Deliciously Healthy Homemade Granola

IMG_5739 I’m a self confessed cereal lover. However, I avoid most cereals due to the lack of vitamins, overload in sugars, oils, chemicals and GMO foods found within the products.  Enter my super delicious granola. The secret to good granola is all in the oven: slowly toasting the nuts & oats over a long period of time.

*Warning – it will be incredibly hard to not eat this granola fresh from the oven as aromas of honey, vanilla, cinnamon and roasting oats take over your kitchen. This recipe is easy to make and contains no artificial sweetener, additional oils or chemicals. In fact, it’s really quite healthy.  The base of my granola is half whole grain rolled oats and half buckwheat. (For those who don’t know – buckwheat is a high protein seed and is gluten free.)  It has added value such as nuts (for additional protein), flax (for fiber), goji berries (antioxidant), raisons (vitamin B, iron & potassium) and cinnamon (blood sugar control) . But despite all the healthy reasons to eat it – the best reason is because it’s freakin delicious!

 Ingredients:

  1. 1 cup wholegrain rolled oatsIMG_5740
  2. 1 cup buckwheat
  3. 200g almonds
  4. 70g cashews
  5. 30g sunflower seeds
  6. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  7. 1 tbsp flax seeds
  8. 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  9. 2-3 tbsp organic honey
  10. 130g dried fruit (I used dried goji berries, apricots, cranberries, raisons and blueberries)

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 120c
  • Combine ingredients #1-6 in a bowl
  • Warm honey & vanilla and stir through the dry mix – coating the nuts & oats
  • Very thinly arrange on a baking tray (I spread across 2 trays on baking paper)
  • Toast the granola for 1 hour or until golden. I rotated my trays every 15 minutes while baking.
  • Once baked, allow to cool and stir through the dried fruits & flax.

Healthy Blueberry Vanilla Protein Muffins

Muffin 1I’m officially back. After an extra long holiday filled with delicious food, drinks and more delicious food, I am very happy to be home and back into the routine. The only vegetable my body consumed for the past 3 weeks was served with chicken wings and dipped in blue cheese dressing. Do I regret it? Absolutely not… I ate my way across North America and it was glorious. Am I ready get back into healthy eating? Most definitely (especially since it turned summer in Australia while I was away). Last night I created these Blueberry Vanilla Protein Muffins. They are super easy and quick to make and are a perfect ‘snack’ to kick the sweet craving while being healthy. The come in around 100-140 calories depending on the protein powder you use.

Ingredients (12 muffins):muffin 2

  • 8 egg whites
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup wholegrain rolled oats
  • 1/2 sugar free applesauce
  • 1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/4 chopped almonds
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 scoop protein powder (optional)

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees
  • Beat egg whites. Add vanilla & apple sauce, mix, baking powder, salt, oats & protein powder.
  • Add cottage cheese, mix. Stir through almonds & blueberries.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until browned.

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Cauliflower 1I used to think cauliflower was a bland and boring vegetable. That was until a couple years when I read this article, “The Secret Life of Cauliflower”  and everything changed. From cauliflower rice, cauliflower mash to cauliflower pizza base, I am amazed at the flexibility and versatility of this vegetable. I first ventured out and tried a curry served over cauliflower fried rice. It’s amazing how easy it is to trick your brain into thinking shredded, fried cauliflower is in fact rice. Cauliflower rice & mash have become regulars in our house. (I’ll post more on these recipes later.)

This weekend I was craving pizza. Really bad. So I thought I would give Cauliflower pizza base a try. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to do and how yummy it turned out. With Cauliflower pizza base,  there is no tricking your brain that it’s bread. It’s a completely different texture. That being said, it was delicious and entirely guilt free. We will definitely be making this again.

Directions

  •  Preheat oven to 200ºC
  • Grate (I used our food processor) cauliflower (I used a whole head)
  • Heat grated cauliflower in the microwave for 7 minutes until soft
  • Mix together:caulfiwelr 3
    • Cauliflower
    • 1 x egg
    • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
    • 3 tbsp parmesan cheese
    • Salt, pepper  & garlic salt (or any seasonings you prefer)
  • Use your hands to pat into baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes
  • Dress pizza as desired and bakea nother 10-15 minutes. I turned our oven to ‘bottom grill only’ for the last 5 minutes to make the base extra crispy

 

Healthy Chipotle Chicken Sweet Potato Skins

This recipe hit the spot. I was craving something warm, cheesy, naughty and a little bit Southern but I didn’t want to break the diet. I stumbled across this recipe here, and while my photos aren’t nearly as pretty as hers, I guarantee it was just as tasty! I ended up using 3 sweet potatoes and only had one half myself / per serving with steamed green beans…so we have lots of left-overs (not to mention the scooped out inside that I’ve been serving as sweet potato mash with random meals).

