Grain Free Cinnamon Date Rolls

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Living a grain free life is not an easy row to hoe. Existing on just meat, fish, vegetables, and fruit is fabulously anti inflammatory and healthy, but every now and then we need a little treat.

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Something that says comfort and makes the house smell amazing. So I’ve made it my mission for the fall and winter to try to come up with more grain free recipes that we can have on Sunday mornings, with company, on holidays, or just when we need a special little something.

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The reason I started this food blog is so that people could see that meals and snacks can still be enjoyable while being allergen free, organic, refined sugar free, whole, and healthy. You can find a large variety of recipes here that are gluten free, dairy free, and grain free. Some call for refined sugar but can easily be replaced with unrefined coconut sugar.

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And while I don’t recommend eating any type of sugar on a regular basis, or even grain or gluten free baked items on a regular basis, it’s nice to have a treat now and then that feels extra special.

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Once you have a handle on what types of foods you’re sensitive to, there really are so many different ways to work around those issues without feeling like you’ve had to give up everything you love. It takes a little research and effort, but that’s what you have me for.

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Enjoy!

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Cinnamon Date Rolls

*8 Large Servings

For the Filling:

1/2 Cup of Dairy Free Soy Free Butter

1/2 Cup of Coconut Sugar

2 teaspoons of Cinnamon

Pinch of Sea Salt

For The Crumble Topping:

1/2 Cup of Coconut Flour

4 Tablespoons of Sweet Potato Flour

2 Tablespoons of Arrowroot

1/2 Cup of Coconut Sugar

2 teaspoons of Cinnamon

3/4 Cup of Dairy Free Soy Free Butter

1/2 Cup of Pecans, chopped

For the Rolls:

12 Medjool Dates, seeded and chopped

2/3 Cup of Arrowroot

1 1/2 Cups of Sweet Potato Flour

1 Cup of Coconut Flour

4 teaspoons of Xanthan Gum

4 teaspoons of Double Acting Baking Powder

1 teaspoon of Sea Salt

3 teaspoons of Cinnamon

2/3 Cup of Dairy Free Soy Free Butter

3 Tablespoons of Yeast

2 1/2 Tablespoons of Coconut Sugar

1/2 Cup of Warm Water

6 Eggs, separated

3 Tablespoons of Apple Cinder Vinegar

3 Tablespoons of Grass Fed Gelatin

1/2 Cup of Cool Water

Extra arrowroot for hands

*Turn the oven to 375 degrees.

For the filling: Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until smooth and fully incorporated with the butter. Set aside.

For the topping: Whisk all the dry ingredients and chopped nuts together. Cut in the butter. Set aside.

For the rolls:

Spray an 8 1/2 x 11 pan and line bottom with parchment. Set aside.

Measure the arrowroot, sweet potato flour, coconut flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon into a medium bowl. Whisk to combine and cut in butter. Set aside.

In measuring cup, combine the warm water, yeast, and coconut sugar, whisk and set aside.

In a stand mixer, whisk the egg whites to soft peak. Add the egg yolks and quickly whisk to combine. Turn off mixer and add yeast mixture.

In a microwavable measuring cup, add the 1/2 cup water and gelatin and whisk. Heat for 20 seconds and remove. With the mixer on low, slowly drizzle the gelatin mixture into the egg mixture. Add the apple cider vinegar and mix to combine.

Switch out the whisk for a paddle piece. Add the flour and butter mixture in three parts, mixing on medium. Add the dates.

The dough will be wet. Scoop dough out onto a piece of parchment floured with arrowroot. Flour your hands. Do NOT knead the dough. Separate the dough into 8 similar sized portions.

Taking one portion at a time, pat out into an oblong shape. Don’t overwork it or try to make it smooth. Take a small spoonful of the filling and spread along the length. Pinch both long sides together so that it looks like a fat, short, snake. Take both ends and bring them together forming a circle and pinch together. Place in the pan and repeat until finished. If you have leftover filling, place a dollop on the top of each roll.

