Chocolate Cherry Ice “Cream”

Oh my goodness. That is all my brain tells me, as I sit here eating the very thing I am  blogging about. I couldn’t wait to share this new recipe.

The wonderful thing about this is there is no cooking or baking skills required. You only need to know how to slice up fruit (and it doesn’t have to be pretty) and how to work a blender.

I have found, since eating mostly whole foods and plant based foods, that my body really does not seem to like ice cream anymore. And I make my own ice cream! Ice cream is one of those sweet chilly treats that I can sit down and eat a half gallon by myself. My husband will attest to that 😉

I was actually making this for my little one since she has so many food allergies it is challenging to feed her a wholesome treat for those in-between meals. She wasn’t interested in trying because all she had on her brain was “mmk” or in adult language “milk.” So darn, I couldn’t let this go to waste, so I am eating it as we speak. It is so good!!!! Caroline is going to be disappointed in what she missed out on.

 

Chocolate Cherry Ice “Cream” isn’t really cream at all. This is a 100% vegan or plant based treat. So ideally you could eat this as breakfast and not feel guilty at all!

Here is how to make it:

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You will need coco powder, one frozen banana sliced, half of a sliced frozen avocado, a handful of frozen cherries, and a little bit of sugar (I have been using Zulka sugar and loving it)

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Place all fruits in a food processor along with 1 Tbs of coco powder, and I did use 1 1/2 Tbs sugar – you might be able to leave that out – and I added a few Tbs of water for texture, but you could also add any type of plant milk or if you wish any other kind of milk. Blend until smooth!

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And serve! Ahhhh! So yummy!  I just put a double batch of fruit to freeze for an after dinner dessert.

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She eventually came around. I mean, how can you refuse chocolate?!?!

Chocolate Cherry Ice “Cream”

Ingredients:

– One banana, sliced, and frozen
– Half an avocado, sliced and frozen
– Handful of cherries, pitted and frozen
– 1 Tbs coco powder
– 1 1/2 Tbs sugar (you could lessen or leave out)
– water, plant milk, or other milk for consistency

Directions:

Place frozen prepared fruit into a food processor with coco powder and sugar. Blend and add your choice of liquid until desired consistency.

 

 

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Vegetarian Style Lunches

Sometimes we all get in a bind with what to fix for lunch. My hubby usually just likes a quick sandwich to take to work, and then some raw veggies or the occasional side of chips, etc.  I would get so bored having to eat a sandwich every day for lunch. I am more of a wrap girl. I can put anything from grilled veggies, to hummus and never get bored with them.

I wanted to share a few combinations that I have come up with of healthy lunches that will keep you feeling full and satisfied.

First off, here is how I make the Zesty Quinoa that I used in both of these wraps:

Zesty Quinoa
Ingredients:

1 cup dry quinoa (this makes a lot so it should last the whole week in the fridge)
1 tsp of minced garlic
Juice of one lime

Directions:

Cook quinoa as directions on package, but add the garlic with the water (or vegetable broth). Once it has been cooked, squeeze the juice of one lime over the cooked quinoa and mix it in. If  you want you may add salt and/or pepper, but I usually just leave it alone.

 

Okay now that you know how to do that, here are two different lunch combos, that are both delicious and nutritious!

 

First off, the Veggie Hummus Wrap (vegan):

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Take your hummus of choice and smear a thin layer all over the wrap. Add chopped carrots (I put a handful of baby organic carrots in a food processor), some chopped up baby spinach, chopped up avocado, and sprinkle a healthy portion of the zesty quinoa (recipe above).

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Starting from one side, roll up the wrap and slice in half.

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Now, as a side dish to this delicious meal, I sliced some Campari tomatoes and olives. Mix together with basil (fresh basil is the best, but I don’t have my basil plant up and going just yet, so I had to do dried) and drizzle with olive oil. Yum!!!

Here is the Zesty Quinoa Bean Wrap:

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This is really more like a burrito than anything, but still an easy healthy lunch. I make my own “unfried” beans and here is the link to the recipe I use. Add the “unfried” beans, zesty quiona, avocado, baby spinach, and tomatoes and wrap it up burrito style =)

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As a side dish for this wonderful dish, I took Greek yogurt (you can use either plain or vanilla. or whatever you want), and I slices some strawberries and oranges to mix in.

Now something a lot of people don’t really think about…What to drink with your lunch? You spent all that time thinking of how you could create a healthy lunch, you better not go grab a pop!!! [soap box time, sorry] Pop (or soda as I should call is since I moved to the south) is not healthy in any way shape or form. Not even diet, the artificial sweeteners can cause cancer and the carbonation is not the best thing for your body.  … okay, my rant is over.

There are several healthy options to take, but since I did two lunches, I will show you what I took with them.

