Tuna salad with sautéed onions and sun-dried tomato feta


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Tuna salad is boring.

You really can’t get much more boring unless you go with peanut butter and jelly. Or maybe plain ham and cheese with nothing else on it. Yuck.

Then it happens: that brief momentary pause when you taste something amazing that you think you dislike. And it blows your mind.

That moment occurred last week in my kitchen. While deciding that I was going to “suck it up” and try tuna again since it affordable and a great source of protein, I ended up eating something so amazing, I didn’t even believe it was tuna salad anymore. It was more of a Jessica Simpson moment…”Does Chicken of the Sea mean this is tuna or chicken?” Ok , maybe not that bad…but it was close!

Attempting to make a spice clone for one I was out of, I used a mix of parsley and cinnamon in my recipe. The results were unreal. This makeyourtastebudsgocrazy version is full of savory spice and grown up flavor that will make you fall in love with tuna all over again. Who says relationships can’t be saved?

Tuna salad with sautéed onions and sun-dried tomato feta

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 15

Ingredients

  • 1 red onion, sliced into thin half moons
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 8 cans albacore tuna packed in water (BPA free)
  • 2 tsp dried mustard
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup soy free Veganaise (the variety with the light green top)
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese (sun-dried tomato is amazing! but optional)
  • 3 celery stalks with leaves, chopped
  • Romaine lettuce, Ezekiel bread or Gluten Free bread for serving

Instructions

  • Saute red onion until very tender, about 8-10 minutes. While onion is cooking, add parsley and cinnamon to hot water and let steep for about 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients to large bowl. When herb water is done steeping, add 3 tbsp to tuna mixture. Add sautéed onions and mix very well. Serve on lettuce, Ezekiel bread or a gluten free bread variety.
http://www.tiffanystrimtreats.com/2014/01/16/tuna-salad-with-sauteed-onions-and-sun-dried-tomato-feta/

OMG it is so good! I was going to put pictures up of tuna salad dressing up some Ezekiel bread, but I was trying to save your keyboard from drool.

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Enjoy!

Xoxo,

Tiffany

Mexican Taco Bake

It all started with this almost rotten tomato. After that, it was meant to be.

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There are days when I feel like I have nothing in the house to make a meal. Then comes along the rare days when the angels are singing from heaven and a “meant to be” meal appears. This was one of those days. I had been planning my freezer meals for the next few weeks (more on that at the end of the post), and for some reason I was stuck on Mexican food. Taco bake, enchiladas, etc. Right around that time I realized that food planning and the fact that I was hungry probably wasn’t going so well, so I needed to make something for lunch. I just returned from a 7 day cruise and had not shopped for food in over a week. The gourmet style cruise cuisine also had me completely spoiled, and a basic sandwich just wasn’t gonna cut it. Then I remembered the tomato. The one I showed my husband the night before. We were actually both kind of surprised how long it had held on since I bought it 2 weeks earlier. It had a purpose and somehow knew not to rot before it was fulfilled.

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In my quest for Mexican food I remembered the leftover taco meat I had frozen. I buy expensive healthier brands of meat, so I don’t want to waste anything. Plus, if an animal is going to sacrifice its life for me, I want to be respectful and eat it all. I recommend that if you have any bits of meat left over…just throw them in the freezer for another small meal later on. As I started looking around the kitchen, I had enough ingredients to make a taco bowl. YAY! It turned out so amazing I want to share it with all of you. A quick, easy, delicious meal. The only thing better that that would be if someone made it for you :)

Mexican Taco Bake

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Serving Size: 3-4

Ingredients

  • Cooked Taco meat, frozen or thawed (can be vegan too)
  • 1-2 tomatoes, diced
  • Non-cow dairy cheese
  • Corn relish
  • Black bean hummus
  • 1-2 cups blue corn chips
  • Coriander
  • 3-4 ramekins

Instructions

  • 1) Fill Ramekins up 1/3 with taco meat
  • 2) Top with diced tomato
  • 3) Add cheese
  • 4) Place 1 to 2 spoonfuls corn relish over cheese
  • 5) Add 2 tablespoons black bean hummus over relish and try to spread out in dish
  • 6) Crush blue corn chips and place over all ingredients
  • 7) Sprinkle each ramekin with coriander
  • 8) Bake 15-20 min on 375 or until heated through and cheese is melted
  • 9) Enjoy!
http://www.tiffanystrimtreats.com/2013/11/05/mexican-taco-bake/

Continue here for picture tutorial:

Fill Ramekins up 1/3 with taco meat (can use vegan meat as an alternative).

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Top with diced tomato. Add cheese.

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Place 1 to 2 spoonfuls corn relish over cheese. Add 2 tablespoons black bean hummus over the relish and try to spread out in a dish.

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Crush blue corn chips and place over all ingredients. Do you think it was a coincidence my husband left the hammer on the counter after doing housework? I think not!

