Monday, February 29, 2016

Vanilla Maple Roasted Chocolate Nuts With Cinnamon Coconut

Hiiiiiiiii. It has been way too long. But here I am :) Been a lot going on, namely I got engaged and am getting married in July! If you follow me on Instagram, you may have known this.  I am so sorry for not posting frequently. I miss you, and I miss blogging.

One of the recipes I've been wanting to share is below. It's really incredible, super easy, and a must-try. Let me know if you throw it together. I'm munching on these delectable nuts as I write this post.

(makes 10-12 servings)
  • 1/4 cup raw unsalted walnuts
  • 1/4 cup raw unsalted pecans
  • 1/4 cup raw unsalted cashews
  • 1/4 cup unsalted macadamia nuts (**NOTE: I get all these nuts at Trader Joe's.)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup dairy free chocolate chips (Thank goodness for Enjoy Life Foods.)
  • Sea salt to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. (I used the convection-roast setting.)
  2. Mix all ingredients except the chocolate and sea salt in a baking pan. Toss and coat so everything is evenly distributed.
  3. Roast in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove and stir. Then bake for an additional 10-15 more minutes. Watch closely at the end to avoid burning!
  4. Once removed from oven, mix in the chocolate chips. They will melt because the nuts are warm. Sprinkle with sea salt, and allow to sit until cooled. Your kitchen will smell like heaven, and the nuts will taste the same. So good and so simple. Just perfect :D

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Italian Tostada

Sunday nights I love finishing up whatever ingredients I have left in my refrigerator and starting the new week with a clean slate and brand new grocery list! For those who don't know me, going to the market is one of my favorite pastimes, so a new grocery list is always exciting for me. Anyway, this past weekend was no different. I whipped together some ingredients we had on hand, and as my boyfriend took his first bite, he said to me: "Woah. You need to try this." We very quickly realized I had to share the recipe on my blog... because YOU need to try this, too.

(Makes 1 Italian Tostada, which can serve 1-2 people)
  • 1 brown rice tortilla
  • 1 cup organic baby spinach (washed)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh pesto. (I used Basil-Tops Dairy Free Pesto Perfectto from Whole Foods. You can also make your own using the recipe found on my Zucchini Spaskinny page by clicking here.)
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried or roasted tomatoes with herbs and olive oil. (Again, I used brushetta and roasted tomatoes found from the tomato bar at Whole Foods. You can use store bought organic sun dried tomatoes, or you can make your own using my recipe here.
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Place tortilla on a cookie sheet. Place spinach leaves around the center, leaving about 1/2 inch for "crust." On top of the spinach, spread your pesto and tomatoes. I drizzled a bit more olive oil from the tomatoes on top of everything.
  3. Bake in oven for 7 minutes. Turn broiler on for last minute to make the top crispy.
  4. When you take it out, the crust will be crunchy, but the center will be the perfect almost thin doughy texture.  You can delicately cut the Italian Tostada into pizza slices,  or you can just kind of fold it over on to itself, New York Pizza style. I personally prefer tearing off pieces and then folding those smaller pieces onto themselves, like mini quesadillas lol. This is your food, so eat it your way :) 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

My Favorite Healthy Breakfast

This recipe is really too easy not to try. But more importantly, it's too delicious. I make it all the time and just realized I haven't shared it with you on the blog!

Take 2 organic brown rice cakes and top each with a spoonful (or 2 or 3 hehehe) of your favorite nut butter. I use 1 tablespoon of raw almond butter, and 1 tablespoon of Justin's peanut butter, then mix them up.  Experiment with cashew butter, too. WOAH. Serious WOAH. 

For the "jelly" I place 1 cup of mixed berries in a magic bullet and blend slightly so it's still chunky. My preference is 1/2 cup blackberries and 1/2 cup raspberries, but pick your faves! Just make sure either raspberry or blackberry is in there, because those berries are what gives the jelly the perfect texture. I've found blueberries and strawberries are more smoothie-like when blended. This jelly is sweet enough for me, but feel free to add in a spoonful of maple syrup, honey, stevia, etc. when blending in the bullet.

