Along with a proper exercise routine comes a balanced, nutritional diet. Check out these great meals to help you maintain your HEAL lifestyle while still keeping it delicious! Check out the nutrition related services I offer HERE

Very Berry Baked Oatmeal

You Will Need… 

3 Cups rolled oats 

1/4 cup preferred sweetener (white sugar, brown sugar or liquid honey)

2 teaspoon baking powder 

2 eggs 

3 Cups milk beverage of choice (soy, almond or cows milk)

1.5 cups frozen fruit of choice (ex. blueberries or raspberries) 

Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Beat eggs and milk together and pour into the oat mixture. Add in frozen fruit and mix together. The mixture will be runny. Pour into a 9×13 inch well greased baking dish and bake at 175 degrees C for 25 – 35 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Once cooled, cut into squares and enjoy.

Some breakfast and snack meal ideas! Place squares of the baked oatmeal into a bowl and top with one or any combination of…

  • warm milk
  • Greek yogurt
  • fresh fruit
  • honey 
  • cinnamon  

 

 

 

Oven Roasted Chickpeas

Okay people! The secret is out. Those canned chickpeas that have been hanging out in your cupboard are your new favourite snack. Yes, you read correctly. We have talked about the great nutritional qualities of these magical chickpeas before. Packed with protein and fibre, they make a great addition to so many meals. We most recently highlighted them in our cumin-spiced hummus, perfect as a dip or a spread. Okay, back to this new magical snack that lives in your cupboard. Oven Roasted Chickpeas.

The best part is this snack is extremely simple to make. They are perfect to snack on, add to salads for a crunch or a special addition to a trail mix. Okay, enough talk, read on to find out how to prepare this uber healthy and tasty snack.

You Will Need…

  • 1 540 mL can of chickpeas
  • 2-3 Tbsp. olive oil (garlic infused makes for a flavourful punch)
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2-4 tsp. spices of choice (little or a lot based on your palette)

Some spice suggestions are cumin, paprika, chilli powder, curry powder and oregano

Prepare the Chickpeas

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  2. Remove chickpeas from the can and rinse thoroughly under running water.
  3. Place chickpeas between clean dishtowels and pat them dry completely. Remove any skins that have come off while drying. It is important thatchickpeas are completely dry before roasting.
  4. Once chickpeas are dry place on a baking sheet.
  5. Drizzle heavily with olive oil, ensuring all the chickpeas are coated.
  6. Place baking sheet in the oven and allow to bake for 20 – 30 minutes. Stir or toss the chickpeas every 10 minutes.
  7. Once the chickpeas are toasted golden brown and slightly darkened, sprinkle your chosen spices over the chickpeas and mix well.
  8. Serve the chickpeas warm or allow to cool off to be enjoyed throughout the week.

Gluten & Dairy Free Vegan Chocolate Cake

Gluten and Dairy Free Chocolate Cake. Need we say more? Didn’t think so. This cake is so deliciously decedent; you won’t be able to get enough. Try this no fuss recipe that allows you to whip up a chocolate cake for any special occasion.

You will need…

  • 1 ½ cups gluten free flour
  • 1 cup organic sugar
  • ½ cup coca
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. white vinegar
  • 1 cup cold water

Prepare the Batter

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan, or a 12 set cupcake pan.

2. Sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda and salt into a large bowl.

3. Add in the coconut oil, vanilla, vinegar and water. Combine until smooth.

4. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes.

5. Remove cake from the oven and allow to cool.

Prepare the Icing

1. In a large bowl add ½ cup plant based butter spread (ex. Earth Balance Spread), 1 cup organic powdered sugar and 1-2 drops vanilla extract. Combine all the ingredients with an electric mixer until smooth and fluffy. Once the cake is cooled, top with frosting and enjoy!

Cumin Spiced Hummus

Hummus is a popular Middle Eastern spread made from cooked chickpeas. It is low in fat while high in protein and fibre. It is perfect to dip vegetable sticks and crackers, or to use as a spread for wraps and sandwiches.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You Will Need… 

1 540 mL can of chickpeas

Juice of 2 lemons

1/2 cup olive oil 

1-2 large cloves of garlic – minced

1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)  

Salt to taste 

1 tsp cumin

Prepare the Hummus

In a food processor add the tahini and lemon juice, blend until completely smooth. Peel and mince garlic and add to the food processor, blend for 1 minute. Remove chickpeas from the can and rinse well under cold water. Then add half of the chickpeas into the food processor with the olive oil. Pulse to let the beans start to blend. Add in the rest of the black beans and cumin, blend until smooth. Add more olive oil if needed. Add a large pinch of salt and blend for 30 seconds. Taste the hummus and add more salt or lemon juice to your preferred taste. 

Tropical Burst Smoothie

Smoothies are a great option for breakfast, a snack or as a way to get in those oh so important veggies and fruits. This one has a bright and delicious flavour, sure to please any paletteView More: httpbreeannmerrittphotography.pass.us/healthyeatingactiveliving.

Ingredients 

1 chopped banana 

1 cup mixed berries (fresh or frozen) 

1/2 fresh orange

2 basil leaves 

1/2 cup Greek or Coconut yogurt 

3/4  cup coconut milk (or liquid of choice) 

** A few ice cubes if fruit is all fresh and you prefer your smoothie a little colder**

Directions

Mix all ingredients in a blender until completely smooth. Pour, sip and enjoy! 

