Tag Archives: Gluten free

[gluten free] zucchini banana walnut chocolate chip bread

Good news! I found an apartment that I adore in San Francisco. It is located near the upper heart of the city, in exactly the area that I was hoping for. It’s an easy bus ride to my internship, and right in the middle of all the various hoods for good shopping, food, and going out. And the best part? My new room mates seem like the kind of girls I can really be friends with! I have heard (and experienced) a million Craigslist nightmare stories, but I don’t think this will be one. Fingers crossed! I move Thursday, so until then I will be cleaning and seeing as many people as I can. The food that will be consumed is sure to be bizarre – everyone just loves the task of finishing up all the random items in the freezer and cabinets. Should make for an awesome What I Ate Wednesday ;). If I have internet that is…  my previous roommate shut off the internet without warning, so I’m sitting in my favorite coffee shop at the moment. I used to go nuts for their banana nut bread. My obsession progressed to the point that I would call to find out e x a c t l y when it would be out of the oven and I would plan my coffee shop studying around that time. That is, until I finally mastered making it myself. Except my version is gluten free and healthier, but just as delicious and comforting – promise!

[gluten free] zucchini banana walnut chocolate chip bread

Recipe: Makes 10 servings – Gluten free, sugar free (optional)

Wet ingredients

  • 1 cup zuchinni, grated
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar or NuNaturals Baking Blend
  • 1 tbsp molasses

Dry ingredients

  • 1   cups oat flour
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • ¼ cup ground flax
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup chocolate chips (depends on your taste)
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup walnuts (depends on your taste)

Directions – Preheat the oven to 350. Grate the zucchini and lay on a clean dish towel. Place another dish towel on top and press the water from the zucchini. Add all of the wet ingredients to a bowl and mix well. In another bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients, except the chocolate chips and walnuts. Pour the wet overt the dry and lightly mix with a spatula until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts. Bake for 60 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned and it passes the tooth pick test.

 

Benefits

Flax * high in B vitamins, magnesium, and f-f-f-fiber! It has more omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants than any grain!

Walnuts * a good source of 0mega 3 fatty acids. Walnuts have been found to decrease LDL cholesterol, decrease inflammation, improve endothelial cell function, and decrease risk of excessive blood clotting, all of which decrease heart disease risk. They may also help reduce metabolic syndrome symptoms and decrease tummy fat. They are rich in antioxidants and may help protect against some cancers.

Bananas * High in potassium which helps the body eliminate excess salt and water (good for bloating)! Also help prevent muscular cramps and improve blood circulation. Bananas are high in zinc, which is key for healthy hair. They have also been linked to the prevention of stomach ulcers because they protect the stomach mucous layer. They are high in vitamins C and A, and phosphorus (which helps improve memory).

Cinnamon * High in antioxidants and also aids in controlling blood sugar levels. Why does blood sugar matter? Spikes in blood sugar are bad for your health because they cause your body to increase insulin production. Insulin, among many other things, tells your body to store fat. Therefore, eating a sugary/high-in-simple-carbohydrate meal = blood sugar spike = insulin spike = store fat. Even worse, years of insulin spikes can lead to insulin resistance, which can then lead to diabetes.

Also!

I still have 5 more weeks before I can get back into lifting and Crossfit, but I did go to UCD Crossfit yesterday for a goodbye workout. Jonji and the guys changed up the workout so I could participate and it was hard. It felt good to get my heart rate up like that again!

Foot Injury-Friendly Crossfit WOD

  • 2000m rowing warmup

4 Minute Tabatas: 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest, 8x. Do 4 minutes of the tabata pushups, take a 1 minute rest, then 4 minutes of the tabata situps, 1 minute rest, etc.. 

  • Pushups
  • GHD situps
  • Ring rows
  • Back/hip extensions

Injury or not, I think you should give this one a try. Have a lovely Monday!! 

recipes you must try!

Hi!

With all the running hobbling around I’ve been doing, I haven’t been getting creative in the kitchen, but that doesn’t mean I haven’ been cooking up a storm! I have made many recipes from blogs and the internet lately – some have been bland, some have been decent, and some have been superb. Here are my favorites, all of which I recommend that you try!

creamy cucumber walnut salad

this was ser i ous ly awesome! my favorite of all. 

recipe: serves 1

adapted from the healthy foodie

  • 1 medium cucumber
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 tbsp black walnuts, chopped
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil (or walnut oil!)
  • 1 tbsp za’atar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups mache or other leafy greens

Directions – Dice the cucumber into bite size pieces and add to a large bowl. Add the greek yogurt and mix. Add the walnuts, za’atar, olive oil, salt, and pepper and mix. Add the mache or greens and mix. Enjoy! Serve with additional protein source, like chicken or hard boiled eggs.

If you like walnuts, you must try this salad. Up next is a paleo recipe that I made for dinner one night. The caramelized mushrooms and onions were incredible, I wish I had tripled that part of the recipe!

Paleo Mushroom Chicken Fricasse

Recipe: Serves 1 – Paleo, Low Carb, Gluten Free, Dairy Free

adapted from tgipaleo

  • 1 slice bacon, nitrate free
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion, diced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, diced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a shake of basil, oregano, and thyme
  • 1/2 tbsp tamari sauce
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp spicy mustard
  • 2 skin on chicken thighs

Directions – Add a pat of butter to a pan and place on the stove on medium high heat. Add the slice of bacon and cook until extremely crispy, then remove the bacon and set aside. Add the onions and let cook for a minute before adding the mushrooms. Once the mushrooms have softened, lay the chicken thighs in the pan. After 3-4 minutes, flip the chicken on the other side. Let cook for a couple minutes. Add the coconut milk, tamari, mustard, spices, and stir. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and let everything simmer until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the lid and once the sauce has thickened to your liking, serve and enjoy.

 

My most hardcore paleo-eating friend taught me that you can eat the ends of chicken bones, since they are the softest. They are loaded with calcium and important proteins for healing. I think eating the soft portions of bones and making bone broths is speeding my fracture recovery! That red stuff you see in the photo above is bone marrow.

This next recipe is originally from the magazine Clean Eating, but I found it via the blog The Candid RD. I didnt make the spinach portion of the recipe. Instead, I opted to use my abundance of zucchini and simply sauteed it in a pan with a bit of butter, dijon mustard, and maple syrup.

Maple Dijon Cod

 

Call me cray but I think this photo is so pretty. Look at how the sun reflects of the mustard seeds!

I hadn’ t eaten white fish in so long. This hit the spot.

And finally, a gluten free cookie recipe for dessert!

Honey-Vanilla Tahini Cookies

Recipe: Makes 12 cookies – Gluten Free

adapted from everybody likes sandwiches

  • 1 1/4 cup oat flour (you can just grind gluten free, rolled oats in a blender)
  • 1 tbsp flax
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup well stirred tahini
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla

Directions – Preheat the oven to 350. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the flour, flax, and baking powder. In another large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, tahini, vanilla, and honey. Slowly add and mix in the flour mixture to the wet mixture. Refrigerate the dough until cool. Spoon dough into 12 cookie balls on a nonstick baking sheet. Bake for ~15 minutes. 

Anyone who appreciates tahini, will definitely love these cookies!

 

Success!

 

 

 

coconut water pong and the invention of dub step.

Hey WholeWheatOrBusters! Let’s be real here, I need to change the name of this blog. And buy my own domain. Wheat is now a foreign object in my diet, making occasional appearances for special occasions and bizarre cravings. If anyone comes up with a name that I love… I’ll send you a care package full of edible goodies.

This weekend had it’s ups and downs. On the up side, I hung out with friends, both new and old, and went floating down a beautiful river for several hours. Some of my guy friends also created a non-drinking game that combines getting swole with beer pong and coconut water. Coconut water pong, if you will. And every time you time the other team makes a cup, you and your partner must do 8 pull ups or air squats. I did 48 pulls ups that night. Still sore.

On the down side, our house was intruded upon and they stole my house mate’s laptop as well as my wallet and ipod. Our town is so small and… cute… that Kathleen and I don’t always lock the door. Obviously, we have learned our lesson.  Everything is replaceable, except my wallet. It was my deceased father’s and meant more to me than basically anything I own. When my family passed it down to me, I knew I could keep it in a box – safe and sound – for the rest of my life. Or I could actually use it. Knowing full well that I would likely lose or damage it one day, I chose to use the wallet. Everyday it served as a physical reminder of him. However, besides the wallet, everything else is just stuff and doesn’t really mean anything. Stuff is replaceable and it doesn’t bring happiness anyway. When was the last time you bought something that brought you lasting happiness? I can’t think of a time. Also, the robber is apparently a raging alcoholic, because on his way out, he also stole my room mates handle of gin. Who does that?!?

Besides the wallet, I also had to say some hard good byes this weekend. :( It has been helpful to remember that no good bye is necessarily forever until it is t h e     t i m e.

I also got my first MRI!

I am pretty sure the inventors of dubstep drew their inspiration from being forced into the giant magnet machine a few too many times. For an hour, I could feel tingling in my feet and the blaring beat of the machine piercing through my ear plugs and headphones. Granted, the headphones were cheap and a measly donut of foam was supposed to block out the sound. I am pretty sure a major hospital can afford some nice Bose noise cancellation headphones – but whatevs, I got my dubstep on.

I am still limited in my working out (no running, jumping, olympic lifting), but have gotten to add in squats and deadlifts to my regimen.

