Lactose-Free

Cilantro Lime Fish Tacos

When I first met my husband, he wooed me with tacos. He knew the path to my heart.

Fish tacos have become my top choice. White flaky fish such as wild caught cod. I have used halibut in the past. A bit spendy but worth it.

We love spicy, and I don’t hold back when I make fish tacos. If you favor a milder taco, you can eliminate the jalapeño. I can’t tolerate corn, and most flour tortillas contain soybean oil; therefore, we use fresh romaine. Works just as well, even the crunch is there. Healthy fats from the fish and avocado are great for the body.

This recipe is easy and quick. Let’s get to it!

Ingredients


1 lb wild caught cod fillet

1 tsp light tasting olive oil or garlic infused olive oil

3 cloves of garlic

1/2 - 1 jalapeno pepper, slice, remove seeds for less heat

1 chopped poblano

1 chopped red pepper

1/2 cup of fresh cilantro

2 limes

Salt and pepper or CampMIX to taste

1-2 avocados, sliced

Directions

In a food processor add garlic, jalapeño, red pepper, poblano, cilantro, salt and pepper, and squeeze of lime. Your chops and slices don’t need to be perfect because they are all going in the food processor, they just need to fit. Once chopped put them to the side.

In a skillet, I use cast iron, heat olive oil. Add fish. Sprinkle on salt and pepper. Squeeze half a lime on the fillet. Cook fish on near high heat.

Cook the fish until it’s flaking and falling apart. I add the pepper/cilantro mixture and another squeeze of lime. Sauté over medium heat for 5-7 minutes. Mix everything well. Taste. Season or add more lime.

The aroma of garlic and spices is intoxicating. Add avocado slices and/or Jalapeño or a green chili sauce/salsa. Avocado smash would also work. I posted the quick recipe on my Instagram and Facebook page.

Messy and delicious! Enjoy!

Products used in this recipe



Easy Homemade Teenager Approved Marinara Sauce

My son LOVES homemade basketti sauce.

He's 18 and doesn't say it like that anymore, but his love of marinara remains. Logan could probably eat it daily. It's an easy, quick recipe and perfect for noodles, zoodles, or pizza.

I started my own herb garden three months ago -- grew from seed babies -- and was eager to use fresh basil, sage, and oregano in the marinara sauce. Something is rewarding about using your own homegrown herbs.

I'm shocked I haven't killed them yet.    

Knock on wood. 

The seasonings I use are from great businesses. If you know my recipes you know I use CampMix with everything. Adds flavor and kick to all dishes. 

Primal Palate seasonings are soy and gluten-free and kosher. 

Let's get to the recipe. You don't need an overdrawn story about marinara sauce. And I have some in my refrigerator begging to be used.

Ingredients

28oz. can crushed tomatoes

2 tablespoons of light tasting olive oil or garlic infused olive oil

4 tablespoon of minced garlic

Chopped fresh basil and oregano (handful)

*CampMix (a blend of garlic, onion, black pepper, salt, celery salt, and white pepper) 

*Primal Palate Garlic & Herb 

*season to taste*

Instructions

Place oil and garlic in a medium saucepan. Saute over medium heat until the garlic starts to sizzle, roughly a 1 minute.

Pour the tomatoes into the saucepan, basil and oregano, and seasonings, stir to combine.

TASTE AS YOU GO. 

I add quite a bit of the CampMix. We favor garlic and pepper, but some don't. It's all about your palate.  

Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for about 20 - 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. If the sauce is bubbling too much -- Jackson Pollock your floor and stove --, reduce the heat.

It saves beautifully in a mason jar.

My homemade bread recipe would work perfectly with this delicious sauce. *wink*

Products used in this recipe

 

 

 

 

 

Soy Free Simple Bread

Somedays I want bread.

*gasp*

Somedays I want avocado toast not avocado smash on sweet potatoes or squash or bark.

Bread. White bread because my IBS isn’t all that fond of wheat anything. It’s a complicated relationship.

Toasted ever so lightly with delicious avocado smash with a runny yolk egg. Mmmmmmm, I know what I’m making for lunch.

