Carob Peanut Butter Ice Cream

CarobPeanutButterIceCream

This Carob Peanut Butter Ice Cream is amazing!  Recently, I have been in the mood for everything and anything peanut butter.  I am not quite sure why I am having this craving but chocolate and peanut butter just makes my mouth water.  My husband and I have a little routine each night.  Once we get our little guy to bed I will make us a tasty dessert.  It will vary between ice cream, almond milk shakes, bananas and peanut butter or just a bowl of fruit.  This dessert is something that we both look forward to after a day of working (for him) and chasing around our little monster (for me).  The other day I decided to add some peanut butter into our usual carob ice cream and it turned out to be a smash.  It was so good that now I cannot get enough and I want it every day.  I think I may have a problem.  Hah.  So I share this recipe with you in hopes that you too will become obsessed with it.  Kidding.  Well kind of.

*What is carob?  It is most commonly used as a chocolate substitute and although it is not as flavorful as cocoa there are plenty of things you can do to get it close.  Carob is caffeine-free and contains three times as much calcium as cocoa.

The Ingredients:

2 c almond milk
1/2 c raw cashews
6 dates, pitted
2 tbsp carob powder
1-2 tbsp peanut butter
1/2 tsp vanilla

Place all ingredients into a high-speed blender.  Blend until smooth and transfer to a medium glass dish.  Place it in the freezer, uncovered for 1 hour.  Stir and return to freezer for another hour.  If you like the consistency at this point, by all means enjoy!  Otherwise, stick the ice cream back in the freezer for an additional 30 minutes.  Scoop out into bowls or mugs and serve.

*It is important you stir the mixture otherwise it becomes icy.

Enjoy!

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Grilled Avocados Stuffed with Bean Salad

StuffedGrilledAvocado

Have you ever tried Grilled Avocados?  I hadn’t either until I started seeing them pop up everywhere on the Internet.  I absolutely love avocados but I was hesitant to try this.  Mainly because if they came out awful then I would have just wasted a perfectly yummy avocado and that would be a shame.  After mulling it over a bit I decided to go ahead and give it a try.  It turns out grilled avocados are really good! They take on a completely different taste. It is a nutty flavor and with a little salt and pepper the avocado taste amazing.  So Yippee!!  It was a success and no avocados were wasted.

The other night I made a bean salad for my little munchkin and although he enjoyed it there was a lot left over. I decided to use it with my Grilled Avocado and came up with a new and delicious dish. This Grilled Avocados Stuffed with Bean Salad is so tasty you’ll be wondering where grilled avocados have been your whole life.

The Ingredients:

2 ripe avocados
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

The Salad:

1 c garbanzo beans
1/2  c tomatoes, diced
1/4 c peas
1/4 c corn
1 tsp parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat the grill to medium – high heat.

Brush the avocados with olive oil and place them facedown on the grill for about 7 minutes until you get the charred mark across them.

Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool.

Next in a medium bowl, add all of the Salad ingredients and mix well.

Spoon the salad onto the grilled avocado and serve.

Enjoy!

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Zoodle Salad

ZoodleSalad

Since the beginning of Spring I have been seeing a lot of Zoodles (zucchini noodles) dishes all over Instagram.  I have always known it was possible to transform zucchini into pasta but never actually tried it myself.  I am so inspired by these Zoodles dishes I decided it was time I give it a try.  I went on Amazon and ordered myself a vegetable spiralizer.  I wanted to start with something simple and came up with this delicious Zoodle Salad as my first attempt.

As most of you know my husband and son are the true taste testers for any dish I post on my blog so you could imagine I was a little nervous about this one.  This was completely new to my guys and there was no telling if they were really going to like it.  As I sat at the dinner table anxiously waiting for their opinion, I finally got it.  It was a success!  Thank Goodness!  So here it is for you and your families to try.  I am now really excited to immerse myself into all the possibilities Zoodles have to offer.  They seem to be endless so stay tuned.

The Ingredients:

2 zucchini squash
1 crookneck squash
2 garlic cloves, diced
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

The Salad:

2 tomatoes, diced
1 c garbanzo beans
1/2 c olives, sliced (green or black)
Salt and pepper to taste.

With a knife or vegetable spiralizer cut squash into spaghetti-like strips.

In a large skillet warm the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Sauté garlic until fragrant. Add the squash and cook until slightly tender about 5-7 minutes.

Once the squash is cooked, transfer into a glass bowl and let it cool for about 10-15 minutes.

Add all of the remaining ingredients to the Zoodle bowl.  Mix well and serve.

Enjoy!

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Banana Almond Muffins

BananaAlmondMuffins

Yum! Banana Almond Muffins are so yummy and healthy.  I try not to make too many sweets for my family especially being that we have a toddler.  I’d prefer him not to know about candy and sugary desserts until he is much older.  Though these treats may not a staple in our house it is nice to have them every once in a while.  These muffins are packed with protein and so incredibly delicious I bet your family will have a hard time not tearing through them.  Helpful tip…freeze them!  They will certainly last longer in our house that way.

