Healthy Blueberry Mufffins- oil, sugar, dairy, and flour free!

Healthy Blueberry Oat Muffins- oil, sugar, dairy, and flour free!

Blueberry Muffins

This is one of my favourite muffin recipes!!! It’s the same recipe as my Apple Crisp Muffins but I added blueberries instead. They are made without flour, dairy, sugar, or oil and are sooo good! My family ate the whole batch in 2 days!!!! I love that they are loaded with blueberries and use whole grain oat flour, almond milk, and natural honey.

Here is what makes these a little more nutritious:

•Toasted oatmeal replaces bleached white flour. (Use oats labeled gluten-free for healthy gluten-free muffins.)

•Bananas/applesauce keep the muffins moist instead of the usual oil or butter.

•A bit of honey sweetens the recipe instead of refined white sugar.

•These can be made using gluten free oats to make them gluten free.

I love this recipe because you can get creative and add your favourite add ins. I have used this basic oat muffin recipe a lot and like to swap out what I put in them to switch things up!

Here are some of my favourite add ins and the recipe below:

  • frozen blueberries Tip-I keep mine in the freezer until the very end when I’m ready to add them to the batter, then I rinse them in cold water and pat dry. This will keep them from turning your batter blue or purple!                                                               chocolate chips
  • 1/2 zucchini and 1/2 apple
  • 1/2 walnuts and 1/2 raisins
  • fresh or frozen raspberries

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Muffin Recipe

Ingredients:

2 ½ cups old-fashioned oats ( 2 cups ground, 1/2 cup whole)
2 Tbsp old-fashioned oats for muffin tops (unless adding crumb topping-see below for ingredients and recipe)
3 large overripe bananas (1.5 cup mashed or or 1.5 cup applesauce- I used applesauce)
1 cup blueberries (or your favourite add in like 1 cup berries, OR 1/2 cup grated zucchini and 1/2 chopped apple as an example)
2 large eggs lightly beaten
1/3 cup honey
3/4 cup milk (I used almond milk)
2 tsp real vanilla
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
Muffin tin

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place oats on a baking sheet and toast until lightly browned, stirring once (about 4 to 6 minutes). Do not let these get too toasted! Then cool to room temperature. *Note-If you are in a hurry you can skip this step, however the toasting adds flavour!)
  2. Divide oats into portions of 2 cups, .5 cup and 2 Tbsp
  3. Turn oven heat up to 350 degrees.
  4. Place 2 cups of oats in a food processor and blend/pulse until they reach a rough, flour like consistency.
  5. Mash bananas well, they should have no lumps. I use my mixer to mash them before adding the other wet ingredients.
  6. Add eggs, honey, milk and vanilla. Mix to combine.
  7. Add dry ingredients (including the ground oats and .5 cup whole oats) to wet ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Allow these to sit for 10 minutes to soak the oats.
  8.  Fold in approximately 1 cup fruit (I like them with lots of fruit!), raisins or nuts.
  9. Scoop into muffin tin, lined with muffin wrappers (makes 12 muffins).
  10. Sprinkle muffin tops with the 2 Tbsp of reserved oats or crumb topping (see recipe below) and press lightly to make sure they stick.
  11. Bake at 350 for about 20 -23 minutes, a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin should come out clean.

Enjoy!!

xo Chelsea

3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Banana Oat Cookies

3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Banana Oat Cookies

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I call these little treats Mookies!!  They are a super healthy banana cookie with a thick chewy texture.  Made with ripe bananas, oats, and natural peanut butter they are made from whole foods with no added sugar, eggs, flour, or dairy!  They are quick and easy to make and you can add you favourite mix -in like chocolate chips (these obviously add sugar but I like a little dark chocolate in mine!), raisins or a combo of both if you like!

My family loves these for breakfast or as a healthy snack! We hope you like them too!

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Ingredients

2 large mashed bananas

1 cup oatmeal (raw normal Oats or quick Oats)

1 heaping spoonful of natural peanut butter or almond butter (1-2 tbsp)

Dash of cinnamon

Optional:

Chocolate chips, nuts, raisins… 2- 3 tbsp of your favourite add in!

