Monday 30 March 2015

No Bake Vegan 'Twix' Bars



I feel as though March and April are a whirlwind for me -- every moment blends into the next and is full of events, parties, birthdays and of course -- for me, anyway -- baking!

And loads of it, too.

Especially for family birthdays and parties where I want to bring something special. So forgive my patchy posting in that time! As things pick up with work and my hours become a bit longer -- it gets hard to make time for all my precious baking ideas!

I put two and two together and realized when they said April showers bring may flowers they meant bridal and baby showers ;) But that makes it a really exciting time too! GO AWAY STUPID SNOW AND BRING ON THE SUN DRESSES AND MOJITOS!

I don't really wear dresses or drink mojitos. But it felt like the right thing to say.

I digress -- the point not fear -- the FMA kitchen is still pumping out treats -- and EVENTUALLY I will get to post ALL of them ;)

Let's start first with something easy and no-bake. Oh and healthy, duh.


If you subscribed to my e-mail list (which thank you to all those who did!!!) you would have already seen this last week. Remember if you subscribe you are getting sneak peeks and information that I don't post elsewhere -- so stay tuned!!!

Anywho -- I made these after my successful and ever-so-popular (for my house, anyway) SNICKERS BARS! Everyone has been asking when I will make them again. Every thing I have made that has not been the snickers bars has been a disappointment to my family. A delicious, delicious disappointment.

These aren't as high in protein as those bars -- BUT -- they have a no-bake crumbly biscuit base --a layer of RAW VEGAN caramel -- and lots of nutrients and healthy fats.


You can even have know...just to be traditional to the regular ol' Twix bar ;)

The main difference, is of course that these are much better for you. That's my gig, y'all! But another difference is that because the biscuit base is no bake it's not as crunchy. Still lots of great texture -- just not as crunchy as the 'real' thing.

But I loved these SOOOO MUCH!

And served alongside some of my other healthy treats -- these were the first to disappear. Same thing happened when I made my home-made snickers bars! If there is one thing people love it's chocolate. And on top of that? Chocolate bars. And on top of THAT -- if you can eat it without the guilt?

Come onnn. Get outta here!


It's legit. The whole thing! The biscuit! The caramel! The biscuit layer! IT'S ALL THERE! AHHHH!!!!

Before your head explodes from your anticipation of how to make this healthy Twix bar covered in luxurious chocolate -- let's check the recipe out!

Friday 20 March 2015

World's Healthiest Home-Made Snickers Bars

When it comes to chocolate -- anything goes.

I love dark chocolate -- the darkest of the dark. Well, not 100% cocoa. Up to 85% and I am in heaven.

But I am not necessarily a purist, either. I think that's pretty clear from my blog. Sugar cookies to healthy cookies to protein cookies. Cupcakes with buttercream or with healthy paleo frosting. No purist, here, nope!

When it comes to candy bars, however, I definitely have my preferences. I am a caramel lover. A nut lover. A chocolate lover. So snickers, naturally, ranks pretty high for me. And unlike the ordinary version these really can satisfy your hunger because THESE are packed with vegan protein! Oh and raw vegan caramel.

My family more or less lost their minds. Everyone loved these -- my mom, brothers, Uncle, Aunt, GRANDMA. Yes. My grandma approved these healthy home made snickers bars, as well. And she doesn't give her seal of approval to just anything, you know!

She's old school and we are Arab. So that means no eating out or consuming outside food of any sort really. Why? Because she is an amazing cook!

So she only reserves her seal of approval for top notch things. My Uncle and her agree to call this a candy bar would be an insult. It's a classy healthy snickers bar full of yummy delicious things that are amazing for you.

But most importantly these are SO FREAKING DELICIOUS! Chewy, crunchy from the peanuts, smooth and sweet from the caramel -- and ahhh that chocolate! Look how shiny and luxurious it is! It's just like Ooooo ahhhh look at my.

Check out that middle! JUST LIKE THE REAL THING! Those are mini snickers in the picture just to highlight how giant these are. They were so big I just remember thinking. Wow. I could never eat this whole thing. Better just have half!

Then I remember sneaking back downstairs to steal the other half anyways. Whoops?

