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Bringing Home the Bakin'

bake my cake and eat it, too

Tag Archives: healthy

The weather today has been nothing short of gloomy.  With harsh thunderstorms last night, the temperature today has tapered off drastically, and grey clouds have been hanging in the sky ever since.  In an attempt to bring some color to the lifeless conditions outside, I did what I do best: cook up something colorful.  This salad is so delicious, and definitely packs a substantial crunch.

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Thai Crunch Salad – Jennifer Segal of Once Upon a Chef

Ingredients

For the Thai Peanut Dressing

  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, from one lime
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1-inch square piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves

For the Salad

  • 4 cups chopped Napa cabbage or shredded coleslaw mix (I like to toss in a little shredded red cabbage for color)
  • 1 cup prepared shredded carrots
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 small English cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cooked and shelled edamame
  • 2 medium scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions

  1. For the dressing, combine all of the ingredients except for the cilantro in a blender and process until completely smooth. Add the cilantro and blend for a few seconds until the cilantro is finely chopped. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. For the salad, combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine. If serving right away, drizzle the peanut dressing over top and toss; otherwise, serve the dressing on the side so the salad doesn’t get soggy.

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Earlier this year I suffered a cooking “accident” — doesn’t sound so unexpected, being that I’m an avid cook and baker.  However, I did not slice my finger while meticulously chopping vegetables, or burn myself while taking a delicious batch of cookies out of the oven; instead, I cut my hand open while trying to separate two frozen veggie burgers.  It was pretty disastrous, but I definitely learned my lesson about handling sharp knives (so much so, that I shied away from cutting anything for several weeks…).  Now that my hand is totally healed and I’ve regained confidence in the kitchen, I’m back to chopping.  This recipe provided a great opportunity to hone my knife skills, as there is a TON of chopping.  It sort of takes a while to make, if you’re a timid chopper like myself, but prep time aside, this salad is DELICIOUS and lasts for 4-5 days in the refrigerator (totally worth it…).  I follow the recipe pretty much to the letter, however I have experimented with adding chopped fresh jalapeno, and if you like a little kick, I DEFINITELY recommend that addition.   IMG_6497 Superfood Black Bean & Quinoa Salad Recipe – Elizabeth Rider Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (1 cup dry quinoa yields about 2 cups cooked)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (*I prefer to use less, closer to 1/3 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed, grated or finely chopped
  • Juice of one lime (about 2 tablespoons) — DON’T SKIMP ON THIS
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional for heat)
  • 1 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained well
  • 1 red bell pepper, quarter inch chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 6 green onions, root removed, white and part of the greens chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 handful of cilantro, rough chopped (about 1/3 cup)

Directions: Prepare the quinoa. While the quinoa is cooking, whisk the olive oil, cumin, garlic, lime, salt and cayenne (if using) together in the bottom of a large bowl to let the flavors marry while you chop the veggies. Rinse and drain the black beans, then chop the veggies; the key is to make the peppers and onions about the same size as the beans. Add the cooked quinoa, beans and veggies to the bowl and gently fold it all together with the dressing. The quinoa can be warm, room temp, or cold when you make the dish. Regardless, I suggest letting it chill in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes to let the flavors come together. It tastes best served room temperature or chilled. 

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“Senioritis” has hit pretty hard this semester — I’ve often joked that I’m “as slow as molasses” lately.

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 Though it’s been a little tricky to stay motivated with graduation quickly approaching and the beautiful spring weather we’ve been experiencing, finals are still around the corner and there are many late nights at the library still ahead. I don’t know about you, but study snacks help my concentration infinitely — however, I wanted to make something that wouldn’t leave me feeling completely guilty and sugar-high.

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And thus, I recently made Vegan Molasses Cookies — they’re excellent.  They’re chewy and spicy, and taste best when completely cool (if you can wait that long, haha). 

