Chocolate Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie

Chocolate, peanut butter and banana are one of those flavour combinations that can be enjoyed any time of year. And booooooy do I ever!

I love it when a smoothie can feel like a dessert, and this recipe totally hits all the right spots. It’s jam packed with chocolate, peanut butter, avocado and banana making my world complete one sip at a time.

Enjoy your weekend everyone!! I’ll be kicking back with one of these!

Chocolate Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie
Recipe lightly adapted from Baked Bree
Makes 1 smoothie

Ingredients:
1 cup Chocolate Almond milk
1 tbsp smooth peanut butter
1/4 of an avocado
1 tsp coconut oil
1 frozen banana
2-4 ice cubes, for desired thickness

Directions:
Blend all ingredients together until smooth and garnish with a banana chunk.

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Kale Salad with Oranges, Almonds and Avocado

Yesterday was just another day for me. No Thanksgiving deliciousness, and a giant Kale salad on my dinner plate. I’m Canadian after all, so I ate my weight in mashed potatoes last month.

But with all the gorgeous Thanksgiving recipes that have been popping up all over the internet, I thought I’d give you guys a big kale salad to help detox the body and make you feel like all that binge eating never happened.

This salad is chalk full of goodness. The dressing is simple with fresh squeezed orange juice, olive oil and salt, and the salad itself consists of kale, juicy chopped oranges, almonds, avocado and pomegranate seeds. HELLO health food!

To make this make your dressing first. Combine the juice of one orange with olive oil, a pinch of sea salt and some pepper. Shake or stir until very well combined. Set aside.

To assemble the salad, cut the middle stem part off the kale and place it into a bowl. Peel your second orange and separate the sections. Chop orange sections roughly and place in a bowl with the pomegranate seeds, chopped avocado and almonds.

Drizzle 1/3 of the dressing over salad and toss well to coat. Enjoy!

Kale Salad with Oranges, Pomegranate Almonds and Avocado
Recipe lightly adapted from Eat Live Run
Makes one big salad (and dressing for 3 salads)

Ingredients:
1 bunch lacinato kale (“dinosaur” kale”), washed and roughly chopped
2 juicy oranges
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 avocado, diced
10 whole raw almonds
1/2 pomegranate (seeds, of course)
pinch of sea salt and pepper

Directions:
First, make the dressing. Combine the juice of one orange with the olive oil, pinch of sea salt and pepper. Shake or stir until very well combined. Set aside.

To assemble the salad, peel the other orange and separate the sections. Chop orange sections roughly and place in a bowl with the kale, pomegranate seeds, chopped avocado and almonds.

Drizzle 1/3 of the dressing over salad and toss well to coat. Enjoy!

Notes:
-I actually like to let the dressing soak into the kale for about 10 minutes before eating.
-Extra dressing will stay good in a sealed jar for a about a week.

Kale Salad with Apricots, Avocado, and Almonds

I have been in a bit of a fall salad rut for a while. I had trouble coming up with anything other than roasted squash and beets on lettuce. A normal conundrum. One I have every year.

For me, having a salad for lunch is ideal, and I was so happy when I came across this simple salad on the Kitchn. Simple, easy, different, and awesome! Who knew I would be so into kale?

All you need to do is gather up your ingredients. Fold a piece of kale in half lengthwise and use your fingers to tear out the tough inner stem. Repeat with the other leaves of kale. Tear all the leaves into bite-sized pieces and put them in a medium-sized mixing bowl.

Cut the apricots into little bits and add them to the bowl with the kale, along with the almonds and the cheese.

Whisk together the oil and vinegar and pour the vinaigrette and a healthy pinch of salt over the salad and use your fingers to toss and rub everything together.

Transfer the salad to a bowl and leave the salad for about 10 minutes (this makes the dressing soak into the kale a bit). Slice the avocado into cubes and spoon them over the salad. Enjoy! And if you have any fall salad ideas, let me know! I’m always up for suggestions.

Kale Salad with Apricots, Avocado, and Almonds
Serves one
Recipe lightly adapted from The Kitchn

Ingredients:
6-8 ounces of raw kale
5 dried apricots
small handful of raw almonds (I used about 10)
1 tbsp of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 avocado
salt and pepper

Directions:
Fold a piece of kale in half lengthwise and use your fingers to tear out the tough inner stem. Repeat with the other leaves of kale. Tear all the leaves into bite-sized pieces and put them in a medium-sized mixing bowl.

