Archive for March, 2014

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Peach Breakfast Cake For One

Each fall I look forward to apple season, each winter I look forward to Brussel sprouts and every summer I count down the days until peaches and nectarines show up in the supermarket.  Last week I spotted the first peaches of the season!!!  As a bonus my ‘all day’ morning sickness has subsided and fruit is back on the menu.  I tend to like hot things for breakfast and wanted to make something that was just one serving.  I took inspiration for this dish from Kristy’s Single Serve Snack Cake and whipped up this cobbler like breakfast treat.  It was a super yummy breakfast but would make a delicious dessert too.

~Sarah

Ingredients:

For the peach base:

  • 2 medium peaches, pitted, cut into slices, skin removed if desired
  • 1 tbsp raw coconut crystals
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Pick one of the two following toppings.

For a gluten free topping:

  • 1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds or ground flaxseed
  • 1/4 cup non dairy milk
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda

For a whole wheat topping:

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp raw coconut crystals
  • 1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1/3 cup non dairy milk

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line the bottom of a small oven safe dish (I used a 10 ounce ramekin) with your sliced peaches and evenly sprinkle the tops with cinnamon and coconut crystals.
  3. Place in the oven for about 10 minutes or until the coconut crystals have caramelized.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl mix together the ingredients for the topping of your choice.
  5. Remove the ramekin from the oven and spoon the topping mixture evenly over the peaches.
  6. Lower the oven to 375 degrees and return the ramekin to the oven.  Bake for 35 minutes or until the topping is hard and starts to crack.
  7. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Nutritional Info:

Makes 1 serving.

Nutritional info will vary depending on which topping you choose.

Notes:

Simply double, triple or quadruple the recipe as needed for additional servings.

Tasty Tuesday: Kiwi Blackberry Tart

Mar 25 2014 by | Comments (0)
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Kiwi Blackberry Crumble

This dessert is on my top 10 list for a number of reasons. It’s easy to prepare, it’s fresh and light tasting and the filling ingredients can be changed to whatever is in season. A couple of my favorite combinations besides this kiwi and blackberry combo are peach and blueberry or rhubarb and strawberry. This tart would be a great addition to an Easter brunch or just anytime you want an easy and tasty dessert.

Kristy

Ingredients:

  • 5 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup raw walnuts, finely ground
  • 1 cup raw coconut crystals plus 2 tbsp, divided
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ginger
  • 2/3 cup Earth Balance Buttery Spread
  • 8-10 kiwi’s, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup blackberries (or blueberries)

Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Mix the ground flax seed with the water. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Combine the flour, walnuts, 1 cup of the coconut crystals, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in a large bowl.
  4. Add the Earth Balance and the flax seed mixture and mix with a fork or pastry cutter or even your hands until crumbly.
  5. Press half of the mixture into a 10 inch tart pan or if you don’t have a tart pan you could use an 8 x 8 baking pan.
  6. Gently combine the kiwi, blackberries and remaining coconut sugar and pour them into the baking dish.
  7. Spoon the remaining crumble mixture over the top of the fruit.
  8. Bake 40 minutes or until the fruit is tender and the crumble topping is browned. Let sit for 10 minutes or so before removing from the tart pan or cutting.

Nutritional Info:

Makes one 10 inch tart.

Serving size 1/10.

Nutrients per serving:  Calories: 346, Cal. from Fat: 152, Total Fat: 17g, Sat. Fat: 3g, Carbs: 45g, Fiber: 7g, Sugars: 19g, Protein: 5g, Sodium: 118mg, Chol: 0mg

Notes:

Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

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Coconut Caramel

A while back I was thinking of a special treat to make for Sarah’s birthday and remembered how much she loves caramel. I made this recipe for her but Cliff ended up liking it even more than Sarah. It’s now become an all around family favorite.

Kristy

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups coconut crystals
  • 1 cup coconut nectar
  • 2 cans coconut milk (not light)
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla powder or scrape 1 vanilla bean
  • course sea salt

Preparation:

  1. 24-36 hours ahead of time place the cans of coconut milk in the back of the refrigerator. After refrigerating carefully remove and open the cans. Spoon out the top layer of thick cream to equal 1 cup (save the leftover for smoothies or curries).
  2. Prepare a 9 inch square pan (not glass) by lining with parchment paper.
  3. Combine the milk with the remaining ingredients (see tip below) except the salt in a pot with tall sides (the caramel will bubble up as it cooks).
  4. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, reduce heat to keep from boiling over but high enough to keep a rolling boil.
  5. Using a candy thermometer cook until you reach 250 degrees usually about 30 minutes.
  6. Pour into the prepared pan and let cool until set. Some oil will pool on the top that you can lightly dab away with a paper towel.
  7. Sprinkle with sea salt.
  8. Remove to a flat surface and cut into bite size pieces. Wrap in wax paper.

Yield:

Approximately 60 pieces. The yield will depend on how big (or small) you cut your pieces.

