Gluten- Free Chocolate Almond Cookies

 

Ingredients:

  • Almond Flour – 2 cups (or finely ground almonds)
  • Coconut Sugar (Sucanat, Organic Cane Sugar or Brown Sugar) – 6 Tablespoons
  • Baking Soda – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Sea Salt – 1/8 teaspoon
  • Chocolate Chips (Dark or Semi-Sweet) – 2/3 – 3/4 cups
  • Coconut Oil (Unsalted Butter or Unsalted Vegan Butter) – 6 Tablespoons (gently melted)
  • Egg – 1 or *1/4 cup Egg Replacement

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray cookie sheet.

Measure and whisk together the dry ingredients, including the chocolate chips. In a separate bowl, whip the egg and oil together before adding to the dry mixture. Stir well.

Scoop a spoonful into your hand and shape into a round, flattish dish. Place on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake 12 – 14 minutes. Oven temperatures may vary so keep an eye on them. Cool slightly before removing from the tray. Makes approximately 20 cookies (depending on the size you make them).

Enjoy!

 

*To make an egg replacement: Measure 1 Tablespoon chia seeds or ground flax seeds and 3 Tablespoons hot water. Stir together and allow to gel before treating as you would a regular egg. If you don’t want dark speckles in your cookies, I suggest using white chia seeds. 🙂

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Getting help

Studying some Psychology in college gave me a newfound appreciation and understanding of the importance of therapy and mental health counseling and a positive mindset. If you or someone you know is suffering from  depression,eating disorder, self-harming or if in general, you feel as though there are things in your life you can no longer handle on your own, I hope you will take a moment to look through the links I have listed below. There is absolutely NO SHAME in seeking help. It takes courage to reach out!

If this is an emergency, or if you are worried that you or someone you know may be at risk for suicide, please call your local authorities (911), contact a mental health professional, or call and talk to someone at 1-800-SUICIDE. 

HELPLINES:

National Hopeline Network (U.S.A.) –  www.hopeline.com – 1-800-SUICIDE

S.A.F.E. Alternatives –  www.selfinjury.com – Self Abuse Finally Ends

National Domestic Violence Helpline –  www.ndvh.org   – 1-800-799-SAFE

Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network –  www.rainn.org – 1-800-656-HOPE National Sexual Assault Hotline

National Eating Disorders Association – www.nationaleatingdisorders.org – 1-800-931-2237

The Trevor Project is the only nationwide, around-the-clock crisis and suicide prevention helpline for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. All calls are confidential and toll-free from anywhere in the United States, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 866-4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386)

FIND TREATMENT OR COUNSELING:

 American Psychological Association – counseling services locator

AAMFT – counseling services locator

Befrienders Worldwide – treatment and counseling services locator

SAMHSA – substance abuse treatment center locator

SAMHSA – mental health services locator

For Help with SELF-INJURY:

S.A.F.E. ALTERNATIVES is a nationally recognized treatment approach, professional network, and educational resource base, which is committed to helping you and others achieve an end to self-injurious behavior.”

Self Mutilators Anonymous – www.selfmutilatorsanonymous.webs.com – “Self Mutilators Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other, that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from physical self-mutilation.”

For Help with EATING DISORDERS:

National Eating Disorders Association – “non-profit organization dedicated to supporting individuals and families affected by eating disorders.”

FINDINGbalance – Faith based help for eating and body image issues.

For Help with ADDICTION:

HBO – “The Addiction website brings together many of America’s top addiction experts to demystify this much-misunderstood disease.  To find help now, or to learn more about the latest breakthroughs in treatment, select a link.”

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.” Meetings can be found in Australia, the UK and USA.

Al-Anon/Alateen – “Offering hope and help to families and friends of alcoholics.”

Narcotics Anonymous –  an international, community-based association of recovering drug addicts with more than 33,500 weekly meetings in over 116 countries worldwide.” Visit their website to find a meeting in your area.

Additional Information:

International Foundation for Research and Education on Depression

Teen Advice/Support site – TeenHelp.org

The Jed Foundation – The Jed Foundation works nationally to reduce the rate of suicide and the prevalence of emotional distress among college and university students.

Mental Health America – Resources promoting mental health nationwide.

