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Posted on May 30, 2013 in Food, Recipes | 4 comments

Chocolate Crepes

Mon dieu, mes amis! I am so humbled and flattered by all your support and camaraderie in response to my big job announcement post! You guys really know how to make a girl feel loved, you know that? Well, I’m tossing the love right back your way with an extra special (and extra delicious) new recipe!

You may have seen, from my previous post on crepes, that I have some serious love for these hoity-toity cousins to the good ol’ pancake. I’ve always loved how incredibly easy they are to make something so seemingly impressive. I mean, flour, eggs, milk, sugar… and a little water to thin out the batter. It really doesn’t get much easier than that!

So when Almond Breeze challenged me to come up with another delectable brunch recipe, I knew exactly what direction I would be headed in. Only these fluffy little dreams have one serious new twist to them: CHOCOLATE!

Yes, these sweet-but-not-too-sweet chocolatey crepes will have you singing aloud (probably in French). Eat them plain (they’re delicious on their own!) or stuff ’em full of whatever your heart desires! I went with a raspberry cream filling this time around, but you could honestly do anything! Jam, fruit, more chocolate (you know you wanna)… the possibilities are endless!

Chocolate Crepes

Ingredients:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tbsp sugar (or equivalent of sweetener of your choice)
1/2 cup Chocolate Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Almondmilk
1/2 cup water
2 eggs (or vegan substitute)
Pinch of salt

Instructions:

1. In a bowl, mix together dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, sugar, salt) with a whisk or fork, making sure to break up any clumps in the cocoa powder.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs until yolks and whites are fully combined and are fluffy. Mix in almond milk.

3. Add wet ingredients to dry, and mix together until thoroughly combined. Add water, using additional if you need to thin out the batter even more. You are aiming for a rather thin, drippy consistency.

4. Heat a pan over medium-high heat and grease with butter or nonstick spray. In 1/2 cup increments, drop batter into hot pan and swirl around until the entire bottom area is coated. Cook ~45 seconds, flip, and cook an additional 20 – 30 seconds.

5. Roll your crepes with whatever filling you choose! This time, I whipped up a very quick filling with cream cheese, raspberries, and a dash more of almond milk to thin it out.

6. Bon appetit!

This recipe makes 5 – 6 large crepes (only 5 if you mess the first one up, like I did, haha). And each crepe has only 115 calories and 2.5 grams of fat. Enjoy!

almondbreezelogoThe above post was sponsored by Blue Diamond Almond Breeze, but all content is 100% my own.

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Posted on May 22, 2013 in Food, Recipes | 4 comments

Sean’s Roasted Salsa

Hi friends! Today I’ve got something special for you: Sean’s uhhhmazing homemade salsa recipe! I’ve posted about his salsa a couple of times before, and it was a HUGE hit at my birthday party, with several recipe requests coming out of that. Well, ask and ye shall receive… eventually! Ha!

He made salsa again recently and had the thoughtfulness to take pictures of the process for me to blog about. See, told you he was a keeper. 🙂

Sean’s salsa has deep, roasted flavors and has restaurant-style consistency — he purees it very finely so it coats each chip, as opposed to the chunkier, pico de gallo-style salsa I’m often used to out of the jar. This salsa is perfect not just for snacking, but for topping tacos and other dishes since the consistency is so smooth and pourable. Sean makes fish tacos sometimes and I douse them in this salsa — SO good!


You can make it as spicy or as mild as you like — he’s a spice-fiend, but I often have to ask him to scale it back for me. I know, I’m pathetic. But it’s so good that even when he makes it too spicy, I can’t stop myself from eating it. I just end up paying the price for it later, hahaha.


So without further adieu, awaaaay we go!

