Posts Tagged easy

Sweet Potato and Nut Butter Snack

Early morning Qigong sessions three times a week are energizing and really get my day off to a good start. It took me a while to figure out footwear – sandals, sneakers, or bare foot. I settled on some sneakers with plenty of toe room.

Did I want to eat before class or not? Just coffee, even with a goodly amount of coconut milk left me with a grumbling stomach by the end of the hour, not to mention the urge to eat the first available edible in the kitchen. Having a Breakfast Salad or a Smoothie in a Bowl produced internal gurgling sounds that I feared were amplified by the acoustics in our meeting room.

Several weeks ago a dear friend attended the annual East Texas Yamboree Festival  in Gilmer, Texas and acknowledging our shared love of all things sweet potato she brought me several freshly harvested sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are a major crop in that area and if you are interested in some really decadent recipes you can find a couple at Tex Tater’s Home Page.

I love these golden gems pretty much straight up but a long time favorite mid-morning snack when I was working consisted of half of a small baked sweet potato garnished with cinnamon sugar and peanut butter. (That really helped to keep me out of the office donut box!)

You can ‘bake’ a sweet potato in the microwave – which works better if the sweet potatoes have dried out somewhat and do not contain a lot of moisture that steams up the microwave to the extent that opening the door rains moisture on your feet. Fresh sweet potatoes in the oven – oh my – the juices run out (don’t forget to pierce them like white potatoes) and caramelize on the pan!

Sweet Potato & Nut Butter Snack

Sweet Potato & Nut Butter Snack

For my early morning mini-snacks I scoop 2-3 tablespoons of roasted sweet potato on to a plate, sprinkled cinnamon and sweetener, and added about a tablespoon of nut butter. I alternate between organic peanut butter and organic almond butter. Mashed together with a salad fork it doesn’t win a beauty contest so for a decent picture I scooped the mixture into a 3-ounce ramekin and took a quick picture before devouring all of it. A recipe looks something like this:

Ingredients for 1 serving:
3 tablespoons of roasted sweet potato
1.5 tablespoons nut butter (peanut or almond)
2-3 shakes of ground cinnamon
1 packet of your favorite non-nutritive sweetener of your choice
(really – sweet potatoes have enough sugar and you may not need any)
(a monster sweet-tooth like mine needs it)

Method:
Mash the sweet potato. Then mash in the nut butter. Add the cinnamon and sweetener as the mixture is coming together.
Put in a small container with a secure lid for transport or eat it right away :-)

One large roasted sweet potato will make enough for several days so it may work better for your schedule to mix up the whole roasted sweet potato and portion it out into servings. Knowing full well that I would eat it all at once I make one serving at a time. That is my version of ‘portion control’ that works for me.

Sweet potatoes are in season. If you like them and/or your family likes them consider this as a highly nutritious budget friendly alternative to packaged options.

Gretchen @gfedge

This post is linked to:
Wellness Weekend, November 7-11, 2013
http://www.rickiheller.com/2013/11/wellness-weekend-november-7-11-2013/
at Ricki Heller.com

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Grain-free Croutons – Searching for Perfection

A funny thing happened on the way to see the whales in Alaska. We spent an extra day in Seattle to do a bit of sightseeing and the restaurant where we ate dinner had a gluten-free menu. My salad arrived with small, spherical, delicately crunchy, slightly salty ‘croutons’. Best crouton substitutes ever! I decided in that moment that I had to learn to make oven-roasted chickpeas like these!

Chickpea, Macadamia, & Falafel Croutons

Chickpea, Macadamia, & Falafel Croutons

Such was the beginning of several weeks of experiments in search of those perfect croutons. I should have taken a picture because the only memory retained was the slight saltiness, the pale color, and the delicate crunch. Once back home the search began with home-cooked chickpeas.

Option 1: After several batches of chickpeas, different internet recipes, varying lengths of time in the oven; nada, none of the batches were even close I did not want to give up.  Friends sampled them and we agreed – the spicy taste was great but the texture was not, certainly nothing like my memory of those delightful little salad morsels. On the plus side I had plenty of roasted chickpeas saved in the freezer.

