So many recipes… so little time! PS. Happy Mother’s Day!!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mothers Day

I hope all of you have had an amazing day! There is absolutely nothing like the love of a mother. Mother’s are the most selfless, giving, loving people in the world! I can’t imagine a day without my amazing mom! She has made me the woman I am today and started my love for cooking when I was very little! Her favorite thing in the world, even after a long day at work, is to spend hours in the kitchen, creating delicious and healthy masterpieces for the family. She loves hosting dinner parties and having family and friends over for the holidays. I feel so lucky every day for everything she has taught me <3

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I also wanted to let you all know that as soon as I possibly can I will be posting so many new and fun recipes! I have them! I have the photos! I have taken the time to taste test and devour each and every delicious bite… just for you of course! And I am so excited to share them all with you!

Recipes Coming Soon Collage

Here is a mini collage of a few of my favorite recent recipes! Once I have them all posted I will link them back to this post as well 🙂

LEFT: Zesty Lime Shrimp Tacos

TOP RIGHT: Citrus Cilantro Quinoa Salad with a Kick

BOTTOM RIGHT: 30 Calorie Veggie Fettuccine

I have been insanely busy lately… which is a great thing, but I am dying to have more time with my fingers on this keyboard to type up fun posts and the detailed recipes for everyone. I feel pretty confident you will all be excited to try them. I have been experimenting with savory meals lately to counteract my never ending sweet tooth and am pretty darn happy with the results!

Reader Response:

Belated RSS: A Day in the Life of Me… with a SWEET SURPRISE!

The events of today may seem insignificant to some, however I found them note worthy enough to give you the full run down!

Gluten Free Cupcakes

  • 1 am: Get home from a super fun wedding! (Yes on a Monday! It was Cinco de Mayo themed and totally gluten free!)
  • 1:30 am: Share a late night snack of left over salad, chopped apple and granola with my love. (lol yes thats what a vegetarian does when they are hungry in the middle of the night and out of ice cream!)
  • 2 am: Finally crawl into bed with alarm set for the days adventures with my best friend!
  • 9:30 am – 11:30 am: Get up and jump in the shower, do the laundry, feed Buddha, have a quick smoothie (keep this in mind for my afternoon!! ;)), kiss my handsome boyfriend and jump in the car with Allyson.
  • 12 pm: Have a yummy salad at Picasso’s in #Jacksonville.
  • 1 pm: Excitedly arrive at Whole Foods with my #coupons for Mamma Chia (I am newly OBSESSED with their Green Magic Vitality Squeeze), Enjoy Life (did someone say #glutenfree S’MORES!?!), and Beyond Meat (I finally found the Beef Crumbles!)

ibotta-app.png

SAVE ON THESE PRODUCTS WITH THE Ibotta App RIGHT FROM YOUR HOME!
  • 1-2 pm: Wander around the sea of heavenly #healthy products that exist in Whole Foods while trying to not spend my entire bank account on all the amazing gluten free products at my finger tips and eagerly sampling as many items as possible, including:
    • Tiramisu Gelato!
    • Brown Rice and Quinoa California Roll!
    • Watermelon!
    • Adora Dark Chocolate Gluten Free Calcium Supplements! (yes you read that right! I swear it tasted like a Dove Chocolate!)
    • Tangerine!
    • Seriously a store that has all those things to sample is a winner in my book no matter how expensive it is!

    Mamma Chia

  • 2 pm: Left with so many yummy goodies including lots of Mamma Chia and a delicious #dairyfree latte made with almond milk!
  • 2:15 pm: Find a “big red barn on the side of the road” haha that’s what Allyson told me to look for while we were trying to find our next destination. Well she wasn’t kidding! In that barn, aka Freshfields Farm, was what every grocery store should be. Well I would scratch the meat aspect, but for carnivores this place would be heaven as well… and it was nice to be able to get my boyfriend all natural, local and organic “cow” lol yes that is what I told him I got him. I had to have the butcher help me pick something out because I was TOTALLY lost! I have been a vegetarian since long before I was doing my own grocery shopping. I know ZILCH about buying meat! The things we do for love ;)!
  • 2:15-3:00 pm: Drool over admire the beautiful colors of all the fresh, local and organic fruits & veggies! Not only did  everything look delicious it was also soooo AFFORDABLE! I could not believe how much I got for less than $20, including organic:Freshfields Farm
    • Golden Beets!
    • Ginger!
    • Mango!
    • Kale!
    • Portobello Mushrooms!
    • Grape Tomatoes!
    • Cilantro!
    • london broil?… ribeye?… cow
  • 3:30 pm: Get home and show my man all my awesome goodies! I can’t wait to go again so I can share the awesomeness with him and do a more thorough shopping trip! We are going to be crazy busy the next two week so I didn’t want to get too many fresh things. Next time I go though… GAME ON!!
  • 4 pm: Share my goodies on Twitter and Facebook for all you guys to check out while enjoying my first Mamma Chia as a pre-#bikram pick me up! 🙂
  • 5 pm: Just minutes before walking into class at Bikram Yoga St. Augustine I check my email to discover this!

