Garlic Parmesan Baked Carrot Fries


Hello lovely,

We've survived January! How are those diets looking? You know everyone (including myself) starts off doing so well; meal prepping, buying vegetables and seasonings, even vowing to make things from scratch. But by mid-January, we fall off and start stopping to McDonald's a little too frequently. Then the processed pre-made foods find their way back into our freezers and soon we start making excuses for why it's acceptable. One morning I had no time or energy to cook both breakfast and lunch, so I resolved to have a veggie burger and fries for lunch. I’m not fond of the school cafeteria fries but that's how much I did not want to be bothered. Then I stopped and asked myself, “What am I doing? I'm down 9 lbs, do I really want to erase all my hard work?” I decided. The veggie burger can stay but instead of carb-ridden, starchy potato fries, I'll opt for something healthier: These Garlic Parmesan Baked Fries!

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When I say these took no time at all to make, I mean it. The hardest part was cutting up the carrots. I didn’t even have to peel them. After that it was just a matter of tossing it in some EVOO and some seasonings then baking it for a few minutes. These were crispy and the perfect addition to my bunless veggie burger! I wish I remembered to make the sauce, but there’s always next time, right? Trust me. You’ll want these fries again and again. A thumbs up to Tasty for the recipe!

Garlic Parmesan Baked Carrot Fries

Ingredients

for 2 servings

  • 2 carrots

  • 1 tablespoon oil

  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese(25 g)

  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon pepper

  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped (10 g)

  • ½ teaspoon salt

DIPPING SAUCE

  • 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt

  • 1 teaspoon pepper

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200˚C).

  2. Slice the top and bottom off of carrots then slice them in half, slice each half into thirds lengthwise.

  3. In a large bowl, mix ingredients with carrot sticks.

  4. Spread on a baking sheet.

  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes (depending on how crispy you want them).

  6. Mix together ingredients for dipping sauce in a small bowl.

  7. Serve warm carrots with dipping sauce. Topped with Parmesan and parsley.

  8. Enjoy!

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Quick and Easy Back-to-School Snacks For The Kids

Hello Lovely,

Kids are back to school and you’re back to your routine. Even though I'm a full-grown, college-educated adult with no kids of my own, the start of September is still back-to-school season for me, because I'm a school counsellor. All three recipes below are healthy, nutritious and most importantly, tasty enough for even the pickiest eaters. These are convenient make-ahead recipes even for the busiest parents!
 

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Beck's Crackers

Seasoning saltines using an altered method from Joanna Gaines friend Beck, makes crisp, buttery crackers that are great with creamy dips like my hummus. They're also really yummy on top of soups or salads. I like them for parties and kids school snacks because they're easy to make and can be prepared in advance. In fact, these taste better if you eat them a day or four later. And they can be so filling, they're sure to be a huge hit!

  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 0.7 ounce envelopes dry Italian or Mediterranean dressing mix
  • 1 tablespoon crush red pepper flakes (leave out if you or the kiddos don't like pepper)
  • 1 tablespoon dried dill (not necessary if you use the Mediterranean mix)
  • 1 1lb box saltine crackers
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large (14-16 cup) deep container, with a tight-fitting lid, combine the oil, lemon juice, dressing mix, pepper flakes and dill. Whisk to combine.
  2. Add the crackers and turn them over a few times to ensure they are fully coated. Let stand for 5 minutes, turning the crackers over twice.
  3. Place the crackers on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes, allow to cool then store for tomorrow's snack!
  4. To make the hummus, mix one can of chickpeas with remaining oil mixture (about 1/4 cup) and 3 tablespoons parmesan cheese in a food processor.
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Apple Cheese Wraps (serves 4 )

Do you remember eating Lunchables as a kid? I never liked them. I liked the idea behind it but it always tasted fake (not to mention my parents complained about the price). If you have kids who love Lunchables, why not save money by making it yourself? It's so easy and so much healthier because you'll know exactly what's in it. This snack covers all of the critical food groups with fibre, protein and good carbs. The best part? It's fully customisable. Add nuts or grapes or whatever else you like for added health benefits.
 

Prep Time: 2 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 apple
  • 1 slice lemon
  • 2 slices cheddar cheese, cut in half
  • 2 slices pre-sliced deli turkey or ham, cut in half

Preparation

1. Slice the apple into 1/2 inch thick slices. Rub the apple with the lemon wedge to prevent from going brown.

2. Slice the cheddar cheese into 1/2 inch wide slices and the ham in 1/2 or in 1/4 (the ham needs to be large enough to wrap around the apple). 

