Product Review: Quest Chips!

Protein Chips.

Yes, you read that right: protein-loaded potato chips. Not only do they exist, they’re also ridiculously delicious.

As you probably know if you’ve followed this blog for a while, I’m a big fan of Quest Nutrition. They sell flavored protein powders (the caramel is to die for), protein bars, and, like a gift from Heaven, protein-infused potato chips and candy.

If you’re like me, you’re probably VERY skeptical about the idea of a protein-packed salty snack, aren’t you? Lord knows I was. But, trusting in the delicious quality of the protein bars I’ve had in the past, I decided to order a couple packages of Quest Protein Chips on Amazon.com.

I ordered the BBQ flavor and the Sour Cream and Onion Flavors:

bbq sco

Needless to say, Quest delivered on their promise.

While the crunch isn’t the same as your favorite, high-fat kettle-cooked variety, these chips definitely deliver the potato-chip like texture you’re craving. I’d compare them to Pringles – thin and airy – but flavor-loaded.

When I read the ingredients (and saw the Whey protein), I was worried these chips would have a chalky or awkward aftertaste, but I am pleased to report they were perfect. The seasoning blend was not too salty, but still packed a punch. My husband preferred the BBQ (he said it tasted like a spice-rub from his favorite restaurant), whereas I was absolutely hooked on the Sour Cream and Onion.

They have a few other flavor options (Sea Salt, Salt & Vinegar, and Cheddar & Sour Cream) and I can’t wait to try them and see how they compare.

As a note: the chips are very light, so I would *not* recommend them for dips unless the dips are very soft. I tried dunking the Sour Cream & Onion chips into some Greek yogurt dip and they cracked pretty easily, so I’d suggest a different alternative if you’re trying to recreate your long lost nachos.

All in all, I’d strongly suggest stocking up on these (they’re super cheap on Amazon, especially if you use Subscribe and Save for bulk purchases), especially if you’re a sucker for salty indulgences. There is nothing to feel guilty about with these chips, and you’ll wonder how you survived so long without them!

Bon appetit, my friends!
~ Tori

Candida Diet Approved (and PALEO) Italian Bread!

A very close friend of mine has been dealing with some health issues and her doctor, both trained in holistic/natural and traditional medicine, has suggested she follow a Candida-diet in the short term until they are able to fully identify the cause of her illness.

After learning more about the Candida Diet, I realized that it’s really not that far off from the Paleo diet. Where hers has a few more restrictions when it comes to sugar (she cannot have any fruit whatsoever, and has to avoid most starches), she’s allowed a few grains that are normally prohibited from the Paleo diet. Other than those few differences, though, we’re basically following the same basic guide: lean meats, healthy fats, and lots of green vegetables.

She told me she had baked some bread and, knowing I pay $8.99 per loaf for my coconut bread from Julian’s Bakery, she suggested I try out her recipe, which is both inexpensive and easy to make:

Ingredients (in her original recipe):

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour (can also substitute millet or buckwheat)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (creamy part on the top works best)
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp Stevia powder

Directions:

Blend dry ingredients separate from wet ingredients, then combine.
Pour into greased loaf pan, bake at 350 for about 30 mins.
Top of the loaf should be firm, and a light golden color.
Let cool.

Since I was craving bread sticks and Italian food, I decided to modify her recipe a bit with additional seasonings and try to cut the calories down a tiny it, since her recipe was over 140 calories per slice. While I try not to focus on calories, 140+ for a small slice seemed a bit steep.

Here’s the modified version I made, which came out WONDERFUL:

Ingredients (a la Victoria):

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cashew milk (a huge calorie savings)
  • 3 whole eggs, 3 egg whites (another 200+ calories saved)
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp Stevia powder
  • 1 tbsp dried basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tbsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tbsp oregano
  • 1/2 tbsp thyme

I baked it according to her instructions, and the texture was PERFECT. It’s like a thick, earthy, mountain bread. The seasoning gave it the perfect savory flavor, and I could imagine myself toasting the slices to use as croutons after a few days.

IMG_9040The picture isn’t fancy — I was tired and baking this at 11pm at night.

I contemplated making a sweet version of this bread, using unsweetened organic applesauce in place of the oil and blending in raisins, cinnamon, and crushed pecans to make a dessert-style bread. Perhaps that will be tonight’s experiment!

In the meantime, I’m so in love with this Italian bread, I had a slice with my breakfast:

IMG_9042Look at all that grain-free goodness! NOM NOM NOM.

Bon appetit, my friends!

~ Tori

High Protein, Low Carb Brownies

Alright, folks, I’m on day three of my low-carb, high intensity workout regimen and, amazingly, I haven’t caved and scarfed down my stockpile of Cadbury Creme eggs …yet.

I have, though, suffered from some pretty intense sweets cravings, which has led me on an internet search to find something sweet that won’t break the carb bank.

I found a few low carb recipes, but nothing really blew me over and most of them were RIDICULOUSLY high in fat and calories (basically pure-butter blocks!), so …I decided to improvise and make my own!

Tori’s High-Protein, Low-Carb (grain-free/gluten-free) Brownies!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of Splenda (it is low carb, after all)
  • 4 oz of unsweetened, pure dark chocolate (melted)
  • 1/4 cup of melted butter or ghee
  • 2 full scoops of your favorite low carb Chocolate protein powder
  • 1 cup of egg whites (or egg substitute)
  • 1/2 cup Walden Farms brand sugar free chocolate syrup (aka, nectar of the gods)
  • 1/2 cup Walden Farms brand sugar free caramel syrup (tastes like melted dulce de leche ice cream!)
  • 1 cup of fat free cream cheese, softened (but NOT melted!)
  • 1 dash chili powder
  • 1 dash sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Trader Joe’s Coconut Oil Spray (a godsend!)

Directions:

I’m the first to admit that I’m not much of a baker, so I definitely am not one to “sieve” this, or “whisk,” that, and –by some miracle of the pastry heavens– this recipe came out perfectly by just combining ALL of the ingredients in one giant bowl and beating it into a creamy oblivion.

Hint: the harder and longer you whip, the fluffier the brownies will be.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and spray your pan (use a brownie dish for THICK, moist brownies, or a COOKIE SHEET for thin, crispier brownies – my preference) well to ensure nothing sticks.

Pour in well-beaten batter and gently rock pan to get the better evenly spread out.

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Tiny little cream cheese lumps survived the beating, but they didn’t impact the flavor or texture at all!

If using a smaller pan, bake at 350 degrees for 18-22 MINUTES. For a cookie sheet or larger pan, bake at 350 for 14-16 minutes. I baked mine for about 18 minutes in a cookie sheet and thought they turned out a little well done, but still SUPER delicious.

And, seriously, don't these look perfect?! Hard to believe they're completely flourless.

And, seriously, don’t these look perfect?! Hard to believe they’re completely flourless.

I could barely wait for them to cool, and managed to cut this tray into TWENTY FOUR giant servings (think 2×2″ brownies!).

Calorie/Nutrient Content for one brownie (assuming 24 servings in total):

  • 81 Calories
  • 5.3g fat
  • 2.2g carbs
  • 4.6g protein

I’m going to keep playing with the recipe to see if I can boost up the protein a bit more (maybe Greek yogurt instead of cream cheese? more protein powder?) and reduce the fat a tiny bit, but only 2.2g carbs for a solid 5 bites of brownie is a win-win in my book!

On that note… bon appetit, my friends!

~ Tori