Brothers All Natural Smoothie Contest Winner

  • Teeki Leggings5:30-7 pm: I had an AMAZING kick ass butt yoga class and bought some adorable new Teeki leggings to celebrate! They are so freaking adorable and I can’t wait to wear them tomorrow!
  • 8 pm: After a long hot shower and a few phone calls to share my excitement about winning the Smoothie Contest I finally sit down with a giant plate of veggies from my shopping adventures to continue sharing my excitement on Twitter and Facebook.
  • 1:18am: Finally finishing the masterpiece, that is this post, to share with you guys! About to climb in bed for an early morning bikram class, a few hours of work at the studio and then coming home to get ready to see PRESTON POHL sing the National Anthem before the JAKE OWEN Military Appreciation Night at THE PLAYERS Championship!!!!
  • GOOD NIGHT!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Hope this glimpse of my day gave you as much joy and happiness as it gave me!
HOW WAS YOUR DAY?!

Black Bean Zucchini Brownies (Vegan & Gluten Free)

Healthy Black Bean Zucchini Brownies

I got so excited when I decided to make this recipe I completelyyyy forgot to take pictures until the batter was mixed! I am so sorry! I promise you didn’t miss much. The exciting part is that this insane list of recipes come to together to look AND taste like brownie batter! And it’s completely vegan so eat away! Hey, screw the baking step if you want and just put it straight in the fridge and use it to dip apples or strawberries or oranges or whatever fruit you like!

My boyfriend and I were literally sitting on the couch after dinner and both looked at each other and laughed. We know the look of “Holy crap I need something sweet and NOW!” He said his mouth was watering for brownies and ice cream or something equally sinful! Naturally I thought that sounded divine! My light bulb went off and I grabbed my computer to find the 20+ flourless brownie recipes I had pinned over the last several weeks that I had been wanting to try making them! I would tell you which recipes I referenced, but there were soooo many I looked at and they each were totally different and my recipe is unlike ANY of them that it would be pointless because naturally I think mine is best 😉

Healthy Black Bean Zucchini Brownies

I knew I wanted them to have black beans because… well… that’s what all the cool kids are doing! I also knew I wanted them to have as little sugar as possible and preferably have them be vegan. Most of the recipes I could find called for coffee, or cayenne, or balsamic vinegar?! Yikes! I am up for just about any flavor combo but I wanted to keep it simple. I know baking can be super finicky with amounts of each ingredient, especially when going gluten free, but to be perfectly honest: I didn’t care if these didn’t rise! And I didn’t care if they were dense and fudgey. And I didn’t care if I had to chill them to get them to set completely. Chocolate is chocolate and in my opinion, as long as they tasted like heaven and were freakishly good for me at the same time…. I was sold!

Healthy Black Bean Zucchini Brownies

So the adventure started. I pulled my black beans and cocoa powder out. Those were literally the only things that I knew for sure that I wanted in them. The rest was based on what I had in the house/my desire to make them vegan and low fat! I have sen a bunch of recipes for zucchini chocolate banana bread so I decided to add zucchini into the mix. If you brownies have two veggies in them they can be eaten for breakfast right? ok ok how about lunch?!

Healthy Black Bean Zucchini Brownies

The rest of the ingredients were substitutions and necessities for baking. I used unsweetened natural applesauce for the eggs AND the oil (like I said, I wasn’t worried about them not rising and being dense and fudgey). I used extra baking powder because I read that you can use applesauce as an egg sub if you add extra baking powder. I had flax and chia on hand but was nervous about them giving a flavor to the brownies and to be honest I REALLY wanted to just taste the chocolate. In my experience, applesauce has pretty much no flavor when used in baking. Lastly, I added a mix of Splenda Brown Sugar Blend and Domino Light Brown Sugar as well as, of course, vanilla extract.

 Healthy Black Bean Zucchini Brownies

I also swirled in my favorite creamy peanut butter, Crazy Richard’s 100% All Natural, as a surprise for my boyfriend. If you are new to my blog then you missed the stories about his favorite food “groups”… Parmesan cheese, hot sauce and peanut butter haha not all together but he loves them all and puts them on anything he can! You could also add chocolate chunks or chopped nuts or shredded coconut or anything your heart desires!

Healthy Black Bean Zucchini Brownies Healthy Black Bean Zucchini Brownies

The only important thing about this recipe is getting all of the ingredients completely mixed together! There are only three steps in the whole process.

  1. Shred the zucchini and squeeze out the extra liquid (I used my food processor. It is going to be going back in there anyways so that works just fine).
  2. Mix zucchini, beans, applesauce, cocoa powder, brown sugar, baking powder and vanilla together in a bowl and add to food processor; mix on high until smooth and creamy like brownie batter (It’s totally fine if there are chunks, but of course they will be in the brownies. Up to you).
  3. Bake (below is a pic of it half way through the baking)!

Healthy Black Bean Zucchini Brownies

If you count cooling and waiting to taste them for at least five minutes, so you don’t burn your fingers, then I guess there are four step 😉

Healthy Black Bean Zucchini Brownies

Black Bean Zucchini Brownies (Vegan & Gluten Free)

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 15 brownies

Serving Size: 1 brownie

Calories per serving: 61, Fiber 2.8 grams

Fat per serving: 1.4; Protein 2.8 grams

Black Bean Zucchini Brownies (Vegan & Gluten Free)

These will be very soft in the center still but the edges should be sturdy. These are 100% edible totally raw so don't worry if they aren't completely done. They are also pretty hard to burn so cooking a little too long shouldn't hurt either.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Spray an 8 x 8 brownie pan (or a 9 x 11 if you're like me and don't own a square one!) with cooking spray and set a side.
  3. In a food processor or blender add all the ingredients, except the peanut butter. You can do this in two batches if you cant fit it all, but make sure that both are equally mixed and smooth!
  4. Heat your peanut butter in a small microwave safe dish until it is warm and a little drippy but not boiling.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan and gently swirl the peanut butter in on top... feel free to add chocolate chips (these one are Vegan!, nuts or more peanut butter if you want!
  6. Bake for 45-50 minutes, insert a toothpick, if it comes out cleanish, brownies are done (the center will probably never allow for a totally clean toothpick. The edges might).
  7. Leave in pan to cool before cutting. If you can wait... SEE NOTES!!