Please let me know when you try this! Oh, and here are some recent kale additions to my life.... YES, those are socks :)

Monday, January 26, 2015

Fried Maple Brussels Sprout Crusted Sweet Potato Casserole with Roasted Macadamia Nuts

I'm so sorry for not posting something new since October! I'm hoping this ridiculous creation makes up for it: sweet potato casserole topped with fried maple brussels sprouts and macadamia nuts. Recipe below.....

Serves 8-10
  • 4 large yams or sweet potatoes
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1.5 cups almond meal flour
  • 10-15 large brussels sprouts 
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup macadamia nuts
  • sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
  1. Bake sweet potatoes in oven for 45 minutes at 450 degrees until very soft throughout.
  2. Once cooked, remove sweet potato skins, which should peel off easily. NOTE: we decided to keep the skins on because we like skin. So that's another option for you.
  3. Reduce oven heat to 250 degrees.
  4. Using a masher, mash the potatoes until smooth consistency. They should look like mashed sweet potatoes. 
  5. To the mash, add in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, almond meal, 1/4 cup syrup, and a few sprinkles of sea salt. Combine/knead until mixed thoroughly and flatten mixture into a 9"x13" baking dish. Place in oven with a timer set for 25 minutes.
  6. While the mash is baking, slice brussels sprouts thinly, and combine with remaining olive oil, syrup, and nuts. In a large sauce pan, pan-fry over high heat on the stove, tossing frequently to prevent over-burning. 
  7. Place fried brussels sprout mixture on top of the baked potato dish, gently flatten/press down with a spoon and bake together in 250 degree oven for additional 15 minutes. 
  8. Once done, top with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper.
  9. Slice and serve hot. Leftovers are very yummy cold the next day, especially because the sweet potato can be sliced and stay together easier. I kinda love (and even prefer) cold leftovers ;)
These maple pan-fried brussels sprouts with macadamia nuts can be served alone as well!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Spaghetti Squash with Avocado Pesto Sauce

My first video! Let me know what you guys think. Sorry but some of the tutorial was cut off and accidentally deleted in the cloud, so this is really just a trial run. I learned for next time lol. If you like videos, I'll do more! Full text directions are below, too.

Serves 5
  • 1 spaghetti squash, sliced in half lengthwise and seeded
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 teaspoon minced garlic
  • fresh ground black pepper and sea salt to taste
  1. Bake spaghetti squash face down on a cookie sheet at 450 degrees for 35 minutes.
  2. Using a fork, scoop out all of the squash into a bowl.
  3. In a magic bullet or blender, mix all remaining ingredients until sauce forms. 
  4. Pour sauce onto spaghetti, and top additional fresh ground black pepper, sea salt,  and any protein of choice. 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Grilled Butternut Squash Quesadilla with Spinach and Avocado

Meet my new go-to lunch: a panini-pressed brown rice tortilla with roasted butternut squash, spinach, and avocado. So pure, so good. Recipe is below if you want to try! Let me know!

Makes 1 grilled quesadilla
  • 1 brown rice tortilla (at room temperature)
  • 1 cup peeled and cubed organic butternut squash
  • 1/2 cup baby spinach leaves (washed)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 avocado (Have you ever tried Reed avocados? Extra big, extra buttery, extra worth-it. They are only in season for a bit; Whole Foods carries them.)
  • optional: 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • optional: ground cinnamon, sea salt, fresh ground black pepper, sliced onion
  1. Roast butternut squash in an oven proof tray at 350 degrees for 40 minutes until soft, tossing once half way through. I roasted mine with olive oil and cinnamon because I'm kinda obsessed, but the squash can definitely be roasted plain if desired. Or add sea salt and fresh ground black pepper with sliced onion for some more savory flavor.
  2. Remove squash from oven and allow to cool for minimum 10 minutes.
  3. On 1/2 of the room temperature brown rice tortilla, spread squash. Use a fork to mash it up into 1 layer. Spread avocado on top using a knife, and top with spinach. 
  4. Gently fold tortilla onto itself, and place in panini maker at high-heat for 2 minutes.
  5. Eat hot. Yummy dipped in Annie's organic ketchup, but then again I could probably dip anything in Annie's ketchup and like it ;) Would love to hear how you prefer it!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Debbie's Lemon Rosemary Potatoes

For the 4th of July, we went to Santa Barbara and had a beautiful farmer's market fresh healthy meal cooked by my boyfriend's mom, Debbie. She made my Tomato Basil Salad recipe, and it came out phenomenal! Part of her dinner really stood out: the Lemon Rosemary Potatoes. Everyone was obsessed, and I want to share her recipe because I think you guys will love it.

