Moroccan Spiced Chicken Salad

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This is by no means your average salad, colourful and flavourful, it is sure to win over any salad cynic. A light, fuss free, weeknight friendly meal, bursting with flavour. Don’t be overwhelmed by the list of spices, each ingredient works to create the most aromatic spice rub, perfect for massaging into juicy tenderloins. I love a textured salad so I used a combination of crunchy vegetables, creamy natural yogurt and nutty roasted pumpkin seeds to compliment the tasty Moroccan spiced chicken.

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Ingredients:

(Serves 4)

800g Free range chicken tenderloins

Spice Mix

  • 1 teaspoon of Himalayan sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • ½ teaspoon of dried coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil (add more if spice paste is too dry)

Salad

  • 1 cup of spinach or rocket leaves
  • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup of red cabbage, sliced into thin ribbons
  • 1 red capisicum, chopped
  • ½ cup of cucumber
  • 1 cup of sugar snap peas
  • 1 small red onion, diced

Dressing

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons of honey
  • 1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard

To Serve

  • Natural yogurt
  • Roasted pumpkin seeds
  • Lemon wedges

Combine all spices in a large bowl, add olive oil and mix until a paste forms. Add chicken tenderloins to the bowl and massage spice paste into the chicken. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to marinate for at least four hours or overnight.

After chicken has marinated, remove from the fridge and heat a large oiled pan over medium heat. Add spiced chicken mixture to the pan and fry until cooked through and the chicken is a sticky golden brown colour.

Whilst the chicken is cooking prepare the salad ingredients and dressing. Roast pumpkin seeds for 10 mins in a hot oven or until lightly brown.

Toss salad with dressing and top with chicken strips, yogurt and pumpkin seeds. Serve with lemon wedges.

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Raw Cookie Dough Bites

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When my sister and I bake together, a quarter of the recipe is usually consumed before it makes it to the oven. What is it about cake batter that is so deliciously moreish? These cookie dough inspired bliss balls are sweet, chunky and delicious just like an unbaked biscuit.

IMG_6782I decided to make two different flavours inspired by my favourite baking batters – chocolate brownies and banana bread. The brownie balls are super rich and chocolately with a crunchy, nutty texture. And the banana bread balls are smooth and doughy studded with milk chocolate drops. They are quick, easy, packed with healthy goodies and taste like fudgy little balls of heaven! If you can resist eating half the mixture before rolling the balls you are stronger than I am.

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Dark Chocolate Brownie Bites

  • 1 cup medjool dates
  • ¼ cup cacao powder
  • ¼ cup peanut cacao spread (this is a good brand) or use your favourite natural nut butter
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • ½ teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • ¼ cup cacao nibs
  • 1/3 cup desiccated coconut
  • 2 tablespoons of agave
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil (add more if mixture is too crumbly)

Add all ingredients to the bowl of a food processor except the cacao nibs, mix until a crumbly dough is formed. Add cacao nibs. Roll into balls. Store in the fridge.

Chunky Monkey Cookie Dough Bites

  • 1 small banana
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • ½ teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup of coconut
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut flour
  • 1 tablespoon of maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup of chocolate chips

Add all ingredients to the bowl of a food processor except the chocolate chips, mix until a sticky dough is formed. Add chocolate chips. Roll into balls. Store in the fridge.

I like to bring mine to room temperature before eating. Each recipe makes approximately 16 bliss balls each.

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Orange Chocolate Chip Pancakes

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Let’s talk about these pancakes. We already know orange and chocolate are a heavenly combination, add a handful of other simple ingredients and you have the most rich and decadent stack of fluffy pancakes. With fresh orange juice and zest in the batter they are bursting with zesty orange flavour. I used cacao nibs instead of chocolate chips, which added a delicious crunch and texture to the dish. I lathered my stack with homemade chocolate sauce and natural yogurt, the perfect bitter sweet combo. They are finger licking good, not a crumb was left on my plate this morning! Little would you know that these taste bud tantalizing pancakes come packed with nutritional benefits – vitamin C from the oranges, potassium from the banana, fiber from the buckwheat and coconut flour, antioxidants from the cacao nibs and protein from the egg, they will keep you buzzing for hours!

