Fourth of July Panna Cotta

Fourth of July is only five days away! Can you believe it? I’m never totally ready for it to come because summer always seems to fly by in the blink of an eye after the Fourth is over. We don’t have any plans other than working a little that morning (I am anyway — not sure about Jesse) and keeping our kitties company in the evening. Our cat, Frankie, is terrified of fireworks and loud noises in general, but our other cat, Dutch doesn’t seem to mind much. Anyway, we want to be there for Frankie since she gets so stressed out. Poor kitty. During the day, maybe we’ll go for a bike ride or something. We’re playing it by ear.

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a festive, healthy, and patriotic dessert to make, look no further. I’ve got you covered with this non-dairy Fourth of July panna cotta featuring coconut milk, blueberries, and raspberries. It has a hint of lemon flavor thanks to the lemon essential oil and tastes wonderful with the fresh berries.  If you don’t have access to the lemon essential oil, you can substitute lemon extract instead (1 tsp is probably enough, but it depends how lemony you want it). Strawberries would also be a great addition to this dessert if you want to add some extra red color and more berry flavor.

On another note, I went back on KATU Afternoon Live yesterday and made my summer “grain” salad with lemon tahini dressing. Watch the replay of the segment HERE.

Ingredients:

  • 13.5 oz can full-fat coconut milk (this brand is great and has no gums)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp cold filtered water
  • 1-1/4 tsp gelatin powder, preferably grass-fed (I recommend this one or this one)
  • 1-2 Tbsp raw honey, or more if you want it sweeter
  • 4 drops high-quality, dietary-safe lemon essential oil (learn where to get therapeutic grade oils here)
  • Fresh blueberries and raspberries or strawberries, for serving
  • Toasted slivered almonds, for serving
  • Unsweetened coconut flakes or chips, for serving

Directions:

  1. Pour water into a small bowl and sprinkle in the gelatin powder, allowing it to bloom. Set aside.
  2. Pour the coconut milk into a small saucepan and heat on the stove over medium heat. Whisk in the vanilla and honey. Once the honey is fully dissolved, add the gelatin mixture and whisk until dissolved. Remove from heat and whisk in the lemon essential oil.
  3. Divide mixture equally among three individual size glasses or small bowls (small mason jars also work well). Place in fridge to set for at least 4 hours.
  4. Once set, top with desired amount of fresh blueberries and raspberries. Garnish with the slivered almonds and coconut.

Yields: 3 servings

Summer “Grain” Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing

summer grain saladI’m back from NYC as of last Friday night and apparently, brought the warm weather back with me. I was gone for 10 days and the whole time I was away, the weather was cold, rainy, and crummy here in Portland. It was the exact opposite in NYC, so thankfully, I missed out! Now, our nice summer weather has returned, so more salads are called upon.

This salad makes for an awesome summertime dinner. I like making it ahead of time, so we can eat it cold after it’s chilled in the fridge, but it can be eaten warm as well. It is so delicious and the simple lemon tahini dressing is perfect. I think I could eat this salad, or a variation of it, everyday!

Meanwhile, you can catch me making this recipe next Wednesday, June 28 on KATU Afternoon Live. I’ll be sure to share the replay link once it’s available.

Cheers and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups golden beets, diced into 1/2″ pieces
  • 2 cups asparagus, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 Tbsp coconut or avocado oil
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 5 oz clamshell baby kale
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 3 Tbsp filtered water
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 large lemon, juiced

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place beets and asparagus on a large baking sheet, and drizzle with coconut or avocado oil. Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper. Roast in oven for 30-40 minutes, stirring halfway through. Once done, set aside.
  2. *Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add the ground chicken and season with sea salt and black pepper, to taste. Continue to cook chicken, but don’t break up the chunks of meat as you normally would. Cook until chicken is browned and no longer pink, about 6-7 minutes, but do not overcook. *Note, if your ground chicken is really lean, you may need to add a little oil to the pan. Set aside once done.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, water, and garlic. Add sea salt and black pepper, to taste. Set aside.
  4. Next, add the cooked ground chicken to the food processor bowl with the pan drippings. Pulse about 4-5 times until chicken forms smaller crumbles and resembles grains. Be careful not to over-process.
  5. Pour the chicken into a large mixing bowl. Add the parsley, roasted vegetables, green onions, and baby kale (you may have to work the baby kale in bit-by-bit). Pour dressing over top and stir well. Continue to add the baby kale (if you didn’t add it all at once), until it’s all worked in. Taste, and add more sea salt and/or black pepper, if desired.
  6. Serve right away or let chill in the fridge and serve cold.

Dairy-Free Lemon Poppyseed Dressing

Our sunny, warm weather is finally here and for a consistent period of time too. I am so happy! And, with that said, I’m thinking even more about summery foods like salads and barbecue. This dressing is perfect to have on hand for those warmer days and I’ve actually been using it everyday on my salads for lunch. Speaking of that, there’s nothing I love more than a huge ass salad for lunch. I throw in whatever’s in my fridge — mixed greens, turkey burger, chicken or smoked salmon, sauerkraut, carrots, cucumber, fresh herbs, sunflower seeds, etc. —  it’s all fair game. Normally, I just use olive oil or guacamole as my dressing, but this lemon poppyseed dressing has been a nice and refreshing way to mix things up. It’s definitely lemony, but that’s kinda the point.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Cheers!

