Monday, December 3, 2012

A Whole Foods Adventure

      In today's entry, you will not find a recipe, but rather a vignette of a Whole Foods Market trip from our family vacation. While it seemed like chaos at the time, I knew I would write about it later. Ill pick up with more recipes next week.

August 1, 2012
     Stopped at a gas station 100 miles out of Seattle, seven Trudelles are faced with the common dilemma of how to fuel ourselves for the evening meal. Gone are the days when the parents would choose a place and we were happy as long as we could both eat and play. The morning cereal had minimal staying power after wake boarding and hours of traveling so stomachs are nearing empty. The clock reads 4:30 PM and the gas station subway looks mediocre at best. Dad, thinking in his usual terms of practicality, announces "okay guys if you wanna eat, now is the time." We quickly come up with the idea of asking Mom and Dad if we can take them out to dinner for their anniversary instead. Their anniversary was 10 days ago, but it falls conveniently close to summer vacations.
      Mom replies, "guys, Johnny's medical" (as in medically hungry)  to which Marie replies, "Mom he can handle it, he's not the only one who's hungry" Laura, being her usual statistical and diplomatic self, takes a hunger level survey. In the waiting period Pete makes an executive decision to press on. By the time we arrive at the Seattle Whole Foods Market, the family is chomping at the bit to get started with dinner.
        In the parking lot, we tumble out of the car like, well, tall people stuffed in a car for a few hours. The two cars unknowingly have different intentions for this whole foods trip. The consensus from the silver car is that they are picking up grilling foods for Steve to grill for us. Apparently grilling is a stress release for the soon to be father. The consensus of the black car? Get whatever you want for yourself, but you hold responsibility of preparation. 
         The double doors slide open and we enter like a heard of lost canadian caddle. A bit dishoveled, mostly in active clothes with lake hair, tall and blondish, and not making any effort to be inconspicuous. Instinctively, everyone grabs some cherries to sample. When one person does this, it goes unnoticed, but seven can be a little obvious. We spread out, mostly with the assumption that someone else is taking care of the important items. In a few minutes there's a reunion at the salad bar. Mom's on the phone with Dad who's in the meat isle. "Guys, Dad is getting burgers, do you want some or do you want to grill something else for yourself?" 
     "WHAT?!" Johnny looks incredulous. "I thought Steve was grilling for us, Now we have to get our own?"
"Yeah I'm a little unclear" I say "should I just get something here?" I'm already nibbbling on a piece of falafel as I converse. Before Mom answers, she gets side tracked as Marie strolls up deciding the type and price of protien powder to purchase for volleyball training camp. Johnny figures the grilled meal is a lost cause and is already at the burrito line, customizing his double meat special.  Laura walks around the corner and decides to follow her my lead and get a small salad to go with the barbecue meal. 
     As I'm midway through creating my  salad, Pete approaches me with a serious look similar to his Peter Gibbons impression. He puts a hand on my shoulder, looks down at me and says, "so Couse, what are you doing for a carbohydrate source on this one?" I hadn't really considered this yet as I know I would be fed in someway or another. " well I was just planning on having a burger bun or piece of toast with my meal. Just whatever everyone else is getting" I reply. Then pete says,"Okay, well I can't have gluten so I thought you could look at some of the udi's gluten free breads with me." We head over to the freezer together and stare at some of the gluten free alternatives. With big bold movements Pete grabs a loaf, freezes in silence as he reads the ingredients, and 80 percent of the time stuffs in back in the freezer again. Frustrated with the artificial breads, he decides to go with rice. Laura comes around the corner with a guacamole and hands it to Pete. He gives her the same serious and contemplative look and says "Laura I buy about $200 worth of guacamole a month at whole foods, we can do better. Let me show you where it's at" As they search through guacamole, Mom asks me about a box of chocolate treats for Steve. I check out the box, but decide it to be much too "milk chocolate" for the dark chocolate loving family.
   I look over at the checkout stand and see Dad sporting his aviator sunglasses and the "come on guys Im ready" look. The people lined up behind him are clearly fooled by his modest amount of items in the shopping cart, and do not know what's coming. When the family hears time is up, each person starts darting between the isles and the checkout line throwing in forgotten items and impulse buys. 3 bags of Kettle chips are purchased in order to prevent chip hoarding and rationing, marie gets snacks for school, Mom throws in tilamook cheddar, Johhny decides the burrito will not be enough and finds ribs, and Pete decides on a gluten free cinnamon raisin bread that suites him. Before we even start checking out, the burritos and chips are ripped open. Mom asks Dad "Do you think we should get steve some treats or something?" Dad seems a bit exasperated by the general lack of organization from the family's eating style. "Shine, Steve said he wanted cliff bars, so I got him cliff bars. Simple and done." Mom replies, "Well I know, but I'm his Mom" she ponders.
Soon enough we ring up the bill and pile back into the car and head to Steve and Rachel's house.We have yet to start to cook the meal, but  the difficult part of the preparation is complete.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Mint Chocolate Almond Cashew Butter

