Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Dinner tonight: Baked Salmon with Ginger Bok Choy and Pineapple Almond Quinoa

Once again, throwing dinner together last minute and loving it!  This took about 30 minutes to prep and cook... doesn't look it, does it?  I baked the salmon with a little sea salt and dried thyme leaves with halved cherry tomatoes on top (baked at 350 for 20 min and broil for 3).  

My sides were Pineapple Almond Quinoa and Ginger Bok Choy (made the bok a million times this way- my favorite).  I cooked the quinoa in water, brought it to a boil and reduced it to a simmer for about 8 minutes and then turned the heat off and left the cover on.  In the meantime, I sauteed a diced onion in olive oil and then added the bok choy, sliced.  When the veggies were sauteed and tender, I added freshly grated ginger and sea salt.  Last minute, I FINELY diced a few pieces of pineapple and dry toasted almonds with a dash of ground cloves; I added them both to the cooked quinoa with a tablespoon of pineapple juice.  

Honestly, fridge to table, this took only 30 minutes!  It's all about thinking ahead, start prepping what takes the longest to cook (salmon in this case) and finish what cooks the quickest.  Easy as pie.

Alright, a mess in the sink awaits.  :)

Mango Almond Muffins


I am queen of making something out of nothing.  I really think my best concoctions come when I am forced to use what I have in the house!  I had a mango that looked a little funky and some pineapple that needed to be used today- it had also been about 3 weeks since I made muffins so, ta-da Mango Almond Muffins!!  

I used brown rice and tapioca flours, baking powder, soda, salt, a little ginger and lemon zest, only 3 tbs of ghee, about 1/3 cup of chopped mango and pineapple, 1/2 cup (filling 1/3 each of honey, maple syrup and pineapple juice), 1/2 cup almond flour (make it yourself in the food processor... just don't whir it into almond butter!), Hmmmm what else??  Oh, 3 eggs.  Yup, that was about it.  Baked them for about 15 minutes and they came out amber brown, moist and mouth watering.  Tasted deliciously tropical!  

I will write up the recipe for NourishThis.com and pop it on there later this week. :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Beach Picnic

I used to hate eating on the beach, even as a little kid, all I wanted was water or an ice pop.  There is something about a sandwich and a bikini that just don't match up! ha ha  My brother calls it a "hamburger belly," but no matter what, it's not attractive and in my case just feels too darn heavy.

I was in Malibu last week with one of my best friends.  Her bro lives in Point Dume and he was in NYC for a month so we took over his place for a week and loved every second of it!  It had to be the least expensive vacation of all time- free place to stay and we cooked almost every meal.  My friend Annie (seen above) is also gluten-free, so that made life easier!  We made spinach salads on this day with basically any veggie we had in the fridge so mine consisted of leftover roasted fennel and red onion with fresh tomato, chopped walnuts and a few pieces of sliced turkey.  Dressing was olive oil and lemon, my fav. :)  It was a perfect, and refreshing beach picnic.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Happy Accident Cake

I set out to make gluten-free, dairy-free, raw sugar-free milan cookies.  I wanted them to be crispy on the outside, THIN and deliciously chocolaty on the inside.  I beat the egg whites into stiff peaks and folded them into a batter of brown rice flour, tapioca flour, ghee, honey, maple syrup, lemon zest and about 1/4 of a mashed banana.  I folded in the 5 beaten egg whites and pipped them out onto 3 different baking sheets using 3 methods.  ...only one worked!  The stainless steal baking sheet sprayed with my misto worked the best (seen above) the others got too thick or stuck to the pan.  I still had half the batter left (I know, it went SUCH a long way!), so I poured the rest of the batter into a 8x8 greased glass baking dish.  Baked it in a 350 degree oven for about 18 minutes.  
In the meantime, I melted dark chocolate (70%) over a double boiler and slathered it between the one sheet of cookies that turned out well- SOOOO good!  
After the cake cooled, I turned it out onto a plate and poured melted chocolate on top.  It just seemed like it needed something more... so I scraped up the scraps from the cookies that got stuck to the pan and broke them up into bits.  They went back into the oven at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes to toast and get crispy.  I crumpled them up some more and sprinkled them all over the top of the cake and drizzled that with whatever remaining chocolate I could scrape up from the pan.  Oh my god that cake was heavenly. Seriously, so good.  
I am going to test it one more time before giving you the specific recipe because this really was a happy accident cake and I want to make sure I can get it right a second time!  

