Walnut Coconut Power Balls

If you like these as much as we do, you may want to plan a heavy workout before you make them!  Since they are sweetened using dates, each ball has approximately 6g of sugar, making them perfect post-soccer snacks, but not something you would want to take to the couch as you pound back a 6-pack!

Speaking of sugar, I don’t know about you, but I would rather eat my treats any day than drink them. One can of soda has approximately 33g of sugar! I can’t even fathom how I used to drink that stuff regularly. It makes me cringe now. The next time you feel the need for a soda, try adding the juice of half a lemon and a tbsp of apple cider vinegar to a glass of Perrier. It’s the best invention ever. I’m pretty sure I learned about that drink from Food Matters, so props to them for that one!

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Walnut Coconut Power Balls

  • 2 cups walnuts
  • 1 cup Medjool dates (about 12, pitted)
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • Shredded coconut for covering.

Place walnuts in a food processor and pulse until fine.

Add the dates, almond flour, shredded coconut, cocoa powder, coconut oil, and sea salt. Pulse until thoroughly combined.

Roll into golf ball sized balls and roll in shredded coconut.

Store in the fridge.

Fast Fat Burning Meals

fbm_03I’m a bit late to the party but I am super excited to share this awesome video and cookbook with you! Yuri and I set out to prove that not only is it healthier to make your meals at home, but it is also faster, and WAY more delicious!

This video comes at a time when we are ready to share our Fast Fat Burning Meals cookbook and cookbook club with the world.  No longer will you have to ask yourself “what should I make for dinner?” Because, the answer to your nightly dinnertime nightmare is here.  The healthiest, quickest, and most delicious meals you can make for your family!

I wish I could share the burger in the video with everyone because it is melt in your mouth better than any other burger you’ve ever tasted – and it’s super easy to make! Seriously, make these burgers for dinner tonight.  You will LOVE them.

So, is fast food really faster?  Watch the video:

We’ve gotten some backlash for “wasting” that food, but in all honesty, McDonald’s is not food in my opinion. I would rather put it in the garbage any day than put that stuff in my body. If you are bothered by us throwing it away, you may want to ask yourself why it bothers you so much. If I had eaten it, the outcome would be the same.  No one else would have gotten to eat it!

File 2015-05-13, 11 22 16 AMBest Burger Ever 

  • 1/3 lb ground sirloin
  • tomato
  • pickle
  • red onion
  • ketchup
  • mustard
  • greens as a base (not pictured)

To prepare the burger, simply turn on your frying pan to medium, salt and pepper both sides of your patty, and throw it in the pan!  Cook just like a pancake, flipping when the burger is half way done, after just 2-3 minutes.  Cook until your desired level of doneness is reached, and top that puppy with anything you wish!

Avocado/Tomato Salad

  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 avocado
  • olive oil
  • lemon juice
  • sea salt and pepper

Place chopped tomatoes and avocado in a medium bowl, and season with olive oil, a dash of lemon juice, sea salt and pepper.  Done!

 

Cauliflower Butter Chicken

This is my absolute favourite recipe to make at the moment.  I make it about once a week and I usually end up doubling the recipe so that we have leftovers as well!  I think I could eat it every day.  Butter chicken and chocolate.  Balance!

Plus, it’s so easy to prepare.  It’s something I can make even when I have 3 little boys running around.  Three!  Arlo is walking now so our house just got a little bit crazier, which means I have to make meals that I can pull together quickly!

If you are dairy free, simply substitute coconut oil when cooking the chicken and onions, and don’t worry about adding any extra at the end.  I usually use salted butter, so you may want to season to taste if you are making the substitution.

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Butter Chicken

Serves 4.

  • 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • ½ cup butter, divided
  • Cilantro, to garnish

Cut chicken breasts into 1” chunks. In a large pan, add 2 tbsp butter and cook the chicken on both sides until no longer pink. Careful not to overcook them.  You want them to remain juicy! Remove from pan and set aside.

Melt another 2 tbsp butter in the pan and add the onion and cook over medium/low heat until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, garam masala, ginger, paprika, and cumin, and cook for another minute.

Add the tomatoes, lemon juice, and coconut milk and bring to a boil. Cook over medium/low heat for 10-15 minutes to boil off some of the water.

