Thursday, December 27, 2012

Braised Collards & More...

After two weeks of "eat whatever you want until Christmas", I'm totally over it!  Feeling sluggish, irritable, bloated, addicted to sugar, and overall not so good just doesn't last long around here.  My husband always jokes that my "bad" eating habits are still better than most peoples normal diets, while this makes me feel better :) eating gluten-free vegan Christmas cookies everyday, still have SUGAR in them!  The most detrimental, toxic, addictive, disease causing drug that exists.  So out goes the sugar. 

It's all about small goals, but strict ones.  Completely eliminating any and all sources of sugar (including honey and super dark chocolate), works better for my success rate than saying "oh I can have one bite of dark chocolate, or some honey in my raw almond butter".  Nope.  None.  Zilch!  But it works.  I did this right after Thanksgiving for 16 days, and now I've started over, I'm on day 3 and I already feel a gazzilion times better than I did on Christmas day where I had so many cookies and truffles I lost count!

Anyway, this was not supposed to be a post about sugar, but about the amazing dinner I made tonight.  I did a braised collard greens variation with mushrooms, carrots, onion, and garlic in a chipotle infused olive oil, ghee, and chipotle spice (YUM!), and then blanched asparagus on a bed of arugula with fig balsamic.  Yes, we had protein too, a bison burger with pickled veggies on top, but that wasn't the star.  Making fun veggies side dishes makes me really excited!  I know, total dork, but when you eat "salads" 4-5 times a day it starts to get really repetitive, so you gotta keep it interesting.

Braised Chipotle Collard Greens
2 bunches collard greens, washed, deviened, and chopped
1/4 yellow or white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 box (8oz or so) mushrooms, washed, chopped
2-3 carrots, peeled, chopped
1 tbsp Ghee
2 tbsp Chipotle infused olive oil (from EVOO)
1/2 tsp Chipotle spice (Penskey's)
1/4 c organic chicken broth
salt to taste

Prepare all your veggies (wash, chop, etc). 

Using a large sauce pan, melt ghee and olive oil over low heat.  Add in onion, garlic, and carrots.  Cook about 5 minutes.

Add in collard greens and mushrooms.  Cook another 2-3 minutes.

Add spices and chicken broth, and cover and cook on low for 15-20 minutes.  The bitter flavor of the collards cooks out the longer you braise.

Blanched Asparagus
1 bunch asparagus

By far my favorite way to prepare asparagus...the easiest, and the healthiest.

Wash your (organic) asparagus, and chop off the hard end parts.

Bring pan of water to boil, and prepare a bowl of ice water near the stove.

Drop the asparagus into the boiling water and cook 2-5 minutes depending on the size of the spears.  You're looking for the spears to be bright green.  Don't over cook, don't want them to be mooshy.

Remove from boiling water and immediately drop into the ice water.  Once they've cooled, dry them off and serve how ever you want.  These are great to store in your fridge and eat as a veggie snack during the day too.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Peanut Sauce...but not!

We love sushi, who doesn't!  But when you have a gluten and soy intolerance the experience can be a little trying.   Sure I've ordered plenty of sushi and not dipped it in soy sauce, instead using lemon and ginger as a topper, but sauces really make it so much better.  So, I make my own and bring it with me!  I have recently eliminated all legumes (peanuts, cashews, beans) because my daughter might have an allergy, this means my peanut sauce recipe has turned into an almond sauce, and it's just as good if not better!

Most peanut sauce recipes call for soy sauce or gf tamari (still soy), or even Braggs amino acids (soy), but I've discovered coconut aminos!  Made by Coconut Secret, you should be able to find it at your local Whole Foods.   Doesn't taste like soy sauce (cause its not) but it is a great substitute.  When I made this sauce last night of course I didn't write down the exact amounts of each ingredient, so you will have to taste as you go with this one.  You can make it thinner by adding more liquid, or thicker by adding more almond butter.  This would be awesome on a lettuce wrap, topped on grilled chicken, used over pad Thai noodles, or as your sushi dipping sauce!

Asian Spiced Almond Sauce
Combine the following in small sauce pan:

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons honey (or agave)
1/4 cup almond butter (i use the raw bulk nut buuters)
2-3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4-1/3 cup coconut aminos
2 tablespoons water
spice to taste: (sprinkle in little at a time)
garlic powder

Let simmer until well combined, stirring constantly so it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.  Enjoy:)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Chicken with Mustard Cream Sauce (gf)

Sometimes my best meals come out of last minute ideas, and throwing together whatever is in the fridge that day.  Last night I had thawed chicken breasts, but was so sick of our usual veggie and protein meal that I needed something to kick it up a notch.  All it takes is a good sauce!  I've been on a mustard kick, so mustard cream sauce was born.  I also used this Bavarian spice from Penskey's for the veggies and it complimented it perfectly.  I had made sweet brown rice earlier in the week, so what's used below is already cooked rice.  I assume this sauce would be good on a white fish or salmon as well.

For the chicken:
2 boneless, skinless, organic chicken breasts
salt, pepper, Bavarian spice sprinkled on top
Spectrum spray olive oil

this goes in the oven on 350 for 30 minutes.  in the mean time you can prepare your sauce and chop whatever veggies you'd like to have for a side.  we did zucchini, chard, and onion.

