Banana Cream Pie with Cocoa Crust

banana cream pieI had a random inclination to create a banana cream pie, so I followed my instincts and made one. I’m not sure where the desire came from, as I’ve never made banana cream pie before and have hardly ever eaten it in my life, but I figured it’d be a fun (and tasty) experiment. Plus, it gives all of you a dessert idea for Easter, if you’re celebrating. All around, I think it’s a great dessert for both spring and summer though.

There are a few steps in this recipe, but nothing is too complicated and the end result is delicious. If you want, you can even just make the filling and eat it as a pudding. If you do so, I recommend lining the bottom of the dish with banana slices, as you do for the pie.

Cheers and enjoy!

Cocoa almond crust ingredients:

  • 1-3/4 cup blanched almond flour
  • 1/4 cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp organic palm shortening (I used this one)
  • 1 egg, preferably pasture-raised
  • 1-2 Tbsp raw honey

Crust directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Add almond flour, cocoa powder and sea salt to food processor. Briefly pulse to combine. Then, add the shortening, egg, vanilla and honey. Pulse again until mixture is well combined and starts sticking together.
  3. Press mixture evenly into a 9.5-inch pie pan, using your hands. Then, poke several holes in crust with a fork.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 12-14 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.

Filling ingredients:

  • 1 13.5 oz can full-fat coconut milk (I like this one, which has no gums)
  • 2-1/2 medium just-ripe bananas
  • 1-1/4 tsp gelatin powder, preferably grass-fed (I recommend this one or this one)
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1-2 Tbsp raw honey or more to taste if you want it sweeter
  • Homemade coconut milk whipped cream, for topping, if desired (highly recommended)
  • Cacao nibs, for garnish, if desired
  • Extra just-ripe banana slices for garnish, if desired

Filling directions:

  1. Slice one of the bananas into about 1/4″ thin pieces and arrange on top of the crust.
  2. Add about 1/4 cup or so of the coconut milk to a small saucepan and warm over medium-low heat. Once warm, whisk in the gelatin powder until completely dissolved.
  3. To a blender container, add the remaining coconut milk and 1-1/2 banana, along with the vanilla extract, pinch of sea salt, raw honey and gelatin mixture. Blend on high until smooth.
  4. Pour filling on top of cooled crust (it’s okay if it’s still a little warm) and place in fridge to set for a few hours.
  5. Once set, top with coconut milk whipped cream (or homemade dairy-based whipped cream if heavy cream is tolerated), cacao nibs and extra banana slices, if desired.

Dill Pickle Deviled Eggs

deviled eggsWith spring (sort of) in the air and Easter on the horizon, I thought I’d share a deviled egg recipe. I will also be making this recipe live on KATU Afternoon Live on Monday, April 10, so stay tuned. UPDATE: catch the replay of my segment HERE.

Meanwhile, I love deviled eggs! Oddly enough, I didn’t try one for the first time until I was 24 years old. Crazy, I know. Growing up, I was scared of deviled eggs. I thought they stunk and looked weird. But, I was a kid that would only eat egg yolks in the form of scrambled eggs — no runny yolks, no fried eggs, no hardboiled eggs (except bites of the white), etc. When I finally bit into a deviled egg at a friend’s house several years ago, I was shocked what I’d been missing out on. So good! Now, I’m a huge fan and that’s a great thing since I have a fridge full of deviled eggs (the first batch didn’t turn out how I wanted, so I made them again with tweaks).

Despite popular belief, deviled eggs can be healthy. I think it’s all a matter of quality. And, if you’re someone that still thinks eggs yolks are bad for you and cause high cholesterol and heart disease, you’re living under a rock. The FDA and American Heart Association reversed these claims because the science does not support it (and never did!). Eggs are incredibly healthy, especially when sourced from pasture-raised chickens. And, the yolks are the most nutritious part of the egg, as they’re full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Please don’t throw those away! But, I digress. If you’re reading and following my blog, you probably already know this anyway. If this is new information to you and you want to learn more, do some research. All of this information is accessible online.

Anyway, in terms of the other ingredients in deviled eggs, choose high-quality. I’m mainly talking about the mayo here. Dijon mustard is pretty straight forward or should be anyway, but check your labels to make sure. With the mayo, avoid those made with inflammatory soybean or canola oil, and either make your own with avocado oil (macadamia nut oil is great too) or buy this high-quality avocado oil mayonnaise.

A bonus health benefit of this deviled egg recipe is that you get a little dose of probiotics, thanks to the garlic dill pickle gut shot. It adds great flavor and healthy bugs, so yay. If you can’t find it or prefer not to use it, opt for a high-quality pickle brine instead. Please make sure there’s no weird stuff in the brine like yellow dye, polysorbate, etc. I have seen that stuff in pickles!

Cheers and enjoy!

closeup deviled egg

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Cut each egg in half lengthwise. Carefully scoop out the yolks into a medium-sized bowl. Place egg whites onto a plate or tray, face side up.
  2. Add the mayo, Dijon mustard, gut shot or pickle brine, dried dill, sea salt and black pepper to the bowl with the egg yolks. Mash and stir well (alternatively, you can blend this in a food processor for an ultra-smooth texture). Taste and add adjust seasoning, if needed.
  3. *Spoon a little bit of the mixture into each egg white half, dispersing it evenly between the eggs. Sprinkle eggs with paprika and dried dill for garnish.

