One Grain & Dairy Free Bread Recipe ~ Three Ways

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I’ve tried very hard, but I am just not one of those people who can live on meat and vegetables alone. Sometimes we just need something to sink our teeth into that says, “comfort”. For me, that food item is bread.

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I can go days and days without it, but when I want it, my brain just won’t rest until I get it. I’ve tried on a few occasions to just sneak in a couple of pieces of Udi’s bread, but I am always greeted with swollen fingers and ankles the next day. Inflammation makes all Lyme symptoms much worse, so eating things that increase inflammation are hardly worth it.

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I have to abstain from grains, gluten, and dairy (and most potatoes, legumes, and very limited refined sugar…). That’s the reality, and there’s no way around it if I want to keep the inflammation at bay. Once you embrace the reality of your food limitations and recognize how they affect your body, life will be more enjoyable for you.

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A few weeks ago I set out to find a grain free bread recipe I could love. I had many fails but was pleased when I was finally able to share the Peasant Bread and Garlic Herb Twist recipes with you.

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Amazingly enough, the three bread recipes I’m sharing today – French Toast Bread, Hard Rolls, and Cinnamon Raisin Buns all come from the same basic bread recipe used for the Garlic Herb Twists. So really, it’s 1 recipe made into 4 types of bread!

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This makes it simple. Once you have all the ingredients on hand, you can bake to your heart’s content. I made the bread, the rolls, and the buns all in one evening. If you’re used to making your own bread, you’ll think it’s easy. If you’re not used to making your own bread, it will be a little bit of a challenge at first. There’s still the rising and baking time to be considered as well. You’ll get to know the dough the more you use it and before you know it, you’ll be impressing your family with all kinds of creations throughout the week.

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If you come up with some of your own unique ideas, shoot me an email at luvvinlyfe@gmail.com with pictures of your favorite bread made from my recipe and I will post it right here on the blog to share with others. There’s no reason for anyone with food allergies to go breadless.

Happy Baking!

Basic Grain Free, Dairy Free Bread Dough Recipe

1/3 Cup Arrowroot

3/4 Cup Sweet Potato Flour

1/2 Cup Coconut Flour

2 teaspoons Xanthan Gum

2 teaspoons Double Acting Baking Powder

1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt

1 1/2 Tablespoons Yeast

2 Tablespoons Coconut Sugar

1/3 Cup Dairy Free Butter

**

3 Eggs Separated

1 1/2 Tablespoons Grass Fed Gelatin

1/2 Cup Cool Water

1 1/2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar

**

(There are step by step photos on the Herb & Garlic Twist post)

Measure all of the dry ingredients into a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Measure the dairy free butter into the flour mixture and work through with your fingers quickly until it has a large, mealy appearance. Set aside.

Separate the eggs. Whites into a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, yolks into a small cup or ramekin. Beat the egg whites on high until they are very foamy and at least doubled in size, but not quite to soft peak stage. Add in the yolks and beat until completely combined, just a few seconds.

Next, in a medium ramekin or in a glass measuring cup, add the 1/2 cup of cool water. Sprinkle the gelatin over the top and whisk in thoroughly with a fork. Microwave for 20 seconds. Set aside.

Measure the vinegar into the egg mixture and turn the mixer on low. Very slowly drizzle the warmed gelatin mixture into the egg mixture until fully incorporated. Turn off the mixer and switch to the paddle attachment. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and beat on medium for about 1 minute. The dough will be soft.

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For all recipes, turn oven to 400 degrees while the dough is beating in the mixer.

French Toast Bread

I use this bread for french toast because I have yet to be able to make it rise as high as a “real” loaf of bread. It works perfectly though for french toast! It is absolutely delicious. Allow it to soak in your egg mixture for several minutes before frying and spreading generously with dairy free butter and your favorite pure maple syrup. 

