Clean Chocolate Milkshake

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Have you seen the Tim Hortons billboard ads for their new “Frozen Hot Chocolate”?  Oh man!  They look soooooo good!  They had me at “chocolate”!  Since eliminating sugar from my diet I no longer crave sweets the way I once did.  BUT, when I drive by those billboards I suddenly feel tempted by the icy, frothy goodness!  I was experimenting in the kitchen today and came up with my own version of a frozen chocolate treat!  It turned out great!!  I can’t wait to make this on a hot afternoon!  If you are a chocolate lover like me, and have been missing it since eating clean- you will love this!!  🙂

Ingredients:

2 Cups un-sweetend chocolate almond milk

4 Pitted dates

1/2 Tsp vanilla

1 Tbsp Cocoa powder

1/2 Tsp almond butter

2 Cups ice cubes

Directions:

Pour all ingredients into a high powered blender and mix on high for at least 30 seconds.  Serve immediately!

This recipe would be great frozen into popsicles too!  I think I’ll try that next!

XO, Pam

http://www.cleanlifehappywife.com

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Perfect Asparagus

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My absolute favourite veggie side is asparagus! Asparagus is a tricky veggie to cook. If it is made properly it is crunchy, juicy and delicious, but if it is made incorrectly it is limp, stringy and chewy.

The most important tip: never and I mean NEVER boil asparagus! 🙂 I’m not sure who first circulated the method of boiling asparagus….but it was a bad…bad idea. It is very difficult to get the proper texture and maximum flavour from boiled asparagus.

The good news is that the best way to cook asparagus is also one of the easiest!
It only requires 3 simple ingredients.

Ingredients:

Sprinkle of sea salt
Sprinkle of fresh ground pepper
Olive oil

Directions:

Pre heat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut off the bottoms of the asparagus and line them on the baking sheet. Drizzle the asparagus with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 12-15 minutes (depending on the size of the asparagus)

* Another delicious method is to BBQ the asparagus. Prepare the asparagus the same way with the oil, salt and pepper and then cook on the grill for approximately 10 minutes.

You want the asparagus to stay firm and not limp. When asparagus is overcooked it get’s chewy and stringy.

The flavour that these three ingredients brings out when cooked together is fabulous!  When I serve this asparagus people often ask “WHAT is on this asparagus?!” The flavour actually tastes more complex than it is!  People are always shocked that 3 simple ingredients can bring out such a full taste!

This method can be applied to almost any vegetable!  I cook my cauliflower, carrots, potatoes, peppers and brussels sprouts this exact same way!

I hope you enjoy this recipe!

XO, Pam

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Clean Black Forest Cupcakes

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Today is my Dad’s birthday and we are getting together to celebrate! I love birthdays! I love taking one special day a year to stop and remember all of the things you love and appreciate about a person. I think it’s really important to take the chance to make someone feel loved and cared for! Birthdays are also special to me because they are steeped in tradition and I LOVE tradition! I love taking the time to select the perfect thoughtful gift, I love decorating with balloons and streamers, and I LOVE eating birthday cake!

My Dad happens to favour the exceptionally delicious flavour of Black Forest Cake. I know that at least once a year I will get to indulge in this cherry chocolatey goodness.

This year however, I am smack in the middle of “The 8 Week Challenge”. The challenge requires the participants to abstain from sugar of any kind for at least 8 weeks! (longer if you so wish) I’ve talked about my love for this program before in previous posts. Although I’ve been feeling awesome on the program with little to no sugar cravings, I have been thinking about that Black Forest Cake!

I began imagining myself at the party gnawing on a celery stick while the rest of my family indulged in the delicious Black Forest Cake!

Then…..I had an idea! Maybe I could try to make my own “Clean” Black Forest Cake! I started to search online for healthy versions of this delectable dessert without much luck. I went over to my favourite clean eating website: Against All Grain, and wouldn’t you know, she had a recipe for this very dessert! Danielle, you’ve come through for me again! 🙂 I did make one substitution in her original recipe. She calls for honey, but honey is not permitted on the challenge so I substituted it for date butter and it turned out great!

