Saturday, December 13, 2014

Pina Colada Cookies! GF, V, SCD, Paleo & Raw!


Wait a minute!! Rewind! Hold the phone!!  LESS than 2 weeks?!! Yikes!! Xmas is sneaking up on us, folks!

Aaaanywhoo... one of my favorite things to do during the holidays is to listen to Christmas music. I turn on Pandora and let Bing Crosby and Mariah Carey serenade me as I walk the streets of NYC - or more accurately, dodge shoppers and tourists/brave inclement weather/avoid sludge puddles/attempt not to get frostbite or get trampled by get the picture ;)

Well, I was strolling away today, when one of my favorite --albeit "out there"-- Christmas tunes came on: Mele Kalikimaka! Maybe it was my fascination with Hawaii growing up, or my slight obsession with the Disney movie, Rip Girls, but I have always found that luau-tastic, tropical Christmas tune to be a welcomed delight!

So, with that tune stuck in my head, and envisioning Santa donning a Hawaiian shirt and board shorts, I came up with today's recipe.

You can call it a Hawaiian Christmas Cookie :)

Because you see, once I started to think about Santa on the mind only took me to one place.....................PINA COLADAS!! :D

Introducing, my Pina Colada Cookies!

Raw, Gluten and Grain Free, Vegan, Paleo, and Specific Carb Diet friendly....these babies are, in a word, DELICIOUS!!

Tropical little healthy cookie bites that take your taste buds to Hawaii:)  ((Sorry...I'm a little cheesy today)) lol

Here's what you need! (Makes 10 cookies) -- enough for 3-4 people ;)

5 dates, pitted
4 dried pineapple rings
12 almonds
12 cashews
1/4 cup shredded coconut
2 Tbsp coconut butter (NOT oil)

Optional: melted dark chocolate (not SCD)

Put everything in the food processor and process for about a minute until everything is roughly the same size. (Like the size of peppercorns). Then, roll 1 Tbsp of dough into balls. Chill for at least 20 minutes, and enjoy.

(Tip: the dough may feel a bit wet when you roll it into balls initially, but that's just the heat from the food processor melting the oils in the coconut butter. This will go away and "firm up" after 20 minutes in the fridge.)

Optional: Melt about 1/4 cup dark chocolate in the microwave (do 30 second increments, stirring in between) or double boiler, and dip half of the cookie. (Do this after they've firmed in the refrigerator for 20 minutes).

Mele Kalikimaka is Hawaii's way.....oh sorry guys, you caught me day dreaming about my toes in the sand while chewing on these AMAZING COOKIES!!

They're so tropical -- it's seriously the cookie form of a Pina Colada! You've got the pineapple, you've got the coconut, you've got the sweetness from the all you need is rum!

But seriously, these are delicious. They're sticky and chewy, and the dark chocolate just takes them over the top.

Not to mention they look super elegant and "dressed up!"

I can't wait to share these at the next Christmas party!

And you don't have to tell anyone that they're secretly healthy!! :D

So Cheers to you, Old Saint Nick!

I'll take a Pina Colada over Eggnog any day! ;)

What's your favorite holiday tune?

See you soon!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Curried Sweet Potato & Carrot Latkes! GF & Paleo!

Hey Happy Tummies!

Gosh, thank you all for the outpouring of kind words about my family photos I posted earlier this week. You guys are just the greatest:)

I can't believe that there's less than 3 weeks until Christmas! In fact, I get to see this little munchkin in just two weeks! Weee!!

So for today's recipe, I wanted to share a seasonal favorite with a Happy Tummy twist! As many of you know, Hanukkah begins on the evening of December 16. Potato Latkes are a traditional part of that holiday, but unfortunately aren't gluten free - or paleo for that matter. Soooo I decided to shake things up and give them a makeover - Happy Tummy style!

Introducing Curried Sweet Potato and Carrot Latkes with Avocado Cream Sauce!

And they're Gluten and Dairy Free, Paleo, and have a Vegan option!

Here's what you need: (Serves 2-3)

1 sweet potato, shredded, about 2 cups
1 carrot, shredded, about 1 1/4 cups
2 eggs, beaten (vegan option: 2 flax/chia eggs)
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 tsp curry powder
3 healthy pinches of salt
3 Tbsp - 1/4 cup olive oil, coconut oil, or grape seed oil

1 avocado
squeeze of lime
1 Tbsp cilantro, minced

1 fried egg per person

Grate your carrot and sweet potato on a box grater.

In a medium sized bowl, beat 2 room temperature eggs with a fork with the salt, pepper, and curry powder. Stir in your carrot and sweet potato until evenly coated with the egg. Stir in the almond flour.

In a frying pan or cast iron skillet, pour enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan in a thin layer. Heat the oil for about 2 minutes, over medium-high heat.

Take 1/4 cup of the carrot/potato mixture and form into a patty. Place in the frying pan, and cook for about 2 minutes per side, when the edges begin to turn golden brown, flipping gently with a spatula. Place on a paper towel to absorb any extra oil. Makes 10 latkes.