The Dry Ingredients:

3 c almond flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg

The Wet Ingredients:

2 egg replacer
1 c mashed banana (2 small)
1/2 c maple syrup
1/2 c almond milk
1/4 c coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a cupcake tray with coconut oil or (I used) paper cupcake cups.  I find the paper cups are less messy.

Mix the dry ingredients in one large mixing bowl and the wet in a separate large mixing bowl.  Once everything is mixed well.  Add the dry mixture to the wet and mix well.

Pour the batter into each cup filling it just about to the top.

Place them in the oven for 30-45 minutes.  To check doneness, stick a toothpick or knife in the center of the most centered cupcake.  If it comes out clean the muffins are done.  If the toothpick or knife come out wet and sticky put the tray back in the oven for another 5 minutes and test again.

Once the muffins are done, remove them from the oven and place on a cooling rack for at least 10-15 minutes before eating.

Enjoy!

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Mini Bean Tacos

Minibeantacos

These Mini Bean Tacos are so delicious and really easy to put together.  They literally takes minutes.  If you are looking for a quick and easy dinner or lunch, look no further.  Mini tacos and tacos in general are great for last-minute meals.  They are definitely a crowd pleaser and honestly, I can say I do not know one person who doesn’t enjoy a taco from time to time.

This recipe serves one so increase the ingredients to the number of guests you will be serving.

The Ingredients:

3 mini soft corn tortillas (non-GMO)
1/2 c refried beans
1/4 c vegan cheese of your choice (I use Daiya)
1/4 c tomatoes, diced
1/4 avocado, diced
6 slices of jalapeños
A handful of lettuce, shredded

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees

Heat beans in a small saucepan according to the package.

Place the tortillas on a sheet tray.  Sprinkle the vegan cheese on each tortilla and place in the oven for about 3-5 minutes.  Until cheese melts and tortillas soften.

Remove tortillas from the oven and build your tacos.  First place a scoop of beans in the center of each tortilla.  Next I added the jalapeno slices.  Then I sprinkled on the tomatoes, avocados and lettuce.

Serve and Enjoy!

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Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice

FreshOJ

There is really nothing like a glass of Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice first thing in the morning. It is so refreshing and the best part is you know it is purely orange juice.  While my Orangecello is steeping I decided to take all of those beautiful leftover oranges and make this delicious glass of orange juice.  Can you believe I only got 16 ounces out of those 7 oranges?  I honestly thought we would get a bit more juice from those oranges but even so it was a certainly a nice treat. Especially for my husband, one of his favorite morning drinks is Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice.  This was something I had never known about him.  He is a big coffee drinker and we rarely have orange juice in the house.  Who would have thought, starting this blog I would begin to learn more about the man I have been in a relationship with for over 12 years.  Life is full of surprises even if it is as little as orange juice.

The Ingredients:

7 oranges or more

What You Will Need:

Fine mesh strainer
Citrus juicer, press or your hands

Simply squeeze the orange over the strainer into a bowl.  Then serve.  It’s that easy.

Enjoy!

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Homemade Orangecello

HomemadeOrangecello

I was watching the Food Network Channel the other day and stumbled upon Giada at Home making Orangecello.  Several years back when I was enrolled at the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, a teacher of mine used to talk about how Limoncello was one of their favorite drinks when were in Italy.  Yet, while my husband and I were visiting Italy our drink of choice was wine.  Wine, wine and more wine.  Lately, I have found myself reminiscing about our trip to Italy and longing for a vacation.  So it was pretty perfect finding Giada making this recipe, I just had to try it.  Though I did adjust the recipe to contain less sugar.

In several weeks our little family is going on our first real family vacation and I thought how nice it would be to sit on our private balcony and sip a true Italian drink.

This Homemade Orangecello takes about 5 days to make, so here is day 1.  Stay tuned for the finished product along with my husband and a few friends reviews on it.  Hopefully it’ll be amazing!

The Ingredients:

7 organic oranges
1 (750 ml) bottle of vodka
2 1/2 c water
1 c sugar

Using a vegetable peeler, remove the peel from the oranges.  (I made fresh orange juice with the peeled oranges.)  Place the orange peels in a pitcher and pour the vodka over the peels. Then cover the pitcher with plastic wrap.  Let the orange peels steep in the vodka for 4 days at room temperature.

