Friday, November 28, 2014

Best Bun-less Beef Burgers Ever! Best Grass-fed Burgers! BEST BURGERS!



This is my husband's recipe for bun-less burgers. They are so delicious that I have stopped craving buns for my burgers. Seriously, this is the bomb; the best tasting burger ever. Served with a fried egg on top and sometimes avocado... it makes my mouth drool. Sometimes, if we have them, he uses duck eggs. When you break the yolk on top, it is like a delicious sauce. I don't even use mayo or mustard on these.

*variations: Mushroom-swiss.  Omit egg and throw in 8 ounces sliced mushrooms with the onions and use swiss cheese.

Eric's Incredible Bun-less Burgers
serves 2

1 medium yellow or sweet onion
4 Tablespoons bacon grease
around 1 lb grass fed beef, divided into two 1 inch thick patties
2 chicken or duck eggs
slices of cheddar cheese, or whatever kind you like
avocado, sliced (optional)
sea salt and pepper
cast iron skillet
metal spatula
oven mitt (seriously)


Slice onion into rings. Melt all the bacon grease in the skillet and add the onion rings. Sauté over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until soft and caramelized. This takes about a half hour. Scoot caramelized onions to the side of the pan and add the patties. Salt and pepper the top to your liking. Cook until blackened on bottom and flip. Do NOT press down the burger with your spatula, this makes it less juicy. Salt and pepper this side. Cook until desired temperature, we like them medium rare. Turn off heat. Top burgers with cheese and put skillet under broiler for just a few minutes until melted. USE AN OVEN MITT to take our your pan. Remove burgers onto plates and top with onions. Still using the oven mitt, fry 2 eggs in the skillet, careful not to break the yolk. Top burgers with fried egg and avocado if you wish. Serve immediately.



Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Savory Winter Squash Tart with Kabocha Squash

Kabocha Squash
This is my Thanksgiving side dish. I absolutely love the taste of Kabocha squash.  If you don't have one, you could use acorn squash, butternut squash or another similar native squash with a sweet dark flesh. You could even use canned pumpkin with a little pumpkin pie spice.  But I love this tart exactly the way it is.

**I roasted two medium sized Kabocha squash for this recipe, which made about 4 1/2 cups.  I may use the rest of the puree with butter, salt and pepper as a side dish, similar to mashed sweet potatoes.



Savory Kabocha Squash Tart

1 savory crust recipe (see below)
2 & 1/2 cups roasted** and pureed Kabocha squash/substitute (written above)
5 organic or farm eggs 
1/2 cup cream
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/8 teaspoon or dash ground white pepper (optional)

** roasting squash** Preheat oven to 375˚F. Cut your squash in half horizontally with a large knife.  Scoop out seeds and strings and discard (or save seeds for another recipe).  Place face down in a cookie sheet that has a lip.  Spear the rind/outside with a fork a few times, to let steam escape.  Put into oven, and then when it is already on the rack, pour enough water so that the bottom of the whole sheet has 1/8 - 1/4 inch water in it.  Bake about 30 - 50 minutes, until flesh is soft.  It may also lose its round outer shape, which is great.  Pull out of oven- careful not to spill the water on your hands (make sure no kids around you). Cool, then puree.

Preheat oven to 375˚F. Place the squash in bowl and blend, adding eggs one at a time.  (TIP: Always crack your eggs in a separate bowl first so you don't get eggshells in mixture).  Add cream, salt & pepper (if using).  Bake around 35- 50 minutes, until set or almost set... it is okay if a very small center is not quite set because you don't want to dry it out... remember it's an egg dish.



Almond Flour Savory Crust
adapted from the Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook by Elana Amsterdam (buy it!!)

1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour (any kind)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons minced onions, shallots, or scallions
4 Tablespoons butter, or coconut oil
1 tablespoon water
9 or 10" pie or tart pan

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line your cupcake tins with liners.
Melt in a small saucepan on very low heat your butter, or coconut oil (if needed), until just melted, then remove from stove top.
In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, salt, onions, and baking soda. Add the butter and water and mix together. Press into tart or pie pan, and keep pressing it up the sides until it is uniformly thick all over.
Bake for 5 - 10 minutes until golden brown. Remove and let cool.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Low Carb Vanilla Cupcakes with Pumpkin Spice Icing



I made these for the lovely Fall season... and they are yummy!  I am back to low carb erythritol and stevia mix (although I ran out of erythritol right before I made the icing so I just used stevia). This is an older vanilla cupcake recipe so I happen to have the carb counts on the cupcake itself, although I am sure you have seen that I don't do them anymore.  I'm just too busy, and this is only my hobby.  I hope you enjoy these!
The cupcakes have 3.15 ECC each. The only ingredient I worried about in the icing was the canned pumpkin but it only had 3 ECC's (effective carb counts) in the entire 1/4 cup. I personally don't count carbs, I look at the ingredients instead and only use good ingredients.

