Grain Free Veggie Pizza

Grain Free Veggie Pizza

So we have had an overabundance of broccoli at our house. My husband and I mixed up items on our grocery list and on the same day I bought a few heads of organic broccoli from Earthfare  (they have had it on sale all month for $0.99) and he bought two huge bags of organic broccoli florets at Costco.  Our family loves it and we eat it just steamed as a side for dinner a lot, but steamed broccoli at every meal was getting old.  So I decided to recreate one of my favorite childhood foods that my mom always made for get-togethers.  Vegetable pizza, you know they type made on packaged Crescent rolls.  Well, seeing that our family is gluten-free and pretty low grains, I decided to try a grain free version.  It turned out yummy…only thing I would change is to spread the dough thinner.

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grain free veggie pizza
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prep time: 
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Ingredients
  • 2 c. almond flour
  • 1 c. arrowroot
  • ½ c. water
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. celtic sea salt
  • chopped veggies of choice (i used broccoli, red bell peppers, black olives and carrots)
  • 1 package of organic cream cheese 8oz. (I used organic valley)
  • ½ cup organic full fat sour cream
  • 2 T. gluten free ranch mix (i used Penzey's ranch blend which is just spices, simply organic also makes one)
Instructions
  1. Mix all the dough dry ingredients in a bowl (almond flour, arrowroot, baking soda, sea salt).
  2. Add in eggs, water and olive oil and mix by hand.
  3. It will be a wetter dough.
  4. Spread evenly on a baking stone or a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  5. I used a spatula and then put a little olive oil on my hand to help even press the dough.
  6. Bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes until dough is starting to brown up (cooking time will vary a little with dough thickness).
  7. Remove from oven and let cool.
  8. Prep veggies while dough is baking, by chopping into small pieces.
  9. Mix the sour cream, cream cheese and ranch mix.
  10. Once dough is cool, spread cream cheese mixture evenly on top of the crust and then top with veggies.
  11. Enjoy!

 

Protein Breakfast Bites

Protein Breakfast Bites

By the time I get to Friday mornings, I have pretty much run out of inspiration for breakfast.  While I typically eat a protein smoothie, I am always looking for ideas to feed my growing boys, that are loaded with healthy fats and fiber, but eggs get boring quickly and my oldest doesn’t love protein smoothies.

I am fairly adamant that my kids eat a hearty breakfast (not sugar and carbs), like the typical SAD (Standard American Diet) of cereal, toast, bagels etc.  So finding variations can be challenging. One of their current favorite breakfasts are my little protein bites.

They are loaded with gluten free oats, pumpkin seeds, coconut flakes, dried blueberries, flax seed, chia seeds, sliced almonds and coconut oil.  While they look like little muffins, they are actually dense, almost crumbly little bites, that pair wonderfully with coffee.  Because of the fiber and fat, they are incredibly filling and can easily keep you fueled until lunch.

A few benefits are that they are easy to make, freeze well and can travel well as snacks. I almost always have all the ingredients on hand…besides the dried blueberries, but I live super close to our local Earth Fare and they always have them in their bulk food section. You can also easily substitute ingredients: chopped up dried apricots or dates, sunflower seeds, pecans etc. Be creative with them!

 

Protein Breakfast Bites
author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1½ cups gluten-free oat flour
  • ½ cup wild blueberries
  • ⅓ cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • ⅓ cup shredded coconut
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds
  • ¼ cup + 1 Tbsp. ground flax seed
  • 2 Tbsp. chia seeds
  • ½ cup melted coconut oil
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. celtic sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat Oven to 350º F
  2. Lightly grease a mini muffin pan with coconut oil (mine holds 32 muffins)
  3. Add all the dry ingredients into a food processor and pulse a few times to incorporate them
  4. In a separate bowl mix together remaining wet ingredients (coconut oil, vanilla & maple syrup)
  5. Pour slowly into food processor and pulse until everything is well combined
  6. Fill mini muffin pans and press mixture until it is well compacted and just below the top of the pan
  7. Bake at 350º for 12-15 minutes, until lightly brown
  8. Cool before removing from the pan
  9. *If they are hard to remove, twisting them around in the pan in a circle typically releases them

 

Our Favorite Cookie – Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies

Our Favorite Cookie – Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies

One of my favorite childhood memories was making chocolate chip cookies with my mom. We used to make the traditional Toll House recipe off the back of a bag of Nestle chocolate chips.  While things have changed dramatically in our house from those day (no flour, no white sugar and I use organic, fair trade dark chocolate chips) I still cherish those memories,  and l love sharing that tradition with my three little boys.

I have both of Danielle Walker’s Paleo Cookbooks: Against All Grain & Against All Grain: Meals Made Simple and to this day, they are two of my favorite cookbooks that I own (I have a slight cookbook addiction).  I originally started making her real-deal chocolate chip cookies, but over time, just adapted it to better suit our families taste and to simplify – in my world, less steps and less dishes are always better.  If you have never checked out her cookbooks, you should.  She has lots of fun recipes and they are great inspiration.