Chickpeas  Saved for Travel Snacks

Chickpeas Saved for Travel Snacks

Option 2:  Fast forward ahead to Sister’s Day with Mandie, who recently moved to Austin and much closer to me! I brought over a batch of  Roasted Chickpea and Artichoke Salad  (inspired by Ricki Heller’s Recipe ) for our lunch. As we ate I described the dilemma with the mysterious gluten-free, grain-free crouton. I can laugh now when I think about the scenarios we brainstormed. We even considered soaking chickpeas in a lye solution as in making hominy to achieve the white color!

Mandie & Worn-out, Dozing Augie

Mandie & Worn-out, Dozing Augie

While we talked Augie Dog was barking louder than we could talk. Mandie banished him to the backyard but since it was blazing hot she threw him in the pool to cool off. If he was still barking when he dried out it was ‘back in the pool’! When he quit barking and curled up on the porch he was allowed back inside. He was finally quiet and fell asleep in her arms.

Munchy, Munchy, Macadamia

Munchy, Munchy, Macadamia

Then Mandie brought out a special treat that she and Eric love – macadamia nuts. These were the treasured CROUTONS! Toasty, tender, delicately crunchy, I bought a POUND of them. After nibbling a handful for several days I sadly realized that these are meant for a not-very-often, once-in-a-while treat. They just don’t agree with my system – BOO! HISS! I thought I was done with this kind of disappointment when I gave up gluten!

Option 3:
Back to the drawing board and the chickpea obsession rolled on as I remembered an earlier post and thought about the flavors of Falafel  (from August 2009!). What if instead of frying falafel patties in a skillet, the olive oil is added to the batter? Then the batter is scooped in to tiny little portions and baked in the oven? Could those be croutons? Out came the recipe and the ingredients.

Falafel
1 cup (120 grams) garbanzo bean flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon cumin, ground
1/4 teaspoon coriander, ground
1/2 teaspoon garlic granules
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup hot water (not boiling)

You will need a medium sized bowl for mixing, a microwave-safe measuring cup for the liquids, and a flat baking sheet lined with parchment (it makes transferring and cleanup a breeze). I purchase parchment at the grocery store in the aisle featuring foil and waxed paper. Set your oven to 350*F. A small scoop is very handy (I bought mine a year ago to make gluten-free pfeffernusse cookies).

Combine all of the dry ingredients in the bowl and mix together thoroughly, a whisk is good, do not attempt to sift the flour. Mix the lemon juice, olive oil, and water in the measuring cup and heat the mixture in the microwave. Then add the hot liquid all at once to the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Let the mixture rest for 10 minutes.
Falafel Croutons Ready to Bake
Using a small scoop  or a teaspoon, measure out bits of the falafel dough onto the baking sheet. Move the baking sheet to the oven and bake for about 30 minutes. When they are very pale golden brown turn off the heat and leave them to cool in the oven.

Go start the laundry, walk the dog, or go to a Qigong session. Take the falafels out of the oven after an hour, let them cool to room temperature, and put in a lidded jar. If they are not used up in a few days then label the jar and put it in the freezer. Makes about 36 falafel balls of this size.

Crispy Falafel Taste Test

Crispy Falafel Taste Test

My taste testing team at The Caring Place voted these the best yet. They are toasty, crispy, crunchy, and very close to what I was looking for. Maybe round is just too precious? It would be so easy to pat the dough flat with a spatula and cut into 2 inch squares and make falafel crackers.

So why don’t I just make croutons from stale, gluten-free bread?  I usually make my own gluten-free bread or go without. Homemade gluten-free bread is way too precious to allow it to go stale – leftovers get wrapped and frozen for future reference. These little falafel crisps are so simple and so easy; they are basically chickpea flour, seasonings, and hot water for the dough. Make a batch and you are set for two or three salads.

Gretchen @gfedge

Coming soon (September 12, 2013): Ricki Heller’s new cookbook will be released! As soon as I get my copy I will be joining the release party by making a recipe and posting about the other recipes. A pre-release order may be placed through Amazon for Naturally Sweet & Gluten-Free.

This post is linked to:
Wellness Weekend, August 8-12, 2013
at Ricki Heller’s Blog – Diet, Dessert, and Dogs

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Eggplant Over Easy

It has been REALLY edgy around here lately and I haven’t felt adventurous in the kitchen. I have cooked; mostly tried and true recipes which have already been posted. I am not holding back on recipes to publish a cook book. Blogging is challenge enough for me and my recipes are posted on the website whenever I think they may be of interest.

