Watermelon Gazpacho

Note: this is still a work-in-progress but I simply had to share. The consistency needs to be a bit thicker but it is still amazingly refreshing.

Watermelon Gazpacho  

3 cups watermelon, chopped (white seeds are OK, toss the brown ones if they are in there)
1/2 cucumber (seeds removed)
4 mint leaves
1/3 cup basil
1/4 cup parsley
1 tsp shallot
Dash pepper
1 tbl olive oil
Splash lemon juice





Method:

Not much of one! Once you have prepped and washed everything above, place everything in a food processor and pulse, blend, viola.

Super easy. Super fresh. Super delicious.



I think next time I will add more cucumber and possibly another veggie to thicken it up. I still ate it with a spoon but you could drink it like a smoothie as well.

Stay tuned for the next version!

Enjoy ;)

Chia Seed Banana Pudding

Egg-less breakfasts have put me up to quite a challenge. But, this pudding was surprisingly satisfying. I'm pretty sure I am going to have this every-which-way that I can think of having it.

Delicious.






Chia Seed Banana Pudding

2 tbls black (you can use white) chia seeds
6 tbls water
1/4 cup almond milk
1 frozen banana
1 1/2 tbls sunbutter
~ 8 raisins

Method:

Take the banana out of the freezer about 30 minutes prior.

Soak the chia seeds in the water for about 10 minutes in the refrigerator so that the chia seeds begin to expand and 'gel' up.

Pour the almond milk into the chia seed mixture and then mash in the thawing banana. Stir in the sunbutter and the raisins until well incorporated.

Yum, yum, yum.

The frozen banana, once mixed in, keeps the pudding nice and cool bordering an ice cream consistency. Mmmm. So good and no added sugar needed.

Enjoy ;)

Blueberry & Walnut Chocolate Bars

These bars have very little ingredients and I think I especially like them for their walnut base instead of almond. A nice change of pace and the chocolate chips were a sweet addition ;)

As far as replicating the 'Larabar,' I think these are the closest that I've gotten. Let me know what you think.


Blueberry & Walnut Chocolate Bars: 

~17 medjool dates (pitted)
1 cup walnuts  
1/2 unsweetened dried blueberries
1/4 cup soy/dairy free chocolate chips
1 tsp honey
Dash of sea salt

Method:

Place the dates and walnuts in a food processor and blend until they become incorporated. Next, add in the blueberries and chocolate chips and pulse. Lastly, add in the honey and sea salt and pulse until all ingredients are incorporated enough to mold into bars/balls etc.


I wrap mine in cellophane and keep them refrigerated.





Other Bars on this site:
Enjoy ;)

Banana Hemp Smoothie

Believe it or not, I haven't eggs with my breakfast all week. I know. I know. But this smoothie is just too good...




Banana Hemp Smoothie

1 frozen banana
1/3 cup frozen blueberries
Handful of fresh spinach
1/4 coconut milk (the concentrated canned kind)
2 tbls hemp seeds


Method:

Throw all ingredients in a food processor. Pulse. Blend. Consume ;)




A Yummy Variation:

1 frozen banana
1 tsp cocoa powder (vs blueberries)
Handful of fresh spinach
1/4 coconut milk
2 tbls hemp seeds




From the looks of it, I didn't really have the patience to blend this one up very well...

Mmm... I'm thinkin' this one is good for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack or heck even dessert ;)

Sugar-Detox Variation: 

2 handfuls of fresh spinach
1 semi-frozen* green-tipped banana
1/2 cup cold water
1/4 cold coconut milk (from a can, full fat, organic)
2 tbls hulled hemp seeds 




Enjoy ;)

Sweet Guacamole Salsa

I lovvvvved this salad. Perfectly fresh, light and clean.

Mmm.




Sweet Guacamole Salsa

1 avocado, mashed
1/4 cucumber (or 1/2 cup), diced
1 white peach, mashed
1 tsp chopped onion of your choice (I used yellow)
3 fresh mint leaves, chopped

Method

Mix all of the ingredients together in a medium sized bowl, give it a healthy stir and that's about it!

Simple and simply delicious.

Enjoy ;)

Bean-free Hummus

I am, in fact, pretty amazed with this hummus. No beans and super delicious. Not only that, it tastes like hummus.

Yeah.

I so wish that I came up with this recipe but I did not. I discovered this one on Damy Health.