On day 4, you will make a simple syrup.  In a medium saucepan, combine the water and sugar over medium heat. Bring to a boil then simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Sugar will dissolve.  Remove from the syrup from heat and let it cool for about 30 minutes. Once cooled add the simple syrup to the vodka mixture.  Cover again and let it sit at room temperature for one more night.  On day 5 strain the vodka through a mesh strainer and discard the orange peels.  Transfer the Orangecello to an airtight bottle.  Place in refrigerator for about 5 hours to chill.  This drink will keep up to a month.  Add some fresh orange slices and serve.
Enjoy!
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Vegan Orange Chicken

OrangeChicken

As I have mentioned, I have been craving Asian food lately and although Orange Chicken was never on my top 5 list when ordering in the past this Vegan Orange Chicken has certainly made my top 3 homemade Asian dishes.  My husband and I could not get over how delicious this meal was.  I found this recipe on I Wash…You Dry.   I just made a few changes to convert it to a vegan and soy-free dish.  WOW!  It is so tasty!  Also, instead of using traditional white rice I decided to place the Vegan Orange Chicken over quinoa to add protein and keep it light.

The Ingredients:

2 tbsp sesame oil
1 egg replacer
3 tbsp 
coconut aminos
1/3 c corn starch
1/2 inch piece of ginger minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 head of cauliflower
1 orange bell pepper, sliced
2 c snap peas
1 can of organic baby corn
1 c quinoa, cooked

The Sauce:

1 tsp orange zest
1 tbsp fresh orange juice
2 tbsp coconut aminos
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 c dry sherry
1/4 c vegetable broth
2 tbsp corn starch

Cook quinoa according to package and set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together egg replacer (according to the package).  Then whisk in the sesame oil, coconut aminos and corn starch.  Batter will thicken slightly.  Fold in the cauliflower making sure to coat every floret is evenly coated.  Set aside.

For the Sauce, in a small bowl whisk together the broth and corn starch so there are no lumps.  Add in the remaining sauce ingredients and mix well.

Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat.  Add Sesame oil.  Once the oil is hot, sauté the cauliflower browning it on all sides. Once cooked through, remove from pan, wipe clean and set aside.

Next add a bit more sesame oil to same skillet and sauté garlic and ginger.  Add the Sauce and stir constantly, the sauce will really thicken here.  Then add the bell peppers, snap peas and baby corn.  Once vegetables are slightly tender, remove from heat.  Toss the cauliflower back into the skillet, mix well and serve over quinoa.

Enjoy!

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Soy-Free Vegan Teriyaki Lettuce Wraps

TeriyakiLettuceWraps

Recently, I have been craving Asian food, specifically lettuce wraps.  Most likely, because them in almost two years.  Since going soy-free and vegan there are not many options near by.  So I decided to create my own Soy-Free Vegan Teriyaki Lettuce Wraps.  When I am developing a recipe I do a lot of research on how dishes are prepared, what they should look like and, most importantly, how they should taste.  In researching homemade Teriyaki sauce I stumbled upon an amazing Teriyaki sauce recipe from A Not So Simple Life.  This Sauce was absolutely delicious.  My mouth just waters thinking about it.  The only thing I adjusted was the sugar.  It is so tasty you will not even miss the real thing.

The Ingredients:

1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 carrot, julienne
1 red bell pepper, diced
2-3 c garbanzo beans, cooked
1/4 c raw cashews
1/4 c Soy-Free Teriyaki Sauce (See Below)
1 head of Romaine Lettuce, washed

The Sauce:
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup coconut aminos
3 tbsp corn starch
1 tsp sesame oil

In a medium saucepan heat all of the sauce ingredients over medium-high heat.  Stir continuously until the sauce thickens then set it aside.

Next…

In a large skillet or wok heat oil the over medium-high heat.  Add in the onions and garlic.  Once onions are translucent add the carrots, green beans and peppers.  Stirring frequently.   When carrots are al dente, add in the garbanzo beans and cashews.  You just want to warm the beans up.  Lastly, add the Teriyaki Sauce and mix well, coating all of the ingredients.  Remove from heat.

Spoon the mixture onto the Romaine leaves and serve.

Enjoy!

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Rainbow Salad

RainbowSalad

I have been waiting all week to share this gorgeous Rainbow Salad with you.  Our local Farmers Market opened this past weekend and we brought home an abundance of beautiful vegetables.  There is something about a Farmers Market that makes me so happy.  I love the strong sense community, buying your produce outside, meeting new people and talking with the farmers.  They are always willing to offer tips on growing a successful garden or different ways to cook their vegetables.  It’s a great experience all around and most of all, I love knowing where my food comes from and who grew it.  I know it sounds simple but that is what I like.  Simple and back to basics.

Most of the ingredients in this salad are from the Farmers Market and I am looking forward to the variety of vegetables that will be offered throughout the summer.  While our garden is growing strong, the vegetables are not ready to harvest.  The Farmers Market is great to have around while we wait for our own vegetable garden to start producing delicious foods.

The Ingredients:

2 c mixed greens
1 large tomato
1 small cucumber
3 radishes, sliced
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1/4 c green olives

The Dressing:

Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and Pepper to taste

Place all ingredients into a large bowl, toss with the dressing and serve.

Enjoy!

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