Vanilla Cupcake

6 TBLS butter, room temperature or High Quality Expeller Pressed Coconut Oil, semi melted or soft
6 eggs, separated
2 TBLS whole milk or half and half
½ cup erythritol or 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar or mix of two
½ teaspoon NuNaturals stevia or ¼ teaspoon of another brand
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ cup coconut flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
sifter
parchment paper or silicone muffin pan

Use a silicone muffin maker or line your muffin tin with cut out parchment paper pieces, oiled or buttered on both sides. You can use a pen to mark where it touches the sides of each indention then cut them out to make it fit perfectly (do one, then use it as a guide). Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F (205 C).
Whip egg whites in a clean and dry bowl until soft peaks form, set aside. In a separate bowl, whip butter or oil. Then add the egg yolks, milk, erythritol or coco sugar, stevia, salt, and vanilla and blend.
In a [gf] flour sifter, combine coconut flour and baking powder and sift into ingredients. Mix well to ensure no lumps. Beat in a 1/3rd of egg whites to soften the batter, then fold in rest.
Pour batter into a well greased muffin pan or well greased paper liners and bake at 400 degrees F (205 C) for 15 minutes. Cool.

Pumpkin Spice Icing

2/3 cup heavy cream
4 ounces organic cream cheese, soft
4 Tablespoons pureed organic pumpkin
3/4 teaspoon NuNaturals Stevia or 3/4 cup sugar sub
1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice (make your own here)

Whip cream, then set aside.  In another bowl, whip cream cheese, stevia, and spice.  Add pumpkin, mix well.  Fold in whip cream, or mix lightly with a rubber spatula. Taste and adjust sweetness and spice.  Spread on cooled cupcakes.  Store these cupcakes in the fridge if they last the day.  But, EAT THEM at room temperature because all that coconut gets hard in the cold fridge.



Monday, November 10, 2014

Product Review: Arctic Chill silicone ice ball makers




Arctic Chill offered to send me a box of their ice ball makers and I said yes.  I am under no obligation to write anything but an honest review.  But, I love them! They are easy to use, are made of silicone (no plastic! yay!) and pretty easy to peel off and put them in your drink.  They would be awesome for cocktails. I have been using them for tea or ice water and my 3 year old loves them too.  I use them to make drinking water more exciting, ha! They do last way longer than regular ice cubes, and I just have to say, they are fun.  You can buy them at Amazon for $10.20 for four* or $4.99 for two*, which is a pretty good price.

Just follow the directions on the outside of the box... pretty simple.  I run a little water on the ball to open it, then on the ice ball to loosen it before I plunk it into my glass. This glass pictured are my favorite new Anchor Hocking lead-free glasses* I use for everything, including coffee. (Don't make the mistake of thinking all glass is lead free! These new Riedel glasses tested for 30% lead here.)

* Affiliate Links help me pay for ingredients at no cost to you. Thank you.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Gluten-free Crème Brûlée with Stevia & Coconut Palm Sugar



I made this easy easy crème brûlée and even bruléed it with coconut palm sugar- came out great!! I use stevia but you could use honey if you wanted.  Sometimes I put a touch of honey to round out the stevia flavor.
Those of you who also use raw milk and cream (I highly recommend!), this is not a recipe you can used slightly soured milk for. Use it fresh. And, save these egg whites, we can put them to use in something!!

ALTERNATIVE: You could use a thin layer of melted Lindt 85% chocolate (which is low carb) on top and refrigerate. It will crack like a crust if you make it thin enough. . if you don't want to use coconut palm sugar.

I adapted this recipe from Martha Stewart's website.

Gfree Crème Brûlée with Stevia & Coconut Palm Sugar

serves 4

1 1/4 cups organic heavy cream
1 1/4 cups organic milk
2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
6 large egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon high quality stevia extract powder
2 Tablespoons honey or stevia to taste
~2 teaspoons coconut palm sugar

Preheat oven to 300˚F. Make sure there is a rack 1/3rd the way up from the bottom. Choose a roasting pan big enough to hold 4 six-ounce
dessert cups and fill with enough water to go halfway up the cups. Place the pan in the oven, without the cups.

Combine cream and milk in a medium sized saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat as soon as it boils.

