(Healthier) Super Bowl Eats

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I don’t know about you, but when I hear “Super Bowl” I think two things; the first being “puppy bowl!” and the second being “food!”

I would be lying if I said I actually pay any attention to the game itself, but come on, who doesn’t love a good reason to pig out on some indulgent food??

I have spent more than my fair share of Super Bowl Sundays pigging out on food that I wouldn’t normally eat, and I find I’m often still paying it for it days later. This is especially true after spending Super Bowl Sunday with my mid-western american relatives. YIKES, talk about some super heavy, zero nutritional value comfort food (velveta cheese and breakfast sausage dip anyone?)

This year, instead of heading out and ordering some crappy bar food (we are also pretty broke and didn’t want to spend money), we decided to stay in and have a little more control over what we ate. Don’t get me wrong, I still plan on indulging a bit but I really wanted to do it in a way that wouldn’t make me feel sick afterwards. I love me some junk food, but more than that, I love food that is actually full of the good stuff, but disguises itself as the bad stuff. That way, I can completely shove my face in the spirit of football and feel okay about it afterwards.

Here is what is on tap for this afternoon, try these out for yourselves for a healthier, while still indulgent evening:

1. Life Affirming Nacho Dip by Oh She Glows

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Okay guys, I swear this is amazing. I make this all the time and people can’t stay away from it and ask me for the recipe. I usually wait until there is only like a tablespoon left in the dish to reveal that the recipe is vegan. People often don’t believe me. But for serious guys, it’s vegan and it’s delicious and it’s good for you and it truly is life affirming. You won’t regret trying this, I promise.

I change it up a bit by adding a little bit of chipotle powder for some smokey flavour and a touch of dijon to just give it a little more something-something, but it is already full of so much flavour, these additions aren’t totally necessary.

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2. Buffalo Cauliflower bites

These bad boys have been circulating allllll over the interwebs recently, and for good reason. Do we actually love wings because we love the taste of the chicken? Or is it about the sauce? Instead of chicken wings, these buffalo bites are made from cauliflower and I swear you can’t really tell. Even my meat-lovin, chicken wing obsessed husband loves these! Pair with some blue cheese dressing or if you’re a vegan, try this recipe for a dairy-free ranch dressing from the Hot For Food blog.

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I roughly follow the recipe that is linked above, but I usually use spelt or sprouted whole wheat flour instead of the junky white flour. And like all recipes, I throw in a little bit of chipotle. I also will usually substitute the butter with some ghee or if I’m going for a vegan version, some coconut oil. I like to drizzle some more wing sauce on top after they are done as well. More flavour that way! You seriously can’t lose with this, and they definitely satisfy the buffalo wing craving!

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Of course, if all of this seems like too much work, don’t forget some “junk” foods aren’t as bad as others. Dig in to some guacamole, some hummus or white bean dip, or pop up a batch of popcorn on the stove.

What are your favourite Super Bowl foods and do you have any secret healthy versions?

Happy Super Bowl Sunday everyone!!!

Raw/Vegan Key Lime Pie Mousse

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Is anyone else still craving holiday treats or is it just me? Maybe it’s because I’m not working right now, or perhaps it is because it’s cold and grey out, but I also suspect that it may be directly correlated to binge-watching “Scandal” for hours every night. What is it about a good netflix binge that makes me just want to pig out?

Luckily, since I’m currently not working I have enough time to experiment with recipes and make delicious yummy treats, which is how I came up with this one!

I originally made this in the food processor but I found it a little too fibrous for me still so I threw it in my blender to make it extra creamy. I’ll leave the process vs. blender choice up to you. I got this idea from various raw key lime pie recipes I saw online as well as from this delicious Avocado Chocolate Mousse from Chocolate Covered Katie. As Katie points out Avocados are quite the super food- they are low in sugar and loaded with fibre, vitamins and minerals. Avocados are a great evening snack in my opinion because they leave me feeling full, and not ravenous for any junk I can get my hands on.

I know, I know, it’s not exactly Key Lime pie season, and I’m definitely not in the Keys. However, I think this is why my mind was thinking about a treat like this. I also can’t technically call this “Key Lime” because it doesn’t have any actual key limes, but forgive me just this once. Once I find some key limes I will definitely try it out with them.

