Category Archives: grain free

Monday, November 16, 2015

Roasted Turkey with Garlic, Thyme, and Lemon w/ Paleo Gravy

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I’ve been hosting Thanksgiving dinner for several years.  Because I enjoy cooking and can plan and multitask like no one’s business, Thanksgiving is totally doable for me.  And I love that I can make it all gluten, dairy, and cane-sugar free, and everyone always, every year, raves about the food.  They can’t tell my stuffing is gluten free, or that the sweet potatoes aren’t swimming in cane-sugar, or the gravy is Paleo (gasp)!  So when I started hosting the thought of roasting an entire turkey was completely unappealing.  I mean, yes, it looks lovely, but it takes so long and it just made more sense (to me) to buy turkey parts and roast them to their appropriate doneness (as we all know, white meat cooks differently than dark meat).  I’ve also noticed that turkey legs are really popular and I like having more than two available.  I’ve really enjoyed preparing turkey this way and my guests seem to enjoy it as well.  Perfectly moist breast meat and perfectly moist dark meat?!  Yes please.  I wanted to share my method with you in case you were feeling a little overwhelmed by the whole bird. By the way, brining turkey is a necessary step to that delicious, moist meat…so don’t skip it!  Gobble-gobble.   Continue reading

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Labels: fall cuisine, grain free, main dish, Paleo, Thanksgiving.

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Monday, October 19, 2015

Grain-Free “Corn” Dog Bites

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I am on a never ending mission to make new and fun snacks and lunches for my kiddos.  It makes me happy to fill their lunch bags every morning with nutritious whole food that I feel good about.  My kids LOVE corn dogs, as do I.  I recently saw a new product pop up in the frozen food isle.  They are these little mini corn dogs – they are round and gluten free (the coating is mostly corn).  I bought some to try.  They were good, but the coating was really hard, but I loved how they were bite size!  And do you know what else is bite size?….MINI MUFFINS.  So I created a very basic almond flour batter as the “corn” and used our favorite grass fed beef dogs to make a fun little snack that isn’t deep fried, isn’t on a sick, but mimics the flavor and essence of a corn dog.  My kids gave them a rousing thumbs up, so yay!  Another fun idea for their lunch boxes.  

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Labels: grain free, kids, Paleo, snacks.

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Monday, October 5, 2015

Grain-Free Apple Cinnamon Mini Muffins

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I wanted to make a fall-inspired snack for my kiddos this week…and they LOVE apple cinnamon anything, so some yummy apple cinnamon mini muffins fit the bill. I find that mini muffins are perfect for snack time – they are easy to pack and easy to eat.  I prefer to make muffins with almond flour, as one cup of almond flour has 20 grams of protein! I love that my kiddos are getting a good protein surge for their morning snack (not to mention all those good fats) to hold them over until lunch. I’m excited about more apple recipes in the coming weeks, especially this one from Ricki Heller. I hope everyone is having a great fall so far.  I’ve got my Halloween costume all set and ready to party.  Woot-woot.   Continue reading

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Labels: fall treats, grain free, holidays, muffins, Paleo, snacks, thanksgiving desserts.

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Monday, August 3, 2015

Southwestern Quinoa Salad

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My local Natural Food Coop has been making a fiesta quinoa salad for years (10+).  I ate it like crazy when it first showed up in the deli and would also pick some up for potlucks or for dinner.  A few years ago I started making it myself.  I remember it was a blistering hot summer, and for weeks it was over 100 degrees and I refused to turn on my oven for most of it.  Like most summers, we live off of cool meals such as avocado mint soup, salads galore, raw treats and homemade ice cream. This quinoa salad is super refreshing and it’s a favorite among my family and friends. Maybe this dish will make an appearance at your next party…or for dinner one hot summer night.  xo, –Amber  Continue reading

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Labels: allergy-friendly, grain free, salads, summer cuisine, vegan, vegetarian.

