Warming Winter Chicken And Chorizo Stew

Warming Winter Chicken and Chorizo StewWell here we are at the end of February and there is still a foot of snow in my garden and I don’t think I’ve seen the grass for a whole month! It’s very beautiful but I’m tired of the subzero temperatures and am yearning for warming days.

Every cloud has a silver lining as they say and this winter I’ve really embraced my slow cooking and oven as I make lots of batches of soup and stews for the family. My Spanish friend brought over some wonderful chorizo for me to cook with and so I immediately got to work with this stew. It’s a type of stew that I had many times when I was living in Spain in my early 20s: tomatoes, beans, chicken, chorizo and spices. It’s simple but warms you up on any snowy winter’s day.

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Roast Chicken In Coconut Milk With Cilantro

roast chicken with milk and cilantro

My family absolutely loves roast chicken and when I first heard about this recipe from Jamie Oliver’s recipe collection, I was intrigued. Roast chicken, milk and lemon? That seemed to be a curious combination and I wasn’t really sure how it would turn out. Since we don’t consume much dairy and we love coconut milk, I decided to substitute some of my own herbs and spices and add coconut milk instead.

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Spring Leek and Chicken Dinner For Two

Spring Leek and Chicken Dinner

This is a delicious dinner that you can easily make in 30 minutes or less for dinner tonight. Just a few ingredients so you don’t have to labor over a hot stove so you can get out and enjoy the warmer spring evenings instead. It’s one of those dishes that you make one night for dinner and then add something extra the next night like a few leaves of chopped kale or florets of broccoli for another dinner. The trick to this meal is to marinade the chicken for most of the day with juicy lemon and herbs so it becomes really tender and delicious.

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Spicy Cauliflower Rice

paleo cauliflower riceDid you hear that cauliflower is the new kale? That made me laugh when I read it on a food blog this week, but with all of the delicious cauliflower recipes popping up everywhere, perhaps it’s true.

I recently won Elana Pantry’s new paleo cookbook. Since I never ever win anything, this made me very happy especially since it’s such a beautiful book full of recipes that I know I will make time and time again. I have since been enjoying reading through and sampling some of Elana’s delicious recipes. And I just had to share my version of Elana’s Cauliflower Rice on this blog.

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Chocolate and Avocado: A Marriage Made in Heaven

Recently, I started experimenting in my small Brooklyn kitchen with two of my favorite ingredients: chocolate and avocados. I’d heard from many vegan friends about a wonderful chocolate avocado pudding and just had to try it out. A few licks of the spoon and bowls later, I was hooked. Then I decided to put chocolate and avocado in my morning smoothies. And finally my biggest triumph was a minty avocado chocolate bar that had my son eating avocados for the first time in his life! Who knew that these two delicious foods work so well together? They taste utterly decadent but are healthy too. It really is a marriage made in heaven!

Here are my favorite chocolate-avocado concoctions that I’m making right now. Make sure you use the best quality ingredients: organic avocados and unsweetened cocoa powder for maximum health benefits. These recipes are sugar free, dairy free, gluten free, low glycemic and super easy to whip up.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding with seasonal berries

Chocolate Avocado Pudding with seasonal berries

Chocolate Avocado Pudding
The avocado in this pudding gives this vegan, gluten free dessert a wonderful creamy texture and heart healthy fats too. You only need a small dessert bowl to fill you up.

Ingredients:
1 ripe avocado, peeled
1/4 cup raw unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Toppings: seasonal berries (e.g. blueberries, raspberries, strawberries), slivered or sliced almonds

Put all the ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Top with berries for extra antioxidants or almonds for extra crunch.

Chocolate Avocado Morning Smoothie
What a great way to start the day! Make sure you use high-quality protein powder. Guaranteed to give you energy all day long.

1/2 avocado, peeled
1/4 banana (for extra creaminess and sweetness)
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 scoops chocolate protein powder
2-3 ice cubes

Put all ingredients in blender until smooth.

Minty Avocado Bars - everybody loves them!

Minty Avocado Bars – everybody loves them!

Minty Chocolate-Avocado Squares
My son has never ever ever eaten avocados not even as an innocent infant. We made this recipe together in 10 minutes and he couldn’t get enough! 

First make the chocolate layer:
1/4 cup raw unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
pinch of sea salt
Melt everything together in a saucepan on low heat and stir well.

Pour into a square baking or glass dish lined with parchment or waxed paper. Place in the freezer to chill and harden.

Next make the minty avocado cream layer:
2 ripe avocados
1/2 cup coconut oil
splash of lime or lemon juice
pinch of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
3-4 tablespoons of maple syrup
Put it all together in a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy.

Spoon avocado cream over the chocolate layer and leave in freezer until hard (don’t worry, you won’t have to wait long!) Then you can cut up into small squares with a sharp knife and enjoy. We preferred to keep our bars in the freezer to retain their shape and cool minty taste.

(This recipe is adapted from the Swiss Paleo blog)

Caveman Cookies

As a mom, do you despair when you pick up your kids after school and all they want to do is eat? My children have been driving me a little crazy this long winter with their constant demands for food from 3-6pm! As a healthy mama, of course I have tried to give them fruit served all different ways, smoothies and veggie sticks with hummus. Lately, I’ve been getting frustrated with their growing sweet tooth or cravings for junky snacks.

Caveman Cookies

Caveman Cookies – fresh from the oven!

On the hunt (pun intended) for a filling and healthy after school treat, I found inspiration in a nutty gluten free paleo cookie! Eating paleo in essence means removing cereal grains, dairy products, legumes, refined sugars and processed foods from your diet and filling your plate with meat, vegetables, fruits and nuts.  It’s actually not restrictive at all because modern day paleo people add nut milk, butter, heavy cream, and nut flours to their diet so you can still eat most of the things you eat now just by switching a few things around in your pantry. And yes that means you can bake – one of my favorite things to do! Continue reading