Thursday, May 30, 2013

Chocolate Squares Or Frosting Fudge (whatever you want to call it)

This idea of chocolate squares came to me when I had too much leftover frosting for my baby girl's birthday cake a month ago.  That reminds me I still need to post her birthday recap and share the recipes I used for the cupcakes and frosting I made!  Remind me, will you? 

Anyway, like I was saying, I had leftover chocolate frosting.  And I HATE to waste any food or ingredients especially chocolate so I decided to see if this would freeze well and if it can be broken up into squares or candy pieces.  Thankfully, it can!  Now my girls and I have a great summer treat (or year-round, let's face it!) that is dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, sugar-free and free of processed ingredients that we don't like.  Yay! 

Note that this takes several hours or even a day for this to be ready to eat.  I know, I know - it's hard to wait that long but trust me on it! 

Chocolate Squares (Or Fudge Frosting)
Makes about 18 squares

1/2 cup of organic palm oil (shortening)
1/2 bag of Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips (allergen-friendly - they are dairy free, soy free, nut free and more!)
Silicone mini square flexible pan - like this one

In a small sauce pan on your stove, melt together the oil (shortening) and chocolate chips.  Stir frequently and be careful not to burn the liquid.  After incorporated for a few minutes, remove from heat. 

Set it aside and leave it alone.  For SEVERAL HOURS!  Once it's no longer hot, you can cover it and leave it alone for even longer.  About 4-5 hours should be fine.  Then after that, we you go to touch it, you'll see it's hardening but still scoop-able, like a fudge frosting.   Scoop it into a silicon mini square pan, similar to this one

Place it in the freezer overnight or for at least 6 hours. 

Remove from the freezer and simply pop out each chocolate square onto a plate or storage container.  Simply leaving mine out at room temperature for a few minutes makes it ready to eat.  You can also place them directly into the fridge to store and take out when you like. 

I live in Florida so you can't leave this stuff out during the hot summer months so it always stays in my fridge.  Anyway, enjoy these!  I know my kid and I do!  :-)

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Pizza Zucchini Casserole (aka Pizza Faux-sagna)

I used to make pastas and lasagnas very frequently up until a year ago.  It was such a quick, easy thing to do - open up a box or bag of pasta; boil it; add meat and vegetables to it.  I sometimes miss it - not the bloating, full feeling or the carbs or the hard to digest moments.  But just the idea of layering the noodles with meat and sauce and cheese.  Finally it hit me the other day when I was looking at my zucchini!  They can be my noodles!  I can still have my faux-sagna without the guilt or insulin spikes!

This came out delicious and I've made it twice within a month now.  So I finally had to share the recipe! 

Pizza Zucchini Casserole (Pizza Faux-sagna)
Serves 4 - 5

4 medium size zucchini, sliced into lasagna size noodles (about 35-40 noodles)
1 pound of ground meat (I have used ground chuck and ground veal in the past)
6-8 slices of uncured, nitrite free pepperoni (like the Applegate Farms brand), broken up into pieces
2 and 1/2 cups of tomato sauce (Or use my no-mato/nightshade slayer fake tomato sauce)
2 Tbsp olive oil for seasoning and greasing the pan
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
4-5 dashes of sea salt

In a skillet, brown your ground meat.  Don't pour out the fat.  Save that for your dish for extra flavor.  Remember, fat is your friend!  Starchy, complex carbs are the enemy!

While your meat is cooking, you can slice (don't peel) your zucchini into lasagna size "noodles" as best as you can.  They don't have to be all the same size.  Some can be thinner or thicker than others.  Mine looked like this:

Once your meat is almost done cooking, add in your broken up pieces of pepperoni.  Stir and cook for another minutes with the meat.

Lightly grease a 2.5 quart baking pan with olive oil.  Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  

Place your zucchini noodles at the bottom of the pan, covering most of it as best as you can.  I used about ten to twelve noodles in one layer.  Now place your meat over the zucchini.  Like this:

Now place your tomato sauce (or use my faux-tomato sauce) over the meat and zucchini.  (If you want to use cheese on top of that you can.  Since my husband avoids dairy, I just top mine with it after it's done cooking). 

