Dark Chocolate Salted Crunch Bark

One of my all-time favourite dessert/treat recipes! I’ve posted a very similar recipe to this before….and here it is again because it is so tasty!  This recipe is always a hit with my family and it was a big hit with my coworkers as well. This bark didn’t last very long in our fridge! Give it a try 🙂

chickpea-bark

Ingredients (makes ~12 bars):

  • 1-2 cans chickpeas (540mL cans)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil or olive oil spray
  • 2 Camino 55% dark chocolate bars (or dark chocolate of choice)
  • Ground sea salt

 

Directions:

  1. Rinse and drain chickpeas.
  2. Pour the chickpeas onto a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil or spray with olive oil. Distribute evenly.
  3. Turn the oven to bake at 425F. Place the chickpeas in the cool oven.
  4. Bake for 40 minutes and mix the chickpeas regularly to ensure even browning.
  5. Remove from the chickpeas from the oven and allow to cool for 45-60 minutes.
  6. In the meantime, melt your two bars of dark chocolate.
  7. Place your cooled chickpeas in a shallow rectangular Tupperware container with parchment paper.
  8. Add ground sea salt to the chickpeas.
  9. Pour the melted dark chocolate over your chickpeas. Distribute evenly using a spatula so that all chickpeas are coated. Add some fresh ground sea salt on the top.
  10. Place in the freezer or refrigerator for cooling.
  11. Once the chocolate has hardened, pop the large chocolate piece out of the Tupperware container. Remove the parchment paper and place in a large Ziploc bag.
  12. Break up the chocolate into bark bite-sized pieces in the Ziploc bag (this avoids a mess).
  13. Enjoy chilled.

 

Roasted Chickpeas – An Easy…and Healthy Snack!

Roasted Chickpeas

Ingredients:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans, rinsed & drained
Ground sea salt

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Rinse and drain the chickpeas.
In a bowl, mix the chickpeas with the olive oil to coat them.
Pour chickpeas onto a baking sheet lined with tin foil
Add ground sea salt evenly on top.
Bake for ~1 hour, mixing/rotating chickpeas around every 15 minutes.
They are done when they become brown/crunchy.

You can add more ground sea salt if needed and stick to the salt flavour! OR feel free to spice them up with cayenne pepper, chili powder, popcorn seasonings, cinnamon/coconut sugar (to make a sweet version)…. ETC!

and of course ENJOY 🙂

Stuffed with the GOOD stuff! Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa & Ground Chicken

Stuffed Peppers

This is seriously one of my favourite dinners so far. A little fiesta in a “bowl”! The quinoa, beans, chickpeas, and ground chicken combination make for a  protein packed and filling meal. I promise you will be so satisfied! Additionally, if you are vegetarian you can make this recipe too. Remove the ground chicken and add more quinoa. It will still be a protein packed meal without the chicken.

Ingredients (Makes 5 large stuffed peppers):
5 large peppers
1/2 cup uncooked sprouted quinoa–cook quinoa based off package instructions.
2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb. lean ground chicken
3/4 cup chickpeas, rinsed & drained
3/4 cup black beans, rinsed & drained
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
3 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp crushed chili flakes
Shredded marble cheese, as desired
Serve with: plain greek yogurt (0%), salsa, and shredded marble cheese.

Cook your quinoa according to the package instructions before preparing the chicken mixture.
Directions:
1. In a skillet on medium heat, add 2 tbsp of olive oil and the ground chicken.
2. Add chili power, cumin, and crushed chili flakes to the skillet.
3. Cook chicken until no pink throughout/browning, approximately 15 minutes.
4. When the chicken is cooked thoroughly, turn the burner on to low heat.
5. Add the cooked quinoa, chickpeas, black beans, onions, and frozen corn to the skillet. Cook for 5 minutes. Regularly mixing.
6. Preheat the oven to 350F.
7. Chop the tops off each pepper and remove the inner core to create small “bowls”.
8. Put the peppers in a small casserole dish.
9. Fill each pepper with the chicken mixture from the skillet.
10. Add shredded cheese on top.
11. Cook for 15-20 minutes at 350F.
12. Turn oven to broil for 3 minutes to brown the top.
13. Finito! Serve with salsa, shredded cheese, and plain greek yogurt (instead of sour cream).

Why choose plain greek yogurt instead of sour cream? Greek yogurt is a substantial source of protein. It is a lower fat alternative versus sour cream. Choosing a low fat plain greek yogurt will help you avoid any additives (sugars, salts, and fats).

Why choose quinoa instead of rice? Quinoa is a higher protein source compared to rice. It will leave you feeling satisfied for a much longer period of time. Additionally, quinoa contains more substantial nutritional content like iron and fibre. It also has a low glycemic index. Quinoa is a complete-protein source unlike many grain and vegetable sources. Therefore, it is a suitable for vegetarians as it contains all the essential amino acids our body needs to function (which usually come from animal sources). With such high nutrient content, you can consume less and still feel full. Quality > Quantity! 

Nutrition Facts Info: (Per 1 large pepper with added cheese on top)
Calories: 350 kcal
Protein: 25 g
Fat: 16 g (sat fat 4.5 g)
Carbohydrates: 28.1 g
Sugar: 5 g

Note: Never be afraid of fat! Especially the good fat. As you can see I noted, there is 16 grams total fat in one serving and only 4.5 grams of which are coming from saturated (bad) fat. The rest (72%) is from the healthy unsaturated fats! Fat is essential to our body’s function and makes a strong contribution to the feeling of full-ness. Unsaturated fat is important to help contribute to a healthy heart. You should work to limit saturated and trans fats from your diet… not the good stuff 🙂

Vegetable Bean Soup

veggie soup

Combine in a large pot:
1 carton (900mL) Vegetable or Chicken Broth
1 large can diced tomatoes (796mL)
1 red onion, chopped
1 white onion, chopped
1/2 large sweet potato, diced
1 large carrot, skinned & chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 can (540mL) kidney beans
1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 cup “9-Bean Soup” Lentils (can find at costco)
1/2 cup spinach leaves
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese

Directions:

1.Combine ingredients in order as given and stir.
2. Bring to a boil, stir regularly.
3. Then allow to sit on low for at least an hour, stir occasionally. The flavours will all blend nicely.
4. Enjoy a nice warm bowl of soup 🙂

Bean Fiesta Salad

Looking for a fresh and filling salad? This salad is perfect to make for parties or to take for lunches throughout the work week. The flavour only gets better with storage! It is a family fav in my household.

Bean Fiesta

Combine (serves 10):
1 can chickpeas, rinsed & drained
1 can black beans, rinsed & drained
1 can kidney beans, rinsed & drained
1/2 red pepper, diced
1/2 yellow pepper, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 cup frozen corn kernels
2 tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
2 crushed garlic cloves
1 tbsp lemon juice
1.5 tbsp honey
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tbsp cumin
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Optional: a dash of hot sauce

Store in the refrigerator and serve cold. Enjoy 🙂

Nutrients per serving (serves ~10):
Calories: 310kcal/serving
Protein: 11g/serving
Carbohydrate: 41.1g/serving
Fat: 12.2g/serving
Fibre: 10g