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Gluten Free Zucchini Chocolate Dream Bread

23 Feb

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After a long hiatus, I am back to cooking again.

My love of baking has not subsided!  I have experimented with many types of gluten free flour . I’ve come to the conclusion that the best thing to do is to blend flours together to try and achieve the same consistency found in regular yummy bready things. Keep in mind it will never be the same. It just can’t. Once you make peace with that, the door into a yummy gluten free baking world will open!

So I had these ‘meh’ looking zucchini’s hanging out in my fridge as well as huge bag of dark chocolate chips. Combine that with a huge hankering for something sweet and voila its time to bake up a storm. I searched the web and found many recipes and took the best of the best each and came up with this.

Ingredients

Dry:

1 1/2 cups gluten free flour mix ( 1 part chickpea/fava bean flour, 1 cup of arrowroot or cornstarch and 1 part tapioca starch)

1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips

1 tsp xanthan gum

1/2 tsp of baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp of salt

Wet:

2/3 cups of light brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

1/4 grapeseed oil or coconut oil

1/2 applesauce

Other:

2 medium small zucchini shredded (about 1 1/2 cups)

Directions:

1, Preheat oven to 350 F

2. Grease large loaf pan

3. Mix sugar and oil

4.Combine the rest of wet ingredients in a large bowl with mixer or by hand

5.Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients

6. Fold shredded zucchini into mixture

7. Bake for about 50 minutes to an hour

The loaf should be nice and moist and just plain yummy. The recipe makes about 12 servings or 10 generous slices. I would suggest pairing this with some nice mate green tea, or even some nice chamomile if your having a late night snack. Or if your feeling very decadent with an amazing hot chocolate.

Happy eats!

Midnight Salad in the Garden of Blueberry

7 Feb

I don’t usually recommend late night snacking… however, last week after an unusually long day a tasty little salad did not seem too much of guilty pleasure. Late night snacks have their downfalls, the main one is that sometimes the ingredients necessary to make that perfect recipe are just not in your fridge or pantry. This recipe was the result of such a situation. Sometimes food made from scratch just tastes great!


Midnight Blueberry Salad

Ingredients
I package of baby spinach (about 4-5 cups)
1 cup of Blueberries
1 cup of crushed walnuts
1 cup of crisp bacon bits
2 TBS of apple cider vinegar
1 TBS of Dijon mustard
1 clove of garlic
salt and pepper to taste
lemon zest

Directions
1. On medium low heat cook bacon, until crisp on the edges;
2. While bacon cooks, in a large salad bowl combine blueberries and spinach;
3. In a small mixing bowl mix the pressed garlic, mustard and apple cider;
4. Once the bacon is cooked, remove and place on a separate plate (DO NOT THROW OUT DRIPPINGS!!);
5. Cut the bacon into small pieces and then add the garlic to the remaining bacon fat;
6. Let it cook for about 2 minutes or until you can smell the apple cider;
7. Toast crushed walnuts in oven at about 350 F until you can smell them – about 2 minutes;
8. Add bacon, walnuts and dressing to spinach and blueberries…and VOILA!

You can definitely change this recipe to your liking. This is one of the reasons it is so great. Varying a couple of ingredients keeps your taste buds happy. For example, if you don’t like mustard you can leave it out. This will make the taste of the dressing milder. Or if you prefer almonds throw some in. The flavors that make this interesting are the blueberries, the bacon and the tart flavor of the apple cider and garlic. Anything else can be switched… maybe some fresh blackberries? Mmmm sounds good!

If you have any questions drop me a line. In the meantime enjoy my Midnight Salad in the Garden of Blueberry .

Shrimp, Shrimp, the magical food….

2 Feb

I love shrimp! I love the way they look and I love the way they taste. Shrimp are extremely versatile, not to mention you can add them to any recipe and all of a sudden, it seems exotic to your taste buds and above all yummy! I usually like preparing a bunch of shrimp and saving some for later. I add them to salads or even in my morning omelet. It’s great if you’re in a rush and feels like you don’t have time to eat healthily.

The other thing that I love is how great they are for you! Shrimps are full of minerals and omega-3 fatty acids as well as vitamin B12. So in essence this is a great combo! Good to eat and yummy too. Who would have thought they were packed with such good healthy stuff. What’s great about this Easy Tiger Shrimp Recipe, is how easy it is. I will give you a little intro on how to de-shell shrimp after that you should be set. Are you ready for some shrimp?

Easy Tiger Shrimp Recipe

Ingredients
2 1/2 cups of shrimp (uncooked and shells removed)
2 cloves of garlic minced or pressed
1/3 cup of dry white wine
1/2 tsp of chili flakes
1 tsp of butter or coconut oil
salt and peppers to taste

Instructions
1. If frozen soak your shrimp in water at room temperature;
2. Once fully thawed, de-shell them by finding the spine of your shrimp, where the shell meets and creates a gap;
3. Pull the shell off but leave the tail on;
4. Set pan to medium heat add oil/butter;
5. Add chili flakes and garlic to pan and cook for about 5 minutes or until garlic is golden;
6. Add shrimp and spread evenly on pan surface;
7. When shrimp begin to get pink turn up the heat to medium and add the wine;
8. When most of the wine is gone it is a good sign because your done!