Whisk together well the egg yolks, stevia, and honey, if using. Slowly whisk in the hot milk mixture. Add vanilla and combine well. Pour mixture into cups and place them into the pan of water. Bake 30 - 40 minutes until custard is set and is no longer liquid when lightly touched in the center. It may crack under your finger but as long as your finger is not breaking through to liquid, it should be cooked. Remove from oven, and place cups on a wire rack to cool if you are serving warm, or cool off then place in fridge to serve later. These are great cold, but are delicious warm as well if you are short on time.

When ready to serve, make sure there is a oven rack near the top and turn the oven on High Broil and let it heat up. Sprinkle a little (1/2 tsp each cup) coconut palm sugar on top of each dessert cup. Place under broiler for one minute or until it looks wet, boiling, and about to burn. Take out, let cool a few minutes, then serve.


Friday, July 25, 2014

Sugar Free Thai Iced Tea

I love Thai iced tea, though I could do without the orange food coloring and the sugar.  I thought I'd try my own version of low carb Thai iced tea with liquid vanilla stevia and it worked! I definitely recommend this NuNaturals brand I used only.  Otherwise, I can NOT vouch for it's Thai Ice Tea flavor! They do not pay me to say that, I just like it... (although NuNaturals, feel free to sponsor my blog!).
Thai Iced Tea is regularly made with coconut milk, so use that if you are dairy free! I used straight up grass fed organic cream from my farmer, but you aren't surprised, Dear Reader! ;)
Thai Iced tea usually looks layered. If there is a trick to that, let me know what it is! I couldn't figure it out.

PS  These little Star Wars glasses were the perfect size for my tea!





Sugar-Free Thai Iced Tea

Brewed organic black tea, chilled. I used 365 brand but this one looks good too
Coconut milk or organic cream or half and half
Ice


Add ice to your glass. Fill the glass 3/4 full with tea. Fill the remaining 1/4th with cream.  Add stevia to taste.  I started with 7 or 8 drops. Stir and mmmm.



Monday, July 7, 2014

Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Oatmeal Kitchen Sink Cookies with Coconut Sugar


I love oatmeal cookies. These came out A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Also, you all know your oats MUST be labelled "gluten-free" (and cost more than you would like to spend) or they will make your stomach hurt (if you are gluten-intolerant)!  There is some refrigerator time so better start early if you have a craving.
SUBS: I have made these with steel cut and with regular GF oats, they both come out great.  The steel cut oats make them crunchier.  You may sub a cup of sugar or sugar substitute for the stevia and coconut sugar, or use one cup of coconut sugar and omit the stevia.
To make with sugar free chocolate chips, you can use an 85% chocolate bar and chop it up like this (yes that is a link to my very first post).
So I am calling these Kitchen Sink Cookies because they have everything in them except for the kitchen sink.  Substitute all you want but I have to tell you it's FANTASTIC with macadamia nuts and cherries (I had some left over from the chocolate cookies). I often replace the cherries and macadamia nuts with pecans and sugar-free dried cranberries, as well.
Make these small!!!
2014 update: I used steel-cut oats, soaking the 3/4 cup in about 5 teaspoons apple cider vinegar (or scant 2 Tablespoons) and water covering the oats by 2 inches for 48 hours... therefore making them more digestible.  I rinsed them in a colander, then let them air dry there for 20 minutes or so. I had to increase cooking time by about 5 minutes... but YUMMY! So glad I did it.  I feel better about those pesky oat carbs!

GFCF Oatmeal Kitchen Sink Cookies
makes about 2 dozen small cookies. 

1 1/2 cups high quality almond flour, like Honeyville (not Bob's RM)
3/4 cup GLUTEN-FREE oats (For steel cut version, I used Arrowhead Mills )
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup dried cherries, or other dried fruit
1/4 cup macadamia nuts, or other nuts
1/4 cup dairy-free chocolate chips or chopped 85% chocolate bar
2 Tablespoons sugar-free coconut flakes (optional)
5 Tablespoons high quality EV Coconut Oil
1/2 cup coconut palm sugar - I like SweetTree
1/2 teaspoon NuNatural Stevia or 1/4 teaspoon - to taste of different brand (I don't like any other brand, personally)
1 pastured egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium sized bowl, blend coconut oil and sugar together until blended.  Add egg and vanilla and mix again.  In a separate bowl, mix well almond flour, oats, baking powder and baking soda, cinnamon, and salt and mix well.  Add the dry ingredients a little at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Add, nuts, fruit, coconut, and chocolate chips and mix.  Cover and refrigerate at least an hour. 
Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Place teaspoons of dough (small!) on an ungreased cookie sheet (no parchment paper needed) and bake 8 - 10 minutes until edges are brown.  Cool on cookie sheet.  Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Peach Crumble

