5 Ingredient Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Bark with Salted Caramelized Sesame Seeds

5 Ingredient Chocolate Bark
This insanely addictive Valentines Day recipe was inspired by my new chocolate obsession – the Lindt sesame dark chocolate bar. Literally, I can’t stop eating it, I should have titled this recipe pure CRACK! The combination of the sweet yet nutty sesame seeds and rich dark chocolate is a perfect match. My initial idea was to make these into amazing little peanut butter cups with homemade chocolate. After various failed attempts, I ran out of cacao powder and wax liners and decided to head in a completely different direction. Afterall, chocolate bark has always served me well and is ridiculously easy to make. I will continue to work on making my own chocolate, so stay tuned for that. For now, melting good quality chocolate will do.

I caramelized my toasted sesame seeds in pure maple syrup, and I could have just eaten that on its own. It reminded me of an even better sesame snap (remember those?). The addition of the peanut butter into the dark chocolate really compliments the nuttiness of the sesame seeds. As you all know by now, there is nothing I love more than sweet and savoury, so a sprinkling of course salt is the perfect final component. With only 5 ingredients, it doesn’t get much easier than this. The final product is made in under 10 minutes, and can even be made in advance and stored in the freezer for days (but your loved ones don’t need to know that!). Giving a homemade treat this Valentines Day, will make it one that’s truly special. Happy Valentines Day to you my loves.

(ps. for those interested, I tried to mix cacao powder, coconut oil and coconut sugar for my own chocolate. I couldnt get the coconut sugar to absorb properly and it just made a mess! Next time, I’ll use a liquid sweetener for better absorption!)
5 Ingredient Chocolate Bark5 Ingredient Chocolate Bark

Ingredients:

• 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
• 1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds (any variety you like, just make sure they are toasted!)
• 2 cups dark chocolate chips (I like 70% dairy free, but choose your favourite chocolate!)
• 5 tbsp all natural peanut butter
• coarse sea salt, to taste

Directions:

1. Prepare two large cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Heat maple syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat until it begins to bubble. Add your sesame seeds and cook together with the maple syrup for about 5 minutes or until they seeds are well coated in the syrup.

2. Spread out the sesame seeds onto the parchment lined cookie sheet. It’s ok if there are clusters! Allow to cool.

3. Over a double boiler OR by heating in the microwave in 30 second intervals, melt your chocolate. If you use the microwave make sure to stir really well in between each 30 seconds. You don’t want to burn your chocolate.

4. Spread the chocolate evenly on your remaining parchment lined cookie sheet. The more you spread the chocolate, the thinner your chocolate bark will be.

5. If your peanut butter is hard from the fridge, microwave for 30 seconds so it is spreadable. Then, disperse dollops of peanut butter evenly on the chocolate. Using a toothpick or fork, swirl the peanut butter into the chocolate. Using your hands, break apart the caramelized sesame over the chocolate, then sprinkle with coarse salt. Place in the freezer for at least an hour or until set. Break apart using your hands into desired size. Store in an airtight container (I like keeping it in the freezer).

5 Ingredient Chocolate Bark

Loaded Veggie Soup

Loaded Veggie SoupLots of you have been asking for my vegetable soup recipe after posting it many times on my Instagram story. During the winter months, I make this soup probably every two weeks at least. During the colder months, I find it harder to get all my veggies in, because I don’t crave salads as much. I love making a soup that packs as many vegetables as possible. I basically end up with more of a stew than a soup because my veggie to broth ratio is always completely off! What I love most about this soup is that it really can be altered anyway you like. You can add or remove ingredients without changing the taste. The key is knowing when to add in the veggies so nothing turns into complete mush. Remember you can always add beans, quinoa, rice or even tofu to add extra protein and fibre. Hope you love it!

