Chocolate Avocado Mousse

Chocolate Avocado Mousse

Eeeek! I’m so excited for the first ever guest post on Naked Cuisine. Chocolate Avocado Mousse from an awesome Holistic Nutritionist, Voula Cicchelli.

I’ve been a stranger lately you guys, I know it’s internet land and unless you’re my mom you probably didn’t notice. But I miss you, regardless. The focus lately has been on growing my writing business for health and wellness professionals. It’s fun and I’m learning loads about running your own show. It’s a lot of work and I give mad props to all the self-employed peeps out there.

Don’t worry (I tell this more to myself since I’m sure you’re not worried), I’ll be back in full force this summer. We’re moving to the beautiful west coast of Canada where there’s an insane abundance of amazing foods that I won’t be able to refrain from sharing with you all.

The city life is not for me, although I love certain aspects of it I really just want to raise my little man closer to nature.

But enough about boring old me.

Let me introduce to you, the lovely and talented Voula (cool name right?!).  Voula is a Holistic Nutritionist and she graciously offered to share her fantabulously simple recipe for chocolate avocado mousse. I’ve made it, and man it is so luxuriously creamy and rich. My two-year-old goes nuts for this stuff. 

So without further adieu, here’s Voula! 

 

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE sweets. What is better than having something sweet AND have it being healthy all at the same time right?

As a Holistic Nutritionist, I try my very best to instill healthy eating in my house and always try to find healthy alternatives to common desserts. My kids always ask for chocolate pudding but we both know that is loaded with sugar and preservatives so I came up with this great alternative.

This Chocolate Avocado Mousse totally hits the spot and is a total hit in my house, especially with my kids. They don’t even know that it is made with avocado which is the best part. It is high in healthy fats, low in processed sugar; full of antioxidants and, of course, a great taste that can trick just about the pickiest eater. Here is to a well-kept secret between us moms. It’s a pretty simple recipe to whip up, even on short notice.

 

avocado mousse

Chocolate Avocado Mousse

Ingredients

  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup coconut milk

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Place in ramekins and chill for 15 minutes then serve.
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Voula Cicchelli is a Holistic Nutritionist, Trainer, Coach and owner of Lifestyle4Life. She focuses on helping her client’s battle depression, deal with hormonal acne, lose weight and gain their confidence back through food and exercise. She educates her clients and empowers them to take personal ownership of their own health and happiness. She is also the author of Deliciously Healthy, a recipe e-book as well as the popular Clean Eating Kick Start 7 day program. Voula’s passion is infectious and she continues to motivate and help woman all over find their way back to themselves.
 

Shrimp and Shiitake Hot Pot

Shrimp and Shiitake Hot Pot

My quarter century birthday was on the 24th and it was surrounded with love. We ate home made prosciutto eggs benny at a great little bistro with bottomless mimosas and toured some gorgeous ice sculptures.

Every good day ends with soup. Ok, maybe not but this good day did and many others have so I’m sticking by that statement. This Shrimp and Shiitake Hot Pot is so simple and yummy, I love how light it is yet it still has that umami satisfaction and fills you right up. The poached egg on top adds the perfect amount of creamy richness with the dark mushroomey (is that a word?) broth.

Shrimp and Shiitake Hot Pot

The sun shines. I feel overflowing with gratitude, no life isn’t perfect. But there’s perfection in that very fact. There’s perfection in potential. We all hold so much potential and the more I see my own life morph into something I can feel good about, the more apparent that fact becomes.

For the first time, I kinda, sorta, feel like I have my shit together. Like I’m on the right track and everything is aligning as it should.

I was feeling very cynical this time last year, my heart was heavy and life felt wrought with unending challenges. To compare it to the light heartedness I feel now is indescribable. There are so many ups and downs in life, but there are certain things which we have the capacity to change in order to improve our situation.

I hope for all of you that the new year is unveiling new hope and joy in your hearts. It’s a nice feeling indeed when the changes we make in our lives blossom into deeper contentment.

Winter can be a really challenging time but it’s also a good time to hunker down and look within for outer inspiration. I wrote an article recently on how to cope with the winter blues, check it out if this is something you struggle with.

 

Shrimp and Shiitake Hot Pot

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbs sesame oil or coconut oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 inch piece ginger, finely minced or grated
  • 1/4 C rice wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp coconut aminos or tamari
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 thai red chili, minced or 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 2 lbs shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 6 C chicken stock
  • 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 bundle green onions, chopped
  • 4 eggs

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a large pot, add ginger and garlic and simmer for a minute until aromatic.
  2. Add rice wine vinegar and let it simmer for another minute or so before adding the coconut aminos or tamari, fish sauce, coconut sugar and chili.
  3. Add the mushrooms and let them cook for a bit soaking up some of the liquid.
  4. Add chicken stock and once the soup is simmering add the shrimp. You can also add the eggs at this point or poach them separately in a pot of boiling water with a bit of vinegar.
  5. The eggs and shrimp will take about 5 minutes. If you poach the eggs directly in the soup, be sure to not stir while they're cooking.
  6. Serve one egg per person and garnish with chopped green onions. Enjoy!
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Shrimp and Shiitake Hot Pot

Lemon Garlic Habanero Sauerkraut

Lemon Garlic Habanero Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is my jam. No really I spread it on toast like every morning. Love the stuff. It’s immune boosting gold and it makes almost everything taste better.

