02.20.2018

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We are a family of professional snackers. From dawn to dusk we are planning snacks, packing snacks, eating snacks, cleaning out snack containers and doing it all over again. The boys start each day with a “snack plate” as they call it (a tray of foods grabbed from the pantry and fridge to hold them off until breakfast which is about 10 minutes later…) designed to satisfy their early morning hunger as well as distract while I pack more snacks for school, after school, and hockey practice. While we snack on a lot of really simple things like popcorn, nuts, sliced fruit, hummus, and cheese, we have a few favorite snacks we whip up when we crave something special – mango lassis are at the top of that list.  

The beauty of the mango lassi is that it is packed with nutritious ingredients, keeps the kids full, and works for us adults as well. Sometimes we each sip on one while getting ready in the morning and other times I stick them in the boys’ hands in the backseat of the car  (lidded mason jars with straws work particularly well). Luckily, this lassi tastes good at breakfast, snack time, and even for dessert. Our mango lassis are most frequently sipped but the mix makes great ice pops in the summer and is fun transformed into a lassi bowl (simply pour the mango lassi into a shallow bowl and top with granola and sliced fruit or berries) on slower mornings.

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Mango Lassi

Makes 2

1 cup whole milk plain yogurt

1 cup frozen Dole mango chunks

⅓ cup milk of your choice (use your favorite nut, plant, or dairy milk)

1 fresh orange, juiced

Simply blend all the ingredients together until the lassi is the consistency of a milkshake. Pour into two glasses, pop in a couple of straws and sip. In the hot summer months I like to add a small handful of ice to the blender to make an ever slushier lassi.

This post is sponsored by Dole Packaged Foods.

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01.22.2018

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Nick turned 36 last week and, per his request, I made him a Classic Yellow Birthday Cake with Chocolate Sour Cream frosting. The cake smelled, looked, and tasted delicious (I made it while the boys were at school so I had the frosting covered spatulas all to myself…). There was just one problem – I recently challenged myself not to eat sugar, dairy, or gluten during the week (I’m not sweating the frosting licks) as a simple way to recover from our holiday overload. Nick’s beautiful birthday cake had serious doses of all three.

This Raw Pineapple-Mango Cheesecake saved the day for me and was the perfect thing to have as a healthier option alongside the classic birthday cake. I love tropical, tart desserts, especially during the dark winter months – they remind me of sun, sand, and heat! This dessert is also a great party alternative for guests who have food sensitivities.

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Raw Pineapple-Mango Cheesecake is incredibly simple to make – you don’t actually cook anything. The most challenging step for me is to remember to soak the raw cashews overnight. The crust, cheesecake filling, and fruit topping are all whizzed up using a food processor then layered into a springform pan and chilled.

While some sugar-free, dairy-free, gluten-free desserts are made with tofu or processed vegan foods, I like that this treat is full of recognizable ingredients like nuts, unsweetened coconut, and fresh fruit.

For all of you staying among snow and darkness this winter, give this cake a try. I promise it’ll make you feel like you’re lounging under a palm tree somewhere, however far off that actually may be.

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Raw Pineapple-Mango Cheesecake

Makes 1 9-inch cake – serves 12 to 16

 

Crust:

1 cup raw almonds

1/4 cup raw cashews

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Juice and zest from 1 lime

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

10 Dole pitted dates

1 tablespoon flour of your choice (all purpose or gluten-free)

Pinch of kosher salt

 

Cheesecake:

3 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 Dole cup pineapple juice

1/3 cup melted coconut oil

Juice and zest from 1 lime

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 cup water

 

Pineapple Topping:

1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted

1 1/2 cups Dole frozen pineapple chunks, thawed

1 ½ cups Dole frozen mango chunks, thawed

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  1. Start by making the crust. Place all the crust ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and run the motor until the mix forms into a dough. Turn the ball of dough out into a spring form pan and, using your fingers, press the crust into the bottom of the pan. Set aside.  
  1. Next, make the cheesecake filling. Add all the cheesecake ingredients to the rinsed food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy. Taste for sweetness. This is not a sweet cake so if you prefer more sweetener, add in a tablespoon of agave syrup or other liquid sweetener. Pour the cheesecake batter over the pressed crust.
  1. Lastly, make the fruit layer by blending the melted coconut oil and thawed fruit in the food processor until smooth. Pour over the top of the cake. Set the cake in the freezer to set up. After an hour in the freezer you can remove the springform ring and serve or place the cake in the fridge to serve at a later time. Raw Pineapple Cheesecake is good chilled or at room temperature.