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Monday, July 20, 2015

Almond Flour Blueberry Mini Muffins

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Last year I finally bought myself a mini muffin pan…and I love it! I try to keep snack time creative and healthy for the kiddos and mini muffins were a perfect new addition.  I love using almond flour for the muffins, as they are packed with protein.  Any flavor combo is possible and I adore that they are easy to make, easy to pack, and easy to eat.  Today I am sharing blueberry, as blueberries are in season and such a delightful little berry.  I also use cherry, strawberry, or raspberry or any combo of each.  The kids also love banana chocolate chip, which I will share soon.  Have you ever made mini muffins?  I am addicted! Continue reading

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Labels: grain free, kids, muffins, Paleo, snacks, summer cuisine, summer treats.

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Monday, May 5, 2014

Grain Free Cashew Thumb Print Cookies

917939a40a4e964d82bda81a16633005Okay, these aren’t really thumb prints I guess, more like heel prints (ha ha).  I like lots of filling in my cookies so I make the dips bigger than your typical thumb print width. So these cookies were inspired by a new paleo cookie that has arrived at my local natural foods coop (created by a local bakery called Sugar Plum Vegan).  The ingredients: super simple.  The price: OUCH! One cookie costs $4 – I’m not kidding. That’s a bit outrageous, especially since these cookies are very easy to make with some very basic paleo ingredients.  I bought one to taste test (and I really liked it) so took note of the ingredients and made my own batch the next day. My recipe contains an egg because I like to use egg as a binder and like the way it tastes with the cashews (vegan option in notes).  The flavor is truly spot on.  I could not justify buying another $4 cookie when I literally had everything at home to make a big batch. These are my family’s new favorite treat.  I try to make 2 or 3 homemade snacks each week for the kiddos to decrease my dependence on packaged food (especially packaged snacks).  And these are super easy to make and low in the sugar department (which is always a plus).    Continue reading

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Labels: cookies, dessert, grain free, grain free desserts, Paleo.

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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

No-Bake Mini Pumpkin “Cheesecake” with Vanilla Bean Coconut Cream Topping (dairy free, grain free, cane-sugar free)

Last month I gave a little teaser about this recipe on Facebook.  I’m so excited to finally share!  Angel from Wellness Angel put together a week-long fall inspired blog series.  To kick things off, yesterday Angel shared a wonderful vegan lentil loaf, a must try recipe.  Please visit Angel’s blog when you get a chance – I simply adore her wellness philosophy.

This no-bake pumpkin cheesecake is fabulous.  It’s light, super creamy, and bursting with fall flavors.  I had several traditional eaters test this recipe and they all gave it rave reviews, with the pumpkin flavor and sweetness spot on.  This is my pumpkin pie for the holidays.  No bake means easy peasy and there are minimal ingredients.  It can be made the day before which is always very convenient.  I hope you and your family enjoys this recipe as much as we do.    
No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake 
with Vanilla Bean Coconut Cream Topping 
and Pumpkin Seed Crust 

Ingredients:

Crust
-1 cup raw pumpkin seeds 
-1 cup Medjool dates (about 7 regular size), seeded and chopped 
-1 tablespoon maple syrup* 
-2 tablespoons carob powder 

Pumpkin Filling 
-1 cup raw cashews soaked 4 to 6 hours 
-1 cup cooked plain pumpkin puree 
-1/3 cup maple syrup* 
-1/2 cup melted coconut oil
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
-1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
-1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Vanilla Bean Coconut Cream Topping
-3/4 cup cashews soaked 4 to 6 hours 
-Cream from 1 can of full fat coconut milk*
-2 tablespoons maple syrup*
-1 vanilla bean
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

How To:

Crust
In a food processor add the pumpkin seeds and blend for 10 seconds.  Add in the chopped dates and blend with the pumpkin seeds until incorporated.  With the food processor running, add in the maple syrup and carob.  Blend until incorporated.  Press the mixture into baking cups or a spring form pan.

