Posts tagged ‘vegan’

Garlic Chive Pesto Pasta with Langostino Lobster

Costco carries wild-caught langostino lobster tails, and my better half,  his daughter and I are all seafood lovers so naturally we could not resist this purchase. While it’s a bit pricier than chicken or veggies, we stretched the 2 pounds of this sweet langostino over three meals…and this garlic chive pesto pasta was one of the delicious results.

I rarely eat pasta, maybe twice a year when a random craving hits or I come across a “fun buy” and I give into indulgence. We bought this scrumptious gluten-free garlic chive pasta at Pike’s Place Market on our Seattle vacation this summer and “pasta guy” convinced us to sample a variety including “dark chocolate”. While I was tempted to buy anything chocolate, we settled on a bag of garlic chive “rooster comb”…simply because you can’t go wrong with Italian! Any gluten-free pasta can be used but our specialty pasta added some extra pizazz and flavor to the dish.
lobster garlic pasta salad

While I prefer pasta warm in general, this dish can also be eaten chilled. I devoured my leftovers straight from the fridge for lunch the next day and it was delightful :) If you are a vegetarian or vegan or just downright want more vegetables, omit the lobster and add another favorite veggie when you saute the summer squash. Broccoli, asparagus, zucchini and mushrooms would all be delicious additions!

Don’t be deterred from the longer direction list — essentially you blend all the ingredients for the pesto, cook the pasta and saute the veggies with lobster then toss everything together. It’s not as complicated as it may look at first glance!

Garlic Chive Pesto Pasta with Langostino Lobster
Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Soy-free, Vegetarian & Vegan option, Sugar-free, Peanut-free, Nightshade-free, Egg-free option

Ingredients

2/3 lb wild caught langostino lobster tails (omit for vegan/vegetarian or sub shrimp if preferred)
9 oz gluten free garlic chive pasta* or your favorite gluten-free pasta
1 Tbsp olive oil or avocado oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 yellow squash, diced (can substitute or add zucchini, mushrooms, asparagus, broccoli etc)
3 cups spinach, baby chard or kale
2 Tbsp fresh chives, chopped

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Slices of fresh lemon for serving
Additional pine nuts for serving (optional)

For the pesto:
1 1/4 cups fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup pine nuts (or cashews)
fresh lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
1 large garlic clove, minced
large pinch of sea salt (~1/4 tsp or more to taste)
4 Tbsp olive oil

Directions
To make the pesto:
1. In a dry skillet over medium heat, lightly toast the pine nuts for a few minutes, but watch carefully since they burn quickly! You can skip this step but the toasted nuts adds another dimension to the pesto.

2. In a high-powered blender or food processor, combine basil through salt and blend for 15 seconds. While the blender or food processor is running, pour in the olive oil and blend until smooth. Alternatively, you can pulse all ingredients together for a more rustic pesto until you reach your desired texture. Taste pesto and adjust with more salt and lemon if needed.

For pasta
1. In a large pot, bring 4 quarts of lightly salted water to a rolling boil on high. Add pasta and stir for the first 15 seconds. Reduce heat to medium-high and start the cooking timer once the water returns to a slow simmer or gentle rolling boil. Cook for 8-10 minutes until al dente, stirring occasionally.

2. While pasta is cooking, heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add diced squash and garlic and saute for 3-4 minutes. Toss in lobster and greens and cook until lobster is warmed and greens are wilted, a couple minutes, then remove from heat.

2. Drain pasta over a colander, reserving a few tablespoons of pasta cooking liquid. Add pasta back to large pot along with 1-2 Tbsp cooking liquid and pesto, then toss to combine. Add Lobster-veggie mix and fresh chives and toss to combine again. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

4. Portion into serving bowls, sprinkle with additional pine nuts (if desired) and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Enjoy!

Serves 4-5 main dish servings

lobster garlic pasta 2

*This garlic chive pasta contains egg whites, for an egg-free version substitute your favorite gluten-free vegan pasta –penne, spaghetti, elbow etc. will all work here!

Notes: If you can tolerate dairy, this dish would pair well with a sprinkle of parmesan or asiago.

