Chocolate Matcha Avocado Pudding

Chocolate avocado pudding is creamy, delicious, and whips together in a pinch, but surprisingly, not something I make very often. Honestly, I don’t even remember the last time I made it — I just know it’s been a long time. But, I had a leftover ripe avocado in my fridge after my KATU Afternoon Live segment the other day and got to thinking about how I wanted to use it (other than the obvious fact that it tastes amazing on top of everything). Somehow, chocolate matcha avocado pudding came to me and fortunately, I only needed one more avocado to make this recipe work. Everything else was already in my kitchen.

I’ve really taken a liking to matcha and love how it can be incorporated into treats as well. It tastes lovely with coconut and chocolate, so I figured it would take chocolate avocado pudding to the next level. And, I think it did. At the very least, it’s a nice way to mix things up a little!

If matcha is not your thing, it can easily be omitted from this recipe. Also, the great thing about this pudding is that while you’re making it, you can taste along the way. If you’re not sure about the matcha, start with one teaspoon and work your way up from there. Everything can easily be adjusted to your preference, so use this recipe as a baseline. Also, know that the matcha is not over-powering, bitter or strong, but adds a delicate grassy, green tea flavor. It’s magnificent!

Cheers and enjoy!Ingredients:

  • 2 large ripe avocados, quartered, pitted and peeled
  • Heaping 1/3 cup cocoa or cacao powder
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp ceremonial matcha powder (I used this brand)
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 3-4 Tbsp raw honey or maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Optional toppings for serving:

  • Unsweetened shredded coconut
  • Cacao nibs
  • Chopped almonds, cashews, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, etc.

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a food processor or high-powered blender and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides with a spatula as needed. Taste and adjust flavor to your liking. Serve as is or with any of the optional toppings. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator and eat within a few days.

Yields: 4 servings

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Simple Supper Friday: Red and Green Scramble

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Well, Christmas is nearly upon us, as is the Winter Solstice. I absolutely savor this time of year and the time leading up to Christmas, so I’m not sure if I’m actually ready for it to be here. But, ready or not, here it comes! I do look forward to celebrating with Jesse though and tomorrow, we actually have a big party to go to at our boss’s house, which should be a blast. It’s going to be a full house, with about 40 people! Let’s just say there will be lots of merry making going on!

Meanwhile, here is the fantastic scramble I talked about on Facebook the other day. It’s so simple, obviously, and oh so good! The recipe only serves one, but can easily be doubled or tripled to feed more people.

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed butter
  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves, torn into smaller pieces
  • 3 eggs beaten, preferably pasture raised
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 Tbsp pure tomato sauce (I like this brand)
  • Splash of full-fat coconut milk (I like this brand or this brand)
  • Avocado slices for serving, optional

Directions:

  1. Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the torn spinach leaves and toss in the butter, until slightly softened.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs, sea salt, pepper, oregano, tomato sauce and coconut milk. Add to the pan with the spinach, adding a little more butter first, if needed.
  3. Continue to cook over medium-low heat, stirring the eggs occasionally with a spatula to scramble the eggs. Once cooked through, remove from heat and serve with avocado slices, if desired. If you tolerate some dairy, grate some raw cheddar cheese one top (preferably grass-fed).

Yields: 1 serving

Guest Post: Raw Avocado Mousse Cake with a Raisin Seed Crust

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Happy Tuesday, everyone! I’m excited to share a guest post with you all from fellow Oregonian, Maiah Miller (although she’s not a transplant Oregonian, like me). Maiah has created a fabulous raw dessert recipe that I cannot wait to try for the next special occasion. Thanks, Maiah — it’s lovely to have you here!

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This recipe came about partially because I had a craving for chocolate, but also because I had overripe avocados to use.  I was also trying to create a recipe for my parents’ 35th wedding anniversary and since they both insist they need to be healthier yet love chocolate, I decided on a chocolate mousse dessert.  I used to make an amazing chocolate mousse made with silken tofu, which yields a great creamy texture, but my extreme sensitivity to soy means that tofu is no longer an option, so I’ve had to get creative with my chocolate recipes, and more often than not avocados or bananas find their way into my desserts to replace soy or dairy.  For this recipe, I wanted to create a chocolate mousse dessert, but without any added sugars as well.  I have a huge sweet tooth and am terrible at limiting myself to just a tiny taste of dessert, so when I do eat dessert, I like to make sure it is as healthy as possible without sacrificing flavor. This mousse cake tastes very decadent and rich, so it’s an easy one to not overindulge with.

