My Top Kitchen Must Haves!

Let’s just be honest with each other here: healthy cooking is frustrating. If it were easy, more people would be jumping on the healthy bandwagon instead of choosing options from the lard-ville express. All of us know we should make better choices using fruits and veggies over starchy carbs, dairy and meats. So why is something that is so good for our bodies so hard to follow through with? Because (and we are being honest again) fruits and veggies don’t clean, peel, dice, mash and flavor themselves. We have to put in the work and most days, the time just isn’t there.

One of the BIGGEST questions I get from friends and coworkers is “How can I make a quick healthy meal/snack?” While I would love to tell them that anyone can do it, anywhere, anytime, anyplace, it is slightly more complicated, yet super simple at the same time. I have a prepped kitchen! Let me be clear: my kitchen is very small, but I made small investments into certain equipment that has made my life soooooooo much easier! These are my tried and true “made it through the testing and have a permanent home in the cabinet” kitchen secrets. They may not even be secrets, but my hope today is that you have one “Ah ha” moment that may help improve your kitchen prep time. Obviously you need to have basic pots and pans, but there are a few other little gadgets that may take that hatred of cooking and turn it into an excitement to try the next healthy recipe. Here are my top must haves that save me from having a kitchen meltdown:

1) Food Processor – funny thing, when people think of a food processor, $$$$$$ signs pop up in the brain. This handy little God-send is available at stores like Walmart for less that $50. In fact, the most expensive thing about it is replacing parts if your disposal eats anything. Always make sure the little white plastic handle doesn’t go down into that dark hole before you turn on the disposal blade…

The best food processor doesn’t really matter. You just want to have one with a decent capacity, and one THAT COMES WITH A SHREDDING/SLICING BLADE! That part is important. When I cook, I prep for several meals at a time and if I am using cheese on anything, the shredding blade does all my work. It is also amazing when cooking with carrots, zucchini, onions, garlic, etc. Anything that needs to be cut into small pieces can be put through the shredder blade before going into a saute pan. Saves TONS of time and fingers…and fingernails! This device is great for so many more things that I can name. It can also go on the top shelf of a dishwasher. There is a reason this one made number 1 on the list :)

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2) Ninja (or other good quality blender) – the Ninja could almost replace the food processor if it wasn’t for that amazing little shredder blade. It typically comes with a large and small container. I use mine mostly for green smoothies in the morning (as shown in the large container). It is incredible at pureeing almost anything you put in there due to it’s double blade system. I swear the smoothies come out as smooth as the professional places. This awesome little gem is also dishwasher safe.

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3) Mandoline – this kitchen gadget is probably the most dangerous, yet soooooo helpful if used correctly. Don’t get me wrong, I have hated it. I have sliced off the tip of my finger. And so has my husband. And you probably will too. They you, like us, will use the safety device it comes with like you are supposed to. Go ahead, try it with your hands only. I can tell you I told you so later…

While this is coming across as a complete diss, the mandoline really is amazing. It slices fruits and veggies evenly each time. Great for Herbed Goat Cheese and Tomato Caprese Stacks with a balsamic agave drizzle! You really aren’t going to get that perfect long slice (as in zucchini noodles for lasagna) with the slicer blade on the food processor. And are you really going to manually cut up that many zucchinis? No. You’ll go back to noodles the next time for the simplicity. Get a mandoline and no joke, make sure to use it correctly!

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4) Steamer – Ahhhh…one of my favorites! This takes rice and quinoa cooking to a whole ‘nother level. While you are cooking some other portion of your meal, this lovely little lady (mine is a girl) sits there by herself, steaming away. You literally put rice and water in and walk away. It doesn’t get much more fabulous than that.  The reason I said “steamer” instead of “rice cooker” is that you can steam veggies too since it is designed to do both. I use this ALL. THE. TIME. It is wonderful for quinoa and you can use alternative liquids, like chicken or veggie broth instead of water to steam into the grains. The handle recently broke and instead of buying another one, I am using a screwdriver to make it work until the motor dies. Thats how important this is in my kitchen. Love love love this one!

