Tag Archives: blog

Sausage and Peppers

Peanut butter and jelly. Macaroni and cheese. Donuts and coffee. Okay, the donuts and coffee doesn’t necessarily fit the analogy, but I can always go for a donut when I have coffee it sort of counts. Classic pairings are sometimes even more delicious than getting ultra creative and trying hard in the kitchen. During today’s current reality (I REFUSE to say new normal, because nothing about this is normal, it’s our current reality and if things shift afterwards – hopefully they do – it will be our new reality), it’s damn near impossible to order groceries on whatever site you use, grab a delivery slot, and get everything you hoped for. Sometimes, we have make do with what we have, and that’s what sausage and peppers was for me.

I’m a purist when it comes to certain foods, and sausage is one of them. I’m not a huuuge turkey or chicken sausage fan, I just feel like the flavor in pork sausage tastes better, and it’s higher fat for a reason! Trader Joe’s makes an awesome pork and beef uncured sausage link pack that I am dying to grab again, when I am brave enough to venture to stores. I had a pack in the freezer and decided “THIS is a good time to take these out and make lunch with them.” I had also ordered several bell peppers from the previous week’s grocery delivery, so AHA!… let’s make sausage and peppers. I’d like to take a moment to settle a debate here too: I despise green peppers. There is no room for them at the table: they smell and taste like dirt and are super bitter. I prefer orange and yellow bell peppers and usually have them on hand.

Here’s what you’ll need for this super simple and tasty dish:

  • 1 pkg sausage (I’ll allow turkey or chicken substitutes here), sliced into small rounds
  • 2 medium peppers, julienned (sliced thin)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Your favorite spicy seasoning – I use a fajita mix or cajun mix, I would also use New Bae seasoning from Primal Palate, found here!

Start by heating a large sauté pan with the olive oil. Throw in the peppers and let them cook down until they begin to sweat and slightly brown, this will be around 5-7 minutes. Throw in the sliced sausage and sprinkle in your seasoning. Cook until the sides of the sausage are browned and the peppers are soft.

This dish is perfect on its own, over orzo pasta, paired with rice, or can be tossed with other roasted veggies. I will also say this stays well in the fridge so it’s a perfect stay-at-home meal prep for lunches. Enjoy!

Gluten Free/Dairy Free Cacao Cake Brownies

It’s snowing. We are halfway through the first month of the new decade and it’s snowing here in New York. It’s actually quite peaceful to watch the snow fall, sitting inside, enjoying the quiet with my husband and my dog, sipping some coffee and developing new recipes.

I’ve been obsessed with trying to bake more, and play in the kitchen on the weekends, although my back is pretty tense today, and I desperately need to clean the bathrooms. I’m also 31 weeks pregnant and currently this babe is the size of a head of romaine lettuce, which is not small. Nevertheless, I baked (and cooked) on and off since 10am this morning. I saw one of the amazing bakers I follow on Instagram make these delectable brownies, and decided I wanted to try making brownies myself. This particular recipe is on the cakier side than fudge, even though I do plan to try a “fudgie” (fudge brownie) in the near future. Personally, I prefer a cake-like brownie as they’re a little less sweet, dense, and I can cube leftovers up and make a brownie trifle.. *wipes drool from side of mouth* This recipe is gluten free and dairy free, employing the help of Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 gluten free baking flour and Chosen Foods avocado oil instead of butter.

Here’s what you’ll need for these brownies:

  • 1 cup Gluten Free Flour – I use Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 GF Flour found on Thrive Market
  • 3/4 cup cacao powder (or unsweetened chocolate powder)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil
  • 1/3 cup organic granulated sugar, or coconut sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

Preheat your oven to 375*. Spray or pre-grease an 8×8 baking pan and set aside. Take a medium sized bowl and crack three eggs in, and add in the sugar, vanilla extract, and avocado oil. Whisk together until combined.

Add in the flour, cacao powder, baking powder, salt, and whisk again. The batter should be fairly thick as these brownies will be cake-like. Pour into the greased pan and bake for 20m.

I had three of them today, and two of those I added a *large* dollop of whipped cream on top and OMG it was heaven. Perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner… forget dessert 🙂 NOMaste.

Easy Baked MAC (Mac-n-Cheese)

It’s the holiday season, and there’s nothing better than seeing family, friends, and eating a ton of different foods. It’s the third night of Hanukkah, and while I didn’t make latke’s this year (which you can find my recipe from last year here), I did toy around with something anyone celebrating any holiday would love, MAC AND CHEESE.

There are a ton of different ways to make mac and cheese (or as I simply call it MAC), and I usually start by making a roux. A roux is a base for sauces such as a cheese sauce: you take chopped onions and butter, sauté until fragrant and translucent, then add flour and it makes a paste. Then, you pour in some cream/milk/alternative to milk and stock, and bring to a boil. This will thicken; turn the heat off and layer in the shredded cheese until fully blended and combined. Yeah, this recipe is labeled EASY MAC for a reason, because we skip the roux step. We use four ingredients and it’s done in one pot. You heard me, ONE POT.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 lb or box of pasta – I used Banza’s wheel shaped pasta (this is a chickpea flour pasta and it is delicious – find it here)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp grass fed butter
  • 1 and 1/2 cups mixed shredded cheese – I used Organic valley cheddar, sharp cheddar, and mozzarella.
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Breadcrumbs – to top off prior to broil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Cook your preferred pasta to the desired doneness, since Banza is gluten free I cooked two minutes below the recommended time on the box as I prefer to have pasta more al dente. Strain and rinse.