Ingredients:

4 Large eggs
1/4 Cup date butter
1 Tsp vanilla
1/4 Cup melted coconut butter
1/4 Cup coconut milk
1/4 Cup coconut flour
1/4 Cup almond flour
1/4 Cup cacao powder
1 Tsp baking soda
1/2 Tsp sea salt
1/2 Cup red cherries, pitted

Cherry Filling:
3/4 Cup red cherries, pitted
2 Tbsp date butter

Icing:
(In the original recipe, Danielle uses coconut whipped cream which is delicious. However, coconut whipped cream must be consumed almost immediately after it is made or it starts to melt. I needed these cupcakes to be able to last for a 30 minute car ride. I came up with this alternate icing recipe. It’s not the traditional “whipped cream” icing found on most Black Forest Cakes but it is delicious none the less!

My Icing:
(This icing has a rich, dark chocolate flavour. If you don’t like the flavour of dark chocolate you may want to stick with the whipped cream recipe)
2 Cups dates (soften in hot water if they are not fresh)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tbsp melted coconut oil

Blend all ingredients in a food processor or high speed blender.   Blend really well.  You don’t want this to be chunky!

Whipped Cream Icing:

2 Cans coconut milk refrigerated for at least 24 hours

Place a glass bowl in the fridge for at least 30 minutes so the bowl is cold.  Scrape off only the cream that has risen to the top of the can.  Try to avoid getting the liquid.  Beat on high until peaks form.  Serve immediately.

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350F. Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners. In a food processor or blender combine all wet ingredients. Slowly add the coconut flour, cacao powder, baking soda and salt and process well. Add the whole cherries and pulse 2-3 times until they are roughly chopped. Pour the batter into the cupcake papers filling each 3/4 full.

Put ingredients of cherry filling in a small pan and simmer for 15 minutes on medium heat. The cherries will be soft and much of the liquid will have evaporated.

Bake for 15-20 minutes. Once they cupcakes have cooled use an apple corer or just a pairing knife to remove a quarter size piece from the middle of the cupcake. Fill each cupcake with the cherry filling and then pipe icing on top.

These cupcakes are as good as they look! I am so so so pleased with the way they turned out! This recipe is the perfect proof that eating “clean” doesn’t mean going without your favourite treats!

I hope you love these cupcakes!!

XO, Pam
http://www.cleanlifehappywife.com

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Clean Bruschetta Chicken

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I’ve seen many different recipes for this bruschetta chicken all over Pinterest and Facebook.  I was feeling like trying something new for dinner so I decided to try it out!  This recipe was all that it promised!  It was really delicious!  I will definitely be making this chicken again as it was super quick and easy to prepare!  I made this in the oven, but I will be trying it on the BBQ next time!  I bet that will bring the flavour out even more! *Tip* There is also a delicious bruschetta mix you can purchase at Costco. If you are looking for an even easier short cut to make this chicken- that is a very good option. As good as the Costco bruschetta mix is, there is just something extra special about the flavours when you use all fresh ingredients. 🙂 Ingredients: Chicken breasts 1 Handful Basil 2s clove Garlic (minced) 1/2 Red onion, small 4 Tomatoes (diced) 1 tsp Balsamic vinegar 1/4 Cup goat feta Salt and pepper to taste 1/8 tsp Sea salt 1 tsp Olive oil Directions: Pre-heat oven to 350F Combine all bruschetta ingredients together in a bowl. Mix it all really well so that the tomato is coated well with the oils and vinegar. Place chicken breast on a baking sheet and spoon bruschetta mixture over the top of each piece of chicken. Bake the chicken for 20-25 minutes (depending on the size of the chicken breasts) *Tip* The flavour of the bruschetta is best when you make the mix the night before or early in the morning to give it a few hours to marinate in the fridge. The flavour of the basil and garlic with really come to life if you let the mixture sit before using it. I hope you enjoy this recipe! XO, Pam http://www.cleanlifehappywife.com *If you would like to receive more posts with recipes like this, click on the subscribe button at the top right hand corner of the blog! 🙂

Clean Fudgsicles

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We usually take a yearly family trip to Disney each year. One thing that I look forward to the most are these delicious Mickey Head Ice Creams on a stick! Oh man! They are sooo yummy! The problem is that once you start eating them it’s so hard to stop! I was pretty proud of myself this year, I didn’t have even one!

