Mexican Taco Bake

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

IMG_3273

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.

IMG_3274

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).

IMG_3271

Top with diced tomato. Add cheese.

IMG_3274
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.

IMG_3276

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!

 

IMG_3277

IMG_3278

IMG_3279

IMG_3280

Sprinkle each ramekin with coriander

IMG_3281
Bake 15-20 min on 375 or until heated through and cheese is melted

IMG_3282
Enjoy!

IMG_3283

 

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.

IMG_3444
IMG_3445

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.

IMG_3446

 

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

IMG_3447

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

IMG_2391

 

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

 

 

 

Fusion Rice Bowl with Mango, Beet and Avocado

Scan

Growing up as a child, I thought my younger sister and I were never going to see eye to eye on anything. I didn’t quite understand then that as an adult, sisters could be best friends. I was yin, she was yang. I wanted savory foods, she liked all the sweet stuff. We pretty much had opposite views on everything. It wasn’t until we were no longer living under the same roof that our relationship began to change. I think early on in our adulthood, we started to gain more of a respect for each other. But over the years our relationship began to grow into a great friendship. She probably doesn’t know this, but I deeply cherish the bond that we have today. We have found ways in which my yin compliments her yang. One of the areas that we have kind of grown into together, is our love for food and a healthy lifestyle.

IMG_2418

This recipe was born in her kitchen. One day we wanted to make lunch using leftovers and I literally had a random array of ingredients out on the counter. I took charge and decided to make a rice bowl with the ingredients that I had. I wasn’t too keen on her idea to add beets and apple chicken sausage. Going against my childish instincts to say no and take the reigns of control, I decided to just go with it. To my surprise, this turned out amazing. In fact, I take it for lunch often. I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish as a team in the years to come ♥

IMG_0474

 

Fusion Rice Bowl with Mango, Beet and Avocado

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 1.5 cups

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cooked Sushi Rice
  • 2 tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Coconut Aminos
  • 2 tsp Sesame oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 -14oz package Al Fresco Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage Links
  • 1 beet, greens removed
  • 4 small Avocados
  • 4 small mangos

Instructions

  • 1) Bring 6 cups water to boil in a medium saucepan. Add un-peeled beet (greens removed) to boiling water. Remove when skin on the outside of beet is soft. This usually takes 20-30 minutes.
  • 2) Chop sausage links into bite sized pieces. Heat saucepan to medium heat. Add 1 tbsp coconut oil to pan and add sausage pieces. Cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side until browned and cooked through. When done, set aside to drain on a plate lined with a paper towel.
  • 3) When beet skin is soft, drain beet and set aside on a plate to cool until you can touch it without burning your hands. Using a fork, place beet in a ziplock bag and seal closed, leaving some air in the bag. Gently peel the beet from the outside of the bag using your fingers. When beet is peeled in bag, place back on plate and place under running water. Using your hands or a spoon, peel remaining bits of skin off beet. Do this under running water so that your hands do not turn pink. Carefully remove beet from running water (keep on plate) and using a fork and knife, cut beet into 1/2 inch cubes. If you do this correctly, your hands should not be stained at the end.
  • 4) Place chopped beet and sausage in sushi rice. Add vinegar, coconut aminos, and salt. Combine well. Place in the refrigerator to cool until you are ready to eat.
  • 5) To make a serving: divide rice mixture into 4 portions. Add 1 diced avocado and 1 diced mango to each rice serving. Mix well. May be eaten cold or hot. Enjoy!
http://www.tiffanystrimtreats.com/2013/07/05/fusion-rice-bowl-with-mango-beet-and-avocado/

 

CONTINUE HERE FOR PICTURE TUTORIAL:

1) Bring 6 cups water to boil in a medium saucepan. Add un-peeled beet (greens  and stems removed) to boiling water. Remove when skin on the outside of beet is soft. This usually takes 20-30 minutes.

IMG_3432

IMG_3433

2) Chop sausage links into bite sized pieces. Heat saucepan to medium heat. Add 1 tbsp coconut oil to pan and add sausage pieces. Cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side until browned and cooked through. When done, set aside to drain on a plate lined with a paper towel.

IMG_3423

IMG_3427

IMG_3428

IMG_3429

IMG_3430

 

3) When beet skin is soft, drain beet and set aside on a plate to cool until you can touch it without burning your hands. Using a fork, place beet in a ziplock bag and seal closed, leaving some air in the bag. Gently peel the beet from the outside of the bag using your fingers. When beet is peeled in bag, place back on plate and place under running water. Using your hands or a spoon, peel remaining bits of skin off beet. Do this under running water so that your hands do not turn pink. Carefully remove beet from running water (keep on plate) and using a fork and knife, cut beet into 1/2 inch cubes. If you do this correctly, your hands should not be stained at the end.

IMG_3434

IMG_3435

 

Looks kind of like a heart lol!

 

 

IMG_3436

IMG_3437

IMG_3438

IMG_3439

IMG_3440

 

4) Place chopped beet and sausage in sushi rice. Add vinegar, coconut aminos, and salt. Combine well. Place in the refrigerator to cool until you are ready to eat.

IMG_3443

 

5) To make a serving: divide rice mixture into 4 portions. Add 1 diced avocado and 1 diced mango to each rice serving. Mix well. May be eaten cold or hot. Enjoy!

