Tag: Gluten Free

Check out this healthy -ish protein rich Egg Salad Recipe

I polled you all in my stories and was interested to learn that 100% of you ate egg salad!  All different kinds of ways too – some simply mashed with avocado, others mash eggs with a bit of mayo, whether for breakfast or for lunch, you all love your egg salad.  And I do too.  

What’s not to love, it holds well, tastes great, and is protein rich – fitting into many eating patterns including low carb, diabetic, keto and of course, for those of us carb cycling in the FASTer Way.  I think there’s a misconception though: That egg salad is unhealthy because most creamy salads are loaded with fat. And lets be honest, a lot of time they are!  But with a few thoughtful swaps, and measurements (don’t eyeball the mayo!) you can create an easy egg salad recipe that has great flavor and will keep you on your health journey.

Jump to Recipe

Why Choose Egg Salad?

Egg salad is an excellent source of protein, thanks to the egg whites and Greek yogurt. It’s also packed with essential vitamins and minerals like B vitamins, vitamin D, and selenium. By substituting mayonnaise with plain Greek yogurt, you reduce the fat content while still achieving that creamy texture we all love. Plus, using lots of fresh herbs and crunchy veggies adds fiber and antioxidants, and most importantly flavor.  

Ingredients and substitutions:

  • Hard-boiled eggs – This is really the star of the show, I think you could substitute with possibly chickpeas or extra firm tofu but would like to test that for you first. What makes this a great no-cook recipe is that you can either boil your own eggs, or purchase them pre-boiled at nearly every grocery store.
  • Plain Greek yogurt – I love full fat Greek yogurt, but use whatever you have. Sour cream, cottage cheese or simply more mayo works here too.  
  • Mayo – I kept this in to hold onto that traditional egg salad flavor.  A little mayo goes a long way for extra flavor and a little creaminess! You can use any of the yogurt substitutions if you want to omit.  
  • Dijon mustard – You can sub any mustard you have on hand, even yellow mustard 
  • Parsley, fresh dill, or chives – if you don’t have fresh use a teaspoon of dried herbs.  
  • Red onion – green onions or fresh chives would work well too.  If you don’t have red onion all together, you can use celery to get a similar crunch.  
  • Capers – these are optional but add a great brininess and pop of bright flavor.
  • Black pepper and kosher salt to taste – sea salt is fine too, I just prefer kosher!
three brown eggs in bowl

Instructions:

  1. Boil Eggs:
  • Place eggs in a large bowl.
  • Fill the bowl with hot water until the eggs are covered.
  • Bring the water to a rolling boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes to achieve perfect hard-boiled eggs.
  • For an easier method, you can use an Instant Pot or air fryer to make hard-boiled eggs.
  1. Cool the Eggs:
  • Transfer the boiled eggs to an ice bath (a bowl filled with cold water and ice) to cool them quickly.
  • Once cooled, peel the eggs and chop them into small pieces.
  1. Mix the Ingredients:
  • In a separate bowl, combine the chopped eggs, Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard, red onion, and fresh herbs.
  • If using, add capers.
  • Season with fresh cracked black pepper and sea salt to taste.
  1. Serve and Enjoy:
  • Serve your delicious egg salad in romaine lettuce cups for a low-carb option or on slices of whole-grain bread for a more traditional egg salad sandwich.
  • For a nice crunch, add some fresh celery or bell pepper pieces.
  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

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Health Benefits

High Protein Content

Our healthy egg salad recipe is rich in protein, aiding in muscle repair and growth. The combination of eggs and Greek yogurt provides a complete protein source, making it an excellent choice for those looking to increase their protein intake.

Essential Vitamins and Minerals

Eggs are loaded with B vitamins, vitamin D, and selenium, all of which are crucial for maintaining overall health and well-being. These nutrients support energy production, immune function, and bone health.

Heart-Healthy Option

By using Dijon mustard and capers, you add depth of flavor without the need for additional salt. 

Fresh Herbs and Veggies

Incorporating fresh parsley, dill, chives, and crunchy veggies like celery and bell pepper adds fiber and antioxidants. These components promote digestive health and provide a bright, fresh flavor.

how to hard boil eggs pin

Different Ways to Enjoy Egg Salad

Egg salad is incredibly versatile and can be enjoyed in various ways:

  • Lettuce Wraps: Serve in romaine lettuce cups for a low-carb meal.
  • Whole Grain Bread: Create a classic healthy egg salad sandwich using slices of whole-grain bread and a dash of hot sauce.
  • Avocado Toast: Top your favorite avocado toast with a scoop of egg salad for added protein and flavor.

Meal Prep Made Easy

Egg salad is a great way to use up leftover hard-boiled eggs from Easter time or any meal prep session. Store your egg salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator, and it will stay fresh for up to three days. This makes it a convenient option for healthy lunches throughout the week.

With its high protein content and essential vitamins it’s a dish that aligns perfectly with a health-conscious lifestyle. Plus, the variety of ways to serve it ensures that you’ll never get bored.

Love this healthy egg salad recipe? Share your star rating and leave a comment below! For more delicious recipes and healthy eating tips, sign up for my newsletter and follow on social media.

About Me

I’m Melanie.

I’m a chef, registered dietitian, foodie, wife and mom.
If you’re looking for quick and healthy meal inspiration that supports your health goals while feeding the rest of your family (including the kiddoes) well, then you’ve come to the right place!

Melanie Marcus Selfie

Egg Salad Recipe

Quick and classic egg salad. High in protein too!
Course Main Course, Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 3
Calories 234 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 6 hard-boiled eggs chopped
  • 2 tbsp plain Greek yogurt I use full fat
  • 2 tbsp mayo
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp parsley dill, or chives
  • 1/4 cup red onion finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp capers optional
  • Fresh cracked black pepper and sea salt optional

Instructions
 

  • Combine all ingredients in bowl.
  • Let sit in fridge 20 minutes before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 234kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 14gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0.02gCholesterol: 377mgSodium: 244mgPotassium: 184mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 755IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 72mgIron: 1mg
Keyword no cook, quick
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Hands off air fryer pork tenderloin recipe

Aren’t most recipes made in the air fryer hands off?  That’s what I love so much about it. I was making this recipe last week when my husband walked in the house and commented how good it smelled.  Trust me, it is super delicious and packs a lot of flavor and uses simple ingredients without requiring a lot of attention which means you can focus on what else needs to get on the dinner table.  

It may just be the best way to make pork tenderloin.  

Jump to Recipe

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Lean pork tenderloin – Trim the silver skin from the tenderloin if there is any.  This marinade would work equally well with boneless pork chops or bone-in chops.  Just note the nutrition will be slightly higher in fat.  
  • Apple cider vinegar – Adds a tangy flavor that helps tenderize the meat.
  • Mustard – Ground mustard, (grainy mustard) works great here but you can use whatever you have on hand.
  • Garlic – I prefer to use fresh or frozen but garlic powder or even jarred will work.
  • Maple syrup – Balances the tanginess with a touch of sweetness. Brown sugar could be used in a pinch.  
  • Kosher salt – Tenderizes and brings out the flavor.
  • Rosemary – Fresh or dried, it adds an aromatic touch.

