One-Ingredient Banana Ice Cream (GF)(V)

banana ice cream

It’s summertime and the temperatures are still astronomically high in the Valley of the Sun. I’m not joking… we are supposed to hit 113° this weekend. That’s why I decided to do a healthy take on a classic summertime treat: Ice cream. This vegan and gluten-free recipe is super simple to make, and you don’t need to have an ice cream maker, heavy cream, sugar and all that jazz – all you need are 2 ripe bananas and a food processor or blender. I topped my ice cream with cacao nibs, but I will leave it up to you whether you want to have your ice cream dressed to the nines or not.

Banana Ice Cream (GF)(V)
ingredients:
2 ripe bananas (they should be sweet and soft)
Optional garnishes: cacao nibs, Nutella, nuts, granola (the list goes on!)

the method:

  1. Start by peeling the bananas and cutting them into even coins. (When bananas are ripe, the peel may stick to the fruit, so make sure you remove leftover peel to prevent any bitterness in your ice cream.)
  2. Place the coins in a glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place them in the freezer overnight.
  3. Place the frozen banana slices in the bowl of a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. This process will take a while and you’ll have to scrape down the side of your food processor multiple times with a spatula.
  4. The bananas will first become very crumbly, then they will look like oatmeal, but you’ll eventually end up with a very soft and creamy mixture.
  5. At this point, place back in the glass bowl and in the freezer for just about an hour. You can of course always enjoy it right away if you like very soft ice cream. I wanted to eat mine immediately, so it was pretty soft…
  6. Garnish with your favorite toppings and serve.

Meatless Monday: Zucchini Pasta

zuccZucchini Noodles (V)(GF)
2 zucchinis, peeled
1 tablespoon coconut oil/olive oil
1/4 cup water
salt and ground black pepper to taste
Homemade Marinara Sauce or your favorite jarred brand

the method:

  1. To make the noodles, you have multiple options. You can use a vegetable spiralizer, a food processor, a julienne peeler – or if you’re REALLY patient and don’t have any of these tools, you can slice really long strips with a sharp knife. Personally, I do not recommend a knife. I have a julienne peeler and it is, by far, my favorite kitchen tool. It cuts the zucchini into perfect noodle strips. You can use it for stir fries, salads, slaws… everything! I bought mine at Williams-Sonoma and it was only $10 (it is in the picture). I even like it more than my Kitchen-Aid Mixer – I never thought I would love anything as much as my mixer.
  2. When making the noodles, make sure you don’t use any strips that have seeds in them… you will want to throw away “the core” of the zucchini. The reasoning for this is due to the high water content in the middle. Too much water = mushy, squishy noodles. Yuck!
  3. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat; cook and stir zucchini in the hot oil for 1 minute. Add water and cook until zucchini is softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. I served my noodles with homemade marinara, but these noodles would be great with any sauce. I am going to try a lemon-garlic sauce next! 🙂

Rainbow Chopped Salad (V)(GF)

rainbow1Rainbow Chopped Salad (V)(GF)
the salad ingredients:
large head of romaine
15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 large orange bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 pint cherry tomatoes, chopped
1/2 english cucumber, chopped
2 cups corn
1/2 red onion, chopped
rainbow2
Cilantro-Avocado Dressing (V)(GF)
the dressing ingredients:
1 cup loosely packed cilantro, stems removed and roughly chopped
1 avocado, smashed
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice (about 1/2 lime), more to taste
1 to 2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup avocado oil (or olive oil)
1 1/2 tsp. white wine vinegar1 tsp. agave nectar
1/8 tsp. salt

the method:

  1. Make the dressing: puree all ingredients in a food processor/blender until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
  2. Finely chop romaine, bell pepper, tomatoes and onion.
  3. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine.
  4. Toss with desired dressing and serve.

 

Crispy BBQ Tofu (GF) (V)

tofuCrispy BBQ Tofu (GF)(V)

the ingredients:

  • 1 package super-firm tofu, drained and cut into triangles
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil (or any high heat oil)
  • Smoked sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup of prepared BBQ sauce or your favorite bottled brand

the method:

  1. Preheat a skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add 1 tbsp of oil to the skillet and then carefully add the tofu. I recommend busting out that apron you never use… this oil WILL splatter.
  3. Spread tofu out into a single layer, season with salt, pepper, and fry for about 5 minutes on each side or until it turns golden and crispy. Be cautious when flipping the tofu triangles over – if you have tongs, use them.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the BBQ sauce to coat the tofu. Serve piping hot!

Enjoy!

 

New York Style Chopped Salad (GF) (V)

New York StyleNew York Style Chopped Salad with Homemade Vegan “Honey” Mustard Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups Mixed Salad Greens
  • 3 cups Bibb Lettuce
  • 8 whole Romaine Leaves
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • Grape Tomatoes, Halved
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • Corn
  • Sliced Or Diced Bell Pepper
  • Avocado, Sliced
  • Cucumbers, Halved Then Sliced
  • 1 bunch radishes, sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • Vegan “Honey” Mustard Dressing (recipe follows

The method:

  1. Lay out different greens and all the veggies in small dishes.
  2. Have a big stainless bowl with tongs. Have everyone build their own salad by throwing what they want into the bowl. Toss with dressing, then pour tossed salad onto a cutting board.
  3. With two knives, quickly chop the salad so that it’s chopped into smaller pieces.
  4. Transfer to a plate and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.

