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

 

30-Day Ab Challenge

Morning friends! It’s almost May 1st. You know what that means? Officially a month until JUNE which means… SUMMER!

The population at the gym tends to increase over the month of May… why? Because everyone is scrambling to get their beach bod in check…am I right? I think so. I find I push my workouts a bit harder than usual knowing that summer is around the corner. I strongly believe that the “beach bod” is sustained by a healthy lifestyle and exercise regime ALL year round… but we all want to push a little harder right before summer hits. I’ve done this ab-challenge with myself multiple times around this time of the year. I thought I would share it with you. I usually add this ab routine onto the end of my usual workout.

REMEMBER: Do what works for YOU. For example, if you can’t do a plank position because it hurts your back…. swap it for a different ab exercise that works best for your body. Every one is different. These are some of my favourite ab exercises but, they may not be for you. Just follow the reps, slowly increase over the 30 days, and you will begin to strengthen your core for summer. You can divide the reps throughout the day if that works best for you as well. Every rep counts!

… so join me in the 30-day ab challenge! SUMMER HERE WE COMEEEEEEE

Last point: Abs are made in the kitchen. If you are not nourishing your body and eating well… you will not see results.

Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 10.05.48 AM

Click here to download the PDF file: ab challenge

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

Trail-Mix Energy Bites

Do you ever hit a wall mid-afternoon? Looking for a quick pick me up to grab on the go and get you over that mid-day slump? Try my Energy Bite Cookies. With a mixture of nuts, raisins, oats, coconut, and much more… you will get a combo of healthy fats, natural sugars, and protein that will satisfy you until your next meal.
126 calories per serving + all the nutritional benefits!  

Trail Mix Energy Bite cookies

Ingredients: 
1 1/2 cup large flake oats (I use Hilray Gluten-Free Oats)
1/3 cup brown rice flour or flour of choice (I use One Degree Organic Foods flour)
1/4 cup baking powder
1/4 cup pecan halves
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (I use Silk Unsweetened)
2 tbsp natural maple syrup
2 tbsp natural almond butter, softened
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted (Nutiva is my fav choice.. you can find this at Costco)
2 tbsp natural bee honey
1/2 cup dates (~10 pitted dates), microwave for 40 secs with 1 tbsp water, mash.
1 egg
1/2 tsp ground sea salt
Optional: 2 tbsp dark chocolate chips

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Combine all ingredients into a large bowl. Mix thoroughly.
3. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
4. Using your clean hands, form into small cookies (Should make ~16).
5. Bake for ~15-20 minutes until beginning to brown.
6. Let cool…. and enjoy!

Per one cookie made with dark chocolate chips:
126 calories, 4.6 grams fat, 17.5 carbohydrate, 2.6g protein

Why should you include nuts in your diet? CLICK HERE to learn more.

 

Weekend Waffles!! (Nature’s Path Wildberry GF)

HAPPY SUNDAY! 

Due to the SNOW that has now returned to cover the ground….I needed some waffles this morning to cheer me up. I bought Nature’s Path Organic Buckwheat Wildberry Waffles for the first time…and fell in LOVE. They have many different flavours, homestyle, chia, ancient grains, etc. I love this product. No need to save these waffles for a “cheat day”.. with their amazing ingredients you can have them everyday! Nutrition facts: 9 whole grains, 2g protein, 5g sugar, 190 cals per serving (2 waffles) 

waffles GF

I topped my waffle with a bit of plain 0% vanilla yogurt, coconut chips, strawberries, and a drizzle of maple syrup. Another thing I love to do to add some extra protein is to spread almond butter or peanut butter on the waffle with a few slices of banana on top. Great fuel for the day.

Anyway, if you haven’t tried Nature’s Path waffles yet they are a must try. You can find them at FarmBoy, Sobey’s, Loblaws, etc. This company sells many great products such as granola bars, cereals, and breads too.

waffles GF 2

Taco Salad Bowls

Taco Salad Bowls

OH baby! These Taco Salad Bowls are drool-worthy and can be made in 20 minutes (if you don’t have to make them pretty and try to take nice photos of them LOL)

Makes 3-4 bowls (depending on how much chicken everyone wants):

Ingredients:
1 lb lean ground chicken
3 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tbsp cumin
1 head of iceberg lettuce
1 red pepper, sliced
1 orange pepper, sliced
1/2 red onion, chopped/diced
1 1/2 cup frozen corn niblets
1 large tomato, sliced
1 large avocado
Salsa to taste
Plain 0% Greek yogurt to taste (a healthy alternative to sour cream).
As desired: Mary’s Gone Crackers to crumble on top
As desired: shredded marble cheese

Directions:
1. In a large skillet with 2 tbsp olive oil, put it on medium-high heat and cook the ground chicken. You should be mixing it regularly, add in the chili powder, cumin, and garlic. Mix until brown with no pink left throughout. (About ~15-20 minutes)
2. In a small skillet, saute the peppers and onion skin 1 tbsp olive oil (~7-10 minutes). Heat the frozen corn niblets in the microwave following package instructions.
3. Prepare your bowls:
Add the chopped lettuce on the bottom of the bowl, top with avocado, tomato,sautéed vegetables, corn, and chicken.
4. Add Mary’s crackers crumbled on top (a healthier alternative to tortilla/nacho chips) and add shredded cheese as desired.
5. Sauce it up with salsa as your topping and plain 0% greek yogurt!

 

Taco Salad bowl

I used my moms home-made salsa to top. I will be posting our family recipe for that very soon if you are a dare-devil and into the hard work of canning. It is delicious!

I hope you enjoy this recipe.

Until next time friends. xx

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