Tag Archive | food

Living Gluten Free…or at least close to it

In case my life couldn’t get any more interesting, I have been having issues eating bread/wheat products. Whether I buy whole wheat bread or make my own pizza crust, I just odn’t feel good after I eat bread-y stuff. Do I think I”m gluten intolerant? No. Why, you may ask? Because I only have a problem here and there, but overall, (and I’ve noticed it more since eating clean and not eating bread carbs a whole lot) I get really bloated and feel sick for quite a while after eating whatever it is I ate that was made with flour. Mostly it’s bread, muffins, pizza crust, etc. I have not had an issue with say cookies or treats like that, but I also don’t eat as much of sweets in one sitting as I would bread.

So, not I’ve been on a search to find healthy alternatives for bread products. (burger buns, noodles,..you get the idea

A while ago, (on Pinterest, of course) I found a recipe for cloud ‘buns’, made with cottage cheese and eggs. ….Really? How could cottage cheese and eggs replace buns?  It’s protein. Not carbs. It didn’t add up in my head. But not long ago, I tried it.

I was making some Crockpot Ceascar Shredded Chicken,  (note to self: crockpots work better when turned on) and only had four burger buns to use for my hubby and two kids, and not enough time to make my own rolls. So I was off to make these for myself.  The recipe said to make them and store them overnight, but I didn’t do this and they were still yummy. I’ve made them twice now and the second time they seemed to turn out a little better. So, if you’re not sure at first, try them again, you may be surprised!

I managed to fit 10 on one pan!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cloud ‘Buns’ (adapted from Food.com)
Yield: 10 rolls (5 sandwiches)

3 eggs, separated
3 Tbsp low-fat cottage cheese
1 packet sweetener
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. (you might need two cookie sheets, depending on how big they are)

Separate eggs. Put egg whites in bowl of stand mixer and egg yolks in a blender.
To the egg yolks, add the cottage cheese and sweetener; blend until smooth.

To the egg whites add cream of tartar and blend until they form stiff peaks

Carefully fold egg whites with the yolk mixture.

Spoon the mixture onto the lined cookie sheet. They should be about the size of a McDonald burger bun.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden. This may take more or less time, depending on your oven.

Let cool completely before storing in an air tight container or ziploc bag.

Note: I used these as burger buns and they worked great!

This has nothing to do with the buns..he’s just cute!

 

Perfect golden color!

Cookie Dough Bites

Since making my healthy chocolate chip cookies, I’ve also made some not so healthy extremely bad for you also delicious, but filled with a few more calories, than the chickpea cookies. It’s a little recipe I found on Pinterest, but was originally from here. I made these for a girls night and there were a hit! I will tell you right off, if you are looking for something healthy..this it NOT it. But boy are these good!

One great about these is they are easy to whip up and you don’t have to drizzle with chocolate. They are good plain or you could dip them in chocolate as well. Either way, they are delicious and you need to try them out.

Warning: These cookie dough bites are very addictive and you will not want to stop eating them.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for any ‘unexplained weight gain’ after you make these 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cookie Dough Bites (adapted from DisneyFamily.com)

1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour (I used whole wheat pasty flour, because it’s what I keep on hand, but you could use all purpose or any type of normal baking flour, I’m sure)
6oz chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate. You could use mini, dark chocolate, or any other flavor you’d like)

Directions:
Cream butter and sugar together. Add the vanilla and flour and mix well. You can use your hands if it gets to be tough to stir. (I didn’t, but you could use a stand mixer as well) Fold in the chocolate chips.

Line a  cookie sheet with parchment paper or wax paper (I do this for easy clean up). Roll the dough into approximately 1 inch balls and place on cookies sheet. Place in freezer for about 15 minutes or in the fridge for about 30 minutes, or until they are not sticky anymore.

If you want to add the drizzled chocolate, just melt some extra chocolate chips and go at it!

Enjoy!!!

DIY Almond Butter

Nuts have never been my thing (not THOSE kind of nuts. Geez, get your mind out of the gutter…lol. Just kidding) Seriously though, I’ve never like any kind of nut besides peanuts. I enjoy love will eat just about anything you put peanut butter in or on. I don’t know what it is about peanuts and chocolate that just make my mouth water. Peanut butter cups…mmmm. I just don’t understand how anyone can’t like peanut butter. It’s the best thing since sliced bread (and it happens to great on that too!)

So, for me to branch into other kinds of nuts is a rather large feat for me. Last summer was the first time I’d ever enjoyed an almond and it’s flavor. It could have been the fact that is was smothered in cinnamon and sugar and warm and gooey…so I really didn’t taste the almond, but boy did I enjoy it!  Then this past February, I changed my eating habits majorly and the diet that I started following to begin this change had almonds as a snack (among many other things) But I knew that I would never be able to enjoy plain, boring almonds. Not happening. I refuse.

It wasn’t long after that, that I went grocery shopping for some healthy food and stumbled upon cocoa roasted almonds. OH MY GOODNESS! These things have changed my life! Not only do I now enjoy almonds (I still don’t enjoy them plain), but they give an extra boost of energy, and they taste like chocolate! Yay!!!! Something healthy that tastes good! I know, I didn’t believe it either.