HALLELUJAH BABY JESUS HAS RISENNNNN! 

Foot Injury-Safe Workout #4

  • Bench press, 65 lbs, 3 rounds until failure
  • Military press 50 lbs, 3 rounds until failure
  • GHD Abs with 3 kg ball, 3 rounds of 12
  • Pull ups + hanging tricep dips, 3 rounds until failure
  • Sit ups + side bend abs holding 45 lb plate, 3 rounds of 12 per side
  • 1 more round of each until failure

Food wise, I am on a salad kick for lunch because it is steaming hot here. I have had this one three days in a row, which is weird. I am finally over it, but I think you should get on it. Asap.

The flavors come together in a totally unexpected and awesome way. I seriously recommend you give this one a shot. The brasil nuts and toasted coconut are optional, but they definitely take it to another level.

Tropical Summer Market Salad

Recipe: Serves 1

  • 3 cups mache
  • handful sugar snap peas, halved
  • 1/4 cup cucumber, diced
  • handful sprouts
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 oz goat cheese
  • 2 brasil nuts, chopped
  • 1/3 cup mango, cubed
  • 1 tbsp shredded, toasted coconut

Directions – Dice the cucumber and snap the snap peas into bite size pieces. In a large bowl, add the mache, snap peas, cucumber, and sprouts. Drizzle the olive oil and apple cider vinegar over it. Sprinkle on the salt and fresh pepper. Mix. Add the goat cheese and cubed mango and toss again. Scrape onto a dish or bowl. Top with chopped basil nuts and a dash of toasted coconut. Eat with a side of protein!!!!! Enjoy.

Benefits:

Mache * has a crazy amount of vitamin folic acid (B9) for a leafy green, as well as vitamin C, and potassium! Plus its weirdly delicious. Try it!

Sprouts * has 50x the antioxidant sulfurophane contained in broccoli

Sugar Snap Peas * a tasty source of fiber for regularity, as well as a good source of  vitamin K, B6, and vitamin C. Vitamin K plays a key role in calcium absorption, along with vitamin D.

Mango * high in vitamins A, C, K, E, and potassium, magnesium, and selenium. Also contains the antioxidant beta carotene, a carotenoid! Mangoes are high in fiber due to their pectin content, which has been associated with lower cholesterol levels and reduced risk for cancer.

Brasil Nuts * is THE RICHEST source of selenium of all natural foods! Just 1-2 nuts per day contains all the daily required selenium you need, which may help prevent skin cancer. I get at least one a day!

and that was…

Cheesy Apple Bacon Muffins [gluten free]

This blog used to basically be a muffin blog. I ate a muffin a day. Muffins and eggs, muffins and greek yogurt, muffins for dessert, muffins for snack.

And then I got muffined out.

And then I got more paleo.

And now the muffins are back.

Cheesy Apple Bacon Muffins

Recipe: Makes 6 muffins – Gluten free, Primal adaptable, Sugar free

  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oat flour (you can make your own!)
  • 1/4 cup real or sugar-free maple syrup (depending on your needs…and politics)
  • 1 cup diced pink lady apple
  • 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded + extra for topping
  • 4 slices crispy bacon, nitrate free
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Primal version: 6 eggs and 1/2 cup coconut flour, no oat flour.

Directions – Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Microwave the bacon until crispy, about 5-6 minutes. Pour the grease into a jar and lay the bacon on a paper towel to dry. Dice the pink lady apple and set aside. Grate the cheddar cheese and set aside. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the coconut flour. Add the oat flour (I simply ground up oats in a blender until powdery) and maple syrup (I use Joseph’s Sugar Free with malitol) and beat again. Sprinkle the salt and baking soda over the batter and stir. Crumble the bacon into chunks and bits. Fold the apples, cheese, and bacon into the batter. Bake for ~20 minutes, or until the muffins have risen and are just lightly browned.

come to mama.

bacon never looked so cute

I’m on a bit of a life high right now. Yesterday was my first day at my LINC (low income housing) volunteer position. I got there early and helped my supervisor set up the room for the after school/summer program for the kids. The kids trickled in around 2:15 and had Enrichment until 4. I helped the cutest pair of 6 year old twins I have ever seen with their reading and writing. One of them has an afro mohawk and was really into his work and getting as far through the workbook as possible. The other was completely disinterested in working and just kept gazing off at the other kids who had already finished. He simply didn’t believe in himself! He thought everything was too hard for him. I kept telling him that he could do it – he could do whatever he wanted to accomplish as long as he didn’t give up and worked at it. We got through a few pages, but then it was snack time. During snack, my supervisor introduced me and we had the kids go around and introduce themselves. They ranged in age from 6 to 14 and were all very lively. Next, I had an hour to teach them anything. I started out with asking them to name a food they like and a food they don’t like.

