Carrot Cake Cupcakes (grain and dairy-free)

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

I’ve recently found that I have a food allergy to cow’s milk and need to be (mostly) grain-free for a new diagnosis of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

I follow Danielle Walker on Facebook who also has to be grain and dairy-free and bought her cookbook called Against All Grain: Meals Made Simple.

Tomorrow being Father’s Day and carrot cake being my husband’s all-time favorite, I made these tonight for him while he watched a movie.

The recipe is for 12 cupcakes, but I got only 8.

Also, the recipe calls for coconut butter and although I found it at Fresh Market, it was $10.99 and I wasn’t going to buy it when I didn’t know what else I could use it for. (If anyone out there has used coconut butter, also called coconut manna or creamed coconut, please let me know how you like it and how you exactly use it. Do you use it like regular butter?) So, in place of the coconut butter, I used Earth Balance “butter” which is dairy free butter that tastes just like the real thing.

Please note: The batter to this recipe is dense. Like, you can form it into a ball with your hands, dense. Don’t be afraid, they turn out.

Ingredients: Cupcakes

4 – at room temperature, eggs

1/2 cup- honey

1/4 cup- coconut oil, melted

1/2 tsp. – vanilla extract

1/2 cup – coconut flour, sifted

1 tsp. – baking soda

3/4 tsp. – ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. – ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp. – ground ginger (the kind in the jar, not fresh for this)

1/4 tsp. – sea salt

1 and 1/4 cup – grated carrots

1/4 cup – raisins

1/4 cup – pecans (optional)- I left these out

Ingredients: Frosting 

1/4 cup coconut butter (I used Earth Balance)

3 Tbsp – honey

1 Tbsp. – coconut oil, softened

1 Tbsp. – full fat coconut milk

1/2 tsp – fresh lemon juice

1/4 tsp. – apple cider vinegar

3 TBSP. – powdered sugar (I had to add this to thicken my frosting, probably because I didn’t use coconut butter) If you use the coconut butter and it turns out, let me know.)

Garnish: 

1/4 cup unsweetened coconut, shredded

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 350 and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners

Beat the eggs, honey, coconut oil and vanilla together with a hand mixer until well mixed

Add coconut flour, baking soda, spices, and salt and beat again until combined fully

Fold in grated carrots and raisins (and pecans, if using)

Scoop batter into liners leaving a bit of room at the top although these do not rise like regular cupcakes.

Bake for 18-20 minutes (mine took 22 minutes) until toothpcik comes out clean from center

Remove cupcakes from the muffin tin and cool on a rack before frosting

For the frosting, combine all the frosting ingredients together in a small bowl. If runny, place in the refrigerator to thicken. (mine did not thicken after 4 tries to refrigerate and mix again, so I added 3 Tbsp. of powdered sugar and that did the trick.)

Frost each cupcake, then sprinkle with shredded coconut. YUM!

Sweet Potato Soup with Coconut, Brown Rice and Lentils

IMG_0097

Sweet Potato Soup with Coconut, Brown Rice and Lentils

This recipe has all the flavors we love; curry, turmeric, and ginger. It’s probably meant to be made in the Fall – around October, but I pinned it on my food board on Pinterest and just had to make it. I live in Florida now and it was 97 degrees today. I know… I’m a dork. Hey! I had the A/C on. :)

Anyway, my kitchen was a disaster after making this because it’s quite time consuming, but it was SO worth it I didn’t mind at all. This recipe comes from Katie at the Kitchen Door. Enjoy.

Ingredients: 

3 large sweet potatoes

2 Tbsp.- olive oil

Sea salt and pepper to taste

2 TBSP.- Onion flakes, or one large yellow onion, chopped

1 tsp.- ground turmeric

1 TBSP.- ground curry

1 TBSP.- ground ginger (one inch of ginger root, diced)

4 cups – vegetable broth

3/4 cup- orange juice

1 cup- coconut milk

1 and 1/2 cups- cooked lentils (any kind)

3 cups- cooked brown rice

yogurt- as a topping for the soup (since I’m dairy free, I used a dollop of chilled coconut milk)

Fresh cilantro chopped for the top, if you like it.

Directions: 

Set oven to 400 degrees

Peel sweet potatoes and cut into round thick slices

Sprinkled with the olive oil, salt and pepper

Bake for 25 minutes. When done, set aside

Cook your rice and your lentils, separately. (I used boil in bag brown rice and organic lentils that didn’t need to be soaked overnight.- Follow directions on the box for each of these ingredients and set aside when done; keeping them warm.)

