For the chickpea burger:
Nothing makes me happier than a REALLY good breakfast. I can’t think of anything better than waking up to The Works. Even better if it comes with copious amounts of chocolate.
Today I’m sharing a recipe that I used extensively when I was trying to stop binge eating. The trick to really stopping is giving your body plenty of fibre and water to balance the crazy blood sugar fluctuations caused by extended periods of binging and restriction.
This nutella is power packed with lots of good fibre and good fats from the hazelnuts to slow the release into the bloodstream.
Also did I mention that it has only 3 main ingredients? Hazelnuts, dates and unsweetened cocoa powder! Take that store bought sugar filled Nutella!
As a way of comparison, let’s look at what’s in the a usual nutella bottle:
Ingredients are placed on a label in order of their quantity used in the product. And in store bought nutella, the first two ingredients are sugar AND palm oil then hazelnuts! All store bought producs have copious amounts of refined sugar and unhealthy fat in them because sugar and fat together act as addictive agents to compel you to eat more of the product. When companies have got you hooked, you buy more!
Here’s how to make a healthier alternative at home:
1 cup of hazelnuts (I bought it from a shop at Kovan heartland mall on Level 1 near the escalators. You can also find it at Phoon Huat or shops selling nuts and dried goods along Bugis street. Hazelnuts are extremely expensive so I suggest buying them only when they are on discount- like now! )
5- 10 pitted dates (use more if you have a sweet tooth)
1/2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder ( I used Hershey’s)
1/2 cup + Water or unsweetened milk ( I used almond milk)
1 tablespoon coconut oil ( I highly recommend Cocos Extra virgin cold pressed coconut oil- support local!)
3 drops of vanilla extract
Other kinds of sweeteners if you need; such as honey etc.
If you have time, you can roast the hazelnuts first. It doesn’t really do much actually. I’ve tried both non roasted and roasted versions and I feel that the roasted one just has a nicer ‘roasted’ smell. So when I make a portion for myself, I can’t be bothered to roast. But when I’m making for friends and family as gifts, I roast them. Haha
Leave to cool after roasting. By this time it would smell amazing and be a beautiful golden brown. Try not to eat all of it now. We need them for the Nutella!
Next, place the hazelnuts, date paste, cocoa powder into the blender. I did my hazelnuts first because that was all that could fit. Haha.
I used vanilla essence and a tablespoon of coconut oil in this recipe because it makes it smoother. But entirely optional of course.
When you see that most of it has been incorporated, it will look like that texture above. Now is the time to pour in your liquid of choice. The smoother and creamier you want it, the more liquid you put in. Start with 1/4 cup and then work your way up. I ended up using about 3/4 cup for this batch. Constantly taste your nutella to see if it needs more dates to sweeten. If you want a darker colour, it’ll need more cocoa powder and consequently, more dates to sweeten because the cocoa is bitter.
Blend till you are happy with the texture! I love it when it turns gloriously creamy and fudgy!
I’ve served it to my friends with breadsticks ( they said it’s like a less sweet version of nutella!) but my favourite is to dip my fruits in it and indulge! Such breakfasts always make me so excited to wake up to!
Try it yourself today! 😀
P.s- now you can save the recipe cards below in a folder on your computer for easier reference! 😀
As we enter into the last quarter of the year, I’m sure everyone must be revving (their tummies) up for end year festivities and feasting! Did you know that in Singpore, the largest percentage of babies are born in the last quarter of the year? That means that not only will there be a crazzzzy amount of weddings and Christmas parties and corporate D&Ds to attend, there will lots of birthday parties as well! I totally advocate going all out and surrounding yourself with the love of family and friends any chance you get but parties don’t mean you have to stress about the food. I honestly feel that the food should compliment the party. Most parties have food that’s way too rich and ‘jelat’- inducing and instead of having a good time, you feel awfully bloated and greasy and lethargic. That’s not what parties should be like! Food at parties should invigorate you and allow you to have a great time with your family and friends!
So before you pick up the phone to call for pizza to settle your next party, here are some alternatives to hosting a healthy, colourful and totally delicious party! 😀
Backstory: I have cellgroup most weeks and you know when a group of young adults get together, we want to FEAST and we want to FEAST well. But I realised that after yet another pizza takeout, everyone would get so bloated and lethargic and when my cellgroup leader talks I uhm.. feel a little bit like snoozing :/! So when it was my turn to host dinner and cell at my place, I happily told everyone we would be having “pizza” at my house! 😀 Hehheh.
Everyone works of course and nobody has any time to cook so this is the fastest, most fuss free way to throw a nutrition filled party ever.
