Guacamole Chicken Salad

Guacamole Chicken Salad #glutenfree #dairyfree

Guacamole Chicken Salad #glutenfree #dairyfree

My name is Ari, and I have a chicken salad problem.

Guacamole Chicken Salad #glutenfree #dairyfree

There, I admit it. I just…I get on these kicks, and I have to make something every way humanly possible until I decide I’m bored, then I move on to the next best thing. Right now, I enjoy about 3 meals. Burgers, hot dogs (just you wait…so many are coming), and chicken salad (duh). At least my tastes seem to be seasonal?

http://arismenu.com/curried-chicken-salad/

So I actually realized I’ve been holding out on you guys. I’ve never actually posted my guacamole recipe. That’s probably because, until now, I had absolutely no idea what it was. I always just messed with a few key ingredients until it tasted the way I wanted. That’s the best part about guacamole–mess it up? Oh, just add more of something else, and it’s sure to even out eventually.

Guacamole Chicken Salad #glutenfree #dairyfree

So for the first time in my life, I measured out every single ingredient for my guacamole. Because I didn’t think using instructions like “Add salt until it’s salty enough” really counted as “quality content”. And I don’t mean to brag, but my guacamole is AWESOME! Spicy, fresh and creamy–it gets requested all.the.time.

Guacamole Chicken Salad #glutenfree #dairyfree

So I made it, then I added a rotisserie chicken, some tomatoes, and after all the photography was done, I had the brilliant idea to add dried cranberries. Oh Em Gee. ADD THE DRIED CRANBERRIES!!! I’m sorry they’re not in the picture. Add them anyway. You’re welcome.

This is legit the best chicken salad I have EVER tasted. It lasted about 3 days, and Steve and I were fighting each other for it. It’s perfect for all you dairy-free folk, and anyone who loves guacamole, or chicken, or food in general.

Guacamole Chicken Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 6-8 servings

Guacamole Chicken Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 large (or 3 small) avocados, peeled and pitted
  • 1 lime, zest & juice
  • small handful fresh cilantro
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeno, finely chopped (remove stems and heat for less heat)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • generous pinch each salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries (optional, but recommended)
  • 10-12 oz cooked and shredded chicken (I used one rotisserie)

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine avocado, lime (zest and juice), cilantro, garlic, jalapeno, cumin, salt and pepper. Use an immersion blender to blend all ingredients together until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Blend for less time if you like a thick and chunky consistency.
  2. Stir in onion, tomatoes, cranberries and chicken. Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container with half a lime (this prevent browning) for up to 5 days.
http://arismenu.com/guacamole-chicken-salad/

Want more chicken salad options? I have lots (and none of them have mayo)!

Curried Chicken Salad

Buffalo Chicken Salad

Cranberry Apple Chicken Salad

Jalapeno Popper Chicken

Jalapeno Popper Chicken

Jalapeno Popper Chicken

I don’t know about you guys, but I am living in a haze of my post-long-weekend-fun. Did you guys do anything exciting for memorial day? I helped my brother move into his first apartment, celebrated my mom’s birthday, and had an awesome day at Lake Pleasant with Nicole. Oh, and then I spent actual Memorial Day creating recipes, meal planning, grocery shopping, and attempting productivity. Now? I just want to lay around and be lazy.

Jalapeno Popper Chicken

It’s always those lazy nights that I feel like throwing in the towel and hitting up Chipotle (honestly, does Chipotle EVER not sound good?) that I end up coming up with some of my favorite recipes. A quick survey of the fridge and pantry, throw a few things together in about 5 minutes, stick it in the oven and hope for the best.

Jalapeno Popper Chicken

I know you guys love recipes like that too. Who wants to cook healthy food if it means spending your entire life in the kitchen? Umm, I love cooking, and that sounds awful even to me! This chicken is breaded and crispy and filled with cheese and jalapeno creating the unmistakable flavor of a jalapeno popper (one of my favorite bar food appetizers) in a healthy, simple dinner. I fell in love with it at first bite, and you better believe it will become one of my I-don’t-feel-like-cooking staples.

