Thursday, November 15, 2012

Savory Winter Squash Tartlets

These savory winter squash tartlets could be made with pumpkin, butternut squash, any kind of darker flesh winter squash.  Be creative! I took a chance on two gorgeous squash that were unusual, and they were absolutely amazing.  I mixed them together in this recipe. You could dry a dash of nutmeg.. I wanted to try it but I couldn't find mine.

This is the perfect side dish for Thanksgiving and is easy to make ahead!  I made them mini-cupcake and regular cupcake sized.  You can make this with cupcake liners in mini-cupcake size, regular cupcake size, or make a large one. Just watch cooking times.

This crust is a variation of Elana's from The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook. I changed the oil to butter/coconut oil and doubled the onions.  I like it with butter in this recipe.  If you are dairy free, use coconut oil.  I am sure you could replace the cream in this recipe with coconut milk. If you try it, let me know how it turns out.

**To roast your squash, first slice off ends (stem), then slice in half from top to bottom.  Poke a few holes through the rind with a fork or sharp knife to release steam.  Pour enough water in a cookie sheet or shallow baking dish (latter is safer) to fill about a half inch, then place squash flesh side down and roast in a pre-heated oven on 400˚F until soft, time depends on variety and size.  Cool, scoop out flesh, and process in a food processor until smooth.

Savory Winter Squash Tartlets

1 savory crust recipe (see below)
2 & 1/2 cups pureed squash/pumpkin
5 eggs (I used farm eggs- they are between medium and large sized
1/2 cup cream
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/8 teaspoon or dash ground white pepper (optional)

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 12-17 minutes for small size, around 20 minutes for regular size & please post if you make one big one, how long it took you!

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
cupcake liners, small or large - depending on your tins:
cupcake tins, small or large

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. Make small teaspoon or tablespoon sized balls (mini/regular sized tins respectively) and press them with your thumb into the bottom of each liner. (see pic below)
Bake for 5 - 10 minutes until golden brown. Remove and let cool.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Cocoa Chocolate Ice Cream

Cocoa Chocolate Ice Cream with Peanut Butter Cookies

I thought it would be a good idea to post a chocolate ice cream recipe using just cocoa powder, instead of a mix of cocoa and an 85% chocolate bar... in case you are reading this post in the middle of the night, wanting a low-carb ice cream, but have no chocolate on hand! Because, that has totally happened to me.
This recipe is a great way to use up your soured raw milk.  You won't taste the sour in the chocolate mix, and since it is raw, that sour milk is so good for you- extra probiotics!  If you have regular milk, that works too.
Remember that when using xylitol, it is best to limit your portions, until you are sure how much of it your body can stand without getting a laxative effect.  I made Peanut Butter Cookies (sub for sugar!) and put this ice cream between them.

Chocolate Ice Cream

1/2 cup cocoa powder, sifted
1/2 cup birch xylitol
1/4 teaspoon good tasting stevia (1/2 teaspoon if you use NuNaturals)
1 cup [organic/raw] milk (raw soured milk is great for this!)
2 cups [organic/raw] cream
2 fresh pastured eggs (this is important, because they will be raw in the recipe)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
pinch salt
ice cream maker

In a medium sized saucepan, combine a half a cup of milk, cocoa powder, and birch xylitol. Stir until throughly mixed and melted together.    Depending on how large the xylitol crystals are, this might take a while.  Set aside and cool.

Whisk eggs i a large bowl until fluffy.  Add stevia, vanilla, and salt and mix well.  Pour in 1/3 of the chocolate mix (esp if it is still warm) and mix well. Add the rest and mix. Then add the other 1/2 cup of milk and the cream and stir.  Refrigerate for about 2 hours.

When mixture is cooled, use in your ice cream maker to make chocolate ice cream. When it is done, transfer to freezer to harden.


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Gluten Free Low Carb Peanut Butter n Jelly Muffins!!

I love Almond Flour for crusts - pies, quiches, and pizzas. I also like it for scones and cookies.  But for muffins and cupcakes, I am sticking to coconut flour. It's lower carb (well, you use less flour) and I find it to be fluffier. Plus it's a LOT cheaper (let's hear an AMEN to that!) - especially since one 16 ounce $8 bag will last so long. My almond flour is about $30 for 5 LBS.

Now. I did not fold in the egg whites separately for this, because the peanut butter is so sticky, it didn't seem to make a difference. I think you'll get a half muffin extra if you want to try... but I achieved basically the same result by just beating the eggs one at a time - in this recipe at least.

This recipe is just an adaptation of Bruce Fife's peanut bitter muffins in the book Cooking With Coconut Flour, which you must buy immediately.  Seriously.  Also, his wife has a wonderful blog & Facebook page.  This can also be made GFCF/dairy free.

Gluten Free Low Carb Peanut Butter & Jelly Muffins
based on a PB muffin recipe by Bruce Fife in Cooking With Coconut Flour

3 eggs
1 TBSP coconut oil or butter, melted
5 TBSP erythritol or sugar sub
1 TBLS  honey (optional)
1/4 cup natural organic peanut butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup sifted coconut flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

2 TBSP all natural organic peanut butter
2 TBSP sugar free strawberry preserves

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and lightly grease a muffin tin for 6 muffins. Too much oil in the tins will cause these muffins to brown too much on the outside.

In a medium sized bowl, blend the eggs, one at a time. Add melted butter/oil, erythritol, honey, peanut butter, salt, and vanilla. Combine coconut flour and baking powder in a sifter, and sift into batter, stirring in well.

Pour into muffin tin, enough to make 6 muffins. Bake for 10 minutes, watching carefully. You may need to cook a little longer but be careful of it browning too much on the outside. Cool in muffin tin. When cool, run a butter knife carefully around the edges and then use a spoon like a spatula to get them out. You can put the spoon in right under the edge and twist it around the edges of the muffins too, this helps get them out in one piece also... sort of twists them out.

Mix the peanut butter and jelly in the filling together with a spoon until thoroughly mixed.

Cut out a little hole in the middle and top of your muffins (sorry this pic didn't turn out that well). Cut at an angle so that the piece you are cutting out doesn't go farther than halfway down the muffin... you don't want to go to the bottom or it will leak out filling and get messy. Try for a third deep. With a teaspoon, put in a little bit of the filling inside the hole, spreading around to the edges- you want to just put a little in there- don't fill up the hole even halfway - just a little taste. Replace the chunk of muffin you cut out (hmm.. need some technical terms!) and there ya go! A taste of PB&J gluten free! Hurrah!!! These are great with Organic Raw Milk! (If you can have milk, otherwise... Almond Milk!)

