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

 

 

 

Fusion Rice Bowl with Mango, Beet and Avocado

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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.

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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 ♥

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Looks kind of like a heart lol!

 

 

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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.

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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!

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My lunch setup at work :)

 

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Xoxo,

Tiffany

Melon Salad with Honey Mint Dressing

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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.

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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.

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

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4) Eat!

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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!

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

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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.

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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

 

Cashew Milk

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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.

 

 

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

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

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

 

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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.

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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.

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


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

 

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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.

 

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

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The mixture should be thick enough to coat a spoon.

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Add vanilla and mix well.

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

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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

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.

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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.

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

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Place all cucumbers in a large jar.

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

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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.

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

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

 

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

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Lay 2 pieces of pepperoni on top of the salami.

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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.

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

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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.

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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

Banana Sashimi with Sushi Rice (Bonus…how to make a sushi roll without a bamboo mat!)

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Isn’t it funny when you find a strange flavor combination that just works?! That’s how this sushi came about. It’s kind of a long story that I don’t want to bore you with…

Who am I kidding, I’m going to tell you.

And secretly you know you want to hear it :)

I was at work a few weeks ago and my coworker brought in an enormous amount of delicious grapefruits in from her backyard. Let me preface that my coworkers and I cannot do anything on a normal level, so we went a little overboard: grapefruit slices, grapefruit and sugar, grapefruit tea, grapefruit in our water, etc. If we could figure out a way to use it, we did. While in the midst of our grapefruit obsession, another coworker walked into our area and asked if we had even eaten grapefruit with soy sauce on it. I hadn’t, but I loved it! An amazing burst of salty and sour and sweet in your mouth at the same time. The flavors complemented each other perfectly!

That day I also happened to be a little low in potassium (don’t you hate muscle spasms in your eye! Uggh!) So I walked down to our little cafeteria to see if I could buy a banana. Unfortunately all they had was one of the greenest bananas I had ever seen. At that point, I didn’t care about flavor, I just wanted my face back to normal. So I paid for my banana and walked back to the grapefruit station. Acting silly, I put some soy sauce on the fluorescent green wrapped flesh to see if it would taste any better. To my surprise, it was pretty good. In fact, sushi good. I am an avid sushi lover, so I frequently compare foods to on a scale with sushi being the best and artificial satan sugar being the worst. It not only was right up there on the sushi scale, but it actually tasted like a piece of sashimi. I’m pretty sure it was due to the fact that it was a green banana and lacked the sweet flavor that develops with the ripening process. Whatever the case, it sent me into the kitchen to create this strange but delicious masterpiece…Banana Sashimi with Sushi rice!! I have also added a section on how to make them into rolls if you prefer the traditional roll up nori sushi. If you have ever been a little bit afraid of raw fish, but love sushi, this recipe is for you. However if you love traditional sushi, I promise, you won’t be disappointed :)

 

What you’ll need:

2-3 green bananas (the greener the better)

2-3 tbsp coconut aminos (or non-GMO soy sauce)

1 cup sushi rice

1 + 1/4 cup water

1 +1/2 Tbsp rice vinegar

1 tsp sea salt

Nori strips (description at the end of the post)

Wasabi (optional)

 

Kitchen Equipment:

Medium saucepan with lid

Cutting board

Non-serrated knife (sharpened)

Spoon or basting brush

Large bowl

 

Directions:

Measure out 1 cup of sushi rice and rinse well.

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Place sushi rice in a saucepan and cover with 1 + 1/4 cup water. Leave uncovered and bring to a boil.

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As soon as water begins to have a slight boil, reduce heat to low and cover saucepan. Make sure you turn the heat down as soon as you see little boiling bubbles or you will probably have a boiling-over mess on your stove…just sayin :/

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As soon as you cover the rice, simmer on low for 20 minutes. Do not remove the lid anytime during the cooking process. When the timer goes off, remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Do not remove the lid until the 5 min are done!!

 

 

 

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Time to prep the bananas. The greener bananas the better. The ones I am using are even a little more yellow than I wouldve liked but that’s all they had at the store that day. Try to get solid green if possible. Sometimes the produce people will hide them under the bananas on display in boxes below. Ask them for help if you can’t find any.

