Sunday, August 26, 2012

Peach Raspberry Sangria

Meet Hurricane Isaac. Yep. It's been a lovely weekend here in Miami Beach! It's Sunday and the three of us (Me, Carlos and Stella) have been inside since Friday night. Well. My husband took advantaged of the GNARLY waves dude on Friday night before the storm got bad. I seriously think he would sell his left arm just to surf for an hour.

Me on the other hand, have absolutely no desire to venture out into Mr. Isaac's storm party. So instead I made myself a nice cocktail while I watched this guy attempt the waves from our bedroom window. This Sangria was a "what do I have in my fridge right now that I can make a cocktail out of??" And surprisingly it's a new fav.

1 bottle of dry white wine (I used a Sauvignon Blanc)
4 cups of club soda (not seltzer as it's full of sugar)
3 ounces (aka 3 shots) of St-Germain liquor
2 tablespoons of agave nectar
2 very ripe peaches, sliced
1 pint of fresh ripe raspberries

Mix all ingredients in a pitcher and stir. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes so the juice from the fruit has time to come out and combine with the liquor. Serve over ice and enjoy!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Banana Bread (Gluten Free, Grain Free)

I realized today that I have not yet posted a gluten free bread recipe. How did that happen?? It was perfect timing because I had bananas that were overripe and ready to go!

I love banana bread. It's really not your typical "bread" but more of a sweet treat that you can easily have for breakfast in the morning, a midday snack or even as desert after dinner. I love adding raisins and walnuts to the bread for extra sweetness and texture. The cinnamon and nutmeg give it that homey spiced flavor that reminds me of Fall (even though it's August in Miami and 100 degrees out).

I use a combination of coconut flour and arrowroot powder to serve as the "grain" of the bread. Coconut flour is great in this because it keeps the bread extra moist and flavorful and the arrowroot powder helps to thicken things up and give it a soft, chewy texture. (*Side note: arrowroot powder is a gluten free replacement for cornstarch, used in many baked goods as a thickening agent. It is almost identical to tapioca flour (you could use either for this recipe).

2 very ripe medium size bananas, mashed
4 beaten eggs at room temperature
1/2 cup of agave nectar (I like the dark amber one for this)
3 tablespoons of coconut oil (in liquid form)
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 cup of coconut flour
1/4 cup of arrowroot powder
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts (optional)
1/3 cup of raisins (optional)
Makes two mini loafs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl combine the the first 5 ingredients (all the wet) and blend with an electric blender. In a separate bowl, combine the next 7 ingredients (all the dry) and stir together till combined. Blend the dry ingredients into the wet. Stir in your walnuts and raisins, or even try adding chocolate chips. Add batter to 2 very well-greased mini loaf pans (I used 5 1/2 inches x 3 inches x 2 1/4 inches high). (On one of the loafs I sprinkled more chopped walnuts on top before putting it in the oven. This is optional). Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a loaf comes out clean. Serve with your favorite jam, butter, honey or cheese. Enjoy!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Grilled Tofu Veggie Bowls

One of my favorite salads to make during the summer is my Grilled Tofu Summer Salad. This week I wanted to do something similar using grilled tofu but I wanted to incorporate different flavors and veggies I had on-hand. This main course dish is a healthy and meatless alternative to a one-pot meal that you can make ahead and eat throughout the week. Very satisfying and totally filling. You wont need anything else!

2 14 ounce packages of firm light tofu cut into 1 inch cubes
1 pound of asparagus cut into 2 inch pieces
1 12 ounce jar of olive oil marinated artichokes (quartered)
2/3 cup of smoked sun dried tomatoes
1/2 cup of sliced black olives
1 tablespoon of minced garlic
1/3 cup of freshly chopped basil
1/4 cup of chopped chives
4 tablespoons of olive oil, plus 2 more tablespoons at the end for dressing
2 tablespoons of butter or butter substitute of choice
The juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a medium bowl, drizzle olive oil over cut asparagus and season with sea salt. Spread evenly over a cookie sheet and bake on the top rack under the broiler for 7 minutes. (Alternatively, you could also grill your asparagus if you have enough room on your grill!) Once finished, remove asparagus from cookie sheet, put in a large bowl and set aside to cool.

Place your cubed tofu in another large bowl. In a small bowl combine 4 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of butter or butter alternative (such as I Can't Believe It's Not Butter) and the minced garlic. Whisk until combined. Pour over the tofu and carefully mix with your hands to coat each piece evenly. (Be careful not to break the tofu). Using an indoor or outdoor grill ( I think an indoor grill is easier for tofu), spray with non-stick grill spray and heat to medium-high heat. Start grilling up the tofu by placing each piece on the hot grill. (Depending on how big your grill is, you may have to do this in 2 batches). Let your tofu grill on each side for about 10 minutes each (this time may change depending on the type of grill you use), or until the tofu is browned and grill marks are visible on each side. Once all the tofu is grilled, set aside on a plate to cool (you can expedite this by placing in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes).

In the meantime, add your artichokes, sun dried tomatoes and black olives to the large bowl that the asparagus has been cooling in. Toss till combined. Add the tofu once it has been cooled, then add the basil and chives and toss till combined. Add your remaining two tablespoons of olive oil, lemon juice and balsamic vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste and toss together well. Serve into individual bowls and drizzle with some more olive oil if desired. Serve with sliced avocado and garnish with lemon. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Carrot Apple Gingerade

With each new juice I make, I keep on surprising myself with how freaken delicious they are. I swear. I go to juice bars ALL the time and nothing compares to a fresh homemade juice. That is (of course) if you have a great juicer. The other two juices I have posted are Apple Green Lemonade and Grape Cucumber Pear Refresher ......and they way surpass any juice bar. I think it has to do with (A) my juicer. Which is just amazing (Breville Ikon Juice Fountain Elite) and gives you a perfect juice with no pulp and (B) making juice at home just seems to turn out BETTER. Probably because I am making one juice at a time, using fresh produce I just bought and then cleaning the juicer afterwards. (Unlike the massive juicers they have running all day at juice bars where you think you ordered a straight watermelon juice and then find pieces of parsley floating at the bottom....hmmmm........) Anyway - who cares? If you are into juicing, the answer is to invest in a great juicer. You will be thrilled :)

I am juicing for the next 3 days in order to detox a bit after a weekend (OK, more like a month) of overindulging. And thank god these juices satisfy! This Carrot Apple Gingerade is made with 4 simple ingredients and has a subtle sweetness from the carrots and a nice bite from the ginger root. Yum yum yum.

3 large carrots (green tops removed)
2 large granny smith apples (may have to cut in fourths if you can't fit it down the chute whole)
1 lemon (yellow skin peeled off)
1 inch piece of ginger root (skinned removed)
Makes one 16 ounce drink

Wash all ingredients well. Start with the lemon as its the softest, then add the carrots, ginger and apples. Scrape off any foam from the top and enjoy!