Fiber One Protein Bar Recipe v.2

This version of my non-dairy Fiber One Raisin Crispy Treat Bar cuts out the artificial sweeteners and adds in a bit of coconut for texture. I’ll post updated nutrition stats when I get home! (Done!)

Fiber One Raisin Coconut Crispy Treat Bar (2 layer bar)

Fiber One Protein Bar 2

Yields 14 bars

Nutritional information per bar: 226.3 cals, 6.3 g fat, 2.3 g sat fat, 29.2 g carb, 7.0 g fiber, 20.0 g pro

Base Layer
10 scoops chocolate protein powder (I used Dymatize Elite Rich Chocolate)
2 TBSP cocoa powder
6 TBSP natural peanut butter
1/2 c. raisins
1/4 c. shredded coconut (sweetened, unpacked)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 c. agave nectar or honey
1/2 – 3/4 cup water (less or more based on your protein powder)

Crispy Treat Layer
3 cups Fiber One cereal
12 large marshmallows
1 TBSP butter/margarine

Line large (7x 11 or 9 x 9) baking dish of loaf pan with wax paper (let the paper be over size on two opposite ends so that you can use them to pull out the bars after setting).

BASE layer: Combine dry ingredients for BASE layer in a medium bowl and mix well. Add peanut butter and mix (use pastry cutter, two butter knives, or your hand–preferably gloved) – the mixture will be crumbly and dry. Add water & vanilla extract. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, mix everything until dough forms. The dough should have the consistency of warm Tootsie Roll candy or nougat. Spread dough into pan and press down using a sheet a wax paper and a spatula.

CRISPY layer:

Stove: Over stove in non-stick pan, melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until melted and sticky. Remove from heat and quickly stir in cereals to coat.

Microwave: Melt butter in large bowl for 15 – 30 seconds. Add marshmallows and stir to coat. Microwave for an additional 30 sec – 1 minute until melted. Stir and quickly stir in cereal to coate.

Press mixture into pan on top of base layer using wax paper (or spray your spatula with cooking spray) to prevent sticking.

Refrigerate for overnight or freeze for 1 hour and cut into 14 bars. Wrap individually in plastic wrap or store in covered container between sheets of wax paper. Keep refrigerated.

Two Nintendo DS Cooking Apps for under $10

For my fellow Gamer Foodies out there, check out these two Amazon.com deals on a pair of brand new cooking titles for the Nintendo DS handheld system:

Personal Trainer: Cooking (list price $19.99) is only $4.95 today (Saturday only), and get this: What’s Cooking? with Jamie Oliver (list price $29.99) is actually only $7.90 (not the already good $9.95 sale price) if you scroll down on the product page to the Best Value box and click on the “Add both to cart” button that will put the game AND a Nintendo DS Play Stand in your cart. The Play Stand is a handy accessory that will hold your DS console up on your kitchen counter at the proper viewing angle within voice recognition distance while you are busy cooking away.

These two apps are great stocking stuffers for the cooking-impaired gamers in your life–students, new grads, single young guys who spend way too much money on take out meals, or even yourself. They both include 100+ recipes as well as step-by-step animated and audio instructions on how to prepare each dish. Give that starving student in your life a gift that will provide them with one of the most important life skills they can have: the ability to make their own meals from scratch.

Just make sure they already own a Nintendo DS!

PWO Chinese Steamed Buns with Red Bean Paste

Chinese steamed bread with red bean paste

This is a protein-fortified version of one of my favorite Asian snacks: the Chinese steamed bun filled with red bean paste. It uses vanilla gemma (pea) protein isolate (available at a very reasonable price from TrueProtein.com) to boost the protein content of this low-fat, satisfying post-workout snack. Gemma protein forms a fluffy, non-stick paste when mixed with water, and it has a natural bean-like flavor that is very similar to traditional sweetened Chinese red bean paste.

Preparation takes around 4 hours, but you can mass produce several batches of these in one marathon session on a Sunday afternoon and freeze all of your extra buns for future use. They will keep in a sealed plastic bag for several months, and restore very well with re-steaming or microwaving in a damp paper towel for 1 minute per bun.

The dough recipe can be safely doubled without adding any additional yeast, and also tastes great all by itself with no filling as a carb portion. You can also add savory fillings like BBQ pork, chicken, vegetables, etc.

