Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Weekly Menu

I decided to start posting my dinner menus for each week. I usually write each meal down on our chalkboard and let my husband choose which one he wants for dinner. It leaves room for about as much spontaneity as possible with meal planning. Here's our menu from last week!
I feel that it's important to have a good mixture of meals. Some vegetarian, some vegan, some paleo, and some that are just flat out fattening and indulgent. We love to have 'app night' about once every two weeks. If it weren't for the fact that I'm trying to stay away from cheese, I would have it every night. Cheese is my weakness. Along with fries… and burgers… and bread…

Peanut Butter-Banana Green Smoothie

This smoothie is so incredibly easy and so delicious. The peanut butter flavor over powers all of the veggie flavor, and it's super creamy and sweet from the bananas and dates. I love to have this smoothie for breakfast, or even as a post-workout meal. It holds you over for hours.



I use an organic, non-GMO powered peanut butter because it's lower in fat and calories spoonful for spoonful than regular peanut butter, but you can use any type of nut butter you like. The great thing about this smoothie is that it's super versatile, you can throw in pretty much any veggies you like, given that the flavor is not too over-powering. Some great add-in's are kale, spinach, avocado, zucchini, or any mild tasting vegetable or fruit. However, using banana is key in this recipe as it allows for the smoothie to be creamy.




Ingredients: 1 serving

1 chopped frozen banana
1 date (optional)
1 cup almond milk
1 cup spinach
1/2 cup chopped zucchini
1 tablespoon peanut butter powder (or regular peanut butter)
sweetener to taste (stevia, honey, maple syrup, agave, etc)

Place all ingredients into a blender and blend on high until smooth and creamy.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Cauliflower Crust Pizza Revisited

I posted a cauliflower crust pizza recipe last year, but since then I'm come to perfect my recipe. With the addition of coconut flour instead of almond flour, I've discovered that the pizza gets much more sturdy after baking. I also added some mozzarella cheese in with the cauliflower 'dough' to help hold it together and give it a bit more crunch. This one definitely holds up, no silverware needed!
Give it a try!

Due to the fact that my husband gets home so late from work, I only have horrible lighting to work with. Hopefully I'll be able to take better photos soon!





Ingredients: Serves 2 people (you can easily double the recipe if you'd like)

1/2 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon coconut flour
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder (or 1 clove of minced garlic)
1/8 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon psyllium seed husks (will work without it)
1 egg

In a steaming pot steam the cauliflower florets until soft and set aside to cool.

In a bowl mash or rice the cauliflower florets until they resemble white rice. Place the riced cauliflower in a mesh cloth or rag and squeeze excess water out over a bowl or into your kitchen sink. You really want to squeeze the crap out of it and get as much water out as possible, thus allowing your crust to get nice and crispy. 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Return riced cauliflower to a bowl, it should resemble a dry puree or dough. Add in all the remaining ingredients, mixing and kneading well until completely combined. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (that has been sprayed with cooking spray or oil) mold the cauliflower dough into a rectangular shape. I find the rectangle shape allows the dough to crisp up the best, but you can also do two round personal pizza's instead.

Bake pizza for 20-25 minutes or until it just starts to brown on the top. Remove from oven and carefully add pizza toppings of choice. I did kale and mozzarella with truffle oil for me and pepperoni for my husband. Bake for another 10 minutes or so.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Zucchini Waffles - Gluten Free

I came up with this recipe when I had some extra zucchini lying around, and I wanted to somehow sneak it into my husband's breakfast. He hates eggs/omelettes, so I had to do something sweet, but zucchini bread takes over an hour to make. So I came up with this zucchini waffles recipe and Brett LOVED them. They're full of good-for-you ingredients and you can't even taste the zucchini. Perfect for picky eaters.











Ingredients:  makes 2-4 waffles

3/4 cup gluten free oat flour
1/4 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1 tsp psyllium seed husks
2 packets stevia
1 tbsp olive oil (or coconut oil)
1 egg (can sub chia or flax egg)
3/4 cup almond milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup grated zucchini


Blend wet ingredients in blender, then pour into a bowl. Fold in dry ingredients. If batter is too dry, add hour almond milk as needed. Pour batter into waffle iron as directed. Serve with pure maple syrup, fruit, or nut butter or choice.



Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Meal Planning and Sample Grocery List

I've had a few people ask me about meal planning each week, so I decided to post my grocery list and meals I have planned for this week. This can give you an idea of exactly how easy meal planning can be, and it also helps to make your grocery trip a lot easier and quicker. Brett and I also never eat lunch out, unless we have a day off together, so I also included lunch meals/ingredients into the grocery list. We often eat leftovers for lunch, however.