​Optional:  If you love onion, feel free to slice some, or even add onion powder if you have it. If you love the bite of black pepper, you can season with that as you like as well.  These ingredients, don’t add extra calories, so you can play around with the flavors that you like.  

Olive oil really isn’t necessary for this because we’re air frying.  

Step-by-Step Cooking Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the Pork

Start by trimming any excess fat or silver skin from your pork tenderloin. This ensures even cooking and prevents unwanted calories from fat.

Step 2: Marinate the Pork

In a small bowl, mix together apple cider vinegar, mustard, garlic, maple syrup, kosher salt and rosemary. Place the pork in a resealable bag or container and pour the marinade over it. Seal and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or overnight for best results.

Step 3: Preheat the Air Fryer

Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees F. You really want to be sure it’s preheated to get a proper cook.

Step 4: Cook the Pork

Remove the pork from the marinade and pat it dry with a paper towel. Place it in the air fryer basket in a single layer. Air fry the pork at 400 degrees F for about 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F. Use an instant-read thermometer to check the center of the meat for accurate cooking.

Step 5: Rest the Meat

Once cooked, remove the pork tenderloin from the air fryer and let it rest for 5-10 minutes. This helps the juices redistribute, ensuring a juicy, delicious pork chop every single time.

Serving Suggestions

  • Roasted or air-fried vegetables – Sweet potatoes, green beans, or cauliflower rice are great options.
  • Fresh green salad – A light vinaigrette complements the flavors beautifully.
  • Quinoa or wild rice pilaf – Compliment your protein with whole grain carbs to round out the meal.
  • Savory apple chutney – Or even apple sauce complements the pork’s flavors with a touch of sweetness.

One of my favorite sides this summer has been this celery salad – the kids even love it.  They also like to have pork with tater tots or sweet potato.  

Tips for the Best Pork Tenderloin

  • Use a meat thermometer – Ensuring the pork reaches the correct internal temperature is key to food safety. This may just be my most used piece of kitchen equipment!
  • Don’t skip the marinade – It’s one of my favorite ways to infuse the pork with flavor. Just 15 minutes is all it takes!
  • Preheat the air fryer – A preheated air fryer ensures even cooking.
  • Rest the meat – This step guarantees a clean plate every time.

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Nutrition and Macros

You may think pork is a no-no if you’re trying to keep calories low, but in reality, pork tenderloin is a lean cut of meat, meaning it has a low fat content and is lower in calories compared to other cuts of pork. This makes it an ideal choice for those who are trying to maintain a healthy diet. In fact, a 3-ounce serving of pork tenderloin contains only about 120 calories and 2.5 grams of fat.

It’s also high in protein, which can help keep you feeling fuller for longer periods of time and can aid in building and repairing muscle. And if you’re doing the FASTer Way with me, you know hitting your protein goals helps reduce cravings and prevent overeating.

It’s also a good source of essential vitamins and minerals such as iron, zinc, and B vitamins. These nutrients are important for maintaining overall health and can be lacking in certain restrictive diets.

This easy recipe is perfect for busy weeknights and will become one of your favorite air fryer recipes. If you try this recipe, and I hope you do, let me know!  

For more delicious recipes like my quick air fried donut holes, make sure to join my mailing list.  

Rosemary Garlic Pork Tenderloin

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 180 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 pounds lean pork tenderloin
  • 1.5 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp grainy mustard
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2.5 tsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp dried rosemary

Instructions
 

  • Mix together marinade ingredients and submerge pork for at least 15 minutes or overnight in fridge.
  • Pull pork out about 30 min before cooking.
  • Place in preheated air frier (400F) for about 20 minutes or until thermometer reads 145F.

Nutrition

Serving: 5ozCalories: 180kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 32gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.03gCholesterol: 98mgSodium: 911mgPotassium: 629mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 5IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 19mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

About Me

I’m Melanie.

I’m a chef, registered dietitian, foodie, wife and mom.
If you’re looking for quick and healthy meal inspiration that supports your health goals while feeding the rest of your family (including the kiddoes) well, then you’ve come to the right place!

Melanie Marcus Selfie

Step-By-Step Guide to make 3-ingredient banana ice cream

If you’re craving a creamy, guilt-free dessert that satisfies your sweet tooth, I have the recipe for you! This 3-ingredient banana ice cream comes together quickly and the best part is – you don’t need an ice cream maker!  With simple ingredients such as frozen bananas, a little milk, and your favorite flavorings, you’ll be serving this banana ice cream in minutes. 

Jump to Recipe

I’ve even made this with just bananas as a first food for my kids during the summer.  

Possible bonus, you’re kids will love it.  Shhhh, don’t tell them that it’s a healthier dessert.  

banana on white knit bag

Ingredients and substitutions

Frozen Bananas

Large whole bananas.  Overripe bananas work best.  Do not use room temperature bananas, the consistency will not have the texture of ice cream.  

Dairy of Choice

Options include cream, regular milk, coconut milk, coconut cream or almond milk. If you’re on the cottage cheese train, you can use that here too!   Or check out this recipe for cottage cheese ice cream. Greek yogurt can also be substituted if necessary.

Flavoring Agent

1-2 teaspoons; choose from cocoa powder, vanilla extract, or peanut butter

Equipment needed

All you need for this is a high speed blender or food processor to get that creamy soft serve consistency.  Vitamix blenders are a perfect tool to use if you have one.  A regular blender can work as well, you just may need to scrape side the sides a few times as you blend.  

Preparation Steps

Jump to Recipe

Step 1: Slice and Freeze the Bananas

  1. Slice the Bananas:  Start by peeling the bananas and slicing them into coins. Place the banana slices in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  2. Freeze Until Firm:  Freeze the banana slices until they are firm, which usually takes about 1-3 hours. If you find that you’ll be making this one on the fly, keep a stash of ripe large bananas in the freezer.  Just peel them first and freeze them at least overnight, or until you’re ready to use them.  

Step 2: Blend the Ingredients

  1. Add to Blender:  Once the banana slices are frozen, add them to a food processor or a high-powered blender. 
  2. Add Dairy and Flavoring Agent:  Pour in your chosen dairy (such as coconut milk) and add your preferred flavoring agent (like a teaspoon of vanilla extract or a dollop of peanut butter).
  3. Blend Until Smooth:  Pulse the mixture until the ingredients are combined. Then blend continuously until you achieve a smooth, creamy texture. You may need to scrape down the sides of the blender a few times to ensure everything is evenly mixed. This should only take a few minutes.  

Step 3: Enjoy or Store

  1. Serve Immediately: For a soft-serve consistency, enjoy your banana ice cream right away.
  2. Store for Later:  If you prefer a harder ice cream, transfer the mixture to a freezer-safe container and freeze for an additional 1-2 hours until it reaches your desired consistency.
Chocolate. Original public domain image

Flavor options for homemade banana ice cream:

  • Chocolate ice cream:  Add 2T cacao powder
  • Almond chocolate chip ice cream:  Make the basic recipe and then swirl in 2T almond butter and chocolate chips.  
  • Mint chocolate chip ice cream:  Add 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves to the banana mixture before blending.  Fold in chocolate chips before serving.  
  • Peanut butter swirl ice cream: Swirl in unsweetened creamy peanut butter before serving.
  • Vanilla ice cream:  Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract

Enhance any flavor by topping with a pinch of salt.  Flakey sea salt works best to give you a pop of flavor with each bite.  Let me know if you try these.  I’m excited to know which flavor combinations are your favorite.  

