Choco-Berry Protein Pudding!

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Choco-Berry Protein Pudding!

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Chocolate pudding for breakfast? Sounds good to me!

I bought some vegan rice protein recently in the health food shop, and I’ve been experimenting with it! It’s by a company called Pulsin. I like it because it’s all natural, and relatively inexpensive (€13.20 in my local health food shop) and basically flavourless, so I can add it to pretty much anything! Anyway,Β this is one of the recipes I’ve come up with. Another one is vegan protein icecream, but I’m still perfecting that one! Watch this space πŸ™‚

This recipe is gluten, wheat, dairy and refined sugar free. One serving also contains 25g of protein! Plus it takes 5 minutes to make, yay! P.S. Chia seeds are only €2.99 in Aldi! They’re really expensive everywhere else!

Ingredients: Serves 2

1/2 cup of chia seeds (81g)

2 cups of non-dairy milk (480ml) – I like to use one cup of coconut milk, and one almond (both Alpro) cause I’m indecisive!

40g protein powder (the one I use tastes like nothing, but I’m sure any would work!)

3.5 heaped tablespoons of cocoa/cacao powder

150g mixed berries, heated up.

1/2-1 tsp vanilla essence (optional)

Stevia/preferred sweetener (to taste)

Tbsp flaked almonds (optional)

Method:

1. Pour all ingredients into a bowl. Mix thoroughly. Or if you’re lazy like me, whizz them through a food processor/blender until they’re mixed!

2. Top with some more fruit/nuts/peanut butter/anything you please!

Notes/Tips:

1. I use frozen berries, and heat them up – they’re much cheaper and keep longer.

2. Buy chia seeds in Aldi unless you wanna pay triple the price πŸ˜‰

Nutritional information:

Calories: 350

Protein: 25g

Carbs: 26g

Fat: 17g

Sugars: 4g

Quinoa Curry Casserole

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Quinoa has gotten quite the name for itself in recent years, as a ‘superfood’. It’s claimed that it has lots of health benefits, such as:

– It’s one of the most protein rich foods we can eat.

– It contains twice as much fiber as most other grains.

– It is rich in magnesium.

– It contains iron.

– It contains lysine (which is used for muscle growth and repair).

– It’s high in Riboflavin (B2).

Quinoa is also gluten free, and low in calories. What’s not to love? Quinoa has been something that I’ve tried to incorporate into my diet for a long time but I never could get it right when I boiled it – it would always just end up all mushy. Still a lot of learning to do. However, the recipe I’ve come up with involves baking the quinoa in the oven, which takes all the hassle out of it! This is the EASIEST DISH EVER to make. Seriously. You just throw the ingredients into a dish, stir them, and put them in the oven. Simple! πŸ™‚ This recipe is wheat, gluten, dairy and refined sugar free. πŸ™‚

Ingredients: (Serves 4)

1 cup quinoa (uncooked)

1/2 cup lentils (any colour – but make sure they don’t have to be soaked beforehand)

1 onion

2 cloves garlic

1 tsp curry paste

400 ml coconut milk (I used the Alpro one)

1 tin of mixed beans

1 pepper

1 cup of water

1/2 stock cube

Method:

1. Fry the onion and garlic. Put them into a casserole dish.

2. Bring 400 mls of coconut milk to the boil. Add curry paste. Stir. Leave to simmer for a few minutes.

3. Add the quinoa, lentils, curry sauce and cup of stock to the casserole dish.

4. Mix and put in oven for 30 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius. Stir after about 15 minutes.

5. Add the mixed beans (drained) and pepper.

6. Cook for another thirty minutes. Stir after about 15 minutes.

7. Enjoy!

Note: You could play around with this recipe by adding meat, trying different types of curry paste (I used massaman for this one), or adding extras like sultanas, or nuts!

Spicy Turnip Fries

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Spicy Turnip Fries

Last week I found out I like cabbage. I know, it must be cause I’m closer to 30 now than I am to 20. I decided to give them a try because a whole head cost 29c in Aldi, and I am incredibly broke after Christmas! Desperate times, desperate measures! Thankfully I loved it (I stir fried it in gluten free soy sauce with fresh garlic and ginger!) and converted my sister too.

I am still very broke (come on payday!), so when I spotted another vegetable that I have held a long grudge against I decided to give it a try. The turnip. My mother LOVES them and used to always put it on our plates when we were little, only to eat it all from our plates after she was finished eating. We wouldn’t even touch the stuff. Eventually she gave up, and never tries to make us eat it anymore! In fact, the other week I went shopping with my dad (to make sure he bought all the food I want, of course πŸ˜‰ ) and he sent me off on a mission to “get a turnip for your mother”.

