Ranch Cauliflower “Fries”

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ranch cauliflower fries

Dear Diary,

Craving Fries?  Welcome to the club… I feel like since my move to NY, I’ve been eating out A LOT… while I’ve been busy celebrating, catching up with old friends and indulging just a little too much, I have been less healthy than I’d like to admit.  But SFG’s it’s time to get back on track!  I want to have an exciting, fun, and delicious summer, but most of all I want to feel good and CONFIDENT.  That’s where these Ranch Cauliflower “Fries” come in!

I’m craving the flavors, but could do without the excessive fat and calories– these cauliflower “fries” are so tasty– I’m always learning new ways to enjoy this diverse vegetable!

baked cauliflower fries

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED

head of cauliflower (cut into small bite-size pieces)

packet of ranch flavoring

salt/pepper (duh)

handful of finely chopped parsley

olive oil (& if around, olive oil spray)

HERE’S WHAT YOU DO

  • on a large sheet pan (line with parchment so it doesn’t stick!)
  • coat the cauliflower with a couple drizzles of olive oil, a tablespoon or so of the ranch, a dash of salt and pepper, and tbsp or so of chopped parsley
  • after mixing well, spray on another layer of olive oil and drizzle on some more of that ranch seasoning
  • place in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes and then flip cauliflower
  • add another layer of olive oil spray with some more of that ranch seasoning! (CAN’T GET ENOUGH ;))
  • place back in the oven for another half hour or so (until crispy)– flip the cauliflower occasionally
  • ENJOY!… with some ketchup perhaps!

SFG Diary ranch cauliflower fries

 

What summer flavors are you craving?  Let us know!  :)

Walnut MEAT(LESS) Tacos

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WALNUT TACOS

Dear Diary,

walnut taco SFG Diary

Week 2 in NY… and all I’m craving is some california-grown avocados!  For some SFG inspiration this week, I asked my brother what he would like me to cook for him, and fortunately he said, “any kind of tacos.”  The challenge was gladly accepted, and after Beyonce’s advertisement (oops, I mean, BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!) on GMA this past week, I decided to follow her lead, and stick to a vegan dish… and I have to say, this dish was surprisingly AMAZING.  Who knew Walnut Meat(less) Tacos could be good!? I hadn’t even heard of walnut tacos before this week– but the walnuts completely disguise themselves with taco meat flavor, and pairing it with a simple acidic purple cabbage “slaw”, makes this a winning summer dish!  Don’t believe me?  Try it for yourself ;)

walnut tacos (meatless)

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED

walnut meat:

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 5 sun-dried tomatoes
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil drizzled in
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp chili powder

garnish:

cilantro

avocado

radish

for the purple cabbage slaw:

  • 1/2 purple cabbage
  • juice of one lime
  • 1 jalapeno chopped
  • 1 carrot
  • salt & pepper to taste

vegan tacos

HERE’S WHAT YOU DO

for the meat: combine all ingredients in a food processor until combined (a little coarse in texture)

For the slaw:  chop all ingredients and let sit at room temperature for at least 20 minutes before serving to allow all the ingredients to marry

place all ingredients on a slightly toasted (in broiler) whole wheat tortilla and enjoy!

SFG diary walnut (meatless) taco

Thanks for the inspiration, bro!  What else would you guys like me to make this summer?  Let’s inspire each other SFGs!  Let us know in the comments below :)

CHOCOLATE PROTEIN POPSICLE

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SFG DIARY popsicle

Dear Diary,

If you follow us on instagram, then you’re aware that we have BIG NEWS.  SFG Diary has officially become BICOSTAL #SFGinNYC– I have left beautiful Los Angeles (for now), and have moved to NYC!!!! Well, technically I moved-in with my parents in the suburbs– but that’s only temporary– so NYC here I come!!  It’s an exciting, but scary, change– but us SFG’s are fearless!  This adventure is just getting started– but I already miss plenty about the west coast… the weather for instance– since I’ve gotten back to New York it’s only been extremely humid or extremely cold– it’s June, NY, get with it… While I continue to settle in, I decided to make a recipe that would inspire warm weather, satisfy my sweet tooth, and keep me California dreamin’ of palm springs and beach life!  This chocolate protein popsicle is sweet and tart at the same time– This doesn’t taste like a normal, sweet chocolate popsicle– full of artificial flavor and tons of sugar– when you take a bite, you can immediately taste the chocolate protein powder, tart yogurt and pops of cinnamon and nutmeg; the complex flavors are rich yet subtle, and there’s nothing like a frozen pop in the heat of summer!

