Category Archives: Recipes

Easy Low Fat Egg White Muffins

Another simple breakfast meal prep option for y’all! I also have freezer-friendly sausage and egg English muffins. If you’re like me, you don’t like spending time every morning cooking breakfast. Making a large batch of breakfast ahead of time makes life much easier in the following days. This recipe is incredibly simple and delicious. Plus, it’s super macro-friendly and low in fat, allowing you to save your fat for something later in the day. I used ham and egg whites to keep the fat low but feel free to do a mix of eggs and egg whites or a different protein. Happy flexible dieting!

Recipe:

  • 12 egg whites (I measured mine from the carton)
  • 3 oz diced ham
  • 42g fresh spinach
  • 50 grams onion, diced
  • 1.5 servings 2% Mexican shredded cheese
  • Oil spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl except for half a serving of cheese and oil spray. Spray muffin pan and add mixture in, filling each muffin cup about 1/3. Sprinkle egg muffins with remainder of cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a knife comes out clean in the center of the muffin. Keep these in the fridge for up to 4 days. Enjoy!

Macros (per egg muffin, recipe makes 12): 38 calories, 1g fat, 1g carb, 6g protein

Ham & Potato Soup

Fall is here! Being born and raised in Florida, Fall is a foreign season for me. Two months ago we moved to Colorado and let me tell you, I am so excited to experience all the seasons! Now that it is getting chilly I have an increased appreciation for warm and delicious soup. This recipe came to be because I had extra potatoes that needed to be used and leftover diced ham from my morning egg muffins (recipe coming soon). Boy was this soup a winner! My husband and son loved it and the macros were incredible. You could easily add more ham or even some other form of protein (like white beans!) to increase protein further. I enjoyed two servings since I had plenty of carbs to play with and it knocked out 24g protein. Happy flexible dieting!

Recipe:

  • 20 oz russet potato peeled and cubed
  • 6 oz diced ham (I used Smithfield)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 2 cups Fat Free Fair Life milk
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Add potatoes, ham, celery, onion, bouillon cube, and broth to a large pot. Bring to a bowl and cook potatoes for 10-15 minutes on medium heat. Once potatoes are tender set to low heat and use a potato masher to smash about 1/4 of the potatoes to thicken soup. Slowly stir in milk and stir for about 3 minutes to allow to thicken. If your soup is still not thickening smash more of the potatoes but once the soup is no longer hot it should thicken up nicely. You could also do this soup in the slow cooker. Set to low for 8 hours of high for 4 hours. Do not add milk until right before serving. Enjoy!

Macros (per serving of 2 cups, recipe makes approximately 6 servings): 158 calories, 1g fat, 25g carbs, 12g protein, 3g fiber

Macro-Friendly Stuffed Peppers

The venture continues: get my boys to eat more veggies! This is another staple recipe in our house that my husband and son love and it helps them reach their vegetable intake. It’s a great low carb recipe as well. Super simple, delicious, and macro-friendly. What more could you ask for!? Happy flexible dieting!

Recipe:

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 4 large green peppers
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup Old El Paso taco seasoning (or make your own)
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup 2% Mexican cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown beef with onion and then add seasoning. Turn up heat high and stir constantly until water evaporates. Turn down heat to low. Add tomato sauce and black beans and stir well. Cut off the tops of the peppers and pull out the guts. Fill peppers with beef mixture and put in a casserole dish. Sprinkle with cheese. Cook for 45 minutes or until peppers are tender. Enjoy!

Macros (per pepper, recipe makes 4): 310 calories, 10g fat, 18g carbs, 43g protein, 7g fiber

Parmesan Zucchini Fries

I have been on a mission to include more vegetables in my day as I noticed I was only getting 1-2 servings in on average. My goal has been to get that up to 3-4 servings. With a husband and kid that can be picky with veggies this mission has not been the easiest, but with lots of experimenting I’m starting to find what they enjoy. These zucchini fries are a HUGE hit in the house! The boys gobble them down and mama is happy they are getting in lots of nutrients. I don’t think we’ll ever have potato fries in the house again. Happy flexible dieting!

Ps. For a delicious dipping sauce mix equal parts plain Greek yogurt and ketchup!

Recipe:

  • 3-4 zucchini (600g) quartered
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl mix olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Place zucchini quarters on baking sheet. Pour olive oil mixture over zucchini and then toss zucchini to coat evenly. Sprinkle parmesan over zucchini. Bake for 15 minutes. Enjoy!

Macros (per serving of about 8 fries, recipe makes 6 servings): 69 calories, 4.5g fat, 3g carbs, 5g protein, 1g fiber

Vegetarian Meal Plan

 

These plans are made to feed two people so if you have more people in your family double the amount you buy and/or consider adding an extra option. I choose two options for breakfast, two for lunch, a few snacks, and three dinner options. We eat leftovers every other night and that leaves us one night to eat out! This week I spent close to $100 with all the meat but we have plenty of leftovers! The meals are designed for a balanced diet. If you eat proper portions and especially track your macros or calories, you will lose weight!

*Some people have asked if I can provide macros for these plans but I don’t find it to be necessary since we all have different macros. Just portion out these meals to meet your macros.:)

Breakfast:

Option 1- Smoothie bowl

Option 2- Chocolate protein waffles

Lunch:

Option 1- Tortellini soup

Option 2- Light mac & cheese with peas or broccoli

Dinner:

Option 1- Southwest Cobb salad

Option 2- Margherita pasta skillet

Option 3-  Tomato pesto panini

Snack/dessert:

Option 1-  Celery and peanut butter with raisins (ants on a log)

Option 2- Microwave protein brownie with peanut butter, frozen yogurt, or light cool whip on top

If requested I’ll add the grocery list but many of you have said you mix and match from different meal plans so I’m not sure it’s necessary? 🙂

You can also check out:

Meal Plan #1

Meal Plan #2

Meal Plan #3

Meal Plan #4

Meal Plan #5

Meal Plan #6

Meal Plan #7

Meal Plan #8

Recipes To Get Your Kids (And Husband) To Eat Their Veggies

If you’re a mom you likely relate to the struggle of getting your kids (and husband) to eat their vegetables. Although I have a picky-vegetable-eating son he definitely doesn’t lack enough nutrients from veggies! I’ve learned what he likes, doesn’t like, and how to incorporate some of the vegetable he doesn’t like into recipes so he doesn’t even know they’re there. I won’t lie to you, I’m not big on veggies either. But only when they’re boring. If you get creative with your vegetables you’ll be amazed how much more you enjoy them. Here are some ideas!

  1.  Lightened Broccoli Cheddar Soup

This soup is a favorite for the whole family. I have come to learn what kind of vegetables my son does and doesn’t like and one he sure does love is broccoli. He is also a huge fan of cheese (who isn’t?) so this recipe is a winner. Even kids who don’t like broccoli typically go for this recipe! It’s super easy and doesn’t break the calorie bank. Can’t beat that.

2. Spinach Artichoke Casserole/Dip

I am obsessed with this casserole/dip. I call it a casserole because we have it often as a side with our dinner. It pairs great with a lean piece of red meat and some roasted potatoes but it can easily be used as a dip for parties or a snack for the kids. My son can’t get enough of this dip and for a picky vegetable eater I’ll take it! It’s loaded with spinach as well as artichoke hearts, and of course delicious creamy cheeses. He’s a fan of carrots so when I’m serving it as a snack that’s typically the option I go with to dip in, but even some chips or crackers are still getting your kid plenty of veggies in. Hubby approved too!

3. One Pot Chicken Lo Mein

The dinner every mom wants. Easy clean-up with only one pot, simple to make, and packed with vegetables. This is always apart of our dinner rotation.

4. Protein Packed Chicken Noodle Soup

This recipe is my go-to when someone is sick in the house, or for a cool night in Florida (rare occasion). Not only is it loaded with veggies but it’s packed with protein. Mama gets her muscle growth on, hubby and the kid gets their immune system boost. Yay!

