Dinner and Dessert
First let me say, I am not a food photographer, a chef, a dietitian, a nutritionist or any other sort of professional who is educated to take pretty food pictures or provide sound nutritional advice. I just know what I like and on occasion will cook. What I am sharing are two really great recipes I cooked for dinner last night.
Let’s start with dessert shall we. – Five ingredient almond butter cookies – gluten free and vegan.
This cookie recipe is taken from my own knowledge of cookies, and a few tweaks on recipes online.
Preheat oven to 350
1/2 cup almond butter…
1 cup almond flour
1/4 coconut nectar* (you can use maple syrup)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Dash of salt
Chocolate chips (optional) to make it vegan I used Enjoy Life dark chocolate chips. They are dairy free.
Add the almond flour, salt and baking soda in a food processor and blend
Then add the almond butter and coconut nectar. (Here I added two tablespoons of coconut oil, but it’s not necessary)
Blend into a dough like batter. Move into bowl and add chocolate chips if wanted. I used a spoon to scoop up the dough and make into balls. Like you would meatballs. While in hand flatten and then place on parchment lined baking sheet
I baked mine for 12 minutes. Baking time depends on the thickness of the cookie.
These are delicious. They are not as moist as traditional cookies, but the flavor is so rich and decadent. You will love these.
*What is coconut nectar? I had the same question. It’s a delicious alternative sweetener that is a cross between maple syrup and molasses. It’s rich, yummy, and I have been known to drink it right out of the container. I found my coconut nectar at my local health food store.
Is it healthier than sugar? Anything is healthier than plain white processed sugar, but what makes coconut nectar better:
The Glycemic Index (GI) is the standard measurement used to rank how fast blood sugar levels rise after we drink or eat a particular type of beverage or food over a 2-3 hour period of time. Concentrated sweeteners naturally have a higher GI compared to other foods.
Sugars that are released slowly into the bloodstream are low glycemic in nature and the most beneficial to consume on a regular basis. Raw coconut nectar is one of these sweeteners. It not only contains low amounts of glucose, sucrose and fructose (about 10%) but it is also high in the polysaccharide inulin, a prebiotic fiber that aids in the process of digestion. (Lifted right off the website – http://www.superfoods-for-superhealth.com/raw-coconut-nectar.html)
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Now on to dinner – Stuffed Butternut Squash
Sounds kind of boring maybe, but I added two ingredients that made it out of this world! Really! I have made stuffed butternut squash several times, but the addition of the black truffle sea salt and duck fat, made it so deelish and added a level of decadence. The great thing about these two products is you don’t have to add a lot to get the most bang for your buck.
Before we go on to the recipe why did I chose duck fat and black truffle sea salt. I watched a nine part series called The Thyroid Secret, about the health of our thyroids. In one of the episodes they were cooking with duck fat and the black truffle sea salt, and the way the two women talked about how good it smelled, I just had to try it. I mean seriously, it was like they were in the midst of sex, as they talked about these ingredients.
And my gal pal Angelique of Famously Paleo swears by duck fat.
Where can you find these two ingredients? I imagine at most health food stores. However at the bottom of this recipe I will tell you where I found mine!
Stuffed Butternut Squash
1 butternut squash
2 Teaspoons duck fat
Black truffle sea salt
½ medium onion (diced)
l pound of whatever meat you want to use. (I used breakfast sausage in this recipe because I am using what isn’t stuffed into the squash for breakfast)
Your favorite roasting vegetables. For this recipe I used cauliflower and Brussel sprouts. You can use broccoli, carrots, sweet potatoes, parsnips. You can also use spinach and kale, if you choose. Just whatever is in your fridge.)
I cut the butternut squash like the photo below, because I am only using the bottom of the squash, the part that looks like a bowl. However, I did not peel mine. I left the other part on. It’s okay you can do that.
Place the two bottom bowl shaped pieces of the butternut squash in a pan and sprinkle with the black truffle sea salt, and pepper. The sea salt is going to be pretty flavorful, so a little sprinkle will do ya!
Roast for about 30 minutes or until soft when pricked with a fork.
While the squash is roasting, cook the meat. When the meat is finished, take out of pan and set aside. Use the same pan to cook the veggies you decided on. Before you place your onion and veggies in the pan, add the duck fat. The place the veggies in the pan, give them a couple of minutes of tossing, place lid on top, lower heat and let them steam.
When the squash is finished take out of oven. Combine the meat and veggies and stuff the squash. I added a sprinkle of feta cheese to mine, but that is optional. Place the stuffed squash in oven and bake for about 10 minutes.
Here is a photo of my stuffed butternut squash.
Where did I get my black truffle sea salt and duck fat?
From Thrive Market. I order from this place a lot and love their product selection and prices. If you order $49 the deliver free and if you order $59 they send you free products. The membership is $59 a year and if you sign up they donate a free membership to a low-income family. If you sign up with this link they give me $25. SWEEET!
If you tried the recipes, please share in the comments! I would love to hear.