My brother gave me a whole lot of peaches from his peach tree, and I made them into this crumble. This is my basic crumble/cobbler recipe, of course, with with ginger added in (I started with this recipe and added to it). What a difference it makes to use ripe peaches in this. The frozen ones I often use may not be sliced at the peak of their ripeness, and have very little taste.  But this was delicious.  I hope you have a peach tree, as well!!
I don't say how much cinnamon and ginger to use.  Mainly because my ginger is clearly stronger than most bloggers' ginger (I buy it from Penzey's), as I have found through many failed ginger recipes... :)



Peach Crumble

A bowl full of peaches
1 Tablespoon honey, or to taste, optional (can sub coconut sugar or stevia and a little water)
1 1/2 cups almond flour
2 Tablespoons organic grass-fed butter or expeller pressed coconut oil, melted
1 farm or pastured egg- any size egg will work. I usually use a small one.
1/2 cup chopped nuts, I used pecans
1/3 cup coconut sugar, or sub 1/3 cup sugar sub  (maybe 1/2 teaspoon NuNaturals Stevia)
1/3 cup gluten free oatsoptional- You can sub more nuts
1/2 teaspoon gluten free vanilla extract
cinnamon and ginger, to taste
1/4 teaspoon sea salt


Peel and slice peaches, then pour them into a baking dish. Drizzle with honey (or stevia), ginger and cinnamon  (more cinnamon than ginger) to taste, and stir together.  If your honey is more solid than liquid, you can melt it in a small saucepan.
In a medium sized bowl, mix almond flour, melted butter or coconut oil, egg, nuts, coconut sugar, oats, sea salt, and vanilla. Add cinnamon & ginger to taste.  Mix well, then use your hands to combine it all together in a dough. Now, if using a small deep dish, you can cover it with the dough as if it were a big cookie.  If it is a wider dish, crumble the topping with your fingers over the berries so it will stretch.  It is okay if there is a little space between crumbles. Bake in pre-heated 350˚F oven for about 35 minutes or until peaches are bubbly and soft and topping is browned on edges.  

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Smoothie Pops!


I have been making lots of smoothie pops for quick, easy, healthy snacks for my 3 year old and myself.

I figured out a long time ago my son will eat anything frozen, and I was making these with just fruit and cream (or yogurt) when I thought, hey- I could be sneaking anything into these!  So I made a few of these concoctions and .. they are really good.  You canNOT taste the raw egg (shudder).  These are great for pregnant ladies too.

All those half uneaten bananas my child leaves around? They go into a freezer bag and I use them here.

I love frozen mango or peaches for this, and that will make it like ice cream even before you freeze it.  But anything works.  I usually mix a few things. The one shown consists of banana, mango, and raspberry.  All frozen organic from the store, except the banana half.

Since we are using RAW eggs, let's please consider the source. How to tell if your egg is bad.

You may use fresh fruit too, if you are just freezing it all until later.  I use frozen fruit because I like to eat some when I make it, too.  Using frozen fruit will result in ice cream texture, and fresh will result in smoothie texture.


Smoothie Pops

frozen or fresh fruit, chopped - example: home frozen banana half + half a bag of frozen organic peaches + a few frozen berries
grass-fed cream, full fat yogurt, or coconut cream
1 pastured/organic egg, or more if you are making a lot
Great Lakes Gelatin or other grass-fed gelatin- example: one tablespoon
Virgin Coconut Oil, carefully melted on low heat- example: 2 Tablespoons
push up pops or silicone ice pop molds
Vitamix or strong blender


Pour in a good amount of fruit into your Vitamix. Pour in cream (yogurt/coconut cream) until it covers it by about an inch. Crack your egg in. Pour in gelatin.  Mix until all mixed well.  While it is still running, pour the VCO in the top, so that it mixes well and doesn't glob.  Turn off, pour into molds and freeze. (And eat some if you like).

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Lower Carb Gluten Free Cornbread / Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread

This is not a grain free recipe but sometimes, you just have to have cornbread.  On a rare occasion, I also eat Louisiana Red beans & Rice!  I'm a Louisiana girl! So, I made a lower carb version and had only one piece. This recipe is adapted from Bruce Fife's book, Cooking with Coconut Flour, which is a low carb gluten free girl's bible. I did change it slightly. You can replace the honey and erythritol with anything that equals 1/2 cup of sweetener but I like this this way because it makes it more moist.

