Cookin' with Chris 👨‍🍳

Good stuff, @Brant_Drake!

@atlas13 This is also a fun take on cooking from a science-nerd perspective. It’s pretty skimmable. You can pick it up used for $5 online.

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Wow, alright, first off a massive thanks to both @Brant_Drake and @Chris_Shugart for the in depth replies, both of y’all delivered far more than I expected!

I feel like I’m a step below where Chris was when he started experiment. I have essentially perfected the art of adding some variety to monster mash lol. Daily nutrition is actually super solid, and I’ve got a bit of an iron stomach, but definitely not food I would prepare for someone. The Instagram recipes is a great idea with how many fitness influencers there are now, and the one pot meals perfectly match with my desire to do dishes lol.

The professional chef looks awesome! I will definitely check that out, if for no other reason than to give a knowledge base of “cooking 101” that I can then use for my own experiments. And the 10+ portions sounds perfect for meal preps tbh, so this seems like a win win to me!

And @Dani_Shugart my girl likes to make Italian, makes her own pasta and everything from scratch, and right now my claim to fame is….cheeseburgers. And to be fair, they are damn good cheeseburgers. But still, my game could use some elevation haha


I just flipped through it at random so you can get a feel.

It also has a separate subject index, and recipe index, which is very helpful.


She sounds amazing and that’s a great reason to learn! (Although cheeseburgers are always a winner.)

Chewy Protein Poppers

These have the texture of caramel, but the flavor of peanut butter cups. Which is amazing since they have no added sugar and a lot of protein.


• 4 scoops MD protein
• 1 cup PB2 powdered peanut butter + 1/2 cup water
• 2 ounces 100% cacao chocolate (half a baking bar, chopped)
• 1 tablespoon MCT oil or coconut oil
• Sea salt


  1. In a bowl, mix the PB2 with half a cup of water until the texture looks like regular peanut butter.

  2. Add MD protein one scoop at a time to the peanut butter, mixing each time. It’s gonna be thick!

  3. In a microwave-safe bowl, add the MCT or coconut oil to the chocolate bits. Microwave 30 seconds at a time, stirring between each, until melted. Usually takes 60 to 90 seconds total. Stir in a little sweetener of choice if it’s too dark for you.

  4. Roll the PB2/MD mixture into balls. Lightly wet your hands so it doesn’t stick so badly. Set them aside on parchment paper. I got about 9 balls, but it depends on the size of your balls. (Insert obvious joke here.)

  5. Either dip each ball into the chocolate or add a spoonful to the top to each ball.

  6. Add a sprinkle of sea salt to the top.

  7. Refrigerate until the chocolate hardens.

Calories and macros? Same situation as above. Very hard to calculate accurately because you won’t use all the chocolate. It’ll stick to the bowl and run off on the parchment. But, I can say that these have at least 16g of protein per popper, which is a hefty dose for such a small snack. Have two and it’s a meal.

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See what I mean about calculating macros? I melted 2 ounces of dark chocolate, but half(?) wasn’t used. Anyway, I’m not a slave to calorie/macro counts anyway. Get tons of protein and the rest sorts itself out (The Protein Leverage Effect).

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BTW, I’ve been writing a lot of recipes lately using 100% cacao baking chocolate. A lot of folks aren’t familiar with it. It’s a chocolate bar made for using in recipes. You find in the baking section of grocery stores, not the candy bar section. No sugar at all.

Anyway, here’s what it looks like. Pick it up on Amazon HERE.

Here’s an article about all the health benefits:

This is good too:

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Peach Cobbler Muffins, Perfected

Changed a couple of minor things and nailed this recipe. Dani suggested using the water from the canned peaches for added flavor. She was right. As always, no added sugar, bumped-up protein, no flour.


• 2 cups old-fashioned oats
• 3 scoops MD Protein
• 1.5 cans peaches (no sugar added, 14.5 oz cans), chopped
• 1 cup liquid reserved from canned peaches
• 1 cup baking Splenda
• 1 whole egg
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. Add all the dry ingredients to a bowl and stir: oats, MD protein powder, Splenda, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.

  3. Reserve 1 cup of the water and juice from the canned peaches. Add it to the bowl.

  4. Add the remaining wet ingredients: peaches, egg, vanilla extract.

  5. Spray large muffin tins with coconut oil and add mixture.

  6. Bake for 25 minutes. Increase baking temperature to 385 and place on the top rack for a couple of extra minutes for a browned top.

Calories & Macros

• Servings 6
• Calories 198
• Protein 16g
• Carbs 23g
• Fats 3g
• Fiber 3g

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Peanut Butter and Banana Muffins

I wanted to see if I could make peanut butter cookies using PB2. I could not. Not yet at least.

So I turned the failed cookie recipe into a pretty good muffin recipe, then turned it over to Dani. She simplified the recipe and improved it. Can’t beat that.

Check it out in her log: Peanut Butter and Banana Muffins. (About halfway down the post.)

