Sunday, November 13, 2011

My Favourite Spice Mix

Yesterday I spent all day backstage coaching for bikini at our local competition. While there is a lot of exciting up time there is also the same in down time waiting....and listening to other athletes discussing their dieting methods- or I should say madness. Countless remarks were made about how bland and plain their food had to be. I truly felt sorry for them. Sure food is fuel, but it is also pleasure! I and my athletes have proven over and over that you can eat good, satisfying food and still be in tip top shape!

This spice mix will change your life- and many meals to come. So versatile to garnish or add to any dish. I love it on everything from eggs, meats, potatoes, grain dishes, veggies and mixed in thick greek yogurt as a dip. Your options are endless and food flavourFULL!

  • 3 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp ancho chilli powder
  • 3 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 3 tbsp ground cumin
  • 3 tbsp ground coriander
  • 3 tbsp ginger
  • 3 packs stevia
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp fine himalyan sea salt
  • 2 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp ground cloves
  • 1 tbsp ground fennel 
  • 1 tbsp allspice
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper

Mix all of the ingredients together well. Store in an air tight jar and use as desired.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Almond Joy Crispy Balls

It amazes me how many new and "improved" kinds of candy bars there on the market these days. And honestly I can't help but laugh at some of the new claims such as 'full of antioxidants' '100 calorie' (ahem...glorified junk), low fat, low sugar, added fiber, dark chocolate, natural, etc etc. Ummmm...REALLY?! Is that what is has come down to? Shame.... junk is junk no matter how much you play it up as healthier.

Don't take me the wrong way, you know I love to whip up a dreamland of treats. But there is a big difference in those snazzy packaged goodies at the check-out line vs. something you put a little love into from your own kitchen. If you like Almond Joy candy bars, well girlfriend go ahead and jump for joy over these crispy little treats!

Almond Joy Crispy Balls

  • 4 cups crispy brown rice cereal
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/4 cup pure cocoa powder
  • 4 packs stevia
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup roasted almond butter
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup or local honey
  • 2 tbsp light coconut milk

In a large sauce pan over medium heat 'melt' the maple syrup and almond butter, stirring constantly so it doesn't burn. You do NOT want to cook this....

Add in the cocoa, coconut milk and stevia, mixing until smooth.

Remove from heat and stir in the crispy cereal and coconut to evenly coat.

Scoop by tbsp and roll into evenly shaped and portioned balls. If you find your hands a bit sticky I lightly grease mine.

Let chill in fridge before serving.

Makes 16 balls
Per serving: 85 calories, 3.5g fat, 13g carbs, 1g fiber, 2g protein

Monday, October 10, 2011

Baked Apple Spice Donuts

If there is one thing I am so thankful for this Thanksgiving, it is without a doubt always the chance to cook for other people. The simple moment of of yummy bliss that crosses their faces at the first taste of good food brings me so much happiness! I'm grateful I can share good eats, and of course healthy recipes. Traditionally holiday treats aren't so figure friendly. Next week I guarantee the gym will be polluted with people with post-Thanksgiving over-indulgence guilt. Don't let that be you darlin'!! (but please don't give up your workouts...)

If you don't have a donut baking pan, get one! It will change you life- I'm not kidding. Baked donuts are much more cake like and if you bake them right (follow directions) then I promise they will melt in your mouth. Forget greasy, queasy'fying deep fried balls of dough. These apple spice donuts are great to take with you to a family gathering as dessert or brunch. Either way, you might want to make a double batch because they won't last long!

Baked Apple Spice Donuts
  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup oat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp each cinnamon, nutmeg & allspice
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup stevia in the raw or 8 packs stevia
  • 1 tsp quality vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp light extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce or homemade apple butter (recipe coming soon!)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 6 cup donut tin and a 12 cup mini muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl sift together all of the dry ingredients.

