Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have been wanting to buy coconut flour for a while to try it out and see how it holds up in baking.  It’s not a 1 to 1 conversion to all purpose flour so it’s mostly mixed with other flours and needs an equal amount of liquid when baking with it.  In this recipe its not mixed with a more stable flour leaving this cookie really moist and delicate.  Its so good, its hard not to eat them all, but these are guilt-free so you CAN eat them all but its nice to share!

Coconut Chocolate chip cookies (grain free)
1/3 cup coconut flour
3 TBS flaxmeal (ground flaxseeds)
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4  pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/3 dark chocolate chips (mini or regular)

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Mix first 6 ingredients in a bowl with a rubber spatula until well incorporated.
3. Add the chips.
4. Use a Tablespoon to measure out the cookies and place on a prepared baking sheet lined with parchment.  (I spray a little coconut baking spray but you don’t have to!) Use your finger to flatten out the cookie a bit.
5. Bake for 12-14 minutes.  My trick.. I add more chips on top of cookies right when they come out, great visual affect and doesn’t hurt to add more chocolate!
This is very moist cake like cookie, I used Bob’s Red Mill Coconut flour and Flaxmeal!

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Weeknight Peruvian Chicken

People always ask me for a quick go-to dinner for week nights, and I always give a bone in chicken meal because it’s cheaper than boneless chicken breast and WAY more flavorful, and will last longer for a lunch the next day or get another dinner out of it. This meal is one that I make for my clients a lot since it has a good shelf life in the fridge and it is bursting with flavor!  For people who usually deal with boneless chicken breast, you will see a huge difference in taste and bone in chicken is not at all hard to cook, it takes longer to cook but it is certainly worth an extra few minutes.  You want to wash your chicken pieces and pat dry, then you just rub this amazing paste inspired by Peruvian cookery, of cumin , paprika and garlic.  A paste is a dry rub with a tiny bit of liquid, in this case oil and vinegar.  Then you just pop in oven for 45 minutes and you are done, and a kitchen hero! While the chicken is cooking make a few side dishes.. Sweet potato fries, roasted parsnips, sautéed spinach, and so on.  Enjoy!

4 lbs bone in chicken thighs and legs mixed or 1 whole chicken cut up into 8-10 pieces

2 red onions or 2 sweet yellow onions, thickly sliced

2 green bell peppers, thickly chopped (square pieces)

5 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 TBS paprika

2 TBS cumin

2 Teas. Black pepper

2 Teas. Salt (I use Kosher or Sea salt)

2 ½ TBS white or red wine vinegar

1 ½ TBS olive oil

1 lemon thinly sliced

  1. Preheat oven to  400 degrees and prepare a deep pan lined with parchment paper or foil and spray with cooking oil. Set aside
  2. In a small bowl combine the garlic, paprika, cumin, black pepper, salt, vinegar and olive oil to make a thick paste.
  3. Take 2 TBS of the paste and mix with the onions and peppers
  4. Use the remaining paste and rub into the chicken (rub ALL over don’t  miss a spot)

The chicken before putting in the oven.. I had some parsley so I sprinkled over the top

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Right out the oven!

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Sweet Potato Egg Muffins

OK so my last two post have been breakfast/brunch items and this is no different BUT who cares because breakfast is amazing, anytime of the day. I have been making egg cups for one of my clients that I do weekly meals for and I try to switch it up and make them with different ingredients and different ways, sometimes I scramble the eggs then put in the muffin tins or I drop the egg right into the muffin tins, or I’ll do just egg whites and load it with cooked spinach, onions, peppers, sausage, cheese, scallions, fresh thyme and so on.  My mom called me the other day and whenever she sees something she thinks ill like on the Food Network she will call and tell me alllll about it.  She was watching Ree Drummond, from the AMAZING blog and now TV show The Pioneer Woman made hash and eggs cups in a muffin tin.  She made shredded potato hash and lined the muffin tins with hash and then the egg mixture on top and bake.  I thought it was a pretty cool idea.  It’s great to make a lot and store and have for breakfast on your way out the door for the week.  I figured I’d test it out on my client who loves eggs cups.  He prefers to eat on the healthy side so I knew fried white potatoes wouldn’t work here.  So I thought of using sweet potatoes instead and bake them instead of frying.  I also added maple brown sugar breakfast sausages and that worked so well with the sweet potatoes.  My client LOVED and requested it again the next week.  My tip, store in air tight container in the refrigerator or freezer and pop in the microwave in the morning and start your day on a good foot and happy stomach!

