Category Archives: Healthy eats

Sweet Potato Flour Tortillas (adapted from gf and me)

I miss flour tortillas. I mean, I love corn tortillas and everything but sometimes I just want a good old quesadilla with a crispy flour tortilla. A quesadilla is just not the same with corn shells. IMG_4871

I have tried the store bought GF tortillas and still have not found one I love. Then I stumbled across THIS recipe from gf and me (if you are gluten free and haven’t check out gf and me yet…you’re missing out, they have some pretty awesome stuff) I made them twice and loved the chewy texture and the taste. The only problem I had was rolling out the dough, I found it to be very elastic and I couldn’t get them as thin as I wanted. Don’t get me wrong they were still amazingly delicious, I just wanted them thinner.

IMG_4844

I never really thought about trying to adapt the recipe till one day I was sitting on the couch with some Trader Joe’s Sweet potato corn chips and hummus and I thought to myself, “ Hey! I love these so much I bet sweet potatoes would be good in flour tortillas too!” So, naturally I used the best flour tortillas recipe I had and added some sweet potatoes. When I originally thought to add the sweet potato I was going for flavor. I wanted to be able to taste that sweet potato flavor like I could with the corn chips.

IMG_4856

Well, they don’t really taste like sweet potatoes, not even a little. So I failed there BUT what did end up happening was a slight change in the texture of the dough (not to mention they are now a really pretty orange color). The sweet potatoes made it so I was able to roll the dough out really thin, without tearing! Plus they still kept that great chewy texture and taste I loved from the original recipe.

IMG_4865

So, I am officially in love with these tortillas. I was so excited I even made chicken quesadillas that night for dinner and they were AMAZING. They are also awesome dipped in hummus or wrapped up with some peanut butter. If you don’t like sweet potatoes or just don’t have any on hand try out the original recipe, either way you will end up with some pretty fantastic GF tortillas. Now I just need to figure out how to make that sweet potato flavor come out more. I’ll let you know if I do. Till then, enjoy!

Ingredients:

2/3 cup corn starch
2/3 cup tapioca flour/starch
¼ cup + 3 tablespoons of potato flour
3 ½ tablespoons sorghum flour
½ cup mashed sweet potato
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup + 3 tablespoons water

Directions:

With if fork poke some holes in the sweet potato, wrap it in a damp paper towel and microwave for 5-6 minutes depending on the size you can bake it too, but for the sake of time I just microwaved it).

While potato is cooking mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Peel off the skin of the cooked sweet potato and discard, mash the insides and add to the flour mixture. Using a fork mix as well as you can, mixture will be crumbly. Add the water starting with just the ¾ of a cup. This is when you will just need to use your hands to mix it. Once you mix it as much as you can add the 3 tablespoons one at a time. If the mixture is too dry you can add more water or if it seems good after just one or two of the tablespoons, stop there. The mixture should be stretchy and slightly sticky but able to hold form in a ball. You don’t want it too wet or you won’t be able to work with it. Some sweet potatoes contain more moisture than others that is why the amounts of water can change.

Once the dough is formed cover with a damp paper towel while you prepare your rolling surface. Dust the counter or baking mat with some cornstarch. Rip off a golf ball sized chunk of dough and roll out as thing as you can with a rolling pin. If you have a tortilla press that is even better. I had a hard time getting mine perfectly round but it can be done if you rotate it a lot when rolling. If it starts to stick make sure you are keeping it lightly dusted with cornstarch. Once you have rolled out all the dough. Heat a nonstick pan to medium high. Cook the tortillas about 20-30 seconds on each side. Or when the dough puffs slightly and gets some nice brown spots.

Place on cooling rack to for a few minutes. They will cool quickly then you can stack them. If you just place them on the counter or stack them when they are hot they can get soggy from the steam.

Tagged , , , ,

Avocado Chocolate Pudding

I might have a new dark chocolate obsession with this recipe. Not like I wasn’t already obsessed with dark chocolate in general but this, this one is really awesome.

IMG_4810

This is a truly decedent dessert that is also really healthy! If I didn’t know any better I would have assumed it was made with loads of cream and mounds of rich buttery goodness…fortunately that is not true and it still tastes just as sinfully delicious.

IMG_4815
As far as dessert goes this chocolate pudding is packed with healthy fats like omega-3’s and full of antioxidants. To start, avocados are an amazing fruit. If you haven’t added it to you diet yet, you will want to after hearing this. Not only are avocados incredibly versatile and delicious but they also pack quite the nutritional punch. Avocados provide nearly 20 essential nutrients, they are rich in healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (such as omega-3 fatty acids), vitamins A, C, D, E, K and B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12 and folate) — as well as potassium and fiber. Avocados have been shown to be beneficial for cardiovascular disease, regulating high blood pressure, high blood sugar. They have also been shown to aid weight loss (Bergh).

