Sunday, April 16, 2017

Gluten Free Coconut Fig Granola Bars

Gluten Free Fig Stuffed Granola Bars
A Tasty little snack, for dessert or breakfast! I choose breakfast, but I like desserts for breakfast.















1st start by soaking the dried figs to re-hydrate. Makes them easier to mix into the ozzy filling :)



 Use your food processor to finely chop toasted nuts


Mix nuts with and dates to blend into a "dough" Press the dough into a 9x9 pan lined with parchment paper. 


Mix the soaked figs with coconut oil and maple syrup into a paste and fill the pan.

Toast up the coconut. Toasted is always better. At least to me.


Press cooled coconut on the top of the fig mix. Pop in the fridge.


Look at these layers of gooey fig jam between nuts and coconut. It is soo good. Slice, eat and enjoy.


Nut layer:
1 cup almonds
1 cup walnuts
1/4 cup cashews
1/4 cup pecans
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup pitted dates
1/4 cup coconut oil

Toast all of the nuts. Let cool. Process with the salt, dates and coconut oil to form a cookie crust layer. Press into the lined pan.


Fig Filling:
2 cups figs with stems removed
1 cup hot water to soak
3 TBSP Maple Syrup
1TBSP melted Coconut Oil

Soak figs in hot water. Drain water. **save the water. it's so good.
Mix with maple syrup and coconut oil into a jam filling


Topping:
1/2 cup toasted coconut.

That's it. Press onto the fig layer and eat :)

Gone Vegan

Important announcement.

Last year I was diagnosed with some serious health concerns.I got put on the AIP (auto-immune protocol) diet to really eliminate food allergens and help discover the route of my problems. It was a LOT of meat. Like by a lot, I mean like every meal was meat and you were encouraged to eat organ meats and drink bone broth. I made it about 3 weeks. It was too much to handle. My stomach does not digest meat in that high of quantities and honestly it got me thinking about route causes being food. How is that really possible?? We have been eating food forever, our bodies thrive on food. What could make us need to eliminate everything? It's hard to chew (literally! pun intended)

So long story short, instead of AIP, I flipped it the other way.
I've been really a flex-itatrian since then.
Mostly Vegan 5-6 days a week and maybe a light meat meal on the weekends with the family. But what was holding me back from fully committing? Easy of buying prepared food? Being able to eat out simpler? Making my family commit with me. My husband cooks a lot of the dinners during the week. He gets home earlier than me. By the time I stroll in the door with my son from daycare, it's literally dinner time. It was just easier to have the hubby cook something and his default is pizza to be honest or really easy prepared and just reheat meals.  Not ideal.

I also work with a lot of girls and get to listen to their health issues on a daily basis; stomach issues, diabetes, overweight, underweight. You name the concern, we probably have it at my job. As a leader, I wanted to help them. Leader doesn't just mean in the office, I wanted to help with their personal concerns. Is it my place to do that?? Probably not but that's just who I am.
We started bringing in group lunches and sharing, having meal prep weekends.. In my effort to better their health, I started watching food documentaries to pick up some cool 1 liner quotes to randomly drop.
Flash forward like 6 months, I'm seeing benefits on their side and it's encouraging so I'm taking it to the next level. Vegan but vegan in the right way. Not the prepared, carb loaded, mass produced "food" that is vegan approved. I'm talking about down to the ground, growing your own food, making food type vegan.
I also have another concern... I don't eat gluten. Celiacs. Also I try to avoid soy. It really messes up my hormones and I've already had a lot of thyroid problems I don't want to flare up.
So a Gluten free- soy free vegan it is!!

From now on, you won't see any recipes involving animal products.
Peace to everyone!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Onion Corncakes








1st ingredient is to start with a child who keeps buying huge onions from the farmers market.
Now I don't hate onions, butttttttttt I don't really like them at EVERY meal, which is what we are doing right now.  This is a lesson to me. I gave him an allowance each week to spend on a fresh item at the local farmers market. The onions the size of his head have just been a little too appealing.









For real though.
Just a few ingredients and you get a beautiful green pancake type item.


Start by mixing up all the dry ingredients














Add in the finely chopped onions and peppers and mix up.

 pan fry and cook to a beautiful golden brown. Flip and repeat on the other side.

Little trick, spread the batter out as thin as you can. Helps to cook it evenly and caramelize all the onion up.

