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Chia Seed Ice-Cream (Sugar Free and Vegan)

My favorite commercial right now is the Geico one where ex-NFL player Ickey Woods is waiting in line to buy cold cuts, and gets ridiculou...

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Time Saving Tip - Freezing Produce for Green Smoothies




Most mornings, making a green smoothie is no problem.  I give the kids their breakfast, wash and chop some veggies, and it's done.  But there are those mornings where everyone is running late that I'm so glad to have a freezer full of produce ready to dump in the blender.  It certainly takes away the excuse that I don't have time, as it's faster than making a piece of toast!  Also, if we haven't been to the store in a few days and are running low on produce, it's a great back-up to have.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Rainbow Smoothie

 
 

I've had rainbows on the brain lately.  I'm planning a Paw Patrol themed birthday for one of my sons,  and since it's such a colorful cartoon, I'm doing a rainbow theme for the lunch.  That and St. Patrick's Day is coming up.  What could be more fun for the kids than a rainbow smoothie?  They won't even notice the vegetables.  Admittedly, this is a once in awhile smoothie, as it is more time consuming.  But you could make it easy on yourself, just throw a little extra smoothie in a Ziploc and freeze it if you make a particularly bright one.  Once you get the Roy G. Biv, just thaw slightly and layer in a glass! 

Ingredients~

*If your kids are new to juicing/blending, go ahead and do a fruit only smoothie.  Also, you could use any combination of fruits and veggies, this is just what worked for me. 

RED - 4 red bell pepper strips + 1/4 cup frozen raspberries
ORANGE- 4 orange bell pepper strips + 1/4 cup baby carrots
YELLOW - 1/2 banana + 1/2 peeled lemon
GREEN - 1/2 collard green leaf + 1/4 cucumber
BLUE - 1/4 pear + 1/4 cup frozen blueberries + 1/2 cup vanilla flavored coconut milk + drop of blue food coloring (otherwise it will be purple)
PURPLE - 1/4 cup purple cabbage + 1/4 cup red grapes

This makes enough for 1 smoothie in a tall glass.  Double it to make enough for two. 

1.  Starting with the purple, blend with as little water as possible to be able to get the blender going, but you want the mixture to be thick so the colors don't run together. 

2.  Pour into a glass, and set in freezer for 20-30 minutes.  I actually did all of the colors, rinsing the blender out in between each color, and poured them into separate baggies and placed them in the freezer.  Then throughout the day I removed the next color in line, thawed until I could break it up enough to spoon into the glass, and re-froze.  Just make sure to rinse the blender in between colors!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Broccoli Slaw Asian Style "Noodles" with Crispy Tofu



Shredded broccoli stalks and tofu just doesn't sound all that exciting, does it?  But if you took one bite of this dish you would never believe it wasn't pasta.  And you might think it came from your favorite Asian take-out place.  I saw a bag of broccoli slaw at the supermarket (near the salad mixes), and thought I would try it a different way this time.  Usually I top my salad greens with the slaw, just for the added nutrition and crunch.  But the tofu nearby caught my eye, and I started dreaming about PF Chang's.  I love the way they make their tofu so crispy on the outside, and silky on the inside.  Seriously, it would change your mind about tofu.  But I'm not about to start deep fat frying tofu on a busy weeknight in my house.  Cornstarch came to the rescue, and produced surprisingly similar results!  Trust me on this one, it's a way to keep your diet super clean while still eating something that tastes like gooey, spicy, indulgent pasta! 

Ingredients~
For the "noodles":
1 12 oz. package Broccoli slaw (mine had shredded carrots and red cabbage in it as well)
1 14 oz. package extra-firm tofu
2 cloves garlic, minced





For the sauce:
1/4 cup tamari (or soy sauce)
2 Tbsp. bottled pad Thai sauce
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/8 tsp. ancho chili powder (use a dash of cayenne pepper in place)
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 cup water

For the tofu:
1 Tbsp. sweet red chili sauce
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Dash of tamari (or soy sauce)
1/2 cup cornstarch

1.  Begin by squeezing the excess water out of you block of tofu.  Peel back the corner of the package and let the water run out, then place tofu on a couple of paper towels.  Cover with more paper towels and place a heavy object, like a saucepan, on top.  Let sit for at least 30 minutes.  (I like to use more paper towels and give it one more gentle squeeze after 30 minutes, just to ensure it's dry.)

