Gluten-Free Almond Coconut Berry Tartlets

Summer is officially here and i hope you have some fun things planned for the long weekend. If you are looking for a fun, healthy and simple recipe for your July 4th celebrations, here’s the perfect red, white and blue recipe for you. Few weeks ago I was asked if I’d be interested in coming up with a recipe using coconut flour.  I didn’t want to pass up on the opportunity because I’ve been intrigued by this new flour flooding the market for the past year or so. Coconut flour is a gluten free healthy substitute for regular flour. It is a soft flour produced from dried coconut meat. This flour is rich in protein and fiber. Read up more on the health benefits of using coconut flour here.

gluten free breakfast tartlets

I love tarts especially the mini ones simply because I can eat two of them and still not feel guilty. This is a super simple mini tart that you can whip up in 20 minutes. These mini beauties have almond, coconut, honey, berries and yogurt, so they totally qualify to be eaten for breakfast. If you feel fancy, replace the yogurt with whipped cream or even coconut cream for a nutty flavor. Enjoy your July 4th celebrations and stay safe and cool!

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Ingredients for the tart

1 cup almond meal

1 cup coconut flour

2 tablespoons honey

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

For the filling

1 cup non fat vanilla yogurt

handful of strawberries, sliced

handful of blueberries

Method

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with liners, coat with cooking spray and set aside.

2. Place all tart ingredients in a bowl and mix well until they all come together. The mixture will be a little crumbly.

3. Place a tablespoon of the above mixture into each muffin cup and press them well so the mixture sits well on the bottom and sides of the liner.

4. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

5. Let the shells cool completely before filling them. You can even make this ahead of time and refrigerate until ready to be filled.

6. Fill each tart shell with cold yogurt and top with berries when ready to serve.

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Cardamom Carrot Bread

I always like baking with a fresh fruit or vegetable and quick breads are so versatile that you can add pretty much anything in sight but the kitchen sink and it would still taste so good. I wanted to use up a bunch of carrots and coconut flakes lying in my pantry and thus came about this wonderful bread studded with good stuff. If you are not a coconut fan, add any nuts or bits of dried fruit  to this bread, it is super versatile and would taste divine.  This bread is almost like carrot cake but just much easier to put together and best of all it has cardamom, an all-time favorite spice of mine. It is not ridiculously sweet, making it a perfect accompaniment with a cup of tea or coffee. If you are in the mood, add a cream cheese glaze and voila you have an almost fancy carrot cake on your table minus all the fuss. The bread freezes beautifully, so handy for a quick breakfast or snack.

cardamom carrot bread

Ingredients

1.5 cups whole wheat flour

1 Egg

1 cup olive oil

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1.5 teaspoons ground cardamom

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup coarsely grated carrot

1/4 cup shredded coconut

1/4 cup raisins

Method

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line and grease a loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside.

2. Place egg, oil, sugar and vanilla in a bowl and beat until thick and slightly foamy.

3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and cardamom.

4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and gently stir by hand.

5. Gently fold in the carrots, raisins, coconut flakes and other mix-ins that you may choose to add.

6. Pour the batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

7. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

8. Warm each slice of bread for 20 seconds in the microwave when ready to serve.

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

It is kind of late for a zucchini recipe but i’m hoping you still have some of your summer loot left for this amazingly moist and delicious bread. I love zucchini in all forms, be it  pastabread or just grilled with a dash of olive oil and sea salt. So imagine my delight when i was given a giant home grown organic zucchini. I sprung into action and baked 4 beautiful loaves of chocolate bread with this giant squash. Thank you Ali for sharing your summer’s bounty.

zuc

This bread is not overly sweet and makes for a great snack or would look beautiful on your brunch table.It freezes well, so make a big batch before the season ends. If you aren’t a chocolate or sweet bread fan, try these savory squash muffins, bet you won’t be disappointed.

chocolate zucchini bread

Ingredients

1.5 cups shredded raw zucchini/courgette

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 cup dark chocolate, roughly chopped (you can use chocolate chips too)

2 large eggs

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a loaf pan and set it aside.

2. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. Fold in the chopped chocolate and set aside.

