I’ve mentioned before that my husband works in food service. This is his busiest time of year; preparing catering orders for holiday parties and families. I needed to have something for him to take to work that he could eat on the fly and give him a bunch of healthy fat and protein. So was born the Grab-N-Go Bars.
I had some batter left from my coconut macaroons…so I experimented. I added some chocolate chips, slivered almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, an egg, some more cinnamon and vanilla. Took a chance, spread it out on my medium size Pampered Chef baking stone and wouldn’t you know it…delicious! Filling and healthy, these bars are grain-free, wheat-free, sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, and full of yumminess.
If you have a nut allergy, just omit the almonds and add more seeds! Chia, flax, sesame…whatever!
**Why I used molasses instead of honey, because a little goes a long way and it’s very sticky so it helps to hold together the bars. Also, Blackstrap Molasses in particular has added healthy benefits that regular molasses and honey don’t have. See here: 15 Health Benefits of Blackstrap Molasses
In a large bowl mix all the ingredients except for egg and sesame seeds.
Make sure everything is evenly combined and well-distributed.
Whisk one egg and mix into the batter.
Heat coconut oil on low and whisk in molasses, stir then add to batter and mix well.
Spread mixture evenly so that height is about 1/2 inch, then sprinkle sesame seeds over the top and lightly press into the batter.
The batter should feel slightly oil but firm.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the edges start to brown.
Remove from oven and let cool.
Using a pizza-cutter slice into squares.
1. You can add a chocolate drizzle by melting some chips in GHEE or Coconut Oil. Drizzle then cool.
2. You can substitute the molasses for honey or maple syrup.
3. You can omit the sweeteners and use liquid Stevia or nothing at all!
Slice, wrap, and Grab-N-Go!
These are moist, but firm, crunchy yet gooey. They’re filling and travel well. You just don’t get better than this. I love the versatility of omitting nuts if you need to. I’m pretty please with myself. LOL
Hubby’s taken them to work every day this week. He says they’re a life-savor and I better make more to get him through the holiday craziness. Of course I will.
Yesterday I was working on new recipes to post for the upcoming holidays. Before I knew it hubby was on his way home from work and the only dinner I had ready was the Evolved Swedish Meatballs I was making for a party today. I thought, we can eat that but with what?
I hunted in my fridge and found two zucchini’s, some left-over baby bello mushrooms, grabbed and onion and in minutes I had tasty side dish.
Come to the kitchen…
2 Zucchini slice in 1/2 discs then in half
1 package of baby bello mushrooms cut into thick slices
1 large onion cut into diced
2 Tablespoons of butter and 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
Sprinkle of Thyme, Garlic Powder, Savory, Ground Black Pepper, and Sea Salt.
Heat a large saute pan on high, add butter and olive oil.
Toss in onions and zucchini and saute until golden brown.
Then toss in mushrooms, keeping heat high constantly moving ingredients around the pan. You want to make sure that everything saute’s evenly and doesn’t burn.
When it’s almost done sprinkle seasonings and salt.
The veggies are caramelized but still hold a slight crispy, the Thyme and Savory add a nice earthy flavor that I love this time of year. Serve with a meat dish as a side and enjoy unlimited!
Every year my friends and I have pot-luck Christmas party. We each bring an appetizer or dessert to nibble while we enjoy the spirits. Since everyone will be picking throughout the night I wanted to make something bite-size and healthy.
I called these ‘evolved’ Swedish Meatballs because there’s no breadcrumb, all the ingredients are organic, and the base of the gravy is my vitamin and mineral packed bone broth. This way I can feel good about indulging and I know there be something there with substance for me and hubby to enjoy!
Come to the kitchen…
1 pound of ground beef
1 pound of ground pork
1 1/2 cups of Heavy Cream (can substitute with Coconut Cream) separated 1 cup and 1/2 cup
2 Tablespoons of Cream Cheese
2 large eggs beaten
3/4 cups of Almond Flour/Meal (If you have a nut allergy just omit Almond flour)
2 separated 1/2 Teaspoons of Guar Gum or Xanthan Gum (or thickener of choice)
1 large package of sliced mushrooms
1/4 tsp of All-spice
1/8 tsp of Nutmeg
2 Teaspoons of Worcestershire Sauce
1 Teaspoon of Sea Salt
1/2 Teaspoon of Ground Black Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon of Thyme
Optional: 1-2 Tablespoons of White or Red Wine
Preheat Oven to 375 degrees
In a large bowl combine ground beef and pork, almond and coconut flour, and ground flaxseed.
