Five Thanksgiving Foods to MAKE AHEAD (like, this weekend!)

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It’s Friday and Thanksgiving is THURSDAY!

This means that it’s time to start prepping how you can LOVE ON some folks next week.

I’ve researched, I’ve listed, and I believe I have compiled (and explained- check out my FULL You Tube video below!) FIVE dishes YOU can make ahead of time to ORGANIZE your week so it’s fun and fabulous and focused around those beautiful friends at your table (and you aren’t having a come-apart at the workload).



The easiest way for me to organize things (and maintain my sanity) is to list it out. HUGE shout out to these articles by Williams Sonoma, The Kitchn, and Ree Drummond for being AMAZING resources for this list.

Here are my TOP FIVE THANKSGIVING FOODS TO MAKE AHEAD:

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  1. Pie crust! Go ahead and make that homemade pie crust! All you have to do is put it together by hand, fork, or the food processor; form it into a disc, wrap it with freezer wrap or aluminum foil, and freeze it. OR you can form the dough into your pie pan, wrap it tight in aluminum foil, and freeze it. OR you can make your pie ahead of time (dough + filling) and freeze it as a whole shebang! Then defrost the pie for a few ours and put it in the oven to bake.

(Click here for the ultimate pie crust from Abby Jone’s rosemary pear and bourbon caramel pie)

**Bonus points for making it today, you have earned a MVP trophy already.

2. Mashed Potatoes! Did y’all know that the fat in dairy  actually protects your favorite mashed potatoes in the freezer? So use ALL the cream and butter you normally would to make sure your potatoes freeze well. In fact, if you only use broth, they probably won’t last. So, make your favorite recipe, let them cool, then put them in a freezer safe bag, smoothed out and laid flat. This article by The Kitchn does an amazing job explaining the process!!

3. Homemade ROLLLS!! Being honest, normally if I was having people over I would not be serving homemade rolls. BUT for Thanksgiving, I love these small homemade touches to a meal that make people feel like it’s a grand event. To me, homemade rolls qualify! All you need to do is make your roll dough, let it rise, form it into rolls, then place them on a baking sheet and pop them directly into the freezer. They should last a month! Love these Soft and Tender Dinner Rolls!

Cranberry-Turkey-Sweet-Potatoes-54. Cranberry Sauce! The beautiful thing about cranberry sauce is that you it tastes even better and I believe may get more jiggly over time. So either go ahead and keep it in the fridge (covered) for a few days, OR put it in the freezer and give it a day to dethaw.

This amazing casserole by Light in the Loft House looks incredible!
This amazing casserole by Light in the Loft House looks incredible!

5. Green Bean Casserole! You can go ahead and make the base of your casserole, then pour it into your baking pan and put it in the fridge, covered with foil. You can keep it in the fridge for three days. Wait to top it with crispy onions until you are ready to bake! I dig this The Best Green Bean Casserole by Light in the Loft House!

Happy weekend prepping lovelies!-C

Chocolate Pumpkin Waffles with Heath Bar

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PUMPKIN WAFFLES!!!

Thanksgiving is officially upon us (as in NINE days away) so I thought it would be super cool to post some creative recipes that put a fun spin on the traditional pumpkin and sweet potato sides we are all used to.

Let’s start with this coconut sweet potato soup with chickpeas. To this day, this is still one of my worst food styling stories EVER, but the recipe itself is super delicious (just try not to spill it all on your neighbor’s front door.)

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Then there are these waffles. Oh. My. GRACIOUS! They would be AWESOME for a pre-Thanksgiving breakfast, next day treat, or just all around holiday winner.

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I’d also like to give a HUGE shout-out to the wonderful Stephanie Mullins for these incredible photos. She is oh-so-talented and I loved spending my morning with her, watching her work.

Without further ado-

Chocolate Sweet Potato Waffles with Heath Bar*

These waffles come together easily, and feature the fiber and satisfying nature of whole wheat flour and pumpkin puree. Serve with additional maple syrup and heath bar for topping for a super holiday treat. 

