Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Cutest Workout Top


I'll admit I'm a die hard LuluLemon addict ("big thigh" comments aside...), but I also love a great deal. While LuluLemon has fabulous workout clothes, they are not always in my budget. Sometimes I just can't stomach spending $99 on a t-shirt that I'm only going to sweat in! I was in Walmart today when my eyes caught this gem. It's totally cute to begin with, but it is also thick enough for spring and fall runs or hikes, it has thumb loops, and fancy reflective details if you're out late at night. However, my favourite part, it was only $18!!! 

Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie Stew


I love chicken pot pie! This recipe is a very easy way to achieve the same flavours (minus the pie crust), and there is no chopping involved.  It freezes and reheats well, so after it is cooled, you can divide into individual portions and freeze for lunches.

You can use any combination of frozen peas/corn/green beans that you like or have on hand, in a total of 3 cups.

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients
1 kg (4 large or 5 medium) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 small bag baby carrots
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup frozen green beans
1 can cream of chicken soup (no need to add water, the frozen veggies will dilute the sauce)
2 tsp onion powder
Black pepper, to taste
2 cups brown Minute Rice (will be about 3 cups when fully cooked)

Directions

Grease the bottom and sides of the slow cooker pot with canola oil spray (for easier cleaning). Pour the bag of baby carrots in the bottom of the pot and spread out evenly. Lay the chicken breasts on top of the carrots. Pour the can of cream of chicken soup on top, making sure to completely cover the chicken breasts (to keep them moist during cooking). Season with onion powder and black pepper. Place the lid on the slow cooker for 4 hours on high.

When there is 1h30 left on the cooking time, remove the lid and pour 3 cups of frozen vegetables on top of the chicken. Do not stir. Place the lid back on and allow to cook for remaining 1h30.

15 minutes before the slow cooker is complete, cook 2 cups of Minute Rice according to package directions. It will be about 3 cups when fully cooked.

When slow cooker is complete, remove lid and break up chicken breasts into bite-sized chunks with a wooden spoon. Add rice to slow cooker pot, and stir all the ingredients before serving.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Cookies and Cream Oatmeal Cookies



Since the previous Peanut Butter Quest Bar Cookies I made were such a hit, I thought I should get creative with the Cookies and Cream flavour. These might be hands down the best "healthy" cookie I have ever made! No kidding - it took major self control once these bad boys came out of the oven! Taste aside, they are made with wholesome ingredients and packed with protein and fibre. 

Ingredients

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup oats
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 scoop protein powder (I used BSN Lean Dessert in Whipped Vanilla)
1 Tbsp pure vanilla
1 egg
1 egg white
2 Tbsp honey or agave nectar
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cookies and cream Quest bar cut into small pieces
2 Tbsp dark chocolate mini chips 

*If you wanted to omit the Quest bar, you could also add walnuts, extra chocolate chips, cranberries, etc. 

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking stone/tray with parchment paper. 
2. In a large bowl mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, oats, and protein powder.
3. In a small bowl stir vanilla, egg, egg white, honey OR agave nectar
4. Add wet ingredients into the dry and mix. 
5. Gently stir in Quest pieces and chocolate chips. 
6. Drop cookie dough by spoonfuls onto parchment paper and with a fork slightly flatten each cookie.
    You should get 15 cookies. 
7. Bake for 10 minutes, or until slightly browned. Let cool...EAT! 

Nutrition per cookie

Calories 81
Fat 2.2 g
Carbohydrates 12.8 g
Fibre 2.6 g
Sugars 3.9 g
Protein 4.4 g



Banana Popsicles


The downside of buying bananas is that you buy half a dozen, and eat one per day...which means 5 of them were either slightly green or overripe and only one was exactly how you like it!  Here are some tips for enjoying bananas at the level of ripeness you prefer:
  • To ripen the bananas faster, place them in a brown paper bag with an apple and leave it at room temperature to speed up the ripening process.  
  • When the bananas are ripe, peel them and slice them into medallions and lay them out on layers of waxed paper in a tupperware container and place in the freezer.  Remove them from the freezer to put in smoothies.  Note:  Do not defrost them, they will turn black.  Put the frozen slices directly in the blender.  
  • Make banana soft serve:  Place frozen banana medallions in a food processor or high powered blender and pulse until the consistency of soft serve ice cream is reached.  Top with peanut or pistachio chunks, sliced strawberries, a dollop of Greek yogurt, etc. for a soft serve sundae!
  • Make frozen banana pops (recipe below).
Makes 8 servings.

