Tag Archives: protein

High Protein Matcha Latte

macha-with-brushSome time at the end of last year, I started drinking more tea in place of coffee. Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE coffee. But unfortunately, coffee doesn’t always love me. As I grow older I find that my body isn’t metabolizing it as efficiently as it used to. This led me to the auspicious discovery of matcha – green tea leaf powder. Many years ago, I had ceremonial matcha in Japan at a couple of tea ceremonies, and I remember it being very bitter and strong. We sipped it while nibbling on sweet yokan (a Japanese sweet bean based dessert).

Last fall, during my coffee abstinence period, I wanted a caffeine boost via tea, and I tried a Green Tea Latte at Starbucks. I became addicted. Since then, I’ve been experimenting with matcha and trying to make my own lattes at home. It is too much of a luxury to pay over $4.00 for a daily drink, and I learned that the Starbucks’ version has 25 grams of sugar in a tall size!!

Matcha is considered to be a super food for its exceptionally high content of antioxidants. It is widely known for as a unique aid in staying alert and focused without the jitteriness that sometimes accompanies drinking strong coffee (or for me, coffee in general). This is because though it contains caffeine, matcha also contains amino acids including, L-Theanin, which slows the release of the caffeine.

I still love the flavor of coffee, and I will sometimes “indulge” in a decaf, but for my daily morning fix, I have been drinking my High Protein Matcha Latte. I bought a cute little milk frother on amazon, and that has changed my life for the better as well!

spoon-foam

First I mix unsweetened coconut milk with vanilla protein powder. I use Optimum Nutrition Vanilla Creme whey protein. You could just skip this part if you don’t like powders and sweeten your drink with something else. I heat the mixture briefly and froth it up with my frother. Look how wonderfully it does its job!

Then I make my matcha in a medium sized bowl (chawan). I have been using Jade Leaf Organic Matcha. If anyone has another recommendation they love, I would love to try it as well! Please let me know in the comments below. I’m only using the culinary grade for now, because the ceremonial grades are so expensive in general.

I use 1/2 teaspoon matcha which I sift through a mini strainer. Then I add 1/2 cup hot water (don’t use boiling because the tea leaf is delicate) and whisk it until dissolved. I bought a Japanese whisk, but any whisk will do. Then I add the frothed milk to the tea.

macha-corner

I sprinkled some more matcha powder on for garnish for this photo 🙂

High Protein Matcha Latte

3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk, soy milk, cow milk, or almond milk

1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder

1/2 teaspoon matcha powder

1/2 cup very hot water

  1. Mix coconut milk and protein powder together. Heat for 30 seconds in microwave. Stir. Heat for another 30 seconds. You don’t want to heat too long or the protein will curdle, which is really unpleasant! Froth milk using a whisk or mini frother.
  2. Sift matcha powder into a small bowl or coffee mug. Add hot water while whisking.
  3. Add milk to tea. Enjoy!

macha-close

Mmmmm….A nice cup of goodness!

 

Happy New Year, folks!

2017-melissa-iwai-animation

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Filed under Beverages, Breakfast, Superfood

Green Recipe Fail and Success: Perfect Green Coconut Chocolate Protein Ice Cream

My attempt at a green dosa

My attempt at a green dosa

I’m sharing with you a recipe (semi) fail today.  Sometimes life is not perfect.

I ate my first dosa from Dosa Royale eaten at the Brooklyn Smorgasburg.  I wish I had a photo to show it — it was huge and delicious!   A dosa is a savory crepe made from a fermented batter of rice flour and black lentils.  I was inspired to try making a savory zucchini one at home

zucchini batter

Zucchini batter

I don’t have a crepe pan — but that shouldn’t be the cause of my fail because I’ve made many crepes on a regular non-stick skillet.  Bu this time, nothing stayed together when I tried to flip it. 😦   Maybe I need a new skillet?  Or perhaps there wasn’t enough oil?   Wanting the salvage the remaining batter, I decided to try baking it in the toaster oven.  I had better luck with this, but who bakes a crepe!?  Anyway, here is the result.  It is crepe-like and similar to the dosa I had, but with a nice tea green shade:

zucchini crepe

I used it to make a breakfast burrito (with beans, egg, cheese, salsa, and onions).  The flavor is wonderful, even though it is not very “pretty”.

burrito

These days, I am so busy with my artwork, I don’t have as much time to noodle around experimenting in the kitchen, but it is a nice way to procrastinate!  For breakfast, I’m sticking with my perfected Green Coconut Chocolate Protein Ice Cream.  It is similar to my Green Coconut Chocolate Spinach Smoothie, but instead of psyllium husk (I know, I’m losing out on the extra fiber…!), I use a pinch of xanthum gum which I picked up at the health food store.  It gives it a really nice smooth and creamy ice cream feel.

