Sunday, December 30, 2012

Marinara Sauce





Marinara sauce was a staple in my house growing up. There wasn't a Sunday morning that my mom didn't have a pot of sauce on the stove. She cooked her sauce for hours with meatballs or sausage in it. I have updated my mom's recipe to make it a little healthier and use it for everything that calls for sauce (pasta, homemade pizzas, turkey bolognese or any recipe that uses sauce). This is a very simple recipe that only cooks for 1/2 hour and is sweetened with carrots instead of sugar. I like to make a double batch and freeze in small containers to pull out when needed.

Ingredients 
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion chopped
4 cloves garlic chopped
2 containers of tomatoes (I like Pomi)
1 medium carrot shredded
small bunch of fresh basil
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Heat olive oil in a large pot, add the onion and garlic and saute until softened. Add the tomatoes, carrot, basil, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. If it is too thick, you can thin it out with a little water. I like mine to be thick so I don't usually add much water, if any at all. Let cool. You can serve this as is and it would be a little chunky or you can use an immersion blender and smooth this a little. I've done it both ways and they are both good!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Rainbow Cookies (gluten, dairy, corn, soy, and refined sugar free)



I've always loved rainbow cookies. I haven't made them since before going gluten free. Although I have seen many recipes for gluten free rainbow cookies, I haven't seen one that didn't use refined sugar or almond paste. I wanted to avoid both these ingredients. I came up with this recipe that doesn't use either and is gluten, dairy, corn, soy and refined sugar free! The cookie and chocolate topping are both sweetened with maple syrup. The raspberry filling I used is just fruit with no sugar added by Fiordifrutta.

Ingredients
1 1/4 cup GF Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
2/3 cup maple syrup
2/3 cup melted coconut oil
1 tablespoon almond extract
raspberry preserves (I like Fiordifrutta)
natural food coloring (I like India Tree)


chocolate coating: (first posted here)
3/4 cup (100 grams) raw cacao butter
6 tablespoons raw cacao powder
4 tablespoons organic maple syrup

Melt the cacao butter over low heat until melted. Add the maple syrup and cacao powder and whisk until smooth.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line three 8x8 pans with parchment paper and spray with coconut oil. Leave the parchment paper hanging over the sides of the pans so it is easy to remove the layers when done.

In a large bowl mix together the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder and salt. Add the eggs, maple syrup, coconut oil and almond extract. Stir until combined. Divide batter into three bowls. Color one pink, one green and leave the other as is. Spread batter evenly in pans and bake for approximately 15-18 minutes until toothpick comes out clean and edges are just golden.

Let cool for about 10 minutes then remove green layer and place on wax paper, spread with preserves, top with white layer and spread with preserves. Top with pink layer. Make your chocolate coating. Pour chocolate onto top of layered cookies. Put in refrigerator until hardened. Flip over onto another piece of wax paper and pour chocolate onto the other side. Put back in refrigerator to harden again. I usually leave overnight to really set. Once hardened, cut into strips then into one inch cookies.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Chocolate Coconut Balls from The Earth Diet



This recipe is one of my favorite recipes from The Earth Diet recipes.  It is so simple and kids love them because they are like little balls of fudgy cake! Anytime I make them, they disappear quickly!

My version has a little less cacao powder and I make them with the maple syrup option. I've never done these with honey. They come out amazing just like this, so I probably won't change a thing!

See below for a vanilla version of these that are also awesome!

Ingredients
1 cup almond meal
3/4 cup raw cacao powder
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1-2 tablespoons water
coconut flakes

Directions
Put the almond meal, cacao powder and maple syrup in a bowl. Start mixing together, if the mixture is too dry add water 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture sticks together. If it gets a little too wet, add more almond meal. Roll into balls and roll into coconut flakes.

Here is a vanilla version:

Ingredients
1 cup almond meal
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoons water
coconut flakes


Directions
Put the almond meal, maple syrup and vanilla in a bowl. Start mixing together, if the mixture is too dry add water 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture sticks together. If it gets a little too wet, add more almond meal. Roll into balls and roll into coconut flakes.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Onion Leek Soup (Gluten, Dairy, Corn, Soy and Refined Sugar Free)



There is something about the weather getting colder that makes me want to have a pot of soup cooking on the stove. Onion soup is one of my favorites. I love pairing this soup with my potato pancakes as an alternative to the traditional French onion soup with bread on top.

This recipe was adapted from this recipe by Jaime Oliver.

Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon earth balance
3 cloves garlic minced
2 red onions
1 yellow onion
2 shallots
2 leeks
salt and pepper
6 cups stock (preferably homemade)

Directions
Put the butter and olive oil in a heavy pot on medium low. Add the garlic and stir. Do not let the garlic brown. Add the onions, shallots and leeks. Season with salt and pepper. Place a lid on the pan, leaving it slightly off and cook for 45 minutes stirring occasionally. Once the onions and leeks are softened add the stock. Bring to a boil, turn heat down and simmer for 20 minutes.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Gluten Free Restaurant Bread Idea



Anytime we go out to a restaurant for an occasion, bread is always on the table. I can usually just pass and it doesn't bother me, but my daughter always says "is it gluten free mommy??". It never is, and I feel terrible. So, now I bring my own when I know we are going to be in that situation. Usually if I have a loaf of Everybody Eats Baguettes on hand I cut one in half and make half to bring with us. Today I ran out of those and didn't have much around except some Kinnikinnick pizza crusts so I came up with this easy idea and it tastes great, kind of like a focaccia bread.

Ingredients
Kinnikinnick pizza crusts
olive oil
seasoning of choice (I used garlic powder, Celtic sea salt and rosemary, but thyme, parsley and oregano will all work well too)

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place pizza crusts on a baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with seasonings of choice.



Bake for 12-15 minutes until lightly golden brown. Let cool slightly and cut in half and then cut each half into 4 strips. These are great served with your favorite dips (hummus, seasoned olive oil, etc)
Enjoy!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Monday, December 10, 2012

Happy Hanukkah and Potato Pancake recipe (Gluten, Dairy, Corn, Soy and Refined Sugar Free)



I want to post my potato pancake recipe for all of you who celebrate Hanukkah. I hope you enjoy these and have a Happy Hanukkah! Even if you don't celebrate Hanukkah, they are good for any occasion.

Ingredients
6 medium russet potatoes peeled, shredded and dried thoroughly (I use the shredding blade on my food processor, or you can hand grate them on a box grater. Make sure they are very dry before mixing them with the other ingredients, I usually leave them laying out on a cloth to absorb the water)
1 medium onion grated
6 or more tablespoons brown rice flour
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Himalayan salt
freshly ground black pepper
olive oil

Directions
In a bowl combine potatoes and onion. Beat egg in a separate small bowl and add to potatoes and onion. Add flour, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Mix until combined. Mixture should be wet, but hold together to form a pancake. If not add more flour a tablespoon at a time until it starts to hold together.

Heat a cast iron skillet on medium. Add olive oil. Scoop 1/4 cup at a time into your hands and press into a flat pancake. Cook for about 5 minutes per side until lightly browned. Remove to a cloth lined dish to absorb extra oil. Sprinkle with Himalayan salt.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Butternut Squash and Ginger Soup (gluten, dairy, corn, soy and refined sugar free)




I love making soup in the winter. Nothing warms me up more on a cold day than a nice hot bowl of soup for lunch or dinner. The other day I stopped at a local health food store and bought a cup of butternut squash soup. It was delicious and I knew I had to try and recreate it. Here is my version. Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients
1 butternut squash cut lengthwise and seeded
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion thinly sliced
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
2 minced garlic cloves
2 cups homemade chicken stock (or store bought if you don't have your own)
salt and pepper

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut squash lengthwise and place cut side down on a lightly oiled baking sheet and roast in oven for 1 hour.

 


Remove from oven and scoop out of skins and set aside.



Heat olive oil in a pot and add onions, garlic, ginger, salt and pepper.



Saute unil onions are softened. Add Squash and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.



Remove from heat. Using an immersion blender, blend soup in pot until smooth and creamy.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Peppermint Patties (gluten, corn, soy, dairy and refined sugar free)



Peppermint patties were always one my favorite candies. I use to love them in the freezer. Chocolate mints were always a holiday tradition for my family. There were always thin mints on the table after dinner on a holiday. Now, I have a version that is much healthier but still satisfies my craving for chocolate mints especially around this time of the year. This recipe was adapted from this recipe from Elana's Pantry.

Ingredients
One Serving of my chocolate recipe found here.
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon Organic Peppermint oil



Directions
In a bowl mix together the coconut oil, honey and peppermint oil until smooth.



Put in the freezer for a few minutes until firm enough to scoop out with a cookie scoop. Scoop onto parchment lined dish and push down into a flattened disc shape. Place back in freezer until hardened.



Make your chocolate recipe. Pour the chocolate into a bow. Take out the patties from the freezer and dip into the chocolate. Place back onto the parchment and back into the freezer to harden. I like to do this step twice, I like a thicker chocolate coating on the patties.


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Chia Seed Pudding Breakfast (gluten, dairy, corn, soy and refined sugar free)


Benefits of Chia Seeds

-High in Omega 3's
-Contains more antioxidant's than flaxseed
-Chia is one of nature’s highest plant-based sources of complete protein
-Slows down your body’s conversion of starches into sugars, therefore balancing your blood sugar
-Excellent source of dietary fiber, one serving has 24% of your daily fiber
-One serving has only 70 calories and 3 grams of protein

You can find Chia Seeds at any health food store, or online. I like Navitas Naturals brand, you can purchase them from  Amazon or Navitas Naturals

Here is a video on a great recipe using Chia Seeds from Ellen Nalaboff of Ellen's Fitness.

