Thursday, March 29, 2012

Protein Breakfast Smoothie

The past few weeks have been beautiful outside, the sun has been up and the weather has been warm. Then this past weekend got cold :(. I'm not really a cold weather person, in fact, I very much so dislike the cold, here's to hoping warm weather creeps back in soon!

I rambled a bit, sorry. Back to when it's warm, there's nothing like a cold smoothie for breakfast to wake you up in the morning on your way to work or right after a super sweaty/hot workout! When making a smoothie the possibilities are endless. Here is just one of the many smoothies you'll see me drinking.

Normally, I like to add a vegetable into the mix (spinach or kale, fresh or frozen). When I made this I was out of all greens! When you make this, I'd go ahead and add that extra punch of iron and fiber from spinach, sure it will change the color of your drink but you won't taste it, I promise! I actually missed the spinach in my smoothie, while I was drinking it I felt like something was missing.

Chocolate Cherry Protein Smoothie
-1 cup frozen pitted cherries
-1 scoop chocolate protein powder (I used Dynamite)
-1/8 tsp vanilla extract
-1/2 cup vanilla soymilk
-1/2 cup water (or less if you like your smoothie thicker)
-1 or 2 handfuls spinach (like I mentioned I ran out but I usually add this)

1. If you don't like using protein powder try using fat free or 2% greek yogurt for extra protein
2. Sub frozen cherries for any frozen fruit to alter flavor
3. Get creative with the extract (or you can omit it if you don't have any). Sometimes I use almond extract
4. If you are having this as a post workout protein shake add coconut water instead of plain water to get a boost of electrolytes to replenish what you lost during your awesome sweat session!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Salmon-Potato Pancakes with Dilly Yogurt Sauce

It was a long weekend.  Not long in a bad way, but after going down to VA beach to throw my mother-in-law a surprise birthday party, Sonny and I were both super tired  Monday evening.  I needed something quick, easy, and satisfying.  This recipe was simple and made enough for both of us to have leftovers to bring for lunch today- WIN, WIN. 

Here's why you should make this recipe...
1- It tastes good. 
2-This is great way to work fish into your diet- are you getting your recommended 2-3 servings of fish each week?  No?  Well, here's one way to make it happen. 
3- The ingredients are items you can keep on hand in your freezer, pantry and when you're in a pinch for dinner one night, voila. 

The stars of this recipe are canned salmon (I went for the boneless, because it is much easier, and less messy, than dealing with the bone-in canned salmon), frozen potato hash browns, and yummy dilly yogurt sauce. 

All you have to do is mix all the ingredients for the salmon-potato pancakes together- my mixture is flavored with whole grain mustard (you can substitute Dijon), dried dill (you can use fresh), and onion...

Then I used a 1/2 cup measuring cup to pack my mixture into uniformly shaped pancakes...

Heat 1 Tb canola oil over medium heat and carefully turn your salmon-potato pancakes out on the hot skillet.  Then use the bottom of the measuring cup to pat the pancakes down.  Turn the heat a little lower (between med-low and medium).  Cook for about 5 minutes until the first side is browned and then flip with a spatula very carefully!!!  These will fall apart if you are not careful...

You will need to cook in 2 separate batches.  I placed the browned pancakes into a 300 degree preheated oven while I made my dilly yogurt sauce- this helps ensure they are cooked through and remain nice and hot. 

I served my salmon-potato pancakes and dilly sauce with leftover baked beans and a quick salad...

Salmon-Potato Pancakes
2 6-ounce cans (or pouches) of wild caught, boneless salmon
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 Tb whole grain mustard (may substitute Dijon)
2 tsp dried dill (may sub 2 Tb chopped, fresh dill)
1 tsp sriracha sauce
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/8 tsp salt
4 cups frozen hash-browns
2 Tb canola oil

1- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
2- Mix all ingredients, except canola oil, in a large bowl.  Stir until well combined.
3- Heat 1 Tb canola oil in skillet over medium heat. 
4- Form pancakes with a 1/2 cup measure and carefully turn out on hot skillet- turn heat down a little (between med-low and medium).  Use bottom of the measure cup to pat pancake down into an even patty.  You will probably get about 5 patties in the first batch.
5- Cook about 5 minutes on first side.  Spray the top-side of patty with non-stick spray, then CAREFULLY flip over and cook another 3-5 minutes.  Place 1st batch of salmon-potato pancakes in preheated oven to keep warm.
6- Wipe any remaining bits out of skillet and heat remaining 1 Tb oil.  Repeat steps 4 and 5 with the remaining 5 patties.  Then place them in the oven to keep warm while you make your sauce. 

Dilly Yogurt Sauce
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used fat-free)
1 tsp finely chopped capers
1 tsp dried dill
1 tsp dried chives
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients together and serve with your salmon-potato pancakes.  This is also a good sauce for any fish dish or to dip fresh veggies.