Monday, January 30, 2012

Cinnamon Muffins

I can't tell you how grateful I am that there are so many wonderful
bloggers who  are so willing to share their tremendous skill
and knowledge and the recipes they have created
with the rest of us!
I came across this fantasic recipe for Cinnamon Bun Muffins
You can find her fantasitc original recipe HERE.
Her blog is amazing!

There are a few ingredients I can't have
because of my own food sensitivities
so I subbed out what works for me.

Muffins -

1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
4 free range eggs
1/3 cup of the "cream" from a can of organic coconut milk *(please see my note)
1/2 cup grade B maple syrup

Note: When you open a can of organic Coconut Milk, it has usually seperated. The "cream" is at the top of the can, and the water has settled to the bottom. I use the thick "cream" as a replacement for the yogurt in the recipe because I can't have dairy. If you open a can and it has recently been shaken, you can always pour it into another container and place it in the refrigerator for a while until it seperates again.

Topping -

2 Tblsp ground cinnamon
4 Tblsp coconut crystals
2 Tblsp Earth's Balance Coconut Spread

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix all wet ingredients until smooth and then add coconut flour, salt and baking soda. I use a mesh sieve to sift the coconut flour into the bowl to break up any clumps. Mix until smooth. Fill 8 muffin cups 3/4 of the way full.
Mix cinnamon, coconut crystals and coconut spread with a pastry blender or a fork until combined. Divide the streusel among the top of the 8 muffins. Bake for 20 minutes.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Celery Root Hashbrowns.....the key to happiness?

Who knew that this funny looking root
could be the key to my happiness?
When my Cyrex test results came back from the Nutritionist
saying that I could eat rice and potatoes,
I was overjoyed!
I love me some potatoes!
But since adding those foods back into my diet
I haven't felt the same clarity as before.
It's hard to explain.
I'm still pain free,
but the weight loss has stopped
and it feels like I'm working with a dimmer switch,
if that makes any sense.
So I've decided to take rice and potatoes out
and see how I feel.
When my daughter told me that she made hashbrowns
from celery root,
I said "what does that even look like?"
I had to google it before I headed out to Sprouts
so I didn't wander aimlessly through the produce department.
So this morning I peeled it and shredded it
and fried it up with some olive oil
and can I just say that this is a life changer for me.
Celery root doesn't taste even remotely like celery!
So delicious and I'm so not missing my potatoes anymore :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Poor Man's Pepper Steak and Cauliflower Rice

Every Sunday after church I make lunch for the entire family.
It's something I love doing
and the time we share laughing and eating is priceless.
Changing our eating habits has been expensive!
(to say the least)
I've tried to be creative in stretching my shopping dollars.
With grass fed beef steaks at $9.99 a lb,
I chose grass fed ground beef for $5.99 a lb as a substitute.
Hence the "Poor Man's Pepper Steak" recipe was born!
And since some of the family is now grain free
we used Cauliflower Rice in place of white rice.

Poor Man's Pepper Steak

1 lb ground grass fed beef
1/4 cup gluten free soy sauce (Coconut Aminos)
1 clove garlic (or shallots) minced
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 cup green onion -thinly sliced
1 cup red or green bell peppers cut into 1 inch squares
2 stalks celery -thinly sliced
2 tomatoes cut into wedges (optional)
1 tblsp arrowroot starch (or potato starch)
1 cup water

Brown ground beef in large skillet over medium heat. Do not drain pan juices. Add soy sauce and ginger and stir into cooked beef for about a minute. Turn the heat up and vegetables and toss until tender. Add starch to the cup of water and stir until dissolved. Pour into pan and stir to thicken. If using tomatoes, add them after the other vegetables are done cooking and just heat through. Serve over white rice or cauliflower rice.  (Serves 4)

Cauliflower Rice
1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
3 tblsp olive oil
1 large onion, minced
4 cloves garlic or shallots, minced
3/4 cup chicken broth
4 tblsp Earths' Balance Coconut spread
1 tsp sea salt

Pulse cauliflower florets in food processor. The cauliflower will break down a bit as it cooks, so you don't want to chop it too fine. Do it in batches for the best results. Heat oil in large saucepan and saute onions and garlic until soft. Add the chopped cauliflower and chicken stock. Cover with lid and cook on medium-low heat about 10 minutes. Remove lid and add Earth Balance spread and salt and cook for another 5 minutes to allow some of the liquid to cook out. Stir constantly. Remove from heat and serve.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

You may have noticed that sometimes in my recipes I list "organic"
 and sometimes I don't.
Truth is, I use organic as often as possible
depending on availability.
I choose organic as my best, first choice.
The reason my recipes don't always say organic
 is because I'm lazy to type the word over and over.
So whether it says organic or not,
you can assume that I mean organic.

Just being honest here :)

This soup is a favorite in our household
and I hope you enjoy it too!

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

4 (14 oz) cans organic diced tomatoes (or 4lbs fresh)
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 stalks celery - diced
3 carrots - diced
3 yellow onions - diced
6 cloves garlic or shallots - minced
3 cups chicken broth
3 bay leaf
3/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 - 14oz cans organic coconut milk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Strain the chopped tomatoes, reserving the juices, and spread onto a baking sheet, season with salt & pepper to taste. Drizzle with 1/4 cup olive oil and roast until caramelized, about 15 minutes. Roasting the tomatoes brings such a rich tomato flavor to this soup!

