Poke Sushi Bowls 4 Ways

    Poke Sushi Bowls 4 Ways

    Poke Sushi Bowls 4 Ways, all delicious and easy to make. This might be my favourite new dinner when I’m craving Sushi, which is often, but don’t want the fuss of rolling and forming. Instead they all come in form of a cosy bowl that you can customize to your exact preferences.
    Use rice or buckwheat as base, top with fresh or pickled veggies and fruit, chose your protein or vegan tuna to top and you have dinner ready for the whole week.

     

    Why You Will Love This

    Delicious as Sushi but Without the Fuss

    Have you ever had an irresistible craving for Sushi, but no restaurant or takeaway nearby and you really couldn’t be bothered with all the shaping and rolling? Then this recipe is for you. It does away with the fuss and only leaves the enjoyment of a nutritious bowl with all the flavours you love.

    Poke at Home

    Have you heard about Poke Bowls? I bet you have. And they always look so tempting, don’t they? Yeah, I think so too.

    If you haven’t: Poke is essentially a Hawaiian dish made from raw fish that is tossed in sauce and eaten as snack or main dish. The most common seasonings include soy sauce, sesame oil, mayo, sriracha and spring onions. You can vary it endlessly to make it your own.
    I have added fresh ginger and rice vinegar in my sauce, as I just love how it reminds me of sushi and transforms the flavour of the fish.

    Poke Sushi Bowls 4 Ways_Salmon Bowl

    Typically Poke is just the raw fish in its sauce, but over the years these mixed bowls have become a rather stunning fusion dish, likely stemming from a mix of Korean bibimbap mixed with the Hawaiian Poke. Personally I’m a big fan of fusion kitchen, since it takes and combines the best parts of different kitchens and creates something new.

    So in that tradition of mixing styles, I took ingredients that are commonly used in Sushi, where the fish is served simply raw and unmarinated, and combined it with the Poke tradition of mixing it with different flavours and sauces.

    Versatile Toppings

    I’m giving you 4 different options here, mainly differentiated by their protein or rather topping I should say, as one of them tastes like tuna, but is not a protein, but watermelon.

    Poke Sushi Bowls 4 Ways_Ingredients_Protein/Watermelon Tuna

    Tofu is another great topping, which you can even make in the air fryer.

    And of course the two classics, both very easy to source: Salmon and Prawns.

    It also comes with a range of pretty impressive health benefits, among them being high fibre, magnesium, and vitamin B content, making it a great alternative grain.
    Mind you: Even though it’s name has “wheat” in it, it’s not related to wheat grain and contains no gluten.

    Dressings

    Three different dressings are given below, all take just minutes to assemble. Choose one or make several, to vary your bowls over the week.

    We have an Asian Soy-Ginger-Lime dressing that doubles as marinade for tofu or Salmon, a Sriracha Mayo and a Wasabi mayo.

     

    Wait, did you say Watermelon Tuna?

    Watermelon? Seriously? That is sweet I hear you say. And you’d be right of course. But the simple process of marinating it with soy sauce, sesame oil and nori, then baking it and marinating once more, gives it both texture and flavour that is as close to raw tuna as I have ever experienced.

    Watermelon “Tuna”_Process

    Now, don’t get me wrong, I didn’t invent this method and could not figure out who did unfortunately, as I’d love to give credit to this genius idea! But I found a variety of different recipes and picked my favourite while varying it slightly to suit my preferences.
    The one I started from was by “Chef Studio”, showing a very easy way to make your own.

    While they use the leftover marinade as it is for the second time marinating, I decided to boil mine down, to get rid of the unnecessary water from the melon that gathered in it from the first round of marinating, resulting in a more intense flavour and less watering down what we just cooked out in the oven.

    2 Choices of Grains for the Base

    As a base I’m using sushi rice in 3 of the bowls and cooked buckwheat in the last. While I love rice, the buckwheat has a nuttier flavour and can be prepared very similar to rice and essentially tastes like sushi rice, if you mix it with sushi seasoning.

    Veggies and Fruits

    As usual in my main dishes I prepare for the week, I use as many different fruits and vegetables as I can possibly fit on top of the bowl.

    In this case I used partially my Quick Pickled Vegetables, a longtime favourite on my blog and partially raw. I just love the crunch and acidity you get from pickling and the zing this option lends to the grains. They are super quick to make too.

    But if you aren’t a fan of pickles or just don’t feel like pickling, feel free to use raw ones. A soy or mayo- sriracha sauce on the side with add plenty of flavour to your bowl.

    I know I’m walking the line with the fruits. They seem to be the marmite of the bowl and salad world. But personally I very much enjoyed both mango and fresh pineapple on these bowls. Leave them out if you don’t. Your bowl, your topping choice. That’s the beauty of them.

    Note on the long Ingredients List

    Since I made 4 different bowls and wildly mixed the toppings during the week, the list is fairly long.

    But if you are not as decision adverse as I am, when it comes to the variety of what you’ll eat during the week, you can very easily par it down to a pretty short list. Simply pick one base, one sauce, one protein and some of your favourite toppings and you are set.

    Ingredients

    As usual, I’m stating just a few key ingredients here and why I used them. Please refer to the recipe for the full list.

    The Grain Base

    Sushi rice is certainly the easiest to find and likely the most familiar tasting if you are going for the typical flavour profile.

    Poke Sushi Bowls 4 Ways_Ingredients_Sushi Rice

    But if you feel a tiny bit more adventurous or just want to add more fibre to your diet, try out buckwheat groats. Ideally in form of Kasha, which is the toasted variant.
    While you can toast your own, I felt during my tries that it’s never as even as the pre-toasted version and tends to get a bit mushy. It will still taste great but might not look as pretty.

    At the time of making these bowls, I only had raw buckwheat groats, so that’s what I used.

    Poke Sushi Bowls 4 Ways_Ingredients_Buckwheat Groats

    Other great base options are cauliflower rice, brown rice or even couscous, which are easy to prepare and taste great with the sushi seasoning.

    The Protein

    Salmon or prawns – Use the freshest products you can find. Ideally from a fishmonger you can tell you if your fish is fresh enough to be eaten raw.
    I took a bit of a risk with mine, buying a packet of super fresh looking salmon and prawns from Tesco, that had 6 days left on their “use by” date, which seemed good enough to me. Please carefully check the date before you buy and once you open it, smell it. It should smell like fresh seawater with a hint of salmon/prawn. If it smells in any way bad, do not use it.

    Poke Sushi Bowls 4 Ways_Ingredients_Salmon

    Poke Sushi Bowls 4 Ways_Ingredients_Prawns

    Tofu

    I used extra firm Tofu from the Tofoo co., which is readily available at Tesco here and tastes lovely.

    Poke Sushi Bowls 4 Ways_Ingredients_Tofu

    Watermelon

    Now, while watermelon is obviously not a protein, I’m listing it here as it will act like our tuna.
    While you’d usually go for the sweetest and ripest melon you can find, if you are eating it raw, that would be counterproductive for this use.
    Instead try to get one that is under ripe, as it will be less sweet and have fewer black seeds. They are also usually a bit on the firmer fleshed side, which is exactly what we want for the tuna-like texture.

    Watermelon “Tuna”_Ingredients

    Nori

    This is what puts the “tuna” into the watermelon. You can find nori sheets for sushi in pretty much every supermarket these days. Just cut one piece into tiny snippets using scissors. Don’t leave this out, as it’s the essential ingredient.

    Vegetables

    The options are endless here. Think Sushi and Asian bowls and go from there. You can use whatever you enjoy in your bowl.

    Poke Sushi Bowls 4 Ways_Ingredients_Veggies and fruit

    I used some of my favourites which included

    – Red cabbage
    – Carrots
    – Cucumber
    – Mini sweetcorn
    – Radishes
    – Avocados
    – Spring onions

    Apart from the avocado and spring onions, I had pickled and fresh versions of them all and found both delicious.

    You could also use edamame beans (which are near impossible to get here), fresh peas, pickled onions, daikon radish, seaweed, micro greens, red peppers, or zucchini.

    Fruit

    Going with the Hawaiian theme from the Poke, I added fresh mango and pineapple to some of the bowls and absolutely loved the sweet freshness they brought to the party. If you are a pineapple pizza hater, maybe leave them out.

    Sauce

    My personal favourite was a sauce I mixed from soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, lime juice, honey, and ginger. It felt closest to the Poke Sushi theme I was going for.
    I used it to marinade the salmon and tofu and to drizzle over the finished bowls. So if you go with one of those 2 toppings, make double.

    Soy dressing/marinade ingredients

    A note on soy sauce: I prefer Tamari or reduced salt soy sauce, especially from Kikkoman. If you are using Chinese dark soy sauce, you might have to adjust the amount, as it’s very salty.

    If you like a creamier and hot version, a simple mix of sriracha, mayonnaise, lime juice and honey will be lovely.

    Sriracha Mayo_Ingredients

    Or swap the sriracha for wasabi, to add a different type of heat. I mixed 0% fat greek yoghurt into both, as I wanted a lighter dressing.

    Wasabi Mayo_Ingredients

    Other Toppings

    No bowl is complete without fun additions that make it really sing.
    In this case I went with pickled sushi ginger, black and white sesame, and optional wasabi.

    FAQ

     

    Sushi Seasoning

    No sushi seasoning? No problem. Just make your own.
    Mix 1 cup rice vinegar, ¼ + 1 tbsp sugar and 1 tbsp + 1/2 tsp salt and whisk until sugar and salt have dissolved.

    Are Poke Sushi bowls healthy?

    They absolutely can be. Combining a source of carbs, protein and a variety of different vegetables gives your body all the nutrients it needs and keeps your gut bacteria happy.
    I love to add at least 5 different veggies and some fruit to my main meal and these Poke Sushi Bowls are now exception. Basically you get all your 5-a-day in one irresistible dish.

    But what about raw fish?

    As long as you make sure to use really fresh fish, it’s perfectly healthy and eaten in Japan and Hawaii on a regular basis.
    However, if you are unsure or have a compromised immune system (I do due to my arthritis drugs, but never had any issues), you could use smoked salmon for example or one of the other toppings. No danger in the watermelon “tuna” for sure.

    Also both prawns and salmon have lime in their marinade, which partially “cooks” them via the acid.

    But I hate fish!

