Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Chocolate Zucchini Cookies (GF)

Alright, so here's yet another recipe with zucchini.

I was trying to think of different types of desserts where I could possibly sneak in some grated zucchini. I thought, brownies? No, I just did a recipe with Sweet Potato Brownies.

And since I had already made Zucchini Bread this week, I decided that I really needed to go for something different; something I had never even thought of before: zucchini cookies.

Zucchini isn't very sweet, so I needed to mask the zucchini flavor with something strong. Obviously, I thought of chocolate.

I made this recipe similar to my brownie recipe, but tried to incorporate coconut flour. I also wanted them to have a bit of protein, so I threw in some almond butter.

These cookies are fluffy, but crispy around the edges, and super moist. They're not quite as gooey as I had wanted, but they're still delicious and you cannot even taste the zucchini. These cookies could fool anyone. On top of that, they're only 85 calories a serving, which means I didn't feel guilty having two of them for breakfast the other day.

The batter is pretty sticky, so I threw it in the fridge for about a half hour to firm up a bit. I also decided to roll the dough 1 1/2 inch balls and roll them in powdered sugar, but you don't have to.


1 cup grated zucchini
1 egg (room temp)
1 egg white (room temp)
4 tablespoons almond butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp strong coffee (optional)
1 tablespoon olive oil or melted coconut oil
3/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Whisk together zucchini, egg, egg white, almond butter, vanilla, coffee, and olive oil until combined and set aside.

In a separate bowl sift together cocoa powder, coconut flour, and baking soda. Add in chocolate chips and brown sugar and mix well. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until incorporated. Fold in chocolate chips and refrigerate for at least a half hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and roll batter into 1 1/2 inch balls. Roll in powdered sugar and place on baking sheet, pressing down softly. Bake for 7-8 minutes, then remove from oven and allow cookies to sit on baking sheet for an extra minute before taking them off the pan.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Grown Up Grilled Cheese with Brie and Truffle Oil

Okay, so I love Brie cheese, that's no secret.

I also love truffle oil. I could drink it straight.

I first tried truffle oil while living in Italy and it was love at first tastebud.

On an amazing trip (back) to Florence, I visited my professor's new restaurant he had just opened, and he gave my friends and I a meal to remember. It was five courses, and each course had truffle in it. Truffle oil...truffle cheese...and just plain shavings of truffle.

Quite possibly the best meal of my life, but that could have also had to do with the wine that was flowing like water and the perfect ambiance of the dark little restaurant.

Since then I've loved truffle oil. However, I don't eat it very often for two reasons: my husband doesn't like it, and it's super high in calories, not to mention EXPENSIVE.

But every once in a while you just need to splurge and that's where I came up with this recipe. A perfectly grilled brie cheese sandwich, with sliced apples, a drizzle of honey, and of course, truffle oil.

 This sandwich is seriously an explosion of flavor in your mouth. I'm not kidding. If you want to impress some guests, make this. Impress them even more with some homemade french fries and arugula and parmesan shavings.

Ingredients: Makes 1 sandwich

2 slices of bread from whole grain artisan loaf
several slices of brie cheese (enough to fit on sandwich)
4-6 thin slices of apples
1 tsp honey
drizzle of truffle oil
1 tablespoon butter

Slice the bread and load up with brie and apples. Drizzle 1 tsp of honey evenly over cheese and apples, and top with other bread slice. Butter outsides of sandwich and grill on medium low heat for 1-2 minutes, or until golden. Flip and repeat.

Serve with a drizzle of truffle oil on top, and around the plate if you're going for looks.

Coconut Flour Zucchini Bread (GF)

I bought a bunch of zucchini this week and I was determined to use it all, so I apologize for the flood of zucchini-filled recipes that's about to take place this week.

Who doesn't love zucchini bread? My husband WASN'T a fan, until I converted him.

I came up with this recipe while trying to experiment with coconut flour.

Coconut flour is gluten free and great for you. It's high in fiber and protein, and relatively low in calories. It's also paleo diet friendly since it's not a grain. However, I'm not on the paleo diet, nor do I plan on ever being on it, so this recipe is not paleo friendly. Sorry.

The problem with coconut flour is that it's highly absorbent, so you can't sub it in a recipe instead of wheat flour. You also need a good amount of eggs when baking with coconut flour in order to keep it from crumbling.

