Carrot cake cookies that are macro friendly, perfectly soft with the right amount of spice and hint of orange, freeze well and only 53 calories each?! Yes I’ll have another, please!  A recipe success x100 and they’re super simple to throw together…

A big pet peeve of mine is stumbling upon a cookie recipe labeled as “healthy.”   Usually the recipe contains copious amounts of things like almond butter, honey, oats and dark chocolate to name a few.  People believe that because these are “clean” or  use “natural” ingredients that they can consume them freely.  Well I’m here to tell you, those recipes are often HUGE calorie bombs, high in carbs and fat.  If you’re trying to lose weight, creating a calorie deficit is key and you CAN overeat on the “healthy” stuff.

With that said these carrot cake cookies come in at only 53 calories a piece with 2.1g fat, 7.3g carbs and 1.2g protein and they’re DELICIOUS!!  I will warn you though…you can’t eat just one.  “NEVER have I ever…eaten one just one homemade cookie.”  Drink!  (if you’ve not seen the Big Bang Theory episode where they play Never Have I Ever….look it up.  cry with laughter funny)

Enjoy a carrot cake cookie or two with breakfast, pack some for a pre-workout, add them as a treat to your work lunch, or hide in the pantry and eat them so your kids don’t know you have cookies.  They’re great with coffee too!

Just go make them already so I’m not talking to myself.  Or go buy what you need to make them.  Or borrow ingredients from your neighbor. And if you’re super weird and don’t like carrot cake then share this recipe with someone who’s normal and would appreciate it.

 

Macro Friendly Carrot Cake Cookies!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (250g) shredded carrots
  • 1/4 c. + 2 TB brown sugar
  • 4TB. butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp grated orange rind
  • 2TB. unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup all purpose white flour
  • 1/2 cup kodiak cakes (protein buttermilk pancake mix)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder

Instructions

  1. Using a food processor with grater attachment (or handheld grater on medium blade side) shred carrots and add to a large mixing bowl along with brown sugar and melted butter. Stir to combine.
  2. Next, add grated orange rind, applesauce, vanilla extract and egg and stir until thoroughly combined.
  3. In a small mixing bowl add flour, cinnamon, baking soda and baking powder. Gently stir then add to bowl with wet mixture. You got it...stir it again to combine.
  4. Drop by rounded spoonful or 1" cookie scoop onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake at 350* for 8-9 minutes.
  5. Makes approximately 24 cookies. They freeze really well too! Allow to cool completely then store in freezer approved ziplock bag. Heat for 20 seconds and enjoy!
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Over the past year we’ve battered, breaded, and fried a lot of fresh crappie.  But, these cajun crappie cakes elicited a high five of ultimate approval after taking one bite.  And in case you’re wondering…we don’t normally high five at dinner time over recipe accomplishments. Although, I could get used to that.

Anyways, the flavor of these crappie cakes were out of this world.

My hubby has become quite the crappie slayer at Caesar’s Creek.  He recently had the opportunity to take a guided trip on Grenada Lake in Mississippi and brought us home some huge slabs.  I’m hearing murmurs of a fall trip brewing already.

Perhaps the best kitchen appliance we bought over the years has been our vacuum sealer.  We bagged and sealed over 5lbs of crappie from his trip.  However, we’ll be using these big filets for our favorite battered and fried version!

So this recipe came from a youtube video my hubby found posted by Outdoor Life.  I changed it up ever so slightly with the  addition of some panko breadcrumbs and additional parsley.

You start out by boiling the crappie filets for 2 minutes then breaking them up slightly after they’ve cooled.  I’ve got the wet mixture ready to go as well as some finely chopped parsley. 

homemade crappie cakes

After tossing everything in the bowl it’s time to make the crappie cakes.  Crappie-patties is what my kids call them in honor of their beloved Spongebob from younger years.  (glad that’s behind us)

We weighed out roughly 1lb of fish and it yielded 7 thick patties.  They’re very filling!!  Both hubby and I managed to barely finish two.

crappie cajun cakes

At first I was worried they weren’t going to hold up when it was time to flip them, but they held up beautifully.  Since the fish is already cooked in the boiling step, it’s really just a matter of letting them get evenly browned on both sides and allow them to heat through.

fried crappie cakes

What I also love about this crappie cake recipe is the house didn’t have an overpowering smell of fish.  Look at how delicious these look…

fried crappie cakes

When it was time to serve them up, we just squeezed a little extra lemon overtop!  No tartar sauce needed.

I’m sure this recipe could be used with other white fish that doesn’t easily get tough from cooking.  Of course if you’re experienced with crab, this recipe would make great crab cakes too.

 

Grab a beer, give em’ a try and lemme know what you think!

 

Cajun Crappie Cakes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb crappie filets
  • 1/4 cup light mayo
  • 1 TB dijon mustard (not the grainy kind)
  • 1.5 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
  • few dashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • salt to taste
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup italian herb seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2-3 TB finely chopped fresh parsley
  • Canola oil for frying

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan bring some water to a boil, enough to cover the fish. When water comes to a boil, add crappie filets and allow to cook for 2 minutes or until opaque.
  2. Remove with a slotted spoon to a colander and allow to drain and cool slightly.
  3. Once cooled gently chop into smaller pieces and set aside.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl add mayo, dijon, Old Bay Seasoning, lemon juice, worcestershire sauce, salt and egg. Stir to combine all ingredients then add chopped crappie filets. Gently toss to incorporate then add breadcrumbs and parsley. Stir until everything just comes together.
  5. Assemble crappie cakes and set aside.
  6. Heat enough oil a large skillet, to just cover the bottom, over medium-high heat.
  7. Add crappie cakes to preheated oil and cook about 2-3 minutes per side or until evenly browned.
  8. Serve with extra lemon for squeezing overtop!
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Fish/Seafood

A recent conversation among my fitness peers revealed that many of us at one point or another struggle with wasting food.  This isn’t the type of wasting food that comes from forgetting leftovers in the back of your fridge.  (black beans are the worst)

What we were talking about is the struggle we’ve faced to not finish the last few bites our kids leave behind. We simply dislike watching good food go to waste. But is there more to it than that? Yes, and we’ll uncover more in Part 2.