 

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Sprinkle each ramekin with coriander

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Bake 15-20 min on 375 or until heated through and cheese is melted

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Enjoy!

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Stay tuned for a new section coming up on Tiffany’s Trim Treats! I am finding myself SUPER busy lately (obviously…I haven’t blogged since July :/ ) and have taken a liking to bulk cooking. I am not a freezer meal kinda gal because they usually end up disgusting and the store bought ones are full of sodium. My sister and I have been creating delicious meals that you can cook once or twice a month, freeze and truly enjoy. This section will give you ideas for meals that are balanced with the right amount of protein, carb and veggies. They are not loaded with preservatives and empty calories. Each tutorial will also include how to freeze your meals so that they stay fresh. I look forward to sharing this will you all soon!

Xoxo,

Tiffany

Homemade Crock Pot Red Sauce

There have been many times in my life where I loved a recipe, but wasnt so keen on the length of time to be involved in making it. I don’t want to have to be stuck to the house because something has to sit on the stove for 3 hours. Ain’t nobody got time for dat!

I can’t remember how old I was when I first started applying recipe modifications to my cooking style, but it was probably one of the best milestones of my “kitchen” life. My mother likes to call me a savory cook…I can kind of feel my way through a recipe rather than follow it step for step. I also figured out how to use my crock pot, and to use it often. I can modify almost any recipe that requires quite a bit of cooking time in the stove or oven, and make it crock pot friendly. If someone asked me which kitchen appliance I couldn’t live without, it would definitely be that one!

This recipe is actually a Rachel Ray modification. I make it every 2 months or so in large batches and it is INCREDIBLY easy! We use it in lasagna, over chicken, on pizza, etc. Really, anywhere you use a red sauce, this one will work for you…and your time schedule :)

You’ll never go back to the jar!

 

Homemade Crock Pot Red Sauce

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 4 hours

Yield: 6 cups (3 servings)

Serving Size: 2 cups

Ingredients

  • 4 - 28oz cans organic crushed tomatoes
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup organic red wine (merlot is best)
  • 1 can anchovies (optional)

Instructions

  • 1) Open cans of red sauce and pour them into crock pot. Add salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
  • 2) Crush garlic cloves and remove skins (no need to chop). Add to crockpot
  • 3) If using anchovies, chop fine. Add to crockpot. Side note: the anchovies don't given the sauce a fishy flavor at all. It actually helps to give a more authentic italian flavor.
  • 4) Add wine to crock pot.
  • 5) Stir all ingredients well.
  • 6) Set crock pot to low for 4 hours. Walk away and enjoy your day!
  • 7) When sauce is done and cooled, stir well and separate into freezer bags in 2 cup portions. Freeze unused sauce.
  • *When ready to use frozen sauce, remove from freezer bag and thaw over low heat in a sauce pan. This is the most effective method. Stir well before using.
http://www.tiffanystrimtreats.com/2013/07/11/homemade-crock-pot-red-sauce/

Continue here for picture tutorial:

Open cans of red sauce and pour them into crock pot. Add salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and olive oil.

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Crush garlic cloves and remove skins (no need to chop). Add to crockpot . If using anchovies, chop fine. Add to crockpot. Side note: the anchovies don’t given the sauce a fishy flavor at all. It actually helps to give a more authentic italian flavor.

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Add wine to crock pot. Stir all ingredients well. Set crock pot to low for 4 hours. Walk away and enjoy your day!

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When sauce is done and cooled, stir well and separate into freezer bags in 2 cup portions. Freeze unused sauce.

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When ready to use frozen sauce, remove from freezer bag and thaw over low heat in a sauce pan. This is the most effective method. Stir well before using.

Xoxo,

Tiffany

 

 

 

Marsala Truffle Cakes with Blackberry Agave Sauce

I have to say, I love me a good chunk of chocolate. Sometimes there is just nothing else that will satisfy a craving like a dark chocolate treat. Years ago, I was more a fan of milk chocolate, but as I refined my taste to eating fresh and whole foods, I began to see the beauty in dark chocolate. It has a rich deep flavor that is uncomparable to anything else. It is simply and truly divine! A gift from God to humans.

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These truffle cakes will definitely fill any chocolate void that you may encounter. Added bonus: there is no refined sugar. This recipe has all the flavor of a white cane sugar filled treat without the high glycemic side effects. By using a combo of different natural sugars, a unique yet heavenly flavor is achieved. Topped with a dangerously delicious Blackberry wine sauce and Oh Em Gee….

