Comfort Foods and Protein Bars

Comfort food: the name means different things to different people. Almost everyone I know has at least one food they can think of that makes them feel calm and cozy, reminds them of home and most importantly tastes freaking fantastic. I happen to have more than a few comfort foods, mostly because my mother was/is a great cook. Among the top of the list are: Chicken Corn Casserole, Beef Stroganoff, Tuna Helper (yes the shit from the box, it reminds me of camping as a kid) and Chicken Pot Pie.

The last one is a rather new addition to the list. Mum never made it very much when I was a kid as far as I can remember, but Meghan’s mum makes it a few times a year and its just the best. I could honestly eat an entire one of Carole’s pies in one sitting. Granted I could say that about a lot of foods, but its definitely true when it comes to chicken pot pie. That being said, behold! Paleo Chicken Pot Pie:

http://cosmopolitanprimalgirl.wordpress.com/2009/12/20/paleo-chicken-pot-pie/

I decided to forgo the almond flour crust as I needed to save my almond flour for the protein bars. I replaced the crust with mashed potatoes instead. Now technically potatoes aren’t entirely paleo, there’s no literature that says that they’re bad for you but they’re generally frowned upon because of the high starch content. However, I work out 4 times a week and play badminton 4 times a week on top of that, so I’m thinking that starch doesn’t spend a whole lot of time in my body. This pie was seriously tasty though, I really enjoyed it and it tasted exactly how it was supposed to. Mine was a little more liquidy than maybe it should have but I think I added too much chicken stock.

Now for the protein bars. For these I basically did a whole bunch of research and compiled all of my favourite things about the different recipes into my own special recipe. Boy did it ever work, these bars are seriously tasty. They’re actually a bit too tasty, I just want to eat them all right now. But they were made to be a quick nutritious snack for before the gym or practice so I must exercise self control (get it? exercise, gym, sharp like a tack I tells ya). Here’s the recipe I made, feel free to tweak things as you see fit:

1 cup almond flour
1/2 cup flax meal
3 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 cup coconut flakes
2 1/2 cups chopped mixed nuts (I used almond, macadamia, sunflower seeds, raisins)
4 tbsp almond butter
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs
2 ripe bananas
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon

Mix everything except the nuts together first so that its like a smooth sticky paste. This is the base of the bars so its important that there’s no lumps or anything. Then add in the nuts and mix until they’re all incorporated. Pour into a lined baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Should make about 15 or 16 bars.

I was able to make a fairly decent estimation about the nutritional content of the bars:

272 Calories
7.82g Protein
5.72g Fiber
24.38g Fat

Now I know that last number seems fairly high, however about 95% of that fat is monounsaturated fat (also known as healthy fat). Monounsaturated fats help reduce blood cholesterol and reduce inflammation in the blood vessels. They’ve also been shown to help reduce things like osteoperosis and macular degeneration but more studies are needed to verify those findings. When you’re looking at the nutritional content of foods that you’re eating, its definitley more important to be concerned with the types of fats you’re eating, rather than how much of it.

Side note, makes sure your nuts are chopped well, mine were a little coarse and it made slicing the bars a little difficult.

Also I’m so happy that tomorrow is my rest day lol, yesterday was fitness for the badminton team plus I did a WOD (Crossfit workout) for my legs afterwards. I also worked out this morning and had practice this evening, needless to say my body is a little sore.

I’ve decided to start trying to do Crossfit on my own with the equipment I have at my disposal. As excited and passionate as I am about it, there’s no way I can afford to take classes at a Crossfit gym, its just way too expensive. Which really sucks because I’d really like to be able to compete in Crossfit. But oh well, being poor is the life of a student lol. I’ll just have to stick to the totally awesome, really fun soul crushing workouts for now. And yes the words totally awesome, really fun and soul crushing all go together when I describe workouts 🙂

Sorry about the longish post today, had a lot of things to talk about apparently. Also don’t forget to refrigerate the bars after they’ve cooled, there are things in them that can go bad.

 

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