Spray a bread loaf pan and line with parchment. I like to do this for easy removal. Scoop the bread dough out of the mixer with a spatula into the bread pan and spread out carefully without flattening the bread too much. It will expand when it rises and then expand into the corners even more while baking.

Spray a piece of plastic wrap with oil, lay over the top loosely, cover with a tea towel, and set on top of the stove to rise for one hour. After 60 minutes, remove the towel and plastic and place on the middle rack of the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool before slicing.

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Hard Rolls

While the bread dough is beating in the mixer preheat the oven to 4oo degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment. Flour the counter with either arrowroot flour or the sweet potato flour. Scoop the dough onto the counter and flour the top. Pat it lightly with the flour. Cut the dough in half, then each half in half and so on, until you have 8 equally sized pieces. Do not work the dough too much. Take each piece into your hand and kind of plop it back and forth cupping it to form a ball. Place on the parchment and continue with the rest. Spray a piece of plastic wrap, drape it over the rolls, cover with a tea towel, and allow to rise on top of the stove for 1 hour. After the 60 minutes, remove the plastic wrap and towel and bake in the preheated oven for 14-19 minutes, until golden on top and sides. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.

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Cinnamon Raisin Buns

*You will need raisins, cinnamon, coconut sugar, and dairy free butter. You will also need powdered sugar (I used corn free organic, if you have a Vitamix, you could also whiz up coconut sugar to powdered sugar), dairy free butter, and pure almond extract for the frosting.

In a small bowl, whisk together 1/3 cup of coconut sugar, 1/3 cup of dairy free butter, and a pinch of sea salt until smooth. Set aside.

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While the bread dough is beating in the mixer, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and spray an 8×8 baking pan (or a pie pan would work fine too) and line with parchment. Set aside. Flour the counter with either arrowroot or the sweet potato flour. Scoop the dough out of the mixer onto the floured counter and flour the top, patting the flour slightly around. Cut the dough in half, then in half again and so on, until you have 8 equal sized pieces. Working quickly, flatten each piece into a circle. Dollop the sugar and butter mixture equally on each piece and spread around with the back of a spoon leaving the edges empty.

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Sprinkle generously with cinnamon. Sprinkle with raisins (or leave them out, or add nuts, or whatever you like).

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Pick up a round of dough and put it in the palm of your hand. Grab the edges and squeeze them up and together like a dumpling. Press all the edges together and flip it over into your hand. Cup it to shape it a bit, and put it in the baking dish. Continue with the remaining dough rounds. Don’t worry about excess room in your pan. They will rise and then rise and then come together while baking.

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Once all of the buns are in the baking dish. Put a dollop of dairy free butter on each one. Sprinkle generously with coconut sugar and cinnamon, and then sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt.

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Drape a piece of loosely covered plastic wrap and a tea towel over the top and allow to rise on top of the preheating oven for 60 minutes. Remove the plastic wrap and tea towel and bake for 30 minutes draping with foil after the first 10 minutes. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes before frosting.

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Frosting: 2 Tbs of dairy free butter melted, 2 cups of powdered sugar (or powdered coconut sugar), about 2 teaspoons of pure almond extract. Whisk until combined, you may need a tiny bit of water to get it to drizzle/spreading consistency. Spoon over the rolls, wait a few minutes for it to set, and serve.

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Grain Free Biscuits ~ 2 Ways

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Happy Saturday! This week feels like it kind of went by in a whirlwind. Isn’t it strange how when you’re older life does that?

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Tony and I have been feeling kind of clunky the past two weeks so that has put a damper on things. Then, a couple of days ago I ended up with shingles. I haven’t had them in over a year and was really hoping that virus had gone dormant for good. Lyme Disease taxes the immune system and the reality is that along with it comes other unpleasant things. Throw in a little life stress and it’s the perfect storm.

