Gluten Free

Sweet Potato Tacos with Black Beans and Corn

Sweet potato, black bean and corn tacos Sweet Potato Tacos with Black Beans and Corn

These sweet potato tacos are as delicious as they are beautiful to look at.  Taco night really is awesome: tortillas keep easily in the freezer and thaw quickly, toppings are generally easy to throw together, and everyone can assemble their own tacos the way they want them- practically the definition of family friendly!

I love traditional tacos with savory and satisfying ground meat, blackened fish, and even shrimp.  But I wanted to try something a little lighter – still savory, but a little sweet as well.  So I browsed around for inspiration and found these Honey-Lime Sweetened Sweet Potato, Black Bean and Corn Tacos at cookingclassy.com.  I adapted the recipe a smidge – reducing the sweetness and adding a jalapeno for flavor and spice.  The results were delicious and surprisingly fast to prepare.  I remember looking at my clock and thinking I had a good 10 minutes of empty space to fill before I needed to call the kids to the table (at this point in life that feels like practically an eternity, and it’s not a feeling I have often while preparing dinner!).  

My husband doesn’t like sweet potatoes, so I simply pulled some of the bean and corn mixture aside before mixing in the sweet potatoes.  You could certainly do the same if you have a sweet potato non-eater.  Again, the beauty of tacos!

Tasty Taco Toppings Tasty Taco Toppings

Sweet Potato Tacos [...]

Maple Spiced Buckwheat Pancakes

maple spiced pancakes

I love making pancakes on weekends and buckwheat pancakes are my favorite.  Buckwheat has a wonderful nutty flavor and stays moist and tender in pancake form.  And I don’t know what it is, but I just feel good after eating buckwheat.  In this recipe I mix in some oat flour, which provides some natural sweetness that balances out the nuttiness of the buckwheat.  Cinnamon and maple syrup provide the subtle spice and sweetness and contribute to the beautiful golden color.

Buckwheat is technically a fruit seed, not a cereal grain, and isn’t at all related to wheat (therefore it’s completely gluten-free).  High in nutrients including an array of phytonutrients such as lignans, which can protect against heart disease and cancer.  For a full list of the health benefits of buckwheat, click here.  It is one of my favorite super foods.

I rarely write down my pancake recipes – I make them so much I have a general formula memorized and on any given day I tinker with it a little, adding this or that – pancakes are pretty hard to screw up.  But the buckwheat pancakes I made this weekend were especially good – lightly spiced but not in a holiday-y kind of way.  They were moist and fluffy yet filling, and a just a tad sweet, making them pleasant to eat on their own but not so sweet that they’d be too sugary with syrup on top.

When you go to buy buckwheat flour make sure you buy 100% buckwheat flour.  Sometimes buckwheat mixes contain a majority of refined white flour with only a little bit [...]

Roasted Pork Tenderloin and Pineapple with Barbecue Glaze

Roasted Pork Tenderloin and Pineapple with Barbecue Glaze Roasted Pork Tenderloin and Pineapple with Barbecue Glaze

I just made this Roasted Pork Tenderloin and Pineapple with Barbecue Glaze last week, and I already want to make it again.  It went quickly in my house – I think my husband took care of the leftovers before I had a chance to.

I post a lot of vegetarian and vegan recipes on this blog, which I love, but I do eat meat a couple of times a week in small quantities.  I tried being vegetarian once and I just felt…deficient.  So I’ve accepted that this is what I need for now and I buy naturally-fed meat from ethically-raised animals from our local farmer’s market and feel pretty good about it.  As a health coach I find it’s important to honor what your body needs.  The reality is that we evolved eating animals and on an intuitive physical level many of us may just need it to thrive.  Traditional Chinese Medicine recognizes the importance of meat in building strength and vitality.  True story: at my first appointment with an acupuncturist the doctor said, “I don’t have to worry about you becoming a vegetarian, do I?” (I did make the vegetarian attempt not too long after that, with short-lived and totally unsuccessful results).

Many of us in the holistic nutrition world may feel pressure to be vegetarian, or vegan, and as I said it is important to listen to your body.   Some thrive on a vegetarian diet and I’ve seen others actually become more ill after becoming vegetarian!  That said, most Americans will benefit [...]

Artichoke Pesto Pasta with Spinach and Mushrooms

Artichoke Pesto Pasta Artichoke pesto on pasta shells with sauteed spinach and mushrooms

In thinking of some ways to use Spring’s first exciting produce items, namely artichokes and asparagus, I decided to try an artichoke pesto recipe.   I’m glad I did because I liked it as much if not more than regular pesto (which I love)- definitely more on pasta.  It has more body to really coat the pasta, and the tang of the artichokes was a really nice complement to the unami of the pecorino romano and sauteed mushrooms.  And dang, it was easy!

