Carrot cake energy bites

 

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How did I not try coconut butter until today?! Coconut is literally one of my favorite things EVER so it blows my mind that I waited so long to buy my first  jar of coconut  butter. So for the next several days you can find me with my spoon in the jar 🙂

Ok enough of that…Onto this recipe, which is one of my favorite things I have made lately! The great thing about this recipe is that it is lower carb than other energy bites because I did not put oats into it. Due to the way I eat (high protein/fat for breakfast and lunch, then I introduce carbs several hours before I work out, which is always a lower fat meal) I am constantly looking for high fat snacks that are low in carbs, especially for rest days. There is a whole science behind this that is worthy of a separate blog post so let me know if that is something you would be interested in reading!

Ok onto the recipe!

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What you need:

  • 2 C shredded carrots
  • 1/2 C roughly chopped pecans
  • 1/2 C macadamia nuts
  • 5 T coconut butter
  • 1 T unsweetened shredded coconut (plus more for garnish)
  • 1 T chopped ginger
  • 1 tsp fresh turmeric
  • 1 T ground cinnamon
  • Sea salt (to taste)

What to do:

  • Pulse carrots in a food processor to a coarse texture (see picture below). Add to large mixing bowl
  • Pulse macadamia nuts in food processor until they are roughly chopped (you want to pulse until there are no big chunks). Add to mixing bowl.
  • Pulse the ginger and turmeric in food processor and add to mixing bowl.
  • Roughly chop the pecans by hand, these will give the bites a nice texture, add to mixing bowl.

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  • Add coconut butter. (Tip: you will likely need to submerge your jar of coconut butter into hot water until the oil has melted and you can easily mix it).
  • Add cinnamon and salt, stir well.
  • Taste the mixture and add more salt as desired.
  • Roll into 1 inch balls and top with additional shredded coconut.
  • Store in the fridge or freezer to have on hand for a yummy treat!

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Superbowl Snack round up!

The Superbowl is just days away, hopefully you have thought about planning your menu. If not, I have got some great dishes to get you started!

1. First up, Chipotle BLT Pizza. This one is so good and was featured on The FeedFeed!

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2. Need a grain and gluten free pizza option? These Pesto, bacon, arugula & cherry tomato cauli pizza bites are delicious and super healthy!

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3. Roasted garlic, artichoke & kale dip is dairy free and has all the flavor of a spinach artichoke dip!

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4. The best guacamole EVER. My husband isn’t called the Guac King for nothing…It really is the best guacamole ever.

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5. You need something to eat with that guacamole, right? How about these Sweet potato skillet nachos!

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6. No Superbowl party would be complete without some type of buffalo chicken, these Sweet potato buffalo chicken sliders are delish and Whole30 compliant!

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7. Are you firing up your grill for the big game? If so, these bacon wrapped grilled shrimp skewers are a MUST!

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8. Coconut chicken fingers…SO good!

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9. Lighten up your traditional popper recipe with Pork belly wrapped pineapple jalapeno poppers

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10. OBVIOUSLY you need something for dessert right?! These triple dark chocolate beet brownies with dark chocolate ganache will leave your sweet tooth happy (and your guests will have NO clue you put beets in the brownies).

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So that’s my Superbowl snack round-up, hopefully you have foundsomething to inspire you for Sunday. Tag me on instagram (@thetastybarbell) to let me know what recipes you are making!

And most importantly…GO PATS!!!

Sweet potato skillet nachos

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One more new recipe this week before Superbowl Sunday is here! Tomorrow I will be posting a round up of my recipes that are perfect for your Superbowl party so be on the look out 🙂

You can’t really watch a football game without eating nachos right? I’ve got you covered – these sweet potato nachos are so yummy and filling you will not miss the tortilla chips at all. I prefer to make them in my cast iron skillet, but you could also use a baking sheet if you do not have a cast iron skillet. I kept the toppings to this pretty simple, but if you feel like spicing it up a bit, add some chili or shredded chicken for more protein!

What you need:

  • Two large sweet potatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 C organic salsa
  • 1 C shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped
  • Fresh cilantro to garnish
  • Optional: Best guacamole ever!
  • Olive oil
  • Salt/pepper

What to do:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F
  • Arrange sweet potato slices in a single layer on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, salt & pepper.
  • Bake 10 min, then flip & bake for an additional 10 minutes.
  • In a cast iron skillet, layer the sweet potatoes with salsa, cheese, red onion and jalapeno, continue until you have used all the sweet potatoes (should fill your skillet).
  • Bake at 350F in the skillet for 15 minutes.
  • Top with fresh cilantro and guacamole and any other toppings of your choice.
  • Enjoy!