For the sauce:
1/2 cup organic low sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp ghee (this is clarified butter, and will not effect dairy intolerant people)
2 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 cup cooked sweet brown rice

in a saucepan on low gently stir in all ingredients and let simmer until your chicken is done.

Plate your chicken & veggies and pour generous amounts of your mustard-rice sauce on top, and eat up!
This was so delicious and easy, enjoy~

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Babyland & Xmas Cookies

In bed at 7:50, asleep by 8:30, up at 1am...nurse, cry, fuss, nurse, asleep at 3, up at 5:15, asleep at 6am, up at 6:45m.  Can we say "zombie"!  All I can think about is coffee, I want an almond milk latte from Dazbog, right now, as my drip coffee ain't cuttin it.  And I'm supposed to run 7 miles today, and go to work for a couple hours, and make more cookies, and ...oh yeah take care of my baby!  There's not enough time, energy, and coffee in a day. 

But she's so cute! This is Tessa hanging out with Sadie while I baked yesterday :)

We spent the day making xmas cookies yesterday, and they turned out amazing.  The negative about making cookies is you eat so many of them in the baking process to make sure they're good, done, acceptable. etc.  So you gotta package them up quick and get them out da house!  I did Ginger Molasses, and Pumpkin Pecan cookies, and with the help and inspiration of Karina at GlutenFreeGoddess, they turned out amazing!

Happy Holidays Ya'll, I'm going to get my coffee!

Ginger Molasses Cookies

1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup potato starch
1/2 cup almond flour
1 cup light brown sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons Pumpkin Spice
2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/4 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup unsulphured molasses
4 tablespoons coconut milk (or non-dairy milk)

Organic Sugar


Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

I use a hand mixer to mix the coconut oil and molasses into the dry ingredients. The mixture will be sandy and crumbly.

Add the coconut milk one tablespoon at a time.

Mix after each spoonful to keep a close eye on the consistency. You don't want the dough too sticky. It should still appear somewhat crumbly- but- when you pinch the dough it should stick together and feel like cookie dough. I used four tablespoons of Natural Value BPA free coconut milk to get to this consistency, and it turned out perfect.

Wrap one half in plastic wrap and pop it in the fridge to chill for 5-10 minutes.  This makes the dough easier to work with, but if you leave it too long the coconut oil will harden too much.

The easiest way to make these is to make little dough balls with your hands, roll them in sugar and place on a baking sheet.  I actually think they tastes better this way, but you can also do it cookie cutter style by rolling out the dough and making cut outs.  Either way they go in the oven for 8 1/2 minutes.  Let them cool, and they crisp up as they cool.  Enjoy!

Pumpkin Pecan Cookies


Whisk together dry ingredients:
2/3 cup brown rice flour
1/3 cup GF oat flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon cinnamon
 2 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
Beat the wet ingredients with the sugar:
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup organic coconut oil
2 tbsp flaxmeal/ 6 tbsp water (Replacer for 2 large eggs)
2 teaspoons organic GF vanilla
1 cup organic light brown sugar 
Add in the dry ingredients and beat till combined.
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life)
For topping:
Whole pecans.

Mix in the choc chips. Your cookie dough will be soft and a little sticky.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
Use two spoons to form the cookie dough into balls a little smaller than golf balls. Place the balls onto the baking sheet.  Press a pecan onto the top of each cookie. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes until firm, my perfect bake time was 16 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack. Makes A LOT of cookies :)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sunday Morning Waffles

I still like to pretend I can eat a big heavy breakfast on Sundays.  One that reminds me it's the weekend and to "let go" a little bit.  Unfortunately, it only happens about once a month and it's about as far from a greasy hash-browns and pancakes with syrup breakfast you can get....but we make a pretty awesome gluten free, vegan Belgian waffle if I do say so myself ;)

Below is the recipe we used and this morning it turned out perfect!  We like waffles better than pancakes because they're less dense, a little crispy around the edges, nice and fluffy, and you don't need syrup to make them palatable!  We use a little apple sauce in this recipe which Rob homemade this week, but you can use store bought too.  I would like to try it without the 2 tbsp of sugar next time to see how it changes the consistency, but I have a feeling this is what helps with that crispiness around the edges.

Sunday Morning Waffles (GF/Vegan)
1/2 c brown rice flour
3/4 c almond meal
1/2 c arrowroot starch
2 tsps baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar (yup white sugar!)
1/2 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 c unsweetened applesauce
2 tbsp olive oil
~1/2 c unsweetened almond milk

Obviously, if you don't have a waffle maker, this ain't gonna work! 
Turn on your waffle maker, and start mixing together the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Then add applesauce and olive oil, and slowly mix in your almond milk last.  You don't want waffle batter to be runny like pancake batter, it should be a little thicker.  So it's kinda up to you how much milk to add.

Now you can't go crazy with butter and syrupy toppings if you want this to remain a "healthy" dish.  We topped ours with Justin's Maple Almond butter, and some more of Rob's die for delicious! You could also do fresh blueberries or sliced banana instead of applesauce, ooo OR Justin's Chocolate Hazelnut Butter, yum that would be good.
No need to go out for breakfast when we can make a perfectly good waffle at home :)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Pumpkin, Bacon & Chive Coconut Flour Biscuits

Since I'm on a pumpkin and bacon kick, this recipe was perfect!  I stole it from one of my favorite bloggers The Urban Poser.  If you haven't checked out her page yet, you should.  Everything I've made from her is amazing!  These were incredible and fit every single one of my food restrictions.  I was very pleased!

