Chocolate Banana Walnut Bites

We had a snow day yesterday and it gave me the opportunity to experiment with the green banana flour I bought a few weeks ago. I’ve known about green banana flour for a while, but kept forgetting to order some. Then, I conveniently stumbled upon it at the grocery store. Score!

So far, I am pretty impressed with the flour. It worked well in this recipe and did not yield a strong or sweet banana flavor. It’s actually rather subtle. All in all, the bites turned out intensely chocolatey, subtly sweet, and slightly crunchy. In addition to the wonderful flavor, you get a dose of antioxidants, healthy fats, and resistant starch in these decadent bites. Perfect little treat.

Also, if you’re wondering, resistant starch actually, “resists digestion” and feeds the healthy bacteria in the gut. This can lead to improved blood fats, better insulin sensitivity, increased satiety, improved digestion, and more. Cold cooked white potatoes, fresh green bananas, and green plantains are other great sources. If you want to learn more about resistant starch, visit HERE.

Cheers and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup green banana flour (find HERE)
  • 1/4 cup cacao or cocoa powder
  • 3-4 Tbsp cacao nibs
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts, preferably sprouted
  • 4 large medjool dates, pitted

*Note: if you want these sweeter, you can add a little maple syrup, raw honey, or another 1-2 pitted medjool dates

Directions:

  1. Combine all the ingredients except the cacao nibs in the food processor. Process until mixture is well blended and clumps together.
  2. Add the cacao nibs and pulse a few times to incorporate.
  3. With hands, roll mixture into tablespoon-size balls and place in the refrigerator to set for 10-20 minutes.
  4. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

Yields: ~15 bites

 

Advertisements

Dairy-Free Butternut Squash Nacho “Cheese” Dip

It’s amazing what you can do with vegetables. Seriously. So many possibilities and fun ways to experiment. In this recipe, I used roasted butternut squash as a base for a nacho “cheese” dip. Nutritional yeast and coconut milk help give it a creamy texture and cheesy flavor, and there’s a little punch from smoked paprika, cayenne, and fresh jalapeño. It’s wonderful served right away, while it’s fresh and warm. I recommend serving this with grain-free tortilla chips, as seen in the photo, but veggies, plantain chips, and sweet potato chips are all great options too. You can even spread it on a grain-free tortilla (this variety is my favorite) and add some shredded chicken to make a quesadilla or taco. Regardless of how you eat it, it’s another tasty and healthy option to have at a Super Bowl party (that is this weekend, after all).

Also, know that I made this as a thicker dip, but you can water it down more for a thinner/saucier consistency, if desired. This does thicken after being in the fridge as well, so keep that in mind.

Cheers and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped (about 3-4 cups)
  • 1-2 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tsp + 1/4 tsp smoked paprika, separated
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 small jalapeño, finely chopped (leave desired amount of seeds in, depending on how spicy you want it)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup filtered water or more if you want a thinner “cheese”

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place squash on a large sheet pan (use parchment, if desired) and toss with avocado oil, 1 tsp of the smoked paprika, and sea salt and black pepper, to taste.
  2. Roast squash in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until tender.
  3. Once squash is done, add to food processor with remaining ingredients (don’t forget the extra 1/4 tsp smoked paprika). Process until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Taste and adjust spices to your liking. If you want a thinner “cheese,” add more water until you reach your desired consistency.
  4. Serve warm with grain-free tortilla chips, veggie slices, plantain chips, etc.

Dairy-Free Buffalo Chicken Dip

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…I am not a sports person. I only bring this up because the Super Bowl is right around the corner. Naturally, I don’t plan to watch the game or attend any parties, but obviously, many of you will. That’s great…it’s just not my thing! I’ll admit that I sometimes watch the halftime show, but it’s usually always after the fact. Oh, and per usual, I have no idea which teams are playing this year. Like I said, not my thing!

However, I am happy to offer a recipe for all you Super Bowl partakers and of course, it’s a healthier version of a party classic. I know buffalo chicken dip or wings are common football food and even outside of a football context, I’ve never had buffalo chicken dip and am straight up not a chicken wings fan. With that said, I opted to make a healthier, dairy-free version of buffalo chicken dip, so it was my first time ever having something of the sorts. And, I liked it…a lot! If you’re looking for other healthier versions of party food to share at your Super Bowl gathering, be sure to check out my spinach artichoke dip too.

