Tag Archives: grain free

Whole Grain Copycat Muffin

Grain-free gluten-free flax muffinsThis hearty muffin goes great with eggs for breakfast or with your soup for lunch!  It reminds me of a bran muffin, and the chia and sunflower seeds give it a whole grain like crunch!  It is not a sweet muffin, but the recipe can easily be adapted (omit the chia and sunflower seeds) to make this into a lemon poppy seed or orange-walnut cranberry muffin if you’re adventurous!  All yummy!

Sometimes when recipes I try from the internet don’t work out, I wonder what gives!  So I like to try to be clear in my directions; I want you to get the same results I do.  When I measured the dry ingredients, I was very particular for this recipe.  I gently tapped the measuring cups on the kitchen counter to get the flax and arrowroot powder to settle down.  Then I filled the cups again to the top and tapped again, leveling off if needed with a flat knife.  I have made this muffin with maple syrup, almond milk, and palm shortening substitutions.  I prefer to make this in our blender, but I’ve also made it with an electric hand mixer.  All of these variations work (the palm shortening requires lots of immersion), but the recipe as typed up below is what we prefer best and is the most tasty.

Whole Grain Copycat Muffin

Makes 10-12 muffins

1 cup of finely ground golden flax
1/2 cup arrowroot powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 T whole chia seeds
2 T chopped sunflower seeds
3 eggs
1/4 cup full fat coconut milk
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup of olive oil

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients in a small bowl.
  3. In the blender, blend together all of the wet ingredients.  (This may alternatively be done with an electric hand mixer or immersion stick blender.  Mix until the wet ingredients are well-blended and bubbly.)
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in the blender and blend until well mixed.
  5. Pour into lined muffin tins.  I fill the muffin cups about 3/4 full.  I get 10-12 muffins.
  6. Bake for approximately 15 minutes.  Ovens vary greatly so monitor and check for doneness with a toothpick or knife inserted in the center.

Family “gustar” report:  6/6.  I was happy the now finicky toddler ate them!  My husband liked them drizzled with a little honey.  The older kids liked them plain.

I hope you have a wonderful day today!  I hope it is filled with peace that comes from inside!  Listen to the clues your body and mind give you to make changes to develop a life full of gratitude and joy!

Signing off,

Terri

Tiger Nut “Cereal”

Tiger nut flourTiger nuts.  Heard of them?  I hadn’t.  But they were recommended to me to try as a base for a homemade milk.  I ordered some from the river (that would be Amazon) and gave them a try.  You can buy tiger nuts themselves or tiger nut flour.  I ordered both.

Not a nut

Tiger nuts are actually tubers–roots that grow underground.  They’ve been around a long time, just not eaten much by us “modern” food snobs who prefer cake and ice cream. They’re about the size of a very big pea, cream-colored, and wrinkly.  They are very tough to chew, but have a nice, sweet, nut-like flavor.  Your jaws will be tired snacking on plain tiger nuts, though.  I liked them, and my kids did too.  But the chewing was rough.  So I used some of the flour in a muffin recipe the kids like.  (It didn’t replace all of the flour I used, just some.)  It went fine.  Sometimes, the tiger nut flour has tough gritty little flecks in it that you can feel when you bite.  I knew what it was in the muffin, but if I was having a ladies’ coffee, I’d probably opt not to use the tiger nut flour.  But for home use, it’s great.

Tiger nuts are great sources of resistant starch.  Resistant starch is a kind of special fiber which is very important to feed your gut bacteria so that YOU can be healthy.  Resistant starch is usually missing in our modern diets.  It is touted to help in diabetes, gastrointestinal issues, and managing weight.  I like resistant starch because it helps my slow GI tract a bit.

How we like to eat them

My kids and I both miss the convenience of cereal.  We try not to rely on grains in our house, although we do eat some.  But cereal every day for breakfast is clearly relying on grains.  We don’t do that.  If there’s one thing I could get moms to believe, it’s that breakfast cereal just isn’t healthy.  No matter what the marketing ploy.  But we do miss cereal.  We have used tiger nut flour to replace our grain-based cereal cravings.

We put some fruit in a bowl (our favorites are strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, bananas, and ripe peaches), add about 1-2 tablespoons of tiger nut flour on top, a touch of maple syrup, and a little of our favorite milk (or the one best tolerated anyhow).  My kids like it a lot and says it tastes like cereal.  It may be wise to start with just a little tiger nut flour (or tiger nuts) and work your way up.  Your gut bacteria may need a little time to adjust to this new tasty food source.  If you go too fast with it, you may be uncomfortable.  None of us had this problem, but I have read about it in others.

That’s our tiger nut story.  A good little find for us.