TIP: separating the egg and beating the egg whites makes the recipe fluffier.  In this picture of Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread, I didn't beat the eggs so it is not as fluffy.  But, it was still delicious!

Level of sweetness of this cornbread is high, you can reduce the sweetener to lessen it.

Jalapeno cheddar cornbread with soaked red beans and andouille sausage


Lower Carb Gluten Free Cornbread

6 eggs
1/3 cup butter or coconut oil, melted
3 Tablespoons honey
3 Tablespoons erythritol
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup sifted coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup organic cornmeal

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 C). Grease a 8x8x2 inch baking dish or 8" - 9" pie pan. Separate 4 of the eggs and beat the whites in a clean dry bowl until they form a soft peak. Refrigerate until ready to add to recipe. Blend together the 4 egg yolks, erythritol, honey, vanilla, and salt. Add butter. Then add the other two eggs, one at a time, blending after each addition. Combine sifted coconut flour, baking powder, and cornmeal and whisk into batter until there are no lumps. Fold in the egg whites. Pour into greased baking dish and bake for 15 - 20 minutes.

variation (pictured):

Jalapeno Cheddar Gluten Free Cornbread

Same as above, omitting vanilla.  Once poured into pan, lay slices of (jarred) jalapeno all over the top of cornbread,  pushing them in slightly with a spoon.  Sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese all over the top, then bake.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Easy & Natural Watermelon Pops for Kids & Parties


I made these for my little boy's 3 year old birthday party and they were a big hit! So easy, and since it's the whole fruit, not juice or anything added, it's a pretty healthy treat for a kid. Just make sure you have room to stand these all up in the freezer if you make a lot.  I made 25 for the party!

TIP: warm the bottom of the dixie cup with your hand before peeling it off.



Natural Watermelon Pops
makes as many as you want

organic seedless watermelon, or regular with black seeds removed
3 ounce dixie cups and popsicle sticks
or popsicle molds (two kinds I like, here and here)
food processor

Put squares of watermelon flesh in food processor, and process on medium speed until it is liquified. It's ok if there are a few black seeds (looks good in the pop) but not too many.  White seeds are fine, too. Pour into molds or dixie cups.  Add a popsicle stick to dixie cup.  It is ok if it falls to the side, as long as it stays in the cup. Or you can try some aluminum foil shenanigans to keep it standing up but I found it wasn't worth the trouble, and worked just as well if it fell to the side. Place in freezer carefully for a few hours until frozen.
To serve, put in a bowl and provide a bowl for the dixie cup, once you peel it off to eat the pop!


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Blackberry Cobbler


We have so many HUGE blackberries ripening in our yard! It's so fun!  I have been making this cobbler a LOT lately... originally from Everyday Paleo. I've probably made this recipe over 20 times the last year! It works with every kind of fruit.  I love it with peaches, with a little added ginger.  Or plums, with a little added anise... mmmm.

Blackberry Cobbler

A bowl full of blackberries
cinnamon
honey, to taste, optional (can sub coconut sugar or stevia and a little water)
1 1/2 cups almond flour
2 Tablespoons organic grass-fed butter or expeller pressed coconut oil, melted
1 farm or pastured egg- any size egg will work. I usually use a small one.
1/2 cup chopped nuts, I used pecans
1/3 cup coconut sugar, or sub 1/3 cup sugar sub
NuNaturals Stevia, to taste, optional
1/3 cup gluten free oatsoptional- You can sub more nuts
1/2 teaspoon gluten free vanilla extract, optional
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt


Pour blackberries in baking dish, drizzle with honey, stevia, and cinnamon to taste, and stir together.  Last time, I used about 1/4 teaspoon NuNaturals stevia, 1 Tablespoon cinnamon, 1-1/2 tablespoons honey for a sweeter cobbler. If your honey is more solid than liquid, you can melt it in a small saucepan.  Today, I melted my honey with some butter, because my backyard blackberries are very tart and not very juicy.

In a medium sized bowl, mix almond flour, melted butter or coconut oil, egg, nuts, coconut sugar, oats, sea salt, and vanilla. Add cinnamon to taste.  Mix well, then use your hands to combine it all together in a dough. Now, if using a small deep dish, you can cover it with the dough as if it were a big cookie.  If it is a wider dish, crumble the topping with your fingers over the berries so it will stretch.  It is okay if there is a little space between crumbles. Bake in pre-heated 350˚F oven for about 35 minutes or until blackberries are bubbly and soft and topping is browned on edges.  if your blackberries are large and not very juicy, and you opted for just stevia- they might not bubble but you want them to be soft.






