Conversation with a Food Blogger: Tasty Yummies

In this column, we're interviewing the tastemakers, foodies and chefs that are dominating the web. Here are just a few of our favorite food bloggers. This week: Beth Manos Brickey of Tasty Yummies.
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In this column, we're interviewing the tastemakers, foodies and chefs that are dominating the web. Here are just a few of our favorite food bloggers. This week: Beth Manos Brickey of Tasty Yummies.

Tasty Yummies is a gluten-free dairy free blog with an emphasis on vegetarian cooking. Beth calls herself a conscientious omnivore and cares about where the food she's eating comes from. She started on her path to clean eating by doing a 30-day cleanse and made the decision to change up her diet, Beth decided that she only wanted to eat clean whole foods and hasn’t looked back since. Based out of Southern California, her method of cooking is flexible and intuitive–she doesn’t like to measure but rather lets the taste shape the recipe. In addition to being addicted to veggies, she also has a passion for yoga, so should you ever find yourself in sunny California be sure to check out her delicious yoga retreats. This coming April is RISE–a gluten-free women's retreat featuring yoga, meditation, cooking and more.

What is your favorite meal of the day?

Dinner is usually my favorite, I love eating anything that is hearty and comforting while still being light, I prefer dinner to be unrushed and just a well-rounded meal, usually centered around a seasonal vegetable. My favorite is usually a big hearty salad with a homemade dressing, lots of veggies and other fixins’.

What’s an ingredient that you can’t live without?

Good high quality sea salt. To me under salting or over salting can make or break any dish.

If you were stranded on a deserted island, what two spices would you want to have with you?

Black pepper and turmeric.

Where is your favorite place to shop for ingredients?

Since my garden doesn’t require shopping my next favorite would have to be the farmers market.

You're a popular food blogger with thousands of followers. Is there a food blog that you follow?

Love and Lemons, she has a way of making every single thing she creates look absolutely perfect!

As a health-conscious food blogger, do you still treat yourself to guilty pleasures?

Absolutely. For me and how I operate, I cannot completely deprive myself of the things that I love ALL the time. It just isn't realistic for me. Indulging on a rare occasion means that I am able to maintain my lifestyle and eating habits with ease the rest of the time. No regrets. If french fries are sounding good to me, then I enjoy them guilt free, or better yet, I make healthier french fries at home. Ultimately I prefer to come up with versions of my guilty pleasures whenever possible, since really, that's the perfect way to have it all!

What's your favorite late-night snack?

A handful of dark chocolate chips, I like them with a spoonful of coconut butter or almond butter and a little sprinkle of sea salt.

What are the biggest challenges and greatest rewards of being a food blogger?

Hardest part is remembering that I need to eat myself, sometimes I get so wrapped up in planning and cooking recipes for the blog that I forget to plan real meals for myself. The best part is all of the amazing personal connections I have made with other bloggers, conscious, like-minded brands and especially my readers. Getting an email from a stranger telling me how much my recipes have changed their life is one of the most incredible feelings in the whole world.

Do you have any recipes that stand out for being epic fails?

Many years ago before I was limiting my dairy, I attempted a gluten-free chocolate pound cake, it called for so much (expensive) grass-fed butter and it turned out to be a crumbly mess. I never tried again.

What’s next in your career?

I am constantly working to connect all of my passions together, any way that I can. Likely that will be creating more handmade products inspired by my love of design and food/cooking, like the line of organic cotton tea towels and prints that my husband and I create together. I also plan to continue to organize retreats like the one I am co-hosting this April, which combines both yoga and cooking into one peaceful weekend in Northern California, away from the hustle of every day life. I have found so much joy in my life following my many passions and the things that make me most happy, so I will forever be dedicated to chasing all of the ways I can share these loves with others.

Finally, can you share one of your favorite recipes?

I love my mini tart recipes, it started with the roasted balsamic strawberry tarts and I have since made a pumpkin version, a cranberry orange, and a savory grape and goat cheese version. I love that the tart shells are totally grain free and vegan and that they can be completely versatile.

beth's-dessert

Roasted Balsamic Strawberry Mini-Tarts with Whipped Coconut Cream (Gluten Free, Vegan)

Makes 12

INGREDIENTS:

Grain Free Mini Tart Shells 

  • 2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Roasted Balsamic Strawberries

  • 2 pints of strawberries hulled and sliced
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons maple sugar (or palm/coconut sugar, raw sugar, etc)

Whipped Coconut Cream

  • 2 cans organic full fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line 12 cups in a muffin tin with paper liners (you could also use greased mini tart pans).
  2. In a large bowl, add all of the crust ingredients and mix very well. Really get your hands in there to get it all together and work it into a nice dough.
  3. Add the crust mixture to the muffin cups and press down firmly into the cup using your knuckles, going up the sides a tad bit.
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then place the pan in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.
  5. Raise the oven to 400º F. Toss the strawberries with the balsamic vinegar and maple sugar. Allow to sit for a few minutes while your oven preheats.
  6. Pour all of the strawberries and their juices onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Roast for about 10 to 12 minutes until the strawberries are hot but not too overly mushy. You can separate the berries and pour off some of the juices if you want to use it for drizzling, or you can just keep it all together.
  7. Make sure that your cans of coconut milk are well chilled. I recommend leaving item in the fridge overnight. Open the cans of coconut milk carefully, keeping them level. There will be a firm, waxy layer of coconut cream that solidified on top. Carefully scoop this off into a chilled glass bowl.
  8. Using a mixer, whip the coconut cream for 3 to 5 minutes until it becomes light and fluffy, with soft peaks.
  9. Mix in your maple syrup and vanilla. Place the whipped coconut cream back into the fridge until you are ready to use. This may be more than what you need for all 12 tarts, but that’s ok, it keeps for several days, covered in the fridge.

ASSEMBLING THE TARTS:

Remove the paper liner off of the tart shells. Top each of the tart shells with a spoonful of the roasted balsamic strawberries and a dollop of whipped coconut cream. Serve immediately.

Alexis Nilsen has a blog called Cow Crumbs.This princess is filling her paper bags with wholesome good-for-you ingredients, proving one recipe at a time that gluten-free can be so much more than rice flour and tapioca starch.