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I’m not one to lie in bed sick unless I’m very, very, sick. I have a high tolerance for pain and illness. Not that I’m “special” or anything, I think that I’m just used to it, and I cannot stand being cooped up. So I’ve taken epsom salt baths, rested when I needed to, taken ibuprofen, slathered the shingles with Carmex (I’ve found it works great for pain and healing) and got on with life.

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I think that’s important when you have a chronic illness…the getting on with life part. I can choose to not do it, or I can choose to do it sick. So most of the time, I choose to do it sick and try my hardest to keep a positive attitude. Biscuits help.

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My husband was home a few more days than usual this week, which was nice. Thursday afternoon we drove to Steptoe Butte State Park so he could go hang gliding.

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He hasn’t been able to go much in the past two years so it’s important that he keeps up his skills.

Checking the wind speed and gusts.

Checking the wind speed and gusts.

Plus, we pay $5,000 extra per year on his life insurance policy because of the hang gliding. Go ahead and gasp, I did. And then some.

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So the goal is to get enough flights in every year to make it worth that ridiculous clause in his policy, not to mention the expense of the gear.

Takes about 30 minutes to set up the hang glider.

Takes about 30 minutes to set up the hang glider.

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My job is to help stabilize it now and then while he’s setting up so it doesn’t blow away. Then, when he’s ready for take off, I also need to help keep it balanced. The last time (my first time) we did this, it was gusty and the wind kept picking me up off the ground while I was trying to hold the hang glider down. We ended up having to scrap it because it was just too difficult and the weather was dangerous. Very nerve-wracking and made me question his sanity. But this time things went much more smoothly.

High tech wind direction equipment.

High tech wind direction equipment.

One more check for the best place to take off.

One last check for the best place to take off.

 

Suited up and ready. There's a parachute in the pack on his chest in case of an emergency.

Suited up and ready. There’s a parachute in the pack on his chest in case of an emergency.

I was shocked at how fast the wind took him up! I had planned to get step by step photos of his take off but before I knew it he was flying around.

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It wasn’t a too lengthy a flight this time because there wasn’t enough lift, but it was perfect for his first flight of the season. He had a safe landing, which is the important part. We ran out of time and wind for him to make another flight so we headed the hour and a half drive home so he could pack for another flight (on a plane) to LA the next day. He had been feeling wonky all day and unfortunately, some bug really got a hold of him because he was violently ill all night before his flight to California. Being the person he is, he mustered the energy to get on that plane Friday morning, and I don’t know how he did it.

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I would have been terrified I’d have to throw up in front of people.  A lesson for the rest of us…stock up on immune boosting aids when you get on a plane because you never know what someone is bringing on board.

But, one must earn a paycheck, so off he went.

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Romeo and Abigail had great fun running around in the field while Tony packed up the glider.

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I woke to Abigail’s feet in my face and song birds chirping this morning. We’ve been guaranteed to have a beautiful day and the next 10 days are supposed to be in the 60’s. Spring is early this year and you won’t get any complaints about that from me. I thought I would start the morning off with a batch of grain free biscuits. I had such luck with the first batch, I decided to experiment with another one.

And now I’m off to sun myself on the patio. Blue skies and sunshine. Food for the soul!

Grain Free Biscuits

*Makes 4 biscuits

1/2 Cup Coconut Flour

1/8 Cup Arrowroot

1 teaspoon Double Acting Baking Powder

1/8 teaspoon Sea Salt

1 Tablespoon Coconut Sugar

6 Tablespoons Cold Dairy Free Butter

3 Large Eggs, separated

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Measure all the dry ingredients into a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Measure the butter, and work through quickly with your fingers until it has a somewhat large mealy texture.

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 With a mixer and whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites on high until frothy and doubled in size, just before they hit soft peak stage. Add the yolks and whisk until thoroughly combined, about 20 seconds. Pour the egg mixture on top of the flour mixture.

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Fold with a spatula, just until combined.

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 At this point you will say, “April, there’s no way this runny mixture is going to turn into biscuit batter”, but it does. Let it sit for 5 minutes. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup or scoop to scoop out four biscuits.