    I get you, I really do. I have a weird, deep dislike for any fish that is not deep fried. Unless it’s raw.
    Sounds strange, doesn’t it? But fresh, raw fish tastes a lot less “fishy” than cooked fish of any sort. And the texture and flavour are more like a really tender filet steak (properly cooked that is, medium/raw).
    So if you want to enjoy the benefits of fish, especially oily ones like salmon, with all their protein and omega 3, but hate most cooked variants, you might want to give this a go. It’s my absolute favourite way to eat it!

     

    The Process

    This part will look fairly long, as I’m covering the different bases and toppings. Simply skip to the bits you’d like to use in your bowl.

    Quick Pickles Vegetables

    If you decide to pickle your veggies, do that first by following my recipe for it. It just takes a few minutes to make and lasts for over a week in the fridge. So you’ll have crunchy pickled veggies for all kinds of dishes and cravings.

    FreshVegetables

    Slice and chop your vegetables of choice into bite sized pieces. Store in separate containers, to assemble later.

    Watermelon “Tuna”

    While the watermelon “tuna” isn’t a lot of work, it does take a while due to the marinating and baking time. So ideally prepare it the day before.

    Cut the skin off your watermelon and cube it into about 1in pieces and drop them into a large freezer bag. They will shrink quite a bit as they bake.

    Watermelon “Tuna”_Process
    Mix all remaining ingredients except the rice vinegar and pour over the melon pieces. Close the bag and shake, to distribute them and cover every bit of melon. In a box or deep dish, where the bag can lay relatively flat, so the cubes are in one layer, store in the fridge to allow to marinate for at least 6h or overnight.

    Watermelon “Tuna”_Process

    Preheat your oven to 350°F/175°C.
    Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

    Once ready to bake, carefully pour the now watered down marinade through a sieve into a small cooking pot. We will boil this down to concentrate the flavours while the watermelon bakes.

    Watermelon “Tuna”_Process

    Distribute the marinated cubes on the parchment lined baking sheet, so they are in one layer, ideally with a tiny bit of space in between them.

    Bake for 1- 1.5h, turning them carefully once, until their texture resembles raw tuna. Try one and see if it needs a little longer if in doubt. They should already be delicious.

    While that is baking, reduce the marinade by boiling it rapidly until you have about ½ cup left. Add the rice vinegar and leave to cool.

    Watermelon “Tuna”_Process

    Once your “tuna” is baked, transfer to a heat proof bowl and drizzle over the marinade. Leave in the fridge for at least 1h, up to 5 days. The longer you leave it, the more intense the flavour will be.

    Tofu

    This is next on the list of “takes a while, but is very easy”, as tofu has to be pressed, to remove some of the water content and then marinated to flavour it.

    Start by pressing your tofu. You can do this by simply wrapping it into a clean, dry kitchen towel, putting it between 2 wooden boards or trays and putting something heavy on them to weigh it down. Or, if you’d rather have a less precarious version, get a tofu press like this.
    Whichever method you use, leave for at least 1h. Overnight is fine too.

    Pour away the liquid that has gathered and cut your block of tofu into about ½ in cubes. Transfer to a bowl or freezer bag for marinating.

    Poke Sushi Bowls 4 Ways_Tofu marinade

    Mix the soy dressing/marinade ingredients together and pour one portion over your tofu cubes. Leave in the fridge to marinate for at least 1h or longer.

    While your rice is cooking, fry your tofu cubes until golden brown. You can do this in a pan, with a little oil, or in the air fryer.

    To air fry, preheat your air fryer to 400°F/200°C-
    Spray the cooking basket with a little cooking oil. Lay out the tofu cubes in one layer (depending on your air fryer, you may have to do this in batches) and cook for 9 minutes. Slide out the basket, toss the cubes, then cook for another 2-4 until golden brown and delicious.

    Salmon

    Remove any bones and skin from your salmon. Cut into bite sized cubes (about ½ in). Transfer to a freezer bag or lidded container.

    Mix the soy dressing/marinade ingredients together and pour one portion of it over the salmon cubes, turning them to make sure they all have marinade on them. They don’t need to be fully submerged.

    Poke Sushi Bowls 4 Ways_Salmon

    Marinade for about 30min-1h. Serve raw. It will be slightly “cooked” by the marinade.

    Prawns

    Wash your prawns and pat dry with paper towels. Transfer to a bowl with a lid or freezer bag.

    Poke Sushi Bowls 4 Ways_Prawns marinade

    Mix the juice of the limes, salt and ginger and pour over your prawns. Leave to marinade for about 30min to 1h. Serve raw. They will be slightly “cooked” by the marinade.

     

    Sriracha/Wasabi Mayo

    In a small bowl, stir all ingredients together until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking.

    Sushi Rice

    Rinse the rice under cold running water. Transfer to a saucepan. Add the water and salt, then bring to a boil. Stir, cover, lower the heat to the minimum, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the water is fully absorbed. Remove from the heat and let rest, covered, for 15 minutes.

    Poke Sushi Bowls 4 Ways_Sushi Rice
    Stir in sushi seasoning until well distributed.

    Buckwheat Groats

    If not toasted, quickly toast it on a dry skillet over medium heat for 4-5 minutes until golden brown.

    Stir in the buckwheat into boiled water and cover saucepan with lid. Bring back to a gentle simmer and reduce the heat to low. Cook until the water is absorbed, 13-15 minutes.
    Remove from heat and let the buckwheat rest covered for 10 minutes.
    Stir in the sushi seasoning. Fluff with a fork.

    For a more detailed recipe including troubleshooting tips for Buckwheat Groats, have a look at this one from “Olga in the Kitchen“.

    Assembly

    Build your bowls starting with your carb of choice. Add about ½ cup of rice or buckwheat to your bowl. Top with your vegetables and/or fruit, then your protein or Watermelon “tuna”.

    Drizzle with dressing of your choice. Decorate with sesame seeds, pickled ginger and, if you like, extra wasabi.

    Dig into your stunning and addictive Poke Sushi Bowls, gratulate yourself for your fantastic food choices.

    Poke Sushi Bowls 4 Ways

     

    Meal Prep

    Everything in these bowls can be prepared in advance, though for the raw fish options, I would recommend eating them the same day or latest the next day if your fish was very fresh.

    Store every ingredient in separate lidded containers in the fridge, to keep it from going soggy and assemble when you are ready to eat.

    These bowls also make a fantastic work lunch, if you assemble in the evening and just grab one from the fridge in the morning. The tofu and watermelon “tuna” will both keep for 4-5 days.

    Poke Sushi Bowls 4 Ways_Meal Prep_Vegan "Tuna"

    Please Leave a Comment

    Now I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
    Have you tried this? Did you enjoy it?
    What other recipes would you like to see?

    If you enjoyed this recipe, please share and comment. It helps me a lot.

    For other Asian inspired recipes take a look at these:

    Chinese Duck Pancake Salad with Plum Dressing

    Pork Banh Mi

    Vegan Tom Kha Soup

    Poke Sushi Bowls 4 Ways

    Poke Sushi Bowls 4 Ways

    Poke Sushi Bowls 4 Ways, all delicious and easy to make. This might be my favourite new dinner when I’m craving Sushi, which is often, but don’t want the fuss of rolling and forming. Instead they all come in form of a cosy bowl that you can customize to your exact preferences. Use rice or buckwheat as base, top with fresh or pickled veggies and fruit, chose your protein or vegan tuna to top and you have dinner ready for the whole week.
    Prep Time 45 minutes
    Cook Time 2 hours
    Resting/Marinating time, depending on topping 1 day
    Total Time 1 day 2 hours 45 minutes
    Course Dinner, lunch, Main Course
    Cuisine Asian, Fusion
    Servings 6
    Calories 350 kcal

    Ingredients
      

    Vegetables of choice, pickled or fresh

      I used:

      • ¼ head red cabbage sliced
      • ½ lb Radishes sliced
      • 1 cucumber sliced
      • 3 carrots julienned
      • ½ lb mini sweetcorn halved
      • 2 avocados sliced
      • 1 mango cubed
      • 1 pineapple cut into chunks

      Protein/ “Fish Like” topping of choice:

      • 1 lb salmon very fresh – Soy, sesame, rice vinegar marinated

      or

      • 1 lb shrimps very fresh

      or

      • 1 lb extra firm tofu

      or

      • Watermelon “Tuna”

      Watermelon “Tuna”

      • 1500 g watermelon seeded & peeled (about 1 medium melon) chopped into about 1in cubes
      • ½ tsp salt
      • 1 tbsp sesame oil
      • 2 tbsp neutral oil such as grapeseed
      • ¼ cup tbsp tamari or soy sauce
      • 1 sheet nori cut into small pieces
      • 2 tbsp rice vinegar

      Marinade/Dressing

        Make double if you are topping your bowl with Salmon or Tofu

        • 3 tbsp Shoyu or soy sauce Tamari or soy
        • 3 tbsp lime juice about 2 limes
        • 1 tbsp sesame oil
        • 1 tbsp honey
        • 2 tsp Ginger grated
        • 2 spring onions sliced to top after marinating

        Prawn Marinade

        • 4 limes zest of 1, juiced
        • 2 tsp ginger grated
        • ½ tsp kosher salt or more to taste
        • 2 spring onions sliced to top after marinating

        Wasabi-Mayo

        • 2 tbsp Mayo
        • 2 tbsp 0% fat Greek yoghurt
        • ½ lime juice and zest
        • 1 tsp honey
        • ½ - 1 tsp Wasabi

        Or

          Sriracha Mayo

          • 3 tbsp Mayo
          • 3 tbsp 0% fat Greek yoghurt
          • 1 tsp Sriracha
          • ½ lime juice
          • 1 tsp Honey

          Sushi Rice

          • 1 cup sushi rice
          • cups water
          • 1 tsp kosher salt
          • 2 tbsp sushi seasoning

          Or

            Buckwheat Groats

            • 1 cup buckwheat toast, rinse
            • 1 ½ water
            • 1 tsp kosher salt
            • 2 tbsp sushi seasoning

            Instructions
             

            Quick Pickled Vegetables:

            • If opting for pickled veggies, prepare them using the recipe provided above in the post. This step is quick and can be done ahead, offering crunchy pickled vegetables for various dishes.

            Vegetables Fresh:

            • Slice and chop your choice of vegetables into bite-sized pieces. Store them separately to assemble later.

