Roasted Indian Cauliflower

~Part 2 of 2: Birthday Edition!~

As you guys know, I love Indian food. I also happen to love cauliflower. So, it was only a matter of time before I found a way to merge them. And I have to say, I am quite happy with the results!

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The mix of turmeric, which has tons of health benefits, vegetable masala, and chicken masala (just the spice) perfectly accents the cauliflower. My all-time favorite spice to use is vegetable masala though. It compliments anything and everything!

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This dish is perfect for those cooler summer days, when the oven won’t heat up the house too much. I made this for lunch, deciding to spoil myself, casting aside my usual sandwich. You can make this for dinner or lunch though, either would work!

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The reason I use quinoa is because… well, I usually don’t have rice in the cupboard.  But, quinoa is much more healthy, and has a bit more protein than rice does, so I use it as a substitute. It can be pretty boring on its own, without spices or boiled in a broth. So, I used various spices (the same ones from my chickpea curry dish) to give it some flavor.

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Now, here is the recipe!

Ingredients (serves 2):

1 whole small cauliflower

3 tbsp. olive oil

3 tsp. masala (I used 2 tsp. vegetable, and 1 tsp. chicken)

1/4 tsp. turmeric

salt and pepper to taste

For the quinoa:

1 cup of quinoa

3 cups water

1/8 tsp. of each- cumin seeds, ground cloves, vegetable masala, turmeric, and coriander powder

Preparation:

Break the cauliflower into medium to small florets then toss them in the olive oil and spices. Spread them out on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and roast them in the oven at 400 degrees F. for 25 minutes. While they are roasting, boil the water on the stove, then add the quinoa and spices. Boil them until all of the water is absorbed and stir to prevent burning. When everything is done, serve the quinoa and the cauliflower together, and enjoy!

 

Popeye muffins

~Part 1 of 2: Birthday Edition!~

-Recipe adapted from this one

I made these muffins when I wanted a guilt-free snack/breakfast/dessert. I was a bit skeptical of the recipe at first, especially when I made a whole bunch of alterations, but it was a risk I was willing to take.

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I also risked a gluten free version. Being the oddity I am, these were my birthday cakes, so I needed a gluten free kind that others could eat as well. It did not work out…

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They baked for at  least  twice as long as the others, but still came out looking like this! I had to add extra coconut milk and subbed whole wheat to coconut flour. Please, do not attempt at home.

The others taste good though! Don’t call me crazy- try them for yourself and be pleasantly surprised.

Ingredients :

2 cups whole wheat flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup coconut oil

3/4 cup coconut milk

2 tbsp. vanilla

at least a handful of baby spinach

2 bananas (over-ripe is the best)

1/2 cup +2tbsp. honey

Preparation:

Mix all of the dry ingredients in a bowl (the first four ingredients listed). Then, place the rest of the ingredients, excluding the bananas and vanilla, in a blender.

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Now, blend until the spinach is broken down all the way, and add the bananas and vanilla into the mix. When everything is incorporated, pour the ‘smoothie’ into the bowl with the dry ingredients.

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Mix them in well, and make sure it is not clumpy. Pour the mix into lined cupcake tins, about 3/4 of the way.

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Once the oven is pre-heated to 350 degrees F., place the tins into the oven and bake them for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Chia pudding; healthy and raw

Chia seeds are a super food, and are easy to incorporate into your diet. They are full of antioxidants, fiber, omega-3, and makes you stay full for a longer time than most other foods. They have been a huge health trend recently, and I gave in, adding it to my oatmeal, granola, and smoothies. It is great because it does not add much flavor, but is so healthy!

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Ingredients for the pudding:

1/3 cup chia seeds

1 1/2 cups of any milk (I used coconut milk, predictable, am I?)

3 tbsp. agave

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tbsp. coconut shavings

1/2 tsp. cinnamon (or to taste)

1/4 tsp. nutmeg (or to taste)

Preparation:

Pour the milk into a large jar. Mix the chia seeds into the milk, eliminating any clumps. This is very important because it is not fun having clumps of dry chia seeds in your pudding! You can add in the other ingredients, mixing as you go.

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When you are done, put a bird on it  lid on it and place it in the fridge. How easy! The thing is, you have to wait for the pudding to solidify. This takes 3 hours at the least, but it is worth it!

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Baked Oatmeal (Chocolate or Peach)

Say you are craving chocolate… in the morning. You don’t really want to sneak a bite of a bar or fudge, so you need to think of a breakfast food with a chocolate accent.  You search for something like this, and you arrive here. With chocolate “boatmeal”, or baked oatmeal.

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Eagerly, you fist-punch the air and begin. After you have eaten this chocolaty-oat delight, your mouth is not satisfied enough. Like.. like you need something fresh to distract from the chocolate. Then you search again, and arrive here again, but to make my peach baked oatmeal.