In separate small bowl combine beaten eggs, 1 cup of heavy cream, nutmeg, all-spice, sea salt, pepper, and minced garlic, then whisk to combine. (See TIP below)
Pour the seasoned egg mixture into the meat/flour mixture and now it’s time to get down and dirty.
Using your hands and fingers combined all the ingredients until it’s well-integrated.
Using a teaspoon scoop out a small rounded amount and start rolling.
Use two cookie sheets or baking trays, this recipe yields between 48 and 50 meatballs.
Grease baking sheets lightly with olive or coconut oil, then bake for 40 minutes. Twenty minutes in switch trays from top to bottom of the oven so they cook evenly.
Before putting in the oven give the meatballs a light sprinkling of sea salt.
While the meatballs are baking make your gravy.
TIP for Seasoning: I like to combine herbs and spices in the egg & cream mixture so when you combine with the meat the flavors spread out evenly.
Heat bone broth in a large pot and add Worcestershire Sauce and stir.
In a large skillet or pan melt butter and saute sliced mushrooms, sprinkling Thyme while its cooking. Your aiming for nicely browned mushrooms.
Sprinkle one teaspoon of thickener of choice (Guar Gum or Xanthan Gum) into the broth and whisk constantly, if it stick looks watery after a minute then add the second.
Now reduce heat to medium-low and whisk in cream cheese, and keep whisking until it fully breaks down.
Once the gravy is thickened add the browned mushrooms. If you choose to use wine, add to the hot pan where you sautéed the mushrooms and scrape all the flavor off the pan with a spatula using the wine, then add this to the gravy.
If the gravy is still not thick enough add another teaspoon of thickener, just be careful because a lot goes a long way and you don’t want to end up with a gravy that is more gel-like than creamy.
When your meatballs are done, remove from oven and scoop them into the gravy.
Heat it through on high for 5-10 minutes so the flavors integrated.
TIP for Storage: If you decide to freeze, then take half the batch, separate the liquid from the meatballs and freeze apart.
Ladle and serve with a side of cauliflower mash. This dish definitely takes work, but if you make a large batch you can freeze half for another time.
The taste of spiced meatballs combined with the creamy rich gravy is so good, it’s well worth the labor.
These are perfect for dinner, a cocktail party, or quick go-to if you need to bring something last-minute to a party (the frozen batch, that is).
Mixture of Spices you like to top off rolls or Sesame Seeds or Poppy Seeds (this right here is your choice) You could go plain! I also opt for sesame seeds because to me that says roll!
Preheat Oven to 400 degrees.
Grease six small ramekins and place a circle of parchment on the bottom or tart dishes.
When using tart dishes (in which the bottom pops out), not need for parchment paper. Yippie!
Spatula dough into chosen receptacle. Make sure the dough is even.
4. Mix beaten egg with olive oil, and lightly brush the tops of each roll.
5. Then season tops however you like, in this case I am sprinkling some sea salt and sesame seeds.
6. Place ramekins in oven on their own and small tart trays on a large cookie sheet and bake. I prefer the small tart trays because you get a thinner roll (because the focaccia can be dense as a roll), you don’t need cut annoying parchment circles, and they pop out so easily!
7. Remove from oven and transfer to cooling rack.
8. Fully cool the rolls before attempting to slice or store.
Early on a Sunday morning, hubby and I were thinking about dinner. It was one of those busy this weeks and we just didn’t have time for shopping. We raided the fridge and found frozen hamburgers, bacon wrapped scallions, and half piece of pepperoni.
A little foraging in the cabinets revealed a container of Pomi Sauce and Cento Tomato paste. These are my favorite brands when making sauce of any kind.
It’s what I got, so out comes the crock-pot and viola…
Sometimes meals are about using what you have on hand and getting creative. My aunt always put pepperoni in her Sunday sauce and I loved it. It’s not how my family makes sauce, but it sure was delicious.
Come to the kitchen…
3 Frozen Hamburgers
6 Bacon Wrapped Scallions* diced into 1 inch pieces
Seasonings: A generous sprinkle of oregano, garlic powder, basil, nutmeg, sea salt, red pepper if you like it spicy, and ground black pepper.
