Snack Art

This weekend CrossFit Bloomfield hosted the Festivus Games again and it was sooooo much fun! Exhausting, but fun! I think I slept like a baby that night.   Four workouts in one day definitely makes for some sore muscles for rest of weekend.

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From this weekend’s Festivus Games

Because of the exhaustion, I wasn’t really up for cooking.  What I was up for was playing with my food.  You know that feeling when you are just so tired you start just moving things around on your plate and you forget you are hungry?  Well, that’s kind of what happened.  I knew I wanted to saute up some veggies, but I started rearranging them and made a fun little portrait.

Then I thought, how fun would this be with a side of hummus or guacamole to dip in and you have the perfect veggie plate/afternoon snack for both kids and adults?!

Have fun with your food!  Before you chop your veggies, make some art.  Before you dip your veggies, make some art.  Sometimes, it is OKAY to play with your food.  When you do, take a picture.  I would love to see what you create!

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Veggie Art before they got chopped for my stir fry.

 

 

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Lemon Basil “Cream” Sauce

There is nothing better when food feels like it is giving you a big hug.  Normally, bear-hug foods are typically terrible for you.  Foods in this category would be anything with thick, cheesy cream sauces, dense cookies and cakes, flaky pie crusts, buttery noodles and anything else that is super heavy and starchy.

Time to clean the drool up off your shirt and counter folks! I have seen a lot of cream sauces made with avocado, so I decided to give it a try for myself.  It did NOT disappoint.  You can put it on anything and everything and it is super easy to make.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp of fresh basil
  • 1/2 squeezed lemon
  • 1 tsp fresh oregano
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 avocado
  • salt and pepper to taste IF NEEDED

Directions:

  • Blend until completely smooth in blender.
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Blended and ready to use.

I cooked up some mushrooms, zucchini/daikon noodles, shallots, garlic and spices and ground turkey and poured the avocado cream sauce over and mixed.  HOLY BALLS this was delicious!!!!

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Asparagus Bundles

We have all seen bacon wrapped asparagus served as an appetizer before.  Why not perk up our asparagus side dishes in a perfect little bundle that will be fun for people of all ages to feast upon at any meal?!

This recipe is stupid easy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 bundle of asparagus
  • 1.5 table spoons of coconut aminos
  • 1.5 table spoons balsamic vinegar
  • sprinkle of garlic powder
  • 1 package of Paleo Turkey Bacon

Directions:

  • wash and cut the ends off the asparagus
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Divide the asparagus up wrap a piece of turkey bacon around each mini bundle of asparagus.  You will have enough turkey bacon for all of it.  Place on a parchment covered backing sheet.   Drizzle with the coconut aminos and balsamic vinegar.  Sprinkle some garlic powder on top.

Bake on 370 for about 35-37 mins

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Delicious bundles ready to enjoy!  These are perfect with eggs for breakfast or with any dinner.

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Mock Chopped Liver

L’shana Tova!

The title is probably NOT the most enticing.  I know your eyes are not bugging out of your head and you probably aren’t salivating… UNLESS you are the oddball like myself that absolutely loves a good chopped liver and all its vegetarian alter egos.

I also love when there are healthy and tasty options for appetizers that won’t leave you feeling guilty.  My mom has been making this string bean mock chopped liver ever since I can remember and it has been a staple at all of our holiday gatherings.  However, it always had hard boiled eggs in it which we both can’t have anymore.

We were talking on the phone and discussing ways that we can reconfigure the recipe so that it would still have the same texture and taste without the eggs and that’s where the idea hit me to try using roasted chestnuts.  They are starchy, nutty, sweet and savory all at the same time.  THEY WORKED!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of steamed string beans
  • 1.5  packages of organic roasted chestnuts
  • 2 large sauteed onions (completely browned) or 1 onion and 1/2 cup of chopped leaks. and a clove of chopped garlic
  • 3/4 cup of chopped pecans
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

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Saute your onions and garlic until nice and browned.

combine chestnuts, steamed string beans, pecans, sauteed onions/garlic, salt and pepper (to taste)  in your food processor.  Blend until everything is completely blended.

 

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This is what the consistency should look like when its done.  Serve up with some vegetables to dip in or some crackers.  This is ridiculously addicting with cucumber slices!

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Fried Sweet Beets

I LOVE fried green tomatoes, but tomatoes make me itchy.  I wanted to create an alternative that would be tasty, slightly sweet, and have a little crunch to it.

