VEGveeta

VegveetaWe are currently in week 4 of this summer’s GUT CAMP (Specific Carbohydrate Diet Camp). I was really trying to figure out a cheese alternative for my diary-free campers that isn’t made with loads of nuts. I have been pondering over a gelatin-type solution, but was really struggling thinking up what I could use.

As if by divine intervention, I ran across @lilsipper on Instagram and all of the super creative food ideas she was coming up with; and, as if golden beams of light were coming from my phone, I see her cheese recipe using cauliflower! And other veggies.  What!? <- and that was a good what.

 

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Are you kidding me, of COURSE I had to try this out for myself.
So I checked the list of ingredients and got into kitchen mode, replacing a couple of ingredients that we don’t use and adding in some that I thought would fit this flavor profile and end up with good results and by the end of the night, my boys were digging into a pan of fake queso dip made from vegetables and licking their fingers clean.

Here is what I came up with for my family and for our GUT CAMP that was SCD compliant, and a Low Oxalate version for my LODers.

 

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VEGveeta Recipe:
1/2 cup carrot peeled & chopped (1 carrot)*
1 1/2 cup (loosely measured) raw cauliflower chopped (1 small head or 1/2 of a large head)
1 cup zucchini, peeled and chopped (1 medium zucchini)
1/2 cup frozen or fresh butternut squash, chopped*
1 teaspoon organic Apple Cider Vinegar
1 teaspoon coconut aminos (optional)
1 teaspoon Real Salt
1/2 teaspoon Turmeric
1 tablespoon coconut oil
3 tablespoons  Great Lakes Gelatin (red/orange, not green)  here is the one you want to get.

* For Low Oxalate, use butternut squash to replace the carrot and keep your portion size under control.

1.First, chop all of your vegetables and steam them until very soft.

2. Transfer to your Vitamin or high powered blender. Blend until very smooth.

3. Add in your apple cider vinegar, Ume Plum Vinegar, spices, and oil and blend together.

4. Add in your gelatin and blend just until smooth.

5. Transfer to a plastic wrap or parchment lined bread pan(or any dish you want to use depending on the shape you want to have). If you have a silicone pan, you won’t need to use the liner.

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6. Place in the refrigerator until completely set.

Now – this does so closely resemble Velveeta that none of us really enjoyed it on it’s own. (I plan on testing a couple more batches and playing with the flavors to see if I can change that).

But, added to a pan with some Organic Salsa, it melted into the perfect queso dip! And my boys liked it melted onto their broccoli, too. And tomorrow’s leftover chicken is going to be Arroz Con Pollo with cauliflower rice and this queso dip. How’s that for some SCD/Paleo Tex-Mex! Love it!

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Hope this puts some smiles on your faces:) It did mine!!

~Happy Eating~

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.

 

Raspberry Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwiches {grain-free, dairy-free, honey & fruit sweetened}

Solo delicious! Messy! But, Solo delicious!
Raspberry Dreams

The “cookie”:
1 cup almond butter
1 egg
1/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon pure vanilla
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon real salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together in a food processor. With a spatula, spread out into a rectangle on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 9 minutes. Let cool completely.

**Some tips: I scored my dough into rectangles before I baked; Make sure your cookies are completely cooled before filling your sandwiches, be prepared t lick some delicious messiness from your fingers and hands as you build these; As you work, you may want ot keep a cookie sheet into he freezer and place each new ice cream sandwich into the freezer before you move on to the next. They melt really quickly.

While the cookies bake, simply rinse out your food processor and then start the ice cream.

The raspberry “Ice-Cream”:
3 frozen bananas
1/2 cup fresh raspberries.

Mix in the food processor until creamy, like soft-serve ice cream. Transfer to a freezer-safe bowl and stick in the freezer to chill until your cookies have cooled.

Once your cookies are cooled, scoop out a spoonful of ice cream into the back of one cookie piece, sandwich with another cookie piece, and smash down slightly. I used a flat spatula and made a lap around the edges to try to sort of square off and clean up my edges, but that is completely optional. Make them as full and as messy and as wonderful as you see fit!  These will definitely get some remakes in all sorts of flavors this summer!

