Crispy Kale Chips

I have been continuously looking for the perfect healthy snack and I am definitely one who craves chips.

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So many people have suggested I try making kale chips so that is exactly what I did. I found a great recipe on a blog named Kansas City Mamas. I was really surprised how good they were! They were equally salty and crunchy, exactly what I look for when I eat chips. The better part was that they are made out of kale so you don’t feel so guilty while eating them.

Since it was my first time making them I wasn’t sure how much sea salt to add so I overdid it so some chips were especially salty, but overall still good. I am already excited to make my next batch and perhaps be creative with the seasoning I put on them.

These would be perfect healthy snack for a get together or movie night!

Happy Saturday!

Enjoy!

Mackenzy 

 

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Kale Chips

Modified from Kansas City Mamas

Ingredients:

Kale

Sea Salt

Olive Oil

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Take the kale off of the steam and break into smaller pieces, be sure to throughly wash and dry kale. Place in a large bowl and add enough olive oil to cover all of the kale and then sprinkle with the sea salt. Toss around kale until evenly coated. Place on an ungreased baking sheet, try to evenly lay out the kale. Depending how many chips you are making you may need to roast in different batches. Place in oven for approximately 15 minutes or until crispy. You can serve them warm or at room temperature.

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Chocolate Avocado Quinoa Muffins

So forget my last post about the spring weather coming, this weekend the winter chill came right back. However, that was not stopping us, we went adventuring in downtown Toronto on Saturday. Emily (my best friend more like my sister) was delivering her presentation about her research, so Karen (pretty much my second mom) and I took advantage of this opportunity to go wandering downtown Toronto. We began at the St.Lawrence Market, I have never been so I was a little overwhelmed. However, what a great place it was, it had so much to offer, we spent three full hours there. I found a quaint little crepe place and devoured an apple, cinnamon and cheese crepe. Boy was it ever good!

We were on the hunt for organic vegetables, cheese, homemade hummus and roasted eggplant dip and we left with exactly all of that. This place would definitely be perfect if you lived in Toronto and wanted fresh meat, fish and cheese. The perfect place to get your basics and I will most certainly be back!

On our trip back we found the food trucks in Hamilton, I have never witnessed so many food trucks with so many options, from a grilled cheese truck to the soup bus. I found myself at the Greek food truck and left with chicken souvlaki on a pita.

This morning Emily and I were on the hunt to bake something, when I remembered that my friend Lauren made these Chocolate Avocado Quinoa Muffins so I followed the recipe on her blog, Make Something. She brought some of these muffins to class last week and I have been thinking about making them ever since.

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There are so many good aspects about these muffins. The yummy chocolate banana taste, the moist consistency and finally how healthy they are for you. No word of a lie, the consistency is like a brownie, who could resist that? These muffins are gluten-free and vegan, because the flax egg is used instead of an actual egg.

I must admit I was very skeptical about the avocado in them at first but you cannot even taste it once it is mixed with the banana.

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Enjoy!

Mackenzy

Chocolate Avocado Quinoa Muffins

Ingredients:

Dry 

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 cup  cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

Wet

1 cup cooked quinoa

3/4-1 cup honey or maple syrup

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk/soy milk

1 medium-sized ripe avocado

1 large, very ripe banana

2 tbsp coconut oil

1/2 cup chocolate chips (we used dark chocolate chips)

Flax Egg (1 tbsp ground flax seeds and 3 tbsp water)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place 1 cup of uncooked quinoa into 2 cups of water, bring to a boil and then let simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Add a tablespoon of freshly ground flax seeds into a small bowl, then add 3 tbsp of water. Whisk thoroughly and let sit in the fridge for at least 15 or so minutes, until the consistency thickens. This is your vegan binder, a substitute for eggs.

Combine all the dry ingredients into a medium sized bowl and mix together.

Puree or mash by hand the avocado and banana. You can use a splash of almond milk to get it mixing, we didn’t need to do that however.

Once mashed, combine with the rest of the wet ingredients in a separate bowl.

Combine the thickened flax egg to the wet and mix all together. Then add the wet ingredients to the dry. Don’t over mix!

Then we cut up the parchment paper into little squares and placed them in the muffin tins and filled them up.

Bake for approximately 20-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. The insides may seem a bit undercooked but that’s ok!!!

Makes approximately 12 muffins.

The Best Way to Start Your Day

The smell of spring is in the air or maybe I am just being very hopeful, either way the first day of spring is this coming Thursday and I love the beginning of a new season. So I purchased a new pair of running shoes to start the season with a new stride. The new trends this season are really bright and flashy so I went for a beautiful hot pink pair. I am preparing to run in a few 5k races this spring/summer.

Along with my running I will be focusing on finding snacks that are loaded with protein and will stay with me. I feel this is a daunting task especially for me, I love snacks but most of the snacks I grab are lacking protein.

Until a friend of mine, Emily, shared this cookie recipe with me, she found it on Sallys Baking Addiction. Boy was I ever happy she shared this recipe, these cookies are by far one of the best cookies I have made in a long time. I am always struggling to find a cookie that’s healthy and tasty at the same time, these cookies were just that.

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All of the parts to these cookies make them protein packed including bananas, peanut butter, oats and almonds to name a few. On top of that they are naturally sweet with the peanut butter and natural maple syrup or honey.

I often run into problems when finding a good, healthy cookie, they seem to be too dry or taste awful. Well these cookies don’t have those issues at all, they are extremely moist and dense. There is no butter, no eggs, no flour and no sugar and you won’t even be able to tell that they aren’t there!

AKA, these are a guilt free cookie.

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It was extremely easy to make these cookies, the entire process of combining, mixing, making and baking took about 30 minutes. Which makes them ideal to make on Sundays when you are prepping for the week.

