Peanut Butter and Oat Cookies

I had to figure out which blog to put these tasty treats on – they’ve got peanut butter and oats, which can be super healthy, but there’s also a lot of sugar. I guess that makes them about as healthy as muffins… The other problem is that they are so tasty that it’s a major challenge to eat them in moderation… Hence the recipe for these can be found on my other blog.

Peanut Butter Oat Cookies

Light and Easy Tomato Soup

I’m seriously looking forward to winter when the nights grow longer (more cuddles), the snoods come out (all-day cuddles… with yourself, but still!), and I get to enjoy soup for every meal. I used to hate the idea of soup for some reason, but since discovering how easy and customisable soups are, I’ve become a huge fan. I’m still pretty boring with the flavours I’ll use, but you just can’t go wrong with tomato or butternut soup. I promise I will explore more soups in the near  future.

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Most soups tend to start with a base of onions, carrots, and celery (plus any other random vegetables that come in those pre-packed vegetable soup packs).

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I added the basil in quite early so add flavour to the base ingredients. Pop a couple of tomatoes in from there, the redder and juicier the better, and a good portion of cherry tomatoes for that real tomato taste.

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Then add every single form of canned tomato that you’ve got in your fridge, season well, add some water or vegetable stock and then just leave it for the flavour to develop and the soup to reduce down…

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Puree the soup down, season a little more to taste, and enjoy. Or freeze for later enjoyment. That is absolutely one of my favourite things about soup: the way you can make in bulk for the week ahead, and still have enough to freeze for a different week.

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Tomato and Basil Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion
  • 4 peeled and roughly chopped carrots
  • 2-3 sticks of roughly chopped celery
  • 1 bunch of fresh basil
  • 6 tomatoes
  • 200g cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tin of tomato puree
  • 1 tin of chopped peeled tomatoes
  • 1 tin of tomato and onion mix
  • 1.5L of water
  • Mixed seasoning (Herbamare, salt and pepper)

Method

  1. Cover the bottom of a heavy-bottomed pot with olive oil and add the onions. Simmer until brown
  2. Add the basil, celery and carrots. Cook on medium until softened
  3. Add your large and cherry tomatoes and cook until softened – some of the chopped tomatoes may even become a bit mushy, that’s a good sign
  4. Add your tinned tomatoes of every variation and stir it up. Add your water/stock and your seasoning. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer
  5. Stir occasionally, ensuring ingredients are not sticking to the bottom. Simmer for about 20 minutes, or more if the ingredients are still hard
  6. Remove from the heat and puree, either using a stick blender, a normal blender or in a food processor
  7. This can be eaten straight away, stored in the fridge or frozen

Easy Egg Cups

These are an amazing quick, tasty, and budget-friendly snack that you can make ahead (think: weekend meal prep) which is also really healthy and highly customisable. Do you get any better snack-wise?

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I modelled these on a salad favourite: the caprese. Use sundried tomatoes for something that tastes even MORE like a pizza. Pizza-flavoured nutrition? Yes please!

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These taste amazing fresh out the oven, but are perfect to pop in a lunch box (or breakfast box…?) I’m personally perfectly satisfied with not having to heat these babies up – quite like eating an unheated quiche – but if you do prefer them warm, then these may be less convenient for you than they are for anyone else.

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Caprese Egg Cups

Ingredients

  • 8 eggs
  • 30 ml milk
  • Dash of salt and pepper
  • 60g grated cheese of choice (mozzarella for a more authentic caprese version)
  • 125g cherry tomato halves
  • Torn up leaves of basil

Method

  1. Beat the eggs with the milk and seasoning until yolks are all combined
  2. Add the fillings and combine well
  3. Pour evenly into a prepared (greased) muffin pan, about 2/3 full
  4. Bake at 180°C for 20-30 minutes until cooked  through – they will look less wet and wobbly
  5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool briefly before removing from the muffin pan

 

Get Lean Project Day 19

I figured that after yesterday’s enthusiasm, I may just cut back on the calories and such on this Friday. I started out with good intentions, but it didn’t quite go as planned. It wasn’t a terrible day though (at least as far as my eating window goes), so let’s just call it “being back on track”. For now…

Food

  • I finished that vanilla popcorn from yesterday
  • And the other half of the peanut butter pretzels…
  • 1 packet Haribo minions
  • Niki bar
  • Chicken salad with avocado, cucumber, tomato, mixed greens, and feta that was off so I gave that a skip
  • Something else that I can’t remember but put me way over calories…

Exercise

  • 40 minutes Calisthenics Hand-balancing training
  • 90 minutes moderate-high intensity yoga

Millionaire’s Slice

Raw. Vegan. Gluten free. Other fancy buzz words that convince you that something is healthy, and allows you to convince yourself that you are totally allowed to eat as many of these as you would like. Calories don’t count if the food is healthy, right? Right?!

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I truly wish this was the case. These tasty bars are full of healthy goodness, and no added preservatives or anything funny, and they are totally irresistible. But you do need to resist, at least just a little bit, because with all those nuts, they are quite heavy in calories because of all those good fats. And, although they are sweetened naturally using just dates, that many dates do contain a lot of (natural) sugar, so just be careful not to eat the whole tray at once.

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But again, I wouldn’t blame you if you did. If it hadn’t been for my need to share this marvellous creating with the world, I would have eaten them all myself in one go. Oh, and the fact that I am meant to be eating clean, which is supposed to include “moderation”. Whatever!

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Ingredients

Base

  • 1 Cup pitted dates
  • 1 Cup cashews

Filling

  • 1 ½ Cups pitted dates
  •  Cup pecan nuts
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 40-60ml water

Chocolate topping

  • ½ cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder

Method

  1. Blitz the cashews and dates together, adding a dash of vanilla essence for flavour if you like, or just a teaspoon or so of water to help it together. Press this down in a lined tray (24cm x 24cm), and place the tray into the fridge or freezer while you work on the next layer
  2. Place the ingredients for the filling in the food processor, and let the dates soak for a bit, before blitzing these together until a smooth paste/sauce forms. Pour this over the chilled base, and return to the fridge or freezer
  3. Melt the ingredients for the chocolate topping together and mix thoroughly, making sure there are no lumps. Pour this over the top, and place in the fridge or freezer to set
  4. Cut up into squares and enjoy! Store in an airtight container in the fridge, especially in hot weather (like we’ve been experiencing at the moment. Trust me, these babies melt quickly when it’s hot)

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Get Lean Project Day 18

Prepping for the Halloween run tonight – totally means I can carbo load, right? On Tuesday/Wednesday, I had the bright idea of buying a Kauai wrap, getting my free smoothie as part of their promotion, and then saving the wrap for lunch the next day. It worked out really well. I tried to do this again today (nice smoothie for today, with a wrap for lunch tomorrow). Alas, I was too hungry and ended up enjoying the smoothie, then the wrap. I then proceeded to buy even more snacks. I’m putting it down to copious amounts of exercise for the day. Let’s hope there hasn’t been too much damage.

Side note: don’t let me go into Woolies. Like, ever. Especially when there’s too much month at the end of my money, and especially when I am trying to eat clean.

Food

  • 9 Bar
  • Bliss energy balls
  • Yoghurt with banana, blueberries, chia seeds and honey
  • Chocolate low calorie protein shake with a spoon of powdered peanut butter
  • Tasters of red velvet cake
  • Kauai Tropical wrap
  • Kauai Cacao Cream (LCHF) smoothie

Exercise

  • 45 minutes moderate-high intensity spinning class
  • 60 minutes light intensity yoga
  • 30 minutes Nike+ Training Club random workout
  • 2x 300m sprints
  • 8,5km night trail run

Get Lean Project Day 17

This week is going pretty well. Feeling a little bloated and a little flat after the weekend, but keeping on keeping on!

Food

  • 2 peanut butter balls
  • Kauai Moroccan chicken wrap
  • Chicken breasts with bacon, low fat cream cheese, tomato pesto and cherry tomatoes
  • Asparagus
  • Greek yoghurt with peanut butter, blueberries, strawberries, chia seeds and honey
  • Bliss Energy Balls
  • Pork sausage

Exercise

  • 45 minutes spinning
  • 40 minutes of cali-core

Get Lean Project Day 16

My training program optimistically assumed I had been keeping up with the prescribed running… That was such a lie, and I nearly died after 35 minutes of running. Granted it was really hot, and I had probably eaten too recently. Honestly, between yoga and running, how would one find time to eat, ever?

Food

  • Greek yoghurt with strawberries, honey, chia seeds and banana slices
  • Multigrain rice cakes with cottage cheese and cherry tomatoes
  • Bliss Energy Balls
  • Gem Smoothie from Kauai
  • Pork sausages
  • Leftover roast chicken
  • Frozen greek yoghurt cup with “chocolate” all bran hay stacks
  • Leftovers from making a peanut butter grenade smoothie

Exercise

  • 6km run (my attempt at the 75 minute run that N+TC thought I would be fit enough to do by now)
  • Chest and tricep workout from the Captain of Defianz Calisthenics (4 rounds of various forms of push ups and tricep dips)
  • 15 minutes on the elliptical
  • 60 minutes low intensity yoga

Get Lean Project Day 14

“I really should exercise today,” she thinks to herself as if she could be convincing about such things…

I cooked a lot today, you know, standard meal-prep Sundays. I was trying out a bunch of new healthy snack recipes, most of which were pretty successful too (tasty and nutritious), if not very pretty at all. The snacks were also an attempt at making budget healthy snacks, so the protein content was a little lower than I would have liked. I will share the recipes once all of this is over and I am in my “maintenance” phase (another thing I am working on convincing myself that I will be able to do…)

Food

  • Pork sausages
  • Fried egg on toast with cheese
  • Homemade granola bars
  • Homemade all bran flake “chocolate” hay stacks
  • Homemade energy bites
  • All bran flakes with milk
  • Small bowl of frosties with milk (because I am a sucker for cereal)
  • Maltesers
  • Nougat
  • Cauliflower rice
  • Spicy lamb

Exercise

Cooking counts as exercise, right?

Get Lean Project Day 15

New week, new opportunities to stay clean and healthy, and recover from any damage that may have been caused over the weekend! I was seriously lacking in energy in my workouts, and I really didn’t feel like doing HIIT… So my Nike program pretty much went out the window! I’m going to assume that this lethargy is due to my bad eating over the weekend, especially considering how fresh and energised I felt one my juice cleanse after eating healthy. Even though I am training fasted, if I keep my body nourished, it still performs better than if I eat junk at whatever time I want.

Food

  • Greek yoghurt with blueberries, banana and peanut butter
  • Bliss Energy Bites
  • Multigrain rice cakes with cottage cheese, basil pesto and a can of tuna
  • Leftover roast chicken with spinach and cherry tomatoes
  • Low calorie Chocolate Protein shake with an added scoop of peanut butter powder
  • Pork sausage
  • Small chicken sausage
  • Small leftover portion of cauliflower rice with spicy lamb
  • Frozen yoghurt cup with “chocolate” all bran hay stacks

Exercise

  • 45 minutes of moderate-high intensity spinning
  • 15 minutes of N+TC Get Lean Program Leg Sculptor