Purple Cauliflower, Carrot & Two Lentil Curry

Some cosmetic changes here- what do you think?  I think I’m pretty content with it considering my severely limited technical skills.  I’m not even going to tell you how much time I spent on it.  I guess I have “Sandy” to thank for this. Or “Frankenstorm” or whatever they’re calling this wicked rain for the next 5 days?!? I hope everyone is in a safe and dry place.  Do I really need to fill my bathtub with water??

I am loving all things lentils right now.  I feel like I need to make up for lost times we should have had together.  So I will do my best not to put up 100 lentil recipes in the next month but I can’t promise anything.  I am the type of person that when I find a new ingredient or a forgotten favorite, I eat it relentlessly until I get sick of it.

I’m loving lots of cauliflower lately too.  It’s such a modest vegetable with its white, lackluster appearance you would never know it is a “superfood”.  Packed with nutrients, fiber and oh this lovely purple variety has anthocyanins which are scientifically proven to eat up cancer cells.  Who doesn’t love that?

So if you’re a regular visitor of my blog you know I’m a huge Indian food fan.  I have spiced up my eggs, sandwiches, and desserts with Indian spices like ginger, cumin, coriander and the latest favorite is fenugreek seeds.  I have mentioned them once before since they are filled with lots of health benefits you would never suspect.  Some health benefits in just 1 tbsp is they have 20% RDA of iron, 3 grams protein, 3 grams of fiber, and trace amounts of copper, calcium, zincmanganese and magnesium.  They have also been used medicinally for hundreds of years to improve those lovely female symptoms, as well as digestive troubles.  It has been clinically proven to help with insulin sensitivity and to have cardiovascular benefits.  So with the endless list of health benefits I have begun to add 1 tsp of seeds to my smoothies in addition to the regulars like turmeric, occasionally red maca powder and matcha green tea powder {typically not all together} With all the other ingredients you can’t even taste in a smoothie but be sure you have a good blender because you wouldn’t wanna chomp down on these tough little seeds.  Alternatively, you could grind to a powder first and then add.

But I digress from this lovely, very easy curry which I made to have ready for lunches or dinners.  It’s what you might call a “one pot wonder”.  Curries may seem quite intimidating with the sometimes lengthy list of ingredients and foreign spices, but it really is such an easy dish to make.  Plus then if you are not a huge spice or heat fan, you can lessen the amounts to suit your taste.  I definitely encourage you to dabble in Indian cuisine if you have not yet tried, it can be extremely healthy and comforting without much skill required.  Did I mention crazy delicious?!? Plus curries are so versatile you can make it with practically any seasonal vegetables.  I used carrots and cauliflower but feel free to use some of your favorites!

To prepare lentils:

1/2 cup red lentils, soaked at least 8 hours

1/2 cup green lentils, soaked min 8 hours

1.5 cups vegetable broth

small handful curry leaves

Directions:   {red lentils cook faster than green lentils, so if you need the “perfect” texture keep them separated from soaking to cooking.  I don’t mind and didn’t notice that one was more/less cooked than the other.}

Rinse them in a colander and check for stones or debris.

Soak them for at least 8 hours in filtered water- {this is not required but I soak all nuts, beans, seeds and grains to reduce phytic acid and make easier to digest}

Rinse again in a colander till water runs clear.

Put 1.5 cups vegetable stock in large pot and bring to boil.  Add lentils and reduce to medium simmer with lid on.  Check and stir.  You may need to add more broth depending on how you like your lentils.

When all the liquid is gone, add curry leaves and pour into a small bowl, set aside.

Ingredients for Curry:

1 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil

1 tbsp butter or ghee

1 tbsp fenugreek seeds

1/2 sweet onion chopped

1-2 cups baby carrots chopped roughly

2 tsp curry powder

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp cumin

2 tsp red chili powder

3 garlic cloves

1- 1 inch piece ginger minced or grated

1/2 can tomato paste

1 head cauliflower, purple or regular chopped

1/2- 1 cup vegetable stock

Directions:

 Use large pot and add coconut oil, butter or ghee.  Add fenugreek seeds and once fragrant add chopped onion and carrot, saute for 3 minutes.

