Green Salad with White Beans, Apples, and Pecans

Salad with White Beans, Apples, & PecansI love salad, especially for lunch. BUT…it must be a hearty salad or else I am starving after about 30 minutes. Let’s be honest, eating plain vegetables just doesn’t have a lot of staying power or culinary appeal. This salad is one of my favorite lunch recipes because it fills me up and is delicious. The textural elements work beautifully in this salad – the hearty romaine is a great canvas for the creamy beans, which are offset by the juicy apple and nice crunch of the pecans. The dressing has just enough sweetness, tang, and spice to bring it all together. This salad is full of fiber, protein, and healthy fat…besides, it comes together in no time! Fast food right in your own kitchen!

Salad with White Beans, Apples, & Pecans 3

 

Salad with White Beans, Apples, & Pecans 2

1/2 cup pecans

2 T. 100% apple juice concentrate, thawed

1 T. extra virgin olive oil

1 T. plus 1 t. apple cider vinegar

1/4 t. dried thyme

1/2 t. Dijon mustard

1 medium clove garlic, finely minced

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 – 15 oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 head Romaine lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces

1/2 medium Granny Smith apple, diced

In a dry skillet over medium-high heat toast pecans 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until fragrant; cool. For dressing, in a bowl whisk together apple juice concentrate, oil, vinegar, thyme, mustard, garlic, 1/4 t. salt, and pepper. In a bowl toss the beans with 1 teaspoon of the dressing. In a large bowl combine the lettuce with the toasted pecans, diced apple, and dressed beans. Dress individual salad servings with dressing.

Raw Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bites

Raw Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bites 3

Do you ever crave a chocolate chip cookie, but you don’t want to turn on the oven and bake batches and wait for cookies to be ready? OR have you ever eaten cookie dough and gotten sick from the raw eggs? (shudder) Well, my friends, these little gems are coming to the rescue! A perfect little bite of chocolate, peanut butter, and oat goodness! These babies are full of protein, fiber, omega-3’s, and antioxidants to keep you going strong through your morning or afternoon or through the night – if you hide them and eat them as a bedtime snack while everyone else is sleeping! I personally would never do a thing like that…wink-wink!

Raw Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bites

1/2 cup peanut butter or any nut butter of choice
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup gluten free flour (or whole-grain flour of choice)
4 tbsp. gluten-free rolled oats
2 tbsp. ground flax seed or ground chia seed
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients; mix thoroughly until a dough-like texture is formed. Scoop out a tablespoon of the mixture and use hands to roll into a ball. Place on baking sheet. Refrigerate a few hours or overnight. Store in refrigerator.

Chili Mac

Chili MacThis recipe happens to be one of my husband’s favorite dishes I make. He is clearly a product of the 1980’s, when casseroles were all the rage and jello was a popular side dish! (gag) You will love this dish too because it is easy to make, full of flavor, very filling, and of course, good for you. Kidney beans are a good source of protein, fiber, and other nutrients. They are mild in flavor, so they really absorb bold flavors well, which is why they work so well in chili. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, an antioxidant that boosts our bodies defenses against disease. If you like your chili really spicy, you can add in some hot peppers with the onion and you can add in a bit of cayenne. This one-pot meal will probably become a favorite in your house too…just don’t make any jello to go along with it!

Chili Mac 3
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups cooked pasta of choice
1/2 cup water
1 T. chili powder
1 t. cumin
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1 can low-sodium kidney beans, rinsed
1 cup frozen corn
1 8 oz. can herdez salsa
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 6 oz. can tomato paste

Heat a deep pot over medium heat. Add onion, green pepper, and garlic. If necessary, add in some water to prevent veggies from sticking to the pot. Saute until onion is translucent. Add in the rest of the ingredients and simmer until heated through. Top with Daiya cheddar cheese, cilantro, sliced green onions, tortilla chips, etc. Enjoy!

Chocolate Buckwheat Brownies

Chocolate Buckwheat Brownie 3

Chocolate Brownie. Doesn’t saying those two words make your mouth water? (I think I may have just drooled a bit…) Now on to the next word. Kale. The saliva just doesn’t flow as freely does it? Well, no fear my friends because you will be drooling over this kale! I have served these brownies multiple times to SAD eaters (Standard American Diet) and the response is always the same, “What is in these brownies? They are delicious!” If there is one plant I recommend eating on a daily basis it would have to be kale. Kale is a phytonutrient superstar! Now you can eat kale for dessert!

Chocolate Buckwheat Brownie

1-1/2 cups chopped kale, spinach, or other greens
1/2 cup (packed) pitted Medjool dates
3 tablespoons ground flaxseed
1 cup boiling water
3/4 cup buckwheat flour
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup arrowroot or tapioca starch
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts (optional)
Chocolate Icing (recipe follows)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line an 8×8- inch pan with parchment paper. Leave sides long enough so that you can lift out the brownies when cooled. Place the kale, dates, and flaxseed in a large heat-safe bowl. Pour the boiling water over the ingredients and mix to combine. Soak for 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together the buckwheat flour, cocoa powder, arrowroot or tapioca starch, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Pour the kale mixture into a blender. Add the coconut sugar, applesauce, and vanilla. Blend on high until creamy and smooth with no flecks of kale remaining. Pour into the flour mixture and stir to combine thoroughly. Fold in hazelnuts, if using. Pour the batter into the baking dish and spread it out.

Bake for about 25 minutes until the brownies are firm to the touch and pulling away from the sides of the pan. Cool for at least 30 minutes.

Spread the icing over the brownies. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before cutting into squares. Store the brownies, covered, in the  refrigerator.

Chocolate Icing

1/2 cup raw macadamia nuts
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil, melted
4 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons honey or Grade B maple syrup

Combine all of the ingredients in a high- speed blender such as a Vita Mix. Blend on high until creamy and smooth. Use right away. (Adapted from Recipe Source: Crazy for Kale)

Chocolate Chip Cookies

GF Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ah yes, the traditional chocolate chip cookie. I don’t think I have met anyone who doesn’t like chocolate chip cookies. This recipe is very simple – made with whole ingredients and not a lot of sweetener. My kids and I ate the whole batch, which says something about these cookies! Sometimes I use Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips in these cookies, but my favorite is the Enjoy Life 69% Dark Chocolate Chips. I am grateful for allergy-free chocolate chips because no one should have a tummy ache after eating a chocolate chip cookie!

GF Chocolate Chip Cookies 3

2 cups gluten-free flour*
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Chips
3/4 cup Coconut Sugar
1/2 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup coconut milk

*add in 1 teaspoon xanthan gum to recipe, if your flour blend does not contain it.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and coconut sugar. In a small bowl, mix together the applesauce, vanilla extract, and coconut milk. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Using a small cookie scoop, or tablespoon, drop cookie dough on to prepared baking sheet. Place in oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, rotating 180 degrees halfway through cooking time. Remove from oven and cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake 2

Beware. This Chocolate Pumpkin Cake is addictive. Highly addictive. Deep, dark, chocolatey, dense, rich, moist goodness lies within this cake. Oh, and did I mention this cake has superpowers? Nutritional superpowers at that. This cake has whole grains, whole food fat, carotenoids, flavonoids, and whole food sweeteners. This cake is not overly sweet and will not spike your blood sugar through the roof. This cake presents itself very well. I served it at a social gathering and it received ample praise for its looks and taste. This cake is a sweet indulgence you will not have to feel guilty about. Go ahead. Indulge!

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake 3

Cake

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3 cups gluten-free flour

2 teaspoons xanthan gum

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 (15-ounce) can pure pumpkin

1 cup coconut palm sugar

6 tablespoons peanut butter or sunflower butter, at room temperature

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)

Chocolate Glaze

2 cups organic powdered sugar

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup coconut milk

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Have ready nonstick bundt pan. Also, boil some water in a tea kettle (no need to measure yet).

Combine the applesauce and cocoa powder in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, baking soda, and salt.

