Sunday, November 9, 2014

Pumpkin Muffins (Gluten + Dairy + Refined Sugar Free + Vegan Option)

I seriously looooovvvvveeee pumpkin. Anything pumpkin, especially once the weather changes, is the best. thing. ever. Hot cup of coffee & a pumpkin muffin? Yes please!
These totally hit the spot & have become my families favorite treat. My husband loves his packed with chocolate chips. They're gluten + dairy free and have refined sugar free + vegan options, so they please everyone in my house! Enjoy!


PUMPKIN MUFFINS (Gluten & Dairy free with Refined sugar free and Vegan options)
  • 1 Cup Gluten Free Flour Blend (I use and love Sarah's G/F flour blend recipe
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 3 eggs* (vegan notes below)
  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • 1 cup coconut sugar (substitute up to half with honey or maple syrup)
  • 1/3 cup applesauce or apple butter
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2-3/4 cup chocolate chips or carob chips (optional) 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl mix the gluten free flour blend, baking soda & salt. Set aside.

In a medium size bowl combine eggs, pumpkin, sugars, applesauce, coconut oil & cinnamon. Mix together until well combined.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet & stir until combined. Don't over mix.

Place 12 paper liners into a standard size muffin tin. Use an ice cream scoop to fill each cup & then bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes. Muffins are done when the center is pushed on and is firm and doesn't sink but springs back.

*To make vegan, replace eggs with 4 1/2 teaspoons of ener-g egg replacer blended with 6 Tbs water until frothy. I also added 1 tsp baking powder to the dry ingredients to give the muffins a little more rise.







Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Ginger Cookies (Gluten free/Vegan/Refined sugar free)

So I'm on my iphone right now doing about 10 things at once, but one of those 10 things is making cookies, and I just had to post the recipe ASAP. I recently discovered I can't have chocolate (I know. Don't even get me started.) so I've been doing a lot of self discovery through finding non-chocolate recipes I like. First thing I've discovered along my journey? Everything needs chocolate. BUT these ginger cookies are pretty darn good, they're SUPER simple, and they make me feel like the holidays are coming, even if it is 86 degrees out.

Hope you enjoy!




Ginger Cookies (Gluten Free, Vegan, Refined Sugar Free)

1 Cup Honeyville almond flour
1/2 Cup oat flour (or 1/2 cup old fashioned oats) *you can use all almond flour if you want. Cookies will be much softer and chewier instead of crisp and chewy.
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup Spectrum shortening
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/4 tsp ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon molasses
Dash of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


  • Put everything in the bowl of your food processor and process until the dough comes together. If you're using oats instead of oat flour put your oats in first and pulse a few times until they're ground up, then continue adding everything else.
  • Roll into Tablespoon size balls and press down with a fork, or if you want a thicker cookie just leave them.
  • Bake at 350 for 7-9 minutes. Let cool on pan for a few minutes before transferring to baking rack.


These would taste really yummy frosted. Just saying.

Monday, June 30, 2014

The Absolute Best Ever Gluten Free, Dairy Free Chocolate Chip Cookies (Vegan Option)

It's been far too long between posts lately! Such is life I suppose. I'm working really hard to get my health back in order, and hopefully I'll be able to share bits of my journey with you all at some point. So much to do, so little time & energy. I ALWAYS have time for chocolate chip cookies though! These are especially tasty, probably my favorite treat at the moment!

I was at Trader Joe's and saw they had these gluten free chocolate chip cookies & got really excited. Then I read the ingredients and got really un-excited. Of course they're filled with lots of unhealthy things as well as dairy, which I cannot have at all.  So, I had to make up my own for when I'm not being extraordinarily good and eating my OMG chocolate chip cookies (which have no refined sugar in addition to being g/f & vegan). I took them to one of my best friends who is my foodie friend and critic. She LOVED them, as did my husband, and her husband, and my brother, and sister-in-law….you get the point. Everyone loved them. These are my most requested treat I make, and I make them too much. Now I'm sharing them with you so YOU can make them too much. It's always more fun to eat a sweet treat when someone else is joining you, isn't it? 

If you're vegan, I used egg replacer with fabulous results! My friend who has been a vegan for years raved about them! YAY! win win. (You'll find notes below how to make them vegan).

I apologize for the lame pictures, they don't do these bad boys justice! This was a 'running out the door snap some iphone pictures' kind of day.





