Layered Nacho Dip (With a healthier twist!)

nacho dip.jpg

Don’t we all get the cravings for all the summer snack foods when this beautiful weather comes around? … Dreams of s’mores, homemade pizza pockets on the campfire, chips and dip?

I think most of us can relate. Today I thought I would re-create the fabulous nacho dip my family used to make when we were kids… sour cream, cream cheese, salsa, allllll the cheese. This version is just as fantastic but packed with less calories and more nutritional benefits!

I made a few healthy swaps to the traditional well-known nacho dip and voila! It was a hit. Plain non-fat greek yogurt is a great swap for sour cream as it is packed with protein, calcium, and has no fat. The added black beans give a fibre and protein boost to this dish. Meanwhile, the peppers and tomatoes fire up the antioxidant content and Vitamin C! Give it a try

Ingredients:

Bottom Layer 5:

  • 500g (1 small tub) plain 0% fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp taco seasoning (I used Simply Organic’s Taco Seasoning.. great ingredients).
  • 2 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp lime
  • 1 tbsp Vegenaise (vegan mayo, or mayonnaise of choice)
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • ground sea salt to taste
  • *mix all ingredients together in a bowl*

Layer 4:

  • 1/4 large onion, diced and chopped finely
  • 1-2 large avocados, smashed and mashed
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • Ground pepper and sea salt to taste
  • *Mash all ingredients together in a bowl – guacamole consistency*

Layer 3:

  • 1 1/2 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
  • *Layer on top of the avocado layer*

Layer 2: 

  • 2 large garden tomatoes, diced and chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, diced/chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, diced/chopped
  • 1 orange pepper, diced/chopped
  • 1 tsp freshly minced garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp taco seasoning
  • *Dice/Chop and mix together in a bowl and spread over the beans*

Layer 1 (the top):

  • Sprinkle with shredded cheese of your choice.

Instructions: 

  1. Make each layer separately one at a time in their own bowl and mix ingredients together. Starting with Layer 5, once all ingredients are thoroughly mixed, spread into a baking pan or Tupperware container.
  2. Continuing layer 4-1. Adding one layer on top of another one at a time.
  3. Store in the refrigerator until consumption.
  4. Enjoy!

nacho dip1

What the heck is Matcha?

Hi guys! I thought I would share a tid bit about Matcha powder as it is becoming very popular in our culture today for its great health benefits. Today I made myself a matcha latte at home to combat the cold I am currently fighting and I realized I haven’t written about it before.

What is Matcha?

  • It is a potent, powdered, and more concentrated form of green tea.
  • It contains caffeine. You will get more caffeine per cup (more than double) in comparison to a cup of regular steeped tea.
  • It is high in antioxidants. Antioxidants known as polyphenols are found in green tea and found in higher amounts in matcha powder. Antioxidants protect your body’s cells from free radical damage (e.g. pollution, cigarette smoke). Antioxidants may help lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and much more.
  • How to consume it? Traditionally, matcha has always been consumed as a beverage and began to be used during meditation practices. Now you can find recipes from matcha lattes, matcha smoothes,  all the way to matcha brownies. So whatever you’re into… I’m sure you can find a recipe for it! (check out foodgawker.com). Starbucks also serves matcha latte’s, also known as a “green tea latte”. Try it out for your next order: “Green tea latte, made with soy or coconut milk, with 1 honey” ….maybe 2 honeys depend on your level of sweetness 😉 …let me know what you think!

How to make yourself a matcha latte at home?

  • 1- 1.5 tsp matcha powder (David’s Tea has great matcha!)
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 3/4 cup steamed/frothed milk (I use Silk Unsweetened Vanilla Cashew Milk)
  • Add honey to taste (1-2 tsp)

Directions: Boil your water and froth/steam your milk. When complete, whisk matcha powder and hot water together in a beaker. When matcha is completely broken down, pour this mixture into your mug, and add the frothed milk on top. Stir in your honey 🙂 voila!

You can also add all of these things to a blender and mix if you do not have a milk frother. You should heat  the milk first and add all ingredients to blender, blend. Enjoy.

matcha-latte

Until next time.. have a great weekend friends!

xoxox

B

Nutz for Nuts!

nuts

Nuts and seeds are a great way to increase fibre and protein in your diet. Nuts are a source of unsaturated fat which, plays a role in heart health and prevention of heart diseases.

I tend to carry ~1/4 cup of nuts/trail mix on me throughout my work day. They are a great snack to curb your hunger and help you last until your next meal. Almonds are my go to nut. Why you ask? Almonds have the highest fibre, highest percentage of unsaturated fats from total fats, and the second highest in protein content (following peanuts with the highest protein per serving).

Although nuts contain all these healthy properties, you still need to watch your intake as they are high in fat content and over-consumption can lead to weight gain. Also, it is important to choose the best nuts and seeds in terms of nutrition content. The nuts that contain the highest % of unsaturated fat from total fats are the best because the fat % that is not unsaturated is… SATURATED.

Saturated fats are naturally occurring in foods as well and may link to heart disease and may raise bad cholesterol levels (LDL cholesterol) in the blood. Macadamia, Brazil and Pine Nuts are nuts that carry the highest percentage of saturated fat content.

So what nuts are the best for you to choose to snack on? 

Almonds and hazelnuts are best.. 88% of their total fat is UN-saturated fats. Also, almonds contain 4g of fibre per 1/4 cup and hazelnuts contain 3g per 1/4 cup.

Almonds are also a great source of Vitamin E. This a fat soluble vitamin which may have the ability to improve immune function. This is because Vitamin E is an antioxidant therefore, helps prevent free radical damage to our body’s cells.

Anyway… all nuts/seeds are great in moderation! They will provide you with satiety, a source of healthy fats, protein, and fibre 🙂

Happy Friday!!!

Nutrition Tips to Combat Stress

stressed
  • Eat regularly (every 3-4 hours) & plan for meals
  • Choose foods high in B vitamins, vitamin C, and Calcium:
    • Vitamin C: Fruits and vegetables (e.g. citrus fruits, yellow peppers, brussel sprouts, broccoli)
    • B Vitamins: lean red meats, liver, fortified products, milk products
    • Calcium:Milk products, fish/seafood, vegetables (e.g. collards & spinach)
  • Avoid refined foods: fast foods, candy bars, chocolate bars, white breads, etc.
  • Increase fibre (prevent constipation): choose foods such as, oats, beans, figs, dates, lentils
  • Choose lean protein sources
  • Limit caffeine: may increase heart rate, anxiety and stress hormone levels
  • Avoid alcohol: may cause a spike in blood sugars/blood glucose & may trigger depression
  • Drink 6-8 glasses of water/day
  • Choose antioxidant rich foods:
    • Flavonoids: blueberries, raspberries, green tea, red grapes
    • Carotenoids: carrots, squash, sweet potato
    • Vitamin C rich foods (as previously discussed)
    • Vitamin E: wheat germ, nut butters, avocado
    • Selenium: lentils, salmon, nuts