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5) Hand chopper thingy - I am sure it has a better name than that, but thats the cute little nickname we have between one another. I remember the very first time seeing this gadget when my mother had a Pampered Chef party. Hand chopper thingy became a kitchen favorite afterward (along with the infamous Pampered Chef baking stone…how many of you left a party without one?) It makes mincing a breeze, AND it goes in the dishwasher (eek…makes me smile thinking about it!)  I really think it might be on this list because I like to beat the crud out of those poor innocent pieces of garlic while taking out my daily frustration. Just saying.  Make sure you put a cutting board under it so your counter doesn’t take a beating. Counters are expensive. This is $7. Probably the cheapest therapy ever.

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6) Magic bullet – This gadget is not a “must have” per say…as long as you have a really good blender or food processor. Obviously, I enjoy redundancy, but I do find some pretty good uses for this little bullet. I often make single serve smoothies using this contraption, which ensures freshness and perfect portion on a daily basis. We also use the grinder blade to chop up fresh roasted coffee beans before making an amazing french pressed coffee…#omgitsreallythatgood! I probably could get along without it, but I don’t want to. Its so cute and tiny in my cabinet. I would be sad without it.

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7) Crock pot – This guy is awesome! He is a guy…my steamer is a girl…I know, I know. I use him at least once a week to make my life super easy. One of my favorite cheap thrills in life is waking up in the morning to a cooked meal. I can separate it, go to work, and dinner is ready to heat up at the end of the day. I would like to give props to whoever invented this machine because they really deserve a nobel peace prize. Women everywhere are more peaceful after removing the stress of cooking all day from their lives. That really embodies the whole idea of the peace prize so why not give it to the inventor of the crock pot? I’m just being Captain obvious here people.

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8) An organized space – this is not a gadget, but is almost as important. One of the reasons I am able to do things so efficiently in my kitchen is because it is organized. Things go where they should so that the flow of cooking does just that, flows. I am annoyed to no end when my husband unloads the dishwasher and randomly puts things away. I am not an ADD person, but I immediately fix my kitchen if it is out of order. If you don’t have much cabinet space, use wall space. You can get affordable storage for small spaces at places like IKEA (that is where mine came from). We all crave some sort or control and organization even if we don’t want to admit it. If your kitchen is a mess, try organizing it to a way that pairs well with your cooking  style. Bonus idea: if you hang stuff on the wall, put a meat cleaver up there with the rest of it so it blends in well. It is a great kitchen tool and handy weapon if you ever need one. Plus a home invader will be easier to spot with meat cleaver indentions on their face. Genius!

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9) Oils, spices, and vinegars – I often hear people complain about healthy food. Here is an example [insert whiny voice]:

You are so skinny. I wish I could eat healthier like you do. Nothing healthy tastes good to me. [whiny voice gets more intense] I should just pay you to make food for me, because I also don’t have enough time to cook.” 

People, I see what you are doing on facebook. If I have time to cook, blog, work and do all the million other activities I habitually link myself to constantly, so do you. And it will taste just as good I promise.

If you use the right seasoning.

The biggest problem with healthy food, next to picking tasteless produce, is not seasoning it correctly. I am not talking about salt either. Garlic and lemon; cumin, coriander and chili powder; olive oil and rosemary; lime flavored olive oil with coconut balsamic vinegar; the combinations are endless. Cooking and drizzling food with the right oils make the difference in a dish too. It does add fat, but you should not be striving to have a fat free diet. Don’t guzzle the whole bottle in one sitting obviously. Proportion a small amount to help flavor your food. There are soooooo many options out there and I recommend keeping several so that you have different flavors on hand at all times. I love keeping a good stock of oils and vinegars from The Ancient Olive. Another favorite is The Spice and Tea Exchange. They are healthy and pack a flavor punch. I seriously have spices, oils and sauces hidden in every nook and cranny of my kitchen. Invest wisely in this stuff and your food quality will definitely improve. Try making your seasonings and spices instead of buying pre made sauces and herb rubs. The store bought crap is just that: full of crap. I preach label reading over and over again for a reason: pre-packaged foods are filled with hidden things that you don’t want to ingest. Trust me. Read the back of a package of wraps if you don’t believe me. Why are there so many ingredients to make one little tortilla wrap again?? Food for thought.