The first thing I did was to order a bunch of salads from Dressing Room Salad Bar which is an online salad delivery service in Singapore selling a whole range of delicious salads! Fiona, the girl who runs it, started it out because she’d seen for herself how her mother, who is a cancer survivor, managed and improved her condition through nutritious, natural means! I love it when people believe so much in the importance of nutrition!
For quick and easy reference, here’s my timeline for the party:
3 days before: Confirm with Fiona the salads I want (Try to let her know as early as possible because sometimes certain fruits are are out of season and she would ask if you want to replace it with something else)
1 day before: buy fruits and disposable tablecloth / thaw the crabmeat
On the day itself:
6:30pm: Fiona arrives with the salads! Ask my brother to open the door and collect it coz I’m not home from work yet -.- They are wonderfully packed and so fresh and not soggy at all!
6:45pm: Get home from work and cut the fruits
7:00pm: Blend tofu and cream cheese/ crabmeat. Top with mozzarella and shove it into the oven together with broken florets of cauliflower
7:02pm: Blend avocados, banana and cocoa powder into a creamy sauce
7:15pm: Lay out the tables
7:25: Remove crabmeat creamcheese dip from oven
7:30: The gathering begins!
Have you ever seen anything so lovely and green and nutritious for a party? I ordered 10 salads for my group. Dressing Room Salad Bar does 8 standard salads and everything else is customizable so I got all 8 standard ones and 2 customizable. My friends had a hard time deciding what they wanted so I took the liberty to choose for them. Hurhur.
So gorgeous! And vibrant! 😀 Totally livens up the gathering up SO MUCH. Usually party food is all.. brown :/
Anyway, here are the salads we got!
1. Greek Salad- greens, tomatoes, pepper, olives, feta, herb infused olive oil
2. Chicken Caeser Salad- greens, bacon bits, onion, parmesan, cheese, croutons, chicken
4. Oriental Miso Salad- greens, carrots, mandarin orange, egg, baked tofu, soba, chicken & Japanese miso dressing.
5. Fruitte Spinach Salad- spinach, strawberry, orange, apple, walnuts & yoghurt mint sauce
6. Japanese Sesame Shrimp Salad- greens, carrots, tomatoes, cucumber, corn, soba, shrimp & Japanese sesame dressing
7. Thai Fish Salad- greens, carrots, tomatoes, cucumber, peanuts, brown rice, dory fish, coriander & thai sweet chili dressing
Check out the party table! Isn’t it goreous and just a riot of colour? 😀
On the menu we have:
1) TEN nutritious salads,
2) a crab and cream cheese dip
my awesomest friend Zining made once and I fell in love with it. Just
that it’s really rich so I replace half the creamcheese with silken tofu
to lighten it– nobody could tell there was tofu! 😉 )
3) Roasted Cauliflower
(even hard core veggie haters loved it though I didn’t put any salt on seasoning on it)
4) A watermelon “pizza” with “sauce” and “toppings”
This was my pièce de résistance since I’d promised pizza. Heheh, I just didn’t say what kind!
5) Crispy, crunchy delectable toasted “chips” for the dip made from chia seed mountain bread
bread is sad and untasty straight out the of the packet and is a
miserable excuse for a wrap but toast it lightly on a non stick pan for 2
min and it can rival the world’s best chips.
Simply cut a large watermelon into rounds ( I asked the uncle at the fruit stall to do it for me. He thought I was doing a science project -.-) then I cut it into triangles myself. Blend 1 banana, 1 avocado and 1 tsp cocoa powder together for the “sauce”. Spread the sauce on top, and top with creamy, delicious mango, bluberries, strawberries and nuts and seeds of your choice 🙂 DIY and customizable!
And let the FEASTING begin! 😀
My cell leader loves the salads haha.
I had such a good time and I’m sure my friends did to! Best of all, everybody felt really good after that! Nobody felt like they were dying in a puddle of grease and I’m sure they all met their fruit and veg intake for the week. Haha.
Till next time,
p.s SPECIAL THANKS to Fiona for being so accommodating and acceding to my requests and salad customizations at such short notice! 😀 You’re the best, babe! Keep doing what you are doing! 😀
It’s always exciting to meet new people and share experiences/knowledge so when Jonathan from RunSociety asked if I would like to contribute a post on Easy Breakfast Ideas for Runners, I was delighted to! 😀
I researched a bit before coming up with the easy no cook, no bake breakfast parfaits to make them runner specific (i.e. coconut for hydration, a blend of complex and quick digesting carbohydrates and heart healthy fats etc) but because they are so nutrient dense, they shouldn’t be limited to runners alone! In fact, they’d be great for breakfast for anyone, anyday! 😀
I also decided to try my hand at editing recipe videos this time. What do you guys think? Head to the article on Run Society to read the recipes and the full write up or watch my videos here! I know they are kinda like a primary school project but I had a lot of fun doing it!