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IMG_6895IMG_6887Pancake Batter

  • 1 egg
  • 1 banana
  • ¼ cup buckwheat flour
  • ¼ cut oat flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • Juice of one orange
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon cacao nibs

Chocolate Sauce

  •  1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon cacao powder

Toppings

  • Orange or mandarin slices
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • ¼ cup natural yogurt
  • Sprinkle of cacao nibs
  • Chocolate sauce (recipe above)

Mix all the ingredients for the pancake batter (except the cacao nibs) in a food processor. Then stir through the cacao nibs. Heat a pan over medium heat, add a little coconut oil to grease the pan. The mixture will make four to five small – medium sized pancakes. Cook pancakes for several minutes on each side. Serve with yogurt, orange wedges and a drizzle of chocolate sauce.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Porridge

IMG_5687 There is nothing more satisfying than a big bowl of creamy oats to start the day. Add peanut butter, chocolate and banana and you have the ultimate breakfast bowl. Who doesn’t love dessert for breakfast? Especially when it tastes like fudgy chocolate pudding but is actually packed with deliciously wholesome ingredients. Sweet banana, salty peanut butter and rich dark chocolate, an unbeatable flavour trio. With most of the ingredients being pantry samples you can whip up a big bowl of guilt free chocolate goodness in no time. IMG_5683

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup oat bran
  • ¼ cup rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon cacao powder
  • ½ teaspoon of chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of honey or maple syrup
  • 1 small mashed banana
  • ½ teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon of cacao nibs

Combine dry ingredients in a medium size pot. Then add almond milk, honey, vanilla and mashed banana, mix together. Cook over medium heat until desired consistency is reached. I like mine super thick and creamy. Once cooked, top with a heaped tablespoon of peanut butter and a sprinkle of cacao nibs. IMG_5674

Choc Chunk Raspberry Spiked Brownies

Sometimes you just need chocolate.

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This week was one of those weeks where I desperately counted down the days until it was over. I longed for a lazy Saturday sleep in, breakfast in bed, PJs all day and too much TV. I also longed for chocolate. Of the sugary sweet processed kind, I may of fallen off the health food band wagon this week. So I made brownies. Really naughty ones. There aint no dry crumbly cake like brownies coming out of my oven. When I bake brownies, I really go to town.

The perfect brownie is extremely dense and fudge-like. It also needs a bit of character. Like chocolate chunks, nuts, caramel swirls, peanut butter, orange zest, Reeses Pieces (pretty much anything sweet and delicious that pairs well with chocolate).

Raspberries are currently in season and no longer $15 a punnet so I decided to stuff my brownies with fresh berries and milk chocolate chunks. A match made in chocolate heaven! These brownies are the type of treat that make you moan out load after first bite, awkward I know but that’s how damn good they are. Feel free to mix up the filling with any flavor combo you like. I’m usually a triple choc chunk kind of girl but the addition of raspberries to this batch was surprisingly good, they cut through the sweetness in the most delicious way. And they look pretty too.

IMG_6710Tomorrow I will drink green juice, go for a run and make the most of the gorgeous sunny summer weather. But today I’m catching up on The Mindy Project, whilst wearing sweat pants and eating brownies.

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Ingredients:

  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 200g dark chocolate
  • 80g cocoa powder, sifted
  • 80g plain flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • optional: 1 cup rapberries (fresh or frozen)
  • optional: ¾ cup milk chocolate chips

Method:

Preheat your oven to 180°C. Line a 25cm tin with baking paper. Melt the butter and the chocolate together in a small pot over some simmering water, mix together until smooth.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder and sugar. Pour the chocolate and butter mixture into this bowl. Mix together well. Add beaten eggs and stir until you have a smooth consistency. Mix in the raspberries and chocolate chips before pouring the mixture into the baking tin.