Ingredients

4 bananas, peeled
200g Greek yogurt, plain (two single serving packs)
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp honey
1/2 cup ground blanched almonds
Small bamboo skewers

Directions

Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper or aluminum foil.  In a small bowl, combine yogurt, cinnamon and honey.  In a second bowl, pour ground almonds.  Cut bananas in half.  Roll banana in yogurt mix, thoroughly coating.  Next, roll it in ground almonds to cover.  Place the banana on its side on the cookie sheet and insert a skewer into the bottom.  Repeat with remaining bananas.  Freeze for at least 2 hours before serving. 

Nutrition

Calories 117
Fat 3.5g
Carbohydrates 16.9g
Fibre 2.8g
Sugar 9.0g
Protein 4.4g

Monday, 28 April 2014

Post-Workout Meals




The most common question I get asked in the gym is, "What should I eat after my workout?" While it's important to achieve balanced nutrition all day, the post workout meal is the one that is replenishing glycogen stores and repairing damaged tissue!

What is glycogen?  Glucose (sugar) is stored in the muscles as long chain molecules called glycogen.  Carbohydrate is digested, absorbed in to the blood, and transported to the muscles and liver to be converted to glycogen.  During exercise, the body burns a combination of glycogen and fat, but glycogen depletes faster as fat storages are plentiful in the body. 

What is the role of protein?  Protein (from both animal and plant sources) is digested and absorbed from the intestine into the blood to be made into body proteins that feed blood, antibodies, enzymes, hair and muscle.  The proteins that feed muscles repair the microscopic muscle tears that occur during exercise. 

Why are carbs and protein necessary post workout?  Replenishing carbohydrates stores post exercise returns glycogen to normal levels.  If carbohydrates storages are inadequate, muscles will draw from other food sources for energy.  This means that the muscles will start burning protein as fuel.  This means that protein stores are being used for something other than its main function, leaving inadequate protein storages for muscle tissue repair.  This leads to muscle catabolism (the burning of muscle for energy) and decreased metabolism.

The message:  If you don't consume enough carbs and protein post workout, you will be less jacked.

How much?  Ideally, your post workout meal will consist of 50-100g of carbohydrate and 10-20g of protein within 15-30 minutes of completion of exercise.  An example of a meal that fits the recommended amount of carbs and proteins is:  1 whole wheat pita with 2 tbsp hummus, 3 slices of turkey, and one medium apple is 64g of carbs and 18g of protein.  
If you have a couple hours until your next meal, an easy, on the go snack that works is:  1oz. raw pumpkin seeds, 1 medium apple, and 100g (one individual serving pack) of Greek yogurt with honey.  This combination is 61g carbs and 17.5g of protein.











Slow Cooker Apple Crumble


Makes 6 servings

This is my new favourite dessert!  I chose to use Royal Gala apples for this recipe because they are naturally very sweet, so it doesn't require much added sugar to achieve sweetness.

This dessert can be made gluten free by purchasing gluten free oats.  Oats are gluten free, but cross contamination is common during packaging.  If you are sensitive to gluten, be sure to look for gluten free on the label (such as Bob's Red Mill).


Funny thing, I forgot to add the sugar when I made this batch, but adding it later actually turned out better than my previous batch!  Sugar has a very low burning point, so by adding it with 30 minutes of cooking time to go, it prevented the sides of the pot from overcooking.  Also, I couldn't bring myself to throw out all the apple peels (so much fibre to miss out on!) so I ate five apples worth of peels after I prepared this!  Feel free to skip that step (haha). 

