Sunday, June 27, 2010

Favorite Foodie Links

I am always on the internet reading about nutrition or delicious foodie finds. I thought I would start doing a weekly round up of all the interesting and funny foodie finds I come across every week-- just to save you some time :-)

-Irish Times: Sugar bigger health risk than Smoking
--I thought that was pretty crazy, they also discuss how decreasing your insulin is essential to anti-aging. So stop spending on all those expensive anti-aging products and cut out the sugar!

-Synergy Kombucha pulled for Alcohol, Owner comments
-- Earlier this week my favorite drink Synergy Kombucha was pulled from shelves due to possible alcohol contents. Fermented drinks have detectable alcohol, which may mean alcohol laws may apply to Synergy. The CEO discusses how they will move forward.

-Lion Burgers in honor of World Cup causes controversy
-- I think this sounds delicious, I'd try them in a second. But the controversy focuses not on the taste but on the lawfulness of serving this exotic meat.

-The Most WTF Cook Books
-- A little humor; the most ridiculous cook book titles. My personal favorite is the "The Testicle Cook Book"-- not sure whether to throw up or laugh.

Italian Fried Egg

I love eggs, at any time of the day, but eating them the same way can get a little boring. I made this Italian dish for breakfast, but you could have it for any meal of the day and it would go great with some garlic toast on the side and a nice espresso.

1/2 zucchini (about 1/4 cup)
1/8 cup Tomato sauce
1 Egg

Preheat oven to 375. Thinly slice zucchini into spaghetti like pieces. Place zucchini in a pot with boiling water and boil for about 5 minutes, until the zucchini becomes soft. Drain zucchini and place in a small baking bowl and cover with tomato sauce (some people like a lot of sauce, so you can alter the amount to your taste). Create a small dent in the top of the zucchini tomato mixture, like a pool. Next crack an egg in the pool and bake for 5-7 minutes. If you like your egg runny-- keep an eye on it cooking because of differing altitudes cooking time may vary.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Shake cubes- shakes without the pain!

I've recently turned to smoothies to try to fit in all of those foods you're "suppose" to eat for health benefits-- but just can't seem to get into your meals. I mean we all know things like: garlic, cilantro, beets, flax, coconut milk, are good for us, not to mention those extra powders and supplements we need to improve our health, but how the heck do you fit them into your menu every single day....not an easy task! The second problem is storing all of the raw ingredients that can spoil.
My shake cubes solves these problems and also helps cut down on shake making time. I usually add cilantro and beets to my shakes. Cilantro helps detox heavy metals, helps reduce cholesterol, and stimulates the endocrine system. Beets are proven to reduce the growth of tumors, a great vitamin A source and help manage blood pressure. I would never get a daily source of cilantro or beets without my shakes!

1 cup of beets-- or your favorite shake ingredient
2 tablespoons Coconut milk
1 tablespoon Water

Beets need to be boiled and softened first. If you are using other ingredients like cilantro, or spinach you can skip the boiling step. Boil beets until soft. Once soft remove from heat and cut into small pieces. Add pieces to food processor and add coconut milk and blend until smooth. Pour mixture into ice cube trays and freeze. The next morning all you have to do is get out your different types of ice cubes and add them to your milk of choice and blend. This eliminates the hassle of prepping your ingredients every day and better yet your ingredients wont spoil in the fridge! Prepare different types of cubes to keep your taste buds happy :-)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Egg White Salad-- how have I not had this before?!

I'm really confused how I have not had this before. Tuna salad was pretty common in my house growing up and it wasn't until college that I tried chicken salad, when I shared lunch with a friend (that's great too!), but egg salad-- for some reason I hadn't tried. I guess I just didn't think it would be any good, but it's delicious people! I'm sure most of you have tried it. this egg white version helps by reducing cholesterol if that is something that concerns you, it also just reduces calories in general. I used boxed egg whites, but you could use the real thing-- it just might take a lot of eggs!

1/3 cup Egg Whites
3/4 tablespoon Mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Yellow Mustard
1 tablespoon Chives or red onion
1/2 tablespoon Capers
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 pieces of Bacon (optional, but sure are good!)

