Chocolate PB Protein Bars

I love making protein balls, bars and any make ahead forms of food that I can carry on the go.  These are great because they are all natural, don’t have all the sugar and have a sufficient amount of protein without all the chemicals.

My husband and I also have a side business where we make and sell all natural GF protein balls for on the go on HighLinePure.com but these were some fun ones I wanted to share and pass along the recipe!

Overall they take about 30 minutes to make if you count to time it takes to freeze and set them but really are no hassle at all.  Without adding in a bunch of commentary I like to get to the point.  If you want to watch more commentary or watch videos on how to make some of these things follow me on Instagram @angiehart1 to see more.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups organic rice puffs
  • 1 cup organic oats
  • 1/2 cup all natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 scoop of vanilla plant protein powder (I use Vega One or Plant Fusion)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup warm water

Drizzle:

  • 1/2 cup PB
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

Directions:

In a large microwave safe bowl, combine peanut butter, coconut oil and honey.  Place in micro and heat on high for 30 seconds.  Stir and add back in for 30 seconds to melt completely.

Add in the cocoa powder and protein powder and mix well.  Mixture should be thick but still wet.  If it appears too thick add more melted coconut oil and warm water until you get a smooth mixture that is thick and wet.  Add the vanilla, oats and rice puffs.  Mix well until mixture is completely coated.

Pour the mixture into a 8×8 pan and press gently to set the bars into place.  Place in the freezer for 15 minutes.  When bars are set cut up into 1″x 3″ bars and place on a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Mix the other PB drizzle mixture and melt in the micro for about 30 seconds.  Stir and make sure mixture is smooth.  Once you have a smooth consistency drizzle over top of the bar and along the sides.  Once you have finished the drizzle, set pan in freezer to cool for about 15 minutes.

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Slow Cooker Paleo Salsa Verde Chicken Tacos

One thing I try to keep in mind when shopping or preparing food is the number of ingredients and what type of ingredients are listed on the items I purchase at the store.  I have really tried in the past 7 years to simplify my food and really focus on simple ingredients and the most natural possible.  Most of this blog is vegan and vegetarian and I’ve really had to try to incorporate more paleo recipes as my husband is very gracious and eats vegan and vegetarian with me at times but really prefers a chicken or meat dish of some sort.  Its really been fun trying to find recipes he also enjoys as his palette is a bit different than mine.

You have to be creative and when you have a spouse or a family and you really have to try to incorporate so many different food preferences into one meal but also not over complicate as nobody has time for that.  Although I do not eat chicken I do buy hormone free, organic chicken and beef no matter what.  I gave up chicken and meat over 15 years ago because I just couldn’t stand  the amount of hormones that were pumped into meat and they way it was processed.  That being said, its a personal choice and by no means do I expect everyone to live by those same rules and extremes.  Hence why I accommodate my hubby since he is very tolerate and very accommodating of what I eat.  Don’t get me wrong, in no way is he demanding I make him meat.  If I make a vegan/vegetarian dish and he wants meat he will make his own if he feels he needs it.  We are a team and both want each other to eat what is filling and desired.  We do both however eat very healthy.  He and I both don’t eat processed foods and we limit our carb and sugar intake.  We only eat whole grain carbs if any, never refined.  I do really enjoy making paleo carb substitutions and now in 2017 there are SO many ways to get creative with all natural paleo ingredients.

Today I made these Salsa Verde Chicken tacos, which I’ve made in the past from a recipe that I found on Pinterest.  I’ve tailored this to have my own creative flare and also made the taco shells from scratch, paleo of course and hubby likes it so much he had a couple servings!  That’s when I know the meal has passed the test!

When I have time, I really prefer to use a crock pot and this recipe is one that is so much better after simmering in a crock pot for 4-5 hours.  The juices just marinate and the taste is so much more flavorful.

Ingredients:

Salsa Verde Chicken Taco Meat

  • 3-4 large chicken breasts
  • 1 cup organic salsa verde
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp Spiceologist Chili Margarita seasoning
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • *Hot sauce and cayenne pepper to add a bit more spice!