Most bread out there in the United States are made with soybean oil. Great. I’ll die. The only bread at Publix I can consume is sourdough, but the ingredient list is extensive. No thank you.

My magnificent husband was on a bread mission. One he could make bread at home, and it is soy and dairy-free.

He succeeded.

Ingredients


1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
2-1/4 cups warm water (110° to 115°)
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons light tasting olive oil (you could also use garlic infused olive oil)
6-1/4 to 6-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

Directions


In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add sugar, salt, oil and 3 cups flour. Beat until smooth (arm workout). Stir in enough remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, to form a soft dough.
Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 8-10 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled which takes about 1-1/2 hours.
Punch dough down (think about that annoying co-worker or your sister-in-law). Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide dough in half. Shape each into a loaf. Place in two greased 9x5-in. loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, 30-45 minutes.
Bake at 375° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and bread sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.

Behold the glory!

Perfect for avocado toast. The bread soaked up the yolk.

Nirvana!

Products used in this recipe

Swedish Meatballs - 2018 UPDATE

Christmas.
1988.
A savory but sweet aroma filled my grandparent's house. The cozy kitchen packed with family. My grandpa cranked the window to let out the heat from the overworked oven; my grandma fanned herself with an oven mitt. I’d watch the bustle about as food shuttled into the dining room. 
Mashed potatoes. 
Rolls.
But what everyone wanted was the Swedish meatballs.     
Growing up, I loved watching my grandparent’s cook and bake. Even a simple grilled cheese was special to me. 
It was made with love. 
My Swedish meatball recipe differs from the one I grew up eating, but it’s still made with love. It is soy allergy friendly, but that doesn’t mean it lacks taste. It is also lactose-free. With all my recipes, I urge people to use them as a foundation but make them their own.  Adjust ingredients. I want to give you that bridge and show you great food can be created with alternatives. 
Many memories have been made in the kitchen while cooking. Stories shared. Laughter. That is what makes food great.

Over the years, I've been asked by many for this recipe.

Here it is.

For the most part measured out. I'm a trial and error cook. I taste everything.  

Gather your breadcrumb goodness.

IMG_0005.jpg

Panera's Country Loaf is soy free but if that isn't an issue for you, please use whatever bread you like. Rosemary, Thyme, and garlic are also on the list.

IMG_0006.jpg

Many people know I'm a huge fan of CampMix and use it often in my recipes. Black Truffle Sea Salt is optional, but I add it for a little extra flavor.

IMG_0008.jpg

Cube your bread. I do the entire loaf because leftovers make excellent salad croutons. 

DSC03247.JPG

Combine the seasonings, herbs, and garlic into the chopper. 

IMG_0012.jpg

Pour olive oil over the bread until every piece is coated. Combine the mixture and bread crumbs. Preheat oven to 390. Spread them out on a cooking sheet. Bake until golden brown. Leave your oven on 390 for the meatballs.

IMG_0017.jpg

Allow those to cool. 

Depending on how much you want in the meatball mixture, I pour all of my bread into a food processor. It will grind up in different sizes, which I like. 

DSC03261.JPG

Put the breadcrumbs aside.

Time for the meatballs.

When available I use bison, but typically I use beef and pork.

Typically, I use 2lbs of meat. When cooking for just my family, I use a little over a 1lb.

In a bowl, combine beef, pork, breadcrumbs (go light and add as you go) and sprinkle on a bit more CampMix. When you make a meatball, make sure each one has some breadcrumbs. If they don't, add more to the mixture.

IMG_0021.jpg

I do use non-stick foil but also dab on a bit of olive oil.

Cook until brown. Usually between 20-25 minutes. I always cut one in half to check the middle. If it's a bit pink, that's okay because the meatballs will be cooking in the crockpot for a couple of hours. 

IMG_0023.jpg

As the meatballs do their thing in the oven, it's time to work on the gravy. 

In a pan, on medium heat, melt the butter. Add flour. Whisk. Add beef broth. Bring to a simmer. Add in the white part (at the top) into the gravy. This works as an excellent dairy substitute. Most Swedish meatball recipes use heavy cream or sour cream. It adds a bit of sweetness to the gravy. The gravy will thicken more in the crockpot. Whisk and carefully pour into the crockpot. 

