Posts tagged ‘coconut oil’
If I were stranded on an island with the option to live on ONE food for the rest of my life…pizza would be my choice hands-down. Not only can you cover all the food groups in one slice, there are options for every course from breakfast, lunch and dinner to a sweet dessert. With essentially unlimited combinations and flavor profiles, pizza is a versatile dish that I can eat cold, warm, room temp or straight from the oven
Cold pizza for breakfast? Yep, I could eat that everyday. No judging please!
The debate continues between pizza purists (my Italian friends) and myself on what constitutes a real pizza “pie”. While a traditionalist wants one or two toppings on a pizza, a good crust and a flavorful base, I say pile on the toppings, switch up the sauce and experiment with alternative crusts…you know, to make it interesting Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE a good simplistic pizza with tomatoes, basil and mozzarella but I do not deny my affinity for the alternative flavor combos!
Yet when I have a “homemade pizza extravaganza” for a get together or girls’ night, we get the best of both worlds– we made the gluten free pizza dough together and then chose our toppings for our individual pizzas. Win-Win situation. It’s such a blast that I think I should make pizza night to be a bi-monthly or monthly occurence!
For the dough, we settled on Bob’s Red Mill whole grain crust mix and loved it! This was the first time I’d made this mix and was very satisfied with the results — Great texture and taste, plus it made enough for two 12-inch pizzas. Feel free to use your favorite pizza crust recipe here but this mix is a flavorful option that even has an egg-free instructions if needed.
For my pizza, I opted for a veggie-filled white pizza with chicken. Caramelized onions with sauteed mushrooms and broccoli with grilled chicken and a cauliflower-alfredo pizza base. I’ve been eying various versions of a dairy-free Alfredo sauce and decided to make my own version by combining Leanne’s rockin’ recipe at Healthful Pursuit and Melissa’s Paleo-Alfredo recipe over at Cupcakes OMG! This sauce can be used with pasta, rice bowls, drizzled over veggies/meat or as a base and topping for pizza…yum!
Lightened up Chicken N’ Veggie Alfredo Pizza (Dairy-Free)
Gluten-free, Egg-free, Nut-free, Dairy-free, Vegan/Vegetarian Option, Soy-free
Makes 1 12-inch pizza (8 slices)
1 recipe of prepared pizza dough or crust of choice (I used Bob’s Red Mill Pizza Mix and used 1/2 dough)
1 1/2 tsp olive oil, divided (or butter or ghee but is not dairy-free)
1/3 of an onion, sliced into thin rings
a couple shakes of dried parsley, oregano and garlic powder (can use 1-2 fresh garlic cloves, and fresh herbs if desired)
1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup broccoli florets
1 small cooked chicken breast, diced (I grilled one 4 oz breast that was seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder and olive oil) – omit for vegetarian
3/4 cup creamy Dairy-free “Alfredo Sauce” plus more for serving/drizzling (recipe below)
1/2- 1 cup Dairy-free shredded cheese – mozzarella or cheddar (I Daiya cheddar shreds since that’s what I had on hand but if you aren’t dairy-free feel free to use regular cheese)
sea salt and pepper
1. Prepare dough pizza crust according to directions on package (or for your favorite or homemade crust). If using Bob Red Mills crust, have oven set to 425F.
2. Meanwhile heat 1 tsp oil/butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions and saute 5 minutes until soft. Add seasonings, garlic, mushrooms and broccoli and saute for another 2-3 minutes until mostly cooked through (will cook a bit more in oven). Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Once crust has “pre-baked”, spread the Cauliflower Alfredo sauce over the crust leaving about 1/2 to 1 inch edge around the outside. Brush the remaining 1/2 tsp of olive oil over the edges of the crust.
4. Top pizza with sauteed veggie and diced chicken and evenly sprinkle with shredded cheese.
5. Bake pizza for another 13-16 minutes or until crust is cooked through and cheese is melted. Slice, drizzle with additional Alfredo sauce and enjoy!
If you are using a prepared pizza crust, skip the first step or bake according to your crust directions.
For vegetarian, omit the chicken and increase the mushrooms and broccoli to 1 cup each.
