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.

“Peanut Butter” Chocolate Mousse

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Traditionally, chocolate mousse is made with whipping cream, sugar, some form of chocolate (chocolate chips or cocoa powder), and egg yolks or egg whites — I’ve seen both. Not totally sure which came first. The mixture is also heated on the stove.

However, my variation is dairy-free, refined sugar-free, and couldn’t be any easier. No stovetop needed and everything mixes together in the blender. I added sunflower seed butter too, so the final product tastes a bit like a peanut butter cup. It is so decadent and heavenly! Of course, there are no peanuts, but sunflower seed butter mimics a peanutty flavor, in my opinion. If you want a quick, easy and painless Valentine’s Day dessert, make this recipe!

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Also, if you really want to go all out, make homemade coconut milk whipped cream (or dairy-based whipped cream, if tolerated) and top each serving with a dollop or two. Add fresh berries, fresh grated chocolate or a sprinkling of cacao nibs, if desired.

And, one last thing…I will be making this recipe LIVE on KATU Afternoon Live today, so tune in if you like (show is from 3-4 PST). I will share the replay clip afterward though, so you can catch it that way too. UPDATE: watch the replay of my segment HERE!

Enjoy!

pb-choc-mousseIngredients: 

  • 1 13.5 oz can full-fat coconut milk (I like and used this brand)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa or cacao powder
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Heaping 1/4 cup unsweetened sunflower seed butter (I like and used this brand)
  • 3-4 Tbsp raw honey or more if you want it sweeter
  • *Scant 1 Tbsp gelatin, preferably grass-fed (I recommend this one OR this one)

*Note: experiment with a little less gelatin if you want your mousse to be a bit thinner. Also, this recipe sets up fine without “blooming” or dissolving the gelatin first, but I know I am doing it differently than the standard. If you prefer to let it “bloom” in a small amount of chilled coconut milk first and then add it to some warmed coconut milk on the stove, go for it (you’d then of course mix it with the remaining ingredients & pour into dishes). I just know it works for me without doing this step and the directions on my gelatin container even instruct it can be used this way.

Directions:

  1. *To a blender container, add the coconut milk, cocoa powder, sea salt, vanilla, sunflower seed butter and honey. Blend for several seconds or so on low or medium-low. Scrape down the sides with a spatula, if needed and briefly blend again. Then, add the gelatin and blend on low or medium-low to incorporate it into the mixture. Make sure the gelatin is thoroughly mixed in and the mixture is smooth, but don’t over-blend!
  2. Immediately pour into small dishes or ramekins and place in the fridge to set. Allow to firm up for at least a few hours or longer, if needed.

*Note: this can be whisked in a large bowl by hand, but it’s harder to get a totally smooth texture. You have to whisk somewhat vigorously, but it works pretty well. I have done it this way too and still liked it. The texture was a little thinner too. Blending yields a smoother, thicker texture. Both are good, in my opinion! If you choose to blend the mixture, but want your mousse a littler thinner, see my note above about the gelatin.

Cinnamon Spice “Porridge”

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I’ve been wanting to try my hand at cauliflower “porridge” for some time now and finally got around to doing it. I was surprised how easy it was and how well the porridge held its shape. The texture came out just right, but I think a lot of that can be attributed to the shredded coconut. It adds a bit of thickness and a nice bite. I ate my porridge with fresh strawberries and blueberries mixed in, which was delicious, but you can garnish it with whatever you like. I’ve listed some topping suggestions in the recipe below. This is great hot or cold, and is pretty filling too. It also makes for a good treat!

Also, if you’re wondering if you can taste the cauliflower — yes, of course you can. It’s not overpowering, in my opinion, but is noticeable. I happen to like cauliflower, so it doesn’t bother me, but if you don’t care for cauliflower, this recipe probably isn’t for you. My husband and I are both fans of this concoction though. Hope you are too!

