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Fudgy Chocolate Cake

If I could eat chocolate every day I would be a happy girl. This is a fudgy chocolate cake. Two of my favorite things combined, chocolate and cake. Yum. The cake is such a surprise. It actually has butternut squash as the main ingredient. Nothing like sneaking in some veggies into a chocolate treat. It gives this fudgy cake moisture and some sweetness. I have had fudgy cakes that were so dense it was more fudge than cake. This delicious bite is the perfect combination, not too light or dense.

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  • 2 c uncooked butternut squash, peeled, diced
  • 1/4 c water
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 c maple syrup
  • 2/3 c paleo all-purpose flour or GF All-purpose Flour Blend
  • 1/4 c raw cacao powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/2 oz. dark chocolate (70% cocoa), finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 2 flax eggs, prepared
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp mini chocolate chips
  • whipped coconut cream, garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 8-inch square baking pan.

In food processor add flour, cacao powder, baking soda, and salt to processor and pulse until ingredients are well combined.

Combine squash and water in microwavable bowl; cover. Microwave on high until squash is fork tender, about 8 minutes. Transfer to food processor and blend until creamy; add vanilla extract. Pulse ingredients until they are combined.

In a small bowl combine almond butter, and chocolate, microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir until all chocolate is melted. Pour chocolate into processor and pulse . Add vinegar and pulse until all ingredients are well combined.

Transfer chocolate mixture to 8-inch square baking dish. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes.

 

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Blueberry-Almond Clafouti

I intended to make some blueberry muffins, but I had been wanting to make a clafouti for a couple of weeks. So the blueberries became a french dessert. Tasty.

Stir-ins:

  • 2 c blueberries
  • 2 tsp arrowroot

Wet Ingredients:

  • 2/3 c cashew cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 c maple syrup
  • 9 tbsp aquafaba (juice from canned chickpeas)whipped

Dry Ingredients:

Toppings:

  • 3 tbsp sliced almonds, toasted
  • 2 tsp coconut sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 inch ceramic or glass pie plate.

Toss blueberries with arrowroot, spread in an even layer on bottom of prepared pie plate.

In a large mixing bowl whip aquafaba to stiff peaks.

Fold aquafaba into the cashew cream, vanilla and maple syrup.

Whisk together the flour, lemon zest, and sea salt.

Gently combine wet and dry ingredients.

Pour batter over blueberries and sprinkle with almonds. Bake until clafouti is puffy and golden, and a knife inserted in center comes out clean, 50-55 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool for at least 15 minutes (center may sink). Sprinkle coconut sugar and slice into 8 pieces; serve warm or at room temperature. Top with whipped coconut cream.

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Roasted Zucchini and Cherry Tomatoes

It is said that you eat with your eyes first. I always try to make the plate colorful for two reasons. First it looks better. Second, it is usually more nutritious.

  • 3 zucchini, medium
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp vegetable broth
  • 1/2 tsp mediterranean seasoning mix
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)

Preheat oven to 4oo degrees.

Slice zucchini into 1/2-inch coins. Spread out zucchini, and tomatoes on baking sheet. Drizzle broth on vegetables. Sprinkle seasoning on vegetables. Stir seasoned vegetables. Bake for 5 minutes. Stir. Bake for 5 more minutes. Remove for oven.

Turn oven to broil. Broil for 1-2 minutes.  Sprinkle nutritional yeast over vegetables.

Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Apple -Cranberry Compote

Sometimes I even surprise myself. This combination of apples and fresh cranberries was a huge  – WOW moment. It is really that good. The flavors are complex, yet the compote is so easy to make. Basically a chop and in the pot kind of sauce. Ladle this compote on pancakes or waffles and you will have a breakfast everyone will remember.

  • 1 orange, zested, juiced
  • 1/2 c  maple syrup
  • 1/2 c fresh cranberries
  • 1 apple , peeled, cored, cubed
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • pinch of sea salt

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat add all the ingredients. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, then turn down to a simmer. Cook until most of the cranberries have burst. Turn heat off, set aside until ready to serve.

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Brussel Sprouts with Cranberries

I know what you thought when you saw “Brussel Sprouts”, but I promise these are really good. I’ve never been a big fan of brussel sprouts, however I was determined to find a way to like them since they are so good for you. I think I accomplished that with this dish. The key to this is to get them carmelized, so that the natural sugars come out, and make them yummy.  My husband said to me, “Who would think I actually would ask you to make brussel sprouts.” That was a huge moment, because he didn’t really like brussel sprouts either.  Like most things, I try to make them easy, so anyone could make them. Give them a try.

  • 16 oz brussel sprouts, quartered
  • 1 c fresh cranberries
  • 2 – 3 tbsp vegetable broth to toss the sprouts and berries
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl combine sprouts, cranberries, and seasoning. Toss to coat ingredients well. Spread out brussel sprouts and cranberries on sheet pan. Bake in oven for 20-30 minutes, stirring half way through. They will be done when they are fork tender. The cranberries will have burst and shrunk in size, That is a good thing. Drizzle with maple syrup and stir. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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All-Purpose Seasoning

I like to make up different seasonings to add a new dimension to the flavor of the dish. Each mix I make gives a dish a new flavor profile, making it unique. So far I’ve shared my Mediterranean and Southwestern. Today its the quintessential All-purpose mix. Hope you enjoy the flavor.

  • 2 tbsp Italian Seasoning
  • 2 tbsp Himalayan Salt (optional)
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried mustard
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper

Measure all ingredients into a mason jar. Shake. Sprinkle. That’s it. Try it on any protein or vegetable you like. This seasoning will transform your dish.img_0601

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Mediterranean Seasoning

Seasoning is probably the most important thing you can do to enhance the flavors of whatever you are cooking. It’s important to season as you go.This helps to build layers and depth of flavor. This seasoning mix was the very first one I made, and is probably my favorite. It can be used on any protein, vegetable, and sauce. I basically throw it in a mason jar, shake, and sprinkle.

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  • 2 tbsp Himalayan salt (optional)
  • 2 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic granules

Like I said earlier, add all the ingredients into a mason jar, shake so all the ingredients are well incorporated. You’re done.

 

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Smokey Southwestern Seasoning

Seasoning your food is one of the easiest ways to add lots of flavor to any dish, and make your ingredients stand out. I have a few seasoning mixes that I go to to add a little extra something to whatever I’m making. As promised yesterday, this is the Smokey South Western Seasoning Mix. I’ve used this in so many ways: Southwestern Meatballs, a frittata, on fish, the list is endless. Give it a try.

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Smokey Southwestern Seasoning
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp sea salt (optional)

This is probably one of the easiest recipes ever. Combine all the ingredients in a mason jar, and shake, until it is completely incorporated. Have fun.

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Guacamole

We used to have an avocado tree in our back yard. We would watch and see what kind of harvest we get for the season. I learned a lot about avocados, some by hear say, and some by observation. Hear say – Avocado trees are male and female. I don’t know if it’s true, but ours did well all on its own. Observation –  Squirrels love to take your avocados. They are tricky little rodents. We would find avocados on the ground with gnaw marks on them. That meant one less bowl of guacamole – very sad.

I used to avoid guacamole because of the “fat”.  Not anymore. It is one of my favorite dips, toppings, fillings, oh my. The avocado is so versatile, you can have savory, sweet, creamy, and smooth. Like I said, versatile.

Here you can see the makings of a truly delicious guacamole. Make it your own, add mango for some sweet, or jalapeno for some heat. It’s gonna be good. The thing about guacamole is that you really don’t have to measure. If you want more lime, or cilantro go for it. Less, that’s okay too. Taste it as you go, then it’ll be perfect.

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Here are the ingredients I used for this batch.

  • 3 haas avocados
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • cilantro
  • 2 plum tomatoes
  • 1/4 onion (I had a red on hand)
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • pinch of sea salt, and pepper