Sean’s Roasted Salsa

Ingredients:

6 medium tomatoes
1 large onion
2 jalapeno peppers (or poblano, ancho, guajillo, or peppers of your choice)
2 cloves elephant garlic (or ~6 small cloves)
1 canned chipotle pepper in sauce (unpictured, but they come in small cans in the ethnic foods section of your grocery store)
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Seasonings: Cumin, chili powder, cayenne, salt (all to taste)

Instructions:

1. Heat grill or set broiler to high. Slice tomatoes in half, and onion into thick, grill-bearing slices.

2. Put tomatoes, onion, garlic, and jalapenos on the grill/under the broil, and cook until outsides are blackened, flipping once. Tomatoes take about 25 minutes, everything else around 10 minutes, so remove items as they finish cooking.

3. Add veggies to food processor and add canned chipotle pepper (you can add as many as you like if you like your salsa spicy, but one is enough for me!) and some of the sauce from the can as well. Add lime juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, and pulse food processor until everything is combined. If you don’t have a food processor, this could potentially be done in a blender, or you could chop and combine ingredients by hand (it’ll just be a chunkier salsa).

4. Add seasonings to taste, including more vinegar and olive oil if you think it calls for it. This is where you can tailor the salsa to your exact preferences!

5. Once everything is to your liking, you can serve it warm right away, or allow salsa to cool in the fridge if you prefer it cold. Then, when you’re ready, just dunk some chips in there and enjoy! Ole!

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Posted on Apr 29, 2013 in Giveaway, Recipes | 5 comments

Melon Refresher Smoothie

I know you guys are strewn all throughout the country… and the continent… and the world! So I’m not sure exactly what the weather situation has been like in your individual areas over the past few weeks, but let me tell you: In the DC area, weather has been crazy this spring. We have gone from winter to summer to winter to spring  (oh, please, PLEASE let it finally be spring!), all within the timespan of a few days! A couple weeks back, I swear, it was 38 degrees one day and 90 the next. That hot (hot, hot, hot!) summer weather stuck around for a few days, and boy, did I feel it.

I’m not sure if I’ve ever explained that summer is actually my least favorite season. I know, blasphemous, right? Don’t get me wrong, I love a lot the things that summer brings: pool parties, beach trips, ice cream trucks, and tons of general feel-goodery. But summer also brings with it lots of things that I don’t love: Mosquitos, humidity, and—oh yeah—the heat.

I am not a slight woman. This much has been, and will always be, true. Whether I’m 250 pounds or 150 pounds, I will always have big ol’ bones and this 5’9” frame and I will always, always be the sweaty beast that I become when it’s 90+ degrees outside. I know that paints an extremely attractive picture of me, but seriously. Is there anyone in the world who gets as sweaty as me when the weather is hot? I doubt it.

Given my proclivity for transforming into the aforementioned Sweaty Mess Formerly Known as Gretchen, I’m constantly on the lookout for ways to cool me down, inside and out. The out usually means I exist solely in sundresses and flipflops from May – September, while the inside means I’m eating lots and lots of cooooool foods. So when the weather unexpectedly spiked, what do you think I did? Yep, I immediately sought out a light and refreshing new smoothie recipe to cool my sweaty soul.

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Plus, I won’t lie, I really, really wanted a reason to use my new Vitamix. Hehehe.

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Enter: the cantaloupe smoothie.

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I know, sounds kinda weird, right? Well, let me assure you, if you are a melon lover of any kind, you will lo-o-ove this smoothie. It’s sweet but oh-so-light, cooling and very refreshing. I sucked down half my glass without even realizing it, that’s how wonderful it is. This can be made with any kind of melon, too. I happened to have a perfectly ripe cantaloupe on hand, but it would be awesome with honeydew, or even watermelon! Especially watermelon, actually. Mmm, watermelon… And with only five—count ‘em, FIVE!—ingredients on the list, you can be sure this is going to be a staple in my summer eats rotation.

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Melon Refresher Smoothie

Half a cantaloupe, seeded and cubed (~3 cups)
1 cup Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Almondmilk Original (unsweetened or not, your preference)
2 tbsp sugar
1 cup ice
Drizzle of honey (add more or less to taste)

Regular blender instructions: Put ingredients in blender in order listed, blend on high for 30 seconds, or until smooth.

