Tag Archives: Summer

Blueberry Lemon Bars

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Last weekend two of my dear friends in LA had a joint Birthday pool party so of course I had to bake something! My friend Boomer always requests anything with peanut butter and chocolate, so I decided to make this delicious peanut butter poundcake recipe I have into mini bundt cakes. Check it out here! Stacy doesn’t love chocolate so I wanted to make her own special birthday treat. I thought these blueberry lemon bars would be the perfect summer pool party snack. They were definitely a hit! unfortunately they are not gluten-free or primal…would love to have tried to adapt them but had no time with 5 out-of-town visitors all in the same weekend!!

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Blueberry Lemon Bars (Adapted from IMPROV Kitchen) (Difficulty-Easy; Makes ~2dozen bars)

For the Crust:
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter, at room temp.
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 1 1/2 c. flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
For the Filling:
  • 2 1/2 c. frozen blueberries thawed and drained of juice
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 2/3 c. lemon juice (juice from 2-3 lemons)
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
  • 3 ree-range organic egg whites
  • 1 free range organic egg
  • 2/3 c. flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 350º F. Line an 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper so you can easily lift the bars out once they’ve cooled. 
 
Make the crust: Cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer, then add the vanilla. Add flour until just incorporated. Place dough in baking pan and press with your hands until it evenly covers the bottom of the dish. Bake for 20 minutes until slightly golden brown. 
 
 
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Make the filling:  Add blueberries, sugar, egg whites, egg, lemon juice + zest, flour, and salt to a medium bowl and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into the crust (don’t worry, it’s a very loose mixture, it will thicken) and bake for 20-25 minutes depending on your oven and the sized baking dish you use. 
 
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Let cool to room temperature and then place in the refrigerator for 4 hours (or until they’ve cooled completely). You can place them in the freezer if you need them sooner but refrigerator is best. If you can wait overnight, that’s even better. Slice into bars and serve!
 
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Creamy Basil Zucchini “Pasta”

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I’ve made my share of spaghetti squash dishes in place of pasta which is so easy, but I had yet to do anything with zucchini since I didn’t have a spiralizer and was honestly too lazy to julienne zucchini noodles by hand. When I saw this recipe on Pinterest I decided it was time to invest in a veggie spiralizer and I am so glad I did! I bought this GEFU Spiralizer on Amazon and it is super easy to use and makes beautiful zucchini spirals. I definitely recommend it! I also recommend this creamy, raw, paleo dish to go with an Italian Summer meal. It went wonderfully with my Paleo Shrimp Scampi.

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Creamy Basil Zucchini Pasta (Courtesy of Running to the Kitchen) (Difficulty-Intermediate; Serves 4)

  • 4 small zucchini, ends trimmed and spiralized with a julienne peeler or spiralizer
  • 1 avocado
  • ½ an organic cucumber, chopped
  • juice of ½ a lemon
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons almond or coconut milk
  • about 8 leaves of organic basil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • halved cherry tomatoes for garnish

Place zucchini spirals in a large bowl. In a mini food processor, combine the remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Toss the zucchini with the avocado sauce until fully coated. Garnish with cherry tomatoes and basil leaves, season with more salt & pepper to taste.

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Basil Lime Chicken

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If you need a super quick and easy source of protein, this is your ticket (I even forgot to document the end result this was so quick)! Simply throw some chicken breast in this marinade overnight and toss it on a grill pan the next day and you’ve got a versatile stash of flavorful protein. I added it cold to an arugula salad with chipotle lime ranch dressing and it was a delicious and satisfying lunch for work! You can also eat it over quinoa and grilled veggies, on its own as a snack, or any other way you can dream up. This marinade is packed with flavor and keeps the chicken perfectly tender and juicy.

Basil Lime Chicken (Adapted from Goodness Gracious) (Difficulty-Easy; Serves 4)

  • 2 lbs. organic free-range chicken breasts
  • 2 organic limes, juiced and zested
  • 4 organic scallions, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped basil
  • 1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. organic mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. liquid aminos (or soy sauce)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Combine the zest and juice of 2 limes, Olive Oil, Mustard, Worcestershire, liquid aminos or soy sauce, green onions, garlic, and  salt and pepper and mix well. Trim and cut chicken into even cutlets and place in a tupperware container. Pour marinade over the chicken and marinate for 1 hour or overnight. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat and brush lightly with olive oil. Place chicken on grill and sear 3-4 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Remove from grill and let rest a few minutes before serving.

