Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Yellow Hockey Pucks!

Or, "portable eggs " (which sounds a lot better.)

For an on-the-go protein, I've started making "yellow hockey pucks."

  • Heat oven to 350degrees.
  • Lightly oil a 12-cup muffin tin.
  • in the blender put 16oz of eggbeaters, plus four egg whites (or add a yolk or two if you wish)
  • add a dash of salt. Blend.
  • in the bottom of each muffin cup, put a spoonfull of:
  • canned chopped green chilis, or
  • minced green onion, or
  • sauted white onion or mixed veggies, or
  • whatever you want, or
  • nothing
  • Fill each muffin cup (probably to the brim) with egg mixture
  • Bake for about 35 minutes.
  • Take out, and cool on racks.

These are interesting to watch cooking: at about 20 minutes they look like cups of liquid egg. At about 30 minutes they've puffed up like a souffle. They will deflate as soon as they cool.

They keep well in the fridge for a week, so I make two pans on the weekend (24 hockey pucks) and have 6-8 proteins available for the week.

So there you have yellow protein hockey pucks. I eat 3 for a protein, sometimes 4. This is definitely an on-the-go protein, paired with a carb muffin.

Bon appetit!

Monday, January 7, 2008


Muffins are a “quick bread:” they rise because of an acid/base reaction between baking soda and baking powder, and an acidic agent such as buttermilk or yoghurt.

Basic principles in making good muffins:

** Get your muffin tins prepared before you start making the batter. Once you combine wet and dry ingredients, you need to work quickly to get the batter into the pans, and the pans into the oven
** Put the dry ingredients in a bowl, and then quickly add the wet ingredients.
** Mix just enough to get the dry ingredients wet: if you mix too much, the muffins will be tough.
** When done, remove from the muffin pan as soon as reasonably possible, and cool on a rack.

These muffins are “BFL compatible” because they use only BFL approved ingredients: sweetening comes from applesauce (unsweetened, or sweetened with apple juice), and there’s just a tiny bit of fat (canola oil).

These muffins will not be as light and fluffy as bakery muffins: fat makes baked goods soft and fluffy, protein makes baked good tough.

Below is the basic (master) muffin recipe, which is pretty bland, plus ideas for flavors.


1. preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil muffin tin (12 muffins) lightly with canola oil. Even if you use a silicon muffin pan (the best!) oil lightly.

2. in a bowl, thoroughly mix:

½ cup whole oats (ie, oatmeal)
1 cup oats, ground finely in the blender (making oat flour)
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ t salt
1 t baking soda
1 t baking powder

3. in the blender combine:

1 cup nonfat yoghurt (either plain or vanilla sweetened with Splenda)
3 egg whites
1 whole egg
½ cup unsweetened applesauce (or sweetened with apple juice)
good slug of vanilla (~1T)
2 packets Splenda if you like really sweet muffins

4. quickly pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix with a spoon or spatula, just enough to wet the ingredients – maybe 10 seconds. You should see the mixture start to bubble as the acid/base reaction takes place.

5. put about 1/3 cup of batter into each cup – they can be about 2/3 full.

6. bake for 20-22 minutes, or until knife comes out clean

7. cool on rack. Refrigerate in an airtight container.


Spice muffins: add 2 t of Pumpkin Pie spice and 2 t of cinnamon to the dry ingredients. Use more spice to taste (I use more cinnamon, about 4 t)

Lemon poppyseed muffins: add 1 T (heaping) of poppyseeds to the dry ingedients, and 1 T pure lemon extract to the liquid inredients. Replace vanilla with almond extract if you wish.

Chocolate muffins. Add ¼ cup of dark cocoa (read the ingredients: just cocoa, or cocoa processed with alkali, no sugar!) to the wet ingredients. The cocoa will add about 1 gram of carbs per muffin. You may wish to add more Splenda for a sweeter muffin.


Each muffin is about 13g of carbs, and 80 calories. That works out to about 1 muffin for a females’s meal, probably 2 muffins for a male’s meal.

Quick meal: muffin + nonfat cottage cheese
Cooked breakfast: eggbeater omlette + muffin with sugar-free raspberry preserves

Saturday, September 22, 2007

"Cheap" and yummy protein shake

It's a recurring theme on the Guestbook: how expensive the Meal Replacement Shakes are, and that the bars are really glorified candy bars. To add insult to injury, most of these have considerably more carbs than protein.

So it's time for a bit of BFL Kitchen Chemistry. The shake below works out to about $0.40 per serving.

PROTEIN POWDER. I buy mine at my local Costco where, over in the pharmacy section, they have 6 pound bags of EAS PREMIUM PROTEIN. It's a blend of casein, soy and whey protein. Here in NC, it costs about $28/6 lbs so it's relatively cost effective. For the recipe below, that means about $0.30 per serving. Note that I use chocolate powder; EAS also makes vanilla which I have not tried, but it should work just fine.

