Tag Archives: grain-free

Adopt A Gluten-Free Blogger: Life As A Plate (Rosemary Olive Oil Bread, Crockpot Chili)

grain-free primal bread

Adopt A Gluten-Free Blogger is one of my favorite blog events. I’ve said it time and time again, but I love the opportunity to really get to know another blogger – test their recipes, read a lot of their posts, and the best part – taste their food. This month, Adopt A Gluten-Free Blogger is being hosted by Sea over at Book of Yum. (She’s also the creator of this great event.) I was excited to adopt one of my new favorite bloggers – AndreAnna at Life As A Plate.

AndreAnna is inspirational to me. She struggled with weight issues (her story is here), but finally has found a new life through eating primally (via the Primal Blueprint – check it out over at Mark’s Daily Apple) and through Crossfit. She’s completed a Warrior Dash. Her blogs are definitely entertaining – one minute, you’re laughing at her wit, and the next, she will bring you close to tears as she shares deep, emotional, inspirational streams of thought. She cooks amazing meals that make me drool. In short, she is a badass. (I do believe that’s the first time I’ve ever used that term on this blog, but it’s by far the best descriptor I have for her.)

So what does little Tasty Eats At Home do when adopting AndreAnna? Try to keep up! I love primal/paleo eating. I have dabbled in and out of this for a while, finding that I feel better with fewer grains, fewer starches, and much less sugar (even natural sugars). So I knew her recipes would jive with my body. But what to make? Surprisingly, I made foods that aren’t normally associated with this time of year – rosemary olive oil bread and crockpot chili. Why? Well, the bread was just calling my name – and I had rosemary in the garden – and the crockpot chili didn’t involve any heating of my kitchen at the way-too-hot-to-think hour of 6pm. (I avoided that issue with the bread by baking it early in the day on Saturday.) Both were amazing.

The bread was soft. Pliable. Moist. Brittany enjoyed it at dinner (in fact, she had 4 slices!) with butter. I enjoyed it unadorned, restraining myself from matching Brittany slice-for-slice. I omitted the parmesan cheese, but threw in 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast flakes for a punch of flavor.

The chili was just as satisfying. In spite of the heat, I had a generous bowl (plus a tiny bit of a second helping) for dinner, and then portioned myself out some more for lunch the following day. It was even better the second day, and was a hearty meal I looked forward to eating. I didn’t put the ingredients in the crockpot in stages, as I wasn’t home to do so, but dumping everything in together and leaving it to simmer for hours worked just fine. I enjoyed it with onions and cilantro. Yum.

There are many, many more delicious recipes I could devour from AndreAnna’s blog. Collard greens? Yes, ma’am! And she and I must think alike, because she posted a kohlrabi slaw recipe too (looks SO good). And just in case you think there isn’t room for dessert on a primal diet, AndreAnna has desserts covered too.

After reading her latest post, I am further inspired. AndreAnna has the drive to push herself hard, encourage others to do so, but also has an incredible amount of grace. I think that I’ll also sign up for Warrior Dash next year- even if I finish last, I know I’ll finish. Thanks AndreAnna!

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Filed under Baked goods, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Main Dishes, Quick and Easy, Soups

Guest Post at Daily Bites – Italian-Style Spaghetti Squash

Hallie, the owner of Daily Bites, is currently hosting a series called “Cents” – able and Savory, where she is featuring healthy gluten-free recipes that won’t break the bank. So far, she has shared a recipe for 5-minute BBQ sauce, and twice-baked acorn squash. Hallie posts a lot of healthy recipes featuring whole, natural ingredients – which I love, as this is primarily my style of eating. I discovered Hallie by a guest post she wrote for Simply Sugar and Gluten Free a while back, where she featured these amazing carrot cake bites. (I’ve made them several times – they’re addictive!) Hallie has a wonderful passion for delicious, healthy eating, and I am so excited to get to be a part of it! Head on over to Daily Bites today for my quick-and-easy, budget-friendly recipe for Italian-style spaghetti squash.

