It was a sunny afternoon yesterday, one of those perfect, bright, in the seventies days, and everyone was busy going here and there in a flurry of activity. Ming and her buddy, (that’s Lily) were longing to go outside and play, but at the moment it just wasn’t happening. So, she was content to gaze out the window with Lily by her side. I am sure she was dreaming of what she would do it she were outside. Maybe she would chase a bird, or grab a stick and get Lily to chase her. She loves to lounge in the sunshine, basking, or roll in the grass, and Ming loves to smell Flowers. She really does! She will go right up to a beautiful blossom and smell it. I call her Ferdinand after the childhood story about a bull that was supposed to bull fight, but just wanted to smell flowers. Do you know the book? She and Lily did get to go outside later in the day for a walk and a romp. It is a joy to see her enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. Then she was content to come inside again and dream. I love lazy days like this day, and so does Ming.
Monthly Archives: September 2014
Ooooo lalala! This chicken is moist and juicy! I don’t know about you, but I pretty much like stuffed anything, because it usually means extra flavor and deliciousness. I developed this recipe recently because boneless chicken breasts can be juicy and flavorful when done right, and anything but boring! So here we go! I hope you try these, they are nutritious and so festive!
You can prep these up to a day in advance and store them in the refrigerator for a super fast dinner. I served them with a tarragon cream sauce, but they are great without it. The sauce bumps it up to extra fancy.
Cranberry Apricot Stuffed Chicken Breasts
4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
6 Dried Apricots, unsulphured organic is best
1/4 Cup Dried Cranberries, sweetened with juice
1/4 Cup Sliced Almonds
2 Scallions, green tops only, thinly sliced
1 Teaspoon Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
1/4 Teaspoon Pink Himalayan Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper
3/4 Cup Almond Flour, fine
Himalayan Pink Salt
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Soak the dried apricots 30 minutes in very hot water to soften. Set aside and while they are soaking gather the rest of your ingredients. In a small blender or food processor, puree the apricots after draining off the soaking water. Add Sunflower Seed Butter, Salt, Pepper and Lemon Juice and fully incorporate. Stir in by hand the cranberries, sliced almonds and scallions.
Slice your boneless chicken breasts in the center to make a pocket for stuffing, but don’t slice all the way through. Like this:
Once they are stuffed, you are ready to coat them. It is simple. Crack the egg into a shallow dish, put the almond flour in another shallow dish, and dip the chicken into the egg on both sides, then roll in the almond flour. Repeat for all four breasts. Then season them with salt and pepper as you would like. You can at this point cover then and refrigerate until you are ready to cook them.
Pre-heat your oven 375º degrees. Heat an oven proof pan over medium high heat on your stove top and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When oil is hot, add the chicken breasts and brown on both sides. This will take approximately 3 minutes a side. After browning, they will not be completely cooked. Slide your oven proof pan with the chicken into the pre-heated oven for 15 to 20 minutes until cooked all the way through, 365º degrees in the center.
Serve with Tarragon Sauce found here. (optional)
Here is a quick and easy cream sauce that pairs nicely with chicken or vegetables.
It is dairy free! It is shown here with my Cranberry Apricot Stuffed Chicken Breasts.
1/4 Cup Dry White Wine
1/2 Cup Full Fat Coconut Milk, no additives
1 Teaspoon Yellow Mustard
1 Teaspoon Horseradish, no sugar added
1 Teaspoon Dried Tarragon
1/2 Teaspoon Pink Himalayan Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
Simmer all the ingredients until reduced by half! That’s it, and it is a delicious, dairy free, accompaniment to chicken or vegetables.
One of the best Fall traditions is pumpkins! There has been a lot in the media lately about some of the pumpkin spice beverages out there and the less than healthy ingredients they contain, even though the are deliciously addictive. I have a figure friendly, healthy, real food solution to a pumpkin spice beverage craving that will leave you feeling great with no sugar crashes or slumps.