Sweet Potato Egg Muffins

Special Equipment: 2 non stick muffin tins, baking sheet

1 dozen eggs

4-5 sweet potatoes

1 lb breakfast sausage (I used a maple brown sugar flavor)

2 TBS onion powder

1 TBS garlic powder

1 Teaspoon paprika

2 TBS olive oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

Cooking / baking spray

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Peel and cut potatoes into 1 inch cubes. Place in a bowl and sprinkle with 1 TBS onion powder, garlic powder, paprika and salt and pepper. Add olive oil and toss together. Line the baking sheet with foil or parchment and lightly spray, then spread out the sweet potatoes and bake for 30 minutes.
  3. While potatoes are in the oven, cook the sausages, either in a pan or bake in oven. Whisk the eggs with a whisk or fork and season with the remaining onion powder, salt and pepper.
  4. Cut sausages into pieces and set aside. When the potatoes are done, turn the oven done to 350 degrees. Spray each cup of the muffin tins (you can be generous here).  First divide the sweet potatoes among the cups, mine came to about 5-6 pieces each.  Take the back of a spoon or your fingers (best tool in the kitchen) and mash the potatoes into the bottom of the tins.  Then add the pieces of sausage on top of the potatoes.  Then pour the egg mixture into each cup (be careful not to overfill).
  5. Bake for about 15 minutes. Cool on a baking wrack and then store in an air tight container. ENJOY!

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If you make this, (and you should) take a picture and hash tag on facebook or instagram #PersonalDish 🙂

Peanut Butter Flaxseed Granola Bars

I love granola bars, it’s quick on-the-go breakfast or snack during the day. The problem is that they are super expensive (im cheap, thanks mom) and who knows what “preservatives” companies are putting in these things, and lets not even get into the amounts of sugar in these bars. So I decided to make my own, which turned out to be incredibly simple and completely addictive! I used my favorite ingredients; oatmeal, peanut butter, chocolate chips, dried cherries, flaxseeds, coconut oil, honey, nutmeg and cinnamon. You can of course put in what YOU love and mix it up each time.

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Photo Apr 30, 9 25 13 AM (1)

Peanut Butter Flaxseed Granola Bars

3 cups oatmeal
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup crushed and whole almonds or cashews
1/4 cup dried fruit or raisins (I used dried cherries)
1/4 honey or maple syrup
2 tbs flaxseeds
2 tbs coconut oil
Few dashes of cinnamon and nutmeg

Prepare a 8×8 baking dish line with parchment paper and sprayed with baking spray. Have the parchment hanging over the sides so its easy to pull out in the end.

1. In a sauce pan add the peanut butter and honey and heat for 2-3 minutes and shut off
2. In a bowl combine the remaining ingredients and add a sprinkle of kosher salt
3. Add the peanut butter mixture and combine everything well
4. Add mixture to the prepared pan and push down tightly with your fist. Cover with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge to set for 2 hours
5. When it’s set, take out of pan and cut in squares or rectangular bars Enjoy!!

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Completely addictive roasted sweet almonds

Hello People! Sorry its been a few weeks since my last post, had some computer issues (which im still dealing with) and work has been busy! But I wanted to get back in the swing of things with these amazing almonds.  I love to snack, and this is one of my favorite things to snack on during the day.  These almonds take me back to when my mom used to take my brothers and I to downtown Boston and she would always buy us the fresh hot nuts from the roasted nut stands.  It was one of my favorite things to eat and always looked forward to it.  One of the things I love about certain foods is the history and nostalgia behind it and how one thing can bring you back to when you were 8.    The smell is enticing and I wanted to create that in my own kitchen.  I had almonds but you could use a mix of nuts or one that you love!  Its super quick and easy.  These are sweet but you could make them savory or spicy! (hmmm sriracha roasted almonds anyone?)

 

Roasted Sweet Almonds

2 cups  whole almonds

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon  kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 and prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat.

1. Heat a saucepan to medium heat and add sugar.  Let that melt ( you can add a few drops of water here).   Add your nuts and stir with a rubber spatula.  Then add the salt and cinnamon.

