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All Natural Pink Chocolate Swirled Bark

All Natural Pink Chocolate Swirled Bark

Here’s a recipe we haven’t seen anywhere—yet. Meet all natural pink chocolate swirled bark! My mind’s eye had been dreaming up a natural pink chocolate swirled bark for Valentine’s Day, made without artificial food coloring or chemical dyes. Powdered beets are commonly used as a natural food coloring for pink cake frosting. But, I haven’t seen much about using beet powder for natural pink chocolate. I also wanted a swirled chocolate bark, marbled in that beautiful pattern you’ve seen on cheesecakes or brownies. Again, YouTube didn’t offer too many instructions for swirled chocolate bark, at least the kind I wanted. So, I set out to try it on my own. For the food coloring, we happened to have beet root powder on-hand, ordered online to make homemade all-natural blush. (Yes, makeup! That’s a post for another time.) My first attempt at chocolate swirls was rough. The pink chocolate was lumpy as the beet root powder clumped together. And the marbling pattern was messy since the pink chocolate had already semi-hardened. However, after a few more tries we finally met with sweet success! And, we made a video so that you can see just how to swirl chocolate into a marbled pattern. It’s not hard to do, just hard to describe in words. This […]

A Couple Cooks – Recipes for Healthy & Whole Living

Heart-Shaped Caramelized Onion and Brussels Sprout Pizza

Heart-Shaped Caramelized Onion and Brussels Sprout Pizza

Whatever your feelings about Valentine’s Day, can we just rally around a day to celebrate love? Here in the dead of winter with some serious goings on in the American political climate, we’re desperately in need of a love holiday. Not just romantic love, but straight up love-your-neighbor love. The kind that doesn’t care about skin color or ethnicity or orientation. The kind of love that doesn’t say anger-provoking words and instead is thoughtful and respectful. The kind of love that celebrates differences and lives in trust, not fear. The kind of love that is kind. Please say that kind of love still out there? We’re desperately in need of a love holiday. This Valentine’s Day, could it be less about the red roses and cheesy cards and more about the kind of love that extends grace to our neighbors? That welcomes people into homes and shares meals around a table? The kind of love that brings reconciliation despite long-held grudges? We originally created this caramelized onion and Brussels sprout pizza as an idea for a fun Valentine’s Day dinner for two, accompanied by a lovely winter salad maybe. There’s nothing more fun than making shapes out of your food, right? But as we’re pondering […]

A Couple Cooks – Recipes for Healthy & Whole Living

Healthy Superbowl Recipes That Will Wow Your Friends

Healthy Superbowl Recipes That Will Wow Your Friends

With the Super Bowl a few weeks away, we start thinking of healthy-ish gameday recipes. From savory to sweet, here are our top 10 recipes for the big day that are centered on real food and wholesome ingredients. Each recipe has been friend-tested and approved; all are vegetarian, some vegan and gluten-free. We’d love to know your ideas! Let us know in the comments below. 1. Loaded Sweet Potato Rounds Our number 1 favorite game day recipe are these loaded sweet potato rounds. Friends beg us to make them, and they’re gone in a flash. (Vegetarian, Gluten-Free) 2. Hot Wings Hummus Jars Our new hummus flavor is made delicious with a simple addition: hot sauce. It’s creamy and tangy, and you can adjust the hot sauce to taste. (Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Vegan) 3. Roasted Delicata Squash Fries with Buffalo Sauce Have you tried delicata squash? If not, please get on it now. This unique squash roasts quickly and doesn’t need to be peeled, which makes for easy prep. (Vegetarian, Gluten-Free) 4. Buffalo Cauliflower with Blue Cheese Dip One of our favorite recipes: roasted cauliflower covered in buffalo sauce. Pair it with a creamy, cooling blue cheese dip. (Vegetarian, Gluten-Free) 5. Mexican Loaded Sweet Potato Fries What’s not […]

