Grain And Dairy Free Whoopie Pies

It has been 30 days since my kids have gone gluten free. My oldest (who this is really the most important for) has stayed 100% all month. Not one slip. The two little guys have stayed fully GF in the house, but have had some goldfish or other gluten laden snacks at school a few times. I am worried my 3 year old will not understand why he cant have goldfish when his classmates do. So for him, I think I will just wait until next fall when the snack isn’t shared. My 5 year old gets a packed snack so for him its not an issue.

Anyway, my point is that its been a full month and I decided to make my big boy a special treat. He LOVES whoopie pies. They have some gluten free ones at our local co-op. But, because I’d rather him have something with a little less simple carbohydrate (the cake part in the store is mostly made with rice flour/tapioca/etc…), I decided to make my own. I came up with a great recipe for the cake portion of it that is totally grain free and made with coconut flour. The filling, however, is harder to alter. Its a marshmallow vanilla frosting. How in the world do you take the super high level of sugar out of that??? So for this batch I just went with it. I will be working on a healthier version of the frosting in my test lab. Stay tuned for that in the next 2 weeks. I got a cake pop pan, and the boys and I will be doing some experimenting!!

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GRAIN AND DAIRY FREE WHOOPIE PIES

CAKE:

1/2 c coconut flour

1/4 c cocoa powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

4 eggs

1/2 c maple syrup

1/4 c melted coconut oil

1 tsp chocolate extract

In a small bowl, add dry ingredients and mix until combined.

In a large mixing bowl (or kitchenaid mixer bowl), combine wet ingredients.

Wisk wet ingredients until well combined (because the eggs are cold and oil can solidify, you can get little white dots of coconut oil- don’t fret, it will melt in the oven)

Add dry ingredients to wet and blend with mixer until full blended.

Pour into whoopie pie pan (fill half way), or spoon and spread on cookie sheet lined with silicone/parchment.

Bake at 350 for 10 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

Makes 5 whoopie pies (or 10 pieces)

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MARSHMALLOW CREME FILLING

3/4 c palm shortening

3/4 c marshmallow topping (I used Toonie Moonie brand–no HFCS)

1 1/4 c confectioners sugar (I used King Arthur’s glazing sugar–no cornstarch added)

1/3 c coconut milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients except coconut milk in mixing bowl.

Use electric mixer or hand mixer to blend them.

Add milk little by little until desired consistency is reached.

Spread between two COOLED whoopie pie cakes and enjoy!

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Coconut Chicken Nuggets and Pinapple-Mango Dipping Sauce

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COCONUT CHICKEN NUGGETS

1 1/2 lbs chicken breast, diced into bite size pieces

2 cups shredded coconut

5 eggs

1 cup coconut flour

2 tsp salt

2 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp paprika

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

In a large bowl, combine shredded coconut with spices.

In another bowl, put the coconut flour

In a smaller bowl, add the 5 eggs and scramble them up with a fork  (kid job!)

Now, take the chicken pieces, coat in coconut flour, then egg, then shredded coconut mixture and place on a cookie sheet

Continue that for all the chicken pieces, and bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 10-15 mins until cooked through

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PINEAPPLE MANGO DIPPING SAUCE

4 Tbsp home made mayo 

3-4 chunks pineapple (mine were frozen)

3-4 chunks mango (or a 3.5 oz baby food squeeze pouch of mango puree)

1/2 Tbsp raw honey

Put all ingredients in blender and process until smooth

Dip away!

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Killer Croc Green Smoothie

We had a hectic morning here so the boys needed a fast and easy breakfast.  Smoothies are perfect for that (and for sneaking spinach into them!).  This one was named by my 5 year old after a bad guy from Batman.  Croc looks like he could use a nice, fruity smoothie. And maybe a talented, and very brave dentist.

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KILLER CROC GREEN SMOOTHIE
2 c coconut milk
1 fresh egg (pastured, preferably local–you can leave out if you don’t have eggs you trust raw)
1/2 of an avocado
1/2 cup frozen mango chunks
1/2 cup frozen pineapple chunks
1/2 cup frozen peach chunks
1/2 of an apple
1 date
1/4 c chopped frozen spinach

Throw it all in the blender and blend until smooth. Makes 1 large size adult and 3 kid sized smoothies

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Paleo Chicken Teriyaki And Sweet Potato Noodles

One thing I have really missed since going Paleo is Japanese take out food. Particularly stuff thats laden with delicious soy or teriyaki sauces. My workout today was particularly tough and I was craving salt like crazy. So I came up with a Chicken Teriyaki dish that was Whole 30 friendly, required little prep or cooking, and that the kids would eat too. My slow cooker was on the counter and I decided that would make my life even easier since it would not need to be babysat. I just chucked it all in, set it, and moved on with my day until my timer went off. I put the chicken over sweet potato noodles. The combination was a great sweet and salty balance of flavor.

Just a little FYI–Coconut Aminos (made by Coconut Secret) is a great Paleo replacement for soy sauce. We have a few stores that carry it locally, and of course you can get it online. It is made from coconut sap. Its a little sweeter in taste than soy sauce, but has no sugar added.

PALEO CHICKEN TERIYAKI

6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I prefer thighs in the slow cooker since they don’t dry out)

3/4 cup Coconut Aminos

1/2 cup prune puree (a small baby food jar works)

4-5 green onions, diced

1 celery stalk, diced

1/2 cup baby carrots, diced

1 tsp minced garlic

1/2 tsp minced ginger

In a mixing bowl, wisk together the Coconut Aminos, prunes, garlic, ginger, and green onion

Rinse chicken and place in bottom of slow cooker

Add diced carrots and celery to slow cooker

Pour sauce over the top of the chicken and veggies

Put lid on, set to high and let cook for 2.5 hours

Makes 2 adult size servings

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SWEET POTATO NOODLES

1 sweet potato

1 Tbsp oil (I used coconut oil, but EVOO or grass fed ghee would be fine too)

1 tsp garlic powder

pepper to taste (I omitted salt since the coconut aminos in the chicken is salty already)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Using a spiral slicer (I have the “Paderno spiral vegetable slicer”, but there are several you can purchase from Amazon), slice the sweet potato–this is super fun for little helpers (I guide them since there is a blade involved)

Toss sweet potato in oil

Add garlic powder and pepper

Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet

Bake 10-12 minutes, just until its softened, but not yet crisping like a french fry

Top with your Paleo Chicken Teriyaki, some stir fried veggies (snap peas and peppers cut into strips worked great), and ENJOY!

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Toasted Coconut Snack Chips

My kids love salt, onion, and garlic snacks (like chex mix). They also love popcorn. But unfortunately popcorn is a big no-no with people who have colitis. Plus its not Paleo. So my son can not have it anymore. Lately my husband and I have been bringing toasted coconut chips to the movies (rebels!). The book Well Fed introduced me to them, and now I adore them. But instead of doing cinnamon and salt this time around, I decided to try a Lawrys season salt type flavor (minus the Lawrys cornstarch and anti caking agents). All three boys give them two thumbs up. They are super easy and totally kid friendly.

 TOASTED COCONUT SNACK CHIPS

2 cups coconut flakes (NOT shreds)
1 tsp onion powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp paprika
Pepper to taste

Heat a large skillet on medium high heat.
Add coconut flakes and stir as they start to brown (3-5 mins)
Add spices, stir
Enjoy!
These can be stored in an airtight container for a few days, although ours never last more than an hour 🙂

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Delicious Nut Butter Cookies

Things here have been very busy. I have a few of my own recipes to post but no time to work on them yet. So for today, I want to post a link to a fantastic recipe we made this week.
I was looking for a a paleoized cookie to put in my 2nd grader’s lunch box. He’s been doing great with being gluten free, but I felt like maybe a little treat in his lunch box would help him feel like he’s not missing out on whatever the other kids are having. I stumbled upon this Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies recipe from Elanas Pantry. She makes some amazing baked goods with almond flour, so we decided to give it a go. The kids went nuts for them (no pun intended). I did half jam filled, half chocolate chunk filled. And I made 2 batches–one with peanut butter and one sun butter. The sun butter makes a nice nut free and Paleo treat for schools that don’t allow nuts.
Give them a shot. Your kids will love them!

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Paleo Chocolate Pudding

Kids love chocolate. This recipe is great because it gives you a nice, thick chocolate pudding and is both gluten and dairy free. All three of my boys loved it until they found out there was avocado in it. I don’t know why, but they just don’t like avocado (its my favorite thing on earth so this makes no sense to me). So maybe in this case, making it alone is best unless you’ve got an avocado loving kid. I learned my lesson and will do my pudding making after 8 pm from now on. 😉

PALEO CHOCOLATE PUDDING

1 ripe avocado
1/2 ripe banana
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3 Tbsp coconut butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 cup maple syrup (I added for the kids but for me I’d leave out)

Combine all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth. Makes 2 1/2 cup servings.
Top with coconut whipped cream and berries or toasted coconut. YUM!!!

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Frog Juice Green Smoothie

This morning the boys and I were running late so we decided to make a smoothie and round it out with some chicken sausage for breakfast. Quick, easy, and nutritious.
While the chicken sausage warmed on the stove, my 3 and 5 year olds came up with a very tasty green smoothie. It has a coconut milk base, spinach, and lots of delicious fruit. They decided its to be named “Frog Juice”. I added some probiotic powder for an extra GI health boost.

