Archive for May, 2011
I am still working on the ginormous (Elf, anyone?) container of blackberries I got a Sam’s Club last week. I’ve been eating them plain, adding them to oatmeal or yogurt, or using them in my cheesecake parfaits, but I still have plenty left. I can’t let these ripe, juicy berries go to waste, so I thought I’d whip up a fresh and simple dish that is nutritious enough to even eat for breakfast, if you so dare! After all, you can’t go wrong with berries, nuts and oats!
So go ahead, I give you permission to indulge a little…and feel good about it at the same time!
This dessert would be a perfect ending to a Memorial Day BBQ or get together. Red, blue…and white? Well, sort of! If you topped it off with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, then it would fit the occasion to a T!
This recipe is very flexible, so if you prefer blueberries over black or raspberries instead of strawberries, make the switch!
Easy Blackberry-Strawberry Crisp
3/4 cup pecans, chopped and lightly toasted
1 cup almond flour
3/4 cup GF rolled oats
2 Tbsp coconut flour (or could substitute coconut flakes)
2-4 Tbsp of palm/coconut sugar, depending on taste (or could substitute honey, maple syrup, agave or brown sugar)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup of coconut oil, melted* (could substitute butter, if preferred, but it wouldn’t be considered vegan)
6 cups of berries (I used a mix of blackberries and strawberries)
1/2 tsp chia seeds, optional (I like to add these for extra crunch and Omega-3′s)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp of palm/coconut sugar, optional if you like a sweeter filling (or could substitute honey, maple syrup, agave or brown sugar)
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 8×8 pan.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, add all of the dry ingredients for the topping (pecans through salt) and whisk to combine.** Then add vanilla and coconut oil and mix until crumbly and coarse. Set aside.
3. Add berries, chia seeds, cinnamon and sweetener (if using) in the baking dish and toss to combine. Sprinkle topping over fruit mixture evenly.
4. Bake for 20-25 minutes until fruit bubbles and topping is golden brown. Let cool for 15-30 minutes and serve.
*To melt coconut oil, place a closed container of coconut oil in a bowl of warm water until some melts, and then measure out the coconut oil needed.
**If using a liquid sweetener like honey, maple syrup or agave, wait to add with the wet ingredients.
The weather is warming up and it’s about to be grilling season! With Memorial Day weekend fast approaching, I thought I would share a potato salad recipe with a Southern-ish twist. I’ve adapted the recipe from Gina Neely’s version seen on Down Home with the Neelys on Food Network. Instead of traditional potato salad, try this dish at your next potluck or picnic for a side that pairs nicely with grilled entrees, burgers or sandwiches.
Sweet potatoes are a nutritional powerhouse and are praised as the “most nutritious vegetable“, according to nutritionists at the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). They’re loaded with carotenoids, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber, so you can fill good about eating your taters!
Sweet Potato Salad (adapted from Gina’s Sweet Potato Salad)
2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
1/2 onion, finely chopped (I used red onion)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup Vegenaiase (mayo or LF mayo would work here too)
3-4 Tbsp of plain greek yogurt (or omit for vegan preparation and increase Vegenaise)
1/2 lime, juiced
1 tsp smoked paprika, or to taste (I love the taste of smoked paprika)
1/2 to 1 tsp ground cumin
a dash of cayenne pepper or to taste, optional
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Add the sweet potatoes to a large pot of cold salted water*. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook the potatoes until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and let cool in a colander.
2. Once the potatoes are cool, transfer to a large serving bowl and add the onion, red pepper, and green onions.
3. In a separate bowl, add the Vegenaise, yogurt, lime juice, smoked paprika, cumin, garlic and salt and pepper, to taste. Whisk or stir to combine, pour over the potatoes and veggies and thoroughly mix. Serve immediately or refrigerate for 1 hour for the flavors to meld.
*If you add potatoes to a pot of boiling water, they will cook from the outside in, and you will usually wind up with a potato still raw in the middle.
Recipes Notes: If you prefer a slightly sweeter version, add a 1/2 teaspoon or so of agave, honey or sugar to taste.
