Dairy-Free, Dessert, Gluten-Free, Product Review, Snack, Sweet

Cookie Dough Truffles

America’s cookie dough obsession is at an all-time high. If you don’t believe me, Google “DŌ NYC.” Your screen will become inundated by pictures of this new cookie dough shop that functions just like an ice cream store, but with different flavors of cookie dough rather than ice cream. Of course, people were obsessed with cookie dough far before this shop opened in January 2017 but you could say this treat is experiencing a renaissance of sorts.

But if you’re like me and can’t eat gluten, the novelty of cookie dough isn’t as attainable. Here’s where P.S. Snacks comes in. This company out of Washington, D.C. is creating edible cookie dough made with chickpeas, making the treat not only gluten-free but also fairly healthy to eat. When I say this, I swear I’m telling the truth – you would never know this stuff was made from chickpeas. I swear!

Because I’m obsessed with this stuff and I like using it to make even more awesome things, I present to you these Cookie Dough truffles. You won’t be able to stop eating them – that’s a promise.

Level: Easy

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Rest Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Servings: 12-15

Ingredients:
1 container P.S. Snacks Chocolate Chip and/or Peanut Butter Cookie Dough
1 cup chocolate chips
2 tablespoons shredded coconut or whatever toppings you desire!

Directions:

    Photo by Analiese Trimber

    Photo by Analiese Trimber

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

    Photo by Analiese Trimber

    Photo by Analiese Trimber

  2. Take about 1 tablespoon of cookie dough and roll into a ball. Place on baking sheet.
  3. Put baking sheet in freezer for about 10-15 minutes.
  4. While your cookie dough balls are chilling, place chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl.
  5. Microwave chocolate chips for 30 seconds. Remove from microwave and stir.
  6. Repeat this process until all chocolate chips are melted.

    Photo by Analiese Trimber

    Photo by Analiese Trimber

  7. After your cookie dough balls have chilled, roll them in the melted chocolate and place back on baking sheet.
  8. Sprinkle with shredded coconut or any toppings you would like.

    Photo by Analiese Trimber

    Photo by Analiese Trimber

  9. Enjoy!

    Photo by Analiese Trimber

    Photo by Analiese Trimber

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Dairy-Free, Dessert, Drink, Gluten-Free, Sweet

Bacon Espresso Pudding Shots

Sometimes you find yourself lost in a daydream pondering the ideal world. More often than not, that ideal world is full of bacon. Sometimes, depending on the day or your workload, it involves a drink or two. Occasionally, you have the wherewithal to act upon this daydream and you do it. Cue: my life.

I’m not going to lie, these pudding shots required about 75% of my heart and soul, a lot of bacon, and tons of patience, but they were worth it. From the rich, chocolate flavor of the homemade espresso pudding spiked with enough vodka to taste it but not really taste it to the salty bacon rim and creamy coconut cream, these shots will get your night started in a deliciously classy way.

One of my roommates described the flavor as “something you would get from a restaurant” and I imagined for a moment I was the female version of Daniel Boulud, and everything was right in the world.

Level: Medium

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours (estimated)
Total Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes

Servings: 10-12 pudding shots

Ingredients:
Chocolate Espresso Pudding
4 tablespoons corn starch (or tapioca starch if Paleo)
2 tablespoons water
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons coconut sugar (or any other kind of sugar)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tablespoon espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups coconut milk creamer (thicker than regular coconut milk!)
1/3 cup chocolate chips (I used dairy-free because…well, you know)
3/4 cup vodka (I used Bakon vodka because I got it for Christmas and wanted to try it out)
4 tablespoons coconut cream (this isn’t totally necessary but makes it creamier)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Coconut Whipped Cream
1 can full-fat coconut milk, set in the fridge a few hours in advance (muy importante)
2 packets stevia or 2ish tablespoons sugar
Bacon Rim
5 slices bacon (I used espresso rubbed bacon because I’m clearly a bacon connoisseur)
2 tablespoons honey

Directions:

  1. In a small cup, combine 3 tablespoons corn starch and 2 tablespoons water. Stir to fully incorporate and set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, add coconut sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and salt.
  3. Turn heat on medium-low and add coconut milk creamer 1/4 cup at a time, stirring to fully incorporate in between each installment.
  4. Once all coconut milk has been added, cook for about one minute, making sure the mixture does not boil.
  5. Add chocolate chips, stirring occasionally so they don’t stick to the bottom.
  6. Add corn starch mixture and vanilla.
  7. Stir constantly for about 3 minutes as the pudding thickens.
  8. Remove mixture to a heatproof bowl and let cool. This might take a little while, but make sure to stir the pudding occasionally or a skin will form, locking in all the heat and never letting your precious pudding cool.
  9. While the pudding cools, it’s BACON TIME. Slice bacon in half length-wise, so the strip is half as wide. Then dice from there. This is the ideal dice for this dish.
  10. In a medium frying pan over medium-low heat, add diced bacon and sauté for about 5-6 minutes, or until fully cooked.
  11. Remove bacon to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the grease. Pat as dry as possible. Set aside until you’re ready to compile the shots.

