Clean Eating Recipes

Here are some ideas to get you started.

Quinoa Wonder Bars recipe

Full of protein, fibre, magnesium, and other nutritious goodies, quinoa (pronounced “keen-wa”) is a magic super-grain that is amazingly beneficial for your body.  Combine it with a few other tidbits, and you’ve got yourself some Quinoa Wonder Bars, perfect for a pre- or post- gym snack, or a quick breakfast as you run out the door.

I’ve already doubled the recipe here, as I’m assuming you’d like to make 38 at once.  Am I wrong?

1 cup quinoa (dry)
2 cups dried appleQuinoa Wonder Bars recipe
2 cups raisins (aka sultanas)
1 cup dates
1 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (aka pepitas)
3/4 cup slivered almonds
3/4 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup chia seeds (black or white or mixed)
1/2 cup sesame seeds
6 eggs
4 Tbsp maple syrup 
4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp powdered ginger (optional, but adds an extra zip of flavour)
rind of 1 orange

(Try to go for organic, chemical- and preservative-free ingredients… a bit hard with the dried apples, but try.)
 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 160° C (320 F).

Line two baking trays with baking paper.

Cook the quinoa: Add the 1 cup of dry quinoa to 2 cups water in a pot.  Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, for about 12 minutes.  

Then cool the hot quinoa to room-temperature or cooler (or cook it the night before and put it in the fridge overnight.  If you skip this step, you’ll wind up with cooked eggs, so don’t.)

Chop the apple and dates into small pieces, or use a food processor for this. 

Mix all the ingredients together. 

Divide the mixture in half and spread evening across the two baking trays.  Press it down firmly. 

Bake for around 28 minutes.

Cool on a cooling rack, then slice into bars with a serrated knife (try for store-bought granola bar size).

Makes about 38 bars.  If you’re not feeding an army, put some in the freezer for later as they freeze really well and thaw quickly.

 

Hugo eating Quinoa Wonder Bar

Even Hugo (8.5 months old) loves these. (Don’t worry, there’s no choking going on.)


(To give credit where it’s due, this recipe is an adaptation of the one found at http://naturalnewagemum.com/gluten-free-nut-free-muesli-bars/  Many thanks for the great idea, Sonia.)

 

 

 

Raw Chocolate-Almond-Craisin Fudge recipe

Hey Guys,

Well, after a rather lengthy blogging hiatus due to post-baby happenings (you can read all about Hugo’s birth story here), I’m back with more nutritional shenanigans, the most important of which is DESSERT…

…and a healthy one at that.

I’ve been trying super hard to eliminate any and all chemicaly yuckiness from my diet, but still have some fairly enormous chocolate cravings, so this recipe ticks both boxes.

Now, if you have massive self-control issues when it comes to all things chocolate (like me), you might want to reduce this recipe by half… or share share share a full recipe with many, many friends.  It is seriously SO hard not to eat the whole pan in one day.

Raw Chocolate-Almond-Craisin Fudge

Although they look brownie-sized here, they are actually cut into teensy, bite-sized pieces.

So, here you have it… raw chocolate-almond-craisin fudge:

Ingredients

•¾ cup coconut oil
•½ cup coconut butter (aka coconut paste)
• ½ cup cacao powder
• ½ cup maple syrup (I put an extra dash of this in)
•pinch of fine sea salt
• 1/3 cup craisins (dried cranberries) or freeze-dried raspberries
•¼ cup slivered almonds
• 2 tablespoons cacao nibs

 

How to make it:

•melt and mix coconut oil and coconut butter together (I did this in a glass measuring cup in the microwave)

•whisk in the cacao powder until smooth, then add the maple syrup and salt. Whisk again until completely combined

•mix in the craisins, slivered almonds, and cacao nibs

•pour into parchment-lined cake pan, dust with additional cacao powder, and leave to set in the fridge for at least 1 hour

•cut into small, bite-sized pieces

store in fridge (also freezes nicely, and thaws very quickly- ie, in your mouth)

 

ps- to give credit where credit is due, this recipe has been adapted from http://www.flannerys.com.au/recipes/post/raw-chocolate-raspberry-fudge

Chocolate Chick Cookies

My friend Jolene recently linked to a healthy cookie recipe on Facebook- she said it was not to be missed, and she was definitely spot-on.  The great thing about these little “chocolate chick cookies” is that they are high in protein from the chick peas, and also contain the good type of fat that your body needs (from the peanut butter).

