Frozen Greek Yogurt Bark by Summer

It’s a lovely 106 degree day in sunny California. I’m craving something a little sweet and savory, something on the healthier side (obvi) since you know, bikini season.

I glance around the kitchen and see the bowl full of fresh zucchini I just procured, mmmm… zucchini bread would do the trick but there is no FREAKING way I am going to turn the oven on in this heat.

I rummage around the fridge and pull out the following: plain greek yogurt, blueberries and I grab the granola from the cabinet. I guess I’ll just make a dumb old parfait.

I know what you’re thinking, “thats the best you can come up with? Where is your creativity? Where is the inspiration?” Well I’ll tell you where it is, burned up by this scorching heat!

Then it hit me, why don’t I turn this dumb parfait into a frozen treat! Feeling motivated I grab the raspberry infused honey I picked up from my local farmers market (yes it is as delicious as it sounds), some vanilla extract, some walnuts and what the hell some chocolate chunks too. What I concocted next is a slightly sweet, a little savory, and definitely crunchy frozen treat that you can eat and not feel guilty about. So without further ado… here is my Frozen Parfait Bark recipe.

*as always the measurements are pretty much a guess-timate Continue reading “Frozen Greek Yogurt Bark by Summer”

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Summer Recreates Chris Pratt’s Cucumber Egg Rolls #WHATSMYSNACK

I’m just a girl who loves food, making food and getting inspired by food I see on social media—especially when the food is being eaten by my favorite hero, the adorkably charming Chris Pratt. He has been posting his snacks on Instagram in a funny, tortured cause he has to get in shape kind of way, which I of course couldn’t help but watch. If you guys are not familiar with his little #WHATSMYSNACK videos then you need to go watch them like now. I’ll wait.

Now that you are all caught up with what I am talking about, the snacks he is posting actually look pretty tasty. I was drawn to the cucumber egg roll. Now I have no real idea what is in his but I figured I could recreate a version and make my own #WHATSMYSNACK.

Without further ado… Here is my Chris Pratt-inspired cucumber egg roll snack.

Continue reading “Summer Recreates Chris Pratt’s Cucumber Egg Rolls #WHATSMYSNACK”

Zingy Spring Salad: Easy, Quick and One of Summer’s Faves!

You ever have those moments when you are starving, want something quick and you really want it to be healthy? That is me. all.the.time. I know you know what I’m talking about.

Enter this refreshing, zingy salad. I honestly eat this more times than I like to admit. I usually always have the ingredients on hand, it takes like 5 minutes to make, it keeps me full and its even boyfriend approved. So with out further ado…

 

Zingy Spring Salad

Continue reading “Zingy Spring Salad: Easy, Quick and One of Summer’s Faves!”

Summer’s Sweet Potato Pancakes

Spring is in the air, which means St. Patty’s Day isn’t too far behind. Though I’m not huge on going out and drinking all the whiskey (my liver isn’t Irish, I can’t hang), I am a fan of hosting a little shindig at my place.

I was trying to think of yummy Irish treats to make that didn’t involve corned beef, ham or any other meat-related item. I also didn’t want to mess with any food coloring to turn things green. I wanted something savory and something I could eat with my hands. Oh, and leaning more towards the healthy side. I know, I didn’t make it easy on myself! Then it hit me. Potato pancakes! That’s an Irish tradition I can get behind. How do I make those healthy you ask? Well instead of a traditional potato I used a sweet one. I wanted to incorporate something green so I grabbed a Granny Smith apple. Hmmm… what else could I add to this concoction? I looked at my fruit/veggie basket and saw a sweet onion. That will work! Trust me, I know those things do not sound like they go together and at this point I was just winging it, but surprisingly enough they turned out AMAZING.

