Recipes

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Make a Healthier (and easy!) Pancake

It’s been a while since I’ve eaten a pancake.  Ok, quite a while, actually.  Although gluten-free pancakes are pretty easy, grain-free is a different story, especially for those of us who find almond flour too tough too handle.  Then I saw something online (I think it was on Facebook) about making pancakes from eggs and a banana.  Seriously!  Well, I was so curious I just had to try it.  It works!  I’ve made them a few times now, and I have been pleasantly surprised.

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The recipe is easy – 2 eggs, beaten + 1 smushed banana.  That’s basically it, although I usually throw in a dash of cinnamon and a couple drops of vanilla, just because.  As you can see in the picture, they aren’t as thick as a “grainy” pancake, more like a thicker crepe. Still yummy, especially smeared with almond butter.  (Fair warning:  a pretty strong banana flavor so if you aren’t crazy about banana, this recipe might not be your favorite).

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Amazing Bone Broth

 

I can’t believe I haven’t posted information on bone broth before now.  Ok, it is a gazillion degrees outside and it might seem like an odd time to talk about broth, but it’s really not.  Bone broth is one of the best ways to get nutrients into our bodies, and we should all be looking for ways to get more nutrients in!  It can be enjoyed as is, or as the base of all kinds of soups, stews, etc.  In the picture above, I just threw in some celery, carrots, and leeks (they were in the crisper and needed to get used, but an onion works just as well), then added some rotisserie chicken and fresh herbs.  It is yummy, and even on hot days like we’ve had lately, it’s light and soothing. Besides that, it makes the house smell great when it’s cooking!   Click here for a great article on how to make it and its benefits.

Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free, Sugar-Free…. and Delicious Pumpkin Pie!

Recipe coming soon – I had to take a picture before it all disappeared!

Nothing Better Than Summer Veggies

 

Ok, it’s been crazy hot out here.  And if you’re like me, you don’t feel like eating a lot, much less preparing a big meal.  Instead of reaching for the bowl of ice cream (not that we’d ever do that!), take advantage of all the wonderful veggies that are in season.  Check your local Farmers Markets and eat locally when you can.  Cut up and serve raw or lightly steam them, and have some fun things to dip them in.  Try some homemade mayonnaise, your favorite salad dressing, even a jar of salsa works.  It’s a fun, easy, light meal and your body will be so happy to have those extra vitamins and minerals.

BLT Salad

 

A perfect meal for this hot weather, and a joyous re-uniting of flavors for those of us who are not eating grains.  I have to admit, that a great BLT is something I do miss, so luckily my sister (Dr. Cary) came up with this easy solution to solve the cravings.

Fry up several slices of bacon (nitrate/nitrite free please!  Trader Joe’s has a great one).  While they are frying, put together your favorite salad ingredients – cool crunchy lettuce, tomato (of course) then add red onion or scallion, cucumber, even avocado is great.

After the bacon is cooked and crispy, let drain on paper towels, pour out leftover bacon grease from pan but don’t wipe out all the yummy parts on the bottom of the pan-that’s where all the flavor is.  Add about two tablespoons (or more if you like a lot of dressing) of mayonnaise, either homemade or straight from the jar and let it warm up and get all creamy. You will probably have to add some water to dilute it, so start with just a bit and add in as you need to thin it out.  As you stir it around, it will pick up all the bits of flavor left at the bottom of the pan.  This only takes a few moments, so just add your crunchy bacon to the top of your salad, pour on the warm dressing and toss.  It’s a BLT in a bowl!!!  Full of flavor and makes a great summertime dinner.

For those of you who really need that bit of bread, use your favorite gluten-free (or regular if you are still eating that) bread, chop it up in big chunks, and toast in a saute pan with some olive oil and salt until crisp and crunchy. This makes the best croutons and would be fabulous mixed in with your BLT salad.

New Cookbooks

I am so happy to report that two of my favorite authors/resources have new cookbooks available.  Check out Quick and Easy Meals from Mark Sisson (the Primal Blueprint guru) and you can pre-order Gluten-Free Cupcakes by Elana Amsterdam (the almond flour expert).  New recipes – I can’t wait!