Ingredients

5 Royal Gala apples, peeled and chopped
4 tbsp unsalted butter (or coconut oil)
1/2 cup ground blanched almonds
1 cup large flaked oats
2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup brown sugar, loosely packed
Canola spray for greasing 

Directions

Grease the bottom and sides of the slow cooker insert.  Peel the apples and cut into wedges, then cut the wedges in half to make bite sized chunks and place evenly in the slow cooker. 

Melt butter in microwave for 30s and pour into mixing bowl.  Add ground almonds to butter and mix with a fork until almonds are coated.  Add oats, cinnamon and nutmeg and mix until uniform.  Pour the mix evenly over the apples.  Turn the slow cooker on high for 2 hours.

After 1.5 hours, remove the lid from the slow cooker and evenly pour sugar over top of the apples and oat mix.  Replace lid and cook for the remaining 30 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before serving. 

Nutrition

Calories 310
Fat 12.6g
Carbohydrates 45.6g
Fibre 7.3g
Sugars 28.1g
Protein 3.7g




Thursday, 24 April 2014

Quest Bar Cookies


Quest bars are the newest protein bar craze - and I'm definitely all over that. These bars are great because they come in a variety of flavours, they are gluten and sugar free, and they are loaded with protein. But my favourite part about them is that they can act as a great baking add in! These cookies are a cleaned up version of a chocolate chip cookie. They are great for those late night sweet cravings or mid afternoon snacks.

Ingredients

1 Quest bar (I prefer to use Double Chocolate Chunk or Chocolate Brownie)
1/2 cup almond butter
1/2 cup peanut butter (natural)
2 scoops protein powder (I prefer BSN Lean Dessert in Whipped French Vanilla)
1 tsp pure vanilla
1/2 cup egg whites
1 tsp baking soda
3 Tbsp honey (or preferred sweetener)
Pinch salt
3 Tbsp dark chocolate chips

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
2. Chop the Quest bar into tiny pieces. (Tip: if you put in the freezer for a few minutes it will make it easier to chop)
3. In a large bowl mix together both nut butters, vanilla, and egg whites. Once smooth add protein powder, baking soda, and salt and mix together. Once smooth add Quest bar pieces and chocolate chips and stir until combined.
4. Drop dough by spoonfuls onto prepared tray and press down with your fingers or a fork so they are flattened. You should get 20 cookies.
5. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until ever so slightly browned. Let cookies cool and harden before eating.

Nutrition (per cookie)

Calories 103
Fat 6.5 g
Carbohydrates 8.2 g
Fibre 2.2 g
Sugars 4.4 g
Protein 5 g

Quick-High-Intensity-Kick-Your-Butt-Workout


The best thing about body weight exercises is that all you need is a space to workout in and a pair of running shoes. One of my favourite ways to workout is in short and quick, high intensity routines. This type of working out is effective because it gets your heart rate up, burns calories, and strengthens your core. Below is one of my favourite routines. Complete each of the following exercises for 30 seconds each, without rest in between exercises (total of 5 minutes). Repeat 3 times for a total of 15 minutes. It is important to focus on form - quality not quantity. If you are unfamiliar with any of the exercises below, google them on YouTube for a quick demo.

Burpees
Box run*
Box jump*
Mountain climber
High knees
Push ups
Squats
Rockstar hops
Walking lunges

*Use "Step" equipment if at a gym, or if at home use a step - literally

Inspiration Board


Goals are a great thing to make for yourself. I know it sounds corny, but it actually really works. If you put your intentions out there and really believe in them, they can actually come true. I know this because I made this inspiration board a year and a half ago and it helped me to achieve my dream of running a half marathon. Everyone has different goals, therefore everyone's inspirational board should look different to reflect what is important to them. Below are some ideas you might find are inspirational to you as well!

