Friday, October 3, 2014

Date & Nut Energy Bites

These little date and nut balls are the perfect afternoon snack during the day or before or after the gym. The nuts and seeds I use are just a guideline so feel free to add your favorites to this recipe to customize it to what you like.

1 cup pitted dates
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup oats
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup pepitas
2 tbsp honey
3 tbsp peanut butter

1. Add dates to food processor and pulse several times until they begin to break up
2. Add almonds, sunflower seeds, oats, coconut and pepitas, pulse several times until dough comes together but is still crumbly
3. Pour mixture into a large bowl and add honey and peanut butter. With a wooden spoon (or your hands, which work best) mix all ingredients together. Scoop 2 tablespoons worth of mixture and form into a ball using your hands. Once all balls are formed, refrigerate for 1 hour to let balls set. Store in refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Roasted Squash with Goat Cheese and Pomegranate Salad

The farmers market at the end of September and beginning off October is my absolute favorite. All of the new fall vegetables are becoming to come out and I can finally start making my favorite comfort foods again. One of the most popular ingredients I cook with this time of year has to be butternut squash. It goes with pretty much everything and is always satisfying.

Since it is still rather warm out I decided to make a cold salad. The sweet squash pairs great with the tangy goat cheese and slightly sour pomegranate, and opening up the pomegranate is half the fun of this dish.

Tip: If using a whole pomegranate: cut the pomegranate in half around the center. Over a bowl slap the back of the pomegranate with a wooden spoon until all of the seeds have released. Repeat with second half (you may need to make a few more cuts to get all of the seeds out).

1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2 inch long slices
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese

1.  Heat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spread butternut squash in an even layer. Toss squash with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast until squash is tender, 35-40 min. Remove and set aside to cool.
2. Once squash has cooled toss with goat cheese, pomegranate and any pomegranate juice that has formed.
3. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Guacamole Inspired Avocado Toast

Move over kale, there's a new trendsetter in town. Avocado toast has taken off as the coolest new snack in town. Creamy avocado...crispy bread... I get it. 

This recipe deconstructs another favorite, guacamole. The tangy tomatoes and spicy hot sauce add great flavor to the creamy avocado.

1 rip avocado
1 tsp salt
1 whole grain baguette (or 2 pieces of toast)
1 ripe medium tomato, thinly sliced
3 Tbsp finely diced red onion
2 lime wedges
hot sauce

1. In a small bowl, add avocado flesh and salt and mash together with the back of a fork. 
2. Slice baguette in half lengthwise. Spread avocado on toast and top with sliced tomato. Sprinkle on red onion and top with lime juice from wedges. Add hot sauce as desired.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Sweet Fruit Smoothie

Smoothies are always a tricky thing for me considering I hate two of the main ingredients found in many smoothies; bananas and yogurt. I know I know,  how could anyone hate bananas!? I get that question a lot. I have tried numerous times to get myself to like them but I just can't.

So, when it comes to making these tasty drinks I usually aim for the dairy-free, sweet fruit options. Although fruit smoothies are packed with tons of vitamins and nutrients they can also be a great hiding spot for sugar, so I try not to have them all the time. Everything in moderation right?

This recipe is a great balance of berries, stone fruit and citrus. Again, feel free to mix it up and add your favorite fruits. Hint: using frozen fruit lets you eliminate any ice and keep the fruit flavor intense. I like to add seeds like flax and chia to boost the fiber and protein. However, if your blender is weak it may not be able to break them down well.

1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
3/4 cup frozen peaches
1/4 cup frozen blueberries
2 Tbsp chia seeds (optional)
1 Tbsp flax seed (optional)

Combine all ingredients together in a blender until smooth

Monday, September 8, 2014

Vegan Cauliflower Fried "Rice"

Cauliflower is truly the chameleon of vegetables. This sneaky little vegetable can disguise itself as mashed potatoes, couscous and rice.  I had seen some recipes pop up using the couscous or rice style of cooking cauliflower, and I just could not believe how much it actually resembled it until I gave it a try myself.

Feel free to change up the veggies or even add eggs for a more traditional style Fried Rice. Top with your favorite protein like shrimp, chicken or tofu for a heartier meal.

1 head cauliflower
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp olive oil
1 Tbsp minced ginger
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup diced carrots
1 large zucchini, halved and sliced
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup frozen peas
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped almonds
3 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Egg(White) Drop Soup

There are certain foods I get a craving for, and when the craving hits, nothing will get in my way from having it. Chinese food is one of those cravings, egg drop soup in particular. It has the same comfort food feeling as chicken noodle soup with an extra zest of Asian flavors.

This recipe takes less than 10 minutes to make and can last a few days (if you don't eat it all in the first sitting). Although the color is not as light as typical egg drop soup and also less gelatinous, the flavors are all there.

4 cups low sodium chicken stock
1 tbsp grated ginger
2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup chopped scallions
1 tbsp sesame oil
3 egg whites
1 1/2 Tbsp corn starch

Monday, August 25, 2014

Almond Milk Chocolate Pudding

"I had no idea you could milk a cat"

"Oh you can milk just about anything with nipples"

"I have nipples Greg, can you milk me?"
-Meet the Parents

Who knew nuts could produce milk? Until recently I always believed milk had to come from an animal. However, this discovery of creating milk from nuts, mainly almonds, have vegans everywhere rejoicing.

This chocolate pudding is so rich and creamy, no one would ever know it didn't contain any dairy.

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 cups vanilla almond milk
1 tbsp coconut oil (or margarine)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla