Tag Archives: kid’s

  1. 15-Minute Paleo Taco Skillet Dinner

    This 15-Minute Paleo Taco Skillet Dinner is ready in just about 15 minutes and it’s loaded with quality protein, fibrous leafy greens and if you top it with avocado, you’ll get some bonus healthy fats. A perfect, low-carb, one pan meal to please all!

    Super Easy Taco Skillet {Gluten-free, Paleo & Whole 30-friendly}

    Super Easy Taco Skillet {Gluten-free, Paleo & Whole 30-friendly}

    I have been loving a good one-pan meal these days. Despite the, I am sure, blanket assumptions that when you don’t have kids, you have all the time in the world for meal planning, it can actually be quite hard, even still, in a child-free home. Without the forced structure and routines that comes with having little ones, we can often flail and have to just “make do”.

    I am not that great at planning ahead some weeks and I am often not that methodical with our meal planning, so there are always staples that we have around, so there are always those staple-inspired meals. You know the ones – they aren’t all that glamorous and they are more about the function than the fashion.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  2. Grain-free Chocolate Chip Cookie Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches {+ Video} – Paleo-friendly

    With summer upon us frozen treats are a must, but no need to wreck your body in the process. These Grain-free Chocolate Chip Cookie Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches feature my popular almond butter chocolate chip cookies and a banana soft serve filling. Made without dairy or grains and they are low in sugar. 

    Grain-free Chocolate Chip Cookie Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches

    Grain-free Chocolate Chip Cookie Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches

    [This is an updated post from 2013.]

    It’s truly been years since I have had an old school ice cream sandwich, ya know the ones, soft chocolate cookies, vanilla ice cream filling. While working an event a few years back, I came across a food truck that specialized in just ice cream sandwiches and they actually had a gluten-free and dairy-free option for someone like me. YAY! It was delicious and messy but probably loaded with sugar and lots of other stuff I prefer not to eat. It immediately got the gears turning in my head. I wanted to make a more healthful ice cream sandwich myself and I of course just needed to find the time to actually play with some recipe ideas.

    I know we have all seen the one or two ingredient banana ice cream that has been making it’s rounds all over the internet for the last few years. If you haven’t tried it yet, you must. Stop what you are doing right now, put those bananas in the freezer and make some yummy dairy-free ice cream alternative. It is simple to make and sooo surprisingly creamy and delicious. I realized it would make the perfect ice cream sandwich filling since it is creamy, simple to make and literally has nothing more than bananas in it. A great compliment to some grain-free, dairy-free cookies!

    Grain-free Chocolate Chip Cookie Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches
    Read the rest of this entry »

  3. Red Velvet Pudding Pops with White Chocolate Drizzle {Dairy-free, Paleo, Vegan}

    In honor of #popsicleweek, I am bringing a traditional cake recipe new life with these tasty Red Velvet Pudding Pops. Of course, there’s a twist. I boosted this sweet treat with nutrient-dense whole foods, so you can have your cake and nutrients and eat it, too!

    Red Velvet Pudding Pops with White Chocolate Drizzle {dairy-free, paleo, vegan}

    Red Velvet Pudding Pops with White Chocolate Drizzle {dairy-free, paleo, vegan}

    It wasn’t too long ago that I snuck a little cauliflower into some popsicles here on Tasty Yummies.  I’m hoping if you tried that recipe, you still trust me and know that despite these strange ingredient combos, I will never lead you astray. It was a fun surprise to find that the cauliflower brought another level to the treat, with creaminess and also of course, nutrients. While I don’t feel that every dessert should have a veggie snuck into it, I do love the unexpected nutritional boost that this provides. And why not?

