Grain Free Pancakes

IMG_1544Whether you are gluten-free, paleo, or just looking for a healthier alternative to your usual breakfast routine, these grain-free pancakes are a delicious way to start your morning! An added bonus: almond flour is lower in carbohydrates and higher in protein than wheat flour, contains heart healthy fats, and has an amazing buttery taste.

  • 1/2 cup milk (cow, goat, almond, hemp, or coconut)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbs honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 to 3 tsp coconut oil (for cooking)

Mix all ingredients except the oil together in a large bowl. Warm 1 tsp of coconut oil in a large skillet over medium low heat. Pour 1/4 cup of pancake batter into skillet, spreading and shaping with the back of a spoon as needed for uniform thickness. Watch the pancakes carefully as they cook, grain free pancakes tend to cook quicker and burn faster than their wheat counterparts. Flip the cakes after bubbles rise to the surface, about 1 to 2 minutes. Cook on the second side for another 1 to 2 minutes then transfer to a warm (200 degrees Fahrenheit) oven while you cook the remaining batter. Add more oil to the pan as necessary. Serve these pancakes warm with your favorite toppings. I added a drizzle of raw honey, fresh bartlett pears, and roasted hazelnuts to mine.

Walnut Stuffed Figs

These are a beautiful treat for late summer parties.

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Serves 5.

Stuffed Figs

  • 10 fresh ripe Figs (I used Mission variety, but any kind will do)
  • 1/2 cup Walnut halves or pieces
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground Cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground Cloves
  • 1/8 tsp ground Nutmeg

Vanilla Cashew Creme

  • 1 1/2 cups raw Cashews
  • 6 pitted Dates
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp Vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place the dates and the cashews for the vanilla cashew cream in a bowl. Add just enough water to cover the ingredients and let soak for 30 minutes. Slice the figs and arrange in a glass baking dish. Chop walnuts into small pieces and mix with salt and spices in a bowl. Make a depression in the figs with your finger or a spoon and then spoon spiced nut mixture into the fig halves. Bake figs for approximately 20 minutes or until they have slightly softened.

While the figs are baking, remove and strain the cashews and dates, making sure to reserve the soaking water. Place all ingredients for the vanilla cream in the food processor and blend, adding 1 Tbsp of the soaking water at a time until the mixture is the consistency of smooth frosting. Set aside.

Serve the figs warm and drizzled with Vanilla Cashew Cream.

Spiced Date Rolls

These delicious and healthy date rolls are perfect for sharing.

Makes about 1 dozen.

  • 1 cup Dates
  • 1 cup raw Almonds
  • zest of 1 Orange
  • 1/4 cup shredded, unsweetened Coconut
  • 1/2 inch fresh Ginger root, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground Cinnamon
  • 3 Tbs water

Place all ingredients except for water and coconut into a food processor. Blend while adding the water a small amount at a time until ingredients form a smooth paste. Place shredded coconut onto a plate. Scoop out a small amount of date paste and roll in your palm to form a 1 inch ball. Roll the ball in the coconut and set aside. Repeat until all the date paste has been used.IMG_0518

Chicken with Summer Tomatoes, Fennel, and Green Olives

A great way to celebrate summer produce!
Serves 4.
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 fennel bulb, cored and sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 2 Tbs vegetable oil
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup fresh basil, julienned
  • 1/3 cup green olives, pitted and halved
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Heat 1 Tbs oil in a heavy bottom skillet over medium heat. Sear chicken breasts for 5 minutes on each side and set aside. Add 1 Tbs of oil to skillet along with sliced fennel, onions, and salt. Saute for 8 to 10 minutes or until veggies are slightly browned and softened, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes and wine along with partially cooked chicken breasts. Nestle chicken amongst the veggies and cover with a lid. Simmer for 8 to 10 minutes. Add olives and basil and cook for 8 to 10 minutes more or until chicken is cooked to 165 degrees.

Tomato-on-cuttingboard

Turkey Chili

A new take on an old favorite, this recipe gets its delicious, complex flavors from the combination of chili and cocoa powders.  It is full of fiber, lean protein, and veggies, for a great one pot dinner.

Serves 4-6

10 minutes prep time, 40 minutes cooking time

  • 3/4 lb ground Turkey
  • 1 Tbs Coconut Oil
  • One small Garnet Yam
  • Two stalks Celery
  • Two small or one medium Zucchini
  • 1/2 Onion
  • 1 small bunch Kale, cut into small ribbons
  • Six cloves Garlic, minced
  • 4 cups Tomatoes, diced
  • Two 14 oz cans Black Beans
  • 6 oz Tomato Paste
  • 1 cup Broth or Water
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Chili powder
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Cocoa powder

chiliHeat the coconut oil over medium heat in a large stock pot. Chop the onion, celery, zucchini, and yam into 1/2 inch pieces and set aside. Add turkey to pot and cook lightly until browned, about 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste, spices, cocoa powder, water, and salt. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium low. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add the onion, celery, zucchini, and yam, and simmer for 10 minutes more. Then, add the garlic and kale and continue simmering for an additional 10 minutes.

