Posts tagged with healthy snack

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week has been bonkers busy. I work in the environmental field and the week leading into EarthDay is always pretty hectic with public engagement events and whatnot!

Work hasn’t been the only thing keeping me busy, though.

My friend Kathy and I have been busting our asses the past few months to make a brainchild of ours come to fruition; we’re starting a business making healthy, mega-delicious granola bars from as many locally-sourced ingredients as we can get our hands on. It’s exciting, and has been really well received by everyone we’ve involved at this point. Our business plan is almost done, I think we’ve done a really good job at dotting ‘I’s and crossing dem ‘T’s!

We’ve been given a huge opportunity to trial our products at an upcoming Yelp! event. All details about it are top secret until after it is said and done but we will have the chance to get some invaluable feedback and networking experience with a crowd of Elite Yelpers. I’m pretty stoked! I will fill you guys in on more details about our biz in posts to come. For now, if you want to check us out, we’ve got a twitter handle @madewithlocal and a Facebook page www.facebook.com/madewithlocal ! You can probably guess our name then, yep, Made with Local. Like, ‘made with love’ but with local. Ahhh?!?! Ya see what we did there? Our branding is rad, and I’m just tickled at how well things are going so far!

So we’ve been juggling prep for this event while working our full-time gov’t gigs, it makes for some exciting, yet stressful times. What is a good way to remedy that stress-case feeling? Wine. Lots of wine. Every-second-night-this-week-a-bottle-of-wine. To myself. Not consumed alone, mind you, but still. A lot more than I’m used to.

My workout routine has taken a bit of a blow in result of all this baking, brainstorming, organizing, and wine-drinking. But today’s a new day! The start of a new week, and this morning when I work up, my body was just dying for some fruits and veggies.

You’ve probably already looked at the picture of this cup o’nutrition and have drawn your own conclusions. Don’t fear the green. It’s a smoothie, with spinach, and it tastes fantastic. Now you know. You can’t taste the spinach, at all. Not even a little bit. But it adds a fantastic nutritional boost, and just makes you feel like you did a good thing for the ‘ol bod.  What you do need is a blender with some guts. It will pulverize the hell out of those little leaves and whip you up a concoction that’ll replenish all the nutrients and self-esteem lost after an evening of indulgence.

Sunday Detox Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cup unsweetened almond milk (or any milk, for that matter)
  • 1/3 cup greek yogurt, I used Liberte 0% with Honey
  • 1/2 cup frozen berries
  • 1 small frozen banana
  • 4 cups raw baby spinach
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds or ground flax seed (optional)

Put your liquids in the blender first, then frozen fruits and the spinach. Blend on high, stopping to push down spinach leaves until they are all mixed in. Blend really, really well. Drink. Feel instantly healthier!

I love my local bulk store. I can spend an embarrassing amount of time perusing the aisles, taking little baggies of this and that; it’s a great way to try out new spices, grains, flours etc in small quantities until you decide they’re not for you, or that you love them! In which case you can come back and fill your boots for a price that’s usually way better than at the grocery store. You guys know I am a shameless bargain hunter!

The hazard of shopping like this though, is that my very deep kitchen cupboards make it easy to unintentionally  hoard odds-and-ends baggies of nuts, seeds, and other baking supplies. I’ve had a pile building up for a couple of months now, it was time for these misfits to have their turn in my belly.

These little treats take zero time to whip up and have a fluffy yet hearty vibe. They’re completely sans grain, so eat your heart out GF and Paleo folks! Super yummy with tea in the evenings, or even as a pre-workout energy boost!

Trail Mix Cookies

Yield: 12

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp almond flour
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch sea salt (omit if using salted nut butter)
  • 1/4 cup natural nut butter, softened (I used PB)
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or foil. If you have neither, be sure to grease your sheet well.

If you are making almond flour out of raw, whole almonds, toss about 3/4 cup into a food processor and let them process on high until they become flour-like in texture. Do not go too long, or you will end up with almond butter! Measure out a generous 1/2 cup of the flour, or about 1/2 cup +1 tbsp.

Mix together the rest of the dry ingredients with almond flour in one bowl. Combine PB, maple syrup, and beaten egg in another bowl until mixed then add to dry ingredients until totally combined.

Drop rounded tablespoonfuls on the lined baking sheet and bake for 9-11 minutes, until just starting to get golden. Be careful not to overcook!

