Posts tagged ‘snacks’
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.
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.
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!
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
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)
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.
I forget how much I LOVE summer! Sunny mornings and brisk afternoon showers…the grass is bright green and flowers are in full bloom. I sleep with my windows open, and I wake up to the sun peaking in my window and sound of birds chirping…so flippin’ cool. Does that almost sound like an opening to a Disney movie?! Let’s not forget all the fresh produce as well – juicy melons, spicy crisp radishes, sweet cherries and loads of zucchini just to name a few – YUM.
I have really been craving fresh foods and cold, refreshing dishes, especially after sitting out in the sun to soak up some Vitamin D for a bit. I’ve also recently discovered my love of frozen figs…yep, frozen ones. They were selling a huge bag of organic green figs at Costco, and I’ve had them stashed in the freezer for a couple months since limiting my fruit intake on my elimination diet. I was craving something sweet and cold the other night, and I thought I’d give these a try on my stomach. Tummy approved and WOW, are they delicious!
I let a couple figs sit out on the counter for a few minutes, then nibbled at a frozen one…a little bite of heaven! Ever since, I’ve been incorporating them in a variety of recipes (and trying to eat them in moderation as I am reintroducing fruits). First up, this frosty fig and vanilla smoothie is one of my favorites…I’ve had it for dessert a couple times too! This smoothie is perfect as an afternoon pick-me-up or a quick breakfast to start your day with loads of energy :)
Frosty Vanilla Fig Smoothie
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Paleo & AIP-friendly, Nut-free, Vegan, Dairy-free, Soy-free, Refined Sugar Free, Nightshade-free
1 cup coconut milk (I used from a can, but any milk would work based on preference/allergy)
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract (alcohol free for AIP) or vanilla powder
a couple shakes of ground cinnamon
2-3 medium green figs, frozen and rough chopped (can use other color and varieties)
*If you’re sensitive to sugars, add 1/4 avocado for creaminess and use 1-2 figs, but will be less sweet
handful of leafy greens (baby spinach, chard, kale)
1/2 cup of frozen banana, your favorite berry or mango for a different flavor
1. Add ingredients in order as they are listed to a high-powered blender (such as a Vitamix). Blend on high until smooth.
Notes: If you do not have a high-powered blender, you might need to let your figs de-frost for 15 minutes or so and chop them smaller OR add more liquid.
Sauerkraut and avocado…I didn’t think that pairing would come out of my mouth, errr computer, as a go-to snack…but I’m learning to be very flexible and creative with my food choices lately. There are always stranger combinations — Pickles and ice cream? (cough, cough).
I’ve always had a deep love and appreciation for food…but my body doesn’t seem to share the same sentiment, particularly in the last eight months. Almost anything I eat doesn’t agree with me — I’ve tried all types of “diets”, from vegan to raw food to paleo. I have been gluten free since 2009 and at different times I’ve avoided nuts, dairy, sugar, beans, eggs and meat…I’ve eaten super-duper healthy but it turns out there’s more to the equation.
In short, after multiple doctors and months and months of not feeling well, I discovered that I am not absorbing any of the nutrients from my food. My body revolted and doesn’t break down fats, proteins, carbs or sugars well, which led to a plethora of deficiencies, adrenal fatigue, sore joints, muscle weakness, massive and painful digestive issues, dry skin and constantly getting sick. I’ll be sharing a bit about what I learn as I continue along… just recently I’ve had the energy again to blog again during my healing process which is a relief and a breath of fresh air.
I’ve joked that this Spring I’ve really embraced the idea of “Spring Cleaning” – physically, mentally and emotionally. It’s gut-check time and I’m determined to be a lighter, brighter and healthier version of myself at the end of this whole journey.
Now, back to the food! I am not sure you can call this a recipe; it’s more like a combination of ingredients that pair well together yet I am sharing it here as a quick snack idea, side dish for a meal or even as an accompaniment or filling for sandwich or fresh lettuce wrap, or served with grilled protein of your choice. Simple, quick and incredibly tasty!
5-Minute Avocado and Sauerkraut Salad
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Paleo-friendly, AIP-friendly, Soy-free, Nut-free, Dairy-free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Sugar-free
1 ripe avocado, de-pitted and thinly sliced
2/3 cup – 1 cup sauerkraut or fermented veggies (beet and cabbage pictured)
squeeze of fresh lemon juice or lime juice
splash of apple cider vinegar or coconut vinegar (or your favorite…I love acidity to it’s up to you)
1-2 Tbsp fresh basil, sliced thinly or chopped cilantro or parsley
sea salt to taste (I’ve used pink Himalayan as well as lime-infused salt, ginger-infused salt)
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Combine all ingredients. Taste and season accordingly to your preference; add more salt, pepper, basil/herbs, lemon juice, vinegar or more veggies. Enjoy on it’s own, in a wrap, as a bed for your favorite grilled or baked protein or mixed with quinoa or your favorite grain!
I’ve always been a big fan of nut butters but SEED butter is something I’ve really been loving on lately. I can’t get enough sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, tahini and hemp seeds being sprinkled or drizzled on all types of sweet and savory dishes.
Tahini is so versatile…whether it’s used in hummus, drizzled as a sauce, added to bread, used as a base for this ice cream flavor or featured in these cookies. Little bitty sesame seeds add a fun texture and nutty undertones to recipes and these two-bite treats are no exception! These cookies aren’t as sweet as if you used peanut or almond butter; tahini has a stronger flavor that’s both intriguing and addicting in my opinion.
These cookies came about when I was hankering for a treat…I was running low on time and I was craving something baked. No-fuss cookies that can be ready for devouring in less than 20 minutes…sign me up :)
Flourless Double Sesame Cookies (slightly adapted from my Chunky Monkey Chip Cookies)
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Nut-Free, Soy-free, Paleo-friendly, Refined Sugar-Free, Easy, Quick
1 cup of tahini* (sesame seed butter – make sure its a thick)
3/4 cup -1 cup of granulated sweetener**
1 egg, well beaten
pinch of sea salt (omit if your tahini is salted)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp gluten free vanilla extract
1/4 cup sesame seeds (white, black or a combo)
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
2. In a medium size bowl, add tahini, sweetener, egg, baking soda, vanilla and stir well to combine until forms a dough.
3. Form dough balls (I use a tablespoon), roll into sesame seeds and place onto lined cookie sheet.
4. Bake for 9-11 minutes until golden brown – ovens vary so keep an eye on them – then let cool completely before moving (they break apart easily when warm) and enjoy!
*Make sure your tahini isn’t really runny or you won’t be able to form balls of dough. This is especially important if you are using a liquid sweetener!
**I used coconut palm sugar, and if yours is really coarse, pulse for a few seconds in a blender to break up slightly (mine was really clumpy). You could also use Sucanat, brown sugar, or could even try xylitol for sugar-free (please report back with those results!) If you prefer using honey or agave, substitute the granulated sweetener for 1/2-2/3 cup of liquid sweetener.