    So, I am back at it again today with these Red Velvet Pudding Pops. As traditional Red Velvet Cake is simply a subtle amount of cocoa with red food coloring, it’s actually a cake flavor that has forever eluded me. I never really understood it. It’s not chocolate and the red color has nothing to do with flavor. But not too long ago I tried a gluten-free Red Velvet cupcake and I am not gonna lie. I was into it. But, ya know, it was loaded with sugar and grains.  Additionally, red food dye used in baking is almost always derived from Red #40 (Allura Red) an artificial food dye. According to a CSPI report, some of the most commonly used food dyes may be linked to numerous forms of cancer, along with hyperactivity and other behavioral problems in children.1http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/02/24/are-you-or-your-family-eating-toxic-food-dyes.aspx The European Union has recently placed regulations on labeling food dyes to inform consumers of the health risks, but the United States has no such requirement.

    Read the rest of this entry »

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  4. Cauliflower Pizza Crust {Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Paleo} + Video

    Cauliflower Pizza Crust {Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Paleo}

    I’d like to introduce you to your new favorite pizza crust!!! Unlike most Cauliflower Pizza Crusts, this one doesn’t rely on dairy for binding. With a just 5 ingredients, this crust is dairy-free and nut-free, with the perfect and a golden brown, lightly crisped bottom. Choose your favorite toppings to customize this pizza, using a dairy-free alternative cheese, if you cannot tolerate dairy. Choose pesto instead of red sauce, add mushrooms, caramelized onions or shallots, veggies, etc.

    Cauliflower Pizza Crust {Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Paleo}
    Things to Note with this Cauliflower Pizza Crust:

    • This crust is naturally dairy-free, grain-free and nut-free. If you cannot do dairy at all, simply leave it off with your toppings or go with your favorite alternative.
    • The crust can be made with either fresh cauliflower that has been riced quickly in the food processor or to make it even easier, buy already riced cauliflower (fresh or frozen) – give it a quick steam on the stove top or microwave and voila. So stinken’ fast and easy.
    • Coconut flour is a unique flour that is highly absorbent, so there really isn’t a simple swap if you cannot have coconut flour. You can experiment with another grain-free altnerative flour like almond flour or cassava flour, but please note it will not be 1 to 1 with the coconut flour, you will definitely need more. Feel free to play around and report back if you find a good alternative.
    • While many cauliflower pizza crust recipes claim to be quicker by skipping the pre-cook of the cauliflower or the squeezing of the water, I say meh – you are almost always left with a soggy pizza crust that doesn’t hold up super well to toppings. What makes this particular crust so delicious, is the very delicate, light crisp on the outside with a perfect chew and best part yet, it’s strong and not flimsy.  It’s the lack of water. Don’t skip this step. You guys, it literally takes like 2 minutes.
    • This recipe makes one 8 to 9-inch pizza, but you can very easily double the recipe for a larger pizza.
    • Baked on a pre-heated pizza stone instead of the baking sheet, the bottom of the crust gets an even nicer light crisp to it.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  5. Chocolate Covered Strawberry Fudgesicles {dairy-free, paleo-friendly}

     I am an official ambassador for Dole Fresh Fruit and Fresh Vegetables. Dole provided me with compensation for my time. As always, all opinions expressed in this post are mine.

    Chocolate Covered Strawberry Fudgesicles {dairy-free}

    Chocolate Covered Strawberry Fudgesicles {dairy-free}

    These Chocolate Covered Strawberry Fudgesicles are a fun and tasty way to encourage the kiddos to get more fruits and veggies. I would like to just go ahead and get this right out of the way – I added a veggie to your dessert and I am not sorry. I am going to just need for you to trust me on this one, until you make them yourself. I have never steered you wrong, have I?

    Let’s also discuss the idea of “sneaking” veggies in on kids. Listen, while I am an auntie to many, no, I don’t have my own kids, so I won’t pretend to understand the daily struggle of getting them to eat what you want them to. But I have borne witness to many of these altercations as a sidelined viewer. I do know that vegetables, especially, can be a contentious topic with the littles, that doesn’t always have an amicable resolution. But, while I don’t have my own children, I do work as a nutritional therapist with many adults. I see many, many iterations of various challenging habits and food aversions, lifelong unhealthy patterns, that often stem from childhood and not being led by example, not being taught, empowered and encouraged when it comes to making lasting, healthful choices. Read the rest of this entry »

