Gigantic Chocolate Chip Cookie

     Last night I experimented with a huge chocolate chip cookie and it was a success! I used the recipe from: http://www.simplyvintagegirl.com/blog/index.php/2012/07/10/chocolate-chip-cookie-squares-gluten-free-grain-free-dairy-free/ and substituted chia eggs for chicken eggs to take this gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free recipe to the next level: vegan. I have made multiple recipes that call for coconut sugar, but have substituted honey or maple syrup for it as I try to abstain from sugar as much as possible and use natural sweeteners instead. Last night the only thing I wanted to alter in the recipe was the eggs so I gave coconut sugar a shot and later did some research. Coconut sugar, also known as palm sugar is low on the glycemic index and has some other surprisingly beneficial properties. Made from the flowers of the coconut tree, coconut sugar is rich in various vitamins and minerals, especially potassium. Keep in mind, I’m not saying coconut sugar is a health food by any means, but it is an excellent alternative to white refined sugar.

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Gigantic Chocolate Chip Cookie:

  • 2 ½ cups almond flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 chia eggs
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup Enjoy Life (dairy-free) chocolate chips

Directions:

Combine 6 tbsps water and 2 tsps ground chia seeds in small bowl (or mug) and let sit for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine dry ingredients (almond flour, salt, baking soda, and coconut sugar) in a large bowl. In a medium sized bowl, combine wet ingredients (melted coconut oil, vanilla, honey, and chia eggs. Once the chia eggs are ready, add to the wet ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix with wooden spoon or spatula until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Place dough on parchment paper on top of a baking sheet. Form dough with your hands into a rectangle, distributing evenly. Bake at 350°F for about 20 minutes, until golden brown. Let the cookie cool for about 15 minutes and cut into squares.

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Strawberry Banana Spinach Smoothie

One of my favorite smoothies growing up was strawberry banana so I decided to revamp it into a green smoothie!

IngredientsImage

1 1/2 cups fresh spinach

Large handful of frozen strawberries (about 6)

1 frozen banana

1/2 tbsp almond butter

1/2 tbsp chia seeds

5 oz coconut milk

Directions

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until reaching a smooth consistency. Add more coconut milk if desired. Personally, like to make my smoothies as thick as possible and eat with a spoon instead of drinking.

2014: Off to a Great Start

Happy 2014! What’s your New Year’s resolution? This year I want to continue to become the best version of myself and decided to tackle it one month at a time. Over the next 12 months I will make resolutions monthly to eventually improve all 5 dimensions of wellness: physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual and social. This month I am committing to another 30 day green smoothie challenge, abstaining from alcohol, and focusing on finding my inner peace through yoga.

This morning I started my day with an avocado, banana, and kale smoothie later followed by an hour of gentle restorative yoga. If you want to join me in the green smoothie challenge follow http://simplegreensmoothies.com/30-day-challenge. Better late than never!

Avocado, banana, and kale smoothie adapted from http://simplegreensmoothies.com/Recipes/avo-banana-kale:

Serves 1

Ingredients:

1 frozen banana

IMG_31871/2 frozen avocado

1 cup frozen kale

1 cup water

1 tsp of honey

Directions:

1. Blend banana, kale, avocado, and water in VitaMix or other high-speed blender. Add more water if needed.

2. Serve in glass of choice (I prefer a mason jar :))

3. Drizzle with the honey.

4. Enjoy!

A dairy-free, gluten-free, pescetarian Thanksgiving

Happy Turkey (or Tofurkey) Day! My family and I started the day off with a 5k this morning, which got us in great moods as well as stimulated our appetites for a delicious feast. Since 3 out of 4 of us don’t eat meat and 2 of those 3 are on pretty strict diets, we certainly don’t have the typical Thanksgiving meal. Our Thanksgiving meal may be far from traditional, but it is certainly delicious!

This year we enjoyed fresh Scottish salmon, mashed sweet potatoes, kale salad, and roasted cauliflower. For dessert I made pumpkin fudge and apple crisp.