Almost all of these meals are gluten free, however I do use some soy sauce that contains gluten. I choose to eat gluten when we eat out, in moderation, because it doesn't bother me all that much. I also firmly believe in EVERYTHING IN MODERATION. No foods are completely off limits, unless they're horrible for you. Like soda, in which case, I have zero desire to drink.

Meals this Week:

Monday: Spring Rolls with Quinoa and Peanut Dipping Sauce
Tuesday: Chicken Sausage and Lentil Veggie Soup
Wednesday: Cauliflower Crust Pizza and Salad
Thursday: Pho
Friday: (Eat Out, Parent's in Town)
Saturday: Mexican Black Bean Pizzas
Sunday: (Eat Out)
Monday: Chicken with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Veggies

Lunches For Bree: Miso Soup with Veggies, Black Bean Patties and Salad, Zucchini/Cucumber Salad w/ Peanut Sauce, Tempeh and Veggies, Leftovers)

Lunches for Brett: Caprese Quinoa Salad, Leftover Soup, Leftover Cauliflower Pizza, Veggie Sandwich, Tomato Soup)

Breakfasts: Yogurt and Granola, Sweet Potato Muffins, Oatmeal and Almond Milk, Green Smoothies, Hard Boiled Eggs


This weeks menu is a bit different as I am having a flare up of silent reflux, and in order to get my acid back under control, I am having to cut back on all citrus, tomatoes, garlic, and onions. And sadly, coffee and wine, which is so hard for me. Anyways, back to this weeks grocery list. I put the meals that each ingredient will be used in in parentheses.

I go to two grocery stores because I know that some things are cheaper at certain places than others. And Whole Foods has certain ingredients that I can't get at Trader Joe's.


Trader Joes:

1 Pack Organic Zucchini       (Sausage Lentil Soup, Lunches)

1 Bag Organic Broccoli Florets    (Pho, Miso Soup, Tempeh and Veggies)

1 Bag Organic Baby Romaine    (Pho, Salads)

1 Bag Organic Spinach       (Pho, Salads, Green Smoothies)

1 Bag Organic Sweet Potatoes   (Chicken w/ Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Veggies, Muffins)

1 Cauliflower head      (Cauliflower Pizza Crust, Chicken and Roasted Veggies)

1 Organic Cucumber     (Spring Rolls, Zucchini/Cucumber Salad, Miso Soup)

5 Bananas           (For my reflux and Smoothies)

1 Bag of Organic Quinoa      (Spring Rolls, Caprese Quinoa Salad)

1 Box Organic Tomato Soup     (Brett's Lunches)

1 Dozen Eggs   (Breakfasts)

1 Box Ginger Miso Soup Broth      (Pho)

1 Box Low Sodium Organic Chicken Broth     (Sausage Lentil Soup)

1 Package Organic Free Range Chicken Tenders      (Chicken and Roasted Veggies)

1 Bottle of Dark Horse Cabernet Sauvignon   (MY FAVORITE)




Whole Foods:

1 Bunch Organic Asparagus  (Sausage Lentil/Veggie Soup, Chicken and Roasted Veggies)

2 Bunches Organic Kale   (Salads, Green Smoothies, Sausage Lentil/Veggie Soup)

1 Cantelope   (For my reflux)

1 Container Greek Yogurt   (Breakfasts)

1 Liter Almond Milk      (Breakfasts)

1 Bag of Dried Organic Black Beans  (Mexican Black Bean Pizza)

Aloe Juice   (For my reflux)

1 Package Raw Cheddar Cheese    (Mexican Black Bean Pizza, Snacks)

1 Bag Organic Brown Rice      (Just to have on hand)

1 Bag Organic Popcorn Kernels      (Snacks, Just to have on hand)

2 Perfect Bars    (Snacks)



Things I Already Had at Home:

Mozzarella Cheese   (Cauliflower Pizza, Caprese Quinoa Salad)

Condiments for Dressings/Dipping Sauces  

Brown Rice Thai Noodles     (Pho)

Dry Lentils     (Chicken Sausage Lentil/Veggie Soup)

Chicken Sausage    (Saved from last week and frozen for Soup this week)

Brown Rice Tortillas  (Mexican Black Bean Pizza)

Brown Rice Paper Wrappers  (Spring Rolls)

Coffee

Creamer    (So bad for us, but I can't live without my International Delight)

Tomatoes   (Caprese Quinoa Salad, Mexican Black Bean Pizza)

Garlic

Onions, Both Green and Red

Bread  (Gluten Free and Regular Crusty Table Loaf,  kept in freezer)

Organic Vegan Frozen Black Bean Patties       (Bree's Lunches)




There it is, I hope that's not confusing. Just an example of how I try to use ingredients all week so that as little food as possible goes bad. You don't have to buy all organic, I just try to.