Place eggs in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for about 1 minute, or until fully cooked. Chop egg mixture and place back in bowl. Add mayonnaise mustard and olive oil to eggs and mix well. Chop chives and capers then add to mixture. Lastly add salt and pepper to your taste. I added bacon to my sandwich, but it would be great to add the bacon directly to the egg salad mixture too! Another twist too- you could substitute the regular mayonnaise for my chipotle mayonnaise :-)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Oh Granola: how I've missed you!

There are so many things you miss out on when you're gluten free and even more when you're grain free. I've been pretty lucky to figure out how to reproduce so many of my favorites. I'm not really sure why it took me so long to even think of this! I love eating yogurt and am a huge snacker so granola used to a staple in my diet. When I was little my Mom would take us to Costco and I would get the granola in the HUGE milk carton and literally pour it into my mouth (of course I'd get yelled at for contaminating everyone's granola). So yesterday when I woke up around 5am and could not get back to sleep (it was awful), I got up and made this-- which was De-licious!

1 cup Roasted Almonds
1/3 cup Sunflower seeds
1/8 cup Raisins
1/4 cup Shredded coconut
2 tablespoons Sesame seeds
1 tablespoon Molasses
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
2 teaspoons Stevia powder
Coconut oil for skillet (or butter)
**Feel free to add any other seeds or dried fruit

Warm a medium sized skillet to medium heat and add coconut oil. Chop almonds and place skillet. Chop sunflower seeds and raisins and also add to skillet, make sure to stir mixture to heat it evenly. Next add coconut and any other seeds you will be using. After mixing well lower heat to low then add molasses-- you do not want to cook the molasses. Next add stevia and vanilla. Heat mixture for a few more minutes then remove from heat. Turn the oven on to 375. Pour granola mixture onto a lined cookie sheet and bake for about 10 minutes. This will help the granola become more crunchy. Remove from oven and let cool.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Daring Cooks Challenge: Three Spice Liver Pate

This was my first daring cook challenge and it was De-Licious! Our hostesses this month, Evelyne of Cheap Ethnic Eatz, and Valerie of a The Chocolate Bunny, chose delicious pate with freshly baked bread as their June Daring Cook’s challenge! They’ve provided us with 4 different pate recipes to choose from and are allowing us to go wild with our homemade bread choice. I have enjoyed this pate in so many ways! I've used it in place of ham for eggs benedict, with apple slices, and of course with toasts and mustard. This recipe is pretty easy, although time consuming-- I'd be surprised if you could mess it up!

1 lb Chicken liver (you can use pork too, but I couldn't find it)
1/2 lb Ground pork
1/2 lb Pork belly
2 cloves Garlic
2 Shallots
1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Coriander
1/2 tsp Cumin
3/4 tsp Salt
1 tbps Pepper
2 tbps Cognac
2 Bay leaves
1 package of Bacon

Preheat oven to to 350. Cut liver and pork fat into small pieces and add to food processor. Add ground pork, garlic, shallots, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper. Grind until smooth. In mixing bowl, incorporate the meat and liver mixture with the cognac and eggs. Line bottom of baking or ceramic pan with overlapping pieces of bacon. Place a bay leaf on the bottom and then fill with meat/liver mixture. Cover top with another bay leaf and then overlapping pieces of bacon. Place in oven in the larger baking pan and add enough water to cover 2/3rds of the pan containing the meat/liver mixture. Bake for about 1-1.5 hrs. The pâté will contract and the juices will be on the bottom. Allow to cool and soak up the juices. Remove any excess bacon and discard the bay leaves.

I recommend pairing this lovely pate with my Fluffly Almond flour bread-- you can't go wrong :-)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

LuLu's Birthday Cake

Today is Lulu's birthday. We don't know exactly when she was born, but we know that it was in June so we thought this weekend would be a great time to celebrate. Lulu got a new pink summer shirt and some new bones to commemorate the occasion and of course a cake! I made the cake out of beets, peanut butter and carob powder, so it is dog friendly... and people friendly! This cake has a great light flavor with a hint of chocolate (carob- so its dog friendly), the frosting is sweet, fruity and also chocolatey-- its good stuff! This recipe fit a bread loaf pan, if you want a full sized cake just double the recipe. Lulu's piece of cake didn't have frosting on it because she really likes peanut butter.

