Almond Flour Pastry Crust

Wheat-free Almond Flour Pastry Crust

Author: Fumbling Towards Evolution with Dina

Almond Flour Pastry Crust

Almond Flour Pastry Crust

Hubby is missing pastry crust pies. Since going wheat-free in December 2013 I’ve only made this nut crust. I wanted to personalize and create a crust that’s similar to a traditional grain pastry crusts. With a little research and some tinkering I’ve made a delicious crust that harkens back to autumn desserts past.

This recipe is simple and you can make the crust ahead of time and refrigerate if you’re not ready to use it now. It also works perfectly with quiches and other pies. Trust me, I’ve made several versions and this is one I’m sticking with!

Come to the kitchen…

Ingredients:wpid-20141018_102744.jpg

  • 2 Cups of Almond Flour/Meal
  • 2 Tablespoons of Melted grass-fed Butter or Coconut Oil (I’ve used both and the result are the same)wpid-20141018_102931.jpg
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Baking Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Natural Sweetener of choice I used Truvia for baking (omit for savory dishes like Quiche)wpid-20141018_103058.jpg
  • 1/8 Teaspoon of Sea Salt
  • 1 Egg and 1 Egg White

Directions:

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees

  1. Mix Almond flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking powder.
  2. Melt butter or coconut oil and add to a well-mixed dry ingredients.
  3. Then crack an egg and mix into flour mixture until fully integrated.
  4. Using a 9-inch pie dish press the crumbly mixture into the pan.

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    Press a round flat cup or bowl to even out your crust.

  5. I used a measuring cup to flatten the bottom first, then the sides.wpid-20141018_103726.jpg
  6. Once you’ve forked the edges for a little flair, then lightly brush the entire crust with the egg white. I find the egg white helps hold the crust together and adds a little shine.wpid-20141018_103847.jpg
  7. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 8 to 12 minutes depending on your oven.

Or You could refrigerate the crust and save for later, if you’re making a pie or Quiche now then just fill with ingredients and bake as usual.

That’s it, simple, delicious, low carb and wheat & grain free nutritious crust…

Take a look at this beauty!

Almond Flour Pastry Crust

Almond Flour Pastry Crust

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Chicken Ceasar Salad Slice with Personalized Fat Head Crust

Author: Fumbling Towards Evolution with Dina

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For the past year I have mourned the loss of pizza. There are not many things that I miss since going wheat-free, but pizza is definitely a sore spot. I was always really picky about the pizza I would eat and where it was from. As an Italian American we have pretty strict standards when it comes to crust, sauce , and good toppings. I wasn’t one for fast-food pizza, it had to be a hot slice from my favorite pizza man in Brooklyn, NY. An old-school Sicilian man whose sauce is perfect and sweet. His crust always thin, crispy, and delicious. I say often that if I ever do cheat it’s going to be when I know he’s retiring and I’ll never have his pizza again. I probably won’t but I like to pretend.

Anyway, I have seen the Fat Head pizza recipe floating around wheat-free and Paleo pages and blogs, but I never really gave it a thorough look. I figured there’s just no way it could come close to the real thing, so why bother. I was wrong…dead wrong.

I made a Margarita pizza (that’s fresh tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella) for some guests. It was the first time and it was so good everyone remarked on the delicious crust. If you follow me and read my recipes you know I have a tendency to play with recipes and make them my own. So here’ s my version of Fat Head pizza.

The Crust

Enough for 1 large pie

  • 3 Cups of Shredded Mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup of Garbanzo Bean flour or CeCe flour (original recipes uses almond flour
  • 4 Tablespoons or 1/4 Cup of Cream Cheese
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon of grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 Teaspoon of Italian Seasoning (parsley, basil, oregano, garlic powder, and rosemary if you like it)
  • 1 Pinch of Sea Salt & Pepper each
  • 1 Tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (1/2 for greasing the other half for stove-top preparation of crust)

You will also need a round pizza pan or square baking ceramic stone, but a cookie sheet will work too. You’ll also need parchment paper that is oiled on both sides lightly.

