Grilled Chicken Taco Bowls

Who doesn’t love a good taco? I can tell you I certainly do. The only issue I have with my tacos is that I fill them up with so many toppings, it falls apart after the first bite. So why not switch it up, and have a chicken taco/burrito bowl instead?

This is the perfect meal to prepare ahead of time, and throw together in a matter of 30 minutes. Next thing you know, you are serving a 5 star weeknight meal.

The beauty of this meal is that you can customize it however you desire. All of my favourite toppings are included below, and they are pretty delicious if I do say so myself.

Meal Prep

We all have busy lives. There is no doubt about it. But finding a little time to prepare our meals in advance can be super beneficial for a whole list of reasons. Peace out frozen pizza… All jokes aside, nobody’s perfect. You don’t need to prepare every single meal you will eat throughout the entirety of your week. But planning a meal the night before is definitely a nice feeling. Marinade your chicken. Prep your toppings. Throw some rice on when you are ready to put the meal together. Voila!

Cast Iron Skillet

Cast iron skillets help to ensure you do not miss barbecue season throughout the winter months! I use my skillet for so many different reasons. For burgers, chicken, naan bread, corn, egg frittata… The list goes on.

For this recipe in particular, I like to make my chicken sightly blackened and crispy with it, as well as using the skillet to char my frozen corn for the corn salsa. AKA no bbq FOMO:)

Build Your Own

If you are not one to eat chicken, or want to try something different out, try this meal with black beans instead!

Not in the mood for black beans either? Give shrimp a try!

If you want to skip the rice, add some extra lettuce and make it into a taco salad!

Some other great toppings that you could include are red onion, tomatoes, jalapeños, greek yogurt, regular salsa, etc.

Grilled Chicken Taco Bowls

Yield: 4-5 servings Prep time: 30 minutes Cook time: 15 minutes

The Ultimate Bowl

  • 1 cup uncooked white basmati rice
  • Chicken (see below)
  • Corn salsa (see below)
  • Guacamole
  • Shredded iceberg/romaine lettuce
  • Mango or pineapple
  • Feta or cheddar cheese
  • Cilantro and lime wedges to top

Chicken

  • 16 oz boneless skinless chicken breast (4 small-medium chicken breasts)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Juice of three limes
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt

*Make the night before or the morning of.

Prep

  1. Add all ingredients except chicken to a bowl and mix together.
  2. Add chicken breast and make sure marinade is coating all of the chicken.
  3. Let sit in the fridge until meal time.

Grilled Corn Salsa

  • 4 pieces of corn OR 1 1/2 cups frozen corn.
  • 1-2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt & pepper (more to taste)
  • Juice of 1 lime

*You can make this ahead of time or the time of meal. The longer the flavours sit together, the better.

Prep

  1. Prep your corn by cooking in cast iron skillet on medium-high heat until nicely charred. (A few pieces may pop as the skillet gets heated, do not be alarmed!)
  2. Add corn and all other ingredients to a medium bowl and mix to combine.
  3. Place in fridge until ready to serve.

The Rest

  1. When you are ready to throw everything together. Start by getting your rice all ready. (I use my rice cooker.)
  2. Prepare all toppings including salsa (see above), guacomole, lettuce, cheese, mango, cilantro, and whatever else you may want to throw on top. Your bowl is your oyster:)
  3. Heat skillet to high heat. Once skillet is hot, reduce heat to medium-high and add marinaded chicken breast along with all the marinade in the bowl. Cook chicken on each side for about 5 minutes.
  4. After five minutes, I like to cut the chicken into thinner strips to finish the cooking on the inside. This also gives the chicken a more charred crispiness.
  5. Cook for another 3-5 minutes.
  6. Once the chicken is fully cooked through, you are ready to put your bowl together with your rice and all other toppings.
  7. Make your bowl with your base of rice and/or lettuce, corn salsa, cooked chicken, and anything else you are thowing on top. Enjoy!

Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates

I am about to put you on to one of the simplest, most delicious appetizers you have ever made. This recipe is so easy, yet so impressively delicious. With the perfect balance of sweet and salty, a nice one or two bite appy, with a soft yet crunchy texture, you will definitely want to try this out.

You can make these in advance and pop them in the fridge until you are ready to serve. We all love an (almost) no bake recipe from time to time.