            Watermelon "Tuna":

            • Prepare the watermelon "tuna" a day in advance for optimal flavor.
            • Remove the skin from the watermelon and cube it into 1-inch pieces. Place them in a large freezer bag.
            • Mix all remaining ingredients except rice vinegar and pour over the watermelon. Seal the bag and shake to coat evenly. Refrigerate in a flat container for at least 6 hours or overnight.
            • Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
            • Strain the marinade into a pot and boil it to concentrate flavors while the watermelon bakes.
            • Arrange marinated watermelon cubes on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 1-1.5 hours, turning once, until the texture resembles raw tuna. Adjust the baking time if needed.
            • Reduce the strained marinade, add rice vinegar, and let it cool. Drizzle over the baked watermelon "tuna" and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, up to 5 days.

            Tofu:

            • Press tofu between two boards or trays with weights on top for at least 1 hour or overnight.
            • Discard the accumulated liquid and cut tofu into ½-inch cubes.
            • Marinate in a mixture of soy dressing for at least 1 hour.
            • Fry the marinated tofu until golden brown in a pan with oil or in an air fryer preheated to 400°F/200°C for 9 minutes, toss, then fry for another 2-4 minutes until golden brown.

            Salmon:

            • Remove bones and skin from salmon, then cut into bite-sized cubes. Marinate in soy dressing for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

            Prawns:

            • Wash and pat dry prawns, then marinate in lime juice, salt, and ginger for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

            Sriracha/Wasabi Mayo:

            • Mix all ingredients until smooth. Adjust seasoning to taste.

            Sushi Rice:

            • Rinse sushi rice, then cook with water and salt for 15-20min until fully absorbed. Let it rest, covered, for 15 minutes. Stir in sushi seasoning.

            Buckwheat Groats:

            • Toast buckwheat on a dry skillet until golden brown if not already toasted.
            • Cook buckwheat in boiled water for 13-15 minutes until tender, then let it rest covered for 10 minutes. Stir in sushi seasoning.

            Assembly:

            • Start with a base of rice or buckwheat in each bowl.
            • Top with fresh vegetables/fruits, protein (tofu, salmon, shrimp, or watermelon "tuna").
            • Drizzle with desired dressing and garnish with sesame seeds and pickled ginger.
            • Enjoy your vibrant and flavorful Poke Sushi Bowls!

            Notes

            Please note: For this particular recipe, as there are so many variables, I'm not giving specific nutrition calculation, but rather an average for the sushi bowls as I made them. This will vary depending on the sauce, protein, grain and vegetables you are using, so it's just a very rough estimate.
            Similar for the cooking and preparation time.
            The 2 days resting and 2h cooking are for the Watermelon "Tuna", which simply needs a while to take on the flavor. But it's very little hands on work.
            The average hands on work would be around 45min plus cooking and marinating time for rice/Protein.
            Everything in these bowls can be prepared in advance, though for the raw fish options, I would recommend eating them the same day or latest the next day if your fish was very fresh.
            Store every ingredient in separate lidded containers in the fridge, to keep it from going soggy and assemble when you are ready to eat.

            Nutrition

            Calories: 350kcal
            Nutrition Facts
            Poke Sushi Bowls 4 Ways
            Amount per Serving
            Calories
            350
            % Daily Value*
            * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
            Keyword For Guests, Healthy, High Fibre, meal prep, Protein, vegan, Vegetarian, versatile
            Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
            Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein

            Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein

            This super pretty pink Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein will brighten up your table while bringing you a zesty and nutty tasting cake that is very easy to make. The sponge is full of pistachio-orange flavour, while still feeling light enough to have it any day with a nice cup of tea or coffee in the afternoon. What’s more: It comes with about 10g of protein per slice, meaning you get your nutrition from your dessert. The candied orange slices are optional, but highly recommended and once you made them, you’ll wonder why you ever bought them, it’s so simple.

             

            Why You Will Love This

            I mean look at it! Doesn’t it lift your mood simply because it’s there? It sure does for me. But if you need more reasons, here we go.

            Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein

            Easy to Make

            Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein is essentially a very simple sponge cake you can whip up in a few minutes. The only special equipment you’ll need is a food processor, do grind the pistachios, as they can be hard to find pre-ground.

            The icing comes together in seconds and the candied oranges take just a few minutes on the hob and some drying time.

            This cake is just as good as impressive centre piece for afternoon tea with guests, as it is to have just by yourself during the week, because of how easy it is to make and how well it keeps due to the pistachio-rich batter.

            Pretty Pink and Entirely Natural Icing

            Blood Oranges give you an incredibly pretty icing without any food colouring. Even though not all of them have the dark red shades on the skin, the juice tends to be a really intense red, which will colour the simply icing sugar mix just on its own. No colour needed.

            Protein

            If you read some of my dessert recipes, you probably noticed I include protein powder in most of them. This is because I made dessert essentially a main meal. Due to my busy fulltime job, I rarely have time to eat breakfast, so usually I meal prep lunch and something sweet for the evening on my weekends, to have it ready during the week.

            Now, would I eat “normal” desserts, which usually have very little nutrition, that would probably not be a good idea. But I try to incorporate fruits, nuts, protein, and nutritionally dense carbs in everything I make, meaning I fuel my body with them and there is no reason to feel bad about eating them.

            Dessert for Breakfast. Or Dinner?

            The above distribution of my meals (including this Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein) is very intentionally structured around what I feel like eating at the time of day I have the food.
            Usually, having “lunch” as my first meal, I feel like something savoury, ideally with lots of veggies, that will fuel me until dinner.

            While in the evening, after the stresses of the day, I almost always crave something sweet. Do I use the food to reward myself? Absolutely. But by doing this in an intentional way and including all the nutrition my body needs in it, I feel pretty great about it too.

            Pistachios for Lovely Contrast and Flavour

            This recipe was inspired by one from “Nistisima” by Georgina Hayden for a vegan walnut-orange cake, that is often eaten during fasting.
            I wanted protein in my cake and pretty green pistachios instead of walnuts, to provide a contrast to the bright colours and flavour of the blood oranges. Also slightly lower calories. So I adapted the recipe accordingly.

            The Ingredients

            I’m giving just a few of the ingredients here and why I used them. For the full list, please see the recipe.

            Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein_Ingredients

            Blood Oranges

            Blood oranges are in season, so I wanted to make a dessert that really showcases their pretty colour and bright, intense flavour. I feel this Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein does just that. Both their juice and zest are used in the sponge, more juice to make the pink icing and they get candied to create an amazing and very snackable topping.

            They also contain lots of fibre and vitamin C together with and whole range of other nutrients, meaning they are really good for you. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/blood-orange-benefits

            If Blood Oranges are not in season, you can of course use normal oranges. They just won’t add the pink colour to the icing. Or use blood orange juice from the fridge in your supermarket. I’ve seen one brand having it relatively regularly.

            Pistachios

            While it was near impossible to get shelled pistachios in Ireland for a while, they are slowly becoming more common. I found mine at Holland & Barrett, but also saw some at Dunnes.
            Depending on where you live, you might want to check health food shops for them, as they seem to be easier to find there.

            Pistachios are rich in nutrients, one of the lowest calorie nuts and high in protein.

            That being said, Pistachios are not a “nut” in the biological sense, but rather in the same family called “drupes” together with cashews and almonds. Which also explains their affinity with most foods that almonds go so well with.

            If pistachios are very expensive where you live, you could replace either half or all of them with almonds and the cake would still be delicious. Just not as pretty light green.

            Protein

            I’m using as usual my favourite (neither sponsored nor affiliated) MyProtein Whey. In this case their Buttered Popcorn flavour.
            Vanilla flavour would work great too.

            You could use vegan or casein protein powder, which I read are especially great for baking, but I absolutely despise the flavour of all vegan powders I have tried, and found MyProtein Whey to work rather fantastic in any dessert. So swap at your own risk.

            Apart from the beneficial added protein, the powder replaces part of the plain flour and sugar, which brings the nutrition up and the calories down. Win/win.

            Whole Wheat Flour

            To up the nutty flavour of this cake, I swapped part of the more typically used plain flour for whole wheat flour. Fine to be specific. This is particularly nice for cakes, as it’s finer ground than the typically coarse whole wheat flour you’d use for bread, but still has all of the nutrition of the whole grain.

            Icing

            Blood Orange Icing_Ingredients

            All you need for the pink icing is icing sugar and blood orange juice. Extremely simple and very delicious. It also “seals” the cake, keeping in the moisture, so it will last for a few days on your counter.

            Candied Oranges

            Candied Blood Oranges_Ingredients

            I know, everything candied sounds so very complicated, doesn’t it?
            I can assure you, it’s not. Orange slices, sugar and water is all you need. It’s entirely made on the hob. A sugar thermometer is needed.

             

            Making this Cake Vegan

            To transform this cake into a vegan one, simply replace the 2 eggs with another 1/2 cup of light olive oil and use a vegan protein powder.

            The Process

            The Candied Blood Oranges

            Start by making the candied oranges if you chose to include them. This will make a few more than you need, which is perfect, as they are great for nibbling.

            Prepare a sheet pan with a wire rack by placing some baking parchment under the wire, for less mess to clean up later.

            First bring a pot with water to the boil and prepare a bowl of iced water. Once boiling, gently lower your orange slices into the water and simmer for 2 minutes, taking them out with a slotted spoon when done and plunging them into the ice bath. This will remove some of the bitterness from the peel.

            Candied Blood Oranges_Process

            Next add your cup of sugar and ½ cup of water to a medium saucepan. The little red flecks you see in the pot above are orange juice from the cut off ends I squeezed into it.

            Stir while bringing it to the boil, so the sugar can dissolve. Once it boils, stop stirring and just swirl the pot occasionally, to prevent sugar crystals from forming. If any form on the sides of the pot, use a wet brush to push them down.

            Let the syrup come to 225°F/110°C, then gently and in layers, lower all the orange slices into it.
            Continue to simmer the mix until it reaches about 230°F/115°C (Keep an eye on it. You don’t want it to turn into dark caramel accidentally) while carefully turning the orange slices once with thongs or a spatula. Once the target temperature is reached, your syrup should be fairly thick.

            Pick out the now candied orange slices one by one with a fork or thongs and place on the wire rack. Be sure to keep a bit of space between them, so they don’t stick together.
            Leave to cool for at least 1h.

            Candied Blood Oranges

            If you are not using them immediately, they can be stored in a lidded container in the fridge for up to a week. So you can prepare them ahead of time. Ideally keep them in single layers on baking parchment, to keeping them for becoming one huge sticky orange piece.

            The Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein

            Start by greasing a springform and line the bottom with baking parchment. This is easiest if you lay the parchment over the loose bottom, then fasten the ring around it and cut off the overlap.

