Dark Chocolate Almond Oat Bark (Vegan + Gluten Free)

vegan dark chocolate oat almond

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup packed/pitted dates, soften for 40 secs
  • 1/3 cup cashew milk (or milk of choice)
  • 1 cup gluten-free oats
  • 2 tbsp natural almond butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut
  • ~3/4 cup dark chocolate melting wafers

Combine all ingredients except the dark chocolate in a Vitamix or food processor. Blend until evenly mixed. Spread into the bottom of a dish line with parchment paper. Spread it about 1/2 an inch thick. Put the dish in the freezer until bottom layer has hardened. 

Melt dark chocolate (~3/4 cup dark chocolate melting wafers). Remove the dish from the freezer. Spread dark chocolate on top. Put back in the freezer. When the dark chocolate has hardened they are ready to eat! 

Store in the freezer. Enjoy 🙂

Mexi-Quinoa Bake

Mexi-Quinoa Bake

 

Ahh!! We all love one-dish quick and easy meals. Right? Especially if they’re healthy ones. This Mexi-Quinoa bake is healthy, quick, delicious, and has just the right amount of spice. This recipe uses ground chicken instead of the traditional use of ground beef. Quinoa instead of rice. Nutritional yeast to lower the use of cheese. AND non-fat greek yogurt instead of sour cream. SEE! It is so easy to make delicious dishes with healthy ingredients.

Mexi Quinoa Bake 2

Ingredients (makes 4 large servings):

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1 1/4 cup vegetable broth (or chicken broth)

1 lb ground chicken
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp chili powder
1 garlic clove, crushed

1 orange pepper, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
1/4 cup frozen corn niblets
1 garlic clove, crushed

Top layer:
1/2 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp nutritional yeast (can be found at bulk barn)
1/4 tsp cumin
2 tbsp shredded marble cheese/cheese of choice

Toppings:
0% plain greek yogurt
Freshly chopped tomato
Chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:
1. In a small pot, bring quinoa in vegetable broth to a boil, lower the heat, then allow to simmer until cooked (~25 minutes). **Follow the regular quinoa cooking directions on package ..just replace the water with vegetable broth for extra flavour**. You can also use chicken broth too.

2. In a large skillet on medium-high heat, add olive oil and the ground chicken. Break up the chicken with regular mixing. Add in the chili powder and garlic.

3. While the chicken is cooking, prep your vegetables. Chop and dice and put in a bowl. You will add the veggies and more garlic to the chicken skillet when the chicken is fully cooked.

4. When the ground chicken is cooked thoroughly (no pink throughout ~20 minutes cook time), add your diced/chopped vegetables.

5. Saute veggies with the chicken on medium heat for about 7-10 minutes. Turn oven on to preheat at 350F.

6. When quinoa is fully cooked, pour it into the bottom of a casserole dish.

7. Add the chicken/vegetable mixture on top of the quinoa layer.

8. Add the last top layer – sprinkle the chili powder, nutritional yeast, cumin, and cheese evenly across the top.

9. Bake on 350F for ~17 minutes and broil for the last 2 minutes.

10. Top your dish with plain greek yogurt (healthy alternative to sour cream), tomato, and cilantro…..and ENJOY 🙂

Nutrition Facts: (per 1 LARGE serving):
375 calories
38 g protein
18 g fat
28 g carbohydrates

 

Lemon Poppy Seed Bites by Genuine Health (No Bake)

Hi friends! Check out this Lemon Poppy Seed Bite recipe created by my friends at Genuine Health. I know I’ve preached about their amazing protein powder before….but I really wasn’t kidding. Also, I just tried their new chocolate protein powder. I shook it up with some almond milk….. and it was delicious just like that?! No need to add fillers and sweeteners. They sure know how to make great quality and tasty products.

Lemon poppy seed bites.jpg
Ingredients:

  • 1 scoop fermented vegan proteins+ vanilla (vanilla Genuine Health protein powder can be found at Bulk Barn and Nutrition House)
  • ½ tsp poppy seeds
  • 1 lemon squeezed, and zest grated
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seed
  • ½ c coconut flour
  • ¼ c ground almonds (almond butter)
  • ¼ c ground pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 6 tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Coating:

  • ¼ c unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 2 tbsp poppy seeds

Directions:

1. Place almonds and pumpkin seeds in food processor. Pulse until  coarsely ground. Place in separate bowl off to the side.