Another peak into the flavor list

I think most everyone has a mint chocolate something that they like. Maybe its andes mints, thin mints, peppermint patties, or mint brownies. Mint chocolate chip was always one of my favorite ice cream flavors as a kid. This is definitely not mint chocolate chip, it's mint chocolate fully incorporated. Enjoy!

1 C- roasted cashews
1 C- roasted almonds
50 grams 72 % dark chocolate (melted) or 1/3 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 T - 100% cocoa poweder
1/2 t mint extract 

  1. Blend the nuts together in the food processor until they are butterized.
  2. Pour melted chocolate, mint extract and cocoa powder into the mixture and blend again.
  3. Keep on the counter 
  4. Best to eat fresh. After refrigeration it will become very hard so reheating is recommended.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Curry Chicken in Kabocha Squash bowl

Kabocha Bowls Serves ~3

There is something very satisfying about a food that makes its own bowl. Apparently the skin of this squash is edible, so you can eat the whole meal with no evidence or dishes (I actually did this today).  If you have never had Kabocha squash, don't confuse it with the kombucha drink. This tastes like a combination between a butternut squash and a sweet potato and you also won't go on edge when they take it off the shelf ;-). I have yet to make a highly successful curry sauce from scratch, but the simmer sauce I used tastes very flavorful and wholesome. It's also free of starch thickeners, high fructose corn syrup, dairy, and gluten. 
Cut a Kabocha squash in half and roast in the oven for 40 minutes until flesh is soft. 
Remove the seeds
1 12 oz cans coconut curry simmer sauce (medium). I used  Spicy Nothings brand from Roberts. 
6 oz coconut cream (or 1/2 can coconut cream)
1 lb chicken breast
1. In a covered iron skillet bake chicken without the sauce for 35-45 minutes until cooked and tender.
2. Drain the chicken juice and cut into pieces
3. Mix together the coconut cream and curry simmer sauce.
The Combination
Put chicken and sauce in the Kabocha bowl and enjoy

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Apple Cider Almond Butter

The 23rd Flavor

This summer I made a goal of creating 23 different nut butters before my 23rd Birthday on November 28. On Monday when I sat down to list of all the flavors, and I fell just two short. Thus, I headed to the kitchen and made chocolate mint and apple cider almond butters to cap it off. The chocolate mint is far to minty for me to share yet, so I present to you the apple cider! This fruity almond butter is a little stickier than normal types, (because of the water in the apple sauce) although it still tastes great. So far, I find the best combination is to spread it on of apples. I don't mind an apple abundance. 

  • 1 C raw almonds (roasted would work as well)
    • Note: Raw almonds take about 10 minutes to blend, roasted only take about 5. Use roasted if pressed for time.
  • 1/4 C unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 t apple cider vinegar
  • 2 t cinnamon
  • Sprinkle of salt optional
  1. Blend almonds in a strong food processor. 
  2. Scrape down from the sides and blend again until it appears to be like regular almond butter.
  3. Add in the rest of the ingredients and blend until combined

Monday, November 12, 2012

Chocolate Covered Root Vegetables

Orange October

The San Francisco Giants won the world series this year. Hooray! Most people are surprised to find out that I follow baseball (sometimes). I like baseball, but I will admit to being a playoffs only fan. I hardly watch anything all season, and then during the playoff's I suddenly get really into it. This year, I watched most of the games either on a laptop sized TV or in Whole foods. To make up for the lack of HD TV, I made some black and orange treats for the viewers. This tastes like sweet potato ice-cream. It also happened to be right around Halloween at the time. Just perfect.


