Clean Taco Mix

When I am eating clean one of the number one things I crave is tacos!! I created a dish that not only fills my craving but has actually taken over as my taco mixture of choice.

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Start off by making quinoa. Follow the directions on the bag to make as much or as little as you like. I put some cumin in the water to help flavor the quinoa for the taco mixture.

While the quinoa is cooking sauté chopped garlic, onion and bell pepper. When the veggies have cooked down add in ground turkey or tofu (ground tofu pictured below) and season with garlic salt, cumin and a dash of chili powder. Mix the quinoa in when it is fully cooked and your taco creation is complete.

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I like to eat mine in whole wheat scoops, topped off with guacamole and some shredded cabot cheese (lactose free!)

Check out the fish taco post for my guac recipe.

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Black Bean Brownies

When sweet cravings get the best of you it is always nice to have  something to fall back on that won’t knock you off the wagon. This recipe packs in over 60 grams of protein and melts in your mouth like  the ultimate cheat meal, without the guilt!

Fudgy black bean brownie goodness. That really is the only way to describe this decadent, gluten free dessert.
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Brownie Ingredients:
1 can black beans
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 teaspoons espresso powder
1 egg
1/4 cup egg whites
1/2 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon baking powder
dash salt
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
Peanut Butter Topping:
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 Tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Place all of the ingredients for the brownie in a blender or food  processor (I use a bullet) and blend until smooth. Pour blended mixture  into a greased 8×8 baking dish.
Place all of the ingredients  for the peanut butter topping in a microwave safe dish and microwave for 30 seconds or until melted. Spoon the topping in three rows over the  brownie batter and then swirl with a knife or the base of your spoon to  create a swirl pattern across the top.
Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes (until a toothpick comes out clean). Let the brownies cool then place them in the fridge for an hour or more before serving.

Baked Brie

Here is a quick and easy  appetizer (or dessert) that will have your friends and family calling on you to attend every get together.

What you will need:
1 package frozen puff pastry sheets
1 8oz Brie round
Apricot filling
Sliced almonds
Rolling pin

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Thaw 1 puff pastry sheet, I thaw mine on parchment paper so I can roll  it out on the paper afterwards. When the puff pastry sheet is thawed  out, but still cold, lightly flour the dough and your rolling pin. Roll  out the dough a little in each direction, it does not need to be thin  you are just making it slightly larger so it can wrap around the Brie.  Place the Brie round in the center of the pastry sheet and top with 1/4 – 1/2 cup of the apricot filling then sprinkle sliced almonds over the  top of the filling. Bundle the puff pastry up around the Brie and  slightly pinch the dough to help it stay in place. Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes.

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Looking for variations? Try using a raspberry filling or switching up  the nuts with some sliced pecans. You can serve this dish with sliced  pears and apples, crackers, or even crostinis (small slices of toasted  bread).

Asian Tacos & Summer Rolls

2 dishes, 1 filling. Does it get any better!?

asian taco

I was walking around the grocery store with only one thought in mind, “I want to grill”. I picked up some charcoal and chicken breast then headed over to the produce section to create the rest of my dish. I ended up being inspired by the matchstick carrots to create an Asian inspired taco. I had soft tortillas left over from my fish taco fun the weekend before so that helped my decision. Next stop was to the ethnic food isle to decide what type of marinade I wanted to use to tie all of my ingredients together.

Grocery list: matchstick carrots, shredded lettuce, cucumber, cilantro, water chestnuts, sesame seeds, chicken breast and stir fry sauce.

Start off by butterflying the chicken breast (Using the edge of your knife parallel to the cutting board, begin cutting down the length of the side of the breast. Carefully slice the breast in half widthwise almost to the other edge. I like to slightly pound out the butterflied chicken with a kitchen mallet to get my desired thickness and tenderize the meat). Place the chicken in a bowl or bag with some of the stir fry sauce to marinate while you heat the grill and chop up veggies.

Place carrots, lettuce, chopped cucumber, chopped water chestnuts and sesame seeds in a bowl. Add in stir fry sauce before serving so the lettuce stays crisp. Once the chicken is done grilling slice it up and create your tacos! I add the cilantro on top as a flavor packed garnish.

asian spring rolls

I also had some rice paper left over from my previous summer roll creation so I took all of the taco ingredients and rolled them up into a delicious quick grab bite. The stir fry sauce was perfect as a dipping sauce. For directions on how to put together summer rolls check out my previous post.

DIY – Tuxedo Strawberries

Dear Diary,

Valentine’s day is right around the corner so today I created something extra special. Getting your friends or loved ones presents can get expensive so I wanted to be able to share the love without breaking the bank.

strawberries

Grocery list: strawberries, white chocolate, dark chocolate, wax paper and Crisco.