Pumpkin Filling 
1.  Drain and rinse the cashews.  
2.  In a high speed blender (or high quality blender, such as a Ninja), add in the cashews, pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, and maple syrup and blend on medium speed. Use the tamper to encourage the mixture to move around.  
3.  Turn the blender on low and drizzle in the melted coconut oil. Repeat with the tamper, encouraging the mixture to flow, and turn on high.  
4.  Turn down to low and add in the spices, then continue blending.  
5.  The mixture is ready when it’s creamy and smooth.  
6.  Add this mixture to the top of the crust. Then place in the refrigerator.

Vanilla Bean Coconut Cream Topping
1.  Drain and rinse the cashews.  
2.  In a high speed blender (or high quality blender, such as a Ninja), add in the cashews, coconut cream, vanilla extract, and maple syrup and blend on medium speed. Use the tamper to encourage the mixture to move around.  
3.  Scrape out inside of the vanilla bean and add this to the mixture. Blend until incorporated.  
4.  Add this mixture to the top of the pumpkin mixture.  Sprinkle with cinnamon (optional).  Place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to firm up.

This recipe makes 18 mini cheesecakes or one 8 inch spring-form pie.    

Notes
*Vegans use maple syrup or coconut nectar.  SCD use only honey.  Paleo use coconut nectar or honey. SCD omit carob and use 2 tablespoons of coconut flour.
*For the coconut cream, place a can of full fat coconut milk in the refrigerator for at least 3 days (I always have 4 or 5 in there).  It’s okay if the coconut cream doesn’t separate well after 3 days.  Just be sure to NOT shake the can.  Gently open the can and pour the coconut cream into the blender.  Stop when you get to the watery part.  The coconut cream doesn’t need to be super thick for this recipe, you just want the cream and water to be separated so you can get the cream out.  

This recipe also works great in a spring form pan.  
Here is the process
Press crust into baking cups
Fill with the pumpkin mixture 
Then the coconut cream topping 
My kiddos love to help press the crust into the baking cups 
Other “Cheesecake” recipes from The Tasty Alternative 



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Labels: dessert, fall cuisine, grain free, Paleo.

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Cauliflower Tortillas

Once upon a time (not too long ago) I received an email from a sweet girl named Lauren informing me about her new blog: Empowered Sustenance.  Like me, Lauren has been diagnosed with IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease).  I was thrilled to learn that Lauren followed a SCD/Paleo diet, used real food to heal and had some awesome nut-free recipes.  Well, I’m am sure you’ve heard of Lauren by now.  Her blog has rightfully become a powerful source in the grain free, holistic healing blogosphere.  I am so very thankful she started blogging.  I reference her blog constantly regarding the many topics she covers and recipes she shares.  And speaking of recipes, I wanted to share a recipe of hers that I have been making since, well, she published the post: Cauliflower Wraps.  Literally the day after her post came out I made her cauliflower wraps and I’ve been making them ever since.  Over the months I’ve tried to make my own version, but it became clear that I didn’t need to reinvent the wheel here.  Her recipe is perfect and I love it.  See below for my slight modifications to the process.  I started making smaller versions of her wraps to use as “tortillas.”  We are big fans of taqueria night and when I can, I try to follow a grain free diet.  Her wraps work absolutely perfect as little tortillas and I actually pile on the ingredientsand they do great.  So my friends, take all the “OMG my kitchen smells like a garbage can now from the cauliflower” comments with a grain of salt.  It’s not that terrible.  So go for it, and be sure to thank Lauren for this awesome recipe.  
Cauliflower Tortillas 
Recipe inspired by: Lauren from Empowered Sustenance 
Ingredients:
-1 head of cauliflower 
-4 eggs
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-3/4 teaspoon garlic granules 
-1/2 teaspoon Mexican seasoning/spices (optional)