Jalapeno Popper Chicken

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

Serving Size: 1 x 6oz chicken breast

Jalapeno Popper Chicken

Crispy, breaded chicken breast stuffed with roasted jalapeno and cheese. It tastes like a jalapeno popper for dinner!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole grain bread crumbs (brown rice, whole wheat, etc.)
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • generous pinch each salt and pepper
  • 1 jalapeno, ribs and seeds removed
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 x 6 oz chicken breasts, butterflied
  • 1 oz goat cheese (or cream cheese)
  • 2 egg whites, beaten

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Place a cooling rack inside of a cookie sheet and spray lightly with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. Combine bread crumbs, cayenne, salt and pepper in a large shallow bowl. Set aside.
  3. Place jalapeno and garlic on a small piece of tin foil. Lightly drizzle with olive oil. Broil until softened, about 10 minutes. Keep an eye on it to make sure the garlic doesn't burn. Roughly chop jalapeno, and finely chop garlic.
  4. Divide cheese, jalapeno and garlic between the center of the two chicken breasts. Fold chicken back over on top of the fillings. Secure with a toothpick.
  5. Place beaten egg whites in a large shallow bowl. Drench chicken in egg whites, then coat completely in bread crumb mixture and place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining chicken.
  6. Bake until cooked throughout and juices run clear, about 30 minutes.
http://arismenu.com/jalapeno-popper-chicken/

PB&J Cheesecake Cups

PB&J Cheesecake Cups

PB&J Cheesecake Cups

You.guys. I just…I’m not even sure I can talk about these little gems.

PB&J Cheesecake Cups

I guess that is why we take so many pictures? Because there is no way I could explain in words how out-of-this-world this dessert is.

PB&J Cheesecake Cups

First of all, peanut butter and jelly is my probably favorite combination. Well, peanut butter and chocolate miiiight give it a run for it’s money, but I am totally that person that will go to a restaurant and order a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Especially if it includes words like “roasted” or other fancy adjectives. I’m a sucker for fancy adjectives.

PB&J Cheesecake Cups

I made these for Steve’s birthday. I think I’ve mentioned that his birthday dessert from last year is my very favorite dessert I’ve ever made. It’s also one of the most popular recipes on this li’l ol’ blog. Well, these cheesecake cups give those vanilla bean cookie butter cup cupcakes a run for their money!

PB&J Cheesecake Cups

You guys are going to love these babies. Creamy peanut butter cheesecake stuffed with raspberry (or whatever flavor you love most) jam on top of my very favorite go-to graham cracker crust. It just doesn’t get much better.

PB&J Cheesecake Cups

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 5 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: 12 cups

Serving Size: 1 cup

PB&J Cheesecake Cups

Peanut butter and jelly meets cheesecake in these perfect, single serving cups.

Ingredients

    For the graham cracker crust:
  • 1 cup old fashioned graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • For the cheesecake:
  • 1 lb reduced fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (I used PB&Co white chocolate wonderful)
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • approx 6 tbsp low sugar raspberry jam (or jam or your choosing)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray a standard muffin tin with nonstick spray. Set. Aside.
  2. To make the crust, combine graham cracker crumbs and coconut oil in a medium bowl. Place approx 1 tablespoon of crust into each muffin tin. Press down with your fingers or a shot glass. Bake until set, about 7-10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack while you prepare the filling.
  3. To make the cheesecake, beat cream cheese, peanut butter and brown sugar together in a large bowl or stand mixer. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until combined. Beat in almond milk and vanilla.
  4. Evenly divide half the cheesecake batter (eyeball it) between your 12 muffin tins. Top with approx 1/2 tbsp of jam, then divide remaining cheesecake batter.
  5. Bake until lightly browned and just set, about 15-20 minutes. Turn the oven off and crack the door. Allow cheesecakes to sit in opened oven for an additional 15 minutes.
  6. Cool completely on a wire rack, then refrigerate until fully chilled, about 3-4 hours. Store covered in refrigerator for up to one week.