AH... dessert for breakfast! I garnish it with toasted unsweetened coconut and sliced almonds and chia seeds.

AH… dessert for breakfast! I garnish it with toasted unsweetened coconut and sliced almonds and chia seeds.

This is the perfect light breakfast on a hot summer day.  If you can find xanthum gum, try it out — a little goes a lo..o.o…o..ng way!

 

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In other news, my son, Jamie and his friend have recently started blogging.  For a peek at what ten year old boys and girls are writing, check out their blogs at:

http://storiesonclouds.wordpress.com/ and his friend, P’s http://hefordandmelly.wordpress.com/ blogs.  Both are creative writing blogs. It is pretty obvious which one is written by the boy and which is written by the girl!

Perfect Green Coconut Chocolate Protein Ice Cream

2-3 ice cubes

1/4 frozen banana (I slice them and freeze, so this is about 4 slices)

1 cube of frozen coconut milk (or 2 tablespoons)

About 1/2 cup frozen fruit — I use blueberries and strawberries often

1 pinch of xanthum gum

1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

a little less than 1/4 cup milk

teaspoon of toasted coconut and almond for garnish (optional)

1.  Crush ice cubes and coconut milk in blender.

2.  Pour in remaining ingredients and blend. Use a tamper to press everything down — I use a Vitamix.  If you don’t have a tamper, I would just keep stirring it every now and then by hand to remove clumps, and blend again.

3.  Pour into a  bowl and top with crunchy toasted coconut and almond topping if you desire!

Here is my semi-fail recipe if you are interested — still needs work!

Zucchini “Dosa”

1 medium sized zucchini

1 egg

2 tablespoons pancake mix (I used TJ’s multigrain)

1 tablespoons grated parmesan

salt to taste

about 2 tablespoons water to thin batter

non-stick spray

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Cut eight  5 x 5 inch squares out of parchment paper and lay four of them on top on baking sheet.  Spray paper with nonstick spray. Set aside.

2.  Blend ingredients in a blender.

3.   Spoon batter onto parchment and spread into circles or squares.  Bake for about 10-12 minutes.  Cover each square with paper then flip pancake so that the cooked side is down.  Bake for another 5-7 minutes until pancake is done.  Cool and store in refrigerator or eat immediately.

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Filed under Breakfast, Desserts, Uncategorized

Princeton Children’s Book Festival and Chocolate Protein Mini Muffins

Denis and I signed Hush Little Monster together

Denis and I signed Hush Little Monster together

This past Saturday we participated in the Princeton Children’s Book Festival.  It was a  beautiful day for celebrating children’s books!

We met a lot of interesting authors and illustrators and wonderfully supportive parents buying books.  It was also great to see old friends.

With Anne Rockwell, author of Truck Stop, and her daughter and illustrator, Lizzy Rockwell,

With Anne Rockwell, author of Truck Stop, and her daughter and illustrator, Lizzy Rockwell

With Denise Dowling-Mortensen, author of Good Night Engines and Wake Up Engines--we met in 2004, the year Jamie was born and when Good Night Engines was released. :)

With Denise Dowling-Mortensen, author of Good Night Engines and Wake Up Engines–we met in 2004, the year Jamie was born and when Good Night Engines was released. 🙂

I made mini donuts to hand out — they looked like these and the recipe is here:

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Unfortunately I didn’t get a photo of them — I was too distraught over finding my cake stand had broken en route! The good news was that the pile of donuts quickly disappeared within the first couple of hours.

Jamie was a trooper and didn’t mind having to be with us at the festival all day long with no playmates.  He wandered about the four tents of 20 authors and illustrators and looked at books, sampled treats, and had his program signed by all 80 of them!

Table seating of each tent

Table seating of each tent

He also scored  cute drawings from Dave Roman (author/illustrator of the Astronaut Academy series) and Alexis Fredrick Frost (of Adventures in Cartooning fame):

dave roman sketches

By Alexis Fredrick Frost

By Alexis Fredrick Frost

Thank you so much for being so kind to my son!

Jamie also got to choose a couple books for himself and a friend which he had signed by Dave Roman and Fiona Robertson.  It’s so special when you can give and receive an autographed copy!

