Oven-Roasted Drumsticks & Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts GIVEAWAY

I received a free package of Hemp Hearts from Manitoba Havest to review on the blog. All opinions described in this review are my own.

Oven-roasted chicken drumsticks breaded with hemp heartsSince my last weight-loss update, I’m now down another 3 lbs for a total loss of 18 lbs since January. Woohoo! As I’ve mentioned before, increasing protein intake has really helped me feel full longer, and it has gone a long way in helping me stick to my weight-loss goals.

In addition to filling up on healthy high protein foods like meat, eggs, yogurt, and nuts, I’d started regularly using protein powder, which I added to my low-sugar green smoothies. My favourite protein powders are from Kaizen and Vega, both of which offer delicious protein powders in a whole variety of flavours (I usually stick with vanilla or chocolate).

But for Sugar-Free September, I’m avoiding Stevia in addition to other added sugars and sweeteners, so my usual protein powders are off limits for the month.

Just in time for Sugar-Free September, Manitoba Harvest generously sent me a package of their hemp hearts to try. Hemp seeds are a great, sugar-free source of plant-based protein. Each 30 gram serving contains 10 grams of protein. Hemp hearts have a subtle nutty flavour and can be blended into smoothies, stirred into sauces and soups, and baked into muffins and cakes. I’ve been enjoying them sprinkled on salads, stirred into oatmeal and today I’m sharing a recipe for Oven-Roasted Drumsticks with a hemp heart breading. Click here for the best rotisserie oven options.

Hemp Hearts are a great protein sourceHemp breaded chicken drumsticks

For even more protein, Manitoba Harvest offers a selection of protein powders. (Also, looking forward to trying these hemp snack bites!) Manitoba Harvest’s manufacturing facilities are exclusively dedicated to hemp products, which eliminates the risk of cross-contamination with allergens, including peanuts, which can be a challenge with other protein powders.

Manitoba Harvest is offering one lucky reader the opportunity to try their Hemp Hearts, too. For your chance to win, enter the contest with Rafflecopter below. Winners must be from Canada or the US.

A winner will be randomly selected on September 23rd.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Oven-Roasted Drumsticks Breaded w/ Hemp Hearts

 Prep time 
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Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 8 chicken drumsticks (bone-in with skin)
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ cup Manitoba Harvest hemp hearts
  • 2 tbs bread crumbs
  • 2 tbs grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbs Italian seasoning
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbs coconut oil

 Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Rinse chicken and pat dry with a paper towel
  3. In a shallow bowl, mix mustard with crushed garlic
  4. In another bowl, combine hemp hearts, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper
  5. Roll chicken in mustard mixture and then thoroughly coat with bread crumb mixture
  6. Place chicken on pan greased with coconut oil
  7. Bake for 25 minutes, flip and bake for an additional 30 minutes
  8. For extra crispiness, broil for 2 minutes

Hemp-Breaded Chicken Drumsticks

LOW-CALORIE Grilled Chicken Fettuccine w/ Almond-Basil Pesto | nuPasta

low-calorie pasta

Last week, Mike and I went to the Ex. I really don’t like rides because they’re terrifying and I just end up feeling nauseous, but I promised I’d go on at least one ride, so I did. And it was awful and I felt nauseous for the rest of the night. So since I hate rides, the thing I usually look forward to at the fair is all the food! With Sugar-Free September in full swing, funnel cake, soft-serve and deep-fried Mars bars were obviously off limits. It was a bit of a bummer 🙁 But the other thing I really enjoy about the Ex, are all the vendor booths selling all their As Seen on TV-style products. A couple years ago we got a great deal on our Vitamix, which totally changed my smoothie-making life.

This year, I picked up two new products. The first was a jewelry cleaner, which made my ring super sparkly, and the second is this super low calorie pasta called nuPasta.

low-calorie pasta

Since I’ve been calorie counting, I usually avoid pasta, since it’s such a calorie bomb. I’d much rather eat spaghetti squash or spiralized veg noodles, since that saves me a whole lot of calories that are better put towards a nice sauce and a sprinkle of Parmesan (or dessert).

I’d heard about “miracle noodles” before, some sort of super low-cal pasta that I’d also heard smelled pretty fishy. When I saw the nuPasta booth at the Ex, I was excited to try the sample they were dishing out. I gave nuPasta a try, and with no hint of fishy smell, I was quickly sold and I picked up a box of each: spaghetti, fettuccine, and angel hair. Continue Reading

Wedding Stress & Oatmeal Banana Chocolate Smoothie Recipe

banana chocolate oatmeal smoothieLast night, I tossed and turned for hours while I stressed over tiny wedding planning details. It seems like every couple weeks I have one of these sleepless nights when my anxiety completely takes hold before my emotions simmer down again. Things always seem worst at night in the dark, don’t they?

We’re still more than 6 months away from the big day, but there really is so much to do. Other than our venue, we don’t have anything else confirmed! Now, we’ve made significant progress in narrowing down our other vendors, but I know I’ll feel a lot better when we have a few more deposits down and contracts signed.