A few of the changes I made was that I use coconut oil instead of palm shortening (which I don’t typically have on hand). I cut out the honey (you can add it back in if you want sweeter cookies, but if you do, omit the extra tablespoon of coconut oil – it was only added to add in a little extra moisture).  I have made them adding in an extra egg, and no honey or extra tablespoon of coconut oil, and that variation works well also. I like this version best with just the coconut sugar, because it is just lightly sweetened. I also just mix the cookies by hand, my food processor is dying, and I found that I didn’t need to pull out an extra appliance.

Another thing to note is that these cookies don’t have a great self life, so if you plan to keep them a few days, throw them in the fridge.  They do freeze well though.

plaeo_Chocolate_Chip_Cookies

 

Our Favorite Cookie - Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies
author: 
serves: 24
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup + 1 Tbsp of melted coconut oil
  • ½ cup of coconut sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 cups blanched almond flour
  • 4 Tbsp. coconut flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. celtic sea salt
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix together the melted coconut oil, coconut sugar, vanilla and eggs, until smooth.
  3. Add in the almond flour, coconut flour*, baking soda and sea salt and mix again until combined.
  4. Once well mixed, stir in chocolate chips
  5. Roll into balls and slightly flatten on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
  6. Bake 9-12 minutes until slightly brown on the edges.
  7. *with coconut flour, I use a spoon and swirl mine through a mesh strainer to eliminate any clumps.
  8. **if you would like to make your cookies sweeter, you can add in honey, (1 - 2 Tbsp). If you do add honey, omit the extra tablespoon of coconut oil.

 

One of the great things about these cookies is that they are simple, quick and I literally always have all the ingredients on hand (most of these ingredients I buy from bulk sources anyway)

Where some of my ingredients come from:

 

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Gluten Free Chocolate Zucchini Sheet Cake (Gluten-free & Dairy-free)

As summer came to close, so did our fabulous season of zucchini.  I decided I needed to create one last baked item with our remaining supply.  Chocolate is always a favorite in our house and a cake sounded just perfect.  This is a pretty quick and easy recipe, the steps can look like a lot, but they are easy to follow.  This cake is pretty similar to a traditional Texas sheet cake, but it is altered to work with a gluten-free flour blend.  I prefer King Arthur’s Gluten-free flour blend (I buy mine from our local Earth Fare), but most gluten-free blends will work. What I love about the combination of zucchini in this recipe, is that it helps keeps the cake moist, which can be a common problem with gluten free baked goods.  This recipe also freezes really well.

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Gluten Free Chocolate Zucchini Sheet Cake (Gluten-free & Dairy-free)
author: 
 
Ingredients
  • CAKE
  • 3 c. King Arthur gluten-free flour mix
  • 1.5 c. vvaporated cane sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • 1 c. melted coconut oil
  • ¼ c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ c. almond milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 c. shredded zucchini
  • 1 c. chocolate chips (gluten free & dairy free)
  • CHOCOLATE FROSTING
  • 3 c. powdered sugar
  • ½ c. coconut oil
  • ¼ c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ⅓ c. almond milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, mix the gluten free flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and sea salt and set aside.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the coconut oil and whisk in the cocoa powder.
  3. Remove from heat and whisk into the dry ingredients, also adding in eggs, almond milk, vanilla and zucchini.
  4. Stir until well combines and then pour into a greased half-sheet pan.
  5. Bake for 18-22 minutes at 350 degrees, or until a knife pulls out cleanly.
  6. Remove from oven and set aside to frost.
  7. To create the frosting, melt coconut oil in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  8. Add in cocoa powder and almond milk and whisk until well combined.
  9. Pour hot chocolate mixture over powdered sugar and vanilla and whisk until smooth.
  10. Pour icing over hot cake and spread it into a thin layer.
  11. Enjoy!

 

What a “gluten-free” holiday looks like in our house + paleo date-pecan cinnamon rolls

I get asked a lot how we handle the holidays being gluten-free. Let’s face it, most holiday memories include big fat crescent rolls, sugar cookies, casseroles, pies and many more gluten filled items.

My new motto: simplicity.

I simply do not try to recreate all those items…I find that all that does is stress me out, leaves me in carb and sugar shock and a lot of the items will never compare to their gluten- filled counter parts. So instead, my husband and I came up with a simple holiday menu that included items that we could prep the night before.

I thought I would share what our Christmas day menu looked like. It was fresh and not over-loaded with carbs, but yet included items like a paleo date-pecan cinnamon roll that my three boys absolutely loved. We ate a late breakfast and an early dinner, cutting our meals down to two instead of three. And I ran out Christmas Eve afternoon to our local Earth Fare to get any remaining fresh ingredient. We has ordered their holiday deal that featured a beautiful cut of fresh standing rib roast, so we had to run in already to pick that up.

Breakfast was fully prepped on Christmas Eve and included a breakfast casserole and paleo cinnamon rolls.

eggpotatocasserolePotato-Egg Breakfast Casserole:

The breakfast casserole was made with shredded potatoes, instead of bread. I first boiled the potatoes, chilled them and ran them through my food processor with the shredder blade. I layered the potatoes on the bottom of a 13 x 9 pan and topped with 12 whisked eggs, 1 cup of almond milk, 2 cups of shredded cheese, bacon pieces and chopped green onions. All I had to do Christmas morning was pop it into the oven at 350 for about 45-50 minutes.

