Monday, April 25, 2016

Whole30 Beef Stew

Well, this time my Whole30 journey ended after one day. I've been having some digestive issues and it's apparent now that Whole30 and my stomach just don't get along anymore. But I'm still going to try to incorporate the spirit of the program into our lifestyle. Forgive the picture quality. It's tough to capture how truly delicious this stew was with a camera.

I've made beef stew many times, but this recipe was particularly delicious. If you're doing Whole30, be sure to use balsamic vinegar instead of the Worcestershire sauce.

Whole30 Beef Stew

1 lb carrots, peeled and sliced
4 celery stalks, sliced
1 large onion, diced
1.5 lb beef stew meat
2 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite sized chunks (6 medium)
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce (or balsamic vinegar for Whole30)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp black pepper
4 cups chicken broth

1. Add the ingredients to a 6 qt crock pot in the order listed.
2. Cover and cook on low 8 hours. 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Whole30 Sweet Potato Quiche

Whole30 Day 1

Some of my family and I are starting a round of the The Whole30 Program today. If you haven't heard about it before, it's a program based on whole foods and is designed to refocus your relationship with food and kick the sugar and snack cravings. I did the program about two years ago, and I'm not going to lie, it was challenging. But by the end I felt great and had lost several pounds. You cannot eat certain things like dairy, grains, sugar and alcohol, but there's no calorie counting and plenty of protein, veggies and good fats. 

A while back I had a quiche at a friend's house that used sliced potatoes as a crust. It was delicious. So I decided to try making it myself this morning. This quiche tastes great and looks beautiful. We didn't have any leftovers, so next time I'll make two. 

For the crust I followed the instructions on Cooking Light Sweet Potato Crust is a Must with just a couple modifications. I don't have a deep dish pie pan, so I only used one sweet potato. And instead of nonstick spray I tossed the slices in oil, salt and pepper. I don't have a mandolin, so I sliced the sweet potato by hand. 

After making the quiche you will have leftover sausage. That'll make tomorrow's breakfast even easier. You can adjust this recipe to use anything you have on hand. For example, it'd be delicious with regular potatoes, bacon and Brussels sprouts.

Whole30 Sweet Potato Quiche

For the Crust
1 sweet potato, peeled and sliced thin
1 tsp oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

For the Filling
1/2 small onion, diced
4 eggs
1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
1/2 cup Whole30 Breakfast Sausage Crumbles (recipe below)
1/2 cup arugula

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the sweet potato slices, oil, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Overlap the sweet potato slices along the bottom of the pie crust. Take some of the slices, cut in half and arrange around the edges. 
3. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and increase temperature to 375°F. 
4. Cook the sausage in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until browned and cooked through. Remove sausage from pan with a slotted spoon to preserve the sausage grease. 
5. Saute the onion in the grease. Remove from the heat and set aside.
6. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs and coconut milk. Stir in 1/2 cup arugula, 1/2 cup of the sausage, and the onions. Carefully pour into the pie pan. 
7. Bake at 375°F for 30 minutes or until the eggs are set. 

Whole30 Breakfast Sausage Crumbles

1 lb ground pork
1 tsp salt
1 tsp fenugreek, ground
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp sage
1/4 tsp nutmeg

1. Grind the fenugreek in a coffee grinder. 
2. Mix all ingredients together.
3. Cook on medium heat until browned. 
4. Remove cooked sausage from pan and reserve the sausage grease.
Note: If sugar isn't an issue for you, feel free to substitute 1-2 Tbsp maple syrup for the fenugreek.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Empty Fridge Zesty Tomato Soup (Dairy and Gluten Free)

Some days I just don't feel like grocery shopping. Staring at an almost empty fridge, I'm determined to make it one more day. This zesty tomato soup is great for days like today. It's warm, full of flavor and super easy. 

If you don't have a super powerful blender, you can puree the tomatoes and cook the soup on the stove top. It will take a little longer and probably won't get as thick since the Vitamix whips in quite a bit of air. 

