Thursday, April 24, 2014

Peanut Butter Date Shakes

Peanut Butter Date Shakes// Loves Food, Loves to Eat
I feel like I've been really boring on here lately. I'm sorry! I've made and eaten plenty of tasty things this month, but most of them are quick little salads, soups, or thrown together bowl-meals, none of which are particularly blog worthy. 

Peanut Butter Date Shakes// Loves Food, Loves to Eat
I do have some more donuts to share with you soon, but I need to make them again for photos… and I have a cold (seriously!? As if I wasn't already sick for the first two months of the year…). I don't want to germ-up a bunch of donuts that other people are going to eat, and I certainly don't need 12 amazingly delicious donuts sitting around my house. I will eat every single one. Donut will power is not a thing. It doesn't exist. So, I want to be sure I can safely share with friends before I make them again. Because coconut. And ginger glaze. See what I'm saying about will power? 

Peanut Butter Date Shakes// Loves Food, Loves to Eat In addition to quick little dinners, I've been using my Vitamix like crazy. I know they're expensive, but guys… I'm telling you… life changing! I used to make smoothies like once a month. My old blender sucked so bad, it took forever to blend everything up, and was just an all-around pain in the ass to use. So I saved up my credit card points, and used them to get a Vitamix. Now I blend things almost daily! Sometimes twice daily. Even thrice daily, on occasion. Fruit & veggie smoothies, creamy soups, nut milks and butters, hummus, bean dip, sauces. All thing things. I highly recommend a high-powered blender (for a more affordable option, my parents have a Ninja, and love it). 

Peanut Butter Date Shakes// Loves Food, Loves to Eat My favorite treat lately has been this peanut butter date shake. It tastes milkshakey, but is full of good for you stuff like peanut butter, banana, almond milk, dates, and oats. I won't lie and say this is a low calorie shake, because it's not. But everything in it is natural and healthy-like, and it's a major protein boost. It's quick and easy to make, so perfect before early morning workouts. Just kidding… I don't work out in the mornings, who do you think I am? I wish I was a morning person, but no matter how hard I try, it just doesn't happen. I'm pretty sure my REM sleep kicks in at 8AM. So instead I have this shake as an afternoon snack, dessert, or late-morning breakfast.  

Peanut Butter Date Shakes// Loves Food, Loves to Eat
Peanut Butter Date Shake
Makes 1 big shake, 2 small ones

3 pitted dates (I used the large medjool dates. If you like it less sweet, start with 2, and the 3rd as needed)
1 banana (the riper it is, the more you'll taste it--I go for less ripe)
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (plus more if needed)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1 overflowing cup of ice

Depending on your blender, you may need longer blending times. I add everything except the ice to the blender, and blend until it's all smooth (the dates take awhile). Then, since the long blending time has likely warmed up the mixture, I add my ice last, and blend until smooth. Taste test as you go. Add more peanut butter or vanilla if you want, or more almond milk if you like a runnier shake. Sometimes I also add toasted coconut!

Note: This post is in no way affiliated with Vitamix, I just happen to be obsessed with mine, and all opinions are my own. 

Peanut Butter Date Shakes// Loves Food, Loves to Eat

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sesame Sriracha Egg Salad

Sesame Sriracha Egg Salad// Loves Food, Loves to Eat
Here's my second egg salad experiment. And, I must say… this one rocks. It rawks, even. 

Sesame Sriracha Egg Salad// Loves Food, Loves to Eat Before we get to the goodness of this recipe, can I tell you something sort of embarrassing? So, I've had lower back pain on and off for years, and recently, as I've amped up my outdoor running for spring, my backs been killing me. So I went to a sports rehab doc, and guess what? My glutes aren't doing their job, forcing all the effort on my lower back. Basically, in a nutshell, my butt muscles aren't working right. So now, in order to retrain my muscles to do what they're supposed to do, I have four weeks of PT. To relearn how to walk. My butt is broken.

Sesame Sriracha Egg Salad// Loves Food, Loves to Eat
Sesame Sriracha Egg Salad// Loves Food, Loves to Eat In other news… Sesame Sriracha Egg Salad! After my deconstructed egg salad, I was brave enough to try a mixed up version with lots of fun flavors. This has sesame oil, soy sauce, and sriracha, and the flavor totally kills. So, so good. I seriously want to eat this every day. Egg salad convert!

Sesame Sriracha Egg Salad// Loves Food, Loves to Eat Sesame Sriracha Egg Salad
This is the 4-egg version, which basically made two overloaded baguette slices. Double the recipe for more, or cut in half for less.  

