Sunday, February 16, 2014

I've moved to WordPress..

Visit me at my NEW blog.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Healthy Homemade Fruit Rolls

I started writing this earlier today, but forgot to hit save. Don't you hate that? You have something really good written the first time around, and then when you go back to rewrite it you don't remember a word of it. (PS- this IS a true story....)

Well anyways I know I was writing about my love for Lucky Charms, Oreo Cookies, and I can't forget Fruit Roll Ups. I really love Fruit Roll Ups. Of course I would happen to love very gonna bad for me. :(

After searching Pinterest I decided to make my own Healthy Fruit Rolls. They were actually really easy to make. I picked raspberries and peaches for mine, but you can make these with almost any fruit. 


Homemade Healthy Fruit Rolls
(I used 2 cups of raspberries and 2 peaches, but you can use whatever you'd like)

1. Preheat oven to 170ยบ
2. Line a cookie sheet that has a lip with plastic wrap (be sure to overlap your sides).
3. Puree your fruit in food processor until smooth consistency.
4. Add sweetener of your choice (I used Truvia) and sweeten to taste.
5. Pour mixture on to prepared cookie sheet and spread with spatula.
6. Bake for about 3-5hours. (Times may vary, most recipes I found said they should take about 6-7 hours, but mine only took 3) Wait until your center is no longer tacky.
7. Lift plastic wrap out of cookie sheet and place on the countertop to cool.
8. Flip over onto parchment paper.
9. Remove plastic wrap.
10.Cut into strips and roll. (You may want to secure them with a tie or tape if they won't stay rolled)


See easy peasy and SO Delicous! Not to mention they are sugar free and good for you. 


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Intense Brownie Cravings and a Yummy Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Swirl Brownie Recipe

I've been searching the internet high and low for a good gluten-free/low sugar brownie recipe. The last recipe I tried was a Paleo one that was way too chocolaty and not sweet at all. In other words it was YUCK! (At least to me... If anyone wants to give them a shot, let me know and I'd be more than happyto share the recipe.) Though they did look delicious.



Today my sister sent me over a link for some more Paleo brownies that seemed promising. I didn't have all the ingredients, plus I wanted to make them a little sweeter this time so I altered the recipe a bit and decided to add a peanut butter swirl to them since I've been dying for a Reese's cup!

Here is my version:















Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

    • 5 ounces Bittersweet or Dark Chocolate Chips
    • 5 tbsp Coconut Oil
    • 1/4 cup honey
    • 3 eggs, beaten
    • 3/4 cup Truvia Baking Blend (add more if after tasing batter you want them sweeter)
    • 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp almond flour
    • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa  powder
    • 1/4 tsp baking soda
    • 1/4 tsp sea salt
    • 1/2 cup peanut butter

    Preheat oven to 325°F and line an 8"x8" or 9x9" baking pan with parchment paper. 
    Place chocolate chips and coconut oil in the top part of a double boiler on stove top. Melt chocolate chips and oil and mix until smooth. Remove from heat and let cool down slightly. 


    Pour chocolate mixture in bowl of stand mixer and add honey, eggs, and Truvia. Mix on low until thoroughly mixed. Add in almond flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and sea salt. Mix on medium speed until well combined. You can taste a tiny bit of batter to see if it is sweet enough. You may add a little more Truvia if you want the brownies to be sweeter. 

    Pour brownie mixture into baking pan. Microwave peanut butter for about 30 seconds. Pour melted peanut butter on top of brownie mixture and swirl with a fork for a marbled effect. 

    Place pan of brownies in the oven for 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 15-20 minutes before removing from pan. 




    Monday, February 10, 2014

    Gluten-Free Almond Flour Crackers

    I've been trying to come up with something witty and cute to say about the recipe that I'm going to share with you today. Nothing came to mind, other than the fact that the crackers themselves were VERY, VERY cute and not to mention tasty. I even made them heart shaped in honor of Valentine's Day.



    Gluten-Free Crackers:
    cup almond flour or almond meal
    1/4 cup warm water
    1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
    1 teaspoon coconut oil
    1/2 teaspoon of honey 
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    Sea salt for the top of crackers

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Add oil, melted butter, honey, and water and mix until the dough comes together into a ball. (Add more water if the dough seems too dry, but just a bit at a time, don’t overdo it. Or if the dough is too watery add a little more almond flour.)
    Pat the dough into a disk. Place the disk between two pieces of parchment and using a rolling pin, roll until very thin, about ⅛ inch.
    Remove the top piece of parchment from dough and cut dough with cookie cutter or you can cut into 1" squares. Lightly brush the dough with water and sprinkle with sea salt or seasoned salt.
    Keep the dough on parchment paper and move onto a cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees until crisp and slightly puffed, about 15-20 minutes. Rotate the cookie sheet after about ten minutes. Keep your eye on the crackers. It could take a little more or less time, it really depends on the gluten free flour blend that you use and how thin you roll the dough.
    Let crackers the cool fully on the cookie sheet.

