Thai Coconut Curry “Noodles”

This is my favorite recipe in a long time!! If you’re in the mood for Thai but don’t want to break the calorie bank, try this twist on the traditional Thai curry noodles. I used @PinchOfYum’s recipe for the sauce (with a few variations to reduce the sugar), and I swapped out the noodles for spaghetti squash. Depending on the serving size, this dish is only 300-400 calories per serving! These noodles last a while in the fridge as well, they hold their form well! #paleo #pescatarian #glutenfree #vegan

SPAGHETTI SQUASH:

Start by making the spaghetti squash. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cut the spaghetti squash down the middle lengthwise. (Super helpful video on an easy way to cut your spaghetti squash here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOhJQ-Z0MzQ).

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil, and bake the spaghetti squash (cut side down) in your oven for 45 minutes. Start making your sauce (below)!

Once out of the oven, let it cool enough to handle, scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Then using a fork, shred the squash all the way down to the skin. Set aside in a bowl.

THAI CURRY SAUCE:

For the sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1 14-ounce can regular coconut milk (full fat for the best flavor)
  • ½ cup reduced sodium chicken or veggie broth
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon hot chili paste (sambal oelek)
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce (omit for vegan)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

For the veggies:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • half an onion, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped broccoli florets
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup chopped asparagus
  • 1 cup chopped purple cabbage
  • sesame seeds or crushed peanuts for topping
  • limes for serving
  • a handful of fresh basil for serving

Sauce: Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the shallots and ginger; stir fry for 3-5 minutes. Add the curry paste; stir fry for 1 minute. Add the coconut milk, sugar, chili paste, fish sauce, and soy sauce. Simmer for 15 minutes or so while you prep the rest of the ingredients – it should thicken slightly.

 

Vegetables and Assembly: In a large skillet, heat the oil over high heat. Add the onion, carrots, broccoli, and asparagus. Stir fry for about 5 minutes until the broccoli and asparagus are bright green. Add the spaghetti squash noodles and toss around in the pan with the vegetables. Add the sauce and toss together until just combined. Serve on top of the purple cabbage, topped with sesame seeds or crushed peanuts and a squeeze of lime or chopped basil leaves if you want. You can also serve with grilled shrimp like I did for this photo.

Serves 4-6 people.

 

As always, photo by http://www.kyleespeletaphotography.com

 

 

Zucchini and Heirloom Carrot ‘Noodles’ with Avocado Alfredo Pasta

This vegan zucchini and heirloom carrot “pasta” with creamy avocado alfredo sauce will fool you everytime!! Tastes just as good as your favorite pasta dish, without all the calories and carbs.

  • 2 large zucchini
  • 2 large heirloom carrots
  • 1 avocado
  • 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
  • juice of 1/4 lemon
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of cayenne

Spiralize the zucchini and carrots – Bed Bath and Beyond sells the vegetti spiralizer for $15. My favorite way to do this is to use my spiralizer Cuisinart attachment. Set ‘noodles’ aside.

In a food processor (or by hand if needed), mix the avocado, olive oil, lemon, salt and cayenne until smooth and creamy. Depending on the size of your avocado, you may need to add a tiny bit more oil, but don’t go over 2 tablespoons. Set aside.

Lightly spray a non-stick pan (non toxic is best if possible) with olive oil spray. As long as you have a good non-stick pan, only a little bit of spray is needed. If you don’t have an olive oil spray, use a teaspoon of olive oil, just enough to lightly coat the pan. Heat the oil to medium high, and add the zucchini and carrots in the pan. Stir the ‘noodles’ just until heated throughout, but not more than 5 minutes or so. You don’t want them to get too soft. Put into a bowl and add the avocado sauce and stir. Serve warm. I always serve mine with a side of my favorite veggie burger. You can also add tomatoes, onion, cucumbers, etc.

Serves two – enjoy!

PB&J Mini Muffins

These muffins are made with peanut/almond butter and fruit, so they taste like a bite-sized peanut butter and jelly sandwich 🙂 They are gluten free, paleo and refined sugar free too. Great for kids!!

RECIPE:

* 3/4 cup peanut or almond or peanut butter (I use creamy all natural unsalted Trader Joe’s almond butter)
* 1 cup of almond meal/flour – best if sifted first but will work great either way (Bob’s Red Mill blanched almond flour is awesome and less gritty than the regular almond flour)
* 3 eggs whisked
* 1/4 cup honey
* 1/3 cup room temp coconut oil
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
* pinch of cinnamon
* 1/3 cup of unsweetened applesauce
* frozen strawberries or blueberries for the filling

Mix the wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls and then combine.

I coat the mini muffin pan with a bit of coconut oil spray instead of using muffin papers. Pour mix into muffin tins and top with frozen fruit and a pinch more cinnamon. I slice the strawberries and stick them all the way through the muffin batter, so the fruit gets baked into the center.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes (for muffins) or 20-30 minutes (for bread).

