Irish Potato Candies! (Gluten-Free, Vegan)

Ahh…. A nice and welcome break from work. I have not stopped cooking and though I don’t plan on doing anything crazy for St. Patrick’s Day, I cooked up a storm! I’ll make this short and sweet… I made these little potato candies and I just love them. They remind me of when I was a kid and we would make them in elementary school.

Irish potatoes are a dessert that originated in the Philadelphia area. Despite its name, they aren’t from Ireland, and they have no potatoes in them (and definitely shouldn’t, ew). Also, don’t let anyone tell you that any nuts belong in them, either. Double ew. Then you roll them in cinnamon, and just like that, you have a little potato!

These are made without dairy, gluten, or any crap that makes you feel bad. More treats to come, enjoy 🙂

Irish Potato Candies! (Gluten-Free, Vegan)

prep time: 20 min (active)

chill time: 20 min

makes 25 potatoes

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups of unsweetened shredded coconut (the fine strips, not ground)
  • 1 oz package of Tofutti “cream cheese”
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 3 tbsp light agave, plus more to taste
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon, 1 tsp cinnamon, separated
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar

Directions

  1. Add your shredded coconut, cream cheese, vanilla, 1 tsp cinnamon, coconut oil and agave to a large mixing bowl and blend with a mixer. If the mixture appears runny, add ¼ cup of shredded coconut and continue to mix until you have a pasty mixture that you can shape.
  2. Chill in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Remove from the refrigerator and roll into small potato shaped balls and set aside on a baking sheet. Once your potatoes are formed, add the remaining cinnamon and coconut sugar in a large plastic bag and shake to mix.
  4. One at a time, place each potato in the bag and gently shake to coat thoroughly. Remove and place back onto the cookie sheet.
  5. Chill until ready to serve – remove 15 minutes prior to allow to come back to room temperature.

Enjoy!

-S

Sea-Salted Caramel Cheesecake Bites (Paleo, Vegan)

Totally unrelated to food…. I have discovered the online store 6pm.com. It’s like the TJ Maxx of Zappos, can you just picture this, please? Amazing. Uggs for half price, cute booties, stuff you didn’t know you needed until you found it.

Who’s ready for spring? Let’s skip straight to the good stuff. This recipe for Sea-salted Caramel Cheesecake bites is a little bit of summer, but since it’s best served frozen…. We can say it’s Spring, instead. These babies are vegan, gluten free, paleo, the whole 9 yards. Have at ‘em.

Sea-Salted Caramel Cheesecake Bites (Paleo, Vegan)

Prep time: 3 hours

Cook time: 40 min (active)

Serves 12 (large cups), or (24 small cups)

Ingredients

For the crust

  • ~2 very full cups of pecans, raw
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • pinch of sea salt
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp almond butter

For the cheesecake

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight or in boiling water for 2-3 hours
  • ¼ cup melted coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar 1/3 cup of coconut cream (from a can), plus 1-2 tbsp of coconut milk if needed
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • sea salt for garnish

For the caramel

  • 1/3 cup maple sugar
  • 2 heaping tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt

Directions

  1. Line a cupcake tin with paper liners and set aside.
  2. Start the caramel sauce, as it takes the longest. In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the sugars and coconut milk. Bring to a low boil, and then add the vanilla extract and salt and mix until combined. Allow to continue to boil for about 2-3 minutes, stirring to prevent burning. Turn to very low heat, and simmer slowly for about 35-40 minutes, until reduced to a thick syrup. Remove from heat to allow to further cool, or place in the refrigerator.
  3. Meanwhile, as the caramel sauce is cooking down, place the ingredients for the crust into a food processor and pulse until crumbly and mixed thoroughly.Press about a tbsp of the crust mixture into the bottom of each cupcake liner. Freeze while preparing the remaining layers.
  4. Now for your filling! Drain your cashews and put them into a blender; mix until you have a crumbly wet pile (appetizing, I know). Now add your coconut oil, coconut milk, maple syrup, and vanilla. Blend until smooth… this may take a bit, as your cashew chunks may still be visible. Feel free to add water, 1 tsp at a time, if needed. Once smooth, add your lemon juice and continue to puree until frothy. Add more lemon juice, if desired.
  5. Remove the crusts from the freezer and pour the cheesecake filling evenly into each cup, leaving room for the caramel sauce. Place back into the freezer for about 25-30 minutes.
  6. About 20 minutes before serving, you can remove your cheesecakes to allow them to thaw. Spoon a dollop of caramel sauce atop each cup, and sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt. Serve, and enjoy!