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Filed under Budget-Friendly, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Main Dishes, Quick and Easy, Vegetables

Kids in the Kitchen: Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Brittany is my partner in baking. She immediately knew she wanted to bake muffins this weekend. What kind? She wasn’t sure yet. After a bit of discussion, we decided on one of my favorites – banana chocolate chip. However, I wanted to make them healthier and allergy-friendly without sacrificing taste. This took a bit of experimenting.

You see, lately, I’ve been toying around with a more primal way of eating for a variety of reasons. It took me a while to jump on board, but after reading Elana’s blog for a long time, and more recently, Mark’s Daily Apple, I took the plunge.  Right now, I’m in a “let’s see what happens” phase, and I’m not avoiding grains 100% of the time. (I will be partaking when I attend the North Texas Gluten-Free Makeover tomorrow, for instance!) I thought if I could make these muffins grain-free, that would be a step in the right direction for primal/grain-free eating, and I could feed my desire to bake creatively. (I always love a baking challenge!) So I opted for coconut flour, a bit of arrowroot starch, and almond flour in these muffins. But rather than going in blind on my “experimental” muffins and risking a failure on Brittany’s time, I opted to have a trial run a few days ago.

I was glad I did, as my first batch, while tasty, wasn’t perfect. I only used 2 bananas, and I baked at too high of a temperature. The muffins weren’t tender enough, and didn’t have enough “banana” taste. I knew what to do, and made notes to make changes for this morning.

While they’re not entirely refined sugar-free (the dark chocolate chips have some sugar to them), they were certainly much lower in refined sweeteners than normal muffins. They’re also higher in protein and fiber. But how do they taste? Lightly sweet, with a warm, full, banana flavor, and a moist and tender crumb –  Brittany and her friend (who helped us make these muffins this morning) gobbled down three a piece, and Matt even enjoyed one. (He’s not much for muffins.) I imagine they’ll be gone by tomorrow morning. If that’s not a good sign, I don’t know what is!

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

3 mashed bananas

4 beaten eggs

½ c honey

4 T liquefied coconut oil

¼ t almond extract

1 T vanilla extract

¼ c arrowroot starch

½ c coconut flour

¼ c almond meal

1 T flaxseed meal

¾ t baking soda

½ t baking powder

½ t sea salt

1 1/2 t cinnamon

½ c chocolate chips

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with cupcake papers and set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix the wet ingredients (bananas through vanilla extract) together well. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (arrowroot starch through cinnamon) in a separate bowl. Combine the wet and dry ingredients in the large bowl until well-incorporated, and then stir in chocolate chips.

Fill muffin cups 2/3 full and bake 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Allow to cool on a rack for 5 minutes, and then carefully remove from the muffin tin and allow to cool on the rack for 10-15 minutes more.

Makes 1 dozen muffins.

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays and Go Ahead Honey, it’s Gluten Free.

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Filed under Baked goods, breakfast, Budget-Friendly, Dairy-Free, Desserts, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Quick and Easy, Vegetarian

Lamb Moussaka

A month ago, if anyone were to inquire whether I liked moussaka, I likely would have responded with a “Moose-a-what?” Generally, I enjoy learning about various popular dishes from all around the globe, but this dish must have slipped past my radar. So when one of our Thanksgiving dinner guests (who wishes to remain anonymous) mentioned that she was bringing moussaka as her contribution, I immediately “googled” the dish to learn about it.

The exact origin of moussaka is unclear. Some claim it as a Greek dish (it is quite popular in Greek cuisine), but there are variations throughout the Mediterranean, including Turkey and the Balkans. (according to Wikipedia and other sites) Despite the countless variations, most recipes include a handful of principal ingredients: eggplant (aubergine), tomatoes, onions, and a crusty, creamy layer on top, usually comprised of a bechemel sauce.  (Bechemel is a white sauce, usually made of a flour/butter roux and milk or cream.) Unfortunately for me (and a great deal of other celiacs), bechemel sauce is a deal-breaker.