*use a regular table spoon to measure all of these ingredients– my stuff is still in boxes, so a kitchen tablespoon was my measurement tool! LOL… I’m so classy…

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1/2 scoop CHOCOLATE PROTEIN POWDER
  • 4 heaping spoonfuls of GREEK YOGURT (tons of protein)
  • 3 spoonfuls CACAO POWDER
  • 2 spoonfuls VANILLA EXTRACT
  • 2 dashes of NUTMEG
  • 1/2 spoonful CINNAMON (rev up the metabolism)
  • ALMOND MILK add until the mixture is smooth and soupy
  • POPSICLE MOLDS… AND A FREEZER ;)
  • *optional– 1/2 cup of granola and a few tsps of coconut oil (enough oil to make the granola sticky!)

SFG Diary chocolate popsicle

HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:

  • combine all ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix together until fully combined–TIP: leave the almond milk for last and add in until the mixture has a soupy texture
  • pour into the molds, add the popsicle sticks, and freeze for at least four hours
  • *optional– after two hours, take the granola and place in a plastic bag– seal the bag, and then pound the granola (with your hand or a rolling pin) until it’s crushed– pour in the coconut oil and then layer the top of the popsicle molds with the mixture and then continue to freeze for another 2 hours
  • carefully remove the popsicle from the molds and EAT!

chocolate protein pop

Will you try this recipe this summer?  Let us know SFGs!  ;)

Matcha Green Tea Smoothie

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MATCHA GREEN TEA SMOOTHIE

Dear Diary,

Coffee is great.  Really great.  Some might even call it a miracle drug! (that some one is me, most mornings)… But I have to say, coffee’s got NOTHING on Matcha.  Why you ask?  Well Matcha not only has a lot of the caffeine you crave, but it takes the health benefits of coffee, like antioxidants, to a whole other level…  Matcha Green Tea’s health benefits include high fiber, loads of necessary vitamins, and tons of antioxidants.  What set’s Matcha apart from other green tea’s is that it comes in powder form–  To keep fresh, store it in your fridge, and just add a spoonful to hot or cold water!  Matcha Green Tea has a bright and sweet flavor that’s perfect in smoothies (you can also find Matcha flavored ice cream ;))… so I decided to make a Matcha Green Tea Smoothie today to brighten this cloudy Los Angeles morning.  Try it out and let us know what you think! :)

SFG DIARY GREEN TEA SMOOTHIE

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED

1 tablespoon of matcha in a cup of water (mix together before adding into smoothie)
1 ice cube
1/2 cup almond milk (unsweetened)
Packet of vanilla protein (or spoonful)
1/2 mango
Sprinkle of chia seeds (for garnish and texture)
Add more water to reduce sweetness

HERE’S WHAT YOU DO

COMBINE in a blender until smooth (DUH. :))

MATCHA GREEN TEA SFG DIARY

This smoothie is so sweet but super healthy– but it tastes so good (like ice cream), I kind of feel a little guilty eating it first thing in the morning! LOL.. Enjoy SFG’s!  And let us know what you think!

Yogurt Bark #onthego

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#onthego snacks SFG Diary

Dear Diary,

This weekend, my boyfriend and I have big plans– we’re road-tripping up the California coast to visit with friends in San Francisco, explore Yosemite National Park and to just enjoy all the scenery that the state has to offer.  While this trip is going to be nothing short of amazing, we’re trying to keep our budget low… and with 8 hours of driving a head of me, I’m trying to plan a head for some budget-friendly snacks that will keep me full, happy and healthy!  Yogurt Bark is the perfect snack for #onthego eating… they’re delicious and satisfying, and are so healthy and easy to make!

