Lemon Coconut Energy Bites

These energy bites have a refreshing lemon flavour that’s incredibly addictive! They make the perfect portable snack or healthy treat! Vegan & gluten-free.

I can’t believe that Easter is this weekend! Where has the time gone this year?? I have to say that I’m definitely ready for the nice Spring weather. SO done with winter! At the beginning of Spring, I always start to crave light and refreshing recipes. And these lemon coconut energy balls meet that exact criteria! The lemon zest adds that refreshing burst of flavour….it’s hard to stop at just one!

And did I mention that this recipe only has 5 ingredients?! I’m all about simplicity, because really, who feels like slaving over making energy balls for hours and hours? They’re supposed to give you a boost of energy, not suck it all out of you before you even eat one! Overall, these bites are a source of fibre, as well as healthy fats and magnesium. I love making up a big batch and storing them in the freezer for a quick and easy snack on the go! Storing them in the freezer can also help the family pace themselves so they don’t get eaten all at once! With these delicious bites, it’s not hard to do…

Serve them up as a healthier Easter dessert during brunch OR you can even put them in the kids’ Easter baskets as a healthier alternative to all of those chocolate bunnies. I’m sure they won’t complain one bit ;)

Lemon Coconut Energy Bites

Yield: Makes approximately 29 bites

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted almonds
  • 1/2 cup unsalted cashews
  • 1 1/2 cups pitted dates
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut, plus additional for rolling the bites in

Instructions

  1. Boil some water and soak dates in the hot water for approximately 5 minutes to soften.
  2. Add almonds and cashews to food processor. Pulse until nuts are finely chopped (but not a paste).
  3. Add dates, lemon zest, and coconut and pulse until dates are finely chopped and the mixture starts to clump.
  4. Shape the mixture into 1 1/2 inch balls and roll in coconut. Seal in container and store in fridge or freezer.

Notes

Nutrients per serving (for one energy bite):

Servings: 29 • Calories: 77• Fat: 4g • Carbohydrates: 9g • Fibre: 1g • Protein: 1g • Sugar: 6g • Sodium: 1mg • Cholesterol: 0mg

Elysia, XOXO
Meatball & Barley Soup

This meatball and barley soup reminds me of an Italian Wedding Soup, but much more healthy, flavourful and filling!

A lot of times, I don’t find soup to be all that filling since most soups usually only have small bits of protein, vegetables and grains floating around. Not only that, but they’re usually packed full of sodium! I like my soups to be both wholesome AND hearty. This Meatball & Barley Soup is a healthy and complete meal in a bowl.

Lately, I’ve been experimenting a lot more with barley and I can’t believe that I didn’t start incorporating it a lot sooner! I absolutely LOVE the taste of it, and it’s nutritional profile isn’t too shabby either. Barley is packed full of soluble fibre, which can not only help to fill you up but can also assist in lowering cholesterol. For 1/2 cup of cooked barley, there is 3 grams of fibre, which makes this a very filling soup. This dish is also a delicious way to add more greens into your day. If you find that the spinach or kale in your fridge is about to go bad, throwing it into a soup is a perfect way to use it up! The greens are are a great source of vitamin K, vitamin A and potassium. And of course, the beef provides that protein, zinc and iron. That’s one wholesome bowl of soup!

Meatball & Barley Soup

Yield: Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef
  • 2 tsp. dried basil
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 8 cups low sodium chicken broth**
  • 1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 cup barley, uncooked
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cups chopped kale
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese to garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a bowl, mix together beef, basil, oregano, garlic cloves and salt. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll the meat mixture into ½ inch balls and place evenly spaced apart on parchment paper. Bake for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onions and cook until soft. Add the broth, vinegar, red pepper flakes and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium low. Add barley and simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until barley is tender.
  3. Add the meatballs, kale and spinach to the broth and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Serve.

Notes

** If you let the soup sit for a few hours, you'll notice that the barley absorbs quite a bit of broth. You may need to add more broth to the soup, especially if consuming as leftovers the next day.