Melt half coconut oil in a large pan and add your onion flakes, (I used two TBSP.- or you can chop up a a large yellow onion.)

Saute’ onion for about a minute. Add your spices; ginger, turmeric, and curry and saute until fragrant

Add your sweet potatoes and the broth and bring to a boil

Turn down the heat and simmer and simmer for 20 minutes

After 20 minutes, transfer to a blender and blend or use an immersion blender right in the pot, like I used.

Add your orange juice and coconut milk and continue to blend well

Season the soup with salt and pepper

Next, you can melt the other 1/2 of the coconut oil in a small pan and saute your cooked lentils to make them crunchy, but I skipped this part and just used them boiled.

Pour about a 1/2 cup of cooked rice into a bowl, ladle soup on top, then add your lentils

I added a dollop of chilled coconut milk from the can in place of dairy, but you can add a dollop of yogurt if you’d like. Add fresh cut cilantro and enjoy.

This is a very filling meal. One bowl and I was full, so this was served as main course.

IMG_0093

IMG_0096

Devils on Horseback

Devils on Horsebook

Devils on Horseback

I love the name of this recipe, cool huh? This is also from the Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans Cookbook under “Nibbles.” We nibbled them alright. Geez. Beyond fabulous.

Make these the next time you have to go to a party and well… you may as well take the recipe with you. They are that good.

Sweet and savory little buggers, I made these as an appetizer the other day and we each got 8 of them. We wanted more, but we need to just calm down a bit. LOL!

Ingredients:

16 pitted- prunes

1/2 cup- macadamia nut ricotta (recipe at the bottom, easy… don’t worry.)

2 ounces of thinly sliced proscuitto

Balsamic vinegar (this makes the whole thing SING!) Don’t skip this.

Fresh ground pepper (“This is not fresh ground pepper, I grew up on a pepper farm!” – Jim Gaffigan- could not find the video, dang it!) Ha… I can so entertain myself. Sad, or lucky? Don’t know. Don’t care.

Directions: Follow in order for ease, k?

Position a rack in your oven to the very highest rung, about 4-6 inches away from the heating element

Set the temp to broil

Make your ricotta “cheese” now: 2 cups of macadamia nuts (usually found in the baking isle in very small bags), 1, tsp of kosher salt, juice from 1/2 lemon (about 1 tablespoon) and 1/2 cup water. Put this in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Scrape down the sides periodically. The consistency should look like ricotta cheese. Done.

Put some of this mixture in a pastry bag and if you’re not so fancy schmancy, you can put it in a dang sandwich bag and snip the end off. Same diff.

Push your finger gently through the opened end of the prune where it was pitted to make an opening. (I’ll be honest, I pushed a bit too hard on some and ripped them so what’s a gal to do?… I had to eat them. I paid the next day. (I digress, but- heads up.)

Pipe this “ricotta” mixture into the opening

Wrap each one with some proscuitto

Lay them in a single layer on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and place in the oven for precisely 1 minutes and 45 seconds. LOL! (She says 2-4, but that’s how long mine took and you will see the parchment got burnt! My oven must get smokin’! :)

The prune will puff up and the proscuitto will crisp. DO NOT LEAVE THE OVEN! CONTINUE TO WATCH THROUGH THE WINDOW!

IMG_0065

Macadamia nuts

IMG_0066

Macadamia nut “ricotta cheese”

IMG_0068

Prosciutto

IMG_0069

Prunes on parchment paper. one filled, 15 to go!

IMG_0070

All prunes filled!

IMG_0071

Wrapped with proscuitto

IMG_0073

1 minute and 45 seconds!

IMG_0075

Burn baby burn!

 

 

 

Mushroom Soup (vegan and dairy free)

 

Vegan, dairy-free mushroom soup. I forgot to photograph it in a pretty bowl! Oops!

Vegan, dairy-free mushroom soup. I forgot to photograph it in a pretty bowl! Oops!

Since finding a Functional Medicine Dr. here in Florida I’ve found out a lot about myself I suspected, but never knew for sure. My beloved Dr. Hall discovered more about me in 2 visits than my old, run-of-the-mill-Dr. in Ohio found out about me in 10 years of going to him with the same issues. Oy!

Anyway… I’ve found that I have Celiac Disease. Yes, even with a negative biopsy and endoscope.

If you’ve been here since the beginning, (exactly 135 posts ago), you can see from the very beginning that I’ve never eaten bad. There’s not a lot sweets here or things loaded with sugar. We eat very Paleo and organically and have tons of vegetables. But, you will see potatoes, biscuits, gravies, breads and some desserts… you know, all the good stuff, LOL! I always justified having that stuff with, “well, I workout, so I can have it.” Not so. Grains are the devil for some people. If you can eat them fine, but I cannot.

