Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Brown rice crispy treats

1. I've been meaning to put this recipe up here for almost two weeks now, but I get distracted easily.
2. I have hair color on my hair so I have to make this one quick
3. I have made these delicious gooey treats four times in the ten days. Yes, they are THAT good.
4. Josh and I are headed to Washington (state) on friday morning and I have yet to pack.
5. These take less than five minutes to make and are quite healthy (compared to traditional rice crispy treats that is)

Okay, enough of that list. These little treats are quick, easy, healthy and hands down my favorite "dessert" right now. My husband and our friend Drew gave these two thumbs up, which is why I've made so many batches. I hope you love them as much as we do.

Brown rice crispy treats

1/3 cup brown rice syrup
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups brown rice crisp cereal (regular rice crispy cereal would do fine, I'm sure)
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Heat brown rice syrup and peanut butter over medium heat until it looks like a thick syrup, about 2-3 minutes. Add vanilla.
Spray a medium sized bowl with oil and add the rice cereal, pour syrup mixture on top, (add chocolate chips now if you want them melted in, or add after syrup mixture is incorporated if you want to keep their shape) and mix until evenly coated and chocolate is melted in.
Press into oiled 9x9 dish. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Brown sugar + olive oil scrub

Every year at about this time I start to notice my skin being a little on the dry side and I start moisturizing (especially my hands) about 5 million times a day. Lately they have been needing a bit more, so I pulled some ingredients out of the pantry and made this wonderful scrub.

It did wonders for my winter dry hands, and of course left them feeling incredibly soft. So I wanted to share.

You can change up the amounts of each ingredient, its not rocket science.

I started with 3 tablespoons of brown sugar

Added 2 tablespoons of olive oil

Then I added 1 tablespoon of honey

Mix it all together. Scoop a small amount into your hands and rub into skin using circular motions, for as long as desired. I rubbed for about a minute on each hand. Rinse with warm water and pat dry. I followed with a little coconut oil, which is what I predominantly use as moisturizer.

I've been using it in the mornings and my hands stay good throughout the day.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Coconut Chocolate Pudding

This recipe is the start to quite a few health-conscious, but crazy delicious recipes I'll be sharing on here. They may not be fat-free, or calorie-free, but i'll be using healthy fats, natural sweeteners, and less white flour. The results are beyond satisfying.

Last week I was having a sugar craving, well, more specifically a chocolate craving. I looked up a quick, easy chocolate pudding that was made in the microwave, and promised delicious results. I took one bite and spit it out, it was THAT bad. I wish I could link to that one and tell you to steer clear, but that would be rude so instead I'll beg you to make this instead.

Once again, Heidi came through with a fabulous recipe that I tweaked just a bit to my liking.
It is quite possibly the best chocolate pudding I have had. Intensely rich and wonderfully creamy, it is the grown up, sophisticated chocolate pudding that instant packets and plastic cups can't deliver. Plus it is dairy-free, and sugar-free.

It doesn't have a pronounced coconut flavor. If you would like that, add a small amount of coconut extract. You could also make this with regular milk, but why not give the coconut milk a try first. It is incredibly creamy and smooth.

Coconut Chocolate Pudding

1 14-ounce can of coconut milk (lite is fine), divided
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
scant 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup arrowroot powder, sifted (cornstarch can be used, however arrowroot is best)
3 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted
1 3.5-ounce bar semi-sweet chocolate, chopped or 3.5 ounces chocolate chips
1 teaspoons vanilla extract

Shake the can of coconut milk vigorously for a few seconds. In a heavy saucepan bring 1 1/4 cups of the coconut milk, maple syrup, and the salt (just) to a simmer over low heat.

While that is heating, in a seperate bowl whisk together the remaining coconut milk, arrowroot powder, and cocoa powder. It should look like a chocolate frosting.