Sprinkle the crumble topping over the rolls, cover lightly with sprayed plastic wrap and a light kitchen towel. Set on top of the stove (while the oven is heating) and let rise for 35 minutes.

Remove the towel and plastic and bake for about 30-35 minutes. I use convection which cooks faster. If you’re using conventional, start checking the rolls at 30 minutes and go from there. You want then “just done”, if they are over baked they will be dry.

They can be served room temperature or warm with a dollop of dairy free butter on top.

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Reaching Out, Authenticity, and Some Pretty Amazing Chocolate Crepes

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I’m thinking I need to have chocolate crepes for breakfast more often. When is chocolate not a good idea? Uhhhh..never.

I woke up  feeling like I can only guess what a curmudgeonly 90 year old feels like. Stiff and tired and brain foggy and grumpy. When I have those days, it helps foster more compassion for the angry old people I see in the grocery store. If only I could serve them all chocolate crepes and give them a hug and tell them, “I understand!”.

I contemplated staying in bed with a book  or a Netflix binge. But, if I’m not feeling absolutely terrible, I force myself to get out of bed and get moving. My friend Tamela and I talked about the levels of sickness when you have a chronic illness the other day.  Guess what, she’s not chronically ill, and she understood what I was talking about. I love that about her. Those “sick” levels either allow you to do things with your day or don’t, and it can be different every day. Some days, the hardest battle you’ll fight, is with yourself. But we’ll talk about that another time.

 I dragged myself out of bed and saw my husband off to work. He had to come back twice for things he’d forgotten. Seems we were both feeling a bit foggy. I logged into a group I belong to where I watched two videos by friends I admire very much. It’s an out of the box kind of support group, and the people in it, have been instrumental in my life in so many ways that I cannot even begin to list them. Let’s just say, they helped save me from myself.

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One video was recorded from London and one was live from L.A. The first video was about the importance of having a friend you can trust to unload all the things that are weighing on you. Someone who will just listen with love and understanding and no judgement. What you tell them doesn’t need to make sense to them or even to you, and you don’t need them to solve it, you just need to get it out there. Sometimes, we don’t really know why we’re in a funk and we just need to list all the things that are heavy. Your feelings may change a day from then or even an hour from that point, but right then and there, it’s important to have someone in your life who will be that listener.

The second live discussion was about the stress of feeling overwhelmed. How we often jump in with both feet a little too fast and a little too hard and end up frozen or not being able to move forward because the enormity of how we’ve chosen to tackle it, is just too much. Its OK to admit that you know. It was about stepping back and finding new ways to manage all the things on our plate. By looking at each task on its own and breaking it down into small steps and increments, we are able to alleviate that overwhelming tendency to have that “all or nothing” attitude. We all know when we are overwhelmed. We feel anxious, exhausted, grumpy, and want to run in the other direction and things rarely get accomplished like we’d hoped. We’re mean to ourselves about it. We feel guilty. You know the drill.

The reason I love my “support” group is because they’re real. Not one person is fake. We are all there for the same reasons. We are raw and honest and completely transparent and everyone respects it. We are all there to grow, to learn, to give support and get support, to become our best selves and we do that by learning from each other and by being honest. By being a  friend. By giving hope to those who have wandered off their path and feel lost. The focus is about peeling off the layers of “pretend” that this world insists we carry. With layers and layers  of pretend, you can’t get to know yourself or anyone else in a truly authentic way. You can’t reach out for support or give proper support. You can’t heal anything or be genuinely, deeply, happy when you are protecting yourself with layers of pretend.

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The coolest part about those videos this morning? They were personal stories from the people who were doing them. It wasn’t a tutorial on how they have the perfect life and have it all together and how, “you can too!”. They are both successful life coaches, successful, human beings. And guess what? They struggle too and they’re not afraid to show it. They aren’t afraid to reach out when they need it. That’s what makes them successful. And I don’t mean monetarily. I mean success at a healthy, happy, life.

My morning improved dramatically when I reached out. When I allowed people to hear how I felt. When I allow people to see the real me, the struggling me, me in all my forms, happy, sad, together, not together, it opens amazing doors into deep connection with others and true friendships. It leaves room for people to be authentic. To say, “Hey…ME TOO!!” And when people can say, “Hey me too!” there is less judgement, more room for sharing and support, and room for what I believe relationships are really supposed to look like. Authentic. Not always easy or comfortable, but always worth it.

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Authentic is my mantra. Even when I wake up and feel like a crippled curmudgeon and want to hide from the world. I don’t like people to see me sick or struggling, or even unhappy. But, that is life. There is no reason to hide it or pretend that it is anything different. I reached out this morning, I sought support and a kind word from true friends. It felt so good, I gave support too! Sometimes when you feel like you have so little to give, all it takes is a couple friends to remind you that it doesn’t take much to fill up the tank, even to spilling over.

Love is a healer. Kindness is a healer. Being your authentic you and setting aside the fear of what other’s will think, say, or do, is a healer. Guess what? I was able to peel off that 90 year old layer. I’m not as stiff, I’m not as brain foggy, I’m not grumpy at all anymore.

Reach out. Love you. xo

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Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Crepes with Peach Compote & Chocolate Coconut Whipped Cream

*Makes about 8 crepes. Serves 2 people.

It’s best to make the peaches first so they have time to cool. You can eat them warm too, but the whipped cream you’ll want to put on top of them will melt.

Peach Compote

About 1 1/2 Cups of Frozen or Fresh Peaches

1/2 teaspoon of Pumpkin Spice

1 Tablespoon of Coconut Sugar

Bring ingredients to a simmer in a medium saute pan. Turn the burner to barely just a simmer and allow the juices to mingle and thicken. About 10-15 minutes. Remove from burner and cool.

Chocolate Crepes

1/2 Cup of Sweet Potato Flour

1 Tablespoon of Coconut Flour

2 Tablespoons of Cacao Powder

2 teaspoons of Coconut Sugar

Dash of Sea Salt

1 1/2 teaspoons of Pumpkin Spice

1 Cup of 100% Full Fat Coconut Milk

2 Tablespoons of Water

1 1/2 teaspoons of Pure Vanilla Extract

3 Eggs

Whisk all ingredients together in a deep bowl until completely incorporated (makes it easier for scooping) and set aside. Heat a crepe pan or non stick small frying pan on medium. Oil with a little dairy free butter. You won’t need to oil for every crepe.

Using a 1/4 cup dry measuring cup, scoop out crepe mix and pour it into the pan swirling gently to fill the bottom of the pan. When you are able to pick the pan up and loosen the crepe, it’s ready to be flipped (it’s a fast process, don’t overcook them!). Flip with a large spatula so it doesn’t tear and cook on the other side for just a few seconds. I slide mine out onto a plate covered with parchment. They won’t stick to each other. Repeat.

Chocolate Whipped Cream

1 Cup of 100% Full Fat Coconut Milk

2 Tablespoons of Cacao Powder

2-3 Tablespoons of Powdered Sugar (or whatever sweetener you like to use)

2 teaspoons of Pure Vanilla Extract

In a stand mixer, whisk the coconut milk (I have to cover mine with a towel) until thickened. Turn off the mixer and add the cacao powder and the powdered sugar. Cover again, and whisk until incorporated, scraping down the sides once or twice. Add the vanilla and whisk until thickened. This can be made ahead of time too and lasts quite nicely in the fridge for 24 hours. The coconut water will separate a bit, but all you have to do is pour it off. Don’t stir the whipped cream!

