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Healthy Sugar Free Raspberry Chia Seed Protein Pancakes

delicious, healthy and sugar free raspberry chia seed protein pancakes

delicious, healthy and sugar free raspberry chia seed protein pancakes

 

After running 13.1 miles yesterday, I was craving a hearty, filling and treat-worthy breakfast. After messing around with some ingredients I had in the kitchen, I whipped up this super easy to make recipe for healthy, raspberry chia seed pancakes that are not only sugar free, they are also PACKED with protein! Woo Hoo! Who says a girl can’t have everything? Enjoy this recipe and feel free to add a little maple syrup or date syrup to sweeten up if you are not “I quit sugar”-ing with me.

healthy sugar free raspberry chia seed protein pancakes

2 tbsp of non fat plain greek yogurt

1/4 cup oat bran

1 organic hormone free egg

2 tsp of flax seed

2 tsp chia seed

a dash of vanilla extract

a dash of cinnamon

6 or 7 raspberries gently broken up (by hand ) into small pieces (and then extra for on top!)

Add everything except the raspberries and mix it up in a small bowl. Heat your pan on low setting and spray with your favorite cooking spray or use a little coconut oil. Add in raspberries last and gently fold them in. Batter should make three 5-6in pancakes (perfect single serving!), feel free to double or triple it when eating with others. I topped mine with some mashed raspberries and a couple whole ones on top!

Great thing about this recipe is that it’s not only easy, quick and contains minimal ingredients but it’s sugar free and has tons of protein thanks to the egg and non fat greek yogurt. Toss in the flaxseed meal and chia seed and we’re also loading up on heart healthy omega-3s while getting a nice dose of fiber with the oat bran! It’s GOOD and good FOR YOU!

BAKED Zucchini Chips

delicious baked zucchini chips

               I was craving a healthy snack this afternoon and decided to try my hand at whipping up some baked zucchini chips! I have been thinking about different healthy snack ideas for my upcoming Sweet + Skinny Detox Meal Plan and these fit right in perfectly! They are super healthy, easy to make and really satisfy that crunchy potato chip craving.

Baked Zucchini Chips

Preheat your oven to 225 degrees. Slice a zucchini very thin, you can use a mandolin if you have one but cutting them as thin as you can with a good knife works just fine! Spray 2 baking sheets with olive oil cooking spray and spread out your zucchini slices evenly so they do not overlap. Sprinkle some garlic, oregano and a little salt and pepper to  your liking and bake them for 1 hour and a half to 2 hours, depending how thin you slice. You’ll know they’re done when they get a little brown and turn crunchy! 

Mocha Protein Smoothie

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I’m not a big protein shake girl, it’s never really been my thing. So when I got a sample of body logix’s chocolate vegan protein powder, I just stuck it in my drawer. Fast forward to these past few weeks where I’ve been training for a half marathon and it has been really interesting finding just the right kind of breakfast to get me going before my run. It can’t be too heavy or I won’t feel well and it can’t be too light or I won’t run as long as I need to, so a protein smoothie seemed like it just might be right! I jazzed this one up by adding flaxseed meal and even snuck in some kale, of course.

Mocha Protein Smoothie
1 serving size of chocolate vegan protein powder ( I used bodylogix and it tasted good. It’s also soy free, dairy free, non gmo and has no artificial flavors. They DID NOT pay me to say this! haha)
1 frozen banana (but a regular one will do)
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 cup coffee
2 tbsp flaxseed meal
1 cup of kale ( or just two handfuls of kale)
4 ice cubes

Blend it all together and enjoy! You can also add dates to make it a little sweeter but I’m off the sugar right now so that’s why I didn’t.

My “Go-To” Green Juice Recipe

Sponsored by my very own juicer, Samson, check out this video where I make my personal go-to green juice recipe!

Feel free to find more information about the Samson Juicer I use in the video here or my book Juicespiration ( all about creating your own juice cleanse) here.

Crispy Cauliflower with Jeff Kawakami

It’s always a blast spending time in the kitchen with my bestie and team ludo teammate, Chef Jeff Kawakami. What a lot of people don’t know about Jeff from watching The Taste is that he’s a pretty killer healthy cook as well. Jeff makes some vegan dishes that are out of this world and has celebrity clients that require him to make really healthy food, really delicious on the daily. Naturally, I asked him to share with us, an easy, go-to snack that’s both delicious, healthy and ‘man-friendly’.

