Monday, October 5, 2015

Mom's Magic Dinner

    I'm calling this one Mom's Magic dinner because I whipped it up out of nowhere, with random ingredients, after arriving home later in the evening following a long day of shopping- with kids. 
     I have been inspired recently by some of the prepackaged noodle recipes. I don't buy them but the concept is nice. I usually keep a couple of packages of gluten free noodles just for these types of days. So that's where I started. 
Then glancing around I saw a can of chicken and it developed from there!

     I want to point out here that I used yellow squash (like zucchini) for this recipe. Once it's all put together with the yellow shell shaped corn noodles the squash is invisible. My kids didn't notice at all!
      I forgot to snap a pic of this dish, I will be making it again very soon and I will post a picture as soon as I do! 

1lb gluten free shell shaped corn noodles     
        (shape is not really important)
1 12oz can chicken
1 med yellow zucchini squash - diced
1/2 onion - diced 
Small handful parsley minced (or 1Tdried)
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes
                   (mine are chopped in the jar)
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup half and half
2T pesto 
Parmesan cheese for  (opt.)
1 T.    Montreal Seasoning 
1 T.    21 No salt Seasoning 
                     or Italian Seasoning  

Peel the squash if you want it invisible.

Sauté the onions and zucchini in Evoo season with Montreal steak and Italian seasoning (or 21 no salt seasoning) 
Boil noodles
Once the zucchini is done add chicken and tomatoes - stir well
Pour in the broth and cream and stir in pesto.
Combine well and serve with a sprinkle of parm
My kids devoured it!

If you like this recipe, or hate it! Let me know! If you have any questions, suggestions or just want to share how this worked for you; let me know in the comments below! Thank you for reading! 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Not Your Average Squash Recipe

I feel bad I haven't posted anything in quite a while. I have been really busy with life these last two months. But I'm still cooking. This was tonight's creation. 
It accompanied scrumptious pork chops!
I'll post both recipes here. 
     This is a great recipe for people who don't like squash. My pickiest eater isn't crazy about squash, he gobbled these up and asked for more. He was sad when we ran out! 
I wish I would have taken a picture, but I didn't. So you'll just have to trust me on this one. 

Scrumptious Butternut Squash
Feeds about 5-6 people 

1 large butternut squash

     Peeled and diced

 Olive oil drizzle 1-2Tablespoons 

1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano

1T chili powder

1T Montreal steak seasoning

Lots of garlic and onion powder (probably a teaspoon or 2 idk)

I placed every ing in a bowl to throughtly coat the squash. You could just as easily season on the pan. 

Spread evenly on a baking sheet and bake at 525 

We have a gas oven so I broiled the pork chops and put this pan on the bottom rack at the same time. 

Whether you have gas or electric, it's totally doable. I love multitasking oven made dishes. 

You might want to pop these in  5  mins earlier if you have an electric broiler. 

Pork Chops
Bone in Pork Chops 
Splash with apple cider vinegar
Season to taste 
     Garam Masala 
     No Salt  21 spice
     Montreal Steak Seasoning
Broil, turning 1/2 way through until done. 
At least 145F.

I hope you enjoy these. If you like these recipes, have questions or comments please post below! 
Thanks for reading my blog. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Hot cocoa / Chocolate Milk Mix

     Just in time for the holidays and cold weather! Today I'm sharing our favorite hot cocoa/ chocolate milk recipe! 
     One of the hardest parts of eating healthy for kids is being different from their friends or suddenly finding out they can't have something they always had before.       My goal is always to make things that help my kids feel normal, and nourish them at the same time. I cannot get past the labels on the chocolate milk and hot cocoa mixes any longer! 
     We have tried a couple varioustions over the year and this recipe is by far our unanimous favorite! 

