Spooky Spiders!

Happy (almost) Halloween! Are you already stressing out about the amount of treats that are bound to be consumed next weekend? I always have a hard time with self control during special occasions, but I don’t want to completely deprive myself of the festive activities. I modified a recipe I found on Vital Proteins Instagram page to make these little spiders on honey oat “beds” and they are uhhhmazing! They are free of refined sugar, rich enough that you are satisfied after one, and so stinking cute that everyone will notice them first when you bring them to a Halloween party!

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I made the double chocolate peanut butter cups a few hours in advance to ensure they had fully hardened before assembling the spiders on their beds. This recipe makes approximately 20 spiders!

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Ingredients:

2 cups dark chocolate, melted

2 tbsp natural Peanut Butter

1/2 tbsp honey

1/4 tsp vanilla

1 scoop Vital Proteins Dark Chocolate Collagen Whey

Pinch sea salt

-peanut butter cup molds or mini cupcake liners on a baking sheet

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Directions:

  1. Melt chocolate in a microwave safe bowl, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth. Transfer chocolate into piping bag or sandwich baggie and snip a small hole in a corner.
  2. Line mold or liners with chocolate. Make sure the bottoms and sides are covered and set in fridge. I used 3-4 mini cupcake liners layered to make sure it was stiff enough to hold the shape.
  3. When chocolate is setting in fridge, mix peanut butter, honey, vanilla, protein powder, and salt in a small bowl. Take chocolate out of the fridge and put a small piece of peanut mixture in each cup. Top with chocolate and tap baking sheet or mold to smooth out the top layer of chocolate. Place in fridge or freezer to set.

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Honey Oat Beds

Ingredients:

2 cups oats, blended into a flour (small bits are ok)

1/2 cup natural peanut butter

1/3 cup honey

1/4 tsp honey vanilla

1 scoop Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides

1 tbsp unsweetened almond milk

Candy Eyeballs

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Directions:

  1. Blitz oats in blender for about 45 seconds. Add all ingredients except the candy eyeballs to your food processor/high powered blender and pulse until it has formed a dough like consistency (small chunks of oats are a-ok!)
  2. Roll into small balls and flatten into circles about half the size of your palm.
  3. Unwrap your chocolate pb cups and use the melted chocolate to glue them to the honey oat beds. Use the chocolate to draw eight legs onto each spider and “glue” two eyes to each.
  4. Enjoy your spooky spiders!

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Protein Pumpkin Banana Bread

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The leaves are changing and summer is fading away into those dark winter nights, which usually makes me so sad – but not this year! I have finally made my inner basic white girl dreams come true with this high protein, refined sugar-free, pumpkiny banana bread.

Ingredients:

1/3 cup melted coconut oil

1/2 cup honey

2 eggs

1 cup pumpkin puree

2 large ripe bananas, mashed

1/4 cup almond milk

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cup Vital Proteins Banana Cinnamon Collagen Whey

1 cup flour

1/2 cup carob chips (optional)

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Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Spray loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the coconut oil and honey together, add eggs and whisk
  4. Mix in the pumpkin, bananas, milk, spices, vanilla, baking soda, & salt
  5. Add the protein powder and flour and mix until combined – fold in carob chips if using (I recommend you do!)
  6. Bake for one hour or until a toothpick comes out clean – place loaf on a cooling rack and then enjoy!

 

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Vegan Date Bars

Ready for the easiest recipe ever? Whenever I make these bad boys they are such a hit and people are always shocked that there are only three ingredients in them! Yup, you read that right – THREE ingredients! These little bites are sweet, a little salty, and the perfect healthy dessert or afternoon snack.

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Here’s what you need –

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1 1/3 cups dates
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla

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Here’s what you do –

  • Throw it all in a food processor until it looks blended.
  • Line a 9×9 dish with parchment paper and press mixture
  • Refrigerate for an hour before cutting into desired sizes!

ENJOY xxFile_000

 

 

Nutella Milk

IMG_8413Ingredients:

2 cups hazelnuts, soaked in water for 8 hours

9 cups filtered water

1 tsp vanilla

pinch salt

2 scoops Vital Proteins Cocoa & Coconut Water

1 tbsp cocoa

Honey, to taste (optional)

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Directions:

  1. Soak hazelnuts in water for 8 hours. Drain hazelnuts and add them to a food processor and blend with filtered water for 1-2 minutes – because this is a rather large batch, you may want to split up your nuts and do it in a couple steps to avoid a mess!
  2. In a large bowl, pour nut milk through a nut bag to remove pulp (save for other recipes!)
  3. Add in all other ingredients and whisk together
  4. Keep refrigerated.