*Note: If desired, pipe the yolk mixture into the whites with a pastry bag instead of using a spoon. A plastic bag with a tip cut off works as well to pipe the mixture.

Yields: 12 deviled eggs

 

Potatoes with Parsley Cashew Sauce

cashew sauce potatoes

I’ve got more spring flavors coming at you with this lovely cold potato salad, made with a creamy parsley cashew sauce. I personally like and tolerate regular potatoes just fine, but if you do not or need to avoid them, substitute sweet potato or cauliflower instead. If using cauliflower, you can lightly steam and cool it or keep it raw. With the sweet potato, I’d recommend peeling and cutting it into one-inch pieces, and either steaming or boiling it (you’ll need to adjust cooking time — it’ll need less).

Meanwhile, this sauce makes quite a bit, so know that you’ll have extra leftover for salads, veggie slices, roasted vegetables or even hard-boiled eggs. The sauce is completely dairy-free and full of refreshing, bright flavors from the lemon and parsley. It tastes incredible on the potatoes!

Also, please plan ahead for cooling the potatoes completely in the fridge and soaking the cashews. If you choose to let the salad marinate a bit, you’ll need to plan for that as well.

Cheers and enjoy!

P.S. If you didn’t catch the replay of my segment on KATU Afternoon Live from Monday, March 20, you can watch it HERE. I made my lemon dill avocado chicken salad.

cashew sauce potatoes-2Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lb mixed baby potatoes, cleaned and scrubbed
  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours
  • 1 shallot bulb, peeled
  • 1 small clove of garlic, peeled
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp fresh lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp filtered water
  • 1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk (I opened this little box since I didn’t need much)
  • 1 cup fresh curly parsley
  • 1 tsp sea salt plus more to taste, if needed
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Pinch of cayenne

Directions:

  1. Place potatoes in a medium pot and fill with enough cold water to completely cover the potatoes. Add a generous dash of sea salt to the water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer about 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender, but not mushy and falling apart. Drain and set aside to cool. Then, place in fridge for at least a few hours or overnight.
  2. After cashews have soaked, rinse thoroughly and drain. Add to food processor with all the remaining ingredients. Pulse to combine, scraping down the sides with a spatula as needed. Blend until smooth, but still slightly gritty.
  3. After potatoes have completely cooled in the fridge for at least a few hours, slice them in half (if larger, slice into thirds or quarters) and place in large bowl. Spoon in desired amount of parsley cashew sauce (I used about 1/2 cup) and mix well. You can eat it right away or let it sit in the fridge to marinate a bit, but this is optional. Store any leftover cashew sauce in the refrigerator.

Dairy-Free Pistachio Pudding

 

pistachio pudding 3

It wouldn’t be St. Patrick’s day without something green and I’ve got just the green thing for you. No green dye either. Fresh spinach is what gives this pudding its beautiful green color and no, you cannot taste it. The pistachios add a little bit of green too.

This pudding is not to be confused with the extremely processed, boxed pistachio pudding you may have grown up eating, so don’t expect that flavor. I will admit that I did enjoy said pudding as a kid though and even remember buying boxes of the instant stuff for myself as a teenager. Ick. Meanwhile, the banana acts as the sweetener in this pudding and it was enough for me, but if you want it sweeter, feel free to add a little raw honey, maple syrup or even a couple dates. Also, this is a thicker pudding and more mousse-like in texture, but if you want it thinner, experiment with less gelatin.

Oh, and I am back from Iceland as of late Monday night. It was an incredible trip and we loved it there! I will share more about that soon. In the meantime, follow me on Instagram if you want to check out some of the photos and videos from our Icelandic vacation.

Cheers and happy St. Patrick’s Day!

P.S. Anyone else excited about eating corned beef and cabbage today?!

vertical 3 pistachio pudding

Ingredients:

  • 1 13.5 oz can full-fat coconut milk (I used this brand)
  • 1 small just-ripe banana (yellow with no spots)
  • 4 cups loosely packed fresh spinach
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup roasted and salted pistachios, shelled
  • *Scant 1 Tbsp gelatin, preferably grass-fed (I recommend this one or this one)
  • Extra pistachios, chopped, for garnish

*Experiment with less gelatin if you want a thinner texture. I personally like the hybrid pudding-mousse texture, but make it how you want it.

Directions:

  1. Pour about 3/4 of the coconut milk into a high-speed blender container. Then, add the vanilla, banana and spinach. Blend until totally smooth.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat the remaining coconut milk over low heat. Once warm, whisk in the gelatin and continue whisking until dissolved.
  3. Pour the gelatin mixture and pistachios into the blender and mix about 20 seconds or until mostly smooth (I like to keep some coarse pieces of pistachio).
  4. Pour into desired-size ramekins and place in fridge to set for 1-2 hours. Before serving, add chopped pistachios for garnish, if desired.