I know I have a lot of different protein bars. But take my word for it -- these are EVERYONE'S favourite so far. They have a lot going for them flavour-wise but also texturally. Ohhh the texture. Smooth and silky and crunchy and chewy and ahhh. So good. I know these take a bit more work than buying discounted candy bars at the gas station but MAN is it worth it.

Tuesday 17 March 2015

Shamrock {Protein} Shake (Healthy Soft-Serve!)


In the spirit of the most beer-filled, green and happy holiday -- St. Patty's Day, of course -- I bring to you the quintessential treat for this holiday brought to you by none other than the ominous golden arches.


Here is my confession, though: I have never had this contraption. No. Not once. Not even when I was younger and would have been interested (maybe) in such a thing as a giant green minty ice cream shake.

I did a lot of research of course, regarding how to approach such a monstrosity. All the recipes I found online were basically just home-made versions of the Mickey D's version. Re: Ice cream and other high sugar things.

Which is TOTALLY fine. You know my philosophy -- I am a gal of moderation. But I wanted to do another Protein Soft Serve. Why? Well in the spirit of the Irish! But also because I received a very kind comment in my 'About Me' section of the blog and the lovely reader had stated she really liked ice cream and as she continued with her eating disorder recovery she wanted to try more recipes like it.

As it is an issue near and dear to my heart (you can read more about that here) I had no choice to oblige! Anonymous -- this is for you!

So If you want to indulge this holiday -- this makes an amazing post-workout shake! Some things to note about protein soft serve which are REALLY important:

  • Ice/frozen fruit is what gives you the creaminess. Use extra if you are avoiding the 'gums' in the recipe
  • Speaking of the 'gums' don't let it freak you out! BUT if you have a very sensitive tum tum than you may want to use a very small amount at first. Some people notice it...uh....bloats them.
  • You don't have to use food colouring -- I have seen green shakes using avocado instead!
  • Blend it WELL! You don't need a fancy Vitamix. I have a Ninja blender and it works very well! It's ready when it really starts to increase in volume and the colour becomes a bit more pale. This is a sign there is lots of air whipping in there!
  • Use a big straw or preferably a spoon. No joke. I found some big straws at Michael's a few years ago and the search has been on since. 

OH and you should DEFINITELY PUT MINT CHIPS IN THERE! It's like mint chocolate chip ice cream. It's so bomb. OH GOSH!

OR! You can chop up my world's healthiest brownies and put those on top. With coconut whipped cream because I am addicted to it?

Let's make it -- it's easy!

Friday 13 March 2015

Healthy Grasshopper Pie Cheesecake Brownies

St Patrick's Day obviously includes a lot of green.

And beer.

But I don't drink (yes I DRINK but not booze. Don't you be cheeky with me you sly, dog)!

But I DO eat.

And even better than that I like to MAKE things to EAT.

I know I am on some next level ish, right now. SO of course I had to develop a recipe for this beautious occasion. And to me the colour just has to match the flavour. If you are making something green it best be for a reason!

Speaking of green -- did you try these Matcha bars? Naturally coloured a mystical shade of green and packed with protein!


Green can be a few things, right? We see green and it could be kale. If you put kale in your brownies we aren't friends. I am sorry. I don't give a damn how hipster kale is -- stay outta my brownies or I will KALE YOU!

Vegetable jokes.

Zucchini is green. I HAVE seen those in brownies. Avocados are green. Also seen those in brownies. Peas. Pea protein? That can be in brownies.

But none of those things are in THESE. Because to ME. ME! Green means MINT! And chocolate mint is my favourite favourite FAVA- FAVE combination of ALL TIME.

So I thought...grasshopper pie? That creamy minty-chocolate pie thing I have never made? 


But clearly, I did not.

Everyone loved my Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake Brownies so I decided to go the brownie cheesecake route!

I have NO regrets. These brownies are moist, flavourful and deeeeelicious. Just a hint of mint balanced with the creamy cheesecake layer. Ahhhh... That's the stuff. 

Monday 9 March 2015

White Chocolate & Matcha Protein Squares

Do you remember a few years ago when everyone was like OH GREEN TEA WILL SAVE US IT IS SO GOOD FOR YOU...COFFEE IS THE DEVIL ARGH!

I sure do.

And I clutched onto my extra-large cup of joe in fear or trying anything different. I am a faithful, loyal, unwavering coffee supporter and drinker! ONLY!