5. Smoothie/Smoothie Bowls

Okay, yes I know this is mainly fruit and not vegetables BUT this smoothie has a serving of spinach in it and my kid doesn’t even know! We share a fruit smoothie every single day following this recipe. He gets a serving of greens in as well as two servings of fruit. It’s delicious and you can’t even taste or tell there are greens in it!

6.  Low Fat & Low Carb Stuffed Mushrooms

I always make these stuffed mushrooms for a party or special event, and they are always devoured instantly! Your friends that are watching what they eat will thank you for this low calorie option that is not at all low on the flavor scale. Delightful (and simple) dish!

7. Slow Cooker Stuffed Shells

Another constant in our dinner rotation. These shells are packed with spinach and many of us moms know leafy greens are one of the hardest to get our kids to eat. I love Italian dishes because you can easily incorporate spinach into almost all of them- lasagna, manicotti, ravioli, etc- stuff it with spinach! The boys don’t even notice. I always serve with another vegetable on the side. My son loves broccoli but you can also do a Ceasar salad (most kids like Ceasar) or a different vegetable you know your kid will eat.

Zucchini Noodles & Meatballs

This delicious, low carb lunch or dinner option will leave you satisfied without breaking the macro bank on carbs. It’s super simple to make (especially if you buy pre-spiraled noodles) and only requires one pan for easy clean-up. Happy flexible dieting!

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 16 oz pork (I purchased mine from Whole Foods with 7g fat & 23g protein per 4 oz)
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs (I used Publix brand)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp pepper
  • 4 and 1/2 cups zucchini noodles (I bought mine pre-spiraled from Whole Foods)
  • 2 and 1/2 cups Newman’s own organic marinara sauce

In a large bowl mix pork, minced garlic, diced onion, breadcrumbs, and seasonings. Set a pan on medium heat then add olive oil. Work the meat mixture by hand and form golf ball size meatballs. Add to hot oil and brown, about 3 minutes each side. Remove meatballs from pan and add zucchini noodles. Toss the noodles in the oil to coat and cook for 3 minutes. Then add the marinara sauce, toss in the noddles, and nuzzle the meatballs back in. Simmer for 10 minutes and enjoy! Salt and pepper to taste.

Macros (per serving of 2 meatballs and 1/2 cup noodles & sauce, recipe makes 6 servings): 207 calories, 9g fat, 14g carbs, 20g protein, 3g fiber

Tortellini Soup

As some of you may know, I am working to cut back on my meat consumption for moral reasons. It has been an interesting quest trying to consume enough protein without meat but through experimentation I have come up with some delicious recipes. This recipe couldn’t be easier. You just throw everything in a pot and wait! This can also be done in a slow cooker before work, leave it on low until you come home and dinner is ready to go. Feel free to add meat to this dish for even more protein. Happy flexible dieting!

  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 32 oz container Pacific organic tomato soup
  • 2 32 oz containers low sodium vegetable broth
  • 20 oz Buitoni mixed cheese tortellini
  • 5 oz frozen spinach thawed
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Add about a tbsp of broth and minced garlic to a large pot on medium heat and cook the garlic. Then add the tortellini and rest of broth and bring to a boil. Once it’s to a boil reduce heat and add tomato soup, spinach, Parmesan, and seasoning. Simmer for a few minutes and enjoy! You can also do this in the slow cooker. Simply throw everything in and set on low. It’ll be ready in 4 hours or you can hold off for 8 hours.

Macros (per serving of 1 cup, recipe makes 12 cups):  184 calories, 5g fat, 28g carbs, 8g protein, 2g fiber

Add chicken for even more protein!

Low Fat & Low Carb Stuffed Mushrooms

This isn’t an original recipe, this is something I actually found off of Tasty to bring to Christmas dinner last year. Instead of using the full fat cream cheese I used 1/3 of the fat and they were a huge hit. They’re actually quite macro-friendly, too! I’ve made them several times since and just had to share. Happy flexible dieting!

Recipe:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 15 mushrooms
  • 3 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1/2 tbsp pepper
  • 8 oz 1/3 fat cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan
  • Chopped parsley to garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut of steams of the mushrooms and chop them. Heat oil over pan on medium to high heat. Add chopped steams, garlic, salt, and pepper and cook 6-8 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and in a bowl combine cooked stems with cream cheese, breadcrumbs, half the parmesan, and parsley. Add more salt and pepper to taste and mix. Spoon a generous amount of cream cheese mixture into each mushroom cap and place onto a baking sheet. Top each mushroom with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and bake for 20 minutes. Take out and garnish with parsley. Enjoy!

Macros (per stuffed mushrooms, recipe makes 15):  87 calories, 5g fat, 7g carbs, 5g protein, 1g fiber

Microwaveable Protein (Beltsander) Brownie

Have you ever tried the Lava Cakes from Domino’s? Or maybe the ones on a Carnival cruise? If not you are severely missing out, but that’s okay! Because lo and behold there is this magical, microwaveable protein brownie that is just as good but packed with almost 30g protein and 4g fiber! This is NOT my recipe but I assure you it has my stamp of approval. For how incredibly easy it is you must give it a try for yourself. I like topping it with a scoop of frozen yogurt, a cookie, or whatever other goodies I have around. Happy flexible dieting!

Recipe:

  • 25g whey protein powder (preferably chocolate)
  • 10g cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice (Fair Life chocolate milk is used to calculate these macros)

Mix together in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for approximately 30 secs (depending on your microwave). Do NOT overcook this brownie. You don’t want it dry in the middle, you want it nice and gooey. Enjoy!

Macros (for entire brownie, not toppings): 158 calories, 3g fat, 12g carbs, 29g protein, 4g fiber

Smoothie Bowls

I have been a bit obsessed with making these smoothie bowls lately. I fell in love with them after trying an Acai bowl from a local place here called The Bowl. I haven’t purchased Acai powder yet but this recipe is still packed with antioxidants and plenty of greens to start your day (or end your night) on the right foot! I actually used to make this smoothie base every single day but am more frequently tossing it in a bowl because the toppings make it that more delicious. The key to a thick consistency is using as little orange juice as possible with lots of frozen berries. Start with the recipe below and if you’d like it a little less thick you can always add more juice.

I’m on maintenance now so I can handle all the carbs but if you’re short on carbs either omit the banana or only use half the amount. This means you can use a little less OJ so start with 3 oz and add as needed. The spinach and berries are so low cal there’s no need to reduce those, plus that’s where you get most of the nutrition from! You can top it whatever toppings please you. A few ideas would be: sliced banana, chia seeds, hemp seeds, other berries, and honey. You could also add protein powder or Greek yogurt to the smoothie base for added protein. Happy flexible dieting!

Recipe:

Base:

  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries
  • 30g protein powder (I used Optimum Nutrition whey- vanilla ice cream)
  • 100g banana (omit for drastically less carbs)
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 4 oz orange juice

Toppings:

  • 50g blueberries
  • 25g granola (I used Back to Nature Apple Cinnamon Granola Clusters
  • 10g unsweetened shredded coconut

Macros (for smoothie base): 358 calories, 3g fat, 56g carbs, 28g protein, 8g fiber

Macros (for toppings):  209 calories, 10g fat, 25g carbs, 2g protein, 5g fiber

Macros (total for entire recipe): 567 calories, 13g fat, 81g carbs, 30g protein, 13g fiber

 

Favorite Macro & Winter Friendly Dishes

Winter has finally arrived in Florida! We get to enjoy it for about a week until it’s back to summer. The whole country is experiencing frigid weather right now, most have it worse than we do (okay, basically all of you!). After seeing a few people share that they’re enjoying some of the soup recipes they’ve found on my blog, I figured what better time than to share some of my favorites! This list includes not only soup recipes but anything that’s hot, delicious, and comforting on a cold winter night. All these recipes are super easy and most you can create in a slow cooker. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do. Happy flexible dieting!

  1. Bacon Cheeseburger Soup 203 calories, 6g fat, 16g carbs, 20g protein per serving
  2. Broccoli Cheese Soup 175 calories, 7.5g fat, 7g carbs, 15.5g protein per serving
  3. Slow Cooker Stuffed Shells 249 calories, 9g fat, 24g carbs, 19g protein per serving
  4. Turkey Chili 254 calories, 30g carbs, 6g fat, 25g protein per serving
  5. Protein Packed Chicken Noodle Soup 187 calories, 3g fat, 10g carbs, 31g protein per serving
  6. Simple French Dip Sandwiches 469 calories, 14g fat, 44g carbs, 37g protein per serving
  7. Shepard’s Pie 13g fat, 31g carbs, 30g protein per serving
  8. Buffalo Chicken Cheese Fries 491 calories, 15g fat, 38g carbs, 51g protein for recipe

One Pot Spanish Chicken Thighs

One pot dishes are my favorite. Easy, minimal clean-up, and all the flavors get to marinate together. This dish is inspired by my close friend I grew up with. She’s from Mexico and would make this all the time. I absolutely love it. So much garlic flavor and the potatoes add a delicious touch. I always forget how good chicken thighs are, so moist and tender. I purchased boneless, skinless thighs so I could get a good amount of protein in without too much fat. Hope you enjoy this dish as much as I do. Happy flexible dieting!

Recipe:

  • 2lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 8 oz potatoes, cubed
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and diced
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup cilantro
  • 1 tsp Adobo powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Season chicken. Brown chicken on medium-high heat using olive oil. Remove and add in onion and garlic, cooking for about five minutes. If you need more liquid to cook the onion add a few tbsp of broth so you don’t have to up the fat using olive oil. Once onions are soft add in the potatoes and tomato and cook for 3 minutes.  Add in the rice and then nestle the chicken thighs back in. Add the chicken broth, cover and cook for 20 minutes on medium heat then 10 more minutes on low heat. Check rice and if it’s done, fluff and enjoy!

Macros (for 1 thigh and 2/3 cup rice & potatoes, 6 servings):  352 calories, 13g fat, 31g carbs, 37g protein, 3g fiber

Lightened Broccoli Cheese Soup

Winter has arrived! Well, at least so I hear. In our little town in sunny Southwest Florida it’s record heat for the first day of winter. 88 degrees and humid as can be! Pretending I am in the beautiful Rocky Mountains in Colorado, I decided a comforting meal would be some good ol’ broccoli cheese soup. This soup reminds me of Panera Bread’s but fresher and half the calories! The secret to getting the protein up without the fat is using Fair Life milk as it has double the protein as regular milk. Give this a try on your stove or slow cooker. Happy flexible dieting!

Recipe:

  • 2 cups fat free Fair Life milk
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 5 cups broccoli florets, chopped (frozen or raw)
  • 3 cups 2% cheddar cheese, shredded (can use 2% Velveeta- will slightly change macros)
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Add broth and milk to a large pot and bring to a slow boil. Add in flour, onion, carrots, and broccoli. Cover and cook for 10 minutes until vegetables are soft.  Reduce to simmer and allow soup to thicken, stirring occasionally. Add cheese and remove from heat. You can also do this recipe in the slow cooker. Just throw everything in except the cheese and set on low for 6-8 hours. About 30 minutes before eating add the cheese in and cover. Enjoy!

Macros (per about 1 cup serving, recipe makes 8 servings): 175 calories, 7.5g fat, 7g carbs, 15.5g protein, 2g fiber

Light Buffalo Dip

I tried this buffalo dip from the Publix deli and fell in love. Unfortunately the macros on the Publix version isn’t great considering they use full fat cheese so I set out to make a lighter version with less fat. I saw that the Publix version uses Neufchatel cheese and was like, what the heck is that? Haha! I checked in the cream cheese section of the store and there it was! One single brand, Organic Valley, but it was there! After a few variations tested this final one came out fantastic. Served it with some crackers and veggies and everyone loved it! Would be perfect for a football snack and can I just mention it has 9 grams protein PER SERVING? Happy flexible dieting!

macro-friendly light buffalo dip for iifym

Recipe:

  • 16 oz cooked chicken breast, shredded
  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt (I used Danon)
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream (I used Daisy)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup hot sauce depending on how much heat you want (I used Frank’s)
  • 8 oz Neufchatel cheese 1/3 less fat, softened (I used Organic Valley)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together and put in a baking dish. Cook for 20 minutes or until the top is bubbley. If you have a small slow cooker this would work great too. Enjoy!

Macros (per 30g, recipe makes about 30 servings): 75 calories, 3g fat, 1g carb, 9g protein

Macro-Friendly Chicken Pot Pie Soup

macro-friendly chicken pot pie soup

Excuse my hiatus. A lot of traveling going on lately along with a busy workload. I can’t lie though I love being busy! At least when it’s stuff I love to do. Part of the job is providing clients with new meal ideas so I set out to try a new recipe. My mom actually requested this chicken pot pie soup after seeing it on one of those cooking videos on Facebook. Aren’t those the best!? If they torture you never fear, this recipe along with the jalapeno popped chicken are both lighter options adapted from those scrumptious looking Facebook vids. If you have any particular requests, let us know!

This chicken pot pie soup is made macro-friendly using low fat milk. I used store brand milk but if you’re willing to shell out the money for 6 cups of Fair Life milk that will up the protein content even more! This soup was perfect for the cool fall weather rolling in. It can easily be made in a slow cooker but I made mine on the stove just an hour before my mom arrived. She loved it, even had a second bowl. Happy flexible dieting!

Recipe:

  • 6 cups low fat milk (Publix brand 2%)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1 large russet baked potato, diced (I used 7 oz)
  • 1 smalled onion, chopped (I used 2.5 oz)
  • 12 oz frozen mixed vegetables (carrots, peas, green beans, corn)
  • 16 oz cooked chicken, shredded or cubed
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Pour milk into large pot on low to medium heat, slowly bringing it to a bowl. Add in the onion and vegetables and allow to simmer on low for about 10 minutes. Add in the diced potatoes and cook for another 10 minutes. In a medium bowl, whisk water and flour to create a slurry. Finally, add in the chicken and slowly whisk in the slurry. Leave on low for five minutes until the soup has thickened. Salt and pepper to taste.

*You can easily make this in the slow cooker, simply cook everything on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. When there are 15 minutes left slowly add in slurry and stir until thick.

Macros (per 1 cup serving, recipe makes 6 servings): 253 calories, 7g fat, 25g carbs, 30g protein, 2g fiber

Jalapeno Popper Chicken

jalapeno popper chicken macros

Thomas saw this recipe on Buzzfeed and decided to give it a go. I recommended some replacement options to reduce total calories & fat content. We used fat free cream cheese and low fat cheddar cheese to lighten things up. We also used less oil for frying and opted for a longer cook time in the oven. You can easily change this recipe to be low fat cream cheese, fat free cheddar, or even skip the breading! That’s why I love flexible dieting so much, it is so easy to adapt a recipe to meet your macronutrient needs. Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did!

Recipe:

  • 2lb chicken breast
  • 4 oz fat free cream cheese (could do cottage cheese or a mix of the two instead for more protein)
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 1/2 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 egg whites, beaten
  • 2 cups bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste

In a bowl mix together the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and jalapeno. Slice a pocket into each chicken breast to stuff the filling in. Stuff each chicken breast with mixture and seal shut. Dip the chicken into the flour, then egg whites, then bread crumbs. Brown chicken in oil on the stove. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and when the chicken is golden brown (about 3-4 mins each side)  transfer to baking dish and bake for 20 mins. Enjoy!

