Archive for April, 2014
My kids and I recently finished reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. It was one of my favorite books as a child and my kids loved it as much as I did! We had a fun time talking about all the stuff we would put in our own Chocolate Factory and boy did it make us hungry! For our final project we decided to make our own candies. Keegan, being the fruit lover, wanted to make a candy using raspberries and Caleb, chocolate addict, wanted a chocolate candy. I used to love chocolate covered cherries so we used that as inspiration and came up with a delicious treat that we all loved.
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips of your choice *see notes
- 1/4 cup raw almonds
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 3 tbsp raw honey or coconut nectar
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- pinch of sea salt
- 8 – 10 frozen raspberries
- plastic candy mold with at least 1 inch deep molds (you can find molds at hobby stores and kitchen gadget stores)
- Melt the chocolate chips in a small pan on the stovetop or in the microwave. Once the chocolate is completely melted use a clean unused paint brush and spread a layer of chocolate inside each of the candy molds.
- Place the candy mold in the freezer for 15 minutes or until the chocolate is completely frozen.
- Meanwhile add the almonds, shredded coconut, oil, honey, vanilla and salt to a food processor or blender. Pulse until you have a coarse, sand like mixture.
- Remove the candy mold from the freezer and fill each mold with about 1/2 tbsp of the almond/coconut mixture. Press the mixture around the edges, leaving a hole in the center for the raspberry.
- Place a frozen raspberry into the center of each mold and use the remaining almond/coconut mixture to fill the mold to just below the top.
- Spread a layer of melted chocolate over the top of each mold and place back in the freezer for 5-10 minutes or until the candy is firm.
- Remove from the freezer and carefully “pop” candy out of the molds. They should easily pop out, if not place back in the freezer for another 5 minutes.
- Let the candies sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes before eating.
Makes 8 – 10 candies depending on the mold you purchase.
Serving size 1 candy.
Nutritional info will vary depending on the type of chocolate chips used and how much of the filling is needed for your particular mold.
Depending on the variety and type of chocolate chips that you use you might need to sweeten them up a little with some raw honey (or coconut nectar) and some milk. If you want a more dark chocolate like shell them skip the honey and milk. For those that want a more milk chocolate shell add in a tiny bit of honey and milk until you get the sweetness that you prefer. Also, if you follow a gluten free diet make sure to use a gluten free chocolate chip.
Leftover candies need to be stored in the freezer until ready to serve. Let the candies sit at room temperature for 5 minutes before serving.
Leftovers stored in an airtight container will keep for up to 3 months.
I recently read an article in Bon Appetit magazine about the nutritional benefits of parsley. Actually, the article was about a chef with rheumatoid arthritis who has written a cookbook called Hero Food and relates how he found that parsley as well as some other of his favorite foods improved his health. I really love parsley and it got to me wondering why I don’t use it more. Not only does it have anti-inflammatory properties it helps boost the immune system as well. One of my favorite ways of eating potatoes are Parsleyed New Potatoes. I’m definitely going to be adding some parsley to my garden, right beside the potatoes. What a perfect pairing.
- 16 small new potatoes about 1-1 1/2 inches across (fingerlings, red potatoes or any thin skinned potato will work)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup finely minced fresh parsley
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Boil whole potatoes until tender when pierced with a knife.
- Remove from heat and drain.
- In a small bowl whisk together the remaining ingredients.
- Lay the potatoes out onto a foil lined baking sheet and gently press down with a fork or spatula just until the skin breaks. The potato should still hold together not be mashed.
- Brush the oil mixture on each side of the potatoes and bake 10 minutes. Turn over and bake 10 minutes more or until golden brown. You can also do this in a non-stick pan on the stove if you prefer.
- Serve topped with a sprig of fresh parsley if desired.
Makes 4 servings.
4 potatoes per serving.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 193, Cal. from Fat: 89, Total Fat: 10.5g, Sat. Fat: 1.5g, Carbs: 21g, Fiber: 4g, Sugars: 0g, Protein: 4g, Sodium: 482mg, Chol: 0mg
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Reheat in the oven or in a skillet for best results.
Do you ever have those weeks where you feel like you’re running around from one thing to another and the next minute it’s bedtime and you’re beyond exhausted? Yeah, me too. Weeks like that make it hard for me to get in healthy and delicious meals so I like to throw together simple dishes that I know will fill me up and give me the energy I need to make it through the day. This salad involves some chopping (you can always use a hand chopper to speed the process along if needed) so I like to get everything prepped and ready to go ahead of time, then I can quickly throw everything together in minutes. It’s perfect for lunch and for dinner I will sometimes switch out the pasta for a bit of cooked quinoa for a higher protein meal.
For the Loaded Veggie Salad:
- 2 cup chopped salad greens
- 1 cup chopped red cabbage
- 1/2 cup finely diced green onion
- 1/2 cup finely diced carrot
- 1/4 cup finely diced red, yellow or orange pepper
- 1 cup cooked pasta of your choice
- 1/2 cup crushed Smokey Bacon-y Almonds
For the Sweet Italian Dressing:
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp coconut cyrstals
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp poppy seed
- 1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Place all the ingredients for the dressing in a blender and process until smooth.
- In a large mixing bowl gently toss together the salad ingredients. Drizzle with the dressing and toss one last time until evenly coated.
Makes 3-4 servings.
It’s best to serve only the amount of salad that will be eaten right away. Leftover salad ingredients should be stored separately from the dressing and only mixed together when ready to serve.
Spring has sprung and with it the arrival of an abundance of veggies! My farmer’s market has been loaded with avocados, gorgeous carrots of all colors, fresh peas, beautiful leeks, onions and delicious peppers. I love a good pasta salad and with all the fresh veggies I stocked up on this week I knew this dish would hit the spot. The creamy avocado hemp dressing is loaded with healthy fats, omega 3′s and protein and is so yummy you’ll want to grab a spoon and dig in! For the salad feel free to use any of your favorite veggies and even throw in some nuts, seeds or grains for a fun twist.
- 12 ounces pasta of your choice
- veggies of your choice, cut into small pieces
- 1/4 cup hemp seeds
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 tbsp freshly squeeze lemon juice
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 heaping tsp of smoked paprika
- 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp brown rice vinegar
- dash of soy sauce
- Cook the pasta according to the directions. Drain and place in a large bowl. Add in the veggies and set aside.
- In a blender add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Add to the large bowl and toss to mix well.
- Serve immediately or chill in the fridge until ready to serve.
Makes 2-4 servings.
Store leftover salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2-3 days.