3. Place an apple slice and a cheese slice on top of the deli meat and fold over deli meat to wrap.

4. Serves with crackers and a dip of your choice for a satisfying on the go snack.

 

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Gluten Free Sandwich on a Stick

It's the kids' turn to pack their own lunches. Introduce them to this submarine skewer and they'll have a blast expressing their creativity and sliding on their favorite sandwich ingredients. Best of all, it's practically mess-free since the dressings will have to be on the side—no knives, squirting, or spreading required.
Prep Times:

20 minutes

Yield:

4 servings

Ingredients:

8 (6-inch) skewers
4 oz. deli sliced lemon chicken or smoked turkey breast
1 cup chopped arugula or spinach
4 oz. your favourite cheese, cut into small squares
1 cup grape tomatoes
1/2 cup small dill pickles
3/4 cup ranch dressing or deli mustard (optional)

Preparation:

1. Soak skewers in water for 30 minutes.

2 Thread skewers with chicken (or turkey) arugula, cheese, tomatoes and pickles. Serve with ranch dressing or mustard for dipping.

 

Irish Cheese and Bacon Popcorn

Hello Lovely,

St. Patrick's Day is this Saturday but I'm not that excited about it. I think I'm saving all of my enthusiasm for beach weather. When I think about St. Patrick's Day an explosion of all things green comes to mind. But green was never really my colour so I always try to think of different ways to celebrate all things Irish without painting myself green or drinking a dreaded Guinness. Enter this super easy snack recipe. This popcorn is best eaten the day it’s made. If you want to serve it at a party, have your ingredients measured ahead of time then assemble right before serving. It really doesn't get any easier than this, but I guarantee this will impress all of your guests!

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Irish Cheese and Bacon Popcorn

Ingredients

  • 7 cups salted popcorn (roughly 1/3 cup unpopped kernels)
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup crumbled bacon
  • 1 cup finely grated Irish cheese*
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Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, toss together the popcorn, butter, bacon, and cheese. Popcorn is best eaten the day it's made.
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Apple Cheese Wraps

Hello Lovely

File this recipe under my all time favourite snack! Ever since I was a kid, my mum would peel and dice apples for me to eat as a snack because I never liked the skin. She couldn't understand how I claimed that I couldn't swallow the skin on the apple. I don't know what to say. I would chew and chew, but it just wouldn't go down. Like lettuce. But I digress.

Over the past year I became obsessed with cheese and crackers. Diced apples or cream crackers and cheddar cheese always satisfies me when I need to snack on something. So why not combine them? 

Do you remember eating Lunchables as a kid? I never liked them. I liked the idea behind it but it always tasted fake (not to mention my parents complained about the price). If you have kids who love Lunchables, why not save money by making it yourself? It's so easy and so much healthier because you'll know exactly what's in it. This snack covers all of the critical food groups with fibre, protein and good carbs. The best part? It's fully customisable. Add nuts or grapes or whatever else you like for added health benefits. 

 

Apple Cheese Wraps (serves 4 )

Prep Time: 2 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 apple
  • 1 slice lemon
  • 2 slices cheddar cheese, cut in half
  • 2 slices pre-sliced deli turkey or ham, cut in half

Preparation

1. Slice the apple into 1/2 inch thick slices. Rub the apple with the lemon wedge to prevent from going brown.

2. Slice the cheddar cheese into 1/2 inch wide slices and the ham in 1/2 or in 1/4 (the ham needs to be large enough to wrap around the apple). 

3. Place an apple slice and a cheese slice on top of the deli meat and fold over deli meat to wrap.

4. Serves with crackers and a dip of your choice for a satisfying on the go snack.

Mermaid Toast: The Newest Trend We're Loving This Spring

Hello Lovely,

Mermaid toast takes all the things you love about the mermaid trend (think blue and purple tones, golden stars, glitter, and ombre) and puts them on a healthy piece of toast. In fact, the snack is generally super nutritious… you achieve its mermaid-y look by mixing blue green algae powder with almond milk cream cheese. We are totally in love with this trend, and  it’s not just green hues that look fabulous on mermaid toast. Purples, pinks, blues, and creams all look fab as well. Like many popular viral foodstuffs, mermaid toast’s appeal is entirely visual, so I had to get behind this trend and try my own.

