Monthly Archives: June 2017

Double Chocolate Bakery Style Cookies

Double Chocolate Cookies - Coconut Flour Baking

We talked about getting in your vegetables, which is so important to our overall health! Community and celebrations are equally important and a key factor that Octogenarians living in the Blue Zones of the world all have in common. Celebrations invariably have food, including sweet choices. Balance is key and not diving in face first into a whole batch. Believe me, I’ve been there! Think college years! I myself love a delicious treat that is full of healthier ingredients! So, here is one we enjoy here at my home that I am proud to bring to any gathering!

Double Chocolate Cookies Date Sweetened Coconut Flour

This Double Chocolate Jumbo cookie recipe is a healthier version of a coffee shop cookie, but just as delicious, with less guilt, and more benefits! I used a date paste I made myself with just pureed dates. You can easily make a batch and keep it on hand in the refrigerator, or make just enough for this recipe. It takes very little time! There are local pastured eggs in these beauties, Enjoy Life chocolate chips (here) which are dairy and soy free, raw cacao and heart healthy olive oil. Let’s bake!

Jumbo Double Chocolate Grain Free Cookies

These are perfect for a picnic or while sitting in the park waiting for the Fireworks!

Double Chocolate Jumbo Cookies with Coconut Flour

Double Chocolate Bakery Style Cookies

Preheat your oven to 350º degrees.

Date Paste Directions:

Soak 1 1/2 cups of Medjool Dates in hot water for five to ten minutes until soft. Drain and remove the pits. Blend in a blender with 1/2 cup of hot water. That’s it! Date Paste. You will use 1/2 cup in this recipe. The rest lasts a long time in the refrigerator, or you can freeze it or make just enough for these cookies.

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup of Date Paste

1/2 Cup of Olive Oil

1/3 Cup of Coconut Flour

1/4 Cup of Raw Cacao Powder (here)

2 Pastured Eggs

1 Tablespoon of Grass Fed Collagen (optional here)

1 Teaspoon of Pure Vanilla Extract

1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Soda

1/4 Teaspoon of Sea Salt

1/2 Cup of Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips (here)

Directions:

With a handheld electric mixer, cream the olive oil and date paste. Add the vanilla and the eggs, one at a time, blending after each addition. In a separate bowl, sift together with a wire whisk the coconut flour, raw cacao powder, salt, baking soda and gelatin. Add it to the date and egg mixture, and blend thoroughly. Fold in the mini chocolate chips, then let sit for five minutes. The coconut flour will thicken up the batter. Scoop the dough onto a large parchment lined cookie sheet with a muffin sized scoop, spacing the cookies evenly into 8. Flatten slightly with a fork so the tops are even. Bake for 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and cool on the cookie sheet for ten minutes. Mmmmmm!

Enjoy your day!

Double Chocolate Cookies Grain Free and Yummy

Teriyaki Chicken and Quinoa or Cauliflower Rice

This is a hearty dish utilizing my new teriyaki sauce recipe that is soy free and healthy. I have been experimenting with quinoa lately in my cooking, and find I tolerate it very well. This is a pleasant discovery since I admire the benefits of quinoa, such as it being a good source of protein, with all nine essential amino-acids in it and fiber. I buy sprouted quinoa here. If you are eating grain free or strict Paleo, substitute cauliflower rice (here is a video demonstration from Cooking Light on how to make delicious cauliflower rice) for the quinoa.

Teriyaki Chicken and Quinoa

The Teriyaki Chicken and Quinoa also has one of my favorite things………lots of veggies! I am The Eat Your Veggies Lady after all! I have included broccoli (cruciferous vegetable), carrots (a root vegetable and a good source of Vitamin A and healthy carbs), scallions (alliums which are cholesterol lowering and cardiovascular protective), mushrooms (a significant source of zinc, calcium, iron, potassium, folic acid and more), and I just couldn’t help myself, I added some fresh basil on top of each bowl at the end, because I like it’s flavor so much (it’s benefits are, disease fighting, antibacterial, and combats stress).

