Cookie Dough DIP!

IMG_4657Following on from my last post about your winter waistline, I thought I’d scour some healthy eating blogs and find some tasty recipes to try out in preparation. I came across Chocolate Covered Katie and love her creative recipe ideas! Since moving to Houston I’ve been blown away by cookie dough. I wish I’d never tried it as I’m hooked! If you haven’t visited Marble Slab Creamery then take a trip there. Oh. My. God. it is the cream of the crop when it comes to cookie dough ice-cream. It’s my go to place when I want to indulge and treat myself. 
So when I spotted this recipe for a Healthy Cookie Dough Dip, I was excited. My excitement soon faded however when I looked at the ingredients. Chick peas. Say what?! I really doubted that this could taste good but curiosity got the better of me and I tried it out. Well I was wrong, it’s delicious and I encourage you to try this out and see for yourself. I have such a sweet tooth and this really hit the spot. It’s not a bang-on equivalent to cookie dough but it is a seriously tasty dip that resembles cookie dough flavours. It’s protein rich from the chick peas, gluten-free and contains no refined sugar. I have pretty much demolished the whole tub. Winner.
Ingredients:
1 can chick peas / garbanzo beans (drain and rinse well)
Pinch salt
1/8 tsp baking soda
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup almond butter
1/4 cup organic maple syrup
1/3 cup choc chips – I used 62% cacao dark chocolate chunks
3 tbsp rolled gluten free oats
I very simply combined all of the above ingredients (apart from the chocky) into a blender and mixed until it was a paste-like consistency. I then added the chocky chunks and blasted it in the blender so that it was still pretty chunky throughout the dip. Put in the fridge overnight and serve up with rice cakes, crackers, chips or shortbread. Featured in the photo is mini star-shaped shortbread cookies I picked up! 

Guilt-free CARROT CAKE

IMG_4648So I’ll start by giving full credit here to my hubby, who whipped up this AMAZING carrot cake yesterday whilst I was out at CrossFit. It’s SO good that I had to post and share this wonderful recipe to all those that love to eat clean but still get that sweet sugary hit. After indulging quite a bit over Thanksgiving, we were both craving a sweet to follow our Sunday dinner! Ross is a dab hand at baking so I put in a request for a clean recipe that was free from added sugar and butter so we can treat ourselves, GUILT FREE. He adapted a recipe from a fellow bloggers site – Amy’s Healthy Baking
I had another slice earlier and I’m blown away at how bloody good this cake is. It’s moist, fluffy and sweet with warm spices. I guarantee a lot of happiness when eating this cake! 
Cake Ingredients:
  • 1 ½ cup whole wheat flour – be exact with measurements
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup nonfat milk
  • 3 medium carrots, grated
  • 1 small orange (cut in half and squeezed)
  • Large handful walnuts
  • Large handful raisins
Frosting ingredients:
  • 8 oz nonfat ricotta cheese
  • 3 tbsp plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp agave
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350°F, and coat your baking tin with olive oil or non-stick cooking spray.
For the cake, whisk together the flour and next 5 ingredients (down to and including the salt) in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, egg, and vanilla. Stir in the maple syrup and Greek yogurt, thoroughly mixing with a whisk until it’s lump free. Alternate between adding the flour mixture and milk, stirring just until incorporated, Add in more milk if the mixture is too dry. Fold in the carrots, walnuts and raisins and add the squeezed orange juice. 
Spread the batter into the tin, and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes, using a knife insert it into the middle of the cake and if it comes out clean it’s ready. Ross’s needed another 10 minutes or so to cook right through. Cool in the tin before removing the cake from the tin. Cool completely to room temperature before adding the frosting. 
To prepare the frosting, stir together the ricotta cheese, Greek yogurt, agave, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Spread on top of the cake and let it set for at least 1-2 hrs. We couldn’t wait beyond the 2hrs mark! We put it in the fridge overnight and I swear it tastes even better today and the frosting has really set. 
The frosting is really sweet and balances the cake out perfectly. Enjoy a slice with a hot cuppa!! YUM!!