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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Low-Carb Gluten Free Peanut Butter Pie

This is my husband's favorite pie.  It's one of mine too.  If you are GAPS or peanut-allergic, then try cashew butter in this recipe, and post and let me know how it turns out!
I like mine with graham cracker crust and chocolate on top.  However, if you want a chocolate cookie crust, you can go here.   And, it is just as yummy without the chocolate on top.

I am re-posting this, because my carb counts were totally off last time. I cannot use a carb counting program to save my life. I have to do this by hand and check the nutritional info on each package.. takes forever! Sorry there aren't more carb counts on my other posts.

I have also made these into individual pies, just by pressing the dough into cupcake papers, in a cupcake pan, then following all the directions the same way.   It made 16.

CARB COUNTS:  1/16th slice: 2.9 effective count carbs.  Entire Pie:  46.6 ECC. Entire  "graham cracker crust":  with honey: 15.6 ECC (without honey: 10 ECC).  Entire Filling w/erythritol: 18.5 ECC.  Topping for entire topping:  12.5 with Lindt bar.

Low-Carb Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Pie
Serves 16, 2.9 ECC each slice

Graham Cracker Crust:
¼ cup ground peanuts
¾ cup Almond meal/flour – any brand or make your own
1/4 teaspoon Stevia Powder (1/2 teaspoon NuNaturals brand)
1/16 scant teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch sea salt
1 teaspoon raw organic honey (optional)
4 Tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix dry ingredients. Melt butter and honey on low heat, and mix. Spread by patting the bottom of a 9 – 10” springform pan, or pie pan with a fork, and patting with fingers, making as thin as possible.  Bake 9-12 minutes until lightly browned. Cool completely.

6 oz. cream cheese, softened
¼ cup organic whole milk
1 cup smooth natural Peanut Butter, made of peanuts and salt only
1 cup heavy cream, whipped
½  teaspoon Nu Naturals stevia or ¼ teaspoon another brand (or use an extra 1/2 cup of sugar sub)
½ cup erythritol or coconut palm sugar or double the stevia
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream together cream cheese, stevia, and erythritol. Add milk, vanilla, and peanut butter and mix. Fold into whipped cream.  Fill crust, cover, and refrigerate until set, an hour or two.

This topping is to cover the entire pie. You can make less if you want to just put a little chocolate on top.

3.5 oz 71% - 85% cocoa chocolate bar, Lindt has less carbs
1 Tablespoon high quality expeller pressed coconut oil

After pie is set, melt ingredients slowly over low heat in a heavy saucepan.  Cool until only warm and pour over cool pie crust. Return to refrigerator for another hour. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Easy One Pan Roasted Chicken & Green Bean Dinner

I just love easy dinners.  I tried this one out for a birthday, which I managed to pull off by making everything during my son's naptime (which was not longer than 1.5 hours today, unfortunately)... which included a pie so this doesn't take too long to assemble.
I recommend using a stoneware dishpan for this, if you have one, as it makes chicken taste better.

One Pan Chicken & Green Bean Dinner - gluten-free & low-carb, of course!
serves  3 to 4

1 four lb whole chicken, pastured (why?)
1.5 lbs fresh green beans, trimmed of stem ends
1/2 cup small mushrooms, any kind, sliced in fours
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
about 3 tsp dried thyme
generous amounts of butter and/or expeller pressed coconut oil

Preheat oven to 450˚F.  In the bottom of the pan, place string beans, mushrooms, onions, and garlic with about 1-2 Tablespoons of oil or butter.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and about 2 teaspoons of dried thyme. Place in oven for a few minutes until oil/butter melts, then remove.  Stir all together to coat as much as possible all the vegetables.  Place your chicken on top, breast side down.  Sprinkle with s&p, and a little more thyme.  Slice pats of butter all on top. Bake for 15 minutes, then baste the chicken with juices from the bottom of the pan, and make sure all the vegetables are also basted and not dry.  Turn heat down to 375˚F and continue cooking with this formula in mind: 20 minutes per pound of meat (not including the 15 minutes of browning you already did).  So, a 4 lb chicken = 1 hour and 20 minutes more (80 min).  Baste every 20 minutes.  How to tell if done: an instant-read thermometer reads about 165 to 170° when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh and juices run clear (not bloody/pink spots). It should be very brown, not just light brown on top.  Let sit for 10 minutes without cutting when you remove it from oven.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Low Carb Gluten-Free Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Lemon poppy seed muffins are my favorite... so I made these with coconut flour.. very good!  I hope you enjoy them.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
makes 6, 1.7 net carbs each

3 eggs, separated

3 Tablespoons melted organic butter or high quality coconut oil
½ teaspoon NuNaturals stevia powder (or ¼ teaspoon SweetLeaf or any other brand)
2 Tablespoons Erythritol
2 Tablespoons fresh squeezed organic lemon juice
1 Tablespoon fresh organic lemon zest
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup coconut flour
1 Tablespoon poppy seeds
flour sifter
muffin tin

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut out parchment paper circles to fit in bottom of muffin tins.  Grease muffin tins & papers well with either coconut oil or butter and set aside.
Separate eggs. Whip the egg whites in a clean dry bowl until soft peaks form and put aside.
In another bowl, mix together egg yolks, melted butter, stevia, erythritol, salt, lemon juice, vanilla and lemon zest. Combine coconut flour, baking soda, and baking powder in the sifter and sift into batter, mixing well. Stir in poppy seeds. Fold egg whites into batter.  Immediately spoon batter into muffin tin, filling to the top. They won't rise much.  Bake for 13 - 16 minutes.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Fast & Yummy Pizza!

I recently came up with this pizza crust recipe. It is so fast & easy, and I love it! It is, of course, gluten free and low carb.  I also make this yummy, easy, and cheap pizza sauce (even organic, it is still cheap).  This time, I just bought sliced mozzarella instead of the fresh... I had them slice it a little thicker than "medium" and it was perfect.  I had almond flour at home (I buy it in bulk).  At the store, I picked up parmesan cheese, 1/4 lb sliced pepperoni & 1/2 lb sliced med+ thick mozzarella - both from deli, and one small can of organic Muir Glen tomato paste (about $1.50).  Muir Glen brand has no BPA in the can lining, by the way.  I find this to be a much less expensive gluten-free crust, if you get a good price on almond flour.
For the pizza crust, you can roll it between two pieces of parchment paper, or you can smash it down with your fingers on one sheet. The first time I made it, that worked fine. The second time, it was stickier, so I used a small piece of parchment paper between my fingers and the crust for pressing.  I just  hate rolling dough, but it's up to you!!
You all know that I do not cook with olive oil! If you REALLY miss the taste of olive oil, then I suggest you drizzle it over your pizza after you take it out of the oven.  Otherwise cook with a stable oil like coconut or palm, so that you are not eating rancid olive oil and introducing free radicals into your body! I use expeller pressed coconut oil, which has no taste.

