Guilt-free Avocado Vegan Brownie Recipe

Guilt-free Vegan Avocado Brownie recipe via It's Jou Life // https://wp.me/p7RBMP-14d

It’s not common to mix vegetables into desserts, but this Guilt-free Avocado Vegan Brownie recipe calls for the green stuff and it tastes divine. The secret ingredients are avocado and coconut oil–and it’s healthy! They provide a rich texture and dose of healthy fats.

However if you want to go the extra mile, these are perfect fresh out of the oven topped with your favorite scoop of vanilla ice cream. I also enjoy packing these in a baggie and enjoying it on the road.

This is my go-to dessert for parties because it’s the healthier version for fudge-y brownies. I love telling everyone they’re not only decadent, but they’re guilt-free and vegan!

Skeptical? You gotta try it to believe it!

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Kale Edamame Quinoa Salad // The Power Salad

Kale Edamame Quinoa Salad via It's Jou Life blog - https://wp.me/p7RBMP-WF

This Kale Edamame Quinoa Salad with Carrot Ginger Dressing is inspired by the Super Spinach Salad that I used to shell $4 for at Trader Joes. Now that I know how to make the star ingredient, Carrot Ginger Dressing, I’m set for life. I make batches of this dressing ahead of time and always have it stocked in my fridge.

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Carrot Ginger Dressing

Carrot Ginger Dressing via It's Jou Life blog - https://wp.me/p7RBMP-W9This Carrot Ginger Dressing is inspired by the Super Spinach Salad with Carrot Miso Ginger dressing that I used to buy at Trader Joes. This dressing is a game changer for salad fans, especially me. Not only is the color a vibrant orange, but it’s light, smooth, and a refreshing addition to any salad.

This dressing is so easy to make in a food processor. There are a few key ingredients and everything blends and emulsifies well together. I’ve made a few batches over the past days and been giving it away to family and friends! Next post I’ll show my favorite salad with this dressing.

This Carrot Ginger Dressing is adapted from Epicurious.

Carrot Ginger Dressing via It's Jou Life blog - https://wp.me/p7RBMP-W9

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Carrot Ginger Dressing
This Carrot Ginger Dressing is inspired by the Super Spinach Salad with Carrot Miso Ginger dressing that I used to buy at Trader Joes. This dressing is a game changer for salad fans, especially me. Not only is the color a vibrant orange, but it's light, smooth, and a refreshing addition to any salad.
Carrot Ginger Dressing via It's Jou Life blog - https://wp.me/p7RBMP-W9
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings
cups
Ingredients
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings
cups
Ingredients
Carrot Ginger Dressing via It's Jou Life blog - https://wp.me/p7RBMP-W9
Instructions
  1. Place carrots into the food processor and pulse until pureed.
  2. Add ginger, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and salt. Pulse. Add vegetable oil, slowly.
  3. Add water. Pulse until smooth.

Daktoritang Korean Spicy Chicken Stew Recipe

Daktoritang Korean Spicy Chicken Stew - https://itsjoulife.com/recipe/korean-spicy-chicken-stew/

My most recent experience with making (and enjoying) Daktoritang Korean Spicy Chicken Stew.

You know that feeling when you’re stuffed, but want to keep eating because it’s just so dang delicious and not sure when you’re going to eat that dish again? Make this recipe, you’ll know what I mean. First time having this stew, my tongue was flaming up, but I relied on rice, milk, and tissues to help me through my second serving. I ended up making this twice in a week because I just couldn’t get enough. Second time around I eased on the green chilies.

