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I'm Crystal Vaughn

a classically trained chef taking holistic plant-based nutrition on a grand adventure through North America. When I’m not creating in our traveling kitchen, you can usually find me on my yoga mat or a hiking trail.

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I always thought chocolate making was super complex and you had to have just the right finesse and patience (which I don't have much of) to get beautiful chocolate.  In culinary school we practiced the art of tempering chocolate and it was way to tedious too interest me. 

I always read ingredients on the chocolate bars I purchase and the more I read the more I realized that you could make your own with a few simple ingredients without all the temperature checking.  So I dove in to figuring it out.  It didn't take long and this simple three ingredient bark was born.  It has the perfect amount of sweetness mixed with the delicate bitterness of good cacao.

 

You can top the bark however you would like but for a pretty Valentine's Day inspired version I like to add freeze dried raspberries, goji berries, rose petals and almond slivers.  Feel free to choose whatever your heart desires!  You can add any variety of seeds, nuts, dried fruit and edible flowers for something a little extra fancy. 

 

Set up a double broiler.  Put a small amount of water in the bottom of a small sauce pan and place a heat safe bowl inside it but make sure it is not touching the water.  Place over medium-low heat and add cacao butter to bowl.

 

Stir occasionally until melted.  Add cacao powder and maple syrup.

 

Stir until combined and smooth.  Remove from heat.

 

Place parchment paper in an 11"x7" container (or similar) pour the chocolate mixture in.

 

Sprinkle your toppings evenly over the chocolate and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

 

Remove from fridge and break into pieces. 

 

Sending love and chocolate,

Crystal

Grilled Sweet Potato Wedges with Srirach Hummus
Serves 2*

INGREDIENTS

1 large sweet potato
2 tbsp avocado oil, or oil of choice**
1/4 tsp sea salt or pink Himalayan salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp paprika
1 cup of hummus, regular or original flavor
1-2 tbsp sriracha

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat the grill to 400ºF.

2. Cut sweet potatoes in half crossways (not lengthwise) and then cut each half into wedges, roughly the same size so they cook evenly.

3. Toss the sweet potatoes with oil and spices.  Prepare a grill basket with foil*** and spread the wedges out in one even layer. 

4. Place on the grill and cook for around 30 minutes, flipping halfway through and removing once browned and easily pierced with a fork. 

5. While the sweet potatoes cook mix the hummus**** and sriracha in a small bowl.  You can start with 1 tbsp and taste.  Add more if you like more heat.

Notes: *You can easily double or triple this recipe for a larger crowd by using more sweet potatoes.  **I like to use avocado oil when I grill because it is great for high heat, if you do not have this on hand use whatever healthy high heat oil you have.  ***You can also place foil directly on grill or place wedges directly on grill if you would rather just be careful when flipping and removing.****Use my Go-To Hummus recipe for great results!

 *This post contains affiliate links.  They are in bold.  I only share products I love and use on a regular basis.  If you are interested in seeing what products I use and recommend simply click the word(s) in bold.  If you are moved to buy it, I will receive a small commission that helps support this blog and other projects I am working on.  Thank you for your support!

Products used for this recipe:

Terrasoul Superfoods Organic Cacao Powder, 1 Pound
Terrasoul Superfoods Organic Cacao Butter, 1 Pound (Raw, Keto, Vegan Friendly)
NOW Foods Organic Maple Syrup,Grade A Dark Color (formerly Grade B), 32-Ounce
If You Care Parchment Baking Paper, 2 Pack
Pyrex Basics 2 Quart Glass Oblong Baking Dish with Red Lid - 7 inch x 11 Inch
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I used to love all kinds of crackers; from the fancy ones you buy at a specialty grocery stores, plain ole saltines and everything in between.  Once I got in the habit of reading ingredients on everything (you should totallly do this too!) I put into my cart fewer and fewer crackers were allowed in.  I knew all the additives weren't going to make me feel better so I started going without crackers. 

I have seen people make crackers at home but I never really considered it until the idea of using chickpea flour as a base popped into my head.  Then I got excited!  This flour makes these a delicious protein packed snack and the added rosemary and black pepper add lots of flavor.  This will be a new travel staple for me so I am no longer tempted to buy crackers at the airport or gas stations. 

Add all dry ingredients to the bowl: chickpea flour, baking powder, pepper, salt and rosemary.

 

Stir in wet ingredients until it all comes together.

 

Knead for a couple of minutes, roll into a ball and let sit for 10 minutes.

 

Place dough between two pieces of parchment paper and use a roll out until it is about 1/8th of an inch thick.

 

Using a pizza cutter (or knife) cut into about 1 inch squares.

 

Using the bottom piece of parchment paper move to sheet pan.

 

Bake 18 to 20 minutes in a 350° oven.

 

Remove from oven, let cool, break up and enjoy!