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Mash banana in a mixing bowl.

3. Add peanut butter and mix together.

4. Stir in Oats and cinnamon.

5.  Add chocolate chips, nuts, etc and stir until mixed into batter.

6. Drop by the spoonful onto a baking pan.

7. Bake for 15 mins or until slightly browned and let cool.

8. Enjoy!!

xo Chelsea

 

Healthy Oat Waffles

Healthy Oat Waffles

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We LOVE the weekends and one of our favourite things to do is make waffles for  breakfast.  This is my favourite waffle recipe and it doesn’t disappoint.  I find I have more time to make a bigger breakfast on the weekend than I do during the week but these waffles are super easy and can be made any day of the week!  They are refined sugar free, made with oats (oat flour), and don’t contain any butter or dairy.  I’ve made a lot of healthy gluten free waffles before but these are really GOOD.  They actually get crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside unlike some gluten free waffles.  If we somehow end up with leftovers I freeze the extras and pop them in the toaster for breakfast during the week!!

Makes 12 waffles

INGREDIENTS

3 cups oat flour (blend oats in a food processor until they reach flour consistency) *I use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free oats but normal oats work fine.

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

Pinch of cinnamon

1.5. cup room temperature milk of choice (I use unsweetened almond milk)

1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil or 5 tablespoons butter, melted if you prefer

4 large eggs

4 tablespoons maple syrup

2 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

INSTRUCTIONS
1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: oat flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients: milk, melted coconut oil or butter, eggs, maple syrup and vanilla extract. (If your coconut oil solidifies on contact with cold ingredients, gently heat the wet mixture in the microwave in ten seconds intervals, until it melts again.)

3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined (the batter will still be a little lumpy).

4. Let the batter rest for 10 minutes so the oat flour has time to soak up some of the moisture. (This is important so don’t skip this step)

5. Turn on your waffle iron to preheat now.
Once it is ready, give the batter one last stir with your spoon. Pour batter onto the heated waffle iron. Let cook until the waffle is nice and golden (you want it slightly crispy), then transfer it to a cooling rack. It is important not to stack your waffles on top of each other, or they’ll lose their crispness. Repeat with remaining batter.

6. Serve waffles with maple syrup or any other toppings that you prefer!

Enjoy!!

xo Chelsea

 

Healthy 4 Ingredient Chocolate Fudge Mini Donuts

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These easy to make protein mini donuts are soooo good! They are rich and chocolately with a silky texture that almost melts in your mouth! Loaded with protein, healthy fat and antioxidants, they are FULL of healthy ingredients and free from refined sugar, oil, or flour. Oh and don’t worry, you can make these into brownies if you don’t have a donut pan!! They are a prefect healthy treat for satisfying a sweet tooth!!!

Ingredients
2 cups mashed banana (about 6 medium, overripe bananas)
1 cup smooth peanut butter (use almond or cashew butter for paleo/low-carb)
½ cup chocolate protein powder (I like Vega Sport)
¼ cup cacao powder

Instructions
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two mini donut pans or a small 8×8 baking dish. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the mashed bananas, nut butter, and whisk until fully combined. Stir in protein powder and cacao powder with a wooden spoon. Pour batter into a greased pan.Bake for 12-20 minutes or until cooked through.

Cool fully before cutting or removing from the pan. These little treats are a lot better fully cooled! Cover the leftovers and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

I added a little icing and toasted coconut to dress these up.  To make the icing I took Vega protein powder and added a drizzle of almond milk until I had the consistency I wanted.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!!

xo Chelsea

Fresh Thai Noodle Salad

Fresh Thai Noodle Salad

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I’m a huge fan of ethnic food and love dishes that pack a ton of flavour.  This cold Thai Noodle Salad is so fresh and flavourful and it’s perfect for dinner or brining as a dish to a potluck. It is really easy to make and it is better when made in advance so it has time to marinate.  The recipe serves 6 and is always a hit when I make it for friends.  Hope you enjoy this one as much as I do!!