Appetizers

I feel like holidays and appetizers go hand in hand. I am a huge fan of appetizers, finger foods. Done right, they are little bites of powerful flavours. I am here for it.

You could throw these on a charcuterie board, or serve them on their own, these can slip into the meal plan at any point throughout the night.

The only part of this recipe you will need an oven for is the caramelized pecans. You can make these in advance as well.

Pro tip* Make extra pecans than the recipe calls for because they make an incredibly delicious salad topper. Thank me later.

Health

Dates are a nutritional powerhouse. Check out my other date inspired snack recipe for another way to use them.

Goat cheese, is another one I feel I should talk about for a moment. A lot of the time cheese is seen as a “not so healthy” option. I am gonna set that idea aside, and let you know why. Cheese, goat cheese in particular, is a great source of nutrients, when consumed in small amounts. Similar to nut butter, you don’t need heaping amounts to get all the good stuff out of it.

Goat cheese is a good source of protein and healthy fats, as well as vitamins and probiotics. It also contains a much smaller amount of lactose than regular cheese, which is the carbohydrate in cows milk/cheese that so many people struggle to digest. So if you are someone who struggles with a little bit of lactose intolerance, goat cheese will probably be a better option for your tummy.

Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates Recipe

Yield: 20 Servings Prep time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 20-30 large medjool dates, halved*
  • 120g package goat cheese
  • 1/3 cup raw pecan, small pieces
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • Fresh thyme, in pecan mixture and for topping
  • Pinch of salt

*You can also use honey dates for this recipe as well, they just tend to be smaller than medjool, so instead of halving them you may just cut a slit in them to stuff the goat cheese inside.

Method

  1. Prepare your dates by pitting if needed, and cutting in half.
  2. Preheat oven to 375℉. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Chop pecans into tiny little pieces. (Each pecan should be cut into a quarter size)
  4. Add chopped pecans, maple syrup, salt, and about 2 tbsp of fresh thyme to a small bowl and mix together. Make sure all pecans have a little coating of maple syrup.
  5. Place pecans on prepared baking sheet and roast in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.
  6. Place approximately one teaspoon of goat cheese into the pocket of your medjool dates.
  7. Once the pecans are ready allow to cool before adding a few bits of pecan into each date.
  8. When serving sprinkle extra fresh thyme on top to enhance your taste buds experience.

Nutrition

Per one serving (1/2 medjool date)

Calories: 56 Total fat: 1g Sodium: 71mg Carbohydrates: 10g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 9g Protein: 1g

Peanut Butter Balls

One of my very favourite flavour combinations to ever meet, peanut butter and chocolate. A traditional Christmas dessert made every year in my household. And many others as well. Peanut butter balls are worth all the hype.

Chocolate Debate

Chocolate is easily one of my favourite treats to have here and there whenever I have a sweet tooth. Dark chocolate in particular has a special place in my heart. That being said, if dark chocolate isn’t your kinda vibe, then don’t eat it.

There are a lot of different debates in regard to which chocolate you should or should not eat. I encourage dark chocolate over milk chocolate if you like it because it is overall better for you. Dark chocolate is actually considered a super food, meanwhile milk chocolate is considered the enemy to some.

So here are the facts, dark chocolate will most often be less processed and have less sugar then milk chocolate. Dark chocolate has a higher concentration of cocoa (the part with all the nutrients), milk chocolate still has that cocoa, however it is more diluted with milk and sugar, and often other ingredients as well. Since dark contains a higher percentage of cocoa, and less of the other stuff, it will also have a more bitter taste, which some people love, and some people hate.

Here’s my take on the debate. You are free to your own opinion. Since chocolate is something you should most likely be consuming in small amounts, choose which kind you actually enjoy eating. Don’t force yourself to eat dark chocolate if you despise it. Food is meant to be enjoyed. Dessert especially!

Instead of worrying so much about dark vs milk chocolate, try purchasing wholesome fair-trade chocolate brands, with a short ingredients list. No matter if you are buying milk or dark chocolate, it is always important to actually read the fine print, as many brands will add a whole lot of unreadable ingredients…

Peanut Butter

I eat peanut butter every single day. In smoothies, on oatmeal, toast, making peanut sauce, or sometimes just a nice spoonful with chocolate almond milk. Don’t knock it til you try it.

Try buying the natural peanut butter instead of the classic kind. Natural peanut butter is made up of only peanuts, without added oils or sugar. The natural kind’s oil will seperate from the peanuts in the jar. So my tip would be to store it upside down in the fridge so that you have a nice runny peanut butter all the way through!

