Grapefruit n’ Basil Sesame Seed Cake and Giveaway…

I’ve been itching to bake a gluten-free, summer inspired cake for the past few days and I recently came up with this deliciously healthy and tasty recipe in my lil kitchen.  The combination of fresh grapefruit with black sesame seeds and fresh, sweet basil adds the perfect touch to a light, spongy cake that is perfect for an afternoon treat or an after-dinner dessert.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup stevia
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh basil, very finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking
  • 2 Tbsp. black sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup Enjoy Life Foods Gluten-Free Cereal
  • 1/2 cup Gluten-Free Puffed Rice
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 2 egg whites
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup Greek plain yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp. grated grapefruit zest
  • 2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1 tsp. stevia, for topping

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine flour, stevia, cinnamon, fresh basil, baking powder, baking soda and sesame seeds.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine Gluten-Free cereals, almond milk, egg whites, olive oil, grapefruit zest, grapefruit juice and yogurt; mix well to ensure cereal is evenly coated.  Slowly add almond flour mixture; stir well until combined.
  3. Transfer mixture to a baking dish coated with baking spray.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Remove from oven and set on a cooling rack to cool.  Sprinkle with additional stevia.
  6. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  7. Enjoy!

And Now…

First, Please vote for my SPAM Recipe as I am one of the finalists.  Please click on this link and award me 5 ratings :

http://www.spam.com/recipes/detail.aspx?recipeId=5299

For My Giveaway

One lucky winner will receive a jar of Coconut Secret’s Raw Coconut Crystals and Raw Coconut Nectar, which are both low-glycemic sugar alternatives free of chemicals, pesticides and herbicides.  These are made from 100% Pure Coconut Tree Sap, Gluten-Free, Unbleached, Unrefined, Non-GMO and Vegan.

To Enter:

Leave me a comment on this post telling me how you’d use these crystals and nectar in your cooking and baking.

Good Luck; I will be choosing a winner on Friday, August the 27th at 5PM EST.

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Coconut Curry Tofu Salad and Spa Giveaway

 


This is a wonderful salad to enjoy for tasty lunch, dinner or a mid-afternoon snack scooped into hollowed-bell peppers, zucchini boats and tomatoes.

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg. firm tofu, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp. curry powder
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 (6 oz.) container Greek plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup shredded purple cabbage
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 cup red grapes, halved
  • 2 tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. organic salsa
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • Dash of Sea Salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Press firmly on tofu to remove all excess water.  Place a heavy object such as a book or a brick atop a clean paper towel and the block of tofu.  Allow to sit for 30 minutes.  Remove tofu and slice into 1 inch cubes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients.  Gently toss to combine.
  3. Serve chilled.
  4. Enjoy!

 

And Now…For my Spa Giveaway

The contest, “Social InSPAration,” is running from  today, August 2nd thru August 6th. This is a fun and easy way for your chance to win a 90 minute spa treatment at The Spa  at The Surrey, which is the only Upper East Side Manhattan location to  receive the highly regarded Darphin scrub.

It just takes three easy  steps to be entered to win:

1. Follow The Surrey on Twitter @SurreyHotelNYC
2. Become a fan of the Spa at The Surrey on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/New-York-NY/Spa-At-The-Surrey/141275545883553?ref=ts)
3.  And lastly, post on the Spa at The Surrey’s Facebook wall which  treatment on their spa menu you want to experience most and why.

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Carrot Cake

I simply couldn’t resist…last night I whipped up a fabulous carrot cake just in time for the Easter holiday…I opted for a healthy and unique spin on the old classic recipe…Black Pepper, Dried Cranberries and Macadamia Nuts make this cake a superb choice for your Easter Sunday guests.

Happy Easter…

Ingredients

  • 3 cups almond flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • Egg substitute for 5 eggs
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 3 cups carrots, shredded
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup macadamia nuts
  • Toppings: Powdered sugar and coconut flakes

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, combine almond flour, sea salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and black pepper.
  • In a separate large bowl, combine egg substitute, agave nectar, oil and almond extract; mix well.
  • Stir in shredded carrots, dried cranberries and macadamia nuts into wet ingredients.
  • Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients; mix well.
  • Transfer batter into baking pan.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  • Top with a dusting of powdered sugar and coconut flakes.
  • Enjoy!

Gluten-Free Red Velvet Pistachio Coconut Muffins

Last night while walking home from work, I passed not one but two Crumbs Bakery’s, which are famous for their cupcakes…one glance into the adorable bakery is all it took for me to scurry home and bake these tasty gluten-free red velvet muffins…I opted for a pinch of coconut and a handful of pistachios to add a sweet n’ crunchy kick.  These babies are made with roasted beets for an all-natural rich, red velvet hue.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup roasted beets, shredded
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 2 eggs or egg substitute
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup pistachios, ground
  • 1/2 tsp. gluten-free vanilla extract
  • 1 cup gluten-free baking flour (rice, bean, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup coconut flakes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

Toppings

  • Greek plain yogurt (I use Fage for its thickness) or dairy-free alternative
  • Additional coconut flakes
  • Additional pistachios, ground

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Shred beets in a food processor.
  • In a large bowl, combine all wet ingredients.
  • In a separate large bowl, combine all dry ingredients.  Slowly add wet mixture to dry mixture; mix well.
  • Transfer batter into muffin tins; fill to the top.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes.
  • Cool on baking racks.
  • When muffins are at room temperature and ready to serve, top each muffin with a dollop of Greek yogurt and a sprinkle of coconut and pistachios.
  • Enjoy!

