Chunky Monkey Banana Muffins (refined sugar and dairy free)

Chunky Monkey Banana Muffins | Refined Sugar & Dairy Free

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The Best Banana Muffins

Recipe yields 12 muffins.

This banana muffin recipe is one of my favourites and it just so happens to be healthier than most! I used my basic banana muffin recipe, drizzled them with chocolate & peanut butter and topped them with walnuts to make them the Chunky Monkey version. You can also leave them as is cause they are also really good just on their own!!

  • These muffins are easy to make with basic ingredients. Only one bowl required.
  • They’re made with 100% whole grains, yet they’re fluffy and delicious. No one will know the difference.
  • They’re also naturally sweetened rather than loaded with refined sugar. You can use maple syrup (or honey) offers a touch of extra flavour!
  • They are dairy free and use either olive oil or coconut oil instead of butter.
  • These muffins also freeze well. Just defrost individual muffins in the microwave for 30 to 60 seconds, or until gently warmed through.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil. I prefer coconut oil as sometimes you can slightly taste the olive oil depending on the brand you use.
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 2 eggs, preferably at room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cup packed mashed ripe bananas (about 4 bananas)
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice or water (I used almond milk)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling on top
  • 1 3/4 cups regular or white whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup old-fashioned oats, plus more for sprinkling on top
  • Optional: once out of the oven and cooled drizzle with melted chocolate (dairy free if avoiding dairy), melted peanut butter and add chopped walnuts or pecans to make these Chunky Monkey style!

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (165 degrees Celsius). Grease all 12 cups of your muffin tin with butter or non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the coconut oil and maple syrup together with a whisk. Add the eggs and beat well. Mix in the mashed bananas and milk, followed by the baking soda, vanilla extract, salt and cinnamon.
  3. Add the flour and oats to the bowl and mix with a large spoon, just until combined. If you’d like to add any additional mix-ins, like nuts, chocolate or blueberries, fold them in now.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups, filling each cup about two-thirds full. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with a small amount of oats (about 1 tablespoon in total).
  5. Bake muffins for 22 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.
  6. Place the muffin tin on a cooling rack to cool.
  7. Once cooled drizzle with melted peanut butter and chocolate and top with walnuts if you want!

*These muffins will keep at room temperature for up to 2 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. They keep well in the freezer in a freezer-safe bag for up to 3 months (just defrost individual muffins as needed).

Enjoy!!

xo Chelsea

Healthy Homemade Gummy Bears

Healthy Homemade Gummy Bears

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These healthier homemade gummy bears are super easy to make and are made with unsweetened fruit juice and have no added sugar.  Not only do these have way less sugar than regular gummies, they are made using Organika’s Bovine Gelatine Powder which is high in protein, great for gut health, and reduces joint pain.  It is also known to help increase brain function and reduce the signs of aging.  Bonus!!!  I promise they look WAY more difficult to make than they are- all you need is some unsweetened juice, gelatin powered, and a gummy mold!!

Feel free to get creative as there are so many options of what kind of juice you can use.  I have used fresh pressed juice, unsweetened fruit/veggie juice, as well as different smoothie blends and they all turned out well. I have also used this recipe to make rosé gummies and simply replaced the juice with a cup of rosé wine!!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsweetened 100% juice
  • 2 tbsp gelatin grass-fed is best (I like Organika’s Bovine Gelatin Powder)
  • Silicone gummy molds (I ordered mine on Amazon) or an 8″ x 8″ glass baking dish

Instructions:

  1. Pour the juice into small saucepan.
  2. Bloom your gelatin- this is done by adding it to the top of the juice and letting it sit for 3 minutes until it appears almost wrinkly and somewhat absorbed.
  3. Stir the gelatin well into the juice, then heat gently on a low temp until the juice is very warm but not boiling. This is important, do not overheat!!
  4. Keep stirring until the gelatin is fully dissolved.
  5. Pour the mixture into silicone molds or an 8-inch by 8-inch glass baking dish that’s been very lightly greased with coconut oil. You don’t have to grease the silicone molds if you decide to use those. How many gummy snacks you’ll end up with depends on how big your molds are.
  6. Refrigerate the Homemade Gummy Snacks for at least 2 hours, then pop them out of the molds. You may want to freeze them for 15 minutes before you try to unmold.

Recipe Notes

Keep these gummy snacks refrigerated in a covered container. They keep for 3 to 5 days. If you want them to be a bit sweeter you can also add a tbsp of honey to the juice after the gelatin while heating the mixture.

xo Chelsea

 

Birthday Cake Protein Donuts

Birthday Cake Protein Donuts

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Donuts have to be one of my all time favourite treats ever since I was a little girl.  While I’ll often allow myself to indulge in the ‘real deal’ on occasion, I love that I can whip up a fresh batch of protein donuts that are a little easier on the waistline in no time.  These donuts are baked not fried and made with coconut flour, protein powder, and a no calorie sweetner so they have way less calories and fat than your traditional donut.   They are also sugar free and gluten free.  I’ve experiemented with a few different recipes and have finally found one that I love! These are super easy to make, soft and really delicious. I also love that you can top them with your favourite flavour of icing and sprinkles.  I mean who doesn’t love a fresh donut topped with icing and sprinkles?? I sure do!!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup vanilla protein powder (I like Perfect Protein by Botanica Health), you can purchase it here at: https://botanicahealth.com/product/perfect-protein-vanilla/
  • 1 whole egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup sweetener (I used Swerve)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
For the frosting
  • 1/2 cup butter room temperature
  • 1 cup Swerve no calorie icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk of choice (I used unsweetened almond milk)
INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F
  2. Mix dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Mix wet ingredients in a separate mixing bowl.
  4. Pour the dry mix into the wet mix and mix until fully incorporated and smooth.
  5. Pour your batter into your donut pan.
  6. Bake for 15 min or until the bottom is a golden brown and the top bounces back up when touched.
For the frosting:

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients into a stand mixer and blend on high until smooth.
  2. Continue to add additional milk for desired consistency. Makes 1 1/4 cup or 10 ounces.
  3. Does not need refrigeration once on donuts.
  4. Unused frosting can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks or frozen for up to 3 months.

Recipe makes 6 donuts.

Hope you enjoy these as much as I do!!

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

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

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

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

8602460 - spaghetti with  pesto sauce,cherry tomato and cheese

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