Serving Suggestions

Elevate your banana ice cream with these tasty additions:

  • Sprinkle chopped nuts or dark chocolate chips for extra crunch.
  • Drizzle honey or maple syrup for added sweetness.
  • Add fresh banana slices and a sprinkle of coconut flakes for a summery treat.

FAQ

How does it compare to real ice cream?   

While banana ice cream may not have the exact same texture and taste as traditional ice cream, it is a healthier alternative.  That said, if you use a few tablespoons of heavy cream or half and half, you will get a more traditional ice cream consistency and mouthfeel. 

Caloric Content

A typical serving of traditional ice cream can range from 200 to 300 calories or more, depending on the flavor and brand. In comparison, a serving of frozen blended banana usually contains around 100 calories, making it a lighter option.

Fat and Sugar Content

Traditional ice cream is rich in saturated fats and added sugars, contributing to higher cholesterol levels and increased risk of heart disease. On the other hand, frozen blended banana is fat-free and contains natural sugars, which offer a healthy energy boost without the crash.

Nutritional Benefits

Bananas are packed with beneficial nutrients such as potassium, vitamin C, and dietary fiber. These nutrients support heart health, boost the immune system, and aid in digestion. Traditional ice cream lacks these natural vitamins and minerals, instead often containing artificial additives and less nutritional value.

One serving of this dessert is just 125 calories, 2g protein, 1g fat, 31g carbs. Totally doable. Especially if you’re being mindful of macros, as we are in the FASTer Way.

Dietary Restrictions

For those with dietary restrictions, frozen blended banana is a versatile choice. It’s naturally vegan, gluten-free, and suitable for individuals with lactose intolerance, whereas traditional ice cream usually contains dairy and gluten, limiting its accessibility.

By choosing frozen blended banana over traditional ice cream, you can enjoy a delightful dessert that’s not only delicious but also aligns with a healthier lifestyle.

How do I know if my bananas are ripe?  

Bananas have several stages of ripeness.  For this recipe I recommend using yellow bananas that have some brown spots, or bananas that are entirely brown will offer the most sweetness.  Do not use green bananas for this homemade ice cream.  

Tips

Store for another day by pouring into an airtight container.  Smooth out into one layer and top with plastic wrap.  Push wrap down to the top layer of the ice cream so ice crystals don’t form.  Pop on the lid and store in the freezer.  

Creating this 3-ingredient banana ice cream is as easy as it is delicious. Whether you’re indulging in a soft-serve treat or enjoying a scoop of firmer ice cream, you’ll find this dessert to be a healthier alternative to traditional ice cream.

Banana Ice Cream

Save this healthy dessert for literally anytime you're in the mood for a sweet treat!
8 minutes
Total Time 8 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 2
Calories 125 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 high power blender food processor

Ingredients
  

  • 2 large bananas frozen
  • 1/4 cup almond milk or milk of choice
  • Vanilla or cocoa powder

Instructions
 

  • Freeze bananas, if not already frozen.
  • Add bananas and milk to the base of your Vitamix or food processor and blend on high until creamy and smooth. Add milk 1T at a time if more is needed to get the blender going.
  • Add flavoring agent of choice!

Nutrition

Serving: 2gCalories: 125kcalCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 2gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.2gSodium: 42mgPotassium: 487mgFiber: 4gSugar: 17gVitamin A: 87IUVitamin C: 12mgCalcium: 44mgIron: 0.4mg
Keyword dairy free, gluten free, healthy
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

About Me

I’m Melanie.

I’m a chef, registered dietitian, foodie, wife and mom.
If you’re looking for quick and healthy meal inspiration that supports your health goals while feeding the rest of your family (including the kiddoes) well, then you’ve come to the right place!

Melanie Marcus Selfie

Low-carb & delicious Cheesy Cabbage Pizza recipe

Who says pizza can’t be both delicious and healthy? Last night, I decided to put a creative spin on pizza by using cabbage as the crust.  

Cabbage as a pizza base may sound unusual, but these thick slices of low-carb deliciousness are not only satisfying but also packed with vitamin C, aiding weight loss (because they’re low calorie) and supporting immune systems thanks to their prebiotic fiber. Plus, it aligns perfectly with a whole foods approach to nutrition that I teach in my weight loss program – The FASTer Way to Fat Loss. The fact is, this unique take on pizza is perfect for your next week’s menu rotation—especially if you’re looking to keep things tasty and nutrient-rich.  Did I mention cabbage is likely the most affordable vegetable at the market?  

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Ingredients:

  • Thick slices of green cabbage or red cabbage (I’ve tried both and they’re great)
  • 1/4 cup marinara sauce or tomato sauce per slice(Recommended brand: Rao’s)
  • 1/2 oz shredded mozzarella cheese per slice
  • Toppings of choice (we like turkey pepperoni)
  • Olive oil spray
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional toppings: green onions, cherry tomatoes, garlic powder, fresh basil, mushrooms, pineapple and left over ham.  Sky’s the limit!  
Jump to Recipe
image of cabbage pizzas on sheet pan

Step-By-Step Guide:

Preparing Your Cabbage Base:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare your baking tray.
  2. Cut your red cabbage into 3/4 inch slice rounds that will form the bases of your pizza.
  3. Lay them on a baking sheet and spray each slice with olive oil.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to infuse the slices with flavor.
  5. Roast in the oven until they reach a delectable golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Adding the Toppings:

  1. Once the first roast is done, carefully flip over each cabbage steaks.
  2. Spoon 1/4 cup of the marinara sauce over each round, creating a tomato mixture that mirrors traditional pizza.
  3. Sprinkle each with 1/2 oz of finely shredded mozzarella cheese.
  4. Add the turkey pepperoni or any other bite-sized pieces of your preferred toppings.
  5. Optional: For a burst of fresh taste, add green onions, cherry tomatoes, and a sprinkle of garlic powder or oregano.
  6. Return to the oven and bake at medium heat for another 10-15 minutes or until the cheese bubbles into melted perfection.

Serving:

  1. Garnish with fresh basil leaves.
  2. Serve hot.
Pizzas portioned out on plate

Why Cabbage Pizza?

The beauty of this cabbage pizza lies in its simplicity. With only three core ingredients, it takes the hassle out of dinner prep. Cabbage is a powerhouse vegetable, making these pizzas ideal for those on a keto diet, low carb or even carb-cycling, providing essential nutrients with minimal g fat.  

Because we’re baking the cabbage rather than frying, it retains much of its nutritional value. And thanks to cabbage’s flexibility, it pairs beautifully with nearly any topping. 

If you’re in meal prep mode, these pizzas are convenient to reheat and can make great quick lunches throughout the week. Plus, for anyone interested in weight management without compromising on taste, swapping your traditional pizza base with cabbage might just be the tip you’ve been looking for.

Social media platforms like TikTok have sparked a trend for innovative, health-focused recipes, and this cabbage pizza is sure to join the ranks as a great recipe for low carb meals.

Remember, when it comes to cooking, the joy is in the experiment. Swap ingredients, try new toppings, and find what works best for you and your dietary needs.

