Saturday, 28 June 2014

Chocolate Cherry Beer Bread

After making the Sweet Potato Beer Bread last week, I thought I'd like to try another recipe, this time with Guinness.  The combination of dark chocolate and dried cherries seemed like a perfect match for Guinness.  Feel free to use any beer that suits your taste!

Makes 16 slices

Ingredients

3 cups whole wheat flour
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 440mL can Guinness
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
1/3 cup dried cherries
Canola spray, for greasing

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Grease a 9x5 loaf pan with canola spray.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.  Mix until combined. 
Pour in beer and quickly mix it together while beer is foamy.  Do not overmix.  Fold in cherries and chocolate chips.

Pour batter into loaf pan and use a spatula to spread evenly (batter will be thick and sticky).  Bake for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Nutrition

Calories 220
Fat 1.3g
Carbohydrates 46.7g
Fibre 1.4g
Sugars 3.0g
Protein 3.0g

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Kale & Sprout Super Salad


We all know that kale is the new super food everyone is talking about - and with darn good reason! Kale is high in fiber, iron, antioxidants and vitamin k, and is low in calories. Another favourite vegetable of mine is brussel sprouts. I know they often get a bad rap, but I love the bold flavour and texture, as well as the fact that they are another nutritional powerhouse. Combined, these two ingredients, along with a few others, make a super salad that is filled with nutrients and taste. I've created the recipe as a side that serves 4 people.

Ingredients - Serves 4

Salad
2 cups thinly chopped kale (omit the tough ends, only use the leafy parts)
2 cups shredded brussel sprouts (use a mandoline grater, or thinly chop)
1 cup shredded radicchio (use a mandoline grater, or thinly chop)
1/4 cup dried cherries
2 oz pumpkin seeds
Poppyseed dressing (below) 

Dressing
4 Tbsp cider vinegar
4 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp poppyseeds
Pinch salt and fresh ground pepper
1 Tbsp honey

Directions

1. Mix together the dressing ingredients and place in fridge. 
2. In a large bowl combine the kale, brussel sprouts, radicchio, and dressing. Toss together. Place in fridge and let sit 5 minutes. 
3. Before serving add the pumpkin seeds and the dried cherries.

Nutrition (1/4 recipe)

Calories 264
Fat 16.9 g
Carbohydrate 24.8 g
Fibre 5 g
Sugars 9.9 g
Protein 5.2 g








Monday, 23 June 2014

Sweet Potato Beer Bread

I attempted a few different recipes this weekend that did not turn out so well.  First, I tried to make up a recipe for avocado pumpkin bread, and it didn't bake through in the centre.  Then I tried to use up the rest of the pumpkin with a pumpkin coconut muffin recipe, which was equally bad.  Finally, I gave up on trying to create new recipes and decided to follow one from one of my favourite recipe blogs, averiecooks.com.

When I happened across the recipe for Sweet Potato Maple Vegan Beer Bread, the timing was perfect, because I had a few bottles of Stella in the fridge.  I only had whole wheat flour in the cupboard, so I decided to give it a try.  I reduced the amount of flour to 2 cups (when substituting whole wheat flour for all-purpose, use 3/4 cup whole wheat flour for every 1 cup all-purpose).  All the other measurements were kept the same as the original recipe.  The result was a moist and flavourful loaf that baked perfectly in the recommended 40 minutes.  It was so good, I used the first loaf to make French toast on Sunday morning, and then baked a second loaf!

I'd like to try this recipe again with Guinness to see how it changes the flavour.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Flourless Cashew Butter Cookies


If you've ever eaten at Fresh (a local Toronto Vegetarian restaurant) and have tried one of their flourless cashew butter cookies, then you'll understand why I needed to make these! I searched the Internet trying to find Fresh's signature recipe, but had no luck finding it, so I decided to create my own. These cookies only have 6 ingredients and are super easy to prepare. I find they taste best if you slightly underbake them! 