In a seperate bowl beat together the liquid ingredients until smooth. Gently fold into the dry mixture, mixing only until incorporated. *Do NOT overmix!!!!*

Evenly divide the dough in the prepared pans- you will get 6 round donuts and 12 donut holes.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until lightly golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let rest in pan a few minutes before transfering to a wire rack to cool.

Optional spiced coating to roll in while hot:  1 tbsp cinnamon + 1/3 cup stevia in the raw

Serves 12
(1 large donut or 2 donut holes)
Per Serving: 105 calories, 4.5g fat, 15g carbs, 2.5g fiber, 2g protein

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Lighter Broccoli Salad

It's Thanksgiving week here in Canada. I am gearing up for a week of menu planning, recipe sharing and preparations to prepare a feast you can leave the dinner table thankful you won'y have to worry about your skinny jeans fitting the next day. Even the worst recipes can be saved....just don't tell your grandmother!

Every year no matter who I am celebrating the holiday with, there are always more side dishes than  a single plate can handle. Don't feel quilty about going back for seconds with my harvest broccoli salad. Traditional broccoli salad we've had at Thanksgiving is laden with mayo, sugar, hefty doses of cheese and bacon. Although my recipe is lightened up so it doesn't weigh you down, I personally feel it is heavier in taste and satisfaction!

  • 2 cups fresh broccoli flowerts
  • 1 local, fresh apple, diced
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries or raisins
  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 3 slices cooked crispy turkey bacon, chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 cup 2% Greek yogurt (such as Chobani or Fage)
  • 2 tsp pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl toss together the broccoli, apple, cranberries, walnuts and bacon.

In a seperate bowl mix together the yogurt, maple syrup, vinegar and salt and pepper until smooth.

Even toss the dressing into the broccoli mixture to coat. Serve right away or cover and store in the fridge.

Serves 8 (1/2 cup each)
Per Serving: 85 calories, 4g fat, 10g carbs, 2g fiber, 3.5g protein

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Ricotta Raspberry Pancakes

It's offically time to say au revoir to summer here. Fall is making it's way in casually as the weather changes. Fresh local berries are coming to a sweet end and I'm stocking up on as many as I can. Don't let the seasons control how much slenderizing, nourishing produce get in your diet. Freeze them, in ample amounts while the going is still great! Berries freeze so well and keep all winter provided you seal them tight. Throw them in smoothies, or my favorite tradition........weekend pancakes.

  • 1/2 cup oat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of fine sea salt
  • 1 large happy organic egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tsp quality vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/3-1/2 cup milk of choice (unsweet almond, cows, etc)
  • 2 packs stevia or 4 drops liquid stevia
  • 1 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen

In a bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

In a large clean bowl beat the egg whites on high until soft peaks form.

Mix together the whole egg, ricotta, milk, stevia and vanilla. Add the flour mixture just until moistened.

Fold the egg whites gently into the ricotta mixture. Do NOT over mix.

Heat griddle or skillet to medium-high, spray with non-stick cooking oil. Drop by 1/4 cup measures, cooking each side until golden, about 2 minutes per side.

Serves 2 (about 3 pancakes each)
Per Serving: 255 calories, 9g fat, 25g carbs, 6.5g fiber, 17.5g protein

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Peanut Butter BBQ Chicken Pizza

Peanut Butter
and BBQ?

They totally go together. Now you can have your pizza and feel great about it! Single serve, thin crust and tastes sinful. 

  • 1 large whole grain tortilla (or use gluten free)
  • 2 tsp natural creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp light BBQ sauce
  • 2 oz cooked chicken breast, chopped
  • 1 cup veggies of choice eg: shredded carrots, mushrooms, peppers, onion, etc
  • 1 oz (1/4 cup) 2% shredded pizza blend cheese
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.

Place the tortilla on the baking sheet. Mix the peanut butter and BBQ sauce until smooth. Spread over the tortilla.