Ellen is a Holistic Nutrition and Life Coach, a Board Certified Holisitic Health Counselor, a Primordial Sound Meditation Teacher, a Power Pilates Certified Instructor and a Spin Instructor.

Ellen's You Tube Video on Chia Seed Pudding

Friday, November 30, 2012

Gingerbread Donuts (gluten, dairy, corn, soy and refined sugar free)



 
After cooking pumpkin recipes pretty much from September until now, I am ready for my next favorite holiday treat - gingerbread! Jenni Hulet at The Urban Poser has done it again, as soon as I read this post about her gingerbread donuts I was off to the kitchen. These were very simple and absolutely delicious. It's a change from the traditional gingerbread cookie and is a perfect holiday treat. I followed this exact recipe, except I skipped beating the egg whites because I was short on time and she says they come fine without that step, but next time I make these I will try adding that step to see the difference.







Thursday, November 29, 2012

Peppermint Patty Rice Crispy Treats (gluten, dairy, corn, soy and refined sugar free)



When I saw this post earlier today for peppermint patty rice crispy treats from The Balanced Platter, I knew I had to make something like this. When I use to eat sugar loaded treats, peppermint patties and rice crispy treats were two of my favorites!

I followed the ingredients, amounts and directions from this recipe, but I used almond butter instead of the sunflower seed butter and I used raw cacao powder instead of cocoa powder. These came out amazing, better than any rice crispy treat I had before! My kids also loved these and asked if we can have them again tomorrow for dessert!












Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Green Lemonade



1/2 cucumber
1 green apple
1 celery stalk
1/2 lemon with rind
3 romaine leaves
4 kale leaves
handful of fresh spinach
handful of fresh parsley
small piece of ginger

Monday, November 26, 2012

Apple Crumb Pie (Gluten, Dairy, Corn, Soy and Refined Sugar Free)



I have been gluten free for almost two years now and have succeeded at finding a satisfying replacement for just about any dessert I use to like. I was never a fan of pie, but when my daughter asked me to make a gluten free apple pie for Thanksgiving, I had to make a good one. After researching gluten free pie crusts, I came across this one from Brittany Angell at Real Sustenance and it was so easy to make and easy to work with. The only thing I did differently than the instructions was put the piece of dough onto the pie plate and push it into place. This crust came so good, I can't wait to experiment with more pies. I may not have been a fan of pie as a gluten eater, but I am now!

Ingredients
Gluten free Pie Crust (I used this recipe from Real Sustenance)

Filling
2 tablespoons coconut oil
apples peeled, cored and sliced
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon arrowroot dissolved in a little water
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 tablespoons water

Topping
2 cups almond flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract



Directions
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. For the filling, heat coconut oil in a pan and add apples. Start cooking until they begin to soften. Add the maple syrup, lemon juice, arrowroot, nutmeg and cinnamon. Cook for about 10 minutes. Add the water, cover and cook on low until apples are very soft.

For the topping, combine the almond flour, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl and whisk until combined. Add the coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla and stir until crumbs form.

Remove the apples from the heat and set aside. Make your pie crust according to directions or if your using a pre-made crust your ready to fill the shell.

Add your apple mixture to your pie crust and sprinkle the crumb mixture evenly over the top.



Bake for 30 minutes. Remove and let cool before slicing.


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Turkey Pot Pie with Mashed Potato Topping (gluten, dairy, corn, soy and refined sugar free)


The days after Thanksgiving, I like to decorate for Christmas and eat leftover turkey. This year I decided to try a pot pie, I made this crust for my Apple Crumb Pie and since the recipe makes two crusts, I froze one for this pot pie recipe. This recipe will also work with chicken so it can be made anytime you have leftover chicken from a roasted chicken too!


Ingredients

1 gluten free pie crust (I used this recipe from Brittany Angell at Real Sustenance)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion diced
1 cup carrots diced
1 cup celery diced
2 garlic cloves minced
2 cups homemade turkey stock (or store bought stock would work but I like to make my own)
3 tablespoons arrowroot starch
2 cups chopped turkey (this will also work will chicken)
1 cup frozen peas
handful of fresh parsley leaves chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 cups leftover mashed potatoes (enough to cover the top of the pie)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat olive oil in a pan and add onion. Cook until translucent about 5 minutes. Add the carrots, celery and garlic and cook about 15 minutes until softened.


Mix the arrowroot starch with the stock and add to the pan. Add the turkey meat and cook for 10 minutes. Add the frozen peas and cook just until peas defrost. Remove from heat and add parsley, salt and pepper to taste.

Fill pie crust with filling and top with mashed potatoes.