            Preheat your oven to 375°F/190°C

            In a large bowl, using a hand mixer or with your stand mixer, whisk together sugar and oil. Note the sugar won’t entirely dissolve, as it might in butter. That’s fine. Just whisk for a few minutes until it’s mostly there. Add the eggs one by one and mix until light and foamy and the sugar has dissolved. In doubt rub some of the mix between your fingertips. If it’s still slightly grainy, mix a bit longer until it feels smooth.

            Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein_Process

            Now you can add all the remaining wet ingredients and the protein powder. Continue whisking until really smooth and foamy. This will add lift to the sponge.

            In a separate bowl, mix the remaining dry ingredients, keeping ¼ cup of chopped pistachios back for garnish later.

            Add the dry to the wet and gently fold in with a spoon or silicone spatula until no dry flour remains. Don’t overmix, or you will develop the gluten and your sponge will become tough.

            Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein_Process

            Pour the batter into your prepared springform. Bake for 30 – 45 minutes, rotating once if your oven bakes unevenly, until it’s nicely browned and a toothpick comes out clean or with just a few crumbs.

            Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein_Process

            Leave the cake to cool in the form for about 10minutes, then take it out of the springform and let it cool completely on a wire rack. Don’t add the icing while still warm, or it will just soak into the cake. Which is still delicious, but not as pretty.

             

            The Blood Orange Icing

            Juice your last blood orange and add the icing sugar to a bowl or small jug. Start by adding 2-3 tbsp of the juice to the sugar and, using a small whisk, incorporating it until there is no liquid left. Judge the consistency. It should be thick, but still drizzleable (is that a word? If not, it should be!). Add more juice or sugar if it’s not quite right.

            Blood Orange Icing_Process

            Pour the icing over your cake, first one half, spread with a spatula or back of a large spoon, then add more where you feel it’s a bit thin. You could also do this in two layers, letting the first one dry completely before you add the second. Use a spatula to spread some of the icing that has run off onto the sides to complete the look.

            Blood Orange Icing_Process
            Let the icing dry completely before you decorate the cake.

             

            Decorate and Serve

            Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein

            Just before serving your Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein, decorate it with the candied oranges and remaining chopped pistachios. Slice and enjoy with a lovely cup of hot tea or coffee. Earl Grey would be particularly fitting here.

            Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein

            Getting Ahead

             

            Both the sponge and candied oranges can be made the day before. The orange slices keep well in a lidded container in the fridge. Ideally each layer separated by baking parchment, to prevent them from sticking to each other.

            The cake will be fine for up to 5 days covered with kitchen foil or clingfilm. I used kitchen foil and domed it, so it wouldn’t touch the oranges and stick to them.

            The cake also freezes well. Even with the icing, though it will soak into the cake a bit when thawing and not be as pretty anymore. So ideally ice later. Or just enjoy the extra flavour that soaked into the cake.

            Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein

            If you liked this recipe, you might also like:

            Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein 

            Lemon Poppy Sourdough Zucchini Bread with Protein 

            Banoffee Protein Mousse Pie

            Please Comment

            Now I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
            Have you tried this? Did you enjoy it?
            What other recipes would you like to see?

            If you enjoyed this recipe, please share and comment. It helps me a lot.

            Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein

            Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein

            This super pretty pink Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein will brighten up your table while bringing you a zesty and nutty tasting cake that is very easy to make. The sponge is full of pistachio-orange flavour, while still feeling light enough to have it any day with a nice cup of tea or coffee in the afternoon. What’s more: It comes with about 10g of protein per slice, meaning you get your nutrition from your dessert. The candied orange slices are optional, but highly recommended and once you made them, you’ll wonder why you ever bought them, it’s so simple.
            Prep Time 40 minutes
            Cook Time 1 hour
            Cooling and drying time 2 hours
            Total Time 3 hours 40 minutes
            Course Cake, Dessert
            Cuisine American
            Servings 12
            Calories 468 kcal

            Equipment

            • Food Processor, sugar thermometer, springform

            Ingredients
              

            Sponge:

            • ½ cup olive oil light
            • 2 eggs
            • 2 ¼ cups pistachios finely chop 1 cup, keep 1/4 for decorating, grind rest
            • 4 blood oranges zest 1 + juice until you have 1 cup.
            • ¾ cup plain flour
            • ½ cup +2 tbsp whole wheat flour fine
            • 2/3 cup protein powder I used MyProtein buttered popcorn flavour. Vanilla works too
            • ¾ cup brown sugar
            • 2 tsp baking powder
            • ½ tsp baking soda
            • ½ tsp kosher salt
            • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

            Icing:

            • 1 blood orange
            • 1.5 cups icing sugar

            Candied Blood Orange Slices:

            • 3 Blood Oranges cut into 0.2in slices
            • 1 cup sugar
            • ½ cup water

            Instructions
             

            Candied Blood Orange Slices:

            • Bring a pot of water to a boil and prepare a bowl of iced water.
            • Blanch the orange slices in boiling water for 2 minutes, then transfer them to the ice bath.
            • In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and water. Bring to a boil, swirling the pan occasionally until the sugar dissolves.
            • Once the syrup reaches 225°F/110°C, gently add the orange slices in layers.
            • Simmer until the syrup thickens and reaches about 230°F/115°C, ensuring the orange slices are evenly coated.
            • Using tongs or a fork, transfer the candied orange slices to a wire rack placed over a baking sheet. Allow them to cool for at least 1 hour.

            Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein:

            • Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C. Grease a springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
            • In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil and brown sugar until mostly dissolved. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until light and foamy.
            • Stir in the blood orange zest, juice, and protein powder until smooth and foamy.
            • In a separate bowl, combine the flours, ground pistachios (reserving 1/4 cup for garnish), baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
            • Gradually fold the dry ingredients into the wet mixture until just combined. Be careful not to overmix.
            • Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan and bake for 30-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
            • Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely.

            Blood Orange Icing:

            • In a bowl or small jug, combine the blood orange juice with icing sugar. Start with 2-3 tablespoons of juice and adjust to reach a thick but pourable consistency.
            • Drizzle the icing over the cooled cake, spreading it evenly with a spatula.
            • Allow the icing to set completely before decorating.

            Decorate and Serve:

            • Arrange the candied blood orange slices on top of the cake and sprinkle with the reserved chopped pistachios.
            • Slice and serve the cake with a nice cup of tea or coffee.

            Notes

            Getting Ahead
            Both the sponge and candied oranges can be made the day before. The orange slices keep well in a lidded container in the fridge. Ideally each layer separated by baking parchment, to prevent them from sticking to each other.
            The cake will be fine for up to 5 days covered with kitchen foil or clingfilm. I used kitchen foil and domed it, so it wouldn’t touch the oranges and stick to them.
            The cake also freezes well. Even with the icing, though it will soak into the cake a bit when thawing and not be as pretty anymore. So ideally ice later. Or just enjoy the extra flavour that soaked into the cake.

            Nutrition

            Calories: 468kcalCarbohydrates: 63gProtein: 12gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0.003gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 238mgPotassium: 326mgFiber: 3gSugar: 48gVitamin A: 172IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 107mgIron: 2mg
            Nutrition Facts
            Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein
            Amount per Serving
            Calories
            468
            % Daily Value*
            Fat
             
            21
            g
            32
            %
            Saturated Fat
             
            3
            g
            19
            %
            Trans Fat
             
            0.003
            g
            Polyunsaturated Fat
             
            4
            g
            Monounsaturated Fat
             
            12
            g
            Cholesterol
             
            37
            mg
            12
            %
            Sodium
             
            238
            mg
            10
            %
            Potassium
             
            326
            mg
            9
            %
            Carbohydrates
             
            63
            g
            21
            %
            Fiber
             
            3
            g
            13
            %
            Sugar
             
            48
            g
            53
            %
            Protein
             
            12
            g
            24
            %
            Vitamin A
             
            172
            IU
            3
            %
            Vitamin C
             
            6
            mg
            7
            %
            Calcium
             
            107
            mg
            11
            %
            Iron
             
            2
            mg
            11
            %
            * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
            Keyword Easy, For Guests, fruit, Protein, Vegetarian
            Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

             

            Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu

            Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu

            This Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu answered all my cravings for the crunch of KFC chicken, the spiced marinade, and the urgent need for creamy, tangy, and punchy Caesar dressing on a fresh salad. Super satisfying, packed with protein from the tofu with a cashew based sauce, adding all the nutrition you could possibly want for dinner in one delicious plate.

             

            Why You Will Love This

             

            Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu

            Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu

            Did you ever feel you really wanted the crunch and flavour of KFC chicken, but in Tofu? Or anything other than meat really, but Tofu really offers itself due to the structure and tenderness you get, when you first press then marinate it. In this case in a marinade made from almond milk with a tablespoon of lemon juice and a spice mix from Joshua Weissman that is very similar to KFCs.
            This infuses the tofu with lovely tang and lots of flavour, getting it ready to be coated in crushed cornflakes. You can bake it in the oven or pan fry, but I found it bakes best in the air fryer, giving you perfectly crunchy and golden pieces, that are rather addictive when dipped into the Caesar Cashew dressing.

            The all-important Caesar Dressing made vegan

            While typical Caesar dressing is made with mayonnaise and anchovies, I’m using a base of cashews, which are blended into a super creamy dressing with capers, to give the salty, briny umami notes you’d usually get from anchovies and Worcester sauce. Nutritional yeast replaces the parmesan, making the dressing vegan.

            While you could of course use a vegan mayonnaise, I prefer the nutritional benefits of cashews, adding protein and minerals. Plus the more natural taste they give to any salad dressing. And I use them for many different ones like my Cashew Ranch Dressing.

            Thyme Lemon Garlic Croutons

            Another defining and rather addictive element of the Caesar salad are the croutons. They are also an ideal use for any stale bread you might have. I used homemade sourdough bread, but any reasonably good bread will do. A few days old is perfect, as it will crisp up in the oven or air fryer. I added fresh thyme from my garden, grated lemon zest from the lemon I used for the dressing, some garlic powder, salt, and olive oil, to give it a lovely herby and fresh flavour.

            Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu_Crouton Ingredients

            Making them in the air fryer is fantastic, as you only need to shake them once and it’s hands off apart from that. They come out perfectly golden and crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle.

            Mixed Salad

            While the classic Caesar Salad would be Romaine, I always like different veggies in my dinner, so I added shredded carrot, thinly sliced white cabbage, sweetcorn, red onions that are being quick pickled in some lemon juice.
            I’ve also added black grapes, but if you are not a fan of fruit in your salads, you could swap them for black olives, which would go really well with the vegan Caesar dressing.