Vinaigrette:

1/4 cup Fresh Lime Juice

3 TBSP. Vegetable Oil

3 TBSP. Soy Sauce

2 TBSP. Brown Sugar

1 TBSP. Sesame Oil

1 TBSP. Minced Garlic

1 TBSP. Grated Lime Zest

1 TBSP. Minced Jalapeno Pepper

Salt and Pepper to Taste

Salad Ingredients:

1/2 LB (one bunch) Green Beans or Asparagus Spears Trimmed

8 oz. Brown Rice Noodles or Fresh Chinese Egg Noodles

2 Cups Peeled, Shredded Carrots

1/2 Cup Slivered Red Peppers (I added orange ones too)

1 Cup Thinly Sliced Green Onions

Cilantro (if desired)

Directions: 

  1. Wish vinaigrette ingredients together and set aside.
  2. Cut green beans or asparagus diagonally into 1/2″ pieces.  Cook in boiling water until tender crisp (be careful not to overcooked!), plunge into cold water (to retain colour) and set aside.
  3. Cook noodles according to package directions then drain.
  4. Toss cooled noodles with  with vegetables and vinaigrette.
  5. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
  6. Garnish with green onion and cilantro before serving.
  7. Enjoy!

xo Chelsea

Tips to Stay on Track With Your Fitness Goals

Tips to Stay on Track With Your Fitness Goals

5D62C72C-7F21-4C13-9549-9DED8A52297EI get asked often how I stay on track with my fitness goals and I thought I would share some of the things I do to keep active!! I really enjoy working out as it makes me feel good. I notice that my energy increases, I feel happier/less stressed, and mentally I feel stronger. There are times tho when I do fall off the wagon and that’s okay, we all have our ups and downs and it important to remember not to be so hard on yourself!!

We are also all at different fitness levels and have different goals for ourselves. Everyone is on their own journey so it’s important to remember that you need to do what YOU enjoy and makes YOU feel good. I know that when I’m not active I don’t feel great so I make an effort to get back into my routine so that I can start to feel good again!

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Here are some tips on how to stay on track:

1. Set goals

Start with simple goals and then progress to longer range goals. Remember to make your goals realistic and achievable. It’s easy to get frustrated and give up if your goals are too ambitious. I try to take it week by week. I’ll focus on the upcoming week and make a plan for one week at a time so it’s not so overwhelming!

2. Make it fun

Find sports or activities that you enjoy, then vary the routine to keep you on your toes. If you’re not enjoying your workouts, try something different. Go for a hike, try a new class or maybe join a sports league. Discover what you like to do and have fun with it! I like to also switch up my activity to keep from getting bored.  I go through phases where I’m really into spin and then phases where I’m really into yoga or hiking outside. Instead of doing activity you think you should do, do something you actually want to do!!!

3. Schedule your activity

If it’s hard to find time for exercise, don’t fall back on excuses. Schedule workouts as you would any other important activity. I schedule my workouts each week and add them to my schedule. I also pre sign into classes at my gym so that I mentally know what I’m doing and when for the upcoming week. Having it in my schedule helps to keep me on track.

4. Put it on paper

Are you hoping to boost your energy? Sleep better? Lose weight? Write down your goals. Seeing the benefits of regular exercise and writing your goals down on paper may help you stay motivated. I enjoy to workout as it helps me reduce stress and feel good. I have personally never been a fan of the scale and setting goals to lose a specific amount of weight. I find it sets me up for failure when I am too focused on losing a specific amount of weight and constantly weighing myself. Instead I focus on how working out makes me feel and I go by how my jeans fit. If they are tight I know it’s time to eat a little better and get a bit more exercise. What’s important tho is you need to do what’s best for YOU!! What makes you feel good? What doesn’t make you feel good? How do you want to feel? These are questions you have to ask yourself so you can set goals pertaining to you!

Xo Chelsea

Healthy Apple Crisp Muffins- no oil, no sugar, no dairy, no flour!

Healthy Apple Crisp Muffins- oil, sugar, dairy, and flour free!