Macros (recipe makes 8, serving is 4 oz): 367 calories, 15g fat, 26g carbs, 36g protein, 2g fiber

 

Macro-Friendly Slow Cooker Stuffed Shells

 macro-friendly slow cooker stuffed shells

These delicious and macro-friendly stuffed shells are as easy as it gets! Since they’re made in the slow cooker there’s no need to cook the pasta shells ahead of time. Just assemble in the slow cooker, allow to cook, and enjoy!

Recipe:

  • 24 (1200g) Barilla jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 cup Publix 2% skim (low fat) Ricotta
  • 6 cups marinara sauce
  • 1 cup Sargento reduced fat 4 cheese Italian, shredded
  • 3 cups Publix 2% mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 large egg
  • 5 cups chopped frozen spinach, thawed
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Parsley, optional

Start by adding a layer of marinara sauce to the bottom of the slow cooker (about 2 cups). In a large bowl mix ricotta, 2 cups 2% mozzarella cheese, 1 egg, thawed spinach, garlic, seasonings, and parsley. Take (uncooked) pasta shells and fill each with equal amount of mixture. For you macro trackers you will need to weigh the total mix and divide by 24 to know how many grams of mixture each shell should contain. Layer the bottom of the slow cooker with shells, you will use about half. Once the bottom is covered in stuff shells top with 2 more cups of sauce and sprinkle your final cup of mozzarella cheese on top. Add your final layer of stuffed shells and top with remainder of sauce. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. When you are ready to serve top the shells with the Italian cheese blend and parsley, allow to cook covered for another 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted. Happy flexible dieting!

Macros (2 shells per serving, recipe makes 12 servings): 249 calories, 9g fat, 24g carbs, 19g protein, 1g fiber

To make these a freezer meal, assemble shells into a glass dish including the top layer of cheese, cover, and freeze. When you’re ready to make the shells allow them to thaw overnight, then cook covered for 45 minutes at 425 degrees, uncovering the last 5 minutes for cheese to melt.

Macro-Friendly Supreme Pizza

 

 

Another delicious and macro-friendly homemade pizza by Papa Thom! I could honestly eat this every night, especially considering when Thom cooks I clean and this has basically no clean-up! Hope you enjoy the recipe, happy flexible dieting!

macro-friendly supreme pizza

Recipe:

  • Pizza dough from local bakery or Pillsbury pizza dough
  • 2.5 cups 2% shredded mozzarella
  • 1 cup Prego pizza sauce
  • 1 cup sauteed peppers, mushrooms & onions
  • 6 oz Jimmy Dean turkey sausage crumbles

If you’re using dough from the bakery or made your own preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare area to get your dough ready, you can use a rolling pin or stretch with your hands. Flour your hands and sprinkle flour on your prep surface. Roll the dough in the flour until it is not sticky. Roll or stretch the dough carefully until you reach desired crust thickness. Place dough on pizza pan and cook 1-2 minutes, until the dough has a firm outer crust. Remove dough from oven and spread pizza sauce evenly across dough.

If you’re using PIllsbury dough follow the cook time instructions on the package.

Sprinkle half of cheese all over dough. Place turkey sausage on top and veggies on top, then add the rest of the cheese and place into the oven. Our dough took 18-20 minutes, we rotated the pizza 1/4 turn very 4 minutes. Once crust is golden brown, and cheese is bubbly remove and let sit on the pan for 3-5 minutes. Enjoy!

Macros (per slice): 281 calories, 9g fat, 31g, 18g protein, 2g

Macro-Friendly Chicken, Bacon, and Ranch Sandwiches

One of the most common questions I get from clients is, “what should I make for lunch?” Lunches can get really boring. Always the same simple salad or sandwich. I tried to switch it up and make lunch fun with yummy macro-friendly sandwich that’s packed with protein but easy on the fat. If you have fat to spare add a slice of cheese or do real ranch (although, I think this Greek yogurt ranch tastes even better and fresher!). If you’re looking to save carbs roll this up in a low carb wrap or use Sara Lee’s 45 cal bread. Being on maintenance macros, I actually struggle to meet my carbs and protein. This delicious sandwich helped me get 40g protein in the most delicious way possible. Hope you enjoy this recipe idea. Considering it includes bacon how could you not? Happy flexible dieting!

macro-friendly turkey bacon ranch lunch

Recipe:

  • 2 slices bread (I used Publix’s butter bread)
  • 3 oz cooked chicken breast
  • 1 slice low sodium bacon (I used Publix brand)
  • 1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 packet Hidden Valley ranch mix
  • Lettuce, tomato, onion to garnish, optional

Macros (for entire sandwich using 1 tbsp ranch, not including garnish): 313 calories, 8g fat, 25g carbs, 40g protein, 2g fiber

 

Macro-Friendly Meatloaf

iifym flexible dieting meatloaf easy dinner

Recipe:

  • 2lbs 93/7 lean ground beef (weight uncooked)
  • 8oz white onion, chopped
  • 1 and 1/2 cups Progresso bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup Heinz low sugar ketchup
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 cup Fair Life fat free milk
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Glaze:

  • 1 cup Heinz low sugar ketchup
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine beef, onion, bread crumbs, ketchup, egg white, and milk in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Place in a lightly greased loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour at 350, applying glaze halfway through. Enjoy!

macro friendly meatloaf iifym recipes

Macros (for 1/10th of loaf):  231 calories, 7g fat, 17g carbs, 22g protein

To figure out the exact macros of your portion follow these guidelines before cooking.

Easy Homemade Macro-Friendly Pizza

homemade easy pizza macro friendly iifym

About once a week Thomas picks up a ball of pizza dough from our local grocery store and makes us a homemade pizza. It’s such a quick and easy dinner and my favorite part, there’s essentially no clean up! I realized how easy it is to make these pizzas macro-friendly. I’m sharing a traditional pepperoni pizza recipe but you can also make it with chicken breast (do a bbq or bufflalo style or even margherita!), do a taco style pizza using lean ground beef, or if you have the fat to spare make a steak & cheese pie!

If you’d like the recipe to our other versions just let us know!

Recipe:

  • Fresh pizza dough from local bakery or Pillsbury Pre Made Pizza Dough
  • 3 oz Boar’s Head turkey pepperoni (assuming you want all turkey pep on the pizza instead of the half & half we did)
  • 2.5 cups 2% mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup Prego pizza sauce

If you’re using dough from the bakery or made your own preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare area to get your dough ready, you can use a rolling pin or stretch with your hands. Flour your hands and sprinkle flour on your prep surface. Roll the dough in the flour until it is not sticky. Roll or stretch the dough carefully until you reach desired crust thickness. Place dough on pizza pan and cook 1-2 minutes, until the dough has a firm outer crust. Remove dough from oven and spread pizza sauce evenly across dough.

If you’re using PIllsbury dough follow the cook time instructions on the package.

Sprinkle cheese all over dough. Place turkey pepperoni on top and place into the oven. Our dough took 18-20 minutes, we rotated the pizza 1/4 turn very 4 minutes. Once crust is golden brown, and cheese is bubbly remove and let sit on the pan for 3-5 minutes. Enjoy!

Macros (per slice using PIllsbury dough and turkey pepperoni): 264 calories, 8g fat, 29g carbs, 18g protein, 2g fiber

Ways to Decrease Carbs: Cauliflower crust, Flatout bread, or large low carb tortilla as “crust”

Ways to Decrease Fat: Dice up chicken breast and replace pepperoni, use a blend of low fat & fat free cheese (you do want some fat in the cheese to help melt)

Macro-Friendly French Dip Sandwiches

macro friendly meal french dip

Another awesome recipe by Thomas! After 3 and a half years of tracking my macros I am so happy to say that Thom has jumped on the bandwagon and has even become a master of macro friendly meals! Since he’s now the main cook of the house he’s been experimenting with some new recipes for the blog and this one was too good not to share. Super simple, amazing macros, great taste. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Recipe:

  • Loaf french bread
  • 1lb deli roast beef (or a sirloin for homemade)
  • 8 slices 2% provolone cheese
  • 1 cup beef broth, low sodium
  • 1 packet french onion soup mix
  • 1 cup water

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pile 4 oz of roast beef on 1/4 roll of french bread and add 2 slices of cheese. Toast sandwiches open face in the oven for 10 mins or until cheese is golden brown. If you prefer softer bread roll the sandwiches up in tin foil and cook on a baking dish for about 15 mins. While the sandwiches are heating up add the beef broth, soup mix, and water to a pot. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low to simmer.  Enjoy!