How they fit into macros

One 3/4 inch pizza with 1/4 cup marinara and 1/2 oz mozzarella cheese provides:

107 Calories

8g Carbohydrate

3g Fiber

6g Fat

6g Protein

Log your toppings individually to customize for your macros!

Pizzas portioned out on plate

Cabbage Pizza

3 ingredients and simple. Need I say more?
Cook Time 4 minutes
Course Main Course
Servings 4
Calories 107 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Sheetpan lined

Ingredients
  

  • 1 head cabbage sliced into 3/4 inch pieces
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 2 oz mozzarella cheese shredded

Instructions
 

  • Lay cabbage slices onto sheet pan. Spray both sides with olive oil spray. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Bake at 400F for 20 minutes.
  • Flip cabbage and layer with sauce, cheese and toppings.
  • Cook for another 10-15 minutes until cheese is bubbly and melted.

Nutrition

Calories: 107kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 6gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 420mgPotassium: 579mgFiber: 3gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 583IUVitamin C: 87mgCalcium: 171mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

About Me

I’m Melanie.

I’m a chef, registered dietitian, foodie, wife and mom.
If you’re looking for quick and healthy meal inspiration that supports your health goals while feeding the rest of your family (including the kiddoes) well, then you’ve come to the right place!

Melanie Marcus Selfie

Why I eat leftover salmon straight from the fridge

Atlantic salmon is a weekly staple for us when it comes to healthy eating.  (I’ll save why this is my preference for another post!) It’s a delicious fish that can be prepared in a variety of ways whether you’re buying fresh or frozen salmon from the grocery store.  

Leftover salmon from the day before is delicious protein source. Have you ever tried eating cold salmon? Personally, I think it’s the best way to eat it for convenience, taste and avoiding that fishy smell! Read on, and I’ll explain 🙂

The fastest way to prepare salmon

Jump to Recipe

Before Kids

I used to roast fresh salmon or defrosted salmon in my toaster oven or in a 400 F oven.  I would remove any excess moisture with a paper towel, coat with a bit of olive oil spray, season with Seasonello and top with lemon slices and roast for 15-20 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish.  Still a great way to prepare salmon, (and I still do when cooking for a large crowd), but on a normal weeknight, every minute counts.

After Kids

While the above method seems pretty quick and painless, I now have even less time and this is BY FAR, my favorite way to prepare salmon – bonus my husband even likes it too!  

  1. Take a 6-8oz frozen salmon fillet out of packaging and place directly in 400F bucket air fryer.  
  2. Spray with olive oil spray, season with salt and pepper or Seasonello and top with lemon slices.  
  3. Cook for 14 minutes (from frozen) and serve!!  
  4. Salmon should look opaque and golden and reach an internal temperature of 145 F with a food thermometer when done.

When it’s cooked at a high temperature like this, the outside gets a little color to make it appealing and the inside is flakey and moist.  

I can usually fit 3 salmon fillets in my air fryer and I usually try to make at least one extra piece of salmon for lunch the next day.  

How to store cooked salmon properly

Storing leftover salmon properly is crucial to ensure food safety and to maximize its shelf life. After cooking salmon, let it cool to room temperature before storing it in an airtight container or wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. This will keep it fresh for up to 3-4 days.

Why I eat cold leftover salmon straight from fridge

Now, back to the topic of why I eat cold leftover salmon straight from the fridge. There are a few reasons why this is a great choice.

Convenience: 

Eating cold leftover salmon is a great way to save time and effort. You don’t have to worry about reheating it or going through the whole cooking process again. I like to eat it as is, make salmon salad out of it, add it to a salad or even make a sandwich. 

Taste: 

As strange as it may sound, leftover cold-cooked salmon can taste even better than the first time you had it. The flavors have had time to meld together, and your taste buds may pick up on different nuances that you didn’t notice before. Because salmon is a fattier fish, it maintains a moist flaky texture too which makes it very satisfying to eat.  My kids prefer salmon cold too.  

No Fishy Smell:

There’s something to be said about office kitchen etiquette about salmon.  When you’re eating it, everyone knows it because of they fishy odors!  When you have it cold with your meal, it still tastes great, and won’t smell up the whole kitchen the way reheated fish does.  

Roasted salmon pinterest pin

Nutritional benefits: 

Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for brain function and overall health. Eating cold leftover salmon is an easy hands off way to get more of these beneficial nutrients in your diet.

Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids: Seafood, especially oily fish like salmon, tuna, and sardines, are excellent sources of Omega-3 fatty acids that are essential for heart and brain health.

High in protein: Seafood is a great source of lean protein, making it an ideal option for those looking to increase their protein intake without consuming excess calories or unhealthy fats.

Low in saturated fat: Compared to other animal proteins, seafood contains lower amounts of saturated fat. This makes it a healthier option for those looking to maintain cardiovascular health.

Contains essential vitamins and minerals: Seafood is rich in vital nutrients like vitamin D, selenium, iodine, and zinc, which play crucial roles in maintaining overall health.

Helps prevent chronic diseases: Regularly consuming seafood has been linked to a reduced risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and depression due to its high nutrient content.

Supports healthy growth and development: Seafood is especially important for children and pregnant women as it provides essential nutrients for proper growth and development.

Lowers inflammation: The anti-inflammatory properties of Omega-3 fatty acids found in seafood can help reduce inflammation in the body, which is linked to many chronic diseases.

Aids in weight management: Due to its high protein content and low calorie density, seafood can be beneficial for weight management by promoting satiety and reducing overall calorie intake.

To enjoy cold leftover salmon straight from the fridge, simply take it out of the container and enjoy, or let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes and top with lemon juice. 

Other salmon recipes

I know my roasting method is basic, but it works and it’s delicious.  I’m not a fan of coating with cream cheese or feta cheese because it is already a good source of healthy fats.  And for basic weeknight meals, balance is important.  We talk a lot about that if you enroll in the FASTer Way and are focused on health too!  

1
Quick High Protein Salmon Salad
Use canned or leftover salmon to make this recipe.
Check out this recipe
2
Tuna poke in a blue bowl
Tuna Poke Salad
If you're loving salmon, use sushi grade salmon in this recipe instead of tuna!
Check out this recipe
3
salmon on top on lemon slices.
Baked Salad
Top this with salmon – it's soooo good!
Check out this recipe

You can easily turn leftover salmon into salmon cakes by combining with a bit of bread crumbs, chopped bell peppers, red onions and mayo or egg.  Form into salmon patties and cook over medium heat with a little olive oil on stovetop until brown and cooked through.  

One recipe I do really love is this simple salmon salad, which you can make with canned or cold cooked salmon.  It would also be phenomenal over baked salad too!

Roasted salmon on plate.

Air-fryer Roasted Salmon

Use salmon straight from the freezer.
Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 14 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 1
Calories 242 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 basket style air fryer I have found if I use my other toaster oven style air fryer, I need to add a few minutes to cook time. And it tends to make a mess.

Ingredients
  

  • 6 oz Atlantic Salmon fillet, frozen I like Costco fillets
  • Seasonello or salt and pepper

Instructions
 

  • Preheat air-fryer to 400F.
  • Place frozen salmon on parchment liner in air fryer basket and let cook for 14 minutes.
  • Should reach an internal temperature of 145F with a meat thermometer when done.