IMG_3424

IMG_3425

IMG_3426

My lunch setup at work :)

 

IMG_2359

IMG_2365

Xoxo,

Tiffany

Melon Salad with Honey Mint Dressing

IMG_3307

I don’t know about you, but I tend to make things extremely complicated. I think it is part of my over organized/perfectionist curse (we will refer to it as a curse only because it consumes my mind at times).  This curse can cause complications when creating recipes at times because before I post, I want it to be as perfect as possible. In fact, I will occasionally overuse ingredients to achieve this mission, and then have to scale back because things have spiraled out of easy mode. Or even tolerable mode. What starts out as a simple task turns into a Wizard of Oz fiasco. I mean, wasn’t Dorothy’s request simple? She just wanted to go home! It took lions and tigers and bears before she got there…oh my!

Fortunately for you, me and anyone else that may happen to stumble upon my humble blogging abode, this recipe is the epitome of un-complication. I know, that’s not a real word, but if you haven’t realized it yet, I speak in Tiffany-isms…let’s not complicate things ;) It literally takes 4 ingredients and 10 minutes before you are drooling over a delicious snack. I am really not sure in what category to classify this recipe. You could eat it as a dessert, midday snack, breakfast, a refreshing palate cleanser…

See, there I go again! Let’s all keep this simple and just eat it for the sake of wanting a tasty treat :)

Melon Salad with Honey Mint dressing

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Serving Size: 8 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 medium to large Honeydew melon
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves (or 3 sprigs mint) removed from stems

Instructions

  • 1) Chop honeydew into bite sized chunks. Place in a bowl and set aside.
  • 2) Using a blender or magic bullet, blend honey, water, mint and 1/3 cup honeydew until smooth. This will have a thin liquid consistency.
  • 3) Pour dressing over honeydew and toss to coat well.
  • 4) Eat! This dish makes a very nice presentation when garnished with a mint leaf.
http://www.tiffanystrimtreats.com/2013/06/12/melon-salad-with-honey-mint-dressing/

 

 

CONTINUE HERE FOR PICTURE TUTORIAL:

1) Chop honeydew into bite sized chunks. Place in a bowl and set aside.

IMG_3294

2) Using a blender or magic bullet, blend honey, water, mint and 1/3 cup honeydew until smooth. This will have a thin liquid consistency.

IMG_3295

IMG_3296

3) Pour dressing over honeydew and toss to coat well.

IMG_3297

4) Eat!

IMG_3298

This dish makes a very nice presentation when garnished with a mint leaf :) You can also switch up honeydew for another melon or add a combo for a colorful version.

IMG_3303

IMG_3307

Xoxo,

Tiffany

Roasted Garlic Brussel Sprouts

Inspiration: The process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something.

That’s how I felt before the creation of this deliciously tasty treat.

One of my absolute FAVORITE things to eat is Roasted Broccoli. I could literally eat it every day. I do not like it raw, steamed, boiled, etc. But roast it with olive oil until it is golden brown and it takes on a whole new personality. For the most amazing broccoli recipe in the world, check out this blog, The Amateur Gourmet. It is here that I fell in love with the idea to roast every kind of vegetable I could.

This recipe may seem very similar to the broccoli recipe (which is why I call it an “inspired”), but I have changed up a few things to add a little of my own flair. It is great as a side dish for a meal or can be eaten alone as a snack by itself. I typically roast veggies a few times a week, whether it is broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, etc. Brussel sprouts are now one of our family favorites. Oddly enough, I grew up hating those little green sprouts. I guess you have never tasted a good sprout until you have had it eaten it smothered in garlic with delicious crispy brown edges. Soooooo good….

Another cool tidbit about brussel sprouts is that they are a vegetable from the cruciferous family, as is broccoli. Is it any coincidence that these veggies that are amazing for us come from a food group that was named after the cross they represent in their flowers? I think not. A lot of good stuff comes from the cross :) Check out more about the healthy benefits of cruciferous veggies HERE.

I hope this recipe will inspire you to go out and roast some veggies this week. You won’t regret it!

Roasted Garlic Brussel Sprouts

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1215 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 3 cups

Ingredients

  • 3 cups or 1.5 pounds brussel sprouts, washed and dried completely
  • 2 tbsp + 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup shredded Manchengo Cheese (optional)

Instructions

  • 1) Preheat the oven to 450°
  • 2) Slice 3 cups of Brussel sprouts in half. If you wash them first, make sure they are completely dry. This is important so that they turn out crispy.
  • 3) Peel 4-5 garlic cloves and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt. Finely mince garlic with large knife that has a big flat blade on it. Be kind to your fingers.
  • 4) Once you have minced the garlic as fine as you can get it, take the flat blade of the knife and push the garlic into the cutting board as you drag the knife in one direction. Pick up the knife and drag it across the garlic in the opposing direction. Chop a little more in between the smushing process. You are trying to create more of a paste using the garlic and salt. This will help the garlic coat the sprouts easier.
  • 5) Place Brussel sprouts in a bowl with garlic paste, 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, and remaining 1/2 tsp salt. Toss to completely coat the sprouts.
  • 6) Pour the entire mixture out on a foil lined baking sheet.
  • 7) Put sprouts in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes or until they begin to turn brown and crispy on the outsides.
  • 8) Before removing from the pan, toss with 1 more tbsp olive oil and the juice of a lemon. 9) 9) If using the cheese, grate 1/4 cup-1/3 cup manchengo on top and let melt.
  • 10) I dare you not to eat a few before you put them on a plate. Soooooo good!! I love to eat the little crispy flakes that fall off by themselves on the baking sheet. It's like a delicious garlic veggie chip. A guilty pleasure you don't have to feel guilty about!
http://www.tiffanystrimtreats.com/2013/05/01/roasted-garlic-brussel-sprouts/

 

CONTINUE HERE FOR PICTURE TUTORIAL:

Preheat the oven to 450°. Slice 3 cups of Brussel sprouts in half. If you wash them first, make sure they are completely dry. This is important so that they turn out crispy.

IMG_3377

Peel 4-5 garlic cloves and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt.

