Sunday, February 24, 2013

Cinnamon-Molasses Muffins

My five year old daughter often has her eyes set on the cinnamon rolls in the grocery stores or bakeries we visit.  But let's face it, those things are loaded with gluten, sugar and grains that just slow your body down and make you hungry an hour later. 

I wanted to make something similar to a cinnamon roll but in a muffin shape.  I can't stand all the tedious work put into a traditional cinnamon roll. 

I really loved how these turned out!  I chose to use molasses instead of honey or maple syrup because a little bit goes a long way, I love its flavor and it is lowest in carbs too! 

Cinnamon-Molasses Muffins
(Makes 6 large)

2 and 1/2 cups of nut flour (I used half almond flour and half hazelnut flour)
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 pinches of sea salt
1 Tbsp cinnamon + more for topping the muffins
2 eggs
1/2 cup of coconut milk
1/4 cup of applesauce, unsweetened
1/4 cup of molasses
oil for greasing your muffin tin

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 6-muffin tin with olive oil or coconut oil.  Set aside.

Place all the dry ingredients in one medium bowl - almond and hazelnut flours, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.  In a separate medium bowl, mix your wet ingredients - eggs, coconut milk, applesauce and molasses.  Stir well.  Pour the wet ingredients bowl into your dry ingredients bowl.  Scoop out the batter into the greased muffin tins evenly.  I made six large muffins with this.  If you only filled them 2/3 of the way, you could possibly get more.  I sprinkled additional cinnamon on the top of each muffin batter before baking in the oven.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.  They will come out a nice brown color.  Let them cool completely before you try to take out or move, especially since almond flour is delicate and could crumble. 

If you want to make it taste even more like a cinnamon roll, spread some all natural cream cheese on top as the frosting. 

Yum!  Enjoy!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Berry Chocolate Cake for One

Holy wow, this was good.  And it was only for me.  All me.  Just me.  Oh yeah!  ;-)

I've seen these mug cakes for one but never really tried it until now.  I had a night to myself with my husband and oldest daughter away.  The baby girl was napping and a sweet tooth kicked in.  I needed something soft and easy to eat since I had just had phase two of my braces put on.  (Yes I'm 34 years old and wearing braces.  I wanted to partially relive my teenage years again, what can I say!? :-)  This perfectly hit the spot for me.  The right size.  The right taste.  And just for one - me!

Berry Chocolate Cake for One
(Serves 1 - don't share!)

Coffee or tea mug (or ramekin)
1/3 cup of chopped berries - I used blackberries
1 egg
1 Tbsp butter - I like the all natural Irish Kerrygold brand
2 Tbsp almond flour
1 tsp coconut flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 drops of vanilla extract
1 Tbsp Enjoy Life chocolate chips
About 1/3 tsp of coconut oil for greasing the mug

In a small mixing bowl, combine your chopped berries, egg, butter, almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda and drops of vanilla extract.  Fold in your chocolate chips last. 

Grease a large coffee or tea mug with coconut oil.  Spoon in the cake batter into the greased mug. 

Microwave on high for 1 to 2 minutes, depending on the heat and consistency of the cake.  Mine was ready in about 1 minute, 40 seconds. 

Let it cool for a few minutes or slice it into pieces before eating.  The cake is very hot from the microwave and heat of the mug. 

I dumped the cake onto a plate so you could see what it looks like.  And so I could take a picture of it.  You can just eat it straight from the mug though!  :-)

Enjoy every last bite.  This is really good stuff and so easy to throw together quickly too. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Skillet Salmon Burgers

There are so many health benefits to eating salmon.  However, that pink fish can be hard to obtain fresh and inexpensively.  My husband doesn't care for it much.  I like it.  Salmon isn't my favorite fish but seasoned and cooked properly, it becomes a tasty, good-for-me meal.  I have finally found an easy, cheaper way to cook with it.  I plan on making this a regular lunch rotation for me.  This recipe surprised me at how good it was!  I hope you enjoy it too.

Skillet Salmon Burgers
(Makes 4 patties)

1 can (14.5 oz) of all natural, wild caught packed salmon, packed or caught in Alaska if available - read ingredients carefully and ensure that all you are buying is salmon.  I used a Chicken of the Sea brand for the recipe
2 eggs - preferably from pasture raised chickens
2 Tbsp coconut flour
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp lemon pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cajun spices/seasonings (optional)
2 Tbsp lime juice, all natural

*The above list may look like a lot but it's just a variety of seasonings and spices.  You can alter them to fit your taste buds. 

Open your can of packed salmon.  Drain it carefully and rinse lightly too.  I put mine in a strainer and poked through it with my fingers to get out any bones or skins.  (I found several small pieces so I highly recommend going through your can of salmon too!)

Place your sorted salmon in a medium size mixing bowl.  Mash and pat down.  Add in your two eggs, coconut flour and all the seasonings.  Stir and blend well. 