What You Will Need:

  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dark chocolate almond milk
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 (15 ounce can) can pumpkin purée
  • 2 tablespoons heath bar, plus more for topping (or chocolate bar crumbles of choice)

What You Will Do:

  1. Preheat a waffle iron to the medium high heat setting.
  2. Whisk together flour, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together almond milk, coconut oil, vanilla, maple syrup, eggs, and pumpkin puree until smooth and combined.
  4. Pour wet mixture into dry and stir gently, just until combined. Stir in health bar.
  5. Pour batter by 1/4  to 1/3 cup spoonfuls into waffle iron. Cook for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until waffles are browned and cooked through.
  6. Serve with additional Heath bar for topping and drizzle with maple syrup. Happy Thanksgiving!

 

*Also, y’all, this is so embarrassing. I know that I got this recipe inspiration online but I can’t remember WHERE!! If this looks similar to your recipe for chocolate sweet potato waffles, please email me! Love y’al!

Salted Caramel Apple Almond Bars + Almond Pesto

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It’s literally NOVEMBER 10.

November 10?! How did time FLY past this year? So quickly, so steadily. And here we are, marching towards Thanksgiving.

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Since I know all of you most likely have food on the brain, these next couple weeks we will be highlighting recipes- and ingredients- that I think would be a FAB fit for your Thanksgiving table.

This week, we are all about some almonds! Almonds are not only full of healthy fats, protein, and magnesium, they are a super tasty way to add both a sweet and savory element to your Thanksgiving meal planning.

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On the sweet side, these salted caramel almond bars are perfect for a pre-meal snack, or post-Thanksgiving dessert. They are perfect for everyone from your little one to your oldest guest in attendance. And, you can even crumble them up and use them atop roasted apples or creamy ice cream.

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And for your savory needs, this sun dried tomato almond pesto was SO addictive that both Jake and I could not. stop. eating. it. And not only does it work for spaghetti squash, it’s a perfect add-in for a pasta salad or used as a sauce for a leftover turkey pizza.

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So, my lovelies. Here’s to a month full of JOY, celebration, and all the fun and fabulous recipes that will make your holiday table special.  And as always, we are so grateful to partner with Birmingham magazine on these recipes.

Happy Friday!

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Salted Caramel Almond Bars
These no-bake, easy-to-assemble oat bars are packed with healthy ingredients, and the addition of salted caramel sauce adds a buttery, sweet richness just decadent enough for even the pickiest eater. A surprise hint of cardamom will leave your friends and family guessing the secret ingredient–and wanting another bar!
Yield: 9 bars

What You Will Need:

  • 1 cup dried apple chips, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup store-bought salted caramel sauce
  • 2/3 cup old fashioned oats
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 cup toasted coconut chips, caramel sea salt flavor
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup roasted, salted, seeded sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • Flaky sea salt, for topping

What You Will Do:

  1. Grease an 8-by-8-inch baking dish and spray a rubber spatula with cooking spray.
  2. Use greased rubber spatula to stir all ingredients (except sea salt) together in large bowl. Once the mixture comes together, is easy to stir, and all ingredients are fully covered in caramel, it’s ready to spread. Top with flaky sea salt.
  3. Spread oat mix into greased dish. Spray hands with cooking spray and press mixture into pan until even. Cover and put in fridge for at least 1 hour to set.
  4. Cut into nine bars using a sharp-tipped knife and enjoy. Drizzle with even more caramel sauce and sea salt if you are feeling adventurous!

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Sun-dried Tomato Almond Pesto with Spaghetti Squash and Goat Cheese

This pesto highlights the robust flavor of almonds by pairing them with zesty sun-dried tomatoes and creamy goat cheese. Combining the pesto with spaghetti squash creates a low-carb, filling option for vegetarians and carnivores alike. Pair the pasta with a green salad, and call it a meal!