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Bake for 17 minutes.

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Allow to cool for 20-30 minutes. They’re a bit fragile when they come out. You could probably safely cut them while warm after 15 minutes.

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Grain Free Frosted Blueberry Orange Biscuits

1 Cup Coconut Flour

1/3 Cup Arrowroot

1/3 Cup Sweet Potato Flour

1/4 Cup Coconut Sugar

1 Tablespoon Double Acting Baking Powder

1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Soda

1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt

1/2 teaspoon Xanthan Gum

1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

3/4 Cup Cold Dairy Free Butter

2 Eggs, separated

Zest of 1 Medium Orange

Juice of 1 Medium Orange (1/4 Cup)

1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

1 1/2 Cups Frozen Blueberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a pie dish with parchment paper and spray (under and over).

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Measure all dry ingredients into a medium bowl and whisk. Measure butter. Work through with fingers quickly until combined and mealy.

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Whisk eggs in a stand mixer until they reach soft peak. Add egg yolks and whisk to combine. Add zest and orange juice.

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Pour we ingredients over dry ingredients. Fold just until combined.

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Quickly fold in frozen blueberries just until combined. The blueberries will stiffen the batter if you take it too slowly.

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With a 1/4 inch scoop, generously scoop 9 biscuits from the batter into the prepared pan starting in the middle.

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Bake for 27 minutes. You may have to lay a piece of tin foil over them the last 10 minutes.

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In a small bowl melt 1 Tablespoon of dairy free butter. Add the juice of 1/2 orange and 1 Cup of corn free powdered sugar. Stir until combined.

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Drizzle over the biscuits once they have cooled for 15 minutes.

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Allow to cool completely before serving.

Grain Free Garlic & Herb Twists

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These are the rolls on day two. I was so excited to eat them I forgot to take the opening shot the night before. Ha!

These are the rolls on day two. I was so excited to eat them I forgot to take the opening shot the night before. Just as delicious day two warmed, with a bit of dairy free butter.

Bread is finally back on our table and it has been a divine experience.

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I was worried there for a while when I took grains out of my diet, but not anymore. These Garlic & Herb Twists are delicious and I’d be willing to bet that 9/10 people wouldn’t have a clue that they are grain free and dairy free.

 They’re soft, have a very nice crumb, a good bounce like a “real” roll,  and are very flavorful with the perfect combination of herbs, sea salt, and olive oil. Most of us find such comfort in a good piece of bread.

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These could be made a variety of different ways with a variety of herbs and add ins. Get creative!

Grain Free Garlic & Herb Twists

*Grain Free *Gluten Free *Dairy Free *High Protein

1/3 Cup Arrowroot

3/4 Cup Sweet Potato Flour

1/2 Cup Coconut Flour

2 teaspoons Xanthan Gum

2 teaspoons Double Acting Baking Powder

1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt

1 1/2 Tablespoons Yeast

2 Tablespoons Coconut Sugar

1/3 Cup Dairy Free Butter

**

3 Eggs Separated

1 1/2 Tablespoons Grass Fed Gelatin

1/2 Cup Cool Water

1 1/2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar

**

1/4 Cup Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder

1 Tablespoon Dried Oregano

1/2 Tablespoon Dried Basil

1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt

Measure all of the dry ingredients into a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Measure the dairy free butter into the flour mixture and work through with your fingers quickly until it has a large, mealy appearance. Set aside.

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Separate the eggs. Whites into a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, yolks into a small cup or ramekin. Beat the egg whites on high until they are very foamy and at least doubled in size, but not quite to soft peak stage. Add in the yolks and beat until completely combined, just a few seconds.

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Next, in a medium ramekin or in a glass measuring cup, add the 1/2 cup of cool water. Sprinkle the gelatin over the top and whisk in thoroughly with a fork. Microwave for 20 seconds. Set aside.