    Photo courtesy of Kelda Baljon

    Photo courtesy of Kelda Baljon

  12. Once pudding is cool (totally ok to shove it in the fridge/freezer for a bit if you’re impatient), transfer it to the bowl of your standing mixer (or bowl you can use your beaters in).
  13. Start the mixture on low, and add a few tablespoons of vodka.
  14. Once this is incorporated, add 1/2 teaspoon of coconut cream and an 1/8 teaspoon of corn starch
  15. Repeat steps 13 and 14 until all vodka, coconut cream, and corn starch has been used. If you can add more vodka without the pudding separating, DUH, go for it. Test the limits. Be an inspiration to mankind
  16. Once now-alcoholic pudding is complete, transfer to a flat Pyrex or glass dish and let cool in the fridge for maybe 30-45 minutes.
  17. Clean the bowl of your standing mixer because it’s coconut whipped cream time!
  18. Add the solidified coconut milk from the top of the can to bowl of your standing mixer. I add a few tablespoons of the still-liquid milk as well. This is okay to do. Oh, add your Stevia or sugar now, too.
  19. Turn your mixer as high as it goes, head into the other room and watch Netflix for about 10 minutes.
  20. Return back to your beloved mixer to (hopefully) find some whipped cream. If the peaks aren’t super stiff, that’s ok. The cream is more for taste than anything.
  21. Transfer your patted down bacon to a cutting board and just go to town chopping it. Even smaller than bacon bites. I’ve tried to do this in my food processor before but the bacon is typically too meaty or greasy that it never works. Do it the old fashioned way. Chop the daylights out of it with the sharpest knife you own. Get out any aggression you have while you’re at it.
  22. Transfer your mega-chopped bacon to a small plate.
  23. Gather every shot glass you own. If you’re using disposables, make sure to get the plastic ones so you can add the bacon rim.
  24. In a tiny bowl, add the some honey. Gently dip the shot glass (face down) into the honey, making sure it covers every part of the rim.

    Photo by Analiese Trimber

    Photo by Analiese Trimber

  25. Dip the shot glass into the plate of mega-chopped bacon and twirl so entire rim is covered.
  26. Spoon pudding into shot glass. Top with coconut cream.
  27. Put assembled pudding shots in the fridge until you’re ready for them. I refrigerated mine for a few hours and the pudding became nice and thick. You might need a spoon!
Photo by Analiese Trimber

Photo by Analiese Trimber

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Breakfast, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Paleo, Sweet

Paleo Bacon Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread

I don’t know about you, but I have a really bad habit of buying an unsuitable amount of bananas. This goes both ways. Sometimes I don’t buy enough bananas, and find myself going insane because I always want something I can’t have, which is a statement that applies to both men and food, but more so food because let’s be real, eating banana pancakes when you didn’t think you could eat them is way more satisfying than getting a stupid boy you’ve been pining over for no reason at all. Unlike men, food is sustenance and you literally need it, but I digress.

Since this recipe is for banana bread, you have probably realized this story is about buying too many bananas as opposed to the opposite. Sometimes I buy way too many and they die a slow, painful death with no company besides a literal heap of sweet potatoes, because my housemates and I also buy an unusual amount of sweet potatoes. I’m not sure why I’m going into so much detail about my grocery store habits, but whatever. If your bananas are dying and deteriorating on your counter, make this recipe, because it’s bad to waste food but banana bread is also amazing. Just don’t forget to add bacon because when in doubt, add bacon.

