Tag Archives: protein

Spinach Artichoke Dip –CLEAN EATING!

A healthy spinach artichoke dip? You got it! This dip was half gone before I could snap this picture before devouring the rest. I just started eating cottage cheese a lot lately because I have been feeding it to my 9 month old. I mix it with fruit for her breakfast sometimes. I take a bite, she takes a bite, and we go back and forth. It’s high in protein and she’s always super hungry. Well, she loves it! It has also helped her tummy because it has probiotics similar to yogurt. Who knew?! Anyways, cottage cheese is great protein and therefore great for weight loss and curbing appetite. It is overall an amazing food.

Anyhow, I got this CRAZY idea to make a spinach artichoke dip using cottage cheese instead of mayo and all that unhealthy stuff the dip normally consists of. Well, TRY THIS. Trust me. It was so delicious, I started immediately calling people telling them to make it. (I have never done this before.)

Here is the SIMPLE and HEALTHY recipe….

Sautee half a bag of fresh organic spinach, half a can of chopped up artichoke hearts, and freshly crushed garlic in a little bit of coconut or olive oil. I used the Pampered Chef garlic press to release the fresh garlic flavors into the dip. I love this thing. It leaves me smelling like garlic for days, but who cares? Not I. 🙂

I then mixed the warm veggies in a glass mixing bowl with a container of cottage cheese. I added half a cup of shredded cheddar and about 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese. I added about 1 tsp. of pepper. There you have it– Spinach artichoke dip!

cottage cheese spinach artichoke dip

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Peach Smoothie

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Crushed ice, 1 organic peach (sliced), 1 scoop vanilla whey protein, 1 cup vanilla almond milk. Blend until smooth.

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Traditional Lasagna

Grace’s Meat and Cottage Cheese Lasagnaimage

I am always looking for ways to improve my recipes, and I think I have finally discovered the best way to cook lasagna! Do not cook the noodles before layering! Leaving them “raw” allows them to soak up the sauce and juices and make the dish have tons of flavor. The noodles aren’t overcooked. Your husband is happy and eats 3 servings.

I normally have always used ricotta cheese and cooked lasagna noodles as layers in meat lasagna. However, I decided to replace ricotta by using cottage cheese and not cooking the noodles beforehand to soak up the excess water. I was sick of runny lasagnas that were hard to slice and too mushy.

Cottage cheese is low in fat and high in protein. It’s sworn by athletes and people trying to lose weight. It has a large amount of casein protein (the kind for muscle building). It is also lower in calories than ricotta. Win-win!

The layers of my lasagna were as follows:

  • Red Sauce: 1 lb. of 90% lean beef cooked with 1/2 a yellow onion and 3/4 of a jar of pasta sauce (or your homemade sauce) in a large pan. Add Italian spices and garlic as desired.
  • White Sauce: 1 1/2 cup of cottage cheese mixed with one egg, 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese,  pinch of parsley and pinch of thyme.
  • Noodles: uncooked raw lasagna noodles broken to fit your pan (if they don’t fit… mine didn’t because I used a weird shaped dish).
  • Cheese: various cheeses (sliced provolone, sliced or shredded mozzarella, Parmesan, sharp cheddar or whatever you like! Normally I only use parm and mozzarella but I decided to go crazy with a variety of cheeses. I was glad I did!

I layered the bottom of my dish starting with a thin layer of the beef/sauce mix.

The next layer was the raw noodles.

The next layer was white sauce mix.

The next layer was various cheeses.

The next layer was the raw noodles (again).

The next layer was beef/sauce mix (again)… you get the idea.

Repeat until you run out of ingredients or about 2 layers of each.

Top with cheeses and parsley.

Chow down! Pack the leftovers for lunch (if there are any)!

 

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Post Work-out Protein Shakes

Ok, let me first start out by saying that I am not a body builder. I am also definitely not a nutrition expert. However, something I have noticed is that a lot of men shed fat and build muscle much easier than women. Sooo.. I started conducting some intense (google) research and read a lot about the benefits of protein post-workout for muscle recovery and fat burning. Protein builds and helps fuel muscles. Muscle burns fat. Fat is bad. So I did the math and decided to start eating protein. I read that it is a myth that women bulk up from lifting weights and eating protein. In fact, I decided to conduct an experiment (using one participant: me) the past 2 weeks to see what would happen. I have worked out 5-6 days and drank a protein shake after almost every workout. Mind you, I have also been writing this blog and paying closer attention to what I eat so that could be a factor. The result: My clothes are looser and I’ve lost 5 lbs. on the scale in 2 weeks. I am still wondering if my scale is broken. I have even used my husband’s scale to compare and make sure. Both are accurate. Amazing. So here is the protein shake that I’ve been drinking…

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It tastes like a chocolate milkshake. It makes my work-out muscle pains a lot less so I don’t need to “take a few days off.” No more limping around after doing squats. This protein stuff seems to seriously work.

My method:

Fill the blender with 15-20 ice cubes.

Pour in the blender 1/2 cup of Vanilla Almond Milk.

Chop/Crush (whatever feature your blender uses to chop ice).

When it’s chopped add 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder. Mine is the GNC brand. I don’t know much about other protein powders (sorry) but that’s what I used.

I added approximately 1/2 cup more of Vanilla Almond milk and blended.

To make it extra chocolate flavored you can add 1 tsp of cocoa powder (unsweet).

There you have it. A tasty chocolate protein shake for after your workout!

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You can even drink 1/2 of it before your workout, and save 1/2 for after in the fridge.

It’s delicious and best of all cold!  P.S. Make sure to drink lots of water before-during-after your workout. Very important! Also, consult with your doctor about this before you start. Everybody is different!

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