The thing I miss the most when eating clean is a good refreshing frozen dessert! I love frozen treats in the summer! I love ice cream, ice cream sandwiches and most of all fudgsicles. If you read the ingredients on the back of the box of your favourite frozen treats you may be a little disappointed with all of the added unhealthy ingredients.

I came up with this recipe to help fill the fudgsicle void in my life! 🙂 These fudgsicles are AHHHH_MA_ZING! It’s so hard to eat just one!

Ingredients: (makes a 6 pack popsicle)

1 Can coconut milk

1/2 Cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 Cup dates

1 1/2 Tsp vanilla

Directions:
Combine all ingredients together in a blender and blend on high. Blend well until you have a smooth consistency! You don’t want this one to be chunky! 😉 Pour into a plastic popsicle maker and freeze overnight.

****Important Tip*** To get the popsicles out, run the frozen popsicle container under warm water to loosen it. If you skip this step you will likely pull the stick right out of the popsicle. 🙂

Enjoy!

XO, Pam
http://www.cleanlifehappywife.com

Clean Pina Colada Smoothie

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One of my favourites things about summer is having a deliciously refreshing cold drink on the deck on a hot afternoon! Hmmm I love lemonade and iced tea and especially pina coladas! Although these drinks are delicious, they are often packed with refined sugars! This smoothie recipe will hit the spot when you are craving a cool treat! I make a big batch of this and make the rest into freezies or popsicles.

Last year I ordered these awesome “make your own” freezie bags! My kids had delicious and healthy freezies all summer long! The bags are called “zipsicles” and you can order them by clicking the link below! 🙂

http://zipzicles.com
p-8816-zipsicles-2-310x310_1

Ingredients:

1 Can pineapple or 1 & 1/2 cups fresh pineapple

4 Cups unsweetened coconut milk

1 Tbsp shredded coconut

1 Tsp vanilla

1 Tbsp coconut oil

2 Cups ice cubes

Directions:

Simply mix all ingredients together in blender and mix on high! 🙂

Clean Fudge and Oat Bars

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I’ve been on the search for a dessert to bring on the go to friends houses and family get togethers. These bars are easy to make, easy to cut, and easy to transport! And the best part- they are really tasty too! 🙂

Ingredients:  

2 Cups Oats

1 Cup raw almonds

1 Cup packed dates

1/4 Cup melted coconut oil

1/2 Tsp Almond extract 

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350oF.
Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper.
In a food processor, process almonds, oats, almond extract, and salt until lightly ground. Add in the dates and pulse until crumbly. Add in the melted coconut oil and process until the mixture comes together.

Remove oat mixture from the processor. Set aside 3/4 cup for topping and then press the remaining into the bottom of the pan.
Bake the crust for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes take it out of the oven and let it set for 15 minutes. While it is setting make the fudge.

Fudge Ingredients:

1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup date butter
1 tsp coconut oil melted
1/2 tsp pure vanilla
1/4 tsp sea salt

Place all of the ingredients together in a high speed blender for 30 seconds on high.

Spread the fudge over the cooked oat bar and sprinkle the remaining oat topping all over the top. Put it back in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

Take pan out of the oven and place it on the counter to cool for 30 minutes.

These bars really hit the spot when you are craving a sweet treat!

XO, Pam

http://www.cleanlifehappywife.com

Clean Chicken & Broccoli Bake

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I wouldn’t really consider myself a “picky” eater. In fact, I’ll try almost anything. There is one food however, that has haunted me since childhood. Its unique odour, almost ominous texture and ever changing appearance has continuously caused me to be leery of this dish. As much as I’ve tried to avoid this dish through the years, there it is, at baby showers, bridal showers, family picnics and holiday gatherings. I often circle the table, trying to avoid looking at it, and just hope no one offers it to me. It is the most vile of all party foods.

