Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ravioli


On my list of New Year's resolutions, time management will be one of them. I feel like I have been so busy, I haven't had time to post any updates. I did also hurt my hand so it's taking me a bit longer to get my daily tasks done. In this post I will be showcasing a yummy dish that one of my good friends prepared. Randi has been one of my best friends since the sixth grade. She's been up in San Francisco at the Art Institute studying in their culinary program. We haven't seen each other in a whole year so we were thrilled to get together while she was visiting for Christmas. After a little trip to Trader Joe's and the farmers market we had what needed to make lunch. We got store bought ravioli but the star of the meal was the infused olive oil she created as the pasta sauce. It was so easy to make. Just sauté onion and garlic in olive oil and keep on a low heat for about 10 minutes. Right before serving she mixed in fresh tomato and arugula and sprinkled on some parmesan cheese. I usually only eat brown rice pasta but this was so delicious. I'm going to try and make my own variation very soon.

Check out Randi's video debut for the Art Institutes pastry tutorial. 
I love her and miss her already.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Spinach Feta Pizza


As I said before, Udi's makes the best gluten free bread and pizza crust. Here is a Mediterranean inspired pizza I made tonight using Udi's pizza crust. I used hummus for the sauce and topped it with a little bit of shredded jack cheese, chopped spinach, cherry tomatoes, yellow onion, artichoke hearts, pine nuts and feta cheese.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Flatbread Sandwich

 

Udi's makes the best gluten free bread. They also make awesome pizza crust which is what I used for my sandwich this afternoon. I toasted one-half of a Udi's prepared pizza crust in the oven until crisp. I cut that it in half and spread hummus on each side. I added some feta cheese, chicken, red onion, and sliced granny smith apple. It was simple yet really delicious.

Carrot Cupcakes

  

In keeping with the cupcakes theme, I decided to make a batch yesterday. My boss is out of town this week so the shop is closed and I have these next four days off. I guess I just can't stay away. After reading through some baking cookbooks I came across a carrot cupcake recipe. Carrot cake is one my favorites so I thought it would be fun to make a batch. I did change the recipe a bit. Instead of all-purpose flour I used a gluten free blend of sorghum, tapioca, and rice flour. Raw sugar was used in place of white sugar. I filled each cupcake with a pumpkin pastry cream and topped them with a cream cheese frosting and a large piece candied ginger. Don't they look yummy?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Holiday Cupcakes


These may not be the healthiest sweets, but anything in moderation is okay in my opinion. Last week the Valley News featured an article on Enjoy Cupcakes and their holiday creations.  It was fun having a photographer come into the kitchen and document what we do. She mostly took photos of just the yummy cupcakes, so I was excited to see the picture they chose. I don't think anyone was as excited as my mom. Here is a link to view the entire article http://www.syvnews.com/articles/2010/12/07/news/news02.txt ...Hope everyone is enjoying the holidays : )

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Breakfast Sweet Potatoes


Instead of the standard russet potatoes for breakfast why not try sweet potatoes instead? They are a good source of Vitamin A and C as well as B6, potassium, and fiber. After my boss, Amber, was talking about breakfast potatoes at work, I was craving them when I got home. I cut half of a sweet potato into chunks and steamed them for a few minutes until semi-tender. In a pan I heated grapeseed oil and sauteed some chopped onions. I added the sweet potatoes and after about five minutes of cooking, I added green bell pepper and fresh cayenne peppers. I've never seen the fresh peppers before so I was so excited to find them at the farmers market. I use dried cayenne powder regularly in soups, stir ftys, and in tea as a warming tonic.  To go along with my breakfast potatoes I steamed kale and topped it with a poached egg.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving Leftovers



Everyone always talks about making turkey sandwiches with their Thanksgiving leftovers but why not a turkey salad? This morning I made myself a salad with the leftover arugula, pecans, and blue cheese we used for our roasted pear and arugula salad, turkey, and quinoa stuffing. I heated both the turkey and stuffing to take the chill off. I also added ground flax and pomegranate seeds. The dressing was a mixture of olive and flax oil and lemon juice. 


I had a lovely thanksgiving this year. It was just my mom and me. For the past two years I haven't been home so it was so nice to cook and spend time with her. Our goal was to create a very healthy meal and we did just that. Everything we made was free of wheat and refined sugars. Here is what we made to go along with our turkey.