Grain Free Pumpkin Pecan Coffee Cake

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I know, I know. It’s a little early for all things pumpkin. For most people it’s like cilantro, they either hate all the Fall flavored stuff or love it. I’m obviously in the last category. Even though our days are still in the 80’s and 90’s, our mornings are much cooler now and typically in the low 50’s. Perfect for coffee cake and a nice cup of tea or coffee. I’m so tired…of eggs, or smoothies, or dinner leftovers for breakfast. In fact, a few times over the last couple weeks I’ve settled with just a miserable little apple until lunch because I was feeling so uninspired about my breakfast plan. I’ve changed my mind set though, and now I’m focusing on switching it up a bit and adding a little more excitement.

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I’m taking the coolest three week class called, “Love Your Body” through a therapist I know. She’s a Body Image Recovery Coach, and the Founder of MindSexBody Decide To Be Healthy. She studied Executive And Professional Coaching at the University of Texas at Dallas, and is currently studying Human Sexuality at Widener University…and she is full of all kinds of information pertaining to the history of body shape, objectification, and the space where fact and fiction collide where society has completely lost their minds about what healthy looks like. I have learned so much!

One of the tools we’re working with this week is intuitive eating and exercise. Intuitive eating is truly thinking about what your body needs for energy, nutrients, and satisfaction, rather than suffering through meals that are not fulfilling your personal needs. When we’re just going through the motions (or emotions) with our meals, we end up eating fast, bored to death, not being mindful, and end up unsatisfied. That leads to unhealthy food choices and over stuffing because we keep looking for that “something” we’re craving but we aren’t truly paying proper attention to it. It’s healthier to stop and really think about what your body needs at that time. Does it need healthy fats, crunchy, sweet, savory, protein, fruit, vegetables, carbohydrates?  When choosing to be more mindful about what we really need and what we’re eating to fulfill those needs, we naturally transform to the size and shape our body is comfortable and happy with. The same goes for intuitive exercise.

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Examining what type of exercise is the best fit for you personally that is fun, rewarding, and makes you look forward to doing it, makes all the difference. Life is too short to be doing squats if you hate them with a passion. Look for exercises that fit where you are in life. Can you slip in a few walks here and there? Maybe a hike once a week? Or maybe you’re a runner, or a CrossFit enthusiast or a swimmer. For me at this stage in my life and with my individual health concerns, I have found that Pilates and an old Jane Fonda Fat Burners workout works well for me a couple times a week. I also do some serious stretching every morning, sometimes yoga, and we also get some exercise by walking with the dogs. When Fall hits and the weather cools down, I’ll begin hiking again as well. Not because I feel like I HAVE to but because I love it and my body and mind feel better with it, than without.  Whatever it is, find what you love, and you’ll be much more apt to look forward to adding healthy, stress reducing, exercise into your weekly routine.

So maybe for the rest of this week you’d like to join me in focusing on intuitive eating and exercise? If you do, shoot me a note and let me know your thoughts. Lets start focusing on simply being the healthiest body (individually!!) we can be, rather than what the media and the rest of society has deemed to be the standard. Each of us has our own unique genetic make up that makes us who we are. We can treat it properly by focusing on making it the healthiest possible body, by ignoring outside negative voices (and our own negative commentary about ourselves) and by being more mindful of the package we’ve been given to take care of.

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Pumpkin Pecan Coffee Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 12 Servings.

1/4 Cup of Arrowroot

1/2 Cup of Sweet Potato Flour

3/4 Cup of Coconut Flour, sifted

2 teaspoons of Double Acting Baking Powder

1 teaspoon of Baking Soda

1/4 teaspoon of Sea Salt

1 teaspoon of Pumpkin Pie Spice

3 Tablespoons of Dairy Free Butter, cold

3 Eggs

1 Cup of Canned Pumpkin

1 teaspoon of Pure Vanilla Extract

1/4 Cup of Pure Maple Syrup

For the Crumb Topping:

1/4 Cup of Coconut Flour, unsifted

2 Tablespoons of Sweet Potato Flour

1 Tablespoon of Arrowroot

4 Tablespoons of Coconut Sugar

1 teaspoon of Ground Cinnamon

6 Tablespoons of Dairy Free Butter, cold

1/4 Cup of Chopped Pecans

Measure the 3/4 cup coconut flour, 1/2 cup sweet potato flour, 1/4 cup arrowroot, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, and pumpkin pie spice into a large bowl. Cut in the 3 Tablespoons of cold butter. Add the pumpkin, vanilla, and maple syrup and whisk to combine.

Spray an 9×9 inch baking dish with non stick spray and spread the batter. Set aside.

For the crumb topping: Measure the 1/4 Cup coconut flour, 2 Tablespoons of sweet potato flour, 1 Tablespoon of arowroot, coconut sugar, cinnamon, sea salt, and pecans into a medium bowl. Cut in the 6 Tablespoons of cold butter and sprinkle over the top of the batter.

Bake for 27 minutes. Serve warm or room temperature. I like mine warm with a little pat of dairy free butter!

 

Cinnamon Spice Crepes with Coconut Sugared Peaches

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About 10 years ago I figured out I could no longer tolerate cow’s milk dairy. I was feeling so awful. My stomach felt like someone was holding it in their hand, I was getting migraines all the time, my sinuses were constantly stuffy…I just didn’t feel right.

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Once I stopped the dairy I had major improvement. Then over a few month’s time, I could tell that gluten was also an issue. It caused what I call “cement neck”, joint issues, and often after I ate it, I was so tired and lethargic, I felt like I’d been drugged. I started to have hormonal issues and adrenal issues. I tested positive for Candida overgrowth in my gut. I kept a food diary for a year and a half, and sure enough, every single time I had gluten foods, they made me sick.

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I began to strictly change my diet, focus on my gut and my adrenals, address the hormone issues, and wouldn’t you know it…when you begin to help all of your body’s major “parts” to work together, your health improves.

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A few years later when I got very ill while we were living in New Hampshire, I tested positive and was diagnosed with Chronic Lyme Disease. I’d been having Lyme flares off and on for at least 7 years but didn’t know what they were and neither did anyone else at the time. I’m a research warrior when something is going on with my body or in my life. I like to educate myself on the why’s and how’s and how other people are dealing with things. So, I researched for months and months about Lyme, food sensitivities, gut issues, systemic inflammation, auto immune disease, and every combination of symptom and chronic illness you could think of. I joined private groups so I could also learn more from other people with similar issues.

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One of the many helpful things I learned was that there are other grains that have similar DNA to wheat, so your body treats them as wheat, even though they are technically “gluten free”. Lyme Disease causes a lot of inflammation and joint issues, so the pain and other symptoms I was having made a lot of sense…but still, I just felt that there was more I could be doing to help my body deal with it naturally. I did not want a future full of pharmaceuticals.

I learned a lot about inflammatory foods and how systemic inflammation is linked to the foods we eat, the health of our gut, life stress, and stress on the body from illness. I learned about how food allergies and sensitivities, along with gut issues, lower your immune system. When you are consistently putting things into your body that tax your immune system, every part of your body suffers inside and out. Add a bacterial infection like Lyme Disease or any chronic illness or auto immune disease to a gut and body damaged by food sensitivities and stress, and it makes for a perfect storm of horrible illness.

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I pretty strictly eliminated all grains from my diet for about a year, along with many inflammatory foods like potatoes and legumes. I’ve had major improvement in all of the Lyme symptoms. Fatigue, pain, joint swelling, flu symptoms, sleep issues, vertigo, ringing in my ears, hormonal issues, nervous system complications like anxiety, numbness and tingling in my extremities and face, and shingles outbreaks. Diet has been paramount in allowing me to live an active life while battling a chronic illness. In fact, I have shared with people many times that I feel that without the changes in my diet and the battle against inflammation, I would surely be bed bound, if not dead.