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Vegan Molasses Cookies – A Dash of Soul 
Ingredients
  • ⅓ c. Earth Balance, melted
  • ½ c. sugar
  • ¼ c. brown sugar, packed
  • ⅓ c. blackstrap molasses
  • 2 t. vanilla extract
  • 2 T. soy milk
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 t. ginger
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • ½ t. cloves
  • ½ t. allspice
  • 2 t. baking soda
 
Instructions
  1. In a medium sized mixing bowl, cream together the vegan butter and sugars with an electric mixer until smooth and well blended.
  2. Add the molasses, vanilla, and milk and beat until the mixture is very smooth.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients.
  4. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and mix just until everything is well combined.
  5. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
  6. When you’re ready to shape the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and use a cookie scoop or large spoon to measure out about a tablespoon or so of dough for each cookie. Roll each scoop of dough into a smooth ball with your hands and roll in additional sugar if desired.
  8. Place the balls onto lightly greased baking sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the surface of the cookies have nicely cracked.

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This past week has been filled with celebrations for my family.  My younger sister went to Prom and graduated from high school, and my older sister celebrated her birthday.  With these celebrations came lots of fun, family time, and most importantly… food.  To get “back on track” after everyone’s diets were derailed, I decided to prepare a guilt-free dessert to satisfy any sweet tooth in a healthy way.  These personal-sized raw coconut cream pies are every bit as delicious as the “real deal” but left us feeling nourished and satisfied!  Although the recipe says to defrost the pies, we all enjoyed them most when eaten frozen — they taste almost like ice cream sandwiches!

Raw Coconut Cream Pie with Dark Chocolate Crust

Prep time: 10 Minutes
Yield: Makes 12 Personal Size Pies

Crust Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup Raw Cashews or Macadamia Nuts
  • 1/2 Cup Shredded Plain Coconut
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Agave
  • 2 Tbsp Cocoa
  • Dash of Salt

Filling Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 Cup Coconut Cream (*Refrigerate a can of coconut milk for 24-48 hours and skim thick, white milk from the top, leaving remaining oil at bottom of can)
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut Oil
  • 3-4 Tbsp Agave
  • 1 Banana
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

Directions:

  1. Place crust ingredients in your food processor and blend until smooth.
  2. Spray a muffin tin with a healthy, non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Evenly press dough down into muffin tin.
  4. Place in the freezer.
  5. Place all filling ingredients in a separate food processor bowl (or washed bowl) and blend until smooth.
  6. Remove crust from freezer.
  7. Evenly top crust with coconut cream filling.
  8. Place in the freezer and let set for 2-3 hours.
  9. Remove from freezer and let thaw for 10-15 minutes before serving (depending on the texture you choose).
  10. Feel free to top these with coconut whipped cream and/or shredded coconut.

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Although it isn’t the prettiest cake I’ve ever made, this raw chocolate ginger frosted cake is really something to celebrate.  It is so healthy (high in protein, fiber, omega-3s, vitamins, and minerals) yet it doesn’t sacrifice any flavor.   I’d highly recommend this cake to any chocolate lover looking to satisfy their sweet tooth with a healthier alternative to the more traditional chocolate cake.

Raw Chocolate Ginger Frosted Cake:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almonds
  • ¾ cup walnuts
  • ¼ cup raw cacao powder
  • ¼ tsp high quality sea salt
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 3 Tbsp coconut nectar (can replace with maple syrup… NOT agave)
  • 5 Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Grind the almonds, walnuts, and cacao in a food processor until it resembles bread crumbs. Add the sea salt, ginger, coconut nectar, dates and vanilla and mix again until you achieve a smooth texture. Press the mixture into a 9 x 5 inch rectangular glass baking dish.

Chocolate frosting:

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup avocado flesh
  • 3 Medjool dates, pitted
  • 2 Tbsp raw cacao powder
  • ¼ cup coconut nectar (can substitute with maple syrup… NOT agave)

Directions:

For the frosting, put all the ingredients for frosting in the food processor, or vitamix, and blend together.