So when the moussaka arrived at Thanksgiving, I grilled (as politely as I could, of course, but a gluten-free girl’s gotta know whether she can dig in!) the “cook” about the ingredients she used. As she rattled off the (rather short) list of ingredients, (eggplant, tomatoes, onion, parsley, lamb, yogurt, egg…) I quickly discovered that I would be able to try this delicious-sounding dish! And delicious it was – bursting with savory and rich flavors. It seemed impossible how tasty it was – the dish was indeed more than the sum of its parts. I immediately cast aside all class and grace – I begged for the recipe.

I brought up the subject more than once during the remainder of the evening. Not that I really needed to – she already agreed to send it to me. In retrospect, I probably annoyed the hell out of her. In any case, she emailed me the recipe, so my shameless begging did the trick. I jotted down the ingredients needed on my grocery list for this week, and in spite of the lengthy time to prepare the dish (it takes a little more than an hour, which is usually more than I’ll tackle on a weeknight), I made plans to make this last night.

Let me tell you, it was so worth the wait! The yogurt-egg-cheese topping was beautifully browned with just a bit of a crunchy edge. The eggplant layers melded flavors with the lamb and tomato mixture to create a savory, luscious, satisfying filling. I couldn’t help myself – I had to have seconds. And some more for lunch the following day. This was one of those times where I wasn’t too sad that my husband isn’t a fan of eggplant or tomatoes – it just meant there was more for me!

This is the perfect dish for company. If you wish, you can prepare it up to 3-4 hours ahead of time, waiting only to bake it when your guests arrive. It will make the house smell heavenly. You can always round out the meal by adding a garden salad or a potato dish, if you choose.

Now, how to break the news to this guest that she will be asked to bring this dish next year…

 

Lamb Moussaka

2 large eggplants, thinly sliced

1-2 T olive oil

1 lb lean ground lamb (can substitute beef, turkey, or pork)

Salt and pepper

1 large or 2 small yellow onions, thinly sliced (should be about 2 cups)

1 t finely chopped garlic

1 14 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained

2-3 T chopped fresh parsley

2 eggs

10 fl oz lowfat plain yogurt, drained (see below for instructions on how to drain yogurt)

1 1/2 c finely grated Parmesan cheese

Lay the eggplant slices in a single layer over paper towels. Lightly salt both sides of eggplant slices and allow to sit for 20-30 minutes. Pat dry. Heat a skillet to medium-high heat. Brush a very thin layer of olive oil on each side of each eggplant slice. Add eggplant slices in a single layer in the skillet and brown on both sides. Set aside. (You will have to do this in batches) Repeat with remaining slices.

Add lamb to skillet and brown for 5 minutes, crumbling with spatula and stirring as needed. Season with salt and pepper. Add the onion slices and garlic and saute for another 7-8 minutes or until onion softens. Add tomatoes and parsley and bring to a boil. Quickly reduce to a simmer and allow to cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until everything is completely tender. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

Arrange half of the eggplant slices in a single laer in an oven-proof 13X9 baking dish. Add the lamb-tomato mixture, and then layer the remaining eggplant slices on top.

Beat the eggs in a bowl until doubled in size and foamy (I used my stand mixer for this). Add yogurt and continue beating until the entire mixture is fluffy. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour egg mixture over the eggplant slices, spreading out in an even layer. Sprinkle Parmesan on top.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown on top. Serves 4.

How to drain yogurt:

Draining yogurt results in a thicker consistency, much like Greek-style yogurt. Line a large bowl with several thicknesses of cheesecloth. Place the yogurt into the cheesecloth, then gather the ends and fasten them tightly with a rubber band. Hang the cheesecloth over the bowl, allowing it to drip the excess water into the bowl. (I suspended mine over the bowl by wrapping the ends of the cheesecloth around a chopstick and placing a binder clip to secure. You can also hang the cheesecloth over a cupboard knob and place the bowl underneath.) Allow to drip for at least 30 minutes, or longer if you want an even thicker yogurt.

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Filed under Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Lamb, Main Dishes