Drinks

Cold Brew Crack

glass of cold brew with a straw, next to cashews, almonds, and coffee grinds

 

I have to admit, this might be one of the most addicting drinks on the planet for us coffee lovers out there!  Woohoo…throw ‘em up if you love caffeine!  

Most days I drink my coffee black in order to avoid any extra processed sugar or fat…because if I’m being honest, I’m really just trying to get a good buzz going in the AM.  Although, sometimes when I’m feeling wild I may add a little almond milk or coconut milk with cinnamon…because YUM. 

Thus the idea of a healthy cold brew that incorporated my favorite flavors to mix with coffee!  And let me tell you…FREAKING.JACKPOT.  This cold brew came out so so delicious, and gets the job done without all the added junk.  All the ingredients used are natural and healthy for you!  

 

cold brew in a glass with straw, next to a carafe filled with cold brew

 

Here’s what this Cold Brew Cack can do for you…

  • Almonds: healthy fats, fiber, and protein
  • Cashews: promotes healthy cholesterol (HDL), high mineral content, and protects against high blood pressure
  • Dates: fiber, antioxidants, and improved digestion
  • Cinnamon: antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and improve insulin sensitivity
  • Vanilla: anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant
  • Coffee: increase energy, protect against cirrhosis of the liver, and fiber

So pretty much a super yummy, energy boosting, elixir without the taste of black coffee…could this be the world’s most perfect drink?!

This recipe is extremely easy to make, and the best part is that you can bottle it and store it in the fridge for the week!  AKA YUMMY COFFEE 2GO.  The only thing you need is a nut milk bag (or fine strainer), and a blender!

Start by brewing a large pot of coffee.  While that’s brewing, take almonds, salted cashews, dates, cinnamon, and vanilla, and add to a blender.  Pour your hot coffee into the blender and let sit, until it gets to room temp.

 

blender with cashews, almonds, dates, vanilla extract, and cinnamon

 

This helps the nuts to soak up the coffee flavor and to allow their nutrients to be more readily available.  The soaking process can take up to an hour, or overnight.  It’s totally up to you and the time you have available!

Once ready, blend all ingredients on high until everything is mixed together.  Take coffee mixture and run through a nut milk bag or fine strainer over a large bowl to remove food chunks.  The liquid that remains in your bowl can then be divided up into individual bottles or a large carafe/pitcher!

 

glass of cold brew with a straw

 

If this is something you decide to make on a regular basis, I would definitely look into getting a nut milk bag, as its super easy to use for large batches.  Here is the one I use for my Cold Brew Crack at home!

 

 

Once your cold brew is made and chilled, serve at a brunch, or bottle and enjoy throughout the week!

 

cold brew in a glass bottle with a straw, next to coffee grinds, and nuts

 

Cold Brew Crack

A healthy and delicious cold brew made with black coffee, nuts, and cinnamon for extra flavor. No added sugar, gluten free, and super flavorful!
Prep Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: almond, brew, cashew, cinnamon, coffee, cold
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Lulu's Table

Ingredients

  • 6 cups coffee black
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup salted cashews
  • 3 dates pitted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

  • Brew 6 cups of black coffee.
  • While coffee is brewing, add remaining ingredients into a blender.
  • Once coffee is done brewing, pour into blender with rest of ingredients.  Let sit and cool to room temp.  This allows the coffee to cool, and for the nuts to soak.
  • Once at room temp, turn blender on high and blend until all ingredients are thoroughly blended.
  • Using a nut milk bag or fine strainer, pour coffee from blend through bag or strainer into a large bowl.  Set pulp aside, and pour cold brew into individual containers.  I use glass bottles that I can take to work with me in the mornings.
  • Store in fridge and drink throughout the week!
Meat

Taco Skillet

taco skillet topped with lettuce and avocados, wooden spoon on side

 

Why restrict such delicious Mexican cuisine to only one day of the week?!  I say heck with Taco Tuesday, let’s make this awesome Taco Skillet any day of the week! 

