Indispensable Pesto

This is a modified recipe from The Garlic Lover’s Cookbook. Warning: this pesto will leave a strong garlic taste in your mouth. Use less garlic if you plan on smooching anyone later in the night. For a healthy alternative try it over spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles.

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1 cup grated fresh Parmesan

2 cups fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup melted butter (or dairy-free, non-hydrogenated Earth Balance)

10-20 cloves fresh garlic (I use the whole bulb)

1 tbs pine nuts (I throw in a handful, because I love them)

3/4 olive oil

salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Using a blender or food processor, grate enough Parmesan cheese to make one cup; add basil.
  2. Then add melted butter, followed by garlic, pine nuts and finally the oil.
  3. Allow each added ingredient to blend smoothly with the preceding ones, and let stand at least one hour.
  4. Prepare pasta according to package directions.
  5. Mix pesto with pasta fresh from the boiling water. Do not add too much pesto, but allow each person a chance to adjust flavor to taste, by adding more pesto if desired.
  6. Leftover pesto will last for a quite a long while if refrigerated in a plastic container, but do not freeze.

Thai Coconut Veggie Curry

Fall is upon us and there is nothing more comforting than a hearty bowl of warm coconut curry. Growing up with a Korean mother made me accustom to strong spices and flavors. Once it gets cold I crave warm Asian soups and curries. This is my version of my mother’s infamous Thai Coconut Curry. I cheated and used TJ’s Thai Yellow Curry Sauce, which makes almost anything taste good. I added all the veggies I had in my fridge along with TJ’s Baked Tofu and smothered it in coconut milk and curry sauce. Alternatively you can use chicken (or other meat of choice) and curry paste. I served it with garlic cauliflower quinoa rice (recipe below).
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Ingredients:

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 onion

1/2 cup frozen spinach

1/2 cup frozen peas

1 cup organic baked tofu

1/2 cup organic broccoli slaw

4 carrots

1 broccoli

1 can lite coconut milk

1/2 cup TJ’s Yellow Curry Sauce (add more if you like spice)

1 cup veggie or chicken broth

1 teaspoon curry powder (I added another 1/2 of a teaspoon)

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Lime and cilantro

Directions for garlic cauliflower quinoa rice:

  1. Rinse 1 cup quinoa (or brown rice) thoroughly. Bring 2 cups of water to boil then add the rice. Alternatively for more flavor try using 1 cup water and 1 cup chicken/vegetable stock. It gives the rice a bit of seasoning and taste.
  2. After 5 minutes, lower to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes. Add a splash of water (or vegetable/chicken stock) as needed.
  3. Once the rice has absorbed the water, add 1 cup cauliflower rice along with a splash of water/chicken stock.
  4. Once tender and fluffy add the chopped garlic and salt.
  5. Set aside until serving.

Directions:

  1. Heat coconut oil and sauté onions until golden.
  2. Stir in spices then the coconut milk, curry sauce, and vegetable stock. Mix for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the chopped carrots and broccoli, stirring frequently. Cook until tender, around 10 minutes. Then add the frozen peas, spinach, and broccoli slaw.
  4. Taste (frequently!) and adjust seasoning as needed. I like a lot of spice so I am always adding more than I list.
  5. Serve with lime and cilantro.

Chocolate Avocado Peanut Butter Pudding

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Ingredients:

1 ripe avocado
1 banana
1/4th cup cocoa powder
1/4th cup peanut butter
1/4th cup almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4th cup honey or maple syrup
Directions:
  1. Blend all the ingredients together. I used a regular blender but a Vitamix or food processor works best.
  2. Add more sweetener and/or avocado until you reach the desired sweetness and consistency.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours. Serve and enjoy!

Breaded Curry Cauliflower

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Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2/3rds cup coconut cream (canned from TJs)
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup almond meal
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Cut the cauliflower into large pieces.
  2. Mix together the coconut cream, egg, almond meal, curry powder, coconut oil, salt, and pepper.
  3. Coat each piece of cauliflower with the mixture.
  4. Cover a baking sheet with coconut oil and cook the cauliflower at 350 degrees for 25- 30 minutes.
  5. Serve with ketchup or dijon mustard. Enjoy!

