Staying healthy during such a busy time can be tricky. One of my suggestions is to eat more veggies. That can sometimes be tricky though, especially with kids. Here are five ways we get in more veggies that are easy, and won’t make you feel like a cow grazing on grass all day. These fit […]
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Aw College. The days of staying up too late, listening to music way too loud, and of course, eating junk every day. Life changed forever when my roommates and I discovered the 1-1-1 peanut butter cookie recipe. The 1 cup sugar, 1 cup peanut butter and 1 egg cookies we made 2-3 times a week about about 11 p.m. We’d eat about half the dough and bake the other half to eat while we watched movies about Julie Roberts finding the love of her life… again. It was magical.
For some strange reason, I can no longer get a way with that lifestyle. If I’m being honest, it didn’t work out too well at the time, but since there are much worse things I could have done being on my own for the first time, I won’t feel too guilty about it. The point is, I love cookies. Even though I eat tons of veggies, drink green smoothies, eat grass-fed meat, and work out daily, I STILL WANT COOKIES! I don’t believe in a life that doesn’t involve treats. But I have to be careful with my treats. I’m so sensitive to sugar and right now eggs and I aren’t friends. So I knew I couldn’t use my old, go-to pb cookie recipe. I needed to re-vamp. I’m very happy with the results.
I decided to go with tahini instead of peanut butter for a more neutral taste, but feel free to use any nut or seed butter. Almond butter, peanut butter or sunflower seed butter would work just as well. Since all nut butters have a different fat content, the texture will vary a bit, but you’ll still end up with a delicious cookie.
These are only low-carb if you use a sugar alternative. The only sugar alternatives I’m a fan of are stevia, monk fruit and erithrytol. This Lakanto sugar substitute is my favorite! And now they sell it at Costco!! I also use Lily’s Chocolate Chips instead of regular. They are sweetened with stevia and are SO YUMMY! Be careful though. If you are sensitive to milk, the only diary free ones are the dark chocolate chips. We also love Enjoy Life chocolate chips for regular (not sugar free) baking. So if you don’t care about the carbs and just want a whole-foods cookie, feel free to use coconut sugar or raw cane sugar; and the Enjoy Life chocoalte chips.
I store these in the freezer because I know myself well. If they are on the counter, I’ll go back to my college days and eat the entire pan. Now I have a cookie in the freezer to celebrate moments like birthdays, holidays, or making it through the day without my head exploding. What do you celebrate with cookies?
My 8-year-old daughter loves to cook. Like… LOVES to cook. There are days I open my fridge and it looks like a science experiment exploded. It’s full of glass containers of “salad dressing,” “spice dip,” “flavored water,” and “soup.”
Yesterday, I couldn’t find my cocao powder in the pantry and rather than think I was going insane and skipping over it with my eyes (which I do regularly), I knew better. I asked my daughter, “Do you have my cocao powder?” She immediately ran up to her room and brought down a reusable grocery bag full of spices, crackers, marshmallows and… my cocao powder. Just an average day in our house.
She even delivers!!
We watch “The Pioneer Woman” together, read cookbooks before bed, and she’s a big fan of helping me meal plan. She claims she’s going to be a chef… right before she’s a teacher, but after she’s a waitress and an author. Astronaut and veterinarian are in there somewhere as well, but I can’t remember the exact order. Ambition, right?
So last week she brought me a picture of some oat bars and proclaimed she was going to make them for dessert. We tried to find a promising recipe, but in our house, to make food we can all eat it has to be gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, and refined-sugar free.
Together, we came up with this recipe and it’s a hit! It’s easy enough my 8-year-old could “make it” (I helped a bit), it comes together fast, and is customizable and really yummy.
We used almond butter because that’s what my daughter chose, but you can easlily change the flavor by changing the nut butter. I wanted peanut butter because the combination of peanut butter and chocolate yields a result even more beautiful than if Henry Cavill and Scarlett Johansson had a baby. Am I right!? But this was her thing, so I let it go. Next time!
The flavor is also influenced by the type of sweetener you use. Using coconut sugar will give it a more carmely flavor, maple sugar more of a maple flavor and raw sugar just a sweet flavor. We actually used Lakanto Monk Fruit sweetener because I have to keep my sugars (even natural ones) really low right now.
Because she’s all about the bling, we had to add something on top. She wanted 3 different kinds of chocolate, edible glutter and several types of candies. We settled for one type of chocolate, and one type of candy that happened to come in three different colors. I think she was satisfied.
So when my daughter is a famous TV chef, we’ll look back on this post and laugh. Or at the least, when my daughter has a daughter 0f her own who steals all her ingredients, hides food in her room until it’s moldy, and uses half a bottle of safron to make her mac-and-cheese look pretty, we’ll laugh. Or I’ll laugh… a lot… maniacally.
Happy baking (with your kiddos)!
Just because you’re sensitive to dairy, doesn’t mean you have to give up things like yogurt, cream cheese and frosting. I’ve got your back with the best tried and true dairy substitutions I’ve found.
We love to have people over for dessert, but I often feel guilty serving them something that fits into our family’s food sensitivities. It’s hard to make something that tastes like Grandma’s cooking when it has to be gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, and egg-free. Luckily, food is a big enough part of my life, we figure it out. I’m not okay living in a world that doesn’t allow me to have treats…regularly.
A few weeks ago, I wanted chocolate cupcakes with chocolaty, fudgy frosting. I’d always loved ganache back in the day, so I wanted to make a replica of my favorite ganache frosting using ingredients that won’t wreck me.
This frosting did not disappoint! My kids referred to our cupcakes as “magic cupcakes.” Pretty much I felt like the most awesome mom ever.
I was confident enough in these to serve them to guests, and didn’t even have to lead with a disclaimer. We baked a basic paleo-style cupcake but like all cakes, the frosting made the dish. I consider all cake a vessel for frosting. I always double the frosting on my birthday cake because… it’s my birthday.
If you don’t want to make frosting out of this chocolate goodness, you can skip the whipping part and roll it into balls to make truffles. Or you can just call it pudding and eat it with a spoon. All of the above are a perfectly acceptable way to eat this mixture that may resemble chocolate unicorn tears.
We used Lily’s chocolate chips to keep it sugar-free. These chips are sweetened with stevia and erythritol, neither of which bother me in reasonable amounts (I know this because I’ve eating unreasonable amounts and the result “cleared the room” if you know what I’m saying…).
You can use a dark chocolate or your favorite semi-sweet chocolate as well. We love Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips and Nestlee Simply Delicious Chocolate Chips. Both are made with minimal ingredients and dairy-free.
If you’ve ever made ganache, you know how easy it is. Just add hot milk (coconut milk in this case) to chocolate…
Once it’s melted, whisk it together…
Let it set up in the fridge…
And whip it. Whip it good! (I’m so sorry. I had to. And do you see my finger mark in the frosting? No apologies here)…
So easy and yummy!! We actually had to add a bit more coconut milk as we were whipping to get our perfect texture. If you need to add more coconut milk, do it 1 Tbsp at a time until it seems perfect to you.
So if you’re planning a birthday party, a BBQ to have friends over for dinner or if you just want something that goes well with a spoon, you can make this frosting and be proud!
A few months ago, I taught a health class to a group of ladies. I talked about how to give up sugar and they asked what I do for a treat. They were shocked when I admitted I eat squares of 100% chocolate. It’s true! I love it! While it’s a bit of an aquired taste, it’s totally doable. I generally suggest people start with something like 80% and work their way up, but it’s possible to transition.
I have to admit though, I get bored of my 100% chocolate. I occasionally want something with more flavor and texture that feels like a treat. That’s why I came up with these candies. They are so delicious! They taste sweet from the addition of orange, cinnamon and vanilla; but have no sugar. Plus adding nuts gives them a few different textures in each bite.
I genuinely feel like I’m eating an indulgent treat with these, but they have nothing in them I wouldn’t add to a breakfast smoothie!
If you aren’t up to the 100% yet, feel free to make these using a little bit sweeter chocolate. Again, I wouldn’t go lower than 80%. I really recommend trying these as written though.
Also, if you’re doing the 21 Day Sugar Detox these are totally approved!! If you’re curious about trying the 21 Day Sugar Detox, check out this post I wrote about my experience here.
We’re those people who would rather take a vacation to Disneyland than anywhere else. Sure I’d like to spend a week at a beach house someday, but at the expense of a Disneyland vacation?? It’s not going to happen.
We have a lot of Disneyland traditions. We have to ride Pirates of the Caribbean every day we’re there, we always ride Big Thunder at night during the fireworks, and we get one treat a day. I’m all about balance so that treat can range from a gluten-free, vegan treat, to a sugar-filled cookie.
One of our favorite treats is a Dole Whip from the Tiki Room. This may be the only treat we can all agree on in Disneyland. And while they’re full of sugar and probably several ingredients I can’t pronounce, they are gluten, dairy and egg free!! That makes me happy since it makes the indulgence less rough on my body.
If you haven’t had a Dole Whip, it’s a pineapple ice cream served soft-serve style. That’s it. It’s simple but so tasty!! You even have the option of a “Dole Whip Float” which includes putting the pineapple soft serve in pineapple juice. Also amazing!
That said, when we come back to the real world and actually care about what we eat, we still want the delicious Dole Whip. After several experiments, we’ve come up with the perfect recipe!
Depending on your food sensitivities, you can make these totally vegan or with dairy. We prefer to use a full-fat, low-sugar, grass-fed yogurt because it’s so thick, but feel free to use coconut, almond or cashew yogurt instead. We like Siggi’s Vanilla yogurt because it’s super low in sugar, extra creamy and adds the perfect vanilla flavor. Sadly, I can’t eat dairy so I use So Delicious Coconut yogurt when I plan to eat one.
We’ve experimented with freezing these as popsicles, scooping the mixture into bowls, and pouring it into freezer pop molds. My kids prefer the freezer pops, as do I to cut down on the mess. But any way you make them , they are delicious!
Whenever we use freezer molds, we put them upright in glasses or jars to freeze them. That keeps the liquid level as it freezes. Ones they’re frozen, it’s fine to stack them on their sides in the freezer.
Now if we could just figure out a way to bring our favorite rides into our home, we’d be set between vacations!!
Fall means pumpkin spice, sweaters, pretending leggings are actually pants and my favorite: SOUP! I love having soup for dinner. It’s warm and comforting, and so easy to make. It’s also a great way to get in some extra veggies.
This soup is on a whole new level of awesome. Roasting veggies is my favorite way to eat them. So roasting veggies and then turning them into a soup is pretty much the perfect combination. And adding curry is the perfect flavor. Even veggie haters will love this soup.
One thing that makes this recipe so easy is my Instant Pot. The Instant Pot is my favorite for soups. I love my slow cooker but something about pressure cooking soup makes it taste and feel like it’s been cooking for hours. I love it! And it only takes 5 minutes once it goes into the Instant Pot. You could even roast the veggies in advance and then add them to the Instant Pot when you get home in the evening. If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can cook the soup in the slow cooker on low for 4-6 hours or boil it on the stove for about 20 minutes. The veggies are already fairly soft, but this makes them soft enough to puree and helps all the flavors blend together.
If you’re like me and eating dairy makes you feel completely awful, you may be missing out on creamy things. The solution: coconut milk. Any soup recipe that calls for heavy cream can be just as (if not more) delicious with coconut milk. It’s extra fitting in this soup as coconut and curry go well together; and not just because they both start with “c.”
You could easily add chicken or a ground meat to this soup to give it extra protein, but I love it plain. Now go put on some leggings and have some soup.
When I was a kid, I was basically a professional at making no-bake cookies. This was kind of awesome because my mom (who is a great cook) could not make them. Since she loved them so much, I got to make them a lot. My BFF and I still reminisce about how we used to come home from school and make no-bake cookies in my mauve and mint Formica-clad kitchen. Awe the 90’s.
Fast forward a couple of decades. I’m still a big fan of no-bake cookies. There are few better treats in my opinion. The problem is, the butter and milk are a problem for me. I cannot do dairy unless I want to spend the next week covered in rashes and acne. Since I don’t think it’s fair to have acne and gray hair, I try to avoid dairy (and I don’t really like scratching all day).
But being the amazingly caring wife I am, I told my husband I’d make him ANYTHING he wanted for his birthday dessert. His answer: no bake cookies. I looked at him for a moment like he’d just kicked my childhood puppy. How could he do this to me??? I couldn’t even lick the pan! I decided to put my wants aside and make him his treat… sort of.
Yes, I made him a batch of standard no-bake cookies full of butter, milk and sugar. They were fabulous, of course, but I knew my self control would get the better of me. I got out a smaller saucepan and made some dairy-free no-bake cookies at the same time. The success had me almost in tears. I licked the pan, I ate the cookies and I was even able to keep them all to myself because they all wanted Daddy’s cookies. It was pretty awesome.
Since I was making my own batch and since sugar doesn’t exactly make me feel awesome either, I used Lakanto sugar substitute (monk-fruit/erythritol combination). You could use plain cane sugar instead, but I was very satisfied with the substitute.
The thing I really love about these cookies is that they are stable at room temperature. So often when I make a “substitute” it has to be kept in the fridge or freezer or it will just turn into a puddle. These stored fine at room temperature in a glass container. Not that they were around long…
This recipe is gluten-free and vegan so it’s versatile enough to take to events or share with friends. Now my husband can ask for no-bake cookies anytime and I can still be an awesome wife without sulking.
I love hummus! I eat it on veggies, on wraps, on hot dogs (way better than ketchup) and on a well-rounded spoon. I decided I wanted to make my own, but I also wanted to up my veggie consumption. Since vegetables are amazing and we all need more, I’m always trying to find a way to get more in my diet. So I decided to replace the beans with roasted cauliflower and see how that worked out for me.
My life will never be the same. It’s DELICIOUS! If you’re not a big fan of cauliflower, give it a try and see what you think. The addition of tahini and the red peppers, plus the smoky flavors from the cumin and paprika cover any cauliflower taste and make this amazing! I mostly use this as a vegetable dip for broccoli and carrots, upping my veggie intake even more. This is also delicious with crackers or plantain chips. If you’re sensitive to tahini, cashew butter works as well, but the tahini gives it a bit more flavor. If I use cashew butter, I sometimes add a bit more cumin and paprika.
I’m also willing to make this homemade “hummus” because it’s super easy to make, freezes well, and lasts longer in the fridge than traditional hummus. Because I line my sheet pan with parchment paper, the only big dish I have to clean is the food processor bowl.
I just throw it all in together to mix, so there is no order to the ingredients. The only part that takes effort (if you can even call it effort) is scraping down the sides of the food processor bowl between blending. If you don’t have a food processor, feel free to use a blender. Just make sure to continue to scrape down the sides.
I’m so happy with the results, I plan to change up the flavors and see what else I can come up with. Stay tuned!