Return the chicken to the pan and add the rest of the butter. Simmer for 5 minutes to reheat the chicken.

Serve with cauliflower rice, recipe below.

Basic Cauliflower Rice

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp sea salt

Chop cauliflower into small florets. Place cauliflower in small batches into a food processor and pulse until it resembles rice.

Melt the butter in a large pan and add the rice-sized cauliflower. Cook over medium heat, covered, until tender, 5-8 minutes.  Add a few tbsp of water or chicken stock if you need moisture in the bottom of the pot.

While cauliflower is cooking, add salt and turmeric.

The Oscars and a Freestyle Mexican Dip

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Last year I went all out for the Oscars.  We ordered pizza.  I ate 2 slices and washed it down with some Barq’s Root Beer.  Then I proceeded to push out a 9 lb baby in our bathroom 5 hours later 😉  Glad I won’t be doing that again!  3 boys and done!

This year I decided to keep it simple.  Some freestyle Mexican inspired dip: refried black beans, minced beef, and some delicious guacamole.

There will be no more Oscars and pizza nights in our house since I’ve finally made the leap into being 100% gluten free.  I’ve been wanting to do it for years but I never tried hard enough because I was scared to let go of some much loved favourites: pain au chocolat, really good bread, and wood oven pizza (specifically Cremini Mushroom Pizza at Pizzeria Libretto if you’re a Torontonian. Yum!).  But as I continue on this health journey I couldn’t deny my body what it needed, and that’s a very clean diet.

Thankfully it’s not a very big leap from our current diet since our kitchen has been 100% gluten free for years.  We saved the gluten for the occasional pizza, wings, or restaurants.  I’m super excited to see the me I can be without gluten!

Alright, here’s what was on tonight’s menu:

Refried Black Beans

I’m not entirely sure this is the Mexican way, but it’s my way, and it’s delicious!

  • 2 cans black beans, rinsed
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, diced
  • 3 tbsp butter (or coconut oil)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt

Place onion, garlic, and butter in a large pan and cook over medium/low heat until translucent, about 10 minutes.

Add the black beans and mash with a potato masher.  Add the cumin, sea salt, and chicken stock, and mash once again.  Once they’re as mashed as they’re going to get – you’re done!

Mexican Minced Beef

  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes (with liquid)
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle pepper (more if you like spice)
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

Brown the beef and add the rest of the ingredients.  Cook over medium heat 5-10 minutes to boil off some of the tomato water.

Guacamole (this amazing version not pictured because I was also watching an overtired and crying baby while preparing dinner)

  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 small red onion, minced
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 3 avocados, mashed with a fork
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • optional: 1 handful of cilantro, roughly chopped

Mash avocados with a fork and then add the rest of the ingredients.  If it doesn’t taste amazing, then there are 2 things you have to play with: the amount of sea salt and the amount of lime juice.  Play with these until this is the best guacamole you’ve ever tasted.

Other potential players:

  • tortilla chips (non-GMO)
  • diced tomatoes
  • organic old cheddar cheese
  • olives
  • hot sauce
  • jalapenos
  • whatever else you want to eat with your delicious freestyle Mexican dinner!

A shout out to Yuri for taking the beautiful photo while I wrestled the food to the table for our 3 little boys!

I put the dishes in individual serving bowls and let the kids assemble their dinner as they wished, which meant that Oscar ate a bowlful of guacamole and Luca ate 2 tortilla chips after filling his plate with them, declaring “I done!” and running away to play with a truck puzzle.  While they ate, I put Arlo out of his misery by giving him a bottle and then put him to bed.  And then I finally got to eat!  Dinner as usual in our house!

 

German Chocolate Cupcakes

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These babies have been a long time in the making.  I’ve been working on the recipe on and off forever, making them now and then but never really getting excited about them – until now!

I’m really glad I didn’t post them earlier because I’m on a low carbohydrate mission in all of my recipes these days.  There is so much unnecessary sugar in modern day food – it drives me crazy.  I had a muffin last week in a moment of weakness and I went into a sugar coma immediately after.  No wonder I was a walking zombie every day in high school, having delicious sugar-rich cookies every. single. day.  I literally lived off of sugar!  I do not want my kids suffering the same fate, but I also don’t want to deprive them of treats.