🙂

-S

Strawberry Coconut Lassi (Paleo, Vegan)

It’s unseasonably warm out… which makes me both sad that this may be unpleasant climate change, but slightly happy that I can wear flats and not freeze my tooties off. You take the good with the bad.

How’s everyone’s week going? Perhaps because I had off on Monday and it’s a short week, it seems this is really zooming along. I’ve been dying to get out and walk Sydney a bit longer than usual, but when I get home and start doing everything I have to do… it just gets later and later and before I know it this little old lady is too tired to keep going.

I forgot to mention — this weekend, I stopped at Palo Santo Wellness Boutique, one of my favorite places in Philly. They have crystals, tarot cards, a few other fun things, but my favorite are the essential oil sprays. There’s something nice about having a spray during meditation, before bed, or when doing yoga and stretching — associating the smell with some relaxation helps. The one in particular I really like is the Moon Mist — I’d love to recreate it with some of my own oils and Reiki. This made me think about something — there’s no full moon in February! It’s a short month, and there was one on January 31st (no 31st in February), but I think it’s funny that we can go a whole “month” without a full moon. I guess it depends on who you ask, but February this year is considered a month with a dark moon” — not ominous, it just means the month goes without a full moon in the lunar cycle, or a month with two new (dark) moons. Even though people may interpret that differently, the moon isn’t showing this whole month… one could say it’s hiding, resting, or sleeping (goodnight, moon! Sorry… couldn’t resist, that book is a staple).

This closely correlates with self reflection, starting fresh, and improving upon things with a new beginning. The new moon was officially on February 15th — this means we are moving towards a fuller moon, which means that this is the time to do anything you’ve been thinking about doing but haven’t taken action. Fun stuff, right??? Let’s get moving!

This recipe is a fun way to enjoy an ethnic treat in a bit of a healthier, dairy free way. Get your blender out (food processors won’t work because of the ice,), turn it on high, pour it up and sip away!

Also… if you don’t already, follow me on Instagram! @thedivinekitchen 🙂

Strawberry Coconut Lassi (Paleo, Vegan)

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: n/a

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of strawberries, stems trimmed
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp cardamom, plus a pinch extra for garnish
  • 1 cup ice

Directions:

Blend all ingredients together in a high-speed blender until frothy. Adjust sweetness to taste. Garnish with extra cardamom and serve immediately.

Enjoy!

-S

Lemon Lavender Cake (Paleo)

How did this happen?

What, you ask? Well, we are already a week into February, which to me makes no sense. I remember New Year’s, I remember Christmas, I remember last summer, and somehow we are already a month into 2018. A lot of nice things have happened so far, and I really get the vibe that this is a good year unfolding, for everyone. A lot of things that have bothered most people have come out into the open, and I almost feel a collective sigh of relief from the world at large… things like the “Me, too” movement, people standing up for one another… their beliefs… it’s been a very nice thing to take notice of.  Here’s my take on February, and what we’ll notice.

This month, as I’ve pointed out, I think is a time to notice and reflect on how we’ve spent 2018 so far. We are well past our New Year’s Intentions, so it’s a likely time where people are asking themselves if they’ve adhered to their beliefs, and if they’ve set out to take the action they planned for. I think it’s also a time where people start to have that “oh, crap!” moment, that it’s already been a month, and how quickly time really goes when you worry about it.

A reminder to everyone reading this is that, whatever your intentions for yourself were, do not compare yourself to anyone else as you think about them. Skip the highlight reels on the internet, forget the nasty comments made in the media, and start remembering why you made your intentions for this year in the first place.

Did anyone take notice of how we started out this month the day after a beautiful full moon? February has a reset button for those who need a do-over, or another chance to set the pace for the rest of the year. Reevaluate what you brought into 2018 with you, and reflect on how you’ve actually improved upon your concerns, or made changes for the better. Is something still not working, no matter how hard you try? Perhaps this is the month where you take advantage of the “reset button”, and you shed what weighs you down to continue improving yourself and sticking to your intentions for the rest of the year.

On a side note… today was bad weather so I worked from home. It was an intention of mine for 2018 to be as productive as possible on these days… which means squeezing in any extras I can without the distraction of my work friends, and to take advantage of my oven being right next to me as I work so that I can find new ways to feed my tribe of fellow foodies 🙂 This took some experimentation, but it came out every bit as good as I hoped on my final try. Who wants Spring time? I do! Have this in your recipe stash for the first day of Spring.

Side note! Follow me on Instagram if you haven’t already, @thedivinekitchen. Lots of pretty recipe pictures… head over that way and follow!