Paleo Foodie

I found another great blog to check out: http://paleofoodie.blogspot.com/.  She has loads of recipes, mostly paleo type with lots of nuts, coconut, veggies, etc.  I’ve already found a few I have to try!

Carrot Cake Cooler

One of my friends usually requests a carrot cake as her birthday treat, but this year, she decided to forego the carrot cake as she wanted to begin the year with an eye towards better health.  So, instead of a high fat, high sugar (and yes, yummy) carrot cake, we had Carrot Cake Coolers to celebrate.  Usually I think about these for a warm weather treat, but they are actually great anytime.  Besides, after all that holiday eating, I’m sure your liver would be happy with the extra love from the carrot juice!

This recipe is adapted  from the Carrot Cake Cooler recipe in The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Eating Clean by Diane A. Welland, M.S., R.D.

Ingredients:

  • 6 tbls. fresh carrot juice
  • 3 tbls. reduced fat (lite) coconut milk
  • 3 tbls. unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 4 tbls. rice milk
  • Cinnamon and nutmeg

Combine the juices and milks, stir, and serve over ice with a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg on top.

Christmas Cookies – Part of the Solution

After spending my life making tons of Christmas cookies full of fat, sugar, frosting, and sprinkles (of course!), this year, I decided to be more a part of the solution than the problem.  As much as I enjoyed making pretty cookies and sharing them with friends, I hated hearing about how everyone was sick after Christmas.  I know how sugar crashes your immune system (among causing countless other problems), and here I was, giving my loved ones little bundles of immunity-busting sugar.

This year, I decided to go against the grain, so to speak, and make treats that are gluten-free, refined sugar free, mostly grain free,  low in carbs, high in protein,and  high in fiber.  For you Paleo/Primal eaters out there, these are pretty close!

I used recipes from some well-known sources and tweaked appropriately.  Below is the list  – I encourage everyone to think about creating some new, healthier traditions and maybe try some of these recipes.  For those of you who have tasted some of the ones I made, let me know what you think. (Really!)

Molasses” Spice Cookies, by Elana Amsterdam – www.elanaspantry.com.  I substituted molasses for the yacon syrup since I couldn’t find it locally.  I’ll have to order some online and try them again, but these came out great using the molasses, and they ended up tasting like a gingersnap but they were soft and chewy like a molasses cookie.

Nikki’s Healthy Cookie Recipe from www.101cookbooks.com.  These have become favorites!

I used Elana Amsterdam’s recipe for Hamantaschen for the triangle-shaped cookies, and also used the same dough recipe for the  traditional Thumprint cookies, filling them with cranberry-blueberry fruit spread.

Pecan Shortbread from Elana Amsterdam’s book: The GlutenFree Almond Flour Cookbook which is highly recommended!

Dina’s Delightful Cookies from www.elanaspantry.com.  (I added 1/2 tsp. cinnamon and substituted date paste for the agave nectar – date paste is just dates and water put through the food processor till smooth…. ratio is 1 cup dates to 1/2 cup water).  I made one batch with raisins, then a second batch with apple juice-sweetened cranberries, some orange zest, and a dash of cinnamon.

Dark Chocolate Bark – dark chocolate with cashews, pistachios, raisins and apple juice-sweetened cranberries.

Pumpkin Snack Cake

This recipe is adapted from a Pumpkin Brownie recipe by Shelley of www.thisprimallife.com.  Anyone interested in a primal lifestyle should definitely check out her site.  This is a pretty generic recipe, similar to the nut butter muffins I make which are great for all of us with multiple allergies.  Shelley suggests getting creative with substitutions, and I look forward to trying lots of combinations.  The pieces shown above were made with the following recipe, but don’t stay in the box with this one.  Try different nut butters, spices, sweeteners, add-ins, etc. and if you come up with something you love, please share!

  • 1 cup almond butter
  • 3/4 cup mashed pumpkin, fresh or canned
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup date paste*
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1-1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup currants

Mix all ingredients and pour into a greased 8×8″ pan.  Bake at 350° for approximately 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  9 large servings.

* Date Paste:  Easy to make by putting about 1 cup of dates, 1/2 cup of water, pinch of salt and squeeze of lemon juice into a food processor.  Puree till smooth.  If you feel like it’s too sticky, add water slowly until you get the consistency you desire.