These Grain-free Spicy Cauliflower Fritters are an amazing way to embrace the cauliflower love, taking the cauli-rice trend to a whole new level. These versatile patties can be adapted to whatever flavor and spice blend you’d like and served with your favorite sauce, we like Chipotle Lime Aioli.
Veg based fritters have always been a favorite of mine, either as a quick bite appetizer or snack, or atop a large bed of greens as a main dish, I find them to be quick, simple, cheap and versatile. Since I have removed both grains and beans from my diet, due to my autoimmune conditions and my digestive issues, I haven’t really messed with too many veggie-based fritters, cakes and patties in recent years. But, after a recent exploration with cauliflower, which is one of my favorite, versatile, low carb, starch-like veggies – these fritters were born and they have quickly become a new fav.
You guys have probably noticed a lot more simplified, entree-based recipes here on Tasty Yummies over the last few months. Much of this is due in large part to me having more nutrition clients and being able to speak one-on-one to the average, busy working person, who is oftentimes just beyond overwhelmed by the concept of making better choices with their food. This feeling of being unsure and overwhelmed can lead to failing before they even try. I hate hearing and knowing that. I also feel incredibly grateful to have this opportunity to step away from myself and see things from a different perspective. Food is my life but I know for many, even just one home cooked dinner a week is already more than what they are doing!
My first and foremost goal with this website has always been to inspire and empower, in the kitchen and with nutrition. I want everyone to know that eating well and making your health a priority, these things are totally accessible and possible. Read the rest of this entry »
If you follow me on Instagram, you probably know that I am having a bit of a moment right now with Salsa Macha. It’s a very deeply rooted love affair and I have no shame in the fact that every single breakfast for the last week has featured it, among other meals and snacks.
We returned home last Monday after spending over a week Loreto, Mexico, in the Baja California Sur, celebrating the nuptials of our very good friends, Debbie and Dan. Since I was coming off a full month + of exceptionally strict eating, since I did Whole30, I was feeling really, really great, but on top of it, I was also several weeks in on experimenting with the ketogenic diet, as an attempt to get my autoimmune kidney disease into remission (more on this soon as I continue to experiment).
I had some slight trepidations in spending a week at a resort, both in how hard it would be for me to keep up my preferred way of eating, but also from the standpoint of my actual health and well-being, if 1 week away would ruin 1 month of hard work.
The answer is it wasn’t hard and no it didn’t.
Here we go, it’s about that time to answer the very important question of ‘What to do with ALL the Thanksgiving leftovers?’ While I know the big holiday hasn’t hit just yet, I want to help you guys get prepared for the aftermath. This week is all about Thanksgiving leftover ideas for the days following the big event! Since we are always left with loads of goodies, why not get creative and continue the eating party?
Soups are almost always my go-to after the holidays, for a variety of reasons. 1) they are so simple to make and they yield a large amount of food 2) soup is my ultimate comfort food. It’s always what I crave after I’ve maybe eaten more or differently than I usually do and 3) it’s the perfect cozy, cool-weather food. Soup will forever feel like a hug in food form!
With the start of fall just mere days away, I am reveling at the thought of my favorite season of eating! Fall food is pure comfort, to me. Squash, potatoes, apples, pears, pumpkins, cranberries and all the other goodness. I just can’t get enough.
Thinking about this season soup comes to mind quite often. Soup is one of my favorite things and while I know gazpachos and chilled soups are a thing, they aren’t the same. I love a good, steamy, cozy bowl or mug of comforting soup and by the time summer is wrapping up, it’s about all I can think about.
For most of my life, I have always had a (totally rational) fear of fried foods, something I can say I happily accepted and followed. It wasn’t until this past year or so that I finally experimented with for-real frying at home, beyond a simple pan-fry. Besides the occasional french fry indulgence, I never really found myself drawn to deep-fried anything. It just was never my thing. But to be totally honest, beyond the fact that I intuitively never liked how fried foods made me feel, it was mostly because of the scary calories and fat. And while calories and fat should absolutely be a valid concern, in excess, after spending time truly learning about fats and oils in nutritional therapy school program, I have learned what we should really fear more than these numbers, instead are the oils themselves and the havoc that they can wreak on our bodies and our health. That old saying ‘quality not quantity’, has really never been more appropriate.