My son never eats his pizza all the way to the crust and sometimes he leaves a chunk of donut behind.  If I said I wasn’t guilty of finishing it off for him, that’d be a big fat lie. Oh, and that 2nd muffin he can’t finish…allow me to help with that…

The list of things mentioned that we’re most guilty for finishing include (but is not limited to):

Pizza Crust
Pop Tart Crust/Corners
Uneaten chips/goldfish/graham crackers
Pancakes, Sausage
Macaroni and cheese
Uneaten chicken nuggets
Fries, Tator Tots
Muffin or biscuit halves
Cake,brownie, donut “crumbs”

Well if you’re sitting there thinking  “Ya I do that, so what?”  Well maybe it’s never been a concern to you or perhaps you’re already good at creating balance in your week.  That’s awesome!  But, for the sake of the blog post, it appears many I coach and talk to are trying to adopt better eating habits, lose or maintain weight, and those pesky leftovers can be haunting. It’s simply a habit we want to have better control over. 

So here’s where the mantra “Pennies and Crumbs” comes in play:

First let’s look at what pennies refers to:

Based on conversations I’ve had, I can speculate that some people struggle wasting uneaten food (the “crumbs”) because they don’t want to see money wasted.  Yet another side of the struggle seems to be a deep-rooted  ‘clear our plate’ mentality we were brought up with… among other similar preached table manners. (And a third reason I’m saving for Part 2)

Now, I’m not suggesting you abandon your budget or change your parenting ways.  Simply that when trying to refrain from eating the “crumbs” it helps to put it in perspective that it’s just pennies.  

It cost you pennies to throw away that pizza crust.  Pennies to toss the last fries in the trash.  Pennies to scrape a few bites of macaroni and cheese down the drain.

Again, this isn’t referring to uneaten MEALS left behind at restaurants or perfectly good partially eaten food that can be put away for later.  I’m talking CRUMBS that are worth PENNIES. 

A few “crumbs” here and there are probably pretty meaningless.  I mean what’s life without a few bites of  leftover macaroni? Or sampling that cookie your kid didn’t finish?  But if it’s habitual overeating after you’ve already consumed your meal, that is the concern. Like eating 3 slices of pizza and being content, but then going on to polish off the crust on your kids plate. 

Let’s look at one more scenario often played out in my family:

Large family gatherings tend to leave a lot of leftover food.  But there’s usually a few things lingering that don’t warrant enough to dirty a tupperware container.  So we plead with everyone to make room and just finish these last few pieces of XYZ.  Why? We simply don’t want to waste it, so SOMEONE should eat it. 

Well you ultimately decide…  

If you’re struggling in this area or having trouble seeing results, then try telling yourself it’s “Pennies and Crumbs.”  

fitness quote mantra

 

***Part 2 will dig into the science/evidence based studies on hunger and the #1 thing you can do to help stick to your diet goals. 

 

NUTRITION/MACROS

Asian Turkey Slaw could be classified as easy, addicting-ly delicious… yet perhaps doesn’t yield the most beautiful presentation.

If I had a nice baguette or breadstick to accompanying it maybe that would make it a bit sexier in appeal, but I don’t buy baguettes nor do I have any breadsticks on hand.

Moving on…

So this Asian Turkey Slaw recipe has been around forever most commonly known as “crack slaw.”  Back to that addicting-ly (<<that really should be a word) delicious part. I do not condone crack usage I’m merely pointing out how this slaw got it’s name.  Many recipes call for sesame oil, but I omit it to limit the fat and quite frankly I find it overpowering.

I use a bag of Asian coleslaw, hence the name “Asian Turkey Slaw” (savoy cabbage, green cabbage, carrots, celery and cilantro) from Costco.  I’ve also used other varieties that include kale or just the traditional bagged coleslaw everyone knows and it’s all good.

I’m working on a new FREE ebook that will include a mix of recipes including the total servings, calories, and macro breakdown as shown above.

The first one includes a variety of dishes that are under 500 calories (I think).  Many recipes are ones that I’ve shared here before but now with the nutritional information provided in a handy download you can reference for meal planning. Future posts will talk more about macros and why I include the info.  Questions in the meantime, hit me up!

I’m already working on compiling additional recipes for future ebooks that will include breakfast and snacks designed to give you some fresh ideas.

 

Now, print this recipe and start making some Asian Turkey Slaw!

Asian Turkey Slaw – 20 minute meal!

Ingredients

  • 1lb 93% lean ground turkey
  • 4 cups slaw mix of your choice (not the sauce, just the cabbage stuff!)
  • 2 TB lite soy sauce
  • 4 tsp sriracha sauce (I use Trader Joe's brand which is not as spicy)
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tsp rice wine vinegar (or about a capful, let's be honest)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3 TB chopped green onion
  • chopped cilantro (as garnish or in dish if slaw mix doesn't include it)

Instructions

  1. Brown turkey in a large skillet and drain any excess liquid/grease. Add garlic, ginger, soy sauce and vinegar stirring to combine.
  2. Add 4 cups slaw mix and cilantro if desired stirring over medium high heat until desired tenderness of slaw is reached, about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Serve with green onions on top!
  4. Serves 4.
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Turkey