Gluten Free Gingerbread Muffins

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Gluten & Dairy Free Gingerbread Muffins (option for Grain Free)

1 1/3 cup Brown Rice Flour {or Garfava Flour for grain-free}
2/3 cup Arrowroot Flour
1/3 cup blackstrap molasses
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup coconut oil {liquid measure}
2 eggs
2 teaspoons organic lemon juice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon grass-fed unflavored gelatin (like this one)
1 1/2 teaspoons organic ground ginger
3/4 teaspoons organic cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
1/4 teaspoon ground clove

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Makes 36 mini-muffins.

In a mixing bowl, combine your dry ingredients and fork whisk to incorporate everything together. Add the wet ingredients to the bowl. Mix until your batter is smooth.

Line your baking tins with parchment / paper baking cups. Fill each cup 23 of the way full. Bake mini muffins for 11-13 minutes. (I haven’t baked them as regular sized muffins yet, but will check cooking times and update that when I do).

These are the prefect holiday-time muffin, and are gluten, dairy, soy, corn, and cane sugar free, & free of xantham and guar gums.  I have not tested with egg substitutes, but I am almost positive that  flax egg or applesauce would work just fine.

Grandma’s Chicken & Dumplings {grain-free}

Grandma’s Chicken & Dumplings. 
Mmmmmm. Mmmmmm. Goodness.  This grain-free version was so close to the way I remember my grandmother’s that I want to make it every day this week, I am THAT excited!   Please tell me that you will let me know when you try this recipe! I want to share in the taste party with you.

 

chicken & dumplings

 

Chicken & Dumplings
1 whole chicken
12-14 cups water
2 carrots
2 ribs of celery
Leek tips (you can use any portion of the leek, an onion, or green onion, I just keep leek tops for broths*)
2 teaspoons salt
Cracked pepper
1/2 cup arrowroot powder

Dumplings:
1 cup Garfava Flour** (you can substitute with brown rice flour, but they would no longer be grain free)
1/2 cup arrowroot (you can also use potato starch flour, but I prefer arrowroot)
2 tablespoons ghee or oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon organic all-purpose seasoning
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter
1 egg (This recipe would work fine with an egg substitute)
1/4 cup water

**+ more garfava flour for rolling and dusting hands to handle dough.

In a large stockpot, place your whole chicken, 12-14 cups of water, your carrots, celery, and leeks or onions. Bring to a simmer. Simmer until your chicken is cooked through (1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes).  At this point, remove the chicken onto a carving board. Strain out your broth and set aside the veggies from the strainer. Broth will go back on the stove in the stock pot over a simmering heat (low/simmer). In a mug or glass Pyrex measuring cup, scoop out a cup or two of the broth and set it aside.  (You may also use a longer cook bone-broth is that is your preference, this is just how I did this from scratch).

I separated my carrots and celery out and gave them a rough chop and dropped them back into the broth. Once your chicken has cooled a little and you are able to handle it, remove the meat from the bones. Save those bones for more broth later. Roughly pull or chop your chicken meat and add it back into the broth pot.

Into your mug of broth that you set aside, whisk in 1/2 cup of arrowroot powder until there are no lumps. Pour this slurry into the broth pot and give it a stir for a minute.

Now, mix together your dumpling ingredients to make your dough. It is kind of sticky, so you can use a bit more flour if needed. The easiest way to roll these out is to place the dough between two pieces of parchment. I cut mine into rough square pieces and then pressed them together a bit with my thumbs. As you press each dumpling, drop it into the simmering pot of thickened broth. Continue until all of your dumplings are in. Cover your stock pot loosely with a lid, increase heat to medium, and cook for another 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Serve and enjoy!  I served mine in one of my very favorite soup dishes of ALL time, my beautiful Le Creuset Stoneware, one of my favorite gifts from my sister-in-law. Garnish with fresh parsley or sage. I hope this recipe hits that nostalgic part of your heart like it does mine.