Pumpkin, Bacon & Chive Coconut Flour Biscuits
(Paleo, Nut/Gluten/Grain/Dairy Free)


1/2 cups coconut flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
A scant less then 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons roasted or canned pumpkin puree, room temp(or butternut squash)
3 large eggs* (best at  room temp or the coconut oil will solidify)
1/4 cup green onions chopped or thinly sliced
1/4 cup shallots or onion minced
3-4 strips of bacon

*I use ground flaxseeds in place of eggs (1 tbsp flax:1/4 c water).  If you can eat eggs, use eggs!

Optional Dairy: 1/8-1/4 cup shredded raw cheese (obviously NOT dairy free but tasty if you can do cheeses)

Baking with farms eggs? Remember pastured farm eggs are not regulated by size. For this recipe you need about 5 ounces of egg out of shell (by weight not fluid ounces) or about 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon beaten eggs (by measurement). For more on "no fail" baking with farm eggs click HERE


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or line a baking sheet with parchment.

Using kitchen shears cut the bacon  into to tiny pieces. Preheat a skillet over medium heat (I use cast iron), add the bacon and begin to cook. As the bacon begins to release the fat, add the minced shallots. Continue to cook the mixture till it begins to brown nicely and caramelize a bit. This will take 5-7 minutes. Remove from the pan and allow to cool.

Combine coconut flour (scoop & sweep method, not packed), baking soda and salt.

Add the coconut oil and beat till smooth. Note: This helps keep the coconut oil from hardening into little pieces later if your eggs/pumpkin happen to be cold. For best results though, let them come to room temp first. Try sticking the shelled eggs in a glass of hot water for about 3 minutes to speed up the process.

In a separate bowl combine the apple cider vinegar, pumpkin and eggs. Beat till smooth

Add the flour mixture, bacon & shallots mixture, chives and cheese (optional) to the liquid ingredients. Mix all the ingredients until the batter becomes thick and well combined. If your eggs and/or pumpkin were cold the dough will be quite thick. This is fine.

Drop mounds of batter onto the prepared baking sheet. Use a heaping 1/8 of a cup per biscuit. Smooth and shape slightly if needed or if you're just obsessive like me. They be nice and tall not flat. Makes 8-10 biscuits.

Bake for about 15-18 min or until slightly golden. Times will vary from oven to oven and the thickness of the biscuit. Do not over bake or they can become dry.

Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before moving transferring from the pan. I fine these best eaten the same day that I make them..

Sweet Potato & Bacon Hash

Yes, I said BACON!  Real, greasy, crunchy, delicious bacon.  Contrary to popular belief cholesterol in your diet does not lead to high cholesterol or heart disease in the body.  Matter of fact it's the high fructose corn syrup, sugary coffee creamers, refined carbohydrates, and the like that cause excess fat storage and this can cause plaque build up in your arteries, which THEN can cause heart disease.  Do not read this and think you can eat bacon for every meal or every morning for breakfast as it is still high calorically and if eaten out of proportion with other healthy foods in your diet it will still cause weight gain and unnecessary fat storage. 

We live in a fat phobic country and unfortunately for us this means the food industry has cut the fat only to replace it with trans fats and high sugar substitutes.  When the original lipid-hypothesis first came out (1950's I believe) it was naturally believed that cholesterol from eggs, butter, and animal fats would cause high cholesterol and thus would cause heart disease.  So these fats were "banned" in the media marketing of health foods and replaced with "low-fat" foods.  Evidence from recent studies have shown that heart disease has increased since Americans have been on the "low-fat" diet.  Meaning sugar (refined carbohydrates) has been the culprit all along...not fat!

Let's get the facts straight here...first of all there are 4.5g of fat (saturated) fat in 1 slice of bacon.  But if you were to cook 1 slice of bacon, pull it out of the grease that has cooked off of it, and dab it with a paper towel, you have at least half of that fat swishing around in the pan.  So you are not really eating 4.5g per slice unless you drink the grease.  Second, animal fat or we could call it lard, is what our ancestors survived on.  They didn't pick out the fatty parts and throw it out, they ate the whole animal and vegetables...period.  Third, saturated fats are not the enemy.  We need saturated fats to produce cholesterol, which is the base building block for every hormone in the body.  In fact, saturated fats are responsible for healthy brain function, digestive function, and sex hormone regulation.  Saturated fats from butter and coconut oil have medicinal properties, as well as anti-bacterial properties that we use to help heal and treat digestive dysfunction.  Fourth, our diets are about balance, and fat needs to be included in that balance.  Healthy fats include animal fats, IN MODERATION!  Just like we can not survive solely on protein or carnohydrates without consequences, we can not live solely on fat either.  You should aim to put this fat in balance with your vegetable and protein intake :)

The recipe below includes 4 slices of bacon (~16g fat) and was split between 3 people.  That's about 5g of saturated animal fat per person, minus the grease leftover in the pan and you could bring that down to 3g per person.   That is totally acceptable! 


