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.





 

 

Poached Cod with Carrot and Squash Puree

This recipe is great for entertaining. It's very quick and easy, yet looks beautiful. And, of course, it tastes amazing!

6 - 6 oz. wild cod fillets
1 leek, sliced
3 cups chicken or bone broth
1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 ½ tsp sea salt
½ cup dry vermouth
1 tsp sage, chopped
1 tbsp ghee

Boil the broth, squash, carrots, garlic and 1 tsp salt in a large skillet.
Reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook for 10-15 minutes, until carrot and squash are tender.
Leave the liquid in the skillet and transfer the vegetables to a food processor.
Add 2 tbsp of the cooking liquid to the food processor.
Process until smooth.
Add the cod and leek to the skillet with the liquid.
Cover and poach on medium-low heat for 5-7 minutes.
While the cod is cooking, finish the puree by adding the sage, ½ tsp salt and ghee.
Puree until smooth and pour onto plates.
Once cod is finished, place onto of the puree.

Serves 6

Adapted from Against All Grain

Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies

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Indulge a little over the holidays. A family tradition from my mother that I have kept alive is making Christmas cut-out cookies. I have changed the recipe to gluten-free and they taste fabulous! The floor is full of sprinkles and we are covered in frosting, but we had so much fun decorating the cookies together. Enjoy this special time with your family, have your holiday favorites and savor every minute! Happy Holidays!

3 cups almond meal/flour
¼ cup coconut flour
¼ cup ground golden flaxseeds
2 tsp ground ginger
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp raw cacao powder
1 tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp ground sea salt
¼ cup gluten-free maple syrup
½ cup coconut oil, melted
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the almond meal/flour, coconut flour, flaxseeds, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, cacao, nutmeg, cloves and salt.
In a small bowl, combine the maple syrup, coconut oil, egg, and vanilla.
Whisk until smooth.
Stir liquid mixture into flour mixture and mix until well blended.
Shape into 1 inch balls and place on baking sheet.
Flatten into ¼ inch thickness.
Bake for 7-8 minutes or until cooked but not browned.
Place cookies on wire rack to cool.

If cut outs are desired:
Divide into 2 disks and wrap each in plastic wrap.
Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Place 1 disk on a sheet of parchment paper on a work surface.
Top with another sheet of parchment paper and roll into ¼ to ½ inch thickness.
Remove the top sheet of parchment paper and cut into dough with cookie cutters.
Bake as indicated above.
If iced cookies are desired:
In a small bowl, combine 1 tbsp softened cream cheese, 2 tbsp heavy cream and 1 tsp gluten-free maple syrup.
Stir until smooth and creamy.
Makes 2 dozen cookies.

 

 

Almonds with Chocolate and Sea Salt

This is a quick treat that makes for easy entertaining or holiday gifts.

3.5 oz. dark chocolate
2.5 tsp. coconut oil
2 tbsp. grade B maple syrup
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 cups raw almond
Unrefined coarse sea salt

Melt chocolate in a double boiler or use a larger saucepan for water and place a smaller pan or glass bowl inside the saucepan.
Warm the water on low heat and add the chocolate and coconut oil.
Stir constantly as chocolate melts.
Add the maple syrup and vanilla.
Add the almonds and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Sprinkle with sea salt.
Place in refrigerator to harden.
Store in the refrigerator.

 Adapted from Against All Grain cookbook


Coconut Squares

This is one of my most popular sweet treats. There is no added sugar, just some raw, organic honey and lots of flavorful coconut. 

 

 

3 pasture eggs
1 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup raw, organic honey
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup almond flour
1 tbsp coconut flour
1 1/2  cups unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Using a mixer, combine the eggs, coconut milk, coconut oil, honey and vanilla extract.
Set the mixer to lowest speed and slowly add the almond flour, followed by the coconut flour.
Once mixed, add the shredded coconut. Continue mixing only until there are no clumps and coconut is mixed throughout.
Pour the mixture into an 8x8 baking dish. Keep it to no more than 1/2 inch thick. 
Cook for approximately 25 minutes (check after 20 minutes) or until edges start to turn golden brown.
Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before slicing.
Slice into squares and keep in the refrigerator or freezer until serving. 

