Coconut Lime Roasted Chickpeas

It’s been one of those weeks that seems to crawl by at the speed of light – the days go quickly but I wake up expecting it to be Friday when the calendar says Tuesday.  I’ve been spending a lot of time at a desk due to my full-time job and the void that is photo editing so suffice it to say, my diet hasn’t been as stellar as I would like.

DSC_0046_505edit1

My workday meals are  great since I pack all of my food in advance and dinner is also good.  My downfall is the time between when I come home from work and when I eat dinner. I get stuck in a snack rut of an apple + peanut butter or edamame since I like snacks that are protein rich, quick, and require little prep. On top of that, I usually can’t decide if I want something sweet, something salty, or something savory.  Yesterday I finally found something, other than salted chocolate, that solves that problem and fits my snack requirements.

DSC_0012_503edit2

Enter roasted chickpeas. They’re not new, the blog world has been buzzing with them for awhile now.  They’re not fancy, after all, it’s just a humble legume.  But they are most definitely are amazing.  During a particular fit of indecisiveness (who am I kidding – I’m just incredibly indecisive all the time), I decided to change up my usual roasted chickpeas and give them a flavor boost.  Healthy coconut oil gives them a faint sweetness while lime juice and zest give them a bright, energizing flavor.  Give them a sprinkle of good sea salt and it’s salty, sweet, sour, crunchy bliss.

DSC_0005_502edit1
Coconut Lime Roasted Chickpeas
Yield: depends on serving size

1 cup chickpeas, patted dry
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
zest of one lime
sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 375Fand line a baking sheet with foil.
2. Using a paper towel, pat your chickpeas dry. In a medium bowl, toss chickpeas together with melted coconut oil, lime juice and lime zest. Spread evenly on your baking sheet.
3. Roast for 15-25 minutes – it’s a bit of range but I find that it really depends on your oven. Turn your baking sheet half way through and giving them a quick shake to move them around. Shake a few more times if you oven has hot spots.
4. Let cool and store in an airtight container.

Vegan Cranberry Coconut Energy Truffles

I can’t believe that Christmas is only five days away! It seems like every year the holiday season flies exponentially faster than the previous year. This means that each year, my Christmas shopping gets pushed further back and my to-do list grows longer. In fact, I just started Christmas shopping yesterday – oops! While this December time-warp has had it’s disadvantages (um, that baking list? Yeah, totally didn’t get through it), there has been one advantage – the six weeks of boot wearing flew by and now, I am boot free! I am the proud owner a new pair of both left AND right shoes and I can finally start to resume some semi-normal activities. I’m still on a lengthy list of restrictions (no walking, running, jumping, or high-impact cardio) and I have to wear some sort of supportive and confining clog/shoe, but it’s definitely better than the boot. There is a still a long road ahead before I can start running again, but for the moment, I’m focusing on what I can do and trying to make progress in other areas. Being boot-less is definitely a nice little Christmas gift – thanks doc.

Who knew wearing two shoes would be so exciting?!

Speaking of gifts, I had grand plans to make all of these adorable and tasty DIY gifts for everyone this year. What happened? Between the after-wedding insanity, work, and my foot injury, time got away from me and my plan to make tons of DIY gifts didn’t happen. I will probably whip up a few DIY treats for some family members but other than that, I don’t foresee too much gift-making happening. This may be a good thing because I’m really starting to feel baked and sugared-out. Based on some recent posts in the blog world, I have a sneaking suspicion that a lot of others share the feeling.

_12027_287edit1

_12010_290edit1

While I love sweet things, I’m not too crazy about refined sugar. For me, I find that consuming too much refined sugar makes me feel bloated, my skin breaks out, and I’m left in a perpetual cycle of heart-beating-out-of-chest racy and face-plant-on-nearest-semisoft-object exhausted. Instead of sugar, I prefer to use natural sweeteners like honey and maple syrup. Also, I recently discovered that I love Medjool dates. They may sound strange, but give them a try before you write them off. Dates are naturally sweet, really good for you, and make the perfect base for energy-revving truffles (no, not boozy chocolate ones). I whipped up these cranberry coconut energy truffles during a fit of weekend productivity and I’m so glad I did! They’re packed full of good for you things like dates, walnuts, and coconut, which make them a perfect 100-calorie pre-workout or mid-day energizing snack (you can calculate the calorie count based on your ingredients using this website). Now, I’m going to grab one of these truffles and start ticking off my Christmas shopping list, wish me luck!