#onthego snacks

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED:

  •  1 cup of greek yogurt
  • *optional 1 tsp of agave syrup
  • fruit/nuts/coconut/chocolate chips/carob chips or whatever else your heart desires (and what you have in your pantry ;))!!

greek yogurt bark

HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:

  • on parchment lined cookie sheet
  • spread out the yogurt (mixed with agave if  you so choose) to about 1 in. thick
  • sprinkle on your healthy snack favorites
  • place in the freezer for at least 6 hours to set

 SFG Diary yogurt bark

It’s that easy SFGs!  :)  Now I’m all ready for my California road trip– but I should probably make a few more of these bark bars before we head out– eeeekkkk the road trip isn’t until Friday and they’re almost gone!  LOL

 yogurt bark SFG

 

EASY HEALTHY PANCAKES

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banana protein pancake

Dear Diary,

Okay, so I lied a little when I named this post ” Easy Healthy Pancakes “… the pancakes are easy and healthy, but the chocolate sauce?  That’s up for interpretation ;) … I couldn’t help myself SFG’s!  Chocolate and peanut butter go hand in hand, so once I was committed to a peanut butter topping, I knew some chocolate was in order!  Have you guys heard of the simple and guilt-free pancake made of just 1 egg and 1 banana?!  It’s pretty incredible!  This recipe takes that up a notch by adding a scoop full of chocolate protein powder into the mix!  Yum!

SFG Diary healthy pancake

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 banana
  • 1 egg
  • 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder
  • 1 scoop of peanut butter
  • spoonful of crushed almonds
  • 1/2 cup of chocolate chips (less if you want!  Just the same amount as the almond milk)
  • 1/2 cup of almond milk

 pancakes SFG Diary

HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:

  • Mash up the banana into the bowl
  • add the scoop of chocolate protein powder
  • mix in an egg
  • mix together until combined
  • next…
  • scoop small batches of the mixture onto a hot sauce pan or griddle (I used an ice cream scoop)
  • cook on each side and flip until brown and cooked through
  • in another sauce pan…
  • combine equal amounts of dark chocolate (no sugar added) and almond milk and mix until smooth
  • place the pancakes on a plate, drizzle on the sauce, add a spoonful of peanut butter and add the almond toppings!

SFG Diary banana protein pancake

DIG IN AND ENJOY SFGs!!! Will you make this for brunch or dessert one day?  Let us know!

 

Eggs in an (avocado) basket

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egg in an avocado

Dear Diary,

This simple, adorable and delicious idea came to me in my sleep!  I was thinking to myself– how can I enjoy my morning eggs, even more, by making it even healthier and more fun… and then voila! I woke up with this GENIUS IDEA of an egg tucked within an avocado!  Okay, just kidding… I saw it on pinterest… haha but how adorable is this idea!!  It takes the comfort food of eggs in a basket (usually tucked in a piece of toast) to a whole other (healthier) level!  Enjoy these eggs in an (avocado) basket SFG’s– and think of us when you’re whipping up an adorable brunch with friends this upcoming weekend!

SFG Diary egg in a nest

HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:

  • cut an avocado in half, remove the pit, and then scoop out some of the avocado in the middle to make room for the egg (you want as much egg white as you can in there– that’s where your morning protein hides ;))
  • sprinkle on a pinch of salt
  • then crack an egg on top of the avocado so that it is tucked into the whole you created
  • add extra salt, pepper, and pepper flakes
  • place on a baking sheet and bake in a 425 degree oven for about 15 minutes (or until the white is solidified)
  • sprinkle on some chives and red onion for extra flavor– and I love mango salsa and greek yogurt on the side– FINALLY, DIG IN!

avocado and egg SFG Diary

How easy, decadent and satisfying is that!?

Share with us your favorite brunch recipes and pics SFG’s!?  What will you make for breakfast this week/weekend?  We want to know!

Stuffed Pepper Quiche

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Dear Diary,

pepper quiche

I have been craving quiche, like no other… It’s the kind of dish that you can have for breakfast, lunch or dinner and be completely satisfied… plus it is so easy to make. Lately, my only hesitations have been that I could do with out all the butter that usually goes into it, as well as the dense and fattening pastry crust. But with a Stuffed Pepper Quiche, I don’t have that problem ;)

quiche in a pepper

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good crust, but when I’m consistently eating healthy, why not find a delicious alternative? And I think I have…

This quiche is so light and tastes decadent, but is full of vegetables and protein… plus the crust is a guilt free bell pepper. Sweet and crispy from being perfectly broiled.

