Chocolate Milkshake (with hidden spinach!)

Mcdonalds_Chocolate_Shake-1600X12001 banana sliced and frozen (I slice and put in the freezer the night before)
1 cup almond milk
Fistfull of baby spinach
1 tbsp almond butter (or peanut butter)
2 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp cacao powder
1 tbsp protein powder (optional, makes this an extra-filling snack or breakfast)

– Blend all ingredients until smooth. Drink immediately or let sit in freezer for 10 minutes if you like it extra cold and thick. So good, you’ll never know there is spinach inside!

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Cinnamon Crumble Cake – Gluten-Sugar-Dairy Free!

Screen Shot 2013-01-29 at 10.44.55 AMThank you Sugar-free Mom for sharing this! Who says you can’t have anything delicious if you have dietary restrictions. This looks great for anyone, especially those with overnight guests who are picky eaters!

Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup egg whites
  • 1 (13.5 ounce) can light coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons liquid vanilla stevia
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
  • 5 cups or 10 slices cubed Gluten Free bread ( I used Udi’s Omega Flax & fiber)

Cinnamon Crumble

  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (if cooking right away). Whisk together all ingredients except bread and crumble topping. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Place bread into dish, pour egg mixture over bread. In a large bowl, stir together topping ingredients. Sprinkle cinnamon crumble topping over top. Refrigerate overnight and bake in the morning or bake immediately. Bake uncovered for a good 45-50 minutes until center is not visibly liquidy. Serve with fresh berries and honey if desired.

Easy “Cheesy” Kale Chips!

One of the products we both loved from the show were “cheesy” kale chips. Cheesy, in quotes, because they are dairy-free. And, gluten, soy and nut-free. AND, they are organic and raw! They only draw back is that they are expensive! So, I went to me favorite gourmet natural chef, Lisa Stimmer, and asked her for a recipe to duplicate them. She was back to me within the hour with the below. I made them that night and they were FABULOUS!Image

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 large bunch curly kale (12-16 oz.) stems removed
  • 1 cup cashews (soaked for a couple hours)
  • 1 red bell pepper, deseeded
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (half a lemon)
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 ½ teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
  • Dash of cayenne pepper ( or to taste –spicy)

Directions:

  1. Remove the toughest parts of the kale stems (save them for a green smoothie, green juice, or add them to a stir-fry!), and tear the leaves into bite-size pieces.
  2. Wash them by submerging them in a bowl of water while lightly swishing them around with your hands so any debris can float to the top, drain them, and dry them in a salad spinner!
  3. Place kale pieces in a large bowl (you want enough room so that you can mix the coating in later without having to deal with leaves falling out of the bowl!)

To make the cheesy coating:

  1. Combine soaked cashews, bell pepper, lemon juice, nutritional yeast and sea salt in a blender or food processor (a high-speed blender like the Vitamix is best), and run for a minute or two until smooth.
  2. Add the cheesy coating to your bowl of kale and massage it in with your hands. Don’t worry too much about uneven distribution, as the big globs taste delicious in the final product!
  3. For raw kale chips (my method of choice, as they will retain the nutrients and enzymes of all the healthful ingredients!): place on dehydrator screens and dehydrate at 115 degrees until crispy. The time will vary but make sure ALL the moisture is gone and they are genuinely crunchy.
  4. Alternatively (if you don’t have a dehydrator), spread kale pieces on parchment paper on baking trays, and bake at 200 degrees until crispy, about 45 minutes (but again, all that matters is that they MUST be crunchy).

Thai Meatballs With Red Curry & Coconut Milk

This picture doesn’t do these justice, but trust me, they are DELICIOUS! I used grass-fed beef for mine, but you could easily substitute ground turkey, chicken or tofu. The original recipe calls for brown sugar, but I used a tiny bit of maple syrup instead. And it suggests serving over rice, but I served mine over steamed veggies.  The sauce is so good, you can serve them over anything!

Recipe Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef (or turkey, chicken, tofu)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (gluten-free)
  • 1/4 cup of cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (gluten-free)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk (canned – not diluted)
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar (or 1 tbsp. syrup)
  • cooked rice (optional)

Recipe Steps:

  • To make the meatballs, combine beef, garlic, cilantro root, fish sauce, black pepper, and soy sauce in a medium bowl. Thoroughly mix together the ingredients. Shape the beef mixture into 1-inch balls (makes about 10-12 meatballs).
  • In a medium sauce pan, fry up the red curry paste for 2 minutes until fragrant.
  • Stir in the coconut milk, fish sauce and brown sugar.
  • Drop in the meatballs into the curry broth and bring to a boil. Boil the meatballs for 10 minutes and reduce to medium high heat. When the meatballs are on medium high heat, let the curry sauce reduce down for about another 5-8 minutes.
  • Serve the Thai meatballs in red curry sauce with rice.