Yield: 4 servings

What You Will Need:

  • 1 large spaghetti squash, halved and seeds removed with a spoon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
  • 5.5 ounces julienned sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and oil reserved
  • 1/4 cup roasted and unsalted almonds, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, skins removed and crushed
  • 3/4 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 2 ounces goat cheese
  • 1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon reserved oil from tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 ounces herbed goat cheese, for topping
  • Fresh parsley, for topping

What You Will Do:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and spray baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Drizzle spaghetti squash with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Place cut side down on baking sheet. Bake at 450 degrees for 45 minutes; let squash cool for at least 10 minutes.
  3. While the spaghetti squash is roasting, assemble pesto. Put tomatoes, almonds, garlic, basil, regular goat cheese, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and reserved oil from tomatoes into the bowl of a food processor.
  4. Chop in processor until almonds are blended to a fine grind and mixture comes together into a thick paste.
  5. When spaghetti squash is done, shred into strips with a fork. Transfer “noodles” to a large bowl.
  6. Stir in fresh pesto and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if desired. Put mixture back into spaghetti squash shells.
  7. Turn oven to high broil.
  8. Top squash with 2 ounces herbed goat cheese. Broil for 3-4 minutes, or until cheese turns a bit golden on the edges. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.

Pumpkin Spice Oreos, Cold Brew, and Hershey Kisses Taste Test

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YOU GUYS!!!

I had a BLAST filming this week’s Pumpkin Spice taste-testing videos with Amanda Polick from Babe Cave Studios.

Amanda is an all-around BABE with the coolest podcast, and also a super talented foodie who has worked in food media and has a tenderness in her heart towards all things cold brew. So I knew she would be the PERFECT person to try out all the crazy pumpkin spice things with me.

I’m not going to give too many tasty details (you can check out all of our videos on YouTube below) but I WILL tell you that we got into a pretty clear ranking system of these treats. DRUMROLLLL…..

Amanda and I’s Favorite Pumpkin Spice Snacks (from greatest to, umm, worst)

Califia Farms Pumpkin Spice Cold Brew

Archer Farms Pumpkin Spice Snack Bites

Kraft Jet Puffed Pumpkin Spice Mallows

And then, things got-let’s say, less great.

Nabisco Pumpkin Spice Oreos

Archer Farms Pumpkin Spice Pretzels

And, the WORST.

Hershey Kisses Pumpkin Spice

So my amazing Luv Cooks friends! There you have it- and you can check out all of our latest videos always on our YouTube channel here. If you haven’t subscribed yet, I’d love for you to!

Also, to find ALL things Amanda related (and for a weekly hit of fantastic encouragement and motivation) just check out her on Instagram here, on Sound Cloud/itunes here, and her website here.

Love y’all so much and happy second week of November! Let the countdown to Thanksgiving begin!

 

Butter Coffee Pumpkin Spice Latte

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Happy FALL Y’ALL!!

It finally, finally feels that way around Nashville and I couldn’t be happier.

I am also officially 32 years old. Shout out October birthdays!!

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And to celebrate all things fall, and my birthday month, I wanted to get the “pumpkin” rolling so to speak and start this month by celebrating one of my favorite ingredients of all time, pumpkin. From chili and ice cream to chocolate and waffles, there is not much that isn’t made better by adding pumpkin.

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And one of my all-time favorite combinations (especially this time of year) is COFFEE made with PUMPKIN.

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There are probably lots of you reading this thinking, “Umm, isn’t that readily available in a plastic creamer bottle? Or by driving down to my local shop with a green mermaid on the signage? Why on earth would I add it to my actual coffee?”

Because I care about your tastebuds AND your health, that’s why. And it gives me a chance to share another of my favorite treats with you in this fabulous month of October- coffee bombs.

