Paleo Pumpkin Perfection Cookies

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I know I know, the title is a little spastic.  But these really hit the nail on the fall themed dessert head.  They are crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside.  The best part is that they are super low in sugar, I would and probably will eat a couple for breakfast. They are gluten free, dairy free and also super high in dietary fiber! So here is what you will need:

  • 1 cup of almond meal
  • 1 tbsp of coconut flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp of coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin purée
  • 3 tbsp of honey
  • Optional: 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Set your oven to 350 degrees.  Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, then add the wet ingredients.  Mix in the chocolate chips last.  I did half the batch with chips and the other half without chips.

Spoon in tbsp side dollops onto parchment paper and bake for 15-17 minutes depending on your oven.

I bet the would be good with white chocolate chips as well…next time!

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Espresso Energy Pops (GF)(V)

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Yes, a caffeinated snack.  I was in MoM’s Organic Market on Tuesday and I picked up a “Coffee Bar” by a company called New grounds.  It was made of the usual Lara Bar-ish ingredients but with ground coffee! I had it the next day for breakfast and fell in love.  However, like all my favorite packaged goods, it was very expensive at $2.99 for just one small bar.  I decided that I would just make my own variation based on what was already in my pantry.  Here is What I used:

  • 1/2 cup of gluten free oats
  • 1 tbsp of finely ground espresso
  • 2 tbsp of coconut flakes
  • 2 tbsp of chia seeds
  • 8 dates
  • 3 tbsp of coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp of almond butter

Using a heavy duty blender or food processor start with the oats and pulse until you have the consistency of a chunky flour.  Keep adding the indgredients in the order above, pulsing as you go.  When you are done you should have a thick and very delicious dough.  It is encouraged to lick spoons here.

Now you can table whopping tablespoon servings, roll them into a ball and place on a plate with parchment.  Once you’ve created your pops, place them in the fridge on parchment.  After a few hours the almond butter and coconut oil will harden and you can transfer to a Tupperware.  Store these in the fridge and they can last as long as you need them to, however they won’t.  They are so decadent.  I felt like I was having dessert for breakfast at 6:00 am with a big steaming cup of coffee.

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If you are often on the go or need an afternoon pick me up these are a great little jolt for your day. As always they are gluten free and contain no added sugars.  These are a good balance of healthy protein, fat and carbohydrate.  So if you need a light boost before a morning or afternoon workout these would be perfect.  I think they are best enjoyed with a cup (or two) of Joe.

 

 

Sweet Potato & Kale Quiche (GF)(DF)

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Quiche is a total comfort food. There is just something decadent about it! I have shared a gluten free quiche with you before, but this one is also dairy free. You really don’t need cheese to create a flavorful quiche, and this recipe is the epitome of clean eating.

Here is what you will need:

1 large sweet potato or yam
2 cups of kale
4 eggs
2 cloves of garlic
½ onion
1-2 tbsp of olive oil
Optional: Fresh herbs (I used oregano and parsley)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Crust: Slice the potato into thin rounds. Brush your pie pan with a very thin layer of oil. Arrange the slices into the pan to make the “crust”, cutting rounds to cover any gaps that may show the bottom of the pan or the rim. Season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. If you have any potato left over after creating the crust you can chop and set aside. Place the crust in the oven for 15 minutes.

Filling: Sautéed garlic, onion and kale in some olive oil. If you have leftover sweet potato chunks you can throw those in as well. Set aside and let cool as you beat 4 eggs. Add the cooled vegetable to the beaten eggs. Add in any herbs you desire. I added fresh oregano and parsley from my garden!

Now all you have to do is pour the filling over the crust and cook for about 30 minutes or until the eggs are set!

Bon appetite :0)

Perfect Flourless Double Chocolate Cookies (GF)(DF)

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Every now and again I get a strong craving for baked goods. By every now and again I mean every day at 3:00 pm. I usually have some chocolate, but I have been slowly picking away at Easter candy for going on 2 months now and it’s lost it’s novelty. So I adapted my flourless chocolate chip peanut butter cookies to create this delicious blend of rich ingredients. This is so easy and you most likely have all the ingredients you need sitting in your pantry. I know I do at all times.

1 cup creamy nut butter (I used peanut)
½ cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup cocoa powder
¾ cup chocolate chips

Combine the nut butter, sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth. Next add in the dry ingredients and lastly the chocolate chips. Spoon tablespoon sized balls onto a parchment paper lined sheet. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 8-12 minutes. Definitely stay nearby and watch these cookies. They usually cook fast and differently in every oven.

These cookies are small and easy to eat so they go fast. I have never doubled the recipe but I am sure it would work fine! Let me know what you think.

Simple Chia Pudding

Being dairy free, I sometimes really miss yogurt. I can buy the coconut or almond milk yogurts, but they just do not satiate me the way a thick Greek yogurt used to. The best alternatives to me are thick smoothies and chia pudding. Today I am sharing with you my simple recipe that can be enjoyed with whatever toppings your heart desires. I have this as a breakfast or even a dessert when I am trying to behave. After the amount of candy I consumed this past weekend on Easter I would say I am trying to behave. So here is what you will need for the pudding itself. This recipe makes 4 servings.