Macros (per sub with 1/8 cup dip): 469 calories, 14g fat, 44g carbs, 37g protein

 

Trader Joe’s Beef Tri-Tip Roast

Thomas here. Mallory asked me to guest post today as I’m becoming the cook of the house while she takes care of 50+ clients. She’s pretty amazing!

trader joe's tri tip roast

This is not so much a recipe as a public service announcement. I was so glad to come across this unseasoned Tri Tip Roast at Trader Joe’s. The macros are insane at 5g fat and 24g protein. We have had all of the seasoned and marinated varieties and enjoyed them all, especially the Santa Maria. This time we bought the unseasoned version and gave it a go. I kept it simple and it turned out incredible. I highly recommend giving this a try!

Recipe:

  • Tri tip roast
  • 3/4 tbsp garlic powder per lb
  • 1/2 tbsp salt per lb
  • 1/2 tbsp pepper per lb
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

You can use a grill or cast iron skillet and an oven to cook. Heat grill or cast iron skillet to high and preheat oven to 375F.  Rinse meat and pat dry. Season meat with salt, pepper, and garlic powder on all sides. Lightly brush meat with olive oil.

If you’re using a grill sear 1-2 min per side on direct heat and then allow to cook 10-15 min per side on indirect heat.

If you’re using a skillet and oven, add any leftover oil to the pan and heat. Sear all sides of roast 1-2 min per side in cast iron skillet. Place Skillet in oven, cook 10-15 min, flip, and allow roast to rest, loosely covered in foil for 5-10 min.

Macros (for 4 oz uncooked meat): 140 calories, 4g fat, 0g carbs, 24g protein

IMG_2151

We paired it with half a baked potato, Lean Cuisine mac & cheese, and steamable broccoli for a delicious dinner!

Doritos Taco Salad

 

Last week I took a surprise trip to Orlando so I could visit my best friend Rebecca and see her walk across stage for graduation. She just graduated from my alma mater, the University of Central Florida, exactly two years after I did. We actually just hired her as a coach for King’s Coaching! You will hear much more on that soon! Her story is absolutely incredible.

Her parents (who by the way, are THE most adorable people on this planet) threw a graduation party for Rebecca and boy was I looking forward to their cooking.. they don’t mess around! Her mom made, among many things, this Doritos taco salad that I could not get enough of. When I got home this week I decided I just had to make it! The macros ended up being pretty great, so I just had to share!

dorito taco salad macros

Recipe:

  • 1lb lean ground beef, cooked and drained
  • 8 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 2 cups black beans, drained and  rinsed and
  • 1 serving 2% Mexican shredded cheese
  • 1/2 serving Fat Free Catalina dressing
  • 1/2 serving Doritos of choice
  • Jalapenos (optional, not included in macros)

Mix everything accept for Doritos in a bowl. If all servings will be eaten immediately, mix in Doritos. If not, add the Doritos to each serving so they don’t get soggy. Enjoy!

Macros: (per 1 and 1/2 cup serving, makes about 4 servings 2 and 1/2 cups each): 320 calories, 14g fat, 19g carbs, 29g protein, 3g fiber

Macros without doritos: 250 calories, 10g fat, 11g carbs, 28g protein

Burger Bites

burger bites iifym macros

Recipe:

  • 4 oz lean ground beef, cooked
  • 1/2 serving reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
  • 8 wonton wrappers
  • Toppings of choice: I like doing a cheeseburger style with diced tomatoes and I make a special sauce by mixing ketchup with plain non-fat Greek yogurt and a little cayenne pepper or doing a taco style and dipping with pico de gallo and light sour cream

Mix beef & shredded cheese together. Take a wonton wrapper and place on an oiled baking sheet. Scoop 2 tbsp of beef & cheese mixture onto the center of the wonton wrapper. Take a second wonton wrapped and place on top. Now, to be able to get the wrappers to stick together you need to dot water around the outside of both wonton wrapper. Just stick your fingers in a bowl of water and run your finger across the wrappers. Crimp them together using a fork. You can brush a bite of egg white wash on the tops of the burger bites before cooking to allow for a more crispier outside. Bake for 5 minutes at 350 degrees, check the burgers and if needed flip them and cook for a few more minutes. Mine are usually done within 5-8 minutes. Enjoy!

Macros (for 4 burger bites, not including toppings): 413 calories, 14g fat, 32g carbs, 38g protein

Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos

Flexible dieting is my favorite because there are endless opportunities for meal ideas! This was a new and delicious recipe that will definitely be a frequent meal in this house. The macros are pretty great, too, but you could look into using a leaner cut of meat for less fat.

slow cooker shredded beef tacos

Recipe:

  • 2lbs chuck roast
  • Taco seasoning
  • Flour tortillas, small
  • 1 cup beef broth, optional (not included in macros)
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup diced green peppers
  • 2 limes
  • 1 bunch cilantro

Season the beef and sear on each side for about 2 mins (you can skip this step but it helps lock in the flavor). Add the beef to the slow cooker and set on low for 6-8 hours. You could add a cup off beef broth but I found it unnecessary. While the roast is cooking make your pico de gallo. Mix together the onions, tomato, green pepper, cilantro, and squeeze half a lime over top. Salt and pepper to taste. Allow this to chill in the fridge for the duration of the cook time. Once the meat has cooked shred the beef using two forks. Add 3 oz of beef to each taco, 2 tbsp pico de gallo, and feel free to add other toppings like low fat shredded cheese, light sour cream, or avocado.

Macros (per taco, yields 8 tacos): 304 calories, 12g fat, 22g carbs, 26g protein

Buffalo Chicken Mac n Cheese

Hello heaven on Earth. I have arrived. This was everything I could have ever imagined it could be and more. Especially for how easy it was! Of course, you know it’s macro friendly. I just love flexible dieting.

buffalo chicken mac and cheese iifym macros

Now, bare with me on this. There’s a few ways you can do it.. The macros for this recipe include this method.

Recipe:

  • 4 oz cooked chicken breast
  • One package Lean Cuisine mac and cheese
  • 1 tbsp Sweet Baby Ray’s buffalo sauce

I happened to already have chicken prepped when I came up with this simply concoction, if you don’t the best way to prepare your chicken is in a slow cooker and then shred it up with the buffalo sauce. Otherwise cook everything accordingly and mix together!

Macros (for entire recipe): 478 calories, 11g fat, 48g carbs, 48g protein

If you want to use a less processed mac n cheese check out my homemade version. This would change the macros to  478 calories, 13g fat, 28g carbs, 51g protein

Macro Friendly Philly Cheese Fries

Holy yum! My husband Thomas is obsessed with Philly cheese steaks. It’s been a hot minute since we’ve had one and since we’ve moved there’s nowhere near us that can make a delicious one. Plus now that Thomas is counting his macros he can’t afford all the fat so I set out to make a satisfying low fat version. I’ve posted a Philly cheesesteak sub on my blog before but today when I used the leftovers on top of Alexia fries I knew I had to share.

philly cheese fries iifym macros

 

Recipe:

  • 3 oz eye round steak, cooked (could do chicken instead for lower fat)
  • 2 oz sauteed peppers and onions
  • 1 oz sauteed mushrooms
  • 1 serving Alexia 98% fat free fries (pictures are Alexia tots for my husband, if you want lower fat stick with their fries. They’re delish!)
  • 2 slices Sargento Ultra Thin provolone cheese

Macros (for entire recipe): 459 calories, 19g fat, 32g carbs, 31g protein, 4g fiber

One Pot Macro Friendly Chicken Lo Mein

Forever on a search to not feel like I’m dieting but not get fat. Haha! Thomas and I rarely get Chinese takeout because it’s filled with sauces and fried meats that we end up having to save all of our fat for the day! So I set out to make a yummy chicken lo mein that wouldn’t break the macro bank. I adapted this recipe from one I found online by adding more meat and veggies. Holy crap did it turn out delicious!