 
2.  In the meantime, sauté the garlic with a small amount of coconut oil and 1 Tbsp. water in a large sauté pan.  After 2 minutes add the broccoli slaw to the pan, along with 1/2 cup water.  Season with sea salt and pepper.  Cook for 10-12 minutes, or until tender, stirring frequently.  You may need to add more water if it dries out before it's done cooking. 

 
3.  In a small bowl, combine the sauce ingredients, and whisk until smooth.  Start by adding half of the sauce mixture to the cooked broccoli slaw, bring to a boil, then taste.  I prefer the entire bowl of sauce, my husband likes it with less.  Add the rest of the sauce, if desired, and bring to a gentle boil for 1-2 minutes, or until the sauce is thickened.  Scrape the slaw into a bowl. 

 
4.  Slice the tofu lengthwise and crosswise so you get about 1-inch cubes.  Fill a gallon Ziploc bag with 1/2 cup of cornstarch, salt, and pepper.  Seal and shake to mix.  Open the bag again, and gently add the tofu cubes.  Shake gently until tofu is coated. 

 
5.  Wipe out the pan you cooked the slaw in with a paper towel.  Add a tiny bit of coconut oil, (you don't want to much oil or the tofu won't brown), then add the tofu cubes.  Cook for 5 minutes then flip, either with a thin metal spatula or a fork.  You want to make sure each cube is browned on all sides.  Cook 5 more minutes.  While tofu is cooking, combine sweet red chili sauce, olive oil, and tamari in a bowl and mix to combine.  Remove the cooked tofu from heat and drizzle with the chili sauce mixture.  Using a spatula, mix the tofu and sauce until evenly coated. 


6.  Using tongs, add the broccoli slaw noodles to a bowl, then top with tofu. 













Raspberry Lemonade Smoothie, 2 ways!





It's a little early in the year to be thinking about lemonade, but the 70 degree weather during my afternoon run today gave me spring fever.  This smoothie is just what I needed afterwards.  If you like tart raspberries, this one's for you.  Make it with the veggies if you're feeling really virtuous, if you want a dessert, try the coconut milk version.  You can still add the veggies along with the coconut milk, but you'll lose the fun hot pink color.  And some days you just need a hot pink drink!

INGREDIENTS:
Raspberry Lemonade Smoothie~
1 cup of frozen raspberries (add ice if your berries are fresh)
1 lemon, peeled
1 Collard green leaf (use 1/2 if yours is very large)
1/4 of an English cucumber
1/4 red bell pepper
1 packet of powdered stevia
1/2-1 cup water

Creamy Coconut Raspberry Lemonade~
1 cup frozen raspberries (add ice if your berries are fresh)
1 lemon, peeled
1 cup vanilla flavored unsweetened coconut milk
1-2 packets of stevia

*optional
Add the same veggies as above


Friday, February 14, 2014

Packing & Travel Tips! (From a former Flight Attendant)


I was a flight attendant for 8 years, flying both domestic and international routes.  To top it off, for 4 of the years I lived in an apartment with 10 other flight attendants and pilots, called a crash pad.  That meant you only stayed there the night before your trip, instead of a hotel (since you did not live in your base city, you were a commuter).  Which also meant that on every day off I traveled somewhere.  That's the benefit of having airline friends, you knew someone in almost every state, and we all just traveled back and forth to hang out with each other.  It was such a fun way to see all of this beautiful country.  Which gets me to my point.  I truly LIVED out of my suitcase for years. 