Bake for 30 minutes until potatoes are lightly browned on top. You can also put them under the broiler for the last few minutes to brown if you want.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Homemade chocolate (gluten, dairy, corn, soy and refined sugar free)



I've always loved chocolate, it is one of my favorite desserts. When cutting out sugar, I tried to elimate my evening chocolate, but that didn't work. I need that little bit of chocolate at night after dinner. It is something that I truely look forward to. Now I turn to real, unprocessed, homemade chocolate. If you think it is way too hard or you don't have time, you will see how easy it is with the recipe below. I was motivated by this recipe from Liana from The Earth Diet and with only a few ingredients you can make some great homemade chocolate desserts. My kids love this chocolate and don't miss any packaged chocolate at all.  


Benefits of Unprocessed Chocolate

Cacao raises the level of serotonin in the brain which gives us a sense of well-being.

There are healthy fats found in cacao butter. Cacao contains oleic acid, a heart-healthy fat.

Cacao has more antioxidant flavonoids than any food tested so far, including blueberries, red wine, and green teas. The benefits of these antioxidants include promoting cardiovascular health, reducing the risk of stroke and heart attacks, lowering LDL cholesterol and regulating blood pressure.

Cacao beans are rich in essential minerals, including magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, potassium and manganese.

Cacao seems to be the #1 source of magnesium of any food. Magnesium balances brain chemistry, builds strong bones, and helps regulate heartbeat and blood pressure.

It is important to eat chocolate that is in its natural state. Commercially processed chocolate loses many of the health benefits.


Ingredients for Plain Chocolate
3/4 cup (100 grams) Raw Cacao Butter
1/2 cup almond meal
4 Tablespoons Raw Cacao Powder
3 Tablespoons Organic Maple Syrup

Additions:
Peanut Butter
Raisins or other dried fruits
Nuts (any kind)


Directions
Melt the cacao butter over low heat until melted. Add the maple syrup and cacao powder and whisk until smooth.



Fill the bottom of paper liners with a layer of the melted chocolate and put in refrigerator to set.


For the peanut butter cups, scoop a small amount of peanut butter onto the hardend chocolate. For the Raisin and nut clusters, put a few raisins and/or nuts on top of the chocolate.



Top the peanut butter or raisins and nuts with more melted chocolate and put back in the refrigerator to set again.




Take out when chocolate has hardened and Enjoy!

Beet Juice with Ginger

1 Beet
1 Carrot
1 Apple
1/2 lemon with rind
1 small piece of Ginger

Sunday, November 18, 2012

My Raw Food Class with Liana Werner-Gray



Every since The Earth Diet book by Liana Werner-Gray was available to pre-order, I had my copied ordered! The first thing I made when I got it was the Peanut Butter Cups, you can read about them here.

Last night I had the opportunity to take a raw food class taught by Liana. The class was awesome and she is so nice and easy to understand! If your lucky enough to be in an area where she is teaching or speaking, I highly recommend you go.

She taught how to make some juices and the raw cupcakes in The Earth Diet book. I am looking forward to making these for Thanksgiving this week. If anyone is concerned about kids accepting raw desserts, Liana was nice enough to let me take two of the cupcakes home to my kids and they ate them right up!! My kids also love the raw cookie dough bites you can read about them here. I am happy to continue to give my kids the highest quality, nutritious foods there are, without them having to miss out on dessert!

Citrus Ginger Juice

1 grapefruit peeled
1 orange peeled
1 lemon with rind
1 small piece of ginger

Pink Lemonade

1 Beet
1 Carrot
1 Apple
1 lemon with rind

Green Juice

Handful of Kale
Stalk of broccoli including stem and florets
Handful of parsley
1 Stalk of celery
1 green apple

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Salmon with Blackberry Balsamic Sauce (gluten, dairy, corn, soy and refined sugar free)



Salmon is one of my favorite fish to eat. I recently started making this blackberry, balsamic glaze and it gives a really nice variation to this dish. I don't like sauces that are too sweet, so this one has the perfect amount of sweetness without any added sugar. Make sure to use a jam that is sweetened with fruit only, not sugar.
Ingredients
For the Salmon:
2 salmon portions
sea salt
freshly gound black pepper
olive oil
For the Glaze:
2 tablespoons of blackberry jam (I use fiordifrutta)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
sea salt
2 cloves garlic grated
small chunk of fresh ginger grated
Directions
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Drizzle olive oil on a baking dish and lay salmon on top skin side down. Season with salt and pepper.



Bake for about 15 minutes until cooked through. While the salmon is cooking make the glaze. For the Glaze, grate the ginger and garlic and put into a bowl. I love my OXO grater. Add the rest of the ingredients and whisk together.



  




When done, pour glaze over cooked salmon. I served these with broccoli and dirty mashed potatoes (skin left on)!

Enjoy!