I made so many cupcakes testing this recipe that we had them for breakfast the next day along with 2 pints of blueberries.  No sugar crash.  No mommy guilt.  And very happy kids.

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German Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • ¼ cup cocoa
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • 16 drops stevia (I use Now’s French Vanilla)
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with 12 silicone cups individually greased with coconut oil.

Mash up the banana very well, then add the eggs, almond milk, maple syrup, vanilla, and stevia.

Combine almond flour, cocoa, sea salt, and baking soda, and add the dry ingredients to the wet.  Stir well.

Divide the batter between the 12 muffin cups.

Bake 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean (dry).

Let cool in the pan at least 20 minutes.  Hollow out the middle with a tsp.  Ice liberally with the chocolate ganache (careful not to fill the hole) and fill with the coconut filling!

Filling:

  • 1 cup pecans, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ cups shredded coconut
  • 3 egg yolks
  • ½ cup coconut cream (solid mass in a can of full fat coconut milk)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 16 drops liquid stevia

Place egg yolks and 1 tbsp water in a large bowl.  Place the bowl over an inch of  barely simmering water, and whisk until the eggs thicken, about 5 minutes. Add coconut cream and stir until melted. Remove the bowl from the heat and mix in pecans, shredded coconut, vanilla extract, maple syrup, and stevia. Set aside.

Ganache:

  • 8 oz good quality 70% cacao chocolate
  • 2 tbsp coconut cream
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Once the chocolate has melted, remove from the heat source and add the coconut cream. Stir to melt the cream. The coconut cream brings down the heat of the chocolate. The mixture will thicken and you can immediately ice the cupcakes (after they have cooled a little).

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Guilt Free Hot Chocolate

When I started this journey into healthy eating it became apparent straight away that I was addicted to sugar.  While my eating habits have changed completely over the past 10 years, the sugar monster remains at some level.  My sugar of choice has always been chocolate, and although I eat the healthiest form of it, I am still guilty of eating too much of it sometimes.

Taming the monster.

The best defense is a good offense, so traditional candy doesn’t make it into the house.  But I do have a healthy stock of organic, fair trade, 70% or more cocoa chocolate bars, chocolate chips, and chocolate chunks.  Under normal conditions, I don’t reach for them.  But as soon as you add the stress of parenting 3 young boys, I can eat an entire 100g chocolate bar in just a few minutes!

Wanting to dive into the chocolate this morning in a fit of stress, I decided that I would only have a little piece.  And this time, I knew that’s all I would have.  Usually a little bit turns into a lot of little bits, but this time was different because I had a plan.

This hot chocolate is the best defense I’ve had in awhile.  I didn’t add any sweetener at all – just whatever is in the 70% chocolate itself, but you may add a little stevia, erythritol, or honey if you wish.  Though, I challenge you to drink it as written – without any added sweetener.  I liked it immediately and didn’t need any sugar, but of course, I am motivated to limit my sugar intake in the name of health.  This just may be the sword that slays my inner sugar monster for good.

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Guilt Free Hot Chocolate

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 0.5 oz 70% cocoa chocolate (amount pictured above)
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Place all ingredients in a sauce pan over low heat and whisk until both combined and desired temperature is reached.

 

 

“Cheesy” Turmeric Broccoli

I think I’ve teased you all long enough with the pictures of this delicious sauce!  It reminds me a lot of the cheese and flour sauce that my mom used to make to get us to eat cauliflower.  But now, the sauce is made of cauliflower!

The nutritional yeast gives the sauce its cheesiness so make sure you have it on hand.  Don’t worry, it’s an inactive yeast so it won’t add to any candida issues.  Plus, it’s full of B vitamins to give you an energy and nutrient boost!

cheesy turmeric broccoli

Cheesy Turmeric Broccoli

  • 2 heads of broccoli – about 8 cups of florets

Cheese Sauce:

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into medium sized pieces
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 1 ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper

In a large soup pot, sauté the onion in coconut oil over medium heat. After 5 minutes, add the garlic and cook for a few more minutes.

Add the cauliflower and chicken stock to the pot and cover.  Cook over medium high heat until the cauliflower is tender.

Transfer the cauliflower mixture to a high speed blender and add the nutritional yeast, turmeric, salt, and pepper. Blend well.