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Green bananas do not peel like yellow bananas. Make a small slit in the top with a knife and then it should peel back easily.

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Cut each banana in half.

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Then cut the halves in half.

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If the piece that is curled up has an angled end, cut it off so the ends are straight and it will lay flat a little easier. You are aiming to get it as close the the curled down piece shown in the far right side of the picture (next to the knife).

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Place banana pieces on a plate. With a basting brush or spoon, coat the banana slices with coconut aminos.

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Cover and place in the refrigerator until assembly.

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When rice is done, it should be light and fluffy…not soggy or waterlogged.

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Place rice in a non-metallic bowl to cool. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before handling. You can put it in the fridge to speed up the cooling process.

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While the rice is cooling, take nori strips and slice small strips that are about 1/2 inch thick.

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Take rice out of the fridge and mix in the rice vinegar and salt. With wet hands, take a small handful of rice and squeeze tightly into a ball. Gently form into an oval shape and lay on the plate. Make sure the rice is firmly packed together or you won’t be able to use chopsticks to pick it up. If you are using wasabi, spread a very small amount on the top of the rice. The banana seems to intensify the wasabi. You were warned :)

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Place banana slices on top of rice. Wet the nori strips (very gently…they break easy) and place them on top of the banana. Using a knife, tuck the bottoms of the nori strips up under the rice.

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Add chopsticks and enjoy!

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If you like your sushi in roll form, here is what I did a little differently. Make sure your sushi rice is prepped, cooled and ready to go (see above instructions). Slice green banana in half across the middle, take the half and slice it in half long ways, and cut that half long ways into thirds.

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Place banana on a plate and marinate in coconut aminos for a few minutes.

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Lay out a piece of saran wrap to protect the sushi and place a sheet of nori on top. You want the short side of the sheet closest to you.

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Place about 3/4 to 1 cup sushi rice on nori. Cover the whole sheet, leaving about 2 inches uncovered at the end farthest away from you.

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Place 3 or 4 banana strips 1/3 of the way into the sushi roll.

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Using your hands, tightly roll up the nori up and over the banana strips, gently squeezing as you roll.

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Continue squeezing gently and rolling until you get to the section with no rice.

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Wet the remaining area with a little water and roll the rest of the way up. The water will seal the roll together.

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Place the roll on a plate while you make the other rolls.

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It should look like this from the outside before you cut it.

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Slice of the ends of the roll and discard or, sample your roll like I do :) These pieces do not hold up well for serving.

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Extra tip: use a non-serrated knife to slice your rolls. It makes a much smoother cut. I used a serrated knife on the right side and a non-serrated on the left. The serrated side is crimped down. Booooo!

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Slice the rolls into 3/4 – 1 inch slices.

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Like so…

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Mmmmmmm! This is what I had for lunch today :)

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It was soooooo good too!

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I can’t wait to make more soon! Enjoy!!

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Nori is a seaweed, or sea veggie, that is sooooo good for you and delicious! It is slightly sweet and helps improve your skin. It is also loaded with Omega-3′s. Don’t believe me? Check out what Dr. Oz has to say on it here

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

 

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

 

 



Strawberry Chipolte Jam with Vegan Cheddar Garlic Biscuits

So I was planning on saving this recipe to post at another time, but it’s honestly too good not to share. I have been eating this as my afternoon snack almost non-stop for the last few weeks. It’s so good that your brain will totally be thrown off. It knows what you’re eating is healthy, but it sure doesn’t taste that way!

My story starts awhile back when I wanted to make something fun to participate in a friendly ‘Iron Chef’ competition in my bible study group. The main ingredient was strawberries. I didn’t want to bring just any old strawberry dish, so I Googled something like “Unique Strawberry recipes.” Several sites popped up with an idea for Strawberry Chipolte Jam with Cheesy biscuits. That sounded fun, so long story short, I made it and everyone loved my strawberry creation. It was great for the contest, but not so much for an every day healthy snack. The original recipe was LOADED with sugar (I think it may have called for a 1:1 ratio of sugar to strawberries). Plus the biscuits were not gluten free, and contained lots of salt, lard and gooey cheddar cheese. While that may sound ever so appealing, it’s a recipe for disaster if you want to walk proudly on the road to better eating and healthy snacks. I wanted something that I could eat knowing I wasn’t making an absolute disaster out of my body.