Daktoritang Korean Spicy Chicken Stew - https://itsjoulife.com/recipe/korean-spicy-chicken-stew/

Daktoritang Korean Spicy Chicken Stew - https://itsjoulife.com/recipe/korean-spicy-chicken-stew/

Daktoritang Korean Spicy Chicken Stew - https://itsjoulife.com/recipe/korean-spicy-chicken-stew/

Daktoritang Korean Spicy Chicken Stew - https://itsjoulife.com/recipe/korean-spicy-chicken-stew/

Daktoritang Korean Spicy Chicken Stew - https://itsjoulife.com/recipe/korean-spicy-chicken-stew/

 

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Korean Spicy Chicken Stew Recipe
I didn't eat this spicy chicken stew growing up, but I wish I did! On cold winter nights like this, this stew hits the spot. This is a chicken dish that is braised in a spicy red sauce mixture along with potatoes and onions. It's the perfect comfort food to be scooped over rice. Warms my hands, belly, and heart.
Daktoritang Korean Spicy Chicken Stew - https://itsjoulife.com/recipe/korean-spicy-chicken-stew/
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Daktoritang Korean Spicy Chicken Stew - https://itsjoulife.com/recipe/korean-spicy-chicken-stew/
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl make your sauce by mixing the hot pepper flakes, gochujang, soy sauce, minced garlic, brown sugar. Make sure it's thoroughly mixed, it should look like a paste.
  2. In a large pot, place your chicken drumsticks, sauce mixture, and water. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a medium simmer for about 20 minutes.
  3. Place the chopped potatoes, chopped onions, sliced green chiles, half of chopped green onions into the pot for another 20 minutes, uncovered.
  4. Chicken should be tender, potatoes cooked, and liquid slightly thickened. Once finished, remove from heat, place in dish and top with remaining chopped green onions.
Recipe Notes

Tip: If you can't handle spice, it's a good idea to start with a few slices of the green chilies while cooking and then wait a bit before trying it again.

Easy healthy granola recipe

Easy, healthy granola recipe - itsjoulife.com

This is such an easy granola recipe that’s not only delicious and healthy, but you’ll never want to waste your hard earned money on store bought granola again. Did I mention it’s also vegan, dairy-free, and egg-free? It’s made with whole grain oats, unrefined coconut oil, and naturally sweetened with maple syrup. Oh yea, and it’s entirely guilt-free.

I usually top granola over plain greek yogurt, eat it by the handful, or package it in mason jars and gift to friends and family during the holidays. Continue reading

DIY / lifestyle blog got a makeover!

It’s Jou Life | a DIY / lifestyle blog—musing about natural, healthy, artisanal living, and everything in between.

Join our mailing list by entering your email (top right column section) and receive an email each time we post!

Friends of Ours.

Hello, and welcome to It’s Jou Life! We’re Wayne and Jennifer, a (relatively) newly wed couple who found love in the most unexpecting place. This is our DIY / lifestyle blog—musing about natural, healthy, artisanal living, and everything in between.

We started this blog because our family and friends always ask us how we grow our own organic vegetables, what is Wayne woodworking on now, to send over our miso black cod recipe, what snacks stock our pantry, a tutorial on that cute zippered pouch, tips for marathon running, where do we worship, what to bring for a camping trip, what’s Jennifer’s skincare regimen… you get the idea. This is our way to share life’s loves.

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Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding Recipe

Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding Recipe // itsjoulife.com

The dessert that left a sweet handprint on my heart. After coming back from our New York trip, first on our list was to make that fluffy, yet ooey-gooey Banana Pudding dessert from Magnolia Bakery. Although this easy recipe doesn’t involve baking, this dessert does require some planning. One of the beginning steps involves at least 4 hours (or overnight) for the pudding to firm and 30 minutes as the last step to set the dish. Just make sure to read this recipe from beginning to end before inviting your guests over for dessert night.

Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding

Makes 12 servings

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cups water

2/3 cup instant vanilla pudding mix

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

3 cups heavy cream

1 (12-ounce) box vanilla wafers

4 bananas, sliced

DIRECTIONS

Mix together the water, pudding mix, and sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight until it sets up.

Whip heavy cream until soft peaks form. Working in thirds, fold the whipped cream into the pudding mixture until well incorporated.

In a trifle bowl, layer vanilla wafers, sliced bananas, and pudding mixture; continue until you’ve used up all the pudding mixture. Refrigerate for at least another 30 minutes before serving.