As I've been doing research on Silent Reflux lately, I discovered that a lot of packaged foods have acid added to them to increase their shelf life. While this is much more convenient for me, it isn't great for someone with excess acid. In fact, it's probably not great for anyone. So as a result, I've been looking more closely at ingredients list on the labels and discovered that SO many things have absorbic acid, lactic acid, or citric acid added to them. Even organic products. That is why for this week, and probably from now on, I bought dried beans and zero canned ingredients. We will see how that goes.






Friday, February 28, 2014

Gluten Free Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I came across this recipe a few weeks ago for THE BEST gluten free chocolate chip cookies made with gluten free oat flour. Since oat flour is so similar to regular flour it makes the perfect gluten free substitution.




These cookies are THE BEST gluten free cookies I have made to date. They're chewy, yet slightly crispy on the outside, and the brown butter makes them out of this world. And on top of that, they're free of white sugar, and the oat flour makes me feel a little better about eating them. Seriously, make these cookies. You will not be disappointed.








Ingredients:

1 stick of butter
1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cup gf oat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chopped gluten free chocolate chips

In a small saucepan melt the butter on medium low heat, swirling around every once in a while for about 5 minutes, or until the butter browns. Immediately remove from heat and pour into a heat-proof bowl to cool.

Add palm sugar and brown sugar to brown butter and mix gently. Set aside to cool. Once cool, whisk in egg and vanilla to brown butter/sugar mixture.

In another bowl mix together oat flour, salt, and baking soda. Combine wet and dry ingredients, then add in chopped chocolate chips. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Meanwhile, cover bowl with plastic wrap and set in fridge for 15 minutes while oven is preheating.

Scoop dough into mounds with an ice-cream scoop, or roll into 1 1/2 inch mounds. Bake for 6-8 minutes, or until they just start to brown. (I personally think they're better under-baked)









Thursday, January 9, 2014

Gluten Free Blueberry Scones

I saw a picture of someone eating scones the other day, and I could not get them out of my head.



But when I think of scones, I think of butter and cream. And sugar. And deliciously crumbly little morsels of sugary crust with a soft and fluffy center.




Then I decided I should make them. But the thought of all that cream and butter going straight to my thighs was a little off-putting. So I came up with this recipe that would make me feel a little less guilty about stuffing my face with one, or five, of these babies.





The result was amazing. Slightly sweet, crusty outside, and soft pillowy goodness on the inside. I made half the batch and put the others in the freezer for later consumption…which means tomorrow. But due to the gluten-free nature and the lack of starches/weird gluten free ingredients, they can tend to be a little crumbly. So handle with care.

The best part about these is that they have only 215 calories, 3 grams of fiber and 4.5 grams of protein per serving.  AND there is only four tablespoons of butter in the entire recipe. That means there's about half a tablespoon of butter in each scone, so eat up!









Ingredients: (makes 8-10 round scones)

2 cups gf oat flour
1/2 cup almond flour/meal
1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons psyllium seed husks
3 packets of stevia (or you can just do three more tablespoons of coconut sugar)
4 tablespoons extra cold butter
3/4 cup almond milk
1/2 teaspoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
3/4 cup blueberries


Begin by adding 1/2 tsp vinegar to the almond milk and set aside for 5 minutes. This is to make a dairy free 'buttermilk'.

Whisk almond 'buttermilk' with the egg and vanilla.

In a bowl mix together oat flour and almond meal with baking soda, salt, stevia, psyllium seed husks, and sugar.  Cut in cold butter until it resembles coarse crumbs. Pour liquid ingredients into bowl of flour  and gently mix until there are no more flour streaks. Be very careful not to over mix! Fold in blueberries and place bowl in fridge for 15-20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Scoop batter with a large ice cream scooper (or roll into 2 inch balls, but batter will be a bit wet) onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. You can brush them with a bit of almond milk and sprinkle with turbinado sugar if you'd like. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until scones begin to brown.

You can also scoop out batter into scone shape and freeze for later baking. Simply bake at 375 and extend the baking time to 20-25 minutes.