Pecan Chicken Piccatta

Pecan Chicken Piccatta
Food should make you feel good when you eat it. Don’t you agree?  The best forkful of food is one that makes you exhale with delight, drop your shoulders in relaxation, and absolutely be unable to stop yourself from closing your eyes, humming “mmmmm” in delight,  and smiling in contentment. Okay, yes, so it might be the simple things for me…. but this version of Chicken Piccatta, which was perfect for the SCD plan that we are currently on, made me do just that!

I will admit, I am a crunch junkie ~ so going through an intro phase with lots of broths and soups and soft foods – the crunch that I got from this meal was a welcomed treat!

I am going to experiment a couple more times (what? Its for research ;))  with perfecting this recipe, but here is what I did yesterday – and the results was mighty tasty. Mighty tasty, indeed.

Ingredients:
1 package of chicken tenders (boneless breasts would work)
1 1/2-2 cups raw organic pecans (soaked and dried, or purchase “Better Than Roasted” from here)
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon real salt
3 tablespoons ghee + more for cooking the zucchini pasta
1 organic lemon if you have one
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon organic capers

Optional but delicious – Zucchini for spiralizing to serve under your Pecan Chicken Piccatta.

What To Do:
First things first, you want to grind down your pre-soaked and dried Pecans. I try to make it a habit when I purchase my nuts and seeds to give them a soak overnight and then stick them in the dehydration before I store them, but when I don’t want to take that extra step, I buy these already done. You probably already know why, but in case you are scratching your head as to why this is necessary, I’ll give you a brief explanation: Soaking the nuts releases the enzyme inhibitors that protect the nuts in nature. Their protection is good for them, but often bad for us. So, soak them overnight, then place in a low temp oven or dehydrator (or even out in the sun) until they are dry again.

Now, find you pecans into a meal and add the salt. Spread this mixture out onto a flat plate. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350.

Using a large zip-top bag, or any other method you prefer, place each chicken tender in the bag (this helps me prevent splattering chicken all over my kitchen). Pound the chicken to make it thin (about 1/4-1/2 inch).

In a large skillet, heat your coconut oil over medium high heat.  Have a paper towel-lined plate ready, as well as a baking sheet.

Pat your chicken pieces into the pecan meal, getting a pretty even coating on both sides, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Drop the chicken into the heated pan. Cook on one side for 1-2 minutes, then flip and cook the other side. They will cook pretty quickly since they are thin. When each piece is nicely browned on both sides, transfer to the plate with the paper towel to let some of the oil drip off, then transfer to a baking sheet. Finish each piece of chicken, and then place the baking sheet into a 350 degree oven.

Now it’s time to create your lemon butter “sauce” and your “noodles”.  Spiralize your zucchini and set it aside.

In a large skillet, heat a little ghee or oil and run your zucchini pasta through for 2 or 3 minutes.
Pour out into a bowl for the time being.

In the same skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of ghee and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. If you have anemone, cut it into slices and place those in the pan as well. Mix together with a whisk or fork, salt & pepper to taste, and toss the capers in right at the end.

Take your chicken out of the oven and get ready to serve.

To serve this up, I dumped *most* of my lemon butter sauce over my zucchini pasta and gave it a toss, then plated the pasta. I placed two pieces of chicken on each plate. And then drizzle a little more of the sauce over top.

The lemon flavor, the salty capers, and the sweet crunch from the pecans fried in the coconut oil – you MUST TRY THIS!!!!    And let me know how you like it! 🙂

Happy Eating!
~Kendra

Butternut Squash Chips {SCD, PALEO, GFCF, GRAIN-FREE}

 

 

Butternut Squash ChipsBUTTERNUT SQUASH CHIPS :
These are a great for anyone! But, when it has been weeks since you have tasted a potato and you are really craving the crunch of a carb – These little chips of wonder hit ALL the right spots!! I swoon.

