Quinoa three bean chilli topped with lime & baked avocado

Feeling like a culinary goddess after making this! 

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I could go on and on about the health benefits of this chilli but instead I’ll keep it brief and let you crack on and make it for yourself to discover how tasty it really is!

Quinoa is protein rich and will also help you feel fuller for longer due to the amount of fibre it packs.  It is also rich in iron and magnesium which help keep red blood cells in good health and keep bones and teeth strong and healthy.

The kidney beans are packed full of cholesterol lowering fibre which gives you energy whilst stabilising blood sugar levels which is good for slow burning energy and again, helping you to feel fuller for longer. The black beans are high in fibre as well as protein and we all know how good protein is for muscle growth and repair.

Not to mention, this is a seriously tasty dish with a kick from the chilli and the lime and one you can rustle up in less than 40 minutes and save for lunch and dinner for several days.

It’ll also please any vegetarian friends and if you’re a fan of Meat Free Monday then this dish is perfect.

You will need:
– 1 tsp coconut oil
– 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
– 1 green chilli, chopped
– 2 packs of quinoa – I used a mix of red & white
– 1 can black beans, drained
– 1 can sweetcorn
– 1 can kidney beans in chilli
– 1 can of chopped tomatoes
– Handful of sundried tomatoes
– 1 tbsp ketchup
– 1 vegetable stock cube
– 1 tsp cayenne pepper
– 1 tsp cumin
– 1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
– 2 limes
– 1 avocado
– Handful of chopped coriander

To make:
– Start by heating the coconut oil in a large pan before adding the garlic and green chilli and cook until the garlic starts to brown.
– Add the chopped tomatoes, sweet corn, black beans, kidney beans, quinoa, ketchup, sundried tomatoes and seasoning and stir well.
– Add hot water to a cup and add the stock cube, stirring well before adding to the pan. Squeeze the juice of one lime into the pot before leaving to simmer and reduce for about 20-25 minutes on a low heat.
– Put the avocado into the oven 10 minutes before the chilli is ready and chop some coriander. After 10 minutes take the avocado out of the oven, peel and chop in to slices. Serve the chilli in bowls decorated with a lime wedge, sliced avocado and a sprinkling of coriander.

I served mine on a bed of crispy kale although it’s more than substantial on its own.

Enjoy 🙂

Tag me in your creations on Twitter and Instagram using #hannahshappypace

 

Avocado & raw chocolate mousse

You don’t know that you’re eating avocado but it’s a nice surprise to know that you are!

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This mousse has been on my list of creations for a long time now so I’m really excited to have finally made it!

Yes, this is made with avocado but spooning it into your mouth you’d never know that. It’s totally clean too so even though it feels like an indulgent and somewhat naughty pudding it’s actually packed full of goodness. I guarantee you’ll be able to trick your friends and family the next time you cook them dinner.

This recipe serves two people so double up on ingredients if you’re catering for more.

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You will need:
– 1 large, ripe avocado
– 40g raw cacao powder
– 1/4 cup of unsweetened almond milk
– 2 tsp of agave nectar
– 1 tsp natural vanilla extract
– Raspberries to decorate

To make:
– Mash the avocado until smooth. This can be done either with a fork in a bowl or in a food processor.
– In a separate bowl mix the cacao powder and almond milk until well combined – this does take some mixing.
– Stir in the agave nectar and vanilla extract and then any chopped raspberries you want in there as well.
– Pour in to individual bowls/ramekins and pop in the fridge until ready to serve.
– You can decorate the mousse with whatever you fancy from a few raspberries on top to a dollop of nut butter or crunchy granola or chopped nuts!

Enjoy 🙂

Tag me in your creations on Instagram and Twitter using #hannahshappypace

Weeping tiger steaks & spicy Thai salad

This dish will make you weep with joy it’s so tasty! 

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Packed full of strong, punchy Thai flavours you will be amazed by how such simple ingredients can produce this flavoursome dish.

I served mine with lemongrass basmati rice or ditch the rice for a low carb option.

