Pumpkin Seed Buns

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I love this recipe for a day when you are craving bread but don't want to spike your blood sugar or cause inflammation. It's so easy to make and I keep them in the freezer for those occasions. 

1 cup coconut flour
½ cup pumpkin seeds + extra for topping each bun
½ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup psyllium husk powder
1 tbsp baking powder
Sea salt to taste
8 egg whites (don't toss the yolks - they are so healthy!!)
1 cup boiling water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix dry ingredients in bowl.
Using a blender, mix the egg whites until foamy.
Add the egg whites to the dry ingredients. Dough will still be crumbly.
Add the boiling water to the dough.
The dough will still be slightly crumbly but press together to form balls.
Add the pumpkin seeds to the top of each bun.
Bake for 45-50 minutes.
Cool inside the oven if you prefer a crispy crust.

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Makes 10-12 buns

Adapted from The Nourished Caveman

Sweet Potato, Bacon and Avocado Toast

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You can make this as a snack or make smaller portions for an appetizer, as I did.

1 large sweet potato
1 avocado, cut into small slices
4 slices bacon, cooked to desired crispness
1 red pepper, chopped
Avocado oil
½ cup olive oil or avocado oil mayonnaise (I like the Primal Brand)
1/8 tsp chili powder
Sea salt and pepper, to taste

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Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Slice the sweet potato into ½ to ¼ inch slices (lengthwise for snack or small rounds for appetizers).
Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Baste both sides of the sweet potato slices with avocado oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake the sweet potato until the slices start turning slightly crispy at the edges (30-45 minutes).
Allow the cooked sweet potato slices to cool for 5-10 minutes.
Top each slice with a dollop of mayo.
Top with avocado and bacon.
Sprinkle the chopped red pepper on top and serve.

Adapted from The Primal Kitchen Cookbook

 

Dairy and Gluten-Free Cutout Cookies

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This recipe is less sweet than the sugar cookies but still very tasty!

2 1/2 cups almond flour
2 tsp arrowroot powder
1/4 cup agave nectar or raw honey
1 pasture egg
2 tsp coconut oil, melted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt

Using a mixer combine the agave nectar or honey, egg, coconut oil and vanilla extract.
Add the almond flour, arrowroot powder, baking soda and salt.
Mix thoroughly.
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour (can be refrigerated overnight).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place dough between two pieces of parchment paper and roll to 1/4 inch thick (do not roll too thin).
Cut out with cookie cutters and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 8 minutes.

Makes 15-20 cookies, depending on size

Adapted from Danielle Walker's Against All Grain Celebrations

Frosting options:

Dairy based - combine butter or cream cheese with powdered sugar, vanilla extact and some type of milk (I use coconut milk).

Non-dairy based (and less sweet) - combine coconut butter, melted coconut oil with powdered sugar and vanilla extract. I use a fair amount of coconut butter and oil so the frosting is not as sweet but the boys in my house prefer the other recipe. 

 

Gluten-Free Cutout Sugar Cookies

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I grew up making cutout cookies and decorating them with my family so it's a tradition I love to carry forward. These cookies are more like a traditional cutout with real sugar (gasp! but it's the holidays!) but made without gluten. 

2 1/2 cups Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour
1 tsp. xanthan gum
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
8 tbsp pasture butter (room temperature)
1/2 cup sugar
2 pasture eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract

Combine the flour, xantham gum, baking powder and salt and whisk together in a bowl.
In a separate bowl cream the butter with a mixer. 
Add the sugar to the butter and mix thoroughly. 
Mix in the eggs and vanilla.
Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the butter mixture.
Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Roll the dough between two pieces of parchment paper (or coat the surface with gluten-free flour to prevent dough from sticking).
Roll to 1/4 inch thick. Do not roll too thin.
Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 7-8 minutes.

Makes approximately 18 cookies, depending on shape.

Frosting options:

Dairy based - combine butter or cream cheese with powdered sugar, vanilla extact and some type of milk (I use coconut milk).

Non-dairy based (and less sweet) - combine coconut butter, melted coconut oil with powdered sugar and vanilla extract. I use a fair amount of coconut butter and oil so the frosting is not as sweet but the boys in my house prefer the other recipe. 

 

 

Pressure Cooked Pork Chops with Mushroom Gravy

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The meat was so tender it fell off the bone! May be adapted from the pressure cooker by baking in the oven.