Add back into the same pot and turn the heat onto medium. Pour in the milk and butter, stirring the pasta in and coating. Have patience here, the butter will take some time to melt. Sprinkle in the cheese a little at a time, stirring to combine frequently. Keep the heat between medium and low, so the cheese melts and coats all the pasta.

Set the oven to broil. Pour the MAC from the pot into an oven friendly casserole dish and sprinkle with breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese, plus a pinch more shredded cheese bc #yolo. Broil for three minutes, check after three because it can go from nicely brown to “OMG I BURNT IT” in a matter of minutes. Serve immediately and scarf down because this baby will go fast at your dinner table! NOMaste and Happy Holidays! <3

Almond Butter Collagen Muffins

Fall is in the air, everywhere you look around! (admit that you legit sang that song in your head as you read it…) It’s definitely crisper outside and as the seasons change and the leaves fall, my taste buds turn to all things apple and cinnamon and almond butter. Yep, you heard that right: ALMOND BUTTER. I have a very slight sensitivity to peanut butter and so I have to have PB in very small doses, however, bring on all the almond butter.

I went through several different brands, and finally fell in love with Barney Butter. Sure, there’s a little sugar in it, and it’s made with sustainable palm oil, and for me this is fine, as I don’t have globs of it at a time (although I really could if I didn’t control myself). I buy my Barney Butter on Thrive Market, an online grocer that takes out the middle-person and sells all their products at 30-50% off. Plus, you get free shipping if you purchase $49 worth of products. I SWEAR by Thrive Market, and have been a member since 2016. *click the banner on the right if you are interested in trying!*

With this particular muffin recipe, I decided to use just one large banana, two eggs, a small amount of sugar, and a scoop of Vital Proteins collagen powder. I am halfway through my pregnancy and am really trying hard to stay as healthy and active as I can (except for the occasional pizza and grilled cheese), so by adding a little extra collagen it gives me a boost with bone development and quality protein.

Here’s what you’ll need to make these babies (no pun on my actual bun in the oven…) **this recipe has been updated as of February 19th – with 4 weeks of pregnancy to go, these muffins will be made in batches to freeze and defrost as I am nursing**

  • 1 large ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
    • Coconut sugar is low on the glycemic index and is a great substitute for brown sugar and regular cane sugar. It is almost a 1:1 replacement.
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 tbsp almond butter (trust me, you’ll be able to taste the almond butter with this amount – otherwise it’s not as noticeable)
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
    • I prefer to bake with Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Baking Flour.
  • 1 scoop collagen powder (I use Vital Proteins)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt

Begin with adding the wet ingredients into a bowl (banana, coconut sugar, milk, eggs, almond butter). Whisk using a hand whisk or a hand blender (I use the KitchenAid hand blender and it works magic).

In the same bowl, add the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda, and collagen powder). Whisk together until just combined and let sit for 20 minutes. Letting the batter sit (as I’ve come to learn helps the mechanics of the ingredients meld together and the batter set). Preheat the oven as the batter sits.

Bake at 375° for 20-23 minutes. Serve with some grass fed butter, more nut butter, or even some hazelnut spread – NOMaste 🙂

Cinnamon Apple French Toast Bake

Ever have one of those moments where something comes to you in the middle of the night and you’re almost certain it’s going to work? That’s exactly how I felt when I thought of this French toast casserole, or bake. I have always loved french toast, but had a vision for making this into a bake and caramelize some of my favorite apples to go along with it.

I have fallen in love with apples all over again after I found these SweetTango apples from Whole Foods. They are super juicy, slightly tart, and the perfect amount of sweet. They resemble Gala apples pretty closely, but are not as sweet. As I caramelized them, they held up to the butter and brown sugar, and were very tender when they baked. I was quite pleased. What I also love about this particular French toast bake is that the ingredients are super simple.

Here’s what you’ll need: *edited as of May 17th 2020

  • 4 large eggs
    • I use Organic Valley for all my dairy products, and you can find out why by visiting their website here. They are one of the only farms I know that really lives up to their pasture-raised and organic mission and donate regularly to charities and causes.
  • 1 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1 loaf Challah bread, cut into cubes
  • 2 apples, diced into smaller chunks
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • Ground nutmeg*
  • Ground cloves*
  • Ground cinnamon*
    • *I actually used Primal Palate’s Apple Pie Spice for the apples as well as added a dash of it into the custard mixture.

Preheat the oven to 375* degrees. Begin with chopping and dicing the apples into smaller chunks. Take two tbsp of butter and melt into a large pan. Add the apples and toss/coat until all of the apples are coated with butter. Let sit and begin to soften on a medium heat. Add in spices and toss. Take 1/4 cup brown sugar (or coconut sugar) and add to the apples, this will help the apples brown and soften more. Lower the heat to simmer and set aside after 5 minutes. Be sure to check that the apples are not burning.

In the meantime, whisk the eggs and milk together, adding in the spices, vanilla, and maple syrup. You can let this sit as you cut the challah bread into smaller chunks. Using a baking pan or dish, assemble the diced brioche and pour the egg mixture into the challah, letting it soak up the egg and milk; make sure you coat all of the bread. Once the apples are done, layer the apples onto the bread and fill all open spaces with apples.

Take the remaining butter and brown sugar and whisk together (or by hand) to form a crumble. Sprinkle on top of the casserole as evenly as you can. Place the casserole in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until there is no bubbling and all the egg has cooked and set. Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche or whipped cream and you’ve got a delicious brunch treat! NOMaste 🙂

1 2 6