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.
 

15 Gluten and Sugar Free Holiday Treat Ideas

15 Gluten and Sugar Free Holiday Treat Ideas

It’s the time of year when I go into full on holiday baking mode. Cookies, pies, fudge, you name it. But it still doesn’t mean a plethora of refined junky foods, no thanks. Instead, I look at the holidays as an opportunity to get creative and experiment with new sweeteners and flour substitutes. Technically none of these are completely sugar free but they all contain natural unrefined sweeteners like honey, maple syrup and coconut sugar. Refined sugar free just sounded like a long and annoying title.

Here are some of my favourite treats to make for the holidays, as well as some that I really want to try out this year. I think after I write this post I might run to the kitchen and make those paleo gingerbread cookies. I’m feeling a little blue and lethargic today and I have a feeling the smell of cookies wafting through the house is just the fix.

 

1. Vanilla Bean Macadamia Nut Fudge

Vanilla bean and macadamia nut fudge

 

 

 

2. Maple Pecan Protein Cookies

Maple Pecan Paleo Protein Cookies

 

 

 

3. 4 Ingredient Superfood Truffles

4 Ingredient Superfood Truffles

 

 

 

4. Raw Creamy Chocolate Tarts with Caramel Hazelnut Crust

Raw Creamy Chocolate Tarts with Caramel Hazelnut Crust

 

 

 

5. Paleo “Oatmeal” Cookies

Paleo-Oatmeal-Cookies-1

photo courtesy: mynaturalfamily.com

 

 

6. Raw Black and White Chocolate Hemp Seed Bark

raw black and white hemp chocolate

 

 

 

7. Paleo Pumpkin Pie

Paleo-Pumpkin-Pie-Image2

photo courtesy: thelittlepine.com

 

 

8. Homemade Ferrero Rochers

homemade ferrero rochers

 

 

 

9. Salted Caramel “Cheesecake” Bars

saltedcaramelcheesecakebars

photo courtesy: paleogrubs.com

 

 

10. Raw Chocolate Pomegranate Bark

Raw Chocolate Pomegranate Bark

 

 

 

11. No Bake Cardamom Plum and Berry Tart

Add coconut sugar,vanilla and cardamom

 

 

 

12. Chewy Gingerbread Cookies

(Paleo)-Chewy-Gingerbread-Cookies-(3)

photo courtesy: theironyou.com

 

 

 

13. Blueberries and Cream Truffles

blueberries and cream truffles

 

 

 

14. Chocolate dipped grain free shortbread

shortbread

photo courtesy: Acleanbake.com

 

 

 

15. Creamy Chocolate Crunch Bars

creamy chocolate crunch bars

 

What are your favourite Gluten and Sugar Free Holiday Treat Ideas ?

wishing you a merry

 

Paleo No Bake Pumpkin Pie

Paleo No Bake Pumpkin Pie

 

Paleo No Bake Pumpkin Pie

I’ve made this pie twice now and it’s pretty much the best thing ever. It’s way easier than regular ol’ pumpkin pie and a lot healthier too. The crust is made with macadamia nuts (or whatever nuts you have kicking around) dates and coconut oil and the filling is a creamy combination of pumpkin, coconut milk, aromatic spices and grass fed beef gelatine which is absolutely loaded with health benefits. I was hesitant to use the gelatine as I didn’t want the pie to have a weird consistency, but if you use the right amount it does the job of thickening without creating any weird gummy textures. If you want a purely vegan pie you can get vegan gelatine using agar agar or irish moss which are both seaweeds.

Paleo No Bake Pumpkin Pie

You American peeps haven’t had your thanksgiving yet and my vote is that you try this Paleo No Bake Pumpkin Pie for the occasion. I made it for our thanksgiving and the fam jam went gaga. The best part is that its so light and easy to digest that you don’t get that same lead weight feeling in the pit of your stomach that usually comes along with thanksgiving.

Paleo No Bake Pumpkin Pie

Since we’re on the topic I would also seriously recommend dry brining your turkey 24 hours before cooking it. This technique definitely resulted in hands down the best turkey I have ever had or made. Last year I did a traditional brine, which is great but leaves the meat a bit watered down. Dry brining imparts the flavour from the salt without taking flavour away from the turkey. I suppose I should just write a post on this alone since I’m so passionate about dry brining but you guys I didn’t take any photos because that turkey was gone so fast.

If you’re in the kitchen for an extended amount of time and looking for a great jam, check out this mix, its long, varied and beautiful.