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Measure the vinegar into the egg mixture and turn the mixer on low. Very slowly drizzle the warmed gelatin mixture into the egg mixture until fully incorporated. Turn off the mixer and switch to the paddle attachment. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and beat on medium for about 1 minute. The dough will be soft.

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Next, line a medium baking sheet with parchment and set aside. Flour a board or counter with arrowroot. Scoop dough onto the arrowroot and lightly flour the top. Very lightly knead the dough quickly to form a loaf, it will not get completely smooth, don’t over work it. Cut the loaf into 8 equal pieces.

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Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Working with one piece at a time and a little more arrowroot, lightly and quickly roll the dough into a strip about 6 inches or so and then roll into a spiral. Place on the parchment covered baking sheet and repeat for the remaining 7 pieces.

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Next, in a small bowl mix together the olive oil, garlic, herbs, and salt and set aside.

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Spray a piece of plastic wrap with oil and drape over the unseasoned twists. Drape with a tea towel and place on top of the stove (that is preheating) to rest and rise for 60 minutes.

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Remove the plastic and towel, brush the tops of the twists evenly and generously, using all of the topping. and bake for 15-20 minutes until browned. Don’t overcook!

After the rise.

After the rise.

After seasoning and prior to baking.

After seasoning and prior to baking.

I served mine with zucchini noodles and meatball sauce.

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The zucchini noodles are incredibly easy and delicious! You can go here for more information on the spiralizer.

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For the meatball sauce I made a super simple baked meatball and used 2 jars of gluten-free, organic, spaghetti sauce. 1 pound of ground beef,  egg, a couple of tablespoons of chopped onion, herbs of your choice (I used oregano and basil), garlic powder, and salt and pepper. Mix it all together, form small meatballs and place them on a parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with  a little more salt, garlic powder, and oregano.

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 Bake them in a preheated 325 degree oven for about 25 minutes and then plop them into a pot with your sauce. Simmer for 2 hours. I also like to season the sauce a little at the end with herbs and a bit of garlic.

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Grain Free Peasant Bread

6 Comments

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I’ve tested, tweaked, researched, asked for advice, used an ungodly amount of ingredients, and thrown away numerous recipe attempts in search of that one wonderful recipe that could really be worthy of being called, “bread”. And it was all worth it. I’ve finally found what I think are the right measurements and combination of items that  transform into a bread that I absolutely love. The second best part next to having a delicious bread we can sink our teeth into: the recipe is basic and can be used numerous ways with just a few little additions or subtractions. Hallelujah and amen.

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I’m sure I’ve told you in the past my least favorite thing about being grain free is the use of mass quantities of nut flours, coconut flour, and eggs. I cannot stand the texture of nut flours and since I’ve been on an elimination diet, I now see clearly that most nuts and I do not get along. I also use organic ingredients, so the use of a gazillion eggs or just egg whites in a grain free recipe can get extremely expensive.  Not to mention how irritating it is when the recipe you’re working on doesn’t turn out the way you had hoped, which in gluten-free and grain free cooking tends to happen often. I cannot tell you how many grain free bread recipes I’ve made that taste like a brick of play dough. Or they’re grainy, or they fall apart, or they taste too much like coconut when I don’t want them to.

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While I haven’t been able to completely eliminate eggs from my grain free bread recipes (YET!), I think they have a more reasonable amount of eggs, no more than 2 to 3. I’ve been able to omit nut flours and lower the content of coconut flour therefore, taking away the strong flavor of coconut. I don’t want bread that tastes like coconut and for a long time I thought that was too much to hope for. But not now!

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Every time I made a grain free bread I was looking for a certain texture, crumb, and taste that I simply wasn’t getting. And actually for a while, it just sucked the love right out of baking. You may have noticed the big gaps in my posting lately. Between health issues and going grain free and mostly “Paleo” and not wanting to inundate you with meat and vegetable dishes…our baking time together has suffered a bit. Baking is my favorite aspect of cooking and I think those items are the most sought after for allergen sufferers.  Comfort food is where it’s at for all of us!