1. My bib and medal from when I ran my half marathon. These things remind me of what I've
    accomplished and what I am capable of.
2. Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas and Toronto Waterfront marathon routes. After finishing my half marathon I knew I had
    to immediately train for a full marathon. I unfortunately fractured my hip shortly after I started
    training, but I keep these up there for the future!
3. Motivational quotes from people I admire
4. A picture of my friends. This reminds me to keep my relationships in my heart and to focus on
     keeping in contact with my friends even when life gets crazy busy.
5. A picture of my fiancé. This picture motivates me to keep focused on my future.
6. A career picture - One day I'll get that permanent contract!!!
7. A picture of women who's body's I admire. I know that a lot of hard work goes into stay fit and
    strong and I respect anyone who takes on that challenge
8. Pounds to lose - I know it sounds cliche but I've got an upcoming wedding to prepare for, so I
    keep track of my weight by hanging up clothes pins every time I lose a pound.

Remember to keep focused on what is important to you and what you want for yourself in the future!

Home Gym



While I love my Goodlife membership, sometimes it is just easier to workout at home. As much as I'd love my own treadmill or elliptical, they aren't exactly in my budget right now. I was however able to make my own home gym on a tight budget by choosing work out gear that I can utilize in combination with bodyweight and HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) exercises. I luckily had an extra room that I could turn into my home gym, but if you don't have this extra space, buy a large plastic container with wheels and store your equipment in a closet where you can access it with ease. Below are my favourite pieces of equipment:

1. Mirror from Ikea is large enough to watch my technique ($12.99)
     http://www.ikea.com/ca/en/catalog/products/90049573/
2. Resistance bands in 3 levels of resistance ($39.95)
    http://www.beachbody.com/product/fitness_gear/extreme_kit.do
3. Stability ball is great for core work and can act as a unstable bench ($8.99 from SuperStore)
4. Skipping rope is great for getting my heart rate up between sets ($12.99 Nike)
5. Foam mat is great for my joints when I'm jumping and running on the spot as it acts as a cushion ($2
    per square from Walmart)
6. Weights are awesome for building muscle. I have 5 different weights, but I'd recommend investing in
     at least 3 weights - light (5 lb), medium (15 lb) and heavy weights (25-30 lb). You can find weights
     at Walmart, Canadian Tire, or Fitness Depot. They are usually $1 per pound.
7. Foam roller is excellent for working out kinks in your hamstrings, buttock, and hip flexors ($19.99
    from Fitness Depot)
8. Yoga mat (not shown) is great for laying on the ground, doing core work, or duh, Yoga! ($12.99
    Garmin)
9. Yoga block (not shown) is excellent for increasing my strength and flexibility ($12.99 Walmart)
10. Lastly, home videos (not shown). My personal favourites are P90X, Insanity, T25, and anything by
     Jillian Micheals. 

Dude Food (aka Pizza with Chicken)


My boyfriend, or as I like to call him these days, "FiancĂ©," loves meat. He really, REALLY does. So when I make food for us it needs to have lots of lean protein on or in it. Even though pizza often gets a bad rap, it can actually be turned into a nutritional powerhouse with a few easy swaps. So instead of grease and fat, you get whole grains, lean protein, and still lots of cheesy goodness. This is what I like to call "Dude Food."

Ingredients

2 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
2 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp sugar
*Tip: Alternatively you can purchase whole wheat dough from the grocery store to save some time. Look in the refrigerated bakery section for fresh dough or the dry bakery for a prepared crust. Just make sure to check the ingredients to make sure your dough is made from whole grain flour and not white flour. Skip to step 7 in directions if you choose to buy your dough. 

1 large skinless, boneless chicken breast, seasoned, cooked and shredded (Tip: shred with 2 forks)
1 can pizza sauce
1/2 package turkey pepperonis
1 cup low fat mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 Tbsp parmesan cheese, grated

Directions

1. In a small bowl, combine yeast, water, and 1 tsp sugar. Let sit for 5 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, salt, and remaining sugar. Make a well in the centre and add  
    yeast mixture and olive oil.
3. Stir until dough comes together, then knead by hand for about 5 minutes (Tip: kneading is the 
    process of repeatedly pressing dough down with the palm of your hand and folding it). Add
    remaining flour if needed, until dough is no longer sticky.
4. Shape dough into a ball, place into a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. The dough
    needs to rise for about 1 hour in a slightly warm place.
5. Punch down risen dough and shape into ball and place on a lightly floured baking sheet or pizza
    stone (Tip: A pizza stone will give a crispier pizza base). 
6. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
7. Roll into a thin crust and top with pizza sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese, shredded chicken, and
    turkey pepperonis.
8. Bake pizza for 15-18 minutes. Once out of the oven, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and let sit for 5
    minutes for cutting into it. Cut into 10 slices.