August 31, 2015 at 12:03 pm 2 comments

Frozen Hot Chocolate (SRC)

Summer is almost over…gasp! I say this every August, but seriously how did it go by so fast? Then, I remember all the fun things I packed in over this summer …yep, three months is about right :)

I got a taste of Fall over the weekend after a little rain and wind blew through, leaving crisp cooler weather….not only was I pumped to break out a long-sleeve t-shirt but it spurred a hankering for comfort food. Is it a surprise that chocolate was my go-to?
frozen hot chocolateWhen I found Kate’s Frozen Hot Chocolate recipe on the The Colbert Clan for this month’s Secret Recipe Club assignment, I thought it was the perfect bridge between summer and fall to satisfy my chocolate craving. This chocolate treat hit the spot! I’m one of those people that eats chilled or frozen foods despite the weather, so I enjoyed sipping this drink while being bundled up on the couch under a blanket. 

frozen hot chocolate 2

Kate is a full-time mom of three cute kiddos that has a knack for all things DIY, inspiring me to make a list of handmade projects and new recipes to try. I’ve put her Slow-Cooker Applesauce and Homemade Zuppa Toscana Soup on my Fall to-make list along with her Apple Balsamic Pork Roast for a easy mid-week dinner!

I made a few changes to make the recipe dairy free and refined sugar free; I used canned coconut milk, stevia for the sugar and used a non-dairy chocolate bar that was sweetened with coconut nectar. I also threw in a tiny pinch of sea salt for good measure and highlight the sweetness. I wound up heating the milk in a small saucepan to melt the chocolate a bit first, then chilled it in the fridge before blending to help incorporate the mixture.

This drink was rich and decadent and packed with chocolate flavor…and now I keep thinking of different varieties to play with; Chocolate mint…Chocolate coconut…caramel…chocolate covered cherry…peanut butter…mmmmm. Kate was right when she said the possibilities are endless!

frozen hot chocolate close

Frozen Hot Chocolate (Lightly adapted from The Colbert Clan)
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Soy-free, Paleo-friendly, Egg-free, Refined Sugar Free, Vegan, Nut-free

Ingredients

1 1/2 ounces of dairy-free chocolate bar (chopped, I used a 85% dark bar) or chocolate chips
1 Tbsp of raw cacao or cocoa powder
1 Tbsp sweetener of choice (or a pinch of stevia) or more to taste
2 1/2 cups of non-dairy milk of choice (I used canned coconut milk for a thicker texture)
a tiny pinch of sea salt
2 cups of ice

For serving (optional but delicious!)  
whipped coconut cream (or your favorite whipped topping)
chocolate shavings or raw cacao nibs
cherries

Directions

  1. *In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk and the chopped chocolate. Stir until the chocolate melts and is incorporated. Remove from heat, pour into the blender and refrigerate until chilled for a couple hours (or the ice will melt this immediately).
  2. Put remaining ingredients into the blender (ice, salt, cocoa powder, sweetener) and mix until smooth. Adjust the sweetener if needed.
  3. Pour into a glass, garnish as desired and enjoy!

Serves 1 larger portion or 2 small

*If you don’t want to heat up the milk first, go ahead and blend all of the ingredients together – this will work just fine but you might have chunks of chocolate depending on your blender.

Notes: If you prefer a sweeter treat, choose a chocolate that is semi-sweet instead of a darker chocolate and adjust the sweetener to taste. Choose your favorite sweetener — maple syrup, coconut nectar, sucanat, stevia, honey etc. Also, feel free to add your favorite flavors or add-ins to make your own version!

frozen hot chocolate1For other recipes from this month’s reveal, click the link below!