When the coconut milk and sugar mixture has started simmering take about 1/4 cup of it and whisk it little by little into the arrowroot mixture, creating a slurry. Turn down the heat to the very lowest setting. Now drizzle the arrowroot slurry mixture into the simmering pan of coconut milk whisking vigorously all the while. Keep whisking until the pudding comes back up barely to a simmer and thickens up a bit, about a minute.

Remove the saucepan from heat, continue whisking while it is cooling for about a minute. Now whisk in the chocolate and vanilla. Keep stirring until the pudding is smooth. Transfer to a bowl and place in a refrigerator to chill thoroughly. To prevent a skin from forming press plastic up against the surface of the pudding.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Miso soup

Week one of the detox down, and the worst is over, hooray! And in all honesty, it wasn't too hard this go round and I feel like a million bucks. I have more energy, I feel more alert, and my skin is thanking me x3000. I've had a ginormous sweet tooth my whole life and every time I go on a refined sugar fast I realize how bad sugar can make you feel after so much of it, for so long. I'll be sticking with agave, maple syrup and honey sweetened desserts for awhile and maybe eating something with refined sugar every now and then. Everything in moderation, right??

But enough of that for now.. let's talk miso soup. This was my first time making it at home, and I bought miso over 3 months ago so it's about time. Since the first of the year it's been quite cold here, which is nice since it was 68 on new years eve, and has been perfect soup weather. There are a ton of miso soup recipes out there, but I knew Heidi would have one that suits me best right now. It is mellow, filling and quite good. My often picky husband ate his entire bowl, down to the last drop.

(click on pictures to see full size)

Make this if you're feeling sick, make this if you're snowed in, or just make it because it's absolutely delicious, but please do MAKE IT.

If you don't have buckwheat soba noodles, substitute with a whole wheat linguine or even spaghetti.

P.S. Thanks to joythebaker for featuring me on her new food blog post. You're a sweetheart! And if you're new to this blog, Welcome!! Leave me a comment saying Hi and tell me what kind of recipes/posts you'd like to see in the future.

Miso Soup (Adapted from 101cookbooks)

3 ounces dried soba noodles
2 - 4 tablespoons miso paste (to taste) (I used organic white miso)
2 green onions, tops removed thinly sliced
a small handful of cilantro
a pinch of red pepper flakes

Cook the soba noodles in salted water, drain, run cold water over the noodles to stop them from cooking, shake off any excess water and set aside.

In a medium sauce pan bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and remove from heat. Pour a bit of the hot water into a small bowl and whisk in the miso paste - so it thins out a bit (this step is to avoid clumping). Stir this back into the pot. Taste, and then add more (the same way) a bit at a time until it is to your liking. Also, some miso pastes are less-salty than others, so you may need to add a bit of salt here. (Add 2-3 ounces tofu, if desired) Remove from heat.

Split the noodles between two (or three) bowls, and pour the miso broth and tofu over them.

Feel free to add watercress, spinach, ect. (i left greens out this time) now. Top with green onions, cilantro and red pepper flakes.

Serves 2 - 3

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Avocado Cucumber soup

I start off every year with a "detox". Well, what I do probably doesn't count as a detox to lemon-juice-detoxer types but it works for me. It's a simple approach that transitions me out of all the holiday junk and back into my healthy eating. I cut out sweets and get my fix from loads of fruits throughout the day, eat WAY more vegetables than normal, drink smoothies with heaps of flax and greens, drink a detox tea 3 times a day, and of course, drinking more water than seems humanly possible. It's not much different than my regular eating, just a few small differences.

I got this recipe from Gwyneth Paltrow's detox plan. It is very refreshing and I definitely wouldn't limit this to a "detox" recipe. I will be making this often, but perhaps next time only using the juice of half a lime. It was a bit tart.

Avocado Cucumber soup

1 avocado
1/2 cucumber, peeled
zest of 1/2 lime
juice of whole lime (i will use less next time if not making for a detox)

Whiz in blender until smooth.