If using Bob’s Red Mill pizza crust and want a vegan egg-free option, view package for flax egg directions.
1 small head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
1/3 cup white or yellow onion, diced
1 Tbsp olive oil (can use Earth Balance or butter as well but stick with EB/oil for dairy-free & vegan)
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup veggie broth (or chicken broth if not vegetarian, could probably use dairy-free milk if desired)
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup coconut milk (from can)
1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
2-3 tsp lemon juice
sea salt (helps bring out the flavor since cheese isn’t used)
freshly ground black pepper to taste (I used about 3/4 tsp but I like pepper)
1. In a large pot, steam cauliflower until tender and can easily be pierced with a fork. (I used a steamer basket and cooked the cauliflower for about 5-6 minutes).
2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium low heat in a medium skillet or saucepan. Add onion and saute for a few minutes, then add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
3. Stir in broth and heat through.
4. Add cooked cauliflower, onion/garlic/broth mixture, and remaining ingredients to a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Add more coconut milk if needed. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
5. Serve over ANYTHING!!!!
Sometimes a girl just needs some bread. While I eat grain-free dishes at times and I love my veggies, nuts and protein, I certainly can’t resist a good slice of bread. Whether it’s dense and chewy or light and airy, I will take bread in any form. Of course, finding it and/or making it gluten-free can be a more laborious task.
What if I told you that you could make this bread in 20 minutes from start to finish…without using an oven? Literally. I had no excuses, I just HAD to!
It’s Secret Recipe Club reveal day again and this month I was assigned to JJ’s beautiful blog, 84th & 3rd. JJ has a captivating writing style, and when paired with inventive, healthy recipes and drool-worthy photos, I was sold on both her and her food. I have bookmarked a slew of recipes, but I was immediately drawn to her tag labeled “Crazy Creations”. I am all about experimenting with something different, and the first recipe that caught my eye was her Purple Carrot Anniversary Pie. I was set on making this dish but couldn’t locate purple carrots anywhere…while I could have used orange carrots, I thought the purple ones added to the novelty and opted to add this to my “must make list” for a later date.
I then spotted her Quinoa Buckwheat Skillet Bread, and I happened to be in the mood for bread to accompany my lentil stew I was making for dinner. Perfect timing…and it was delicious! Soft and light in the middle with a slightly firmer “crust” on the outside, this bread is versatile, super tasty…and did I mention EASY? I thoroughly enjoyed the earthy taste of the buckwheat and quinoa, and I topped a slice off with melted ghee right out of the oven…yep, food heaven.
I opted for the dairy-free version with the almond milk and lemon juice instead of yogurt. I didn’t want to “mess with” the original recipe too much but I look forward to adding in different spices, herbs and possibly other goodies…I’m thinking about a cheese and jalapeños variation! Thank you JJ for this gem of a recipe!
Quick Quinoa-Buckwheat Skillet Bread (recipe from 84th and 3rd)
Gluten-free, Nut-free, Refined Sugar-free, Dairy free, Soy-Free, Vegetarian friendly
- 1/3 cup quinoa flour
- 1/3 cup buckwheat flour
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk + 1 tsp lemon juice OR 1/3 cup natural yoghurt (use non-dairy options for dairy-free)
- 1 egg, whisked
- pinch of sea salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda, sifted
- coconut oil, olive oil, butter or ghee for cooking (coconut oil is my fav!)
1. Use a fork to whisk all ingredients except baking soda. Let batter rest for 5 minutes while you preheat a small [20 cm / 8 in] skillet over medium to medium-low heat (I used medium-low because mine cooked more quickly).
2. Mix sifted baking soda into batter – it should start to bubble. Grease pre-heated pan with a bit of oil/butter, pour in all batter and shake pan slightly.
3. Cook 6-7 minutes. Run spatula around edge, flip carefully, cook 5-6 minutes. Turn out onto rack to cool.
Ideas for serving: Slather with butter/Earth Balance or your favorite nut butters and/or jam or jelly. Cut into fingers for an antipasto or cheese platter. Cut in quarters, split like a roll and fill with sandwich fillings – or really any other sandwich ingredient you could imagine.
