Meal Maker Challenge Week 1: Summer Citrus Bean & Quinoa Salad

Today’s recipe serves many a purpose aside from being my first H-E-B ConAgra Meal Maker Challenge recipe. It’s summery. It’s light. It’s healthy. It’s vegetarian. It’s vegan. It’s gluten free (oOoh, aAaAh). It’s a side dish. It’s a main course. It’s lunch. It’s dinner. It’s everything.

But fa’ real, this is some good stuff.  If you’re a member of the It’s Not A Meal Without Meat Club (have no shame, I used to be president), might I suggest that you grill up some chicken or salmon, pop it on top of this salad, and color yourself happy.

Oh! Before I forget, if you like this meal/blog/me in general, take a second and VOTE FOR IT. I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t want $1,000 to spend at H-E-B.

Summer Citrus Bean & Quinoa Salad
Servings: 6 | Calories per serving: 339
Fat: 4.7 g (Sat Fat: 0.1 g) | Carbohydrate: 66.9 g | Fiber: 21.7 g| Protein: 12.4 g

ingredients:
1/3 C dry quinoa
2 small grapefruit
1 large jicama
1 15-oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-oz can of corn, rinsed and drained
3/4 C H-E-B Smoky Citrus Salsa
1/2 avocado, sliced
salt and pepper, to taste

directions:
1. Begin by cooking your quinoa according to the on the package or these handy directions
2. While your quinoa is cooking, peel and segment your grapefruit
Meal Maker Challenge Week 1: Summer Citrus Bean & Quinoa Salad | The Slender Student 3. Using a sharp knife or vegetable peeler, peel your jicama and chop into 1/2″ cubes
Meal Maker Challenge Week 1: Summer Citrus Bean & Quinoa Salad | The Slender Student 4. Once your quinoa has finished cooking and cooled, combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving

VOTE FOR MY SUMMER CITRUS BEAN & QUINOA SALAD HERE!

Note: I have received compensation, H-E-B promotional items and ConAgra products from H-E-B and ConAgra Foods for participating in this contest.

Dark Chocolate Fudge Protein Brownies

Dark Chocolate Fudge Protein Brownies (less than 100 calories each!) | The Slender Student

There’s a certain feeling I get from baking that I just don’t get from cooking. Sometimes I just need to channel my inner Maggie Gyllenhaal in Stranger Than Fiction.

On the other hand, though, baking sucks. You need to measure things precisely, dirty a sinkful of dishes, and then you get stuck with dozens of sugary baked goods that will haunt you until you either give them away or stuff them in your own piehole (/muffinhole/cookiehole/cupcakehole).

Dark Chocolate Fudge Protein Brownies (less than 100 calories each!) | The Slender Student

These brownies are a different story. They’re low calorie, high protein, high fiber, and only require a handful of ingredients. Your kitchen will be clean in no time and you’ll be left feeling like you are that dynamic, tattooed girl with her own shabby chic bakery.

Dark Chocolate Fudge Protein Brownies (less than 100 calories each!) | The Slender Student

Dark Chocolate Fudge Protein Brownies
Servings: 8 | Calories per serving: 96
Fat: 3.1 g (Sat Fat: 0.3 g) | Carbohydrate: 12.5 g | Fiber: 5.4 g| Protein: 5.3 g

ingredients
2 ripened bananas
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
2 packets Stevia
2 scoops chocolate Vega One (or your chocolate protein powder of choice)
1 T unsweetened cocoa powder
1 t vanilla extract
1/4 C unsweetened vanilla almond milk (only if your batter seems try)
PAM Original nonstick spray

directions:
1. Preheat your oven to 350° and coat a 9×9 baking dish with PAM.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, mash your ripened bananas well with a fork.

Dark Chocolate Fudge Protein Brownies (less than 100 calories each!) | The Slender Student 3. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
4. Scoop your batter into the baking dish and using your spatula or spoon, spread it evenly into the dish. It might help to spray your spatula with PAM too.

