Meatless Monday: Blueberry Tart

IMG_7531Another successful dish was whipped up from the fresh fruit we picked at Sweet Berry Farms! This past weekend I made the ever so delicious peach salsa from the peaches we snagged from the farm. Last night I indulged & made a blueberry tart from the fresh berries we picked, yummy!

I decided to pair these juicy berries with a gluten-free crust made from scratch, however any crust would work for this dish. If you wish to use my recipe for the crust, then click the continue reading button further down.

On to the recipe for the filling…

  1. In a medium saucepan bring 1/4C water & 1.5C fresh blueberries to a boil – reduce heat & stir til berries begin to breakdown (~3-4minutes)
  2. Mix 2T cornstarch & 2T water in a side bowl – add to saucepan & stir
  3. Add in 2/3C sugar, 3T fresh lemon juice, 2t lemon zest & 1/4t salt – bring to boil, reduce heat & let simmer for 1minute while stirring
  4. Remove from heat & stir in 3.5C fresh blueberries
  5. Immediately pour warm mixture over cooled crust (recipe for my gluten-free version below) & smooth with spatula
  6. Scatter 1C fresh blueberries on top & press down to help them adhere

Refrigerate & when ready to serve make sure to garnish the top with some fresh lemon zest! As well, I paired this juicy blueberry tart with a large scoop of soy vanilla ice cream!

The dish was a tad messy to serve (scooped it up with a spoon), but I swear it was worth every bite!

Nutritional Info Per Serving (8 slices): 315 calories – 18 grams of fat – 37 carbs – 7.5 grams of protein

Continue reading for the ingredient list & gluten free pie crust recipe… Continue reading

Coconut Macaroons (& my love of Chico Chef)

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Before I talk about this recipe I just need to give a shout out to Chico Chef! In the past, I have used similar products, but typically after a handful of uses they seem to get to flimsy, fall apart or become discolored…but not this bad boy! I was lucky enough to find Chico Chef one day while browsing the ever so lovely Amazon (seriously, what would we do without Amazon)!

I can not rave enough about how easy it is to bake with the Chico Chef. No spray oil needed – just plop whatever it is your lil’ heart desires onto the silicon mat & bake away! Oh, and did I mention that barely ANY cleaning is needed? Wipe the surface off with a damp cloth & voila, ready to be used again!

Okay…enough about how one product has simply changed my life in the kitchen. On to discuss these ever so tasty coconut macaroons drizzled with dark chocolate, YUM!

  1. Preheat oven to 350degrees
  2. In a bowl add in: 1C unsweetened shredded coconut, 1T coconut flour, 1/2C + 2T lite canned coconut milk, 3T maple syrup, 1packet stevia, 1/4t vanilla extract & dash of salt (~ 1/8t) – stir til well combined
  3. Microwave for 3minutes
  4. Grab a cookie sheet, lay the Chico Chef down – scoop mixture directly onto Chico Chef using a tablespoon to measure and shape each macaroon (should make ~12)
  5. Stick in oven for 20-30minutes (until some of the coconut turns golden brown)

Remove from oven & let cool…I spruced these up with a dark chocolate drizzle & a scoop of chocolate coconut ice cream – yep, amazing! If you want to do the same, continue reading for the rest of the recipe!

Nutritional Info Per Macaroon w Drizzle (Makes 12): 75 calories – 5.5 grams of fat – 6 carbs – 1gram of protein

Continue reading for chocolate recipe, ingredient list & original recipe…

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Grilled Banana & Cinnamon Pizza

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Nothing is better than summer grilling. So when my hub found a recipe to grill a dessert pizza, I was intrigued & definitely up for the challenge! Grill a pizza….sounds weird right? That was my family’s reaction too! A good friend had us over for dinner and introduced me to the beauty of throwing pizza dough on the grill and now I’m hooked!