They liked chicken, carrots, pizza, mashed potatos, tamales, fish, and chocolate. They didnt like broccoli, sea food, peppers, peas, onions and more broccoli.

Next, I asked them to name a food they thought was healthy and a food they thought “wasn’t good for them.” They thought carrots, lettuce, broccoli, watermelon, and olives (?!) were healthy. They thought cake, chocolate, gravy, bacon, cupcakes, ribs, and pizza was not good for them. I told them that we needed to move ribs to the good list because it was such a great source of protein.   That lead to a great little conversation on why and how protein helps us grow up and get stronger.

The main thing I wanted to get out of this first session was seeing how much they knew about the food groups, what the thought was healthy versus not, and what kinds of foods they liked.

The most successful part of the lesson was when I asked them to look at the list of foods they said were bad for them and figure out what the cake, chocolate, and cupcakes had in common. Silence. Eventually, one of the older boys screeched SUGAR!!!

 I asked them why sugar was bad for them… Silence again. Come on you guys, why is sugar bad for you? A boy in a 49ers hat raised his hand and mumbled “because it makes you fat.” This gave me a way to talk about how eating too much sugar and not moving around enough can make us gain weight because our cells aren’t eating all of the food we are giving them. The more we move around, the more our cells will eat the food that we eat.  It we eat too much sugar and don’t do anything, the food will become fat on our bodies. Also, sugar may give us energy at first, but then it will make us sleepy and leave us with less energy than we had before. They all seemed to understand and were particularly interested in why sugar leaves us tired and why protein helps us get stronger. I did my best! They also wanted to know what was wrong with my foot (I didn’t drink enough milk and yogurt growing up and didn’t wear proper shoes to work out in) and what that thing on my arm was (its a machine that measures my heart rate and steps every day to make sure I am active enough). 

I have three more sessions with them, so I’m thinking of theming one veggies, one fruits, and one protein/dairy. I contacted Chobani and they are going to send me yogurt to give the kids! I am so excited – I am sure that none of them have been exposed to greek yogurt!

Thank you to the couple of you that gave me suggestions. I really appreciate it. Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

[grain-free] cinnamon sweet potato waffles

Happy Independence Day everyone! Let’s take at least a minute to be appreciative of the fact that we live in a non-occupied territory and do not have to suffer the pain and inconveniences that come with such a life condition.

Ho’kay, for today’s

I have a special new recipe to debut. Please welcome Paleo Waffle 2.0 to the stage.

These are grain free, dairy free, sugar free and paleo-approved. I was trying to come up with a paleo waffle that used only sweet potato and eggs and no coconut flour, but I couldn’t make it work. The coconut flour is key to making them hold their shape and be waffle-like. However, this waffle has less coconut flour than my original version (and seems to digest easier) and a delicious sweet potato flavor.

For breakfast I have been having 1 sweet potato waffle and one banana paleo waffle topped with ~2 tablespoons of nut butter and 2 egg whites on the side.

I will never get sick of waffles. Did you know I’m a quarter Belgian?

Cinnamon Spiced Sweet Potato Waffles [gluten free]

Recipe: Makes ~7 waffles

  • Sorry this has been removed until further notice!

Josef’s sugar free maple syrup (don’t hate! malitol is one of the less craptastic sweeteners) and shredded coconut

Nutrition Facts for 1 Waffle

  • 120 calories
  • 9 grams protein (more if you sub protein powder)
  • 15 grams carbs
  • 4 grams fiber
  • 4 grams sugar

poor coco shreds, I bet it’s hard to swim in almond butter and syrup. 

Yesterday’s lunch consisted of pastrami lettuce wraps.

Simply take a few Romaine leaves and place a slice of nitrate-free pastrami, gourmet mustard, avocado, cherry tomatoes, and salt on each and eat like taco!

The second course of lunch was pink lady apple slices topped with pate.

Pate = duck liver. It is delicious. Please don’t stop reading my blog. 

Dinner was colorful and satisfying.

Leftover roasted chicken, a slice of bacon, salted avocado, sweet potato fries, and salad with honey mustard bacon grease dressing.

As is apparent, I am still pretty paleo, but this is just how I eat nowadays. I’m back on the dairy hard as ever. My first sip of creamy coffee after my week of strict paleo felt like liquid happiness was seeping into my system and coursing through my veins. In true relapse fashion, I’ve been eating yogurt and ice cream like its my job.

Best way to break up with paleo =

first thing I bought after paleo week was pastured butter, half and half, and gelato

Speaking of jobs, I have exciting news! But I will save that for the next post. :) Along with this lil’ gem…

How anal perfectionists avoid self-destruction:

Ahem, this is week 2 of me sticking to my New Years resolution. Pat on the back right there!

