Easy Guacamole

With all this wedding planning, planning dinners has become less of a priority. Well, I should say I don’t have the time I used to have (wouldn’t change a thing!) to prepare dinner. Our favorite go-to has become chips and salsa… well, chips, salsa, guacamole, brown rice, beans and what ever wrap or chip we want to use to devour all that goodness. And don’t forget the Cholula (yeah, we can polish off a bottle pretty quickly!

If you read the ingredients on the back of most store-bought guacamoles, you might be hard-pressed to find one that uses avocado (thought they use every other ingredient under the sun). Fortunately, homemade guacamole takes only a matter of minutes!

Guacamole

easy peasy guacamole 2

Easy Guacamole

 

vegan, gluten free, grain free… awesome

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 hass avocado
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1T lime juice
  • 2t sea salt
  • 1T cumin powder (I usually use two!)

Fun additions:

  • 1/2 cup mashed sweet peas (adds bulk without the extra fat; try may want to increase your seasonings). Dare I say?  It’s “easy peasy guacamole”…
  • 1/2cup (or more) salsa
  • 1cup diced roma or grape/cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2c diced onions; red onions are usually best
  • cilantro… not a fan myself, but to each his own…

Directions:

This is a one-bowl recipe, so begin smashing your avocado in whatever bowl you would like to serve the guac.  When smashed to your liking (chunky vs. smooth), begin to add the addition ingredients.  Be sure to mix the ingredients well as you add them.  You can also begin to add any of the additional items you’d like.  Once you’ve finished that, you’re done!

  easy peasy guacamole

This recipe is great when you’re in a hurry because it takes all of five minutes to prepare.  In regards to the rice and beans, places like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods carry cans of organic, pre-seasoned beans and packs of frozen. microwaveable brown rice.  The fiancé and I will usually throw them together in a bowl.  After nuking it, we dig in!  Like I said, quick and easy and allows more time for wedding planning!

 

Enjoy!

Birthday Cake

Yet another long overdue post but with work, wedding planning, working on a side business (no details yet), and life in general, updating my blog is becoming a back burner item. But with my birthday coming up *woo-hoo*, I wanted to share with you the recipe for the delicious cake I made my for my brother… last month… better late than never, right?

Again, I made the cake for my brother and while he does not live in this state, I still made it (and ate it) for him. If his birthday cake looks a bit patriotic, that’s because it is! His birthday is the Fourth of July, not only that, but he also serves in the United States Air force, so he is the all American guy and my hero.

Enough gushing about the awesomeness that is my brother, let’s have cake!

 

 

Yellow (Birthday) Cake

Yellow (Birthday) Cake

Yellow Cake

gluten free, vegan

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe plantains
  • 1 1/3c almond milk
  • 1/4c coconut oil
  • 1T vanilla extract
  • 1/4c maple syrup
  • 1 1/2T apple cider vinegar
  • 1c sorghum flour (brown rice flour, or any gf all-purpose flour will work)
  • 1/2c arrowroot starch
  • 1/2c coconut flour
  • 1T baking powder
  • 1T baking soda
  • 1/2t salt
  • 1t vanilla vodka (optional)
  • 1/8t stevia
  • 2 flax eggs (2T flax meal + 6T water; let gel together 5min)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease on 10″ round pan or two 8×8″ round (for a layered cake) pans, or a 9×13″ pan.

yellow cake ingredients

Blend your plantain and liquids.   Sift together the dry ingredients very well (otherwise you wind up with little bits of flour in your otherwise wonderfully delicious cake).

yellow cake batter

Pour wet ingredients into the dry.  Add two flax eggs and combine mixture.

yellow cake baking

Pour batter into greased pan(s) and bake 25-30min.

 

Remove pan(s) from oven and let cool before frosting.

 frosting

Frostings:

For the frosting, I used my White Frosting recipe.  Actually, truth be told, I tried to make a frosting with a protein powder and tofu and I thought it was gross… fiancé liked it… so I whipped up a new batch of frosting.  For any chocolate lovers, try my  super Simple Chocolate Frosting.  Of course, maple cream might be good, too… so many frostings!

 cake

So what’s not to enjoy?  A cake (that is surprisingly healthy) and smothered in delicious frosting (the second batch that is)… seconds, please!?

Chocolate Mango Smoothie

*Visit Palkieplace.com for all the pictures and links!

Lately I feel like I’ve been getting lazy with my morning shakes and oatmeals. I’m guilty of relying heavily on “green” powders, protein powders and supplements. Maybe that’s why my skin and digestion have gone bonkers. Whatever the reason, it doesn’t hurt to focus on whole foods and produce for a bit.