Red Bean + Protein Paste

INGREDIENTS

* 3/4 cup Beans, adzuki, dry (small red beans– hoong dul)
* 5 scoops Protein powder, gemma isolate
* 1/4 cup Sugar, brown, packed, 7.8 oz per cup
* 1 cup Water

DIRECTIONS

1. Wash the beans, cover with cold water, and soak overnight. Drain beans and discard water. Place beans in a 1 1/2-quart saucepan, add 3 cups cold water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 1 hour, or until very soft. Monitor the pan to make sure water doesn’t dry up. Drain and discard the water.

2. Place the beans in a food processor and process until smooth. Add brown sugar, water, and gemma protein powder and process until just combined. (If you don’t have a food processor, a potato masher or a blender can be used. Extra water might be needed with a blender.)

3. Divide bean mixture into 10 portions.

Chinese Steamed Bun Dough

INGREDIENTS

* 1 package Yeast, baker’s, dry, active, 1/4 oz per package
* 1/4 cup Flour, wheat, white, all-purpose, enriched
* 1 tsp. Sugar, white, granulated, 1/7 oz per teaspoon
* 1/4 cup Water

* 2 cups Flour, wheat, white, all-purpose, enriched
* 8 packets Splenda (or 3 T. Sugar, white, granulated)
* 1/4 tsp Salt, table, 1/5 oz per teaspoon
* 1/2 tsp baking soda
* 1 tbsp Oil, vegetable
* 1/2 cup Water
* 1/2 tsp Baking powder, double-acting, straight phosphate, 1/6 oz per teaspoon

DIRECTIONS

1. Mix together yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1/4 cup flour, and 1/4 cup warm water. Allow to stand for 30 minutes.
2. Mix in 1/2 cup warm water, flour, salt, baking soda, 6 packets of Splenda (or 2 tablespoons sugar), and vegetable oil. Knead until dough surface is smooth and elastic. Roll over in a greased bowl, and let stand until triple in size, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
3. Punch down dough, and spread out on a floured board. Sprinkle baking powder evenly on surface, and knead for 5 minutes. Divide dough into 2 parts, and place the piece you are not working with in a covered bowl. Divide each half into 5 parts. Shape each part into a ball with smooth surface up and flatten into a round patty about 4.5″ in diameter and 1/2″ thick.
4. Spoon one portion of the bean mixture into the center of each dough circle, then bring up the edges of the dough to the top of the ball of bean paste and pinch them together, leaving a small 1/2″ hole to allow the steam to escape. Put each ball on a wax paper square. Let stand covered until double, about 30 minutes.
5. Bring water to a boil in steamer pot, and reduce heat to medium; the water should still be boiling. Place steam-plate or a dampened cheesecloth or broadcloth on the steamer section of the pot. Transfer as many buns on wax paper as will comfortably fit onto steam-plate leaving 1 to 2 inches between the buns. Cover steamer with lid. Steam buns over boiling water for 15 minutes.
6. REMOVE LID BEFORE you turn off heat, or else water will drip back onto bun surface and produce yellowish “blisters” on bun surfaces. Continue steaming batches of buns until all are cooked.

Servings: 10 buns

Calories: 232 calories
Carbohydrate: 35.8 g
– Fiber: 2.59 g
– Sugar: 8.23 g
Protein: 17.7 g
Fat: 1.9 g

Cheap Eats Recipe #1: Roast Chicken

I’ve been using this method for preparing cheap, roasted whole chicken for the past few months. I vary the seasonings depending on my mood that day, but I *always* brine the chicken ahead of time. It really makes a difference in whether your protein-packed clucker tastes more like a gourmet restaurant entree or a flavorless failure.

  1. BRINE the raw chicken (3.5-5 lbs) in a solution of 1/4 c. salt dissolved in enough cold tap water to cover the bird in a covered container. I usually just do this in a pot with lid. Place in the refrigerator and allow to soak for 3-8 hours.

    (If I’m feeling really lazy, I’ll do this first thing in the morning and tell my husband to throw the bird in the oven when he gets home at 5 PM.)

  2. DRAIN the brining solution away.
  3. PREHEAT your oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. RUB your choice of seasonings over the entire surface of the chicken’s skin. Lemon pepper, salt & pepper, chives, rosemary, cilantro, garlic & red pepper, and commercial steak seasoning are all good choices. Pry up the skin over the breast and work some seasonings in there as well.
  5. PLACE the chicken in a roasting pan or baking dish and bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes per pound.