Tip: Feel free to add vegetables on top for an extra nutritional boost! Red onions, mushrooms, and green peppers are a great addition! 


Nutrition (per slice)

Calories 230
Fat 7.2 g
Carbohydrates 27.3 g
Fibre 4.2 g
Sugars 1.8 g
Protein 15.5 g







Strawberry & Spinach Powerhouse



My favourite way to make salads is BIG! I can't tell you how many times people have said "Are you going to eat that ALL?!" My answer is always "YES!" The key to making a salad into a delicious and filling meal is to choose the right ingredients. I always try to choose lots of fresh vegetables, a protein, and a healthy fat. This salad is not only beautiful to look at, but it tastes good and helps you meet your daily requirements for fibre, calcium, and iron. 

Ingredients

1-2 cups fresh spinach
1-2 cups kale, ripped into small pieces (omit the hard stems)
1/2 cup sliced fresh strawberries
2 Tbsp chopped mushrooms
1 Tbsp unsalted sunflower seeds
2 oz low fat goat's cheese (feta is also a great substitute)

2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
Pinch salt and fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp honey 

Directions

1. Layer kale and spinach in a big bowl. Top with strawberries, sunflower seeds, and goat's cheese.
2. Whisk together dressing and pour on top of salad. 

Nutrition

Calories 397
Fat 26. 2 g (mostly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated)
Carbohydrates 26.1 g
Fibre 8.2 g
Protein 14.4 g



Mango salsa


This salsa can be used to dress up grilled chicken or fish served over brown rice, or enjoy it with whole wheat tortilla chips (recipe below).  It can be refrigerated for up to 3 days if prepared in advance, just leave out the cilantro until serving.

When choosing a mango, press on the bottom end of it.  If it is soft and squishy (some juice might be coming out as well), the mango is ripe.  If your mango is not ripe enough yet, place it in a brown paper bag with a banana.  The banana will give off ethylene gas, which speeds up the ripening process.


Makes 2 cups

Ingredients
1 mango, ripe, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed, finely diced
1/2 lime, juiced
1 bunch of cilantro, to taste, chopped
Black pepper, to taste

Directions
Peel the mango, then cut one side off, parallel to the stone (the pit), being careful not to cut into the stone (this can ruin your knife).  Repeat with opposite side.  Dice the mango into 1cm by 1/2cm chunks and place in a bowl.  Dice the onion and red pepper, and add to the mango.  Finely dice the jalapeno, and add to bowl.  Squeeze lime juice over the mix and add black pepper.  Chop cilantro (leaves and stems) and add before serving.


For whole wheat tortilla chips:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a baking sheet with olive oil spray.  Cut small whole wheat tortillas into triangles and place on the tray.  Lightly spray the triangles with olive oil spray.  Sprinkle with cumin and sea salt, if desired.  Bake for 8 minutes, or until lightly browned. 

Nutrition (per 1/2 cup salsa)

Calories 47
Fat 0.2g
Carbohydrates 11.0g
Fibre 1.5g
Sugars 9.0g
Protein 0.5g




Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Whole Wheat Pretzels



These pretzels are easy to make, freeze well, and can be made in the traditional shape, pretzel bites, twists or even a wreath!  The traditional shape takes up a lot of space on the baking pan, which means you have to bake them in batches.  Twists or bites can fit more per pan, so they take less time to prepare.

Ingredients

1 1/3 cup warm water
1 tbsp (one package) active dry yeast
3 cups whole wheat flour (plus more for work surface)
1 1/3 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp table salt, for dough
1 egg, for egg wash
Sea salt, to taste, for topping pretzels

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Combine warm water with yeast in a small bowl or glass.  Let stand for 5 minutes.  Combine 2 3/4 cups flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.  Add yeast mixture to flour mixture.  Stirring or mixing with your hands to bring dough together, add 1/4 cup more flour, as needed to prevent sticking.  Sprinkle work surface with flour and knead dough until smooth and elastic.  Divide dough into 12 equal pieces.  Roll into 15-inch long ropes.  Shape into a pretzel twist (or a pretzel stick, then cut it into bite sized pieces).