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Muffins are an easy and highly portable breakfast/snack option but are typically laden with sugar and oil which can make them less than healthy.  I’m always looking for ways to make things a bit more nutritious and try to avoid refined sugar, bleached white flour, and butter when I can.  Don’t get me wrong it’s not that I never make anything with butter, flour, or sugar, heck I love a good ol’ fashioned shortbread cookie and couldn’t live without making some of those around the holidays but I do try to make small changes when I can to ensure that we eat healthy whole foods as a family!

I made these oatmeal muffins without flour, dairy, sugar, or oil and they turned out so well! My family ate the whole batch in 2 days!!!! They are made with apple sauce, whole grain oat flour, almond milk, chunks of apple, and natural honey.

Here is what makes these a little more nutritious:

  • Toasted oatmeal replaces bleached white flour. (Use oats labeled gluten-free for healthy gluten-free muffins.)
  • Bananas/applesauce keep the muffins moist instead of the usual oil or butter.
  • A bit of honey sweetens the recipe instead of refined white sugar.

These can be made using gluten free oats to make them gluten free and the best part, you can customize the batter to make your favourite muffin flavour! I used chopped apple and shredded zucchini for this batch and they were really good!! Zucchini is a great way to sneak in some extra veggies and it also helps to add moisture to the batter without using oil or butter.

I did add a crumb topping to mine which my kids absolutely loved. I mean who doesn’t love a little oat crisp on top?! The extra sweet crunchy oats really add another layer of deliciousness. You can omit this however if you prefer. I love this recipe because you can get creative and add your favourite add ins.  I have used this basic oat muffin recipe a lot and like to swap out what I put in them to switch things up!

Here are some of my favourite add ins and the recipe below:
  • frozen blueberries *Tip-I keep mine in the freezer until the very end when I’m ready to add them to the batter, then I rinse them in cold water and pat dry.  This will keep them from turning your batter blue or purple!
  • chocolate chips
  • 1/2 zucchini and 1/2 apple
  • 1/2 walnuts and 1/2 raisins
  • fresh or frozen raspberries

Muffin Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups old-fashioned oats ( 2 cups ground, 1/2 cup whole)
  • 2 Tbsp old-fashioned oats for muffin tops (unless adding crumb topping-see below for ingredients and recipe)
  • 3 large overripe bananas (1.5 cup mashed or or 1.5 cup applesauce- I used applesauce)
  • 1 cup add ins (1 cup blueberries, raspberries, OR 1/2 cup grated zucchini and 1/2 chopped apple as an example) you can get creative here!  I added 1/2 cup grated zucchini and 1/2 finely chopped apple. *Note- squeeze out excess water from zucchini before adding
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup milk (I used almond milk)
  • 2 tsp real vanilla
  • tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • muffin tin

 

Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place oats on a baking sheet and toast until lightly browned, stirring once (about 4 to 6 minutes). Do not let these get too toasted! Then cool to room temperature. *Note-If you are in a hurry you can skip this step, however the toasting adds flavour!)
  2. Divide oats into portions of 1.5 cups, 1 cup and 2 Tbsp
  3. Turn oven heat up to 350 degrees.
  4. Place 1.5 cups of oats in a food processor and blend/pulse until they reach a rough, flour like consistency.
    Healthy Zucchini Muffins contain no oil, no refined sugar, and no flour. The oil and sugar are replaced with ripe bananas and the flour is replaced with whole grain oats. Zucchini and spices give the muffins classic zucchini bread flavor. Enjoy a fall favorites with no gui
  5. Mash bananas well, they should have no lumps. I use my mixer to mash them before adding the other wet ingredients.
  6. Add eggs, honey, milk and vanilla. Mix to combine.
  7. Add dry ingredients (including the ground oats and 1 cup whole oats) to wet ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Allow these to sit for 10 minutes to soak the oats.
  8. Optional: Fold in approximately 1 cup fruit (I like them with lots of fruit!), raisins or nuts.
  9. Scoop into muffin tin, lined with muffin wrappers (makes 12 muffins).
  10. Sprinkle muffin tops with the 2 Tbsp of reserved oats or crumb topping (see recipe below) and press lightly to make sure they stick.
  11. Bake at 350 for about 20 -23 minutes, a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin should come out clean.

