Posts tagged ‘nut free’

(Almost) Instant Mint Berry Carob Bark

Do you need a quick sweet fix? I don’t know about you, but I can always use a little treat. How about a healthier treat that satisfies, tastes amazing and you can whip up in 5 minutes? Add the fact that this (almost) instant bark requires minimal ingredients and doesn’t require any baking.

mint berry carob bark1

Mint + Chocolate = a perfect pairing in my mind (Mint Chip Ice Cream anyone)? Add berries to this combo and it’s a definite winner! These recipe is crazy easy, and it’s been stand-by in my freezer for the past couple weeks. Yes, it’s caffeine-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free and TASTY! I even fooled my dad into thinking it was sugar-laden, and he’s a hard one to convince :)

With all the fresh mint at farmer’s markets and in the stores, I’ve been throwing some into smoothies and bases for ice creams, tossing into chopped fruit and adding to salads for refreshing summer dishes. Next time (probably tonight) I am going to try using finely minced fresh mint in this treat! 
mint berry carob bark 2

(Almost) Instant Mint Berry Carob Bark (adapted from my Make-it-your-own Chocolate Bark)
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Vegan, Dairy-free, Refined Sugar-free, AIP & Paleo Friendly, Candida-Friendly Option, Soy-free, Nut-free, Egg-free

Ingredients
2 1/2 Tbsp softened coconut oil (I used unrefined extra virgin)
3 Tbsp carob powder (or cacao/cocoa powder but won’t be caffeine free)*
pinch of stevia or 1 Tbsp honey, agave or maple syrup or to taste
1/8 tsp pure peppermint oil/extract
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract, optional
pinch of sea salt, optional (but SO good)
1/3 cup frozen mixed berries, chopped into small pieces (I leave blueberries whole), I use the organic antioxidant mix from Costco

Directions

1. Line a small plate or dish with parchment paper and set aside.
2. In a small bowl, mix the melted coconut oil, carob (or cacao), stevia/sweetener, salt and extracts. Stir well until smooth and well combined. Taste and adjust if you want it sweeter.
3. Spoon the mixture onto the parchment paper into two rounds.
4. Sprinkle the frozen fruit over the mixture and watch it start to freeze. Set it freezer for an additional few minutes to harden and enjoy!

Serves 2 or 1 large, generous portion :)
Store leftovers in freezer, the frozen fruit will get mushy in the fridge otherwise.

*Carob has a natural sweetness whereas raw cacao or cocoa powder is naturally a bit more bitter so you might need to add more sweetener/stevia to taste for a sweeter bark.

mint berry carob bark 1

July 23, 2015 at 3:33 pm Leave a comment

Quick Collard Wrap with Lemon Maple Tahini Dressing

Hand-held eats are ideal for a meal on-the-go, a portable lunch or served at a summer picnic. Whether it’s a sandwich, burger, wrap or even pizza, there’s something really enjoyable about eating with my hands. This empty-the-fridge collard green wrap is no exception!

collard chicken sprout wrap fillingI love using leftovers from the fridge… and making this wrap is a quick way to whip up an easy meal (or snack) and not let food go to waste. There are times when I find myself looking into the fridge with leftovers just enough for one person (I blame this on my snacking, ha!)… 1/2 small cooked chicken breast, partial bag of sprouts, 1/4 section of an apple and remnants of a roasted squash…so I threw in a few other ingredients and lunch is served!

collard wrap chicken sprouts apples

For a vegetarian/vegan or even raw preparation, use your favorite shredded veggies such as carrot, beet, cucumber or avocado for the chicken and/or roasted squash. Here of the filling combinations I’ve made recently, of course I’ll served with this deeeeelicious tahini sauce:
1. Shredded Beets + Carrot + Roasted sweet potato wedges
2. Thinly sliced Mango + Avocado Mash with Sunflower Seeds (combined so they don’t fall out of the wrap + Alfalfa sprouts + Cilantro
3. Cucumber + Avocado + Carrots (sliced into matchsticks) + Broccoli Sprouts + Fresh Basil

Quick Collard Wrap with Maple Lemon Tahini Dressing
Serves 1
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Paleo-friendly, Soy-free, Refined Sugar Free, Egg-free, Vegan/Vegetarian Option, Nightshade-free, AIP-Friendly Option, Nut-free, Raw Option

Ingredients

1 Large collard green leaf
3 oz cooked chicken, thinly sliced (substitute sliced or mashed avocado, baked tofu or 1/2 cup cooked grain for vegan)
1/3 cup sprouts (I used radish sprouts)
1/4 small apple, sliced into matchsticks
1-2 Tbsp fresh cilantro ( mint or basil could also be used as a substitute)
2-3 Tbsp pickled onions (or raw thinly sliced onions, I used homemade pickled onions)
1/3 cup roasted Kabocha squash or sweet potato (and/or shredded carrot or beet would also be good for raw)
2 Tbsp lemon tahini sauce plus more for dipping (recipe below), for AIP use AIP-friendly mayo

Directions

1. Put raw collard leaf in a plastic bag and freeze them until they turn bright green, about an hour to make the leaf more pliable. (If you do not have time to do this, that’s ok too)
2. Wash the collard leaf under cold water, then lay it topside down on a cutting board (raised spine up). Using a paring knife, cut off the stem and gently shave down the raised part of the spines so the surface of the collard is nice and flat.
3. Lay each of the filling ingredients except for the dressing, side by side and parallel to the spine of the collard green. Be sure to leave about an inch on each edge uncovered. Drizzle dressing on top.
4. Roll the collard top and bottom (stem side) inward, fold one of the long sides in, tucking all the filling underneath it, and continue rolling the leaf from that side to the other side to get a tight wrap. Slice in half with a sharp knife. Serve with additional dressing and enjoy!