😀 Hope they help give you more ideas for fuss free breakfasts! 😀
I have lots of (instagram, haha) friends who are gluten intolerant or on a wheat/sugar free diet either out of choice or because their bodies cannot handle it. So here’s a recipe for all of you out there looking to eat a little healthier and swap plain nutrientless flour out of your diets!
Made from broccoli, chia seeds and coconut flour, this burger is low GI, contains no added sugar and is packed with fibre and protein. Coconut flour is a great substitute for people who can’t/ choose not to eat carbs because it’s gluten free, virtually carb free and really high in fibre (coconut flour has the highest fibre count of all flours) and even protein! Also I love mini food because they are just cute and so easy to eat! I love packing them in my bento boxes! 🙂
(this makes 8-10 mini burgers)
For the burgers:
5 broccoli florets
1 tablespoon coconut flour
1 teaspoon chia seeds soaked in 2 tablespoons of water
2 tablespoons no sugar added yoghurt
(optional. I omitted them for this recipe but on hindsight, I think a pinch of some would have been nice)
– Preheat oven at 180 deg
1. Wash and rinse broccoli head and cut into florets.
2. Pulse 5 large florets in a food processor till it becomes flour-like with no large bits
3. Squeeze excess water out using paper towels/ cheesecloth/ tea towel
4. Place broccoli in a bowl/ blender cup
5. Add coconut flour, a tablespoon of the soaked chia seeds, egg, yoghurt,herbs and spices
6. Blend mixture till smooth (about 15 seconds)
7. Spoon batter into a mini muffin tin
8. Place in oven for 6-8 min or until the batter solidifies/ toothpick comes out clean
9. Pop out from muffin tray and leave to cool.
For the ingredients:
1. Slice onions into large rings
2. Saute in a pan/ pot over low fire till dark and sticky, stirring frequently.
1. Place salmon on skin side on a hot pan.
2. Let it sizzle away till 80% cooked then remove from fire and leave to rest.
(Just realised I’m hopeless at writing recipes. Either that or the kind of food I make is so idiot-proof there’s nothing much to say about it haha)
When the ‘burgers’ have cooled, sliced each into half and place brie cheese and salmon on the base. Top it off with black pepper/ chili flakes and caramelized onions. Poke toothpick through to keep everything in place.
P.s Oh, I know lots of you have been asking me to provide calorie counts/ nutritional information of all the recipes I post. That it’s extra work aside, I REALLY DON’T encourage looking at your food as a number or being too nitpicky about a DIET or whatnot. My general rule is that if it’s whole and natural, it’s going to be good for you, SO JUST EAT. 🙂 However, I do know that the carb/ protein/ fat counts are important for some looking for balance and counting macros so I’m including the breakdown for this recipe to see how it goes. 🙂
I use the nutritional calculator from myfitnesspal.com. Please just take each as an estimate as you never really know about such things. Also I try to find the item closest to what I used but sometimes it goes really out of whack. Like an egg has only about 70mg of sodium but I don’t know why I couldn’t find ‘egg’ on mfp ( I usually can) . So i used ‘poached egg’ which i suppose, the person added salt to.
I think it’s really funny that it ‘serves 8’ when it actually served one- me 🙂
In health and happiness 🙂
One of my favourite go to morning breakfasts! This is so yummy but so good for you!
Recipe: (serves 1- ME 😉 )
1 tablespoon Chia Seeds
1 No Sugar Added plain yoghurt
(I used Marigold’s no sugar added/ non fat plain yoghurt)
1 teaspoon 100% unsweeetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon all natural peanut butter
2 small bananas
1 Medjool date
1/2 an orange
Pour Chia Seeds into a bowl and cover with just enough water.
Soak Chia Seeds for 5 minutes.
Blend 1/3 of the yoghurt, chia seeds, (and the water the seeds were in) and 1 small banana.
Pour blend into glass.
Blend peanut butter, 1/3 yoghurt and cocoa powder.
Pour blend into glass
Pour remaining 1/3 yoghurt.
Top off with sliced bananas, diced oranges, pitted and diced medjool date or other toppings of choice.
p.s Normally in the mornings when I’m in the rush, I just take all the ingredients, blend it and run out of the house. Still yummy! But making it like that is both great for the tummy as well as the eyes. And it’s always nice to have a bit of ‘mouthfeel’ from the sliced bananas and the sticky Medjool dates!
Want to know more about the goodness of chia seeds? Just 1 oz of it has 4.7g of protein and 10g of dietary fibre! (Trumps everyone’s magic brown rice out of the window!) Find out more here!
In Health and Happiness! Happy Monday 🙂