    Thursday, February 6, 2014

    Just a Little Update

    Since I started my new doctor enforced diet/lifestyle change a few weeks ago I have lost close to 6lbs. already! :) And, while I am not following it as strict as I should be, I am working my way up to it. It has been a process cutting out as much bad stuff as I have, but it keeps getting easier. :) I have been having fun trying out new recipes and foods, not to mention sharing them with you!

    Like I previously mentioned although I have to change my diet, I do not plan on cutting my favorite foods out, I plan on making them healthier and altering them to fit my diet.

    My #1 FAVORITE food on the planet is Chicken Alfredo, which we all know has like a zillion calories. :(
    So I played around and experimented a little and made mine a lot healthier and just as tasty!

     "Skinny" Chicken Alfredo 

    3 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into small pieces
    2 cloves Garlic, minced
    1 tbsp. coconut or olive oil
    1 cup almond milk
    1 cup chicken broth
    3 tbsp. gluten-free all purpose flour
    3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    salt and pepper for seasoning
    1 package whole wheat pasta (gluten-free pasta would be ideal, but I didn't have any on hand)
    Chopped tomatoes for garnish (optional)

    In a large pot cook pasta until al dente. Drain Water and place in large bowl. In large pan sautee garlic using 12 tbsp. oil for 1-2 minutes over medium high heat. Add in chicken and cook thoroughly. In medium pot with remaining 1/2 tbsp. oil brown flour. Add in chicken broth and mix out any lumps of flour. Slowly pour in almond milk and simmer for about 5 minutes or until it starts to thicken. Mix in grated parmesan. Pour sauce over pasta and toss in chicken. Serve and enjoy! :)






    My Sweet Tooth and A Low Sugar Gluten-Free Dark Chocolate Chip CookieRecipe

    So I have a horrible sweet tooth, I always have. I love candy, and cookies, and cupcakes, and brownies, and I could go on forever. If it has sugar, you know I'll love it.

    Eliminating sugar has been one of the hardest things about my diet. I also didn't realize how hard it would be to find a sugar free and gluten free recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies so I kind of made up my own. And guess what, they came out pretty good! :) 

    *They aren't completely sugar free, as they use Truvia Baking Blend, but they are a low sugar option.



    Low Sugar Gluten-Free Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies:

    1/3 cup Coconut Oil 
    1/3 cup Truvia® Baking Blend 
    2/3 cup Dark Chocolate Chips
    1 1/4 cup Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour
    1/2 tsp. Salt
    1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
    1 Egg White
    1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
    1 tbsp. Almond Milk ( You may need another Tbsp. if the dough seems too dry)
    1/3 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
    1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray baking sheet with baking spray.
    2. In a small mixing bowl combine the flour, salt and baking soda.
    3. In a separate medium bowl, combine the coconut oil and Truvia® Baking Blend and beat using an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes until the mixture is slightly light a fluffy. Do not over mix.
    4. Add the egg, milk and vanilla. Continue to mix for 1 minute, or until all the ingredients are blended together.
    5. Mix in the flour, salt and baking soda mixture until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts.
    6. Portion the cookies into 1 tbsp each. Place them several inches apart on the baking sheet. Press the cookies flat using the palm of your hand. They should be ¼” to ½” in thickness.
    7. Bake the cookies on the center rack of the oven for 7-8 minutes, until brown at the edges. Rotate the cookies half way through baking.
    8. Transfer the cookies to the top rack of the oven and bake for 1 addition minute, or until the top of the cookie slightly browned.

    Tuesday, February 4, 2014

    Sugar-Free Berry Compote Recipe

    So, I've already shared my new favorite almond flour waffle recipe with you, so today I am going to share my NEW favorite waffle topping! 

    Mixed Berry Compote:
    (This recipe is enough for 1-2 waffles, but can easily be adjusted)1 cup frozen mixed berries1 1/2 tsp. Truvia Baking Blend

    Place a saucepan over medium heat. Add your berries to the pan and coat evenly with Truvia, bringing them to a boil. Stir until all the Truvia dissolves and bubbles start to appear on the sides of the pan.

    Recipe for Chicken Stir-Fry



    Chicken Stir Fry:
    1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast (Chopped into small strips)
    1 package frozen stir fry vegetables
    3 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
    1 tbsp. corn starch
    salt
    pepper
    coconut or olive oil

    In large skillet heat 1 tbsp. oil on medium-high heat. Throw in chicken and season with salt and pepper. Stir fry. When chicken is thoroughly cooked and slightly browned add in frozen vegetables and lower heat to medium. cook for about 5 minutes. Mix together soy sauce and corn starch. pour over chicken and vegetables and mix. Cook for about 3 more minutes. Serve

    Serve over rice and enjoy! :)

    Recipe for Garlic Parmesan Quinoa



    Garlic Parmesan Quinoa:

    1 tbsp coconut or olive oil
    3-4 cloves garlic, minced
    2 cups chicken broth
    1 cup uncooked quinoa
    1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
    1/4 cup Parmesan cheese


    In a medium sized pan, sautee  garlic in coconut or olive oil over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low.