 

Recipe:

  • 1 and 1/2 lbs chicken breast, cut into small chunks
  • 1 16 oz box of linguine, cut in half
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut 3 inches long or grated
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, cut 3 inches long
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup bean sprouts (optional, not included in macros)

Cook chicken in pot on medium heat for 5-6 minutes. Once it is no longer pink add the pasta and broth and bring to a boil then add in the remainder of the ingredients, stir, cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and let cook through for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. You may end up needing to add more liquid but do so slowly. I did not. Enjoy!

Macros per serving (yields 8 servings, about 1 and 1/2 cups): 355 calories, 4g fat, 48g carbs, 30g protein, 3g fiber

Samoa Protein Donuts

It’s Girl Scout season and I’m stayin’ strong! As much as I love those little cookies I swear there’s crack in there. I can never eat them without finishing a whole sleeve! I haven’t made protein donuts in awhile so I decided to recreate the beloved Samoa in protein donut form! Needless to say they turned out incredible! The base recipe is from my protein donut hole recipe which can be made using a muffin pan, so if you don’t have a donut pan fear not!

samoa protein donuts

Recipe:

  • 2 scoops of protein powder (I used PEScience chocolate)
  • 3/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour (whole wheat will change the taste a bit)
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup sugar (you can sub with applesauce or banana)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 tbsp Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup Smucker’s sugar free caramel sauce
  • 1/2 cup Unsweetened shredded coconut
  • Lite chocolate sauce to drizzle (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients together. In another bowl, mix together wet. Add wet ingredients to the bowl with dry. Grease muffin tin and fill each about 3/4 the way. Bake for 10 to 12 mins (check with toothpick). Take them out and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

Macros for chocolate protein donuts (NO toppings, per donut, recipe makes 12): 80 calories, 2g fat, 11g carbs, 6g protein

To make these Samoa donuts I simply mixed together 1/2 cup of Smucker’s sugar free caramel sauce and 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut flakes then topped each donut with the mixture. I drizzled a little lite chocolate sauce over the top to make it look like a Samoa (didn’tt count macros on this!). They are insanely good, especially for the macros!

Macros for coconut & caramel topping (per donut): 63 calories, 3g fat, 9g carbs, 0g protein

Macros for Samoa donuts (per donut, recipe makes 12): 143 calories, 5g fat, 20g carbs, 6g protein

Lean Beef Italian Slow Cooker Meatballs

 

Thomas and I are still really tired of chicken, haha! So this week we prepped some lean beef Italian meatballs to make as meatball subs for him (and his infinite carbs) and to pair with spaghetti squash for me. The beauty of IIFYM is the options with these are only limited to the macros you have left! So these Italian meatballs are a great option for your next meal prep session.

An added bonus to cooking these (and anything) in the slow cooker is using a slow cooker liner and having no clean-up! The lazy teenager in me is pleased.

meatballs iifym meal prep

 

Recipe:

  • 2 and 1/2 lbs lean ground beef (93/7)
  • 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 tbsp parsley
  • 3 and 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Roll into balls. If you want to follow the macros of the recipe weigh each ball to be 3.5 oz. I placed mine in the slow cooker on low for 4 hours then added marinara sauce and cooked for another 2 hours. Slow cooking the meatballs are my favorite because they come out so moist and soft yet brown and crispy on the outside! If you don’t have a slow cooker you can bake in the oven for 20 minutes on 400 degrees. Make a meatball sub using marinara sauce and low fat slices of provolone or place a few on top a bowl spaghetti squash and shredded parmesan for a low carb alternative!

italian meatballs 4

Macros (1-3.5 oz uncooked meatball, makes 13): 171 calories, 7g fat, 7g carbs, 19g protein, 1g fiber

Unique Protein Options for IIFYM

This list was compiled after my husband and I’s decision to not buy chicken breast for a few weeks. Who else is super tired of chicken breast!? Yikes! We’ve been mainly sticking to lean pork chops, chicken sausages, and lean ground beef but I wanted to share a few items that I picked up this week that are a little different. Hope this gets your creative juices flowing!

  1. Jimmy Dean Turkey Sausage Bowls These are tasty for a quick and different breakfast option. Macros are 8g fat, 19g carbs, and 22g protein. Add more protein by mixing in a few egg whites half way through cooking.

iifym easy meal prep 2. Weight Control Instant Oatmeal These packets are great because they have 29g carbs with 7g protein. I always add a scoop of protein powder into my oatmeal but it’s nice that this adds even more! Also the banana bread flavor is bomb.weight loss iifym

3. Publix Brand Philly Cheese Chicken Sausage If you don’t have access to a Publix I feel bad for you, son! Publix has so many macro friendly options. These are a staple in our house. They are absolutely DELICIOUS! Each link is 6g fat and 12g protein so save up some fat for these! They also have Apple & Gouda, Spinach & Feta, and Artichoke & Parmesan. They are all great!iifym meal ideas  4. Trader Joe’s Tri Tip Roast Y’all, you need to get on this right NOW! It is so good and SUPER macro friendly as well as affordable! For 4 oz it’s only 7g fat to 32g protein. AMAZING! The pre-marinated Santa Maria option is so yum. Follow the cooking instructions, you’ll be glad you did!

iifym protein lean unique options

5. Frozen Yogurt Ice cream is a staple in my diet. I have a bowl almost every single night before bed. I fit it into my macros and work the rest of my day around it. It keeps me on track because I have something to look forward to. But I hate having only one serving, I want at least two! The problem is I can never save enough fat for two servings, so I’ve been buying frozen yogurt. Not as tasty at my beloved ice cream but with all the tummy mix-ins it’s worth saving the fat. What I love about the frozen yogurt is one serving has 4-6g protein, so with two servings I’m sneaking in 8-12g protein! The macros for this yogurt is 5g fat, 23g carbs, and 4g protein. They have a ton of delicious flavors like Mint Chocolate Cookie and Peanut Butter Cup. Yum!

iifym sneaky protein

Simple and Macro Friendly Sheperd’s Pie

Ok so quite honestly I’m not sure if it should be called Sheperd’s pie since it has beef in it. I think the European version is made with lamb but Americans use beef and still call it Sheperd’s pie. Americans are weird like that! At any rate, this is as delicious as it is simple.

shepard's pie simple iifym meal recipe

Recipe:

  • 1lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce or brown gravy packet
  • 16 oz potatoes of choice (I had Gold on hand)
  • 3 cups frozen steamable mixed veggies, cooked
  • 1 cup skim milk (I used Fair Life)
  • 4 tbsp low fat margarine (I used I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter)
  • Salt & pepper
  • Shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

Peel (or don’t) and boil potatoes. Brown beef on stove with seasonings.  Once beef is browned add in onion and Worcestershire sauce, move to medium high heat and allow the liquid to evaporate. Mix in cooked vegetables, take off heat, and set aside. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Once potatoes have finished mash them and add in butter, milk, and salt & pepper. Add beef and vegetable mixture to 9×9 glass dish then add the mashed potatoes on top. Cook for 15-20 minutes. Enjoy!

Macros (for one serving of 4, about 2 cups): 13g fat, 31g carbs, 30g protein (cheese not included)

You can easily store this meal in the freezer to save for later. Cook as directed, allow to cool completely, cover well, and when you are ready to reheat it defrost the pie in the fridge overnight then cook for 1 hour on 350 degrees covered.

