Monday, July 23, 2018

Raw Chocolate Espresso Truffles

Chocolate and coffee are one of my favorite combos. I've been known to need a cup of coffee (or two) in the morning to get myself motivated. These truffles are chock-full of good-for-you ingredients like almonds, oats and hemp seed, but they taste like a decadent dessert. And because they're vegan, gluten-free (if you use gluten-free oats) and dairy-free, these would be great to serve at your next gathering because they are so allergy friendly (and not to mention delicious). I will have no problem starting my morning with these this week!






1. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and process until combined.



2. Shape the dough into equally-sized balls and place on a plate.


3. Place cocoa powder on a separate plate and roll each truffle in the cocoa powder until coated.

4. Transfer the truffles to a serving platter and serve immediately, or keep cold until ready to serve. (This will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.)




Raw Chocolate Espresso Truffles
Makes 26 truffles

All you need:
1 cup old-fashioned oats (gluten-free or regular)
1/2 cup whole almonds
1/2 cup peanut butter (crunchy or creamy works fine)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut flakes
1/4 cup hemp seeds
2 tablespoons espresso powder
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for rolling
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons water

All you do:
1. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and process until combined.
2. Shape the dough into equally-sized balls and place on a plate.
3. Place cocoa powder on a separate plate and roll each truffle in the cocoa powder until coated.
4. Transfer the truffles to a serving platter and serve immediately, or keep cold until ready to serve. (This will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.)

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Blue Cheese Wedge Salad with Toasty Breadcrumbs

This cool, crisp wedge salad is the perfect summer lunch or dinner. If you're a fan of blue cheese like I am, you will love this homemade chunky blue cheese dressing. It pairs wonderfully with the sweet cherry tomatoes and salty bacon. The warm breadcrumbs on top add great crunch and nuttiness. I recommend pairing this with a glass of dry white wine. Cheers!





1. Combine dressing ingredients in a mixing bowl.


2. Place lettuce wedges on a serving platter and spoon dressing over. Top with chicken, tomatoes and bacon.


3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add panko breadcrumbs and toast, stirring constantly, until golden brown and fragrant. Season with salt.



4. Sprinkle the warm breadcrumbs over each lettuce wedge. Finish with more crumbled blue cheese and serve.




Blue Cheese Wedge Salad with Toasty Breadcrumbs
Serves 4

All you need:
Dressing
1/2 cup whole milk plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup mayo
Juice of 1 large lemon
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese (plus more for garnish)
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

1 head iceberg lettuce - core intact, cut into 4 wedges
1 cup pulled rotisserie chicken
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
4 slices cooked bacon, chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs (gluten-free or regular)
Pinch salt

All you do:
1. Combine dressing ingredients in a mixing bowl.
2. Place lettuce wedges on a serving platter and spoon dressing over. Top with chicken, tomatoes and bacon.
3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add panko breadcrumbs and toast, stirring constantly, until golden brown and fragrant. Season with salt.
4. Sprinkle the warm breadcrumbs over each lettuce wedge. Finish with more crumbled blue cheese and serve.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Cherry Burgers with Goat Cheese Pesto

It's cherry season and that means it's time to scoop some up from the farmers market and grocery store while they are at their sweetest. Adding them to burgers adds great flavor and helps to keep the burgers nice and juicy. The goat cheese and basil pesto helps to compliment the burger by adding another layer of freshness and saltiness. I suggest serving this with sweet potato fries or a big leafy green salad with balsamic vinaigrette. Delish!



1. Place pesto ingredients in a food processor. Process until smooth.

2. Combine burger ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Shape into 4 patties.



3. Preheat grill to medium and cook burger for 6 minutes per side (for medium), or until desired doneness.



4. Spoon pesto onto serving plates and top with burgers. Garnish with crumbled goat cheese and fresh basil.


Cherry Burgers with Goat Cheese Pesto
Serves 4

All you need:
Pesto
4 oz. plain goat cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons Italian flat-leaf parsley
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup fresh pitted and chopped sweet cherries
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Crumbled goat cheese and chopped fresh basil, for garnish

All you do:
1. Place pesto ingredients in a food processor. Process until smooth.
2. Combine burger ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Shape into 4 patties.
3. Preheat grill to medium and cook burger for 6 minutes per side (for medium), or until desired doneness.
4. Spoon pesto onto serving plates and top with burgers. Garnish with crumbled goat cheese and fresh basil.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Grain-Free Tuna Artichoke Pasta Salad

We have officially entered picnic and camping season and most of the time that means some planning ahead in order to make sure everyone has a variety of fun food to try. In recent years, it seems there are at least 1 or 2 people who need some gluten-free items on the menu. While I was at the grocery store the other day I found some chickpea pasta and was interested to see what the texture would be like. I was pleasantly surprised! This pasta blends great with the other flavors in this salad. Serve this salad with fresh fruit and you have a nutritious lunch that you can pull right out of the cooler.

1. Bring 8 cups of salted water to a boil; add chickpea pasta and cook for 8 minutes. Drain and rinse well; set aside.


2. Combine tuna, artichokes, mayo, giardiniera, capers, lemon zest/juice, celery and salt and pepper (to taste) in a large mixing bowl. Add bacon and cooked pasta and stir gently to combine.




3. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with Italian seasoning.




Grain-Free Tuna Artichoke Pasta Salad
Serves 8

All you need:
1 (8 oz.) box chickpea pasta (I used Banza brand)
2 (5 oz.) cans good-quality tuna (such as Wild Planet), drained
1 (14 oz.) can quartered artichokes, drained
1/2 cup olive oil mayo
1/3 cup hot or mild giardiniera
1 tablespoon capers
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
4 celery stalks, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 slices cooked bacon, chopped (I used Alfresco chicken bacon because that's what I had on-hand, but regular is good too)
Italian seasoning, for garnish

All you do:
1. Bring 8 cups of salted water to a boil; add chickpea pasta and cook for 8 minutes. Drain and rinse well; set aside.
2. Combine tuna, artichokes, mayo, giardiniera, capers, lemon zest/juice, celery and salt and pepper (to taste) in a large mixing bowl. Add bacon and cooked pasta and stir gently to combine.
3. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with Italian seasoning.