If there is any left store in fridge until needed. It also toasts really well.
- Fancy it up: flavour with herbs like oregano and thyme to make it more savory or spices like cinnamon and cloves to sweeten it up.
- The vegan attempt: JJ tried this without an egg and it just doesn’t work the same way – proceed at your own risk…
- Make it bigger: Could you? Definitely, just keep the flours/water/yoghurt at a 1:1:1:1 ratio. You can go up to 1/2 cup of each for one egg although I’d increase the baking soda to a slightly heaped tsp. Then just multiply from there as you wish – BUT remember you still have to flip it… so try it out as is in a small skillet before you go too crazy.
Wow, I’m not sure where to start…. except thanks goodness I made it on-time for the Secret Recipe Club this month!
What follows is a “Cliff Note” recap of my recent cooking saga: I fully prepared in advance for my recipe and post, almost a week and a half to be exact. You see, my dearest friend’s birthday is in October and I wanted to make her some homemade goodies for her special day. I was assigned Asiya’s beautiful blog, Chocolate and Chillie’s, and had carefully picked out her Maple Granola to try and send as a gift to my friend.
1. I made the two batches of granola (Maple Granola pictured on the left)
2. I decorated cute little jars and personalized them
3. Staged and took the photos of the granola
4. Shipped the gift (I ate the small remainder of both after photographing and filling the jars…meaning I have no leftovers!)
5. Uploaded the photos….OOPS…I received an ERROR CODE when trying to upload and all of a sudden they were erased from my camera completely. This has never happened before so I was left with no photos to post and no more granola to re-shoot.
6. Freak out mode sets in…ahhhh I dont have photos for the Secret Recipe Club post in two days!
7. Quickly find another recipe that I can whip up with ingredients I had on hand—BUTTER CHICKEN, take photos and write up a new posting
8. Breathe, relax….I made it!
With very little time to spare, I wound up making Asiya’s Low-fat Butter Chicken and it was scrumptious! I decided to experiment with a dairy-free option and changed up a few things based on what I had in my pantry and fridge. I increased the amount of ginger-garlic paste, used dried ground fenugreek seeds in place of the kasuri methi, and swapped out coconut sugar for regular white sugar. I typically use coconut oil as my cooking oil (just my preference) but any neutral oil can be used in it’s place. I also opted to add in a squeeze of lemon juice for a little more acidity, puree the sauce and sprinkle the finishing product with coarsely ground black pepper, mmmm.
I’d say that having to make two recipes this month for the Secret Recipe Club turned out to be a win-win situation I will be making this chicken again and again!
Better-for-You Butter Chicken (adapted from Asiya’s recipe)
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Dairy-free option, Soy-free, Refined Sugar-free, Nut-free option
For the Chicken Tikka:
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast (or 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts)
1 cup yogurt (can use plain dairy-free options such as coconut milk yogurt etc if needed)
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp tandoori masala powder
1 tsp kasuri methi or 1/2 tsp ground dried fenugreek seeds
2 tbsp canola oil, coconut oil or other neutral oil
For the Butter Sauce:
2 tbsp coconut oil, canola oil or other neutral oil
one medium onion, thinly sliced
2 cups diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp almond flour (if needed to be nut-free, you can omit)
1 Tbsp ginger-garlic paste
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp kasuri methi or 1/2 tsp dried ground fenugreek seeds
1/8 tsp sea salt or to taste
2 tsp coconut sugar or sweetener of choice
1/4 cup coconut milk, or greek yogurt or low-fat sour cream (use coconut milk for dairy-free)
1 tbsp butter, ghee, Earth Balance (use Earth Balance for dairy-free)
squeeze of lemon juice, optional but I like the acidity
For the Chicken Tikka:
1. In a small bowl mix together cumin, garam masala, salt, cayenne pepper, tandoori masala and fenugreek/kasuri methi. Rub on both sides of the chicken and refrigerate for at least 30-60 minutes.
2. Line a pan with parchment or foil. In a large bowl, whisk together yogurt, oil and ginger garlic paste. Dip each chicken breast into the yogurt mixture. Coat well. Lay on prepared pan.