I like placing the tiger shrimp on a bed of curried quinoa. The best thing about them is that they are great to have in your fridge because they are ready for any occasion! Healthy and yummy this early preparation will take off added stress of the “what to have for dinner” factor… or at least it will give you something to munch on while you make dinner. So try this easy flavorful shrimp recipe!

If you have any questions drop me a line!

A Nostalgia For Food—3 Weeks in Paris Makes for a Sleepy and Grumpy Cave Woman

22 Sep

Part 1

After a long busy busy summer, I left for Paris at the end of August. I have, since the beginning of February been keeping a strict paleolithic diet ( with some ups and downs here and there). It started with my boyfriend throwing down the challenge and I figured: well 30 days on this crazy diet scheme won’t hurt, if anything I will go back to the way I eat!

This 30 day experiment has now been going on for 7 months plus. What began as ‘crazy diet scheme’ has now evolved into a way of life. I think that I have taken so strongly to this so called ‘diet‘ because I just feel better then I ever have. Recently, like many of my friends I had developed intolerance’s to dairy. I remember the day I cut out milk as the day I learned to drink coffee black. I thought that this simple action would solve the constant bloating and abdomen pains I had been feeling for over one year. I soon came to realize that there was more happening underneath the surface. Supplementing my dairy with almond milk only sightly alleviated my problems, I still felt, to put it plainly GROSS and I didn’t know why. Long story short once I eliminated all grains, unnecessary legumes and most importantly sugars, I started to feel better. I felt lighter less bloated and full of energy. More importantly I keep feeling better, the longer I keep to this routine the better my body feels.

Where was I, Paris right. This conversion to a primal way of life has benefited me in ways I had not and have not foreseen. However it’s important when committing to something so different to test your limits and to test your theories. The switch for me was not easy. I love sweets, I love baked good I love food. Going back to Paris was going to be hard. Having lived there once and have acquired the knowledge all the best bakeries and local restaurants, this was going to be a challenge.

Upon arriving I realized what I was dealing with was food that had more flavor then what I was use to back home. Things were fresh and local and had for the most part less preservatives. I allowed myself the freedom to eat what I wanted and disguised this with the phrase “I’m on vacation”. I ate what I wanted, how much I wanted without the need to feel guilty because I was on vacation. What I started to figure out was that my cravings were linked to a nostalgia for food. What I ate was linked to a nostalgic search for sweet and savory tastes and the consequential satisfaction, I once felt. In other I was eating all these sugary doughy gluten filled pastries for memories sake and the sad conclusion was that it wasn’t as good as I remember it being.

How could I have gone from wanting to overdose on this sort of food to now feeling ‘meh’ about it? I guess the consequences of how that food makes one feel can outweigh the nostalgia. The liberal attitude I adopted in Paris began to take its toll and this is something I felt just after the first week. How could I feel sleepy and grumpy when I had no work to do? I could sleep in and I was on vacation eating the best food in the world.

Tune in to part 2 next week!

Black Tomato Fennel Cucumber Medley

10 Aug

As a child I wasn’t a big fan of fennel. With a sensitive child’s palette, the taste of fennel was strong and reminded me too much of black licorice. However with the added years I have also acquired a more adventurous and mature palette. Fennel is fun and fresh great for a summer salad or as a bed to your favorite meat of choice. I like to have this Black Tomato Fennel Cucumber Medley with some white wine garlic shrimp!
Yummy all around!

Ingredients
8 black tomatoes
5 medium sized cucumbers
2 small fennel bulbs
1 celery stalk
1/2 cup of flat leaf parsley
3 small purple pearl onion
a pinch of rock salt and pepper to taste

Directions
1.Peel and seed the cucumber
2. Remove stalks from fennel, keep the bulb and the tender parts
3. Cut both fennel, cucumber, black tomatoes and celery into similar bite size pieces
4. Mince parsley and onion
5.Toss vegetables with salt and pepper
6. Guess what your done!

I like to mix some olive oil separately with some apple cider vinegar and add that to the medley. It keeps the fresh taste of the vegetables present and strong to the taste but adds a nice sweet taste. The medley is good on its own for a nice vegan treat, especially with the special taste of the black tomatoes! Optionally for the meat lover you can cook some shrimp in coconut oil with tons of garlic, as things heat up add some white wine and watch it all sizzle. Take those shrimp and toss them over the medley and voilà. That is my personal favorite, though I think a nice piece of steak would be tasty as well! Until then you can use this as a main course or a bed for your savory meats and main dishes….Enjoy!

If you have any questions drop me a line!

Vegan Style Medley

Yummy Shrimp Medley

Holy C***, Bring On The Duck Fat!

3 Aug

I keep getting turnips in my organic vegetable basket. I am going to be honest here and say; I am impartial to turnips. Being impartial results in being unmoved by these root vegetables generally I am at odds with how to include them into my diet.