Hot Cocoa
1c cocoa powder or cacao
2c of some type sugar. I usually use coconut palm sugar but use what you have.
1 teaspoon sea salt
1teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon cinnimon
Vanilla (which ever is easier. Liquid goes into cup after hot milk. Pwdr goes into the powder mix)
   Liquid - 1t per cup
  Pwdr - 1 1/2 Tblsp  

To use 
1 T mix (or more to taste)
8oz hot milk.

Chocolate Milk Mix 
Simply omit the cayenne pepper 
And vanilla is optional. We don't usually use vanilla for cold chocolate milk. 

A drink whisk is very helpful getting this mixed up. 
If you use essential oils, this would be a great way to use them! I would add 1 drop of cinnimon to the cup. 

If you enjoyed this recipe, have questions or comments please post them in the comments below. 
                                                       Thank you for reading! 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Protein Powerhouse Pumpkin muffins

     It's pumpkin season! Maybe you've heard? You know simply becuase pumpkins are ripening right this time of year, every business takes it upon themselves to utilize this fact as a marketing campaign. Why not me? 

      Actually, I didn't set out to jump on the pumpkin fluff bandwagon.  I was just cleaning out my freezer for the incoming fall crop when I ran across a container of pumpkin purée from last winter.  Moreover, I was looking for easy foods I could cook up to send with my kids for school lunches. What could be easier than muffins?  
     The best part of cooking paleo is knowing that I can I enjoy my favorite foods but they are also meeting my nutritional needs. Not only do these muffins contain loads of protein, but veggies too! No wasted calories in this recipe! 
     At first glance it you might be surprised by the amount of spices in this recipe. I assure you it is not over powering. While coconut flour is fairly mild, when mixed into batter it can be difficult sometimes to taste anything else, especially since I also used coconut oil. In this recipe, I worked really hard to minimize the coconut flavor and create that fluffy muffin texture I always got when baking with wheat. Additionally, I used my muffin top pan for this recipe.  I have regular muffin pans too but I tend to use the muffin top pan more often. The cooking times may vary for traditional muffin pans. 

Protein Power House Pumpkin muffins
Makes approximately 14 muffins
Prep time 5-10 minutes 
Cooking time 25-30 minutes

2 1/2 cups Pumpkin purée 
1 cup Coconut Flour 
1/2C Arrowroot Powder
1 tbsp Aluminum-Free Baking Powder (2T if your using regular muffin tins) 
6 Whole eggs
1/2 cup Pure Maple Syrup (honey would do well too) 
2 tbsp Cinnimon
2 tbsp All Spice
2 tsp Cardamom 
1/2 cup Coconut Oil - melted 

1/8 C date sugar (other options would be acceptable, such as coconut palm sugar,  maple sugar, turbinado) 
1 teaspoon cinnimon 

Preheat oven to 350F 

Grease your muffin tin well with coconut oil or use liners. Be sure to oil in between each set if reusing the same pan. 

I used a bowl and whisk for this recipe, a mixer on low speed would work fine as well. 

In a large mixing bowl combine pumpkin purée, coconut flour, arrowroot powder, baking powder and spices. 

In a separate bowl whisk 6 eggs completely. 
Add the eggs to the large bowl and mix well.

Pour in maple syrup and melted coconut oil stir thoroughly. 

Measure a 1/4 cup of batter into each muffin cup. 

Sprinkle topping over each muffin.

Bake 25-30 minutes. My first 2 batches cooked for 25 minutes exactly. The second one 30 minutes. Both turned out well. Most importantly keep an eye on them around 20 minutes as some ovens run hotter. 

If you liked this recipe, have any questions, comments; please post your comment below. 
                Thanks for Reading! 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Adventures in Cauli Rice: Stir Fried Cauli Rice

     Today's recipe is another quick and simple meal. We love Asian food but eating out is expensive. Making this dish at home also allows us to control the ingredients and flavors. I normally serve this type of dish with my homemade egg drop soup. It's so simple you'll wonder why you ever bought it from a restaurant! 

Stir Fried Cauli Rice 
Serves 4-6.      PrepTime 10 mins      Cook time 10-12. 

