Raw Mint Chocolate Mini Pies

Happy Pi Day! Two years ago, we were travelling and made a chocolate strawberry tart in the RV. Last year, we turned to flaky puff pastry for these apple-walnut hand pies. This year, we’ve strayed from the fruit-based pies and made these decadent, but healthy, mint chocolate mini pies! In my humble opinion, the flavour combination of mint + chocolate is one of the best 🙂

While there’s a time and a place for full-sized desserts, I also appreciate the smaller ones, made for a household of two.

These mint chocolate mini pies are perfect for a few different reasons:

  • They’re easy to make and don’t require an oven, meaning they’re as good to eat during the wet rainy months as the sweltering hot ones!
  • Because they’re raw, there’s no chance of a pastry crust getting soggy as it sits. This means that these pies will keep in the fridge for longer than a day!
  • If you like to keep your sweets to a minimum during the week, you can cut each mini pie in half (or smaller) and enjoy a bite or two each evening.
  • They taste rich and decadent, yet are filled with great-for-you ingredients. With no added sugar and lots of antioxidant-rich ingredients, these pies are basically health food! 😉

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | No-Bake mint chocolate mini pies

The only tool needed to make these is a good food processor or high-speed blender. The crust is made out of Medjool dates, walnuts, coconut and cacao powder, processed until it forms a sticky ball. We don’t have little tart pans, so our trusty muffin tin becomes the workhorse of our small-batch dessert creations.

A little tip for you:

The crust mixture is VERY sticky. To avoid dealing with the frustration of trying to get the crust to stick to the pan, and not to your fingers, I’d suggest lining the muffin tin with plastic wrap, or parchment paper. I found that one big piece of wrap worked well – you can line 4 muffin tins quite easily, and use the hangover to press the crust mixture into the muffin tin. No messy fingers!

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The filling is made up of soaked (and drained) cashews, maple syrup, cacao powder and peppermint extract. So easy, yet so wonderfully tasty! This gets spooned into the tart bases and everything chills in the fridge until you’re ready to eat them.

I made these a few days ago, and they really do hold up well in the fridge. As they sit, they almost take on a fudgy consistency, which I totally love, yet completely melt in your mouth as you eat them.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | No-Bake mint chocolate mini pies

Whether you’re a physics geek or not, I hope you’re enjoying Pi Day as much as we are!

Raw Mint Chocolate Mini Pies
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
These Mint Chocolate Mini Pies are raw, vegan and gluten-free, making them great for everyone to enjoy!
Ingredients
For the tart crust:
  • 100 g Medjool dates, pitted (1/2 cup, about 6 dates)
  • 25 g (1/2 cup) unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 35 g (1/3 cup) walnut pieces
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Pinch of sea salt
For the filling:
  • ½ cup cashews, soaked in ½ cup water for at least 3 to 4 hours
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ to 1 tsp pure peppermint extract
  • 1 tbsp water, if needed
Instructions
  1. Soak the cashews in ½ cup of water, for at least 3 to 4 hours. When ready to use, drain and rinse the cashews, discarding the soaking liquid.
  2. Make the tart crust by placing all ingredients into a food processor or high-speed blender and pulse together, until you have a thick, sticky mixture.
  3. Line a muffin tin with plastic wrap and evenly distribute the crust mixture into 4 muffin cups. Use wet hands or additional plastic wrap, to press the crust mixture into the bottom and sides of the muffin tin to create a little bowl shape.
  4. Keep the prepared muffin tin in the fridge until you make the filling.
  5. To make the mint chocolate filling, place the drained cashews, maple syrup, cacao powder and peppermint extract into a food processor or high-speed blender and puree until completely smooth. Start with ½ tsp of peppermint extract and taste. Add more if you like a stronger taste. The mixture should be thick but spreadable. Add water, a tablespoon at a time, until you reach this consistency.
  6. Spoon the mixture into the tart shells and refrigerate until ready to eat.
  7. to serve, sprinkle with a good-quality salt (like Maldon) and additional chopped walnuts.
Notes
These tarts will last in the fridge for at least a week, and longer in the freezer.

Enjoy these Mint Chocolate Mini Pies!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | No-Bake mint chocolate mini pies

Pomegranate and Coconut Overnight Oats

I know I’m late to this party, but until a month ago, I had never tried overnight oats. Oh, I heard people raving about them – how quick they are to prep the night before, how easy it is to switch up the flavours. But I was firmly planted in my green-smoothie-breakfast. That was, until the motor died on our Blendtec, and we were without its pulverizing force while waiting for a replacement to come in the mail. FYI, when this company says it offers an unlimited 7-year warranty, they really mean it!

