Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Almond Protein Shortcakes

Strawberry Shortcake has to be my most favoritest dessert on the planet. Galaxy even. I pretty much don't say no to any dessert really (life is about moderation after all so yeah, I still eat dessert on occasion, just instead of a portion the size of my head, I eat only a couple bites) but shortcake is my absolute favorite. Come on now, drool with me. Doesn't this look so splendiferous? I promise it tastes BETTER than it looks. No really, it does! And even better you can throw any fruit filling that you want if strawberries aren't your thing (if they aren't, I'm totally giving you a "you're so weird" look but pretend you don't see it). Peach, lemon curd, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, cinnamon apple, cinnamon pears, only your imagination is the limit.

Growing up, my family ate Strawberry Shortcake with the berries smashed to a bloody pulp and mixed with equal (my Papa was a diabetic) poured onto the store bought shortcake cups, drowned in Half & Half, and topped with whipped cream. I'm pretty sure we drowned the cakes in Half & Half to make them less rubbery and really we put so much berry pulp and whipped cream on them you could have held the cake and we probably wouldn't have noticed. They looked disgusting as it was a melty smooshy hot mess but it was splendiferously wonderful and I was always heartbroken when my bowl was empty -- which was too soon because I horked it down so fast.

However, since my surgery, if I'm eating baked goods it's going to be goods I've baked. That way I can control the amounts of fat, protein, sugar, and healthiness of them. Because while I believe life is moderation and there is room for dessert, why not try and make it somewhat good for you too if you can do so without sacrificing on the flavor? Exactly. There's no reason not too.

I've pretty much given up all-purpose flour when I bake. Not because I'm allergic to gluten or have an intolerance or that I don't like it but because the healthy aspect of almond, coconut, and oat flours is so high and with higher grams of protein why wouldn't I switch? I like to mix them up for different textures, light versus dense, and of course I always add in at least one scoop of protein powder. When you can only have a handful of bites you need all the protein punch you can get.

And do they get the Picky Eaters' Seal of Approval. Yes they do! Two thumbs and a big toe up. Way up. Neither the husband nor 4ft (Grumpers and Bear want nothing to do with this dessert. Strawberries, bleh -- they really are sick and twisted kids) had any idea how healthy these were for them and both of them loved them. They're requested again and again... and that's just fine by me because if I could, I'd eat them all in one sitting. They're that good.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Chocolate Strawberry Muffins

When it's springtime I can't get enough strawberries. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the fruit year round (it is my favorite), but spring just screams strawberries! (How'd you like that alliteration?) And you really can't go wrong with anything that has strawberries in it. I don't do a lot of baking in warmer weather because it makes my apartment hell hot and me a cranky sweaty evil person, but I had a craving for muffins. Chocolate Strawberry Muffins to be exact. 

So first thing in the morning, while it was still pretending it was going to be a cool and comfortable day, I preheated my behemoth of a hot beast oven and got to work on cranking out some delicious muffins. I hoped I'd get them done and the heat blasting, house heating, make you feel like you were in the seventh level of hell (which is awesome in the winter) oven turned off and the apartment cooled back down before it got unpleasant outside and even a little less so inside. 

Yeah, that didn't work.

And while it feels like summer in my apartment instead of spring, the muffins are more than worth it. They got picky family seals of approval and 4ft wanted to take not only one for snack at school but one for his lunch too. He pretty much told me he wants to eat them for every meal. If that doesn't mean good eating, I don't know what does!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Chicken Asparagus Salad Boats

Who doesn't love a chicken salad on a spring day? Or any day for that matter. Can I get an, "Amen!"? 

Stop drooling. I've already had to wipe up the drool puddle I made.

Now it used to be that I could cheat and use the canned chicken, toss in some "everything but the kitchen sink" type stuff into it, add some mayo and call it a meal. Don't judge. I knew it was cheating and I did it anyway... So there! Anyway, since my surgery I cannot stomach that swill out of a can anymore (which really does hurt my feelings because it was quick protein fix on days when I didn't feel like cooking or eating leftovers, you know?) So now anytime I grill chicken, I grill extra. Which was what I did for dinner the other night. On top of that, I accidentally (on purpose) grilled too many asparagus spears. At first, I thought, well I've got dinner leftovers for tomorrow night so I can make the Husband and ankle biters (Okay so 4ft could totally bite higher than that, but you know what I mean) a no dietary restrictions dinner. Well as I was slaving away on Sloppy Joe's (which are delicious but too much sugar and bun for my poor tummy) I was uninspired with just leftover grilled chicken and asparagus. 

Then lightning struck:

Booyah! Chicken Salad. Even better chicken salad with ASPARAGUS (I kid you not when I make chicken salad I raid the fridge and throw anything that looks delicious into the mix) Heck to the yeah, hook that up. I could've had a sandwich (who am I kidding? just half a sandwich) as I can fin-a-lly eat bread again but spring days and sunny weather just make me want to eat salads. And with the lettuce boats as a vehicle, I could eat MORE of the crunchy, sweet, mayo-ny, chicken goodness without filling up on the bread so fast. Oh yeah, bonus!