IMG_3379

Finely mince garlic with large knife. Be kind to your fingers.

IMG_3380

Once you have minced the garlic as fine as you can get it, take the flat blade of the knife and push the garlic into the cutting board as you drag the knife in one direction. Pick up the knife and drag it across the garlic in the opposing direction. Chop a little more in between the smushing process. You are trying to create more of a paste using the garlic and salt. This will help the garlic coat the sprouts easier.

IMG_3381

IMG_3383

Place Brussel sprouts in a bowl with garlic paste, 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, and remaining 1/2 tsp salt. Toss to completely coat the sprouts.

IMG_3384

Pour the entire mixture out on a foil lined baking sheet.

IMG_3385

Put sprouts in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes or until they begin to turn brown and crispy on the outsides.

IMG_3386

Before removing from the pan, toss with 1 more tbsp olive oil and the juice of a lemon. Grate 1/4 cup-1/3 cup manchengo cheese on top and let melt.

IMG_3387

I dare you not to eat a few before you put them on a plate. Soooooo good!! I love to eat the little crispy flakes that fall off by themselves on the baking sheet. It’s like a delicious garlic veggie chip. A guilty pleasure you don’t have to feel guilty about!

IMG_3391

IMG_3392

These also go great as a side dish for dinner!!

IMG_3397

 

Enjoy!!

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.

IMG_3204

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.

IMG_3193

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.
IMG_3195

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.

IMG_3197

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!

IMG_3181 IMG_3182

IMG_3184

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.

IMG_3185

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

IMG_3186

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

IMG_3180

IMG_3187

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

IMG_3188

IMG_3190

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

IMG_3191

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

IMG_3192

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.

IMG_3200

IMG_3201

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

IMG_3202

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

IMG_3208

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.

IMG_3214

They are also great topped with Zabaglione Cream. Yum!

Enjoy!

Xoxo,

Tiffany

 

Cashew Milk

IMG_3283 - Version 2

One of the best tasting items on the juice fast I recently did was the cashew milk! I would put it in a martini glass at the end of the night and savor it slowly. The cashews make for a perfect creamy milk alternative.  Cashew Milk + Sunbutter and Jelly sandwich = smiling happy face :)

Cashew Milk

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 2 minutes

Total Time: 7 minutes

Yield: 5-6 servings

Serving Size: 1 cup

Ingredients

  • 2 cups raw cashews
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1tsp natural vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • Blender or Ninja
  • Nut Milk Bag or Cheesecloth
  • Fine Mesh Strainer

Instructions

  • 1) Soak the cashews in water overnight or at least 4 hours
  • 2) Drain and rinse the cashews well before blending
  • 3) Place cashews in a blender or Ninja
  • 4) Fill the blender up to the top marking. It should be about 6-8 cups of water.
  • 5) Add maple syrup, vanilla and salt
  • 6) Blend well for about 2 minutes.
  • 7) Drain cashew mixture through a fine mesh strainer over a bowl to catch the milk
  • 8) Rinse blender completely, and filter milk through the nut milk bag or double thickened cheesecloth back into the blender to catch and small pieces of cashews left over
  • 9) Pour milk into an airtight container and refrigerate. Lasts for about 5 days. Enjoy!

For a Picture tutorial, visit http://www.tiffanystrimtreats.com/2013/03/21/cashew-milk/

http://www.tiffanystrimtreats.com/2013/03/24/cashew-milk/

Continue Here for Picture Tutorial:

1) Soak 2 cups cashews overnight or at least 4 hours. Drain and rinse well. Add Cashews to blender or Ninja. Fill with water up to top measurement on blender cup. Add 2 tbsp maple syrup, 1 tsp vanilla and 1/4 tsp salt. Blend for 2 minutes.

 

 

IMG_3279

 

Strain cashew mixture over a fine mesh strainer. Make sure to drain it into another bowl to catch the milk.

 

 

 

IMG_2026

 

Rinse out blender well. Strain milk back into blender through a nut milk bag or a double thick layer of cheesecloth to get any fine cashew pieces out of the milk.

 

 

 

IMG_3280

 

Place milk into an airtight container and refrigerate. Will last up to 5 days if it has not been devoured before then :)

 

IMG_3283 - Version 2

 

Enjoy!

Xoxo,

Tiffany

 

 

 

Zabaglione Cream

Sometimes you just stumble upon something so wonderful, you want to experience it every day.

That’s exactly how I felt the first time I met Zabaglione. We just fit together perfectly. It’s rich and creamy texture paired with my love for foods and Marsala wine. A match made in heaven.

Zabaglione cream is an Italian dessert made from eggs, sugar and Marsala wine. There are different variations: some people prefer whipped, some creamy. I personally prefer the latter. And I prefer it all day long. The unfortunate problem is that it is usually loaded with sugar :/

I had to create a new and improved (and healthier!) Zabaglione.

Done.

You can put this on anything really. I experimented with fresh fruit and my Marsala Truffle Cakes . Or you could just eat it with a spoon….

Zabaglione Cream

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 17 minutes

Zabaglione Cream

Ingredients

  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup Marsala Wine
  • 1 tsp Bourbon Vanilla

Instructions

  • 1) Bring 4 cups water to boil over medium high heat in a medium sized saucepan. You can also use a double broiler for this recipe.
  • 2) While water is heating up, beat egg yolks and sugar with a hand mixer in a medium sized glass bowl that will sit in the top of the saucepan without falling in.
  • 3) Whip until the color lightens and the mixture becomes like a thick cream.
  • 4) When the water begins to boil, set bowl on top of pan.
  • 5) Add wine, and using a large spoon, gently stir mixture for 6 minutes, making sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. At 6 minutes, mixture will begin to thicken. Switch to a whisk and whip for another 6 minutes. You can use your hand mixer, but the final product will turn out very whipped and not so creamy.
  • 6) After 12 minutes of cooking, remove bowl from saucepan and aside. The mixture should be thick enough to coat a spoon.
  • 7) Add vanilla and mix well.
  • 8) Serve on fresh fruit, chocolate, desserts, or eat with a spoon. This is great warm or cold.