Start with the prep work…

  1. Turn grill to medium heat
  2. Mix together 1T ground cinnamon & 1T stevia – set aside
  3. Melt 3T Earth balance butter original spread – set aside
  4. Slice up 1-2 large bananas – set aside
  5. Either make dough (recipe here) or buy prepared dough from your local grocery store
  6. Knead the dough & roll out (our grill is more rectangle so we opted for not the typical circle pizza)

Now on to the grill…

  1. Spray grill with cooking oil, place rolled out dough directly on the grill for 2-3minutes (until it starts to get crispy and golden brown), flip & grill other side for 2-3minutes (again until crispy and golden brown)
  2. Once both sides are golden, pick a top-side – brush on melted butter, sprinkle on sugar/cinnamon mix, add the sliced bananas & drizzle on honey
  3. Close the grill & cook for an additional 1-2 minutes

Serve warm & top with a scoop of coconut ice-cream!

Continue reading for ingredient list & original recipe…

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Matcha Green Tea Chia Pudding

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For the sweltering summer months we need a cold treat, and this is it! It combines two powerhouse foods – chia & green tea!

I love chia seeds & find them really tasty in recipes because they bulk up quickly to form a gelatinous texture (previous recipe here , here & here)! Plus, these seeds are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, fiber & antioxidants to just name a few of the benefits.

Matcha green tea powder has endless health benefits as well (read here), plus adding it to any recipe will give you a bit of pep in your step with the caffeine!

So lets get to making this summer treat…

  1. Add the following into a blender: 2C almond milk, 2T maple syrup, 2t matcha powder & 1t vanilla extract – blend until mixed well
  2. Grab a medium sized bowl & add 6T chia seeds
  3. Pour liquid mixture over chia seeds  – stir thoroughly

Let the chia pudding sit out & stir every few minutes for 15minutes. Then let the mixture chill in the fridge for at least an hour or overnight (I did overnight & it was amazing).

Top with fresh berries & a sprinkle of unsweetened coconut.

Nutritional Info Per Serving (Serves 4): 140 calories – 6 grams of fat – 16 carbs (9 fiber) – 5.5 protein

Continue reading for ingredient list & original recipe…

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Acai Rainforest Smoothie…aka Chocolate Avocado Pudding

_MG_2479 (1)If you can find acai packets in the freezer department at your local grocery store then please snag it up! It is loaded with an abundant amount of nutrients & antioxidants – omega 3 fatty acid, amino acids, minerals, key vitamins, fiber & it tastes good too! How could you resist all that goodness wrapped up into a chocolatey pudding!

On to the tasty treat…

  1. In a Vitamix (or blender) combine: 2C unsweetened almond milk, 1 packet frozen acai, 1/2T raw cacao, 1/2 an avocado & a pinch of stevia (I personally don’t add stevia but the hubs can’t go without it – your preference).
  2. Blend until smooth consistency

This quick smoothie, snack or dessert can be served right away – if you want, top with some unsweetened coconut flakes!

Nutritional Info Per Serving (Serves 1): 320 calories – 30 grams of fat – 16 carbs – 16 grams of protein

Continue reading for ingredient list & original recipe…

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Strawberry (Vegan) Ice Cream

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My bestie from college invited us out to her house for a slumber party…3 old college roommates & all our men in one house, how fun! And my bestie’s adorable 10 month old daughter will be the main squeeze. We are planning on BBQ’ing all day today – grubbing & slurping on some cocktails.

Of course some major girl chat will be going on. So what to make when you get a few old school friends in one room…ice cream!! Lets get to it!

  1. Rinse off 1lb strawberries, chop off the leaves/stem & freeze for at least 1 hour before (can be frozen for weeks)
  2. After an hour , add the 1lb of strawberries, 1/2C Lite Firm Nasoya Tofu & 1t Stevia (add as much Stevia as your taste buds can handle) in a blender/Vitamix 
  3. Pulse until pureed, scrape down sides & add water if needed  (I added ~ 1/2C water) – make sure to add the water slowly (1T at a time), as you do not want to over process & turn this to liquid (that would be a major bummer!)