3. In another bowl, beat the eggs and add oil, sugars, vanilla extract and mix till well blended.

4. Fold in the grated zucchini and flour mixture, stirring until just combined.

5. Transfer the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

6. Cool bread for 10 minutes in the pan before transferring to a wire rack.

7. Cool completely before slicing. This bread stores well at room temperature for 3 days.

 

Eggless Blueberry Coffee Cake

If you are looking for a simple to make, yet delicious coffee cake recipe, you are in luck my friends. Coffee cakes in America have nothing do with coffee except that it tastes great when had with coffee or tea. I’ve probably eaten my weight in blueberries this summer, the plump, juicy, fresh blueberries are truly irresistible. Surrounded by berry farms in the Pacific Northwest, its hard to stop myself from picking or buying these beauties. If you are looking for a great weekend activity with kids, check out this post from last year on blueberry picking.

blueberry coffee cake

This blueberry coffee cake is a huge crowd pleaser, i took this to a friend’s party and it was an instant hit among adults and kids. I love that this moist, flavorful cake be had even for breakfast or brunch. If you don’t want to use butter, substitute with oil and you have a great vegan version of this cake. Whip up this simple cake on a weekend morning and be assured that you are starting your morning right.

blueberry cake

Ingredients

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

pinch of salt

1/4 cup butter softened

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup yogurt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup blueberries

Ingredients for topping

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoon cold butter

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Method

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Grease a 9inch baking dish with some oil or butter and set aside.

2. Prepare the topping mixing together the butter, sugar and cinnamon with 2 forks until crumbly and chill until ready to use.

3. Mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl.

4. In a separate bowl, cream together butter, sugar, yogurt and vanilla.

5. Gently fold in the dry ingredients and mix in the blueberries. Do not over mix the batter.

6. Bake  at 350F for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean

Vegan Raw Coconut Cream Pie Energy Bites

Home made energy bites or bars are so much more healthier than the store bought ones. You can control what goes in and play around with toppings and its easy on the wallet too. You’d be surprised how many Lara bars you can make at home for less than $10. These coconut cream pie bites is a Lara bar inspired recipe. The nicest thing about these bites are that you can use any kind of nuts and if you want to make it nut free, use sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds and they would still be delicious. A money saving tip on buying nuts, hit the bulk bin section at your local grocery store, sometimes even the organic ones are cheaper than you’d imagine. I coated some of these bites with unsweetened cocoa powder, some in toasted coconut flakes and the coconut flakes got a double thumbs up from everyone who ate them. They make a great mid morning snack or in my case even dessert.

coconut cream pie

Ingredients

1 cup pitted dates

1 cup cashews or pecans or any nut of your choice ( I used toasted pecans)

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes or shredded coconut

Method

1. Soak cashews and dates in warm water for at least one hour if you don’t have a powerful blender.

2. Blend all the ingredients until the mixture is well blended and begins to stick together.

3. Transfer the mixture on to a cutting board and use your hands to form a big ball.

3. Using 1 tablespoon measurement, scoop the mixture and roll them into balls. Alternatively, you can cut them into rectangles or squares and wrap individual portions in plastic wrap.

4. Coat the balls with unsweetened cocoa or toasted coconut (optional)

5. The balls store well at room temperature for 2 days and in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.

 

10 Favorite Mother’s Day Brunch Recipes Round-up

Mother’s day is on Sunday. Brunch is a popular meal for this occasion and rightly so, who wouldn’t enjoy a big, lazy mid-morning meal with or without mimosas right? If you plan to ditch the restaurants and make a special surprise meal, here’s a list of my favorite brunch recipes which can be put together without breaking a sweat.

Source: Google Images

Source: Google Images

Chilaquiles with salsa verde– This traditional Mexican breakfast/brunch dish from Lisa Dupar’s cookbook, Fried Chicken and Champagne is one of my all-time favorites. This dish is simple, flavorful, delicious and filling.

chilaquiles

Breakfast Strata– Make-ahead casseroles are the ultimate lazy brunch treat and this recipe loaded with veggies is always a big hit.