Roasted pear and arugula salad with blue cheese and toasted pecans.
Steamed green beans.
Steamed sweet potatoes and yams mashed with yacon syrup and a splash of cream.
Quinoa stuffing with Julian Bakery dinner bread.
Cranberry sauce with orange zest and agave.
Gravy made from roasted veggies and vegetable stock.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Simple Pomegranate Cereal


One of our cupcake flavors this week is a pomegranate cranberry. After topping all those little cupcakes this morning, I got inspired to make a cereal using the seeds. Luckily I had a pomegranate in my fridge at home. I placed about half the seeds of one pomegranate in a bowl and topped them with vanilla rice milk, ground flax, and pecans. I'm thinking of trying it with walnuts the next time I make it.

This is the kind of fun I get to have at work... 

Working for Amber at Enjoy Cupcakes is truly a dream job. I could not ask for a better boss. She is the sweetest woman and I love learning from her. In the early morning hours of Thursday through Sunday we get to have fun in the kitchen together making yummy cupcakes.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Pumpkin Spice Cookies




In the most recent issue of Delicious Living, Elana Amsterdam from Elanaspantry.com shares some healthy holiday dessert recipes. Above is a batch of the cinnamon-walnut cookies I made this afternoon. In place of cinnamon I used pumpkin pie spice to keep it festive for Thanksgiving. The recipe is super simple and easy to make. I loved how they turned out. They are firm on the outside but once you bite in they are soft and chewy. 


Cinnamon-Walnut Cookies


1 cup walnuts
5 dates, pitted and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon grapeseed oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon (or pumpkin pie spice)
pinch of sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Place walnuts and dates in a food processor and pulse until coarsely ground. Pulse in oil, vanilla, cinnamon, and sea salt. Continue to pulse until mixture begins to form a ball.
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop dough, 1 tablespoon at a time, onto prepared baking sheet, forming into balls with your hands; flatten slightly. Bake for 6-8 minutes, until firm. Cool on baking sheet.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I ♥ Mexican Cocoa


Yes this is another post about Mexican Cocoa. I absolutely love it! I found this mix at Savory Spice Shop while I was in Boulder. Savory is one of my favorite stores to get lost in. They have a huge variety of bulk spices. On their website they offer a bunch of yummy recipes. 

Mexican Cocoa is easy enough to make on your own but I was excited to find a mix that didn't contain any sugar. I mixed it with rice milk, stevia, and a few pinches of cayenne to add some spice. Heating it on the stove made a nice cup of Mexican Hot Cocoa. The directions also suggest using it in baking...yum!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Flickr Photos


Hello everyone. Just wanted to let you know I created a flickr account to showcase more photos of my yummy creations. 




Friday, November 5, 2010

Colorado in the Fall

It was so nice being able to go back to Boulder. During the fall season it is absolutely beautiful. All the colors of the changing leaves are so pretty. My first night there, Shane and I made vegetable curry. 
Onions, garlic, zucchini, red bell pepper, and cashews in a coconut curry sauce over steamed broccoli and sweet potato. 


We mixed the leftover unused coconut milk with some chai and Kahlua before catching the bus to Denver to see some bands play at Hi-Dive. 
 Bhakti Chai is an awesome locally made Chai in Boulder. After looking on their website I learned they make ice cream too.


The next morning we took the bus Longmont. Shane had to go to class for a few hours so I went exploring downtown. It was still pretty early so not many of the shops were open. I did come across a  neat little bulk store. They had everything in bulk you would normally see in other health food stores as well as body care products and even dog treats. I got myself a snack and stopped for some tea before asking an elderly couple on the street if they knew of any good parks. Luckily for me it was just two blocks away. I love walking around residential areas when I'm in new places. Each house is so unique. The park was surrounded by all these adorable houses.


I spent the rest of the morning sitting under a tree, reading the paper, sipping tea, and writing... it was lovely.


I came to Boulder in search of good pizza and indeed I found some. We stopped at Pizzera Basta and shared the "cart-driver". Housemade sausage, rapini, housemade mozzarella, fennel pollen, and chilies.  It was delicious! 


Shane was such a good host he made breakfast every morning. Buckwheat crepes with steamed veggies. He topped them with pumpkin salsa which I'm going to be on the lookout for here, it was so yummy.


Boulder is known for it's many trails so I had to go on at least one hike while I was there. We took Saddle Trail which is to the right of the Flatirons. I was still getting used to the altitude change so it was very tiring but well worth it. The view from the top was amazing. I even found us on the map thanks to my awesome iPhone.  