Coconut Flour Tortillas:

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/16 baking powder
  • 3 egg whites + 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup warm water (stir to make sure consistency is not chunky and a bit runny to ensure you can spread in the pan)  Add more warm water if you feel its still too thick.

Directions:

Step 1:

place 4 chicken breasts at bottom of slow cooker.  Add all ingredients from above (except for hot sauce and cayenne) and cook on high for 3-4 hours.  If you want it to simmer a bit longer you can add another hour.  I actually left these on high for about 5 hours.  Otherwise, you can cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Step 2:

After chicken has simmered for 3-4 hours take two large forks and begin to shred the chicken while in the crock pot.  Once its thoroughly shredded mix and make sure its marinating well in the juices.  Add in your hot sauce or additional spices if preferred.  I added in more chili powder and cayenne pepper because my hubby likes it really spicy.  Let simmer for another hour or two if you have the time.

Step 3:

While waiting on that final hour for the chicken to marinate you can prepare your tortillas or have them prepared ahead of time.  Keep in mind these take time to cool so you want to start them at least 30-45 min before you are ready to serve to also leave room for error.  These tortillas took some perfecting so give yourself time!

Start by mixing all the above ingredients for the tortillas into a bowl.  Use a whisk to ensure the mixture is smooth and not lumpy.  Heat a pan on the stove top on medium and use grapeseed/olive or coconut oil to ensure the tortilla doesn’t stick and also helps to form the edges.

Pour in about 1/4 cup of the mixture and immediately pick up the pan and circle the pan so the mixture smooths out over the surface of the pan.  Set back on the stove and let simmer for about 1-2 minutes or until the top starts to form bubbles.  Start by edging the tortilla with a flat spatula.  Once it isn’t sticking and edges start to come up place the spatula directly underneath the tortilla and flip very quickly!  I try to use the pan to quickly flip but it may take a few trials to get it!

Let the opposite side saute for about 1 minute and take the pan off the heat and very carefully slide the tortilla out of the pan on to parchment paper to cool.  Let cool for at least 15-20 minutes before serving.

 

Once you have the cooled tortillas take approx 1/3 cup of the shredded taco meat and serve on each individual shell.  Top with your favorite toppings.

Recipe makes approx 6-10 tacos depending on the serving size.

Finished tacos

 

Best Ever Veggie Burgers with Flare!

When I decided to make these veggie burgers I got my inspiration from Pinterest and honestly there are a LOT of great recipes out there.  Because I had so many veggies in the fridge I wanted to use I created my own based on what I know I do and do not like about traditional veggie burgers.  First, I like mine to be so fresh the almost fall apart when they are heated up.  To me, that is the epitome of freshness.  I don’t like dry or bland veggie burgers so I made sure to add a lot of spice.  WARNING: the recipe while making it DOES NOT look inciting but if its made with real veggies and beans, it shouldn’t be.  So don’t freak out.

When making veggie burgers its essential to make sure you include all of your macros in the burger since this will be your primary meal with possibly additional sides.  Because I made a larger batch and wasn’t sure how I would use them I did just that.  Pack them with beans & legumes for protein, oats for whole grains, and of course loaded them with veggies.

First you will want to start with your mixture of vegetables.  I took what veggies I had in the fridge and chopped them up and put them in the food processor.  I like when the veggies are ground up with the beans, oats and flour so I prefer to use in a food processor, however, its perfectly fine to mix in a bowl.  Just make sure you get your veggies chopped nice and small.

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The veggies that I used include the following:

  • Carrots
  • Red Onion
  • Purple radish (however this is not necessary and you can use another crunchy veggie of your preference.)
  • Mushrooms
  • Garlic
  • Spinach
  • Red & yellow peppers
  • Green Onion

 

 

 

 

 

Once your veggies are chopped/diced/sliced every which way then place them in a bowl and put them to the side.  Rinse your beans if you are using canned, and rinse them well.  I use a strainer and let them set over the sink until all the water is drained.  This will helping the burger forming process later on.  Once they are drained, pat them with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture and add them to your veggie mixture.

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Next, you want to prep all of your remaining ingredients and have them accessible – or at least that is how I like to have them.  That way you can mix and add as you go to ensure the consistency is on par.