SFG Diary Healthy Quiche

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED:

5 eggs
1/4 cup of skim milk
dash of salt and pepper
1 tsp of garlic powder
1/4 sweet onion finely chopped
small bundle of chives
couple of crumbles of goat cheese
2-3 bell peppers of your choice
a small bag of steamed broccoli (nuke it in the bag for 4 minutes for perfect steam!)

SFG Diary pepper quiche

HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:

combine all the ingredients (except for the peppers of course ;)) in a mixing bowl
cut the tops off of the peppers and remove the inside seeds
pour the mixture into the peppers and place on a sheet pan
place into a 325 degree oven for 60-70 minutes until the mixture is cooked through, golden brown on the top and smells amazing!!!!

 

Enjoy SFG’s!

Sweet Spring Strawberries & Cream

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healthy spring dessert SFG Diary

Dear Diary,

This week, I’m all about keeping recipes bright for spring!  Sweet Spring Strawberries and cream sounds indulgent but it’s actually healthy! This simple treat will satisfy your sweet tooth but keep your waistline slim ;) There is one commonality I have at the end of every meal, and that’s dessert!  Usually it’s a full scoops of chocolate chips with peanut butter (I will forever be a reeses girl), and while that never gets old, as the weather heats up here in SoCal… I am craving desserts less heavy and more refreshing…  Sweet Strawberries with cream sounds decadent and complicated… but it’s extremely easy to make and healthy…  “Sweet” strawberries are sweetened with zero calorie natural sweetener Truvia, and the “cream” is nothing more than greek yogurt!  Brighten up the recipe with fresh mint and lemon zest… and you’ve got a winning dessert in more ways than one!  ;)

refreshing sweet strawberries

sweet and healthy strawberries

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED:

  • Strawberries (cut into halves)
  • 1.5 tbsp Truvia
  • 2 tbsp of red wine vinegar
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • couple of mint leaves
  • dollop of greek yogurt

SFG DIARY sweet strawberries

HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:

  • mix together the strawberries, Truvia, 1/2 of the lemon zest and red wine vinegar
  • let sit (stir every once and a while for about 2 hours)
  • add some mint for fresh garnish and scoop a dollop of greek yogurt (add the zest of the rest of the lemonn) on top!

 SFG healthy sweet strawberries

And that’s it!  The strawberries are so sweet and gooey, but have a distinct refreshing taste… the lemon adds a pop of fresh citrus and the strawberries juicies are heavenly!  It’s a dessert I can eat all weekend and still feel refreshed, healthy and indulgent!

Enjoy SFGs ;)

Chicken Pot Pie Make-Over

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SONY DSC

 

Dear Diary,

I’m starting to traveling more and more for work, so I needed some downtime this weekend, along with some comfort food – and nothing is more comforting than Chicken Pot Pie!! However, most recipes are full of calories and would leave me feeling guilty after a weekend indulgence-  #thestruggleisreal! So, I took some liberties with the standard recipe to cut the calories and it was still so tasty! A couple things that cut the calories from the get go, eliminate the crust from the bottom. Also, instead of using crust I used biscuits. Yes, biscuits are not the least caloric thing available, but they are easier! Let’s just admit it, finding the time to make my own crust is on my list, but in the meantime these biscuits will definitely suffice!

Here’s what you need:

5 cups of vegetable broth

1 rotisserie chicken from the grocery store (ones in the hot cases

5-6 medium sized peeled and diced carrots

1 russet potato peeled and cubed

5-6 diced celery stocks

1 1/2 cups of peas

1 medium sized chopped yellow onion

2 1/2 tablespoons flour

1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 can of pre-made biscuits

salt and pepper

olive oil

Directions:

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees

2. Place chopped potato, carrots and celery into a large pot with 5 cups of vegetable broth, bring to a boil and then simmer for 10 – 15 minutes until vegetables are soft.

3. Place diced onion into a large frying pan – the pan should be the size of what you would use for stir fry, the bigger the better because you are going to transfer the broth and veggies to the pan.

4. Sautee the onions over medium heat with olive and then add flour, cook until the onions are coated. Transfer the veggies and broth to the onions, when they are soft.

SONY DSC

5. Add the almond milk to the this mixture as well as the shredded rotisserie chicken and 2 cups of peas, simmer on medium heat until it starts to thicken 10 – 15 minutes

SONY DSC

6. Add the mixture to a large casserole pan and place in the oven for 10 minutes. Then remove the dish from the oven and place your pre-made biscuits on top and cook for another 14-17 minutes, until the biscuits are a golden brown.