4 bone-in pork chops (best with thinly sliced chops)
4 tsp paprika
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp coconut oil
½ medium onion, sliced
6 ounces mushrooms, sliced
½ tbsp grass-fed butter*
1/4 cup whipping cream*
¼ tsp arrowroot powder (or corn starch, tapioca starch or xanthum gum)

Mix the spices and salts.
Rinse the pork chops and pat dry.
Rub ¾ of the spice mix on both sides of the pork chops.
Add the coconut oil to the pressure cooker.
Turn the pressure cooker to “saute.”
Brown both sides of the pork chops (approximately 3 minutes per side).
Remove the chops and turn the pressure cooker off.
Add the sliced onions and mushrooms to the pressure cooker.
Top with the pork chops.
Add the lid to the pressure cooker, making sure the vent is sealed.
Cook on high for 25 minutes (use the manual setting on Instapot).
When done cooking, release the pressure, then remove the lid.
Remove the pork chops.
Turn the pressure cooker to “saute.”
Whisk in the heavy whipping cream, butter and the remaining spices.*
Simmer for 4-5 minutes, until gravy thickens.
Turn off the pot and add the flour/starch in small amounts to thicken the gravy.
Pour gravy over the pork chops for serving.

* For dairy-free option, you can skip adding the butter and cream, serving the mushroom and onion broth atop the pork chops.

Serves 4

Adapted from Ruled.me recipe

 

Watermelon Tomato Basil Salad

This is a refreshing salad for a hot summer day. 

After I made it the first time from the cookbook recipe, I made some revisions to make it a little less sweet and increase the nutrients.

1/2 small seedless watermelon, cubed
2 pounds grape tomatoes, sliced
1 English cucumber, halved and sliced
3 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp champagne vinegar
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
Sea salt, ground
Goat cheese, cubed (optional)

Toss the watermelon, tomatoes, cucumbers, olive oil, vinegar and basil together in a large bowl. Season with salt. Place in refrigerator for a few hours. Remove from refrigerator and add goat cheese (if desired) for serving.

Adapted from Against All Grains Celebrations
 

Citrus Cinnamon Cod

On weekday nights I often find myself creating new recipes that are quick and easy. I start by checking the freezer and today I found some wild-caught cod. I quickly thawed the fish in cold water and then looked around my kitchen to see what ingredients I had. I usually do lemon but only had some oranges. I threw together the following ingredients and created a delicious fish dish that was ready in under 30 minutes. I paired it with some greens sauteed in coconut oil and topped with pine nuts.

 

 

 

 

 

4 - 6 oz. wild cod fillets
2 tbsp pasture butter
½ tbsp Ceylon cinnamon
1 orange
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
½ cup dry vermouth
1-2 cloves, garlic minced
Sea salt
Pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Melt butter in glass baking dish in oven during preheat.
Squeeze juice of orange and add to butter.
Add garlic, cinnamon, cayenne and sea salt to butter mixture.
Dredge both sides of fish in mixture and use a spoon to pour more atop the fish.
Bake for approximately 10-12 minutes or until fish is cooked through.
Spoon sauce over fish and serve.

Serves 4

Parchment Baked Halibut

Baking in parchment paper is nice because it limits the clean up, but it typically reduces the fat in a dish so you want to be sure you are starting with an ingredient that has some fat in it, such as halibut, and you want to include some additional fat to keep it tender.

 

 

 

 

4 six ounce pieces wild-caught halibut
Fresh thyme (or dried if you don’t have fresh)
1 lemon, sliced
4 tbsp pasture butter
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
Sea salt
Pepper

 

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut four 12 – 15 inch lengths of parchment paper.
Place fish on each piece of parchment paper.
Top each with ¼ of butter, ginger, salt & pepper and lemon slices.
Fold parchment paper around fish and seal on the sides. 
Place on a baking sheet and bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until fish flakes.
Option to serve in parchment paper.

Makes 4 Servings

Mashed Cauliflower

Here's a great alternative to mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving or any day.

12 ounces celery root
1 head of cauliflower
3 tbsp butter
1 ½ oz cheese
¼ tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper

Peel the celery root and cut into cubes.
Steam the celery root for approximately 10 minutes
Chop the cauliflower into florets. 
Add to celery root and steam for an additional 10 minutes.
When both are soft, drain and place in food processor.
Add the butter, cheese salt, pepper and puree.