But then I tried green tea and I sort of loved it. A lot. And it became this wonderful relaxing purifying ritual I had to have every day or I would go crazy. Now don't get me wrong, I am still a coffee gal through and through but this is one trend I definitely appreciated.

Then I tried Green Tea Kit-Kats. Yes those ones in the picture. Once for my birthday and then because I was obsessed with them, again for Christmas (thanks to M for that, by the way)! only advice for you is to leave whatever it is you are doing and get those Kit-Kats at whatever cost. They are a game changer. Thankfully those are the mini version -- so the level of shame is brought on quite a bit faster when you look down at all the wrappers below your chocolate covered hands.

If for WHATEVER reason you cannot get your hands on these -- I have a much healthier option for you!

I bought the matcha powder from a specialty shop downtown -- that place is HEAVEN. They have the most exotic and wonderful things from all over the world. HEAVEN!!!! I had been absolutely dying to use it. I had the recipe in my draft bin for the longest time waiting to try it.

Now I for one, know that I am critical. I was after something very very specific here! I made the bars, waited patiently to try them and then reserved judgement until I let  my whole family try them. I was SHOCKED to discover...

They were the most popular flavour square to DATE! Yes! I was so nervous that the flavours would be too off or too tea-y for everyone but it was the opposite! The herbal and slight grassiness that the green tea brings is perfectly balanced against the sweetness of the coconut and chocolate.

And I must say despite my initial fears -- everyone was right! These are definitely for a refined palate but their appeal extends beyond fancy tea drinkers. It really is a delight to eat!

The best part of all? High quality raw vegan protein from the SunWarrior and a slow release of energy thanks to the healthy fats, fibre and protein!

For an absolutely vegan version (if you cannot find vegan white chocolate chips/don't want to make them from scratch) use a good quality vegan dark chocolate or melt down some Enjoy Life chocolate chips!

Wednesday 4 March 2015

Healthified Birthday Cake Pop Bars {Happy 1st Bloggiversary!}

Happy Bloggiversary to youuuu!

     -- YOU!

Happy Bloggiversary tooooo youuu!

-- YOU!!!

You are a blog about desserts and stufff....soo I made one forrr you!

The first published post on my blog was one year ago. It was: Vegan Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips.

Fun fact? I made that 3 days ago and it was even more delicious than the first time. Completely unintentional but I guess even baking history repeats itself ;)

I wasn't going to have a bloggiversary because to be honest -- really? That seems strange. But I feel like a milestone is a milestone regardless of how small and we ALL know how much I love to bake for any occasion so..yes. Naturally.

Before I tell you about the recipe I wanted to ANNOUNCE that I will be starting a NEWSLETTTERRRR!!!!! It is really going to be about the blog, of course, but talking about baking tips, new healthy products and ingredients you may want to try and demystifying some of the healthy baking world! I will wait to send out the first newsletter until I can gauge if people will be interested so if you ARE please enter your e-mail on the right sidebar! I want to begin to grow this little blog and spread the good word about feeling better and baking at home! PLEASE HALP :D

Moving on, the following story you are about to hear is 100% true and 100& typical when I am experimenting.

I wanted to make a beautiful funfetti cake but gluten free and healthy and yada yada. You know my shtick.

And the cake part was an experiment gone RIGHT. Fluffy and sooooooo moist and delicious. Wow. It was a beauty.

And then it pretty much fell apart from there. Literally. I didn't layer the cake properly so everything toppled over. SO feel free to make it as a CAKE and keep it as a CAKE! Because they turned out beautifully. Like I mentioned -- I just butchered the layers unevenly and it fell apart.

Now at this point I usually cry and throw it in the bag.

But I just knew I couldn't do that this time. I hate wasting time and I hate wasting FOOD. PRECIOUS FOOD!!!!

So instead I mashed everything together and I was like...Hmm.. This taste like a cake pop. But it's in a bar. And the Funfetti Cake Pop Bar was born!

But my bloggiversary only comes once a year so I used marshmallow fluff :D

These bars are chewy, dense and SO GOOD. Kind of like a birthday cake brownie. Really they just taste like the inside of a cake pop and that's the best part!