Yummy, Fast, & Cheap(er) GF LC Pizza 


Crust as follows
Sauce as follows
Sliced Mozzarella cheese
Toppings (I used pepperoni!)


1 cup almond flour
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 small egg (this is easy for me, I use farm eggs. 1 small egg is about 2 teaspoons shy of 1/4 cup blended egg)
2 teaspoons high quality coconut oil, butter, or pastured lard
parchment paper
cookie sheet

Mix the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Make a well (a hole in the middle of the dry ingredients in the bowl) and add wet ingredients, then mix all together.
Place parchment paper over cookie sheet.  Press dough into pizza crust form on top of parchment paper. If sticky, use another small piece of parchment paper between your fingers and move it around; or a whole piece on top and press; or transfer to countertop and use a rolling pin.
Bake at 350˚F for about 10- 12 minutes until golden brown.
Remove, top with pizza sauce (recipe follows, you can make it while it is baking), mozzarella cheese, and toppings and return to oven with broiler on to melt pizza and crisp your pepperoni (if using).

Pizza Sauce:

1 small can tomato paste (organic) 
2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly lengthwise
sea salt
dried basil, oregano, thyme to taste: my ratio is 2 pinches of basil & oregano to 1 pinch of thyme
high quality coconut oil
filtered water

Fry garlic in oil over medium-high heat until golden brown, stirring constantly.  Add tomato paste and continue to stir constantly until it loses it's bright color.  Turn heat down and add a few teaspoons of water at a time, until you get the thickness you desire.  Add sea salt and seasonings to taste.  remove from heat, follow directions above.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Summer Beet Soup with Cucumber Thyme Cream

I have been making lots of beet soup lately with all the beets from my local CSA. This one is perfect for a hot summer day. It is served warm with a cool cream swirl. It's beautiful to serve and it tastes delicious. I used lemon thyme and the result was amazing. You could use regular thyme, but it won't be as good.... I'm warning you! It's lemon thyme that makes this dish. I got my little plant of it from Trader Joe's. It's very refreshing!!! I hope you can find some. :)

Summer Beet Soup with Cucumber Thyme Cream

high quality coconut oil
6 or 7 small beets, or 3 large ones (I used gold and red beets)
1 small onion, diced
2 medium sized garlic cloves, minced or diced
3 cups organic chicken stock, make sure it is sugar-free if you are low-carb
1 teaspoon dried or 2 sprig of fresh lemon thyme
sea salt, fresh ground black pepper
soured cream, sour cream, or fresh cream
medium sized cucumber

Wash beets, then wrap each one in foil and bake in oven at 375 degrees for one hour or until fork tender. Cool completely, then peel and chop into ½ inch or less size cubes. Mine came out to 1 ½ cups, but more is ok too.

Heat coconut oil in the bottom of a sturdy pot for a minute, then add onions and garlic and sauté until translucent. Add chicken stock, and ½ teaspoon of lemon thyme. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes. Cool enough so that it won’t burn you if splashes. Working in batches, puree soup in blender. Please hold the top on the blender when doing this just in case. I don't want you to dye your kitchen walls pink or burn yourself! Salt and pepper to taste.

Clean our your blender and peel the skin off the cucumber with a vegetable peeler or knife. Blend the cucumber and sour cream together in a ratio of about 3:1 (cucumber:cream) with the other ½ teaspoon lemon thyme. Salt to taste. Set aside separately in refrigerator until ready to serve with soup.

To serve: Beet soup should be warm, not hot. Place beet soup in bowls to serve. With a large spoon, put a dollop of the cold cucumber-cream in the middle and swirl with spoon to make a pattern in the soup. Serve. Bookmark and Share

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Squash! So Simple & Delicious

This is my Mom's recipe for squash. It is so easy, and so delicious, I just can't get over it.  I have done it with butter, and with expeller pressed coconut oil (for my little one) and both came out just as good as the other!  This time I added one crookneck squash to two regular yellow squash.  I will try it with pattypan squash tomorrow and if you try it with zucchini, let me know!

Mom's Squash Recipe

diced onion - I used half a small onion for 3 medium sized squash, but your choice
squash - chopped in large chunks - mine were about 1.5" - 2" long
butter or expeller pressed coconut oil
sea salt
pot or pan with lid

Put just enough butter or oil in pan to saute chopped onions. Saute onions until transparent. Add squash. Cover and cook on medium to low heat until desired tenderness. The amounts you can figure out. No liquid is needed because squash will make its own.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Baked Turkey Breasts - save your cash & make them yourself!

Baked Turkey Breast.  I used a glass pan this time, but later learned stoneware pans make it better. Mmmm.
We eat a lot of turkey around here. The baby eats it for a meal, I eat it on salads, my hubby eats his on sandwiches.  We used to buy the organic turkey from the deli, but it can be costly, and frankly - not that great on salads.  So, I started buying the turkey breasts from the meat counter- as free range/organic as I can find, and baking them myself. It is really so simple. It takes very little prep time, costs half as much, and is tastier.  Even if you overcook it, it is still tastier than the kind at the deli counter, and has no preservatives.  It lasts about 3-5 days in the fridge so I usually buy enough for the week, and freeze half and cook twice a week.
As always, I recommend only 3 oils for baking: coconut oil (high quality), butter, or pastured lard (animals store toxins in their fat, so buy toxic free animal fat!).  Where do I get pastured lard?  I just buy it from the farmer I buy my pastured meat from. If you are unsure how to go about this, is a great source, or check out your local farmer's market - but be sure to ask questions!  Just because the farmer is at the market, it doesn't mean s/he is practicing pastured farming.
So, I have heard from a chef that washing your chicken/turkey/etc before cooking is pointless, since the heat kills anything on the skin.  Makes sense to me, I skip this step now.  But, it's up to you.