  6. Apple Bites with Pumpkin Spice Coconut Butter {Paleo-friendly}

    Apple Bites with Pumpkin Spice Coconut Butter

    Apple Bites with Pumpkin Spice Coconut Butter

    Sometimes it’s the un-recipes, the simple, uncomplicated eats that are the most coveted around here. With fall being a hustling and bustling time, I know we all struggle to slow down, to hit pause even and enjoy the best of the season, but it’s so important. Fall will be over before we know it and we will be in the thick of the holidays. I don’t want to rush it. I want to enjoy every bit(e) of it.

    While I have no issues with embracing pumpkin-everything this time of year, I also find that apples don’t get nearly enough of the autumnal love! Probably my most favorite of all the fruits, apples are impeccable this time of year and a source of so many great nutrients, including vitamins A & C and various minerals including lots of potassium, and a solid showing of calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. They are high in fiber and apple pectin has detoxifying qualities, making it used often in cleansing formulas. Apples are a sweet mini-multivitamin of sorts, bringing a little bit of everything. I always recommend apples that are organic and unsprayed, as most conventional apples are heavily sprayed with pesticides.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  7. How-to Make Quick Pickled Veggies

    Tutorial Tuesdays // Tasty Yummies

    How-to Make Quick Pickled Veggies


    With the end of summer not too far off, it’s time we start planning our graceful exit strategy, for me this usually includes preserving as much of the summer flavors as possible. Besides preserving fresh herbs in olive oil, I find quick pickled veggies to be an excellent way to hang on to the tasty abundance of summer, just a little bit longer.

    Sure, canning, fermentation and other more long-term storage options are always available, but this is a super quick method, that you can throw together in a mere 15 or 20 minutes. No mess and no fuss.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  8. Real Food Halloween Treats

    Real Food Halloween Treats

    The last remnants of summer have all but disappeared, the sun is setting early, leaves are changing colors and the smell of fall is definitely in the air. Or maybe it’s the cloud of the pumpkin-spiced-everything obsession always wafting just above us. Either way, this is one of my favorite times of year. Jack O’Lantern carving, houses all throughout the neighborhood are decked out in their spooky accoutrements, and the very visceral excitement from all the kids for this year’s costume can be felt no matter where you go. Though it’s been quite sometime since I’ve thrown on a mask and taken to the streets for some good old fashioned trick or treating, I do still find myself wanting to indulge in the treats. I am only human, after all.

    I am not so extreme or excessive in my approach to eating and food to that I think that Halloween should be celebrated with raw veggies and dollar store toys, rather I try to encourage the idea of homemade, real food options wherever possible. So, I thought a list of some of my favorite Real Food Halloween Treats would be a great idea and it might inspire you to try a few homemade options this year, rather than the creepy, scary packaged stuff, loaded with high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils and artificial colors and flavors! Also, I am really showing my cards here and you’ll clearly spot my obsession with chocolate.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  9. Honey-Sweetened Strawberry Fruit Leather

    Honey-Sweetened Strawberry Fruit Leather

    As summer winds down, I am clinging to every last bit of the season that I can. I refuse to acknowledge it’s almost over. Keeping with the theme of healthy summer road trip snacks this Honey-Sweetened Strawberry Fruit Leather is the perfect way to take the sweet tastes of summer with you, wherever you go.

    This fruit leather recipe calls for strawberries but you can use this as a guide to create fruit leather with whatever fruit you have an abundance of. Peaches, apricots, apples and so on. You can even create a blend of your favorite fruits.

    Honey-Sweetened Strawberry Fruit Leather

    Fruit leather gets a wrap for being a kids-only snack, but I can tell you, adults truly love the stuff, too. This could partially be the fact that it will instantly transport you to being a kid. It’s also great for travel and being on-the-go, just roll it up with a little parchment paper and pack it into your bag and you are ready to go. Sweet, summer berry goodness, wherever you are. Try out different berries or other seasonal fruit for additional variations. For a smoother leather, you can strain the seeds or any pulp before dehydrating, if you’d like. You can cook the fruit first if you’d like to intensify the flavor a bit.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  10. Chai Hot Chocolate {Paleo, Vegan}

    Chai Hot Chocolate

    Wait, someone help me! How is it that Christmas is 4 days away? I feel like since Thanksgiving, life has been on 11 and the last few weeks just flew right on by. This is my absolute favorite time of the year and in a blink of an eye it’s nearly over.