Directions:

Preheat Oven to 425 Degrees

Note: I don’t own a microwave, don’t like them and only use them in emergencies so I melted the cheese on stove-top with a non-stick pan. You can microwave these ingredients on High for 1 to 2 minutes. I would stop and stir it after a minute or until the cheese is thoroughly melted. See directions for microwave use here: Fat Head Pizza Crust recipe.

  1. Drizzle about a 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil in a non-stick pan heated on very low.
  2. Add your shredded mozzarella, cream cheese, grated cheese, seasonings and stir until well combined.
  3. Beat eggs and put in a bowl, when the cheese is melted mix in beaten eggs and continue to integrate into the cheese mixture.
  4. Lastly, slowly add Garbanzo Bean Flour a sprinkle a little bit at a time and turn off the heat and continue to combine into fully mixed in. Use a rubber spatula.
  5. Spread crust on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet/stone/pizza pan.
  6. Bake for 6-8 minutes or until crust browns.
  7. Remove from oven and dress with whatever toppings you like.

Across the street from where I work is a pizzeria. Before I went wheat-free I had a favorite slice that they prepared. I never cheated on my old Sicilian man for a regular slice, because no one compares to his, but there Chicken Caesar Salad slice was the bomb! So I recreated it using this crust. Here’s the recipe.

Chicken Caesar Salad Slice

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  • Grill chicken breasts with olive oil and seasonings of choices then slice into thin strips and cut in half.
  • Roughly chop 1 head of Romaine Lettuce and mix with chicken
  • Take 1 Cup of shredded mozzarella and mix in with the lettuces and chicken.
  • Then take another Tablespoon of grated Parmesan and about a 1/2 Cup to a 3/4 cup of Creamy Caesar Dressing: I used this dressing from The Black Peppercorn minus the anchovy paste because I don’t like fish. You can also use store bought Caesar just make sure it has natural ingredients and its gluten-free.
  • In a pinch Annie’s is my go-to Creamy Caesar. See here: Annie’s Organic Caesar Dressing.
  • Mix it all together, but save about two tablespoons of dressing to coat the cooked crust.
  • Spread the salad mixture over entire pizza and feel free to add more mozzarella or grated cheese as desired.
  • Bake in 425 Degree oven for 5 minutes, slice and serve.

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So delicious and you get all you need in one plate! Protein and Veggies!

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Wheat-free Moist Vanilla Cake with Dark Chocolate Frosting

Fumbling Towards Evolution with Dina-Recipe adapted from Bob’s Red Mill Magically Moist Almond Cakewpid-photogrid_1409574843515.jpg

I don’t have a sweet tooth, but a nice of cake every now and then with a cup of coffee is nice and makes me feel normal. The problem with most wheat & grain free cake recipes is moisture and texture. They are either too dry, crumbly, or have way too much coconut flavor.  This recipe is moist and spongy, but not too spongy. My husband said, “If you didn’t tell me otherwise I would’ve thought you made box cake.”

I changed a couple things from the original recipe. For one, instead of milk I used heavy cream to add a moist density. I also upped the Vanilla Extract for a more box-cake like flavor. I  use “heaping” teaspoons of baking powder in my baking. I find a little extra goes a long way for rise. I used salted butter instead of adding salt, but if your butter is unsalted just add 1/8 of teaspoon. Lastly, I of course swapped out the sugar for an approved Wheat Belly sweetener and reduced it by a 1/4 of a cup.

This cake makes a great base for frosting, whipped cream and strawberries, sugar-free jelly, and toasts up like pound cake.wpid-20140831_171015.jpg

When done right, frosting can make or break a cake. Don’t get me wrong, the cake part has to be moist and flavorful too. I read a couple of homemade frosting/ganache recipes and in the end I just kind of winged it. The results were fabulous. wpid-20140831_173718.jpg

I perfected a chocolate frosting recipe that is to die for. It spreads just like creamy Duncan Heinz chocolate frosting. It’s so versatile you can use it as either a ganache or frosting, it refrigerates well and spreads beautifully! You can also use this to dip fruit in or drizzle over cookies.