For a step-by-step picture tutorial, visit http://www.tiffanystrimtreats.com/2013/03/13/zabaglione-cream/

http://www.tiffanystrimtreats.com/2013/03/13/zabaglione-cream/

 

CONTINUE HERE FOR PICTURE TUTORIAL:

Bring 4 cups water to boil over medium high heat in a medium sized saucepan. You can also use a double broiler for this recipe.

IMG_3236

While water is heating up, beat egg yolks and sugar with a hand mixer in a medium sized glass bowl that will sit in the top of the saucepan without falling in. Whip until the color lightens and the mixture becomes like a thick cream.

IMG_3237

IMG_3238

When the water begins to boil, set bowl on top of pan.


IMG_3240

Add wine and using a large spoon, gently stir mixture for 6 minutes, making sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.

 

IMG_3251

 

At 6 minutes, mixture will begin to thicken. Switch to a whisk and whip for another 6 minutes. You can use your hand mixer, but the final product will turn out very whipped and not so creamy.

 

IMG_3244

 

After 12 minutes of cooking, remove bowl from saucepan and aside.

IMG_3248

The mixture should be thick enough to coat a spoon.

IMG_3250

Add vanilla and mix well.

IMG_3251

 

Serve on fresh fruit, chocolate, desserts, or eat with a spoon. This is great warm or cold.

IMG_3214

IMG_3213

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?”

IMG_3225

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.

IMG_3139

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

IMG_3140

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.

IMG_3141

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

IMG_3142

 

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

IMG_3178

Whisk with a fork until blended well.

IMG_3144

Pour egg mixture into “flour” mixture.

IMG_3145

Stir until all ingredients are blended.

IMG_3146

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

IMG_3173

IMG_3174

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

IMG_3175

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

IMG_3176

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.

IMG_3199

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.

IMG_3225

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.

IMG_3179

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:

IMG_3254

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

IMG_3257

2) Almond maple butter with banana slices

IMG_3258

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

IMG_3259

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

IMG_3260

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

IMG_3226

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

Xoxo,

Tiffany

Italian Deli Roll-up with Homemade Garlic Pickles

I am not a fan of processed foods (Obviously! If you missed this, check out my bio). I feel the best possible flavor and health benefits come from cooking with whole foods. There are times though, when the only way to make a specific recipe is to use something that has been processed. When that happens, instead of completely avoiding the dish, I choose to make better choices in what processed food I would like to use. I don’t think people should have to avoid something completely. We just must decide whether or not we are making a healthy choice when deciding on using an ingredient. Fortunately, there are so many good options and alternatives out on the market today! In a sense, we can have our cake, eat it too, and not have the horrid after effects that regular sugar laden cake does to our bodies.

IMG_3168

I absolutely LOVE Italian subs. It’s kind of hard to get the full effect of a sandwich like this one without some tasty deli meats. Fortunately, this tasty treat is so delicious, you won’t even notice the bread is missing. Seriously!! Now a major controversy surrounding deli meats is the fact that they contain nitrates. I choose to buy nitrate free products, such as Applegate, however, there are very few studies to show that nitrates are damaging to the body. In fact, nitrates are produced naturally in many vegetables and fruit we eat every day. However, I do recognize the fact that so many people have a sensitivity to added nitrates (myself included) and choose to go with the healthiest brands available. Another great brand I recently discovered is Troyer. You can check out their product info here. For a full list of healthier deli meats, click here.

Anyhoo, back to Italian sub talk. This gluten free, low carb version is awesome. It is super easy to make, and has a special homemade touch with the delicious pickles created by my step-mom Lana. She was kind enough to share her recipe so that I could share it with all of you :)

What you’ll need:

1 slice turkey deli meat

2 slices pepperoni

2 slices salami

1 homemade pickle

2 tsp natural brown mustard

For the pickles:

12 pickling cucumbers, thoroughly washed

2 tbsp coconut sugar

5 tbsp sea salt

2.5 tbsp safflower oil

5 tbsp vinegar (I used white distilled)

2 tbsp minced garlic

1/2 tbsp pepper

 

Kitchen Equipment:

Large Jar for Pickles

Knife

Measuring spoons

Toothpicks (optional)

Directions:

Make the pickles a day ahead. Make sure you wash them thoroughly as the crevices tend to hold dirt.

IMG_3153

Cut each cucumber in half long ways, then cut that half in half again. You should have 4 long spears from one cucumber.

IMG_3154

Place all cucumbers in a large jar.

IMG_3156

Add sugar, salt, oil, vinegar, garlic, and pepper.

IMG_3157

Place lid on tightly and shake well, coating all the cucumbers. For the next day, every time you walk in the kitchen, take the jar out and shake it up. Eventually, the cucumbers will release water and the juice will grow in the jar.

IMG_3158

These are what they should look like the next day. Ready to eat! They are seasoned with a slight crunch. Delicious!!

IMG_3160

 

Onto the italian roll-up…Lay out one piece of turkey and evenly distribute mustard.

 

IMG_3161

Lay 2 pieces of salami, next to each other, on top of the turkey and mustard.

IMG_3162

Lay 2 pieces of pepperoni on top of the salami.

IMG_3163

Take a pickle and lay it across the the meat stack perpendicular to the long side of the turkey slice. Make sure it is all the way at the end.