Conclusion

Enough about tiger nuts.  They’re nice, and maybe you’d want to try them.  But what I really want to know–health and eating whole, real foods to get it–are you still working at it?  We’re about half-way through the year now.  Nearly six months ago maybe you made some New Year’s resolutions.  Who cares if it’s not New Years anymore?  Pull back out those resolutions and get back on track.  The fruit is ripe and the vegetables of summer are calling.  NOW is the time!  NOW, I say!  Wash ’em up and put some tiger nut flour on them.

~~Terri

P.S.  1.  You can also add tiger nut flour to smoothies.  2.  I don’t get anything at all for what I do here; nobody paid for me to post this.  Just my opinions here.  No sponsor or kickback.  3.  They fit well on an autoimmune diet.  4.  Have a good day and forge a good life.

Salmon OCD Dip

 

Today’s recipe is my take on a delightful appetizer made by a mysterious, black-haired, smokey eyed, Romanian gypsy who weaves her Eastern Romanian fare with Italian and Camaroonian accents.  With her help, I have learned to appreciate wpid-IMAG1331.jpgtraditional foods full of nutritional goodness.  I could sit all day and listen to her stories of growing up in a Communist state.

She made this appetizer for a get-together and served it with Belgian endive leaves.  I told her I think she is a great cook.  She attributes it to the fact that, because she has been many places besides the United States, she has no preconceived idea of what she “needs” to make to please people.  So she is free to “just make.”

I think this would be a great dip to take to a Super Bowl party.  It is called Salmon OCD Dip to help you remember why it is so good for you.  Omega-3.  Calcium.  Vitamin D.

Salmon OCD Dip

1 can of salmon, 14.75 ounces (I use wild-caught, intact salmon, meaning the bones and skin included.)
1/2 tin of sardines
10 capers or more
1/2 of a small onion, chopped
1/4 cup of softened palm shortening or leftover bacon drippings
Juice of one lemon
1/2-1 teaspoonful of salt
Optional:  2 small, thin anchovies

Put the salmon in a food processor, blender, or mini food processor.  Don’t look at the disgusting mixture.  Just think and repeat “omega-3, calcium, and vitamin D.”  Process well.

Add the sardines, capers, onion, palm shortening or bacon drippings, salt and lemon juice.  (And the anchovies if desired.)    Process well.

Transfer to serving bowl.  I prefer to serve this with fresh carrots and sliced apples.  My friend served it with Belgian endive which she had separated into “boats” and arrayed on the serving platter.  Lovely.

Family “gustar” report:  My kids won’t try it.  If your kids love seafood a lot, it may go.  If they don’t, probably won’t.  My husband and I both think it’s great.

I wish you health and hope that you will consider what intensive nutrition could do to help you attain it, even if it seems like a problem that would have NO nutritional connection.  You may be very surprised.  I was.

Terri

A Twist on Zuppa Toscana

Sopa ToscanaThis is a good soup, a twist from an Olive Garden recipe, Zuppa Toscana.  It is fantastic.   My family loves it.  I took it to a get-together, and the nice guest sitting next to me didn’t know I had made it.  I was tickled when he said at least a couple of times, “This is good sausage soup.”  That, along with another guest’s recipe request told me this soup is a crowd pleaser.

Take this soup to your New Year’s gathering or cook it up simply for a New Day!

I have made this soup with both potatoes and sweet potatoes.  The potato is my family’s favorite, but they also like the sweet potato version too!  So don’t be afraid to substitute.  Using squash would taste good too, but you will lose the “comfort” texture the starchy potatoes and sweet potatoes offer.  In addition, look for the sausage with the least ingredients.  This is often difficult to find, so when I find it, I stock up in bulk.  Lastly, I use homemade broth because it tastes so good and I know exactly what is in it.  Making broth is not hard at all.  It mostly just requires us to step outside of our comfort zone.

Zuppa Toscana

1 pound sausage, browned and drained
5 slices of bacon, browned, reserve drippings
1 onion, diced
3-5 cloves of garlic
6 medium potatoes
Broth, chicken or beef, variable but approximately 9 cups (about 2 quarts)
Spinach or kale, about 2 cups chopped finely (either one is great)
2 teaspoons parsley, dried
1 teaspoon rosemary, dried, broken into small bits/crumbled
2 teaspoons basil, dried
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste (I used about 1/2-1 teaspoon)

