2017 Cook My Books Challenge: March

As March comes to a close, I can’t say I’d sad to see it go. I’m pretty sure we had worse weather this month than we had all winter. But as long as we don’t get another storm causing me to break my wrist in April like last year, I’ll be happy. I’d like to keep all my bones in tact in 2017!

But one good thing about a snowy March was lots of time to spend indoors working on my 2017 Cook My Books Challenge. I had another month of success, meeting my goal of making 3 recipes from my cookbooks! Don’t know what I’m talking about? Catch up on my previous posts for January and February!

Here’s what I cooked from my books this month:

Tofu Quiche with Almond Meal Rosemary Crust from Sprouted Kitchen

I made this recipe while J was in New Orleans for a bachelor party because I knew he wouldn’t eat it. Onions plus mushrooms plus tofu is pretty much the trifecta of grossness to him. But those are 3 ingredients I love, so this recipe called out to me. This was my first time making a “quiche” out of tofu and I had no idea what to expect… but I was pleasantly surprised! The caramelized onions and mushrooms gave a great flavour to the filling. And the almond meal and coconut oil crust was downright addictive.  I subbed butter for half the coconut oil though because I was worried about it tasting too coconutty.

tofu-quiche-sprouted-kitchen

Classic Chicken Stew from The Best of Chef at Home by Michael Smith

I didn’t love this recipe, but it’s probably my own fault for not sticking to the ingredients. It called for a whole chicken broken down into its parts, but I was too lazy to do that so I just used boneless skinless chicken breasts. In hindsight, I realized that to get good flavour, the skin and bones were probably necessary! I ended up adding extra chicken bouillon cubes and extra salt to make up for it, but it was still a bit bland.

chicken-stew-chef-at-home

Cheesy Butternut Squash Penne from Brown Eggs and Jam Jars by Aimée Wimbush-Bourque

This was a great comfort food recipe on a day that I really needed it. Carbs plus cheese plus bacon is pretty much the perfect hangover cure, no?

cheesy-butternut-penne

Twinkle, Twinkle Jeweled Rice from Naturally Nourished by Sarah Britton

I told myself I’d cut back on buying cookbooks this year, but I broke my pact already! The recipes in this one just looked too pretty. Tracey and I got together mid-month to cook from our cookbooks and we made this rice as one of our dishes. See what else we made in Tracey’s post and my Instagram. Anyway, about this recipe: I liked the sweetness from the dried fruit and orange, and found it really flavourful once I added a good dose of salt. It’s a nice change from just a plain rice side dish, and it makes a huge batch to last you all week!

jeweled-rice-naturally-nourished

What have you cooked from your books recently?

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Just Have the Darn Burger

This week I was out for a fast food burger with my boyfriend before going to see Green Day in concert (which was incredible, by the way). While we were eating, I thought back to all the times during my schooling and dietetic internship that I was taught ways to help people NOT eat burgers – or at least make them healthier to the point that they don’t even resemble a burger anymore.

delirious-burger-fries

But you know what? You don’t need to order it wrapped in lettuce instead of a bun. Or have a turkey patty instead of a beef patty. Or get a salad instead of fries. And you certainly don’t need to avoid a social outing altogether for the sake of “health” (because I promise you, forgoing your social life to stick to a diet will help neither your health nor happiness).

Just have the darn burger in whatever form you want.

Because maybe that’s what your body is craving. And maybe if you honoured your cravings they’d have less power over you. And maybe what’s more important is your relationship with food rather than the food itself.

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Chocolate Flax Energy Balls

These chocolate flax energy balls are a healthy snack with only 8 ingredients and one bowl required!

These chocolate flax energy balls are a healthy snack with only 8 ingredients and one bowl required!

I hate how some media outlets make snacking into a negative thing. Articles with tips to stop snacking and headlines like “10 lunches to keep you full until dinner” make you think that eating snacks is unhealthy.

But this is, in the words of Dwight Schrute: false.

Sorry, I’ve been rewatching The Office lately and couldn’t stop myself.

These chocolate flax energy balls are a healthy snack with only 8 ingredients and one bowl required!

Anyways, the media making people feel guilty for snacking needs to stop! Because it’s normal to get hungry between meals and need a snack. Just as it’s normal to sometimes not be hungry between meals. Basically, there’s no one right way to eat other than this: listening to your body and honouring your hunger cues.

So the next time that between-meal hunger hits, whip up these chocolate flax energy balls. One-bite balls like these are one of my favourite kinds of snacks. They’re easy to transport, easy to eat between tasks or meetings at work, and of course they taste great! Also, you can pack them full of good stuff, like nut butter for healthy fats and flax for a big boost of fibre.

What is your favourite homemade snack? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below or tag me on Instagram at @chelseadallen if you make this recipe!

These chocolate flax energy balls are a healthy snack with only 8 ingredients and one bowl required!

Chocolate Flax Energy Balls
 
Prep time
Total time
 
These chocolate flax energy balls are a healthy snack with only 8 ingredients and one bowl required!
Author:
Yield: 10 balls
Ingredients
  • ⅓ cup nut butter (I used soy nut butter)
  • 2 tbsp honey*
  • 1 tbsp milk of your choice
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1.5 tbsp cocoa powder
  • ½ cup + 1 tbsp ground flax
  • ¼ cup quick oats**
  • 1-2 tbsp mini chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the nut butter, honey, milk, and vanilla. Stir in the cocoa powder, ground flax, oats, and chocolate chips.
  2. Use your hands to roll into balls, then chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour to let harden.
  3. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.
Notes
*Sub maple syrup for vegan version
**Use certified GF oats if needed

These chocolate flax energy balls are a healthy snack with only 8 ingredients and one bowl required!

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