Cut the apricots into little bits and add them to the bowl with the kale, along with the almonds and the cheese. Whisk together the oil and vinegar and pour the vinaigrette and a healthy pinch of salt over the salad and use your fingers to toss and rub everything together. Transfer the salad to a bowl.

Just before eating, slice the avocado into cubes and spoon them over the salad.

Note: This salad will keep for about 24 hours in the refrigerator.

Black Bean, Quinoa and Citrus Salad

After my sister and I were about 3 km (1.9 miles) in to our 6.5 km walk today, I noticed that I did not have any sunscreen on…or any protective clothing or water in my backpack. It’s 33 degrees C (90 F) outside.

Shit. Yes, that was the only word that came to me. Now I’m at home, can barely touch my arms, and find sitting painful. WOO HOO! Sunscreen matters people. Don’t be silly like me.

Since my brain and body are a bit fried, I can only handle cold salads and ice cream right now. That’s it! And this salad is perrrrfect! It’s filled with black beans and grapefruit and totally made me happy.

Hope you like it too! I recommend in on non brain-fried days as well.

To make this, bring quinoa to a boil with three cups water and a pinch of salt. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, or until all water is absorbed and quinoa is light and fluffy. Remove from stove and let cool while you prepare the rest of the salad.

In a small bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients.

Place black beans, red onion, grapefruit, cilantro, bell pepper, avocado and shucked corn kernels in a large bowl. Toss to combine. Add quinoa to salad then pour over dressing.

Toss well and serve.

Now that’s a summer salad.

Black Bean, Quinoa and Citrus Salad
Recipe lightly adapted from Eat, Live, Run
Serves 5-6

Ingredients:
1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 red onion, minced
1 large grapefruits, divided into segments and chopped
1/2 large red bell pepper, diced
2 ears fresh corn, kernels chopped off’
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 large (ripe but firm) avocado, diced
1 small bunch cilantro, minced (optional)

Dressing:
juice of 3 limes
2 tsp cumin
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt

Directions:
Bring quinoa to a boil with three cups water with a pinch of salt. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, or until all water is absorbed and quinoa is light and fluffy. Remove from stove and let cool while you prepare the rest of the salad.

Place black beans, red onion, grapefruit, cilantro, bell pepper, avocado and shucked corn kernels in a large bowl. Toss to combine.

In a small bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients. Add quinoa to salad then pour over dressing. Toss well and serve.

Salad will keep in sealed tupperware containers for up to five days in the fridge.

Roasted Corn Guacamole

After an awesome long weekend of friends, Canada Day celebrations, and a Monday OFF, it’s time to get back to the grind.

Boo work! In this heat I could seriously sit in my air conditioned bedroom and eat popsicles all day reading Game of Thrones – which I’m obsessed with by the way. Ohhhhh and speaking of books, if you’re feeling sad, deprived, and lonely after reading the 50 Shades of Grey series, there is this new book out called Bared to You by Sylvia Day that all the 50 Shade-ers are buying now and getting hot over. Check it out!

Now on to guacamole. Tied with hummus, it’s my favorite summer dip. I have a favorite recipe for guacamole that I made a while ago, but since it’s summer I added some fresh roasted corn to the mix (which could also totally be grilled) and turned the heat down a bit. What a treat!

To make this, first roast corn under your broiler and wait until a few of the kernels turn good and dark. Rotate the corn to get this darkness on all sides. Allow to cool a bit, then cut the kernels off the cobs. Set aside.

Halve avocados and remove pit. Cut avocado into a dice inside the skin, then scoop out with a spoon.

Add in tomatoes.

In a bowl, combine corn kernels, diced avocados, diced tomato, jalapenos, minced garlic, lime juice, salt, and cumin. Stir gently to combine. Add cilantro if you like it. I don’t sadly :(

Roasted Corn Guacamole
Serves 10
Recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Ingredients
3 ears Corn, Shucked
6 whole Avocados, Diced
1 whole Large Tomato, Diced
1/3 cup Onion, Finely Diced
2 cloves Garlic, Finely Minced
1 Diced Fresh Jalapeno
2 whole Limes, Juiced
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1/2 cup Cilantro Leaves (optional)

Directions:
Roast corn under your broiler and wait until a few of the kernels turn good and dark. Rotate the corn to get this darkness on all sides. Allow to cool a bit, then cut the kernels off the cobs. Set aside.

Halve avocados and remove pit. Cut avocado into a dice inside the skin, then scoop out with a spoon.