Ingredients

1 cup cashew butter
1 egg
1/2 cup brown sugar (or substitute your own preferred sweetener, such as honey or stevia)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (I prefer to use the mini chocolate chips) 

Tip: Try exchanging chocolate chips for crushed cashews or raisins. Also if you feel like uping the protein content, add 1/2 scoop of vanilla or unflavoured protein powder!

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 325*
2. In a large bowl combine cashew butter, egg, and brown sugar. Mix well.
3. Add baking soda and vanilla. Mix well.
4. Stir in chocolate chips.
5. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
6. Roll dough into small balls and flatten with your palms. Place on the baking sheet. You should get 15 cookies. 
7. Bake for 7-9 minutes.
8. Let cookies sit on the counter until cooled, then transfer on parchment paper into the fridge and let them chill for 10 minutes.

Nutrition (per cookie)

Calories 130
Fat 9 g
Carbohydrates 16.4 g
Fibre 0.6 g
Sugars 11.7 g
Protein 3.1 g



Monday, 16 June 2014

High Protein Summer Salad

I just got back from vacationing in NYC, where we enjoyed pizza in Brooklyn, dumplings in Chinatown, cannolis in Little Italy, and all of it was fantastic!  But now that vacation is over, I felt I needed a high protein, high fibre salad for dinner.

My friend Jodi, owner of Cardamom & Cloves in Ottawa's Little Italy, gave me Smoked Vinaigrette Spice, which I used as a rub for the chicken in this recipe.  For the dressing, I used Jalapeno infused Olive Oil from Emulsify in Ottawa.

Serves 4

Ingredients

300g boneless skinless chicken breast
Smoked Vinaigrette Spice, to taste
3 hardboiled eggs, peeled and chopped
100g feta cheese
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 baby cucumbers, sliced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 tbsp Jalapeno infused Olive Oil
Juice of 1 lime
Black pepper, to taste
 
Directions

Hardboil 3 eggs and set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Slice chicken breasts into 3 strips and place on a baking sheet.  Add spice rub to top of chicken strips.  Bake for 18 to 20 minutes.

While chicken is cooking, dice vegetables and add to a large mixing bowl.  Combine corn, chickpeas, peppers, celery, cucumbers, olive oil, lime juice and black pepper.  Toss until veggies are coated in oil. 

Remove chicken from oven and allow to cool slightly.  Add eggs and feta on top of veggies.  Slice chicken breasts into bite sized pieces and add on top.  Season with more black pepper.

Nutrition

Calories 522
Fat 21.4g
Carbohydrates 43.8g
Fibre 10.8g
Sugars 9.2g
Protein 40.9g

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Multigrain Pretzel Crusted Chicken Strips


Recently my fiance and I were at the Cheesecake Factory, and we ordered this pretzel covered chicken appetizer. It was delicious, and I started thinking about how easy it would be to make a "cleaner" version of it at home... so I did! 

Ingredients

2 skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into strips
1/4 cup multigrain pretzels (I used President's Choice Blue Menu Honey Multigrain Pretzels) 
1/4 cup oats
2 pinches of salt and pepper 
pinch of garlic salt
1 large egg white
Optional: Presidents Choice Blue Menu Plum Sauce

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350*
2. Put the egg white into a medium size bowl. Toss chicken strips in egg whites and sprinkle with salt and pepper. 
3. In a Magic Bullet or blender add pretzels, oats, pinch of salt and pepper, and garlic salt. Pulse until fine crumbs are formed. Pour crumbs into a medium sized bowl. 
4. Individually take each chicken strip from the egg white mixture and toss it into the crumbs making sure you cover the entire strip. 
5. Place strips onto a cooking tray that has been lined with parchment paper. Place into the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Take out of the oven and flip strips over. Bake for another 10 minutes. 
6. Dip into plum sauce and enjoy!

Nutrition (per half recipe, no plum sauce)

Calories 253
Fat 6.3 g
Carbohydrate 17.3 g
Fiber 1.5 g
Sugars 1.8 g
Protein 32.5 g

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Chocolate Avocado Brownies

I had a lot of avocadoes to use up today, since I bought them to make guacamole last week, and they were not ripe enough, so I made pico de gallo instead.  I decided to try avocado brownies, and they turned out to be the tastiest and most decadent thing I've ever baked!

