Double Chocolate Protein Banana Bread - Vegetarian + GF

Since being introduced to Naked Nutrition's clean protein powders with minimal, straight-forward ingredients, I've been having so much fun playing around and coming up with new plant-based protein-packed recipes. Their Chocolate Less Naked Pea Protein contains just pea protein, raw cacao, and coconut sugar. That's it! No weird junk and nothing to hide. So naturally, I've been having a blast trying it out in all of the chocolatey goodness that I can think of, and this week is no different! In fact, I was feeling extra chocolatey this week which led me to this double chocolate protein banana bread recipe.

It's not only packed with all of the chocolate. It also brings the protein and other nutrients while being vegetarian, dairy free, and gluten free. It can also easily be made vegan by swapping out the eggs with flax eggs or nut free by swapping out the almond milk. It's basically the perfect way to Saturday, and will most likely be gone by the end of the weekend. No joke.

Here's What You'll Need:

-2 ripe (ideally spotty) bananas
-1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
-3/4 cup coconut flour
-2 eggs
-1 scoop Naked Nutrition's Chocolate Less Naked Pea Protein powder
-1 tsp baking powder
-2 tbsp chocolate sunflower seed butter (I used this one) or the nut butter of your choosing
-1 tbsp cacao powder (I used this one)
-1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or other milk of your choosing)
-1/2 cup dairy-free dark chocolate chips 

Instructions:

1) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2) Mash your bananas in a bowl with a hand mixer or wooden spoon.
3) Mixed in the coconut oil, eggs, sunflower seed butter, and almond milk.
4) Add in the dry ingredients (minus the chocolate chips), and mix until well combined.
5) Fold in the chocolate chips. I reserved a few to add onto the top at the end, but feel free to add them all in if desired.
6) Pour the mixture into a greased or parchment-lined loaf pan, and spread it out evenly.
7) Bake in to the oven for about 50 minutes (until a toothpick comes out clean).
8) Let the bread cool a bit for about 15-20 minutes before removing and slicing it.
9) Serve, and enjoy!

Hello chocolate heaven! Am I right? I know what I'm having as my dessert...and pre and post-workout snacks...and probably breakfast, lunch and dinner the next few days. But really, it's hard to keep your hands off (and mouth full) of this banana bread. Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Vegan Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

I've recently become obsessed with making my own nut milks, specifically cashew milk, ever since coming across Ellie's Best nut milk bags. For some reason I was under the impression that it would be difficult, but it's SO quick and easy. I just soaked a cup of cashews in water for 2+ hours, strained and rinsed them, and tossed them in the blender with 3 cups filtered water and a pinch of sea salt on high for a minute or two. Filtered it through my nut milk bag, and BAM delicious, creamy, unsweetened cashew milk. You can use the code Stacy10 for 10% off your own Ellie's Best nut milk bag by the way!

So basically I've been going through cashew milk like crazy these days. It's so tasty, and the consistency is nice and creamy. So I thought it would be the perfect ingredient for some creamy, vegan mac and cheese. You guys know I'm veggie crazy, so I decided to add in cauliflower because it would just soak up the taste of the delicious sauce. And I decided to keep it gluten free and protein packed with some Ancient Harvest POW! Green Lentil Penne.

Here's What You'll Need:

-7 oz Ancient Harvest POW! Green Lentil Penne
-1/2 head cauliflower, cut into pieces
-1/2 cup unsweetened cashew milk
-1/4 cup nutritional yeast
-2 tsp Dijon mustard
-1 tsp lemon juice
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1/4 tsp sea salt + extra
-1/4 tsp black pepper + extra
-1/8 tsp turmeric
-1/8 tsp chili powder (optional)
-2 tbsp avocado oil

Serves 2

Instructions:

1) Toss your cauliflower in the avocado oil with some sea salt and black pepper, and roast it in a preheated oven at 450 degrees for 15-20 minutes until it starts to brown and soften.
2) In the meantime, cook your pasta according to the directions.
3) Strain your pasta, and use the warm, empty pot to mix together the cashew milk, nutritional yeast, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, 1/4 tsp sea salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper, turmeric and chili powder.
4) Once cooked, remove your cauliflower and cut into smaller pieces.
5) Mix the cauliflower and cooked pasta into the sauce, serve, and enjoy!

Not into cauliflower? Feel free to swap it out with the veggie of your choosing! I also topped mine with a bit of red pepper flakes for some extra heat. Let me know how you play around and what you think in the comments below!

Protein Chocolate Covered Strawberries

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Happy Friday, everyone! What better way to celebrate than with CHOCOLATE! Not just chocolate but healthy, protein-packed chocolate covered strawberries? Does it get much better than that?!

These babies have just a few, natural ingredients. I'm talking cacao, natural sweeteners, coconut oil, and the best vegan protein powder around! They make for the perfect guilt-free dessert or snack while still bringing the flavor, and they're super quick and easy to whip up. Grab a couple before or after the gym, as a post-dinner dessert, or even to top off your morning oats. They're great any time! 