3. Heat oven to broil and cookl 10-18 minutes or until cooked through (depending on thickness of chicken), flipping them over halfway through. When cooked through, let chicken rest for 5 minutes and then cut into 1 inch cubes.
For the Butter Sauce:
1. Heat the oil a medium sauté pan. Saute onions until soft and translucent. Add ginger-garlic paste and stir for about 1 minute.
2. Add all the remaining ingredients except for the coconut milk/ yogurt/sour cream and butter. Cook on medium heat until thick.
3. Puree sauce in a blender (careful it’s hot!) and return to the pan. If you prefer a more chunky sauce, opt out of this step.
4. Add yogurt.coconut milk/sour cream and butter/Earth Balance. Stir and cook for another 5 minutes. If you prefer a thinner sauce, add a bit more coconut milk if you would like to thin it out.
5. Add the chicken and simmer for a few more minutes until heated through. Serve hot with rice or cooked grain of choice and enjoy!
*Note: If you would like a smooth sauce, puree the onions after they become translucent and then return to the pan. Puree the tomatoes before adding.
For more recipes from this month’s reveal, click the link below!
Orange Chicken (or Beef) is a popular Chinese dish that I don’t usually get to order when eating out. I tend to miss out on the traditional stir-fries and specialties because I ask them to “leave off the sauce” because they typically contain gluten. When I’m in the driver’s seat in my kitchen though, I prefer to prepare dishes that are “off limits” when eating out to jazz up my menu choices…plus, then I won’t feel deprived!
When I was assigned Karen’s Kitchen Stories this month for the Secret Recipe Club, I was drooling over all her homemade bread recipes… but I admit, I was intimidated to try and de-glutenize them while staying true to the original recipe. After reading that Karen participates in Wok Wednesdays, I was sold on both her Velvet Chicken and Orange Chicken recipes! I’ve always been intrigued with the way Chinese restaurants prepare their meats, I never could achieve the same texture or tenderness when using a wok…until now!
I opted to cook an un-fried version of Orange Chicken to lighten up the dish a bit (you know, so I could have more of it!). Taking cues from Karen’s Velvet Chicken post, I used the water velveting technique instead of the oil one…. woohoo! The result was very tender chicken! Turns out you can also prepare other proteins in the same way — beef, pork, shrimp — so I will have to try my hand at that soon.
I made a few adjustments to the orange sauce by subbing coconut aminos for the soy sauce, adding a bit of ginger, using honey instead of brown sugar and using crushed red pepper flakes in place of the cayenne. I also chose to use coconut oil for sauteeing and tapioca starch instead of cornstarch, but either works in this dish! I served the chicken with brown rice sprinkled with green onion and sauteed broccoli, carrots and onions — a balanced, healthy and yummy meal!
Lightened up Orange Chicken (adapted from Karen’s recipe)
Gluten-free, Grain-free, Nut-free, Soy-free, Dairy-free, Refined Sugar-free
For the Chicken
1 Tbsp tapioca starch (or cornstarch)
1 Tbsp canola oil or other neutral oil
1-2 tsp minced ginger
Cooked brown or white rice, or quinoa
- In a large bowl, marinate the chicken in the combined soy sauce, vinegar, oil, starch and egg whites for about 20-30 minutes at room temperature.
- Mix the sauce ingredients in a bowl, whisk and set aside.
- Saute the garlic and ginger in 1 tsp of oil in a saucepan for about a minute until fragrant, add the above sauce, and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the starch/water mixture and stir until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat, and cover to keep warm.
- In a 2-quart saucepan, bring one quart of water and 1 tbsp oil to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and add the chicken to the simmering water, stirring to prevent the pieces of chicken from clumping together. Cook until the chicken is opaque, but not cooked through, about 1 minute. Drain the chicken in a colander
- In a wok or large sauce pan over high heat, swirl the remaining tablespoon of oil into the wok. Add the chicken and saute for three minutes or until cooked through. Re-stir the sauce mixture and pour half over the chicken. Stir fry, until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes. Toss with remaining sauce.
- Serve immediately with steamed rice/quinoa and sauteed veggies if desired!