IMG_3164

Gently fold the meat over the pickle and continue to roll away from you.

IMG_3165

Hold roll up in place with a toothpick to hold it in place as a snack for later. Or eat it right now. You know you want to.

IMG_3166

 

Italian roll-up served with a side of Way Better Snacks' Gluten free Simply Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips

Italian roll-up served with a side of Way Better Snacks’ Gluten free Simply Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips

 

These are soooooo good. I honestly don’t even miss the fact that it doesn’t have cheese or bread. The combo of flavors from the pickles and good quality deli meat make this roll-up an instant favorite. Enjoy!

Xoxo,

Tiffany

Hazelnut Apple Pie Bites


I think I have just made the best raw vegan dessert ever.

I mean EVER.

I seriously am having a hard time not going into the kitchen and eating more before finishing this blog.

Yup…it’s that good.

I have been toying around with this recipe for a while, working on different variations. Baked vs not, more apple, more dates, more cinnamon, etc.

Finally, the perfect balance was born.

Normally I wouldn’t be so rigid when it comes to recipe altercations, but I SWEAR I wouldn’t change a thing. For me, it is a perfect blend of flavors and consistency.

It’s like a hug for your tastebuds :)

Waning: You may want to double or triple the recipe, because these will most likely be gone in the first day. Don’t say I didn’t warn you…

 

What you’ll need:

2 organic apples

10oz container dates (pitted)

1/3 + 1/2 cup hazelnut flour (you could substitute for almond flour in a pinch…I get mine at Publix)

1/3 cup golden raisins

2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp bourbon vanilla (pure vanilla in the grocery store)

 

Kitchen Equipment:

Cutting board

Knife

Food processor with shredding blade and mixing blade

Baking sheet covered in foil

Tupperware container for storage

 

Directions:

Quarter 2 apples. Remove the core and seeds. It is not necessary to peel the apples.

Place the shredding blade in the food processor. Make sure the side that says “Shredding”  and the shredding blades are facing up. If not, you will have lots of little sliced apple pieces :/

Turn on the processor and place apple pieces in the shoot. Shred until all the apples looks like little shoestring potatoes.

Take off the shredding blade and put apples in a bowl. Place chopping blade into food processor.

Add dates, cinnamon, vanilla, raisins, 1/3 cup hazelnut flour and shredded apples.

Hang on to your food processor (seriously…hang onto it…those dates are tough to chop through in the beginning!) Blend continuously for about 20 seconds, stop to scrape down the bowl, and blend again for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until the mixture begins come together. Do not over process…you still want to see some small pieces of the fruit so they have a little chewy bite to them.

Place remaining hazelnut flour on a plate. With wet hands, roll mixture into 20 tablespoon sized balls.

Carefully roll pie mixture into hazelnut flour, completely coating the outside.

You should have a nicely coated Hazelnut Apple Pie bite when you are through :)

Place the pie bites on a foil lined cookie sheet and chill for at least 2 hours before placing into a tupperware container. If you are in a hurry, pop them in the freezer for about 20 min first.

I dare you not to eat the whole plate!

Xoxo,

Tiffany

Cinnamon Kale Applesauce

Slacker: One who shirks work or responsibility; a person who does no work; “a lazy bum.”

Ok, when I first sat down to write this incredibly overdue post, that is the first word that popped into my head. I guess I can’t exactly call myself a slacker, because that isn’t the reason I haven’t posted any yum-a-licious treats since November. In fact, it has been quite the opposite!

So, in honor of those hard workers out there, and the slackers, I am going to share a treat that will make everyone happy…

Because it is super easy to make. :)

In a recent attempt to make a green smoothie, I forgot to add enough liquid and stumbled upon what I like to affectionately refer to as a “delicious mistake.”

And I would like to share my mistake with you!

This is such a great recipe because it only has 5 ingredients, tastes like applesauce and conveniently hides the fact that it contains veggies (except for the strange green color lol). A win win win if you ask me! This is even one the kids will enjoy. Maybe along with a reading of Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham!

 

What you’ll need:

1 small-medium organic red delicious apple

1/2 cup purple grapes

1 organic carrot

1 cup kale

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon (more or less to taste)

 

Kitchen equipment:

Cutting board

Knife

Magic bullet or food processor

 

Directions:

Get all of your ingredients out and ready. I found that this one is much easier if everything is ready to pop right into the magic bullet or blender.

Dice the carrots into small bite sized pieces. Place them into the blender cup first.

Top with kale.

Next the apples go in the cup. Make sure they are cut into small pieces to save as much room as possible.

Before adding the grapes, take a small condiment cup or spoon and push all the fruits and veggies down as much as possible. This cup will be crammed full when you are done!

Top with grapes.

 

Place the blade top on the magic bullet cup and blend for about 30 second to 1 minute or until smooth. If the ingredients are not dropping down, stop and shake the cup a few times to loosen the ingredients and let them come down. If you are using a blender, make sure the ingredients go in backwards according to the location of the blade (i.e. the grapes should touch the blade, then apples, kale and carrots). This is SUPER important or your stuff isn’t going to mash up as well and it gets really frustrating…

When you have a nice smooth mixture that looks like pea soup, add the cinnamon and blend for another 30 seconds.

Place in a bowl and serve cold! It is delicious right away and is pretty tasty later too. I would definitely make sure you eat it within 2 days or the flavor isn’t quite the same.

I hope you love my delicious mistake!! I will try and make mistakes more often very soon ;)

Xoxo,

Tiffany

 

 

 

Move over Pumpkin Pie. Make room for Pumpkin Flan with Maple Espresso Syrup!

Oh. Em. Gee.

I have discovered my new favorite dessert.