 

Marsala Truffle Cakes with Blackberry Agave Sauce

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 12 Truffle Cakes

Serving Size: 1 Truffle Cake

Ingredients

  • For the Sauce
  • 6oz fresh blackberries
  • 1 cup marsala wine
  • 3/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1/2tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • For the Truffle Cakes
  • 1 bag chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup cacoa powder
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp espresso powder
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup marsala wine

Instructions

  • To Make Sauce
  • 1) Rinse 6 oz fresh blackberries.
  • 2) In a medium saucepan, bring 1 cup Marsala wine, 3/4 cup agave nectar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp vanilla and blackberries to a boil.
  • 3) Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, gently crushing blackberries every 10 minutes or so. Place in the refrigerator and let cool completely. Sauce will thicken in the fridge.
  • To Make Truffle Cakes
  • 1) Melt chocolate chip and coconut oil in a small saucepan over medium heat until smooth. Stir occasionally so the mixture doesn't burn at the bottom.
  • 2) Add 1 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp espresso powder, 3/4 cup cacoa powder and 1/4 cup marsala wine. Mix until combined.
  • 3) In a mixer, beat 6 eggs and 1 cup coconut sugar until it becomes thick and custard-like in appearance.
  • 4) Add chocolate mixture to egg mixture and blend together for 1 minute.
  • 5) Fill 12 cupcake molds 3/4 full. Place cupcake liners in for easy removal.
  • 6) Bake at 325 for 20-25 min or until just set. A good way to test this is with your finger. Gently press the top of one of the cakes with your finger. It should bounce back up. If the finger impression stays in, or the cake feels loose, it is not quite done yet. Do not overcook them, or you will end up with a dry hockey puck.
  • 7)Take truffle cake out of the wrapper and place on plate. Top with Chilled Blackberry Agave Sauce.
  • 8) If you are planning to eat the cakes after they have cooled or the next day, pop the in the microwave to warm and soften for about 20 seconds just before eating. They are much better warm. Enjoy!

For a detailed picture tutorial, visit http://www.tiffanystrimtreats.com/2013/04/12/marsala-truffle-cakes-with-blackberry-agave-sauce

http://www.tiffanystrimtreats.com/2013/04/12/marsala-truffle-cakes-with-blackberry-agave-sauce/

CONTINUE HERE FOR PICTURE TUTORIAL:

Rinse 6 oz fresh blackberries.

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In a medium saucepan, bring 1 cup Marsala wine, 3/4 cup agave nectar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp vanilla and blackberries to a boil.
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Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, gently crushing blackberries every 10 minutes or so. Place in the refrigerator and let cool completely. Sauce will thicken in the fridge.

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Get out your bag of Enjoy life Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Chips. These are processed, but contain a very small amount of ingredients which is always great if you have to use a processed product. They contain a more natural form of sugar and are also wheat, dairy, tree nut, peanut, egg, soy, fish and shellfish free. Fish and Shellfish? I didn’t know that was a problem with chocolate chips but good to know!

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Melt chocolate chip and coconut oil in a small saucepan over medium heat until smooth. Stir occasionally so the mixture doesn’t burn at the bottom.

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Add 1 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp espresso powder, 3/4 cup cacoa powder and 1/4 cup marsala wine. Mix until combined.

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In a mixer, beat 6 eggs and 1 cup coconut sugar until it becomes thick and custard-like in appearance.

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Add chocolate mixture to egg mixture and blend together for 1 minute.

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You should have a nice bowl of delicious chocolate batter. Try not to eat it all before it goes into the oven :)

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Fill 12 cupcake molds 3/4 full. Place cupcake liners in for easy removal.

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Bake at 325 for 20-25 min or until just set. A good way to test this is with your finger. Gently press the top of one of the cakes with your finger. It should bounce back up. If the finger impression stays in, or the cake feels loose, it is not quite done yet. Do not overcook them, or you will end up with a dry hockey puck.

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Take truffle cake out of the wrapper and place on plate. Top with Chilled Blackberry Agave Sauce.

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Mmmmmmmm! You want one really bad right now don’t you ;)

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If you are planning to eat the cakes after they have cooled or the next day, pop the in the microwave to warm and soften for about 20 seconds just before eating. They are much better warm.

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They are also great topped with Zabaglione Cream. Yum!

Enjoy!

Xoxo,

Tiffany

 

Dozen Bread

IMG_3223I think small things are super cute. Like babies. You know how people are always googling over a cute little baby? I do that with all kinds of small things. “Awww, look at that cute little sweater!” or because I work in a radiology department, “That six month old’s skull xray is adorable!”

Sticking with the theme of small cuteness, when I decided to post my recipe for dozen bread, I could’ve easily made it one big loaf. But who wants that when you can have a bunch of cute baby loaves? Plus, when starting out with a smaller portion, we tend to eat less. These baby loaves are so versatile because you can wrap them up in foil, thrown them in the freezer and pull them out to thaw when you are craving some dozen bread. When I say craving, I mean it. This bread was an overnight success with my coworkers. In fact, more than any other recipe I am frequently asked, “Do you have any of that bread with you today?”