Vanilla Coconut Granola

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Ingredients:

1 cup oats

1/4th teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons coconut oil (melted)

1 tablespoons flaxseed

2 tablespoons honey (add an extra tablespoon if you like your granola sweet)

1/8th teaspoon salt

1/4 cup coconut shreds

Chopped nuts and dried fruit (optional)

  1. Mix all the ingredients together (except coconut and dried fruit). If the mixture is too wet add more oats. If the mixture is too dry add a splash of almond milk or more melted coconut oil.
  2. Cook at 350ºF for 15 min. After 10 minutes add the coconut shreds and dried fruit. Stir every 5 min. Let it completely cool before storing it.

Breakfast Cups

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Ingredients:

1 ½ cup oats

3/4th cup almond meal

3/4th cup dates

½ cup coconut oil

1/4th cup maple syrup or honey

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract (optional)

Yogurt (I recommend Noosa or Coconut Bliss)

Fresh fruit (Strawberries or blueberries)

Directions:

  1. Blend the oats and almond meal in a Vitamix or other high-powered blender until they are powder.
  2. Add the dates, coconut oil, sweetener, cinnamon, vanilla, and almond extract. Blend until smooth. Add more coconut oil if the dough is too dry. The dough should be thick and easy to mold.
  3. Grease muffin tins with coconut oil or butter.
  4. Place roughly 1 tablespoon or large spoonful of the mixture in each tin.
  5. Mold the mixture into the sides of the tin with your hands.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
  7. Cool for 10 minutes then place the cups on a cooling rack.
  8. Place a dollop of yogurt inside and fresh fruit on top. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Chips and Black Bean Dip

 

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Here’s a healthy alternative to chips and dip. Happy Super Bowl Sunday!

Chips:

4-5 sweet potatoes

Olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Black Bean Dip:

1 cup black beans

Juice of 1 lime (plus zest)

1/4th teaspoon paprika

1/2th teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon cumin

Pinch of chili flakes

Cilantro (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Cut the sweet potatoes into thin slices. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  2. Roast at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes.
  3. Blend all the black bean ingredients together. Sprinkle chili flakes and cilantro on top.

Banana Pancakes

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1 banana

1 egg

1/4th cup apple sauce

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons oats

1 tablespoon shredded coconut (optional)

Chocolate Banana Pancakes

Add 2 teaspoons cocoa powder and 2 teaspoons honey

Mix the ingredients together with a fork or in a blender. Fry on a pan. I like to use coconut oil. Serve with berries and maple syrup. This recipe makes 2 medium pancakes.

Apple Rose Tarts

IMG_4310 IMG_4231IMG_4232 IMG_4265 IMG_4272 IMG_4274 IMG_4275 IMG_4285 IMG_4287 IMG_4309I followed this recipe, except I modified the glaze. These rose tarts take a bit of prep but are well worth the time. The thin slices of apple get crispy and flaky. Delicious and healthy! Thanks fmitk for sharing!

Ingredients
Dough:
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 tablespoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold butter
  • 3 tablespoons ice cold water

Filling (slightly modified)

  • 3-4 apples (the recipe calls for only 2 but I cut extra to practice on)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4-5 tablespoons butter
  • juice of 1 1/2 lemons

The recipe also calls for strawberry preserves, which I omitted.

Directions:

  1. Combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Stir in the butter and water. Mix the dough until it comes together. I used my hands. Put it in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
  2. Place cupcake/muffin holders in the baking tray.
  3. Roll the dough out and cut into small circles. The recipe suggests using the top of a mug or cup. For some of them I just molded the dough into the cupcake holder.
  4. Cut the apples into fourths then thinly slice them with the mandolin.
  5. Pour the sugar, butter, and lemon juice over the cut apples.
  6. Microwave for 1-1 1/2 minutes until the apples are moldable.
  7. Line about 10 slices in a row, slightly on top of each other. Roll the apple pieces together to form the “petal.” Place in the muffin tin.
  8. Bake at 375ºF for ~30 minutes.