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Coffee bombs are a brilliant way to get healthy fats and collagen into your morning routine. Technically, they are “a pre-made Butter Coffee supplement made with organic coconut oil, grass-fed butter, collagen (or hemp) protein + medicinal spices that help stimulate the mind and jumpstart the metabolism.” In my world, they are delicious. Sarah and her business partner Nicole have figured out a way to take your morning coffee (or tea or hot water) to a fabulous nutritional level. And I promise you, try these once and see how amazing they make you feel!

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And the Vanilla Thunder coffee bombs make the Luv Cooks version of the pumpkin spice latte even tastier. Just brew some hot, darker roast coffee (I’ve heard this is amazing), add a Vanilla Thunder coffee bomb, pumpkin puree, a little bit of almond coconut milk and a teaspoon or two of organic maple syrup. Top with cinnamon and/or nutmeg and VOILA. Pumpkin coffee heaven.

And to top it ALL OFF (even better than the whipped cream on top of those other pumpkin coffees), Ladybird Provisions, the maker of one of the coffee bombs, is now shipping nationwide!

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As in, you can have coffee bombs delivered to your door every. single. month. And they come in super cute packaging with easy trays that hold each coffee bomb in your fridge!

I seriously love this product so much.

Alright y’all, here’s to a fall full of health, happiness, coffee bombs, and pumpkin everything.

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Butter Coffee Pumpkin Spice Latte

Creating a healthy pumpkin spice latte at home is as easy as dark roast coffee + coffee bomb + pumpkin + spices. Trust me, your early morning brain will thank you!

What You Will Need:

  • 8 ounces dark roasted coffee, fresh and hot
  • 1 Vanilla Thunder coffee bomb
  • 2 ounces unsweetened almond coconut milk (or milk of choice)
  • 1-2 tsp organic maple syrup, depending on taste preference
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon plus more for topping
  • whole nutmeg, for grating and topping (optional)

What You Will Do:

  1. Put all ingredients (except nutmeg) into a blender and blend until frothy.
  2. Top just a bit of freshly grated nutmeg (just a little bit goes a long way) and/or cinnamon if desired.
  3. ENJOY!!

 

Cauliflower Recipe Shenanigans with Sarah Patton of Creative Souls Tribe

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Lovelies!

Have I got a treat for you. This week’s post is SUPER SPECIAL because it features the incredible, hilarious, most joyful human being I know, Sarah Patton!! Sarah is the founder of Creative Souls Tribe, a tribe of women that exists as “a community that inspires, equips and challenges women to live above mediocrity.” 

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From social events to weekly encouraging blog posts to their first ever conference November 11, Creative Souls is a welcome respite for women who want to be the very best version of themselves AND value community over competition. Seriously, just check out their values on their About page for a healthy dose of inspiration!

I love this SO MUCH!

In honor of our recent LC focus on cauliflower, this week Sarah and I take on my crazy internet list of cauliflower recipes. Warning: be prepared to laugh uncontrollably over **cauliflower buns.**

AND for those recipes Sarah and I gave a 100% thumbs up to, here are those links below!!

Cauliflower Kedigeree

Cauliflower Kedgeree by Fresh Planet Flavor **hint, it involves British Indian food**

Chocolate Cauliflower Cake

Chocolate Cauliflower Cake with Salted Cinnamon Caramel Icing by Veggie Desserts

Also check out our Luv Cooks Cauliflower brownies

Cauliflower protein bread by Chocolate Chili Mango

Bacon Burger Cauliflower Rice Casserole by Beauty and the Foodie

Cheesey Cauliflower Bread Luv Cooks

Cheesy Cauliflower Breadsticks by Jo Cooks

For more on Creative Souls tribe, and Sarah, you can check them out on their site here and their Instagram account @creativesoulstribe !

Creative Souls Tribe 2!

Happy weekend everyone!

 

 

The Craziest Fall Cauliflower Recipes from the Internet

Lee from America‘s mint chocolate chip cauliflower smoothie bowl!

So, you think you know cauliflower?

I thought I did too. I mean, we posted some pretty great recipes this month-from vegan cauliflower tacos to dark chocolate cauliflower brownies!