Add dry spices and stir well to coat.

Add cauliflower, garlic, ginger, tomato paste, and vegetable stock.  Stir everything well and put lid on with medium simmer.  Check in 10 minutes for the cauliflower to be fork tender.  Taste and season as you like.

You could add fresh cilantro but I didn’t want it to overpower the curry leaves so I left it out.  You could also make it richer with canned coconut milk which is always delicious.

 

Now all I need is some fresh naan…yummm.

Dark Chocolate Pancakes Topped with Cinnamon Apple & Almond Butter

Yes, Dark Chocolate HEALTHY Gluten Free Pancakes. And as you can tell by the title, the fun doesn’t end there. Slices of cinnamon dusted apple & roasted almond butter. For dinner.

Oh and do yourself a favor and leave your guilt at the door– because this is barely 300 calories. Scouts Honor.

Unfortunately I am not the genius who came up with this recipe- Katie is. I snagged from her Brownie Batter Pancakes which I have made many times, but this time I used buckwheat flour. (I’ll just tell you there is a reason she doesn’t use buckwheat flour for desserts…but I really like buckwheat and I needed to use it up).

I have been craving chocolate like my life depends on it lately and I generally don’t get strong cravings for things. So I had thought earlier today that I will satisfy my craving and find a 70%ish chocolate bar with minimal sugar to eat as a meal. That’s a perfectly good rationale right?

Chocolate really does have considerable health benefits consisting of antioxidants, ability to lower heart disease risk by increasing blood flow and increases your happy hormones 🙂 Luckily I did not impulsively dive for the first chocolate bar and went on through my day because I decided I didn’t want to start on a sugar spiral. Boy am I glad I did because this was WAY better than a chocolate bar. Plus, no sugar crash, no guilt, just a big happy grin at the end of my day. Oh yes, this was my dinner- and I’m not gonna lie I think it might happen again tomorrow.

I used Katie’s ratios for making the pancakes but I use

1/4 cup buckwheat flour

5 tbsp almond milk

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 secret tsp matcha green tea powder {it’s a secret from your taste buds ;)}

1 packet stevia

4-5 drops vanilla stevia

Then I just fry them up in a smidge of coconut oil as about 5 small or (you can do 2 large). If you stop there with the recipe it’s only about 130 calories. But why would you stop there?

In the past I have used her banana peanut butter to top these off but I am obsessed with all things apples lately- literally have to eat 1 everyday.

Oh and I’m really sorry if this is your first time hearing about Katie’s blog. Not only because you have been missing out on some seriously delicious eats, but now you probably won’t sleep tonight because you are reading all of her posts. Don’t worry we’ve all been there.

Now it’s time to indulge in a sinful but not sabotaging dinn-ert 😉

Sprouted Lentil Loaf with Sweet Potato & Mushrooms, Vegan,GF

Say what? Lentils? Sprouted? Do I plant it?

I am guessing those who are new to lentils and sprouting are thinking some of those thoughts. Well, if lentils and sprouts are new to you, allow me to introduce you. Lentils are a seriously underestimated “superfood”. They are packed with protein, iron, b vitamins, fiber and lovely properties to help balance your blood sugar and lower cholestrol. Yeah I know, you have been missing out on a seriously healthy food. Plus it gets better. When you “sprout” things you can triple the amount of nutrients in them- without lifting a finger. No it’s not exactly magic, but just nature doing its thing.

You can sprout any seeds like sunflower or even quinoa as well as beans (not outta the can silly- gotta be uncooked) and lots of other things. All you have to do is soak the grain or seed overnight in filtered water, drain and rinse it well the next morning, and let it chill on the counter in a jar or mesh strainer. You can get a fancy sprouting jar but it’s not necessary if you have a strainer. Those lentils sprouted for I think 3 or 4 days, which just means every few hours I rinsed the lentils (which is especially why I like using mesh strainer) and just let it hang out on my counter in the strainer.

So when you are sprouting you are actually re-activating enzymes that had these “enzyme inhibitors” on them otherwise they would be sprouting all the time and go bad very quickly. That is another thing- when you sprout the amount will double in size and they only last about a week so make sure you are going to eat them!