How to Make

One of beauties of these wonderful peanut butter balls, is how simple they are to make. No fancy tools necessary here.

Mix your ingredients up, form them into balls, freeze for a little bit, and then coat them in chocolate.

Peanut Butter Balls Recipe

Yield: 20-24 Balls Prep time: 20 minutes Freeze time: 2 hours

Ingredients

  • 3/4 C natural peanut butter (Crunchy or smooth both work)
  • 1/2 C oatflour
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3/4 C Milk, Semi-sweet, or Dark chocolate
  • 1 tsp coconut oil

Method

  1. Prepare baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Add peanut butter, vanilla, and maple syrup to a medium size mixing bowl and stir to combine.
  3. Add oatflour and salt to bowl. Mix to combine. It will be quite thick so use your hands to fully incorporate the oatflour.
  4. Shape into 20-24 balls, depending on how big you want them. I made mine a medium size. Place on baking sheet
  5. Freeze for around 2 hours.
  6. Melt your chocolate and coconut oil in a bowl in the microwave. Start for 30 seconds, mix, then microwave for another 30 seconds. Mix again. If not fully melted yet then throw it in for another 30 seconds.
  7. Dip your peanut butter balls into the melted chocolate.
  8. Place balls back on baking sheet and freeze again.

I like to keep these as a frozen dessert, but you can also store them in the fridge!

Nutrition

Per one of 24 balls

Calories: 76 Fat: 5g Sodium 65mg Carbohydrates: 7g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 5g Protein: 2g

Healthy Eggnog

Mmmm… Eggnog. A classic holiday drink that shall never be replaced. There is nothing like grocery shopping mid-october, and seeing the first of the eggnog cartons stocked with the milk. That’s when, before you know it, the holidays are upon us.

Christmas is my favourite time of year. Family gatherings, bright lights, giving to the ones we love, and of course, let’s not forget, holiday food.

As a kid, I always loved mixing eggnog with some milk, and now I love using it as a creamer for my coffees. Or, if rum and eggnog is your jam, this recipe will be perfect for you as well. This eggnog recipe is meant to be enjoyed for all ages 🙂

I am not here to diss eggnog, and the joy it brings to so many, including myself; however, this healthier egg nog recipe will also bring you that same joy. So try it out, and thank me later.

Eggnog

This recipe is healthy and easy. Don’t you love when those two words are in the same sentence? Me too.

All you need is a blender, the ingredients, and someone to taste test with<3.

This recipe is also egg-free, and is therefore vegan, so for any vegans who have not been able to appreciate this magical drink, Merry Christmas.

My Go-to Coffee Drink

I love having an Iced Americano, then adding a few splashes of eggnog, or frothing it. If you do not have a milk frother, it is an investment I highly recommend making. Here is the one I purchased from Amazon. Try a splash of this in your morning coffee, it will definetly put your day off to a good start!

Vegan Eggnog Recipe

Yield: 2 Cups Prep time: 5 minutes Total time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk (or any other milk of choice)
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp all spice

Method

  1. Add all ingredients into a blender, pulse until everything is well mixed through.
  2. Serve however your heart desires.
  3. Double up on the recipe if you are making for a good bunch of people, it won’t last long:)

Nutrition

per 1/2 cup serving

Calories: 71 Fat: 1g Sodium: 87mg Carbohydrates: 15g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 13g Protein: 1g

Avocado Pesto

Pesto has always been one of my favourite sauces to make and enjoy for tossing pasta. The refreshing taste from basil is an unbeatable flavour, and it’s even better when paired with a little lemon juice and garlic.

I love to use this recipe for pasta, pizza, and sandwiches.

Pesto

Is Pesto healthy? Pesto can be a great source of many good nutrients in a small amount. And of course like many other things, is even better for you when you make it yourself. Often times store bought versions contain unnecessary ingredients and preservatives. But you don’t have to worry about those things when you are making this delicious recipe from home. And not only is it good for you, it’s tasty, super quick and easy. It’s a win, win, win situation.

Ingredients

The most common type of pesto is made with the use of basil. This tends to be my favourite kind. For this recipe I also like to add spinach, as it gives it an extra boost of micronutrients, provides more volume to the sauce, and you don’t taste it due to the dominance from the basil powerhouse.