Breakfast strata

Starbucks Chocolate Cinnamon bread– If you are going to cook for a mom who’s a big Starbucks fan, I’ve got you covered with this amazing chocolate cinnamon bread. This seasonal offering from Starbucks will definitely make your mom swoon.

chocolate cinnamon bread

Lavender Shortbread cookies– These classy, fragrant cookies would make a great addition to your brunch dessert.

Lavender shortbread cookies

Chipotle Style Vegan Tofu Sofritas– Taco/burrito bars is an easy and healthy brunch option. Sofritas can be made a day ahead and reheated just before serving.

tofu sofritas

Quinoa Carrot Cake Cookies– If you are cooking for a mom who is a health-nut, these cookies are just perfect. It is loaded with good stuff, vegan and gluten-free too.

quinoa cookie

Vegan Baked Parsnip Fries with Finger-Lime Ginger Aioli– Give the hash browns a break and make these baked parsnip fries. P.S. the vegan aioli is to die-for.

parsnip fries

Orange Chocolate Chip Muffins– If your mom is a citrus fan like me, she is sure to love these buttery, fragrant muffins.

ORANGE muffins

Vegan Savory Aebleskiver – This Indian version of the popular Danish breakfast treat paired with tomato-cilantro chutney is a scrumptious, gluten-free brunch option.

kuzhi paniyaram

Vanilla Chai Cupcakes– Cupcakes can be part of brunch, especially for a special occasion like this. This cupcake is not overly sweet and bursts with chai spices in every bite.

vanilla chai cupcakes

 

Chipotle Style Vegan Tofu Sofritas

We almost never eat at fast food restaurants. But we do love Chipotle and Qdoba because eating at these Mexican fast food places makes us feel less guilty, I suppose. Everything looks and tastes fresh and its easy to add/delete ingredients in the assembly line to make it healthy and delicious. While Yumjay would always load his burrito bowls with chicken or steak, I wouldn’t have much options, except for rice and black beans and the add-ons. So when Chipotle introduced their tofu Sofritas sometime last year in Seattle, I was beyond thrilled. It was a dream come true for vegetarians/vegans.

tofu sofritas

Organic tofu is braised with chipotle chilis, roasted poblanos, and a blend of aromatic spices to make this delicious sofritas according to Chipotle website. You can try that or simply use Trader Joe’s Taco seasoning mix to get the same delicious taste. I cant tell you how simple and versatile this dish is. Be it for breakfast tacos or burritos, this tofu sofritas is definitely something that carnivores and vegans would love alike.

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Between this and potato burrito, its really hard for me to say which tastes better but i suppose tofu is healthier than potatoes. This would make a lovely weeknight dinner or a great addition to your burrito bar at your next party.

sofritas bowl

Ingredients

1 block organic extra firm tofu

1 medium red onion, finely chopped

1 medium green pepper, finely diced

1 tomato, chopped

1/2 packet Trader Joe’s Taco Seasoning mix or make your own from here

2 teaspoons oil

salt

Ingredients for Chipotle style burrito bowl

1 cup cooked white or brown rice

1 tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped

2 teaspoons lime juice

Salt

1 cup cooked or canned black beans

Pico de gallo

Guacamole

Hot salsa ( if you can’t make your own, i’d highly recommend Trader Joe’s Salsa Autentica)

vegan cheese (optional, use regular cheese for a non-vegan version)

vegan sour cream/plain yogurt (optional, use regular sour cream/plain yogurt for a non-vegan version)

Method for tofu sofritas

1. Heat oil in a pan and when oil is hot, add onions. Cook till they are almost brown.

2. Add green peppers and cook for 5-7 minutes, till they turn slightly soft.

3. Add chopped tomatoes with a pinch of salt, cook till they turn soft and mushy.

4. Add taco seasoning mix along with crumbled tofu and mix well.

5. Let it cook on medium flame for 5-7 minutes, till all the water is absorbed and the tofu mixture is thoroughly heated.

6. To assemble the burrito bowl, add cilantro, lime juice and salt to cooked rice, give it a good stir.

7. Place rice, beans and tofu sofritas in a bowl.

8. Top with pico de gallo, hot salsa and guacamole.

9. Add vegan cheese and sour cream (optional) and serve.