Sweet Potato & Bacon Hash

4 slices of all natural, preservative-free bacon, chopped
1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1/4 yellow onion, chopped
1/2 bunch of rainbow chard, washed de-stemmed and chopped
5 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tbsp coconut oil
Sprinkle of cinnamon
Salt & pepper to taste

Slice you bacon into small cuts, either on the cutting board or with scissors.  Sautee over medium heat in a sauce pan (you don't need to grease the pan when you're making bacon).  While that's cooking, chop your onion, wash your chard, and peel and chop your sweet potato.

Make sure your tending to your bacon so it cooks evenly.  Add the onion.  Let that cook together for 5 minutes then remove the contents from the pan, trying to leave the grease in the pan, and put into a mixing bowl and set aside.

Pour the bacon grease into a glass jar, as you don't want this going down your drain!  You can qipe out the remaining grease with a paper towel.

Now add coconut oil, sweet potatoes, thyme and cinnamon to cook over medium heat.  They will take 10-15 min or so, then add in the chard at the end mix for a minute until chard is a little wilted.  Combine sweet potato mixture with the bacon and onions...Mix all ingredients together.

We served for breakfast and it was incredible!  This made very generous servings for three people, but could have easily fed 4 people.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pumpkin (non) Bread Pudding

Preheat the oven to 350ºF, and lightly grease a 9-inch glass pie plate and line the bottom with parchment paper.

Pumpkin pie is probably Robs favorite dessert ever! So you can imagine my excitement when I saw baby pumpkins among the other winter squashes at vitamin cottage (our shopping haven of choice).  I've never made a pumpkin pie from scratch, and was totally pumped to give it a shot considering there would be no gluten, no eggs, no cream, and no butter in my recipe, but bring it on right?! My mistake in making a pumpkin pie was not adding enough pumpkin!  Instead of a gooey pie, I got more of a cakey, bread pudding-ish delightful sweet treat.  It was still amazing, so either way...

You will need a food processor or good blender will do.

First things first, get your flaxseed gellin'...once it's gelled you can add it to the food processor with everything else.  If you don't let the ground flax soak up the water it doesn't work and you might as well not use it.

1 tablespoon ground Flaxseed, 1/4 c water, let gel (this is your egg substitute, if you eat eggs use 2 eggs)

In a food processor add:

1/2 small baking pumpkin, which is about 1 cup (for pumpkin pie you need to use the whole pumpkin)
1 1/2 cups full fat coconut milk (or vanilla unsweetened almond milk)
2 teaspoons gf vanilla
2 tablespoons light olive oil

3/4 cup organic light brown sugar (when i don't have brown sugar I used 1/2 cup white sugar, 2 tbsp molasses)
1/2a cup brown Rice flour
2 tablespoons arrowroot starch (you can do tapioca or potato srtarch as well)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Cover and process until smooth and creamy. Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl to incorporate all of the dry ingredients.

To make the crust, you'll need that processor again.  I have two sizes, but you may have to clean and re-use, work it out :)

1 cup flaked unsweetened organic coconut
1 cup walnuts pieces
1/4 c brown rice flour
1/4 c almond flour
1/4 c honey
1/4 cup sugar
1tsp molasses
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
5 tablespoons coconut oil

So your oven is preheated to 350 right?
Dump the crumbs into the cake pan and spread them evenly. Using your fingers gently press the crumbs across the bottom and up the sides- about 2/3 of the way up.

Bake in the center of the oven for about 7 minutes- to set.

Pour the prepared pie mixture in the pan and smooth evenly. Bake in the center of a preheated oven for about 60 minutes or until done. The pie should be firm- but still give a little when lightly touched.

Cool the pie on a wire rack completely. It's delicious warm, served with a little scoop of coconut ice cream. 

Blueberry Kale

It is hard to blog with a baby in one hand!  It's hard to do a lot of things with a baby in one hand, everything takes twice as long!  So I apologize for being short with my posts, but I have very little windows of time...

I have stayed away from kale and broccoli since I've been breastfeeding, it gives babies gas.  But since these are my favorite veggies I had to try a little kale to see if Tessa could handle it.  This side dish is awesome, and if you don't like kale, get over it, you will like this recipe!

Blueberry Kale
1 bunch green kale, washed and destemmed
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/4 sweet onion, thinly sliced
1/2 c blueberries (i used frozen, fresh will work)

In a large sauce pan sautee onions and blueberries in coconut oil for a few minutes before starting to add your kale.  Kale will break down (i.e. shrink) a lot, so i add it in waves, cooking on low-med heat until all the kale is wilted.

Enjoy by itself, mixed in with a spinach salad, or side dish with dinner~

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Squash Puddin Pie

Happy Fall!
That means it's prime time for some delicious squash recipes.

We like to shop the "sale" produce as much as possible. Considering our strict enforcement of organic foods around my house, this is essential to not completely breaking the bank.  The great part about it is we get to buy different and sometimes unusual fruits & veggies that we wouldn't otherwise buy.  It also inspires my kitchen creations and keeps me trying new recipes.  So last week Rob came home with a Japanese Red Kuri Squash.  Yeah, I hadn't heard of it either, but basically looks like a more reddish colored pumpkin, and tastes like one too.  You can use any kind of sweet squash for this recipe: butternut, pumpkin, kuri, even acorn might work.  And because I don't like to waste any part of the food, the very large pumpkin-esk seeds on the inside work great for roasting as well.