What an interesting time to be alive. When what’s old is new again. You see all these ‘Food trends for 2016’ predictions and everyone is all “fermented foods are SO hot right now.”

rsz_habanero_kraut_3

 

But you guys…they’ve always been hot, the discovery of fermentation enabled us to get this far as a species. I’d say that qualifies for a hotness factor way beyond Ryan Gosling or those cool new leaf necklaces that track pretty much every thing you do.

And speaking of HOT this Lemon Garlic Habanero Sauerkraut is pleasantly spicy, sour and super savoury. I made a huge batch and eat some at every meal.

With my three jars I let one ferment for a week, resulting in a really crispy not too pungent kraut.

The second jar I fermented for a month, the result is a much softer, spicier and more garlicky version.

The third jar has been fermenting for a month and a half and I only just tried it yesterday. The result with that one is a super soft, flavour packed pungent rendition.

habanero lemon garlic sauerkraut

Since I used red cabbage the colour change is noticeable. The first batch maintained a really bright purple/red, the second was a vibrant pink and the third a much softer pink.

The trick with allowing your krauts to ferment for a longer period is to ensure the veg is always under the water. You can get special weights for this or you can DIY and use a clean rock, a smaller glass filled with water or even the butt end of the cabbage.

For anyone super new to making sauerkraut I recommend check out this detailed post by Sandor Katz and my post on the plethora of reasons to indulge in this delicacy as well as a bunch of different flavour combination ideas.

 

Lemon Garlic Habanero Sauerkraut

Ingredients

  • 1 head cabbage
  • 1 Tbs sea salt
  • 1-3 habanero peppers, finely minced (depending on how spicy you like it)
  • 1 lemon, finely sliced (remove seeds but you can leave the peel on)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Instructions

  1. Remove the outer cabbage leaves and set aside. Shred cabbage in a food processor or finely slice using a mandolin or sharp knife.
  2. In a large bowl sprinkle the salt over the cabbage and massage it with your hands until the cabbage starts to break down and release moisture, this usually just takes a few minutes.
  3. Mix in the lemon, habanero and garlic.
  4. Portion sauerkraut into one large jar or a few smaller ones. Leave at least an inch of room at the top of each jar. Press firmly down so that all the air bubbles rise and the liquid rise to the top, the kraut should be covered with liquid but if you need more simply add 1 tsp of salt to 1 C warm pure water and dissolve. Pour as much salt water as is necessary on your kraut.
  5. Cover and set aside to ferment for anywhere from 1 week to a few months.
  6. Check the kraut often for the first few days to make sure its still packed down and covered with water.
  7. *This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.
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habanero lemon garlic sauerkraut

 

 

Double Chocolate Avocado Hazelnut Brownies

Double Chocolate Avocado Hazelnut Brownies

 

I used to be offended anytime I saw avocados cooked in any form. But there comes a day when you find yourself with a big old pile of super ripe avos that need to get used NOW. And you already made guacamole so that’s out of the question.

It is in these moments that you will cave into the baked avo madness. And you know what, it’s really really a beautiful thing. No one would ever know these dense fudgy double chocolate avocado hazelnut brownies had avocado in them. They come out super moist and the beauty of it is there’s no need for butter or coconut oil, not that there’s anything wrong with those but it’s nice to change it up.

rsz_avobrownie5

Last night as I was lying in bed watching Vikings (my obsession while waiting for GOT to return) I got a snack attack. You know, when you don’t neeeeeed a snack but you really WANT one. So my man was just coming back in and I asked if he would grab me the last brownie. His face contorted and he confessed that he’d just scarfed it down. 1 day people. These brownies lasted 1 day.

I can’t even. But you know what I think it’s proof that you should probably try them and fear not about the avo. I too was once a skeptic but am nearly fully converted. Although I don’t trust those eggs baked in avocados, thats just too in your face ‘heeeeeyyyyy I’m a baked avocado I’m all brown and weird looking’.

double chocolate avocado brownies

Switch it up with the additions in these, I love nuts in my brownies but other nice additions might be dried berries, coconut, cacao nibs, coconut whipped cream, fresh mint and pretty much whatever else you can dream up.