Saturday, May 24, 2014

Low Carb Gluten Free Chocolate Nut Muffins



I have improved upon this old recipe of mine, and I love it.  You can use ANY nuts... you just need 2 Tablespoons of nut butter and nuts. I was thinking about making these with hazelnuts, but I didn't have enough to turn into hazelnut butter first so I did peanuts... yum.  I may try pecans next time!  I am back to using some erythritol for sugar sub on occasion, but you can sub coconut sugar if you'd like.  My son and husband loved these, even though they are low sweet.  They ate them with whole milk.

If you like a sweeter taste, increase erythritol/coconut sugar to a 1/2 cup or stevia to 1/2 teaspoon.


Low Carb Gluten Free Chocolate Nut Muffins
makes 6

3 pastured eggs
2 Tablespoons grass-fed butter or expeller pressed coconut oil, melted but not hot
2 Tablespoons grass-fed cream or coconut milk
2 Tablespoons nut butter
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup erythritol or coconut sugar
1/4 teaspoon NuNaturals stevia or 1/4-1/2 cup more erythritol or coconut sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup nuts
flour sifter
muffin tin, I like this silicone one that doesn't stink

Preheat oven 375F˚. In a medium sized bowl, blend oil/butter, cream/coconut milk, and nut butter.  Use sifter to add cocoa powder and blend.  Add, vanilla, salt, stevia and erythritol and blend.  Add eggs, one at a time, blending after each one. Sift in coconut flour and baking soda and stir until well mixed.  Add nuts, and stir again, until well mixed.  Batter will be thick. Spoon into greased muffin tins or cups.  Bake for 10 - 15 minutes or until peaked, maybe cracked.. you can take them out when it still looks a little wet in the cracks in the center, so they will be more moist.  Coconut flour products can get drier or more moist in your kitchen.  If you live in a humid climate, refrigerate them after a day to prevent mildew.  They are better the second day.. if you can wait that long!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Spinach & Cheese Quiche

Spinach & Cheese Quiche

This is my favorite quiche.  The crust is amazing... I pulled a twist on Elana's wonderful savory crust recipe from her first cookbook... using bacon grease... mmm.

Alternate version: I have also made this quiche with leftovers from a whole chicken baked with vegetables (ex: onions, garlic, green beans, and mushrooms).  Since it was about 3/4 cup, I just added 1/2 cup cream, 6 eggs, s&p, and topped with monterrey jack or swiss cheese. Picture at bottom.

Almond Flour Savory Crust
adapted from the Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook by Elana Amsterdam (buy it!!)

1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour (any kind)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon minced onions, shallots, or scallions
4 Tablespoons bacon grease (from organic pastured animals), butter, or coconut oil
+ a little extra for greasing a 9 inch tart pan.
1 tablespoon water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt in a small saucepan on very low heat your bacon grease, butter, or coconut oil (if needed) until just melted, then remove from stove top.
In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, salt, onions, and baking soda. Add the grease and water and mix together. Press the dough into a greased 9-inch or 10-inch tart pan.
Bake for 7 - 10 minutes until golden brown. Remove and let cool.

Spinach Filling:

1-2 Tablespoons organic grass fed butter
small onion, chopped
2-3 large garlic cloves, minced or diced
1/2 bag of frozen organic spinach, cooked to instructions OR fresh, cooked equalling about 5-6 oz.
7 eggs
1/2 cup cream
s&p
about 6 ounces sliced or shredded swiss cheese

Saute the onions and garlic into the butter until translucent. Add to a bowl with eggs, spinach, and cream and mix well.  Add salt and pepper, to taste.  Pour into baked crust and top with cheese.  Bake at 350˚F until browned slightly and just set in the middle, around 25 - 35 minutes.  Be careful not to over-cook it and dry it out. Let sit 5 minutes, then serve or refrigerate until later and heat up to serve.  Slice like a pie.. but loosen the crust from the sides with a knife before using a spatula to remove slice.

Leftover Quiche (alternate version in notes)




Monday, May 19, 2014

Chicken in Mushroom and Cream Sauce & My Blog's 5th Anniversary!

It was this blog's 5th Anniversary on the 4th, and I promised you all (following on Facebook) my very favorite recipe.  Thanks for hanging out with me this long, and I hope you enjoy this recipe.  I like it best with chicken thighs, bone in- tasty and much cheaper, too. The seasonings in this are just right, I love the mix of oregano, rosemary, and thyme in this- and when I can find lemon thyme, even better!

Make sure you read this recipe all the way through before cooking, so you don't accidentally throw your pan in the sink halfway through!  Notice that this serves two, so you will need to increase it if you are a larger family.