I have a few secret ingredients that are a little different than the average pesto recipe. They are avocado and nutritional yeast. I’ve highlighted all of the goodness that avocado’s provide in my healthy Fudgsicle Recipe. But let’s talk about nutrtitional yeast here for a minute.

I first bought nutritional yeast about a year ago when I heard some influencers talking about it, but not really knowing what to do with it. I have found some great ways to put it to use over the year, and this pesto happens to be one of them. Nutritional yeast is a vegan friendly source of protein. Like all other things, it is recommended to consume nutritional yeast in moderation, and not having a large amount, so don’t go eating spoonfuls lol. However, it is a great way to add a little protein into whatever you are using it for, as well as lots of good nutrients. Nutritional yeast is packed with B-vitamins, one being B12 which is a vitamin that is not found in plant foods unless added through supplements.

I like to think of nutritional yeast as a cheese replacement as it has a very similar taste to cheese. Therefore why I use it in this recipe to give the pesto a cheesy hint instead of using parmesan. That being said, you can also use parmesan for this recipe.

Other ways to use this new ingredient is sprinkling on top of popcorn, in omelettes, soup, this list goes on.

Avocado Pesto Recipe

Yield: 1 C Prep time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 C fresh basil
  • 1 1/2 C spinach
  • 1 medium avocado
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2-3 tbsp lemon (about 1/2 lemon juiced)
  • 1/4 C nutritional yeast*
  • 1/4 C pistashios**
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp each salt & pepper (to taste)***

*Nutritional yeast can be subbed for regular parmesan as well

**I have also used sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds for this recipe and have had equal success.

***May need more or less salt depending on if your nuts/seeds are salted or not. Add to your liking.

Method

  1. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend to combine.
  2. Scrape down the sides as needed.
  3. Enjoy the pesto sauce however you like.

My favourite way to prepare this pesto

Pesto penne with shrimp

  1. Prepare penne according to package. My favourite is the Catelli gluten free brand.
  2. Cook shrimp along with whatever veggies you would like. A few that I would recommend are zucchini, cherry tomato’s, bell peppers, kalmata olives.
  3. Combine everything together once the pasta is ready and toss pesto in with the shrimp and penne.

(Like many other things, this recipe is also delicious with spiralled sweet potato noodles)

Nutrition

Per 1/8 of the recipe

Calories: 111 Total fat: 10g Sodium: 302mg Carbohydrates: 5g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 1g Protein: 3g

Butternut Squash “Mac and Cheese”

With squash season in full force, I give you this incredibly delicious way to make use of the butternut squash you may have laying around. Or, if you don’t have any, here is your reason to go get some!

This healthy Mac and cheese is a vegan twist to an otherwise dairy filled recipe. With the perfectly creamy sauce, you won’t even miss the cheese, believe me! Even though this recipe happens to be vegan, I can assure you that all non-vegan people will appreciate this meal equally as much.

Health

This butternut squash recipe is hitting the mark for all things you are looking for in a good wholesome meal.

I love using Banza chickpea noodles for this recipe. This gives the Mac and cheese a great source of protein, which is what a typical macaroni and cheese recipe tends to lack. The type of noodle does not particularly matter, however I like to use the smaller sized ones, to keep tradition with the classic Mac and cheese recipes.

Butternut squash is a very nutrient dense food, primarily being a source of good carbs. It is rich in fiber, vitamin A, calcium, iron…, the list goes on.

I’m always listing what nutrients are found in the recipes I post, but let’s dive a little deeper into Vitamin A on today’s segment. Vitamin A is the reason why carrots are known for being good for your eyes. This is because it helps to produce the pigments in your retina. (AKA vitamin A helps with good eyesight). Not only your eyes however, it is an essential vitamin for your teeth, bones, soft tissue, and skin.

Veganism

Although I am not personally vegan, I do love incorporating plant-based recipes into my everyday life. I find often people may see the word vegan associated with a recipe and immediately steer into the other direction because it wouldn’t taste good.

That’s where you pull out this recipe and prove them wrong! The “cheese sauce” has a nice cheesy taste from the nutritional yeast, a creamy texture from the cooked squash, and of course you can’t forget the garlic. Blend them up with a few other ingredients and you won’t think twice about the fact that the recipe is vegan.