I found that the flavour was perfect without honey, but feel free to add some as you please. This milk tastes amazing cold out of the fridge, but my favourite way to enjoy it is splashing some in my morning coffee! As always, please tag me @tanlines.and.training on Instagram if your recreate this!IMG_8800

 

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LOCO Lemons

Someone once told me that marketing has a seven step strategy. They try to introduce their product to you in seven different ways, and ultimately it makes you more likely to buy the product! Well, I must have seen these pretty cans in at least seven different stores and it worked – I saw them at the grocery store this week for 59 cents, and I grabbed two and threw them in my basket without looking at the label. MISTAKES WERE MADE.

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I figured because of the light labels it would be a light, refreshing sparkling water type drink. I came home and right away poured a glass for my boyfriend and I. Although it tasted pretty good, it was so sweet and it didn’t hit the spot for either of us and had so much added sugar. Even my boyfriend, who usually has quite the sweet tooth, was disappointed that the cans of sweet nectar weren’t sparkling water.

 

 

 

Processed with MOLDIV

After my loco lemon experience, I was left sad and dissatisfied. But, the next day life became a little brighter when I figured out I had all the ingredients my body was craving! I simply filled a glass with ice, a few slices of lemons, a scoop of vital proteins, and ice cold water! So simple, healthy, and delicious.

 

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So friends, don’t make my mistake… if you are craving something specific (lemon water) don’t be a dork – go find the raw ingredients and crush those cravings with natural ingredients!

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MONEY MACRO MONDAY

Protein Packed Office Salad

I find a lot of people struggle with eating lunch at work. Weeknights are always a busy time and it can be hard to throw a lunch together, so I am sharing one of my favourite quick (and cheap!) work lunches!

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Ingredients:

Romaine lettuce (1 large head)

Hardboiled eggs (4 large, sliced)

Chick peas (2 cans, rinsed and drained)

Grape tomatoes (1 pint, halved)

Cucumber (1, cut into bite sized pieces)

Red onion (1/4, finely chopped)

Feta (optional)

Avocado (2, optional)

Balsamic Vinegar (4 TBSP)

 

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients, except feta, avocado, and vinegar, into 4 containers.
  2. When ready to eat, top with feta, avocado, and 1 TBSP balsamic vinegar. Shake container and enjoy!

 

Nutrition per serving*

Calories: 184

Protein: 13g

Fat: 6g

Carbs: 21g

*Nutritional info is an approximate estimation and will vary based on ingredient brands – optional ingredients not included in above information*

Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins (gluten free)

I know, who makes pumpkin muffins in the spring? I do! The “basic” girl in me was craving some pumpkin, so I grabbed some essentials to whip up a batch of pumpkin muffins. I started using Vital Proteins collagen whey protein powder about a month ago and I absolutely love it. I think what stood out to me about this protein powder was that it actually isn’t sweet, but it is still delicious. It also has extremely clean ingredients, which I really appreciate. It was the perfect protein powder to add to my muffins, because it added that chocolatey flavour without adding so much sweetness (so I didn’t feel guilty about adding a few chocolate chips!). Let me know if you make these on Instagram by tagging me in your photos (@tanlines.and.training)! Enjoy!

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I forgot the pumpkin seeds in my first batch, but they are still tasty!

Ingredients:

1 cup gluten free old fashioned rolled oats

1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree

1 cup plain greek yogurt

2 large eggs

2 scoops Cocoa Coconut Vital Proteins powder (http://www.vitalproteins.com/fitness/collagen-whey-cocoa-coconut-20-oz-canister.html)

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1/2 dark chocolate chips

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Much better with the pumpkin seeds!

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease muffin tin (or place muffin liners in tin)
  2. Add oats to food processor and blend until flour forms (15-20 seconds)
  3. Add all ingredients except pumpkin seeds and chocolate chips & blend
  4. Stir in 3/4 of the pumpkin seeds and 1/2 of the chocolate chips
  5. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full and sprinkle tops with remaining seeds and chocolate chips. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until you can poke one with a toothpick and it comes out clean

Makes 12 muffins

Nutrition per muffin*

Calories: 156

Carbs: 15g

Protein: 8g

Fat: 7g

*Nutrition is an approximate estimation and will vary based on ingredient brands*

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MONEY MACRO MONDAY

I love going out for a good Asian bowl, but I always hate that it costs me upwards of $15 dollars. I’ve started making my own, and not only are they delicious BUT they are also a fifth of the cost!

