Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Jalapenos

I've posted these before, but they are pretty far down the How To Have A Gluten-Free Healthy Pampered Chef Party post, so I am re-posting.  We just made these again today. They are sooo easy and soo amazingly delicious!

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
sea salt & pepper

In a bowl mix softened cream cheese, chives, and seasoning to taste. 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!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Thick and Creamy Yogurt Making with my friend Melissa

Welcome Melissa, my friend who has graciously agreed to blog here about her genius yogurt making; using pastured gelatin to make it thicker, and healthier.  I hope you enjoy her post! 

Thick and Creamy Yogurt Making using Gelatin!

So, with the help of a good friend, I have finally figured out how to make yogurt of a yummy consistency (THICK and CREAMY).  After perfecting my technique I have decided to share it with the world (ok, so maybe just my facebook friends).

Here goes!
You will need:
1/2 gallon of milk (makes a 1/2 gallon of yogurt)
1 Tbs of Beef Gelatin
1 small container (8 oz) of Voskos yogurt (for starter)
3 quart size mason jars

First take out your crockpot and fill it half way with water and let it start heating up.

I threw a fit when my husband bought the fanciest crockpot available, but now I am quite happy because it has a thermometer.  I had a candy thermometer and then I washed it in the dishwasher..well you can probably imagine how that went down.  

Your goal is to get the water to 110 degrees.  Since this takes the longest I suggest getting this going first. 

How pretty is milk in glass jars?!? (I did a gallon with these pictures, but in the end I realized that I couldn't fit 5 jars in my crockpot (its the milk plus the 8 oz of yogurt), so one jar went to the chickens. (do it in half gallon size to make life easier).

Pour your milk into a large pot.

Now, this is VERY important!  Add Beef Gelatin BEFORE the milk gets hot!
Here is the one I used, I believe its from grass-fed beef.

Add 1 Tbs of gelatin to COLD milk

Whisk in quickly, it will dissolve well if the milk is still cold.  

Now you wait for your milk to get to 190 degrees F.  

While you are waiting get a nice ice bath going for your yogurt, I usually empty out the ice bin and add water until there is plenty of coldness to go around.

Once your milk has reach 190 degrees bring to ice bath and stir frequently.

Let your milk come down to 110 degrees (same temp you want the crockpot!).  This doesn't take as long as you would think.  So keep checking.  (Ignore the white soap scum on my sink! eep!) 

Once its down to 110 degrees its time to add the yogurt starter (and you are almost done!).  I use Voskos because I was told to use Voskos and frankly Im scared to try something else.  I use a 8 oz container. If you use a different starter with the same results please let me know! Voskos is not available everywhere (Whole Foods, mostly).

Take your milk out of the ice and add yogurt.

Whisk it in as much as you can, it will still be a bit lumpy but thats ok.

Now pour your milk/yogurt mixture into your jars.  Only 4 quart jars fit into my crockpot so dont do more than 4!  It will make all yogurt, no whey and no waste.

She's ready to grow me some yogurt!

Put jars into the hot crockpot (100 degrees F). Fill it as high as you can without overflowing.

Put the lid on.

Cover with foil. This is where this crockpot is cool.  I poke the thermometer through the tin foil into the water so I can check the temp throughout the day.  

And now cover with blankets!  My husband not-so-fondly refers to this as "my blanket yogurt".

Now here is the real secret to this yogurt making business. You MUST keep the yogurt between 105 and 110 degrees ALL 10 to 12 hours!  I usually check it every few hours to see where it is.  I will turn it on for 5 min (set the timer so you dont forget!) and then turn it off again.  The thicker the blankets you use and the more foil you use the less often you will have to heat it up.  I always start around 7am so that its for sure done by 7pm (almost my bedtime!).  You can do 10 hours though and if you need to add an hour or two to that it should be fine as well.  

Happy Yogurt Making!  Let me know how it turns out!

Some of my own personal cuteness to make your day brighter:

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Whole Food Kids: Orange Creamsicles

It's been very busy over here... but here's a quick summer treat for your whole food eating child or grandchild.  Very easy!  Of course, I don't eat much fruit, but I do give it to my toddler.  No juice, though!  I feel like juice is a highway to diabetes, so I used the whole fruit in this recipe.  He eats grain-free and sugar-free like I do, so this is the first time he's had any kind of popsicle. He loved it!
My toddler has not wanted to eat anything lately... won't touch yogurt or an orange for sure! But this... he loved!!  He kept saying, "Mmmmm!"

Other flavors: replace orange with peaches (frozen or fresh) and replace vanilla extract with almond extract... yummy!!!