You will need:

For the steaks & marinade:
– 2 large sirloin steaks (adjust accordingly depending on how many people you’re feeding)
– juice from 2 freshly squeezed limes
– 2 tsp chopped coriander
– 1 tbsp soy sauce
– pinch of ground ginger

For the salad dressing:
– juice from 2 freshly squeezed limes
– 3 tsp brown sugar
– 1 tbsp fish sauce
– 1 or 2 (depending on how spicy you like it) green chillies, finely chopped
– 1 tbsp very finely chopped coriander

For the salad:
– 
1 large cucumber halved, deseeded and finely sliced lengthways
– Big handful of chopped cherry tomatoes
– Handful of basil leaves
– Handful of mint leaves
– Handful of coriander leaves
– 1/2 of a white cabbage finely sliced
– Green beans, finely sliced

The low carb option

The low carb option

To make:
– Start by making the marinade for the steak by adding all of the marinade mixture into a bowl and stirring well. Pour over the steaks and leave in the fridge to marinade for about 30/40 minutes. Or, if you’re really hungry, leave it to marinade whilst you’re making the rest of the dish!
– Next make the dressing for the salad by mixing it altogether in a bowl and then set to one side. Prepare the salad and pour half of the dressing over it and mix well. Leave the other half of the dressing in the bowl to use later.
– Heat up your pan with a bit of oil in the bottom so that the steaks don’t stick. When the pan is well heated add the steaks and cook for 3/4 minutes on each side. This will give you a medium rare steak so if you like your steak well done cook it for longer. It also depends on how thick your steak is.
– Once the steaks are cooked leave them to rest for a couple of minutes whilst you plate the salad up (and rice if you’re having it). Chop the steaks in to thin slices and arrange artistically next to the salad on the plate – I tried!
– Drizzle the remaining salad dressing over the entire dish and voilà – get ready to weep!

After ours we had a chocolatey treat which is actually full of goodness – I’ll post the recipe for that on Tuesday so make sure to come back and get it out!

Enjoy 🙂

Tag me in your creations on Twitter & Instagram using #hannahshappypace

Chia seed overnight oats with peanut butter & banana

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Not to blow my own trumpet but I still can’t get over how incredible this was!

I have been wanting to try overnight oats for ages after lusting over various pictures on Instagram.

If you’re on Instagram or read various health/fitness magazines and websites you might have also seen that chia seeds are incredibly popular in oats and smoothies for example. I decided to combine the two and satisfy my interest in them in this breakfast creation!

This is a seriously nutritious breakfast packed full of protein, healthy fats and vitamins. Here’s a breakdown of why these ingredients are such a great way to start the day.

– Chia seeds are high in fibre, rich in calcium and iron as well as antioxidants which help to absorb the toxins in your digestive system.
– Bananas are rich in potassium, fibre, magnesium and add a natural sweetener to this breakfast. They are also a good source of carbs.
–  Blueberries are rich in antioxidants which help to boost your immune system to protect against illness. They also have anti-inflammatory properties.
– Peanut butter (although it has to be healthy peanut butter!)  has plenty of protein which helps to build and repair muscle fibres and will help you to feel fuller for longer. It is also packed full of good fats which will also fill you up and stop mid morning snacking!

This powered a long run for me and it had everything I needed to fuel a good training session. Not to mention it’s a fab way to jazz up regular porridge! Basically, eating this will fill you up, keep you full of energy and give you that warm satisfied feeling of deliciousness!

You will need: 
– 1 large ripe banana
– 250g oats
– 1 tbsp chia seeds
– 2 tsp vanilla extract
– 1 tsp cinnamon
– 240ml of unsweetened almond milk (or sweet if you have a super sweet tooth!)
– 1/3 jar of Meridian’s smooth peanut butter (or a 1/4 if you want less of a peanut butter taste & add 1 tsp of agave nectar honey- I like the Groovy Food Company’s)
– For the topping you can add anything you want – I topped mine with some more banana, blueberries and a little bit of crunchy granola because I am addicted to granola.

To make:

– Mash the banana in a bowl and in a separate bowl add the rest of the ingredients (apart from the toppings of course.)

