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.

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

Quinoa Stuffed Capsicum with roasted almonds & mint

Quinoa pepper I’m back! I apologise to everyone for my short hiatus…from a torn lumber disc in my back, to a holiday away, to a new 🙂 fiancé with a broken foot -> life has been a little hectic lately. Needless to say I am back in the kitchen and loving it!

Last week our household started a 21 day vegan challenge. We are currently on day 9 and loving it! Who knew there were so many amazing vegan recipes out there.

I thought I’d start my first blog back with one of our favourite vegan hits thus far. I didn’t create it myself – I recreated it from Vegangela. Her site has some amazing vegan recipes and have helped me keep the man (or should I say new fiance) on the vegan challenge with me this long! I made no modifications to her recipe so be sure to head to her site and check it out.

 

Raw Chocolate Mint Truffles

Truffles 3Introducing my successful weekend creation – Raw Chocolate Mint Truffles. I came up with this delicious creation on the weekend when I was craving something similar to my favourite ice cream: mint chocolate chip. I was in a rut and I needed something cold, sweet, chocolate-y and mint-y.  The inside of the ‘truffle’ is a mixture of soaked almonds & cashews, coconut, organic agave syrup and all natural peppermint extract.  Once frozen, I dipped the peppermint goodness (twice) in a coconut & cacao mixture and set them in the freezer. What a success! Cold & peppermint-y (like the ice cream) but with all natural ingredients. Win win!

Truffle filling

  • ½ cup almonds (soaked for at least 1 hour)Truffles 1
  • ½ cup cashews (soaked for at least 1 hour)
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1/3 cup organic agave
  • ½ Teaspoon natural peppermint extract

Chocolate Cover

  • ½ cup coconut oil / butter (melted)
  • 2 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • ½ tsp vanilla

Directions

  • Add nuts and agave syrup to a food processor / blender. Mix. Once combined add the coconut. Use hands to form small balls.
  • Once balls are complete – put in freezer and allow to set for at least 1 hour.
  • Melt coconut butter over hot water or ensure coconut oil is very liquid-y. Stir through cacao and vanilla. Dip / roll truffle fillings in the raw chocolate mixture.
  • I dipped all of mine a second time because… well why not!
  • Once complete – place in fridge and allow approximately an hour to set.

 Truffles 2