Voila! Oven-roasted, superbly-seasoned chicken that will rival anything you can order at a restaurant…all for under $1.00/pound.

Pulled Pork Sandwiches (Crock Pot)

I use this easy, lean pulled pork recipe from Oxygen at least once a month and plan to bring it to all of the cook outs I attend this summer so I’ll have a healthy option that won’t scare away the “normals” at the party. Since it’s slow cooked in a crock pot, you can even prepare it in the evening before bed or in the morning before work, let it cook for 8 hours on low, and wake up or come home to piping hot, freshly-cooked barbecue nirvana.

Pulled pork…. **drool***

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Pulled Pork Sandwiches (Crock Pot)
(From the December 2007 issue of Oxygen Magazine, p. 161)

* Ready in 8 hours and 30 minutes *
* Makes 6 servings *

INGREDIENTS:
* 2 tsp. barbecue spice seasonings
* 1 lb lean pork tenderloin
* 2 tsp canola oil
* 1 small onion, halved and sliced
* 1/2 cup canned nonfat chicken broth, reduced sodium
* 1 can diced tomatoes, drained
* 1/2 cup commercial Kansas City-style barbecue sauce
* Salt and pepper to season
* 6 whole grain rolls

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Rub barbecue spice over meat.

2. Over medium-high heat, heat 1 tsp oil in a fry pan. Brown meat on all sides for about 2 minutes per side and place in slow cooker.

3. Pour grease off pan and add remaining oil. Add onions and saute’ until soft, approximately 5 minutes, turning often. Add chicken broth to pan and using wooden spoon, scrape up bits from bottom of pan.

4. Pour broth over pork in the crock pot. Add tomatoes and barbecue sauce over pork. Cook for 8 hours on a low setting.

5. Remove pork from crock. Let cool for several minutes. Using two forks, begin pulling pork apart into shreds. Return shreds of meat to sauce. Stir. Season with salt and pepper if needed.

6. Cut rolls in half and fill with meat mixture.

NUTRIENTS PER SERVING:
Calories: 285

Total fat: 7g
– Saturated fat: 1g
– Trans fat: 0g
– Cholesterol: 60mg

Sodium 1190 mg

Total Carbohydrates: 32g
– Fiber: 3g
– Sugars: 13g

Protein: 27g

Granola Chocolate Chip Protein Cookies (PWO)

I was messing around with the Granola Bar recipe from the Gourmet Nutrition cookbook this week, hoping to come up with something that would use the ingredients I had on hand and serve as a substitute for the tasty but not so healthy Nature Valley Sweet and Salty chewy granola bars my husband likes, and came up with this rather satisfying modified recipe that is just ducky for your post-workout snack if you are tired of chugging down a shake and want something a bit more like two delicious, thick chocolate chip cookies as a reward for your hard work instead.

Give it a try if you have a Ghetto-Mart (Wal-Mart if you live in a nicer ‘burb) nearby for the trail mix, or use your own nut and seed-based trail mix).

They are super quick to make, and even though my DH is picky about protein stuff, too, he loves these. Besides, I love seeing the expressions on the faces of the 100-rep, two-pound dumbbell flappers and squishy cardio bunnies at the gym when I finish up a brutally heavy training session…and then pop two cookies into my mouth!

Muahahahahahaha!

(Yes, I really am that much of a wench.)

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Granola Chocolate Chip Protein Cookies (PWO)
Yields: 24 cookies for 12 servings; 1 serving = 2 cookies

Granola Chocolate Chip Protein Cookies

Ingredients:
2 cups rolled oats, dry, uncooked (Old fashioned, not quick oats)
3/4 cup Sam’s Choice Nature Trail Mix (or other trail mix containing soybeans, sunflower seeds, almonds, and pepitas or similar)
1/4 cup Raisins, seedless, poured, not packed
1/4 cup Chips, chocolate, semisweet, large
4 scoops vanilla protein powder (gemma pea protein works best, but whey or soy work, too)
2 tbsps Honey
1/2 tsp Salt, table, 1/5 oz per teaspoon
1/4 tsp Vanilla extract
1/2 cup Syrup, Maple sugar-free

Directions:
In a large bowl combine the oats, trail mix, raisins, chocolate chips, and protein powder. Add the
honey, syrup, vanilla, and salt. Stir until everything is thoroughly mixed. At first, it will
seem too dry, but continue stirring and it will eventually blend. (If using soy or gemma protein powder, you might need to add up to an extra 1/2 cup of water.)