    Since wrapping up all of the end of the year client work and the last few holiday craft shows, getting every last web order shipped out all over the world, wrapping and shipping all of the presents to send back home to our families, finishing my advanced yoga teacher training and all of the various social engagements typical of this time of year, the time to just sit back and relax this season has felt super few and far between this holiday season. We have been taking the fleeting moments where we can get them. Every meal has felt rushed and I have been doing my best to squeeze in workouts and yoga time. Last weekend I finished my final hours of my 500-hour yoga teaching certification, yesterday the last of the packages shipped around 1pm and it finally felt like I could finally breath again.

    Chai Hot Chocolate

    In addition to the crazy schedules, this holiday season has actually brought some really wonderful cooler temps and grey skies here in Southern California, even a little rain. It has been so pleasant and such a welcomed change. With the crisp, cool weather we don’t get too much of here, I have found myself seeking out hot soups, stews and hot comforting drinks! I created this drink a few weeks back, literally in the middle of a thousand things going on. I wanted the rich creaminess of a good cup of hot cocoa but I also was in the mood for a good spicy chai. As a libra, decision making isn’t always my strong point, so I thought, let’s just throw the two together. How could two things that are so right, ever go wrong?

    Read the rest of this entry »

  11. Salted Dark Chocolate Nut Bites

    Salted Dark Chocolate Nut Bites: The Paleo Chocolate Lover's Cookbook Review & Giveaway

    A true test of how much I love one of the many cookbooks in my collection, is how messy and “used” the book appears. If there are oil stains, melted chocolate fingerprints, bookmarked pages, etc – you know it’s one of my favorites. I haven’t had Kelly from The Spunky Coconut’s new cookbook in my collection for even a month yet and it already has quite a few of those things. If you pulled it off my shelf right now, you’d swear I have had it over a year. It looks that used, already.

    Salted Dark Chocolate Nut Bites: The Paleo Chocolate Lover's Cookbook Review & Giveaway

    The Paleo Chocolate Lover’s Cookbook features 80 gluten-free treats for breakfast and dessert and it will have you drooling just a few pages in. I know you guys know this already, but I don’t go crazy over all sweets and baked goods. I am just not wired that way. But, if you were to set something in front of me that has been dipped in some melted high-quality dark chocolate, it almost doesn’t matter what it is. I will eat every last bit of it. I don’t need heavy rich desserts, I rarely crave sugary, sweetness, but when I do – just a little something chocolatey usually does the trick for me. Sometimes just a small square of cold dark chocolate is all I need. Satisfying and comforting.

    Salted Dark Chocolate Nut Bites: The Paleo Chocolate Lover's Cookbook Review & Giveaway

    Making healthy, gluten-free chocolate treats that aren’t loaded with refined sugars and grains is just so gratifying and you can still enjoy the rich goodness without the guilt. I am so excited to now have a healthy chocolate “bible” of sorts, to refer to for the perfect chocolate treats whenever I want. An entire book filled with recipes, every single one safe for me and my way of eating. There are breakfast options, cakes, cookies, pies, ice cream, candy and so much more. There is even a section of savory recipes including stews, salads and other dinner-time meals. Besides all of the recipe goodness, Kelly explains some basic tips on getting started with a Paleo lifestyle, going in depth about specific ingredients and techniques. Plus she shares the science, history and ethics of chocolate and some of her favorite brands of store-bought chocolate. It is an incredibly comprehensive book about one of the most yummy topics you can think of! Read the rest of this entry »