Note: If you are not personally a fan of nutritional yeast, or simply don’t have it, you can replace the nutritional yeast with parmesan cheese instead. (This will of course make the recipe non-vegan however).

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Recipe

Yield: 8 servings Prep time: 30 minutes Bake time: 15 minutes Total time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 5 cups butternut squash (peeled and cubed)
  • 16 oz Chickpea pasta (I use Banza)*
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 4 tbsp nutritional yeast**
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2-2/3 C unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup water (to soak cashews)
  • 1 tsp salt and pepper

For breadcrumb topping:

  • 1/2-3/4 C homemade breadcrumb

How to make breadcrumb:

  • Take two slices of bread of choice (I used whole wheat sourdough from the freezer)
  • Pulse in a food processor along with 1 tsp of garlic powder, paprika, and cumin
  • Bake on cookie sheet in oven for 10-15 minutes at 350℉.

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 400℉.
  2. Put cashews in a medium size bowl and pour 1 cup of warm water over them. Let soak while you prepare everything else.
  3. Peel and cube your butternut squash. If you have a little more/less then 5 cups don’t sweat it, more just makes a creamier sauce.
  4. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and place cubed squash on it. Drizzle a little olive oil over the squash.
  5. Bake in oven for 20-30 minutes. (You should be able to easily mash a piece with a fork when done.)
  6. Cook your pasta according to package.
  7. Once your squash is ready, drain cashews. Place squash, cashews, spices, nutritional yeast, almond milk, and lemon juice into a blender or food processor and blend to reach a nice creamy sauce. If needed, add more almond milk, however sauce should be fairly thick.
  8. Serve as is or place in a 9×13 baking dish, top with breadcrumbs, and bake in oven at 350℉ for 15 minutes. (This takes it to the next level.)

*You can really use any kind of pasta you want for this recipe, use whatever kind of noodle you favour and go from there!

**If you are not trying to make this recipe vegan you can equally replace the nutritional yeast with parmesan cheese. (You can also add a sprinkle of it on top with the breadcrumbs if you are all about the cheesiness.)

Nutrition

Per 1 of 8 servings

Calories: 311 Total Fat: 10g Sodium: 386mg Carbohydrates: 42g Fiber: 11g Sugar: 7g Protein: 20g

Homemade Pad Thai

Pad Thai is an incredibly delicious, authentic Thai dish that I have always been a huge fan of. From restaurants, to fast food, to homemade from the box, I can honestly say that I have enjoyed this meal any of those ways.

So, considering how delicious it is, it only felt right to try and make my own version from scratch. In comes my homemade pad thai recipe.

The beauty of this recipe is that as long as your sauce stays consistent, you can make it your own by adding whatever kind of protein and veggies your heart desires. I have personally done this recipe with chicken, shrimp, and tofu. I can’t pick a favourite… Sorry.

I like to make my pad thai with a combination of rice noodles and zucchini noodles, I find it really adds depth to the meal as well as added health benefits. (more veggies yay!)

This meal is easily thrown together in a matter of thirty minutes, which makes it one of my favourite weeknight meals when you are in a pinch but still want to eat a wholesome, nutritious meal. No take-out on the menu tonight!

Health

What makes this homemade pad thai better than take-out? Besides the fact that it tastes exceptionally delicious, this pad thai recipe is on the healthier side compared to what you order from a restaurant. Pad thai sauce often has a lot of unnecessary added sugar for sweetness. In this recipe all I use is two tablespoons of maple syrup to give it a little punch of sweetness without overpowering all the other sauce ingredients.

There are lots of good nutrients in the veggies of course, and the reason I add zucchini noodles is not to make the dish “lower carb” or lighter in calories, I find it simply gives a nice added texture to the dish, and feels lighter to eat mixed in with the rice noodles! Do NOT worry, I am pro carbs.

Toppings

Just to take this meal up yet another notch, I highly recommend topping your padthai with some crushed roasted peanuts, fresh cilantro, bean sprouts, and if you are really up for a five star meal, make a little bit of peanut sauce to go along with it. My peanut sauce recipe is linked in with the ingredients!

Homemade Pad Thai Recipe

Yield: 4-5 Servings Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 15 minutes Total time: 30-40 minutes

Ingredients

For the sauce

  • 1/3 C Soy Sauce*
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce**
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • Juice of one lime
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3-4 tbsp rice vinegar
  • optional: 1 tsp chili paste OR top with chili flakes

*Use coconut aminos for a soy free option instead of soy sauce.