Notes

Inspired by Gimme Some Oven

If you'd like, you can top the cheesecake cups with extra jam just before serving.

http://arismenu.com/pbj-cheesecake-cups/

Drink & Dish: Loaded Baked Potato Salad

Loaded Baked Potato Salad

Loaded Baked Potato Salad

I realllllly hope you like this recipe. I almost lost a leg creating it for you. I mean, “lost a leg” might be sliiiiightly dramatic, but I did end up with a pretty massive and nasty burn on my leg. I’ve had quite a few kitchen casualties recently, and I’m just considering it an opportunity to toughen up.

Loaded Baked Potato Salad

I’m pretty much a wimp about hurting myself. I will push through tons of pain when I run, but the second I SEE the physical pain happen, I kind of cry like a baby. It’s not my best character trait, but I mean it could be worse, right?

Loaded Baked Potato Salad

Ya know, for all my whining, this dish totallllly made up for it. I’ve made it before, but not for a long time, and with one bite I remembered just how dangerously delicious it was. In fact, after several days of nonstop picking at it and eating bites here and there, I finally had to throw in the towel and send the rest of the leftovers off with my family.

Loaded Baked Potato Salad

It literally tastes like a loaded baked potato. It has all the good stuff, and gets rid of a large amount of the bad. No butter (the original recipe calls for TWO STICKS–gross), no sour cream, and lighter cheese and bacon options. If you’re not a meat or bacon eater, I guess you cooouuulllld leave it out, but I feel like it’s totally worth the little extra splurge here. Plus, center cut bacon is like 35 caloies a slice, so unless you just don’t like it, I’d keep it. ;)

Loaded Baked Potato Salad

The only time consuming part of this salad is waiting for the potatoes to bake. Literally, the rest is 5 minutes of throwing things together in a bowl. The flavors and textures come together perfectly with the starchy potatoes, creamy greek yogurt and crunchy, salty bacon.

Loaded Baked Potato Salad

Make sure you check out the latest episode of Drink & Dish, and if you want a fun summer treat for Memorial Day or lounging by the pool, check out Nicole’s delicious vodka lemonade slush.


Drink & Dish: Loaded Baked Potato Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 6-8 servings

Drink & Dish: Loaded Baked Potato Salad

Simple, easy, and lightened up loaded baked potato salad perfect for summer BBQs.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs red skinned potatoes
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 lb center cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 heaping cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
  • Generous pinch salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Pierce potatoes several times with a fork. Transfer to a large baking dish and lightly drizzle with olive oil. Cook until softened, about 45 minutes. Let cool for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Cut baked potatoes into 1" cubes. Place all ingredients in a large bowl, and lightly toss until combined. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Notes

Adapted from Rachel Ray

http://arismenu.com/drink-dish-loaded-baked-potato-salad/

Spicy Chipotle Cheeseburgers

Spicy Chipotle Cheeseburgers

Spicy Chipotle Cheeseburgers

My mind has officially checked out into summer vacation land. Technically, I have 2 more days of classes before it becomes official, but mentally I am….so….there. And let’s face it,  I’ve been there for a couple of weeks now.

Spicy Chipotle Cheeseburgers

There is something about summer when you work on the school calendar. I still work hard over the summer, but it all seems like so much FUN. Maybe it’s knowing it’s all only temporary, and eventually you will all go back to “real life”, but I just love it. Despite the hear here in Phoenix, it’s probably my favorite time of year.

Spicy Chipotle Cheeseburgers

It seems like no matter what I have on my meal plan these days, nothing sounds better than grilling up some burgers and eating dinner by the pool. It just makes my heart happy. Not to mention the flavor combinations for burgers are pretty much endless, leaving you with burger after burger recipe. Sorry I’m not sorry.

Spicy Chipotle Cheeseburgers

I do have a pretty sweet side dish coming your way later this week that you can eat along side these burgers during your Memorial Day festivities.

