vegetarian

Carrot Soup - Instant Pot Ace Blender

Carrot Soup - Instant Pot Ace Blender

Photo by Gabriel Gurrola on Unsplash

Dairy & Soy Free Chocolate Chip Pancakes

The best thing about cooking is the creation of a recipe and the joy it brings to my family and friends. These pancakes are fluffy and delicious. Easy but does have a few ingredients and ones that can be used with other recipes.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

3 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder

1 teaspoon Himalayan pink fine salt

1 tablespoon sugar

1 1/4 coconut milk (Califia Farms Go Coconuts: coconut milk and coconut water blend)

3 tablespoons of Earth Balance Soy Free butter spread (melted)

1 egg (free range)

Nestle Toll House Allergen Free Simply Delicious Semi-Sweet Baking Chips (optional)

Directions:

In a large bowl sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. In the center of the dry ingredients add the egg, coconut milk, melted butter. Whisk until smooth. Add chocolate chips. I used somewhere between 1/2 to a 1 cup.

Heat cast iron skillet to 3. I have an electric stove therefore temps will vary. Also, you can use a griddle or frying pan, medium heat for those. I add a bit of butter in the pan. I scoop about 1/4 cup of the batter. Spread it about if you want a thinner pancake. Once the sides start to brown ever so slightly, and the mixture bubbles a bit in the center it’s time to flip. Cook until golden brown. This recipe makes between 6-8 pancakes.


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Simple Chimichurri

Garlic. Cilantro. Red pepper. Be still my culinary heart. A little Instagram photo love below.

It’s a versatile sauce — meat, fish, or vegetables.

Ingredients

1/2 cup light tasting olive oil (garlic infused olive oil is an option)

2 cloves of garlic

1/4 red pepper

Fresh parsley

Fresh cilantro

Lemon juice (preferably fresh)

Salt & pepper

Directions

Chop 1 cup of cilantro and 1 cup of parsley. I use herb scissors to pre-cut before putting them in my food chopper.

Add garlic, red pepper, and seasonings. I go by taste with the salt and pepper. Palates are different.

Chop.

Pour in the olive oil and lemon juice. I squeeze 1/2 a lemon in.

Chop.

Taste.

Add more salt and pepper if need be.

Products used in this recipe







Easy Curry Aioli

Ingredients

1 cup garlic infused olive oil

1 free range egg yolk

1 tsp spicy brown mustard

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 to 1 1/2 tsp all-seasons salt (Simply Organic can be found at Publix and Amazon)

*seasonings are personal. Start with 1 and add after you blend if you so desire. Adding is easier than taking away*

1 to 1 1/2 tsp curry powder (Primal Palate)

Directions

In a blender add 1/4 of the oil, egg yolk, mustard, lemon juice, and seasonings. Keep blender on low. If it’s too fast, the whole thing will break once you start to add the rest of the oil. Blend until it begins to thicken. Don’t shut off the blender. Open the circular part of the lid at the top of the blender and slowly pour in the rest of the oil.

Once blended in shut off the blender and stir. This is the time to add more seasonings. Keep in mind the taste will increase over a resting period in the refrigerator. I usually wait 12 to 24 hours before use.

It works perfectly with salmon, jicama, and potato fries.

Sweet. Spice. Salt.


Products used in this recipe:






Butternut Squash Rice

Throughout my journey of food allergies and IBS finding ways to adjust my eating lifestyle were not always easy.

Rice and I have a complicated relationship. Many have suggested cauliflower "rice" and as much as I'd love for that to work for me, it won't.

One size doesn't fit all.

We all process foods differently.

What I have found works for me in butternut squash. It's versatile. Perfect texture for different recipes. Full of magnesium. Spiraled butternut squash can be found at the local supermarket but spiraling or shreading your own is much more cost effective.

Ingredients:

1 butternut squash (You won’t use the entire squash. When I shred mine I get about 11-12 cups)

1/2 red pepper chopped

Olive oil light tasting (garlic infused oil)

Seasonings of your choice. I used Primal Palate Garlic and Herb and an organic all-season salt.

Directions:

Here is a tutorial on how to cut butternut squash. The only difference is I don’t use a peeler, I cut the skin with a knife, and for the squash to fit in the shredder I cut it in fourths the long way.

Spiral or shed the squash. I use the Presto 02970 Professional SaladShooter Electric Slicer/Shredder.

In a pan or cast iron skillet add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. I prefer garlic infused oil. Add about two cups of the squash and the diced red pepper. Add seasonings. On high heat stir everything together. Cover with a lid, not entirely. Allow some of the steam out. Stir every minute or so, about 3-4 minutes in drop the heat to medium-low. Sometimes I add a bit more oil and seasonings.

Taste as you go.