Level: Easy

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Servings: 2

Ingredients:
5 slices bacon, diced
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 egg
2 tablespoons oil (I used coconut, which is Paleo)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons milk (again, I used coconut so it’s Paleo)
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 3/4 cups almond flour
scant 1/2 cup tapioca flour
heaping 1 tablespoon coconut flour
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 tablespoon espresso powder, optional
1/4 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup chocolate chunks

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a large loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium frying pan over medium-low heat, add diced bacon and sauté for about 5-6 minutes, or until fully cooked.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, remove the cooked bacon to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the grease. Pat dry.
  4. In a large bowl, combine banana, egg, oil, vanilla, milk, and maple syrup.
  5. In a separate large bowl, combine all flours, shredded coconut, sugar, spices, espresso powder, salt, and baking soda.
  6. Add dry ingredients to wet and combine until fully incorporated.
  7. Add chocolate chunks and bacon and mix.
  8. Pour batter into parchment paper-lined loaf pan and spread evenly with a spatula.
  9. Put in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until you insert a toothpick into the loaf and it comes out clean or slightly crumbly.
  10. Remove pan from oven, and let sit for one to two minutes.
  11. Remove bread from pan by grabbing parchment paper. Transfer loaf to cooling rack to cool completely. Or get a fork out and dig into it immediately, burning the roof of your mouth with scalding hot melted chocolate. Your choice.
Photo by Analiese Trimber

Photo by Analiese Trimber

Photo by Analiese Trimber

Photo by Analiese Trimber

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Dairy-Free, Dinner, Gluten-Free, Lunch, Paleo, Savory

Paleo Pumpkin and Tahini Cream Sauce

The word “creamy” is basically the go-to verbiage to describe some of the most tastiest of foods, from ice cream to chocolate to brie. But while creamy foods both savory and sweet are ones that seem to quench cravings the most, the unfortunate part about the word is that it’s usually associated with dairy. Not trying to hate on dairy consumers, but if you’ve been lactose-intolerant since birth like I have, you probably get really excited when you hear the word “creamy” and then immediately come to the realization that you probably can’t eat it.

Little did you know, there is this magical substance called coconut cream that has existed since the beginning of time (or since the beginning of time that we care about, because a world without coconuts is not a world worth caring about). Imagine some settlers reaching the Pacific Islands for the first time stumbling upon this really weird, hairy, hard as a rock thing. It probably took hours for them to figure out how to crack it open, but they did, and they were probably kissing each other for hours afterwards in triumph.

Anyways, this coconut cream, derived from the flesh of the coconut, is even thicker than other creams. Yeah, it’s actually solid and contributes much more flavor than other dairy-filled heavy creams, making it the perfect addition to a sauce. In this case, the coconut cream adds a luscious thickness to the combination of pumpkin and tahini, which is just about as Fall as you can get. Serve this sauce with your favorite base, whether it’s spaghetti squash, pumpkin soba noodles (oh yes, these exist), or just plain old spaghetti. I don’t think you’ll miss the dairy at all.

Level: Easy

Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 9 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Servings: 2

Ingredients:
1/3 cup pumpkin pureé
2 tablespoons coconut cream
3/4 – 1 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup tahini
1 teaspoon sesame oil
juice from 1 lemon
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil, then turn down and let simmer until mixture reaches desired temperature.
  3. Season with salt and pepper as necessary
  4. Serve with some veggies, unless you’re into mono-chromaticism.
Photo by Analiese Trimber

Photo by Analiese Trimber

Photo by Analiese Trimber

Photo by Analiese Trimber

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Breakfast, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Paleo, Sweet

Paleo Bacon Encrusted Pumpkin French Toast

There is a beautiful time right before sleep where most ponder the meaning of life or think about all the things they have to do the next day but for me, this time belongs solely to bacon. Now, bacon is in my heart and mind most of the time, but you must know these pre-sleep thoughts are the most valuable thoughts my brain produces each day. For some reason, I come up with all of my recipes in this sweet, sweet moment before departing from the real world for the next seven (or hopefully more like ten) hours. And when I wake in the morning, it’s like it was all a dream, but one that I can immediately make into a reality.

This french toast recipe is the product of one of these late-night unintentional food brainstorms. My sleepy, half-conscious rationale: bacon belongs in breakfast. Bacon and pumpkin are a completely underrated duo. Paleo people constantly crave bread. Bacon belongs in everything, so my first two points are moot. So with these thoughts, I say why not make Paleo English Muffins, soak them in pumpkin because hello, it’s Fall, and then crust it all up with some bacon and shredded coconut because coconut is also awesome. Then spread almond butter everywhere, add your favorite fruit, and stack it all up because I’ve been obsessed with stacking things lately. Then douse in syrup or honey or BOTH because I actually used both. Just do it.

