Avocado Crema and Grilled Prawns

SNAP SUNDAYS.  I will explain where this idea came to be in a second.  I am sure I am not the only individual that feels like summer flies by.  From weddings/festivities to concerts and weekends out of town… there never seems to a free moment, especially with busy work days.  I have been sad that I have not been able to dedicate time to the blog (and all of you).  Well Andy being the loving and supportive man that he is came up with the idea for “snap” posts.

Quick picture.  Quick recipe.  Quick blog post.

I mean we live in a society that is always on the go and time is something we all could use a little extra of.  Snap Sundays might be my new favorite blog post day :)

Avocado Crema and Grilled Prawns

 

Avocado crema.  Also known as the poor man’s guac.  Let’s be real here, I wanted to make guacamole and did not have a few of the key ingredients.  Also, can you really find anything wrong with an avocado dip/spread/sauce of any kind…didn’t think so!  Grilled prawns are a summer favorite of mine and there is only so much grilled chicken, steak, or veggies a girl can eat.  These are a real treat :)

What’s your favorite, snappy recipe?  Also, snappy does not equal unappealing…presentation and plating make this recipe look like a fancy little hors d’oeuvres.

Avocado Crema and Grilled Prawns

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: less than 10 minutes
Servings: 20 shrimp appetizers

The Players:

For the avocado crema
2 large, ripe avocados
2 garlic cloves
1-inch piece of jalapeño
1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 2 limes
sea salt and pepper to taste

For the prawns
20 large or jumbo tail on shrimp, thawed and peeled
2 T butter

The Rules:

  1. Preheat the grill to 400F and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Place 4-5 shrimp per skewer.  (Note: I used metal skewers.  If using wooden skewers, soak in water for at least 30 minutes prior to grilling)
  3. Place shrimp on the grill and close cover.  Cook for 4-5 minutes, rub both sides with butter, then flip and grill other side for an additional 4 minutes.
  4. While the shrimp is cooking, place all ingredients for avocado crema in a food processor and pulse until smooth consistency.  Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
  5. Serve shrimp with the avocado crema as a dipping sauce.  (Note: I place 1 tsp of avocado crema in the base of a white soup spoon and topped with shrimp)

The Perfect Hard Boiled Egg. Every Time.

For all of my American friends out there, I hope everyone had a happy and safe 4th of July :o)  Filled with friends, family, and most importantly FOOD.

Holidays are the best excuse to indulge.  I am not judging.  BBQs and potlucks are my jam.  But I feel that my friends are constantly fighting the battle of healthy lifestyle choices and “cheat days”.  I really hate that phrase “cheat days.”  I do not think people should feel guilty about what they eat.  Life is always about balance.  The yin and the yang.  Food and nutrition also have that balance.  I try to eat healthier 75% of the time, work out at least 5 days/week, and enjoy my days off from the gym, as well as the guiltier foodie pleasures in life :)

Do I have it all figured out?  No.  But this past year I have become happier and more confident about my nutrition for the first time in my life.  One of my girlfriends mentioned to me that she hates how society thinks it’s okay shame fit people, when it would be wrong to fat shame.  I think that statement is so true.

So where do hard boiled eggs come into play?  Simply put they are one of my favorite snacks.

Protein-packed. Quick. Portable.

Hardboiled Egg

I buy two containers of eggs at the store each week and boil one for snacking on throughout the week.  I eat ~2 hard boiled eggs every day!  I tend to eat only a portion of the egg yolk because I am not too hot on the texture, but the entire egg is good for you :)  Whether you have it by itself, as a side, in a salad, or doused in stone ground mustard (my favorite way to enjoy a hard boiled egg)… your body will be happy!

For more fun facts the health benefits of hard boiled eggs visit right here!

For my ladies and gentleman feeling guilty about the food you ate this past weekend.  STOP.  Move forward.  Buy some eggs ;)

Hardboiled Egg

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Prep time: 1 minute
Cook time: 15-20 minutes
Servings: 12 eggs

The Players: 

Dozen large eggs (I use cage free eggs)
Water
1 t salt

The Rules: 

  1. Place eggs in a large stock pot.  Add water to stock pot until eggs are fully submerged and ~1/2 inch of water is above the eggs.  Add salt.
  2. Over high heat, bring water to a boil.  Place lid on pot and remove from burner. Set aside for 15 minutes.
  3. After 15 minutes, run the eggs under cold water until cool to touch.  Store in the refrigerator or peel eggs ahead of time and store in air-tight containers in refrigerator.
  4. To peel the eggs: With your palm, press firmly against the egg on a flat surface and break the shell in multiple places while rolling around.  Run under cold water and remove pieces of the shell.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Happy Solstice everyone :)  I don’t know if you realized, but yesterday was the longest day of the year?!?!  I find it odd that the longest day of the year is actually earlier on in the summer, but I’m not complaining.  I love summer and Seattle is getting longer, warmer days each year that I live here.  Seriously, the sun sets after 9 pm and we are experiencing highs in the 90s BEFORE “the official” start of summer in Seattle (aka 4th of July weekend).

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Fremont, which is undoubtedly the quirkiest neighborhood in Seattle, and also refers to itself as, “The Center of the Universe” throws a fair for Solstice.  There is even a parade and this may be one of the most free-spirited parade routes in the country…it starts off with naked, body-painted, cyclists.   If that doesn’t welcome summer, I don’t know what does.  We kicked off the weekend with a mimosa brunch, build your own breakfast burrito bar, and spent the afternoon watching the parade festivities.  Andrew and I were lucky to be a part of a friend’s proposal later that night and continued celebrating into the evening.  Talk about  making the most of a long day!

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Today, the day after Solstice, is all about relaxing and some meal prep for the week ahead.  Quinoa salads are a great, healthy, easy, and versatile recipe to throw into your meal planning routine.  With all the warm weather, there is so much yummy produce, and a light salad is one of my favorite work lunches :)  This is a twist on one of my favorite Bosnian dishes –šopska salata (Shopska Salad).

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

This salad is a staple in many Balkan countries.   Traditionally, the salad is comprised of tomatoes, cucumbers, garlic, peppers, onion, feta, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and salt.  Here in the U.S. it is difficult to find the green peppers that are custom to The Balkans, so I omit the peppers because bell peppers just don’t taste the same.  The quinoa and beans are great protein boost and the I love to change up the flavor by adding whatever fresh herb I have on-hand.  Today it was rosemary, but basil and parsley work nicely too.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

I decided to have some fun with the pictures for this post and get a lil’ fancy since the rest of my day has been pretty casual ;)  I hope you all had a happy, safe Solstice and are excited for the rest of summer!

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8-10

The Players: 

For the salad
1 C dry quinoa
1 1/2 C water
1/2 hothouse cucumber, sliced and quartered (~1 1/2 C)
1 C cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 red onion, diced (~1 C)
16 oz can 50% reduced sodium garbanzo bean, drained and rinsed

For the dressing 
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 T minced rosemary
1/2 C feta cheese
2 T extra virgin olive oil
3 T white balsamic vinegar
sea salt and cracked pepper to taste

The Rules: 

  1. For the quinoa: Place quinoa and water in a medium stock pot and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce to low heat, place lid on pot, and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.  Remove from heat, fluff quinoa, and replace lid for an additional 5 minutes.
  2. While the quinoa is cooking, prepare your veggies and place in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Once quinoa is cooked, transfer to the mixing bowl, and add dressing ingredients.  Toss well to combine.  Adjust seasonings to taste.
  4. Place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and allow the flavors to enhance.  Serve cold.

Death by Chocolate Banana Bread

I’m going to get real deep here for a second.  I’m going to ask a question(s) that most females ask at least once in their life.  Where do all the bobby pins, hair ties, chapsticks, and mismatched socks of the world end up??!?!?

Death by Chocolate Banana Bread

No. But seriously… I am convinced that there is a lost and found of just these items.  Not that I would want someone else’s hair accessory or used socks.  Or would I?  I always wonder about these misplaced items and then think to myself, “not this time little bobby pin, I will not lose you.”  Without fail, fast forward to me purchasing another package of bobby pins :/

Death by Chocolate Banana Bread

Now with food, I wonder what do people do with the overly ripe produce?  I grew up NEVER being allowed to waste food.   I am thankful that my parents made me appreciate and respect the food that we had in our kitchen.  There are starving individuals around the world and I think too many people look at their produce drawer or fruit bowl and toss the food out.  Unless you have been living under a rock, you have enjoyed a slice of warm banana bread or a banana nut muffin of sorts.  This is what the world has decided the fate of overly ripe bananas should be.

Death by Chocolate Banana Bread

I am not here to argue fate.  But I think I might have just created a pretty fancy-fanc twist on banana bread.  My thought process:

I love chocolate.
I love brownies.
I love banana bread.   …

Whoa, I can make super chocolatey banana bread.  Per the usual, I tried to justify eating not one, but three different types of chocolate.  I decided, if I am eating chocolate, I should probably use healthy fats, unprocessed sugars, and limit the cereal grains.  The bananas bring a lot of moisture and natural sweetness to this bread and you really do not notice that coconut flour or coconut oil are substituting the usual butter and flour.