Over those years I, like all of my airline friends, have learned quite a few tips and tricks for packing, as well as favorite products and snacks for staying healthy on the road.  Because I just happen to be packing for vacation this week, I thought I would share some with you!

Now the funny thing is that even with all that practice I still start out packing for every trip like this, much to my husband's dismay:



I blame that on being a clothes freak.  It is just too difficult for me to pick out a handful of outfits to pack, at least at first.  My sweet husband reminds me how many days our trip is, and how many bags we now have to schlep (3 carseats! a stroller!  5 stuitcases, a diaper bag, and the boys' rolling onboard suitcases for snacks and games!)  Finally I narrow it down, throw the rest of the clothes back in the closet, and get busy packing.


My first tip is something you may already do, but I didn't start until a few years ago.  Roll your clothes and line them up in rows instead of stacking flat folded piles on top of each other.  There are three reasons:
  1. Clothes stay wrinkle-free
  2. You don't have to unpack when you get to your hotel, as you can clearly see all of your clothes instead of just the two pieces on top of the pile. 
  3. You can fit more clothes, (my favorite!)

 
Roll don't fold!



2.  Stuff those beautiful tall boots!  Fill them with socks and underwear, anything, but don't leave them empty.  Utilize that space.

3.  Always bring extra plastic bags for wet swimsuits.  It never fails, for some reason we are always swimming the morning of our return flight, this keeps everything else from getting soaked. 

4.  Invest in a bra travel bag to protect the shape of your bras from getting smashed.  Here's a good one-
http://www.amazon.com/Braza-Bra-Travel-Bag-Pink/dp/B004HHEHGU

5.  Wrap long, dangly necklaces in tin foil.  Lay the square of foil out, place the unhooked necklace over it, and roll the foil around it.  It's not glamorous, but nothing I've found has worked better than this in keeping multiple strands tangle free!




6.   For the rest of your jewelry, get a good travel jewelry organizer.  My husband bought me this one from Samantha Brown's line, and I love it. 


7.  Buy a suitcase scale.  If you're prone to over-packing (guilty!), this will save you from having to pay a fee for an overweight bag at check-in.  I bought this Camry one for under $12 here-
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00A8SXGKA/ref=oh_details_o03_s01_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 
8.  Charger Cord Organizer.  I bought my husband one of these as a gift.  No more tangled piles of cords at the bottom of your bag, this is essential for keeping everything organized and tidy in your bag, so you don't have to dig through to find what you need.  http://www.amazon.com/Skooba-Design-Stable-Roll-up-750-360/dp/B009K1Q00O/ref=pd_sim_sbs_pc_4
 
9. Money bags!  If you are traveling to multiple foreign countries repeatedly, make up little bags of cash and coins specific to each country.  I found it very helpful to just grab the bag of whatever country I was headed to, instead of keeping all of my foreign currency combined.  Since I rarely ever exchanged money until I reached the hotel, this ensured I always had cash for tips or whatever else I needed quickly at the airport. 
 
 
10.  Vick's Vapor Rub.  No, not in case you get a cold.  Let's face it, the world can be a smelly place.  And an airplane can definitely be a smelly place!  This is another favorite flight attendant trick that helped me survive 14 hour flights to certain countries, that shall remain nameless.  Throw a travel size bottle of Vick's in your purse.  Should you be so unlucky to be seated next to someone that hasn't showered that day, or week (hey, it happens!), use a tissue to smear some of this on the inside of your nostrils.  You can thank me later. 

11.  If there's going to be turbulence on my flight, you can bet it's going to happen as I'm taking a drink of my coffee.  Shout wipes are a wonderful thing to have in your bag.
 
12.  Pocket sized electronic language translator.  My other gave me one of these when I was flying internationally and I loved it.  It was perfect for words and small phrases, and the fact that you could select which language you wanted meant you didn't have to remember to pack a country specific language book. 

