Category: Recipes

Six Sneaky Uses for Hummus

Secret Ingredient Sriracha Deviled EggsHi friends!

Have you ever taken those magazine quizzes that tell you what kind of food cravings you go for? You know, salty, sweet, crunchy, creamy… how am I always all of them??? What does that mean!? I’m gonna go with it means that I love food and I don’t discriminate 😀

I’m a lover, people.

Because I love all food, but I also love to feed my body healthy things IT loves, I have come up with some pretty sneaky tricks and tips to satisfy my salty, sweet, crunchy, creamy cravings…yes, sometimes I have all of them at once.

Don’t judge.

Hummus has become my best friend and my go-to when a creamy craving hits.

  • Hummus’s mix of protein and fiber keeps us fuller longer and may also contribute to weight loss.
  • The fiber in hummus keeps blood sugar levels steady which helps fight hunger cravings.
  • Hummus also contains a nice bit of iron which is a known energy booster (so, you may be motivated to hit the gym. Bonus!)

And here’s a benefit that I didn’t know about:

  • hummus contains omega 3’s which are good for your brain and also your mood, so you will be twice as happy because you are eating something delicious and it’s making you happier as you eat it!

Even though I adore hummus, it can get pretty boring as a plain ol’ veggie or chip dip, which is why I’m going to share with you my all time favorite ways to use hummus, no veggie stick or tortilla chip required.

two-ingredient salad dressingSalad Dressing: I’ve been making this two-ingredient salad dressing since high school and I still love it. Super simple, (what’s more simple then two ingredients!?) creamy, quick and delicious. I feel silly even calling this a recipe, but here ya go…

Two-Ingredient Salad Dressing

Makes 1 serving

2 tbsp hummus

1 tbsp balsamic

Mix together. Pour on salad.

That’s it!

Secret Ingredient Sriracha Deviled Eggs 2Deviled Eggs: I can’t take credit for this one. My sweet, brilliant boyfriend came up with these when I needed a quick, healthy snack to take with me to work and I wasn’t excited about the mayo in traditional deviled eggs. He suggested hummus to replace the mayo and some sriracha for a spicy kick. They were phenomenal! True story: I packed up the ones in the photo for tomorrow’s afternoon work snack :)

Secret Ingredient Sriracha Deviled Eggs

Makes 6 deviled eggs

3 organic eggs

2 tbsp hummus

1/2 tsp sriracha

cilantro garnish (optional)

Fill a small pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Carefully add eggs to the pot and boil for 8 minutes. Cool and peel eggs. Cut in half and scoop out yolks, saving 2 halves. In a small bowl mash yolks, hummus and sriracha with a fork until smooth. Add a tsp of water at a time if mixture is too thick. Spoon mixture into eggs, top with cilantro leaves and serve.

Secret Ingredient Sriracha Deviled Eggs 3Now that’s a real recipe.

Some other uses for hummus:

  • As a creamy pasta sauce. I’ll post a recipe soon, but I usually just make it up as I go. Some lemon juice, chili flakes and nutritional yeast usually make it into the bowl.
  • As a sandwich/bagel spread
  • In scrambled eggs
  • In chicken/tuna salad instead of mayo

Secret Ingredient Sriracha Deviled Eggs 1Hummus is amazing.

 

Do you crave salty, sweet, crunchy or creamy. All of them like me?

Do you have a favorite way to eat hummus?

What are some healthy snacks you like to pack for work?

 

With so much love,

Sam

 

 

 

Lightened Up Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

 

cauliflower mac and cheese 6Hi friends,

I’m back this week with my second cauliflower recipe in a row. This veggie just keeps amazing me! Like a baby that learns for the first time where his toes are and it’s the most exciting thing to a new momma, I just can’t stop showing off how incredibly talented and smart cauliflower is.

The winter in NY is really kicking it into full gear. It started a bit late, but we are definitely feeling the cold now. The last week has been all about chili, soup and mac and cheese. Anything to keep warm.