  

Love and snacks,

 Crystal

Grilled Sweet Potato Wedges with Srirach Hummus
Serves 2*

INGREDIENTS

1 large sweet potato
2 tbsp avocado oil, or oil of choice**
1/4 tsp sea salt or pink Himalayan salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp paprika
1 cup of hummus, regular or original flavor
1-2 tbsp sriracha

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat the grill to 400ºF.

2. Cut sweet potatoes in half crossways (not lengthwise) and then cut each half into wedges, roughly the same size so they cook evenly.

3. Toss the sweet potatoes with oil and spices.  Prepare a grill basket with foil*** and spread the wedges out in one even layer. 

4. Place on the grill and cook for around 30 minutes, flipping halfway through and removing once browned and easily pierced with a fork. 

5. While the sweet potatoes cook mix the hummus**** and sriracha in a small bowl.  You can start with 1 tbsp and taste.  Add more if you like more heat.

Notes: *You can easily double or triple this recipe for a larger crowd by using more sweet potatoes.  **I like to use avocado oil when I grill because it is great for high heat, if you do not have this on hand use whatever healthy high heat oil you have.  ***You can also place foil directly on grill or place wedges directly on grill if you would rather just be careful when flipping and removing.****Use my Go-To Hummus recipe for great results!

*This post contains affiliate links.  They are in bold.  I only share products I love and use on a regular basis.  If you are interested in seeing what products I use and recommend simply click the word(s) in bold.  If you are moved to buy it, I will receive a small commission that helps support this blog and other projects I am working on.  Thank you for your support!

Products used for this recipe:

Bob's Red Mill Garbanzo Bean Flour - 16 oz.
Aluminum Free Baking Powder
If You Care Parchment Baking Paper, 2 Pack
Boos Block Maple Cutting Board
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Sauces are my favorite.  They can turn a plain and simple meal into something fantastic.  This Romesco sauce does just that.  It is great with veggies, potatoes, over pasta or even on pizza. Romesco is a spicy red pepper and almond sauce originating from the Catalonia region in Spain.

I was inspired to create my own version of this sauce after visiting one of my favorite restaurants in Oklahoma City, Packards.  They have an appetizer platter loaded with veggies and flatbread and serve it with Romesco.  It is my favorite with the fingerling potatoes and the broccolini (hint for my next recipe!).

  

Preheat oven to 450° and place 2 red bell peppers on a parchment paper lined sheet pan. 

 

Roast for about 40 minutes, turning the peppers every ten minutes so they cook evenly.

(For a quicker option you can place the oven on broil, place about 6 inches from the top, rotate and check on them every 3 to 5 minutes.)

Remove from oven once all sides of the skin are turning black and bubbling up.

Place in a bowl with a towel draped over for around 10 minutes so the skin can steam off and make it easier to remove.

 

Once cool enough to handle peel off the skin and remove the stem and seeds.

 

Place peppers along with all other ingredients in a small blender, such as a Nutribullet, and blend until smooth and creamy.

 

Enjoy!

 

Keep it saucy, 

Crystal

Grilled Sweet Potato Wedges with Srirach Hummus
Serves 2*

INGREDIENTS

1 large sweet potato
2 tbsp avocado oil, or oil of choice**
1/4 tsp sea salt or pink Himalayan salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp paprika
1 cup of hummus, regular or original flavor
1-2 tbsp sriracha

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat the grill to 400ºF.

2. Cut sweet potatoes in half crossways (not lengthwise) and then cut each half into wedges, roughly the same size so they cook evenly.

3. Toss the sweet potatoes with oil and spices.  Prepare a grill basket with foil*** and spread the wedges out in one even layer. 

4. Place on the grill and cook for around 30 minutes, flipping halfway through and removing once browned and easily pierced with a fork. 

5. While the sweet potatoes cook mix the hummus**** and sriracha in a small bowl.  You can start with 1 tbsp and taste.  Add more if you like more heat.

Notes: *You can easily double or triple this recipe for a larger crowd by using more sweet potatoes.  **I like to use avocado oil when I grill because it is great for high heat, if you do not have this on hand use whatever healthy high heat oil you have.  ***You can also place foil directly on grill or place wedges directly on grill if you would rather just be careful when flipping and removing.****Use my Go-To Hummus recipe for great results!

* This post contains affiliate links.  They are bold and underlined.  I only share products I love and use on a regular basis.  If you are interested in seeing what products I use simply click the word(s) in bold.  If you are moved to buy it, I will receive a small commission that helps support this blog and other projects I am working on.  Thank you for your support!

Products used for this recipe:

NutriBullet 12-Piece High-Speed Blender/Mixer System, Gray
If You Care Parchment Baking Paper, 2 Pack
 Organic Red Wine Vinegar
Tomato Paste
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The information on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any health condition or disease. It does not replace medical advice from a licensed professional.