You know how much I love exercise and that I consider it part of the holy trinity of health. Well, the 2nd part of that trinity is nutrition. Making sure we get awesome, balanced, healthy eats into our bodies is extremely important. Like they say, “You can’t exercise away a bad diet.”
To help you get ready for the weekend, here are a few healthy alternatives that are actually really good to eat because they taste great.
CINNAMON QUINOA BARS
2 1/2 cups quinoa, cooked and cooled
4 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF and place the quinoa in a large mixing bowl. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with lightly greased parchment.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla extract, and cinnamon until thoroughly combined.
3. Add egg mixture to cooked and cooled quinoa. Stir with a large spoon to combine. Pour into the parchment-lined baking dish and spread it around to ensure that it’s even.
4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until set and golden.
5. Using parchment, remove bake from pan as soon as possible so that it doesn’t steam.
6. Cool completely and cut into squares. Serve with a dollop of nut butter.
About 1 cup red wine vinegar
3 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed (about 4 cups)
1 cup finely diced celery (3-4 stalks)
1 cup finely chopped parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon minced peperoncini
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
About 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
2 sprigs rosemaryDIRECTIONS
- Add the shallot and enough red wine vinegar to cover it to a small mixing bowl. Set aside for 15 minutes
- Meanwhile, combine the chickpeas, celery, parsley, oregano, garlic, peperoncini, olive oil, lemon zest and juice, salt, and a few cracks of black pepper in a large mixing bowl.
- Drain the shallot, reserving the shallot-infused vinegar. Add the shallot to the chickpea mixture and toss gently to combine. Nestle the rosemary sprigs in the salad, cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour, making sure to turn the mixture a couple of times while marinating
- Remove the rosemary sprigs, then season to taste, adding a splash or two of the reserved shallot vinegar if desired. Serve at room temperature.
Serves four to six.
2 cups unblanched almonds
1/2 cup sweetener (sugar alternative)
1 teaspoon almond extract
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh lemon rind
3 egg whites
- Preheat oven to 350° F
- Grind the almonds in a food processor, and pour them into a mixing bowl.
- Mix in the sweetener, almond extract, salt, and lemon rind. Then stir in the egg whites. The dough will be thick, like wet sand
- Use a spoon to place two-inch balls on a pan lined with a Silpat mat or parchment paper.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until dry and lightly brown on top.
CAULIFLOWER PIZZA CRUST
Makes one 9 inch pizza crust
1 cup cooked, riced cauliflower
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp kosher salt
olive oil (optional)
pizza sauce, shredded cheese and your choice of toppings*Directions:
Remove stems and leaves from 1 head of cauliflower, and chop the florets into chunks. Add to your food processor and pulse until it looks like grain. Do not over-do pulse or you will puree it. (You can also use a cheese grater). Place the “riced” cauliflower into a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 8 minutes (may need to adjust according to your microwave). No need to add water.One large head will produce between 2 and 3 cups of riced and cooked cauliflower. The remainder can be used to make additional pizza crusts immediately, or can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.To make the pizza crust:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray (or use non-stick aluminum foil on a cookie sheet, which is what I did). In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup cauliflower, beaten egg and mozzarella. Add oregano, minced garlic and salt, mix well. Transfer the mixture to your cookie sheet, and pat out into a 9″ round.
Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool awhile. This helps to make the crust more solid.