 

One-Pan Roasted Veggies & Sausage

 

veggies-and-sausageCan’t beat a simple, one-pan meal. It makes for an easy lunch or dinner and involves little fuss, other than chopping the vegetables. But, that’s a very small task to accomplish to create a healthy meal.

Feel free to make this dish your own by using the veggies, sausage and seasonings that you like. It’s easy to customize and leaves lots of room for variety. In terms of the sausage, I used Aidells Artichoke & Garlic Chicken Sausage, but an Italian variety (Applegate makes a good one) would be great too.

On another note, my 32nd birthday is today! Cheers, joy and well wishes to me! And, on yet another note, my husband and I leave for Iceland this Sunday! We will be there for a full week. It’s going to be majestic! The first stop once we arrive (at 6:45 a.m. their time) is the Blue Lagoon to restore, relax and kick the jet lag. We’re getting shuttled straight there from the airport. Expect some beautiful photos to ensue soon!

Ingredients:

  • 2 large carrots, sliced into 1/4″ rounds
  • 2 small-medium white sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 small heads broccoli, chopped into florets (peel and chop stem too)
  • 16 oz package artichoke & garlic or Italian chicken sausage, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 2-3 Tbsp avocado oil or melted coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp granulated onion or onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • Pinch of cayenne

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. On a large baking sheet, mix together the chopped veggies (make sure pieces are uniform for even cooking), minced garlic, sliced shallot and sliced sausage.
  3. In a small dish, mix the melted coconut oil (or avocado oil) with the apple cider vinegar, oregano, thyme, parsley, cayenne, granulated onion (or onion powder), sea salt and black pepper. Pour over vegetable mixture and toss with tongs to coat.
  4. Place pan in preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes. Stir and place back in oven for another 20 minutes or until vegetables are cooked through and tender.

Lemon Dill Avocado Chicken Salad

chicken-salad-2

Spring is less than a month away, as hard as it may be to believe some days. With its approach in mind, I got to thinking about springy flavors – things like lemon, dill, peas and so on. Contemplating what to make, it suddenly hit me…a spring chicken salad recipe. It’s not very often I share lunch recipes anyway, so it seemed like another good reason to run with it. Plus, I love chicken salad, despite the fact that I rarely make it. I become a creature of habit when it comes to lunch foods and generally stick to the same things, so this is a refreshing change.

I’m sure this would be just as tasty without the addition of the mayo, but I love homemade mayo or a high-quality one like this brand. It adds a little extra creaminess and tang too, which I enjoy. But, if you don’t have any on hand or just don’t like it, you can leave it out. Personally, I never liked mayo until I made it myself. It is way different than what you may know as mayo. Really, it might as well be frosting because it’s that good. I do have another chicken salad recipe that’s tropical-inspired and more mayo-based if you want to check that one out HERE.

Also, stay tuned because next month, on March 20 (also the first day of spring!), I’ll be featuring this recipe LIVE on KATU Afternoon Live. I’ll share the segment when that time comes. UPDATE: watch the replay of my segment HERE.

Cheers and enjoy!

lemon-dill-avocado-chicken-salad-bite

Ingredients:

  • 2 cooked chicken breasts, shredded (roughly 1 lb or so of meat)
  • 1 large avocado, sliced into quarters and pitted
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1.5 tsp dried dill
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, rinsed under warm water to thaw
  • 1 small carrot, grated
  • 2 Tbsp homemade avocado oil mayo or use a high-quality brand like this one 

Directions:

  1. Place shredded chicken in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. Remove avocado peels and place avocado in a large bowl. Mash well with a fork and then add the lemon juice, sea salt, black pepper, dried dill, mayo, carrot, green onion and peas. Stir well with a spatula until mixed well. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
  3. Pour avocado mixture into the bowl with the shredded chicken and stir well. Store in refrigerator.
  4. Serve in a lettuce wrap, over greens or with veggie slices and/or plantain chips.

Raspberry Cacao Nib Fudge

raspberry-nib-fudge

Normally, I wouldn’t post two treat recipes back-to-back, but I blame it on Valentine’s Day…it inspired me. I actually rarely post dessert recipes as it is, but alas…Valentine’s Day. But, truthfully, I’ve been wanting to experiment with something like this for a while, so that’s reason enough.

This recipe is super easy and very customizable too. The freeze-dried raspberries are a splurge, in my opinion, but really make this fudge extra special. And, the pop of color is quite pretty too. Kinda romantic, eh?

Cheers and enjoy! Oh, and happy Valentine’s Day too!

raspberry-nib-bite

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup cocoa or cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Freeze-dried raspberries, to taste (I used this brand)
  • Cacao nibs, to taste

Directions:

  1. Melt coconut oil in a saucepan over low heat. Once melted, remove from heat and whisk in the honey and stir until dissolved. Then, add the cocoa or cacao powder, sea salt and vanilla. Whisk until cocoa powder is completely mixed in. Let mixture sit a few minutes to thicken a little.
  2. Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper. Pour mixture into pan and while still wet, sprinkle the desired amount of freeze-dried raspberries and cacao nibs on top. Place in fridge to set for 20 minutes or so.
  3. Cut into desired-size pieces and store in the refrigerator.