– Add the banana to the main mixture and stir thoroughly. Make sure that peanut butter is mixed in well as it has a tendency to clump together.

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– Pour the mixture into individual airtight containers (I like the clip glass jars) and pop in the fridge overnight. If you don’t have jars then put in to bowls and cover tightly with cling film. Enjoy in the morning with your favourite topping!

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Enjoy! 🙂

Tag me in your creations on Twitter and Instagram with #hannahshappypace

 

 

 

Clean Carrot Cake

“This feels like a naughty treat.” 

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Those were the words of my boyfriend Dane as he ate a spoonful of my freshly baked carrot cake, shortly followed with “now can I have a cup of tea!”

Yes, this cake has no flour, no added sugar and even the “icing” is clean. As you may have noticed if you’ve read some of my other recipes, I like to keep things simple and this cake was no exception. It’s super easy to make and doesn’t require any overly fancy ingredients.

You will need: 

For the cake:
2 red apples
250g of oats
2 tsp of cinnamon
2 heaped tbsps of grated carrot
2 large eggs
4 tbsp of agave nectar honey
1 tsp baking powder

For the icing:
One small tub of natural fat free Greek yoghurt
2 tbsp icing sugar
2 tsp honey

To make:
– Start by peeling the apple and chopping it in to small pieces before putting in a pan with a couple of tbsp of cold water. Cook on a medium heat and add the cinnamon, stirring occasionally. As the apple begins to warm and soften mash it with a fork.
– Once the apple is soft and is partly mashed then take off the heat and set to one side.
– In a food processor add the oats, eggs, honey, and grated carrot before adding the apple and baking powder as well. Blend until thoroughly mixed and well combined. It’s definitely best to use a food processor or a blender here rather than just a mixing bowl and spoon as the oats need to be blitzed a little bit to represent flour in the cake.
– Grease a cake tin and add the mixture before popping in the oven at about 180 degrees for minimum of 20 minutes. To test when the cake is done poke the middle with a knife and if the knife comes out clean then the cake is ready.
– To make the  frosting add some of the yoghurt to a bowl before adding the icing sugar and honey. Be careful about how much yoghurt you add as it depends what size your cake is and it shouldn’t be so runny that it runs off the cake!
– Make sure the cake is completely cooled before you put the icing on.

The "icing"

The “icing”

Enjoy 🙂

Tag me in your creations on Twitter & Instagram using #hannahshappypace

Avocado & sundried tomato stuffed burgers

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I’m a massive fan of home made beef burgers because they’re so easy to make and you know exactly what you’re getting.

If you use lean minced beef it cuts down on that fatty content as well which is always good. Now on to the best bit, sundried tomato and avocado! Who wouldn’t want that stuffed in a burger!? It’s a match made in heaven in my opinion and the result was a taste sensation.

If you make a big batch of these you can keep them in the fridge and take some for lunch the next day as well.

You will need:

– Pack of lean minced beef
– Two ripe avocados
– 1 small tub of sun-dried tomatoes (from deli counter so no oil if possible)
– Juice of one lemon
– Coriander (chopped, to taste)
– Salt & pepper to season
– Garlic (one/two cloves chopped depending on how much you like)
– One egg
– Coconut oil

To make: 

– In a large mixing bowl add the beef, egg, chopped garlic, coriander and salt and pepper and combine well.

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– In a separate bowl mash the avocado, chopped sundried tomatoes and lemon juice.

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– Using your hands, make two thin-ish burger halves (these are going to make one burger). It is easier to shape them on a surface lightly dusted with flour to stop them from sticking.

– Put one heaped tsp of avocado mixture in to the middle of one burger half and then add the other burger half on top, pinching the sides to form the burger and to keep the avocado in. Repeat until all of the mixture has been used.

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– Add a tsp of coconut oil to a frying pan and fry the burgers on each side for about 10 minutes/until thoroughly cooked. Alternatively you can grill the burgers. I wouldn’t advise cooking them in the oven though as that will dry them out.