Notes

These will be very soft in the center still but the edges should be sturdy. These are 100% edible totally raw so don't worry if they aren't completely done. They are also pretty hard to burn so cooking a little too long shouldn't hurt either.

I suggest chilling them completely in the fridge before cutting. Other wise you might end up having to eat them with a spoon! I could think of worse things that eating healthy brownie batter with a spoon! 😉

http://www.andasideoficecream.com/2014/05/03/black-bean-zucchini-brownies-vegan-gluten-free/

Healthy Black Bean Zucchini Brownies

Reader Response:

  • What are the craziest things you have added to healthy treats?
  • Do you tell your friends and family when you sneak fruits & vegetables into their snacks?
  • Do you like the denseness of these? I am thinking of making them again with coconut flour! What do you think?

Caramelized Roasted Spaghetti Squash (GF, DF, Vegan!)

Caramelized Roasted Spaghetti Squash (GF, DF, Vegan!)Spring is in the air! Time to lighten up the traditional pasta dishes and start planning for bikini season! Woohoo! I can’t wait to get back in the sun and feel the sand between my toes. This bipolar weather we have been having is driving me crazy! I end up wasting the nice days inside and poorly planning errands and activities for the cold rainy days. Happens every time!

At least the dreary weather is a good excuse to spend my night making a delicious “bikini worthy” meal! Have you tried spaghetti squash? If not you need to go to the farmers market or grocery store right now. No, really! Right now! Get in your car and go get a spaghetti squash. They are one of the most versatile vegetables you can imagine!
Spaghetti SquashSpaghetti squash can be baked, boiled, steamed, or even microwaved! It is the perfect substitute for pasta but without a whopping 390 calories and 78 grams of carbohydrates in ONE CUP!!!!! Spaghetti squash has a measly 42 calories and 10 grams of carbohydrates per cup and is loaded with nutrients, including folic acid, potassium, vitamin A, and beta carotene. Even the seeds are edible and can be roasted just like pumpkin seeds (keep reading to get to how scrumptious these look roasted)!
Roasted Spaghetti Squash SeedsIf you are familiar with this amazing vegetable then you know it’s mild flavor is perfect for almost any flavor combination. Spaghetti squash makes an excellent side dish or a fun substitute in pasta recipes. You can find hundreds of recipes online  for Italian style dishes such as spaghetti squash with pesto or marinara, shrimp scampi, lasagna, and primavera, in which you pretty much simply replace the pasta with the squash. There are also more adventurous dishes such as Pad Thai, pizza crust, quiche, casserole and frittata. The best part is you can cut out almost 90% of the calories in any of these dishes with this simple substitution aka this will be your waistlines new best friend!
Roasted Spaghetti SquashMany recipes call for you to cut the squash in half before cooking, but due to my fear of large knives and cutting my fingers off I always roast it whole instead. In my opinion the flavor is exactly the same (I have tried it the other way when I have a willing large knife handler around) so I vote to save your fingers and stick the whole thing in the oven at 350 for 45-60 minutes depending on the size. If you don’t cut it in half though it is very important to stab the skin with a fork or knife all over so it doesn’t explode 😉 You can see my squashes battle wounds in the picture above!
Roasted Spaghetti SquashIf you decide to take the plunge and cut the spaghetti squash in half, scoop out the seeds (set aside for roasting), spray each side with cooking oil or brush with coconut oil and place face down in a baking dish with 1/2 cup of water. This method should only take about 30 minutes.
Roasted Spaghetti SquashIf you opt for the finger safe version, simply poke the squash as mentioned above and place in a baking dish in the oven. This way will take closer to 60 minutes but make sure to check at about 30 minutes to see how it is doing. I usually flip it over at this point (it cooks faster on the side touching the dish… see above photo). The squash is done when the flesh is tender and the skin can easily be poked through with a fork.
Roasted Spaghetti SquashWhen you remove it from the oven, let it cool enough that you can easily handle it (about 10 minutes). If your squash is still whole, cut it in half length wise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon (set aside for roasting). Which ever way you chose to cook your squash, you should now have two roasted halves with the seeds scooped out. Now comes the fun part! You get to make noodles! All you need is a fork! Simply hold one half in your non-dominant hand and use a fork with your other hand to rake the squash flesh. The noodles form like magic!

You can stop at this step and enjoy the noodles as is, or…

you can try this delicious recipe to make a warm, yummy, low calorie dinner for two!

Roasted GarlicI used some of my favorite flavors to turn this dish into caramelized roasted heaven! For starters, when you put the squash in the oven, add a whole head of garlic wrapped in tin foil.
Roasted Spaghetti SquashRemove squash from oven and let cool.  Spray a baking pan with cooking oil and place the squash seeds with a little sea salt in the still hot oven (check and flip often, should take 7-10 minutes). You don’t need to worry about cleaning them although you can if you choose. The noodle flesh on them will crisp up and be delicious I promise!

