The Quickest Nachos Ever

These are honestly the quickest (and arguably the tastiest!) nachos you will ever make. And they pack quite a punch of protein.

I used:

1.5 oz of spicy pork rinds by Baken-Ets (found at the Dollar Tree)

1.5 oz of shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1/2 tsp of powdered garlic.

Spread out the pork rinds and sprinkle cheese over them. Sprinkle with garlic powder. Stick in the microwave and turn it on high for about 30 seconds – just long enough for the cheese to melt and bubble a bit.



Protein: ~32 grams

Total cost: ~$1.25

If you can’t find the spicy pork rinds at The Dollar Tree, Amazon carries them as well!

Happy New Year!

It’s 2020! Yes, yes, I know the year began a few days ago, but for some reason, I don’t feel like the new year begins for me until the first Monday of the year. That’s when things get serious.

This is the beginning of a lot of new things for us. We moved to a new state, my husband is working at a new office, we’re in a new house and we’re on a brand new budget.

Another thing to add to the list is (with a hat tip to Jer Chapman of The More You Cook The Better You Look fame) that this is the year I plan to “unwrap the gifts I made for myself,” as in, thanks to the consistent protein intake and extra calories, I bulked last year and plan to take some fat off in 2020.

To be more precise, I am currently sitting at 153.8 pounds, 10 pounds over where I was last year at this time. Some pictures from last year’s progress below.

What are your 2020 goals? And how do you plan on reaching them?

Dum Murgh

Another Indian chicken! One of the things I love about this dish is that you really don’t need to measure every last thing. It’s one of those dishes that gives you exactly what you put into it. So imagine if you will a nice nutty blend of almond and coconut, the slight sweetness of onion and a touch of garlic mixed in with with the heat of chili powder and garam masala held in check by yogurt. Oh, and chicken.

Sound good? Then let’s get into it.

The first thing you want to do is toast about a cup of shredded coconut and a cup of almond flour. The idea is to toast it and not let it burn, which can happen pretty quickly if you’re not stirring constantly because we’re dealing with coconut here. (Try to use the unsweetened variety. It tastes better.) When toasted, set it aside.

Chop a large onion and saute in butter. To this, add approximately 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces. Thighs work as well, but I used breasts because of the higher protein content. Continue to saute for about 8 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place the onions and chicken into a baking dish and spread the coconut and almond mixture over them. In a separate dish, mix together 2 cups of yogurt, 2 tablespoons of chili powder and 1 tablespoon of garam masala and spread evenly over the rest. Add salt to taste.

Cover with foil, poking holes in it to let the steam escape. Cook in the oven for about 45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

Garnish with cilantro. Enjoy!

Total protein per serving: 84 grams

Total cost per serving: ~$5.00

A Little Budgeting Inspiration

One of my goals this year is to save ridiculous amounts of money. No really, I mean it. As an all or nothing person, the bigger the goal, (as long as it’s truly achievable!) the more it motivates me.

Having recently moved from California to Washington, our plan is to buy a cheap house and pay it off this decade. And one thing I do know is that to save money, I have to stay OUT of stores.

While I’m pretty good at staying out of department stores, the grocery store has been the undoing of my monthly budget on more than one occasion.

Enter Master Chef.

Okay, hear me out. We have been watching reruns of Master Chef and if you have seen it, you know they have something called “The Mystery Box Challenge.” Basically, it’s a bunch of random ingredients with which the contestants have to create a meal. Not all the ingredients have to be used.

Huh. Guess it sounds like…

(insert drum roll)

…my fridge on any random day an hour away from dinner time! Ta-da!

So from here on forward, instead of planning meals, weekly grocery shopping and then running to the store because I’m out of this one ingredient or that one, I plan on scouring the fridge, the kitchen, the pantry and perhaps most importantly, the internet, to put together something we can eat.

I’m going to look at it as my personal Mystery Box Challenge.

And hopefully by the end of this year, it will keep me out of the store and inside a house that is on its way to being paid off.

Here’s to new beginnings!


Butter Chicken

If you are my friend on Instagram, chances are you have already seen this picture. I make this chicken often, especially for lunch. It’s quick, easy and it is one of my favorite ways to consume about 85 grams of protein in one sitting.

Melt a tbsp of butter in a skillet and add half a diced onion. Saute until translucent. Add bite sized chicken breast pieces. A usual chicken breast is about 8 oz. cooked, which will give you about 72 grams of protein. Depending on where my protein needs and my workouts are for the day, I eat about half to three-quarters of a breast at a sitting.

When the breast is almost cooked (it doesn’t take very long at all!) add 2 tbsp of tomato paste and just enough water for the consistency you want. I will add about 1/4 cup, but I like my gravy fairly thick. Cover, simmer, cook another 5 minutes or until chicken in cooked through.

Add 1/2 tsp chili powder, salt to taste and 1/2 tsp of garam masala. Add more spices if desired.

Garnish with cilantro and serve with a tortilla.

Total calories: 675 (with tortilla)

Total protein: 79 grams (with tortilla)

Cost: ~$2.50

Indian Fried Okra

This one is a bit of a hat tip to my childhood. I ate a lot of okra growing up in Bombay.

Now, granted okra isn’t cheap around here, but I still get quite excited when I see it fresh and make sure to get some because it’s so rare. This meal just isn’t the same with frozen okra.

The trick to making this snack or lunch high in protein is to combine it with yogurt.

Heat up about 3 tbsp of oil in a small frying pan. Add a 1/4 tsp of asafoetida powder, 1/4 tsp tumeric powder and 1 tsp of mustard seeds (all available at any Indian grocery store).

When the mustard seeds crackle, add 3 – 4 cups chopped okra, salt to taste and continue to cook.

Many people refuse to eat okra because they complain of the texture being slimy. If this bothers you, can add about a tablespoon of dried mango powder to it at this point. (Sorry, I guess I’m sending you to the Indian grocery store again. Dried mango powder is also found at Amazon.)

At this point, add 2 tsp of cumin powder, coriander powder and chili powder. (Cut down on chili powder if you’re worried about the heat.)

Saute for a few more minutes and it’s done! This makes enough for 2 servings. Serve with 1/2 cup yogurt.

Total calories per serving: 336

Total protein per serving: 14 grams

Cost per serving: $3.39

Eggs Chiara


Don’t blame me now. The name was my husband’s idea. It’s his recipe. But I love, love, love these eggs when he makes them for weekend breakfasts.

Eggs are a staple around here because you can’t beat the price. We shop a lot at WinCo and a farm pack of 60 eggs tends to be around $7 so we pick one up almost every time we visit. Broccoli tends to be fairly inexpensive as well, so ricotta cheese is the only (relatively) expensive item on this list.

Okay, on to the recipe:

Chop a head of broccoli into small pieces and saute in a tbsp of butter. Simmer and cover until it is cooked through.

In another skillet, melt a tablespoon of butter; add six eggs and cook on low. When they are almost done, add the broccoli. Stir. Dot with a cup of ricotta cheese. Simmer. The cheese will soften and warm in a few minutes enough to fold in to the eggs. Add salt to taste and serve hot.

I won’t guess how many this serves in your family. 😉 My husband and I polished it off together.


Total protein = 81 grams

Total calories = 1201 (you could reduce these by buying part skim or low fat ricotta. We like the full fat version.)

Total cost: $2.46