Happiness is pizza, chocolate and E! television on a Friday night

Hello!

Happy Friday! Yes, I am blogging on a friday night. Jen and I are huge advocates for staying in on Fridays with our pets, thinking about food and keeping comfy in our sweats. Sometimes we Skype and talk about how much we love our lives in our sweats. It’s a common side effect of a Canadian February (We are killing it in Sochi – WOOOOOO BABY!)

Besides sitting at home bathing in Canadian pride, I am also walling in self-pity due to the failure of planning my 25th birthday. My party was supposed to be tomorrow and my best friends do not live in this beloved province (Jen’s all like “look at me I’m so awesome with my Manhattan life” – dammit she is awesome with her Manhattan life) so I have been a bit of a Debbie Downer as the plans have fallen through with the “locals.” It sucks, but life must go on… nothing a bottle of red can’t fix – kidding… 2 bottles. Woah, is this my diary!?

Anyways, because of my mood I have been craving those good old comfort foods for consolation. However, when we eat emotionally we are essentially punishing our bodies for feeling badly in turn making us feel worse about eating poorly when we’re trying our best to make conscious efforts towards a healthy lifestyle.

A year ago I would have ordered a pizza, this year I made a homemade personal pizza that cost me… *drumroll* … 210 calories. Whaaaaat!? I’m not for counting calories but you all must know the beauty of this pizza. It’s a revolution, people! GUILT-FREE EFFING PIZZA.

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This dish is vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free. Yes, I used an egg. 90% of the time I practice a vegan diet but once in a while I will throw an egg in there. Sometimes there needs to be flexibility and I personally do not fuss if I am limited to options when I am out with others. If my back is against the wall, I will not fuss with the server or chef and will order something vegetarian, not always vegan.

Moving forward, the crust is made out of cauliflower. *pause for reaction* The original recipe is seen below. I don’t want to break any rules so I am just sharing this recipe rather than repeating it here:

Cauliflower Pizza Crust Recipe

This website is absolutely lovely and I am so happy to have found it. I tried out the crust recipe sans mozzarella (I imagine it was delicious with it but if it’s in my control I’m quite strict with my dairy intake). When it was baked, it didn’t fall apart so I was quite impressed with this recipe. However, because I didn’t use cheese, I tasted the egg more than I would have originally liked so if I were to do this over I would probably experiment by adding quinoa or almond flour. Why not a rice/wheat flour? I do my best to stick to the food combining rules by not combining starches with protein. Since both quinoa/almond and egg are protein and/or fats, I’d like to think that’d work well together. If anyone has any non-starch recommendations – please share! I’m by no means an expert so I am all ears on anyone suggestions are anytime.

Check out the crust; not bad!

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Throw some sea salt, garlic powder, add some spices and you’re solid – and so is the crust ;).

I didn’t have any tomato sauce so I used some Hunt’s pure tomato paste and mixed it with Neal Brothers Salsa which created a pretty delicious tomato spread. In pizza, I LOVE tomato sauce so I packed it on.

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Add whatever toppings you wish, I had an odd mix but it made my tummy happy with some roasted red peppers, crushed chilli’s, zucchini as pepperoni slices all on a bed of kale and arugula. It was my unconventional version of a rustic pizza.

It was guilt-free, satisfying, delicious and made my heart feel well. Not just because I was “emotionally eating” but because I knew I was making a wonderful decision for my body – not to punish it because I was in a sour mood. We are what we eat and if we want to keep a positive attitude, we must feed ourselves the beautiful, colourful, earthy foods that nurture these positive emotions.

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Next, I mentioned chocolate. How can I speak of comfort foods and not talk about chocolate??

Tonight I made an almond butter spread with chocolate. I stumbled onto the original recipe via Pinterest which seems to be hellbent on toying with my emotions between the latest fitness workouts and cupcakes. Pinterest, I love you but you hurt.

The link is from Ambitious kitchen and is seen below:

Homemade Salted Dark Chocolate Almond Butter

It’s delicious and puts such a creative healthy twist to butter spreads on toast. This original recipe includes coconut oil however I swapped this with almond milk. Although coconut oil is a good fat, I decided the almond butter alone provided enough in this recipe.

