Raw Chocolates, sugar-free and delicious

No time left today, but will get this recipe up very soon, so stay tuned. I promise it will be in the next couple of days. These are incredible, if you are a true chocoholic and like dark bitter chocolate, but don’t want (or can’t have) all the sugar.

 

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Spaghetti Squash with Pesto

Sorry, not the best photo, but this got eaten so fast I couldn’t get a better one.

Another simple recipe that’s good for the holidays. I froze a lot of pesto this summer, and everyone in the family loves it, so I’m always coming up with ways to use it. This has been a favorite of mine for decades.

First, my Pesto recipe:
3 well-packed cups of fresh basil leaves (no stems)
3 large garlic cloves
1/2 cup walnuts or combination of walnuts and pine nuts
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
Approximately 3/4 cup fresh-grated parmesan (or equivalent aged cheese, preferably raw)
Approximately 3/4 cup extra virgin organic olive oil
salt to taste

Combine everything in a blender or food processor and blend until you get the consistency you desire (I like it very smooth, but some people like it a little chunky).

The squash:
Preheat oven to 375.
Cut a medium to large spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds. Grease a large baking dish (I prefer glass or ceramic), and place the two squash halves face down in the dish. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the skin can be easily pierced with a fork, at which point, remove from oven and let cool until you can easily handle it. Scoop out the insides and place in a bowl.

The two together:
Put as much pesto as you want in with the squash and toss until thoroughly combined. You can serve as is, or alternatively, sprinkle with more parmesan (or mozzarella) and bake until cheese melts, browns and bubbles. Pesto is also great cold on just about anything. Makes yummy omelettes too.

 

 

Spicy Almond-Pecan-Cranberry Holiday Bread

OK, It’s been a long time since I’ve posted recipes on here, so I am going to try to put up a whole bunch of posts today with holiday ideas among them (and yes, more breakfast ideas for those who keep asking!)

First on the list of holiday recipes is this delicious pecan bread that I adapted from a recipe a friend gave me a couple of years ago, which I think she may have adapted from The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cook-Book, by Elana Amsterdam, a great resource for how to use almond flour I have recently discovered, though she uses ingredients I don’t recommend, such as Agave Nectar, which is basically High Fructose Corn Syrup. Anyway, here’s my final adaptation of this bread, great for the holidays, but also a good low-carb, sugar-free, gluten-free breakfast staple. (Pictured above with home-made yoghurt cream-cheese.)

Ingredients:
3/4 cup creamy raw almond butter
4 large eggs, beaten
1/4 cup blanched almond flour
1 T maple syrup (optional, for a sweeter bread)
1/4 cup arrowroot powder
1/2 t baking soda
10 to 12 scoops KAL organic stevia (or to taste–this bread is good sweet or not)
1 t cinnamon
1/8 t cloves
1/8 t fresh ground black pepper
1 t nutmeg
1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
1/4 to 1/2 cup dried cranberries (or dried tart cherries, like Montmorencies)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a bread pan with butter or ghee and dust with almond flour.  Mix together the almond butter and eggs (and maple syrup if using) until thoroughly blended. In a separate bowl, combine the almond flour, arrowroot powder, baking soda, stevia and spices. Combine the wet and dry ingredients well, then fold in the pecans and cranberries or cherries (or both!). Pour batter into the greased pan.
Bake for about 40 to 45 minutes, or until a fork inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in the pan for about an hour. Keeps well in the fridge for at least a week. This bread makes great toast and great french toast too (more breakfast ideas).

Like this knife? Check out Zeke’s amazing new knives at his etsy shop, echtzeke. He’s getting new ones up every couple of days, so keep checking back. Great gift ideas!

Gluten-Free/Grain-Free Holiday Stuffing #1

A few people have been asking me for stuffing ideas(dressing for you Brits [one person asking was a british friend]!), so here’s one I just did this week that was great. I’ll get up a few more soon, as Thanksgiving approaches. Sorry these aren’t the greatest photos. I’ll try to get better ones next time.

Grain-Free, Gluten-Free Vegetable Holiday Stuffing #1

This will be enough to stuff a medium-sized turkey or chicken and have some left over to bake separately. Really the great thing about stuffing is the flavor the herbs give it. We didn’t miss the bread at all here.

2 or 3 medium-sized carrots, diced
2 large stalks celery, diced
1 large (or 2 medium) leeks, sliced thinly
1 medium to large onion, finely diced
1 T dried rosemary, ground up a bit
2 T dried sage, ground
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/4 pound butter, melted
1/4 to 1/2 cup bone broth
1/4 to 1/2 cup blanched almond flour

Saute all the veggies until soft in a couple T of the butter, adding the herbs toward the end. Place veggies in a baking dish (I use pyrex or ceramic) with the rest of the butter, broth, and the almond flour. Stir a bit until well-mixed. Place in a 350F oven and bake for about 25 minutes, until slightly browned on top.
Alternately, you can take as much of the stuffing as will fill your turkey or chicken, then bake the rest as above. Serve with gravy. It’s delicious!

Here’s the roasted chicken we ate stuffed with the above dressing last week, which I rubbed with butter,  fresh garlic, paprika, thyme, sage, a little cumin, salt and pepper before I put it in the oven. Kept basting the whole time, every 20 minutes or so, and it came out great. A trick my stepmother taught me for doing large birds is to start baking it in the oven upside-down for a while. Then all the fat from the underside and the dark meat, etc., runs into the breast side which can sometimes dry out a bit. I tried it last Thanksgiving and it really worked. You just have to take it out about half-way through and flip it breast-side up and rub with more herbs, so you get the crispy skin on top without too much drying.

Obviously, gearing up for the holidays already! Who says every day can’t be Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday, since it’s all about food, friends and family–certainly not about stealing the country from our Native American ancestors for my family! That’s for another day when I feel like ranting)? I think I feel pretty thankful most of the time, especially with a diabetic kid.