Lastly, place the broccoli in a large pot with an inch of water in the bottom.  Steam the broccoli for 3-5 minutes or until desired tenderness is reached.  Drain broccoli and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain the broccoli well, transfer to a bowl and top with cheese sauce.

Coconut Macaroon Cookies

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I’ve been meaning to make something like these for a long time and finally got around to it yesterday!  As always, I made sure to get the sugar down to a minimum, and these certainly don’t disappoint.  Everyone who has tried them has said, “These are healthy?”  Well, they’re as healthy as I could get them!  I mean, they’re not a spinach salad.  They’re still cookies!

But unlike a lot of the Christmas goodies you’ll cross paths with, they’re extremely low in sugar, which means you can eat them and not turn into the grinch 30 minutes later.  Each cookie has only 1/2 tsp of maple syrup.

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Coconut Macaroon Cookies

  • 3 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 15 drops stevia (I use Now’s French Vanilla flavour)
  • ½ cup coconut milk, canned, full fat
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • ½ tsp sea salt

For the chocolate topping:

  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life)
  • 1 tsp coconut oil

Preheat the oven to 325F and place a silpat sheet over a cookie tray.

In a large bowl, mix together the coconut, almond flour, and sea salt.

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, and then add the stevia, coconut milk, vanilla extract, and almond extract.  Stir well.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well.

Drop dough in tablespoon amounts onto the silpat sheet.  Roll them into balls and then flatten them with your fingers.

Cook at 325F for 22-25 minutes.

As the cookies are cooling, melt the chocolate.  Place an inch of water in a medium sized pot and bring it to a simmer.  Place a bowl over the simmering water and add the chocolate chips and coconut oil.  Stir frequently until all the chocolate has melted.  If you need to thin the chocolate, you can add more coconut oil.  Remove the chocolate from the heat and drizzle over the cooled cookies.  Refrigerate.

Keep the cookies in the fridge until ready to serve!

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Pear Crisp with Salted Caramel Sauce

Our family loved apple crisp growing up.  I can still recall the taste of it – So sweet.  When I got older and started making it myself, I cringed at the amount of sugar used in recipes!  This revamped recipe calls for pears for the sole reason that I didn’t have any apples and didn’t want to go to the store.  This recipe has 3 tbsp of maple syrup instead of the TWO CUPS of sugar the original called for…yikes.

If you choose not to make salted caramel sauce, I would recommend doubling the amount of crumble.  I went light on it knowing that I was going to pour a little extra sugar on top, and the result was perfect.

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Pear Crisp

Filling:

  • 6 cups chopped organic Bosc pears
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp gluten free flour

Topping:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup almond four
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract

Salted Caramel Sauce

  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp vanilla powder
  • 1/4 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Cut up the pears and mix in the cinnamon and flour.  Pour into an 8×8 inch pan.

For the topping, place all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well, melting the coconut beforehand in a pan if need be.

Using your fingers, drop the topping mixture on top of the pears.

Cook at 350F for 35-40 minutes.

For the salted caramel sauce, if you’re lucky enough to have runny almond butter, just mix the ingredients in a bowl.  Otherwise, place all ingredients in a blender.  If your sauce isn’t runny, add more coconut milk to thin it out.

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Lamb Zucchini Boats

Lamb, rosemary, and mint.  The perfect combination to sail away in a zucchini boat!

Yes, it is a little annoying to hollow out the boats, but I love the presentation of it and it really doesn’t take that long.  If you aren’t partial to boats you can just chop up the zucchini and add it to the pot with the lamb mixture.  I won’t take it personally.

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Lamb Zucchini Boats

  • 4 medium zucchinis
  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 1 tbsp butter or coconut oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 4 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Wash and cut the stalk end off of the zucchinis.  Cut them in half and scoop out the flesh with a spoon.  Place the zucchini on a baking tray and set aside.

Set oven to 400 F.

In a pot over low/medium heat, cook the onion until translucent.  Add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.

Add the ground lamb and cook until no longer pink.

Add the mint, rosemary, lemon juice, spinach, salt and pepper, and cook until the spinach wilts.

Carefully spoon the lamb mixture into the zucchini.

Cook at 400 F for 20 minutes.