Baked Turkey Breasts
1.5 lbs of turkey breasts (or any amount, really)
coconut oil, butter, or pastured lard
sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 375˚F.  Place the breasts in a baking pan- I recommend stoneware, it makes tastier meat. Spoon a little oil/lard/butter on top of each breasts and then use your hands to cover each breast with oil.  Top with salt and pepper.  Bake in pre-heated oven from 18 - 45 minutes- depending on the size of your breasts, until cooked through and golden brown on top.  You could use a meat thermometer to test if the internal heat has reached 155˚F in the center (it will rise to 160˚ while resting).  I usually eyeball it, wait for it to get slightly golden on top, take it out, and sometimes I just cut the biggest piece and check.  Of course, you'll lose valuable resting time if you do this, but I do it anyway!  I can never find the meat thermometer.  When it's done, let it rest 10 minutes before slicing.  Keep in fridge for up to 5 days.

Facebook update

Most of you follow my page on Facebook, if not, here is the link: Facebook is now requiring page owners to pay to have their status updates read by every subscriber. If we don't, status updates only show up in less than 10% of newsfeeds, even though you have "liked" the page indicating you want to see posts from this page. However, there is a way around it! Hover over the button on my page where it says "Like" and then make sure you are check marked to "show in news feed." Its free! And you won't miss updates from me! But, Facebook doesn't make it THAT easy... sometimes you have to keep hovering ... hovering... hovering... :p Anyway I appreciate you following me!!

Monday, May 28, 2012

How to have a Gluten-Free & Healthy Pampered Chef Show!

I've been to a few Pampered Chef shows at friend's houses where I can eat nothing.  I just smile and pretend all that food is not making me hungry! Ahh, darn you gluten!  Ever had the same experience?  Well, when I found out my friend Lisa was a PC Consultant and also a real food enthusiast, I decided to see if we could pull off a healthy Pampered Chef show!  And, we did!!  Not everything was low-carb but everything was gluten-free, microwave-free, and frankenfood-free! Now you can do it, too! I hope lots of people see this post and get more real food Pampered Chef parties going!

Pampered Chef does a lot of demos with quick microwave dinners.. it's very impressive if you are into that sort of thing.. but I personally believe you can pull dinner together in less than 20 minutes- or at least with less than 5-10 minutes prep and less than an hour cooking time.  You all know this, by my recipes!  So many people think that home cooked meals take too long.  Well, I am here to tell you they do not.  I do it three times a day while also singing opera gigs/going to auditions, singing church services, wedding and funerals weekly, running this blog and facebook page, teaching voice, and also a PT Stay at Home Mom (until 1:00 pm). I am seriously busy.  So, you can do it, too.

Lisa came over and made us some amazing things... I forgot to take pictures because I was having so much fun!!  Luckily, Lisa loaned me some of her pans to recreate some of the dishes we made!  So, now I have pics!  And, recipes.  :)  And, if you are reading this before June 1st, 2012, you can actually buy something from my show and have it delivered to your house!  (What a great way to support my blog! Gee, thanks!)   Just go to and the host is Rachel C (me!). Make sure youhave it shipped to you, not me!!  These are easy quick and yummy recipes:

Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Jalapenos with the Grill Pan
Appetizer: Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Jalapenos

10 Jalapenos, halved, with insides and seeds removed (the white pith & seeds are the spicy part)
1 block cream cheese, soft
green onions
garlic powder
salt & pepper

In a bowl mix softened cream cheese, chives, and seasoning. Spoon mixture into peppers and wrap with half slice bacon (or a whole if you are a bacon lover!)  and bake them at 425˚F for 20 minutes or until bacon is cooked!

We used the Grill Pan & Press and these super-cool tongs that close automatically when you put them down, and automatically open back up, when you pick them up.  What a great idea! Less mess on your counter, now they fit on your spoon rest! quote:  A one-handed gravity locking system locks and unlocks the tongs simply by changing position up or down.

Appetizer:  fresh pineapple sliced with super-cool Pineapple Wedger.

Main Course: Mediterranean Chicken
This originally called for using olive oil, but as heating olive oil creates free radicals and makes teh oil rancid, I suggest doing it this way instead: coconut oil in pan, olive oil for taste poured over dish after it is cooked.  We also used the grill pan, press, & tongs for this recipe.

1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
16 - 18 large Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
3 Tablespoons capers, rinsed
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
splash olive oil (optional)
4 (4-6 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
sea salt & freshly ground pepper

  1. Pre-heat oven to 475˚F
  2. Toss tomatoes, olives, capers, and 2 teaspoons of coconut oil in a bowl.
  3. Season chicken breasts on both sides with sea salt and pepper.
  4. Heat Pampered Chef Grill Pan (or other large, oven-proof skillet) over high heat.  Once hot, add 2 teaspoons coconut oil and sear chicken on both sides.
  5. Turn heat to medium-high and add remaining oil (should be hot but not smoking) and continue to cook until deep golden brown (about 4 minutes).
  6. Use tongs to flip chicken, then add tomato mixture to skillet.
  7. Transfer skillet to oven and place the Grill Press on top to roast chicken until cooked through and tomatoes have softened, about 15- 18 minutes.
  8. Transfer to plates and spoon tomato mixture over top. Optional: drizzle olive oil on top.  Serve.

These are two desserts I pre-made in her FABULOUS cookware.  This brownie pan makes individual brownies so everyone gets an edge! And, you could make all kinds of things in there: meatloaf, crustless quiche... if you have more ideas, post them!
Here's my coconut sugar brownies made in the pan, and the following picture is the re-make my husband insisted I do and he also insisted that I take pictures of him taking them off the plate, lol.  Yes, they are that good.  Some are with walnuts, and some without in the second photo.

This recipe was an old favorite I used for years which I eventually converted to spelt flour (when I thought it was just wheat I couldn't have) and then for this show, I converted them to almond flour.  I used coconut sugar, which has lower g.i.  The reason these are so good is because of the cocoa powder, high fat oil (butter or coconut) and granulated sugar. So, subs of honey, sugar alcohol, stevia, etc or different oils will make them not good.  Mmmkay?  It's coconut sugar & high fat or bust here, folks.  Original recipe from

TIP: Make SURE your almond flour is room temperature, or these will NOT come out.  Very sad when that happens.