1.  Brown sausage.  Drain drippings.  They will not be needed.  Reserve sausage and set aside.
2.  While sausage is browning, scrub and slice potatoes thinly, like you would for fried potatoes.  It’s up to you if you want skins on or off.  I can give you pros and cons to both ways health-wise.
3.  Brown bacon.  When crispy, remove the bacon from the pan and set aside on paper towel-lined plate to drain.
4.  In bacon pan and drippings, saute the chopped onion until golden brown.  Mince, press, or chop the garlic into the browning onions.  Saute a little.  Transfer onions and garlic to your soup pot.
5.  Add the sliced potatoes.
6.  Cover potatoes, onions, and garlic with broth.  Do not use all of the broth.  Use enough to cover and boil potatoes.
7.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.  Simmer until the potatoes are fork tender and even a little bit mushy.
8.  While the soup is cooking, clean and chop the greens.  If I use kale, I remove the thick stems before using.
9.  Smash some of the potatoes to make the soup thicker.  Add more broth to make the soup the consistency you want!  Do you want it soupy or more stew-like?
10.  Add the dried parsley, basil, and rosemary.
11.  Season with salt and pepper.  (Taste before adding much salt.  Certain broths are already salty!)
12.  Finally, add the chopped kale or spinach.  Remove from heat.

Family “gustar” report:  Every man, woman, and child goes for seconds on this one.  Bingo.

Added bonus:  I’ve found some Brewer’s yeast to add to soups.  It packs a huge B vitamin punch!  As I’ve observed some diet logs, I’ve seen that even in people with good intake of vegetables and meats, there is still a low intake of B vitamins!  Brewer’s yeast has kind of a cheese-like flavor suggestion and merges well in some recipes.  This is one of them.

Have a great day!

Terri

Honey Lime Salmon with Mango Salsa

Here is a fast and easy supper that pleased our whole family!  If I can, I like to buy wild caught Alaskan salmon.  Wild caught salmon is much more tremendously nutrient-dense than farmed salmon.  I can’t even begin to tell you how important vitamin D is for our bodies, and sadly, many of us are vitamin D deficient.  A serving of wild caught salmon contains all the vitamin D a person, young or old, needs in a day, whereas a serving of farmed salmon usually does not make the cut-off.

In addition, farm raised salmon’s fish food often contains heavy metals, like lead, and polychlorinated biphenols (PCBs), which then concentrate in the fish and its coveted omega-3 fat stores.   Alaskan salmon is about as pure as it gets (which still isn’t completely pure!).

Yes, farm-raised is cheaper, but you just about have to eat twice as much to get the same nutrients and with the addition of more contaminants.

Honey Lime Salmon with Mango Salsawpid-IMAG1001.jpg

Salmon filets, about 4-5
Juice of 1 lime
Honey, 1 tablespoon
Salt, 1-2 tablespoons
Oil of choice, enough to liberally coat skillet

Sprinkle salmon filets with salt and set aside.
Whisk oil, honey, and lime juice in a large skillet.  Heat over medium-high heat.
Add in salmon, skin-side facing ceiling.  Allow underside to brown.
Turn and cook skin side until the filet is cooked through and skin is ideally browned.
Turn once more, if needed, to further brown and caramelize fish.
Remove from heat.
Serve with salsa.

Mango Salsa

2 well-ripened mangos, diced
Juice of 1 lime
Red onion, diced , 1 tablespoon
1 ripe avocado, chopped
Cilantro, 1/4 cup, more or less to taste
Honey, 1 tsp or to taste
Salt to taste

Mix in medium-sized bowl.  Serve over salmon.

Enjoy!  Please let me know if you ever try and like any of the recipes on the blog…or alternatively, if you don’t!  What you tweaked or left out!  Wishing you a great rest of the week!

Terri

Citations:
Am J Clin Nutr. Vitamin D deficiency: a worldwide problem with health consequences.  Michael F Holick and Tai C Chen.  April 2008.  vol. 87.  no. 4. 1080S-1086S
http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/
http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/lowcarbsuperfoods/a/salmonbenefits.htm

Grain-Free Pancakes

wpid-IMAG0506-1-1.jpgOur way of eating has become second nature.  I almost forget we don’t eat like other people.  We have one cookbook that allows us to fly incognito when we are forced out of our cave or people invade, which actually happens quite often.  Especially that “invade your cave” part.  People with kids much prefer invading caves that other people have to clean and cook in.  Which is okay…because I have better control over the food that way!  Our favorite cookbook has to be The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook written by Elana Amsterdam.  It keeps us with an appearance of eating normal.

I modify all the recipes to be legal with our nutritional overhaul, GAPS (or Paleo or SCD or Primal or Whole 30–you get the idea).  Most recipes don’t mind the transition a bit, but some put up a resistance.  Pancakes put up a fuss.  Pancakes love flour more than I did.  They really must want the arrowroot powder Elana uses, too.  Elana’s pancake recipe yells at me when I try making substitutions.  See?

wpid-IMAG2283-1-1-1.jpg

So with some tweaking, we got those bloody rebels under better control.  They still exert their power in small ways:

1.  I can’t make them as big as I want to.  Four inches in diameter is all I can get away with.  No “big as your head pancakes” here.  Bummer.  Addendum:  My daughter just got a 7 incher!!!

wpid-IMAG0568.jpg

2.  I can’t cook them as hot as I want to.  The heat must be medium-low (340 degrees Fahrenheit if you have an electric griddle) or else they’ll burn.