Oh, and fried in duck fat, I mean … let us take a moment to hang on that thought…

SCD-compliant. Butternut Squash. Duck Fat. Party. My mouth.

 

Oh, life is good.

 

Elderberry Gummy Bears

Elderberry Gummy BearsI don’t know where you live, but here in North Texas, it went from summer to fall seemingly over night this past weekend! The winds came through, the cooler temperatures kissed our skin, and, unfortunately, the fall allergies rushed the field.

It is the best of times and the worst of times, this FALL, this AUTUMN! I absolutely love this season, but for some reason, it just does not love me back most of the time. I have definitely been feeling the effects and have some kiddos with some runny noses, too, so this morning, after I had my two school goers shuffled off to their school,  I decided to load up on artillery for the onslaught of the allergy season!

I started my morning by juicing some carrots, apples, and fresh ginger.

Then, I made some Elderberry Gummy Bears! If you haven’t read about the benefits of elderberry, they are abundant for this season. To list a few:

~ a very powerful antioxidant
~ anthocyanin levels make it anticarcinogenic
~ more vitamin C than oranges
~ antiviral
~high ORAC
~improves the coordination of the immune system

This article is worth the read and gives all the proper props to Elderberry!

Recipe:

1/2 cup Elderberry Concentrate
1/2 cup organic pomegranate juice
2 tablespoon organic lime juice
3 tablespoons grass-fed gelatin (I used Great Lakes, the orange bottle)

Simply mix all the ingredients together in a small sauce pan and then heat just to almost a boil/low boil and remove from heat. I like to let mine cool down for 5-10 minutes before transferring to my molds. Refrigerate until set.

You can use any silicone mold for these, or even a glass dish and then simply cut into squares. I found my bear molds on Amazon.com.

These are certainly the most expensive$ gummy bears I have ever made, but I know that my kiddos will be so happy to chomp these down, and I will be equally as happy knowing that they will be getting such great nutritional benefits from this healthful & protective treat.   ~Happy Fall~

Strawberry Lemon Avocado Tarts {no bake, grain free, honey & fruit sweetened}

Lemon Avocado tarts

I saw this delicious looking post on Instagram for these avocado tarts, and I thought I would put my own spin on them. They were definitely a treat both to our plates AND our palates. Look at these gorgeous pops of color!

For the “Crust”:
I cup almond meal
1/2 cup pitted dates
2 Tablespoons boiling water (careful!)
Zest of 1 lemon

For the Filling:
2 ripe avocados
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup raw honey
Zest of 1 lemon

For the TOPPING: I did half with fresh kiwi & half with crushed Freeze-Dried Organic Strawberries. The strawberry variety was my favorite! So yummy, and so healthful! Hope you enjoy!

Grain Free Lemon Muffins / Cake {and a cake-ball fail}

So, I happened upon this really cute cake-ball photo on pinterest or instagram, I can’t remember which now. The little cake balls were made into golf balls for Father’s Day. I happen to have a cute little silver tin that my mind was picturing filled to the brim and over flowing with these tasty golf-ball-cakes! Since the plan was to serve these to dad for Father’s Day, the obvious flavor selection here at our house was a lemon-cake. I have made a variation of this lemon cake before and we all really enjoyed it, I changed a few things up and baked these in my large muffin tins {the idea was to have more of the browned edges in my cake balls for added flavor}.

Lemon Cake

Step one turned out deliciously! One taste test, honestly, was not quite enough.

Then, I crumbled the muffins in my mixing bowl and added a mixture of 1/4 cup of honey and the juice of 1/2 of a large organic lemon (careful to not include any seeds). I rolled this delicious crumble of goodness into golf-ball-sized balls and stuck them into the freezer for a bit while I concocted my icing.