Now I am able to eat rice, quinoa, and buckwheat on occasion, but I try not to push it. I can also eat potatoes and legumes now and then. However, if I get into a mode where I am indulging often and ignoring what my body is telling me, problems arise and it can take weeks to remedy. About a year ago I also added high quality curcumin supplement to my diet along with my other supplements. Absolute miracle worker, I would highly recommend curcumin supplements for everyone, but that’s a post for another time.

Long story short, in order to keep on top of your health, you must pay attention to your diet and gut health. Your gut is the epicenter of your immune system and the immune system and nervous system absolutely cannot work the way it was created to work, if you’re losing a battle with systemic inflammation.

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I have made it my mission to help people to understand that they are their best health advocates. I love to help you and show you that living with food allergies, sensitivities, and even chronic illness, doesn’t have to be the worst thing that’s ever happened to you. You can embrace all the good parts, and if you’re conscious about how you treat yourself, there are many good parts to be embraced.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to educate yourself. Being knowledgeable and being in tune with your own body and how it works and what it doesn’t like, will give you great freedom and improve your health dramatically. Educating yourself provides you with tools to take care of your body without sacrificing many of the things you love to eat and do.

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Now, go make yourself some crepes and seize the day!

Cinnamon Spice Crepes with Coconut Sugared Peaches

The recipe below looks wordy and complicated, but this is not a complicated recipe I promise, it is absolutely simple! I make them often with all kinds of different toppings and they come together very quickly. They’re also an easy, but impressive, breakfast or even dessert for when you have guests.

*Makes about 7 crepes and serves two people. Can easily be doubled.

For the peaches:

1 1/2 Cups of Frozen or Fresh Peeled Peaches

1 Tablespoon of Coconut Sugar (Maybe more if your peaches aren’t sweet enough)

About 1 Tablespoon of Water and 1 teaspoon of Arrowroot

Place the peaches in a small saucepan and if they are frozen, heat them on medium low until thawed and juicy. Add the coconut sugar and heat on medium until the sugar is completely melted and incorporated with the peach juice. Add a 1/2 teaspoon of the arrowroot mixture at a time, waiting a minute or so in between to get to the desired sauce thickness.You will need very little, don’t allow it to get too thick! Remove from heat, transfer to a small bowl and chill in the fridge or quickly in the freezer. (Your whipped cream will melt on top if the fruit isn’t chilled or at least cool.)

For the crepes:

1/2 Cup of Sweet Potato Flour

1 Tablespoon of Coconut Flour

Dash of Sea Salt

1 teaspoon of Ground Cinnamon

1 Small Pinch of Nutmeg

1 Small Pinch of Cloves

3 Eggs

1 teaspoon of Pure Vanilla Extract

3/4 Cup of Full Fat 100% Coconut Milk

2 Tablespoons of Water

Dairy Free Butter For Pan

Extra Cinnamon For Sprinkling

Measure all the ingredients into a medium bowl and whisk to thoroughly combine. Heat a small to medium ceramic skillet or non-stick pan to medium. Place 1/2 teaspoon of butter and spread around until melted. (You will only need to do this once.) When the butter starts to bubble, scoop just shy of 1/4 cup of batter into pan, lift the pan and swirl to the edges. Cook for about 1 minute until the crepe moves freely and flip. Cook for 5 seconds longer and transfer to a plate with parchment. I use a paper plate on top to cover them and keep them warm. They won’t stick together.

For the whipped coconut cream:

1 Cup of chilled 100% Fat Coconut Milk (There are two ways you can do this. With canned coconut milk that has been chilled over night, where you just use the solids, which then you would need probably 2 cans. Or, you can use one box of Arroy-D 100% Coconut Milk that has also been chilled over night. I used the Arroy-D this time.)