Meanwhile, mash your avocado with salt, a squeeze of lime, and 1 Tbsp of cilantro.

To serve, top each latke with a dollop of avocado cream, and garnish with minced cilantro.

Another plating option is to top 2 latkes with a fried egg instead-of/in-addition-to the avocado cream sauce!

What a treat was this!! It could be dinner. It could be breakfast. It could be a midnight snack. JUST EAT IT, PEOPLE!! hehe:)

But seriously, WOW. The curry is such an unexpected punch of yummy flavor. It's a bit spicy, which is instantly cooled down by the buttery and rich avocado. And it pairs beautifully with the subtle sweetness from the sweet potatoes and carrots. Finally, the cilantro pops in with this burst of freshness that takes it over the top.

And the textures! The potatoes have become nice and crunchy and chewy. And then there's the cool and creamy avocado to compliment it.

But Happy Tummies...the egg. My, oh my! The rich and gooey yolk ties everything together with this luxurious richness that's perfect for dinner, or a hearty breakfast!

Just do yourself a favor -- make this meal! Whether you call them latkes, potato pancakes, hash browns, skillet potatoes, WHATEVER -- just do it! Your tastebuds will thank you:)

What's your favorite holiday tradition? Mine is putting up the Christmas tree while listening to Kenny G :)

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Pumpkinut Bread Puddin'! GF & DF!

Hey Happy Tummies!!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

I just love when the family is all together:)

So we had a treat this weekend. We had the AMAZING Anna May come to our house and take family photos.

She is seriously the most talented photographer ever.

She's based out of Louisville, but will travel to capture beautiful moments for your family, or engagement or wedding.

So thank you Anna May Photography for such gorgeous photos!

Look at that little goober:)

Light and shadows with yours truly :) onto a show stopping recipe!

I made this for my family for breakfast on Thanksgiving, but it could also be dessert. :)

Here's the secret: it's actually pretty doggone healthy!

It's made with Gluten and Dairy Free ingredients, and can easily be made sugar-free by subbing agave or honey for the sugar in the recipe!

I call it: Pumpkinut Bread Pudding! (get it -- pumpkin and coconut :) )

Here's what you need:

1 loaf (14 slices) of Udi's gluten free bread

3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp salt
1 can of pure pumpkin puree
1 cup coconut milk

coconut milk
sprinkle of cinnamon

Preheat oven to 250. Place your bread slices on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes per side, until the bread is dry and toasty.

Turn up the oven to 350.

In a medium sized bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and spices together. Then, stir in your pumpkin and coconut milk. ((This all can be done the night before, and refrigerated overnight.))

About 2 hours before you plan on eating, assemble and bake your bread pudding.

Thoroughly spray a deep casserole dish with coconut oil spray. Spread a layer of the custard mixture on the bottom of the pan.

Break your toast slices in half, and arrange in a shingle pattern in the casserole dish, like so.

Then, spoon the custard over the toast shingles until everything is thoroughly smothered in the custard.

Let the dish sit for about 10-15 minutes, allowing the bread to absorb the custard. (If you let it absorb and soak overnight, the gluten free bread will become gummy.)

Bake for 1 hour - 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the custard sets. Rotate the pan if any dark spots develop.

Before you serve, mix some coconut milk with a dash of cinnamon. You can also add some honey, stevia or sugar if desired to taste.

Also, chop some pecans or other nut of choice for a garnish.

Serve warm, and liberally drizzle with the coconut milk.

OK, you guys. This was a winner.

To be completely transparent, I could not eat this, because I can't have the ingredients in the gluten free bread, but it gave me so much joy to prepare a dish that my family loved. And boy, did they love it! My entire family (G-Free'ers and gluten-full-er's alike) polished it off!

I can attest to the custard and WOW, the flavor was amazing. Rich and creamy, and perfectly sweet -- not too sweet, but juuust right.

And the texture was great. The bread was wonderfully spongey and light. Gluten Free bread can become notoriously gummy when soaked for casseroles or bread puddings. But the trick is to really dry it out, and then soak it shortly RIGHT BEFORE you cook and eat it.

My sister-in-law said that it tasted so light, yet decadent. "Light, airy, comforting, and warm, with soft palate flavors -- not overwhelming at all. SO GOOD!" -- and this is coming from a woman that's NOT gluten free!!

And my dad (also not gluten free) loved the coconut drizzle. He said it made the dish so luxurious and moist. I think he had three helpings ;)

So there you have it, folks - the proof is in the pudding :) hehe

And one last thing -- look at how sweet my bro and his wife are: They know I don't eat turkey for Thanksgiving, so he made me a veggie turkey!! Isn't that so sweet?! And look closely at the feet -- he even used celery tops for the "toes" haha!! I'm a spoiled baby sister :) hehe

Alright, until next time! :D