A Couple Cooks – Recipes for Healthy & Whole Living

Hearty Sweet Potato and Kale Soup

Hearty Sweet Potato and Kale Soup

      This Sweet Potato and Kale Soup was created in partnership with ALDI. All opinions are our own. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: soups on repeat in the winter months. When we talk to people about getting started with cooking healthier foods at home, soup is generally where we start. Why? Soups are a tasty, easy way to eat a ton of vegetables without realizing it, and they’re simple to put together. This sweet potato and kale soup combines ingredients we use quite a bit in our cooking in a new way. It’s a vaguely Mexican stew, with black beans thrown in and flavored with oregano, cumin, and just enough lime juice so that it pops. Sliced green onions stirred in at the end of cooking keep it tasting fresh, and with sliced radish and a dollop of Greek yogurt as a garnish, it’s a delicious way to load up on nutrients. (Want more ideas? Here are some of our favorite soup recipes.) We developed this soup recipe using ingredients available through our new partner, ALDI, who is committed to carrying better-for-you ingredients and expanding their organic product offerings. ALDI’s new Hello, Healthy blog has healthy living resources including recipes, […]

A Couple Cooks – Recipes for Healthy & Whole Living

Caramel Corn Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Caramel Corn Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Are you an oatmeal raisin or chocolate chip kind of cookie person? It’s a debate that has extremely passionate people on either side, we know. Here’s a jazzed up cookie that takes the best of both (and chucks the raisins because, come on!). This salty-sweet combo features caramel corn made simply with a glaze of maple syrup, then mixed into oatmeal cookies with a bit of chocolate chunks thrown in for good measure. We developed it for this holiday season, but of course it works for anytime. Feel free to customize it with any mix-ins you’d like (just no raisins, okay?). This recipe was also a chance for us to experiment with gluten-free cookie baking, as it can be made gluten-free using GF oats and 1-to-1 gluten-free flour. As we’ve mentioned in the past, we’re personally not gluten-free, but have several close family members and friends who are, so gluten-free recipes are “universal” in that they work for all! While Alex and I agreed that the texture when made with gluten-free 1-to-1 flour is a bit drier and more crumbly, the cookies are quite satisfying. Because with popcorn and chocolate, how could they not be? The addition of oats for nutrient […]

A Couple Cooks – Recipes for Healthy & Whole Living

Holiday Gifts for People Who Love to Cook

Holiday Gifts for People Who Love to Cook

Happy holidays! Here’s a list of ideas for people in your life who love to (or want to love to) cook. The ideas below are extremely personal: they’re either made by dear friends, or tools we’ve found essential in our kitchen. None are sponsorships, just products we love (though we do receive a small percentage if you order from these Amazon links). 2017 Daily Recipe Calendar This year we’ve got a daily desktop calendar featuring our favorite recipes posted here on A Couple Cooks! We collaborated with an Indy-based publishing company (TF Publishing), and it’s such fun to see all our recipes in printed form. It’s great for anyone who is interested in cooking more. We’ve also got a wall and mini calendar featuring some of our food photos. ORDER HERE Cookbooks We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: we’re cookbook obsessed! Here are a few of our favorites from this year; most of them are written by dear friends and each one of them was featured on our blog or podcast. Love and Lemons Cookbook (listen to Jeanine and Jack) Small Victories (listen to Julia) Molly on the Range (listen to Molly) Eat Complete (listen to Dr. Ramsey) The Vanilla Bean […]

A Couple Cooks – Recipes for Healthy & Whole Living

Peppermint Meringues

Peppermint Meringues

If you’re looking for a healthier cookie this holiday season, these peppermint meringues have a leg up since the main ingredient has zero calories: air! They’re made simply of egg whites and sugar whipped with air until they become a fluffy cloud of goodness. And at about 15 calories a pop, they’re one of the lightest cookie recipes we’ve made. Each holiday season, Alex and I develop a few sweets that are on the lighter side but are just as delicious as their heavier counterparts. (We also talk about a few ideas on our latest podcast to launch December 7, and even call a friend to get her favorite ideas.) It can be difficult to strike a balance with sugar in the holiday season, so our coping mechanisms are simple: focus on homemade recipes with real ingredients, and eat in moderation when possible. (Here’s a post on 9 tips for eating in moderation I wrote a while back.) While these meringues seem light and carefree, they do take a bit of concentration to pull off. It took us a failed batch to realize the importance painting neat lines into the bottom of a pastry bag (paint them up too far and half of the batch is white; […]