I personally don't like it when breads taste eggy, so I used only three full eggs in this recipe, and three egg whites. I also like zucchini bread to be pretty sweet, so I used brown sugar instead of honey or maple syrup, and added a hint of cinnamon and vanilla.

Believe it or not, this bread is also oil-free and high in protein, perfect for breakfast! I made some vanilla honey cinnamon butter to slather on top...that's not oil free or good for you, but I don't care. I also sprinkled some extra brown sugar on top before throwing it in the oven.

This bread is fluffy, and moist, and cinnamon-y, and delicious...and that was horrible grammar I just used.


3/4 cup coconut flour, sifted
1 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups finely grated zucchini (measured after water is squeezed out)
3 eggs
3 egg whites
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup 0% fat greek yogurt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a bowl sift together first four dry ingredients listed above and set aside.

In another bowl whisk together vanilla, zucchini, eggs, egg whites, brown sugar, and yogurt. Mix in the dry ingredients until just incorporated.

Pour into a standard sized bread loaf pan that's been lined with parchment paper (I do this with gluten-free breads to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pan). Bake for about 60-65 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Best when served warm.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

My Week In Photos

I attempted to do a messy-braid pin up. Looked cool from behind, but wasn't my cup of tea. I keep trying to do the whole braided up-do thing and it doesn't quite look right on me. But maybe it's one of those things like lipstick, you just have to get used to it.

I also got the newest issue of Self in the mail with my favorite person ever on the cover. I can't wait to get her new cookbook, already pre-ordered in through Target.

I surprised my mom at Disneyland this week. She was going for her birthday and I had told her I couldn't make it. Then when she got to her hotel I jumped out from behind a car. My Nana, two cousins, and my aunt also went.

Kiddy rides, because I'm afraid of roller coasters. Yes, I'm twenty seven.

Some old men we walked by said I looked fifteen. I don't blame them for thinking that, unfortunately.

Fun fact, I'm half mexican. The proof is in my mexican Nana.

I was only at Disneyland for two days before coming back to San Diego. I experimented with zucchini bread made with coconut flour, recipe to come.

I'm also a part of a cooking club, that takes place once a week, with a bunch of girls I went to college with. Our theme this month was breakfast for dinner and our host, Julie, had a super cute set up.

Breakfast Tostada (GF)

I had an idea for breakfast tostadas one morning when I had some brown rice tortillas that were about to go bad. I basically made scrambled eggs and threw in whatever veggies I had in the fridge that I thought would go well in a breakfast tostada. I chopped some mushrooms and sauteed them in coconut oil, then added the egg and scrambled them.

The trick to great scrambled eggs is to add a splash of water while you're whisking them, and not move them around too much once you add them to the pan.

I lightly fried half of a brown rice tortilla in a pan and then added mashed avocado and sea salt on top. I added the scrambled eggs and topped the tostada with fresh tomatoes and chopped red onions, then finished it with a squeeze of lime. I could probably eat this breakfast every day, it was so good.

This would be a great dish to make for brunch with friends, just have a create-your-own-breakfast tostada bar. You could make fresh salsa, offer sour cream, cotija cheese, and cilantro.

Sadly, I could never do this because my husband doesn't like eggs, nor does he like avocado. Or maybe I could do this and just make breakfast potatoes and cheese, and of course bacon. THEN he'd eat it, go figure. All guys love potatoes, cheese, and bacon.


Serves 1 (you could easily double, triple, or quadruple)

1 egg
splash of water
1/4 of an avocado, mashed
pinch of sea salt
1 lime wedge
1/4 cup chopped mushrooms (or any veggies you wish)
1/4 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
1 tablespoon chopped red onions
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 gf brown rice tortilla cut in half (depending on the size, mine was huge. OR you can use a gf corn tortilla)

In a bowl mash the avocado and sprinkle in sea salt. Meanwhile, whisk the egg in a bowl and add a splash of water; season with salt and set aside.

In a small pan heat 1/2 of the coconut oil on medium low heat, and add chopped mushrooms. Sautee until they're just starting to brown, then add whisked egg. Cook slowly, careful not to scramble too much.