I experimented with this recipe recently, and it has easily become a weekly favorite.  I love anything that can be baked or cooked out of one dish, and especially when you can cook quinoa right into it!  (I don’t know anything better than dumping uncooked quinoa into your skillet, and letting it cook hands free…i know it sounds ridiculous, but it makes me so happy!)

 

taco skillet on white table with wooden spoon

 

This meal is a healthy spin on a traditional taco recipe, and involves a giant skillet so there is plenty for everyone (or for leftovers)!  Instead of using tortillas or rice, I replaced the wheat component with quinoa, to act as a nutritious and gluten free carb replacement. 

 

ground beef and quinoa in a black skillet
Step 1: bake uncooked quinoa, ground beef, broth and spices for 30 min.

 

The quinoa and seasoned lean ground beef, which can be substituted for turkey or chicken if you prefer, is baked directly in the skillet before topping with veggies.  Feel free to get crazy with your veggies, too!  Add as much as you’d like and of whatever you’d like…have fun with it 🙂  

Note, all of the quinoa may not be fully cooked after the first round in the oven, but will cook all the way through after round two in the oven!

 

baked ground beef, quinoa, and veggies, in a black skillet
Step 2: mix in chopped veggies and bake for another 20 min. Stir half way through.

 

Cheese is totally optional, but since I’m a cheese-lover at heart, I can’t help but sprinkle a little love in some of my meals.  I use feta cheese, instead of shredded mexican or pepper jack cheese, since goat’s milk cheese is better for your gut and causes less inflammation than cheese made from cow’s milk.

 

baked taco skillet with spicy sauce and bowl of lettuce on the side
Baked Taco skillet before adding cheese, spicy sauce, and lettuce.

 

baked taco skillet topped with feta cheese, bowl of lettuce on side
Step 3: add feta cheese and spicy sauce.

 

Once everything is baked together, I drizzle some special spicy sauce on everything and top with lettuce and sliced avocados before serving!  Serve directly from your bakeware or scoop servings into individual bowls!

 

taco skillet topped with avocados

Can I meal prep this recipe?

Absolutely!  Make the full recipe, and then portion it out for the week in separate containers.  It will last for up to one week in the fridge. 

Can I use a different protein?

Yes, I’ve used chicken, ground turkey, and ground beef (always organic).  Cook it the same way, for the same amount of time. If using chicken, cut into small pieces so it cooks all the way through.

How can I make this vegetarian friendly?

Instead of cooking in protein, just add some extra veggies!  You will still bake the uncooked quinoa and broth together (just omit the step where you would add protein) for 30 min in the oven.  Then mix in your veggies and cook for another 20 min.

 

taco skillet on table, hand holding individual bowl of taco skillet

 

Taco Skillet

A healthy taco skillet recipe, packed with protein, veggies, and gluten free!  Cooked entirely out of one skillet, and topped with lettuce, avocado, and a special spicy sauce!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: bake, ground beef, healthy, skillet, spicy sauce, taco
Author: Lulu's Table

Ingredients

  • 1-1.5 lb organic ground beef
  • 1 cup quinoa uncooked
  • 2 1/4 cups bone broth
  • 1 bell pepper chopped
  • 1/2 red onion chopped
  • 1 tbsp EVOO or avocado oil
  • 1 lime (1/2 for veggies, 1/2 for sauce) juice
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta
  • 2-3 cups iceberg lettuce chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro chopped
  • 1 avocado sliced

Seasoning Mix

  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt, pepper, and red crushed peppers each
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Spicy Sauce

  • 1/4 cup Chipotle Tabasco
  • 1/2 lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt, pepper, and garlic powder each
  • 2 tbsp plain greek yogurt

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a large skillet or baking dish, mix together uncooked quinoa and broth. Using your hands, pull apart ground beef into small chunks and lay on top of quinoa and broth. Sprinkle seasoning mix over ground beef. 
  • Bake for 30 min.
  • While skillet is baking, prep veggies and spicy sauce.  Take chopped veggies and add to mixing bowl.  Mix with oil and lime juice and set aside.
  • For spicy sauce, mix together all ingredients in a small bowl, then set aside.
  • When skillet is done baking, stir in veggies.  Bake again for 20 min, stir halfway through.
  • When skillet is done baking, top with half of the spicy sauce, cheese, lettuce, and avocado.  Add additional spicy sauce on top, and save some on the side for individual use. 
Breakfast & Brunch

Gooey Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Muffins

banana bread muffins on cooling rack

 

These banana muffins have become one of my ALL TIME favorite treats around the house…and this is coming from someone who could only manage the taste of bananas in her smoothies just a few short years ago.