Bake for 30 – 40 mins. Do not overcook, when you bring them out of the oven the top should be firm but the middle still gooey and giggly in the tin. Once cooled they will firm up I promise. When they are room temperature pop them in the fridge for an hour or so. This makes them so much easier to cut. You can serve them straight out of the fridge (super fudgy this way), let them come to room temperature or reheat them and serve with vanilla ice cream!

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Blueberry Banana Bread

I am somewhat of a banana bread connoisseur. There is usually a freshly baked loaf sitting in my pantry on a weekly basis ready to lather in honey, homemade jam or simply devour on its own. Is there nothing better than the sweet smell of bananas and cinnamon baking in the oven on a Sunday afternoon? IMG_6081

I am always on the hunt for new and improved ways to bake this humble loaf. Finally I think I may have found the perfect recipe, naturally sweet, melt in your mouth moist, loaded with banana flavour and the tangy burst of blueberries. Best of all its one of the healthiest recipes I have tried. No butter, sugar or even eggs are used! Jessie from Faring Well has without doubt created the ultimate recipe, claiming the number one prize for best banana bread ever in my books. In second place is Bakerita’s Almond Banana Bread, another super healthy loaf that is a dream slathered in peanut butter or vanilla yogurt. And in third place is Ambitious Kitchen’s White Chocolate and Macadamia Banana Bread, not so kind on the hips but out of control delicious and ultra moist with ingredients like freshly squeezed orange juice and greek yogurt. The only change I made to Jessie’s recipe was using a smaller amount of maple syrup. This recipe was sweet enough using ultra ripe bananas that I only needed ¼ cup and I probably could of used less than that still. IMG_6128 IMG_6190

Ingredients

  • 1 cup mashed overripe banana
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
 or honey
  • 1/2 cup plain almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon himaylayan salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup whole spelt flour
  • 1/3 cup oat flour
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 cup blueberries

Preheat the oven to 200C. Line a 9×5 loaf tin with baking paper. Combine all of the wet ingredients in a mixing bowl. Then add in the dry ingredients and mix well before adding the coconut and blueberries. Pour mixture into the tin and bake for 40 minutes or until the loaf is golden brown on top and a skewer comes out clean. Allow loaf to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. I like to dig in whilst the bread is still warm from the oven but it is much easier to slice if you can wait until its completely cool. Enjoy! IMG_6153 IMG_6175

Raw Chocolate Caramel Slice

One of my all time favourite indulgences is chocolate caramel slice. My usual go to recipe is from the Little & Friday cookbook, it is a family favourite that I am always asked to whip up for special occasions. As much as I love this recipe I thought I would have a go at creating a lighter, healthier version of this classic sweet treat.

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Can I interest you a slice of guilt free ooey gooey chocolate caramel heaven?

Yes please!

These raw dessert bars are so close to real thing it’s scary. With a crunchy chocolate base, gooey date caramel centre and creamy dark chocolate topping, it is hard to believe each melt in your mouth morsel is actually good for you. Packed with healthy fats, protein and antioxidants why not indulge in a slice pre workout or boost energy levels and curb those afternoon cravings at work.

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Ingredients:

BASE

  • 1 ½ cups almond meal
  • ½ cup of walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons of cacao powder
  • 3 tablespoons of agave

FILLING

  • 2 cups of medjool dates pitted
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 1 tablespoon of almond milk

TOPPING

  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ cup raw cacao powder
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • Sprinkle of Himalayan sea salt

Method:

Combine base ingredients in a food processor and blend until sticky. The mixture should hold together when squeezed in the palm of your hand. Press firmly into the base of a dish lined with baking paper. Place dish in the freezer whilst preparing the filling.

To prepare the filling mix all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Spread evenly over the chilled base. Return to the freezer.

