Sweet potato nachos

With my sweet potato nachos recipe you can enjoy a GIANT portion of nachos all to yourself without any of the guilt, and of course without sacrificing on the taste.

…oh did I mention these nachos are packed full of vitamins, antioxidants and are low in calories? Just Google the health benefits of sweet potatoes and you’ll be sold! (If you weren’t already from the word ‘nachos’.)11376298_1440249826281331_432873756_n

This recipe is ridiculously simple, even for the inexperienced cook. It does involve some nifty knife work (but you should use a mandoline slicer if you have one.)

Ingredients:

♥ 1.5 large sweet potatoes or 2 medium sized sweet potatoes.

♥ Glug of olive oil.

♥ Salt & pepper.

And that’s it!

Method:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 – 200 degrees celsius.

2. Using a large sharp knife or a mandoline, thinly slice the sweet potatoes into rounds (2-3mm thick). Make sure all your slices are the same thickness to ensure they bake evenly.

3. In a large bowl shake up your sweet potato rounds with a glug of olive oil, and then season with a generous amount of salt and pepper (this is the time to add any other herbs and spices you’d like).

4. Place your rounds on baking parchment (do not overlap).

5. Bake for 25 minutes and then turn over and bake for another 15-20 minutes. (it’s important to stay close by as they can catch quite quickly. I used this time to prepare my salsa and guacamole.

And there you have it! A giant plate of crunchy, loaded, delicious and (believe it or not healthy) nachos.

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My egg free, gluten free and vegan chocolate brownies

You will be mind blown when you bite into this moist, gooey and rich chocolate brownie, you will be even more surprised to learn that they contain no eggs, flour or butter. No one will know these are a healthy alternative! After experimenting with butter beans in my secret ingredient cookies I decided to try using chickpeas in my next recipe.

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The best bit about this recipe is that it is SO easy to whip up, it takes minutes. After browsing other chickpea recipes I found an amazing recipe for seasalt blondies here, which is where my inspiration for this recipe came from.

Not only are these brownies egg free and gluten free, if you substitute the chocolate chips for dairy free chips they are also vegan!

Recipe (makes 14-16):

♥ 1 1/2 cup of tinned, cooked chickpeas, drained.

♥ 1/4 cup unsweetened peanut butter

♥ 1 tbsp coconut oil

♥ 3 tbsp cocoa powder

♥ 1/3 cup maple syrup

♥ 1 tspn vanilla extract

♥ 1/2 tspn baking powder

♥ 1/2 cup chocolate chips of choice

Here comes the easy bit…

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180°c.

2. Whiz everything except the chocolate chips up in a food processor.

3. Mix in chocolate chips.

4. Put mixture in a greased and lined baking tray and bake for 18 minutes.

I first discovered chickpeas made an epic brownie during the obligatory taste of the batter mix. As this is a vegan recipe there are no uncooked eggs to worry about so you can eat this ‘raw’ (not that it ever stops me anyway)!

Again, these taste incredible straight from the oven but you should probably leave them to cool before you try and cut them.

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These come in at around 90-120 calories a piece depending on the thickness and type of chocolate chips used, but they taste so indulgent and naughty, when they’re secretly good for you!

After taste testing these on two of my friends neither could tell they weren’t a traditional brownie, and both wanted another piece (to which I had to swat their hands away and hide my wonderful creation out of reach from prying hands).

One bite of these bad boys and you will be transported to chocolate, dessert heaven! The chickpeas give the finished brownie a beautiful nutty texture, and they’re packed full of goodness and nutrients. Enjoy!

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Peanut butter vs. PB2

Peanut Butter VS. PB2

Unfortunately living in the UK means I can’t get my hands on some of the amazing health foods available in America. This meant I had to fork out £11.69 for two jars of PB2 on Amazon. If like me you have a slight obsession with peanut butter and often find yourself eating it by the spoonful for a morning (and afternoon, and evening) snack, then I would recommend trying it out!

The nutritional info:

Nutrional Info

For every 2 Tbsp. of PB2 compared to traditional peanut butter you save 145 calories! And it has absolutely no saturated fat.

The best bit about PB2 is that it’s all natural with a minimal list of ingredients: Roasted peanuts, sugar, salt.

The best BEST bit about PB2 is that it tastes AMAZING.

It comes in a powder and the ratio is 2 Tbsp. PB2 to 1 Tbsp. water. You mix it up until you get your desired consistency…

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…and eat it straight off the spoon with none of the guilt! Or you could put it on toast, and oh…my…goodness it makes for a delicious breakfast. It is possibly the best thing invented since peanut butter itself was invented.

Chocolate PB2

(chocolate PB2 is pictured in this photo.)

It even has little bits of peanuts once it’s been mixed up so it has a nice texture, and tastes just like normal peanut butter but without any of the fat!

Verdict:

Now here comes PB2’s ONLY downfall… It doesn’t come with all the great health benefits of natural, peanut butter as all the nutrients are taken out along with the fat. The fat in traditional peanut butter is a ‘good fat’ so I’m still going to be eating it for my breakfast, and it’s amazing to eat before/after a workout.