This cake batter works great as cupcakes too…so your choice!

Ingredients for Cake:

  • 1-1/2 cups Almond flour/meal sifted
  • 1/2 cup and teaspoon (keep separate for baking pan) of Coconut flour sifted
  • 3/4 cup Grass-fed salted butter
  • 3/4 cup of sweetener of choice (I used Turbinado Sugar or Swerve Sweetener)*
  • 2 heaping teaspoons of baking powder
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Unsweetened almond milk or for extra richness Heavy whipping cream
  • 1 Tablespoon & a half of Vanilla Extract or Almond Extract if you prefer a nuttier flavor.
  • Optional Topping: I sprinkle slivered almonds on the frosting before it hardened, you can also sprinkle Almond meal.

*Original recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar, but my Wheat Belly refined taste buds don’t require things so sweet, especially when adding frosting or other toppings. I used Turbinado sugar because it has a caramel like taste that adds depth to the vanilla flavor when I made it for guests. If you want to keep this recipe super low carbohydrate use 3/4 Cup of to 1 Cup of Swerve. I made this recipe with both sweeteners and it tastes great either way, it’s about what I have on hand.

Directions: For Cake

Grease a 9′ by 13′ Cake Pan, or Bunt Pan, two small round cake pans or 12-cupcake pan. Note: baking times will vary depending on the kind of pan you use. This recipe baking time is the 9′ by 13″ Pan and cupcakes.

Preheat Oven to 350

  1. In a large bowl combine sifted almond flour, coconut flour, and vanilla.wpid-20140824_170013.jpg
  2. In a separate bowl, using an electric mixer, blend butter with sweetener until you have a thick creamy consistency.wpid-20140824_164758.jpg wpid-20140824_164923.jpg
  3. Slowly add the eggs, one by one into the sugar-butter mixture.wpid-20140824_165029.jpg
  4. Once all the eggs have been added, then add vanilla and milk.wpid-20140824_165349.jpg
  5. Using an electric mixer combine until you see a fluffy thick yellowish batter.wpid-20140824_170220.jpg
  6. Slowly add the flours and continue to mix on medium until batter is fully integrated.
  7. Grease pan with butter, olive oil, or coconut oil then using a sieve or sifter sprinkle a thin coating of coconut flour around the pan. No parchment paper needed!wpid-20140824_170352.jpg
  8. Fill pan of choice with batter and spread evenly with a plastic spatula.wpid-20140824_170536.jpg
  9. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
  10. Remove cake from oven and let cool down for a good half hour to an hour before attempting to plate or frost.wpid-20140824_174003.jpgwpid-20140824_185941.jpg

**The pictures in the post reflect the top and the bottom of the cake. I flipped the cake to show you how perfectly it bakes and stay’s together.

Ingredients for frosting:

Directions for Frosting:

  1. Heat oil and butter in a medium saucepan on medium.
  2. Add coconut oil, then butter and keep stirring.
  3. Don’t let it smoke or burn, your just going for the solids to turn to liquids.
  4. Once the butter and coconut oil have melted add your chocolate chips and keep stirring on a very low flame until all the chips have melted.
  5. If the cake has fully cooled off you can spread the melted chocolate on top the of the cake for hard chocolate topping.
  6. Otherwise, refrigerate for 10 minutes to firm up the mixture then remove and whip with an electric mixture into a creamy frosting, then spread.

Note: If the frosting get’s too hard just re-melt slightly and then whip.

I refrigerated my cake because my hubby like’s his cake cold, but you can store it out on the counter. Once you taste it I doubt it will last very long.wpid-20140831_173658.jpg wpid-20140831_173703.jpg wpid-20140831_173724.jpg

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Creamy Cauliflower Mash

Fumbling Towards Evolution with Dinawpid-0822140856b.jpgI’ve had cauliflower mash in restaurants several times before. I was never really wowed or thought, “Yes! that tastes like mashed potatoes”. Something was missing. At a BBQ this summer, Frankie (my best friend) made some cauliflower mash, and it was all over! You remember Frankie, he’s the one who made those awesome wheat-free mozzarella sticks! Needless to say, we were all fighting for seconds and thirds of this creamy delight. His secret ingredient???