So after much tweaking (and creating an entirely different biscuit), here is the new and improved (and surprisingly more delicious!) Strawberry Chipolte Jam with Vegan Cheddar Garlic Biscuits.

Go ahead…

Start making your new favorite snack.

Your tastebuds will thank you.

 

What you’ll need:

1 small can chipolte peppers in adobo sauce

2 – 16oz containers whole fresh strawberries

3/4 cup honey

2 packets stevia

1 cup Sorghum Flour

1 cup tapioca flour (plus more for dusting)

1 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2 tsp garlic powder, split into 2 parts

1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)

2 tbsp organic tomato paste

2/3 cup almond milk

1/4 cup + 2 tbsp refined coconut oil (I usually recommend unrefined, but for this, you don’t want the coconut flavor)

 

Kitchen Equipment

Blender, Food Processor or Ninja

Cutting Board (2)

Strainer

Medium Saucepan

waxed or parchment paper

Bowl

Baking sheet coated with parchment paper

Pastry Blender or 2 forks

Glass drinking cup

Rolling pin

 

Directions:

Drain chipolte peppers in strainer and rinse well.

Pick 3-4 chipolte peppers and place in food processor. You can add more or less depending on your ability to handle spicy food. This amount will make a medium spice level in your sauce. Put the remaining peppers in a freezer bag and place in freezer to use next time.

Rinse and chop the green parts off strawberries. Place them in the food processor with the peppers.

Pulse on and off for about 15-20 seconds. You want them to be broken down, but still chunky. They should not be completely pureed.

Place the mixture in a saucepan. Add honey and stevia. Bring to a boil.

Once mixture is boiling, lower heat and simmer for 40 minutes.

When sauce is done, it will be darker, thicker and have reduced slightly in the amount. Place cooked Jam into the refrigerator and cool completely before placing into jars.

While Jam is cooking, prepare biscuits. Heat oven to 350°. Mix sorghum flour, tapioca flour, baking powder, salt, 1 tsp garlic powder and nutritional yeast in a bowl. Both flours should be available at your local grocery or health food store. I bought the Sorghum at Walmart in the gluten free section.

Place a piece of waxed paper over a cutting board. Sprinkle about a half cup tapioca flour on the paper.

Place 1/4 cup coconut oil and 2 tbsp tomato paste in flour mixture.

Using a pastry blender or 2 forks, cut the tomato paste and coconut oil into the flour mixture until it is distributed and looks like cornmeal.

Add 2/3 – 3/4 cup almond milk, just enough until the mixture is combined. You don’t want it to be runny. You may need more or less milk to achieve this, so put it in a little at a time.

Place dough on cutting board and top with some of the tapioca flour. Gently knead flour so that it is not sticky anymore. Don’t over do it. With a gluten free flour mixture, it can get too dry and fall apart. When the mixture is no longer sticky, roll out with a rolling pin until it is about 3/4 to 1 inch thick.

Using a glass, cut 8 circles out and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You may have to re-roll dough to get all 8 circles.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until tops are slightly cracked. Make sure the tops have cracked or the dough may be gummy inside. Mix remaining 2 tbsp coconut oil and 1 tsp garlic powder in a small bowl. Brush the tops of the warm biscuits generously with the garlic powder mixture and let dry.

Place remaining tomato paste in a small storage container and place in freezer for your next batch. Or make another batch right now. You’ll eat them all within the week anyway :)

I like re-using a glass jelly jar with the label removed for my homemade jam. You can always put the jam in any container that seals well. If your Jam will not completely fit in container, place the remaining jam in a freezer bag. You can freeze it and pull out when your jar is empty.

Fill jar with Jam!

Using a small piece of paper and some double sticky tape, place the date on the top of the jar so you know when you made it. When you are done with the Jam, pull the date off, throw the paper away and wash the jar for next time. The Jam should last for 1-2 weeks in the refrigerator. I wouldn’t trust it for much longer without freezing because we are not preserving anything.

Top the biscuits with Jam. Mmmmmmmm….I may need to go make some of these now.

Like, right now.