Serve immediately as is or add cacao nibs for a little extra crunch!  If you decide to freeze for later allow 10-15minutes for the sorbet to soften at room temperature before serving.

Amidst taste testing this, both the hub & I realized that this could be eaten for breakfast, lunch, dessert or a snack – heck why not even dinner! Plus, we even got into a convo about our imaginary kids & how when they get older this will be the only ‘ice cream’ they will eat, maybe even make popsicles out of these. So tasty, simple ingredients & quick to make!

Nutritional Info Per Scoop (8 Scoops): 25 calories – <1 gram of fat – 4 carbs – 1 gram of protein

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Cacao Bites (yes another one!)

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Another date ball? Yes sir. We finished off the batch of  banana bread bites quickly and were anxious for more. If the first recipe intrigued you, I guarantee this bad boy will have your mouth watering. Hope you enjoy!

On to the recipe…

  1. In a food processor blend 2C almonds
  2. Once blended add in 6 pitted dates, 1/2C raisins, 3/4C unsweetened cacao powder, 3T maple syrup, 3T water, 1T coconut oil & a pinch of himalayan salt – blend until smooth consistency (~1-5minutes dependent on your texture preference)
  3. Roll out mini date balls with your hands (roughly the size of a ping pong ball)
  4. Dip the bites into raw/unsweetened shredded coconut flakes & set aside

These definitely have more of a dessert twist to them than the banana bread bites, but who says you cant have dessert any time of the day? Like the other recipe I placed the bites in a zip-lock baggie & stuck in the freezer. Perfectly chewy & no thawing required!

Nutritional Info Per Bite (Makes 30): 70 calories – 4 grams of fat – 8 carbs – 2 grams of protein

Continue reading for ingredient list & original recipe…

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No Bake Banana Bread Bites

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Whoooooey, what a trip! No spoilers on it yet, I am waiting on the group to send me all the pictures – then a post will come! Can not wait to share the goodness of Israel, it was a trip of a lifetime and I will for sure be going back again!

With that said, hello medjool dates! I will take them for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack! These babies were everywhere in Tel Aviv so I sure got my fix in & still have my cravings going strong for them. Hope you enjoy!

First step is to “pop” some amaranth:

  1. Grab a skillet (no oil), put on high & add 1T amaranth grains for 15-20seconds (until they pop). Remove popped amaranth & continue this process until you have 1C popped amaranth. 
  2. There is no #2…just know that all the grains do not have to pop, so don’t be nervous of such an easy process!

Then, to make the banana bread balls:

  1. In a food processor add: 1 banana, 3/4C pitted dates, 1/2C popped amaranth (half of what you popped), 1/2C walnuts, 1/4C ground sesame seeds, 2t cinnamon, 1/2t nutmeg & salt to taste
  2. Blend until mixture is consistent (~1 to 5 minutes, dependent on your texture preference)
  3. Remove blend & put on a clean surface
  4. Roll out mini banana bread balls with your hands (roughly the size of a ping pong ball)
  5. Dip the banana bread balls into the other 1/2C popped amaranth & set aside

I placed the banana brad balls in a zip-lock baggie & stuck in the freezer. You can eat them right out of the freezer too – they are perfectly chewy, no thawing required! Hope you enjoy these tasty bites!

Nutritional Info Per Ball (Makes 14): 95 calories – 4.5 grams of fat – 13 carbs – 2 grams of protein

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Meatless Monday: Vegan Carrot Cake

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I decided to end our mini vacation with a bang – vegan carrot cake for the family! First off, both my brother & dad cringe at the word vegan. So I had to trip them up, this cake sure had them both at hello and kept my attention all the way until I finished my third slice (yes 3 slices, sigh of delight)!