In a bowl, combine corn kernels, diced avocados, diced tomato, jalapenos, minced garlic, lime juice, salt, and cumin. Stir gently to combine. Add cilantro and stir in.

Enjoy!

Pina Colada Smoothie

Something super exciting is happening this weekend – I’m going camping on a lake with my boy! Another item that will be checked off of my summer bucket list. Awesome! As I mentioned before, I’ve already gone strawberry picking and made my own strawberry jam, so this will be the second thing to check off!

I am kind of cheating though…you see, camping is something my boy and I try to do as much as we can anyway. It’s so nice to get away from the city and spend time together. Plus, we just bought a new fancy tent and seriously need to check it out.

I made this smoothie this morning and absolutely love it! I have issues with frozen pineapple, an usually hate it, but totally loooove it in this smoothie! The avocado makes it totally delicious. You must try! All you need to do is throw all of your ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Voila!

OH! And don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a $50 Amazon gift card! Contest ends on Sunday. Good luck!

Pina Colada Smoothie
Serves 1
Recipe taken from Baked Bree

Ingredients:
1 cup vanilla almond milk (or any other milk)
1/4 cup diced mango, frozen
1/4 cup pineapple, frozen
1/4 of an avocado
1/2 frozen banana
2 Tablespoons flaked coconut

Directions:
Throw all of the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and enjoy!

Huevos Rancheros Wraps

I have to tell you about this woman that lives on the first floor of my building. You see, I haven’t actually met her, but I HAVE met some of her cats. Well, kind of.

My parking space is just outside of this woman’s apartment and pretty much every day I can see a kitty sleeping in the window – it’s always such a pleasant surprise. Today I saw cat number 7. I am not kidding.

SEVEN cats! First I saw a short haired black kitty, then a long haired black kitty, then 4 more and then today I saw lucky cat number seven. A white fluffy kitty was sitting in the window. Is this allowed?? Who knew crazy cat women actually existed?? I’m here to tell you that they do. And am unsure if I need to call the pet shelter…but that’s another matter. On to these wraps!!

To begin, heat butter over medium high heat. Add eggs and fry until cooked through (I scrambled mine).

Mmmm….

Heat the tortillas in a frying pan.

Layer the black beans on the warm tortilla.

Add fried eggs and cheese.

Top it off with cheese, salsa, slices of avocado and cilantro. Be careful to leave room so you can wrap up your tortilla!

Enjoy!

Huevos Rancheros Wraps
Recipe taken from Eat Live Run
Serves 4

Ingredients:
4 large whole grain tortillas
8 eggs
1 avocado
1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 bunch cilantro, minced
Salsa
Vegetable oil to fry eggs

Directions:
Heat oil or butter over medium high heat. Add eggs and fry until cooked through (you can either scramble or keep the yolks whole).

Heat the tortillas, then layer black beans, fried eggs, salsa, slices of avocado and cilantro in each. Be careful to leave room so you can wrap up your tortilla!

To make a closed end wrap (like mine), fold both the right and the left edges over the filling and roll from the bottom. Then cut the wrap in half with a sharp knife and enjoy!

Lemony Quinoa and Avocado Salad

My belly aches. With yesterday’s and today’s candy consumption my body is beginning to think Reese’s peanut butter cups are a food group. So, with my rumbling belly telling me to cut the sugar I decided to make a quick and healthy Moroccan dish with whole wheat couscous, toasted almonds and pistachios and citrus flavour. Not the salad I’m posting here, but close in terms of the nutritional benefits.

This salad is chalk full of good stuff. It has protein from the quinoa, healthy fat from the avocado, olive oil and tahini, and vitamins A, C, and K from the fresh, crunchy, red peppers. I made this salad in September when I was home alone for a month and needed something healthy to make in a big batch. Do you ever do that? Make a dish that lasts you 5 days? The first day is AWESOME and then by day 5 you never want to see that particular meal again. ’tis life. To begin, cook up your quinoa.

Chop your red pepper and onion.

Add chopped avocado.

Mix up your dressing ingredients – tahini, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, water and salt. Oh, and make sure to take a really blurry, bad photo of it!…haha.

Mix your quinoa, dressing, and chopped red pepper, avocado and red onion together. If you like cilantro you would add it in here. I don’t like it so I left it out. Enjoy! And, Happy November!