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Whole 30 compliant Sweet potato buffalo chicken sliders

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It’s Superbowl week!!! I could not be more excited to watch my beloved Patriots in yet ANOTHER Superbowl. It truly is amazing that this will be the 8th Patriots Superbowl appearance in my lifetime. Before all you non-Patriots fans click away, I will get to this recipe which is a big winner no matter who you are rooting for!

Couple things about this recipe – as long as you use a compliant hot sauce, like Frank’s, and either a homemade ranch OR Tessamae’s new creamy ranch dressing, this is Whole 30 compliant. I used the Tessamae’s and it was so yummy! I also used Hannah sweet potatoes for this – mainly because they were the perfect size to make slider buns with, but you could just as easily use regular sweet potatoes. It is super tasty and filling, the perfect little bite for any Superbowl party!

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What you need:

  • 1lb lean ground chicken
  • 2 Hannah (or regular) sweet potatoes
  • 1/4C buffalo wing sauce
  • Tessamae’s Ranch Dressing
  • 1/2C chopped green onion
  • Cooking oil – olive oil or coconut oil
  • salt/pepper to taste

What to do:

  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Thinly slice the sweet potatoes to 1/4 inch thick slices.
  • Arrange the sweet potatoes on a greased baking sheet in a single layer (you may need several baking sheets, or cook them in 2 batches). Lightly drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Cook for 10 minutes, then flip the potatoes, cook for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Reduce the oven temp to 350F.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground chicken with the buffalo sauce. Form into slider sized patties, about 1.5-2 inches each.
  • In a large skillet, heat a thin layer of cooking oil over medium heat. Add the sliders and cook ~5-7 minutes per side.
  • Place the chicken sliders in a baking dish and cook at 350F for 20 additional minutes, to ensure they are cooked through.
  • Layer the sweet potato with the chicken sliders and top with Tessamae’s ranch dressing and fresh chopped green onion. Use a toothpick in each slider for easy grab and go snacking!
  • Enjoy!

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Triple dark chocolate beet brownies with dark chocolate ganache

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Yes, you read that right, there are beets in these brownies and they are DELISH! There is so much chocolate in this recipe that you would never know there are 3 whole beets in the brownies. More reasons to make these brownies? They are gluten free, grain free, refined sugar free, nut free, & dairy free. Basically, they are allergen free and have a MEGA dose of chocolate. The deep chocolate flavor comes from the unsweetened cocoa powder, dark chocolate chips, and, possibly the BEST part of the brownies over all….the dark chocolate ganache frosting. These would make the most perfect Valentine’s Day dessert, so grab yourself some beets and get baking!

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What you need:

Brownies:

  • 3 medium  sized beets, peeled & chopped into bite sized pieces.
  • 1 C organic coconut palm sugar
  • 5 T + 2 TSP coconut oil
  • 5 T coconut flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 T unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 C dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 TSP baking soda
  • Sea salt

Ganache:

  • 1/2C full fat coconut milk
  • 1 bag (10oz) dark chocolate chips (Enjoy Life or Ghiradelli are good brands)

What to do:

Brownies:

  • Drizzle the beets with 1 TSP melted coconut oil & a dash of sea salt, roast @ 400F for 30 minutes, until fork tender.
  • Line a square baking dish with parchment paper and reduce oven heat to 350F.
  • Add the cooked beets to a food processor with 1 TSP coconut oil, blend until smooth.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine coconut sugar with 5 T of coconut oil. You want the oil to be at room temperature, not melted. The sugar and oil should come together to resemble a wet sand type of texture.
  • Add the 3 eggs and mix well.
  • Stir in the coconut flour and cocoa powder, along with baking soda and additional dash of sea salt.
  • Lastly, mix in the chocolate chips and pureed beets.
  • Spread mixture evenly into baking dish and cook at 350 F for 40 minutes, until a knife can be removed cleanly.
  • Let brownies cool completely before topping with the ganache.

Ganache:

  • Bring the coconut milk to a boil over med-high heat.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the dark chocolate to a smooth texture.
  • Pour over the brownies evenly, allow to cool at room temperature.
  • Cut brownies into 9 squares and enjoy!

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Pumpkin spice oat bars with maple cream cheese frosting

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Well it’s almost December and here I am with a pumpkin recipe…how lame! Of course I meant to post this a long time ago when pumpkin spice was so hot right now. But let’s be honest, pumpkin spice is always so hot right now. And, it’s never a bad time for maple cream cheese frosting!