So with all of these sprouts I thought I was going to do a sprouted lentil hummus but then I changed my mind and decided to try a lentil loaf. Which is kinda funny since last week I made a Spinach Turkey Meatloaf even though I didn’t show you guys 😉 Plus I just got lots of great produce like sweet potatoes, carrots and mushrooms so the decision was made! Oh and you know I’m going to tell you this was super easy right? And I don’t think I need to tell you how healthy carrots, sweet potatoes and mushrooms are…

This is the perfect lunch or dinner for the week and if you have a food processor you just made your life a whole lot easier. Oh and did I mention it’s boyfriend approved? Yes I was not even going to ask him to try it but he did- and then took another taste. And then asked if he could have some for lunch. And we know he is a mans man when it comes to all things “loaf” so I encourage you to try this on your picky men. And if you don’t want to put the tiniest bit of effort in and sprout your lentils then just cook them according to the package. There are lots of different kinds so make sure you follow the directions! 🙂

Ingredients:

(If you sprout, take 1 cup raw lentils and follow the sprouting directions– will make 2-3 cups)

**Ignore the broccoli in the photo above, it didn’t survive

2 cups sprouted or 2 cups cooked

1/2 sweet potato, grated

1 cup baby carrots or regular

1 white onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves

1 package preferred mushrooms, I use baby bella

1 tbsp butter or butter sub

1 tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup vegetable broth

1/4 cup cashews

soy sauce

Chili powder, cumin and coriander to taste

Directions:

-Preheat oven to 350, grab loaf pan and lightly spray with non-stick

-Chop mushrooms, carrots, garlic and cashews by placing in food processor and pulsing till roughly same size as the lentil. If its powerful enough do your sweet potato as well, but I grated mine by hand.

-To a large, deep skillet add butter, oil and veg broth to medium-high heat. Add white onion and saute for 2 minutes. Add all processed vegetables.

-Season well with salt and pepper. I also added chili powder, dash soy sauce, cumin and coriander but feel free to season as you wish. (I had wanted to use sage and thyme but I have neither right now.)

-Pulse your lentils to desired consistency, I did it till them were fairly broken up but not completely. Add them to the skillet and continue to taste and season. No perfect measurements with these things just do what taste good 🙂

-Press into loaf pan and cook in the oven for about 15 minutes. {I bet this would be great in muffin tin to make perfect portion size! I would double the batch and freeze the rest!}

– It will crisp the top but the inside will remain soft. If you want a crispier loaf, I suggest using day old bread as you would with bread pudding or how I make regular meatloafs using Stoufers Stuffing Mix. I would use half of the package and just mix it in at the end, you may need more liquid so add small amounts of vegetable broth. ( I can’t vouge for results though I haven’t tried this, just a suggestion)

* I wanted to keep mine gluten free so I didn’t use any bread or bread crumbs.

This would be a great vegan option for Thanksgiving!

I sliced about 7 large slices and have my lunch packed for the week now. Yummy and comforting vegan superfood! I am going to try a BBQ version of this soon so stay tuned! 🙂

I am thinking of making some mashed cauliflower to go with this.  Talk about a nutrient dense meal!

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20121021-144832.jpgI am loving fall right now, how about you?

Green and Glowing from the Inside-Out

So yes it’s been awhile since I posted.  But you can forgive me because last week was lots of midterms.  I’m still alive though, and cooking, and especially eating.

Plus I have a few new tricks up my sleeves and they don’t exactly involve eating but there is a recipe.  Actually you will be wearing it. If you want gorgeous, glowing and smooth skin.

It involves a little of this.

And this

and a little scrubby.

I have been doing this 1-2x week and it’s awesome! Literally it’s like having a seaweed spa facial but paying a fraction of the cost and getting immediate results.  A word of caution though, if you have never eaten spirulina or tried it on your face, make a very small amount of this and try on your hand or arm to make sure you don’t have an allergic reaction.  You may see some redness and it made my face itch slightly while I was wearing it for the first time but this is from the high amounts of Vitamin A that is removing those superficial layers of skin.  Another word of caution is this is slightly messing when rinsing off so if you are not doing this in the shower, make sure your not wearing or near anything that you can stain.