Magnolia Bakery's Banana Pudding via It's Jou Life // https://itsjoulife.com/2016/07/25/magnolia-bakerys-delectable-banana-pudding-recipe/

The first layer of fluffy pudding goodness, sliced bananas and Nilla wafers

Magnolia Bakery's Banana Pudding via It's Jou Life // https://itsjoulife.com/2016/07/25/magnolia-bakerys-delectable-banana-pudding-recipe/Magnolia Bakery's Banana Pudding via It's Jou Life // https://itsjoulife.com/2016/07/25/magnolia-bakerys-delectable-banana-pudding-recipe/Magnolia Bakery's Banana Pudding via It's Jou Life // https://itsjoulife.com/2016/07/25/magnolia-bakerys-delectable-banana-pudding-recipe/

This recipe is exclusive from The Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook by Jennifer Appel and Allysa Torey. Photograph copyright © 2016 by Jennifer Jou.

Lion’s Head Meatballs, Chinese Food // recipe

Lion’s Head Meatball recipe // chinese food

Lion's Head Meatball Recipe // itsjoulife.com

Serves 4

The Lion’s Head Meatball is a favorite dish of mine from childhood, it’s perfect comfort food for a cold winter night and surprisingly easy to make. It’s traditionally made with fatty ground pork, but I opted for ground turkey. The dish is sort of a stew but lighter: The meatballs, greens, and a little broth are all spooned over rice noodles. It’s commonly known as lion’s head meatballs, because the wavy greens or noodles ringing the meatballs look like…a lion’s mane? In Chinese, they’re called shih tzu tou, so maybe they’re really supposed to look like little shih tzu lapdog heads. Even if they are taxonomically ambiguous, they are inarguably tasty and incredibly easy to make.

Ingredients

1 lb ground pork (I opted for ground turkey)

1 C chopped scallions

2 T soy sauce

1 T sugar

1 T Shaoxing wine

1 T minced garlic

1 T minced fresh ginger

1 t kosher salt

1/2 t sesame oil

1 egg

2 T cornstarch

Neutral oil

1 lb napa cabbage or bok choy, leaves separated, chopped if desired

2 C chicken broth

White pepper

Cooked rice noodles or rice, for serving

Directions

  1. Put the pork in a large bowl and break it up with your hands. Add the scallions, soy sauce, sugar, wine, garlic, ginger, salt, and sesame oil and work the mixture to combine. Add the egg and cornstarch and vigorously mix, picking up and slapping the mixture back into the bowl a few times to create a tacky texture. Roll the meat into eight 2-inch balls. (Note: Keep in mind if you opted for ground turkey, instead of pork, it doesn’t hold its shape as well. Be gentle when forming the 2-inch balls and searing them in the pan. Don’t worry, it’ll taste just as delicious)
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a Dutch oven and add enough meatballs to fit comfortably in a single layer. Sear them until browned all over, about 2 minutes per side. Repeat with any remaining meatballs. Remove the pan from the heat and wipe out the pan.
  3. Line the pan with the cabbage or bok choy, arrange the meatballs in a snug single layer on top, and add broth to come within 1/4 inch of the tops of the meatballs. Cover the pot and set over medium heat. Gently simmer until the greens are tender and the meatballs are cooked through, 20 to 30 minutes. Serve over rice noodles or with steamed rice.

Lion's Head Meatball Recipe via It's Jou Life Blog // https://itsjoulife.com/2016/03/03/lions-head-meatballs-chinese-food-recipe/Lion's Head Meatball Recipe via It's Jou Life Blog // https://itsjoulife.com/2016/03/03/lions-head-meatballs-chinese-food-recipe/Lion's Head Meatball Recipe via It's Jou Life Blog // https://itsjoulife.com/2016/03/03/lions-head-meatballs-chinese-food-recipe/This recipe is exclusive from LUCKY PEACH PRESENTS 101 EASY ASIAN RECIPES. Copyright © 2015 by Peter Meehan. Photograph copyright © 2016 by Jennifer Jou

recipe // walnut and date cocoa energy balls

 

Healthy Walnut + Date Cocoa Energy Balls  // itsjoulife.com

Lately I find myself getting hungry between meals at work, rushing to workout classes and running errands. These healthy walnut and date cocoa balls have been a staple in my every day. It not only provides protein and energy to get me through my long days, but also hits my sweet tooth cravings–guilt-free. Best of all, it’s so easy to make.