Anyway, I bought the turnip after a final nudge of encouragement from Finian who told me that they were like a better version of sweet potatoes – and I love sweet potatoes. He hates them though, so I couldn’t trust his opinion completely πŸ™‚ The memories of mashed up turnip and parsnips (another dislike) was too much for me so I decided to ease myself in with some chips!

Turnip chips are very easy to make, and taste (in my opinion) quite similar to sweet potato fries. Except they’re a little less sweet. However, turnips are lower in sugar than sweet potatoes, and contain almost three times less calories and over three times less carbohydrates! See for yourself!

Sweet Potato (per 100g)

Calories:86

Sugar: 4.2g

Carbohydrates: 20g

Turnips (per 100g)

Calories: 28

Sugar: 3.8g

Carbohydrates: 6g

Anyway, enough of me blabbing on, here’s how you do it!

Ingredients:

1 turnip

3 tsp olive oil

Salt, pepper, and any other spices you desire. I used paprika and a little chilli powder!

Method:

1. Preheat oven to about 225 degrees Celsius.

2. Peel and slice the turnip into chips.

3. Lay out on a tray and drizzle with a teaspoon of olive oil (or more if using a bigger tray – one turnip made about three trays’ worth for me).

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4. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and spices.

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5. Put in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until desired crispiness is achieved πŸ™‚

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6. Sprinkle with more spices, etc if desired! Enjoy!

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Note: Turn chips halfway through cooking πŸ™‚

One turnip (900g) makes about three 300g servings. The tray pictured above is exactly 300g πŸ™‚

Nutrition information: Per serving

Calories: 124

Carbohydrates:18g

Sugar: 11.4 (all naturally occuring)

P.S. I text my mam this morning to tell her that I like turnips now! I bet she’ll be so proud πŸ™‚

All Natural Nutella Energy Bars

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All Natural Nutella Energy Bars

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I LOVE NUTELLA!

Unfortunately I can’t eat it anymore, but today I accidentally created a recipe for Nutella bars that are made entirely from fruit, nuts, cocoa powder, vanilla essence and water. As often happens, one of my experiments in the kitchen wasn’t working out, but I ended up with these bars, and I think they’re probably better than my original idea! So, yay! These are gluten, dairy, wheat and refined sugar free.

Anyway, without further ado, here’s the recipe!

Nutella Energy Bars
Ingredients:
2 cups dates
1 cup almonds
1 cup hazelnuts
Water
Vanilla Essence
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder/Raw Cacao Powder

Method:

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1. Soak the dates in water for 2-3 hours before beginning. This will not look pleasant.

2.Line a baking tray with baking paper. Pour nuts onto baking tray, and ensure that they are spread out.

3. Roast in the oven at 170 degrees for 10-15 mins. Be sure to keep an eye on them – almonds often roast faster; I took them out after 12 minutes and the hazelnuts after 15.

4. Meanwhile, pit the dates and put them into the blender/food processor. If they are quite dry you might need to add some water. I started off with a tablespoon, and tried to blend it, and then added more as necessary. I ended up adding about 8 tablespoons as the dates I got were quite dry.

5. Add the roasted nuts to the date mixture. Blend for 30 seconds or so – not until desired consistency because you will be blending again in a minute!

6. Add 1-2 tsp of vanilla essence and a heaped tbsp. of cocoa powder/raw cacao powder. Blend again, until desired consistency is reached. You may need to add more water here if the mixture isn’t sticky enough (at this point I added 2 more tablespoons of water)

7. Transfer mixture into a lined baking tray, and smooth out. Use a knife (or a pizza cutter is even better!) to cut into bars.

8. Leave in the fridge overnight. Best stored in the fridge.

Note: This made about 10 bars for me, but I ended up eating a good bit of the mixture as I worked (initially these bars were going to be something else – they were a bit of a happy accident!). This mixture would probably make about 13/14 bars.

Vegan ‘Mince’ – Sneaky Veggies Part 2

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Vegan ‘Mince’ – Sneaky Veggies Part 2

My sister is a vegetarian, and I am really squeamish – I hate cooking meat and I almost faint every time I cut myself. So during the week, unless anyone else (cough cough – Finian) is cooking for me, I’m a vegetarian.

I used to eat a lot of Quorn, but a lot of their products contain things that my tummy doesn’t like, which meant I wasn’t able to eat my beloved spaghetti Bolognese during the week anymore. Until, that is, I figured out that vegetables can not only be disguised as pasta, rice and mash, but also as MINCE. Hurray!!! I did say there would be a sneaky veggies part 2 πŸ™‚ Here is a recipe for vegan β€˜mince’. It’s made only from vegetables, some walnuts, and some herbs and spices. It also contains almost 4 portions of vegetables per serving.

