Chocolate Banana Tahini Popsicles

date06.27.17

It’s popsicle week!! Creamy banana tahini popsicles made with frozen bananas whipped up with hazelnut milk, tahini, maple syrup, and a splash of vanilla extract. Healthy popsicles masquerading as dessert with a cloak of dark chocolate and toasted sesame seeds. 

Banana Tahini Popsicles with Chocolate Drizzle

You know those recipes for banana ice cream where you freeze bananas, then purée them until they turn into soft serve, giving you deliciously creamy ice cream that’s actually just bananas? I’ve got one way back in the archives, except I added caramel because: sugar. So probably not as healthy – go figure.

These chocolate banana tahini popsicles start with that base recipe for just banana ice cream. Then I’ve blended in nut milk, tahini, maple syrup, and vanilla to add a little intrigue and make it pourable into popsicle molds. The chocolate drizzle and toasted sesame seeds allow these healthy popsicles to masquerade as dessert, even though you really are basically just eating bananas and tahini.

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Sunflower Seed Gouda Pesto

date06.19.17

Quick and simple sunflower seed gouda pesto with toasty seeds and mild and mellow sweetness from shredded gouda for a summer condiment you’ll want to eat by the spoonful or on top of eggs, veggie bowls, pasta, sandwiches, and more.

Sunflower Seed Gouda Pesto

I’ve got approximately 7lbs of cheese in my fridge right now and I’m 100% confident we’ll finish it off in the next two weeks. Scratch that: Zoella still only wants to eat cheese for every meal so I give it one week.

I’ve partnered up with Roth Cheese for a summer menu video series. Throughout the summer, we’ll build a full menu with breakfast, lunch, appetizer, and dinner recipes filled with Wisconsin cheese. First up is a simple and quick condiment that can transform any dish with just a spoonful. We’ve been dolloping this sunflower seed gouda pesto on just about everything from eggs to veggie bowls to pasta to grilled cheese sandwiches. There’s something magical about the toasted sunflower seed and Van Gogh gouda combo that I can’t stop snacking on. And blended up with basil, it’s my new favorite summer topping.

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Roasted Fennel & Garlic Socca Flatbread with Olives and Mint Parsley Oil

date06.11.17

This naturally gluten-free chickpea socca flatbread is topped with melty mozzarella, roasted garlic and fennel, and buttery olives, then drizzled with a fresh mint parsley oil.

Roasted Fennel & Garlic Socca Flatbread with Olives and Mint Parsley Oil

This post is sponsored by California Ripe Olives. Although I was compensated to write this post, all opinions are my own.

We’re in the thick of a toddler hunger strike right now. It’s not that she’s picky and doesn’t like foods. She won’t even try most foods – “nah,” she says as she drops it on the floor. Tips for not raising a picky eater are welcome. Her current list of approved foods includes: cheese (the clear favorite), blueberries, dried figs, pine nuts, smoked salmon, and olives.

Maybe I’m ripping my hair out to get her to eat most days, but I’m also counting my blessings that she didn’t inherit my dad’s aversion to olives. This is huge. It was a major point of contention whenever I’d choose olives as my only pizza topping growing up. If this socca flatbread with olives and mint parsley had been on the menu, I’d get to eat it all.

Real talk: how can anyone not want to be on team olives when they make such great fingertip jewelry?

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Crispy Barbecue Beans + Lodi Wine Tour

date06.04.17

Pairing smokey crispy barbecue beans with a glass of Zinfandel – an utterly addictive snack for your summer gatherings in partnership with LangeTwins Family Winery & Vineyard. 

Crispy Barbecue Beans

I was told that LangeTwins has a wine for everybody. Good, I thought, I’ll stick to the white. But nothing is ever that simple and this is not that story. This is the story of how I fell for a luscious red and found myself sharing an entire can of crispy barbecue beans over a bottle of LangeTwins’ 2013 Caricature Old Vine Zinfandel with my neighbor one evening.