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Nutty Fig Toasts

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It was time for the Thursday night pier concert again!! And I had leftover figs to make this perfectly salty and sweet (non-primal, gluten-filled SORRY) snack for our beach picnic. And when I read the description of the Found Object Syrah at Trader Joes with notes of fig and vanilla I obviously had to get it to go along–it was too perfect not to. While this dish is certainly full of grains, it makes a great appetizer or not-so-sweet dessert for guests if you’re feeling like you want a little glutenous (or gluttonous ;)) treat in your life.

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Nutty Fig Toasts (Adapted from Food Network Magazine) (Difficulty-Easy; Serves 4-6)

  • 8 to 10 fresh figs, halved
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 c. unsalted almond butter
  • 1/2 c. raw hazelnuts 
  • 1 Tbsp. organic virgin coconut oil
  • 1/2 c.cottage cheese
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp. honey, plus more for drizzling
  • Toasted multigrain bread, for serving

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Toss the figs with the olive oil and a pinch of salt in a baking dish. Roast until soft, about 12-15 minutes.

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Meanwhile, puree the almond butter, hazelnuts, coconut oil and 1/2 tsp. sea salt in a food processor until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the cottage cheese, honey and cinnamon and pulse until combined, about 1 minute.

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Spread the ricotta mixture on the bread and top with the roasted figs. Drizzle with honey and top with chopped nuts.

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Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/nutty-fig-toasts-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback

Chocolate & Olive Oil Fig Cakes

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I have been holding onto this recipe since last summer and I am so glad I finally got around to making it! The fig season is so short that by the time I went to make it last year, I couldn’t find fresh figs anywhere. So do yourself a favor and try this while you still can. Fresh figs are like a completely different food than their dried counterpart that we usually find in salads. Don’t get me wrong I love dried figs too, but fresh figs are a summer delicacy to savour! Their sweet juicy flesh pairs perfectly with the rich chocolate and olive oil in the cake. And the sea salt and fresh ground pepper in the chocolate topping perfectly finish off this decadent treat. I know what you’re thinking…ground black pepper on chocolate cake?!? Believe me! It heightens the lemon zest and pairs with the sea salt to balance the chocolate, olive oil, and figs. Chocolate Perfection! A great Italian dessert to follow up my Salmon Florentine.

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Chocolate & Olive Oil Fig Cakes (Adapted from Food Network Magazine) (Difficulty-Intermediate; Makes 6-7 mini cakes)

For the cakes:

  • 1/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the pan
  • 1 c. almond meal, plus more for dusting
  • 1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/3 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/3 c. raw honey
  • 1 large cage-free organic egg plus 1 yolk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • 3-6 fresh figs, halved

For the glaze:

  • 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Large pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper, plus more for topping

Make the cakes: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Make the cakes: Brush a 6-cup muffin pan (I used a mini bundt pan) with olive oil and dust with almond meal. Whisk the cocoa powder and 1/4 cup hot water in a small bowl; let cool slightly. Combine the almond meal, salt and baking soda in another bowl.

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Combine the honey, egg and egg yolk, vanilla and lemon zest in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on medium-high speed until pale and slightly thick, about 2 minutes. With the mixer running, drizzle in the olive oil. Add the cocoa mixture and beat until combined. Reduce the mixer speed to low, add the almond meal mixture and beat until just incorporated.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups. Bake 8 minutes, then top each cake with a fig half and continue baking until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs, 8 to 10 more minutes. Let cool in the pan on a rack, 20 minutes. Remove the cakes from the pan and let cool completely on the rack.

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Make the glaze: Place a small saucepan of water on the stove to boil, then turn off the heat. Put the chocolate, honey, olive oil, salt and pepper in a metal bowl and place over boiling water, stirring, until smooth.

Top the cakes with the glaze and more fresh ground pepper. You can add additional fig slices to the top of the glaze if desired.

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