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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Mango Coconut Ice Cream

I must be on some sort of tropical kick. Maybe I'm just trying to fantasize summer and vacations on tropical islands. The only vacation I've ever taken that's been near the equator was a Disney cruise when I was 4. Wow. That's sad. I need to change that.

Anyways, I made this ice cream on Memorial Day and it was a hit! Probably the best ice cream I've made to date. And it doesn't even have chocolate in it! It's very smooth, creamy, and rich, so you don't need a whole lot of it to be satisfied. The texture is somewhere in between soft serve and hand dipped ice cream. And it will become even more like hand dipped ice cream if you let it sit in the freezer for a few hours.

I found this recipe on Pinterest and it was on my "Recipes to Paleo-ize" board for quite a while. I finally got to making it and it was one of things that made me want to bang my head against the wall, moaning "Why did I never try this before?!?"

The recipe is an Indian recipe (no wonder it's so good!) and required very little modifying. That's why I love Indian, lots of Paleo ingredients and very little substituting. And, it's delicious. :)

*Inspired by this recipe

3 c. diced mango (about 3 ripe mangoes)
2-4 T. honey or other liquid sweetener
1 c. coconut milk
juice 1 lime slice

1. Dice up your mango, then throw in the blender with the honey. Depending on how ripe and sweet your mango is, you might have to add more sweetener.
2. Blend in the coconut milk and lime juice.
3. Scrape into your ice cream maker and process according to manufacture's instructions. Mine took about 25 minutes to firm up.
4. Serve immediately and freeze leftovers. 

Inquiry of the Day:

Do you like Indian food?

I love Indian. Chicken tikka masala, spiced rice, chickpea salads, curry, pakoras, naan, it's all so good!

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Pina Colada Smoothie

There was a time in my life when I thought I didn't like pina coladas. I thought I hated coconut AND pineapple. Good thing that phase in my life is over. I don't know if  I could live without pineapple and coconut! I eat coconut basically every day and any kind of pineapple whenever I can get my hands on it.  That stuff is like the food of the gods.

So to combine my love of pineapple and coconut? Heaven in a glass. 

Creamy, thick, coconut-y heaven in a glass. ;)

This is a virgin pina colada. And be warned, it's not very sweet. I happen to like it that way, (It brings out more of the coconut and pineapple flavor) but you can always add a sweetener if you wish.

Now that the weather's warming up, I find that I'm drinking a lot more smoothies. It was just too cold during winter and even some of spring! I'm glad that Indiana is seeing 70 and 80 degree weather again, there's a lot more to do outdoors now. Biking, swimming, going on picnics, walking at the park, water parks, etc. Normally, I'm not really an outdoor person (unless it involves water slides), but this year I'm determined to change that!

Maybe I can motivate myself with smoothies....

1/2 c. milk (I used unsweetened almond)
1/2 c. frozen pineapple, fresh works, too, just add more ice cubes
1/4 c. coconut cream
2 T. flax seeds (I like the pre-ground kind)
5-6 ice cubes
sweetener, to taste

1. Add alll the ingredients to your blend and blend away!
2 Pour into a glass and enjoy. :)

Inquiry of the Day:

Are there any foods you thought you didn't like, but discovered you do?

I've discovered several foods that I thought I hated, but actually like. Rhubarb, peaches, mango, some types of root vegetables, and beets- just to name a few. ;)
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Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day Recipe Round-Up

Memorial Day conjures up memories of hot sunny days, working in the garden, grilling, and going to the pool. Well, not this Memorial Day. It's chilly, rainy, and not perfect swimming weather at all. But we are grilling! Yay! :D

I hope the weather is much better where you are. Maybe you'll actually be able to go to the pool. Hopefully, I'll get to go sometime this week.

Anyways, this recipe round-up is a little late, but I had a few things come up that I needed to take care of. (I swear, finals will be the death of me.) I don't really have many grilling recipes, so most of these recipes will take care of the side dishes and dessert. But who doesn't love dessert? ;)

(This would be fantastic with ribs)

Inquiry of the Day:

What are your Memorial Day plans?

We're going to being gardening and smoking ribs all day. Those ribs are going to be the reason I go outside in this rainy weather. 

Coming soon: Texas Roadhouse sweet potatoes and Pina Colada smoothie. What would you like to see first? 
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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Vanilla-Orange Smoothie

On Monday I said that my smoothie recipe needed more work, well today, here it is!

I know it doesn't look very tasty, but that's only because I put chia seeds in it. Probably not the best idea if I wanted a photogenic smoothie. Oh, well. It tasted good and that's all that matters.

It kinda tastes like a Dreamsicle, except in the form of a cool, creamy, smoothie. I loved Dreamsicles and orange push-up pops as a kid. I can still remember their creamy, orangey-ness. I would only be allowed to get them when we went to the pool. An orange push-up pop was the perfect treat to end a hot summer day swimming at the pool.