Crispy Cauliflower

1 cauliflower cut into florets
1 egg
1 egg white
1.5 tbsp of dijon mustard
hot sauce to taste
1 tsp of garlic powder
1 cup of parmesan cheese
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet. Cut your cauliflower head into florets and place in a large bowl. Add eggs and lightly toss the cauliflower in them. Add you mustard, hot sauce , garlic powder, parmesan and bread crumbs and toss till cauliflower is covered in mixture. Salt and pepper to taste and then spread out the cauliflower on your baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes, they are finished when the edges are light, golden brown and crispy.

Homemade Almond Butter

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                Currently, I’m training for the More/Fitness Magazine half-marathon in NYC as well as recipe testing for my upcoming Sweet + Skinny Summer Detox. I have been on a mission to find some delicious, protein packed foods that are light Senough to keep you slim but substantial enough to power you through a long sweat session. It’s safe to say almond butter has become my new best friend!
I scoop it into my smoothies, add it to my oatmeal and love having it on some sliced green apples before my morning run. It’s packed with protein and good for you fats that my body needs to keep up with all my training. Almond butter satiates me and gives me a great, clean energy for the day. You can count on it being all over the recipes for my new detox and upcoming blog posts.
To make things even more exciting, I decided to go out on a limb and make it at home with my new Samson Juice Extractor. I had seen in the manual that it was possible but hadn’t really thought to give it a go till recently when my almond butter habit had been getting a little expensive. To my surprise, making almond butter was incredibly easy with my Samson and it came out so delicious that I had to share the recipe with you!

Sweet + Skinny Raw Almond Butter
If you’re using a Samson Juice Extractor like mine, simply switch to the mincing head from the juicing one. Turn it on and toss your almonds in the head at the top. (I’m sure this would be possible in a food processor if you don’t have a juicer as fancy as mine – definitely don’t try it on a regular juicer, you will break it!)

¾ cup of raw almonds
2 tsps of coconut oil
1 tsp of pure vanilla extract
1 tsp of pumpkin spice

Put your almonds through and you should have a slightly dry ground almond paste. Mix in the rest of your ingredients and feel free to knead it with your hands like sugar cookie dough. It will be slightly drier than the stuff you buy in a jar, if you prefer it a little creamier feel free to add additional coconut oil to your liking. Macadamia nut oil also works well if you are not a fan of the coconut.

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Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie

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We all have those mornings that are hard to wake up to. The morning after something in our life goes terribly wrong. Maybe it’s just a bad review at work, maybe it’s a break up, maybe it’s something as earth shattering as someone you love passing. Regardless of the degree, at the moment we usually don’t want to eat anything or we want to eat everything just to comfort ourselves. Both paths will leave us empty and feeling horrible. So this morning, when I was having one of those dreadful mornings you never want to wake up for, I decided to treat myself to something delicious and nourishing for my body, my brain and my heart. Chocolate covered strawberries are one of my favorite things in the world and so I decided to make myself a chocolate covered strawberry smoothie! Even though I have no appetite and it would have been super easy to skip breakfast all together, I know that right now my body needs me to take care of it. This smoothie was SUPER yummy and helped brighten my other wise gloomy day – I hope it can do the same for you- or just make your already awesome day even better! xo

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie
1 cup of chopped organic strawberries
1/4 cup vegan choc chips
1 tsp of almond butter
6oz container of plain coconut yogurt
1/2 cup of chocolate nut milk
2 pitted dates
5 ice cubes

Blend it all together and enjoy! :)

Green Guru Smoothie

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Nothing is better than a GOOD green smoothie to start your week off in the right direction or get you back on track mid week! I love this particular one when I really want to feel nourished and full. It has lots of good for you fats so you won’t start getting the ‘hungries’ around 11am. It’s also fulling enough to drink post work out if you’ve had a really intense sweat session. Totally inspired by Kris Carr’s one in Crazy, Sexy, Diet, a book that I highly recommend to anyone wanting to be more mindful of what they put in their body and take better care of their ‘god-pod’ (body) as she would call it! I hope you give it a whirl for breakfast one day this week, I know it might sound a little funky for a smoothie but you’ll have to take my word, it’s pretty yummy and it will start your day off right and set the stage for making healthy choices all day long!

Green Guru

4 leaves of Romaine
1/2 avocado
1 cucumber
1 banana
whooping tbsp of almond butter
1 cup of coconut milk

Blend it all together and enjoy!

