Tag Archives: cocoa

Vegetarian Bean Chili

Chili is one of those dishes that has the ability to please meat eaters and vegetarians alike. Meat eaters often seem to be happy eating vegetarian chili if it is a good one. It is also a great warming winter meal, and although we are getting closer to spring we are still in the dead of winter. As I look outside at the moment the snow is coming down. Chili sounds great.

This vegetarian bean chili is a seriously hearty chili. I mean serious. Black beans, red kidney beans, chickpeas and lentils. It’s got it all. I also used sun dried tomatoes and parsnips which you don’t usually see in chili. The reason I thought of adding sun dried tomatoes was because I was using tomato passata and not diced tomatoes since I didn’t have any on hand.

I highly recommend grinding your own spices if you can. This ensures you are getting the most flavour out of your spices. When spices are ground they start to lose flavour. So imagine the difference in flavour between spices you just ground and the pre ground spices that have been in your spice drawer/cupboard for who knows how long. You see my point? It really does make a difference. You can grind your own spices with a mortar and pestle or with a spice grinder. There is something very satisfying about the process of grinding spices with a mortar and pestle. Continue reading

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Filed under Gluten-Free, Main Courses, Recipes

Cacao Bliss & healthy eating on the road

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I happened to make a last minute trip to a big health food store on Sunday evening right before they closed.

I didn’t buy much but I found this Cacao Bliss that I had never tried or even seen before. It’s a raw vegan spread made from coconut and cacao. How could I not get it?

I was hitting the road for new York city the next day and decided to pack it in.  Am I ever glad I did.  I asked my sister to pick up a loaf of bread.  I also made some delicious babaghanoush on Sunday evening which was perfect to bring along.  Bam.  Snacks for the trip taken care of . No need to stop for any unhealthy fast food on the way.

How was the Cacao Bliss you ask?  Amazing.  I just had a couple pieces of toast with it for breakfast as you can see in the picture above.  So good.

For those of you who love coconut and chocolate I suggest you try and find some cocoa bliss immediately.  It makes for healthy substitute for nutella.

Cacao Bliss is not only much healthier than nutella it is also much more filling.  Because it is a whole food that is nutrient dense it actually fills you up.

The lesson here is that with a little planning ahead when traveling you can avoid having to eat food you wouldn’t eat normally.

There are so many different things one could bring.  You just need to make a little effort.

Cacao Bliss is a great option. It is quite the delicious treat when going on a long drive.

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Cocao Pecan Pumpkin Seed Energy Balls

Do you like chocolate?  Did you know that raw cocao is on the the world’s best sources of anti-oxidants.  If you have never tried raw cocoa this is a good place to start.

If you are looking for a nutritionally dense snack that is easy to make and incredibly delicious then look no further.  These energy balls are made with soaked pecans, raw cocao nibs, raw pumpkin seeds, ground flaxseed, dates and shredded coconut.  Continue reading

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Filed under Blog, Desserts, Recipes, Snacks

Raw Cocoa, Almond, Coconut Energy Bars

How often do you find yourself feeling hungry and/or tired during the day? What do you do when that moment hits? Your stomach is asking for food and you don’t have anything healthy close by. The majority of easily available food isn’t very healthy. Even a lot of the so called “healthy” options such as store bought energy bars contain lots of added sugar, among other things I would prefer not to eat.

These homemade energy bars are made from 100% whole food and are 100% raw. Meaning you are getting more nutrients from your bar.

Did I mention these bars taste delicious too. They are really easy to make as well.

Although these bars contain better quality ingredients that are more expensive and more nutritious than the ingredients in most store bought bars you will save money by choosing these bars over store bought bars.

Better quality more nutritious food for less. Sounds good to me. What do you think?

They taste so good you could almost serve them as dessert. I know that might get some of you more interested.

Raw Cocoa, Almond, Coconut Energy Bars

1 cup almonds
1/3 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup raw cocoa nibs
5 medjool dates, pitted

In a food processor, process almonds until they are ground up. Not so much that they are fine powder but enough so that there aren’t any major chunks. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until everything is ground up and well mixed.

The mixture should stick together when you pinch a little bit between your fingers.

You can either make the mixture into balls or bars. To make bars I layed the mixture onto some parchment paper and lay it into a 8 x 4 loaf pan. Flatten out the mixture by pressing it with your hands.

Once you have an even flat rectangle put it in the fridge and let cool for a few hours. Cut into bars all at once or as your want to eat them.

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Raw Cocoa, Chia & Strawberry Smoothie

My second smoothie experiment with the raw cocoa nibs I bought. The result? A second incredibly tasty beverage that is nutritious, sweet, and filling all at the same time.

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Heavenly Raw Chocolate & Mint Smoothie

If you love chocolate you are going to love this smoothie. I just tried this for the first time and wow. What a treat. A healthy treat at that. It is by no means a low fat or sugar free treat. However it contains healthy fats and natural sugars. So treat yourself and nourish your body at the same time.

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Orange Cocoa Chipotle Black Bean and Sweet Potato Stew

This is a hearty dish with a lot of flavour.

Smoky spicy chipotle peppers, rich cocoa, sweet tangy orange.

Eating this makes me happy and I hope it does the same for you.

Onions, carrots, celery = mirepoix. The foundation.

Building that flavour one step at a time.  First your onions, carrots, celery, then your spices.

Just about half way and it is starting to look and smell really good.

Black beans with chipotle peppers. A match made in heaven.

A short video of the delicious action.

How do you make this awesome dish you ask? Well I am going to tell you of course.

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Orange Cocoa Stew

Ingredients

1 yellow onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 carrot, diced

1 celery rib, diced

1 medium sweet potato, cut in chunks

1 can (540 ml)  black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

zest of half an orange

1 or 2 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, finely chopped (comes in a can) – 2 if you like it hot and smokey

2 tbsp of the adobo sauce

2 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil

2 cups boiling water

1 cup fresh coriander, finely chopped

1 avocado for garnish, cut in chunks (optional)

salt and pepper to taste

Spices

1 dried chili, crushed

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp cocoa powder

1/2 tsp oregano

Instructions

1. In a large pot or dutch oven sauté your onions, garlic, carrots and celery in the olive oil for 5 minutes until they begin to soften.  You can add a little salt and pepper at this point. 3 twists of the grinders for each will do.

2.  While you veggies are sautéing mix your spices in a mortar and pestle and grind together.  Once the veggies are ready add the spices and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

3.  Add your beans, sweet potato, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce. Mix everything together and cook for 2-3 minutes.

4.  Add the orange juice and stir around for 30 seconds. Add the water.

4.  Cook for 25- 30 mins stirring occasionaly.  If during cooking you feel you need to add more water go ahead. A little bit at a time.

5. Remove from heat.  Add chopped cilantro and orange zest.

6. Serve in bowls topped with a few pieces of avocado.

serve in bowls with brown rice or organic corn tortillas

Serves 2 (maybe 3)

Enjoy the smokey goodness.  This one is money in the bank.

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