Spicy Chipotle Cheeseburgers

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 burgers

Serving Size: 1 burger

Spicy Chipotle Cheeseburgers

Simple and easy spicy chipotle cheeseburgers are a perfect way to kick up your summer grilling!

Ingredients

    For the burgers:
  • 1 lb 96% lean ground beef (or lean ground turkey)
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, finely chopped
  • pinch salt
  • For the creamy chipotle spread:
  • 1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • Toppings/to put together the burger:
  • Whole grain buns (whole wheat, brown rice, etc.)
  • Sliced roma tomato
  • Lettuce
  • Extra sharp cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. To make the burgers, combine beef, chopped chipotle pepper and salt in a large bowl. Create 4 evenly sized patties. Gently press each patty down in the center with your thumb to create an indent--this promotes even cooking. Grill to desired doneness, about 4-5 minutes per side.
  2. To make the sauce, blend Greek yogurt and chipotle pepper in a food processor or blender until well combined.
  3. To assemble burgers, spread sauce onto the top side of the bun. Top bottom half with lettuce, burger, cheese and tomato slices (or whatever you'd like--it's your burger!) and finish off with the top half of the bun. Serve immediately. Leftover meat patties can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
http://arismenu.com/spicy-chipotle-cheeseburgers/

Weekend Ramblings

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1. I spent the week with my college roommate. She came all the way down from Seattle just to hang with me, and we had a total blast. We hiked Piestewa Peak. image (5)

RRRAAAWWWRRR I CLIMBED A MOUNTAIN!!!

RRRAAAWWWRRR I CLIMBED A MOUNTAIN!!!

There are no cacti in Washington...

There are no cacti in Washington…

We created a Phoenix bicycle beer tour where we rode from my house to Papago Brewery to Handlebar to Spokes, then back home. It was SO FUN, and now I want to do it every weekend. image (4)

"Sometimes I wear a helmet just for life."

“Sometimes I wear a helmet just for life.”

And we went to Tumbleweed Park. I love parks. We’re both basically like 6 year olds. image image (2) image (1)

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2.So, I like to tell my puppies good job for a multitude of things. You know, build their self esteem. I often tell Winston things like “Good boy, Winston. Good loving.” when he is being sweet, or sometimes I say “Good Winstoning.” Yes. I made his name into a verb, which led to telling Steve ridiculous things like “Good husbanding.” Heather has now caught on too. Good best friending, Heath.

3. We also spent the week with this cutie.

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4. On June 12th, Spirit of the Marathon II will be in theaters!! This means I have to see the first one before then. I can’t wait. I will probably cry.

5. Speaking of movies, I saw The Great Gatsby. It was….fine, I suppose. I mean, I guess I was mildly entertained, but it was nothing like what I was expecting, and certainly did not do the book justice. Also, the soundtrack. Cannot, will not get behind it. I understand that it was a choice that was supposed to be “artistic”, but it just doesn’t work for me, and took me out right away.

6. This month FitFluential is celebrating their second anniversary! One of the proudest days of my blogging life was the day I found out I had been accepted as a FitFluential Ambassador. Their newsletter, blog, twitter and facebook have tons of motivation, great tips, fun workouts and healthy recipes to share, and if you don’t follow them already, you should jump on that ship, my friends!

7. The other night, I fried up some center cut bacon for burgers, then I cooked some onions in the bacon fat. It was totally, completely the opposite of healthy, and was totally, completely delicious.

8. After Heather’s visit, I have about 5 zillion new recipe ideas swimming around my head. I can’t wait to tell you about them.

Banana Cream Cupcakes

Banana Cream Cupcakes

Banana Cream Cupcakes

You guys you guys you guys you guys!!!!! I have the best house guest in the whole world right now!

Banana Cream Cupcakes

So I’m going to keep this short so we can commence with cooking, baking, wine drinking, and goat cheese eating. I made banana cupcakes. Then I stuffed them with cream cheese frosting. Then I topped them with salted caramel. I mean, how could that even possibly be bad?