Allow to cool and store in an airtight container.

 

It’s coming up on three years since I decided to give meat the boot from my diet, and aside from that one drunken encounter with chicken fingers, I’ve been meat free since the spring of 2009. Top three questions I hear all the time:

Q. Why did you stop eating meat?

A. At first I did it just to try, I had just come back from a few months of backpacking in Europe and wanted to lose a few pints of Guinness off my backside. I found right away that contrary to popular belief, cooking and eating out vegetarian is usually mega-flavourful.

Q. How do you get your protein? Aren’t you hungry all the time?

A. I get a ton of protein in my daily diet. I have 3 egg whites with breakfast every morning, greek yogurt and nuts to snack on throughout the day, and my  lunch and suppers always revolve around a protein source like beans, quinoa, whole eggs, tofu, tempeh, and sometimes a nice fresh piece of Nova Scotian seafood (I know, this technically makes me a pescetarian, but that’s a huge pain in the ass to explain to people!). I eat a lot, and I eat often. But that’s because I’m active, not because I don’t eat critters.

Q. So, what do you eat when you go out to restaurants, salad?

A. No, I am not a big salad person. Often restaurants salads don’t have a protein source so they don’t fill ma belleh. I’ll get fish if they don’t have a great veggie option. Lucky for me, there are lots of restaurants in Halifax that have vegetarian dishes that make my omnivorous dinner mates jealous!

For the above reason, I didn’t want to slap the ‘salad’ name on this dish. It’s super flavourful, fresh, and filling! The chickpeas are a great source of protein and fibre, and the sweet of the mango and salty of the feta will make your tongue do a happy dance.

This makes a super lunch, it takes no time to whip up and keeps well in the fridge for a few days. It’s actually best made and let to sit in the fridge for a few hours to let all the flavours meld together. I just had a brainstorm…this would be an awesome potluck dish too! Just up the proportions and be everyone’s favourite. FTW.

Chickpea Mango Lunch Bowl

Yield: 2

Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 mango, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1 cup chopped cucumber
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped (cilantro would be yummy, too)
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta
  • 1 tbsp light oil (I used extra virgin olive)
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Add all ingredients except for oil, lime juice, and s&p to a mixing bowl. Combine until all mixed together. In a small bowl, whisk oil and lime juice, and pour over chickpea mango mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste!

This tastes best if left to hang out in the fridge for a couple hours, but really is fantastic right away, too.

 

Two very fantastic lady friends of mine celebrated their birthdays this weekend, which has rendered me completed useless this Sunday. I am now suffering through a mammoth food and booze hangover, woe is me.

For that reason, I am keeping this post short and sweet. It really is all about this little gem of a recipe!

Last night my friend Tara (baker-lady extraordiare and co-owner of Two If By Sea Cafe in Dartmouth, NS) had a freaking fantastic ladies-only pizza party and it was a blast! I knew I wanted to bring something along for munchies, but wouldn’t dare show up with a baked treat because it would inevitably be dwarfed in awesomeness next to anything Tara made. I bow down to her buttery goodness.

I saw the idea for these cute-as-a-button treats on Pinterest. If you’re not on Pinterest yet, beware, it is beyond addictive. Like, crack sprinkled on sweet chili heat Doritos addictive. When in the depths of a late-night Pinterest bender, I came across these and thought they’d be such a fun little treat to have at a party, and I was right! They were a hit, and take zero time to make. They’d also be ridiculously cute on top of a cake or even cupcakes. I’d love to hear your ideas, too!

Cheesecake Stuffed Raspberries

  • 1 pint Raspberries, washed and dried
  • 1 block cream cheese at room temperature (full fat is best!)
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 3 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1/4 vanilla bean seeds or 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Whip the whipping cream and vanilla with electric mixer on high, until it stiffens and peaks form. Blend in softened cream cheese and icing sugar until completely incorporated and creamy. If you have a piping bag/cake decorating tool, use it to fill the raspberries. Do your best to resist the urge to pop every second one in your mouth. If you don’t have a piping bag or cake decorating syringe thingy, you can cut a small hole in the corner of a clean plastic baggie, and then fill it with about a 1/2 cup of mixture at a time. You can use this to shoot the cream cheese into the little raspberry holes. So good! Keep in the fridge until ready to serve.