 

Paleo No Bake Pumpkin Pie

Prep Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes

Yield: 8-10

Ingredients

    Crust
  • 1 1/2 C unsalted macadamia nuts (pecans or walnuts also work well)
  • 1/2 C date paste
  • 1/4 C coconut oil
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean or vanilla extract
  • Filling and coconut whipped cream
  • 1 28oz can pumpkin puree OR equivalent amount homemade pumpkin puree
  • 1 can coconut milk (left in the fridge for a few hours to firm up)
  • 1/2 C coconut oil
  • 3 Tbs grass fed beef gelatine OR 1 tsp agar agar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 30 drops liquid stevia OR 1/3 C maple syrup

Instructions

    For the crust
  1. In a high powered blender or food processor, add the macadamia nuts, date paste, coconut oil, salt and vanilla and blend until all the nuts are crushed and everything is evenly combined.
  2. Press the crust into a springform pan, the smaller the pan the taller the pie will be but I used a 9 inch.
  3. Set the crust in the fridge or freezer to set a bit while you make the filling.
  4. Filling and coconut whipped cream
  5. Using the same blender or food processor add the pumpkin puree, separate the liquid from the coconut cream and add the liquid only. Add the gelatine or agar agar (don't worry about blooming it) and puree until smooth.
  6. Add the coconut oil, spices, salt, vanilla and stevia or maple syrup and puree again until smooth.
  7. Pour over top of the crust and allow to set for at least 2 hours in the fridge before serving.
  8. To make the coconut whipped cream simply use the remaining coconut cream and whip it with a whisk or in a mixer until light and fluffy, you can add a splash of maple syrup or honey to sweeten it up if desired.
  9. Pie serves 8-10 people, place a dollop of coconut whipped cream on each piece and enjoy!
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Paleo No Bake Pumpkin Pie

 

Paleo No Bake Pumpkin Pie

Prosciutto Wrapped Scallops with Avocado Salsa Verde and Wilted Mizuna

Prosciutto Wrapped Scallops with Avocado Salsa Verde and Wilted Mizuna

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Whoa that was a mouthful. I could’ve made it longer, I could’ve said, crispy cast iron seared scallops lovingly draped in a coat of salty prosciutto, smothered with my bright green take on salsa verde, roasted tomatillos, garlic, and a big old fresh avocado to sweeten the deal, all alongside a tender little pile of mizuna greens cooked in a bit of bacon fat for a total of about 30 seconds. Phewf. Okay, should I write menus or is a bit too convoluted? Long story short, if you have ever felt to intimidated to make scallops, stop right now. You know how many amazing scallops you can eat at home for the same price as three on your plate in a fancy restaurant? Learning to make amazing perfect Prosciutto Wrapped Scallops will be a skill that sticks to your side like those little tender tid bits clinging to their shells.

Prosciutto Wrapped Scallops

So this isn’t the first time I’ve waxed poetic about scallops

 

I can’t believe it’s October. Today the little man and I had a date and frolicked in the leaves, enjoying the sunshine after a full on yoga sesh. It was gorgeous to look at him in such a state of pure joy as I threw little dried piles of leaves on him. Like how much happier can you get? Even in the midst of chaos and hardship that smile makes everything okay. Oh and he adooooores scallops!

Prosciutto Wrapped Scallops with Avocado Salsa Verde and Wilted Mizuna

Ingredients

    For the salsa verde
  • 1 lb tomatillos
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 tbs lime juice
  • handful cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno (seeds removed for less spice)
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • For the scallops
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper
  • 1 lb sea scallops
  • 8-12 slices prosciutto
  • For the mizuna
  • 1 bundle mizuna greens
  • 1 tsp bacon fat

Instructions

    For the salsa verde
  1. Heat oven to 400F.
  2. Slice the tomatillos in half and place on a parchment lined baking sheet with the garlic and onion. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast for about 20 minutes until the tomatillos are soft.
  3. Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and pulse until well combined.
  4. For the scallops
  5. Rinse and dry the scallops very well (key) add salt and pepper liberally on both sides.
  6. Use a cast iron pan for optimal results. Heat pan with olive oil until sizzling. Drop the scallops one by one but be sure not to overcrowd them, leave about an inch of space between each one. Do them in batches if need be. Do not touch them once you put them in the pan. Wait about 2 minutes cooking on medium-high heat before flipping, cook for another minute or two on the other side, turning the heat up a bit as the pan will have slightly cooled.
  7. Transfer to a plate and wrap with a slice of prosciutto.
  8. For the mizuna
  9. Add the bacon fat and mizuna to the same pan you cooked the scallops in. Cover for 30 seconds et voila.
  10. Serve with scallops and a dollop of salsa verde
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Sopa de Pollo

Sopa de Pollo

Sopa de pollo

 

The ideal soup. In the words of my father, probably my biggest food critic besides myself. The man that thinks everything I make needs more gluten. The guy that when I try to get him on board with our sugar cleanse, goes out and buys a box of halloween candy and claims he thought sugar cleanse meant MORE sugar.

Sopa de pollo

If he loved this soup, i’m pretty sure everyone will. Best part, it uses a whole chicken which in my opinions is the easiest most economical way to eat chicken. A whole free range chicken feeds a crowd and you get the bones to make stock later. By far the easiest way to cook a whole chicken is to make a big soup.