Onion and GarlicCaramelized Garlic and Onions

Chop one small red onion and begin caramelizing it in a large skillet with 1 tsp coconut oil. While that is heating up, chop 4oz white mushrooms and add to almost translucent onions.

Caramelized Garlic, Onions and Fresh MushroomsCaramelized Garlic, Onions and Mushrooms

While the mushrooms and onions continue caramelizing over low-medium heat, unwrap the garlic from the tin foil and break apart into cloves. Remove the onions and mushrooms from the skillet and place in a small bowl.
Caramelized Garlic, Onions and MushroomsWhen cool, rake the squash into noodles and place in a large bowl. Save the shell of the squash for a fun way to serve this dish! Squeeze each garlic clove gently from bottom to top (the roasted clove should easily pop out of the skin). Place the cloves in with the squash and stir together. They don’t need to be perfectly mixed… the flavor will combine in the next step!
Caramelized Roasted Spaghetti SquashAdd the squash and garlic mixture into the hot skillet you used for the onions and mushrooms and turn the heat up to medium-high. Add sea salt and black pepper to taste. Stir every few minutes, allowing the noodles to lightly brown and caramelize. This step with infuse the garlic flavor into the noodles!
Roasted Spaghetti SquashChop one tomato (I used Roma but any kind will work) into large chunks. Remove the seeds from the oven. Remove squash from the skillet and place back into a large bowl. Then the magic happens… fold in the onions and mushrooms and split into two equal portions. Place each portion back into the squash shell halves and top with fresh tomato and roasted spaghetti squash seeds!
Roasted Spaghetti Squash

Dinner is served!!!

Caramelized Roasted Spaghetti Squash (GF, DF, Vegan!)

Rating: 51

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 5+ cups

Serving Size: 2.5 cups

Calories per serving: 164

Fat per serving: 3.4

Caramelized Roasted Spaghetti Squash (GF, DF, Vegan!)

Ingredients

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 head fresh garlic
  • 4 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 1 t Spectrum Organic Coconut Oil (any brand will work but this is my favorite)
  • Cooking Spray
  • Sea Salt
  • Black Pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Wrap head of garlic in tin foil.
  3. (Read above for options for roasting spaghetti squash whole or in halves. The rest of the instruction assume you went with the finger safe method like I did)
  4. Poke the squash with a fork or knife all over and place in a baking dish along with the garlic in the oven for about 60 minutes, depending on the size of your squash.
  5. Check at about 30 minutes and flip it over (it cooks faster on the side touching the dish... see above photo).
  6. Check squash around 60 minutes - It is done when the flesh is tender and the skin can easily be poked through with a fork.
  7. Remove squash and garlic from the oven and set aside to cool enough that you can easily handle it (about 10 minutes).
  8. Chop red onion and begin caramelizing in a large skillet with coconut oil over medium heat.
  9. Cut squash in half length wise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon.
  10. Spray a baking pan with cooking oil and place the squash seeds with a little sea salt in the still hot oven for 7-10 minutes (check and flip often). You don't need to worry about cleaning them although you can if you choose. The noodle flesh on them will crisp up and be delicious I promise!
  11. Use a fork to rake the squash flesh into noodles and place in a large bowl. Save the shell of the squash for a fun way to serve this dish!
  12. Chop 4oz white mushrooms and add to almost translucent onions. Turn heat down to low-medium.
  13. Unwrap the garlic from the tin foil and break apart into cloves.
  14. Squeeze each garlic clove gently from bottom to top (the roasted clove should easily pop out of the skin). Place the cloves in with the squash and stir together. They don't need to be perfectly mixed... the flavor will combine in another step!
  15. Remove the onions and mushrooms from the skillet and place in a small bowl.
  16. Add the squash and garlic mixture into the hot skillet you used for the onions and mushrooms and turn the heat up to medium-high.
  17. Add sea salt and black pepper to taste.
  18. Stir every few minutes, allowing the noodles to lightly brown and caramelize. This step with infuse the garlic flavor into the noodles!
  19. Chop tomato (I used Roma but any kind will work) into large chunks.
  20. Remove the seeds from the oven.
  21. Remove squash from the skillet and place back into a large bowl.
  22. Fold in the onions and mushrooms and split into two equal portions.
  23. Place each portion back into the squash shell halves and top with fresh tomato and roasted spaghetti squash seeds!
  24. Enjoy!!

Notes

This would also work as an excellent side dish to fish or maybe chicken (haven't had chicken in 12 years but hey I imagine it would work)!

http://www.andasideoficecream.com/2014/03/15/caramelized-roasted-spaghetti-squash-gf-df-vegan/

Reader Response:

  • What’s your favorite way to prepare spaghetti squash?
  • Have you ever tried any other noodle alternatives: zucchini? carrot?
  • How are you going to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?!