And absolutely wear sunscreen when you go outside.  Your skin becomes more vulnerable to sun damage because you are removing those top layers of skin and exposing the deeper layers.  Damaging these layers can cause more harm and aging so wear your sunscreen!

To Make Rejuvinating Spirulina Mask:

Mix 1/2 tbsp spirulina with a few dashes of olive oil and a pinch of your usual face cleanser OR 1 tsp sugar.  If this is your first time I suggest only wearing it for 5 minutes and work your way up to 15 adding 5 minutes each time.  I also recommend a splash of raw apple cider vinegar which can help remove any build up and has 100’s of wonderful uses and benefits.

Once time is up remove with water and if you use any type of toner or makeup removing cloths in order to remove everything.

You can use a pinch of your typical moisturizer, but to really reap the benefits, cover your face with avocado oil (not dripping) and before you go to bed just lightly pat excess so you don’t drench your pillow.  The vitamin E works to remove the redness the mask may have caused and is extremely anti-inflammatory for your face.

I only do the mask 1-2x week, but I am using the avocado oil every night and it is amazing.  It is healing any pimples I may have and picked (oops!) rapidly faster and the texture of my skin is much smoother.

Ok there is a recipe, I couldn’t help myself 😉

Now to really cure this skin problem from the inside out, I recommend the delicious Glowing Green Smoothie by Kimberly Synder.  I have become addicted to this and I know it sounds crazy putting cilantro in your smoothie but it is one of those don’t knock it till you try it. Picture from Kimberely’s Blog.

I have altered it a bit and I use

1 celery stick

1/2 an apple

2 cups spring mix or baby spinach

small handful cilantro

1/2 cup seedless cucumber

water to blend and ice

occasionally 1/2 frozen banana

I also add a few things to bump up the anti-inflammatory factor even more like 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp raw unpasterized and unfiltered apple cider vinegar and 1 tsp spirulina.  I occassionally also add wheat grass (not the liquid the real thing-yes it does taste awful so only use a little bit) matcha green tea powder and fun toppings like goji berries, honey bee pollen granules, hemp seeds, avocado, oat bran or granola of course. (Not all at once)

You can of course personalize and create your own green smoothie but I recommend trying the original first, it will surprise you how good it really is and how good you feel after.  Check out Kimberly’s Blog for all the health benefits plus lots of other great info!

Raw Sweet and Salty Mocha Almond Cacao Truffles

Quite a wordy title eh? Well I could probably use another 1000 different adjectives and it still wouldn’t do these truffles justice. If you are a chocolate, sweet, salty, coconut, nutty, chewy, crunchy, mocha, did I mention chocolate?- Lover, then you are at the right place because these are insanely good. And easy, which can mean trouble. So if I’m referring you to- slim down this recipe to 1 serving {1/4 cup almonds and figure out the rest} But if your like me and you are attempting to test your will power by putting these in the freezing and repeatedly saying I will only eat 2 at a time, then by all means start making these!!

20121006-123736.jpgI rarely ever make treats like these for myself because they can be very high in calories, fat, carb, and sugar dense. But awhile back I bought raw cacao beans because I wanted to make my own raw treats and actually try what real chocolate taste like. Let me do a favor and tell you- it is the most bitter taste ever. Just the smell can blow you out of the water after grinding the beans into powder. But there are some really great health benefits to real raw chocolate, which you have probably heard 1000 times. Or if your like me it is my justification to eating a lot of bitter chocolate. {covered in honey might I add :)}
 
Oh and I apologize, I cannot figure out why it won’t let me un-italicize, wordpress just doesn’t like me today- maybe because it can’t eat truffles…;)
 
Ingredients:
2 cups ground almonds
1 cup raw cacao powder
1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil
1/2 cup honey or agave
1/4 cup cold brewed coffee
3 dates
1/4 cup goji berries
 