THE ABSOLUTE BEST EVER GLUTEN FREE/DAIRY FREE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES (VEGAN OPTION)


3/4 cup spectrum organic shortening

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 Tbs white sugar

1 egg, room temperature (for vegan cookies use 4 1.2 tsp ener-g egg replacer blended with 6 Tbs water. you MUST put egg replacer in blender or processor & mix until frothy & thick!)

2 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cups gluten free flour mix (I use Sarah's g/f flour blend. If your mix doesn't have xantahn gum, add 1/4 tsp.)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 - 2 cups chocolate chips (I pretty much use the whole bag!) 



1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In the bowl of your mixer, cream together shortening & sugars on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Turn the mixer to low & add the egg and vanilla beating for another minute or so working up to medium-high.

3. In a separate bowl combine gluten free flour mix, baking soda & salt, mixing well. with your mixer on stir, slowly add the flour mix until it just comes together. Turn off the mixer and take the bowl out. Gently fold chocolate chips in by hand.

4. Place Tablespoon size dollops of dough onto a parchment paper covered baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 7-9 minutes or just until cookies are a light golden brown around the edges. Remove from oven letting cool for a few minutes before removing to a cooling rack.


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Monday, May 12, 2014

Fancy Food Thoughts Presents - Eating to Health - Week Two

Last week was my first meal plan and Week One to my "Eating to Health"  post. You can always message me or comment below to let me know what types of meals you would like to see or what has looked good to you! 



Menu - Week 2

Day One

BREAKFAST - Easy Bacon + Eggs 

LUNCH - Peanut Butter + Jelly on Gluten Free Bread (I love Canyon Bakehouse! If you can't do eggs, Trader Joe's makes a brown rice bread that is gluten free & vegan.) 

SNACK - Frozen Grapes

DINNER - Homemade Chicken Soup 


Day Two

BREAKFAST - Oatmeal with "Fried" Honey Bananas 

LUNCH - Leftovers

SNACK - Endurance Crackers

DINNER - Protein Style Hamburgers, sweet potato wedges and grilled onions + mushrooms


Day Three

BREAKFAST - Strawberry Coconut Smoothie or any of These Shakes or Smoothies (just make sure if you pick a different smoothie to adjust your shopping list by adding the ingredients!) 

LUNCH - Leftovers

SNACK - Mixed nuts or your favorite trail mix

DINNER -  Lasagna 


Day Four

BREAKFAST -Silver Dollar Pancakes 

LUNCH - Leftovers

SNACK - Coconut Cranberry Bars  or buy Organic Green Food Bars

DINNER - Chicken + Veggie Skewers, with Classic Green Salad + Amazing House Dressing


Day Five

BREAKFAST - Granola

LUNCH - Leftovers

SNACK - Baked Kale Chips

DINNER - Pot Roast + Garlic Roasted Potatoes


Day Six

BREAKFAST - Loaded Paleo Breakfast Hash

LUNCH - Leftovers

SNACK - Almond or Peanut Butter + Green Apple Slices

DINNER - Green Bean Chicken + Rice


Day Seven 

BREAKFAST - Banana Flax Scones

LUNCH - Leftovers

SNACK - Carrot, cucumber and bell pepper spears

DINNER -  Roasted Pork Loin + Spicy Green Beans + Baked Sweet Potatoes


SHOPPING LIST

Produce

Grapes
2 green apples
2 lb fresh green beans
Carrots
Celery
2 bunches kale
4 packs of mushrooms (white or crimini)
1 bag yellow or brown onions
5 zucchini squash
1 bunch ripe bananas
2-3 heads of garlic
Head of lettuce
1 bag of sweet potatoes
1 package strawberries
2 red bell peppers
1 orange or yellow bell pepper
1 bag of baby spinach
Fresh basil
Fresh parley 
Bag of lemons
Bg of lettuce (baby spring mix or dark greens are great!) 
Fresh thyme
Fresh rosemary 
3 pounds small red or white potatoes
1 shallot
Persian cucumbers or 1 english cucumber

Meat/Eggs

1 pack of bacon
2 dozen Eggs 
1 lb ground beef
1 Whole chicken, cut up (or your choice of chicken for soup)
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 whole 4-5 pound chuck roast
1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
2 pounds boneless pork loin roast