So, I definitely had a meltdown earlier this week. There was self-doubt, worry, anxiety, fear, and salty tears everywhere. Just thinking about everything I needed to cram into my schedule was making me ill, and it was the first day of the quarter! The way I got over it was to first list all the things I needed to make time for in the week:

  • 4 classes at UCD (really just 3 though)
  • 4  2.5 hour MCAT classes per week
  • ~3 hours of MCAT studying per day
  • ~3 study allotments for UCD classes per week
  • an hour to lift weights 3x per week and an hour to exercise in some other way another 2 or 3x per week
  • time to SOCIALIZE or have ME time  e v e r y  s i n g l e  d a y

Next, I drew out the plan. This is mostly accurate, with a few exceptions. And its color coded! Green = class, orange = workout, pink = study, purple = MCAT class.

To get this schedule the way it is, I had to make some sacrifices. Unfortunately, they are very self-serving sacrifices, but, frankly, I don’t care. I will remain sane. I quit my food sampling job to free up 4-8  hours each weekend, and I have at least postponed my internship at the fertility center until I get the hang of everything. I figure I have acquired almost everything I can from it and I can still put it on my application!

Step 3: ACTUALLY FOLLOW THE PLAN. Or at least complete the necessary daily tasks.

I really am sorry to bore you all with that, but maybe it can help some of you find sanity within a crazy schedule. Also, putting it on here holds me more accountable ;)

Now, for the recipe.

See that quiche crust? Looks like brownie, don’t it? But its not! There are no grains, gluten, or nuts (for you, Mark!) in this recipe. The quiche is high protein, high fiber, and filled with veggies! The sweet corn and red bell peppers go well with the cheddar topping and black bean base.

Southwestern Quiche with a grainless, black bean crust

Recipe: Makes 4 large, filling servings

For the crust

  • 1 cup black beans, extremely well drained
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp ground flax

For the filling

  • 3 eggs
  • 5 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 1/2 bell pepper, diced
  • 1/3 cup onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • 1/2 cup corn
  • “Baja seasoning” or a combo of garlic powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, cumin, salt, pepper, dash onion powder, dash oregano

Topped with 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese or a ‘Mexican blend’

Directions -

First, preheat the oven to 400. Drain the black beans extremely well, press firmly to the point of squishing them a little bit in the can. Combine the beans, egg, and flax in a bowl and mix until homogenous. Grease a quiche dish or baking pan and spread the batter evenly over the bottom. Bake for 10 minutes, until cooked but not yet browned. While the crust is cooking, saute the onions and bell pepper on the stove top with a dash of butter or oil until soft and the onions are lightly browned.

Next, combine all the eggs and yogurt in a bowl and mix well. Fold in the bell pepper, onion, salsa, corn, and spices.

Pour on top of the crust. Reduce the oven heat to 375. Sprinkle the cheese over the top of the quiche. Bake for 35 minutes or until cooked all the way through.

SO EASY.

Benefits:

Onion * Contains quercitin, an antioxidant that halts the growth of tumors! Also, studies have linked regular onion consumption with lower cholesterol and reduced risk of colon cancer. A prime source of chromium.

Eggs * the yolk is where all the nutrients are! It contains tryptophan, selenium, iodine, B vitamins, and phosphorous, many of which are necessary for optimal metabolism. The egg white has 6 grams of complete protein!

Black beans * High in folate, fiber and protein. They also have antioxidants called flavonoids and small amounts of omega 3′s.

Flax * A great source of fiber and omega 3′s!

I baked my first cake (and I accidently made it gluten free).

Life has this weird ability to speed up slow down simultaneously. I finished summer school on Friday after taking my Genetics final, but I don’t really have a break before school starts (in just a week and a half!) because sorority pre-recruitment has begun. It still creeps me out that I joined a sorority, but as false and cliche as it sounds – it really is different here. Essentially all of the girls are intelligent, hilarious, down to earth, and each bring something unique to the table. I mean, just look at these quality texts!:

get yer geek on at a frat party – why not?

obsessive use of emojis <3

There isn’t much drama (at least not that I’m aware of – which I guess isn’t saying much) and there aren’t any condescending rules or mandatory obligations. I see it as a nice little social safety net. After my experience at UCSB, I definitely can use a little backup support… I missed the first week of pre-recruitment due to summer school and my internship, so today was my first full day. Full day meaning 10am to 5pm.  The goings-on are all under wraps, but I can tell you that the days most hilarious task was bleaching rocks. Apparently the rocks that line our gardens have to be a pristine and sparkly white to wow the potential new members –  bahaha! Fine with me though, seeing as the alternative was crafting, which I am bizarrely incapable of.