13.  Pocket sized currency converter.  Also given to me by my mother, this was a keychain that I kept in my purse.  You enter the current exchange rate and the amount, and it gives you a U.S. dollar equivalent.  You can find a similar one here:
http://www.amazon.com/Zelco-10572-X-Changer-Currency-Converter/dp/B00005YXZD/ref=pd_sxp_f_pt

*You can find apps for both currency and language now, but it is nice to have a pocket sized gadget, as opposed to carrying your cell phone which you probably won't be using in a foreign country. 


FOOD & SUPPLEMENTS:

1.  I love these homeopathic remedies from Miers Laboratories.  Great for international travel, simply chew one of the "No Jet-Lag" tablets on each take-off, one every two hours inflight, and one after landing.  Use the Trip Ease tablets for motion sickness, in addition to the tips below. 
http://www.amazon.com/Miers-Laboratories-No-Jet-Lag-32-Tablet/dp/B0013HUNOW

 
2.  If you're prone to motion sickness, (and who isn't during a turbulent summer storm at 30,000 feet?), pack Ginger pills and Sea-Bands.  The ginger is just the powdered form of the root, two before a flight or boat ride help a lot.  Sea-Bands are little elastic bracelets that apply gentle pressure at your acupressure points at your wrist.  If you've ever suffered through 1st trimester morning sickness you probably know all about these!  They are very effective.

 
 3.  Another homeopathic supplement that has been life changing for me is these tablets called Restful Legs.  I am prove to Restless Leg Syndrome, and it gets worse from the change of diet while traveling.  These are the only thing that has provided me relief. 
 
 4.  For onboard snacks, keep it simple, but bring SOMETHING!  I can't tell you how many passengers end up very hungry on tarmac delays because they didn't have time to eat before boarding, and brought nothing from home.  Times have changed and if you're lucky enough to be on a flight with food, federal regulations prohibit the flight attendants from getting the carts out on the ground anyway.  My favorite food to pack includes:
 
  • Bananas (wrap in tin foil, it can bump around in your bag but will not get bruised!)
  • Clementines.  Mess free and easy
  • Nuts and seeds.  Make your own healthy trail mix with dried fruits and chocolate chips. 
  • Tuna packs.  Eat this in the gate area, not the plane, unless you want the evil eye from your seatmate!  But they are a quick source of protein on the go.  I actually think I lived on these for 2 years straight.  Grab a small packet of mayo and bring gluten free crackers from home, mix the mayo and tuna right in the bag.  This is perfect for the hotel room for in between meals when you are starving. 
  • This is my favorite 5 minute granola to bring.  I make a triple batch and divide it into Ziploc baggies for everyone.   I prefer it's 5 clean ingredients to processed, soy or whey filled protein bars, and it's crazy addictive.  http://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/healthy-recipes/10-healthy-peanut-butter-recipes/slide/2
  • Instant oatmeal packs.  Normally I would avoid instant sugar-filled oatmeal like the plague, but when you travel you have to do the best that you can.  You can ask the flight attendant for a cup of hot water to mix the packet with in the morning, but you can't boil steel cut oats on the plane.  A for effort, I say. 
  • Roasted Coconut Chips from Trader Joe's.  My sister-in-law got me hooked on these, and you can never have enough munchies on a flight.  Every friend who has sworn they hate coconut has loved these.  Mix in some chocolate chips for an even sweeter treat.  http://www.amazon.com/Trader-Joes-Roasted-Coconut-Chips/dp/B009D5XU3C
  • Chlorella Tablets.  Swallow a few of these when you're starving on the go (you can even chew them!).  Chlorella is a fantastic source of (complete) protein, chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that really help keep your energy up when you're weary from being on the road.  I can find them at my local grocery store, or you can order them here-  http://www.amazon.com/Raw-Organic-Spirulina-1000-Tablets-500/dp/B004MGCFWO/ref=pd_sim_misc_8
  • Roasted Dandelion Root Tea.  This is my favorite flight attendant trick.  This tea is amazingly effective at getting rid of the bloat and puffiness that pressurized cabin air, as well as salty airport food and dehydration cause.  I always felt and looked 5 pounds heavier after a trip, but a few cups of this with a squirt of lemon was very helpful in flushing all of that out. 
  • Look for these dried soup cups in your grocery store.  I also like the brand Fantastic Foods.  They're very filling, and the stews with beans and rice contain on average 14 grams of protein and 11 grams of fiber.  I use the hot water from the in room coffee pot to make them.  Just add water and let steep for 5 minutes.  Healthy and filling, perfect for when you arrive too late at your hotel room for dinner. 



Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Creamy Roasted Garlic, Cauliflower, & Avocado Pasta Sauce (Vegan White Sauce)

Who doesn't love a big bowl of pasta?  Especially when it's smothered in creamy Alfredo sauce?  I know I do, but I don't dare eat it on a regular basis!  I have tried several different recipes for white sauce made out of cauliflower, as well as creamy pasta sauces that used avocado as the base.  I didn't love any of them.  The cauliflower ones seemed a little gritty and one-note.  The avocado ones I tried were creamier, but still didn't taste like a white sauce.  Then I had a light bulb moment, why not combine the two, as well as add roasted garlic?  The result was perfect-super silky and smooth with all of that wonderful garlic flavor.  It may not be exactly like a heavy, creamy, cheesy pasta you're used to from your favorite Italian restaurant, but to me it tasted just as indulgent and comforting.  Plus I used gluten free quinoa pasta.  Topped with cauliflower and avocado.....what a way to eat your veggies!

*This recipe makes enough sauce to divide in half and freeze.  As a busy mom I love to cook once and eat twice, but you could double the amount of pasta to 16 oz, or 2 boxes.  I didn't want half a cauliflower and half a bulb of roasted garlic leftover so I made the whole thing, but you could halve the entire recipe if you don't want the leftovers.

Ingredients~
  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 avocado (use 1 1/2-2 if using the small avocados)
  • 8 oz. Gluten free pasta (I used quinoa pasta, you could use brown rice or regular pasta)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp. roasted garlic hummus
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
  • Optional if not vegan-1 Tbsp. butter
*Optional toppings: Parmesan cheese, or nutritional yeast if vegan

Directions~
1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Peel all of the flaky layers off the garlic.  Slice the tip off, so all of the bulbs are exposed.  Be careful to slice the TIP and not the bottom where the brown husk holds it all together or it will fall apart!  Rub all over with olive oil, wrap loosely in tin foil, and roast for 35 minutes. 

2.  Wash and chop cauliflower into medium sized chunks.  Don't chop the florets too small or they will crumble and fall through the steamer holes.  Boil a pot of water seasoned with salt and pepper (this adds lots of flavor), and steam the cauliflower with a lid, for 10-15 minutes, or until fork tender.  Add to high powered blender.  (If you don't have a blender, you could puree the ingredients in a food processor).
 


3.  Boil pasta according to directions on box, drain and set aside. 

4.  Add the rest of the ingredients to the cauliflower in the blender.  Remove the garlic from the oven, and carefully squeeze cloves out with the back of a knife.  Add to blender.  Process until smooth, adding more broth as needed to blend and achieve the right consistency.   If using nutritional yeast instead of cheese, add now. 

5.  Top the pasta with the sauce, add parmesan cheese and parsley, if desired. 







Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Butterscotch Protein Balls


There are some days that you need something sweet, or, if you're my children, every afternoon.  That's about the time they start begging for the cookies.  I usually make them chocolate chip cookies and spend the rest of the evening trying to stay out of them.  Today I decided I wanted some too, but without the guilt.  And white flour.  And sugar.  And butter. 

I've made protein balls tons of times.  They are usually with some sort of chocolate protein powder, and very delicious.  Perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth and afternoon munchies.  This time I was in the mood for pecan sandies, so here's what I came up with.  Only with walnuts.  Hey, I was out of pecans and in no mood to brave the grocery store with 3 wound up children.  I know you don't blame me.  This is the walnut version, which was delicious.  Equally delicious would be pecans.  Seriously if you only make one recipe on this blog, this should be it.  The only problem?  Not making a double batch the first time.