I am now living on a grain-free diet that resembles the AIP (AutoImmune Protocol) diet that people with autoimmune disease have to adhere to (which also excludes potatoes, peanuts, legumes, and dairy. Hence the dairy-free portion of this recipe) because did I mention he ALSO found Hashimoto’s? Yepper he did! So, get ready for lots of grain-free, dairy-free recipes coming soon… now on to the recipe.

____

I wanted to make pork chops with mushroom soup in the crockpot the other day, but almost all canned soups contain gluten (wheat!) As if cooking from scratch isn’t time consuming enough, now I have to make MANY of the ingredients that go into the actual making of a recipe. (If you need me, I’ll be in the kitchen is my new motto!) Hahaha! :)

Anyway, armed with a computer you can find anything you need to know or find and I found this delicious, creamy, won’t-miss-the-gluten-or-dairy-one-bit, decadent mushroom soup recipe here. I mean, this gal is brilliant! She made a mushroom soup without flours or starches to thicken it.

I had a lot left over and I froze it in a freezer bag to yank out any time I need it. Without further ado:

Ingredients:

2 cups- cauliflower florets

1 and 2/3 cups of unsweetened almond milk (I used coconut. Still fab.)

1 tsp- onion powder (I love this gal! If you’ve followed from the beginning, you know I hate white cooked onions. Gross.)

1/4 tsp- salt

Pepper to taste

1/2 tsp- olive oil

1 and 1/2 cups- white mushrooms

1/2- yellow onion, diced

Directions:

Place cauliflower, milk, onion powder and salt and pepper in a sauce pan and bring to a boil

Once boiling, turn down to a simmer and simmer for 8 minutes

Take cauliflower mixture and add to a food processor or blender and puree. Set this aside

In a skillet, heat your oil, chopped mushrooms and diced onions and sauté until onions are translucent about another 8 minutes

Add the cauliflower mixture to the mushroom/onion sauce and simmer for 10 minutes until thick. (if you see from my pictures I actually added the mushrooms to the puree and pureed them both, instead of her way. Mine was a lot smoother for the crockpot and chops I was making it for, but when having it just as my meal, I will make it her way for a chunkier version.)

Now, that wasn’t so bad, was it? And totally worth it!

Boiling Cauliflower

Boiling Cauliflower

Sautéing the mushrooms

Sautéing the mushrooms

Pureeing shrooms with cauliflower = SOUP!

Pureeing shrooms with cauliflower = SOUP!

 

 

 

 

 

Lemon Whip Cookies

Lemon Whip Cookies

Lemon Whip Cookies

I went to a get-together about a month ago (they have lots of those around here…) and took these. They were the hit of the party that ended up with me writing down the recipe 5 times and there were precisely zero left.

This is a great cookie to make for summer time (with my love of lemon-anything – anytime!) or when you want to bring your fancy plate back home that day. I found this recipe here.

They are light, not overly sweet and taste great with coffee or tea. I made these before finding out I had Celiac Disease so I got quite ill after eating them (I usually did when I cheated… that should have been my first clue), so I can no longer have them. But, next time, because there will be a next time… I will sub out the regular cake mix with a GF version. Easy.

Ingredients:

1 box- lemon cake mix

1 container- Kool-Whip

1- egg

powdered sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Spray baking sheet with non-stick spray

Mix lemon cake mix, Cool-Whip and egg together in a large bowl with beaters. (This will fluff up big when mixed.)

Spoon out small amount of mixture into hands by about 2 teaspoon full or use a small ice-cream scoop. (I just rolled them with my hands)

Roll each of them in a bowl of powdered sugar

Place on the baking sheet 2 inches apart and bake for 8 minutes. Allow to cool and enjoy!

Small balls rolled in powdered sugar

Small balls rolled in powdered sugar

IMG_9991

All done!

IMG_9993

Pretty huh?

IMG_9994

The golden underneath

IMG_9995

No browner than this!

 

Homemade Maple Sausage Patties

IMG_0252

Done!

I will NEVER again buy store bought, chemically treated, frozen hockey pucks again! Who knew making your own breakfast sausage was so easy? I sure didn’t! (Psst, we eat this for dinner too…) El yummo!

This recipe comes from the Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans Cookbook by Michelle Tam and Henry Fong.  If you don’t want to get the book right now, here is her blog.