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These cookies are the ideal breakfast cookie, if you were to add a scoop of yogurt and fruit with it, it would be exceptionally delicious or they would be easy to eat on the run.

Try them out and let me know what you think!

Enjoy!

Mackenzy 

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Breakfast Cookies

Ingredients:

2 and 1/3 cups of quick oats (not whole oats)*

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup almond or peanut butter

1/4 cup pure maple syrup or honey

2 large ripe bananas, mashed

1/3 cup dark chocolate chips

1/3 sliced almonds (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325F degrees. Line large cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.

Combine all of the ingredients into a large bowl. Using a large rubber spatula or wooden spoon, mix until all of the ingredients are thoroughly combined. The dough will be sticky and thick.

Each cookie will be roughly 3 Tablespoons of dough.  Drop this amount onto prepared cookie sheet and slightly flatten the tops into desired thickness. The cookies will not spread in the oven.

Bake for 15 minutes until edges are very slightly brown. Don’t bake any longer or the cookies will taste dry. Allow to cool on the cookie sheets completely. Cookies stay fresh at room temperature for 1 week. Cookies can be frozen up to 3 months.

* Quick oats are more finely ground than whole oats and easier to mix into the cookies. If you only have whole oats put them into a food processor for a few minutes to make them a little smaller and easier to combine.

Healthy Sweet Potato Chips

Healthy Sweet Potato Chips

Click on the link above and watch an instructional video on how to make these Healthy Sweet Potato Chips.

Healthy Sweet Potato Chips

Ingredients:

Sweet Potatoes (I used two)

Olive Oil (enough to evenly coat them)

Sea Salt (a few dashes)

Peel the sweet potatoes, using a mandolin thinly slice the sweet potato, toss them in a bowl with olive oil and sea salt. Lay the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and place them in the oven at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Half way through flip them over for a more crispy taste.

Enjoy!

Mackenzy 

Simply Delicious Healthy Pancakes

Okay, so how perfect has the weather been these past couple days? Spring is sure is our near future. I have purposely been making trips that involve me walking somewhere just to soak up the time outside. I am also back into my running, I went for a couple runs this winter, but me and the cold weather do not mix. It feels great to get my stride back.

As you all know, I love cooking/baking and I am always looking for new recipes that will equally taste good and be healthy. I have been making these pancakes for the past few months now, they are SO simple and yet so delicious. They are protein packed, so they keep you feeling full and they are not loaded with sugar. Ultimately resulting in the perfect way to start your day.

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I know some of you might feel uneasy with the idea of cottage cheese, but let me tell you, I wouldn’t eat it alone but in these pancakes you cannot even taste it. I highly recommend them!

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As you can tell I love fruit so I warm up the fruit and load the top of the pancakes up. Now this just makes you feel like it’s the weekend and you can sit back and enjoy a good coffee and breakfast.

Enjoy!

Mackenzy 

Simple Delicious Healthy Pancakes

1 500g container of cottage cheese

1 500g container of egg whites

Oatmeal

In a food processor, mix the cottage cheese and egg whites. Blend until smooth. Next, add in the oatmeal, I never measure the exact amount so I add in the oats until the consistency seems like a pancake consistency. So not too liquidy and not too thick. Finally, mix in lots of cinnamon (I love cinnamon so I add a lot). Then simply fry them up, because they are not like normal pancakes they will not bubble to tell you they are ready, so you need to watch them closely. Also, the trick is to make them thin so that they cook all the way through by the time they are ready to flip.

Suggested playlist while making these pancakes: http://8tracks.com/klee-mackinnon/coffee-books

Easy Vegetarian Chili

This past week as been perfect is every way, shape and form. My family has not been on a vacation together for many years and with all of us living in different cities it was time we all reunited for a family vacation. My sister and her husband gave my dad tickets to the Daytona 500 for his retirement last year so timing worked out perfectly for us all to attend. We began the week with the NASCAR race, which let me tell you, I am the newest NASCAR fan and you will be seeing me at future races. Following that we went to Universal Studios and Magic Kingdom. I have always been a Walt Disney fan so we could not resist attending when our house was five minutes away from the parks. All and all it was the most fantastic trip with my family and it is hard to get back to reality.

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After a week of eating in restaurants and trying new foods, I was very anxious to get back into the kitchen to make a delicious homemade meal. I came across this recipe for Easy Vegetarian Chili from Two Peas & Their Pod, I have never made chili before so I was excited to attempt this recipe. The key word being ‘easy’ because the idea of chili intimidated me.

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I started off making this chili in a smaller pot, not having any idea how much it would make and boy was I surprised when I had to transfer it into a much larger pot. I am not complaining at how much it made because was it ever good!

It was the perfect mix of vegetables and was extremely filling. I ended up freezing a large portion of it and it was great in my lunches.

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If this cold weather continues, this chili is definitely a must for everyone. I will definitely be making this recipe again!

Enjoy!

Mackenzy

Easy Vegetarian Chili

Adapted from: Two Peas & Their Pod

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno, diced, seeds removed
3 (15 oz.) cans diced tomatoes
2 (15 oz.) cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 (15 oz.) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups water
1 1/2 tablespoons cumin
2 tablespoons chili powder
Salt and pepper, to taste

** I also added mushrooms

Directions:

1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until light brown, about 2-3 minutes. Add carrot, celery, peppers, and jalapeno. Cook for five minutes, or until vegetables are soft.

2. Stir in diced tomatoes, beans, and water. Season chili with cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Stir and let chili simmer for 30 minutes. Stir chili frequently so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Serve hot.

Recommended spring break playlist: http://8tracks.com/vspink/pink-ultimate-spring-break-playlist