Pasta with Creamy Avocado Garlic Sauce

manWho doesn’t love avocado? I could eat guacamole until I burst (with a side of margarita of course ;). Enjoy the fruit’s heart-healthy fats in this satisfying, creamy sauce that is a snap to make. Toss it with your favorite pasta/noodles, or, even into a rice based dish for a creamy, risotto-like mouthfeel. I use the lighter Florida variety of avocados from my favorite fruit farm, LNB Groves, but the rich haas variety work just as well!

Pasta with Creamy Avocado-Garlic Sauce
(Serves 4)

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Quick Black Bean Sliders with Cilantro Sauce

amber food 002-1Quick Black Bean Sliders with Cilantro Sauce

1/2 cup rolled oats
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
3 large cloves garlic
2 large scallions, roughly chopped
A small handful cilantro leaves and stems
1/2 large red bell pepper, roughly chopped
1-1/2 cups cooked black beans, divided
1 large farm egg or flax egg*
Salt and pepper to taste
Coconut oil as needed for cooking (more…)

Eggplant Tomato Bolognese with Quinoa Pasta & Zucchini

Wether your in a chilly climate in just the first days of spring or in South Florida, this recipe is the perfect meal. If you need to warm up, this a the healthier way to excite the palate and feel indulgent. If you are like me- in humid Miami, then it is tomato and eggplant season and the bounty is at your finger tips. Either way this sauce is a new fave for The Naked Bite, pretty sure that it will be yours too!

Eggplant Zucchini Pasta

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Chocolate Cherry Pistachio Bon Bons

Handmade gifts go a long way (especially the edible kind), and are a much nicer gesture than a gift card, specifically for the Winter Holidays or Valentine’s Day (though I am a HUGE fan of receiving a gift card :). They are inexpensive and thoughtful and if you pick less complex recipes, will not take that much time. These chocolate cherry pistachio bon bons are quick, delicious, vegan and gluten free and paleo…viola! Oh and they’re great just as a gift to yourself as well!

chocolate truffles

Chocolate Cherry Pistachio Bon Bons

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup vegan dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup coconut milk, full fat
1-2/3 cup shelled pistachios, divided
1 cup dried cherries
1 inch square piece ginger, washed and roughly chopped
1/2 unsweetened flaked coconut
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
A good pinch of Himalayan salt

Makes about 30

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Tomato Cucumber Salad with Sesame Oil & Lemongrass

Last Sunday I did an open house at Teena’s Pride farm. I just love, love, love basking in all the glory of such fantastically fresh and delicious produce! It is so easy to make it taste good…it already does! Much of the produce that we buy at the grocery stores are more than a week old (if not older, especially if it is from another country) and losing flavor and nutrients by the minute. This is a fantastic reason to get on board with a CSA (community supported agriculture) or to regularly visit your local farmers market.

This salad was the inspiration that came from the incredible bounty at Teena’s, easy, light, and uber fresh…perfect for the new year. You could also just blend all of the ingredients and make an Asian style gazpacho…yum!

Tom Cuke SaladTomato Cucumber Salad with Sesame Oil & Lemongrass

INGREDIENTS:

1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
4 small Persian cucumbers, sliced into 1/4 inch rings
(or 1/2 English cuke cut into half moons)
1 teaspoon salt
2+ Tablespoons Umeboshi plum vinegar*
1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1+ Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons honey (local preferred)
2 teaspoons very finely chopped lemongrass (optional)
2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
1/4 packed fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts
Salt & freshly cracked pepper to taste

Serves 4

DIRECTIONS:

Place the tomatoes and cucumbers in a salad bowl and add the 1 teaspoon of salt. Toss gently and allow to sit for 15-30 minutes lightly tossing on occasion. This will allow the natural liquid to seep out (allowing for maximum flavor from dressing).

After this time has passed; drain off the escaped liquid and reserve for another use.

Mix the vinegar, oils and honey, lemongrass and ginger together in a small bowl and pour over the veggies. Add the remaining ingredients, season lightly with salt and pepper (the umeboshi vinegar is quite salty so keep this in mind) and toss gently but completely. Taste and adjust oil and vinegar if needed. Serve immediately!

Tips & Notes~

*The Ume vinegar is a vegan option for fish sauce, although it has more tang as fish sauce is mostly salty. Use this is Asian dishes as a vegan alternative. It is also amazing in partnership with other vinegars in all sorts of recipes. I just LOVE this stuff!

 

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

OMG this recipe for Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies is a revelation! Though I used to be a pastry chef, I have little patience for baking these days…never really liked to measure much. These little gems you can practically make with your eyes closed. They are gluten, grain, dairy and refined sugar free to boot! I adapted this recipe from Claire Robbinson for a catering I did last week. At first I was skeptical that they would have the texture I was looking for but after trying my own version (cut down on sugar and substituted coconut sugar and different peanut butter). But now I will never go back to the “real” thing…I defy anyone to figure out that there is no flour or butter in them!

Peanut Butter Cookies

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup unsweetened organic peanut butter (I prefer fresh ground)
3/4 cup coconut sugar
1 large farm egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
Organic cane sugar for sprinkling and coarse sea salt for sprinkling (optional)

Makes 1 dozen medium cookies

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