Then I continue layering my pizza lasagna with more zucchini noodles, more meat (mix of the ground chuck and pepperoni slices) and any other toppings of my choice until I've used up all of my ingredients.  Usually I have three layers.  So you can think of dividing up your meat, sauce and noodles into three portions before you get started. 

Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.  Top with cheese if your like or any other ingredients that you enjoy on your old style lasagna.  Let it cool for at least five minutes before you slice it up and serve it.

This is really tasty and like I've said, it doesn't leave you feeling bloated or sick afterwards.  Try it.  My kid loved it.  Yours might too!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Slow Cooker Mango Shredded Chicken

I love my slow cooker.  It just makes life so much easier!  I'm going to challenge myself this summer to cook with it even more.  I tried out this recipe yesterday and really enjoyed the flavors.  It reminded me of pulled pork except it was shredded chicken with a Caribbean, fruity flavor.  I used mangoes but I think pineapples would be great as well.

We served this over primal cauliflower rice with a side of sauteed spinach.  I pureed it up for the baby to eat as well. 

Slow Cooker Mango Shredded Chicken
(Serves 6 to 8)

4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp salt
dash of pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp of Coconut Aminos (or use soy sauce if you eat it)
1 Tbsp of vinegar (I used a pineapple flavor I had on hand)
1 cup of my fake tomato sauce (Or use 1 cup of real tomato sauce)
2 mangoes, peeled, seeded and diced

Plug your slow cooker in and set to low heat.  Place the chicken in first at the bottom.  Season with the onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Then drizzle over the olive oil, Coconut Aminos and vinegar.  Then cover the chicken with the fake (or real) tomato sauce.  Top it off with the peeled, diced mangoes. 

Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.  Check it about half way through if you are home and break up/shred your chicken.  If you're not home, then leaving it is alone is fine too.  You can shred at the end. That's the beauty of using a slow cooker! 

Mmm, mmm tasty stuff!

Serve mango chicken over the easy cauliflower rice I've shared here.  So good! 


Thursday, May 2, 2013

Less Than Two Minutes, Best Ever Mini Cake

How's that for a title? Less than two minutes, best ever mini cake!  Did that grab your attention?  It should!  It certainly grabs my taste buds. 

I make this at least once a week for my five year old and me to share when we want an afternoon delight.  I always have the ingredients on hand - banana, egg, almond butter and chocolate.  It is oh-so-simple to make and quick to be ready.  And the taste is out of this world!  You're welcome my friends!

Coming soon I will post more cake recipes and a summary of my daughter Lana's first birthday and the treats I made for the celebration.  I can't wait to share them with you!

Mini Cake - Best Ever, Less than two minutes!
Adapted from Detoxinista

(Makes 1 coffee-mug size cake - you can share it or eat it all!)

1 ripe banana, peeled and  mashed
1 to 2 Tbsp of peanut butter (I use almond butter since I try to avoid peanuts)
1 egg, whisked
1 Tbsp of chocolate chips (optional but so yummy - I use the allergy-friendly Enjoy Life brand!)
Coconut oil or olive oil (or other oil of choice) for greasing
1 large coffee mug (or ramekin dish)

How to make it:
1. Place all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. 
2. Make sure the eggs are whisked and the bananas are mashed up well. 
3. Grease a large coffee mug with olive oil or coconut oil.  Be sure you oil it up the sides as well because the cake will rise. 
4. Pour the cake batter into the coffee mug. 
5. Microwave on high for 1 minute, 20 seconds.  If it seems a bit too wet, microwave for another 20 seconds. 

Be careful - this will be VERY HOT!  You can let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes before eating.  Or you can dump it out onto a plate and place in the fridge to cool for a few minutes. Then dig in.  This is good stuff!

My daughter and I really love this fast and delectable treat!  It's filling and it's a much healthier choice for you then grabbing some sugar-infested, processed snack food from a plastic wrapper in a box. 

Thanks Detoxinista for the original inspiration for this adapted recipe!  It is a wonderful little treat!