Garnish:
1/2 cup coconut flakes
2-3 tbsp coconut sugar
1 tsp himalayn sea salt
 
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Directions:
-Soak goji berries & dates in hot water for 10 minutes to soften
– Grind almonds in food processor if whole to almost meal-like course
-Add everything else & pulse together till you get a sticky, rollable consistency.
-Grab a cookie sheet & cover with parchment paper
-Grab a small bowl & stir together your garnish
 
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-Take 1 tbsp and roll into a ball with your hands (yes, it’s a messy and delicious job) and then roll in garnish. Place on cookie sheet & once finished place in freezer if your using within a few hours or leave them in the fridge in air tight container layered & lined with parchment. I would estimate they keep for a few weeks in the fridge but use your own disgression.
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These bites are packed with MUFA’s from the almonds, lauric acid from the coconut oil, vitamin A & C from the goji berries and antioxidants from cacao!

I use mercola because he cites info from peer reviewed studies.  Now why is it not itializicing here?! Ahh techonology…

Maple Pumpkin Granola, Gf Sugar-Free

I just love catching the first few signs of fall. The chilly nights, leaves starting to change and my favorite comfort foods popping up at farmers markets. Enter pumpkins, apples, squash and why not some fellow regulars like kale and broccoli. But we’re not hear today to talk about anything green. Today it’s all about crunchy, nutty, good for you granola with lots of pumpkin.

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That’s one thing I particularly love about pumpkin is that under that orange versatile sweetness is actually is a superfood packed with vitamin A fiber and it’s low calories! Not too mention it’s so versatile.

So for whatever reason when I think of fall granola is something that comes to mind and I always prefer to make it since store bought is typically loaded with sugars and preservatives. Plus it couldn’t be cheaper or easier to do!

This recipe is very basic which I’d how I typically make my granola so it is go with most things, but feel free to add walnuts, sunflower seeds, raisins, or even some dark chocolate 😉

Also I never eat Splenda but this is an exception when I use sugar free maple syrup but go ahead and use the real stuff for a true maple flavor.

Ingredients:
3 cups dry rolled oats
1 cup pumpkin purée
1/2 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar free maple syrup, or preferred sweetener

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Mix everything, spread onto tinfoil lined baking sheet- maybe 2
Bake 20 mins or till nice and crunchy

Feel free to add nuts, seeds, raisins or chocolate!

Oh and just wait till I tell you about that green smoothie it’s my new favorite with 1 secret ingredient you won’t believe us delicious until you try it!!

Gluten Free Pumpkin Donuts

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I know it’s been forever since you’ve heard from me. School has taken all my attention and I’ve been keeping things simple for the most part. I should let you know that last weekend I was really excited to be making my first turkey chili with spicy turkey sausage in a crockpot and you know what happened?

it was awful!!

Apparently I am crockpot challenged and now I think it will stay in hiding forever. Plus it took the fun our of cooking for me. No sautéing, no tasting, no stirring? What’s the fun in that? I have learned my lesson and from now on I will stick with what I know- especially since my vegetarian chili recipe is banging 😉

Lately I have been drooling over all the pumpkin fever going around the blog world right now and I just had to have some. So pumpkin donuts isn’t a bad place to start right? I grabbed the recipe from Purely Twins because I loved how my apple cinnamon donuts turned out using their recipe. The only thing I did differently was add a little vanilla extract and instead of frosting I have been honey obsessed. I also cut the sugar to 1/4 cup because don’t like super sweet treats. So just a drizzle of honey and sprinkle of cinnamon and before I knew it 2 were gone. 😉

So check out Purely Twins Gluten free Pumpkin Donuts for a delicious way to kick off fall!

Farmers Markets Study Break

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So if you saw my last post it will help make sense of the fact that I haven’t posted in a week. Starting school has definitely been an adjustment but it’s good to be back in a routine and actively working towards a goal. Plus it’s kind of fun making my own lunches for once. And surprisingly enough the BF is enjoying making some of his own too. Probably because it involves more meat and cheese but I do my best to keep it in moderation.

