Foodie Friday

Good Friday!  This week I’ve enjoyed being back in my kitchen and doing what I love- cooking up new dishes!  I took a sugar-free and alcohol-free challenge with some friends in an effort to detox post marathon and eating my way through the city of Paris. The indulgence on that trip was well worth it, but it feels good to fueling my body with some healthy food and plenty of water, rather than wine :).  So far so good, although last night, I was close to breaking down and enjoying a glass 🙂

To kick-start the week, I cooked up a great big pot of my Fat Flushing Veggie Soup.  And to curb off and cravings, I whipped up this delicious chocolate pudding with, you’ve got it, NO sugar!  NO kidding!  Let’s just say, it can be called heaven in a bowl.  And this is from a gal who doesn’t even really enjoy chocolate!  I do enjoy dates and cacao nibs, so really, that’s what sells me on this little dish.  I served it up over a cut up banana. To. Die. For.  The avocado adds a whipped consistency, similar to a mousse.

Chocolate Pudding: 
1/2 cup dates (soaked in water for 20 min)
1 avocado
2 tablespoons cacao powder
1 tablespoon cacao nibs
1 tablespoon agave necter
1 teaspoon vanilla

Put all ingredients into blender or food processor and mix- add soaking water to facilitate blending. Chill in fridge for 1 hour before serving.

photo-7

 

And finally, the BIG hit of the week…

OMG Artichoke Lemon Pesto “Lasagna”

photo 1

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons cooking fat (butter, olive oil, coconut oil, etc.)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed in small pieces
  • ½ yellow sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 cup mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 12-15 artichoke hearts, cut in half (I used jarred & quartered artichoke hearts)
  • ⅓ cup almonds
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 4-5 tablespoons olive oil (add more for a more runny pesto) (I added in some lemon EVOO for extra taste)
  • 4-5 tablespoons vegetable broth (add more for a more runny pesto)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup fresh parsley
  • ½ cup fresh basil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • grain-free coconut flour crepes
  • 1-2 cup freshly shredded raw cheese (I used a dairy free variety of provolone and swiss because that’s what I had on hand)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8×8 glass baking dish.
  2. Place a large pan over medium-high heat. Add cooking fat and garlic cloves. Once garlic becomes fragrant, add cubed chicken and onion to the pan and cook until cooked through and no pink remains. Once chicken is almost done cooking, add mushrooms to cook for just a minute or so.
  3. Remove mixture from pan and place in a bowl and set aside.

photo 24. Place the large pan back over medium-high heat and add the halved artichokes and let cook until slightly browned and tender on all sides.

5. Once artichokes are browned, add them to a food processor along with the almonds, garlic clove, olive oil, and vegetable broth. Puree until smooth.

6. Then add the parsley, basil, and lemon. Puree once more until smooth. Taste and add more lemon to your preference. If you want a more runny pesto consistency, add more olive oil and vegetable broth at this point.

photo 37. Once pesto is done pureeing, add the pesto to the bowl full of chicken and mix well.

8. Now line the bottom of the baking dish with crepes.

photo 49. Add a place spoonful of the chicken mixture and spread out, then sprinkle with shredded cheese on top. Then another layer of crepes, chicken, and cheese. The top layer should be crepes, topped with the last of the chicken mixture and some extra cheese on top.

photo 510. Cover the dish with foil and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Then remove the foil and let sit under the boiler for 2-3 minutes until the cheese bubbles and browns.

11. Remove from oven, lightly cover with foil to help keep warm and let rest for about 5 minutes before slicing.

photo 2

 

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