Honestly this cake was SO moist, and all the flavors blended perfectly – the ginger, maple syrup & the cardamon brought this dish together…my mouth is watering while thinking about it again, enough said. YUM!

  1. Preheat oven to 350degrees
  2. In a large bowl combine: 2C whole wheat flour, 1t baking soda, 1.5t baking powder, 2t ground cinnamon, 1t ground cardamon & 1/2t salt – stir
  3. After stirring add in: 1/2C Earth Balance Original natural buttery spread, 1.5C brown sugar, 1C plain applesauce, 1t minced ginger, 1/2C fresh OJ & 1/2C water
  4. Stir until all is mixed thoroughly, then fold in 2C shredded carrots
  5. Spray two 9″ pans with cooking oil & split batter – bake for 25-45minutes or until toothpick comes out clean (mine took 25)

While cakes are cooling make the TWO types of icing…

  1. In a small bowl blend: 1t minced ginger, 1/2C pureed pineapple & 1.5C powdered sugar – beat until smooth consistency 
  2. In another bowl blend: 1/4C maple syrup & 1C powdered sugar – beat until smooth

To serve place the first layer of the cake on a serving dish, spread pineapple ginger filling on top. Then layer with second cake & spread maple glaze on top. Sprinkle with shredded carrots & slice up to serve!

P.S. I also tricked both my pops & bro to think my tofu stuffed shells were actually ricotta stuffed shells – they bought it! So get on it, switch it up & try it out!!

Nutritional Info Per Slice (Makes 12 Slices): 390 calories – 8 grams of fat – 79 carbs – 4 grams of protein…and a slice is worth every calorie!

For ingredient list & original recipe continue reading…

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Get Your Green On!

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Happy St. Patty’s Day everyone – enjoy a green beer & a slice of avocado cake! Rub your eyes & read it again – avocado cake. When I found this recipe I had to indulge, it was perfect timing to add a lil green to my diet with the holiday & I had some ripe avocados just shy of being too soft.

  • Preheat oven to 350degrees
  • In a large bowl mix: 3C all purpose flour, 6T unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/2t salt, 2t baking powder, 2t baking soda – blend
  • In another bowl combine: 1/4C veggie oil, 1 mashed ripe avocado, 2C water, 2T white vinegar & 2t vanilla extract – stir & then add 2C sugar
  • Combine wet mixture into dry & blend until smooth
  • Spray cooking oil on 2 round 9″ inch pans & fill batter equally in both baking dishes
  • Bake for 30minutes or until toothpick comes out clean (mine baked for 25min)
  • Let cakes cool in pan for 5minutes, then turnout cakes on wire rack to fully cool

While baking make the icing…

  • Peel & pit 2 ripe avocados – make sure to cut away any brown spots & discard
  • Place avocado meat in the bowl of a stand mixer with whisk head if you have (I do not & just used my food processor)
  • Add 2t of fresh squeezed lemon juice & begin mixing – then add 1/2t vanilla extract & sift in 1/3C powdered sugar **
  • Once your cakes are cooled place one on your serving dish & begin icing the top – then layer with second cake & keep on icing till you are out

** The recipe calls to sift in 4C of powdered sugar (whoa) so beef it up with as much powdered sugar as you like. I taste checked mine & liked only a slightly sweetened avocado –   so I opted out of adding in any more. With that said, this bad boy was awesome – so moist & flavorful. The meaty texture of the avocado really gives some oomph to this cake & icing. Check it out & get baking!

Put this cake in fridge if you want to save  – and not to worry the icing won’t turn brown, the addition of lemon saved us from that. I actually sliced ours up, put in tupperware & in the freezer – good way to save single servings of dessert & just a quick defrost!

Side note:  this will be a must have dessert for a themed Mexican fiesta dinner party!

Props to the original recipe here !

Nutritional Info Per Slice with Icing (Serves 10 Slices): 330 calories – 13.5 grams of fat – 51 carbs – 5 grams of protein
 
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