Spray two non-stick 12-compartment muffin tins with cooking spray, then press the
mixture into the bottom of each cup firmly. Alternately, spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray, then drop 24 equal blobs of the mixture onto the sheet, squashing each down slightly into a cookie-like thickness.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 6 minutes.

(You may also spread mixture in an 8×8″ cake pan to make bars, but baking time may increase to 10 minutes due to the increased thickness of the mix.)

Nutrition (per 2 cookies):
Calories 164
Fat g 4.9
Saturated g 1.09
Polyunsat. g 1.37
Monounsat. g 1.71
Trans Fat g 0
Cholesterol mg 0.667
Sodium mg 152
Potassium mg 124
Carbohydrate g 21.8
Dietary Fiber g 2.93
Sugars g 8.65 29
Protein g 11.6

Free copy of The Sneaky Chef for United Health members

Just stopping by before my workout to let you all know about a promotion that I just received via postcard yesterday from my health insurance company, United Health Care.

If you are a UHC member, you can get a free copy of Missy Chase Lapine’s cookbook, The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids’ Favorite Meals ($17.95 retail), by calling the (also free) Care24 health hotline at 1-888-887-4114 and choosing the option to speak with a registered nurse. Just tell the nurse that you are calling about the free Sneaky Chef cookbook offer you got in the mail from United Health. They *will* ask for your name and date of birth to confirm that you are with UHC, though, so make sure you are actually insured by UHC before dialing up, LOL.

I bought the Sneaky Chef book last fall, and I have tried about four of the recipes calling for the “orange puree” made of sweet potatoes and carrots. So far, DH, who has the nitpicky palate of a bratty 3-year old when it comes to most veggies, has really loved all of them and has not made his usual stinky face when confronted with non-fruit produce on his dinner plate.

You can also ask the nurse any health-related questions you might have while you have her/him on the line. I decided to inquire about the best way to choose a primary care physician and was emailed a list of doctors within 5 miles of my home filtered by a “premium physician” rating in family practice. I can search for a physician through the insurance site on my own, but I don’t have the ability to see which practitioners meet the UHC criteria for the “premium” rating, so this was quite a nice perk. UHC periodically sends me reminder magnets for my fridge about the free Care24 services hotline which is staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, but this was the first time I’d actually called them. The magnets, however, have been holding up printouts of my meal plans for the past three years.

Now that the virtual dam of reticence has burst, I will probably be dialing them up at least once a month to ask about every minor health issue I think I have, muahahahahaha!

Some more info about the Care24 service:

What is Care24?
The Care24 Information Service provides immediate, anytime telephone and online
access to information and resources that can help you identify and resolve problems
affecting you and your family’s emotional and physical health.

How does Care24 work?
You can access Care24 services anytime by phone or online.
• Phone Access. When you call Care24’s toll-free number, 1-888-887-4114, you’ll
be able to select from these options:
– Speak with a registered nurse through the NurseLine about illness or
injury, urgent concerns, wellness issues and other medical concerns
– Speak with a masters-level counselor about emotional issues, work-life
concerns, and family needs
– Listen to more than 1,700 recorded messages on health and well-being
topics in the audio Health Information Library. Nearly 600 messages are
available in Spanish.

• Online Access. Through myuhc.com, you will also have access to Optum Online,
an interactive, anytime website that allows you to conduct personal conference
sessions with registered nurses.

All information and discussions are kept confidential at all times.

What kinds of issues can Care24 and NurseLine address?
• The registered nurses available through NurseLine can help you:
– Learn self-care for minor illnesses and injuries
– Understand diagnosed conditions
– Manage chronic diseases
– Discover and evaluate possible benefits and risks of various treatment
options
– Learn about specific medications
– Prepare questions for doctor visits
– Develop and maintain healthful living habits
– Locate health care facilities and physicians
– Connect with community support groups
– Know how to choose the right care at the right time

Bilingual nurses are available to address the needs of Spanish-speaking callers.

• The counselors can help you with emotional issues, work-life concerns, and family
needs. The counselors are trained to help you identify and resolve many situations
and concerns, including:
– Relationships, marriage and family concerns, and work problems
– Emotional distress, grief and loss, and stress management
– Personal legal issues* and financial concerns

If your situation involves both health and personal issues, a nurse and counselor
will work as a team to assist you.