Whole Food Orange Creamsicles for Kids
Makes 4-5 small creamsicles

If making 4; 38 calories each, 6g total carbs, 5g effective carb count.

1 organic orange, peel and seeds removed (try not to lose too much juice)
1/4 cup organic whole milk yogurt (does not need to be exact)
liquid vanilla stevia to taste
vanilla extract if not using much stevia
push-pops or ice pop molds
high power blender

Blend orange in blender until completely liquified.  Add yogurt and a few drops of vanilla stevia and taste.  Add rest of ingredients and more stevia, if needed, to taste.  Pour small amounts in each mold and freeze for 2 hours.  Serve on a hot day!!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

May the Fourth Be With You

My Husband tells me that today is Star Wars Day. (lol).  Actually today is my webpage's 4th anniversary!  Thanks for being a part of it!
There are new posts coming soon, as soon as I wrap up some singing projects, hopefully in May.
Stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Easy Collard Greens & Pork Stock

Stock.  It's so good for you.  I make many kinds of stock: chicken, pork, beef, lamb, seafood.  And, I sell some locally.  I just bought a beautiful pastured pig from a local farm, and my freezer is full of delicious and good for you pork! To make my pork stock, I use pork bones, some sea salt, black peppercorns, a bay leaf, green onions or onion chives if I have some on hand from my garden, and some odds and ends of vegetable scraps- like onion skins and tops, squash rinds, things like that.  I add filtered water and keep it below the boiling point, and I leave the fat on it.  So this is what I used to make these collard greens.  They were incredible.  If you don't have your own pork stock already made, you can simmer a pot of water and pork bone until reduced, and then proceed with the recipe.  If yours has very little fat, add some stable fat such as pastured lard, or coconut oil to the recipe.  After we ate the greens, we drank the broth.  It was spicy and delicious and so many health benefits!!!  My husband said he hated collard greens but dinner took way longer than expected, so out of desperate hunger, he tried some... then finished it off. He loved it!  THIS is the way to eat collard greens!

If you are still unsure why eating pastured meat is so much better for you than conventional, go here.

Easy Collard Greens, Southern Style
Feeds 4 a a side dish or 2 as a snack

3 cups homemade pork broth with fat
4 cups of water simmered with ham hock or pork bone until a golden color (reduced in half) and a few Tablespoons of stable fat added to it - pastured lard or coconut oil

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional.  This will make it spicy.
1 bunch of organic collard greens, rinsed well and torn into smaller pieces

Pour broth into a quart pot with red pepper flakes, and add greens on top. The greens will be much higher than the broth, that is ok.  Simmer, stirring frequently, until greens reduce enough so that they are in the broth.  Keep cooking until soft.  Take pieces out and cool to try frequently.  When done, drink the broth after or dip in some cheese biscuits! Yum!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Healthy Chocolate Mints

When making some new fat bomb variations, I came up with an icing of sorts on accident, and it suddenly occurred to me that I could make fat bombs in the shape of Andes chocolate mints... it could be like healthy candy.  After all, isn't that what "fat bombs" are?  For those of you who are coming across this low-carb term for the first time, "fat bombs" are just little healthy bombs of good fat- usually grass-fed butter or virgin coconut oil or something similar mixed with other healthy items- cocoa, stevia, coconut butter or nut butter for instance.  They kill carb cravings by giving your brain what it needs- good fats!  Your brain is made up of 65% fat, did you know?  So here is my recipe, I hope you enjoy it.

Personally, I think a silicone brownie pan is a must for this recipe. But if you don't have that, just carefully line a regular pan (use glass instead of metal if you have it) with parchment paper so that the chocolate does not stick.

Healthy Chocolate Mints

3 Tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted makes life easier
2 Tablespoons coconut butter
2 Tablespoons grass-fed butter
3 Tablespoons grass-fed cream
2 teaspoons honey (optional)
6 Tablespoons virgin coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon NuNaturals Stevia (if subbing, start with half as much, NuNaturals is less sweet)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
silicone baking pan or parchment paper lined (bottom and sides) glass pan, about 8x8

Prepare your baking pan wither with parchment paper or if silicone, place on a metal cookie sheet to prevent spilling.  On low heat in a saucepan, melt cocoa powder, coconut butter, butter, cream and honey until well incorporated. Use a wire whisk if you are having problems with clumping cocoa powder.  Once warm and mixed, turn off heat and add virgin coconut oil and stevia.  Stir until blended. Add vanilla and stir.  Pour half the mixture on the bottom of the pan and make sure it is evenly distributed on the bottom.  Place pan (and cookie sheet, if using) inside freezer for 10 minutes or until hardened.  Make the filling during this step, and set aside the other half of chocolate.