I’m a firm believer in eating for the seasons, and that goes beyond just eating root veggies in the winter and tomatoes in the summer. Where I live and what the season is determines, more often then not, what I eat and how I cook. I prefer to eat cool, crisp, simple meals like salads, gazpacho and raw foods in the summer and warm, slow cooked meals with lots of spices and warming ingredients in the winter.

There’s nothing better than an avocado shrimp ceviche in a tropical climate like Costa Rica. As much as I love it, ceviche would feel totally out of place and not really as satisfying in February during a snow storm.

I am definitely not saying that you should retire the salads until the temperature climbs above 60 degrees, but swapping some of your fresh produce for cooked may help you feel more nourished and satisfied during the colder months. cauliflower mac and cheese 1Warming foods don’t have to be heavy foods either. Roasted vegetables, spaghetti squash instead of pasta, lean meats, broiled fish and broth-based soups are all delicious, warm and hearty options.

Spices such as cayenne, paprika, turmeric and cinnamon are also an easy way to lend warmth to your meals.

Drinking hot water with lemon and ginger is a fantastic start to your morning-it’s both comforting and detoxifying.

And when the cinnamon in your coffee or the turmeric in your scramble is just no match for the sub-zero temperatures and your crappy apartment thermostat, make this mac and cheese. Soul-warming comfort food all the way.cauliflower mac and cheese

I realize that I ask you to trust me a lot on this blog. Do you?

I hope you do, because this mac and cheese is baby-learning-to-crawl incredible.

cauliflowerIf you haven’t figured it out already from the ginormous clue in the picture above, there is cauliflower IN the sauce… (Here’s where we find out if you really do trust me.) Not only is it in the sauce, the cauliflower IS the sauce.

cauliflower pureeAre you still here?

Yay!

Can I tell you that I barely ever make mac and cheese. I’ll eat a few bites here and there at a restaurant, but all of the butter, flour, milk and cheese keeps me from ever making it myself at home.

That changes today!

I had the idea to use cauliflower to replace the bechamel and it worked even better then I thought it would! The result is a lightened up, but still creamy, cheesy, gooey indulgent mac and cheese that wont leave you feeling like you ate a brick.

This mac and cheese is also super customizable. I used gluten-free pasta, not because I follow a gf diet, but because I wanted to experiment for you guys in case any of you do. Surprise number two: gf pasta tastes like regular pasta! I was not expecting that. I’m really glad I tried it and found out. I’ll definitely be cooking with more gf pasta from now on.

I’m also planning more flavor combinations for this mac and cheese. I see a mushroom thyme and smoked gruyere in my very near future.

You can use any cheese you like and the recipe will be vegan if you use a nondairy cheese. I added a bit of bacon crumbled on top. Since I took away a lot of the fat, starch and calories by using cauliflower I figured there was a little wiggle room for bacon. Isn’t there always a little wiggle room for bacon?

Yes. Yes, I think so.

cauliflower mac and cheese 5

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

Serves 4-6

1 head of cauliflower (4 loose cups, chopped)

12 oz elbow pasta

1 tablespoon dijon mustard

1/2 small onion or 1/4 large onion roughly chopped

3 cloves of garlic roughly chopped

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar (I used Cabot Super Sharp)

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

salt and pepper

Optional Toppings

For a crunchy crust: 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

To make it extra delicious: 2 slices of bacon

To make it extra cheesy: 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (sprinkle before topping with panko)

For extra flavor: 2 tbsp parmesan cheese

For a kick of heat: as much red chili flakes as you want

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a tbsp of salt. Add cauliflower and cook for 8-10 minutes, just until fork tender. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cauliflower to a blender. Bring water back up to a boil and add pasta. Cook 1-2 minutes less than package instructs. (It will continue to cook in the oven later)

If adding bacon, cook in a 10 inch oven safe skillet until crispy. Drain off fat (but don’t wipe out pan) and blot bacon with a paper towel. Crumble and set aside. Add onions and garlic to pan with s+p and saute 5 minutes.