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This bread is great because it doesn’t require any fancy flours to make. And boy does it pack a protein punch! Dozen bread gets its name from the fact that it takes a dozen eggs to make one batch. Eggs have taken on a bad rep through the years as a cholesterol raising culprit, but new research begs to differ. They are one of the best natural forms of protein available. In fact, they may help raise HDL (good cholesterol) in the body. From my personal experience as a person with outrageously high cholesterol levels, I can tell you that eggs have not increased this number. In fact, as my egg intake went up, and dairy went down, so did my cholesterol numbers. I can happily say I am in a normal range today due to my natural food diet changes. Click here to check out more on eggs.

Dozen Bread

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 5 mini loaves or 1 large loaf

Serving Size: 15

Dozen Bread

Ingredients

  • 2 cups almonds
  • 2 cups unsweeted coconut, shredded
  • 2 cups oats, gluten free, plus more for sprinkling
  • 12 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 5 mini loaf foil pans (optional: 1 large loaf pan)
  • coconut oil for greasing

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 300°.
  • Place 1/2 cup oats, 1/2 cup coconut, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
  • Add remaining coconut, oats and almonds to food processor. Blend for 1 minute.
  • When mixture is done blending, it should appear more like a meal, with the almonds in very small pieces. If there are any large chunks of almonds, remove them from the bowl.
  • Add the blended mixture to the unprocessed oat/coconut mixture and mix well.
  • In a separate bowl, crack open 12 eggs. Add honey to eggs.
  • Whisk with a fork until blended well.
  • Pour egg mixture into “flour” mixture.
  • Stir until all ingredients are blended.
  • Prep 5 mini loaf pans by greasing generously with coconut oil.
  • Divide bread mix between all 5 mini loaf pans. Sprinkle the top with oats.
  • Bake for 40-50 minutes or until golden brown on the outside. You should be able to push on the top lightly and it will feel firm.
  • Once bread has cooled completely, cut into thin slices. You can speed up this process by placing warm loaves wrapped in the foil and put in the refrigeraor until cool. Store any unused loaves in the freezer. Wrap in foil and place in a freezer bag before freezing.
  • If you decide to make one large loaf instead of mini’s, generously grease a regular sized loaf pan. Cut a rectangle of parchment paper to fit in the bottom of the pan. Place in pan and then pour mixture in . Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes or until the bread does not give when pushed lightly in the middle.

For more on ways to use Dozen Bread and a step-by-step picture tutorial, visit http://www.tiffanystrimtreats.com/2013/03/06/dozen-bread/

http://www.tiffanystrimtreats.com/2013/03/06/dozen-bread/

 

CONTINUE HERE FOR PICTURE TUTORIAL: 

Place 1/2 cup oats, 1/2 cup coconut, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.

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Add remaining coconut, oats and almonds to food processor. Blend for 1 minute.

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When mixture is done blending, it should appear more like a meal, with the almonds in very small pieces. If there are any large chunks of almonds, remove them from the bowl.

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Add the blended mixture to the unprocessed oat/coconut mixture and mix well.

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Crack open the dozen eggs in a separate large bowl. Add honey to eggs.

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Whisk with a fork until blended well.

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Pour egg mixture into “flour” mixture.

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Stir until all ingredients are blended.

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Prep 5 mini loaf pans by greasing generously with coconut oil.

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Divide bread mix between all 5 mini loaf pans. Sprinkle the tops with oats.

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They are so cute…fits right in your hand :)

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Bake for 40-50 minutes or until golden brown on the outside. You should be able to push on the top lightly and it will feel firm.

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Once bread has cooled completely, cut into thin slices. You can speed up this process by placing warm loaves wrapped in the foil and put in the refrigerator until cool. Store any unused loaves in the freezer. Wrap in foil and place in a freezer bag before freezing.

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If you decide to make one large loaf instead of mini’s, generously grease a regular sized loaf pan. Cut a rectangle of parchment paper to fit in the bottom of the pan. Place in pan and then pour mixture in . Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes or until the bread does not give when pushed lightly in the middle.

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So once you have your dozen bread, what do you do with it? You can obviously eat it plain, but I love making little snacks out of mine. Here are 5 ways to shake up snack time using dozen bread:

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1) A slice of pepperoni with a small wedge of manchengo cheese (manchengo is from sheep milk, not cows milk)

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2) Almond maple butter with banana slices

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3) Almond cheese with a homemade garlic pickle spear (click here for recipe)

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4) Toasted dozen bread topped with Bruschetta (recipe coming soon!)

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5) Dip bread in olive oil, balsamic vinegar and Italian spices. Yum!!

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There are sooooooo many ways to use this bread! How would you use your dozen bread?