The crust layer can be halved to create a thinner crust, and it can also yield a healthy raw cookie recipe on it’s own.  I loved the generous amount of sweet seeded crust, but for a more traditional mousse cake look, you can opt for a thinner crust or even double the mousse cake portion for a taller cake.

Raw Avocado Mousse Cake with a Raisin Seed Crust

Crust ingredients:

  • 2 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 3/4 cup raisins or apple-juice sweetened cranberries*
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil, not melted

*Note: I used both raisins and apple juice-sweetened cranberries for a nice tartness and more colorful crust

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Mousse cake ingredients:

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 6 medjool dates, softened in hot water if necessary
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seed butter
  • 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons raw honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • Optional topping: melted nondairy chocolate chips or cacao nibs

Directions:

For the crust:

  1. Combine the seeds, raisins and cinnamon in a food processor; pulse until it becomes a sticky dough, adding a little water if necessary.  Press into the bottom of a parchment-lined 9” cake pan or springform pan.

For the cake:

  1. For the mousse cake, puree the avocados, then add in all remaining ingredients, making sure the dates are soft before adding.
  2. Once the mousse mixture is smooth and no lumps remain, spread it over the crust and refrigerate overnight.

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About Maiah:

maiah run1Maiah Miller is from Eugene, Oregon where she grew up eating healthy foods and helping her mom bake in the kitchen.  Since being diagnosed with allergies to gluten, soy, dairy and nuts, she has learned to become quite creative in the kitchen, and her dietary restrictions have resulted in a new love and respect for healthy and allergen-free recipes.  Maiah loves to create nutritious desserts that taste incredible, and aren’t laden with oils and sugars that are often used to replace allergens, such as gluten.  As a runner and fitness instructor, Maiah knows the importance of eating well to fuel the body, and has compiled some of her favorite recipes onto her gluten-free cookbook, available on etsy.com. Maiah currently resides in Carlsbad, California with her husband, a captain in the US Marines, and adopted golden-doodles Zeke and Yogi.  Her blog can be viewed at www.maiahmiller.blogspot.com.

Spicy Scotch Eggs with Creamy Bacon Sauce

Spicy scotch eggs with creamy bacon sauce.
Spicy scotch eggs with creamy bacon sauce.

Rather than studying for my exercise science final exam yesterday, I made these instead. I’ve actually been wanting to try scotch eggs for some time, and it seemed like a great distraction from reality to do so yesterday. I also did a million other things and then finally started studying legitimately around 8 p.m. Not the best plan, I know, but I have so much on my mind. And what’s great, is that I took the exam this morning and am DONE! I did the best that I could and I know I passed, so it is what it is. Now, onto my wedding weekend and celebration! Wahoo! My family arrives late tonight and I can’t wait. There will be lots of glass raising and clinking this weekend!

Meanwhile, go make scotch eggs and dip them in this delicious, fatty sauce.

For the scotch eggs:

  • 5 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp smoky spice blend, from Practical Paleo (recipe below)
  • 1 Tbsp chorizo spice blend, from Practical Paleo (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Meanwhile, mix meat, spices and vinegar together in a large bowl. Then, form into 5 equal patties. Wrap each patty around a hard-boiled egg and make sure to cover it completely. Place on a baking sheet lined with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes. Serve with creamy bacon sauce.

Smoky Spice Blend:

  • 1 Tbsp chipotle powder
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp sea salt
  • 1/2 Tbsp black pepper

Mix together and store in a jar or spice container.

Yields: 5 Tbsp

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Chorizo Spice Blend:

  • 2 Tbsp chipotle powder
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Same directions as above.

Yields: ~6 Tbsp

For the sauce:

  • 1 Tbsp melted bacon grease (mine is from sugar-free grass-fed beef bacon)
  • 1/2 avocado
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 Tbsp full-fat coconut milk
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 1/2 Tbsp fresh oregano leaves
  • 1/2 – 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 tsp raw honey

In a small blender or food processor (I used my Ninja), combine all the ingredients except for the bacon grease. Once smooth, slowly pour in the bacon grease and blend. Adjust seasonings and creaminess as needed. Also, if the bacon flavor isn’t strong enough, feel free to add a bit more melted bacon grease.

