Category Archives: Scary Sides & Snacks

Apple Cinnamon Coconut Yogurt

Apple Cinnamon Coconut Yogurt

Apple Cinnamon Coconut Yogurt

Time to re-stabilize!  I started my week off with this super healthy Apple Cinnamon Coconut Yogurt as an apology to my poor belly for the last week of abuse.

I took a break from the dreary January weather and escaped to the Dominican Republic with my parents for a week of sunshine and ocean breeze.  Hard to believe, but I think the last time I went on a vacation with my parents I was seventeen!  Growing up, my mom would find last minute deals to the Caribbean, so we managed to escape the frigid Canadian winters almost every year. One Christmas morning I woke up to discover we were jumping on a plane to Mexico, a pretty great gift!  

We stayed at the Bahia Principe Ambar Green, part of the giant Bahia complex in Punta Cana.  A picture perfect beach, delicious food and lots of mojitos made for a relaxing, non-thinking vacation.  Now I’m back in the real world, where there are no more breakfast buffets, nacho bars or four course meals every night.  

Apple Cinnamon Coconut Yogurt Punta Cana

Punta Cana

This quick and easy yogurt makes for a nutritious and satisfying breakfast, snack or dessert.  My lactose intolerant boyfriend bought a big tub of coconut yogurt, so I decided to go dairy free and took a big scoop.  I might have gone overboard with cheese last week sooo I was due for some dairy relief!  The yogurt is sweetened with some homemade apple butter and I diced up an apple for some crunch.  I also added raisins for some bonus fiber and sweetness.  Now I know a lot of people object to raisins, but they’re totally optional and you could substitute for any other dried fruit like dates or apricots. 

I topped off this mega yogurt with a dash of cinnamon to spice things up and also added unsweetened shredded coconut to help bring out the coconut flavour.  Visions of palm trees and coconuts are still dancing in my head!

Apple Cinnamon Coconut Yogurt Punta Cana

Punta Cana

Apple Cinnamon Coconut Yogurt

Apple Cinnamon Coconut Yogurt

Apple Cinnamon Coconut Yogurt

51

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 1 serving

Calories per serving: 374

Apple Cinnamon Coconut Yogurt

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup vanilla flavoured coconut yogurt*
  • 1/2 medium apple, diced**
  • 3 tablespoons sultana raisins
  • 1 tablespoon apple butter
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon + a dash for topping

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, saving a few pieces of diced apples and raisins for garnish. Sprinkle a bit of cinnamon on top. Enjoy!

Notes

*We like the Yoso brand **I prefer Gala apples

http://iseehungrypeople.net/2017/01/16/apple-cinnamon-coconut-yogurt/

Awesomely chunky with bits of crunch, bursts of sweetness and that classic apple cinnamon flavour combination, this yogurt is a fun, low calorie way to stay on track in the New Year. Totally addictive, I swear I could eat a tub of this stuff!  Thankfully this Apple Cinnamon Coconut Yogurt recipe is pretty filling and kept me going until lunchtime!

Apple Cinnamon Coconut Yogurt

Apple Cinnamon Coconut Yogurt

What are your fave ingredients to add to yogurt?  Let me know if you liked this Apple Cinnamon Coconut Yogurt flavour combination! 

Asian Sesame Sweet Potato & Squash Soup

Sweet Potato Squash Soup

Asian Sesame Sweet Potato & Squash Soup

Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed that as we grow older, eating becomes more tiring?  First world problems I know but whew!  After this past weekend I still feel like I’m in a food coma.  In general, I eat pretty healthy throughout the year so I think my body just shuts down when affronted with so much fat and sugar.  I love pigging out over the holidays, but I was really craving something healthy.  This Japanese-inspired Asian Sesame Sweet Potato Squash Soup was just what I needed after an overly indulgent weekend.

Over the years I’ve made every variation of sweet potato and squash: roasted, mashed, baked.   This holiday season, I really wanted to try something new.  Butternut squash soup is popular, but I decided to add sweet potato, to bring out the sweetness of the squash.  I had to keep this soup dairy free, so I used a bit of miso instead of cream for a richer taste.  Building on this Asian-inspired flavour, I included some mirin (sweet cooking wine) to add acidity to the dish.  For the garnish I topped with toasted sesame seeds and nori (dried seaweed) for a bit of salty crunch.

Asian Sesame Sweet Potato & Squash Soup

Asian Sesame Sweet Potato & Squash Soup

Festive and easy to prepare, I loved this healthy, hearty soup on a cold, winter’s night.  The nori, mirin and miso can be found in the Asian aisle of a big chain supermarket, or at any Asian grocery store.  If you don’t want to buy a whole bottle of mirin, you can substitute for sake and keep on drinking this holiday season!

Asian Sesame Sweet Potato & Squash Soup

51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Asian Sesame Sweet Potato & Squash Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1" piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed and diced
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • ¼ cup mirin (sweet cooking wine)
  • 2 tbsp light miso paste
  • 5 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 6 snack size sheets of nori (dried seaweed)
  • 3 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat sesame oil in a large pot or saute pan on medium-high heat. Saute onion, garlic and ginger until softened, about 2 minutes. Add squash and sweet potato and sauté 1 minute longer.
  2. Whisk together mirin and miso paste. Add to vegetables along with chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down and simmer uncovered for 20-25 minutes, or until vegetables are soft.
  3. Using an immersion blender or food processor, puree soup until smooth. Return to pot and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Lightly toast the sesame seeds in a toaster oven or in a small pan on the stove top over low heat.
  5. Serve and top with toasted sesame seeds and pieces of nori.
http://iseehungrypeople.net/2016/11/14/asian-sesame-sweet-potato-squash-soup/

Sweet Potato Squash Soup

Asian Sesame Sweet Potato Squash Soup

What is your favourite holiday soup?  Let me know if you enjoyed the Asian flavours in this Sweet Potato Squash Soup!

Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Fennel

For many years I relied on the same old honey-pecan-carrot recipe when it came to a festive root vegetable dish, but this holiday season I was on a quest to find a new side.  Roasting vegetables is an easy way to bring out the flavours with minimal effort, and a really healthy cooking technique too.  I still wanted to use carrots, but tried to use a few other veggies that are often forgotten about,  and thus my Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Fennel recipe was born. 

Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Fennel

Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Fennel

I absolutely love roasting fennel, the process transforms this lowly root vegetable into a soft, fragrant addition to sauces, salads, curries and sides.  High in fiber and B vitamins, fennel also has a lot of beneficial health properties, and is also a source of iron, calcium and magnesium.  Good for the body when the winter blues hits, and after indulging in heavy holiday fare!

Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Fennel

Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Fennel

Roasting carrots brings out the sweetness and is balanced by the sweet licorice flavour of the fennel.  Parsnips are one of those vegetables that I always fear will be bland, but in this case they add a bit of heartiness and are a compliment to the sweet carrots.  The crunch from the fennel gives the dish some texture alongside the tender roasted carrots and parsnips.

Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Fennel

Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Fennel

Quick and easy, this dish can be prepped ahead of time and then popped into the oven when the turkey comes out.  A healthy addition to a holiday menu, these root vegetables are given new life with the addition of fennel, and as a bonus the roasted fennel will fill your home with a delightful licorice aroma!

Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Fennel

51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Fennel

Ingredients

  • 4 medium carrots, peeled, trimmed, halved and sliced into 1/2-inch thick pieces
  • 4 medium parsnips, peeled, trimmed, halved and sliced into 1/2-inch thick pieces
  • 2 medium fennel bulbs, stalks discarded and bulbs cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F, making sure the racks are in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
  2. Divide vegetables evenly between two baking sheets. Toss carrots, parsnips and fennel using half the olive oil, wine, fennel seeds, salt, and pepper per sheet.
  3. Evenly spread out the vegetables and cover pan with aluminum foil.
  4. Roast vegetables for 10 minutes, then uncover, toss and rotate sheets.
  5. Roast 10 minutes more. Toss and rotate sheets.
  6. Roast until vegetables are tender and browned, about 10 minutes more.
http://iseehungrypeople.net/2016/11/07/roasted-carrots-parsnips-and-fennel/

Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Fennel

Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Fennel

What is your favourite holiday side dish?   What other dishes can roasted fennel be added to besides carrots and parsnips?