There have also been some other big changes going on- which I have been slightly over the moon about. After going through a bunch of tests it has been clarified that I don’t have a genetic gluten problem but may still have an intolerance. But so far I have been back on all things bouncy, fluffy and yeah just all around junky and it has been amazing. I won’t talk to much about it out of respect for all the celiacs out there but it has really made life easier in certain ways. Especially going back to school.

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Anyway back to these beautiful finds at the Amish farmers market nearby. This place is great and they have everything! Lots of produce, meats, furniture, cheese, baked goods, gluten free pantry goodies, chocolate, chocolate covered everything, homemade pies, donuts, homemade warm pretzels… It’s really a wonderful way to spend a Saturday morning and the BF loves the HUGE selection of every and any kind of meat, some you didn’t even know existed. I grabbed some lovely red leaf lettuce, bell peppers, lemons, avocados while the BF got some ham and amazing Swiss that is different than we have had before.

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Oh and then I had to hit trader joes because they have the best price for goat cheese which I was craving and then also found these delicious organic pink lady apples which have gotten me so excited for fall. Something I also scored and has now become my new obsession is sunflower seeds turned butter. I could probably live off of apples and nut/seed butter all season long. I’m totally addicted and it just gets worse every year. And who knew how healthy sun-butter was? Lots of protein, vitamin E, magnesium… And it’s so easy to make, just blend them up! I didn’t even need to add oil but I added a few drops of avocado oil only because I keep my spreads in the fridge (just in case) and I wanted to make sure it would stay really spreadable and it has. Phew!

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Oh and I forgot to mention these grape tomatoes which I practically devoured as soon as we got home from the market. They were probably the best I’ve had all summer. I really feel like I could never get sick of them and will be sad to see them go.

So I leave you with some yummy finds and no recipe since I haven’t made anything that I feel is worth posting. Don’t worry though I’m thinking of busting out the crockpot soon with the anticipation of fall- too soon maybe? 😉

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Creamy Corn & Bacon Dip

So it is officially the last weekend of summer for me before all the craziness of school, commuting and all other grown up things begin. I will miss watching a ridiculous amount of daytime television, browsing hundreds of food blogs for hours, and testing out all kinds of elaborate recipes I will no longer have the time to invest in. Simultaneously I am really looking forward to getting back into a routine and actually having a bit more responsibility than figuring out how to DVR my favorite shows to avoid any commercial watching at all. But before all of this happens I need to savor the last bit of summer with a sweet, salty, smokey and undeniably savory dip that I would normally not indulge in.

Enter the Creamy Corn and Bacon Dip

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I was actually thinking of calling this dip, “Foolproof Way to Hook New Friends” because the bf and I were invited to dinner at our new couple friends house and I of course had to bring something. We have been hanging out fairly frequently and its been great to have made new friends since moving to a new apartment. But I wanted to make sure they really liked us 😉 and what better way to bribe friendship than with food? And when I say food I really mean bacon. I mean come on, who doesn’t like bacon? Even myself although I do eat a lot of vegetarian and vegan meals cannot deny that lingering smokey smell, uniquely crunchy and chewy texture and heavenly salty bite. So when I spotted the original recipe for this in my giant cookbook I knew it was a sure thing. But the recipe seemed rather uninspiring to me as it only called for boiling the corn and throwing it together with ick- cream cheese? I mean I know this is a staple in many easy dips but the sounds of tasting cream cheese with corn and bacon just wasn’t floating my boat. And especially if I am going to have fresh corn there is no question that it is going to be met with butter in a sauté pan- there really is no other way to have it.

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Plus I wanted to make sure this dip would be something that if I was so inclined to eat a seriously large portion I wouldn’t have the consequences of dairy to deal with. So I thought of what I could sub the cream cheese with that would not be too heavy, economical and have a chameleon like quality about it. Aha! The secret ingredient immediately came to me! And having the satisfaction of watching the bf inhaling this without knowing he is eating _ _ _ _ while I attempt to hide my cheshire cat grin totally confirmed that I indeed would be using this. And let me tell you, even after I told them what they were eating, it didn’t stop them from continuing to scrape the container after dinner. Victorious!

So if you are looking to make new friends or you just want to be the coolest person at a party, do yourself a favor and make this dip.