Bean-free Hummus:

4 garlic cloves
2 zucchinis, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup raw tahini
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin 
Dash of sea salt








Method:

Add the garlic, zucchini and tahini in your food processor and pulse. Next, add in the rest of the ingredients and blend until the consistency is smooth and looks like that of hummus.

This was so good. I'm pretty sure you could fool average hummus-eater ;)  Spread atop some veggies, on some primal bread or just eat it plain. Awesome.

This will keep in your fridge for about 72 hours. 

Enjoy ;)

Variation 

1 garlic clove
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 zucchinis, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup raw tahini
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 water
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin 
Dash of sea salt

This variation was quite lovely. If you are sensitive to garlic then I would recommend this recipe.

Creamy Strawberry Smoothie

For as much as I love smoothies, I've been thinking I should probably add some more green to mine. And while avocado is technically a fruit, I feel like I'm adding some awesome nutrition to my smoothie if I put one in there AND I was trying to come up with something that didn't have banana since I had already had one in the morning.

Avocados also contain much less sugar - actually zero and a very small amount of carbs (3) while contributing a healthy dose of good fat. You can read more about the nutritional breakdown of the lovely avocado here.


OK, enough of that rambling.

Creamy Strawberry Smoothie:

1 avocado
2 handfuls of spinach
5 frozen strawberries
1/4 cold water
1 tbls coconut flakes
Splash of lemon juice




Method:

Not much of one :) Slice the avocado, add in the spinach and strawberries and blend. Then add in the water, coconut and lemon juice.


Yeah... apologies for the not so great photo as I put this right into a to-go mug. Although, I must tell you, I kept this in the fridge in a to-go mug and ate a few hours later and the green stayed green even with the avocado. I was  pleasantly surprised.

Enjoy ;)

Clean Pesto

I have gotten so use to not having condiments that I typically prefer all my meals that way. In fact, when I see people slathering their meals with mayo, ketchup, BBQ etc I kind of tilt my head like a confused puppy.



Hey, to each their own right?

Anyway, I do LOVE pesto. And making pesto dairy free is actually very easy! And pretty dang healthy from my perspective.

This recipe was adapted from Gluten Free Goddess.

Clean Pesto: 

1 cup fresh spinach 
1 cup fresh herbs, stems removed (I used mint, parsley, basil & cilantro)
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup pecans (hazelnuts and pine nuts can work as well)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil



Method:


In a food processor or small Ninja, blend up the spinach and herbs really well. Add in the garlic and pecans and blend until a paste begins to form.



Add in half of the oil, blend some more and then add in the rest of the oil. Blend and pulse and viola ;)  



Absolutely delicious and so very fresh. Love it. I highly recommend this if you are missing toppings for your burgers, chicken, eggs etc.

Enjoy ;)

Berry & Peanut Butter Smoothie

Yikes, can't even say that this one is Primal. Legumes. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know. I tell people all the time that legumes are the devil. But every once in while...?

They'e called exceptions for a reason ;) 


Berry & Peanut Butter Smoothie:

3 good-sized fresh strawberries
~ 1 cup of frozen blueberries
1/3 cup vanilla coconut ice cream ( I use Coconut Bliss )
1/3 cup water
1 tbl unsweetened coconut flakes
2 tbl peanut butter


Method:

Blend the strawberries, blueberries and vanilla ice cream together and then add in the rest of the ingredients.

Easy, fresh and delicious!

Enjoy ;)

Strawberry and Pistachio Salad

Talk about a light satisfying lunch. This was simply heavenly.

I've been in the mood for salads lately. Give me some veggies and fruit with a bit of protein!!! Constantly craving veggies and fruit (a little too much on the fruit but I'm working on it ;)).

 This took a about two minutes of prep-time. So easy.

Strawberry and Pistachio Salad

Large handful of spinach (about 2 cups)
Small handful of baby carrots (about 8), shredded
3 strawberries, sliced
5-8 pistachios
1-2 tablespoons of Almond 'Cream Cheese'  (fantastic substitute for a feta feel!)


That's it my friends. Light, beautiful and yummy salad.

Enjoy (outside in the sun ;))

Almond 'Cream Cheese'

Cheese.

I use to love cheese. So much so, that some of my friends when we were in high-school would see me and say "Hey, got any cheese?" Mmm. Brie, Munster, Provolone, Swiss, Gouda... In fact, there wasn't a cheese that I tasted and didn't like. I think what I missed most is the companion to whatever it was that I was eating. Apples, slices of meat, breads.

I have made progress on the bread situation (some of my breads are here) so cheese was next.