To blender, add onions, garlic, mustard, paprika, cheddar cheese and nutritional yeast. Blend until smooth, season to taste with s+p.

Drain pasta and rinse with cool water. Add pasta to the skillet and mix in sauce until thoroughly combined. Top with desired toppings and bake for 20 minutes. Serve.

cauliflower mac and cheese 4cauliflower mac and cheese 3I heart you, cauliflower.

 

What is your favorite wintertime comfort food?

Are there any foods you sneak veggies into?

 

With so much love,

Sam

 

Cauliflower Buffalo Bites

 

cauliflower buffalo bites 1 Guys!

The Super Bowl is this Sunday! Did it sneak up on you like it snuck up on me? Okay, confession time. I look forward to the Super Bowl every year. I enjoy watching the game and having friends over, but I’m not really all about the game. (I don’t even know who’s playing this year). I am, however, all about the snacks! Is anyone surprised? I had made these cauliflower buffalo bites in December on a whim and thought, “Omg, these would be perfect for the Super Bowl, but how do I keep them under wraps until then? February is soooo far away.” I don’t like keeping things from my friends :/

Aaand, *poof* it’s February. Ironically I was about to share a different recipe today that also features cauliflower as the main ingredient and now I’m going to have to keep that one under wraps. At least I only need to wait until next week to share that recipe. And guys and gals, it may be the best recipe I’ve ever come up with. I’m serious.

Cauliflower is having a huge moment right now and I’m totally buying into it. It’s just so crazy versatile. Cauliflower’s neutral flavor makes it a perfect substitute for creamy, starchy things. You can’t exactly hide broccoli in mashed potatoes the way you can cauliflower.

Did you know that cauliflower is in the same family as kale, broccoli and collards? Obviously, vegetables=healthy things, but I was curious just how healthy cauliflower is and, whoa!

In a one cup serving:

29 calories

5 g carbs, 2 g fiber and 2 g protein

77% vitamin C

High in antioxidants

Anti-inflammatory, detoxifying, cancer-preventing

These cute little florets pack a serious nutritional punch!

cauliflower buffalo bites

cauliflower buffalo bites 4So these buffalo bites. So addictingly crunchy and full of flavor. I’m not going to tell you to forgo the wings (let’s be realistic here), but starting with these bites is a sneaky way to get your veggies in, and after all the buffalo-flavored goodness and cool blue cheese yogurt sauce, you may just be so satisfied you only reach for 2 or 3 wings over the course of the game.

That’s my secret to not over-indulging. I eat the veggies and other healthy goodies first and then allow myself one or two of the indulgent stuff guilt-free. I’m usually full by then so I don’t want more than that.

Make these, set them out with the other Super Bowl snacks and then come back here and let me know how they went over. Pawn them off as your own idea. You’ll definitely get points for creativity.

Cauliflower buffalo bites 2

Cauliflower Buffalo Bites

Makes 6-8 portions

Adapted from Craftsy.com

1 medium head of cauliflower

1 cup rice flour

1 cup corn flour

1/2 cup milk of choice (I used hemp)

1/2 cup water

1 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2/3 cup buffalo style hot sauce

1 1/2 teaspoons melted butter

Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce:

1 cup plain full-fat Greek yogurt

3 tbsp crumbled blue cheese

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon mustard

1 teaspoon chopped dill

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet  with parchment paper.

Wash and trim cauliflower into bite-size florets. Whisk the rice flour, corn flour, milk, water, paprika, salt, and pepper in a medium sized bowl until thoroughly combined. Coat each cauliflower floret with a thin layer of batter and evenly space on the baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes, flipping half way through.

While baking, stir together the buffalo sauce and melted butter in a bowl. Remove cauliflower from the oven. Generously brush the top of each floret with the buffalo mixture. Place back in the oven for 15-17 minutes until golden and crunchy. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before digging in.

To make the blue cheese sauce:

Add all ingredients to a food processor and pulse until reaching your desired texture. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.

cauliflower buffalo bites 3Can someone tell me who is playing, please?
 
