Chocolate Ice Cream…for breakfast??!

I woke up this fine April fool’s morning wanting chocolate. Conveniently, I used up my kale reserves in dinner last night, so no leafy greens for a smoothie.  Which made me think, why not make a dessert-worthy smoothie and eat “chocolate ice cream” (or as close to it as I can make it) to celebrate the day? And guys, this was amazing.  If you have a sweet tooth, this is for you! It’s light, fluffy, creamy, nutritious, and sweet-but-not-too-sweet.  I am so tempted to just go back in the kitchen and make round 2!!

Chocolate “Ice Cream” Smoothie (V, P, GF)
Serves 1 lighter serving

Ingredients
1 frozen banana
1/2 avocado
2 Tbsp cacao
2 tbsp hemp seeds (optional, but kicks up the protein!)
Almond Milk as needed (no more than 1/4 to 1/3 cup)

Method
Add all ingredients to the blender, adding just enough almond milk to make it blend easily, but making sure to keep the thick consistency.

ENJOY! :D

Strawberry Muffin Tops (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Paleo)

As you all know, it is spring!

DSC_0221I haven’t been able to hide my excitement at all, but how could anybody? I mean, the sun is shining much more now, the wind isn’t bone-chilling, flowers are coming out, the trees are more colorful, there are beautiful dandelions popping up all over the place, and some of my favorite foods are in season (namely asparagus!), and I can actually bike around campus.  This also means it is strawberry season! In the spirit of spring, our dietetics association asked people to bake something with strawberries in it, and my sister and I decided: cupcakes! But then we thought muffins would be more easily transported, so we searched the interwebs for recipes and found a couple that we liked.  We went out and got all the necessary ingredients, but once we went to make them we realized we were lacking a key aspect of muffins: muffin tins.  Out of this situation were born the muffin tops.  They look deceivingly like cookies (and who doesn’t like cookies, especially gluten free ones?), until you pick it up and realize it is soft and spongy like a muffin would be if it were shaped the right way. And these are everything you would want in a muffin:

Light
Fluffy
Sweet
But not too sweet
A Flavorful
Combo of
Almond,
Coconut,
Strawberry!

And the best part is, you can eat a couple, and not feel like you have the weight of an entire muffin on your stomach.  (I can tell you from experience:  I biked to the gym for a hard workout right after I taste-tested a couple of these babies, and I didn’t feel weighed down a bit!)  No, the best part might be the sweet, baked strawberry smell that lingers in your house for the entire day after you make these.  I would make these again solely for that welcoming smell when you get back from a night at the library.   DSC_0215

Strawberry Muffin Tops (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Paleo)
Adapted from Cook Eat Paleo‘s Recipe
Makes 24 small tops

Ingredients
2 cups almond flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
3 Eggs
1 Cup chopped strawberries
1/4 cup Honey
2 Tbsp Coconut Oil, melted
1 Tbsp Lemon juice
1 Tspn vanilla

Method
1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F
2. Mix the dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately, minus the strawberries, before combining the two together. Add the strawberries last.
3.  Spoon about 1-2 tablespoons worth of batter onto a lined cookie sheet.  The dough should be be evenly spread in the size of a circle made by touching your thumb and forefinger together.
4.  Pop into the oven until the tops are a light gold, the bottoms turn a bit brown, and when they rise again after pressing gently on them. (About between 10-17 minutes)
5. Allow the muffin tops to cool for a few minutes, until they are at a tolerable to eat without burning your mouth! (Let me tell you, they smell good enough to eat straight out of the oven.  This step will be tough, so I caution you to eat at your own risk if you skip it)

Notes
If you want a more intense strawberry flavor, I would chop up the strawberries into smaller pieces or try to mash some up into the batter.  To make these vegan, I would try adding an egg replacer or some ground up flax or chia seeds, though the seeds might end up making them less fluffy and more dense.

DSC_0204These are immensely satisfying on the warm spring day, so I recommend you try them out for yourself! And you can be happy as happy as your gut for skipping out on the gluten and dairy. I hope you guys continue to enjoy your spring wherever you may be experiencing it, and remember that this is a time of rebirth, optimism, and new beginnings.  You can do anything you put your mind to, the only person stopping you is you!

Lots of Love,
Lucy

Photo Friday: Soups

Happy Friday to all!

I am so excited the weekend is almost here–the weather is beautiful and everyone seems to be in a good mood .  I hope this is the case for you.  Anyway, I have been thinking back on the cooking class I took a month ago at NGI, and realized I have a ton of pictures from it! I wish the lighting had been better, but I think I was able to get some pretty good pictures out of it.  That didn’t seem to stop me when we were making things though–I was snapping away at the shutter any time we prepared or tasted a dish.  Let me tell you, it was hard not to just dig straight in because all the recipes were so delicious.  However, I constantly found myself the last one to start eating because I wanted to capture the moment right before devouring a dish.  Since I took so many pictures, I decided I would just post the soups for this week.  So without further ado, here are my soups:

Zucchini and Bone Broth Soup
Zucchini and Bone Broth Soup
Lentil soup with crème fraîche
Lentil soup with crème fraîche
Chicken, Chickpea, and Cauliflower Curry
Chicken, Chickpea, and Cauliflower Curry
Broiled chicken stew with a homemade chicken bone broth
Broiled chicken stew with a homemade chicken bone broth
Delicious seafood stew
Delicious seafood stew
Two empty dishes signaling immense satisfaction
Two empty dishes signaling immense satisfaction

Thanks for stopping by.  If you have feedback (positive or negative), I would love to hear it! Have a wonderful day, and remember to make time for the things that you love and that make you happy.  You deserve to be happy.

Love,
Lucy