1batch cauli rice 
1small onion chopped 
1cup peas 
1cup carrots chopped small
2T olive oil
1-2 T sesame oil
1 t fish sauce 
1teaspoon Chinese 5spice (optional)
Coconut Aminos or Tamari. If you can't find either one of these look for liquid 
      aminos or low sodium msg-free soy sauce 
1-2cups Diced meat or seafood (optional)

Heat olive oil on medium high heat
Add cauli rice, carrots and onions 
Stir often. 4-5 mins
Add peas, sesame oil, coconut aminos, fish sauce, seasonings. Stir well
Whisk eggs and pour them into the mix while stirring. 
Once well mixed this dish is ready to serve! 

 Egg Drop Soup

Aprox 4servings   Total time less than 10 minutes

1quart bone broth or stock 
2-3 eggs -whisked

1. Pour bone broth into a sauce pan, heat medium to a gentle boil 
2. Slowly pour the eggs into the broth while whisking gently. 
3. Some recipes recommend sautéing a diced onion in the pot before pouring in the
    broth. This also tastes very nice but will add and extra 5 minutes to your cook    

     If you don't have a wok don't worry it's not hard to stir fry in a flat pan.  You will just need to stir more often.
    Why the fish sauce? A couple years ago I was reading about making Asian foods taste more authentic. One blogger recommended fish sauce. This little addition is amazing! I add just a couple splashes which probably equals 1/2-1teaspoon. 

 If you enjoyed this recipe, have questions or comments please post them in the comments below. 
                                                       Thank you for reading! 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Adventures in Cauliflower: Cauli Rice Carbonara

Today I'm going to share a super simple, last minute, toss it in the pan kind of recipe. I've tried different versions of carbonara. This is my version. 

Cauli Rice Carbonara
1batch cauli rice 
1/2 onion finely chopped
3-5 cloves garlic minced
Bacon crumbles
1T Lard aka bacon grease -yep you read that correctly! 
1egg + 1T water whisked
1-2 T  Italian seasoning
1-2 T  21 no salt seasoning
Sea salt & pepper to taste
1 cup shredded Parmeggano-reggiano (Parmesan cheese would be fine as well) 

1. Heat pan and oil over med-high heat. 
2. Sauté onions until translucent. 
3. Add cauli rice and cook 5-7mins
4. Add bacon crumbles, lard and egg -combine well 
5. Stir in shredded parmeggano-reggiano and season to taste. 
6. Cook a few mixtures longer and serve. 
     I say season to taste because I prefer more seasoning, I realize that some people prefer less. For this recipe I use 2tablepoons of of each seasoning.
     I could enjoy this carbonara any time of day! The flavors are so soft and mild, it could easily become a comfort food. My toddler loved it so much he ate 4 servings. As a matter of fact, my entire family loves this recipe. They were actually sad that I only made a half batch for my first try. Needless to say, this will be a regular staple in our home. This dish stores nicely in the fridge. I'm not sure about freezing it, if you try it let me know! 
                                                      {4th bowl-I think this says it all!}
           If you try this recipe let me know, have questions or comments please post them below. 
                                                      Thanks for reading!!! 