This recipe called for eggs, and if you are not vegan or do not have an intolerance I highly suggest substituting the flaxseed in this recipe for 3 whole eggs.  Eggs make every baked item better!  Although I am pumping out plenty of egg-free baking that is just as good in my tummy :)  The longer you let this recipe cool (I'd refrigerate it overnight) the more it hardens the more it tastes like pumpkin pie without the crust.  And because there is really minimal added sugar, it's a great carbohydrate to have for breakfast, snack, or with lunch...not just a dessert.  Rob actually didn't think it was sweet enough to be a dessert, whatever!

Kuri Squash Puddin Pie

3 c baked kuri squash (one medium sized squash)
3/4 c coconut milk (use full fat here people, don't be scared)
1tbsp flax;1/4 c water (let gel)
1/3 c honey
1 TBSP arrowroot starch
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/3 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves
1 organic apple (half sliced thin for the top, and half sliced in chunks to go inside)
extra cinnamon to sprinkle
1 TBSP brown sugar to sprinkle on top

Mix all ingredients (except the apple) in blender, and hand mix in the apple chunks...then pour into pie pan. Place apples on top and sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar.

Bake 350 for 45 min, let cool to harden in the fridge about 30 min

Thursday, September 27, 2012

GF Multi-Seed & Nut Bread

Yup, I've found it! The best GF bread out there; great for sandwiches and toast, and you know how I love bread.   I feel much better about the ingredients in this bread than any store bought gf substitute.  It has whole grain brown rice flour as the first ingredient, and isn't full of potato and tapioca starches!  It takes a little time but it's worth it; maybe 20-30 minute prep, then baking time.  I've been making a loaf on Sundays to get us through our week.  Oh and I should mention Rob loves it too, says it's the best GF bread he's ever had! 

Read through all directions before you get started, so you can get an idea of what you're in for.  I've been told my directions tend to be "hard to follow".  Sorry :(

GF Multi-Seed & Nut Bread

Let's do it in this least this is what I do!

Proof the yeast:
Add 1 packet rapid or instant dry yeast or 2 1/4 teaspoons
3/4 cups warm water(at 110 to 115ºF) with a pinch of sugar for the yeast
Let it get a little foamy (this doesn't take long- or shouldn't).  Then add 1/2 cup soda water (this helps with the fluffy consistency of the bread)

Prep the flaxseed:
Add 1 tbsp ground flaxseed to 1/4 c warmish water, stir and let sit while you prep the other ingredients.  This needs time to "gel" as this is your egg substitute.

Dry stuff:
I put all these ingredients in a 2 cup measuring cup, that way I can measure each of the flours that way and not have to use an extra bowl.
2/3 cup brown rice flour
1/3 cup almond flour/meal
1/2 cup GF Oat flour (i process my gf oats in a food processor)
1 cup arrowroot starch
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1/ 1/4 teaspoons sea salt

Wet stuff:
Put this stuff in a bowl and stir together
1tbsp ground flaxseed:1/4 c water
The proofed yeast and liquid
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons honey or raw agave nectar
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

Nuts and Seeds:
1 cup mixed nuts & seeds goes into the batter (the wet stuff before you put the flours in)
I used walnuts, sunflower seeds, and slivered almonds

Mix with electric mixer and let sit for 30 minutes

Lightly grease your bread pan (i use spray coconut oil), and pour the bread batter into the pan with an oiled spatula (then the bread won't stick).

I like to top mine with poppyseeds and sunflower seeds...get creative, whatever you like.

Bake at 400 for 50 -60min.
Let cool completely before cutting.  It will keep in the frig for a week, otherwise freeze in foil and freezer bag.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Turkey Meatloaf

Turkey Meatloaf

1 3/4 lbs. ground turkey
1 small sweet or red onion, peeled
1 medium to large carrot, peeled, trimmed
3 cloves fresh peeled garlic
1/2 cup organic ketchup
2 tablespoons molasses
3/4 cup brown rice cereal (the "rice crispy" kind)
A pinch of nutmeg
A pinch of cinnamon
1 teaspoon thyme
Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Put the ground turkey into a large bowl and using a fork or spoon, break it apart it a bit.

Roughly chop the onion and carrot into same sized chunks and place them into a food processor; add the garlic; pulse until the veggies are uniformly diced- fine- not too chunky; add them to the turkey. Toss lightly with a spoon or fork to quickly distribute the veggies. Add the ketchup, molasses, brown rice cereal, spices and thyme. Mix it all up using a light touch; try not to over-mix it into mush (over-mixing makes for a dense loaf).

If the mixture is too dry at this point, add a little more ketchup. If it feels too wet, add more cereal. You want a nice stick-together balance.

Spoon the meatloaf mixture into a standard size loaf pan and firmly press into place, smoothing and rounding the top of the loaf so that the sides are lower than the edge of the loaf pan. 

I spread barbecue sauce over the top, and it was really good!

Bake in a pre-heated oven for 40 minutes.

Green Chili GF Cornbread

I love bread!  Have I said that yet!  But "gluten free" breads are not exactly the picture of health and nutrition, nor are they all that tasty...except of course when I make them :)

This cornbread recipe also came from Gluten Free Goddess and is pretty awesome, modified to fit my dairy-free, egg-free lifestyle of course.