SONY DSC

Serve each portion with a biscuit and indulge!

laurenSignature

 

CHICKPEA CHIPS, snacking simplified

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chickpea chips SFG Diary

Dear Diary,

I feel like a walking, talking ZOMBIE… after two weeks of almost constant travel, returning to “normal” is not as easy as I thought it would be.  I feel like falling asleep ALL the time– at my work desk, mid-way through yoga… basically at every moment of the day.  And while I’m trying to catch up on sleep, I still have a lot to do this week before I can have a relaxing and restful weekend– and to keep myself moving… I keep on snacking!  Food is my only fuel right now– so I better make it healthy… and while I usually turn to simple nuts and fruit to keep me going mid-day– my amazing friend Meredith introduced to a new way to snack– Chickpea Chips!!

Bold flavor? Low in fat? And high in protein and fiber?  Count me in!

chickpea snacks SFG Diary

Chickpeas are a simple snack all in itself– but by toasting them in the oven, giving them  a little crunch, and then adding some bold flavor to make the snack ultra-satisfying and delicious… it elevates the legume into a game-winning snack.  The perfect alternative for when it’s 3 p.m. and you’re about to reach for that fattening bag of potato chips!  Did I mention it was easy to do too?!…

HERE’s ALL YOU NEED:

  • 2 cans of chickpeas
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • your favorite spices:  my friend suggested garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, and cayenne pepper (love the spice– plus remember, extra spice is great for your metabolism ;)

HERE’S ALL YOU DO:

  • rinse your chickpeas and then towel dry
  • preheat oven to 450 degrees
  • drizzle on the olive oil and season to taste (I sprinked on about 2 dashes of each spice)
  • mix all together and make sure all are equally coated
  • spread the chickpeas out on a baking sheet lined with foil
  • bake for 30-40 minutes until they are perfectly brown and crunchy!

healthy snacking with chickpeas

This is UNBELIEVABLY YUMMY!  Now you’re ready to take on the rest of your work week!  And thank goodness… now I am too.  Thanks Meredith!  ;)

Enjoy SFG’s! And let us know… will you make this at home?!

Healthy Greek Quesadilla

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greek quesadilla

Dear Diary,

This healthy Greek quesadilla is not a novel idea… but sometimes the easiest ideas can still be unique… when I’m eating “healthy”, the only food I tend to order-in is middle eastern classics… tabbouleh, pita, lebneh… I may not always order the healthiest things on the menu, but how bad can any Mediterranean meals be for you anyway?! ;)  And when it comes to staying healthy during the work-day, I tend to stick to a simple salad… and for me, no salad compares to a Greek salad.  So when I had left-over pita bread at home… I decided to make  my own healthy version of the Quesadilla– but instead of the delicious classic, this is a green-twist on the old favorite; think Greek Salad on pita bread.  Can’t get better than that!

feta quesadilla

HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:

healthy greek quesadilla

  • slice open a whole wheat pita and sprinkle on a handful of feta cheese crumbles
  • broil in the oven until the pita is nice and crisp– the cheese will be slightly melted but keep in mind that feta cheese does not melt as easily as other cheeses!
  • chop up a handful of sweet tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, greek olives, and parsley and place in a mixing bowl
  • sprinkle on salt and pepper, and drizzle a dash of extra virgin olive oil
  • mix up the veggies and spread across one side of the quesadilla… flip one pita slice onto the other and cut in half

healthy quesadilla

…And there you go!  A twist on the quesadilla classic that won’t undo all your healthy choices ;)

SFG Diary quesadilla

quesadilla healthy version

You’re welcome SFG’s!  Tell us, what would you like us to cook up  next?!

 

 

 

The TRUTH about your late 20s

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SFG DIARY TWENTY- SOMETHING

Dear Diary,

What’s the truth about your late 20’s?  Well, the world has lied to us!… You think by the time you get to your late twenties, you’d have it all together… dream job, dream man… money to shop, money for vacations… and on top of all that, you’d be secure with who you are (finally)… and feel 100% confident in your own skin.  But, yeah… that doesn’t happen so easily.  My friends and I have a motto:

Life Sucks: I’m 27.