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It’s no secret that everyone has taken to “hating on” Gwyneth Paltrow lately.  Whether they are  secretly jealous of Gwyneth’s vastly successful career as both an actress and budding chef/cookbook author, envious of her slender frame and glowing complexion, or are genuinely offended by various statements made by Paltrow, the sentiment is the same: they don’t like her.

Being an avid foodie, I was quick to purchase her new cookbook, It’s All Good, even despite the common criticisms.  Gwyneth Paltrow promises to make you “Look Good and Feel Great” by following her “delicious” and “easy” recipes that grace the pages of her New York Times Best-Selling book.  Anything that promises even a shred of her physique is enough for me!  Needless to say, I’ve been working my way through this cookbook and I could not be more impressed… everything I have made so far has been delicious, healthy, and surprisingly easy.  This combination of Lee’s Chopped Vietnamese Salad and Salmon with Lee’s Sriracha + Lime was perfect for a summer evening.  So, for all the haters, try out this new cookbook and I guarantee you’ll be biting your tongue…

Lee’s Chopped Vietnamese Salad – Gwyneth Paltrow, It’s All Good

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 large bok choy leaves, rough bottoms discarded, stems cut on the bias into 1/4-inch pieces, and leaves shredded
  • 4 big leaves napa cabbage, shredded
  • 1 bunch of watercress (discard thick stems), roughly chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • leaves from about 8 sprigs each of basil, mint, and cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 small cucumber, thinly sliced on the bias
  • 1 red thai chili (or more… or less), thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup roasted, salted peanuts or cashews, roughly chopped
  • vietnamese dressing

Directions:

Toss the bok choy, cabbage, watercress, carrot, herbs, cucumber, chili, and 1/4 cup of the nuts together with enough dressing to coat.  Serve sprinkled with the remaining nuts.

Vietnamese Dressing – Gwyneth Paltrow, It’s All Good

Makes about 3/4 cup

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey or xylitol
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced red onion or shallot

Directions:

Mix everything together.  Keeps well in a jar in the fridge for up to a week.

Salmon with Lee’s Sriracha + Lime – Gwyneth Paltrow, It’s All Good

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • zest of 1/2 lime
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Lee’s Sriracha (I used store-bought, and it was still delicious!)
  • 1 tablespoon good-quality maple syrup
  • coarse sea salt
  • 1 1/4 pounds salmon filet, skin discarded
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pickled ginger (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Whisk together the lime zest and juice, Lee’s Sriracha, and maple syrup alone with a pinch of salt.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, place the salmon on top, and pour the mixture over it.  Roast until the salmon is done to your liking — I like it when it’s just cooked through and begins to flake, about 15 minutes, depending on the thickness.  Serve sprinkled with cilantro (and ginger, if using).

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My mom and I are constantly searching for new recipes, and coincidentally, we both sought out the same side salad last week.  I took that as a sign that it would be delicious, and I was right — this salad is not only delicious, but also it’s a beautiful, colorful addition to any plate (and it’s perfect for fall, as the colors of the salad mimic the colors of the changing fall leaves)!

Beet and Pomegranate Salad – LA Times

serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 3 to 4 medium beets
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate concentrate or molasses
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 to 3 small, dried red chile peppers, crushed
  • Coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/4 cup lightly flavored olive oil

Directions:

1. Cook the beets in a covered medium saucepan of boiling water until tender, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool, peel and cut into very small dice. Place in a medium bowl.

2. Add the pomegranate concentrate, lemon juice, peppers, one-eighth teaspoon sea salt, or to taste, and combine. Set aside for about 15 minutes.

3. Toss the beets with the cilantro leaves and pomegranate seeds, drizzle with olive oil and serve.

Each serving: 118 calories; 1 gram protein; 9 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 9 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat;0 cholesterol; 24 mg. sodium.

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