Loving Peppermint SuperfoodMocha Mint ShakeDisney Cruise prep    Amazing Grass Green Superfood(great in moderation…)

 

This morning I made a chocolate mango smoothie without any of my favorite French vanilla (my favorite), chai, chocolate or coffee flavored mix-ins. And you know what? It was delicious! And of course, packed with real foods.

 

Chocolate Mango Smoothie

Chocolate Mango Smoothie

Chocolate Mango Smoothie
(Vegan, gluten free)

Ingredients:

1 Banana
1(or 2) Handfuls of Spinach
1/2c frozen cauliflower
1/3c frozen sweet peas
1c (or more) cold coffee [I made it the night before and put it in the fridge. Your shake won't taste like coffee but gives it a deeper chocolate taste.]
1/3 Mango
1-2T raw cacao powder
*optional: uncut stevia, maca powder, or feel free to sub coconut water for the coffee.

Directions:
Place all of this goodness in a high powered blender and blend till smooth. Feel free to add more ice or liquid as you go!

This makes one ginormous serving! I poured half in a to-go-cup to drink with breakfast. The other half, I over some dry oats and placed it in the fridge. It’s going to make for a great lunch topped with dried blueberries and almonds!

I hope getting back to the basics will have my body back in check. Until then, have a great 4th of July everyone!

photo 2

Great job USA!

photo 3

I’m Germany all the way now. Not everyone has a dirndl, right?

photo 4

Go Germany! Prost!

Apricot Coffee Cake

I hope you all had a wonderful Father’s Day.  The fiance` and I had an awesome day of church and golf with my mom (sorry dad, but you were working, haha).  After a ridiculously hot day out on the greens, we came back for a chili dinner joined by my dad and my future-father-in-law.  It was a great day but no day is complete without dessert [you know it's true...], so of course I had to bake something.

I had a handful of apricots and a few plantains that I needed to use, so I decided to make a coffee cake!   This recipe is super simple and done in about 40 minutes, so give it a try. It came out perfectly moist, sweet and delicious without the added fats and sugars!

Apricot Coffee Cake

Apricot Coffee Cake

Apricot Coffee Cake

gluten free, vegan

Ingredients:

  • -2 ripe plantains
  • -5 apricots
  • -1/2c brown rice flour
  • -1/4c coconut flour
  • -1/4c arrowroot starch
  • -1t baking soda
  • -1/2t baking powder
  • -1T cinnamon
  • -pinch of salt
  • -1 flax egg (1Tflax meal + 3T water; let sit 5 minutes)
  • -1/4c maple syrup -stevia to sweeten (to taste)
  • - (optional) 1/3 c chopped walnuts

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400F. Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper or lightly grease pan. In a large mixing bowl, sift together your dry ingredients. Dice two apricots into small pieces and set to the side along with the optional walnuts.

Now in a blender, put in plantains, 3 apricots, vanilla extract and maple syrup. Blend until smooth. Pour the contents of the blender into the mixing bowl along with the flax egg. Mix well and fold in apricot pieces and walnuts. Pour the batter into your prepared baking pan.

Bake for 30 minutes total. After 20 minutes, cover the cake with foil so it doesn’t burn. Pull your coffee cake from the oven and let it cool before applying any kind of icing. I made a simple sunflower drizzle (tastes a little like caramel). Enjoy~

 

Drizzle:

-3T sunflower seed butter

-1/4c maple syrup

Stir together and drizzle on top of your coffee cake!

 

And to all the fantastic Father’s (and father figures) that have been part of our lives, thank you!

Apricots

Carrot Cake

If it doesn’t have chocolate, how can it be called dessert?  I don’t know, but I do know that Jim… my  FIANCE`! (sorry, still giddy)…. enjoys carrot cake.  Well I had carrots and I love Jim, so why not whip up a carrot cake?  Even though this recipe really lacks chocolate, I really like this cake!

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe plantain
  • 1/2c arrowroot starch
  • 1/2c coconut flour
  • 1/2c brown rice flour (or sorghum flour)
  • 1/4c maple syrup
  • 1T coconut oil
  • 1c shredded carrot
  • 1/8t uncut stevia
  • 2T vanilla extract
  • 1T cinnamon
  • 1/2t nutmeg
  • 1/4t ginger
  • 1T baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1 flax egg (1T flax meal and 3T water; let stand five minutes)

Coconut “Buttercream” Frosting:

  •   1/2c coconut butter
  • 2T maple syrup
  • 2T+ almond or coconut milk (coconut creamer works, too!)
  • stevia to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F and line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper or lightly grease with coconut oil.  Blend together everything but flours, flax egg and carrot shreds.  In a separate bowl, sift together your different flours, baking powder and cinnamon.  Pour the contents of the blender into the flour and stir to combine.  Now stir in the flax egg and begin to fold in carrot shreds.  Pour batter into the lined or greased pan and bake for 26-30 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool before frosting.