Real Jello – Sugar-free & No Artifical Ingredients!

I am ALWAYS trying to find healthier versions of desserts and here’s one I especially like. It’s home made jello without the artificial colors, preservatives, and sugar. I follow the below recipe from The Splendid Table, but instead of using fruit juice which is high in sugar, I add flavored stevia drops, (my favorite is grape) and skip the additional sweetener. You just don’t seem to need it with the stevia. But remember all stevia is NOT the same – look for organic with NO added dextrose or other ingredients. Bedsides being bad for you, it tastes bitter. SweetLeaf is the one we recommend.

Full disclosure: It will be clear and not be purple and that’s a little weird initially. I experience the same thing with my root beer (root beer stevia drops and seltzer water), but you get used to it 🙂

Ingredients
  • 2 cups fresh or good-quality bottled fruit juice or puree
  • 1 envelope (1/4 ounce) unflavored gelatin
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (optional)
  • Sugar, honey, maple syrup, or fructose to taste (optional)
Directions
  • 1. Pour 1/2 cup of the fruit juice into a medium glass bowl or measuring cup and sprinkle the gelatin over it. Let stand for 1 minute.
  • 2. In a medium saucepan, bring the remaining 1-1/2 cups fruit juice to a boil. Stir into the gelatin mixture until dissolved. Add the lemon juice and sweetener to taste, if desired. Pour into individual bowls or into one bowl. Let cool, then refrigerate for several hours, until set. You can prepare the “Jell-O” up to 5 days ahead.

Chicken w/Grapes & Honey Mustard Garlic Sauce!

I’m not including a photo of this because it didn’t look nearly as appealing as it is delicious. I followed this recipe but cute the chicken cubes first so it cooked faster and used half the honey because I didn’t want it as sweet. I also used red grapes because I had some. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons Dijon-style prepared mustard
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 2 cups seedless green grapes

Directions

  1. Combine mustard, soy sauce, honey and vinegar. Set sauce aside.
  2. In a 9 x 13 inch pan, combine garlic and oil. Place chicken in pan skin side down.
  3. If using thighs, bake covered at 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) for 25 minutes. If using breasts, bake covered at 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) for 10 minutes. Uncover, and turn chicken pieces over. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake until no longer pink in center, about 15 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle grapes over chicken, and bake 5 minutes longer. Remove from oven, and arrange chicken and grapes on platter. Pass sauce when serving.

If you really want to see a picture, here’s where I found it: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/garlic-chicken-and-grapes/detail.aspx?event8=1&prop24=SR_Title&e11=chicken%20and%20grapes&e8=Quick%20Search&event10=1&e7=Recipe

Flavored Stevia Drops – my latest obsession!

You know the expression about the next best thing since sliced bread . . . well SweetLeaf Stevia® Sweetener could be it! Stevia is a plant which is very sweet and can easily replace sugar or honey that spike your insulin levels which wreaks havock with your hormones, and feed bacteria, viruses and disease. It can also easily replace artificial sweeteners that have been linked to causing disease and weight gain.  SweetLeaf claims it’s the only 100% natural stevia sweetener with zero calories, zero carbohydrates and zero glycemic index on the market today, and contains no chemicals or artificial ingredients to interfere with its pure, sweet taste. It’s processed using only cool, purified water and the nice woman I spoke with in their customer service department assured me that they do not contain any GMOs. Other stevia sweeteners may use chemicals, solvents or alcohols (such as methanol and ethanol) in their extraction process, leaving residue requiring masking agents or flavoring compounds to disguise them. This can result in a harsh aftertaste.

And speaking of taste, they make liquid drops that come in a variety of flavors. I have personally tried several and just ordered 3 more. I use the vanilla one all the time instead of vanilla extract and the English toffee and chocolate raspberry in plain yogurt (less sugar), protein shakes, oatmeal, and baking. I just ordered the lemon, root beer and grape to mix with plain, and cheap soda water for flavored soda with no sugar. It also comes in unflavored for use in sweet tea, hot coffee, and other things when you just want a bit of sweetness.

A little bottle is about $12, but don’t be fooled into thinking it’s expensive. You only need a tiny amount and there’s like 800 servings per bottle! If kept refrigerated, it lasts a couple of years. This post was inspired by my friend Ken, who will hopefully be saying  goodbye to sugar real soon!