By Dave Roman

By Dave Roman

By Eva Ibbotson, Illustrated by Fiona Robertson

By Eva Ibbotson, Illustrated by Fiona Robertson

I knew it would be a long day of meeting people and signing books, as well as traveling to and from the event.  It’s the kind of situation where you never know if you’ll get really hungry in a place where there might not be healthy, portable options available.  In preparation, I made a dozen Shelly’s Chocolate Protein Mini Muffins to bring with us.

Chocolate Protein Mini Muffins

Chocolate Protein Mini Muffins

This recipe is from The World According to Eggface — a fantastic blog with lots of great recipes.  These muffins came in handy when we were stranded on the platform after just missing our train back to the city!  It was dinner time and we had to wait for the next train–in the end we were kind of glad we did, because we got to ride with more of our festival compatriots who arrived at the train station later.  Plus, we weren’t hungry anymore!

This coming weekend, I have more book events.  If you are in the NYC area, please come join me.  I will be at Greenlight Bookstore (686 Fulton Street at South Portland, Brooklyn, NY)  on Saturday, September 28 from 11- 12, reading Truck Stop and the board book version of B is for Bulldozer, which was just released this month!  On Sunday, September 29, I will be on a panel with Anne Rockwell and several other authors at Books of Wonder (18 West 18th street between 5th and 6th Avenues) from 1-3 pm.

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Filed under Art Related, Books, Breakfast, Children, Snack, Travel, Vegetarian

High Protein Buttermilk Pancakes

high protein pancake stack

It has been a whole week since I’ve given up drinking caffeine!!  I am sleeping a lot better.   My head is not exploding by afternoon any more, and I don’t wake up at night with a tightness in my chest.  I do miss the taste of coffee though. I might try decaf. But for now, I think it is a good thing to be caffeine free.

In keeping with a healthy lifestyle, I’ve been lifting free weights on non-consecutive days for quite some time.  In addition to the physical benefits (less overall jiggle and stronger bones), I find it meditative and soothing to my brain.  I don’t listen to music or talk to anyone (too early in the morning to talk!)

I usually like to have a satisfying breakfast afterwards that’s made up of fats, protein, and carbs.  This weekend I had a craving for pancakes.  I have a great pancake recipe that was inspired by Truck Stop’s  Dan:

Diligent Dan orders pancakes with syrup and sausages!

Diligent Dan orders pancakes with syrup and sausages!

But this time, I wanted a more protein rich batch.  There are a ton of variations on the web.  This is my version.  I use buttermilk (for more flavor), less egg whites, and I add vanilla protein powder.  Sometimes baked goods with protein powder have a spongy texture that takes some getting used to.  But these protein pancakes have a great feel — not weird at all.  Quite amazing, actually.  I attribute it to the buttermilk and ground oats.  Here’s a recipe for one serving with nutritional information.  I could only eat four of the five though, and should have stopped at three.  They are very filling!

high protein pancake with pb

Especially when eaten with peanut butter!

Yum!

Yum!

You can freeze these by wrapping in saran wrap and storing in a ziploc bag, so you can have them quickly and easily on a week day too.  Wrap in a damp paper towel and microwave for about 55 seconds if frozen.

High Protein Buttermilk Pancakes

½ cup old fashioned oats

¼ of a banana, mashed

¼ cup butter milk

¼ teaspoon baking powder

dash of vanilla extract

3 egg whites (or 9 tablespoons of liquid whites)

½ scoop (18g) protein powder (I used French Vanilla Designer Whey Powder)

½ cup cottage cheese (I used my whipped version)

coconut oil, melted butter, or vegetable oil for greasing griddle

  1. Preheat griddle.
  2. Pulverize oats in blender.  Add remaining ingredients, except for oil.  Blend until completely smooth.
  3. Brush griddle with oil or melted butter.  Pour batter onto griddle to make 4-inch pancakes.  Flip when you see bubbles forming around edges.  Cook another minute or less until done.  Serve immediately.

Makes about five 4-inch pancakes.

Each pancake :                                              Full Recipe

Calories:           84.8                                        424

Fat:                  1.94  g                                        9.7 g

Sat. Fat:           1.06  g                                      5.3 g

Cholest:            10.1 mg                                  10.1mg

Protein:         10.48  g                                     52.4 g

Sodium:            143.5 mg                                717.7 mg

Carbs:              9.6 g                                         48.3 g

Fiber:               1 g                                              5.6 g

Sugars:          1.36   g                                        6.8 g

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Filed under Breakfast, Vegetarian