That's pretty much it. 
Best when warm. I made a huge batch and frozen them and just take out a couple at a time and toast them up. 

I really enjoy with a dollop of salsa on top :)


***RECIPE***

DRY INGREDIENTS:
3/4 Cup Gluten free flour
1 TBSP Sugar
2 TBSP Cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder

WET INGREDIENTS:
3/4 Cup Almond Milk
2 cups diced onions (about 2 small or like 1/2 a giant one!)
1/2 cup diced bell pepper (about 1/2 a good sized pepper. I used a green one


DIRECTIONS:
Mix dry ingredients together
fold in the wet ingredients until well blended

Heat a skillet to Medium heat. If you have a ceramic like me that can burn sugar and not have it stick, feel free to not oil the pan. Otherwise, I'd add a light layer to the bottom.
Pan fry until golden brown, flip and fry the other side. 

Enjoy while warm or let cool, freeze and pull out a couple and toast them up when needed. 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Mini Puff Pancakes with Blueberry Reduction

  
We like to have food events at work (which is fine with me, I love food)
Some think it's really challenging, we also have a lot of food allergies/sensitivities/diet plans. This month was no different. Breakfast potluck: with dairy & gluten allergies, paleo and whole 30 dieters. I knew the "I'll just bring fruit" route was going to be snatched up pretty fast, which is fine: I wanted to go a different route.

Bring in the Mini Puff Pancakes. Typically made in a giant 9x13 pan but minis are making an appearance. It's basically an eggy pancakes that puffs up while baking and then sinks down in the midde as it cool, providing a space for filling.


Pancake Recipe: Makes 12 cupcake sized
Ingredients:
1/2 cup flour (use your choice here. Gluten free subs work great in this recipe. I use my own grain free blend that is equal part Cassava, Coconut, Almond, Arrowroot and Tapioca Flour)
1/2 cup Coconut milk (Another good choice is Almond milk. If you drink dairy- normal dairy milk is fine here too)
3 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut butter (yes this is a weird recipe that you can just straight up sub recipe ingredients without interference. Feel free to use your favorite butter or butter replacement)
Coconut Oil (for the pan)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Grease the cupcake pan with coconut oil (liberally) and put in the oven to heat up while you mix the batter.
Melt coconut butter so it mixes easily. Combine with flour and vanilla. Add eggs and mix until smooth.
Remove pan from the oven. (it should be hot) Fill each cavity 1/2 way full with batter. Return pan to oven as quickly as possible to maintain the heat.
Bake for 15 mins until lightly brown and poofed up in the middle. (Yes I know that isn't a real word)






Mine looked like this when they were done. Little domes of tastiness.

I let them cool in the pan.
Total mistake, I had a few that stuck :(
Flip them out as soon as you can. I'd give it 5 mins and them pop them out and let them finish cooling on a rack (or eat right away)













Here is what mine looked like after cooling.
Depending on the flour/dairy mix you will get either more or equal to the collapse in the middle
The faster you work to put the batter in the pan and back in the oven also helps this out.

I was totally fine with my collapse amount considering I am using dairy free/grain free ingredients.

The pancakes are totally ready to eat at this point. Have at them orrrrrrr add a filling of your choice. Jelly/jam, cover in syrup like a normal pancake. Chocolate sauce.. You name it.

I chose to add in a fresh blueberry reduction (mainly because I had gone crazy at the store the over the weekend and bought an insane amount of berries. My family would never be able to eat them all and I didn't want to freeze them.)

BLUEBERRY REDUCTION:
Ingredients
3 cups fresh Blueberries (I think frozen sub here would work out fine)
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 cup maple syrup or honey (optional. Depending on the sweetness of your berries. Taste test 1st)
*1 tsp Agar Agar  (your choice here!)


* A little about Agar Agar. It is an extract of red algae. When boiled it gets liquid, when cooled it's gel like. I add it in place of gelatin. It works at a about a 1:7 ratio, so I use way less.
It should be pretty easy to find at any major store.


Place blueberries in a pan. Smash 1/2 of them up. I use a pampered chef mix n' chop tool. I think its meant for ground beef but it works well for berries.
If you NEED the sweetener, add at this point. My berries were pretty sweet on their own, so I didn't use any (plus I was making it for a potluck where some people are doing Whole 30)
Add the agar if you are wanting a more jelly like reduction. Not needed if you prefer a sauce like filling.
On med heat, simmer on a low boil..during this I like to use the tool to not only mix but also mush up the berries.
Simmer for 10 mins add in the lemon juice and mix. Simmer additional 2 mins.