Green Chili Cornbread

Dry ingredients:
1 cup stone ground gluten-free cornmeal
3/4 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup arrowroot starch
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Wet Ingredients:
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed whisked with 1/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup plus two tablespoons light olive oil
1 cup very warm water
2 extra tablespoons water, if needed- the batter should be like cake batter, and not too thick

1/2 cup chopped roasted green chiles
1 ear of corn, kernels separated of course
A sprinkle of chili powder and cinnamon, for topping

Preheat your oven to 375ºF.

Lightly oil a 10-inch iron skillet, or a bread pan.

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all wet ingredients and beat for one minute.

Add in the dry ingredients and beat by hand just until a smooth batter is formed, about one minute. Add in the chopped roasted green chiles and corn. (If your batter seems a little dry, add a tablespoon more liquid at a time until you achieve a smooth consistency.)

Pour the batter into baking devise of choice, and sprinkle with cinnamon and chili powder.
Bake the cornbread in the center of a pre-heated oven for 35 minutes, until firm to the touch in the center, and slightly golden around the edges.

Allow the cornbread to rest 15 minutes before cutting.

I served this with meatloaf (yes recipe is coming!) and a spinach salad.  We had plenty of leftovers as well :)

Banana Curry Chicken

With a sleeping baby through the afternoon hours, I find myself researching new recipes and starting dinner prep around 3pm.  Yes, I have become "that girl".  The housewife, the mom, the homemaker...but ain't nothin wrong with that!  I've made some great new staple meals to add to our weekly or monthly rotation and this one was easy and yummy.

Banana Curry Chicken
2 large bananas, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons curry powder
2 teaspoons ground coriander
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 fresh squeezed lime
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
3/4 cup water, more if needed
2 large organic chicken breasts
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley (optional)
2 tbsp chopped cashews
1 tbsp black sesame seeds

Heat the oven to 450°.
In a food processor or blender, puree the bananas, curry powder, coriander, coconut oil, lime juice, salt, pepper, and 1/4 cup of the water.
Make a few deep cuts in each chicken breast and put the breasts in a roasting pan. Pour the curry sauce over the chicken, making sure the sauce gets into the cuts. Roast in the bottom third of the oven until the chicken is just done, about 20 minutes.
Remove the roasting pan from the oven and remove the chicken breasts from the pan. There should be plenty of thick sauce in the bottom of the pan. Set the pan over moderate heat and whisk in the remaining 1/2 cup water. Continue to whisk until the sauce is heated through, adding more water if you want a thinner sauce. Serve the chicken breasts with the sauce over them.
Sprinkle with parsley, cashews, and sesame seeds if you like.

I served ours with wild rice (mixed with a little coconut oil and salt), and steamed spinach.  SO GOOD!

Tessa's GF/Vegan Birthday Cake

I have taken a major break from blogging, and I do apologize because I've been making some pretty incredible meals and I must share!  I've spent the last two months being pregnant, giving birth, and figuring out motherhood; and I'm finally getting organized and trying to get back on track.  

My baby girl was born in our bedroom on August 5th at about 4am.  Prior to her arrival I spent part of my laboring hours baking her a birthday cake, which took me over an hour as I was taking my time and breathing through a couple contractions simultaneously.  This was THE BEST gluten free, vegan cake I've ever made and was SO excited about it, I made it again for Rob when he finished the Leadville 100 (yes I supported him doing this 8 hour event 5 days after Tessa was born) and again for my 30th birthday.  Needless to say I think it's incredible!  Even Rob says he can't tell it's gluten free, which is big.

I have to throw props to Karina, who writes the Gluten Free Goddess blog.  I modified her Coconut Apple Cake recipe for this cake.  She has amazing recipes, check em out!

Line the bottom of a 10-inch cake pan (you'll need a deeper pan for this cake).

Coconut Apple Spice Cake

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.


In a mixing bowl, whisk together:

1 cup brown rice flour

1/2 cup organic coconut flour
1/2 cup arrowroot starch
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 1/3 cup white sugar and 
2 tbsp molasses

Beat in:

1/2 cup organic coconut oil, melted

1 cup light coconut milk (or about 2 cups almond milk)
1 1/2 tbsp ground flax to1/4 c water, (let the flax sit until it is more of a gel consistency)
2 teaspoons bourbon vanilla extract


2 medium organic apples
Peel and core the apples. Slice into even slices- not too thin.

Add roughly three quarters of the sliced apples to the cake batter and stir by hand to distribute.

Using a silicone spatula, scoop the cake batter into the cake pan. Smooth and even out the batter as best you can.

Press the remaining apple slices into the top of the cake batter in a circular pattern.

Bake for 60 minutes.  Let cool and dust with powdered sugar.

(really good with coconut ice cream...just sayin!)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Broccolini Salad

An unplanned last minute dinner, and I needed a "green" on my plate.  It's the end of the weekend, meaning we don't have much to choose from when it comes to variety, but this is when I come up with some of my favorite creations. 

Broccolini is simply a younger earlier version of broccoli.  Any vegetable at a younger stage is higher in nutrients (i.e. sprouts are super high in nutrients).  Broccolini has less dense florets, which make it much more palatable than broccoli (at least I think so).  I had a bunch of it in my fridge and not much else, and this is what I came up with...

