|June 4, 2013|
You all know I’m a Disney nut – and if you’re a Dole Whip fan, you know how long that line is at Disneyland. The last time I went, there was NO LINE! So, I did what any Dole Whip fan would do: run to the counter all giddy and ready for a nice cold cup of whip. But then reality set in when I realized I had just eaten, was not hungry, and should probably not eat the calories and sugar, so I backed away slowly as my impulsive self was starting to calm down.
This inspired me to make a healthier alternative to the iconic Dole Whip. One that might satisfy my craving without the guilt. My recipe may not ever be the real thing, but for a healthier alternative, I think it hits the mark. (But I still made plans to indulge in the real thing sometime soon. Can you blame a girl? – Included a pic of my iphone convo with my best friend. We are definitely planning a day with a morning run so we can spare the calories for some Dole Whip.)
- 20 oz can of sliced pineapple
- 6 oz Chobani pineapple greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk or full-fat coconut milk
- 2 tbsp agave nectar
Drain the pineapple and put in a high speed blender or food processor. Then whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. (Alternative: if you don’t have an ice cream maker, put it in the freezer and stir every so often.) The texture of the Dole Whip will be a little airy (unless you used the freezer to make it) so you should use an ice cream scoop to serve, compressing the air out as you scoop. Also, let it soften a little by letting it sit for a few minutes. Then the consistency will be creamier like ice cream if you let it sit. Recipe makes for about 6 scoops.
**If you are willing to add the fat and calories, for a more true Dole-Whip-like recipe, swap the almond or coconut milk for heavy whipping cream. What can I say? They call it Dole Whip for a reason. It will still be healthier than the sugar loaded version from the park.
|May 4, 2013|
Cinco de Mayo is this weekend! That means margaritas and more Mexican food than you should probably eat. Before the fiesta begins, I want to give you a few pointers…
If you’re planning to go out:
Limit your chip eating or just don’t have any at all. Seriously! Chips at Mexican food restaurants are like crack. You eat one – next thing you know the whole basket is gone. Been there, done that! If you are going to indulge in chips, pre-plan how many chips you will eat before you go.
When you order your food, avoid any fried and cheesy items. Go for the fajitas or grilled chicken and skip the tortillas. Try the taco salad without the shell, hold the sour cream.
For drinks, stay away from beer and sugary cocktail drinks. A good restaurant will make a margarita from scratch using lime, versus the cheaper way – using a syrup. It’s a safer bet if the menu says it’s served on the rocks and tells you what type of tequila. Generally, they don’t like to blend a good tequila. But let’s be honest, if you’re going to have a drink, the option with the least amount of calories is the one without any mix-ins. Get a shot of tequila! OLE!
Easy Shrimp Ceviche
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 jalapeno
- 1/2 a cup of lime juice
- 2 roma tomatoes
- 1 red onion
- 1/2 a cucumber
- 1/2 a bundle of cilantro (1.5 cups chopped)
- 1 lb prepped cooked shrimp (small)
- 1 mango
- 2 celery stalks
- sea salt to taste
Using the food processor, chop the garlic clove, jalapeno, roma tomatoes, red onion, and cucumber. You can add the lime juice if you need a little liquid to allow the processor to do it’s job. Place in a large mixing bowl.
Hand chop the cilantro, shrimp, mango, and celery stalks and add it to the mixing bowl. I hand chop this stuff because: 1) the cilantro will only wrap itself around the blade if you try to chop it with the food processor. 2) The shrimp is generally cut in larger pieces which you cant control with a food processor. 3) It would absolutely kill your mango into mush. 4) Celery strings might mess up your food processor.
Mix all the ingredients together (including any of the lime juice you didn’t already add). Add the sea salt to taste. Now you can stuff an avocado with it, serve with chips, or just grab a fork and dig in.
Optional: So I cheated on the shrimp by using pre-cooked cocktail shrimp which I then made sure all the tails and shells were taken off. But if you have the time and aren’t lazy, buy raw shrimp. After removing the shells and tails, place in a bag or tupperware with 1/2 cup of lime juice. Refrigerate until the shrimp turns opaque. Then boil the shrimp and put it in a bowl of ice to stop it from over-cooking. Then use this shrimp in the recipe above instead of the pre-cooked stuff.
- 1 shot of tequila
- 1 shot of lime juice
- 1/4 shot agave
- 1/4 peeled orange
- rimming salt
In a shaker, add all the ingredients together (minus the rimming salt) and mash the orange into the shaker. Add ice shake, shake, and pour in a glass rimmed with salt over fresh ice. If you think it’s too strong, feel free to add a little water to it. But no more than a shot or two of water, otherwise it will just be a watered down drink.
By using agave, it’s a cleaner way to get the sweet flavor without using a margarita sweet syrup. The orange replaces the Triple Sec, a citrus based liquor in most margarita recipes. Is the Triple Sec really necessary when you can use the real thing? Hope you enjoy 🙂
|February 7, 2013|
Ok, many of you have been asking about the perfected smoothie recipe I included on my 2012 recap photo, so here it is! I LOVE this recipe. Bananas are always in the house because I can’t seem to get enough of them.
Bananas are also great if you’re craving something sweet. Only 110 calories each and has about 3 grams of fiber helping you feel full. Cinnamon is rich in antioxidants, and possesses antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial properties. Combine these two ingredients with a little extra whey protein and you got a power smoothie in your hands!
Cinnamon Banana Smoothie
- 2 spotted bananas
- 1/2 cup ice
- 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
Add all the ingredients into the blender and blend till smooth. Garnish with a pinch of cinnamon on top or some chia if you like. For an extra vanilla punch, add the optional 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract. When I’m running out the door I usually don’t add it but when I have the time, it really does add some extra vanilla flavor which compliments the drink.
Tip: For thicker smoothies, freeze the fruit and skip the ice. This works with any smoothie recipe. Just be sure that your blender can handle the frozen fruits. Strawberries and a few other fruits are very tough when they’re frozen and could send your blender to it’s death bed if it’s not build for high intensity blending.
|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.