Sopa de pollo

 

There’s no risk of it not being cooked or worse, being dry and overcooked. The only downside is you don’t get that crispy skin, but I personally looooove the fat that the skin imparts in the soup. It’s so rich, and although the coconut milk isn’t a traditional addition, it adds a creamy comfort to my version of sopa de pollo like none other.

Sopa de pollo

Sopa de Pollo

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp cooking fat of choice
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes + equal amount of water
  • 1 1/2 tsp chipotle powder or 1 whole chipotle in adobo (chopped)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 3 roasted red peppers, chopped
  • 2 C squash of preference (delicata,butternut etc.) cut into cubes
  • 1 C sweet potato, cubed
  • 1 whole chicken (about 3-5 lbs)
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 1 lime + extra for garnish
  • large handful cilantro, chopped
  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced

Instructions

  1. In a large pot or slow cooker heat oil and add onion and garlic. Cook until golden and fragrant and add crushed tomatoes, spices and salt.
  2. Add the whole chicken, roasted red peppers,squash, sweet potato and water to cover chicken. Cover and let cook on low for 1 1/2 hours.
  3. Remove the cooked chicken and place in a large bowl. Let it cool a bit before removing meat from the carcass.
  4. Add pulled chicken, coconut milk and the juice from one lime.
  5. Serve with chopped cilantro, fresh avocado and lime wedges.
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Sopa de pollo

Hey I'm Chantelle, my alter ego would be a mermaid if I wasn't such a terrible swimmer. I love writing authentically and cooking in my pyjamas. My favourite pastimes include eating avocados, travelling the world and hanging out with a toddler.

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Chipotle Elk Lettuce Wraps with Cashew Queso

Chipotle Elk Lettuce Wraps with Cashew Queso

Chipotle Elk Lettuce Wraps with Cashew Queso

We’ve pretty much made lettuce wraps the go-to lunch on the whole30. They’re just so easy, versatile and always hit the spot. Who needs tacos and burritos when you’ve got lettuce wraps. I love these pulled pork lettuce wraps so much, but the prep is a lot more involved. With these chipotle elk lettuce wraps you can literally whip them up in under 20 minutes. If you don’t have access to elk you can most definitely just use ground beef. Lucky me, a friend of a friend is a hunter and scored an elk not too long ago. As i’m making this beautifully fresh elk, my man starts you tubing elks in heat. What an appetizing sound it is, check that shit out AFTER you eat these.

Elk is such an amazingly rich meat. Wild meat is something else, when its hunted properly it doesn’t get those fear hormones that make meat taste off. Not to mention the amazing nutrition from an animal that spent its life grazing wild forests. Have you ever thought about how most of our meat is female? It’s a little out of balance if you ask me. I mean, we don’t eat the roosters, or the bulls, or the boars. Not for any good reason either. These guys just require different cooking styles, but they’re delicious none the less. I like to have some yin and yang balance in my meat eating, which is why wild is where it’s at.

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It’s day 8 of the whole30 and I just posted a new meal plan for week 2. I don’t always follow my own meal plans, but they are inspiring and I think they paint a picture that the whole30 isn’t this wretched deprivation experiment. My major vice is cheese, mostly because of the way it melds flavours together. It’s like a fatty little vehicle that ensures a deep feeling of satisfaction. So I’m thankful for cashews, as they turn into this magical, creamy, cheese like substance with just a few pulses of the blender. You can keep the cashew queso liquid enough so that it can be used as a salad dressing. I like to make extra as a dip for raw veggies and last nights indulgence, tostones, aka fried plantains, aka basically fries from McDonald’s that are totally good for you.

 

Chipotle Elk Lettuce Wraps with Cashew Queso

Ingredients

    For the Chipotle Elk Lettuce Wraps
  • 1 head butter or iceberg lettuce
  • 1 tsp cooking oil or fat of choice
  • 1 white onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 lb ground elk (or ground beef)
  • 1 tsp chipotle powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh cracked pepper
  • juice of 1/2 lime+ extra wedges for serving
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • For the Cashew Queso
  • 1 C cashews (soaked for at least 20 minutes and drained)
  • 3/4 C fresh water
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbs nutritional yeast
  • handful fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • fresh cracked pepper

Instructions

    For the Chipotle Elk
  1. Melt oil in a large skillet, add onions and cook until golden.
  2. Add elk and seasonings, cook on med-high until nicely browned. Finish with a squeeze of lime juice.
  3. Separate lettuce leaves and assemble on a plate, put a neat little pile of grated carrots, followed by a small scoop of the chipotle elk and some lime wedges.
  4. For the Cashew Queso
  5. In a blender or food processor, combine cashews, water, lime, garlic, nutritional yeast, cilantro and seasonings and pulse until super smooth and creamy. You can add more water to achieve your desire thickness.
  6. Drizzle over top of lettuce wraps and enjoy!
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