Place pretzels on a greased pan, then brush each pretzel with egg wash and sprinkle with sea salt.  Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. 

For wreath:  Divide dough into 3 equal pieces.  Roll into 3 1/2 foot long ropes, working section by section.  Using a large round pan, place the three ropes onto the pan and link them together, pinching them at the end.  Loosely braid, leaving even spaces between ropes.  Work your way around, braiding in a circle.  At the end of the circle, connect the pinched links to the ends.  Brush the wreath with egg wash and sprinkle with sea salt.  Bake on the top rack for 15 minutes.

Nutrition (per one pretzel twist)


Calories 127
Fat 0.7g
Carbohydrates 25.6g
Fibre 1.1g
Sugars 1.4g
Protein 4.1g




Monday, 21 April 2014

Quinoa Tabbouleh



Fresh garlic and lemon juice make this dish a light and fresh meal! The best part is that you can make it the night before and the ingredients will intensify overnight, leaving you with nothing but bold flavours and fresh ingredients. An excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and iron. 

Makes 1 serving (but you can easily double or triple the ingredients to make more portions)

Ingredients

1/4 cup quinoa, cooked and cooled (Tip: cook quinoa in chicken or vegetable broth instead of plain water to add more flavour)
5 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/8 cucumber, chopped into tiny pieces (or a small baby cucumber) 
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup chickpeas (drained)
2 Tbsp red onion, chopped
1/4 cup light feta cheese, crumbled
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Pinch salt and pepper, to taste (remember the feta cheese is salty to begin with, so you won't need much)

Directions

1. In a large bowl mix cooled and cooked quinoa, tomatoes, garlic, parsley, chickpeas, red onion, cucumber, and lemon juice until lightly mixed.
2. Pour feta on top and lightly stir. 
3. Cover and put into the fridge overnight. Makes a great lunch or dinner the next day! 

Nutrition

Calories 350
Fat 8.7 g
Carbohydrates 54.3 g
Fibre 8 g
Sugars 6.1 g
Protein 17.8 g

Chocolate Zucchini-Carrot Muffins



Chocolate - what more do I need to say??? The great thing about these muffins is that they taste like a cupcake, but are made with wholesome ingredients, like zucchini, carrots, and flaxseed. These muffins make a great on-the-go breakfast or a light afternoon snack; and they are jam packed with potassium and vitamin A. If you have picky eaters in your family, this is a great way to sneak in some vegetables!

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients

1 egg
1 small zucchini, shredded (use a cheese grater, drain to remove excess water)
1 small carrot, shredded (use a cheese grater)
1 1/4 cup low fat milk (you can substitute almond milk if preferred)
2 tsp apple cider vinegar (trust me, you won't taste it!)
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp flaxseed
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup brown sugar (you can substitute honey or maple syrup if preferred)
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup dark chocolate mini chips (you may substitute with walnuts or carob chips if preferred)


Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Spray a non-stick muffin tin with cooking spray (i.e. Pam)
3. In a small bowl mix together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cocoa powder. Mash with a fork or press through a sieve to remove any clumps.
4.  In a large bowl, mix together egg, sugar, milk, vinegar, apple sauce, and vanilla. Once mixed, add flaxseed, carrots, and zucchini, and mix together. Lastly, stir in chocolate chips.
5. Divide mixture between into prepared muffin tin, filling just below the top.
6. Bake for 15-20 minutes, ensuring not to over bake. Tip: stick a toothpick into muffin, if it comes out clean, the muffins are ready. If it comes out with batter, the muffins are not ready. Remove muffins from oven and let cool.


Tip: I pack 2 muffins in a little zip lock bag and freeze them, this way I can take them out for a quick breakfast or snack.