Vegan “Honey” Mustard Dressing:

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/3 Cup Agave Nectar Light
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp Spicy Brown Mustard
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 Clove of Garlic, minced
  • Black Pepper to taste
  • 1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1. Whisk all ingredients in a bowl and serve.

Halloumi Summer Salad (GF)

halloumi SaladHoly Moly! If you haven’t tried halloumi cheese yet, then PLEASE make this recipe! When I was going to ASU and  still living in Tempe, I used to go to this fabulous (and inexpensive) place called Oliveo Grill. It’s definitely a college spot, so if you go – don’t expect it to be glitzy and glamorous – it’s far from it! But the food is absolutely delish.

It was one of the few places in AZ where you can get grilled halloumi – a salty, savory cheese with a unique texture that allows it to be grilled without melting.

If it was healthy to eat cheese for every meal, every single day – I would eat halloumi and be a very happy girl. Since it’s summer and I wanted to keep dinner light, I made a halloumi summer salad with balsamic-mustard vinaigrette. Simple – yet delicious.

Halloumi Summer Salad:

for the halloumi:

½ package of hallomi cheese, sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried oregano
½ lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Heat an outdoor grill or a cast-iron grill pan over medium-high heat.
Brush each side of the halloumi with olive and place on the grill for 2 minutes on each side.
Remove halloumi from grill. Sprinkle with oregano, salt, pepper and drizzle with lemon juice.

for the balsamic-mustard vinaigrette

 

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

3/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 clove garlic, crushed or to taste

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 pinch salt
1 pinch freshly ground black pepper

 

Combine all ingredients in a mason jar and shake, or simply whisk together in a bowl and pour over salad.

for the salad:

1 bag of Spring Mix salad
2 cups micro-greens
1/4 cup chiffonade Thai basil or regular basil, optional
1/2 English cucumber, halved and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices
2 carrots, chopped
1 cup corn, roasted
1 tomato, chopped

Summer Pasta with Charred Roma Tomatoes

Zucchini nad Cherry Tomato Pasta with Charred Roma Tomato

Summer Pasta with Charred Roma Tomatoes

The ingredients:

  • 1 lb dried gluten-free pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 small zucchini, grated
  • 1 small yellow zucchini, grated
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 roma tomato, sliced and seasoned with salt & pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, to serve

The method:

  1. Cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water, following packet directions, until tender.
  2. Preheat the broiler, and oil a cookie sheet for roma tomatoes, add the tomatoes until crispy (around 3-5 minutes total).
  3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a small, non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add garlic, zucchini and tomatoes. Cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes or until tender.
  4. Drain pasta, reserving 2 tablespoons cooking water. Return pasta and reserved water to saucepan. Add zucchini mixture, salt and pepper to pasta. Toss over low heat until heated through. Spoon into bowl. Top with parmesan, broiled tomatoes and serve.

Sloppy Joes and Oven Fries

sloppy joes oven fries Sloppy Joes

The ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 celery stock, diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 package veggie meat crumbles (veggie version)/ 1 lb of ground turkey(meat-eater version)
  • 2 cups of tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 Tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • squirt of srichacha sauce
  • dash of fresh ground pepper
  • gluten-free buns

The method:

  1. In a skillet, heat up the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots and celery and saute for about five minutes or until they start to soften.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until it has reached a desired consistency.
  3. Assemble mixture on buns; serve with oven baked fries (recipe follows).

Oven Fries

The ingredients:

  • 6 or 7 Idaho potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/3-inch-thick French fry-style strips, soaked in cold water
  • 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs or some combo of dried oregano, thyme, marjoram, and basil
  • 2 cups freshly grated Romano cheese
  • 1/4 cup parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) salted butter, cut into 6 cubes
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

The method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Drain the potatoes and pat dry with paper towels. Spread 1 tablespoon of the olive oil on each of 2 rimmed baking sheets and spread out the potatoes. Overlapping is fine.
  3. Sprinkle the dried herbs evenly over the potatoes. Liberally spread the cheese and parsley on top. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the cheese. Scatter the cubed butter around the pans.
  4. Bake until the potatoes are golden brown, rotating the pans after 30 minutes, for 45 to 50 minutes total. Use a spatula to lift off the potatoes with all the crusty cheese adhered to them. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

Cucumber, Tomato and Avocado Salad

This recipe is a great starter or side-dish. The flavors are light and crisp, and the fact that you can prepare this dish in about 5 minutes makes it even more lovable. You see that post below this one for the Baked Fontina and Smoked Mozzarella? Yeah, I served this bad boy alongside that sizzling and savory dish. Can you say perfection? 🙂

Recipe:

2 cucumbers
1 cup diced tomato or cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup thinly diagonally sliced green onion or thinly sliced sweet onion (or more)
1 avocado (ripe)
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice (optional, for tossing with avocado)
about 1 T good-quality balsamic vinegar
about 1 T good-quality olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Chop up your cucumbers, tomatoes, onion and avocado and toss them in a salad bowl. Squeeze the lemon juice on top of your veggie mixer to prevent the avocado from browning – and who doesn’t like a little lemon flavor? I know I do! Next, drizzle your mixture with the vinegar and olive, season with salt and pepper. Enjoy!