Gingerbread Pecan Butter & Gingerbread Smoothie

Gingerbread Pecan Butter & Gingerbread Smoothie

This post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Blendtec. All recipes and opinions are my own.

Get your gingerbread fix with this smooth, creamy gingerbread pecan butter, and a healthy, protein-packed gingerbread smoothie. Both are so easy to make, you’ll be eating them over and over again!

Stay tuned to the end of this post for an amazing BLENDTEC GIVEAWAY!!

Gingerbread Pecan Butter: Smooth, and creamy roasted pecan butter with all the flavor of a classic ginger molasses cookie
Gingerbread Smoothie: A healthy. protein-packed way to get your gingerbread fix!

So I get excited for pretty much every holiday flavor, but gingerbread is the one I always go crazy with. Ginger molasses cookies, ginger molasses cake, gingerbread ALL THE THINGS!

Gingerbread Pecan Butter & Gingerbread Smoothie

Okay so first let’s chat about this gingerbread pecan butter. It’s been a while since I shared a new nut butter. I usually just stick to my normal salted almond butter or honey roasted peanut butter, but I wanted to try something a little different. I’ve made pecan butter once before and it turned out so amazing, so I was super excited to use it again with some ginger and molasses.   Gingerbread Pecan Butter: Smooth, and creamy roasted pecan butter with all the flavor of a classic ginger molasses cookie The result is so smooth, creamy and gingerbread-y! I tried to keep the sugar level down, so if you want more of a dessert spread, I suggest adding a little more brown sugar. This is pecan butter with a gingerbread flavor, not like a cookie butter or nutella type spread. I’ve been spreading it on my waffles with pumpkin butter, and let me tell you, that combo is pretty fantastic.   Gingerbread Pecan Butter: Smooth, and creamy roasted pecan butter with all the flavor of a classic ginger molasses cookie I also used it to make this gingerbread smoothie! Blenders are most commonly used for smoothies, even though the good ones, like this Blendtec Designer 725, can do so much more! I also used the Blendtec Twister Jar to make this pecan butter, and then used the Blendtec WildSide Jar to make this smoothie, but you can make soups, blend ice cream bases, grind nuts to make things like almond meal, and so much more! These two recipes are just the tip of the iceberg!   Gingerbread Smoothie: A healthy. protein-packed way to get your gingerbread fix! Okay, back to the smoothie. It is protein-packed without protein powder. I have a confession that will probably get me booted from all of my fitness friend circles, but I’m just not into protein powder. There was a time (a long time) where I used it because I thought I was “supposed to”, ya know, to be “healthy”, but I honestly just prefer to get my protein naturally in my diet, and I never seem to have a problem getting enough. In fact, getting enough anything when it comes to food has never been my problem, if ya know what I mean. ;) Gingerbread Smoothie: A healthy. protein-packed way to get your gingerbread fix! Anyway, the smoothie, again, is not a dessert smoothie. It has a natural tartness from the Greek yogurt, and I wanted to use the sweetness from the banana with just a hint of molasses. Trust me, a little molasses goes a long way, so if you want a sweet smoothie, I recommend adding a little brown sugar. Otherwise, like the pecan butter, it is a healthy smoothie with gingerbread flavors, not like a gingerbread milkshake (which now I also want to make in my Blendtec ;) ).  

Gingerbread Pecan Butter & Gingerbread Smoothie

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 2 cups pecan butter; 1 smoothie

Serving Size: 2 tablespoons pecan butter; 1 smoothie

Gingerbread Pecan Butter & Gingerbread Smoothie

Ingredients

    For the Gingerbread Pecan Butter:
  • 3 cups roasted pecans
  • 1 tablespoons molasses
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • For the Gingerbread Smoothie:
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt (or dairy-free alternative)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • big handful ice cubes
  • 1 tablespoon gingerbread pecan butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon molasses
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/16 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract (optional)

Instructions

    To make the Gingerbread Pecan Butter:
  1. Place roasted pecans in a high quality blender or food processor (such as Blendtec) and blend/process until smooth, about 3-5 minutes. Add molasses, brown sugar and spices and blend/process until smooth and combined. Store in an airtight container for 3-4 weeks at room temperature.
  2. To make the Gingerbread Smoothie:
  3. Place all ingredients in a high quality blender (such as Blendtec) and blend until smooth. Serve immediately.
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 Wait! There’s more! Blendtec has generously offered to give away an extra Designer 725 model with Wildisde+ Jar plus an additional Wildside+ Jar! That’s a $750 value! I know you guys will love it as much as I do. Good luck! Giveaway starts at 10:00pm MST November 24th 2014 and ends at 11:59 pm MST December 3rd 2014. Open to US residents age 18 and older.  

For more from Blendtec, make sure to check them out on Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter | YouTube | Google+

This post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Blendtec.

Toasted Marshmallow Sweet Potato Ice Cream

Toasted Marshmallow Sweet Potato Ice Cream: All the flavor of classic sweet potato casserole in rich, creamy ice cream. The perfect make ahead Thanksgiving or any time dessert!

With all the flavor of classic sweet potato casserole, this Toasted Marshmallow Sweet Potato Ice Cream is the perfect Thanksgiving or any time dessert. Perfectly spiced, made with sweet potato puree and torched marshmallows.

Toasted Marshmallow Sweet Potato Ice Cream: All the flavor of classic sweet potato casserole in rich, creamy ice cream. The perfect make ahead Thanksgiving or any time dessert!