This is a great recipe to make in advance, because it truly does taste better after it sits and the flavors meld for a bit.  Unlike basil-based recipes the pesto won’t discolor, so no worries there.  And with this sitting in the fridge you’ll have a lightning-fast dinner ready in no time!  It’s just a bonus that your pasta sauce basically contains a servings worth of vegetables.

I adapted a recipe from Giada DeLaurentiis, whose recipes I find to be lovely and approachable.  You could certainly use this pesto as an appetizer or side, as she does by putting it on crostini.  I also used it to top some poached salmon, which was super, super delicious.

For more great health-boosting recipes and time-saving shopping lists and weekly planners be sure to check out the Eat Happy Meal Plan.

Here’s the recipe for the pesto:

Artichoke Pesto
Adapted from Artichoke Pesto on Ciabatta, Giada De Laurentiis
Total Prep Time: 15 minutes
Active Time: 10 minutes
Serves:  4

Ingredients
8 ounces of frozen [...]

Red Lentil and Coconut Milk Soup

Red Lentil and Coconut Milk Soup

To be completely honest this Red Lentil and Coconut Milk Soup surprised me.  I expected it to be tasty, and I knew it would be satisfying thanks to the coconut milk, but I was surprised at how subtly fragrant and delicious all of the flavors combined to be.

The flavors are mildly of curry, but not a kind of curry that beats you over the head or fills your house.  The cumin and coriander are savory, and yet the ginger and coconut milk provide a light fragrance and sweetness as well.  If you’re not a lentil lover red lentils might be just the thing for you – in this soup they practically dissolve, and in the end you’d hardly guess they’re there, as they combine with the coconut milk to provide an overall thick and creamy texture that is lovely.  Sauteed garbanzo beans make the soup hearty enough for a meal and add an extra layer of umami and texture.  The jalapeno provides a nice counter to the sweetness of the coconut milk.  Overall the soup has such a well-rounded yet subtle flavor profile that I just loved.

The kiddos gave it their endorsement as well, captured without words in this lovely portrait.  They think you should give it a try!Red Lentil and Coconut Milk Soup Love

Red Lentil and Coconut Milk Soup
From Eat Happy Meal Plan
Adapted from Coconut Red-Lentil Curry, Gourmet 2006
Total Prep Time: 45 minutes
Active Time: 20 minutes
Serves:  4 with [...]

Real Food Hot Chocolate Recipe

Better Hot ChocolateBetter Hot Chocolate

Ditch the nasty packets!  Make the most of this late winter storm with this real food hot chocolate recipe.  Made with whole milk, real cocoa, raw honey, and a pinch of sea salt.  It may just literally warm your soul.

It’s easy peasy: take about 8-10 ounces of milk (I use goat milk, but you can use grass-fed cow’s milk, or even almond milk) and mix in about a tablespoon of good-quality cocoa (Droste is good) in a small to medium saucepan.  You’ll have to whisk it pretty well while it’s over medium-low heat.  (Keep it on the lower end, as milk can scorch – milk likes low and slow).  Real cocoa isn’t as easy to dissolve as cocoa mixes, but after 2-3 minutes it will completely dissolve.  Heat it until it’s almost to a simmer, but not quite.  The milk will be very hot and appear to thicken a little.  Then stir in 2-3 teaspoons of real honey and a tiny pinch of sea salt.

The result will be a creamy, dark chocolate cocoa experience that you’ll look forward to on cool days.  Marshmallows optional, but always fun.

Eat happy!

  • White bean chili with sweet potatoes and jalapeno
    Permalink White bean chili with sweet potatoes and jalapenoGallery

    White Bean and Turkey Chili with Sweet Potatoes and Jalapeno

White Bean and Turkey Chili with Sweet Potatoes and Jalapeno

White bean chili with sweet potatoes and jalapeno White bean and turkey chili with sweet potatoes and jalapeno

This chili has been very popular with the kiddos for dinner, and will be a new winter staple in our house.  That’s my 3 year old’s chili – the supermodel in the above pic. It’s a sweet, savory, and if you want, slightly spicy take on chili.  Half-way between a traditional chili and a white chili it’s not too acidic, which I really enjoy with the traditional savory chili spices (and it’s easier on sensitive tummies).

I served mine with a little grated white cheddar cheese, some sliced green onions, and a spoonful of plain yogurt – delish.

Possible adaptations: omit the turkey if you’re vegetarian and add an extra can of beans, or a little diced firm tofu.  If you’re not into sweet potatoes (my husband isn’t), simply omit those – it’ll be just as good without them, and a little more traditional.

Recipe:  White Bean and Turkey Chili with Sweet Potatoes and Jalapeno

From: Eat Happy Meal Plan: 2/17/14
Total Prep Time: 45 minutes
Active Time: 30 minutes
Serves:  4 with leftovers

Ingredients
4 ½ cups cooked white beans, such as cannellini, from 1 ½ cups dried or 3 cans
1 lb ground turkey, preferably free-range and pasture-fed
1 jalapeno minced small, seeds removed if you want less spice
2 poblano or green bell peppers, minced (use bell peppers if you want less spice)
4 teaspoons minced garlic, from about 4 cloves
3 teaspoons ground cumin
1 ½ teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon chili powder
4 cups chicken [...]