And finally the chocolate layer! Mix all ingredients together until smooth. Pour over the slice and return to the freezer for at least 4 hours or until firmly set.

*Store the slice in the fridge or freezer. Unlike store bought bars of chocolate, raw chocolate melts easily and therefore should not be left out at room temperature for too long. I kept mine in the freezer, as it’s always a plus to have some form of healthy treat on hand to cure my constant cravings for something sweet.

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Plum Jam

Tis the season of the stone fruit here in Western Australia and I went plum crazy at the markets this weekend, filling my basket to the very brim with the gorgeous plump purple fruit. I purchased far more than I actually needed for the week. So with the abundance of plums in my fruit bowl I decided to make homemade jam to pair with a freshly baked loaf of banana bread. Not the store bought kind, artificially sweetened with processed sugar but the healthy kind naturally sweetened with maple syrup and thickened with omega rich chia seeds.IMG_5972

IMG_5896You can replace the plums with any kind of seasonal fruit – strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, pears or a combination. All you need is 20 minutes and three ingredients and you have the most delicious pot of jam pumped with omega fats, protein, iron, fibre and antioxidants. The chia seeds are magic, naturally thickening and absorbing moisture, they help to create the texture of traditional homemade jam. Spread on toast or banana bread, lather on pancakes or porridge, bake with brownies or dollop on top of fruit salad.

IMG_5939Ingredients:

  • 900 grams of ripe plums, halved, pits removed, skins off
  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of maple syrup (increase to 2 tablespoons depending on taste, my plums were super sweet on their own)

In a medium sized pot add plums and maple syrup, bring to the boil.Then reduce to medium heat and let the fruit simmer for 5-10 minutes.Taste and add additional syrup, if desired.Stir in the chia seeds until well combined and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring frequently.Remove from the stove and leave to cool. The mixture will thicken during the cooling process. Once cool pour into lidded jars. Keeps in the fridge for 2 weeks or in the freezer for 2 months.

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Chocolate Brownie Pancakes

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By now you know I have a thing for pancakes, they are the ultimate breakfast food, especially when they are packed with wholesome ingredients. I often like to experiment with my go to basic recipe (featured here) and come up with different flavour combinations using alternative flours and other superfood ingredients.

In honour of valentines day, I decided to make the most indulgent, chocolately, fudgey, brownie batter inspired stack of pancakes. And yes they do taste as good as they look. If you are a chocolate lover like me then you won’t be disappointed, you can have your cake and eat it too! Packed with iron rich cacao, banana, oats and eggs, these protein filled pancakes will keep you going all day long!

I topped mine with a simple homemade chocolate sauce by combining maple syrup, coconut oil and cacao powder. I added walnuts and cacao nibs on top for a bit of crunch. Chocolate heaven!

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Ingredients:

  •  ½ Cup of coconut flour
  • ½ Old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 Cup of almond milk
  • 2 Tablespoons of cacao
  • 2 Free range eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons of maple syrup
  • ½ Teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 Banana
  • 2 Tablespoons of desiccated coconut

Use coconut oil to grease the pan

In a food processor, add all of the ingredients, then process until smooth. Leave to sit for 5 minutes (the coconut flour will absorb all the moisture, you should be left with a thick mixture).

Heat a greased pan on low. Spoon 3-4 tablespoons of batter in to the pan, and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side. Keep the pancakes small as they are much easier to flip that way.

Makes 8-10 small pancakes.

Chocolate Sauce:

  • 2 Tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 2 Tablespoons of maple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons of cacao

Mix ingredients in small pan over low heat.

To Serve:

  •  Chocolate sauce (recipe above)
  • Almond butter
  • Maple syrup
  • Walnuts
  • Cacao nibs

Layer pancakes. In between each layer spread with almond butter and chocolate sauce. Sprinkle walnuts and cacao nibs over the stack of pancakes. For extra sweetness pour maple syrup over the top.

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