Xoxo,

Tiffany

Greek Chicken Skewers with Cashew Tzatziki Sauce

My husband and I have a special place in our heart for greek food. In fact, during one period of our lives, we frequented the local greek restaurant at least once a week (or one made the other one pick it up as take out on the way home). Sadly, our beloved greek restaurant vanished one day. The good news is it didn’t close; it had only moved to a new location. The bad news is that location was a little farther than we are able to go on a weekly basis. So alas, our greek food fixes do not occur very often anymore without a 45 minute drive north.

Recently when I was planning out our lunches for the following week, I got a little craving for something greek. But it needed to be easy to throw in a bag in the morning, so after giving it a little thought (while still drooling over the prospect of eating something greek very soon) the Chicken Greek skewers were born. They combine a great spice combination with a new twist on the usual dairy based Tzatziki sauce. These skewers are lean, dairy free and packed with a nice little protein punch! As with many of my recipes, I make these in bulk, and freeze out portions so I can grab and go in the morning. They make a great lunch and an even better afternoon snack!! Nothing like a little mid-day protein to power your brain so you are ready to conquer the second half of the day :)

What you’ll need:

For the skewers-

1 tsp black pepepr

1 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tbsp oregano

1 tbsp chili powder

2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp pink himalayan salt (or sea salt)

1/4 cup olive oil

3 medium cage free chicken breasts ( I use Harvestland)

2 large zucchini

1 container cherry tomatoes

1 jar kalamata olives

 

For the sauce-

1/2 cup raw cashews

1/2 cup water

juice of 1/2 lemon

1/4 of a cucumber

6-8 mint leaves

1/2 tsp salt

 

Kitchen Equipment:

Food processor, Ninja, magic bullet, or coffee grinder

cutting board

1 plate

4 bowls

2 baking sheets lined with foil

aluminum foil and freezer bags for storage

 

Directions:

Soak 25 skewers for at least 30 minutes before starting to bake so that the wood doesn’t splinter when you are eating it (ouch!). If you are soaking them for more than 4 hours, make sure they aren’t becoming too flexible under the water.

Pre-heat the oven to 350°. Put all spices (black pepper, red pepper flakes, oregano, chili powder, garlic powder, and salt) in food processor and blend for 20 seconds to grind all the ingredients together.

Place ground spices in a small bowl.

Add 1/4 cup olive oil and mix well.

Take out chicken and place on a large plate.

Coat chicken well with all the spice marinade. This works best if you use your hands. Set chicken aside.

Cut zucchini into 3/4 inch slices and then cut each slice again into 4 pieces. Place in a bowl and set aside.

After zucchini is diced, cut chicken breasts into bite size pieces and place in a bowl. Set remaining marinade aside for later.

Rinse the tomatoes and leave them in the container they came in. Place kalamata olives in a bowl (for easy handling) and set out all 4 skewering ingredients next to each other: chicken, tomatoes, zucchini and olives.

Drain skewers. Put skewering items on the stick one at a time, making sure you have done one of each item before rotating another layer. Depending on how close you put them together, you should be able to get 2 or 3 of each item on one skewer. If you run out of one item, just use more of the other items until you have run out of ingredients. You can mix and match what you place on your skewers as well if you have someone that doesn’t like one of the ingredients that you do.

Set all skewers to where the ends are resting on the long sides of the baking trays. If the baking sheets are too large for this, spray the foil with olive oil and place the skewers directly on the trays. Fill up both trays and space skewers out evenly.

Brush skewers with remaining marinade.

Place baking sheets in the middle of the oven side by side and bake at 350° for about 20-25 min or until chicken is cooked through and zucchini is soft.

While skewers are cooking, place 1/2 cup cashews and 1/2 cup water in food processor and blend for 2 minutes until creamy.

Add lemon, cucumber, mint leaves and salt to cashew mixture and blend for 1 minute.

When skewers are done, take out of oven and let cool for a few minutes before eating. The tomatoes are extremely hot!!! It’s like liquid fire inside that little red ball!

Serve skewers 2 at a time with a little bowl of tzatziki sauce :)

Wrap up the remaining skewers using aluminum foil. Place 2 skewers in a sheet of aluminum foil and wrap up tightly, concentrating on the ends so that the skewers don’t poke through the foil.


Or you can just keep eating them instead…

Enjoy!!! To get more recipes like these sent directly to you, sign up for a subscription to Tiffany’s Trim Treats (the box at the top right corner of this blog) or you can “like” me on Facebook or “follow” me on  Twitter :)

Xoxo,

Tiffany

 

Chilly Chili

 

I am so excited! Today is the first fall day in Florida where we have had really cool weather (in the 40′s!). I know, that is probably mild to some of you, but when 40 degree weather rolls around here, we all pull out our winter jackets. This is, sadly, usually a combo of a long sleeve shirt and a hoodie layered together lol.

