GF Avocado Rosemary Biscuits

gluten-free avocado biscuits.gluten-free avocado biscuits.
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The best things are born out of necessity. Like this morning when I ran out of fat to bake with ( no butter, coconut butter etc) and decided to use avocado instead. OH. MY. YUMMMMMM!! Yes, all of those exclamation points are necessary.

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. & grease 3 cups in muffin tin
1/2 cup GF biscuit mix from Red Mill
1/4 avocado cubed
Pinch of sea salt

Pinch of rosemary, dried or fresh (optional)

1 egg

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

Blend flour mix with avocado and salt until well mixed.
Add egg and milk and blend.
Scoop into muffin tray and bake for 22 mins until golden brown and test knife comes out dry.
Eat them all because they’re delicious. Wait, what?! 😉

Low starch, veggie “rice” & “noodles” (Sugar & Gluten Free!)

Low starch, low carb blanched broccoli "rice"
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Blanched broccoli riceYou don’t have  to  subscribe to any particular diet to see the connection between too much starch and weight gain. When eating the preferred wholesome, real food diet you’d get your starches from tubers like potatoes and some vegetables and grains; a less wholesome diet might include baked goods made from starchy, refined flours. Between you and I, quinoa, popcorn, brown rice and rolled oats are favorites on days when I really need the energy. The problem (at least for me) with these starches is in part control, especially when  bored and/or overly tired. Well, if it’s food volume you’re after, there ARE ways to prep non-starchy veggies to suit your needs. With my solution and unlike with grains, you can have more than 4 oz (half a cup) per serving of these veggies so you will feel fuller longer; I doubt you will need much more, though, since they are all high in fiber.  Not only that, but these veggies come with a higher nutrient content so you’re getting more nutrition bang for your buck! How do I do it? I make noodles and rice out of vegetables, that’s how! (see below) ** These are useful option for the diabetic and gluten-free diets**

*You will need a food processor or blender to make the vegetable “rice” and a mandolin slicer or vegetable peeler  for the noodles.

For rice,  fill a saucepan with about an inch of water and bring to a boil so that you can blanch the vegetables after you process into a rice like texture; use the rubberized blade on your food processor) and have a sieve ready to remove excess water.  *You can opt to blanche the vegetables BEFORE processing, up to you and your preference.

For noodles, I prefer the raw version. You can opt to steam or blanch if you prefer yours less al dente. 

Lastly, you can opt to season your rice and noodles with whatever herbs and spices you like! Personally, I like simple food but I am working on adding more flavor variety. Below is a list of vegetables in my low starch, grain free arsenal:

 

Broccoli “rice”

Brussel sprouts “rice”

Cauliflower “rice” or mash

Carrot noodles

Chopped cabbage

Green bean mash

Zucchini “noodles”

Spaghetti squash “pasta”

Cucumber “noodles”

Cauliflower pizza crust is WOW!!

Gluten free, starch free and low carb
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Gluten free low carb starch free cauliflower pizza!

Gluten free low carb starch free cauliflower pizza!

I just made this and aside from a few hiccups it came out as one of my favorites pizza crusts of ALL TIME. Like most, I’m a big review reader and one very astute reviewer solved the soggy cauliflower issue with the addition of a quarter cup of coconut flour. My mistake? Not greasing the parchment paper and so my pie came out stuck to it. I baked the pie for 15 mins per the recipe and then added pizza sauce, a few sage leaves, cooked ground turkey and then baked it for another 5 mins.
5 out 5 Forks up!
Pros: low carb, low carb and starch free.
Caution: not a dairy free recipe; lots of cheese! (Took 6 Lactaids!!)

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Recipe Remake: Chicken & Biscuits Cobbler (from Steak and mushroom cobbler from TheChew.com)

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Image‘Tis my season for cooking and baking! Winter? what, Winter? Cold, what cold? It’s warm and cozy in my kitchen and nothing boosts serotonin levels like biscuits, ya’ll! Make that biscuits, gravy and tender goodness. I saw the original recipe of flank steak, onions and mushrooms served with Michael Symon’s Elvis Biscuits on The Chew. The first thing I thought when watching the episode was ” Dang, Curtis Stone is HAWT!!”  followed immediately by, “no way can I eat anything made with buttermilk and white flour without slipping into a food coma”. Yep, my general health ethos is to only eat foods that don’t make me sleepy and y’know what? it works for me.  Cue this recipe make-over which replaced the red meat with organic chicken, the dairy in the biscuits with coconut oil  instead of lard, a little coconut milk mixed into diluted Greek yogurt (instead of buttermilk) and a lower carb gluten-free flour blend.

