Florida quinoa

First and foremost, I want to apologize for being MIA for the last few weeks. As most of you may already know, I graduated college two weeks ago and relocated back to Naples from Charlotte. It has been a crazy few weeks. But I have really missed all of you 🙂

Because my sister and I have lived in North Carolina for the last few years, we wanted to make sure to hit up all of our favorite restaurants before we moved away. This included an array of food that was fried and/or laden with butter and cream. It was all so good. But so bad. I need to detox.

Quinoa is so healthy, so any time I get the opportunity to make it, I do. I recently had a salad that was very similar to this recipe in Whole Foods and decided to put my own spin on it once I got home. It has so many really healthy ingredients in it – but is so flavorful. You would never guess there is no added fat in it!

Ingredients

2 cups quinoa
4 cups water

Cook quinoa according to directions on the box. Once cooked, allow to cool completely.

1 mango, diced
1 cup shelled edamame
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 orange, peeled and cut into segments
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
Zest from one lemon
Juice from one lemon
Juice from one orange
Juice from one lime

Combine all ingredients into a bowl. Add in the cooled quinoa and stir to combine. Allow to sit in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to allow all the flavors to be absorbed into the quinoa before eating.

Enjoy!!

Blueberry and brie crostata

Some food combinations were just meant to be together; peanut butter and jelly, bacon and eggs, coconut and Brussels sprouts. Oh wait. Is that last one just me? Blueberry and brie cheese might not sound like a food pairing you would think to try right away, but this crostata is borderline life changing.

I have always enjoyed the classic baked brie with apricot preserves wrapped in a buttery and flakey puff pastry and baked until a golden, gooey, delicious mess. But I had never considered turning that delectable appetizer into an elegant dessert, until now. I recently stumbled upon this recipe and thought, “Yes, this sounds intriguing. I shall make this now.” Oh, and I made it. Three times. In a row. This dessert is so delicious. Sweet, but savory. Fruity, but creamy. Rustic, but elegant. All the things in a dessert that I love and so much more.

The crust for this dessert is a very basic, but always-delicious pastry crust. The filling is equally simple. Once the crust is rolled out and the brie is layered in the middle ever so gently, blueberries mixed with sugar, lemon, and cornstarch are place upon it. It is then baked in the oven until golden-brown and oozing with a cheesy, fruity mess. A beautiful mess.

Ingredients
Adapted from Perry’s Plate

Crust

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 Tbl sugar

Zest from one lemon

1/8 tsp salt

10 Tbl butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces and chilled

3 Tbl ice water

Directions

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together flour, sugar, lemon zest and salt until combined.
Add in the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.
One tablespoon at a time, add in ice water until dough begins to form.
Remove from food processor and gather into a disk.
Cover in plasic wrap and allow to chill in the refigerator for at least one hour.

Filling

1 pint of blueberries

6 oz. brie cheese, sliced into thin slices

Juice from one lemon

2 Tbl sugar

1 Tbl cornstarch

1 egg, beaten

1 Tbl raw sugar

Directions

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
In a bowl, combine blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice. Set aside.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll into a circle about 1/4 inch thick.
Lay slices of brie in the middle of the cidle, leaving a 1 inch boarder.
Pour blueberry mixture over top of the cheese and gently start to fold the outside edges of the dough around the filling.
Brush the outside dough with the beaten egg and sprinkle the crust with the raw sugar.
Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes. Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes.

Enjoy!

Chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting

Why?

Why did I make these?

I now have 12 cupcakes sitting on my counter that need to be consumed. 12 amazingly delicious, totally guilty, rich and decadent chocolate peanut butter cupcakes.

Well, actually now that I am writing this, there are three left. Oops.

I should feel bad. But I don’t. I feel awesome. These are awesome. You are awesome if you make them.

What a great way to start off your weekend. Had a good week at work? Treat yourself to cupcakes. Graduating soon? Cupcakes. Need a chocolate fix? These are for you.

You’re welcome.

Ingredients

Cupcakes
from Chocolate Covered Katie

1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 Tbls corn starch
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup yogurt (I used Greek)
3 Tbls canola oil
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees

Combine all dry ingredients. Add all of the wet ingredients to the dry. Be careful not to over mix. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting.

Peanut butter frosting

1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 stick butter at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar

In a bowl, combine all ingredients and blend with a electric hand mixer until light and fluffy.

Enjoy!!!

Mixed berry smoothie with coconut milk

I love smoothies. I have been drinking them for breakfast every morning for months. I’ve tried a million different combinations, but there are a few that I have fallen in love with and continue to make all the time.

I also love coconut milk. I buy the light coconut milk from Trader Joe’s and it is so good. It has a really creamy consistency, but only 60 calories per serving and only 5 grams of fat! I used to make my smoothies with Greek yogurt and they were really good. Super creamy and the yogurt added a really nice tanginess to it which I really liked. But I was going through so much yogurt a week – and if you buy Greek yogurt, you know its not cheap.

Enter coconut milk.

I started adding coconut milk to my smoothies about two weeks ago and I don’t think I’ll be going back to Greek yogurt anytime soon. The coconut milk almost makes it taste like a pina colada, or something along those lines. It is so good.

Ingredients

1/2 banana (I freeze mine ahead of time and then I don’t need to add ice)
1 cup frozen berries (I use blackberries, raspberries, blueberries)
1 cup fresh spinach
1 T agave
2 T flax meal
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup water

Add all ingredients to your blender and puree until its a nice, smooth consistency.

Enjoy!!