Zesty Tomato Soup

Serves 2-3

2 14.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp granulated onion
1 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
Balsamic vinegar reduction

1. Combine all ingredients except the vinegar in a Vitamix blender and secure lid. 
2. Start blender at Variable 1 and increase to Variable 10. 
3. Blend for 6 minutes. Turn down to 1 before turning off the machine. Be careful of the hot steam when you remove the lid. 
4. Serve with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar reduction.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Quick and Easy Magic Bars (GF and Vegan)

I've taken quite a break from blogging, but now I'm back. I have a ton of new recipes that I need to transfer from the backs of envelopes to a more permanent form. So to start, here's an updated version of my Gluten and Nut Free Magic Bars

I was shopping at the local health store yesterday and saw a can of sweetened condensed coconut milk. Oh man, it tastes amazing! I'm going to have to go back and pick up a few more cans to have on hand. The use of the sweetened condensed coconut milk really makes my magic bars easy. It's one whole less pan to wash too. 

You do need to make them a bit in advance so they have time to fully cool before you cut them, but the active prep time is super quick. By the time my oven was preheated, these bars were ready to go. 

If you don't have quick oats, you can run rolled oats through a blender or food processor to break them down a bit. 

Quick and Easy Magic Bars

2 cups gluten free quick oats
1/2 cup (1 stick) Earth's Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks
2 Tbsp SunButter or soynut butter
2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
11.25 oz can Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk
10 oz bag Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups finely shredded unsweetened coconut

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9 x 13" baking dish with parchment paper.
2. In a large microwave safe bowl, heat the Earth's Balance, SunButter and sugar until the butter is melted. (Microwave in 20 sec increments, stirring each time).
3. Stir in the oats, cinnamon, and salt.
4. Press the oat mixture into the baking dish using the back of a cup measure. 
5. Spread the chocolate chips into a layer on top of the oat mixture. Repeat with the shredded coconut. 
6. Carefully pour the sweetened condensed coconut milk over the top. Spread gently with a spatula. 7. Bake for 25 minutes.
8. Cool and then refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Then cut into squares.

Sunday, January 25, 2015


Ben and I bought ourselves a Vitamix Blender for our birthdays. It's awesome. We used to occasionally make smoothies in our old blender, but I had to puree any greens with liquid first before adding the rest of the ingredients. They took way longer to make and never tasted as good as the ones we can make now. Here are some smoothie recipes we've made so far. 

The Silk strawberry soy yogurt is Tommy safe, but he won't eat it plain. But put it in a smoothie and he'll eat just about anything!

For all of the smoothies, layer ingredients in the blender in the order listed. Start blender on low, turn to high and process just until blended. 

Strawberry Banana Soynut Butter Smoothie
Makes 3 servings

1 1/2 cup coconut milk
1 medium banana
1/4 cup creamy soynut butter
2.5 cups frozen strawberries
1.5 cups ice

Berry Banana Oatmeal Smoothie
Makes 2 servings

1 cup coconut milk
5.3 oz container soy strawberry yogurt
1/4 cup quick oats
1/2 frozen banana
1/2 cup frozen blueberries

Blueberry Banana Spinach Smoothie
Makes 2 Servings

1 1/2 cup coconut milk
1 cup frozen spinach
1 ripe banana
1 cup frozen blueberries
Note: This smoothie turns sort of a weird gray/green color, but it tastes delicious

Strawberry Banana Yogurt Smoothie
Makes 1 Serving

5.3 oz container strawberry soy yogurt
4-5 frozen strawberries
1/2 banana

Very Berry Smoothie
Makes 3-4 Servings

1 cup fruit juice
1 cup canned coconut milk
2 bananas
4 cups fresh spinach leaves
2 cups frozen blueberries or mixed berries
1/2 cup frozen cherries
1 cup ice cubes

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Shredded Pork Taquitos (Gluten, Corn and Dairy Free)

Welcome to the new year! We had a great holiday season filled with lots of time with friends and family, so I haven't gotten around to posting recipes in a while.

Here's a new one I made tonight. I had a lot of leftover Carolina BBQ Pork and I can only eat so many sandwiches before I'm ready for something different. I decided to make baked pork taquitos. And Tommy LOVED it! It's been a while since I tried a new recipe that Tommy actually ate without any hesitation. I think different varieties of taquitos ("mini burritos") will be coming to our menu soon. These are tasty, relatively easy to make and easy for a toddler to pick up.

If you can use store bought tortillas this would make the dinner super easy. Since I've only found one that Tommy can eat and they're burrito sized and all the way at one specific grocery store I decided to make my own again. I guess I'm just determined to finally master making tortillas. The online pictures and instructions always make them look easy. 

