muddy footsteps

Chocolate Quinoa Cake

Posted in Dessert, gluten-free, Health/Nutrition, Photography, Uncategorized by nicolejanaye on February 8, 2014

IMG_5244Something about this rich, dark chocoalte has got my head spinning. I’ve been craving for a deccadent chocolate recipe lately. Whether it’s a brownie, cake, or even chocolate mouse; I want it. I happen to be working one day on the register at Whole Foods and an interesting selection of ingredients came through. I’m constantly exchanging ideas and recipes with customers. This particular customer happen to tell me that she found a new chocolate cake recipe that looked “so delicious” and “incredibly simple to make”. For the majority of customers coming through Whole Foods, many of them are aware and practice gluten-free methods in their kitchen. As soon as she mentioned that it was gluten-free, I was hooked.

As customers were piling up at the line behind her, I was somewhat frantic at the fact that I would not be able to attempt this recipe or even see it for that matter. She kindly grabbed her groceries, folded away her dollar bills, and stepped aside to a vacant check-out stand. There she pulled out her phone and an empty piece a paper, and scribbled away some seriously important information. We exchanged a few words and then she was off. Only two more hours and then I could do my digging on this chocolately goodness of a recipe.

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IMG_5243After a few short minutes of getting home and unpacking the laptop, I had the Chocolate Quinoa Cake recipe up and running on my computer. Sarah from ‘Making Thyme for Health” is the creater of this delicious cake. Not only is this beautiful lady the one who designed this dark and rich perfection, but her other recipes and photos are all uniquely inspiring.

I followed her recipe, but added sliced blackberries in the center as well as on top. I whipped up some coconut cream and put a dallop on the top of my slice. My dad has always complained to me that I never ‘follow’ recipes. I’m always trying to re-due them in my own way without testing out the original recipe first. My reason for this is because I want to adjust the ingredients to my diet as well as taste. However, I’m slowly learning that trying out the original recipe isn’t such a bad idea after all. My next attempt at this chocolate cake will be to replace the white sugar with a healthier version. I’ve researched into xylitol and to be honest, I’m not a fan. For me, I’ll stick with ‘all natural’ sweeteners like honey, agave, maple syrup, bananas, and dates. Now it’s just a matter of balancing out the sweetness as well as the getting the texture just right.

But in the meantime, head over to Sarah’s blog, Making Thyme for Health, and make this chocolate cake for yourself!

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Superfood Salad with lemon vinaigrette

Posted in dinner, Food & Recipes, gluten-free, Health/Nutrition, lunch, Protein by nicolejanaye on May 17, 2013

fooooodSuperfood Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

This seems to be the perfect dish to bring to a BBQ, picnic, or just serve as part of your dinner. It’s light but filling, loaded with health benefits like protein/fats/vitamins, and is simple to make. The lemon vinaigrette is the perfect touch to bring all the flavors together. Get your grains soaking and start making this tonight!

*Follow Kristin at Iowa Girl Eats at http://iowagirleats.com for amazing recipes just like this one that she came up with! Thanks Kristin!!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dry quinoa
  • 1/3 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1 orange, peeled, and segments chopped
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup pomegranate arils
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
  • salt & pepper

For the lemon Vinaigrette:

  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 TBS sweetener (honey, agave…)
  • salt & pepper
  • 6 TBS extra virgin olive oil

Directions

  1. Soak the quinoa in a bowl of water and let sit for at least 10 minutes. Once soaked, rinse quinoa extremely thoroughly!
  2. Heat up a dash of oil in a pot and add quinoa. Let the quinoa toast for 2 minutes, then add 2 cups of water and bring to a rapid bowl. Once a boil has been reached, reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and let sit for 15 minutes. Once the quinoa is done cooking, take a fork to the quinoa and fluff it. Set aside to cool.
  3. For the lemon vinaigrette, combine all ingredients in a mason jar and shake to combine.
  4. Combine all the ingredients together in a large bowl and pour the vinaigrette on top. Mix, serve, and enjoy!

*If you don’t have pomegranate arils, you can replace them with chopped strawberries, watermelon, or even jicama!