Pantry Items

Gluten free bread (Canyon Bakehouse is my favorite!)
Peanut butter
Jelly 
Dried oregano
Coconut oil
Dried basil
Salt
Pepper
Bay leaf
Oatmeal
Chia seeds
Sunflower seeds
Pumpkin seeds/pepitas
Sesame seeds
Vanilla
Coconut milk (canned, light or full fat)
Unsweetened shredded coconut
Mixed nuts or trail mix
Gluten free lasagna noodles
1 lb jar of marinara or your favorite pasta sauce (watch for added sugar!)
1 28 oz can tomato sauce
Bag of raw cashews
Bag of almonds
1 cup macadamia nuts
Olive oil
Dijon Mustard
Honey
Almond flour
Baking soda
Dates
Dried cranberries
White wine
Red pepper flakes
Red wine vinegar
Garlic powder
Onion powder
Raisins
Cinnamon
Beef stock
Red wine (optional, you can use beef stock)
Dried dillweed 
Basamati rice (if you want brown rice, try Trader Joe's quick cook brown basamati!)
Chicken stock
Oat flour
Brown rice flour
Arrowroot/tapioca or non GMO cornstarch
Golden flax meal
Spectrum organic shortening
Liquid stevia
Dried rosemary




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Monday, May 5, 2014

Fancy Food Thoughts Presents: Eating to Health - Week One


There are three major reasons why I love meal planning

     1. It makes my life easier!

     2. I don't forget things when I go to the store

     3. It keeps me eating healthy, on track with sugar & carbs, 
and we don't eat out!


A huge goal aside from cutting sugar back has been adding more veggies, raw and cooked, and drinking way more water! Try drinking an 8 ounce glass of water first thing in the morning, 30 minutes before you eat. I usually drink room temperature water with a pinch of pink salt. Drinking water first thing in the morning aids in good digestion and get's everything flowing.

I would love to challenge you all to take one month to evaluate what you eat! Whether these recipes are drastically different from your usual, or you're just looking for more meal ideas, I hope you are inspired to eat heathy, wholesome food & feel great.

We have a lot of food intolerance at my house, so all of my recipes are dairy free, gluten free (some with the option to add it when you want), and almost all sugar free. One of my daughter's cannot have eggs, so breakfast for her is not very creative, and she eats a lot of oatmeal and fresh berries or a protein smoothie. I don't cook differently for her necessarily, but do substitute when there is nothing else she could have.


Menu- Week 1

Day One

BREAKFAST - Oatmeal with fresh dark berries, cinnamon & flax meal

LUNCH - Easy Egg Salad with sliced tomatoes, avocado & arugula

SNACK - Carrot sticks & unsweetened peanut butter

DINNER - Crock Pot Roast Chicken, Brussels Sprouts (Here is another brussels sprout recipe I like!) & steamed carrots (Make sure you start dinner in the crock pot 6-8 hours before you plan on eating!) 

*Remember to strain your chicken stock and refrigerate it for the minestrone soup we are making on day 3!

Day Two

BREAKFAST - Your favorite style of eggs (we love over easy!) on a slice of sprouted or gluten free bread, with sliced avocado & a sprinkle of sea salt
(A few ideas….Egg in Peppers, Avocado Egg, Soft Boiled Eggs, Scrambled Eggs, Fried Eggs, Poached Eggs)

LUNCH - Leftovers with Strawberry Coconut Kale Salad

SNACK - Mixed berry fruit salad

DINNER - Salmon, asparagus or zucchini & Brown Rice Pilaf

Day Three

BREAKFAST - Sweet Potato Hash and Eggs
(A few ideas….Egg in Peppers, Avocado Egg, Soft Boiled Eggs, Scrambled Eggs, Fried Eggs, Poached Eggs)

LUNCH - Leftovers

SNACK - Vegan Strawberry Milkshake

DINNER - Minestrone Soup

Day Four

BREAKFAST -  Stovetop Donuts


LUNCH - Leftovers with a Classic Green Salad

SNACK - Zucchini Hummus & veggie sticks (try red bell pepper, carrots & cucumbers!)

DINNER - Sweet Potato Shepherds Pie

Day Five


BREAKFAST - Carrot Cake Oatmeal

LUNCH -  Leftovers

SNACK - Green Monster Smoothie

DINNER - Beef or Chicken tacos in organic corn tortillas or lettuce cups or over salad with homemade salsa, guacamole, fresh cilantro & crock pot white beans

Day Six

BREAKFAST - Quinoa Cereal Flakes or Rice Puffs (no added sugar!) with homemade almond milk


LUNCH - Leftovers

SNACK - Almond Pulp Cinnamon Raisin Crackers

DINNER - Meatloaf, collard greens & Sweet Potato Casserole 


Day Seven 


BREAKFAST - Omelet topped with Avocado


LUNCH - Leftovers

SNACK - Sliced green apples

DINNER - Crunchy Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad



SHOPPING LIST
(There is a print option available at the bottom of the page)

We are a family of two adults and three small children. All the quantities are what feed my family for breakfast, leftovers for lunch & dinner. Feel free to customize shopping list amounts for your family size!