Help Guide… for information on: abuse, addiction, depression, eating disorders, mental health and trauma

For more information on Specific Mental Illness’ visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness

To Write Love on Her Arms – “To Write Love on Her Arms is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide.”

**DISCLAIMER** I am NOT a dietician, counselor, personal trainer, doctor, or any other healthcare related professional. I do not mind giving advice or suggestions, but please keep in mind that I have NOT been trained in these fields. If you ask me a question I will answer it to the best of my ability.

The Ten Tips You Need to Stick to Your Fitness New Year’s Resolutions!

I’m sure if you are reading this, one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to get fit and healthy. CONGRATULATIONS. That first step is huge!!! But the REAL hard work lies ahead…

In the past, have you ever made a “get healthy & fit” resolution, only to burn out a month or two in? Have you started out strong and inspired, and then lost motivation? It’s not at all uncommon! But I’m here to HELP you make THIS YEAR’S resolution STICK!!!

Part of the reason people burn out so fast is because they set themselves up for failure from the start. I know that sounds harsh, but hear me out... While it is absolutely wonderful and commendable that so many people resolve to exercise and eat healthier, they often times put too much pressure on themselves and try to change everything at once, without taking any time to adjust. They swiftly become exhausted from their new lifestyle and go back to their old ways. Believe it or not, simply making new DECISIONS is tiring in itself, let alone breaking out of your comfort zone to eat well and exercise!

 

Here are my TOP TIPS for sticking to that New Year’s Resolution YEAR ROUND!

  • Make it a LIFESTYLE change, not a diet. The moment you tell yourself you “can’t” have this or that, is the same moment you confine yourself to the drudgery of a “diet.” If that is something you can picture yourself doing for all eternity, then by all means go for it. But be honest with yourself. Will you be able to resist eating cake or pizza forever? Probably not. So rather than condemn yourself to tilapia and asparagus forever and always, make a change that you can maintain for the LONG TERM. Think about all the healthy, delicious foods you CAN have and the treats that you CAN have on occasion! Being healthy and fit is a MARATHON, not a sprint. Make it a lifestyle that you can maintain for the long term, otherwise you will gain all the weight back, PLUS MORE.
  • Transform at YOUR pace! Just because someone else is able to eat chicken and broccoli every day, or do two-a-days at the gym, doesn’t mean you have to do that too! If you don’t like chicken and broccoli, there are other options! If you don’t have time to go to the gym twice, go once! Don’t follow workout or nutrition routines that you hate… create something you enjoy so that it will LAST!
  • Set realistic goals for yourself. Things like drinking more water each day, cutting down your three sodas-a-day to one-a-day, including more vegetables at dinner, increasing the weight you lift on a particular exercise, or adding an extra ten minutes to your cardio are all attainable, healthy goals. Once you succeed at these, make new ones and continue to build and expand on the solid foundation you’ve laid.
  • Challenge yourself, but don’t overwhelm yourself! Just because the fitness models you see in the magazines can bench or squat a certain amount of weight, doesn’t mean you will be able to do that too. It took these people months and years of training to get to the point they’re at both with their strength, as well as their physique. Build up at your own pace!
  • Do a little research. One of the best ways to stick to a healthy eating plan or exercise schedule is to keep it interesting! There are SO MANY fantastic, resources for recipes and workouts! Try googling “Clean eating *fill in the blank favorite food*.” If you want a workout plan all laid out, I have both a weight-lifting Fit Body Program as well as a home-workout Bikini Body program available! Some people enjoy having a plan that is clearly laid out! Don’t be afraid to use your Google search engine to find motivating bloggers & nutritious chefs!
  • Be patient. It took more than a day to put it on and it’s going to take more than a day to take it off. Transforming your lifestyle and your physique will take time. The sooner you recognize and accept this, the better! You WILL have set-backs and losing weight/getting fit WILL take time. You will occasionally eat something unhealthy, you will miss a workout, you will stumble, you will make mistakes… you’re human! Nothing worth having ever comes easily… if it WERE that easy, everyone would be in shape! Know that you are only a failure if you QUIT. So don’t quit! You will regret it in the long run!
  • Develop a positive attitude.  Instead of beating yourself up over mistakes, try doing the opposite. For example, if you slip and eat a slice of cake, don’t tell yourself cruel things like “I’m a pig” or “I can’t do this.” Instead swap those negative affirmations out for positive mantras like: “I can do this,”or “I had a treat and now I’m getting back on track”… and MEAN IT!
  • Start exercising! The trick is to find something you enjoy so that you will actually DO IT. There are SO MANY options, some of which include: weight lifting, pilates, yoga, cross fit, kickboxing, mixed martial arts, powerlifting, olympic lifting, jogging, cycling, spin, zumba, interval training, jazzercise, jumping rope, dancing, running, hiking, mountain climbing, swimming… the list goes on!!
  • Surround yourself with people who support you. There is nothing worse than having negative and/or jealous people around when you are trying to make a healthy, positive change to your life. There WILL be people you THOUGHT were your friends try to drag you back to your old, unhealthy ways. They might tease, taunt or grill you about your new habits. Some people can’t handle change. If you find that your healthy habits are being mocked or demeaned by those around you … ask yourself why your ‘friends’ would want you to go back to being unhealthy. Do they not understand the sudden change? If so, explain to them why you’re doing it… Or, are those friends just jealous? If so, you may want to rethink having them in your life… If you’re going through something like this, check out my article: How to Deal with Negative People
  • Plan ahead! If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Prepare your meals and workouts in advance. Always keep workout clothes, a water bottle and protein powder with a shaker cup in your car so you never have an excuse not to hit the gym. Always carry an apple, a serving of almonds in a Ziploc baggy, and a packet of tuna with you.. that way you never have an excuse to hit the vending machines or burger joint!