Boyfriend Approved Shrimp Fried “Rice”

Boyfriend Approved Shrimp Fried "Rice"

There is the most amazing fruit and vegetable stand about 5 minutes from my house. It is my absolute favorite “errand” to run each week… if you can even call it an errand. It’s more like going to lunch. Seriously! The awesome people that run the stand let you sample anything you want and offer you tastes of just about everything. If you are ever in St. Augustine and visit this amazing place I highly recommend you go hungry… and with cash (although you won’t need much!) The prices are incredible which adds to the amazingness of all this fresh produce in one place! The fruits and veggies always look better than anything you can find in the grocery store and often times the prices are HALF the price you pay at the store… andddd you are supporting the local community! Win! Win! Win! Ps. Ask for Clint and tell him Lauren sent you 🙂

Shrimp Fried "Rice" - Vegetables

So I woke up early yesterday morning excited about NO MILK MONDAY and texted my friend to see if she wanted to join in my “errand”. If you don’t have friends who enjoy spending time hunting for the freshest fruit and veggie deals with you… well you should find some! There is something pretty great about a person who shares your excitement about juicy strawberries, asparagus that is just being loaded off the truck, in the shell pecans, sweet as can be cantaloupe, perfectly ripe bananas and mint that makes your mouth water for mojitos from 20 feet away! Naturally I left with two full boxes of full of deliciousness and about a million ideas of what I wanted to make for dinner!

Shrimp Fried "Rice" - Cauliflower

I don’t believe I had told you yet that when I have A LOT of options I also have A LOT of trouble making a decision. I end up second guessing everything and spend way too much time to end up back at my original idea (usually). That being said, last night was dinner date night in and my boyfriend asked what I wanted for dinner. I was totally overwhelmed with ideas. Thanks Pinterest! I blame you. So I decided to go run actual errands and let him surprise me with an idea we could make using my morning’s finds…

Shrimp Fried "Rice" - Cauliflower "Rice"

While looking for recipes centered around cauliflower he discovered this great looking recipe Paleo Shrimp Fried “Rice”. He is so supportive of my dietary restrictions and likes and dislikes, so he knew that all meat, gluten and dairy were out (for the day at least). He also knows that I pretty much savor the moment of finding ways to cut fat and calories without cutting flavor so the idea of cauliflower instead of white rice was totally up my ally!

Shrimp Fried "Rice" - Onion & Garlic

We decided we were going to use the Paleo recipe as a base and mix it up with a lot more veggies, no peas and no eggs. The results: YUMMMMMM!!!!!!

Shrimp Fried "Rice" - Chopped Vegetables

I promise you won’t miss the actual rice in this dish one bit! Even my boyfriend loved the dish and agreed it felt like you were eating rice but without the full bloated feeling after a meal full of carbs! We cooked this whole meal together 🙂

Shrimp Fried "Rice" - "Rice" & Vegetables

He was so sweet and let me do all the fun parts and was patient while I stopped every few minutes to snap off way to many pictures.

Shrimp Fried "Rice" - 21/25 Shrimp

He even did my least favorite parts… peeling the shrimp…peeling and mincing the garlic and chopping the onion! Thanks baby! I am one lucky lady.

Shrimp Fried "Rice" - Peeled 21/25 Shrimp

He is definitely the chef of the relationship! I can follow/customize a recipe and come up with great ideas but he knows so much more about technique and has a natural palate for flavor.

Shrimp Fried "Rice" - "Rice", Vegetables & Shrimp

I am pretty sure I have his mom to thank!

Can I just tell you how much it sucks to start dating an incredible guy with an amazing Italian family and have to tell his mom that you can’t eat meat or pasta or bread…. or pretty much any other staple Italian dishes?! They could not have been more understanding but when we first started dating I was beyond nervous. I may have let his adorable nieces spill the beans… she couldn’t get mad at them right?! Turns out she has made me something special at every meal since then and always made sure I have enough to eat including a gluten free cheesecake at Thanksgiving!! I should get the recipe for that for you guys! You would love it!!

Gluten Free Cheesecake

Ok back to the “rice”. While I was enjoying this scrumptious dinner with my love we were thinking of other ideas to use as seasoning. For this meal we wanted the key ingredients to pop but I was thinking that you could make this into an amazing light curry style dish with a few dashes of curry powder and some unsweetened coconut milk.

Boyfriend Approved Shrimp Fried "Rice"

We also agreed that it could use a little heat (maybe some cayenne?) but take that with a grain of salt because we both add hot sauce to almost everything we eat. Hey! Some like it hot!

Boyfriend Approved Shrimp Fried "Rice"

He also let me know it is delicious with a little Parmesan cheese and a dash of Tabasco at the end, but keep in mind the man I love puts hot sauce and Parmesan on just about ANYTHING! So if you are ok with diary, not on a Monday of course! ;), then we suggest you try it out and let us know what you think!

Boyfriend Approved Shrimp Fried "Rice"

Last thing before I let you get to the recipe… this can easily be made vegetarian by subbing the shrimp for extra firm tofu!

Boyfriend Approved Shrimp Fried “Rice”

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: 10 cups (approx)

Serving Size: 1 cup

Calories per serving: 84

Fat per serving: 2.3

Boyfriend Approved Shrimp Fried “Rice”

Ingredients

  • 1 lb fresh tail on shrimp (I used 18 shrimp size 21/25 and cut into about 3 pieces per shrimp), peeled & cut into large pieces
  • 1 medium head cauliflower or 3/4 large cauliflower, riced in food processor
  • 1 medium summer squash, thick chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, thick chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 large stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 C white onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8oz sliced white mushrooms, broken into chunks
  • 1.5 T Spectrum Organic Coconut Oil (any brand will work but this is my favorite)
  • 1/4 C water
  • Season to taste... I used sea salt, black pepper and paprika!
  • Need:
  • Food Processor or Blender
  • I have an even older version of this little guy and he did the trick so don't be discouraged if you have a not so amazing piece of equipment