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • Medium head of cauliflower, riced in food processor
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk (I used this brand, which has no gums or stabilizers)
  • 3 Tbsp filtered water
  • 2 Tbsp grass-fed butter, ghee or coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp unsweetened almond butter
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract (I like this brand)
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • Generous pinch of sea salt
  • 1 egg, preferably pasture-raised, whisked
  • Up to 1 Tbsp raw honey, optional

Topping Ideas:

  • Fresh berries
  • Banana slices
  • Drizzle of coconut milk
  • Chopped nuts
  • Cacao nibs
  • Extra drizzle of raw honey

Directions:

  1. Add the riced cauliflower and shredded coconut to a large saucepan. Then, add the remaining ingredients, EXCEPT for the whisked egg and raw honey. Stir well over medium-low heat.
  2. Bring mixture to a simmer. Cover with lid and continue to simmer 20-25 minutes or until porridge is smooth and creamy. Stir occasionally.
  3. Once porridge is done simmering, remove from heat and add a small amount of the mixture to the whisked egg to temper it. Add a little more porridge and whisk again. Then, add the egg mixture to the porridge and stir well.
  4. Taste and adjust spices as desired. Add raw honey, if using and stir well.
  5. Serve warm or cold with toppings of choice.

Chicken Coconut Mango “Rice”

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Wow, it’s been exactly a month since I last posted…oops! I guess life got away on me a bit, but the past month has been great. I turned the big 3-0 on March 2nd and celebrated on my own (took the day off and got a 90 minute massage!) and with Jesse that day. Since my birthday was on a Monday, I celebrated with friends out in wine country the following weekend and it was a gorgeous 70 degree day. Work has kept me busier lately, but in a good way, though some days are definitely long and exhausting. All in all, I have no complaints, but I haven’t had with much time or motivation to experiment in the kitchen! Simple, quick meals and roasts in the slow cooker are pretty much my saving grace.

Meanwhile, this recipe turned out so delicious! The lime is very abundant and zesty, while the mango adds just the right amount of sweetness. It pairs well with the savory chicken and creaminess of the coconut milk. The house smelled wonderful while this was cooking, which I mostly attribute to the kaffir lime leaves. If you can’t find kaffir lime leaves, omit them and add a little bit more lime zest.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2.5 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts and/or thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • About 6 cups cauliflower, riced in the food processor
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 4-5 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 13.5 oz can full-fat coconut milk (I used this brand)
  • 1/2 cup chicken bone broth, preferably homemade
  • 1 Tbsp gluten-free fish sauce (I like this brand)
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • Juice and zest of one small lime
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1 mango, peeled and diced
  • Sliced green onion for garnish

chicken coconut mango rice

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium heat. Add the chicken and jalapeño, and season to taste with sea salt. Sauté until cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.
  2. While the chicken is cooking, pour the coconut milk, broth, fish sauce, lime juice and zest, kaffir lime leaves and ground ginger into a small pot over medium heat. Mix well and simmer until the liquid has reduced down a bit.
  3. Pour the coconut milk mixture over the chicken and stir. After 1-2 minutes, stir in the cauliflower rice and season to taste with sea salt. Cook until the cauliflower rice softens slightly. Then, stir in the mango and cook about one minute more.
  4. Serve and garnish with sliced green onion.

Yields: 5-6 servings

Simple Supper Friday: Roasted Cauliflower Curry Soup

Roasted Cauliflower Curry Soup

Happy Friday, everyone! I have a tasty soup recipe to share today that was inspired by my recent stay at the Bonneville Hot Springs Resort & Spa. Jesse and I ate my birthday dinner in the restaurant at the resort, and started off our meal with a cup of their soup special that evening, which was a curried cauliflower soup. The waitress sold us pretty quickly on it, especially once she told us it was both gluten and dairy-free (it was also vegan, but that was not a concern). The soup was even better than we expected and we both found ourselves scraping the bottom of our cup to get every last bit of puree.

Since we enjoyed the soup so much and it seemed pretty easy to make, I decided to create my own version. Mine is definitely different and even a different color, but it’s just as delicious, if not more (roasting the cauliflower adds a lot more flavor). I don’t think the restaurant version actually contained any curry powder or paste because the soup was completely white and very coconutty. I think it was called a curried soup just because of the coconut. If there were any curry spices added, it was definitely minimal, which the lack of color made obvious. As you know, curry powder adds an orange-ish color and the pastes are either yellow, red or green, so a white curry soup is nearly impossible.

Keep in mind, there is no protein added to the soup, so you’ll want to have something on the side for a complete meal. Otherwise, this isn’t going to fill you up very much. We ate ours with some local curry lamb sausage and dunked bites into the soup. It was awesome! A hearty salad with roasted chicken, beef or lamb mixed in would pair nicely as well.

Roasted Cauliflower Curry Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 small heads of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1.5 tsp curry powder, plus more to taste, if desired
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1.5 cup full-fat coconut milk, plus more if needed
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth, preferably homemade
  • 1 Tbsp Thai red curry paste
  • Dash of paprika
  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed ghee or butter
  • Toasted unsweetened coconut chips for garnish, optional

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place cauliflower on a large pan and drizzle with coconut oil. Then sprinkle on the curry powder and sea salt to taste. Roast in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, stirring halfway through.
  2. Meanwhile, slowly heat coconut milk and broth in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the Thai red curry paste. Once dissolved, remove from heat and pour into a blender container.
  3. Once cauliflower is done, add half of it to the blender with the milk mixture. Puree until nearly smooth and then add the remaining cauliflower, along with the ghee or butter and paprika. Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper, and puree again.
  4. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed (I added a dash more curry powder here) and add a bit more coconut milk if soup is thicker than you like. Once done, serve immediately or pour into a pot to keep warm on the stove or reheat slightly if it cooled off too much.
  5. Serve hot with toasted coconut chips and a side protein of choice. It’s also delicious with sliced toasted almonds on top.

Spicy Sausage and Squash Soup

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Guess what? It’s yet another squash recipe! This recipe features one of the forgotten squashes, but also my favorite — buttercup. This is the type of squash that I ate most often growing up, and I love it now as much (or more) as I loved it then. My mom always made it as a mash and it often accompanied our holiday dinners, along with other meals in the fall. I don’t know why, but this squash isn’t as abundant in stores as some of the others and sometimes, can be hard to find. On the outside, it is dark green and looks very similar to a kabocha squash, but the texture on the inside is creamy, moist and smooth, unlike kabocha’s waxy and dry texture (it’s actually the one squash I don’t care for). It has a natural sweetness, like most squashes, and is a delicious accompaniment to any meal or fantastic all on its own (with some grass-fed butter, of course).

Cheers and happy Wednesday!

Ingredients:

  • 1 3-lb buttercup squash (butternut will work too)
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb bulk spicy pork sausage
  • 2 cups chicken bone broth
  • 1 13.5 oz can full-fat coconut milk (I like this brand)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Himalayan sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds. Place flesh side down on a baking sheet or other oven proof pan. Add about 1/2 inch of water to the pan. Roast in the oven for 45-60 minutes or until squash is tender. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a large pot over medium heat, melt the coconut oil. Then, add the onion and garlic, and stir. After a few minutes, add the pork sausage and break up with a spatula. Continue to cook for several minutes, until sausage is browned and cooked through.
  3. Next, scoop the buttercup squash flesh into the pot. Add the broth and stir. Then, add the coconut milk, water, apple cider vinegar, bay leaf, sea salt and pepper.
  4. Bring soup to a simmer over medium-low heat and let cook for 20-30 minutes. Remove bay leaf and serve.

Yields: ~4 servings

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Simple Supper Friday: Pork Red Curry

Happy Friday, everyone! I just came from a pampering session (mani-pedi) that my mom treated me to, and tomorrow is the big day…my wedding reception! I’ll definitely be sharing pictures of the decorations and food (it’s paleo-friendly and there will even four kinds of paleo cakes). I can’t wait to see how everything turns out, as my mom has kept some of it a surprise. Anyway, it will be amazing…I know it!

Meanwhile, I was privileged to do a guest post for my friend, Naz of Cinnamon Eats today, so go check out my pork red curry recipe there!

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