It’s my favorite week of the year!! I go absolutely nuts for Thanksgiving. It’s my second favorite holiday (my birthday is my favorite because I love to be the center of attention ;) ), and it’s my holiday to host. The first year I hosted, I made Thanksgiving brunch and dinner. It was exhausting, and it never happened again. Now I just put all my effort into the one meal, which is eaten as dinner, like a normal person, at 6pm. I don’t understand eating Thanksgiving “dinner” at noon. That is Thanksgiving lunch.

Toasted Marshmallow Sweet Potato Ice Cream: All the flavor of classic sweet potato casserole in rich, creamy ice cream. The perfect make ahead Thanksgiving or any time dessert!

My favorite dish has always been my mom’s sweet potatoes. The recipe came from her mom, and she has made it for Thanksgiving every year for as long as I can remember. I just die over those perfectly browned, gooey marshmallows sitting on top of my favorite food. I still refuse to make them because they will never taste as good as hers.

Toasted Marshmallow Sweet Potato Ice Cream: All the flavor of classic sweet potato casserole in rich, creamy ice cream. The perfect make ahead Thanksgiving or any time dessert!

This year I set out to make my favorite side dish into an ice cream, and oh my gosh…you guys. I can’t even handle it. I can’t go a single day without dipping my little spoon into that container. In fact, I knew I had to make a whole other batch to have enough for Thanksgiving! The good news? The recipe is super hands off. It has a lot of components, but the most time consuming part is toasting the marshmallows, and if you want to do that more quickly, you can broil them in the oven. I prefer to use a brulee torch for even toasting, but that is me being type A, and you certainly don’t have to be that meticulous. ;)

Toasted Marshmallow Sweet Potato Ice Cream: All the flavor of classic sweet potato casserole in rich, creamy ice cream. The perfect make ahead Thanksgiving or any time dessert!

Now before you go writing this off as super indulgent, I have to tell you that each serving has only 5.1 grams of fat and 155 calories. I usually don’t count these things, but I was curious because I figured the sweet potato, marshmallows and lower ratio of heavy cream (most ice cream recipes call for 2 parts heavy cream to 1 part whole milk, and I reversed that) would lighten it up a little. Those are the same nutrition figures as many varieties of frozen yogurt! The marshmallows do hike up the sugar content a bit, but this is dessert after all. And it is a Thanksgiving (or any time!) dessert that you can enjoy in moderation any time!

Toasted Marshmallow Sweet Potato Ice Cream

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 16 hours

Yield: about 6 cups

Serving Size: 1/2 cup

Toasted Marshmallow Sweet Potato Ice Cream

With all the flavor of classic sweet potato casserole, this Toasted Marshmallow Sweet Potato Ice Cream is the perfect Thanksgiving or any time dessert. Perfectly spiced, made with sweet potato puree and torched marshmallows.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1 x 10 ounce bag of marshmallows (mini or regular)
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (dark brown sugar preferred)
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon, optional

Instructions

  1. Pierce sweet potato several times with a fork. Roast at 400 degrees until very soft (you should easily be able to slide a fork right into the sweet potato), about 60-80 minutes. Let cool for about 15 minutes until it is easy to handle, then remove skins.
  2. Place marshmallows on a large cookie sheet lined with silpat or parchment paper. Either torch with a brulee torch, or broil until browned, about 5-10 minutes. Once marshmallows are well browned all around, place them and peeled sweet potatoes in a blender or food processor and blend/process until smooth and combined.
  3. In a small sauce pan, combine 1 cup whole milk with brown sugar and maple syrup. Bring just to a boil, then reduce heat and stir constantly until brown sugar is fully melted and combined. Transfer to blender/food processor and add remaining milk, heavy cream, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg. Blend/process to combine for about 15-30 seconds. Transfer to a large bowl or tupperware. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
  4. Freeze according to ice cream maker instructions. Add vanilla and bourbon (if desired) in the last 2 minutes of freezing. Transfer to a freezer safe container to finish freezing completely.

Notes

Before serving, let the ice cream soften for about 10 minutes at room temperature for optimal scooping.

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Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars: Ultra silky pumpkin cheesecake with a gingersnap crust. My family's favorite Thanksgiving dessert!

Creamy, silky pumpkin cheesecake bars are my family’s Thanksgiving tradition. All the flavor you love from pumpkin pie in a rich, creamy cheesecake!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars: Ultra silky pumpkin cheesecake with a gingersnap crust. My family's favorite Thanksgiving dessert!

Heyyyy! Notice anything different around here? Ari’s Menu got a big makeover, and I couldn’t be more in love with the new look! My old design had been what I wanted at the time, but after a few years, I really felt like I had outgrown it, and there were a lot of new things I wanted. The amazing Julie from White Lights On Wednesday did an absolutely incredible job, and has been so kind and responsive to all of my questions. Even the dumb ones. If you’re in the market for a redesign, I seriously cannot recommend her enough! And if you’re on your phone or on a reader, please come over and look around. It’s so pretty and BRIGHT here now. Like my bright, sparkling personality. ;)

Okay, now let’s talk about food. Five years ago, I had just moved back from college and I had barely begun my cooking adventures. I was inspired by my college roommate/best friend who always created amazing things in the kitchen, and I knew I wanted to contribute a special Thanksgiving dessert.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars: Ultra silky pumpkin cheesecake with a gingersnap crust. My family's favorite Thanksgiving dessert!

I made these pumpkin cheesecake bars. Except they were a whole cheesecake. Anyway, the cheesecake was the hit of Thanksgiving, and no one had any idea it was secretly healthier. These days we have up to 20+ people over for Thanksgiving, so I make a big batch of cheesecake bars to make serving easier, but it’s the one tried and true recipe and tradition I’ve had in my family since I began hosting Thanksgiving, and it holds a special place in my heart.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars: Ultra silky pumpkin cheesecake with a gingersnap crust. My family's favorite Thanksgiving dessert!