Sweet potato 1

 

I followed her recipe for the most part except made the following amendments: Stuffed potato 2

  • I added more spinach to my chicken (even though it doesn’t look like it)
  • I didn’t stir the oil concoction through my chicken however I stirred through the spices
  • I would probably cook mine longer next time to make them more crispy

 

Baked Chicken Breast stuffed with white wine mushrooms

IMG_7455

This was a nothing dinner…that turned out to be quite yummy. It was a “eat what’s left in the fridge” kinda meal and I’m happy to say we were pleasantly surprised. Sliced mushrooms were sautéed in the remnants of white wine, fresh lemon juice & dill. Chicken breasts were flattened, stuffed with mushroom mixture , rolled and then sprinkled with almond meal, salt & pepper and baked. Chicken was accompanied with steamed green beans, rocket salad (with a mixture of goji berries, walnuts, goats cheese & red onion) all topped with a squeeze of lemon. Yum!

 

Winter warmer. The most delicious low carb lasagna!

With cold weather comes the desire to eat hearty, warm, good-for-the-soul food. One of my fiancé all time favourite dishes is a meaty, cheesy home-made lasagna (and who can blame him). My go to ‘vegefied’ version of this winter warmer is delicious, filled with vegetables and tastes almost as amazing as the classic – without the grease & guilt. Instead of noodles, I layer my lasagna with spinach, zucchini and food processed cauliflower & broccoli. This can be made in bulk and frozen for later if desired. Final

Ingredients

  • 1kg mince of your choice (I used turkey mince)
  • 4 x zucchini (sliced flat like noodles) meat layer
  • ½ head cauliflower
  • ½ head broccoli
  • 1 brown onion (chopped)
  • handful of spinach
  • 1 jar of pasta sauce
  • 1 x garlic clove (minced)
  • 1 x 16oz light cottage cheese
  • ½ cup grated parmesan
  • ¾ cup light shredded mozzarella

Directions

Prep work

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • Line cooking sheet with baking paper
  • Spray lasagna dish with light olive oil

Zucchini Layer

  • Add zucchini slices, sprinkle with salt and bake 5 min on each side
  • When complete dab with paper towel to remove excess moisture

Broccoli & Cauliflower Layer

  • Place broccoli & cauliflower into food processor (or blender)
  • Pulse until rice size pieces

Meat sauce

  • Heat skillet. Add onion & garlic.
  • Once onion turns clear (approx. 6 min), add mince
  • Once mince is cooked add sauce and simmer for 5 minutes

Cheese layer

  • Mix parmesan and cottage cheese together

Start layerin’!

(this is the order I went but I don’t think you can go wrong)

  • Layer of meat sauce
  • Layer of broccoli & cauliflower
  • Layer of zucchini
  • Layer of cheese
  • Layer of spinach
  • Repeat as desired
  • Top layer finish with your mozzarella cheese
  • Cover with foil and back for 1 hour

Zucchini layer

Vegan Chickpea Burgers

Chickpea 2These ‘meat-less’ burgers are so versatile! They are delicious, easy to make and healthy! Adjust them to your personal flavour / taste preference.  The man – who hates chickpeas – literally gobbled them up and asked for more.  I used the base recipe from My Eclectic Kitchen. Her vegan cucumber dill sauce (recipe here) is an amazing & easy addition to the recipe (but not necessary). The first time I made these burgers I mashed everything together by hand. It gave the burgers a chunky texture. The second time I used by food processor: it was significantly easier but both ways were equally delicious.  Enjoy them with salad, veggies, on a wrap or in a bun; I don’t think you can go wrong.

Chickpea Burger base (makes 6-8 burgers):

  • 2 x can chickpeas drained & rinsed
  • 2 tbsp LSA (could also just use flax seed)
  • 1 cup whole meal flour
  • 6 tbsp water

Flavour additions:

  • 1 cup green onions or white onions
  •  Cilantro or basil
  •  Garlic, garlic & garlic!
  • Chili
  •  Cumin
  • Chopped capsicumChickpea1
  •  Any other flavour you enjoy.

Directions:

Mash, process or mix all ingredients together and form into patties.

Heat oil in frying pan and fry until golden on both sides.

Enjoy!