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Spud Muffins

A lot of us made New Year’s resolutions and some of us are determined to keep them come hell or high water. If one of your resolutions was to eat better and make smarter food choices, I’d like to dedicate this post to you.

I know all too well how it feels to wake up before dawn and realize that you barely have enough time to take a shower before you have to be out of the door. Breakfast? What breakfast!  Then I got to thinking, breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day, it sets the tone for the day. I find that if I had a decent meal in the morning I feel energized, I feel unstoppable, I am on my game. Best of all, having breakfast prevents you from being, what I call, hangry. Hangry is a sad combination of hungry and angry that causes one to make bad decisions and have virtually zero patience.

So, what’s the answer to having a healthy, well balanced breakfast that hits all your macros on the go? Portable food! Below is the recipe for the most awesome muffin that is easy to eat, has a low glycemic index, loads of protein, very little fat, and you can make them in advance! What?! Yes, your week just got that much easier!

I usually make these on Sunday evening at the end of my food prep because they tend to take a bit longer than the usual blend and go variety. Why? Because I make my Spud Muffins with meringue to insure nice and fluffy consistency. I tested other recipes of healthy, protein muffins and I noticed that all of them are dense, chewy, and taste like cardboard. I refused to have this happen to my food, this is fit gourmet, after all!

Let’s dive in! First and foremost, make sure that your eggs are at room temp. Room temperature eggs make better meringue. Also, older eggs are better suited for meringue purposes, but who has old eggs lying around?! I set my eggs out just as I am getting ready to do the rest of my food prep, that way by the time I get around to the muffins, they are nice and ready to go.

Since I pre-make my sweet potatoes for the week, having a cup of mashed sweet potato isn’t a problem. If, however, you don’t pre make yours, here’s the deal:

Peel and cut up your sweet potatoes, put them in a pot of boiling water, boil until tender. Strain the water, mash the potatoes with a potato masher or a fork.

I don’t add seasoning to my sweet potato ahead of time, because I refuse to commit to one single flavor in my mash for the rest of the week. I like a good variety.

Back to the eggs and the trick of the meringue… You will need to separate egg whites from egg yolks. Make sure that you take great care not to get any of the yolk into your egg whites. I recommend breaking the eggs over a separate dish, separating the whites and then adding them to the mixer bowl one at a time. That way, if you do end up with the yolks in your whites, you won’t have to scrap the whole batch and waste eggs. No, I wouldn’t recommend using egg beaters. They do not meringue well.

Please, do not attempt to be a hero and whisk the meringue by hand. It’ll take you forever!

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Ok, I think I covered the important basics of the meringue. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me through our Facebook Page, Twitter, or just leave me a comment here!

Supd_Muffin
Spud Muffins

Ingredients: 

4 large eggs at room temperature
¼ tsp cream of tartar
½ cup Splenda or Stevia
1 cup almond meal flour
2 scoops vanilla whey
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp coco powder
2 ½ cups of mashed sweet potato

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°.  Separate egg yolks from egg whites. Place the egg whites into a large bowl and mix on medium-high speed until the eggs are frothy. When your eggs are frothy add cream of tartar. Continue mixing on medium-high speed until the eggs are white and nearly doubled in size. At this point add Splenda or Stevia one tablespoon at a time. Continue mixing the meringue until the mixture begins to form stiff peaks in the mixing bowl.

In a separate bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients. Gradually fold the sweet potatoes into the dry ingredients until well incorporated. Make sure that there are no clumps of flour or protein powder.

Gently fold the sweet potato mixture into the meringue. Fold from the sides towards the center until the mixture is well incorporated. Be careful not to over mix and deflate your meringue.

Divide the batter between muffin cups. Bake for approximately 35-40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

Makes 12 muffins.

Nutrition Info (1 muffin): 

Calories 119
Fat 5g
Carbs 8g
Protein 10g

Beet Root Salad

Beets may not be your first choice when it comes to getting the most vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, but they might just be what you need to ward off that evil flu.  Some studies show that consuming raw or lightly cooked beet root may increase your immunity, decrease muscular inflammation, promote digestive tract detox, as well as significantly decrease risk of certain cancers.  But even after all of that, most people would never choose to eat a beet willingly. Well, below is a new take on an old Russian recipe that is guaranteed to change your mind about beet root.

There are a few additions, substitutions, as well as modifications that you can do to this beet root salad to meet your nutrient needs. For example, you may want to substitute a green onion, or a Texas onion for a red onion. You can also substitute Edamame instead of peas and toss in some herbs like parsley or basil to brighten up the flavor and take you into a whole new direction.

beet_saladIngredients:

3 cups of lightly cooked beets
1 cup Red Onion
2 cups Sauerkraut
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Agave Syrup
2 tbsp Lemon Juice
1 cup Peas (fresh or canned)
2 medium Pickles

 

Directions:

Cut the green and the root of off your raw beets, wash and peel the outer skin. In a medium size pot bring the beets to a boil. The water should cover the beets by about ½ an inch. Cook the beets until they are tender but not mushy. You want the beets to have a little bit of crunch. About 15-20 minutes.

While your beets are cooking dice the onion and combine it with sauerkraut, olive oil, agave syrup, and lemon juice. Mix well and set aside. Let the flavors combine while you finish cooking your beets and dicing them.

Wash, clean, and steam your peas (if you are using fresh peas) or drain a can of your favorite pea variety, dice two medium sized pickles and set them aside.

When the beets have finished cooking, dice them into bite sized pieces and combine them with the rest of the ingredients. Toss, salt to taste and serve.

Makes about 7 cups.

Nutrition:  Serving Size: 1 cup, Cal. 128.9 Fat 4.2g Carb. 12.7g Protein 4.2g

 

Roasted Red Pepper and Acorn Squash Soup

It is most definitely soup weather and nothing warms me up better after a long run than a nice bowl of rich and creamy Roasted Red Pepper and Acorn Squash Soup. It tastes like comfort and packs a serious nutrient punch. It is easy and fairly quick to make especially if you have chicken or veggie broth on hand. I prefer to make my own broth and roast my own peppers, but you can use store bought if you are strapped for time.

Ingredients:Roasted_Red_Pepper_Soup

1 Acorn Squash
4 Red Bell Peppers
2 Cups Broth
2 tbs Olive Oil
1 tsp Salt
1 tbsp Rotisserie Seasoning (any rotisserie chicken seasoning will do)
1 tbsp Marjoram
1 tbsp Basil
Dash of Cayenne (optional)
Dash of Cumin
Dash Caraway

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, peel and cut Acorn Squash into a few pieces, coat with olive oil, rotisserie seasoning, and salt and bake for 25 minutes or until tender.

In the mean time, roast peppers on the hot grill until the skin blisters and chars. Put the peppers into a large bowl and cover with aluminum foil. Allow to rest for 10-15 minutes.

After the peppers have rested, peel the skin (it should come off pretty easily) and take out the seeds. Cut the peppers into small strips.

In a medium sized pot, combine the remaining spices and 2 cups of broth. Add the squash and the peppers and simmer for 10 minutes to combine the flavors. Allow the soup to cool and blend in a blender until silky smooth or use an immersion blender to do the same.

Garnish with your choice of toppings and enjoy!