Gluten Free High Protein Low Carb Paleo

Florina Pork & Squash

Published by:

steak-zucchini

This is a quick one pan meal that you can serve with a green salad or if feeding friends or family that aren’t eating low carb, Paleo or gluten free you can serve it up with pasta, brown rice, or rolls.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons cooking oil

8 pork cutlets (about 1 ½ pounds)

sea salt and black pepper

2 medium bell peppers, thinly sliced

2 large shallots, thinly sliced

1 large zucchini, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced into ¼ inch thick half moons

½ cup pitted kalamata olives, halved

½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Instructions

Place each cutlet in between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and pound with a mallet or heavy pan until ¼ inch thick.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the pork with ¼ teaspoon each salt and black pepper. Working in 2 batches, cook the pork until browned and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side; transfer to a plate.

While the pork is cooking heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a second large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bell peppers, zucchini, shallots, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just al dente, 5 to 7 minutes.

Add the olives, parsley, and vinegar to the skillet and toss to combine. Serve the pork topped with the vegetable mixture.

Gluten Free Low Calorie Low Carb Vegetarian

The Famous Cauliflower Pizza Crust Everybody Is Talking About

Published by:

cauliflower pizza crust

I can’t claim to have invented this recipe, but I’ve worked out some of the kinks and wanted to make it available to the UnDiet gang.

This recipe works as a pizza crust, bread sticks to dip in marinara sauce, focaccia , bread slices for a sandwich or just to eat as is.

I’m going to give you the biggest tip of all  – USE PARCHMENT PAPER. The first time I made this I thought it would be so cool to use my new cast iron baking sheet and while it delivered a nice crisp exterior on my crust, it was NOT FUN to clean up, and I lost most of the crispy exterior on my crust as it stuck to the pan.

Ingredients

4 cups riced cauliflower, about 1 large head

2 large eggs

2 to 2-1/2 cups shredded Mozzarella or 2 cups Mozzarella and 1/2 cup grated or shredded Parmesan

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, oregeno, basil, or whatever you like (optional)

sea salt

black pepper

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Place the riced cauliflower in a microwave safe bowl, toss with a pinch of salt, and microwave for five to eight minutes, until al dente. Set aside to cool down a bit, or mix in all remaining ingredients except egg to cool it down enough that the egg doesn’t cook when you mix it in at the end.

Line a pizza pan or baking sheet with parchment paper. Dump the cauliflower mixture onto the parchment paper and with your hands pat it out to evenly cover the pan. If you’re making sandwich bread, use two trays so you have a thinner crust. Bake for fifteen to twenty minutes, until the top is lightly browned. Remove from oven and slide the parchment paper with the crust off the baking sheet. Place another piece of parchment paper on the pan. Carefully flip the crust over onto the baking sheet so that the bottom is now on top. Return to oven and bake for another ten to fifteen minutes until the top is lightly browned.

At this point you can start getting creative:

Slice into squares for sandwich bread.

Slice into rectangles for bread sticks.

Top with cheese, sauce and toppings; place back in the oven for about fifteen minutes until the cheese is lightly browned and bubbling.

Before putting in the oven scatter a handful of sliced or minced olives, sun-dried tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, feta cheese, basil shreds, anchovies … whatever your favorite focaccia toppings are.

Tips

I didn’t need to remove the moisture from my cauliflower to get a crispy crust. If yours turns out soggy (which isn’t a complete failure – you can still top it with cheese and toppings and eat it with a fork), then the next time you make it, you can squeeze out the moisture from the cauliflower after cooking it or add 1 tablespoon coconut flour or use the up to 1 cup grated (not shredded) Parmesan in place of 1 cup of Mozzarella.

Gluten Free Kid Friendly Neutral Paleo Recipes Vegan Vegetarian

Pumpkin Spiced Almonds

Published by:

spiced-nuts2It’s a hot day here in Southern California, although that’s probably the equivalent of saying “pizza pie”, isn’t it? Anway, I was itching to get into the kitchen but the heat was zapping my energy so I settled for something quick and easy and for me that means – no measuring. Hopefully you all will be able to appreciate how easy it is to cook to your own taste without measuring exact amounts or ingredients.

