Skin Rx breakfast

Healthy summer eats
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Raw eggs shake from this week
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Half a diced papaya
Half a cucumber
1 tsp of lime juice
And mmmm FRESH!

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How to make badass gluten free biscuits

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A  favorite part of the  NYU Nutrition program was the time I spent in the kitchen. It was there that it really hit home that cooking and baking especially were scientific reactions. One just had to think about the end goal for taste and texture and combine ingredients to achieve them. Was I always perfect? hardly. Did I often end up with flour in my hair? always. Still, I too kmuch away from that course and whatever my addled brain couldn’t remember I knew  was written in this $3000 collection of textbooks I amassed over the years. Like how to make biscuits: this is really about how to combine your ingredients. Once you get that, it dawns on you that it applies to everything i.e types of cookies etc. 

Biscuits (or scones) are rustic lumps of deliciousness in my house. I do like the flaky, buttery versions too but I’m still perfecting those so stay tuned. These savory ones were born of my love for  the taste of cheddar biscuits and my need to only use gluten-free flour. *P.S. I’m not celiac but I know I don’t respond well to regular flour (extreme fatigue, bloat, churlishness). Judge me freely. Here is how I did it:

1/2 cup GF muffin mix from Red Mill

3-4 tbsp unsalted butter (regular or coconut)

6 oz low fat yogurt ( I needed the probiotics but you can use tsp of vinegar mixed with 1/4 -1/2 cup almond milk; the acid is the key)

Pinch of sea salt

Pinch of Rosemary

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and oil your muffin pan for 4 biscuits ( you can just use wax paper too).

Mix flour and butter thoroughly in a high speed mixer or blender ( my Ninja might be the best thing I’ve ever bought). 

Add pinch of salt and rosemary to mixture and mix again. Taste to see if you like it.

Now add wet ingredients of yogurt or almond-vinegar mixture and blend all throughly. 

Scoop lumps into your tin and bake for 18-20 mins until golden brown and knife comes out dry when you test.

Let cool for at least 5 minutes and then enjoy!

Did you try them? Please let me know what you thought!

 

High protein muffin: version 3.0 (has dairy)

The latest FabU high protein, low carb muffin.
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The latest FabU high protein, low carb  muffin.

The latest FabU high protein, low carb muffin.

Eureka! This is one version of my muffin adventures that turned out moist and yummy. The catch? This one is NOT dairy free BUT the batter has 30 grams of protein and 20g of carbs. It serves 4 so each has 7.5 grams of protein and 5 grams of carbohydrates.

FIRST:

*Grease muffin cups with non stick spray & heat oven to 375-400

1/4 cup almond meal
2/3 cup coconut flour
2 whole eggs
2/3 cup cottage cheese (I used full fat)
1 tsp ghee (coconut oil/butter works too)
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt and either 1.5 tbsp of coconut sugar for sweet version OR herbs for savory.
Mix together in blender and pour mixture into 4 cups and bake for 20-25 mins.

A week of some of my low carb, low starch meals

Low starch, low carb meals
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Here is a nice collage of what I’ve been feeding myself over the last week. The Lazy Girl’s guide to home made eats 🙂

Spinach eggs with chopped red bell peppers and sweet potato: 2 eggs fried with spinach leaves and the rest is self explanatory.

Baked spaghetti squash sprinkled with coconut sugar and a tsp of ghee: Cut squash into quarters, remove seeds, sprinkle with coconut sugar and ghee and bake for 25 mins; scoop into a bowl when it’s tender to the fork and set alone or as a side for something else.

Korean bbq lettuce cups: Make a marinade of 1/2 cup of rice vinegar, 1 tbsp of oil,1 tbsp of coconut sugar, 1/2 cup low sodium soy, one inch of chopped mince ginger, 2 minced garlic cloves and soak thinly sliced meat ( I used grassed beef) in it for a minimum of 1 hour ( the longer the better; reserve a bit as gravy for lettuce cups). After marinating is over, heat skillet or grill to very hot temps and sear meat 2-5 mins on each side depending on how well done you prefer it ( chicken should be well done!!). Wrap each each piece in Bibb or Romaine lettuce and slather with marinade gravy-ENJOYYYY!

Instant coffee with cinnamon and a tsp of ghee: I made my regular cup of joe ( coconut sugar and cinnamon added) , added a tsp of ghee and GEEE WIZZZZ it’s yummy!

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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Sunday Soup day: garlic chicken

Healthy soup option for cold an d flu season
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Healthy Cold Kicking soupThis soup thing is starting to get too easy but I’m not knocking it! Such an no fuss way to get some cooked food in the house AND get your root vegetables. The last soup I made was meat free and I’ve spent this past week eating very little meat. This week’s has a 1/2 LB of organic chicken.
1/2 cup onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large carrot, diced
3 small turnips, diced
4 celery stalks, diced
2 small sweet potatoes, chopped
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp thyme
1 tsp turmeric
1/2-1 LB chicken

Heat olive oil in large sauce/soup pan then add onions and stir til translucent. Add garlic and stir together. Add all vegetables and add broth until vegetables are covered. Cover and bring to a boil on high heat and then simmer on medium heat:
Season chicken with herbs and turmeric then add to broth. Cover and simmer for an additional 25-30 minutes.