Top with veggies, chicken and then the cheese. Garnish with parsley and spices.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the tortilla is crispy golden and the cheese is melted.

Remove from oven. Cut and eat (permission to eat the entire pizza).

Serves 1
Per Serving: 375 calories, 16g fat (healthy fats!!!), 32g carbs, 5g fiber, 27g protein

Friday, September 9, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Frozen Fro-yo

Certain people are just meant for one another- like some couples and best friends. You know, that 'click' sort of feeling. I feel the same way about food. While I have some pretty wild food combo creations (I think everyone does, some are just closet creators...) there are oldie nibbles I grew up eating that I will take to my grave. Peanut butter and banana- match in heaven! Add chocolate and it's a killer of a trio. And to really take it over the top- make it into a frozen yogurt!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Fro-yo
  • 3/4 c. (175g) plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp special dark cocoa powder (eg:Hersheys)
  • 2 packs stevia
  • 1/2 medium ripe banana

Throw all of the ingredients in the blender, mixing until smooth.

Pour into a metal bowl and freeze until solid, about 2 to 3 hours depending if you prefer 'soft serve' or old fashioned style ice cream.

Serve with more sliced banana if you wish.
Serves 1.

Per Serving: 240 calories, 9g fat, 26g carbs, 4g fiber, 20g protein

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Pumpkin Protein Squares

I am obsessed with pumpkin. I just can't get enough. It should be in a food group of it's own. Since I tend to eat SO much pumpkin goodies I had to adjust to make it fit my diet. Protein, whole grains and healthy fats with a good dose of fibre....totally possible!

  • 2 whole eggs
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp quality vanilla extract
  • 1- 15oz can pure pumpkin puree (2 cups)
  • 3/4 cup stevia in the raw
  • 1 1/2 cups oat flour (ground oats)
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    ****Optional: 1/2 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9X9 inch baking pan with non-stick cooking oil.

Using electric beaters, beat the eggs until fluffy. Add the pumpkin, yogurt and vanilla. Continue to beat until smooth.

Sift together the dry ingredients. Add the pumpkin mixture. Do not over mix. 

Pour the batter into prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until spring to touch and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack fully before cutting.

Makes 9 squares

Per square: 117 calories, 3g fat, 15.5g carbs, 4.5g fiber, 8g protein

Friday, August 26, 2011

Skinny Taquitos

Life can get pretty wild & crazy at times...I prefer to be busy though vs. bored. The best way to balance it out is some time with my girl friends! No one can pick you up, break up the crazies and make you laugh like a silly hyenia as much as a great group of gals. Earlier this summer one of my best girls and I shared these fabulous healthy taquitos that left us talking about them weeks later. They were just that darn good!

  • 16 small corn tortillas
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb extra lean ground chicken or chicken breast, chopped
  • 1 small red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 cup salsa (heat of your choice)
  • 8 oz fat free cream cheese

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium temperature. Add the onion and garlic, cooking until just tender about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the chicken and cook through.

Sprinkle the chilli powder, paprika, cumin and salt in, mixing well. Add the salsa and lime juice, cooking until reduced and thickened, about 5 to 7 minutes. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a large baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.

Warm the tortillas in the microwave for 30 seconds to soften so they are easy to roll.

Spread 1 tbsp of cream cheese on each tortilla. Evenly spread the chicken mixture in the center of each, then roll tight.

Place the tortillas seam side down on the baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until golden and crispy.

These are fabulous served with plain greek yogurt (instead of fatty sour cream), salsa or homemade guacamole (healthy fats!!!)

Serves 8 (2 taquitos to talk about each)

Per Serving:  220 calories, 3g fat, 28g carbs, 4.5g fiber, 20g protein

Monday, August 22, 2011

Cowgirl Cookies

Two great things come from Texas- my sister, and cookies.