3.  I can’t flip them when I want to or they’ll muck up my skillet and spatula and beautiful, mean sounding, songs will fill the kitchen air.  (“What’s wrong, mommy?”  It’s just a pancake, but it’s my job now.)  Patience is required as to when to flip these.  I keep my burner low and practice patience.  This staying home stuff is a cinch.

All that technical stuff, that’s just the stuff they omit from cookbooks.  So go ahead, try this recipe.  See what you think.

My kids think they taste like the real deal.  Flying under the radar again.

Petulant Pancakes 

(Makes about 19 four-inch diameter pancakes.  Kids can be eating them in about 15-20 minutes from your start time.)

  • 6 eggs
  • Scant 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup water, plus or minus a little
  • 3 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons oil for in batter (I use olive oil)
  • Oil for skillet

Follow the one dump method:  Combine all ingredients into one large bowl and mix well with a hand-held electric mixer until smooth.  Adjust consistency with water as needed.  Err on the side of not too runny.  It’s kind of like muffin batter, a bit thinner.

Meanwhile, heat your oiled skillet over medium-low heat or to 340-345 degrees Fahrenheit. (I really like my electric skillet because I can quantify the heat level, and I can make so many at once.)

Use a scant 1/4 cup batter for each pancake.  Push the batter around a bit to form into a 4 inch diameter circle.  If you want teeny-tiny, easier to manipulate pancakes, use a tablespoon to dole out the batter.

Cook (PATIENTLY) until the underside is golden brown and set firm, about 3 minutes for the first side.  If your spatula will not easily slide under the pancake, it’s not ready!  Cook other side until golden brown and transfer to a plate.

Serve with desired topping choice.  My girls plated the pancakes you see here with coconut cream, wpid-IMAG0541-1.jpgblueberries, bananas, raspberries, and a drizzle of Dad’s (my dad) maple syrup.  I hope your eating and health is shining.  If not, don’t give up.  Persist.  You can do it.  It is worth it.

White Chicken Chili

White chicken chileA great soup!  Often I make it without the beans, too.

Soup 3: White Chicken Chili

Ingredients:
2 cups of pre-cooked navy beans, optional*
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno, if desired, diced
3 tablespoonsful olive oil
shredded cooked chicken, about 1-2 cups
1 teaspoonful salt or to taste, if you make your own broth and already use salt, err on the side of less
1 teaspoonful pepper or to taste
1 teaspoonful Mexican oregano (or whatever oregano you have)
1 tablespoonful cumin, or to taste
1-2 quarts of chicken broth
1-2 limes, cut into wedges
cilantro, 1 bunch
avocado, peeled and sliced

1. Heat olive oil in heavy bottomed soup pan.
2. Saute onion, garlic, and jalapeno in olive oil until softened.
3. Add in salt, pepper, Mexican oregano, and cumin and saute a bit longer.
4. Add in shredded cooked chicken, cooked beans (optional), and 1 quart of chicken broth.  Eyeball it.  If you think it needs more broth to be “runnier”, add more broth.
5. Bring to boil and simmer 10-20 minutes for flavors to mix.  If you’re not adding navy beans, the soup is finished.  Be sure to skip to step 7.  The soup really comes together with the garnish of cilantro, avocado, and lime.  Otherwise, it’s just okay.
6. If navy beans were used, allow the soup to cool enough to use an immersion blender to quickly blend the soup to desired texture. Blending a portion of the soup gives it a thicker, creamier texture. But we don’t like it blended into a puree.  You could also carefully use a hand masher to mash some of the beans and do the same thing. Or put about 1/4 of the soup into your blender (allow to cool or add some reserved cool broth) and blend in the blender and return to pot.
7. To serve soup, juice a wedge of lime into the soup, add some cilantro and avocado.

* (I soaked the navy beans vastly covered in water and a squeeze of lemon juice for three days…do they need soaked this long? I don’t know.  Theoretically it all sounds good; decrease lectins and phytic acid.  I changed the water and rinsed the beans a couple of times each day.  Some had sprouted by the time I stuck them in a crock pot overnight on low to cook them and rinsed them again before using.  I had several cups left over and used them in chili and on salads.)

Family “gustar” report:  5/5 ate it and like it.  2/5 loved it.  1/5 thought it was too spicy.

You may also be interested in:
Pease Porridge (Pea Soup)
Chunky Squash Chicken Soup