Nutrition

Calories: 242kcalProtein: 34gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 94mgSodium: 75mgPotassium: 833mgVitamin A: 68IUCalcium: 20mgIron: 1mg
Keyword air fryer, easy, fast, protein, simple
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

About Me

I’m Melanie.

I’m a chef, registered dietitian, foodie, wife and mom.
If you’re looking for quick and healthy meal inspiration that supports your health goals while feeding the rest of your family (including the kiddoes) well, then you’ve come to the right place!

Melanie Marcus Selfie

Two ingredient soup hack (creamy + nourishing)

As a mom and dietitian, I’m always on the hunt to make something wholesome and easy to feed myself and my kids – and this one hits the mark for both. You can warm up your soul with this quick and easy two-ingredient soup hack that is perfect for those busy weekdays or whenever you need a quick dinner fix. It also happens to be an excellent way to get your kids to eat vegetables! Plus you can add to it to create a macro balanced meal or snack.  It is literally the easiest soup recipes I have ever tested.

This recipe is built on the convenience of frozen mirepoix and chicken broth from the grocery store, making it a great go-to meal when you’re short on time.

Jump to Recipe

Ingredients and Alternatives:

For this basic recipe, you will only need two main ingredients, frozen mirepoix and broth, but you can add additional ingredients to customize the soup to your own preference. 

Frozen mirepoix

  • This is a combination of pre-diced celery, onion and carrot.  I usually have a bag in the freezer.  
  • This soup is equally as good with fresh mirepoix, my local Trader Joe’s and Harris Teeter always have it available in the produce aisle.  When I buy fresh, I generally try to cook it the same day.  
  • You could always use 3/4 cup each of diced carrots and celery with 1 cup of diced onion.  
Chopped onions, carrots, leeks and turnips for soup.

Chicken stock

Bowl of broth herbs and spices to make chicken soup
  • Vegetable stock is a perfect alternative if you’re vegan, vegetarian or trying to follow a more plant based lifestyle.
  • Beef stock will add a deeper umami flavor to this soup.
  • Turkey stock is a great alternative to chicken stock.
  • Bone broth may also be used.  This option will offer a more protein rich soup.  

​Make it your own

  • Feel free to add fresh herbs, such as thyme or rosemary, to elevate the soup’s flavor, or hot sauce to add an extra kick.
  • Try adding a can of tomatoes to make a tomato-based soup.
  • Grate or add a cube of fresh ginger to the mirepoix for a nutrient and flavor boost.
  • Serve with poached shrimp for an elegant starter or light lunch.
Jump to Recipe

Steps to Make It:

  1. Start by heating up a large pot on medium heat and adding a tablespoon of olive oil.
  2. Add the frozen mirepoix mixture and cook for 5-7 minutes until it’s soft and fragrant.
  3. Pour in the chicken or vegetable broth, enough to cover the mirepoix, and let it come to a boil.
  4. Turn down the heat and let the soup simmer for at least 15 minutes.
  5. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until you reach the desired consistency.
  6. If you want a thinner soup, add more warm chicken or veggie stock and blend.  
  7. Serve hot with toppings of your choice.
Home blender

The beauty of this recipe is that it is perfect for anyone looking for a warm and hearty soup without having to spend hours in the kitchen. This is perfect for those who are seeking a healthy option but don’t want to sacrifice flavor.

Interesting Ways to Serve It:

Bowl of creamy soup decoreated with crema and herbs

If you’re looking to mix things up, try serving this soup as a base for a poached egg. 

You can also roast sweet potato cubes and add them to the soup for a seasonal twist. 

For extra creaminess, add a dollop of Greek yogurt, (heavy cream or sour cream work too!) 

 Serve with crusty bread, green onions, and black pepper.

Top with croutons or toasted pumpkin seeds for an extra crunch.

This two-ingredient soup is an easy favorite during any time of year and is perfect for children and adults alike.

How to store It:

You can pop any leftover soup in the freezer in an airtight container for a quick and easy lunch. I recommend pouring into pint containers for easy meal prepping and portioning.

Nutrition & Macros:

This soup is packed with nutrients from the vegetables and broth. Mirepoix, made from a mix of carrots, celery, and onions, is an excellent source of vitamins and fiber. It is also great for hydration.

It has about 100 calories per serving and is made with real whole food ingredients.

  • Carbohydrates 5g
  • Protein 6g
  • Fat 3g

These values may change if you use a different broth such as bone broth or vegetable broth.

If you’re following the FASTer Way, save this recipe for low macro day. It’s will definitely help you feel full and hit your macro targets.

If you’re in a soup mood, you should try this split lentil soup recipe. It’s high protein and fiber gets better with time.

Don’t hesitate to make it your own by adding your own twist to the recipe. Happy cooking!

delicious pumpkin soup in ceramic bowl

2 Ingredient Soup

This recipes is so easy and comes together quickly for a cozy soup.
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 109 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 blender

Ingredients
  

  • Frozen Mirepoix
  • 32 ounces chicken stock

Instructions
 

  • Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in stock pot.
  • Add frozen bag of mirepoix and cook over medium heat until translucent and soft. About 10 minutes.
  • Add broth or stock to vegetables and let simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Transfer hot soup to blender and blend until smooth.
  • Serve and enjoy

Nutrition

Serving: 4gCalories: 109kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 6gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.5gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 374mgPotassium: 238mgFiber: 2gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 35IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 9mgIron: 0.5mg
Keyword easy, kid friendly
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

About Me

I’m Melanie.

I’m a chef, registered dietitian, foodie, wife and mom.
If you’re looking for quick and healthy meal inspiration that supports your health goals while feeding the rest of your family (including the kiddoes) well, then you’ve come to the right place!

Melanie Marcus Selfie

How to make a vegan Starbucks cold cream copycat

One of my absolute joys during this time of year is strolling around with a warm indulgent beverage in hand from my favorite local coffee shop – or Starbucks. 😌💕 Personally I love a grande Americano with soy milk, or a Starbucks pumpkin spice latte, but any warm and creamy but not too sweet beverage will do!

Doing that everyday, however gets a bit steep on the pocket and sometimes packed with calorie-laden, high-fat dairy… so I gotta savor it judiciously. BUT, here comes the game-changer: dairy-free cold foam! And the best part is that you can make it yourself at home!  The perfect swirl to crown my coffee creations. 😍 No guilt, just pure delight! Let me show you how! 🙌☕️

crop unrecognizable woman stirring sweet latte with straw

With just a few simple ingredients and a little time, I truly think this is one of the best ways to jazz up your own coffee for less money at home.  It’s actually a cool way to up-cycle chickpea liquid AKA aquafaba which typically is something that would be poured down the drain!  

Jump to Recipe

Why would you want to make a vegan cold foam?  

