Cucumber Jalapeno Slaw

Seared coffee bbq flat iron steak w/slaw

Seared coffee bbq flat iron steak w/slaw

So last weekend was my birthday. It was probably the best birthday I've had in more than a decade. We rented an AirBnB in The Hamptons and took a small girls trip, just the 6 of us and our 4 pups. The weather was iffy but it was beautiful and we did nothing but relax, take in some fresh air, eat, drink, laugh til our faces hurt and cook up a storm in the huge kitchen. It was everything I needed to recharge and get back in the right headspace. BUT after a long weekend of gluttony, I was in need of a serious full body cleanse. Cue a whole lot of juice and sweat. I'll spare you the tired, cranky details. Just know it was worth it and I have new incentive to stay on track because I really don't want to do another 5 day cleanse in the near future. 

A quick fast forward to now and spring has finally sprung! The sun is out. The snow has melted. The birds are teasing the dog from the safety of the fire escape and the cars are all a lovely shade of yellow. If you know me, you know how much I love the sun and warm weather. And you know how much I love to open up all the windows, crank up the music and procrastinate life by retreating to my kitchen. This is especially true when I get back from a hard workout and busy morning only to realize that it's 3:30pm and the only thing I've eaten all day is a banana and a green juice...oooops. And then suddenly I'm ravenous, ready to shove whatever is in the fridge in my mouth regardless of what it is. BUT I just finished a juice cleanse and I don't want to do it again so instead I make the fastest thing I can think of with whatever ingredients I have in the fridge. This slaw was kind of an ad hoc addition to the steak because I was craving something cold and crunchy with my still bleeding chunk of cow. It also paired quite perfectly with the sweet, spicy, smokey of the Trader Joe's Smoked Coffee BBQ dry rub I used. So without further ado, I give you my Cucumber Jalapeno Slaw!

 

 

Avocado Pesto

Looking for an easy and healthy side dish for the impending gluttonous holiday season? Something to wow your coworkers at your annual potluck? Something to make you feel better about the overdoses of butter, gravy and tryptophan? Have no fear for avocado pesto is here! It’s great with Zoodles (my personal and incredibly versatile favorite) or tossed with veggies, used as a dip for chips or even regular pasta (I can only imagine on that one though).

 

Disclaimer: I make avocado pesto in bulk and then freeze it in condiment cups to always have some on hand so the recipe makes quite a bit. Ziplock makes these great little round Tupperware containers that are perfect for the job. Just thaw and toss with anything. I love it tossed with sautéed zoodles and mixed veggies topped with an over easy egg (the drippy yolk replaces the traditional cheese and mixed with the avocado makes that creamy texture you’re used to but still dairy free). And so without further ado…

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Banana Nut Muffins

I don’t even need to write a story or intro for this one. Banana nut muffins fit for all of the monkeys in your life, created by a goddess (my roommate’s words, not mine, as he grabbed another running out the door). You will not be disappointed. 

WINNER WINNER CHOCOLATE CAKE FOR DINNER

I come from a family where dessert is sacred and highly encouraged. My dad is known to regularly order dessert first and then again at the end of the meal if he still has room. I’ve been known to order two desserts when I can’t make a decision. There is however, one thing you must know about desserts for us. There is no sharing. Don’t bother taking one of those multiple spoons the unsuspecting waiter just dropped on the table with my plate. If you try to grab a taste of my decadent display of sugar and calories you very well might pull back a nub; a bloody puncture wound at the least. Basically, we’re savages who enjoy our food and have zero qualms about stabbing you with a fork. You’ve been warned.

Albeit an epic fail of dry tasteless cake, this was too pretty not to share and an example of the trying sacrifices I had to make in order to deliver the above cake. It was rough. Chocolaty trial after chocolaty trial. 

Needless to say, dessert is and always has been a rather important part of my foodie life and loves. The staples are crème brulee, chocolate mousse, tiramisu, anything with peanut butter and chocolate and of course chocolate cake (preference to titles that include the words death and/or a number 3+). So I have spent weeks testing chocolate cake recipes of every variety to fill my growing dessert void but it turns out that it is incredibly challenging to find a recipe is ‘great’ vs. ‘great for being grain/dairy free’ which is a distinction I find very important. I don’t think that we should have to settle for something that is mediocre but acceptable. If I don’t love what I’m eating, I’m not going to make it again; those are wasted calories that could be used for something far better that I enjoy eating.

After testing, tweaking and playing with upwards of 50 different recipes, I have hit the chocolaty sweet spot in an ooey gooey single serve microwave mug cake. It makes portion control much easier and you can go from nada to piping hot cake in less than five minutes assuming your competitive measuring skills are on point. So grab your own mug because I don't want to have to stab anyone today!