New Recipe: Shrimp & Avocado Salad

It’s been a while since my last recipe, so let’s take a look at what I had last night for a post-swim dinner: Shrimp & Avocado salad! I know, it’s not a very sexy name (I’m looking for help on giving this a fun name, if you can think of one by all means let me know!) but it is one of the most delicious things I’ve had in a long time. The key is super-fresh shrimp and the just-chopped cilantro.

IMG_6486Shrimp & Avocado Salad

Ingredients:

  • fresh uncooked shrimp, 1 lb
  • 2 medium avocados, diced
  • pico de gallo (I used a store bought container, about 1 pint’s worth, but you can make your own
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • the juice of 1 lime
  • pinch of salt

Directions:

Boil the shrimp for 15 minutes or until they’re pink and curled up (and your house smells like delicious seafood and you want to lick the walls. Or is that just me? Sorry.) Rinse in cold water, peel, and de-vein, then set aside in the fridge to chill.

In a large bowl, combine diced avocado, chopped cilantro, salt, and pico de gallo and stir gently with a big spoon to coat. Add shrimp slowly, so you don’t mush up the avocado, top with lime juice, and stir a few more times – and voila, your dinner is ready!

We had ours with baked tortilla chips for some extra crunch, but you can do pretty much anything with this: eat it as a dip, fill tacos with it, serve it over a green salad, etc. Give it a shot and let me know how you like it!

Protein Pancake Recipe

It’s been a while since my last recipe post – probably because training took over my life and I was seriously neglecting the kitchen! But now that things have settled down and I’ve got some extra time on my hands, last night I finally tried out a recipe I’ve been flirting with for months: Protein Pancakes. And it was a mild success! I say “mild” because they weren’t pancakes as much as they were… super-thin, super-soft cookies?… but they were delicious either way and I can’t wait to perfect them!

pancakesProtein Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 2 scoops of your favorite protein powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • splashes of water to get the desired consistency
  • sugar-free syrup (optional)

*This recipe makes two servings, so cut in half if you’re just cooking for one.

Directions:

Heat up a non-stick skillet and coat with butter.

In a mixing bowl, combine the powder, eggs, and a splash of water to start the batter. Keep stirring gently to break up any lumps and thin it out. I had to add one or two more splashes of water (I’m sorry I didn’t measure it!) to get the batter pliable enough to pour, but it was easy enough to eyeball and see when it was right.

Note: Not all protein powders are created equal! I used Adaptogen Science Tasty Whey in Chocolate Peanut Butter flavor, because I stinking love it. It doesn’t give you that nasty protein powder aftertaste – it really tastes like a milkshake! But depending on what brand you prefer you might need less or more of everything. Keep an eye on it 🙂

Once the skillet is ready, pour the batter in small circles about an inch apart from each other. Let them sit about 2-3 minutes and watch for bubbles to form on the sides. Once the bubbles pop and *no longer close up on their own*, flip your cakes and cook for another minute or so on the other side, then set aside. This recipe makes 4 medium sized pancakes, so once the first two are done you’ll have to do this again with the remaining batter.

After you’re done cooking all of the batter like that, your pancakes are ready!

Another Note: Keep in mind, this was my first attempt at protein powder pancakes – and it shows. They were delicious, don’t get me wrong! But they were denser than normal pancakes and needed something else… although I’m not sure what! I’ve heard of people adding oats and/or mashed banana to the batter, and I’ll definitely try that next. But this is where I turn to you guys for help: What do you use in your protein pancakes? Please share your recipes with me! Let’s spread the love and crowdsource the perfect protein pancake recipe 🙂

Beef & Spinach Stir Fry Recipe

It’s been a while since my last recipe post, so I figured today I’d share my recipe for Beef & Spinach Stir Fry!

This is a dish I like to prepare when I’ve over-indulged and need a filling, healthy meal. It’s only got 4 ingredients, it’ll only take you about a half hour to prep, and you’re going to have a hard time saving any for leftovers, too 😉

89730d742fb811e39de022000a1f8db1_8Beef & Spinach Stir Fry

Ingredients:

  • 1lb of stew beef, trimmed and cubed
  • 2-3 medium sweet potatoes, cubed
  • 1 container cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 package of baby spinach

(Note: The measurements here are enough for me and my husband to have 2 healthy servings the first night, and leaves at least 2 more for lunch or dinner the next day. If you’ve got a bigger family – or a bigger appetite! – feel free to adapt this recipe as needed.)

Directions:

Start by browning the sweet potatoes in your skillet over medium heat in a little bit of coconut oil. I like to season them a bit with some salt, but that’s just me. Cover and let them soften up a bit, but keep an eye on them and test to see how soft they are every 5-10 mins.

Once your potatoes are almost done doing their thing, transfer them to a plate and toss your beef in the same skillet to brown it up. This won’t take long.