Chocolate Chick Cookies

Hot outta the oven – at their most delicious stage

The first time I made them I just did a test run with a single recipe to see what all the rage was about, and decided everyone was right- they’re amazing.

However, they were also a bit of a pain in the butt to make since the peanut butter and honey got a little crazy, so the next time I decided to go big or go home.

Since I’m having a baby in a couple weeks and probably won’t be in the baking spirit for a while afterwards, I made 5 times the recipe last weekend and froze most of them.  They thaw out really quickly if you just leave them out on the counter for a few minutes… no need to microwave them or anything.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups chickpeas, drained and rinsed (=1 can =420g)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup natural peanut butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup natural honey

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (leave these out if you really want them to be sugar-free)

1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional, but I’ve tried them with and without, and they’re definitely better with)

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F / 177 C

Cover your baking pans with baking paper.

1. In a food processor, or using a hand blender like the Bamix, combine all the ingredients (except for the chocolate chips and walnuts) and process until very smooth.

Tip: heat the peanut butter and honey a bit in the microwave to make them easier to measure and pour, but not too hot or else the dough is too runny and the chocolate chips melt when you add them   🙁

2. Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts

3. Use two spoons to plop the dough into 1-2 inch drops on the baking paper

4. Bake for about 12-15 minutes. They are soooo amazingly delicious when the chocolate is still warm!

 

-makes 15 cookies

-store in the fridge

 

ps- original recipe is from Bethany Jane’s blog, although I’ve changed a few things around 🙂 Thanks, Bethany.

 

Mediterranean Spaghetti recipe

You know how it is when you’ve made all your “good” dinner recipes a thousand times and are bored of them, but also can’t come up with anything new?  That awful stuck-in-a-rut feeling?

That’s how I was feeling a couple months ago… and it just so happened that I found a sale on massive cans of soup and bought like 12 of them for our dinners for a couple weeks- Andrew was NOT happy a couple days into that scheme.

mediterranean spaghetti recipe

Fresh and ready to eat

 

But then we went to Fiji for a week’s holiday, and something about the way these people cooked influenced me to toss together a few fresh morsels when we got home, which resulted in some new creations, one of which is this Mediterranean Spaghetti one.

Here’s what to do and use:

For each serving/plate, toss together

  • a handful of cooked brown rice spaghetti (healthier than normal spaghetti, even the whole wheat kind)
  • 1/2 a tomato, diced
  • 1/2 an avocado, diced
  • a handful of smoked salmon, cut into flakes or cubes (which you buy already cooked)
  • a dribble of extra virgin olive oil
  • a couple shots of lime juice
  • a topping of some freshly shaved or grated parmesan cheese

Soooo good, filling, and healthy.  Andrew was pleased that we were outta the soup phase (although one leftover can still lingers in our pantry), and I was glad to be out of my rut.

Also, if you’re making this for dinner, you can chuck a couple extra portions into a container for lunch the next day.  Done and done.

Any other fresh dinner or lunch ideas that you love?  Please share in the comments below… the simpler the better.  🙂

 


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Coconut Avocado Cookies (gluten- and dairy-free)

These little gems have been a big hit with the health-nut crowd I hang around… they’re gluten- and dairy-free, and nearly sugar-free as well… I guess if you omit the chocolate chips it would be the perfect health-food snack option, but I like to leave a little bit of fun in there  😉

coconut-avocado-cookies

Fresh out of the oven on the cooling rack

 

What’s In Them:

1 cup coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
2/3 cup choc chips
1/4 cup shredded coconut

 
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 ripe avocado, mashed with a fork
1 cup almond milk
4 tbsp honey
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs

What to do:

Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C)

In one bowl, combine all dry ingredients, (first 6 things).  Un-clump any clumps of coconut flour.

In a second, larger bowl (or in pitcher using the Bamix), add in the remaining 7 ingredients, mashing the banana and avocado with a fork. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in bowl, mixing well.