I have wonderful memories from my childhood, and food directly relates to many of them. Weekend breakfasts with my parents and brother come to mind in particular. During the week, my mom would always have breakfast ready for us before heading off to school (she’s the best!) but it was Saturday mornings where we would really get a treat! My mom would either make Mickey Mouse waffles or my dad would make the perfect fluffy omelets and freshly buttered toast…oh so good! The one classic that comes to mind though is the infamous “Neely McMuffin” – toasty bread with melted, gooey cheese with a slice of sauteed tomato, a strip or two of bacon and a perfectly cooked fried egg on top. DE-LI-CIOUS! My dad would “poke” the egg with fork and the warm yolk would run down the sides and sink into the rest of the sandwich to make the ultimate breakfast.
Are you hungry yet?
This healthy vegetarian version is my slightly lighter twist on the “Neely McMuffin” my parents used to make. Feel free to add some bacon, sausage or country ham to this dish to “beef” it up a little if you prefer
Open-Faced Egg Sandwich (aka “The Neely McMuffin”)
1/2 tsp oil (or small pat of butter)
1 large or 2 small slices of tomato (I like Roma)
1 slice of cheddar cheese (swiss, goat, gouda, mozzarella etc would all be good too!)
1 slice of GF bread, english muffin or thin bagel
Salt and pepper, to taste
Optional condiments for serving (mustard, pesto etc)
1. Lightly toast bread in the toaster oven. Meanwhile, heat oil in a frying pan or skillet over medium heat.
2. When the oil is almost sizzling, crack the egg into the pan. Cook until the white appears solid, about 3 to 4 minutes*. While egg cooks, add the tomato slices to the side of the pan and lightly saute on each side.
3. Once bread is lightly toasted, switch toaster setting to broil. Add a slice of cheese on top of bread and place under broiler until slightly melted, about 30 seconds to a minute.
4. Remove cheese toast from the oven. Top with raw spinach leaves, sauteed tomato slices and cooked egg. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve!
* This is for a sunny side up egg. For eggs over easy, carefully flip the egg over onto the yolk side and cook another minute or two. You’ll probably want to turn the egg after 2 to 3 minutes, instead of 3 to 4, depending on how well done you like your eggs.
Recipe Notes: Feel free to add meat on top of the cheese layer, if preferred (sliced sausage, bacon, turkey bacon, canadian bacon or country ham).
I like to add a drizzle of mustard on top before serving but plain jane or a spoonful of pesto would work well also!
Chips are one of my favorite comfort foods. If you put a bag of salty tortilla chips in front of me, I can consume the whole thing without thinking twice (just ask Chris). I’d nosh away until I reached my hand into the bottom of the bag and only feel the crumbs…with much disappointment. Although I’d enjoy every last crunchy bite, my stomach would soon regret that decision after I came down off my carb-high. I do not deprive myself of chips but I do try and practice restraint when it comes down to snacking on them since they don’t contain any nutritional value.
Usually when I’m craving chips, I just want something crispy and salty, which typically can be satisfied with a healthier alternative, like these easy Baked Beet Chips. Now these are chips you can feel good about! You are getting a serving of veggies plus a healthy dose of antioxidants, fiber and lots of vitamins and minerals (they are loaded with vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and C). Don’t worry if you aren’t a fan of beets, these don’t taste like your typical canned or roasted preparations (I promise!). I eat these plain but they would pair well with a sour cream dip.
Baked Beet Chips
1 large beet, peeled
Olive oil pump spray (or 1/2 Tbsp olive oil*)
Sea salt to taste
1. Preheat oven to 325F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Slice beet into thin rounds** (I use a mandolin on the narrow setting to achieve thin and even slices) and place on baking sheets.
3. Lightly spray rounds with olive oil spray and sprinkle with sea salt.
3. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes depending on the size of the beets until the slices are crisp. Be sure to keep an eye on the beets because they can easily burn. Allow the beets to cool on the baking sheet and serve immediately.
*If you do not have a olive oil spray pump, toss the slices with olive oil in a mixing bowl until well coated and then place on the baking sheets and sprinkle with salt.
**The thicker the beets, the longer it will take to cook. I prefer very thin slices but not paper thin to achieve a substantial chip thickness after baking. The rounds will shrink significantly while baking.
These chips will be featured on Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays at Amy’s Simply Sugar and Gluten Free Blog this week!