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Archive of ‘Recipes’ category

Hurricane Weekend Recipes: Real Pumpkin Latte and Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

It’s been more than just a rainy weekend in North Carolina this week. It’s actually been raining for over 12 days straight. We had one day without rain (oh glorious, Wednesday, hot and humid!) but otherwise it has been drizzling rain for two weeks and this weekend we celebrate the arrival of Hurricane Joaquin. Although it’s been a rather mild storm, the flooding has been the biggest detriment to the area. It’s wet and soggy and the natives are restless to get out of the house. It’s times like these when you make the best of your situation, crank up the oven and get to cooking.

IMG_5537I’ve got a couple of go-to comfort-food recipes that are worth sharing. Of course, you know me, they are not loaded down butter-sugar style, but made more nutritious, yet still delicious. First let me introduce my favorite evening or weekend beverage, the Real Pumpkin Latte. So the way I like to make it is a ratio of 2/3 cup of almond milk and a couple of tablespoons of  coconut milk stirred in. Straight coconut milk is a little too rich for me, so adding coconut milk on top makes it creamy without too much heaviness. So there is still room in the cup for pumpkin, which will be a generous 1/4 to 1/3 cup stirred in. The I add about 6 drops of vanilla flavored liquid stevia. (Feel free to add more or less according to what tastes good to you) Then I add about a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice and grate some fresh nutmeg on top. It turns out to be quite thick and creamy with the pumpkin and coconut milk and spiced just right with some fresh ingredients.  It’s about 90 calories, 6 grams of fat and 7 carbs and 127mg of potassium! Thanks pumpkin.

 Real Pumpkin Spice Latte:IMG_5546

2/3 cup Almond Milk (unsweetened)

2-3 Tablespoons Coconut Milk (full fat)

1/3 cup Canned Pumpkin

6-8 drops Vanilla Liquid Stevia

1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice

Fresh Grated Nutmeg

The other recipe is one I’ve tweaked over the years since we make our first Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies. This recipe is not paleo, it contains oatmeal, but is has much less sugar and healthier fat than traditional chocolate chip cookie recipes. I calculated that one cookie has only 1 teaspoon of maple syrup- that’s not bad!! Likewise, each cookie has only 1 teaspoon of coconut oil.

Gluten Free Lower Sugar Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

IMG_55491/3 cup maple syrup or honey

1/3 cup coconut oil, melted

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 Tablespoons ground flaxseed

1/4 cup coconut flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup rolled oats

2/3 cup chocolate chips

Mix together wet ingredients before coconut flour, flaxmeal and baking powder. Fold in oats then chocolate chips. Use cookie scoop to portion out 12 cookies.  Bake at 350 for 11 minutes. They are about 170 calories per cookie, 18 carbs and 15 grams of fat, so they aren’t exactly weight loss friendly, but a tasty rainy day recipe indeed!

 

Smoked turkey leg with sweet potato, kale and shiitakes- a hearty winter soup

smoked turkey soupWhat is that perfect winter soup that you crave? Do you have a favorite? Love some chili or hearty beef stew. This weekend I sort of invented a new favorite. My husband and I had a table set up in our local farmer’s market craft fair (see the crafty goods here) and by afternoon we were ready for some vendor eats! I was surprised and delighted to find out that one of the food trucks had smoked turkey legs. Have you seen those things? Huge! It was more than enough meat for both of us to share awkwardly between prospective customers. Not too easy to eat with a plastic fork either. But anyway, I told him “hold onto that leg- I’m going to make a soup out of that bone!” And so there you have it- the beginnings of a new favorite recipe…

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Try This not That for the Holidays

veggie crockReady for quick swap out for some notorious holiday favorites? It’s not just food, but many holiday traditions that can lead to us feeling lethargic, unenergized and uninspired.

It’s easy to get caught up in celebrations, but some simple changes can keep the holiday spirit alive as well as support your health. Can you make this year the one where you don’t get indigestion, avoid getting sick, and stay awake after the big meal? Try out some of these holiday celebration alternatives to keep your season alive and bright!

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My New Favorite Breakfast Cauliflower “Oatmeal”- grain free, nut free, sugar free

cauliflower porridgeThis recipe is an adaptation from a breakfast porridge recipe created by my dietitian friend Aglaee Jacobs. She’s shared a version in my summer cookbook that you can try. Ever since I went grain free, I was sad to say to goodbye to my morning oatmeal. It was a pleasurable start to my day. Then as if by magic, this recipe has come to my rescue.

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17 Ways to Savor Summer Before it’s Over

vw bus vacationThe summer is a nostalgic time of year where we hope to experience a more leisurely pace, have a chance to spend some time in the sun and take advantage of opportunities to get out to the beach or mountains. Many of us enjoy getting some vegetables out of the garden or taking longer walks in the evening. The tragedy is that for so many of us, we continue to work as many hours as we do throughout the rest of the year, never making time to get that suntan we hoped for or scheduling that camping weekend. If you’re realizing the fact that it’s already August and you’ve not done nearly enough of the fun summer activities you planned to do, keep reading. There’s still time to have a fantastic summer ahead. (more…)

The Paleo Kitchen Cookbook: a review

paleo kitchenI had a nice surprise in my mailbox when I came back from vacation this past weekend. And it wan’t just a stack of bills. I received my copy of the New York Times Best Selling Cookbook “The Paleo Kitchen” by my friend George Bryant from Civilized Caveman Cooking and Julie Bauer from PaleOMG.