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I need something in my tummy in the mornings, and we had a bag of Rogers Steel-cut Porridge Oats in our pantry that have been staring me down for quite some time. Finally, I decided to bite the bullet and try this overnight-oat thing – and you know what? I’m officially on board!

This recipe is nourishing, full of fibre, and loaded with heart-healthy and antioxidant-promoting ingredients. It’s really a powerhouse of a breakfast and can easily be modified, depending on what’s in your cupboards. I’ve been eating this often during the week and it totally hits the spot. It should go without saying, but if you’re gluten-free, make sure you choose a certified gluten-free oat blend. If you’re vegan, use a non-dairy milk. Otherwise, the sky’s the limit 🙂

In case you haven’t heard me lamenting over the very wet, very grey autumn we’ve had on the west coast, I’ll say it again: this autumn feels gloomier than most. It’s a good thing that one day of blue sky (which we had the on Monday this week), can generally elevate my spirit for a few days 🙂

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Another way I get through these dreary months is by filling our fridge with tonnes of citrus fruit. How can a person feel glum, after biting into a ripe orange, or tasting the juicy crunch of a little pomegranate aril! I think that’s why this version of Pomegranate and Coconut overnight oats is hitting the spot for me at the moment. If I’m feeling decadent, I’ll throw in some chopped walnuts, for a bit of extra crunch, too. And, with a good cup of coffee, it’s perfect.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Pomegranate and Coconut Overnight Oats

So if your breakfast is needing a change-up, or you’ve never tried this type of oatmeal before, give this Pomegranate and Coconut Overnight Oats recipe a try. Hopefully it boosts your morning, like it does mine 🙂

Pomegranate and Coconut Overnight Oats
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
No cooking required, and five minutes of preparation the night before, will make sure you have a very tasty and filling breakfast in the morning.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup large-flake oats (I used the Roger's Steel Cut Oat Porridge blend)
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate arils
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened large-flake coconut
  • 1 tbsp walnut pieces, broken up into small pieces (optional)
  • 1 tsp pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup milk (dairy or non-dairy)
Instructions
  1. In a 250 mL glass mason jar (with a lid), combine the oats, chia seeds, ground cinnamon, pomegranate arils, large-flake coconut and walnuts (if using). Put the lid on, and shake the jar to combine the ingredients.
  2. Pour in ½ cup of milk of your choice, and 1 tsp of maple syrup. Stir the contents to combine completely.
  3. Place the lid onto the jar and keep in the fridge for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
  4. In the morning, enjoy cold or at room temperature.
Notes
This recipe is enough for 1 person. Modify the quantities to feed more hungry tummies.
If you like your oatmeal dense, use 1 to 2 tbsp less milk., If you like your oats with a lot of extra liquid, either add more the night before, or top with additional milk when serving.

Enjoy!

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Thai Coconut and Roasted Cauliflower Soup

We love soup. It’s one of those meals that’s so multifunctional, it’s good for lunch or dinner, it freezes well and usually tastes even better on the second day once the flavours have settled, and we’re happy to eat it in almost any month of the year!

I don’t think it matters which province you live in – the weather during this time of year can be highly variable from day to day. We just finished a week of cool, rainy weather, and soup was a perfect meal!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Roasted cauliflower soupClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Roasted cauliflower soup

When Jonty was working from home last autumn, he was in charge of making soup during the day, and thus he became the Soup Master. He admitted his approach was very formulaic, but it worked every time!

How to make soup like a Soup Master!

  • The Star: Decide what vegetables you want your soup to be comprised of (cauliflower, sweet potato, broccoli, carrot, squash, etc…) and roast them for flavour.
  • The Base: Throw diced onion, garlic, ginger and chilis (if you like a bit of heat) into a big pot with a bit of olive oil and let everything soften.
  • The Liquid: You’ll need enough liquid to just cover all the veggies (we often add more at the end, thin out the soup as necessary). We like chicken/veggie stock, coconut milk and a splash of wine (if we have any).
  • The Simmer: The Star + The Base + The Liquid all hang out in a big pot and simmer away for about 30 minutes, to develop flavour.
  • The Blend: We really like smooth, pureed soup, so everything goes into the Blendtec, in batches, and is whizzed up until completely smooth.
  • The Finish: We start by adding an acid to taste (lime / lemon juice, or even white wine vinegar). It’s amazing how much the flavour will pop once an acid is added. After that, we add salt, to taste.