*Bacon wrapped scallions are something we regularly get from our local butcher. If you don’t have access to these, simply replace with thick cut bacon (about six slices) and scallions, again about six sliced in small pieces. You could also substitute the bacon with pork sausage or even pork ribs, it would be just as yummy. Remember, this is about what you have on hand and using it in a creative way.
It’s this simple, take all your diced, chopped, and sliced ingredients and put in the crock-pot on high for 6 1/2hours. It may not need this long, check it at 5 hours and decide…We were busy and would be out so I set it longer.
Go about your day!
When it’s ready, spiralize the zucchini and flash boil for about 1 minute and drain well.
Slice eggplant thin, pat with a paper towel and saute in about frying an on medium heat in olive or coconut oil. I like to mix equal parts of both, because coconut oil has a higher burn point than olive oil.
Scoop our your delicious meat sauce and ladle over zucchini spaghetti. Top with fried eggplant and grated cheese. Or do what we did, eat as is with some grated cheese. This would also make a great filler for a meat lasagna. See my trick for lasagna pasta here.
A delicious protein packed dinner is served and all your Sunday chores are done.
I don’t know what to eat! Inevitably when I see newcomers join our wheat-free tribe the same words are repeated often. I think most people struggle with breakfast above all else. In many cases getting in the habit of eating breakfast is new.
For myself, when I first went wheat-free, after the cravings subsided and my body adjusted; I found that I was ravenously hungry in the mornings. More so than I had ever been. So I started looking forward to breakfast again. What was frustrating was figuring out what to eat and often not being prepared to make the recipes I found. They either took too much time or were way to complicated for the early morning rush.
Being prepared for breakfast has a lot to do with shopping, preparation, and good leftovers.
Here are some tips…
Make a shopping list with items that can be used for all meals.
Research recipes and make shopping lists with those ingredients in mind.
Buy storage containers that are microwave and dishwasher safe.
Pre-cut vegetables for omelets, sides, and salads.
Mix batters for omelets, wraps, baked goods the night before and refrigerate.
Always have onions, garlic, and at least three kinds of vegetables on hand.
Eggs are your best friend, I always have 2-3 cartons on hand.
Make sure you have enough time to prepare what you want, you have energy now get up earlier!
Have at least two or three breakfasts meal choices that ready if you’re running late like Wheat-free granola, hard-boiled eggs, nuts, a small piece of fruit.
Think outside the breakfast box, have leftovers from dinner for breakfast…I do this often.
I said I would be setting new goals now that my 1-year wheat-free anniversary has passed. I’ve been slacking lately in making sure I have vegetables with every meal. One of the reasons I had so much success the first year is because I consciously made an effort to include vegetables in almost every meal I eat. For breakfast the easiest way to do this is with eggs. If you can’t eat eggs then substitute with proteins like steak, chicken, or nuts.
If you can have eggs this is one of my favorite ways to get protein and vegetables all in one shot. Frittata’s (click on the word Frittata for more recipes) are perfect for this reason. The leftovers (if there are any) make portable lunches or snacks. I don’t always plan my meals so it’s usually about what I have on hand. Today’s frittata features spinach, mushrooms, tomato, scallion and sliced Munster cheese. With the side of nitrate-free breakfast sausage….my day starts right!
1. Medium size skillet nice and hot coated with olive oil.
2. Sauté scallions until clear, then add tomatoes and basil.
3. Add spinach and mushrooms and cover pan until the spinach cooks down.4. Whip eggs, heavy cream, torn in pieces cheese, salt and pepper.
5. Even out the vegetables in the pan and pour egg mixture on top, let cook on one side for 3 minutes.
6. Lift edges while cooking so excess egg runs off and surrounds the edges. Keep lifting the edges and allow runoff to go underneath. Constantly coaxing it into a round shape. When most of the egg has cooked it’s time for the flip. Don’t get nervous…this is easier than you think.
7. Grab a plate whose surface area is bigger than top of the pan, rest on top of pan with a pot holder, and quickly flip. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect or breaks apart a little, you’ll get the hang of it.
8. Now slide the uncooked side face down in pan and cook another 2-3 minutes.
9. Slide the frittata onto a clean plate, cut and serve.
Goal accomplished! A delicious protein packed breakfast with vegetables! Wheat-free, grain-free, nitrate and filler free!
One of our go-to marinades for grilling, BBQ, and oven roasting is Lemon Oreganata. Why? It’s easy, delicious, and good for you. Freshly squeezed lemons, extra virgin olive oil, oregano, garlic powder, sea salt, and pepper. It’s simple and the flavor is exceptional. The tart lemon with the silky olive oil, the bright taste of oregano with earthy flavor of garlic powder combine to make the best flavored meats and poultry.
