High-Protein Greek Salad

I feel like it’s been awhile since I posted a food recipe (and with this post, I’m using the word recipe quite loosely). It’s not that we haven’t been cooking, it’s just that our food choices have been pretty basic and routine. I suppose that’s what summer time is about, though. More time spent outside, less time around the stove ๐Ÿ™‚ We’ve been eating a version of this Greek salad for quite a few weeks now, so I thought I would share it.

This Greek salad doesn’t deviate much from the classic version. Sharp red onion becomes mellow in the balsamic vinegar, crunchy cucumbers and peppers add a sweet bite, and juicy tomatoes round out the salad combo. We add fresh mint, too, because it’s a great way to use up the monster bushels that currently seem to be in the markets.

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What makes our version different is our secret high-protein ingredient. Dry curds! Have you ever had them? It’s cottage cheese, but without the milk fat. When you open the tub, you’re staring at… you guessed it… dry curds.ย 

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So, why go this route, instead of using the standard feta cheese? Well, we often try to limit our intake of super-salty foods, and we’re always looking for ways to add more protein into our meals. This power-house source of protein gives you a whopping 22 grams of protein in half a cup. This is a win-win addition, in our books!

I won’t lie – the dry curds don’t taste like feta cheese (they actually don’t have much taste on their own). But with a really flavourful balsamic vinegar and copious amounts of fresh herbs, I would argue this salad doesn’t need the extra salt.

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This high-protein Greek salad has found its way into many of our meals. We have it alongside chicken or tuna sandwiches, it gets topped with perfectly poached eggs, and we’re not opposed to using it as a makeshift salsa with our salmon tacos! And it still tastes really good as leftovers a day or two later.

See? The perfect summer salad!

High Protein Greek Salad
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Salad
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Using dry curds gives this Greek salad a huge boost in protein. It's the perfect addition to any meal.
Ingredients
  • ½ medium red onion, diced into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 medium cucumber, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large sweet pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • Large handful of fresh mint, finely chopped (about ⅓ cup once chopped)
  • 2 jalapeno pepper, diced (optional)
  • 1 cup dry curds
  • Balsamic vinegar (enough to cover the red onion - about 2 tbsp)
  • Olive oil (enough to cover the salad - 1 to 2 tbsp)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Place the chopped red onion into a large bowl, along with the balsamic vinegar. Let this sit to mellow while you chop the rest of the vegetables.
  2. Mix all ingredients together. Taste. Add salt and pepper as you see fit.
  3. If you can, leave this sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving, to allow the flavours to combine.

Enjoy this High-Protein Greek Salad!

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Thin & Crispy Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

Mint and chocolate are one of my favourite flavour combinations. That, or peanut butter and chocolate. In my book, the mintier the merrier! These mint chocolate chip cookies definitely live up to their name, due to mint-infused butter AND peppermint extract, and tons of chocolate in every bite. It could be the winning cookie for Mothers Day ๐Ÿ™‚

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ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Thin and crispy mint chocolate chip cookies

ย 

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Thin and crispy mint chocolate chip cookies

I made these the other week, in preparation for one of our climbing competitions on Vancouver Island. They’re easy to pack, and are the perfect size to nibble on between climbs. We both ended up nabbing first place in our age category, so perhaps they can be called Winning Mint Chocolate Chip cookies ๐Ÿ™‚

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I’ve made treats with mint before, but I usually stick to peppermint extract and not fresh mint. So when I saw a version of these cookies floating around online, I became intrigued with the idea of infusing mint into the butter. Would it make the mint flavour stronger? It definitely makes the kitchen smell fantastic, as it simmers away, so I count that as a win.

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If there’s a downside to this recipe, it’s only that you need to give the cookie dough some time to hang out in the fridge, at least an hour. So if you’re in need of a cookie ASAP, this is probably not the recipe for you.

BUT, if you’re able to plan ahead a bit, give this one a whirl. I let the cookie dough rest in the fridge overnight, and then baked them the next day when I had some free time. Because we don’t make cookies very often, I don’t mind waiting for a treat like this!

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These cookies are thin and crispy, but are oh-so minty and chocolatey. They freeze really well and somehow taste even better, straight from the freezer.