Now it’s my goal to find healthy alternatives to my favorite treats. Like my Black Bean Brownies.
This time I found a recipe called Zucchini Brownies. I was instantly intrigued, since I love brownies and love zucchini. And what’s better, no flour or sugar! So gluten free and ‘clean’ (for those that may not know what ‘clean’ food is, I may write a post in this in the future) However, this post is not about the brownies…but is it about a very key ingredient IN the brownies. Almond butter. It’s uses a whole cup of it! I checked out prices on almond butter and decided I couldn’t spend $7.00 on a little jar of this stuff and use it ALL in a recipe for brownies.

I’ve been wanting to find a good price on almonds to use for other reasons, bit just haven’t found a great price. Untilast week. Fleet Farm, of all places, had a great deal on them! So I bought a bunch and tried my hand at almond butter.

My first attempt was less than successful. I forgot to roast the almonds first (apparently a key thing in this process) so I got, what I call Almond dust. (good thing I got a good deal on the almonds!)

I had to laugh. I was trying to make some cupcakes and text with a friend while I was doing this….I should know better than to multi-task.
When I figured out my problem and roasted the next batch of almonds and then processed them, it turned out great! And it was so easy! Trust me, if making things DIY scares you, don’t let it.This is something you can do!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Almond Butter

2 cups plain almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place almonds in a single layer on a jellyroll pan (a cookie sheet with sides). Roast almonds for about 10 minutes or just until fragrant.
Take out of oven and place in a food processor (be careful, the almonds are VERY hot).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Process almonds about 15 minutes or until ‘buttery’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You will want to scrape the sides of the processor a few times during this time.
When its done processing, scrape into a storage container (I used Pyrex) and let cool a bit before refrigerating.
Use in any recipe or on toast like peanut butter.

One thing I may do next time is add a bit of honey. I thought it was a tad bitter. But that’s just me.

So there you go. Easy DIY Almond Butter! Could it get easier than that?

Birthday Time!!!

That’s right. Another birthday in our family. This time is was for my youngest son Jonah. He turned two last Friday and I can’t believe I’ve had two years with him already. It’s crazy how time flies!

So, as you may have guessed, I had to come up with a cool cake for him. I was going to make a veggies tales cake, but have had no inspiration for one. And I have been planning on veggies tales for a few months now and had no ideas and didn’t actually sit down to start planning it until last Tuesday. Still nothing.

Beth was here baking cookies for her mom, while be discussed cakes and themes. The only other idea I had was making a Very Hungry Caterpillar cake. I adore the Very Hungry Caterpillar and I decided that you could really only use that theme while Jonah was little. He will be too big for it next year when he turns three. (THREE!?!? I’M NOT READY FOR THIS!!!!!) So, I did some searching on Pinterest and found some different ideas for cake. Many use fondant, which I didn’t really want to get into for this cake.  I debated going with cupcakes and shaping them to form the caterpillar… But in the end, we went with a bundt cake, two-layer, 6 inch round cake, and rice krispy bars 🙂

Yes, I know that is adorable. We loved this caterpillar before he was even frosted!

Beth came over on Friday to help me decorate him. We spent about 4 1/2 hours making him beautiful. And it was so worth it!

Isn’t he cute!!! I could just eat him up!!! (oh wait..I did!)

We couldn’t have been happier with the outcome and I’m so proud of my ‘big’ two year old! He is truly a blessing to my family and brings us such joy (and trials) every day! I just love him so much!

Here’s a couple things about my upcoming week:

I have some fun posts to come and some changes (in my life) that I will be sharing with you all! Also, Beth and I are headed to Illinois for the Annual Wilton Tent Sale on Saturday!!! I can’t tell you how excited I am about this!!! I will be sharing all about our trip next week, along with pictures of everything I buy!! Woohoo!! I’M SO PUMPED!!!! (can you tell? hehehe)

I hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend! Thanks for spending time with me today 🙂

Tortellini Soup

When I first saw this recipe, I was not so sure. I like soup, but I’ve always been more of a chicken noodle or chili kind of girl. Anything that’s to brothy I’m not usually up for. I like chunks. Meat. Vegetables. Noodles. Or even brown rice. But broth…is not my thing.

After seeing this recipe on a blog I follow and knowing that everything I’ve tried from this blog has been amazing, I decided it was worth a shot. And, the first time I made it, my electrician brother-in-law was here fixing a light fixture in our house and he ended up being here for dinner and even he liked it! And he is a meat and potatoes kind of guy if you ever saw one. He eats no salad greens and if the whole family goes out to eat, he orders a burger or steak, no matter where we go. So if he likes this soup, then everyone should like this soup.

My kiddos ( an almost 2 years old and a 3 year old) like the cheese filled noodles. I have even added shredded chicken to this recipe to give it a little more ‘umph’. (that’s my chunky soup love coming out)

Tortellini Soup

1 tbsp. olive oil

1/2 cup onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced (i used already minced garlic)

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1 (15oz.) can diced tomatoes, with juices

4 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth

9 oz. tortellini, any variety (fresh or frozen)

3 cups fresh baby spinach, loosely packed

salt and pepper

Grated Parmesan, for serving

In a large pot or dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions to the pan and cook until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, just until fragrant, about 1 minute. Mix in the oregano and diced tomatoes. Add the broth to the pot. Bring mixture to boil. Add the tortellini to the pot and cook according to package directions. One minute before the tortellini is fully cooked, stir in the spinach. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste Serve warm with grated Parmesan cheese.

Adapted from Annie’s Eats

NOTE: the last time I made this, I had only ‘hot’ diced tomatoes and it gave it an extra zip! My husband, who has a thing for spicy stuff despite his heartburn, loved it!