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This was Jonty’s formula for virtually every soup, and I don’t think we ever had a bad-tasting soup!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Roasted cauliflower soup

Once the price of cauliflower finally started coming down (because nobody wants to pay $8 for a small head of cauliflower!), this soup made a regular appearance at our table. One of the versions we liked the best was this Thai-style one, in which we would throw in a few stalks of lemongrass while simmering (remove them just before blending), and finish with lime juice, lime zest and a handful of cilantro at the end.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Roasted cauliflower soup

This is a great soup to have on-hand. If you want a more substantial meal, add some roasted chicken or a can of tuna or a handful of chickpeas for protein. It freezes really well and the flavour develops as it sits, so be prepared for it to taste even better the next day!

Now have a crack at making soup without a recipe!

Thai Coconut and Roasted Cauliflower Soup
 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 8 - 10 bowls
  • Serving size: 1 bowl
  • Calories: 140
  • Fat: 9.9 g
  • Saturated fat: 8.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 12.4 g
  • Sugar: 3.7 g
  • Sodium: 390 mg
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 3.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
This is a general guide for making soup, so the liquid amounts are only an estimate.
Ingredients
  • 2 medium heads of cauliflower
  • 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
  • 3 - 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, cut into 3 or 4 pieces (remove outer layer)
  • 3 - 4 Thai red chilis, optional
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • Chicken / veggie stock, enough to cover the vegetables (about 3 - 4 cups)
  • 2 limes, zest + juice
  • Salt to taste
  • Handful cilantro, chopped, for serving
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 425F.
  2. Remove the stem and outer leaves of the cauliflower, so that the head can sit flat. Mist with a bit of oil, place on a tray and roast for about 40 minutes, until it starts turning golden brown. Remove from the oven, and cool enough to allow handling before chopping the cauliflower into pieces.
  3. In a large soup pot, heat a bit of oil over medium-high heat and add the diced onion, garlic, ginger, lemongrass and chilis. Saute until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the chopped cauliflower to the pot.
  4. Pour in the can of coconut milk. Add enough chicken / vegetable stock to just cover the vegetables.
  5. Bring the soup to a boil, partially cover and reduce the heat to medium-low.
  6. Simmer the soup for about 30 minutes.
  7. Take the soup off the heat and allow to cool slightly before pureeing. In batches, puree the soup in a high-speed blender until very smooth. Return the soup to the pot, add the lime juice and zest and taste. Add salt, if necessary.
  8. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro to serve.
Notes
This soup tastes better the next day and freezes very well.

Enjoy!

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ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Peanut-Coconut Red Thai Chicken with Grilled Pineapple

Peanut-Coconut Red Thai Chicken with Grilled Pineapple

It’s Monday, it’s Family Day (in BC, at least), the sun is shining, and we have a week of vacation to look forward to!

Our plans for the week include climbing, cooking, cycling (Jonty is finally able to do this after his knee injury!), and generally relaxing – really, all the attributes of a good stay-cation 🙂

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Peanut-coconut red Thai chicken with grilled pineapple

Flying home this past weekend, I had a 2-hour layover in LAX, in which I spent a good chunk of that time people-watching. The waiting area was filled with a plethora of highly-tanned / sun-burnt people, wearing shorts, flip-flops and sun hats. Looking at the t-shirts many of them were wearing, I suspect most were coming back from a vacation in Mexico.

I’m convinced that a week, or even a couple of days, of sunshine can do good things for a person’s general well-being, especially if you live on the West Coast, where it’s generally a given that the first few months of the year will be spent in grey, rainy weather.

So if you can’t get away for a few warm days somewhere, this meal might be your next best bet! It’s very colourful, and the taste of grilled pineapple will whisk your taste-buds away to a brighter, more tropical place. At least, that’s what we’re telling ourselves 🙂

There’s something very satisfying in the pairing of sweet and spicy; in this case, the grilled pineapple mixed in with the spicy red curry hit the spot.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Peanut-coconut red Thai chicken with grilled pineapple

This meal is easy to make and can be a clean-out-the-fridge kind of dinner, using whatever protein and vegetables suit your mood. We used coconut milk and our homemade Thai red curry paste as the base for this curry, and added in chicken and an assortment of veggies. While the curry is simmering away, the farro can be cooked and, just before you’re ready to eat, the pineapple can be grilled.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Peanut-coconut red Thai chicken with grilled pineapple

In about 30 minutes, you’ve got a dinner ready that will hopefully whisk you away to a warmer, brighter place (at least, in taste 🙂 ).

