Mini Vegan Dark Chocolate Macaroons

Today is day four of my 30 day cleanse and it’s going pretty good. It is challenging coming up with creative recipes, but hey, that’s my thing. I love to take what I have an make creative recipes, but even more when the recipes call for no diary, no processed white sugar,vegan and yep, no gluten. The truth is even though I am doing this cleanse, I still crave my favorites, like dessert, chips and bread. The body needs to cleanse and reset itself for optimum health and wellness, this is why I cleanse 3 to 4 times a year. We all need a reset, no matter how healthy we eat. So, back to dessert, chips and breads.

This dessert is very easy and you do not need a million ingredients. Take note, I am not using any sugars, such as, honey, maple syrup or agave, just coconut sugar. Coconut sugar only has 5 grams of sugar, much better for you while doing a cleanse, if you craving something sweet. The macaroons are excellent paired with French Broad 100% dark chocolate, now this will be intense, only for the purist. You can also use 72% or 80% dark chocolate, no milk chocolate, since we are doing a cleanse. LOL. 🙂

Here’s the recipe. Enjoy.

Vegan Dark Chocolate Macaroons

Ingredients:

2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

3 tbsp coconut sugar

1 tsp melted coconut oil

1/2 cup  dairy free dark chocolate, chopped
Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Add coconut and coconut flour to a food processor or high speed blender and blend, scraping down sides as needed, until you have incorporated the coconut and coconut flour.  You want a pliable dough to feel like play doh. If the dough is not pliable, add more coconut and blend.  Add coconut sugar and vanilla and mix again until just incorporated.
Using a 1 tbsp scoop, scoop out in enough to fill the scoop, pack down firmly, but gently with your hands to shape the dough, gently tap the dough out of the scoop. Shape it into a nice half moon ball. Place each macaroon gently on the baking sheet.

Brush the tops lightly with melted coconut oil. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the edges start to look golden brown. Allow the macaroons to cool.
While macaroons are cooling, melt chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave in 30 second increments.  Set aside.
Once completely cooled, drizzle the chocolate over each one. Put them in the fridge for 30 minutes or over night, this will allow them to firm up.  Be gentle in handling the macaroons, because they are very fragile.  Remove each macaroon from the cookie sheet and place on a nice platter. Serve and Enjoy.

Vegan Dark Chocolate Macaroons

Cooking today with William Sonoma ~ Gluten Free Holiday Treats ~ Sneak Peak

It is always a pleasure to come out and share my passion for delicious, healthy eating with William Sonoma’s staff and customers. Today I am cooking up some yummy, decadent and   gluten free holiday appetizers and my gluten free brownie bites with a twist. I will be using William Sonoma’s famous Original Peppermint Bark as a topping for these rich and luscious brownies. I will also be making tuscan white beans stuffed in a roasted campari tomato and yummy zucchini bites stuffed with gruyere and parmesan cheese.

I am so excited to share some of my families favorite holiday treats today with William Sonoma’s customers, as they shop for wonderful gifts for their love ones. So stop by and find some great gifts for your family and have a brownie on me. Here’s a sneak peak of today’s menu.  

Zucchini Bites

INGREDIENTS

2 cups zucchini, grated

1 egg

1/4 cup yellow onion, diced,finely 

1/2 cup cheese gruyere

1/2 cup parmesan 

1/2 cup gluten free  bread crumbs – I used Italian style

Salt and Pepper, to taste. 

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375F. Spray a mini-muffin tin with non-stick spray, set aside. Grate the zucchini and then place in a dish towel to squeeze out the excess water- like when using frozen spinach.  In a bowl combine, the egg, onion, cheese, bread crumbs, zucchini, salt and pepper. 4. Using a spoon or a cookie scoop, fill the muffin cups to the top. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the top is browned and set.  

  • Gluten Free Brownies with Chocolate Ganache these will be topped with William Sonoma Original Peppermint Bark

1/2 cup Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Baking Chips 

4 ounces Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Baking Bar 

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar 

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 large eggs 1 egg yolk

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons gluten free-purpose flour. I love Bob Mills Gluten free baking flour or Pillsbury Gluten-free baking powder. 

