Saturday, September 7, 2013

Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Pancakes

Gluten free sweet potato pancakes
I have been trying to find the perfect gluten free pancake for a long time now. I read recipes online about mixing eggs with bananas alone, which worked out pretty decently texture-wise, but I felt like it was too eggy of a flavor for me. I also tried adding a little coconut flour or almond flour to the mix but I still wasn't satisfied with the results.

Finally I decided to try something different, sweet potatoes! They added a nice sweet flavor, and the texture worked out beautifully. Is it the perfect pancake? No, probably not. However, they are the first gluten free pancake I've had that actually tasted like a pancake and I really enjoyed eating. They had a slightly spongy-like texture and the perfect balance of sweet and spice. I did use regular whole milk in the recipe, but I think coconut or almond milk would also work to moisten the batter if you are trying to go dairy free. With fall just around the corner, this is a great breakfast for the season. :)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Blueberry Banana Ice Cream Bars

Blueberry Banana Ice Cream Bars

Don't you just love the summer time? So many wonderful fruits available, and usually on sale! Blueberries were going for really cheap the past couple weeks at the grocery store, so I stocked up and decided what better way to use them than a cool summer treat like ice cream? With this heat, it just seemed like the perfect dessert. I decided to do something a little different than just regular ice cream, so I made a chocolate brownie crust with nuts and dates and turned them into ice cream bars!

As you can see in the photos, the ice cream is super smooth and creamy, even though its 100% dairy free. It's made with a blend of coconut milk, bananas, blueberries, and honey. So it's naturally sweet and creamy, without any heavily processed foods! It also contains no eggs, so if you're a vegan you can probably substitute the honey for maple syrup or agave nectar and I'm sure it will taste just as good.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Toasted Coconut Nut Butter Cookies

Toasted Coconut Nut Butter Cookies

If you've read my last post, Chocolate Olive Oil Brownies with Cashew Butter-Cream Spread, you'll know I recently got a Vitamix and since then have been making fresh nut butter on a regular basis. I eat it plain a lot or with fresh fruit (especially bananas!), but I've found it is also a great ingredient to cook with. Which leads me to my latest dish, Toasted Coconut Nut Butter Cookies.

In this dish I have combined raw almonds and cashews to form a thick, creamy butter, along with some toasted coconut for a little crunch and extra flavor. The eggs alone were enough to poof up the cookies, and the nut butter helped them hold a uniform shape, so no flour was needed! They tasted kind of like chunky peanut butter cookies. I decided to drizzle a little chocolate over top too because...chocolate. I feel that chocolate makes every thing better, but if you are a big nut butter fan these cookies are good on their own as well, so feel free to leave off the chocolate sauce if you like. :)

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Chocolate Olive Oil Brownies with Cashew Butter-cream Spread

Chocolate Olive Oil Brownies with Cashew Butter-cream Spread  

As some of you may know, my husband got me a Vitamix for our 3 year anniversary. Isn't he the greatest?? Anywho, I have been experimenting with various nut butters since I got it, and my most recent one is cashew butter. I have had it at the store before, but I don't like that it usually has added safflower oil, salt, and whatever else they put in there. I love making my own nut butters because there is always just one ingredient....nuts! And you may be surprised, but they are super creamy just like store bought ones. Not as sweet, but you could always add a little sweetener if you like.

My husband has been asking me for brownies over the past several days, so I decided to combine my love for nut butter, cashew in particular, with his love for brownies. I must say, they turned out to be delicious! I decided to use almond flour instead of coconut flour, and olive oil instead of my usual coconut oil for the base, and it actually worked out nicely. The brownies are pretty fluffy, but they are a little dry. However, the cashew cream adds a nice moistness and compliments the brownies very well. And best of all, these brownies are gluten-free,dairy-free, and made from natural ingredients, so you don't have to feel so guilty about eating them. :)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Lemon Parsley Chicken with Roasted Red Peppers and Artichokes

Lemon Parsley Chicken with Roasted Red Peppers and Artichokes

Trying to eat healthy can be a hassle when you work until 6 every day (sometimes 7...) So when I get home I try to cook meals that can be done in 30-45 minutes whenever possible. I'm usually lucky if I can get a nice meal on the table by 8!

I have a feeling this dish is going to become a regular go-to meal on my work-night menu. It is one of those simple dishes that I can throw together pretty quickly and still feel healthy about it. I did use canned artichokes and roasted red peppers from a jar to make things go faster, but if you have the time I'm sure this dish would be even better with home-made roasted peppers and steamed artichoke hearts instead.

The lemon compliments the buttery flavor of the artichoke hearts really well, and the red peppers add a slight smokiness and beautiful color. Then there's the garlic and parsley, which give it a slight Italian feel. The chicken of course makes the bulk of the dish and absorbs all these wonderful flavors. I was surprised at how well this dish turned out because I don't cook with artichokes very often, but I must admit I rather enjoyed it. The husband even liked it...actually he said it was really good! :)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Chocolate Cake Roll with Strawberry Cream Filling

Chocolate Cake Roll with Strawberry Cream

I made myself a mixture of avocado, strawberries, and lemon juice together to go with my lunch at work yesterday. It was actually quite tasty, so I thought I would try to incorporate avocado and strawberries together into a dessert somehow. I had a couple of cans of coconut milk chilled already in the fridge, so I wanted to incorporate those into the mix as well. I decided to stick with a chocolate base, since...well...chocolate just makes everything taste better!

While this dessert doesn't really feature the avocado as much as I originally planned, you can still taste a slight hint of it within the cake. The main features are chocolate, strawberries, and creamy coconut flavors. I will warn you though, it's not as sweet as it looks. I did not use any baking soda or baking powder either, so it's not very fluffy. But overall, it still tasted pretty good. Not the best cake in the world, but certainly not the worst. Plus it's gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, contains no leavening agents, and is made with real wholesome ingredients! Now I don't have to feel so guilty when I have a slice. :)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Greek Cauliflower Salad

Greek Cauliflower Salad

I apologize for the lack of posts lately. Both of my sisters are due in April, as well as my sister-in-law, so I have been super busy shopping and planning baby showers. I just haven't found the time for blogging. That doesn't mean I haven't been cooking though!

The idea for this dish actually came from my sister's shower planning. She had requested that we try to bring lots of healthy foods, preferably gluten-free. When trying to come up with ideas I decided to create a gluten-free version of a Greek pasta salad that was always served at family events when I was a kid. It must have turned out well because I got several compliments at the shower. In fact, I'm making it again for my other sister's shower tomorrow! I hope they like it too. :)

The cauliflower texture in this dish is a mix between couscous and rice. I think it really goes great with the strong flavors of the capers, olives, and Feta cheese. Then you have the juicy grape tomatoes to mellow out all those salty flavors. Best of all, it is great cold so you can prepare it ahead of time if you need to. This does makes several servings, so if you are making it at home for 2-4 people you may want to halve the recipe.