Blueberry-Avocado Nice Cream

Happy to see that it’s blueberry season, and they are everywhere at half the price I usually pay. When I buy berries and bananas, they go right in the freezer. I wash the berries off first and remove any stems. I wait until the bananas are ripe and the skins are brownish, peel and chop them in thirds, then I place them in big freezer bags. This is how I make my nice cream smoothie bowls, just throwing some of the frozen ingredients in the blender with a fresh peach or pear, orange, avocado, etc. It’s that easy, almost, except for coming up with just the right combination.

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Chickpea Bolognese

This chickpea bolognese is a hearty, rich tomato sauce that will add so much flavor and bite to your pasta, or anything else you top it on. The chickpeas provide the perfect consistency and texture, and are such a great meat substitute because they are tasty, high in protein, fiber, and other nutrients. Unlike many of my other sauces, this one doesn’t require any fresh tomatoes. The nature of it is meant to be thick, so I used canned tomatoes and paste. A scoop of this goes a long way. And, you may be able to fool a carnivore or two with this sauce, or at least show them how delicious and cheap using plant based foods is as an alternative. What I also love about this dish is that it’s twice as filling, given the nature of the chickpeas and the tartness of the tomato. A great meal for kids, but also beautiful enough for adults, dinner parties, and at home solo.

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Lavender Blueberry Biscotti

Another biscotti recipe, and they just get better and better. This is my first time using culinary lavender, and I’m so impressed with the results. The lavender is not overpowering, but light, sweet, refreshing, and complementary with the blueberries and a glass of lemonade. I almost didn’t bake this morning because it was so hot in my apartment, and I didn’t want my kitchen to turn into a sauna. But, I really wanted to try out the lavender in biscotti. Just think of the smell of lavender and the taste of blueberry…and that’s how smooth these are. De-stressing while I eat on this sunny Saturday that I get to lounge around with my cats. This recipe is very low in sugar, easy, and healthy.

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Chocolate-Sweet Potato Mousse

Sweet potatoes and chocolate are a surprisingly delicious combination. I am always experimenting with different ingredients in the blender, looking for the next, best, treat. This chocolate mousse is simple and healthy, but the best part about it is the thick texture. I’ve used avocados in chocolate mousse before, even cashews or coconut, but the sweet potato works beautifully. You could also use yams of any variety in this recipe, as I’ve found that the Japanese yams also work great. I think these orange/purple roots are worth talking about, and worth eating as often as you can. They are a true superfood with incredible versatility, low in calories, high in fiber, gluten free, and host an impressive nutrient profile.

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Sweet Pepper-Tomato-Wine Ragu with Orecchiette

Orecchiete, meaning little ears in Italian, is one of my favorite pastas. These little ears hold sauces in their pockets and have a dense bite to them. I really wanted to feature this pasta so that you can get a generous portion of the ragu with each bite, rather than using string pasta where it can fall to the bottom of the bowl. I’ve made this ragu before in a farro dish, but this recipe is just a tiny bit different than the other one, and spicier, for all the heat lovers like myself.

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Stracciatella Nice Cream

Stracciatella is a popular, traditional gelato variety in Italy. It is a lot like chocolate chip ice cream, but smoother. Melted chocolate is poured into the churning gelato and produces long ribbons that solidify in the cold then get broken up in pieces. Here is my nice cream version, and it only takes a few minutes to prepare, has no sugar, and no need to melt chocolate (unless you like), we’re just going to use cacao nibs. It tastes so much like the stracciatella in Italy due to the shreds of cacao that are in every bite.

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