  • 2 packages blackberries (I buy the most of whatever berries are season/on sale)
  • 1 package blueberries
  • 3 packages strawberries
  • 2 bananas
  • 2 green apples
  • Small red cabbage
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • Bag of red onions
  • Bag of brown or sweet onions
  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts
  • Small piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 bag sweet potatoes
  • 4 pounds carrots
  • 1 bunch scallions/green onion
  • 1 chili pepper
  • 1 bag/bunch baby spinach
  • 1 bag/head of lettuce
  • 6 avocados
  • 1 bunch dino kale
  • 6 zucchini
  • 2 yellow squash
  • 1 English cucumber or 1 pk persian cucumbers
  • Bag of lemons
  • 2-3 limes
  • 2 heads of garlic
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 6 tomatoes (preferably vine ripened)
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 bag arugula
  • 1 bunch collard greens
  • 1 bag of frozen mixed veggies
  • 1 small bag frozen green beans
  • 1 pound white navy beans (dry)
  • Organic corn tortillas (non GMO)
  • 4 pounds ground beef
  • 1 1/2 pounds of salmon
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast or thighs (or skip & buy extra ground beef for beef tacos if you prefer)
  • 1 whole chicken
  • 4 dozen Eggs
  • Loaf of sprouted wheat or gluten free bread (make sure you read ingredients if you buy g/f. A lot of popular brands aren't healthy at all!)

PANTRY ITEMS

  • Flax meal
  • Rolled oats
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Dried Oregano
  • Dried basil
  • Dijon mustard
  • Italian seasoning
  • Long grain brown rice
  • Peanut butter
  • Quinoa Cereal flakes or rice puffs (or your favorite "healthy" cereal!) 
  • Raw almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Raw cashews
  • Coconut aminos 
  • Honey
  • Unsweetened shredded coconut
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Sesame oil
  • Olive oil
  • Cinnamon
  • Pink salt
  • Pepper
  • Cumin
  • Tahini
  • 1 cup green lentils or mung beans
  • 1 15 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • Coconut oil
  • Chia seeds
  • Stevia
  • Raisins
  • Mayonnaise (or if you're making your own check out this recipe to see what you need)
  • Parchment paper
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Saturday, April 26, 2014

10 Healthy Ways to Eat Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes are extraordinarily versatile and are definitely one of my top favorite foods! You can do everything from dessert, to a side dish, to a main entree with these beautiful and healthy root veggies. Packed with vitamin A, they are also anti-inflammatory, an antioxidant, contain fiber, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and potassium. This is an especially great option instead of white potatoes! They are very interchangeable and can be used to make mashed potatoes, french fries & potato wedges to name a few. In my opinion, they're even tastier than white potatoes and you don't have to feel guilty eating them! Check out these 10 recipes I've selected below and add some healthy, nutritious and delicious sweet potatoes into your diet! 



1. Sweet Potato Brownies


Image by: Paleo Grubs



Image by: nom nom paleo


Image by: Our Savory Life





Image by: Slim Palate


Image by: Paleomg






Image from: Pinterest

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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Banana Flax Scones

I absolutely adore scones. For as long as I can remember they've been one of my favorite indulgences. We have always been big tea drinkers in my family, and I cannot think of a more complimentary treat to eat with a cup of tea than a nice warm scone with lemon curd or jam. I lived in England for a few months for school during my college years, and there were eight girls living in my flat! I made scones once a week EVERY week we lived there. It was our special tradition and I will treasure those memories always. I haven't had scones for so very long, and I figured it was high time I figured out a way I could still enjoy this delightfully delicious treat.





Banana Flax Scones
  • 1/2 cup oat flour
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot/tapioca/cornstarch (non GMO)
  • 2 Tablespoons golden flax meal 
  • 1/4 teaspoon pink salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup Spectrum Organic Shortening
  • 1/4 cup almond or coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 rip banana, mashed
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 20 drops liquid stevia

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. In a medium bowl, mix oat flour, brown rice flour, starch of choice, golden flax meal, salt & baking soda. When flours are completely combined, cut in shortening and work it in with a fork until flour mix is coarse and crumbly. 