IMG_0024.jpg

The crockpot should be on a low setting. About an hour in, I'll bump up the heat.  

IMG_0029.jpg

Add the meatballs. Slowly. Even all the goodness on the foil. Stir in and add more meatballs. Depending on the number of batches. It's 1lb per cooking sheet. 

Stir occasionally. 

The house will smell delicious. 

2 - 3 hours later...

IMG_0040.jpg
IMG_0047.jpg

During holidays I will add lingonberry jam to the dish. The taste is similar to a cranberry sauce. The combination of lingonberry, mashed potatoes, and meatballs is a trifecta of euphoric bliss. Food coma will happen.

After you dish out some meatballs, turn the crockpot to keep warm. They are even better 3 hours later when the post-dessert grazing starts.  

Ingredients

For the breadcrumbs:

1 loaf of bread

Fresh rosemary, thyme, and sage

2 cloves of garlic

CampMix (salt, pepper, white pepper, garlic salt, and celery salt)

For the meatballs:

Breadcrumbs

1lb of 92/8 beef

1/2lb 80/20 beef

1/2lb of bison (if available) or 1/2lb of pork 

For the gravy sauce (optional):

1/3 cup butter

1/4 cup of all-purpose flour

1 cup beef broth

2 tablespoons of the beef/pork fat from the pan

3 tablespoons of coconut milk (white at the top)

CampMix 

 

CampMix purchased here.

Products used in this recipe: 

 

 

 

Crab Pizza

I looked at my husband the other night and expressed my craving for pizza and crab cakes, but I didn't want to make both. 
How about crab pizza?
He raised his brow. I sensed his skepticism which made me want to make it all that much more. He suggested we make our pesto pizza for back up. 
Just in case.
I agreed but was confident the crab would taste delicious. 
In the end, I was right.
Duh.

My husband uses Bobby Flay's Pizza Dough Recipe. I am looking into a coconut flour recipe for my gluten-free people. Cauliflower crusts are quite popular, but I am unable to eat those. I did find a few gluten-free premade crusts at our local Publix in the frozen section. 

The crab mixture is easy with minimal ingredients. I did have a bit of pesto leftover and added a spoonful. Chopped red and yellow peppers add color and flavor to the mixture.

Ready for the oven.

The result?

It tasted exactly like a crab cake. The crispness of the crust and saltiness of the crab was the perfect combination. The added peppers give another depth of flavor. And let me tell you, the leftovers were an amazing breakfast.  

There is a sprinkle of Cabot Farmhouse Reserve Cheddar Cheese. Don't be afraid of the cheese/seafood horror show. It's allowed with specific recipes. This particular cheese is a chameleon. It blends with whatever you add it to. I've mentioned it in previous recipes. I didn't use much, and I'd deem it optional. 

The pesto pizza was just as delicious. Not everyone loves seafood. 

Either pizza works for any gathering or football party. 

I live the most healthy lifestyle I can but you know what somedays I want carbs and cheese. I'm not going to shame myself for it. 

My body is an evolving creature and what works on Monday doesn't work on Thursday. I keep the medical profession on their toes. But that is for another day. Let's get to the important stuff.

Ingredients for Crab Mix

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

8oz crab lump meat (Pay the extra money for excellent crab meat. Publix and Whole Foods are my choices if you don't have a fresh seafood place near you)

1 red pepper (chopped)

1 yellow pepper (chopped)

1/2 lemon

A spoonful of fresh pesto (optional) 

Garlic infused olive oil (you can use light tasting olive oil) 

CampMix

Simply Organic all-seasons salt

Directions

In a bowl at crab meat, chopped peppers, squeeze of the lemon, and seasonings. Mix. Taste. If you want more seasonings or lemon add it in. Everyone's palette is different. 

With a brush or spoon spread the olive oil over the dough on a pizza pan (we use the Cuisinart Chef's Classic Nonstick Bakeware 14-Inch Pizza Pan) covering every inch. 

Spread the crab mixture. Allow room for a crust. 

