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Chocolate Almond and Coconut Bark

8 May

Chocolate Bark!

This is a yummy recipe I’ve adopted from Mark Sisson’s Quick and Easy Meals. I’ve played around with portions and added butter to make this a bit more fudge like in texture. The great thing about this recipe is its flexibility and forgiveness. Feel free to play around with proportions, etc. Maybe even throw in some dehydrated fruit. I think strawberries or blue berries would be awesome!

Ingredients

Recipe (Double batch)

8 oz. Semi-sweet chocolate (I use at least 65%)
1/2 c. Coconut oil
1/2 c. butter (room temperature)
1 c. Sliced almonds
1 c. Coconut flakes
1 tsp. Coarse sea salt

Directions: Using a double boiler is the best way to melt the chocolate, butter and coconut oil, but since I don’t have one, I make due with a small sauce pan on medium to medium-low heat. The trick is to start with the coconut oil, as it melts, add the chocolate. Make sure you stir constantly so the chocolate doesn’t burn. When the chocolate is almost completely melted, add the butter. Again, keep string. Once everything is melted, take the pan off the heat. Stir in the almonds and coconut flakes.

Pour batter into a 13×9 inch baking pan lined with parchment paper. Evenly spread out the batter, sprinkle with coarse sea salt (the salt REALLY makes this dessert! So don’t skip it!)

Put in the freezer for about 15 to 20 minutes until hard. Cut into squares and serve! Makes about 20-25 squares.

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coconut flax basic bread

28 Mar

Eating grain free is hard. Sometimes I just want a warm soft hunk of bread. (I’m drooling just thinking about it…) Well, for all you grain free (gluten intolerant) people out there, this is your bread!

Coconut Flax Bread

This is by far the best grain/gluten free basic bread I’ve ever had. SO yummy, especially smothered in butter. It goes well with pretty much everything, from soup to served as dessert – piled high with berries and homemade whipped cream. On top of its tastiness, the recipe is straight forward and easy. Try it and let me know what you think!

I found this recipe at Joyful Abode, check out her other awesome recipes!

Coconut Flax Basic bread Recipe

  • 1 cup coconut flour, sifted
  • 1 cup flax seeds, ground and sifted (I discarded the hulls that wouldn’t sift through)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 10 eggs (yeah, here’s the high-protein part)
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/3 cup plain full-fat yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mix together flour, flax, salt, and baking soda.

In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, coconut oil, yogurt, and vinegar.

Pour  the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, mixing after each addition (I did about 3-4 “rounds” of adding dry ingredients).

Pour into a greased loaf pan, and bake 50 minutes. (Probably longer if you are using a smaller loaf pan so your bread is “deeper”.)

Cool 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a cutting board. Allow to cool completely before slicing.

 

I made this bread along with stew for dinner tonight. Hit the spot!

a slice of goodness

 

time for dinner!

fried eggplant

25 Mar

gluten free fried eggplant

 

I can’t really take credit for this recipe, I found it here. (Definitely check out their blog, I’ve found some tasty ideas over there!)  This is now one of both Abe and my favorite appetizers. Seeing I don’t eat gluten, or many grains for that matter, it is hard to find good alternatives to deep fried goodness.

Recipe

  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil or lard (I like coconut the best)
  • Salt
  • Paleo Breadcrumbs (see recipe below)

Directions: In a bowl, beat eggs. Slice eggplant 1/8 inch thick. In a skillet (cast-iron if you have one) melt oil over medium high heat. Once oil is hot, dip eggplant pieces in egg, getting them thoroughly coated and then drop them in the breadcrumbs. Make sure they are well dusted. Place breaded eggplant in hot oil. I can usually fit four to five round pieces of eggplant in at a time. Fry on each side until golden brown. Serve with a side of mustard, horseradish and ketchup.

Paleo Breadcrumbs Recipe

  • 1 cup Almond Flour or Coconut flour (I usually use Coconut flour)
  • 1 cup finely grated Pecorino Cheese (Parmesan works great too!)
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2 tablespoons dried Thyme
  • 2 teaspoons dried Oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried Rosemary
  • 3 tablespoons dried Parsley Flakes
  • 1/2 tablespoon Sea Salt

Direction: Mix all ingredients thoroughly in a bowl.

rainy day soup

25 Mar

butternut squash soup

I actually made this yesterday. It seemed appropriate to make warm soup on such a cold rainy day.

Recipe*

1 Medium Butternut Squash
1/4 C Heavy Cream
4-5 TBS Butter
1 C Full-fat Milk
Cinnamon to taste
Touch of Cayenne Pepper, Cumin and Coriander
Salt

Directions: Halve and place squash face down in large baking dish. Cover the bottom of dish with water. Bake at 350 until soft (usually about 35 minutes or so). Let the squash cool a bit and then remove skin. I do this with a peeler, but whatever works for you. Using a wand blender (my fav) or food processor mix squash, butter, cream and milk until there are no lumps. Add extra milk if it seems too thick, we are going for a soup consistency! Once blended, pour contents into a sauce pan, warm over medium low heat. Add spices and salt to taste. Serve with a dash of cinnamon!

*I cook using the eyeball method!

Oh! The eats I’ve had!

13 Jun

Um, can I say BUSY? Yes, busy, that’s been me. The last week was chucked full of grading and writing and grading some more! But luckily, this weekend was low key and I got to do some fun cooking! Here’s what I’ve been eating the last couple of days….

Who could pass up the yummy avocados lately, they are so in season right now! Not me that’s for sure!

Dinner is served!

set the table

One of the best ways to make a meal is to skewer it!