Measure out 2/3 cup of the boiling water and pour it into the bowl with the chocolate mixture, mixing quickly to make a smooth chocolate sauce. Add the pumpkin, sweetener, peanut butter, and vanilla and mix well.

Dump about half of the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture and gently stir just to incorporate, then measure out 2 tablespoons of the boiling water, add it to the mixture, and stir again. Add the rest of the flour mixture, and another 2 tablespoons of boiling water, and stir just until smooth (do not overmix). Fold in the chocolate chips, if using.

Spoon the batter into the prepared bundt pan. It will be good and thick. You can smooth out the top with a spatula.

Bake for 55 to 60 minutes. Stick a steak knife into the center of the cake to check for doneness. A little bit of wetness is okay, since it could be from a chocolate chip, but the knife should come out mostly dry.

Remove the cake from the oven. Let it cool for 10 minutes, then carefully invert the cake onto a cooling rack to cool.

Mix together the chocolate glaze ingredients by sifting the powdered sugar with the cocoa powder first. Add in the vanilla extract and coconut milk. Stir until you get a smooth consistency. Drizzle over cooled cake. Slice and serve!

Raspberry Almond Coffee Cake

GF Raspberry Coffeecake served

Have you ever wondered why coffeecake is called ‘coffeecake’? Maybe it is my inquisitive culinary mind, but here is the answer according to Wikipedia: “a class of cakes intended to be eaten alongside coffee or that may be eaten during a “coffee break” or offered to guests as a gesture of hospitality on or around a coffee table. Under this definition, a coffee cake does not necessarily contain coffee. Coffee cakes may be flavored with cinnamon or other spices, seeds, nuts and fruits. These cakes sometimes have a crumbly or crumb topping called streusel and/or a light glaze drizzle.”

There you go. You can serve this deliciously moist, lightly sweet cake to your family and friends on your coffee table. With or without a cup of coffee. ;o)

GF Raspberry Coffeecake eat

2 cups fresh raspberries
6 tablespoons coconut palm sugar
2 cups gluten free flour*
2/3 cup coconut palm sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup almond milk
1/2 cup applesauce mixed with 1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons sliced almonds (you could use pecans as well – just change the recipe title…)
Icing:
1/4 cup organic powdered sugar
1 teaspoon almond milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

*add in 1 teaspoon of xanthan gum, if your flour blend does not contain it.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine raspberries and coconut palm sugar in a bowl; set aside.
Combine flour and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Combine almond milk, applesauce mixture, and vanilla in a small bowl; stir well. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Spoon 2/3 of batter into an 8-inch round cake pan lined with parchment; spread evenly. Top with raspberry mixture. Top with almonds.
Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool 10 minutes on a wire rack.
Combine powdered sugar, almond milk, and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla. Stir well. Drizzle over coffeecake. Serve.

GF Raspberry Coffeecake PrepGF Raspberry Coffeecake Prep 2GF Raspberry Coffeecake

Curry Squash Hummus

Curry Squash Hummus 2

Hummus is a frequent visitor in my fridge – and I don’t mean store-bought hummus (blah). Hummus is so easy to make and it tastes so much better when you make it fresh! If you have not made hummus, please try! You will be so glad you did!

So, I was at my local farmer’s market and I spied some beautiful Banana squash. They were small and brilliant orange-yellow in hue. Banana squash is rich in beta-carotene and other vitamins and minerals, so I had to buy some! But what could I creatively make out of this squash? I decided to combine this squash into a hummus recipe and add in some curry spices – what a delicious idea! The result was a slightly sweet, slightly warm and nutty hummus dip. Yummy! This hummus can be served in a bowl garnished with cilantro alongside crunchy veggies such as: carrots, celery, cauliflower, jicama,etc. It would also make a fabulous sandwich spread or dip for crackers. I piped this dip into little cucumber cups for a party platter. How cute and fun are they? They didn’t last long…a huge hit with my guests. Dip into some of this dip!

Curry Squash Hummus

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 cup Banana squash puree

1/4 cup tahini

2 garlic gloves, minced

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

chopped cilantro for garnish

Peel and cut Banana squash into small cubes. Steam the squash until very tender when pierced with a fork. Place squash in a food processor and puree until smooth. Measure out one cup of the squash puree for the hummus.