Broccolini Salad

1 bunch broccolini, steamed
4 whole artichoke hearts (water packed), sliced
10 small pitted California green olives (had a can in the cupboard)
1 fresh tomato, chopped

1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp greek yogurt
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
fresh chopped dill and garlic
salt to taste

It was awesome! It took 10 minutes, and we had leftovers.  Perfect.

Saturday, June 23, 2012


It's officially summer, and if you're going to juice this is the best season to do it!

I have pretty strong feelings against juicing actually, but for some reason have been craving a super green, fresh juice and had to make it happen today.  Considering the "buzz" around juicing and its health benefits, I thought I should give my input.

It's Nutritious.
Yes, juicing your vegetables involved removing all the juice (sugar), as well as the water soluble vitamins & minerals into the concentrated juice, which is where it gets it's "super powers"!  Juicing eliminates the fiber from the fruits and vegetables you juice thus increasing it's ability to be absorbed and utilized in your system.

It's Wasteful.
Because you are eliminating the fiber you end up with a lot of leftover mushy unusable produce once you've juiced out to water, vitamins, minerals, and sugar.  This kills me!  I spend all this time getting me veggies washed, chopped, and juiced, to be left with a measly little jar of juice.  I would rather eat the veggies!

You Must Invest.
Juicing is extremely wasteful if you have a crappy juicer.  The better ones will have less leftover produce when you're done, they can be pretty pricey.  I got mine at Costco for $150 or so, it's a Juiceman, and I think relatively middle of the road when it comes to juicers.  

You MUST use Organic.
It completely defeats the purpose if you use non-organic produce to do your juicing.  The toxins used to grow your non-organic foods will end up extremely concentrated in your juice.  You don't want that!  Even organic produce needs to be washed well before juicing.  I use grapefruit seed extract to wash all my produce, it's a natural antimicrobial, and thus kills any bacteria that may be present on your food. 

Juicing Greens is just Sad!
Yes, it's unfortunate that some organic farmer spent the growing season caring for your beautifully grown spinach, and kale, and cabbage, only for you to squeeze out 2oz of juice and throw the rest away...sad!  However, if you are going to juice you gotta have greens in there!  In my experience, spinach juices the best, kale is the worst (just eat it), and cabbage is actually so-so.  I typically juice 1-2x/year (literally) and always use fresh spinach.

It's a Hassle.
My favorite juice recipe involves a special trip to the store as it's not stuff I just happen to have in my fridge.  So, after I've made my special trip to the store to get my ingredients (30 minutes), I unload and get my big salad spinner out to start washing the spinach.  Soak the spinach in grapefruit seed extract and water, drain, and spin dry (5 minutes).  Set up another bowl of grapefruit seed extract and water to wash my cucumber, carrots, celery, parsley, lemon, and apple (5 minutes).  Peel carrots and ginger, slice off most of lemon peel (a few more minutes).  Get the juicer out, plug in, set up and we're ready to juice!!  Start with the greens, and then the order doesn't matter from there.  Once everything has gone through, you have about 10 minutes of clean up to do.  Dump all wasted fiber in the trash unless you trust your disposal (I don't!).  Wash all pieces of the juicer well (there are like 5 pieces that need to be disinfected and thoroughly cleaned).  You can get them in the dishwasher if you prefer.  That's like 50 minutes for a 20oz jar of juice that needs to be consumed within 2 days.  You decide if it's worth it!

All things considered it is a yummy, it tastes delicious and if you have a juicer you might as well break it out every once in a while!  So, when you do, this is my favorite recipe :)

1 bunch fresh spinach
1 cucumber
2 in of ginger
1 lemon
1/2 an apple
3-4 celery sticks
2-3 carrots
1 bunch parsley

This is a great "detox" recipe, as the ginger, lemon, and parsley have anti-inflammatory and digestive health properties.  The apple is really there fore flavor, you don't even need it.  Celery is a filler for me, not necessarily a nutrient dense choice, but it provides juice!  Spinach is packed with vitamin C, phytonutrients, and calcium.  And the carrots are great sources of carotenoids (precursors to vitamin A).

I always prefer and suggest that you EAT your food.  But sometimes juicing can be a special treat :)

Monday, June 4, 2012

SUGAR...can't live with it, can't live without it...or can we?

It is no secret that consuming excessive amounts of sugar is "bad" for you, but unfortunately we still see diseases developing from sugar overdoses even when the source is "healthy".  

Here's what I mean.  I see it all too often, the health conscious,  regular exerciser, "I-eat-everything-from-Whole-Foods" type, who starts their day with a bowl of granola, yogurt, and some type of fruit.  This is the quintessential "healthy breakfast".  However, when we break this down you are looking at upwards of 50-60g of added sugar in one sitting!  Now you can do better on your granola, yogurt, and fruit choices and bring this down to 30g of sugar, but that is still outrageous.  RDA of sugar (which I think is totally ridiculous by the way; you don't "need" added sugar EVER to come into your diet...anyway), is 50g/day.  We're talking honey, agave, cane sugar, brown rice syrup, malt barley, corn syrup, raw sugar, etc, etc.  I would even throw fruit in there, but I don't think that's "counted" by the FDA in this allowance.  If you eat anything, and I mean anything that came from a box, can, wrapper, jar, or other container it most likely has a sugar content.  Go ahead look at your ingredients list, and see what form of sugar gets into your mouth every time you eat.  And we're talking "healthy" foods here...Kind Bars (10g sugar), Justin's Nut butters (3-7g sugar), Brown rice cereal (1-16g sugar), granola (8-25g sugar), regular yogurt (16-28g sugar), plain Greek yogurt (7g sugar), chai tea (8-16g sugar), and the list goes on...

