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Chocolate & Cherries for a Grain-Free Holiday

Posted Jul 04 2012 11:42pm

Hey! I hope all my US friends had a nice holiday! I kind of wish the 4th was on Friday instead of Wednesday. I see more total clients on Wednesdays (the least Friday—who went away anyway), and I am only seeing one on Thursday morning since the rest are shore-bound. I guess it would be the same story no matter what day. I may be the minority here, but I hate missing work in the middle of the week! Plus, one of my favorite clients is on Wednesday morning Holiday weeks when they fall smack dab in the middle are never good for my business. What can you do though?

{Say hi to my beautiful Bundt– Munchkin…}

Munchkin

Michael really wanted to go out an do something Tuesday night, since he had off the following morning. This is when I thought the grain-free challenge was going to be…well…a challenge.

The fireworks in my hometown were Tuesday, but they start after dark aka after Ella’s bedtime! We ended up going Joe’s Crab Shack for an early dinner and split a bucket of crab legs and shrimp instead. Grain-free success. Michael had two nice sized beers, which I passed on. Exhibit A as to why I am not meant to be a food blogger. I was too busy enjoying them, and getting messy to snap a photo. I am sure you all know what a crab leg looks like though Winking smile

Exhibit B is the fact that I eat the same stuff, or variations of the same things all of the time. I don’t see a point in spending extra money to make different things just to post about them when I like what I like.One thing that I am playing around with in my diet, which may not make sense as I cut out grains for a specific reason, is Fage Greek yogurt. That’s the ONLY cows dairy I have though. Why add in any dairy? I am still not on board with eating it regularly…but I introduced full-fat “Total” PLAIN Fage yogurt just to get some more protein from whole foods. And more probiotics. And more variety. I am getting back to the basics of when I started this blog…whole foods, nothing processed. All other dairy-free yogurts are incredibly processed. I hate to admit it but Fage is freaking delicious. Like dessert. I love adding fresh blackberries or raspberries for a pool-side snack.

This smoothie I had for breakfast today was 2 scoops Life Basics Plant Protein with Greens, 1/2 container plain Fage Total, 2 Tbsps. chia seeds, 2 Tbsp hemp hearts (seeds), 1 Tbsp coconut oil, Unsweetened vanilla Tempt hemp milk and ice. I actually originally made this into chia cereal . However, the Life Basics wasn’t as good as I remembered in it. Vega is still the only thing that works for the grain-free cereal .

LifeBasicsSmoothie

Ella Weezer and I went to the pool in the morning. We’ve been going there a lot on these really hot days (heat wave over here!). She cracks me up. She tries to fit as many toys as she can in her floaty. I bought her these pool-balls and she found a way to hide them under her raft. I thought I was going crazy and they were missing, I walked around the entire half of the pool looking, only to find they were under her thigh. Crazy girl.

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check out her butterfly unikini!

We went over my brother and sister in laws late afternoon for a BBQ. I am loving this Greek salad I have been making lately. I made it for my brothers engagement party and a BBQ on Memorial Day and everyone loved it. I knew because it was practically gone in the first hour. Unfortunately, we got to the cookout late today, my MIL made a Caesar that was almost gone when I got there (after Ella’s nap) so most of my salad went to waste (once the hamburgers were out, no one wanted salad I guess? More for me!)

My family loves it so I plan to drop a bunch off tomorrow. I buy the whole milk Vermont Feta. Michael says it’s the best Feta cheese he’s ever had in his life. That’s a huge testament! Too bad he hates olives and tomatoes. If I am making this for a party I’m not about to go separating things for him. And although this is not even a recipe, I am going to share my method and the dressing since someone asked me how, and also because I think it’s pretty amazing. I had a huge serving of this along with my brother in laws grilled peppers, onions, asparagus and a few shrimp.

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    Print This!    

