Cacao-Rubbed Steak

Originally posted on The Domestic Man:


As the temperatures fall this month, I expect many people to be hesitant about going outside to grill food. Personally, we keep the grill outside and ready all year long, but I realize that not everyone feels that way (especially my Midwestern readers, whose winters are a little more significant than ours). So I thought it would be a good time to work on a solid, foolproof pan-seared steak recipe.

To be honest, we as a family don’t eat steak much, due to its high price point. But it’s an excellent celebratory meal, or for when you’re looking for a simple, developed taste without having to spend much time preparing your meal. Generally, steaks are made from the most tender cuts of the animal and cooked quickly; their tenderness comes from a lack of tough fibers and connective tissue found in the muscles that are more worked. Applying a light…

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Best Gluten Free Pie Crust

Originally posted on Gluten Free Gus:

GF pie crust ready to roll

With the holidays around the corner, and pumpkin in the larder, it’s pie season. Wait! Maybe it’s always “Pie Season”.

January- brrr, cold: frozen “Grasshopper” pie with GF “Oreo” Crust.

February- something red: Cherry Pie.

March- cloudy with a chance of rain or snow; citrus season in Florida: Meringue Pies.

April- Patriot’s Day/Boston Marathon: Boston Cream Pie.

May- early times in the garden: Rhubarb Pie.

June- strawberries in the markets: Strawberry Pie.

July- blueberries ripening in the fields: Blueberry Pie.

August - ditto for the blackberries and raspberries: more fruit pie.

September – stone fruit beginning to ripen: peach and pear pies

October –  pick-your-own orchards are open: Apple Pie.

November –  Thanksgiving: Pumpkin and Mince Pie.

December –  something decadent for the holidays: Chocolate Silk Pie.

This rich, “short” crust is easy and delicious.  The only tricky part is rolling and transferring…

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Grain Free Cocoa Cut-Out Cookies

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Well friends, it’s getting closer to Halloween and in our house there is tons of excitement over treats, costumes and decorating. My little guy wanted to make some cut-out cookies with some awesome cookie cutters that we found on a clearance last year. I have been wanting to make a chocolate cookie and experiment with dates as a sweetener. These cookies were easy to make and pretty healthy compared to other recipes. Best part of all, they have been officially dubbed “yummy” by the picky preschooler! I hope you give these a try and enjoy them as much as we have. ~Carmen

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Ingredients:

1 c. coconut flour

1/3 c. baking cocoa

¼ c. coconut oil

¼ c. softened butter

2 tbsp. chia seeds + 6tbsp. water

1 c. medjool dates – pitted + 1 c. HOT water  (this would be about 8 to 10 large dates)

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. vanilla bean paste (extract will do just fine)

¼ tsp. sea salt (I just eyeball it and add 2 pinches)

Prep:

First, soak your chia seeds in warm water for about ten minutes while you are prepping other ingredients, they should be the consistency of a thick gel.  Next, puree your dates and water until smooth.  Then add your coconut oil, butter, vanilla bean paste and soaked chia seeds.  Blend well.

In a separate bowl, sift coconut flour and cocoa to make a fine flour.  Add your baking powder and salt.  Mix well.

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Now blend your dry ingredients with the wet mixture.  You can do this by hand but a food processor or stand mixer will make work a bit shorter.  The dough is going to look like brown Play-Doh, this is good.  Now, roll the dough into a ball and refrigerate it for at least an hour.  I like to cheat and throw it in the freezer for 20 minutes but I’m incredibly inpatient.

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Once your dough is chilled, pre-heat your oven to 350, and place the dough ball between two sheets of parchment paper lightly greased with coconut oil.  Roll the dough to 1/8-1/4” depending on how thin or crispy you want them.  I recommend going thicker if you will be adding the glaze.  Use your cookie cutters to cut out shapes, or if you want a square graham-cracker style cookie just cut it with a knife (these are great with coffee or used for s’mores).

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Bake for about 10-12 minutes.  NOTE!  All ovens are not created equal!  I highly recommend checking how fast these are baking at the 5 minute mark and adjust accordingly.  If you want soft cookies, take them out early and let them sit on the hot pan.  It’s sort of a trial and error sort of deal.

Allow the cookies to cool completely before frosting them with your favorite glaze or frosting. I used melted milk chocolate on the bats and powdered sugar on the skulls.

This post is part of the following blog link-ups:  Party Wave Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, and as always if you like these posts feel free to like my Facebook page!

Getting The Most From Your Real Food Investment – Chicken

 

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When you make a significant investment in nourishing, real foods it is important to get the most our of your investment.  Here are just a few ways I get the most bang for my poultry dollars!

