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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

 

Lemon Baked Cod with Cucumber Plum Salsa

If you are looking for a fresh and light entree, this Lemon Baked Cod with Cucumber and Plum Salsa is perfect! The salsa is delicious over fish, and with just a few ingredients.

Lemon Baked Cod with Cucumber Plum Salsa

I am trying to eat seafood twice a week, and I like creative ways to enjoy it. Cod is a good source of B-12, selenium, phosphorus, protein, choline, Omega 3 and more. A fruit and vegetable salsa on top of the baked cod with the tang of a splash of white balsamic makes this the perfect spring dish, and also fantastic for the waistline, being a source of lean protein, while still being very satisfying! Gotta go try on my swimsuits soon. Does anyone else dread shopping for those? I love the quote, “Unlike Swimsuits, Flip Flops Fit Year after Year!” 🙂

Lemon Baked Cod with Cucumber Plum Salsa

Lemon Baked Cod with Cucumber Plum Salsa

Preheat the oven to 350º degrees F.

First the Salsa:

You want your salsa to have time to sit while the fish is cooked to marry the flavors.

Ingredients:

2 Ripe Plums, washed, peeled and diced

1/2 English Cucumber, peeled and diced

1/4 Cup of Red Onion, finely diced

2 Tablespoons of White Balsamic Vinegar (my go to 12 Year Aged White Balsamic – I don’t receive commission for sharing this. If you have an oil and vinegar shop, get yours there. It is superior.)

1/4 Teaspoon of Sea Salt

Directions for the Salsa: After you have chopped everything, toss the plums, cucumber and red onion with the white balsamic and salt, and set aside to meld the flavors. Now the fish!

Ingredients for the Cod:

4 Wild Caught Cod Filets

Zest of One Lemon

2 Tablespoons of Lemon Juice

2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

Sea Salt and Pepper to Taste (don’t be stingy, the fish will thank you.)

Directions: Brush a tablespoon of olive oil on the fish, both sides. Use more if needed. Season your fish with sea salt and black pepper, and rub it with the lemon zest. In a non-stick, oven safe skillet, add the other tablespoon of olive oil, and heat to a shimmer over medium-high. Add your seasoned fish, and cook three minutes, then flip the fish gently and cook for another three minutes. Pop the fish in the oven and bake for five to seven minutes, or until the fish registers 145º degrees in the center. Be careful to check it after five minutes, because you do not want dry fish, and it cooks fast. Remove the cooked fish from the oven and drizzle the lemon juice. When serving, mound the Cucumber Plum Salsa generously on top of the fish….delightful!

 

Lemon Baked Cod with Cucumber Plum Salsa

 

 

Tuna, Avocado Egg Spirals with Gremolata Dip and Truffle Aioli

I had to guard these spirals when I was developing the recipe in order to have a chance to photograph them for you all! It was a Saturday morning, and the kids and hubby were home, and I didn’t dare turn my back. 🙂 I have been watching my baby Grandsons during the week, so I develop recipes mostly on Saturdays these days.

Tuna and Avocado Egg Spirals with Gremalota and Truffle Aioli Dipping Sauce

The two dips for these delectable spirals stand alone, so you could easily double the recipes to have more sauces on hand. I have been eating gremolata on everything savory lately. I love the salty lemon flavor with the bright taste of parsley. The two dips eaten with the spirals makes them very fun to eat! Who doesn’t love a dip, let alone two?

Tuna and Avocado Egg Spirals with Gremalota and Truffle Aioli Dipping Sauce

You can eat these highly nutritious spirals as soon as you assemble them, or wrap them up after rolling, and refrigerate them until you are ready to eat! Take them out of the refrigerator and slice the wraps right before you want to have them. They are a little easier to slice when cold, but oh so good right away as well!

Tuna Avocado Egg Spirals

Tuna, Avocado Egg Spirals

Ingredients: For each Egg Wrap you will need:

3 Pastured Eggs

1 Tablespoon of Water

1/8 Teaspoon of Salt

Pinch of Black Pepper

1 1/2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

Whisk the eggs, water, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. In a 14 inch non-stick skillet, add the olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add the egg mixture, and swirl the pan to spread the egg evenly. Cook for a few minutes until the middle is starting to set and the edges are no longer runny. With a large rubber spatula, gently flip the egg wrap, and cook about 30 seconds on the other side. Slide out of the pan onto a cutting board.