Peanut-Coconut Red Thai Chicken with Grilled Pineapple
 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 4 servings
  • Serving size: 1 bowl
  • Calories: 560
  • Fat: 32.3 g
  • Saturated fat: 22.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 38.6 g
  • Sugar: 14.6 g
  • Sodium: 217.7 mg
  • Fiber: 6.9 g
  • Protein: 36.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 91.3 mg
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 500 g boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
  • 1 can (495mL) full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp red curry paste (we used our homemade version)
  • 2 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 carrots, julienned
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • ¼ whole pineapple, sliced into wedges
  • ½ cup farro
Instructions
For the farro:
  1. Rinse the farro under running water until the water runs clear. Place into a small sauce pan and add enough water to cover the farro by a few inches.
  2. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce to low, partially cover and let simmer for ~25 minutes, or until the grain is tender but still has a bite. Drain any water remaining in the pan, and set aside until ready to eat.
For the curry:
  1. Add the coconut milk, red curry paste, peanut butter and fish sauce to a large sauce pan over medium heat. Let simmer for about 5 minutes, until the coconut milk starts to thicken slightly.
  2. Add the chopped chicken, stir and let simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the pepper and carrot, and let simmer for another 5 minutes.
  4. Just before serving, add the chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice.
  5. While the curry is simmering, grill the pineapple pieces. Place the pineapple on a grill pan over medium-high heat for 2 - 4 minutes, until the pineapple starts to caramelize and get the nice sear marks on it. Flip the pieces over and grill for the same amount of time.
To serve:
  1. Spoon some farro into a bowl and laddle the curry over top.
  2. Sprinkle with any remaining cilantro and serve with the grilled pineapple.

Enjoy!

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ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Homemade Thai Red Curry Paste

Homemade Red Curry Paste

Starting most Monday mornings, Jonty and I usually start to talk about what we want to make / eat on the coming weekend (five whole days early!!) – probably because we’re so excited to have the weekend roll around again, but also because we tend to have more time to cook, and we enjoy the process 🙂

During the past week, Jonty came across a recipe for a Caribbean-style chicken, and I found a recipe that called for chicken with grilled pineapple. We imagined the flavours would go together well, and  figured it could be good “bowl food” (because we’re all about our nibbly / tapas / small eats on the weekend!).

This recipe is a bit of a mix, partly from a few different recipes online, and partly from the Green Curry Paste I made in the summer. If you want the paste super smooth, a food processor or high-speed blender will be needed, but it’s just a matter of throwing everything into the mix and pureeing until smooth. Super easy!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Thai red curry paste

As you would expect, the main ingredient of a Red Curry Paste is … wait for it… Red Chili Peppers! We used the thin red Thai chilies – if you can handle the heat, use a lot of them; if you have a more delicate palate, just remove all (or most) of the seeds.

I know lots of people say to wear gloves or something if you’re chopping a lot of chilis or jalapenos, to reduce the burning. I never do, but I usually pay the price (my climber-fingers were burning for most of the evening… and I may have rubbed my eye at some point during the process… ouch!)

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Thai red curry paste

We made a peanut-coconut Thai chicken curry with grilled pineapple, and used about 2 or 3 tbsp of the curry paste for the meal, it was very tasty!

Even on its own, this paste tastes really good, so if you’re looking for a great spicy dip, try mixing 1 tbsp of the curry paste into 1 cup of non-fat Greek yogurt. We nibbled this with fresh veggies and homemade potato chips – add in a good UKIPA, and your Saturday night is set! 🙂

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Thai red curry paste

Homemade Red Curry Paste
 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 1.5 cups
  • Serving size: 1 tbsp
  • Calories: 13
  • Fat: 0.9 g
  • Saturated fat: 0.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 1.5 g
  • Sugar: 0.3 g
  • Sodium: 56.1 mg
  • Fiber: 0.3 g
  • Protein: 0.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
Recipe type: Condiments
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 45 g / 1.5 oz / ~20 red Thai chilis, chopped (seeds in or out, depending on your heat preference)
  • ½ medium red onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 5 cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh turmeric root, peeled (~2 little pieces)
  • 1 stalk fresh lemongrass (bottom ⅔rd of the stalk)
  • 1 lime, zest + juice
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • ⅓ cup chopped cilantro
Instructions
  1. Place everything in a food processor (fitted with the S-blade) or a high-speed blender (like a Blendtec) and puree until smooth. This may take at least 5 minutes.
  2. Taste and adjust add more salt or lime juice, if necessary.
  3. Transfer into a jar with a tight-fitting lid.
Notes
The paste should last in the refrigerator, in a tightly-sealed container, for at least one month.
For use in curries, I usually add 2 to 3 heaping tablespoons.

Enjoy!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Thai red curry paste