  12. Pumpkin Chai Smoothie {Gluten-free, Vegan & Refined Sugar-free}

    Pumpkin Chai Smoothie - Gluten-free, Vegan and Refined Sugar-free

    It isn’t even October yet and already I have consumed several pounds of pumpkin! I seriously want to put pumpkin on and in everything right now. Probably my most favorite way to enjoy pumpkin is in smoothies. I like to get creative and play around with adding in different things, sometimes I add in spinach or maybe some protein powder, other times I like to just play around with different spices. With this smoothie I altered the spice mix a bit to mimic the lovely spice combinations in a good chai tea. One of my favorite flavor profiles. The beauty of this smoothie is that you can add in more of the spices you like (or others not listed) or take away any of the spices you don’t care for. You can truly make it your own. Read the rest of this entry »

  13. Grain-free Chocolate Chip Cookie Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches – Gluten-free + Dairy-free

    Grain-free Chocolate Chip Cookie Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches - Gluten-free + Dairy-free

    I realized earlier this summer that it had been years since I have had an ice cream sandwich. While working an event, I came across a food truck that specialized in just ice cream sandwiches and they actually had a gluten-free and dairy-free option for someone like me. YAY! It was delicious, messy and probably loaded with sugar and lots of other stuff I prefer not to eat. It immediately got the gears turning in my head. I wanted to make a healthy ice cream sandwich myself and I of course just needed to find the time to actually play with some recipe ideas.

    I know we have all seen the one or two ingredient banana ice cream that has been making it’s rounds all over the internet for the last two years. If you haven’t tried it yet, you must. Stop what you are doing right now, put those bananas in the freezer and make some yummy healthy ice cream. It is simple to make and sooo surprisingly creamy and delicious. I realized it would make the perfect ice cream sandwich filling since it is creamy, simple to make and literally has nothing more than bananas in it. A great compliment to some grain-free dairy-free cookies!

    Grain-free Chocolate Chip Cookie Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches - Gluten-free + Dairy-free

    I am sharing the cookie recipe over on Free People today as part of my ongoing Restricted Diets series with them and so I expanded on the recipe to make this a two-for-one deal; a cookie recipe and a bonus ice cream sandwich recipe! Plus, we had our friends Dan and Debbie over earlier this week to celebrate Dan’s birthday, so I wanted to make something special for him that we could all enjoy. Debbie is experimenting with a gluten-free and dairy-free diet, so I am pretty sure her mind was blown that these were OK for her to eat! They were a hit, I don’t think anyone believed me that the filling was just bananas and the cookies were totally grain-free!! I love recipes like that. Read the rest of this entry »

  14. 15 Gluten-Free Snack Ideas

    Roasted Spiced Chickpeas

    Looking for some healthy gluten-free snack options? Here is a list of 15 of my favorite go-to quick eats that are all naturally gluten-free!

    Read the rest of this entry »

  15. Grain-Free Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies – Gluten-free + Dairy-free with Vegan Option

    Grain-Free Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies - Gluten-free + Dairy-free with Vegan Option

    I know I tend to usually just talk about food and cooking, sometimes I tell you guys a bit about different things we have going on, but I rarely just sit down and type out what I am feeling. I guess maybe it is for fear that no one actually cares to read it, but sometimes it feels good to just vent. It’s therapeutic. So hopefully no one minds.

    This summer the one word that has been ringing in my mind over and over is “patience”. I have never had a large amount of it, but this summer I have really been learning how to embrace patience and to really go with the flow. My yoga practice has taught me many many things, I think the most important that I have personally taken away is being able to cultivate my breath and to control my emotions with it. To be OK with me and what I have been given, to hold on to what I need and to let go of what I don’t. And to embrace the flow of life. Both on and off the mat these things have all come into play in many aspects of my life. This summer I have really been able to use so much of what I have learned in so many different ways.