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Vegetarian Night

I didn't feel like cooking tonight and I definitely didn't feel like eating meat, don't know why, just didn't.  Anyway, I made quinoa, sauteed some beet greens, onions, spinach and a touch of tomato paste and tossed it all together in about 10 minutes.  It was sooooo satisfying and tasted amazing.  I love when something so simple turns out so good.  Btw- it also happens to be a perfectly balanced meal- quinoa is super high in protein and fiber so that along with green veggies and a touch of olive oil makes it a pretty perfect meal.  The best part was that it was a slightly unseasonably cold and very windy day so this warm, creamy bowl of quinoa and veggies was a true comfort food.
You should seriously give it a try. :)

Creamy Quinoa and Veggies
2/3 cup quinoa
1 1/3 cup water
1 bunch of beet greens, washed and chopped
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
1 large onion, diced
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons organic tomato paste
1/4 cup water
dash of large grain sea salt
2 teaspoons fresh thyme (about 4 large sprigs)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

How to prepare:
Start quinoa according to instructions on package (but it usually takes 10-12 minutes to cook after it comes to a boil).
In a large skillet, saute onions and tomatoes for 4-5 minutes or until they are tender and slightly browned.  Add spinach, beet greens, salt, thyme and oregano and saute until greens have wilted (2-3 minutes).  Add tomato paste and 1/4 cup of water, stir to combine.
Add cooked quinoa to veggies with an extra drizzle of olive oil.
Makes 2 large servings or 4 small sides.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

"Type O" Pumpkin Cookies

I started on Dr. D'Adamo's Eat Right for your Blood Type diet recently.  I went to see him after he basically cured my mom of ulcerative colitis... it was amazing to see how fast her health turned around.  I have insane knee problems and some other minor health issues I wanted to address.  Anyway it has been a month and I am feeling great.  He has foods categorized into "super foods," "neutrals" and "best avoided" today I made these pumpkin cookies and all ingredients were on my super food list!  I was pretty psyched.  Anyway, I'm type O, so if you are too, this might cookie be just as perfect for you!

Pumpkin Cookies
1 1/3 cup organic brown rice flour
1 cup organic tapioca flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder (low sodium, aluminum free)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon (could also use 1/8 tsp. clove and 1/4 tsp. ground ginger for a spicier cookie)
3 tablespoons ghee (if not type o- coconut oil or organic butter)
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 whole egg
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

How to:  
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Whisk dry ingredients together, brown rice flour through cinnamon.  Stir in chocolate chips.
3.  Combine pumpkin puree, egg, molasses and honey.  Pour into dry mixture and stir just until combined.  
4.  Melt ghee (or coconut oil/butter) over LOW heat, let cool then add to your batter until well incorporated.
5.  Spoon batter onto parchment lined baking sheets and bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes.  Yields 24 cookies.
6.  Let cool on a drying wrack and enjoy!  Best served warm, but last 2 days in a sealed container in a cool, dry place or up to a month in the freezer.

They may not be the prettiest cookies in all the land, but they certainly are delicious!  My mom used to make pumpkin cookies for halloween with little M&M smiley faces on them, I LOVED them so much- despite that they resembled... well never mind.  :)  Point is, halloween or middle of spring, these are great cookies any time you make them!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Chocolate Dipped Pecan Bites

I was at my friends wedding this weekend and of course it is a challenge for me to eat at weddings.  People must think I'm anorexic the way I skip entire courses or pick off the few bites I can eat without sauce or whatever else I am most likely allergic to.  Although, one look at me and you will realize I do eat! ha ha

Anyway, my friend who got married is Greek and they served these cookies traditionally eaten at holidays and special occasions called Kourambiedes Cookies.  They are basically little crunchy almond shortbread cookies coated in powdered sugar.  They looked so irresistible and unfortunately I had to resist them so I made my own gluten-free version... with a twist.

These have ground pecans instead of almonds (but you could really use either), and they are dipped in melted dark chocolate after they are cooked.  Of course I used gluten-free flours to make these, replaced butter with coconut oil and sweetened them with molasses and honey.  I love them, they are crunchy and buttery and delicious!!!

Get the recipe on www.nourishthis.com :)