1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon Sriracha
2 teaspoons mayonaise
1 teaspoon sesame oil
4 hardboiled eggs
Salt & pepper 
Baguette slices
Micro greens or spring greens
Extra Sriracha
Black sesame seeds

Whisk together soy sauce, Sriracha, mayo, and sesame oil. Chop eggs in fairly small pieces, add to mayo mixture, and gently toss to combine. Salt & pepper to taste. Top baguette slices with greens, a big scoop of egg salad, an extra squirt of Sriracha, and a sprinkle of black sesame seeds. 

Sesame Sriracha Egg Salad// Loves Food, Loves to Eat

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Egg Salad No. 1

Deconstructed Egg Salad // Loves Food, Loves to Eat
This is the time of year where all my online feeds fill up with egg salad sandwiches. Which I hate. Well, used to hate.

Deconstructed Egg Salad // Loves Food, Loves to Eat I’ve mentioned here before that my whole life I had a major hate-hate relationship with eggs, until about five years ago. Now it’s sort of love-hate. I eat a ton of eggs. Love ‘em over medium, baked, scrambled, and sometimes even hardboiled. But I still have a few weird leftover hang-ups from my egg hating days. Like, I don’t want to eat eggs that other people prepare. And I don’t like watching other people eat eggs. And until this week, I hated egg salad sandwiches.

Deconstructed Egg Salad // Loves Food, Loves to Eat My egg salad memories from childhood are squishy and smelly. Amanda loved the things, and would really disgustingly eat them in front of me since she knew it grossed me out. Since egg salad is all over the place around Easter, I started a little convo about it on Facebook. And, kind of to my surprise, it turned out that everyone loves egg salad sandwiches.

Deconstructed Egg Salad // Loves Food, Loves to Eat You guys also told me on the 'book that you like dill and green olives in your egg salad. I decided to work with that. But I was still a little nervous, picturing a smelly, mushy mound of squishy egg salad, so I decided to go the deconstructed route: baguette slices with tangy green olive and mustard tapenade, micro greens, sliced hard-boiled eggs, and dilly mayo. 

Deconstructed Egg Salad // Loves Food, Loves to Eat GUYS! This is actually good. Really good! Hey egg salad, I’m not afraid of you anymore! You hear that? I’m not afraid of you! Sorry, quick Home Alone tangent. Anyway, my first foray into egg salad gave me enough courage to try a mixed up version… today you get deconstructed, and later we’re doing a little somethin’ somethin’ with everyone’s favorite bright red hot sauce. Stay tuned for that one!

Deconstructed Egg Salad // Loves Food, Loves to Eat Deconstructed Egg Salad Sandwiches

1/2 cup mayo 
2 tablespoons fresh dill
Sea salt
1.5 cups green olives
2 teaspoons grainy dijon mustard
Hardboiled eggs
Baguette slices
Micro greens (I like the Trader Joe's micro greens, but sprouts or spring greens work too)
Dill fronds
Sliced chives
Salt & pepper

Add mayo, dill, and a pinch of salt to blender, and blend until combined. Taste, and add more dill or salt as needed. Scoop into a dish. Once blender is thoroughly scraped out, add olives and mustard, and blend until combined and chunky, but not totally pureed. Scoop into a separate dish. 

For each baguette slice, spread a bit of the mustard tapenade, add a handful of micro greens, sprouts, or other greens, a layer of thinly sliced hard boiled eggs, a pinch of salt and pepper, a drizzle of the mayo (I add mine to a ziplock baggie with the corner cut out to pipe), chives, and a bit of fresh dill. Make as many as your heart desires! 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Carrot Cake Smoothies

Carrot Cake Smoothies// Loves Food, Loves to Eat
I had this recipe ready for you guys earlier this week, but decided it was probably a bad idea to post it on April Fool’s day. Then you’d be all like “Oh, it’s not actually a carrot cake smoothie, its cake…right?” I’m sorry. It’s really a smoothie, no jokes here. There is no cake.

Carrot Cake Smoothies// Loves Food, Loves to Eat But, also not a joke: this smoothie is really good! And it’s good for you! And, if you’re gonna be filling your Easter keister up with a ton of ham, potatoes, deviled eggs, Cadbury cream eggs, homemade ricotta, coconut cakes, lemon pies, and other pastel-inspired goodies (like I will), then a pre-feast smoothie might be in order.

Carrot Cake Smoothies// Loves Food, Loves to Eat This smoothie has all the makings of a good carrot cake, minus the cream cheese frosting, butter, eggs, and cake parts. Carrots, coconut, nuts, and spices get all whirled up in your blender with other good and creamy things like coconut milk, bananas, and dates. It’s almost a carrot cake shake, rather than smoothie.