If you want to save for later like I have done here, you can wrap them up in parchment and store them in the freezer.

~ Happy Ice-Cream Sandwiching! ~

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!

Lemon Cake & Lemon Cake Truffles {Grain-Free, Paleo, Gluten-Free, Cane-Sugar-Free, Dairy-Free}

Lemon Cake Truffles

Lemon Cake Truffles

Oh my! These little bites of lemony goodness and such a delight! The cake, itself, if very easy to throw together, and can certainly be enjoyed on it’s own. Actually, it would be wonderful for breakfast with a cup or organic tea, or as an afternoon snack. It’s a pretty dreamy treat!

There are so many almond flour recipes out there, I decided to change it up a bit on this one. One of our family’s favorite nuts is the cashew. We love the creamy texture and the mildly sweet flavor. So, for this lemon cake, I decided to use Cashew Meal. It turned out with a beautiful crumble, I think!

Grain-Free Lemon Cake

2 1/2 cups cashew meal
1 teaspoon Real Salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cups cup raw organic honey
1/4 cup liquid measure virgin coconut oil + more for oiling pan
Juice and zest of 1 organic lemon
3 pastured chicken eggs
2 teaspoons organic lemon extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees {Fahrenheit}

In a large bowl, whisk together your dry ingredients {the cashew meal, salt,  & baking soda}.  Make a well into the center of the bowl and add to it the remaining liquid ingredients and lemon zest. Give it all a stir to combine.

Oil a loaf pan or a square baking dish with coconut oil. Pour your batter into the oiled pan and give it a spread with the back of your spoon or a spatula to even everything out.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. This is definitely one of those cakes that you can “smell” when it is done. To the look, it will have a nice brown color and should not have any liquid seen on a toothpick inserted into the center {although it may carry out some crumbs with it}. Remove from the oven and cool as long as you can before sneaking a little sliver to taste. {I am guessing I am not the only one who does this ;)}

~For the Cake Truffles ~

You will need: 1 prepared Grain-Free Lemon Cake from above ~plus~ The following lemon glaze:

Lemon Glaze: 1/2 cup tapioca flour 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder 5 tablespoons organic grade B maple syrup 1 teaspoon organic lemon extract 1 teaspoon lemon zest

Simply blend all ingredients together in your blender. Can be stored in the fridge. Makes a great glaze for cookies or bars, and makes the perfect “glue” for these delicious lemon truffles!!

Preheat the 350 degrees if you haven’t already.

Crumble your cake in a large bowl. Stir in about 3 tablespoons of your lemon glaze. Now, Using a tablespoon (#70) scooper, pack the scooper full of the crumb mixture, pulling up against the side of your bowl to really pack it in. Pull the trigger to drop your scoop onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Simply reshape the top of your truffle if the scoop has been too rough on it. It should be a nice, tight little mound of sticky lemon crumb. Keep lining these mounds up on your parchment-lined baking sheet. They can be placed fairly close together, as no rising will occur at this point.

Bake the truffles for 6 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes. Now, using a piping bag with the smallest piping tip, usually used fro writing {or, honestly, most of the time I just grab a zip-top sandwich bag and snip off the corner}. Drizzle a zip-zag line across the top of each truffle as the finishing touch.

The taste of these lemon cake truffles is perfection for me. The healthy fats from the nuts and coconut oil and the sweet, lemony flavor really remind me of my mom’s lemon bundt cake she made a lot when we were growing up. There’s truly nothing better than turning a nostalgic {unhealthy} treat into a copy-cat recipe that meets all of our dietary restrictions in a delicious way!

Hope you enjoy, they sounds like a lot of steps, but honestly, they are not difficult to make!