The best part about this smoothie is that it's super high in fiber, protein, and good for you fats, unlike regular Dreamsicles which are high in sugar and artificial ingredients. So why have the fake food when you can have real food?

Lately, I've been craving smoothies in the afternoons. It might have to do with the fact that I exercise in the afternoons and am super hot when I finish. Smoothies are perfect to use to cool down. Plus, they taste good.

My next smoothie experiment? Pina colada! (Without the alcohol of course. ;)

1/2 c. orange juice (I like to use orange, peach, mango juice from Trader Joe's)
1/2 c. unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 T. flax seeds or chia seeds (I used one of each)
5-6 ice cubes
optional: 1 T. coconut oil for optimal creaminess

1. Add all of your ingredients to a blender and blend away!
2. Pour into a glass, then your done! Enjoy your liquified Dreamsicle. :)

Inquiry of the Day:

This is totally unrelated to the post, but I was wondering if you all were interested in nutrition facts. I know some people like to count calories and stuff, so would it be helpfully if I started to include nutrition facts?

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Monday, May 20, 2013

Strawberry Banana Shake

I was hoping to have a smoothie recipe for you guys today, but the recipe needs a little more work.

I haven't had very much time to spend in the kitchen creating new recipes lately. School has been pretty hectic with finals and all. My life right now basically exists of eating, sleeping, and school. 

On Friday, I was at school for 12 hours! That was just because we had a play, Peter Pan, that night. I had four lines this time! ;) And there wasn't any singing, thankfully.

Anyways, I've decided to post any oldie but a goody for you today. My favorite smoothie of all time- strawberry banana!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

I have one of these every day, because it adds about 600 calories to my day. Yeah, it's that high in calories. I know that most people are trying to lose weight, but this post is for those who are trying to gain it. The coconut milk can easily be subbed for all almond milk and the avocado can be omitted (the end result won't be as creamy, though).

Cool, creamy smoothie

It's not to bad, either. I normally don't like banana but the strawberries in this cover up the taste.

I don't like strawberries plain, though, because they're to seedy. It's just a texture thing. I don't mind their taste.

Oh, I ate that Rainer cherry on the rim ;P

If you're like me and struggle in raking in enough calories a day, then drink one of these! It's nice and creamy like a milkshake. It's also very refreshing on a hot summer's night.

It's also gluten and soy free. And vegan (if you don't use honey)!

1/3 c. coconut milk
2/3 c. almond milk or other non-dairy milk
1/4 avocado
4-5 large frozen strawberries
1 frozen medium banana
about 1 T. of honey, maple syrup, or agave depending on how sweet you like your smoothies

1. Throw all the ingredients into your blender.
2. Blend until creamy.
3. Pour in a cup and enjoy!

Inquiry of the Day:

Any smoothie recipes you'd like to see? Orange Creamsicle? Chocolate peanut butter? A green smoothie?
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Friday, May 17, 2013

Whole Foods Potluck

Today is going to be a little different than normal.

A while back, Kate from Eat, Recycle, Repeat asked me to participate in her virtual Whole Foods Potluck! I was super excited! Kate is such an awesome person and she has a great personality.

So go on over there and enjoy the potluck! All the recipes are grain and soy free!

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Berry Lime Iced Tea

There's something about iced tea and summer that just go together. And yesterday was one of those days, where iced tea was the perfect drink to have. Yes, it was 80 degrees F in Indiana. Why not celebrate with some iced tea? ;)

When I was younger, the only kind of iced tea we would have in the fridge was Crystal Light peach tea. I guess I liked it, but it had that funny aftertaste that artificial sweeteners normally have, so I wasn't overly fond of it.

We threw out our Crystal Light a few months ago after deciding to become Paleo and I haven't look back. There are so many other iced tea options out there.

At Starbucks, they have those fancy fruity iced teas. They taste so delicious and refreshing. I don't get them to often, though, because a) they're expensive and b) they probably have a ton of sugar in them and other non-paleo ingredients.

So when that Starbucks iced tea craving hit, what was I to do? Make my own Starbucks concoction of course.  ;)

4 tea bags of a fruity flavored tea (I recommend raspberry, blackberry, or pomegranate)
2 c. boiling water
4-6 oz. sparkling water (Plain or flavored works)
2 T. liquid sweetener or a few drops of stevia
frozen berries
2 slices of fresh lime

1. Boil your water then let the tea bags steep for 4 minutes.
2. When its done steeping, squeeze the tea out of the tea bags. Stir in the sweetener. Put in the refrigerator for a few hours or the freezer for no more than a few minutes.
3. Before serving the tea, get out two glasses and add some frozen berries to each. I like raspberries and blackberries, but the kind you use all depends on what kind of tea you make. Divide the refrigerated tea between the two glasses.
4. Add half the amount of sparkling water to each glass. Taste and add more sparkling water if needed.
5. Using one slice of lime for each cup, squeeze the juice into each glass. Or slit the lime slice so you can put it on your glass to make it look fancier. ;)
6. Sip outside on a warm summer's day. 