Nutrition
Calories 206
Fat 6.1 g
Carbohydrates 41.4 g
Fibre 5.3 g
Sugars 21.8 g
Protein 4.9 g




Protein Pancakes with Blueberry Syrup





If you're like me and crave carbs first thing in the morning, but also don't want to start you day off on a bad note, give these protein pancakes a try! This recipe is loaded with protein, fibre, and deliciousness! They are light and fluffy, unlike the cardboard texture that many protein pancakes have. This recipe is a great source of vitamin B-12, vitamin D, folate, and potassium - plus it'll satisfy your craving for something sweet! 

(Serves 1 person)

Ingredients

1 scoop protein powder (I prefer to use BSN Lean Dessert in Whipped Vanilla Cream)
1/4 cup oats (uncooked)
1/2 cup egg whites
1/3 banana
1/2 tsp baking power
1 tsp vanilla
Dash of cinnamon
Pinch of salt

Optional:
1/2 cup frozen blueberries (You can use fresh blueberries, but there won't be as much juice)
2 Tbsp regular or sugarfree maple syrup OR agave nectar

Directions

1. Preheat a nonstick pan to medium and lightly spray with cooking spray (i.e. Pam)
2. Add all ingredients to a blender or Magic Bullet
3. In three batches, pour pancake batter into pan, wait until pancake starts to bubble and then flip. Continue until all three pancakes are made.
4. In a small bowl, microwave blueberries and syrup until warm (approximately 30 seconds to 1 minute). Top pancakes with blueberry syrup.

Nutrition (includes blueberries, but not syrup, as personal preferences may vary)

Calories 302
Total Fat 4.3 g
Carbohydrates 39.6 g
Fibre 7.4 g
Sugars 14.7 g
Protein 28.3 g

*You can also make this recipe as a perfect late night snack by simply omitting the banana

Pizza chicken


Since pizza is the greatest food ever, I'm always looking for healthier ways to prepare it.  This version includes all the pizza goodness, with a lot more protein!  Enjoy this with a salad for an extra serving of veggies.

Serves:  4
Preparation:  10 minutes
Total:  35 minutes

Ingredients 

4 large chicken breasts (about 1kg)
1/2 cup pizza sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 small red onion, diced
1/2 cup button mushrooms, sliced

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Line two baking sheets with tin foil.

Butterfly each of the chicken breasts (with the edge of a knife parallel to the cutting board, begin cutting down the length of the side of the breast, then slice the breast in half widthwise almost to the other edge, then open like a book).  Place the chicken breasts on the baking sheet, with the butterflied section open.  Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Remove the pans from the oven, then quickly add toppings to each of the chicken breasts.  Return to the oven, and bake for 12-15 minutes more (time will depend on the thickness of the breast), until chicken is cooked through.


Nutrition

Calories 399
Fat 16.8g
Carbohydrates 8.3g
Fibre 1.6g
Sugars 3.3g
Protein 50.8g


Friday, 18 April 2014

Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Muffins


Peanut butter and dairy milk add protein to these whole wheat muffins to make them more filling.  Cinnamon can also be replaced with 1 tsp pure vanilla extract for a slightly different flavour.  I have tried this recipe with both Kraft smooth peanut butter and natural peanut butter and both came out great!  I preferred the natural peanut butter because the peanut flavour was more intense!

Yield:  12
Preparation:  15 minutes
Total time:  35 minutes

Ingredients

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup coconut oil or canola oil
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup smooth peanut butter or natural peanut butter
2 eggs
1 cup milk (dairy or unsweetened almond milk)
Optional:  1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Line muffin tin with liners or grease pan.  

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon in a mixing bowl.  In a second bowl, add oil, followed by brown sugar and mix evenly.  Add peanut butter and eggs and mix.  Transfer dry ingredients to wet, and add milk.  Mix together, being careful not to over mix batter.  Fold chocolate chips into the batter.  

Spoon even amounts of batter into each muffin liner and place in oven for 18-20 minutes.  Insert a toothpick, if toothpick comes out clean, muffins are done.  

Nutrition (without chocolate chips)

Calories 296
Fat 16.7g
Carbohydrates 27.6g
Fibre 2.1g
Sugars 8.9g
Protein 9.2g