Ingredients:

• 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1 yellow onion (diced)
• 3 cloves garlic (minced)
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 tsp dried oregano
• 4 carrots (diced)
• 4 celery stalks (diced)
• 2 sweet potatoes (diced)
• 3 quarts organic low sodium chicken or veg stock, homemade is best
• 1/2 green cabbage (shredded)
• 2 cups brussels sprouts (chopped)
• 2 cups green beans (chopped, 1/2 inch)
• 1 cup cauliflower (chopped)
• 2 zucchini (diced)
• 1 cup broccoli (chopped, can also throw in stems!)
• 1 cup fresh spinach
• 1/4 cup fresh dill (minced)
• 2 tbsp fresh parsley (minced)
• salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Heat oil over medium heat in a large pot. Sweat onion for 5 minutes then add garlic, salt and oregano. Stir for 30 seconds.
2. Add carrots, celery and sweet potato. Cook for another 5 minutes.
3. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil.
4. Reduce heat to low, add cabbage, brussels sprouts and green beans. Cover and allow to cook for 7 minutes.
5. Add cauliflower and zucchini, cook for another 3 minutes. Check to see that the carrots and sweet potato are cooked through, then turn off heat.
6. With heat turned off, add broccoli, fresh spinach, dill, and parsley. Taste and season to your liking.
7. Serve!

Loaded Veggie Soup

Deconstructed Healthy Sushi Bowl

Healthy Sushi Rice
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday! I know that many of you have made some of your New Years goals- which likely include losing weight. I am not one to preach about how you should be living your life, but I did want to share some of my thoughts on resolutions. As we reach a birthday, new year or other milestone that is meaningful in some way, we often set different goals. It is great to check in and assess our lives to take note of what we need to improve upon or perhaps to reward ourselves on what has been achieved.

This year, instead of setting that familiar measurable goal of losing weight, consider altering your entire lifestyle. Healthy eating, exercise, etc..is my lifestyle. It is not an obsession nor is it a means of looking my physical best. My lifestyle is one that makes me feel great both physically and mentally. Do I eat junk sometimes? YES. Do I drink sometimes? Yes. Do I skip workouts? Hell yes! But I do all of these things in moderation. Balance is key. Too much of anything is never a good thing and that sometimes includes an obsession with a healthy living. I understand that might sound silly to many of you, but if eating a few Doritos sends you down a downward hill of self-hate, guilt, and obsessive exercise.. there is something unhealthy about that too. Life is about finding the balance in everything (this also includes work and relationships).

Now onto the recipe! I love this recipe for many reasons…

1. I don’t have to waste my money ordering sushi anymore.
2. The possibilities to make it your own are endless.
3. Makes a delicious side dish for any protein (think tofu, raw or cooked salmon, chicken, chickpeas etc…)
4. It is so easy to make and super cheap!

Deconstructed Sushi Bowl

Here’s how you make it!

Ingredients:

• 2 cups uncooked brown rice or about 4 cups cooked ***(see notes, follow directions on the bag)
• 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
• 3-4 tbsp tamari or gluten free soya sauce (or to taste)
• 3 tbsp honey
• 1 tsp wasabi paste (optional, more if you like it hot!)
• 1/4 cup chopped pickled ginger
• 1 sheet of nori (dried seaweed) cut into thin strips
• 3 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
• 1/2 cup seeded and chopped cucumber
• 1 avocado diced

Directions:

1. Cook rice according to directions. See note below.

2. In a small sauce pan over medium heat, whisk rice wine vinegar, tamari, honey and wasabi until combined. Pour mixture evenly over rice and stir until well coated. Taste and adjust seasonings to your taste.

saltier= more tamari
tangier= more vinegar
spicier = more wasabi
sweeter= more honey

3. Mix in pickled ginger, nori, cucumber, avocado and sesame seeds.

4. Serve alone or with protein of choice.

***I love this brand of short grain brown rice for this recipe. It mimics the texture of white sushi rice. I cook mine with splash of avocado oil and salt. It comes out sticky and fluffy- perfect for sushi rice! Cook according to bag directions.
Deconstructed Sushi Bowl