 
Are you all on the cauliflower bandwagon?
If you’re hosting a Super Bowl party, what kind of yummy snacks are you planning to serve?

 

With so much love,
Sam

Chocolate Chip Cookie Skillet Cake (Happy Birthday to Me!)

chocolate chip cookie skillet cake 6Hey there good lookin,

Oh, I was talking to you, but, yea I could totally see why you would think I was talking to that insanely delicious cake thing.

There’s a good reason for that dreaminess up there,….besides there always being good reason for chocolate chips and ice cream.

It’s my birthdaaaaay!

And in honor of my b-day I baked you a cake. Wait, no, I made you a cookie. Okay, SURPRISE! I made you both!

I love my birthday. It’s a perfect excuse to do whatever the hell I want, and, lucky for you, whatever the hell I want included making a, ready for it?…chocolate chip cookie skillet cake!

chocolate chip cookie skillet cake 3Alright, so I really made it for ME, but you should totally make it too. I wish I could convey to you how ridiculously delicious this cake is, but words just aren’t going to cut it. You really just need to experience the warm, chocolatey, cookie doughness for yourself…Okay, I attempted to describe it a little. I think I did pretty well :)

And, AND would you believe me if I told you this cake is healthy!?

IT’S HEALTHY!

You are going to have to trust me when I say that pureed chickpeas have the ability to taste freakishly like raw cookie dough. It’s true. I wouldn’t lie to you on my birthday.

Chocolate chip cookie skillet cake 2…or any day.

chocolate chip cookie skillet cake 1

The garbanzo beans create a rich fudgy texture and the oat flour happens to make the cake gluten-free. I use a lot less sugar than other recipes call for, but I use coconut sugar and maple syrup which both have a toasty, caramel flavor so you don’t really need too much sweetness. Plus the chocolate chips add a hit of chocolatey goodness. And chocolate=antioxidants. See, healthy!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Skillet Cake

Makes 8 slices
Adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie
 
2 cans white beans or garbanzos (drained and rinsed)
1 cup oat flour
1/4 cup almond butter
3 tbsp coconut oil
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 cup chocolate chips
 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10 inch cast-iron skillet, a pie dish or any other oven-safe 10 inch pan with coconut oil. Blend all ingredients (except chocolate chips) in a food processor or high speed blender.
 
*Note: I use a vitamix which is a super high powered blender. If you don’t have a vitamix, a blendtec or something similar I would suggest using a food processor.
 
Mix in chocolate chips and spoon batter into the skillet. Bake for 35-40 min. Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting into 8 slices. Serve with your favorite non-dairy ice cream.
 
Chocolate chip cookie skillet cake
…because I love you.
 
 
What do you like to do on your birthday?
Besides baking, I treated my hair to some highlights and went out for dinner with the chef. There may also have been a few glasses of wine involved ;D
 
Have you ever baked sweet treats with beans before?
Any other adventurous ingredients you like to bake with?
I’ve got many more up my sleeves 😉
Stay tuned!
 
xoxo,
Sam
 
 

What Will Your Word of the Year Be!?

Lemon Sorbet Champagne CocktailHiiiii!

Happy New Year’s Eve everybody!

I feel like this year everyone is particularly excited for 2015. I see all over Facebook, people declaring they are going to make it the best year ever! There are lots of resolutions being made too.

I love the new year, but I don’t really ever make resolutions. In my own experience, resolutions set me up to fail. I get hyped up and excited imagining this amazing brand new “me” and then January 1st comes and it’s just another day with the same to-do’s, habits and such. Maybe it’s all the sparkles and glitter of New Year’s Eve that makes resolutions seem so alluring, but really they are just goals. I’m all for goals. Love them! But I make goals throughout the year. Why save them for one specific day?

Lemon Sorbet Champagne Cocktail 4

So, instead of making New Years resolutions, I like to pick a word for the year ahead. The word I pick reflects how I want to feel. I love this tradition because it has nothing to do with succeeding or failing, like resolutions do. It’s really about aligning with what is important to you and reminding yourself how you want to feel on the daily.