_12042_289edit1

Vegan Cranberry Coconut Energy Truffles

Inspired by the Edible Perspective

Yield: about 20 truffles

These energy truffles will help you power through a tough workout, an equally tough marathon of last-minute Christmas shopping, and make a nice gift for a health and fitness focused friend (just make sure you tell them to refrigerate or freeze!).

10-12 medjool dates, pitted

½ cup naturally sweetened, dried cranberries

1 cup raw walnuts

¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1 Tbsp. creamy vegan peanut butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ tsp. fine sea salt

1. Remove pits from dates by carefully slicing down the center with a small knife and nudging out the pit. Set pitted dates aside.

2. Put walnuts in food processor and pulse a few times until you have small walnut crumbs. Don’t let it run too long or you will have walnut butter, which is tasty, but not what we’re after.

3. Remove walnuts to a small bowl.

4. Put dates in food processor and process until they are in very small, sticky pieces.

5. Add the walnuts back to the food processor. Process walnut-date mixture until incorporated.

6. Add in remaining ingredients and process until completely blended and firm enough to form a ball. I started with 10 dates and ended up adding 2 more (just remove mix, process dates, and add back to mixture) to firm them up a bit.

7. Make small, ping pong sized balls by rolling the mixture between your hands.

8. You can roll the finished truffles in shredded coconut if you would like. Store energy truffles in the fridge or the freezer in an airtight container for a grab-and-go snack.

Green Coconut Curry Noodle Soup

It has been treat-mania over here lately. Between the leftover baking fails, the addictive molasses cookies, and the irresistible truffles, I am sugared out. I normally don’t eat a ton of sugar on a daily basis so the presence (and ultimately, consumption) of all these sugary treats has left me feeling a little blah. The blah feeling has only been enhanced by the crazy weather fluctuations and has left me feeling like I’m thisclose to getting sick. I don’t really have time to be sick (who does?) so I am doing everything in my power to stave off cold season.

My foolproof method to avoiding or at least postponing winter colds involves three things:
-hot tea (the Yogi brand echinacea immune support is great),
-exercising (has everyone seen the Meals and Moves “Dedicated December” challenge? I’m doing it to help me stay motivated each day and who doesn’t love the chance to win stuff?),
– and eating healthy, immunity boosting foods like kale, ginger, lemons, garlic, and of course, soup.

_11009_229edit3

Chicken noodle soup is my usual go-to soup for fighting the sniffles but in the past few years, I have found myself only craving pho when I’m sick. If you’re not familiar, pho is a Vietnamese broth based soup that is (usually) gluten-free and will knock a cold out of you in no time. Lately, I’ve also been craving thai food, specifically green curry.Yesterday, when I was feeling particularly under the weather and I couldn’t decide if I wanted to have the husband grab some pho or if I wanted to whip up some thai green curry. So, I decided I would make a soup that would satisfy both cravings.

_10958_226

With just a vague notion of what I wanted and some ingredients, I whipped up this delicious soup in no time. It was just the thing I needed and today, I swear I already feel a bit better. Although this soup is not even close to a traditional pho, it has that same comforting and healing feeling that will help you kick a cold. It’s packed with good-for-you stuff that helps boost immunity and give you tons of energy like kale, ginger, garlic, lemon, and coconut milk. It comes together in under an hour and can be made vegan/vegetarian as well. It’s a truly diverse soup that will help you kick a cold ASAP so you can get back to baking more cookies.

