December 2014 archive

Corcoran’s Toasted Coconut Donuts

toasted coconut donuts_2

Did somebody say… doughnuts?!

Corcoran did. And I’m definitely not complaining about it.

Corcoran is a registered dietician (and former badass LAXer). She earned her Master’s of Science in Nutrition from Boston University which is also where she attended undergrad. Corc played varsity lacrosse all four years and then moved onto coaching post graduation while working at GAP and grad school-ing. Can you say, ambitious?! But her skills go far beyond the lacrosse field. She is a very talented cook – creating her own recipes and modifying existing ones to make them more nourishing and nutritious. She and her husband George now live in California where she works as a Clinical Dietician at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs.

There’s a doughnut/donut (either way is fine with me!) shop in Cape Cod I still have yet to try called Hole in One. Although I do feel like I’ve been there because the Downey clan >>> Corcoran, Trey, Patrick (all siblings) and their dad David rave about this bakery and their notorious Toasted Coconut doughnuts. Lucky for me and lucky for all ya’ll Corc is sharing a recipe for homemade Toasted Coconut Donuts. Here it is!

toasted coconut donuts

+ 2 tablespoons butter
+ 1/8 cup vegetable oil
+ 1/4 cup granulated sugar
+ 1/8 cup brown sugar
+ 1 egg
+ 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
+ 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
+ 1/2-1 teaspoon nutmeg, to taste
+ 1/4 teaspoon salt
+ 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract or you can make your own
+ 1 1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
+ 1/2 cup milk
+ 1/2 cup toasted coconut flakes or shreds (here’s how)

+ Preheat oven to 425°F. Lightly grease doughnut pans.
+ In a medium bowl, beat together butter, vegetable oil, and sugars until smooth.
+ Add the eggs, beating to combine.
+ Stir the flour into the butter mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with flour and ensuring all ingredients are thoroughly combined.
+ Sprinkle one teaspoon toasted coconut into each of the wells of the pans.
+ Spoon batter into pans, filling the wells about 1/4″ shy of the rim.
+ Bale for 10 minutes, remove from oven, and wait 5-7 minutes before turning them out of the pans onto a rack.

Follow Corc on Pinterest and Insta for some major food/recipe inspo!

toasted coconut donuts_3

Healthified Buffalo Chicken Pizza {with Avocado spread}

buffalo chicken pizza2

On Friday Trey and I went to a show at Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret which by the way I HIGHLY recommend. Lannie’s is located underground in the historic D&F Clocktower in the heart of downtown Denver. Sexy, sensual decor, cocktails, and raunchy entertainment is what makes this a fun outside-the-box activity whether you’re with your other half or your girls.

I knew the show started at 8 so I needed to make a dinner that was quick and easy but still healthy. I looked in my freezer and saw frozen Trader Joe’s pizza dough and immediately knew I wanted to create some sort of yummy ‘za. But what kind?

Chicken… check.
Buffalo sauce… check.
Celery… check.
Avocado… check.

Avocado? Why avocado you ask. Well – first and foremost, avocado is the shit. Secondly, avocado is the secret ingredient that makes this pizza so damn good. I used the avocado to create a spread and that’s what makes the “sauce.” Genius, right? The avocado not only acts as a healthy fat but it can also balance the heat from the buffalo sauce and sooth your tastebuds.

Please note that when I make pizza I never measure ingredients out. I wing it for the most part so I apologize for the lack of specificity but use your best judgment and most importantly create it to satisfy YOUR taste and YOUR appetite!