Now because this mixture was a double recipe it was too large for my food processor so I took about half and mixed it then took the other half and did the same.  WARNING: if you are using a food processor just make sure not to over process your mixture.  It can become watery and just end up looking like mush.  You want it properly mixed but not over mixed, make sense?  I know, its a fine line with veggie burgers!

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Once you have mixed the beans and veggies combine into one large bowl.  Here is where you will add your flour, oats, spices and oils.  Below is what it looked like when I combined everything together.  Again, NOT PRETTY but trust me, delicious in the end!!!!

Step 1:

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Step 2:

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Step 3: Let cool.

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Final Step: Add toppings!!!

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Now its time for the fun to begin!

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook time: 5-8 minutes

Total Time :30-33 minutes

  • 1/2 large red onion finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1/4 large purple radish, chopped
  • 3-5 stalks of green onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 6-8 mushrooms, chopped
  • 4 mini peppers (red, yellow, orange) or 1 large, chopped
  • 2-3 handfulls of fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 – 15 oz can kidney beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1 – 15 oz can black beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cup gluten free whole grain oats
  • 1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour (chickpea flour)
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp of SPICEOLOGIST Greek Freak

In a large bowl, combine veggies and beans that have been rinsed and drained.

If you are using a food processor, this makes a double batch so make sure to split the mixture in two, process and transfer into a new large bowl.  Take the second half of mixture, process and add to larger bowl with newly processed mixture.  Otherwise, you can process the veggies separate then the beans and transfer to the same bowl once both are processed.   If you are mixing by hand, make sure to mix well!

Once you have the mixture into one large bowl, add the oats, spices,and chickpea flour, egg and mix well.

Get your stove top ready on medium-high heat with about 1-2 tbsp of olive oil to the pan.  Don’t worry you will be adding more as you cook more patties!  This makes about 16 patties, depending on the size of the patty you want.  make them as large or small as you like, just remember they are quite soft so the larger they are the less you can fit in your skillet.

Form into ball-like patties and drop them into your heated skillet.  The oil will help with sticking and forming the patties as they cook.  Don’t worry about making perfect patties before they start cooking, they will form as you cook.  Leave cooking for about 3 minutes then try to flip them.  Cook on the opposite side for about 3-5 minutes or until they are well-browned at the top.  I flipped mine a couple times as it became easier to flip as they hardened.

Set the patties aside on foil or parchment paper and let cool for about 5-10 minutes.

Continue with the remaining mixture and keep adding oil as you go as the pan will start to dry out.  You want to make sure you have enough oil so they cook and so you are able to flip them.

Finishing touches:

In this particular photo I cooked two fried egg whites and topped my burger with whole fat organic Monterrey jack cheese, the fried egg white, smashed avocado, chopped olives and sriracha sauce.  It was absolutely scrumptious!!!!

I posted this photo along with several other food photos on my instagram if you want to follow along @AngieRHart1.

 

 

 

 

Health Food on a budget challenge Week 1

I decided to challenge myself to actually track how much I spend on groceries.  I love seeing how creative I can get with the groceries I just purchased for the week combined with what I already have in my cabinets.  Now I have pretty basic ingredients to start but if you don’t know what I mean by basics you will start to learn if you follow along throughout this challenge.

I always like to purchase groceries for my fiancé and I and plan meals for the week.  We give ourselves a weekly budget but let’s be serious, we never stick to that budget.  Of all places we live in New York City with the best of the best restaurants, happy hours and a very packed social and work calendars.  Some weeks eating at home can be challenging but to hold ourselves to this challenge we removed our wine budget, yes we have a wine budget, and challenged ourselves to really stick to what we purchased this week.  Here’s a log of what was purchased to be prepared at work for lunch, including total cost, and a breakdown of what I ate today.

Lunches

Every Monday I walk to Whole Foods at lunch and get a few groceries for the week.  I’m usually pretty good about sticking to what I purchase but usually 1 or two days I’ll opt to go get sushi, a bowl or something else that sounds more appealing that day.  Here’s an image and long of what I purchased for $62.58.

