Posts tagged ‘coconut oil’
I am all about bite-sized treats. There is built-in portion control (theoretically speaking of course!)…then there’s the “cute factor”, and in my opinion, they are more fun to eat.
Though if I’m being honest, I always have more than one. However, with healthier ingredients I feel it’s OK to have that extra serving After all, I am getting an extra boost of fiber from flaxseed meal and oats, protein from the powder and nut butter and the healthy dose of fats keep me full.
These frozen chunky monkey “cupcakes” were adapted from my carob covered coconut protein bars on a whim when I was in the mood for something sweet yet filling and needed a little protein boost. They hit the spot and I made several batches – some with and without the “frosting”, which can be eaten sans-”cupcake” guilt-free as well
That’s a win-win situation in my book!
Frozen Chunky Monkey “Cupcakes” with a Fudgy Nana “Frosting”
Gluten-free, Grain-free option, Vegan Option, Dairy-free, Nut-free Option
1/2 cup natural almond butter or peanut butter (can sub sunflower seed butter for nut-free), room temperature
2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
3 Tbsp honey, agave or brown rice syrup or to taste* (could probably sub banana or soaked dates but haven’t tried this)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
100 grams good tasting vanilla protein powder of choice (I tested this with Jay robb’s whey protein, was 3 scoops)**
3 Tbsp flaxseed meal
2-3 Tbsp oat flour, oat bran (for grain-free, sub more flaxseed meal or use almond or peanut flour)
pinch of sea salt (eliminate if using salted nut butter)
For the Fudgy “Frosting”
2 small ripe bananas, sliced and frozen
1/2 Tbsp honey or agave (omit for less sweet…I was going for frosting)
2-3 Tbsp raw cacao powder or cocoa powder to taste*** (could sub carob powder for caffeine free)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt, optional but enhances the flavor
Chopped walnuts, mini chocolate chips or cacao nibs (use chips or nibs for nut-free)
For the bottom layer
1. Line a mini muffin pan with plastic wrap or use a silicone mini muffin pan (my preference) and set aside.
2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine nut butter, oil, sweetener and extract. Process until smooth.
3. Add in remaining ingredients (protein powder through sea salt). Pulse until combined and well incorporated. If the mixture looks too wet, add a bit more flour to reach a cake batter consistency (the bottom layer will firm up when refrigerated though).
4. Spoon into 12 individual mini muffin cups and refrigerate until firm (I left the cups overnight, but you also freeze the cups for an hour or so before finishing them with “frosting” layer if using).
For the Frosting
1. While the bottom layer is hardening, prepare the topping. Pulse all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor until smooth and well combined.
2. Spoon into a piping bag or a plastic freezer bag (this is to make the swirl on top). Place back in freezer for 15 minutes to let harden a bit.
3. Cut a small hole in the freezer bag and pipe onto prepared “cupcake” bottoms. Garnish with walnuts/chips/nibs and enjoy!
Best kept in freezer or frozen banana “frosting” will get goopy and melty. You may have extra frosting leftover depending on how much you pipe…you can freeze the rest and eat them frozen chocolate-nana ice cream cubes!
*My protein powder is sweetened so if you choose a powder that is unsweetened, feel free to add more sweetener to liking. If you want to keep the sugars low, adding a bit of stevia to taste is always an option but you may need more oil or nut butter to make up for the lacking moisture.
**If you would like to eliminate the protein powder, increase the oat bran/flour or almond or peanut flour
***Add cocoa/cacao powder to taste. If you prefer a lighter chocolate taste, use less…for a more intense chocolate taste use more. I used more because I like the deeper chocolate flavor.
I’ve been whipping up omelets, salads and skillet dishes for quick meals these days. Every now and again though, I get the urge (and have the time) to make a more labor-intensive dish…you know the one you can taste the effort and love you put into it?
This is one of those meals. I made these cabbage rolls during our last Spring snow storm when I was craving comfort food and these hit the spot!
For April I was assigned to Sarah’s Fantastical Sharing of Recipes blog for the Secret Recipe Club…and I couldn’t decide what to make! My goodness, Sarah has an extensive list of dishes that I kept scrolling through to choose from. I have her family’s original Tamale Balls and Guy Fieri’s Cherry Cobbler Pizza on my to-make list but when I saw her Classic Cabbage Rolls, I was sold. Besides the cabbage, I had all of the ingredients already on-hand and needed a little “me time” in the kitchen.