 

 

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Almond Milk

Posted in Breakfast, drink, Food & Recipes, gluten-free, Health/Nutrition, Paleo, Protein by nicolejanaye on November 30, 2012

IMG_4759This has to be one of the most convenient recipes that you can start incorporating into your lifestyle, not only for the simplicity and ease on how to make it but also the affordability and health benefits it offers.

The store-bought almond milk (unsweetened vanilla by Blue Diamond) I drink is fairly healthy compared to dairy based milks, however it still contains some unnecessary added ingredients. What better way to fix this problem than by making your own. You know the source of your product, you know what you’re putting into it, and you can adjust the ingredients to suit the flavor profile that you’re after. This almond milk recipe is your baseline. It has just a little bit of sweetness, which I recommend keeping in the recipe, although you can substitute or remove it if you like.

Almond Milk

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups raw almond (*soak overnight)
  • 3 medjool dates
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients into Vitamix or high-powered blender.
  2. Turn machine on and slowly increase speed to its high power.
  3. Blend for 40 seconds or until desired consistency.
  4. Pour almond milk into a sieve or nut milk bag to remove the almond pulp.
  5. Pour the liquid into a glass bottle and store in the refrigerator.

*Soaking your nuts, seeds, or any type of legumes will help with the digestion process in your body. Not only will it make the nutrients easier to absorb into your system, but soaking or sprouting activates the enzyme. The more enzymes in your body, the better your body works! Soak them the night before you plan on making your milk so that they are ready to go first thing in the morning.

Now the only thing left to do is to figure out a recipe for the almond pulp. Any ideas out there? I’m thinking of making a raw cookie or energy bar with it. If you know of a recipe, please send it my way or email it to me at muddyfootsteps@yahoo.com I’ll make sure to feature you or your blog with the link!

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Butternut Squash Fall Waffles

Posted in Breakfast, coffee, Food & Recipes, gluten-free, Health/Nutrition, Paleo, Protein by nicolejanaye on November 13, 2012

My alarm was set for 6:50 am, workout clothes laid neatly on the floor, and my body was warm and cozy deeply hidden amongst a mountain of blankets. My intentions for the morning were to rise and sweat my tush off at the gym. The stair master has been my choice of cardio equipment for the past few days since I re-introduced the kindle fire back into my life. I loaded up Netflix and Hulu Plus onto this godsend of a gadget and it has me completely consumed and distracted while I torch away calories and build up sweat puddles on those endlessly revolving steps.

The alarm goes off. I’m one of those rare breeds that doesn’t prefer to smash down the snooze button and I don’t have the need for my alarm clock to sound like a fire engine five inches from my face. However, today was a different story and I wasn’t ready to get up and get moving. I’ve been busting my booty, literally, in the gym and outside everyday and this was just my body telling me that I needed rest. I decided to sleep in, have a relaxing morning, and make a comforting breakfast.I burried my way back into the sheets and shut my eyes for what seemed to be another hour. Soon enough fall aromas were going to be perfuming my kitchen and creeping their way throughout the remainder of the house.  

Butternut Squash Fall Waffles

These waffles are perfect to share between you and your significant other on a cold and quiet morning. A sprinkle of nuts, a handful of dried fruit, and a ladle of maple syrup on top will be enough  to give yourself a foodgasm. Their fall flavors are the perfect match to a steaming, hot cup of coffee.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 cup roasted butternut squash
  • 1/2 cup pecans (optional: sauté pecans in a little bit of coconut oil prior to mixing with batter. It will bring out the flavors in the nut)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 egg + 2 whites
  • 4 tablespoons almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • pinch of sea salt
  • coconut oil/butter (to lubricate the waffle maker)

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients, except for pecans, raisins, and coconut oil/butter, into mixer and mix until thoroughly combined. The temperature of your kitchen could change the consistency slightly. Adjust the coconut flour and/or almond milk to suit the desired consistency. You want your batter to be thick, but a little liquidy. If it’s too thick, add more milk. If it’s too thin, add more flour.
  2. Add pecans and raisins to the batter and continue mixing just until combined.
  3. Heat your waffle maker and lubricate with coconut oil/butter.
  4. Add batter to maker and cook until done.
  5. Serve warm, flooded with toppings, and right alongside a mug of your favorite morning beverage.

