How To: Snack Healthy – Cheddar and Cornmeal Muffins

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We never discussed halloween! Shame!

Let’s discuss – we can talk about all the candy my daughter collected and how magically all the mars bars and snickers disappeared. We can talk about how I had one cute lady bug and one beautiful Elsa princess and how these costumes are now who knows where. Or we could just talk about these muffins. These delicious corn muffins that were paired with a vegetarian chili for the perfect pre-trick or treat meal.

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I think the reason cornbread pairs so wonderfully with chili is cornbread, by nature, is a little dry. Dipped in some chili – perfection. These muffins however are kept moist by Greek yogurt and canola oil. Kind of like our previous cheddar and cornbread loaf, although in muffin form. Which I find slightly more kid friendly, freezer friendly, and portable. So perfect chili partner or snack on the go.

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Please use some full fat aged cheddar over the lower fat plastic tasting stuff – a little goes a long way and the flavour is just a million times better.

This recipe makes 8 muffins, but I would suggest doubling up and freezing some. It’s always good to have an emergency stash of corn muffins, no?

Dara

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Cheddar and Cornmeal Muffins

Serves 8 muffins
Meal type Side Dish, Snack
From magazine Adapted from Cooking Light

Ingredients

  • 3/4 Cups cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 Tsp salt
  • 1/2 Tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 Tsp baking soda
  • 3 Tbsp Greek yogurt
  • 3 Tbsp canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup aged cheddar cheese (grated)

Note

These muffins can be made a day or two in advance and kept in a sealed container. You can also freeze them if you would like.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray 8 muffin cups with cooking spray.
2. Combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl. In a small bowl whisk together yogurt, oil, and eggs. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until just combined. Add in cheese and mix until evenly incorporated.
3. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups and bake for about 12 minutes, until cooked through and brown. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan before removing.

How To: Healthy Snack – Double Sesame Cereal

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My husband is religious about his breakfast – 364 days of the year he has a bowl of cereal with almond milk.

What about that other day? Challah french toast. But 9 times out of 10 it’s a bowl of cereal. And not just one cereal – four cereals go into his bowl. A layer of raisin bran, then comes kashi go lean, multigrain cheerios, and lastly a sprinkle of bran buds. Gotta stay regular.

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Now, if we he’s lucky, he gets a fifth fun cereal. His favourite? Homemade granola. While he does love our pumpkin version and the almond butter one also ranks up there, this new almost savoury spin has been the latest addition to his morning bowl.

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I have a recent obsession with tahini – it’s just as creamy as peanut butter but has such a unique flavour. And along with maple syrup, it acts as the “glue” for the dry oats and rice krispies. The “double sesame” component is a couple spoonfuls of sesame seeds that get mixed in with some coconut, which all together amounts to an extremely crunchy and delicious final product.

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This granola like cereal is great on it’s own, sprinkled over yogurt, or drowned in almond milk, my husband’s preference.

Dara

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Double Sesame Granola

Serves makes about 1 1/2 cups
Meal type Breakfast, Snack
Website Adapted from Shutterbean

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rice krispies
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 3 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1/4 Tsp salt

Note

While I was eating this cereal, I tossed in a handful of toasted almonds and it was just delicious. So I would suggest adding a handful of the nut of your choice to the oat mixture before baking it. You could substitute honey for the maple syrup if you would like.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, combine rice krispies, oats, coconut, and sesame seeds. In a small bowl mix together the maple syrup, tahini and water.
3. Pour tahini mixture over oat mixture and stir until evenly coated. Pour mixture over parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, until lightly browned. Serve with milk, yogurt, or just eat straight up. Store in an air tight container for up to 1 week.

How To: Healthy Breakfast – Double Maple Overnight Oats

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I tend to go in waves when it comes to breakfast choices.

Oatmeal for one week, cereal the next, pancakes and yogurt and granola are also on rotation. But right now I’m on an overnight oat kick. Way back when we were blogger newbies, I posted a recipe for an overnight oatmeal variation. While it is still delicious, I now enjoy more creative variations for my grown up and sophisticated palate.

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For this version I used the classic oatmeal topping of maple syrup to add sweetness and flavour. These oats get a double dose of maple flavour by using a maple brewed tea as part of the soaking liquid. I was generously gifted a bottle of pure maple syrup and a pack of Canada true maple tea by Canada The Store. I love the subtle maple flavour of this tea and in combo with the classic maple syrup – oatmeal heaven!

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Another thing I’ve learned since that first overnight oatmeal post, is that chia seeds are a key component of overnight oatmeal. I find they really thicken up the mixture as it sits overnight. I usually like to soak my oats in part almond milk and part yogurt, but for this version, I left the yogurt as a topping to really let the maple flavour of the tea and syrup shine through.