How To:
1.  Cut the cauliflower into florets
2.  Add 1/2 of the florets to a food processor and pulse until they are a crumb like texture, then pulse a little further until a fine texture is achieved.  Remove the cauliflower and add it to a steamer basket.  Add the remaining florets to the food processor and repeat, adding this batch now to the steamer.  Add in 3/4 cup water to the pot and steam for 8 minutes.  
3.  After steaming, the cauliflower will be HOT, so I like to spread it out on a plate to cool.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees 
4.  After it has cooled, I use my nut milk bag to squeeze out ALL the water from the cauliflower.  THIS STEP WILL MAKE OR BREAK THE TORTILLAS!  You must squeeze all the water out as much as your can.  I’ve found the less moisture, the better results.
5.  Add the cauliflower to a bowl.  To the bowl also add in the eggs and spices.  Mix well.  It will look like a batter.  Somewhat thick.
6.  Fit some parchment paper on top of two baking pans.  
7.  Spoon the batter onto the parchment paper.  I get about 6 out of this recipe, so three on each pan. 
8.  The trick is to evenly spread the batter in a circle.  And as Lauren states, keep the batter compact – there should be no parchment showing through any area of the tortilla.
9.  Bake for 17 minutes.  After they bake, I flip mine over and give them another 2 minutes.  
10.  Remove from parchment and transfer to a cooling rack.  

Notes:
*I prefer to make these earlier in the day.  I store them in the fridge and simply heat on a pan before I serve.
*I cannot offer any subs for the eggs, and I’ve only made these with eggs.  
*The cauliflower is not overwhelming and they don’t taste to “eggy” either.   
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Labels: GAPS, grain free, main dish, Paleo, SCD.

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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Raw Lemon Pie Macaroons: Coco-Roon Knock Offs (dairy free, grain free, Paleo, SCD, GAPS)

A few months ago some new raw food items made an appearance at my local Natural Foods Coop.  Ever hear of Coco-Roons? They are a tasty take on macaroons, incorporating almond flour with the shredded coconut.  They come in a variety of flavors and are super healthy, but the price tagouch!  So I decided to make these bad-boys at home.  The turn out was amazing. I hope you enjoy making these too.  
See HERE and HERE for my other raw homemade (store-brand knock-offs).  
Raw Lemon Pie Macaroons 
(Coco-Roon Knock-Offs)
SCD, Paleo, GAPS, dairy free, grain free, cane-sugar free

Ingredients:

-2 cups shredded coconut (any brand will do, I purchase mine in the bulk section)
-1 cup almond flour (I used Bob’s)
-2 teaspoons lemon zest
-2 tablespoons honey (vegans, use maple syrup or coconut nectar)
-2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
-2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
-1/4 teaspoon lemon oil (optional, or use an extra tablespoon of lemon juice)
-1/2 teaspoon salt

How To:
1.  In a food processor add the 2 cups of shredded coconut.  Blend for 30 seconds.  Then add in the almond flour.  Blend together for 10 seconds.
2.  With the food processor running, add in the lemon zest, honey, coconut oil, lemon juice, salt and lemon oil (optional). Blend together for 15 seconds.
3. The mixture will feel wet and oily.  That’s okay.
4. Scoop out the mixture with a 1-ounce ice cream scoop and place directly on the dehydrator tray (no screens).  This is the dehydrator I use.   
5.  Dehydrate for at least 6 hours on 110 degrees.  These dry nicely on the outside (leaving no oily residue) and stay moist on the inside.  Makes about 12 macaroons.

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Labels: cane sugar free, dessert, GAPS, grain free, Paleo, raw, SCD.

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Raw Apple Cinnamon Cereal (nut free, grain free, dairy free, cane-sugar free, vegan) For Go Ahead Honey

Alrighty-then.  Here is it finally.  I shared my attempts at a nut-free raw cereal with you on Facebook a while back and it has taken me many tries to get this puppy share-worthy.  And I’m so excited to share!