Bake for *20 -25 minutes*. 

*We use an electric oven. Gas ovens may be different.* 

This is why I love cooking. 

Experiment with different ingredients. Laugh and share stories with my boys. All of our conversations gravitate to the kitchen. Logan is hopping up in the counter. Plotting world domination. Phil is discussing his day. 

It's our happy place.

Products used in this recipe

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not Your Grandma's Tuna Fish Sandwich

As a child, I ate my fair share of tuna fish sandwiches. Mayo heavy. White Wonder Bread buttered. It always tasted better when my grandma made my sandwich. 
As an adult, I was sad to learn soy is in most tuna fish pouches/cans. 

Time to elevate the tuna fish sandwich with real ingredients.   

I was standing in my kitchen with leftover wild-caught sockeye salmon from dinner prior & hummus. Just as I'd combine the tuna and mayo together in a bowl, I did the same for the salmon and hummus. I went a step further and added a bit of homemade pesto.

My husband is always my guinea pig.

I toasted two pieces fo sourdough. Drizzled garlic infused oil of the bread, sprinkled a bit of CampMix. I took a bite. The texture was divine and perfect with the warm toasted bread. I could taste the lemon from the salmon, the freshness of the basil, and the spice from the hummus. I served the sandwich to my husband.

He took a bite, groaned, and smiled.

Approval.

I also added it to a spinach salad. Drizzled garlic infused oil over it.

Delish!  

I enjoyed the salmon mixture with a spinach salad with creamy brown rice. 

I don't think this needs a detailed instructional. Above I mentioned my spicy hummus and garlic infused oil, which is what I used in this recipe. The leftover salmon was poached in olive oil and lemon pepper seasoning the night before. Here is the pesto recipe as I don't have it as an individual post. 

Ingredients for Pesto

Basil

About 1/4 cup minced garlic

1 cup extra light olive oil (infused oil works too)

A few mint leaves

A squirt of Meyer Lemon

Dash of crushed red pepper (optional)

Dash CampMix 

In the food chopper, I have the KitchenAid 3.5-Cup Food Chopper, fill to top with basil leaves and a few mint leaves. Add garlic and seasonings. Blend. After I dry mix, I use a spoon and scrape the mixture back into the middle. I found this method blends better especially if some of the basil and mint leaves don't thoroughly chop up. 

Add the olive oil and lemon (watch out for the seeds). Chop again.

Please taste. I can't emphasize enough to taste as you cook. Everyone's palates differ. Some prefer garlic. Others salt. 

I tend to go lighter with the seasonings because you can always add but you can't take away.

This is a great alternative if you aren't a fan of mayonnaise and looking to try something new with fish.

Products used in this recipe

 

 

   

 

Garlic Infused Olive Oil - Low FODMAP

About three years my doctor suggested Low FODMAP for my IBS. I never heard of the food plan but immediately went home to do some research. 

What are FODMAP's?

*per Healthline.com* FODMAP stands for fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides and polyols (1).

These are the scientific terms used to classify groups of carbs that are notorious for triggering digestive symptoms like bloating, gas and stomach pain.

FODMAPs are found in a wide range of foods in varying amounts. Some foods contain just one type, while others contain several.

The main dietary sources of the four groups of FODMAPs include:

Oligosaccharides: Wheat, rye, legumes and various fruits and vegetables, such as garlic and onions.
Disaccharides: Milk, yogurt, and soft cheese. Lactose is the main carb.
Monosaccharides: Various fruit including figs and mangoes, and sweeteners such as honey and agave nectar. Fructose is the main carb.
Polyols: Certain fruits and vegetables including blackberries and lychee, as well as some low-calorie sweeteners like those in sugar-free gum.