To make frosting, place all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor until you reach the desired consistency and taste.  Now frost your carrot cake and enjoy the extra frosting with a spoon… or a fruit plate.

Enjoy your carrots! And, if you really like carrot cake check out this recipe or this one, too!

Carrot cake carrots

 

Sriracha Cheese Sauce

Hello there!

Well it’s been over a month since I last posted!  Not to worry, though, I’ve still been busy as ever in the kitchen… oh and working on wedding plans!  That’s right, I’m engaged! So, again, sorry… I’m not sorry.

Our first engagement photo.  Middleton Place, SC

Our first engagement photo. Middleton Place, SC

Jim and I are now in full swing planning a wedding, working and working on our own side project [top secret for now].

We celebrated the engagement with my family and closest friends over a meal at my folks place.  We never go anywhere empty handed, so I brought with us my Chocolate Raspberry Pie, Peppermint frosted Protein Brownies and a vegan Creamed KaleLet me tell you, that creamed kale was awesome and I am now addicted to sriracha sauce!

Sriracha

Creamed Kale with Sriracha Cheese Sauce

(vegan, grain free)

Ingredients:

Cheese Sauce

  • 1/3c cashews; soaked at least two hours
  • 1/2c almond milk; or non-dairy milk of choice
  • 1/4c arrowroot starch
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3T Sriracha (if you don’t like Sriracha, sub with seasoning of choice; Italian spices are good, too!)
  • 1T miso paste (optional, but great flavor)
  • 1/4c nutritional yeast
  • 1/2t lemon juice
  • 1T onion powder
  • 1 bunch of kale, washed; chopped and lightly steamed.

Directions:

Place cashews and almond milk in a food processor or high powered blender and process till smooth.  Begin adding your other ingredients and blend, blend, blend.  Then be sure to taste!  Add more nutritional yeast to kick up the cheesey taste or more seasoning/ garlic to enhance the cheese’s flavor.  If it’s too thick or you’d prefer a runnier sauce, add a bit more almond milk or water.  Once you’ve reached the consistency/taste you desire.

Put your lightly steamed kale in a large serving bowl and pour the cheese sauce over the top.  Now the fun part… begin to massage the cheese sauce into the kale using your hands!  Massage away until the cheese is all over the kale and your hands.  Store the kale in the fridge for an hour or two to soften and soak up that flavor.  Warm before serving. [though it's not too shabby when it's cold.]

Enjoy!

 

Citrus Pesto and Pasta

Zest.  Such an underrated world.  You have to have zest for life!  I like to think I have a zest for life and a try-anything-once sort of attitude.  Just this month I was traveling, skiing, hiking, skydiving (that’s right, 18,000ft!), and began a new startup.  As exhausting as it can be, I feel blessed to have these opportunities and I want to take advantage of them all!  Of course… couch time with a warm bowl of zesty pasta is good, too!

citrus pesto welli citrus pesto skydive

Citrus pesto pasta is quick, light delicious and fills you up just enough.

 

Citrus Pesto and Pasta

Citrus Pesto and Pasta

Citrus Pesto Pasta

(serves 4)

vegan, gluten free

Ingredients:

 

  • 4c cooked brown rice pasta (or gluten free pasta of choice)
  • 1/2c almonds
  • 2 handfuls fresh parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1T orange zest
  • 1T lemon zest
  • 1T lime zest
  • 1T coconut oil
  • 3T water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 can artichokes (chopped)
  • 1.5-2c chopped leeks (be sure to clean these suckers well!).

Directions:

In a blender or food processor, add almonds, parsley, garlic, zests, coconut oil and water.  Begin blending or processing until you have a pesto consistency.  Season with salt and pepper.

Next, in a cook pan at 2T water or oil, and over medium heat begin to saute your thoroughly cleaned leeks.  Saute for about five minutes, adding more water or oil as needed.  When leeks are soft, add artichokes and begin to warm.

Citrus Pesto Pasta

Finally, add brown rice pasta and pesto to the pan.  Fold together all of your ingredients until warmed and well incorporated.

A few great additions to this pasta are olives, sundried tomatoes, and vegan parmesan (a homemade version is super simple).

 Citrus Pesto Pasta - vegan

So whether you go out and experience new things this week or chill on the couch for a bit; add just a bit of zest!