Vegan Chocolate “Caramel” Truffles

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Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and whether you are sharing it with your significant other or best friends, who doesn’t like to make a sweet little chocolately something?! These Vegan Chocolate “Caramel” Truffles will knock your socks off and more importantly, your guests socks off when they find out how healthy they actually are for them. Don’t be scared, they are super easy to make too!

Vegan Chocolate “Caramel” Truffles

13 oz container of dates (standard package)

1 bag of vegan chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life)

2 tables spoons of almond butter

1 tbsp of coconut oil

Optional: unsweetened coconut flakes or crushed cashews for topping

In a food processor, combine all your dates with 2 tablespoons of almond butter. Pulse till the dates are becoming one with the almond butter and you see that caramel consistency. Take your faux caramel out of the processor, pack it in a nice little chunk and put it in the freezer for 5 minutes. I usually clean the food processor while it’s chilling and by the time I’m done, they’re ready! So go get them out, and start rolling little baby balls and placing them on a plate or baking sheet with parchment paper. Put them back in the freezer when you’re all done, so they will stay firm while we’re getting the chocolate ready!

For the chocolate, in a small saucepan add approx. half the bag and tbsp of coconut oil.  You can stir this constantly on a very low heat or I prefer to double boil it, which just means that I put a small soup pan of boiling water on the stove and THEN place my saucepan with chocolate on top of that. This helps the chocolate melt properly without burning as easily as it does on the stove. Either way, stir that chocolate till it’s almost completely melted and turn off the burner. Let the final little chunks melt themselves.

Now the fun part! Go get your frozen balls out of the freezer and stick toothpicks in them so that you can easily dip them in your chocolate. I used really pretty festive ones for V-Day, so I kept mine in but you can always toss these after the chocolate hardens so don’t be afraid to use a normal toothpick. Dip your faux caramels in the chocolate and if you’ve decided on a topping, nows the time to sprinkle it on or roll your chocolates in it after they’ve been dipped. This particular batch I used unsweetened coconut flakes but you can get as creative as you want with it!

Once they’re all dipped, place them back in the freezer for 10-20 minutes for the chocolate to harden and leave them either there or in the refrigerator till you’re ready to serve! These babies are best enjoyed firm and cold!

Strawberries + Cream Tarts

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With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, this is a great little recipe for a quick, festive treat that won’t have you laboring over the stove! You can also modify it depending on whether you want it to be vegan or not. I’ll give you both options!

strawberries + cream tarts
6-8 strawberries
1 package of philo dough shells

1 container of tofu cream cheese (vegan version)
1 cup powder sugar (optional how much you use)
1 container of mascarpone (if your are not doing the vegan version)

3 tsp of balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp of agave/stevia

First, defrost your little philo dough shells! These little babies are accidentally vegan most of the time but be sure to check the box because I’m sure there are all different brands. Just let them sit on a plate while you wash and slice your strawberries. Place your sliced strawberries in a bowl and add the balsamic and sweetener, mix it all up and let them sit. This will give them a sweet and  tangy taste and make them must more interesting to eat! Now, if you’re not going the vegan way, just pipe your mascarpone in to the little shells, the dollup should be about the size of a hershey’s kiss at most. For my lovely vegans, take your tofu cream cheese, put it in your mixer and slowly add the powdered sugar to taste. I said 1 cup but you really only need enough to turn the cream cheese taste into a slightly sweeter and more refined ‘cream’ taste! I use powdered sugar because no one wants their creamy filling to have little granules in it. Yuck!  Once all your baby shells are filled with cream filling, place three strawberry slices on top and you’re good to go!

Wasn’t that easy?! It’ll take you 15-20 mins TOPS – and the best part is that your guest will absolutely think they are the cutest, tastiest thing ever. Everybody wins!

 

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Louise’s Green Machine Smoothie

For those of you who watched The Taste last night, my #teamludo not only won the group VEGGIE CHALLENGE, but my girl Louise (aka. Weezy) won 2 gold stars for her veggie dish! Woot! Woot! Combine that with my man Lee saying that his gold star was for me and it’s safe to say I felt very happy with my friends stepping up there game and making some killer vegetarian dishes!
Naturally, I wanted to represent my veggie rockstar team mate Louise and asked her for a yummy recipe to share with you and I think you guys are going to LOVE this one!! Louise was kind enough to share this fabulous video with us of her making her “Green Machine Breakfast Shake” Check it out for a delicious and nutritious  way to get your greens in the AM and start your day off right. For those of you who are vegan watching, Louise does add some greek yogurt for protein, feel free to substitute that with a little more almond milk and scoop of almond butter OR if you like the yogurt-like consistency, they make some delicious almond and coconut ‘yogurts’ out there. Enjoy! Go #teamludo!

