Tag Archives: simple

Creamy Chocolate Date Candy

I don’t know what to call these, but for real, they taste like candy. I swear it’s like eating a twix or snickers, or something I remember from childhood. I can’t put my finger on exactly what these taste like, but they taste like a candy bar. I’m sure I’m not the first person to come up with this, but here’s my story: I’m in the final weeks of pregnancy, and I read some studies about the benefits of eating dates for natural cervix dilation and even shortened labor lengths. Debatable sure, but there are a couple of studies out there that made me say, shoot, worth a try! This means eating 3 large medjool dates every day from 36weeks onward. I mean dates are delicious, but they get really old really fast when you eat them every single day! And with my glucose intolerance, I am tasked with eating these instead of other fruit in my diet, and pairing them with some protein/fat to help delay their sugary release into my bloodstream! So I’ve been eating them with a lot of peanut butter, almond butter, pecans walnuts, and pistachios. Lately, I’d say in the last week or so, my craving for chocolate and sweets in general has suddenly skyrocketed, and sticking to my diabetic diet is becoming increasingly difficult. So in my boredom with eating the same old, the fact that I’ve hopefully got only a week left to go, and in light of my intense chocolate cravings, I came up with a chocolatey modification of my typical nut butter/date snack.

Here’s all I did: Cut open several medjool dates and remove the pit. Fill this opening in the middle with peanut butter or almond butter (while both are good, I prefer the peanut butter ones by far!). Then I popped these into the freezer for about an hour. Next I put some 80% dark chocolate into the microwave, stirring about every 10 seconds until melted (for a total of about 40seconds but depends on the amount of chocolate and your microwave). Then I rolled the dates in the chocolate and returned them to the freezer to set. I recommend storing in the fridge to keep everything intact and from melting! These are delicious and decadent, and not diabetic friendly, but if we compare them to a Twix or snickers bar, these are packed full of micronutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, no preservatives or fake foods, and way less refined sugars. So, I call this a win :). YUMMY.

Easy Peasy Split Pea Soup

OK I did not take great photos of this, and it really doesn’t photograph well, but it tastes so good, so savory and comforting! And it is SO EASY.

Here I am on week 3 of maternity leave, and to be honest, I rushed all the preparations I wanted to make before baby into the first 2 weeks, due to an urgency I felt that this little boy would come about 2 weeks early! Reason being, both my husband and I were born 2.5 weeks before our due dates! However, we are almost at 39 weeks and little guy is still cozily tucked away, and I find myself with, gasp, free time! So I decided it is time to rebuild healthy habits, both for $$ saving while I’m off work for several months, and for that postnatal nutrition that will hopefully fuel effective breastfeeding! That being said, my energy levels are pretty low, and I know they will be even lower when I’m sleep deprived a few weeks from now, so the goal tonight was an easy recipe I can replicate when I’m exhausted but need hydrating nourishment! This one was pretty darn easy. I used my instant pot and a carton of veggie broth from the store. All you need:

-1 carton (4 cup) of broth of choice

-1.3 cups split peas (i had a mix of yellow and green)

-2 large bay leaves

-3 cups water

-2 large shallots, chopped

-2 cloves garlic, chopped

-1 large stalk celery, sliced

-1 very large carrot, sliced

-salt 1/3 tsp

-pepper 1/3 tsp

-basil/oregano, dash each

-random garlic/herb seasoning, dash

-earth balance/butter/coconut oil for sauté

OK, so all I did was sauté the veggies in some earth balance on the sauté feature on the instant pot for a few minutes until shallots were becoming translucent. Then, I added my herbs/seasoning, carton of broth, water, and split peas. Then I closed the instant pot and put it on bean setting for 20 minutes and used slow release setting. THAT IS LITERALLY IT. And this was so savory and delicious and hydrating, and healthy! I served it with some cornbread I had bought earlier today off the salad bar at Whole Foods, and this meal was SO filling!

I will definitely remember this when I need an easy meal this winter! You could easily add so many other veggies, any type of potatoes, greens, and even some whole grains. Enjoy!

Vegan Pot Pie!

My mom used to make chicken pot pie, and it was our FAVORITE. Most leftovers would sit in the fridge and we would complain about having to eat them another night. But with chicken pot pie, you were lucky if there was a serving or two left in the fridge for breakfast the next day, we would eat it so quickly!! So for years I have wanted to recreate a vegan version, and let me tell you, this is TOO EASY. Just as my mom before me, I used a frozen, store bought crust, some are actually vegan! I found a vegan whole wheat version, and while it is no health food, it is a savory treat! I used a chicken substitute from the Beyond brand, but I would totally make this again with extra firm tofu. In the future I will also work on a healthier homemade crust, but for now, the quick and yummy version 😀

You need:

-1 pie crust (mine came with 2 crusts, one I used as the top of the pie

-1 can full fat coconut milk

-1 onion

-1TBS better than bouillon

-8oz sliced mushrooms

-salt/pepper to taste

-1 zucchini, cubed

-6oz frozen peas

-6oz frozen carrots

-6oz frozen corn

-1 bag Better Than Chicken strips, thawed and cubed

-1TBS corn starch

-1/2 tsp poultry seasoning

Sauté onion and mushroom in a little bit of oil of choice until onions are translucent. Add cubed zucchini and protein of choice (faux chicken or tofu). Sauté for about 3 minutes on medium. Then add 1 TBS better than bouillon and 1 can coconut milk. Stir and simmer, adding frozen veggies last. Cover and simmer about 5-7 minutes until veggies are cooked. Remove from heat and stir in 1 tbs corn starch to thicken sauce. Then pour all ingredients into thawed pie crust. I covered mine with a second pie crust and then cut slips in the top to allow steam to escape. Bake at 375 for approx 45 minutes, checking on the crust to make sure it does not burn. You can always cover the edges with foil if they are cooking faster than the middle. Remove and enjoy!!! This is a rich one, so I always serve mine with a salad, some steamed broccoli, or steamed okra for balance. Enjoy!!!

Shrimp Kabocha Spring Rolls With Chili Lime Peanut Sauce

I have posted several spring roll recipes in the past, and this is just another twist on an old favorite! Pre-cooked shrimp make these pretty simple, but gives it some authenticity, while Kabocha squash just keeps being one of my all time favorite foods :). For directions on how to use spring roll wrappers and generally how to assemble these, see Here. These are just delicious, any way you roll me, and a great way to get some veggies into your diet 🙂

You need
For fresh spring rolls:

Vietnamese spring roll wrappers

-Cilantro

-Green onion

-Cooked brown rice 

-Avocado

-Greens

-Micro greens 

-Cooked shrimp

-Cooked kabocha squash
For dipping sauce:

Simply combine

-1 lime, juiced

-2tbs pb2 (or peanut butter of choice)

-1 tbs liquid aminos (or soy sauce)

-1/4 tsp sesame oil 

-1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
   
    
    
    
    
   

Chocolate Coconut Macaroons

The ingredients for this recipe don’t get more simple. All you actually need is dried unsweetened coconut, very ripe bananas, and vanilla extract. For an added touch you can use cinnamon and chocolate, but these are not required. These went over very well at a recent housewarming party, and could not have been any easier!! 

Use the ratio of 1/2 cup banana/vanilla purée to every 1 cup shredded coconut. I experimented with 3 different levels of shreddedness when it comes to unsweetened dry coconut. Clearly the most finely shredded looks the prettiest, but I actually prefer the taste of the more burnt appearing coarsely chopped coconut macaroons! Something about that texture that was so good! So feel free to experiment in your own! I put some cinnamon on the coarsest shredded ones before baking as well, which may have made them even better! You can enjoy them simply as is, or for an additional treat you can melt some chocolate and either dip or drizzle the macaroons in said chocolate. So easy and so good!!

You need:

Approximately 3 large ripe bananas. I actually blended about 5 but ended up with a surplus of about 1/2 cup at the end.

1Tbs vanilla extract

3 cups unsweetened shredded coconut


Optional: 

Sea salt

Cinnamon

Chocolate bar/chips for melting


Blend bananas and vanilla for a sweet creamy liquid. Mix in with shredded coconut and form into little (ping pong sized) balls. Place on greased cookie sheet. Add sea salt and/or cinnamon to the top if you choose before baking.

Bake at 350F for 15-18min, then let cool before removing from pan.
Once cooled and easily removed from the pan, melt 1 chocolate bar with double boiler or in the microwave (30 seconds at a time, stirring between each). Then dip the bottom of the macaroons in the chocolate and place chocolate side up to cool. Place in freezer to escalate this process. Then serve either chilled or at room temp. Enjoy!



   

    
    
    
    
    
    
    
 

Simply Sweet Mangoes and Greens

2 ingredients, that is all I used. You could certainly doctor this one up with some sunflower seeds, cucumbers, diced tomatoes, etc. but I ate it with nothing but spinach and mangoes! Weird, but delicious in its simplicity 🙂

You need:

2 cups spinach/power greens

2-3 small ripe mangoes

Cut the fleshy “cheeks” off of each mango, and cut into cubes. Scrape off from the skin and place on top of greens in your bowl. Then cut away remaining mango flesh from sides and seed. Place these remnants in blender with 1/2 cup (or so) of water. (Alternatively you could use a nut/seed or ‘milk’ of choice). Blend until a creamy sauce results. Pour over your salad, toss and enjoy!! Tasty, summery, whole, real ingredients 😀  ❤





Cherry Vanilla Sorbet!

This recipe contains 2 ingredients only. Doesn’t get any more simple or pure than that!

I found a bag of ripe frozen organic cherries at whole foods and I had to have them! What more delicious way to enjoy them that in a rich, natural, cherry vanilla sorbet? What better more satisfying combination than cherries and vanilla? Super easy, so sweet, and so delicious!

Simply place in high speed blender (like vitamix) and purée:
-10oz Frozen cherries
-1tsp vanilla extract

Serve immediately! I have not tried this with a food processor, but if you don’t have a strong enough blender this might work as well. Yum! So refreshing after a hot bath or sweaty workout! No added sugar, no added preservatives, nothing but wholesome goodness 🙂

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