I made a few slight changes by finely dicing my onions, using a large head of cabbage instead of medium and used crushed tomatoes instead of diced since that’s what I hand in the pantry. I also used brown rice, unsweetened ketchup, coconut sugar for the sweetener and I added 1/2 cup finely chopped mushrooms because I needed to use them up in the fridge. Since I used already salted tomatoes, I opted to reduce the salt to 1 teaspoon and increase the black pepper by a smidgen.
Classic Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (lightly adapted from Fantastical Sharing of Recipes)
Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Grain-free option, Egg-free, Nut-free, Soy-free
- 1 large head cabbage
- 1 1/2 cups finely diced onion, divided
- 1 Tbsp. butter, ghee, olive oil, coconut oil, Earth Balance (use oil or Earth Balance for dairy free)
- 2 (14.5 oz) cans organic crushed tomatoes with basil (or Italian diced tomatoes)
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Tbsp coconut palm sugar or other sweetener
- 1 tsp sea salt, divided
- 1 cup cooked brown rice or quinoa (for grain-free, increase mushrooms)
- 1/4 cup ketchup (I used unsweetened ketchup)
- 2 Tbsp gluten free Worcestershire sauce (I used Lea and Perrins brand)
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup fresh mushrooms, finely chopped (optional)
- 1 lb. ground beef, bison or turkey (if using turkey use lean not extra lean)
- 1/4 lb. Italian sausage (I used chicken sausage)
- 1/2 cup V8 juice, optional (I didn’t use)
- In a Dutch oven, cook cabbage in boiling water for 10 minutes or until outer leaves are tender. Drain and rinse in cold water; drain. Remove eight large outer leaves (refrigerate remaining cabbage for another use) and set aside.
- Meanwhile in a large saucepan, saute 1 cup onion in butter/oil until tender. Add the tomatoes, garlic, sweetener and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the rice, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, pepper and remaining onion and salt. Crumble beef and sausage over mixture, add in mushrooms and mix well.
- Remove thick vein from cabbage leaves for easier rolling. Place about 1/2 cup meat mixture on each leaf; fold in sides. Starting at an unfolded edge, roll up leaf to completely enclose filling. Place seam side down in a skillet. Top with the sauce.
- Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 1 hour. Add V8 juice if desired. Reduce heat to low; cook 20 minutes longer or until rolls are heated through and a thermometer inserted in the filling reads 160°.
Yield: 4 servings (8 rolls)
I am finally getting over 2 1/2 weeks of the “crud” going around, and the lingering cold has really put a dent in my cooking. Besides soups and on-the-go meals from our local health food store, I haven’t been inventive in many meals. However, this chocolate hazelnut spread pulled me out of the slump…it’s creamy, chocolately goodness and rich, nutty flavor made my taste buds sing and I knew I was on the track to recovery.
Oh, the healing powers of chocolate! But please, if you think that’s a bunch of bologna, I’d rather you keep it to yourself so I can keep on indulging
I’m quite comfortable with making homemade nut butters (ie. nut butter madness post), yet it’s been a while since I posted a new flavor combination. I also realized I’ve never posted a chocolate nut butter….what???? It’s about time!
Hazelnuts + chocolate are a lovely combination…does Nutella ring a bell? I try and stay away from those processed ingredients and partially hydrogenated oils in actual Nutella, so why not whip up a batch of my own? Plus…homemade always tastes better. I won’t say it tastes exactly the same as Nutella but why would it when you are using real and healthy ingredients?
One word — deliciousness!
Chocolate Hazelnut Spread aka “Healthy Nutella”
Gluten-free, Vegan, Refined Sugar-Free, Grain-free, Dairy-Free
2 1/2 cups raw hazelnuts
2 Tbsp coconut oil (or other neutral oil)
1/3 cup coconut milk (I used the canned variety)
5 Tbsp cup unsweetened cacao or cocoa powder
1/4 cup coconut sugar (or other granulated sweetener)
2-3 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp pure stevia extract (or could increase the granulated sugar by 2-3 Tbsp)
a rounded 1/4 tsp sea salt or to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Add hazelnuts to a large baking sheet and roast for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned and some skins have loosened around the hazelnut.
3. Place the roasted nuts in the center of a damp kitchen towel (use an older towel or dark colored one). Bundle it up and rub the nuts for a couple minutes to loosen the skins. Pick out the “skinless” nuts and place into the bowl of a food processor. Repeat until most of the skins have come off and add the remaining nuts to the processor (it’s ok if there are stubborn ones that are difficult to remove).
