Category Archives: Coconut

Macadamia Crusted Tilapia

 

Good morning and happy Friday!!!

Did you know today is International (Working) Women’s Day?  March 8th is celebrated to acknowledge women’s rights in the workforce, as well as in society and politics.  Kinda cool, right?

Hmm I guess I’ll celebrate by working today!  Any other ladies want to join me? 😉

And I’ll also celebrate by sharing my delicious dinner from the other night.  Enjoy!

MACADAMIA CRUSTED TILAPIA

Macadamia Crusted Tilapia

Serves Two

Ingredients:

2 tilapia fillets

1 tbls fresh parsley, chopped

1/4 cup coconut flour

1 egg

Sprinkle of cayenne, salt and pepper (to taste)

1/4 cup crushed macadamia nuts, finely chopped

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 425.

2.  Mix together parsley and flour and spread evenly over the bottom of a plate.  Lay tilapia fillets down and coat the outside completely with flour mixture.

tilapia step 1

3.  In a large shallow bowl, whisk egg.  Sprinkle in cayenne, salt, and pepper.  Move tilapia fillets over and dunk into the egg mixture until coated.

tilapia step 2

4.  Place chopped macadamia nuts in another plate.  Carefully, move fillets over and spoon nuts over the top until coated on both sides.

tilapia step 3

5.  Place on a baking sheet lined with tin foil sprayed with olive oil cooking spray.  (If you have a cooling rack or wire rack, place fillets on top of the rack so the heat is evenly dispersed while cooking.  If not, flip halfway through.)

tilapia step 46.  Bake for about 15 minutes (or longer if you have thicker tilapia fillets.)  The fish should flake easily with a fork.

tilapia step 5

7.  Enjoy!

tilapia2

My favorite part of this fish was the extremely toasted macadamia nuts.  I guess I didn’t chop the nuts to be the same size so the larger ones got very toasty.  Loved the taste!

tilapiaBrussel sprouts are just fabulous when also roasted to a crisp!

dinner2

Substitute Ideas:

– If you are not a huge fan of fish, I bet this recipe would work just as well on chicken breast!  However, the cooking times will likely need some adjustments.

– Instead of macadamia nuts, try subbing in coconut, almonds, pistachios, or another nut.

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Snowball Energy Bites

Good morning!

I cannot believe it’s already Thursday.  This week has literally flown by which is quite a rare (and exciting) feeling to have.  I owe it all to my failed travel on Monday and the snowstorm on Tuesday.

New Products

Soo I recently purchased two new products to experiment with in the kitchen: almond flour and coconut flour.

flours

These two products continue popping up all kinds of recipes, so I finally gave in and bought both while I was at a local health food store.

Two interesting things jumped out at me when I read the nutrition labels:

  • Coconut flour has 12 grams of fiber in a 1/4 cup serving as compared to 1 gram in regular all-purpose flour.
  • Almond flour has only 4 grams of carbs (or 1 gram net carbs) in a 1/4 cup serving as compared to 24 grams in regular all-purpose flour.

Pretty impressive!

These newbies were instantly incorporated into my cooking.  Here’s my first recipe with almond flour:

Snowball Energy Bites

Snowball Energy Bites (No Bake)

Very loosely adapted from this recipe.

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup almond flour

1 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, divided

1/2 cup almond butter*

1/3 cup coconut butter**

1 tbls cocoa powder

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1 tsp vanilla extract

*The almond butter I used was a little bit sweet so I didn’t include any additional sweetener.  If you use unsweetened almond butter, you may want to add a bit of honey or other sweetener.

**My almond butter wasn’t very liquidy but depending on how ‘drippy’ your almond butter is, you may need to adjust the coconut butter.

Directions:

1.  Combine all ingredients (except 1/2 cup shredded coconut) and mix thoroughly.

Snowballs step 1

2.  Form 1 inch balls (approximately 1 tablespoon) and put in the fridge to set for about 10 minutes.  Once the bites have firmed up a bit, roll in shredded coconut to coat the outside.

Snowballs2

snowballs

3.  Pop in your mouth for a quick energy boost!

Snowball BiteThese snowballs have been a perfect addition to stave off hunger throughout the day, especially in the mornings before a workout.  Often times I find myself a bit hungry but not enough so to sit down for a full breakfast which will likely give me a stomach ache if I work out immediately after.  This is a fantastic snack to grab to hold off until my regular breakfast.

Have you ever tried coconut or almond flour?

Crock Pot Sweet Potatoes – CPC #10

Gooooooooood morning!

I’m in an awfully good mood today! Most likely because a) it’s Friday, b) it’s March 1st (meaning one more month closer to Spring, even though it certainly doesn’t feel like it this morning) and c) I already have a sweaty 6 mile run under my belt… I’ll take it all! Before I get to my final crock pot recipe, I have one honorable mention from Thursday to discuss first.

Thursday’s Delciousness

My body was a little sore from a recent workout this week and was craving sleep, so I listened to it and skipped my morning workout yesterday in favor of an extra hour of sleep.

Let me tell ya, it felt AMAZING. Plus I took the opportunity to make a hot breakfast.

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Ho-ly. Cow. I know it doesn’t exactly look appetizing, so it’s a good thing my goal wasn’t towards visual appeal but I had to share because this was incredible!

bfast1

I sauteed onion, browned turkey breakfast sausage, scrambled in two eggs, stirred in avocado at the end and added a dollop of roasted garlic & pine nut hummus and a few dashes of Cholula hot sauce.

bfast 2

I really wish my weekday mornings allowed for a little extra time to prepare eggs because they are just so darn tasty! Although my taste buds generally are in the mood for breakfast on the sweeter side, this little concoction may have changed my mind.

Mmmm mmm mmm!

Crock Pot Sweet Potatoes

I have to preface by saying this isn’t exactly a “recipe”, but it is most definitely noteworthy… especially if you happen to love sweet potatoes AND are a busy bee like me! 😉

sweet potato coconut butter4

Ingredients:

4 medium sized sweet potatoes

Directions:

1. Wash sweet potatoes thoroughly but do not dry. Put at the bottom of a dry crock pot.

sweet potatoes raw crockpot

2. Cover and cook on low 10-12 hours or overnight.

sweet potatoes crockpot

3. Prick with a fork or give one a squeeze to see if they are soft to your liking. Another good check is to see if any of the potatoes have any carmelization going on (see bottom right.)

sweet potatoes cooked crock pot

4. Cut a slit lengthwise in the top and squeeze to open up. Top with anything your heart desires!

sweet potato coconut butter

I chose to sprinkle cinnamon and drizzle melted coconut butter over the sweet potato. OMG, that’s a little slice of heaven right there!

Tonight

I’m excited to get through the rest of the day because Dave and I are off to the Blackhawks game tonight. Hopefully they continue their incredible streak of no losses! Go Hawks!

blackhawks

What are YOUR plans this weekend?

Mini Chewy Granola Bites

I set off to make homemade granola bars following no recipe in particular.  And this is what happened…

granola bite

As I was rummaging through the cabinets to find a square baking pan, the mini muffin tin turned on a light bulb in my head.  Why not make bite size granola bars to use for a quick pre/post workout snack?

granola bites close up2

These guys are chock full with lots of healthy ingredients.  They are naturally sweetened with Medjool dates and organic honey and have no regular added sugar.  They contain healthy fats and Omega-3s, thanks to the chia seeds and all 3 forms of coconut hidden in here, and there is also plenty of fiber from the oats.

tower2

mini chewy granola bites

Mini Chewy Granola Bites

Yields 24 bites

Ingredients:

2 cups rolled oats (not instant)

1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut

1/4 cup wheat germ

10 dried, pitted Medjool dates, chopped

6 tbls honey

1/4 cup coconut cashew butter (or other nut butter)

2 tbls coconut butter

Directions:

1.  Mix first 4 ingredients through dates in a large bowl.

bowls2

2.  Combine the last 3 ingredients and heat until warm through on the stovetop or in the microwave.  Pour into bowl and mix thoroughly.  (A fork works pretty well or you can use your clean hands like I did.)

oat bowl

3.  Line the mini muffin tin with plastic wrap and press oat mixture firmly into each cup.

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*I sampled way too much so there were a few missing, but you should be able to make 24 cups.  Also, I found it helpful lay a sheet of plastic wrap over the top of the filled cups and pack down even more.

DSC_0351

4.  Place in the refrigerator for about 20-30 minutes to allow the granola bites to firm up.  Then pop ’em out and enjoy!

granola bite plate

Coconut Cashew Butter

As I mentioned in my earlier post, I scooped up a big ol’ jar of coconut butter this week.  My mind has been running wild with excitement over the possibilities of its uses.  (And yes, I am aware I get excited over weird stuff like this. 😉 )

Although coconut oil has historically been deemed ‘unhealthy’ due to its high saturated fat content, more recent research argues otherwise, but I won’t pretend I’m an expert on the subject, so here is a great article about the health benefits of coconut oil.

coconut oil

Similarly, coconut butter shares many of the same health benefits.

So what’s the difference between coconut oil and coconut butter?  Coconut butter is basically the meat of the coconut ground up to a smooth consistency, much like peanuts are to peanut butter, while coconut oil is simply the oil extracted from the coconut, like peanut oil comes from peanuts.  Make sense?

I’ve been using coconut oil in my cooking for several months, but I had no luck locating coconut butter for some reason… until recently, that is.coconut butter

*When I initially opened the jar, there was a liquid oil layer sitting atop a large brick of solid coconut.  I filled a large bowl with hot water and let the jar (with lid on) sit for about 10 minutes before stirring it until completely smooth.  Having said that, keep in mind when coconut oil or butter is stored, it will likely go back to it’s solid state again.

So, in my opinion?  Let me first preface it by saying I’ve never been one to love coconut flavor.  Not that I hated it but it was just never one of my favorites.  Especially the artificial flavored coconut drinks, candy, etc.  Yuck.  BUT now that I’ve tasted coconut oil and butter, I can honestly say I love coconut.  Neither one has a very strong coconut flavor, more just a hint compared to, say, an artificially flavored pina colada.  Totally different.

You can use it just like regular butter on toast or pancakes, blend it up in smoothies, drizzle over sweet potatoes, substitute for regular butter or oil in baking, etc.  I decided to use it in combination with cashews to make a coconut cashew butter.

coconut cashew butter 3

Coconut Cashew Butter

Ingredients:

2 cups cashews*

5 tbls coconut butter

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

Put all ingredients into a food processor.

RECIPE

Process until smooth, scraping the edges occasionally.

coconut cashew butter*I used salted cashews so I didn’t need to add any salt but if you choose to use unsalted cashews, you may want to add a bit of salt to the mix.

coco cash butter

A little slice of heaven, if you ask me.  There is just a subtle hint of coconut flavor flowing through the creamy smooth cashew butter.  And who doesn’t love cashews?

My favorite use of this butter was on a sweet potato, though I’ve also enjoyed it simply spread on a bagel… and possibly eaten straight off my finger the spoon.  Hey, I had to taste test! 😉

Well I’m off to the 2013 First Look for Charity event for the Chicago Auto Show.  Have a great Friday night!