Adventures in Cauliflower: Cauli Rice pudding

     Many people see desserts as a guilty pleasure, something only enjoyed occasionally. There's good reason to keep traditionally prepared desserts to a minimum. Most desserts will send your blood sugar through the roof and past the sun. This recipe not only changes the way we look at cauliflower, but also how we view desserts! 
     While cauliflower is high in carbohydrates it's a complex carb meaning it will digest more slowly, along with the other ingredients this dish will give your body sustained energy and vitamins. Unlike the carbohydrates in rice that generally spike blood sugars for an hour or two then send your body spiraling to a crash landing; carbs in veggies and fats stabilize blood sugar for longer periods of time with a much more even tapering off. In his wellness website, Dr. Mercola discusses this very topic. "While both grains and vegetables are carbohydrates, most grains should be avoided and most vegetables are acceptable. Your body prefers the carbohydrates in vegetables rather than grains because it slows the conversion to simple sugars like glucose, and decreases your insulin level. Grain carbohydrates, on the other hand, will increase your insulin levels and interfere with your ability to burn fat."  I'll also soon be sharing about the fats myth and why you shouldn't be afraid to eats fats on a regular basis. 
      Today's dish could be fabulous as a breakfast, snack or dessert. My family enjoyed it following dinner, cooled to room temperature. My version is made using a sauce pan but you could also try using a crock pot or the oven method; I'd love to hear how it works out for you. Either way I hope you decide to give this recipe a try. I think you will be pleasantly surprised and your blood sugars and waiste line will thank you too. 

Cauli Rice Pudding
1/2  batch cauliflower rice
1 T.  Butter/ghee or coconut oil 
  Pinch of Sea salt (if using coconut oil or unsalted butter) 

Heat the oil/butter in a sauce pan and cook cauli rice about 5mins. The idea is to make it sweeter and cook off the cauliflower taste, make sure you stir it often. You don't want it to brown or burn! 
Remove the cauli rice from the pan. 

2 cups milk (your choice) or combination of milk and cream 
4 teaspoons real vanilla extract 
1-1/2 T pumpkin pie spice 
2  whole eggs, whisked lightly [preferably free range due to nutritional superiority.]
1T * Arrowroot powder (optional for thickening) 
1/4 C raw honey or maple syrup
Zest of 1 small orange (optional) 
 1 t Cardamom (optional)
 1/2cup raisins, or any dried fruit (optional) 

1.  In the same pan used to cook the cauli rice combine all the sauce ingredients. 
Whisk well while bringing to a slow boil over medium heat. 
    -the only reason I add the cauli rice after this is because it will take longer to boil, if your limited on prep time go ahead and toss it in before.

2.  Once boiling add the cauli rice (and dried fruit if using) and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 30mins stirring every 2mins or so. Make sure to scrape the sides and bottom at least every other stir. Trust me on this one! I tried just whisking and too much was sticking to the pan. 

* if using Arrowroot powder - add it to cold milk first and whisk well then add  additional ingredients. 
I did not use arrowroot for this test,  because I didn't have any available that day; my pudding came out a little liquidy. 


     I made 5 batches of pudding for this experiment. All batches contained orange zest. All my kids loved the orange, I actually prefer it without. 
All of the batches behaved similarly in regards to thickening. Around the 15 minute mark they were gaining significant thickness. 
     Batch 1 was made using the sweetened vanilla coconut milk you buy in the refrigerator section. Because the milk already contained sweetener I eliminated the additional sweetener. However, this batch was the most bland. It also took the longest to thicken, although it did not exceed the 30 minutes. I don't normally buy this type of coconut milk becuase of the carrageenan, but I figured it was the easiest to obtain so I would give it a shot. 
     Batch 2 and 3 were made with canned coconut milk. Batch #2 was made with maple syrup while #3 was made with raw honey.  They taste very similar but 2 of my kids preferred the maple syrup batch while the other 2 preferred the honey version. My mom liked the coconut milk with honey and the dairy version with maple syrup. 
     Batch 4&5 were made using 1/2 milk and 1/2 heavy whipping cream. Batch #4 was made with maple syrup and #5 had honey. I think these tasted the same. That said, I kept going back for the honey version. 
     Overall I think all the batches turned out well. I would gladly make any of these versions again. 
               As always if you enjoyed this post, tried the recipe, have questions or comments 
                                                     please post them below. 
                                                        Thanks for reading! 

Mercola, J. "Beginner Plan: Carbohydrates." Retrieved 18.Aug .2014

Mercola,J. "List Of Best and Worst Vegitables to Eat." 29.Nov. 2010. Retrieved 18. Aug.2014