Thursday, November 28, 2013

{A Rooted N' Sprouting Thanksgiving}



For the first time in my entire life, we had Thanksgiving at home. Also for the first time in my life, I GOT TO COOK!! It was so much fun! 



Of course, I planned everything out to the minute of when to prepare each dish and put it in the oven. I was cooking like a well-oiled machine. Everything was cooked, prepared, and of course photographed by the anticipated time. 
 

And can I say, it was a success. My brother and dad were both drooling, anticipating the deliciousness to come. 






This is what happens when you combine a growing teenage boy with a comfort-foodie, Thanksgiving maniac dad, a content and happy-I'm-not-cooking mom, and an AIP conundrum. That basically sums up our Thanksgiving smorgasbord, complete with gluten free and AIP delights. I tried to convince my dad to try a vegetable and Sydney-approved stuffing, but he wouldn't have it. Again, can I say comfort-foodie?!? I had to compromise a little bit, but I got all the vegetables and AIP goodness I wanted :)

The day turned out really well. For never ever having a family Thanksgiving, or much less having me do all the cooking, things came out great. Here's a peek at what we enjoyed:




{Our Menu}
Rosemary Turkey
Mashed Potatoes (for the family, with real milk and butter)
Gluten Free Stuffing (homemade, with a little help from Rudi's)
Turnip-Parsnip Mash from Against All Grain
Vegetable Casserole (recipe below)
Gluten Free Apple Crisp
AIP Apple Tartlet (1/8 Autumn Apple Pie recipe)




THE TURKEY

Mashed Potatoes for the boys

Parsnip-Turnip Mash


Gluten Free Stuffing

Gluten Free Stuffing

 
Vegetable Casserole


That was dinner. And then came the dessert, a small apple tartlet for me, and a gluten-free apple crisp topped with homemade whipped cream for the rest of the family.



My tartlet

Gluten Free Apple Crisp


Everything was so delicious and everyone ate a little bit of everything. But my favorite part was the nostalgia of reflecting of what we are thankful for. My brother, of course was thankful for surfing and good food. But we all agreed that we are thankful for God's faithfulness, His provision, and His continued blessing in our lives.  Life is good, and, quoting my dad, its nice to pause in the middle of the rat-race of life and be thankful for the good life we do enjoy. 

This day was perfect, with pleasant company, delicious food, and plenty to be thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours! :)




{VEGETABLE CASSEROLE}


INGREDIENTS:

For the vegetables-

1 medium spaghetti squash, baked and scraped
1/2 cauliflower, cut into little florets
2 cups butternut squash, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
2 zucchini, chopped
2 Tablespoons fresh rosemary, minced
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon oregano
salt and pepper to taste

For the creamy cauliflower sauce-

1/2 cauliflower, chopped into florets
1/2 cup of the cauliflower water
4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
salt and pepper to taste


INSTRUCTIONS:

For the cauliflower sauce-

1. Boil 1/2 cup of water with the cauliflower  for 10-15 minutes. Drain the water, reserving 1/2 cup.
2. In a food processor, pulse the steamed cauliflower, 1/2 cup water, garlic, pepper and salt until a creamy consitency is reached.
3. Set aside. 

For the cassarole-

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. In a large baking dish, bake the butternut squash, cauliflower, and zucchini for 30-35 minutes. Then reduce temperature to 325 F.
2. As the other vegetables are baking, grease a 9"x13" glass baking dish, then line the bottom with the spaghetti squash. 
3. After the other vegetables are done roasting, place on top of the spaghetti squash. Lather the cauliflower sauce over the top, smoothing it evenly across the vegetables. 
4. Sprinkle the rosemary on top, then place in the oven for 15 minutes.
5. Remove and let it set for at least 10 minutes, the serve.

 







Tuesday, November 19, 2013

{Spaghetti Squash Hash-cakes}

Like previously, I've been on a vegetable craze. Seriously, I've never eaten so many vegetables in my life, but I LOVE it and I feel great! 

Breakfast can be a challenge to find exciting ways to eat vegetables. I mean, green smoothies can get old after awhile.. But these spaghetti squash hash-cakes are the perfect vegetable breakfast!



I called these hash-cakes, because they have the texture of hash browns, but are like pancakes. So, voila, hash-cakes :)

 
Infused with the taste of rosemary, these hash-cakes easily please. Even though I bake an entire spaghetti squash, I only use one cup of spaghetti squash per serving. This recipe is great to use if you buy a large spaghetti squash and don't want to use all of it for another recipe, for example "spaghetti" and meatball. 



I serve mine with a little bit of ketchup drizzled over the top. If you're not following an AIP diet, these hash-cakes would go wonderfully with some scrambled eggs, or even a fried egg in the middle of the hash-cakes. However you decide to enjoy these, I hope these hash-cakes leave you satisfied and energized!

{SPAGHETTI SQUASH HASH-CAKES}


Ingredients:

1 spaghetti squash
2 teaspoons coconut flour
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
1 teaspoon dried basil
pepper to taste 
coconut oil 

Instructions:

Bake a spaghetti squash at 375 for 40 minutes. When it is done baking, using a fork,

To make one serving of hash-cakes, combine a cup of spaghetti squash with coconut flour and herbs. In a skillet greased with coconut oil, take about 1/4 cup of the spaghetti squash, put it in the pan and smash together until it sticks. Repeat until all the spaghetti squash is cooking in the pan. Cook for about 7 minutes, or until lightly crisped, then flip the hash-cakes and finish cooking for about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and enjoy!

**If you want to make more than one serving, just increase the amount still using the  1 cup of spaghetti squash to coconut flour/herbs ratio.

**If your spaghetti squash is extra runny and doesn't stick together very well, add more coconut flour. Coconut flour is a drier flour, and easily soaks up extra moisture :)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

{Perfectly Pumpkin Bagels}

I am so excited to finally have a bagel recipe!!!!! Really, jumping-up-and-down excited!!!!

Bagels optimize my inner struggle with my complicated food lifestyle. For 99% of the time, I truly enjoy my diet and love making new creations loaded with vegetables and good healthy nutirents. But sometimes I just want a warm, chewy, scrumptious bagel, lathered in rich cream cheese. I can dream, can't I?

I even wrote a college essay on my "bagels" in life and in running- the time where it is tempting to give up and go for the easier and more temporarily satisfying decision instead of doing what is right for me and my training. Learning to say no to bagels. Sounds like a good book title.

Until now, every time I tried to create a bagel-type of bread, they came out mushy, doughy bites that tasted like flaxseed meal. Not the bagel I had dreamed of.

But now I can say- no,  shout YES to bagels. The secret? A little bit of tapioca starch for the  classic bagel chewiness, chia seed meal for the "egg" (I've found make chia meal "eggs" actually work better than the classic flaxseed meal egg in my baking experiments), and coconut milk for extra moisture. 

 

 





I ate mine with a little bit of Trader Joe's delicious pumpkin butter. Although I didn't try it, I thought of making a little bit of coconut whipped cream, sprinkling some cinnamon and some pumpkin butter in it to make pumpkin "cream cheese" to put on top. 
 
 I hope that you enjoy these lovely creations as much as I do!  

 



  {PERFECTLY PUMPKIN BAGELS}

Ingredients:

1.5 Tablespoons chia meal (chia seeds ground in a coffee grinder)
3 Tablespoons pumpkin puree
2 Tablespoons water
1 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
 1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons coconut milk

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (*omit for AIP)
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder (* make sure it is corn-free. Or better yet, make your own)


Instructions:

1.  Add chia seed meal, pumpkin puree, water, apple cider vinegar,xanthan gum, and coconut milk in an electric blender. In order, add coconut oil, then flours and spices, then baking soda and baking powder, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Beat until a dough-like mass begins to form.

2. Forming the dough into large balls, depending on how large you want them. I made mini bagels forming balls of dough about the size of two tablespoons. To make larger bagels, I'd suggest forming dough the size of your fist. Poke a hole in the middle of the dough ball and shape to form a bagel using dry hands. Place the bagels on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

3. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes, depending on size of bagels. I made mini bagels, and cooked them for 15 minutes. Allow them to cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!




Variation Ideas:

 *I will be making a few of these shortly and posting them. That said, these are just my ideas, so they haven't been proven yet. But feel free to experiment- it's fun!!!

For all recipe variation ideas, omit pumpkin puree and either replace with unsweetened applesauce or 3 Tablespoons more of coconut milk

Cinnamon Raisin- add 1/4 cup of raisins and 1/2 teaspoon more of cinnamon
Cranberry Orange- add 1/4 cup of dried cranberries (or Trader Joe's orange cranberries) with 1/2   teaspoon of orange zest
Chocolate-zucchini- Add 1/4 cup of shredded zucchini and 2 Tablespoons of cocoa powder
Chocolate chip-  add 1/4 cup of EnjoyLife mini   chocolate chips
Apple-cinnamon- increase cinnamon, add 1/4 chopped apples. 







Saturday, November 16, 2013

{Lemon Herb Chicken Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing}

 As I finish out the cross country season, I've been focusing even more on getting an ample amount of vegetables in my diet. Maybe even more than ample amount. Lately, I have lived and breathed vegetables. 

This new energy for a vegetable-infused diet has sparked some more creativity, some that I hope to share with you all in the coming weeks! I've experimented some vegetable casseroles, green smoothies, and now that the weather has finally turned a tad bit cooler, I've tried my hand at soup-making. 

But so far, this salad is my new favorite of all my creations. The honey dressing is sweet with just enough spicy kick from the red pepper flakes.* I apologize for my lack of photos- I made the salad right after my cross country meet, so I was ravenous and not very picky about the amount of photos. Blame my appetite :)

I hope you enjoy this refreshingly delicious salad as much as I do. May you find a new passion for vegetables :)



{LEMON HERB CHICKEN SALAD WITH HONEY MUSTARD DRESSING}

 Serves 2


For the vegetables:


Wash and chop one head of romaine or red leaf lettuce. Add a handful of washed spinach and kale to the bowl, then set aside.

For the chicken:

1 four ounce chicken breast
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon basil
ground pepper


Slice one four ounce breast of chicken into bite sized pieces. Heat coconut oil in a pan and cook the chicken. Season with rosemary, basil, and ground pepper after about five minutes and stir. Finally, add a squeeze of lemon juice over the sizzling chicken.

For the dressing:

3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar* 
2 Tablespoons spicy brown mustard, or Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons honey 
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Whisk ingredients together, then set aside. 



Assembling  the salad:

Combine the green leaf lettuce, kale and spinach until thoroughly mixed. Sprinkle chicken pieces on top, and finally drizzle a bit of the salad dressing on top (don't worry that there is enough dressing leftover for later salads). Finally, toss the salad. Enjoy!


*For those strictly following the AIP diet, omit the red pepper flakes. 

**As with anything used in the Paleo and AIP kitchen, always make sure you check the ingredients. Some white wine vinegars are derived from corn sources. The one I used comes from grapes, so it is safe.