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TrainerTiff: May 2012 >

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Mediterranean Quinoa Pasta Salad

Eating pasta while trying to watch your weight can be challenging. Oftentimes, when we eat pasta, the portions we put on our plates are double a serving size -- or more. One serving of pasta is one cup -- or about what you can fit inside the palm of your hand. That said, pasta is still delicious and can be eaten as long as you don't overeat.

I created this recipe one day when I had a taste for pasta with a flare -- I put a Mediterranean spin on it. A bonus to this recipe is that it's gluten free because it's made with quinoa pasta. Check it out.

1 8 oz box tri-colored quinoa veggie curls
1 small can sliced black olives
1/4 cup feta cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan reggiano cheese
1/2 cucumber, diced
1 Roma tomato, diced
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
black pepper to taste

3/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt

Directions: Cook pasta according to package and be sure not to overcook. Once pasta is done, drain and rinse with cold water.

You'll want to make sure that the pasta is completely cooled so that when it's combined with the cheese, the cheese does not melt. Then, in a large bowl combine the pasta with the olives, cheeses, cucumber, tomato, and parsley. Mix well.

Place all the dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until emulsified (about 20-30 seconds). Then pour dressing over pasta mixture and mix well. Sprinkle with pepper to taste. I'd recommend allowing pasta to chill in refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving.


Monday, May 7, 2012

Vegan Strawberry Protein "Milkshake"

Having a protein shake immediately after a strength training workout is the best way to help your body build muscle. Some protein shakes can be really boring and gross. Why not have a little fun and make these shakes a little more interesting, right?

I play around with different recipes for protein shakes, protein bars and protein muffins -- to keep things healthy, but also tasty. My latest creation is is a modified strawberry milkshake made with almond milk, strawberries and protein powder -- and it tastes just like a milkshake! But it doesn't have all the high calories, fat and dairy. Different brands of milk and protein powder can effect the calories in the shake. But if you use the ingredients listed below, it's only 150 calories and has 16 grams of protein. Check it out.

4 frozen cubes of Silk Pure Almond unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/2 cup Silk Pure Almond unsweetened vanilla almond milk 
3/4 cup frozen strawberries
1 serving SunWarrior vanilla protein powder

The almond milk is only 35 calories per cup. The protein powder is plant based, vegan and is only 70 calories per serving. Nice!

Place all ingredients in a blender. Pulse on low then to high speed until all ingredients are combined well and thick like a milkshake. Depending on blenders, you may need to add just a little more almond milk if it's too thick. 

For the frozen cubes of almond milk: I simply take an ice tray, fill up four cubes and freeze for at least an hour. You may want to plan ahead of time or just have some frozen cubes ready to go for whenever you want to make a shake. I find that if you run hot water over the bottom of the ice tray, it helps loosen the cubes if they don't pop out right away. Use a sharp knife to pry the cubes out if you need to.