Always a lover of anything pumpkin, I was recently trying to create mini pumpkin pies for thanksgiving. The crusts weren’t my favorite, but the filling had real potential. I absolutely love any type of flan, so I decided to try to go that direction (then you don’t need a crust anyway).  So Pumpkin flan was born and let me tell you, I am glad it’s here!

This isn’t your typical dairy and  sugar filled confection. Every type of sugar used (very minimal) is low glycemic and less likely to sit around your waist after eating it.  It is a great source of egg protein and I can’t begin to tell you how great pumpkin is for you! Plus it is soooooo easy to make. I can see this being a weekly visitor in my kitchen through the holidays lol.

My husband looked at me and said, “Wow! This can’t be healthy.” Yup, that’s how good it is. This is truly a dessert you can eat proudly…guilt free!

In fact, I’m snacking on it for breakfast right now :)

 

What you’ll need:

For the Syrup

1/2 cup maple syrup

1 tsp bourbon vanilla (this is most of the natural vanilla’s at the grocery store…I got mine at walmart)

1 tsp espresso powder

Flan

4 eggs ( or egg replacer…follow box directions for 4 eggs)

1 13.5 oz can coconut milk ( or 1 + 3/4 cup milk of choice)

1 15 oz can pumpkin

2 tsp bourbon vanilla

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp allspice

1/2 cup coconut sugar ( I get mine at the health food store)

2 packets stevia

 

Kitchen Equipment

Saucepan

Disposable Foil cupcake pans ( enough to make at least 12 flans)

Blender or Ninja

Large roasting pan with deep sides

scissors

aluminum foil

 

Directions

Heat oven to 325°. Place all syrup ingredients (maple syrup, espresso powder, vanilla)  in saucepan and bring to a boil.

When mixture begins to boil, remove from heat. Make sure it doesn’t boil over as it gets foamy really quick!

Divide the syrup 12 equal parts among the cupcake pan(s). Set pan(s) aside.

Meanwhile, blend all remaining flan ingredients in a blender or Ninja for 2 minutes or until completely combined.

Take cupcake pan(s) and swirl syrup to coat the sides.

Slowly, pour the flan batter into the cupcake cups over the syrup that was placed in the bottom. Fill to the top of the cups. Place the cupcake pan (or pans… mine came with 6 cups each) into a large roasting pan.

Fill roasting pan with 2 inches of water, careful to not spill the water into the flan. You can also put thw water in first if it is easier, just allow room for the water to rise when you stick your cupcake pans in the roasting pan.

Bake for 50 minutes at 325°. When the flan is done, you should be ale to insert a toothpick and have it come out clean. Place flan in refrigerator to cool completely before eating.

When flan is completely cool, cut the foil pans so that  each flan is now separated from one another.

Loosen the edges of the flan from the pan with a knife.

Invert flan onto a plate, gently tapping the top of the foil pan to help it release. Don’t forget to let the syrup drizzle out on top!

Wrap up all other flans individually with foil so you can grab one out of the fridge anytime…

Like right now. I finished the one I was eating…I’m headed back for more:)

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

 

Herbed Goat Cheese and Tomato Caprese Stacks with Balsamic Agave Drizzle

There is something about food presentation that changes everything about a meal. For some reason, when it looks prettier, it seems to taste better overall. Of course there are exceptions, but for the most part, this seems to be the rule. I have the same rule with a bottle of  wine. If the bottle looks pretty, I’m probably going to try it (as long as it is a vintage I am into). I guess you could label me as a food and drink snob lol.

This recipe busts right through the rule.

You could literally pile it all on a plate and it wouldn’t matter how it was presented. Yup…it’s that good.

But for the sake of fun, and pictures, I have decided to make it look pretty for you, so you too can make it look pretty at home.

At least for the 30 seconds before it is devoured.

 

What you’ll need:

6 medium sized tomatoes (sometimes you can get them in a pack and are labeled as tasting sweet…these are the best!)

4 oz herbed goat cheese, log formed

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup agave nectar or honey

 

Kitchen Equipment:

small saucepan

Cutting board

Knife

Storage container for sauce and stacks

 

Directions:

To make sauce, combine vinegar and agave nectar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil for about 5 min. Place in a container and let cool completely.

Slice tomatoes into 4 even pieces, leaving top intact with stem. Top with small sliver of goat cheese on each tomato.

Stack tomato slices on top of one another, arranging so that the goat cheese packed in between slices. Top with stemmed piece.

Drizzled with balsamic glaze.

Drool.

If you were able to keep yourself from inhaling this freshly made tempting tomato stack, you can store it in plastic containers. I recommend not putting the glaze on until right before it is served. These will stay fresh for about up to 4 days in the refrigerator. Occasionally the juice from the tomato will settle in the bottom of the container if you decide to store them instead of making them fresh, but this does not affect the flavor at all (just the presentation). I am a huge fan of traditional tomato caprese, but the mozzarella gets me every time. Oddly enough, when I created this recipe, I actually thought it tasted BETTER than the mozzarella version and you don’t have to use fresh basil to get the herb flavor because it is incorporated into the cheese. Plus, who can resist anything drizzled with balsamic agave vinaigrette? Yum!! Time to eat…:)

Xoxo,

Tiffany

Trick and Treat with Homemade Spinach Powder

I am always trying to come up with ways to make food healthier. Even healthy food. I increasingly want to push the envelope to see what I can conjure up. The problem with some recipes is that the healthier you try and make them, the more “healthy” they taste. We all understand what the meaning of “tastes healthy” is right? Here’s an example: When I first started experimenting with vegan food several years ago, I wanted to make cookies. They came out ok, but definitely didn’t taste like a fresh baked normal cookie. I was proud of them (and slightly defensive…) because they were good for me, and while I wanted so badly for someone else to like them, something about them was just, well, off. I think my coworker actually used the term ‘horse treats’ to describe the flavor. She was right, they did taste like horse treats. They tasted too “healthy.”