In the spirit of health and green living Rita and I have started paying way more attention to vegetables as well as eating local and fresh. Both of us have been enjoying salads all along. But I am now looking more into easy preparation of cooked vegetables while Rita is focusing on smoothies through her association with Green Smoothie Girl.

Savory Eggplant

Savory Eggplant

This dish made with fresh eggplant has been especially enjoyable. It goes together quickly in the morning before the heat of the day sets in and once it is cooked it can stay put in the oven, slowly cooling, until you are ready for it. It can handle more or less seasoning than suggested. If you have fresh garlic and/or basil then use them. If you plan to use this mixture as a sauce for other ingredients then really season it up and add more olive oil to it. This gets even better in the refrigerator as the flavors meld.

Eggplant, Tomatoes, and Savory Seasoning

Eggplant, Tomatoes, and Savory Seasoning

Ingredients:

1 eggplant, about 1 lb

3-4 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon dry basil

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1 can peeled & diced tomatoes (Muir Glen)

Set the oven to 350*F.
Add the olive oil to the bottom of a 9” square pan, preferably oven-proof glass. Add the salt, basil, and garlic to the oil.
Peel and dice the eggplant into bite-size pieces and add them to the oil in the pan. Stir the mixture so that the eggplant absorbs the oil and is coated with the seasoning.
Pour the entire can of tomatoes and juice over the eggplant and mix thoroughly.
Move the pan to the oven and bake for one hour. Stir about halfway through. Turn off the heat and leave the residual heat to evaporate much of the moisture from the vegetables.

This creates a very concentrated, savory eggplant mixture that can be used alone as a vegetable side dish or mixed with pasta, beans, or potatoes for a savory main course. It is also tasty served cold with or without salad greens.

Having nutritious food readily available helps to take the edge off when there are nerve-wracking days. We had recently had the air conditioning unit replaced (it is a rule that they will fail only in the hottest of weather) which was unsettling enough. But the changeable Texas weather also brought storms that did bad things to the roof – so three weeks later we were having a complete roof replacement.

 

Roofing Incident

Roofing Incident

The roofing supervisor guy had warned us about wall hangings, pictures, etc. that might need to be taken down before the pounding started. We thought we were prepared. The team stripping the old roof sounded like a pack of large squirrels running across the roof – not too bad. When the pounding started it was right in the corner of the office over my computer.

I had just sat down with breakfast and picked up the mouse. The roofers started nailing at that very moment. The big wooden Texas clock fell, hit the golf display, golf balls went flying, clock continued and hit my lidded ceramic jar containing wires, flash drives, etc. smashing it onto pieces, hitting my hand, golf balls bounced off my head. I am not sure what hit my breakfast bowl but it ended up on the floor, undamaged but containing a golf ball instead of my breakfast that was scattered on the floor. The clock was on the floor on the other side of my chair separated from its battery. I was unharmed but in a befuddled state of shock.

The roof looks good, the air conditioning works fine, and I have been inspired to use the cool mornings to do some maintenance on the flower beds. Chigger and ant bites, sore muscles from weeding and planting have done more collective damage to me physically than the roofing excitement.

Here’s to calm days ahead and good food ready and waiting for lunch and/or dinner :-)

Gretchen @gfedge
Rita @catqicatqi

This post is linked to:
http://dietdessertndogs.com/2013/07/25/wellness-weekend-july-25-29-2013/
at Ricki Heller’s Blog – Diet, Dessert, and Dogs

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Compact Food Scale for Easier and More Accurate Measuring

When using a food scale for ratio baking suddenly became popular I thought it was a great idea. What really appealed to me was the ‘tare’ function. The scale is reset to zero and you weigh the next ingredient into the same bowl without using measuring cups. No measuring cups to wash – YES!

My Compact Kitchen Scale

My Compact Kitchen Scale

I bought my modestly priced kitchen scale from Amazon. I love their honest, sometimes snarky, reviews-by-customers. If there is a problem with the product you will be sure to hear about it. I especially like it when there are lots of reviews. Then I read the best and worst and most-recent before deciding to consider it as an option. If there are only a few reviews I tend to skip that product because the 5-star are likely to be employees or family and the 1-star are likely to be a competitor.