Let sit for 2 minutes for the coconut flour to absorb some of the moisture. (Seriously, this works, although I’m not sure why.)

Spoon out dough blobs of about 2 tablespoons each onto a greased baking sheet.  Bake cookies for 20 minutes, or until golden-brown.

(For some reason, they taste MUCH better after refrigerating for a couple hours, as they come out of the oven quite crumbly and a bit mushy-tasting)

Makes about 2 dozen cookies

Let me know what you think (or how yours turn out) in the comments below.

 

Dal Bhat recipe

By popular demand, here is the Dal Bhat recipe I use for an amazing clean eating dinner that is high in protein and low in fat.  Dal Bhat was a staple when I was trekking the Helambu Circuit in Nepal a few years ago… every place you stayed at would offer you this for dinner since this is what they were eating themselves.  Of course you could order something exotic like spaghetti with tomato sauce (if you wanted to pay triple).

dal bhat recipe

“Dal” is the lentil stew part, and “Bhat” is the rice over which it’s served.  You can eat the Dal alone, or with some brown rice underneath.  I usually just eat it alone and only add the rice if I’m extra hungry or need more carbs.  Anyhoo… here’s the recipe for the Dal:

2 Tbsp olive oil
5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 onion, chopped
250g lentils (any kind) or split peas, soaked for 3-4 hours beforehand
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp cumin
2-3 tomatos, sliced
3 cups hot water
2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp coriander, chopped

Soak lentils in water for 3-4 hours, then and drain and rinse.
Heat oil in large soup pot (or wok) over medium heat.
Add garlic and onions; saute until translucent, but not browned.
Add lentils and cook for 10 minutes, stirring often.
Stir in the spices and lay the tomato slices on top.
Put lid on for a few minutes to allow flavors to soak in.
Add water, bring to a boil, then bring down to a gentle simmer and cook covered until soft- about 50 minutes.
Remove from heat and mash, or use the Bamix blender right in the pot to roughly puree.
Add the salt and cilantro.

dal bhat

Leftover Dal Bhat portions ready for the freezer.

Leftover Dal Bhat freezes super well in individual portions for quick and easy clean eating lunches.

I have a stash of frozen “emergency lunches” in the freezer that I can take to work just in case I’ve got nothing else for some reason.  It happens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thai Pumpkin Soup recipe

Hey Guys, sorry for the lengthy blogging hiatus, but I promise you there’s a good/mysterious reason, which I’ll post about soon.  But first, by popular demand, here’s the recipe for this delicious Thai Pumpkin Soup I recently stumbled upon somewhere that I totally can’t remember now.

 

Thai Pumpkin Soup

 

Ingredients:

  • 25 grams butter
  • 1 medium-sized onion, diced
  • 800 grams pumpkin, peeled, then diced (this equals about one average-sized pumpkin/squashy thing)
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup coconut cream
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder (this makes the soup mild-medium spicy… +/- a bit of chilli powder to achieve the amount of spice you need in your life)
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, finely minced

 

What to do:

  • Melt butter over medium heat and saute onions in the butter
  • Add diced pumpkin, vegetable stock, coconut cream, curry powder, chilli powder, and ginger
  • Bring to a boil, then simmer gently on low heat for about 30 minutes with lid on.  Give the pumpkin a poke to make sure it’s tender/soft.  If not, keep simmering for a few more minutes
  • Load into the blender to puree it all, or insert the Bamix handheld blender straight into the soup pot and puree there (this is much easier)
  • Garnish with plain Greek yogurt if desired (I usually don’t)
All ready for the freezer- lunch when I need it

All ready for the freezer- lunch when I need it

 

This Thai pumpkin soup freezes well in small portions for meals on the go…always a bonus.

When we were in Thailand last year, I took an all-day Thai cooking class, which was amazing, but the recipes were pretty much un-replicateable.  However, this soup tastes bang-on authentic… totally recommend.