Also – I started a new paying job a few weeks ago! I am the sample girl at Nugget and Food 4 Less, two local grocery chains owned by the same company. So far I have sampled organic, ready-made salads by Earthbound farms and a probiotic drink called Yakult! All nerded out:

would you like to try a blueberry quinoa salad with organic greens? 

or how about some probiotics?

In regards to the title of this post, last week was my friend Thibault’s birthday. He was throwing a potluck style BBQ and I had no idea what to bring. I had never baked a cake before, so it seemed meant to be that I bake a birthday cake to bring. I had been itching to use my stash of coconut flour and I have been on a peanut butter kick lately and thus..

[Gluten free] Coconut layer cake with coconut vanilla cream cheese frosting

was born! The secret ingredient is 2 tablespoons of peanut butter in the icing. It adds such a light flavor of peanut that some people couldn’t discern its presence. A peanut butter scented coconut cream cheese frosting, if you will. It was a hit. People had no idea that it was gluten free and really seemed to enjoy it. Many people asked for seconds, and some even got thirds! Which is probably the most flattering thing to me – ever. The recipe is also very easy to make dairy free. I used this recipe to figure out the ratio of egg to coconut flour needed for a successful flourless cake. Also worth noting is that

this cake has 80 grams of fiber in it. and we all know I like fiber.

Recipe: Makes 1 double layer cake

Wet ingredients - 

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar (I used a mixture of white sugar, homemade vanilla bean sugar, and coconut sugar – but it doesn’t really matter)

10 eggs (at room temperature; DO NOT USE LESS EGGS)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups coconut milk

1/3 cup milk (you can use more coconut milk, I just didn’t want to open another can)

2 droppers full of NuNaturals liquid stevia

1 tbsp coconut oil, melted

Dry ingredients - 

2 cups coconut flour

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut + plus 1 cup more for layering over the icing

Directions – Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9-9 1/2 inch cake layer pans with coconut oil. In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugar and mix vigorously (or use an electric mixer, which I don’t have). Add in the eggs one at a time and continuously mix. After all the eggs have been added, add the vanilla extract, stevia, and coconut oil and mix for another minute or two, until well combined. In another bowl, combine the dry ingredients together and add alternately with the coconut milk to the sugar/butter mixture.  Beat batter for about 5 minutes, until smooth. Divide batter into the two pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the tops are light brown and they pass the toothpick test. Place pans on wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes before removing the cake. Let them cool completely before frosting the first layer. Add a layer of sweetened shredded coconut over the top of the icing and then lay down the next layer of cake. Ice the entire cake. Sprinkle and press coconut shreds all over the cake, into the icing.

For the icing:

16 oz cream cheese, softened

2 cups sugar (I used a mix of homemade vanilla bean sugar and white sugar – you could also use a bit less sugar and add in some stevia)

1/4 cup butter

2 tbsp peanut butter

1 tbsp coconut oil, melted

1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions – Combine everything except the sugar in a bowl and whip until creamy. Gradually add in the sugar, mixing it well. Ice the cooled cake

The pictures do not do it justice! I was in a rush to get to the BBQ and obviously I had to wait until the cake was cut to take a picture of the inside. The lighting was shameful.

so good he ate the secretly-stashed slice for breakfast and lunch the next day!

the innards, filled with coconut shreds and cream cheese frosting

BENEFITS:

Coconut * coconut gets a bad rap because of its saturated fat content, but its fatty acids are mainly medium-chain triglycerides, not long-chain. The long-chain triglycerides are bad for our cholesterol levels, but coconut has been shown to improve cholesterol levels. Animal studies suggest that medium-chain triglycerides can increase metabolism.

Coconut flour * 1 cup contains 40 grams of fiber and 16 grams of protein. It is one of the lowest carb flours you can use!

Eggs * the yolk is where all the nutrients are! It contains tryptophan, selenium, iodine, B vitamins, and phosphorous, many of which are necessary for optimal metabolism. The egg white has 6 grams of complete protein!

I’m out!

People, parmesan & pole dancing

Monday was a strange day. It started off normally, with obscene amounts of coffee, blog & Al Jazeera reading, and a track workout.

Sprint & Bleachers Track Workout

10 minute warm up jog (to track)

100 meter sprint

~150 meter slow jog (to bleachers)

1 set of bleachers, sprinting up the stairs

~150 meter slow jog (back to sprint starting point)

repeat 3x more

10 minute cool down jog

Then, I cleaned up and changed for class. I put on a leotard with a tiger on the front, high waisted corduroy shorts, oxfords, a Hello Kitty ring, and a gold whistle necklace. Weird? Yes. But I loved it.

When I got out of lecture, there was a note tucked into the spokes of my bike wheel. Apparently someone else liked my outfit too…

I continued on with my day with a goofy grin on my face and Right Thing To Do stuck in my head. I needed to go to the Co-Op to pick up some gluten free pasta for the dinner I was going to cook for my friend Sara. So, I went home and put a leash on Nina for a walk to the Co-op. On our way there, a girl was driving towards us and she slowed down right next to me, gave me the up and down, and burst out laughing. Guess she’s not into tigers?

