Amazing recipes and meal ideas

Sweet potato fries – gluten free, grain free, and full of flavor!

I wanted  an alternative to regular potatoes that the whole family would enjoy and that would be good for us.  I had a few sweet potatoes so decided to attempt to make some ‘fries’ for dinner tonight.  Usually before I try something new, I will at least google a similar recipe for some ideas, but today I was under a bit of time pressure, so I just threw this together without much planning.

Ingredients:

Organic sweet potatoes

Almond flour

Coconut oil

Garlic powder

Onion powder

Cumin

Sea salt

Milk (I used coconut milk, but any dairy or non-dairy milk will work)

Directions:

Peel and slice sweet potatoes into ‘fry’ shaped slices.  Generously grease a cookie sheet with coconut oil.

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In a bowl, put a ratio of 1 cup almond flour, 1.5 tsp of garlic powder, 1.5 tsp onion powder, and a sprinkle of cumin.  Depending on how many sweet potato fries you are making you may need more or less of this.  I filled one full cookie sheet using the above amounts.

Pour some milk into another bowl.  Dip the fries into the milk and then dredge through the almond flour mixture and place on a cookie sheet until all ‘fries’ are on the cookie sheet.

Place into the oven at 375F and bake until the almond flour ‘crust’ starts to brown and the sweet potatoes begin to look slightly wilted.

Serve and enjoy.  I made a garlic aioli using mayo, pureed garlic and some hot sauce for dipping.  YUM.img_7479

 

Coconut pumpkin seed butter macaroons. It’s practically health food. 

Berrik is headed to Grandma and Grandpa’s for the weekend. I wanted to send a treat for him to enjoy while he’s there since there are almost zero commercial ‘treats’ that Berrik can have. This doesn’t bother me one bit because I love knowing exactly what is going into his growing body.  I have been reading about the Health Benefits of Pumpkins Seeds and wanted to incorporate them into this recipe for a little extra health boost to an already healthy cookie. The immune boosting  properties of the pumpkin seed butter and honey are ideal for the ‘flu’ season! 

This recipe is (as so many of mine are) inspired by Elana’s Pantry. She has two coconut macaroon recipes on her website and they are both fantastic. I often start with one of her recipes and then adapt it to Berrik’s specific needs, or just change it up for fun. This one was a bit of both. 

The thing I love most about these cookies is how simple they are to make.  Only 5 ingredients. 

Ingredients:

2.5-3 cups shredded unsweetened coconut (start with 2.5 and add more as needed)

1/8 cup honey 

1/4 cup pumpkin seed butter

1 egg

Optional: chocolate chips, nuts, raisins, dried berries or white chocolate chips 

Pre-heat oven to 350 F. 

Mix pumpkin seed butter, honey and egg by hand until well mixed. 

Add coconut 1 cup at a time and mix until incorporated. The batter should be just sticky enough to hold together.  We added a small scoop of sugar-free stevia sweetened chocolate chips. Nuts, raisins, dried berries or white chocolate chips would also be yummy, although no other additions are necessary! 

Scoop or hand roll into small balls and place on cookie sheet. 

Put into oven and bake for 10-15 minutes. Tops should brown up nicely but watch closely as they burn relatively easily. 

Make a cup of tea and pop a few in your mouth!

Let me know how they turn out for you!!

Fall. Veggies. Comfort food. Easy.

For us here in Calgary, we have enjoyed an unseasonably warm November….until yesterday when we got a bit of transient snow, and now are sitting at about 2 degrees Celsius (just above freezing for those of you in the US!).  It’s chillier than we are used to thus far this season, and overcast.  Nothing better on a day like today than a good hearty soup!  Bonus if you can get your kids to eat it.  Lucky for me, my handsome boy thought it was pretty good.

Ingredients:

1 head of cauliflower

1 head of broccoli

2 large carrots

1/2 large onion

3-4 cloves of garlic

1-2 tbsp melted coconut oil

3-4 cups of bone broth or stock

OPTIONAL: old cheddar, nuts, seeds, crackers or anything else that you think would taste good sprinkled on top!

Directions:

Chop up veggies and arrange on a cookie sheet.  Drizzle with oil. I prefer to drizzle with 1-2 tbsp melted coconut oil, but you can use olive oil or any other oil of your choosing. Put these in the oven to roast at 400 F (I used convection roast on my oven).  Roast them until they are just this side of overcooked.  This really intensifies the flavor, in my opinion.  (Garlic and onion were in a different pan, but can certainly be put all in the same pan).