The best part about these muffins (aside from being delightfully addictive)?  They actually aren’t that bad for you!  The muffins are naturally sweetened with the banana and pure maple syrup, and the use of almond flour makes it gluten free!

(But if you’re anything like me, you can’t resist sprinkling in some chocolate chips for good measure.)

 

side angle shot of banana bread muffins on cooling wrack with chocolate chips and banana slices on top

 

I’m a big fan of using honey or pure maple syrup as natural sweeteners in baked goods, because they don’t have the added sugar or any other unnamable additives for that matter.  My go-to syrup lately has been a local producer who makes organic, pure maple syrup here in Ohio.  Milligan’s Maple…go check them out!

 

milligans maple syrup with apples, banana, cinnamon, and almond slices

 

The maple syrup gives the muffins a little extra sweetness, without the overwhelming amount of added sugar you’d find in most banana bread recipes.  That way your end result is still AMAZING, but so much better for you!

And if these muffins don’t already sound tempting enough, they are tremendously easy to make!  Trust me…if I can bake them, anyone can.  (I’m actually a pretty terrible baker, so this is a big accomplishment for me.  But shhhh, don’t tell anyone!)

 

banana bread muffins on cooling wrack

 

How to make the best gooey banana bread muffins:

First you want to mix your dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and set aside.  Don’t forget the cinnamon, it is a MUST HAVE.  Take you bananas and gently smash (sounds like an oxymoron, but you want it to be chunky) until it resembles some sort of baby food.  Lol yummmmm.

 

bow of dry ingredients and wet ingredients for making banana bread muffins

 

Add vanilla and syrup to the smashed bananas and gently stir to combine.  Take your wet ingredients and pour into dry ingredient mixing bowl.  Add one egg and mix until all ingredients are combined.

 

large mixing bowl full of ingredients for making banana bread muffins

 

If you wish to add chocolate chips, fold them into the batter before dishing out into the muffin pan.  There should be enough batter to fill all the molds to just below the top.  If feeling fancy, top with extra banana slices, chocolate chips, and drizzle extra syrup or honey!

 

banana bread muffins in baking pan before baking, topped with extra banana slices and chocolate chips

 

Bake for 30 min, then start working on a second batch because they go super fast!

 

chocolate chip banana bread muffins on a cooling wrack

 

Gooey Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Muffins

Healthy, gluten free, gooey banana chocolate chip muffins that are so good you'll forget they're made without any artificial sugars!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: banana, chip, chocolate, easy, gluten free, healthy, muffin
Servings: 12 muffins
Author: Lulu's Table

Ingredients

  • 2.5 cups almond flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 4-5 ripe bananas
  • 3 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips, or cacao nibs

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 12-cup muffin pan.
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix together almond flour, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon using a fork.
  • In a separate, smaller mixing bowl, take 4 ripe bananas and gently smash using a fork or potato masher.  You want your bananas to still be chunky. Add vanilla extract and syrup.  Gently stir to combine.
  • Take wet ingredients and pour into dry ingredient mixing bowl.  Add egg and mix to combine everything.
  • Fold in chocolate chips.
  • Add batter to greased muffin pan.  Fill to just below the top.  
  • Top with extra banana slices, syrup, and or chocolate chips.
  • Bake for 25-30 min.  Test at 25 min using a toothpick or small knife to gently poke through the center of one of the muffins. If the toothpick/knife comes out clean, remove muffins from oven.
  • Let cool before removing from muffin pan.