Roasted Cauliflower with Vegan Cheese Sauce

Ever heard of a comfort food dish that’s…

  1. low in calories
  2. a light meal
  3. ultra healthy
  4. easy to make
  5. vegan, gluten free, and nearly raw
  6. yet homey, delicious, and satisfying, totally masquerading as something calorie laden and tasty.

Not so much?  Well, now you have.

Behold, the summer dinner of your dreams.  Fitting in nicely with all the criteria above.  Get excited, foodie friends.  This is one of the better dishes Ive whipped up in a while.  Man oh man, you just might find yourself eating this weekly.  I know I may.

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Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes

Inspired by and adapted from the book “Hungry for Change: Ditch the Diets, Conquer the Cravings, and Eat Your Way to Lifelong Health,” by James Colquhoun and Laurentine Bosch (which was excellent, by the way.  I recommend reading this if you are interested in the topics of health and nutrition.  Its an easy, quick but informative and inspiring read), I give you these fluffy, light, absolutely delicious blueberry ricotta pancakes.

Grain/gluten free, and low in sugar, these are basically great for you.  Yet they totally hit that pancake hankering spot one feels on weekend brunching mornings (at least that’s my quintessential weekend (and actually, weekday as well) morning ;-)).

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Healthy Coconut Macaroons

Oh man, are these things addicting.  Lightly sweet, with a chewy texture, melt-in-your-mouth yumminess right here.  These coconut macaroons can pass for Paleo, are grain/gluten free, dairy free, and free of refined sugar.  They are easy to make.  And they are damn good, so get excited 😀

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Orange Zest and Spice Baked Donuts

Hi all,

Who doesn’t love donuts?  I cant think of many people.  That’s because donuts are the bomb.  A quintessential American treat.  If made right, they are fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth, lightly sweet, and ideally topped with a swirling of frosting.  The perfect amount for a treat sized snack.  Not so much that you feel ill after consuming one, just enough to feel satisfied and oh so happy.

Behold: my donuts are made with zero grains/gluten, they have no refined sugar, and are dairy free (save for two eggs, but if you like, these can be substituted with egg beaters- found in the grocery store.  An egg substitute).

These babies have a unique, lovely flavor to boot.  Orange zest combined with a plethora of spices (a touch of cinnamon, a lot of ground cloves, and a tad of ginger).  The end result is awesome.  And, I threw the dough together in just ten minutes.  So while the ingredients may sound slightly complex to some who haven’t tried working with nut flours just yet (and no, the donuts do not taste like nuts), its super easy.  I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

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Healthy Gingerbread

Despite Christmas being over, I still think its “that time” of year.  Meaning, for gingerbread.  To me, this treat isn’t relegated merely to Christmas but is an aptly enjoyed whole winter treat 😀  However, traditional gingerbread is loaded with wheat, dairy and sugar.  I found and adapted this healthier but just as delectable version for your tasting pleasure.  Its super easy to whip together, its grain/gluten free, dairy free and quite low in sugar.  How bout that.  And its tastes sweet, lightly spiced and delish, just like the real deal.

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Enough raving about it.  Here’s how to make it.

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Pepper and Pancetta Piperrada

Hi all!

Get excited for this special feature guest post, written by Maxx, my partner and equally creative force behind the new weekly column: Brooke and Maxxs Culinary Crafts.  As an aside, to sample our mouthwatering, fudgy, decadent, showstopper of a chocolate cake, check out the link here.

Without further ado though, his enticing entrée and posting:

Fresh bell peppers shine in this recipe, a Spanish-influenced dish fitting for any meal.  I fixed this for Sunday brunch; the savory flavors working nicely in pairing with the velvety eggs.  If your knife skills are sharp, you can whip this up in 30 minutes, an easy preparation for sure.  The recipe is derived using this original for inspiration.

I had been seeking the opportunity to put Brooke to the test after I learned that she is somewhat picky about her Bell peppers.  I myself had never appreciated the subtleties in their flavor over the range of colors in which they are available.  A fortuitous family pack of peppers at the grocery store afforded me the opportunity to buy a quartet of them; green, red, yellow, and orange.  When preparing the dish, I reserved samples of each and administered a blind taste test.  Brooke correctly differentiated her least favorite, the green pepper, at first, before being swayed by the flavors of the orange.

Ultimately, she identified the similar tasting peppers: orange and green, and yellow and red, only she reversed her selections within those two pairs.  I was impressed overall after being skeptical in her ability to distinguish the peppers by color.

So, onward with what you’ll need to make this breakfast dish:

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Grain Honey Mustard Marinated Salmon

Happy Monday, all!

For recipe #2 on Brooke and Maxxs Culinary Crafts, we decided on a honey mustard marinated salmon accompanied with a side of sweet potato fries.  Our attempt at going semi healthy and lightening things up after the swan dive taken into wholehearted consumption of the sweet stuff over the last few weeks 😉

This recipe may be really good for you but it tastes awesome.  In Maxxs words, “fun to eat” with the tiny, almost bead-like texture of the grains atop tenderly cooked salmon.  The zest of the mustard playing well with the subtle sweetness from the honey added to it.  Sweet potato fries, the perfect of sides for this simple but comfort foody, totally satisfying plate.

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Crash course on Paleo

This particular lifestyle has begun to receive a fair amount of hype over the last couple years, while just recently exploding into major trendiness.  Both receiving lots of good as well as bad press.  Is there any meat behind the supposedly life changing claims?  What are the benefits along with the potential pitfalls?  While not personally following a Paleo diet (though I do dabble), enough of my recipes fall under the umbrella of this particular lifestyle that make it fitting to post a short and sweet descriptor of what Paleo is and why it seems loads of people are jumping on the bandwagon.

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Salmon Pesto Zoodles

Hi all,

Long time, no post.  I admit, this ones a bit of a cheat but a delicious one, nonetheless.  Healthy, light in calories, while full of flavor and totally tasty.  Easy to make on a weeknight after a long day of work and hits the spot just right.

This recipe serves two people.  Its gluten/grain free, can be dairy free if you either omit the pesto or get a vegan version, and is of course sugar free.

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Paleo Sunflower Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

To all lovers of old school chocolate chip and/or peanut butter cookies (or, for the truly daring, lets take the two and combine 😉 because really, what’s better than chocolate and peanut butter fused?  Nothing, that’s what.  Besides possibly pumpkin pie or pumpkin bread, but that’s another debate for a different day).

The coolest thing about these cookies though?  They deliver all the taste of a peanut butter chocolate chip cookie but are grain free, dairy free, Paleo and free of refined sugar.  The texture is cakey and moist.  They taste lightly sweet and peanut buttery, except these guys are made with sunflower butter.  The supposedly healthier cousin to PB, as its not a legume/nut.

Get excited for these guys.  Easy to make and totally delicious.

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