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

Coconut Almond Protein Bars

Coconut Almond Protein Bars

Ingredients (makes 8 small bars):
1/4 cup protein powder (I used Garden of Life’s raw vegan natural protein powder)
1/2 cup dates, mashed (in small container at 1 tbsp water microwave of 40 seconds to soften then mash).
1 cup oat flour
1 tbsp almond butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup almond milk (Silk unsweetened vanilla)
1 tsp coconut sugar
2 tbsp egg whites
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
Add: small handful of almonds and dark chocolate chips if desired
2 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut to sprinkle on top.

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. Mix all ingredients in a bowl (except the coconut). Place mixture in a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle shredded coconut as desired on top.
3. Bake for ~20 minutes — until knife comes out clean when poked.

Nutrition facts:
Per 1 bar/serving: calories: 140 cal, carbohydrate: 16.2g, fat: 5.4g, and protein: 6.4g

My Main Chicks: All About Chickpeas

chickpeas

MMMM chickpeas. Whether adding them to a salad, roasting them, or coating them in dark chocolate… they are by far my favourite of the legume family. They also go by the name ‘garbanzo beans’.

So… what are they good for?
Chickpeas are a great source of protein and fibre.
Per 1/2 cup of chickpeas (canned) you will get 10g of protein and 8g of fibre. With almost ZERO grams of saturated fats. This makes chickpeas a great vegetarian protein source and meat substitute.

How can you eat them?

  • Puree (make a hummus or use as an alternative to nut butters in recipes)
  • Roasted (crunchy snack)
  • Add canned chickpeas to salad
  • Add canned or dehydrated chickpeas to soups
  • Roast and coat in dark chocolate for dessert
  • ….ETC!

I usually buy canned chickpeas. Once they are rinsed and drained, I add them to salads for an extra protein source, roast them to have as a snack, or roast them to coat in dark chocolate for dessert!

This legume has so many different ways it can be used. It is definitely an ingredient you should consider adding to your nutritional lifestyle.
…. I made sure to include chickpeas in my day today 😉

Chickpea Bark

Click here for my dark chocolate chickpea bark recipe:>>>>>>> CHICKPEA BARK <<<<<<<<<

Corn Salsa ft. Sriracha Sauce

Corn Salsa

Ingredients:
1 cup frozen corn niblets
1/2 cup black beans, rinsed & drained
1/2 large tomato, chopped/diced
1/2 large avocado, diced
2 green onions, chopped
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped (or to taste)
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp cumin
Pinch crushed ground pepper
1 tsp Sriracha Sauce ….add to taste- depending on how much bite you like 😉

Mix together. Eat chilled and enjoy!

Blueberry Coconut Breakfast Bars (Gluten-Free)

Blueberry Coconut Breakfast Bars

Preheat oven to 350F

Mix and combine the following ingredients:
1 large banana, mashed
2 1/2 cups oats (I used Hilray Gluten-Free Oats)
1/3 cup almond milk, vanilla & unsweetened
1/4 cup honey
3/4 cup shredded coconut
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp almond butter
1 tbsp egg whites
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup frozen blueberries, melt for 50 seconds in microwave
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips

Pack into a baking pan lined with parchment paper OR make into breakfast cookies on a baking sheet line with parchment paper.
Bake for ~20-25 minutes until browning if making bars (cookies will take less time ~15-20 minutes).
Keep at room temperature on the counter for ~3 days or store in the refrigerator for 5 days.

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 🙂

Blueberry Oat Protein Pancakes

blueberry protein pancakes

Mix in a bowl:
1 banana, mashed
2/3 cup quick oats
1 heaping tsp of cinnamon
2 tbsp egg whites (or 1 egg)
1 scoop (10g) protein powder of choice (I used plain SunWarrior protein)
and…as many blueberries as you desire 😉

Directions:
1. Mash up the banana.
2. Combine rest of ingredients in a bowl. Fold in Blueberries last.
3. Cook in greased pan on medium heat for 5-7 minutes each side.
4. When finished, sprinkle with coconut sugar and maple syrup.