Sunday, September 16, 2012

Brownie Bites

Finding healthy snacks in the stores seems to be close to impossible, unless of course all I want to eat is fruit and veggies.  Which don’t get me wrong that’s the best food ever, but let’s face it I have a sweet tooth and a craving for chocolate now and then, okay more like all the time.  So I need a treat that is healthy, gluten free and tasty.  Not hard if you are in control of the ingredients right?  Right!

What You’ll Need:

1 ½ cups of peanuts (or whatever type of nut you prefer)
Pinch of sea salt
13-15 dates, pitted
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla

What You’ll Do:

Put nuts and salt in food processor, process until finely ground.
Add remaining ingredients and process until all mixed.
Remove brownies from the food processor and press into a square shape.  Cut into small bite sizes, enjoy or put in fridge to harden and enjoy later.

Zucchini Pasta with Homemade Tomato Sauce

In my effort to cut gluten out of our diet and do something with all the zucchinis in my garden I decide to try out zucchini pasta.  I’ve had it a time or two before but for whatever reason this time I really enjoyed it more than ever.  So here is it zucchini pasta, a healthier way to eat!

What You’ll Need:

2 pounds zucchini
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Fresh Tomato Sauce (recipe to follow)

Use a vegetable peeler to cut the zucchini into lengthwise ribbons. Peel off several from one side, then turn the zucchini and peel off more. Continue to turn and peel away ribbons until you get to the seeds at the core of the zucchini. Discard the core. You can also do this on a mandolin, adjusted to a very thin slice.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add the zucchini and salt. Toss and stir the zucchini while cooking, for two to three minutes, until softened and beginning to turn translucent. Adjust salt and add freshly ground pepper to taste, and transfer to a serving dish. Serve, topping with tomato sauce

Fresh Tomato Sauce

What You’ll Need:

1 Tablespoon olive oil
½ medium onion, diced about 1 cup
½ dried basil
Salt and Pepper
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
¼ cup dry red wine
1 ½ pounds fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 bay leaf

Heat oil in medium sauce pan, add onion, basil, ½ teaspoon salt and a few pinches of pepper.  Saute until onion is soft, about 7-8 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes. Then add red wine and simmer a minute or two, when the pan is almost dry add tomatoes and bay leaf.  Reduce to low and cook for 30 minutes.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate mousse has always been one of my favorite desserts but it’s one that I rarely treat myself to.  I love how thick and creamy the texture is and how rich the flavors are.  

So how was I going to recreate one of my favorite dessert without dairy?  Simple, coconut milk!  But this recipe doesn’t have a hint of coconut flavor, it’s all sweet chocolate, and it’s absolutely divine!

What You’ll Need:

1 can full-fat coconut milk
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup + a little extra, sugar or to taste

What You'll Do:

Open the coconut milk, pour into bowl. (Don’t shake the can before opening.)  Place it in the fridge uncovered overnight to thicken.  Once thick, whip in your cocoa, vanilla, and sugar with an electric mixer Stored uncovered in the fridge, the mixture gets even thicker.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Kale Chips

We have so much Kale in our garden and are having fun trying out new recipes with it.  So what do with all that Kale?  Make Kale chips, of course!

What You’ll Need:

A bunch of kale, washed and thoroughly dried
1 -2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt, for sprinkling
Nutritional yeast, for sprinkling (optional but good)

What You’ll Do:

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.

Tear the kale from the ribs in to pieces.  In a large bowl drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Toss thoroughly.  Lay kale on a baking sheet and bake until crisp, turning the leaves halfway through, about 20 minutes. 

Serve as finger food.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Quinoa Wild Rice Blend with Avocados, Sweet Potatoes and Black Beans

My family and I recently began the elimination diet. We are eliminated several foods including, citrus, all gluten, corn, dairy, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplants, just to name a few. Why you ask? That’s a great question! Health reasons of course! We are trying to determine if some of the issues our kids are dealing with are food related. It’s been a very interesting learning process and I’m excited to share some new recipes with you.

Here’s a recipe from day one! It’s quick, simple and tasty. All things that equal a successful meal in my book!

What You’ll Need:

1 cup Quinoa Wild Rice Blend (you can use quinoa alone if you prefer)
2-3 large Sweet Potatoes; cut in small cubes
2 cans Black Beans
3-4 tablespoons Coconut Oil (2 tablespoons melted for sweet potatoes)
2 large Avocados
Salt and Pepper to taste

What You’ll Do:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Cook quinoa blend according to package directions.

While the quinoa blend is cooking prepare your sweet potatoes. Toss cubes of sweet potato cubes in melted coconut oil, salt and pepper and place on a large baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes, then flip and continue baking. Continue this until the sweet potatoes are the desired texture. When done remove from oven and set aside.

In the meantime cook black beans in their liquid.

Cut avocados into medium size cubes.

When quinoa blend is done stir in a tablespoon of coconut oil.  Then drain black beans and add to quinoa blend along with sweet potatoes and avocados. Toss well, add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!

* This dish may be served hot or cold.  It's great either way.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Minestrone Soup with Pesto

Rainy Oregon weather often times calls for a nice bowl of soup.  And this one is loaded with good stuff.  So if you are looking for something healthy and delicious you won't be disappointed. 

What You’ll Need:

1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup onion, chopped
3 cups water
2 cups zucchini, diced
1 cup carrot, diced
1 can cannellini beans
3/4 cup celery, diced
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
28 ounces canned chopped tomatoes, include liquid
2 garlic, minced
1/2 cup elbow macaroni

What You’ll Do:

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.

Add onion and celery sauté for 4 minutes or until just lightly browned.  Then add water, zucchini, carrots, canellini beans, celery, basil, oregano salt, pepper, tomatoes and garlic.

Bring to boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer on medium-low heat for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add macaroni, cover and cook an additional 10 minutes. Adjust spices to suit your taste.

Serve hot with a dollop of pesto.

Pesto Recipe

What You’ll Need:

3 tablespoons pine nuts
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1 clove garlic
1 pinch sea salt
5 ounces olive oil

What You’ll Do:

While soup is cooking make your pesto.  To make the pesto put the pine nuts, basil, garlic and salt into a food processor and blend.  Pour in olive oil and blend until smooth.