**If you do not have fish sauce sub for a little extra soy sauce if desired

For the Padthai

  • 3-4 servings rice noodles
  • 1-2 spiraled zucchini noodle (optional)
  • 2 carrots peeled and julienned
  • 1 bell pepper thinly sliced
  • 3 sprigs of green onion finely chopped
  • 3-inch piece of ginger minced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 package medium firm tofu cubed (or other protein including shrimp or chicken)
  • 1-2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 eggs scrambeled
  • Optional for topping: cilantro, crushed peanuts, Peanut sauce, bean sprouts

Method

  1. Start with making your sauce by mixing all ingredients together in a medium size bowl and set aside.
  2. If using tofu, drain water from package and press between paper towel to remove excess water. Then dice into small cubes.
  3. Mince your ginger, garlic, and green onion.
  4. Chop up all extra add-ins including carrots, bell pepper as well as spiralizing zucchini if using.
  5. Prepare rice noodles according to package, drain water, and set aside.
  6. Heat up a large pan to medium-high heat. Add sesame oil to the pan. Then add green onion, ginger, and garlic. Sautee for 1-2 minutes.
  7. Add in carrots and bell pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes before adding in other ingredients.
  8. Add tofu to the pan and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  9. I like to scramble my eggs in a separate pan and mix it in, however, you can also do them in the same pan with everything else.
  10. Add your sauce to the pan, followed by zucchini noodles. Mix to evenly distribute sauce over all ingredients.
  11. Add in rice noodles and toss everything to spread the sauce throughout. (Taste and add more soy sauce if you like it saltier)
  12. Serve with a drizzle of peanut sauce, crushed peanuts, some cilantro, and bean sprouts if you please. (It is optional but these add-ons take it to the next level.)

*Note that if you are making shrimp or chicken instead of tofu to prepare in a separate pan before adding with other ingredients. Cook your protein in a frying pan with a drizzle of sesame oil, sautée ginger and garlic for 2-3 minutes and then cook your chicken or shrimp.

Nutrition

approximate per 1/5th of the recipe without toppings

Calories: 307 total fat: 14g Sodium: 1 173mg Carbohydrates: 39g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 7g Protein: 16g

Healthy Pumpkin Muffins

‘Tis the pumpkin spice season! There is something special about warm baked goods in the fall, pumpkin spice flavoured of course, that I look forward to every year.

I felt it was necessary to come up with a super simple snack that everyone would enjoy and get into the fall spirit.

As you probably already know based on other posts on this blog, I am a big fan of muffins for a quick snack. They are super satiating and give me that little boost I need before my next meal.

Health

Not only are pumpkin flavoured things delicious to eat, pumpkin is a winter squash that provides a ton of good nutrients. Pumpkin is a good source for things like potassium, calcium, and beta-carotene just to name a few.

The biggest thing to note when purchasing pumpkin purée at the store is to get the raw canned pumpkin, NOT pumpkin pie filling. The pie filling contains lots of extra sugar, and other ingredients that are not nescessary for this recipe!

This recipe also provides a great source of good carbs from the banana, and oats, as well as a little boost of protein from the greek yogurt.

How To Make

Who doesn’t love one bowl recipes? Exactly.

All you have to do for this recipe is grab one medium-large bowl, and you’re all set, no mess in this kitchen!

If you don’t have oatflour on hand, you can easily make some by blending old fashion rolled oats in a high speed blender for 30-40 seconds until they reach a flour consistency. Make a big batch at a time so that you don’t need to do that extra step every time you want to use oatflour!

Enjoy the season!

While these pumpkin muffins are a delicious healthier option, make sure that you still enjoy your favourite thanksgiving treats! Everything in moderation. I definitely see a few slices of my nans legendary pumpkin pie in my future. Enjoy all different types of foods on this special weekend, spend time with the people you love, and make this muffin recipe:)

Healthy Pumpkin Muffin Recipe

Yield: 12-14 muffins Prep time: 10 minutes Bake time: 25-30 minutes Total time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 mashed ripe bananas
  • 1/2 C Plain lactose-free greek yogurt
  • 1/3 C unsweetened almond milk
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3/4 C pumpkin purée
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 C oatflour
  • 2 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder

*Pumpkin spice is super easy to make at home, I used this recipe.