3. In another medium sized bowl mash your banana. Add the non dairy milk, cinnamon, vanilla, honey & stevia, mixing well. 

4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, stirring well to combine. 

5. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop onto a cookie sheet lined with a silpat liner or parchment paper
Bake at 350 degrees for 17-20 minutes.



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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Classic Green Salad + Amazing House Dressing

I'm not joking around when I say this salad is classic. It goes with E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G, and it's easy. You can literally throw it together in about 10 minutes. Need I say more?

The dressing is a very tasty greek/house style dressing, and it's my absolute favorite. Done.



Classic Green Salad

  • 1 Bag mixed greens (I love Trader Joes Spring Mix! Or use your favorite head of lettuce rinsed and chopped)
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 2-3 persian cucumbers, or 1/2 english cucumber, sliced
  • 1 carrot, peeled into ribbons (run your peeler over it repeatedly to get long thin ribbon slices)
  • 1 red, yellow or orange bell pepper, or baby bells, sliced, chopped diced or however you like!
Add clean lettuce to your bowl, top with veggies and serve with dressing (recipe below). Toss before serving.

Amazing House Dressing 
(This is my revised version. See the original here.

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar 
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano 
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2-3/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon pink salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
Add all ingredients to a salad dressing karaf and shake rigorously until completely combined. You can also make this in a bowl and whisk to combine.


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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Stewed Chicken With Gravy

Theres nothing I love more than a flavorful and easy recipe that takes minimal work on my part! I don't think it's really possible to have enough simple chicken recipes on hand. This one is extremely savory and very much a comfort food type dish. I love the way the spices, herbs and veggies all meld together in the gravy and the chicken is fork tender. Perfect to eat along side my brown rice pilaf, and sure to be a family favorite.

This recipe is my revised version, and you can see the original recipe here




Stewed Chicken With Gravy
  • 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs 
  • 1 Medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 package white or crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 - 1 1/2 teaspoon pink salt
  • 4 Tablespoons coconut oil, divided
  • 3 cups filtered water
  • 2 Tablespoons arrowroot/tapioca or cornstarch + 3 Tablespoons water 

1. In a dutch oven heat 2 Tablespoons of coconut oil on medium high. Add onion, mushrooms, garlic and thyme. Cook for 7-8 minutes until it starts to brown. Put onion and mushroom mix in a separate bowl and set aside.

2. Season chicken with paprika, chili powder, pepper & salt on both sides.

3. Add two more Tablespoons coconut oil to pot, then add chicken and brown 3-4 minutes per side.

4. Return onion and mushroom mix to the pot along with 3 cups of filtered water and your bay leaf.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low and let simmer, uncovered for 30-35 minutes.

5. In a small bowl, mix 2 Tablespoons of arrowroot/tapioca/cornstarch with 3 Tablespoons of water. The last few minutes of your cooking time, add the starch mixture to the pot and stir, continuing to simmer for 3-5 more minutes or until gravy thickens up.



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Brown Rice Pilaf

I won't lie, I used to always use white rice over brown. Let's be honest, it just tastes better. While I do eat white rice sometimes, I've largely changed over to brown rice. This is a very simple recipe that turns boring and bland brown rice into a very yummy side dish!



Brown Rice Pilaf
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 small brown onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot, quartered and chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 3 white or crimini mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 cup long grain brown rice (I use basamati)
  • 2 cups chicken stock (preferably homemade)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pink salt
1. In a small saucepan, heat coconut oil on medium heat. Add onion, garlic, carrot, celery & mushroom, sauteing 6-8 minutes until starting to brown. Season with salt. 

2. Add rice and continue cooking for two minutes more. 

3. Pour in chicken stock and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover with a lid, turn heat to low, and simmer for 50-55 minutes. 

4. Fluff rice with fork and serve.




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Green Bean Chicken + Rice

I found this recipe a few years ago (check the original recipe out here) and my family absolutely loved it! I've shared it with many friends and it has become a great go-to meal for me! It only uses one pot, which means less dishes, and takes very little work! Although it's very, very simple, It's a seriously addicting meal.



Green Bean Chicken + Rice

  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken, diced (I use boneless skinless thighs or breasts) 
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 2-3 teaspoons dried dillweed
  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut (I've used fresh & frozen!) 
  • 2 cups basamati rice (cooking time is for white rice, brown rice will take longer)
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock (preferably homemade) 
  • 1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
1. In a large stockpot or dutch oven, heat coconut oil to medium-high. Add chicken & cook until browned, then remove and place into a bowl.