    Trying to sell this house and move across the country was a decision we made sometime last summer. We didn’t exactly know our time frame, at the time, but we knew this was the next step for us. Early in 2012 we made the decision that we would get the process moving along and get our house on the market in the summertime to hopefully move by the fall. When you think about selling the home you have lived in for 9 years and leaving all of your family and friends behind, there are so many things to think about, there are so many self-imposed questions that you have to answer and there are even moments of doubt and fear. We thought about it all, we talked it all out, we did the research and we put the hours into readying the house. When the time came in June to list the house, we were insanely excited to get this new phase started. We started talking about what the soonest we would be out there by, and what if the house sold too quick and we didn’t wrap up all the loose ends here. We kept out summer free of our usual festivals, events and travel so we could be available for showings and get this process moving.

    Grain-Free Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies - Gluten-free + Dairy-free with Vegan Option

    Obviously our house hasn’t sold yet, we are just 2 months in on having it listed and we are both very optimistic it will sell, but we quickly learned that it is likely going to take some time. More time than we both originally thought. Everyone that has seen our house has had very positive things to say, they are impressed by all of our updates to it and the price hasn’t once come up as an issue, the problem we are dealing with, is that it is a townhouse. Not everyone wants a townhouse. So, we have had a decent amount of showings and no offers, just yet. All of the feedback has been, in a nutshell, that it just wasn’t what the buyers were looking for, so there isn’t anything we can do to “fix” what isn’t right. Nothing is wrong. We just have to wait for this perfect person to come along. I know they will. But we have to wait. I am not great at waiting. I am not great at being out of control. This summer has been the biggest lesson in patience that I quite possibly have ever had. The biggest lesson in going with the flow. I cannot control everything. I cannot make everything happen the way I want it to and when I want it to. I have always known that, but now the universe is really showing it to me. It is testing me.

    In some ways, I think it is good, I have been able to really enjoy the place I have called home for over 32 years, to the absolute fullest. I have been able to really enjoy my family and friends. It has been so nice. If our house sold right away, I may have felt like I wasn’t quite ready to go. I might have wanted more time, I might have regretted leaving.

    Some days trying to be patient and knowing the one thing I am most looking forward to is all out of my control, I feel like I could just scream. It is like counting down the days until Christmas when you are a kid. Only I can’t count down because I don’t know when the big day is coming.

    Ah. Patience.

    Grain-Free Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies - Gluten-free + Dairy-free with Vegan Option

    This cookies have been a bit of a lesson in patience. The first time I made them, I was so optimistic that the recipe I created was perfect. The dough felt the way it should, it tasted perfect. I knew they were right. They were wrong. They were too soggy, they didn’t have enough flavor and the zucchini that I used was a bit to “squashy”. They just weren’t right. I knew I would have to play around with some things in the recipe to get them to match the vision I had in my head. I also had to wait to have the time to bake them again. After tweaking the recipe and finding some time on Sunday night, I made them again. With fingers crossed and some deep breaths, into the oven they went. They came out perfect. Soft, chewy, delicious cookies.

    These could be a regular chocolate chip cookie’s very close sibling. The zucchini flavor is very subtle, almost undetectable. It really just tastes like a different version of a classic chocolate chip cookie. You get the green flecks from the zucchini and if you are like me, the most satisfying thing is that you get to use up at least one or two of the very many zucchini you have on hand. Plus, if you have kids, what a great way to sneak a little bit of veggies in. These cookies are a “soft-batch” type cookie, which I love, with a really nice soft and fluffy chew to them. They aren’t the thin crispy cookies that I know some people like. I also love that they are totally grain-free. I have been having so much fun playing around with recipes that don’t rely on a grain.

    Thanks for letting me vent.