Best Cocoa Brownies, now gluten-free

10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter or coconut oil (no subs!)
1 1/4 cups coconut sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cold large eggs
1 cup almond flour, room temperature
2/3 cup walnut or pecan pieces (optional)

Special equipment: Pampered chef brownie pan

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease all squares with coconut oil (not too much).
Combine the butter, coconut sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl and set the bowl in a wide skillet of barely simmering water. Stir from time to time until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth and hot enough that you want to remove your finger fairly quickly after dipping it in to test. Remove the bowl from the skillet and set aside briefly until the mixture is only warm, not hot.
Stir in the vanilla with a wooden (or fabulous bamboo) spoon. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. When the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended, add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with the wooden spoon or a rubber spatula (really!). Stir in the nuts, if using. Spoon even amounts into each brownie indention in pan.
Bake until a toothpick plunged into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, 12 to 18 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack. Use a silicone or bamboo spatula to pop them out.  Makes 12 edge brownies.

Silicone Floral Cupcake Pan

I also used this amazing silicone floral cupcake pan to make cupcakes. Um, beautiful.  Wish I had taken pics.  Instead, I made blueberry muffins later and took pics. (link).  I also used this to make gorgeous fat bombs.  I love this pan. I love it, I love it.  Not only is it beautiful, but it has a rigid outer circle so you don't have to put it on a baking sheet and your muffins don't fly all over the place when you take it out. here's me taking out my blueberry muffins by simply pushing from underneath. ------>
Here's a pic of 2 roses and a daisy (also makes sunflowers):

Thanks for reading this! Please comment, and if you want to buy something from my PC show, go here to and the host is Rachel C (me!).  Make sure you ship to you, not to me!  Some other favorite things I have bought from Pampered Chef include the awesome and inexpensive bamboo spoon set (and everything bamboo!) and the silicone basting brush- pure genius.

Stuffed Squash Blossoms

I get so excited each summer when I see squash blossoms on sale at the Farmer's Market!  Have you ever had them? A squash blossom is a flower that grows into a squash!  This is not my first post on lovely stuffed squash blossoms, but we made them differently this year and I thought they were worth posting again.
You can use any kind of soft cheese for this stuffing.  This recipe came from the farmer (his included flour) and originally called for ricotta, but my DH really wanted me to use cream cheese, so I did. Also it did not require a trip to the store (bonus!).  My DH said this appetizer was so darn good, it ruined dinner, because nothing could compare to it! Ha!
TIP: Last time I used millet flour for coating and frying and it turned out much better than the nut flour.  The nut flour clumped, and scraped off a bit in the pan. BUT if you must have it low carb and can't handle millet flour, it was delicious this way! Just scrape out any flour that falls off and put on top of your blossoms after they come out of the pan.  Remember that this dish is to be served immediately. So plan your meal accordingly.

This many squash blossoms as an appetizer feeds a lot.  I will admit that we ate them all though, just the two of us!
We also wrapped some in bacon!  Mmmmmm....

Stuffed Squash Blossoms
serves 4 - 6 as an appetizer

1/2 cup cream cheese (or ricotta, or goat...)
2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
sea salt & black pepper, to taste (can start with 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon each)
1/4 cup mushrooms, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
10 - 15 large squash blossoms, washed gently, turned upside down to get the water out.
high quality coconut or palm oil for frying
millet or nut flour (see note above), around 1/2 cup
a small egg
milk or cream, can be soured if raw

In a bowl, combine the cream cheese, garlic, salt & pepper, mushrooms, and parsley.  Open the blossoms and spoon about 1/2 teaspoon of the mixture into the center of each.  Avoid overfilling, you need to be able to close them.  Twist the top of each blossom together to close.  Set aside.
Prepare two bowls: One with flour plus salt and pepper to taste, and one with milk and beaten egg.  Dip each stuffed blossom into the milk batter, then the flour.
Pour oil into a skillet to the depth of 1/2 inch thick.  Heat over high heat until a little flour sprinkled in will turn brown within seconds.  You want it hot, but not smoking, be careful that it doesn't get too hot. Place stuffed blossoms into oil carefully, one by one - don't crowd the pan, you will have to do a few batches.  Cook until golden on all sides, about 3 minutes.  Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain briefly.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve while hot!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Birthday Smash Cake for my 1 year old

Yours will be prettier if you follow my directions! ha.

Robby turned ONE! I wanted to make a gluten-free, low-sugar smash cake for him, but didn't see anything on the web I liked except this one, which I converted to american measurements with google and my imagination... heh heh.  I tried baking it at 350˚F and it was a no-go, so definitely stick to 340˚F.  It's very low sugar, and most likely paleo/primal (I think?) except for the icing.  I tried and tried to make a meringue icing that was low sugar to keep it dairy free and failed a million times... I tried honey - everyone proclaimed, "no kid would eat this!" even though mine liked it ok.  I tried coconut sugar- too heavy.  I tried powdered coconut sugar - still too heavy.  So, for my dairy-free nephew and a low-sugar/dairy-free cake for other kids who came, I made this cake with a meringue topping made of egg whites and "raw" cane sugar.  I'll post that too, in case you want to try it.  And, for Robby, I made a whipped cream topping with stevia.  The other icing was WAY too sweet for him.  He has no idea what "american sweet" is, and I hope to keep it that way as long as possible!
I was low on time, so I whipped my icing too fast and it made almost butter.  Don't do that, and yours will be prettier! If you whip it correctly, you can put it in a pastry bag and use a star tip and get all fancy.  Mine didn't care, he just wanted it In.His.Mouth.  He loved it. :)
Happy Birthday, Robby!!!

If you really need a low-sugar dairy-free icing, and your kid eats everything and thinks stevia is sweet and fat bombs are candy, you can try subbing half as much honey in the icing recipe (try to get some lighter colored honey) or try this icing with or without orange zest.

This recipe makes a 7" or 8" cake, or half for a 6" cake.  I used the whole recipe for a 5" smash cake (tall) and a short 7" cake.  When I say tall, I mean it is as tall as two layers, and short is as tall as one layer.

UPDATE: Since I wrote this post 2 days ago, I have found 2 coconut milk icing recipes.  I will try them and post!

Smash Cake

2 1/2 cups + 1 Tablespoon almond flour
3 eggs
3 Tablespoons high quality coconut oil or butter
2 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons honey
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch sea salt

Preheat oven to 340˚F (170˚C).  Grease your cake pan(s).  Blend coconut oil/butter and honey until creamy.  Add eggs while beating, one at a time.  Add the remaining ingredients.  Pour into pan(s) and bake for 15- 20 minutes or until a toothpick is clean - it will still look wet inside the baking cracks so definitely test it.  If you are baking a half recipe or a short cake, check at 10 minutes, or better yet, just keep an eye on it.  They will rise.  This cake keeps about 5 days in the fridge.