1 Tablespoon coconut butter
1 Tablespoon grass-fed butter
1 & 1/2 Tablespoons grass-fed cream (or 4 & 1/2 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon raw honey (optional)
3 Tablespoons virgin coconut oil
1/8 teaspoon NuNaturals Stevia (if subbing, start with half as much, NuNaturals is less sweet)
a few drops of peppermint oil.  I used Young Living Brand.  Go slow!
silicone spatula

On low heat in a saucepan, melt coconut butter, butter, cream and honey until well incorporated.  Once warm and mixed, turn off heat and add virgin coconut oil and stevia.  Stir until blended. Add peppermint oil 1 or 2 drops at a time, tasting after each one, until desired mintiness is achieved.  When chocolate in pan is hardened, pour on top with a silicone spatula ready... it will start to harden as it touches the chocolate.  You need to make sure it completely covers the chocolate as evenly as possible. Return to freezer for 5-10 minutes (unless it already hardens and you don't need to).  Pour the rest of the chocolate from the pot on top.  Return to freezer for 10 minutes, then place in refrigerator for 20 minutes.  Carefully release onto large wooden board or marble slab if you have one and cut into rectangular pieces with a sharp knife.  Place candies into a container and keep in fridge to keep them hard.


Thursday, January 31, 2013

Blueberry Pancake Jam

Here's a nice change for your pancakes.  I originally posted a blueberry sauce with xylitol, but I thought I could make it more natural.  Blueberries are low-g.i. and I consider them a good fruit for low-carbers. They have a sweetness already, in my opinion.  This make a loose jam or a thicker sauce.  I made them for my toddler, with bite sized pancakes (I used this recipe).  You can sweeten to taste.

Blueberry Pancake Jam
Makes about a cup.  Stores for about a week, but can be frozen.

1 1/2 cups frozen organic blueberries
filtered water
1 Tablespoon arrowroot powder (can use cornstarch but you'll need more, and won't freeze well)
stevia or honey to taste (I have used 1/4 tsp honey)
flour sifter so starch doesn't clump
sauce pot
glass jelly jar

With blueberries still in the measuring cup, pour enough water in the cup to cover them and let sit 5 - 10 minutes.  Pour into blend, and blend until thoroughly mixed.  Pour into a pot over high heat until mixture boils. Reduce heat to low and let it reduce to a third or a half. Sift in arrowroot powder and whisk immediately until blended.  Sweeten to taste.  Pour on pancakes and leftovers can be refrigerated in the glass jar for up to a week.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Gluten Free Low Carb Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins

Here are some amazingly chocolatey muffins... not very sweet (you can add more sweetness if you like) but very good! Perfect little to-go breakfast with a hard boiled egg.. if you are having some chocolate cravings! It feels totally decadent to eat one of these for breakfast but each one only has about 7 net carbs.

Gluten Free Low Carb Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins
makes 6

3 eggs, separated
2 Tablespoons butter or virgin coconut oil, melted
2 Tablespoons cream or coconut milk
1/4 cup erythritol (or 3 Tablespoons sugar sub, or 1/4 cup honey)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, gluten free
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup coconut flour (sifted)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 of a 3.5 ounce 85% chocolate bar, I used Valrhona, chopped  into chips (directions on this page)

Whip egg whites and set aside in fridge or cool place. In a separate bowl, mix egg yolks, melted butter, cream, vanilla, sweetener (erythritol/honey/sub), and salt. Stir in cocoa, and erythritol. Combine coconut flour with baking powder and sift into batter, stirring quickly so that there are no lumps. Fold in egg whites (go here for tips on doing this in such a sticky batter). Add chips.  Pour into greased muffin tins, the batter should make 6. They won't rise that much, so you can fill each tin to the top. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. It's okay if the muffins still look slightly dark on the top in the middle of the muffin when you take them out, they will not be undercooked, but will stay moist. Enjoy!!!
Bookmark and Share

Saturday, January 19, 2013

BEST Fat Bombs

I love fat bombs.  They really help me stay on track.  And, since I have been WAY off track lately, and it's time to start all over, fat bombs are really saving me. What are they? Basically, they are little chocolate (in this case) truffles that are primarily made up of good fat, used to stop cravings for carbs in their tracks.  The virgin coconut oil gives you energy, and helps regulate your thyroid and adrenals, which is a bonus.  The fats from coconut oil, and especially from pastured grass-fed cow's butter will really satisfy you.  Since good fat is good for you, helping your brain and your body, these will actually help you burn fat if you stay away from the carbs.