Roasted Cauliflower with Pistachios and Thyme

This recipe is simple and delicious, with a rich nutty flavor. I often serve it in place of rice or couscous when I make a tagine, curry, or stew. Serves 4-6.
  • One headof cauliflower, stemmed and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp melted coconut oil orothervegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup unsalted, shelled pistachios
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried Thyme

Preheat oven to 375 F. Place the chopped cauliflower on a cookie sheet and drizzle with oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the mixture and then spread it out into one even layer. Bake for about 40 minutes total, stirring once at 20 minutes and adding the pistachios and thyme after 35 minutes of cooking. Cauliflower should be tender and lightly browned. Serve warm.

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Winter Squash and White Bean Soup

This is a hearty and healthy soup, perfect for cold winter nights. This recipe takes about 90 minutes to prepare, not including soaking times. The beans may be cooked up to 2 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator.
Serves 6-8.
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ cup dried white/navy beans
  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups kale, chopped fine
  • 5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp thyme
  • 1 Tbsp rubbed sage
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

Soak beans 6-8 hours or overnight in a large bowl with enough water to cover by 3 inches. Drain soaked beans and add to a large pot of water. Boil for 30-40 minutes until beans are tender but not soft. Drain beans. Carefully, slice butternut squash in half lengthwise with a large chef’s knife. Scoop out seeds. Remove the skin with a sharp paring knife or vegetable peeler. Chop the squash into ¾ inch cubes.  Heat oil over medium heat in a large dry stock pot. Add the butternut squash and onion and sautee for about 5 minutes, then add the garlic and cook 2 minutes longer until onion becomes tender and translucent. Add the broth and bay leaves, cover, and bring to a boil. Then lower heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. After this, add the cooked beans. Continue to simmer 10 minutes longer until squash is tender. Add the chopped kale and seasonings and cook 5 minutes more. Serve warm.

Raw Chocolate Tart with Vanilla Creme and Raspberry Coulis

This is a decadent dessert perfect for special occasions. The filling is made with avocados to give it a thick, velvety smooth texture. It has a rich chocolate flavor that goes perfectly with the sweet vanilla creme and slightly tart raspberry coulis. It is also delicious on its own and can be served like chocolate mousse. This recipe is gluten-free, vegan, and made without refined sugar. It takes approximately one-and-a-half to two hours to prepare.

Serves 8-12

Crust

  • 1 cup dried, shredded coconut
  • 1 cup raw macadamia nuts
  • 4 pitted dates
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp coconut oil

Filling

  • 2 avocados
  • 6 dates, soaked for one hour in a little water
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup carob powder*
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

*Carob powder can be found at most health food stores in the baking or bulk sections. It has a sweet flavor somewhat similar to chocolate. It is used in this recipe to enhance the flavor of the cocoa powder, which can sometimes be bitter on its own.

Vanilla Crème

  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked for 30 minutes in a little water
  • 6 pitted dates, soaked for 30 minutes in a little water
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Raspberry Coulis

  • 1 pint raspberries, fresh or frozen
  • 2 Tbsp orange juice
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 2-3 Tbsp honey

Start by soaking the dates for the vanilla crème and filling and the cashews for the vanilla crème in separate bowls. Add just enough water to cover the ingredients. Blend the ingredients for the crust in a food processor until they are smooth and can be pressed together into a dough. Press the mixture into a 9″ x 1.125″ tart pan with a removable bottom; making sure it evenly covers the bottom and all sides of the pan. Set the crust aside in the refrigerator.

Retrieve the dates and cashews for the vanilla crème from the soaking water, making sure to reserve the date soaking water. Place all ingredients for the vanilla crème in the food processor and blend, adding 1 Tbsp of the date soaking water at a time until the mixture is the consistency of smooth frosting. Set aside.

Blend all ingredients for the raspberry coulis in a blender or food processor until smooth and then set aside.

Drain the dates for the filling and add to the food processor with the rest of the ingredients for the filling. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides occasionally to ensure that everything is well mixed. Spoon the filling into the crust. Starting at the center, push it out to the edges with a rubber spatula so that it forms one even layer. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours until it is set (longer is also fine).

Serve the tart chilled, with a dollop of vanilla crème and a drizzle of the raspberry coulis.