Simple Greek Salad

serves 8-10

use all organic produce if possible

ingredients (salad):

3 large cucumbers

1 pint cherry tomatoes

1 medium red onion

1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, sliced

1 block whole milk Feta cheese

salt and pepper

directions:

Peel cucumbers and slice them in half, lengthwise. Remove the seeds and dice them up. Slice tomatoes in half, chop up olives, and dice up the onion and mix it all together. Add a little salt and pepper. Then chop and crumble the Feta cheese and mix it through the salad. Cover and store in fridge until you use it.

ingredients (dressing):

1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon olive oil

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1 small lemon, juiced

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

directions:

place all of the ingredients in a small container and shake it up. Store in fridge until ready to use. Dress salad right before serving. Use sparingly, this makes more than you need but you can store the rest in the fridge to use in the future!

For dessert…I am well aware that I have played this one to DEATH on here {exhibit C why I’m not a “food blogger}. But. I made the BEST version of avocado mousse {in my opinion} that I have ever! Ever! CherriesOrganic

Whole foods has had organic cherries on sale for the past 2 weeks, so we have been eating them in abundance over here. Why not add it to me dessert? {Ps-did you know that cherries are one of the most pesticide-laden fruit? I read something yesterday about even organic ones you need to watch out for…yikes! Soak em’ and rinse em’ well! And always buy organic if you can!}

The crust was chocolate almond macadamia nut. Adapted from my chocolate hazelnut crust. The center….chocolate cherry mousse. I died and went to heaven.

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What I love about these rich chocolate desserts is that they are not super sweet. In fact…people with a viscous sweet tooth will probably think it’s not sweet enough (as I have been told). Another testament as to how my taste buds have changed!

ChocolateCherryHazelnutMousse

    Print This!    

Chocolate Cherry Mousse with Chocolate Almond Macadamia Crust

This recipe gluten-free, grain-free, vegan, and Paleo. We can all play together!

ingredients

crust:

1/2 cup roasted macadamia nuts

1/2 cup raw almonds

2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

2 teaspoons melted coconut oil

1/2 dropper full of NuNaturals liquid stevia

a dash of cinnamon

pinch of sea salt

directions:

place all ingredients in a food processor and process until it becomes sticky and smooth, but not too long or it will turn to nut butter. Press it all out into the bottom of a pie plate, cover and refrigerate.

filling:

4 ripe avocadoes

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon coconut oil, melted

1/2 cup pitted organic cherries

2 Tablespoons unsweetened hemp milk (or coconut, or almond)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (alcohol-free)

1 teaspoon date sugar

1 dropper full of NuNaturals liquid stevia

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

directions:

Place all of the ingredients in a high speed blender or food processor and process until smooth. Add to pie crust. Refrigerate, covered for a few hours before serving.

Fantastic.

When you take it somewhere where people are used to store bought cheesecake and Baskin Robbins ice cream cake loaded with sugar…this may not be “sweet” enough. I kind of think my in-laws don’t trust my food too. I mean, avocado mousse probably sounds “weird” to most people…so you shouldn’t tell them Winking smile To make it “sweeter” for “regular” sweet eaters you can always use maple syrup, or add more stevia. I thought it was perfect just how it was. My mom (who is a sugar iced tea addict) LOVES my chocolate avocado mousse! So does my 90 year old great grandfather–who is the most reliable food critic I know.

I tried a bite of Michaels cheesecake, without the crust, not even sure why I didn’t want it.  I was not a fan at all. I did nothing for me.  I thought this mousse was a million times better. Yet another example of how taste buds can change ! For those that don’t want it…or think it’s weird….you know what I’ll say to that…

me

More for meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

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There you have it…I got through the holiday grain-free and practically added sugar free! (1 teaspoon of date sugar in an entire pie is scant!).

Next challenge…grain-free at the shore!

How was your holiday?

How do you keep holidays and summer BBQ’s on the healthy side?

(I think it’s fairly easy, especially in the hot weather when you typically crave more fresh, light foods like salads, veggies and fruit…do you agree? I know many people love themselves some burgers and dogs with a nice crispy grilled bun and some “real” cherry pie in the summer! Or creamy ice cream….Back in the day I used to always gain weight by the end of the summer with all of the ice cream I’d consume!)

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