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One of my favourite things about these oats are the toppings – it’s like when you go to a self serve frozen yogurt bar. You can add whatever you like to jazz these up – nuts, fruit, dried fruit, go WILD!

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Assemble these the night before and then trust me, you will be so excited for breakfast you won’t be able to sleep! Thank goodness for the caffeine jolt in these oats from the maple tea. Your serving of breakfast and caffeine all in one!

Dara

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Double Maple Overnight Oats

Serves 2
Meal type Breakfast, Snack

Ingredients

  • 1 bag of maple tea
  • 1 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 Tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 Tsp vanilla extract
  • plain Greek yogurt, walnuts, and blueberries (to garnish)

Note

You can top these overnight oats with whatever toppings you'd like - sliced strawberries, raspberries, raisins, almonds, pecans, more sliced bananas, and another drizzle of maple syrup would all be delicious. I find these oats sweet enough but for a little extra sweetness top with vanilla yogurt in place of the plain. The oats will keep for up to five days in the fridge.

Directions

1. Place tea bag in a cup and add 1/2 cup boiling water. Let it steep for about 5-10 minutes.
2. Place banana in a medium bowl and mash. Add oats and remaining ingredients and stir t combine, ensuring oats are covered with liquid.
3. Place oat mixture in the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight. In the morning, divide among two bowls and top with yogurt, blueberries, and walnuts.

 

How To: Healthy Appetizer – Blue Cheese and Greek Yogurt Dip

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Can we just talk about tomatoes for a minute? I mean, have they ever been this sweet before? Seriously, we are popping them back like candy in this household.

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Speaking of candy, we treated ourselves to a bag of sour grapefruits the other night. I mean, they are grapefruit flavoured so it’s basically like eating fruit, right? Back to tomatoes – they are just perfect with this creamy dip. And with back to school season in full effect, we could all use some easy and healthy snacks and apps up our sleeves, am I right?

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I’ve used Castello blue cheese in this recipe as it is a nice mild cheese that is readily available in your local grocery store. In full disclosure, Castello has generously sponsored this post in exchange for a recipe featuring their product. But as always, we would never accept a deal if it’s not something we would normally use in a recipe of our own.

I’ve already told you just how delicious this dip is with the tomatoes right now, but it would be just as delicious with some cut up cucumbers, carrots, or your favourite crackers.

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All you need is a food processor and your good to go. Easy as pie – now speaking of pie, this dip would serve as the perfect appetizer to our zucchini pie. So grab a tomato and get dipping!

Dara

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Blue Cheese and Greek Yogurt Dip

Serves 1.5 cups
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Appetizer, Snack
Website Kath Eats Real Food

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 1 cup blue cheese (crumbled)
  • 2 Tsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 Tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • cut up tomatoes (to serve with the dip)

Note

While this dip is great with tomatoes, it is also delicious with cut up cucumber, carrots, and crackers. Thin it out with a little water and it would also make a great salad dressing. If you're not a fan of blue cheese, goat cheese would make a great substitute.

Directions

1. Combine all ingredients in the food processor and process until smooth.
2. Serve with cut up tomatoes, crackers, or other vegetables of your choice.

How To: Healthy Sides – Honey Roasted Carrots with Tahini Yogurt Sauce

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Grilling season is almost upon us! Woo hoo!

FINALLY! After enduring a long and extremely cold winter, I can now see the light!

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This past weekend the sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and I bought my first pair of capris for this season. Spring is here! Time to break open the bbq and outdoor grills!

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And what do you need to accompany your succulent grilled chicken and burgers? A tasty side dish of course. Enter these sweet glazed carrots.

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These honey roasted carrots come with a delicious and tangy tahini yogurt sauce that can actually serve double duty at your next dinner party. As perfect as it is to accompany these carrots, it’s also perfect as topping for your favourite grilled chicken or fish.

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I used these cute baby carrots because I just love the way they look. If you can’t find them, regular old carrots will work great, just cut them into large chunks or sticks.

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So let’s welcome patio season with open arms and a beautiful tray of roasted carrots!

Dara 

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Honey Roasted Carrots with Tahini Yogurt Sauce

Serves 4
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Side Dish
From book Adapted from Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi

Ingredients

  • 1 Pound baby carrots (if using whole carrots, cut into chunks)
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1 1/2 Tsp cumin
  • 3 Sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 Tsp salt
  • 1/2 Tsp pepper

Sauce

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp tahini
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 Lemon juiced
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1 clove garlic (grated)
  • pinch of salt

Note

These carrots are a great side dish for grilled or roasted chicken or fish. The sauce is also great on salmon, as a dip for other veggies, or as a sandwich spread.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place carrots in baking sheet and lay thyme sprigs on top.
2. Combine olive oil, honey, water, cumin, garlic, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and pour over carrots. Toss until they are evenly coated.
3. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, until soft and brown. Serve with tahini yogurt sauce.
Sauce
4. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.