Vitamix instructions: Put ingredients in blender in order listed. Start on Variable speed 1 and quickly increase to 10, then high. Blend for 15 seconds.

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This recipe makes about three 12-ounce servings… or, if you’re me, two 18-ounce servings. Heh. You can store extras in the fridge for a couple days (you may need to shake or re-blend for a few seconds). Enjoy, and keep cool out there!

almondbreezelogoThe above post was sponsored by Blue Diamond Almond Breeze, but all content is 100% my own.

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Posted on Mar 28, 2013 in Recipes | 3 comments

Savory Rosemary Bread Pudding

Hi folks! Sorry I’ve been MIA these past couple days. As you may know, I’m in Houston right now visiting my adorable newborn niece (1 week old today!) so blogging has admittedly fallen to the wayside. But I figured I would check in at least once today while baby Mia is sleeping to bring you a delicious new recipe!

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The weather in DC lately seems to be flipflopping between Winter and Spring lately. Sunny and 65* one day, snowing the next. So I find my appetite to be in this weird pseudo-wintery place. In fact, even though it’s officially supposed to be Spring, I’ve lately found myself craving hearty winter foods. So when the time came for me to dream up a new recipe using Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Almondmilk, I ended up whipping something up that brought me straight back to the comfort and warmth of the colder months (and, yes, I do realize this is somewhat ironic as today it was 70* and sunny in Houston, but regardless): a savory bread pudding!

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Bread pudding is actually (and somewhat surprisingly) one of my favorite desserts. Sean is constantly baffled by this, but for some reason there’s just something about the ooey, bready stuff that I go nuts over. Of course, since I gave up desserts for Lent, and it’s not quite Easter yet, I had to swap the sugar for seasonings.

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The result was a warm, steaming bowl of deliciousness that actually reminded me a lot of stuffing. Which is awesome, because I love stuffing, but can’t bring myself to eat it on not-Thanksgiving days. Y’know, cause I pretty much eat enough ON Thanksgiving to last me the rest of the year. Heh.

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This recipe actually ended up being super easy, crazy delicious, and, because I used P28 high-protein bread, quite nutritious, too! And if you want to make it vegan, all you’d have to do is sub-out a vegan bread option (since I don’t think P28 is). Easy peasy. It can stand alone as a quick and easy lunch dish, or be a wonderful side dish.

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Savory Rosemary Bread Pudding

Ingredients:

4 slices P28 high-protein bread (or other bread of your choice)
2.5 cups Almond Breeze unsweetened original almond milk
1/2 medium white or yellow onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1.5 tsp dried rosemary
1 tbsp butter
Salt & pepper

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 375*.
2. Toast your bread slices until dry and crunchy. (An alternative would be to simply use stale bread.)
3. In a pan with high sides, saute onion, garlic, and carrots in butter until vegetables are soft, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add almondmilk, rosemary, and salt & pepper, and bring to a simmer.
4. Chop toasted bread into even cubes, and put in a bowl with the chopped green onion.
5. Pour the almondmilk and vegetables over the cubes, and lightly toss until mixture is combined. Let sit until liquid is fully absorbed (just a minute or two) and pour into a casserole dish (I used a 9×9).
6. Bake for 30 minutes, or until top of the pan is golden brown. Feel free to turn on the broiler at the end for a minute if you prefer an even crispier top layer.

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And if my own word isn’t enough to convince you of this deliciousness, believe me when I say that Harry and Daxter were literally salivating to get some of this goodness for themselves. Unfortunately for them, there’s no way I was gonna share. 😉

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Nutritional info per 1/4th serving (which ended up being a big heapin’ bowlful, and probably more than you would eat if you were serving this as a side): 200 calories, 8 g fat, 18 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 17 (!!) g protein.

almondbreezelogoThe above post was sponsored by Blue Diamond Almond Breeze, but all content is 100% my own.