These are great with butter, jam or both! I keep in the fridge to help it stay fresher longer.

photo by http://www.kyleespeletaphotography.com/

Strawberry Cream Chocolates (just like See’s!)

These are completely homemade, refined sugar free, raw, vegan and paleo!

STRAWBERRY CREAM FILLING:

  • 2 tablespoons coconut butter (can be found in the peanut butter aisle at any health food store)
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey (the creamy spun kind)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (room temperature, not liquid)
  • 3 soft pitted dates
  • 3 strawberries
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder (ground vanilla bean – also found at any health food store)

Blitz all ingredients in a food processor until the strawberries are completely broken down. You may need to scrape down the sides of your food processor to makes sure all ingredients are incorporated. Store in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes – the longer they are refrigerated, the easier to handle.

CHOCOLATE:

  • 1/2 cup vegan/refined sugar free chocolate cacao chips (the higher the percentage of cacao, the better)
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey

Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave in 30 second intervals until melted, or in a stovetop double broiler. Once melted, add in the honey and stir until incorporated.

(If you are following a fully raw diet – you can also mix 1/2 cup of melted coconut oil with 2 tablespoons of cacao powder and 2 tablespoons of honey and stir)

Fill a candy/silicone mold with the chocolate mixture (only fill each HALFWAY).

Take the strawberry cream mixture out of the refrigerator, roll dime sized amounts into balls. Drop a ball into each half-filled mold. Continue filling each mold with chocolate until level with the top of the mold. Refrigerate for approx 2 hours or until solidified.

Drizzle with chocolate and refrigerate again until hardened – this step is optional.

Enjoy!

 

Hearty Vegan Winter Stew

Quick, easy, hearty and filling stew, very little prep and done in one hour! Dinner tonight??

The whole baby tomatoes and fingerling potatoes makes this stew hearty and delish!

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1 parsnip, peeled and sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced – I used 2 purple heirloom carrots for this
  • 2 cups of fingerling potatoes, whole with ends cut off
  • 2 cups butternut squash, cubed
  • 1/2 cup baby heirloom or cherry tomatoes
  • 2 boxes (4 cups) of vegetable stock – I used 1 regular and 1 low sodium
  • 1 teaspoon salt – I always use pink Himalayan salt
  • 2 dashes of turmeric
  • 2 dashes of cayenne
  • 2 dashes of smoked paprika
  • 2 dashes dried parsley
  • 4 strips vegan bacon – I use Morningstar (optional)

Heat the olive oil on low to medium heat, add onion. Stir for 3-5 minutes until the onions become translucent and start to brown.

Add in the garlic. Stir for 1 minute, making sure not to let the garlic burn – first ever cooking lesson I learned from my dad!

Add in the parsnip, carrots, potatoes and squash. Stir for 5 minutes.

Add in tomatoes. Stir for 1 minute.

Add in the vegetable stock, and spices. Bring to a boil and stir. Lower to low/medium heat and let simmer (no cover) for 30 minutes. Occasionally stir.

After 30 minutes, test a potato and make sure they are soft. Lower heat to low and let sit for 10 more minutes.

I add veggie bacon to the top of this stew, but this step is optional – Morningstar bacon strips are my favorite by far! Spray a pan on high heat with a bit of coconut oil (Trader Joe’s makes a great coconut spray!), grill the bacon on high for 5 minutes on each side. Chop and add to the top of the stew.

Serve hot and enjoy!

**serves 4, lasts for up to one week in the fridge.

Zucchini Fries!!

Crunchy, healthy, easy, vegetabley snack!

RECIPE:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 4 large zucchini
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

Preheat oven to 425. Beat two eggs and minced garlic in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients. Quarter the zucchini into slices. Dunk the slices in the egg mixture (let excess drip off), then into the dry mixture. Cover each slice fully. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes (or until crunchy). Serve with a dipping sauce. I chose a side of homemade guacamole for these!

 

As always, photo by http://www.kyleespeletaphotography.com

Apple “Persinnamon” Holiday Sangria

Apple “Persinnamon” Holiday Sangria…my favorite thing to bring to holiday parties, and takes 10 minutes to make.

  • 2 bottles of dry red wine (I like a good quality French pinot noir)
  • 1 bottle of sparkling apple cider
  • 1 cup of club soda or sparkling water
  • 1 apple sliced
  • 1 persimmon sliced
  • 1 orange sliced
  • 1/4 cup of whole cranberries
  • 1 cup of whole cherries (stems and pits removed)
  • 3 cinnamon sticks

Pour the wine, cider and club soda into a large pitcher. Crush the cranberries and cherries with your hands and add to the pitcher. Then add the cinnamon sticks and sliced fruit (you want to keep the rind on the fruit – don’t peel).

Best when made the night before serving, so the wine can soak up all the juices!

Serve cold.