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Roasted Beets with Creamy Romesco & Wild Rice + Vegetarian Heartland Cookbook

date05.25.17

Easy weeknight meal – bright and creamy romesco sauce layered over wild rice and topped with roasted beets and green garlic. Protein-rich cannellini beans add twist on a classic sauce – from Vegetarian Heartland: Recipes for Life’s Adventures by Shelly Westerhausen. 

Roasted Beets with Creamy Romesco & Wild Rice

I’ve heard it’s healthy to eat a wide variety of colors – the theory being that you’ll consume a range of nutrients. With that in mind, this dish from my friend Shelly’s new cookbook – Vegetarian Heartland: Recipes for Life’s Adventures – is the healthiest recipe on the planet. She wins! (But also, does this mean that rainbow sherbet ice cream is healthy…?).

Vegetarian Heartland is packed with uncomplicated seasonal recipes that make vegetarian cooking and eating an exciting adventure. Shelly takes on classics, adding a hint of the unknown – a little twist. This creamy romesco does just that with cannellini beans blended in to make the sauce extra velvety and creamy while also adding protein.

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Mint Mango Haupia Tarts with Pine Nut Crust

date05.17.17

These tropical haupia tarts have a gluten-free buttery pine nut crust filled with a zesty line coconut cream custard and are topped with mint mangoes and a toasted pine nuts.

Mint Mango Haupia Tarts with Pine Nut Crust

I sat down to write this post late last night – ready to gush all about these mint mango haupia tarts with pine nut crust. But then my toddler (!!) woke up crying and my brain completely shut off. It just stopped working.

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Gluten-free Cinnamon Hazelnut Chocolate Chunk Muffins

date05.10.17

These cinnamon-spiced hazelnut chocolate chunk muffins are gluten-free and dairy-free. In partnership with Pacific Foods, I’ve used their Hazelnut Non-Dairy Beverage to create sweet morning muffins with a distinct nutty flavor that are fluffy and moist.

Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Hazelnut Chocolate Chunk Muffins

As a kid, we’d serve my mom breakfast in bed every Mother’s Day. In retrospect, my mom definitely woke up earlier than me 364 days of the year, so she probably had to force herself to stay in bed that day, knowing she’d blow the surprise if she got up. Also, I’ve got no rational explanation for why we tip-toed around as though it was a secret when really, this was a family tradition that happened every Mother’s and Father’s Day. But we did. We rarely strayed far from the standard eggs and bacon (my dad’s specialty), but if I still lived close, I’d bring my mom these gluten-free cinnamon hazelnut chocolate chunk muffins this year.

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Garlic White Wine Skillet Chicken with Olives & Artichokes

date05.08.17

Extra juicy crispy-skinned garlic white wine skillet chicken with olives and artichokes. Served over a bed of pasta, this low-prep one-skillet chicken is simple enough for a weeknight, but fancy enough for a dinner party. 

Garlic White Wine Skillet Chicken with Artichoke & Olives

I’m finally home after spending three nights in Boston at a middle-school style slumber party bachelorette party (except with wine, good food, and R-rated movies). While some were in charge of the scrapbook station and others the mani/pedi situation, the menu was my domain. Here’s the thing though: I was traveling with only a carry-on across the country to a weekend rental (booked by someone else) with unknown kitchen tools. I’m sure you can guess where this is going…

Pictures showed a full kitchen and our host’s note said, “Feel free to use whatever you find in the apartment (kitchen, coffee machine, microwave, toaster…etc).” So we planned on the basics and I chose recipes that required no special tools, with this garlic white wine skillet chicken on the menu for Saturday night.

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Almond Milk Fettuccine Alfredo with Spring Veggies & Herbs

date05.01.17

An ultra-creamy fettuccine alfredo lightened up with almond milk and topped with spring’s finest veggies and herbs. Paired with a well-balanced Sauvignon Blanc in partnership with Kenwood Vineyards

Almond Milk Fettuccine Alfredo with Spring Veggies & Herbs

What is it about some recipes that make it into your regular rotation for specific occasions? Whenever someone has a baby, for example, I drop off pineapple tofu fried rice and whenever there’s a party, I bring chocolate cupcakes. This almond milk fettuccine alfredo has gained similar status as the centerpiece whenever we have dinner guests.

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