I’d roasted a Delicata squash the other night and had saved the seeds. I’d given them a rinse and rubbed them to remove the squash goo, but had put them wet into a little container and refrigerated them. So the first step was to dry toast them.

I placed the seeds in a cast iron pan on the burner and heated it to medium. I stirred them occasionally and when they were no longer wet I added some nuts that I had soaked and dried last week. So in went pecans, almonds, and cashews. I continued toasting everything, stirring occasionally until the Delicata seeds started to pop.

I swirled in a little coconut oil, then stirred in a small handful of pumpkin pie spice, a pinch of sea salt and a couple pinches of monk fruit (sweetener). You could really use any sweetener that you have on hand, stevia, honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, rapadura, sucanat … and continued stirring occasionally for five minutes. I removed a couple of nuts. Let them cool, then tasted them and adjusted the seasoning. When I liked the seasoning I removed the pan from the heat and allowed the nuts to cool before packing them in a glass jar and storing in the fridge.

Then I read that a Penn State study had determined that eating 35 almonds a day resulted in a 1/4 cup loss of fat around the belly. One more reason to enjoy these almonds :)

Gluten Free Living Food Low Calorie Neutral Paleo Recipes Vegan Vegetarian

Bacon Eggplant Jerky – Paleo, Vegan, & Gluten Free

Published by:

eggplant jerky recipe

You can find various recipes for eggplant jerky all over the Internet. I don’t claim to have invented this one, but I do believe that I’ve worked to make it as simple and tasty as possible while giving you easy ways to alter it according to your own diet or taste preferences. There are so many ways you can change up this recipe within a certain framework that will still  end up with the chewiness of jerky and tasting like bacon.

Start with an eggplant that has a smooth and shiny skin. While I don’t like to remove the peel, its so full of nutrition and honestly, its one more step to get to the end result, but I do prefer this without the skin. My compromise is to slice it so that not every piece has skin attached to it. In the end the few pieces which were mostly all skin were the crispiest.

I tried to use a mandoline, as well as a food processor to slice it but that was a complete fail – a combination of the tough skin and the sponginess of the flesh. I tried peeling it and running it across the mandoline but the spongy flesh still fouled up the process, so out came my favorite chef’s knife and my bamboo cutting board and three minutes later I had a pile of bacon shaped pieces of eggplant. Well really you wouldn’t have thought they looked like bacon at this point, but since I knew where I was going with this, it was already starting to look like bacon to me. Do you think that positive thinking helps in the kitchen?  I do. I’ve noticed that when I’m feeling less than confident or unexcited about a new recipe it often turns out badly.

In the interest of making the recipe as simple as possible I used a Tandori spice mixture which has paprika, garlic, and salt. You can use any spice mixture which has a paprika base. I used garlic flavored olive oil, but you can of course use plain olive oil, just be sure it’s extra-virgin. Your taste buds will thank you. And I used balsamic vinegar because I love the rich flavor, but you can use apple cider vinegar if you prefer. I didn’t use black pepper but if you want to add some be sure it’s freshly ground.

I like my version of the marinade because you don’t get a lot of runoff like many of the recipes I found on the Internet. You don’t get oil dripping off into your dehydrator and you don’t have to use towels to sop up the oil after dehydrating them. Still I think my recipe would be better with a little more oil. Flavor-wise, it won’t matter much, but it will help the jerky to be a little less dry.

All of the recipes tell you to mix up the marinade, pour it over the eggplant, and stir to coat. That really doesn’t work very well when you’re working with what is basically a vegetable sponge. The first few slices soak up all the marinade and then you have to press on them to release enough marinade to coat the other slices which still don’t get evenly coated with the marinadde. So I covered the bottom of my bowl with a thin layer of marinade. Placed half the eggplant slices in the bowl, drizzled with half the marinade, added the rest of the eggplant, the rest of the marinade and tossed to coat.

I dehydrated my first batch for 12 hours and while I liked the end result, there were a few pieces which weren’t as dry which I liked even more. So my next batch will go for maybe 8 hours.

Ingredients

2 large eggplant

1/2 cup coconut aminoes, or low sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Tandori or Cajun spice mixture

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1/2 to 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, optional

Instructions

Trim the bottom and top from the eggplant. Discard.

Slice the eggplant into 1/4-inch thick rounds. Stack 4 or 5 rounds and slice into strips.