 
*The walnuts (or pecans) are a great source of healthy, filling fat, good for glowing skin.  (Among other benefits but who doesn't want glowy skin?)  The oats and chia seeds give a great boost of fiber to balance your blood sugar.  Also the chia seeds are a source of complete protein, containing all 8 essential amino acids, as well as high in antioxidants, iron and potassium. 

Ingredients~
1 cup walnuts (or pecans)
1 cup oats
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. chia seeds (you could also try hemp seeds or flaxseeds)
1/2 cup butterscotch chips

1.  Place the walnuts and oats in the food process, and process until ground into a flour.  Add the peanut butter, honey, vanilla extract, and chia seeds, and blend until smooth. 

2.  Scrape mixture into a bowl, add the butterscotch chips, and mix well. 

 
3.  Roll into bite-sized balls, squeezing them as you go to hold them together.  Store in the refrigerator, if they make it that far:)




Monday, February 10, 2014

Orange Creamsicle Smoothie (with Cauliflower and Asparagus)


My favorite treat from the Schwan's truck when I was little were those orange creamsicle popsicles.  I made this smoothie to capture those flavors-fresh orange and creamy vanilla.  If you are not used to mixing a lot of veggies with your smoothies yet, reduce the amount of cauliflower and asparagus to 3/4 cup total.  Or you can substitute Napa cabbage for your veggie.  Also, if you like it sweeter, throw in a cup of vanilla yogurt (coconut, almond, or dairy yogurt).  It's a nice change of pace from my normal green smoothie with mixed berries that I have almost every morning. 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Pumpkin Protein Pancakes

Here I go with the pumpkin again!  This recipe was given to me by my friend Amy.  She is a personal trainer and insanely fit.  I love her original recipe so much, but I decided to adapt it and make it vegan by substituting flax for the egg whites.  They are slightly less firm than the original, but still held up great.  Plus they have the added nutrition from the flaxseeds.  Whichever way you choose, they are delicious. 


Vegan version:
 
Ingredients~
  • 3 Tbsp. ground Flax seeds (grind whole seeds in a coffee grinder or buy pre-ground flax)
  • 2/3 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp. vegan vanilla protein powder
  • 2/3 cup water
1.  Stir together the flax seeds with 6 Tablespoons of water.  Allow to sit for 10 minutes. 
 
2.  In a high powered blender, add all the rest of the ingredients, plus the flax after it has turned into a gel.  Mix until smooth.
 
3.  Grease a skillet with coconut oil, and heat over medium-high.   Add heaping tablespoons of the batter, cooking about 4-5 minutes per side.  Press down lightly on them after you flip them to flatten them out.
 
4.  Serve with a dollop of vanilla flavored coconut or almond yogurt (or dairy yogurt), and a tablespoon of almond butter.  Sprinkle with unsweetened coconut flakes and cinnamon.  If you prefer it sweeter, drizzle with maple syrup. 
 
 
Amy's Original Pumpkin Protein Pancakes~
 
Ingredients~
 
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup oats (heaping)
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
*I often add 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract and 1/2 tsp cinnamon to this recipe too.


1.  Mix all ingredients in blender.  Cook and serve the same as above, top with a dollop each of almond butter, vanilla flavored coconut yogurt, and a sprinkle of cinnamon and unsweetened shredded coconut. 
 
 
 
 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Baby Portobello, Artichoke, and Kale Cakes with Garlic-Sriracha Aioli



Every time I opened the fridge for the past few days, a box of baby Portobello and some leftover artichoke hearts were staring at me...."hurry and use us up, we are going to go bad in a few days!"  Ok so maybe I'm just really sleep deprived, darn teething babies.  Anyway it was late one night, and as usual the kids were all fed and in bed and I realized I hadn't eaten since 11 a.m.  I so often have bowls of veggies and grains for dinner, but I was in the mood for something a little more fun.  So I decided to turn the mushrooms and artichokes into little poppers, like crab cakes.  And of course I needed a dipping sauce....garlic?  Sriracha?  Yes please!  These turned out so good and were perfect with a glass of red.  And then the baby woke up.  Nice little escape with my DVR while it lasted.