    Grain-Free Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies - Gluten-free + Dairy-free with Vegan Option

    [print_this]Grain-Free Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies – Gluten-free + Dairy-free with Vegan Option
    Makes approximately 18 – 24 cookies

    • 2 cups blanched almond flour, tightly packed
    • 1/2 cup arrowroot starch (you could also use tapioca starch or potato starch)
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    • 1/2 cup maple sugar, coconut sugar, raw sugar or other granulated sweetener of your choice
    • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil (or olive oil, walnut oil, etc)
    • 2 farm fresh brown eggs or 2 flax-seed eggs (2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds mixed with 6 tablespoons water)
    • 1 tablespoon psyllium husk
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 1 cup shredded zucchini, with all of the excess moisture squeezed out (squeeze it inside of paper towels, a clean kitchen towel, cheese cloth or through a strainer)
    • 3/4 cup dairy-free gluten-free chocolate chips

    Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

    In a food processor, combine almond flour, arrowroot starch, salt, baking soda and maple sugar, process until combined. In a small bowl whisk together the melted coconut oil, the eggs, vanilla and psyllium husk. Pour the wet mixture into the food processor with the dry ingredients and pulse into the dough comes together, add in the shredded zucchini and pulse a few times more, then take out the blade and stir in the chocolate chips by hand.

    Scoop dough, one level tablespoon at a time onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake in batches, if you need to.
    Bake for 18-20 minutes until the edges are slightly golden brown and they are fully cooked. Cool for a few minutes on the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool further. Serve.

    These can be stored in tightly sealed container for a few days either at room temperature or in the fridge, or you can freeze them and take them out at your leisure. [/print_this]

  16. Basil Watermelon Refresher – Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-free

    IMG_2625Basil Watermelon Refresher - Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-free

    I am sure based on the sweat dripping down your brow (and likely other places) right now, we are all fully aware that not only are we at the peak of the summer, but it is a super duper hot-ass summer, at that! With record highs, excessive humidity and a lack of rain, it has been crazy unbearable in our parts and I know that is the case for most other areas in the US.

    Basil Watermelon Refresher - Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-free
    What else is there to do when it is crazy, stupid hot, then to have a refreshing beverage? And no, it doesn’t necessarily have to be an alcoholic beverage, “mocktails” (non-alcoholic cocktails) are just as refreshing, if not more, plus you can save on those empty calories. I am always playing around with different drink recipes over here and since I eat a very clean diet, I try to keep my alcohol consumption to a minimum at home. I feel so much better without it.

    I was elated when Free People asked me back as a guest-poster to share a series of non-alcoholic cocktail recipes with their readers through the month of August. Each week I will be sharing a different summertime inspired beverage that is safe for the whole family and is sure to refresh you on the hottest of days. And don’t worry, there will also always be a note on how to make each drink alcoholic, if you wish.

    The first recipe I am sharing is Basil Watermelon Refresher. This drink is bursting with refreshing summer flavors. Frozen watermelon and lemon pair together for a sweet and tart treat for your mouth with a surprisingly subtle, sweet and almost spicy punch from the basil. Top the slushy mixture off with sparkling water for a fizzy kick or if you are looking for a kick of a different kind, you replace the sparkling water with Prosecco, a delicious and refreshing dry sparkling white wine.

    Basil Watermelon Refresher - Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-free

    Head on over to the Free People Blog, BLDG 25, for the full recipe and stay tuned for more “mocktail” recipes in this series that I will be sharing each week throughout August.

  17. Spicy Chickpea Crackers with Chives – Gluten-free + Vegan

    Spicy Chickpea Crackers with Chives - Gluten-free + Vegan

    I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend, or just a wonderful weekend if you are outside of the US. We had a very busy one, filled with so much fun, great friends and my amazing family! Short of being away on vacation, I don’t know if I have ever had that much fun, that many days in a row. Some of the highlights of those 5 days was a super relaxing Thursday night massage after work at my good friend Erika’s newly opened place here in Buffalo, Phoenix Rising and a nice dinner at Trattoria Aroma with my hubby. Friday night after work we had dinner with some of my absolute most favorite people at La Tee Da in Allentown. Saturday, after yoga I took my first trip to the farmers market of the season with my friend Dana, my sister Vicky and my niece Teagan. Then Mark and I had a little cookout at home in the evening. Sunday morning, I woke up early to take a trip, with some very lovely ladies, to Rochester to take two yoga classes in a row taught by our friend Lyndsey  at Breathe Yoga. In June, she is moving to Africa for 6 months to teach yoga, so I am so glad we were able to see her before she left. Sunday night there was a super fun and chill Memorial Day party at our friend Sarah and Brian’s and we got to spend time with some of my favorite people. Monday we were able to beat the insane heat with with a super fun afternoon pool party at our good friends, Karen and Vinnie’s house, which was so relaxing. After a few hours in the pool with sun beating down on us, we followed it up with a nice weekend-ending BBQ and some super quality hang time with my parents, my sisters and my niece and nephew! Seriously it was non-stop awesome.