Note:  I made this recipe a second time, and added 1 tbsp cinnamon, 1 tbsp chili pepper flakes and 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper for a spicy chocolate brownie.

Makes 20

Ingredients

1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
3 Haas avocadoes, mashed
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 eggs
2/3 cup water
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Canola spray, for greasing

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F, and grease a 9x12 cake pan.
Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, salt and baking soda in a large mixing bowl.  Set aside.
In a second mixing bowl, mash avocadoes with a fork until clumps are gone.  Add syrup, eggs and water and mix. 
Pour dry into wet and mix until uniform.  Fold in chocolate chips.
Pour into cake pan and bake for 37 to 40 minutes. 

Nutrition

Calories 161
Fat 6.7g
Carbohydrates 24.3g
Fibre 2.9g
Sugars 12.8g
Protein 2.9g

Friday, 6 June 2014

Chicken, Potato and Broccoli Casserole

This casserole uses pre-cooked chicken, roasted potatoes and broccoli, so it is a good way to use up leftovers.

Serves 4

Ingredients

500g chicken boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 Russet potatoes, diced
4 cups broccoli, chopped
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 tsp onion powder
Black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
Canola spray, for greasing

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Dice potatoes and put in a greased roasting pan. Season with pepper and roast for 40 minutes, or until tender.

In a second roasting pan, add chopped broccoli and season with pepper.  Add to the oven for 10 minutes. 

If chicken breasts are raw, slice them into 2 inch wide strips and place on a baking sheet.  Add to the oven for 15 to 18 minutes, until fully cooked.  Slice the chicken into bite sized pieces.

When all ingredients are removed from oven, grease a casserole dish and combine half of each of the chicken, potatoes and broccoli and mix.  Add a layer of half the cheese. 

In a large measuring cup, combine milk, soup and onion powder.  Pour half of this mixture over the casserole to coat.

Add a second layer of chicken, potatoes, broccoli and cheese.  Pour the remaining soup mix over and top with bread crumbs.

Return to oven for 10 minutes with lid on, remove lid, and cook for 10 more.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Nutrition

Calories 415
Fat 10.6g
Carbohydrates 29.6g
Fibre 4.9g
Sugars 4.5g
Protein 49.3g

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Almond Butter Banana Fudge


This is a spinoff of the protein powder fudge recipe that Amanda posted a few weeks back from Averie Cooks. Instead of using chocolate protein powder I used banana flavoured protein powder, and instead of using peanut butter I used almond butter... Delish!! 

Ingredients

3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup almond butter
1/2 cup banana flavoured protein powder (you could also use peanut butter flavour)
1 tsp vanilla 
pinch salt 

Directions

1. Pour honey into a saucepan on medium-high heat. Allow honey to melt. Remove from the burner right before it boils. 
2. Add almond butter and stir until melted.
3. Add protein powder, vanilla, and salt.
4. Pour mixture onto a prepared pan. I found that using a large rectangle tupperware container, lined with parchment paper worked great. 
5. Place fudge into the fridge or freezer and let set. Cut into 24 small squares. 

Ingredients (per square)

Calories 96
Fat 4.8 g
Carbohydrate 11.6 g
Fibre 1.2 g
Sugars 9.2 g
Protein 3 g



Raspberry & Beet Breakfast Smoothie


Smoothies are so convenient for people who are rushed in the morning and are a great solution for people who can't stomach the idea of breakfast (that one boggles my mind - I LOVE breakfast!). Furthermore, they are an excellent way for people to increase their consumption of fruits and vegetables in their diet. This smoothie is full of flavour and nutrients, and its pretty stunning to look at! 