For being born and raised in the sunshine state, I really enjoy my cold days. I don’t know if it’s because we get so few of them, or the nostalgia of  happy wintery memories that come flooding back, but they always makes me smile! Whether you love or hate the cold weather, almost everyone agrees: chilly days make warm foods taste amazing! A piping hot dish just doesn’t taste the same on a sweltering humid day.

I really like chili when it gets chilly. Because our winter days here are so sporadic, you kind of have to plan in advance with weather forecasts if you want to make a fresh warm bowl on a cold day. So, in an attempt to get a one-up on the weather, I started making large batches and freezing them in individual baggies. I can pull out a bag to snack on without going through the process of starting from scratch, and possibly missing my winter weather opportunity window. I can have my chili anytime it gets chilly…no extra fuss.

Side note: This chili is amazing with Chocolate-Covered Katie’s Totally Addictive Cornbread. Delish!

What you’ll need:

6 strips nitrate and hormone free bacon

1 large sweet onion; roughly chopped

4 cloves garlic

1 organic steak

1 lb organic ground beef or sausage

1 cup organic red wine

1 cup corn

2 cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed (omit for paleo)

1 cup tomato sauce

3 tbsp chili powder

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp coriander

2 tsp salt

1 tsp cacao powder

1/2 – 1 tsp red pepper flakes (or more if you like it hot)

1/2-1 cup beef broth or water if chili is too dry after ingredients are added (optional)

 

Kitchen equipment:

Large deep skillet (or electric skillet)

cutting board

sandwich bags

freezer bags

 

Directions:

Fry bacon until brown and crispy.

 

When bacon is done, chop roughly into pieces and set aside.

While bacon is cooking, chop onion and set aside.

Mince garlic and place in bowl with onion.

Slice steak into 2 inch strips. Slice strip in half again and dice into 1 inch cubes.

When bacon is done, add onion and garlic to the same pan. Do not remove bacon grease.

Saute for 5-7 minutes or until onions start to become translucent and soft.

Add ground beef and steak.

Cook for another 5 minutes or until meat is about 90 percent cooked through.

Add remaining ingredients (including bacon) and stir well.

 

Simmer for 30 min.

Pour into a crock and enjoy!

Don’t forget your spoon :)

To store for later (or a good chilly day), place 1 cup portions into sandwich bags and place all bags into one large freezer bag. Pull one out and thaw using the defrost setting on the microwave. You can heat it to the desired temperature at that point or stick it in your lunchbox to enjoy later.

Ok cold weather…keep giving me a reason to heat up my Chilly Chili :)

Xoxo,

Tiffany

 

 



Sweet Pork Potato Stack-Snack

I am SUPER excited today!!! The Ancient Olive, and amazing oil and vinegar company announced today on facebook that it will now have products available for purchase online. YAAAAAAYYYYY!!!!!! This is so great because I use their products all the time and unfortunately they are currently located only in St Augustine and Winter Park, Florida. Seeing that I live more than 45 min away from each location (and much farther for many of you), this is an ingredient problem for some of the recipes I create that use their products. Well, not anymore. Welcome to oil and vinegar heaven people!!

The Ancient Olive is a company that creates flavor infused olive oils and balsamic vinegars without any added sugars. It is much healthier than using butter, syrups or processed flavors to achieve that specific or unique taste you want to achieve in a dish. Unlike many other “flavored” vinegars, these really taste like the ingredient infused in them. Imagine this: coconut white balsamic vinegar paired with a lime oil marinated over tilapia for a Key West inspired fish dish. Sweet chocolate vinegar drizzled over a bowl of strawberries with no need for added sweetener. Red apple vinegar and walnut oil dressing over a goat cheese salad with candied pecans. Butter flavored olive oil topping your popcorn with the same great flavor. Yes please! If you can manage to make it to one of the “tasting rooms,” the very knowledgeable and friendly staff will let you sample the exquisite flavors and combinations of oils and vinegars that pair well together. For me, it really was love at first taste.

In honor of this glorious day, I would like to share a yummy snack that uses one of the tastiest vinegars I own…Vermont Maple Balsamic Vinegar. I have used it on several things, but it really tastes amazing on anything with pork! This recipe also pairs well with the Strawberry Barbecue sauce from last weeks post.

 

What you’ll need:

6 microwave ready sweet potatoes (found in the produce section next to the regular sweet potatoes)

1 pork loin (4 or 5 pounds)

3/4 cup Vermont Maple Balsamic Vinegar

1/3 cup maple syrup or agave nectar

Strawberry Barbecue sauce or organic low sugar barbecue sauce (for drizzling)

 

Kitchen Equipment:

Crock pot

cutting board

12 sandwich baggies and 1 large gallon freezer bag

saran wrap or tupperware to unused half of potato

 

Directions:

Place pork loin in crock pot. Pour vinegar and maple syrup over pork and rub to coat meat.