My friends, I am talking about the “casserole”.

Whenever someone says the word “casserole” I instantly picture a rectangular glass pyrex dish filled with a mysterious substance covered with cheese. What is beneath that cheesy layer? No one REALLY knows! And therein, lies the great mystery of the “casserole”!

This one dish wonder’s transformation could put any chameleon to shame! No two casseroles look or taste alike! In fact the casserole is the perfect dish to make at the end of the week when you are trying to clean out your fridge!

You see, there are “rules” when it comes to cooking. There are certain ingredients that “go” together and certain ingredients that do not.
Oh.ho..ho…..but when it comes to the “casserole”- it seems that anything goes!

You have some orange Chinese noodles? Throw ’em in! Have a can of Coke lying around? Pour it in! Have some corn flakes in your cupboard? Sprinkle em on! Heck, toss anything in that pyrex dish, pour a can of “cream of whatever” soup over it all, coat it with cheese, and you’ve got yourself a good ole’ fashion casserole!

(excuse me while I try to keep my lunch down…)

Why is it that you can put the most inappropriate ingredients together and as long as it’s called a “casserole”, no one even thinks twice?!

STOP THE MADNESS!

When I was a child my Mother used to make her own famous casserole type dish once in a while. It was called “I don’t know”. As the clock would near five and us kids would ask Mom, “What’s for dinner?” She would coyly reply. “I don’t know”.
The trouble was, we all KNEW perfectly well what “I don’t know” was. It was a “clean out the cupboard” dish. It was typically some sort of noodle, some sort or soup, and then whatever other canned and packaged food was in the cupboard and it was DREADFUL! (sorry Mom)

I’ve spent the better part of the past 32 years avoiding casserole type dishes, but sometimes you’ve just got to stop running.

That day came a few weeks ago. I was at my friend Crystal’s house for a playdate with our boys. We were there over the lunch hour and Crystal offered to feed us. I gratefully accepted. Who would pass up the chance to cook one less meal a day?! Just as I was mentally rejoicing in this welcomed meal preparing break, Crystal uttered the most terrifying of all words.

“I’ve got a broccoli casserole in the oven for us” A what?!!…A who?!…A where?!! “Did she just say “casserole?”
I instantly started to sweat…”keep a smile on your face”. “Act normal.” I thought to myself.
I started to exhale slowly.

Must. Regulate. Breathing.

Casserole. Casserole. Casserole.

Must. Not. Panic.

I started working over a plan in my mind to at least manage 3-4 bites, then proclaim how stuffed I was and push my plate away. “That should be socially acceptable right?”

I started to notice that the entire house was filling with THE MOST delicious aroma.
Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. After all, everything Crystal has ever made has been fantastic! She wouldn’t steer me wrong now…right?

Crystal pulled the casserole out of the oven and served me an exceptionally large piece. “What a shame that most of this will be wasted”, I thought to myself.

I raised a shaky fork to my mouth, concentrated on controlling my gag reflex, and took my first bite. Every hair on the back of my neck stood up…

This tasted AHHHHH-MA-ZING!

Like, seriously, sooooo yummy! I’m not sure what Crystal was even saying when I blurted out “What IS this?!!” It was honestly one of the most delicious dishes I had ever tasted! In no time at all I had completely forgotten my “manage to swallow 3-4 bites” plan and had inhaled the entire thing. At one point I even contemplated licking my plate, but thought that would definitely be inappropriate..(at least not while she was looking..) 🙂

When she gave me a run-down of the ingredients, I realized that it wasn’t exactly “clean”, so I vowed to tinker with her recipe and come up with a cleaner version!
This recipe is the end result! It turned out really yummy as well! It is very easy to pre-pare, has minimal ingredients and has an awesome taste! Even my kids loved it!