Now in the Bahamas there is no way we can possibly get algae powder (whatever that is) so I improvised with cream cheese and food colouring. While we can't boast the same health benefits it's still a low fat snack that makes a great breakfast or dessert.

With that being said, there's no real recipe for mermaid toast other than the two options I just gave you. Don't limit yourself. Let the ocean hues inspire your creativity. To achieve the "sand" look you can use gold flakes or corn flakes. It adds a great crunch to the smooth creaminess of the cream cheese. Have fun!

Carrot Cake Protein Balls

Hello Lovely,

These Carrot Cake Protein Balls are the easiest carrot cake recipe ever. It is perfect for those night when you are craving on a guilt free carrot cake. I've never made anything raw before and in the past haven't been fond of no bake recipes, but these light snacks are made within 3 minutes, they're sweet, natural, fulfilling and simply delicious.

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They're perfect for light snacking and a recovery snack after a hard workout. Even my goddaughter loved these at her birthday party this past weekend. You can customise these with whatever nut butter you have on hand and throw in extra protein like nuts and dates (I don't like any of that stuff and one of my best friends who ate one is horribly allergic).

I used my Baobab protein powder, but you can use your favourite protein powder. I even added apple-banana applesauce for more moisture and natural sweetness. What you end up with is a wonderful carrot cake flavour that is super moist with a little added crunch if you add the nuts. Make it gluten free by using gluten free ingredients.

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Carrot Cake Protein Balls

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup flour (I used whole wheat)
  • 1/2 cup grated carrots
  • 2 tablespoons whipped creamy peanut butter
  • 3.2 oz. apple-banana applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons protein powder
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • Optional: 1/4 cup nuts of your choice and a fruit like dates, raisins or apricots

Topping

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon milk of your choice
  • t teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Directions

  1. In a food processor with the S blade attachment add al the ingredients.
  2. Process until it comes together and form a ball. You may have t ostop the food processor each 30-45 seonds, scrap down the side of the bowl and repeat until it form a consitent raw batter. It should not take more than 3 minutes.
  3. Using your hands shape carrot cake balls.
  4. Place each balls onto a tray covered with baking paper.
  5. Mix ingredients for topping and place in a piping bag or drizzle with a spoon. Don't make the same mistake I made by making my topping too liquidy, because it went over each ball like a glaze rather than a topping.
  6. You can enjoy the balls straight away or refrigerate them for 1 hour to harden a little.
  7. Will keep for 1 week in the fridge in an airtight container.

Sweet Spicy Jerk Wings

Hello Lovely,

March Madness is coming up which is basically the Superbowl of College Basketball. It takes a lot of strategy to pick the winning team before eliminations begin. Whether you rely on logic or sheer luck, there's one part of the equation you can't leave out: Your winning snack of course! 

Chicken wings are a favourite appetizer of mine.  I love the hot and spicy flavour of Buffalo Wings, and often make my own buttery sauce using blue cheese for dipping. On my trip to Miami, I tried the Caribbean Jerk Wings and was inspired by the Jamaican flavour and spiciness.  Fueled by inspiration, I made my own version of it, and it is fantastic! Try the recipe below and add as needed.

Sweet Spicy Jerk Wings

 

Ingredients

Wings

  • 5 whole wings (cut in halves, with tips removed)
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Olive oil (1 tsp), for coating

Sauce

  • 2 tsp Honey
  • 1tsp Ground allspice
  • 1tsp Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp Cumin
  • ½ Scotch bonnet, minced
  • 1tsp Nutmeg
  • 75 g Butter
  • 2 tsp Dried Thyme
  • 3 tsp Hot Sauce
  • 2 Lime wedges (optional)
  • Salt & Black Pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Season cut chicken wings and toss in oil. Heat cooking oil (vegetable or olive oil) in frying pan.  Place wings in the oil and carefully and using tongs.  Let fry 3 – 5 minutes on each side.  Place wings aside to cool.
  2. For sauce.  Place seasonings and butter in small saucepan and let simmer for 5 – 10 minutes.  Toss wings in sauce and enjoy. This combination allows the wings to stay crispy, moist and flavourful.


Make your game day snack a winner with these jerk wings as you cheer on your team! How do you flavour your chicken wings?  Do you have a favourite dipping sauce? Share photos of your game day snacks with us on Instagram by using the hashtag #lifebyolivia. Happy eats!