Also, I’ll be making this recipe on KATU Afternoon Live next Friday, February 2, so stay tuned! Oh, and if you didn’t get my update on Facebook and Instagram, my January segment that I recorded earlier this month will be shared at a later time. It was recorded, but the main host and producer were sick, so they had to do things a little differently that day. I’ll be sure to share it once it’s released! UPDATE: watch the replay of my segment HERE.

Cheers and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups boneless skinless chicken breast, shredded
  • 1 cup homemade avocado oil mayonnaise or a high-quality brand like this one
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce (I used Frank’s Original — it’s straight forward and clean)
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried onion
  • 1 tsp onion granules
  • 1 tsp garlic granules
  • 3/4 tsp dried dill
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Fresh chives, chopped, for garnish

Options for serving:

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Add shredded chicken to a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together the mayo, hot sauce, and all the spices except for the chives. Pour over shredded chicken and stir to coat.
  3. Pour chicken mixture into an 8×8 baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until edges are bubbly and light brown. Garnish with chives and serve warm.

 

Golden Milk Cauliflower “Porridge”

golden milk porridge 2Lately, I’ve been craving cauliflower “porridge” or as it’s sometimes referred to, “no’oatmeal.” Regardless of what you call it, I’ve had a hankering for it. I made a big pot last week with what I had on hand and it totally hit the spot. I swear, it was even better than I remembered. I haven’t it made it in a long time…probably since I shared my first cauliflower porridge recipe. Anyway, it’ll probably be on repeat for a while now and fortunately, there are so many ways to mix up the flavors…just like traditional oatmeal. In this case, I went with golden milk as my flavor inspiration.

Also, you’ll notice that I made this recipe more nutrient-dense by mixing in grass-fed collagen powder and pasture-raised eggs. The added protein gives it a bit more staying power, in addition to extra nutrients. And, know that the ratios for things like the spices and raw honey are mere suggestions. Always tweak things to your liking!

Cheers and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium-large head cauliflower, riced or 16 oz bag prepared cauliflower rice
  • 13.5 oz can full-fat coconut milk (I like this brand, which has no gums)
  • 1/4 cup filtered water
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • Generous pinch of sea salt
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 1.5 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 2 scoops grass-fed collagen powder (I recommend this brand OR this brand)
  • 1-2 Tbsp raw honey, or more to taste
  • 2 eggs, preferably pasture-raised, whisked

Optional toppings/mix-ins:

  • Cinnamon
  • Cacao nibs
  • Unsweetened coconut
  • Blueberries, banana slices, etc.
  • Hemp hearts
  • Nuts/seeds
  • Grain-free granola
  • Ground flax
  • Extra drizzle of tahini or other nut/seed butter
  • Extra drizzle of raw honey

Directions:

  1. Add all the ingredients, except the raw honey and eggs to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir well to mix everything together.
  2. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Once porridge is done simmering, remove from heat and add a small amount of the mixture to the whisked eggs to temper. Add a little more porridge and whisk again. Then, add the egg mixture to the porridge and stir well.
  4. Add raw honey and stir well. Taste and adjust flavor (spices, honey, tahini, etc.), as desired.
  5. Serve warm or cold with toppings of choice.

*Note: porridge will thicken some as it cools.

 

Turkey Butternut Squash Stew

This stew is the epitome of healthy comfort food. It’s the perfect antidote on a chilly day and full of nutritious ingredients to boot. I’ve made it a couple times already and love that we’re able to get a few night’s worth of meals out of it. It’s been wonderful with the damp, drizzly, and gray weather we’ve been having. It’s definitely going to be on repeat this winter.

On another note, we got our tree over the weekend — on a very rainy, wet day (we ate this stew for dinner that night). We went to a tree farm on Sauvie Island and picked out a little Douglas Fir. When I spotted the tree, I swear it had a beam of light shining down on it. It was so radiant and emitted such a glow. We instantly agreed on it too, even though we had intentions of getting a Grand Fir when we got to the tree farm. Anyway, the tree is perfect and the house smells lovely with its aroma. Lights are on, but we’re waiting to adorn it with ornaments until next week. We’ll be out of town tomorrow through Sunday and know the kitties might be too tempted by the shiny, hanging bulbs while we’re away! We have a friend checking in on them, of course, but they still end up with extra time to themselves. Anyway, if you want to get a glimpse of our little tree thus far and see me hauling it in the wagon, visit my Instagram page HERE.