Crumble

Enter: The icing, a.k.a the beginning of the end, a.k.a the reason for this epic cake ball FAIL! 😀

I think it is just as important, on occasion, to post about the flops as it is to post about the successes. Even those of us who have been gluten free home-chefs for as long as we can remember will have a recipe that just doesn’t quite come together. Don’t ever be discouraged about the misses, because you will learn a little something from each one! Maybe that’s why I have learned SO much over the years! 😀

Today’s Grain Free Lemon Muffins / Cakes:

1 1/2 cup cashew meal
1 cup almond meal*
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
3 large pasture-raised eggs
1/2 teaspoon real salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Zest of 1 large ORGANIC lemon
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup oil (I used coconut)
2 teaspoons organic lemon extract
Juice of 1 lemon

* you could also use almond flour here, I just only had meal on hand and we are okay with the thicker crumbles
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, mix first your dry ingredients until well combined. Then, add in your wet ingredients. Stir well. Transfer to oiled muffin tins. I used large tins and this made 6 large muffin sized cakes.

Bake for 25 minutes or until the edges and top begin to brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Let cool for 15 minutes in your tins.

NEXT STEP IF MAKING CAKE BALLS:

Next, I crumbled the muffins into a mixing bowl. I added a mixture of lemon juice from 1/2 a large lemon (about a tablespoon) and 1/4 cup honey. I stirred this mixture up and then rolled cake ball shaped in my hands.

THE ICING FAIL:

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So, I tried using a mixture of honey and cacao butter for an attempt at a white-chocolate dipped icing. I really wanted it to be white for the golf balls. My idea was to use the end of a stir stick to make the dimples once the chocolate started to set up. HAH!! This never really occurred. I couldn’t quite get the consistency of the white chocolate right. The recipe I was going from was from the amazing blog site The Spunky Coconut. Kelly has a recipe for strawberry white chocolates that use these ingredients along with coconut mana / coconut butter and powdered freeze-dried strawberries to sweeten instead of the honey that I used. It was a good thought, but just didn’t quite work for this application, so I may just have to go back to the drawing board on this one ~ but our Daddo still enjoyed the cake-balls, even though they never quite made it to the golf-ball stage.
Cake Ball Fail
I will say, though, the concoction worked as chocolate candies, so we used the last little bit in our mustache molds for these little cuties. All-in-all the project at hand was not exactly a success, but we all enjoyed our time in the kitchen and got some delicious eats from the venture ~ Happy Failures, canaries! ;o)
White Chocolate Mustaches

To DO List: Eat Mo’ Vegetarian Brekkies ~ Our Pick 4 Omelet Station

Batman eats veggies!
I am mom. This may not be the case in every household, but I am also cook. To me, the fact that I am responsible for filling their plates every day means that I am also responsible for the nutrition that my children receive. Its a job I take seriously – yes, in a fun and silly way, but still, seriously.

One of the constant goals of mine as the NUTRITION-PROVIDER of my household is to not only get it in ’em, but teach them along the way to LOVE the nutritious choices, so that when I am no longer the one in charge of filling their plates, hopefully the lessons they are learning now will carry over. It is constantly in my mind as I plan out meal times, even planning the treats! I explain to them every step of the way the reasons “WHY” I am selecting certain ingredients and constructing a balanced plate of food, or sometimes a balanced day of food, since every single meal isn’t perfect nutritionally speaking. I truly aim to make the healthy decisions be appealing and fun! This is all a part of my master plan to grow healthy, happy eaters who WANT to be healthy, happy eaters! {don’t tell them , but I think it’s working}

My favorite meals are ones that encourage the whole family to try new textures, new tastes, and new colors of food. This may seem very elementary, like the classic phrase,” EAT THE COLORS OF THE RAINBOW”, but even as adults, sometimes, we get sedentary on what we know and forget to broaden our taste buds on occasion. Every color of food makes up the phytonutrients and vitamins that our bodies need to function at their best.  Meals like this are great for EVERBODY to explore something new, and for some reason, it makes it more fun to get to have control over those choices! I am talking about our super fun breakfast this morning BUILDING YOUR OWN omelet.