Cream Cheese…more specifically Temp Tee Cream Cheese BREAKSTONE'S - TEMPTEE - CREAM CHEESE WHIPPED

Just a 1/4 cup adds such depth and creaminess, you swear your eating mashed potatoes. This recipe satisfies a couple other foods cravings. I have been missing Farina (Cream of wheat) and Grits. When I was a kid, Farina was a regular breakfast with butter and salt prepared by grandma or mom. When I was older and traveled to New Orleans, I discovered my love of grits. Both of these hot morning cereals are a no-no on Wheat Belly. Until these!!!

After making my own batch I had some in the morning with eggs and butter, just like a plate of southern grits…Oh my Goddess! So good!

Later that night hubby brought home thinly sliced roast beef and bone broth gravy (Recipe to be uploaded soon)…wpid-20140822_172025.jpgGuess who had a huge helping of cauliflower mash with gravy and roast beef. Can I tell you this was one of most satisfying meals I’ve had in a long time. Between the bone broth gravy and the mash, I felt like I was cheating! The beauty of all these foods, totally allowed and Wheat Belly friendly!

So here’s the recipe…I suggest you make a whole head of cauliflower because this will go quickly!

Ingredients:wpid-20140820_171305.jpg

  • 1 head of cauliflower (removed leaves and stem-hint save scraps of bone broth gravy)
  • 4 Tablespoons of grass-fed butter I use Kerrigold*
  • 1/4 Cup of Temp Tee Whipped Cream Cheese
  • 1/4 Cup of Heavy Whipping cream (my addition for added creaminess, but optional)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • For Garnish…Parsley and Paprika (optional)

*Kerrigold makes garlic and herb butter too, so if you want to flavor your mash with garlic you can use this or saute one clove of garlic in butter and combine with ingredients below.

Other Variations: If you’re making it more like a hot breakfast cereal add cinnamon, natural sweetener of choice, chop nuts, a couple of raisins.

Directions:

  1. In salted water, boil a head of cauliflower chopped into four pieces until a fork goes all the way to the center easily.wpid-20140820_171657.jpgwpid-20140820_171714.jpg
  2. Remove from water and drain well. Frankie (see who he is above) squeezes his between paper towels to remove excess water. I didn’t do this step, but you can if you want stiffer mash.wpid-0822140851.jpg
  3. You can mash the cauliflower in a large bowl or in a non-stick large pan with butter. It doesn’t matter which way you do it. I chose the frying pan the second time because I made it more chunky then creamy and wanted it a litter dryer and sauteed.wpid-0822140836.jpgwpid-0822140847.jpg
  4. While the cauliflower is hot, mash with a potato masher and add butter, salt and pepper. Continue to mash until desired texture. The first time I made this my result was smooth and creamy like box mash potatoes or cream of wheat/grits. The second time I made it, I left it a little more chunky. Texture is totally up to you, I like both versions equally.wpid-0822140841a.jpg
  5. Once the butter and seasoning are well integrated, mix in the cream cheese until well-combined.wpid-0822140845.jpgwpid-0822140847.jpg
  6. You can refrigerate for later and reheat in a saucepan or on a low heat stovetop in a non-stick pan, or you can microwave or bake in the oven with cheese and wheat-free breadcrumbs.wpid-0822140855.jpg

Serve hot with gravy, more butter, sour cream & chives, nitrate-free bacon bits. Reheat with eggs and sausage for a grits like breakfast. Or place in a baking pan and cover with shredded cheddar and my wheat-free bread crumb mixture for a Creamy Mash bake!wpid-0822140856.jpgwpid-0822140856a.jpg

Any way you serve this outstanding Creamy Cauliflower mash, you’re sure to enjoy it!wpid-img_20140822_092932.jpg

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Banana-Cinnamon Coconut Macaroons

Fumbling Towards Evolution with Dina

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I discovered my love of macaroons after I began living wheat-free. After Googling recipes I decided on this one found at Food.com. Of course, as with most recipes I tweaked it a bit. My first attempt was a fumble that resulted in fantastic cookies that didn’t look so pretty, but tasted great! (I added a third egg white to recipe below, viola! Cookies instead of macaroons)wpid-0818142138.jpgMy second attempt created the best damned macaroons I’ve ever had. Needless to say, hubby almost ate all of them in one sitting. Good thing this recipe makes enough batter for about 30-36 cookies!