Add chickpeas, Banana squash puree, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, curry powder, cumin, smoked paprika, salt and pepper to a food processor and blend until smooth. Serve garnished with chopped cilantro.

Creamy Asparagus Soup

Asparagus Soup 2

Asparagus is an absolute favorite vegetable in our house. In fact, in a recent family poll, it ranked #2 – right after broccoli. Asparagus is a springtime vegetable, but with our worldwide market it is available most of the year. Did you know that asparagus contains inulin? Inulin is involved in digestive support called “prebiotics”. Inulin is a unique type of carbohydrate called a polyfructan. Unlike other carbohydrates, inulin does not get broken down in the small intestine. It actually passes through undigested to the large intestine. At this point, it becomes an ideal food source for certain types of bacteria that are associated with better nutrient absorption, lower risk of allergy, and lower risk of colon cancer.

This soup is one of the most delicious ways to enjoy inulin! For awhile, I was making this soup every week – it really is that good. There is such a creamy quality to this soup that is so comforting. The flavor is deliciously light with subtle onion undertones that add depth of flavor. This soup is also one of the quickest soups to make – ready in less than 30 minutes! I guarantee once you eat this soup, asparagus will become a favorite vegetable in your house too!

Asparagus Soup

1 large leek, chopped
1 large shallot, chopped
1 large bunch of fresh asparagus (2 1/4 pounds), chopped
4 cups vegetable broth
2 teaspoons sea salt
½ teaspoon dried thyme
freshly ground black pepper

Heat a 4- or 6-quart pot over medium heat. Add the leeks and shallots; sauté for about 10 minutes, or until shallots become translucent. Add in some vegetable stock to prevent the leeks and shallots from browning. Add the asparagus, stock, salt, thyme, and pepper (to taste); cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. Turn off heat. Use a stainless steel immersion blender to puree the soup in the pot, or transfer to a blender and puree in batches. Taste and adjust salt and seasonings. Add more stock for a thinner soup.

Lemon Bundt Cake with Blackberry Glaze

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I gave myself a little challenge. I just love challenges. I wanted to make a dessert and incorporate an essential oil into the recipe. I decided to use lemon, which is a personal favorite. In cooking with essential oils, it can be a little tricky. Sometimes, the final product can taste a little “artificial” with essential oils – it’s like the difference between a fresh squeeze of lemon and biting into a lemon head. Cringe! I have found success with using the real product – in this recipe, I used real lemon juice, in addition to using a bit of lemon essential oil. The result is a light, refreshing lemon cake that is quite addicting. The blackberry glaze adds just the right amount of sweetness to balance the slight tartness from the cake. The combination is a winner…how do I know? My 6-year old gave this cake 10 thumbs up. Now that, my friends, is pure culinary success!

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Lemon Bundt Cake
3 1/3 cups gluten-free flour blend (note: add in 2 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum to recipe, if not included in your blend)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 3/4 cups coconut palm sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup grape seed oil (you can sub in 1/2 cup applesauce for the oil)
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon doTerra Lemon oil

Blackberry Glaze
1 1/2 cups fresh blackberries
2 cups organic powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare bundt cake pan by spraying with cooking spray. In large mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In separate bowl, mix together coconut milk and lemon juice, until curdled. Add sugar, applesauce, oil, lemon zest, vanilla and lemon extract. Pour over flour mixture and stir to combine.

Pour batter into prepared bundt cake pan. Bake for 43-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing from pan. Continue to cool on cooling rack.

To make blackberry glaze, start by smashing 1/2 cup blackberries through fine-mesh sieve to make blackberry puree. Add powdered sugar to blackberry puree. Pour in 1 tablespoon coconut milk and vanilla extract. Add an additional tablespoon coconut milk, if needed. Stir until smooth. Pour over cooled cake. Garnish with remaining 1 cup fresh blackberries. Slice and serve.

lemon bundt cake 3lemon bundt cake 4lemon bundt cake 5  Going, Going, Gone!