 

To have a handy snack throughout the week, I wrap 2 biscuits in saran wrap at a time, place all the wrapped biscuits in a freezer bag, and into the freezer to keep fresh until I am ready to eat them. I take one pack out in the morning, throw it in my lunchbox and pop them in the toaster when I am ready for a snack. These biscuits do not rise very much, so they fit into a toaster perfectly. This snack has made it very hard to experiment making anything else right now. I might just have to keep posting this one over and over for awhile.

Let me know what you think!! I’d love to hear if this is your new favorite snack too :)

Xoxo,

Tiffany

Using the Whole Pumpkin – How to Carve, Puree, Cube, Snack and Display your annual Halloween Jack-O-Lantern!!!

Did you know that you can eat a carving pumpkin? Yes you can! A carving pumpkin, aka Jack-o-lantern, is just as edible as it’s small sized siblings that are more commonly used in the kitchen. There are also no toxicity issues as some have feared. If that were the case, I would not be sitting here sharing this with you today…I have eaten a TON of it over the last few days lol. Plus, my presently living and breathing boxer decided to sneak half a pan for himself while I wasn’t looking.  Bad dog!!

The main concerns about eating a Jack-O-Lantern are that many have been sprayed with pesticides. As with many other thick skinned vegetables, they are  safe to eat as the pesticides do not typically penetrate to the insides. Just don’t eat the outer shell and you’ll be fine. If you still feel uneasy about it, you can sometimes get a pesticide free pumpkin from your local farmers market or health food store, however, organic pumpkins are extremely rare and may not be very easy to find.

Some people also claim that the carving pumpkin is not as flavorful as the small ones specifically bred for pumpkin dishes. I thought mine tasted wonderful! I used it in my Pumpkin Flan with Maple Glaze (coming soon), Wilted Spinach, Pumpkin and Apple salad (coming soon), as well as some pretty tasty roasted pumpkin seeds! If you are still skeptical of eating a carving pumpkin, you can choose a smaller variety, just try to buy the largest one possible. You will still be able to use the entire pumpkin as shown in this article.

After I did all the research to make sure a carving pumpkin was safe to eat, I decided to go for it! How many times do we just use a carving pumpkin for fun Halloween decorations without taking full advantage of what it can offer?!? So at the risk of ending up on Extreme Cheapskates, here it is:  How to use the entire pumpkin, without throwing anything away :)

What you’ll need:

1 Carving Pumpkin (or a large pumpkin pie variety)

Coconut Oil

1 tbsp Olive Oil

2 tsp salt

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp chili powder

 

Kitchen Equipment:

Large cutting board

Assorted knives

4 medium to large sized bowls

Baking sheets lined with parchment paper

sandwich baggies

Gallon freezer bags

 

Directions:

Wash the Jack-o-lantern in the sink with soap and water to remove any mold or dirt from the outside. This will help to preserve the life of the pumpkin.

Preheat oven to 350°.  Slice the top off of the pumpkin by carving a circle out around the stem.  Keep this piece as it will go back on as your topper. Make sure your knife is at an angle pointing in toward the middle of the pumpkin so the topper will fit back on without falling into your pumpkin. Super annoying when that happens…

Complete the circle and pull the top off.  Set aside.

Using a medium sized knife, make a slit one each side of the pumpkin as if you are going to cut the whole pumpkin in half…because you are :) Surprise!!!

Finish cutting down the sides of the pumpkin one side at a time. I found this was easiest using a bread knife.  Make sure your knives are SHARP! This makes all the difference in your pumpkin project.  If your line start to swerve off course, just readjust and keep cutting. Cut your lines all the way through until they meet on the bottom and split the pumpkin open into two parts.

Time to clean out the seeds. The easiest way is to grab the orange pulp (gently) with your hands and the seeds will slide out easily. Place them in a bowl and set aside for later.

Once all the seeds have been removed, use a spoon to carve out the bright orange pulp all the way down to the light colored pumpkin meat. Place all the pulp in the second bowl (not the one with the seeds in it).

Without cutting through the outer shell, slice some of the pumpkin meat off the sides of the pumpkin. Cut off as much as you can and place into the third bowl.