Tuna Filling (this is enough for two egg wraps, if you want to make one wrap, half the recipe)

Ingredients:

2 Cans of Wild Albacore Tuna (I buy this kind that is mercury tested)

1/2 Cup of Mayo (I use Avocado Oil Mayo here)

1/4 Cup of Diced Dill Pickle

1/2 Teaspoon of Sea Salt

1/4 Teaspoon of Black Pepper

1 Ripe Avocado (diced) This does not go in the filling. It is used when assembling the spiral.

Directions: Mix the tuna filling together.

Gremolata Dip

Ingredients:

3 Tablespoons of Garlic Infused Olive Oil (or 3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil and a Clove of Minced Garlic)

Zest of 1 Organic Lemon

2 Teaspoons of Dried Parsley

1/2 Teaspoon of Sea Salt

Directions: Whisk the ingredients together.

Truffle Aioli

Ingredients:

1/4 Cup of Mayo (my favorite is healthy avocado oil mayo here)

1 Tablespoon of Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice

1 Tablespoon of Garlic Infused Olive Oil

1/8 Teaspoon of Truffle Salt (here)

1/8 Teaspoon of Black Pepper

Directions: Whisk all the ingredients together. Store refrigerated.

Now to Assemble the Spirals:

Lay out the egg wraps, spread them with half the tuna filling each. Sprinkle each wrap with half of the diced avocado. Roll them up snuggly, and then slice into 1 1/2 inch slices with a bread knife. Serve with the sauces.

Serves 2 to 4 people depending on if you have a Papa Bear or a Baby Bear appetite!

 

 

 

Coconut Flour Orange Quick Bread or Muffins

I am enjoying the Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins I shared so much that I decided to make an Orange Muffin version that can also be made into a loaf, because I like choices!  These healthy muffins are fantastic because the texture is fine and moist and without the grains and refined carbs. When baking with coconut flour, recipes require more liquid, because coconut flour is highly absorbent. So eggs are perfect, because they give the muffins protein and healthy fat from the yolks. Eggs in baking are great for leavening and texture as well.

Coconut Flour Orange Muffins

Coconut Flour Orange Muffins

The orange zest really bumps up the orange flavor, and fresh squeezed orange juice is used to enhance the texture, flavor and brightness of the muffin. I find muffins so cheery when I sit down to relax and read about something exciting like travel or planning a new garden! Hmmmmmm, not sure why, but it puts me in my happy place! 🙂 So here is a photo of the loaf, and keep scrolling for another muffin picture and the recipe!

Coconut Flour Orange Quick Bread

Coconut Flour Orange Quick Bread

 

Coconut Flour Orange Muffins

Coconut Flour Orange Muffins

 

Coconut Flour Orange Quick Bread or Muffins

Preheat the oven to 325º degrees F. Set out a 12 cup muffin pan, or medium loaf pan if making the bread. Line the muffin pan with muffin papers, and if making the loaf, grease the pan and line it with parchment paper.

Ingredients:

6 Eggs

2 Bananas (ripe with some black spots)

1/2 Cup of Coconut Flour

1/3 Cup of Olive Oil (or Coconut Oil)

1/4 Cup of Collagen (optional but great for hair, skin, nails and digestion)

1/4 Cup of Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice

2 Tablespoons of Honey

1 Tablespoon of Orange Zest (make sure you have a fantastic peel for the most flavor)

1/2 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Soda

1/4 Teaspoon of Sea Salt

If making the loaf – Thin Orange Slices including the peel, halved.

Directions: In a food processor, blend the bananas and eggs until no chunks remain and you have a creamy yellow mixture. Add the remaining ingredients, and process for two minutes. Scraping the sides of the processor once. Let the batter sit for 5 minutes. Scoop the batter into 12 muffin cups, or pour into your prepared loaf pan. If making the loaf, add the orange slices on the top decoratively. (See photo)

Bake in your preheated oven for 35 minutes if you are making the muffins, or until the tops spring back when lightly touched with your finger. For the loaf, bake for 65 to 70 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool five minutes before removing the muffins or loaf from their pans to cool completely. Well, you can eat a warm muffin, but please cool the loaf completely…..it’s the baker in me. Add some decorative zested orange to the tops of your muffins if desired.

Happy Muffining! I know that’s not a word, but I like it!

Eat Your Nutrients!

Eat Your Nutrients!

 

 

 

 

 

Smooth and Peachy Coconut Milk Ice Cream

When Spring is getting close and the days are lengthening, I start craving fresh fruity flavors. The beauty of freeze dried fruit is the flavor is intensified, because it is concentrated. So, it is easy to make a fruit forward ice cream or cookie off season. I really like Karen’s Naturals freeze dried fruit. They are organic and contain just fruit, no additives or preservatives. This is a pretty straight forward recipe using just a few quality ingredients to make a smooth and peachy, dairy free, ice cream that tastes fresh, even when peaches are not in season!

Smooth and Peachy Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Smooth and Peachy Coconut Milk Ice Cream

This recipe makes enough for four generous servings of ice cream. It is dairy free, gluten free and honey sweetened. The squeeze of fresh lemon juice brightens the ice cream and gives it the perfect tang.

 

Serving Up Smooth and Peachy Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Serving Up Smooth and Peachy Coconut Milk Ice Cream

 

Smooth and Peachy Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Ingredients:

2 Cups of Full Fat Coconut Milk

1 Bag of Just Organic Freeze Dried Peaches (here)

1/2 Cup of Quality Honey (I use local)

2 Tablespoons of Pure Vanilla Extract

1 Tablespoon of Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice

1/8 Teaspoon of Sea Salt

Directions: In a high speed blender, puree all the ingredients. Chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours. Churn in an ice cream maker. I use this one.

Enjoy! You can store leftover ice cream in the freezer. It is easy to scoop straight from the freezer because of the higher vanilla content. Have a blast of peach before peach season to celebrate the coming of Spring!

If you want to make a fresh peach ice cream that is dairy free in peach season, check out my recipe for fresh and simple peach ice cream here!

Eat Your Nutrients!

Eat Your Nutrients!

 

 

 

 

Strawberry Pecan Granola Tart

You know what I love about February besides having three of my daughter’s birthdays in this month and Valentine’s Day? I start seeing good strawberries in the store again! I also find people are starved for color, and February is full of red and pink and hearts. These Strawberry Granola Tarts are just right!

Strawberry Pecan Granola Tart

Strawberry Pecan Granola Tart

The crust for the tart is a coconut pecan crust that is grain free. It rolls really well and blind bakes beautifully. The pecans and coconut in the recipe with a touch of honey makes it very tasty!

There is a jammy berry bursting filling that has berries cooked down to intensify the strawberry flavor naturally, and fresh strawberries stirred in afterwards, along with some coconut butter to add creaminess.

The granola on the top of this tart adds a crunchiness that is fun to eat and delicious with the creamy filling. It is crunchy and airy with the freeze dried strawberries, toasted coconut flakes and crunchy chopped pecans. The granola topping stands alone in my opinion, so make extra to snack on!

Strawberry Pecan Granola Tart with Coconut Pecan Crust

Strawberry Pecan Granola Tart with Coconut Pecan Crust

 

Strawberry Pecan Granola Tarts

Strawberry Pecan Granola Tarts

 

Strawberry Pecan Granola Tarts (makes two small or one pie sized)

Coconut Pecan Crust

For the crust: Preheat your oven to 350º degrees F.

In a food processor with a blade attachment add the following ingredients:

1/4 Cup of Coconut Flour

1/3 Cup of Pecan Halves

1/4 Cup of Coconut Butter (I could eat this brand right out of the jar)

1/4 Cup of Coconut Flakes (unsweetened, shredded)

1 Egg

2 Tablespoons of Honey

1/8 Teaspoon of Sea Salt

Pulse all the ingredients in the food processor until it forms a ball. Grease your pan of choice. This is either a full sized pie pan, or like the ones I used which hold 2 Cups each.

Roll out the crust between two pieces of parchment paper or plastic wrap with a rolling pin. If you have two pans, divide the crust in half, one for each pan. Take off the top layer of parchment after rolling the crust out, and carefully transfer it to the pans. It will probably need some patching, so use your fingers to form the crust to your liking. Don’t panic. 🙂

Bake for ten minutes, or until the crust is golden brown on the edges. Remove it from the oven and cool. Now let’s make the filling!