I have used this EatSmart Precision Pro – Multifunction Digital Kitchen Scale w/ Extra Large LCD and 11 Lb. Capacity for over two years and am entirely happy with its quality and durability. I love this scale for the functionality plus the compact size that tucks neatly against the wall behind my recipe box.

Storage Is Easy

Storage Is Easy

The following is Amazon’s product description:

The EatSmart Precision Pro Digital Kitchen Scale is a versatile multifunction home appliance. Designed to be highly accurate and aesthetically pleasing, the Precision Pro is manufactured to the highest quality specifications. Weigh items up to 11 lbs quickly and accurately, with results displayed in four different units: grams / ounces / pounds / kilograms.

For cooks – Weigh food items directly on the scale platform or utilize the scale’s tare (zero) function, which eliminates the weight of a plate or bowl and makes cleanup a snap. The high resolution screen provides easy viewing angles on any kitchen counter and the five rubber feet eliminate sliding. Additionally the three minute auto-turnoff feature ensures that you will never again lose your measurement in the middle of your recipe prep!

For Weight Loss Goals / Disease Management – The Precision Pro is ultra accurate, precise to .05 ounce / 1 gram increments and perfect for calorie or carbohydrate counting. The scale now includes a FREE EatSmart Calorie Factors book for easy calorie counting (simply multiply the grams of food by the calorie factor in the book)! Stop guessing about portion sizes and start living a healthier lifestyle today.

Gretchen @gfedge

 

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Chocolate Almond Coconut Milk

Chocolate milk, it’s not just for kids. My milk mustache is definitely not white even though my hair is mostly white at this age. An alternative milk is definitely appreciated for those with lactose-intolerance and/or gluten-intolerance complicated by cross-reactive dairy issues.

After experimenting off and on during the  winter months I settled on making this blend a quart at a time. A glassful tastes yummy shaken and served right out of the fridge during the summer heat. It is also wonderful served hot in a mug instead of coffee or tea on a cold morning.

Re-purposed Glass Jars

Re-purposed Glass Jars

You don’t need a fancy bottle. I save and re-purpose glass bottles from the store that previously contained juices or gluten-free pasta sauces (yes, I know, I should make my own sauce but sometimes the jar makes a good meal possible when time is short).

These ingredients were all sourced at my local HEB grocery store. I keep Hershey’s original cocoa on hand, various non-nutritive sweeteners as they appear on the market, a good quality of vanilla, the HEB store brand of almond milk, and various brands of coconut milk as long as they do not contain preservatives.

Sweeteners differ considerably in perceived level of sweetness and it varies greatly by individual even within a family. I have a feeling that the quantity of nectresse™ that I used here will be too much for many. Start with the lower amount (or even less if you are a super-taster). You can always add more to reach the right level for your taste preference.

Adding the Ingredients

Adding the Ingredients


Chocolate Almond Coconut Milk – gfedge

1/4 cup warm water

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2-1 tablespoon nectresse™* (or your prefered sweetener)

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 cup coconut milk, full-fat

3 cups almond milk

You will need a clean one quart glass bottle or mason jar with a screw-on cap that seals well. It will be used for shaking the ingredients together, initially to mix and then again just before serving.

Add the warm water and the cocoa powder to the jar. Shake and swirl to completely dissolve the cocoa powder before adding the other ingredients. Screw on the cap and shake to be sure the cocoa is completely dissolved. This should prevent it from clumping.

Add your sweetener of choice, the vanilla, and both of milks. Screw on the cap and shake well. Place in the refrigerator to chill. Shake again just before serving.

The full-fat coconut milk adds a healthy fat, tastes really good, and it helps to keep the ingredients evenly mixed!

Shaken, Not Stirred!

Shaken, Not Stirred!

Makes 1 quart.

Note*: nectresse™ is made by the company that brought us SPLENDA® brand sucralose, hardly a good recommendation but I was curious. The closest I can come to a calorie count for nectresse™ in measuring for baked goods is the evasive 1/4 teaspoon = zero calories and it is a ‘free food’ for diabetics at four ‘servings’. The most positive thing I can say about this product is that the label does not list any ingredients that I would not use if the ingredients were labeled ‘organic’ or ‘nonGMO’, which they are not.