Mini-Larabar Giveaway

Larabars are one of my favorite bars because of the simplicity of the ingredients:

Pure fruits, nuts and spices!


Now, that’s hard to beat.

The best part? Each bar is gluten, dairy and soy free, non-GMO, vegan and kosher! Wow…

Larabar is a delicious blend of unsweetened fruits, nuts and spices – energy in its purest form. Made from 100% whole food, each flavor contains no more than eight ingredients. Pure and simple, just as nature intended.

GLUTEN FREE * DAIRY FREE * SOY FREE * NON-GMO * VEGAN * KOSHER


Sweet with no added sweeteners. Sustaining with no added fillers, supplements or flavorings. Larabar is what your body needs – real, whole food loaded with nature’s own minerals and vitamins.


All of the vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein, good carbohydrates and healthy fats are derived exclusively from the whole food used to make Larabar.

Larabar sources the best possible ingredients. Every time. Every bar. Enjoy.

Larabar firmly believes that the foundation of a sound mind, body and spirit is derived from what you eat. And what you eat is healthiest and most satisfying when it’s in a whole, natural state.


You can expect an unmistakable urge to humm after every Larabar bar you eat.

Let the humming begin!


For your chance to win Mini-Larabars, visit the Larabar website and leave me a comment on this post telling me what flavor you’d like to try.  I will pick a winner on Friday, March 5th at 12:00 noon EST.

Good Luck!

Raw Cacao Coconut Pudding

With Valentine’s Day less than a week away…I’ve started experimenting with raw cacao and thought this was a fabulous recipe to share with you and your sweet heart.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Greek plain yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp. raw cacao powder
  • 4 Tbsp. stevia
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup coconut flakes
  • 3 Tbsp. raw cacao nibs
  • 1/4 cup crystallized ginger

Directions

  • Combine Greek yogurt, raw cacao powder, stevia, vanilla extract and coconut in a large bowl; gently fold to form a light and fluffy texture.
  • Transfer to serving dishes.
  • Top with a sprinkle of raw cacao nibs and crystallized ginger.
  • Enjoy!

In The News This Week…

Nielson Healthy Eating Index Debuts

First Lady Fights Child Obesity

Get Those Kids Cookin’…

Ever wonder how to get your kids involved in the kitchen? Here are a few tips that I offer to my clients…whether you have young children, nieces, nephews, neighbors, family or friends…these tips are sure to get your little ones active and entertained in the kitchen.


  • Cucumber Caterpillar: Slices of cucumber held together with natural peanut butter. Place the Caterpillar on ‘greens’ to look like grass.
  • Taco or Burrito Bar: Serve brown rice, black beans, onions, hot peppers, sprouted grain or gluten free tortillas, broccoli, arugula, cauliflower, guacamole and  salsa.  Add nuts, seeds and spices in tiny serving dishes to jazz up the flavors!
  • Salad Bar: Spin your greens in a salad spinner, then dress dry greens with a lime dressings made by combining sesame oil, fresh lime juice, low-sodium tamari, cayenne pepper, agave nectar, balsamic vinegar and water.
  • Mashed Potato Parfaits- Sweet Potatoes, Parsnips and carrots mixed together…topped with raisins, cinnamon, shredded coconut and agave nectar
  • Individual Pizzas: Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.  Choose gluten free or sprouted whole grain tortillas, caramelized onions, spinach, red onion, mushrooms, kalamata olives, artichokes, fresh basil, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Add each ingredient atop each tortilla and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Panini Party: Gluten Free or sprouted whole grain bread, SoyaKaas Gluten Free/Dairy Free cheese, tomato slices, eggplant slices, fresh basil leaves, balsamic vinegar, avocado, zucchini and squash slices.  Add all ingredients to 2 slices of bread.  Place onto a panini maker (sprayed with cooking spray); cook until cheese is melted and veggies are warm and cooked.  Dip into marinara (red) sauce.
  • Stir-Fry: Switch up your usual recipe with unique grains such as millet, quinoa or buckwheat.
  • Fruit Salad: Add exotic fruits to spice up the flavors.  Use a melon baller and serve in a wine glass to add to the allure of this meal.  Add a dollop of plain Greek yogurt atop each fruit salad serving and sprinkle with cinnamon and stevia.
  • Slaw Wraps: Cabbage, celery, carrots, bok choy, mushrooms, peppers, snap peas, bean sprouts, snow peas, green beans and Napa Slaw can easily be combined and wrapped in rice paper.  Liven up this dish by pairing it with a special sauce of grapefruit juice, ginger, balsamic vinegar, lemonade and seeds such as pumpkin and sunflower.  Toss with fresh apples or cumin roasted chick peas.  Adding berries such as blackberries, raspberries and cherries add a nice antioxidant punch to these wraps.
  • Peanut Butter Chicken Fajitas: The best way to make a good peanut sauce is by combining organic peanut butter, fresh ginger, cayenne pepper, agave nectar and low-sodium tamari/soy sauce.
  • Frozen Basil and Banana Pops: Blend together 2 cups ice, 2 cups fresh basil leaves, 1 ripe banana, 1 cup fresh mint leaves, 1 1/2 cups water, 1/2 cup agave nectar in a blender.  Blend well and pour into glasses! This is a wonderful treat for a healthy dessert!

Have fun and experiment with some of my ideas above…Getting the kids active in the kitchen is fun…and who knows, your kids may just start to ‘enjoy’ their veggies!!!