As a food blogger, I am always looking to create new and interesting dishes, so I rarely make the same thing twice, but when The Recipe ReDux asked us to share a food memory, I knew I had to share with you one of my two Thanksgiving traditions. The other is this cornbread sausage stuffing which is also hugely popular in my family. So please join our family tradition, and make these cheesecake bars! Your guests will thank you!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Total Time: 10 hours

Yield: 16-20 servings

Serving Size: 1 bar

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Creamy, silky pumpkin cheesecake bars are my family's Thanksgiving tradition. All the flavor you love from pumpkin pie in a rich, creamy cheesecake!

Ingredients

    For the crust:
  • 12 ounces gingersnap or graham cracker crumbs (I used gluten-free)*
  • 4-5 tablespoons pumpkin butter
  • For the cheesecake:
  • 1 pound fat free cream cheese (2 x 8 ounce packages), at room temperature
  • 1 pound reduced fat cream cheese (2 x 8 ounce packages), at room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 x 15 ounce can pumpkin puree (or about two cups homemade pumpkin puree)
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon, optional
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free baking blend (or white whole wheat flour)
  • 3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9x13" pan with nonstick spray. Set aside. In a small bowl, combine gingersnap/graham cracker crumbs and pumpkin butter. Start with 4 tablespoons pumpkin butter and add a fifth if mixture seems too dry. Press crust into prepared baking pan and bake until browned and set, about 7-10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat cream cheese until fluffy and smooth. Add sugars and beat until combined. Beat in eggs one at a time until just combined, then beat in pumpkin, bourbon (if desired), and vanilla. Beat in baking blend and pumpkin pie spice. Pour over prepared crust and bake until set and center no longer jiggles, about 70-90 minutes.
  3. Cool completely to room temperature then cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours. Cut into bars to serve. Cheesecake bars will last about 1 week in the refrigerator.

Notes

*I've made these bars with a gingersnap crust and a graham cracker crust, and both ways work great! Choose whichever taste you prefer.

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Why I’m Obsessed with Nature Box

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Okay, okay, so I am totally late to the party. All of my friends have been getting monthly boxes from various different companies for a good long time, and I just never really got into it. I mean, I love getting presents in the mail, but I guess I just figured I could go to the store and pick out my own food. Well let’s just say all it took was this one delivery to change my mind for good.

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I couldn’t believe how much amazingness came in that one box! Everything I’ve tasted has been absolutely amazing (and super addicting). I even brought the praline pumpkin seeds into school to snack on when I had a long day and I ended up sharing them with my students who all loved them too. In fact, a few of them even told me they were going to ask their parents to sign up. #sorrynotsorry

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I love that each snack contains wholesome ingredients with no artificial sweeteners, flavors or colors, zero grams trans fats, and no high fructose corn syrup (you can learn more about their Product Promise here). When you join you receive 5 different snacks each month, and you can choose the products you’d like to receive, or let them surprise you! I chose praline pumpkin seeds, coffee kettle popcorn, santa fe corn stix, coconut cashews, and cherry ganache granola. They even have special sections in their snack catalogue based on dietary needs to help you easily see which snacks out of their 100+ options are right for you.

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The holiday season is the perfect time to sign up for Nature Box! With so many indulgent cookies and treats around, I love having my healthier snack food around to keep me on track and out of the store bought cookie box (eww…why??) in our faculty lounge. It’s also a great gift idea–I know I’d be stoked if someone signed me up and paid for a few months! Although, I’m already set on signing up myself. It’s just too great to pass up. And did I mention your first month is free? Sign up now–you’ll thank me later! ;) You can also follow Nature Box on Twitter | Facebook | Instagram.

 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Roasted Butternut Bourbon

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This Roasted Butternut Bourbon is the perfect fall beverage–infused with roasted butternut squash and spiced with cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg and vanilla. So much flavor, it will take any drink you make to the next level!

Roasted Butternut Bourbon: Infused with roasted butternut squash, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, and vanilla

So I don’t know exactly when I became grown up enough to drink things like bourbon. It’s like, at some point in your 20’s you all the sudden realize that whipped cream vodka may no longer be your drink of choice and you enter old man drinking status sipping on straight bourbon over ice. Just me?

Roasted Butternut Bourbon: Infused with roasted butternut squash, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, and vanilla

Infusing liquor is still pretty new to me, but after trying Nicole’s Pumpkin Pie Vodka last year (OMG it is AMAZING), I knew I wanted to experiment this year. Sometimes I feel like butternut squash is the redheaded step child of fall produce. Pumpkin and sweet potatoes are always stealing the show, but I love butternut squash too! It ends up being the perfect thing to kick this bourbon up to the next level!

Roasted Butternut Bourbon: Infused with roasted butternut squash, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, and vanilla

The spices are totally up to you. I used cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice and a vanilla bean, but use more/less/different spices depending on what you like. OMG and the vanilla bean? Well the seeds stayed inside and they are now soaked with bourbon. You better believe I saved that baby.

Roasted Butternut Bourbon: Infused with roasted butternut squash, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, and vanilla

Okay, so let’s talk about bourbon for a second. I did a lot of research about whether or not it is gluten-free. The answer is not technically. Although they say that the gluten goes away with distilling, most articles state that if you have Celiac or are very sensitive to cross contamination, it’s better to stay away. Steve is not super sensitive (and I only speculate that I actually feel better when I don’t eat it, but that is a subject for an other day), so it’s totally fine for us, but if you are more sensitive, you could definitely use Hudson Baby Bourbon which is made from corn instead of barley! Win!