2. Add coconut flour, flax seed, fermented vegan proteins+ and lemon zest to food
3. processor and pulse quickly to thoroughly mix ingredients.

4. Add in maple syrup, lemon juice, almond butter and almond milk. Pulse until doughy texture is achieved.

5. Mix in ground almonds, ground pumpkin seeds, and poppy seeds by hand and roll into bite size portions.

6. In separate bowl combine coconut and poppy seeds. Roll each bite in mixture to coat as desired.

7. Makes approximately 1 dozen. They freeze well and taste great when thawed 🙂

I also calculated the nutrition facts on their recipe for you:
Per 1 serving (recipe makes 12):
Calories: 87 calories
Fat: 5.1g
Carbs: 7.1g
Protein: 4.1g

Brown Rice Crisp Granola Bars

Brown Rice Puff Granola Bars

These pretty little babies are gluten-free, refined sugar free… and technically if you want to remove the dark chocolate chips/drizzle (I think not) they can be dairy-free. YUM YUM YUMMMM.

Ingredients (Makes ~ 8-10 bars) :

1 1/2 cup Cocoa flavour Brown Rice Cacao Crisps Cereal from One Degree Organic Foods
1 1/2 cup Hilray Gluten-free oats
1/3 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
1/3 cup natural almond butter (from Farmboy)
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp natural honey
1/2 cup pitted dates, microwave for 40 seconds with 1 tbsp of water to soften, then mash
3 tbsp egg whites
1 tsp ground sea salt
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (1/4 cup for in the mix + 1/4 cup for drizzle on top)

Directions:
1. Mix all dry ingredients in large bowl.
2. Preheat oven to 350F.
3. Microwave 1/2 cup of dates (7-10 pitted dates) for 40 seconds until softened. Mash thoroughly. Add to bowl.
4. Add the rest of the wet ingredients with thorough mixing. Add in 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips.
5. In a baking pan lined with parchment paper, bake for ~30 minutes until the edges are browning.
6. Melt the rest of the dark chocolate chips and drizzle on top of the bars once they are slightly cooled. Grind sea salt on the top and voila!
7. ENJOY 🙂

Nutrition Facts (per 1 serving): 180 calories, 10g fat, 5.3g protein, 21.7 carbohydrates.

**Tip of the day: Don’t be afraid of FAT on the label. If it is real food with REAL ingredients, the fat can be very beneficial to your health. We all need fat in our diet. Fat is essential to protect our body’s cells, is a primary source of energy  (especially in those who do endurance training), and unsaturated fats play an important role in heart health.**

No-Bake Vanilla Chip Protein Bars

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend! I wanted to kickstart the week by making a healthy bar to have on hand when cravings hit after a chocolate-filled weekend.Nowadays with all the “protein bar” choices at the grocery store its hard to know which one to pick and also hard to investigate their LONG ingredient list on the back. It’s always nice to make some at home so you know exactly what you putting into your body. The Genuine Health Vanilla Protein powder has such a yummy smell… it reminded me of the Rainbow Chip cake mix we always used to make as kids!!!

These bars can be made in 10 minutes. Quick and easy and pack substantial protein per serving.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 150 calories, 4.5 g (fat), 21 g (carb), 7.4 g (protein)No Bake Vanilla Protein BarsIngredients (makes ~8-10 bars):

2 cups oats (I used Hilray gluten-free oats)
1/3 cup vanilla protein product (I used Genuine Health’s Vegan Protein Powder …SO GOOD).
1/4 cup natural crunchy peanut butter, soften
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup Unsweetened Earth’s Own almond milk
1/2 cup dates, softened and mashed
1 tbsp natural honey
1 tbsp hemp hearts
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions:
1. In a mixing bowl, combine and mix oats, protein powder, and softened peanut butter. (See photo of protein powder I used below).

Genuine health protein powder
2. Put 1/2 cup of dates in the microwave with 1 tbsp of water for 30 seconds to soften. When complete, mash the dates and add them to the bowl. Mix.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients and dark chocolate chips as desired.
4. Line a casserole dish with parchment paper, spread the mixture evenly in the dish.
5. Store in the freezer until hardened (~1 hour).
6. Cut into granola bar sized squares.
7. Store in the refrigerator, eat, and enjoy!

 

No Bake Vanilla Protein Bars2

Mexican Tortilla Bake (Gluten-Free)

Hello!!!! …. it’s me!!!