My point is this, we have spent the past 50-60 years living in a fat-phobic nation.  Avoiding fats at all costs, why...because dietary fats, make you fat right?!  Wrong!  Anything in excess will make you fat, but if you have a healthy balanced diet, eating an avocado, egg yolk, olive oil, butter, whole fat milk, or even steak is not going to make you fat.  Unfortunately, it's not that simple.  So what will make you fat...high sugar, replacement foods that your body has no idea how to process.  

When you stump your metabolism by feeding it a "diet food" (you know what they are), or a hydrogenated oil, or some crappy protein bar you are slowing down your metabolism and causing more damage than good.  This lead to our belief that real sugar is better than HFCS, and off we go with the organic agave, raw honey, organic brown rice syrup, or "made with real sugar"-products.  Congrats, you are now eating foods your body recognizes, however like the American lifestyle we just can't get enough of a good thing can we!  Over consuming sugar may be the most detrimental thing we could do when it comes to our health.  Sugar consumption is related to many obvious diseases we've all heard about; mainly diabetes, and obesity.  But the diseases that are typically associated with healthy dietary fat (i.e. you do not have high cholesterol because you eat an egg everyday...that's ridiculous!), are in fact entirely associated with dietary sugar.  For example: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and CVD are not a result of excess dietary fats, they're a result of excess dietary sugars.  Obesity, CVD, stroke, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease have all risen dramatically since we cut down on fats and increased our carbohydrates.  

Now, since I preach this stuff all the time I thought it'd be a good experiment to count my daily grams of added sugar in a typical day.  Everyone can make excuses for their "typical day": we were out to lunch that day, we went to a movie, we were out of town, everyone else was having it...etc, etc.  I could use the same excuses...we were out of town, I'm pregnant...whatever!  I tried not to change my food intake just because I was counting sugar grams, just did everything as I normally would.  This was a weekend day, and Rob had a race, so we were outside most of the day, thus snacks were needed.  I only counted added sugar and fruit (not any starch or fiber- which make up the other parts of carbohydrates).  Here's what happened:
8g in my Chai
8g in my brown rice cereal

Snacks throughout the day:
15g in 2 of my muffins (totally guessing)
7g in serving of Justin's chocolate almond butter
10g in Kind bar 
5g in 3 cherries (estimate)
2g in BBQ chips

No sugar :)

No sugar :)

10g in dark chocolate (gotta have my chocolate!)

And the grand total is....65g of added sugar in one day of a relatively clean healthy diet.  That's 16tsp of sugar!  That's incredible, I was shocked.  Imagine how much worse it could be?!  I would challenge you to do this experiment on your diet, and see where you come in.  Bringing awareness to your diet (one nutrient at a time) is the first step towards a more refined healthier diet.  Once you do it, and you find that one food or one item that has too much sugar (for me it was my Chai, just something I didn't need, and easy to cut out), you won't have it anymore; and whether it's cutting out 8g or 15g it's something, it's progress in the right direction!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

GF Chocolate Cookies

I go through baking phases, and this week was one of them.  I really wanted to make some gluten-free chocolate cookies, and man these turned out well beyond my expectations...I've even made them twice this week!  One batch I made with vegan choc chips, and one I did with slivered almonds, but even without these add-ins they are delish...taste like slightly crispy, fluffy brownie bites!  

photo.JPGI use Pamela's Baking mix for a lot of my baking: cupcakes, brownies, cookies, truly makes everything taste amazing.  It's a gluten-free flour mix, you can find it at Whole Foods or Vitamin Cottage.  It does have buttermilk in the mix, so if you're going for vegan this wouldn't work for you.

GF Chocolate Cookies
1 c brown rice flour
1 1/2 c Pamela's Baking Mix
1/2 c cocoa powder
1/2 tsp xantham gum
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

1/3 c Coconut spread (or coconut oil, or butter would work too)
2 eggs (for vegan use 2 tbsp ground flaxseed: 1/4 c water- Although you won't get the same consistency)
2 tbsp vanilla
3/4 c sugar (the plain old refined white sugar!)
1/4 c agave
1/3 c unsweetened almond milk

Preheat oven to 350.
Mix dry ingredients in large mixing bowl and set aside while you prepare the wet stuff.  
Mix coconut spread (melted), eggs, vanilla, agave, almond milk, and sugar in smaller bowl.  Once it's mixed well, pour it into the flour mixture and stir.  I just used a fork, but an electric hand mixture would be fine too.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, scoop out cookie blobs about a 1/2 inch apart (they don't spread much when they bake), and bake for 11 minutes.
Let cool, and I would keep them out (unsealed) the first day otherwise you loose the crispiness!  Enjoy these little guiltless pleasures, because we all need a treat sometimes :)
photo.JPGYou may need a glass of almond milk near by! 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Diary of a Pregnant Nutritionist

So I thought it'd be fun to take you through my day, as I often get questions about what I eat.  So here we go...