Buy whole chickens.  You can do so much with a whole chicken!  Here are a few ways I utilize mine:

1)  Meal 1: Roasted chicken breast, sauteed vegis over rice

2) Meal 2: Chicken Fajitas in corn tortillas

3) Leftovers:  Stew the entire carcass for 10 hours in the slow cooker.  Strain the broth and freeze the leftover stewed carcass!

4) Use fresh chicken broth to make a creamy soup: 2 cups broth, 1 cup heavy cream, 1 tbsp curry, 1/4 cup chives ( Add any leftover meat).

5) Use previously stewed/frozen carcass to make a remouillage. Cooked longer (24 hours) it can be just as tasty as the first batch!

So here, we have 5 different uses for one bird at the same price as a package of pre-cut chicken breasts.  How do you stretch your food budget? ~Carmen

 

 

Pumpkin Muffins with Maple Buttercream

1275844_544680435602585_1719051208_oThis post has been long overdue.  I have been obsessing over perfecting a recipe for low-carb, grain-free pizza crust and now that I think I’ve got it I can focus on getting my posts up!  These pumpkin muffins were inspired by the all things pumpkin across the interwebs as of late.  They are moist and very reminiscent of pie, they even got the picky hubby seal of approval.  These puppies are grain free, and taste perfectly fine without the (delicious) maple buttercream.  Let me know what you think! ~Carmen

Pumpkin Muffins

1 cup coconut flour

1 cup canned pumpkin

4 large eggs

3 tbsp butter

1/4 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tbsp. vanilla

1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Prep:

Line your muffin tin,  you don’t absolutely need tin liners but it makes for easy clean-up muffin removal.  Preheat your oven to 350.

Put everything into a food processor and blend until smooth.  This batter should be the consistency of a thick cake mix.  If you don’t have a food processor, a mixer and a bowl will do just fine, just be sure to incorporate your coconut flour, flax and baking soda before mixing into the wet ingredients.

Bake for approximately 50 minutes.  Your oven may be hotter or cooler so the time can vary.  The muffins are done when a toothpick comes out clean, but be sure not to overcook.  The best thing to do is remove the pan from the oven and let the muffins cool in-pan to be sure that the centers are cooked.

Maple Buttercream

1 stick of butter

1 cup confectioners sugar

4 tbsp. maple syrup

Add all to your food processor or a bowl and mix until fluffy.  If you want a thicker frosting you may want to tinker with the confectioners sugar a bit.

This post can be found on the following blog carnivals: Party Wave Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday,    If you like my posts feel free to show the like love on my Facebook page!

Creamy Pumpkin Puree

ourwholelifestyle:

What a fantastic idea from Gluten Free Gus!

Originally posted on Gluten Free Gus:

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This is one of the easiest and most satisfying preparations for fall pumpkins, or butternut or acorn squash. It’s richness satisfies any urge for mashed potatoes or risotto. A little heavy cream is what makes it seductive, but alternately one can use hearty chicken broth, milk, or dairy substitute.  Roasting the pumpkin in the oven until the flesh is soft and slightly caramelized adds wonderful dimension to the flavor profile. Our how-to photos show butternut squash. The garden, farm stand, or local market is your culinary palette.

Creamy Pumpkin Puree – Serves 4

Click Here for Printable Recipe

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups roasted pumpkin or squash

1/4 cup heavy cream (vegan: scant 1/4 cup almond milk plus 2 teaspoons coconut or olive oil)

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

optional: pinch of grated nutmeg

Top with a drizzle of honey or Pumpkin Pesto

DIRECTIONS:

1. Combine the pumpkin, cream, and salt in a…

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Pepitas Pesto

Originally posted on Gluten Free Gus:

Pepitas Pesto

“What did the butcher say to the customer on Halloween?” (See below.)

It’s been almost a year since we began writing it down for Gus and anyone else interested our gluten-free path and recipes. The first post was a shot from the hip, a beloved recipe I’d sent Gus in response to his request for something he could make for his “Farm to Table” seminar using squash harvested from the on-campus organic garden. The jack-o-lantern Nick carved the day before illustrated it. Because it’s October we’re again thinking pumpkins.

Pumpkin Seed Pesto aka “Pepitas Pesto”

Click Here For Printable Recipe

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup (4oz.) toasted pepitas/shelled pumpkin seeds

1 clove garlic, finely minced

1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves

1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan or Robusto cheese

1/4 – 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

DIRECTIONS:

1.  Combine 3/4 cup…

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