Oh and try not to eat all the frosting before the brownies are ready 😉

double chocolate avocado brownies

 

Double Chocolate Avocado Hazelnut Brownies

Yield: 9

Ingredients

    Brownies
  • 3 ounces dark chocolate
  • 3/4 C date paste
  • 2 ripe avocados, pitted and skins removed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 C cocoa or cacao powder
  • 1/2 C almond meal
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 C hazelnuts, chopped + 1/4 C reserved for topping
  • Chocolate coconut frosting
  • 3 ounces dark chocolate
  • 1/3 C honey
  • 1/4 C coconut oil
  • 2 Tbs cacao powder

Instructions

    Brownies
  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Grease a 9x9 pan with coconut oil or butter or line it with parchment paper.
  3. In a double boiler melt the chocolate
  4. In a blender or food processor, blend together the melted chocolate, date paste, avocados, eggs and vanilla. Add in the cocoa powder until fully blended.
  5. Transfer batter to a large bowl and mix in the 1/4 C of hazelnuts and almond flour.
  6. Pour into your prepared pan and bake for approx. 30 mins.
  7. Allow brownies to cool for at least 1 hr before serving. Cut into 9 big brownies.
  8. Frosting
  9. In a double boiler, melt together chocolate, honey and coconut oil and mix together. Add in the cacao powder and mix thoroughly.
  10. Pour frosting over the cooked brownies and sprinkle with remaining hazelnuts and any other desired toppings (I sprinkled some rose petals)
  11. Allow to set in the fridge for about an hour.
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PS. Here’s a groovy mix to jam out to while you make these

 

double chocolate avocado brownies

Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala

Well hello to all you lovely people.

It’s been some time since I posted, which seems to be a pattern looking back at this time last year.

You see, it’s my birth month so I’m just excessively lazy.

Nah…it’s not that. I’ve got lots of good stuff in the works and I’m currently creating a FREE e-book for you packed with new paleo recipes that are just gonna knock your socks off.

But today, we’ve got a super creamy Indian comfort food:

Chicken Tikka Masala

chicken tikka masala

It’s been busy in the life department. I thought having a baby was hard but having a toddler is a whole new bag of ADD.

How the hell do those mompreneur coaches make like 6-figures a month all the while raising 7 kids and making dinner every night. I just don’t even…come close.

So as far as my scatter brain can recollect I haven’t wished everyone a happy happy new year.

2015 was a bat shit crazy year. It had its blessings and good times but overall, nuts. Glad to be rid of it.

2016 is already proving to be a productivity smorgasbord and I can’t even tell you how many crazy ideas I have lined up.

chicken tikka masala

My word for 2016 is *unfuckwithable* inspired by Ash of the Middle Finger Project (she’s my writing idol)

“I used to be incredibly naive and gullible. I used to cater to everyone around me, trying to be agreeable and helpful. I used to want to be “one of the girls” and be on the same page as my friends. (Jobs! Marriage! Babies! Houses! Stability!) I used to do whatever other people expected of me—including society.

But then certain things happened beyond my control, and slowly but surely, I discovered the beauty in not giving a damn. At first this felt irresponsible, but there’s an unspoken power in not apologizing all over yourself. The ocean doesn’t apologize for rising and falling (and then rising again), it isn’t ashamed that one day it’s turquoise and another it’s deep blue. It just is. And its matter-of-factness is what makes it a powerhouse. You recognize it, and you act accordingly, because you know the ocean isn’t fucking around. How nice would it be if people thought of you that way?”

chicken tikka masala

I urge the world to stop apologizing all over themselves. Being Canadian I have extra guilt about this. Which goes against my unfuckwithability, but nobodies perfect.

Oh ya, and the whole point of this blog post is to share with you some deliciousness. Some fuel for that unfuckwithability.

Enter: Chicken Tikka Masala

The star of the show, Chicken Tikka Masala is to Indian Cuisine what Amitabh Bachchan is to Bollywood.

chicken tikka masala

Now I looooove me some classic butter chicken and anything palak but the tikka is different.

The meat is marinated in an infused yogurt over night, then skewered and grilled to tender perfection. The sauce has its own story . Tomatoes, ghee, spices and creamy coconut milk pureed until silky smooth. Can I get a hari krishna!?

This Chicken Tikka Masala recipe is inspired by the Domestic Man, some slight changes but the recipes are pretty similar.

Chicken Tikka Masala

Ingredients

    For the chicken marinade
  • 1 Tbs garam masala
  • 1 Tbs turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili paste or cayenne
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch piece ginger, minced
  • 1 C yogurt
  • 2 lbs chicken breasts (about 4 medium size), cubed
  • For the curry sauce
  • 2 Tbs ghee or butter
  • 1-2 shallots or white onions, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 16oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 Tbs tomato paste
  • 1 tsp ajwain seeds (optional)
  • 5 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk (or 1 C heavy cream)

Instructions

    For the Chicken
  1. Combine spices, garlic, ginger and yogurt and mix with the chicken until thoroughly covered. Let sit in the fridge overnight preferably but at least for a few hours.
  2. When the chicken is done marinating, add the pieces to skewers and grill for 4 minutes per side on med-high heat or pop it under the oven broiler for 5-6 minutes per side.
  3. For the Curry Sauce
  4. Add ghee, onion and garlic to a frying pan and sauté until slightly browned.
  5. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, ajwain, cardamom, pepper and salt and simmer on low for 15 minutes.
  6. Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth, pass through a mesh strainer to get rid of any stray cardamom pods.
  7. Add coconut milk and chunks of chicken. Serve with basmati or cauliflower rice and enjoy!
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chicken tikka masala