Serves 12-16

Adapted from Paleo Cookbook

Carrot Cauliflower Tarragon Soup

This is such an easy way to throw together dinner on a cool evening. If you have a Vitamix this can be done in as little as 15 minutes. Add some quality protein, such as wild caught salmon or grass-fed beef and dinner is complete. Note that you can always vary the spice. I used rosemary this time since I had fresh on hand.

1 tbsp organic, unrefined coconut oil
1 head of cauliflower, chopped
4 cups of carrot, chopped
1/2 large onion, chopped
3 tbsp fresh, chopped or 1 tbsp dried tarragon (or other spices)
Water or bone broth to cover
Sea salt

In a soup pot warm oil and then add tarragon (if using dried). Add onion, sauté until translucent. Add carrots, cauliflower and water (add tarragon if fresh). Simmer until tender (approximately 25 minutes). In a blender, puree. Return to soup pot, adding sea salt. Simmer for 10 minutes and serve.

If you have a Vitamix, you can steam carrots and cauliflower, then add all to Vitamix on soup setting.

Serves 4-6

Cauliflower Pizza!

Many people love pizza but, unfortunately, pizza does not always love us back. There is a time and a place for indulging in your favorite slice but if you want something healthy to replace family pizza night, look no further!

There are two ways to make this pizza using either fresh or frozen cauliflower.  Since the frozen method is a bit easier, I decided to go this route for family pizza night.

Start by thawing the frozen cauliflower in the refrigerator overnight. 

Once thawed, place the cauliflower in a food processor and  create a rice-like texture.

Empty the "rice" onto a clean towel and then squeeze all the water from the towel. Be thorough with this this step as it's critical that as much water is removed as possible. 

In a bowl, combine the cauliflower rice with the egg, cheese and spices. 

Once mixed, spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 

Bake for approximately 35 minutes until the dough is crisp and slightly browned. 

While the dough was baking I chopped some of my favorite pizza toppings. My son likes pepperoni but I like a ton of vegetables. 

Spread them over the pizza and bake for another 10 minutes. My family was getting excited... the house filled with the delicious smell of home cooked pizza!

The finished masterpiece tasted as good as it looked and the cold leftovers were amazing!

If you can't tolerate dairy, I also have a dairy-free recipe. Please contact me if you would like a copy.

Recipe details:

1.5-2 lbs. fresh or frozen cauliflower
1 pasture egg
1/3 cup soft chevre or goat cheese
1 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp sea salt


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Fresh cauliflower instructions:
Process cauliflower in a food processor until it reaches a rice-like texture.
Boil water and add the cauliflower, cover and cook for about 4-5 minutes.
Drain.

Frozen cauliflower instructions:
Thaw completely (can place in refrigerator overnight).
Process in food process to create rice-like texture.
Drain.

Put the rice into a clean cloth and drain all the water.
In a bowl, mix the rice, eggs, cheese, and spices. Make sure it’s thoroughly mixed.
Press the dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Thickness should be 1/3 to ½ inch thick.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the crust becomes lightly browned.

Add your favorite toppings: tomatoes, cheese, spinach, mushrooms, onions, peppers, broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes… the possibilities are endless!

Return to the oven at 400 degrees and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes.

Adapted from Detoxinista

Makes 1 large pizza (2-4 servings)

Zucchini Noodles with Chicken, Spinach & Feta

This is a great alternative to pasta and takes very little time to make. If you don't eat dairy you can skip the feta cheese. I personally eat sheep and goat dairy because the proteins are smaller than cow dairy so I tend to have less issues. You can also add other vegetables to give it your own personal flair.

For the zucchini noodles, you can make them yourself with a spiralizer like the one shown below. I purchased this at Bed Bath & Beyond for about $20.