First off let me say that making homemade cereal is driven by two forces.  First off, it’s part of my dedicated attempts to keep a low-waste green kitchen (see more about that here and here).  You see, cereal produces a lot of waste.  There’s that nasty plastic bag, then the cardboard boxand you don’t even get THAT much cereal.  What’s up with that!?  Secondly, and perhaps most obvious to us all, making homemade ANYTHING is preferred as there is total control over the ingredients (and it’s usually waaaay cheaper).  So ditching store-bought cereal is actually one of my latest omissions from my kitchen cupboard   And I have to say, I don’t miss the store bought stuff at all.  In reality, I don’t eat cereal very much (mainly because it all has stuff I can’t eat) but I love my homemade recipe.  The verdict, thumbs up all around from the family on mommy’s homemade cereal.  We enjoy it on yogurt too, which always makes a nice breakfast or snack.  Let me know if you give it a try.  And perhaps with some homemade dairy-free milk: almondhempwalnut, or macadamia (my fave is walnut).  
My lovely and supportive friend Shirley from Gluten Free Easily and All Gluten Free Desserts, All The TIme is hosting this month’s Go Ahead Honey.  And the theme: “When You’re Grain Free and Feeling Like A Nut, But Can’t Eat Tree Nuts or Peanuts!”
I’m SUPER pumped about this month’s theme, as I don’t personally eat a lot of tree nuts (can’t digest almonds worth a darn these days) and I’m DEATHLY allergic to peanuts.  So I knew this recipe would be perfect to bring to the party.  I can’t wait to check out all the other entries.  Make sure you follow my sweet friend Shirley on Facebook and subscribe to her blogs.  She is one lady you want to stay connected with!  Thanks for hosting, Shirley.
Raw Apple Cinnamon Cereal 
nut free, grain free, dairy free, cane-sugar free, vegan
Ingredients:
-2 cups organic raw sunflower seeds
-1 cup organic raw pumpkin seeds
-1 cup shredded coconut 
-1/4 cup raw hemp seeds
-3/4 cup coconut sugar
-2 cups peeled and small diced apples 
-3 tablespoons chia seeds (optional)
-1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce 
-1 teaspoon liquid stevia 
-2 to 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon (I used 2 T in this recipe)
-1 teaspoon ground chia 
-1 teaspoon psyllium husk
-1/4 teaspoon salt 

How To:
1.  In a large bowl add the sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds and cover with filtered water (about 2 inches over) and soak for at least 8 hours.  I like to soak mine as long as I can, so I gave mine about 15 hours. 
2.  After they have soaked, drain and rinse (do not pat dry or try to dry the seeds, you need the moisture).
3.  To the drained seeds add all the ingredients except the applesauce and stevia.
4.  In a separate bowl (I used a 1-cup Pyrex) mix together the applesauce and stevia.  This will evenly distribute the stevia.
5.  Mix the applesauce with the seed mixture (your hands work best) and then evenly spread onto your dehydrator I spread the mixture onto these screens that come with the dehydrator. I do not use these fruit roll sheets
6.  I set my dehydrator on about 110 degrees, put in the laundry room and let it rock.  After about 18 hours I check for the crisp level.  I dehydrate longer until that perfectly crisp texture is achieved.  
7.  The final mixture will be very stiff and pop out in a sheet, very stiff and crisp.  Break into pieces and store in an air tight container.  This will keep for weeks.  But it never lasts that long.  
*
Here are the sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds in the early sprouting stage after soaking for about 15 hours
(soak the seeds at least 8 hours)
Here are all the ingredients piled on the seeds
I like to mix the stevia with the applesauce so it’s evenly distributed 
Mixing everything together 
Here is a link to the dehydrator I use.  
It’s nothing fancy, but it gets the job done. 
Press the mixture evenly around… 
and make sure it’s not too thick.
You can see it makes A LOT.  
I dehydrate on 115 degrees for 18- 24 hours 
But the ultimate test for doneness is when it’s super-duper crispy! 
*
I’ve also made Lauren’s 5-Ingredient Healthy Cocoa Crispies (another great homemade cereal), and and if you like the CRUNCH factor in your cereal, this recipe is for you!!  Lauren’s recipe does NOT go soggy in milk (reminds me of grape-nuts).  It’s super delicious and I love how chocolaty it makes the milk.  This is a must try.  Here is my picture of her cereal.  
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Labels: breakfast, cane sugar free, dairy free, grain free, raw, snacks.

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