This post is sponsored by Dole Packaged Foods.

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02.02.2017

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I wrote The Beginner’s Guide to Juice Making for Food52. Check it out! 

Whether you received a juicer over the holidays, are in the midst of a New Year’s resolution kick, or simply want to get more fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet (who doesn’t?), you may be curious about juicing…click here to read the full article and get the recipes.

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Photography by Elizabeth Cecil

07.06.2016

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We just rolled in from the West Tisbury Farmers Market. I bought a loaf of Oatmeal-Buckwheat bread from Cinnamon Starship, two cold rolls, a cucumber salad, and a lemonade for Gray and I to share for lunch. I unwrapped Gray’s cold roll (packed with noodles, fresh herbs, and tofu) expecting a squeal of excitement but he stared at me and said “I wanted the crispy one.” Back we went, another $5 in my hand, and bought a freshly fried egg roll. He downed it with most of the cucumber salad and the entire lemonade. He may be the only person I know who craves a fried, rich lunch in the humid summer heat but I can’t blame him either – those egg rolls are delicious.

We started our morning with a much cooler, greener meal – our family’s favorite Green Smoothie. Most summer mornings begin with this concoction first in our blender then either poured into jars to go or cups to stay. Today is the warmest day we’ve had yet so we topped our glasses with frozen berries.

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Our Favorite Green Smoothie

makes 3 small or 2 large

2 bananas

1 cup frozen mango

2 cups baby spinach or any dark green

1-inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and roughly chopped

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 cup unsweetened hemp milk

1 cup water or ice

Handful of frozen berries, optional topping

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Simply put everything into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into glasses, top with frozen berries, and serve. If you happen to have extra, pour the leftover smoothie into a Popsicle mold and freeze for an afternoon treat.

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08.04.2015

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Here I am, coming up for air. It’s been a whirlwind of a summer and I’m just starting to shake that awful feeling that someone is waiting for me and I’m late or I’ve forgotten a big important thing that is happening in 5 minutes (or yesterday). The energy involved in promoting work, completing new work, and mothering two little ones is tough to sustain. There have been a handful of moments so overwhelming and unsustainable that I felt completely lost yet other moments of absolute pure happiness – the kind of happiness I will pull out years from now to warm me up.

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And this little island of ours? Its overwhelming support for me and Little Bites has been unimaginable. I always knew we lived in a special community but the last few weeks have put it over the top. Here are a few of the sweet articles from our local papers:

Martha’s Vineyard Times – Good Taste

The Vine

Vineyard Gazette – Cook The Vineyard

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So, amidst all of this crazy there is heat. I realize summer is hot and all and I am really not complaining but it’s the humidity that gets to me. I hang our wet beach towels out on the fence every evening and come the next morning when I go to pack the car they are still wet. That is how much moisture is in the air. It’s thick and dense and definitely not good for any kind of hair (especially temperamental bangs).

My solution is to eat as many non-cook frozen things as possible. Here are two of our favorites – Green Smoothie Pops and Chocolate-Banana Milkshakes. Both can be breakfasts, snacks, or desserts and adapted a million different ways to satisfy your family’s summer cravings.

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Green Smoothie Pops

makes about 10

1 cup packed kale leaves

1 frozen banana

1 cup frozen mango

1 cup almond milk

1 cup full fat coconut milk

Blend everything together until smooth then pour into ice pop molds and freeze until set, at least 2 hours. Run mold under warm water to make for easier serving.

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Chocolate-Banana Milkshake

serves 2

1 1/2 frozen bananas

1 cup whole milk

1 cup unsweetened hemp milk

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

2 dates

PS. We added a handful of cherries to this milkshake yesterday and it was delicious.

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