Lean, mean burgers!

IMG_4641Not only do these burgers taste delicious, they are very simple to make with few ingredients and won’t take more than 30 mins. Enjoy as a main meal with homemade sweet potato chips and veggies, for lunch with a large salad or take one with you for a nutritious snack! A pound of mince will make 6-8 burgers. Here’s what you’ll need –
  • 1lb extra lean pork mince
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 3 oz feta cheese
  • 3 cups spinach
  • tbsp basil
  • tbsp garlic powder
  • tbsp red pepper chilli flakes
  • salt & pepper as desired
I combined all of the ingredients listed above, apart from the mince, in a blender and mixed together well. The mixture will be grainy. Add the mixture to the mince in a large bowl and mix together with your hands, separating into individual burgers. Mine are approx 3oz per burger. Using a flat skillet on a med temp, cook each burger on either side for a couple of minutes to seal them and then put into the oven at 375°F for approx 25mins / until cooked through. I used baking paper to line the oven tray to soak up any excess fat. I’ll be enjoying these tonight!!!

Beanies!

Are you a fan of heinz baked beans? If you’re from the UK then you probably are, especially layered on toast with a hangover! Mmm! Have you’ve ever checked out the nutrition label though? Um totally devastating. Each tin contains over 20g sugar and only 1/2 can, the recommended serving size, contains 25% of your daily salt intake… waaah! (Please note these figures may differ in the UK!!!)
BUT winters coming in and I’m craving comforting food. Beans are top of the list. They’re hearty, absorb flavours really well so work well with spices AND they are fibrous, so they’ll keep my belly feeling fuller for longer. I made my own easy and clean recipe with ALOT less sugar and salt. They are 100% more tasty than heinz beans and have a bit of heat to them. These beans will be ready in 30mins max and make a great accompaniment to a baked potato, omelette, or whatever you wish. Ross had some this evening in a baked potato with roast chicken and a dollop of sour cream. YUM!
IMG_4570
Ingredients:
  • 15oz Tin red kidney beans
  • 8oz tin tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp of worcestershire sauce
  • 1 chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 chopped carrot
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
If you like super spicy, try adding tabasco sauce!
Combine all the ingredients in a small pan, bring to the boil and then simmer on a low heat until the sauce is nice and thick – I cooked them for approx 25 mins. Easy to store in the fridge and reheat when needed! They taste even better on day 2! Enjoy!

The perfect snack pancake!

PancakesI LOVE these simple and nutritious pancakes! A fellow CrossFitter kindly gave me the recipe and I adjusted the portions to create a balanced snack. Prepping and cooking can take a little time but once you’ve made a batch, they’re a great go to snack for the week ahead, depending on how much time you have! It’s just as important to prepare snacks as it is your main meals. When you have a wee rumble in your tumble it’s easy to grab a chocky biscuit/cereal bar – lets avoid that situation and prepare your snacks! Take an hour or so on a Sunday afternoon. It’ll be worth your time.
Ingredients – (based on 1 portion, makes 3)
↠ 1 whole egg  / 2 large egg whites
↠ ¼ cup cottage cheese
↠ ⅓ cup rolled oats
↠ ½ cup blueberries
↠ 6 roasted almonds

Pancake Ingredients

Put a flat skillet onto a medium heat to warm up whilst you pull together the ingredients. If the pan is not hot enough or at the right temperature these pancakes will stick and be a flop!
Next blast all the ingredients together in a blender. The mixture might have a gritty consistency but you don’t notice this when eating them once they have cooled.
IMG_4472
Pour some of the mixture onto the skillet. It is ready to flip when the pancake starts to bubble. This mixture will make three thin medium sized pancakes. Huge pancakes are great but the pancake split in two when I tried to flip it!
IMG_4485
If blueberries aren’t your thing, substitute with 1/3 banana. Delish! I’d love to hear what you think of them! Enjoy!