|November 5, 2012|
While it may not seem like fall in SoCal these days (it was 100 degrees today), it doesn’t mean I’m not enjoying the wonderful flavors of autumn. My favorite fall flavor, hands-down, is CINNAMON! I have been adding it to everything. And it adds flavor without extra calories. Just wait for all my cinnamon recipes coming up! I’m so excited to share.
But my recipe below does have added sugar, so if you’re watching your sugar intake, as we all should be doing, just take note of the amount of sugar. And I guess you could always not add the sugar and it will still taste pretty good, but I personally like the added sweet. What harm is a dessert every here and there? Maybe you should try replacing the pie at Thanksgiving with this! I promise it’s healthier than most pies out there.
Banana Sweet Potato Souffle
- 2 sweet potatoes
- 3 overripe bananas
- 3 eggs
- 3 tbsp raw sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp all spice
- optional: 1/2 tbsp ground flax (it’s good for you!)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pierce sweet potatoes, wrap in foil and bake for 50 minutes or until tender. Place sliced (peeled) bananas and baked sweet potatoes (with the skin, we all know that’s where all the nutrients are) in a food processor until the mixture is somewhat smooth. Then add the rest of the ingredients starting with the eggs and working your way down the ingredient list until all have been added.
Spray your ramekins (or bowls or mugs, whatever you choose) with non-stick cooking spray. Fill your ramekins 80% of the way. They will rise a little but not like a cake would. Bake 35 minutes or so until bake is heated all the way through and the top of the souffles have a golden color to them (like my picture). Let cool and serve.
Tastes great with ice cream, but that defeats the purpose of it being a healthier dessert 😉
**You might need to cook your’s more or less depending on the size of your containers. This recipe filled 4 of my bowls and 40 minutes seem to do the trick. If this recipe fills 6 of your ramekins, then you might need to decrease your baking time.
|October 29, 2012|
You might not want to ditch your go-to drink of choice and I don’t blame you. We all have our favorites. But why not goul them up for Halloween?
Some of the healthier drink options at any bar or house party can be plain and very un-festive. The best choice of alcohol when it comes to calories is generally vodka and the best mixer is always soda water. When I go out and I want to drink on the healthier side, I usually pick a vodka soda with a splash of cranberry and a lime wedge. (And yes, I have gone to fun themed bars with all these great drinks and the bartenders have said my drink of choice is boring.)
Anyways, with these cocktail garnishes I made any drink can be festive. Put them in a vodka soda or martini as is. Or if you wanted to put it in a fruity drink or something that may not mix well with the olive, freeze them with water in the ice cube tray. Just finish your drink before the ice cube melts. These also look GREAT in red sangria. A perfect Halloween drink idea for a crowd.
Halloween Cocktail Eyeballs
- Manzanilla Olives
- Paring Knife
- Extra Small Melon Scooper or Equivalent
- Optional: Ice Cube Tray
After washing your radishes, use your paring knife to slice the stem off. Carefully (very) use the blade to scrape the red off the radish. (Word to the wise, always scrape away from your body. You have less a chance to slice your thumbs.) It’s ok to leave some of the red still showing. It gives it a veiny look.
Use your melon scooper to make a hole the size of the olive in the radish. The hole should be at the opposite pole to the string of the root. If you don’t have a small enough melon scooper (like myself), improvise. I used the tip of my potato peeler because it was the perfect shape to scoop and had a semi pointy end to break into the radish. You can also use a paring knife here but it will be a lot harder to get a scoop versus a cut.
Then slice an olive in half and insert the rounded end into the hole you made in the radish. Adjust the size of the hole in the radish until it’s a snug fit.
Tip: If you are having trouble with your olive staying in the radish, use a toothpick to hold it in place. It actually adds a different creepy look. Insert the toothpick so the stick is perpendicular to the “line of vision” to the eye or through the side and out the other side. Meaning, if you are looking at the eyeball straight in the eye, you should see the stick on a plain and not pointing at you. Just be sure you get the stick in both the radish and the olive. Otherwise it won’t do it’s job holding the eyeball together.
Optional: Place one eyeball each in the sections of an ice cube tray. Fill water to the top of the tray. Freeze. Now you can use your eyeball in any drink with out worry that the flavors of the radish and olive will clash.
|October 20, 2012|
Halloween is approaching fast! I still don’t have a costume but this Halloween inspired martini might help bring the creative ‘juices’ out.
The biggest thing to remember with cocktails are the hidden calories and fat in every sip. So I’ve devised a few healthier drink recipes that will meet your needs to party while minimizing the excess calories from syrups and other dangerous things.
My Sludge Monster Martini has that spike that makes it party (and monster) worthy. Now what makes my cocktail ‘healthy’? Well without the alcohol, it’s basically a juice cleanse assuming the pineapple juice you choose to use doesn’t have added sugars. I think it’s safe to say alcohol isn’t healthy. That’s why this is ‘healthy.’