Coconut Pecan Pie Crust

Coconut Pecan Pie Crust

Filling

1 Lb. of Fresh Strawberries for making the jam filling

1 Cup of Fresh Strawberries for stirring in

1/4 Cup of Coconut Butter

3 Tablespoons of Honey

1 Tablespoon of Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice

a Pinch of Sea Salt

In a heavy medium saucepan over medium high heat, cook the ingredients. When the jammy filling comes to a simmer, mash the berries using a potato masher to break up the berries. Continue cooking for five to ten minutes at a high simmer until the mixture thickens,stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and fold in one cup of fresh diced strawberries. Set aside to cool.

Strawberry Granola Topping

This is an easy peasy granola, and you are going to love it!

1/4 Cup of Pecan Halves

1/4 Cup of Freeze Dried Strawberries (my favorite here)

1/4 Cup of Dang Lightly Salted, Toasted Coconut Flakes (they are amazing straight out of the bag…here. Easy to find in grocery stores too)

Directions: Break up the strawberries and coconut flakes with your hands or a knife. Coarsely chop the pecans. Mix them all together in a bowl.

Simple Strawberry Granola Ingredients

Simple Strawberry Granola Ingredients

Assemble the Strawberry Pecan Granola Tart.

Pour the Jammy Strawberry filling into the cooled pie crust, and spread it evenly. Sprinkle the delicious, crunchy Strawberry Granola Topping on top. Be artistic! Refrigerate for four hours before serving.

Happy February!

Dishing it Up! Strawberry Pecan Granola Tart

Dishing it Up! Strawberry Pecan Granola Tart

Eat Your Nutrients!

Eat Your Nutrients!

 

 

 

 

Chinese Orange Chicken

Juicy chicken thighs and fresh squeezed orange juice and zest really make this skillet to oven soy free Chinese Orange Chicken shine!

Chinese Orange Chicken

Chinese Orange Chicken

 

Coconut aminos is a fantastic substitute for soy sauce. I was thrilled to discover it several years ago, because it is hard to make some favorite Asian dishes without that distinctive salty umami flavor.

As with so many Chinese dishes, there is chopping and dicing required, but this Orange Chicken comes together very quickly after the prep, which can be done at your convenience, or all at once, and there is no messy deep frying. The total cooking time is about 25 minutes from stove to oven. Feel free to serve this with a steaming hot scoop of Jasmine Rice! There is plenty of sauce to meld into the rice. 🙂

Chinese Orange Chicken

Chinese Orange Chicken

 

Chinese Orange Chicken - Soy Free

Chinese Orange Chicken – Soy Free

 

Chinese Orange Chicken

Ingredients:

2 1/2 pound of boneless chicken thighs, diced into 2 inch pieces

2 Cups of Diced Carrots

1 1/2 Cups of Diced Yellow Onion

1/2 Cup of Sliced Green Scallions

1/4 Cup of Honey

1/3 Cup of a Good Quality Honey or Molasses Sweetened BBQ Sauce (like this or this both gluten free)

Zest and Juice of 1 Large Orange (make sure your microplane grater is sharp to get all the zest like this one)

3 Tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar

2 Tablespoons of Coconut Aminos (find it here)

3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil (Garlic Infused if you are eating Low FodMap)

3 Cloves of Garlic, Minced

1 1/2 Teaspoons of Sea Salt, divided

3/4 Teaspoon of Ground Ginger

Directions: Preheat your oven to 375º degrees. Use a large oven-safe, non-stick skillet, or stainless steel pan.

Add one tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and warm over medium high heat. Add the diced carrot and onion and a half teaspoon of sea salt. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the carrots and onions from the pan and set aside. Add the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil to the pan along with the garlic (or garlic infused olive oil) and let it just sizzle. Add the diced chicken. Your pan should still be over medium high heat. Don’t disturb the chicken for about five minutes or until it is browned on the bottom. With a large spatula, flip the chicken pieces to the other side, and brown that side for about five more minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together the orange juice, zest, honey, coconut aminos, ginger, cider vinegar, and bbq sauce. When the chicken is browned, add the carrots and onions back in and incorporate. Pour the sauce over the mixture, and let it come to a simmer. Pop the whole pan into the oven and bake for ten minutes. Remove from the oven. The sauce will have thickened just right and the chicken will be cooked through.

 

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