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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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

 

Superfood Chicken and Vegetable Soup

3 spiced chicken veggie soupThis chicken soup packs a powerful punch and makes me happy. It is incredibly nourishing and healing thanks to the bone broth, veggies, and spices. It even has a dose of medicinal reishi mushroom powder. I was fortunate to receive a bag of reishi mushrooms from friends that grew and dried them, so made my own reishi powder (note: the dry container for the Vitamix works awesome for this). If you’re unfamiliar, know that reishi mushrooms are great for overall wellness, stress relief, immune support, and more. It is a great addition to chicken soup, but don’t fret if you don’t have it. You can easily omit it from the recipe or find it HERE. Also, if you’re wondering, it doesn’t really have any noticeable flavor either.

If you’re pressed for time, know that you can use pre-cooked or leftover chicken breasts (or rotisserie chicken) and skip cooking it in the broth. It’ll do the trick, but I do recommend cooking the chicken fresh in the broth, if you can. It’s more flavorful and tender, which makes it easy to shred into the soup. I find that it stretches further too because of how much it breaks up.

Cheers and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • ~2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 8-10 cups chicken bone broth, preferably homemade, plus more if needed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2-3 tsp grass-fed ghee or other fat of choice
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1.5 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 Tbsp reishi mushroom powder, optional (find HERE)
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 bunch Italian kale, chopped
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Filtered water, to taste, if needed

Directions:

  1. Add the chicken breasts, broth, and bay leaves to a large stock pot. Make sure there’s enough broth to cover the chicken completely. Bring to a boil and then simmer over medium-low heat for 30-60 minutes or until chicken breasts are very tender.
  2. Once done, remove chicken from pot and set aside to cool. Drain the broth into a separate pot or large bowl, and set aside for later. Be sure to remove the bay leaves as well.
  3. Next, add the ghee to the stock pot and melt over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and carrot, and sauté a few minutes. Then, add the sweet potato and garlic, and season to taste with sea salt and black pepper. Sauté a couple minutes more.
  4. Shred the cooled chicken and add back to the pot with the broth. If needed, add a bit more broth and/or filtered water. Then, add the ground ginger, turmeric, lemon juice, and reishi powder, if using. Simmer over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender.
  5. Lastly, add the chopped kale and stir. Let cook 2-3 minutes more or until kale is slightly softened. Taste and adjust seasonings, as desired.

Note: the shredded chicken absorbs more broth after sitting overnight in the refrigerator. In this case, you may want to add more broth when reheating leftovers, but it’s just as tasty eaten as a thicker soup. It all depends on how brothy you want it.

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.

 

Spanish “Rice” and Chicken Bowl

Spanish rice 2

Spanish rice is something I enjoyed growing up and a recipe I kinda forgot about until recently. My mom used to make my Great Aunt Leona’s recipe and baked it inside of bell pepper halves. I was never a fan of the bell pepper part as a kid, but loved the rice. I’m sure this recipe would work well stuffed and baked inside a bell pepper too, but I didn’t opt for that since bell peppers really do not agree with me (or my husband). You could just add some bell pepper to the pan if you want that flavor, but don’t want to bother with the baking part. Then, everything still stays in one pan!

Meanwhile, mark this recipe as an easy weeknight go-to. It’s a complete meal that comes together quickly and tastes marvelous. And, again, it’s all in one pan. I hope you enjoy this twist on Spanish rice and if you do, give me a shout-out in the comments or on social media!

Cheers!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed ghee, butter, or other fat of choice
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp homemade vegetable bouillon
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 16 oz bag cauliflower rice
  • 1 cup unsweetened, no salt added tomato sauce (I used this one)
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • Dried oregano, to garnish

Directions:

  1. Melt ghee in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté for a couple minutes. Then, add the diced chicken, and season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Continue to cook chicken for several minutes, until browned.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the cauliflower rice. Season to taste with a bit more sea salt and pepper.
  3. While cauliflower is cooking, combine the tomato sauce, chili powder, and homemade vegetable bouillon in a small bowl. After the cauliflower has cooked for a couple minutes, add the tomato sauce mixture and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  4. Lastly, add the cherry tomatoes and stir. Remove from heat and garnish with dried oregano.

Yields: 2-3 servings

Chicken Sweet Potato Noodle Bowl

This recipe is simple good, and makes for an incredibly quick and easy meal. And, all in one dish too. It also features homemade vegetable bouillon powder and will leave you with leftovers to store in your pantry (so you can easily make this recipe again!). The homemade bouillon came about because I wanted a concentrated broth flavor, but didn’t want to add a ton of liquid. In my quest, I realized that there are no high-quality bouillon cubes/powder out there (at least not that I’ve seen), so plan B was to make my own. It is incredibly easy to make too.

In a sense, this recipe kinda reminds me of ramen noodles, mainly because of adding the concentrated seasoning to a bowl of “noodles.” I definitely ate my fair share of those back in the day, but really…who didn’t? They were super salty (and MSG-laden), brothy, quick, cheap, and yielded a huge bowl of noodles. I guess you could say this recipe is ramen noodles, but with a 360-degree, health-ifed turn! Anyway, all you need to know is that it is delicious. We ate ours with a side of steamed buttered broccoli and it was fantastic.

Cheers and enjoy!

P.S. I went back on KATU Afternoon Live yesterday and talked about my three popsicle recipes that I recently featured on here. Watch the replay of the segment HERE.

For the vegetable bouillon powder:

  • 1/2 cup large flake nutritional yeast (I like this brand)
  • 1 Tbsp dried minced onion
  • 1/2 Tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic or garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp celery seed
  • 1/2 tsp dried sage
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • Black pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Pulse until mixture turns into a fine powder. Store in an airtight container. You may have to experiment with ratios, depending on your taste, but I recommend 1-3 tsp to 1 cup boiling water to turn this into broth. Great to use as a powder for flavor too, as seen in the recipe below.

For the noodle bowl:

  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed butter or ghee
  • 1 medium-large sweet potato, spiralized into noodles (or buy a package of pre-noodled sweet potato)
  • 2 leftover boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed or shredded
  • 1 Tbsp homemade vegetable bouillon powder (see recipe above)
  • Generous splash of water (about 3-4 Tbsp worth)
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 green onions, chopped

Directions:

  1. Melt butter or ghee in a large pan over medium heat. Once melted, add the sweet potato noodles and chicken. Sauté a few minutes.
  2. Next, add the homemade bouillon powder and a splash of water. Mix well to coat and sauté over medium-low a few more minutes. Add a little bit more water, if needed. Taste and season with a bit of sea salt and black pepper, if needed.
  3. Divide into bowls and garnish with green onions.

Yields: 2 servings