Ingredients:

2 lbs.- ground pork

2 Tbsp.- maple syrup (100% real, or else it’s garbage.)

1 Tbsp.- kosher salt

1 tsp.- ground pepper

2 tsp.- fresh or ground sage, ( I didn’t have this on hand at the time, and they were still fab.)

1 tsp.- fresh or ground thyme

1/2 tsp.- fresh or ground rosemary

1/2 tsp. ancho chili powder. – ( I didn’t have this either, so I used regular… still delish!)

2 Tbsp.- ghee or butter- to fry them in.

Directions: 

Add all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix with your hands. Don’t mix too much or else the patties can become tough

Melt your ghee or butter over medium-low heat

Make into 2 inch round balls and flatten

Fry on each side till golden brown, then cover and finish until no longer pink inside.

Mixture

Mixture

Frying

Frying

 

 

 

 

 

Bonus: Make these patties with eggs or all kinds of other breakfast foods and then make yourself and your guests a Bullet Proof Coffee. They won’t ever want to leave your home. :)

Ingredients:

1 large mug full of any type of coffee

1 pat- butter (Grass fed is best. I use and love Kerrygold.)

1 tsp.- coconut oil (organic is best).

Directions:

Pour your large mug of hot coffee into a blender

Add your pat of butter and coconut oil

Spin me ’round and ’round and ’round, like a record baby… (oh… sorry!)

Pour back into your mug, add any sweetener you typically use and well… drink!

This coffee is good for weight loss (because it makes you poop), appetite suppression (it’s filling) and your memory! Whaaat? I said, YOUR MEMORY, remember? LOL! ;)

Bullet Proof Coffee

Bullet Proof Coffee

 

 

 

 

 

Shrimp and Sausage Stew

Sausage and Shrimp Stew

Sausage and Shrimp Stew

O.k… it’s supposed to get cold here this week (high 60’s is cold here…lol) and I planned to make this on one of those days, but I changed around my weekly menu a bit and made this ‘cold day meal’ on a warm day – today! Uh oh.

It’s a “bowl-style” meal so we ate in front of the TV tonight holding scalding hot bowls of this stew on hot pads. I made it without the cajun seasoning, 1.) because I didn’t have any and 2.) I don’t like hot stuff, but my husband added cayenne pepper to his and liked the flavor a lot. I felt like it was missing something other than the heat and I think my mistake with this recipe was using a different type of sausage. You can try it and let me know what you think. I got the recipe here.

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp. – olive oil

1- green bell pepper, deseeded and diced

1- small yellow onion (you know I used onion powder) ;)

2- stalks of celery (I didn’t have any so I used celery salt)

1- large carrot, peeled and diced

1 – clove garlic, minced

1- 8 ounce can of tomato sauce

1- 10 ounce can of tomato sauce with green chilies

2 links- smoked sausage, cut into round pieces – (I used the chicken apple sausage I had on hand.) *This may have been where I lost the flavor now that I think about it…?

2 cups- kale, chopped

1 cup – chicken stock

1 tsp.- cajun seasoning

1 lb.- shrimp, fully cooked, deveined and tails off

White Rice (or cauliflower rice if you’re watching your carbs… I should be, but didn’t feel like pulling out my food processor to make any… lazy.)

Directions:

In a large pan or Dutch oven, add your oil and heat over medium heat.

Add your green pepper, onion, celery, carrot and saute’ for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally

Add your garlic, cook until fragrant, about a minute

Add your tomato sauce and cook down by about 1/4, stir

Add tomato sauce with green chilies and cook down by about 1/4, stir. While it’s cooking, fry your sausage in a small frying pan

Add your cooked sausage

Add your kale and stir in and simmer for about 5 minutes until softened (I had my husband clean and de-stem the kale while I did everything else.)

Add the broth and bring to a boil

Add in the cajun seasoning (if using) and stir to mix well

Turn down the heat to simmer and cover for 50 minutes

Make your rice now and let sit (I used boil in the bag rice)

When the timer goes off at 50 minutes, throw in your shrimp (this should be fully cooked shrimp, so you are only warming it through the last 10 minutes) and stir

Pour stew in a bowl. Top with rice and sliced green onions. Serve on a hot pad and watch TV. LOL! ;)

Sautee' green peppers, carrots, celery, garlic

Sautee’ green peppers, carrots, celery, garlic

De-thaw fully cooked shrimp

De-thaw fully cooked shrimp

Hubs helping

Hubs helping

Kale added

Kale added

Shrimp added

Shrimp added

Sausage, Shrimp and Kale all cooked down

Sausage, Shrimp and Kale all cooked down

Served in a bowl with rice and topped with green onions

Served in a bowl with rice and topped with green onions