You can do anything you set your mind to. Believe in yourself, don’t give up and you will get there ❤

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SHEET PAN MAPLE MUSTARD ROASTED CHICKEN

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PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES
COOK TIME: 30 MINUTES
TOTAL TIME: 40 MINUTES
SERVINGS: 4 SERVINGS
AUTHOR: THE CHUNKY CHEF

Make dinner easy with this maple mustard roasted chicken with butternut squash and Brussels sprouts, cooked together on a single sheet pan!

Print

INGREDIENTS

    • 1 1/2 Tbsp grainy Dijon mustard
    • 1 1/2 Tbsp Maple syrup(don’t use imitation, the flavor won’t be as deep)
    • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
    • salt and pepper, to taste
    • 4 bone in, skin on chicken thighs
    • salt and pepper, to taste
    • 2-3 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
    • 2 large shallots, peeled and quartered
    • 2 cups brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise
    • 1 Tbsp olive oil
    • salt and pepper, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place pan (mine is 15″x11″) in oven, and preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Make sure to leave pan in the oven as it preheats.

  2. In a small mixing bowl, add mustard, syrup, rosemary and salt and pepper.  Whisk to combine.

  3. Add butternut squash, Brussels sprouts and shallots to a mixing bowl and toss with salt, pepper, and 1 Tbsp of olive oil.

  4. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper and brush a thin layer of maple mustard sauce over the skin side of the chicken.  Reserve sauce for later.  Carefully remove pan from oven (remember, it’s HOT), and add chicken thighs, skin side down, to the pan.

  5. Spread veggies in an even layer around the chicken thighs, careful not to overcrowd the pan, or they won’t roast, they’ll steam.  Make sure Brussels sprouts are placed cut side down for maximum roasted flavor.  If desired, use a pastry brush to dot little amounts of the maple mustard sauce over the veggies.

  6. Return pan to hot oven and bake for 15-18 minutes.  Flip chicken over and return to oven for another 10-15 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and at an internal temperature of 165 degrees F .

  7. Brush chicken with reserved maple mustard sauce and broil on high for a few minutes for a crispier skin.\

    Recipe and Photo courtesy of The Chunky Chef

Creamy Chicken Tortellini Soup

Found this delish recipe the other month and I just had to share it! So creamy and hearty it is definitely a family favorite!