2. Reduce heat to medium, add another Tablespoon of oil (if necessary) to pan, and then add chopped onion, sliced celery, salt & dillweed, cooking for a few minutes until the onion starts to become translucent. 

3. Stir in rice & cook for a minute more, then add chicken back in.

4. Add dijon mustard into your chicken stock & whisk to combine, then add to chicken & rice mix, bringing it all to a boil.

5. Once mix is boiling, *place green beans on top (do not stir them in!). Cover with a lid and reduce heat to medium low, letting simmer and cook for 20 minutes. 

6. When 20 minutes is done, turn stove off and let set for 10 minutes more. 

7. Stir everything together,  salt & pepper to taste, serve & enjoy!

*I like adding the green beans in early on because I like mine done all the way. If you want your green beans al dente, cook the rice mix for 10 minutes before adding the green beans.



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Monday, April 21, 2014

OMG Chocolate Chip Cookies! (Gluten Free, Vegan, Refined Sugar Free)

The thing I have missed most since eating differently are chocolate chip cookies. Is there really anything better than a moist, chewy, chocolatey cookie fresh from the oven? Here is the problem; My taste-buds wants Toll House. As you can imagine, I'm ALWAYS disappointed with the gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free options. I mean, is it even possible to have chocolate chip cookies that don't taste like sawdust with those kind of restrictions? Until recently, the answer would have been NO, but this recipe puts the option of chocolate chip cookies back on the table. Preferably with a glass of ice cold homemade almond milk.

You may not believe what's NOT in them, but you also won't believe what IS in them!

It was quite the feat coming up with a soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie that was gluten free, vegan, refined sugar free, xanthan & guar gum free, and didn't use any processed egg replacer!
Seriously? It took me five gazillion tries. All fails in my book because they just didn't have that quality I was looking for. UNTIL, I finally said "OH MY GOSH! These are the ones." Then I shoved them down my husbands throat (ok, maybe he willingly ate them) and stared intensely at him as I waited for his every critique. He's not very critique-y, but I forced him to tell me EVERYTHING he thought of them. (I sound really pushy.) He chewed slowly, shook his head amicably and said "Mmmm. Yum. Good." My husband is not a caveman, I promise. But this was all I needed, because my husband looooovvvveeeesssss chocolate chip cookies more than any other dessert in the world. Mission accomplished.





OMG Chocolate Chip Cookies 

  • 1/2 Cup oat flour (I like THIS one! Sign up through my referral link & get $10 off!) 
  • 1/4 Cup brown rice flour (I've been using THIS brand & love the texture)
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 Cup white navy beans, drained ( Crock Pot Beans Recipe, use water and leave out the salt & garlic!)
  • 3/4 Cup Spectrum Organic Shortening, melted
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons honey (or two more Tablespoons coconut sugar) 
  • 15 drops liquid stevia
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 Tablespoon golden flax meal + 2 Tablespoons water (make sure to use golden flax!!) 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup favorite chocolate chips/chunks, homemade or store bought
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. In a very small bowl mix golden flax meal with 2 Tablespoons water & let set for a few minutes while preparing other ingredients

3. In a separate small bowl, mix oat flour, brown rice flour, coconut flour & baking soda

4. In the bowl of a food processor, add drained navy beans, melted shortening, coconut sugar, honey, stevia, vanilla, salt & prepared flax meal. Process until very smooth, letting the processor run for about 30-60 seconds. Scrape down sides and process again for a few seconds if needed

5. Add the dry ingredients to the food processor and process for another 30 seconds, scraping down sides as needed. 

6. By hand, stir in chocolate of choice & walnuts if desired. Scoop the dough into tablespoon size dollops and place on a silpat liner or parchment paper 3 inches apart. You can also put the dough in the refrigerator for an hour and roll it into balls once it's chilled. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges of cookies are pale golden brown. Let sit on pan for 5 minutes after taking out of oven. Transfer to cooling rack and let cool completely.

I personally think these cookies taste the best once they've been out of the oven for about 15-20 minutes. They're still warm and so soft and gooey.

*I've made these a few times trying different things to see how they hold up, and they seem pretty versatile! I didn't have any navy beans on hand, so I used canned garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed) & they worked great! I'm pretty confident any white bean would work, they will just vary in taste slightly. I also tried them using 100% pure dextrose instead of coconut sugar & that also worked great!



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