Crystal has restored my faith in casseroles. I dare say I am almost a “fan” of them now. 😉
Well done Crystal…Well done. 🙂

Ingredients:

2 Heads of broccoli chopped

1 Cup Shredded goat mozzarella

2 pieces of ezekiel bread cut into cubes (crouton size)

1 White onion diced

1 Cup chicken broth

1/2 Cup Greek yogurt

3 Eggs

2 TBSP Epicure Onion Spice

1/2 Tsp sea salt

1 Clove (large) garlic diced

1-2 Cooked chicken breast diced

Directions:

Pre-heat the oven to 400F

In a bowl whisk together the broth, eggs, garlic, salt and epicure spice.

In a separate bowl combine bread, cheese, broccoli and chicken. Once all of the dry ingredients are mixed, pour the liquid over top and then transfer to pyrex dish. Sprinkle the top with cheese. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes.

This dish is delicious!

I hope you enjoy it!

XO, Pam

http://www.cleanlifehappywife.com

Clean Mexican Salad with Lime Dressing

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Who’s excited for summer?!!  Yippee!  This has been a looong winter and I’m sure that we are all ready for some summer in our lives!  I don’t know about you, but I love summer food!  I love BBQ’S and fresh produce from the Farmer’s Market!  This salad is fresh and delicious- the perfect way to kick off summer!

Ingredients:

Dressing:

1/4 Cup olive oil

1/4 Cup white balsamic vinegar

Juice from one lime

Rind of one lime

2 Minced garlic cloves

1/4 Tsp sea salt

1 Tbsp minced cilantro

Salad:

1 Can corn

1 Head romain lettuce

1/2 Cup baby tomatoes

1 Can black beans

1 Diced avocado

1 Cup broken tortilla chips

Directions:

Mix all dressing ingredients together and pour over the salad or serve it on the side of the salad.

Layer the ingredients for the salad starting with the romaine lettuce.  Be sure to wash and throughly dry the black beans or else it will make your salad soggy!

I hope you enjoy this delicious fresh summer salad!  It’s a favourite in our home!

XO, Pam

http://www.cleanlifehappywife.com

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Clean Chocolate Banana Bread

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Breakfast is my most challenging meal of the day! For years (even recently) I would skip breakfast altogether. I know, I know, “It’s the most important meal of the day”.  But, for some reason I usually wake up with no appetite!  (trust me, it’s about the ONLY time of day that I don’t feel like eating!)  The problem with this is that I am typically famished by 10am!  You can guess what happens next- I am out running errands and am tempted to grab something, anything quick!  When you are out and about, a quick snack is often limited to fast food or unhealthy, pre-packaged foods.  When I started Clean Eating, I knew that this was one bad habit I was going to have to kick! I started my search for breakfast foods that I would find appealing at 6am when my sweet angels awake.  I started to think…”What am I always in the mood to eat?” The answer came swift and clear: Chocolate of course!! 🙂 This is a recipe that I worked to perfect and it tastes great!  Not only is it packed with chocolately goodness- it’s actually really healthy too!!!  This one is for all of you Chocolate Lovers!  You can eat Clean and still have your chocolate fix too!!

Ingredients:

4 Ripe bananas

1/2 Cup coconut flour

1/4 Cup ground flax

6 Eggs

2 Tbsp Melted coconut oil

1/2 Tsp salt

1/2 Tsp Baking soda

1 Tsp Vanilla

1Tbsp Cinnamon

1/4 Cup Date butter

1/4 Cup chopped walnuts

3/4 Cup cocoa powder

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F.  Mix all dry ingredients (except nuts) together until fully combined.  In food processor mix together all wet ingredients.  Once wet ingredients are combined, add in the dry ingredients and mix once more.  Stir in the walnut and pour into a bread pan.  Bake for 45 mins to 1 hour (Depending on how big your loaf pan is) at 350F.

***TIP*** Let this sit for at least 20 minutes to cool. It may seem a little dough-y when it first comes out of the oven but firms up as it cools down.

I hope you love this bread as much as I do!

XO, Pam

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