            You could just leave out or swap around any of the veggies I added here. Cucumber and tomatoes would be nice too, radishes, different types of greens, kale in particular or even added asparagus.

             

            The Ingredients

             

            I’m just mentioning a few key ingredients here and why I’m using them. For the full list, please check the recipe card.

            Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu

            Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu_Tofu Marinade

            For the Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu I’m using firm tofu. In Ireland I find the best one of those I tried is from “The Tofuu Co.” https://www.tesco.ie/groceries/en-IE/products/294476706
            You can use any brand, as long as it’s very firm, so it doesn’t fall apart when marinating and then breading.

            Since I wanted to get as close as I could to buttermilk fried chicken, similar to KFC, but without the chicken and huge amount of fat, I used almond milk mixed lemon juice and spices. Don’t be put off by the fairly long list. You will likely have them in your spice collection already, as they are very common.
            The Joshua Weissman recipe for the spice mix I adapted had celery powder in it, which I couldn’t find here, so I used celery salt. This made also up for the fact that Tofu is a bit more neutral than chicken on its own, so it can take more salt.
            Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu_Breading

            I left out the MSG though. Not last because I didn’t have any, but also due to its rather questionable reputation. Personally I admit I haven’t looked into it much, as I rarely eat out, let alone buy convenience food, so it wasn’t much of a topic for me to focus on.
            If you are a fan, feel free to include some. I think the marinade does a fantastic job as it is though.

            Seasoned Flour and Cornflakes are then used for “breading”. And because I’m not working with raw meat, the marinade does double duty instead of eggs, to attach the two dry coatings to the tofu.

            The Cashew Caesar Dressing

            Using cashews as base has become my favourite way to create super creamy, delicious, and nutritious salad dressings. I honestly wouldn’t go back to mayonnaise based, even without the calorie and nutrition consideration. I tried one recently again and simply didn’t like the greasy texture and taste anymore. The cashews are neutral enough to add any flavourings you like and with even a small highspeed blender like the Nutribullet you get an extremely smooth base.

            Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu_Caesar Cashew dressing

            While the original Caesar dressing didn’t have anchovies, they have become a rather classic way to add umami and saltiness to this tangy sauce. Brined capers, even though I’m not a fan of them on their own (wouldn’t eat anchovies on their own either) have a very similar effect when blended and add a hint of their briny flavour, which goes really well with the tangy punch of mustard and lemon juice that give the dressing its characteristic taste.

            Often parmesan is used to add more saltiness and a cheesy background flavour. So you can use either grated parmesan or, like me, nutritional yeast for a very similar effect.

             

            The Process

             

            Salad

            Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu_Meal Prep

            Prepare your salad ingredients:
            Roughly chop the Romaine Lettuce, grate the carrots, finely shred the cabbage, drain and wash the sweetcorn, wash the grapes (or drain olives if you prefer salty to sweet) and keep all in separate containers.

            Peel and thinly slice the onions. In a small bowl mix with ¼ tsp salt and 2-3 tbsp lemon juice. Cover and leave to marinade until ready to use.

            All the veggies will keep well for 3-4 days, if you keep them separate.

            Cashew Caesar Dressing

            Drain the soaked cashews. Add all ingredients to a high speed blender. You can use a normal blender or food processor, but it won’t get as lovely smooth and creamy.
            Blend until creamy.

            Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu_Caesar Cashew dressing
            Have a taste and add more salt, mustard, or lemon juice to balance the flavours to your liking.

            Croutons

            In a small bowl, mix your olive oil, chopped thyme (or any other hardy herb you might have on hand. Rosemary works very well too), garlic powder and salt.

            Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu_Croutons

            Add your bread cubes to a larger bowl. Drizzle over your olive oil mix, turning the cubes over after half over it, so they are all coated evenly. Stir carefully to distribute the oil mix and let them sit for a few minutes so the oil can absorb.

            Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu_Croutons

            Bake in your air fryer at 400°F/200°C for 4 minutes, toss and turn once, then bake for another 2 minutes. Transfer the croutons to a paper towel lined plate until ready to serve. Nibble a few, you know you want to.

            The Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu

            Similar to chicken, that improves dramatically with brining, tofu needs a bit of help to come to its full potential. So this needs a bit of planning ahead. Start about 2h before you plan to fry the tofu or the day before.

            First remove your tofu from its package, drain the fluid and press it. You can either wrap it into a clean kitchen towel between 2 wooden boards and put something heavy on top. Or, if you want a much easier and less precarious solution, get a tofu press like this one and put it in the fridge for an hour or longer.

            Once your tofu has given up some of its liquid, it’s time to marinade it. Cut into about ½ in / 1cm thick slices and halve them diagonal. You could just leave them in one piece, but I think more corners mean more crunch and more crunch is always better.

            Mix your plant milk with a tbsp of lemon juice and let it stand while you get your spice mix together. Add the marinade spice mix to the now curdled milk and whisk well. In a container that is large enough to hold all tofu pieces in one layer or a freezer bag, add first your tofu then pour the tangy, spicy milk mix over it. Now let this marinade in the fridge for at least 1h, better even overnight.

            Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu_Breading

            Meanwhile, mix the flour with the spices and herbs for the dredge mix. This will season the tofu even more and give it that characteristic crust you’d get on fried chicken.

            Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu_Breading

            Now obviously we are not deep frying this, so the incredible crunchy crust that develops when the marinade-flour (and usually egg) mixture hits the hot fat, will come from crushed cornflakes.

            In a firmly closed freezer bag, crush your cornflakes either by hand or, carefully, so you don’t pop the bag and scatter the crumbs across your kitchen (never happened to me…ahem…) with a rolling pin or bottom of a cooking pot. You want relatively rough crumbs, not fine as panko. Check the picture for the texture we are aiming for.

            When you are ready to fry your tofu, set up a breading station with 3 rimmed containers or deep plates. Into one add your flour-spice dredge, the second will hold all the remaining marinade that wasn’t absorbed by the tofu, the third has the crushed cornflakes.

            Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu_Breading

            Using one hand for dry and one for wet, to avoid the dreaded dough fingers, firmly press your tofu first into the flour, coating it very well, pushing it in, so it sticks. Then into the marinade, turning once until coated- Last into the cornflakes, again, pressing firmly, covering it with the crumbs and pushing down until every last bit is well coated.

            Spray both your air fryer basket and the tofu pieces with a bit of vegetable or avocado oil.

            Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu_Tofu

            The crunchy tofu will take about 15 minutes in your air fryer at 400°F/200°C, turning it once very carefully after 10minutes, the fry for another 5 until golden and crunchy.

            Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu

            I you are making them in the oven, this will take about 25-30minutes at 450°F/225°C, turning them after 15 minutes.

            Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu

            To Serve

            First drape a bed of romaine lettuce on a plate, followed by the carrots, cabbage, sweetcorn, onions and grapes or olives. Drizzle everything with a bit of the Vegan Cashew Caesar Dressing. Top with croutons and crispy tofu and serve with more dressing on the side, to drizzle over or dip your tofu pieces into.

            Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu

             

            Meal Prep

             

            I prepared this Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu on my weekend, to have a fresh salad during my workdays. Keeping everything separate in containers, the tofu in a paper towel lined box, means you can assemble freshly, and everything remains crunchy.

            I re-heated the tofu pieces in the air fryer before serving, so they were just as crispy as freshly made.

            Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu

            If you liked this, you might also enjoy:

            Sweet Potato Grape Salad with Goats Cheese

            How about a fresh dessert?

            Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein

            Please Comment

            Now I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
            Have you tried this? Did you enjoy it?
            What other recipes would you like to see?

            If you enjoyed this recipe, please share and comment. It helps me a lot.

             

            Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu

            Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu

            This Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu answered all my cravings for the crunch of KFC chicken, the spiced marinade, and the urgent need for creamy, tangy, and punchy Caesar dressing on a fresh salad. Super satisfying, packed with protein from the tofu with a cashew based sauce, adding all the nutrition you could possibly want for dinner in one delicious plate.
            Prep Time 45 minutes
            Cook Time 20 minutes
            Tofu Pressing and marinading 2 hours
            Total Time 3 hours 5 minutes
            Course Dinner, Main Course, Salad
            Cuisine American, Fusion
            Servings 6
            Calories 553 kcal

            Equipment

            • High Speed Blender, oven or air fryer

            Ingredients
              

            Salad

            • 1 Romaine Lettuce
            • 1 can Sweetcorn
            • ¼ white cabbage thinly sliced
            • 2 carrots coarsely grated
            • 2 cups Grapes
            • 2 onions thinly sliced
            • 1 Lemon juice
            • ¼ tsp salt

            Vegan Cashew Caesar Dressing

            • ½ cup raw cashews soaked for 30min in just boiled water
            • ½ cup water
            • ¼ cup lemon juice
            • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
            • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
            • 2 tsp capers
            • 2 cloves garlic

            Homemade Croutons

            • 4 slices sourdough bread cubed into bite sized pieces
            • 1 tsp fresh thyme chopped
            • ½ tsp garlic powder
            • 1 tsp kosher salt
            • 3 tbsp olive oil

            Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu

            • 1 Block tofu pressed
            • 1 cup plant milk with lemon juice
            • 1.5 tsp Kosher salt
            • 1 tsp ground white pepper
            • 2 tsp smoked paprika
            • 2 tsp garlic powder
            • 1.5 cups crushed cornflakes

            11 Herbs and Spices Dredge

            • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
            • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
            • 1.5 tbsp Kosher salt
            • 2 tsp ground white pepper
            • 1 tsp ginger powder
            • 1 tsp celery powder or celery salt
            • 2 tsp garlic powder
            • 1 tsp smoked paprika
            • 1 tsp dried oregano crushed
            • 1 tsp dried thyme crushed
            • 2 tsp mustard powder

            Instructions
             

            Salad:

            • Prepare all salad ingredients as mentioned. Marinate sliced onions in salt and lemon juice. Keep all ingredients separate.

            Vegan Cashew Caesar Dressing:

            • Drain soaked cashews.
            • In a blender, combine soaked cashews, water, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, Dijon mustard, capers, and garlic cloves.
            • Blend until creamy. Adjust salt, mustard, or lemon juice to taste.

            Homemade Croutons:

            • Preheat air fryer to 400°F/200°C.
            • In a small bowl, mix olive oil, chopped thyme, garlic powder, and kosher salt.
            • Toss cubed bread in the olive oil mixture until evenly coated.
            • Air fry for 4 minutes, toss, then fry for another 2 minutes until golden and crisp.
            • Set aside on a paper towel-lined plate.

            Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu:

            • Press tofu to remove excess liquid.
            • Cut tofu into slices about ½ inch thick, then half diagonal.
            • Mix plant milk with lemon juice and let it curdle.
            • Combine the plant “buttermilk” with salt, white pepper, smoked paprika, and garlic powder. Marinate tofu in this mixture for at least 1 hour in the fridge. Overnight is better.
            • Crush cornflakes into coarse crumbs.
            • Mix flour with spices for dredge.
            • Set up a breading station with flour-spice dredge, remaining marinade, and crushed cornflakes.
            • Coat tofu slices in flour mixture, then marinade, and last crushed cornflakes.
            • Spray air fryer basket and tofu slices with oil.
            • Air fry tofu at 400°F/200°C for 15 minutes, flipping once after 10 minutes.

            To Serve:

            • Arrange romaine lettuce on plates.
            • Top with grated carrots, sliced cabbage, sweetcorn, marinated onions, grapes (or olives), and croutons.
            • Drizzle with Vegan Cashew Caesar Dressing.
            • Add crispy air-fried tofu on top.
            • Serve additional dressing on the side for dipping or drizzling.
            • Enjoy your Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu!

            Notes

            Meal Prep
            I prepared this Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu on my weekend, to have a fresh salad during my workdays. Keeping everything separate in containers, the tofu in a paper towel lined box, means you can assemble freshly, and everything remains crunchy.
            I re-heated the tofu pieces in the air fryer before serving, so they were just as crispy as freshly made.

            Nutrition

            Calories: 553kcalCarbohydrates: 84gProtein: 20gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gSodium: 3778mgPotassium: 614mgFiber: 8gSugar: 18gVitamin A: 4893IUVitamin C: 31mgCalcium: 226mgIron: 14mg
            Nutrition Facts
            Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu
            Amount per Serving
            Calories
            553
            % Daily Value*
            Fat
             
            17
            g
            26
            %
            Saturated Fat
             
            3
            g
            19
            %
            Polyunsaturated Fat
             
            4
            g
            Monounsaturated Fat
             
            9
            g
            Sodium
             
            3778
            mg
            164
            %
            Potassium
             
            614
            mg
            18
            %
            Carbohydrates
             
            84
            g
            28
            %
            Fiber
             
            8
            g
            33
            %
            Sugar
             
            18
            g
            20
            %
            Protein
             
            20
            g
            40
            %
            Vitamin A
             
            4893
            IU
            98
            %
            Vitamin C
             
            31
            mg
            38
            %
            Calcium
             
            226
            mg
            23
            %
            Iron
             
            14
            mg
            78
            %
            * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
            Keyword Healthy, High Fibre, meal prep, Protein, vegetables, Vegetarian, versatile
            Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
            Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein

            Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein

            All the flavour of a delicious and refreshing Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake on a coconut crust, but without the cheese. Instead 15g protein per slice, about one third less sugar and fat and easier to digest for those of us with lactose intolerance. Giving you the tropical island feeling in the middle of winter. This is what I call a dessert worth eating!

             

            It’s winter here in Ireland. And that means…well…we have weather. As all year round essentially. Just a lot wetter and a bit colder. My garden is one big mudslide, all green removed by huge dog paws racing happily around in the mud. Wookie, with his giant fluffy paws, absolutely loves splashing the mud by jumping up and down with his front. Or simply splashing the water from his bowl, causing a huge muddy mess.

            Until recently I just wiped his and Lilly’s paws dry when they came in, but the amount of mud in my living room (which goes out to the garden) has become plain unmanageable. So I started washing their paws with the shower head of my garden hose.

            Now you’d think they’d hate that, but Lilly grew up going to the beach every day and happily jumping into the little river flowing into the sea, swimming upstream, mouth open, to drink.
            She discovered very quickly that the shower head can be used in the same way and Wookie learns fast. He often sticks his whole head under the water, lapping it while he is getting dripping wet.

            Recently he found out, that me turning on the flat stream with more pressure means, he can simply open his mouth and get all the water he wants directly delivered into it. And now he constantly demands to be let out to drink, waiting until I get them in, to drink from the hose. I have created a monster!

            Where was I before digressing? Ah yes, wet, cold winter. And that means I need either a nice bowl of hot soup (Like my Vegan Tom Kha Soup https://forthepleasureofeating.com/vegan-tom-kha-soup/ ) or something sweet, tasting like summer. Which is how this Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein was created.

             

            Why You Will Love This

            Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein

            Being uhm…selectively lactose intolerant (is that a thing?) means I feel queasy after eating cheesecake made with cream cheese but can happily eat yoghurt. Now I’m not a scientist, but I suspect the yoghurt cultures help with the digestion. Oddly enough I can also eat other cheeses, but apparently the sheer amount of the fresh stuff in one slice is more than my tummy tolerates.
            On top of that it tends to be pretty high in fat and calories and I have yet to find a “light” one that I enjoy. Meaning, once more, I had to create my own.

            Lower fat and sugar, higher protein

            This recipe, while tasting utterly indulgent and like proper creamy cheesecake, has only about 310cal per slice (assuming 12 slices) just 18g fat and sugar, but about 10g protein. Compared to the about 550cal, 40g fat and sugar and only 6g protein of an average Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake.
            The tropical tasting coconut crust instead of the more typical crushed biscuits with butter doubles the amount of fibre and replaces the butter with the slightly healthier coconut oil.

            Easier to digest for people with lactose intolerance

            By using yoghurt and coconut milk instead of cream cheese for the filling, you can probably eat this even if you are lactose intolerant as me.

            Mango and White Chocolate for a taste of Summer

            Mangos are readily available in winter, but really taste like summer, don’t they? This cake (or rather pie I suppose) transports you right onto a tropical island with its flavours of mango, coconut, and lime, so you can forget the cold and grey outside for a while.
            Of course it’s equally enjoyable in summer, but that seems just so far away right now!

             

            The Ingredients

             

            I’m listing just a few key ingredients here and why I’m using them, to not bore you to death with the whole list.

            Crust

            Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein_Crust ingredients

            The crust was adapted from one of my favourite cookbooks “At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen: Celebrating the Art of Eating Well “ by Amy Chaplin.

            I’m using shredded, toasted coconut and coconut oil together with maple syrup, to get a crunchy crust that compliments the White Chocolate Mango filling.

             

            White Chocolate Mango Filling

            Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein_Ingredients

            For the filling, try to get really ripe mango, as they will cook down into a coulis much easier. I had rather unripe mangoes, which was all I could find, and not the patience to let them ripen. Also, is it just me or are mangoes very much like Avocados, with their about 5 minutes of perfect ripeness?

            Anyway, if you, like me, can only find relatively hard mangoes, you can still puree them reasonably fine in a food processor, then cook, to soften as much as possible and throw into a blender. Ideally high speed like a Nutribullet. The result won’t be perfect, but still delicious.

            The creamy cheesecake-ness comes from 0% fat Greek yoghurt combined with a can of full fat coconut milk and protein powder. The whole mix will be fairly liquid, so we firm it up with gelatine.

            When I was making it the first time, I honestly thought it would just remain liquid and I had completely miscalculated. But it simply needs a few hours in the fridge, ideally overnight, so you aren’t getting impatient (like me) and checking every 20 minutes.

            For the protein powder, use one you really enjoy. I’ve tried several vegan ones in the past and absolutely could not stand the flavour, and after trying then multiple whey based ones, I landed on MyProtein and absolutely love it! For this recipe I used their Buttered Popcorn flavour, but any nice vanilla flavoured one will do fine.

            This is neither affiliated nor sponsored. Just what I enjoy in my food.
            The fact that the protein powder provides a lot of sweetness and the mango and white chocolate add to that means, I got away with adding just one tablespoon of honey.

            White chocolate wise, I used Lindt. A good alternative would be Green&Blacks or any reasonably good quality white chocolate.

            The Process

             

            The Mango Coulis

            Start by making the Mango Coulis. This can be done up to 2 days before making the cake, as it keeps well in the fridge.

            Simply peel the mango, cut it off the stone by slicing down on both sides of it, then cube the flesh.

            Add it to a cooking pot with the sugar and lime juice and cook until very soft and starting to fall apart, stirring occasionally. The time this takes depends on how ripe your mangoes were to begin with.

            Once the fruit is soft, either tip into a blender (if you are using a Nutribullet or similar closed blender, please let it cool first, or the heat from blending could lead to it exploding) and blend until smooth. You could also use an immersion hand blender for this.

            Pass through a sieve for smoother consistency.

            Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein_Process_Filling

            Leave to cool either in the fridge, if making the day before, or room temperature, if you plan to use it on the same day.

            Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein_Process_Filling

            Divide your Mango Coulis into 2 portions. Keep half in the fridge for topping the cake once firmed up later or the next day. It will thicken a bit, which is what we want.

             

            The Crust

            Now prepare the coconut crust. You can do this up to 2 days in advance as well. If you do, wrap it well into clingfilm, ideally still in the springform, until ready to use.

            Start by pre-heating your oven to 300°F/150°C.

            Spread the shredded coconut on a parchment lined baking tray and toast for about 4 minutes, stir and toast for another 2-3 minutes, until golden and fragrant.

            Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein_Process

            Take out of the oven and divide into 2 portions.

            Line a springform bottom with parchment paper and lightly grease the sides.

            Raise the oven temperature to 350°F/175°C.

            Add one portion of the toasted shredded coconut to a food processor together with the oats, salt and flour. Process until finely ground.

            Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein_Process_Crust
            Add remaining coconut, melted coconut oil, vanilla extract and maple syrup and pulse until combined. Don’t overprocess, to keep some structure to the mix.

            Tip into a bowl and mix with a spoon or your hands until it comes together. Add a little more oil or maple syrup if it feels too dry. You should be able to form clumps, but also crumble them apart easily.

            Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein_Process_Crust

            Transfer the mix into your prepared springform and push flat using your hands, all the way to the sides, but not up. It should form one even layer.
            Prick with a fork a few times all over.

            Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein_Process_Crust

            Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, turning around once, if your oven bakes unevenly, until golden brown and smelling delicious.

            Leave to cool, but still in the springform, while you prepare the filling.

            The Filling

            Gently melt your white chocolate either over a water bath or in the microwave. If using a microwave, set it to 600 watt and melt in 30 second bursts, stirring in between, until nearly melted, then stir a bit longer and see if it comes together. If not continue in 10 second bursts until you can stir it creamy.