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Do keep in mind that you have to plan a little bit in advance with this baby. It needs 2-4 weeks to fully infuse, so just make sure you give yourself plenty of time. It’s really easy, and mostly hands off. In fact, you won’t believe just how easy it is to infuse your own liquors, and everyone you tell will be super impressed, and you can totally pretend it was lots of hard work, slaving over the stove, and all that. ;)

Roasted Butternut Bourbon

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: approximately 16 ounces

Serving Size: 1.5 ounces

Roasted Butternut Bourbon

This Roasted Butternut Bourbon is the perfect fall beverage--infused with roasted butternut squash and spiced with cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg and vanilla. So much flavor, it will take any drink you make to the next level!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 large butternut squash, seeded and cut into 1-2" cubes
  • 750 ml bourbon
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 4 whole allspice berries
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 nutmeg, smashed*
  • 1 vanilla bean, sliced length-wise

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Roast butternut squash for 15 minutes. Cool completely.
  2. Place roasted butternut squash and all remaining ingredients in a large jar or tupperware. Store in a cool, dry place for 2-4 weeks (longer if you want a LOT of butternut squash flavor, less if you just want a hint), swirling ingredients around every few days.
  3. Once your infusion in complete, line a fine mesh strainer with cheese cloth and strain liquid through into a large bowl (preferably one with a pouring spout). Pour ingredients into an airtight storing jar or bottle (a funnel helps if the bottle is small, or your bowl doesn't have a pour spout).

Notes

*To smash nutmeg, take half a piece of nutmeg, place parchment paper (or even a thin dish towel) on top and hit with a meat tenderizer. You should only need to do this once, just to break it up a bit. Recipe inspired by The Marvelous Misadventures of a Foodie

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Salted Caramel Mocha Banana Bread

Salted Caramel Mocha Banana Bread: Your favorite cold weather beverage in a decadent banana bread! {gf}

Ultra soft banana bread with espresso, dark chocolate and a salted caramel swirl. All the flavors of your favorite cold weather beverage turned into your new favorite banana bread.

Salted Caramel Mocha Banana Bread: Your favorite cold weather beverage in a decadent banana bread! {gf}

So I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it, but I have this teeny, tiny, huge, ridiculous obsession with salted desserts. It all started when Starbucks first released their salted caramel mocha. I turned my nose up, and asked the barista if that was even good. She must have been really convincing because I wasn’t one for trying new things back then, but for some reason I gave it a shot. That was a big mistake.

Salted Caramel Mocha Banana Bread: Your favorite cold weather beverage in a decadent banana bread! {gf}

I’m pretty sure I ended up drinking at least one daily for that entire winter. Ya know that whole balance/self control thing? I don’t really have it. This year I rediscovered Bahama Bucks, and all of the sudden I was going multiple times per week. I am the biggest weakling when it comes to my sweet tooth.

Salted Caramel Mocha Banana Bread: Your favorite cold weather beverage in a decadent banana bread! {gf}

As much as I love dessert, I love the bite and depth of flavor that adding a little salt brings. I don’t love things that are too sweet. Steve drinks his coffee with like 700 sweet ‘n lows (also…really? Why would anyone choose the pink packets???) in his coffee and it always grosses me out! You also won’t find me digging into those loft house sugar cookies that taste like they are made entirely of frosting. I like my dessert with a little attitude.

Salted Caramel Mocha Banana Bread: Your favorite cold weather beverage in a decadent banana bread! {gf}

I must not be alone because this is one of the most popular desserts I have ever made. I brought the leftovers into work and it disappeared in minutes. Everyone kept raving about it and asking for the recipe! So soft, tender and decadent, this will be your go-to snack for to make for your out of town guests this whole holiday season!

 

Salted Caramel Mocha Banana Bread

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: 12-16 slices

Serving Size: 1 slice

Salted Caramel Mocha Banana Bread

Ultra soft banana bread with espresso, dark chocolate and a salted caramel swirl. All the flavors of your favorite cold weather beverage turned into your new favorite banana bread.

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups gluten-free baking blend (or white whole wheat flour)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder (preferably Dutch process)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons espresso powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 extra ripe medium bananas, mashed
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup reduced fat buttermilk*
  • 1/2 cup fleur de sel caramel sauce* (+ more for drizzling)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9x5" loaf pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together baking blend, cocoa powder, cornstarch, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat together bananas, applesauce, sugars and vanilla until well combined. Stir in half the flour mixture, then buttermilk, then remaining flour mixture.
  3. Transfer half the batter to prepared loaf pan. Pour caramel sauce on top, then add remaining batter. Use a butter knife to gently swirl caramel into the batter. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs, about one hour. Set loaf pan on a wire rack to cool completely. Serve drizzled with extra fleur de sel caramel sauce, if desired. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.

Notes

*To make vegan, replace buttermilk with 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk + 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar and use a vegan salted caramel sauce.

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Mediterranean Meatloaf

Greek Lamb Meatloaf: Greek gyro meats American meatloaf in this incredible comfort food mash-up! {gf}


Hearty, comforting mediterranean lamb meatloaf stuffed with caramelized onions, roasted red peppers and feta cheese, then topped with tzatziki, olives and more! A traditional gyro + Greek salad meet meatloaf in this perfect family dinner.

 

Greek Lamb Meatloaf: Greek gyro meats American meatloaf in this incredible comfort food mash-up! {gf}

Hiiii! I’m back from New York. And I made you a meatloaf. Here she is, dressed up in all her glory. For those of you that care about that kinda thing, I am totally planning on sharing every single detail of my trip, and especially the marathon. But for those of you who are just here for the food, it’s cool. Let’s chat about meatloaf.