Lemon Lavender Cake (Paleo)

Prep Time: 15 min

Cook time: 30 min

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

For the Cake

  • 5 eggs, whisked
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, liquid (melted but not hot off the stove)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tbsp culinary lavender, finely ground
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp finely ground Himalayan salt

For the frosting

  • 1/3 cup of coconut butter
  • 1 tsp agave
  • juice from half of lemon

Directions:

  1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a loaf pan (mine was about 8in x 4in) with coconut oil or ghee.
  2.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs with the coconut oil, lemon juice, vanilla, maple syrup, and lemon zest. If you’re melting your coconut oil on the stove top, be sure not to add it as soon as it’s finished melting – you don’t want your eggs to scramble! Give it a few minutes to cool down.
  3.  Next, mix in your coconut flour, tapioca flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix thoroughly. You’ll notice that the mixture may look a bit fluffy – this is fine… science at work with the baking soda. Allow the mix to sit for about 5 minutes so that the coconut flour can absorb. Gently mix in your lavender.
  4.  Add your batter to your greased loaf pan. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until a knife or toothpick inserted in center of cake shows no batter on it. Remove from heat and allow to cool once finished.
  5.  As your cake is baking, mix together your coconut butter, agave and lemon juice. If it starts to separate, that’s ok! You can melt it so that it melts together, remove from heat and stir, then place in a small bowl in the fridge for 5 minutes. Stir to get the consistency back, and then spread over your cake. Optional – garnish with slices of lemon for a pretty dessert centerpiece.

Enjoy!

-S

Winter Apple Crisp (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

I learned something interesting this weekend about this month. January 1st was a special new year’s day, as is the rest of this year, actually. In numerology, 2018 is an “11” – this number is considered by some to be a “master karmic number”, which holds a sacred vibration. Have you ever looked at the clock and caught that special 11:11 time? I always felt it was special, but I never really thought about why it was. Little did i used to know, the number 11 represents an enlightening and transformative sense a balance and alignment. This will feel especially different on days like New Year’s Day, January 11th, November 1st, and November 11th.

 If you aren’t familiar with numerology, I highly recommend taking a look into some books about it. Each number, much like anything else present here on earth that has roots in ancient civilization, has its own vibrational energy and meaning, and ties into literally everything. We base everything in today’s world off of numbers – time, money, organization, everything. Number 1 can mean something different to anyone, but in its purest form, it represents the beginning. Are you looking to start something? This month (or even this year!) is a great time to do so — not just your New Years’ Intentions, but something to carry through the rest of your life. This could be meditating, a new hobby, exercising more — anything that can improve your life for the better.

 This is particularly important today, as today is the start of the New Moon for this month. Set some goals, be clear about your approach, and stick with it! 🙂

Winter Apple Crisp (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

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Prep time: 20 min

Cook time: 40 min

Serves 5-7

Ingredients:

For  the filling

  • 5-6 apples (any kind you like!) – peeled, cored and sliced
  • ¾ cup organic brown sugar
  • 1 tsp organic vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup vegan butter alternative (or ghee), melted
  • Pinch of finely ground Himalayan sea salt

For the crumble topping

  • ¾ cup gluten free-certified oats
  • 3/4 cup gluten-free baking flour
  • ¾ cup organic brown sugar
  • 8 oz organic vegan butter (cold); or 1 stick cold organic butter, cut into ½ in cubes
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp allspice

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a glass 9x13in baking dish and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, toss apples with all of the filling ingredients and mix to coat thoroughly.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together all of the crumble ingredients except your butter. Once dry ingredients are mixed, add in the butter, a little at a time, pressing the crumble into the pieces of butter. You don’t need to be neat – if anything, really pressing the ingredients into the butter is better.  The butter should be reduced into mixture until you’re left with large/coarse crumbs.
  4. Spread the apple filling evenly within the baking dish, patting gently to make sure there are no gaps. Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the apples, ensuring all of the apples are covered.
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the top becomes golden and the apple mixture is bubbling. Allow to cool before serving.

Enjoy!

-S

Orange Banana Spiced Breakfast Muffins (Paleo)

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen! What an eventful weekend.

The weekend started out pretty intense – a few friends and I dedicated an evening to belief clearing through muscle testing, and that was followed by my Level I Reiki class and certification the next day. An interesting thing, doing all of that healing in a very condensed timeframe… I turned into a bit of a crazy person for the next 48 hours. A lot of intense releasing of negative energy, beliefs, etc, down to a molecular level. But that’s a story for another time. On a side note, my crystals have been EVERYWHERE. Including some in the below picture. I love them, don’t judge.