In honour of my cowgirl..... cookies :)

  • 1 cup oat flour (ground oats)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup expeller pressed coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup Stevia In The Raw
  • 1 large egg + 2 whites
  • 2 tsp quality vanilla extract
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchament paper (first choice) or spray with non-stick cooking oil.

In a large bowl mix the flour, baking powder, soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

In a clean bowl beat the eggs, oil, stevia and applesauce until smooth. Stir in the vanilla.

Add the oats, chocolate and pecans mixing until incorporated.

Drop by tablespoon full onto prepared sheet. Do not flatten.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until lightly golden. Remove from oven and let sit on pan for a few minutes to set, then transfer to wire rack to full cool.

Makes 2 dozen Texas sized cookies

Per Cookie: 147 calories, 10g fat, 14.5g carbs, 2g protein


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Whole Grain Morning Glory Muffins

Rise and SHINE...that's my motto. Every single day we can start over no matter how crazy the prior day was. Let's face it, life's not perfect and it thank goodness it's not. The pursuit of perfection- silly and outrageous. The pursuit of perfect effort on the other hand- that's the root of success! The same goes for diet. Start your day off right and odds are the rest of your eats will follow similar suit.

Have you seen the size of those bakery muffins? The tops are as big as my head. Most are beaming with more sugar and fat than a candy bar. Dear gorgeous reader........those are not the way to start your day rocking and rolling. You will crash and burn. And let's face it- not so bikini friendly. I love a good homemade muffin, and you can too. This is my version of a morning glory muffin that won't weigh you down.

  • 1 1/4 cup oat flour (ground oats)
  • 3/4 cup (60g) oatbran
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder (not an isolate- this will make them dry)
  • 3/4 cup Stevia In the Raw
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp bakingsoda
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 whole egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree or unsweetened applesauce
  • 2/3 cup milk (I use unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
  • 1 cup (200g) grated carrots
  • 1 cup grated zucchini
  • 1 apple, peeled and grated
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats (toasted in a pan gives a nice nutty flavour)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with non-stick cooking oil.

In a large bowl beat the eggs whites and egg until fluffy. Add the pumpkin, milk and vanilla.

In a separate bowl sift together the dry ingredients. Stir into wet mixture but do not overmix. <---flat heavy muffins. Fold in the carrot, zucchini, apple and coconut.

Evenly distribute batter into prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle with toasted oats.

Bake for 22 to 25 minutes until spring to touch and lightly golden. Remove from oven, let cool in pan about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

Makes 12 muffins

Per Serving: 130 calories, 4g fat, 15g carbs, 4g fiber, 9g protein

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Chocolate Black Bean Muffins

Don't ask me how or why beans bake so well but they are able to make flourless, healthier, fibre rich baked goods like nothing else. Guess what? NO bean taste! I know this sounds crazy... but you have to trust me and make these muffins. Thank me later :)

Chocolate Black Bean Muffins

  • 1 (15oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup liquid egg whites (or 4 large)
  • 1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree or unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tbsp milk (I used unsweetened chocolate almond milk)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder (Hershey's Special Dark)
  • 2 scoops chocolate protein powder (a blend, not an isolate)
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee granules
  • 3/4 cup Stevia In The Raw
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with non-stick spray.

Place the beans in a blender or food processor. Add the milk. Blend well until smooth.

Add the remaining ingredients, continuing to blend until well mixed, smooth and glossy.

Pour into prepared pan. Bake for about 22 minutes, checking at 20 minutes. Do not over bake or they will be dry!

Remove from oven and let cool. Wrap tightly and store in fridge.

*These are excellent with a smear of peanut butter over the top!

Makes 12
Per muffin: 60 calories, 1 g fat, 9g carbs, 3.3g fiber, 7.5g protein

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Won't Stick to Your Thighs Skinny Fries

Who ever said you can't have your cake and eat it too clearly had no idea what they were talking about. Forbid a food from anyone and you know what happens?? The person starts to drive themselves crazy "craving" the food and obsessing over what they can't have. It's kind of true as they say- we want what we can't have. Certain foods get such a horrible rep because of the brutal unhealthy ways they are cooked these days. Fast food joints rank right up there. It's like making a supersized order of high blood pressure with a side of plumped thighs.