First you will make the sauce. This can be made ahead and kept in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it. It is a wonderful condiment to have on hand, so any extra will not go to waste.

Soy Free Teriyaki Sauce

Makes 2 Cups

You will need a medium sauce pan and a blender.

Ingredients:

10 ounces of Frozen Pineapple (or fresh)

1/2 of a Red Apple, cored but not peeled

1/3 Cup of Chopped Yellow Onion

1/3 Cup of Coconut Aminos (a soy free alternative made from coconut sap)

1/3 Cup of Fresh Orange Juice

1/4 Cup of Apple Cider Vinegar

2 Cloves of Garlic, minced or 2 Teaspoons of Garlic Infused Olive Oil

2 Tablespoons of Honey

1/2 Teaspoon of Ground Ginger

1/2 Teaspoon of Sea Salt

Directions: Add all the ingredients to the sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until the apple is tender, about five to ten minutes. Cool for fifteen minutes. Add it to your blender and puree until smooth. Add the sauce back to your sauce pan, and simmer again until reduced by a third. Store refrigerated in a glass container until ready to use.

Now to prepare the Teriyaki Chicken and Quinoa!

Teriyaki Chicken and Quinoa – Soy Free

 

Teriyaki Chicken and Quinoa

Prepare enough Quinoa to make 4 servings according to package directions. Set aside, covered.

Ingredients for Teriyaki Chicken:

2 1/2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into 1 inch cubes

4 Cups of Fresh Broccoli Florets cut into bite size pieces

4 Cups of Carrots, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch pieces (this is about 4 large carrots)

6 ounces of fresh mushrooms, diced (I used oyster mushrooms. Use the kind you like.)

1/2 Cup of Scallions, sliced

2 Tablespoons of fresh Basil

4 Tablespoons of Olive Oil, divided

1 1/4 Teaspoons of Sea Salt, divided

1/2 Teaspoon of Ground Black Pepper, divided (omit for nightshade free)

Directions:

In a large skillet, add 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil. Turn your burner to high heat, then add the chicken cubes to the olive oil and sprinkle it with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Brown the chicken on one side for 5 minutes, then flip and brown the other side for 5 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan into a large bowl and set aside. Don’t worry if it is still pink. You will cook it more.

In the same pan, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Over medium high heat add the diced carrots and a half teaspoon of  salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Cook for five minutes. Then, add the broccoli to the carrots and cook another five minutes, stirring frequently. You can add a little broth or water if needed.

Add the carrots and broccoli to the chicken in the bowl.

Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and the mushrooms. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and brown the mushroom over medium high heat. This should take about 5 minutes.

When the mushrooms have browned, add the chicken and vegetables back into the pan and bring up to a sizzle over medium high heat. Stir in the scallions and 1 cup of prepared teriyaki sauce. Add more if needed. Cover and cook over medium heat for five minutes until the chicken is cooked through.

Oyster Mushrooms

Chicken and Broccoli

 

Teriyaki Chicken and Quinoa

Serve beside the cooked quinoa, sprinkle with fresh chopped basil and some extra scallions.

Teriyaki Chicken and Quinoa

Serves 4 – 6 people with leftovers. 🙂

Eat Your Nutrients!

 

Eat Seven Servings Plus of Vegetables a Day and Notice the Difference!

Benefits of Eating Broccoli

Good Morning Everyone!
Are you getting your veggies in every day? I challenge you to eat at least seven servings of vegetables daily! Yes, at least seven, and I prefer eleven. It isn’t as hard as you think! A serving is roughly 1 cup of raw vegetables, 1/2 cup of cooked, or 2 cups of raw, leafy greens. If the leafy greens are cooked, such as spinach, chard and kale, it shrinks considerably! The average person eats less than three servings daily of vegetables. That’s not enough nutrients for your body, and vitamin pills have their place, but they are never the same as real food working synergistically with your miraculous machine (your body). Look at all the benefits of broccoli alone! Here’s an example of getting those vegetables into your day in a variety of colors.
Breakfast – Throw some leafy greens into a fruit smoothie or the eggs you are scrambling. Be generous, and that’s two servings to jump start your day! Make a vegetable omelet. Add some vegetables from last night’s dinner to your breakfast on the side.
Lunch – Include a salad with your meal. It is filling, and you can get in at least three servings of vegetables. Think Tomatoes, Romaine, Shredded Carrot, Cucumbers, Onions, Peppers, Scallions, and how about some Basil?
Dinner – Make a deliberate decision to always serve three vegetables at dinner. This is easy in a stir fry, or a vegetable medley. Last night I made a quinoa shrimp bowl for the whole family. It had carrots, scallions, basil, broccoli, and zucchini in it. We also had a salad.