Adapted from 200 Low Carb High Fat Recipes

Garlic Shrimp

This is a REALLY fast and even my eight year old son loves it. I need to double it to just get one meal of out it. Buy some frozen (or already thawed) wild shrimp and you'll have dinner on the table in minutes. Please be mindful about the type of shrimp you buy. Read this Consumer Reports article to learn more about shrimp quality.

1.5 tbsp pasture butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp red pepper flakes
1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 lemon
Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add butter.
Once butter is hot, add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Add shrimp, red pepper flakes, and juice from ½ of lemon.
Cook until shrimp turns opaque.
Season with sea salt and pepper.

Serves 2

As my clients know, it's not a meal unless it includes at least three vegetables and why clean more than one pan? I added in chopped portobello mushroom, asparagus and kale to complete the meal.

Adapted from Active.com

Dijon Balsamic Chicken Thighs

I love chicken thighs for batch cooking and they are much more flavorful than chicken breasts... because they have more fat! This is a great recipe to give them some flavor and you can make quickly on a weekday or during meal prep on the weekend to use throughout the week.

For fun I throw in a few drumsticks for my son. Kids love drumsticks!

8 chicken thighs or legs
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
Sea salt and pepper, to taste


In a bowl combine the mustard, vinegar, garlic, rosemary, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Blend in the olive oil with a whisk.
Add the chicken and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place the chicken with the marinade in a baking dish.
Bake for 30-45 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.

Makes 4 servings

Adapted from the South Beach Diet Cookbook

Easy Baked Cod

This dish is quick enough for a fast weeknight dinner but also tasty and elegant enough to serve for guests.

2 wild cod filets
2 tbsp melted pasture butter or avocado or coconut oil
1 lemon
1 clove garlic, minced
Sea salt
Pepper
Cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Drizzle oil or butter in a baking pan and add juice from 1/2 lemon.
Add cod to pan and coat with butter mixture.
Squeeze the other half of the lemon over the cod.
Season the cod with salt, pepper, garlic, cayenne pepper. You can also improvise and use any of your favorite spices.
Bake for 15-17 minutes, until fish flakes.

This pairs well with sautéed beans, mushrooms, spinach or other vegetables.

Serves 2

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

This is one of my favorite appetizers to whip up when guests arrive.

1 seven ounce package prosciutto
1.5 lbs. of asparagus (about 1/2 inch thick)
2 tbsp avocado oil
Sea salt
Black Pepper

Set the oven to broil.
Place asparagus on a baking sheet and toss with oil.
Season with salt and pepper.
Wrap one slice of prosciutto around 2-3 stalks of asparagus (will depend on how thick each stalk is).
Place on the baking sheet so that each bunch is on its own with limited contact (will not allow for them to crisp).
Broil for approximately 5 minutes. Option to flip each bunch halfway through.
Transfer to a serving dish.

Chocolate Raspberry Cake

My son was inspired by the Kids Baking Challenge show and wanted to bake a cake for Father's Day. We made this delicious chocolate cake and my husband LOVED it! It's easy and looks beautiful, too! You can change the fruit topping for different looks and flavors.

 

 

 

Ingredients:
1/3 cup raw cacao powder
1/3 cup water
½ cup dark chocolate
10.5 tbsp pasture butter
4 eggs, separated
1 cup coconut sugar
1 cup almond meal
1 pint fresh raspberries
1 tbsp coconut oil
7 oz. dark chocolate
1 cup coconut cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix the cacao powder and water in a bowl.
Grease round cake baking tin with coconut oil.
In a double boiler, melt 3.5 oz of the dark chocolate and the butter. If you don't have a double boiler, make your own as I did with a small saucepan and glass bowl.
Separate the egg whites and put the yolks aside.
Remove from heat and add to the bowl with cacao and water mixture.
Add coconut sugar, almond meal and the egg yolks to mixture and stir until combined.
Using a mixer, beat the egg whites until peaks form.
Fold into chocolate mixture and stir just enough to blend in.

Pour batter into round baking tin.
Bake for 35-40 minutes.
Allow to cool in tin and then turn over to empty onto serving dish.
Top with raspberries.
Prepare drizzle by melting the dark chocolate and coconut cream over low heat.
Drizzle on top of the raspberries.

Simple Salmon

This is easy enough for a quick weeknight meal but also tasty enough for guests.

