and eggs. I prefer to use my hands, but a fork will do too. Add the onion mixture.
  5. In a muffin tin either lined with parchment paper muffin liners (I get mine at Target) or lightly greased, put half the mixture in...they aren't going to rise so feel free to fill up the cups.
  6. Mix the oats in and repeat for your high carb muffins.
  7. Bake for 30-40 minutes at 325...I also recommend putting a oven safe pan of water in your oven when you bake them they don't dry out!

These freeze well and are delicious after a minute in the microwave.

On-the-go Veggie and Quinoa Frittatas

What you need: 
  • 3/4 cup uncooked pre-rinsed quinoa
  • 1.5 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 large zucchini either finely chopped (or I just spiralized mine and ran a knife through the strings to make them super small pieces)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 cup chopped broccoli (I just used frozen) 
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • dash of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes (to enhance taste)
  • Salt and pepper to taste (I am generous with both)
  • 7 eggs lightly beaten
  • 18 parchment paper muffin tin liners (I get mine at Target)
What you do:
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Place muffin tin liners into a muffin tin
  3. Cook quinoa as package directs in the vegetable broth (let cool)
  4. Combine feta, onion, broccoli, zucchini, garlic, cayenne, salt, pepper and eggs and mix well
  5. Spoon the low carb mixture into the lined muffin tin (you can fill the tin right up to the top-ends up being like a 1/3 cup)
  6. Add cooled quinoa to the rest of the mixture and repeat the last step for your higher carb muffins
  7. Bake for 25 minute and let cool a bit before diving in
These freeze super well...just pop a frozen muffin in the microwave for 1 minute and let cool.

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