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The kale recipe can be found here: http://www.wegmans.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10052&catalogId=10002&productId=765609

The roasted cauliflower recipe: http://www.bhg.com/recipe/roasted-cauliflower-with-cranberries/

Mashed Sweet potatoes:

Ingredients

4 large sweet potatoes

2 Tbsp soy-free earth balance

2 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk

¾ cup raw pecans

½ tsp sea salt

1 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Wash and scrub sweet potatoes.
  2. Bake for 1 hour or until potatoes are soft and skin can be easily removed.
  3. Once potatoes are done baking, remove from oven and turn down the oven temperature to 350 F.
  4. Chop pecans and roast in oven at 350 F for 5 minutes.
  5. Remove skin and mash potatoes in a large bowl. Add the salt, almond milk, and Earth Balance and combine. Top with cinnamon and chopped pecans.

Grilled Cedar Plank Salmon:

Ingredients:

2.5 lb fresh salmon

1 cedar plank

1 Tbsp dried Italian seasoning

1 tsp smoked paprika

½ tsp salt

1/3 cup brown sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat gas grill to medium.
  2. Meanwhile, combine brown sugar, Italian seasoning, paprika, and salt in a small mixing bowl.
  3. With clean hands or a spatula, rub the mixture evenly throughout the top of the salmon filet.
  4. Place the prepared salmon onto the cedar plank (skin down).
  5. Grill for 30 minutes, or until salmon turns light pink and flaky.

The pumpkin fudge recipe can be found here: http://purelytwins.com/2012/10/15/how-make-healthy-fresh-pumpkin-pie-fudge-recipe/

The recipe for the apples was inspired by Detoxinista at http://detoxinista.com/2013/11/healthy-baked-cinnamon-apples/ and prior to baking the dish, I topped it with a crumb topping from http://greatist.com/health/gluten-free-apple-crisp-healthy-recipe using Earth Balance instead of butter.

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I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never have enough.” -Oprah Winfrey

Gluten-Free Fiesta

I can’t believe it has been 10 days since my last blog post! Shame on me. School work has been consuming me, but I’m happy to share with you something I have putting a lot of time into recently. One of my senior level Dietetics class is quantity food preparation in which we prepare a meal for 50 people. We are required to manage one of the meals and today was my special day. My two co-managers and I have been working all semester on planning a gluten-free clinical meal with South American inspiration. Below is the menu for our Gluten-free Fiesta:

Appetizer– Strawberry and Mango Jicama Salad

Main Dish-Pineapple Salsa Chicken Enchiladas

Vegan/Vegetarian option– Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas

Side Dish– Southwestern Quinoa Bake

Dessert– Coconut Pudding with Homemade Chocolate Sauce

 

Stay tuned for the recipes 🙂

Black Bean and Apple Butternut Squash Soup

It’s a terrible excuse, but I have had so much school work lately that I haven’t had much time to blog, nor have I made any meals worth blogging about. Tonight’s dinner was simple, but I think it is blog-worthy (hopefully you do too!)

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I used a carton of butternut squash soup and added 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 1 apple chopped, and 1 can of rinsed and drained black beans while heating it over medium heat. Once the soup was warm, I served it with some fresh cilantro I just purchased from the Farmer’s Market this morning and black pepper on top. Apples, black beans, and butternut squash may seem like a strange combination, but I love the complexity of the flavors. The black beans add a nice protein boost as well 🙂 I’m grateful the soup was a success because I have about 2 servings leftover to enjoy this week!

Simple Stir-fry

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     While I was diligently studying in the library earlier today, I was distracted by the smell of Chinese food.  My senses were positively overwhelmed and I knew I had to make stir-fry for dinner! By the time I got home from the library, I still had a lot of studying to do so I made a stir-fry that was quick and easy. Welp, it’s time to get back to studying again. Stay tuned tomorrow for the recipe!