Inquiry of the Day:

Do you like Starbucks? What's your favorite drink?

I always loved the iced caramel Frappuccinos with whipped cream. It's classic, but good.  

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Monday, May 13, 2013

French Silk Pie

Hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day and did something special for your mother. In case you are a mother, I hope someone did something special for you!

You all know that I love to cook, and (I think) it's something that I'm good at, so I spent most of the day in the kitchen cooking for my mom. (Don't worry, I did dishes, too.) For breakfast I made her pumpkin bread pudding, sausage, and a cookie dough latte. It was a fantastic breakfast and I highly recommend the bread pudding. Lunch was just leftovers, but for dinner we went out to eat with my grandparents, which was a nice break from being in the kitchen all afternoon.

I also made pie. Chocolate pie.

Be warned, this is not the quickest, easiest, fastest dessert you will ever make. But the results are well worth the effort. In fact, my grandma said that this is possibly the best dessert I have ever made. And I'll let you know that my grandma has very high standards for dessert so this is a very great achievement for me. Woo hoo!

The pie is rich, creamy, and tastes like a chocolate cloud. I'm not exactly sure what an actual chocolate cloud would taste like, but I imagine this is it. The best part is, this recipe is dairy, sugar, grain, soy, and nut free!

I'm leaving the pie crust up to you, because you may have an absolute favorite gluten free or vegan pie crust you prefer and that's fine with me. I just used the dark chocolate pie crust recipe from Elana Amsterdam's Gluten Free Almond Flour Cookbook. This would also be good if you just scooped the filling into bowls, chilled for a few minutes in the freezer, and topped with coconut whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Any way you choose to serve it, this pie will not disappoint! That I can promise. ;)

1 9" pie crust, pre-baked, any kind you choose
1/3 c. liquid sweetener (I used honey)
2 eggs or liquid egg substitute
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 c. butter, softened NOT melted (For vegan, try using palm shortening or coconut oil)
2/3 c. coconut cream (I recommend Trader Joe's coconut cream)
2 tsp. powdered sugar
Optional: whipped cream and/or chocolate shavings

Also, you will need a candy thermometer if using raw eggs. 

1. Bake your pie crust if you haven't already done that. Set aside.
2. In a small sauce pan, whisk the eggs (or egg substitute) and honey together. If you're using actual eggs, heat the saucepan over low heat and stir continually until the temperature reaches about 160 degrees F. You can skip this step if you're using an egg substitute. 
3. Remove pan from heat, then stir in melted chocolate and vanilla.
4. While you wait for the chocolate mixture to cool to about 90 degrees F (lukewarm), cream butter until fluffy in deep bowl to prevent splattering.
5. Add the chocolate mixture and beat for another 5 minutes.
6. If your coconut cream is wet and kind of runny, beat in a large bowl until thick. My coconut cream is very thick, so I skipped this step. Stir in the powdered sugar.
7. Fold the sweetened coconut cream into the chocolate mixture.
8. Pour filling into crust (or bowls) and chill for at least 3 hours.
9. When ready to serve, top with chocolate shavings and make sure you have some coconut whipped cream and/or regular whipped cream ready to serve to the guests who want it.

Inquiry of the Day:

How was your Mother's Day?

Overall I had a great Mother's Day, even though I wasn't the one who was on the receiving end of the Mother's Day gifts. I enjoy doing things for others, actually, so I love Mother's and Father's Day. But I will say, I can't wait until I'm a mother, so I can command my husband and children around all day. ;)

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Mother's Day Recipe Round-Up

I love Mother's Day. It's the one day of the year where my mom will actually stay in bed long enough for me to get up and make her breakfast. I've tried to give her breakfast in bed more often, but she gets up at, like, six. I love her, but it's not worth getting up at 5:30 to make her breakfast. Sorry Mom.

I know a lot of people have Mother's Day brunch, but we usually invite my grandparents over for dinner because the church I go to lasts until 11:30. Not enough time to make brunch. Unless we did lunch.... Sorry, I'm rambling.

Now that the weather's finally warmed up (hopefully for good) we might actually be able to have barbeque for Mother's Day! Burgers, hot dogs, ribs, well maybe not the ribs. ;)  Anyways, here's 17 Mother's Day recipes for your mother to enjoy. :)

Inquiry of the Day:

So what are you doing for Mother's Day? 

I'm making French Silk pie for my mom and, if all goes well, I'll post the recipe.

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