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Creamy Chicken Tortellini Soup

YIELD: 6 servings

PREP TIME:10 minutes

COOK TIME:32 minutes

Light and Creamy Chicken Tortellini Soup Recipe. A cozy blend of chicken, vegetables, spice, cheese, and tortellini in a thin creamy broth. Lightened-up!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon DeLallo Extra Virign Olive Oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cups sliced carrots
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast (2 large breasts)
  • 9 cups chicken broth
  • 8.8 ounce package DeLallo Three Cheese Tortellini
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons packed frozen spinach (1/2 cup fresh baby spinach leaves)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves (1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves)
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Place a large sauce pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil and chopped onions. Saute for 3 minutes to soften. Then add the chopped bell pepper, carrots, and garlic. Saute another 3 minutes.
  2. Add whole chicken breasts, chicken broth, dried thyme, crushed red pepper, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper to the pot. Bring to a simmer. Lower the heat a little and simmer 15 minutes, until the chicken in cooked through. Remove the chicken and place on a cutting board.
  3. Turn the heat back to medium. With the broth still simmering, stir in the DeLallo Three Cheese Tortellini. Stir well so it doesn’t stick together. Then chop or shred the chicken and place back in the soup.
  4. Once the tortellini is cooked through, about 10-14 minutes, turn off the heat. Stir in 1/4 cup heavy cream, spinach, and parsley. Add a little more cream if desired. Taste, then salt and pepper as needed.

NUTRITION INFORMATION

Yield: 6 servings, Serving Size: 6

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 437 Calories
  • Total Fat: 16.2g
  • Saturated Fat: 5.4g
  • Cholesterol: 107mg
  • Sodium: 1642mg
  • Carbohydrates: 29.7g
  • Fiber: 3.3g
  • Sugar: 6.6g
  • Protein: 41.7g

All images and text ©Sommer Collier for A Spicy Perspective

Southwestern Chicken Salad with Creamy Cilantro Dressing

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Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 12 mins
Total time: 22 mins

Ingredients

  • For the chicken:
  • 2 medium chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Juice of ½ lime (reserve other half for dressing)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • For the Salad:
  • 2 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced
  • 1 medium tomato diced
  • ½ cup black beans, rinsed
  • ½ cup corn, rinsed
  • ¼ cup cilantro for topping
  • Creamy Cilantro Dressing:
  • ½ cup sour-cream (or Greek yogurt)
  • ¼ cup packed cilantro with stems
  • juice of ½ lime
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. In a medium ziplock bag, place the chicken breasts, taco seasoning, cumin, salt, lime juice and olive oil. Shake until fully combine and chicken is coated. Allow to marinate for 10 minutes or up to 2 days in advance.
  2. To cook chicken: heat a heavy skillet to medium/high heat (Be sure the skillet is very hot before adding chicken). Add 1 teaspoon oil of choice to skillet. Place the chicken on skillet and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side. Allow to rest in pan for at least 5 minutes before cutting.
  3. To make the dressing: Place the sour-cream (or greek yogurt), cilantro, lime juice, and salt in a blender or food processor. Pulse for a few seconds or just until the cilantro is fully chopped.
  4. To Assemble: Place the chopped romaine lettuce on the bottom of a salad plate. Top with avocado, chopped tomatoes, black beans, corn, cilantro, and sliced chicken. Top with cold creamy cilantro dressing just before serving. Enjoy!

Recipe Courtesy of : GimmeDelicious

Honey Glazed Chicken Kabobs!

A simple marinade transforms ordinary boneless, skinless chicken into these splendid Honey Glazed Chicken Kabobs! Hello, barbecue season!!

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Marinating Chicken

Marinating chicken infuses flavor deep into the meat along with tenderizing. Beware, when marinating shrimp or chicken, as you can over-marinate, making your protein mushy. Six hours or even overnight should be fine for these kabobs. Feel free to shake up what you skewer in addition to the chicken. The hubby would prefer no pineapple, but I was happy to eat his share!