Continue reading “Summer’s Sweet Potato Pancakes”

Summer’s Roasted Pears with Cranberry Goat Cheese

Well we are officially half way through the holiday season, and I don’t know about you, but I have already eaten my weight in ALL the sweets and treats. (Which is pretty weird for me since most of the time I tend to lean more towards the savory). Anyhow, I have come to realize I have a very serious seasonal sweet tooth. What can I say, Christmas time is my jam! Since I am not going to give up all the yumminess, I decided to make a dish that leans a little more towards the healthier side. Roasted pears. Cranberry goat cheese stuffed roasted pears to be exact. I also realize that I post ALOT of stuffed recipes. I don’t know where my obsession with stuffing things comes from; I just know it tastes real, REAL good. So without further ado here is the recipe.

Roasted Pears with Cranberry Goat Cheese

4 medium sized pears (I used d’anjou)

Cinnamon

Cranberry goat cheese (I got mine at Trader Joe’s)

Walnuts, chopped

Honey

pears-ingredients

Preheat your oven to 375

Halve your pears and slice a little teeny bit off the back, so they lay flat in the pan.

how-to-cut-the-pears

Once you have done that take a spoon, any kind will do, (I used a sugar spoon) and scoop out the core of the pear to make a nice little bowl for the cheese.

pears-being-scooped

Sprinkle the pear with a generous amount of cinnamon. I wanted to also use some nutmeg, but I didn’t have any.

Once you have that done, take that same spoon and pop a hefty amount of the cheese into the middle of your pears.

pears-being-stuffed

Sprinkle the chopped walnuts (pecans are also an excellent option) and drizzle the honey. I probably put about a teaspoon of honey on each pear.

pearsin-the-pan

Pop those bad boys in the oven and cook for 25-30 minutes.

Once they are done, let them cool for a few minutes and serve.

Enjoy!

finished-pears

Summer’s Broccoli Tots

YASSSSS!! Fall is officially here!  The weather is finally not giving me a heat stroke, I can stomp aimlessly through piles of leaves, I can pretty much get pumpkin anything and football season has started. That means a copious amount of Sunday Fundays is about to go down!

Now I love a good football snack spread just as much as the next person. However, most snacks are fried and smothered with cheese. Like my favorite, tater tots. Since I know I am going to be attending a ton of Sunday Fundays, I cannot be eating all the fried food. ( I want to, but I can’t keep buying new jeans). So I decided to take matters into my own hands and make a healthy version of my fave, broccoli tots.

I used my cauliflower pizza crust recipe as inspiration, and I have to say what I came up with was freaking tasty AF. So if you want to get your snack on basically guilt free continue reading for my Broccoli Tot recipe.

*I give this disclaimer every time but just in case… I do not measure out anything. I just kind of eyeball it with these little bowls and they hold approximately one cup. 

ingredients

Broccoli Tots

Ingredients:

1 head of broccoli diced or Trader Joe’s Riced Broccoli

1/4 cup diced onion

1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese

1 egg

2/3 cup panko bread crumbs

1 tablespoon parsley, dried flakes or fresh

1 tablespoon paprika

Heaping tablespoon of cayenne (I like things a little spicy, if you prefer more mild use less)

Salt and pepper to taste

Put all seasonings in a small bowl

 

Preheat the oven to 400.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Blanche the broccoli in a pot of boiling water for 1 minute. Rinse the broccoli with cold water and let it sit while I prepping everything else.

After you’ve chopped your onions and grated the cheese, place the broccoli between a couple of paper towels and gently pressed to remove any excess water. (I didn’t take a pic of this cause, well, it wasn’t pretty)

Once you are done pressing the water out throw everything together in a bowl and mix well.

mix-it-together

Now you are ready to form your tots. I am not gonna lie, this was the most time-consuming part and if you don’t like getting stuff all up in your fingernails wear some gloves. Grab a little amount of the mixture on a spoon and squeezed it together in your hand until it forms a tot-esque shape. Place them on parchment lined baking sheet.

Once you form all your tots, throw them in the oven and let them cook for 25 minutes.

formed-tots

Place them on a tray/plate/whatever and serve with your fave condiment. I promise these will be a hit. Even my boyfriend liked them, and I usually have to trick him into eating broccoli.

broccoli-tots-finished

Enjoy!

me-eating-tot

Summer’s Roasted Figs

me eating figFigs. They are everywhere. A Delicious little tear dropped fruits that are only available a few weeks out of the year. Just like Nordstrom’s half yearly sale or Victorias Secret semi-annual sale. No, I don’t have a shopping problem, I just like sales.