Greek Lamb Meatloaf: Greek gyro meats American meatloaf in this incredible comfort food mash-up! {gf}

People get very opinionated about lamb. I think one of the rudest comments I ever received on social media was when I posted my Greek Lamb Burgers, and someone called me a “sick f*@$”. I was actually a little hesitant to post an other lamb recipe, but I truly love it, and with over 82,000 family owned sheep operations in the US, lamb is local and available year round. It’s also super tender, and the bold flavor lends itself to so many cuisines. My favorite is Greek / Mediterranean.

Greek Lamb Meatloaf: Greek gyro meats American meatloaf in this incredible comfort food mash-up! {gf}

This baby is kind of like a gyro + a Greek salad + meatloaf, all wrapped up in one bright, colorful little package. It starts off with ground lamb mixed with caramelized red onion, roasted red pepper, loads of feta cheese, and the normal suspects to hold everything together. Except I don’t use bread crumbs or saltines; instead I use quick oats as a great, healthier, gluten-free (make sure you purchase certified gluten-free if necessary) option.

Greek Lamb Meatloaf: Greek gyro meats American meatloaf in this incredible comfort food mash-up! {gf}

Then we bake it all up, smother it with tzatziki and top it all off with roasted red pepper, more caramelized onions, black (or kalamata–they’re not my favorite…) olives, fresh parsley and even more feta. This is one filling dinner! It’s not the leanest, but feel free to use a low feta, and you can even make your own tzatziki using nonfat Greek yogurt. It’s packed with real, make-you-feel-full ingredients, and especially great when paired with a huge Greek salad or side of veggies.

Mediterranian Meatloaf

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Yield: 1/6 meatloaf

Serving Size: 6

Mediterranian Meatloaf

Hearty, comforting lamb meatloaf stuffed with caramelized onions, roasted red peppers and feta cheese, then topped with tzatziki, olives and more! A traditional gyro + Greek salad meet meatloaf in this perfect family dinner.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1/2 cut quick cooking oats*
  • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers (store bought, or make your own!)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta
  • pinch thyme
  • pinch each salt and pepper
  • For serving:
  • tzatziki
  • extra feta
  • extra roasted red pepper
  • remaining caramelized onion
  • olives
  • fresh parsley

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Line a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with tin foil and spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large pan, cook garlic and onions in olive oil and balsamic vinegar over medium-low heat until soft and caramelized, stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk together egg whites and almond milk in a large bowl. When onions have finished cooking, remove from heat and let cool for 5-10 minutes. Add lamb, oats, red peppers, feta, thyme, salt, pepper and half the caramelized onions (reserve the other half for topping) to the egg white mixture. Use your hands to incorporate all ingredients until combined. You don't need to over mix. The mixture may appear liquidy at first, but just keep lightly tossing with your hands, and it will come together.
  4. Transfer to prepared loaf pan, and cook for 50-60 minutes until cooked throughout. Remove and top with desired toppings. Serve immediately. Leftovers may be refrigerated in an airtight container for 5-7 days.
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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Ginger Molasses Cake with White Chocolate Glaze {+ a giveaway!}

Ginger Molasses Cake with White Chocolate Glaze

Ultra soft and moist, perfectly spiced ginger molasses cake with a decadent white chocolate glaze. This cake is the perfect combination of flavors to get you in the holiday spirit, but secretly gluten-free and lightened-up with NO butter or oil!

Ginger Molasses Cake with White Chocolate Glaze

I know, I know…it’s a little early, but I couldn’t give you a holiday themed giveaway without giving you some ginger molasses. Plus, it’s post Halloween, which is the rule in my book. In fact, I have asked Steve no less than 4 times whether we could put out Christmas tree up after Halloween. He still makes me wait until after Thanksgiving, which I think is so rude because Thanksgiving has been so late these last 2 years!

Ginger Molasses Cake with White Chocolate Glaze

Anyway, it’s finally November, and I’m ready to get into the holiday spirit! I’m ready to get out Winston’s Hanukkah sweater, my candy cane shirt, and of course LIGHTS! Not to mention, every year I start teaching my performance troupe holiday songs in AUGUST,  so I’m ready to actually enjoy them.

Ginger Molasses Cake with White Chocolate Glaze

So let’s start with this cake. It is so simple, but filled with all of your favorite holiday flavors. It is also one of the softest, most tender cakes I have ever eaten. Not just out of the healthy cakes I make, but like, ever. That Taylor Swift lyric was totally unintentional. But I’m not deleting it. I just wish I had accidentally quoted Shake it Off instead because I’m kind of obsessed with it.

Ginger Molasses Cake with White Chocolate Glaze

Anyway… This cake uses pumpkin puree (a great use for your fall baking leftovers!) in place of oil. It doesn’t taste like pumpkin. The very mild flavor that pumpkin puree contains on its own pairs perfectly with the gingerbread spices and, along with the buttermilk, is what makes this cake so unbelievably soft. Pumpkin is a great oil/butter replacement all year round! The glaze is thick with just the right amount of sweetness to balance out the bite of the spicy ginger. It is so good, you’ll find yourself making it in July!