Well, it’s vegan, dairy-free, and packed with a light and creamy texture. Not to mention it’s super easy to make – all you’ll need is some sugar, aquafaba (the liquid from a can of chickpeas), cornstarch, and a mixer with whisk attachment. 

vegan diy cold foam iced coffee
  • If you’re trying to avoid dairy.  Many people are lactose intolerant and don’t even know it!  If that’s you, eliminating dairy can help ease stomach upset and bloating!
  • If you’re trying to limit added calories from saturated fat.  Full fat dairy makes an amazing foam, but it’s also full of saturated fat which could be a concern if you are trying to follow a heart healthy diet.  
  • If you want a lower calorie option.  Fat equals flavor and is double the calories of protein and carbohydrate, so everything that makes a cold creme appealing, will cost you in the calorie department.  This vegan cold foam does have some added sugar, but it doesn’t have any fat which means it’s macro friendly! 
  • If you are trying to follow an animal free lifestyle.  
  • If you are trying to live a vegan lifestyle and missing your sweet cold cream topping!  
  • If you’re looking for a creamy topping that foams better than your average plant milk!
  • You want to make morning coffee time extra special.  
  • You realize that non-dairy milk just doesn’t foam the same way as regular.  
  • ​Make a double batch to use on top of any dessert as a whipped cream alternative.  

I’ve noticed that oat milk, almond milk and soy milk just don’t foam the same way as whole milk or heavy cream.  (It’s because they have a much lower fat content, so they don’t get as airy.)  Coconut milk whips really well, but if you are trying to avoid saturated fat or have a heart condition, coconut milk should be avoided.  

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • Canned chickpeas – Any brand will do.  Personally I like to use Goya canned chickpeas for this recipe.  
  • Powdered sugar – Powdered sugar helps keep the creamy smooth consistency of the final whip.  You could use granulated sugar in a pinch, but it may be more grainy.  Brown sugar will be too dense and result in a flatter result.  
  • Cornstarch – This helps with texture.  You could also use cream of tartar.  
  • Vanilla extract – You can experiment with different flavors, but vanilla is classic.  A tiny drop of almond extract, even peppermint could be interesting too!  
  • I recommend making this in a traditional stand mixer, but a hand mixer or a high speed blender such as a Vitamix will work well. If you’re making a triple batch an immersion blender could be an option.  For it to work, you need to have enough liquid to blend so it can blend under the liquids surface.  A mini handheld frother doesn’t have enough umph for this recipe.  
Jump to Recipe

How to make vegan cold creme

First drain your chickpeas and reserve the chickpea liquid.  You will get about 1/2 cup.  

Next reduce this liquid by half over medium heat in a frying pan.  

Then whip the reduced aquafaba in your mixer for about 1 minute.  Then add your remaining ingredients- cornstarch, powdered sugar and vanilla and let it mix for 8-10 minutes until stiff peaks form.

You’re going to be amazed by how quickly this creamy foam comes together!!

What is aquafaba

Aquafaba is the starchy water from your can of trusty chickpeas.  When chickpeas are placed in the can, water is added and then they are sealed and cooked.  The water then becomes starchy during the cooking process.  As a result it can be used in a variety of ways and they behave similarly to egg whites!  

How to use dairy free cold cream

  • On top of any cold brew coffee recipe, french press, iced coffee or any iced drink for that matter
  • Serve on top of hot tea drinks like English breakfast.
  • Create your own Starbucks drinks at home by combining espresso with simple syrup topped with your homemade cold foam and a dusting of pumpkin spice!
  • Serve it instead of foamed milk or whipped cream.
  • Consider this topping a vegan meringue.  It will even brown if you place it under the broiler!
  • Add a dollop to chocolate milk for kids.  
  • Top puddings or pie for a vegan dessert.  

There are literally tons of different ways you can use this sweet cream foam.  Let me know how you use it!!

This recipe will replace any dairy cold foam recipe and last for five days in the fridge when stored in an airtight container. A mason jar or a small pint container works perfectly for this!      

Share this easy Starbucks copycat recipe with your best girlfriends who love vanilla sweet cream cold foam just as much as you do!

Calorie and nutrition info

Aquafaba typically has about 3-5 calories per tablespoon, mostly from carbohydrates. For the purposes of this recipe, I used 4 calories per tablespoon.

Aquafaba is vegan and gluten free.

This vegan cold cream recipe has about 63g carbs and zero protein, fat or fiber.

 

iced coffee with cold foam

Vegan DIY Starbucks Cold Cream

A dairy and animal free creamy topping for any hot or cold coffee beverage!
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
8 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Drinks
Servings 4
Calories 66 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 stand mixer

Ingredients
  

  • 1 can chickpeas about 1/2 cup liquid
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions
 

  • Drain a can of chickpeas and reserve liquid.
  • Reduce chickpea liquid by half. This should be about 1/4 cup.
  • Add liquid to stand mixer and blend with remaining ingredients for 8-10 minutes until stiff peaks form.

Notes

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.  

Nutrition

Calories: 66kcal
Keyword easy, vegan
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

References

Aquafaba Nutrition.(November 13, 2023) https://aquafaba.com/nutrition.html

Easy fried rice for one

Are you looking for an easy and tasty weeknight dinner that won’t take all night to make? Well, look no further than this super fast fried rice! You can may also like my egg roll in a bowl or easy ricotta pasta recipes – so check them out if you have time. But this delicious fried rice is my go to for busy weeknights since it has minimal ingredients and takes way less than 30 minutes from start to finish.

Plus, you can customize this basic recipe by using whatever vegetables or proteins you have in your fridge whether they are fresh or frozen. Keep reading to learn how my step-by-step guide will help you whip up a batch of irresistible fried rice in no time flat. It can also be made as a side dish for two or easily made to feed the entire family.

Jump to Recipe

Ingredients you need for this easy fried rice recipe

  • Toasted sesame oil – Other neutral oil such as vegetable oil, canola oil or olive oil will work well too here but sesame oil adds a lot of flavor.
  • Garlic – this is a classic flavor component, so don’t skimp. You can mince whole fresh garlic, use jarred minced garlic or frozen cubes are a great way to add flavor.
  • Fresh ginger – I like to use frozen cubes to keep this simple, but you can also grate fresh ginger.
  • Mixed vegetables – think fresh veggies like broccoli, bok choy, carrot, bell pepper, zucchini, green peas, green beans, onions, mini corn, bell peppers. A bag of frozen veggies will work here too.
  • Brown rice – I like to use brown rice, but it’s a matter of personal preference. Any rice will work. Leftover rice is a fabulous option if you have it. But white rice or cauliflower rice are also good substitutes. Just be sure any of the rice is pre-cooked and cooled. In fact, cold rice works best for fried rice recipes.
  • Gluten-free tamari – low sodium soy sauce, coconut aminos, even regular soy sauce will work but it does have gluten. These are all interchangeable so just use what you have.
  • Whole egg – We fry them sunny side up, but I also like to scramble the egg into the rice the way my mom used to do it for us, so it’s just personal preference.
  • They key is to use a hot wok or well heated frying pan to make sure everything cooks evenly!
  • optional toppings: Sriracha, green onions, bean sprouts, cilantro, sesame seeds, cubed tofu, or protein of choice such as leftover chicken.
Jump to Recipe

Steps to make classic fried rice

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet or large wok over high heat.
  2. When the oil is hot, add the garlic, ginger, and chopped vegetables and cook over medium-high heat .
  3. Stir-fry the vegetables for about 5 minutes, until lightly browned and softened. Keep the ingredients moving so they cook evenly.
  4. Add the rice and cook, for another 3 minutes, then add the soy sauce and cook for 1 minute more. 
  5. Let the rice cook, undisturbed for 1-2 minutes if you like crispy bits in your fried rice.  
  6. Remove rice from panServe with sriracha.