1/2 cup chia seeds
2 cups coconut milk, almond milk or cashew milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp maple syrup, more or less to taste

Mix the above ingredients together and let them soak for at least an hour. I usually just leave them in the refrigerator overnight. You can add fruit, nuts, granola, nut butters, chocolate chips, the list goes on. Pictured I have topped my pudding with almonds, walnuts, dried fruit, banana slices and fresh mango slices.

I hope you enjoy!

Avo Maria Green Smoothie

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Avo Maria

Because it is that good! Creamy, filling and not too sweet (perfect post workout!)

Simply Blend:

1 cup of fresh pineapple
1 small banana or half a large banana
½ a large avocado or a whole small avocado
1 cup of raw kale or spinach
½ -1 cup of coconut water
A few cubes of ice

Blend and enjoy for breakfast, post workout snack or a light lunch :0)

Mexican Chicken Stew (GF)(DF)

I have been traveling quite a bit in the past month and have spent substantially less time in the kitchen. So since it has been bitter cold and my free time has been sparse, I decided to put my crockpot to good use. This recipe is simple, flavorful and filling. It will take you 15 minutes to throw together in the morning before work, allowing you to come home to the scent of a home cooked meal without slaving away in the kitchen.

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In a crockpot combine:

8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 cup medium salsa
4 carrots chopped
1 onion chopped
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 can of corn
1 can of black or pinto beans
1 ½ cups of chicken broth
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder

Cook on low for 7 hours. Before serving add the juice of one large or two small limes.  Top with avocado and fresh ground pepper to serve!

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin Mug Cake

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It may be December, but I still have enough pumpkin puree to get me through the new year. Pumpkin doesn’t have to come in the sweet and spiced form. It is actually a very versatile squash, full of nutritional benefits.

Pumpkin packs:

Fiber: With three grams per cup and less than 50 calories per serving to ward off hunger

Vitamin A: Your eyesight will benefit

Beta Carotene: To fight cancer causing free radicals

Potassium: To replenish electrolytes after a tough workout

Vitamin C: To boost your immunity

Carotenoids: Fighting off free radicals to give you wrinkle free skin (or as close as you can get…)

So as you all know I am a mug cake fanatic. I find a way with what I have in the kitchen when a craving strikes, which is often. This mug cake is full of fiber and very light. You could even have it for breakfast!

So here is what you will need:

¼ cup pumpkin puree
2 tbsp all purpose flour (I used Bob’s Redmill Gluten Free)
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp ground flaxseed
1 splash of almond or coconut milk
2 tsp agave nectar or honey
1-2 tbsp of mini chocolate chip (I use enjoy life dairy free)
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)

Combine everything adding the milk of your choice last. Add as much “milk” as necessary to create a cake batter consistency. You wont need much. Place your mug in the microwave for 1 minute, if the cake is still not done in the middle continue in 30 second increments until it lacks gooey batter spots.

I recommend using a mug with a larger circumference or even a small glass bowl/baking dish. I standard mug will take longer to cook through leaving the outsides slightly overcooked. If you want to split the serving between two standard mugs to make two mini mug cakes, that will work, as long as you are willing to share.

This healthy little cake does not taste much like pumpkin, so enjoy all year round!

Chana Masala (GF)(V)

imageIt’s fall and it is definitely crockpot season. The leaves are falling and gathering in big beautiful piles all around us. The mold has my allergies flaring and a warm spicy meal is just what I have been craving. So enter the easiest pseudo indian meal you will ever make. Masala does not traditionally include cabbage but I cannot make anything without adding some greens. You can omit the cabbage but I recommend it!

Here is what you will need:

4 cups of water
1 onion chopped
2 cloves of garlic minced
½ head of green cabbage chopped
1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 6 oz can of tomato paste
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
2 15 oz cans of chickpeas

Combine all ingredients excluding the chickpeas and cook on low for 6 hours. Add in the chickpeas and cook on low for an additional 1-2 hours.

I served over brown basmati rice but you could substitute for the rice of your choice, or even quinoa. If you cannot handle the heat, cut the cayenne to half a teaspoon.

Chaco Pumpkin Truffle Cookies (V)(GF)

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Yummmm. I think I had about three cookies worth of batter as I licked the spatula, spoon, bowl, food processor and counter clean.

I make a lot of Vegan friendly desserts because I do not tolerate dairy well. Part of vegan baking is accepting the failures. The pumpkin pure has revived me. It adds texture and bounce that mimics eggs and butter, it is spectacular!

So in honor of fall and all things pumpkin, here is my recipe:

½ cup of pumpkin pure
½ cup of creamy peanut butter
¼ cup agave nectar
¾ cup cocoa powder (or cacao)
2 tsp cinnamon

Combine everything in a food processor or vita mix. Set in the refrigerator and allow to set for 10-15 minutes. Use this as an opportunity to clean the kitchen.

Line a baking sheet (or two) and scoop the batter into tablespoon size balls onto the parchment paper.

Bake for 12-15 minutes depending on your oven. I would keep an eye on them.

This recipe makes 18 itty bitty bite size cookies.

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