IMG_4807
Dark chocolate also contains some great health benefits (not like I needed any more convincing to eat it). Dark chocolate contains antioxidants that are believed to help the body resist damage cause by free radicals that are formed by normal bodily processes. It also contains flavanols, which may have influence on cardiovascular health such as lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow and making platelets less sticky and able to clot (“Health and prevention,” 2014).
So there you have it, a delicious, healthy, gluten free, dairy free, and vegetarian (easily made vegan by replacing the honey with agave) dessert.

AVOCADO DARK CHOCOLATE PUDDING

Ingredients:

1 avocado
3tbsp unsweetened almond milk
3-4tbsp Honey, depending on the size of the avocado and how sweet you like it.
2tbsp Dark chocolate coco powder
(optional) blueberries and pistachios for topping.

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor till smooth. Serve immediately or refrigerate till chilled and serve topped with fresh fruit and nuts of your choice.
ENJOY! ☺

Sources:

Bergh, B. (n.d.). Health benefits of avocados . Retrieved from http://www.regenerativenutrition.com/content.asp?id=443

Health and prevention. (2014, January 12). Retrieved from http://my.clevelandclinic.org/heart/prevention/nutrition/food-choices/benefits-of-chocolate.aspx

Tagged , , , , , ,

Oatmeal Bites

These little oatmeal bites are maybe one of the best grab and go snacks or on the go breakfasts. IMG_4792

What so great about them? Well first of all there are super easy to make, secondly you can customize them with whatever fruit or nuts or spices you have available, they are filling, quick and easy to make, and most importantly they are healthy AND delicious.

IMG_4798

I love oatmeal for breakfast. It’s filling and packed with fiber to help keep me full all morning at work so I’m not starving by lunchtime. Not only is the fiber in oatmeal good for keeping you full, but it is also good for your heart. I am sure you have all seen those Cheerios commercials talking about how they can help lower your cholesterol. Well that’s because Cheerios are whole grain. Just like oatmeal! The soluble and insoluble fibers in oatmeal and other whole grains are associated with and increase in diet quality and a lower risk of heart disease. Soluble fiber is even shown to slightly reduce LDL (bad cholesterol) beyond what is achievable by a diet solely low in saturated and trans fats (“Whole grains and,” 2013).

IMG_4797

The one downside about eating oatmeal in the morning is that it’s not very portable, you have to eat it with a spoon and if you are like me, I like to add some fresh or frozen fruit to it too. So, sometimes when running late it’s hard to take those extra few minutes to warm up my oatmeal* then sit down and eat it before I leave for work at 6:50am. That is what is so wonderful about these oatmeal bites. I can just grab a few running out the door and bring them to work for breakfast or a midmorning snack.

IMG_4793

Don’t like oatmeal but still want the benefits of fiber? Here are a few other fiber packed foods:

  • Beans
  • Peas
  • Brown rice
  • Barely
  • Citrus fruits
  • Apples with the skin
  • Strawberries
  • Whole wheat breads
  • Whole wheat cereal
  • Cabbage
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Brussels sprouts

 IMG_4800

* Quick tip: You don’t have to use instant oats for quick oatmeal. You can microwave old fashioned rolled oats just as fast.  Just add water and pop it in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, depending on how done you like it. I only do 1 minute because I like them with a little more texture.

OATMEAL BITES

Ingredients:

2 medium mashed bananas
2 cup quick oats ( if you don’t have quick oats like I didn’t, just chopped old-fashioned oats in a food processor).
½ cup shredded carrots
½ cup raisins.
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ground ginger.
1/8 tsp ground clove.
1 Tbs honey.
Scant ¼ tsp salt.

Directions:
Mash the banana in a medium mixing bowl and all of the ingredients. Mix well, and spoon onto a greased cookie sheet.

Bake at 375 deg. For 8 minutes, or until golden

ENJOY! 🙂

Source:

Whole grains and fiber. (2013, January 14). Retrieved from http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyDietGoals/Whole-Grains-and-Fiber_UCM_303249_Article.jsp

Tagged , , , , , ,

Gluten-Free Pesto Pizza

Sooooo pizza. Who doesn’t love pizza? Even better yet who doesn’t love gluten free pizza that is personal sized and might I even dare to say…healthy!? Pizza might be one of my biggest weaknesses. Well, that and ice cream maybe ice cream is my biggest weakness but pizza is right up there with it.