Decadent Brownie Tart

Brownie tart batter Brownie tart batter..the precursor to the best brownies ever

That’s not tofu, my friends.  And the cleanse is over.

That’s the real deal: chocolate, butter, eggs, sugar.  These are simply the best brownies ever, and I just had to share for Valentines Day.

The most wonderful thing about these brownies is how delicious they are.  They are rich and fudgy and almost a hybrid between brownies and molten chocolate cake – in fact if you under-baked them they could be quite molten in the middle, if you wish.

The second most wonderful thing is how little flour they call for.  That’s just good brownie protocol to begin with.  But it also makes them very easy to substitute with gluten-free ingredients if you wish.  I have used rice flour, gluten-free baking mixes, oat flour, or combinations of all of those.  They all work fine.

I’m going to give the real artist the credit here: this is Ina Garten’s recipe for Brownie Tart.  I did make a few changes: I didn’t bother with the chocolate drizzle on top, although that would look lovely, and I omitted the walnuts for a very pure chocolate brownie.  I also reduced the sugar by about 20%, just to make them a little more of a dark chocolate experience.  But I’ve made the recipe at least 10 times, tinkering just slightly like so, and it’s always amazing.

I made them in the tart pan this time, but I’ve also made them in an 8 x 8 square pan, which leads to a thicker more brownie-like size.  I did the tart pan this time because I plan on [...]

By |February 14th, 2014|General, Gluten Free|
  • Whole Grain Waffles
    Permalink Whole grain waffles (gluten fre) with fresh strawberry sauce and toasted pecansGallery

    Whole Grain Waffles with Fresh Strawberry Sauce and Toasted Pecans

Whole Grain Waffles with Fresh Strawberry Sauce and Toasted Pecans

Whole Grain Waffles Whole grain waffles (gluten free) with fresh strawberry sauce and toasted pecans

Yesterday I absolutely delighted my daughter when she asked me what was for dinner.  I wish that was a daily occurrence, but it isn’t always – she is 3, after all.  When I responded with “waffles”, her immediate response was “that’s crazy” (she meant in a good way!) and all through dinner she had a big smile at the treat that was breakfast for dinner.

I figured if I was going to make waffles for dinner I should make them good.  So I took a little more time and made some tasty toppings to pair them with: toasted pecans and a fresh homemade strawberry sauce.  The end result was a family-pleasing dinner treat.  And the waffles were still nutritious, as I primarily used rolled oats, ground into flour in the food processor, along with some buckwheat flour and sorghum flour (you could certainly use whole wheat or all-purpose flour).

So here is how to delight your family with dinner!

Whole Grain Waffles with Fresh Strawberry Sauce and Toasted Pecans

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups rolled oats
1 1/4 cups any whole grain flour or all-purpose flour (I used 1/2 buckwheat and 1/2 sorghum, but you can use whatever you like)
2 cups whole milk (sub dairy-free milk if you like)
4 eggs
2-3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 package frozen strawberries, with no added sugar
1 1/4 cups raw pecans
5 tablespoons butter
real maple syrup
sea salt or kosher salt
high-heat oil for your waffle maker, if necessary

Directions:

  1. Heat a [...]
By |February 13th, 2014|Gluten Free, Soy Free|

Oregon Blueberry Brunch Cake

A nice slice of Oregon blueberry brunch cake A nice slice of blueberry brunch cake

I’m ringing in the new year with something old – my mom’s Oregon Blueberry Brunch Cake.  My mom would make this for us frequently when my sisters and I were growing up living in Oregon.  We’d pick mountains of blueberries in the summer and freeze them to use throughout the coming year.  This was hands-down my morning favorite.

Of course I adapted it a little – just a smidge.  I used oat flour – my favorite gluten-free flour, and just a tiny bit of all-purpose gluten free flour mix to help with stability.  I used maple syrup in the cake instead of sugar, and real butter instead of oil.  And I used my favorite wild blueberries, which are now widely available in grocery stores.

The result was simply fantastic.  And you would NEVER – I swear to you – NEVER know this is gluten free.  You would also not guess that it’s almost entirely a whole grain cake.  That’s the fantastic thing about oat flour – it doesn’t have any of that cardboard-like flavor of whole wheat.  It’s sweet, and bakes up to be soft like white flour – not grainy.  But, as you can (kind of) see from the picture, it will have a golden color, and in this cake has an almost graham-y flavor.

I implore you to make this brunch cake.  You will be happy that you did.

Blueberry Brunch Cake Oregon Blueberry Brunch Cake

Oregon Blueberry Brunch Cake

Ingredients
1 cup oat [...]

By |December 31st, 2013|Gluten Free, Recipes, Soy Free|