Pour in the lime juice last.  Combine and stir again. 

Use your hands to form four salmon patties.  Set aside. 

Grease a skillet lightly with olive oil.  Set heat to medium.  Cook your salmon patties, about 7-8 minutes each side.  Or until your desired darkness.  I like mine almost well done.

Serve over salad or simply eat as is with a seafood dip (mixture of organic ketchup, mustard and mayo).  Soo good and great for you! 

Note: These freeze well too.  Make more than what you need and freeze several patties.  Reheat in the microwave or on the skillet again. 


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Better for You Pizza Crust

Pizza is something that anyone will miss from time to time.  I remember having a slice of take-out a few months after we changed our diet to a Primal/Paleo lifestyle.  Ugh!  Within an hour after eating it, I felt bloated and sick.  Blech. 

Yet somehow we forget that it made us feel bad and we want it again.  It's hard not to resist it when those constant TV commercials make their pizzas look so inviting and tasty.  But trust me those slices are so bad for you.  Like really bad.  Don't do it.  Just don't do it!  Make your own instead.  Creating your own healthy pizza doesn't take long and your body will love you more for it.

I've tried a half dozen different paleo-ish and primal pizza crust recipes out there from the web.  I tried two with almond flour. Yuck!  Pizza should not taste nutty.  I tried one with so many ingredients in it that it was just a pain to make.  I made one completely with tapioca flour - good but too carb dense for me these days. Finally after experimenting, measuring and re-tweaking, I think I found a winning combination that suits everyone in my family - not too carb heavy, good protein and great with any toppings and seasonings. 

Here it is.  I hope you like it too:

Better For You Pizza Crust
Makes one pizza - not too thin and not too thick, somewhere perfect in the middle

1 cup of coconut flour
1 cup of tapioca flour
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cream of tarter
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp of other Italian herbs/spice or combo
2 eggs
1/3 cup of olive oil
1 cup of water, warm

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease a round pizza pan with olive oil.  Set aside.

In one large mixing bowl, combine your dry ingredients.  Put them in the order listed above - begin with the coconut flour.  Add in the tapioca flour, sea salt cream of tarter, baking soda and all the rest of your herbs and spices.  Mix until combined. 

Now add in your wet ingredients.  Place your eggs, olive oil and warm water.  I find it's best to use my hands to stir the ingredients.   So dig there and don't be afraid to get dirty when you're cooking!  Using a spoon just doesn't work well for me. 

Your dough will be a bit crumbly.  That's okay....  It still stays together and spreads out into your pizza pan easily.

Bake at 400 degrees for 16 to 20 minutes.  Mine was ready at 18 minutes exactly.  And boy did it smell so good in those last few minutes of baking.  Mmmm, mmmm!

We try not to eat pizza too often, maybe once every 4 to 6 weeks.  Sometimes we go longer than that.  But when we have an itch for it, I make this better-for-you pizza crust (gluten-free, sugar-free, crap-free and more).  I then load it with good veggies, avocado and more! 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Slow Cooker Barbecue Sauce

Have you ever looked at the ingredients in store bought barbecue sauce?  High fructose corn syrup.  Soy bean oil.  Sugar.  And a bunch of other stuff I can't even pronounce.  Ugh! 

I haven't found a suitable sauce replacement for the junk-infused kind my family used to consume back in the day.  So I finally decided to make my own.   After all, how hard can it be? 

Not hard at all as it turns out....  In fact, throw all your ingredients in the slow cooker and just let it simmer up and transform into some Southern style goodness.

We had this on grilled chicken and also a pizza recipe that I used to make but had to modify to make it "primal" or paleo-ish.  I'll be sharing that pizza crust and pizza recipe soon!  :-)

Slow Cooker (and Crap-Free) Barbecue Sauce
Makes about 3 and 1/4 cups

3 small onions, minced or chopped finely
4 garlic cloves, minced
8 oz can of tomato sauce - read label carefully for no salt, sugar or additives
6 oz can of tomato paste - read label carefully for no salt, sugar or additives
1 and 1/2 cups of all natural chicken broth
1 Tbsp local honey
1 Tbsp molasses
1/8 cup + 1 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup of Dijon mustard
1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp of Worcestershire sauce - add at the end - optional

In a skillet, cook your minced onions with garlic.  Simmer and stir them for several minutes.

Cook until they turn brown.  This helps seal in the flavor to begin your barbecue sauce.  It should look like this:

Now place the cooked onions and garlic in the bottom of your slow cooker.  Turn the heat to low.  Add in all remaining ingredients except for the Worcestershire sauce.  Stir. 

Cook on low for 4-5 hours. 

Taste the sauce.  If you think it needs a little bit more punch, add in the Worcestershire sauce.  If you like it as is, leave out the last ingredient. 

Serve over your grilled chicken or on a barbecue pizza (recipe will be posted soon for that!)