You will notice the squash start to break down and soften. This will only take 5-7 minutes. Don’t let it burn. It will happen quickly if not watched.

For a snack or light dinner, I will add a splash of coconut whole fat milk and curry powder for creamy, spicy rice.

But my husband is a fan of the coconut curry chicken with the butternut squash rice.

When foods are eliminated for medical purposes, it’s a frustrating process to go through. And there are days I get angry because I can’t eat certain fruits or vegetables. I can’t grab a Peppermint Patty or a slice of pizza. Or go out to eat any restaurant I want.

I try to create solutions. Not just for me but for others.

Products used in this recipe:




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



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

 

 

   

 

Spicy Hummus - Cannellini Beans

Most associate hummus with garbanzo beans, I use cannellini. For whatever reason, my digestive system favors them over any other white bean. And avocado. I know. Travesty. But who am I to argue? 

Hummus is the universal food.
Dips. Wraps. Burgers.
Perfect substitute for mayo which I discovered while making a salmon salad  --  think tuna fish sandwich. 
That's for my next recipe.

My spicy hummus recipe is quick and easy. Four ingredients. Less than ten minutes. Cost is low. Why buy premade? You know who made it and when. You know the ingredients.

You don't have to use garlic infused olive oil but it does amplify the flavors. And really why not?

Drain the beans. 

I use my little food chopper.  

Puree setting. 

Always. Always. Always taste. 

Everyone's palette is different. We love spicy but others may not. We love garlic but others may want to ease back on it. My goal is to set a foundation and people make the recipe their own.

My husband loves broccoli and red pepper slices or with pita bread. I eat it alongside my salmon filet with a spinach salad. The options are endless.

Ingredients

1 can of cannellini beans

2 tablespoons of garlic infused olive oil

1 tablespoon of Mrs. Renfro's Green Salsa

1/2 - 1 tablespoon of CampMix (garlic, onion, black pepper, salt, celery salt, and white pepper)

Instructions

In the food processor add the beans, oil, salsa, and seasonings. Puree setting until all is blended. Taste. Add more salsa or seasonings if so desired. 

Use immediately or refrigerate.  

Boom!

Done!

It's not zero carbs but it's also not horrid carbs. I could think of worse carbs to consume. 

This recipe is soy-free. Vegetarian-friendly. Low-cholesterol food. High in protein, magnesium, and fiber.  

Products used in this recipe

CampMIX

 

 
 

Paleo Cucumber Dill Ranch Dressing - Tzatziki Inspired

I stand with the refrigerator door open. What to make? Not in the mood for chicken or fish. I want something light. Salad? Yes but I don't want a vinegarette. I made mayo the following day, my eyes move to the fresh dill, lemon, and cucumber. 
Tzatziki inspired. 
In my pantry, I have organic lite coconut milk. A staple for our family. 
I've made this ranch before but not with cucumbers.  

Oh. My. Goodness. 

I could live off this dressing. Dip jicama fries in it. Or turmeric chicken nuggets in the air fryer.

The added cucumber reminded me of my favorite gyro place in North Carolina. Perhaps, my next recipe. Hmmmmmm.

Let's get to the deliciousness.  

Ingredients

For the mayo

1 cup of light tasting olive oil

One free range egg

1/2 teaspoon of dijon mustard

1/2 of a lemon

CampMIX or Simply Organic All-Seasons Salt (I use both) or any seasonings of your choice. 

For the dressing

1/3 cup of the paleo mayo

1/4 cup full-fat canned coconut milk (I use Thai Kitchen)

1/2 lemon

2 tablespoons of fresh dill

1 clove of garlic

1/2 medium peeled cucumber

Instructions

Make the mayo: In a blender add 1/4 of the olive oil, egg, mustard, squeeze in lemon (watch out for those seeds), and seasonings. Blend on low. Once blended open the central part of the blender and slowly pour in remaining olive oil. It will start to thicken. Stop the blender. Give it a little stir. Taste and decide if you want to add more lemon or seasonings. Put the mayo in a container, cover and put in the refrigerator.  

Make the dressing: In a food processor, I use the KitchenAid Mini Food Processor, add mayo, coconut milk, lemon, dill, garlic, cucumber, and seasonings. Pulse a few times until the cucumber is chopped into tiny bits. Taste. Add any additional seasonings. If you want a thicker dressing, add a bit more mayo.

I like mine thinner. Reminds me of the homemade ranch I had as a child. 

My husband added a homemade pita triangle and turmeric chicken to his salad. Can't forget the sliced black olives. Another family staple.

This dressing is soy, gluten, and dairy-free. Vegetarian-friendly. Versatile. Simple and delicious.

Products used in this recipe. 

  

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.

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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.

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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) 

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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.