Ingredients

1/2 cup frozen raspberries
1/4 frozen banana
1 small beet (canned is convenient, but fresh works great, you just need to steam and cool before adding)
1 tsp ground flaxseed
1 cup Greek vanilla yogurt (Chobani 0% fat is awesome)
1 tsp honey (optional) 

*You can use fresh raspberries and banana, but you'll need to add some ice. Using frozen allows you to avoid adding ice and watering down the flavour

Directions

1. Place all ingredients in a blender or Magic Bullet
2. Drink! 

Nutrition

Calories 272
Fat 2.2 g
Carbohydrates 38.5 g
Fibre 7.3 g
Sugars 24.6 g
Protein 24.7 g 


Frozen Yogurt Cookie Sandwiches


It's summer time and it's hot... but the great news is that there's frozen yogurt to keep us cool! I made this recipe for my fiance and I for dessert a little while ago, and definitely hit the spot! To start I made almond butter cookies then topped them with some Menchies Cake Batter frozen yogurt and rolled them in crushed Reese's Pieces! 

Ingredients

1 cup natural almond butter
3/4 cup Sucanat
1 egg
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla 
Pinch salt 

1 cup Menchies Cake Batter frozen yogurt (or any other frozen yogurt)

1/2 cup Reese's Pieces, crushed

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350*
2. In a large bowl mix together almond butter, sucanat, egg and vanilla. Add baking soda, and salt. 
3. Drop by spoonfuls onto parchment paper and bake for 8-10 minutes. 
4. Let cookies cool
5. Take 1 cookie and top with 1/4 cup frozen yogurt, top with another cookie, then roll in crushed Reese's pieces. Do this 3 more times so you end up with 4 cookie sandwiches. Place them in the freezer and let them harden up for 10 minutes. They will also stay in the freezer for up to a few days. 

Nutrition (per 2 cookies + 1/4 cup frozen yogurt + approximately 2 Tbsp crushed Reeses Pieces)

Calories 320
Fat 18 g
Carbohydrates 42 g
Fibre 3 g
Sugars 29 g
Protein 7 gr 




Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread


I created this recipe a few years ago after I wanted to adapt my mom's banana bread recipe. Her banana bread is absolutely to die for, but it's also not the most healthy recipe. With a few simple changes I was able to create an equally delicious recipe that is filled with fibre and whole grains. I submitted my recipe to Clean Eating magazine and they published it in one of their issues Here

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp cinnamon (optional)
1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
Pinch salt
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
2 egg whites
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup safflower oil
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
cooking spray

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350*
2. In a bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, flaxseed, and salt. 
3. In another larger bowl beat bananas until they are smooth. Add egg whites and beat until they are combined. Mix in applesauce, honey, and safflower oil.
4. Mix in dry ingredients to wet ingredients, then gently stir in chocolate. 
5. Spray a 9 x 5 loaf pan with cooking spray. Pour batter in and bake for 45 minutes. 

*Tip - Add oil to measuring cup and pour into bowl, THEN add honey, it will pour right out of the measuring cup from the remaining oil

Nutrition (per slice) 

Calories 182
Fat 6 g
Carbohydrates 32 g
Fibre 3 g 
Sugars 16 g
Protein 3 g


Pico de Gallo

Fresh pico de gallo is great for parties, or can be used to top chicken, fish, black bean burritos, etc.  This salsa is easy to prepare and keeps for up to 5 days in the fridge.  If you are preparing this a day ahead, add cilantro 30 minutes before serving.

Makes 2 cups, serves 4

Ingredients

2 Roma tomatoes, diced, with seeds removed
3 shallots, finely diced (or 1 small onion)
1/2 jalapeno, finely diced (or 1 jalapeno, for hot salsa)
Black pepper and sea salt, to taste
2 tsp lime juice
Bunch of cilantro, chopped, to taste

Directions

Dice the tomatoes, shallots and jalapenos and add to bowl.  The ratio of tomato to all other vegetables should be 2:1 by appearance.  Season with pepper and salt and toss with lime juice.  Add cilantro and toss.  Serve chilled.

Nutrition

Calories 25
Fat 0.2g
Carbohydrates 5.9g
Fibre 1.0g
Sugars 2.0g
Protein 1.0g