I was initially pretty disappointed. I had such intention with this cake. I measured out everything lovingly and with care. I brought everything to room temperature even though I can sometimes be lazy and skip that step. I watched the little beauties rise in the oven and typed away patiently while the sweet vanilla bean scent filled the kitchen.

But I digress...not all is lost!

And the whole point of this is not the cake pop bars...okay it is. But ALSO to say thank you so so very much for being a part of this journey. It may be a small journey to some. I am definitely nowhere near the caliber or talent of some other food bloggers and I don't have as far or wide of a reach -- but at the end of the day you just have to be happy with what you have, right?

I truly do appreciate EVERY SINGLE like, comment, share or kind word. It means a lot and I do read every message and appreciate any and all support.

This blog means a lot to me because connecting to food has always been something that has escaped me. Being able to share my passion with others has helped me immensely in terms of letting go of food fears, trying new things and not being afraid to admit defeat.

I hope my blog can do that for someone else, too. Life is so short and to not be able to enjoy the little things would be a tragedy.

So let's have a look at how to make these -- get the candles, sprinkles, candies, frosting and plates because it is time to PARTAYYY like it was 2014! When I started this. WAHOO!

Monday 2 March 2015

Savoury Mediterranean Galette with Bocconcini Cheese

If you have ever stumbled upon my blog before I am sure you have noticed a thing or two....maybe a couple words to get you started: chocolate...and dessert.

Beautiful words, no? But a girl cannot subsist of delicious healthy desserts ALL the time. Although it wouldn't be hard to convince me to try!

The day to day reality is I absolutely love being in the kitchen -- cooking, baking, creating. And that doesn't stop at desserts! I love making home made pizza, creating fragrant Mediterranean dishes -- the whole sha-bang!

So when I was selected to participate in Melt Magazine's Blogger challenge to create a summer-inspired dish using Bocconcini ...I was ALL over it. It took about 2 seconds. Yes 2. For me to conjure up this beautiful galette in my head.

 P.S Look at how beautiful the promo images turned out! GORGEOUS!

SO in order to participate in the challenge you have to go to this link right here and VOTE for my pretty little galette -- or whatever you want, OF COURSE.  I am the one with the big black curly hair (the last photo -- just in case ;) ) Check out the recipes, too because everyone's entry looks incredible. Oh gosh. I want all the foodz right now.

What was I saying -- OH YEAH GALETTE!

Since I made this Maple, Peach and Brie Galette I have been obsessed with them. So rustic and imperfect -- crisp and delicious.

I wish I had more time to cook REAL food --I find more often than not I try so hard to create recipes for the blog that by the time I am done I look outside and realize -- oops its 7 o'clock and I have no substantial food other than cupcakes. And chocolate. And not that I am complaining but sometimes you just need something to sink your teeth into.

I think the beautiful bounty of summer vegetables can't be beat. Do you feel me, Canada? I know most of us are pretty darn TIRED of this cold dreariness. The colours alone are so vivid they make me happy. Pastry also makes me happy. Healthy foods make me happy this is basically an open-faced happiness pie. Infused with the flavours of the Mediterranean, for good measure. Bocconcini is so often featured in beautiful antipastos and Caprese salad but I wanted to flex my pastry muscles and integrate the cheese into something that was more me. And nothing is more 'me' than making a giant pizza pie! I am extra like that.

I think looking up some videos on how to assemble a galette may be of some help before hand -- I linked to a good one in the Peach & Plum Galette post! As you can see above once you have prepped all your ingredients you simply lay it out on the pastry with some room around the edges. Et voila!

Other than that I would say reserve this for a day when you have time to really have fun with it. Use whichever vegetables you like -- whichever herbs you like -- make it your own! I love using fresh herbs. Nothing beats them, really. You don't think it makes a difference until you splurge and buy some (or grow some!) and then your eyes are opened to the wonder that is mother nature.

 I think this can be a good side dish or meal in its own right. I made a double batch of the vegetables and used half for the galette and half for a baked vegetable side dish which was nice.

It is a lot of steps and ingredients -- I know! So if you need to use a short cut and buy the pie dough pre-made -- more power to you! The star of the show is really the vegetables herbs and the bocconcini anyways, right?! Speaking of which -- how cute is bocconcini? SO CUTE.

Enough of my yapping -- let's have a look at the recipe -- because at this point -- you should already be on your way to the farmer's market!