To get the rest of the meat out, use a spoon and scrape against the inside of the pumpkin. It will create pumpkin shavings.   Place all the shavings in the last bowl.

It may be easier to stand the pumpkin half up and scrape the meat down onto a piece of waxed paper.

Scrape down as far as comfortably possible without going through the outer shell. Notice the difference in sizes between the shaved pumpkin on the right and the non-shaved pumpkin on the left.

Don’t forget to save the meat from the topper! Make sure you save the top stem with about an inch or two of the meat.

Place all the shavings on parchment lined baking sheets. You may need to do this step in multiple batches depending on your pumpkin size.

Coat each pan with 2 TBSP of coconut oil. This helps to give the pumpkin a richer flavor for the recipes. Bake for 40 min.

While pumpkin shavings are baking, roughly dice the rest of the pumpkin meat and place on another baking sheet.

Coat diced pieces with 2 TBSP oil and set aside until oven is free. Once open, bake for 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, while the pumpkin insides are cooking, start carving the face.  Lay the half you plan on carving rounded side up on cutting board.

If your pumpkin is not level, use a folded washcloth to make sure the pumpkin is not wobbling back and forth (don’t want to cut yourself!).  Draw a face on the pumpkin with a magic marker. Mine was very basic. I am good with food…not so much with drawing lol…

Carve the face out with a knife and place the scraps in the bowl with the orange pulp.  If the pieces are super large, break them down to a more manageable size. Do not throw anything away! Remember…we are using the ENTIRE pumpkin in this project :)

I decided he needed eyebrows.

Once the pumpkin is carved,  squeeze one lemon into an empty bowl and add 2 TBSP water. Brush lemon mixture all over the inside and outside of the pumpkin to help preserve it.  Set aside until the lemon juice has dried on the outside.

Once the pumpkin shavings are done, let cool for 10 min. Pick up the parchment paper and let the shavings fall into a food processor. Do not put the parchment paper in the processor. But you knew that. Just making sure… :)

Alternately, you can use a spatula to scrape it from the pan into the processor. Puree each batch for at least 2 minutes or until creamy.

Take a glass and place a bag in it with the top of the bag flipped over the outside of the glass.

Place 1 cup of pumpkin puree in the bag and seal. Do this for each cup of pumpkin puree until the mixture is evenly divided among the bags. Repeat this process with the cooked diced pumpkin as well. Store all sandwich bags in one large freezer bag and freeze for later use.

Ok! It is time to put humpty dumpty back together again! I used super glue, but feel free to use a hot glue gun if you are more comfortable with that. Squeezable super glue gel worked the best for me. You will need to work fast before the glue sets. Place the back part of the pumpkin, rounded side down, on the cutting board. Once the glue is on, immediately place the front of the pumpkin onto the back.  Make sure the edges line up and hold in place for a minute or so until the glue is set. If you are like me you will get super glue on your fingers. Nail polish remover will take it right off.  You’re welcome.

Stand the pumpkin up and reinforce the sides with glue if needed.

Place on a piece of plywood or large cutting board covered in foil. Arrange the leftover “guts” falling out of the mouth of the pumpkin.  Naughty cannibal pumpkin…don’t you know what happens when pumpkins eat pumpkins?!?

You can either set the pumpkin up for display with candles as a great accent or…

Wrap it completely in saran wrap and place into the fridge until the big day! I live in Florida…we typically don’t put pumpkins out until the day of or a few nights before Halloween so it doesn’t mold too quickly.

Once the pumpkin is put away or out for the world to see and the pumpkin meat is all cooked, heat the oven to 450°. Take the bowl with the pumpkin seeds and clean off any remaining orange pulp. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Toss with 1 tbsp olive oil, 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp garlic powder, and 1 tsp chili powder.

Roast until golden brown and crispy for about 8 to 10 min. I like mine a little over done, so I tend to leave them in for the full 10 minutes.

I don’t know about you, but I feel a strange happiness knowing that I got as much out of this pumpkin as possible. I hope you all get that same feeling. You are not an extreme cheapskate…you are a person that knows to appreciate something for it’s full potential. Have a safe and fun Halloween everyone!

Please send pics of your carved pumpkins to healthysnacks@tiffanystrimtreats.com and I will upload them to a future post!!

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

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