About 2 Tablespoons of Powdered Sugar or Very Finely Powdered Coconut Sugar

About 1 1/2 teaspoons of Pure Vanilla Extract

Pour the coconut milk into a stand mixer and whisk for a few minutes until milk is thickened. Add the powdered sugar and whisk for another couple of minutes scraping down the sides, then the vanilla extract. Continue whipping for another minute or so until thickened.

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Baked Potato, Spinach, & Egg Scramble

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I am an early riser. Usually around 4:30 but no later than 5:30.

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This morning I wasn’t hungry when it was time for breakfast so instead, I waited until about 10:30 to have breakfast when I would normally be craving a mid morning snack.

So I was starving.

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Something weird is still going on with my stomach. I think I told you about all of the oysters and other seafood I ate while we were in Seattle a few weeks ago. I really miss all the fresh seafood we had living on the east coast. So…while in Seattle, I went a little overboard.

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I came home very sick and it lasted about a week. Now, a few times a day I’m still getting some strange stomach twinges. It’s messing with my love of food. I’ll have to increase the curcumin I’m taking I guess and the kefir to kill off any unwanted creatures hiding out in my gut. My husband is experiencing something similar.

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Needless to say, it hasn’t completely hampered my overall appetite for all foodie lover type things. Like big breakfasts. And this one has potato in it which is a special treat for me. I try not to eat them too often as they are high on the inflammatory scale.

The next time you make baked potatoes, bake a couple extra and put them in the fridge. They keep for several days. I used one in this scramble and it was delicious. I also like to use them for potato pancakes. When I bake my potatoes I lay it on a square of foil and drizzle avocado oil, sprinkle with garlic powder, sea salt, and any other seasonings I like. I do this because I love the skins. Baking them this way makes for a very tasty baked potato with dinner or a very tasty baked potato breakfast!

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Baked Potato, Spinach, & Egg Scramble

*The majority of our diet is organic so while I don’t always list the food in my recipes as organic, it almost always is. It’s a good idea and a healthy way to live to strive to eat organic as much as possible. Potatoes are very high on the pesticide list, and don’t even get em started on the health issues concerning conventional eggs.

*This would probably feed two people a light breakfast.

1 Leftover Seasoned Baked Potato, cubed

About 2 Tablespoons of Diced Red Onion

1 Clove of Garlic, diced

About Two Handfuls of Baby Spinach

2 Eggs

Avocado Oil

Drizzle a little avocado oil in a medium skillet. Saute the potatoes until they begin to brown and add the onion and garlic and continue cooking. Add the spinach and toss until the spinach is wilted. Scoot the potato and spinach mixture to one side of the pan. Drizzle a little more avocado oil and add eggs. Scramble the eggs and toss with the potato and spinach.

Apple & Cinnamon French Toast Casserole

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How was your weekend?

Ours was fabulous! Spring has sprung in the best of ways. Warmer than normal temperatures and lots and lots of sun.

You know I love the sun.

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I’m sitting here in my office in front of a big window as I get this blog post situated. The sun is just coming up. Outside up to the left, there’s a mama Robin building a nest between an eve and the crook of a downspout. It’s amazing how hard and how quickly they work.

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She was here last spring and summer too. Unfortunately, another mama kept destroying her nest. Good mama kept rebuilding it and fighting her off.

Perseverance or instinct?

per·se·ver·anceˌpərsəˈvirəns/ noun
 Steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.

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Mean mama even tossed out all of her eggs. So there were no baby Robins to be heard last year. It tugs on my heart strings.

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This year she’s back with new energy and hopefully a new plan to fend off bad mama.

And believe it or not, I recognize her.

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I choose to believe that she’s back and building another home because of perseverance, not so much the result of instinct.

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She and I have that in common. We like to stay positive and keep trying, despite difficult conditions or “bad mamas” (anything or anyone)  who try to interfere with life. I  love seeing that perseverance in animals and people.