Topping options: Pure maple syrup, Walden Farms syrup, coconut flakes, chocolate chips, nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds, cashews), nut butter, coconut butter, powdered sugar…

Also, I finally made the switch from the url of muddyfootsteps.wordpress.com to muddyfootsteps.com . It’s easier to access, remember, and hopefully share with your friends and family. To make reading my blog posts and having access to new recipes easier, subscribe to my blog and you will receive an email each time I make a new post.

Roasted Chipotle Pepper Cobs

Posted in dinner, Food & Recipes, gluten-free, Health/Nutrition, lunch, Photography, Uncategorized by nicolejanaye on September 24, 2012

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I recently got an abundance of local produce. I try to incorporate different cooking methods with my ingredients so that I have a large variety of meals that I can eat throughout the week. I strongly believe the importance of consuming raw vegetables and fruits because of their nutritional stats and health benefits. Because of this, I try and juice at least once a day to ensure that I receive plenty of enzymes to keep my body running in tip top order! But I also realize that roasting vegetables brings out so much flavor and can transform a dish from bland to mouthwatering. Cauliflower, broccoli, red onion, and asparagus are my favorite vegetables to coat in coconut oil and roast in the oven. It’s an amazing dish to add to a diet/lifestyle, but this shouldn’t be your only method of consuming vegetables. The third method of cooking I tend to use a lot is steaming. Broccoli, green beans and artichokes tend to find their way into the steamer in my kitchen. Health wise it’s more beneficial than zapping in the microwave or roasting in the oven. I tend to steam vegetables if I’m eating them with other ingredient as one meal. For instance, my Buddha bowl would incorporate steamed vegetables, quinoa, and baked tofu. I mix it all together and place in a bowl. I tend to roast vegetables when I eat them alongside other ingredients. But it’s all your own taste! As long as you incorporate raw/cooked vegetables into your diet/lifestyle, it doesn’t really matter which way you eat it.

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It’s funny to me that I write about vegetables when I’m posting a recipe on roasted corn. I guess it’s a vegetable but honestly I look at it as a starch and eat it as a carbohydrate. Either way, these roasted cobs are mouthwatering and need to be the next thing you make.

Ingredients
-cobs
-smoked bourbon sea salt (plain sea salt will work also)
-roasted chipotle peppers (I prefer to roast my own, but you can buy them)
-garlic cloves
-coconut oil
-salt & pepper
-garlic & onion powder
-red chili flakes

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Directions
1. Stick two cobs (with husk on) in the microwave and cook for 2 minutes.
2. Remove from the microwave and slice off the butt of the cob. Make a slice in the side of the husk and peel off completely.

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3. Cut each cob in half and place in a large bowl.
4. Mix the rest of your ingredients together, then coat and rub down your cobs.
5. Place on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper and roast for 30 minutes at 400.

These roasted cobs would be incredible with a creamy dip alongside. I would recommend some kind of dairy/tofu/soy based cooling dip. These suckers are spicy so the creamy sauce will pair perfectly on your taste buds! Personally, I would make a dip with tofu as the base. Play with your ingredients and see if you can come up with the perfect sauce.

Enjoy!

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Baked Tofu

Posted in Breakfast, dinner, Food & Recipes, gluten-free, Health/Nutrition, lunch by nicolejanaye on September 23, 2012

20120923-115644.jpgI used to work at a coffee shop & café when I lived further down south. We made breakfast and lunch with food items ranging from egg sandwiches on croissants, a variety of salads, apple chicken sandwiches, chili, and quesadillas. We had a great selection of meals, but one of the greatest things that interested me when I first applied there was the incorporation of vegetarian and vegan meals. Their vegan chili was excellent, hearty, and could please even the regular meat-eater. The veggie sandwiches were loaded with sprouts, spreads, cucumbers, avocado, and the rest of the garden vegetables you could think up. However, there were two dishes in particular that caught my eye. The baked tofu sandwich, and baked tofu salad were staring me straight at me. I think the idea of this foreign, white, spongy ingredient scares most people (rightfully so), but if you know how to play with the ingredients in the right combination and the correct cooking methods then you found yourself a winner.