Optional: low carb zucchini noodles are great with this!
Optional: substitute vegetables for mushrooms



Chicken in Mushroom and Cream Sauce
Serves two.

1 lb [pastured/organic] chicken breasts or thigh, bone in or out- your choice
8 ounces mushrooms, wiped with a damp paper towel to clean, and sliced
1/2 medium sweet/yellow onion or a few shallots, diced
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
3-4 Tablespoons butter, grass-fed best
1 Tablespoon white wine, or chicken broth
1 cup cream, grass-fed best
pinch rosemary
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1 fresh twig of thyme (de-twigged) or lemon thyme (preferred), or 1/2 teaspoon dried
salt and pepper
Large saucepan with lid
wooden spoon

 Salt and pepper your chicken, and keep handy.  Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan, then add onions and garlic. Cook over medium heat for 2 or 3 minutes.  Add mushrooms, stirring constantly. Add wine or broth, and if it looks dry, add more butter (try 1 tablespoon). Stir. Remove mix from pan.

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in pan.  Keep it on medium heat. Using a wooden spoon, scrape bottom cooked bits in pan into the butter.  Add chicken and brown 1-2 minutes, flip and brown the other side 1-2 minutes.  Lower the heat to medium and add mushroom mixture back in. Stir together then cover and cook until cooked-> 5 minutes or so for boneless breasts, longer for bone-in or thicker thigh meat. Cook until just cooked through (no pink) to avoid getting tough.

When cooked, remove the chicken onto a clean plate (not the one you used when it was raw).  Add cream into pan, and increase heat a little to bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Cook a little longer to reduce the cream.  When it's thickened to your liking, add the seasonings and salt and pepper.  Taste to adjust seasonings and serve!



Sunday, March 30, 2014

Virgin Coconut Oil Candy- Quick and Easy Fat Bombs

This is my newest fat bomb recipe.  I needed a way to get more virgin coconut oil into my diet and my son's diet, but I am low on time.  This took no time at all! These are dairy-free, chock full of coconut, and easy to do. You could substitute carob, if you wish. You can also add a little honey, to smooth out the stevia, if you want.  But I find that honey in fat bombs spike my blood sugar, and make me crave and eat too many.  These should be satisfying.  If you are using another sweetener and feel like you can't get enough, it could be affecting your blood sugar.
PS I am not saying these are the best fat bombs ever, these are good for people used to a low-carb diet, little to no sugar, and like stevia. Makes taking spoonfuls of VCO infinitely easier! Here are my other fat bomb recipes. Also, these may help BF'ing mommies (see below).

Note For Parents (otherwise TMI Alert): I make these "candies" for my little boy to relieve constipation, too.  If you worry about the caffeine in cocoa for your child, use carob. When you use carob, use less sweetener.

Breastfeeding Mamas: These should work as grain-free lactation candies, if you stick to the recipe.  Please let me know in the comments, if you think it does.

Virgin Coconut Oil Candy- Quick and Easy Fat Bombs
makes about 15 very small ones, maybe only 5 big ones.  I used very small silicone molds

4 Tablespoons Virgin Coconut Oil
2 Tablespoons coconut cream
1 Tablespoon fair trade organic cocoa powder (or carob)
1 Tablespoon almond butter
stevia to taste- I used a few drops of liquid vanilla NuNaturals stevia
optional topping: chopped almonds and/or toasted coconut flakes

In a small saucepan on low heat, add the VCO and turn off the heat when it is only halfway melted. Add rest of ingredients (stevia to taste). Whisk with a wire whisk or "stir and smush" with a silicone spatula, until well mixed. The almond butter might take a while.  You don't want to use much heat because you want to keep the virgin properties of the VCO intact by not bringing it above 110 degrees. Using a small spoon, spoon into silicone molds, or small cupcake liners. Top with optional toppings.  Place in freezer until frozen.  You may remove to refrigerator after hardened, if you like.  I keep them in the freezer, but remove them from the molds into a container with a lid.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Gluten Free Pancakes




I love pancakes, don’t you? I think this recipe is easy enough to make without getting too crazy with ingredients. You could actually leave out the vanilla and sweetener if you wanted to make it even easier. As for milk, you can substitute water or sparkling water (for more volume). I actually used my cultured raw milk, which is like buttermilk. You’ll see in my picture I used blackberries, but any kind of berries will work. You only need a few, so if you are low-carb you could still eat some.
Now for the syrup… you can use your own judgement. To give you a clue on how natural sweeteners add up, here are some G.I. counts.

