Posts tagged ‘coconut oil’

Summer Squash “Cheese”

Just when I thought zucchini and yellow squash couldn’t get any more versatile, I stumbled across this recipe for “Zucchini Cheese” and I squealed. Yup…mind-blown! I couldn’t wait to get into the kitchen and test this out! Turns out you can swap other veggies for the zucchini as well, so this won’t be the other time I make a variation of this recipe.

zucchini squash cheese slice

A quick and EASY cheese substitute that is nut-free and made from veggies?!? This “cheese” makes a great snack on the go or a unique dairy substitute on a sandwich or lettuce wrap. You can even serve over warm soup for a cheesy swirl or top sauteed asparagus or other veggies for a saucy flavor boost.

zucchini squash cheese 1

It even MELTS (thank you coconut oil and gelatin), well kind of melt…it becomes more of a sauce with a cheesy flavor if you serve this over anything warm. I added it to a bowl of warm spaghetti squash with sauteed chard and it had a cheesy pasta feel to it. If you are looking for a 100% cheese fix, you might be a tad disappointed but I was open-minded about the results and loved it!

zucchini squash cheese cubes 1

Summer Squash “Cheese” (lightly adapted from AIP Lifestyle)
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Soy-free, Nut-free, Egg-free, Paleo-friendly, Sugar-free, Anti-Candida Friendly 

Ingredients

1 cup zucchini, chopped into 1-inch cubes (peel first if you don’t want the green color, I left peels on)
1 cup yellow squash, chopped into 1-inch cubes (can use more zucchini if desired)
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp coconut oil (olive oil, ghee/butter can also be used)*
1 1/2 – 2 tsp raw coconut vinegar (can use lemon juice or apple cider vinegar if preferred)
3/4 – 1 tsp sea salt (I used fine hickory smoked salt)
1/2 tsp ground turmeric (optional but brightens up the color a bit + it’s anti-inflammatory)
3 1/2- 4 Tbsp gelatin (I used Great Lakes in a the red can)
contents from 1 probiotic capsule (optional but I used this)

Directions

1. Line a bread pan with non-bleached parchment paper or a silicone baking pan may be use without a need for parchment paper.
2. Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add squash and zucchini, then cover and simmer on medium low heat for 5 – 8 minutes. Drain off the water completely (You can save the water to sip or to cook with vegetables).
3. Add your veggies to a blender then add the oil, vinegar/lemon juice, tumeric and sea salt. Blend on high speed.
4. With your blender set on low speed, sprinkle the gelatin into the mixture. Blend on high for one last whizz until smooth.
5. If you want to add probiotics to your ‘cheese’ wait for the mixture to cool so that it is no longer hot to touch in the blender. Add the probiotics and blend on low.
6. Pour into your prepared pan and refrigerate overnight or for at least three hours to set. Alternatively to speed things up you can freeze to set, for about an hour.
7. Cut into squares, cheese slice, dice, melt, or grate. Use on protein patty’s, with veggies, in salads, and use incorporated into snack plates.
8. Wrap and refrigerate, or store slices in an airtight container. For best flavor, consume within 10 days. 

*If you are using extra virgin olive oil, wait until your mixture has cooled slightly so that the heat does not oxidize or morph the structure of the delicate polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Notes: If you want a more cheesy flavor, you can add 1-2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast, however it’s not AIP-friendly so I haven’t tried it yet! 
zucchini squash cheese slice2

June 25, 2015 at 2:25 pm Leave a comment

Cranberry Cha-Cha-Chia Muffins (grain-free)

Happy, HAPPY New Year to you all! I hope the holidays were lovely and that 2015 is off to a super scrumptious start for each and every one of you. I’ve been pretty incognito during the “go-go-go” of the holidays this year, so I am now playing catch-up :) Serious catch-up.

cranberry chia muffins 2

I’ve cooked more new meals and dishes in the last two months than I have in the past year…I must have caught a bit of a cooking bug in the kitchen, and I’ll ride that as long as I can. Trying new ingredients, taste-testing and experimentation have all been so fun…and sharing food with people who you care about just makes it that much better! cranberry chia muffins single

While I’ve actually been doing cooking than baking lately, I can’t deny my cravings for homemade goodies and sweets….add that to the fact I had half a bag of cranberries waiting to be used up and these muffins were born…or baked. cranberry chia muffins1

Sweet yet tart, light yet filling, these cranberry chia muffins are not only grain-free and refined-sugar free, but they are high in fiber, nut-free and dairy-free. I ate them for breakfast, a snack slathered with melted coconut oil and for a light dessert (when I wasn’t craving chocolate) after dinner. You can make a batch and freeze some if you’d like. Mmmmm muffins….
cranberry chia muffins