So I mainly use these oat bars as a pre-workout snack because they are high carb/low fat and have some protein. With that in mind, I leave off the cream cheese if I plan on using them for pre workout. But if not, then slather that maple cream cheese all over these babies and have yourself a party!

What you need:

For the bars:

  • 1 can of pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups of gluten free rolled oats
  • 2 cups brown rice cereal
  • 6 oz fat free greek yogurt
  • 1 T ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • Dash of sea salt
  • 1 egg

For the frosting:

  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 2 T maple syrup
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

What to do:

  • Preheat your oven to 350
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, rice cereal, pumpkin, yogurt, egg, and spices.
  • Transfer the mixture to a parchment paper lined square baking dish
  • Bake for 25 minutes, until golden brown.
  • In small saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream cheese, coconut oil, maple syrup and cinnamon. Once the mixture has a smooth consistency, remove from the heat, let cool for 5 minutes.
  • Once the bars have cooled, spread the frosting in an even layer over the top.
  • Cut into 9 squares and enjoy!

Nutritional Information:

Makes 9 servings

  • Calories per serving: 196
  • Fat grams per serving: 6.6
  • Carbohydrate grams per serving: 26.1
  • Protein grams per serving: 8img_20161114_100150821

Chipotle BLT Pizza

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Pizza parties are something I grew up doing a lot of with my family. It seemed like my Dad was always making a fresh batch of sauce and there was always a ball of dough rising somewhere in the kitchen. My friends and my siblings’ friends were constantly asking if they could come over for pizza night, apparently we did pizza THAT good!

This past weekend it was so rainy and chilly here in Boston, our apple picking plans got ruined. So instead of being bummed about the weather, my sister and I decided to have a good old pizza party! The tricky thing about pizza parties for me, these days, is that my husband does not eat cheese so I took it on as a fun challenge to think of some delicious cheese-free options for pizza toppings. Obviously bacon came to mind, can you tell I like bacon?! So I thought a BLT pizza would be delicious, plus the addition of Sir Kensington’s Chipotle Mayo really put this dish over the edge. The mayo is a MUST have for this recipe! Another note about this recipe, I used a store bought organic pizza dough from my local Whole Foods, which was absolutely delicious and a huge time saver. Be on the lookout soon for my next cheese-free pizza recipe 🙂

What you need:

  • 1 package pre-made pizza dough, room temperature
  • Flour (for rolling out the dough)
  • 3 roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 4 cups fresh arugula
  • 8 slices of applewood smoked bacon
  • Sir Kensington’s chipotle mayo (about 2 T)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • salt/pepper to taste

What to do:

For the bacon:

  • Preheat oven to 375F
  • Arrange bacon on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the bacon
  • Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack or plate with paper towels to absorb grease
  • Once cooled, chop into one-inch pieces

For the pizza:

  • Preheat oven to 400F
  • Roll out the pizza dough on a floured surface, about 1/4 inch thick and place on a pizza pan or stone
  • Spread the olive oil over the pizza dough and season with salt & pepper
  • Arrange the roma tomatoes over the dough and bake until the crust is a golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.
  • Remove the pizza from the oven and top with the arugula & bacon.
  • Finally, finish off the toppings with delicious globs of Sir Kensington’s chipotle mayo and ENJOY!

Apple sausage & bacon stuffed acorn squash

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It is finally FALL! Fall has always been my favorite season, likely because I live in beautiful New England. The weather, FOOTBALL (Go Pats!!), comfy clothes, and let’s face it…the FOOD just cannot be beat by any other season. It’s also when my birthday is (October 22, what ya getting me?!) and Halloween was always my favorite holiday as a kid (um hello, free candy!). Fall is simply the best.

Ok enough of my ramblings and onto one of my favorite Fall recipes of ALL time! This stuffed acorn squash is full of delicious Fall flavors, you will fall in love at first bite (no pun intended). Most importantly, it is gluten free, grain free and dairy free. You could also make it Whole 30 compliant by using compliant apple chicken sausage and compliant bacon (no sugar added, nitrate free). So go ahead and treat yourself to this amazing dish, guilt free!