August 23, 2015 at 10:00 pm 10 comments

Tropical Green Monster Smoothie Bowl

Tropical green monster smoothie…transporting me to an island far far away…aka summer vacation in a bowl! This quick recipe is bright and tangy from the pineapple and mango, with a creamy base from the avocado (or banana) and packed with green goodness from the kale.

tropical green smoothie bowl2

I put this bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes and the sides started to get frosty – mmmm. With the summer heat and no air-conditioning, this chilled smoothie bowl makes for a refreshing afternoon snack or a pumped up breakfast with flavor AND nutrition! If you prefer a protein boost, add 1/2 to 1 scoop of your favorite protein (vanilla would be best in this) and blend away :)



tropical green smoothie bowl

Tropical Green Monster Smoothie Bowl
Gluten-free, Grain-free, Soy-free, Nut-free, Dairy-free, AIP & Paleo-Friendly, Nightshade free, Egg-free, Refined Sugar-free, Vegan option

Ingredients

1/2 ripe avocado, pit removed (if you want a sweeter smoothie, sub or add 1/2 banana)
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk or coconut water (or other dairy-free milk or orange juice can be substituted for a sweeter drink)
1-2 cups baby kale leaves (or spinach)
1-2 cups baby chard (or spinach or more kale)
1/2 cup frozen pineapple chunks
1/2 cup frozen mango chunks

For a protein boost add 1/2-1 scoop of your favorite protein powder

Options For Serving
chopped fruit (I used a chopped fig)
shredded coconut
hemp hearts (not AIP-friendly)

Directions

1. Add ingredients in the order listed above (avocado through mango) to a high powered blender, and blend for 1 minute until smooth. Pour into a bowl, top with chopped fruit, coconut, hemp hearts etc and enjoy!

Serves 1 large or 2 small

tropical green smoothie bowl1

August 3, 2015 at 1:14 pm Leave a comment

(Almost) Instant Mint Berry Carob Bark

Do you need a quick sweet fix? I don’t know about you, but I can always use a little treat. How about a healthier treat that satisfies, tastes amazing and you can whip up in 5 minutes? Add the fact that this (almost) instant bark requires minimal ingredients and doesn’t require any baking.

mint berry carob bark1

Mint + Chocolate = a perfect pairing in my mind (Mint Chip Ice Cream anyone)? Add berries to this combo and it’s a definite winner! These recipe is crazy easy, and it’s been stand-by in my freezer for the past couple weeks. Yes, it’s caffeine-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free and TASTY! I even fooled my dad into thinking it was sugar-laden, and he’s a hard one to convince :)

With all the fresh mint at farmer’s markets and in the stores, I’ve been throwing some into smoothies and bases for ice creams, tossing into chopped fruit and adding to salads for refreshing summer dishes. Next time (probably tonight) I am going to try using finely minced fresh mint in this treat! 
mint berry carob bark 2

(Almost) Instant Mint Berry Carob Bark (adapted from my Make-it-your-own Chocolate Bark)
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Vegan, Dairy-free, Refined Sugar-free, AIP & Paleo Friendly, Candida-Friendly Option, Soy-free, Nut-free, Egg-free

Ingredients
2 1/2 Tbsp softened coconut oil (I used unrefined extra virgin)
3 Tbsp carob powder (or cacao/cocoa powder but won’t be caffeine free)*
pinch of stevia or 1 Tbsp honey, agave or maple syrup or to taste
1/8 tsp pure peppermint oil/extract
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract, optional
pinch of sea salt, optional (but SO good)
1/3 cup frozen mixed berries, chopped into small pieces (I leave blueberries whole), I use the organic antioxidant mix from Costco

Directions

1. Line a small plate or dish with parchment paper and set aside.
2. In a small bowl, mix the melted coconut oil, carob (or cacao), stevia/sweetener, salt and extracts. Stir well until smooth and well combined. Taste and adjust if you want it sweeter.
3. Spoon the mixture onto the parchment paper into two rounds.
4. Sprinkle the frozen fruit over the mixture and watch it start to freeze. Set it freezer for an additional few minutes to harden and enjoy!

Serves 2 or 1 large, generous portion :)
Store leftovers in freezer, the frozen fruit will get mushy in the fridge otherwise.

*Carob has a natural sweetness whereas raw cacao or cocoa powder is naturally a bit more bitter so you might need to add more sweetener/stevia to taste for a sweeter bark.

mint berry carob bark 1

July 23, 2015 at 3:33 pm Leave a comment

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