Carrot Cake Smoothies// Loves Food, Loves to Eat If you’re feeling really festive, you can top it all off with toasted coconut and chopped nuts. And also… that remaining coconut milk? Go ahead and whip that into a smooth and fluffy whipped cream. It’s really like the icing on the cake…or the smoothie shake, if ya know what I’m sayin’.

Carrot Cake Smoothies// Loves Food, Loves to Eat
Carrot Cake Smoothies
Serves 2

5 medium-large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup coconut milk (if you're using remaining for whipped cream, be sure to use a full fat version)
2 large dates, pitted
1/2 large banana
1/4 cup almonds or other nuts
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch of fresh nutmeg and ground cloves
2 cups of ice

Toppings:
Toasted coconut
Chopped nuts

Place everything except ice and toppings in blender, and blend until smooth. Add ice, and blend until smooth. Pour into smoothie glasses or jars, and serve with toppings. 

Carrot Cake Smoothies// Loves Food, Loves to Eat

Monday, March 31, 2014

Coconut & Ground Hazelnut Banana Bread

Coconut & Ground Hazelnut Banana Bread// Loves Food Loves to Eat

This banana bread is a little different. It’s not that super banana-y bread you’re used to. It doesn’t have chocolate chips in it. But, it could. I mean. It should, right? Note to self.

Coconut & Ground Hazelnut Banana Bread// Loves Food Loves to Eat I don’t trust banana bread that comes out of other people’s kitchens. I know this is weird, but it’s my life. Same thing with deviled eggs and tuna sandwiches. Until about a year ago, I never ate a tuna sandwich that was made by someone other than my mom, my sister, or myself. And then I gathered up my courage and ordered a tuna sandwich from a little store/café a few blocks from my apartment, and I loved it, and I ordered it like it was going out of style…which it was, because now that store/café has closed.

Coconut & Ground Hazelnut Banana Bread// Loves Food Loves to Eat I also hate it when people say “tuna-fish sandwich.” That’s like saying you’re eating a chicken-bird sandwich, or a beef-cow burger. Sorry, I digress. We’re not here to talk about tuna. Or chicken or beef.

Coconut & Ground Hazelnut Banana Bread// Loves Food Loves to Eat We’re here to talk about banana bread. This one is heartier than most, with earthy whole wheat and hints of nutty-coconutty goodness throughout. It’s not overly sweet—less of a snack bread, and more of a breakfast bread. In fact, I think its best sliced thick, toasted, and slathered with a bit of butter and sea salt, served with a cup of coffee or tea. Evan likes it because it’s nutty without having distinguishable nut pieces (I’m a big fan of nuts in baked goods, but I know I’m in the minority here), and because, as he put it, it’s not as mushy as some.

Coconut & Ground Hazelnut Banana Bread// Loves Food Loves to Eat I like it because quick breads are my jam, and I typically have everything on hand to make it. And it tastes real real good. And, it came out of my own kitchen. So… there’s that.

Coconut & Ground Hazelnut Banana Bread Coconut & Ground Hazelnut Banana Bread

3 ripe bananas, mashed
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons sour cream or Greek yogurt
1.5 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup finely ground hazelnuts/ hazelnut meal
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup desiccated coconut (unsweetened, dried, and shredded)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a standard loaf pan.

Stir together bananas, eggs, and sour cream. Add remaining ingredients, and stir until combined. Scoop batter into loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes to an hour. Serve warm, room temperature, or sliced and toasted. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Avocado & Orange Salad with Sesame Soy Dressing

Avocado & Orange Salad with Sesame Soy Dressing // Loves Food, Loves to Eat
I love to walk. My mom is a walker too. As long as I can remember, Mel has walked 2-4 miles every day, up and down the wooded country road I grew up on. When we were kids, Amanda and I went with her. I would inevitably fall and scrape my knees, which often led to me fainting right there on the side of the road. In addition to being a walker, I’m a fainter.

Avocado & Orange Salad with Sesame Soy Dressing // Loves Food, Loves to Eat My family also went on evening strolls after dinner—up the street a mile, then back down a mile. Sometimes I stopped a few yards before the turn-around spot, and waited. Then, when they got to me, I pretended I was an orphan, and that they found me on the road and were adopting me. I watched a lot of All Dogs Go to Heaven and Annie.

Avocado & Orange Salad with Sesame Soy Dressing // Loves Food, Loves to Eat Seattle is a small city, and you can easily go from one end of downtown to the other on foot. I’ve done it plenty of times. I walk from my office to the gym, from my doorstep to the farmer’s market. I have a car and a bus pass, but I just prefer to get around on foot.