Simple Supper Friday: Mexican Breakfast Burritos

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Well, it’s officially three weeks (tomorrow) until our wedding ceremony. Jesse and I went and signed our marriage license yesterday and got all the official paperwork in order. Coming up now, I need to go to the flower shop (I’m going to Geranium Lake Flowers) and pick out my bridal bouquet (I’m just getting a bridesmaid size one). I have a trial run of my hair and makeup a week before the wedding with my friend and makeup artist, Brooke Morse. Brooke and I also used to work together at Lululemon Athletica. As a treat, I also arranged for her to do my mom, sister and soon-to-be mother in-law’s makeup on the day of our ceremony. What else? Oh, Jesse and I need to go up to Council Crest Park, where we’re having our ceremony and figure out where exactly, we want everything to happen. As for Jesse, specifically, he needs to find a pair of shoes and learn how to tie his bow-tie. He has not been practicing! There’s also the vows situation too…still haven’t started and I don’t know that Jesse has either. I’m not sure I will be able to pull it off with everything else I have going on. We’ll see, I suppose. I want to, but right now, it’s a little overwhelming because I have a lot of other things with deadlines to manage.

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As for this recipe, it rocks! The tortillas cook up easily (I only tore my first one…premature flipping) and hold together surprisingly well. I will definitely be making them again, but will probably try a different flavor combination. The egg filling is tasty and slightly spicy, and works well inside the wrap. These wraps would also be great for meat-based fillings — chicken breast with bacon, taco-seasoned ground beef, Greek-seasoned ground lamb, deli meat, sausages or grass-fed beef hot dogs, etc. There’s lots of possibilities.

For the filling:

  • 4 slices US Wellness Meats sugar-free grass-fed beef bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 cup crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 pastured eggs, beaten
  • 1 8-oz can diced green chiles
  • 1-2 Tbsp organic taco seasoning (make sure there’s no sugar or other junk ingredients)
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Dab of grass-fed butter or tallow, if needed
  • Avocado slices
  • Chopped romaine or greens
  • Black lava course sea salt for garnishing, optional
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the chopped bacon. Cook for a couple minutes and then add the sliced mushrooms.
  2. Meanwhile, add the taco seasoning, sea salt and pepper to the beaten eggs in a medium bowl. Then, once the bacon is crisp and the mushrooms have softened, add the egg mixture to the pan. Add a bit of butter or tallow to re-grease the pan first, if needed.
  3. Turn heat down to medium-low and continue to cook. Add the sliced tomatoes and green chiles.
  4. Once the eggs are cooked through, adjust seasoning as needed.
  5. Spoon mixture into a tortilla and top with lettuce/greens and avocado.

Yields: enough to fill 4-5 tortillas

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For the tortillas, adapted slightly from this recipe:

  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 cup egg whites
  • 1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • US Wellness Meats grass-fed beef tallow, for cooking
  1. Combine all the ingredients, except the tallow in a blender. Blend for about 30 seconds or until mixed through and smooth. Let sit for 10 minutes to thicken.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium heat and add a little tallow. Pour 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan and shake around a bit to form about an 8-inch circle.
  3. Let tortilla cook for a few minutes, until edges start to peel up and it’s no longer shiny on top — that’s when you know it’s ready to flip. Flip carefully using a large spatula. Once flipped, cook for roughly one more minute.
  4. Stack tortillas on a plate lined with paper towel to absorb the moisture.

Yields: 6 tortillas

Cobb Salad with Vinaigrette Dressing

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I’ve been wanting to make a big ol’ cobb salad for a while now, but the cold, rainy and wintery weather held me back. But now, it’s been calling my name again since the weather has been in the 80s — or what I deem as salad weather. Honestly, I’ve been wanting to replicate a cobb salad since December, when Jesse and I were in Hawaii. I ordered a cobb salad during our last dinner on the island, and it was so delicious, even without any dressing. You can’t go wrong with that much tasty fat and protein on one platter!

I warn you, this salad does take quite a bit of time to prepare if you don’t have things ready beforehand. So, if you do choose to make it, try planning ahead, even if it’s just grilling an extra chicken breast at dinner one or two nights before. This will at least put you one step further in the process.

For the salad:

  • 1 leftover grilled boneless skinless chicken breast, chopped
  • 5 strips US Wellness Meats sugar-free grass-fed beef bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
  • 4 cups chopped romaine and kale
  • 1-2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 avocado, chopped

Spread the chopped lettuce and kale out among two plates. Then, make a row of tomato, avocado, egg, chicken and bacon. If space is tight on your plate, combine the avocado and tomato together. Drizzle with vinaigrette just before serving (see recipe below).