A Couple Cooks – Recipes for Healthy & Whole Living

Tart Cherry Chai Chia Jam

Tart Cherry Chai Chia Jam

Anyone have trouble making ZZZ’s? I’ve been blessed with a supernatural ability to sleep through anything (including storms and my alarm clock), but I know many who aren’t so lucky. Both Alex and I do, however, struggle with being well-rested due to our night-owl tendencies. Recently we’ve been focusing on being responsible with our sleep habits and when we do it, it absolutely pays off. We’re less stressed, more pleasant, and at least 85% more creative than when we’re sleep deprived. So lately we’ve been trying to cut back on the late night Gilmore Girls binging in favor of some actual pillow time. Recently we were approached by the Cherry Marketing Institute to create a recipe with tart cherries related to sleep. Montmorency tart cherries (a variety of cherries, not a brand) contain melatonin, a natural hormone that regulates our sleep cycle. Here, we chose a chia jam with tart cherries as a comforting bedtime snack. Chia jam is one of our favorites to make as it’s incredibly simple and utilizes the natural gel quality of chia seeds. Instead of using a gelatin, the chia seeds naturally thicken fruit into a jam-like texture. We created this cherry chai chia jam mostly […]

A Couple Cooks – Recipes for Healthy & Whole Living

Baked Pasta with Awesome Sauce

Baked Pasta with Awesome Sauce

At least here in America, once mid-November hits, time seems to literally fly. It’s Thanksgiving, full of hearty meals and family games. Then all of a sudden: put up the Christmas tree! Plan, shop, sing, party, stress: sometimes Alex and I forget to simply breathe. The holidays can be beautiful, reconnecting with old friends and scattered family that are just for this moment, together. But the season can also be painful: remembering who’s not here. Each year, we hang an ornament in memory of a sweet babe who we found out wouldn’t make it past 8 weeks in the month of December. The older I get, the more the end of the year brings a nostalgia that makes me want to slow down, honor and grieve the past, and savor the now. In that vein, here’s a lovely hearty pasta for sharing with family and friends in the chilly months ahead. It’s made with Alex’s “awesome sauce”, savory tomatoes simmered with garlic, herbs, a little butter and olive oil, and a secret ingredient: chopped green olives. They add a savory saltiness to the dish along with some complexity, and if you chop them small enough, olive haters will never know. […]

A Couple Cooks – Recipes for Healthy & Whole Living

A Couple Cooks Podcast Turns 1!

A Couple Cooks Podcast Turns 1!

One year ago, we decided to try an experiment. A Couple Cooks as a website was created to be an overflow of Alex and my newfound passion for cooking after we got married. But we found that over time, it was difficult to communicate the joy of cooking in photographs and words alone. There is something powerful about the spoken word. For example, if someone mentions to me a simple or delicious recipe they made or tells me a kitchen tip, it’s much more likely to stick than if I read the same information. We also wanted to build a new sort of community for people who were interested in cooking at home, a community that extended beyond simple blog posts or an Instagram feed. So, the A Couple Cooks Podcast was born. With no experience in audio, we were pretty nervous at the start. Also, who likes to hear the sound of their own voice? The editing process alone sent shivers down my spine. However, we wanted to take a risk on something new, so we took the plunge. To be honest at first, it was pretty hairy. We recorded the first episode 6 times (ugh) until finally we felt we could pull the trigger. Alex spent many […]

A Couple Cooks – Recipes for Healthy & Whole Living