FROG JUICE GREEN SMOOTHIE

10 oz unsweetened coconut milk
4 oz orange juice
1/3 c frozen chopped spinach
1/2 c frozen pineapple chunks
1/2 c frozen mango chunks
1/2 of a banana

Put all ingredients in blender and blend on high until well combined.
Makes 3 kid sized smoothies.

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2 Week Update: My Whole 30

I have been doing Whole 30 (a 30 day squeaky clean Paleo challenge) since January 1. You can find more info on Whole 30 here. I have a chunk of time tonight so I want to do a halfway post, even if its a little early. Whole 30 is not a giant change for me, but enough of a change that I do feel a difference. With the Whole 30, I can not have any sugar, dairy, alcohol, additives, and of course no grains.. I continue to eat organic vegetables, fruit, some nuts, and grass fed/pastured meats. In the last few months I had begun to drink my coffee with cream (and sometimes maple syrup), indulged nightly dark chocolate, and had a few too many Paleoized treats. So when January came, I decided that I needed a reboot. Whole 30 is just that. It is a metabolic reboot. Despite the changes being pretty minimal for me (vs. someone coming from a typical American diet), I do see a major difference already both physically and emotionally. Heres what I have noticed so far:

1. My energy is through the roof. I am normally pretty high energy, even with 3 little boys to take care of all day. But now I am unstoppable. I go strong from morning to night without feeling tired AT ALL. The strange thing is that I am drinking half the caffeine I was (coffee isn’t as warm and cozy when its black). Almost every day I am able to do all the things I like to do. I workout hard, spend time with my husband and boys, tend the house, cook, socialize with friends, and sleep.

2. My skin is glowing. I have been asked a few times what I use on my skin. My answer is its not whats on my skin, its what I put in my mouth. I tend to think its from all the beautiful fat I am eating.

3. My stomach is flatter. I have 3 kids. I will never have a fully flat belly. But, I work out like a fiend. And yet, until the last week I had a belly. About 2 inches of bloat have literally vanished from my waist. My clothes are looser. I did my stats with my trainer at the start of this, so at the end of my whole 30 we will really see what happened to my body fat and muscle.

4. I am never super hungry. Even after a tough workout, I am not super hungry. I think my blood sugar stays so stable eating this way that I don’t experience highs and lows at all. I feel even keeled and happy.

Here are some pictures of what I have been eating on Whole 30. As you can see, life without grains, sugar, dairy, and additives is absolutely delicious!

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Butternut Squash Lasagne

Theres one dish I make that stands out as being my most requested Paleo recipe. Butternut squash lasagne. I have made it for many get togethers with both Paleo and non Paleo eaters and always get positive feedback. I use Rao’s sauce in it most of the time because it has simple ingredients, no added sugar, and the flavor is delicious. See the photo below for ingredient label.

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BUTTERNUT SQUASH LASAGNE

1 Medium/large butternut squash

2 lbs ground meat (I used grass fed beef but chicken, turkey, pork/beef, sausage, would all work)

2 jars of Raos tomato basil sauce

2-3 large handfuls of baby spinach

1 cup matchstick cut carrots

1 medium onion, diced

2 T fresh basil, chopped

2 tsp minced garlic

2 tsp onion powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

Tbsp oil of choice (I use ghee or coconut oil)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and sautee until translucent.

Add minced garlic and sautee 2-3 minutes being careful to not burn it.

Add meat and brown. If using grass fed beef make sure to turn the heat down to low.

Meanwhile, peel squash with a knife. Cut squash in half at junction of bulb end and straight end. Put bulb aside and slice straight end into 1/4 -1/2 inch slices. No need to get crazy with this, just make them thin. You could use a mandolin as well. I dice up my bulb to roast or make mashed squash later in the week.

In a large lasagne pan, put a big spoonful of sauce and spread to cover the bottom of the pan.

Next, lay out the squash along the bottom of the pan (my 3 year old loves to make a “puzzle”).

Sprinkle a handful of spinach leaves over the squash, and spread a handful of carrots over the spinach.

Now add a layer of meat.

Sprinkle some fresh basil over meat.

Spoon sauce over the meat. Be sure spread it but don’t drown it.

Then start again with a layer of squash and repeat all of the above. You should end up with meat and sauce on top.

Cover with foil and bake 40 mins. Remove foil and bake 10-15 mins. You know its done when you can insert a knife into the squash easily. Let sit for 20 minutes so the moisture can reabsorb into the veggies.

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