Crumb Topping-

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cups coconut oil (in liquid form)- add an extra 1-2 tbsp if your mixture seems too dry once mixed.
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions:

  1. Whisk the coconut oil and honey together until smooth. Place the rolled oats, pecans, almond meal, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Add the coconut oil and honey mixture; stir until combined. Add your mixture to the top of the muffins just before putting them in the oven.

2. Enjoy!!

xo Chelsea

Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies

Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies

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Peanut butter cookies remind me of my childhood.  I am sucker for the old-fashioned ones like my grandma used to make and love when they are crispy on the outside but chewy on the inside.

I have a couple different peanut butter recipes that I like. One is a flourless recipe that contains eggs and this one is a vegan version made without eggs!! It’s a healthier version with WAY less sugar and minimal flour so they are better for you than the ones grandma used to make.

They MELT in your mouth and are bursting with peanut butter flavour.  These cookies are super easy to make and if you are anything like me, you may have a hard time not eating the whole batch in one sitting!!

Ingredients

1/2 cup peanut butter
3/4 tsp baking soda
3 tbsp flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp coconut sugar
2 tbsp applesauce
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Instructions

Mix dry ingredients well and then add wet ingredients. If you want soft cookies, fridge the dough for at least an hour then roll dough into small balls. Bake in a preheated oven (350F) for 8 minutes. They’ll look underdone when you take them out, but that’s ok. Let them cool for at least 5 minutes before removing from tray.

To keep these cookies soft, store leftover cookies in a plastic container. This recipe will make about 12-16 cookies, depending on how big you roll them. For 16 cookies, they’ll have 65 calories per cookie.

Enjoy!

Xo Chelsea

Gluten Free Baked Meatballs

Gluten Free Baked Meatballs

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My family loves Italian food and homemade meatballs are one of my kids’ favourite meals.  There are perfect for making during the week as they are super easy and quick.  I simply whip up my meatballs, pan sear them on the outside, then pour a jar of tomato sauce on top and pop them in the oven.  I find roasting these in the oven in tomato sauce makes them nice and tender and it gives the sauce a nice rich flavour.

I will often make my own homemade marinara sauce or if I’m short on time I will use the Costco Kirkland Organic Marinara.  I like that has no added sugar, is organic, and it actually tastes pretty good for a store-bought sauce!  You can use any sauce you prefer or if you have time to make your own marinara, I have also included my favourite recipe below!!

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You can add the meatballs and marinara sauce to a bed of pasta or zucchini noodles which is my favourite when I’m trying to keep things light!

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The Spiralizer I use is from Amazon and I love it!! It’s so easy to use and is reasonably priced.  Click the picture below if you are interested in buying one!

5 Blade Vegetable Spiralizer

Meatball Recipe

Ingredients:

1 pound lean ground beef or ground turkey if you prefer. Sometimes I mix half and half.  I like to use fresh ground meat for these as I find if the meat has been previously frozen it can be quite wet and it doesn’t seem to taste as fresh or hold up as well as balls.
1 Tablespoon parsley                                                                                                                              1/4 cup finely chopped sweet onion
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1 egg

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2.  Place all ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Combine well using your mixer with the paddle attachment, your hands, or a large fork.
  4. Gently form balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter or use a mini scoop to form balls.
  5. I like to sear my Meatballs in a cast iron pan to get a nice crust on the outside. *If you don’t have a cast iron pan you can also use an oven safe pan.
  6. Lightly spray your frying pan with oil and then brown the Meatballs on all sides on med-high heat.
  7. Once the Meatballs are browned add your favourite tomato sauce.
  8. Next bake at 400 degrees about 15 minutes. Cut one of the meatballs to check for doneness.

* Note- you can also freeze any leftovers. If freezing, let the meatballs cool, then place them in a freezer bag or container.