+ 2 chicken breasts (cooked and finely cubed/chopped)
+ Trader Joe’s pizza dough (I used the garlic herb type)
+ Flour for dough
+ 2 avocados (enough to create the spread sauce to cover entire base of pizza)
+ Salt and pepper to taste
+ Celery, chopped
+ Red onion, thinly sliced
+ Buffalo sauce (such as Frank’s)
+ 2-3 tablespoons mozzarella or provolone cheese, shredded

+ Prepare the chicken. Cook chicken, following these kick ass instructions from The Kitchn. Seriously, this gives you the most moist, juicy, and flavorful chicken EVERY TIME. It’s fool proof too!
+ Once chicken breasts are cooked, finely chop/cube the chicken and transfer into a bowl.
+ Add buffalo sauce to chicken (to desired taste) and stir to combine.
+ Prepare the pizza crust. Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly grease your pizza pan. This is the pan I have.
+ Sprinkle a little flour over dough, knead it into a ball and use a rolling pin to mold crust into your desired pizza pan.
+ Place prepared dough in oven and bake until it starts to bubble and becomes a light golden color, about 5 minutes or so – but keep an eye on it – and use your oven light!
+ Remove and flip crust over so the bottom crispy side is now on top.
+ Cut your avocados in half and transfer flesh into a small bowl.
+ Mash avocado until mostly smooth – a few chunks are fine if you like.
+ Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
+ Spread avocado spread onto the crust to create the “sauce.”
+ Top your pizza with chopped celery, sliced onion, buffalo chicken, and cheese. Repeat until all toppings are used.
+ Bake for 20-30 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted.

This is a perfect meal before going out, as long as you don’t outdo yourself in slices. I stuck with one and a half slices. Makes for great leftovers too! I promise it’ll be a big hit with your loved one, friends, and family.


buffalo chicken pizza

Espresso Hazelnut Almond Butter Brownies

Kolat Brownies_1

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Duh.
And in my book, dessert is the second.

This dessert, however, should be consumed mid morning or at that 3:00 hour when you’re crashing at work because it contains e s p r e s s o. Don’t you just love that word? And for the record, it’s eSpresso, not eXpresso. I hear that mistake way too often!

Don’t get me wrong, you can enjoy these bomb-ass brownies post dinner but I’ve done it before and I had a hard time falling asleep. I’m also super sensitive to caffeine since I’m not a regular coffee drinker so you may not be phased at all but believe me, these brownies are worth the ::buzz::

The special ingredient in these flourless, gluten-free brownies is my all-time favorite nut butter out there – KOLAT! This is saying “OLAT” because there are so many nut butters to choose from these days. I mean, have you seen the Whole Foods nut butter aisle lately? Ridic. And there are “OLAT” of good ones to choose from! It can be overwhelming, really! Remember not all nut butters are created equal. MANY contain a ton of added sugar which is a big no-no.

Kolat Brownies_2

KOLAT is what’s up because it contains a simple list of ingredients and no added sugar. The only sweetener in the Espresso Hazelnut variety is dates. The other ingredients are:
+ Roasted almonds
+ Hazelnuts
+ Organic coconut oil
+ Ground espresso bean
+ Sea salt

KOLAT also PACKSOLAT of nutrition in their products.
Contains vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, Biotin, Folic Acid, Pantothenic Acid, C, D2, E, K.

Kolat Brownies_3

+ 16 oz (2 cups) of KOLAT Espresso Hazelnut butter (*one jar is 12 oz, so you will either need two jars or you can use another healthy nut butter you may already have)
+ 2 eggs
+ 1 1/4 cup honey
+ 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
+ 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
+ 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
+ 1 teaspoon baking soda
+ 1 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips

+ Preheat oven to 325°F.
+ Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan.
+ In a large bowl, blend almond butter until smooth with an electric hand mixer.
+ Add in eggs, honey and vanilla extract and combine.
+ Blend in cocoa powder, salt and baking soda.
+ Fold in chocolate chips
+ Pour batter and bake for 25-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Recipe has been adapted and inspired from the lovely Elana Amsterdam of Elena’s Pantry.

You can find KOLAT here, here, and here.

Kolat Brownies_4

Not Another Thanksgiving Leftover Recipe // Ginger Lime Tuna Steak

Tuna Steak_1

Tuna Steak_2

Don’t get me wrong. I love leftovers. I appreciate leftovers. I eat leftovers all the time. But every year I get really sick of Thanksgiving leftovers. The turkey, the stuffing, the potatoes – I can only do so much. After about three and a half days of turkey sandwiches, turkey salads, reheated ‘taters and dry stuffing I respectfully place the holiday feast in the freezer so I can come back to it at another time when I’m strapped for time and need a quick and easy dinner.