Cheers and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 Tbsp grass-fed butter or ghee
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb ground turkey breast
  • 1 lb ground turkey breakfast sausage (I used New Seasons’s country sage turkey breakfast sausage)
  • 1 medium cabbage, chopped
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup good-quality chicken, turkey, or vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp dried sage
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Sea salt & black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Melt butter or ghee in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté a couple minutes, until onion is translucent. Next, add the ground turkey breast and ground turkey sausage. Season to taste with a little sea salt and black pepper. Continue to cook meat for several minutes, until browned, breaking up the pieces with a spatula as needed.
  2. Next, add the cabbage, 1/4 cup of broth, and a bit more sea salt and black pepper. Stir, reduce heat to medium-low, and cover with a lid. Let simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the butternut squash, carrots, poultry seasoning, dried sage, and bay leaf. Stir well. If need be or desired, add up to 1/4 cup more broth. Cover with lid and let cook for another 10 minutes or until squash and carrots are tender.
  4. Taste and adjust seasoning, as desired. Remove bay leaf before serving.

Yields: ~6-7 servings

Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Delicata Squash, & Cranberries

roasted squash, Brussels and cranberriesThanksgiving may be over, but the holiday season is officially in full swing. Although, I’ll be honest, it doesn’t totally feel like it yet. Anyone else feeling that way?

Anyway, with the holiday season here, there will be plenty more dinners, parties, and get togethers, and I’m willing to bet you’re going to need side dish recipes to share. This festive, healthy, and colorful bounty is perfect. And, not only is it visually pleasing, it’s delicious too. I especially love the pop of color and burst of tart flavor from the cranberries. Also, you may notice that the Brussels sprouts are purple (or would it be red?). I had never seen this variety before and couldn’t resist the beautiful color. If you can’t find the purple ones, green work just fine and taste the same.

Meanwhile, I hope all of you had a lovely Thanksgiving last week, and enjoyed time with family and friends.

Cheers and enjoy!

roasted vegetables with cranberries

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed and sliced in half
  • 1 medium delicata squash, sliced in half lengthwise, seeded, and cut into half moons
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1-2 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Place Brussels sprouts, cranberries, squash, and shallot on a large baking sheet (line with parchment, if desired) and drizzle with the avocado oil. Sprinkle the thyme, sage, sea salt, and black pepper on top. Toss to combine and spread out in an even layer.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until Brussels sprouts are crispy and browned. If desired, give a gentle stir halfway through cooking time.

Pumpkin Caramel Chocolate Cups

Halloween is getting closer and I thought it best to honor the holiday with these perfectly sweet pumpkin caramel cups. And, I gotta say…these are straight up divine. The combination of sweet, salty, and pumpkin spice flavors with a delicate bite and soft center is just right. It’s ridiculous, really.

You will end up with a little extra date caramel, but luckily, there are many other ways to use it: spread onto dark chocolate squares, use as a dip for apples or pears, mix into yogurt, stir into nut butter, dollop on top of baked acorn squash or sweet potato, or simply eat with a spoon.

By the way, I went back on KATU Afternoon Live yesterday and made my pumpkin spice chocolate clusters. These are another winning combo and great for Halloween as well! Watch the replay of my segment HERE. Also, if you can believe it, this month marked my one-year anniversary of going on the show!

Cheers and enjoy!

Caramel ingredients:

  • 10-12 medjool dates, pitted and soaked for 5 minutes in boiling water
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 4-5 Tbsp full-fat coconut milk (I used this brand)
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • Dash of sea salt

Chocolate ingredients:

  • 8 oz unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 5 Tbsp coconut sugar, or more if you want it sweeter
  • Dash of sea salt

Garnish:

  • Maldon sea salt, to garnish (find HERE)

pumpkin cups and date caramel

Directions:

  1. Add the softened dates to the food processor, along with the water, 4 Tbsp of the coconut milk, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, sea salt, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla. Pulse to combine. If mixture still seems a bit too thick or chunky, add the remaining 1 Tbsp of coconut milk and blend again until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Melt chocolate in a double boiler over medium-low heat. Be careful not to get any moisture in the chocolate or it will seize! Once melted, stir in the coconut sugar and pinch of sea salt. Whisk until dissolved.
  3. Line a mini muffin pan with paper liners and add about 1 tsp of the melted chocolate to each liner. Then, add about 1 tsp of the date caramel to each and flatten out slightly (and gently) with back of spoon. Top each cup with another 1 tsp of melted chocolate. Garnish each cup with Maldon sea salt and place in fridge to set. If you want these to set faster, you can place in freezer.
  4. Store any leftover caramel in refrigerator and use within a week.

Yields: ~21 cups