Lemony Quinoa and Avocado Salad
Recipe adapted from Fat Girl Trapped in a Skinny Body
Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 red pepper, diced
2 avocados, diced
1/2 large red onion, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped (optional)

Tahini Dressing:
1/4 cup tahini
2 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (juice from two big lemons)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons hot water
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

Directions:
Rinse the quinoa in a fine-meshed strainer. In a medium saucepan heat the quinoa and water until boiling. Reduce heat and simmer until water is absorbed and quinoa fluffs up, about 15 minutes. Quinoa is done when you can see the curlique in each grain, and it is tender with a bit of pop to each bite. Drain any extra water and set aside.

While the quinoa is cooking make the dressing. Whisk together the garlic, tahini, lemon juice, and olive oil. Add the hot water to thin a bit and then the salt.

Toss the cooked quinoa, pepper, avocado, red onion, cilantro and half of the dressing. Add more dressing if you like and season with more salt to taste. Serve garnished with a bit of cilantro.

Spicy Guacamole

Yesterday was weird. I woke up at 6 am (same as everyday), read my morning blogs, got ready, and head out the door at 7:20 to catch my bus. It was rainy so when I came back inside to grab my umbrella I realized that it was still dark outside. Weird. Usually it’s light. *WHAM* It hit me. I’m not supposed to catch the bus until 8:20. My class starts at 9. Fail.

These things happen. Call them brain farts or whatever you will, but boy, do they make me feel silly! I just giggled, and decided to practice guitar to pass the time. I think I need to sleep more. This recipe is good for sleepy people, non-sleepy people and zombies (I’m on a Walking Dead kick). It’s easy and super tasty. My favorite guacamole recipe that I’ve tasted thus far. Feeling too tired to bake a 7-layer cake? Me too. Here’s a guac recipe for ya.

To begin, half and pit your avocados.

Toss scooped avocados with lime juice.

Mash the avocados using a fork or potato masher.

Add the salt, cumin, and cayenne and mash.

Chop a jalapeno.

Chop your onion.

Chop your tomatoes.

And fold onion, jalapeno, tomatoes, cilantro (optional), and garlic. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour to get the flavours mixing together.

Serve with tortilla chips, pitas, or veggies. Eat! See? Easy.

Spicy Guacamole
Recipe adapted from My Baking Addiction
Yield | 6 servings

Ingredients:
3 ripe avocados, halved, seeded and scooped
2 limes, juiced
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1/2 cup diced red onion (about 1 small onion)
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced (leave some seeds in if you want to crank up the heat)
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (optional)

Directions:
In a large bowl, toss the scooped avocados with the lime juice. Mash the avocados using a fork or potato masher. Add the salt, cumin, and cayenne and mash. Fold in the onion, jalapeno, tomatoes, cilantro, and garlic. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour and then serve.

Notes
-If you don’t like your guacamole spicy, simply omit the jalapeno and cut back on the cayenne.

Avocado Chocolate Pudding

It’s 8am and I’ve already devoured an entire batch of chocolate pudding. Think I like chocolate? That goes without saying.

I have a few things in the kitchen that I need to get rid of. Oranges, a pineapple, and an avocado. So, to use up my avocado I threw it in my pudding recipe as a thickener. Think I’m crazy? Maybe. But this unusual recipe turned out to be the best chocolate pudding I’ve EVER tasted. Seriously folks, would I lie to you?

Avocados are great, and are considered the worlds healthiest fruit. Why? Because they contain vitamin K, dietary fiber, potassium, folic acid, vitamin B6, and vitamin C! So, using them in my chocolate pudding makes me feel great. I used other healthy ingredients like pure cocoa powder (instead of chocolate chips), honey (instead of refined sugar), and light coconut milk (instead of heavy cream).

I love chocolate, and telling you this will never get old. Earlier this year I brought some of my chocolate baking to a faculty pot luck to hear my professor say “Ew, I HATE chocolate”. Really?? I mean, really? People don’t like it? This baffles me in several ways. I sometimes wish I didn’t like it so much. It would save me from eating all of the cookie batter before I put the cookies in the oven, but it’s one of those simple things that I NEED to survive. Chocolate + Honey + Brown sugar = my favorite ingredients.

So here we are. 8 am and ready to begin another chocolate fun day. Awesome. This recipe makes 4 small servings and is 3 weight watchers points per serving.

Ingredients:
1 ripe avocado
2 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
1/2 cup light coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp honey

Directions:
Put all ingredients in a blender and BLEND! The pudding will come out smooth and sweet. Absolute perfection!

Aren’t avocados just the greatest?