Full Disclosure: Being the ” Inept Chef” that I am, I accidentally wasted 2 cups of GF flour by using 4 when the recipe called for 2 and forgot the salt. Why? Please refer to my moniker: Inept Chef.  What can I say, I sometimes go to a happy place while cooking and these accidents usually happen just as I think, wow  I’m GREAT at this! Clearly I’m deluded.  So yeah, my “test” batch of biscuits were inedible but ever the optimist, that mistake gave me time to perfect the batter the 2nd time around

Results: 57 Forks up, Folks. THIS WAS SOOOOO GOOD! I know I’m biased and think most things I make are ok ( no I don’t) so I invited a friend over to taste and even he said how yummy it was. Verdict: You MUST make this especially if you have mouths to feed ( serves up to 8)

Pros: Highly flavorful comfort food. This remake is low lactose, gluten-free  and far healthier than the original (sorry Michael Symon, high five, Daphne Oz!)

Cons: Very filling so save the rest or make sure you have people to feed it to.

A review: Paleo Pumpkin Bars (Clean Eats the Zoo)

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Paleo Pumpkin Bars Review

Paleo Pumpkin Bars Review

Happy Fall, ya’ll! The weather has cooled considerably here even in just the last two days which for me means I can really get into the swing of my favorite season. For me that means trips to pumpkin patches with my dog-child and Friends With Kids, apple picking in beautiful upstate NY, scarves, jeans, sweater coats, reds and gold touches in my decor and pumpkins everywhere and in EVERYTHING. So now that I’ve decorated and my house smells downright yummy, it was the perfect time to add some pumpkin action and I chose to do it with these Pumpkin Bars from the family at CleanEatstheZoo.com.  Seriously, this family is an inspiration in a lot of ways which you can read about here.

Now full disclosure: I don’t claim to subscribe to any particular “diet”. Instead, I eat to prevent spikes in my blood sugar and blood pressure since type 2 diabetes and hypertension runs in my family. My nutrition goal is also to preserve my hard earned muscle mass, keep excess fat at bay and maintain my energy levels for this crazy schedule I have. Sometimes this leads to Paleo friendly diet  because nothing saps my energy more than grain based carbohydrates but I also try to limit my intake of animal fat and have been know to love my fat-free Greek yogurt which Paleo is not a fan of. If anything, I believe in clean, wholesome eating using foods found in nature and not labs. But enough about me, let’s chat about these pumpkin bars!

I was tempted to improvise a few times but baking is a science and well, I’m not a good enough cook or baker to get cocky. You have to spend the dough to make the (non) dough for these bars but you can find some savings here.

Review: 5 Forks Up! So delicious and filling.

The crust was the most troubling part for worry worts like me because it doesn’t cling together the way grain based doughs do. Remember that almond meal or flour is nothing more than very finely ground almonds. When I tried to press mine together before baking it seemed crumbly at first but all I did was add another couple TBSP of coconut oil and it was fine. A long setting time is true for all grain-free flours, by the way so don’t skip that part ( this recipe called for leaving it to cool for quite some time after baking) and don’t fret.

SO Delicious Almond Yogurt Review: Didn’t hate it…

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ImageMan, times they are a-changing when you start to see so many choices for the vegan, lactose- and gluten free people of the world! Sure, not every neighborhood has access to some of these new inventions in food but at least they can be purchased online right? As a dairy free chica, when the weather gets warm, I start to miss the creamy goodness of ice-cream and yogurt. Funnily enough, it’s the texture I miss….literally the creaminess. Therefore, it was such a relief to see almond and coconut milk yogurts on the shelves of Whole Foods this week. I’m sure they’ve been there awhile it being Whole Foods and all but I just noticed them because, like I said, it’s starting to warm up here and I went looking. Vanilla and chocolate seemed like good beginner flavors and I choose the SO Delicious brand because I dig their coconut and almond milks. Here is what I thought

  1. Packaging: 5 Spoons…regular appealing yet healthy looking package
  2. Color: 3 Spoons….the vanilla was a nutty brown color. I like my vanilla cream colored. Personal preference.
  3. Texture: 4 Spoons… it was very custardy, not milky, which is understandable since well, there’s no real milk in it. They thicken it with tapioca, sea kelp, gelatin among other things.
  4. Taste: hmmm 3 Spoons….it’s….different….even more yogurt tasting than regular vanilla yogurt. I suppose that is the Greek Style the packaging referred to but it still took awhile to grow on me. 
  5. Protein content: 4 Spoons…. It boasts 6 grams of protein and 6 active live cultures. Not a lot for the yogurts I prefer but hey, those yogurts are milk based and cause me gastric distress. I’ll take a lower protein content over that bellyache any day. 

OVERALL RATING: 4 stars. If you live dairy free and want a creamy/custardy yogurt then this might be for you if you like the extra tang of Greek yogurt. I am saving the chocolate one for tomorrow and might try a fruity one soon!