Gretchen @gfedge

This post is linked to:
Wellness Weekend April 25-29, 2013
http://dietdessertndogs.com/2013/04/25/wellness-weekend-april-25-29-2013
Ricki Heller’s Blog – Diet, Dessert, and Dogs

 

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Super Simple Savory Broth

Rita has not been available lately to taste test which has left me uninspired to bake much since she cannot help with the evaluation. We both plan to dig in on green smoothies soon but in the meantime I have been cooking my greens in a simple broth – the broth may just be my favorite part.

Greens and Savory Broth (with Walnuts)

Greens and Savory Broth (with Walnuts)

I have always loved beans and greens as a lunch combination. When I was working I made use of canned turnip greens and usually red kidney beans topped with some kind of salad dressing. Tasty, messy, odd looking, and initially subject to strange looks and curious questions. Sometimes I top them with nuts for a crunchy texture contrast.

Sourcing fresh greens at the grocery store has become very easy since the arrival of Glory brand one pound bags of washed and chopped greens . I have been going through a couple of these a week. Rita would prefer to steam them but I grew up in the Southern tradition of greens cooked down producing ‘pot liquor’, a local name for the savory broth.

Greens Overflowing the Pot

Greens Overflowing the Pot

Previous to gluten awareness I happily used bouillon cubes as seasoning for broth and gravy. Afterwards my ingredients changed to canned and boxed broth with the resulting cans and boxes going into recycle – not a positive solution to my way of thinking.

Finally Got the Lid On

Finally Got the Lid On

I gave up on prepared broths and now prefer this simple recipe from my spice cabinet which could not be any easier or faster.

Super Simple Broth
1 cup water
1/2-1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon @ summer savory, basil, thyme
1/2 teaspoon onion powder (optional)

Add the ingredients to a saucepan. Turn on the heat and bring to slow simmer. Now you have broth!

Cooking Greens in Broth
The hard part is cramming the greens into a four quart pot where they will eventually wilt and shrink down to about one-quarter of the raw volume. You will need one pound of greens (collards, kale, mustard, or any of your favorite greens).

Make your broth in a four quart saucepan – a glass lid makes it easier to see what is going on. Add the greens in on top of the broth and push them down, really hard, into the pot until you can get the lid on. Turn up the heat to medium high. It will take a while until it you can see steam beginning to rise.

The greens on the bottom wilt first. Take a big spoon and bring the wilted greens up to the top so the next layer can begin to cook. At this point adjust the heat to maintain a slow simmer. The greens will not cooperate in any orderly way but just keep checking and stirring about every 20 minutes. After the first 20 minutes they will have all become somewhat wilted. Set a timer for 20 minutes. When it goes off stir the greens up again and set the timer for another 20 minutes.

You can quit cooking when the greens are tender. If you have prepared your own young fresh greens they will probably have cooked up in one cycle. The ones that come pre-bagged are fully mature and the stems have been chopped up as well as the leafy part so it can take several cycles to get everything to the tender stage.

Greens Are Fully Cooked

Greens Are Fully Cooked

Gretchen @gfedge
Rita @catqicatqi

This post is linked to:
Wellness Weekend February 28-March 4, 2013
at Ricki Heller’s Blog – Diet, Dessert, and Dogs

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Smoothie in a Bowl

Rita and I have been considering green smoothies as a way to boost our intake of fresh, raw green vegetables. Being a savvy shopper Rita was able to scoop up a smoothie blender for each of us at a super-great clearance – more about those items as we get comfortable with them.

Right now I am juggling a few (too many) activities. To compensate I have been eating a wider variety of greens in salads, greens cooked as a base for some warm winter soups, and I extended my beloved Pumpkin Porridge by adding the additional plant elements of applesauce, ginger, and whole fruit.

I like to prepare this the night before so that the chia is really soft but in a pinch I put it together and declare it edible in about 10 minutes. It gets my system going with a powerhouse of nutrition. This is really helping me to get over the fact that I recently discovered that my beloved coffee, as an almond milk latte, is one of my  ‘cross-reactive with gluten’  foods :-(

This could easily be a smoothie beverage with additional water to dilute the coconut milk. The whole fruit could be blended in if that is your preference. Right now I go for the easiest and fastest preparation – hence ‘Smoothie in a Bowl’.

Smoothie in a Bowl with Blueberries

Smoothie in a Bowl with Blueberries

Top with your locally available fresh fruit. We have had an amazing bounty of blackberries and blueberries at the local fresh food grocer. I also froze fresh local figs last summer and I started using these little gems as a special treat.