 

Photo as always by http://www.kyleespeletaphotography.com

Glitter Champagne Bottles

For the ladies (or men) who love glitter!!! Shimmer up your favorite drinks to make them shine 🙂

I did these champagne bottles for a bachelorette weekend for a girlfriend who loves champagne and glitter. You can also use the same process to glitter candles or vases.

Tip: I would not recommend doing this with drinking glasses that will be used. The glitter stays on the glass pretty well, but there is a bit of residual glitter left on your hands when holding.

Here’s what you need:

  • Glass bottle or candle of your choice (I did empty mason jars to hold flowers, and full champagne bottles with matching foil – no need to remove any labels, just use as they are)!
  • Spray adhesive glue that dries CLEAR (I used the nontoxic kind from E6000)
  • Loose glitter of your choice
  • Ribbon (optional)
  • Box or newspaper to cover the floor

*This has to be done outside (preferably on a non-windy day), it can be a little messy but you also need to make sure you have lots of ventilation when you’re using the glue.

Cover the ground or table with newspaper or get a large box to place under the bottles while glittering them.

Spray the bottle with the glue one area a time. Roll the bottle in the glitter, or you can also pour the glitter over the bottle (pour it back in the bottle to reuse!). Make sure to tap the bottle to get rid of any loose glitter. Continue this spray and glitter process until the bottle is covered. Repeat in any sparse areas.

When done – spray the bottle again with the glue to help keep the glitter from being brushed off the bottle.

Finish with a ribbon of your choice! (I use a glue gun to secure the ribbon – just a dab in the front and back is all you need)

Tip: when transferring these from your house to the party, use a paper bag and fold over at the top so the glitter doesn’t get everywhere on the way. You want to place these at the party and not move them around too much to avoid them glittering your party guests 🙂

Bachelorette weekend vanilla cupcakes with tinsel toppers!

Bachelorette tinsel cakes. Very easy way to impress your friends. 🙂 These are always a big hit at any party, baby or bridal shower.

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING RECIPE:

Make the frosting first, to allow it to firm up while your cupcakes are baking.

  • 8 oz of cream cheese – room temperature (I only use the Philadelphia full fat original cream cheese that comes in a box)
  • 5 1/2 tablespoons of unsalted butter (I only use Kerrygold)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar

Blend the cream cheese, butter and vanilla on high until smooth and creamy – about 5 minutes (preferably in a stand up mixer). Add in the powder sugar while continuing to mix. If using a stand up mixer, I like to leave this mixing on high for 5 minutes (this helps make it super creamy!).

Insert a large round tip into a piping bag. Fold the tip so the frosting doesn’t come out of the bag (tip should be facing up), place the bag into a mug, and fill with frosting. Twist the top of the bag and store in the fridge to chill while you’re making the cupcakes. Keeping the bag in the mug will help the frosting easily firm up so it’s ready to go when the cupcakes are done!

VANILLA CUPCAKE RECIPE:

I used my favorite vanilla cake recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction found here: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/04/20/very-vanilla-cupcakes/

  • 1 and 2/3 cup (210g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/4 cup vanilla greek yogurt (or plain; or regular yogurt; or even sour cream)
  • 3/4 cup vanilla almond milk (I like Califia’s unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • seeds scraped from 1/2 split vanilla bean
  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt butter in the microwave. Whisk in sugar – mixture will be gritty. Whisk in egg whites, yogurt, milk, and vanilla extract until combined. Split 1 vanilla bean down the middle lengthwise. Scrape seeds from half of the vanilla bean into batter. Reserve other half for next time.
  3. Slowly mix dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until no lumps remain. Batter will be thick.
  4. Divide batter among 12 cupcake liners (or 24 mini) and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Bake for 8-9 minutes if making mini cupcakes. Allow to cool.
  5. Store cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days and in the refrigerator up to 7 days.

Note: I did use gluten free Bob’s Redmill all purpose flour for these, but they didn’t come out as fluffy and caking as I’d hoped. They are still delicious, but with more of a muffin texture. Next time I’ll try adding a little xanthan gum for more airiness. So if your diet allows, I would recommend sticking to the gluteny variety unfortunately 😦

After piping the frosting onto your cakes, I top with a strawberry, blueberry, or any piece of sliced fruit that matches your color scheme!!

TINSEL CUPCAKE TOPPERS:
The decor for these are super simple! Here’s what you need:
  • 1 strand of tinsel (or steel some from your Christmas tree supply 🙂 )
  • Toothpicks
  • Sticker paper or cutout of your choice

For these, I created a logo and date (I did this with Word – no special programs needed!). I printed them out onto a full sheet of sticker paper (easily found at any office supply store). Cut them out of the paper using a paper punch, or just a pair of scissors. Place a toothpick between two cut out stickers (pointy side of the toothpick down). Cut a small piece of tinsel and secure onto the back of each with a glue gun.