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Posted on Feb 26, 2013 in Food, Recipes | 7 comments

Smoked Salmon Egg Cups (with Almond Breeze!)

Happy Tuesday, all! I’m here with a brand spankin’ new recipe for you — one of the extra delicious variety.

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Well, it’s extra delicious if you happen to love eggs, smoked salmon, and dill. If you don’t like any of those things, then you need to change this might not be up your alley, hahaha. I present to you: smoked salmon egg cups!

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Now, as you guys know, I am a notorious breakfast skipper. Or, at least, I was in my past (grossly unhealthy and overweight) life. It always made sense to me to skip it, as the chronic starvation diet yo-yoer that I was told me that skipping a meal = skipping calories which must = weight loss. FALSE. Skipping breakfast just meant my metabolism was sleeping until I crammed a cheesesteak into my mouth at lunch. Skipping breakfast just meant that I was more likely to make bad choices later in the day. So now I say, boo to skipping breakfast.

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Which is where these beauties come in. See, while I really do try my best not to skip breakfasts anymore, I am unfortunately a creature of (bad) habit. Also, I really, really love to sleep. So if my breakfast doesn’t come in grab-and-go form, it usually doesn’t get eaten. Unfortunately, most grab-and-go breakfasts are sugar-laden bakery-style treats (mmmm, heavenly) and since I’m trying to actively cut down on both my simple carbs AND my sugar consumption, those aren’t a very viable option for me anymore. So I put together a recipe for a breakfast that’s portable (and adorable) using just four simple ingredients: eggs, smoked salmon, fresh dill, and unsweetened Blue Diamond Almond Breeze almond milk.

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They turned out great! They’re dairy-free, if you’re like me and tend to experience a bit of… discomfort… when you have milk. You can also use these same ingredients to make an omelette (I do 2 eggs with ~2 tbsp of almond milk for my omelettes) if you’re better at, um, mornings than I am. But you know how much better things are when they come in miniaturized muffin-form anyway, so this really works out for everyone. These would also be fantastic to serve for brunch! Already individually portioned, they’d be right at home next to a pile of silver dollar pancakes and some bacon strips. Nom.

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This recipe makes 12 egg cups, so that’s enough to have two each morning for 6 days! Or three for 4 days. Your choice. They keep in the fridge for up to a week, and while I think they taste just fine cold or at room temp, you can zap them in the microwave for a bit if you like. (Just not too long. Seriously. Not only will they overcook if you reheat them for too long, they will also burn your prints right off for your fingertips. #tested)

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Smoked Salmon Egg Cups

Ingredients:

6 large eggs
1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
1/2 cup unsweetened Blue Diamond Almond Breeze almond milk (Original flavor)
3 oz. smoked salmon, diced
Salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 350*.
2. In a bowl, whisk eggs, chopped dill, almond milk, and salt & pepper together until thoroughly combined.
3. Spray muffin tin with nonstick baking spray and distribute smoked salmon evenly throughout the cups.
4. Pour egg mixture over the smoked salmon, filling the cups about 2/3 of the way.
5. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes, or until eggs are no longer jiggly. They may expand in the oven, but will deflate once they have been removed from the heat. If you have any issues getting the top to solidify, pop them under the broiler for an additional minute.
6. Enjoy!

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As I’ve said, these are just wonderful. I’ve been having two egg cups with half a high-protein bagel with sunbutter or PB, and sometimes a banana or some grapes. SO delicious, SO filling, and SO good for you! They did come out quite dill-y, which I love, but if you’re not as into that as I am, just scale back the dill a bit. Or you can leave it out all together if you like. I bet they’d taste epic with basil instead, too. Mmm, maybe I’ll try that for next time.

Happy breakfasting!

almondbreezelogoThe above post was sponsored by Blue Diamond Almond Breeze, but all content is 100% my own.

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