 

Slow cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours. When pork is done, it should pull apart easily with a fork. Place pork on a cutting board and pull apart into pieces with two forks. Separate into 12 portions and place each portion into a sandwich bag. Place all 12 bags into one large freezer bag. Place into freezer. (Picture shown below was done with chicken)

 

Microwave one sweet potato as directed on package. When it is soft and cooked through (test by piercing it with a fork or squeezing with your hand that had an oven mitt on it…don’t forget the oven mitt or you will be really angry at me and the sweet potato) remove and place on a cutting board. Remove the wrapping and slice through the potato lengthwise to make 2 portions. Using a fork, mash one of the halves, loosening the flesh of the potato. Wrap the other half and place in the refrigerator for a snack later.

When you are ready to assemble, thaw one bag of the pork and heat through. Place pork on top of sweet potato half and drizzle with barbecue sauce.

Do I really need to say more….:)

This recipe is DELISH! It is one of those snacks that is super filling with a nice combo of healthy carbs and protein. Plus it uses flavor infused balsamic vinegar and very little sugar so really, how can you go wrong! I once made these as lunch snacks for my family and it was seriously the easiest thing to throw together last minute in the morning.

If you’d like to check out more about the amazing oils and vinegars you that will be your new favorite kitchen companion, click here. They also have sleek and efficient pour spouts available to purchase on their site that fit perfectly in the bottles. I use silver for my vinegar and gold for my oil. Check them out!

The Skinny Shepherd

My husband and I were very blessed to be able to take a trip to Ireland last year. It is and will always be one of the most amazing places we have ever been. This country has spun out some of the best dishes I have eaten in my entire life. One of my absolute favorites is Shepherd’s Pie. This is my Ireland inspired “skinny” version that is to die for! I cook them in small ramekins so I can grab one and enjoy a nice warm afternoon snack while my mind drifts back to the emerald isle…

 

What you’ll need:

2 lbs ground free range turkey

1/2 lb (1/2 bag) organic baby carrots

1 cup peas

1 small red onion

2 tsp agave nectar or honey

1/2 tsp himalayan pink salt

1 tsp nutmeg

2 tbsp olive oil

For the topping:

1 head cauliflower

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp himalayan pink salt

3 tbsp olive oil

cracked pepper

 

Kitchen equipment

food processor or Ninja

medium stockpot

colander or strainer

Large frying pan or Magic green pan ( My favorite pan!)

cutting board

8 lightly greased ramekins placed on a baking sheet

 

Directions:

Bring 6 cups water to a boil in medium saucepan. Chop white part of cauliflower into medium sized chunks and place in boiling water.

Boil for 20 min or until cauliflower is tender.

While the cauliflower is cooking, place onion and carrots in a food processor and pulse until minced. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a large saucepan heated to medium high heat. Saute carrots and onions for 5 min.

Turn heat off on stove. Add ground turkey, peas, agave nectar, salt and nutmeg and stir to combine mixture. You do not need to cook the turkey.

Divide turkey mixture evenly among 8 ramekins.

Drain cooked cauliflower and place in food processor or ninja. Add nutritional yeast, garlic powder, salt, and olive oil. Blend until smooth and creamy.

Top the turkey mixture with cauliflower mixture by dividing it evenly among the 8 ramekins. Top with cracked pepper.

Bake on 350 for 30 min. Turn oven to broil and cook for another 5 min or until tops begin to turn a golden color.

Let cool for at least 10 min before eating. These pies are piping hot on the inside!!!

There is something so comforting about these Skinny Shepherds. I’m not sure if it’s the hint of nutmeg, the fact that they are so good for you, or the warm goodness in your belly after eating them, but I never get enough of this snack. It’s a great way to experience an Irish culinary treasure right in your own backyard.

Renal Diet exchanges: Eliminate all salt from recipe, use fresh or frozen peas (not canned) and do not use honey as an option in the meat mixture (agave nectar only).

Xoxo,

Tiffany

Tiffany’s Turkey Meatballs

There really is no good way to satisfy a craving for Italian food without just eating Italian food. For me, I start out in complete bliss, surrounded by the gobs of bread, cheese and oooey warm goodness. I shovel it into my mouth with no regard to how I am going to feel in about 10 minutes. And then…the agony! It’s like an Italian slap in the face and it leaves a mark! Plus I want to be in nap city, so doing anything productive is usually out of the question. I decided to come up with a way satisfy that Italian craving without sacrificing my poor sinuses in the process. And so, Tiffany’s Turkey Meatballs were born. I usually make these in really large batches (3 or 4 times the recipe I posted) and freeze them so we can pull them out whenever. You never know when an attack craving will sneak up on you..