1/31/08 Log: The Revenge of the Chocolates

No workout this AM because I wanted to give my body a full 24 hours to recover and rehydrate from donating blood yesterday. I should be fit to go by tonight for my postponed 2K3 upper body workout. DOMS from this weekend’s upper body work has completely gone away, and I think I will attempt to do my incline db bench press with 40 lb dbs this week. I’m planning on a living room workout, so intervals will be my usual “OMG, I’ma throw up now” bodyweight circuit with squat thrusts, jacks, mountain climbers, and jump squats.

Art class with my Dad is turning out to be pretty cool. I think he’s wanted to draw for a while (I kept seeing pencils, sketch pads, and other art paraphernalia around the house recently), but hadn’t quite figured out how to get started. He’s done Chinese calligraphy for a while, but no formal art lessons. We started fall-themed landscapes last night based on a rather Impressionistic looking reference painting. Both of us are going to try to finish our drawings before the next class so we can draw something based on our own photos next Wednesday.

Eats, alas, were not so clean for meal 6 last night, which was eaten at Mom and Dad’s after class. I had:

1/2 c. rice, ~1 c. misc. super salty, not low-fat Taiwanese stir fries and dishes at my parents’ house, 5 1″ pieces of assorted chocolate, 1 chocolate truffle that was NOT worth the 70 calories, and 2 T. peanuts

Clearly this was a cheat meal. I have one more cheat left for the week, but I don’t know what it will be yet. Most likely I will end up having a burger or hotdog on Superbowl Sunday, but geez, that feels like a total waste of a cheat meal, doesn’t it? I might make myself something that I actually WANT for my official cheat and take healthy nibbles to DH’s friend’s incomprehensible football thingie. (I have never EVER watched a whole football game in my entire life. I’d like to keep my record pristine.)

Weight was 142.8 lbs this AM, primarily due to water retention from all the salt in last night’s dinner. TTOM is pretty much over, so the scale will start moving down again over the next day or two.

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WORKOUT
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– TT for Fat Loss 2K3 Workout A
(Will post actual weights/sets after workout)

– Shapeshift Bodyweight interval circuit x 6

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NUTRITION
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M1: 3 egg whites, 1 whole egg, 1/2 oz. cashews, 2 T. raisins, 1/2 c. sauteed spinach
M2: Pineapple soy protein shake
M3: 3 oz. grilled chicken breast, 1 c. mixed veggies, 1/4 c. Kashi 7-grain pilaf, 2 oz. sweet potato wedges
M4: 1/2 c. 1% cottage cheese, 1/2 oz. cashews, 70 g blueberries
M5: 3 oz. grilled chicken breast, 1 c. spinach and cucumbers, 1/4 c. crushed pineapple, 3 oz. sweet potato wedges
M6: 1/2 scoop protein powder, 1/2 c. light soy milk, 1/2 oz. nuts

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RECIPE OF THE WEEK
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To prevent further unplanned chocolate intrusions upon my diet, I am baking these brownies from an Eating for Life meal plan this weekend:

Walnut Brownie*

Ingredients:
1/2 cup soy flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup SPLENDA® Granular sweetener
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup canola oil
6 egg whites
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
5 tbsp. chopped walnuts
4 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

Directions:
Serving size is one muffin; this recipe makes 12 muffins. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat an 8”x 8” baking dish with cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl, mix together, soy flour, whole wheat flour, Splenda, cocoa powder, and baking powder. In a medium mixing bowl, beat egg whites (soft peaks); then add canola oil, applesauce and 1/4 cup water to beaten egg whites. Pour applesauce mixture into flour mixture and stir until well combined. Pour batter into baking dish and sprinkle with walnuts. Bake until edges spring back when touched gently (center will be soft), about 15 minutes. Allow to cool and then cut into 12 equal portions. Remove one portion (brownie) for this snack and you can wrap the rest individually in plastic wrap, and place in freezer bag in freezer for later use.

Nutrition Facts
Amount Per Serving
Calories 110

Calories from Fat 70
Total Fat 8.0 g
Saturated fat 1.0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 45 mg
Total Carbohydrate 6 g
Dietary Fiber 2 g
Sugars 1 g
Protein 5 g
Vitamin A 0 %
Vitamin C 0 %