Low Carb, High Protein Make-ahead Zucchini Fritters.

Need an easy grab and go breakfast when the morning rush got you like whoa? I got you covered with these make ahead low carb high protein zucchini fritters.

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These zucchini fritters make for an easy on the go breakfast option.

These make-ahead zuke fritters are not only great straight out of the pan they are also pretty delicious cold from the fridge the next day. (And the day after that too!)

You can eat them as they are (may I reccomend a sprinkle of salt and dash of hot sauce?) or as a bun for a sausage patty. I personally eat them alone, one handed. Usually while rushing to get my oldest to the bus stop on time.

They can make a nice lunch too. As an accompaniment to a BAS salad or bowl of soup.

My favorite part of them is their volume.  One serving is eight fritters. Yes, EIGHT! They make me feel like I am eating much more than I am, helping to keep my full for hours.  If 8 fritters seems like too much for you, no problem! Just have a half serving.

Alright, let’s get to it:

 

Low Carb, High protein Zucchini Fritters
  • 2 Tb coconut flour
  • 5 eggs
  • 3 TB egg white
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp onion
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 large zucchinis, grated (should be about 4 cups)

 

  1. After grating the zucchini, using a paper towel squeeze out the excess water. (The drier you can get it the better).
  2. Using a whisk (or fork) beat the eggs, whites, coconut flour, garlic powder, onion powder and salt and pepper.  (The coconut flour will want to clump, just keep whisking).
  3. Heat a large skillet over med high heat and spritz with cooking spray.
  4. Using a ¼ cup OR an ice cream scoop, scoop and put in hot pan. Light press them out, into a 4 in pancake. (my skillet can only hold 4 at a time, so plan to be batch cooking).
  5. Cook for 3-4 mins per side.
  6. When done, set on paper towel to cool. If storing, wait till fully cooled. Blot again with paper towel and store in fridge for 3-4 days.

Makes 16 4 inch fritters.

Nutrition for 8 (YES, that’s right I said EIGHT fritters): Calories: 260 Fat:14g Carbs: 12g Protein: 22g

 

Inspired by Zucchini Pancakes in Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo.

 

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Quick and Easy on the Go Protein

It happens to be back to school time around these parts, and I know (first-hand) how chaotic mornings can be.  So real quick I wanted to share with you one of my meal preps that help me have a healthy breakfast even when we are running late and no one can find their shoes. (Seriously, what is it with the shoes?!)

All you need is a carton of egg whites, silicon muffin tray, spray oil and an oven.  If you are a bulk store shopper (like at Costco or Sam’s) you can buy a case of egg whites and freeze them.  Then each week I just take out what you need.

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Easy peasy and versatile egg whites

These egg white muffins will cook in 15 minutes and will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for 5 is days.

These little unassuming things are incredibly versatile.  They are pretty bland, but that is part of what makes them so versatile.  If you wanted you can easily add fresh veggies or meat and cheese to them.

I personally like to put one or two on an English muffin with a slice of Canadian bacon and eat while sitting in the school carpool lane.  Sometimes I even enjoy them straight from the fridge with a generous sprinkle of salt.

You can also put them in a burrito, add to a sandwich, or smear them with avocado or hummus.

 

Each patty has only 17 calories with 4 grams of protein.

Easy Peasy Make Ahead Egg White Thingies
  • 1 12 oz carton liquid egg whites
  • Spray oil
  • Silicon muffin tray or silica muffin liners (I don’t recommend
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Spray silicon muffin tray (or regular tray with silicon liners) with spray oil.
  3. Pour equal amounts egg whites into each tray.Cook for 15-18 minutes. They are done with the tops are fully set (I prefer mine to start to get a little crispy around the edges.
  4. Remove from oven and let cool 5-10 minutes.  Once cool blot with paper towel and store in sealed container in t

Low Carb High Protein Make Ahead Lasagna Jars

These little lasagna jars are not only healthy and tasty but also incredibly easy to prepare. They make a great meal prep option.  They can be stored for months in the freezer or kept in the fridge for 3 days.  I personally like to keep a few in my freezer as an option for those days where things do not go as planned and I need a quick meal. Just knowing they are in there keeps me from ordering take out or going to a drive through.

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Instead of noodles, this recipe uses zucchini.  I found slicing the zucchini thinly gave it the best texture. You can use a mandoline slicer or a shop knife.

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While I used a jarred marinara (Amy’s brand) you could easily use homemade it you want.  Either way, make sure to pick a lower sodium and lower sugar option.