I spent the rest of the walk thinking about the completely opposite reactions I had gotten to the same clothes. Basically, you should do, say, and feel what you want, because no matter what, some people are going to hate it and some people are going to love it. Its been said over and over again, but it’s so important to remember to stay true to yourself. That way, the people that like you – really like YOU – and not some facade you have created for others. It’s almost fun being a little freakazoid, because the people that are drawn to you are clearly unique and probably a hell of a lot of fun! I want to surround myself with people who are down to look stupid, don’t care what others think, and are too busy trying new things and having a blast to judge others.

Anywho, I picked up the pasta and then walked on over to our old house to pick some of the veggies I started growing a few months before we moved. There were so many luscious baby tomatoes! Look how gorgeous:

On our way back home, I received this text message….

No matter how many articles you have read about the degradation of feminism, you really cannot turn down a pole dancing class when you are wearing a tiger-print leotard. Especially when you get called out on being a self-proclaimed Yes Woman.

With pole dancing in my future, I decided to keep dinner fairly light. It was gluten free, vegetarian (both for Sara!), and UTTERLY DELICIOUS.

Gluten free pasta and summer vegetables tossed in walnut basil pesto

Recipe: Serves 2, plus extra pesto

For the basil walnut pesto –  I based it off of this recipe!

1 1/3 cups fresh basil, packed

1/2 cup walnuts

1/4 cup olive oil

1 large clove garlic

1/3 cup grated parmesan

1/3 tsp salt

Directions – Combine all in a food processor or a Vita mix and blend until just slightly chunky.

the pesto is so good I seriously wanted to rub it all over myself

For the pasta -

2 cups zucchini, chopped (do not include the stringy/seedy innermost portion)

1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped

1 tbsp butter

1 1/2 cups brown rice pasta, cooked

handful cherry tomatoes

salt

Directions – 1. Melt the butter in a pan on the stove on medium low heat. Saute the zucchini and onion until lightly browned. Remove from heat. 2. Boil the pasta until soft to your liking, drain, and combine with the vegetables. 3. Add the tomatoes and about 1/4 cup pesto. 4. Toss to combine. Divide between two bowls. Give each a shake of salt. Enjoy!

Note: This would be AWESOME with grilled chicken or white fish.

Sara and I, post feast

After dinner, I went to the class with two friends and laughed until my sides hurt. I am definitely not a natural pole dancer.

And I am okay with that.

My all time favorite go to snack..

I’ve been bad. I’ve been keeping a secret from you.

Or more, withholding one of my favorite recipes of all time.

The recipe is for nut bars that are out of this world delicious and incredibly nutritious.

They are high (healthy) fat, high fiber, gluten free, low carb, suga free, and the portion size is awesome.

The inspiration came from my obsession with Kind Bars. Unfortunately, my wallet is not so obsessed with them. The tanned hide actually cringes as I remove a 10 dollar bill for a measly 5 bars.

My favorite flavor is the Almond Walnut Macadamia protein plus bar. It has hints of vanilla and extra protein. May I present…

Positively Nutty Bars!

Recipe: Makes ~5 bars

1/4 cup cashews, roasted

1/4 cup peanuts, roasted

3 tbsp almond flour

1 tbsp pecans, chopped

3 tbsp puffed kamut

2 tbsp ground flax

1 tbsp shredded coconut

1 tsp sunflower seeds

1 tsp wheat germ (sub flax to keep them gluten free)

dash salt

Wet ingredients - 

2 egg whites

1 tbsp tahini

30 drops NuNaturals vanilla stevia, or to taste

optional: 1/8 tsp vanilla bean scrapings

About substitutions: Obviously there are a lot of ingredients, but that is because I wanted them to have a bit of everything, not out of necessity. Feel free to sub in and out different types of nuts for endless flavor combinations. If you don’t have stevia, you can use a bit of honey or maple syrup and a few drops of vanilla extract. If you don’t have almond flour, you can make it in the blender or food processor, or just use whole or chopped almonds. Substitutions should be okay as long as when you add the wet ingredients it can all be held together and is not too dry and not too wet. You want to be able to spread it in a baking sheet.

Directions: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix. Combine the wet ingredients in another bowl and mix until homogenous. Pour the wet into the dry and mix until combined. Spread into a greased baking sheet (that has walls) so that the batter is about as thick as your finger nail. Bake for  7-8 minutes. Let cool and slice and enjoy! Store in the fridge or freezer.

look at the chunks of nuts, all weaved into a blanket of protein and fiber ;)

Benefits:

Pecans * contains vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, protein and fiber! The fat in pecans is 90% monounsaturated and 70% monounsaturated (the good kind). Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant. Studies have shown that pecans can lower cholesterol and thus are heart healthy! They also have been linked to reduced risk of breast cancer and weight loss.