Sugar 60 - 65
Pure Maple syrup 54
Honey 58
Coconut Palm Sugar 35
Erythritol 0
Stevia 0

This is re-posted and improved, so there are actually carb counts below (pre-parenting post!)!

Sometimes when I want maple syrup, I boil butter and a splash of maple syrup in a pot. I let it boil up and caramelize before pouring just a touch on my pancakes. But do what you feel comfortable with. Some ideas: For truly low G.I., you could melt butter with 2 – 3 berries, and pour it on top and serve with whip cream, instead of using syrup. Smush the berries a bit and it will make a fruit syrup. Here are more of my topping ideas: Blueberry Syrup with xylitol, Strawberries and cream topping, or Blueberry Jam topping. Happy pancaking!


Gluten Free Pancakes
 serves 2 
 ECC per serving: made with 6 TBLSP cream: 1.7 ECC, with milk: 8.75 ECC per serving, with coco milk: 2.75 ECC

2 organic eggs
4-6 Tablespoons organic milk, cream, or coconut milk – I used cultured raw milk
2 Tablespoons melted butter or high quality coconut oil
1 cup high quality Almond Flour like Honeyville (or could be grainy)
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 Tablespoon erythritol or 2 teaspoons maple syrup or a few drops of stevia
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
a few berries (optional) (adds 3.5g carbs per Tablespoon)
water


Beat eggs until fluffy. Add 4 tablespoons (¼th cup) milk/cream and melted butter. Add flour, baking soda, salt, sweetener, and vanilla and beat again to incorporate air in mixture. If mixture is too thick, add the other 2 tablespoons of milk (or water if you are using cream).  Heat oil in skillet on medium. Spoon batter into rounds in skillet, trying to spread each one out a bit, so that they are not too thick. Quickly drop a few berries (if using) on each pancake. Turn to lower heat.  Pancakes will bubble, then the bubbles will break, leaving holes- this is when you know the pancakes are ready for turning. Make sure the middle is cooked before flipping.  Almond flour pancakes brown quite a bit on the bottom so keep your heat low and cook slowly.  Flip and they should be cooked through pretty quickly.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Low Carb Green Tea Toasted Pumpkin or Squash Seeds


I made these yummy seeds today! Of course they are gluten free. There are about 12g of effective carbs (carbs - fiber) if you eat the whole cup. I used squash seeds.. and am making a soup with the squash. Of course, using pumpkin seeds will taste even better...

I like the taste of butter in these, but of course, if you are GFCF, use Coconut or Olive Oil

Toasted Green Tea Squash Seeds

1 cup pumpkin or squash seeds
1 teaspoon green tea, about one tea bag's worth- needs to be ground to a powder
3 Tablespoons butter (sub: coconut or olive oil)
1/2 teaspoon agave nectar
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Rinse seeds and then drain. Remove pulp- using your fingers works best, Spread out on a cookies sheet and dry overnight (will stick to just about anything else so be sure to use your cookie sheet).

When dry: Preheat oven to 250˚F . Melt butter with cumin, green tea, and sea salt. stir over low heat to combine flavors. Mix with seeds in a bowl and add agave nectar. Spread in a thin layer on a cookie sheet and bake for around 1 hour. Toss the seeds around every 20 minutes. When they are golden brown, they are ready. Cool. Store in airtight container, lasts about 3 months.

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Kitchen Table Bakers Parmesan Crackers Review


As you all know, I LOVE parmesan crackers, and have my own recipe here.  However, Kitchen Table Bakers sent me these lovely parmesan crackers in the mail, as well as their Jalapeno flavor, and they were both DELICIOUS! Especially since I did not have to make them myself! :)  Try them, if you see them, theya re the perfect low-carb healthy snack and kids love them!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Product Review: Viva Labs Organic Virgin Coconut Oil


Viva Labs sent me some of this coconut oil to review.  Although I am super super picky about coconut oil, I was really impressed with it. This coconut oil is high quality. I have been buying coconut oil for over ten years and have a lot of experience on what is GOOD virgin coconut oil. This is it. Good strong coconut aroma, very very white and solid at under 72˚F, and even certified ORGANIC and GMO-free. I highly recommend it. 

What do I use Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO for short) for? I use it to make fat bombs, for good fat intake and weight loss, I use it to make toothpaste, to dilute essential oils for every purpose, for lotion, to oil my bamboo chopping boards, to add to any dish that tastes good with an extra coconut flavor (I use expeller pressed if not)... the list is endless.  What is it good for? Everything. Coconut is a superfood, VCO is one of the greatest things to do for your body.  Do a little internet research if you are interested! Here is a nice poster from Coconutoil.com :