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Paleo Comfort Food: Spaghetti Squash and Spicy Meat Sauce

24 Oct

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The weather is chilly and the season for comfort food is upon us! One of my favorite go to dishes this time of year is spaghetti squash with a meat sauce. This can easily be made with ground turkey, chicken or beef. If you are in a rush to get dinner on the table you can skip a few steps by buying a jar of ready made tomato sauce but it can be tricky finding one that does not have added sugars or other ingredients that are not Paleo friendly. There are a few good pre-made sauces out there, you just need to take extra caution when looking over the ingredient lists.

Spaghetti Squash with Spicy Meat Sauce

  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • salt and pepper
  • dash of garlic salt
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese (This is an optional ingredient depending on whether you eat dairy or not)
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Slice spaghetti squash in half and scrape out the seeds. Brush 1/2 tablespoon olive oil onto the cut side of each squash and season with salt, pepper and garlic salt. Place cut side up on a large, rimmed baking sheet or in a glass dish and cook for 45 to 50 minutes, until the squash insides easily shred with a fork.  Be careful not to overcook as squash can become mushy.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and and cook for 2 minutes. Add turkey and garlic and cook until turkey is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper and add Italian seasoning.
  3. Add tomato paste and crushed tomatoes and stir well to combine everything. Reduce heat and simmer 5-10 minutes. Add red pepper flakes and more salt and pepper if necessary.
  4. Scrape out insides of spaghetti squash with a fork. Serve with meat sauce and enjoy!

Original recipe and photo courtesy of foodgawker.com

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Sweet Potato Pancakes-Grain Free Carbs for Muscle Gains

26 Sep

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I have been struggling to come up with ideas to add variation to my carb options. Being that I have a gluten and most types of grain sensitivity, it makes my choices really limited.  The other day I came across this recipe for sweet potato pancakes. They taste good, are easy to make and they get the job done. Enjoy!

 

Ingredients

  • 1 8 oz. Sweet Potato
  • 2 Medium Eggs
  • 1/2 Large Banana
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • Pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg
  • coconut oil (or other fat) for cooking

Instructions

  1. Wash and pierce sweet potatoes several times with a fork, micro for 5-6 minutes, until soft.
  2. In a  food processor add the scooped out flesh of the sweet potatoes, the two eggs, and half of a banana.
  3. Puree until smooth, and add in baking soda and spices to taste until everything is combined.
  4. Heat a skillet to medium and add coconut oil. Scoop 1/4 cup sized amounts onto the skillet and allow to sit for 2-3 minutes on one side and flip carefully. Cook an additional 1-2 minutes on the opposite side. Continue until all the batter is done.
  5. Makes 7-8 small pancakes.

Paleo Pumpkin Cake bars with Cinnamon Icing

9 Sep

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Pumpkin Cake
1 c pumpkin puree
1 c almond butter
1/2 c pure honey
2 cage free eggs
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1 t vanilla extract
1 t cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg
1/4 t cloves

Cinnamon Icing

1/4 c coconut butter (You can buy this or find a recipe HERE.)
1/4 c pure honey
1 t cinnamon

*NOTE- If you can easily find coconut butter to buy, I would strongly suggest this. I decided to try and make my own and it is just tricky business. I think it is hit or miss and I would rather it be a hit every time and not dirty every dish in the house trying to concoct the stuff, so those are just my two cents… :0

For the Pumpkin Cake

Preheat your oven to 350F.
In a medium sized bowl, combine all the cake ingredients and mix thoroughly to combine. Pour into an 8×8 oven safe baking dish.  Bake until completely cooked through, about 30 minutes.

For the Cinnamon Icing

In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and use either your mixing blade attachment or a whisk to beat the ingredients until well combined. Texture will be like that of a glaze that you can drizzle.

Once the pumpkin cake has cooled, cut it into 9 squares and remove from the pan. Important…if the cake is not completely cool you are not allowed to go on. If your cake isn’t cool, the icing will just slide right off into a pile of goop and all will be lost.

Use a small offset spatula or a spoon and drizzle the frosting over the top.

Store the Pumpkin Cake Bars you haven’t immediately annihilated in the fridge. The icing will harden in the fridge, let it come to room temp if you’d like it soft or micro for a few seconds.

Enjoy!

Original recipe adapted from foodrenegade.

Coconut Flour Pancakes

1 Sep

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I tried this recipe this morning, and while the pancakes were not as “light and amazingly fluffy” as the recipe claimed, they were still pretty good for a Paleo pancake. I topped mine with a little cinnamon and some 100% pure maple syrup.