What kind of rice is best to use for fried rice?

Personally I love to use leftover cooked rice from takeout. Day-old rice works really well because the individual grains maintain their texture as opposed to getting mushy. While jasmine rice is popular because of its aroma and flavor, but it tends to naturally have wetter consistency that helps it clump together.

  • If you have a rice cooker – Make the most of it by making a larger batch of fresh rice, let it return to room temperature and then freeze on a sheet pan in a single layer to use for later weeknight meals.
  • Microwaveable packets of long-grain rice are great for this type of quick cooking. They are also the best way to keep on hand in your pantry to make a complete meal in under 2 minutes!
  • Frozen brown or white long grain rice are other good options. I recommend that you microwave just before you add to the cooked vegetables. Though I find that rice doesn’t get as crispy with this method.

As you can see there are several types of rice you can use.

Here’s a secret for good fried rice: Cook your rice until it’s al dente, which means it has a little bite left to it. This prevents your fried rice from becoming mushy as you add sauces to your stir fry.

Tips for adding more flavor

When making dishes that include soy sauce, you may think more soy sauce is better. While you don’t want to skimp, it could become very one note if you use too much. Here’s what I recommend instead.

Make your fried rice with quantities listed in the ingredient list. Then taste it. While it may need more soy sauce for your liking, it’s important to remember that 15 milliliters or 1 Tablespoon of soy sauce has 920 milligrams of sodium. That’s 38% of the daily recommended value, and just about half of what the American Heart Association recommends for a heart healthy diet.

Instead of adding more soy sauce, you may want to sprinkle with a small amount of kosher salt to help bring out some high notes.

Alternatively, use lemon or lime juice! Citrus helps bring balance to salty or fatty foods and helps your tongue and mind appreciate the flavors. Just give a squeeze over the top and taste the difference for yourself!

If you happen to have leftovers, store your homemade fried rice in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Calorie information

This recipe is really macro friendly because it has a significant source of fiber, plus you can modify the fat, protein or carbohydrate to meet your needs easily!

Calories 456

Fat 12 grams

Saturated 2grams

Sodium 571 grams

Protein 16 grams

Fiber 7 grams

About Me

I’m Melanie.

I’m a chef, registered dietitian, foodie, wife and mom.
If you’re looking for quick and healthy meal inspiration that supports your health goals while feeding the rest of your family (including the kiddoes) well, then you’ve come to the right place!

Melanie Marcus Selfie

Quick Fried Rice for One

Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 11 minutes
Total Time 13 minutes
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Calories 456 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger minced
  • 2 cups vegetables chopped
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice cooled
  • 2 tsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 egg fried
  • edamame, shrimp, tofu, green onion, sesame seeds, sriracha

Instructions
 

  • Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat.
  • When the oil is hot, add the garlic, ginger, and chopped vegetables.
  • Stir-fry the vegetables for about 5 minutes, until lightly browned and softened.  Keep the ingredients moving so they cook evenly.
    Add the rice and cook, for another 3 minutes, then add the soy sauce and cook for 1 minute more. 
  • Let the rice cook, undisturbed for 1-2 minutes if you like crispy bits in your fried rice.  
  • Transfer your rice to serving bowl and top with fried egg and additional toppings if desired.

Nutrition

Calories: 456kcal
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

The secret to making viral Cottage Cheese “Protein” Ice Cream

Who doesn’t like ice cream? Traditional ice cream is my favorite dessert. Whether it’s a Carvel ice cream cake for birthdays, or soft serve ice cream on a summer day, I am here for it. Wouldn’t it be better if it helped you reach your health goals? As much as I love a traditional ice cream cone, if I’m honest, eating one daily is probably not going to get me to where I want to be. So when one of my girlfriends called me to ask my thoughts on TikTok’s viral cottage cheese “protein” ice cream, I had to try it! Watch here!

After making it a few times, I have one major takeaway. This recipe can go downhill fast with just one mistake – over freezing. It will make your ice cream so darn hard and icy, you’ll just want to toss it. But don’t worry, I have a few tips to avoid that frustration.

Jump to Recipe

What is cottage cheese ice cream?

It is whipped cottage cheese that is combined with flavor pairings like vanilla and strawberry to make a creamy and delicious treat! The beauty is that you can make it with just about anything, as long as you have cottage cheese. When it is whipped, it takes on the consistency and flavor of softened cream cheese, which makes it a fantastic base for just about any flavor combination you like. It’s such a versatile ingredient and a very simple recipe!

Is cottage cheese ice cream a good source of protein?

One serving of 2% fat cottage cheese is ½ cup or 4 ounces and contains 90 calories, 12 grams of protein, 3 grams of fat, and 350 milligrams of sodium. It’s an excellent source of protein providing the equivalent of three ounces of protein per cup.  

For reference, 1/2 cup of 4% milkfat cottage cheese has 120 calories, 12 grams protein, 5 grams fat, 3.5grams saturated fat and the same 350 milligrams of sodium.

One ounce of protein provides 7 grams of protein, which means a half cup of cottage cheese provides the equivalent of 2 ounces of high quality protein. And if we’re honest, you’ll probably eat about two servings of this dessert for a total of 24 grams of protein.

What type of cottage cheese is best to make ice cream?

You can use any type of cottage cheese, however when you go with a lower fat or fat free version, more ice crystals will form and you’ll have an icier dessert. I’m all about a creamier texture, so I recommend using a full fat cottage cheese to make it as close to the real thing as possible!

If you want to make this dessert with fat free or low fat cottage cheese, I recommend freezing it for less time. Freeze it for 60-90 minutes until its cold, but not frozen solid. It’ll still taste great.

Ingredients to make cottage cheese ice cream.

  1. Creamy base – I recommend using a container of whole milk cottage cheese for the creamiest dessert.
  2. Sweetener – You can use anything from maple syrup and raw honey to protein powder or monk fruit. Use the sweetener of your choice. I’ve made it with vanilla stevia and it had great flavor.
  3. Flavoring and mix ins – The original version I saw on social media used fresh strawberries and graham crackers, but you can use anything you’d like! Experiment with other chopped fruit, powdered peanut butter, chocolate chips, or flavorings such as cake batter or coconut.

In the version below, I added banana because it freezes well, adds a slight sweetness and lightens up the texture.

Jump to Recipe

Flavor combinations to try

  • vanilla extract, maple syrup and crushed walnuts
  • rum extract, fresh diced pineapple and coconut flakes
  • cocoa powder, almonds and mini chocolate chips
  • peanut butter and sliced banana
  • mint extract and dark chocolate shavings
  • cake batter extract and sprinkles
  • crushed graham crackers with diced strawberries
  • blueberries and lemon zest
  • raspberries and white chocolate chips
  • banana and vanilla stevia

You an also use it as a base of a protein bowl, instead of your favorite smoothie, making this a great alternative for breakfast, or an afternoon snack.

If you’re thinking about adding collagen or protein powder for an added protein boost, save it for another time. Cottage cheese is already such a good source of protein, that unless you have very high protein needs, it’s unnecessary. Learn more about macros and importance of protein here.

Equipment needed for cottage cheese ice cream.

In order to make this dessert you need something to whip your cottage cheese. You can achieve a creamy texture with anything from a high-powered blender, a food processor, even a hand-held immersion blender.