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Whoa, how was that for a prolog? Do you want some now? I sure do. I loved this contrast, making both chocolate and peach boatmeal (don’t you just love that word?). I actually had no peaches, so I used nectarines. They still tasted amazing!

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You can choose to make both, or make only one kind, or even invent your own flavors. Let’s get started!

Ingredients for oatmeal base (makes 3 cupcake sized boatmeals):

1 cup of rolled oats (I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free version)

1/8 tsp. sea salt

2 tbs. melted coconut oil (1 tbs. in addition to grease)

1-2 tbs. honey or agave

1 tbs. coconut shavings

1/4 tsp. vanilla

1/2 -2/3 cup of coconut milk

1/8 tsp cinnamon

Add for chocolate boatmeal:

1/8 cup-1/4 cup chocolate chips (semi-sweet are the best)

1/2 of a banana, mashed

Add for peach boatmeal:

2 small peaches/nectarines, 1 mashed, 1 thinly sliced

1/8 tsp. cinnamon (1/4 tsp. in total as an addition to the base)

1/8 cup chopped almonds

To bake:

Mix all of the dry ingredients in a bowl, then add the wet ones.

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Leave a few chocolate chips to garnish for the chocolate boatmeal,  and the sliced peach/nectarine, but add the mashed one.

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Grease cupcake tins or a bread mold with coconut oil and then pour the mix in all the way, for chocolate version, then sprinkle with chocolate chips. For the peach version, layer the mix with slices of peaches, ending with a slice on the top. There should be 3 cupcakes made from the peach, then 3 from the chocolate version. Cook them for 20 minutes in an oven preheated to 380 degrees F. then on broil for 1-2 minutes. Let them cool for a few minutes, or until they harden a bit, then remove with a spoon. If you are feeling fancy, garnish with a few fanned strawberries, honey, and/or a sprinkle of granola.

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My dog Gurdy wanted to be in the photo-shoot. She loves being around people and food!

 

Healthy Fudge- Your way

-This fudge recipe is adapted from Honey Mama’s Nectar Fudge

It is actually kind of interesting. Christy, the owner of Honey Mama’s, is my neighbor. She is super nice and seriously has a passion for this stuff. She sells to stores in Portland, and is expanding to Washington! She even ships… its a dream. And, you know the video, Honey Mama’s: Redefining Fudge, on her about page? I directed and edited it! She was awesome to work with. Anyways, you have to try her fudge. My imitation is good, but who can refuse fudge made with an old family recipe made by a wonderful woman, in a cute package?

Where my fudge diverges from hers is the accents. I have developed a spice and a fruit version, in addition to the original.

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As you can see, this fudge is like none other you most likely would have ever tried. It has no evaporated milk, butter, or sugar, well, apart from the honey (a much better alternative). It is also refreshing on a hot summer day.

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In the version above, I added raspberries from the garden. They add a tartness that goes well with the chocolate. After being in the freezer for a while though (I know, how awesome- this fudge does not have to be baked!) the raspberries freeze as well. Be sure to put the fudge in the fridge as soon as it sets.

The other version has a cozy spice flavor. There are spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, that give it an almost Thanksgiving-y feel. Yes, Thanksgiving-y. The beauty of it though, is that you can choose; berries or spice. Mint or Coconut shavings. Almonds or Walnuts or Hazelnuts. Or, make them all… like I did!

Recipe for a small plate of fudge:

1/2 cup of non-melted coconut oil (I think subbing this for another would NOT work- the coconut oil solidifies and is basically the whole form)

1/8 cup clover honey (Any honey would work, but thick is better. I used a thick blackberry honey.)

1/2 tbs. vanilla extract

1-2 tbs. cocoa powder (Mine was Freia baking cocoa powder)

1/8 tsp. sea salt

Additional optional ingredients:

a small handful of cut raspberries

or

1/2 tsp. mint extract

or

1/8 cup chopped nuts (Almonds are the best!)

or

1/8 tsp. (each) ground cloves, ground nutmeg, ani seeds, and 1 tsp. cinnamon

To make the fudge:

Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl, smoothing the oil clumps. Add any extra ingredients that suit your fancy. Don’t be scared to mix and match!

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Now, place parchment paper on a plate or in a bowl, for a thicker fudge. Pour the fudge onto the paper and let it cool in the freezer.

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For an alternative, more classy form of fudge, I poured some left over chopped almonds into the bottom of a measuring cup, then poured fudge on top, filling the cup. Then, into the fridge it went! I want to try using molds next time I make these. You can also sprinkle cocoa powder over the top for a nice look. When the fudge has stiffened, you can get it out of the cup by pouring hot water over the cup to melt the oil. Then, tap the top, and an upside-down fudge-thing apears!

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There! How easy was that? I made so much… The freezer is literally brimming with fudge. But, I had to test the flavors, right? That’s my excuse anyways. Beware, this fudge melts relatively fast, so eat it quickly, which I can assure you is no problem. For me at least…

Please comment with your ideas on different fudge additives/versions! I would love the suggestions!