The above picture is Lulu's cake with the peanut butter as frosting, but I think people prefer the chocolate raspberry frosting :-)

1 cup Beets
1/2 cup Peanut butter
2 Eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons Cinnamon
3 tablespoon Carob powder
1/4 teaspoon Baking soda
1/4 teaspoon Baking powder
3 teaspoons Honey

Preheat oven to 350. Boil fresh beats in large pot for about 30 minutes or until softened (You want to be able to stick it with a fork and remove fairly easily). Take beets and place in food processor and blend, add peanut butter and blend again. Next add cinnamon, stevia, honey and once the mixture cools a bit add eggs. Pour mixture into a greased loaf pan (the size of a loaf of bread) and bake for 40 minutes or until tooth pick comes out clean.

1/3 cup Coconut milk (full fat)
1/2 Banana
2 tablespoons Raspberry jelly
2 tablespoons Carob Powder
1 tablespoon Honey

Place half banana in a bowl and microwave for 30 seconds or until soft. Mash up the banana then add coconut milk and mix well. Add raspberry jelly, carob powder and honey. Mix well, then place in the fridge for about 10 minutes so that it will harden. When the cake has cooled smooth frosting over cake and place back in the fridge and the frosting will continue to harden.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Please tell me this isn't my future

Friday, June 11, 2010

Bacon wrapped Oysters

So I know I have been wrapping a lot of things with bacon lately and frankly I make no apologies :-) I really think that bacon should be a staple in your diet. Assuming you buy sugar free, nitrate free bacon, it has great fats and is so tasty! This recipe is great for appetizers or side dish. It is rich, creamy yet crunchy and has a very unexpected taste. You really cannot go wrong.

4 pieces of Bacon
8 Oysters (I used canned)
2 tablespoons Cream cheese
2 tablespoons Goat cheese
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper

In a small bowl add cream cheese and goat cheese. Place bowl in the microwave for a few seconds-- just long enough so it is soft and can be mixed easily. Add crushed garlic, salt and pepper into the cheese mixture. Lay bacon on a cutting board and cut each piece in half. On one end of the bacon place a dollop of cheese mixture, then add an oyster to the top. Carefully wrap the bacon around the cheese/ oyster dollop and secure with a tooth pick. Place all wraps on a cookie sheet and back at 375 for 15 minutes. If you like your bacon crunchy broil the wraps for a few minutes before removing from the oven. Let cool for 5 minutes then serve. These also keep well in the fridge if you would like to make them in advance. ENJOY!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Kefiring....Making kefir that is!

I have mentioned in past posts that I have been recently diagnosed with Lyme Disease. Treatment for Lyme is notoriously difficult if you have had the disease for longer than about 4 wks of time-- which I have (about 4-6 yrs actually). So I have started what is going to be a long treatment with pharmaceutical and natural antibiotics . Both pharmaceutical and natural antibiotics are very hard on your digestive tract, killing off your body's friendly bacteria and breaking down enzymes. Even those who are not taking antibiotics need to replenish their bacteria, which is damaged by all the chemicals and pollutants your body is exposed to every day. SO-- I've been back to my 24 hr yogurt making and have started making my own kefir....and I love it!
Kefir has been around for hundreds of years. It is a live bacterial culture much like yogurt, but contains up to 57 different bacterial strains while yogurt usually contains about 3. Why is yogurt so popular then if they only contain a measly 3 bacterial strains? Well the bacterial strains in yogurt are the same strains that are naturally in your digestive tract, while many in kefir are not naturally occurring in you GI. Although they are not naturally occurring, these bacteria are still very beneficial in aiding in your immune function, digestive system, yeast control, and over all enzyme performance (which is basically necessary for all of your body's functions). You can buy kefir bottled in your local health food store, but if you're going to be drinking it every day its much less expensive to make it yourself-- not to mention you dodge additives like: sugar, gums, thickeners, and other things we can't spell. The best part: if you can pour a glass of can make kefir.
The first step is to get your kefir grains. Now a note-- like most things in life: not all are created equal. You do not want commerically sold powder kefir grains. These kefir starters are not the real thing and will only last one batch. Real kefir grains look like cottage cheese, are stored in liquid and are alive. I got mine on craigslist from a local kefir drinker who had an abundance of grains (they grow, because they are a live). There are water kefir grains, where you ferment with water, or milk grains (you can use goat milk, regular milk or coconut milk). For those lactose intolerant try out the milk any ways-- fermenting the kefir breaks down the lactose and even helps break down casien-- so many are able to tolerate the dairy kefir. SO now on the the kefiring!