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So after a few weeks of moping around the kitchen dying for a decent piece of bread that actually tastes like bread, I put my big girl britches on and got to work. Those of us who have to be, or choose to be grain free, no longer need to fret. This basic bread recipe, with a few tweaks here and there is going to provide us with all kinds of amazing goodies.

So stay tuned, the lull is over and you and I are back in the kitchen!

Grain Free Peasant Bread

*Grain Free *Gluten Free *Dairy Free *High Protein

3/4 Cup of Arrowroot Flour

1/2 Cup of Sweet Potato Flour

1/2 Cup of Coconut Flour 

2 teaspoons of Xanthan Gum

2 teaspoons of Double Acting Baking Powder

1/2 teaspoon of Sea Salt

2 Tablespoons of Coconut Sugar

1 1/2 Tablespoons of Active Dry Yeast

**

2 Eggs Separated

1 1/2 Tablespoons of Grass Fed Gelatin

1/2 Cup of Cool Water

1 1/2 Tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar

Measure all of the dry ingredients into a medium bowl and whisk to combine, set aside. Separate the eggs. Whites into a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, yolks into a small cup or ramekin. Beat the egg whites on high until they are very foamy and at least doubled in size, but not to soft peak stage.

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Add in the yolks and beat until completely combined, just a few seconds.

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Next, in a medium ramekin or in a glass measuring cup, add the 1/2 cup of cool water. Sprinkle the gelatin over the top and whisk in thoroughly with a fork. Microwave for 20 seconds.

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Measure the vinegar into the egg mixture and turn the mixer on low. Very slowly drizzle the warmed gelatin mixture into the egg mixture until fully incorporated. Turn off the mixer and switch to the paddle attachment.

With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and beat on medium for about 1 minute. The dough will be soft.

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Flour a board or the counter with arrowroot flour and scoop the dough out of the bowl.

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Knead the dough several times being careful not to add to much extra flour. Knead it until it is able to be shaped, about 6 or so folds and turns. Shape it into a loaf and slit the top three or four times. Don’t slit it as deep as I did though, I got a little over zealous. Just skim the top about 1/4 inch in.

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Next, line a baking sheet with parchment or silpat. Spray a piece of plastic wrap with non-stick spray (mine was olive oil), lay it lightly over the bread and then cover the plastic with a tea towel and place the pan on the stove.

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Turn the oven on to 400 degrees and allow the bread to rise on top of the stove for 60 minutes. It will grow in size, but not a lot. It mainly becomes “fluffier”.

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Place in the oven and bake for 40 minutes draping it with tin foil the last 15 minutes. **If you’re not using a convection oven, time may vary and will likely take just a bit longer.**

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes before slicing. This is a delicious crusty bread that is wonderful served with dairy free butter, roasted garlic, vinegar and oil dip, served as garlic bread with pasta, served with different types of goat cheese, alongside soup, so many options! And while I was taste testing…I had it with dairy free butter, then with dairy free butter and jelly, and then finally, with chicken liver pate. All delicious!

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Double Dipped Coconut Treasures

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Do you have any plans for the big day tomorrow? Or do you dread it and stay home waiting for it to go away? I’d say the like/dislike factor of Valentine’s Day is about 50/50 from the people I’ve talked to.

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I don’t put too much hype around certain holidays. I’d say Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter, are the biggies around here. Birthdays of course, are also very special. Valentine’s Day may or may not involve gifts, and most of the time, we’re just happy to hang out together. We’re typically easy going that way, and that’s how I like it!

I’ve never had a problem with Valentine’s Day, that I can remember. Any holiday that gives me an excuse to celebrate with food and candy can’t be all that bad. Even if you don’t have a significant other at this point in time, surely there’s always some type of love in your life to celebrate even if it’s furry love. And who needs a holiday for an excuse to eat chocolate?

