Monday, December 10, 2012

Gluten-Free Chocolate Peppermint Brownies

I promise I eat more than just dessert but the holiday season is upon us. And with the season comes lots of baking and treats.  I have been seeing black bean brownies floating around on Pinterest. Ever since making my Chocolate Chip Blondies which are made with chick peas or white beans I knew I had to give these a try! I adapted the recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie and I gave them a holiday spin for an Instagram challenge from my girl Sheereen.

Yes, there are black beans in these brownies. No, you can not taste them at all. The black beans actually makes them chocolatey rich. I understand if your still skeptical about putting beans in your brownies. I used to be one of the most pickiest eaters I know (or as I like to call it particular- meaning I like things a certain way). But over the course of my healthy eating journey I have learned not to knock it until you try it! I will now try anything....well almost anything, just to see if I like it. I try to leave the mental part of what I am eating out and just enjoy the flavors of food. What I have found is many food items I thought that I "hated" I actually really like. I encourage you to step outside your comfort zone. Get creative with your ingredients, try something new, and re-try something you dislike. Who knows you may surprise yourself and you have nothing to loose!

These chocolate peppermint brownies are sure to be a crowd pleaser  for your next holiday event- or chocolate craving! Don't tell anybody your secret ingredient and I doubt they will ever guess.



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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Healthy Chocolate Chip Blondies- OH MY!

I am clearly on a healthy baking kick. I love baked treats and when I don't have to feel bad about eating them it is a win! Not to mention this dessert is gluten free and vegan if you omit the chocolate chips. Below is the original recipe with what I used in parentheses.



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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Clean Eating Guacamole

Truth- I used to strongly dislike avocados, but I have always liked guacamole. The one day it occurred to me that guacamole is really just mashed up avocados. So I gave avocados another shot and guess what? I love them! The key to avocados is eating them at their perfect ripeness. Open them a day or two too early to find hard flesh with little flavor. Open them too late and you'll find a browning avocado with an odd texture. But open them at the peak of perfection and you will find a creamy and rich avocado. I always have avocados on hand in my kitchen. I buy bags of 4 avocados at Trader Joes for $2.49 making them very affordable.


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Monday, December 3, 2012

Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sweet potato chocolate chip cookies- these may be the best healthy clean eating cookie I have ever had! They are moist and soft just the way I like my cookies. The sweet potato acts as a natural sweetener and the addition of nut butter gives them a richness I love.


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Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Wonderful Chia Seed & Banana Chia Pudding

I was first turned onto chia seeds by my natropath about a year ago. He raved about chia seeds and how wonderful they are as an anti-inflammatory. Inflammation is often the cause of what we recognize as pain. I guess I was so convinced that I walked out of his office that day with a bag. At first I didn't really know how to incorporate chia seeds into my diet. I started with adding them to my smoothies, which makes them almost undetectable. Chia seeds expand when combined with liquid so they almost act like a binder and keep my smoothie nice and thick.  I also use them in baking- fruit crisp (helps absorb the fruit liquid similar effect as corn starch but clean), banana bread, oatmeal, jams, the possibilities go on and on! Here is some more information on the nutritional benefits of chia seeds.

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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Easy Cilantro Lime Quinoa

When it comes to fast food, which I typically avoid at all costs, Chipotle is among the exceptions. Unfortunately for me, there is no Chipotle here. I don't know why! Chipotle would be an instant success in our little college town. Seriously anyone considering a franchise opportunity, BRING CHIPOTLE TO BELLINGHAM.

Well for now, I am stuck without a Chipotle. One of my favorite things is their cilantro rice. They even offer brown rice now, score! I made a Chipotle inspired quinoa that is a delicious and easy side dish.



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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thai Red Chicken Curry - Clean Eating Style

I want to go to Thailand just to eat their food all day everyday that's how much I love it. This dish is incredibly flavorful, easily adaptable, and quick! Curry is one of my go-to recipes when I am in a pinch. Don't let the word curry scare you. Your taste buds will dance with every bite. Try this recipe next time you are ready for a culinary adventure or if your a curry lover like me :)

 
Recipe Rundown:

Serves 3-4

1 1/2 cups brown rice
2 chicken breasts cut into thin strips (Or other protein of choice)
1 bell pepper, large dice
1 small onion, sliced
Other veggies of choice (Green beans, snap peas, potatoes, broccoli)
1 tbs coconut oil
2 tbs red curry paste (I use Thai Kitchen)
1 can light coconut milk- or full fat for a creamier curry
1/2 lime, juice squeezed into the sauce
1/2 tbs fish sauce
1/2 tbs agave
1/2 tsp grated ginger (Tip: I keep ginger in my freezer and just grate off how much I need so I always have ginger on hand)
1/4 cup chopped Thai basil (regular basil works too)
Crushed red pepper (to taste, depending on how much heat you can handle)

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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Roasted Spaghetti Squash Seeds

Why didn't I think of roasting my squash seeds sooner? I mean I LOVE roasted pumpkin seeds so why I didn't have the ah-ha moment on my own is beyond me. I got the idea from an Instagram post (of course!) and let me tell you never again will my squash seeds go to waste. I made my roasted seeds from spaghetti squash but I am sure the seeds from other squashes would be good too. You just may need adjust roasting time based on the size of the seed. *Note* I didn't roast the seeds from my Delicata squash because they were fairly small.

Ok here is the scoop on the seeds:

Spaghetti squash seeds
Olive oil
Black Pepper
Sea salt
Cayenne powder or red chili powder
Roasting pan

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Clean Delicata Squash Puree

This Delicata squash puree is a perfect fall side dish. It is simple as roasting squash and using a food processor to puree it. If you don't have Delicata squash I am sure this recipe would be wonderful with any other winter squash (acorn, kabocha, butternut). I got these squash from my wonderful CSA program at Cedarville Farm in Bellingham, WA.

Here is the recipe rundown:

2 Delicata squash, split in half seeds removed
1 tbs of olive oil (or coconut oil)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbs almond milk (can be sub. with whatever type of milk you prefer)
1 tbs maple syrup
Salt & Pepper to taste
Additional spices (optional)
Food processor/ Blender 
Baking sheet


 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Once your squash are split and seeds removed place on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Then sprinkle with the cinnamon. Bake for 30 mins or until tender. When your squash is done it should look something like this.


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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Clean Eating Herb & Goat Cheese Stuffed Burger

It is a fairly large statement to make but this might just be one of the BEST burgers I have ever had. These burgers we just so flavorful and moist I didn't want dinner to end! I got the inspiration for these burgers from Kevin over at Fit Men Cook. He is such a huge inspiration both in the gym and the kitchen. I love cheese, probably a little too much, and goat cheese is one of my favorites. This recipe is totally adaptable to what ever type of ground meat and herbs you'd like to use for your burger.

Here is the recipe rundown:



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Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Banana, Rice Cake

Truth. I have a sweet tooth. I always have and probably always will. Frankly I'm ok with that. My new philosophy is there is pretty much a way to satisfy any craving while still keep it clean and my sweet tooth is no exception. You just gotta get a little creative and think outside the box! Well this recipe isn't all the creative but it's simple, easy, and one of my favorite quick desserts.

Here is the rundown of what you will need:

2 rice cakes
1 banana
2 tbs peanut flour, I use PB2 (you can substitute regular peanut butter but PB2 is much lower in calories)
1 tbs water
2 squares dark chocolate, Trader Joes Dark Chocolate Lovers Bar
A drizzle of honey (optional)
Zester or cheese grater

Pictures of the products I use....




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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Clean Chocolate Yogurt Dipped Strawberries

Chocolate and strawberries may be one of the most decadent combos. Here I have created a clean eating chocolate dipped strawberry that is guilt free and delicious!




Here is what you will need:


1 1lb container of strawberries 
1 cup greek yogurt *Note* I had yogurt dip left over at the end so you could make more strawberries
3-4 tbs cocoa powder (to taste)
1 tbs dark cocoa powder (this really helps give it a rich chocolate taste, if you don''t have dark cocoa powder sub for 1 more tbs of regular cocoa powder)
Stevia to taste (I used NuNaturals Liquid Stevia and used about 40 drops)
2 tsp honey
Baking sheet/ Plate
Parchment paper 


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Spaghetti Squash "Pasta" with Turkey Meatballs and Garlic Herb Marinara Sauce!

Spaghetti squash has really become one of my new favorite vegetables! I must admit I was skeptical. The first time I had heard of spaghetti squash was a few years back when a co-worker brought it to work. At the time I was eating horribly and the thought of making spaghetti squash would have never crossed my mind. Well boy oh boy was I missing out and times have changed! I swear you could totally mistake the squash for some angel hair pasta. So if you haven't tried spaghetti squash yet, now is the time to step out of your comfort zone. Trust me, you will be happy you did.









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EASY Peasy Homemade Nut Butter

Today I made homemade nut butter for the first time. Honestly guys I don't why I haven't done this sooner!? So delicious and the possibilities are endless. You can use whatever nuts you have on hand for this and get as creative as you want! Just thinking about all of the options makes me a little giddy inside...almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts, peanut nuts, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts are among a few of the other nuts I have been thinking about trying. You could add cocoa powder, different extracts, cinnamon,  the list goes on and on! Well for my first attempt I started simple, but you can BE SURE you will see some more homemade nut butter creations in the future my friends.

Here is what you will need:


-Food Processor

-Nuts of choice
-Spices or extracts (optional)

For my Almond Cashew Sunflower Seed Butter I just used what I had on hand and it turned out amazing. Use your favorite nuts!


Recipe:


1 1/2 cups roasted unsalted cashews

2 cups raw almonds
1/2 cup unsalted sunflower seeds


 (Sunflower seeds not pictured, I decided to add them in half way through)

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Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Official Start of Something New!

I have been wanting to start this blog for ages! And TODAY is the official beginning. It also just so happens to be Marley's (my adorable golden retriever) 2nd birthday! Happy Birthday Mr. Marley! So my first post just might be the next thing I bake...a doggie birthday cake...but hey even Marley will be eating clean in his special birthday treat. Gotta spoil my baby boy. 

As I get closer to my weight loss goals it is time to commit to a new lifestyle change. Clean eating! For those of you who are unfamiliar with clean eating it is basically eating whole unprocessed foods. No artificial sweeteners. No chemicals. Just whole food greatness! There are many different takes and but I'd like to be eating clean 85% of the time. My goals is to clean out my diet, reduce sugar intake, incorporate more vegetables into my food, and get into a regular work out routine. Now don't be surprised if you see a cheat recipe every now and again. But even with cheats we will make healthy swaps. I am documenting my journey to help inspire others to make the changes they want to see in their life.


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