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– Serve with sweet potato wedges, crispy kale and corn on the cob.

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Enjoy and don’t forget to tag #hannahshappypace in your creations! 🙂

 

Super easy, clean chocolate mug cake

If you’re looking for a quick, easy and healthy pudding then look no further because this chocolate mug cake hits all the right spots.

With just a handful of ingredients and made in less than five minutes it’s the ideal healthy pudding when you fancy something sweet or want a chocolatey dessert.

It’s paleo as well!

We added a cheeky Cadbury’s Creme Egg which is not so paleo/clean but Easter is fast approaching after all!

Check out this video below of how to make it.

Hope you enjoy it & make sure to tag #Hannahshappypace in your creations on Twitter & Instagram! Enjoy 🙂

 

Nutella cheesecake bites

WARNING: if you’re counting calories look away now!  

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You may have noticed that most of my recipes posted on this site are paleo or have low sugar content but not these. Hannah’s Happy Pace is all about finding that balance and trust me, these are the perfect solution for when you crave a sweet treat.

You will need:

For the base:                                                                                                            `
300g biscuits – we used chocolate chip Hobnobs
100g butter

For the topping:
4 heaped tablespoons of Nutella
100g Icing sugar
400g Cream cheese

To make:

-Put the biscuits into a sandwich bag and tie tightly making sure you’ve squeezed the air out. Then take a rolling pin or something similar and bash the biscuits up until they’re really crumbly.
– Melt the butter either in a pan on the hob or in the microwave and tip in to a mixing bowl along with the biscuits and stir until well combined.
– Get a cupcake baking tray and line with cake cases. Put about 1 tbsp of the biscuit and butter base into each case, pressing down to form a firm cheesecake base.
– Refrigerate for about one hour or until firm.
– To make the Nutella topping combine the cream cheese, Nutella and icing sugar in to a mixing bowl and stir well. (It was at this point that I almost forgot about the biscuit base entirely and just began spooning the mixture in to my mouth! If you thought Nutella was good, wait until cream cheese is added to it!!)
– Add about 1 heaped tsp on to the biscuit base and then pop back into the fridge for about 40 minutes to set. Once set, remove from the cake cases and voila – mini Nutella cheesecake bites, it’s as simple as that!

To make it different, why not use Oreos as the base? Or even crumble some Reese’s peanut butter cups in to it as well. Or add some Nutella to the base mixture if you’re really a chocolate fan.

Tag #Hannahshappypace on Twitter and Instagram if you make them – I want to see your creations! 🙂

Enjoy.

Healthy date & banana flapjacks

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Yes, you read that right, these are healthy, no added sugar banana flapjacks.

These flapjacks are made with dates, rather than sugar and coconut oil instead of butter to cut that calorie content and provide a more nutritious treat than the average flapjack.

Flapjacks are such a strong snack and are also ridiculously easy to make and these are no exception. They are perfect to take as an afternoon snack, post work-out treat or as a healthy pudding.

In reality though we know that no flapjack is entirely healthy but in my opinion these are as good as they get! They held their shape well and the ingredients bound the oats and banana together perfectly.

You will need:
– 300g oats
– 100g chopped dates
– 2 ripe bananas
– 50g sultanas
– 4 tbsp raw honey (I like the Groovy Food raw honey)
– 50g coconut oil  (I use Lucy Bee extra virgin organic raw coconut oil)

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Method:
– Melt the coconut oil in the microwave and then add to a large bowl containing the oats. Add the honey and stir well.
– Add the dates, sultanas and mashed banana and stir until well combined. The dates will help the oats to stick together.
– Line a baking tray with foil and spread the flapjack mixture on to the tray.
– Bake in the over for about 20 minutes at 180 degrees or until golden brown.
– Leave to cool before cutting in to squares and enjoying with a cup of tea.

Don’t be afraid to play around with the ingredients either. Why not try adding some nuts or pumpkin seeds or…dare I say it…a couple of spoonfuls of crunchy peanut butter! (Meridian’s is my drug!!)

Eat your greens at breakfast!