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These Double Dipped Coconut Treasures are a lightly adapted version of Predominantly Paleo’sPaleo Almond Delights’. They are delicious. She’s right, they are better than Almond Joy Bars. I’m willing to bet they’re also better for you because they’re made with real ingredients and no chemicals.

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They’re extremely simple to make with ingredients that most of us have on hand.

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And if you need them quickly for a forgotten gift, a family treat, to say “I Love You”, or just because you’re having a craving, they’re ready to eat in about 30 minutes if you use your freezer to speed things up.

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Had my brain not been so clouded and excited at the prospect of having something resembling a candy bar, I would have done one thing differently.

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I would have wrapped the coconut mixture around the almonds, rather then stacking them when I did the double dipping.

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Either way, it didn’t change the taste, I just think they maybe would have been more aesthetically pleasing and I think I would have liked the almonds dispersed a bit. Maybe even chopped throughout? But that’s really neither here nor there, you can make these a variety of different ways with almost an endless amount of add ins and ingredients. You can also make them any size or shape you like. This will be a great recipe for future experimentation.

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Double Dipped Coconut Treasures

1 Cup of Shredded, Unsulphured Unsweetened Coconut (I used Bob’s Red Mill)

1 Tablespoon of Coconut Flour

3 Tablespoons of Raw Honey

1/4 Cup of Organic Unrefined Coconut Oil

Pinch of Fine Sea Salt

Whole Raw Activated Almonds (About 10)

1 Bag of Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips

1 Tablespoon of Organic Unrefined Coconut Oil

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. Add the Tablespoon of Coconut Oil and the chocolate chips to a glass bowl and place over a small sauce pan filled halfway with water. (Or use a double broiler) Heat the water and melt the oil and chocolate slowly. Don’t over heat.

In a medium bowl combine the shredded coconut, honey, coconut oil, coconut flour and a generous pinch of sea salt. Stir thoroughly until all ingredients are wet.

Using about a Tablespoon or so at a time of the coconut mixture, form miniature candy bars on the baking sheet. Place an almond firmly on the top (or, press in to the middle of the bar and cover). Set sheet in freezer for about 10 minutes to set the filling.

Remove from the freezer and using kitchen tongs, dip the candy bar into the melted chocolate. Wiggle it around to release any excess chocolate, then place back onto the parchment paper. Add another almond to the top if you’d like. Once they’ve all been dipped and extra almonds added, set the baking sheet back in the freezer for another 5-6 minutes or until the chocolate is set. Cut a fresh piece of parchment, set aside.

Remove the candy bars from the freezer. Remove them on the parchment from the baking sheet. Cover the baking sheet with a fresh piece of parchment and dip the chocolates again. Wiggle off excess chocolate before setting on baking sheet. Place back in the freezer for another 5-6 minutes or until chocolate is set.

Hot & Spicy Zucchini “Noodles”

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Just when you think there couldn’t possibly be another kitchen gadget you need, something else funky and fun comes along. This gadget isn’t new to the world of course, just to me. Well, relatively new. It’s been sitting in my pantry for 3 months waiting to be used. I think I felt like it was going to be more complicated and messy than it really is, so I kept putting it off for a day I felt like dealing with complicated and messy…which is never. I’m glad I finally decided to take another look and take it off the shelf over the weekend, because it’s not complicated and messy at all and now I’ve got all kinds of ideas dancing through my head.

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Once I decided to seriously do a grain free trial, I noticed lots and lots of the Paleo bloggers were eating zucchini and other vegetable noodles in place of grain noodles. My thought was….they look good and I like vegetables…but how can these people think that a vegetable “tastes just like the real thing” or they would, “rather have these than pasta any day!”

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That’s just crazy talk, because I’ve been down the spaghetti squash “noodle” road and no one is capable of convincing me that stringy stuff is an acceptable replacement for pasta.