Here's What You'll Need:

-8 oz fresh strawberries
-1/4 cup coconut oil, softened to room temperature or slightly melted
-1 1/3 tbsp (that's 1 tbsp + 1 tsp) Naked Nutrition Less Naked Chocolate Pea Protein Powder
-1 1/3 tbsp (that's 1 tbsp + 1 tsp) Cacao powder (I used this one)
-1 tsp pure maple syrup
-1/2 tsp vanilla
-Pinch of sea salt

Instructions:

1) In a bowl, mix together the coconut oil, Naked Nutrition protein powder, cacao powder, maple syrup, vanilla and sea salt until smooth.
2) Dip each strawberry into the chocolate mixture and place on a parchment lined plate. You may want to use a spoon or knife to spread the chocolate.
3) Put the plate of strawberries in the fridge for at least 30 minutes until the chocolate hardens.
4) Enjoy!

It's that simple, and you have yourself a delicious treat to last the weekend! Yes, they'll go that fast. Let me know what you think in the comment's below!

Cottage Cheese and Green Onion Biscuits - Vegetarian + GF

For some reason I've been craving all things comfort food recently, and this morning was no exception. Maybe it's the rainy, dreary weather we've bee having, but I woke up wanting a warm, buttery biscuit. I immediately thought of this cheesy biscuit-like bread with green onions that they serve at a local restaurant. So I figured why not try to make an easy, healthier version that I could enjoy at home.

I decided to swap out cheddar for cottage cheese and thought it would not only bring a great flavor but also a nice consistency. I decided to go gluten free since I have quinoa flour on hand, making them packed with protein between those two ingredients. 

Here's What You'll Need:

-2 cup quinoa flour (plus extra)
-2 tsp coconut sugar
-4 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp sea salt
-Two 5.3 oz containers of Good Culture Classic Cottage Cheese
-4 green onions, chopped
-1/2 cup unsweetened cashew milk (or regular or almond milk)

Makes about 10 biscuits

Instructions:

1) Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
2) Mix together the dry ingredients in a bowl.
3) Add in the cottage cheese, milk, and green onion, and stir with a wooden spoon until a dough forms.
4) Spread some extra flour on a surface, and move the dough on it.
5) Sprinkle some extra flour on top, and knead the dough with your hands until thoroughly mixed.
6) Form the dough in a ball, and roll it out with a rolling pin to about 1 in thickness.
7) Using a biscuit cutter or floured glass about 2 inches in diameter, cut the dough into biscuit-shaped pieces.
8) Place the biscuits onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. 
9) Bake the biscuits in the oven for 15 minutes until golden brown on top.
10) Remove, serve, and enjoy!

I spread some ghee on mine, and it was absolutely perfect! Not into onions? Feel free to swap them out for another ingredient. Let me know how you play around and what you think in the comments below!

Baked BBQ Tofu Veggie Salad - Vegetarian + GF

Do you ever picture something as just mediocre in your head? You don't really have expectations either way. Sure, it could be good but probably nothing to write home about. That's kind of how I was imagining this salad. I love all of the ingredients, and I knew they'd taste good together. But this was literally a throw together meal that I had no intention of posting the recipe to. Well, I had the first bite, and it was immediately apparent that this bad boy was going on the blog!

Not sure why I even doubted it in the first place. It's got Brussels, sweet potato, avocado, and my absolute favorite condiment - BBQ sauce. So there was really no going wrong. Plus it's vegetarian (easily made vegan by swapping the dressing) and gluten free, so it's the perfect fit for anyone in your life!

Here's What You'll Need:

-8 oz spinach or spring mix
-1 sweet potato, cut into 1/2 in cubes
-2 tbsp avocado oil, separated
-14 oz block of firm tofu, pressed and cut into pieces about 1/2" in thick and 1 in long
-1 bundle of Brussels sprouts (about 2-3 cups), bottoms removed and halved
-1/2 cup cooked sweet corn kernels
-20 cherry tomatoes, halved
-1 avocado, cubed
-1/2 tsp sea salt, separated
-1/2 tsp black pepper, separated
-1/8 tsp tsp garlic powder
-1/8 tsp chili powder
-1 cup Simple Girl Sugar-Free Carolina Style BBQ Sauce
-1/4 cup Plain Greek Yogurt (I used this one)
-1/4 tsp dried cilantro
-1/4 tsp lime juice

Serves 4

Instructions:

1) Marinate your tofu in the BBQ sauce for at least 30 minutes.
2) Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
3) Toss your sweet potato pieces with 1 tbsp avocado oil, 1/4 tsp sea salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, the garlic powder, and the chili powder. Spread on baking sheet.
4) Toss your Brussels Sprouts with 1 tbsp avocado oil, 1/4 tsp sea salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Spread on a baking sheet.
5) Place your marinated tofu on a greased (or parchment-lined) baking sheet, and top each with a little of the extra BBQ sauce. Save extra BBQ sauce (there should be a decent amount).
6) Bake the sweet potato, Brussels sprouts, and tofu in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
7) Remove the tofu and sweet potato, and continue to cook the Brussels for an additional 5-10 minutes until slightly browned and softened.
8) In a bowl, mix together, 1/2 cup of the remaining BBQ sauce, Greek yogurt, cilantro, and lime juice to create the dressing.
9) Either mix together the spring mix, sweet potato, Brussels sprouts, corn, tomatoes, and avocado in a large bowl, or split each evenly between 4 serving bowls.
10) Top with tofu, and drizzle on the dressing.
11) Serve and enjoy!

Let me know what you think in the comments below!