Ginger Molasses Cake with White Chocolate Glaze {+ a giveaway!}

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 9 large pieces, or 16 smaller pieces

Serving Size: 1/16th recipe

Ginger Molasses Cake with White Chocolate Glaze {+ a giveaway!}

Ultra soft and moist, perfectly spiced ginger molasses cake with a decadent white chocolate glaze. This cake is the perfect combination of flavors to get you in the holiday spirit, but secretly gluten-free and lightened-up with NO butter or oil!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups gluten-free baking blend (or white whole wheat flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup reduced fat buttermilk
  • For the White Chocolate Glaze:
  • 4 ounces white chocolate (preferably a good quality white chocolate, but white chocolate chips will work)
  • 2-3 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9" square pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together baking blend, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt. In a large bowl beat together pumpkin, molasses, brown sugar and lemon zest. Beat in eggs one at a time. Stir in half the dry ingredients, followed by buttermilk, then remaining dry ingredients. Mix until just combined--do not over mix.
  3. Transfer to prepared baking pan and bake until browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs, about 35-40 minutes. Cool completely.
  4. To make glaze place white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl (if using a bar, make sure it is chopped into small pieces). Heat for 20-30 seconds just to warm the white chocolate. Heat almond milk until almost boiling, then pour 2 tablespoons immediately over warmed white chocolate. Stir until melted. Add last tablespoon of milk if desired to get a thinner glaze. Frost and serve. Leftovers may be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 5-7 days.
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To ring in the holiday baking season, my friends and I on the Real Housemoms team are bringing you a Holiday Baking Giveaway! One winner will receive $500 in prizes, including a 4.5 quart KitchenAid Stand Mixer, a signed copy of Dessert Mash-Ups, $150 in PayPal cash, and more! And to give you some baking inspiration to make with your winnings, we’re sharing 40+ Holiday Baking Recipes too! Happy baking and good luck!





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Mizuno Wave Rider 18 Review

Mizuno Waver Rider 18-2

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Mizuno. All opinions are my own.

Mizuno Wave Rider 18

Check out my new kicks!!! I figured marathon week was the perfect time to tell you about the shoes I plan to wear for my 26.2 mile journey through the boroughs of NYC on Sunday. You may remember my love of the Mizuno Wave Rider 17? When I first tried those babies, I had just recently made the switch to neutral shoes after coming back from an injury. I’d tried on a bunch of brands and had a pair of shoes I liked enough, but when my new Mizunos came in the mail, it was love at first step! I had a GREAT first run in them! I felt light, fast, and totally at ease.

It’s always nerve wracking to try out a new shoe, but I have to admit as much as I loved my 17s, I love my Mizuno Wave Rider 18 EVEN MORE!!  They come in at a super light 7.8 ounces (for the women; 9.2 ounces for men) with a 12 mm ramp, and they fit like they were made for my foot! They have just the right amount of flexibility. They are known for their double fan wave which helps absorb the shock of, ya know, your foot pounding the ground for 3 hours at a time.

Mizuno Waver Rider 18-2

Finding the right shoe can be SO overwhelming! Am I the only runner who still doesn’t understand shoe specs? Here’s what I do know for sure, the right pair of shoes makes you excited to lace up. They can be the difference between you wanting  to run and feeling like you have to run. I tend to have a lot of aches and pains, especially in the foot/ankle area following a long run, but I have felt so good in this pair of shoes. The best I’ve ever felt, in fact!

They arrived just as I started to go into taper, and I was having reservations about wearing them for the marathon, but they have felt so awesome that I have no doubt that they will be the perfect shoe to take me to the finish line! Added bonus? LOOK HOW PRETTY THEY ARE!!! I love the design and color combo. You can check out all the color options here.

So if you’re a neutral runner and you’re looking for some new kicks, I would highly, highly recommend the Mizuno Wave Rider 18! I converted quite a few friends when I fell in love with the 17s, and (I know, I know, I’ve said it like 7 times because I feel so strongly!!) the 18s are even more incredible!

PS: If anyone else was like me and had trouble with blisters in the Wave Rider 17 (wasn’t a big deal, and was fixed with body glide), I just wanted to mention that the slightly new fit has completely solved that for me, so if anyone else experienced that in the previous model, don’t let that deter you!

For more from Mizuno, check them out on Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Instagram | Pinterest.

Snickers Stuffed Chocolate Brownie Cookies

Snickers Stuffed Chocolate Brownie Cookies

Rich, fudgy, brownie-like chocolate cookies stuffed with melty mini Snickers and topped with sea salt for the perfect extra bite. These gluten-free Snickers Stuffed Chocolate Brownie Cookies are the perfect way to use up Halloween candy, a great Christmas cookie, or perfect for any occasion!

Snickers Stuffed Chocolate Brownie Cookies

Oh, hello cookie. Cookie that tastes and feels like a brownie. Cookie that is stuffed with one of my very favorite candies. Cookie with melty chocolate, caramel and nougat in every bite. Cookie with big sea salt crystals adding the perfect balance to all that candy sweetness. Just wanted to say heyyyyy.

Snickers Stuffed Chocolate Brownie Cookies

Let’s chat about candy for a second. I have really strong opinions. For example, 3 Musketeers–WHAT IS THE POINT? It’s just so fluffy, and soooo overly sweet, and there’s nothing to it. Ick. And then there’s Milky Way. That’s just like a lesser Snickers. It’s like it’s trying to be a Snickers for the poor people with nut allergies, but without the salty peanuts to add crunchy and bite, what is even the point?? Then we get to the good ones. Snickers, Butterfinger, Reese’s and Twix.  Those are the ones that, come Halloween time (okay…any time), I can’t resist grabbing a mini, or 7. In fact, the leftover Snickers from these cookies were totally bad news. I usually end up taking them into work and using them as bribery to toss at the kids that impress me in rehearsals. I know, I know…I should give them carrot sticks, probably, but I’m a terrible influence.

Snickers Stuffed Chocolate Brownie Cookies

Snickers Stuffed Chocolate Brownie Cookies

Anyway, these cookies are a bit indulgent, but they are whole grain, gluten-free, and shockingly don’t contain any butter or oil! They taste like a rich, buttery brownie, so you’ll never notice the little healthier adjustments. Of course, you are free to use real butter and white flour–they will still be great, but I honestly can’t taste the difference!