Marinara Sauce Recipe

Ingredients:

2 (14.5 ounce) cans stewed Italian tomatoes                                                                                    1 (6 oz) can tomato paste                                                                                                                      4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley                                                                                                1 clove garlic, minced                                                                                                                            1 teaspoon dried oregano                                                                                                                    1 teaspoon salt                                                                                                                                         1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper                                                                                                      6 tablespoons olive oil                                                                                                                            1/3 cup finely diced onion                                                                                                                     1/2 cup white wine

Directions:

  1. In a food processor place Italian tomatoes, tomato paste, chopped parsley, minced garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, saute the finely chopped onion in olive oil for 2 minutes.  Add the blended tomato sauce and white wine.
  3. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Spiked Watermelon Mint Refresher

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Spiked Watermelon Mint Refresher

I’ve been a bit obsessed with making watermelon juice lately!  It takes just 1 min to make and I find it sooo refreshing on a hot summer day.  It’s basically just watermelon that is first blended then strained which makes it naturally sweet and delicious.  I like to make it and use the juice in a couple of different ways.  If I am looking for a little extra flavour in my water,  I’ll add a tbsp to sparkling water for a non alcoholic option or when I’m feeling like a tasty craft cocktail,  I’ll add it to a little vodka!

Typically a lot of craft cocktails have added sugar or simple syrup in them.  I personally don’t love super sweet drinks and prefer to skip the added sugar.  I find the watermelon juice adds the perfect amount of natural sweetness.  That being said if you like your drinks on the sweet side, you are welcome to add a touch of simple syrup!!  I’ve been experimenting with different concoctions and I finally found one I like.  I call it The Spiked Watermelon Refresher and it’s one of my favourite summer drinks.  With the fresh juice, lemon, and mint it really is full of flavour and one I’m sure you will like!!

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE WATERMELON JUICE:

1 cup diced watermelon (rinds removed)

FOR THE WATERMELON COCKTAILS:

Handful of mint leaves
1/2 cup vodka
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 cup watermelon juice (see above)
3/4 cup soda water                                                                                                                                 4 small lemon wedges (optional, for garnish)
4 small watermelon slices (optional, for garnish)

DIRECTIONS

FOR THE WATERMELON JUICE:

1. Place chopped watermelon in a food processor. Blend until watermelon is smooth.

2. Place a wire strainer over a large mixing bowl and strain watermelon juice into the bowl. You may need to strain the juice more than once to remove all of the solid pieces – you want a smooth watermelon juice!

3. Set juice aside.

FOR THE WATERMELON COCKTAILS:

1. Add the mint to a large cocktail shaker and muddle with a spoon to start releasing some of the flavor.

2. Add vodka, lemon juice, and watermelon juice to cocktail shaker. Add a handful of ice and shake to chill.

3. Put a handful of ice in each of four drinking glasses and divide watermelon cocktail evenly between glasses.

4. Garnish with a mint leaf, a lemon wedge, and a watermelon slice (optional) and serve immediately.

Cheers!

Xo Chelsea

Marinated Chicken Souvlaki

Marinated Chicken Souvlaki

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BBQ season is in full swing and these Marinated Chicken Souvlaki skewers are a perfect way to eat healthy this summer.  They take 5 mins to prepare, 2 hours to marinate (for the best flavour), and another 15 mins to BBQ.   I like to serve them with tzatziki, a big Greek salad, and a side of pita bread.  The fresh squeezed lemon, garlic, olive oil, and oregano give these a zesty flavour that is sure to impress everyone in the family.

This marinade also works well with tofu, lamb, or beef so you can use the protein of your choice.  You can also add cut up bell peppers on the skewers if you want to add extra veggies.  If I’m entertaining I like to make them with peppers to add some colour.  I just lightly coat the veggies with olive oil before grilling and then I sprinkle them lightly with salt and pepper. I also often make my own garlic tzatziki sauce and have included the recipe below.  Happy Grilling!