The Sludge Monster Martini
- 1/2 cup fresh spinach
- 1/2 red delicious apple
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp orange juice
- 1 shot triple sec
- 1/2 shot vodka
In a blender or food processor, puree all ingredients except the alcohol. I had to use a food processor because my blender wouldn’t puree such a small amount of ingredients. After everything is liquified, pour the green mixture and alcohol into a shaker over ice. Shake and pour into a martini glass to serve.
**You can also make the green juice ahead of time in a large batch. Multiply the ingredients by the number of drinks you’d like to make. Just keep in the fridge and be sure to shake (or stir) the green juice before adding the alcohol to make the martinis. The pulp tends to settle at the bottom if you let it sit for too long.
|October 16, 2012|
I love bananas. Let’s just put that out there. Well I happen to have a bunch of overripe baby bananas. As any baker knows, NEVER throw away those spotted nanas. What do you do with them? You bake!
Now let’s talk about baby bananas. Yes, there is such a thing. You can find them at your regular super market (or at least I find them at my regular super market). They are so adorable and have a slightly creamier texture. They look like regular bananas, only snack size. Perfect for lunches or for a quick snack. Or in my case, what kind of baby cake recipe would this be without baby bananas?
My Gluten Free Banana Bread Baby Cakes are made with almond flour to mimic bread. I am not a xanthan gum fan so I often use other flour alternatives. Because of this, these cakes don’t keep as long. If you wait more than a day to eat, they will start to have a mushy texture so plan to bake last minute for a party or event. And did I mention, if you skip the frosting and caramel, these are completely Paleo Diet friendly!
Gluten Free Banana Bread Baby Cakes
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup walnut oil
- 1/4 cup raw honey
- 2 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 5 mashed baby bananas (or 2 regular bananas)
- 1 1/4 cup almond flour
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 6 tbsp of unsalted butter
- 16 oz cream cheese
- 3/4 cup agave nectar
- 4 tsp vanilla extract
**Optional caramel to drizzle on top. I used store bought caramel but you can make yours from scratch if you like.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Whisk all the ingredients together in order adding each one by one as you whisk to prevent clumping. You should be adding the banana and almond flour last. Line a baby cupcake tin with cupcake liners and spray lightly with a non stick cooking spray. I used the walnut oil in an oil mister because the non-stick I normally use has gluten. Who knew, right?
Fill each liner to the top with the batter. (Because there’s no flour or baking powder, these won’t rise much.) Bake for 13 minutes. Time may vary depending on the type of pan you use. Use a wooden toothpick to poke a baby cake or two. If the stick comes out clean then your cakes are done. If it doesn’t, then you either need more time or you didn’t mash your bananas all the way.
Now for the frosting, let the butter and cream cheese stand until room temperature. Mix all the ingredients together. I used an electric mixer for this part, no hand mixing for me. If you want a sweeter frosting, feel free to add sugar rather than agave, but I like to keep things a little more natural. Use a piping bag or cut a hole in the end of a ziplock and pipe the desired amount of frosting on the baby cake. Drizzle with caramel and enjoy!
|September 11, 2012|
Welcome to Nom Nom Crunch! For my first recipe, I thought I’d share something that represents me a little bit. Being Mexican, there is never a lack of salsas or hot sauces in the house. Tangent: When I moved into my first apartment in college, my mom told me she stocked my pantry with food. Later, when I went to the pantry for a snack, low and behold Costco-size tortilla chips, hominy, and refried beans filling my pantry shelves top to bottom. My room mate laughed it off and said I’d have to teach her how to cook, but I was thinking she probably hoped beans didn’t give me gas. HA! Back to my recipe, I love salsas and hot sauce. I put it on basically everything, breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Now to the recipe. I subscribed to a local organic farming delivery service called Farm Fresh To You and got my sample box in. I came across these chili-like vegetables and decided to make salsa. After they ripened I could definitely see they were normal bell peppers, so let me introduce – Yellow Bell Pepper Salsa.
Yellow Bell Pepper Salsa
- 1 White Onion
- 2 Large Tomatoes (or 3 Roma)
- 2 Yellow Bell Peppers
- 1 Bunch of Cilantro
- 1/4 cup of Chopped Jalapeño (one small can)
- 1 Lime
- 2 tsp Chopped Garlic
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 2 tsp Sea Salt
Finely chop all produce (excluding the lime). Add all ingredients into a bowl, squeezing the lime over the top. Don’t be afraid to get a little pulp in there. Toss until all ingredients are evenly mixed together. Optional: I like my salsa pico de gallo style. If you like yours more liquid-y, instead of chopping, throw it all into a food processor (it’s actually easier that way).
Adding more colors and flavors to any topping is great! Ever hear people say “eat the rainbow?” I like to follow that rule. Don’t limit your salsa recipe to just tomatoes, onions and cilantro. Yellow bell pepper has vitamin A and C and even fiber, which many articles say help fill you up. So experiment chopping up your favorite veggies and add to your salsa. One last thing about salsa: flavor without the guilt! Zero Weight Watcher points and unlimited on the Jenny Craig plan! So add it to anything that you think needs a bit of flavor.