Smoothie with Local Figs of Summer

Smoothie with Local Figs of Summer

Gretchen @gfedge
Rita @catqicatqi

This post is linked to:
Wellness Weekend January 24-28, 2013
at Ricki Heller’s Blog – Diet, Dessert, and Dogs

Smoothie in a Bowl
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast, Snack
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
A plant-based blend of highly nutritious foods and spices
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 scoop (20 ml) chia seeds (whole)
  • ¼ cup pumpkin puree
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ¼ cup coconut milk (full fat, from a can)
  • Vanilla, a few drops
  • Sweetener*, your choice, to taste
  • Fresh fruit, at least ¼ cup or more
Instructions
  1. Soften the chia seeds in the water – it makes them easier to work with this way.
  2. Add the pumpkin and the spices together - this prevents clumps of floating spices after you add the coconut milk.
  3. Stir in the remaining ingredients.
  4. I use liquid stevia glycerite but taste buds are so different as to ‘sweet’ you should use what makes it taste good for you.
  5. Top with your locally available fresh fruit.
Notes
*There are non-nutritive sweeteners that are not exactly good for you but I still think the inflammatory property of sugar is the greater evil of alternative choices.

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Savory Sautéed Zucchini with Walnuts

My lifelong love of summer squash continues. Fresh, frozen, or canned makes no difference. Yellow or green are equally loved and I suspect if they began appearing in rainbow colors, stripes, or paisley it would make no difference.

Zucchini-and-Walnuts-ready-to-serve

Zucchini-and-Walnuts-ready-to-serve

As a teenager I used to simply wash, slice, and simmer them with Lawry’s Season-All Salt, my favorite condiment after catsup. I really love the Del Monte zucchini canned with tomatoes and sometimes use that as a quick sauce over nearly anything else that might be lingering in the fridge or over pasta (now gluten-free of course) :-)

Walnuts: In my opinion – one of nature’s most perfect foods. I go through about a pound of walnuts every two weeks. Often a handful of dried cranberries mixed with a handful of walnuts plus a latte make a quick ‘first breakfast’. This recipe with zucchini is one that goes back to when my children were in elementary school. It would have made two side servings but instead this batch made a hearty breakfast.

Currently with fresh zucchini available year round, this ‘recipe’ is my new favorite Pantry Quick meal.

Prepare the Zucchini

Prepare the Zucchini

Add the Walnuts

Add the Walnuts

 

Sautéed Zucchini with Walnuts
Author: 
Recipe type: Side, Main, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Quick and easy to prepare - nutritious, savory, and satisfying.
Ingredients
  • 1 large zucchini, chopped, bite-size
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic powder (optional)
  • Handful of walnuts
Instructions
  1. Use a skillet large enough so that the pieces of zucchini will have plenty of space so their moisture can evaporate as they sauté; otherwise you will have more of a stew.
  2. Melt the coconut oil in the skillet to a medium high heat and quickly add your prepared zucchini.
  3. Sprinkle the pieces lightly with sea salt to help draw out the moisture for evaporation.
  4. The object is to sear them quickly over medium high heat so the cut edges will begin to take on a light shade of tan.
  5. As soon as they are browned and tender remove from the heat, season lightly with pepper to taste, and add the walnuts.
Notes
I measure the walnuts as a handful. Everyone’s hands are different and proportional to their body. I regard them as the perfect measure for each person. Choose your zucchini size according to appetite or market availability.

Gretchen @gfedge
Rita @catqicatqi
Teresa @TravelingRD
(From Boot Camp to Homeland Security…This RD is on a Mission! )

This post is linked to:
Wellness Weekend January 10-14, 2013
at Ricki Heller’s Blog – Diet, Dessert, and Dogs

 

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Pantry Quick – Veggies with Nut or Seed Butter Sauce

Peanut Butter Veggies has long been one of my lunch favorites. It is fast, low-calorie, filling, and a very nutritious recipe. It was the subject of an early blog post back in March of 2009. It is still one of my go-to quick recipes but there have been a few modifications over the years.

Peanuts are one of those commodities that have become GMO suspect. Since organic peanut butter is so hard to find I have been using other nut and seed butters. There has also been a peanut contamination recall and a couple of peanut butter recalls since the original post.

And then there is the soy sauce. Now that gluten-free soy sauce is available it seems that soybeans are another GMO concern. Alternative possibilities are Coconut Secret Raw Organic Aminos or San Jay Organic Tamari Sauce. I have also tried Bragg’s Aminos as well as a plain salty broth. The depth of flavor is just not the same. I have started adding a pinch of McCormick’s Red Curry Powder to enhance the flavor. This curry powder can be found at most grocery stores that carry the McCormick brand or you may have you own favorite.

Lunch Is Served!

Lunch Is Served!

Pantry Quick – Veggies with Nut/Seed Butter Sauce
Author: 
Recipe type: Main or Side Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Veggies sauced with a savory and nutritious sauce.
Ingredients
  • 16-oz package of frozen stir-fry vegetable combination (your favorite)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ cup soy sauce (your choice)
  • Pinch of curry powder (to your taste preference)
  • ¼ cup natural nut or seed butter (smooth or chunky)
Instructions
  1. Add the entire contents of the package (still frozen) to the oil in about a 3-quart saucepan (you will need plenty of room for stirring).
  2. Turn on medium heat and stir in the ground ginger and garlic powder as it begins to cook.
  3. Keep stirring as the ice melts and the water begins to evaporate; then add in the soy sauce and curry powder.
  4. When the vegetables are cooked just as you like them, cut off the heat and stir in the nut butter.
  5. The nut butter absorbs the small amount of residual liquid and really pulls the veggies together.
  6. It is ready to serve unless you want to add a little more liquid.
Notes
I divide the recipe into two containers and store in the refrigerator for lunches. Each portion has about 290 calories with the brands that I use.

I have long used this recipe as a way to enjoy nut butters without falling back on the old PBJ sandwich – more veggies = more nutrition :-)

Gretchen @gfedge

This post is linked to:
Wellness Weekend October 18-22, 2012
at Ricki Heller’s Blog – Diet, Dessert, and Dogs

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Secrets to a Healthy Metabolism by Maria Emmerich

I just finished reading the Kindle version of Secrets to a Healthy Metabolism and it is beautifully written (meaning the words were not too big for me) and packed with information on very recent research. It was so impressive that I immediately sent copies to my sister Amanda and my sister-in-law Pat.

Secrets to a Healthy Metabolism

Secrets to a Healthy Metabolism

The official book description reads:
In this latest June 2012 edition I am honored to have the forward written by Dr. William Davis, Author of the New York Times Best seller “Wheat Belly”! Dr. Davis is a leader in his field and he discusses the relevance of the material covered in this book and its importance to modern nutrition theory. Most of the book is updated with the latest nutritional science. Maria is constantly researching the latest science and this edition updates all the latest information to help you get your metabolism back on track. In this book you will learn the tools to lead a healthy lifestyle that you can sustain for the rest of your life. It is based on the food science of how our bodies react to different ingredients. Using these guidelines you can lose weight or maintain a healthy weight while staying full and satisfied. This book covers the science behind nutrition and how our bodies use different elements of our food to function. The last chapter supplies recipes, pantry items, and healthy substitutes to help you use these scientific properties and make healthy meals that not only feed your body what it really needs, but keep you full longer. Some of the topics covered are: – Nutrient Timing – Typical Diet Downfalls – Tired, Toxic Liver – How to Optimize Your Hormones – Menstrual Cycle Timing – Supplements to enhance Weight Loss – Putting it all together: Alternative Flours, Alternative Sweeteners and Pantry List!

A Batch of Maria's Toasted Sub Sandwich and Panini

A Batch of Maria’s Toasted Sub Sandwich and Panini

Then there is Maria’s Nutritious and Delicious Journal – with recipes! I just made a batch of her Toasted Sub Sandwich and Panini. Mine are puffy and look more like hamburger buns but let me say that they are fabulous buns. They rose way more than I expected so next time I will start them a little flatter. They browned beautifully, have a nice chewy-crispy crust, sliced easily when still slightly warm, and there were no gummy insides! It is real bread! Only those living gluten-free know what it means to have anything like real bread, never mind great real bread! Plus, they are low carb, about 3.3 each when made into 5 buns. You can also make a larger loaf or perhaps smaller buns for appetizers. I made this batch with coconut flour. There are alternate instructions for using almond flour.

LowCarb, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free Bread

LowCarb, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free Bread

Happy baking AND low-carbing!

Gretchen @gfedge

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