Notes:

A helpful trick for measuring the sticky coconut nectar is to measure the coconut cream first, pour it into the pan and then measure the nectar in the same measuring cup used for the milk. The nectar will slide right out into the pan without sticking to the side of the cup.

Store candy at room temperature. Caramels will keep for about 2-3 weeks stored in a dark, cool place (like a pantry or cupboard).

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Loaded Baked Potato Soup

This is without a doubt the best soup I’ve ever had and I’ve had a lot of soup in my lifetime.  I’m in love with the creamy smooth texture, the simple yet comforting flavor and the garnishes – yummy!  I love that each person can make this soup be whatever they want.  I love it topped with roasted fingerling potatoes, a sprinkle of Daiya cheese and dash of chives.  My husband loaded his soup with Italian Sausages, caramelized onions and sautéed mushrooms.  No matter how you serve it up it’s bound to be delicious!  This soup is also oil free for those that follow a low or no oil diet.  Almonds take the place of the oil without sacrificing the richness that oil normally brings plus they create an amazing creaminess.  Spring might be right around the corner but there is still plenty of time to enjoy this amazing dish!

~Sarah

Ingredients:

For the soup:

For the optional toppings and garnish:

  • Daiya Cheddar Cheese
  • finely chopped chives or parsley
  • fingerling potatoes, diced and roasted
  • caramelized onions
  • sautéed mushrooms
  • diced tomatoes
  • sautéed or roasted broccoli
  • chopped Italian Sausages

Preparation:

  1. Place your peeled potatoes in a large pot of cold water.  Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are tender.
  2. Drain the water and potatoes from the pot and set the potatoes aside.
  3. Return the pot to the stove and add the vegetable broth.  Heat on medium high heat.  Add in the almonds and let them soften in the broth for about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat if needed to keep the broth from boiling.
  4. Add the potatoes, nutritional yeast, salt and Earth Balance (if using).  Stir well and remove from heat.
  5. Using a handheld blender (you can also transfer the ingredients to a high powered blender) process until you have a thick and creamy consistency.  Reheat if necessary before serving.
  6. Ladle the soup into bowls and load with any of the optional garnishes and toppings that you’d like.  Enjoy!

Yield:

Makes 6-8 servings.

Notes:

This soup makes for excellent leftovers.  It’s best when storing the leftovers to keep the soup and the garnishes/toppings separate.  The soup will keep for up to 5 days in the fridge.

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Sugar Cookie Almond Butter

 

I love making my own almond butter.  Not only is it cheaper than buying it premade but you can make so many yummy varieties.  Here’s my current favorite.  So simple yet so delicious!

~Sarah

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups roasted almonds (you can use raw almonds but roasted adds a great flavor)
  • 1/4 cup coconut crystals
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp sea salt (if using salted almonds you can omit this)

Preparation:

  1. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until you have a smooth creamy mixture.

Yield:

Makes 1 cup.

Notes:

Store almond butter in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Tasty Tuesday: Vegetable Chow Mein

Mar 11 2014 by | Comments (0)
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Vegetable Chow Mein

I used to be a BIG fan of Chinese take out food.  When my husband and I were first married we probably got Chinese take out at least 4 times per week.  Now it’s been many many many years since we’ve had take out but that doesn’t mean we can’t still indulge in one of my favorite meals – chow mein!  This dish has easily become a familiar family favorite.  While I’m not a fan of making separate meals for everyone in my family this is one dish that is easy to make to suit each person’s likes and dislikes.  My kids love it with broccoli and carrots, my husband prefers mushrooms, onions, peppers and pineapple and I’ve shared my favorite version with you below.  As a bonus – this dish can be on the table in less than 15 minutes – what’s not to love?!

~Sarah

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 ounces cooked chow mein noodles *see notes
  • 1/2 cup sliced snow peas
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup shredded napa cabbage (or other Chinese cabbage)
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced green onion
  • 3/4 cup sliced mushrooms (shittake or any variety will work – don’t mind the picture above, I totally forgot to add the mushrooms!)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1/4 cup Nama Shoyu, soy sauce or tamari (gluten free variety if needed)
  • 3 tbsp brown rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil, divided
  • 1 tbsp coconut nectar

Preparation:

  1. In a small bowl mix together the garlic, ginger, Nama Shoyu, vinegar, 1 tbsp oil and coconut nectar.  Stir well and set the sauce aside.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large sauté pan on high heat and add the chow mein noodles.  Pan fry the noodles until one side starts to get crispy.
  3. Push the noodles to the side of the pan and add the vegetables.  Stir fry the vegetables for about 2-3 minutes.  Add the sauce, stir well and continue to cook for 1-2 more minutes.
  4. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Yield:

Makes 1 serving.

Notes:

For this recipe I used Annie Chuns Organic Chow Mein FreshPak Noodles.  You can use any type of noodles that you’d like, just make sure they are cooked first.  Soba noodles would also be good in this dish.