I knew that red beets would be too potent, so I went with chioggia beets for their mild and sweet flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups of almond flour
  • seasonings to taste. (I used South African Smoke Seasoning from Trader Joes, sea salt, and garlic powder).
  • Olive oil for dredging
  • Avocado oil for frying
  • 1 Chioggia cut about 1/4 inch thick

Directions:

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Cut your beets.

Mix your spices and almond meal together onto a plate.

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Dip the slices into olive oil.

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Move the olive oil covered sliced beets to the mixture of spices and almond meal and make sure the beets are covered well. Put back into the olive oil and back into the almond meal so it has a double coating.

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In a fry pan on medium to high high heat, fry your beets in avocado oil.  Fry on both sides.

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Holy hell balls was this good!

Okay, now that I had one…or two..FINE I HAD 3! I had to do something with it before I ate the whole plate myself!

Soooooo I decided to layer it like you would an eggplant parmesan.  However, I had made homemade cashew gouda cheese.  I had just cooked up some spaghetti squash and had some frozen peas, which happen to one of the few legumes that don’t bother me.

I layered these ingredients and baked it on 375 for 40 minutes.  DELISH!

 

 

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Snack Attack to the Max

So I tried this store-bought bag of this amazing snack a couple weeks ago.  It was supposed to be a paleo version of a cross between a Chex Mix alternative and a trail mix of sorts.  It was super addicting and super delicious.

Two problems exist with this item.  1. It is way too pricey.  2. I can consume the whole bag by myself within a matter of hours… or minutes if no one is watching.

I was determined to recreate this snack and I think I did just the trick!

Ingredients:

  • 1 plantain sliced thin with either a knife or a mandolin
  • 1/8 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp of coconut flour
  • 1 cup walnuts or pecans or a mix
  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tsp of beet powder
  • seasonings to taste (I used a mix of garlic powder, sea salt, oregano, and South African Smoke Seasoning)

 

Directions:

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Mix your thinly sliced plantain, nuts, pepitas, seasonings, coconut flour, and coconut oil all in a bowl.  Mix well.

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Spread evenly on a parchment paper covered baking sheet.  Bake at 400 for about 25-30 minutes stirring/gently tossing every 5-10 minutes.

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Let cool and enjoy!

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Zucchini Roll Ups

I love a good roll up for a couple different reasons.

  1. They always appear to be fancier than they actually are.
  2. They can be filled with anything you want.
  3. You really can’t go wrong whether they are filled with veggies or meat, they are all delicious.

This roll up was slightly time consuming, BUT super easy to make.  There were just a lot of moving parts.  Stick with it though.  I promise it will be delicious.

Step 1.  Make a spaghetti squash.  (Cut in half.  Scoop out the goop in the middle.  Bake on a cookie tray face down on 375 for about 40 mins.)

Ingredients for the basil walnut filling:

  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 4 chopped scallions
  • 8 oz of chopped white mushrooms
  • 1 cup of chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup of fresh basil
  • olive oil or avocado oil for sauteing
  • splash of water for blending
  • Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute (to taste)
  • Trader Joe’s South African Smoke seasoning (to taste)

Directions for the basil walnut filling:

  • Saute garlic, scallions, mushrooms and walnuts in olive oil or avocado oil until everything is bronzed.
  • Add in the Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute and South African Smoke to taste.

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Put your ingredients into the blender and add the cup of fresh basil.  Blend with a splash of water.

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If you need to add some sea salt or pepper do so, but don’t overload.    Once it is all blended and like a pate, put in the fridge and work on the other stuff.

 

Ingredients and Directions for the rest of the Roll up Madness:

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With a mandolin, cut two zucchinis longways.

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In a saute pan cook up 2 lbs of ground white meat ground turkey and paleo turkey bacon.

 

Once your spaghetti squash in done in the oven, scoop out the squash and put in a bowl.  Let it cool off.  Mix in two heaping tablespoons of flax meal and some South African Smoke Seasoning.

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In a baking dish, lay out your thinly sliced zucchini slices.  Put a layer of the walnut basil spread, then a layer of the spaghetti squash and then a layer of the ground turkey and turkey bacon.  Roll up.  Continue to do this until you run out of zucchini slices.

Bake on 350 for about 40 minutes.

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