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What you need:

  • 2 medium to large acorn squash
  • 5 apple chicken sausages
  • 1 large apple, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 bag of raw spinach
  • 5 slices of bacon
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • olive oil or coconut oil

What to do:

  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Cut each acorn squash in half (the long way) and scoop out the seeds. Rub each half with olive oil or coconut oil, salt, and pepper. Place each squash seasoned side down on a baking sheet.
  • Cook for 45-60 min, until the skin of the squash is fork tender.
  • Meanwhile, slice each sausage into 1/2 inch bites.
  • Heat a large frying pan with 2 tsp cooking oil over medium heat and add the sausage. Cook until browned, about 15 minutes (frequently stir in order to brown  all sides of the sausage).
  • Heat another frying pan over medium heat with 2 more tsp cooking oil and add the onion, apple, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and S&P. Reduce this mixture down for about 15 minutes, you should see the apples get slightly “gooey.”
  • Reduce the heat and add the spinach, cover the pan to reduce the spinach. Season with additional S&P if desired.
  • Add the apple, onion, & spinach to the sausage pan. Mix well and reduce to low heat to keep warm.
  • Chop the bacon into bite sized pieces and add it to the same pan you cooked the apple & onion in, cook over med-high heat until the bacon is crispy. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and place on a cooling rack or plate with a paper towel to absorb the grease.
  • By this time, your acorn squash should be just about done!
  • Remove the squash from the oven and fill with the sausage, apple, onion, & spinach stuffing. Top with the crunchy bacon.
  • Enjoy!

Nutritional Information (serves 4, cooked with 3 tbsp olive oil total)

Per serving:

Total Calories: 503

Total Fat Grams: 29

Total Carbohydrate Grams: 38

Total Protein Grams: 22

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Dark chocolate banana oat bars

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Pre-workout carbs are SO incredibly important to your performance and recovery. Carbs are literally what gives our muscles fuel during a workout, they are not something you should be afraid to eat! The timing of carbohydrate intake is also essential to your performance and recovery, which is why I am currently working on a blog post about the “when, what, and why” of carbohydrates, so be on the lookout for that one – you don’t want to miss it!

I got the inspiration for these bars oddly enough from a Gatorade Fuel bar. I was on my way to the gym and was rushing around trying to find a reasonable source of pre-workout carbs, so I took a chance on the Oatmeal Raisin fuel bar. It was utterly delicious, had around 45g of carbs, and was very low in fat. The only thing was that it had ingredients like “corn syrup solids” and “corn extract.” They were also not gluten free. Soooo obviously I needed to make my own gluten free version with simple ingredients! These little bars are easy to throw together & are the absolute perfect pre-workout carb, so get baking (and lifting)!

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What you need:

  • 1 & 3/4 c gluten free oats
  • 1 & 3/4 c crisped rice cereal
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c non-fat greek yogurt
  • 1/4 c dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt

What to do:

  • Preheat your oven to 350 F & line a square baking dish with parchment paper.
  • In a medium sized mixing bowl, mash the bananas & add the eggs and greek yogurt. Mix well!
  • Add the oats, rice cereal, cinnamon and sea salt. The mixture should somewhat resemble rice crispy treats 🙂
  • Place the mixture on the parchment paper and spread evenly around the dish using a rubber spatula.
  • Bake for 20 minutes. Let the bars cool completely before you drizzle the melted chocolate on top.
  • In a small bowl, microwave the chocolate chips & coconut oil for 30 seconds.
  • Drizzle the chocolate over the top, in any pattern you feel like!
  • Let the chocolate set (you can put the bars in the fridge for this part).
  • Cut into 9 even squares and enjoy!

Macro information:

  • Serves: 9
  • Calories per serving: 152
  • Carbs/serving (grams): 25
  • Protein/serving (grams): 6.7
  • Fat/serving (grams): 3.6

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Dark chocolate bacon truffles

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Chocolate & bacon. Do I really need to say more? I don’t think so. But seriously, these truffles are extremely simple and really delicious so do yourself a favor and go make some!

What you need:

  • 1/2 c full fat coconut milk
  • 1 package dark chocolate chips (or a bar of dark chocolate)
  • Sea salt
  • 4 slices uncured bacon

What to do:

  • Preheat oven to 375F.
  • Place bacon on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and cook until crispy, 15-20 minutes depending on the thickness of your bacon.
  • Once the bacon is cooled, chop finely and set aside.
  • In a small sauce pan, bring the coconut milk to a boil over medium high heat.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the dark chocolate and pinch of sea salt, stir until the mixture is smooth and the chocolate is melted.
  • Spread mixture onto a baking sheet or dish lined with parchment paper.
  • Top the chocolate with the bacon and chill in the fridge until it is set, about 1 hour.
  • Cut into 1 inch squares and enjoy!

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