Sunday, 30 August 2015

Oven Baked Basmati Rice

This recipe came from my parents' neighbour years ago, and my dad has been making it ever since. The version my dad makes has frozen peas in it, but peas are not well-liked in our house, so I swapped them out for a red bell pepper instead, which also worked well with the tomato-based flavour and the extended cooking time. The bell pepper also adds potassium, which helps offset the sodium content from the broth. This dish reheats very well, so you can make a large batch and enjoy the leftovers for a couple days.

To make this dish vegetarian, use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. "No Salt Added" varieties of broth have a significantly lower sodium content than even the "Low Sodium" varieties do, so be sure to read labels carefully before buying. You can also use homemade broth made in a slow cooker.

Serves 8

Ingredients

1.5 cups (270g) brown basmati rice
2.5 cups no salt added vegetable broth or chicken broth
3 oz (1/2 can) tomato paste
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
Sea salt, to taste
Optional:  Add 1/2 cup frozen peas

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Pour rice, broth, tomato paste, olive oil, onion and salt into a large (2L or 2 quart) glass casserole dish with a lid. Stir all ingredients together, cover with lid, and place in oven.

Remove dish from oven every 30 minutes to stir. Rice will absorb liquid throughout cooking time, so liquid will be gone and rice will be slighty crispy around the edges of the dish. Total time in oven will be 1h30 to 1h35.

Nutrition

Calories 219
Fat 8.7g
Saturated fat 1.3g
Carbohydrates 31.6g
Fibre 1.5g
Sugars 3.0g
Protein 3.6g

Other rice recipes:
Mexican Fried Rice
Chicken Fried Rice (with Cauliflower Rice)
Thai Fried Rice (with Peanuts)

Monday, 24 August 2015

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (gluten free)

Peanut butter cookies are usually heavy and dry. These ones are light yet chewy, a cross between a chocolate chip cookie and a peanut butter cookie.

I should note that just because a recipe is gluten free, does not mean that it is healthy...these cookies should still be considered an occasional treat! Personally, I love the flavours that coconut, almond or oat flours add to a cookie, so you can use them even if you don't require a gluten free recipe.

Makes 16 cookies

Ingredients

3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, combine peanut butter, brown sugar and coconut oil. Mash together with a fork.

Add eggs and vanilla and mix into peanut butter mixture with a fork.

Add coconut flour, baking soda and salt to the bowl and mix until uniform. Fold in mini chocolate chips.

Form dough into balls and evenly space on baking sheet. Cookies will expand, so leave ample space around each. Press down on dough with the back of a fork twice to flatten slightly.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from cookie sheet and allow to cool on cooking rack to set.

Nutrition (per 1 cookie)

Calories 132
Fat 9.6g
Carbohydrates 8.8g
Fibre 1.6g
Sugars 5.9g
Protein 4.3g

Monday, 17 August 2015

Baked Chicken Parm


I was meal prepping for the husband today and thought I'd spice up his normal meal of chicken and rice. The chicken came out so juicy and delicious - I had a hard time keeping some for him!

Ingredients

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped into large chunks
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
pinch salt and pepper
1 clove garlic
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1 tsp Italian spice mix

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350*
2. Spread 1 tsp olive oil over the bottom of a square baking dish
3. In a medium size bowl mix together the yogurt, salt, pepper, garlic, parmesan cheese, and Italian spices.
4. Add chicken and mix until covered. Spread in a single layer in the pan. Top with 1 Tbsp more parmesan cheese.
5. Bake for 40 minutes until browned on top. Serve with rice and vegetables for a complete meal!

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Quest Protein Bites

I recently heard that Quest makes protein powder and I was very excited to try it! I love Quest bars, so I figured the whey protein powder would be a good tasting one. You can use any flavour of protein powder you like. This mixture can be made into a bar form, but the bites are the perfect on-the-go portion. You can eat them straight from the freezer or at room temperature.

Makes 36

Ingredients

1 3/4 cup Quest Strawberries & Cream or Quest Peanut Butter protein powder
1/2 cup coconut flour
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 cup coconut milk (full fat, canned)
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions

Combine protein powder, coconut flour, coconut oil, and coconut milk in a large bowl. Use a hand blender to combine well. Fold in mini chocolate chips Roll each piece into a ball and then place in the refrigerator or freezer.

Nutrition (per 1 Protein Bite)

Calories 57
Fat 2.7g
Carbohydrates 3.1g
Fibre 1.3g
Sugars 1.0g
Protein 3.9g

You might also like:
Peanut Butter Coconut Energy Balls
Chocolate Energy Balls
Quest Bar Cookies

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Mediterranean Chicken Meatballs with Tzatziki

Chicken meatballs are a staple for us! I love being able to reheat them straight from the freezer, because it makes for a fast and easy meal. So far, Anna and I have made Italian and Thai ones, but we wanted to try a Greek style meatball. Store bought tzatziki sauce was the perfect match for dipping. Anna grew the onion we used, and I grew the chili peppers and basil, so this was the perfect summer recipe for our homegrown veggies!

Makes 40 meatballs

Ingredients

900g (2lbs) lean ground chicken
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
142g (5oz) fresh baby spinach
1/4 cup fresh basil
1 small onion
2 Fresno chilies or crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
1 cup sundried tomatoes (optional)
3 garlic cloves
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 egg
Black pepper
Sea salt
Canola spray, for greasing
Olive oil, for hands
454g (1lb) tzatziki sauce

Directions

Preheat oven to 425°F. Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil and spray with canola oil.

Finely dice vegetables, or put them in a food processor and pulse until vegetables are in small chunks.

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Coat your hands with a couple drops of olive oil to prevent sticking. Mash the ingredients together with hands, then form mixture into balls. Place evenly spaced on baking sheets.

Bake for 18 minutes, meatballs should be lightly browned. Serve with tzatziki for dipping.

Nutrition (per 4 meatballs)

Calories 260
Fat 11.9g
Carbohydrates 14.1g
Fibre 1.9g
Sugars 4.7g
Protein 24.6g

4 meatballs with 1/4 cup tzatziki:

Calories 313
Fat 15.7g
Carbohydrates 17.1g
Fibre 2.2g
Sugars 4.7g
Protein 26.1g