The most important aspect of this recipe is what you choose to store the lasagna in. If you plan to freeze these, make sure you use a freezable container. Also, it is helpful to use containers that are oven safe, that way they can go straight in the oven without dirtying another dish.   Wide mouth mason jars, Pyrex glass storage containers or Glasslock containers all work.  Just make sure you don’t put a frozen dish right in the hot oven, the abrupt temperature change can make the glass crack or shatter.

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Makes 6 pint sized mason jar servings.

  • 1 lb extra lean (99% lean) ground turkey
  • ½ onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves, minced
  • 1 jar Marinara Pasta Sauce (look for a lower sodium and lower sugar variety, I like Amy’s brand)
  • 3 Tb egg white
  • 1 cup low fat cottage cheese
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • ¾ cup part skim shredded mozzarella
  • chopped fresh basil

 

  1. Using a mandoline, thinly slice the zucchini. You can slice by hand, but the thinner the better.
  2. Spritz large skillet with cooking oil and sauté onion till translucent.
  3. Add ground turkey and brown.
  4. Add minced garlic, and cook for 1 min.
  5. Pour in marina sauce
  6. Meanwhile in a small bowl, combine cottage cheese and egg white.

Assembling jars

  1. Line up 6 containers. And layer half the zucchini slices in the bottom of the jars.
  2. Next add cottage cheese mixture to each jar.
  3. Then add meat and sauce.
  4. Repeat with remaining cottage cheese and then sauce mixture.
  5. Top with half the zucchini slices.
  6. If you plan to cook them immediately, top with cheese, about 2 Tb per jar, and bake at 350 for 15 mins. Or until the mixture is bubbly and the cheese is melted.Otherwise store in the fridge for 3 days or in the freezer for 3 months.Top with cheese before cooking. (And I recommend defrosting before cooking if frozen.) You can bake for 20 minutes at 350. Or use the microwave (keep in mind the cheese won’t get all crispy and brown in microwave)
  7. Sprinkle with fresh basil and enjoy!

Nutrition for 1/6 the recipe:

Calories: 238 Fat: 8 grams Carbohydrates: 12 grams Protien:31 grams

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Lunch Hack

Almost every day I eat the exact same thing for lunch.  Bagged Salad.  They are so versatile and easy! They can be thrown together in under 5 mins and can easily be made ahead of time. I sometime make up 3 or 4 salads in mason jars to get me through the week.   I don’t always have time to prep some exotic exciting and nutritious lunch so I rely heavily on these salads.

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The chopped variety are hands down my favorites.  I find they tend to hold up well when prepped ahead of time then the more delicate salad greens, and they offer different veggie combinations, instead of the standard romaine lettuce.  The sweet kale and Brussels sprouts variety is my absolute favorite.  It comes with chopped (actually it mostly shredded) kale, Brussels sprouts and cabbage with a poppy dressing and dried cranberry and pumpkin seed topping.  The cruciferous veggies (kale, Brussels sprouts and cabbage) supply a healthy amount of vitamin a, c, k and folate.  Also, when eaten raw like in this salad, they are high in sulforaphane. Sulforaphane is a potent phytochemical that research has shown to have a positive effect on cancer and certain neurodegenerative diseases.

I’ve been able to find these salads at my local grocery store, Target and Costco.  All different brands, but comparable in taste and nutritional breakdown. Obviously the Costco sized one is the largest, but I’ve never had a problem finishing it before it has gone bad.

I just add in my own protein and croutons (because a salad MUST have crunch). Most nights, when making dinner, I cook an extra serving of protein (chicken breast or thighs, pork chops, steaks, etc.) and then I use the left over protein for the next day’s salad.   When assembling the salads, I tend to use a higher veggie to dressing/topping ratio then the bag recommends. Helping keep the fat and sugar content lower.  So if the bag says it contains 4 servings, for me that is usually 2-3 servings of veggies, and I just save the dressing and toppings for another salad.

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Mason jar salad for meal prep using bagged salad.

For meal prepping, layer these salads in a mason jar.  (Like I talked about here) First put the dressing in, then the salad mix (if using the hardier Brussel sprout and kale mix. If using more delicate greens, layer them last), next put in your protein, then top with the cranberries and seeds. Last but not least, put in whatever you need for crunch (I always add in 10 croutons).  Lunch is made! In under 5 minutes and if you meal prepped, it’s done for the week.