Teriyaki marinade:

1 tbs minced ginger
1 tbs minced garlic
1/2 cup tamari sauce
2 tbs sesame seed oil
2-3 tbs molasses (depending on how sweet you like it)

The burnt looking things in the above picture are sweet potatoes...my hubby put butter on them while they were grilling and they got a little “done” but we just peeled off the black skin and they were yummy and delicious inside!

Today I got adventurous and tried out some meals I’ve never made before….

Stuffed mushrooms with avocado anyone?
prebake

plated mushroom "stuffed" with avocado!


These were SUPER easy to make and look really fancy 😉 Oh and they tasted wonderful as well!

Stuffed Chicken Breast with Prosciutto…..mmmmm.

Tomato Stuffed Chicken Breast with Prosciutto

I learned a new cooking technique today, “pounding chicken“! Wow, I’d never known you could do such a thing! I even got my own trusty meat mallet today just for the job! I’m not going to lie, it felt a little creepy beating the crap out of a chicken breast but hey, maybe this dinner can be my new therapy? When angry make stuffed chicken! Haha! Or not…..

I didn’t really have a recipe for the “stuffing” so I just kinda thought about what I thought would taste good, I decided on chopped fresh basil, mushrooms, minced garlic, salt and pepper, olive oil and mozzarella cheese! I’m pretty sure we have a winner here!

And last but not least…dessert. Can I just say I ❤ berries and home-made whipped cream?

berry crazy

Me in the kitchen…dinner almost done….

cook in the kitchen

Okay, okay, I was trying to give a thumbs up and look excited…pretty much failed at both. Instead I look slightly suspicious…of what? I don’t know….But just imagine the excitement inside and the thumb in the oversized mitt  😉

. . . . .

What is the best meal you’ve eaten this week?

Do you ever use cooking as a therapy session?

going casserole crazy

7 Jun

Eek! Wow, what a busy week! Well, I’ve been doing a lot of paper grading and . . . can you guess what else I’ve been doing from the blog title? That’s right! Casserole making! I don’t know what came over me the last week but I was craving something warm and satisfying, something to really hit the spot. And of course I thought, duh, casserole!

Here are some of the yummy things I’ve been cooking up while I’ve been slaving away grading. I went a little casserole crazy to put it simply.

Breakfast Sausage and Egg casserole! this is by far one of my new all time favorite breakfasts. It’s really simple to make and I like the fact that you can really customize this baby to your own tastes and particularities.

baked

Served with a dollop of greek yogurt…

plated

Recipe:

6 eggs
1/2 lb. ground sausage (browned)
1 cup green beans
1 cup cauliflower
1 cup tomatoes
1 cup cheese
2 tbs blue cheese
salt and pepper
1 tbs fresh thyme
splash of heavy cream

Mix eggs and then stir in all other ingredients in a large bowl. Butter a square casserole dish. Pour contents of bowl into the pan and bake uncovered for about 30 minutes at 375 degrees.  Serve with a dollop of plan greek yogurt or sour cream and a side of salsa. Yum, yum!

For dinner the other day I made this yummy chicken and bean casserole!

chicken and green bean casserole

I  loved this casserole so much I made it twice in one week…..that should tell you something!

I got the recipe here but substituted the canned green beans for fresh and also added in some cauliflower and fresh herbs (thyme especially).

Now I’m off to bed. More fun post coming soon I promise!

When was the last time you made a casserole?
What is your favorite casserole recipe?

Eat grain free? Why would anyone do that!

28 May

Hello! It was a lovely stay at home and get work done kind of day. I started out with a morning four mile run then did some lifting, and followed up with a good stretching session – I’ve been so sore the last couple of days! I felt so good afterwords! Isn’t it amazing how a good workout can change your whole perspective on the day…and life? That’s how my workout was this morning. I’m also happy to report that now at the end of the day I feel very little soreness.

After working around the house and doing a bit of writing I experiment with a new recipe for dinner. I don’t know if you guys have noticed or not but most of the recipes and food stuff I post on this blog are grain free. Why? Am I a grain hater? Heck no! I’m actually the opposite which is why what I’m about to tell you is so sad 😦  (Just an fyi, I’m about to be a bit TMI but what the hey, maybe someone else out there might find this useful.) Anyway, I have been struggling with IBS-C for the last year. It was so bad that I often missed work and couldn’t function like a normal human being. No doctor seemed to have any answers or solutions so, as usual with my health, I started looking for my own solutions. I won’t get into the details but we’ll just say I tried a lot of stuff to no lasting effect….until NOW! Drum roll please!

I decided to go grain free a couple weeks ago after reading a few articles (here’s one) over at Whole Health Source about the effects of gluten on people’s health. Well, knowing that I had a number of digestive problems I decided I’d give the grain free diet a try. Can I say that I’ve had almost a COMPLETE reversal of my symptoms?!?! You heard me right! No more IBS symptoms! If you suffer from IBS you know what I’m talking about and why I’m so happy.  Now that doesn’t mean I’m still not tweaking things here and there, but my life has improved amazingly in the last month since I cut out grains. I will keep you guys informed as I find out what works!

*clears throat*

The point is….heck…here’s what I had for dinner:

Grain-free Chicken Parmesan!
chicken parmesan #1

Looks good, right? Yes…but it needs something…..

chicken parmesan with garnish!

Better! A little green is all it needed!

We had this yummy thing for dinner along with a fresh garden salad. This was one of the easiest meals I’ve made in a while.

Now I’m off to do a bit of reading and then early to bed because I have an eight mile run planned for the morning! Then off to my favorite restaurant for breakfast with the hubby!  😉

What are your plans for this holiday weekend?
Have you made any big changes to your diet or health lately? How is it working out?