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Here’s the full list of food purchased:

Ezekiel Bread

Unsweetened Almond Milk

2 mangos

2 avocados

3 small bananas

2 pink grapefruit

.84lb lemon dill tuna salad (no dairy)

1 jar organic almond butter (no sweetener, just almonds)

12 oz raw organic pressed beet juice

2 wallaby 0% plain Greek yogurt

12 oz vegan carrot ginger soup

Engine 2 Tuscan White Bean Burger

Monday, April 4th Log

Wake up 6:15 – Hot water with 1/2 sliced lemon to start every day

Breakfast 10AM (not standard. Case of the Mondays = no workout and late arrival to work) – Juicy Cube fresh juice 12 oz Detox Expert (carrots, spinach, cucumber, ginger, apple, parsley)

Lunch 12:30pm – 1/3 cup lemon dill tuna salad + vegan carrot ginger soup 12oz + small homemade falafel brought in by colleague at work topped with tsp tahini.  I drink water with lunch but have my kombucha after to serve as my probiotic which is key in my diet.

snack 3:30 – 1/2 grapefruit + 1 tbsp almond butter drizzled on 1 sliced banana

*dinner 7:30 – baked sole & zucchini noodles

Tonight my fiancé and I were craving sweets so I had a ton of frozen bananas and made nice cream with what I had in the cabinets(cashew butter, cinnamon, coconut milk, coconut flakes & cacao nibs) Now these kitchen ingredients are not standard but I’m not normal so they are for me and I typically have a variety of foods like this hanging around:)

I also drink a ton of water all throughout the day.  Key to keep hunger at bay and maintaining or losing weight.

That’s about all I can write this evening because I’m just exhausted and need to get up early.   However, tomorrow I’ll share my dinner pics and groceries purchased from Fresh Direct and log my daily meals from that order.

 

 

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

Experimenting today with the ripened bananas I have left in my kitchen and decided to experiment with a few different ingredients to see how delectable and nutritious I could make these little muffins.  Given I had a craving for chocolate today, I decided to spice up the typical banana muffins and add in some more flare and protein.

These guys came out quite delicious and was a fairly quick and simple baking process with no more than 15-20 min prep time and 15-20 min baking time.  I decided to add protein because I’m always looking for ways to incorporate more protein into my diet.  These were the perfect delivery method for a grab and go breakfast or snack.

I first mashed the bananas and started mixing and whipping the liquid ingredients.  Second, I added the dry ingredients of coconut flour, oat flour, plant protein powder, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, hemp seeds and mixed it till the mixture was very thick and smooth. I ended up adding some coconut milk to the mixture to keep the consistency moist for pouring into the muffin tins.

After mixing very well I added about a cup of chocolate chips to the mixture. Depending on your love for chocolate or your craving for the day,  you can add more or less but I prefer to have a multitude of chips in my cookies and muffins!

Makes approx 12 medium-large muffins.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Grease and line your muffin tin and set aside

In medium mixing bowl, mash your bananas and add in your honey, vanilla, coconut oil, applesauce, eggs, coconut milk and almond butter.

Mix in your coconut flour, baking soda and oat flour and allow to sit for 2 minutes to thicken up. The mix will look runny at first but as the coconut flour absorbs the liquid the consistency will become more like a cake batter. 

Add in the chocolate chips and mix so the chips are evenly distributed.

Pour your combined mixture into your muffin tins and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the muffins start to rise and the top wills start to develop a golden brown color.  The muffins should be dense and fully cooked at this point.  You may want to do the fork test to ensure the muffins are cooked all the way through.  

Let cool for 5-10 minutes and enjoy!

Ingredients:

Liquid Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 -3 ripened bananas
  • 3 tbsp honey or agave
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 3 tbs melted coconut oil or butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup almond butter

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1 scoop of plant protein (I used plant fusion)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp hemp seeds or chia seeds (optional)
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips

Here’s the end result!

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I hope you all enjoy!!

 

 

Pumpkin Protein Muffins

After a pumpkin craving struck I decided to take action and bake this weekend.  Just the smell of baked goods in the oven is enough to make you want to snuggle up on the couch with a fluffy faux fur blanket, sip on some ginger tea and indulge in delicious baked goods. When something tastes this good, it kinda feels like cheating but I call it, “clean cheating”.