After the meat is browned and the kitchen smells divine, toss the potatoes back in along with your tomatoes, and add your spinach one or two handfuls at a time. Continuously stir to mix it up nicely, and once the spinach is wilted, serve it up one big heaping spoonful at a time – and enjoy!

Jess Eats Happy: Protein Brownies

How could I let another week go by without giving you a new recipe from the Jess Eats Happy Cookbook? In honor of the Super Bowl and all the excess and eating it entails, I’m here with an indulgent but super party-friendly and sneakily healthy dessert recipe for my famous (infamous?) Protein Brownies.

Also known as Black Bean Brownies, these babies have been my go-to treat when the urge to bake (and eat raw brownie batter) knocks on my door. With just two ingredients – seriously – I’m betting that these will become your new favorite too. But here’s a tip: don’t tell anyone how you made them. Just say they’re brownies. Because once you say “beans” and “brownies” in the same sentence, about 85% of the people in the room will not want to eat them on principle alone.

But then again that may work out to your advantage, cause you’re gonna want to eat them all yourself. I guarantee it.

brownies

Protein Brownies

Ingredients:
1 box of brownie mix any flavor (13×9 pan size)
1 can black beans (15.5 oz)

Directions:
1. Strain and rinse beans, put beans back in can and re-fill can with water to top.
2. Pour can of beans and water into blender/food processor (I use the magic bullet) and purée til liquefied.
3. Combine box of brownie mix and puréed beans in a bowl and mix with a spoon til lumps are gone. It’ll take a while. Consider this your arm workout for the day.
4. Bake according to box, checking towards the end. It might take a few minutes longer than it says on the box, but start checking it at the posted time and keep sticking a toothpick in the center – when it comes out clean, it’s brownie time!

And that’s it! I promise you will not be able to taste any beans whatsoever. Just chocolatey goodness. After they cool, I slice them smaller than normal brownie size. They’re more dense than normal brownies; more like fudge really, so a little square will fill you up more than you’d think.

The best part about this recipe is the lack of eggs and oil, meaning you can eat all the batter you want without having to worry about salmonella! So go ahead, lick the bowl (and the spoon and your fingers…) and enjoy!

Jess Eats Happy: Crock Pot Turkey Chili Recipe

I’ve found that I get a lot of requests for recipes when I Instagram a picture of whatever I happen to be shoveling into my face at a frightening rate of speed (see also: eating). That prompted me to create a new “series”: Jess Eats Happy! (it’s a working title. bear with me.)

Every week or so, I’ll share a recipe that will be A) mostly healthy B) probably cheap to make and C) 100% delicious. Because that’s how we roll in the Jess Eats Happy kitchen.

Our inaugural recipe is one that blew up my IG feed a few days ago: Turkey Chili. It’s a super simple, protein and fiber-packed dish that is easy to personalize to suit your tastes and keeps you full for a while. Let’s take a look!

10914395_840552536008958_2090764644_n

Crock Pot Turkey Chili

Ingredients:

  • Chili
    • 1-2 lbs ground turkey (depending on how many you’re cooking for)
    • 2 cans stewed tomatoes
    • 1 small can tomato paste
    • 2 cans beans, rinsed (kidney, pinto, black – your choice!)
    • 1 small onion, diced
    • 1 small green pepper, chopped
    • 1 small red pepper, chopped
    • 1 packet chili seasoning mix (i usually get the low-sodium version)
    • Optional: any other veggies you like: corn, kale, zucchini, chili peppers, etc. This is a perfect time to use whatever veggies you can find in the fridge/pantry and fit into the crock pot. Anything goes!
  • Toppings
    • avocado, sliced
    • plain greek yogurt (sub for sour cream, or go all out and use the sour cream if you’d like!)
    • shredded cheese
    • Optional: Baked tortilla chips for dipping

Directions:

Throw everything in the crock pot, wait, and eat.

LOL –  but seriously, it really is that easy! Throw the thawed meat, tomatoes, veggies, and beans all in the pot, cover with chili seasoning, mix it up just a bit to evenly distribute everything, and forget about it for a few hours: set the crock pot on High for 4 hours, Medium for 6, or Low for 8 (or 10 if your pot has that setting).

About halfway through cooking, I’ll stir once or twice just to admire the delicious yumminess that is simmering in my crock pot, and to entice my husband out from his man cave with calls of “Ooooh, it looks like chili!!”

Then once it’s ready, just scoop it out into bowls and top with whatever your little heart desires. Which, if you’re me, is ALL the avocado and greek yogurt in the house. I like to eat it like a dip with the tortilla chips too – it forces me eat a little slower and helps me realize when I’m actually full, as opposed to eating until I can’t move.

The nice thing about this stuff is that it freezes and reheats very well. Usually once we’re done with dinner, I’ll portion out the rest of the contents of the crock pot into individual containers so that we have easy grab-n-go meals for the rest of the week.

So there you have it! Give it a shot and let me know how you like it!