At most restaurants, even the nicest of places and honestly in most people’s homes, fried foods are generally cooked in denatured vegetable and seed oils. These are usually highly refined polyunsaturated fats that are highly unstable, especially in high heats. Often they are hydrogenated and when exposed to heat they oxidize and go rancid very quickly and form free radicals. “These chaotic, skewed fatty acid molecules, now in the form of free radicals, wreak havoc on the body attacking and damaging DNA and RNA, cell membranes, vascular walls, and red blood cells, all of which cascade into deeper physiological damage such as tumor formation, accelerated aging, arterial plaque accumulation, autoimmune imbalances, and more!” WOAH – just woah, right? My life-long intuition-led opinion on fried foods was definitely not for nothing.
Now, before we get into this recipe, I am certainly not advocating that fried foods, even in healthful oils, are something we should consume often. Like sweets and treats, even of the more healthy variety, this type of cooking falls into the category of once-in-a-while eating. But, being totally afraid of something and never being able to enjoy it, that doesn’t really feel good either and it certainly isn’t a lifestyle I ever want to live or promote. However, these curiosities for a better option, this is usually how I manage to come up with an alternative, a new way to enjoy something one-in-a-while that I never get to, but in a much more health-minded approach.
It’s been a few weeks since my trip to Loreto in Baja California Sur, Mexico and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss the food as much as I did the incredible views and starting each day with yoga on the beach. OK and maybe those creative cocktails and mocktails, the spa treatments and the sunsets…
Besides all the beautiful, fresh local fruit, the traditional Mexican foods and of course, their house-made gluten-free baked goods, the beautiful seafood was above and beyond, it is certainly what I most remember, when I think of all the delicious food. Most, if not all, the seafood served at the Villa del Palmar is sourced from the local waters, the Sea of Cortez. Chocolate clams (chocolate for their color, don’t worry they didn’t serve with chocolate) and the various fish were my favorites. You cannot beat fresh seafood, caught in the morning and served up to you in the evening.
Part of being a food blogger is being lucky enough to meet and become friends with loads of other amazing and talented food bloggers, cookbook authors, recipe developers, food photographers, etc. It just sort of happens over time. Besides having social media feeds loaded with food photos and constantly chatting about what’s for dinner, it’s mostly just incredibly inspiring. Being surrounded virtually and in the real world with people that are passionate about food, eating and sharing this love and passion with others. It’s pretty darn amazing.
More and more of these talented folks are authoring beautiful cookbooks filled with their creative recipes. I now have bookshelves full of incredible recipe resources. In 2014, I got a bit behind on my cookbook reviews and I am working to remedy that this year. So, I am working on a new series I am calling Foodie Friend Fridays, where every other Friday (or there-abouts), I will share cookbook reviews and recipes from some of my favorite cookbooks, guest posts from incredibly talented friends, occasional giveaways and more! Some of the reviews will feature cookbooks that are paleo, some vegan, others just a general topic cookbook, with recipes that would work for us gluten-free folk, but be sure I will always share gluten-free recipes and I will always give you my honest critiques.
First up is Against All Grain: Meals Made Simple by Danielle Walker. It felt natural that this would be the first cookbook I’d review and share a recipe from, in this new year, as I had the pleasure of working closely with Danielle this past fall on the set of Access Hollywood. Danielle was a guest on a segment promoting this book and she asked if I would work as her food stylist for the shoot. This meant I shopped for and made all of the recipes from her book featured on the episode, from start to finish, plating the dishes, getting the set all prepped for the shoot and making it all pretty. (watch the segment here, check out the sweet plating, the props from my home collection and the pretty flowers, too while you’re there 😉 ) It was an incredible experience and also a ton of work. I now have an immense amount of respect for people that do this on the regular. More than anything, I was excited to get to get my hands dirty creating 3 of the delicious recipes from Danielle’s latest NY Times Best Seller.
I feel like I am really outing myself lately with how much of an emotional eater I am. But listen, I am totally aware of it, that’s a first step, right? I try to keep it in check and make sure that whenever it’s tied to junk food, I try to make the best decision and swap something healthy or just ignore it (most of the time). Otherwise, I am all about eating your feelings!
Tuesday, I was driving up to LA for a photo shoot for some yoga stuff (I will tell you guys more about that at a later time) and on my way there, on the obnoxious 405, I got into a car accident. It wasn’t anything too serious and everyone is OK, thankfully, but it was scary and I was very shook up afterward. That, plus the fact that my back and neck feeling a little “off”, meant I had to postpone the photo shoot until next week. So, that required immediately driving back home, in the terrible traffic on the highway I just got into a wreck on, (with my pretty, messy braid), feeling all scared. By the time I got home, I was starving, I was rattled, I was sore and was feeling pretty sorry for myself.
I wanted some warming, comforting food. I wanted spicy and I was wishing for a big bowl of authentic pho, some spicy thai food or some homemade chili! But, I was in no mood to cook after the afternoon I just had. I was bummed when I remembered our favorite Pho places don’t deliver and I wasn’t about to drive, the Thai place we love was closed, but then I remembered I had some of this delicious, leftover Slow Cooker Quinoa Chili in the freezer from when I made it to photograph for this post.
In stepping into a coffee shop next door to the yoga studio I go to here in Long Beach the other day, to grab a juice, I saw something called a Mexican Mocha on the menu. I was intrigued but didn’t order it since I knew it would be loaded with sugar and other stuff I try to avoid, but I was definitely curious, so I asked. It is basically a mocha, which we all know is a sinfully delicious drink where coffee meets hot cocoa, but this one comes with some additional spices, which can vary based on coffee shop and some even add in almond extract/flavor. In looking around online, most Mexican Mochas include cinnamon and some also chipotle or cayenne for a little extra kick.I have had a Mexican style hot cocoa with those spices, but never with the addition of java. Sounded pretty delicious. Although, I drink very little coffee these days, I was still excited to try the flavor combination and I was inspired to have a little fun with it.So, I created these simple to make no-bake cookie balls. They are grain-free, vegan and sugar-free. If you are sensitive to caffeine, no worries, you could leave out the espresso and then you would just have Mexican Hot Cocoa Cookie Balls. Oh and either way, if you really wanted to go crazy with the chocolate, you could even dip them in some melted chocolate or add some mini chocolate chips.I think what I like most about these cookie balls, unlike the other no-bake cookie balls I have made in the past, is that normally I use uncooked oats and although they make for a really nice texture, I find oats in that state to be quite hard to digest. So I experimented in making these without any grain and I just added in the chia seeds to give these a little crunch and to also add some of that healthy Omega-3 Oil to this treat.These are a nice little sweet treat, with just a little hint of a coffee and spice kick, which are an extra added bonuses.
[print_this]Mexican Mocha No-Bake Cookie Balls (grain-free, gluten-free, vegan + sugar-free)
makes about 18-20 cookie balls
1 /2 cup raw organic cashews
5-6 medjool dates, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup blanched almond flour (I like Honeyville)
1/4 cup coconut flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon chia seeds
dash or two of ground chipotle powder (optional)
1/2 – 1 teaspoon instant Espresso powder (optional)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Add the cashews and dates to your food processor and pulse a handful of times until it becomes a chunky crumble.(see below photo)
Add in the almond flour, coconut flour, cocoa powder, spices, espresso powder, chia seeds and vanilla. Process until it is a fine crumble, almost sand-like.
It may seem to try to roll, but you will be surprised. Put a bit of the mixture into your hands, roll it around, it should come together into a ball. If it seems a bit too dry and crumbly add a bit more water or if you want it a bit sweeter, maybe a little maple syrup. Don’t add too much though, you don’t want it to get to soggy.
Roll the mixture onto ball and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Refridgerate for 30 minutes or so to firm them up. [/print_this]
This is my final recipe in the 5-part series of summertime cocktails I created for Free People. It has been such a delight creating all of these fun and unique drinks that are equally as delicious without any alcohol. It has also been a fun creative challenge to use ingredients differently than my usual cooking and baking. And of course as with all of my recipes, all of the mocktails that I shared are without any mixes, refined sugar or other processed ingredients, celebrating what is in season now, whenever possible! I hope all of you have enjoyed the drinks as much as I have enjoyed making them.
For this final drink I collaborated with my good friend, Brian Kruglak, for a unique mocktail to end things in style. This drink is a unique blend of so many of my favorite flavors, chipotle, ginger, cucumber, lime and if you are going for a spirited version, chipotle infused blanco tequila. It is refreshing with a little surprise and smoky kick, it really cannot get much better than that.
To read more about this drink that Brian calls, Death of a Matador, and for the full recipe – check out my post on Free People blog. Thanks again to Free People for having me this month, look for me again next month with an all new series of recipes!