Instructions

  1. Chop cauliflower into small chunks and place in batches in your food processor.
  2. Chop each batch until it looks like rice.
  3. Place all "riced" cauliflower into a pot with the 1/4 C water on medium heat for 5-7 minutes or until tender.
  4. While the cauliflower is cooking, peel and mince the garlic cloves and finely chop the white onion.
  5. Set aside in a small bowl.
  6. Place 1.5 T Coconut Oil in a large wok or saute pan on medium heat.
  7. Wash your squash, pepper, carrots (and peel), celery and mushrooms.
  8. Chop your veggies into large chunks and put aside in a large bowl.
  9. Add your garlic and onion to your pan with coconut oil and saute for 5-7 minutes, or until lightly browned and translucent.
  10. Add your chopped veggies to the onion and garlic and stir gently to mix together.
  11. Cover veggie mixture and cook for about 7 minutes, or until tender but not cooked through completely.
  12. Add "riced" cauliflower and your choice of seasoning to your veggie mixture. Mix together thoroughly and cover for another 7 minutes until veggies are al dente and seasoned.
  13. While the "rice" and veggies are cooking, remove your shrimp from the fridge and place in a large bowl.
  14. Gently peel the shrimp (you are welcome to de-vein them as well... we did not but I know some people prefer to) and place in another bowl.
  15. Cut your shrimp into about 3 pieces per shrimp depending on the size you use.
  16. Add shrimp to your "rice" and veggies.
  17. Cover your almost finished dinner for another 5 minutes, or until the shrimp are a beautiful white and orange.
  18. Remove from heat and taste your Shrimp Fried "Rice" to see if you need to add more seasoning (we ended up adding a little more of all the seasoning at this point).
  19. Once you are satisfied with the flavor scoop some of your amazing, healthy, delicious, protein filled dinner into a bowl and enjoy!
  20. Heads up... you are going to want seconds!!

Notes

I may or may not have had 3 cups for dinner and that was stillllll only 253 calories with 6.8 grams of fat (all healthy fats from the coconut oil! the rest is fat free!)

The even more amazing part: my dinner had 9.7 grams fiber and 23.7 grams of protein!!

http://www.andasideoficecream.com/2014/03/11/boyfriend-approved-shrimp-fried-rice/

Reader Feedback:

  • What are your favorite seasoning for vegetable dishes?
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  • Which one’s are your favorite? *We are Frank’s, Tabasco and Mongolian Fire Oil junkies!*

World’s Healthiest Ice Cream

Worlds Healthiest Ice Cream

Oh. My. Goodness! My mouth is so happy right now! I should be in bed for my early morning Bikram class, but naturally I needed dessert and decided to try out the one ingredient ice cream you have probably been seeing all over the internet. Like I mentioned in my post about Chocolate Banana Muffins, I pretty much always have sliced bananas in my freezer for smoothies and snacking, so I was in the clear for the first step of the recipe.

World's Healthiest Banana Ice Cream

Not only does this recipe only require one ingredient, it is also the easiest recipe ever! If you follow my lead with frozen bananas you can literally whip this up any time of day in about 5 minutes! It takes me longer than that to brush my hair and teeth in the morning! Heck! You could make this for breakfast whileeee you are brushing your hair and teeth!! Told you I find acceptable ways to incorporate ice cream into my diet at all times! 😉

World's Healthiest Ice Cream

I won’t make you wait to much longer before getting to this amazingness below but I want to make sure you check out the notes section for ideas about add ins. I am pointing this out BEFORE you start the process because as you will see momentarily, the ice cream begins to melt very quickly. Once it is finished you definitely want to gobble it up or put it in some tupperware for later… right away (there is no way to make that sentence sound right).

World's Healthiest Ice Cream

I also want to mention that this entire recipe for one only has 105 calories, trace amounts of fat, 3.1 grams of fiber, 1.3 grams of protein and 422 milligrams potassium! You could even add peanut butter and enjoy this after your hot, sweaty workout for the perfect protein boost!

Banana Ice Cream with Strawberries

Mmmmm I might have to do that tomorrow after class! 105 degrees in the hot room… 105 calories in a banana…. coincidence?? I think not! I added strawberries to mine, but I may or may not have eaten half before the second half of the pictures were taken… SORRY!! You can see how fast is started to melt in my attempts to get the perfect pictures! 

World's Healthiest Ice Cream: for one!

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 3 hours

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours, 5 minutes

Yield: 1 small bowl of heaven

Serving Size: 1

Calories per serving: 105

Fat per serving: .4

World's Healthiest Ice Cream: for one!

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe banana
  • Need:
  • Food Processor or Blender
  • I have an even older version of this little guy and he did the trick so don't be discouraged if you have a not so amazing piece of equipment

Instructions

  1. Chop banana into 1/4 - 1/2 inch chunks.
  2. Lay on a plate or baking pan.
  3. Place in freezer for minimum 3 hours... the results better if you can wait over night though.
  4. Once frozen, remove tray from freezer and place all banana chunks in a food processor. (don't try to skip the cutting up of the banana stage... trust me on this... your food processor will not be happy!)
  5. Now for the easiest and the hardest step: BLEND! I suggest doing this on high and scrapping it down every 30 seconds or so. Depending on your food processor this will take any where for two - six minutes, give or take a minute or two.
  6. Don't give up when it looks like you are getting no where. I promise that the stage of chopped up banana to ice cream happens quickly! *If you absolutely have to you can add a splash of almond or coconut milk but it really is not necessary if you keep scraping the walls of the bowl down.
  7. Within a few minutes you will have the creamiest, healthiest ice cream you have ever tasted!
  8. Scoop into a bowl and enjoy! (or check out the notes section for more ideas!)
  9. OR place in a Tupperware container and save it in the freezer for later. Depending on how long you refreeze it, you may want to let it thaw for a few minutes before enjoying again but this certainly is not necessary... or easy to do!
  10. Check the Notes Section!