What you will need:

1 pound hormone free/cage free ground turkey (Harvestland is the brand I use)

1 egg

1 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp dried Italian seasoning

1/2 tsp cracked pepper

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tbsp olive oil + more for tops

1/4 cup almond flour

1/4 cup almond cheese, goat cheese or nutritional yeast (not brewers yeast)

 

Kitchen equipment

1 large bowl

Cookie sheet lined with greased foil or parchment paper

 

Directions:

Heat Oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients in bowl and mix thoroughly with hands (yes your hands…after you have washed them :) )

Rinse your hands off, and keeping them slightly moist, roll turkey mixture into 9 meatballs and place on baking sheet.

Brush each meatball with olive oil and place in oven. Bake for 25 – 30 min or until slightly browned and completely cooked through. Try not to over bake as it will make them tough.

Enjoy! These are great by themselves, or with a little organic tomato sauce on top. I freeze them by putting 3 in a small sandwich bag and placing all the sandwiches bags in one large freezer bag. They you can grab one out in the morning for a great little protein packed afternoon snack…or morning snack. I’m not judging :)

Renal Diet replacements: exchange almond flour for rice flour, and dried herbs for 2 tablespoons each fresh basil and parsley.

Xoxo,

Tiffany

Zac and Cheese

When you hear the words “Comfort Food” what comes to mind? For me, mac and cheese has to be somewhere at the top of the list. The biggest problem with that is that cheese doesn’t like me all too well. I am very fortunate not to have all the lactose intolerant stomach cramps (and all the other gross stomach issues we won’t go into…), but my sinuses and kleenex will most definitely become best friends after a night of milk binging. What’s a girl to do?! Come up with something better :)

Putting together a list of ingredients for mac and cheese usually looks something like this: milk, wheat noodles, cheese (usually not hormone free), butter, lots of salt, and more cheese. Occasionally people might add something healthy like an onion to it. And that’s only the healthy homemade version! Boxed mac and cheese (depending on the brand) adds sodium tripolyphosphate, disodium phosphate, and or calcium phosphate as a food preservative. You can find many of these preservatives in household cleaners and corrosion inhibitors. Let’s not forget  our friends Yellow number 5 and Yellow number 6, the food colorings that turn mac and cheese a strange fluorescent orange sci-fi color. I don’t even think it even comes close to the color of sharp cheddar which usually is the brightest orange cheese. I once watched a family member consume an entire box of mac and cheese while thinking to myself, “That can’t be good…”

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want chemical cleaners or something with a number in my food. Preferably, I’d also like to feel good after eating it as well! This led to my creation of the new and improved “Zac and Cheese”!

What you will need:

For the sauce

2 cups raw cashews

2 cups water

2 cups organic nitrate free chardonnay

2 tbsp nutritional yeast, not brewers yeast

2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp sea salt

1 lemon

 

For the “Macaroni”

5 medium zucchini

 

For the topping

1 cup almond flour

1 TBSP olive oil

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp onion powder (optional, but recommended)

 

Kitchen equipment

food processor or Ninja

fine sieve strainer

non-stick frying pan or Magic green pan ( My favorite pan!)

cutting board

3 bowls

8 lightly greased ramekins placed on a baking sheet

 

Directions:

To begin, blend the 2 cups cashews with 2 cups water until smooth and creamy (about 2 minutes). I love using my ninja for this because it seems to take less time and purees really nice. Once the mixture is smooth, strain through the strainer into a bowl and throw away the chunky pieces left in the strainer. Set cashew puree aside.

Bring wine to a simmer over medium heat and cook for 12 minutes.

While the Chardonnay is cooking, prep your zucchini. Peel using a vegetable peeler (recommended) or a knife.  If you want the macaroni small, cut zucchini into 3 pieces lengthwise. If you want it a little bigger, cut in half. Next slice along the length if the zucchini in half moons, about a half inch apart. Place zucchini macaroni aside in a large bowl.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Once the wine has reduced by about half, add cashew puree, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Cook another 2 minutes. Squeeze lemon into sauce and stir.

Pour “cheese” mixture into zucchini noodles and stir well

Divide noodle mix evenly among 8 ramekins.

Place all topping ingredients in a small bowl and mix with a fork until small pea sized pieces appear throughout mix. Top zucchini mixture in ramekins.

Bake for 30 minutes or until tops are slightly browned. If you are in a hurry, you can turn the oven on broil after 30 min and cook for another 2 min to get the tops browned a little faster.

Let cool for at least 10 minutes because they are extremely hot coming out of the oven (my husband actually burned his mouth!) We enjoyed these as our afternoon snack for the next few days and they were really filling due to the use of almonds and cashew protein added to the recipe. The zucchini worked perfectly as a noodle replacement. The sauce almost resembled a creamy white alfredo cheese. Yum! I also didn’t have a sluggish feeling after eating them so…success! I hope you love them as much as we do!

Renal Diet Exchanges: exchange cashews for 16 oz cream cheese, no salt, exchange almond flour for rice flour, and add 1 tsp garlic powder to both the sauce and topping.

xoxo

Tiffany

 

 

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