After eating too much and drinking too many bacon-infused bourbon cocktails (with spiced apple cider, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, etc. – amazing by the way), I was ready for a light and fresh meal with no remnants of the smorgasbord you get on turkey day. This meal is healthy, packed with omega-3 fatty acids, and contains ginger, lime, cilantro, soy sauce… ‘nough said, right?

Omega-3 fatty acids are super trendy via supplements, but I prefer to get it from the food I put in my body. Plus I’m terrible at swallowing those big ass pills (hence why I get the fish oil gummies – don’t judge me). Ahi tuna is an incredible source of Omega-3 Fat.

But first …
WTF are Omega-3 Fatty Acids?
+ Form of polyunsaturated fat that the body derives from food
+ Known as EFAs (essential fatty acids) = good health
WTF makes them so great?
+ They reduce inflammation
+ They lower blood pressure
+ They reduce blood clots
+ They lower cholesterol
+ They may reduce the risk for diabetes, stroke, arthritis
+ They may reduce brain and mental disorders (the brain, the brain, the center of the chain! Babysitters Club movie anyone?)
+ Great for skin and hair! (I’ll take that!)
WTF are some foods that contain Omega-3s?
+ Fish: salmon, tuna, herring
+ Nuts/Seeds: chia seeds, walnuts, flaxseeds, pecans, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, poppy seeds
+ Oil: olive oil, flaxseed oil, canola oil

Oh, ginger. I could marry ginger I like love it that much. After my Thanksgiving feast I wanted/needed this ingredient that alleviates boated, gassy, distressed tummies. Gingy also has therapeutic properties, reduces inflammation and is great for blood circulation. I love how versatile it is – you can put it in fish marinades, smoothies, tea, oatmeal, cookies – endless possibilities!

Onto the recipe. I know fresh fish can be expensive, but if you go to Costco you’ll find their prices to be pretty reasonable. That’s where I got the Ahi tuna steaks. Sidenote: I get my extra virgin olive oil, soy sauce, spinach, avocados, and sugars from Costco. EVOO and soy sauce is especially helpful to buy here because I use it so much and it’s such a pain to run out in the middle of cooking. Costco has ginormous bags of spinach and sacks of five avos for super cheap. It’s amazeballs.

Ok. Onto the recipe. For real this time.

Tuna Steak_3

+ 2 Ahi tuna steaks
+ Salt and pepper to taste
+ 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
+ 4 tablespoons soy sauce
+ 2-4 teaspoons fresh minced ginger, depending on preference
+ 4 cloves minced garlic
+ 1 cup fresh, chopped cilantro
+ Juice of 2 limes + zest
+ 2 teaspoons coconut sugar or honey
+ 1 avocado, thinly sliced
+ 8 cups of fresh, baby spinach

+ Season each side of steaks with salt and pepper.
+ In a large pan or shallow bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons of olive oil, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, zest and sugar.
+ Place tuna steaks in marinade and let sit for two hours or so in the fridge.

Tuna Steak_4

+ In a medium skillet heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil, add the spinach and wilt only slightly. Season with a little salt and pepper to taste.
+ After marination, very lightly grease a cast iron skillet with oil of choice.
+ Heat skillet on high – you want it really hot because you it to cook quickly to ensure it remains rare in the center.
+ Transfer steaks onto skillet and sear. My tuna steaks were thick so I cooked for about one minute on each side.

Tuna Steak_5

Tuna Steak_6

+ Pour remaining marinade into saucepan and reduce until thickened, 3-4 minutes
+ Place wilted spinach on plates and top with seared tuna steaks.
+ Garnish the steaks with avocado slices, reduced marinade, and fresh cilantro.
+ Enjoy now, thank me later.

(Recipe was very adapted but inspired by Bev from Bev Cooks.)

Happy December 1, everyone!