Over the years I have definitely refined my recipes to be healthy, without tasting “healthy.” So in my quest to amp up the good-for-you-ness of what goes into my mouth, I have decided to trick myself…and others. Yep, that’s right, good ol’fashioned trickery. There are many different ways you can add things to your food, not taste it, and get amazing benefits for your body. One such ingredient is spinach powder. Spinach is full of Omega-3 not to mention a slew of other great nutritional benefits. For more info on the benefits of this green wonder-food, click here. When added to the right recipe, it goes virtually un-noticed. If you think about it, there are so many places we could add a dash of spinach powder…to our breadings, muffins, eggs, smoothies, noodles, even dark chocolate fudgy brownies. That’s right. I said brownies. Are you drooling yet? I am :)

The only problem I have found with spinach powder is the price and availability.While you can buy most anything exotic at the health food store, I have yet to find spinach powder at any of my local retailers. The price can get also get very expensive and you don’t always know if there are any preservatives added to it. Fortunately because it is so concentrated, you don’t have to use very much to get the health benefits. One tablespoon of spinach powder is equivalent to about 98 grams of spinach, which is about one third to half a bag of fresh spinach. Something I love about spinach powder is how cheap and easy it is to make! I usually will wait until fresh spinach goes on sale by one get one free and then make it in batches. With halloween right around the corner, I think I will trick and treat myself to some wholesome sneaky spinach foods.

 

What you’ll need:

1 bag pre-washed spinach (preferably organic if it’s available)

Preservative free olive oil spray

 

Kitchen equipment

Food Dehydrator

Food processor

Magic Bullet or coffee grinder (optional)

 

Directions

Spray dehydrator trays with a light coating of olive oil spray. You can skip this step, but your spinach may be harder to remove at the end of dehydration and cleanup isn’t as fun either.

Open bag of regular sized spinach leaves (pre-washed).

Place leaves overlapping on dehydrator trays. I can usually fit one bag of spinach throughout the entire dehydrator by spacing the leaves out on the trays evenly. It is ok if they are touching and on top of one another.

 

Place the top on and dehydrate on vegetable setting for about 4-5 hours.

When spinach is done, the leaves should feel dry and fall apart when handled, much like dry leaves on the ground during the fall and winter.

Remove spinach from dehydrator and place in a bowl. Let cool completely.

When completely cool, in batches, chop spinach in a food processor for about 1 minute. It will turn into tiny spinach flakes.

These are the spinach flakes, you can stop at this step and use in recipes, they will just be slightly more noticeable to the eye in some recipes.

Or you can go one step further and grind them down in a coffee grinder or magic bullet for 2 minutes until soft and powdery.

I usually make a few batches of this back to back while I have my dehydrator out. It lasts for quite a while too. Stay tuned for upcoming recipes where we will be putting this powder to the test. I look forward to helping you fulfill your propensity for sneaky spinach shenanigans :)

 

Grown-up Chicken Fingers with Honey Dijon sauce

 

Mint Walnut Brownies with a Secret…

 

 

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!

Strawberry Barbeque Sauce

You might notice a funny category on this site called “Renal Diet.” One of my dear family members was recently placed on a very restricted due to declining kidney function. Anyone who has less than par kidney function is urged to eat foods that are sodium and potassium free (or at least as low as possible). Have you ever googled potassium foods? It is literally almost in every good and decent food we eat. But I don’t give up that easy. Challenge accepted!

In search of finding some sort of food normalcy and familiarity, this recipe was born. As you may have read in my bio, our family relishes in old southern classics. So I decided to start with something traditional: BBQ sauce. You can smother it on pretty much anything, pair it with a glass of sweet tea and you’re good to go. The only problem is that tomatoes (the main base of barbecue sauce) are LOADED with potassium! For this idea to work, I would have to replace them with something that had a similar feel and texture. Oddly enough, strawberries are very low in potassium and have a very parallel fleshy texture when compared to a tomato. This is now my absolute favorite BBQ sauce. I think I actually prefer it over the tomato version! Put it on everything! You won’t be sorry :)

What you’ll need:

1 pint strawberries, washed and green parts cut off

2 tbsp agave nectar

1 packet stevia

1 tbsp coconut aminos (low sodium alternative to soy sauce…you can only find this online or at a health food store. It is worth it, trust me!)

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 tsp dry mustard

1/2 tsp espresso powder

2 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tbsp liquid smoke

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

 

Kitchen Equipment:

food processor or Ninja

cutting board

medium saucepan

funnel

storage containers

 

Directions:

Chop the green tops off of strawberries. Place in food processor.

Blend about 2 minutes or until strawberries have no remaining chunks and have turned into a smooth saucy consistency. Place in saucepan.

Heat saucepan over medium heat. While the sauce is heating, add all remaining ingredients and stir.

Bring sauce to a boil and then turn heat to low. Simmer for about 25 to 30 min or until sauce changes to a deeper red color and has thickened.

Once sauce has changed color and is thick, remove from heat.

Using a funnel, place barbecue sauce in a storage container and cool completely before using.

Once cooled, use on top of anything you can possibly put barbecue sauce on, like this sweet pork potato stack-snack  ;)

Xoxo,

Tiffany

 

 

White Cheddar Popcorn – Hold the Cheddar!