But y’all- I scoured the internet for this month’s recipe round up and was BLOWN AWAY by the creativity of all of these fabulous food bloggers below! Check out some of the most fun recipes I found:

Cauliflower Blueberry Morning Smoothie

Cauliflower Blueberry Smoothie by Lee From America

Pork Scratching

Pork Scratching Cauliflower Nuggets by Eighty 20 Nutrition

Cauliflower Kedigeree

Cauliflower Kedgeree by Fresh Planet Flavor **hint, it involves Indian food**

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Mashed Cauliflower Breakfast Bowl by Grass Fed Salsa

Chocolate Cauliflower Cake

Chocolate Cauliflower Cake with Salted Cinnamon Caramel Icing by Veggie Desserts

Cinnamon Cauliflower!

Cinnamon Caramelized Cauliflower by The Full Helping

Chocolate Buttercream

Vegan Chocolate Buttercream (made with cauliflower!!) by 84th and 3rd

Here’s to a weekend full of cauliflower craziness. Let me know if you try one of these recipes in the comments below!

Dark Chocolate Cauliflower Brownies with Pistachios

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Lovely fall people! PRAIISEEEE the LORD it has ARRIVED!

I am almost 100% sure that every single Southerner has taken a deep breath in the FULL realization that fall is actually a season and does actually exist in the lower parts of the U.S.

Sweet! And speaking of sweet, this week’s recipe is one of my faves!

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Y’all know my love of brownies (see my MONTH of brownie posts in February) but I had yet to feature one full of vegetables, AKA cauliflower. You see, cauliflower is low-carb and lots of Paleo types enjoy eating it. I enjoy eating wheat. SO in an effort to fuse both worlds, I landed on a ground cauliflower + spelt (wheat-free) flour hybrid that is full of dark chocolate, fudgey goodness.

Plus, if you use dairy-free chocolate chips, it can totally fit in both of those categories.

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Also, as we move into the next three months that are left in this year- I’ve had it on my heart to start thinking about finishing the year well. What does that look like?

For me, it means taking a breath. Focusing on all of the beautiful things our Creator has made for us to enjoy right now.

I’m feel like I am finally growing as a woman to be able to trust Him, and believe with all my heart that just as He causes the fall leaves to release from their branches, He also is whispering into me a change of seasons, a change of purpose, and a newness of rest in Him.

So, lovely readers, take a deep breath. I wish I could pour you a glass of cold milk (here) or hot chocolate (further North), serve you a brownie, and catch up- all the while anticipating a beautiful fall just around the corner.

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Dark Chocolate Cauliflower Brownies with Pistachios

These brownies are made with spelt flour (an ancient, wheat-free flour higher in protein*). They are dense, fudgy and decadently rich with the addition of melted dark chocolate.  Your friends and family probably won’t even know they contain cauliflower! For the full recipe you can also click Birmingham mag’s site here.

Yield: 9-12 brownies

What You Will Need

  • 1 cup cauliflower florets (5 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened or unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3.25 ounces 70% dark chocolate, melted and cooled slightly ** (dairy free chocolate would work great too)
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted and roasted pistachios, ground in a food processor until finely ground and no large pieces remain; reserve 1 tablespoon for topping
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder, spooned and leveled
  • 3/4 cup spelt flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup dark chocolate chunks or chips** (dairy-free chips could work here too)

What You Will Do

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease an 8 by 8 inch dark metal brownie pan with olive oil cooking spray.
  2. Puree cauliflower, almond milk and vanilla extract in blender until smooth.
  3. Add in melted dark chocolate, coconut oil, and eggs and blend until smooth, about 30 seconds.
  4. In a bowl, whisk together coconut sugar, ground pistachios, cocoa powder, spelt flour, baking powder, and salt until evenly combined.
  5. Stir cauliflower mixture into dry ingredients until just combined (avoid over-stirring the batter). Stir in dark chocolate chunks until distributed.
  6. Pour batter into dark metal 8 by 8 square baking pan; smooth top with spatula to evenly distribute batter.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.=
  8. Remove brownies from oven. Place on cooling rack, and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon of ground pistachios. Allow to cool completely before removing from pan.