Place all marinade ingredients in a small jar. Cover and shake well.  Coat the bottom of a large bowl with marinade. Working quickly, place half the eggplant in the bowl, drizzle with half the marinade, the remaining eggplant and then the remaining marinade. Toss to combine. Place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours but you can leave it there all day or overnight.

Place strips on dehydrator trays being careful not to overlap the slices. Depending on your dehydrator you should have 5 to 6 trays. Dehydrate at 115 degrees for 8 to 12 hours. Take a few pieces out after 6 hours. Let them cool down and see if you like the consistency. If you do then stop the process. If you don’t then let them go for another hour or two and check them again.

And there you have it – your basic recipe for eggplant jerky. The next time I make it I’m going to make the following tweaks to see if I get an even better result:

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons coconut aminoes, or low sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Tandori or Cajun spice mixture

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

I’m sort of resisting adding the maple syrup because I don’t like to add sugar when it isn’t really needed, but I want to see what happens to this jerky with the addition of the rich amber flavor. I’m also going to use 1 eggplant and 2 medium zucchini. I don’t see why zucchini wouldn’t work and then the tough skin wouldn’t be an issue and it can be easily sliced on the mandoline.

I’ll update this post after trying out the new version. Happy eating!

Gluten Free High Protein Living Food Low Carb Neutral Paleo Vegan Vegetarian

Paleo Creamy Coconut Lime Salad Dressing

Published by:

coconut-lime-dressingIf you’re doing Paleo or completely off dairy, you may be missing creamy salad dressings. I was experimenting with coconut cream (I bought a TON of it when there was a sale at Whole Foods) and decided to try it in place of buttermilk in a salad dressing – and it worked!

You can substitute toasted sesame seed oil for the olive oil for an Asian flair.

This dressing is good over greens, or roasted vegetables.

Ingredients

1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)

zest from 2 limes

1/4 cup coconut cream (stir the contents of the jar first)

1 tablespoon honey, agave syrup or equivilent Stevia or monkfruit

1 tablespoon hot sauce, or 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions

Place all ingredients except oil in a blender and buzz until smooth. Keeping the motor running slowly pour in the oil until it’s emulsified into the dressing. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

$$$avers Beverages Gluten Free Living Food Paleo Recipes Vegan Vegetarian

I Made Cashew Milk Today!

Published by:

silk-cashew-milkI tried this cashew milk by Silk and loved it. Did you see on the package that it’s only 25 calories per cup! And it tastes way better than skim milk (which has more calories anyway). Only problem – it’s not organic. So I found some organic cashew milk and bought it. Not a sustainable plan though since this cashew milk, while DELICIOUS, cost $9 for a two cup bottle. Waa-waaaa!

Plan B – make my own cashew milk. However raw organic cashews cost $9 per bag, if I’m lucky and find them on sale. So homemade cashew milk was still going to be expensive, or so I thought. Take a look at the cost breakdown at the end of this post. Long story, shortened, I went ahead and made it anyway. The long story was basically me stalking a bag of cashews at Mothers Market until one day it went on sale and I bought it. After the disaster with the rice milk (which tasted like watered down water) I felt like I owed myself an indulgence – in the nondairy milk area of my life.

The whole process was pretty simple. I soaked the cashews in warm filtered water overnight. I didn’t add salt to it which all soaking recipes tell you to do, mostly, well completely, because I didn’t read any directions before soaking them. I just did it and then the next morning Googled “how to soak cashews” so that I would know if I needed to soak them longer. That’s when I saw that I was supposed to have added a tablespoon of sea salt to the soaking water. Oh well. So I drained off the water and rinsed the nuts until the water was clear. Soaking part done.

One of the other things that had put me off from making cashew milk is that I didn’t want to have to deal with the whole straining the ground nuts out of the milk issue. Besides having to buy a nut bag and adding more work to the process, me being me, I would then have to figure out a way to use those soaked, ground nuts in another recipe. Cashew Nut Brownies anyone? I decided that I just wouldn’t strain the nuts out. If you can make cashew butter from cashews then I figured that they would probably just blend into the milk as if I’d stirred cashew butter into water.

