No-Bake Carrot Cake Bites

Sometimes, you want cake, but don’t want to buy special ingredients to make it or have an entire cake in your house. Am I right? Well, you can have your cake and eat it too with these scrumptious no-bake carrot cake bites. Not only are these grain-free, but they’re also dairy-free and date-sweetened. They’re incredibly easy to make and won’t wreck your gut either. Plus, you can’t go wrong with carrot cake, especially this time of year. It’s reminiscent of both spring and Easter, and tastes magnificent too.

These bites are loaded with healthy fats from the walnuts and coconut, and are naturally sweet from both the dates and carrots. Not only that, but you get a dose of vitamins and antioxidants from the carrots too. The warm spices add the perfect amount of zest to these melt-in-your mouth morsels.

If you don’t have walnuts on hand or just want to mix it up, try pecans instead. Also, feel free to tweak the spice ratios to your preferred taste. Luckily, you can taste along the way with this recipe, so it’s easy to adjust the flavors to your liking.

Cheers and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • About 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced (~1.5 cups grated)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup raw walnuts, preferably sprouted (pecans would also work well)
  • 10 Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/4 cup coconut butter, melted (I used this brand)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • Extra unsweetened shredded coconut for rolling, if desired

Directions:

  1. Place sliced carrots in food processor bowl. Process until finely grated.
  2. Next, add all the remaining ingredients, except for the extra unsweetened coconut (for rolling at the end). Process until ingredients are fully incorporated, scraping down the sides as needed. Mixture will be sticky when done.
  3. Shape into 1-2 Tbsp sized balls with hands (I did a generous tablespoon size for the amount I yielded). Roll into extra shredded coconut, if using. Place in the refrigerator to set for at least 20-30 minutes.
  4. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

Yields: ~25-30 bites

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Mighty Green Chicken Salad

This chicken salad is fresh, zesty, herby, and a tad spicy. The avocado base is combined with lime, jalapeño, fresh ginger, mint, cilantro and more to create a refreshing twist on the common chicken salad. It’s definitely reminiscent of spring and summer, and makes for a delicious lunch that comes together in a pinch.

I enjoyed eating this over greens with plantain chips on the side. It would also be fantastic with grain-free lime tortilla chips, in a grain-free tortilla or lettuce wrap, on top of a baked sweet potato, or with sliced veggies. Lots of possibilities to say the least!

Cheers and enjoy!

UPDATE: Catch the replay from Tuesday, April 10 of me making this recipe on KATU Afternoon Live. Visit HERE to watch!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cooked chicken breasts, shredded or cubed (roughly 1 lb or so of meat)
  • 1 large ripe avocado, sliced into quarters and peeled
  • 1 small lime, juiced
  • 1/2 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped (leave some seeds in if you want it spicier)
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp granulated garlic or garlic powder
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 2 green onions, chopped

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, mash the avocado. Add the all the remaining ingredients, except the chicken and mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
  2. Next, add the chicken into the avocado mixture and stir well to coat.
  3. Serve over greens, with sliced veggies, plantain chips, or in a grain-free tortilla or lettuce wrap.
  4. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

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

 

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