Friday, March 9, 2012

Coconut Almond Bars

In my search for gluten free snacks I found a great recipe on Elana's Pantry for Coconut Bars, they really are delicious! I decided to combine the coconut bars with my love of almonds. What came out were these delicious coconut almond bars.

Coconut Almond Bars
(adapted from Elana's Pantry recipe)

1 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup of coconut oil
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup almond butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1/8 teaspoon stevia
1/2 cup blanched almond flour
1 tablespoon coconut flour
1 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 eggs
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips

1. Mix coconut milk, oil, honey, almond butter, vanilla, almond extract and stevia in a food processor or blender. (I used a blender)
2. Add almond flour, coconut flour, 1 1/4 cups of coconut, and salt. Mix well.
3. Add eggs. Mix.
4. Pour mixture into greased 8x8 Pyrex dish. (I use a thick layer of coconut oil)
5. Sprinkle on remaining coconut and chocolate chips.
6. Bake at 350ยบ for 30 minutes. (I have left them in longer, up to 45 minutes, seems to just make them firmer)
7. Cool for 30 minutes, then place in fridge and serve after chilled. (This step is very important!)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Healthy Chocolate Almond Milkshake

I really love sweet treats, especially chocolate. As you may know I am on a pretty strict diet right now, here is my attempt to fool myself.

1 frozen banana
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon almond butter
3 tablespoons coconut milk (or more, depends on consistency you prefer)

strawberry for garnish

Put all ingredients in blender mix until smooth. Enjoy!

Note: Consistency is best immediately after blending.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Chickpea Salad

Great for lunch, snacks or parties.

1 can chickpeas
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped

Mix all ingredients and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Serve on lettuce or cabbage or just eat it!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Italian Dressing Recipe

I love a good vinegar based dressing. My favorite dressing growing up was the Zesty Italian packets, the 'make-you-own' kind. Now I am trying to cut out processed food and literally make my own. I made this one today, trying to mimic that dressing. I put mine on a chick pea salad. It will work great on any salad or as a marinade.

Italian Dressing

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
hand full of fresh parsley
1 garlic clove
1 tsp chopped carrots
1 tsp chopped celery
1 tsp chopped red pepper
salt & pepper

Throw all ingredients in a food processor until well blended. Enjoy!

*If you prefer less vinegar tasting dressings, add a tablespoon of water.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Zucchini Stir Fry

I have recently been seeing a nutritionist who has put me on a plaeo-ish diet. No dairy, no processed grains, and NO sugar. Eeep! How is a cheese, noodle, and sweet treat loving girl going to survive?!? Today is day 5 of this little food adventure. I found a great recipe on Perry's Plate for Pesto Zucchini 'Spaghetti', it looks delicious! But alas it contains cheese, and bacon (I'm not much of a meat eater). So this is my asian-style vegan version.

Zucchini Stir Fry

2 zucchini's, julienned 
1/2 cup broccoli florets
1/2 red pepper
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 tsp rice vinegar
1/4 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove
salt & pepper
olive oil

quinoa (optional)

Place zucchini in a colander over the sink (or a bowl). Sprinkle salt over zucchini and toss to combine.

Mix balsamic vinegar, rice vinegar, and 1-2 teaspoons soy sauce in a small dish. Set aside.

Put olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a medium pan, over medium heat. Cook until garlic softens. Add broccoli, red peppers, and about a teaspoon of soy sauce. Stir frequently for 3-5 minutes, until tender.

Squeeze excess water from zucchini and place in pan with broccoli and peppers. Stir. Add vinegar-soy sauce mixture and stir frequently for 2-3 minutes; just enough to warm zucchini.

Serve over quinoa.

Tast great fresh out of the pan or at room temperature.

Serves 1-2. (I ate all of it for dinner, but I think I could share it as a light lunch)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Spinach Tomato Risotto

Here’s a quick and easy dinner idea for those busy nights. This spinach risotto can be used as a side dish or main course; add some chicken or sausage if you want meat! These ingredients are staples at our house; they last so long. This meal is both nutritious and filling.

Spinach Tomato Risotto
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 large carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 lb spinach, fresh or frozen, defrosted
  • 1 – 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cup risotto
  • 2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 cups water
  • salt & pepper
  • 3 teaspoons oregano 
  • olive oil

1. Preheat a large pot. Drizzle with olive oil. Add salt, pepper and onions. Saute until tender. Add garlic and saute for 2 – 3 minutes. 
2. Add canned tomatoes, oregano, spinach, and some vegetable stock. Place mixture in blender for just a few seconds for a smooth texture. 
3. Place back in pot. Add carrots, remaining vegetable stock and water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium.
4. Add risotto cook for 15 - 20 minutes, or until risotto is tender. Stir constantly to prevent sticking.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Adventures in Baking: Chocolate Chip Cookies

-I recently discovered a recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies, and decided to try it out. They look absolutely delicious! Let me just give you a little background on my baking skills... everything comes from a box.  I had to make a few alterations because i didn't have all the ingredients, but I think they turned out pretty tasty.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
8oz Salted Butter
3/4 cup Organic Granulated Sugar
2 tablespoons Organic Agave
1 1/8 cup Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons pastry flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 bar semi-sweet chocolate


- Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or non-stick baking sheets.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with paddle attachment cream butter and sugars.
- Add eggs one at a time, mix well.
- Reduce speed to low and add flours, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla, and chocolate; mix until well combined.
- Using an ice cream scoop to scoop cookie dough onto sheets, about 2 inches apart.
- Bake until lightly brown, but still soft, about 15-20 minutes.



Some things I learned...

- I found that gathering all my ingredients, and portioning everything out into separate bowls before starting makes the process much faster and less stressful.
- Cutting the chocolate into astrips with a knife makes a nice ripple effect.
- Refrigerating the dough for a day or 2 makes all the difference. After I mixed the dough I baked 2 cookies to try them out they tasted pretty good but the edges were a little crispier than I would have liked. The refrigeration also makes the dough easier to work with.