Ingredients: (Makes 4 very large servings – I have a big appetite!)
1 medium head of cauliflower
2-3 onions
2 large carrots
1 aubergine
3 cloves of garlic
Β½ cup walnuts
Β½ tsp salt
Β½ tsp pepper
Β½ tsp dried basil
Β½ tsp dried oregano
2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)

Method:
1. Chop the florets off the cauliflower and blend as if you were making cauliflower rice. Grate if you don’t have a blender.
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2. Grate 2 large carrots.
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3. Chop up aubergine and throw into blender. Blend until a mushy consistency. Alternatively, chop into very fine pieces and bash with a spoon (yes, I did this before I got a food processor – desperate times).
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4. Finely chop onion and garlic.
5. Mix all of the above ingredients in a mixing bowl, or food processor if possible.
6. Transfer mixture into a frying pan. No oil necessary.
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7. Heat vegetables on a high heat until they reduce somewhat, and become a bit more mushy (about 10 minutes)
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8. Grind half a cup of walnuts in the blender. Alternatively, break into very small pieces.

9. Add walnuts, basil, oregano, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper, and mix.
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10. Leave on medium heat for about 10 minutes. Be sure to check it regularly, as it can stick to the pan.
11. Add sauce of your choice and leave to simmer for a further 10 minutes.
12. EAT! I usually have mine in some homemade roasted red pepper sauce with some courgette spaghetti, like this!

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It’s also good made into a chilli con carne, with cauliflower rice! Really it could be used for any dish where mince is usually used, so I’m gonna keep experimenting! I hope you like it 😊

Homemade Froyo!

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Homemade Froyo!

Hello!!! πŸ™‚ It’s been a few weeks since I wrote a blog post because I was too busy Christmassing (ie. slobbing around in my pyjamas watching boxsets) to even think about opening my laptop! Is it just me or does anyone else find that the less they do, the more difficult it is to motivate yourself to do the smallest tasks? Anyway, that’s my excuse! πŸ™‚

So January has kicked in, and like most people I’m trying to undo the damage of an indulgent Christmas break. I wasn’t as strict with myself as usual and though I didn’t feel nauseous and exhausted like I did before I cut out sugar and wheat (thank God!), towards the end of the two weeks I definitely began to experience the typical tell tale signs that I experienced for so many years before I figured out what the heck was wrong with my tummy!

Just before Christmas, I received the most thoughtful gift from my KK at work – a sugar free cookbook! I was delighted! I’m really excited to try out all the recipes, and the one that caught my eye straight away was one for froyo. I absolutely LOVE froyo, and though it has lots of benefits, for example it contains probiotics, it’s often loaded with sugar. Anyway, here’s some ideas for homemade froyo! It’s really easy to make, and requires very few ingredients!

Froyo Finished

1. Natural froyo with berries

Plain Froyo

Ingredients: Makes one
– 3 Tbsp Natural/Greek Yogurt (If you are not trying to avoid sugar, any flavoured yogurt would also be lovely!)
– A few drops of stevia, honey, maple syrup, agave syrup or sweetener of your choice
– A few frozen berries (optional, but I put them in all of them because they make it, in my humble opinion!)
– Icepop moulds, or in my case silicon cupcake holders!

Method
– Mix all ingredients
– Pour into the mould
– Leave to freeze for a few hours
– Eat!

2. Raw Cacao Froyo

Choco Froyo

Ingredients:
– 3 Tbsp Natural/Greek yogurt
– 1 Tbsp Raw Cacao/Cocoa Powder (I can tell you from experience that drinking chocolate is also AMAZING, if you’re not avoiding sugar)
– A few drops of stevia, honey, maple syrup, agave syrup or sweetener of your choice
– More berries!

Method:
– Mix all ingredients
– Pour into moulds
– Freeze, and then enjoy!

3. Almond Butter Froyo

Froyo Almond Butter

Ingredients:
– 3 Tbsp Natural/Greek yogurt
– 1.5 Tbsp of Almond/Peanut Butter (or more if you like!)
– A few drops of stevia, honey, maple syrup, agave syrup or sweetener of your choice
– You guessed it – berries.

Method:
– I think you can figure it out. πŸ™‚

Notes:
– You could basically make any flavour you want using natural or greek yogurt as your base because it takes on any flavour you put into it. I’m gonna try using vanilla essence, peppermint essence, sugar free chocolate chips, and pureed fruit soon! I just used whatever I had at home, because it’s January and I’m poor.