Not only is this mousse good for you and satisfying because it is full of healthy fats, it’s also low in sugar and tastes a little bit like sunshine. Perfect winter couch indulgence. I can almost hear the waves and feel the ocean breeze….

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Ingredients:

2 ripe avocados

1 ripe banana

1/2 cup coconut cream (place a can of full-fat coconut milk in the fridge overnight, the cream will separate and harden making it easier to scoop out)

Juice from 2 limes

1 tsp. lime zest

1/3 cup pure maple syrup

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

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Instructions:

Place all ingredients in a food processor or high-speed blender and process/blend until smooth. Serve immediately. Store any leftovers in fridge (if you have any!) for a maximum of 3 days. It’s that easy I swear!

 

Simply Magic Gluten Free Chocolately “clean” Granola Bars

Greetings Everyone!

Those who know me, know that I am not a big supporter of the packaged food industry. I try and avoid packaged foods as much as possible. Do you read the ingedients list of packaged foods? If so, you know as I do that the majority of packaged foods contain at least 1 of these as the first couple ingredients, if not all; wheat, sugar, soy, and corn. Since I believe no one should be eating refined sugars and I am fairly certain I’m allergic to both wheat and soy, packaged foods are pretty much out of the question for me (both because of what I believe in and also because of my poor stomach).

However, this can definitely be a challenge sometimes. Especially as a student with a job who is constantly on the go. Sometimes I really just wish I had that cheap packaged (insert “food” product here) to grab on my way out the door.

Another thing to point out is that buying packaged health food products are ridiculously expensive- up to 3 or more times the price of the conventional stuff!!

Yesterday a classmate pulled out a granola bar. “That looks so good” I said, “I have another,” she told me, “take it.” I had to decline but every last bit of me wanted to eat it- even knowing that I would pay for it in stomach pains later.

So, when I came home from class I went on a mission to create the perfect wheat free, no refined sugar yet still sweet, “healthy” granola bar. What resulted was the following recipe. I am quite proud of it and I think you’d like to too if you give it a go!

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This recipe can be made with less of the sweet stuff to make a little healthier (and I think next time I’d do this as these bars turned out quite sweet!) by cutting back on the maple syrup, honey and coconut sugar. Each bar has about 150 calories, 6.7g of fat, 4g of belly filling fibre, 9g of sugar, and 5g of protein. I wouldn’t recommend pigging out on these bad boys because of the high-ish sugar content but they are definitely a lot better for you and full of more natural ingredients than the store bought variety, and will satisfy your hunger more as well. They are perfect for a small snack with your afternoon coffee or tea when you just need a bit of a pick me up!

 

Ingredients:

2 cups certified gluten free rolled oats

1/4 cup raw cashews

1/2 cup sunflower seeds, unsalted

1/2 cup slivered almonds

1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

1/4 cup chia seeds (any variety is fine)

4 tbsp ground flax seed

4 tbsp whole flax seed (I like to do half and half to get the Omega 3’s and the fibre)

1/4 cup ground pecans (you can used chopped as well, I just had ground in the house)

1-2 chopped apples

2 scoops Vega One Chocolate protein powder (you could just use a few tablespoons of cocoa)

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1/4 cup pure honey

1/4 cup butter (or butter substitute like coconut oil or earth balance spread to make this vegan)

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/3 cup coconut palm sugar

1 tbsp sea salt

 

Pre-heat oven to 450. Combine first 10 ingredients in bowl then distribute evenly on baking sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt. Roast ingredients at 450 for 20 minutes (I like mine quite crispy so this time could be lessened).

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While mix is roasting, combine honey, maple syrup, butter and coconut sugar in saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly. Add in vanilla. Bring to boil and remove from heat. Stir in protein powder.

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When mix is done roasting combine dry ingredient and wet ingredients in a large bowl. Grease a spatula and a baking sheet and use spatula to press combined mixture into baking sheet, pressing firmly. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.  Use a sharp knife to cut into bar shaped portions. Be careful to press down firmly in order to keep bars from breaking.

I like to freeze them so they keep longer.

feel free to experiment with these and make them your own creation! The possibilities are literally endless!