There’s a huge payoff in persevering.

Hopefully for her, the payoff will be peace in her new nest and new babies we can watch grow in a few weeks. Maybe she’ll continue to make our home her home and we’ll be able to keep track of how many babies she’ll have over the years.

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For me, the payoff for striving to stay positive and persevere despite “difficult conditions”, is always that I become stronger. Perseverance also makes us wiser, more joyful, able to count all kinds of blessings regardless of any situation, and then we can share that attitude in the form of positive support and love for others.

Apple & Cinnamon French Toast Casserole
1 Apple (I used Gala), Cubed (1 1/2 Cups)
8 teaspoons of Dairy Free Butter
6 Eggs
2 3/4 Cups of Full Fat Coconut Milk
1/2 Cup of Coconut Sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons of Ground Cinnamon
1 teaspoon of Pure Vanilla Extract
2 teaspoons of Pure Almond Extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray an 8×11 baking dish with coconut oil. Add the bread cubes, apple, and dot with the 8 teaspoons of dairy free butter. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, coconut milk, coconut sugar, sea salt, cinnamon, vanilla, and almond extract.
Pour egg mixture over the bread mixture. Using a wooden spoon, press down lightly on the bread and apples to make sure all of the cubes have been coated. Let sit for 15 minutes, pressing down with the spoon now and then.
Bake for 60 minutes or until the top is browned. It should still have a bit of jiggle but not be runny in the middle. Keep in mind it will also set up a bit more upon standing so don’t overcook!
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Grain Free & Dairy Free Crepes

2 Comments

2016-02-22 15.07.54

I can see these crepes becoming my new favorite thing.

2016-02-22 14.39.41

Crepes are so incredibly easy to make.

2016-02-22 14.41.45

Seriously.

2016-02-22 14.47.07

And versatile. I’m big into versatile foods.

2016-02-22 14.56.27

Crepe batter is made with few and simple ingredients and they are kind to whatever you top them or fill them with.

2016-02-22 14.59.34

Crepes can be dressed up with anything you like.

2016-02-22 15.02.13

Sweet or savory.

2016-02-22 15.02.58

Layered, rolled, flat…topped with mounds of coconut whipped cream, syrup, powdered sugar and lemon, filled with fruit, filled with chocolate, filled with vegetables, filled with meats…you name it, your options are only limited to your imagination.

2016-02-22 15.05.46

Monday, I topped mine with ripe bananas sauteed in dairy free butter and coconut sugar. Amazing.

2016-02-22 15.10.54

Tuesday, I topped them with coconut sugar powdered sugar and a squeeze of lemon. Delicious and refreshing. 

2016-02-22 15.11.41

They keep well in the fridge if you don’t use them all, but I doubt you’ll have a problem with that.

Grain Free & Dairy Free Crepes

*Makes 8 Crepes

1/2 Cup of Sweet Potato Flour

1 Tablespoon of Coconut Flour

3 Eggs

2 teaspoons of Pure Vanilla Extract

Dash of Sea Salt

3/4 Cup of 100% Coconut Milk 

2 Tablespoons of Water

Dairy Free Butter for Frying

Whisk the flours, eggs, vanilla, salt, coconut milk, and water together well. I also whisked it every time I scooped batter to make a crepe.

Heat a non-stick skillet or crepe pan on medium heat. Add about 1/2 teaspoon of dairy free butter to the pan and allow it to melt. With a 1/4 measuring cup, pour crepe batter into the pan and swirl lightly to coat bottom of pan. After a minute or so when you can see tiny bubbles begin to form, flip crepe. They fry very quickly.

For the Banana Topping:

2 Ripe Bananas, sliced

2 Tablespoons of Dairy Free Butter

1/4 Cup of Coconut Sugar

Heat the butter and sugar in a small pan until melted and lightly caramelized. Add the bananas and toss gently.

2016-02-22 15.07.54