  • 1 C purred orange vegetables- I used half butternut squash, half sweet potato
  • 1.5 T coconut butter
  • 1 t pumpkin pie spice
  • 72% dark chocolate and coconut oil
  • Coat sili-cups or muffin papers with melted chocolate and coconut oil. Place in freezer for 7 minutes or until hard.
  • Mix together root vegetables and spices.
  • Spoon mixture into muffins
  • Use a spoon to cover with chocolate, place into freezer.
  • Serve cool or at room temp. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pumpkin Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Best consumed warm, while relaxed...

           My usual vacation style and way to spend free time is action packed and go go go. Even without realizing, that can be much about efficiency of cost and time.While I love doing lots of activities, sometimes the  constant push about what to do next can start to wear on you. Sometimes it's nice to have a bit of change, and my trip to Washington last weekend was just that. Everyone was asking what I was in town for. Is it that strange to go somewhere just to visit family? I met my Nephew Miles for the first time, ran in true fall weather and had lots of leisure coffee shop visits. The type where you actually sit down and drink in the atmosphere as well as the cappuccino . There was also time for the giants, and watching the two victories they had that weekend. This is the kind of bread that is best enjoyed at a leisure pace. Take note of how the wonderful cinnamon smell fills the house. A warm dense slice with a cup of coffee on a fall weekend morning would be perfect.
 That is actually how it was recommended in the original recipe, which I adapted from
1 C pumpkin purée
1/4 C butter melted
1 egg
2 T milk
1/3 C brown sugar / coconut sugar
2 t cinnamon
1 t nutmeg
1 t ginger
Cardamon/ cloves optional
1-1/3 Cgluten free flour blend (Or all purpose flour)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda

Streusel topping
2-3 T melted butter
1/3 C chopped pecans
3 T rolled oats
2T brown sugar
2 T cinnamon
  1. Combine, pumpkin, egg, butter, and sugar in a bowl. In a separate bowl or measuring cup mix all of the dry ingredients.
  2. Combine the wet and dry together together.
  3. Pour half of the batter into a greased loaf pan.
  4. In a separate bowl combine the streusel toppings. 
  5. Cover the loaf with half of the streusel and pour the remaining batter over.
  6. Cover with remaining streusel topping
  7. Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes until fork comes out clean.
 Next up- Giants baseball sweet potato cups. I wasn't expecting them to win the world series in such a quick sweep, but the recipe is coming soon.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Homemade Chocolate Bars

High Epicatechin Fudge

     It should come as no surprise by now that my family and is into dark chocolate. The reasons vary. For some taste, others wakefulness, and some for endurance. For the last year, we have been receiving inside information from top notch researchers who have done studies on the effects of dark chocolate on the mitochondria. I'll spare you the scientific details, but in short, the epicatechin in chocolate can be quite beneficial to your mitochondria development. One of the researchers spoke at the Priory about it, which resulted in a large number of cross country runners starting to eat chocolate in hopes of enhancing their performance. 
        When Johnny ate an entire Hershey sized bar of 72% chocolate the morning of his Stanford invitational race, he set a1 minute personal record. Despite increased training, racing experience and fitness levels, he attributed most of the success to the chocolate. Soon after, I started creating a stronger, darker, homemade blend to ensure we were indulging in the cold pressed variety. This high epicatechin fudge is now requested frequently and has earned a top shelf in the fridge. It contains blended whole cacao beans which make for a super rich chocolately flavor. After refrigerating, it feels similar in texture to a dark chocolate crunch bar, but tastes much better. I would recommend crumbling over a sweet potato, oatmeal, or in a banana smoothie. 

  • 1/2 C ground caocao beans, or caocao powder
  • 2 T almond butter (I used creamy roasted with sea-salt. If you use raw, sprinkle some salt in)
  • 1 T coconut butter
  • 1 T coconut oil
  • 1 t instant coffee powder
  • 2 t honey
  1. Grind the caocao beans into a fine powder with a food processor or blender. Add coffee powder if desired.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. The mixture should be almost drippy.
  3. Pour onto a small plate and refridgerate for at least 40 minutes or until hardened. 
  4. Cut into small pieces and serve.
eat, enjoy and run fast!