Ingredients:

  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp homemade avocado oil mayo or a high-quality brand like this one
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2.5 Tbsp sweet onion, finely minced
  • 1.5 Tbsp raw honey
  • 1 Tbsp poppyseeds
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients, except the poppyseeds in a blender. Blend about 30-60 seconds, until frothy. Add the poppyseeds and blend for another 20-30 seconds.
  2. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
  3. Store in a covered container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Smoky Sweet Potato, Kale & Pineapple Salad

This salad is a mix of sweet, smoky and spicy, and just the thing to share at an upcoming Memorial Day barbecue or other gathering this summer. I recommend making it ahead of time, so that it can sit in the fridge for a few hours before eating. The salad becomes much more flavorful, although it’s still good if you don’t have time for that…or aren’t patient. I really enjoy this side dish with chicken, but think it would pair well with nearly any protein.

Meanwhile, you can catch me making this recipe on KATU Afternoon Live on Friday, May 26! Watch the replay of my segment HERE.

Cheers and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large white sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium orange sweet potato (I used a jewel), peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp salt-free mesquite seasoning blend, separated (I used this one, which is unsweetened)
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups fresh pineapple, cut into 1/2 to 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cups loosely packed curly green kale leaves, de-stemmed & chopped
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Spread sweet potatoes onto a large baking sheet and drizzle with melted coconut oil. Mix in the minced garlic, 1 Tbsp of the mesquite seasoning, and sea salt and black pepper, to taste.
  3. Place in preheated oven and roast for 30-35 minutes, stirring halfway through. Once done, set aside to cool completely.
  4. Add the kale to a large bowl and generously season with sea salt. Massage the sea salt into the kale with your hands for 1-2 minutes (this helps the kale soften and makes it more flavorful). Then, add the olive oil, red onion, pineapple, and remaining 1 tsp of mesquite seasoning. Stir well.
  5. Once sweet potatoes have cooled, add to the kale mixture and gently stir. Taste and add more mesquite seasoning, sea salt, black pepper or olive oil, if desired.
  6. If possible, allow flavors to marinate in the fridge for at least a couple hours before serving. When ready to serve, I recommend sprinkling on a dash more mesquite seasoning, but this is optional.

Dairy-Free Creamy Mexican Dip

We’re only a few days away from May and I am so hoping it brings some consistent sun here in Portland. We’ve had a record number of rainy days and the sun has been few-and-far between. April showers bring May flowers though, right?

Anyway, with the approach of May is also Cinco de Mayo and this healthy dip is a great way to celebrate! It’s creamy, spicy and festive! I enjoyed it with veggie slices, plantain chips, and mixed into a taco bowl too (ground meat of choice with taco spices, veggies of choice, and this dip mixed in). There is no dairy in the dip, but the creamy aspect comes from pureed white sweet potato, olive oil, and avocado. It’s wonderful served warm, room temperature or cold. This recipe yields a lot too!

Also, I’ll be making this dip on KATU Afternoon Live next Wednesday, May 3. I’ll be sure to share the replay of the segment once it’s available. UPDATE: watch the replay of my segment HERE!

Cheers and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium-large white sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 large avocado, sliced into quarters
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 14 oz container fresh salsa (mild, medium or hot)
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • Pinch of cayenne, optional

Directions:

  1. Cook sweet potato cubes in a steamer basket over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until tender.
  2. Add the cooked sweet potato to a food processor with the garlic, avocado, lime juice, olive oil, sea salt and black pepper. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides with a spatula as needed.
  3. Next, add the salsa and cilantro, and pulse several times to incorporate it into the sweet potato mixture. Taste and add pinch of cayenne (or more) if you want it a bit spicier.
  4. Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold with sliced veggies, plantain chips, grain-free tortillas (this variation is also gum-free), or grain-free tortilla chips. It also makes for a tasty topping on tacos, salads, etc.

Ham, Carrot & Asparagus Egg Bake

We didn’t do anything for Easter this year, nor did I make anything special (granted, we did eat plenty of my dill pickle deviled eggs leading up to it), but I did pick up some ham since it was on sale. Okay, and I did gift Jesse with a special dark chocolate bar from The Meadow, but that’s the extend of it. We didn’t even eat the ham on Easter, as it was a leftovers kind of night. Up until Saturday afternoon, we actually thought we were getting together with friends on Easter Sunday (not for Easter, but just to get together for dinner), but that ended up falling through.

Meanwhile, if you have any leftover Easter ham or picked some up because it was on sale, this recipe is a great way to use it. There’s asparagus, carrot, and dill in the mix too, which yields a lot of spring flavor. It’s a great recipe to save for Mother’s Day brunch or any spring occasion.

Cheers and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups asparagus, chopped into 1-inch pieces (remove woody ends)
  • 1 large carrot, cut in half and peeled into strips
  • 2 cups good-quality ham, diced into cubes
  • 12 eggs, preferably pasture-raised
  • 1/4 cup good-quality chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk (I used this brand, which has no gums)
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Steam asparagus pieces over medium-low heat for about 4-5 minutes. Remove steamer basket from pot and set aside to cool a bit.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, broth, coconut milk, dried dill, sea salt, and black pepper.
  4. Add the steamed asparagus, carrot strips, and ham cubes to a 9×13 baking dish and distribute evenly (note: depending on the pan you use, you may need to grease it with a little butter or coconut oil first). Pour egg mixture on top.
  5. Place in preheated oven and bake for 45-50 minutes or until set.
  6. Let cool 5-10 minutes before slicing.

Yields: 6 servings

 

 

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.