Notes

This recipe can easily be modified to make large batches (although you will probably want to make multiple small batches with more bananas instead of one large batch so your food processor doesn't freak out).

Want even more banana ice cream fun?? ADD IN IDEAS -peanut butter -cocoa powder -jam -berries (fresh or frozen) -chocolate chips -vanilla extract -cinnamon *or anything else your heart desires!

Mix it up! Play with this recipe plain or make it your own with a bunch of add ins and toppings!

http://www.andasideoficecream.com/2014/03/09/worlds-healthiest-ice-cream/
  Required because you will love me after you make this: Leave me a comment letting me now what you thought AND what fun mix in you decided to try! Maybe you even come up with a fun name for your culinary concoction!

Chewy Chocolate Banana Flax Muffins (Gluten Free)

Chewy Chocolate Banana Flax Muffins

If you ask me it should never be less than 65 degrees and sunny. Really I don’t know how people live in places that are cold, rainy or dark more than half the year. It was 82 and sunny just three days ago, but it’s been under 60, gray and wet since then. I am already feeling the negative effects of the dreary weather. A day curled up with a warm cup of tea, a cozy sweatshirt and your favorite magazine is nice once in a while but when you need to leave the house it is not so fun.

Thankfully this week I have had my awesome new blog and followers to keep me smiling. All of your positive responses mean so much to me! Thank you for following fairly blindly with so little content up at the moment. As promised, that will be changing soon!

Today’s weather is screaming for some baking. Am I the only one that might turn the oven on to preheat a little early so I can stand with the door open to warm up first?! There is something so cozy and comforting about getting out your mixing bowls and all your ingredients and creating something so warm and sweet that you might just stick a toothpick in it a little early to accidentally have some come out on the stick to taste… especially if there is chocolate involved 🙂

Chewy Chocolate Banana Flax Muffin Mix

Today’s inspiration comes from some late night Pinterest searching for healthy ways to use bananas on their last leg. Unless I cut my bananas up and freeze them for smoothies right away, I end up with an entire bunch of over ripened bananas that are too mushy to eat for a snack but not mushy enough to rationalize throwing away.

Banana Applesauce

As everyone knows, this is the perfect stage of a banana’s life to throw it in a loaf of banana bread and call it a day. While I love banana bread (especially with added goodies like chocolate chips or walnuts) I wanted to try something new and a little healthier than the typical banana bread conceptions loaded with white sugar, flour and butter.

*Even muffin batter deserves a good mixer licking! And no raw egg to worry about!*

I found hundreds of healthy banana bread options and even more banana oat cookie/energy bites (which I love and have made more times than I can count… I will definitely add a recipe for some sometime soon) but I really wanted to try something different. I was inspired by Michelle at Healthy Recipe Ecstasy and her dark chocolate banana bread brownies!

Chewy Chocolate Banana Flax Muffin Batter

I’ve been experimenting lately with chia and flax eggs as replacements for actual eggs in baking with pretty great success. The flavor ends up a little nuttier with flax seeds but the texture is great in my opinion. This method also cuts out all cholesterol. Win!

How Fun is this?!

Unfortunately, something crazy happens when you cut out butter… you tend to cut out the life and lovely fluffy texture of your favorite baked goods.  There are many great vegan substitutes to butter including low fat options: unsweetened apple sauce and bananas.  The apple sauce shouldn’t effect the flavor at all and the banana will only slightly sweeten the mixture (you can cut back very slightly on the sweetener if you want when using this method).

A chunk of chocolate perfectly wedged itself in my mixer when I sprinkled it on top!

Ironically the two natural substitutes for butter are already ingredients in this recipe. Instead of trying to keep these light and fluffy I decided to go the opposite route and aim for chewy and soft instead. While I actually like the semi-gooey texture that low fat baking tends to have, I know this is not typical.

Chewy Chocolate Banana Flax Muffin Batter

This is a great article that explains why butter is used in baking and how to substitute it properly in different recipes. Enjoying baked goods without butter or less fat can take some getting used to for sure so feel free to play around with your favorite substitutes. Have a favorite butter or egg substitute? Let me know! I always love trying new ideas!

Now on to the muffins!! These muffins are full of healthy, vegan sources of fiber, protein and iron… three things every vegetarian can’t get enough of! Check out the notes at the end of the recipe. Enjoy!

Chewy Chocolate Banana Flax Muffins (gluten free and easily vegan!)

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 12 large muffins

Serving Size: 1 muffin

Calories per serving: 103

Fat per serving: 2.9

Chewy Chocolate Banana Flax Muffins (gluten free and easily vegan!)