Soba Salad with Tahini Dressing

This is a great easy meal to make during the week. Soba noodles are made primarily from buckwheat flour and have a darker color than semolina pasta and a somewhat nutty flavor. You can find them in health food or asian grocery stores and although some soba noodles contain wheat flour you can also find gluten-free alternatives. Feel free to substitute other favorite vegetables you may have on hand for the ones listed here, with equally wonderful results. This recipe takes approximately 30 minutes to prepare.

Serves 4

Soba Salad

  • 2 carrots, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
  • 1 bell pepper, seeded and sliced thinly
  • 1/4 lb shitake mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ medium onion, halved and sliced thinly
  • 1/2 lb  sugar snap peas, tops and strings removed
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 Tbsp sunflower or other vegetable oil
  • 1 box soba noodles
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro for garnish
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted for garnish

Tahini Dressing

  • 1/2 cup Tahini (raw or roasted)
  • 1 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 1 tsp Honey
  • 2 Tbsp Tamari or Soy Sauce
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
  • 1-2 tsp Siracha (or other) hot sauce
  • 3 Tbsp water

Heat oil in heavy skillet over medium heat. Once hot but not smoking, add carrot, bell pepper, and onion and cook for 3 minutes until onion starts to turn translucent. Add mushrooms and cook 5 minutes longer, until all vegetables start to soften. Add snap peas and ginger and cook 3 minutes more, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, boil 3 quarts of water in a medium sized pot. Once boiling, add soba noodles and cook 6-8 minutes or as directed on package. Drain noodles in a colander and run under cold water to stop cooking. Divide noodles evenly into 4 bowls.

Mix ingredients for dressing in a small bowl. Heat a small non-oiled skillet over medium heat. Add sesame seeds and toast for about 2-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until seeds begin to lightly brown. Be careful not to burn as seeds cook very quickly. Remove seeds from hot pan into a small bowl to cool.

Serve the vegetables over the soba noodles. Top with a few spoonfuls of Tahini dressing and garnish with cilantro and sesame seeds.

Summer Roasted Pepper and Tomato Soup with Broiled Asparagus and Farm Eggs

This meal is a wonderful way to celebrate the vibrant colors and flavors of summer. Peppers may be roasted and eggs boiled in advance, up to one day ahead.  This recipe takes approximately one hour to prepare.

Serves 4

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

  • 3 red bell peppers
  • 3 leeks, white and light green portion only
  • 1/2 large shallot
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 15 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried dill, or 1 Tbsp minced fresh dill
  • 2 tsp dried thyme

 Broiled Asparagus with Farm Eggs

  • 1 bunch thin asparagus
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 4 Eggs
  • Optional: fresh grated parmesan

Place bell peppers on a broiler pan and place in the broiler approximately 6 inches below heat source. Cook for about 20 minutes, turning three times, until the outer skin on each side of all peppers is blackened. Set aside to cool, about 5 minutes. You may place them on a plate and cover with plastic wrap to make them easier to peel.

Place eggs in a small pot and cover with water. Bring water to a boil over high heat and then turn heat down just slightly to maintain a gentle boil. Allow to boil for 3 minutes and then turn off heat. Allow eggs to rest in the hot water for 1 minute for soft boiled or 3 minutes for hard boiled. After time is up, spoon eggs out and place immediately and gently into a bowl of ice water. Allow eggs to cool. Shell carefully and then gently slice in half, to maintain integrity of yoke.

Discard darker green top portion of leeks. Slice leeks into 1/4 inch rounds, removing any dirt. Set aside. Peel and dice shallots and set aside.

When peppers are cooled, heat oil in a heavy bottomed stockpot over medium low. Sautée leek and shallot for five minutes, stirring occasionally.  Meanwhile, peel bell peppers, remove the seeds and stems, and roughly chop. When the leeks and shallots begin to become translucent, add the bell peppers, tomatoes, and broth to the pan. Turn heat to medium and allow to soup to simmer for 10 minutes.

To the soup, add the salt, pepper, dill (if using fresh dill, don’t add it until you remove soup from heat), and thyme, then simmer 3 more minutes. Allow to cool slightly, then pour one half at a time into blender or use an immersion blender.  Blend soup until smooth.

Wash and snap off ends of asparagus. In small bowl or shallow dish toss asparagus with oil, salt, pepper, and thyme. Arrange asparagus evenly in one layer on broiler pan and place in broiler about 6 inches below heat source.  Broil 5 minutes, stir, and then broil 2-3 minutes longer until asparagus are tender and lightly browned.

Ladle soup into bowls. Plate asparagus with optional grated Parmesan and two half eggs per serving. Serve warm.