Walnut and Date Cocoa Energy Balls

Prep: 15 minutes

Yields: Approx. 19, depending on size

Ingredients

1 cup raw walnuts (or ½ cup raw walnuts and ½ cup raw almonds)

1 cup firmly packed pitted dates (slightly softened)

2 T goji berries (optional)

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Optional: dash of ground cinnamon, raw honey

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor, and process until extremely fine. Tip: If the dates were in the fridge, let it soften in room-temperature for about 15 min. Not required though. I just find it blends and have a more favorable texture if slightly softened.
  2. Taste mixture. Tip: If the mixture isn’t sweet or on the dry/crumbly side, add a few drizzles of raw honey. Process again.
  3. Shape into 1” balls. Tip: I like to use a mini ice cream scooper and then roll between my palms.
  4. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Good for about a week.

Healthy Walnut + Date Cocoa Energy Balls via It's Jou Life https://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/2015/11/22/recipe-walnut-and-date-cocoa-energy-ballsHealthy Walnut + Date Cocoa Energy Balls via It's Jou Life https://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/2015/11/22/recipe-walnut-and-date-cocoa-energy-ballsHealthy Walnut + Date Cocoa Energy Balls via It's Jou Life https://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/2015/11/22/recipe-walnut-and-date-cocoa-energy-ballsHealthy Walnut + Date Cocoa Energy Balls via It's Jou Life https://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/2015/11/22/recipe-walnut-and-date-cocoa-energy-ballsHealthy Walnut + Date Cocoa Energy Balls via It's Jou Life https://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/2015/11/22/recipe-walnut-and-date-cocoa-energy-ballsHealthy Walnut + Date Cocoa Energy Balls via It's Jou Life https://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/2015/11/22/recipe-walnut-and-date-cocoa-energy-ballsHealthy Walnut + Date Cocoa Energy Balls via It's Jou Life https://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/2015/11/22/recipe-walnut-and-date-cocoa-energy-balls

Day 8 // Outsmart Your Appetite for Sugar | Birchbox Challenge

My favorite healthy snacks #BirchboxChallenge Day 7 // via It's Jou Life blog - https://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/?p=1112

I have an insane sweet tooth. I crave chocolate (most) times of the day. Recently Compartes (those retro, gorgeous packaged, eccentric flavor chocolate bars) have been infiltrating into my thoughts. (Okay, sugar has already distracted me from the message of this post).

When chocolates and cupcakes beckon me, I tend to distract myself by eating a healthy alternative, take a 15 minute walk around the block or check my Instagram feed. Most of the time the urge will subside.

My favorite snack alternatives:

Apple & Natural Peanut Butter – I love the salty + sweet flavor combination. It reminds me of the healthier alternative to candied apples. The fiber of the apple and protein of the peanut butter make the perfect pairing of a nutritious and filling snack.

My favorite healthy snacks #BirchboxChallenge Day 7 // via It's Jou Life blog - https://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/?p=1112

Crackers & Cheese – My favorite crackers of the moment are Raincoast Crisps Rosemary Raisin (cheaper dupe is Trader Joes Raisin Rosemary Crisps) and any spreadable cheese.

My favorite healthy snacks #BirchboxChallenge Day 7 // via It's Jou Life blog - https://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/?p=1112

Trail Mix – I either buy it from Costco or make my own. Mixed nuts, especially walnuts are high in omega-3 and almonds help lower bad cholesterol. I like to add dried cranberries and a sprinkle of chocolate chips.

About the Birchbox Challenge

Birchbox teamed up with a panel of all-star experts to bring a 31-day challenge to make 2015 your healthiest, happiest, most gorgeous year ever. I’m joining Birchbox on this month-long challenge and will share my success with #BirchboxChallenge. Let’s do this together!