Low Sugar Icing

1 cup whip/heavy cream
liquid or powdered stevia to taste
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whip cream on medium-high until soft peaks are formed.  Add vanilla and stevia.  Best to do this right before or not too long before serving.

Dairy Free Icing: Meringue: go here for tips on making meringues: important info.
If you plan on subbing here, I hope you read my notes above first

2 egg whites
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup raw cane sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Whip egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy. Add sugar slowly while whipping, then add vanilla.  Continue whipping until shiny and stiff peaks are made when lifting the whisk.  You can whip this for up to 20 minutes, but mine looked fine for icing after about 10 minutes of super-high KitchenAid speed.  Best to do this right before or not too long before serving.

Smash Cake on left, Whole Foods cake center, Dairy Free version on right.
You can make yours prettier, I ran out of time.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Coconut Flour Cheese Biscuits, gluten-free & low-carb

I adapted this recipe from my coconut flour BIBLE, The Coconut Flour Cookbook, by Bruce Fife.  Of course, I added a little Louisiana flavor kick!! ;)  And, I made mine with the leftover bacon grease from my delicious pastured organically raised bacon (naturally).  If you do this, I believe you should still add the salt this recipe calls for.
I made this to do along with a wonderful duck soup I made with homemade duck stock, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, and swiss chard.
I hope you enjoy them!
*** update: for breakfast biscuits, you can omit the chili and cayenne peppers.

Coconut Flour Cheese Biscuits, gluten-free & low-carb 
makes 8 biscuits

4 eggs, organic & pastured is best!
1/4 cup of high quality coconut oil, butter, or pastured lard
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne powder (optional)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup sifted coconut flour
3/4 cup shredded cheese, I used a raw cheddar

Blend together eggs, oil/butter, salt, and spices.  Combine coconut flour and baking powder and whisk into batter until there are no lumps.  Fold in cheese. Drop batter by spoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet a few inches part- these spread.  Bake at 400˚F (205˚C) for 15 minutes.  As with all coconut flour recipes, you can store tightly covered on the counter for 1 -2 days, then transfer to the refrigerator.  In humid climates, it will get more moist the first day then quickly go towards moldy, so transfer earlier.  In dry climates, I hear it can get drier- in that case, maybe transfer to fridge earlier.  Please comment if you live in a dry climate what you do with coconut flour goodies!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Lemon Coconut Energy Bombs

After making those yummy cocoa fat bombs, I thought I'd like to try one without chocolate - mainly because my 1 yr old was grabbing for them and I didn't want him having the caffeine - and then I thought I'd make one without nuts, for a friend who is allergic.  Basically these are made of two things: lemon and coconut.  My little one thought it was candy, he loved it!
If you have ever tried to take virgin coconut oil daily, for health benefits, you may find it gets hard to do, after a while, because of the texture.  So this is an alternative way of taking your virgin coconut oil.  I liked these, they were easy to eat and pretty tasty.  I recommend making them small and later increasing the size of them if you think you can eat 2 in a sitting.  I bought mini cupcake wrappers, which are awesome and also very inexpensive.
After making the fat bombs, I realized they gave me crazy energy, so I am eating these for energy now.  These don't have the truffle taste my fat bombs did, because they have more oil in them.  You could cut them with coconut milk if you wanted them to have a more candy feel, but I made these this way to get more of the virgin oil in my diet.

Lemon Coconut Energy Bombs
Makes 9 

1/4 cup coconut butter (see below for homemade recipe)
1/4 cup virgin coconut oil, high quality
1 Tablespoon of organic lemon zest
1 Tablespoon of organic lemon juice
stevia powder or liquid to taste, I used 1/8 teaspoon NuNaturals powder
toasted coconut to garnish (see below)
mini cupcake wrappers or pan

Combine all ingredients except toasted coconut and mix well.  Scoop into cupcake wrappers.  Sprinkle toasted coconut on top.  Place in freezer for 20 minutes, then place in refrigerator.  Lasts a very long time.

How to make coconut butter: Grind unsweetened coconut flakes in a nut/coffee grinder or food processor for at least 20 minutes, or until the consistency of nut butter.  Or go here for pics/in depth.
How to make toasted coconut: Preheat oven to Broil.  On a cookie sheet, put a single layer of unsweetened coconut flakes and broil for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until brown.  Burns fast! Don't walk away!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Baby Led Weaning Swiss Chard Dairy-Free Custards

I used Rainbow Swiss Chard, hence the color...
I have been trying to dream up some recipes that I could put greens in and my 11-month old could feed himself with.  So I made these. YUM. You could sub any greens, I used Rainbow Swiss Chard because it's yummy and in season.  These were slightly sweet, perhaps because I used sweet onions.  If you are worried about feeding your child eggs, it is the cooked egg white which can cause allergies, so the yolk should be ok.  I use pastured fresh eggs, and the yolk is so delicious! It's also a cheaper way to eat humanely raised eggs, if you can buy straight from the farmer or a local person who just raises chickens!

Swiss Chard Dairy Free Custards

1 head organic greens
2 Tablespoons diced onions
4 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups full fat coconut milk, I like Native Forest brand because of their BPA-free can
coconut oil or pastured lard for sauteing
sea salt to taste
4 - 6 ramekins

Clean your greens well, making sure you get all the sediment out, especially if they are organic.  Remove all ribs and veins if they are also thick, like they were in my chard.  Tear into small pieces.
Heat your oil/lard in a saucepan and add onions, sauteing for a minute or two before adding the greens.  Saute them together until greens are well cooked.  Remove and cool.  Dice cooled greens (chop into small pieces).
Preheat oven to 300˚F.  Grease your ramekins with coconut oil/lard. Heat coconut milk in a saucepan until hot, or barely simmering.  Remove from heat and slowly whisk in egg yolks, one at a time.  Keep whisking until well blended.  Stir in greens (eyeball the amount, if it looks like you have too much greens for liquid, then don't add it all). Pour into cups evenly.  Place cups in a roasting pan or casserole dish and fill with water up to about a quarter of the way up the cups.  Bake 25 - 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool and scoop out spoonfuls to put on your little one's plate.

My little one loved them! They got gobbled up before I could get a pic! Next time I make some, I will post one!  ** update, pic posted.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Asparagus Custards

This is a yummy and interesting side dish.  It is a savory egg custard with asparagus!  I loved making these, and we loved eating them even more!  Asparagus is one vegetable you may buy un-organic, it has a very low pesticide load.  I used larger creme brulee glass ramekins, so mine made only 5. Optional: reserve 6 asparagus heads to garnish the top like in my picture.