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9) Citrus juicer - have you ever tried to squeeze a lemon into something with your hand? It typically gets all over your fingers before making its way into the dish or drink. If you have any minuscule skin nicks, you are sure to find out very soon. To top it all off, there is still a pretty significant amount of juice left in the fruit, even though the seeds had no problem making their way out (and into your food). You can avoid all of these issues with a *drumroll please* Citrus Juicer (insert clanging symbols)!!! The trick is to roll the lemon or lime until soft, cut off both ends and slice down the middle. This device will get the juice out and stop the seeds (most of them) from going into areas that you can’t ever get them out of once they have leeched on. Those little boogers are slippery. They are like a certain viral infection: once you have them, you are stuck with them right where they land.

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10) Pastry blender – this was my very first kitchen gadget obsession as a young teenage cooking apprentice. We have had a long term love affair that will probably never cease to exist. If someone didn’t know what a pastry blender was, I was quick to snap my head around and put them in their place. I have his back and he has mine…the handle is his back just in case you were wondering :) For those of you that still don’t know what this contraption does, you are very lucky that I am explaining it via internet and not face to face with a necessary stare-down. This little guy cuts up butter into a pie dough like it’s nobody’s business. Forget the old days of using two forks. It also mashes things like eggs, avocados, potatoes, etc. Yes, it takes up an awkward space in any drawer you try to shove it into. Yes it can cut you when washing it. Yes, it may have dried pieces of something in it even after you washed it in your own blood. But, hands down (no pun intended), it is still a necessity in my kitchen.

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11) Fine mesh strainer – if you don’t have one of these, go to the store and get one right now. Just do as you are told.

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12) Grill – ok, this isn’t technically in the kitchen per say, but is still very important. There is a huge debate about how safe foods are to grill due to the smoke contributing as a possible carcinogen, but I think moderation is key for most things. Grilling gives a flavor like no other. You can literally use very little marinade and still have something delicious after a little grilling sesh on the back porch. I personally like a smaller sized grill that is portable. We like to take ours to the beach and even gave it a name: Baby Grill. My husband thinks it’s funny to call me baby girl sometimes with a super funny draw to it, so when we refer to our grill, it comes out sounding more like “Baaaaaaaby gryylllle.” So go buy a grill and name it. Its fun :)

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13) A decent knife set – did you know that you are more likely to cut yourself with a dull set of knives rather than sharp ones? This may not be the actual statistical case, unless you consider them to be reporting from my kitchen. Sadly, I too did not possess a decent set of kitchen knives until about a year ago. When I did the tutorial on How to Use the Whole Pumpkin, I almost lost an entire hand. AN ENTIRE HAND! I can imagine it now:

“What happened to your hand?”

“I cut it off on using a dull knife.”

“Bahahahahahahaha!!!”

Anyhoo, I was very fortunate to realize that pushing something non-sharpened through a large object isn’t going to go anywhere until it does…when it feels like it and you are least expecting it to happen. At least you can predict what a sharp knife will do because it goes in the direction you are sending it. Sharp knives are like well disciplined children…they behave and do what they are told. In addition to saving body appendages, it also saves time and energy. When you have the right set of knives, you are going to be able to prep your food with less effort. It really is worth it. If they are a bit too much to buy for yourself, start hinting now. Christmas is only 11 months away.

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There are a few other things that I use, but these are my tried and trues. They will give you something that is priceless: living your life without being chained to the kitchen. I hope you learned something new here today. What are your favorite kitchen gadgets?

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

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

 

Grown-up Chicken Fingers with Honey Dijon sauce

Did you know that October is National Spinach month? Yup…me neither. Thank goodness for Twitter :P

What’s the perfect way to honor the month of green leafy goodness?

Grown -up chicken fingers :) These chicken fingers are unique not only for their green appearance, but because they pack a great nutritional punch with high levels of iron and calcium from the addition of spinach powder. This is a super easy powder you can make at home for much cheaper than purchasing online. If you decided to add the chia powder, you are also getting the additional benefits of fiber, protein, magnesium, phosphorus as well as those wonderful Omega-3′s!