            Tip: White chocolate melts much faster than dark, due to the high cocoa butter content. Unfortunately it also seizes up much faster, so proceed with care, to avoid it getting crumbly due to overheating. I’m afraid if it does, there is no coming back from it. You might still be able to use it, but it will likely impact the texture of your filling.
            White chocolate won’t get as liquid as dark either. It rather remains at the creamy stage and goes straight to crumbly after.

            In a large bowl (I used the Tupperware mixing bowl with a lid that has an opening in the middle here, to avoid splattering) and a hand mixer or in a blender blend together half the Mango Coulis, melted white chocolate, yoghurt, coconut milk, lime juice, honey, vanilla and protein powder.
            Have a taste and add more honey or lime juice if you think it needs it.

            In a small microwave proof bowl or cup mix your gelatine powder with 2 tbsp of water. Microwave for 10 seconds until liquid. Add to the rest of the filling and mix again until slightly foamy.

            Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein_Process

            Pour your filling onto the crust in the springform and transfer to the fridge carefully, to firm up. At this stage I would not cover it, as any clingfilm has the tendency to attach to the filling and leave marks we don’t want. Once it is firm to the touch you can cover the form with clingfilm.

            I usually leave my cake overnight, so I’m not entirely sure how many hours it will take to firm up exactly. It’s definitely more than one though. My estimation would be 3-4.

            Once your Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein is firm to the touch and set, spread the remaining Mango Coulis evenly over the top.
            Chill while you prepare your optional toppings.

            Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein_Process

            Slice your last Mango and lime thinly. Whip your Oatly cream (chilled ideally, or it won’t be firm enough. Have a wild guess how I know…) and toast some coconut flakes if you like.

            Decorate your pie with the whipped cream, mango, lime, and coconut. I pulled the cream out into the mango coulis for a star-like pattern, using a toothpick.

            Then run a sharp knife briefly under hot water and dry. Slide around the insides of the springform, to loosen the pie. Remove the ring by opening the clasp and pulling it off carefully.

            Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein

            You can now either leave the pie on the springform bottom or carefully slide onto a plate. The transfer can be a bit nerve wracking but should work out fine if you are gentle.

            Serve your Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein with a nice cup of tea or coffee and feel like you have gone on vacation on a tropical island, even on the coldest winter day.

            Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein

            Storing

            This Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein keeps well in the fridge for up to 4 days. Though the crust might soften a bit. Personally I quite like it that way.

             

            If you liked this recipe, you might also enjoy:

            Protein Chocolate Mousse Pie

            Banoffee Protein Mousse Pie

            Protein Banoffee Pie Yoghurt

            Buttermilk Sourdough Waffles with Protein

            Please Comment

            Now I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
            Have you tried this? Did you enjoy it?
            What other recipes would you like to see?

            If you enjoyed this recipe, please share and comment. It helps me a lot.

            Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein

            Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein

            All the flavour of a delicious and refreshing Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake on a coconut crust, but without the cheese. Instead 13g protein per slice, about one third less sugar and fat and easier to digest for those of us with lactose intolerance. Giving you the tropical island feeling in the middle of winter. This is what I call a dessert worth eating!
            Prep Time 40 minutes
            Cook Time 25 minutes
            Cooling time 4 hours
            Total Time 5 hours 5 minutes
            Course Cake, Dessert, Snack
            Cuisine American
            Servings 12
            Calories 364 kcal

            Equipment

            • Food Processor, Blender or Immersion blender, springform

            Ingredients
              

            Crust

            • 1.5 cups shredded coconut toasted, divided
            • 1/3 cup oats
            • 1 cup wholegrain spelt flour
            • 3 tbsp coconut flour or more spelt
            • ¼ cup coconut oil
            • ¼ cup + 2tbsp maple syrup
            • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
            • 1/8 tsp kosher salt

            Mango Coulis

            • 2 mangos ripe, chopped
            • 1 tbsp lime juice
            • 1.5 tbsp sugar

            “Cream Cheese” filling

            • 2 cups 0% fat Greek yoghurt
            • 1 can coconut milk full fat
            • 1 tbsp lime juice
            • 1 tbsp honey
            • 1 tsp vanilla extract
            • 3.5 oz/100g white chocolate melted
            • 2 scoops protein powder I used MyProtein “Buttered Popcorn”, but vanilla works well.
            • 2 tbsp 1 pack powdered gelatine

            To Garnish (Optional)

            • 1 Mango sliced
            • 1 lime sliced
            • 1 pack Oatly whipping cream
            • A few coconut flakes or shaved white chocolate

            Instructions
             

            Mango Coulis:

            • Peel and cube the mango flesh.
            • In a pot, combine mango cubes, sugar, and lime juice.
            • Cook until very soft and starting to fall apart, stirring occasionally.
            • Blend until smooth using a blender or immersion hand blender.
            • Pass through a sieve to get a smoother consistency
            • Allow cooling to room temperature or refrigerate if making in advance.

            Crust:

            • Preheat oven to 300°F/150°C.
            • Toast shredded coconut on a parchment-lined baking tray for 4-6 minutes until golden and fragrant.
            • Divide toasted coconut into two portions.
            • Raise your oven temperature to 350°F/175°C
            • In a food processor, combine one portion of toasted coconut with oats, salt, and flour. Process until finely ground.
            • Add remaining coconut, melted coconut oil, vanilla extract, and maple syrup. Pulse until just combined.
            • Transfer mixture into a bowl and mix until it comes together, adding a little more maple syrup or coconut oil if it feels too dry.
            • Press mixture into the bottom of a parchment-lined springform pan to form an even layer.
            • Bake for 16-18 minutes until golden brown.
            • Allow to cool while preparing the filling.

            Filling:

            • Gently melt white chocolate using a double boiler or microwave on low in short bursts, stirring frequently.
            • In a large bowl or blender, mix half of the Mango Coulis, melted white chocolate, Greek yogurt, coconut milk, lime juice, honey, vanilla extract, and protein powder until smooth.
            • Taste and adjust sweetness or acidity if necessary.
            • In a small microwave-proof bowl, mix gelatin powder with 2 tbsp water and microwave for 10 seconds until liquid.
            • Add the gelatin mixture to the filling and mix until slightly foamy.
            • Pour the filling over the cooled crust in the springform pan.
            • Refrigerate until firm, preferably overnight.

            Assembly:

            • Spread the remaining Mango Coulis evenly over the top of the set cheesecake.
            • Optional: Whip the Oatly cream until soft peaks form.
            • Decorate the cheesecake with whipped cream, sliced mango, lime, and coconut flakes or shaved white chocolate.
            • Run a sharp knife briefly under hot water, dry, and then slide around the edges of the springform pan to loosen the cheesecake.
            • Carefully remove the springform ring.
            • Transfer the cheesecake to a serving plate if desired.
            • Slice and serve chilled.
            • Enjoy your Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein!

            Notes

            Storing
            This Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein keeps well in the fridge for up to 4 days. Though the crust might soften a bit. Personally I quite like it that way.
             

            Nutrition

            Calories: 364kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 13gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 14gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 85mgPotassium: 251mgFiber: 5gSugar: 22gVitamin A: 393IUVitamin C: 15mgCalcium: 40mgIron: 3mg
            Nutrition Facts
            Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein
            Amount per Serving
            Calories
            364
            % Daily Value*
            Fat
             
            17
            g
            26
            %
            Saturated Fat
             
            14
            g
            88
            %
            Polyunsaturated Fat
             
            0.3
            g
            Monounsaturated Fat
             
            1
            g
            Cholesterol
             
            10
            mg
            3
            %
            Sodium
             
            85
            mg
            4
            %
            Potassium
             
            251
            mg
            7
            %
            Carbohydrates
             
            42
            g
            14
            %
            Fiber
             
            5
            g
            21
            %
            Sugar
             
            22
            g
            24
            %
            Protein
             
            13
            g
            26
            %
            Vitamin A
             
            393
            IU
            8
            %
            Vitamin C
             
            15
            mg
            18
            %
            Calcium
             
            40
            mg
            4
            %
            Iron
             
            3
            mg
            17
            %
            * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
            Keyword Easy, For Guests, fruit, Healthy, High Protein, Low Calorie
            Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

             

            Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein

            Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein

            Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein have everything you could possibly want in a muffin: Crunchy, nutty pistachios, a soft and fluffy inside, studded with sweet-tart dried apricots and a crunchy brown sugar sprinkled top. All that with 7g protein per muffin and just 280cal. So you can have a yummy snack with your coffee and feel good about it!

            Why You Want to Make Them

             

            Are you going nuts for Pistachios too?

            I’m honestly hooked recently. I got a big jar of pistachio butter from Bulk and it’s utterly delicious on pretty much everything. I spread it on some rice cakes, topped with blueberries as my evening sweet snack, stirred it in oatmeal with cherries, made Pistachio-Protein Crème Brulee and now these Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein.

            Of course Pistachios aren’t technically nuts, but rather the stone of a fruit, very similar to almonds, which explains their affinity for very similar foods almonds go with. I added some almond essence to these muffins, which underlines the Pistachio flavour rather perfectly.

            Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein

            Speaking of Protein

            If you read a few of the sweet recipes on my blog, you probably noticed that I’m adding protein to many of them. Considering I’m not eating much meat and am not the biggest fan of legumes, so I don’t want to include them into every single meal. Yet, have an acute need to add more protein to my diet, to meet the target for muscle building and/or maintenance, which is at least around 1.2-1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, I keep looking for ways to increase my intake, without drinking shakes. Why not shakes you ask? They simply bore me.

            I feel if I’m not eating or drinking something that is worth the calories, I’m wasting my time.
            Is it a weird way to see food? Maybe.
            But having lost 70lb taught me, that I’m working on an energy budget per day. Loving food and eating means, I want to spend it well. This does not include the same boring protein shake every day, but rather finding recipes to excite me and have me look forward to eating them.
            That’s where Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein come in: Something I really enjoy eating and am looking forward to, which also adds a nice portion of protein to my day.

            Easy to Make

            If you ever made muffins, you probably loved how easy they are. I know I do. The batter comes together in 10-15 minutes and that includes getting the ingredients out.
            Well…unless your store cupboards are way too full, like mine, and you have to rummage around in them to find stuff. I knew I had dried apricots somewhere! *Empties half her pantry before finding the bag*

            Lower calories than your average Muffin

            Eating an average muffin, according to Google, you are looking at 340-424 calories. That is a fairly big chunk out of your daily budget, if you are watching your weight like I do.
            Having gained a few pounds over Christmas (because I can’t be trusted around sweets), I’m currently trying to get rid of them again. But I really don’t want to go without a sweet treat per day! That would just leave me grumpy and missing something, which in turn means, once I lost the weight I’d go even more for sweets again. Not a good cycle.