Avocado & Orange Salad with Sesame Soy Dressing // Loves Food, Loves to Eat Lately, with the cherry blossoms blooming like crazy, the temperatures rising, and the sun staying out later and later each evening, I have a strong desire to just get out there and walk. Not to go anywhere in particular, but just to walk. To take in the fresh air and give my computer-strained eyes a break.

Avocado & Orange Salad with Sesame Soy Dressing // Loves Food, Loves to Eat I can usually bribe Evan with snack-stops, but he prefers walks that have a destination in mind (I mean, what he actually prefers is driving). The other day, I tricked him into walking across town to my favorite grocery store and back. The sunny walk and the store’s bountiful produce inspired me to make this springy salad with buttery bibb lettuce, red onions, creamy avocados, juicy oranges, umami filled dressing, feta for tang, and almonds for crunch.

Avocado & Orange Salad with Sesame Soy Dressing // Loves Food, Loves to Eat Evan, the non-salad lover, even asked for seconds. Maybe it was all that fresh air. I’ll give partial credit to the walk, but you can taste this salad and decide for yourself!

Avocado & Orange Salad with Sesame Soy Dressing
Serves 2

Dressing
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon mustard (I use spicy brown)
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon olive oil 
salt & pepper

Mix ingredients together (either shake in a jar, or whisk in a bowl). 

Salad
1/2 head bibb lettuce, torn into largish bite size pieces
1 orange, peeled and cut into bit size chunks
1 tablespoon diced red onion
Dressing (recipe above)
1 avocado, sliced
1/4 cup almonds, roughly chopped
1/4 cup feta
Fresh ground pepper

Put lettuce, orange, and onion in a bowl, and toss with about half the dressing. Arrange on plates or a platter, and top with avocado slices, almonds, feta, fresh ground pepper, and if desired, more dressing. Note: wait til just before serving to toss dressing with lettuce, to avoid soggy salad. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Coconut Margaritas

Coconut Margaritas// Loves Food, Loves to Eat
My sister and her boyfriend just got back from the most amazing look tropical vacation ever. They went to Turks and Caicos, those jerks! And while I zipped up my raincoat and pulled on my galoshes, she texted me pictures of white sand and bright blue water. Jealousy level max over here. 

Coconut Margaritas// Loves Food, Loves to Eat
Coconut Margaritas// Loves Food, Loves to Eat Fact: the only possible way to overcome tropical vacation envy, aside from hopping on a plane, is to drink tropical drinks. Bonus points for pink umbrellas. 

Coconut Margaritas// Loves Food, Loves to Eat Turks and Caicos is all about the rum punch, but I only had one drink of my mind: coconut margaritas! 

Coconut Margaritas// Loves Food, Loves to Eat
Coconut Margaritas// Loves Food, Loves to Eat Last week my friend LZ and I had these coconut margs at happy hour the other day, and they were amazing! They weren't too sweet or over the top, and since they were made with coconut water, I felt all good and hydrated, something I don't usually feel when I'm drinking tequila! 

Coconut Margaritas// Loves Food, Loves to Eat So of course, over the weekend I decided to shake up my own coconut margs, and pretend I was somewhere sunny and warm…just ignore that rain sound on the windows. That's just ocean waves. Obviously. 

Coconut Margaritas// Loves Food, Loves to Eat I'm not trying to brag or anything, but these are the most amazing margaritas I've ever had. A little tart, a little sweet, a little coconutty… tropical perfection! I invited LZ over for taste testing, and we each had a couple tastes. I mean, full-glass sized tastes. Then maybe a couple more. Who was counting, ya know? We certainly weren't. 

Coconut Margaritas// Loves Food, Loves to Eat
Coconut Margaritas, on the Rocks
Inspired by El Borracho Coconut Margaritas
Makes enough for a crowd

Coconut Tequila (I used this brand)
Fresh lemon/lime juice (juice of 2 lemons & 3 limes, mixed)
Ginger syrup (like this, or make your own)
Coconut water (C2O is my favorite, Zico is my 2nd favorite)
1 can coconut cream (different from coconut milk, but that would work as well-PS. how great is Coco Lopez website... from like, 1999)
Toasted coconut sugar (2 tablespoons sugar & 3 tablespoons toasted desiccated coconut, stirred together)

To prepare your glass, add toasted coconut sugar to a plate. Run a lime wedge across the glass rim, and dip rim in sugar and coconut, twisting to coat. Add ice to glass.

For each margarita, fill up cocktail shaker half way with ice, and add:
 
1 oz tequila
1 oz lemon/lime juice
1/4 oz ginger syrup
2 oz coconut water
1/2 oz coconut cream

Shake until combined, and strain into prepared glass. Serve with a lime wedge and pink umbrella! Add a floater of coconut cream if you like it a bit sweeter. 


Coconut Margaritas// Loves Food, Loves to Eat