So I got out my Oster blender. Love that blender. I dumped 3 cups of cashews and 2 cups filtered water into the blender and buzzed them until the cashews were completely pureed into the water. Then I added  a large pinch of sea salt, 2 tablespoons vanilla extract, 2 packets of Truvia*, and 4 more cups water, buzzing until blended. I poured 2 cups of this very rich cashew milk into a water bottle to use for coffee. I added 2 more cups of water to the blender, buzzing until blended. This produced a more milk-like consistency.

Okay, so the cashew milk was just as delicious as the store-bought versions, but how did it come out expense-wise? The bag of raw organic cashews cost $9 on sale. That bag gave me 2 cups of cream and 9 cups of milk at a cost of .82 per cup. Comparing that to the cost of store-bought soy, almond, rice, or coconut milk at .63 to $1.13 per cup, homemade cashew milk is actually quite affordable. And if I hadn’t poured off the cashew cream then my cost would have gone down to .60 per cup. (12 cups of water to 3 cups of cashews, made in 2 batches.)

* You don’t need to add sweetener, but if you do you can use stevia, maple syrup, honey, Truvia, monk fruit, Splenda, basically any sweetener that isn’t as bad for you as white cane sugar, because what would be the point of making homemade organic cashew milk and then dumping white sugar into it?

Gluten Free High Protein Paleo Recipes Tips

Eat an Avocado to Lose Weight Today!

Published by:

avocadoNutrition Journal published a study showing that people who ate 1/2 an avocado for lunch ate significantly less during the rest of the day. Specifically:

“Researchers found that participants who added half of a fresh avocado to their lunch reported a significantly decreased desire to eat by 40 percent over a three-hour period, and by 28 percent over a five-hour period after the meal, compared to their desire to eat after a standard lunch without avocado. In addition, they reported increased feelings of satisfaction by 26 percent over the three hours following the meal.”

I’d say it’s worth a try to see if it works for you. There’s so many ways to have avocado that you’ll never get tired of this creamy fruit!

Garnish a green salad.

Add to scrambled eggs or an omelet.

Garnish tomato or chicken soup.

Add to quesadillas.

Wrap prosciutto around a wedge of avocado.

Mash with a little lemon or lime juice and use in place of mayo on a sandwich.

Add to your morning smoothie.

Mash and add to chocolate pudding. This will also cut down on your sugar consumption since you don’t really need to add extra sweetener.

Use in place of up to 1/2 the butter in chocolate baked goods.

Top a baked potato with chopped or mashed avocado.

Taco topper.

Add to homemade burrito.

Add to homemade California roll.

Avocado Fries

from my yet to be released 14 Days – Phase 2 – Low Carb Daily Eating Plan.

1 serving = 3.5 net carbs per serving
2 servings = 2 net carbs per serving

Ingredients

½ cup pork rind crumbs
1 teaspoon ground golden flaxseed
½ teaspoon mild chili powder
small pinch cayenne pepper
1 egg white
1 Haas avocado
cooking oil
salt

Instructions

Heat oven to 400°. Lightly oil 2 wire racks. Place on top of baking sheet.
In a bowl, combine pork rind crumbs, flaxseed, chili powder and cayenne pepper. In another bowl whisk egg until frothy. Cut Haas avocado into 8 wedges, dip each wedge in egg, press into crumb mixture and transfer to wire racks. Spray with vegetable oil cooking spray. Bake until crispy, 10 to 12 minutes. Season with salt.

 

Are you sold on adding an avocado to your daily diet? You can get even more avo recipes at Acapulcos Mexican Family Restaurant’s recipe page. Check ’em out, they have some really inventive ways to use avocados. You’d almost think they had an avocado farm with all of the ways they come up with to use an avo.

Gluten Free Kid Friendly Paleo Recipes Starches Vegan Vegetarian

Sweet Potato “Fries”

Published by:

baked sweet potato friesI’ve been posting a lot of recipes lately with quotation marks around them. “Fries”, “rice”, “potato”, “guac”. Oh well, this one is one of my favorites. It’s quite simple and really nothing new but I thought I’d post it anyway as a reminder of how easy it is to eat healthy and enjoy what you’re eating. Why feel deprived while eating to lose weight and get healthy if you don’t have to?

I peeled these potatoes because they were a little old, but I prefer these “fries” with the skin on. Cut sweet potatoes into fry shaped sticks or wedges. You can cut them as thin or as thick as you like, the important thing is to cut them all roughly the same size so they’ll cook evenly.

