Salted Chocolate Pecans

Christmas is coming and I was thinking about the bowls of peanut brittle and other sugary snacks that usually abound at this time of year. That got me to thinking about how I could make something that my sugar-free boy could enjoy, along with the rest of the family, on a holiday that centers so much around food, and especially treats.

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Salted Chocolate Pecans
Salty sweet snack that everyone will love but that won't put you into a sugar coma!
Course Dessert, Snack
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15-20 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Course Dessert, Snack
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15-20 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Spread pecan halves on a cookie sheet in one layer and put in oven to roast.
  3. It takes about 10 minutes to roast the pecans but you need to watch them quite closely as they can burn and be ruined if you turn your back. I usually set my timer for about 7 minutes and then pay attention closely for the last 3. If you open the oven to check them you can see that they are ready when they are just starting to brown. They also begin to have that delicious, rich, toasted nut smell when they are just about done.
  4. While the pecans are in the oven, put the chocolate chips, cinnamon and butter into a double boiler or just place a heat safe bowl over top of a saucepan filled with water, and bring the water to a low boil.
  5. As the chocolate chips and butter begin to melt, stir occasionally. Once chips are mostly melted, stir in the whipping cream until blended and keep stirring until the chocolate is smooth and silky.
  6. For convenience and ability to create the 'drizzle' effect with chocolate that is not super runny, I put it into an icing decorator bag. My daughter taught me this trick of using a water glass to hold the icing bag open while you spoon in the chocolate. It works like a charm.
  7. Snip a small hole into the end of the icing bag and then 'drizzle' the chocolate back and forth across the pecans making sure that every pecan has chocolate on it.
  8. Sprinkle all pecans with coarse ground pink himalayan sea salt. Don't be too skimpy as you definitely want to taste the salty sweetness in every bite.
  9. Throw in the freezer for about 30 minutes and voila! Good luck only eating one serving.

Cauliflower ‘Bun’ Grilled Cheese

There is nothing I like better than a buttery grilled cheese sandwich – crispy on the outside and all kinds of melted cheese oozing from within. If you’re grain or gluten free, or just a little adventurous, I highly recommend this grilled cheese using Cauliflower Buns.

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Cauliflower 'Bun' Grilled Cheese
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Heat a skillet on medium and add butter.
  2. When butter is melted, place one cauliflower bun into skillet, top with cheese of choice, and place second cauliflower bun on top.
  3. Cook just as you would a grilled cheese sandwich. Flip once and remove from heat when cheese is melted and starting to ooze.
  4. Serve with tomato soup, ketchup, side salad or just a couple dill pickles and enjoy!
Recipe Notes

The key to this grilled cheese is the Cauliflower Buns.  This recipe is the easiest one to use and has been failsafe in my experience.  My recommendation is to make them relatively thin, as they are quite rich and filling when using two of them at a time!  If you're looking for the tin rings I used to make the perfect sized Cauliflower Buns, you can find them here: Fox Run Set of Four English Muffin Rings

 

 

 

Buddha Bowl

After experiencing the happiness of the Freshii bowl, I was inspired to create my own at home.  I love the ability to add whatever you have on hand to create a delicious, healthy and pretty meal in minutes. And I can’t understate the bonus of very few dishes to clean afterwards!  For families with varying tastes or dietary restrictions among members, you can prepare several ingredients and let everyone assemble their own bowl.  The perfect summer meal for busy families.

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Buddha Bowl
Prep Time 10
Cook Time 0
Servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 10
Cook Time 0
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Divide all ingredients evenly into four bowls.
  2. Add a generous serving of roasted red pepper sauce and enjoy!
Recipe Notes

There are plenty of Roasted Red Pepper sauces available commercially, so that may be the easiest option for many busy families.  That said, this Roasted Red Pepper Sauce is quite easy to make and is absolutely delicious.

Buddha bowls are awesome because of their simple variability.  So be adventurous and add whatever you have in your fridge.  Leftover meat, hardboiled eggs, beans and legumes are also great additions to up the protein.

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

This sauce is so versatile and so delicious that I sometimes just eat it by the spoonful on its own.  It’s great with fish and all types of meat, it can be a fabulous spread for crackers or bread on a charcuterie board, and if made slightly thicker is also delicious as a dip for veggies.  If you thin it out a bit it’s also a perfect salad dressing.  I use it in my Buddha Bowl recipe as well.

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Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut red peppers into quarters and remove seeds.
  3. Remove skins of shallots and chop into quarters.
  4. Peel the garlic cloves.
  5. Using a pastry brush, brush peppers, shallots and garlic with some avocado oil and place on a baking sheet.
  6. Roast peppers, shallots and garlic in oven for about 45 minutes, until pepper skins begin to turn black.
  7. When the roasting is complete, peel the charred skin from the peppers and discard.
  8. Add peppers, shallots, garlic and remaining ingredients to a food processor and pulse repeatedly until sauce is desired consistency. I like it to be slightly chunky, but it will become very smooth is processed longer. If you want the sauce to be thicker, leave out the olive oil and add 1 tsp at a time until it's the consistency you are looking for... if you want to use as a thinner salad dressing, add a bit more olive oil a tsp at a time.
  9. This keeps in the fridge for several days in a sealed container, so don't be afraid to double or triple the recipe and eat it on EVERYTHING!