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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Prepare duck by thoroughly drying the skin and coating with sea salt and pepper. Place on a wire rack above your roasting pan. Preheat oven to 300F.
Cook duck for 3.5 hours, turning over every hour.
Remove duck from the oven and increase the heat to 400F, brush the duck all over with about half the glaze and return to the oven for 10 minutes to get nice and crispy.
Allow duck to rest a few minutes before serving. You can shred the meat nicely with two forks or slice it thinly with a bit of extra sauce on top. Enjoy!
Habanero honey glaze
Heat oil in a small sauce pan or skillet and add garlic and habanero, allow to become fragrant and turn slightly golden before adding the remaining ingredients. Bring to a simmer for 5 minutes, allowing the mixture to become slightly thicker.
I don’t like winter one little bit. I’ve tried the Wim Hoff method, I’ve tried to embrace cocoa and warm fires and snow angels. The only time I’ve ever really felt an attraction to winter is when I took mushrooms and couldn’t feel the cold and when engaged in snowboarding. Aside from that it would be really cool to just work from my computer and live in Ecuador. Hear that internet Gods!!! Make it happen. Please? Until then I embrace eating summer foods on dreary grey winter days which otherwise would be more akin to potato chowder and a glass of bourbon. Enter: Raw Zucchini Noodle Pad Thai
Subsequently I scarfed down half this salad before work and it moosted my bood x100. My lovely clients at primal paleo sent me a spiralizer to create some exciting new recipes for their blog. I’ve missed having one around, they are so useful and by george is it just me or does food taste better spiralized!?
Confession time, I normally loathe canned fish. There is something about it that I’ve hated since childhood. But it’s so damn convenient and on a handful of occasions I’ve had it prepared in a way that is well, delicious and makes me hate it much much less. So I feel that with these sesame salmon balls with ginger tahini dipping sauce that a turning point has been reached. Because you guys, these are so freaking good, and how could they not be when they come straight from the brilliant noggin of Sonia Lacasse otherwise known as the Healthy Foodie and author of the amazing new cookbook Paleo Home Cooking. This woman is a total rockstar with such an inspiring story.
Not only does she turn canned salmon into a veritable delicacy, she also has a recipe for fatty fish patties that uses sardines and herring and makes getting those omega-3’s a piece of cake. These patties are perfect for picky kids and adults alike, and we all know how healthy herring and sardines are but admittedly they can be a challenge to include in ones diet.
I loved flipping through the pages of her first cookbook and will return to it for inspiration time and time again. The section on nut butters is beyond anything my simple almond butter imagination could ever conjure up. Seriously, smoky bacon and dark chocolate nut spread and a taste of India seed butter, this book is already covered in drool! I’m always impressed by Sonia’s luxurious desserts and she pulled no stops for the book. My Quebecois mother literally flipped her lid when I told her there was a paleo recipe for “pouding choumer” which is a classic Quebecois dessert that translates to unemployed mans pudding. It’s a classic vanilla cake with a buttery luxurious maple pudding sauce that sinks to the bottom during the cooking process. I can’t believe my beloved childhood dessert has been paleofied.
4 tablespoons healthy cooking fat or oil for pan-frying (best choices include lard, beef tallow, ghee, coconut or avocado oil)
Put all the ingredients for the salmon mixture in a large mixing bowl and mix until evenly combined; Place that in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours.
While the salmon mixture is busy getting cold, prepare the dipping sauce by placing all the ingredients to a small food processor and processing until smooth and creamy. Now place that too in the refrigerator to chill for a couple of hours.
Disperse the white and black sesame seeds on a plate.
Once the salmon mixture is fully chilled, roll it or scoop it into 36 balls*, roughly the size of a Ping-Pong ball, then roll them into the sesame seeds to coat.
Heat the cooking fat in a large heavy skillet set over medium-high heat and cook the salmon balls, turning them often, until nice and golden all around, which should take about 8 to 10 minutes total. You might have to work in 2 or 3 batches, depending on the size of your skillet.
Make sure not to overcrowd the pan so that air gets to circulate freely between each ball.
Allow the balls to cool slightly before serving with the dipping sauce.
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.