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/8 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour an 8-inch square baking pan. Chop the 4 ounces of semi sweet chocolate bars into 1″ pieces. In the top of a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl over barely simmering water, melt the 4 chopped chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Stir the brown sugar and vanilla into the chocolate mixture. Add the eggs and mix well. In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly fold the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture, mixing well until blended. Stir in the chocolate chips and pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 -35  minutes, until a tester comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting into 2-inch squares.

This recipe is gluten free, gluten-free flour can take a little more time to bake. It usually takes about 33 minutes on these. 

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  • Campari Stuffed with Tuscan White Beans with a balsamic glaze

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Spicy White Bean and Kale Soup and Dark Chocolate Cranberry Coconut Granola Bars

I know. I know. I do a million things, but one of the things I love the most is teaching people how to look and feel great, through nutrition, exercise and a healthy mind.  Today was a busy work day. I got up and taught my yoga class, the class mantra today was, ” I release what doesn’t serve my greater good.”  Very powerful class. We hold onto to so much in our lives that doesn’t serve us, God or the ones we love. Why not just let it go with lovingkindness. When we clear up space within in ourselves the right stuff comes in naturally.

Here is where my personal chef bliss comes into play. I love my clients, because they want to know how to Set their Tables with Love by eating and feeding their loves ones with natural, organic whole foods.  Today I took one of my clients to Sprouts to shop for quick, easy whole food meals for two. We bought food for snacks, breakfast and lunch/dinner. I created meals for her that are all natural, organic and whole and they will last her family for over a week for a little over a hundred bucks.

You can do this.  You can shop local and buy what is in season and it eat homemade gourmet meals on a budget.  The reality of it is this, foods that are in season and local are cheaper and much healthier for you.  The best part you are supporting our local farmers and community.

Today we made several meals she can freeze and prep easily since she has a three month old gorgeous son.

I made and prepped her dinner for tonight and for tomorrow.

Here’s her menu for the week:

Turkey Tuscan meatballs,  Spicy White Bean and Kale Soup, Organic skinless chicken thighs ( grill these for salad or just keep them whole), Fish two ways, Lemon Pepper and Parmesan Crusted and she loves to snack we made Dark Chocolate Chip and Cranberry Coconut Granola Bars from scratch.  We used freezer bags to separate the meals.

The soup and granola bars were so good I made some for myself.

Recipe Below:

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Spicy White Bean and Kale Soup with Campanelle Pasta

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Spicy White  Bean and Kale Soup Dark Chocolate Cranberry Coconut Granola
Spicy White Bean and Kale Soup Dark Chocolate Cranberry Coconut Granola

Dark Chocolate Chip and Cranberry Coconut Granola Bars

2 cups  gluten free oats

1 cup  dark chocolate chips

3/4 cup cranberries

1/3 cup dehydrated coconut flakes

1/3 cup brown rice flour

1 tsp cinnamon

pinch of salt ( to taste)

2 organic eggs

1/4 cup organic honey

3 tbsp coconut oil (melted)

Preheat oven to 350.

Add all the dry ingredients to a large bowl and mix together.  In another bowl add all the wet ingredients, eggs, honey, coconut oil

( make sure oil has cooled before adding eggs).  Add the dry to the wet and stir until the mixture is easily crumbly. If it is too sticky add a little more brown rice flour. If it is too dry add a little water.

Once you have the mixture well incorporated.  Pour the mixture into a 13×9 baking pan coated with cooking spray. Press the mixture into the  baking pan. Bake 15-18 minutes, until edges are golden brown. Score surface with shallow cuts to make bars.  Cool on wire rack then finish cutting into bars. If you need more sweetness drizzle them with honey after they have cooled.