Vegan Korean Cauliflower Tacos with Creamy Napa Cabbage Slaw

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Change is in the air.

It’s that time of the year- and it’s finally beginning to feel like it in Nashville. Cooler breezes, rainy days, below 70 temperatures- fall is almost upon us. In fact, its exactly a week away.

I also realize that part of the reason why it feels different is because of the tough weather we have experienced in other parts of the country. My heart goes out to every single person who has experienced tragedy in the wake of these horrific hurricanes. I would encourage us all to seek ways we can give, pray, help.

I know that when all of our resources come together restoration can happen.

And when things are tough, when people are hurting, when I’m not sure what to say- my go-to response is food. Especially nourishing food- food that is restorative, healing, and helpful.

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And this week’s recipe definitely fits that bill!

Nutritionally, cauliflower is a powerhouse. A part of the vegetable family that shares its grouping with collard greens, broccoli and kale, it’s edible florets are actually called “curd.”(So cheesy! Hah, kidding kidding) But it’s also naturally sweet and low-carb, and full of vitamin C AND omega-3 fatty acids. Plus it can be transformed to mimic the umami taste of meat! Which brings me to this week’s recipe…

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I have become a huge fan of cauliflower as of late- this is my favorite cauliflower fried rice to make at home- and one of my go-to ways to make a healthy, inexpensive, filling dinner is to use cauliflower to make TACOS. Because who doesn’t like TACOS?! And tacos can be adjusted to suit everyone’s tastes. Gluten-free? Use corn tortillas. Dairy-free? Use avocado verde (like below) to add a creamy, spicy element to your wrap. The beauty of cauliflower is that it is a blank slate vegetable– full of endless applications in even your most traditional recipes.

So do your thing, butterbean– and wrap it in a tortilla:)

For the rest of September, we will be highlighting cauliflower, it’s possibilities in both sweet and savory dishes, and hopefully a slammin’ recipe round-up that will get your creative juices flowing! Also, I want to give a HUGE shout-out to Birmingham magazine for featuring these next two recipes in their September issue.

So cozy up you guys- change is in the air, and so is the smell of gochujang, garlic, and cauliflower.

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Korean Cauliflower Tacos with Creamy Napa Cabbage Slaw

This recipe highlights the versatility of cauliflower, and showcases the Korean chili paste gochujang. Cut into small florets, cauliflower’s shape mimics that of traditional ground meat, and the addition of soy sauce, sesame oil and gochujang bring out the sweetness, and nuttiness, of the vegetable. Top with the creamy Asian slaw and avocado verde for a spicy vegetarian meal. Also, check out Birmingham magazine for this recipe in print!

Yield: 4 tacos

What You Will Need:

  • 3 cups cauliflower (about 13 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp ginger, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1/2 tablespoon gochujang
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • Whole wheat tortillas, for serving **or corn, if gluten-free**

What You Will Do:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray a rimmed, light metal baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together sesame oil and the rest of the ingredients (excluding cauliflower and tortillas).
  3. Add florets and toss to coat.
  4. Put cauliflower, evenly spaced, on baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, stir; bake 10 minutes more.
  5. Serve cauliflower in whole wheat tortillas with slaw.

Creamy Napa Cabbage Slaw

This Asian-inspired slaw is delicious atop cauliflower tacos, but it can also double as a creative, spicy vegetarian accompaniment to smoked meat at your end-of-summer barbecues. Top with black sesame seeds and sliced avocado if serving as a side.