Nutrients per serving (not including parmesan cheese):

Servings: 6• Calories: 311 • Fat: 10g • Carbohydrates: 34g • Fibre: 5g • Protein: 22g • Sugar: 2g • Sodium: 333mg • Cholesterol: 42mg

Elysia, XOXO
Lemony Falafel Burgers with Greek Yogurt Tahini Spread

Craving falafels? These burgers have the same taste and texture as falafels, but are less labour-intensive. A great vegetarian option that’s full of fibre and protein! 

True story. I LOVE falafels, but usually I don’t have the time or energy to slap together 20-30 little patties every time I want to make them from scratch. Especially being the perfectionist I am. Every little patty would have to be perfectly formed or else they’ll fall apart into a big heap of crumbs. No thanks! Enter these falafel burgers. They have the same ingredients and taste of a falafel but are a lot less work to make. I can totally slap together 6 patties in no time! Plus, they’re bursting with flavour, especially when you top them up with the Greek yogurt tahini spread. YUM!

I tried them with lettuce wraps, in a salad, with a bun and on a tortilla and they were equally good every time. They make a great meatless option and are packed full of fibre and protein! And with the addition of the shredded carrot, it’s a great way to sneak in some extra veggies and vitamin A!

Lemony Falafel Burgers with Greek Yogurt Tahini Spread

Yield: Makes 6 burgers

Ingredients

    For the burgers:
  • 1 15oz can no salt-added chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or about 2 cups cooked chickpeas)
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 1 large handful of parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 3 tbsp. Tamari
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • Olive oil for brushing
  • For the Greek Yogurt Tahini Spread
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. tahini
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp. paprika
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the chickpeas in a food processor and process until the mixture reaches a mashed consistency. Alternatively, you can mash the chickpeas in a bowl with a potato masher or fork.
  2. Next, add the mashed chickpeas and remaining burger ingredients, except for the olive oil, to a large bowl. Mix the ingredients until well combined. You may need to add a bit of water to help the mixture bind together. If mixture doesn’t stick together, add one tablespoon of water at a time until it binds together (I added two tablespoons of water).
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using your hands, form the chickpea mixture into 6 evenly sized patties and place them spaced apart on the parchment paper. Lightly brush the surface of the patties with olive oil. Bake in the oven for approximately 35-40 minutes, or until firm and lightly browned, flipping after about 30 minutes.
  4. In the meantime, combine all the ingredients for the spread in a small bowl. Serve falafel burgers on a lettuce wrap, bun, or pita or in a salad topped with the Greek Yogurt Tahini spread.

Notes

Nutrients per serving:

Servings: 6 • Calories: 317 • Fat: 20 g • Carbohydrates: 26g • Fibre: 7g • Protein: 14g • Sugar: 3g • Sodium: 334mg • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Adapted from Thrive Market

Elysia, XOXO
Best Guacamole

This guacamole is easy to make and a healthy addition to any meal! Delicious served with tortilla chips, tacos, chili or on burgers! 

I’ve been on a hunt for the perfect easy yet tasty guacamole recipe for a while now. With so many variations out there, it took a lot of experimenting, but I finally came up with a version that I love! This guacamole recipe got rave reviews from friends and family and was amazing served alongside tortilla chips, chili, on tacos, with chicken, fish and beef — yeah, we basically tried it with everything that we ate!

I love guacamole because it not only lends that creamy texture and burst of flavour, but avocados are also packed full of healthy fats, potassium and fibre! The tomatoes add that burst of colour and vitamin C, while the spices are a good source of antioxidants. Such a healthy and delicious way to add flavour to any dish!

Best Guacamole

Yield: Makes approximately 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 ripe avocados, halved, seeded and peeled
  • 1 lime, juiced (or more to taste)
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • Small handful of cilantro or parsley, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

Instructions

  1. Place the avocado and lime juice in a large bowl.
  2. Add the salt, cumin, and cayenne and mash with a potato masher or fork.
  3. Next, fold in the onions, jalapeno, tomatoes, cilantro or parsley, and garlic.
  4. Let sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour and then serve.

Notes

Nutrients per serving (per 1/8th of the recipe, not including salt)

Servings: 8 • Calories: 71 • Fat: 6 g • Carbohydrates: 6g • Fibre: 3g • Protein: 1g • Sugar: 1g • Sodium: 5mg • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Adapted from The Food Network

Elysia, XOXO