Creamy Garlic Avocado Sauce

There is literally no food on this green Earth that I find more naturally beautiful than an avocado. When you cut into a perfectly ripe avocado, and twist the two halves apart to reveal that ombre green center… it’s just a damn beautiful fruit, okay? And luckily, it’s also one of the most amazing sources of healthy fat, um, ever. I’ve long been a vocal opponent of the idea that fat makes you fat — it doesn’t! Fat is satiating and a necessary component of healthy meals. In fact, the personal trainer that I trained with told me that a good ratio of nutrients for weight loss is 40/30/30 — that’s 40% carbs, 30% protein, and 30% fat! The same amount of fat as protein. BOOM.

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So when I came down to brainstorming for my final Almond Breeze recipe — what will hopefully be the piece de resistance — it was really quite fortuitous that I also happened to have a bulk bag of avocados from Costco ripening away (BEST VALUE EVER. It was like $5.99 for 7 avocados or some nonsense). Because it gave me a chance to revamp a recipe that I believe I originally posted back in the earliest blossoming days of this blog… but I can’t be sure, because it was so long ago that I can’t actually find the post I’m thinking about. (Whoops.)

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Aaaanywho, yes, this is the better, delicious-er, avocado-ier version of my original recipe. I actually intended to serve it over a bed of roasted spaghetti squash, but I got too impatient waiting for the squash to finish cooking, so I ended up eating it with some leftover pasta that I had in the fridge. Yep, the sauce gets done THAT fast and it’s THAT good. And would you believe that it’s UNDER 100 CALORIES per serving?! Believe me, you are not going to want to miss out on this one.

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Creamy Garlic Avocado Sauce
Makes 6 servings of sauce

Ingredients:

2 ripe avocados
1 clove raw garlic
1 loose cup spinach
1/4 cup unsweetened Almond Breeze almond milk
Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions:

1. In a food processor or high-powered blender, combine avocados, garlic, and spinach.
2. Pulse until finely chopped.
3. Add almond milk in batches and blend until desired consistency is reached. For a runnier texture, you may need slightly more almond milk.
4. Add salt and pepper to taste, and voila! Toss with pasta, top chicken or fish, or serve as a dip with crackers!

Nutritional information: 99.4 calories, 9 g fat (but it’s good fat!), 5.4 g carbs, 1.3 g protein.

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I’m not going to bother calling it a pasta sauce, because I think that it honestly has tons of possibilities. Toss with noodles, use as sauce for a rice bowl, or top chicken or fish with this creamy green deliciousness. Keep the texture a little thicker and serve it as a dip! (I’d probably add a little lemon or lime juice to maintain it’s freshness if I did that, but I didn’t have any on hand this time around and it really is delicious as is.)

My tip for preserving leftovers is the same as for making guacamole: cover the sauce with a layer of plastic wrap — as in, have the plastic wrap actually TOUCH the food in its container, and then put on the lid. Keeping the air off of the sauce will help keep the top from browning (since, even though it’s still totally fine to eat, browned food never looks appetizing). And bon appetite!

almondbreezelogoThe above post was sponsored by Blue Diamond Almond Breeze, but all content is 100% my own.

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Oh, Autumn. How I love thee so. With you comes crisp weather, apple-based desserts, and, perhaps my favorite thing of all, pumpkin EVERYTHING.

Seriously, you can’t walk three steps through the mall come Fall without bumping into something pumpkin-related. Pumpkin scones, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin scented candles, pumpkin perfume (don’t laugh, I’ve seen it!). Of course, it’s not really like I’m complaining. I looooove pumpkin! Especially when it comes in the pie variety (something I’m very much looking forward to, come Thanksgiving).

Unfortunately, my impatient nature doesn’t really bode well for the whole “wait until Turkey Day” thing when it comes to pumpkin pie. But, then again, it’s not like I can just eat a slice of pumpkin pie every day. Or, well, I mean, I could, but I really shouldn’t. Enter: the Pumpkin Pie Smoothie.

