Creamy Green Smoothie Bowl

If you are on Instagram, you have surely seen millions of perfectly staged pictures of smoothie bowls.  Never once did the thought of pouring my smoothie into a cereal bowl and eating it with a spoon appeal to me.  Just drink it like a normal person!  But finally I realized a few good things about the bowl concept.  First, you can arguably make a lot more of the smoothie–never a bad thing in my book.  You can also put lots of crunchy, delicious toppings on it, making it feel like more of a meal than just a drink on the go.  This morning I decided to take the leap.  I made one of my favorite smoothie combos slightly thicker than usual and loaded on the toppings.  The result?  Absolutely delicious.  I’m a believer.

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Creamy Green Smoothie Bowl

-1 c kale (or spinach)

-1/2 avocado

-1/2 banana

-spoonful of peanut butter

-squeeze of honey

-1/2 c to 1 c almond milk

-toppings: shredded coconut, crushed plantain chips, toasted almonds (or anything you like)

Blend everything but the toppings and pour it in a bowl.  Place the toppings on–arranged in lines, obviously for Insta. ūüėČ

 

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Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

My husband just came home from the grocery store having picked up just one item: ¬†peanut butter. ¬†I instantly knew what he was thinking: ¬†peanut butter cookies please! ¬†There is absolutely no way to turn down a request like this. ¬†I mean, it doesn’t get better than gluten and dairy free chocolate chip peanut butter cookies!

I am fully aware that most gluten free products just aren’t as good as the real thing, but these cookies are the exception. ¬†They are a gift from God.

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Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

-1 16 oz jar of creamy peanut butter

-2 eggs

-1 c white sugar

-1 c brown sugar

-2 tsp baking soda

-1/2 tsp salt

-1 c mini chocolate chips (dairy free and gluten free if need be)

Step 1.  Add the first 6 ingredients to a bowl and stir until well combined.

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Step 2.  Next add the chocolate chips and stir.

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Step 3. ¬†Place tablespoon balls of cookie dough on an un-greased baking sheet and bake at 350¬ļ for 9-12 minutes. ¬†Don’t try to take the cookies off the baking sheet until they are completely cool-they will essentially turn to mush if you try.

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Step 4.  Once cooled, try to resist immediately making a second batch.  Enjoy!

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Chicken Satay Spaghetti Squash with Thai Peanut Sauce

I’ve always been pretty skeptical of spaghetti squash–I don’t want my vegetables trying to pose as a big bowl of pasta.  However, I’m not one to shy away from new foods, and the spaghetti squash fad certainly isn’t going away any time soon, so I decided to hop on the bandwagon and finally give it a shot.  Caroline has always been a big advocate of the squash’s versatility, and she had lots of great tips and recipes for me to try out.  But in order for me to finally give it a try, I thought it would be best with flavors I already know and love–Thai!  I marinated and grilled a little chicken and added it to my spaghetti squash with some homemade peanut sauce, and I have to say, I’m definitely a believer now!

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Satay Chicken

-2 chicken breasts

-2 Tbsp vegetable oil

-2 Tbsp fish sauce

-1 Tbsp soy sauce

-1/2 tsp garlic powder

-1 tsp cayenne (less if you’re not into spicy food)

-1 tsp coriander

-1 tsp tumeric

-2 tsp sugar

-juice of half a lime

Combine all of the ingredients in a Ziploc bag, and let them marinade over night or at least an hour.  Grill the chicken until it’s cooked through, about 6 minutes per side.  Allow the chicken to cool before shredding or chopping it into bite sized pieces.  Set aside.

Peanut Sauce

-3/4 c coconut milk

-1/2 c peanut butter

-2 1/2 tbsp red curry paste

-1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

-1/2 tsp soy sauce

-2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

-juice of 1/2 lime

-1/4 c finely chopped peanuts

Add everything to a bowl and microwave for 30 seconds to a minute.  This is just to soften everything up a bit so it’s easier to mix.  Whisk it all together and set aside.

Spaghetti Squash

-1 spaghetti squash

-1/2 tsp salt

-2 Tbsp canola oil

-2 large cloves of garlic, minced

-1 inch of ginger, minced

-3/4 c shredded carrots

-1/2 c peanuts, chopped

-6 green onions, chopped, whites separated from greens

-cilantro for garnish

First, cut the spaghetti squash in half.  Remove the seeds, sprinkle it with salt, and rub it with 1 Tbsp of canola oil.  Bake it, cut side down, in a 400¬ļ oven for 30-40 minutes.  Remove the squash and shred it with a fork.

Next, heat a sauce pan over medium high heat and add the remaining Tbsp of canola oil, garlic, ginger, and whites of the green onions.  Saute until everything is fragrant.  Next add the spaghetti squash, chicken, carrots, peanuts, and greens of the green onions.  Let everything saute for a few minutes before adding the peanut sauce.  Go slowly here, adding just a little at a time until you reach your peak sauciness.  Finally plate and garnish with cilantro.  Enjoy!