Death by Chocolate Banana Bread

Baked goods you can feel a little less guilty about.  That is my kind of treat!  Now that I have found yet another use of my brown bananas, I guess I should work on a solution for the other lost items ;)

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Servings: 16 bars

The Players: 

3 ripe bananas
1 egg
1 t vanilla extract
1/4 C coconut oil, melted
1/4 C light agave syrup (alternatively honey or maple syrup)

Dry ingredients
1/2 C coconut flour
1/2 C hemp seeds (alternatively hemp hearts)
1/2 C dark cocoa powder
1 t baking soda
1 C dark chocolate chips
1/4 C cocoa nibs

The Rules: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease 9×9 baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine bananas, egg, vanilla, coconut oil, and agave syrup using a hand/stand mixer.
  3. Add dry ingredients, except cocoa nibs, to the bowl and incorporate into wet ingredients.  Do not over-mix.
  4. Pour batter into baking pan and spread evenly with spatula.  Sprinkle cocoa nibs over batter and press down gently with hand.  Bake at 350F for 30 minutes, then turn off oven and continue baking for 5 additional minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before slicing.

Paleo Coconut Banana Muffins

I apologize.  I took a blog hiatus.  I cooked up a storm and played with recipes, but the one thing I have learned about blogging is…not to post something just to have content.  I share recipes because I am proud of them, think they taste good, and hope you enjoy them too!  I missed sharing stories and taking pretty food photos.  It feels so good to be back on the blog :)

Paleo Coconut Banana Muffins

We have been SO BUSY.  I do not know if anyone else feels this way, but every week I think to myself next month will be more relaxing.  Less packed with activities and somehow when I look at our calendar I notice that we have only 3 free weekends in the next 4 months!!!  How does that even happen???  (Answer: Everyone you know if getting married.)  I honestly should not even complain, because Andrew will tell me I need to stop planning.  He says all I do is plan and organize.  With a packed calendar, you have to plan!

Paleo Coconut Banana Muffins

One good thing about being a “forever planner”  = I am always trying to create recipes that my family and friends can enjoy.  Andrew’s brother is one of those super successful, athletic, motivated people…ugh I know…you want to hate them ;)  Well not only does he dabble in real estate, but he gets to jet-set since he’s a pilot.  He doesn’t let his busy, unpredictable schedule stop him from doing cross-fit work outs or sticking to a primal diet.  Now I am not a primal or paleo guru, but I am always curious about the diets/routines people take on and how to dream up delicious treats that they can enjoy.

Paleo Coconut Banana Muffins

The story of my paleo coconut banana muffins starts there.  Andrew’s brother told me about a friend of his who owns a paleo bakery in Florida.  I was instantly curious and decided that if someone can have an entire bakery dedicated to this lifestyle, I should be able to execute at least one baked good.  Oh yes, I am pretty determined (errr slightly competitive).

No processed sugar
No dairy
No grains
LOTS OF FLAVOR.

Paleo Coconut Banana Muffins

I brought these muffins to our softball game last night and I received the highest praise.  One of the girls told me that my banana muffins taste exactly like her grandmother’s banana bread.  (My inner amateur baker is doing somersaults)  She requested the recipe to re-create the treat for her family.  If that is not a good review, I don’t know what is?!?  After that stamp of approval, I am so excited to share these moist, dense, muffins with you all.

P.s. please share your favorite paleo/primal baked treat.  I would love to try it out.

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Servings: 12 muffins

The Players: 

2 ripe bananas, mashed
2 eggs
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 C coconut cream
1/4 C coconut oil
1/4 C natural sweetener (I used honey)
1/2 C coconut flour
1/2 C unsweetened coconut flakes
1/4 t salt
1/2 t baking soda

Optional toppings: banana chips, coconut flakes, peanut butter

The Rules: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and line muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  2. Place all the wet ingredients, including bananas, in a medium mixing bowl and use a hand mixer to combine.
  3. Add all dry ingredients to the bowl and mix until well-incorporated; do not over mix.
  4. Divide batter among muffin tins, filling ~3/4 full.  Optional, top each muffin with a dried banana chip or additional coconut flakes and press topping into the batter.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Allow muffin to cool in muffin tin.  Serve warm or store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.