The Pumpkin Spice Flavor Bursts are only 65 calories, contain all natural ingredients, including real pumpkin, and are frozen individually for convenience. The recipe makes twelve drop-ins. They have a true, delicious pumpkin spice flavor, are dairy free, and sweetened with just 1/2 teaspoon of honey per serving. If you like yours sweeter, you can add more. You also get 15% of your RDA of vitamin A from the real pumpkin each beverage contains along with beneficial spices. You can use these all-in-one flavor drop-ins for coffee, lattes, tea or steamers.
Real Pumpkin Spice Beverage Drop-ins
1 1/2 Cups Canned Pumpkin (this one is organic and SCD Diet legal)
1 1/2 Cups of Full Fat Coconut Milk, room temperature (this is my favorite and SCD Diet Legal)
3 Tablespoons of Pure Vanilla Extract
2 Tablespoons Clear Honey, warmed in the microwave more or less to taste
4 1/2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
1 1/2 Teaspoons Ground Ginger
1 Teaspoon Ground Allspice
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cloves
Line a muffin pan with good quality natural unbleached muffin papers. They have a non-stick coating on the inside for easy removal. Add your pumpkin to a medium mixing bowl. Whisk the warmed honey into the pumpkin. I like mine just slightly sweetened. You can add more or less honey depending on your taste. Whisk in the room temperature coconut milk and vanilla extract. Finally, whisk in all your spices. Using a level Muffin size scoop or a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop 1/4 cup of the pumpkin beverage drop-ins mixture into each muffin cup. Level by tapping the bottom of the pan on the counter top to flatten and place the pan in the freezer until they are frozen solid. After they are frozen, remove them from the muffin pan and store in a gallon zip bag in the freezer. When you need a pumpkin spice beverage, take one serving from the freezer and add it to your coffee, latte, tea or steamer. It is good to have the beverage slightly hotter than normal because the pumpkin spice drop-in is frozen. I like to put everything in a shaker and shake it up then pour it into a mug, but you could also use a whisk in your mug. This is the shaker I use (It is Awesome to get a frothy beverage!)
I hope you are enjoying Fall and pumpkin season!!! I look forward to having one of these every day!
I love little energy bites when I am on the go, in a hurry, or after an afternoon workout. The pace seems to always pick up when the school year starts doesn’t it? Summer has been relaxed and more laid back with the schedules, but now we are watching the clock more and checking our daily calenders. Am I the only one?
These little bites are a delicious, healthy snack that is portable. The brazil nuts add selenium which good quantities of vitamins, anti-oxidants and minerals, and figs are full of nutrients and fiber, and just taste wonderful! The tart dried cranberries are lower in sugar than other dried fruits and give the bites a sweet tangy burst of flavor. (use dried cranberries sweetened with apple juice.)
You can make these in your oven or a food dehydrator. They are easy and a delicious, healthy addition to your snack rotation that might save you time and your sanity when you are on the run.
Brazilian Cranberry Fig Bites
12 Dried Figs (soaked in hot water 30 minutes)
1 Cup Raw Pecans
1 Cup Raw Brazil Nuts
1/2 Cup Unsweetened Coconut
1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries
1/4 Cup Clear Honey
1/4 Teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt
1 Teaspoon Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
Directions: Soak your figs submerged in very hot water for 30 minutes to soften. Add them to a food processor with the pecans, brazil nuts and coconut and pulse until they are a fine consistency. Add remaining ingredients to the food processor and pulse again until it is combined and a sticky consistency that holds together. Scoop into tablespoon sized mounds. (I used a tablespoon cookie scoop, but you could also use a spoon) and roll into balls, then flatten slightly with the palm of your hand. Place on your dehydrator trays or on a parchment lined cookie sheet if you are baking.
Dehydrate for 18 hours at 105º degrees or bake in your oven at 250º degrees for 45 minutes.