Last year my word was courage.

~I started my website last year

~I began to share my thoughts and writing with all of you (hella scary for me, btw!)

~ I got my personal training certification

All of these things, plus many more, were acts of courage for me. They were all scary, but  I’m so glad I made them happen.

This year I have decided that my word is going to be Authentic.

I want to step into my authentic self even more in 2015. I’ve discovered that being authentic feels really good. I’m going to commit to embracing who I am with no apologies and no censors. (Well, maybe a few censors when I’m around children, ha!) I believe that when we fully embrace who we are, we give permission, and inspire others to do the same.

I’m leaving you, this final day of 2014, with a cocktail my sister created. It’s fresh, light and sparkly. (Coincidentally also how I want to feel in the new year!)

Cheers!

Lemon Sorbet Champagne Cocktail 2

Lemon Sorbet Champagne Cocktail

Makes 1 cocktail

1 oz vodka

lemon sorbet

your favorite champagne or prosecco

mint leafs

Pour vodka into a champagne flute. Add bubbly leaving 1 inch at the top. Add a scoop of sorbet. Put a mint leaf in the palm of one hand and smack it with the other hand. Yes, that’s right. *Smack the leaf! Garnish your cocktail with beaten mint leaf. Drink up!

*Smacking is a bartender trick to release the oils and fragrance of your herbs. Try it! One good smack will do the trick and it’s kinda fun :)

Lemon Sorbet Champagne Cocktail 1I’d love to hear what your word of 2015 will be. Tell me in the comments below!

Have a fabulous and safe New Years Eve!

See you next year!

xoxo,

Sam

Holiday Coconut Nog Protein Pancakes

Eggnog protein pancakesHi there my loves!

As you all know Thursday is Christmas and it’s a hectic time of year. I’ve been running my little (okay, big) tush around buying presents for all of my family including the newest addition, my sweet baby nephew. It’ll be his first Christmas and I can hardly wait. I have my camera charged and ready to capture every moment. Christmas is always special, but having children around really makes it magical.

Eggnog protein pancake 1

We always have a huge feast on Christmas and I look forward to it every year. I try to eat light during the day to make room for all of the yummy food, but I’m never one to skip meals, so I like to have a healthy breakfast to hold me over for the feast ahead. This recipe works double duty. If you remember last week I made a Chocolate Eggnog Crumb Cake. If you ventured to make it yourself, you would now have leftover nog sitting in your fridge. I was looking for a way to use mine up and I came up with these pancakes. They are perfect for Christmas morning, or any holiday you celebrate, when you want a special breakfast to kick off the festivities. They’re also the perfect healthy treat to curb your hunger until dinnertime.

Share them with your loved ones and no matter what you celebrate, here’s wishing your holiday is filled with warmth, joy and coconut flake snow ;D

Eggnog Protein Pancakes 2

(adapted from Ultimate Protein Pancakes)

Makes 4-6

1 medium banana

2 tbsp ground flax

2 scoops vanilla protein powder

2 tbsp oat flour

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

5 tbsp nondairy eggnog (I use So Delicious Coconut Nog)

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup egg whites

In a medium size bowl mash the banana with a fork. Add in the next 8 ingredients (everything but egg whites) and mix to combine. In a separate bowl (or in a stand mixer) whisk egg whites until they develop stiff peaks, about 5 minutes. Add half of the whipped egg whites to the pancake mixture and stir. Gently fold in the rest of the egg whites. Be careful not to over mix.

Heat a non-stick pan to medium and coat with cooking spray or coconut oil. Pour in batter and flip when you see bubbles. Only flip once for really fluffy pancakes.

Top with shredded coconut and a drizzle of coconut nog.

 

Wishing you a happy, magical holiday!

xoxo,

Sam

 

Let Them Eat Ugly Cake + Recipe (It May Be Ugly, But It’s Delicious!)