Honey Glazed Chicken Kabobs
Prep time
30 mins
Cook time
15 mins
Total time
45 mins
An easy, flavorful recipe for grilled chicken kabobs! Adapted from All-Recipes.
Author: Liz
Recipe type: Entree, Chicken
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6-8 servings
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • ⅓ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1½ inch pieces cubes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1½ inch pieces cubes (about 2½ pounds)
  • 1 yellow onion, cut into 1½-inch pieces
  • 2 red bell peppers, cut into 1½ inch pieces
  • 1 half pineapple, cored, peeled and cut into 1½-inch chunks

Instructions

  1. In a large liquid measuring cup, whisk together oil, honey, soy sauce, pepper, and garlic. Place the chicken into a gallon ziplock bag and add the marinade. Place in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours, flipping the bag at least once.
  2. When ready to grill, thread the marinated chicken, onions, peppers, and pineapple onto skewers (if using wooden skewers, soak in water for 30 minutes before using so they won’t burn).
  3. Grill until chicken is just cooked though. Serve hot.

Greek Tortellini Salad

Being a Greek soul sista I love playing with my favorite ingredients that are of course tomatoes, olives, feta! I make a pasta salad at least once a week at home and decided to twist it up with this recipe I found at Slow Roasted Italian.

I love mine loaded with crunchy veggies; peppers, red onion and cucumbers added to the tomatoes, Kalamata olives and loads of Feta cheese makes this a fabulous salad that I could eat every day!  But add the salad dressing and I am over the moon, red wine vinegar and olive oil combined with spices and a bit of sugar.

The tortellini add an unexpected element to this salad.  The pasta adds texture and flavor.  To be honest, I don’t think I will ever make Greek salad without tortellini pasta again.

Greek Tortellini Salad 
SERVES 8  |  ACTIVE TIME 15 Min  |  TOTAL TIME 15 Minutes

1 orange bell pepper, cut into bite-size pieces
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into bite-size pieces
½ red onion, thinly sliced
1 English cucumber, cut into spears and then quartered
16 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
½ cup sliced Kalamata olives, divided
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
½ (19 ounce) package tortellini

Greek Salad Dressing
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon granulated sugar

Bring a large pot of water Cook tortellini according to directions on the package (do not add salt to the water).  Drain and set aside once cooked.

Chop vegetables and set aside.  Mince 1 tablespoon Kalamata olives for the dressing, set aside.  Combine remaining salad ingredients in a large bowl.  Set aside.

In a pint size mason jar add salad dressing ingredients and minced olives.  Be sure to crush oregano with your fingers as you are adding it (to release the flavor). Shake mason jar until dressing is combined.  Pour dressing over salad and gently toss with salad tongs until well coated.

Serve and enjoy.

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Cilantro Lime Shrimp Avocado Salad Recipe

Prep time 10 mins
Total time 10 mins
Cilantro Lime Shrimp Avocado Salad Recipe – This Cilantro Lime Shrimp Avocado Salad recipe has all the flavors of summer in every delicious bite! So quick and easy to toss together and perfect for a lunch or a light supper!
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 large or 2 medium head(s) fresh romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 2 pounds boiled or steamed shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 avocados, cut into large pieces
  • 2 cups sliced grape tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons diced red onion
  • For the Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette Dressing
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro + more if desired
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Add chopped romaine lettuce to a large bowl. Top with shrimp, avocado, tomatoes and red onion.
  2. Whisk together olive oil, lime juice, garlic, cilantro, Dijon mustard and salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to evenly distribute the dressing and serve.

Recipe Courtesy of : Add a Pinchcilantro-lime-shrimp-avocado-salad-recipe_DSC0236

Protein Whoopie Pies

I think I am hooked on baking protein into sweet treats ! They are SO quick and SO easy and taste SO great! I found this recipe at http://fun-squared.com/ and added a protein twist to it.

I love anything that is simple and have a thing for sprinkles, I just think they make life FUN!

FUNFETTI SANDWICH COOKIES RECIPE:

Ingredients:

  • 5 scoops vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/2 C butter (softened)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 container of sprinkles
  • Frosting (store bought or homemade) with food coloring to color

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the protein powder, butter, baking powder and egg and mix till smooth.

Now pour in a bunch of sprinkles. I used about 1/3-1/2 of my little bottle of them. But really, just do what works for you. You’ll want quite a few to make it fun.

Mix those in and then make cookie dough balls that are about 1 inch big.

Press them down slightly to begin the flattening process for them.

Bake for about 8-10 minutes.

Allow them to cool.

Grab your frosting (you can make your own or get store bought) and add some bright colors!

FunfettiWhoopiePies