IMG_1502

Most people think that if you are eating pizza for dinner it’s a pretty unhealthy meal. But I disagree with that, because pizza can be healthy. Now, most of the pizzas you can buy at a say…Pizza Hut or Papa Johns are not going to be healthy. But it is really easy and fun to make your own pizza right at home and its just as delicious if not better.

IMG_1503

Personally, I am more of a thin crust pizza kind of girl myself. Which, I have found, that most chain pizza places don’t really carry. Most of them say they have a “thin crust” pizza. But they lie. It’s really not. It’s not thin crust if it’s still puffy and squishy with a gigantic crust. They don’t know what they are talking about. A good thin crust pizza is nice and thin and crispy with very little crust. So, since I cant just go out and buy my thin pizzas I make them, and now that I am gluten free there are very few gluten free pizza places anyway.

Ugh. So annoying.

IMG_1504

But anyway, the greatest thing about making pizza at home is you can put any kind of topping you want on them. Its so much fun!  I have made a Thai chicken pizza (recipe coming soon), regular pizza, breakfast pizzas, Mediterranean pizzas and this really delicious pesto pizza. MMmmmmm so good. Have you ever put potatoes on a pizza? Because it might be the best thing ever. No joke, you really should try it. It will change your world.

Pizza dough:

1/3 cup Michelle’s gluten free flour mix

2 Tbs ground flax seed

pinch of salt

3 Tbs water.

Olive oil

Cornmeal for base (optional)

Toppings:

1/2 tsp pesto

2 slices dice Canadian bacon or lean ham

1 very small redskin potato cooked and sliced thinly (you can boil it or microwave it for 2-3 minutes in a wet towel).

2 Tbs diced onion

1 tsp Gorgonzola cheese

1 small handful baby mixed greens/arugala/spinach

1/4 low moisture part skin mozzarella shredded.

Directions:

  • Preheat over to 450 deg.F
  • Prepare a baking pan with tinfoil and cooking spray sprinkle with cornmeal if you would like
  • Mix the gf-flour and flax seed together add water and mix well with hands.
  • Flatten the dough onto the prepared pan. It works best if your hands are a little wet. It will keep the dough from sticking to you. Work the dough out till it is the thickness you would like.
  • Once flatted brush with olive oil and place In the oven for about 10 minutes.
  • Remove from oven, spread pesto on top, add ham, potato slices, gorgonzola, onion and greens then sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
  • Place back into the over for another 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and starting to crisp.
  • Remove from oven, allow to cool for a few minutes then slice and serve!
Tagged , , ,

Warm Brussels Sprout and Sweet Potato Salad with Agave Ginger Dressing

I remember hearing once that if someone doesn’t like green vegetables it could be because they really do taste bad to them. There apparently are some people who taste things differently. In this case for some reason green vegetables taste soapy to them. I’m not sure of the specifics, but how horrible would that be? You would be missing out of so many delicious vegetables and so many nutrients that go along with green veggies.

IMG_4438

For example, brussels sprouts! Brussels sprouts get a bad rep and if, like many, when you think of brussels sprouts you think of stinky, mini, boiled cabbages…. you are totally missing out on how delicious these little bit size greens can be. Brussels sprouts are not only delicious (when cooked correctly) but also packed with fiber, vitamin c, potassium and are naturally low in calories.

IMG_4443

Well, today was one of those days that I didn’t feel like just having roasted brussels sprouts (my usual favorite way to cook them, a little olive oil salt, pepper and lemon…oven 400 deg F. till crispy ) I decided to get a little crazy and make a brussels sprout salad (much better than boiled…eww) So, with the exception of those with taste buds that make green veggies taste like soap, if you have the above opinion of brussels sprouts, hopefully this recipes will help to change that view!

IMG_4439

Ingredients:

1 small sweet potato diced

2 cups chopped brussels sprouts

1/4 cup apple diced

1/8 cup toasted slivered almonds

2 green onions diced

1/2 avocado diced

1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger

1 tsp agave or honey

2 tbs apple cider or rice vingegar

1/8 tsp sesame seed oil

siracha

salt and pepper

chili powder

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 deg F. coat diced sweet potatoes in about 1 tsp olive oil and season to taste with salt, pepper and chili powder. Bake in oven till fork tender, remove and allow to cool.

While sweet potatoes are baking make the dressing. Combine ginger, honey, vinegar, and siracha to taste.

Once the sweet potatoes are done or close to done saute brussels sprouts in 1 tsp of olive oil till tender and starting to crisp. In a bowl combine sauteed brussels sprouts, roasted sweet potatoes, toasted-sliced almonds, diced apple, green onions, avocado, and dressing. Mix to combine and enjoy!