Once upon a time I couldn’t eat popcorn. I know, for all you popcorn lovers out there…very sad. I really liked popcorn and decided to get a huge bucket to go along with my movie at the theater one night. About an hour or so after the movie, I wasn’t feeling so good. Long story short…it ended up being a looooong night and the following day recovering from food poisoning. You see, movie theaters will reheat their butter, over and over and over and over and over again. This constant reheating changes the composition of the butter, and increases the risk of it going rancid which is ultimately what led to my popcorn demise. For several years, I couldn’t even stand the scent of buttered popcorn cooking. If any smell could bring me back to a particular moment in time, it was that one. I personally didn’t want to relive the nightmare!

It took awhile, but I finally began to enjoy non-buttered popcorn again (which is better for the body anyway so it was a win-win for me lol). I found I really enjoyed different varieties as well, such as salt and pepper, cheese, kettle, etc. I wanted to be able to make this at home, but they don’t sell any convenient “ready to make” popcorn for the microwave without adding some sort of butter flavor in the packaging. So I set out to do some research and found that it is just as fast and easy to make your own stovetop popcorn. There is also apparently a simple way to make it in a brown paper bag as well, but more on that later…

During my “popcorn research” I stumbled upon a little place that makes non-GMO popcorn called Amish Country Popcorn. They make all sorts of cute popcorn varieties, including blue popcorn (which for come reason I am infatuated this variety all because it is blue… go figure lol). I ordered several varieties and when they arrived it felt like Christmas! I’m still not sure why I got so excited over popcorn. Maybe it really is the simple things in life that make me happy :)

 

What you’ll need:

1/4  cup non-GMO popcorn

2-3 tbsp coconut or safflower oil

2-3 tbsp olive oil (for drizzling)

2 tbsp nutritional yeast (not brewers yeast)

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp  himalayan pink salt (or sea salt)

 

Kitchen Equipment:

Medium size stockpot

Large bowl lined with a paper towel

 

Directions:

Heat oil over medium high heat in saucepan.

Once oil is heated, add one kernel of popcorn into stock pot.

When the kernel pops, you know the oil is ready. Remove this kernel before the next step.

Add the rest of your popcorn to the stockpot.

Place a lid over the popcorn and gently move back and forth over burner. You should hear the kernels start to pop. Cook for about 30 to 45 seconds or until the popping slows down or stops. Place popcorn immediately into a bowl lined with a paper towel so that the popcorn does not burn in the pan.

Let popcorn sit in bowl for about 1 minute. Carefully remove the paper towel, leaving the popcorn in the bowl.

Drizzle with olive oil. Add nutritional yeast, garlic powder,  salt. Toss popcorn to coat well.

Separate into portion sized bowls and enjoy!

This literally take me less than 5 minutes to make plus this is so much better for your body than microwave popcorn! In fact, there are new studies emerging about something called “popcorn lung,” a disease causing scarring in the lungs of people who have inhaled a chemical called diacetyl. This chemical is what is used to add or increase the butter flavor in microwave popcorn. Click here to read more about diacetyl and its effects on the body.

Funny, I did a blind taste test on my popcorn with a friend and she really thought it was a white cheddar popcorn! The nutritional yeast gives you all the cheesy flavor without the fat and dairy. You also get the added benefits of B-vitamins, no sugar or gluten, and lots of protein. In fact, nutritional yeast contains 9 grams or protein in 2 tablespoons. This is right around the same amount of protein found in whey powder without all the added dairy and sugar found in many commercial powders. Who ever thought you could enjoy your popcorn and get your protein in at the same time?! I have one warning…this stuff is addictive! Make extra ;)

Still not convinced? Check out this article Scary Facts about Microwave Popcorn

Renal diet exchange: use Safflower oil instead of coconut and omit salt

Xoxo,

Tiffany

P.S. Click here for a link to cooking popcorn in the microwave using a brown paper bag. It sounds really interesting if you hate cooking popcorn on the stove. I am going to check it out soon!

 

Almond Herb Cheese

One of the downfalls of having a dairy allergy is not enjoying a simple pleasure of life…cheese. Me and Cheese, we were best friends. We did everything together…pizza, sandwiches, soups, etc. You should’ve seen what we could do with a cracker! Ahhh…good times. But ultimately, cheese betrayed me and I was left alone, overweight, and sporting a puffy face with a daily headache. Enter my friend the almond. It really is one of the most versatile foods and makes a mean cheese spread (without the cheese of course). This is one of my favorite snacks EVER! It pairs well with crackers, veggies, as a replacement for ricotta, or just eating it straight out of the container. Guilty :)

What you will need:

1 cup almonds (blanched if you want a white cheese)

1 lemon, juiced, seeds removed

1/2 cup water

2 tbsp dried italian herbs

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 tsp himalayan pink salt

5 or 6 garlic cloves

 

Kitchen Equipment:

Tupperware container or bowl with plastic wrap (for soaking)

strainer or colander

Food Processor

Spatula

 

Directions:

Place almonds in a plastic container or bowl and cover with water (make sure container has enough room for almonds to expand). Cover. Let soak for at least 8 hours or overnight.

After soaking is finished, drain and rinse well under cold water.

Place all ingredients in a food processor and process for 6 to 7 minutes until smooth and creamy.

Every 2 to 3 minutes stop food processor and scrape down the sides with a spatula.

When mixture is done processing, place in container and chill. If it is still too thick, you may add more olive oil to get it to the right consistency.

Serve with veggies, gluten free crackers or a spoon :)

The consistency will not be completely smooth if you use non-blanched almonds, but I like it with a little crunch to it. If you prefer a smooth cheese (that looks like cheese), definitely go for the blanched almonds. After soaking, they will have a strong vinegar smell to them (from the blanching process), so rinse well. I hope you enjoyed meeting my new best friend, almond cheese!

Xoxo,

Tiffany

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers