Clean Pumpkin Protein Squares & Chilli

These are my recipes for the week!! I lie. Recipes from last week … I just took my sweet time to post this.

Pumpkin Pie Protein Squares

Makes roughly 8 small bars, each about 100 cal with 8g protein, 2.5g fibre

As per usual, I conjured up my available ingredients and gained inspiration from various sites/postings which highlighted the benefit of using canned pumpkin in “clean” baked goods. The only thing I would do differently next time is make a crust (regular or modified, like with ground almonds, coconut, etc.) and then serve with whipped cream or whipped coconut milk (the former is slightly more delicious than the latter, in my opinion – but for lactose intolerant people the whipped coconut milk is a good option!) The thing is, I didn’t see the point in putting a ton of effort into these bars (i.e. making a pie) because Ryan’s not a fan of pumpkin and I don’t really want to eat a whole pie by myself. Though I could and I would, truth be told. I suppose “want” is a relative term.

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Ingredients:

– 2 eggs
– 1 c canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
– 1 tsp vanilla
– 8 packages Splenda (normally I’d use stevia but I had tons of Splenda from a staff meeting)
– 1/4 c flax meal
– 1/4 c almond meal
– 2 scoops vanilla protein powder
– 1 tsp cinnamon
– 1 tsp nutmeg
– 1/4 tsp baking powder

Directions:

1. Process, blend or mix all ingredients by hand. I’m sure the order matters but I never pay much attention because I’m lazy. I generally try to mix the spices in the bowl first to make sure they blend well, then add everything else.
2. Grease a baking pan or Pyrex dish (9×9 or smaller loaf tin) and spread batter evenly.
2. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or less (I think I baked mine for 25 but I also used a 9×13 dish and the batter was spread much too thin so what you see in the photo is actually three on top of each other to create the thickness of a Nanaimo bar).
3. Heat up (microwave or oven) and eat ’em up! They are also decent cold. These really have a pumpkin pie texture (i.e. custard-dough rather than dry-crumbly).

——

Simple, spicy & chunky chilli

Makes approx 8 portions

This chilli was really delicious (if I do say so myself, toot toot!) and I while I am normally one to like/add more veggies in my chilli (surprise!!) this one is more meat-laden. In this case, though, the heat of the various spices and the leanness of the meats made the dish not too heavy. In fact, the day after I made it I had a bowl at 930am. But I’m weird like that and enjoy eating lunch and dinner food for breakfast. And I tend not to like to eat something for a main meal the day I’ve made it because I’m constantly trying it and smelling it … It’s not nearly as enjoyable as it is the following day (or weeks later reheated from the freezer!). That said, cookies and baked goods are a different story entirely, because we ALL know that cookie dough and cake batter are distinct entities from their baked counterparts 😉

I served this chilli with Artisan bread (jalapeño cheddar), and shredded cheese melted on top, both of which I would most definitely do again. Such a perfect, comforting combination. We are in love with that bakery (called Art-is-in; quirky, I know) and if you haven’t been there and you live in Ottawa, you are missing out BIG TIME! In fact, I will be posting about that place and baked goods very soon ….

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Ingredients:

– One tbsp olive oil
– Jalapeño pepper with seeds, finely chopped
– One red and green pepper, roughly chopped
– Onion, roughly chopped (clearly I am either (a) lazy or (b) enjoy my stews/chilli “chunky”! You will rarely see me take the time to dice something ever so meticulously unless absolutely required)
– 3 stalks celery, roughly chopped
– 3 garlic cloves, pressed
– Can of black beans drained
– 398 ml tomato sauce
– 1/3 cup chilli powder
– 1/8 cup cumin
– 1 cup water
– 1/2 tsp cayenne
– 1-2 tsp each salt and pepper
– 506 g lean ground beef
– 506 g lean ground chicken

Directions:

1. In a saucepan, large frying pan or shallow pot, simmer meat and onions and celery on medium. Once browned; drain.
2. Add in everything else except beans and cook on low, covered for 1 hour.
3. Add in black beans and cook for 30 minutes.
4. Serve with shredded cheese, nacho chips, guacamole, salsa, sour cream, crusty bread or whatever you desire!

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