Banana Cream Cupcakes

Did I mention that my “little” brother turned 16? He is also over 6′ tall, and has this deep man voice. When he calls me he just says “Yooooooooo” in this grumbly, ridiculously low-pitched man voice. Like, what IS that? I remember him being born. HOW CAN HE BE A MAN NOW????

Banana Cream Cupcakes

I try to imitate the “Yo” voice, but ummm, I have a high-pitched little girl voice, so it doesn’t work. At all. Everyone laughs at me. So I just let him stick to the man voice, and I stick to what I’m good at, like making him perfect birthday cupcakes. And they are. The banana makes the cupcakes ridiculously soft, and they are totally stuffed with the cream cheese filling, and that salted caramel is just the icing on the cake. Literally.

Banana Cream Cupcakes

Banana Cream Cupcakes

Ingredients

    For the cupcakes:
  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 dash salt
  • 2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup reduced fat buttermilk
  • fleur de sel caramel for topping, optional
  • For the filling:
  • 8oz reduced fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 375. Line 2 muffin tins with 18 paper liners. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat together apples, apple sauce and sugar. Slowly, beat in eggs one at a time, followed by vanilla. Slowly beat in half the dry ingredients, then buttermilk, followed by the last of the dry ingredients.
  3. Evenly divide batter between 18 muffin tins. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean with just a few crumbs, about 20-25 minutes. Cool completely.
  4. To make the filling, beat cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla together until well combined. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a large tip. Insert tip into the center of cooled cupcakes and gently squeeze out 1-2 tbsp of filling.
  5. Drizzle with caramel if desired immediately before serving. Cupcakes are best the same day, but can be stored refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
http://arismenu.com/banana-cream-cupcakes/

What’s Beautiful: Perseverance

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Disclaimer: This post is part of a sponsored by Under Armour through FitFluential. My overwhelming love for this movement and everything it stands for is 100% my own.

Five and a half years ago, I began a journey to find myself. If you know me, if you’ve read my blog for any length of time, or if you’ve ever read my weight loss story, you know that I didn’t grow up athletic, healthy, or confident, and I certainly didn’t feel beautiful. My body felt like my enemy, a prison, and I treated it as such. I allowed it to hold me back, and I fed into an identity that wasn’t me.

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I looked at other women and dreamed that one I day I would wake up and look the way they looked. My idea of beauty was skin-deep and conveniently “unachievable”. It’s so easy to tell yourself you can’t do it. It is so much more difficult to try and risk failing.

As I changed my eating and exercise habits, I was surprised by my success. Shocked, even. Everything I’d ever wanted seemed to be happening, and I thought my dreams were coming true. I was left feeling completely lost when, after losing 75 lbs, I never did reach my goal weight, and in my mind, never achieved the “beauty” I was after.

Everything changed the day I started running. For the first time in my entire life, I saw my body for what it was able to do for me. I saw strength, determination, and beauty in who I am, and in that I found the identity that had been buried all along–I found my identity in my ability to take on challenges, to fight, push, crawl, and not give up until I’ve achieved my goal. I realized that this is a gift that is inside of me, and that not everyone has that same determination, that same perseverance.

Hot Chocolate

Around this time last year, I decided I needed something–something big, and in a moment of excitement and slight impulsiveness, I committed to raising $5,000 for Chances for Children AZ and running THE New York City Marathon. The 18 weeks of training were some of the hardest and most rewarding of my entire life, and when news of the marathon cancelation hit, I took it very hard.

tc2

tc

Despite completing my first marathon a couple of months later, this journey has continued to feel unfinished for me. Maybe it’s because I dreamed of running that specific race, maybe it’s because I ran my first marathon injured, and didn’t feel like I really got the opportunity to go out there and give everything I had, or maybe it’s that stubborn part of me that NEEDS to finish what I start. So that is exactly what I WILL do.

When I was asked to set a goal for this movement, I found myself, for the first time ever, at a bit of a loss. Running is what is in my heart, but I’d only been back for a week, and the most I’m allowed to run at one time is currently 30 minutes. However, I have almost 6 months, and I know in my heart that THIS is the goal I need to achieve. The goal I WILL achieve. On November 3rd 2013, I will finish the journey I began a year ago (or five and a half years ago).

NYCM.jpg

I challenge you to join me–set a goal that’s big, scary, and a goal you know you NEED to accomplish. Don’t use the word “try”. Find a goal and say I WILL.

If you would like to join me and set your own goal, you can sign up here. You can join teams, follow other women along in their journeys, and most importantly you can prove to yourself that you are capable of amazing things, that you can be strong, persevere, and discover a beauty inside you that you may not have acknowledged before.

3 Ingredient Roasted Banana Coconut Milk Ice Cream

3 Ingredient Roasted Banana Coconut Milk Ice Cream #vegan

3 Ingredient Roasted Banana Coconut Milk Ice Cream #vegan

Of course I would need the most complicated title ever to describe the simplest recipe. In fact, it’s probably more difficult to say the title out loud than it is to make it. It’s that chronic over-sharing thing I do. I just can’t help it.

3 Ingredient Roasted Banana Coconut Milk Ice Cream #vegan

So after an amazing cold front, it is officially into the triple digits for the next 5 months or so with very little hope at dipping back down into anything resembling a reasonable temperature, which means I need ice cream. Not want, need. Have I ever told you that ice cream is my favorite dessert? I rarely make it because I have the hardest time getting the right texture when I make it at home, but coconut milk is pretty much the best ingredient on earth, and when you combine that with sweet, roasted banana, you are looking at a pretty sure thing.

3 Ingredient Roasted Banana Coconut Milk Ice Cream #vegan

Between the sweetness and creaminess of those two ingredients, I promise you don’t need anything else. You can always add a little pure maple syrup or brown sugar if you prefer something a little sweeter, but believe me when I say that roasting that banana brings out all of it’s rich sweetness, and totally does the trick. You can also add chocolate chips, cinnamon, extra fruit, pretty much any add-ins you’d like. This recipe is more like your base–your starting point, and a great and simple treat for the long summer months coming our way!

3 Ingredient Roasted Banana Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Prep Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

3 Ingredient Roasted Banana Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Simple, easy, vegan roasted banana coconut milk ice cream with only 3 ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 3 medium bananas, peeled and sliced
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Place banana slice in a rimmed baking dish and drizzle with coconut oil. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until soft and syrupy, tossing half way through.
  2. Transfer cooked bananas to a blender, scraping your pan well to include the syrup that cooked out from them. Add coconut milk and blend until combined.
  3. Chill mixture until cooled throughout, about 4 hours up to overnight.
  4. Freeze according to ice cream maker's instructions. Store in an airtight freezer-safe container for up to 2 weeks.
http://arismenu.com/3-ingredient-roasted-banana-coconut-milk-ice-cream/

 

 

Weekend Ramblings

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1. For the lucky few who haven’t been subjected to my countless reminders on facebook, twitter, and instagram, I’M RUNNING AGAIN!!!!! I have no doubt that this is equally as exciting for you as it is for me, and that you’ve been on the edge of your seat for the last 3 and a half months wondering “When oh when will poor Ari get to run again? This is miserable!” No? You weren’t thinking that? Shhh, don’t ruin my narcissistic sense that everyone in the world spends all of their time thinking about me.

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2. Wednesday I drove up to Flagstaff to meet my new niece. I got to see my friend Lisa transform into the most intuitive mother you could ever imagine. I just kept wondering “How does she just KNOW what to do?” It had been only 11 days, yet she seemed so natural, as if this is what she was born to do. I’m not usually into babies, but the whole experience was actually super emotional for me–in the best way possible. One of my best friends, the man that brings out the best in her (Ummm Sam, you probably won’t read this, but I think you’re AWESOME!), and their perfect daughter. I may have cried a little.

3. This weekend Nicole and I are shooting FOUR episodes of Drink & Dish in one day. I’m pretty sure I will be drunk by the last one. And, like, realllllly full. Who wants to come eat all my leftovers? There is a pretty sweet red, white and blue dish coming. Just saying. I made it twice, and I’m still excited to make and eat it again.

4. My college bestie and cookingspiration Heather arrives on Tuesday!!! I seriously can’t even stand how excited I am. It’s better than Christmas!!! We are going to cook so many things. And I may or may not have already planned our workouts for the entire week. Sorry Heath, hope you came to Phoenix with intent to do a lot of sweating because that’s my version of “entertaining”.

5. You know what I did not miss about running? The fact that my laundry basically triples. So many ruffly skirts and sports bras to wash all.the.time. Ugh. I hate laundry. And chores of any kind. I’m kind of envious of those super rich people who just have these kinds of things “taken care of” for them. Who wants to come be my live-in housekeeper? I pay in cookies.

6. Okay, so you’re probably going to judge me, but one of my favorite things to do when I go to the movies is sneak in Chipotle. You see, what I really want is a huge bag of buttery popcorn, but then half way through the movie I will feel sick and gross, so I opt for smuggling in one of my favorite dinners. I bring a huge purse, and sneak it in like a little kid. It tastes so much better when it’s smuggled into a good movie. This week that was Ironman 3 which I loved. I’m not always into the comic book movies, but I did enjoy this series, and the last one was my favorite.

7. Speaking of movies, WHEN CAN I SEE THE GREAT GATSBY ALREADY?!??! I feel like it looks so good, but I am also worried about being seriously disappointed like the time I thought the new Fame was actually going to be good. That was a big mistake.

8. It’s almost time for restaurant week in Phoenix, which is one of my favorite times of year. I have plans with a few of my favorite ladies to check out Cowboy Ciao, but I’m hoping to hit up a couple others as well. Pig & Pickle looks realllll good.

9. It’s almost summer!!! I am not excited for the heat, but I am excited for feeling like I’m on summer vacation. Things have mellowed out with end of the year things and I’ll have a solid week off between doing a camp here in Phoenix and heading up to Portland. I can’t wait to spend my summer doing my very favorite job with some of my very favorite people again. Also, running in the northwest rather than Phoenix where it’s 100* at 6am? Yes, please.

 

 

“Nutella” Granola {vegan + gluten-free}

"Nutella" Granola #vegan #glutenfree via arismenu.com

"Nutella" Granola #vegan #glutenfree via arismenu.comOnce upon a time, I discovered the peanut butter & Nutella sandwich. Then, I discovered the Nutella + spoon combination. And sometimes the spoon never even came to join the party. Shameless.

"Nutella" Granola #vegan #glutenfree via arismenu.com

I can’t even have Nutella in the house these days. It’s just too tempting. Occasionally, I’ll buy it for a recipe (and then eat my oatmeal out of the empty jar and feel like I’ve died and gone to heaven), but I think it’s about time that I get to eat chocolate hazelnutty goodness for breakfast every single day. Does that not just sound like perfection?

"Nutella" Granola #vegan #glutenfree via arismenu.com

The best part? You don’t even have to buy Nutella for this recipe, but the taste is uncanny. I took one bite after it finished cooking and quickly exclaimed “It tastes like NUTELLA!!!” Just simple granola loaded with hazelnuts with some cocoa powder added to the mix. It is not overpoweringly sweet, and it doesn’t taste like dessert. I think the sweetness is perfect, but if you want a sweeter granola, you can absolutely add some extra brown sugar, or honey, or agave.

"Nutella" Granola #vegan #glutenfree via arismenu.com

I also discovered the secret to the biggest, fattest granola clusters–check those monsters out!! I’m always looking for the big, chunky clusters, and this time I got it right. I did not stir this granola once while it cooked. I just let it do it’s thing, flipped it around half way through, and ya know what? Everything cooked evenly, nothing burned, and I had granola clusters the size of my hand! What??? Now the problem is not eating those clusters every time I step into the pantry. It’s kind of a problem…

“Nutella” Granola

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Yield: Approx 10 cups

Serving Size: 1/2 cup

“Nutella” Granola

Simple and easy chocolate hazelnut granola tastes remarkably like Nutella! The big clusters and bold flavors are totally addicting and will have you constantly reaching back for more.

Ingredients

  • 5 cups rolled oats (use gluten-free if that’s important to you)
  • 2 cups hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • heavy pinch sea salt
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup honey or agave
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder (I used Hershey's special dark)
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300. In a very large bowl, mix together the oats, nuts and salt.
  2. In a small saucepan, warm the applesauce, brown sugar, honey/agave, cocoa powder and coconut oil until well combined, whisking constantly. Add the applesauce mixture into the dry ingredients and toss to combine. Evenly divide granola in an even layer between two large baking sheets.
  3. Bake until browned and crispy, about 50 minutes-1 hour, turning half way through.
  4. Cool completely, then store in an airtight container at room temperature. The granola will stay fresh for at least one month. I've never made a batch last any longer than that, but it's still great a month in and probably for longer.

Notes

If you'd like, you may gently stir the granola every 20 minutes while cooking. This will lead to less clusters and a finer granola. I prefer to be able to break the clusters up myself afterwards, but if you like a finer granola, then stirring will help.

http://arismenu.com/nutella-granola-vegan-gluten-free/

 

Drink & Dish: Blueberry Pancakes {with video!}

Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes #vegan via arismenu.com

I know that no one is *perfect*, but I’d have to say my mom is pretty darn close. So today, rather than tell you about how awesome the pancakes are (they are awesome, and make sure you check out the video at the end for all my pancake secrets!), I have compiled a list of a few of the many reasons I love my mom.

Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes #vegan via arismenu.com

1. My mom is the best listener. Any time I have a problem, she says all the right things. I can call her at any time of day and I know I can count on her to be my confidant, and give me A+ advice. She is a social worker, so in addition to her 28 years (gross, I’m old) of experience, she’s also legitimately educated in advice giving and people skills.

Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes #vegan via arismenu.com

2. She is hilarious and totally weird. When I was little, she would do this weird clap-in-patterns thing. I seriously don’t know how else to even explain it, but I was always so embarrassed. Now I see all my weird little quirks, and realize how alike we are. I appreciate that she taught me to be silly, and to be myself. Now I love all of her little oddities. They make her unique, and she wouldn’t be my mom without them.

Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes #vegan via arismenu.com

3. She is my biggest cheerleader, and also my biggest advocate. I love the positive support and encouragement I get from my mom, but it is the times when I see her stand up and fight for me that I am taken aback. My mom, rarely angry, occasionally turns into a real mama bear, and I can see her fight to protect me. I don’t care how old I am, I will always appreciate feeling protected, and I will also always need to hear her tell me “Good job. I’m proud of you.”

Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes #vegan via arismenu.com

4. She is the most patient woman I have ever met. It doesn’t run in the family. I simultaneously admire, and am in awe of her patience. You know when you want to grow up and be just like your mom? Yeah, I still feel that way, and I keep hoping one day it will happen.

There are a million more things I could say, but I’ll try not to make this a novel. Check out the latest episode of Drink & Dish for my pancake secrets, Nicole’s amazing Blackberry Wine Cooler (check out the recipe–they are AWESOME!), and our favorite memories with our moms.


What is your favorite thing/memory about/with your mom?

Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 12 pancakes

Serving Size: 2 pancakes

Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes

Perfectly fluffy whole wheat and vegan blueberry pancakes are perfect for any brunch occasion!

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp milled flax seed
  • 6 tbsp water
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • dash salt
  • 2-3 tbsp brown sugar*
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together flax seed and water. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and brown sugar. Gently mix in flax mixture, almond milk, and vanilla, stirring until just combined, then fold in blueberries. Let stand for 10 minutes.
  3. Preheat griddle or large pan over medium-low heat, and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Pour 1/4 cup batter for each pancake. Cook until top forms small bubbles and bottom is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Flip and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes, until golden.

Notes

*I used 2 tbsp brown sugar, but you can easily use 3 if you like your pancakes on the sweeter side.

http://arismenu.com/drink-dish-blueberry-pancakes/