It’s been about a year since I’ve worked there, but I’ll go in to order the salad or sandwich every once in a while so I can enjoy those meaty tofu slabs.

Servings: 24 tofu slices

Ingredients
-2 packages of medium firm tofu
-3 Tbs balsamic glaze
-3 Tbs liquid aminos (soy sauce works if you don’t have liquid aminos)
-2 tsp teriyaki ginger rub (combination of garlic, onion, ginger, soy sauce powder, chiles, spices, and sea salt)
-1 tsp garlic powder
-1 tsp coconut oil

Directions
1. TOFU WILL NEED TO MARINADE FOR 8+ HOURS, so keep this in mind when you decide to make the recipe. I like to marinade at night so that it’s ready to bake in the morning.
2. Completely drain all liquid from tofu, press in between towel or paper towels to push more of the excess liquid out.
3. Slice each tofu block into 12 slices (slice with your knife parallel to the shorter side of the tofu).
4. Mix all ingredients, except tofu, in a bowl and then pour into a flat dish (You will be marinading your tofu in this overnight so make sure the dish is a suitable size to allow all pieces of tofu to be coated).
5. Place tofu slices into marinade and let sit in the fridge, covered, for overnight or up to 8 hours. (The longer it sits, the more flavor it absorbs. Also, the more liquid pressed out in the beginning of the directions, the more flavor the tofu will be able to absorb as well.)
6. Once completely marinaded, lay the slices on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper.
7. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350 for 1 hour and 20 minutes.

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Pizza! Cauliflower crust.

Posted in dinner, Food & Recipes, gluten-free, Health/Nutrition, pizza by nicolejanaye on September 22, 2012

Alright so the buzz is going around and the latest thing is cauliflower crust. It’s extremely healthy, simple to make, and tasted great. I’ve been mixing up the toppings for my pizzas and they’re easily interchangeable which allows you to create all kinds of flavorful pizzas.
Langostino with veggies.

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Mexican cracked egg pizza.

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Gorgonzola veggie pizza.

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Serving size: 2 personal pizza crusts
Ingredients
-2 whole eggs + 1 white
-1 flax egg (1 Tbs flax + 2 Tbs water, mix and let sit for 15 minutes)
-1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour
-3/4 cup cauliflower (chopped finely in food processor to always rice like consistency)
-herbs, spices, salt & pepper to taste

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Directions
1. Pre-heat oven to 425
2. Mix ‘riced’ cauliflower with the remaining ingredients.
3. Pour half the batter on a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place another piece of parchment paper on top and cook for 20 minutes.
4. Remove both pieces of parchment paper and flip over crust. Add sauce, toppings, cheese…and cook for an additional 15 minutes.

Wallah!

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I’ve noticed that the crust becomes crispier when cooked on a baking sheet or pizza stone. After you remove the parchment, check the crust and see if it needs to go back in the oven for an additional 5 minutes just to crisp up a bit more. This recipe makes two perfect-sized pizza crusts. Load them up with tomato sauce, pesto, veggies, and an assortment of meats and cheeses. Be creative with your ingredients!

Healthy Protein Peanut Butter Cups

Posted in exercise, Food & Recipes, Health/Nutrition by nicolejanaye on September 22, 2012

I’ve been in a flurry of moods craving some sweetness back in my life and also getting in the kitchen to whip up some new recipes. I was browsing through youtube channels and a recipe caught my eye, these healthy protein peanut butter cups. Sounds intruiging, right? Michael Kory at Lean Body Lifestyle came up with this recipe for these delicious, protein-packed cups. Through some trial and error, I would recommend either spraying/oiling your muffin pan paper liners with a little bit of coconut oil to help the cups pop out when they are finished. Normally, if you were just melting and freezing regular chocolate, you would have no problem with pulling the liners off the cup, but with this recipe it’s a little bit more challenging. Either way, these puppies are delicious, packed with protein, have barely any sugar, and are great post-workout (because of their quick digesting whey protein) and before bed (because of their slow digesting micellar casein and minimal amount of sugar).