“It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of someone else’s life with perfection.” ~Bhagavad Gita

Chocolate eggnog crumb cake 5

I had grand plans for this week’s post. I have a fantastic crumb cake recipe that I was excited to share. This cake has been a part of  holiday gatherings for the past few years and it is always a hit. I was planning a great photo shoot. I was actually going to take the time to photograph it properly. I wanted this cake to look scrumptious!

Well you must know that when we make plans God laughs. I didn’t have the right size pan so I crammed the batter into an 8×8 which made it more cake and less crumb. I also found out that if you chill the crumb mixture before sprinkling it on the batter it creates a lovely topping that crumb cake dreams are made of. Problem is, I learned this after topping my cake with unchilled crumbs which resulted in the butter melting into the cake leaving behind a layer of sugary almond bits and oats, not a crumb to be found :(

chocolate crumb cake

I was disappointed for all of 10 minutes because that’s how long it took for the cake to cool before I could taste it. It was as spectacular as ever. The cake was rich and tender and perfectly chocolatey. The “crumb” was nutty and buttery and still contributed some texture.

The only problem I had was that this cake was ug-lay.

I wanted this tasty crumb cake recipe to have a beautiful photo to show you all how good it is. :(

I know it is a gigantic leap from cake to life lesson, but I was watching Oprah when all of this went down so bear with me: I started this blog to capture my journey of learning about life through living it. I’m inviting you all along. That doesn’t mean showing you only the picture-perfect end-product and pretending the missteps didn’t happen. There is enough Photoshopping in this world. Every photo has a hundred filter options these days and if I’m not careful I can get caught up in the faux perfectionism of it all.

chocolate crumb cake 2

So ugly cake lesson of the day:

Don’t hide your imperfections. Embrace them. Share them because to be imperfect is to be human.

God has a plan for every one of us and sometimes that plan doesn’t look like what we thought it would. Sometimes it may even look like a failure.

Failing doesn’t mean you are a failure.

Failing means you are one step closer to success.

The only real failure is in not trying.

chocolate crumb cake 1

You can imagine all of the ways something will work out. You can make grand plans, but until you take action you will never find out for certain. If I hadn’t tried to make a decadent crumb cake worthy of pintrest and instagram pages galore, I would never have learned what to do to make it perfect next time.

And I wouldn’t have gotten to eat cake 😀

 

Chocolate Eggnog Crumb Cake

1/2 cup nondairy butter (I use Earth Balance Organic Buttery Spread)

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1 tsp vanilla

3 tbsp coffee

2 tbsp water

2 tbsp ground flax

1 cup oat flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup nondairy eggnog (I use So Delicious Coconut Nog)

Crumb Topping

1/2 cup oat flour

1/2 cup coconut sugar

4 tbsp crushed almonds

3 tbsp nondairy butter

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Chocolate Eggnog Drizzle

1/4 cup nondairy eggnog

1/3 cup chocolate chips

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 in. baking dish with nondairy butter. In a medium bowl cream nondairy butter with light brown and coconut sugars. In small bowl, mix ground flax seeds with coffee, vanilla and water until an egg-like consistency. Sift together oat flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda. Add the flax mixture to the creamed mixture. Alternate adding nondairy egg nog and dry ingredients to creamed mixture. Pour batter into greased baking dish.

For the almond struesel topping, combine oat flour, coconut sugar, cinnamon, almonds, and nondairy butter until just combined. Don’t overmix. Pop crumb in the freezer for 15 minutes. Sprinkle evenly over the cake batter. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove cake from the oven and let cool.

For the Chocolate egg nog drizzle, in a small bowl microwave eggnog and chocolate chips for 15 seconds at a time and stir until melted. Pour drizzle evenly over the cake. chocolate eggnog crumb cake 6

You don’t have to be perfect. I still love you.

 

Have you ever had a failure that turned out for the best?

Ever have an epic baking fail!?

Tell me in the comments below so I feel better about my own baking fails 😉

 

So Much Love,

Sam