Chocolate Avocado Mousse

So I am just going to come out and say it…I am addicted to chocolate.

When I found this recipe for chocolate mousse I knew I had to try it with the healthy spin of adding avocado. I thought it was weird at first, but the avocado is really just the base and consistency for the mousse. To my surprise you only taste the chocolate! And you feel good eating it knowing you are getting some healthy fats from the avocado while indulging in some decadent chocolate! The best part, it is SO EASY to make!

Chocolate Avocado Mousse

chocolate avocado mousse

Ingredients
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
4 very ripe (8 ounce) avocados, peeled and pitted
1/2 cup agave
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
Kosher or rock salt, for garnish
Fresh raspberries, for garnish

Directions
Place the chocolate chips in a small bowl. Place over a small saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth, about 3 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.

Place the melted chocolate, avocados, agave, cocoa powder, almond milk, vanilla and salt in a food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Spoon into glasses and refrigerate for at least 3 hours (can be prepared 1 day in advance). Garnish with fresh raspberries, sprinkle with the kosher salt, and serve.

Recipe source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/chocolate-avocado-mousse-recipe.html

Brie Bites with Fig Jam

Brie and figs…my two favorite things! The cheesy sweetness of this appetizer goes so well together and is such an easy last-minute dish to put together. I bought already cooked phyllo shells, and didn’t melt the brie cheese to make this even quicker. Next time I will put it in the oven for a bit to melt the cheese and I bet it will be that much tastier!

Brie Bites with Fig Jam

baked brie bites

Ingredients
1 package of already cooked mini phyllo shells
6 oz. brie cheese, about 1 wedge
¼ cup fig preserves
¼ cup chopped walnuts

Directions
Place a cube of brie cheese in each shell. Add a dollop of fig jam on top of the cheese. Sprinkle each shell with some walnuts. Put on a pretty platter and serve!

Recipe Source: http://phyllo.com/2013/11/07/baked-brie-phyllo-shells-with-fig-preserves/

Pasta with Romesco Sauce

I had this pasta with romesco at a restaurant near my house so I was determined to learn how to make it! I found a recipe for romesco sauce and put my skills to the test and low and behold, it was just as amazing! I feel like romesco sauce is a healthier, much quicker, version of old fashioned tomato sauce.

Pasta with Romesco Sauce

pasta with romesco sauce

Ingredients

1 lb pasta of your choice
2 large, thick slices country bread, crusts removed, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 cup whole almonds
1 pound ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup fruity olive oil

Directions

Boil water, and once it is boiled add a good amount of salt to the water. Add the pasta and cook according to the package.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, soak the bread cubes in the vinegar for 20 minutes.

Grind the almonds in a mortar and pestle or food processor until they are finely ground but not oily.

Add the vinegar soaked bread, tomatoes, paprika, salt and pepper to the processor and grind together briefly until evenly pureed. With the motor running, add the olive oil in a thin stream.

romesco sauce

Once the pasta is cooked, strain and then add the romesco sauce to the pasta and stir. Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and enjoy!

Recipe source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/romesco-sauce-recipe.html

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts

I love brussels sprouts. I will eat them all year round! I also love balsamic vinegar, I put it in a lot of things (including chili). I saw this recipe and knew I had to try it. I added shallots because I wanted to add a depth of flavor and love the sweetness of the shallots and knew it would balance out the vinegar.

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts

sauteed brussels sprouts

Ingredients

1 (10 ounce) package shredded Brussels sprouts (you can buy them at Trader Joes)
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons good olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Directions

Place 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large (12-inch) saute pan and heat it over medium heat. Add the sliced shallots until soft and tender. Add the butter and the remaining olive oil. Add the sliced Brussels sprouts, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and saute them, stirring frequently, for about 4 to 5 minutes, until tender but still bright green. It might look like a lot of Brussels sprouts when you add them in the pan, but just like spinach, they will cook down. Once tender, turn off the heat and stir in the balsamic vinegar, season to taste, and serve hot.

Recipe Source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/sauteed-shredded-brussels-sprouts.html