Snickers Stuffed Chocolate Brownie Cookies

Prep Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: 2 dozen

Serving Size: 1 cookie

Snickers Stuffed Chocolate Brownie Cookies

Rich, fudgy, brownie-like chocolate cookies stuffed with melty mini Snickers and topped with sea salt for the perfect extra bite. These gluten-free Snickers Stuffed Chocolate Brownie Cookies are the perfect way to use up Halloween candy, a great Christmas cookie, or perfect for any occasion!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup gluten-free baking blend (or white whole wheat flour)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Hershey's special dark or Dutch process)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • dash salt
  • 8 ounces dark chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 5 tablespoons apple butter
  • 2/3 cups brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 24 mini Snickers candies (I bought a combination bag with regular, peanut butter and dark chocolate)
  • coarse sea salt for sprinkling (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together baking blend, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together melted chocolate, eggs, vanilla, apple butter, and sugars until well combined, then slowly beat in dry ingredients until just combined. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat. Spray hands with nonstick spray (this sounds weird, but it will prevent dough from sticking to your hands during rolling) and roll dough into about 1" balls. Press the center with your thumb to make a whole for the Snickers. Gently press 1 mini Snickers into the center and then re-roll dough around it. Make sure dough is completely covering the candy. Add more dough if necessary. Place onto prepared baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough. Sprinkle each cookie with a small pinch of coarse sea salt (if desired) just before baking.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes until just set. Cool completely on pan. Store in an airtight container for one week (these cookies stay pretty darn soft and gooey for days!).
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Pumpkin White Chocolate S’mores Cupcakes

Pumpkin White Chocolate S'mores Cupcakes: Gingersnap crust, pumpkin cupcake, white chocolate ganache & toasted marshmallow frosting {gf}

These Pumpkin White Chocolate S’mores Cupcakes have a gingersnap crust, soft and tender pumpkin cupcakes, white chocolate ganache and a toasted marshmallow frosting. They are mash-up heaven. 

Pumpkin White Chocolate S'mores Cupcakes: Gingersnap crust, pumpkin cupcake, white chocolate ganache & toasted marshmallow frosting {gf}

I have been on a serious s’mores kick lately. Pretty soon you’ll see what I’m talking about, but I have become a girl obsessed. It’s probably because of this frosting. The most perfect, decadent and beautiful marshmallow frosting that coming together in minutes. Every time I serve it, my friends and family are suuuuuper impressed. Shhhh….just don’t let them know how simple it is!

Pumpkin White Chocolate S'mores Cupcakes: Gingersnap crust, pumpkin cupcake, white chocolate ganache & toasted marshmallow frosting {gf}

I was inspired to make these 2 years ago when I saw this recipe on How Sweet It Is. So pretttttty. So perfect for pumpkin season!

Pumpkin White Chocolate S'mores Cupcakes: Gingersnap crust, pumpkin cupcake, white chocolate ganache & toasted marshmallow frosting {gf}

Okay so, to be fair, these take a lot of liberties for being “s’mores”. The graham cracker is replaced by a perfect gingersnap crust, and the regular chocolate is replaced by white chocolate. Have you ever had pumpkin and white chocolate together? It is like match made in heaven.

Pumpkin White Chocolate S'mores Cupcakes: Gingersnap crust, pumpkin cupcake, white chocolate ganache & toasted marshmallow frosting {gf}

Even though it seems like there are a lot of components going on, these cupcakes are actually really easy to make. You can prepare the batter while crust is baking, then the ganache and the frosting come together in minutes. Brulee-ing is optional, but I mean….LOOK HOW PRETTY! It definitely will take your dessert to the next level.

Pumpkin White Chocolate S'mores Cupcakes: Gingersnap crust, pumpkin cupcake, white chocolate ganache & toasted marshmallow frosting {gf}

The pumpkin cupcakes are ultra soft and tender and pair perfectly with the spiced gingersnap crust and melty white chocolate. Speaking of that white chocolate…it is so good, you will want more. I tried a batch putting some on top of the crust and on top of the cupcake. It was sad because it seemed like such a good idea, but I was overzealous (shocking) and there was too much, and it stuck to the wrapper. You probably can still get away with adding extra if you you use a small enough amount that it stays perfectly in the little crust cup. Otherwise, just spread it on real thick on top. That’s what I did round 2, and it worked great!

Pumpkin White Chocolate S'mores Cupcakes: Gingersnap crust, pumpkin cupcake, white chocolate ganache & toasted marshmallow frosting {gf}

Also, as you can see, I made normal sized and mini cupcakes. I prefer the minis–then you get to eat two cupcakes! But, again, make whatever you like. You’ll love them either way!

Pumpkin White Chocolate S’mores Cupcakes

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 15 standard cupcakes or 36 minis

Serving Size: 1 cupcake

Pumpkin White Chocolate S’mores Cupcakes

These Pumpkin White Chocolate S'mores Cupcakes have a gingersnap crust, soft and tender pumpkin cupcakes, white chocolate ganache and a toasted marshmallow frosting. They are mash-up heaven.