I may say “grown-up,” but these chicken fingers are so tasty that your kids will probably be after your food. Run, hide, and snack before they are gone!!!

 

What you’ll need:

2 packages chicken tenderloins (I use Harvestland hormone free, cage free chicken)

1 cup pecans

2 tbsp spinach powder (homemade or store bought)

2 tbsp  nutritional yeast

1 tsp salt

1 tsp garlic powder

2 tbsp chia seed meal (optional)

2 eggs

2 tbsp olive oil

Brown Mustard and Honey to make sauce (see later on how to make individual portions)

 

Kitchen Equipment:

food processor or Ninja

2 plates

baking sheet lined with parchment paper

multi-purpose plastic mini cups

 

Directions:

Place 1 cup of pecans in food processor with spinach powder, nutritional yeast, salt, garlic powder and chia powder. Pulse until pecans are small and crumb-like, and all ingredients are combined.

Place eggs and olive oil on one plate and whisk with fork until combined.

Place pecan-spinach mixture on a plate. Put both the plates side by side and get ready to coat the chicken!

Pull out chicken tenderloins. I use Harvestland. It is hormone free, cage free chicken and it very tender compared to most chicken. You can buy them at Walmart.

Coat the chicken in the egg mixture first.

Take chicken out of the egg mixture and place into the pecan mixture. Coat chicken well on both sides.

Place chicken on baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 25 min. Do not over bake or chicken will dry out. Eat immediately or store for later.

To make sauce, combine 2 tbsp mustard with 1 tbsp honey in a plastic mini cup and stir well to mix. I use the Diamond multi-purpose mini cups that are BPA free and recyclable. They can be found near the plastic wrap/paper plates/foil etc isle at Walmart and are less that $3 for a pack of 50. If these cups are not available, make extra sauce in one large container and pull it out when you are ready to snack.

I hate to brag, but these things are awesome! If you are planning snacks for the week, you can put them in a sandwich bag 2 at a time and place all sandwich bags in one large freezer bag. Pull out one bag at a time and let thaw for a snack. Either reheat in the microwave or crisp them up in a toaster oven. Both ways are fabulous. Don’t forget your dipping sauce!

Go and feel good about yourself. You are a guilt free grown-up-chicken-finger-eating snacker :)

Xoxo,

Tiffany

Welcome to my blog!

Hi everyone! Welcome to Tiffany’s Trim treats, your source for guilt free snacking. This is my very first blog on this site so I am really excited to get started with posting recipes and tips on how you can add snack food to your life and have it help you instead of hurt you! If you are like me, you are always on the go, and it is often hard to sit down and have a meal. To make up for this, we tend to snack. This isn’t a bad thing, because small meals throughout the day will actually keep your metabolism running and burning calories. Where we fall short is that many of us allow ourselves to get so hungry that we are willing to eat any snack that is available at that time. Then we end up feeling tired, disgusting, and maybe even ashamed enough to hide the evidence of what we have eaten. I admittedly can raise my hand the highest. Guilty as charged!   

When I first decided to make this blog it was mainly because I was tired of being unprepared and eating junk food all the time. I mean, I knew it wasn’t good for me, but how bad could a little be here and there? The answer is simple: not good. I don’t mean that you can’t have the occasional indulgence, but when I really evaluated my “here and there”, it was usually daily…or multiple times in a day. I got really good at lying to myself as many of us do when it comes to food. Researching info on several foods and their effects on the body made it even scarier. I needed to find a way to enjoy my snacking without all those adverse health effects. I wanted to have my cake, eat it too, and still be alive in 20 years to talk about it.

In the effort to better my eating habits, and hopefully inspire you along the way, I will be posting recipes, tips and fun info on how to add healthy minimally processed ingredients into your daily life.  Check out What you won’t see on this site for more info on the types of items we will not be using due to adverse side effects in the body. We WILL be using plenty of fruits, veggies, nuts, and gluten free items as well as the occasional hormone free meats (this last one is optional in many of the recipes). I look forward to this journey ahead and I hope you all will join me!

XOXO,

Tiffany

To learn more about me, click here

Check out what we won’t be eating and why here

 

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