    So yeh, I am not sure anyone besides me will even read that last paragraph, but I was on such a happiness high all weekend, that I had to share. We usually spend this time of year traveling for work or getting ready to hit the road, that I forgot how amazing this time of year can be. For once, going back to work yesterday after a 3-day weekend, was a little bit challenging, normally I cannot wait to get back to it all. It is so rare that we allow ourselves that time away from our work, but we decided with our pending move, that we wanted to enjoy our time here as much as we could! However, since we had so much going on and it was insanely hot, I also decided to not worry to much about cooking or baking over the weekend. When we were actually home, we threw veggies or some of our local meat on the grill and we ate out on the patio. It was really nice and super simple.

    I did find time to pull together a really tasty Mexican quinoa salad to take to our friends BBQ, which I will have to make again so I can share it with all of you. I also made these simple crackers for snacking. I grabbed a copy of LA Yoga Magazine when we were out in California a few weeks ago and they had a simple recipe for some chickpea crackers that intrigued me. I wanted to add some things to the crackers to really make them my own, so I added some red pepper flakes, because I love spicy thing and I also added some fresh chives from my garden. These crackers are great on their own, or even better with some salsa, hummus or whatever your favorite dip is. You could even crumble these up a bit and use them as a topping on a salad. I am calling my crackers “rustic”, because they weren’t perfect little squares like I am sure they should be. I kinda dislike perfection with food. I want my food to look like someone made it with their hands and lots of love. Besides, it was so insanely hot in the kitchen when I was making these that I didn’t have the patience to be meticulous. If you want fun little shapes, like animals, stars or triangles, you could use small cookie cutters or cut any other shapes with your hands.

    These crackers would be great for a snack or even better, package them up in little zip lock bags as a perfect travel snack. You could play around with different spices and herbs, maybe adding things like small diced up sun dried tomatoes, etc.

    Spicy Chickpea Crackers with Chives - Gluten-free + Vegan

    [print_this]Spicy Chickpea Crackers with Chives – Gluten-free + Vegan
    adapted from LA Yoga Magazine, May 2012
    makes about 40 crackers

    • 1 cup sifted chickpea flour
    • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    • 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (add as much or as little as you’d like or leave this out, if you don’t want the heat)
    • 1-2 tablespoons fresh chives, roughly chopped
    • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 2-4 tablespoons water (you may need more)

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil a baking sheet and set aside.

    Combine the flour, nutritional yeast, baking powder, sea salt, red pepper flakes and chives in a medium sized bowl. While stirring, add the olive oil to the flour mixture, then begin adding the water 1 tablespoon at a time until a dough forms that can hold together. Knead the dough several times until smooth and firm, adding more flour or more water, as needed. Shape into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and let rest for 10 minutes.

    Divide the rested dough in half. Place one of the halves on a clean work surface that is dusted with chickpea flour. Flatten the dough a bit with the palm of your hand and sprinkle the top with more chickpea flour. Using a rolling pin that has been dusted with flour, roll out the dough to about 1/4-inch thickness. With a sharp knife, cut the dough into 1-inch squares, or whatever your desired shape, and arrange on the prepared baking sheet.

    Repeat with the remaining dough. Before baking, prick the tops of the squares with the tines of a fork to prevent them from blistering and bubbling up as they bake. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven and let the crackers cool on the sheet. As they cool, they will become crisp. (Test one after it cools. If it isn’t crisp, return the pan to the oven for a few more minutes.) Store in an airtight container up to a week. [/print_this]

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