Ingredients

    For the gingersnap crust:
  • 1/2 cup gingersnap crumbs (I used gluten-free)
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • For the cupcakes:
  • 1 1/4 cups gluten-free baking blend (or white whole wheat flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • dash salt
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • For the white chocolate ganache:
  • 4 ounces good quality white chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
  • For the marshmallow frosting:
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line 15 standard muffin cups or 36 mini muffin cups with paper liners. Spray lightly with nonstick spray if desired (sometimes lower fat baking sticks to cheaper liners). Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine gingersnap crumbs and 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil, stirring until well combined. Evenly divide crust mixture between prepared cupcake tins--about 1/2 tablespoon each for full sized, and scant teaspoon for minis. Use the back of a spoon or the bottom of a shot glass to press into a crust.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine baking blend, baking soda, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice. In a large bowl, beat together brown sugar, egg, pumpkin puree, applesauce, coconut oil and vanilla extract until well combined. Mix in half the flour mixture, then almond milk, then remaining flour mixture, stirring until just combined. Do not overmix.
  4. Fill each prepared muffin tin about 3/4 the way full with cupcake batter. Bake until set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs, about 18-20 minutes for full size, about 12 minutes for minis. Cool completely.
  5. To make the white chocolate ganache, place white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Heat for 20-30 seconds just to warm the white chocolate. Heat almond milk until almost boiling, then pour immediately over warmed white chocolate. Stir until melty and combined. Spread white chocolate ganache on top of each cupcake.
  6. To make the frosting, either use a double broiler, or create your own by bringing about 2 inches of water to a simmer in a medium pot and placing a large heatproof bowl on top. Whisk egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar constantly until sugar is completely dissolved. Transfer to stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Beat on low and gradually increase speed to high, beating until stiff peaks form. The frosting should stand on the whisk attachment when removed. Frost cupcakes. Use a brulee torch to brown, if desired. Cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 1 week.

Notes

Recipe inspired by How Sweet It Is Frosting recipe from Martha Stewart

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Crockpot Taco Chili

Crockpot Taco Chili Healthy, easy and gluten-free

Disclosure: I was asked to participate in the McCormick Gluten-Free Recipe Mixes Launch as a member of the Healthy Aperture Blogger Network. I received free samples of McCormick Gluten-Free Recipe Mixes from McCormick mentioned in this post. I was compensated for my time. All opinions are my own.

Creamy crockpot taco chili is the perfect, easy, weeknight dinner. Warm and comforting while still healthy and gluten-free. So good you’ll be fighting over the leftovers…if there are any!

Crockpot Taco Chili Healthy, easy and gluten-free

So…I have to go back to work today. And I’m totally whiney about it, which makes me feel like a total tool because in what other job do you get a week off for fall break when you’re a grown up? But ugghhhh, I just don’t wanna. And things are about to get so busy. Two shows in October and one at the beginning of November. Although, once that’s all over, it should be smooth sailing for the rest of the semester.

Crockpot Taco Chili Healthy, easy and gluten-free

As life gets busier, cooking dinner every night becomes more challenging, and my love for my crockpot grows into more of a deep dependence, can’t-live-without-ya kinda thing. In fact, if I could make every single meal in the crockpot for the rest of my life, I probably wouldn’t be even a little bit sad. I mostly only like cooking because I like eating, and I really like eating.

Crockpot Taco Chili Healthy, easy and gluten-free

Especially this chili. I really, really, really like eating this taco chili. Like, I was fighting Steve over the leftovers. I almost always make enough food to have leftovers for 2-3 lunch / dinners, and sometimes I make entirely too much and end up trying to guilt Steve into finishing it because I just am soooooo sick of it by the 4th time I’ve eaten it. But not this chili. I was hoarding, calling dibs, hiding it in the back of the fridge, and pulling out every trick I had up my sleeve to keep it allllll to myself.

Crockpot Taco Chili Healthy, easy and gluten-free

This is the second part of my series with McCormick. You may remember from my Crockpot Taco Dip that McCormick now has an entire line of seasonings that are certified by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. Their gluten-free line includes Gluten-Free Taco Seasoning, Gluten-Free Chili Seasoning, Gluten-Free Brown Gravy and Gluten-Free Turkey Gravy. The best part is, ya know how normally as soon as something is labeled gluten-free the price magically shoots up? Not here! They’re the same price as all of their other seasonings, and they contain no MSG or artificial colors /flavors. I stocked up on the taco seasoning! It’s something I use all the time anyway, and I was so in love with the way these recipes turned out. It’s going to become a staple in my kitchen.

Crockpot Taco Chili Healthy, easy and gluten-free

This chili is bold and flavorful, rich and creamy, healthy and loaded with fresh veggies. It’s the kind of weeknight dinner you never get tired of, and something you will feel excited to come home to!

Crockpot Taco Chili

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 6 hours, 15 minutes

Total Time: 6 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Crockpot Taco Chili

Creamy crockpot taco chili is the perfect, easy, weeknight dinner. Warm and comforting while still healthy and gluten-free. So good you'll be fighting over the leftovers...if there are any!

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound extra lean ground beef (93% or higher)
  • 2 x 15 ounce cans fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2 x 15 ounce cans black beans, not drained
  • 1 x 15 ounce can corn, drained
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped (I prefer red or orange)
  • 4 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, room temperature in 1" cubes
  • 1 packet McCormick Gluten-Free Taco Seasoning
  • For topping:
  • freshly shredded cheese
  • fresh cilantro
  • nonfat plain Greek yogurt

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Sautee garlic and onion until fragrant, about 3-5 minutes. Add beef and cook until browned, about 10 minutes, stirring constantly.
  2. Add cooked beef mixture, tomatoes, beans, corn, bell peppers, cream cheese, and taco seasoning to your slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 hours, stirring once in between if possible. Once chili is finished, stir together to ensure cream cheese melts fully and combines. Serve topped with shredded cheese, cilantro and Greek yogurt if desired. Leftovers may be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to one week.
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Other gluten-free seasoning options include Gluten-Free Chili Seasoning, Gluten-Free Turkey Gravy, and Gluten-Free Brown Gravy. For more from McCormick,  you can follow them on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram!