Thursday, September 21, 2017

Savory Pumpkin Seed Crackers

Sometimes you just need a nice... crunchy... salty... full-of-flavor snack, amiright?!? Why not make it packed full of protein, whole grains, minerals and so much good from the earth nutrition? Well this recipe is here to help you not be left out!
It is just nice by themselves, but you could easily make this to be the perfect match to any appetizer delite. Maybe hummus or salsa, or cut up fresh veg from the market or backyard. A nice little topper might be a cracker, hummus, a cucumber slice and a basil leaf. You can't go wrong with these! The added pumpkin and chia seeds are what give it the nutty flavor without the nuts and this is one recipe almost any allergen-striken friend can eat. I hope you give them a try and ENJOY!
Savory Pumpkin Seed Cracker Recipe
{gluten, dairy, soy, egg, nut and sugar-free}

1/2 cup of quinoa flour
1/2 cup of millet flour
1/2 cup of buckwheat flour
1/2 cup of garbanzo flour
1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1/3 cup of chia seeds
2 TB of olive oil
2 TB of date paste
2 TB of water
1 ts. of apple cider vinegar
1 ts. of ground rosemary powder
1 ts. of ground garlic powder
1 ts of dried onion powder
1-2 ts. of sea salt

extra flour for rolling out....
1/2 cup of GF oat flour

In a large mixing bowl, mix together all the flours and seeds and salt and seasoning. Then drizzle in the wet ingredients and use a spatula to mix it all together well. You will use another 1/2 cup of flour to roll out the sticky dough. I used GF oat flour, but you could use any of the abouve used flours too. Roll out with a rolling pin to around 1/2 inch thick. Then use a blade to cut the crackers BEFORE you bake them. I tried to cut a 2x2 square for the cracker and it made about 35-40 crackers. As you can see I did not cut very evenly- I was in the middle of a few other things and didn't focus on making it even. Still turned out fabuous and maybe I should just say I was going for the more "rustic" look anyways ;) 
Sprinkle a little extra salt before baking too.... then put in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until it gets crispy and golden brown. Let them cool completely before you eat one and this also helps them crisp up as well and get crunchy. 

Serve with hummus, salsa, veggies, even fruit, and can be used with soups, stews, and just about anything and everything. Once you try one, you will keep going back for more... I can almost promise you ;)

This recipe is especially for all my allergy-striken friends that long for a crunchy savory snack :) I hope you find ways to enjoy and nourish yourself through food, MUCH love as always, friends!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Fresh Heirloom Salsa

Hey loves, I know it's supposed to be the 'first of fall' everything this week, but the weather is forcasted to be one of the hottest weeks of the summer (haha!),  well of what is left of summer. The forecast is upper 80's and even maybe 90's for the rest of the week. Soooooo my hopes of making some soups, stews and fall comfort food just doesn't seem appetizing anymore. And I don't feel like standing over a steaming pot in the steaming heat either! So, I re-worked the food plan for this week and made simple ingredients to basically make your own grain/salad/protein bowls. Kinda like the Abundance Bowls idea. They are easy, can please many types, and can be easy pull-out of the fridge and warm-up (or not) kind of food. So perfect for a busy and hot week of September!

So I made some baked chicken nuggets for the kids, turkey meatballs and even some BBQ beef too. I also made a large batch of smoky cumin and paprika kidney and black beans dish and a large batch of basmati rice. Basically make yourself a batch of a grain (rice, quinoa, millet, ect..) and a batch of meat protein, and a batch of legume protein and then chop up all the fresh veggies and herbs you got (basil, cilantro, lettuce, kale, ect)  and roast or saute some other veggies you got (beets, zucchini, carrots, sweet potatoes) and then layer it up and drizzle with dressings or salsa.

That is why this recipe came into play.  Last weekend at the farmer's market, I picked up a few pounds of heirloom tomatoes and some cute and spicy peppers. And that basically the base of any good garden blender salsa... so here's my recipe, and it's super wonderful this time of year while the tomatoes are absolute perfection! My bowl that included this salsa was a scoop of rice, meat, beans, lettuce, suated zucchini, cilantro, avocado, and this salsa- so basically a taco bowl, but you could add in and out what you got and what sounds good. It's my version of fast food ;) And now for the easy peasy wonderful fresh salsa...
Fresh Heirloom Salsa Recipe
{gluten, dairy, egg, soy, seed and nut-free}

1-2 pounds of a mix of fresh heirloom tomatoes
(I choose a yellow, red, orange and green variety to add to my mixture...)
I like to add in the yellow and orange because they are less acidic and help balance it out
I usually just cut out the tops if they are overly tough or dried out

2 small jalapeno peppers (or you can use any favorite heirloom hot pepper)
If you are not into too much heat, then use a knife to cut and scrape out the seeds and do not use the seeds in the salsa. If you enjoy a little spice then I would just chop off the tops and throw in the pepper. If you use one large pepper- then you will want to chop up before you put in the blender to help it blend more evenly.

1 small sweet onion, roughly chopped

2 ts of ground dried garlic powder
2 ts. of sea salt
1/2 cup of coconut palm sugar
1-2 cups of fresh chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime squeezed
1 lemon squeezed

Put all of the above in a blender and blend well until thick and all equally chopped.

Serve over a taco bowl, salad, grain bowl, or just eat by the gallon-full with your favorite tortilla chips and guac. I don't eat corn, so my absolute favorite chip is the Beanfield's White or Black Bean chips with this salsa. These chips are my chip of choice!!! I could eat these every day :)

Hope you give it a try- Hope you eat and enjoy this beautiful food that can nourish you and show your body love. Enjoy and MUCH love to you as always, xoxo

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Coffee Cookie Chocolate Birthday Cake


It was the husband's birthday this week :) So we had lots of treats and goodies and celebrating and of course it involved cake :) My hubs always asks for a coffee- chocolate- raspberry combo and this year I added in some Glutino Chocolate Cream Sandwich Cookies (think oreos) as a topping and it added the right crunch and finished touch. 
It was hard to get a decent photo of this cake because of all the excitement, but I did get a few shots because I wanted to share it with you too ;) Just in case your looking for a birthday cake for that special somebody in your life, or perhaps that somebody is you :)
It's dates again that make this cake so moist, decadent and creamy textured. I swear dates are revolutionary to GF/vegan baking and once you start- you just can't go back! I buy my dates from Costco (Made In Nature is the brand)- You can get a 2 pound bag for around 7-8 dollars and you can use them for just about everything you would use sweeteners for... in smoothies, baking and snacks. If your a follower here you know how much I love and use dates ;) But enough blabbering... let's get to the recipe and sharing and celebrating LIFE with all of your loved and dear ones...
HAPPY BAKING!
Coffee Cookie Chocolate Birthday Cake Recipe
{free of gluten, dairy, soy, corn, nuts and seeds}

1 1/4 cup of gluten free oat flour
1/2 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup of tapioca flour
1/4 cup of potato starch
1/4 cup of coconut flour
3/4 cup of coconut palm sugar
1/2 cup of cocoa powder
2 ts. of baking powder (I use Hain brand)
1 ts. of baking soda
1 ts. of sea salt

1/3 cup of maple syrup
1 1/4 cup of date puree ***This involves pouring 1 cup boiling water over a heaping cup (1 cup) of pitted dates and letting it sit for 5-10 minutes and then blending in a high powered blender to whip up a creamy date-pudding like substance.

1 ts. of pure vanilla
1 cup of warmed coconut oil (or avocado oil works here too)
1 cup of coconut milk beverage (I use So Delicious)
1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar

***1 1/4 cup of chocolate chips morsels (Enjoy life brand)
melted in a saucepan with 2-3 TB coconut oil and 2 TB of finely ground decaf coffee

First grind your GF oat flour and mix well with all the other dry ingredients. Then mix in the wet ingredients, and date puree. You can add in the warmed oil as well and then lastly add in the melted chocolate and coffee...

Lastly, melt together the chocolate chips with some coconut oil and the ground coffee. Do not let the heat up above low and once it starts to melt you can almost turn off the heat and just keep stirring and it will continue to melt as you stir. Use about 1 cup of the melted chocolate mixture for the cake batter and save 1/2 cup or so of the mixture for the frosting later on...

Mix well and you will start to see the vinegar and baking powder do it's work and make the batter poof up a bit. split batter in half and pour evenly into a coconut-oil-lined baking pans. 

I bake mine in (2) 9x9 circle pans in a 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes or until it is no longer wet and giggling. The cake should show a clean toothpick from the middle of the cake and firm, but soft. no wetness. Pull from the oven and let it cool completely.

When it is cool completely, it will be ready to frost. 

Coffee Chocolate Frosting Recipe
{gluten, dairy, egg, soy, nut, and seed-free}

1 1/2 cup of Spectrum Organic Palm Oil Shortening
1/2 cup of organic powdered sugar (with tapioca starch)
1-2 TB of maple syrup drizzle
1-2 TB of honey drizzle
1-2 TB of cocoa powder
pinch of sea salt

***1/2 cup of the warmed chocolate chips (Enjoy life brand), coconut oil and coffee mixture

In a large mixing bowl, put in all of the ingredients and then use a hand held whisk mixer and whip of the frosting on HIGH for 1 minutes until soft and creamy. Then frost the cooled cake. I transfer a cake to a plate and then cover with frosting on the top and spread thin and then place the second cake on top and spread on more frosting on top of that. You can spread frosting around the edges too and then sprinkle and decorate with the following...

1 cup of cookie crumbles (Glutino Chocolate Cream Sandwich Cookies)
1-2 TB of finely ground decaf coffee grounds 
1 pint of fresh, washed and dried raspberries 

Hope you ENJOY! Happy Baking :)

Much love and light to you, xoxo,
Stephanie

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Spiced Banana Sharing Bread

I made two. One for enjoying and one for sharing. What if I looked at all my life like this?!? There is always someone who needs. A neighbor... a dear one...you notice it more once you take a moment. Whether it comes to the extreme of those who lost everything in a recent storm or hurricane, fire or flood. Or maybe it is someone you know that is going without. Without health care, medicine, food, or daily needs. Or maybe it is someone you know who lost someone close to them, or a baby, or the list can go on and on when it comes to loss and grief. The moment I had today thinking of all those in my own arms length going through hard things- and thinking of my own anxious heart- we are all in this together. We can do these hard things together. And sometimes it starts with sharing a loaf of bread.
So this bread officially is being called 'sharing bread' :) Because you can make this recipe and easily pour it into 2 pans. One for you... And one for your neighbor...Or a friend. It is an easy loaf to whip up on the whim if you got a mountain of ripened bananas that need either to get frozen or baked. It is spiced and topped with love and shared with even more love. You can't go wrong with a warm banana bread in my opinion ;)
We're all going through hard things, so let's do this together. It is always so easy to focus on your own hard things, but if we practice sharing you can start to see beyond your own weary heart and share in an other's weary heart. And why not share with some bread to, amiright?!? Happy baking friends and also...happy sharing! xoxo
Spiced Banana Sharing Bread Recipe
{gluten, dairy, egg, seed, nut and soy-free}

1 cup of mashed ripe banana
1/2 cup of date paste puree
2/3 cup of plant based milk (I used coconut milk beverage)
1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup of maple syrup
1/3 cup of avocado oil
2 TB of molasses
2/3 cup of coconut palm sugar
1 ts. of ground cinnamon
1 ts. of ground nutmeg
1 ts. of ground ginger
1 1/4 cup of finely ground certified GF oat flour
1/2 cup of white rice flour
1/3 cup of tapioca flour
1/4 cup of potato starch
1/4 cup of coconut flour
2 ts. of baking powder
1 ts. of baking soda
1 ts. of sea salt

1/2 cup of my Cinnamon Crunch Granola Cereal

In a large mixing bowl, mashed up the ripened bananas and then add all the rest of the wet ingredients. Then fold in the dry ingredients and whisk together well. Pour half the batter into a parchment lined bread pan, and then pour the rest into pan #2. Cheap foil baking pans are a great one to use with this recipe because you can easily wrap up and share. You can even wash out these pans and reuse again too. I topped my loaves with some of my Cinnamon Crunch Granola Cereal as a topping and then baked in a 350 degree oven for 50 minutes on a middle shelf. 

Let cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting into or wrapping up for best results. This loaf is a warming and comforting treat or gift as we transition into the fall months. 

And now I get to share ;) this recipe with you :) Hope you enjoy, bake, and share...
Much love and light to you as always, xoxo