Spicy Indian Roasted Chickpeas

Today marks the completion of week 1 of Sugar-Free September!

Overall, I’ve been feeling great. I’ve managed to avoid all added sugars, mostly by preparing nearly all my meals at home. Fortunately it was one of those rare weeks where we didn’t have some type of birthday/retirement/going away celebration in the office, so I wasn’t faced with too much temptation.

Mike and I visited my sister since she moved away to start grad school (so proud!), but we chose a raw food restaurant that was vegan, gluten- and sugar-free, so it was definitely easier than going to your typical restaurant. I had soft tacos with a walnut ‘meat’ filling. So tasty! We all enjoyed out meals.

jill-laura-guelph

I have been feeling energetic enough for the most part, though both Mike and I had an energy slump one afternoon and we wondered if it was because of the no-sugar thing. We still went for a run later on, so it couldn’t have been that bad!

mike-jill-guelph

I’d say that so far the main benefit I’ve experienced is that I’ve felt great about my food choices all week. In addition to avoiding sugar, I’ve just been trying to make good choices and have been eating heavily plant-based meals. I’ve also been relying on seeds, nuts and nut-butters to keep me full. I definitely do find that I get hungry much more quickly only a couple hours after these sorts of meals, but the good part is that when I get hungry, I can just go eat more of the healthy stuff, but I’m still left feeling light.

spicy roasted chickpeas

My favourite snacks this week have been veggies and hummus, chia pudding and this batch of chickpeas I roasted up. This is basically the crunchy snack version of chana masala. So easy! Just use chickpeas out of the can, toss them in spices and roast.

If you’re not a fan of spicy foods, then try these Rosemary Garlic Roasted Chickpeas.

Click through for the recipe!

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Miso and Sweet Potato Millet Bowls

sweet potato millet bowls

I love to put together bowls like this for lunch. I enjoy eating meals that have a whole selection of different components. They’re just so much more fun, aren’t they?

This bowl has a base of millet and greens and is topped with roasted sweet potato, fresh cucumber and leftover corn and grilled chicken breast. The best part of this meal is the miso millet.

Don’t you hate when you’re preparing a meal and then you realize that you still need a sauce or dressing? Well, this dish doesn’t need any extra sauces because the millet is cooked in miso, which adds so much flavour and creaminess that you won’t need anything else.

miso millet bowls

Miso and Sweet Potato Millet Bowls
 
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Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 cup millet, uncooked
  • 3.5 cups water
  • 2 tbs miso paste
  • 1 sweet potato, chopped
  • ½ cucumber, quartered
  • 1 green onion, diced
  • 1 cup corn, cooked
  • 1 chicken breast, cooked and sliced
  • 1 tbs coconut oil
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375F
  2. Place chopped sweet potato in a roasting pan and drizzle with oil, and roast for 25 to 30 minutes, until fork tender
  3. Toast the dry millet in a pan over medium heat for 2 minutes
  4. Add water to pan, cover and bring to a boil
  5. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, until water is absorbed
  6. To serve, place vegetables and chicken over millet and mixed greens and sprinkle with onion

miso millet bowls with sweet potato and corn

On another note, we’re 5 days into Sugar-Free September, and I’m still doing great. I haven’t had any real cravings and haven’t experienced any of the sugar-detox symptoms I’ve heard about. It’s early days yet. Having delicious treats like this Blueberry Chia Parfait are going a long way in helping me stick with it!

Have you cut sugar out at all? Maybe you’ve switched from refined white sugar to maple syrup or stevia? I’d love to hear from those of you who are making some changes towards cutting out the sugar. If you need some more information about going sugar-free, check out these links.

Have a great weekend!

Blueberry Chia Parfait with Chocolate Mousse, no dairy or added sugars

blueberry chia parfait

I had some chia seeds soaking overnight, since I knew that after being a couple days into Sugar-Free September, the need for a sweet treat wouldn’t be far off.

Layers of oats, vanilla chia, coconut whipped cream and fresh blueberries combine in this healthy snack that satisfies.

This blueberry chia parfait is a perfect dessert, snack or breakfast and is totally dairy-, gluten- and sugar-free. The added chocolate mousse makes it extra indulgent but the only cost to the velvety cream is a healthy dose of high quality fat.

blueberry chia parfait

Blueberry Chia Parfait with Chocolate Mousse, no dairy or added sugars
 
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Try this healthy chia parfait for breakfast or enjoy as dessert. Chia seeds require soaking for at least 30 mins.
Author:
Recipe type: dessert, snack
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • ½ cup chia seeds
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 1 tbs vanilla extract
  • ½ cup gluten-free oats
  • 1 tbs raw cocoa nibs
  • Mousse: Mix ½ cup coconut cream, 1 tbs raw cacao
Instructions
  1. Soak chia seeds in almond milk and vanilla extract overnight or for at least 30 minutes
  2. Layer chia pudding, oats, berries and mousse.
  3. Top with cocoa nibs.

 

blueberry chia pudding

Lemon Basil Spaghetti Squash | Beauty Detox

For this week’s Beauty Detox Assignment, Kimberly Snyder asked us to come up with a recipe using squash. Her recipe for Baked Kabocha Squash with Mushroom Sauce inspired this dish. I looked for the kabocha squash, but it was quite expensive at Whole Foods, so I went with my favourite: spaghetti squash.

Simply tossed with a mix of zucchini, cherry tomatoes and diced onions, the squash was coated in a creamy lemon basil sauce.

Lemon Basil Spaghetti Squash

This dish would be so beautiful served as a Thanksgiving side. Sweet potato instead of zucchini, and quinoa and cranberries with a dash of cinnamon.

In this recipe, hemp seeds and nutritional yeast add a creaminess to the peppery lemon basil sauce. I topped the noodles with a poached egg for a complete dinner meal.

This is another great meal that satisfies while keeping to the Sugar-Free September guidelines.

Lemon Basil Spaghetti Squash
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Vegan, Vegetarian, Pasta
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • ¼ white onion, chopped
  • 6 large basil leaves, chopped coarsely
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 4 poached eggs (optional)
  • Sauce: ¼ cup olive oil, 1 tsp tahini, 1 tsp nutritional yeast, 1 tsp hulled hemp seeds, 2 large basil leaves, 1 tsp rosemary, 1 tsp minced garlic, juice from ½ lemon, ¼ tsp salt, ½ tsp ground pepper, adjust to taste.
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425F
  2. Carefully cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise
  3. Drizzle with olive oil and roast, face up, for 1 hour
  4. Meanwhile, in a blender or food processor combine sauce ingredients and blend until combined
  5. Heat coconut oil over medium heat and sautee zucchini, cherry tomatoes and onion until softened, about 10 minutes
  6. Once cooked, shred squash using two forks
  7. Toss squash with sauce, sauteed veg and chopped fresh basil
  8. Top with poached eggs (optional)

Lemon Basil Spaghetti Squash