 

Serving size: 2 cups

Ingedients/Supplies

  • Muffin pan paper liners
  • 2 small bowls
  • wisk
  • 1 scoop protein (* I use Pro7ein Synthesis chocolate powder)
  • 2 TBS PB2
  • 1 TBS cocoa
  • 1 tsp stevia
  • 1/8 cup water + 1 TBS
  1. Mix the protein, cocoa, stevia, and 1/8 cup of water in a bowl. (It may seem like there isn’t enough water, but continue mixing and there should definitely be enough).
  2. Take half of the chocolate mixture and pour into 2 oiled muffin pan linings. (Think of a peanut butter cup, there is chocolate on the bottom, sides and top. You want to make sure that a decent sized layer is covering the majority of the liner. I pour in a small amount and pick of the liner and tip it so it coats the entire surface.)
  3. Let freeze for 30 minutes.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix PB2 with 1 TBS of water. Continue mixing until a creamy consistancy results. Divide the pb2 mixture in half and place one scoop in each of your cups. Freeze for 20 minutes.
  5. Finally, add the remainder of chocolate on top of your pb2 and freeze for 20 minutes. I like to store the cups on a plate or baking sheet while freezing, and I bang the sheet down on the table a few times before freezing to make sure there are no bubbles and the layers lay flat.

Stats for 1 cup: 106 calories, 5g carbs, 0.5g sugar, 1.5g fat, and 20g protein.

I hope they turn out for you guys just as great as they did for me!

 

Garden Crustless Quiche

Posted in Breakfast, Food & Recipes, gluten-free, Health/Nutrition, lunch by nicolejanaye on August 1, 2012

I’ve been on a spree of making these quiches lately. The cost, efficiency, and nutritional content of these suckers make them undeniably one of my favorite recipes. Once you get the basic idea and recipe down, you’ll have a bounty of ways to change up the flavors simply by altering the ingredients to what you have in the kitchen. Well that’s pretty much my take on these ‘egg baskets’ (what my dad likes to call them), use whatever ingredients you have in your house.

 

 

 

Garden Crustless Quiche

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 stalks kale; stripped from the stem and chopped finely
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 zucchini; chopped
  • 1 Tbs pine nuts
  • Spices: Salt/Pepper, curry powder, cumin, red chilli pepper, and garlic powder
  • Coconut oil (*substitute-butter or earth balance)
  1. Pre-heat your oven to 450.
  2. Take the coconut oil and rub the inside of a muffin pan so that the quiches slide out after they are done cooking.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  4. Scoop out equal portions into the muffin pan.
  5. Cook for 15 minutes (this time may be different depending on the size of your pan-mine was a medium pan)

And that’s it! Just some of the reasons why I love these so much: Inexpensive, easy to make, nutritious, portable, delicious, the variety of flavors are endless, and anyone can make them! You can also sprinkle feta or your favorite cheese on top during the last 5 minutes of cooking.

 

Stay posted on the blog for the recipes for these beauties…

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Grilled Romaine Salad

Posted in Food & Recipes, gluten-free, Health/Nutrition, lunch by nicolejanaye on July 27, 2012

Sometimes you just got to mix things up.

A full, raw salad just wouldn’t suffice for today’s palate. I’ve been to a few restaurants and ordered this kind of salad before and it’s a great change in flavor and texture. It’s very simple to make and with just a few key ingredients, you can transform a boring piece of lettuce into an incredible meal.

I’ll admit that I like salads loaded with ingredients from fish to strawberries, but a salad with few ingredients packed with flavor can be just as enjoyable. For this salad I whipped up a Dijon vinaigrette to drizzle on top. You can go many ways with a dressing, but the kick from the mustard seemed like a good fit.

Dijon vinaigrette

  • 2 1/2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

As for the remainder of the toppings, I used avocado, fresh basil, chopped pistachios, sun-dried tomatoes, and feta cheese. To prepare the romaine, you want to slice it in half. Brush olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place cut-side down on the grill and cook until the leaves begin to brown and caramelize. Assemble the ingredients on top of the grilled romaine and drizzle with the vinaigrette. Enjoy!

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