When we were sixteen, we couldn’t wait to be twenty-one, and by twenty-five, I kept thinking that this new fabulous phase known as our “late twenties” was right on the horizon… but by the time I got here, I realized that there is still A LOT I’m trying to figure out.

I’ve had this conversation with friends and family, time and time again… we all think the grass is always greener; that our friends, family, or even complete strangers have it all figured out while we’re stuck in the dark… but what I realized last night at a fabulous blogger event, with some fabulous ladies… is that we are all in the same boat.  As a generation, we’re in this together!

“Having it all” is a fleeting feeling…  but at the event last night, after a 10 hour day at work, a wardrobe change in the car, and an eyeliner touch-up that nearly caused a car accident… I was feeling refreshed and inspired.  I was sipping champagne, being pampered by beauty experts, and was mingling with some of my blogger and entertainment idols.  A beautiful business owner (with killer shoes and perfect hair I might add) and I began a conversation over cocktails and lip gloss; the fun girl-talk revealed to be more serious in nature once we started to discuss our jobs… our men… our homes… and we both came to the realization that while we admired each others life choices and direction, we were overly critical of our own lives and accomplishments. And man, how sad is that!?!?  Being in your twenties can suck– but hopefully not most of the time.  And in those times of self doubt, remember these five tips!  :)

1.  Everyone is in the same boat

I don’t know a single lady out there who is not constantly worried about some aspect of her life right now.  “Is this the right job?” “Am I settling?”… “is that a fine line on my forehead!??!!?”  Sometimes it’s best to quiet those voices by talking to a girlfriend.  Call your bff, and I can guarantee that the conversation will end with, “phew, at least it’s not just me.”

2. It’s never too late

This is my dad’s favorite saying.  Not just because it’s catchy, but because it’s true.  It is NEVER too late to change your mind.  If you’re not happy, DO something about it!  Nothing is out of reach, you just have to work for it.  It may not happen over night… but eventually we all will get to our place of BLISS.

3. Confidence comes with experience

I’ve heard from so many women, that our twenties are for finding ourselves, and our thirties are for owning it.  It takes time to figure out who we are and what we want.  Trust that you are where you’re supposed to be right now, take the time to get to know yourself and love yourself… and then good things are bound to come.

4. Meditate

Finding patience and self-awareness is key.  So many friends of mine have started to meditate every day… for just 10 minutes, we can take the time to listen to our bodies, quiet our minds and prepare ourselves– putting our best mental energy forward to embrace whatever the day has to bring.  Find that special time for yourself– one thing I’m learning is that we (as women) can’t be everything for everyone… make yourself a priority every day… even if it’s just for a 10 minute meditation.

5. When in doubt… walk or run.

Exercising and being amongst nature is essential to our happiness.  Let’s get those endorphins to kick in while taking in the birds chirping and sun shining.  You will immediately feel more empowered, healthy and confident.  I guarantee it.

Remember– This is OUR time ladies!  – to explore and try new things!! You are AMAZING.  So start every new day with the attitude that YOU can make it better than the last!

photo by: Sam Zachrich

Coconut Cream Cookie Sandwich

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cookie sandwich

Dear Diary,

Coconut cream cookie sandwiches were my go-to treat this Valentines!  This year, my boyfriend and I are celebrating Valentine’s Day all weekend long… first with a romantic dinner out on Friday night, followed by a fun and casual night in on Saturday night… we’re going to drink cocktails, play games, and of course eat sweets!  This cookie is as healthy as a cookie can possibly be… no added sugar, whole wheat flour, oats and cashews… combined with a coconut whip cream?!  Now that’s a cookie you can feel good about!

Let’s be honest, this oatmeal nut cookie isn’t much to look at…  it’s consistency is similar to a scone– sweet and a bit dry, but the coconut whipped cream adds balance as a rich and creamy filling!  Turning cookies into a sandwich adds a casual and playful tone to a romantic night in!  Check out the recipe below to make this for yourself, your friends, or that special someone!  From start to finish this whole recipe can take you less than a half hour to make… so start preppin’ SFG’s!