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Now, I know what you’re thinking. There are TONS of pumpkin pie smoothie recipes out there! I’m sure that September and October bring nothing BUT pumpkin smoothie recipes to the healthy living blogosphere. But. Let me tell you something. All those other smoothies? They usually have a whoooooole lotta stuff in them. Stuff like frozen bananas and almond butter and QUINOA FLOUR. Things that, my friends, you simply would never find in a pumpkin pie.

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My solution? A true, simple, minimal-ingredient recipe that will give your tastebuds a treat without A) packing on the pie-induced pounds, and B) actually tastes like pumpkin pie. And hey, bonus! It’s vegan! #winning

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
(Makes 1 very large serving or 2 smaller ones — it’s quite filling so I definitely recommend sharing with a friend!)

Ingredients:

1 cup pureed pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix — I use Libby’s)
1 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla Almond Breeze almond milk (or milk of choice)
1/2 cup ice cubes
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tbsp sugar or sweetener of choice

Instructions:

As with all smoothies, the instructions are:

1. Put ingredients into a blender.
2. Blend.
3. Enjoy!

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almondbreezelogoThe above post was sponsored by Blue Diamond Almond Breeze, but all content is 100% my own.

Vegan No-Bake Chocolate Creme Pie

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They say that some things are too good to be true.

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And generally, I’d say that is usually the case.

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But not this time.

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No, the only thing that will have you roaring in disbelief here is how incredibly easy this recipe is.

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This smooth, rich-tasting a chocolate pie requires absolutely no oven time and is sure to impress! They’ll never even know that you were hiding something all along…

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‘Cause that’s right, not only is this an absolutely delicious dessert, but it’s got a secret, healthifying ingredient that bumps up the nutrition without sacrificing taste. Remember that coupon-fueled grocery shopping trip I did a couple of weeks ago? Well, I came home with three packages of Nasoya tofu courtesy of the company, and I finally got the chance to use one of them up! Some of you may be no stranger to using silken tofu in desserts, but this was a first for me. As you can see, I’m incredibly pleased with the result!

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I promise you cannot taste the tofu at all (and my roommate verified!) and instead, you’ll be amazed at the incredible texture it provides. Outside of my mom’s amazing Chinese cooking, I don’t see silken tofu used in dishes very often. It doesn’t taste like much of anything on its own, but soaks up flavors like a sponge and has a consistency that I would liken to flan.

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And the best part? By using lite silken tofu you’re keeping calories fairly reasonable for a piece of chocolate pie. I mean, don’t get me wrong. It’s still chocolate, and it’s still pie, and since I don’t have magical powers, it still has some weight to it. But for a holiday dinner or special occasion? Heck yes!

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Pull this puppy out at your next dinner party and surprise your guests with the secret ingredient after they’ve downed their first slice. In fact, I would bet money that they’ll be clamoring for seconds anyway!

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Vegan No-Bake Chocolate Creme Pie
Print this recipe!

Adapted from Alton Brown’s Moo-less Chocolate Pie
Serves 8

Easy? Check. Delicious? Check. Healthier than your average bear pie? Check! This creamy dreamy chocolate pie will have your dinner guests in disbelief when you admit to the secret ingredient. Looking to save even more calories? Skip the crust and serve it custard-style in individual ramekins!

Ingredients:

1 12 oz. bag of vegan semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon water
1 package lite silken tofu
1 tablespoon granulated sugar (optional)
1 graham cracker pie crust, store-bought or home-made

Instructions:

1. Combine chocolate chips, vanilla extract, and water in a heat-safe bowl. Melt together using a double-boiler (resting the bowl over a pot of simmering water on the stove) or in small batches in the microwave (10 seconds at a time), stirring frequently.

2. When chocolate is melted and smooth, remove from heat and add tofu and sugar, if using. Blend until smooth in a blender, food processor, or with an immersion blender. Pour into pie crust and refrigerate.

3. Refrigerate for 1 – 2 hours (the longer it sits, the firmer it will get), and serve solo or with homemade cinnamon whipped cream!

Nutritional info per slice: 382 calories, 20 g fat, 47 g carbs (3 g fiber), 8 g protein.

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Done.

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And done.