For the vinaigrette:

  • 2 Tbsp + 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp champagne vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • Splash of full-fat coconut milk

Whisk all ingredients together. Taste and adjust flavor as needed. Drizzle over individual salads just before serving.

Yields: 2 entree-sized salads

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Easter Eats 2013

It’s hard to believe I go back to school already today, but then again, I did only have one week off. Anyway, I feel settled in again after my trip home to Michigan, and had a lovely weekend. It felt so good to not have any schoolwork and besides that, the weather was in the 70s! It felt incredible and I did my best to soak up the vitamin-D!

Look at all those daffodils in our back yard!
Look at all those daffodils in our back yard! Sun and green grass too! Hooray for spring!

Because this is already going to be a lengthier post, I’m going to recap about our Easter dinner and then talk about my Saturday in Tuesday’s post. Here’s a little precursor about Saturday though: sauerkraut tasting!

I mentioned on Friday that I was thinking of making deviled eggs, and so I did. I didn’t want to make a big batch, so I made just enough for Jesse and me to eat. I had never made deviled eggs before, but have looked at many recipes and eaten them before, so I knew the basic idea. These turned out great, and Jesse and I sat out on the patio in shorts and t-shirts while eating them. We also enjoyed some chardonnay in our new wine glasses that my aunt and cousin sent as a shower gift, and had some pleasant conversation.

For dinner, we had a petite ham from US Wellness Meats with a homemade glaze, pineapple chutney, a spinach salad and cooked asparagus. We had a cake for dessert, which you’ll see my note about at the bottom of the post. Recipes are listed below.

For the small-batch deviled eggs:

  • 4 hard-cooked pastured eggs, peeled
  • 1.5 Tbsp macadamia nut oil mayo
  • 1/2 tsp yellow mustard
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp dried dill
  • Paprika for garnish, optional
  1. Slice eggs in half, lengthwise and carefully scoop the yolks out into a bowl. Mash the yolks with a fork and then add the remaining ingredients, except the paprika. Mix well and spoon into a small zip-lock baggie.
  2. Snip one of the corners from the baggie and pipe yolk mixture back into the egg cavity.
  3. Before serving, garnish with paprika, if using.
Small-batch deviled eggs.
Small-batch deviled eggs.

For the ham and glaze:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place ham in a foil-lined roasting pan and bake for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together the glaze ingredients. After 30 minutes, brush half the glaze on the ham. Roast for 10 minutes, then remove from oven and brush on the remaining glaze. Bake for another 10 minutes.

The chutney was inspired by a Whole Foods recipe, but modified to my liking. It was a wonderful accompaniment to the ham and together, it was out of this world (and the glaze was not overpowering or super sweet). I hadn’t tasted ham probably since early high school and boy, was it good! I’d buy this US Wellness Meats ham again in a heartbeat! Compassionate-raised pasture ham is hard to come by, especially one that is both sugar-free and nitrate-free. This is a major win.

For the chutney:

  • 1 cup fresh pineapple, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1/2 medium red onion, chopped
  • 2/3 cup orange juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  1. Place all the ingredients in a medium-sized saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Continue to simmer for 10-20 minutes, until mixture has thickened.
  2. Remove cinnamon stick and serve warm atop of ham.
Glazed ham with chutney, spinach salad and caramelized asparagus.
Glazed ham with chutney, spinach salad and browned asparagus.

The salad idea came together while grocery shopping for Easter dinner…on Easter Sunday. Ha, we never made it to the store on Saturday, like we usually do, so we had to go on actual Easter day. I expanded upon my salad idea as I assembled it at home, and the result was refreshing and summer-like.

For the spinach salad:

  • 2 cups raw spinach
  • 1/2 cup curley parsley, chopped
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
  • 2 Tbsp chopped raw cashews
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp Tessemae’s lemon garlic dressing (Whole Foods carries this line now! So excited!)

In a large bowl, mix together everything, but the dressing. Just before serving, mix in the dressing.

Easter dinner.
Easter dinner.

If you really want to know what I did for the asparagus, I melted 2 Tbsp of grass-fed butter over medium heat. Then, I added a bundle of asparagus (woody ends removed) and seasoned with sea salt and pepper. I tossed the asparagus occasionally and allowed it to brown and caramelize a bit. Once tender, after 5-7 minutes, I removed from heat.

We had a delicious chocolate cake for dessert that I will post about later in the week. I think there’s enough recipes here for one day!

I’d love to hear about your Easter, and what you cooked and ate! Feel free to share!