I like to individually package them in twos so we can grab them and go.
Enjoy these! They are so good and good for you!
Sometimes I just gotta have something crunchy! Crackers are especially nice, because I like something to go with the crunch, if I am not eating them plain for a quick crunch fix. You can dress up a cracker with toppings. I personally like to pile them with meat and veggies or eat them with a salad. Some of the benefits of pumpkin seeds are healthy fat, magnesium, zinc, tryptophan, and studies also show they aid in hair growth. Sunflower seeds contain many beneficial vitamins as well, including B vitamins and vitamin E.
This recipe for crackers is free of all major allergens, no nuts, dairy, soy, gluten, grain, and they are easy and fast.
You will need a high speed blender or food processor to grind the nuts into flour, two parchment lined cooking sheets, and a rolling pin if you want them thin.
1 Pastured Egg or 1 Flax Egg, See Here for good directions on How to Make One
2 Tablespoons Tahini
2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil, melted or Olive Oil
2 Teaspoons Lime Juice
1/2 Teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt
Directions: Pulse the seeds in a blender or food processor until you have a very fine flour consistency. Transfer the ground seeds to a bowl. and add the salt. Next Whisk egg and incorporate it into the nut flour mixture. Melt the coconut oil and tahini in the microwave together for ten seconds then whisk to incorporate, whisk in the lemon juice to the coconut oil mixture. Add the liquid ingredients to the nut flour, egg mixture and stir vigorously until a ball forms and the ingredients are thoroughly blended.
Divide dough in half, form into balls and place on two separate pieces of parchment paper. Top each sheet with another piece of parchment paper to roll them thin and keep the dough from sticking to your rolling pin. Roll or pat each cracker round out until 1/4 inch thick. Take off the top parchment paper and bake in the oven 325º degrees for 15 minutes until golden brown. After they cool, break into pieces. Store cooled in an airtight container.
The air is starting to cool here in preparation for Fall, and that makes me crave popovers! According to James Beard, although they resemble Yorkshire Pudding, they are purely an American creation. I have a lot of English heritage, and grew up eating recipes my Grandmother made from what she called “the old country” (England). So here is a version of a popover that I find to be Fall Comfort Food in my humble opinion. It is a little American, with an Italian Flair and a bit of English whimsy, but mostly they are plain delish! I added some good quality parmigiano reggiano, which is SCD Legal, but if you don’t tolerate dairy, they are equally delicious without it. They are so, so good hot from the oven! They are fun to eat, and I used leftover popovers to pack sandwiches for my daughters lunches the next day. Just split them and fill them for a mini sandwich. So, enjoy a little Fall comfort food and make some popovers!
Italian Bacon Popovers
You can use a popover pan like this, but a muffin pan works just fine! It makes a dozen puffy popovers!
2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil or Ghee, Melted
1/2 Cup Cooked, Sugar Free is Bacon (4 slices) cooked and chopped
8 Large Pastured Eggs
1 Cup Full Fat Coconut Milk
1/2 Cup shredded Parmigiano Reggiano, optional Omit for Dairy Free
1/4 Cup Coconut Flour
1/4 Cup Scallions, green tops only, sliced
1 Teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1 Teaspoon Pink Himalayan Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
Preheat your oven 400º degrees. Place a half teaspoon of melted coconut oil or ghee in each popover or muffin pan cup and brush it up the sides. Crack eggs into a mixing bowl and whisk together with the coconut milk, whisk in the coconut flour and keep whisking briskly until no lumps, stir in the remaining ingredients, then fill each popover or muffin cup 2/3 full with batter. Don’t overfill, leave room for them to pop up! Your batter will look like this.
Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake 30 – 35 minutes keeping an eye on them until they are golden brown. Don’t be tempted to open the oven door. Think Souffle! When they are done, remove them from the oven and take them out of the pan while still hot and cool. Eat them warm, or they make a very nice mini-sandwich!