Entries in Gluten Free (11)
Ah, there's nothing like comfort food at it's finest on a gloomy day.
Baked ziti is just one of those things that becomes an instant family favourite. It can pick you up and lift your spirits on a cold wintery day.
A steaming dish of golden cheesy tomato baked pasta heaven.
Mmm, melty cheese!
Do I have your attention?
It might shock you to learn that this comforting pasta dish is actually quite good for you. Here's a secret, ever play hide the vegetables? If you have kids, you know what I mean. It has 2 cups of shredded carrots, 1 whole onion, basil, and is bursting with tomatoes + homemade marinara sauce. Even the pickiest eaters in your family couldn't say no. Sure it looks and tastes like a traditional baked ziti that's packed with unhealthy fat and salt (not to mention heavy cream) but it's one of the cleanest pasta dishes you'll ever make.
The perfect crowd pleaser. Great for entertaining large groups.
Easy to throw together in 20 minutes. Then you get to sit back and relax while it cooks.
Baked Ziti (Gluten Free) (makes 9 - 1 cup servings)
(Slightly adapted from The Eat Clean Diet For Family & Kids)
- 1lb extra lean ground turkey
- 2 Cups shredded carrots
- 1 large onion, peeled and diced fine
- 3 cloves of garlic, passed through a garlic press
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Cups homemade Marinara Sauce (or 1 can of no-salt added tomatoes)
- 1 Cup low-sodium chicken stock
- 8 oz. spelt rotini (or whole grain penne)
- 2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
- 1/2 Cup - 3/4 Cup shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 350*F.
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat and cook turkey, carrots, onions, and garlic until nicely browned. Add chicken stock, marinara sauce, pasta, and basil.
- Reduce heat to simmer for 30 minutes. Pasta should be cooked al dente.
- Turn pasta mix into baking dish. Sprinkle top with shredded mozzarella.
- Place in oven and baked for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden.
This also makes great leftovers for easy lunches packed with nutrition and energy.
Happy New Year everyone!
New Year's resolutions are flying left and right right now, so what better post could I start the year off with than the healthiest ice cream in the world?
If you are looking to try something new or make some healthy changes or additions to your diet this year then please give this a try. It's magical and you'll love me for it.
Behold. BANANA ICE CREAM!
Unless you've been living under a rock you probably know all about banana soft serve ice cream. I admit I'm a little late to the party on this one, but if you're anything like me, that is ice-cream obsessed, then this could quite possibly change your life. Especially if you are vegan or lactose intolerant. I should also mention that this "ice cream" is completely guilt free. What could be better?
Ice cream has always been one of my favourite cheats. Mint chocolate to be specific. The stuff is like crack! Thanks goodness for this alternative...and my self-control, hehe. I think I first discoverd banana ice cream from the lovely Angela over at Oh She Glows. It was her healthy vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie 'Blizzard' that got me interested.
100% natural and vegan. No chemicals or preservatives. 100% dairy free. Totally kid-friendly and so so easy to make.
If you've never done this before all you need is a food processor, some frozen bananas and a few mix-ins. It's that simple. Just take your frozen banana's and whiz 'em up, scraping frequently, until you have silky-smooth ice cream. Next time you find yourself craving a big bowl of ice cream give this a try and I promise you will be satisfied.
When you process the banana's, you'll first notice that they turn granular. They might even turn into a single ball that spins around the food processor, but not to worry, just keep processing and the banana's will start to turn creamy around the edges. This is when you'll want to stop and scrape down the sides, then continue blending and scraping creamy consistency. You can always add a little splash of milk (non-dairy if you wish) to help it along. The whole process should take about 5 minutes in total.
It's great plain just the way it is, but if you're feeling extra decadent, definitely give this recipe a try.
Chocolate Ginger Banana Ice Cream (serves 2-3)
- 3 peeled banana's, cut into chunks and frozen for easy processing
- 4 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- splash of pure vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp crystallized/candied ginger, chopped
- Peel and cut your banana's into smaller chunks, then freeze in a zipper bag for at least 2 hours (I will freeze them over night and often have some in the freezing handy at all times - perfect for smoothies too).
- Blend banana's in a food processor, stopping to scrape down the sides every so often until they resemble soft serve ice cream.
- Next add in your cocoa powder, ground ginger and vanilla and process until combined. Then with a spatula or spoon stir in chopped ginger.
- You can enjoy it right away or transfer to a freezer friendly container to store in the freezer. If you do store it in the freezer it will become solid again, just use an ice cream scoop when you are ready to serve it. Just like real ice cream!
**Note** Please don't try to make this in a blender. There isn't enough surface area for the blades to chop the banana's and will not turn out. Bring out the food processor for this one.
Have you discovered banana soft serve yet? What's your favourite ice cream flavour?
Mint+Chocolate = quite possibly the best combination ever.
I've said it before and I'll say it again.
Healthy Eating doesn't have to be boring.
So when your under stress there should be no excuses to reach for the junk food right?
Stress and anxiety increase levels of cortisol (the number one chemical released during stressful times) in your body and overtime can contribute to weight gain. So when the going gets tough what do you do?
Here's a few tips that I find helpful:
- Always make sure you get a good breakfast. Skipping meals will cause your blood sugar to drop along with your metabolism and will only make you more irritable.
- Get some exercise and make sure its something you like to do. It's really amazing how even just a little exercise can help you blow off steam. Walking is one of the easiest forms of exercise you can do. Personally I love to lift weights, golf, bike and I can't even tell you how excited I am to hit the hills this winter and get back to snowboarding.
- Keep a food journal so you can account for everything you've eaten. At the same time you can plan your meals ahead of time. This way you're less likely to go rummaging through the cupboards.
- Get some shut eye. Face it. You can't accomplish anything as a zombie. Listen to your body's signals and you'll do just fine. A 10 or 20 minute nap can improve muscle memory and clear the brain of useless built-up information.
- Eat your greens. Spinach in particular is high in magnesium which improves your body's response to stress and stops your blood pressure from rising.
This smoothie is made up of healthy foods that will actually tame your feelings of anxiety and can be whizzed up in no time. It contains raspberries which are highly potent with antioxidants that actually counteract the production of cortisol.
Magnesium rich spinach also helps to regulate cortisol levels and promote a feeling of well being by producing serotonin. You know, that feel good brain chemical that maintains your emotional balance. Just a cup has 40% of your RDA.
Pure 100% alkalized Cocoa powder; yes chocolate! And the darker the chocolate the better. That's because it contains flavonoids and phenethylamine, an organic compound found in plants that enhances your mood. The addition of mint in this smoothie will also promote healthy digestion and a calm tummy.
So take a step back from your day, take a deep breath, and the make this replenishing smoothie. Go ahead, it tastes like dessert! And my favourite part about it; you can enjoy it anytime of day.
Stress Buster Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie (serves 1)
- 1 frozen banana
- 1/3 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
- 1 tbsp 100% pure cocoa powder
- 1 generous handful of spinach
- 3 large leaves of fresh mint
- 1/2 scoop of vanilla SUNWARRIOR protein powder or protein powder of your choice
- 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
- Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend away until well combined, thick and creamy.
- Serve immediately and top with a sprinkle of unsweetened shredded coconut.
There's snow in the forcast next week!
Wishful thinking? ;)