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.

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

 

 

Honey Almond Ginger Halibut

halibut

Halibut is my absolute favorite fish. I seriously love it a lot, but seldom buy it since it’s a bit pricy. Lucky for me, it’s been on sale at New Seasons Market lately, and I’ve been taking full advantage of it. I plan to indulge in it at least a couple times more before the sale ends as well.

This recipe is inspired by one of my dearest and most special friends, Heather. A couple years ago, she had us over for dinner and made steelhead with big slices of ginger, dabs of coconut oil, good sea salt, and raw honey. It was cooked on foil over the grill and was so incredible. We all raved about it! I haven’t had that recipe since, but have definitely not forgotten.

I figured something similar would be great with halibut, but decided to do it a little differently, and added a couple touches of my own. The fish is perfectly flaky with a punch of ginger flavor, bit of sweetness, and a delicate crunch of almonds. It’s SO delicious! We ate ours with roasted white sweet potatoes and green beans.

Cheers and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2 fresh wild-caught halibut fillets (about 6 oz each)
  • 1 Tbsp melted coconut oil
  • About 1/2 – 1 Tbsp raw honey
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1.5-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2-3 Tbsp sliced blanched almonds, coarsely chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Line a small pan or baking sheet with foil or parchment paper, and place halibut fillets on top (skin side down). Sprinkle with a little sea salt and black pepper.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the melted coconut oil, raw honey, cayenne and grated ginger. Brush or spoon all of the mixture evenly over each fillet. Add a bit more sea salt and/or black pepper, if desired. Then, sprinkle the almonds on top.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. If desired, spoon extra glaze mixture (from the pan) over fish before serving.

Yields: 2 servings

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

 

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.