For my last night in Boulder, we made chicken tacos. We seasoned the chicken with chili powder and lime juice. The salsa was made of onions, tomato, jalapenos, cilantro, lime juice, and a pinch of salt. We ate them with Kettle's new TIAS chips. Basically wannabe Doritos but a healthy version.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Cinnamon Chocolate Rice Milk

Vanilla rice milk + cocoa powder + cinnamon + stevia = yummy goodness.  This just made my afternoon a whole lot sweeter. Don't worry about a recipe if you want to make this for yourself. Just add ingredients accordingly to suit your taste.


Monday morning I leave for Boulder! Yep, the foodiest town of 2010 named by Bon Appetit. I'm going back to visit my friend Shane who moved there in July. Boulder is one of my favorite places and I can't wait to soon call it my home. I've been doing some research and there are a few Naples inspired pizza places popping up in town. Italian style pizza? Yes please! I'll be sure to keep you updated on my adventures and the yummy food I discover.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Tuna Tostada on Toast


It's been far too long since I've done a post. I have more of a consistent work schedule now but I'm still trying to find time to get everything else done. When I got home from work this morning, I thought of what I could make with the leftover tuna I had in my fridge. I started with two slices of Julian Bakery's dinner bread, toasted of course. I spread on some homemade pesto hummus and topped that with sliced yellow onion, grilled eggplant, baby spinach, and tuna. Ever since eggplant have been available at the farmers market I've been obsessed. They are great in salads and even better in vegetable stir fry.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

No Bake Berry Tarts

                    

For my latest recipe contest entry, I made these no bake berry tarts. You were to create an original recipe using summer berries and keep the sugar to a low to feature the berries natural sweetness. This was perfect for me since I try and stay away from most sugars. The only sugars they contain are from the fruit itself. I've made these quite a few times and my brother loves them. He's a bit skeptical when I make my raw desserts but he always asks for me to make them again.  

Here is a link to the recipe : )


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sweet Snack



Working two jobs can lead to a stressful life as well as unhealthy eating habits. As usual I was craving something sweet when I got off work the other day. Instead of eating something that I shouldn't, I put together this sweet snack. I started with some peach purée I had leftover in my fridge. I added a few drops of stevia and topped it with goat milk yogurt, my favorite granola made by my boss Amber, chopped dried mango slices and dates. I made a similar snack with the granola adding raspberries, dried prunes, hemp seeds, ground flax, and rice milk. 

The granola recipe can be found here on the Enjoy Cupcakes website: enjoycupcakes.com/blog/2010/4/16/granola-cupcake-recipe.html



Thursday, August 26, 2010

Medicine Flower Flavor Extracts



Since hearing about these flavor extracts, I have been very eager to try them. They are all gluten, sugar, and alcohol free. They are also organic and considered raw by using a cold-processing extraction. Already today I mixed the guava and vanilla into my greens powder and added the hazelnut and coffee flavor into my cup of dandelion tea. The concentration of these extracts is pretty strong so you only need a drop or two. I went onto their website and discovered more flavors that the health food store doesn't carry. Bergamot will be my next purchase. There is nothing better than Earl Gray tea and now to be able to add that flavor to so many other culinary creations is very exciting to me.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Buoni Dolci Tasting Party

Back in January, my good friend Christina hosted a tasting party for me. As an avid chocolate lover she was thrilled when I started experimenting with raw desserts. Buoni dolci translates into good desserts and in my interpretation, good for you desserts. All are raw, vegan, and free of gluten and refined sugars. (Banana tartufo ice cream is not pictured.) It was fun preparing for this event and even better to hear the positive feedback from the guests. Christina is such an influential and supportive person. I'm very thankful to have her in my life.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

What can you do with a can of tuna?


Tuna Salad on a Gluten Free English Muffin with Tomato, Micro Greens, and Broccoli Sprouts


Chicken of the Sea and The Balancing Act (a women's talk show on Lifetime) held a recipe contest. Using a Chicken of the Sea product you had to create an original recipe and write a 400 word essay on why you are someone who can turn simple Chicken of the Sea dishes into Super meals that are healthy, nutritious, and convenient. It was required to send in a photo of yourself with your dish which I thought was silly. The grand prize for this contest would allow me to pay for culinary school in full. I'm keeping my fingers crossed on this one.