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 425℉.
  2. Start by preparing your oatflour if you haven’t already. Simply take 2 cups of rolled oats and add them to a blender or food processor and blend until they reach a fine flour size.
  3. Take a medium-large bowl and mash bananas.
  4. Mix all liquid ingredients including, yogurt, almond milk, maple syrup, pumpkin, egg, and vanilla.
  5. Add oatflour, baking soda, baking powder, and last but certainly not least, pumpkin pie spice.
  6. Mix to combine all dry ingredients with wet ingredients.
  7. Spray a muffin tin with non-stick baking spray or line with cupcake liners.
  8. Scoop 2-3 heaping tablespoons of batter into each muffin mold. Around 12-14 muffins.
  9. Bake at 425℉ for 5 minutes.
  10. Reduce heat to 350℉ and continue to bake for 24 minutes.
  11. Take muffins out of the oven and let cool until you won’t burn your mouth eating them!
  12. Enjoy with a cup of coffee, some nut butter, maybe read a book. I mean do whatever you want! But enjoy this yummy snack. Okay you get the point.

Nutrition

Based on 1 of 14 muffins

Calories: 94 Total Fat: 1g Sodium: 19mg Carbohydrates: 18g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 7g Protein: 3g

Chia Seed Pudding

Chia seed pudding is a recent meal and snack I’ve been seeing lots of lately, and it’s totally worth the hype. I wanted to come up with my own recipe that had the creamiest, most delicious texture imaginable. It requires minimal ingredients, effort and time.

Chia Seeds

We all know that nuts and seeds provide a ton of good nutrients and are great to include in our diets. Chia seeds in particular, have become quite popular in recent years, and I can understand why. Let’s take a closer look at this interesting superfood.

Fiber. I feel like I’m always talking about fiber because it’s an obvious nutrient that we need, but many people lack. Chia seeds contain 9 grams of fiber in a 25g serving. That’s around a third of you daily needs in just 1 1/2 tablespoons of chia seeds.

Secondly, chia seeds are an awesome source of omega-3 fatty acids. These are so important to include in your diet because they are very essential to brain and heart health. Those are two pretty important organs, so we should do our best to treat them well lol. These fatty acids are found in many fish, like salmon or trout. Chia seeds are a great way to obtain these nutrients for people who don’t tend to eat a lot or any fish.

In 2 tablespoons of chia seeds there are 139 calories, 4g of protein, 9g of fat, and 12g of carbohydrates. Going to show that they are a well rounded seed and contain a balanced amount of all three of the main macronutrients.

Toppings

While of course this chia seed pudding is delicious all on its own, you can amp it up a notch by adding all the toppings! Things like fresh fruit, Granola, nut butter, and coconut flakes are a few of my go-to’s.

Chia Seed Pudding Recipe

Serves: 2 meal sizes or 4 snack sizes Prep time: 5 minutes Total time: 2 hours

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp chia seed
  • 1 C unsweetened almond milk*
  • 1/2 C Plain lactose free greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • Optional: crack sea salt
  • Optional: 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder (or any other flavour you would like!)

*You can use any kind of milk you prefer for this recipe. My favourites are almond milk and coconut milk.

Method

  1. Add all ingredients into medium dish or mason jar and mix to combine.
  2. Refrigerate for 2+ hours (better yet, make it the night before you want to have it)
  3. Once the chia seeds expand in the milk and make a pudding like consistency, enjoy your chia seed pudding by topping it with fresh berries, granola, or whatever you desire and enjoy!

Nutrition

Per 1 of 2 servings

Calories: 215 Total Fat: 11g Sodium: 5mg Carbohydrates: 22g Fiber: 10g Sugar: 8g Protein: 10g

Tofu Tahini Rice Bowl

This meal is in my top 5 for a quick and easy meal to throw together in a matter of 30 minutes. The beauty of this meal is that you can really make it however you like using whatever you have.

It’s also a delicious vegan meal option that all vegans and non-vegans will appreciate. So grab veggies you have in the fridge, press your tofu, nd get started!

Ingredients

Like I said, you can really throw in whatever you like for this meal using what you’ve got in the fridge, however, I of course have some favourites that I will share for this recipe.

The base ingredients are brown basmati rice, tofu, and tahini. The rest is really up to you. I generally like to have eggplant, red onion, and zucchini for my veggies, but I’ll throw in broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, I’ve even throw plaintain in there when we had one and it was a delicious addition.