I’ll switch to PB2 when I fancy something sweet and not so calorific, possibly on the days where I’m not hitting the gym. I’m definitely going to try adding it to my baking/cooking, as all the peanut butter taste is still there, so watch this space for some yummy baked PB2 goodies coming soon!

To graze or not to graze?

If you’re unsure about whether to subscribe to graze box or not then read on for some helpful information:

I have a huge appetite and have to make sure I have my drawers stocked full of snacks at work otherwise I’m a bit of a nightmare to be around. As it’s Easter season (or as I like to call it Creme Egg season), I frequently find myself falling for the tempting, and oh so evil 3 Creme Eggs for £1 offer. As much as I love Creme Eggs and take advantage of them for the short and sweet time they’re around, this isn’t the healthiest snacking habit. I do bring healthy snacks into work with me such as almonds, dates and peanut butter, but it’s very easy to overdo it as they’re difficult to buy in single portions.

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Due to my uncontrollable sweet tooth I decided to sign up for a free trial of the graze box and have been hooked ever since! You can browse all their snacks on their website and pick which ones you definitely want to try, which ones you wouldn’t mind trying, and which snacks you never want to see in your box!

My ‘Love’ list contains mostly chocolate based goodies, however we all know dark chocolate is good for you (meaning you can eat as much as you like right)?

Graze Box
The graze box comes with a little menu with all the nutritional information of your snacks and full list of the ingredients so you know exactly what’s inside. All their food is natural and clean meaning guilt free snacking.

They have so many options to choose from, so if you think some of the snacks are slightly too calorific you can sign up to the light box with all the snacks coming in at under 150kcal. I have also recently discovered there is a CHOCOLATE BOX which I might have to switch to in the near future.

The snacks are conveniently packaged in individual portions, and you can get them delivered as often as you like to your home, office, or any address you choose!

Graze Box
graze has put together some really clever combinations of all your favourite treats such as rocky road, sticky toffee pudding, jaffa cake and many more, meaning you can enjoy some of your favourite flavours minus the carbs, added sugar, chemicals etc.

If you’re still not sure whether to try graze then they always have amazing offers which allow you to try a free box! I’m currently on an offer which gives me a free box, and then I get my 1st, 5th and 10th free. If you would like the same offer then here is a code for you to use (uk only):

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Even if you decide you don’t want to continue you can cancel at any time and you’ve still had a free box.

Some of my favourite and recommended snacks:

The graze brownie: only 110kcal for three pieces of brownie and approximately 69% less saturated fat than other brownies!

Dark Rocky Road: With pecan nuts, dark chocolate buttons and cranberries it’s sweet yet tart, crunchy and satisfying.

My Thai: Sweet chilli sauce with baked soy bites and only 84 calories per portion!

 

My gluten free/guilt free cauliflower pizza!

I am here to make your day.

I have a recipe for you that will allow you to have pizza EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK without consuming an outrageous number of calories.

This pizza could probably serve 2, but I’m going to call it a single serving since I ate it all myself.  As it’s made from VEGETABLES it would be silly not to eat the whole thing (got to make sure you’re getting your 5 a day)!

I’ve attempted to make this pizza a few times and I think I’ve nailed it with this recipe. It’s chewy, packed full of flavour and can be picked up like a good pizza slice should be.

I mean… does this look healthy to you?

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Pizza Base Recipe:

♥ 1 small cauliflower head

♥ 2 tbsp almond meal

♥ 1 egg

♥ 2-4 tbsp grated parmesan

♥ 1 tsp garlic powder

♥ Small bunch of basil (or to taste)

♥ 1/4tsp oregano (or to taste)

♥ Pinch of salt and pepper (to taste)

Tomato sauce recipe:

♥ Half chopped onion

♥ 2 tbsp tomato puree

♥ 1 can chopped tomatoes

♥ 1 tsp chopped garlic

♥ 1/2 tsp oregano

♥ A few leaves of ripped up basil

♥ Pinch of sugar, salt and pepper (to taste)

Tomato Sauce:

1. Put chopped onions and garlic in a pan with olive oil and soften.

2. Add tomato puree to the pan and lightly fry.

3. Add chopped tomatoes along with herbs and spices and leave to simmer whilst the pizza base cooks until reduced.

Pizza Base:

1. Preheat the oven to 180°c.

2.  Put your cauliflower in a food processor and blend until rice consistency.

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3. Put cauliflower rice into a tea towel and SQUEEZE as hard as you can to get all the liquid out.

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4. For a chewier base put the squeezed cauliflower in an oven for 10-12 minutes to dry out a little.

5. Mix all the ingredients together. It should hold together in a ball.

6. On a greased tray or piece of baking parchment shape the dough with your hand into a pizza base shape. image(5)

7. Put into the oven for approximately 20 minutes flipping half way through. (If it starts to go too brown cover with foil.)

8. Add tomato sauce and toppings of your choice to your pizza base and cook until ready. image(6)

From vegetable to an italian thin crust and healthy pizza in around 30 minutes!

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If you’re craving pizza this hits the spot. The base has SO much flavour because it’s packed with seasoning and herbs. You can add any toppings you like, and since the base is pretty much like eating a vegetable you can go crazy with your toppings, cheese it up!