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Crispy Tofu Peanut Bowl

Ingredients:

Brown rice (1 cup dry)

Coconut oil (2 tbsp)

Ginger root (2 inch piece, peeled and minced)

Extra firm tofu (2 12oz packages)

Black pepper (1/4 tsp)

Salt (1/2 tsp)

Broccoli (2 crowns, cut into small florets)

Carrots (4 medium, peeled and grated)

Sesame seeds (optional)

Crushed peanuts (optional)

Bean Sprouts (optional)

Sauce:

Natural peanut butter (6tbsp) *

Soy sauce (2 tbsp)

Room temperature water (4 tbsp)

Honey (1 tbsp)

Crushed red pepper (1/2 tsp)

2 cloves garlic (minced)

1 lime

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Directions:

  1. Set oven 400 degrees and spray 2 baking sheets with cooking spray
  2. Drain tofu and pat dry, cube and bake for 25 minutes (flip halfway through) or until desired crispiness!
  3. Make rice as per label instructions and set aside
  4. Heat skillet over medium-high heat and add coconut oil. Add ginger and cook for 15-30 seconds before adding baked tofu, salt, and pepper. Cook for 5-7 minutes. Transfer mixture to a bowl and set aside.
  5. Add broccoli to skillet and cook until softened, approximately 5 minutes.
  6. While broccoli is cooking, whisk the peanut butter, soy sauce, water, honey, crushed red pepper, garlic, and juice of one lime in a small bowl.
  7. Add rice, tofu, broccoli, & shredded carrot to a bowl. Top with a peanut sauce, crushed peanuts, bean sprouts, and sesame seeds.

*You can make your own peanut butter by throwing roasted peanuts in your food processor until you get your desired consistency* You would need about half a cup of roasted peanuts for this recipe.

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*recipe adapted from Mealime

Money Macro Monday

Like most people, I love saving money without compromising healthy food. I’ve decided to start sharing some of my favourite “Budget Bites” with you! Let me know if you try these alternatives, and tag me on Instagram if you post them!

 

Lazy Lentil Cabbage Casserole File_000 (1)

Ingredients:

  • 1 large Green Cabbage, chopped
  • 1 medium Yellow Onion, diced
  • 2 Medium Clove Garlic, minced
  • 30 fluid ounce, Tomato Sauce.
  • 1 tsp, leaves, Spices, thyme, dried
  • 50 tsp(s), Spices, dill weed, dried
  • 25 tsp, Salt
  • 25 tsp, ground, Spices, pepper, black
  • 25 tsp, Spices, pepper, red or cayenne
  • 2 cup, Rice – Brown, long-grain, cooked
  • 2/3 cup dry lentils
  • mozza, shredded (optional)

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Prepare lentils and rice. When lentils are almost done cooking, dice onion and garlic and sauté for 2-3 min. Stir in half of the tomato sauce, lentils, & all the spices, then bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for five minutes before stirring in rice and removing from heat.
  2. Layer a third of the cabbage in a greased 9×13 baking dish. Top with half of the lentil mixture. Repeat and top with the rest of the cabbage and pour the other half of tomato sauce on top. Cover and bake for 40 minutes.
  3. *optional* add shredded mozza on top and bake for an additional 5 min (not included in price or nutrition breakdown)

 

Makes 12 servings

166 Calories

Fat: 1g

Protein: 8g

Carb: 27g (dietary fibre 8g)

$0.66 CAD/ serving (SAVINGS – $0.68/serving)

*Nutrition is an estimate only & prices will vary dependent on store location and brands.

 

Mediterranean Farro Salad

Eating more plant based meals is not only better for you, but it also makes a huge positive impact on the environment (and your wallet)! I have been working hard in the kitchen to incorporate more vegetarian meals, and this one has become a quick favourite! WWW.budgetbytes.com is one of my favourite blogs, with plenty of amazing options that are affordable AND healthy! I have adapted the original recipe, but you can find the link to the original at the bottom of this post!

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Ingredients

1/3 cup sesame seeds

1/3 cup water

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 minced garlic cloves

1/2 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp cayenne  pepper

1/2 tsp salt

 

15 oz chickpeas, drained (3/4 dried, if using)

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1/4 tsp garlic powder

salt & pepper to taste

 

3 cups cooked farro

2 roma tomatos, chopped

1 cucumber, chopped

1/4 bunch parsley, chopped

1/2 red onion, chopped

 

Directions:

  1. Combine first seven ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in pan and add chickpeas and spices. Sauté on med-high heat until chickpeas start to turn brown and start to blister.
  3.  Add remaining ingredients in four bowls, top with chickpeas, and drizzle with dressing.
  4. ENJOY!

Remember to buy spices in the bulk section to save some moola!

 

*original photo from linked website*