I use brown basmati rice because it has a particularly delicious taste for this meal, however you really can use whatever rice you would like.

Health

This dinner bowl is literally a nutritional powerhouse. From the healthy whole grains in the rice, to the healthy plant-based protein from the tofu, the fats and protein are sourced from the tahini, as well as all of the good micronutrients in the veggies. This meal is setting you up for success.

Let’s start with tofu. There is so many controvercial conversations about whether or not tofu is actually good for you or not. While of course what I say is purely opinion based, I believe there is room for tofu in a healthy diet. Tofu is a good plant-based source of protein that contains all of the essential amino acids. It’s also a good source of mono-unsaturated fats, (the good guys). The debate with tofu is that it has “estrogen-like” properties that could potentially be harmful to women if consumed in large amounts. Like anything else, having too much of something, sometimes can be unhealthy. From my personal research, and opinion, I think that consuming soy protein in moderation is a perfectly nutritious option.

Tahini next. Sharing similar properties to nut butters by being protein rich, as well as containing good healthy fats, tahini is made from sesame seeds formed into a paste. It has a delicious nutty flavour that can be added into common dips like hummus or babaganoush, or simply made into a delicious sauce for the topping of our tofu rice bowls. It is so yummy and is the star of this dish!

Brown basmati rice is an awesome source of good carbohydrates, being a whole grain starch. We can break the whole grain down into three sections. Bran, which is the fiber it contains, the “germ” which has all those awesome vitamins, and the endosperm, which contains the carbs. The rice also has a low glycemic index, meaning that this type of rice won’t spike your blood sugar, and it will digest slowly in your system after consumption. Hence the whole “keeping you fuller for longer” concept.

Not feeling tofu? Switch it up and use shrimp instead!

Side note: If you have an air fryer, feel free to make up your tofu and veggies and throw them in there to cook! it makes them extra nice and crispy.

Tofu Tahini Rice Bowl Recipe

Serves: 4 Prep time: 30 minutes Total time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked brown basmati rice
  • 1 package medium-firm plain tofu
  • 1/4 C tahini
  • 1/3 C unsweetened almond milk
  • 1-2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp chinese five spice
  • 1-2 eggplant
  • 2 zucchini
  • 1 red onion
  • Any other veggie of choice: cabbage, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, kale, broccoli, sweet potato, carrot, etc.

Method

  1. A couple hours, or as soon as possible before you prepare your meal. Drain the tofu and wrap in paper towel, press down with a frying pan or something with a little weight that won’t crush it lol.
  2. When you are ready to make your meal, start by cooking your basmati rice as you can prepare everything else while it’s cooking.
  3. Preheat your oven to 400℉
  4. Cut tofu into rectangular pieces and lay them out on a baking sheet.
  5. Chop eggplant and zucchini, as well as red onion. Place on prepare baing sheet. (Chop any other veggies you wish to add to your bowl as well.)
  6. Once all of the toppings including the tofu and veggies are ready for cooking, I sprinkle lots of chinese five spice onto them. (This is the main spice in this recipe and adds a ton of yummy chinese flavours to the dish.)
  7. Place veggies and tofu in the oven to cook for 15-20 minutes or as long as nescessary to reach your desired crispiness. Toss/ flip them about half way through.
  8. Prepare your tahini sauce by adding tahini into a medium size bowl, (Or small blender if you have it) then add almond milk, garlic powder, and salt to taste. The amount of almond milk you add can vary depending on how thick you want your sauce. I like my sauce somewhat thin as it makes it easier to mix into the rice bowl when I’m ready to devour my meal:) *Note: If you have a single serving blender this helps to mix the sauce up more efficiently, but it is not nescessary.
  9. Remove tofu and veggies from the oven once ready.
  10. Once rice is done cooking, add to the bottom of your bowl and then load up on the veggies and tofu as well.
  11. Drizzle a healthy serving of tahini sauce on top of your bowl. The sauce is really what pulls this meal together.
  12. Crack a little salt on top if you wish (I always do) and enjoy your delicious bowl of health!

Nutrition

*approximate values based on what I’ve listed above. It will of course vary depending on serving sizes and added ingredients.

Per 1 of 4 servings

Calories: 292 Total Fat: 14g Sodium: 705 mg Carbohydrates: 30g Fiber: 4g Sugar: 5g Protein: 16g