I’ve strayed…

I love me some figs. I’m not sure where my love for them stems from. It might be my middle eastern ethnicity, who knows. Regardless the reason, I stocked up. Like a lot. Like way too much. I needed to come up with a way to use them other than eating them like they are popcorn whilst on a Netflix binge. I thought about making jam but, to be honest, that just takes to long and I wasn’t feeling it. I peeped around my kitchen and found a few ingredients every food lover should have. Balsamic vinegar, butter, honey and goat cheese. Boom, I’ll make some roasted figs.

This recipe is seriously the easiest thing in the world to make. With prep and cooking time all together it took me about 20 minutes.

You should let them cool off before shoveling them into your face. Just a thought. You do you, though.

This is everything I used:

Stuffed Fig Ingredients

So I never measure anything. I pretty much eyeball it. These are 1 cup bowls if that helps at all.

fig wet ingredients

So throw all of this in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes until it thickens. While the glaze is cooking, preheat the oven to 400.

Cut your figs in half and top them with goat cheese.

Once the sauce/glaze is done drizzle over the cheese topped figs.

Figs halvedfigs with cheesefigs with cheese and glaze

Pop those bad boys in the oven and cook for 10-15 minutes. I did mine for about 12 cause I am impatient, they were still a little too firm for my liking.

figs finishedOnce cooked to your preference place them on a cute serving tray and enjoy!

I just want to point out that I burned the crap out of my mouth because I NEEDED to eat one right when it came out of the oven. So while I am smiling, know that I burned my taste buds off. SMH

Summer’s Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Avocado. The magical fruit chocked full of all the things that are good for you. What things would that be you ask?  Well let me give a brief rundown: they are full of healthy fats, high in vitamin C, they got more potassium than bananas and let us not forget about the fiber. Avocados are pretty much the superhero of the fruit world. Since I have been trying to find new ways to make my favorite part of the meal (that would be dessert) a little healthier I decided to give avocado pudding a try.

I gathered the following ingredients and concocted a pretty decent pudding.

mainingredients

Summer’s Avocado Pudding

Just a reminder I do not measure anything I just eyeball it and go by taste so the measurements listed are based off that. 

Coconut milk  1/4 cup and a splash (if you need it)

100% Raw Cacao Powder 1/4 cup

Vanilla Extract 2 tsp

Maple Syrup 1/4 to 1/2 cup (this is entirely up to you, the more syrup, the sweeter it is. Also you can add stevia or honey for a sweeter taste)

1 and 1/2 ripe avocado

ingredientsinbowl

Take all the ingredients and add to a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.

intheninja

Dish up into serving bowls, cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for a couple of hours.

Finished avocado pudding

When all done garnish and serve. I used fresh strawberries and shaved coconut. This is a basic recipe, and there are so many awesome things you can add. Peanut butter is a delicious choice, as is bananas. Play around. Don’t forget to share your thoughts in the comments below.

Enjoy!
meandpudding

Summer’s Peachy Coconut Cream Popsicles

Spring is in the air; the temperature is rising, and there is nothing better than a cold sweet treat to keep you cool. My favorite kind of treat is ice cream. I LOVE ice cream. Like I love it so much, I would marry it. Seriously, I wouldn’t even need a ring. The problem is ice cream is all about that dairy. At least, the flavorful, good ones are. Since dairy is pretty much my arch nemesis, I needed to find an alternative. Something a little healthier without sacrificing taste. Enter coconut cream. Fluffy and smooth just like a pillow. Now, I have used coconut cream for many things, yet for whatever reason it never dawned on me to use it for a delicious frozen treat until now.

I started rummaging around my kitchen and found the following in my cupboard and freezer.

FullSizeRender

It was a sign; I needed to make peaches n’ cream popsicles.