Peanuts * a great source of manganese, Vitamin E, tryptophan (calming!), niacin, folate, and copper! Peanuts also contain lots of healthy monounsaturated fats and antioxidants! They have been linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and have been shown to significantly lower your chances of getting colorectal cancer.

Almond flour * by subbing almond flour for regular flour, you are getting more healthy fats and less carbs in your bars. These are monounsaturated fats, which raise HDL (good cholesterol) levels and lower LDL (bad cholesterol) levels! Almonds also have fiber, manganese, vitamin E (another antioxidant), tryptophan, copper, B2 and phosphorous!

Cashews * may help prevent gall stones and are a prime source of copper, tryptophan, magnesium, and phosphorous. Low copper intake can lead to anemia, osteoporosis, elevated LDL cholesterol (bad), and join problems. Inadequate magnesium can lead to muscle cramps (the kind that wake you up at night in agony), headaches, high blood pressure, and fatigue. While obviously high in fat, most of it is monounsaturated and may help lower triglyceride levels and reduce risk of cardiovascular disease.

Coconut * coconut gets a bad rap because of its saturated fat content, but its fatty acids are mainly medium-chain triglycerides, not long-chain. The long-chain triglycerides are bad for our cholesterol levels, but coconut has been shown to improve cholesterol levels. Animal studies suggest that medium-chain triglycerides can increase metabolism.

Kamut puffs * a gluten free grain that has calcium, riboflavin, thiamin, niacin and iron!

In summary, make these bars!

GF: Chai Spiced Coconut Pancakes with Macadamia Nuts, Toasted Coconut, and a Creamy Coconut Sauce

Oh my soul.

Heaven.

This morning I decided to break out of my oatmeal rut and make pancakes. Not gonna lie… It took me two rounds of failed pancakes to get the recipe down, but in the end I was rewarded with crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, chai kissed-coconut pillows. :) The macadamia nuts are a perfect compliment to the chai and the creamy coconut. I must warn you though, if you make these, follow the recipe! My first two batches fell apart, stuck to the pan, didn’t cook all the way through and basically just spat in my eye.

Chai Spiced Coconut Pancakes with Macadamia Nuts, Toasted Coconut, and a Creamy Coconut Sauce

Recipe: Serves 1

1/2 tbsp coconut oil (to fry in. This is so important. Do not skimp on oil! They will stick!)

1 tbsp toasted coconut (for topping)

Dry ingredients –

1/4 cup coconut flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

4 macadamia nuts, roasted and crushed (save some for topping)

pinch salt

Wet ingredients -

1 egg

1/2 cup milk (you could try subbing coconut milk, I used regular though)

couple drops vanilla extract

1 tbsp chai concentrate

Creamy Coconut sauce –

1 tbsp Artisana coconut butter

2 tbsp coconut milk

(optional: if you want a maple flavor, add 1 tsp maple syrup)

Directions:

1. Beat the egg in a mixing bowl until fluffy, about a minute. Add the milk, chai, and vanilla and beat again.

2. Combine all the dry ingredients in another bowl and mix until there are no clumps of coconut flour. Pour the dry onto the wet ingredients. Stir with a spatula until the batter is homogenous.

3. Melt the coconut into a pan on the stove at medium-low heat. Mine was set to 3 of 9. Spread the oil evenly around the pan.

4. Pour the batter into 3-4 pancakes. Let them cook slowly. Only flip them when the tops have some bubbles and the bottoms are light/medium brown. Make sure that when you flip them there is oil on the pan for the other side.

5. When they are cooked through, transfer the pancakes to a plate. Prepare your coconut sauce by stirring together 1 tbsp melted coconut butter and 2 tbsp coconut milk. Drizzle over the pancakes. Top with crushed macadamia nuts and toasted coconut. Enjoy!

And they are gluten free!

Benefits:

Coconut * coconut gets a bad rap because of its saturated fat content, but its fatty acids are mainly medium-chain triglycerides, not long-chain. The long-chain triglycerides are bad for our cholesterol levels, but coconut has been shown to improve cholesterol levels. Animal studies suggest that medium-chain triglycerides can increase metabolism.

Coconut flour * 1 cup contains 40 grams of fiber and 16 grams of protein. It is one of the lowest carb flours you can use!

Eggs * the yolk is where all the nutrients are! It contains tryptophan, selenium, iodine, B vitamins, and phosphorous, many of which are necessary for optimal metabolism. The egg white has 6 grams of complete protein!

Questions: How are y’all? What are your favorite pancake flavors?

Send me your absolute favorite recipe to try!