I often get asked by customers, or people looking to be dairy free, ‘what are good cheese substitutes’? Although there seem to be a lot of them out there, opinions vary on what is the best. One of my favorites actually is not purchased in a package, it is a super easy home made recipe, Macadamia ricotta cheese. Although you can buy non-dairy ricotta, it tends to be made from soy, and often times people are looking to avoid it. This home made version however, contains only 3 ingredients and tastes like ricotta plus has the light fluffy texture. It can be used on top of salads, as a spread paired with jam or served with fruit and can also be used in pasta like lasagna.
Sugar is a foreign object in my kitchen along with its counterparts, processed foods. We try to avoid grains and dairy to uphold a paleo lifestyle. My kids love sweets, and I don’t want to deprive them of its yummy satisfaction. When I was growing up, chocolate pudding was a standard reward for eating all the good stuff. But what if the pudding could be good stuff too? This recipe is a great way to get some omega-3 fatty acids and potassium. Some of the ingredients are optional. I add them to get a little more healthy nutrients in my kids. It really is pudding undercover. My son begs me for it. Who says healthy can’t taste good? Enjoy!
When I was a kid, I used to think that salad dressing all came in a jar or bottle. Boy was I wrong. Once I started cooking and prepping food for myself in college, I discovered that homemade dressing is so much better and you can tailor it to your own tastes. I made a lot of vinaigrettes, but another favorite of mine is nut and seed butter based dressing. Peanut butter for Thai, almond butter for a smooth nutty slightly sweet dressing, and tahini for middle eastern salads and dishes. One that I have been making quite often lately is a lemon tahini dressing. It is silky and flavorful, and it pairs well with middle eastern ingredients like sun dried tomatoes and red bell peppers. It is wonderful with baby kale, or even for making a quick sauce for a noodle salad with chickpeas. I keep a jar in the fridge for quick dinners.
We all crave something salty, crunchy and sweet sometimes. But why not get some nutrients and healthy oils with it while you are at it instead of going for the bag of potato chips or cookies? I recently made some Spicy Coconut Chili Kale. I recently shared a recipe for Chili Kale Chips, but thought I would share another since I have been getting a lot of questions at Fresh and Natural Foods on how to make kale chips. Plus, these are not like any kale chips I have ever tasted. They are coconut based, so slightly sweet with heart healthy fats; they have a kick from the chilies, and they are quite satisfying. If you enjoy Thai food, then you will love these with flavor similar to Thai red curry.
Non GMO soy is said to have heart healthy benefits, and one of my favorite ways to enjoy it is tempeh. It is less processed than many soy products, and it can be a great alternative to meat as it is substantial. Although it can be made many ways, it is wonderful when crisped up and served in a delicious sauce. Sweet and sour, BBQ or miso glazed are delicious options, but I decided to share with you the miso glazed. If you have not tried miso, this is a good place to start. Miso makes a delicious flavorful sauce for Asian dishes. Here, I serve it with portabello mushrooms and sauteed kale, and it makes a hearty meal when served alongside rice or even as is. If you are wanting to try going meatless a few days a week, give this quick and easy dish a try!
In the winter, it is nice to have a bowl of something warm to sit down to after coming in from the cold. Which is where soup often comes in. On weekdays especially, I love coming home to find dinner already made, and so making soups in large batches during the weekend is a nice option. A lot of soups freeze well and can be stored in individual portions for a quick meal later. Which is why I am sharing a hearty winter soup with you today. My White Bean and Kale soup can be a substantial meal when served with a salad or hearty bread for dipping, and it freezes exceptionally!
Looking for a healthy app that is not the average run of the mill? This app is not only paleo-friendly, it is heart friendly. These gluten-free, dairy-free little devils pack a whole lot of omega-3 fatty acids. The cayenne pepper added to the guacamole holds this recipe to its deviled (devil usually associated with heat, get it?) name but really they are just heavenly.
If you were able to share in our celebration of 11 years, chances are you enjoyed a piece of cake for the birthday party. The two choices were Down in the Valley gluten-free chocolate cake or the in-house bakery made chocolate and vanilla cake. The deli is receiving lots of request to get the recipe of the in-house made cake. Well, here it is for your next celebration.
Who doesn’t like brownies? All that decadent chocolate and fudgy sweet goodness reminds me of my childhood. Some of us link them to a special memory or may treat them like a reward. For me personally, I associate brownies with good memories. So I ventured out to create a version suitable for both vegans and those effected by gluten. They are every bit as tasty as their gluten, egg and dairy filled cousins, and you would never know. What makes them fudgy is the addition of black beans, which you can not taste, but they add a bit of protein. They are also sweetened with coconut nectar which is a low glycemic sweetener. Give the act of love and health this Valentine’s Day by baking your loved one this delectable dessert.
Valentine’s Day is almost here, and if you are like me, you are probably thinking of sweet things you can do on that day for the special people in your life. Although you can simply go out and buy a box of chocolates, it only takes just a little more effort to make something delicious yourself to give as a gift. Chocolate dipped strawberries can be purchased, but they are simple to make at home and your significant other will be impressed that you took the time to make them yourself! I am sharing with you my recipe for raw chocolate dipped strawberries, which are refined sugar free and vegan. I coated them with pistachios, which are lovely with the red berries, but feel free to use your favorite nut or coconut in its place if you would like. Another option, you can buy good quality dark chocolate in place of the raw chocolate if sugar is not a concern.