Happy Cake Truffling, Canaries! ~Kendra

“Chocolate Covered Strawberry” Paleo-Style Macarons

Chocolate Covered Strawberry MacaronsThese little cutie-pies were in the Paleo Valentine’s Day bake sale boxes. They were very simple. Simple to make. And simple to pop in your mouth and enjoy!  Here’s how I made these little treats:

“Chocolate Covered Strawberry”  Paleo-Style Macarons

The Cookie:
1 cup almond butter
1 pastured chicken egg
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoon organic maple syrup
2 Tablespoons organic cocoa powder
1/2 + 1/8 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons homemade vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees {Fahrenheit}

In a food processor, I combined all of the cookie ingredients and  processed on low until ingredients are well combined. Then, I transferred the dough to a piping bag. (You can use a zip-top bag and simply cut the tip if you do not have a piping bag). I piped little quarter sized swirls of dough onto unbleached parchment-lined baking sheet. {They won’t “grow” much during baking}

Piped Macrons in the Making

These are tiny little mounds of yumminess, so they don’t take long to bake at all. I set the timer for 5 minutes and that was just about right for a still-chewy center. Some stayed in for a full 6 minutes, and they were a bit over-done, in my opinion.

Macaron Cookies all baked.

At this stage of the game, you can chomp down on these tiny little chocolate cutie-pies just like they are seen above, looking like a cookie version of a little chocolate kiss.

Or, if you are feeling indulgent, you can take it one step further, as I did for the bake sale, and turn them each into a tiny little sandwich. I used this STRAWBERRY FROSTING as a filling and they were just delicious! Look at how yummy these look with a little sandwiching makeover!  I can’t wit to use this recipe over the summer to make all sorts of grain and dairy-free ice-cream sandwiches!  I hope these inspire you do get creative, too.

~Kendra

Chocolate COvered Strawberry Filled

Flourless Cherry Sweetheart Cookies {Grain-Free & Paleo}

These were created with LOVE for the Valentine’s Bake Sale Boxes that got delivered last week. In keeping with my passion, I was thrilled to get to bake up some delicious treats for kiddos and families that are very particular with their ingredient lists; and, better yet, I was able to raise a little money for a couple of charities that are local to me and to my heart. I know I keep saying this, but it really was the Best. Bake Sale. Ever.

Grain-Free Cherry Sweetheart Cookies

super- duper simple nut butter cookies turned into these:

Cherry Sweetheart Cookies
1 cup organic almond butter
1/3 cup organic raw honey
1 pastured chicken egg
1/2 teaspoon aluminum free baking soda
1/2 teaspoon organic apple cider vinegar
10 + 24ish dried organic & unsulphered cherries
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees {fahrenheit}.

I find these are easiest to mix together in a food processor.  I hope you love how easy these are as much as I do!

In your food processor, combine the almond butter, honey, egg, baking soda, apple cider vinegar, and 10 of the cherries. Pulse or mix on low spear until ingredients are thoroughly combined.

Line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper. I used my #70 disher (or 1 tablespoon) spring disher. YOU can use a large spoon or even a tablespoon measuring spoon, but if you do not own a #70 disher, just hop onto Amazon and purchase one for your kitchen drawer. They are so great for cookies and mini muffins!

Spoon your dough onto your parchment lined baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between each cookie. I have found that the amount of “spread” that these cookies get depends on the amount of oil in the nut butter. But, they always taste delicious!   Now, take the remaining cherries one at a time and, using a knife or the tip of your fingernail, make a small slit in one of the edges and separate it, mimicking the shape of a heart. Press the heart-shaped cherry into the center of each dough mound.

Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 9 minutes. remove and transfer to a wire rack to cool.  Refill your pan with the raining batter and repeat.

I get 24-28 cookies per batch. Cool completely and then store in an airtight container, that is IF they make it that far.
The cherries give each cookie a sweet and tart element, the fact that the entire batch only has 1/3 cup of honey as its sweetener, and the simple, throw-in-the-food-processor method here make these so very appealing to me as the chef of my household. And this basic recipe has endless possibilities! Chocolate chips are the obvious choice, yes, but I enjoy experimenting with less ordinary treasures.