Savory Mini Chicken Pies

Gluten free high protein meat pies
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Gluten free high protein meat pies

Gluten free high protein meat pies

These pretty little things were created to deal with my urge for baked carbs, my most troublesome feature of Seasonal Affected Disorder. I try to keep 2 days weekly for mostly cruciferous veggies but the weather is rainy and a bit on the dull side so that craving for something warm and chewy hit hard on one of those days. Usually my forays into baking are to bring you experiments with the recipes of other bloggers. That’s where I learned all about playing with low-carb and gluten-free flours ( NOT the same thing, btw) and getting the types of texture that soothe my chewy carb tooth. I figure now is a good time to start making more of my own recipes since we only have 3 weeks left in 2013, right? These mini meat pies use in a cupcake tin:

1 cup Almond flour

1/2 cup flax meal

2 egg whites

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1tsp thyme

black pepper to taste

2 tbsp COLD butter, coconut oil or ghee

1/4-1/2 lb of chicken

Heat oven to 400 degrees

Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt together. Crumble fat ( butter, coconut oil, ghee) into dry mixture with your fingers until you have pea and marble sized pieces throughout. Add egg white and mix into dough until sticky and cohesive. Spray cupcake openings with nonstick coconut oil. Press tbsps of dough into 4 cupcake openings then press indentation in middle for meat.

* Prepare chicken last to prevent cross contamination!

Place raw chicken in processor with 1/2 tsp of salt, thyme and black pepper. Pulse until well blended. Scoop into center of dough mixture. Sprinkle each with thyme if you like. Bake for 30 mins.

Review: These came out a bit dry so I will be refining the recipe even more to add moisture. Your comments and tips are welcome!

Low-carb rice alternatives ( Food processor needed)

Low Carb alternative recipes
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Low Carb Rice Alternatives

Low Carb Brussel Sprout and Chopped Chicken

Rice. It goes with everything. Whether you like it wild and pilaf crazy, straight missionary white, or “hippie” brown (I’m babbling) it just…fits. Unless you’re trying to lose weight. Then rice becomes a starchy beacon waving in bloat and unwanted weight  because of our tendency to overeat the stuff. Not to mention people who eat white rice tend to be at a greater risk for Type 2 Diabetes.  If all of that still doesn’t scare you off the white stuff then check out my favorite alternatives that have helped me get through those cravings. *FYI, I process all to a rice like texture (aka: really fine) and serve them topped with whatever meat or sauce I typically eat rice with. My blood sugar and waistline thank me daily.

Blanched brussel sprouts

Cooked Cauliflower (Have Thyroid issues? read about goiterogens!)

Steamed or raw brocoli florets (Have Thyroid issues? read about goiterogens!)

Now I’m not saying you will get the same feeling as if you ate rice if you choose these vegetables. I’m saying that  eating these foods make ME feel better after I eat them because I eliminate the blood sugar spike, don’t feel bloated and know that I got a lot of fiber in. Try them and tell me what you think!

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: Laduree Crockpot Brownie Bites (Recipe from lifemadefull.com)

Laduree Crock-pot Brownie Bites.
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Laduree Crock-pot Brownie Bites.

Laduree Crock-pot Brownie Bites.

Are you the proud owner of a chocolate tooth? You know, the kind that makes you follow your nose when you smell a good cup of hot cocoa, makes your mouth water when you see chocolatey anything? yeaaaah I’m that kind of chocolate head. Not in the “I have to have it every day” way but in the “when I have it it MUST be great” way.  That’s how I came to be the owner of several tins of half empty cocoa powders including the beloved 2 year old Laduree goodness that became these brownie bites. That beautiful blue green box had my grubby finger marks all over it because I teased out spoonfuls very sparingly after getting it from THE Laduree store on the Champs Elysees in Paris 2 years ago. Ahhh Paris, how I love thee! But I digress. After having a serious hankering for brownies and not being able to commit to any old namby-pamby chocolate bar I figured “why not create my own deliciousness?!” My search yielded this recipe for Crock-pot Brownie Bites on one of my favorite blogs Life Made Full

Now, you never have to ask me twice to use my crock-pot, especially my mini one that gets used just because it is adorable. The original recipe serves 10 so I halved it to yield 5 brownie bites….and to use my mini crock 🙂 As usual, I LURVE that most of these ingredients were already in my pantry. If you are also living la vid lo-carba then almond flour and coconut everything should be taking up real estate in yours, fyi.

RESULTS: Rich, decadent, chewy, CHOCOLATE! You might not ever buy or eat a regular brownie again.

Pros: rich, not too sweet, moist texture, low carb.

Cons: Not sweet…enough and had a funny after-taste. This could be because I messed up on the proportions while trying to change the yield. It could also be because I didn’t adjust the cooking time for a smaller amount so there’s a chance I over cooked them.  Still, who cares about all that when you have Life Made Full’s  incredible maple glaze sauce to eat them with ?!! Holy cow, I’m saving THAT deliciousness to slather on everything I eat until it is gone. So, yes, I’ll try to make these again at the full serving size AND you should try them in the meantime.