Lemon Maple Tahini Sauce
This is one of my FAVORITE nut-free options for a dressing, sauce for a veggie sticks or a bowl of roasted veggies/grains/protein. I could put this on about anything

Whisk together:
1/3 cup tahini (can substitute sunflower seed butter for a different flavor)
juice from 1 fresh lemon
1-2 Tbsp maple syrup (honey, coconut nectar or agave would work too) – tiny pinch of stevia for candida-friendly
1 garlic clove, minced (or 1/8 tsp garlic powder)
1-2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (I love acidity, add to taste)
2 Tbsp olive oil
generous pinch of sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

collard wrap chicken sprouts apples2

July 11, 2015 at 1:33 pm 1 comment

Coconut Mojito Healing Gummies or “Gello”

I’ve tried a couple recipes with gelatin – some hits and some misses, but I’m trying to experiment with gelatin as a digestive healing aid. I wouldn’t label myself as strictly vegan or paleo or grain-free but I have dabbled in these types of diets and enjoy the recipes. I have quinoa and rice on occasion, eat fish at times and occasionally chicken or turkey creeps into meals, but overall I really like dairy-free vegetarian options based on the way my body feels. Some days I feel like my body is screaming for some eggs or extra protein so I’ll listen to it accordingly. When I am craving chocolate, I find a way to get some chocolate…and no matter how I eat, my sweet tooth creeps up and I give in a little.

mojito gelloThis recipe is super quick to whip up, the hardest part is waiting for it to “gel” in the fridge…ahhhh patience! It’s perfect for hot summer days when you don’t want to turn on the oven and bake something…and while I love my frozen desserts, this treat is a fun change of pace.

I made a “blueberry jello” using Great Lakes Gelatin the other week, no pictures to share because it disappeared before I got the chance –how did THAT happen? ;) I enjoyed the texture and have been experimenting with a few gelatin ideas – one being these mini gummy cups and “gello” that I whipped up. I bought a bottle of Kevita Coconut Lime Mojito sparkling probiotic drink, without noticing the “sparkling part”…while I enjoy Kombucha and sparkling water on occasion, I prefer straight water or brewed herbal tea. Soooo….after tasting a sip, I wanted to repurpose my purchase…gello/gummies it was!

mojito gello1

I added a squeeze of lime to bump up the flavor along with vanilla, a smidge of stevia and powdered gelatin in my Vitamix and gave it a whirl. Bubbly drinks and blending make for even more bubbles, resulting in a fizz fiasco…. can you see the layers in these little cups? Whoops…reminds me of a cold frosty drink yet it adds to the texture. However, this was a spontaneous experiment success AND my sweet tooth was satisfied :)

Coconut Mojito Healing Gummies or “Gello”
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Sugar-free, Soy-free, Nut-free, Nightshade-free, Dairy-free, Paleo-friendly, Egg-free, No-bake

Ingredients

3 Tbsp coconut milk, slightly warmed
3-4 Tbsp powdered gelatin* (see note below – use red can Great Lakes gelatin for it’s gel-ling properties)
16 drops liquid stevia or a pinch of powdered stevia to taste (could add 2 Tbsp liquid sweetener instead if desired)
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
fresh squeezed juice from 1 lime
1 (16 oz) bottle Kevita Coconut Lime Mojito probiotic drink (can use other flavors but will alter the taste)

For serving if making “gello” cups (completely optional but for added texture)
zest from lime
shredded unsweetened coconut (toasted or raw)
coconut whipped cream (for dairy free whipped topping)
diced or chopped fresh fruit of choice (mango, pineapple, kiwi would all be good)

Directions

1. Add coconut milk, gelatin, stevia/sweetener, vanilla, 1/2 bottle of Kevita and lime juice to a blender. Sprinkle 2 Tbsp gelatin over the top and let it moisten or “bloom”. Add remainder of the Kevita bottle and sprinkle the remaining 1-2 Tbsp gelatin* (see note) on top and let sit until moistened, about 30 seconds to a minute.
2. Blend for 30 seconds on high until completely smooth and no lumps.
3. Pour into individual silicon molds and/or 4 ramekins and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to set.
4. Enjoy as is or add fresh fruit/coconut/coconut cream etc and serve!

mojito gummies

*Note: If you want a firmer texture, use 4 Tbsp for gummies (pictured above). For a less firm texture like jello, then use 3 Tbsp.
These aren’t crazy sweet so bump up the sweetener if you prefer, and add to taste.
For vegans/vegetarians, I have not tried this with agar powder or flakes. If you give this a whirl, let me know how it turns out!

mojito gello2

July 7, 2015 at 5:54 pm Leave a comment

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

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