I was on a baking FRENZY this weekend! I bought bananas, which is never a good idea. I waste fruit, too often. When I was food prepping very strictly when I thought I wanted to do a physique show, I really limited my fruit intake. I think I’ve convinced myself I don’t want, need or like fruit, which is a bummer. Nevertheless, I bought a bunch of bananas and let them fester on the counter until I absolutely had to do something with them. These babies were born.

I think I could probably add some dark chocolate chunks to them to make them a little more indulgent, but I’ll save that for when I know I can give some away (so that I don’t eat all of them). I hope you like them! 🙂

Orange Banana Spiced Breakfast Muffins (Paleo)

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Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 25 min

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 3 large ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1/8 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (unflavored is fine)
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease your muffin tin lightly with coconut oil.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and whisk until smooth.
  3. Divide batter evenly among cups – the muffin cups should be about ¾ full so they don’t overflow and bake over the sides.
  4. Bake for about 25 minutes until starting to turn golden on top. Check if they are done by sticking a knife or toothpick into a middle muffin – if it’s clean, they’re finished. Let cool, and serve!

Optional: if you’re feeling extra indulgent, spread a little ghee over them. Otherwise – I wrap them individually and take them for breakfast 🙂

Enjoy!

-S

The Holiday Hustle: Made Better with (Paleo) Chocolate Chip Peppermint Skillet Cookies!!

The weather has turned! This is both good and bad. I have a Jeep and I grew up in the Northeast — I am not afraid of any snowstorm, any time. There’s two sides to this situation — the first, I work too much to be inconvenienced by snow. Closed roads, inexperienced/bad drivers… not a fan. The good part — if it’s bad enough to not go into work, it means I get to cook all day… SCORE!

I’ve been doing a lot of shopping, trying to get it all out of the way early this year. If you haven’t checked it out yet, take a look at my Gift Recommendations for kitchen gadgets, natural beauty products and other fun stuff — link here!

The last few weeks have been so incredibly busy… I can’t believe it’s already December. I’m not sure where last week this month this year went. Appointments, dinners, parties, working, traveling… so much going on. At a doctor’s appointment a few weeks ago, I came across the concept of a “skillet cookie”, which is basically a giant cookie pie inside of a cast iron skillet. I had big plans to incorporate pumpkin or spices during October and November, but I clearly missed that boat. So, here we are in the middle of Christmas season, and I have decided to make a Christmas skillet cookie. Cue the peppermint.

Honestly, I sort of don’t like peppermint in a lot of things, but there’s something wonderful about a sweet little bite of chocolate chip cookie with a hint of mint in it. A few drops goes a long way, this stuff is quite strong.

There’s a few ways you could do this recipe — you can use multiple mini skillets  for personal sized cookies, or you could use one big one. Don’t be alarmed if you think you don’t have enough batter for a big skillet — a thicker cookie will turn more into a pie-like thing if there’s too much batter (plus it will take a lot longer to cook!). This was even approved by my non-Paleo parents, who enjoyed a few slices after I brought it over on Saturday. My stepdad enjoyed a nice scoop of regular vanilla ice cream on it, but you can absolutely add some non-dairy ice cream for a nice treat!

Peppermint Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie (Paleo)

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Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 15 Min

Serves 8-10

Ingredients

  • 1 large egg and 1 egg yolk
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin coconut oil (room temperature, but still solid)
  • 2/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2-3 drops of food-grade peppermint* essential oil
  • 1 3/4 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 ¼ cup dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-10 in. cast-iron skillet lightly with some coconut oil.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together coconut oil, coconut sugar, vanilla and egg until smooth. (If you aren’t using a mixer, mash coconut oil with a fork to get rid of clumps—this part is really important! Add coconut sugar, vanilla and egg; continue to mix until smooth.)
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the almond flour, salt and baking soda. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until fully combined – you should end up with a dough that is a bit sticky. Stir in the chocolate chips, mixing evenly.
  4. Add the mixture to the skillet. Using a rubber spatula, scoop contents from the bowl and spread evenly through the skillet to ensure it bakes consistently.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes or until the middle is just set and the edges begin to turn golden brown.** Test doneness in the middle with a toothpick to see if any batter comes out on the toothpick.
  6. Allow to cool a bit in the skillet. Optional: top with vanilla ice cream prior to serving. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

*I use Young Living’s Peppermint Vitality essential oil, which is certified for food/drink and safe for internal consumption. Do NOT consume products not intended for internal use – adhere to your product’s directions for proper use.

**If your cookie is still gooey but the edges are quite dark, you can drop the oven temp down to prevent the edges from burning until the  center has cooked thoroughly.

Enjoy!

-S