 

 

 

Make Ahead Mason Jar Lunches

Healthy lunches are hard when you are busy or not at home during the day.  It’s just too easy to run to the café or a nearby restaurant to grab something quick. So this week I have been I I would experimenting with some healthy lunches that you can make ahead of time.

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Mason Jar Cobb Salad

Food prep in mason jars has been all the rage lately.  My breakfast overnight oats in mason jars is one of my most popular recipes.  So I thought I would test some of these mason jar salads out and see if they held up to the hype.  Overall I was fairly impressed.   You can make a bunch on one day, vary the ingredients so you don’t get bored and they keep for a couple days in the fridge.

They last about 3-5 days in the fridge (to be honest, I feel 5 days is kind of stretching it. I would stick closer to 3.) The trick in making them is how you layer them. The order of ingredients is very important to keep everything delicious and not soggy.

Below are the basic instructions to making your own jars. By following these basic instructions, you can easily come up with your own versions. These are incredibly customizable and just like the overnight oats you can easily adjust for your own tastes.  I have also included a couple recipes I tested out below, a Cobb salad and a basic salad with quinoa.  (I am also testing out a zucchini noodle and quinoa salad.  If it is a success look for that recipe in a few days!)

You need wide mouth quart size mason jars. The pint size it just too small. The regular mouth could work, but it is just easier and less messy with the wide mouth.

  1. Dressing goes on the bottom. This helps keep the more delicate or absorbable ingredients from getting soggy.  Generally, I use 1-2 tablespoons.  But if you are dressing fanatic you can add more. Can adjust to your personal taste preferences.
  2. Layer the ingredients. After the dressing add the heaviest NON ABSORBANT ingredients, like carrots or cucumbers. Next add in any grains, beans or pasta. Then add in any cheese or protein. Next add in any soft veggies or fruit, like cut strawberries or avocado (if you are making these more than 24 hrs. ahead of time I would wait and add these the day of.) On top of these place any nuts, seeds or light grains (like quinoa! I layered the quinoa above the dressing in my recipe below and it ended up soaking up most of the dressing, so make sure you layer it up higher.) Last but not least, add the salad greens. When adding your greens, gently push everything down.  You want it fairly compacted to keep the layers mixing.
  3. Add perishables the day off. Things like avocado or fruit (or maybe hard boiled eggs) need to be added the day of (or at most the day before) I found in my experiments that anything more than 24 hrs. the avocado started to brown and the fruit started to break down.
  4. When it is time to eat: shake, shake, shake, shake it off. (sorry couldn’t help myself there). But seriously you need to really shake it up good.  Then pour onto a large plate or bowl and enjoy.  Technically you could eat it straight from the jar, but every time I did that I ended up making a huge mess. That might be my problem though.

 

After constructing the salads, tightly cap and store in the fridge.  When transporting them, try to keep them as up right as possible.  That will keep the dressing from mixing with the other ingredients.

 

Mason Jar Cobb Salad

Makes 2 quart jars

  • 2 Tb your favorite Ranch (I used Bolthouse)
  • 2 strips bacon
  • 10 grape tomatoes
  • ¼ cup grated carrots
  • ¼ cup sliced cucumber
  • 2 ounces avocado, diced
  • 2 large hard-boiled eggs, diced
  • 4 ounces cooked or grilled chicken breast, diced
  • 1/2 ounce blue cheese
  • 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce

Layer everything in the mason jar in the order listed above.  Pack it tightly and secure lid.  Will last 24 hrs. as is, if making ahead of time add the avocado and egg in no more than 24 hrs. in advance.  When it’s time to eat, shake it up really well and pour on to large plate.

nutrition:

calories: 357 fat:18 carbs:18 Protein: 30

 

Quinoa salad Jar

  • 1 Tb Vinaigrette*
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes
  • ¼ cup garbanzo beans
  • 1.5 oz. grilled chicken breast
  • ¼ cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 hard-boiled egg, chopped
  • 1 oz. avocado
  • 2 cups salad greens

Layer everything in the mason jar in the order listed above.  Pack it tightly and secure lid.  Will last 24 hrs. as is, if making ahead of time add the avocado and egg in no more than 24 hrs. in advance.  When it’s time to eat, shake it up really well and pour on to large plate.

(In the pictures, you’ll notice I layered the quinoa right above the dressing.  I don’t recommend doing this.  The quinoa absorbed a lot of the dressing and got soggy.  By layering it up higher, it will stay dry and fluffy) *I used a basic homemade vinaigrette.

Nutrition:

Calories: 380 Fat: 11 carbs:39 Protein: 32