If you are short on time you can buy fully-prepared zucchini noodles at your local Whole Foods. The noodles shown below cost around $9. They also have beet noodles, squash noodles, etc. Check it out if you are crunched for time. 

4 chicken breasts, cut into cubes
1 tbsp avocado oil
Sea salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
1 clove garlic
Juice of 1 lemon
3 cups of spinach
4 large zucchini
½ cup feta cheese
10 Greek olives, chopped

Make noodles with zucchini using a vegetable spiralizer or food processor.
Heat pan over medium heat with oil.
Add chicken and cook about 6-8 minutes or until cooked through.
Add lemon juice, spinach, zucchini and garlic powder.
Toss and cook until spinach is wilted and zucchini noodles soften, about 3-5 minutes.
Transfer to bowls, toss with feta, olives, salt and pepper.

Serves 4

 Adapted from Inspiralized

Ginger Garlic Ahi Tuna

I love this tuna for any season. It's light enough for summer, but yet savory enough for a colder evening. It's also a great alternative to steak for the meat lovers.

4 - 6 oz. wild caught ahi tuna steaks
2 tbsp dark sesame oil
2 tbsp gluten free tamari or coconut aminos
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp lime juice
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Mix the sesame oil, tamari/aminos, garlic, ginger and lime juice in a small bowl.
Add the ahi and toss to coat.
Refrigerate for 30 min to 1 hour.

Grilling option:
Heat grill and high and reduce heat to medium high.
Sear each side of ahi and cook inside to desired temperature (3-4 min. for rare, longer for medium to medium/well).

Searing option:
Add grapeseed oil to pan and heat on high.
Add the tuna and cook 2-3 minutes per side for rare, 4-6 minutes for medium to medium/well).
Option to top with toasted sesame seeds.

Serves 4

Protein Recovery Balls

These are a great option for quick recovery after workouts. I make them a little different every time but I included the following today.

  • 1 scoop protein powder - whey or pea are best, but the pea should also include glutamine
  • 2 tbsp collagen hydrolysate
  • 1/3 cup almond butter
  • 1 tbsp concentrated maca root powder
  • 1 tbsp organic raw honey
  • 1 tbsp melted coconut oil

Roll into balls and store in the freezer. I typically eat 2-4 balls following a workout, followed by a full meal in the next 60-90 minutes.

Easy Mediterranean Chicken

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This is a great recipe for a rainy summer day. It's warm, but still light and fresh.

3 large heirloom tomatoes or 2 cans, drained
1 6 oz package organic baby spinach
1 jar artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
½ cup pitted Kalamata olives, chopped
½ cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
¼ cup tomato paste
2-3 tbsp avocado oil
2 large shallots, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 ½ tbsp dried oregano
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
6 organic chicken breasts
½ cup feta cheese, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Coat a glass baking dish with avocado oil.
Combine the fresh tomatoes, spinach, artichoke, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, tomato paste, avocado oil, shallots, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper in a bowl.
Mix well and transfer to baking dish.
Season both sides of chicken with additional salt and pepper and add to mixture in baking dish.
Bake 35-45 minutes.
Remove from oven when chicken is thoroughly cooked.
Option to add feta cheese.

Serves 6

Adapted from Better Eating recipe

Brownie Bites

Here is a great option for a healthy indulgence on Valentine's Day. Spoil yourself and someone you love with these yummy brownies!

3 oz dark chocolate
½ cup unrefined coconut oil
½ cup organic, raw honey
2 pasture-raised eggs
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
¼ tsp almond extract
½ cup almond meal or flour
¼ cup all-purpose, gluten-free flour
½ tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly grease mini muffin baking pan with coconut oil.
On lowest heat, gently melt dark chocolate, coconut oil and honey.
Allow to cool, then add eggs and two extracts.
In a separate bowl combine the flours and salt.
Add the chocolate mixture to the flour mixture.
Pour into mini muffin tins (almost to the top).
Bake for 15-25 minutes or until cooked through.

Makes 24 bites

Adapted from Paleo Obsession recipe