Many of the cheese alternative products out there have casein which is derived from dairy milk. And soy. Neither of which jive for me.

This recipe was adapted from an awesome site that I am in love with called Healthy Living How To.

Almond 'Cream Cheese'

1 cup blanched almonds (make sure they are blanched or you can blanch them on your own)
1/2 cup water
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
 Dash of salt




Method:

In a KitchenAid or other electric mixer, place the blanched almonds and 1/4 cup of the water. Mix on the lowest level and then add in the lemon juice and apple cider vinegar. Add in the rest of the water and put on the next level and then the level after so that it is whipping the 'cheese.' Add in the salt and whip some more.

There ya' have it. Some pretty good imitation cheese. Its no brie, but it's a nice substitute ;) I had it today with carrots and some salami for an afternoon snack.

I just had a thought that I'm not sure I can shake... Grain-free bagel with lox, capers and this cheese? Um I think I have to do some investigating...

Enjoy ;)

Coconut Vanilla Frosting

I had a hard time getting my frosting to fluff up prior to this go-around but using coconut butter along with the oil solved this problem. Yay ;) I found the idea for this on a website called, The Clothes Make the Girl.

Coconut Vanilla Frosting

1/2 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup coconut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract 
1 tbl 100% pure maple syrup
1/2 tble honey


Method:

In a small bowl, mix the coconut oil and coconut butter, microwave for about 20 seconds and stir. It should be softened but not melted. Place in the fridge for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in another small bowl, combine the vanilla, maple syrup and honey. Pour that into the coconut oil and butter blend and whisk until it becomes fluffy.

If it is too runny, add more softened coconut butter.

This is enough to cover one small cake.


Grain-free Vanilla Pound Cake

 Talk about melt in your mouth. Mmm. 

Enjoy ;)



Hazelnut Apricot Bars

Oh just another bar to add to the list ;)

These are a bit different and are surprisingly not as rich as I thought they would be with the hazelnut and apricot medley.


This is the first time that I have added chia seeds, one of my new favorite items. They have recently become popular in the States but have been consumed for years in southern Mexico and Central America. Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and are an excellent source of protein.


Hazelnut Apricot Bars:



 20 dates
1 cup walnuts
1/2 cup coconut
3/4 cup dried apricots
1 tbls chia seeds
2 tbls wildflower honey
1/3 cup hazelnut butter 


Method:

In the large portion of your Ninja (or other blender), blend of the dates and add in the walnuts and coconut. In the smaller portion, blend up the apricots and chia seeds and then add in with the dates, coconut and walnuts. Next, stir in the honey with a knife and then the hazelnut better. Blend everything together so that all the ingredients are mixed well.

Form into the desired shape, wrap in cellophane, fridge and it and viola :)))

Other Paleo bars/balls on this site:

Enjoy ;)

Mango Macadamia Coconut Bars

I love experimenting with bars these days. Dates are a nice base because they are pretty neutral in flavor so throw in other items you enjoy and see how it goes!

With the coconut oil, mango and macadamia nut, it turns these bars into some sort of buttery bliss. Yum...




Mango Macadamia Coconut Bars

1/2 cup dried mango
17 pitted dates
1/2 cup unsalted macadamia nuts
1/4 cup unsalted almonds
2 tbls coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla



Method:

In your Ninja (or another snazzy blender), blend up mango and set aside. Next, blend up the dates and set aside. In the large portion of the blender, blend up the almonds and macadamia nuts. Add in the dates, mango, vanilla and coconut oil. It should get pretty well blended but you may need to take the blades out and stir the rest of it up.

Shape into whatever shape you desire, wrap in cellophane and refrigerate.

As always, let me know what you think if you try them or other variations!

Here are some other bars/balls that are my site.


Enjoy ;)

Cherry Almond Balls

Balls or bars or whichever shape you decide- these bad boys are so fun to make and so delicious. I made them into 'balls' this time. A compact little meal- ready to put in your purse (or... coat pocket?) I usually keep mine in the fridge at work and eat one on the commute home for a pre-workout boost.




If you've been reading my blog- you've seen the Cranberry & Sunbutter Bars & the Coconut & Nut Balls

Mouth watering...