Make sure to rinse and dry your strawberries before starting. In a microwave safe bowl melt the white chocolate and a small amount of Crisco. I heat the chocolate in 30 second increments so it doesn’t burn. Once the chocolate is melted dip your strawberries in to create your first coat of chocolate, the tuxedo shirt. Place them on the wax paper to set.

While the white chocolate is drying on the strawberries melt the dark (or milk) chocolate with a small amount of Crisco. To create the tuxedo jacket dip the strawberry on its sides, one at a time, leaving a “v” of visible white chocolate in the middle of the flat side. Return the strawberry to the wax paper, white chocolate side up.

For the buttons and bowtie I like to use a piping bag, or plastic bag with a piping tip. You can also use a toothpick.

Until next time,

Rebecca

Summer Rolls

Looking for a light snack, a refreshing appetizer or a fun side dish? Try this quick and easy DIY Summer Roll recipe.

Ingredients: Mango, Avacado, Jicama, Cilantro, Mint, Lime, Shrimp, Rice Paper
 
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I started out by dicing the mango, avacado and jicama into small pieces and mixing them together in a bowl. There is no right or wrong amount to use, this is all to taste so have some fun and  create your perfect mixture! I then cut my lime in half and added the  juice from 1/2 of the lime into the mixture. The cilantro and mint are  also to taste, I chopped up a handful of cilantro and about a dozen mint leaves. Once everything is mixed together you can pop it in the fridge  to let the flavors mix together while you prepare your shrimp. I ended  up tossing the shrimp in some grapeseed oil with a dash of  salt and pepper and throwing them on the grill. You can prepare the  shrimp any way you like before cutting them up and adding them into the  already prepared summer roll mixture.
 
Once you have everything chopped up and ready to go you can start to assemble your summer rolls. Dip the rice paper in warm water. Rice paper is delicate and only needs  about 8-10 seconds in the water to soften. The rice paper should come  out of the water still slightly firm and not fully folding on itself. It will continue to soak in the water and soften while it is on your work  surface. Place a few spoonfuls of your filling at the top 1/3 of the rice paper. Gently fold the edge of the rice paper over your filling, then fold the two sides in and  begin to roll down the rice paper until your summer roll is formed.
 
 
Dipping Sauce:
For this summer roll I used a mango puree, crushed red pepper flakes, apple cider vinegar and the other 1/2 of the lime.

Pacific Fusion – PVB

Dear Diary,

I have to tell you about an amazing sushi/Thai restaurant hidden out in Ponte Vedra Beach that not only has delicious food but the service to match.

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Pacific Fusion has a wonderful atmosphere for grabbing lunch with coworkers or dinner with your special someone.  Looking for some tasty suggestions?? The Mango Tango roll is a flavor explosion of fresh mango, shrimp and eel sauce. The combination is simply perfection. My favorite and ultimate go to however is the Pacific Roll. The soybean paper mixed with the crisp lobster tempura, asparagus and smooth cream cheese. It is a foodie dream come true! If you are looking for a great meal, craving sushi or just want to try out a new place make sure to stop by Pacific Fusion.

sushi

Until next time,

Rebecca

Hazelnut Pie

I was shopping at Whole Foods and picked up this delicious, luxurious container of hazelnut milk. I have never baked with hazelnut milk before so the first thing that popped into my head was CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!

4 Tbsp. cornstarch, 1/4 C. sugar, 2 Tbsp. dark chocolate cocoa powder, 1/3 C. dark chocolate chips, 2 C. hazelnut milk, 3/4 tsp. Nucello

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In a medium saucepan, whisk together cornstarch, sugar and cocoa powder. Slowly whisk in hazelnut milk and heat the pan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly, then turn heat down to medium low and whisk until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate chips and Nucello until smooth. Pour into a precooked pie crust of your choice and chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

Fish Tacos

While browsing around Safe Harbor Seafood Market this weekend and saw a gorgeous grouper filet just begging to be thrown on my grill. The rest of the dish came together as I walked around the produce section of my local Publix. The smell of peaches following me through the isles was intoxicating! I knew they had to be incorporated in some sort of fresh salsa.

I ended up grilling the grouper after tossing it in some lime juice, cilantro and Louisiana seasonings. To top off my grilled filet I made fresh guacamole and pineapple, peach salsa.

Fish Tacos

Salsa: chop peaches and pineapple, mix in some lime juice and chopped cilantro.

Guac: mash up avocado then add in chopped red onion, cilantro, and tomatoes, lime juice, cumin and garlic salt to taste.