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.

 

Chocolate Chunk Energy Bites… with a surprise ingredient!

Guess what these energy bites are made of?! Primarily CHICKPEAS! Who would have thought?

Chickpeas are a low fat alternative to use in many recipes. Chickpeas are also a great plant-based source of protein, fibre, B vitamins, and iron. Tonight I am hosting a class on this Versatile Bean at our Sobeys Stratford. This is one of the few recipes I came up with to demonstrate this little bean’s great versatility! More recipes will be coming your way after our class.

chocolate chunk energy bites

Ingredients (Makes ~ 24 small bites):

  • 1 ½ cups canned unsalted chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup natural almond butter
  • 3 tbsp natural honey
  • ½ tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tbsp Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-free Quick Cooking Oats
  • 1 1/3 cup oat flour (gluten-free Bob’s Red Mill)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 70% cacao dark chocolate chunks

 

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, combine the rinsed/drained chickpeas, almond butter, honey, cinnamon powder, and vanilla.
  2. Process these ingredients until completely combined into a thick puree.
  3. Using a spatula, scrap the mixture from your food processor into a large mixing bowl.
  4. In the large mixing bowl, add the oats (a small amount at a time) and mix in thoroughly.
  5. Next add the maple syrup and mix.
  6. Finally, add your flour. Add ¼ cup at a time with regular mixing. (It is difficult to combine so the smaller amount at a time, the better).
  7. Fold in your dark chocolate chunks.
  8. Form the mixture into bite sized bites and place in the refrigerator for storage.
  9. Eat chilled and 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

Food fact of the day: CORN (my favourite)

It may not be summer back home in Canada… but I’m sure we can all recall one of the best local foods of summer. Ontario corn… mmmm

Corn appears to always be in season here in Laos. White corn and yellow corn. You can buy corn around the corner at the local market or buy it freshly grilled from your neighbour on the street (MY FAV).

corn on the cob

Corn is part of the vegetable family, as I’m sure you already know. However, corn has appeared to have gotten a bad rep over the past few years. I believe this is because many people began to follow the (uneducated) trend toward low-carb diets and corn has a high starch (carbohydrate) content.

SO why should you forget about your “carb-phobia” and enjoy a nice corn on the cob?

Carbohydrates are important to optimal brain function and providing our body with energy…especially healthy carbohydrates coming from natural whole foods (like corn!). I have come across a few myths about corn… “corn is high in sugar” is one of them. One corn on the cob has ~90-100 calories. This is comparable to a banana at ~105 calories.

One banana has approximately 27 grams of carbohydrates and 14 grams of sugar.

One cob of corn has 18 grams of carbohydrates, 5g of sugar, and also a very significant amount of potassium.

So why does the beloved banana get all the attention? The cob is lower in carbs and sugars! The high potassium content also makes it a great post-workout snack (like the banana) to replenish those lost electrolytes (see previous blog post for more information).

Corn is a great natural source of carbohydrates, potassium, vitamin C, B vitamins, and of course… insoluble fibre. 

Vitamin C: This vitamin is always in the spotlight. As you know, it is important for our immune system to function healthily. It also plays a role in maintaining healthy teeth, bones, skin, and tissues. Vitamin C also helps you increase your absorption of iron from foods. (Some high iron foods: steak, oats, lentils, spinach, beans animal products, etc).

Insoluble Fibre: I know you’ve all talked about how you’ve noticed (eek!) how your body does not fully digest or break down corn kernels. Well… that is because of its high insoluble fibre content. This is not a bad thing. Insoluble fibre stimulates our digestive system, helps maintain a healthy functioning gut….and obviously helps to promote bowel regularity 😉 Fibre helps prevent constipation and promotes regularity by adding “bulk”.

Moral of the corn story – don’t be afraid of foods that are in the natural and fresh product category. If it’s not in a package and can be eaten right from the garden…. it definitely has a nutritional benefit for your body.

So on that happy note… I’m off to grab a corn on the cob on the street!

Happy Tuesday Followers 🙂

xox

B

Spicy Root Veg French Fries

Spicy Root Veg Fries

This is an AWESOME side to have with dinner. They also have a spicy bite to them 😉

Fry Ingredients (Serves 3-4 people as a side dish):
4 parsnips
1 small sweet potato
1 small white sweet potato
1/2 beet
2 large carrots
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp crushed ground pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 425F
2. Thoroughly wash and cut the vegetables in long strips (like french fries).
3. Put on a microwave safe plate and put in the microwave for 2 minutes to pre-cook.
4. On a cookie sheet, apply parchment paper and spread the vegetable fries evenly on the sheet.
5. Drizzle the olive oil and sprinkle the spices evenly over the fries.
6. Put in the oven for ~30-35 minutes. Rotate/mix at least twice while cooking.

Dip:
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp lime juice
1 1/2 tsp maple syrup

Mix all ingredients together. Store in fridge until ready to eat.

Sprouted Quinoa Salad ft. Broccoli, Maple Glazed Nuts, Edamame, ETC!

Quinoa Salad - Broccoli

I freaking love quinoa! Have you been able to tell throughout my blog posts?

I tossed this salad together to have as a side with dinner this past week.

Ingredients (serves ~8):
1 cup uncooked sprouted quinoa, cook according to package directions.
1 cup broccoli, chopped finely, steam in a covered container in the microwave with 2 tbsp water.
1/2 cup edamame beans, from frozen (will thaw in the salad during preparation)
3 green onions, diced/chopped
1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup raisins
1/2 cup Maple Glazed Pecans (directions below)
Homemade Dijon Balsamic Dressing to taste. (directions below)

Maple Glazed Pecans:
You will need:
1/2 cup pecans
3 tbsp maple syrup
Directions: In a small pan put 1/2 cup pecans and pour 3 tbsp maple syrup evenly on them — to coat the nuts. Put the burner on medium heat. When the maple syrup begins to bubble, turn the burner off. Allow the nuts to sit for 5 minutes. Then, remove the nuts from the pan and allow them to dry with the maple syrup coating on parchment paper.

Dressing:
(Mix in a separate bowl — add to salad to taste)
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp dijon
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp lemon