Luckily for me, I have been trying to keep with a paleo/primal way of eating since the new year. This means that some of my favorites things, like hummus and mashed potatoes are a no go. So what to do with a bunch of turnips a hankering for mashed potatoes and some left over tahini? Bring on the Duck Fat!

Bring On The Duck Fat, Turnip Mash

For this recipe you will need

Ingredients
A bunch of turnips (6 medium sized to small)
2 Tbs of Duck Fat
2 Tbs of Tahini
3 small chives
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
1. After peeling unwanted parts cut turnips
2. Place turnips in pot and boil until you can put a fork through them
3. Place turnips into desired container
3. Add duck fat, tahini and chives.
4. Beat with hand blender until desired consistency is achieved.

I think this recipe would also taste great if made with bacon fat and garlic, instead of duck fat and chives. The taste of the turnips is strong but delicious when served with a nice piece of grass fed beef. What makes me happy is that I can keep adding different ingredients to this turnips mash much like I use to do with hummus. Until then be adventurous and try something new like I did. You may be pleasantly surprised.

If you have any questions drop me a line!

Sweet Basil Zucchini Soup: The Fresh Taste of Summer

21 Jul

I recently started receiving an organic vegetable basket every two weeks. This forces me to prepare my vegetables ahead of time so I can just dive into my fridge and find a yummy snack waiting. Last week’s basket came with about 6 zucchini and a whole lot of other fresh organic goodies. I had no idea what to do with some many vegetables and with so little time to eat them all. Until I thought of soup! Soup is such a great way to use vegetable that may otherwise go to waste! Not to mention I just love eating soup and with this cooler weather, a nice little bowl in the evening sounds just about right…

Sweet Basil Zucchini Soup

For this recipe you will need
Ingredients
4 cups of water
2 cups of chicken stalk/ or vegetable stock
12 basil leaves
6 green zucchini (peeled)
2 carrot (peeled)
2 cloves of garlic
1 onion
1 celery stalk
1 TBS of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
1. Cut all the vegetables (zucchini’s, carrots, celery, onion, garlic)
2. In a pot combine the vegetables, broth and water.
3. Add 8 of the basil leaves
4. Let the vegetable and liquid heat up to a boil on meduim heat.
5. This should take about 40-45 minutes ( or till you can fork through the carrots easily)
6. After letting the contents of the pot cool put everything into the blender!
7. Add remaining basil leaves, oil and salt and pepper.
8. Blend it all, till it is a smooth consistency ( this is always my favorite part)
9. I sometimes like to add an extra raw garlic clove for a kick.

I find this soup tastes better after its had time for the flavors to take. I leave it in the fridge for about a day, and then take it out at night for a great delicate tasting soup! Optionally, I like to add some strong goat cheese or feta into my soup with a drizzle of olive oil and chili peppers flakes to counter the subtle sweet taste of the basil. If you like the sweet fresh taste of basil and want to add more shred some on top of heated bowl of soup! So until then, enjoy the soup as much as I do…

If you have any questions drop me a line!

Yummy In Your Tummy Coconut Flour Blueberry Muffins

7 Jul

The great muffin debate. This is what I used to call the enthused argument my friend Teo and I would have about muffins. Are muffins, cupcakes in a ‘healthy’ disguise? Can a muffin be a healthy treat? For the most part I would say that muffins are not as healthy as they seem, unless you are making your own at home. By baking your own muffins you can see how much sugar actually really goes into what you are making. I can guarantee you would be surprised how much sugar goes into a classic muffin recipe. Needless to say I do believe that muffins can be healthy treats…

Blueberry ( Coconut Flour ) Muffins

For this recipe you will need
Ingredients

6 eggs ( at room temperature)
3/4 cups and 2 TSP of Coconut Flour
2x(1/4) cups of Melted Butter or Melted Coconut Oil
1/2 a TSP of Salt ( to taste)
2x(1/4) cups of Raw Honey ( sweeten to your taste)
1 TSP of Baking Powder
8 TSP of Water
1 cup of Blueberries

Directions
1.Preheat oven at 375 Celsius and grease muffin tin (makes 12 muffins)
2. Combine all the dry sifted ingredients (baking powder, salt and coconut flour) into a medium to small bowl.
3. In a larger bowl mix all the wet ingredients (honey, eggs, butter)
4. Gently combine the dry ingredients in a whisk like motion until they are all mixed
5. Add water into mixture a teaspoon at a time until well mixed, mixture should be slightly glue-y
6. Add blueberries.
7. Baking time, 15-20 minutes or until you insert a toothpick and it comes out clean,tops should be golden.

What is great about these muffins is that every ingredients is accounted for. The honey which can be diminished-with apple sauce- is full of minerals and amino acids. So, although these muffins are sweet they are by no means related to cupcakes. The coconut flour is gluten free and filling and the blueberries are great antioxidants. Try them out… I guarantee this is the healthiest ‘yummy in your tummy treat’ you have had lately!

So until next time, enjoy the muffins treats!

If you have any questions drop me a line!

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