Here are a few recipes from my blog that are vegetable forward main dishes, and there are many more in the recipe index.

Bacon, Tomato and Basil Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Butternut Squash Lasagna

English Cottage Pie

Grilled Vegetables and Shrimp Toss

Below, I have a handy free Seasonal Produce Guide to help you out!

Seasonal Produce Guide


Find ways you like to cook and eat vegetables, and just do it! Over time, you will notice a huge difference in how you look and feel! Summer is one of the best times to meet this challenge. There is an abundance of fresh, local vegetables available. I want you to feel your best! So, I’m curious, how many servings are you guys getting on average a day? How do you eat them?
Enjoy your Wednesday!
Sandra Shields, Certified Health Coach

Lemon Fig Cake

Lemon Fig Cake on a Plate

Lemon Fig Cake

Lemon Fig Cake (Coconut Flour)

Date Sweetened Lemon Fig Cake Using Coconut Flour

Yes, I love cake, and I am a healthy eater and consider myself vegetable forward. I don’t eat refined sugar anymore. I ditched it several years ago in favor of natural sweeteners like dates, honey, maple syrup and coconut sugar. After some practice and experimentation in the kitchen, and reading a lot of cookbooks on baking with alternative sweeteners, (You should see my library, seriously. Does anyone else read cookbooks like novels?) I find I prefer the natural sweetener’s flavors over the white stuff. I like options! Dates give substance to baking, are a whole food, and have a rich flavor similar to brown sugar. Honey is distinct, light, and good for neutral baking. It does have a tendency to over brown at too high of a heat. Maple syrup is very distinctive. I think everyone can picture that flavor on their tongue. It is delicious in chocolate breads and with pecans for example, and coconut sugar has an earthy flavor and is closest in texture and application to refined white sugar.

Lemon Fig Cake Grain Free

Lemon Fig Cake

So, tada………introducing Lemon Fig Cake! Don’t worry if you think you don’t like dates, they are not predominant in the cake. They just add moistness and structure to the cake and contain a ton of trace minerals, calcium and fiber. Dates are a fruit and a whole food sweetener.

Lemon Fig Cake

Ingredients:

6 Eggs (I used local)

1 Cup of Medjool Dates (Soaked and Pitted)

1/2 Cup of Coconut Flour (here)

1/2 Cup of Apple Sauce

1/2 Cup of Dried Figs, halved

1/4 Cup of Olive Oil

2 Tablespoons of Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice

Zest of 1 Lemon (organic)

1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Soda (Gluten Free here)

1/2 Teaspoon of Pure Vanilla Extract (I use this kind)

1/4 Teaspoon of Fine Sea Salt

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350º degrees F. Line an 8 inch square baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.

Place the dates in a bowl, and cover with very hot filtered tap water, and soak for five minutes. Halve your dried figs from stem to base and set aside. If they are extremely dry, you should soak them as well. In a food processor with a blade attachment, crack six eggs. Pit the dates after soaking and add them to the eggs. Then, process the eggs and dates until you have just little flecks of date in your batter. Add the remaining ingredients, except the figs, and process for about one minute until the batter is a smooth creamy yellow and a thick cake batter. Scrape the batter into your prepared parchment lined pan. Now, add your figs decoratively on the top, cut side up and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cake springs back when lightly touched with your finger. Cool on a wire rack, then remove the cake from the pan using the parchment paper as handles.

Lemon Fig Cake Batter (Grain Free)

Batter ready to bake shown above.

Servings 9

 

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