1 lb. wild salmon
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt
¼ cup avocado oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of 1 lemon

In a glass jar combine olive oil, fresh lemon juice, basil, oregano, salt and pepper and shake to combine.
Place salmon in a container and pour marinade over salmon to fully cover.
Marinate in the refrigerator for up to 1 hour.
Preheat the grill to medium-high heat (helpful to brush with avocado oil to prevent salmon from sticking) or oven to 375 degrees.
Grill or bake salmon until fat bubbles out (approximately 8 minutes per side on the grill or 

Serves 4

Bone Broth

As I prepare to run the Boston Marathon, I'm taking extra steps to make sure my bones, joints and GI tract are healthy. Bone broth is an excellent source of minerals, protein and gelatin. It's soooo easy to make that anyone, even those that have never cooked, can make it. 

2 lbs. organic chicken or grass-fed beef bones
2 medium carrots, chopped into large pieces
1 medium onion, chopped into large pieces
2 celery stalks, chopped into large pieces
6 cloves garlic, cut in half
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 bay leaves
Filtered water
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Turmeric (optional)
 

Place vegetables in a slow cooker
Cover with the bones.
Add apple cider vinegar.
Season with salt (at least 1 tsp.), black pepper and turmeric.
Tuck bay leaves under bones.
Fill the slow cooker with water to cover bones
Set on low and cook for 18-24 hours.
Strain the broth.
After cooling, you may remove the fat layer before reheating (or can retain). If you remove, you can use the fat for cooking.
You can store in the refrigerator and reheat as needed for several days.
For longer term storage, freeze in an ice cube tray for easy single serving sizes.

Banana Chocolate Muffins

A favorite treat for my boys and so easy to make!

4 bananas
4 pasture eggs
½ cup almond butter
4 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp sea salt
1 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine banana, eggs, nut butter, melted butter and mix well with blender, mixer or food processor.
Add in coconut flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla and sea salt.
Stir in dark chocolate chips (can use stevia sweetened for lower sugar intake).
Pour into regular or mini muffin tins.
Bake for approximately 20 minutes for mini muffins or 25 minutes for regular muffins.

Adapted from Civilized Caveman

Ginger Garlic Zucchini with Salmon

Another great alternative to pasta. 

 I was very excited to receive a spiralizer attachment for my Kitchen Aid stand mixer for Christmas. I already had a basic spiralizer (pictured below), which can be purchased for $10-20 on Amazon or at any kitchen store, but this would  make it easier to make larger batches. It was very easy to use and made perfectly curled zoodles. They even inspired my toughest critic, a very picky 5 year old, to finish his entire helping and ask for seconds!

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The entire recipe is fairly quick to make and you can speed up the process by skipping the egg or buying the zoodles already prepared (see below).

1.5-2 lbs salmon, cut into 1”  pieces
2 tbsp gluten-free tamari sauce
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp pasture butter
2 pasture eggs, beaten
1 tbsp avocado oil
¼ tsp garlic, minced
¾ cup shiitake mushrooms
½ cup baby bella mushrooms
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
4 large zucchini

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Mix the tamari and sesame oil in a shallow dish.
Cover the salmon with the oil mixture and allow to marinade for at least 5 minutes.
Bake the salmon for 10-15 minutes or until fully cooked.
Heat the butter in a skillet over medium heat.
Add the eggs cook fully.
In a large skillet add the avocado oil and heat on medium.
Add in the garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds.
Add the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper.
Add the zucchini noodles and cook for 3 minutes or until just starting to soften. Do not overcook.
Transfer noodle mixture to large bowl.
Fold in salmon and eggs.

Serves 4

Adapted from Inspiralized

Chocolate Chip Energy Bars

These are a great option to bars and snacks for athletes, kids or anyone that has a sweet tooth but wants to satisfy it with something that won't spike blood sugar. 

2 cups almond meal/flour
2 tbsp coconut flour
4 tbsp ground flax
1/2 tsp unrefined sea salt
½ tsp baking soda
4 tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut
½ tsp stevia
4 pasture eggs
½ cup dried berries
¾ cup dark chocolate chips (can use Lily’s with stevia for lower sugar content)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine almond flour, coconut flour, ground flax, salt and baking soda in large bowl. Blend in coconut, stevia and eggs with a hand blender. Mix in berries and chocolate chips. Spread in 8x8 baking dish and bake for 15-20 minutes. They should feel firm when you touch them but you can also use the toothpick test. Cut into 24-36 squares.