Level: Medium

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Servings: 2

Ingredients:
English muffins adapted from Running to the Kitchen
1/2 cup almond flour
2 tablespoons coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 tablespoon coconut oil
4 tablespoons water
French toast
6-7 slices bacon, diced
1/4 cup pumpkin purée
2 eggs
1/2 cup non-dairy milk (I used coconut)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1-2 tablespoons maple syrup, plus more for topping
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Directions:

1. In a medium frying pan over medium-low heat, add diced bacon and sauté for about 5-6 minutes, or until fully cooked.
2. Using a slotted spoon, remove the cooked bacon to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the grease. Pat dry.
3. Once bacon has cooled, crush up into the tiniest pieces possible, or use a Vitamix/food processor to do your dirty work.
4. While the bacon is in the frying pan, combine all ingredients for English muffins in a small bowl.
5. Grease two threeish inch glass Pyrex dishes or something equally as microwaveable.
6. Separate the batter into the two separate microwave-safe dishes.
7. Put one dish in the microwave and cook for two minutes. Repeat this process with the second dish. I didn’t do them together because that would change the cook time. You know, science.
8. After each muffin is finished cooking, remove from dish onto a cooling rack.
9. Once the muffins are cool enough to touch, slice in half creating two half as thick pieces. Use a bread knife, people. These things are fragile.
10. In another small sized bowl (sorry for all the bowls), combine pumpkin purée, eggs, milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and maple syrup.
11. Pour mixture into a dish large enough to fit all slices of English muffin without touching. I used a long, rectangular glass Pyrex dish. I swear this isn’t an ad for Pyrex.
12. Place English muffin slices in pumpkin and egg mixture and let soak for about a minute. Flip over and wait equally as long on the other side.

Photo by Analiese Trimber

Photo by Analiese Trimber

13. While your English muffins are soaking, combine crushed bacon and unsweetened shredded coconut in a shallow dish.
14. Grease and heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. I like to let mine heat up while I crust the muffin slices.
15. Dip soaked English muffin slices in bacon and coconut mixture, covering every inch possible.
16. Add to frying pan and cook for about 2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
17. Stack it all up with your favorite fruit and something creamy and delicious like almond butter and douse (at least three steps past drizzle) it all in maple syrup and honey. Both. It’s an order.

IMG_1099-2

Photo by Analiese Trimber

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Breakfast, Dairy-Free, Dessert, Gluten-Free, Paleo, Sweet

Paleo Chia Seed Pudding

The other day, I indulged and spent about two hours straight in the kitchen. This was a huge treat, as my schedule hasn’t allowed for some quality kitchen time for quite a while now. I didn’t make anything flashy or fancy, just what I consider to be ideal snacks: hardboiled eggs, banana bread muffins, and chia seed pudding.

I wish I had more to show for this whole ordeal, but hardboiled eggs aren’t really special enough for the public eye, I ate the banana bread muffins so quickly I wasn’t able to take a photo (yes, all of them…don’t judge), and this chia seed pudding was captured at the last moment from my iPhone camera because I was too hungry to wait until I took legitimate photos.

What I can share with you, is what not to do when making chia seed pudding. Recently I’ve been trying to wean myself off recipes, but trust me, I am humble enough to realize when my experiences winging it haven’t yielded the best results. Everything is a learning experience. And rather than get upset about some minor kitchen failures, I’d rather share my faults so no one follows in my footsteps. The recipe below has correct proportions after I had another trial run, but whatever you do, don’t make these mistakes:

1. Measure things. The first time around, I didn’t measure the chia seeds or milk. Bad. The proper ratio is important for this pudding, because chia seeds can only absorb so much liquid. This dish is far more pleasant with nicely expanded chia seeds rather than chia seeds swimming in a large pool of milk.

2. There is such a thing as too much maple syrup. Oh boy. This was a lesson to learn. When you pour maple syrup into a bunch of liquid, it goes straight to the bottom of your container because it’s heavier than all the other ingredients. So if you’ve added some syrup but can’t taste it quite yet, look to the bottom of your jar and see if it’s all hanging out there just waiting to be stirred voraciously.

3. Strawberries don’t taste good when you soak them in liquid overnight. I honestly don’t know what I was thinking. Shriveled up, coconut milk-soaked strawberries are not a pretty sight. Definitely wait until you’re actually consuming the pudding to slice some fresh strawberries over top.

Level: Easy

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Sitting Time: overnight
Total Time: 5 minutes + overnight

Servings: 3-4

Ingredients:
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 cup coconut milk (or alternative milk of your choice)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
fresh fruit, for topping
blanched slivered almonds or something else crunchy, like granola, also for topping

Directions:
1. Combine all ingredients minus fresh fruit and crunchies in a tupperware or jar. Pick a storage size that allows some room for expansion, as the chia seeds will grow as they absorb the liquid.
2. Leave container in the fridge overnight.
3. Wake up in anticipation of consuming this deliciousness.
4. Chop up some fresh fruit, and sprinkle with your favorite nuts or granola.
5. Enjoy!

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