Easy Avocado Tuna Salad

Easy Avocado Tuna Salad RecipeLet me introduce you to your new favorite healthy snack: Easy Avocado Tuna Salad. My quest for an easy and healthy snack lead me to The Healthy Maven’s recipe for tuna salad. I made a few tweaks, and immediately became hooked.

Although I’d love to nosh on cheese and crackers all afternoon long—and believe me I could with the entire cheese drawer in our refridgerator stuffed full of decandent cheese—my waistline and my dietitian (and of course by dietitian I mean the internet), confirm that this is not the snack of champions. And that is how I arrived at a delicious and healthy alternative to the classic tuna salad. Hardcore health nuts and weight lifters will eat tuna straight from the can. I’m not that hardcore. Not even close. But I don’t eat mayo. See my dilemma? Enter avocado, stage right. The tangy flavor of Dijon mustard mixed with refreshing apple and crunchy celery, plus a dash of spice and citrus, and voilà! A simple, healthy and flavorful snack was born.

This is culinary greatness in my book. Easy, few and fresh ingredients, healthy, and cheap. Yep, culinary greatness by all accounts. Get ready to toss out that unhealthy version for this Easy Avocado Tuna Salad.

Easy Avocado Tuna Salad
Here’s what you’ll need:

1 large ripe avocado
2 cans of chunk light tuna in water, drained
1/2 cup chopped scallions (green parts only)
2/3 cup chopped celery
1/2 green apple, chopped
1 heaping tsp. dried dill weed
1 1/2 tsp. dijon mustard
Juice of one lime
Salt and pepper to taste

Makes 4-6 servings.

  1. Peel and pit the avocado and place in a medium bowl, then mash it up with the back of a fork.
  2. Add in tuna, scallions, celery and apple. Mix until just combined.
  3. Add in the remaining ingredients and mix until well combined.
  4. Serve as a healthy snack on top of crackers or cucumber, or enjoy spread between two slices of bread for the perfect sandwich any time of day.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 💜

Printable recipe

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Happy World Vegan Day!

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In honor of World Vegan Day, I wanted to share with you my favorite green juice recipe. Green juice is an excellent source of nutrition and a super easy way to add in more vegetables to your diet. Green juice is how I start every morning. It’s my current healthy addiction!

But before I share that with you, I also feel compelled to say, no matter what diet you choose, as long as you are making healthy choices, that’s really all that matters. I don’t question why you drink milk or eat meat. I don’t look down on you for doing so. I’m not asking you to understand why I don’t eat those things, I’m just asking you to accept it. You don’t have to ask me why I chose to become vegan like it’s the most foreign concept you’ve ever heard. People choose a certain diet and lifestyle for all different reasons. My choices are based on what I believe to be the healthiest for me. In all honesty, I’m no longer 100% vegan, BUT, that doesn’t mean I can’t celebrate today. Many aspects of my diet are vegan. I choose healthy! All I ask is if you aren’t vegetarian or vegan, the next time you find out a friend is, just respond with “awesome” and move on. Don’t ask how they get their protein, why they chose that diet, or what they eat in a day. We don’t hound you about your diet or preach to you why you shouldn’t be eating meat. Just food for thought, that I needed to say. 😊 💜

Green Juice

This recipe works best using a masticating juicer, but any juicer will do. Don’t try using a blender as this will be extremely thick and way too much! (This is the juicer we have and love it!)

1 lemon, peeled
1 lime, peeled
2-3 large handfuls of fresh baby spinach
4 celery stalks
2 cucumbers, peeled
3 kale leaves
3 purple kale leaves
5 red leaf lettuce leaves
½ cup parsely
1-1in x 1in cube of fresh ginger, peeled
4 pink crisps apples

Makes 6, 1-cup servings

Rinse all ingredients and cut larger ones into manageable sizes that will fit into the top of the juicer. Feed all ingredients into your juicer. Note: it doesn’t matter in what order you feed the ingredients into the juicer as they will all blend together in the end. Store juice in a large mason jar in the refrigerator for up to three days.

I also hope you’ll explore some of the great vegan recipes I’ve shared on my blog!

This recipe is my own, if you repurpose or share this recipe please link to this page and give IronwomanDiaries credit. Thanks!
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

5 Reasons to eat chocolate today [And not just because it’s #NationalChocolateDay!]

#NationalChocolateDay 2015It’s National Chocolate Day! What a perfect excuse to eat a little extra chocolate.

Chocolate is probably my biggest weakness—especially if peanut butter is involved and it’s in ice cream form! 😜 I don’t really care for candy bars, just a piece of dark chocolate is enough to satisfy my nightly cravings. I’ve also been known to occasionally sprinkle cacao nibs on my overnight oats or raspberry topped English muffin. Luckily though, there are proven health benefits associated with dark chocolate and, especially, cacao nibs.

Have you tried cacao nibs? They are slightly bitter (I always by the unsweetened ones, as those are the purest and pack the most health benefits), but if you add them to overnight oats, a smoothie, or on top of toast, you won’t even notice this. I buy the Navitas Natural brand. They are the perfect excuse to eat chocolate for breakfast and still feel good about it!