 

Lightened Spinach Artichoke Casserole

I was searching for a way to sneak some vegetables in my husband’s diet (seriously, he never eats vegetables. Gr!). We were also having guests over for dinner so I was in the mood to make something fancy. Right off the bat I knew I wanted to do some kind of cheesy, delicious casserole. A few ideas popped up but didn’t excite me enough. Then it hit me, Thomas loves spinach artichoke dip! Let’s make it a casserole! This spinach artichoke casserole is stuffed with ooey gooey Parmesan cheese, but it won’t stick to your thighs. It’s a huge hit for the whole family and a great dish to be made at a large dinner event! I made it with grilled chicken and smashed potatoes.

lightened up macro friendly spinach artichoke dip casserole

Recipe:

  • 4 10 oz packages of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 14 oz can of artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1 8 oz package low fat cream cheese
  • 1 cup low fat sour cream
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tbsp minced garlic

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix the spinach and artichokes in a large bowl. Microwave cream cheese unpackaged in a microwave safe bowl until soft, about 1 and 1/2 minutes. Stir the cream cheese into the spinach and artichokes then add sour cream, grated Parmesan, and garlic. Season to taste. Spoon the casserole into a 9×11 baking dish. Top with shredded Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minute, uncover and bake at 400 degrees for 7-10 more minutes.

Macros (per serving, 16 servings): 9g fat, 8g carbs, 10g protein

Protein French Toast

French toast isn’t something you’d typically think to make while dieting, huh? Think again. This protein french toast is just as delicious as the original but with a lot more protein and less carbs and fat.

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Recipe:

-8 pieces of bread (I used Sara lee low cal bread)
-3/4 cup milk (I used 2% Fair Life)
-2 eggs & 1 egg white
-1 scoop protein powder (I used Optimum Nutrition vanilla ice cream)
-Splash of vanilla extract
-Ground cinnamon

Whisk together all ingredients except bread. Dip bread in mixture and place on oiled baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 mins, flip halfway through.

Macros (for three slices): 10g fat, 38g carbs, and 33g protein

Buffalo Chicken Cheese Fries IIFYM Style

 

That’s it. I’m claiming the title. I’m the queen at making bar foods more macro friendly. What can I say, I’ll forever be a fat college kid at heart.

These cheese fries are to die for. The key ingredient is the 98% fat free Alexia fries.

buffalo chicken cheese fries iifym style

Recipe:

  • 1 and 1/2 servings 98% fat free Alexia Crinkle fries
  • 6 oz baked chicken tossed in 1 tbsp Sweet Baby Ray’s buffalo sauce
  • 1 serving reduced fat Mexican cheese
  • Handful of scallions
  • 1/2 serving low fat ranch
  • If you’ve got the extra fat you could add bacon bits

Cook fries according to packaging. Top with chicken and serving of cheese and put back in the oven for 3-5 minutes. Top with scallions, ranch, and anything else you fancy. Enjoy!

Macros (for entire recipe, no bacon):  491 calories, 15g fat, 38g carbs, 51g protein

5 Minute Meal: Trader Joe’s BBQ Chicken Teriyaki with Rice and Broccoli Slaw

All the parents out there know, being a full time mom means you gotta get creative with some simple meals. Bored with sandwiches and chicken burrito bowls, I set out to try something new that’s as easy as ever. The week before I had visited Trader Joe’s and stocked up on IIFYM friendly freezer goodies. One thing I picked up that I hadn’t tried before was their BBQ Chicken Teriyaki. I’m so glad I gave it a shot!

trader joe's iifym easy recipe

Recipe:

  • 1 and 1/2 servings Trader Joe’s BBQ Chicken Teriyaki
  • 1/4 cup brown rice
  • 1/2 cup Trader Joe’s broccoli slaw

The package directions for the chicken have you microwaving the chicken with no instructions for cooking in the oven. The first time I tried it I reheated the chicken in the oven, but the second time I tried the microwave and there was no difference. If you want to cook in the oven simply do so at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. I used Uncle Ben’s instant rice, but you could also save this meal for when you have leftover rice! Once the chicken was done I added the rice and broccoli slaw and mixed it all up. Yup, that’s it! I garnished with some scallions.

Macros (for entire recipe): 305 calories, 6g fat, 27g carbs, 29g protein

iifym easy meals

Lightened Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

oatmeal cookies

Recipe:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup apple sauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together all dry ingredients except oats and raisins. In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar together. I used my electric mixer. Add in the egg, applesauce, and vanilla extract. Stir the dry mixture into the eggs and applesauce, then add in the oats and raisins. Scoop about a tbsp out for each. Bake 12-14 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes.

Macros (per cookie of a 24 cookie batch): 99 calories, 3g fat, 16g carbs, 2g protein

Scotch Egg: An Experiment Gone Delicious

We saw the Scotch egg on Facebook and were drooling! It’s pretty much all protein (and fat from the oil) so we knew it’d be a great IIFYM food. We made it a little more macro friendly by using turkey sausage but it is still pretty high in fat. It’s a bit of a task but well worth the deliciousness. A great treat, especially for the holidays!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

 

Recipe:

  • 4 eggs soft boiled and peeled
  • 1lb turkey sausage
  • 1/4 cup scallions
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs, seasoned
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 raw egg for egg wash
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp mustard

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare three bowls: one with 1/2 cup flour, 1 with beaten egg and milk, and one with 1/2 cup breadcrumbs. Heat oil in a pan (you want an an inch and a half of oil). Once you have your eggs soft boiled and peeled roll in flour. Then wrap each egg in 4 oz of (uncooked) sausage. Lightly roll the sausage around the egg into a ball. Make sure you do this lightly as to not break the egg. Now coat in flour, then egg wash, and then bread crumbs. Fry egg in i oil for 3 minutes on each side. Finish in the oven for 5 minutes, preferably on a drip pan.

Macros (for each Scotch egg): 27g fat, 13g carbs, 37g protein

Chocolate Protein Waffle

 

 

After tweaking a few recipes I found I finally found a protein waffle I’m happy with AND it’s super easy! This is crunchy on the outside and light on the inside. This particular one I made chocolate using Fair Life’s chocolate milk and chocolate protein powder but you could easily make different variations. Oh and I added Christmas sprinkles because there’s only 4 days until Christmas!

chocolate protein waffle

Recipe:

  • 45g Kodiak Cakes Power Cakes
  • 25g chocolate protein powder
  • Fair Life 2% Chocolate milk, enough to mix

Weigh your Kodiak Cakes mix and protein powder into a bowl. Stir in the milk until it’s a thick consistency. You still want it to be thin enough to pour but don’t over stir it. Cook in a waffle iron that’s been lightly sprayed with cooking oil. Enjoy!

Macros (for waffle pictured above): 4g fat, 31g carbs, 36g protein

 

Pizza Grilled Cheese

 

A delicious, unique lunch that will leave you satisfied and in disbelief you’re dieting.

pizza grilled cheese iifym meal ideas

Recipe:

  • 4 oz chicken breast, cooked
  • 7 slices turkey pepperoni
  • 1/4 cup marinara sauce
  • 1 slice 2% provolone cheese
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Cooking spray

Heat up a pan on medium heat. While the pan is getting hot assemble your grilled cheese. First spoon the serving of marinara on each slice of bread, then add the chicken, pepperoni, and cheese. I sprinkled a little Italian seasoning on as well. Spray your pan and cook your grilled cheese sandwich until golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side. Make sure the cheese is melted. Enjoy!

