Creative cooking & protein

Creative cooking & protein

Creative cooking & protein OptiMum Health

An old blog from October 2014 but great if you’re wondering about

– how to get creative in the kitchen

– why and how to get more protein in your nutrition


Today I stepped out of my comfort zone….and loved it! I
am not someone who is confident in the kitchen by any
stretch of the imagination. If I cook something new, I
follow a recipe religiously and am still more than
capable of producing something that even the blackbirds
turn their beaks up at.


So going on a cookery course run by the amazing Anna
Sward of Protein Pow(d)er was exciting but also quite
nerve wracking. I needn’t have worried – Anna set us
all at our ease and explained things in a simple,
logical way. We didn’t do any cooking though – we

Not cooking...creating!

Not cooking…creating!










When Anna first said we were going to make protein bars
my insides gave a little cheer. I love protein bars
but (a) bemoan the fact that I don’t like the huge long
list of unpronounceable ingredients in some of them and
(b) being a tight Yorkshire lass, am loath to spend the
small fortune a regular supply invariably costs.

Then Anna said we were each going to make up our own
protein bar ‘recipe’ as we went along, at which point
my insides lurched a little. Strangely though, it was
a completely liberating experience.

My main aim for the day was to find tasty ways to use
up the pouch of pea protein that has been lurking in
the back of my cupboard for some time. As a
vegetarian, finding new and interesting ways to
incorporate protein into my diet has been a challenge
at times.

I bought pea protein as an alternative to try to whey
powder. It arrived, I mixed it up with water, took a
gulp and….very nearly decorated the kitchen wall with
it. It was foul! I’ve experimented with it in savoury
sauces to increase the protein content of meals and
it’s been ok….but not stunning.

So when Anna encouraged us to use pea or hemp protein
to make our sweet protein bars, I clearly thought she
was bonkers but saw it as an opportunity.


sticky fingers
The whole experience reminded me of being a child,
baking with my Mum. I chucked in, literally, a few

ingredients, tasted it and added a bit more. For all
you culinary experts out there, this may seem no big
deal, but for me, this was something I’d never usually
entertain (visions of blackbirds emigrating in my

Then came the moulding and coating in chocolate…mmmmmm
chocolate!!! My hands were caked in mixture and
chocolate – it was such good fun! So much so, that I’m
planning to repeat the experience with my own children
during the summer holidays.

I made it!

I made it!













Needless to say, only 3 bars of my protein bar mix made
it to the fridge….I’d eaten the rest in making!

We went on to make protein breads, protein cheesecake,
protein cakes and protein pizza. All were
scrumdidliumptious! In fact, it didn’t take much
eating before I was totally pogged!

Looking at pizza in a new light

Looking at pizza in a new light




Protein based pizza :-)

Protein based pizza 🙂











This is one of the benefits of eating protein – it’s
satiating effect. Protein is essential for building
and repairing muscle tissue. This does not make it a
unique requirement for bodybuilders and gym goers

Every cell in your body has protein as a key
constituent. Your hair and nails are mostly made up of
protein. It is important for the formation and
maintenance of your bones, cartilage, muscles, blood
and skin. Protein is also required to make hormones
and other chemicals your body needs to function

Whatever your goals in terms of achievements, body
composition and general health having a varied source
of good quality protein in your diet is highly
beneficial. Many people do not achieve this however.

Protein bread - this was amazing!

Protein bread – this was amazing!


Cookery courses like this break down creative fears and
perhaps even food issues and show you how to make
healthy food using cool ingredients and I would
thoroughly recommend them.

Please remember though that eating healthy and natural
food does not guarantee fitness model physique. Eating
too much of these foods will still make you gain



Just because they are prefixed with the word “protein”

does not make them weight-loss products. They are,
however, a fabulous way to increase protein within your
daily nutrition in a varied and tasty way, and so help
keep your food intake interesting when trying to change
your body composition.

Check out recipes and more from Anna Sward at and, if you are pregnant or recently
become a Mum, also check out

My favourite - protein cheesecake :-D

My favourite – protein cheesecake 😀

Lisa Gimenez-Codd is a Female Health & Exercise Coach,
Low Back Pain Exercise Specialist & Pilates Instructor
at Custom Fitness, also offering core mobility courses
and private sessions at Hykeham Chiropractic, Lincoln.

Want to know more or wish to share your thoughts?

Please get in touch here