To begin our Omelet bar, I used a dozen farm-fresh, soy-free, gmo-free, pastured chicken eggs and cracked them into a bowl for a good whisking. The carton was now empty, so I thought: What a great vessel for dividing our omelet selections. Because there are 3 kiddos here, I simply cut the carton into 3 equal sections of 4 “holes”. The rule: PICK FOUR!  Want to know what the coolest part was?  They all picked more than 4! :D. I love this.

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So, I chopped from the fridge some piles of tomato, orange bell pepper, broccoli, and spinach {we only buy organic produce as to reduce our exposure to pesticides and herbicides}. From our home garden {organically grown}, I collected, chopped, and piled some parsley, some rainbow chard, and some chives.  The kids took turns filling their sections and we labeled their containers and lined them up for cooking.
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It was so much fun watching them get excited about their selections and watching their faces as they cheered on each other’s omelets over the flat-top and excitedly waited for their own to cook.  We made omelets, we made a fun memory, and we all had something green for breakfast. A win, win, win in my book!!! 🙂

~Happy Omelet Making, Canaries ~

Red, White & Blue Gluten-Free Grilled “PB-J’s”

Red White & Blue holiday pails

These little pails of yumminess put HUGE smiles on my kids’ faces this Memorial Day weekend. This festive treat may have to make a second appearance for the 4th of July!!

easy-peasy: Some gluten – free bread, organic almond butter (or nutbutter of choice), coconut oil, fresh blueberries, and glutino gluten-free pretzels for the I food ingredients.

$1 bin red, white

& blue pails, picnic pattern basket liners or napkins, and 2/$1 mini flags for the presentation.
I simply grilled up some “PB-Js”, like you would any other grilled sandwich, except I used coconut on the grilling-side of the slices instead of butter, and inside, they got filled with Organic Almond Butter & a delicious organic blueberry fruit-only jelly. Once the sammies were browned to perfection, I transferred them to a cutting board and sliced them into 4 long rectangles.

Grilled "PB-J's"
The flags serve as the prefect skewers for a pattern of blueberries and gluten-free pretzels.

Blueberry & Pretzel Flags

 

Once everything was ready to be served, I simply lined each pail with the picnic-patterned basket liners, arranged the  sandwich sections sticking up out of the pail, and inserted the blueberry & pretzel-lined flag. There ya go! Easy gluten-free food fun perfect for any red, white & blue occasion!! Enjoy!

Red, White & Blue Frozen Bananners

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I love recipes that the kids get to help with, and this one was perfect to include them on. We had lots of fun, and they helped come up with the idea for what was RED and BLUE and HEALTHY to use as “sprinkles” on our Nanner-Pops, too. Smartie pantses ;)!

I still want to perfect this dip, but it was definitely a hit with the kids, and it checked all of our allergy-friendly boxes here, so that is always a bonus!

First, prepare you toppings. We used some fresh organic strawberries, some fresh organic blueberries, and even some freeze-dried organic blueberries. Any nuts WOUDL be fabulous! Get creative!

Next, prepare your bananas by peeling, cutting in half, and skewering with kabob skewers, popsicle sticks, or I used cake pop stick that you can find at almost any craft store. Set aside.

Now, in a small saucepan {you will want one deep enough to be able to dip, or at least roll, the sauce 3-4 inches deep onto the bananas. IN the saucepan over medium heat, combine:

3 tablespoons of coconut oil
&
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon coconut butter (coconut manna)
&
3 tablespoons of honey

Once the coconut butter has melted down, add in:

6 tablespoons of coconut milk (or more if you feel like your sauce is still too thick)
&
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)

Stir together until smooth and then turn off your heat.  Now, simply dip your banners and set them onto a freezer-safe dish. Take a pinch of your topping of voice and sprinkle it onto the dip. Continue with all of your banners until done. Now, simply freeze until you are ready to enjoy! (we could only wait about 2 hours!).  Enjoy!