When veggies are roasted, put them all into your blender.  I use Blendtec…. Vitamix is essentially the same.  Alternatively you can use an immersion blender if you’re lucky enough to have one.  It’s on my Christmas list this year!  Add about 3-4 cups of stock (or bone broth), homemade if you have it. Commercial stock is fine too.  We recently roasted an organic chicken so I boiled the bones for bone broth and saved.  So good for your stomach, particularly if you have any issues with leaky gut (like my son).  You will likely need more liquid than this, but I like my soup thick so I start here and add more liquid until it’s the desired consistency.

My Blendtec has a ‘hot’ blend feature, which is perfect for this!  My veggies are hot from the oven, but the broth is not, so this helps get soup up to a good ‘eating’ temperature.

If you want a chunkier texture, stop blending before it gets smooth.  I prefer it to be smooth as silk, so I blend and add liquid until it’s like thin pudding!  Mmmmm.

The end result is a creamy, pumpkin-colored, rich flavored soup that warms the body and the soul.  Would highly recommend experimenting with veggies such as sweet potato, peppers, parsnips or potatoes, and other additions such as pesto, hot peppers or even peanut butter.

I added some extra old cheddar to the soup in chunks because I love the gooey bites of melted cheese, but you could certainly use grated cheese of any kind, or skip the dairy and sprinkle roasted nuts, sunflower seeds, pepitas or anything else that would add a bit of crunch and some fall flavor.  Enjoy!

Holiday treats – Free of Dairy, Sugar, and Wheat!

 

At this time of year in particular, sugar and wheat filled treats are EVERYWHERE.  It makes everything a challenge for those of us who have kids who are sugar and wheat free.  A visit to Santa means a dye and sugar filled candy cane, or a sugar, wheat and dye filled iced cookie.  Any holiday event at school, with friends, with family, all involve treats of some kind.  Gluten-free is easy enough these days, as there are many commercial options for the gluten intolerant.  But not so much for the gluten AND sugar free.  At Halloween I made chocolate ‘bars’ for Berrik so that he wouldn’t feel left out.  He loved them!  However, they are very dark and bitter chocolates as I prefer to keep any sweetener to a minimum, regardless of what type I am using.  But I know that a lot of people, especially kids, prefer the milder, sweeter ‘milk chocolate’.  Because my kids were dairy free by necessity, they grew up eating very dark chocolate so have a taste for it.  Most kids, not so much.  I decided to experiment a little today, to see if I could create a dairy, sugar and wheat free chocolate treat, that would satisfy even the most diehard milk chocolate vs. dark chocolate fan.

These aren’t perfect but they are unbelievably delicious, and will do the trick in this house. Berrik won’t feel left out at all, as I think these might be better than most of the treats we will come across over the holidays.  Except my mom’s lemon tarts. Those are the best.  But I digress.  Our biggest issue will be keeping enough chocolate in the house to last, as my girls and even my dessert avoiding husband can’t keep their hands off this chocolate!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup cocoa

all the full fat cream from a can of coconut milk (discard the watery stuff, or save for another recipe… I just added it to a smoothie)

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

sweetener of choice, to taste.

I use stevia and just add a couple drops at a time until it gets to the desired sweetness (5 drops or so seemed to work).  Other really good and tasty options are pure maple syrup, raw local honey, coconut sugar, xylitol derived from birch, or even just plain old sugar if you aren’t limiting sugar.  I would guess at about 1/8-1/4 cup of these sweeteners, but I would recommend to start low and add a bit at a time, tasting after each addition (best part of the process!!).

Put all ingredients in a sauce pan and heat slowly over low heat, stirring occasionally. When ingredients are mixed, smooth, and starting to bubble, continue to heat for about 2 minutes, stirring the entire time.  Pour into chocolate molds, or small muffin cups and freeze for a couple of hours.

OPTIONAL:

  • add a couple tbsp of nut or seed butter for a yummy nutty taste!  Chunky peanut butter is pretty amazing in this.
  • add gluten free pretzels, nuts, coconut, dried berries or red pepper flakes to each mold or muffin paper before pouring in the chocolate or sprinkle flakes of pink Himalayan sea salt on top

We added pretzels to ours as that is Berrik’s favorite.  These chocolates become soft quite quickly so should be served directly from the freezer.  They are creamy and fudge-like in texture and in flavor. Enjoy!!