Why eat grass-fed dairy? Here's a good article, explaining about CLA, the anti-cancer fat only found in dairy from grass-fed (naturally fed) cows.  Check it out at grassfedtraditions.com, if you don't know about it!

My first two fat bombs.. chocolate and lemon, were both dairy free, by the way, so if you can't have dairy, go on over to those two posts.

I made these with peanut butter, but I also tried a batch with coconut butter (ground coconut like nut butter, I used Artisana brand which is yummy).  Sometimes fat bombs separate in the freezer, leaving a white top to your fat bomb. This happened to my coconut butter version a few days ago, and it was even better... so no worries. I suspect I added 2 extra Tablespoons of coconut oil on accident, when my toddler sweetly distracted me.

I use either mini muffin papers, which I lay inside a tin mini cupcake pan.  However, if you have a mini -muffin silicone pan, that is even easier.  I like HIC brand, it has no silicone smell/taste to baked goods.
I used NuNaturals stevia, which is half as sweet as other brands.  So start with very little and work up to taste- your taste buds might be different than mine.  Write down how much you used and which brand (also post here!) so you will remember what you did for next time- then it's faster to make.

Best Fat Bombs Ever
makes around 16

2 Tablespoons grass-fed butter like Smjör or Kerrygold
3 Tablespoons grass-fed cream
1 Tablespoon raw honey (optional)
3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
2 Tablespoons organic peanut butter OR coconut butter
6 Tablespoons virgin coconut oil
2 Tablespoons ground nuts, I used pecans
1 Tablespoon shredded coconut
1/4 teaspoon NuNaturals powdered stevia, or very little of another brand, to taste
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
silicone mini-muffin pan or regular with mini paper baking cups or silicone molds

First, if your coconut oil is not at a liquid state, you should melt it without destroying its virgin state. I heat a pan of water with a candy or meat thermometer until it gets to 120˚F.  Then, I turn it off and set the jar of virgin coconut oil in it and let it sit until it's melted inside.

In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt butter, honey (if using), cocoa powder, and peanut butter (if using).  Use a whisk to mix all together, if necessary.  Turn off heat and add in coconut oil, coconut butter (if using), cream, nuts, coconut, and stevia (to taste, start out small). Stir until all mixed in together, then add vanilla. Pour into molds/pan/papers and freeze for 10 minutes (if using a silicone pan, put on a cookie sheet so it won't bend and spill).  Then, transfer to refrigerator for 15 minutes.  Pop out of silicone molds or pull them out by the cupcake papers and store in refrigerator in a sealed container.  Eat whenever you have a carb craving!!


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

"Breaded" Bay Scallops

This is a recipe from a friend that I updated to gluten-free.. this is an appetizer portion for two, but you can easily increase the portion. You may use herbed butter, or just regular butter.  I've done both.  You can also add a little lemon juice at the end, but I like ours without.

Melissa from Satifying Eats has a new cookbook, that is great! I love it!!  I highly recommend it. It is really a complete grain-free sugar-free cookbook, with everything you can think of. For this dish, I used the Bread-less Bread Crumbs from her book. There is a similar recipe on her blog, that I linked to, below (parsley omitted, although sounds like it would be tasty if you have them!).

I apologize for the picture- my camera seems to be needed a battery replaced, it didn't focus correctly and the scallops didn't last long enough for another picture!!  They are so tasty!

Half the recipe - a generous serving!

Gluten Free "Breaded" Bay Scallops

serves 2-3 as an appetizer

1/2 lb bay scallops
2 Tablespoons Kerrygold herbed butter or plain butter [grass-fed/non GMO like Kerrygold or Smjör]
splash white wine (optional but yummy. alcohol will likely cook off)
2- 3 Tablespoons Breadless Bread Crumbs from Satisfying Eats

Preheat the oven to 400˚F.  In a small baking dish or pie tin, spread around a few thinly sliced pats of butter. You can use a little more than 2 Tablespoons, if you like. Place dish in oven to melt butter.  Remove, and add a splash of white wine.  Put your scallops in a single layer on top, and stir to get the butter all over the scallops, but keep them in a single layer.  Sprinkle the "bread crumbs" lightly on top of the scallops.  Bake for 12 - 18 minutes until done - scallops will be opaque, and breadcrumbs golden.   Serve immediately.

Let me know if you enjoyed this recipe and any tweaks you made to it, and how it came out! Thanks!!

If you are on Facebook, join the discussions with us! I hope to post recipes more often, but have been very busy lately with singing, teaching, and most importantly... Mommy-ing!!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Gluten Free Sugar Free Banana Cream Pie (so easy!)