Tagged , , , , ,

Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread

Starting about two weeks ago, every Wednesday at work some local farmers come in and set up a table to sell their produce. I love it, I can’t not buy something! Its fresh and its local, how can I turn that down? They are so smart to sell all that beautiful, fresh produce so conveniently at work. It saves me a trip to the store and I feel better supporting local farmers.

IMG_4418This week they had the most gigantic zucchinis I have ever seen. No joke, they were all about 12+ inches long and 2 and a half inches in diameter. So naturally, I bought some then I had to figure out how to use all of the zucchini and of course, zucchini bread is the first thing I think of. Especially since I have been craving it since zucchini season started. There is nothing better in the summer than a good loaf of zucchini bread….okay, maybe that’s pushing it.  Ice cream is pretty awesome, and Lake Michigan better yet beach bonfires on Lake Michigan…So maybe it’s not the best thing about summer but it’s at the top of the list. You get the idea. IMG_4422Well, Since going gluten-free I have not done a ton of baking. This is one of the first gluten-free baked goods I have made and personally I am a little impressed with myself. I took them to work today and if I hadn’t told people they were gluten-free they never would have guessed. I think I will call that a success!

IMG_4424

Michelle’s all-purpose gluten-free flour mix (makes 5 cups) :
1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup millet flour
1 cup tapioca starch
2 cups sweet white sorghum

(store extra flour mix in the fridge)

Ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour
2 cups brown sugar
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking soda, powder, cinnamon, and salt
2 cups grated zucchini (skin on)
3 eggs
1 cup applesauce
3 tsp vanilla

Combine all the wet ingredient in one bowl –
Combine all the dry ingredient in another bowl

After you mix all the wet ingredient, than add the dry ingredients , mix well, add walnuts if you want

350 degree oven, bake for 40-50 min. Greased 9X13 pan or 2 large loaves

Let cool before cutting and enjoy!!

Tagged , , , ,

Back into action (Greek layer dip)

Oh my, I have been absolutely horrible lately. It’s been so long since I have made a post that I almost don’t know what to do! Life has just been crazy. With my new job and summer traveling I have been a lazy bum. By the time I can sit down, that’s all I want to do. So, starting now I am making a new rule that I will be better about keeping up with my blog.

I wasnt joking about my pictures being horrible.

I wasnt joking about my pictures being horrible.

Along with that train of thought, I am thinking my blog needs an overhaul. But seriously, my photographs are not doing my food justice at all….but I guess that’s what you get when you don’t own a real camera, not to mention It could use some re-organizing.

At least now that I have a camera they will get better...hopefully.

At least now that I have a camera they will get better…hopefully.

To get back into the swing of things I have been collecting a few recipes I have been meaning to post. This first one is one of my favorite dishes to bring to potlucks or to have as an easy, delicious and healthy appetizer anytime of the year. Are you ready for it? It’s a Greek hummus dip and it is SO GOOD, yet so simple. I brought this to a tailgate once and it was gone in about 5 minutes…I’m not joking, I didn’t even get any. Same thing happened when I brought it to a recent work potluck. So, if you make this for a party or potluck make sure you snag a bite before you set it out or you will never get a chance to taste this delicious dip.

Ingredients:

Hummus

1-15 oz can chick peas, rinsed and drained (reserve liquid)

Scant ¼ cup tahini

Two large cloves roasted garlic

Juice of 1 lemon

About a ½ teaspoon of salt, add more or less to taste I find that it can taste a little bitter or bland if you don’t use enough

Pepper to taste

Olive oil and chickpea liquid (see directions below for amounts)

Directions:

In an food processor or blender add drained chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Start with about a tablespoon of olive oil and blend. When it comes to adding the more olive oil or chickpea liquid it becomes personal preference from now on what consistency you like your hummus, it also varies depending on how juicy your lemon is. I personally don’t like to add a ton of olive oil, so if I have already added a good amount and It is not quite the consistency I want I will add the chickpea liquid, but if you don’t want to use the chickpea liquid you don’t have to. Just blend till you get the a good creamy texture.

Layered Dip Ingredients:

Homemade hummus

1 ½ -6oz container plain, non-fat, Chobani Greek yogurt

1 Roma tomato, diced

½ Cucumber, peeled and diced

2-3 Green onions, diced

Feta cheese and pepper to taste

Directions:

Start by spreading the hummus into a glass baking dish. Next, spread the Chobani over top, you may need a little more or less depending on the size of your dish.  I used a 9X12, I have also used and 8X8 and got away with just one container or yogurt.