CARBS. Oatmeal. Cheap, and good for you. Note that your oats need to be fresh: if that box of oats has been in your cupboard for a couple of months, the oats are probably stale and will taste like cardboard. Toss 'em and buy new. I buy oats in the bulk food department, buying as much as I need each week.

FLAVORINGS. I use cinnamon, vanilla and a packet of splenda. If your cinnamon is "old" toss it and buy fresh. Cinnamon oil will go rancid. Keep you cinnamon in an airtight container in the dark.


1) A few hours before you want to drink the shake, cook: 2/3 cups oats with 1-1/3 cups of water and if you wish, a dash of salt (normal oatmeal cooking). Refrigerate overnight, or until you have a cold blob of oatmeal. (Note: I usually do this step at night, ready for the next day.)

2) Put the oatmeal blob in your blender (cut it up into a few pieces) and add 1 cup cold (refrigerator cold!) water. Puree to make a nice creamy oatmeal slurpee.

3) Add 3 scoops EAS Premium Protein Powder, a big dash of vanilla, several good shakes of cinnamon, and one packet of Splenda. Blend well.

You now have about 20 ounces of oatmeal protein drink. THIS RECIPE MAKES TWO SERVINGS

I divide the shake into two containers and put it in my cooler bag with blue ice blocks. Because there is no dairy, I'm not concerned with keeping it super-cold during the day; blue ice is fine. Now I've got two meals that I can gulp quickly during my hectic day. And they're filling and cut "sweet" cravings, even though they havve just half a packet of Splenda per serving.

NUTRITIONAL CONTENT. Using the EAS powder, this recipe works out, per serving, to:
* Protein = 24 g
* Carbs = 20 g (sugars = 2 g)
* Fat = 4 g
* Calories = 212

VARIATIONS. Be careful. Flavorings like cinnamon and vanilla don't add calories. If you start adding bananas, berries or peanut butter, be aware of the additional cals, sugars and fats. If you don't like cinnamon, experiment with other flavorings like peppermint extract, nutmeg, etc.

It's a grab-n-go BFL meal!

And, as always, take a high quality multivitamin every day!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

"Crustless quiche" or "veggie egg bake"

Think of this as a crustless quiche or as a large baked veggie omlette, or as a frittata.

Basically you’re going to bake an egg-and-cottage-cheese custard around veggies and rice. When done it should be a little brown around the edges, and a knife should come out nearly clean. It will firm up when chilled.

1 bag frozen chopped spinach (about 12-16 oz)
1 bag frozen broccoli florettes (about 12-16 oz)
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 tomato coarsely chopped
1.5 cups of COOKED brown rice
16 oz of egg product
16 oz of Non-Fat Cottage Cheese

Seasoning to taste.
This week I used a bit of Trader Joe’s Thai Red curry sauce, other times I just use garlic, salt pepper. Next week I might use Indian spices like Masala, or go southwestern with green chilis. Or you could use fresh basil and oregano – that would be lovely with the tomato.

Thaw the frozen veggies. Squeeze the water out of the spinach. Mix the spinach, broccoli, onion, tomato and rice, and spread loosely in a lightly oiled 9x13 pan.

Blend the non-fat cottage cheese, egg product and seasonings. Pour over the veggie mix, and let it seep into the nooks and crannies.

Bake at 350 degrees until it starts to brown around the edges – about 30-45 minutes depending on the liquid/solid ratio. Keep an eye on it.

Cool, and cut into individual servings. Base serving size on the nutritional content

NUTRITIONAL CONTENT: for the rice, cottage cheese and egg product (so, not counting the veggies): CALS = 820, carbs = 84g, protein = 112 g.

VARIATIONS use whatever veggies you want to, so long as it adds up to about the same volume. Over the years, I’ve made this with tomatoes, okra and onions for a “gumbo” bake, and with green chilis, onion, tomato and corn for a southwestern bake. I’ve also used drained marinated artichoke hearts – though that will add residual fat to the bake. Asparagus and tomato is a good combination. INVENT!

Why a BFL Cooking Blog?

Lots of folks try the "Body for Life" program and give up because they find the food side challenging: rather than paying for some company to send you all your horrendously expensive meals, you take responsibility for creating small, balanced meals yourself following guidelines set forth in the program.

But chicken breasts and brown rice get to be dull after a while. And, as all of our fore-mothers knew, planning, shopping and cooking take time and skill. Hence the boom in fast food chains: convient poor health.

I like good food. I hate fast food (well, I do like French fries!). But I also like to cook only once or twice a week. Hence I do a lot of experimenting to create BFL-legal meals that I can grab from the fridge and eat cold, or nuke in the microwave. The meals are portable, too, so that there's (almost) never a reason to not have your meals with you.

Cooking is, basically, kitchen chemistry. Pretty cool, actually. I'll be posting my "experiments" here for others to try and, if they like them, incorporate into their BFL meal planning.

Bon apetit!