Since it’s cold and rainy here in New York, I grilled my thighs stove-top. This makes for a fine mess, but worth every single bit of splatter. When you’re done don’t forget to drizzle the some of the juice from the grill pan right on top.
I call this sizzlin because you can only get that fajita-style sizzle with certain ingredients like lemon & olive oil. I choose thighs every time because they’re fattier and make for a more flavorful poultry. This could work with breast too, I just like dark meat.
Come to the kitchen…
2 packages of split, de-boned organic chicken thighs (if you can’t fine them this way, then you can ask your butcher to split and de-bone them or you can see this tutorial)
4-5 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Olive Oil could work too)
Optional: Two scallions chopped right into the marinade
1 Tablespoon of Oregano
1 Tablespoon of Garlic Powder
1 Teaspoon of Sea salt
1/2 Teaspoon of Ground Black Pepper
Optional: Sprinkle of paprika while grilling
Place a stop top grill pan on your stove and put up the heat nice and high, you might want to do this before you marinade the chicken so heats up while your mixing.
Place thighs in a large bowl, then squeeze lemons over the top.
Drizzle your extra virgin olive oil.
Then season with oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Using a grilling fork move the thighs around in the marinade so they get coated nicely.
Don’t be afraid to re-season if you think it needs it, I usually do.
Place thighs skin down on the grill, two at a time. Step back because it’s going to sizzle and spit.
Start with your fattest and thickest thigh, this will be your gauge for grilling time. Feel free to slice open if you’re not sure if it’s cooked.
Let it cook on each side about 4-5 minutes making sure each side gets nice char marks.
I usually turn them back on the skin side one last time before removing to a serving platter. You always want to make sure chicken is fully cooked.
While grilling I sprinkle a dusting paprika.
When fully cooked remove thighs to a platter and drizzle some of the juices from the pan right over the top.
Serve with a big salad or a side of veggies. The thighs are tender, juicy, and the skin is crispy and flavorful.
Seasonings: The usual suspects in most of my dishes: A sprinkle of oregano, garlic powder, sea salt, and ground black pepper.
Preheat Oven to 400 degrees.
Spread broccoli on a flat baking pan and break it up into smaller pieces, then kind of smash it a little bit so the florets are flat.
Liberally sprinkle ground flax, grated cheese, and then seasonings.
Drizzle Olive Oil evenly over the top, then with your hands mix it all up and spread the broccoli out.
Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes and serve hot!
That’s it! The broccoli gets a bread-crumb like crust with the flax and Parmesan and the olive oil gives an almost fried taste. So good and so good for you. This dish is loaded with vitamins and fiber. If you have leftovers, toss in with a couple of eggs and shredded cheddar and you have a fantastic (click here for more frittata recipes) Frittata.
This is basically the same dish with the addition of crumbled sausage. The crumbled sausage takes this from side dish to a meal. I call it earthy because when I think of mushrooms, onions, and spinach I think of hearty vegetables. The crumbled sausage makes it savory and full of flavor. If there are any leftovers you could make a great frittata the next morning and have breakfast or lunch. I love dishes that can re-purposed for another meal.
Come to the kitchen
2 Scallions diced
1/2 pound of crumbled sausage
1 Large Onion chopped
1 Cup of sliced mushrooms
2 Cups of baby spinach
2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
A sprinkle of Thyme, Sea Salt, Oregano, Garlic Powder and Ground Black Pepper.
Optional: A cap-full of white wine while sauteing the onions and mushrooms.
Heat a saute pan on medium to high heat, then add sausage and break it apart with spatula to smaller pieces as it cooks. Saute until almost cooked, but there is still a little pink.
Remove semi-cooked sausage from the pan, and set aside in bowl nearby.
Keeping the pan on medium-high heat, add olive oil, then scallions and onions; saute them until clear and slightly caramelized.
Next add the mushrooms and continue to cook until they are browned, make sure to stir them around so they cook evenly. Do not add salt until the very end or you will end up with soggy mushrooms!
Add the crumbled sausage back into the pan and continue to saute until browned, along with the mushrooms, scallions and onions.
Season with oregano, garlic powder and thyme.
Lastly, toss in the baby spinach and continue to saute until it’s cooked. Now you can salt.
Plate and serve! This whole thing takes about 10-15 minutes.