    Add the chicken broth and quinoa. Cover, and allow to simmer until liquid is mostly absorbed and quinoa is cooked, about fifteen minutes.
    Remove from heat, and gently mix quinoa to distribute any excess moisture. Season with salt to taste, and top with Parmesan cheese.

    Recipe for Carne Asada Tacos



    Carne Asada Tacos:

    For Meat-
    1tbsp. Olive Oil
    1lb. Steak of your choice
    2 limes
    salt
    pepper
    garlic

    For Tortillas- 
    2 cups Corn Flour (Harina de Maiz)
    1 1/3 cups water
    1/4 tsp. salt

    For Guacamole-
    3 Avocados
    1 jalapeno
    1 tomato
    1 lime
    onion (optional)
    garlic salt to season
                                                     
    Sour Cream and Salsa for tacos (optional)

    For tortillas, heat medium pan on medium heat on stove top. In a Medium Size bowl mix together Corn Flour, salt, and water. Mix with hands until masa resembles play-doh. Separate masa into 12 balls. Cover bowl with a damp dish cloth to hold moisture in. Essentially you should use a tortilla press, but I don't have one so this is what I did: Place one ball of masa between 2 pieces of wax paper. Roll out masa, trying to keep it as round as possible. Remove top piece of wax paper, then place back on top, but so it doesn't stick. Flip tortilla over and remove bottom piece of wax paper. Carefully place tortilla on pan and quickly remove wax paper from tortilla. Cook for about 30 seconds then flip tortilla and cook the other side for 30 seconds. Place in tortilla warmer or between a clean dish towel in a ziplock. Repeat with the other 11 balls of masa.

    For Guacamole, you need to cut open the avocados and remove the seed. Remove peeling from avocados and mash them in a small bowl. Chop tomatoes, jalapeno, and onion (optional) into small pieces and mix into avocado. Season with garlic salt. Sprinkle with juice from 1 lime. Place one avocado seed back into bowl to avoid browning.

    For Carne Asada, heat olive oil in large pan on medium to high heat. Place meat in pan and sprinkle with juice of two limes. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic. Cook until meat is cooked thoroughly.

    Assemble Tacos and enjoy! :)

    Recipe for BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches

     BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches:
    (This is an easy Crockpot recipe)

    1 Pork Roast (mine was about 2lbs.)
    Garlic Salt
    Your Favorite BBQ Sauce (about 1/4 cup)
    Cooking Oil
    Buns of your choice (I used whole wheat)

    Lightly Grease bowl of Crockpot with oil.
    Place Roast in crockpot and sprinkle with about 1-2 tbsp. Garlic Salt. Pour about 1/4 cup BBQ sauce over Roast. Cover with lid and cook on low for about 2 1/2 hours or until roast starts to pull apart. Pour remainder of BBQ Sauce on Roast and mix well. You can also season with other seasonings if you'd like. Roast will be done when it completely Pulls apart.

    My Week in Meals


    I have come to the conclusion that healthy eating does NOT have to be boring. I can still eat my favorite foods, just healthier homemade versions of them. :)

    This week I made:






    Monday, February 3, 2014

    Gluten-Free Banana Nut Bread and Baking without Sugar

    This week I've been cooking up a storm! With my new diet I am trying new recipes and trying to keep myself motivated by making food fun. I've been doing great so far and am already down 4.5lbs since I started! I know the diet is more for health reasons rather than losing weight, but it's definitely an added bonus.

    I think the hardest part of my diet change so far has been avoiding sugars, not like processed sugars in candy and soda's but sugars in baking. As a baker I want things to look and taste the same as before, though I know that will not always be the case.

    This week when my hubby and I went grocery shopping we came across Truvia® Baking Blend. While its not sugar free it does reduce the sugar content in recipes significantly and it has 75% less calories than sugar. I decided to give it a try. :)

    The first thing I decided to make with it was Banana Nut Bread which is one of my favorite desserts. Not only is this Banana Nut Bread low in sugar its also gluten-free. 



    Banana Nut Bread:
    (Makes one 8x4 loaf; 12 pieces)

    1 1/4 cups gluten-free all purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    2 eggs 
    1 cup mashed ripe bananas (I used 3 whole bananas)
    1/4 cup Truvia® Baking Blend
    1/4 cup apple sauce
    1/4 cup chopped walnuts





    1. Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and walnuts in a medium bowl. 
    2. Mix together eggs, bananas, apple sauce, and sugar in a separate bowl. 
    3. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
    4. Lightly grease loaf pan with cooking oil and transfer banana mixture to pan. 
    5. Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. 
    6. Cool for about 10 minutes before removing from pan. Set on wire cooling rack to continue cooling.

    *FYI There are about 111 calories per slice according to My Fitness Pal. (That is just an estimate though) 

    This recipe came out so good! My husband didn't even realize it was Gluten Free! :)