Monthly Archives: February 2015

Smokey Tomatoes Gratin (Grain-Free)

Smokey Tomatoes Gratin is a quick and elegant way to eat tomatoes. They are high in water content and fiber, and vegetables like tomatoes can help with hydration and regularity. The concept of crowding out means you don’t have to feel deprived or hungry. The more health giving foods you add to your diet, the less room you will have for other less nutritious choices, and the less you will want them. Adding in more vegetables is a great way to start crowding out. It can make a huge difference in your health without missing anything or being hungry. Make a commitment to eat two more vegetables a day for the next month and see if  you notice a difference. Pick one that is green and another colorful one such as tomatoes. See how you feel and let me know. Did you notice you lost weight, had more energy, clearer skin, better elimination? There are many benefits to eating lots of vegetables, and those are just a few. The long term effects of all the nutrients you are putting in your body will increase longevity, vitality, and make a huge improvement in your immunity. Make sure to take a look at the Dirty Dozen/Clean Fifteen list when purchasing produce, here is a free 2015 printable list you can take with you from Environmental Working Group, and enjoy this beautiful, healthy Smokey Tomato Gratin recipe to kick it off!

Smokey Tomatoes Gratin

Smokey Tomatoes Gratin (Grain-Free)

Ingredients:

4 Organic Medium Tomatoes, washed and halved crosswise

6 Tablespoons Blanched Almond Flour

1 Tablespoon Smoked Paprika

1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper

1/4 Teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt or Sea Salt

1 Tablespoon Dried Parsley

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Flaky Salt such as Fleur De Sel

Smokey Tomatoes Grain Ready to Broil

Smokey Tomatoes Gratin Ready to Broil

Directions:

Preheat your oven broiler and place the rack about 1/3 down from the top broiler.

Place Tomato halves on a cookie sheet. Mix together the almond flour, smoked paprika, black pepper, and Himalayan Pink Salt in a small bowl.  Sprinkle the gratin over the tomatoes evenly. Sprinkle with dried parsley. Drizzle the tomatoes with olive oil. Broil in the oven for 2 to 3 minutes, keeping a close eye on them, until the tops are golden brown.

Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and serve.

Eat Your Nutrients!

Eat Your Nutrients!

 

 

Strawberry Apricot Granola (Grain Free)

It is pretty easy to make your own granola, and it is worth the extra effort. This week I have a really delicious granola recipe for you that is grain free! If you like variety in your granola, this Strawberry Apricot Granola recipe is a delicious way to add it.  It may become your new favorite! It is definitely my springtime favorite this year! With nuts, seeds, fruit and healthy fat, what’s not to love? I like to grab a handful for a snack, and for breakfast it is good with dairy free milk and fresh fruit. It is also fantastic with yogurt.

Strawberry Apricot Granola with wording

Strawberry Apricot Grain Free Granola

Ingredients:

1 Cup Raw Pecans

1/2 Cup Raw Pistachios

1/2 Cup Raw Sunflower Seeds

1/2 Cup Raw Brazil Nuts

3/4 Cup Dried Strawberries (like these) not freeze dried

6 Medjool Dates

1/2 Cup Dried Apricots

1/2 Cup Very Hot Water

1/2 Cup Unsweetened Coconut Flakes

2 Tablespoons Cinnamon

1 Tablespoon Ground Flax

1 Tablespoon of Pure Vanilla Extract

1 Teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt or Sea Salt

1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil, Melted

Directions:

Preheat oven 325º degrees.

In a food processor with a blade attachment, puree dates, apricots, vanilla, coconut oil and hot water until it is smooth. Add the nuts, sunflower seeds, flax and coconut flakes and pulse until you have a medium grind and everything is sticking together nicely. Add in the cinnamon and salt and pulse to combine. Dice your dried strawberries into 1/2 inch pieces then add them to the food processor and pulse a few extra times to incorporate them.

Turn the granola out onto a parchment lined, rimmed baking sheet and bake in a 325º degree oven for 35 minutes, stirring every ten minutes, or until golden brown. Cool and store in an airtight container. Enjoy this delicious granola for breakfast or as a snack! It travels very well also!

Eat Your Nutrients!

Eat Your Nutrients!

 

 

Good Eats for a Lunar New Year Celebration!

CNY Year Collage Final

Gung Hay Fat Choy! It is the first day of the Lunar New Year Celebration, and I have put together a collection of recipes that you can make for a fun party! It is also known as the Spring Festival, and spring is just around the corner! Believe it, it is coming! This year is the year of the sheep. It is my daughter, Skyli’s year.  The date and animal changes every year, because it is based on the Chinese Lunar Calendar, you can see a calendar here and read fun facts! You have probably seen this calendar on a paper place mat at a Chinese restaurant.

Two of my daughters were born in China, so we celebrate every year, but you don’t have to be born there to celebrate! I have included here the Asian Fusion Shrimp Egg Custard with Scallion Oil Drizzle as a starter, Chinese Five Spice Chicken Bites, Asian Pork Ribs, Savory Carrot Scallion Pancakes and Matcha Green Tea Cookies. Serve it with some warm Jasmine Tea, Sliced Oranges (which signify good luck and prosperity in the coming year) and Cauliflower Rice or White Rice, and you have a party!

The Lunar New Year celebration lasts for two weeks, there are dragon dance parades, fireworks, good food and community culminating with the lantern festival. You will see a lion in the collage above. It is different from the dragon which comes at the end of the dragon dance parade. You can read more about Chinese New Year in China here. The decor is extraordinary during this time in Asia.  Google Chinese New Year Photos to see real pictures of the parade.

Here is a photo of my family in China several years back in the spring in Tiananmen Square.

Our Family in Tiananmen Square While Traveling in China

Our Family in Tiananmen Square While Traveling in China

There is nothing like traveling to the country of origin and eating the authentic food. It changed my entire view of Chinese food.

I hope you enjoy these recipes! For more delicious additions to your party, check out these Grain Free Chinese Almond Cookies on Tasty Yummies by Texarin Baking, or PaleoLeap’s Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry.

Happy Chinese New Year everyone!

Eat Your Nutrients!

Eat Your Nutrients!

Note: White Rice is not Specific Carb Diet approved so go with cauliflower rice if you are on it.

Ming Hibernates

Ming Hibernates

Ming Hibernates

I know dogs technically don’t hibernate, and people don’t either, but sometimes we kinda do.  With the shorter days of winter and colder weather here on the East Coast, Ming sleeps a lot more. She likes to find a patch of sunlight coming in through a window and camp out in the sunshine. Maybe she innately knows she needs her Vitamin D. She has a favorite blanket also. It is this red one. It came with her as a puppy. Did I mention she was a Christmas gift from my husband Doug? She is the first pet gift I had ever received. I can’t imagine not having Ming Ming, she has become such an important part of our family.

Ming does quite a few tricks now, but never if you don’t have a treat in your hand. She will sit, shake, lie down, roll over and dance! Often, this is in succession in a wild frenetic attempt to obtain her treat. You have to see her dance! I have tried to fool her into thinking I have a treat in my hand and get her to do tricks, but she is too smart, I can’t fool her. You see, the way to Ming’s heart is through food, although she also enjoys a good scratch and a warm lap to sit in. That is not the way with all dogs, or pugs, even though they are known to be gluts. Our black pug, Lily, responds to praise and body contact. She will press against you tightly and close her eyes in ecstasy, no food involved. But for Ming, it is food. That is her love language.

So Ming continues to enjoy a relaxing winter, with a daily walk outside, good food to eat, good company, a patch of sunshine, and her blanket. Spring will be here soon. We will Spring ahead in a few weeks, and she will come out of her hibernation mode.

Cheesy Kale Chips

Are you a kale lover? Yeah, yeah, you have heard about all the benefits of eating kale, but you just don’t like it that much? Well, have you tried kale chips? It is the best way to initiate anyone into eating kale. Kale chips made in a food dehydrator are addicting! Just like a potato chip, but hey they are good for you! Here is a second variation of kale chips if you like variety, like I do! The Pizza Kale Chip recipe can be found here. Although my daughter’s like them both, they each have a favorite. Skyli’s favorite is the Cheesy Kale Chips and Jessica’s the Pizza Kale Chips. Try them both, they are so good!

Cheesy Kale Chips for blog

Kale has many health benefits, including fiber, B vitamins, vitamin A, K, C, Calcium, Copper, Potassium and Magnesium. I have been getting a lot of leafy greens in my diet lately and feel amazing! Fat helps digest and access the nutrients in greens, and the pine nuts and pumpkin seeds that give these chips a cheesy flavor, also add fat to the chips, as well as the walnuts, so you can absorb the nutrients!

Here’s the recipe!

Cheesy Kale Chips

Ingredients:

2 Large Bunches of Curly Kale

1 Cup Pine Nuts

1/2 Cup Raw Pumpkin Seeds (I used sprouted)

1/2 Cup Raw Walnuts

2 Red Bell Peppers, Seeded

1/2 Cup Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice

2 Tablespoons Honey

2 Scallions, green parts only

1/2 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder

1 Teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt or Sea Salt

Directions:

Taking your thumb and index finger along the spine of the kale leaves, strip the leaves in one swipe from it’s rib or stalk. Thoroughly wash the kale leaves under cool water. Lay out on paper towel in one layer to dry completely, 30 minutes to an hour. I like to use a salad spinner first to get most of the moisture off. It is important the kale is thoroughly dry if you want crunchy chips!

Meanwhile, make the “cheesy” seasoning. In a high speed blender, like a Vitamix, blend all the remaining ingredients to make the pizza sauce. In a very large bowl, place your dried kale and pour the sauce on top. Get your hands in there and thoroughly mix and coat the kale leaves.

Place on six teflon lined dehydrator trays and place in your food dehydrator at 118º degrees for 10 to 16 hours until very crisp.

In the dehydrator, they get crunchy like potato chips and stay that way! If you don’t have a dehydrator, and would like to own one, I highly recommend this one! I have two of them, and they come in handy for a lot of food, including fruit rollups……see the recipe for delicious Banana Coconut Leather here.

Enjoy getting your nutrients!

