Basic Vanilla-Chia-Pudding

7 May

Lately it seems as though everyone is on the chia pudding bandwagon and I am no exception to this trend. You either love it or hate it-there doesn’t seem to be an in-between with this tiny seed. I personally love it in anything and everything. For only a small serving it is packed with nutritional goodness, including dietary fiber, omega 3 fats, and protein. When soaked with liquid chia seeds expand a lot, making them great for puddings. 

Vanilla Chia Pudding1a

For 1 serving-blend 2 tablespoons of chia seeds with 1 cup non-dairy mylk and the pulp from a 1/2-inch vanilla bean pod. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour up to overnight, making sure to stir every 15 minutes for the first hour. This encourages the pudding to thicken evenly verses clumping together. Top with your favourite fruit, nuts, seeds, shredded coconut, buckwheat groats, and/or cocao nibs.

Vanilla Chia Pudding

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Bananas Foster Smoothie

30 Nov

Traditionally, Bananas Foster is a decadent dessert of warmed bananas in a buttery rum sauce served over vanilla ice-cream…and a far cry from being healthy. I created a plant-based smoothie version that will have you tipping your glass upside down for every last drop.
Bananas Foster Smoothie1

2 large bananas (frozen is best)
1/2-1 cup cold water
1 tbsp vanilla protein powder
1 tsp cinnamon, divided
Caramel Sauce: 2 pitted Medjool dates mashed with enough water to make a syrupy paste.

~In a blender pulse bananas with water, protein powder, and a half teaspoon of cinnamon. Adjust water to desired consistency. Pour smoothie into a large glass. Swirl caramel sauce into smoothie and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon.

Serves 1

Apple Crumble Little Bites

28 Nov

Apple Crumble Little Bites
One of the first desserts I adapted to suit my Vegan lifestyle was an old childhood favourite of mine. Apple Crumble is typically laden with butter and brown sugar but my nearly raw version has neither. By taking my recipe for my crumble and adding a few extra ingredients I was able to create these delectable little bites. Bet you can’t eat just one.

1 med-sized apple, cored/cubed
2 cups medjool dates, pitted (approximately 16 dates)
1 1/2 cups oats, dry measure
1/4 cup almond meal
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Cinnamon and ginger to taste

~In a food processor pulse apple until nearly pureed. Add remaining ingredients and continue pulsing until well combined.
~Shape into bite-sized balls and roll in oat mixture (ingredients/recipe below). Refrigerate to set. Little Bites will keep refrigerated for 1-2 weeks or store in the freezer for up to a few months.

Oat Mixture-Combine 1/2 cup oat flour (made from grinding whole oats in a food processor) with 1 tbsp almond meal and a pinch of cinnamon and ginger.

Apple-Fig Little Bites

1 Jul

As a kid I remember the pantry always being stocked with Fig Newtons…so creating a similar flavour and texture to those tasty little treats brought me right back to my childhood.

fig newton bites2 fig newton bites with apple
8 large dried figs, stems removed
6 pitted medjool dates
1/2 a large apple (like braeburn, fuji)
A dash of cinnamon
1-inch vanilla pod, scraped
1 cup dry oats, ground fine (not into flour per say)
A few tbsp of water (use as needed)

~In a food processor combine dates through vanilla and pulse until combined. Add oats and 1 tsp of water at a time, continuing to pulse until mixture is combined well. Mold into desired shapes. Cover tightly with cling wrap and place in the fridge to set. Dust each individual serving with more cinnamon if you like.

Serves 4

A Sample of My Plant-Based, Muscle-Building Meal Plan

5 Jun

I have been asked numerous times ‘what do you eat’ or ‘how do you get your protein’ so I figured it was about time I shared that in a blog. Although I do meal planning for physique transformations as a living (show prep coach) I don’t count calories or macros in my own diet. Why? Because I’ve done it for so long and I know how to combine foods and create balanced meals to suit my goals at any given time. I am not competing myself and enjoy the freedom of not counting :)

nov 22 daily food journal

My main sources of protein

Tempeh, tofu, edamame

Beans/legumes (canned, dried/cooked, and sprouted)

Sprouts (alfalfa, broccoli, etc)

Green veggies-1 cup provides approx 3-5 grams of protein. If I eat 4 cups that’s 12g at least

Leafy greens-1 cup provides 1-2 grams of protein and I will typically eat at least 4 cups at a given meal

Chia and hemp seeds- provides 5 grams of protein per 2 tbsp (I do consume minimal pumpkin and sunflower seeds, as well)

Minimal nuts/nut butters-I consume a fairly low-fat diet (do not mistake for ‘dieting’) because my body responds better to high carbs/low fat but I have no hard rules

Grains-my main ones are oats (5g per 1/2 cup dry) and quinoa (3g per 1/2 cup cooked). I rarely eat pasta but if I were to it’s buckwheat, spelt, or kamut. The only bread I eat (rarer than pasta) is sprouted or something similar

Buckwheat-provides 1g protein per tbsp (I like to add to my oats or fruit bowls/puddings or make a soaked buckwheat pizza crust occasionally)

Nutritional yeast-provides 6-8g of protein per 2 tbsp

Vegan protein powder-mainly post workout 

I rarely eat out and I cook my meals from scratch (ie I don’t used pre-packaged bean burgers and faux meats, etc)

Meal 1
1/2 cup dry oats
2 tbsp chopped dried fruit (raisins, dates, papaya, etc) and/or buckwheat
1 tbsp hemp protein
1 tbsp chia
Lots of fresh berries or 1/2 apple, chopped