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Vegan Chocolate Truffles

 

Ok stick with me here. ¬†I’ve been dabbling in vegan cooking and baking lately. ¬†I’m still definitely eating meat, but my main goal is really focusing on eating a lot more whole foods, especially fruits and veggies. ¬†But it’s Valentine’s Day! ¬†And you know I’m all about celebrating holidays with lots of festive foods, so I had to make some chocolates.

I’ve heard a lot about date “caramel” lately and decided to try it out for the first time last weekend. ¬†My expectations were extremely low, but it turned out amazing! ¬†I kind of can’t stop eating it with apple slices. ¬†Yum. ¬†This time I’m venturing in a little deeper and making some date caramel truffles coated in chocolate. ¬†I decided to add shredded coconut and peanut butter to some of them because it sounded good. ¬†Spoiler alert: ¬†it was. ¬†It’s hard to describe just how awesome these are. ¬†Suffice it to say, it will be a miracle if any of them actually make it all the way to Valentine’s Day.

Date Truffles

-1 heaping cup pitted dates

-1 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted

-1/2 tsp vanilla extract

-Pinch of salt

-Optional: peanut butter and shredded coconut

First let your dates soften up in very hot water for about 20 minutes. ¬†Drain and add them to a food processor with the coconut oil, vanilla, and salt. ¬†Blend everything together until a ball forms. ¬†Depending on your food processor this can take a few minutes. ¬†Just be patient and scrape down the sides often. ¬†Once you have a nice, smooth texture, place it in a bowl and put it into the freezer for about 10 minutes or until it’s firm enough to roll into small balls. ¬†You can make these any size you want, but I made mine a little smaller than a walnut. ¬†If you’re so inclined, roll some of them in the coconut and flatten the others out a bit and topped them with a little dollop of peanut butter. ¬†Throw everything back in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.

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Chocolate Sauce

-1/2 c cocoa powder

-1/2 c coconut oil, melted

-1/4 c maple syrup

Whisk all ingredients together.  Finally drop the date balls into the chocolate sauce and set back onto the sheet tray.  The chocolate will start to set up immediately since the date mixture is so cold.  Dunk them back into the chocolate a second time, and then, you guessed it, back to the freezer just until the chocolate sets.  Store them in either the freezer or the fridge and enjoy!

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Salmon with Fennel Tomato Pasta

My husband and I love to have this meal for a date night-in–something about it just feels so decadent. ¬†Of course, any big bowl of pasta makes me happy, but this recipe is a favorite, topped with salmon and full of veggies and…anchovies. ¬†Okay, I know some of you may cringe at the thought of popping open a can of anchovies, but I promise they are amazing!!! ¬†They melt right into the sauce and add just the right amount of salty, savory flavor–the perfect thing to stand up to sweet fennel and acidic tomatoes. ¬†Give it a try, and I know you’ll love it as much as we do!

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Salmon

-1 lb salmon, cut into 4 pieces

-1/4 c. canola oil

-2 Tbsp lemon juice

-1 tsp salt

-2 cloves minced garlic

Add all of the ingredients into a Ziploc bag, toss around a little so the marinade coats all of the salmon, and place in the fridge for as little as 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.

Fennel and Tomato Pasta

-1 package of gluten free pasta

-salt to taste

-1 tin of anchovies

-2 Tbsp olive oil

-3 cloves minced garlic

-1/2 bulb of fennel, fronds included

-1/2 can diced tomatoes

-1/4 tsp crushed red pepper

-1/2 tsp sugar

-1 lemon, juice and zest

-1/2 c. toasted bread crumbs

Prepare your pasta according to the instructions on the box–just make sure the water tastes like the sea–every chef says this, so obviously I want to as well! ¬†Basically you just want the water to be very salty. ¬†This is the only time the pasta can really get flavored, so don’t skimp! Then set it aside.

For the salmon, heat a pan over medium heat.  Remove the salmon from the marinade and put them straight into the pan.  The canola oil from the marinade replaces any extra oil you would normally add to the pan.  Let the salmon cook for about 6 minutes on both sides, this may vary depending on the thickness of your salmon.  Set aside.

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Heat a large saute pan over medium heat and add the anchovies and the olive oil.  Next add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about a minute.  Use your spoon to break up the anchovies as they cook.

Thinly slice the fennel bulb–a mandolin works great here but is not necessary. ¬†Chop the fennel fronds and set them aside for garnish. ¬†Add the sliced fennel to your pan and let it cook until caramelized, about 10 minutes. ¬†Next add a little salt to taste, red pepper flakes, sugar, and tomatoes, juice included. ¬†Allow this mixture to reduce slightly, about 5 minutes. ¬†Drain your pasta and add it to the pan with the juice of the lemon.

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For the breadcrumbs, I like to keep the ends of my gluten free bread in the freezer. ¬†Then I just blitz them up and toast them in a pan with a little olive oil. ¬†Once they’re nice and toasty, combine them with the zest of the lemon and a little salt and pepper.

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To serve, plate the pasta, top it with the breadcrumb mixture, next the salmon, and finally the fennel fronds.  Enjoy!

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