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Crispy Baked Salmon Balls

Got bored of our weekly salmon meal and tried some things. I need to fine-tune the recipe, but here’s the gist:

  1. Skin and finely chop raw salmon. Place in bowl.

  2. Add wheat-free breadcrumbs or panko mix, along with onion powder, cilantro, garlic, paprika, salt, and pepper.

  3. Crack an egg into the mixture and stir. (Use two eggs for a big fish.)

  4. Form into balls (or patties).

  5. Bake at 350 degrees F. until firm to the touch, around 20 minutes.

The main part to experiment with is the salmon to panko ratio. Mine were a bit dry, so I’ll use less panko next time, or maybe an extra egg.

Avocado Yogurt Sauce

Served my balls with this:

Mash an avocado, add fat-free Greek yogurt, lime juice, garlic, cilantro, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Thin down with a tablespoon of water if you want.


Both of those were amazing, but I can’t wait till you post your new potato recipe! When you do, can you link it in my log?

Here’s an emoji to remind you: :potato:

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Sour Cream & Onion Layered Potatoes

This recipe is a winner. New weekly staple. Takes a little prep time, but the results are worth it. I recommend doing the prep work while enjoying a nice small-batch whisky.


• 2 Russet potatoes
• Sour cream (full-fat organic or fat-free, your choice)
• Chives (I use dehydrated)
• Grated cheese of choice (I used provolone)
• Onion powder, salt & pepper
• Spray avocado oil


  1. Preheat oven to 385 degrees F.

  2. Using either a mandolin or your knife skills, thinly slice the potatoes.

  3. Place a slice of potato in a muffin pan sprayed with oil. Add a tiny bit of sour cream, plus onion, salt, and pepper. Now add a little cheese. Repeat this layering until you have a muffin-sized portion. You don’t have to add cheese every layer. I skipped layers and added chives instead of cheese. This can be random. It all turns out good. Hard to mess up.

  4. Repeat the above. I got 6 portions using two potatoes.

  5. Bake for about 60 minutes. Turn up the heat to 400 at the very end and add more cheese to the top if you want.


I bet we can make this work with Mexican flavors, too. Or how about adding some crumbled bacon? Or using sweet potatoes and cinnamon? Yeah, lots of fun stuff to try with this one, and none of them involve counting calories and macros.


So here is my take on the Salmon Balls using an egg, breadcrumbs, red and green onion, onion powder, paprika and Old Bay. I jacked up the heat to 500 for the last 5 minutes. First pic shows them prepped and then into the fridge for an hour to rest. The second pic shows them finished and paired with a combo of roasted carbs - red potatoes, parsnips, and butternut squash, and a combo of grilled veggies - asparagus, broccolini, and green beans. The girlfriend gave them two thumbs up. Thanks for the suggestion as we had salmon fatigue. I normally grill portions on cedar planks, which is very good, however, this was a nice change.


Awesome! Great seasoning ideas. And “salmon fatigue” is a perfect way of saying it.

Metabolic Brownies

Always a favorite.

:point_right: Recipe.

Dani’s 5-Minute Brownie Bowl

I’d forgotten about this one. Since you make it in the microwave, I’m thinking about keeping all the ingredients in the T Nation/Biotest breakroom. I’ll use it to replace my midday shake, mainly because it’s too damn cold in my office to drink an icy milkshake in the winter. But a warm chocolate brownie? Yes, please.

Here’s the RECIPE.


Almond Butter Protein Bars

Got these right on the first try!


• 1 cup almond butter (peanut works, too)

• 3/4 cup chocolate MD protein. Vanilla also works.

• 1/4 cup raw honey

• 2 tablespoons cacao powder

• 2 tablespoons almond powder

• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

• 1/4 teaspoon salt (+ a little course sea salt for the top)

• 2 ounces 100% cacao baker’s chocolate, unsweetened (half a bar) + optional spoonful of baker’s Splenda

• 1 tablespoon coconut oil or MCT oil

• 6 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk or whatever you like


  1. Mix the dry ingredients together in a big bowl: protein powder, cacao powder, almond powder, and salt.

  2. Add the wet ingredients minus the coconut/MCT oil: almond butter, honey, almond milk, and vanilla extract. Stir until a thick batter forms.

  3. Press the batter into a square pan lined with parchment paper. About 9x9 is best, but anything works.

  4. Chop the chocolate bar into small pieces and top with coconut or MCT oil. Melt in microwave for 30 seconds, stir, and nuke again for 30 seconds. At this point you can stir in some Splenda or whatever sweetener you like, or leave it extra dark.

  5. Add the melted chocolate to the batter. Spread evenly over the top and hit it with a sprinkle of course salt.

  6. Refrigerate until the chocolate sets, cut into bars, and try not to eat them all in one day.

I haven’t figured the calories and macros yet, but when I do we’ll probably add this to the Protein Delights section of the store.

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Fun stuff for social with @Dani_Shugart: