that's forking good

adventures in a culinary neophyte's kitchen

Posts Tagged ‘protein’

​excuses are like cell phones — everybody’s got one

Posted by culinaryneophyte on June 23, 2015

I suck. I can’t even make excuses for my absence anymore.
Here’s my dessert from the other day: a protein waffle made with cookies & cream Cellucor protein, topped with oatmeal raisin Talenti gelato​, dark chocolate ganache and Mrs. Thinsters brownie crumbles. I know that doesn’t make up for the lack of posting, but… baby steps.
protein waffle dessert

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on Sunday morning

Posted by culinaryneophyte on September 29, 2014

chocolate coconut pancakesThis weekend, we held a surprise retirement party for my dad, who’s retiring early and moving to NC to play golf all day, erryday. In catching up with family friends whom I have not seen in years, I got a lot of questions about whether or not I’m still writing — for work (barely) or in my blog (embarrassingly little). It is one of those things I think about almost on a daily basis, but life has been flying by — more so this year than ever before — and so many things have been pushed aside if they are not of the utmost priority.

(And yes, pretty much every post I publish here now is some sort of apology and/or promise to write more. This is no exception.)

To be honest, Instagram has taken the place of my blog because it’s “Twitter for people who can’t read,” and I can post from my phone while I’m laying in bed worrying about all the things I didn’t get done today and all the things on the horizon for tomorrow. If you are interested in checking out my latest creations, please follow me on IG, @thejerc. I will also try to make a better effort to post them here to at least keep you drooling.

In other news, these are the pancakes I made yesterday morning using AboutTime chocolate coconut protein as part of the sauce and these fancy new little brownie thins from Mrs. Thinsters. I tried them at a festival in Philly this weekend, and they’re delicious. I can’t wait to use them on top of my “protein ice cream” and other assorted goodies. (Also, big thanks to them for the recent shout out on social media!)

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bejeweled breakfast

Posted by culinaryneophyte on December 27, 2013

This year, most of my gift giving and Christmas revelry took place in advance of the actual holiday, leaving my Dec. 25 all to myself. I did not let this opportunity go to waste. I set my alarm for a rare “late” start (10 a.m.), donned some mismatched sweats, put on a little Ke$ha and got to work in the kitchen. What emerged was a a glorious breakfast of coconut vanilla waffles with vanilla protein “fluff” and homemade pomegranate syrup.

coconut pom waffles

I had this idea saved on Pinterest for weeks, but wanted to make it paleo/clean, so I made some alterations and thankfully ended up with a beautiful and tasty plate. Frankly, I was giddy over it. While everyone on Facebook was posting pictures of their presents, their babies, their dogs, their dogs with presents, their babies with presents, their babies with dogs as presents…  I was posting pictures of waffles.

I have been obsessed with pomegranates for awhile now. Once I had my first taste of those  juicy little jewels, I couldn’t get enough. I already had my pomegranate deseeded, so that saved time because it’s a slight process. There are a few ways to get into that baby, but I use the water bowl method: cut pomegranate in half, submerge in water for 10 minutes, then pull apart the rind and allow it to float to the top of the water while the seeds (arils) sink; strain arils, then dry on paper towel.

The genesis of the protein “fluff” was initially for aesthetic purposes (I wanted to brighten it up a bit before adding the dark pom syrup), but I dug the creaminess it added, plus it’s always nice to sneak a little extra protein into a meal that may not otherwise be that rich in it.

This was a fabulous start to my day. I ran around cleaning and organizing the file cabinet I bought for myself (oh yeah, be jealous), then spent the next five hours marathoning the hell out of season two of “Girls.” Pretty much the best Christmas ever.

coconut pom waffles 2makes two waffles
inspired by foodiecrush
♦1 egg, whisked
1/8 c. coconut milk
3/4 c. almond meal
1/8 c. shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 tbs. coconut flour
1 tbs. honey
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Heat waffle iron. Whisk egg, then add milk. Combine almond meal, coconut, coconut flour and baking soda, then add to wet mixture. Add honey, vanilla, sea salt and cinnamon. Put batter into iron and cook for three to four minutes or until golden.

for protein fluff
1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder (I used Cellucor)
about 2 tsp. almond milk
(play around with these measurements until the consistency is correct; you want it somewhat liquescent, but not runny)

for pomegranate syrup
1/2 c. pomegranate arils
1 c. POM Wonderful juice
1/8 c. organic coconut sugar
1/2 tbs. coconut oil

Heat coconut oil over medium heat. Add arils, juice and coconut sugar. Heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture has reduced by half. (This took a bit longer than I thought it would, so start it going before you start cooking waffle mix.)

Total time? 20 minutes (without deseeding of pomegranate)
Cost? $3.99 POM, $1.50 pomegranate, $6.99 almond meal, $8.99 coconut flour, $3.99 organic coconut, $4.98 organic coconut sugar, $5.99 coconut oil
Overall success relative to expectations? My first bite of the waffle on its own was underwhelming. I thought it was a little bland and moderately dense. (I may separate the egg first next time.) The good news is all the toppings help sweeten and moisten up the dish, and the combination is perfect — like a holiday in my mouth.

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National Oatmeal Day 2013

Posted by culinaryneophyte on October 29, 2013

National Oatmeal Day 2013




Today is National Oatmeal Day!

In celebration, I had “breakfast for lunch” and made a bowl of a sort of harvest protein oatmeal with pumpkin, egg white, whey and spices, topped with dried cranberries, pistachios, sunflower seeds, crushed walnuts and pumpkin spice almonds.

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jam on

Posted by culinaryneophyte on August 4, 2013

When people ask for my help moving, I typically carry odds and ends and leave the heavy lifting to the big dogs. But yesterday, one of my brothers bailed on helping my dad and stepmother move (and the other left for work with a decent amount to go), so I had no choice but to lift things up and put them down. (Please tell me you get that reference.) By the time I got home, it was that awkward too-late-for-lunch/too-early-for-dinner time, and I was too famished to wait more than five minutes for something small to cook, so I whipped up a sweet snack inspired by a post I saw on Instagram: cinnamon protein rice cake with strawberry jam and chia seeds.

cinnamon protein rice cake

enough for two rice cakes
♦2 brown rice cakes
3 tbs. plain Greek yogurt
2 tbs. whey protein
♦1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbs. cinnamon (or to taste)
Jam/jelly (any flavor, organic if clean)
♦chia seeds

Mix yogurt, protein, vanilla and cinnamon together. Slather on rice cakes. Top with a dollop of jam and a sprinkling of chia seeds.

Calories? About 120 calories per rice cake
Total time? 3 minutes
Cost? $1.29 rice cakes, $2.99 jam, $1 Greek yogurt
Overall success relative to expectations? 9 out of 10. These rice cakes helped kill my hunger and give me a little boost after a strenuous morning. The health benefits of chia seeds are plenty, but in this case, the fact that they absorb 10 times their weight in water helped keep me full until dinner time arrived. I am usually a little iffy on yogurt-based things, but this protein “sauce” was delicious. The only point deducted came from how messy this was. This is the first time I’ve topped rice cakes with anything outside of my usual sunflower seed butter or the occasional avocado and cayenne pepper, so I’m excited to experiment some more.

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espresso banana pancakes

Posted by culinaryneophyte on May 13, 2013

espresso banana pancakesI was recently talking to a friend about the inexplicably “cool” things we did in middle or high school, like wearing overalls (and wearing one strap undone), walking around with one pant leg up and one pant leg down, and carrying your 7,000 lb. Jansport backpack with only one strap; no matter how inevitable the scoliosis onset would be, you didn’t dare put that other strap over your shoulder in public for fear of being branded a dork for life.

Another great mystery of my school days was my hatred of breakfast, and how “cool” I considered my “talent” of being able to make it all the way to 6th period lunch without eating a thing. I remember legitimately bragging about it. Now that I’m [much] older and wiser, I know that breakfast is crucial to growth and brain function, and more importantly to my teenage self, weight control. Studies show that overweight adolescents and adults are less likely to break that fast each morning than their thinner counterparts, so when you think you’re doing your waistline a favor by skipping a meal, you’re actually doing the opposite.

Nowadays, breakfast is what gets me out of bed in the morning, and if I skipped breakfast, there’s a good chance I’d have the shakes less than 10 minutes in my morning commute. Most mornings, my breakfast is a simple bowl of oatmeal or a protein shake, but on the weekends I tend to get a little more adventurous. Lately, I’ve been cranking out some “clean eats,” and I’ve been super pleased with the results.

This weekend, I made some espresso banana pancakes, topped with protein “whipped cream,” banana chips and honey. Even if you don’t have the “clean” version of these ingredients, your pancakes will still come out great. Oh, and don’t mind the coloring; the espresso made the pancakes look like sausage patties, but I promise these were fluffy and delightfully unmeaty.

Espresso banana clean eating pancakes
(Makes five small cakes)

for cakes
♦1/4 oats
3/8 c. cottage cheese
1/2 c. egg whites (approx. two eggs)
1/2 banana
1 tb. ground coffee/espresso
2 tb. whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking powder

for topping
3 tb. plain Greek yogurt
1/2 scoop whey protein
banana chips

Combine all pancake ingredients in a blender or food processor until well combined. Heat griddle or frying pan over medium heat (these cook fast), and add a very small amount of coconut oil. Drop batter onto pan and allow to cook until you see small bubbles and the edges are solid enough to flip (little more than one minute). Flip and cook other side (45 seconds to a minute). Use your best judgment to avoid burning, but don’t be fooled by the dark espresso color; make sure cakes are fully cooked.

For the topping, combine whey protein and Greek yogurt in a small bowl and whip quickly to combine. Spread across pancakes, top with banana chips (or fresh banana slides, but I preferred the slight crunch) and drizzle with honey.

Calories? 57 calories per pancake plain, add calories for toppings
Total time?
 15 minutes
Cost? $0.30 banana, $2 oats, $2 espresso, $2.99 cottage cheese, $2.99 Greek yogurt.
Overall success relative to expectations? 7 out of 10 really enjoyed how the espresso flavor came through in the pancake, and crunch of the banana chips was a nice touch. I would definitely make these again. Perhaps they even have more staying power than my one-pant-leg-up-one-pant-leg-down overalls.

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