Cranberry Cha-Cha-Chia Muffins 
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Refined Sugar-free, Dairy-free, Nut-free

Ingredients

1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp Himalayan pink sea salt
2 eggs, whisked (room temperature)
1 egg white, whisked (room temperature)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup honey (or you could probably substitute coconut nectar, maple syrup or other liquid sweetener for a different taste)
1/2 cup non-dairy milk, at room temperature (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
2 Tbsp coconut oil (melted butter or other neutral oil could be substituted if you prefer)
2 Tbsp chia seeds
2/3 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, rough chopped

Optional: feel free to add shredded coconut and/or your favorite chopped nuts for a different texture and a flavor variety.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin pan with liners or grease well and set aside OR use silicone muffin cups and lightly grease.
2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together coconut flour, baking soda and sea salt.
3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine eggs through coconut oil and whisk until well combined.
4. Add wet ingredients to the dry mixture and stir well until batter is smooth and thickens slightly (coconut flour is really absorbent, causing the batter to thicken as it sits). Stir in cranberries and chia seeds and
5. Spoon batter into prepared muffin liners or muffin cups (mine made 10 muffins, depending on the size of your pan or liners). Bake for 22-25 minutes or until lightly browned and cooked through. Remove from oven and let cool, then enjoy!

I stored the muffins in the refrigerator, but these also freeze well.

Makes about 9-11 muffins, depending on your pan or cups; my silicone cups

cranberry chia muffin bite

January 25, 2015 at 2:19 pm Leave a comment

Thai Pumpkin Soup (SRC)

It’s no secret that I have a devotion to all things pumpkin and winter squash. My posts for Kabocha Squash Lovin‘, Butternut and Apple Crumble and Sausage Pumpkin Pizza are just scratching the surface of my affinity….while you’re at it, just add sweet potato to the list…I am shocked I’m not bright orange by now!

thai pumpkin soup2

I’ve been craving (and making) all kinds of soup this Fall…I seriously need to start taking some photos and sharing some of these one-pot creations. I thought I’d kick off my Fall soup repertoire with this Thai Pumpkin Soup that I lightly adapted from Lynsey Lou’s beautiful blog! I was assigned Lynsey’s blog for this month’s Secret Recipe Club and I had a crazy-fun yet difficult time deciding what to make. Her Toasted Coconut Cake with Walnuts and Cranberries made me want to lick my computer screen, and I loved the flavor combination in her Wild Mushroom and Goat Cheese Quesadillas with Cranberry-Pecan Salsa. Hmmm…besides pumpkin, apparently the nut and cranberry combo is also on the brain?!

I made a few minimal changes to Lynsey’s recipe based on what I had on hand — I substituted leek for the onion and included two extra carrots (woohoo for a small veggie boost). I used coconut oil in lieu of olive oil and sprinkled a bit of black lava salt on top for a Halloween-ish look. The cilantro garnish is completely optional, it’s more for the contrast of colors :) I did add in the coconut milk from a can, but for photo purposes, I left those out…the soup was thick and the lite coconut milk I had looked watery and funky but it tasted delish! This soup was SO tasty – hot or cold! I even ate it chilled one day for lunch sprinkled with roasted spicy pepitas. When Lynsey mentioned this was a “must-make this Fall”, she was absolutely correct!
thai pumpkin soup1

Thai Pumpkin Soup (lightly adapted from Lynsey Lou’s recipe)
Gluten-free, Grain-free, Vegan, Dairy-free, Vegetarian, Soy-free, Nut-free

Ingredients

2 Celery stalks, chopped
1-3 Carrots, sliced
1 Onion or 1 leek, roughly chopped
3 Tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
1 1/2 Pounds fresh pumpkin, skin removed and cubed (about 6 cups…I had about 7 cups total)
2 Tbsp Thai red curry paste
1 Tbsp ground curry
1/2 Tsp Garam Masala
1/2-1 Tsp ground cayenne pepper (optional)
2 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1 Liter (about 4 1/4 cups) vegetable stock (or chicken stock if you prefer, but this isn’t vegetarian)
Cream or coconut cream, optional
Black lava salt (or other salt to taste)
a few cilantro leaves for garnish, optional

Directions

1. In a large stock pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add celery, onion/leek, and carrot and let sit for 7 mintues, or until just starting to get soft, stir as needed.

2. Stir in curry paste, ground curry, garam masala, and cayenne making a paste and cook for 1 minute. Then add cubed pumpkin and fresh ginger. Cover vegetables with stock and allow to simmer for about 45 minutes or until soft.

3. Process with a food processor or an immersion blender, being very careful not to burn yourself. This process may also be done using a regular blender, but be very careful and do small batches.

4. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle cream or coconut cream on top if using, garnish with salt and cilantro (optional) and serve immediately. Enjoy :)

thai pumpkin soup
For other recipes in this month’s reveal, please click the link below!

October 26, 2014 at 10:00 pm 10 comments

Spooky No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies (SRC)

Fall is hands-down my favorite time of year — the smells, the flavors, the colors, the cooler weather…all of it makes me a happy camper! I want to snuggle up in a big sweater (or sweatpants) and spend time in the kitchen creating comfort food. Let’s kick off Fall with a holiday-geared post for Halloween that’s not only quick, easy, health(ier) and fun. Oh yeah, and it has chocolate :)

Halloween no bake cookies 2

I’m sold! These no-bake chocolate oatmeal cookies are the perfect addition to a holiday party, a potluck, a kid’s school event, a bake-sale, or even a tailgate. Not only are they portable but they are allergen-friendly and a healthier version of no-bake cookies. I’d say that’s a win in my book…you CAN have your cookie and eat it too :)

I was thrilled to be assigned Wendy’s blog A Day in the Life on the Farm for September’s Secret Recipe Club reveal. I had my sight set on her Morel Mushroom and Wild Rice Bisque (doesn’t that sound heavenly?!) but had a small hiccup. True story – I went to the natural foods grocery store and found dried morels, yet I opted out when 1.2 ounces rang up for $56. Yikes. Wendy wasn’t kidding when she said morels are like gold, I tabled that recipe for a night when I really want to “treat” myself or for a special occasion!

Halloween no bake cookies 1

I happily chose her No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies for this month’s reveal. Not only did I have a hankering for something sweet, but wanted something easy without much hassle (or maybe I didn’t want to wait on dessert). Once I was mid-recipe, ambition and creativity hit so I couldn’t help but whip out my cookie cutters for a little Halloween fun!

I made a few swaps to make these cookies allergy-friendly: I substituted coconut oil for the butter, sunflower butter for the peanut butter, and coconut palm sugar for the granulated white sugar. I amped up the fiber with a few tablespoons of flaxseed meal and I used non-dairy almond milk in lieu of regular cow’s milk. I made sure to use gluten-free oats and added a pinch of sea salt to the mixture. Voila…Now that’s comfort in a cookie WITHOUT sacrificing the taste :)

Halloween no bake cookies bat

Spooky No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies (adapted from Wendy’s recipe)
Gluten-free, Refined Sugar-free, Dairy-free Vegetarian, Vegan, No-Bake, Egg-free, Nut-free Option

Ingredients

1/2 cup coconut oil or Earth Balance Vegan Spread (could use butter but it won’t be dairy free or vegan)
1 1/2 – 2 cup granulated coconut palm sugar (or other granulated sweetener)*
1/2 cup dairy free milk (I used unsweetened vanilla Almond milk)
4 Tbsp cocoa powder or raw cacao powder
1/2 cup sunflower seed butter (or peanut butter or other nut butter)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
generous pinch of sea salt, optional
3-3 1/2 cup gluten free oats** (I used about 3 1/4 cups)
2 Tbsp flaxseed meal, optional for added nutrition

For decorating and shaping (optional)
cookie cutters of your choice lightly greased with coconut oil
coconut butter (or your favorite recipe for a glaze) – I used about 3 Tbsp
black sesame seeds (for the eyes)

Directions

  1. Add first 4 ingredients into a 4 qt. saucepan.  Bring to a rolling boil over medium-high and hold one minute stirring often.
  2. Remove from heat.  Add sunflower seed butter (or other nut or peanut butter) to hot mixture and stir until melted.
  3. Add vanilla and sea salt and stir well.
  4. Mix in the oats and flaxseed meal, then stir well.
  5. Place cookie cutters on parchment paper and press mixture evenly into cookie cutters (make sure to press down to get into small creases) OR drop by tablespoons onto parchment paper. Let cool until set.
  6. Carefully remove cookies from cookie cutters after completely cool. If decorating, melt coconut butter until it reaches a liquid state. I put the whole jar in simmering water for a while and stirred occasionally and then scooped about 3 Tbsp out. Spoon liquid coconut butter into a small plastic sandwich bag and cut a small corner off to create a tip. Pipe over cookies to decorate and use tweezers (or tiny fingers) to place sesame seed “eyes” or sprinkle over the cut-outs.

*I used less because I didn’t want these cookies as sweet, it’s up to you! You could probably use agave, maple syrup or honey but I haven’t tried it with this recipe.

**If you want a less chewy consistency for the oats, feel free to pulse the oats in a food processor several times since they aren’t quick cooking oats

halloween no bake cookie ghost

For other recipes from this month’s reveal, please click the link below!

September 21, 2014 at 10:00 pm 15 comments

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