Spicy White Bean and Kale Soup

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup diced onion

1/2 cup of red bell pepper

1 cloves garlic, minced

4 cups of chopped kale

4 cups chicken or vegetable broth ( low sodium)

1 can (15 ounces) white beans, (cannelloni beans)

1/4 cup Campanelle pasta ( or any hearty pasta you prefer)

1/2 tsp salt, or to taste

1/2 tsp of dried basil

1/2 tsp of oregano

1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp ground black pepper
Preparation:
In a large skillet heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and bell pepper
Sauté, stirring, until onion is tender and transparent. Reduce heat to medium-low.
Add kale and garlic; cover and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes. Add remaining
ingredients; cover and cook for 20 minutes, until vegetables are tender.

This recipe and many more like it can be found in my cookbook, SET THE TABLE WITH LOVE on Amazon.com

Click on the link below

Set the Table with Love

Darker the Chocolate the sweeter the……Antioxidants Sillies

Dark Chocolate is amazing for your body, mind and soul. It is high in antioxidants.

Here  a few more benefits ~

  1. Studies show that eating a small amount of dark chocolate a few times a week can help lower your blood pressure. Dark chocolate improves blood flow and may help prevent the formation of blood clots.
  2. Dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants. Antioxidants help free your body of free radicals, which cause oxidative damage to cells.  Yay, so what am I say? Eating antioxidant rich foods like dark chocolate helps with anti aging. That makes this also a go B’Tyli Natural Skin Therapies Blog.
  3. Dark Chocolate is high in vitamins and minerals such as copper, potassium, magnesium and iron!  Copper peptides can help with wrinkles. SO EAT CHOCOLATE, WELL DARK CHOCOLATE.

Sea salted Dark Chocolate Bark

ENJOY!  My Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Bark recipe

You will need

A bar of 90% Premium Dark Chocolate Bar

1/2 cup of cranberries

1/2 cup of dehydrated coconut

1/2 cup of chopped pecans

1- 2 tbsp of organic honey

pinch of sea salt

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Once the chocolate is melted. Pour it on a cookie sheet layer with some parchment paper. Sprinkle the cranberries, coconut, pecans and the pinch of sea salt.  If you like the salty taste add a little more to cover the whole bark. Being a kidney transplant survivor less salt is a happy thing for my husband’s donate kidney. 🙂

Put in the fridge for about 15 minutes. Once set you can drizzle the organic honey over the whole thing. I like honey so I used all 2 tbsp but one is good.

Bon Appétit!

Oh yes! Remember to Set the Table with Love

Double Chocolate Chip Heart Shaped Scones for Valentine’s Day

I love this recipe and for Valentine’s Day, you can make someone very special .

One of the great things about cooking for people you love is to see the smiles on their faces, once they bite into something  you took time out to just make for them, is priceless. But even more, is when you make cook or bake food, that takes them back to a special time in their lives.

My husband reminded me of this when I was baking these scones for one of my best friend’s mom.  My mom has passed on, but making these for my Su Su ( that is what we call Mrs. Susan) reminded me when I would make food for my mother. She would smile and be so proud.  Now granted I was only 10 or so, but she would enjoy the food as if some famous French chef had prepared her coq au vin!  In reality it was just scrambled eggs with cheese.

I guess cooking for others also helps me  to relive some of the precious moments in my own life.

Enjoy! this recipe adapted by Hershey’s with my own healthy twist and remember to Set the Table with LOVE!

Dark Chocolate Chip Heart shaped Scones

Yield: 24 scones

Ingredients:

3¼ cups organic gluten free flour with xanthan gum
½ cup organic cane sugar
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder ( no aluminum)
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups (12-oz) package dark chocolate chips
2 cups vanilla almond milk or regular milk
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
Additional Sugar for garnish

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease two baking sheets.

2. Stir together flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Stir in chocolate chips.

3. Pour the milk into the flour mixture, stirring just until ingredients are moistened.

4. Turn mixture out onto lightly floured surface. Knead gently until soft dough forms (about 2 minutes). Divide dough into three equal balls. One ball at a time, flatten into 7-inch circle; cut with a heart shaped cookie cutter. Transfer hearts to a prepared baking sheets lined with parchment paper , spacing 2 inches apart. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle sugar if you like.

5. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve warm.