Serves 4
  • 1-1/2 pound skinned small white potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • The rind of 2 lemons (minced)
  • 1/8 cup good olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Cut the potatoes into quarters and place in 1 layer on a baking sheet. Cover with aluminum foil.
  3. Roast covered for 45 minutes - 1 hour, until the potatoes become soft on the inside so you can easily poke with a fork. 
  4. Remove from oven, and add rosemary, lemon rind, olive oil, sea salt, and pepper. Gently toss. Bake uncovered for additional 30 minutes until golden and crisp on the outside, but soft and buttery on the inside. Flip every 10 minutes during baking with a spatula to ensure even browning.
  5.  I know, are you drooling yet?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Meatless Weeknight Bolognese

I wanted to make my boyfriend dinner the other night, but I was already in my pajamas so wasn't running out to the market. That's when my meatless pasta bolognese was formed. It took less than 20 minutes from start to finish, the ingredients are items you are likely to have on hand, and my boyfriend loved it! 

Serves 4-5
  • 1 package gluten-free penne pasta
  • 1-1/2 cup your favorite marinara sauce, OR make your own by putting 6 large tomatoes, 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, 4 teaspoons minced garlic, 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and fresh ground black pepper in a Magic Bullet or blender.
  • 3 veggie burgers. I am obsessed with the Amy's Bistro Burger
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  1. Cook pasta in boiling water according to package instructions, drain, and rinse under cold water when al dente.
  2. While pasta is cooking, cook your veggie burgers over medium-high heat on the stove-top in olive oil, about 3 minutes on each side.
  3. When veggie burgers are cooked, place in a bowl with a few spoonfuls of the tomato sauce, and using a fork, break up the patties/mush them so that they start to look more like "ground" veggie burgers (to mimic ground beef)
  4. Toss your cooked penne with tomato sauce and ground veggie burger. Immediately before serving, reheat over the stove with a bit of olive oil if needed.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Homemade Sun-dried Tomatoes

SPOILER ALERT: these homemade sun-dried tomatoes are extremely healthy, low calorie, easy to make, and addictive. Read on at your own discretion :)

Makes 4 servings (about 70 calories/serving)
  • 12 medium to large tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • optional: celtic sea salt to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Slice your tomatoes into about 1 centimeter thick slices. (You do not want them too skinny or they will burn.)
  3. Spread a cookie sheet with olive oil and place sliced tomatoes on top.
  4. Optional: sprinkle with sea salt if you'd like. I don't put salt on really anything, but I'm sure they will taste super yummy with it!
  5. Bake for 3.5 - 4 hours in the oven. Just let them sit there untouched. Check on them after 3.5 hours. Depending on the oven, they may need more time or they may be just right.
  6. Remove slices immediately from the tray and spread them out on a plate at room temperature. Allow to cool.
  7. Eat these babies alone as a healthy chip-like snack, or mix them in a salad with avocado chunks, (I love the crunchy and creamy contrast!) Other ideas: on top of GF pasta or pizza with pesto, dipped in garlic hummus, with a veggie burger... comment below if you have more yummy suggestions!
  8. These can keep in a sealed Tupperware for 1 week.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Roasted Rainbow Carrots and Avocado Salad with Cilantro Pesto Dressing

OK. YUM. My mouth was literally in heaven for every bite of this. I really can't express in words how perfectly the sweet roasted carrots taste with the smooth buttery avocado lightly coated in fresh cilantro vinaigrette. Let me know if you agree when you try this recipe!

Serves 4
  • 15 large rainbow carrots, washed and quartered 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • Juice of 1/2 fresh lemon
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • optional: 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 ripe avocados
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. 
  2. Spread your carrots in an even layer on a baking dish. 
  3. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and place in oven.
  4. After 25 minutes, gently toss the carrots, and bake for additional 25 more minutes.
  5. While carrots are roasting, place cilantro, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, and sea salt in a food processor. Blend until light creamy dressing.
  6. Chop your avocados into big chunks, and using your hands lightly toss with cilantro pesto.
  7. Once carrots are browned and crispy, allow to cool for 5 minutes until combining with cilantro avocado mixture.