To celebrate Breakfast Week I wanted to write a piece about how I believe breakfast should be done and share with you my most recent breakfast creation.

breakfast sleep

We’ve always been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and in my opinion it really is. Recently I’ve changed the way I do breakfast and I wanted to share these changes with you. This is just my opinion though and it’s what works for me, everyone will be different.

First things first, your breakfast should be your biggest meal of the day. Skipping breakfast is a big error as it takes a toll on your energy levels and will leave you reaching for the nearest/easiest snack possible when hunger hits which will most likely be something that’s not going to fuel your body or be the most nutritious start to the day.

Big meals don’t have to mean bad meals; it’s all about picking the right foods to make up that meal. A big breakfast will set you up for the rest of the day and if it’s healthy it will help you to make healthy choices for the rest of the day as well.

Not only that but instead of reaching for a snack when you get to work or when 11am hits, a big breakfast will keep hunger levels satisfied through to lunch time. If you get in to a habit of doing this you’re likely to consume fewer calories throughout the day as well which is good if your target is to lose some weight.

breakfast info graphic

Ok, so what should you be having on your plate on a morning then? This will vary for different people depending on what your goals are. For example, when I’m training on a morning I like to have oats made with water and some nuts/seeds thrown in to add some healthy fats in there. Nuts also provide a reasonably high protein content too. I find that the carbs keep me full until lunch time especially after training. However on the days I’m not training or if I’m training on a weekend and I’ve got more time to make breakfast I’ll have scrambled eggs with veggies and some form of protein.

The ideal breakfast for me will consist of fats, protein and veggies on a plate and in my opinion everyone should try and have some vegetables at breakfast.

Those who start their day with greens on their plate have higher energy levels, improved concentration and don’t crave sugary/bad foods by 11am.

Add your veggies to an egg scramble or to an omelette for something quick on a morning. It’s also a great way to use leftover veg from the previous night’s dinner.

Now to address that dreaded word….fat. Without sounding like a total cliché, fats are your friends! I’m talking about good fats here such as coconut oil, avocados, nuts and nut butters rather than the bad, processed unhealthy fats.

Cooking your eggs in coconut oil or adding almonds or avocado slices are all great to add to your omelettes or shakes/smoothies.

Eating fats will give you energy, ward off hunger pangs for longer and let’s be honest, eating just veggies and meat (protein) does not fill you up!

Be careful though, although these are good fats it is still important to exercise portion control and adapt the amount you need depending on how much exercise you’re doing. Listen to your body and be mindful of when enough fat is enough. Believe me, I’ve been there and know all too well how easy it is to inhale a jar of peanut butter before you can blink.

Most importantly though, the concept is simple- eat real food! You’ve only got one body so why wouldn’t you want to fuel and feed it with the most nutritious foods possible? You’ll feel fuller for longer, have more energy, be alert throughout the day at work and generally just feel more healthy and positive in yourself.

Here’s a phenomenal (if I do say so myself!) breakfast recipe which I made at the weekend to fuel a day of work and training. It’s got some healthy carbs in there, fats from the avocado and protein from the eggs and smoked salmon. The smoked salmon is packed full of Omega-3 which is good for heart health and reducing high blood pressure. Rye bread also has a higher fibre and lower GI content compared to normal bread and so releases energy more slowly keeping you fuller for longer. It is also better for people who are sensitive to wheat or wheat intolerant.

Below is the recipe and nutritional breakdown.

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You will need: 
-Rye bread
– Eggs
– Avocado
– Smoked salmon
– Black pepper to season

Method:

– Put a small amount of coconut oil in a pan and heat before adding beaten eggs to the pan and stirring to scramble.
– Toast the rye bread and then mash the avocado on to the toast instead of butter.
– Top the avocado toast with eggs and the smoked salmon and voilà, a healthy and nutrient dense breakfast.

breakfast breakdown

Check out my other breakfast recipes I’ve posted including these low carb burpee breakfast tarts.

What’s your go-to breakfast? Do you eat the same thing or do you change it depending on work or training schedules? Let me know 🙂