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Use a blender, coffee grinder, magic bullet or some other similar product to grind your Chia Seeds.
  3. In a small dish combine ground chia seeds and water to make a chia egg. Gently stir together and let sit for at least five minutes. The mixture will form the texture of an egg.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl combine Flaxseed Meal, All-Purpose Flour, Brown Rice Flour, Coconut Flour, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt. Make sure all ingredients are completely mixed together.
  5. In a separate mixing bowl mash up your ripe bananas. Place in the microwave for 45 seconds to slightly caramelize them and bring out their natural sweetness even more.
  6. Place applesauce, chia egg and vanilla into bowl with warm bananas. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (or a medium whisk and a strong arm!).
  7. Add your dry ingredients into large mixing bowl with your wet ingredient mixture. Beat at a low speed until combined and moist through out batter.
  8. Use whatever handy tool you ground your chia seeds up with the gently chop your Chocolate Chunks into smaller pieces. (feel free to use any chocolate you like or even Enjoy Life chocolate chips to make this vegan!)
  9. Mix chocolate chunks into your batter with a spatula.
  10. Spoon batter into your muffin tin. I made 12 large muffins but you could easily make two smaller batches or use a mini muffin tin.
  11. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes... checking at about 20 minutes with a wooden toothpick. If you use any other sort of muffin tins you might need to adjust the time accordingly.
  12. Now your goal... let cool before burning your tongue on sweet banana gooeyness and melted chocolate deliciousness!

Notes

These little guys definitely pack a healthy punch with naturally sweet flavor and absolutely no guilt. No added sugar (other than the chocolate chips which you could easily replace with chopped nuts of dried fruit of your choice), gluten free and vegan with the simple change ideas above for cutting out sugar! They are perfect for an afternoon snack pick me up, a breakfast on the run or even dessert with a side of fresh strawberries.

Warning: when they cool they do become a little dense. I suggest warming them back up in the oven or in a pan before eating. But hey if you like the dense chewiness please eat up!

http://www.andasideoficecream.com/2014/03/06/chewy-chocolate-banana-flax-muffins-gluten-free/

Hope you enjoyed these as much as I did!

Chewy Chocolate Banana Muffin

Reader Feedback:

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Gluten-Free Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole (DF easily)

Gluten-Free Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole (DF easily)

How do you decide what to put up for your very first post on your new blog?! Seriously the options are endless! Do I make some crunchy gluten free granola, a big batch of slurp worthy soups, some “hard to believe there is no added sugar” energy bites, or of course there was the obvious option of whipping up some delicious ice cream. Naturally I went a completely different route and made my first casserole since going gluten free… which turned out amazing!

Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole - Raw Cauliflower & Broccoli

I was hesitant to have my very first post be something so healthy and not necessarily fun on the spectrum of ice cream to cruciferous vegetables!

Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole - Raw Onions & Garlic

But what’s a girl to do when it’s dinner time and a recent trip to the farmers market left her fridge full of broccoli and cauliflower she has been itching to make something new with. I love cauliflower mash and roasted broccoli as much as the next vegetarian but it was time to spice things up a little bit.

Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole - Sauteed Onion and Garlic

This recipe can easily be halved or doubled for smaller or larger gatherings. It can also be made dairy free by simply leaving out the Parmesan cheese or substituting it with a DF cheese such as Daiya.

Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole - Sauce

If you do not require a gluten free diet, any all-purpose flour will do in place of the Bob’s Red Mill. And finally, feel free to your any milk of your choice in place of the coconut milk (I promise you can not taste the coconut at all though once it is cooked!)

Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole - Raw Veggies and Sauce

I hope you love this recipe as much as I did! 🙂

Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole - Pre-Baking

I promise to have more posts coming very soon! Thanks so much for checking out my blog!

Gluten-Free Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole (DF easily)

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 6 cups - Depends on size of broccoli and cauliflower

Serving Size: 1 cup

Calories per serving: 103

Fat per serving: 4.1

Gluten-Free Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole (DF easily)

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Cut up broccoli and cauliflower into bite-size pieces. Mix together and set aside in a large bowl.
  3. Dice onion and garlic cloves how ever you prefer… I minced the garlic and diced the onion into large chunks.
  4. Melt 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil (add more if this does not coat your whole pan, this will increase final calorie count) in large skillet on medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.
  5. Sprinkle gluten free flour, salt, pepper and 1/2 tablespoon of Italian seasoning over the onions and garlic. Slowly add unsweetened coconut milk and stir together until slightly thickened and bubbly.
  6. Sprinkle 4 teaspoons Parmesan cheese into this mixture and gently stir for one more minute to melt the cheese.
  7. I highly suggest you taste this delicious concoction before going to the next step! You can thank me later for this idea!
  8. Remove onion garlic mixture from heat and pour over broccoli cauliflower in large bowl.
  9. Stir just enough to thoroughly coat all vegetables.
  10. Grease a large glass baking dish with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil and spoon in vegetable mixture.
  11. Sprinkle last 2 teaspoons of parmesan cheese and remaining 1/2 tablespoon of Italian Seasoning over the dish.
  12. Bake for 40 minutes, checking around the 30 minute point to make sure your oven is cooking everything evenly (the back of my oven cooks everything so much faster 🙁 this is easily taken care of with one flip half way through cooking but it is definitely important to know your oven's idiosyncrasies). The vegetables should be tender and the top should be lightly browned when it is ready!
  13. Let cool for a few minutes before serving… if you are as impatient as I am just be careful not to burn your mouth… like I did! Oops! 🙂 Enjoy!

Notes

Nutrition Info calculated using MyFitnessPal

http://www.andasideoficecream.com/2014/03/05/99/

Inspired by this Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole Recipe.

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