2. Transfer nut mixture to the prepared baking sheet and put in oven for about 5 minutes or until your house smells like a roasted nut factory! Enjoy!

 

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This is what it looks like when it comes right out of the pot and ready for the oven

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Butternut Squash and Black Bean Soup

I have been meaning to make butternut squash for the longest time, and just haven’t got around to making it.  It’s a great weeknight soup because you can make it super fast (30 minutes or less!) and makes great leftovers for lunch the next day.   I tend to go to the grocery store and buy things that I can freeze and make when I feel like it, one of those things is butternut squash.  I bought it a few months ago, cut it up and put in a plastic bag and kept it in my freezer.   I keep this soup super simple with just 3 ingredients; onions, garlic and squash.  I use my immersion blender to make  smooth creamy soups.  I had black beans and corn left over from my stuffed sweet potatoes , so I thought why not use them up and make a great addition to this soup.  The results were just what I wanted, the black beans added  the creaminess, and the corn (which I did not purée) gave the soup a nice texture against the smooth soup.  I cut up scallions and grated fresh parmigiano reggiano on top. Really. Really. Good

Butternut Squash and Black Bean Soup

Special Equipment- food processor or immersion blender (if you don’t have either of these this is a great chunky soup as well!)

1 lb of butternut squash cut into 1 inch pieces

3 cups vegetable, chicken or (like I used) homemade stock

2 cups black beans

1 cup of frozen corn

1 small onion chopped

2 cloves garlic cloves chopped

chopped scallion, grated or shaved parmigiano salt and pepper to taste

1. Put a large soup pot on medium heat with 2 tbs of olive or coconut oil

2. Saute onions and garlic for 3 minutes until the onions are beginning to soften

3. Add the butternut squash and let cook for another 5 minutes.  Add salt and pepper

4. Add the stock, corn and beans.  Let simmer for 10 minutes

5. Let cool.  Then blend in batches until creamy (if using food processor) or right in the pot (if using immersion blender)

6. Adjust seasonings (add a few drops of hot sauce if you wish!..I did)  Add scallions and cheese.  EAT!

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Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

I LOVE sweet potatoes, in any form, mashed, cut up in little pieces for a breakfast hash, candied for  Thanksgiving, in a pie, fries, but my hands down favorite is roasted. There is truly nothing better than sweet potatoes put in an high oven and roasted to perfection. You can add a little butter and cinnamon but I like it just the way it is, it’s sweet enough that it doesn’t require much of anything.  In restaurants I have seen where they like to “kick up” a baked sweet potato with junk like marshmallows, and not that there is anything wrong with marshmallows but sweet on top of more sweet is just gross and a good way to ruin a perfectly good vegetable.  Not to mention the spike in calories.  Sweet potatoes already have a great amount of nutrients, why not compliment it with even MORE healthy goodness?  I got this great idea from a post on Pintrest. You split open a perfectly baked sweet potato and stuff it with this lime cilantro infused black bean and corn mixture.  The idea is genius, delicious AND couldn’t be easier!   This is a great side dish or main dish.  Try it tonight..seriously DO IT!

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

4 Sweet potatoes

1 can of black beans, drained

1 can of corn or frozen corn, cooked

1 orange or yellow (or red or green) bell pepper, chopped

1 small or 1/2 of a big red onion, chopped

3-4 limes, juiced

1/4 cup of cilantro

2 tbs honey

a few dashes of hot sauce

3 TBS of olive oil

Course salt and pepper to taste

1. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.  Put potatoes on sheet and roast in oven for 30-40 minutes

2. Meanwhile make your stuffing.  In a bowl mix the onion, pepper, corn,  and beans.  In  separate bowl whisk together the lime juice, honey, hot sauce, oil and salt and pepper.  Add dressing to the bean mixture.  Keep refrigerated until potatoes are done.

3.   Take potatoes out when they are soft and tender throughout.  (you can prick with a fork to test)

4. Using a pairing knife split open lengthwise and cut 3 quarters of the way down.  Making enough room for the stuffing.  Add  spoonful’s of the bean mixture to each potato.  You can add more lime juice to the top or more hot sauce (ME) or even a little feta cheese if you have it!   Its so incredibly refreshing and so good! Enjoy!! (Tip- make extra stuffing and add it to fish, chicken or beef for a great topping!)

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Recipe adapted from: HERE