My sister reminds me that I should spend at least as much time being happy and excited as I am stressed, but it’s really hard! I am so excited to marry Mike, and I know that our wedding is going to be wonderful, but there are just so many things that I need to get into place between now and then that sometimes, like at 4am last night, it all just seems so tremendously overwhelming.

Wedding planning has also been hard because it really makes me feel my mom’s absence. It’s strange, but even now, 6 years after her death, I sometimes almost forget that she’s gone. It’s that momentary urge to pick up the phone to call her, and lately such a strong presence in absence when I visualize my wedding day. To be honest, since my mom died, I don’t really think of her very much in my day-to-day. When she died, everyone told me that she’d always be with me, and would always be watching (kind of creepy!), but I’ve never felt that. I’ve really never felt her with me, but lately I’ve more strongly felt her absence.

This ties into my stressing lately when I have those moments of feeling sorry for myself because I don’t have a mom to help me plan my wedding, and I don’t have a mom to actually step in and take care of things, like moms do. Before she died, I remember talking to her about this. I remember wondering, “But mom, when you’re gone who is going to help me??” And she logically responded that I’d find differently people to help me depending on what it was that I needed help with. Totally makes sense. If I need help fixing the sink, I’ll call a plumber. If I need help with the seating chart, I’m sure I have a friend that will come help me out.

Her response was comforting to me at the time, but now I realize that it misses that moms offer a sort of help that no one else does; it’s that  comfort and assurance that everything will be ok, always. But even when I’m up all night stressing over how we’re going to coordinate flower pick-up, and who’s going to light the candles for dinner, and how we’re going to learn to dance, I do know that everything will be ok, always. I guess way down underneath all that stress and anxiety, I really do have that comfort and assurance somewhere deep within, so maybe that’s how my mom is helping me after all 🙂

Now I’ll follow that up with a delicious Oatmeal Banana Chocolate Smoothie that is wonderfully thick and creamy and a deliciously indulgent way to start the day.

The trick to getting those rolled oats smooth is to use a high powered blender. Having a great blender is totally key to putting the smooth into smoothie. A good blender can be a big ticket purchase, so if you’re unsure of which blender to choose this blender guide can help!

Oatmeal Banana Chocolate Smoothie
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 cup almond milk, divided
  • 1 chopped and frozen banana
  • ½ cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • ¼ cup raw cacao powder
  • 1 handful raw spinach
  • ½ cup ice
Instructions
  1. Soak oats in ½ cup almond milk overnight, or for at least 1 hour
  2. Add spinach and remaining almond milk to blender and blend until smooth
  3. Add remaining ingredients and blend, adding more almond milk if necessary

banana chocolate oatmeal smoothie

Sweet and Spicy Pineapple Hot Sauce

Habenero Hot Sauce | Sweet and Spicy

Some people looove hot sauce. I’m not one of those people. I am ok with spicy things, but I could take them or leave them, and rarely add hot sauce to my dishes. But when you have a big bag of habaneros that are quickly wrinkling up because you couldn’t resist grabbing them from the discount produce rack ($0.22 for so many peppers!), hot sauce seems like a good option.

I’d never made hot sauce before, but it’s actually super easy: wash, chop, blanch, toss, blend, pour, enjoy. The hardest part is getting through it all without crying and coughing once all that spiciness gets all up in the back of your throat, but pro tip: leave the kitchen while your fiancé takes care of the rest.

This habanero chili hot sauce, based on Pepper Joe’s Island Hot Sauce recipe, became Sweet + Spicy Pineapple Hot Sauce out of pure necessity. We ended up with nearly a half gallon of mega-spicy just-a-dab’ll-do hot sauce. We were planning on freezing a lot of it anyway, but we really didn’t need a 10-year supply of hotter-than-hot hot sauce, so I googled ways to bring down the heat.

Adding a big can of crushed pineapple seemed like the most delicious option. So rather than a 10-year supply of hot sauce, we have a large quantity of Sweet + Spicy Pineapple Hot Sauce that we can use a lot more liberally. So far, I’ve enjoyed it tremendously on my scrambled eggs, baked fish and pork chops.

Breakfast Burrito with Sweet and Spicy Hot Sauce | Pineapple + Habenero PeppersHomemade Hot Sauce | Sweet & Spicy

Sweet and Spicy Pineapple Hot Sauce
 
Prep time
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Author:
Ingredients
  • 8-10 habanero chili peppers
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ½ tbs salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • 1 can crushed pineapple
Instructions
  1. Bring 4 cups water to a boil over high heat
  2. Cut peppers in half and remove seeds (avoid touching eyes after handling peppers)
  3. Blanch peppers in boiling water for 30-40 seconds, remove from water
  4. Add onion, carrots and peeled garlic cloves to water and cook until soft
  5. Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth
  6. Store in a glass jar or bottle in fridge, or freeze in batches

Homemade Hot Sauce | Sweet & Spicy Habenero Peppers