 

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Mediterranean Roasted Vegetable and Chickpea Salad

Kale and quinoa have been the darlings of the health food world for some time now but I have to say while I love kale and quinoa I don’t want to eat it everyday for every meal. While they are both really good for you super foods it isn’t super to eat the same thing all the time. Our bodies need a variety of foods to ensure that all our nutritional needs are being met and eating the same thing gets boring which can lead to making unhealthy eating choices down the road.

This salad is just the thing for including a variety of foods in your diet and the marinade is bursting full of so much flavor it will take boring right off the menu. Come with me and explore the meal possibilities beyond the over marketed kale and quinoa for an inspiring change of taste.

Kristy

 Ingredients:

  • 2 Globe eggplants, cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 1 large red onion, cut into 1/2 inch
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 8 ounces white or cremini mushrooms, cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2-1 tsp black pepper (start with less and add more if you are a real pepper lover)
  • 1 tsp garlic granules
  • 1 tsp onion granules
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp honey or coconut nectar
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 6 ounce package or jar of plain or grilled artichokes
  • 3-4 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl zest the lemons (you should have about 2 tbsp). Juice the lemons. Add 2 tsp to the bowl with the zest setting aside the remaining juice for another use.
  3. Add the salt, pepper, garlic, onion, oregano, vinegar, mustard and honey. Stir. Add the oil and stir briskly until combined.
  4. In a large bowl combine the eggplant, onion, red pepper, mushrooms and 2 tbsp of the marinade. Toss to coat.
  5. Place the vegetables on a large baking sheet (or two sheets if necessary) in a single layer. Bake 40 minutes or until lightly browned and tender. In the last 5 minutes of roasting add the artichokes and chickpeas.
  6. Remove from the oven and place in a large bowl. Toss with the remaining marinade and parsley. Serve and enjoy.

Yield:

Makes approximately 6 cups.

Notes:

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. This salad is also good served cold.

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Roasted Eggplant Sandwich with Lemon Garlic Aioli Lite

Eggplant is one of my favorite items to work with. It’s royal purple beauty is a sight to behold but this glorious fruit’s beauty isn’t just skin deep. It’s good through and through and plays nicely with others lending it’s mellow flavor to whatever it’s paired with like this toasty sandwich topped with Lemon Garlic Aioli. Check out the Eggplant Stacks in the notes section at the bottom of the page for a lighter option.

Kristy

Ingredients:

For the sandwich

  • 1 medium/large eggplant, unpeeled and cut into 1/2 inch rounds (approximately 8 pieces)
  • 4 portabella mushrooms, stems and gills removed (about the same size around as the eggplant)
  • 24 or so grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt, divided
  • 1 tsp lemon peel granules *see notes
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp garlic granules
  • 1/4 tsp onion granules
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp marjoram
  • 8 slices whole grain bread (gluten free if needed)

For the aioli

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened soy milk or other non dairy milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Preparation:

  1. Sprinkle 1 tsp salt evenly over the eggplant slices. Place in a colander in the sink or over a bowl and let sit for 1 hour. Rinse and pat dry with paper towels. You can skip this step if necessary but the eggplant is firmer and soaks up less oil when prepared this way.
  2. In a small bowl mix together the lemon granules, remaining 1/2 tsp salt, pepper, garlic, onion, oregano and marjoram. Set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush both sides of the eggplant and mushrooms with oil. Arrange on a single layer on a baking sheet (cover the bottom with foil or parchment paper for easy clean up). Sprinkle evenly with the herb mixture.
  4. Roast 5 minutes and then add the tomatoes to the baking sheet. Roast an additional 20 minutes or until the eggplant and mushrooms are tender and lightly browned.
  5. While the vegetables are roasting prepare the aioli.
  6. In a small food processor ( I use a Magic Bullet style blender) add the lemon juice, garlic, mustard, milk and salt. Process until smooth. Add the oil and process until thickened.
  7. Toast the bread then spread 4 pieces with a layer of aioli. Arrange 2 eggplant slices and 1 mushroom on each. Add 6 tomatoes and spinach to each and top with remaining bread.

Yield:

Makes 4 sandwiches.

Notes:

If you can’t find lemon peel granules you can make your own by peeling off the rind of a lemon (no white pith). Cut into thin strips then lay it on a baking sheet and dry at the lowest setting in your oven or dry in a food dehydrator. Once dry, grind in a spice or coffee mill until finely ground. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place.

In warmer weather you can prepare this sandwich on the  grill for a quick and easy summer time meal. Cooking time will vary.

For a lighter version skip the bread and make Eggplants Stacks. Start with one piece of roasted eggplant then layer on the mushroom (cup side up). Fill the mushroom with roasted tomatoes. Spread on the Lemon Garlic Aioli, add a little spinach and then top with another piece of eggplant. Maybe slide in a piece of roasted red pepper too if you are in the mood!