I kind of did everything by taste and eyeballing it… with that said here is an estimation of the actual ingredient measurements.

measurements

I like using maple syrup to sweeten things because it is healthier and vanilla extract is pretty much a no-brainer since it makes everything taste better. You can also use stevia or agave syrup.

I chopped up the frozen peaches so that they were more bite size.

I then put everything except for the peaches into a bowl and mixed it all up.

Mixing it

After that, I started spooning the delicious mixture into my nifty dollar store popsicle holders.

filling the container

After a few spoonfuls of the coconut mixture, I dropped a few pieces of peaches in and repeated the spooning, peach dropping process until the popsicle molds were full.

ready to freeze

Place the tops on and freeze overnight.

I was super excited to wake up and try out my delicious treat the next day. I’m not going to lie; they were a little tough to get out. (maybe I should have invested in popsicle molds that were more than a dollar) I had to let them sit on the counter for a couple of minutes to loosen up. I tell you what, though, they were worth the wait!!

me with popsicleThis recipe is totally customizable. I think strawberries, pineapple, kiwi would all be awesome choices as well.

Give them a try and let me know what y’all think in the comment section below!

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Summer’s Chocolate Caramel Swirl Bark

‘Tis the season for friends, family and parties! I love Christmas parties and I always want to show my appreciation to the host by giving a gift. I want to give something homemade but not a cookie, something sweet but not too sweet. Something you could enjoy with a big glass of adult grape juice … Enter the bark. Dark chocolate, swirled with white chocolate, laced with caramel dolce and sprinkled with sea salt bark. YUMMO!!

This bark hits all the right buttons, sweet, savory and easy to make. So bust out your mixing bowls, spatulas and lets get started!

*I got all of my ingredients at Trader Joe’s

bark ingredients

Chocolate Caramel Swirl Bark

1 Pound Plus Dark Chocolate bar
1 Bag of Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
1Bag of White Chocolate Chips
1/2 a Jar of Caramel Dolce Sauce

Break up the dark chocolate bar (I used half of it).
Place in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 2 minutes. stirring half way through.

Dark Chocolate

While the chocolate is melting cover a cookie sheet with wax paper.

remove the dark chocolate and stir until completely melted and smooth.

Place the the semi sweet chips in a bowl and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Remove and stir until completely melted.

Place the white chocolate chips in a bowl and repeat what you did with the semi sweet chip.

white choc swirlswhite choc swirls

While the white chocolate is melting spread the dark chocolate and semi sweet chocolate evenly onto the wax paper covered cookie sheet.

Remove the white chocolate from the microwave and stir until evenly melted. Plop spoonfuls of the white chocolate on top of the dark chocolate. Take a spatula and swirl through.

Scoop out half of the jar of Dulce de Leche and microwave just to soften for about 30 seconds. Plop the caramel by the spoonfuls onto the white, dark chocolate base and swirl through.

Carmel Sauce

Sprinkle with sea salt and place in the fridge until completely cooled (about 2 hours).

Break the bark up and enjoy!

Merry Christmas!!

me and bark

Summer’s Spooky Halloween Peppers

With Halloween only a few days a way I wanted to bring you a fun, healthy way to celebrate. Yes halloween is a day full of sweets and treats but that doesn’t mean we can’t get a little healthy option in there as well. Allow me to present to you Franken pepper and Jack-o-pepper. Basically they’re stuffed bell peppers with cute little faces carved into them.  You can celebrate in the festivities and maintain a clean diet with just a little bit of creativity. My recipe is just a guideline. You can add whatever you want to the filling. I like to keep mine grain free but if you like rice or quinoa add some freaking rice or quinoa.

me-and-peppers-e1446069336561

Here is my Halloween stuffed pepper recipe.

 

orange-and-green-pepper-e14461399126711 Orange pepper

1 Green pepper

1  Jalepeno, diced

1 Sweet Onion, diced

turkey-tomato-jalepeno-onion-e14460693689312 Tomatoes, diced

1 cup of mozzarella cheese, shredded

1 lb. of lean ground turkey

Olive oil

shredded-mozzarella-e1446069288991Salt, pepper, cayenne, garlic powder, to taste

1 mushroom, a few slices of red onion, a couple sprigs of brocolini (this is for your garnish)

Pre heat your oven to 350 degrees.