Remove from hear and transfer to a heat proof storage container for storing or right away.










Side note.
This recipe makes waaaaaaaaayyyyyy to much to solely be used for pancake filing.
If that is your purpose, I'd cut the recipe into just a 1/3 or 1/4 the amount.
But you can do so much with a good blueberry jelly.
I personally have just been eating it by the spoonful.










Finished product. Little eggy bites of Happiness
(ignore my chipped nail polish)



Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Maple Roasted Veggies

Veggie Candy?? It's 2 words that I never thought I'd hear in the same sentence but that is what my child called my Maple Roasted Veggies. I feel required to make it for him daily because it was probably the easiest thing I've ever convinced him to try.

I'm not going to go crazy with a back story here. Honestly I just had an assortment of things and threw this together so it's not my typical fancy write up (which may be good. No one needs to read a book, you just want the recipe!)

So I started with my veg. On a pan, drizzled with avocado oil


Roasted in Oven @ 350 for 25 mins

Then removed, drizzled a smidge of maple syrup on them, mixed it up and back in the oven for another 10 mins to caramelize up the sugar.


(just adding the photos of drizzling because I was pretty impressed with myself taking a photo while I was pouring and having it be remotely in focus)



Looks like this when it is done. You could potentially caramelize a little more if you'd like. Whatever your preference is. I didn't go crazy b/c my son sees it darker and thinks it's burnt even when it's not! (Kids right)


Here it is. The bite of perfection!


 
Recipe:
5 Brussel Sprouts
5 radishes
1/4 head of broccoli
*it's about 1 cup of each. Or make your own blend of whatever veg you like best (or have on hand!)

Cut into equal sized pieces. I like to cut the sprouts in half and  then make everything that size.
Drizzle with 1 TBSP of Avocado Oil. Mix up. Put on oven :) I like to put the sprouts with the cut side down to get the color.
Roast at 350 degrees F for 25 min (or more/less depending on what size you cut things down to)
After 25 mins, remove pan, drizzle 1 tsp of maple syrup (yes only that little amount! We aren't actually making candy here today) and mix up and pop back in the oven for 10 mins.

Remove and eat (once cooled enough to not burn your mouth)
In my opinion, best eaten that day.

It made enough to be a side dish for my 3 person household.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Dehydrated Fruit Chips

Dehydrated Fruit Chips. 

The options are really limitless in my opinion. 
But some of my personal favorites:

Cantaloupe: 
The important thing is to use a ripe melon. The dehdration process just makes the flavor stronger, so if your melon is still a little tart and unripe, your chips will turn out tart! (yes I did learn that lesson the hard way.)
So you start by slicing the melon into 1/4" thick slices. Remove the rind and place on your trays.
and go. 
I did mine at 130 degrees for about 10 hours. 
They look like this once done. Delicious and crispy


Watermelon Chips:

Same process. Again super important to use a really ripe melon.
If your watermelon has black seeds, you should remove those. The White seeds you can keep, they are ok to eat.
I used a little melon for my chips, so the final chips are little and round instead of slices.
Optional: sprinkle with some sea salt. That is if you like salt on watermelon. I do so I did :)


Then Plum Chips.
I personally love these. You can take them out a little earlier and have some plum jerky if you like. Otherwise you sohuld probably eat these chips a little faster as they don't tend to stay crispy as long as the melon chips do.
I like to soak my slices in orange juice overnight to give it a plum-orangey flavor, but you don't have to. Plums on their own are pretty tasty anyways.
You don't have to remove the skin, as you can eat it. But you can if you want. The skin gets a little hard, but I personally don't have any problem with it.


 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Stuffed Peppers



Stuffed Peppers




This recipe could not be easier. And the best thing is, if you want to sub an ingrendient, it's so easy. No cooked rice on hand? Use some orzo pasta. Don't have mixed beans? Use a can of black beans, or add more vegetables. Add an onion, add shredded cheese... the options are so limitless.

Here is my basic recipe for vegetarian stuffed peppers. I like to use lentils alot. I feel like they have a meaty flavor and I can typically pass them off as a meat option to my family when I mix them in recipes.




I typically make mine in a crock pot due to the ease of throwing them in and coming home to something cooked and ready to go. An hour for cooking on a weeknight is too much for my son to wait for, so it's nice if it's ready to go.