Given their size, I think they’d also make fantastic ice cream sandwiches! And seeing as the weather is almost warm enough (we finally took the winter flannel sheets off our bed this week), I’m thinking another batch of these might be in order ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Thin & Crispy Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Adapted from My Name is Yeh.
Ingredients
  • 115 g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • ½ cup firmly packed fresh mint, roughly chopped *
  • 100 g (1/2 cup, packed) dark brown sugar
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp pure peppermint extract
  • 75 g (0.6 cup) whole wheat flour
  • 115 g (0.9 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • 90 g (1/2 cup) dark chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. In a small saucepan, add the butter and mint and melt over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. The butter will start to foam up and turn slightly brown. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 30 minutes. The butter should still be warm and not returned to its solid state. Strain out the mint using a fine-mesh strainer, and set aside the mint-infused butter. *
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the egg, vanilla and peppermint extract and beat for another minute.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flours, baking soda and sea salt). Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir to incorporate. Add the chocolate chips and mix to combine.
  4. Place the bowl in the fridge for at least 1 hour, up to overnight.
  5. When read to bake, pre-heat the oven to 350 F and line baking trays with parchment paper. Place tablespoon-sized balls of dough on the pan, spaced at least 5 to 7 cm apart and sprinkle each with a bit of flaky sea salt, if you'd like. The cookies will spread when baking.
  6. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes. If you like your cookies on the soft side, stick closer to 10 minutes. The cookies will continue to cook slightly, even once you remove them from the oven.
  7. Cool on the baking tray for 5 minutes, then remove and place them on a wire rack to cool completely.
Notes
* If you don't want to strain out the mint, chop the mint very fine before adding it to the butter. There's no need to strain the mint afterwards, and the texture of the cookies doesn't change (you'll just see flecks of green dotted throughout the cookies). This version might taste even mintier!
** These cookies freeze very well.

Enjoy these Thin & Crispy Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies!

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No-Churn Mint-Chocolate Ice-Cream {Vegan, refined sugar-free and secretly healthy!} | ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com

No-Churn Mint Chocolate Ice Cream

Vancouver, in case you haven’t noticed, it’s July already, and you’ve barely made your way out of the high-teens. I’m ready for warmer temperatures! I’m ready to shed the big duvet at night! I’ve got a craving for Mint Chocolate Ice Cream and want to eat it without wearing a toque! Okay, so I’m exaggerating on that last point. But, seriously, I’m ready for summer to start, who isn’t? Perhaps, by simply making summer food, Mother Nature will get herself back on track ๐Ÿ™‚

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Last weekend, the temperature just scraped over 20ยฐC, and we felt like we’d won the weather lottery – sad, but true! What a difference a year makes; this time last year, Level-4 water bans were in effect, forest fires were blazing around the province, and the temperatures hovered consistently at a humid 30ยฐC for most of the summer. This year? We’re lucky if we get two days in a row without rain, and the temps have made me wonder if we’re actually approaching the middle of July!

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Not to fear, I’ve decided to enjoy this homemade ice cream, regardless of weather. And you know what? It makes it feel like it’s almost summer ๐Ÿ™‚

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | No-Churn Mint-Chocolate Ice-Cream {Vegan, refined sugar-free and secretly healthy!}

For this batch, I’m going the raw, vegan route again but instead of a frozen banana base, like my ice cream recipes last year; this year I’m trying out the coconut-milk base and I think it’s even better!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | No-Churn Mint-Chocolate Ice-Cream {Vegan, refined sugar-free and secretly healthy!}

Can you believe that the super green colour is completely natural, with no weird food colouring additives at all? The secret to the super green colour is spirulina! If you’ve never heard of spirulina, don’t worry, we hadn’t either until last year. It’s actually an algae, hence the green colour, and it’s extremely good for you, rich in protein, vitamins B and iron. It also acts as an antioxidant, has anti-inflammatory properties and may be helpful in repairing muscles after a good workout, which is why we started trying it a few years ago.

I don’t know if you can ever find a more convincing argument to eat ice cream in order to help your body recover from exercise! You can thank me later… after you eat a bowl or two of ice cream ๐Ÿ™‚

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Now make this ice cream, and bring on summer!

No-Churn Mint Chocolate Ice Cream
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk, chilled in the fridge
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 4 hours
  • ¼ cup tighly-packed fresh mint leaves
  • 1 - 2 tsp pure peppermint extract
  • 2 - 3 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 - 2 tsp spirulina powder (optional)
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chunks
Instructions
  1. Soak the cashews in water for at least 4 hours, until they soften. Drain the water and rinse thoroughly before blending.
  2. In a high-speed blender, like a Blend Tec, blend together the drained cashews, coconut milk, mint leaves, peppermint extract, maple syrup and spirulina. Blend until very well combined and smooth, up to 5 or 6 minutes.
  3. Taste the mixture and add more maple syrup and peppermint extract, depending on your tastes.
  4. Pour the ice cream mixture into a metal loaf pan, stir in the chocolate chunks and place the pan in the freezer. Every 30 minutes, take the ice cream out and stir it around, moving the frozen bits from the edge of the pan into the middle. After 2 or 3 hours of this, your ice cream should be frozen nicely and combined.
  5. Scoop into bowls or cones to serve.
Notes
If the ice cream has been in the freezer for longer than 4 hours, leave the ice cream on the counter for about 15 minutes before you plan on serving it, in order to make it easier to scoop.

Enjoy!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | No-Churn Mint-Chocolate Ice-Cream {Vegan, refined sugar-free and secretly healthy!}