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED:

(for the cookie)

1 egg

1/2 cup agave

instant oats 1 cup

almond extract 1/2 tsp

baking powder 1.5 tsp

cinnamon 1/2 tsp

cacao powder 2 tbsp

salt 1/8 tsp

whole wheat flour 3/4 cup

2 tbsp coconut oil

chopped up cashews (a small handful)

(for the whipped coconut cream)

  • 2 cans of coconut milk (**important!  Make sure you place in the fridge over night to harden the milk– otherwise, the whipped-cream, will be more like cream-soup!)
  • 1 tablespoon of Truvia (natural zero calorie sweetener)
  • optional ** add a tablespoon of vanilla extract or an extra spoonful of Truvia for extra sweetness

HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:

(for the cookies)

  • mix the ingredients all together in a mixing bowl until thoroughly combined
  • place cookie sized balls on a baking sheet (lined with parchment paper)… I like to use an ice cream scooper to scoop consistent cookie dough balls…
  • put the cookies in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes! … then allow them to cool off before icing them with coconut cream

(for the whipped cream)

  • take the cold coconut milk out of the fridge and open the can
  • there will be liquid on the bottom, but a thick coconut substance on the top– use a spoon and remove only the thicker mixture into a bowl
  • add tbsp of truvia into the bowl, and using an egg beater, whip the coconut milk until it becomes even thicker, creamier, and fluffier!

 LAST STEP– add the creamy coconut layer to the bottom of the cookie, spreading it on thick with a knife!  Then top it all off with another cookie! 

cookie sandwich 001

ENJOY SFG’s!!!  What are you doing this holiday weekend? … and who with?!

HOLY RAVIOLI

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harvest ravioli

Dear Diary,

I’ve always been “a ravioli type of girl.”  When I was ten years old,  I went on my first “date” (and by date- I mean dinner with the family of the boy I liked); this sweet young man had saved up all of his allowance money to take me to a pizza joint– and instead of ordering the cheapest thing on the menu, I insisted on the ravioli.  “What can I say?” I told my mom after, “it’s better for him to know sooner than later that I’m a ravioli type of girl.”  haha oy… almost twenty years later, NOTHING has changed.  I still have champagne taste on a beer budget, and ravioli is still my favorite comfort food.

After a long day… ravioli is the comfort food that I always crave, but lately, I’ve been dismissing my craving for heavy Italian, and have tried to stick to healthier dishes.  That was until this past week when after a 10 hour work day, I realized ravioli was definitely in order.  Fortunately, my mother sent me a ravioli mold for Christmas…. and now I’m putting it to good use.  This ravioli recipe is a healthier twist on the classic; I used vegetables in the filling and made a simple whole wheat dough.  Any pasta recipe that consists of five ingredients ONLY, is alright in my book.

ravioli maker

RAVIOLI DOUGH

  • combine 1 egg
  • 6 egg yolks
  • teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 lb. of whole wheat flour

whole wheat ravioli

RAVIOLI FILLING:

  • 1 cup of ricotta
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • boil 2 zucchinis, 1 cup of butternut squash, 4 small yellow squash (drain the vegetables VERY well to avoid a watery filling)

combine all together in a blender until completely smooth and add 1-2 eggs to create thickness

ravioli with squash and zucchini filling

roll out the dough as thinly as possible on parchment paper to prevent stickiness.  Use plenty of extra flour to cover the rolling pin!

THIS was tough for me… it was difficult for me to get that dough as thin as it should be.  It’s times like these that I wish I had a pasta maker… I wish that my dough had ended up a little thinner… but what can you do!  This dough is strong!  so make it very, very thin…

whole wheat ravioli with fresh pesto

place one sheet of the rolled out dough on the bottom of the ravioli filler (sprayed with “pam” to prevent sticking.  If you don’t have that– no problem, just lay the dough out flat and be aware of where you place your filling :).  Place the filling in each small dent, and then cover the filling with another layer of thin dough. Press down with your fingers or with a fork to make sure there is a seal around each filling mold, flip over and cut the larger mold into individualized raviolis!!  Place directly into a pot of boiling salted water and cook until the raviolis rise to the top of the pot (this will only take a few minutes)…

homemade ravioli

I used my favorite pesto recipe as a sauce: 1/4 cup of pine nuts, a handful of spinach and basil, 2 cloves of garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil blended together until smooth is ALL you need!  ENJOY SFG’s!  What is your favorite comfort food you’d like to make healthy?!  Let us know!!

Skinny Fat Girl Diary