– If you leave them overnight (like I did) and they are rock hard, leave them in the fridge for few hours OR if you are really impatient and want to eat them RIGHT NOW (like me!) run the moulds under hot water to melt them enough to eat!

– This is a really weird one, but if you don’t have ice pop moulds, try putting a raspberry on the top at the very end. It acts like a little handle πŸ™‚ Here is a picture of the lovely Finian demonstrating this!

– The serving size is two small portions or one medium portion

Finian Froyo

Nutrition facts: for two small cups like the ones pictured above
Natural Froyo with Berries
– Calories: About 115
– Sugar: 4.5g
– Protein: 11.4g
– Carbohydrates: 4g

Raw Cacao (with Berries)
– Calories: About 130
– Sugar: 4.7g
– Protein: 12.75g
– Carbohydrates: 8g

Almond Butter (with Berries)
– Calories: About 210
– Sugar: 5.2g
– Protein: 15g
– Carbohydrates:5g

The information above is a rough estimate when using the following ingredients:
Fage O% Greek Yogurt
Liquid Stevia
Frozen Mixed Berries (Dunnes)
Meridian Almond Butter
NUA Naturals Raw Cacao Powder

Gluten, Sugar and Dairy Free Chocolate Mug Cake!

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Gluten, Sugar and Dairy Free Chocolate Mug Cake!

So the other day, I received NINE BOXES OF CHOCOLATE as Christmas presents. None of them were sugar free. I do’t think I’ve ever been given as much chocolate since I believed in the Easter Bunny (and weren’t them the days!!) And yes, I slipped up and ate some of the chocolate, whilst lying in bed after a couple of gin and tonics. They were DELICIOUS. Ferrero Rocher. 25 in the box (of COURSE I counted!). It’s a miracle I only ate four. Okay fine, five. And I did not regret one delicious, hazelnutty bite.

Well, until the next day. I woke up feeling like I’d been teleported back to a birthday party in the mid-90s, after I’d eaten more sticky bars and rice crispie buns than my tummy could manage, and drunk some weird kid-style version of the petrol-y stuff you make from the contents of your parents drinks cabinet when you were 15 and “going to the cinema”. You know, Coke, Fanta, Sprite and lemonade all mixed together. Delicious. Basically, I had what I now believe to be known as a sugar hangover (possibly combined with a slightt actual hangover). After FOUR (okay, five) chocolates. How annoying.

Since I’ve been feeling a lot better I have recently been ‘testing’ myself to see what I can and can’t eat without feeling unwell. Perhaps a little too much. Sugar seems to be the worst culprit, and I can’t stop thinking about it! It doesn’t help that our house is filled with Christmas goodies and I can’t eat any of it. So I decided to try out some more chocolatey things in the kitchen. Today I made a gluten and sugar free mug cake! And the best thing is it only takes 5 minutes!

Ingredients:
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1 Tbsp Raw Cacao/unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tbsp flour of your choice (I used corn flour as it’s gluten free and we had it in the house, oh and I also tried coconut flour but I wouldn’t recommend it, it came out a bit weird)
1 tbsp protein powder (optional; I used rice protein but you could swap it for another tbsp of flour)
1/4 tsp baking flour
Pinch of salt
5 tsp powdered stevia
1 medium egg
1/2-1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp of oil or plain yogurt (optional)
2 tbsp almond milk (or milk of your choice)
Oil to rub the mug with (I used spray oil)

For chocolate sauce:
10g coconut oil
5g cacao powder
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
Few drops of liquid stevia (to taste)

Method:
1. Use a small amount of oil to grease the cup to avoid the mug sticking to the sides.
2. Mix dry ingredients well in the cup.
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3. Mix wet ingredients well in a bowl.
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4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until there are no lumps.
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5. Microwave for 3-4 minutes (just keep an eye on it – mine took about 3 minutes in a 900w oven)
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6. Serve with toppings of your choice! I chose plain yogurt (which obviously makes it not dairy free anymore) and homemade chocolate sauce.
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Chocolate sauce recipe:
This is basically the same as the healthy chocolates recipe but you don’t let it set!

Ingredients:
10g extra virgin coconut oil
5g raw cacao/unsweetened Cocoa powder
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
Liquid stevia (to taste)

Method:
1. Heat the coconut oil on a low heat (don’t leave it on too long or it will go crazy with you try to mix it with the cacao powder – trust me on this one)
2. Add the cacao powder, stevia and vanilla essence and mix.
3. Pour onto your mug cake and eat immediately!

Note: it tastes best eaten straight away – I would make the sauce while the cake is in the microwave πŸ™‚