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For my slightly different vegan version I used:

  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup of unsalted roasted almonds
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened Almond Breeze almond milk
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 2 blocks of Bakers pure dark chocolate
  • pinch of stevia as needed for a no-sugar option
  • pinch of himalayan sea salt (optional)

If you have a food processor you can make your own almond butter by processing it for 5 – 10 minutes. It will become smooth when it’s consistently mixing; scrape down the sides as needed. If you don’t have a food processor you can use store-bought almond butter in a glass jar (warning, it’s delicious with apple slices).

Next, gentle melt the Bakers chocolate and pour into almond butter mixture with the milk, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Mix again then follow with the cacao powder. If the mixture becomes thick and pasty, add more almond milk – or you can try gently melting coconut oil for a “silky” texture and taste. If you don’t find it’s sweet enough and you want to avoid adding more sugar from the maple syrup, add some stevia to suit your taste buds.

That my friend, is happiness in a jar:

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I can’t decide whether I’m going to spread this on toast for breakfast or put in a banana smoothie. Maybe both!? Oh first world dilemma’s; contemplations such as these remind me how lucky I am. A 25th birthday party fallout is really a first-world problem and I can truly count my blessings… “Dear diary…”

Anyways, what’s great about adding the almond milk in this mixture is it cuts the calories and fats per serving so it is not as heavy. *note: calories are not important with fruits and vegetables but it is good to monitor them with nuts and grains*

This is extremely healthy but is still a treat so try to resist eating half of the jar if you try this out. I’ve made this recipe with hazelnuts and my goodness, it was just like Nutella and it was gone ASAP.

Let me know your thoughts and if you enjoy these ideas. There are so many amazing blogs out there and am so thankful to have resources and the means to try them. Pinterest is my favourite but it can be a weapon!

Thank you for reading, and I apologize for any annoying rants!

love,

Nidhi

My favourite healthy breakfast, as of today: Vegan Chocolate Frosty

Good afternoon!

Do not be alarmed by the picture below. Yes, it looks like puke in a mason jar and I could not find a coloured straw to make it look any better. But do not judge a book by it’s questionable puke-y cover…. this is a delicious treat! It satisfies the sweet tooth and keeps you full and full of energy!

This strange mystery smoothie is actually a chocolate frosty. What!?

Yes, it is my version of the healthiest chocolate frosty you may ever come across. If you find something better, comment with the link so I can make it, drink it and love my life even more. I’ll even post a thank you and admit it is better than mine. If it looks better, that’s a bonus too!

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Moving on…

What I used (serves 1)

  • 3 – 4 small frozen very ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup cartoned unsweetened coconut milk (any unsweetened nut milk should do)
  • generous handful of spinach
  • 2 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp hemp seeds (optional)

In a blender, pour coconut milk and blend in the spinach. Blend until smooth. One by one add the frozen (chopped) bananas and blend patiently (if you have a blender like mine, you’ll need patience) on the puree setting (if you have). If you find you need more milk, by all means add more.

Once smooth, add cacao powder and blend again. If you enjoy any additional spices like cinnamon, i’m sure that’ll be great too!

You can blend the hemp seeds if you’re using but I just sprinkled mine on top as if it were a sundae.Image

Okay.. so it doesn’t look like a chocolate frosty with pretty sprinkles on top.. and it actually looks exactly like what most junk food lovers would think a healthy frosty would look like… but the taste says “Oh nay nay, I am delicious.”

It’s obviously the spinach that makes it look all frightening but the best part is, if you’re not a spinach person, you can’t even taste it. And guess what, you really don’t even need the spinach if you don’t like it.

My favourite part about this recipe is that the ingredients are so minimal. Keeping it simple is the best way to achieve optimal health. If you try it, tell me what you think!

Also, Jen and I are pretty excited to see our blog and posts are getting some likes; thank you so much for reading. Things like that give us reinforcement to write, stay healthy and come up with more material to share. So, thank you! 🙂

Love,

Nidhi