So I get a little geeky about new cookbooks, I AM a foodie after all. But I really got excited about this one because of the Paleo theme. Don’t let it intimidate you if you aren’t familiar with the Paleo Diet, the cookbook is for everyone, Paleo or not. I gravitate towards Paleo cooking because there’s no processed ingredients, and it’s based on whole foods that are nourishing to the body. If you want a refresher on what Paleo is about check out my previous article here.  In this cookbook, they do a fantastic job of getting creative in recipes without adding too  many ingredients to make it impractical.

One of the first things I look at is the ingredient list. If it’s too long, I just don’t feel inspired to try to make something new. In The Paleo Kitchen, the ingredient list is quite manageable and most are pretty common to have on hand. If the recipe does call for something out of ordinary, it’s usually just a one or two items.

There were plenty of new ideas that I hadn’t seen before, flavor combinations that sounded enticing and things I definitely wanted to try like Bacon Pecan Cabbage and Pumpkin Tomato Soup. There’s also plenty of decadent desserts to choose from, including Paleo versions of traditional favorites like ice cream, brownies, cheesecake and chocolate chip cookies.

The authors do a great job explaining Paleo eating and permitted Paleo foods though I found this section a bit dull, perhaps because I’ve read my share on the Paleo Diet and am not personally looking for this information in a cookbook. However, anyone new or unfamiliar with the tenants of Paleo eating should find it quite useful and easy to understand.

Overall, whether one decides to follow Paleo or not, I was delighted by the assortment of easy to fix recipes in this cookbook. When it comes to nourishing quality meals, I was impressed by the collection George and Juli have put together. My only suggestion would be to make the book available as a spiral bound copy so that it can lay flat on the counter as I prepare another recipe.

Last night I made the Pineapple Steak Kabobs- tonight will be the Perfect Ribs! You can find The Paleo Kitchen on Amazon in a hard copy or Kindle format. (hmm maybe the Kindle version would solve my counter top problems?). Let me know if you’ve checked out the cookbook and what your favorite recipe is!

 

 

Two ingredient all natural bug spray

bug spraySo it’s summer time and we are all in the backyard, grilling, enjoying the new deck, loving the cool evenings except- ugh- the mosquitoes!

I can’t bear to use the store brand bug repellents because 1. the chemicals and 2. the terrible smell! I can’t stand to reek and know I’m reeking of chemicals, even if it keeps the bugs away. Plus, I don’t want to use anything that would negatively affect my backyard bees.

I’d wanted to try a DIY solution, but assumed they wouldn’t be as effective. Also, many of the recipes I looked at called for multiple ingredients, and a wide variety of essential oils that I didn’t have on hand. Then, recently the resurgence and popularity of essential oils brought about the Thieves blend, which happens to be a combination of oils recommended in many of the DIY bug spray recipes. I happened to have this Thieves blend (cinnamon, clove, lemon, rosemary and eucalyptus) and figured the absolutely most simplest way to make bug spray was to just mix it with water. And you know what -it works!!

I actually stood out in my yard and tested it and watched the mosquitoes fly around me but not come in for a landing. The best part is that you end up smelling like a spice cake.

Here’s my simple recipe.

Two Ingredient Natural Bug Spray

  • 20 drops Thieves Essential Oil
  • 1 ounce water

Shake well before application.

Have you tried a natural insect repellent? What is your favorite way to keep away the bad bugs in your back yard?

 

Kale crackers

kale-crackers-259x300Are you ready for a taste of spring? One of the first spring items you can find at the farmer’s market in the early spring months are hearty greens like kale. Sometimes when we pick up these lovely greens, it can be overwhelming to eat it all before it starts to lose its nutritional value. So what to do with a boat-load of kale?  I was faced with wilting and withering kale in my fridge this week and was determined not to let it go to waste so instead of making kale chips again, I opted for kale crackers instead. The crackers are quite a bit more hearty and filled with extra nutrients. The recipe can also be adapted to make it suitable for raw vegan diets as well.

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Holiday Cranberry Orange Salad

It’s the time of year to enjoy some special seasonal flavors. Right  now cranberries are available in the grocery store and oranges are abound and make a nice combination. The recipe I’ve come up with is a cranberry orange relish or cranberry orange salad. There are just 3 ingredients: 1. 5 cups of cranberries, 1 whole orange and 1 tablespoon of honey. Check out the video to see how it all goes together in under a minute!

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10 Lunch Box Ideas Safe for Food Allergies

bento-6Whether it’s back to school or back to work this week, many of us end up eating lunch away from home. There are many benefits to brown bagging it. It saves money, reusable containers help reduce waste, you can pack healthier options, and it’s quite portable.

But what happens when the inevitable happens? You (or your children) get bored of the same old lunch box? What if it’s a bit more complicated because you need to avoid certain foods due to allergy or sensitivity?

I’ve been working with a local non-profit group Food Allergy Families of the Triad to help tackle this very problem.

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