            So my solution is, to develop recipes that are sweet, not compromising in flavour, yet lower in calories than the standard versions. This is one of them.
            Oh and I want them to have nutritional value too. High standards for sure.
            These Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein have only 280 calories per muffin, which is a nice bit of saving for one satisfying snack. Or even breakfast if you like.

             

            The Ingredients

            Looking at the typical Pistachio Muffin recipe, I noticed that most are using rather artificial pudding mix to accomplish taste and texture of them. I wanted natural taste though and not use some mix with barely any real pistachio in it.
            That means my muffins aren’t bright green, since they have no colouring either, but instead mostly natural and nutritious ingredients.
            Except the protein powder. Let’s be honest, it isn’t natural, but I feel the benefits outweigh that downside.

            Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein_Ingredients

            Note, these are just some of the ingredients and why I use them, not all, as most are still those of a classic muffin.

            Let’s start with the obvious bit: Pistachio butter. I only replaced half of the butter with it, as nut butter has less fat than butter, which would have meant I needed to add more other fat back in, which wasn’t the idea.

            Keeping half and adding a mix of sour cream and 0% fat Greek yoghurt gave me the moisture content I lost, by swapping part of the butter into Pistachio butter.

            I also reduced both the flour and sugar by adding protein powder. Buttered Popcorn flavoured in this case, though you can easily use vanilla.
            I particularly love MyProtein (not sponsored or affiliated, though I wish it would be, I use it so much!), which adds lovely flavour and sweetness to my recipes, without any weird aftertaste.
            You can safely replace about ¼ of the flour in a recipe with it, without any negative impact. Use more, and the results might be drier than intended.

            I’m still using a mix of white and brown sugar, but less than usual, to keep the structure needed. The sugar mixed with the sweetener from the protein powder also means it still tastes just naturally sweet.

            While looking into the secrets of Pistachio muffins, I found the pudding powder not only adds flavour and sweetness, but also a bit of cornflour, which will thicken the pudding, but add a lovely softness to muffin batter. So I replaced some of the flour with cornflour to achieve the same effect.

            Nutrition and flavour wise, I prefer a mix of white flour for lightness and the typical muffin feel and whole wheat flour for some nutty flavour. If you can find it, use fine whole wheat flour, which is great for lighter pastry.

            For even more flavour, I’m using a bit of almond extract, which is in the same flavour family as pistachio, making it a natural choice. Unless you have natural pistachio extract, which would be a fantastic replacement. But I couldn’t find any in my local supermarkets and wasn’t keen on ordering just for this recipe. Though…it’s in my head now, I still might. Has anyone tried it? What were your thoughts?

            To reduce the sugar and up the fruit content, I swapped out 2 eggs for 2 bananas. You can choose to use just eggs for more protein but add a little more sugar.

            For the add-ins I’m using dried apricots, as they are not adding a lot of additional water, which I’d have to account for if I’d be using fresh ones. But, since I found some fresh apricots at Tesco, I decided to add half a fruit on top of each muffin, which gave them an amazing fruity-fresh kick I loved.
            They are purely optional though.

            Also some chopped pistachios for extra crunch and more pistachio flavour.

            Each muffin got a little sprinkling of demerara sugar on top, adding some sparkle, crunch, and sweetness, making the muffins extra special.

             

            The Process

            The one thing that makes all baking easier is, to have all the ingredients at room temperature. If you have fridge cold butter, it’s much harder to mix it with the sugar. Just melted however, will give you a greasy result.
            Similar for the eggs, which, when cold, can lead to a curdled result while mixing into the soft butter.
            So plan a little bit ahead by taking everything out of the fridge an hour or so before you plan to make your muffins.

            Preheat your oven to 425°F/220°C and line a muffin tin with muffin cases. Or grease it thoroughly if you prefer. Personally I find muffin cases much easier to remove and they leave less to clean, which is always a plus in my book.

            If you have 2 muffin tins, you’ll need both. Otherwise you might bake in 2 batches, as this recipe makes about 16 large muffins.

            Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein_Process

            From there on it’s as easy as mixing the butter with the sugar until fluffy and white. Then, one by one, whisk the eggs and mashed bananas in until well incorporated.
            Add the protein powder with the remaining wet ingredients, to make sure you have no protein lumps in your Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein.

            Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein_Process

            Now mix your dry ingredients, keeping back about 1-2 tbsp of the chopped pistachios for sprinkling on top, and add most of them to your batter. But not all. Keep a few tablespoons of the flour mix back, to coat the chopped apricots in. This is to prevent them from sinking to the bottom.

            Gently fold your dry ingredients into the wet until just combined. A few lumps are fine. Don’t overmix, or your muffins will be tough from the gluten you developed.
            Then add the flour coated apricots and fold them in too.

            Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein_Process

            Divide the batter between the muffin molds, filling them all the way, so you get nice and high tops. I use an ice cream scoop for this, to make it very easy. Two tablespoons work too.

            Sprinkle with the remaining chopped pistachios, lay a sliced fresh apricot half on top, if using, then sprinkle lightly with demerara sugar.

            Now you might have looked at the high oven temperature and thought it might be a typo. It’s not. The high initial temperature is what gives you the beautiful high muffin tops, but it will be lowered after 5-7 minutes of baking, to the classic 350°F/175°C, to bake for another 15-17 minutes, depending on your oven.
            Just don’t open the oven door, except once, around half of the baking time, to turn your muffin tin, should your oven bake unevenly.

            Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein

            Your Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein are ready when the top is golden brown and toothpick comes out mostly clean, a few crumbs are ok.

            Let them cool in the tin for about 10 minutes, then take them out onto a wire rack.

            Enjoy your fluffy, tangy, and crunchy Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein with a nice cup of coffee or tea. They are also really good for breakfast.

            Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein

            Storing your Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein

            The muffins keep well in a tin or box for about 3 days.
            They also freeze very well. I usually place most in freezer proof containers or small freezer bags and just air fry them for about 7 minutes when I want one. They taste like fresh!

            If you liked this recipe, try my Sourdough Pumpkin Apple Muffins with Protein

            These delicious Sourdough Brownies with Protein

            Or a super easy Cherry Peach Clafoutis with Protein

             

            Please Comment

            Now I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
            Have you tried this? Did you enjoy it?
            What other recipes would you like to see?

            If you enjoyed this recipe, please share and comment. It helps me a lot.

            Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein

            Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein

            Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein have everything could possibly want in a muffin: Crunchy, nutty pistachios, a soft and fluffy inside, studded with sweet-tart dried apricots and a crunchy brown sugar sprinkled top. All that with 7g protein per muffin and just 280cal. So you can have a yummy snack with your coffee and feel good about it!
            Prep Time 15 minutes
            Cook Time 20 minutes
            Total Time 35 minutes
            Course Breakfast, Cake, Dessert, Snack
            Cuisine American
            Servings 16
            Calories 299 kcal

            Equipment

            • Muffin Tin

            Ingredients
              

            • ½ cup butter + 2 tbsp
            • ½ cup pistachio butter
            • 1/3 cup white sugar
            • 1/3 cup brown sugar
            • 1 cup sour cream
            • ½ cup 0% fat Greek yoghurt
            • 2 tsp vanilla
            • 1 tbsp almond extract
            • ¾ cup protein powder
            • 2 eggs
            • 2 ripe bananas mashed
            • 1 cup white flour
            • 1 cup whole wheat flour
            • 4 tbsp cornflour
            • 4 tsp baking powder
            • 2 tsp kosher salt
            • 1 cup dried apricots chopped roughly
            • ½ cup chopped pistachios 1-2 tbsp kept for sprinkling on top
            • 1 tbsp demerara sugar for sprinkling
            • 8 fresh apricots for topping optional but delicious

            Instructions
             

            • Ensure all ingredients are at room temperature for easier mixing. Preheat the oven to 425°F/220°C. Line a muffin tin with cases or grease it.
            • In a large bowl, cream together ½ cup + 2tbsp softened butter, pistachio butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until fluffy and white.
            • Whisk in the eggs and mashed bananas, one at a time, until well incorporated. Add sour cream, Greek yogurt, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Mix until smooth.
            • Combine the protein powder with the remaining wet ingredients to avoid lumps. Mix until well incorporated.
            • In a separate bowl, mix the white flour, whole wheat flour, cornflour, baking powder, and kosher salt. Reserve 1-2 tbsp of the flour mix to coat the chopped dried apricots and 1-2 tbsp chopped pistachios for topping the muffins.
            • Add most of the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and gently fold until just combined.
            • Toss the chopped dried apricots in the reserved flour mixture to prevent sinking. Fold them into the batter.
            • Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cases, filling them to the top. Use an ice cream scoop or two tablespoons for ease. Sprinkle the remaining chopped pistachios on top. Optionally, place a fresh apricot half, cut in slices on each muffin and sprinkle with demerara sugar.
            • Bake in the preheated oven for 5-7 minutes at 425°F/220°C, then reduce the temperature to 350°F/175°C and bake for an additional 15-17 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick comes out mostly clean.
            • Allow the muffins to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
            • Serve and enjoy your fluffy, tangy, and crunchy Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein with a cup of coffee or tea. They make a lovely breakfast treat too.

            Nutrition

            Calories: 299kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 10gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 467mgPotassium: 369mgFiber: 3gSugar: 20gVitamin A: 982IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 121mgIron: 2mg
            Nutrition Facts
            Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein
            Amount per Serving
            Calories
            299
            % Daily Value*
            Fat
             
            13
            g
            20
            %
            Saturated Fat
             
            6
            g
            38
            %
            Trans Fat
             
            0.2
            g
            Polyunsaturated Fat
             
            2
            g
            Monounsaturated Fat
             
            4
            g
            Cholesterol
             
            53
            mg
            18
            %
            Sodium
             
            467
            mg
            20
            %
            Potassium
             
            369
            mg
            11
            %
            Carbohydrates
             
            37
            g
            12
            %
            Fiber
             
            3
            g
            13
            %
            Sugar
             
            20
            g
            22
            %
            Protein
             
            10
            g
            20
            %
            Vitamin A
             
            982
            IU
            20
            %
            Vitamin C
             
            4
            mg
            5
            %
            Calcium
             
            121
            mg
            12
            %
            Iron
             
            2
            mg
            11
            %
            * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
            Keyword Easy, For Guests, Healthy, Protein, Vegetarian
            Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!