Meanwhile add the other half of the coconut oil to another pan and 'fry' the brown rice tortilla, turning once. Once it's crisp, remove from pan and spread on avocado. Top with scrambled egg, tomatoes, onion, and a squeeze of lime juice all over.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Blueberry Vanilla Fro-Yo Popsicles

I came up with this recipe after coming across a recipe for Blueberry Muffin Ice Cream. Sounds like a dream, right? Also sounds like a ton of calories and sugar. So I decided to come up with my own, healthier version.

These popsicles are legit. You cannot even tell they're healthy for you. They would be absolutely unreal with a few swirls of Crunch Cookie Butter in each popsicle. I'm going to try that next.

At fifty, yes FIFTY, calories a pop, you won't feel guilty after eating these. They're so creamy and delicious, and perfect for summer. I sweetened them with honey, but I used a bit of truvia when making the blueberry preserves. You can use regular sugar if you like, or honey instead, but that might make the preserves a bit more liquid-y.

Ingredients: (makes 6, 4 inch popsicles)

1 cup 0% Greek Yogurt, I used Fage
2 tablespoons honey
2 tsp vanilla bean paste (you can use vanilla extract instead)

For the Blueberry Preserves:

3/4 cup fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon truvia
juice of half a lime

In a small pot add blueberries, honey, and truvia and simmer on low heat until juices start to flow and sauce becomes syrup-like.  Remove from pan and allow to cool.

In a bowl mix greek yogurt, honey, and vanilla bean paste. Once the blueberry preserves has cooled, fold it into yogurt mixture. Add to popsicle molds (I used some basic ones from Ikea) and freeze for at least two hours.

Please ignore my chipping nail polish

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Banana Bread (GF)

I have a mild obsession with finding the perfect banana bread recipe. I make a batch bread or muffins at least once a week for my husband to have for breakfast. He's usually in a rush in the mornings, so he likes to have something he can grab and take with him on the go.

My problem is that I'll look at 10 different recipes and throw a bit of each into one recipe. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't. Like with this recipe for instance, the bread came out kind of flat. Not flat tasting, literally it didn't rise much. It could have something to do with the lack of gluten, or maybe I mixed the batter too much. Either way, it tasted great, and that's what really matters, right? Don't worry, there will be plenty of new, updated banana bread recipes to come.

For this one I used a combination almond flour, coconut flour, and buckwheat flour. I also added almond butter and yogurt to keep it moist, and surprisingly it gave the bread a very buttery flavor, despite the fact that there is zero butter in this recipe. It would be even better with chocolate chips in it, but you didn't hear that from me.


1/2 cup almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup buckwheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
2 very ripe bananas
2 eggs
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil
1/4 cup almond butter
1/3 cup yogurt
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup chopped nuts (I used almonds but you can use walnuts too)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine dry ingredients and mix to incorporate. Meanwhile, mash up bananas and whisk in eggs, maple syrup, oil, almond butter, yogurt, and vanilla. Gradually add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, being careful not to mix too much. Fold in nuts and/or chocolate chips if you wish. Pour into a well greased standard sized bread loaf pan (lined with parchment paper) and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until toothpick when inserted into the bread comes out clean.

My Week In Photos

I scored these cute booties at H & M for $20!!! What a steal. I also finally got this sweater in the mail, after having ordered it over three weeks ago. Still worth it.

I enjoyed my morning coffee/quiet time (I gave up tv for lent) while my boy decided he wanted to run away from home and over to the neighbors house.

Italian inspired lunch and dinner--leftover pesto pasta and polenta with roasted balsamic veggies. I seriously could not live without Italian food.

He's the cutest, how could you resist a head tilt like that?! Meanwhile, I made homemade pasta and enjoyed the extra hour of sunlight. Best time of the year.

I enjoyed brunch at home, alone, and my brother and his fiance came over for dinner. My brother is on a gluten-free, dairy-free diet due to stomach issues so I made greek chicken kabobs and greek quinoa salad for dinner.

Brett and I went on an unplanned date night! I was doing a workout on the floor at home and in walked Brett at 5 o'clock (he's normally off at 7:00), and I just about peed myself in terror. Having someone walk into your house without notice is quite terrifying if you're an anxiety ridden human being like I am. But it was perfect because we were actually able to make it to a happy hour where we polished a huge plate of nachos, followed up by a visit to Bottlecraft.

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