4. Process the hazelnuts for 5-6 minutes or until you achieve a creamy nut butter. You may need to stop and scrape the sides of the bowl every couples minutes or so to help it along.
5. Add the oil and process for a minute or so until smooth.
6. Add the remaining ingredients and process again until fully incorporated and really smooth, this took me another 5 minutes. Taste the spread and adjust salt and sweeteners to taste if desired.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups of nut butter. Store in jars or containers in the fridge.
Enjoy with a
large spoon, spread on toast or use in your favorite recipes. “Nutella” Ice Cream (Dairy-free) coming soon!
The Secret Recipe Club is back in action for 2013 and I was assigned Melanie’s Fabulously Fun Food blog for the month of January! From her Papas Rellenas and Jamaican Jerk Chicken to the Chocolate Guinness Cake and Homemade Gnocchi, Melanie covers all types of cuisine and made my mouth water looking through all her recipes.
Her original recipe for Red Thai Duck Curry immediately struck my fancy, not only because it was on “Melanie’s Favorites” list but I happen to love anything with curry in the title. Admittedly though, duck freaks me out a bit so when I saw a little blurb for a protein swap, I decided to change up a few ingredients and make this a 100% vegetarian and vegan meal. Why not if I am going that direction anyway?
In addition to substituting the tofu for duck and coconut aminos for the fish sauce, I added a touch of sweetness in the form of coconut nectar syrup that the fish sauce would have added. I added a few wedges of fresh lime and chopped fresh cilantro for brightness and decided against the cooking rice as a side. In the veggie department, I increased the amount of mushrooms and added carrots since I didn’t have any tomatoes or pineapple on hand (though both will be added next time I make this).
I like my curry on the thicker side but feel free to add more liquid to this dish (as noted) if you prefer one on the thinner side. I have mentioned before that I prefer eating rice plain AND separate from my main dish… so I decided to forgo the rice and opted for a second helping of this curry instead After all, I do love my veggies and protein!
A little sweet, a little spicy and FULL of flavor — I LOVED this curry! I can’t wait to make this again soon and experiment with various vegetables and proteins for variety.
Red Thai Tofu Curry (SRC) (inspired by Red Thai Duck Curry)
Gluten-free, Grain-free, Nut-free, Vegetarian, Vegan, Dairy-free option
2 Tbsp butter, ghee, coconut oil or Earth Balance, divided (use oil or Earth Balance for dairy free)
1-2 tsp agave, coconut sugar, coconut nectar or sweetener of choice or to taste**
1 large lime, cut into wedges
Fresh basil and cilantro, chopped (I used about 1/4 cup each) – can use all basil if you aren’t a fan of cilantro
1. Heat 1 Tbsp butter/oil in a wok/skillet over medium-high heat. Stir-fry tofu until golden on all sides, about 6 minutes then remove from pan and set aside.
2. Heat 1/2 Tbsp butter/oil in a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Add Red Thai curry paste to the pan and stir. Cook paste for several minutes to release the flavors (If you have a hood over your oven, use it otherwise you’ll be sneezing up a storm from the chiles in the paste). Pour in the coconut milk, hot water (if using), coconut aminos/tamari/soy sauce, sweetener and minced ginger. Stir and allow to cook over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.
3. In the same wok/skillet you prepared the tofu, heat remaining 1/2 Tbsp butter/oil over medium high heat. Add sliced onions, bell pepper, carrots and mushrooms and cook for 3-4 minutes or until cook to your preference (I like mine crisp tender). Make sure the pan is hot, then add tofu and stir. Cook for 2-3 minutes until warmed, stirring occasionally.
4.Taste curry sauce, which should be slightly thickened by now. Add more spice if needed. If it’s too spicy, add more coconut milk.
5. Pour curry sauce into the pot with the veggies and tofu. Stir to combine and allow to bubble and simmer for a good 5 to 10 minutes. Add a little hot water if it seems too thick, or allow to bubble longer if it needs more thickening. Remove from heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
6. At the last minute, stir in lots of chopped basil and cilantro. Squeeze fresh lime juice and serve immediately and/or over cooked grain of choice and enjoy!
Serves 4-6 (Depending on if you serve this with or without a side)
*If you aren’t a fan of tofu, feel free to substitute chicken or shrimp in this dish
**Can substitute fish sauce in place of the soy sauce but will not longer be vegetarian. If doing so, eliminate the added sweetener since fish sauce already contains sugar.