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!

Vanilla Maple Steel Cut Oatmeal

This hearty oatmeal recipe serves 2 and is one of my favorite parts of the wedding diet breakfast! Under 400 calories total and super filling (I almost always have leftovers for later in the day). Each serving has ELEVEN grams of protein and healthy complex carbs, so it will keep you full all morning long.

Not unlike most of my other recipes – this one uses ALL Trader Joe’s ingredients.

One of my favorite ingredients to sweeten with is pure maple syrup. A little goes a long way, and gives the dish a rich mapley taste.

Bonus tip for weight management – cook with SPOONS (table and tea). Especially when eating high calorie foods like nuts, dried fruit, maple syrup. Keep your intake to a tablespoon at most when you can.

Trader Joe’s Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (dry) organic steel cut oats
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1/4 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons grade A 100% pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons mixed nuts (I used trek mix)
  • dash of cinnamon

Boil 3 cups of water. Once boiling, add in the oatmeal. Leave it to boil for about 5 minutes, until the oats start to soften up. Reduce heat to low and let sit uncovered for 30 minutes, or until desired consistency. Add in almond milk, maple syrup, nuts and cinnamon. Stir and serve hot! Recipe serves TWO!

 

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

Breakfast Burrito with Fried Eggs

Healthy spin on the classic fried egg breakfast burrito! This recipe is only 300 calories, 17.5 grams of protein and only 5 net carbs. Great way to start the day!

  • 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Sonoma low carb tortilla (I get these at Trader Joe’s – so good!)
  • 1/4 avocado
  • sriracha (optional)

Heat a pan to med/high. When hot, add 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil – just enough to just coat the pan. Let the oil heat up until it’s popping, then crack the two eggs into the pan. Let them cook for about 3 minutes until brown, then carefully flip and cook for another minute or so until desired softness.

I warm up the tortilla for 30 seconds in the microwave to make it soft and easily foldable. Squeeze a little sriracha onto the tortilla, add the avocado and eggs and enjoy! Had this today for breakfast with a cup of my favorite black coffee – Shade Grown Ground Espresso Blend, also from Trader Joes!

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 โ€“ best if sifted first but will work great either way (Bobโ€™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 byย http://www.kyleespeletaphotography.com/

(super healthy) Peanut Butter Cups

You don’t have to wait until cheat day for these sweet treats! They are vegan, raw, organic, gluten free, refined sugar free peanut butter cups! Completely from scratch, but so simple to make! Let me know what you think of them!

PEANUT BUTTER CREAM FILLING:

  • 3 tablespoons peanut BUTTER (raw and unsalted)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut BUTTER (I use Nutiva – can usually be found in the peanut butter aisle at any health food store)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (I use Nutiva – should be room temperature, not liquid)
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey (the creamy spun kind)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3 soft pitted dates
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder (ground vanilla bean โ€“ also found at any health food store)

Blitz all ingredients in a food processor until completely incorporated. You may need to scrape down the sides of your food processor a few times. Store in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes โ€“ the longer they are refrigerated, the easier to handle.

CHOCOLATE:

  • 1/2 cup vegan/refined sugar free chocolate cacao chips (I use allergen fee Pascha – the higher the percentage of cacao, the better)
  • If you are using 70 to 100% cacao, you can sweeten with 1 or 2 tablespoons raw honey until desired sweetness. Semi sweet cacao chips will not need to be sweetened.

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 โ€“ 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 half of the chocolate mixture (only fill each HALFWAY).

Take the peanut butter cream mixture out of the refrigerator, roll dime sized amounts into balls, then flatten the balls with the palm of your hands. Drop into each half-filled mold. Continue filling each mold with the rest of the melted chocolate until level with the top of the mold. Refrigerate for approx 2 hours or until solidified.

tip: if you added honey to your chocolate chips or use coconut oil and cocao powder, the chocolate will melt pretty quickly and best served right out of the fridge.

 

photo byย 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.

Peanut butter caramel stuffed baked apples!

Start with 6-8 mini crabapples. Wash and slice the tops off. Scoop the inside of the apples and all the seeds out carefully, just enough for room for a good amount of peanut butter. Save the insides of the apples for the stuffing!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Peanut butter caramel:

  • 1/2 cup peanut or almond butter (I prefer crunchy)
  • 1/4 cup of almond flour (I prefer Bob’s Red Mill blanched)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • Apple stuffing from above (no seeds)
  • walnuts for topping

Mix all ingredients and stuff each apple with a heaping spoonful. The peanut butter caramel should fill the apples just over the tops.

Place the apples on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.

Top each apple with a walnut and drizzle with honey!

These apples taste best when fresh!

 

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

Vanilla Raspberry Cupcakes (mini version)

I used a silicone mini muffin pan for these. No cupcake papers needed, just spray the pan quickly with coconut oil spray and they’ll pop right out!

CUPCAKE:

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 2/3 cup blanched almond flour (blend in the food processor to make it extra fine!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (I always use pink Himilayan salt)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup syrup
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup butter (I use vegan Earth Balance)
  • 1/4 cup raspberries (fully emulsified in food processor)
  • 3/4 cup vanilla almond milk (I use unsweetened vanilla by Califia)
  • 2.5 teaspoons vanilla extract

Mix the wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls. Make sure the almond flour is as fine as possible (sifting helps a ton!) and that the raspberries are fully emulsified. Combine and mix until incorporated.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until cupcakes are FULLY cooked. It’s very easy to under cook or over cook these. They should be slightly crispy on the outside. Even if a knife or toothpick comes out clean, they could still be under cooked. They should be a little crispy on the outside. Take a bite of one and put back in the oven if needed. ๐Ÿ™‚

CHOCOLATE FROSTING:

  • 1 cup of vegan cacao chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup of coconut milk (must be canned, full fat only)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • Fresh raspberries to top the cupcakes with

Bring a saucepan with about 2 inches of water to a boil. Place a large flat glass bowl over the saucepan (the bowl should sit on TOP of the saucepan, not touching the boiling water). Add the chocolate chips and stir until they start to melt. Add in the milk and vanilla and continue mixing until it becomes a melty chocolatey bowl of awesome.

I put the bowl of chocolate into the fridge to slightly cool. Once itโ€™s firmed up a bit, spread onto the cupcakes and top with a raspberry!

Keep the cupcakes in the fridge and don’t leave them outside (the chocolate melts easily!!).

Vegan Pizza Pesto Sauce!

In the food processor:

  • 1 1/4 cup of fresh basil (kale also works great if you don’t have basil in the house!)
  • 1/3 cup of walnuts
  • 2 large sundried tomatoes (I prefer the jarred ones in olive oil)
  • 5-6 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast (great vegan substitute for parmesan)
  • garlic – I use the whole head
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt (I use pink Himilayan salt)
  • juice of 1/4 a lemon

Blend until fully mixed. You want the mixture to be pretty liquidy, add more olive oil if needed.

Add to your favorite pizza crust with the toppings of your choice. In the photo, I used Udis gluten free crust, Daiya soy free vegan cheeze, cherry tomatoes and arugula. This pizza is even delicious when cold!

 

 

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