Healthy Football Snacks: Zucchini Fries with Buffalo-Ranch Dressing


With the Super Bowl coming up this weekend, I thought it would be fun to bring in my boyfriend, chef Lee Knoeppel to help me whip up a yummy snack for the game that would be both healthy and ‘man-friendly’. These Zucchini Fries are so addictive you’d never guess they were healthy and his ‘buffalo-ranch’ dressing is going to blow the mind of you ranch dressing fanatics.

Please SUBSCRIBE, like and share if you enjoy!

Fried Green Tomatoes

Even vegetarians and vegans need to be a little naughty sometimes and I just couldn’t resist sharing this decadent southern classic that my friend (and fellow Taste gal), Rebekah Faulk whipped up for her wonderful blog Some Kinda Good. I think these would be a wonderful veggie friendly addition to your superbowl apps and because they’re a little naughty, you’ll still feel like you’re indulging with boys without having to chow down on buffalo wings or those baby hot dogs. Now, of course, if you want to make them even healthier, you can try baking them instead of frying them. Same prep just put them on a parchment lined baking sheet at 375 degrees and then once they’re cooked, maybe sautee them in a pan with a little bit of coconut oil to get the outside crispy! However, I wasn’t about to mess with greatness, so I left Rebekah’s recipe just the way it was for you here. Enjoy!

FriedGreenTomatoes

Some Kinda Good’s Fried Green Tomatoes

Ingredients
3 Large Green Tomatoes
½ cup cornmeal
½ cup self-rising flour
2 Teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
Vegetable Oil for frying
Green Onion for garnish, optional

Directions:
Slice tomatoes about ¼ of an inch thick. Place them on a flat surface and season with salt. Transfer the tomatoes to a colander and allow them to drain in the sink for at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, fill a cast iron skillet or 10-inch frying pan with vegetable oil halfway full and set over medium heat. The oil will be ready for frying when sizzling occurs after gently sprinkled with water. In a small dish, use a fork to combine the cornmeal, flour, Old Bay, salt and pepper. Dredge the tomatoes in the flour mixture on each side. Roll the sides of the tomato in the flour mixture too, to ensure an even coating. Shake off any excess before dropping the tomato slices into the hot oil. Fry the tomato slices until golden brown, turning once during cooking.  Remove them from the oil and drain on paper towels. Garnish with green onion.  Serve warm with Ranch Dressing if desired.

Rebekah Faulk is a Georgia food writer and Statesboro-based TV Personality. A Season 2 contestant on ABC-TV’s The Taste, she blogs at SomeKindaGood.org, a Southern, coastal food blog highlighting East coast restaurant reviews and Lowcountry-inspired recipes. Follow her on Twitter @SKGFoodBlog or on find her on Facebook

 

My Green Standard

It’s hard to imagine my life before green juice, in all seriousness, my body runs on this stuff! So naturally, my first book was called JUICESPIRATION : Recipes, inspiration and everything you need to have an amazing juice cleansing journey!an ode to my absolute devotion to the miraculous drink because I’m a total addict. Green juice is an amazing way to give yourself a healthy, nutrient boost anytime, especially once that 4pm slump comes around and it’s a little too late in the day for coffee! Personally, I also think it’s a great way to start your day. I always feel better and want to make healthier choices through out my day when it begins with a big glass of a green juice. For those of you that aren’t full card carrying green juices fans quite yet, I wanted to give you a little preview of one of the recipes in “Juicespiration” and my personal go-to green juice to get you going! Try making my green standard at home or order it at your local juice bar to get you going on your healthy journey and be sure to tag me on facebook/instagram/twitter with @cassandrabodzak #juicespiration with your green juice pics!!

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Asian inspired Romanesco

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This adorable vegetable is called Romanesco and looks like a baby green cauliflower and tastes like a mix between broccoli and cauliflower. I HIGHLY suggest you try it if you haven’t already! Pick it up at your local farmer’s market and make it for dinner this weekend! I whipped up this super easy and delicious Asian inspired version the other night and wanted to share it with you. If you’re unsure how to cook this, follow this recipe and feel free to substitute the sauce for anything you like or just leave it plain with a little salt and pepper.