Chicken Souvlaki Marinade

Ingredients:

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (1 lemon)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1.5 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces

6 wooden skewers

Greek Yogurt Tzatziki

Ingredients:

1 (6 oz) container plain unsweetened Greek-style yogurt

1/2 english cucumber peeled and grated

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp white vinegar

1 clove garlic, minced

1 pinch salt

 

Directions:

  1. Combine 1/4 cup olive oil, lemon juice, 2 cloves minced garlic, oregano, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large resealable bag. Add chicken, coat with the marinade, squeeze out excess air, and seal the bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
  2. Mix yogurt, cucumber, 1 tablespoon olive oil, vinegar, 1 clove minced garlic, and 1 pinch salt together in a bowl. Refrigerate tzatziki sauce for flavors to blend, 1 to 2 hours.
  3. Pre-heat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil the grate. Soak wooden skewers in a bowl of water for about 15 minutes.
  4. Remove chicken from marinade and thread onto the soaked skewers. Discard unused marinade.
  5. Cook the skewers on the preheated grill, turning frequently until nicely browned on all sides and chicken is no longer pink in the center, about 8 minutes per side. Serve with tzatziki sauce.

Enjoy!

xo Chelsea

 

Fresh Basil Pesto

Fresh Basil Pesto

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Now this is what I call ‘fast food’.  This creamy Basil Pesto Pasta can be whipped up in less than 15 mins and is a family favourite around here.  The pesto is really easy to make and I often put it on top of whole wheat pasta noodles or Zucchini noodles if I’m wanting to keep things light.

Basil is one of the herbs I like to grow at home as we use so some much of it.  I love how versatile it is and that it can be added to so many dishes.  We love using pesto for marinating meats, adding it to garlic bread, or mixing it with our favourite noodles.  It takes just a few cups of fresh basil, a little parmesan cheese, garlic, some pine nuts, and you have a super satisfying sauce in no time.

I like to add cherry tomatoes, additional parmesan cheese, and extra basil if I’m making pasta.  When marinating shrimp I generously brush it on and then throw them on the BBQ for a quick and easy summer meal.  It also is amazing sandwiched between slices of french bread for a delicious garlic toast.  The options really are endless when it comes to finding ways to use up this tasty basil pesto sauce!

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Fresh Basil Pesto

Ingredients:

3 cups packed fresh basil leaves
4 cloves garlic
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts

Directions:

1. Combine basil, garlic, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, and nuts in the bowl of a food processor or blender.

2. Blend to a smooth paste.

3. Enjoy!

xo Chelsea

 

 

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

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Now that summer is upon us I’m always looking for new salad recipes.  This Mediterranean Chickpea Salad is a spin-off of your traditional Greek salad and it’s really delicious.

It’s loaded with lots of goodies and has basically everything except the kitchen sink!  The sun-dried tomatoes, mint, parsley, and chickpeas really take the flavour to the next level. The chickpeas add some good protein and I used a local goat Feta which added the perfect amount of saltiness.

This salad is perfect to bring to your next summer BBQ!  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!!

Ingredients

1 can (15 oz) chickpeas drained and rinsed

1 cucumber diced

4 Roma tomatoes diced

1 pint cherry tomatoes (halved)

1/2 red onion diced

250 grams of feta cheese crumbled or cubed

1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil chopped fine

1 can black olives (or your favourite olives) sliced

3 tbsp mint chopped

1/4 cup flat parsley chopped

Dressing

1/3 cup olive oil

1-2 cloves garlic (I added 2 but love garlic)

1-2 lemon juiced (I used 2 as my lemons were small)

1 tsp Dijon mustard

Dash of Salt and Pepper

Instructions

1.  Make the dressing by placing the dressing ingredients in a container with a lid and shake up.  Or use a blender to emulsify.  Place the dressing in the fridge.

2.  Chop all your veggies and place them in a bowl with your chopped parsley, mint, and chickpeas.  I like to leave a little extra mint and parsley for using as a garnish at the end!

3.  Pour dressing over the salad.  You likely won’t need all the dressing.  I added approx half and then mixed everything to see how it looked.  Everyone has their own preference on how much dressing they like and I personally don’t like when it gets too soggy.

4.  Add the cubed Feta and toss again.

5.  Place the salad in the fridge until ready to serve.  Remove and toss before serving. This is where I will add more dressing if it seems to need it.

6. Garnish with crumbled feta, parsley, and mint if you like.

7. Enjoy!

xo Chelsea