Macros: 11g fat, 27g carbs, 47g protein

Baked Chicken Parmesan

 

One of my FAVORITE dishes made lighter. I’m a happy girl and the whole family loved it! That’s always a plus. 🙂

baked chicken parm iifym mealideas

Recipe:

  • 1lb chicken breast, I took 2 breasts and sliced in half to make 4 cutlets
  • 1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup low fat shredded mozzarella
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • Cooking spray

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Put both the breadcrumbs and egg whites in two separate bowls. First dip the chicken into the egg white, then into the breadcrumb mixture, and lay on a lightly sprayed oven tray. Repeat until all chicken is breaded. Give the chicken a light spray on top and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and spoon marinara sauce over chicken as well as 1/8 cup cheese. Put back in the oven another 5 minutes, or until cheese is golden brown. Enjoy with whole grain pasta or if you’re low on carbs use spaghetti squash. Yum!

Macros (for each chicken cutlet, including marinara and cheese): 7g fat, 12g carb, 31g protein

The Secret to Perfect Protein Oatmeal

There is an art to protein oatmeal. So many people ask me how to make it and truth is, it’s super easy! You toss in a scoop of protein powder into your cooked oats and bam! It’s protein oatmeal. But there are some guidelines to follow to get it to mix well…

protein oatmeal iifym

Recipe:

  • 1 servings old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup water (or milk)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 scoop protein powder (I use Optimum Nutrition vanilla ice cream whey)
  • 100g apple, chopped
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter

Cook your oats either on the stove or in the microwave following the label instructions. I always use the microwave as to not dirty a pan. Now here’s the first trick, LET IT COOL! Adding protein powder in while it’s still pipping hot will cause the protein powder to start cooking and turn it into a cake. I let the oatmeal rest for about 3 minutes and then I add in my protein powder. The next trick is to use the right protein powder so it doesn’t get chalky, Optimum Nutrition works pretty well especially the double chocolate. Mix mix mix! Now for the final tip. At first it may look like you’re going to need more liquid but mix the protein powder fully into the oatmeal before deciding to add more. Usually it doesn’t need it! Once it’s all mixed in add your apples, ground cinnamon, and peanut butter. Yum!

Macros (including all toppings): 10g fat, 38g carbs, 33g protein

Cheeseburger Nacho Fries

I’m obsessed with cheeseburgers, mkay? Cheeseburger soup, wontons, nachos.. bring it on! This was actually a random creation I threw together because I had a limited amount of fat and carbs left and an equally limited fridge, but it ended up being delicious!

cheeseburger nachos iifym

Recipe:

  • 4 oz lean ground beef, browned & seasoned to liking
  • 50g white onion, diced
  • 2 servings Alexia 98 fat free crinkle fries
  • 1 serving reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Ketchup
  • Greek yogurt, 0% fat plain

Cook fries according to packaging and brown beef in a pan. Once fries are done top with cheese and throw back in the oven for 2-3 mins (keep an eye on it!). Take out, top with your serving of beef, and all other topping. Enjoy!!

Macros (does not include Greek yogurt, does include 1 serving of ketchup): 498 calories14g fat, 48g carbs, 45g protein

 

Ham & Cheddar Breakfast Quesadillas

Almost always I start the day with protein oatmeal. It’s easy to make, loaded with protein, and keeps me full for a long time (fiber, baby!). But that gets boring. So I shook things up today and ended up with this delicious quesadilla packed with even more fiber than oats!

breakfast quesadilla iifym

Recipe:

  • 1 serving deli ham, diced
  • 1 egg and 2 egg whites scrambled (I do this in my microwave egg dish for more convenience)
  • 1/2 serving reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 La Tortilla Factory low carb/high fiber wrap (any brand will work)

Cook eggs and add in ham once the eggs are done to warm it up. Add the eggs and ham into half of the high fiber wrap and sprinkle over the cheese. Fold and either cook on a pan with a bit of cooking spray or throw it in a toaster oven. Remember, cooking spray still has fat in it! Nobody uses a .3 sec spray!

Macros (not including cooking spray): 12g fat, 12g carbs, 37g protein, 9g fiber

Macro-Friendly Bacon Cheeseburger Soup

macro-friendly cheeseburger soupI cooked this in the slow cooker and it was friggin delicious. Not going to lie, I was kinda procrastinating making this but it was really simple.

Recipe:

  • 1lb lean ground beef, cooked and drained
  • Salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup low fat milk
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 8 oz can Rotel tomatoes drained
  • 16 oz 2% Velveeta cheese
  • 12 oz Russet potatoes, cubed
  • Bacon crumbles (optional, not accounted for in macros)

Toss all prepped ingredients except Velveeta and bacon in slow cooker and set on low for 8 hours. When there’s about 2 hours left cube the Velveeta and stir in. Before serving crumble bacon on top. I also topped with Greek yogurt and shredded cheddar cheese (not accounted in macros). Viola!

Macros (per serving of about 1 and 1/2 cups, recipe makes 9 servings): 203 calories, 6g fat, 16g carbs, 20g protein

No Bake Pumpkin Protein Cheesecake

The recipe is taken from Skinnytaste’s pumpkin protein cheesecake and I simply added a scoop protein powder. It turned out great!!! I didn’t tell anyone there was protein in it and no one even knew, the whole pie was gone in one night. 🙂 Next time I’m going to go for 2 scoops and see if it blends well.

no bake pumpkin protein cheesecake

Recipe:

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 8 oz 1/3 fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 4 oz fat free whipped cream
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 chocolate graham crust
  • 1 scoop protein powder

Mix softened cream cheese, brown sugar, spices, vanillas, and pumpkin using an electric blender or by hand. Once it’s smooth add in the scoop of protein powder, then fold in your whipped cream. Chill in graham crust for a few hours and enjoy!

Macros (per serving of 8): 198 calories, 11g fat, 20g carbohydrates, 6g protein

Macro Friendly Chicken Noodle Soup

I couldn’t resist sharing this chicken noodle soup because it’s PACKED with protein at only 3g fat, 10g carbs, and 31g protein per serving! It’s just like any other chicken noodle soup but I doubled the meat & liquid. So filling and delicious!

chicken noodle soup iifym recipe

First chop veggies and add into the slow cooker. Then add your chicken, broth, and seasoning. Cook on low for 8 hours.

chickennoodle2

After 7.5 hours pull chicken out, shred, and throw back in. Add the dry noodles and allow to cook another 30 minutes.

chickennoodlesoup

Recipe:

  • 1 and 1/2 32 oz contained chicken broth (I used Pacific’s organic brand)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 cups carrots, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cup egg noodles
  • 2lbs chicken breast (could easily use a cheaper part of chicken)
  • Seasoning (I used salt, pepper, and a little ginger)

First chop veggies and add into the slow cooker. Then add your chicken, broth, and seasoning. Cook on low for 8 hours. After 7.5 hours pull chicken out, shred, and throw back in. Add the dry noodles and allow to cook another 30 minutes. Enjoy!

Macros (per serving of 8, about 2 cups): 187 calories, 3g fat, 10g carbs, 31g protein

macro friendly chicken noodle soup iifym recipe

Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowls

slower cooker chicken bowls iifym

These burrito bowls are packed with protein at 34g but only 19g carbs and 8g fat for a total of 294 calories! Plus, all you have to do is dump the ingredients in the slow cooker before work and it’s ready to go after! Especially if you use the Ready Rice. 🙂

Recipe:

  • 2lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 8 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup corn, drained and rinsed
  • 8 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cups cooked rice of choice (I used Uncle Ben’s ready rice, 1 cup if dry)
  • 1 cup reduced fat Mexican shredded cheese
  • Seasoning of choice (I used salt, pepper, cumin, red pepper, and garlic powder)
  • Garnish of choice (I used avocado and cilantro, not included in macros)

Throw all ingredients in the slow cooker accept for the rice and cheese. Add in a cup of water or broth, stir ingredients, and set on low for 8 hours. If you’re using dry rice cook rice about 30 mins before the slow cooker is ready. Top with cheese when garnishing. Would be great garnished with sour cream, guacamole, salsa, or crushed up tortilla chips.

Macros (yields about 6, 2 cup servings, includes rice & cheese): 270 calories, 6g fat, 20g carbs, 34g protein, 3g fiber