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this is what my youngest son, thought of the cinnamon rolls!

 

Paleo Date-Pecan Cinnamon Rolls:

*Recipe below.

We also made these the night before and had them on a baking sheet in the fridge ready to pop into the oven.

primerib_chirstmasDinner Menu:

  • Standing Rib Roast
  • Grilled Zucchini and Asparagus
  • Roasted potato wedges with Italian herbs
  • Sparkling cider just for fun

We have made it a tradition to buy a nice cut of meat; either steaks or prime rib and either grill veggies or roast them (depending on Indiana weather). It makes dinner, simple, yet full of flavor.

What a “gluten-free” holiday looks like in our house + paleo date-pecan cinnamon rolls
author: 
recipe type: Dessert/Pastry
serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • Dough:
  • 2 cups of almond flour
  • ¼ cup + 2 Tbsp. coconut flour
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. honey or maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • pinch of sea salt
  • Filling:
  • 6-8 large Dates, Soaked in hot water for 30 minutes
  • ½ cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Soak your dates in hot water for about 30 minutes.
  2. Add hydrated dates a few teaspoons of date water and cinnamon to a mini food processor and puree. Set aside.
  3. Whisk together the wet ingredients (egg, coconut oil & vanilla) in a medium bowl.
  4. Add the combined dry ingredients (almond flour, coconut flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt) and stir well to combine.
  5. Roll out the dough on parchment paper and create a long rectangle.
  6. Spread the date and cinnamon mixture evenly across the rolled out dough and sprinkle with finely chopped pecan pieces.
  7. Using the parchment paper to help, carefully roll up the dough into a log.
  8. Using a sharp knife cut 1-inch thick rolls.
  9. Preheat oven to 325
  10. Place sliced cinnamon rolls on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper.
  11. Bake for about 15-18 minutes until begin to lightly brown*
  12. Remove from oven and drizzle with glaze and more finely chopped pecans. (For the gaze, I just whisked a little almond milk with coconut sugar).
  13. Best served warm!
  14. *Our rolls took a little longer to bake, because I refrigerated them over-night and put them into the oven still cold.
  15. **These will not rise and puff up like a traditional cinnamon roll.

 

Pumpkin Drop Scones (gluten free, dairy free, grain free)

One of my favorite things about fall baking/cooking is fresh pumpkin.  I roast quite a few pumpkins each year and use some right away for baking and then freeze the rest to use throughout the winter.  Yesterday, I roasted 3 sugar pumpkins and have yummy mason jars full of pumpkin puree just begging to be used.  Our local Earthfare had sugar pumpkins on sale + I got three from one of our local apple orchards/pumpkin patches (tuttles).  So tonight I set out to create a pumpkin scone (which quickly turned into drop scones because the batter was way to soft).  One of the things I was attempting, was to create a grain free scone that wasn’t full of cups and cups of almond flour.  Recipes I have used in the past have used 3-4 cups of almond flour and I have been trying to balance my families consumption of nuts.  I also wanted to include more pumpkin then most recipes called for.  While, I really liked the extra pumpkin, it definitely made the batter only scoopable.

The batter is combination of eggs, coconut flour, almond flour, tapioca starch, pumpkin and spices.  I used a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg and fresh ground ginger for my pumpkin spice flavor.  Ginger is actually a spice that I tend to overlook. but I happened to have a big, fresh container sitting out on my counter.  I had just stocked up on some bulk spices & herbs at Earthfare, the night before when I made my first batch of herbal cough syrup for my husband (I will share my experiences with those recipes later). I am glad I added the ginger because it gave a nice kick to the spice combination.

For the glaze on the pumpkin drop scones … I don’t really have a recipe to share.  I honestly just started adding ingredients to a bowl and kept adjusting along the way.  I used approximately 2 Tbsp of almond butter, 2 Tbsp of almond milk, 1 Tbsp of brown sugar, a little cinnamon and a little vanilla all mixed and just spooned on top while the pumpkin scones were warm.

This will definitely be a recipe that I will add into our fall rotation!

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pumpkindropscones

 

Pumpkin Drop Scones (gluten free, dairy free, grain free)
author: 
recipe type: dessert, baked goods
 
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup of fresh pumpkin puree
  • 3 eggs
  • ⅓ c. coconut sugar
  • 2 T. coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 c. almond flour
  • ½ c. coconut flour (sifted)
  • ½ c. tapioca starch
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2-3 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. fresh ground nutmeg
  • ¼-1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • pinch of sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 and line your baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Add the pumpkin puree, eggs, coconut sugar, coconut oil and vanilla into a mixing bowl and cream together until well combined.
  3. In another bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients and slowly mix into the wet ingredients.
  4. Using a ⅓ of a cup scoop, scoop out batter and flatten a little on the baking sheet.
  5. Bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes, until firm to the touch.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool a little before topping with your glaze of choice.
  7. Enjoy!