Forgo the drive thru, crank up your oven and ladies get to chopping like your grannies did years ago. If you chop enough and with a little force you might even want to check off an arm workout from your to-do exercise for the day! Nothing beats homemade french fries. If you do it right, you can get the same crispy skinny tater in the oven as you would the deep frier.....but you'll be keeping the grease off your fingers and your skinny jeans will still show some love to your thighs.

Skinny Baked Fries
  • 2 large russet potatoes, cut into fries shape (peeled or not)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp smokey paprika (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 440 degrees F.

Mix the olive oil and spices in a large bowl. Add the chopped potatoes and toss to coat well.

Place on a large non-stick baking sheet.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, flipping half way through.

Serves 4 as a side.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Lighter BBQ Chicken

Sweat at the gym is sexy. It's a good sign you are putting the work in working-out! Having to refresh your deodorant and powder your face while entertaining at home on a hot day- not so sexy. Summer is hands down the peak of random get-togethers with family and friends since the weather is so nice. I don't know about your circle of friends, but with mine food is always, always involved in some way. Be it appetizers, random finger food or a hearty grill out feast.....

Every one knows when they invite me, I come bearing some really kick-butt  marinated chicken ready to throw on the BBQ. My girl friends know me well enough that it's always bikini friendly; the guys however- the less they know the better....and better they might look! Buddha-beer-belly vs. sexy-chicken-6-pack...... If you are tired of your same old plain chicken, give this recipe a try!

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup fat free Italian dressing
  • 1/4 cup low sugar BBQ sauce 
  • 2 tbsp sugar free preserves of choice (orange marmalade, cherry, etc)

In glass bowl, heat the preserves until warmed and runny. Stir in the dressing and sauce.

Pour the marinate over the chicken, cover and let sit at least 4 hours, overnight being best.

To cook chicken, heat outdoor grill to medium heat. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes or until thermometer inserted reads 170F.

Serves 4 to 6

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Skinny Protein Waffles

Waffles. Bikini. Fit. Healthy? Sure they all go together! All you need is a waffle maker and like 5 minutes! I make these A LOT. The best part? Easily portable. Cook, cool and pack for the next day.

3 large egg whites
1/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk 
1/3 cup oatbran or ground oatmeal
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (a blend works best, no isolate please)
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup fresh blueberries, divided

In the blender combine all of the ingredients except the blueberries. Blend until smooth. Let sit a couple of minutes.

Preheat the waffle iron. Spray with non-stick cooking spray.

Blitz the waffle batter one more time. Stir in half of the blueberries.

Cook according to waffle maker instructions. Remove from iron and top with remaining blueberries.

Serves 1

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Best Glazed Salmon

Born and raised in Eastern Canada, you can bet I grew up on fresh fish. My daddy had me waders at a young age teaching me to fly fish. We always had Atlantic Salmon on hand- either fresh or whole frozen that we caught. As much as I love it, it's like potatoes (raised on a farm with too many potatoes) you have to come up with different ways to cook it or else it gets old really quick. This is hands down my favourite way to cook salmon- without any crappy marinates or seasonings. Fresh and healthy.

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless wild Atlantic salmon fillet
  • 1 tbsp real maple syrup (grade B preferably)
  • 1/4 cup aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • pinch sea salt and fresh cracker pepper

Preheat skillet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray over medium heat. Cut salmon fillet in equal portions (3 or 4). Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Grill the salmon for about 4 minutes on each side, only flipping once. Mix together the maple syrup, vinegar and garlic.

Turn the heat up to high, pour the maple mixture over the salmon and let reduce until thick, brushing over the salmon.

Serve immediately. Pairs well with steamed brown rice and roasted asparagus.