Yield: 6-10 servings

What You Will Need:

  • 8 cups Napa cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, finely grated, about 1/4 cup
  • 1 tablespoon jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely diced
  • 3 tablespoons Japanese mayonnaise (or vegan mayonnaise)
  • 1 tsp gochujang
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt (plus more to taste)
  • ½ tsp rice vinegar
  • Black sesame seeds or black gomasio, for topping
  • Store bought avocado verde, for topping (or simply stir together guacamole and green salsa)

Method

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, gochujang, honey, onion powder, and salt until combined. Add Napa cabbage, carrot, and jalapeno and toss to coat. Taste; season with additional salt if desired.
  2. Put slaw on tacos and top with salsa verde and black sesame seeds, if desired.

 

 

Low Sugar Banana Blueberry Mini Baby Smash Cakes

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You guys!!!

I could not be more excited about this post! Not only is it almost the weekend, it’s also the day I have the opportunity to share a recipe in PERSON, on the cooking stage with the Nashville Home Show!

As y’all know, once I get to talking and/or thinking about food, you can’t really get me to be quiet, so the fact that they have openly invited me to share my love of all things baked goods is the highlight of my week!

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And as I was thinking about what to share, I immediately knew what recipe it would be. Y’all- in the history of Luv Cooks, this recipe is the most searched for, most sought after, most “I just came from Pinterest to check this out” one we’ve ever posted. And it all started with the original recipe here, with an incredibly cute baby named Pace, his birthday, and my friend (his precious momma’s) desire to feed him a special cake that wasn’t full of sugar. In fact, he hadn’t eaten processed sugar up until that point. Amazing, right?

Precious Pace eating cake!
The original baking inspiration, Pace Russell!
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And the original cake! Here is the original, full cake recipe post:) 

And as you know, with every (first) birthday comes the opportunity to smash one’s cake into one’s mouth however one feels is appropriate.

Well, I knew that I had to share this recipe again, but maybe adjust it slightly to a more adult crowd. Because, let’s be real- its amazing for the birthday boy or girl to have a yummy, healthy cake- but what about everyone standing around watching them eat it?!

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That’s why I took the original recipe (by Fit Mama Real Food) and adjusted it with some seasonal fall spices, and baked it into individual mini smash cakes. So we can all, if we choose, smash the cakes right into our faces, just like the little ones! Don’t mind if I do…

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Low Sugar Banana Blueberry Smash Cakes with Vanilla Whipped Cream  (Originally inspired by Fit Mama Real Food)

You can also click here for the original, tiered cake post!

This recipe is full of whole grains, healthy fats, and has NO refined sugar or sweeteners of any kind! It’s also egg-free and  simple to prepare and make ahead; you can even top the cakes with whipped cream a day ahead and store them in the fridge. Feel free to try out other mix-in’s besides berries for your adult guests- I think chopped cherries, dried fruit, or chocolate chips would work great in this mini cake as well!

Yield: 16 mini cakes

What You Will Need for the cake:

  • 2 scant cups mashed banana, or 4 large, ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup natural applesauce
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil (melted), plus more for greasing cake pans
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup oat flour (just grind rolled oats in a blender, then measure)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 6 ounces fresh blueberries

What You Will Do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together mashed banana, applesauce, coconut oil, and vanilla extract until well combined.
  3. Whisk together flours, spices, baking soda and salt until combined.
  4. Gently stir flour mixture into banana mixture until just combined. Avoid over mixing as that can make the batter tough.
  5. Stir blueberries into batter.
  6. Distribute batter by scant 1/4 cups into muffin tin. Reserve remaining batter for next batch of cakes.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick or sharp knife inserted into the cakes comes out clean.
  8. Allow to cool completely at room temperature to set. Top with fresh whipped vanilla cream!

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For the vanilla whipped cream:

What You Will Need:

  • 4 ounces organic heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Additional fresh blueberries for topping (or melted peanut butter/chocolate/almond butter)
  1. Once cooled, top the mini cakes with a dollop of whipped cream and fresh blueberries. I also ate them with melted peanut butter drizzled on top, and it was DIVINE!