Dark Chocolate Fudge Protein Brownies (less than 100 calories each!) | The Slender Student 5. Bake for 15-20 minutes and let them cool completely before cutting and removing them from the pan.

recipe from Undressed Skeleton

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Portobello Turkey Burger

I’m all about good hamburgers. I’d eat every meal at Hopdoddy if I could. Slapping a fried egg on a hamburger definitely qualifies as breakfast in my book. Adding cheese is a great source of calcium, and you don’t need to be a nutrition major to know that caramelized onions are a vegetable. Duh.

When it comes to making burgers at home, though, I’m a little (ok, a lot) more conservative. I opt for lean ground turkey instead of ground beef to cut saturated fat and calories. And when you consider that your average store bought hamburger bun has about 120 (empty) calories, it’s time to start thinking about other options. Popping your patty between two portobello mushrooms is a great way to slender your burger down without sacrificing any heartiness.

Portobello Turkey Burger | The Slender Student

Portobello Turkey Burger
Servings: 1 | Calories per serving: 267
Fat: 8.0 g (Sat Fat: 2.5 g) | Carbohydrate: 19.5 g | Fiber: 4.0 g| Protein: 31.7 g

ingredients:
4 oz lean ground turkey
1 T liquid egg whites
1 T barbecue sauce (Stubb’s is my sauce of choice)
1 T minced garlic
2 portobello mushrooms
salt & pepper, to taste
PAM Original nonstick spray
optional: balsamic glaze, avocado, other toppings (I added avocado and a slice of roasted eggplant to mine)

directions:
1. In a small bowl, mix together your ground turkey, egg whites, barbecue sauce, minced garlic, and some salt and pepper. Form into a patty shape and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
2. Preheat your oven to 400°. If desired, drizzle a little balsamic glaze over your mushroom caps and then bake them in the oven for 10 minutes.
3. In a small skillet coated with PAM, cook your burger on either side over medium heat until the juices run clear and the inside is no longer pink.
4. Slide your turkey burger between your mushroom caps, top as you wish, and chow!

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Fourth of July Layered Berry Chia Seed Pudding Parfaits

I’ll admit it. When you think of Fourth of July, your mind probably goes to hot dogs and hamburgers, not chia seeds. Fair enough. But how damn cute are these layered pudding parfaits? Add to that the healthy fat and fiber content of chia seeds and I think you might start thinking about the holiday a little differently.

Fourth of July Layered Berry Chia Seed Pudding Parfaits | The Slender Student Layered Berry Chia Seed Pudding Parfaits
Servings: 2 | Calories per serving: 125
Fat: 7.4 g (Sat Fat: 0.0 g) | Carbohydrate: 11.4 g | Fiber: 7.6 g| Protein: 3.7 g

ingredients:
3 T chia seeds (I used the white chia seeds from Health Warrior)
1/4 C blueberries (frozen or fresh)
1/4 C strawberries (frozen of fresh)
1 C unsweetened almond milk
3 t vanilla extract

directions:
1. Gather three small bowls. To each bowl, add 1 tablespoon of chia seeds.

Fourth of July Layered Berry Chia Seed Pudding Parfaits | The Slender Student 2. In one bowl, add your blueberries. To a second bowl, add your strawberries. The third bowl should still only have chia seeds.

Fourth of July Layered Berry Chia Seed Pudding Parfaits | The Slender Student 3. Add 1/3 cup almond milk and 1 teaspoon of vanilla to each bowl. Stir until combined.
4. Refrigerate for at least a few hours until the chia seeds have soaked up the almond milk and expanded, creating a pudding texture.
5. In a small clear glass, layer the puddings and feel American.

Fourth of July Layered Berry Chia Seed Pudding Parfaits | The Slender Student

Fourth of July Layered Berry Chia Seed Pudding Parfaits | The Slender Student

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