Friday, January 30, 2015

Skinny Triple Chocolate Cheesecake Shake

This happened this morning.
First off, let me just say - I'm an adult, I can eat chocolate cheesecake for breakfast if I want to.
Secondly..... IT'S HEALTHY!!
Not even lying.
So...yeah.... you can't give me heck for eating healthy things for breakfast. 
*nah nah nah boo boo*
Want to know what is in this that you would never guess?
Weird, right?
So weird. But amazing!
This has lentils, flax, dates, and Greek yogurt to round out the list of ridiculously healthy things. 
So... what are you waiting for?
P.S. - This is our entry into the Canadian Lentils Recipe Revelations Challenge 2015 Freestyle category hosted by Canadian Lentils. Please show us some love by sharing on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, all those wonderful social media sites! Thank you for your support!

Skinny Triple Chocolate Cheesecake Shake

1/2 cup 0 fat, plain Greek Yogurt
1/4 cup 95 % fat free cream cheese
1/2 cup canned lentils
4 pitted dates
2 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp baking cocoa
1 tsp ground flax
2 Tbsp fat free chocolate pudding powder
1 Tbsp mini chocolate chips
3/4 cup 1%  milk
ice cubes

4 Tbsp 95% fat free Cool Whip

Place Greek yogurt and cream cheese into a container or freezer bag and place in freezer until frozen solid. 
When frozen, finish making your shake.
Place lentils, dates, and water into a blender or food processor.

Process until very smooth, scraping sides often.
Add in cocoa powder, flax, pudding powder, chocolate chips, and milk. Process until smooth - again, scraping sides often. Place in the frozen Greek yogurt, cream cheese, and ice cubes. Process until smooth, adding a bit more milk or water as needed to reach desired consistency. 
Pour into 2 drinking glasses and top each with 2 Tbsp of Cool Whip.

Believe me when I say this is one of the most decadent shakes you will ever taste.
So smooth and thick and rich and creamy.

Your would never know this is a low calorie-full of good stuff milkshake. 
According to Myfitnesspal one serving (recipe makes 2) is: 
270 calories, 5 fat, 38 carbs, 4 fiber, and 18 protein.

So... don't be all like - "Dude, you put lentils in a milkshake. That's too weird."
Because, first of all... I'm not a dude... and secondly, it is one of the tastiest things you will ever have the pleasure of trying. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Lentil Brownie Bark

Ever heard of Brownie Bark?
Well, in case you haven't, be prepared to enter a whole new way to enjoy chocolate brownie deliciousness. It's a brownie but it's SO much more. 
Oh, yeah, and did we mention that we healthified it by adding lentils?
'Cuz we totally healthified it by adding lentils. 
Alright....alright.... so there is still chocolate and sugar and toffee bits that are not so healthy BUT, you know what, sometimes you gotta take the good with the bad alsogoodbutinatotallydifferentway
Sue and I create this recipe to enter into the Canadian Lentil Recipe Revelations Challenge 2015 Desserts/Baked Goods category (Sponsored by Canadian Lentils).
Once you give this a try you will definitely see it is a winner! 
*wink wink*

Lentil Brownie Bark

Lentil Puree
1 can (540 ml) lentils
1/4 cup water

1 large egg
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp baking cocoa
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp lentil puree (see directions for further info)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp instant coffee granules
1/2 cup flour
pinch salt
1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp instant skim milk powder

1/4 cup toffee bits 
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
2 Tbsp finely shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 325. Line a 12 X 17 cookie sheet with parchment paper then lightly spray the parchment paper with cooking spray. Set aside. 
Prepare lentil puree - Rinse and drain the can of lentils.

In a blender or food processor, process lentils and water until you have a smooth paste, scraping down sides as needed. Scrape the lentil puree into an airtight container. Set aside.
(You will need 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp for this recipe - save the rest for another use or to make another batch of brownie bark!) 
Prepare brownie - In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg and sugar until creamy. Vigorously whisk in baking cocoa, coconut oil, lentil puree, vanilla, and coffee granules.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, salt, cornstarch, and skim milk powder.
Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just mixed. Do not over mix. 
Pour onto prepared cookie sheet and spread as thin as possible. Don't worry if you can't get it all the way to the edge, it will spread as it cooks.  (*Note it helps to dip a spatula or flat knife in a bit of water to prevent too much sticking*)

Sprinkle evenly with the toppings.

Bake in 325 oven for 20  minutes.
Remove from oven and score into pieces with a knife or pizza cutter.

Place back in oven and continue baking for another 5 or so minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool in pan. Once it is completely cool break into pieces along the scored lines.