Place them on a baking sheet. Spray or toss them with your choice of oil, coconut oil or olive oil are my oils of choice with these. Sprinkle with sea salt and arrange so they’re in one layer and not too crowded. Pop them into an oven preheated to 450 degrees. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes depending on how large your slices are. Take out of the oven and flip them after 15 minutes, 10 minutes if your slices are especially thin.

Variations

1 teaspoon (per potato) of a spice or spice combination of your choice:

  • chipotle powder (small pinch)
  • wasabe powder (small pinch)
  • smoked paprika
  • fajita seasoning
  • taco seasoning
  • Chinese five-spice
  • cumin
  • pumpkin pie spice
  • garam masala
  • Cajun seasoning

Eat them as is or serve them up with ketchup, mustard, mayo or as you’ll see in the photo above I served mine with mayo to which I’d added mashed cloves of roasted garlic.

You can thank me later :)

Gluten Free High Protein Low Calorie Low Carb Paleo Recipes Vegetarian

Provincial Cauli”rice”

Published by:

cauliflower riceShredded cauliflower used in place of rice is the new Paleo and Low Carb Hero. I’ve been doing a bit of experimenting to find the easiest and foolproof way to prepare it and have come up with lots of options which I’ll be sharing in upcoming posts. Today I want to share my Provenical Cauli”rice” recipe. Warning: this recipe does not mask the taste of cauliflower. It will taste like a French vegetable dish, not like rice. I’ve found that the cauli”rice” recipes that taste closer to rice are those that are heavily spiced such as curried “rice”, Spanish “rice”, and those with tomato paste.

I’ve been shredding cauliflower for these recipes using my food processor which involves cutting the florets away from the core. Getting out the food processor and fitting it with the shredding disk. Shredding the cauliflower. Cleaning and putting the food processor away. Today I wanted to see if using a box grater would be easier – and it was – significantly easier. I trimmed away the green leaves and that was all the prep needed. I shredded the whole cauliflower with the box grater, stopping when I reached the core. It took less time than it took using the food processor (including the setup and cleanup) and I burned a few calories in the process. So in the future I’ll use the food processor if I already have it out for other projects but otherwise I’ll use a box grater.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon cooking oil

1 head cauliflower

1 teaspoon Herbs de Provence

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

Trim the green leaves from the cauliflower and shred the florets using a box grater or food processor. Discard the stem and core.

Heat oil in large saute pan over medium heat. When oil is hot add the shredded cauliflower and stir to coat with oil. Stir in Herbs de Provence, salt and pepper. Cook until cauliflower is al dente. Remove from heat. Taste and add salt and/or pepper if needed.

Variation

Drizzle the finished dish with extra-virgin olive oil or melted butter. If you’re doing Paelo you’ll want to avoid the butter though.

Use Italian seasoning in place of Herbs de Provence.

Gluten Free Recipes Starches Vegetarian

Brown Rice Milk Semi-fail

Published by:

brown-rice-polentaMy attempt to make brown rice milk by using a blender to buzz cooked brown rice and water was a complete failure. It tasted like dirty water. However I decided to make this into a creative challenge and see if I could make it into something edible.

I poured the water and rice into a pot and started heating it up. After being buzzed in the blender the rice was almost a mash. Once it got hot it very quickly thickened up into what looked like a porridge. I added a vegetable bouillon cube, tasted and was in seventh heaven. What I had was a savory porridge or rice polenta. Since I’d picked up some spinach from the farmers market that morning I decided to add some curry to my rice polenta, spoon it onto a platter, top it with spinach and onions sauteed with some garlic and call it a meal.

While the brown rice milk experiment was a complete fail, I’m excited to try some variations of my rice polenta. Here are some of my ideas:

– Use nondairy milk instead of water, add some raisins or dates, and your sweetener of choice for a delicious rice pudding. Top with diced or pureed berries.

– Use canned roasted tomatoes with their juice in place of the water.

– Top with any of the following:

  • cubes of non-dairy cheese
  • sauteed tofu
  • cubed tempeh
  • soy chorizo, non-dairy cheese, avocado, salsa
  • roasted veggies
  • ratatouille
  • vegetable stew

Please share with us in the comments below if you try this rice polenta with your own spin.