 

Motion Potion Smoothie recipe

Ate a little too much junk over the Easter weekend and feeling it in your gut now?  Here’s a smoothie that will get things moving in the backdoor department… I like to call it “motion potion.”

smoothie ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 green apple
1 banana
1 peach
1 plum
1/2 cup of frozen blueberries
1/8 cup of chia seeds
1 cup of prune juice (or sub in water if you don’t have any)

What to do:

Cut up all the fruits in large chunks and place in blender, or in a pitcher if you’re using a hand-held stick blender.  Blend till smooth (the apples took the longest to blend… should have cut them up smaller before blending).  Makes about 3 big glasses full.

I used my Bamix mixer, which is definitely the BEST blender I’ve ever used… seriously, I use it SO often, and the best thing about it (apart from it not smelling like burnt rubber like a lot of my previous blenders), is that it’s super fast and easy to clean… basically just rinse under the tap and put back into its holder on the counter.  Waaaay better than taking apart a million pieces, washing and drying them all, and then trying to figure out how to put them back together again.  (And no, Bamix is not paying me to write this 🙂 ).

bamix smoothie

Half-way through the blending… the Bamix goes super fast.

Healthy Work Lunch

You know how it is…  you rush out the door to work in the morning without packing a lunch, which leads to you buying crap in the caf, or worse, buying your lunch from a vending machine.  Of course this sucks if you’re trying to lose or maintain your weight and fitness.

The answer, my friend, is to be prepared… to think ahead.  You’ve heard it said that “your body is made in the kitchen,” and it’s true.  You can’t expect to work out but then eat whatever you want, and still look amazing.

So… here’s what I’ve found to work the best… pack a lunch full of little things that will keep you going throughout the day.  Remember that it’s best to eat small meals every 2-3 hours instead of eating three massive meals.  Here’s what my typical healthy work lunch looks like:

 

healthy work lunch

eating every 2-3 hours keeps you fresh throughout the day

 

10 am (ps, I eat breakfast at 7 am)

1. two 3-ingredients healthy cookies

2. small container of raisins, pecans, and almonds

1 pm (lunch)

3. half a wholewheat English muffin topped with a mixture of boiled eggs, avocado, and greek yogurt, as well as two small slices of baked yam/sweet potato

4. small container of celery (we wash and cut up a whole huge bunch for the week at once)

3:30 pm

5. peach (if they’re not in season I have an apple, orange, or banana)

6. one small piece of my full flavoured healthy banana bread. (I only have this if I’m staying at work late; if not, it’s just the peach)

 

I take pretty much this same exact lunch to work every day.  The only thing that really changes is the main meal (#3 above) as it’s usually leftovers from the night before’s dinner.  I make enough for lunch the next day, and you can see some of these recipes at clean dinner recipes and clean lunch recipes.

The good thing about packing a lunch like this is 1) you won’t be hungry, and 2) even if you’re tempted to eat more, you’ve only brought a certain amount along, so you can’t.  This is the reason I don’t haul my whole bag of nuts along to work… I can’t control myself to eat only seven almonds 🙂

What do you like to take along for lunch?  Post it in the comments below.  🙂

 

 

Peachy Protein Smoothie recipe

Weekends at our house means it’s time to bust out the Bamix and blend up some fruity goodness.  Last weekend it was the raspberry protein smoothie, but this time I went a bit more orchardy and created this peachy protein smoothie:

 

peachy protein smoothie

yes, I’m aware that the smoothie matches my counter…

 

At the last minute I decided to throw in some chia seeds (especially after researching all their health benefits), which made the smoothie a wee bit thicker than I thought it would be… but still totally delish.

 

Here’s the recipe:

1 peach

1 nectarine

1 banana

2 scoops BioTrust protein powder, vanilla cream flavour (low-carb, all-natural, and hormone-free… so good)

1/2 cup Greek yogurt

1 cup almond milk

2 tablespoons chia seeds

 

What to do:

Blend it all up in a blender, or use a handheld mixer.  Keep all the ingredients out in case you feel like making any last-minute adjustments (too runny?  Add more fruit.  Too thick?  Add some more almond milk.)

The beauty of the humble smoothie is that you can prepare most of it the night before:

 

peach smoothie ingredients

ready to hang out in the fridge overnight

 

… and the next morning when you’re done your workout (or sleep-in), just add the frozen ingredients (if any), and blend away.  Magic.