Asparagus Custards
1 bunch asparagus
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 Tablespoon butter, soft
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
6 eggs
vegetable steamer
roasting pan or casserole dish
6 ramekins

Preheat oven to 350˚F.  Grease ramekins with butter. Wash & trim asparagus- my method is to rinse, then grab bottom of stalk with my thumb and forefinger and snap it off. That way, it automatically snaps off the hard part of each one, which varies. Steam in vegetable steamer for 6 - 8 minutes until color turns bright and stalks are soft enough to give to an inserted fork, but still firm.  Don't overcook, you don't want them to be mush, you want them to hold their shape.  Cool, cut the heads off, and cut the stems into 1/2 inch pieces.  In a food processor, mix asparagus stems, cream, butter, thyme, oregano, s&p, and parmesan and process until the stems are all mixed in- as smooth as possible. Scrape out mixture into a bowl and whisk the eggs in.
Divide up your asparagus heads among all the ramekins, then pour the mixture on top of them all evenly.  Place ramekins inside a roasting pan and pour water (using a cup or measuring cup) in around the ramekins until about 1/4 of the way up the side of ramekin.  Bake for about 35-45 minutes, until custard is set. Serves 6.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Baby Led Feeding / Baby Led Weaning

Since there is some interest, I am going to start posting some of my baby-led feeding recipes.  The proper name is Baby Led Weaning, but since "weaning" in the U.S. implies stopping breastfeeding, I prefer the term Baby Led Feeding.  If you are new to the term, BLW/BLF just refers to teaching your child to eat solids without using purees.  The child feeds him/herself and since there is more control over eating, often becomes a much less picky eater.  Also, it teaches the child to manage bits of food.  Please do not try this method without learning all about it and the difference between choking and gagging. BLF should teach your child to manage his food and will very rarely actually choke on something.  For more info, go here to & also purchase or read a book on the subject.
I stay away from too many fruits because of the high sugar content, although I like to give him organic berries.  Recently though, I noticed too many strawberries cause him to have trouble going to sleep.  He also seemed hyper so, strawberries are out. I should know better, I know strawberries are not a low-sugar berry like blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries! I give him pears occasionally, but I gave up on apples because he choked on them a few times.  Anytime I feed him fruit or a higher sugar vegetable, I always feed it with a protein such as chicken, or a fat such as an avocado.
Also keep in mind that pesticide loads on foods take a higher toll on smaller livers.  The only un-organic foods my little boy gets are the lowest on the pesticide scale: onions, avocados, and asparagus. Pineapples, mangoes,  and bananas are also very low, but are pretty sweet so he would rarely get a little of these.
Here's an added bonus for feeding your child this way, besides that you can all eat together: If you don't have time to eat yourself and steal some of his food, you won't be eating bad-for-you mac & cheese and all those other "kid's foods" that end up putting weight on the parent!

Let's start with some vegetables & fruits that I feed him:
Organic broccoli - boiled in bone broth (I throw bones and filtered water in a crockpot overnight, that's it)
Organic peas - boiled in bone broth, served with protein.  Peas have a lot of starch but they are so good for his motor skills so I make this exception, but always fee with meat.
Organic colored bell peppers - I cut them open, cut out the whites and seeds, and cut them into three larger pieces.  Then, I slather them with coconut oil (high quality!) and roast, open side down on 400˚F until soft.  They will turn brown, that is ok.  If the middle is brown and soft but the edges are not, just flip them over for a few minutes (5-10) to even it out.  IMPORTANT: then I peel off the skin, it comes off easily. Cut in small chunks, or however you like to BLF.  These are so good, it's hard not to eat them all myself!
Organic cauliflower
Sauteed onions
Organic blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries  - watch for seeds on the last two, wait until he's an accomplished eater first.
Organic Pink Grapefruit - we have a huge tree!
Raw or cooked organic tomatoes

Some citrus fruits can cause a little face rash from the acid.  If this happens, discontinue fruit for a while, and try again later.

I stay away from green beans, because he is sensitive to soy (even in breastmilk) and I hear they can create the same reaction.  In Robby's case, that would mean a severe stomach ache.

Here he is, eating avocados!

Monday, April 16, 2012

FAT BOMBS! And, a confession

OK, I have a confession!  I have been completely off my low-carb diet since I was six months pregnant.  And, I really have no excuse since my little boy is now almost a year old. I have stayed true to no gluten, but have been eating a lot of brown rice tortillas (they are my nemesis), gluten-free bread, and high sugar milk chocolate.  So, as you can imagine, the weight gain has been noticeable.  Well, not anymore.  For the past week, I have been back on the low-carb train.
What’s the secret to staying true to your low-carb diet plan?  I’d like to know what your little tricks are, please post! I’ll tell you mine.  One is to be prepared!!!  Especially if you are busy-busy, like I am.  I’m juggling a few careers- singing opera, teaching singing, church cantor, cookbook writer, blogger, Mommy!  So, there’s often not a lot of time for me to make something to eat.  One thing I do is cook extra dinner.  Then I throw my leftover meats and veggies in a pie tin and into the oven to heat up (I hate microwaves) for lunch.  Also, I make sure there are plenty of high protein and fat snacks to satisfy me when I don’t have time for a meal and am hungry! This is essential.  That is where the cheat can begin… and often snowball after you eat potato chips or chocolate and then your insulin begins to dance up and down, causing you to gain belly fat and feel disgusting.  So, I pack my fridge with nut butters, pre-made snacks like celery & peanut butter, cheeses, olives, full fat yogurt, and in the cabinet there are more nuts.  And, I try to bake myself a low carb treat as often as possible.  I make nut butter bread. 
And, now, I make fat bombs.  Ohhhh yes.  It’s as good as it sounds.  Little chocolate truffles full of good for you fats to keep the munchies away!  It's important to eat lots of fat and protein on a low-carb diet.  Don't be afraid of good fats, your brain needs them! Your brain is 65% FAT!  Now, I didn’t make up the concept… the original concept came from Wifezilla's Way.  But I was inspired, and made a stab at some dairy free ones for you dear dairy free followers, and they were delicious!  They taste like truffles.  They are a perfect snack!  And, you can make up your own, and do any number of substitutions.  Please post your versions! I am interested!
I’ll keep you posted on my weight loss… so far it’s been a half a week and my sugar-bloat is down quite a bit.  Thank you, fat bombs!
My other secret to staying on my low-carb diet, which I did with much success for over 3 years before pregnancy, is self-forgiveness.  Love yourself the way you are, right this minute.  So you aren’t rail thin.. who cares? There’s more of you to love.  Learn to accept yourself the way you are and then when you make a mistake, you say… oops, I made a mistake, oh well. I’ll start over right this minute.  Don’t let self judgement snowball into feeling bad about yourself and consuming too many foods that are not good for you!!!  If anyone ever gives you flack for your weight, tell them how that makes you feel and if they cannot stop, cut them out of your life or if that is not possible, learn to say to yourself, that is their problem, not yours!!!  You will be amazed how this technique works to help you have a better, healthier life!!!
***NOTE: If you use liquid stevia, it can make the chocolate mixture curdle if added after mixed.  So if you are not using the same kind I used- NuNaturals brand vanilla stevia (probably regular stevia would work), then I would suggest that you use either half as much and then add powdered if you have to adjust the taste later, or just used powdered.
***Also, it's possible your mixture won't stay a beautiful smooth consistency.  If that happens, so what. They still taste good when they are done! They just may separate, making a white band around the edges from the coconut oil.
CAVEAT: Don't eat these before bed, they give you a lot of energy!
UPDATE: I lost that pudge that was bothering me.  :) yay, fat bombs!