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Asian inspired Romanesco

1 tbsp of coconut oil
2 tbsp of plum sauce
2 tbsp of ginger infused olive oil (or regular olive oil + chopped ginger)

Rinse and chop up your Romanesco (like you would a head of cauliflower or broccoli). Place a small frying pan on the stove with a tbsp of coconut oil in it and your Romanesco and sautee for a few minutes. While that’s cooking, mix your plum sauce and ginger olive oil together and then drizzle over the cooking Romanesco. It shouldn’t take more than five – ten minutes to cook since the Romanesco is so tiny but use your judgement on how crunchy you want the finished product. I love my veggies when they still have a bit of a crunch to them! ;)

Carrot Ginger Squash Soup

 

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It’s absolutely frigid in NYC right now and as much as I do absolutely love my juices and smoothies, sometimes in the winter it just gets too darn cold for them! When this kind of chill strikes, I always turn to soups to heat me up and nourish me. This carrot ginger squash soup is not only delicious, it’s super easy to make and packed full of nutrients to give you energy and keep you warm! (It’s also vegan! psssh don’t tell!)

Carrot Ginger Squash Soup

Sauté 1/2 cup chopped onions, 1 tbsp fresh ginger and 1 clove minced garlic in 1 tsp olive oil for 3 minutes in medium pot. Add 1 1/2 cup low sodium vegetable broth, 1 cup frozen butternut squash cubes and 1 cup of carrot slices. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 5 minutes. With a hand blender, puree until smooth; if desired add broth for thinner texture. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

 

Homemade Cashew Milk

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A yummy nut milk can be a saving grace while juicing. I know that’s how I first fell in love with cashew milk! I made my first batch a couple years ago during a made at home juice fast to quell my late night stomach grumbles and fell quickly in love with this easy recipe and delicious ‘milk’!
Cashews are nature’s Prozac, they increase your feel good hormones and in my own opinion, make you feel all warm and fuzzy aside. So you can imagine what a delicious and soothing drink this can be. It’s also loaded with protein and is great post work out as a healthier substitute for a protein shake.

Cashew Milk
1 cup of cashews
2 cups water
Tsp of vanilla extract
Optional – agave, unsweetened cocoa powder or spices (cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves)

Soak your cashews in one cup of water overnight or for at least 4-6 hours. Drain nuts and add them to a blender with one cup of (new) water. Add vanilla extract and whatever other flavorings you desire. I love to use some unsweetened cocoa powder for a decadent but healthy treat – it’s almost like a chocolate milk shake! Although, I have been a huge fan of adding cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves during the holidays because it gives it more of an eggnog like flavor. Have fun, be creative and enjoy!

LOW FAT PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

I LOVE pumpkin and these pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are sooo easy to make and delicious, they are truly a “no-brainer”. In this brainless baking segment, I show you how to vamp up your old chocolate chip cookie mix and create something not only healthier and lower in fat than traditional cookies but a treat that tastes even better too!

Candy Corn Parfaits


Another YUMMY, healthy and VEGAN Halloween treat! Check out these easy to make and adorable make parfaits as well as my “hummus pumpkin patch” video for fun, festive and HEALTHY Halloween ideas! Be sure to subscribe to my youtube channel while your there!

My Favorite Salad!

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After a month of hotel living and room service/take out eating, I could not wait to get back to NYC, my apartment and my kitchen! My body was craving something delicious, fresh and healthy. Yes, your body will actually start CRAVING that after you feed it too much heavy, restaurant-y food! I didn’t eat like a total heathen, I mean this is ME we’re talking about but fair enough to say I had a couple more cocktails than usual and indulged my love for mexican food more than once while on the west coast. So first night back and all I can think about is making a salad! Seriously, starved for a salad with home-made dressing for a change. Now, don’t get me wrong, I can not wait to start making some season fall dishes, but it was almost 80 degrees in NYC when I got back (total bummer for fall-obessed me) and so I thought it fitting to have my favorite salad just one more time before pumpkins, cranberries and apples take over my culinary life. Spinach, strawberries and brie, it’s a little naughty but very nice, all of my favorite things combined to make a very easy, simple and delicious salad. Enjoy!

MY FAVORITE SALAD

SALAD

2 handfuls of baby spinach

5 small strawberries, sliced

small handful of crushed walnuts

5 slices of brie, chopped into fourths

 

DRESSING

1 tbsp dijon mustard

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp olive oil (I used basil infused)

pinch of salt

1 tbsp of fresh strawberry (or any kind of berry) preserves