After that you just need a few basics like a container mix everything together in, and another to freeze in!

Also, it’s worth mentioning that you don’t need an ice cream maker to try this recipe. If you have one, you could use it to churn your cottage cheese mixture, but it will come out just as well if you put it in the freezer for 60-90 minutes.

How long do you freeze cottage cheese ice cream?

After blending your cottage cheese in a food processor, blender or immersion blender, add your flavorings of choice. You can then freeze a few different ways.

  • Place it back into the original cottage cheese container and freeze for 60-90 minutes until chilled all the way through. The center will likely be soft and creamy.
  • Put into a loaf pan for 60-90 minutes s it can freeze faster. Use an ice cream scoop to serve.
  • You can also spread onto a 1/4 sheet pan and cover with plastic wrap to give it even more surface area to freeze at a faster rate.

Whatever you do – do not let it freeze over night! It will form ice crystals and be very difficult to scoop. After testing several times, I noticed that the ice crystals formed regardless of the fat content. So, my best advice is to freeze for less time, or enjoy as a cold pudding.

Whatever you do – do not let it freeze over night! It will form ice crystals and be very difficult to scoop. After testing several times, I noticed the ice crystals form regardless of the fat content. So, my best advice is to freeze for less time, or enjoy as a cold pudding.

What is a serving of cottage cheese ice cream?

I saw a lot of people on social media making this dessert with 16 ounces (four servings), or two cups of cottage cheese – and it appeared that they were eating the entire batch in one sitting. I would recommend a 1/2 cup serving, just like regular ice cream to limit sodium and saturated fat.

As I mentioned earlier, one serving of 2% cottage cheese is ½ cup or 4 ounces and contains 90 calories, 12 grams of protein, 3 grams of fat, and 350 milligrams of sodium. If you ate the whole container, you’d have 360 calories, 48 grams of protein and 1400 mg of sodium. It’s recommended to keep sodium intake at or below 2000 mg daily to follow a heart healthy diet. So you can see how sodium added up quickly when the portion size increased.

Keep in mind that if you choose a higher fat content cottage cheese, you will have more total calories and fat.

Your toppings of choice will add to your calorie, fat and sodium intake too so stay mindful when making this healthy ice cream at home.

It’s all about what you’re in the mood for, what fits into your health goals and how you’re going to feel afterwards!

What if I eat too much protein?

When someone consumes more protein than their body needs, the excess is stored as fat. I recommend aiming for 20-30 grams or 3-4 ounces of protein per meal to stay satisfied and full. Which makes a 1/2 cup portion of cottage cheese ice cream a healthy alternative when toppings and add ons are kept in check!

Why should I try cottage cheese ice cream?

It’s an excellent food choice if you are trying to build muscle or maintain a healthy weight. In fact, a single serving of cottage cheese can provide nearly 2 ounces of protein, which is beneficial for promoting muscle growth and repair.

Now that cottage cheese has made it’s modern comeback, will you try it? Let me know!

If you are looking for other homemade ice cream recipes, you have to try nice cream. It’s another 2 ingredient wonder!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 164 per 1/2 cup serving

Fat: 5g

Saturated fat: 3g

Carbohydrates: 20g

Protein: 11g

Fiber: 1g

Cottage Cheese Ice Cream

Protein rich ice cream alternative
Prep Time 5 minutes
1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 4
Calories 164 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 food processor immersion blender will work too

Ingredients
  

  • 16 oz full fat cottage cheese
  • 1 each banana
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 5 drops vanilla stevia

Instructions
 

  • Blend everything in a food processor until smooth.
  • Return to cottage cheese container and freeze for 60-90 minutes

Nutrition

Calories: 164kcal
Keyword protein
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Unbelievably easy Yogurt marinade for chicken skewers

I came across this recipe a few years ago in one of my cookbooks and it’s been a staple ever since. I make it often during summer grilling season and it’s so easy to remember that I can make it while away on vacation! The marinade time is relatively low making it a good option for weeknight meals too. It’s one of my favorite chicken recipes because it requires very little prep work and they have so much flavor!

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What you need to make these chicken kabobs

Ingredients

  • Chicken pieces – I like to use boneless skinless chicken breasts cut in to 1-inch pieces. Boneless skinless chicken thighs also work well. If you don’t want to make kabobs, you can use your favorite cut of chicken and bake or roast until 165F.
  • Greek yogurt – The original recipe calls for full fat greek yogurt. I’ve made it with fat free Greek and plain yogurt and it also worked well.
  • Red curry paste – This is the secret ingredient. It’s where maximum flavor and color comes in. I prefer the Thai Kitchen brand. If you can’t find it, try a mix of tomato paste, garlic and fresh ginger, red chili powder and lemon zest.
  • Kosher salt and olive oil

Other equipment

  • Wooden skewers or metal skewers
  • Instant read thermometer
  • Outdoor grill, gas grill or indoor grill pan
  • Baking sheet to place raw chicken skewers
  • Plastic wrap
  • Plastic gloves

How to make yogurt curry chicken skewers

First, combine the plain greek yogurt, curry paste, salt and oil in a large bowl. Mix well and set marinade ingredients aside.

Next, cut your chicken into one inch pieces if necessary.

Place pieces of chicken into marinade. Once coated, place chicken onto skewers, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

For best results, preheat your grill to ensure grill grates are hot.

Place skewers onto prepared grill and let cook for about 25 minutes, turning once half way through. Skewers should be golden brown and reach an internal temperature of 165F when done. Discard extra marinade.

Store leftovers in an airtight container for 3-5 days in the refrigerator.

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Why does yogurt make a good marinade?

Yogurt is a good source of healthy bacteria for your gut. That same live active bacteria also happens to be what makes it a good marinade, tenderizing your chicken within a short amount of time.

What to serve with these easy chicken skewers

Serve cooked skewers with…

  • Roasted red onions and broccoli
  • Warm pita bread
  • Traditional Greek salad with tomato, olives and feta
  • Small side salad
  • Roasted potatoes and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • Sliced cucumber and tzatziki
  • Hummus and stuffed grape leaves

Nutritional information and macros

This grilled chicken is versatile for regular macro and low carb days. This recipe makes 6, 5 oz cooked portions with the following macros. If you need other macro friendly recipes check out my chicken fajitas, egg roll in a bowl or pulled chicken recipes! All super easy and macro friendly.

Calories: 221

Fat: 7g

Carbohydrate 1g

Protein 35g

Yogurt Curry Chicken Skewers

This recipe couldn't be faster to throw together, and it's a complete crowd pleaser.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Main Course
Servings 6
Calories 221 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 cup full fat greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp red curry paste
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 pounds chicken breast skinless, boneless

Instructions
 

  • Combine first four ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.
  • Cut chicken into 1 inch cubes if necessary. Then add to yogurt mixture.
  • Let chicken sit in marinade for 20 minutes in the fridge.
  • Grill over medium high heat until internal temperature reads 165F. About 25 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 221kcal
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

About Me

I’m Melanie.

I’m a chef, registered dietitian, foodie, wife and mom.
If you’re looking for quick and healthy meal inspiration that supports your health goals while feeding the rest of your family (including the kiddoes) well, then you’ve come to the right place!

Melanie Marcus Selfie