Rather than add much dialog here I’ve outlined the recipe and ingredients below.  I also took some pics of the ingredients and the process along the way.  Don’t mind my photography skills as this are down and dirty shots intermittent with baking!  Hope you find these helpful!

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Combine all ingredients into a large mixing bowl:

  • 1 cup organic pumpkin puree
  • 3 large eggs (2 egg whites and 1 full egg)
  • 2 tbsp raw agave or maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 2 scoops Plant Fusion Vanilla Plant Protein
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/4-1/2 cup almond or coconut milk

Mix all ingredients together – depending on how dense you want the muffins you can add more almond milk/coconut milk as desired.

Once all ingredients are blended spoon mix into muffin tin so its fills approx 3/4 of the way.  Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick or fork comes out clean when put into a muffin.  Remove from the oven and sprinkle with coconut sugar and almond butter topping(below).

Topping:

  • 2 tbsp agave
  • 2 tbsp well mixed organic raw almond butter

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Meatless Monday Lentils

I try to make an effort to post on a regular basis but I’m a bit lagging due to my busy schedule.  I have very long and full days starting with a 5am wake up for the gym, working all day and finding time to shop for groceries and cook can sometimes be a chore.  I really make an effort to ensure I eat clean on a daily basis and to do that it requires additional time and effort especially when I live in a city with so many great restaurants!  By the time I get home I don’t start prepping dinner until 7:30, which can make a very hungry boyfriend start to scavenge if I don’t work fast!  I say this because I am absolutely certain all of you deal with the same types of challenges everyday, which is why I started this blog.  Clean eating can sometimes be a chore, but it’s so worth it for your health, the health of your family and your wallet!

I decided to start with lentils because they are loaded with protein on a vegetarian dinner night and quite filling.  I wanted to use what seasonings and veggies I already had with an exception of a few extra items where I typically like to find inspiration at my local Chelsea market.   As I peruse the produce aisle I notice a bright pop of color coming from the beautiful peppers.  I was drawn to these very fall and festive looking vegetables and decided to pick up bright red and orange peppers and make stuffed peppers.  After grabbing a few more flavor boosters like garlic, onion and paprika its time to head back to my cooking haven to start dinner before the scavenger comes out.

Start by boiling the lentils, for those take by far the longest to prepare!  30-40 minutes is pretty typical to boil and simmer so the prep time can be painful when you are in a crunch.  To save yourself some time, try putting the lentils in the crockpot with the seasonings. You can use the below ingredients and cook them on low all day to get a nice pot of fully prepared lentils upon arrival.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup green lentils

3 cups water

2 Cloves fresh garlic

4 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp basil or small handful of fresh chopped basil

1 tsp paprika

1/2 cup chopped red onion

1-2 tsp cracked pepper

1-2 tsp salt

2-3 large peppers in bright colors

1/3 cup goat cheese

Start by preparing your pan with the garlic and olive oil.  Try to crack open your garlic clove and chop into into fine pieces.  Let the olive oil and garlic start to coat the pan to prepare to add the lentils.  Bring the lentils to a good boil and begin adding the remaining ingredients one by one as the lentils are boiling.   After all ingredients have been added and lentils are boiling, bring the lentils to medium and let simmer for 35-40 minutes, while stirring and watching for the water to dissolve into the lentils.  Keep adding water 1/4 cup at a time until lentils are soft.  For a little added creamy texture, try adding almond milk.  It really brings out the flavor and adds a nice creamy consistency(right).

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While lentils are finishing up, prepare the peppers by cutting in half and removing the core and seeds.  Clean them out so there is a nice opening to lay out the lentils evenly.  Place the half’s in at least a 1-2″ deep pan and drizzle some of the above seasoning and/or olive oil. For some added flavor, crumble goat cheese to the bottom of the peppers.  Once the lentils are soft, add them to the peppers and top with goat cheese.

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Place in oven on 350 and heat for approx 10-15 minutes or until peppers are browned at the edges and starting to soften.  Below is a picture of my final product:)

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