Ingredients

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

6 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/4 cup butter, melted

1 cup almond milk

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Additional butter or oil for the pan

Instructions

In a large bowl, whisk together coconut flour, baking powder, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, melted butter, almond milk and vanilla extract. Add the egg mixture to the coconut flour mixture and stir well to combine. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and brush with coconut oil or melted butter. Scoop two heaping tablespoons of batter onto skillet and spread into a 3 to 4 inch circle. Cook until bottom is golden and top is set around the edges. Flip carefully and continue to cook until second side is golden brown. 

Top with fruit, nut butters, honey or maple syrup.

Paleo Asian Chicken Salad

1 Sep
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Disclaimer: This is not a traditional creamy mayo-naisey type of chicken salad which is why I refer to the sauce as a dressing not a mayo, because it turned out like a dressing.
Ingredients
For the chicken base
  • 1-1.5 pounds chicken, cooked, cooled and chopped
  • ¼ cup red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup green cabbage, thinly sliced
  • ¼ white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 small carrot, minced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • chopped green onions, to garnish
  • 3-4 tablespoons sliced almonds, to garnish
For the asian dressing
  • ⅔ cup oil. I did 1/3 cup light olive oil and the rest coconut oil.
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey
  • ½ teaspoon gluten free soy sauce
 Instructions
  1. In a blender, add lemon juice, dijon mustard, garlic powder, and a bit of salt and pepper. Blend thoroughly until oil and other ingredients are mixed well.
  2. Place in refrigerator to cool.
  3. While the dressing cools, mix together the chicken, cabbage, onion, carrot, and celery in a large bowl.
  4. Then place sliced almonds in a small skillet over medium heat to toast. The will just need to toast for about 5-7 minutes until slightly browned.
  5. Add all of the dressing to the chicken salad ingredients and mix well, or save half to pour over later, you choose!
  6. Garnish with toasted almonds and green onions. I decided to pour all the dressing in and then dumped a heaping portion of the chicken mix on a bed of spinach and ate it like a salad. I also snuck back into the fridge later and just ate the chicken straight out of the bowl. However you decide to eat it, it is yummy.

Original recipe adapted from paleOMG

Easy Chocolate Chip Cookies-Gluten and Grain Free

31 Aug

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I have been struggling to find a good cookie recipe and I came across this gem the other day. I love these because they are a perfectly soft and gooey cookie. This is a really easy recipe and you will probably have most of the ingredients on hand. This is a gluten, flour and grain free recipe!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw almond butter
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup Enjoy Life chips
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 Degrees F. Line cookie sheet with non-stick foil.
2. In a bowl, thoroughly mix all ingredients (except the chips) together. When combined, gently fold in chips to incorporate.
3. Using a regular spoon, spoon about 2 TBSP worth of batter onto the cookie sheet, about 1.5 inches about. The batter is loose, but it actually doesn’t spread a lot.
4. Bake for 8-10 minutes (until just slightly firm). Remove from oven and let cool for another 10 minutes on the cookie sheet. This is important to make sure they “set up” right.
5. Remove cookies from sheet and allow to finish cooling on a cookie rack. Store in an airtight container.
Delish! Enjoy!
Original recipe adapted from cupcakesOMG

Pumpkin Spice Granola-Grain Free, Gluten Free

31 Aug

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This recipe is so simple and tasty plus it will make your house smell amazing!

Ingredients:
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (100% pumpkin, no sugar added.)
1/3 cup coconut oil, liquefied
1/3 cup 100% pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons cinnamon
1 Tablespoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
8-10 dried dates, pits removed & chopped
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Step 1: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a mixing bowl combine the pumpkin, oil, syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, & ginger. Whisk together until combined fully.

Step 2: Add almonds, pumpkin seeds, pecans, dates, and coconut to the wet mixture and stir until thoroughly combined.

Step 3: On a parchment paper lined baking sheet, spread the granola mixture out in an even layer with a spoon.

Step 4: Bake about 40 to 45 minutes or until the mixture is looking crisp. Make sure to stir at the halfway point so it doesn’t burn! (About 20 minutes in…) Mine took closer to 45 minutes to cook.

Let cool on pan for a few minutes and then put in an airtight container. This recipe is great to eat by itself or with coconut milk poured on top as a cereal. I also threw some on top of my home made coconut ice cream. Yum.

Original recipe adapted from unBearablyGood