Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Oatmeal Flavour Variations

Cold days like this that make me crave heavy foods. Often times, these heavy foods tend to be quite unhealthy.

That being said, I try to fill that craving with different variations of oatmeal. Oatmeal is a warm, heavy food that can be nutritious, satisfying and easy to digest.

For those of you who like a creamy texture in their foods, try oatmeal with coconut cream and bananas.

For people craving a spicy warmth, try oatmeal made with a dash of turmeric powder and a drizzle of honey.

For added protein, top your oatmeal with an all-natural nut butter like almond butter, cashew butter or peanut butter.

You can even make oatmeal into lunch or dinner by mixing it with a curry base and adding some pre-cooked chicken or turkey.

Eat well and stay warm!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Chickpea Muffins

This muffin recipe will allow you to make high-protein, gluten-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free muffins.

To begin, preheat your oven to 350°F.

In a mixing bowl, combine together the following dry ingredients:
- 1 1/2 cups chickpea flour (a.k.a. garbanzo bean flour, gram flour or besan)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- a pinch of salt
- 6 tablespoons lucuma powder

Side note:
At this moment, you're probably wondering, 'what the heck is lucuma powder?'. Lucuma is a fruit native to Peru. In Canada, one can by lucuma in powdered form. It is relatively expensive, compared to refined white sugar. This one-pound package cost me $18.79 at a health food store. (No one said healthy alternatives were cheap. If it's worth anything, the package below will last me for approximately 1 year.)

The fruit powder is sweet and can be used as a sugar substitute. It is low on the glycemic index, which makes it suitable for individuals with diabetes. Additionally, it has a mild maple/butterscotch flavour.

To the dry ingredients, add the following wet ingredients and mix thoroughly:
- 2 ripe bananas (mashed)
- 2 tablespoons all-natural peanut butter
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 container crushed apples (100 mL)
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup water

At this point, add 3/4-1 cup of carob chips or chocolate chips. I used unsweetened carob chips.

Using a spoon, fill muffin papers with the chickpea batter, so that they are almost full.

Bake the muffins for 20 minutes and enjoy.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Egg Cups

If you're on a high-protein diet, these egg cups are for you.

Take 2-3 slices of deli meat and line the sections of a disposable muffin tin. I would strongly advise you to use disposable tins, as it makes clean-up very easy. Also, there is no need to grease the tins prior to use.

Try using all-natural deli meats that are made without preservatives. I find that sliced chicken or turkey works best.

Once lined, crack an egg into each of the meat-filled sections.

Bake in a 375°F oven for approximately 20-25 min.

For variations, try adding cheese (dairy or non-dairy), spices and/or herbs.

They stay well in the fridge and are very easy to heat up. These egg cups make a great addition to breakfast, lunch or dinner and they also make a fantastic snack.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Pizza Rolls

These pizza rolls are actually easier to make than they look. The prep time is approximately 7 minutes and the method is really easy...stupid easy, actually.

Begin with an amount of pre-prepared dough. You can buy fresh dough a number of places including grocery stores, bakeries or even your local pizza shop.

On a clean surface, dusted lightly with flour, roll out the dough into a semi--rectangular shape. There is no need to flip or turn the dough. Just roll it out on one side. You may need to lightly dust your rolling pin with a bit of flour in order to do this.

Once rolled out, smear on a layer of tomato paste with the back of a spoon.

Sprinkle on some dried oregano.

Fold the dough along the long end of the semi-rectangle.

Continue rolling the dough over to the other end.

Using a knife, cut the rolled dough into sections that are approximately 2 inches in length.

The sections will resemble cinnamon buns.

Arrange the sections on a cake pan greased with olive oil. Once in the pan, spray the segments liberally with olive oil.

Sprinkle some sea salt on top and bake at 350°F for 30 min.

Delicious and easy. Try adding other ingredients, in with the tomato paste, to create your own pizza roll flavours.