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Oh, Vita Coco!!! Love this beverage! For some reason I am not a fan of Zico, but Vita Coco is a favorite of my little family here. Even my baby girl loves this stuff. Costco sells them in big packs  of personal sized drinks, which is ideal for taking for lunch.

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This is my option that I usually take. I love my reusable up. It is mine, I know where it has been, I know that I have washed it, and also it has pink paisleys all over it. Makes me happy.  Anyhow, water with lime juice is my favorite. I have a hard time drinking regular water, but it doesn’t take much lime juice to add flavor. Water is quite adaptable, you can squeeze lemons, mango, lime, etc. in it and it takes it to a new level.

Hope this gives some ideas to you! The good thing about this type of lunch is that there is no end to the possibilities! At the beginning of the week, buy several different veggies, hummus, and have an assortment of beans and quinoa on hand and you have a lot of combinations you can go for to make quick and healthy lunches. Give your taste buds an adventure 😉

Let me know what type of lunches you like to take with you throughout your week! I love having different options and ideas.

~3 Minute Salsa~

We usually end up having a form of tacos or some Mexican or Cuban dish every week. After many trials and taste tests, I finally came up with a winning combination of flavors.

Andrew and I will sit down to watch a movie, and instead of popcorn, I will get chips (yes I know that is the unhealthy part)  and homemade salsa and eat the entire jar during the movie! But, you know? I don’t feel badly about doing that. I would much rather my family eat salsa instead of ice cream or cookies, etc. Don’t get me wrong, on occasion we will eat those items and love it, but when we have probably 2 movie nights a week in the winter, I much prefer us to eat salsa.

Anyhow, we eat this salsa, weather it be for a snack, or with our Mexican or Cuban meals every week.

The best thing about this salsa (besides it being so tasty and no preservatives) is it takes only about 3 minutes to make! and it makes almost an entire quart [4cups]! Can it get any better than that? =)

So here it is:

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You will need, a 28 oz can of tomatoes, salt, pepper, sugar, onion, garlic (or garlic powder), lemon juice, and jalapenos.

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In a food processor, dump can of tomatoes, 2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1 tsp sugar, about 1/2 Tbs minced garlic (or you can do 1 tsp garlic powder), 3 tsp lemon juice, and a half of a medium onion. Blend very well.

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Now that you have blended it very well, add your spice! Most of the time, like this time, I don’t make it too hot. Which equals out to be about 6 slices of pickled jalapenos, but we do LOVE hot things so sometimes I will put about 10 slices or more in. All depend on your taste.

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And then you have your product! Simple, quick, easy, and delicious!

~3 Minute Salsa~

Makes about 1 quart [4 cups]

Ingredients:

–          1, 28oz can of tomatoes

–          2 tsp salt

–          ½ tsp pepper

–          1 tsp sugar

–          3 tsp lemon juice

–          ½ medium onion

–          ½ Tbs minced garlic OR 1tsp garlic powder

–          Jalapenos to taste

Directions:

Add all ingredients except for jalapenos in a blender and blend well. Taste to make sure seasoned enough, then add jalapenos and blend to taste.

~Cucumber Tortilla Snack~

Snack time is a wonderful event in our household. We love to eat healthy, yummy snacks for our “in-between” meals. We experiment with different options, from hummus and peppers, to simple fruit salad, cheese sticks (a.k.a. chopped cheese of our choice), or we make sweet potato chips. We do simple stuff like that, but this is one snack we repeat often: Cucumber Tortillas! Oh they are so good!

A side note before I delve into it. I usually use neufchatel (a low fat cream cheese), and I would have like to use a reduced fat or low fat ranch, BUT we are a little low on groceries of that nature and I had to use what I found in the very back of the fridge 😉 We are in the middle of an ice storm and there is no way on this earth that I am dragging myself and my 10month old out in it!

With that stated, here we go:

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What you need is an 8oz box of softened cream cheese, about 3 Tbs of ranch dressing, 1- 1 1/2 Tbs of Dill (I like

fresh dill, but we were out), sliced cucumber, and your choice of tortillas.

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Mix the softened cream cheese, ranch, and dill.

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Take a spoon and spread a thin layer of the dill mixture all over your tortilla.

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Place your cucumber down the center. (I was making this one for my daughter. Usually I leave them as circle slices)

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Couldn’t resist! My baby girl LOVES feeling independent while eating. This is an easy snack for her to pick up and chew and a fairly healthy one too. Granted it is not a tidy snack in the least bit, but then again what are bath tubs, vacuum cleaners and mops for anyway?

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Here is how we adults eat ours =) Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients:

–          8oz package of cream cheese, softened

–          3 Tbs of ranch dressing

–          1 to 1 ½ Tbs of dill (depending on your taste)

–          Sliced cucumber

–          Tortilla shells

Directions:

Mix together cream cheese, ranch, and dill. Spoon mixture onto a tortilla and spread a thin layer all over the shell. Lay your cucumber down the center. Fold tortilla. Enjoy!