Cherry Almond Balls

1 cup raw walnuts
1/2 cup coconut flakes (organic and unsweetened) 
1/4 cocoa powder (organic no other additives)
17 pitted dates
3/4 cup dried sour cherries
1/3 cup smooth almond butter
2 tbls honey

Method: 

Blend walnuts, coconut flakes, cocoa powder in a small blender. In larger blender mix the dates, cherries and almond butter. Add the walnut blend to the larger blender and mix. Add in the honey. You may need to stir intermittently with a knife to mix things around a bit as it gets stiff.

Roll them/ pack them into your desired shape. I wrap then individually in cellophane so they don't dry out. They are best kept in the refrigerator.



Yields ~ 9-10 balls 

All I can say is YUM. 

Enjoy ;)

Cranberry & Sunbutter Bars

One thing to note with this recipe is that sunbutter is over powering- so be sure you like the flavor before mixing this one. You can use smooth almond butter or another nut-butter instead.


The consistency of these are bit different than the Coconut & Nut Balls from a previous post because they don't contain oil other than the palm oil in the sunbutter.

Cranberry & Sunbutter Bars

1 cup raw pecans
1/2 cup coconut flakes (organic and unsweetened)
1/4 cocoa powder (organic no other additives)
20 pitted dates
3/4 cup dried unsweetened cranberries
1/3 cup sunbutter
2 tbls honey

Method:

Blend pecans, coconut flakes, cocoa powder in a small blender. In larger blender mix the dates, cranberries and sunbutter. Add the pecan blend to the larger blender and mix. Add in the honey. You may need to stir intermittently with a knife to mix things around a bit.

You can roll them into balls or make bars (suppose you could make them any shape ;)) I wrap then individually in cellophane so they don't dry out. They are best kept in the refrigerator.

Yields 7-8 bars.

Enjoy ;)

Banana & Oats Smoothie

I actually had a hard time waiting to eat this... I made it in the morning and brought it to work for my lunch.

I simply adore my non-paleo cheat, oats. Yum.

This was sooo easy to prepare, extremely satisfying and quite delicious.

Banana & Oats Smoothie:

1 cup raw outs (gluten-free)
1 banana
Dash of cinnamon
Few dried cranberries
1 tsp honey
1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk




Blend it all up and you have a nutrient packed smoothie whether its breakfast, lunch or dinner (though as a side note, my body does not like oats in the evening. They are difficult to digest so eating them in the morning or early afternoon is best... )















Enjoy ;)

-Sunshine Girl

Coconut & Nut Balls

Larabar's are a staple in my life. I tuck them away in my desk at work, my work bag, purse and have several in my pantry almost at all times. At over a buck a bar. sometimes two a bar- it can get pricey and it's always fun to attempt new recipes.

So, I made my own tonight. Instead of bars, we rolled them into balls, a cute little package and easy to grab-n'-go. These have more ingredients than the average Larabar- jam-packed with goodness and rolled with love ;)


Coconut & Nut Balls

1 cup pecans (raw, unsalted)
1/2 cup macadamia nuts  (raw, unsalted)
1/4 blanched almond flour
1/2 cup dried cherries (unsweetened)
1/4 cup dried cranberries
7 pitted dates (any kind)
1/2 cup unsweetened organic coconut flakes
1/4 cup dairy/soy free chocolate chips
1 tbls honey
1/4 cup coconut oil

Method:

In a blender or food processor (I used my Ninja blender), grind/mix the pecans, macadamia nuts and almond flour. Set aside. Then blend the cherries, cranberries, dates, coconut flakes and half of the coconut oil (2 tbl spoons). Once blended, add in the remainder of the coconut oil, nut mixture, chocolate chips and honey. Blend thoroughly.

Roll into 'snack-size' balls and refrigerate. I  used plastic wrap and wrapped each ball individually so they do not dry out.

Stay tuned for more homemade balls/bars as I will be experimenting ;)

Enjoy ;)

Breakie: Fiber Fusion

About one day a week, I will veer from my staple, two eggs and chicken sausage with some type of fruit or veggie.

Lately, this has been on Friday's... perhaps a celebration of making it through the week. The past two Friday's, I have had a raw oats concoction. From the little research that I have done, eating oats raw doesn't necessarily have added benefit (though cooked it may be a bit easier to digest). I find my body responds well to eating oats in the morning. Packed with soluble fiber and protein, it's a nice start to the day. Here is an interesting article on eating raw oats.

Breakie: Fiber Fusion

1 cup gluten-free raw oats
Few dried cherries,
Few chopped walnuts
~ 2 tbls coconut flakes (organic)
Drizzle of honey
Top with milk of your choice (I used hazelnut this time :))



Enjoy ;)