8 Servings

Eat Your Nutrients!

Eat Your Nutrients!

 

Apple Pie “Oatmeal” Cookies

These cookies are my latest obsession! They are grain free, but have the texture of a soft oatmeal cookie and the flavor of apple pie! They are also egg free, dairy free, have no added sugar, and are packed with nutrition from apples, walnuts, dates, currants and healthy fat! I also think these cookies rock because, if your child wakes up and asks, “Mom, can I have a cookie for breakfast?”, like mine have done, you can say “Yes” to these cookies. There is something about putting wholesome ingredients together in cookie form that makes kids really love to eat them………….me too!

Let’s bake some cookies!

apple pie oatmeal final

Apple Pie “Oatmeal” Cookies

Ingredients:

3 Cups Diced Granny Smith Apples, cored peel left on

8 Medjool Dates, pitted

1/2 Cup Very Warm Water

1 Cup Raw Walnut Halves

1/2 Cup Shredded Coconut, Unsweetened like this

1/2 Cup Dried Currants

1/4 Cup Coconut Oil

1 1/2 Tablespoons Ground Cinnamon

1/4 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg

1 Tablespoon Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice

1 Tablespoon Pure Vanilla Extract, no additives like this

1/2 Teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt or Sea Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda

Directions:

Preheat your oven 350º degrees. Set out two cookie sheets covered in parchment paper.

Place your pitted dates in the 1/2 cup of very warm water and soak for ten minutes to soften. Meanwhile, in a food processor, place your chopped apples and lemon juice. Pulse until they are finely chopped. Drain your soaked dates, and add to the food processor along with the vanilla extract and coconut oil. Continue to pulse. When mostly smooth, add the remaining ingredients except the currants and walnuts. Puree until smooth, about one minute. Finally, add your currants and walnuts and pulse until the walnuts are coarsely chopped, about six pulses should do it.

Using a tablespoon cookie scoop, make rounded mounds of cookie dough on the parchment lined cookie sheets, twelve cookies per sheet. Using a fork, flatten cookie dough mounds to about 3/4″ inch thick.

Apple Pie "Oatmeal" Cookie Dough Ready to Flatten

Apple Pie “Oatmeal” Cookie Dough Ready to Flatten

Bake in your preheated oven for 28 to 30 minutes. They will be soft and golden brown when you remove them from the oven. They will firm up when they are completely cooled.

Makes 2 dozen nutritious, delicious cookies

Eat Your Nutrients!

Eat Your Nutrients!

New England Clam Chowder

This week was “Eat the Pantry Week” at our house, and I made this amazingly delicious New England Clam Chowder from items I had on hand. Have you ever done that? You don’t go shopping unless it is an emergency item, and you cook from your pantry for a set amount of time. I have been making some really delicious food, it is a great mind exercise and creative outlet, plus I think I have saved about $500 bucks just by using what I already had on hand!

Whether you are eating from the pantry or not, this is a dairy free, low fodmap, Paleo clam chowder recipe that will warm your insides and nourish your body!

new england clam chowder for blog

New England Clam Chowder

Ingredients:

3 – 10 Oz. Cans of Clams, drained and juice reserved (I used Crown Prince)

8 Oz. of Sugar Free Bacon, chopped (you can get it at U.S. Wellness Meats or Pete’s Paleo)

3 Cups Diced Celeriac Root (this will naturally thicken your soup without starch)

1 1/2 Cups Chicken or Bone Broth

1 Can Full Fat Coconut Milk no additives (like this)

3 1/2 Cups Diced Carrots

1 Bunch Scallions, sliced (green parts only)

4 Tablespoons Garlic Infused Olive Oil (I use this brand)

2 Teaspoons Dried Thyme

1 Teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt or Sea Salt

1 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper

Directions:

In a large dutch oven or stock pot, add 2 tablespoons of garlic infused olive oil and heat over medium high heat. Add your diced celeriac root and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of dried thyme, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Sautee for 8 minutes covered, stirring occassionally. After 8 minutes, add 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth or bone broth. Cover and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for 12 minutes until tender. Meanwhile in a small skillet, cook the chopped bacon. After the bacon is crisp, drain the fat and set aside.

Place your cooked celeriac root with broth into a food processor with a blade attachment and puree until very smooth, adding a little more broth if necessary.

In the same pan you cooked your celeriac root, add the remaining two tablespoons of garlic infused olive oil. Heat over medium high heat and then add your diced carrots, and sprinkle with the remaining 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper.  Cook until tender, about ten minutes. When the carrots are tender, stir in the green scallions, bacon and reserved clam juice. Then, incorporate the pureed celeriac root, stir in the coconut milk, 1 teaspoon of pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and bring to a medium high simmer. Continue to simmer for ten minutes. Finally, stir in the clams and warm through.

Serve!

6  servings

For a delicious grain free bread to go with your clam chowder, check out this Grain Free Sandwich Bread recipe from Danielle Walker of Against All Grain or this Simple Bread recipe from Elana’s Pantry.

If you have an experience with eating from the pantry you would like to share, please tell us about it in the comment section!

Eat Your Nutrients!

Eat Your Nutrients!

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