I made a double batch of Gluten-Free Flour Tortillas with 1 cup rice flour, 1/2 cup tapioca starch and 1/2 cup potato starch for the 2 cups of gluten-free all purpose flour blend. I cooked the tortillas two at a time on a non-stick electric griddle set to 350°F and brushed with a little oil. I made a total of 16 tortillas but only 14 fit on my baking sheet. 

I rolled the tortillas out between layers of parchment paper and transferred the parchment paper to the griddle.  These tortillas were by far the easiest I've ever attempted! They actually rolled out and weren't a sticky frustrating mess. I piled all the cooked tortillas up and covered them with a paper towel and they stayed soft and pliable. I was able to roll these into taquitos without having them crack. Super success! Although my belly did get in the way as I was adding the starch to the stand mixer. Oops!  

I used the same nondairy cheese sauce that I used for the Bison Cheeseburger Helper. This time I tried making it in the Vitamix on speed 10 for 5 minutes. But it didn't really thicken as well as when I've made it on the stove-top. At least the cleanup was super easy. I've included the stove-top directions below. 

Shredded Pork Taquitos

14 soft taco sized tortillas
2 cups cooked shredded pork
2 cups shredded green cabbage
1 can full fat coconut milk
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 Tbsp Frank's Red Hot Sauce
1/2 Tbsp potato starch
1 tsp salt
1 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp granulated onion
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp ground chipotle powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1-2 Tbsp oil

Serve with salsa and guacamole

1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line one large or two medium rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Lightly brush with oil.

2. In a small saucepan combine the coconut milk, nutritional yeast, Frank's and potato starch. Cook over medium heat, whisking continuously until thickened. 

3. In a large bowl, combine the pork, cabbage, cheese sauce, and seasonings. Mix well.

4. Fill each tortilla with a 1/4 cup of pork mixture and roll tightly. Place seam side down on the baking sheet. Repeat until you've used all the fixings. Brush the tops with a little bit of oil.

5. Bake for 18-20 minutes until crispy. Serve with salsa and guacamole. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Bison Salisbury Steak Dinner

The past couple weeks have been cold here. So warm comforting foods have been on the menu. A while ago I clipped a Salisbury Steak recipe from a magazine. I finally got around to making it, but when I looked at the recipe again I just wasn't feeling it. So I decided to make my own with ground bison and a nice full flavored sauce. This recipe would also work well with ground beef.

I served the Bison Salisbury Steaks with mashed potatoes and roasted Brussels sprouts. Ben and I love Brussels sprouts, so next time I make this I will double the sprouts. 

This is dinner is going to be a winter staple in our house. You would never know that it is a gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, food allergy friendly dinner. 

Bison Salisbury Steaks

Patty Ingredients
20 oz ground bison
1/2 onion, finely diced
1 Tbsp coconut flour
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp granulated garlic
1 Tbsp canola or olive oil

Gravy Ingredients
3 large cremini mushrooms, sliced
1/4 onion, diced
1 Tbsp vegan butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup beef broth
1 Tbsp sherry
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1. Combine all the patty ingredients except oil in a large bowl. Form into 5 patties.
2. Heat the 1 Tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook 3 of the patties for about 4-5 minutes per side until cooked through. Set the cooked patties aside. I kept my patties warm on a cookie sheet in warm but off oven. Add the remaining oil and cook the last 2 patties. Set those aside when done.
3. Add the vegan butter, salt and onions to the skillet. Saute until the onions are almost clear. Add the mushrooms and cook for a few minutes until they're browned but not soft. 
4. Whisk in the beef broth, sherry, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a simmer, stirring up all the browned bits. 
5. In a small bowl, combine the potato starch and cold water. Add to the beef broth mixture, whisking constantly. Stir until thickened. Serve the gravy over the patties.

Dairy-Free Mashed Potatoes

2.5 lbs russet potatoes
1/2 cup coconut milk
3 Tbsp vegan butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp granulated garlic
1/4 tsp granulated onion
1/4 tsp smoked paprika

1. Peel and chop the potatoes. Add to a large pot filled with enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain and return to the pot.
2. Add the remaining ingredients and mash until smooth.

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

1.25 lb Brussels sprouts
2 slices bacon
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Cook the bacon in a skillet until crispy. Set cooked bacon aside and save the grease.
3. Cut the bottoms off the Brussels sprouts, remove any discolored outer leaves and slice in half or in quarters depending on the size of the sprout.
4. Combine the Brussels sprouts, bacon grease and seasonings in a 9 x 9 glass baking dish.
5. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring once.