_11009_229edit1

Green Coconut Curry Noodle Soup
Yields: 6-8 servings

1 1/2 Tbsp. sesame oil
2 large garlic cloves, grated
1 thumb-size knob of ginger, peeled and grated
2 Tbsp. green curry paste
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. dried cilantro (I couldn’t find any good fresh stuff – if you have fresh use a small handful of it)
1 medium onion, very thinly sliced
4 cups stock (veg or chicken)
4 cups water (you can also use another 4 cups stock)
1 can light coconut milk
juice of _ lemon or juice of 2 small limes
8 oz. brown rice noodles, prepared according to package instructions (I usually soak mine in hot water)

add-ins:
4 medium chicken breasts, thinly sliced or
1 block of firm tofu, diced
2 cups kale, thinly sliced into ribbons
1 cup mushrooms, thinly sliced
any other veg you want!

1. Heat your sesame oil over medium heat in a very large soup or stock pot until you just begin to smell it.
2. Grate in garlic and ginger using a hand grater or microplane. Saute until fragrant being careful not to burn, about 3 minutes.
3. Add curry paste and sauté until fragrant. Add in allspice, cilantro, and onions.
4. At this point, you can start soaking your rice noodles if needed. Add in stock + water (or all 8 cups of stock) and bring to a boil.
5. Once boiling, add in chicken or tofu. Cook until chicken is fully cooked through, about 15 minutes (depending on how thick or thin you sliced).
6. Bring heat down to a simmer and add in kale, mushrooms, and any other veg add-in.
7. Add in rice noodles.
8. Add coconut milk and stir to combine. Add salt + pepper to taste and add lemon juice. Let simmer for another 5 minutes.
9. Serve, top with sriracha (if you like spicy stuff), and enjoy!

Dairy-free White Chocolate Coconut Sorbet

This has been a very eventful week: it’s involved a reinjury of my knee, my car dying, driving for 9 hours, waking up at 4am, a clear liquid diet, and very little sleep.  But finally – it has all come to an end. I learned a few things this week: 1. Brad is insane wonderful for putting up with me. 2. Life (or a day) without food is horrible. 3. I have serious food ADD (my ideas for upcoming recipes: chewy caramels, irish coffee cupcakes with chocolate mousse, sweet onion jam…and that’s in the past 5 minutes).

Needless to say, I am in serious need of a drink and some good food.  And some quality time in the kitchen.

I couldn’t bake anything since I am out of all my starches and flours. I’m a little low on some other goodies so I was left wondering what to I could possibly make to satisfy an indulgent food craving.  After scouring the pantry I found a can of coconut milk and some white chocolate.

Bingo. Visions of sorbet started to dance in my head.

Luckily, these visions had also danced in someone else’s head…David Lebovitz to be exact.  I quickly found a recipe for a white chocolate sorbet (which he was inspired to modify fro Gale Gand). I quickly got to work and made a dairy free sorbet with my lone cane of coconut milk, white chocolate, a vanilla bean, and a tiny bit of sugar.

This dairy-free sorbet is insanely decadent, just the right of sweet, and has hints of sensual vanilla bean.

If you don’t have an ice cream maker – you can freeze this in a container however it will most likely get pretty hard.  David Lebovitz has some tips for this here.  Look into buying an ice cream maker – they are seriously awesome.


Dairy-free White Chocolate Coconut Sorbet

adapted from David Lebovitz

Makes about 1 quart of sorbet

1 can of coconut milk (use the full fat – coconut has tons of healthy fats and you need the fat content here)

2/3 cup of water

1 tablespoon of sugar

1 vanilla bean, halved and seeds scraped out (you could use some vanilla bean paste too – try to avoid the vanilla extract)

8 ounces of white chocolate

1. Prep your vanilla bean if using. I highly recommend buying whole vanilla beans. There is no flavor that compares.  Yes, they are pricey but you can reuse them multiple times and they have serious flavor payoff.

2. Combine the coconut milk, water, sugar, and vanilla bean in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Heat the mixture until just about to boil.

3. Once the milk mixture has warmed, remove from heat and mix in the white chocolate.

4. Combine milk and chocolate until smooth.

5. Put mixture over an ice bath or put in the freezer. If you put in the freezer, make sure you check and stir the mixture every few minutes.  You want it to just cool all the way the through.

6. Once mixture is cooled, freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.

Serve plain or with toppings – I like a creamy caramel sauce myself.

And colorful sprinkles…because I can.