This recipe is super easy and requires commonly found ingredients…

Come to the kitchen…let’s bake!

Ingredients:wpid-0818142056.jpg

  • 2 Cups of unsweetened coconut I use this brand
  • 2 Cups of Banana coconut shredded from Laughing Giraffe
  • 1 can of Marigold Sweetened Condensed milk*
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon of Vanilla Extract
  • 1/8 Teaspoon of Sea Salt

*If you have a dairy allergy you can also use a 1/4 of organic raw honey, both the condensed milk and honey add sugar, but divide that count by total recipe and the glycemic impact is negligible. If you want zero sugar try Hollow Honey or you can make your own sweetened condensed coconut milk by heating coconut milk and adding honey or Swerve to sweeten. See recipe here by Detoxinista.

Directions:

Preheat Oven to 325 degrees

  1. In a large bowl mix the both kinds of coconut, cinnamon, sea salt and vanilla extract.
  2. Once the dry ingredients are combined, add 1 can of condensed milk and mix until fully integrated.wpid-0818142058a.jpg
  3. In a small separate bowl beat two egg whites until they form stiff peaks. wpid-0818142103.jpg wpid-0818142105.jpg
  4. Then gently fold in egg whites into coconut batter.wpid-0818142107.jpg
  5. With a teaspoon scoop a rounded amount onto a cookie sheet. I use my Pampered Chef stone which is well seasoned so I don’t need it to be greased, the original recipe doesn’t call for a greased sheet either, so I think you can skip it or very lightly grease.wpid-20140820_184715.jpg
  6. You can get about 24 macaroons to one cookie sheet depending on size, and save the rest of the batter for a later date. (Here I made a small batch of 12 on my small pan in the toaster oven) It refrigerates well and helps make the batter stiff which is easier to mold.
  7. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes or until the macaroons are golden. I like mine a little darker so I leave them in a minute or two longer. This parts up to you. The first time you bake them, watch them because they bake pretty fast.wpid-20140821_181510.jpg
  8. Once baked, remove from oven and place onto cooling rack. wpid-20140821_181753.jpg

I eat them hot, hubby likes them cold. Last night he broke them up in a bowl of milk and added some of my wheat-free granola and had cereal! It was delicious…so whether you have these with a cup of coffee or breakfast cereal they are absolutely delish.

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Wheatfree Banana Blueberry Muffins

Author: Fumbling Towards Evolution

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Great for breakfast or evening snack with unsweetened preserves…

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups almond flouralmond flour
    1/4 cup ground flaxseedflaxseed flour
    Sweetener equivalent to half cup of sugar
    1 tsp baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon of salt
    1 ripe banana
  • 1Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon of almond extract
    2 eggs
    1/2 cup sour cream or coconut milkNative-Forest-Organic-Coconut-Milk-043182002080
    1/4 cup walnut or coconut oil
    1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen, or other berriesbbb

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

  1. Grease or use muffin cups for a 12 cup muffin tin.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the  almond flour , flaxseed, sweetener, baking powder and salt and mix well with a spoon.
  3. In another bowl, mash the banana. Add the eggs, sour cream or coconut milk and oil and mix well.
  4. Add the banana mixture to the almond meal mixture and mix thoroughly.
  5. Then gently fold in blueberries.
  6. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins, filling them to almost 3/4 full.
  7. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out dry.
  8. Cool in the tin for about 10 to 15 minutes and then transfer to a rack to cool completely.IMG_4164-1024x768

Enjoy with butter or cream cheese!

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