Ingredients:
3 ears corn
1 shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 tbsp real mayo
8 slices favorite bacon
3 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp chopped fresh chives and bacon bits for garnish

Secret Ingredient:
1/2 package firm tofu, drained

Directions:
-Take out half package of tofu (6-8oz) and drain with paper towel. Squeeze to get as much moisture out as possible.

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees and cook bacon on tinfoil lined baking sheet for about 15 minutes or when it is just starting to crisp up.

-Meanwhile, using a large enough sauté pan on medium heat, add 2 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp olive oil to the pan. Cut your corn off the cob and add to pan. Season generously with good sea salt and pepper.
-Sauté for roughly 3 minutes and then add shallot and garlic and last tbsp of butter and olive oil. You want to caramelize the corn which should take a total of 10-15 minutes of sautéing. Once cooked set aside and bacon should be done around the same time.
-Once they are both cool enough to handle, add your corn to a food processor or blender along with the mayo and blend until creamy. It will still have some texture.
-Next add the tofu (crumble a bit to make it easier for the food processor) and blend until it is mixed throughout.
-Add the slices of bacon which you can either slice or break into pieces with your hand. I chopped it into small bits. Pulse a few times to incorporate the bacon throughout.
-Taste and season according to your taste, I added around 1/2 tsp himalayan salt and few good grinds of black pepper.
-Place in microwave safe to-go container (so you can heat it up at party-better that way) and top with chives and bacon bits.

-Make sure you dress cute and pop a breath mint because you are about to be the life of the party 😉

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Asian Broccoli and Almond Chicken Salad over Brown Rice

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Back to school next week and it will indeed be a stress induced apartment here. I will be diving head first into my masters program while the BF starts law school. So I have been trying to plan meals ahead or what is easiest to make because I know I’m not going to want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. (Well I want to but it’s just not going to happen) And considering I probably won’t have access to a microwave to warm up school lunches, they need to be able to travel and be eaten cold. So does that look like chinese take out? Cuz it’s not!

But the good news is this is just as easy to make and of course a lot healthier! I love being able to satisfy my cravings for salty, greasy junk food without all the consequences that usually come after eating them. This seriously requires no skill or chopping or slicing or dicing. Literally a matter of throwing ingredients in a dish, bake, stir, eat. So you have no excuses! Go make your lunch for the week!

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Recipe serves 2

Ingredients:
1/4 cup uncooked brown rice
2 chicken breasts with marinade (see below)
2 scallions sliced, green parts only
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1 cup frozen broccoli
-1 tbsp sesame seeds

Directions:

-Cook 1/4 cup brown rice with 1/2 cup water and splash of sesame oil and tamarind paste. Prepare according to directions and check when a little water is done, you may need to add more.
-Meanwhile put your almonds and scallions in a large enough bowl to mix everything.
-Thaw broccoli in microwave for 30 seconds-1 minute and toss in bowl with almonds and scallions.
-When the chicken is finished cooking, allow to cool slightly so you can pull apart pieces with a fork and then throw it in the bowl. Pour the marinade over everything and should help warm the broccoli to completely thaw. (Snag the big pieces of garlic unless you’re a weirdo like me and love eating big pieces of garlic)
-When the brown rice is cooked toss in the bowl and stir everything together. Taste to see if you need any more soy sauce, vinegar…etc. I like lots of black pepper and then finish it with sesame seeds. Bam! Lunch for the week. Or if you have an appetite like me, maybe two days 😉

Ingredients for Chicken Marinade
-2 Chicken Breasts
-2 tbsp tamarind paste
-4 tbsp gluten free soy sauce
-2 tbsp sesame oil
– 1 garlic clove cut in half
-1 tbsp sugar (I use coconut)
-juice of 1 lime
-2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
-1 tbsp fish sauce

Directions:
-preheat oven 350 degrees
I use a glass bread baking dish and stir everything together, coat chicken and throw it in the oven. Check after 5 minutes, flip and check again after five minutes. Should be about done, double check because everyones oven is different.

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This would be really delicious hot or cold 🙂

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