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There are very few food things in this world that I would rather have more than a plate full of pasta siting in front of me. But, because of the grain free trial thing, I have to be flexible if I don’t want to lead a sad, noodle free life.

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So while zucchini noodles are not a plate full of soul soothing pasta, I have to admit, they are pretty darn good. I was impressed. And strangely enough, they do actually make a really decent replacement “noodle”.  They’re also fun to make.

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Last weekend Tony was on his annual guys ski trip in Deer Valley so I had four days to do whatever I felt like and to fiddle fart around the house and kitchen. These noodles, the Ginger Garlic Green Beans with Orange Zest, and the Sweet & Spicy Chicken Legs were what I made for Super Bowl Sunday snacks. I love the combination of sweet and spicy together, and because Tony wasn’t here, I could grate ginger into the food to my heart’s content and use cilantro and sweet chili sauce with reckless abandon, which he doesn’t really like. The “noodles” made it fun and I always think it’s exciting to try something new. Luckily the food was delicious because it ended up being the highlight of a very upsetting football game.

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Here’s a couple of things you need to remember when using zucchini for noodles:

1.  You can purchase a Spiralizer on Amazon. They are inexpensive and don’t take up much room. Easy to use, simple to clean.

2.  Zucchini cooks down. I used two medium/small zucchinis which cooked down to about maybe two medium sized servings. If you have a large family and you’re using it as a main dish, you’re going to need a lot of zucchini.

3.  Do not over cook it. I repeat, DO NOT over cook it. A quick saute (5-6 minutes tops) is all it needs. You want it to be slightly aldente, or you’ll end up with mush.

4.  You can peel or not peel, it’s up to you. Some people say that peeled tastes even more like pasta. If it’s peeled, it will cook faster, so keep an eye on it.

And that’s it! SO EASY. And fun.

Hot & Spicy Zucchini “Noodles”

2 Medium Zucchini

About 1/2 Cup Orange Bell Pepper, diced

3 Cloves of Garlic, peeled and minced

1/2 teaspoon of Crushed Red Pepper

2 Green Onions, sliced

1 1/2 Tablespoon of Cilantro, roughly chopped

About 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil

1/2 teaspoon of Sesame Oil

2 Tablespoons of Coconut Aminos (gluten free soy sauce replacement)

1 Tablespoon of Sweet Chili Sauce

sea salt

Saute the bell pepper with the olive oil, sesame oil, garlic, and crushed red pepper just until the bell pepper is aldente. Add the zucchini “noodles”, coconut aminos, and sweet chili sauce and toss until zucchini has softened. Not too soft! Add the green onion and cilantro, a pinch of sea salt, and toss to combine.

Sweet & Spicy Chicken Legs

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I love sweet and spicy together. This would be fantastic on Asian-ish BBQ’d chicken wings too. Just pop them under the broiler to set the sauce, or use it as a dipping sauce. This sauce and chicken combined with the ginger, garlic, and orange zest on the green beans was an amazing combination of pleasing flavors. 

Sweet & Spicy Chicken Legs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

6 Chicken Legs

1/2 teaspoon of Sesame Oil

1 Tablespoon of Coconut Aminos (gluten free soy sauce alternative)

Sriracha (I used at least a 2 teaspoons, it’s hot, I’ll leave the amount up to you)

About 1/4 Cup of Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey Chipotle BBQ Sauce

About 1/8 Cup of Sweet Chili Sauce

2 Cloves of Garlic, minced

1 Green Onion, thinly sliced

Place the chicken legs in a baking dish and drizzle with the sesame oil. Sprinkle the minced garlic and green onion over the legs. Drizzle the coconut aminos and sriracha over the top. Drizzle the BBQ sauce and sweet chili sauce over the top. With a basting brush make sure legs are evenly coated on tops and sides.

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Bake for 30-35 minutes. Spoon pan juices over the top.

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