Can I go on and on about how fantabulous this is with a glass of milk?
Because it is....

Oh... maybe you need a close up of the thin-ness to see how crispy yet oddly still a bit chewy it is.

Feel free to change up the toppings to your favorites - dried fruit, nuts, peanut butter chips, butterscotch chips, mini M&Ms,...... the list goes on and on....

Trying to sneak some healthiness into your family's treats? 
Lentils are packed with goodness and they will never know they are in there!
So easy-peasy and delicious.... you definitely have to give these a try.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Tropical Parsnip Cake

So... cake probably isn't the first thing you think of when you hear "parsnips". 
Am I right?
I mean... parsnips are all "look at me I'm a long tuberous root vegetable" .... not exactly dream dessert material.
That is.... until now.
Now you can take their pale little bodies of oddness and turn them into cake. 
Cake is always good.

Tropical Parsnip Cake

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2/3 cup coconut flakes
2/3 cup craisins
2 1/2 cups grated parsnip
2 cups pineapple tidbits, drained

1 brick cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups icing sugar

24 pecan halves 
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9 X 13 pan with cooking spray, set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, applesauce, coconut oil, eggs, and vanilla until well combined.
In a smaller bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, coconut flakes, and craisins. 

Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just mixed. Stir in the parsnips and pineapple, again, until just mixed. 
Spread into prepared pan.

Bake in 350 oven until top is well browned and  toothpick inserted near center comes out clean, about 45 - 55 minutes.

Let cool on cooling rack before frosting.
Prepare frosting: In a mixing bowl, beat together cream cheese and butter until creamy and smooth, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. Gradually beat in icing sugar until you reach the proper consistency for spreading. (*If it is too thick you may need to add a bit of milk to thin or more icing sugar to thicken*)
You can either frost the top of the cake in the 9 X 13 pan OR run a spatula around the edges of the pan to loosen the cake and then invert the cake onto a serving platter and then frost the top and sides of  the cake. (I did the latter.)

I decorated my cake with the 24 pecan halves so it would be easier to cut 24 pieces of cake the same size. I also sprinkled about 1/4 cup chopped pecans on top (basically because I'm terrible at frosting cakes and sprinkling them with nuts covers all mistakes.)
Of course, the pecans are optional. 

In case you haven't guessed it yet... this parsnip cake is just a different take on a carrot cake. 
A deliciously different take. 
A few notes:
I used toasted coconut AND regular coconut (that's why it look odd in the photo up above of the ingredients).
Don't like craisins, use raisins.
Don't like cream cheese frosting (umm...what? Is that even possible?) then use a vanilla buttercream or a browned butter buttercream.
Don't have coconut oil, use regular oil.
We hope you give it a try - especially if you are looking for something a little different! It's a moist, dense, delicious dessert that will have everyone asking for the recipe. 
Be sure to check out these fantastic linky parties - Ms. enPlace, The Chicken Chick, Flamingo Toes,

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna & Cauliflower Garlic "Breadsticks"

It does not get much better than this.
I mean... it's healthy, it's delicious, it's easy to make, it looks pretty, and it's overall just a fantastic meal. 
You would never guess you weren't eating "real" lasagna. 
Okay... the cauliflower breadsticks aren't going to fool anyone BUT they are still tasty in their own right. 
That lasagna though.....

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

1 medium spaghetti squash
(Yield approx 4 cups cooked squash)
salt & pepper
1 lb lean ground turkey
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup spaghetti sauce + 2 Tbsp
2 cups light Ricotta cheese
1 cup light mozzarella cheese, shredded & divided
2/3 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded & divided

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly spray a 9 X 13 pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Season with salt and pepper.

Now, you can either place them on a cookie sheet and roast them in the  oven for about an hour OR you can place them on a plate and microwave them for 10 - 15 minutes. You just want to cook them long enough that you can easily shred them with a fork.
When they are done, shred the squash into a bowl and set it aside. You will need about 4 cups for this recipe. (You can use more, of course, but I used 4 cups to figure out the nutritional counts)
In a medium frying pan over medium heat, cook the turkey, onion, and garlic until turkey is completely cooked. Stir in the 1 cup of spaghetti sauce and remove from heat.
In a mixing bowl, stir together the Ricotta cheese, 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, and 1/3 cup of the Parmesan cheese. 
Prepare lasagna - In the 9 X 13 pan spread the 2 Tbsp of spaghetti sauce.

Spread out half of the spaghetti squash evenly in the pan.

Now spread half of the Ricotta cheese mixture. (It helps to spoon the mixture over the whole pan and then spread it with the spoon.)

Lastly spread with half of the meat mixture.