Meal 2
PWO Smoothie
2-3 bananas

1 scoop Vega Sport protein + Maca (on non-workout days I will use hemp protein and/or throw in a medjool date and/or some leafy greens) Mixed with water

Meal 3
Large Salad 4-ish cups leafy greens
Various chopped veggies (carrot, bell pepper, cucumber, beets, onion, corn, tomatoes, zucchini, etc)
1/2 cup beans/legumes
1-2 tbsp nutritional yeast (not always, it depends on the combo of veggies)
1/4-1/3 avocado or 1 tbsp tahini or a small handful of olives (sometimes I don’t add a fat)
Dressed with salsa and/or vinegar (no oil) or I rely on my avocado and/or mango if I’ve added (sometimes I puree kiwi with apple cider vinegar or I’ve been known to splash fresh orange juice on my salad)
*Depending on the type of salad I may add fruit (apple, beet, carrot, with sprouted legumes or a 1/2-full mango in a black bean Mexican inspired salad)

OR

4-ish cups broccoli, steamed + handfuls of a leafy green (either spinach or bok choy usually)
1 med-sized sweet potato
100-150g tempeh or tofu (steamed, baked, or pan-fried (no oil))

1-2 tbsp nutritional yeast

Meal 4
I will typically enjoy some type/variation of a fruit bowl/raw cereal at this meal

1 apple or pear, chopped, with berries, buckwheat and/or chia, and/or a few tbsp of dry oats…sometimes topped with almond milk. Sometimes I sprinkle coconut flakes or chia or hemp seeds on top

1 large piece of fruit (apple or banana typically) with almond butter and raisins or dried mulberries

Apple Crumble-1 chopped apple with raisins and cinnamon topped with oat crumble (oats pulsed with a medjool date, cinnamon, and a few pieces of apple)

Large plate of various fruit with nut butter drizzle or persimmon blended with a medjool date for a dip/sauce. Sometimes I sprinkle the fruit plate with cocoa nibs or coconut or a few tbsp of dried fruit

Chia pudding or (parfait) with fruit (chia blended with almond milk and refrigerated until set/thickened). I often sprinkle buckwheat or dry oats on top

Meal 5

Same as Meal 3 OR

Bean burgers or loaf (beans/oats or quinoa mixed with various veggies and salsa, etc, and pan fried or baked) served with salad or sweet potato + veggies (no bun)

Veggie/bean chili or soup (sometimes served over quinoa or if a pureed soup I sometimes top with roasted chickpeas)

Tempeh/veggie stir-fry with or without a grain (more often without) and sometimes a starchy veggie

Tofu Scramble with 6ish cups of various veggies

Meal 6
I don’t always have a 6th meal but if I do it’s typically a few dried figs with tea or 2 pitted medjool dates stuffed with almond butter or an apple or banana and almond butter or just a piece of fruit

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Cherry-Vanilla Green Smoothie

1 Apr

cherry vanilla green smoothie copy

Raw Apple Fritter Cake

27 Mar

Raw Apple Fritter Cake1

1 med-sized apple, cut/cored
1 1/4 oats, dry measure
6 Medjool dates, pitted
1 tbsp ground flaxseed
Cinnamon to taste
1/2-inch piece of vanilla bean, pulp only
1/3 cup raisins

~In a food processor pulse together all ingredients but the raisins. Pulse until well combined (the batter will be moist but if it’s extremely wet add a tbsp or so more oats), adding the raisins for one quick whirl. Remove the batter and place in plastic wrap and mold into desired shape (I use a mini loaf pan). Refrigerate to set (will keep for a few days in the fridge). Dust with extra cinnamon before serving.

Serves 4 (good sized servings)

Chocolate Mango Parfait with PB Fluff

25 Mar

“So long as you have food in your mouth, you have solved all questions for the time being.”
~Franz Kafka

chocolate mango parfait with pb fluff
1 large mango
2 tbsp chocolate hemp protein (or 1 tbsp hemp seeds + 1 tbsp raw cocoa or carob powder)
1 cup berries of choice
PB Fluff: blend 1 tbsp PB with 1-2 tbsp of almond milk until whipped and fluffy.

~Blend mango with chocolate hemp protein and spoon over half of the berries in a parfait glass.
~Top with remaining berries and PB Fluff.
Makes 1 large serving

Macaroon Smoothie

24 Mar

macaroon smoothie
For this rich chocolatey and coconut smoothie combine 2 ripe bananas with 1 tbsp of carob powder, 1 tbsp shredded coconut, 1 tbsp ground flax, and 2 pitted medjool dates in a blender, with enough water for your liking, and pulse until smooth (coconut shreds will remain in small shreds but it adds to the overall flavour/texture).

I sprinkled my smoothie with extra coconut and a pinch of cinnamon.

Carrot Beet Slaw with Creamy Avocado Dressing

3 Mar


“This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook–try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun.” ~Julia Childs

Carrot Beet Slaw with Creamy Avocado Dressing2a
1/2 a head of med-sized cabbage, chopped
2 med-sized carrots, grated or julienned
1 large beet, grated or julienned
1 tbsp hemp hearts

1-2 tbsp gomasio (or combo of sea salt and sesame seeds)
A few sprigs of green onion, slivered
A handful of fresh cilantro, chopped

~Combine salad ingredients in a bowl and toss with dressing (recipe below).

Dressing:
1/2 an avocado
1 mango, chopped
Juice from half a lemon
1-inch piece of ginger, minced

~Puree dressing ingredients and toss with salad ingredients.

Serves 4 side dishes (I ate it all myself as a main dish)