As promised, 5 Reasons to eat chocolate today:

  1. Flavonoids: These powerful antioxidants absorb free radicals that cause damage in the body; like heart disease and cancer.
  2. Reduced inflammation: Amazingly, chocolate can help reduce inflammation in blood vessels, keeping them both pliable and capable of full dilation for optimum blood flow to your heart and other working muscles.
  3. Improve your mood: Scientifically speaking, chocolate and cacao stimulate the brain to release a feel good chemical, phenylethamine, that triggers the release of endorphins. This causes dopamine, which is associated with pleasure, to spike in production. All you need to know is, chocolate really can make a person happy!
  4. Less cravings: Dark chocolate lessens cravings of sweet, salty, and fatty foods. So that means eating a bit of chocolate can actually help you stick to a balanced diet!
  5. Everything in moderation: There are many other health benefits of dark chocolate and cacao, but when it comes down to it, I’m a believer of everything in moderation. If you are craving chocolate—eat it! Depriving yourself will only cause you to over-indulge later or be unhappy. Life is a balancing act. Finding what balance works for you is the key to your happiness.

So go ahead, eat some chocolate today! 💜

Vegan Carrot Apple Muffins

vegan carrot apple muffinsSomething about spring, warmer weather, and Easter around the corner have me craving carrots. I work at a local restaurant on weekends as my get-out-of-the-house-and-interact-with-people job. One of the owners, Ruth, makes the most delicious carrot cake. Since I’m really trying to cut back on my sugar and not indulge at work, I haven’t had any carrot cake in months. (I use to eat the little pieces that wouldn’t quite make it on to the plate… 🙂 ) Anyway, I must not be the only one craving carrot inspired recipes because they seem to be popping up all over the internet this last week. So, I set my bar high and got to crafting in the kitchen (cue the countertop picture where ingredients are strewn about and the counter beneath is barely visible—aka the best kind of recipe crafting!). Recipe crafting: vegan carrot apple muffinsThe result, a super delicious and moist, just sweet enough, healthy vegan carrot apple muffin. You guys, this recipe is SO good! You know that my husband is the ultimate test if a recipe is going to be a staple in our house, and this one received the ultimate husband approval—sharing with his coworker because he liked them so much! These are perfect for a grab-and-go breakfast or an afternoon snack. They’re also the perfect addition to your Easter brunch!

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 Tbsp. ground chia seeds
3 Tbsp. cold water
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. fine sea salt
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
½ tsp. ground ginger
½ cup coconut oil, melted
½ cup vanilla almond milk (or whatever milk you have on hand)
½ cup dark agave nectar (or honey, if not vegan, or pure maple syrup, whatever you have on hand)
1 ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 cups grated carrots (about 3 medium carrots)
1 sweet apple, grated
zest of one lemon

Makes 12 moist muffins

  1. Grate carrots and apple and set aside.
  2. In small bowl, combine ground chia seed and water to make your chia “egg”. Let sit 5 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, in a large bowl, combine all ingredients from flour to ground ginger. Set aside.
  4. Place coconut oil in a microwave safe medium sized bowl. Microwave on high for 20 seconds. Remove from microwave and stir in all wet ingredients from almond milk to pure vanilla extract. Add in the chia seed “egg”. Stir until well combined. Add in carrots, apples, and lemon zest stirring once more until combined.
  5. Add wet ingredients into the dry ingredients in your large bowl. Stir until combined. Batter will be thick!
  6. Lightly grease a 12-muffin baking tin. Equally divide the batter between the 12 tins.
  7. Bake 21-25 minutes or when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Airing on the side of cooking longer is better as these are quite moist and won’t be harmed by an additional couple minutes of cooking. Let muffins cool in pan 5 minutes before carefully removing and transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Printable recipe

Try and eat just one, it’s almost impossible!

This recipe is my own, if you repurpose or share this recipe please link to this page and give IronwomanDiaries credit. Thanks!
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Snack time: Cocoa Nutty Balls

Sometimes you just need to satisfyCocoa Nutty Balls that craving for something a little naughty without all the guilt that often follows. Not only will these Cocoa Nutty Balls satisfy your sweet tooth—you’ll love how they taste!—you can feel good that you ate one of these instead of some other chocolate-peanut butter-calorie-rich-nutrient-poor bar. In other words, your taste buds and your body will thank you for making these. They’re also husband approved. 😉

Here’s what you’ll need:

½ cup chopped almonds
½ cup chopped hazelnuts
½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
½ cup dates (Use what you have on hand. I had chopped dates on hand so I used those. If you have full, pitted dates, those will work just as well.)
dash of sea salt
2 Tbsp. coconut oil-melted (may need extra for final combining of ingredients)
2 Tbsp. raw cocoa powder
3 Tbsp. peanut butter
Parchment paper lined baking sheet or large plate

Makes 9 delicious Cocoa Nutty Balls

  1. If necessary, use a food processor or high-speed blender (like a VitaMix) to chop almonds and hazelnuts. (I cheated this time and bought pre-chopped!) Place chopped nuts in a medium bowl.
  2. In your food processor or high-speed blender, process all ingredients from pure vanilla extract to raw cocoa powder until well combined and a chunky mixture has formed.
  3. Add to the bowl with the chopped nuts and add the peanut butter. Mix together using a spoon until well combined.
  4. Form into small balls, adding more melted coconut oil if mixture is too dry. (I added an additional 1 tsp. to mine when forming balls.)
  5. Place on your parchment paper lined baking sheet or large plate and refrigerate for at least a half an hour to firm.

Printable recipe

Enjoy!

This recipe is my own, if you repurpose or share this recipe please link to this page and give IronwomanDiaries credit. Thanks!
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.