 

In a medium pan heat up your olive oil, add ground turkey and season. Once the turkey is no longer pink add your tomatoes, onions, jalepenos and season. Cook on low until onions are transparent and jalepenos are tender.pepper filling

While your filling is cooking take the tops of your peppers off, set them aside. Scrape out the seeds.

I used a small, sharp knife to cut out the faces of my peppers.orange pepper carvedgreen pepper carved

Sprinkle a little cheese inside the peppers.

Once the filling is cooked stuff the peppers all the way to the top. Make sure they are full.

Top them off with more cheese, place the pepper tops back, place them in a  shallow baking dish and place them in the oven. I cooked mine for about 25 minutes. I like my peppers to still be crisp when I bite into them. If you want your a little softer then leave them in a little longer.

While the peppers are baking heat up some olive oil in a small sautee pan and add your garnish veggies, salt and pepper them. Once they are cooked set them aside.

Pull your peppers out. place them on a plate and add your garnish. I used toothpicks to hold the mushrooms on Franken peppers neck. I rolled the sliced red onions up and placed them in his eyes. For Jack-o-pepper I just took the broccolini and placed it on top of his lid. And thats it. Voila halloween dinner is served.

Enjoy!

cooked peppers

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Lolli and Pop’s Halloween Treats (no tricks!) in Roseville, CA

summerOctober means only one thing to me: Halloween. Saying I love Halloween would be an understatement. It is by far my favorite holiday. You get to dress up, attend tons of parties (I host a party every year since my boyfriend’s birthday is on Halloween) you get to watch all the horror movies you want, and the candy. Oh, wonderful sweet treats to delight my taste buds. Now I know you are all thinking, “but Summer you are a health conscious blogger, you like to stay on the healthier side”. True, I do. I am also a big believer in everything in moderation. I would also like to mention I am picky about the treats I do consume as well as what treats I serve to others. Which is why I paid a visit to GOF favorite candy shop, Lolli and Pops. I knew that if I was going to “cheat” on my healthy meals I was going to do it with the best candy around.

Lolli and Pops
1151 Galleria Blvd (in Galleria mall), Roseville, CA 95678
http://lolliandpops.com

When I arrived at L&P, I instantly fell in love. It is set up like a boutique. Candy displayed on gorgeous authentic apothecary tables, pillars of jelly beans, cases of decadent truffles and rooms dedicated to specific candies like chocolate all the way to sours and gummies. It is everything a girl could ask for in a candy shop. I knew I would find all the perfect Halloween treats I needed. I met up with Chris, the guy in charge of this sweet operation. I told him what I was looking for, and then our journey began.

First up is the super awesome Harry Potter Cauldron. It is a magical mix of sweet treats perfectly put together to cast spells on your taste buds. Plus, you get a rad cauldron to use for decoration or to trick-or-treat with. No judgement on the big kids out there…
harry potter

If Harry Potter isn’t your thing, you can build your own treat jar in the shape of a skull. I loaded mine up with pear-flavored jelly beans, eye gumballs and gummy worms for brains. Seriously, this was fun to do. You can also bring your jar back and refill it for a small fee. Freaking awesome!!

build a skull

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, Chris showed me the truffles. I seriously couldn’t contain myself. I now know what the phrase “like a kid in a candy store” truly means. My favorites were the blood orange devil, the popping praline mummies and the toffee Frankenstein. Not only was the taste stellar but look at the detail. I mean come on!

truffles

truffles in a box
They wrap them all up in a pretty little box for you too!

Seriously if you want your Halloween party to be all that it can be head over to Lolli and Pops. They have all the spooky treats. Don’t forget if you are attending a party and need a hostess gift check out L& P’s chocolate body parts. There are skulls, spines, ears and brains. The perfect Halloween gifts.halloween gifts

Happy Halloween! Be sure to follow up on Instagram and Twitter @girlsonfoodblog

me and truffles