This is not a traditional banana cream pie.  There is no custard or long period of stove cooking.  It's quick, light, and easy.  It has an amazing mouth feel.  Sometimes you just have to have bananas.  I know they are not low-carb, but I do believe they are nutritious and nice for a once in a while treat.

This pie has no sugar at all and is only made with stevia.  If you think you dislike stevia, I ask you to try it again.  It really is the best choice for sweeteners.  If you can handle a little corn (maltodextrin), NuNaturals is completely free of any bitter taste, although less sweet, so you'd need to use twice as much (1/2 teaspoon for 1/2 cup sugar).  Pies are the easiest desserts to make with stevia since they don't rise, like cake.  This pie is low sweetness.  You can increase the stevia from a 1/2 teaspoon to up to one teaspoon, and you could even add honey or erythritol to the cream cheese mixture, if you want to make it sweeter. I added the insides of a small vanilla bean once, too, and it was delish! (I still used the extract).

Here's a banana cream pie that you can give your children and feel good about... use ripe bananas- with little brown dots on the skin- they have a lot less starch, and they taste and digest better. Please comment and let me know what you think!  I love comments on this page, too!
A big thank you to all my readers, I am so glad you like my recipes and we can all journey into better health together!!!

Gluten Free Sugar Free Banana Cream Pie (so easy!)

crust: chocolate pie crust link, regular pie crust link (I like chocolate, but you may not...) 

16 ounces (2 bricks) organic cream cheese (or even better, cultured raw cream cheese from a local farmer), softened
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2  teaspoon vanilla extract
3 - 4 ripe bananas: 2 mashed, the rest sliced
1/2- 1 teaspoon NuNaturals Stevia or start with 1/4 teaspoon of another brand and work up to taste

Make one of the pie crusts that I link to above.  When crust is cooled, place one layer of sliced bananas on the bottom.

In a medium sized bowl, whip cream to soft peaks.  Add stevia and vanilla, mix well,  and set aside in fridge.  In another bowl, whip cream cheese and mashed bananas.  Fold in the whipped cream mixture. Pour into cooled pie crust lined with banana slices and chill for about 30 minutes to an hour.  You can garnish with banana slices, chocolate curls or chocolate cookie crumbs.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Coffee Cake!

I looove coffee cake.  This recipe has a few options.  You can make this gluten-free coffee cake dairy-free and you can also make it kid-friendly with honey instead of erythritol.  I have made it many different ways. My whole family loves this recipe, and I hope you enjoy it too!  I also think they would make great cupcakes, thought I haven't tried it yet... let me know if you do!

The one I made today (in the pic) was the kid-friendly recipe so it is a darker color because of some darker honey I used. I used coconut milk and expeller pressed coconut oil.  In the topping, I used mostly pecan meal + some ground walnuts for a little more crunch.  I used Penzey's brand cake spice... which is a mix of cinnamon, star anise, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, and cloves.  I love the taste of this spice.  If you don't have cake spice, just use more cinnamon.

TIP: If you are making this with coconut oil, make sure your egg yolks are room temperature OR beat quickly the egg yolks and oil first so that it doesn't harden back up on you and mess up your batter.  This has happened to me countless times, then I have to wait for the whole batter to get above 72˚F to get it blended well.

Gluten Free (Dairy Free) Coffee Cake

6 Tablespoons butter, melted and slightly cooled (or coconut oil)
6 eggs, separated
2 Tablespoons whole milk or coconut milk
½ cup erythritol or 3 Tablespoons honey
¾ teaspoon NuNaturals Stevia or half as much different brand
½ teaspoon cake spice (or ½ teaspoon more cinnamon)
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ cup coconut flour
½ teaspoon baking powder

mix together:
½ cup ground nuts or nut flour or mixture
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons coconut palm sugar
½ teaspoon NuNaturals stevia or half as much other brand (to taste)

Grease well a 9 x 5 bread pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.  Whip egg whites in a clean and dry bowl until soft peaks form, set aside. 

In a separate bowl, blend together melted butter or coconut oil & egg yolks.  Add milk, erythritol, stevia, cake spice, salt, and vanilla and mix ingredients well.  Combine coconut flour and baking soda and sift into ingredients, while mixing well to ensure no lumps. Add a 1/3rd of egg whites to soften the batter, then fold in rest.  Pour a small amount of batter in the prepared pan to cover the bottom, then sprinkle half the filling.  Pour the rest of the batter.  Add the rest of the filling on top. Bake at 400 degrees F (205 C) for 17 - 25 minutes. Cool.