Now repeat the layers one more time. Spaghetti squash, cheese mixture, meat mixture.
Top with the remaining 1/4 cup of Mozzarella cheese and 1/3 of Parmesan cheese. 

Pop into a 350 oven and cook until lasagna is bubbly, about 45  minutes to an hour. 

Let sit for 5 minutes and then serve.

It is soooooo good. 
Want some even better news?
According to Myfitnesspal one serving is 393 calories, 20 carbs, 20 fat, 3 fiber, and 35 protein. (Recipe makes 5 servings)
That's like HALF the carbs of "regular" lasagna and a few less calories too. 
It freezes very well too. I portioned it into containers and froze it for my lunches at work. A few minutes in the microwave and it is just as good as right out of the oven. 

Now, what goes better with lasagna than garlic toast?
How about some low carb, low cal cauliflower garlic toast?

Cauliflower Garlic "Breadsticks"

1 medium head cauliflower, shredded
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 egg
1/2 cup light mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
salt & pepper

Garlic Parmesan Butter
2 Tbsp butter, softened
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
1/4 tsp garlic salt

Preheat the oven to 400. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Place the shredded cauliflower into a large, microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 4 minutes and then stir the cauliflower. Microwave another 2 - 4 minutes, until cauliflower is softened.
Let cool. (You can speed this process by placing in freezer for 10 minutes.)
Stir in the minced garlic, egg, mozza cheese, and spices. 
Pat into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick on the prepared cookie sheet.

Bake approximately 20 minutes at 400 - until top is nicely browned.
Carefully flip the cauliflower crust over and continue to cook another 10 minutes. (I place another piece of parchment paper onto another cookie sheet and then invert the one cookie sheet onto the other.) 

Stir together the Garlic Parmesan Butter ingredients in a small bowl.

Carefully spread the butter mixture over the cauliflower crust. (If it seems to be tearing the cauliflower crust simply microwave it for a few seconds to melt it and then it will go on much easier!)

Place back in oven and turn on the broiler. Cook until cheese is bubbly. *Keep an eye on it*
Remove from oven and carefully- using the parchment paper - slide it onto a cutting board. 
Let cool for 5 minutes before cutting.

According to Myfitnesspal one serving is 143 calories, 8 carbs, 9 fat, 9 protein, 3 fiber. 
I cut the crust into 16 slices so 1 serving is basically 3 slices. 

It goes very well with the lasagna.
The entire meal was 530 calories, 28 carbs, 29 fat, 44 protein, 6 fiber. 
Not too shabby for a hearty, healthy, and (most importantly) delicious dinner.

You could totally fool the family into eating this lasagna and they will never guess it is vegetables. Like I said earlier, the garlic bread may be a harder sell, but it is still tasty and buttery and garlicky like garlic bread should be. If you are watching your carbs or calories or even doing gluten free then this is definitely a meal you want to try. 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Chocolate Chip Mint Overnight Oats

It's official.
Dessert is now for breakfast. 
These ever-so-tasty overnight oats are double chocolate, double mint and double delicious.
According to Myfitnesspal a serving is 310 calories, 46 carbs, 10 fat, 17 protein, and 7 fiber. 
Whaaat whaat!
It just does not get much better than that. 
If you've already tried our PB&J Overnight Oats, Cinnamon Bun Overnight Oats, and our Chocolate Peanut Butter Overnight Oats, then you will want to give these a try. 
If you aren't a chocolate-for-breakfast person then give them a try for lunch or dinner or dessert. 
You know you want to. 

Chocolate Chip Mint Overnight Oats

1/3 cup oats
1/3 cup 1% milk
1/3 cup 0 fat, plain Greek yogurt
2 tsp cocoa
2 pkg Stevia
1 tsp ground flax
1/8 tsp peppermint extract
1 1/2 Tbsp Mint Chocolate Chips, chopped

In a small mixing bowl, combine the oats, milk, Greek yogurt, cocoa, Stevia, flax, and peppermint extract.

Stir until well mixed.
Stir in 1 Tbsp of the chopped mint chocolate chips. Pour mixture into a serving bowl or mason jar. Top with remaining 1/2 Tbsp chopped mint chocolate chips. 

Cover and chill in fridge for at least several hours.
Ready to serve when oats have absorbed the liquid.

Good luck fighting the urge to just dive into the bowl. 
So chocolaty and minty. Just like Thin Mint cookies. 
Looking for lots of fun and fabulous links? Check out these linky parties - The Chicken Chick, Ms. enPlace,  Memories By The Mile, Simple Life or a Fire Wife, Carole's Chatter, Lou Lou Girls