Ingredients~
  • 6 baby Portobello mushrooms (white button mushrooms would be fine)
  • 2/3 cup chopped artichoke hearts (or quarters)
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup chopped kale (or shredded)
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2-1 cup panko bread crumbs (depending on how wet your mushroom mixture is)
  • 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • Salt & Pepper
For the Aioli~
  • 1/4 cup mayo (vegenaise if you're vegan)
  • 1/2 tsp. horseradish sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic ( I used dehydrated minced garlic flakes, you could sub garlic powder, start with 1/8 tsp. first and test it to make sure it's not too overpowering.)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Wash mushrooms and remove stems.  Ok so you're supposed to use a damp dish cloth and wipe them rather than rinse them, but it was late and I was hungry. 
2.  Chop mushrooms and artichokes into a small dice.

3.  Saute garlic in a bit of olive or coconut oil.   Add  mushrooms, artichokes, and shredded kale and cook until tender and liquid is reduced, about 8 minutes.  You want the mixture to be fairly dry.


4.  Season the mix with sea salt and pepper, onion powder, and lemon juice, then add the egg, lightly beaten.  Add the panko, adding as much as it takes to make the mixture dry enough to shape into balls. 

5.  Line a baking tray with foil and grease with melted coconut oil or cooking spray.  Roll the mushroom-artichoke mixture into balls (about gold ball sized), squeezing out any additional liquid into a separate bowl as you go.  Bake for 10-15 minutes, again depending on how wet your mixture is.  In the meantime, mix the mayo and horseradish in a small bowl, season to taste with salt and pepper.  Drizzle with the sriracha sauce.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Chocolate-Coconut Clean & Healthy Coffee Creamer


 
Hi, my name is Courtney and I like frou-frou coffee drinks.  I wish I could just enjoy a cup of black coffee in the morning like those people, but I really love sugary coffee creamers, any flavor-you name it.  Which makes it really hard to stick to my dairy free, low sugar diet that I try so hard to follow.  I have tried almond milk with a little stevia, or some xylitol, but nothing really ever gave me that same taste I craved in the morning.  So for the past year I've had an on-again/off-again affair with Coffee-mate.  Until I came up with this recipe.  For me, it's exactly what I tried so hard to create for over a year.  Creamy and rich, with the right hint of sweetness to cut the bitter taste.  I really only use three sweeteners in place of sugar-xylitol, stevia, or coconut nectar.   They are natural, the rest are awful for your body, many containing aspartame.   Stevia by nature has a slightly bitter, ok very bitter taste, so I added a bit of coconut nectar to help out.  While stevia is calorie free, coconut nectar is not, although it is lower on the glycemic index than regular sugar.  Xylitol is my favorite, it's the same texture as sugar and not at all bitter, but too much of it can upset your stomach. 

Lemon Bar Chia Pudding


 No matter how clean I'm eating, I still crave something sweet after dinner.  Most of the time, it's chocolate.   I often make a simple chia pudding with chocolate flavored almond milk.  But I also love lemon.  I've been known to eat the entire pan of gooey, powdered sugar dusted lemon bars.  Hey, you snooze, you lose.  You have chia seeds, right?  If not, be sure to grab some the next time you're at the store.  They are nice for topping cereal or mixing into smoothies, but I really like them as a pudding.  Plus you can trick the kids and tell them it's magic pudding, because it kind of is.  You take these amazingly healthful seeds (full of fiber, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids, not to mention anti-aging antioxidants) add a liquid, wait an hour or two, and voila~pudding!  Ok so it's not terribly exciting, but it is a great way to kill a sweet craving and still eat clean.