Sprinkle yogurt layer with feta, tomatoes, cucumbers and green onions, then top with some fresh cracked pepper….I told you it was easy. Now pair that with some of crunchy corn chips (I like Trader Joe’s guiltless corn chips) or pita and hurry up and grab a bite before it’s all gone!

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Homemade Egg Drop Soup

Forget the Chinese take-out and make this delicious healthier egg drop soup from home!

photo

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 3 eggs, beaten ( I like my with a lot of eggs so I tend to use more you can even use more or less)
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1/2 container extra firm tofu, diced
  • 3-4 green onions diced
  • about 1 cup of broccoli florets
  • add salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Heat chicken stock just the the point before it starts to boil. Take the beaten eggs and pour them into the stock while stirring. Add tomatoes, tofu, green onions, broccoli and bring to a boil, salt and pepper to taste.

If you like your soup a little thicker you can mix some cornstarch with water and add that to the soup and bring it back up to a boil, and just thicken to your liking.

Tagged , , ,

Quinoa and Kale Salad

I love quinoa, it is such a versatile delicious grain, it’s quick and easy to cook, you can eat it cold or warm and it is full of nutrients, so much so that it is considered a “superfood” Just so you can see for yourself, here are just a few of the benefits of quinoa:

  • Protein rich: Quinoa is a complete protein, meaning it contains all 9 amino acids that are essential for our complete nutrition. Complete proteins are rare in the plant world making quinoa a great source of protein for vegetarians.
  • High in fiber: Quinoa contains almost twice as much fiber as other grains.
  • Good source of Iron: Iron is essential because carries oxygen from one cell to another and supplies oxygen to our muscles to aid in their contraction.
  • Contains lysine: Lysine is mainly essential for tissue repair and growth.
  • Rich in magnesium: Magnesium also may reduce Type 2 diabetes by promoting healthy blood sugar control. Other health benefits of magnesium include transmission of nerve impulses, body temperature regulation, detoxification, energy production, and the formation of healthy bones and teeth.

Now that you know some of great health benefits of quinoa, If you have not already added it to your diet, I highly recommend it. It has a delicious nutty flavor and you can add pretty much anything to it for a great side dish or main meal. So, if you are new to quinoa or are just looking for some different ways to throw it together here is one of my favorite quinoa salad recipes!

 photo

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup quinoa
  • 2 Cups water
  • 3 Cups raw kale pulled off the stem in bite sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup almond slivers or pine nuts
  • 3 green onions diced
  • 1/4 Cup dried cranberries
  • Juice of a 1in-1.5 in wedge of lime
  •  Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

In a medium sized pot add 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups of water, over med-high heat with lid on until it reaches a boil. Reduce to simmer with lid on and cook till water is absorbed.

While quinoa is cooking toast almond slivers or pine nuts in a small non-stick pan on the stove over medium heat, stirring constantly to keep from burning. Set aside when done.

Once the quinoa is done add 3 cups raw kale to a large bowl. While quinoa is still hot add it to the kale and stir it up. The heat from the quinoa will help to wilt the kale a little bit.

Add cranberries, almonds/pine nuts, green onions, lime juice and salt and pepper, stir it up till combined, serve, and enjoy!

**Note: you can always add more of less of any ingredient, if you want more nuts and cranberries or lime juice, go for it! It is all up to your individual taste.

Tagged , , , , ,

Coconut-Carrot Morning Glory Muffins

photo

This picture doesn’t come close to doing them justice. They were so good!

Tired these muffins out this weekend, recipe courtesy Eatingwell Magazine, and they were delicious! a definite must try for a healthier version of one of my favorite muffins!

Makes: 1 dozen muffins

Per muffin: 186 Calories; 8 g fat; 31 mg cholesterol; 28 g carbs; 7 g added sugar; 4 g protein; 3 g fiber; 206 mg sodium; 193 mg potassium.

Ingredients:

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup old-fashion rolled oats, plus 2 tbs for garnish
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground allspice
2 large eggs
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup honey or agave
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
2 cups shredded carrots
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, pulse 2 tbs for garnish
1/2 cup raisins

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 deg. F. Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray
  • Whisk whole-wheat flour. 1/2 cup oats, baking powder, cinnamon. Salt and all spice in a medium bowl.
  • Whisk eggs, applesauce, honey and vanilla in a large bowl. Whisk in coconut oil. Gently stir in the flour mixture until moistened. Fold in carrots, 1/2 cup coconut, and raisins.
  • Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Sprinkle with the remaining two tbs each oats and coconut.
  • Bake the muffins until they spring back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only moist crumbs attached, 30-35 minutes. Let stand in pan for 10 mins before turning out onto a wire rack.