1 tablespoon Kefir Grains
2 cups of Milk (you really want organic....its only about .50 more than regular--TRUST ME!)
1 glass jar
1 pastic strainer

Place kefir grains in well cleaned jar and pour milk into jar. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a corner (our of the sun). Let sit for 24 hours then strain kefir into a glass using a plastic stainer (metal harms the kefir grains, so no metal).

Refrigerate for about an hour, add some stevia, or make a smoothie and enjoy! I have mine after dinner in place dessert. Replace the kefir and milk in the jar and repeat process. The grains will need to be in milk constantly so that it can stay alive, if you want to slow down the fermenting process because you have too much kefir, you can put the jar in the fridge which will slow down the fermenting process.
ENJOY!!! Its addictive people

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Waffles Waffles!

I haven't had a waffle in over a year! This was a good one too. I was inspired by one of my favorite blogs "Heather Eats Almond Butter", who made waffles last week. They are pretty simple to make and super healthy! This recipe is for just one person, so keep that in mind if you're cooking for a crowd.

Allergy Resume: Grain Free, Nut Free, Dairy Free

2 egg whites
1 tablespoon Flax meal
1 tablespoon Coconut flour
1/2 tablespoon of Protein Powder (I used Hemp)
2 teaspoons Stevia
1 teaspoons Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Baking soda
1/4 teaspoon Baking powder

Place egg whites in bowl and beat until stiff. Next fold in: flax, coconut flour and protein powder. The egg whites will probably fall a bit, but that's ok. Add remaining ingredients and fold until ingredients are well mixed. Fire up the waffle iron and make sure it is well greased. Pour in batter and wait until well cooked. Top with your favorite topping (I mixed yogurt and almond butter) or throw some blue berries or bananas into the batter...whipped cream...ohhh the list could go on! Have fun with it and enjoy!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Lulu Chews Her Toy: note white fluffies every where

Crackling Pork Belly

For the season finale of LOST I needed to make something special to celebrate. I choose pork belly because it seemed like readily available Island fair. I have never had pork belly before and I am definitely going to be making it again. I am one of those people who favor fat over any carb or sugar-- if you are afraid of fat, you may want to save this for a rainy day.

Pork Belly
3 tablespoons Yellow mustard
3 tablespoons Molasses
1 tablespoon Minced garlic
2 dashes of pepper

I've tried slow cooking my pork belly before and have not had good results for some reason. So my method is to bring a large sauce pan to a boil and add pork belly. Lower the heat of the water to a simmer and cover pot. Boil for about 3 hours. Remove pork from water. It should be totally cooked and tender (if not-- throw it back in!).
In a small bowl add mustard, molasses, garlic and pepper. Once the pork has cooled, add the sauce over the pork making sure it is fully covered. Place pork on a baking sheet and place in the broiler. Every three minutes flip over the pork and return to broiler. Continue broiling and flipping until the outside is crunchy, but not burnt. Remove from oven and let cool before eating. You might want to make some extra sauce for putting over the finished pork.

** a few notes on Pork Belly: it is usually cured with salt when you purchase it, boiling it in the water will bring a lot of this flavor out (which is a good thing). You do not want to add any salt otherwise it will be too salty. Also keep in mind that pork belly is very rich, so portions are usually smaller.