I am back in Canada and back with my OVEN! WOOO! So of course I rushed into the kitchen to create some new recipes.

Mexican Lasagna

Today’s creation was a Mexican casserole/lasagna type dish. I used Food For Life‘s gluten-free brown rice tortillas to make the layers. It is an easy filling dish to make for a potluck, a one dish dinner, etc…. with only 135 calories per serving!!! There are 2 layers. Layer 1 consists of peppers, tomato, onion, and Enchilada sauce. Layer 2 consists of ground chicken, habanero peppers, beans, corn, cheese, and enchilada sauce. You can easily tweek this recipe to be vegetarian by removing the chicken and swapping for extra veggies, beans/lentils, or cooked quinoa.

Ingredients (serves ~12):
2 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 yellow pepper, chopped
1 orange pepper, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1/2 large red onion, chopped
1 lb lean ground chicken
1 pack (6) Food for Life brown rice tortillas
3 large tomatoes
1 Habanero pepper
1 cup corn, frozen
1 cup black beans, rinsed drained
3 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp cumin
1 package (8oz) Enchilada Sauce (I used Frontera Red Child Enchilada Sauce from Farmboy)
Sprinkle grated cheese on top

Instructions: 

  1. In a large skillet, sauce the peppers and onion in 1 tbsp of olive oil.
  2. In a large casserole dish, spread olive oil on the bottom and then distribute tortillas to cover the bottom of the dish.
  3. Add the sautéed peppers on top of the tortilla layer. Add the chopped tomatoes to this layer. Distribute half of the enchilada sauce evenly on this layer.
  4. Cook the ground chicken on medium-high heat in the skillet with regular mixing. Add 2 tbsp of chili powder and 1 tbsp of cumin.
  5. Add another layer of tortillas on top of the veggie layer.
  6. Add the cooked ground chicken on top of the tortillas. Add 1 chopped habanero pepper, the corn, beans, distribute the rest of the enchilada sauce, and add cheese as desired.
  7. Sprinkle 1 tbsp of chili powder and 1 tbsp cumin evenly about the top.
  8. Bake at 350F for ~20-25 minutes. Put it on broil for the last 5 minutes to brown the cheese on top.
  9. ENJOY!! (nutrition facts below)

Mexican Lasagna 2

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:
Calories:135 calories
Fat:5.7g (2.2 saturated)
Protein:9.7g
Carbohydrate:7.6g
Sugar: 1.3g

Plain & Simple Popsicles

I discovered the best Popsicles in Vientiane on the weekend. They are handmade here in Laos and only include natural ingredients…..fruit fruit fruit coconut meat and coconut water! 

If you are like me and try to avoid added sugars – you will know that commercially made popsicles are PACKED with refined sugars and many other ingredients. However, on a hot day (it’s 31 degrees here), I always crave something cold and refreshing. At home my go-to popsicles are the “Healthy Choice” brand fudgesicles (found at Costco) or I head to Chil  to get froyo on Richmond St. Downtown London, ON. They make amazing frozen greek yogurt with many options for those who are lactose free (almond milk base, quinoa milk base etc).

Here in Laos, finding popsicles or refreshing frozen yogurt that are natural and don’t contain added sugars is rare…. until NOW!

popsicle

I am so excited. I will definitely be making these at home and you definitely should too.

The flavour that I chose was coconut water + chunks of coconut meat. However, they had many other flavours – coconut water +mango, kiwi + strawberry, mango +coconut chunks, any fruit you can think of. These will be simple to make at home. If you have a plastic Popsicle mold (find at Walmart… grocery stores.. anywhere)… you are set!

MAKE YOUR OWN – you will need: 

  • Popsicle mold (find at large department store with kitchenware)
  • Frozen or fresh fruit of choice, chopped (I choose frozen mango chunks, coconut chunks, frozen raspberries)
  • Coconut water (Choose an all-natural brand of coconut water. Avoid one’s with added flavourings or sugars. If you can get your hands on a real coconut for coconut water…. even better!!!)

*Add the fruit of choice into each popsicle mold. Pour in the coconut water to fill. Freeze 🙂

Especially in the heat of the summer or after a sweaty workout – coconut water is a great natural way to replace lost electrolytes (potassium & sodium). And really…what better way to hydrate and replenish than with a nice refreshing popsicle? 🙂

Happy Tuesday from Laos!

Until next time.

xo

B