I purchased three books on the subject, pinned every recipe possible, and was excited to start the elimination process until I read garlic was a no-no. 
Wait? What?
I use garlic in almost all my dishes. I love garlic. Now I can't have it? 
Not cool. 
I use olive oil for almost everything. Or avocado oil, which is also approved for Low FODMAP. 
There's the solution. 
Garlic infused olive oil. I add a small leaf of basil -- just because I want to -- and giving up garlic wasn't as detrimental. This olive oil goes with everything. Pork Chops. Jicama Fries. Salmon.
I had veered off the Low FODMAP path for a while, oh how I've noticed, but I'm back on track. For years I viewed food as my enemy. Between IBS and food allergies my rebellious nature always did me in. I am learning to understand my relationship with food and my body. Food isn't the enemy, my way of thinking was. Health is about respect. I can't heal if I don't respect my insides and my soul.

I am in the process of growing fresh herbs and look forward to infusing olive oil with rosemary or thyme or peppers with rosemary. The possibilities are endless. It's easy to feel the weight of digestive syndromes and diseases but together we will reduce inflammation, pain, and improve our way of thinking. 

Ingredients

1 cup of extra light tasting olive oil 

4-6 peeled and smashed garlic cloves. 

Basil leaf (optional)

Instructions

In a saucepan add the above-mentioned ingredients.  

Cook over low heat for about 10 minutes. Until the garlic browns just a bit. Remove from the heat and let stand until it is room temperature. At first, I used a mason jar but I found a great olive oil dispenser and funnel from Target

You can refrigerate the oil for up to a month but mine is usually gone within the week. 

Perfect to drizzle over salmon and quinoa.

Add the oil to any of my favorites recipes, Cucumber Dill Ranch Dressing or Jicama Fries. 

Low FODMAP books I purchased

 

 

 

 

 

  

Hello? Is It Cheese You're Looking For?

March 7, 2017, USA Today published an article titled Cheese is so addictive, one doctor calls it 'dairy crack'. I 100% believe it. There is something about cheese when it's listed on a menu. A gleam in one's eye. The giddiness inside.

My relationship with cheese is complicated. When I was young whether my grandma was visiting our home or my family was visiting hers, she'd cook delicious food for us. Every single meal. Most contained cheese. One of the favorites was her fried macaroni and cheese. Nothing fancy but she made it with love. The crispy noodles mixed with creamy cheese was on another level for a nine-year-olds palette. I've mimicked the recipe, but it's not the same. It's not my grandma's.

I decided to create my own.

Soy-free. Lactose-free. Vegetarian-friendly. No noodles.  

What the heck is it?

Cheesy Spaghetti Squash Bake.

IMG_5738.JPG

Activate watering of the mouth. 

Spaghetti Squash. Cheese. Basil.

The trifecta of awesomeness. 

As I've stated in a previous recipe I cook the squash the night before, The Foolproof, Step-by-Step Guide to Cooking Spaghetti Squash, I add a few cloves of garlic and fresh basil for aromatics.

The end result is cheesy goodness.

IMG_5740.JPG

Ingredients

1 large spaghetti squash

3 tbsp of Earth Balance Soy-free butter

3 tbsp of ap flour or your flour of choice

2 cups of coconut milk (I use VitaCoco Original)

1 tablespoon of Thai Kitchen Organic Coconut Cream

A handful of fresh basil leaves

3/4 tbsp CampMIX or create your mixture of garlic salt, salt, garlic powder, celery salt, black pepper. I recommend tasting as you go. 

1 block of Cabot Farmhouse Reserve Cheddar (Shred the entire block) 

IMG_5736.JPG

Instructions

Preheat oven to 390.

Mince basil leaves. 

In a medium saucepan or cast iron pot on low-medium heat melt the butter. Whisk in flour until small lumps form. Add coconut milk and continue to whisk until smooth. Add seasonings salt, basil, whisk and simmer for about 2 minutes or until sauce has slightly thickened. Add the cheese and whisk until smooth. 

Add spaghetti squash. Stir and blend carefully.

In an 8x8 Pyrex dish pour in the cheesy awesomeness. A 10" cast iron pan is also an option.

I have an electric oven--miss our gas oven--I cook the squash for 5-7 minutes. Then I switch to broil on high. Check every couple of minutes until golden brown.

This entire dish is 5-6 servings depending on the portion size your spouse or children dish out. My husband dishes heavy.

The leftovers are perfect to fry up the next day. Too bad I never have any leftovers which I guess is a compliment.

Now go make this dish and make it your own.