Thursday, August 12, 2010

Zucchini Linguini

My lunch today... Zucchini noodles tossed with chopped tomato, hemp seeds, and this yummy olive tapenade I purchased at Trader Joes.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Please Vote For Me!

Anthony Bourdain will award $10,000 to the winning essay. Please take a moment to read mine and vote. Tell your friends too!

Read my Medium Raw challenge essay: Eat well, Feel Well, and Be Well

My New Favorite

I got these chips as a sample from my work and they are delicious! I am so excited to find chips that contain no corn! They are also gluten, wheat, and soy free. I went to their website and they offer another chip made from pinto beans and flax. I'm already thinking of all the different recipes I can incorporate these into... yum!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Honey Lemon Blueberry Tarts with a Secret Ingredient

The most recent recipe contest I entered was for Carlson Labs. You had to create an original dish using at least two tablespoons of their fish oil. Luckily I had a bottle of their lemon flavor on hand. My first idea was to make a salsa for fish tacos. I thought that was too practical so I asked my mom for some advice. She poured herself a spoonful to taste. " You cant even taste the fish...you could make it into something sweet." The idea for Honey Lemon Blueberry Tarts were born. Cooking with heat will damage the oil so a raw dessert was a perfect idea. I did a nut and date crust, a lemon curd, and topped them with a mixture of blueberries and honey. Now that I am incorporating natural sugars into my diet I was able to taste. It was so yummy! You really could not taste the fishiness at all. What a great way to get your omega 3's! I took a tart over for some friends to try and they all loved it as well. Hopefully this is a winning recipe! The $500 grand prize would sit nicely in my savings account for school.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Spinach, Berries, and Lime

Spinach, Berries, and Lots of Lime Smoothie

Juice from 2-3 limes
6-8oz water
3/4 cup frozen raspberries
1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
2 handfuls raw spinach
1 tbsp hemp seeds
a few drops of stevia

blend and enjoy

I really love the tartness from the limes but if you do not, I would suggest using 1 - 1 1/2 limes.





Thursday, July 15, 2010

Living Green Pesto Pasta Salad


Because scholarships do not honor the type of school I am applying to, I need to find other ways to raise money. I started entering recipe contests in hope of winning prize money. The picture above is a recipe I entered today. The idea of the contest was to create a healthy recipe using any or all green vegetables. I came up with zucchini pesto pasta salad. I was inspired during my trip to the farmers market yesterday. Fresh basil, zucchini, green onion, green bell pepper, and sprouted pumpkin seeds make an awesome alternative to regular pasta. Especially for those who are who are on a low-carb or gluten free diet. There's a lot more money to raise to stay tuned for more dishes I will be creating for these contests.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

California to Colorado


My friend Shane was moving to Boulder and since it’s favorite city and my future home in 8 months, I decided to make the drive with him. Our first stop was Las Vegas. Before heading to Arizona we stopped at Go Raw Cafe (the eastside location). The cafe/nutrition store was a great combination. They offer a large selection of raw foods, supplements, body care, and books. The food was delicious. Shane had the Mediterranean wrap and I had the salad bar. Sprouted mung beans and adzuki beans topped my salad as well as curried veggies in coconut oil. The cilantro dressing was amazing and they also offered homemade flax crackers.




www.gorawcafe.com


Driving into Sedona, Arizona was picturesque and the gigantic red rocks were really a sight to see. Back when I worked at the health food store in Santa Barbara we sold kale chips, onion bread, and other foods from a place called Chocola Tree. Their home happened to be in Sedona. I knew I could not miss stopping in while I was there. The restaurant has such a nice and peaceful atmosphere. You can sit inside, on the patio, or out back in their garden which is where we sat. I ordered the Hummus Sandwich which was delicious and Shane had the Sea Star Cilantro Salad, also really yummy. After dinner we went inside so I could purchase some kale chips and onion bread. Along with those items they sell all their homemade raw goodies and have a large case filled with raw chocolates and other treats.



www.chocolatreecafe.com



On my first trip to Boulder back in May, I was able to experience the farmers market on its first day reopening for the season. It was so nice to be back, I can't wait until I move to Boulder so can shop there on a weekly basis. Not only do they have a large selection of fresh foods but they also have an area where restaurants and other vendors sell their food. You can get fresh brick oven pizza, empanadas, potstickers, doughnuts, and more.







I met one of the guys from Cure Organic Farms and he was nice enough to let me take some photos of their stand. Check out their website www.cureorganicfarm.com