Hope you Enjoy these as much as we did. <3
~Kendra

Scared Of The Dark Cherry Gummy Bears

scaredofdarkgummy

I’m not quite sure when Halloween became synonomous with massive quantities of food-dyes and high-fructose-corn syrup, but I don’t have to tell you that these are not the healthiest selections for our kids. The last thing you want to read, I’m sure, is another study about how dangerous some of theses  chemical food colorings can be (or why many other countries don’t allow them into their foods), or how high fructose corn syrup will get your child closer to diabetes by the day.

I know this is a major sugar-buzz-kill for so many parents. They escape into the “one day out of the year won’t hurt them” mentality, and they may be perfectly right (at least a percentage of them). As a family who already battles a neurological disorder, I have made a choice to remove all chemical additives from our diet, so most of the store bought “goodies”, we simply walk past as if they are a piece of store furniture,  When I happen upon a circumstance where I have to admit to the layman that…

“We Don’t Eat Candy.”
or
“My Kids Are Allergic To Sugar”

…I undoubtedly get a look that, if I could freeze-frame the moment, would most appropriately be marked with a scribbled thought bubble and a big. red. question-mark.  Then comes the pity. Its really kind of comical at this point. Do I dare tell them the real kicker? That even if they weren’t allergic I wouldn’t give them sugar. {{{(gasp!)}}}

Huh?
Huh?

I assure you, though, that I AM NO PARTY POOPER!  My kids have fun stuff. Almost daily! And holidays are just a creative person’s dream because they provide a theme, a canvas for creation.   Halloween is no exception.

The past few Halloweens, I have ordered some really great candies from our go-to allergy-friendly candy shoppe, Natural Candy Store. But even here, it is tough to find candies that aren’t made with sugar.  So, it has been my mission this year to create some great home made candies and treats (adding more by the day) to make our Halloween celebration SCARY FUN this year!

These Gummy Bears will be PERFECT.

Three Littel Bears


SCARED OF THE DARK CHERRY GUMMY BEARS (also, see below the Valentine’s Version)

1/2 cup black cherry concentrate*
1/2 cup pure water
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon lime juice
3 tablespoons gelatin**

*You can find this in the supplements section of most health food grocers, or simply order online from a source like amazon or vitacost.
**For the healthiest option, try a brand of gelatin that is from grass-fed cows. I use the Great lakes Brand {the red or orange can, not green}.


Directions:

In a bowl or measuring cup, combine all the liquids.

In a saucepan over medium heat, I started with about half of the liquid mixture and all of the gelatin and whisked together while the pan was heating. When I had a sort of paste, I added the remaining liquid in and continued to whisk until the gelatin was completely dissolved.

I turned off the heat and let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes, just to cool.

The next step is where the fun comes in! I added powdered probiotic at this stage and then poured into my molds. You do not have to add anything at this point, but the sky is the limit if you want to make these “gummy-vites”.

Pour into your mold or desired dish. Refrigerate until set (at least 2 hours).
I used these fantastic bear ice cube trays. I first saw them on one of my favorite blogger’s sites (Elana Amsterdam’s Elana’s Pantry) and marked them as a MUST HAVE!! She had done some other great bear flavors, as have many other bloggers, so this is by no means a new recipe. They are a healthy take on the old “Knox-Blox” recipe (A favorite of our Papa’s … hopefully we can pass these off as the knox-blox he loves so dearly and save him from himself! :))    I found the bear molds here.

The existential Gummy Bear

As you can see, there is much fun to be had with these gummy bears. PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD!

When Halloween night comes this year, I will be making a batch of these “Sacred Of The Dark Cherry” bears, and also an Apple Cider version. Yummy!!

~Happy Halloween Eats~

For Valentine’s Day, I ordered these cute little heart-shaped molds and we had a blast making Very Cherry (with cherry-pomegranate juice) and Very Berry (with Cherry & Raspberry Juice) Gummy Hearts. <3 <3 <3

Very Berry Gummies

Goblin’s Eyeballs

Goblin's Eyeballs

These are an easy crowd pleaser and the kids love them!
Very simple. Gacamole stoffed into a cerry tomato and topped with a sliced black olive.