While the tomatoes are roasting, in a saucepan, heat remaining olive oil over medium low heat. Add the celery, carrots, onions, and garlic and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the roasted tomatoes, reserved tomato juices, chicken broth and bay leaf. Simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add basil and coconut milk. Puree with a hand held immersion blender until smooth. (You can also blend in small batches in traditional blender or food processer) I use the immersion blender stopping just before it's totally smooth. We like the texture of the tiny bits of vegetables, but it's totally up to you how smooth to make it.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Pumpkin Black Bean Chicken Chili ( for the slow cooker)

I'll admit, that until recently
when my food choices were severely limited,
I was not one to venture out and try new things.
In my book, pumpkin was something you ate in a pie.
It was sweet and had cinnamon and nutmeg involved.
I didn't grow up eating pumpkin.

Guess what?

A pumpkin is a squash.....a vegetable.
Not sweet at all.
Kinda neutral in taste.
But loaded with great stuff for your body.
Who knew? ( apparently a lot of people besides me)
Anywhooo...I'm a big fan of pumpkin these days
and we eat it often.
So here is the chili recipe that we had on Christmas Eve.
(My nephew said it was a good thing
I didn't tell him it had pumpkin in it
until after he ate it)

Our entire family loved it.
I served it with coconut flour muffins
and you can find that recipe here.
The muffins taste very much like cornbread
and you can bake the recipe in an 8 x 8 pan
instead of muffin tins for a more traditional "corn bread".

Hope you love it too.

Pumpkin Black Bean Chicken Chili

1 cup chopped organic onion
1 cup chopped organic yellow bell pepper
3 cloves garlic - minced ( or shallots)
2 tblsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp chili powder
4 - 15oz cans organic black beans - rinsed & drained
2 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 - 16oz can organic pumpkin puree
1 - 14 1/2 oz can organic diced tomatoes
3 cups chicken broth
1 - 14oz can organic unsweetened coconut milk

Saute onions, yellow pepper and garlic in oil for about 8 minutes or until soft. Stir in oregano, cumin and chili powder and cook for 1 minute more. Transfer to slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 7 - 8 hours.

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Best Darn Spaghetti Sauce Ever!

If your house is like our house,
then spaghetti is your "go to" food.
Everyone loves it.
It's quick and easy and oh so tasty too.
The problem I've run into is that even most of the organic
spaghetti sauces have things in them that I can't have
like sugar and garlic.
Luckily for me my wonderful Daughter in law
 shared this recipe with me.
Try this once, and you'll never buy sauce in a jar again!

The Best Darn Spaghetti Sauce

2 - tblsp Olive oil
1 - organic onion - diced
1 - small organic red pepper - diced
2 - 14 1/2 oz cans organic diced tomatoes (with the juice)
2 - 8oz cans organic tomato sauce
2 - tsp dried basil
1 - tsp dried oregano
1 - tsp sea salt

Heat oil in pan and saute the onion and peppers until soft. (You could certainly add a few cloves of minced garlic at this point as well)  Add remaining ingredients and simmer until slightly thickened. If you have children or picky eaters that don't like chunks of tomatoes you could use an immersion blender to puree the sauce or carefully transfer the sauce to your food processor and pulse for a few seconds. I added browned grass fed ground beef, but you could add chicken or any other meats as well. This sauce is seriously fabulous! And's just that easy! Serve over your favorite g/f pasta or spaghetti squash and enjoy!!!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Oye Chico! Picadillo!

My wonderfully handsome hubby was born in Havana, Cuba. His family immigrated to the United States when he was 6 years old. Had they just waited a few more years......he would have developed the Cuban accent and I could have been married to Ricky Ricardo :) I joke with him all the time that he would get bigger tips as a plumber if he had an accent. Imagine Antonio Banderas coming to your door...." jou need sum help wis jour plumbing?" Now this is my opinion and you don't have to agree with me, but I have always found latin men to be the most gorgeous men on earth! Something about the dark eyes and thick curly hair :) My family came here from Europe. My father was Dutch and my mother German. We came to this country from Holland when I was 18 months old so I have no accent either. My parents had enough of an accent for the rest of us :) It used to annoy me when our children would tell people they were Cuban. Um....Hello? What about the Dutch and German? I guess Cuban is just more exotic :) So with that in mind I decided to share one of my hubby's favorite Cuban recipes with you. It is truly "fantastico"!

1 lb grass fed ground beef
1 tsp oregano
4 cloves garlic or shallots -minced
1 medium white onion -chopped fine
1 small green bell pepper - chopped
1/2 cup beef stock
8 oz can tomato sauce
3 - 4 small potatoes - peeled and diced
1 jar sliced pimento stuffed green olives
olive oil for sauteing
salt & pepper to taste
In a frying pan combine ground beef and oregano. Brown and drain fat. Remove beef and in the same pan, heat olive oil and saute the onions, green pepper and garlic until soft.
Return the ground beef  to the pan along with the beef stock and tomato sauce. Cover and cook over medium low heat for 15 minutes. Add the diced potato. Cover and cook another 30 minutes or until the potatoes are done. Remove the cover and add the jar of olives (I use about 1/2 of the juice in the jar as well) and cook uncovered 15 minutes or until the liquid is mostly evaporated. Serve with cooked white rice and avocados.