Pesto Veggie Pasta Salad

Summer time calls for fresh and easy-to-prepare meals. This salad is perfect to batch cook for a week of lunches, or to wow your guests at your next BBQ. I first whipped this salad up to bring to a potluck, and when it got rave reviews, I knew I had to bring it to the blog. Give it a try and let me know what you think. View More: httpbreeannmerrittphotography.pass.us/healthyeatingactiveliving

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat penne, rotinni or macaroni pasta noodles (dry measure)
  • chopped vegetables
    • 2 cups of kale
    • 1/2 cup zucchini diced
    • 1/4 cup red onion diced 
    • 1 cup Roma tomatoes chopped 
    • 1/2 cup white mushrooms chopped 
  • 1 cup pesto sauce 

Directions 

  1. Bring 4 cups of water to boil in a large pot. Once it comes to a rolling boil, add 2
     Tbsp canola oil and pasta noodles. Stir occasionally to prevent the pasta from sticking together. 
  2. While the pasta cooks prepare the pesto and chop the vegetables. 
  3. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and place in a large mixing bowl. 
  4. Add pesto and vegetables to warm pasta, stir well to ensure all the pasta becomes coated with the pesto. 
  5. Serve the pasta warm, or let cool and store in the fridge to serve cold. 

Makes 4-6 servings. 

Three Step Pesto

I love parsley and cilantro, but typically use it in small amounts. So in an attempt to prevent the remaining bunch from going to waste, I made this pesto recipe using either pesto or cilantro instead of traditional basil. The outcome is super delish! I use Manitoba grown garlic from the St. Norbert Farmer’s Market which adds huge flavour to this sauce. I make sure to buy some at the end of the season so I can enjoy it all winter long. If you choose to do the same just make sure you store the garlic upside down in a cool dry place. This garlic provides amazing flavour to this pesto sauce. This sauce is really versatile, providing a number of ways to enjoy it.

A few ways are:View More: httpbreeannmerrittphotography.pass.us/healthyeatingactiveliving

  1. On your classic breakfast toast with a poached egg.
  2. As a dressing on cold or hot pasta salad. 
  3.  As a marinade for chicken, beef or fish. 
  4. As a dip for chopped veggies. 
  5. As a sauce for homemade pizza – fun switch up from classic tomato sauce. 
  6. As a spread for a hot or cold sandwich. 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup blanched almonds 
  • 3-5 medium bulbs Manitoba garlic (3 if you like garlic, 5 if you love it). 
  • 3/4 cup canola oil 
  • 1 handful of pesto or cilantro 
  • Juice of 2 medium lemons 
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese 

Step 1
Add peeled garlic and almonds to a food processor and blend until it creates a fine powder. View More: httpbreeannmerrittphotography.pass.us/healthyeatingactiveliving

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 2. 

Add in washed pesto or cilantro, canola oil and lemon juice. Be sure to catch the lemon seeds so they don’t end up in the food processor. Blend until smooth. 

View More: httpbreeannmerrittphotography.pass.us/healthyeatingactiveliving

Step 3. 

Add in Parmesan cheese and blend one more time.  

View More: httpbreeannmerrittphotography.pass.us/healthyeatingactiveliving

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just like that, three steps and you are done! Enjoy your pesto however you choose. A bonus to this recipe is the flavour builds as it sits. Store in a glass container like a mason jar for up to one week. View More: httpbreeannmerrittphotography.pass.us/healthyeatingactiveliving

Red Pepper & Black Bean Vinaigrette

This is a super simple vinaigrette that packs big flavour. It can be used on salads and as a marinade for meat. 

View More: httpbreeannmerrittphotography.pass.us/healthyeatingactiveliving

Ingredients

1/2 cup canola oil 

1/2 cup white vinegar 

1 Tbsp black bean garlic paste 

1 Tbsp Chili garlic paste 

1/2 red bell pepper finely chopped

Juice of 1 lime 

Sprinkle of salt and pepper

Directions 

Combine all ingredients in a mason jar, cover tightly with a lid and give a good shake. Voila – Done! 

Food Photography: Bree Ann Merritt Photography 

Green Lentil, Arugula & Spinach Salad

View More: httpbreeannmerrittphotography.pass.us/healthyeatingactivelivingThis salad says horray for summer! Fresh and full of flavour, it’s perfect for a light lunch or to bring to a potluck or cookout. 

Ingredients 

4 cups arugula and spinach mix 

1 cup of cooked green lentils 

1/2 cup feta cheese 

Directions 

  1. First prepare your lentils for cooking. They do not need to be soaked but be sure to rinse them under cold water very well. 
  2. In a sauce pan with 3 cups cold water add 1 cup rinsed raw green lentils. 
  3. Bring lentils to a boil and then cover the pot. Reduce the heat to a simmer and let lentils cook for about 15 minutes until tender. Be sure to check them so they do not over cook.
  4. Once lentils are cooked drain any excess water and set aside to cool. 

Lay out your arugula and spinach on a platter to create a bed for the lentils. Sprinkle lentils evenly over the greens, followed by the feta cheese. Finally top with my special red pepper black bean vinaigrette. 

Food Photography: Bree-Ann Merritt Photography 

Sweet & Spicy Garlic Barbecue Chicken Drumsticks

Food Photography: Bree-anne Merritt Photography 

You will need… View More: httpbreeannmerrittphotography.pass.us/healsummermenu

Prepare the chicken… Pre heat your oven to 350 degrees Celsius

  1. Place chicken in a baking dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper coating all the pieces. 
  2. Pour about 1/2 cup barbecue sauce over the chicken and mix to evenly coat.
  3. Place in oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, then baste chicken with sauce in the pan and additional barbecue sauce. 
  4. Reduce temperature to 200-250 degrees Celsius and bake for another 5 – 10 minutes. Remove chicken from the oven.