Fat Bombs

¼ cup cocoa powder
6 Tablespoons canned coconut milk – Native Forest brand has no BPA in the lining, FYI
2 Tablespoons Virgin Coconut Oil
3 - 6 Tablespoons nut butter:  I like to use 3 Tbls coconut butter, and the rest almond or peanut butter
1 Tablespoon finely chopped nuts, I used pecans here in Louisiana
Stevia to taste, I used 20 drops of NuNaturals liquid vanilla stevia or 1/4 teaspoon NuNaturals powdered** see note above
½ cup coconut flakes, toasted under a broiler while watching carefully, about 30 seconds
a wire whisk or hand beater
cupcake papers

Combine cocoa powder, coconut milk, and stevia in a small saucepan and stir.  The cocoa will not mix in. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until smooth. Remove from heat and add the nut butter.  Whisk or beat on low speed together until combined. Whisk in coconut oil.  Stir in nuts, and most of the coconut flakes.  Reserve some for topping. Spoon into 5 cupcake papers evenly and top with remaining coconut. Arrange on a plate and place in freezer until hardened.  Then, transfer to refrigerator.  Eat straight from refrigerator, they will melt at room temperature.  Makes 5; 3g effective carbs each, and 18.8g good-for-you fat if you use peanut butter and pecans, slightly less if you sub walnuts for pecans. If you use cashew butter & pecans/walnuts, 4.25 ECC/4.15 ECC respectively. 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Snickerdoodle Cookies with Walnuts

These are pretty much Snickerdoodle cookies with walnuts.  Easy to make, and yummy. 

Dragon Herbs was kind enough to send me a sample of their birch xylitol.  I am trying different kinds of birch xylitol, because I am trying to stay away from corn.  Birch xylitol is more expensive, but I believe it's worth it.  It causes less stomach aggravation, and I appreciate that it is grain-free.  I like to stay away from corn as much as possible.  I still use erythritol, but I may be using more xylitol in it's place now that I've found birch xylitol.

Cinnamon Walnut Cookies
2 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup butter, soft
1/4 cup erythritol
1/8 teaspoon powdered stevia (or 1/4 teaspoon NuNaturals brand)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract, gfree
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon cinnamon 
1 Tablespoon xylitol, I used Dragon Herbs Birch Xylitol
parchment paper

Preheat oven to 350˚ and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Blend in a large bowl the soft butter, stevia, and erythritol.  Add eggs one at a time and mix.  Add flour, baking soda, sea salt, and vanilla and mix until blended.  Add walnuts and mix gently. 

Stir together cinnamon and xylitol on a small bowl.  Roll cookie dough into 1 inch balls.  Dip or roll into cinnamon mixture, then place on lined cookie sheet.  Then smush with your fingers to flatten slightly into a cookie shape.  Place about 1 inch apart from other cookies.  Bake 8 - 12 min until top is golden brown.  Allow to cool on baking sheets.  These keep about 3-4 days. 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Blueberry Lemon Bars with Stevia

G-free Low Carb Blueberry Lemon Bars

More blueberry recipes!  I made these with Stevia only, so they contain no sugar alcohols (for those with corn allergies). And if you want to make them dairy free, just replace the butter in the crust with extra virgin coconut oil, or expeller-pressed coco oil for a non-coconut taste.  My fave is Tropical Traditions and no, they don't pay me to say that! Of course, if they'd like to, I'm all for it! I'd say it anyway! I think it's the best brand and I also think they are a great company.  I honestly don't trust any other expeller pressed coconut oil.
These are best served cold.

***TIP: Make zest from your lemon before you half it and juice it.  If you don't have a lemon zester, then use a cheese grater.

Blueberry Lemon Bars
Printable Page
8 generous servings at 6.1 effective carb count  (8.9 carbs - 2.8g fiber)
shortbread crust:

1 1/2 cups almond flour, I used Honeyville
1/8 teaspoon Stevia powder (NuNaturals preferred, or Sweetleaf)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
6 Tablespoons organic butter, melted [or expeller-pressed coconut oil]
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Edges of crust slightly browned
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl with a fork.  Press into a 9" pan and bake 10 - 15 minutes until the edges are slightly brown. (Like this pic--->). Cool while you make the filling.

lemon filling:

4 eggs, organic, pastured preferred
1 teaspoon organic lemon zest, finely chopped if necessary
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon NuNaturals Stevia powder, or 1/2 teaspoon Sweetleaf (then more to taste)
1/2 cup almond flour, I used Honeyville
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup organic blueberries, washed and stems removed (raspberries would be a good sub in this recipe)

how blueberries should look on crust
Beat eggs until fluffy.  Add all the rest of the ingredients except the blueberries. Mix well. Set aside. Arrange blueberries over the crust as evenly as possible. (see pic--->)

Then give the lemon mix a good stir and pour over blueberries.  Bake (still at 350˚F) for 25- 30 minutes until set. What does set mean? It won't be jiggly when you shake it. Or you can give it a toothpick test by putting your toothpick in the center and making sure the toothpick comes out clean, with nothing sticking to it.  The edges will be slightly brown.  Cool on a wire rack for about 30 minutes, then transfer to refrigerator for about an hour.

done: bars are set. Cooling.