Saturday, September 30, 2017

Sweet Potato Turkey Chili

It's Saturday. It's the last day of September. The sky is bright and blue and vast and the air is cool and crunchy. Fall in finally here and you can hear the football playing in the background (I watch to support the players protesting ;) and the smells of yard fires burning in the air. It's chili season! Yep, that's just what I think of when I think of these first few weeks of fall! I'll get more to the pumpkin spice craziness in the next few weeks ;)
But for this weekend... it's CHILI time! Last week I had chili on the brain BAD, but it was 90 degrees and it just didn't seem right yet. And this weekend, I couldn't help myself, I needed to make a big pot of chili and enjoy every bite. This batch was sweet potato and ground turkey which is a match made in sweet food heaven. It is the perfect combo of sweet and spice. If you are looking to make that ol' chili recipe healthy- this is a start!
Sweet Potato Turkey Chili Recipe
{gluten and dairy-free, vegan}

1 pound of ground turkey or turkey sausauge ( I always use the most local or natural form I can find!)

2 TB of avocado oil for sautéing
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large red bell pepper chopped
1 large green bell pepper chopped
5-6 cloves of minced or finely chopped garlic cloves
1 TB of minced fresh ginger
1 TB of minced fresh turmeric

4 cups of pealed and cubed sweet potato chunks
1 28 ounce can of crushed organic tomatoes
4 cups of vegetable or poultry broth

3 TB of chili powder
1 ts. of ground cinnamon
1 TB of dried cilantro
1 TB of apple cider vinegar
1 TB of molasses
1 TB of maple syrup
1 TB of coconut palm sugar
1 15 ounce can of organic black beans
1 15 ounce can of organic pinto beans
1 15 ounce can of organic kidney beans

In a large soup pot, a 8-10 quart pot, break up the raw ground turkey and saute until completely browned and cooked. Then saute the onion, garlic, turmeric, ginger and sweet potatoes for 5 minutes until they get a bit soft. Then add in the crushed tomatoes, broth, water, spices and herbs. Then let it come to a boil and add in the beans. Cook on medium heat for 30-40 minutes until the potatoes are soft and the you can add additional herbs, or serve up and top with avocado slices and more fresh herbs. 

Some topping/serving ideas:
diced avocado  
fresh chopped cilantro 
green onion
vegan or regular sour cream or greek yogurt

I hope you give this classic dish a sweet potato and turkey twist. I know chili is chili and maybe you just gotta make it the good ol' way you've always made it, but this recipe is worth a try and it's an adventure on it's own. I hope you ENJOY and have a fun-filled, life-giving weekend, friends!

Much love, xoxo

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Apple Carrot Spice Muffins

It FINALLY feels like fall here when the cooler temps rolled into town yesterday. 60's is much more pleasant than 90's when the leaves start falling, you go apple picking and you want to wear your favorite sweater. So it finally got me in the mood to make a nourishing and grounding fall muffin. And of course apples were on the mind... and this one's also full of grounding carrots and lots of spice.  Which is sooooo nice this time of year :)

Some hearty muffins with a hot cup of tea is just what you need to nestle into the season. The warming spices and dates will help sweeten and add nourishment in all the right ways. You also can't help but feel like you set the fall flavors bomb in your house because the aromas that these muffins produce is heavenly enough. You don't even really need to eat them :) Well, maybe I wouldn't go that far :) It's time for some fall baking ya'll!!!

Apple Carrot Spice Muffin Recipe
{gluten, dairy, soy, egg, seed, nut, and refined sugar-free}

1 cup of gluten-free oat flour (made from 1 cup GF rolled oats, blended in high power blender)
1/4 cup of potato starch
1/4 cup of tapioca flour
1/4 cup of coconut flour
1/2 cup of rice flour
1/2 cup of either millet, buckwheat or quinoa flour or a mix of them all
2 ts. of baking powder (I use the Hain brand to avoid corn)
1 ts. of baking soda
1 ts. of sea salt
1 ts. of ground cardamon
1 ts. of ground cinnamon
1/2 ts. of ground cloves
1/2 ts. of ground nutmeg
1/2 cup of coconut palm sugar

1/2 cup of warmed coconut oil / or use avocado oil
1/2 cup of coconut milk beverage with 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar added in
1/4 cup of maple syrup
1 TB of molasses
1 cup of shredded raw carrot

1/2 cup of date puree- This involves pouring 3/4 cup boiling water over 3/4 cup of pitted dates and letting it sit for 5-10 minutes and then blending in a high powered blender to whip up a creamy date-pudding like substance- this would also make a nice dip for fresh apple slices :)

2 cups of stewed apples- This involves pealing and chopping 2 cups of fresh apples, then in a sauce pan add the apples, 1/2 cup of apple cider (or water) and 1 ts. of ground cinnamon. Let the apples get soft and make almost an apple pie filling mixture. Finally fold in the stewed apples into the muffin recipe.

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Then add in the wet and whisk together well. Pour into 12-18 muffin tins and bake in a 350 degree oven for 25-28 minutes until browned tops and stiff. Let cool 15-20 minutes before serving. 
Hall Fall and happy baking!!! Hope you start enjoy the abundance of fall smells, flavors and gifts! 
Much love my friends, xoxo

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Chocolate Pumpkin Pie

I made this pie a few weeks back, and it was eaten so quickly I wasn't able to capture a whole pie photo ;) but I did save a few slices to grab a picture so that I could post the recipe for you. This pie is a great way to usher in the pumpkin-spice-and-everything-nice-fall-season. And it's also a great crowd-pleaser as it being CHOCOLATE! 
Another reason I love this pie is because it is so easy to make and share.  As if you need another reason for pumpkin and chocolate pie combo, but truly it is a easy and fabulous pie to enjoy the fall flavors. I topped my pie with So Delicious Coco Whip, but you could top it with whatever whipping cream or ice cream you enjoy. 
I love how light and airy each bite is, but also so rich with texture and flavor. It almost tastes like a chocolate cheesecake because of the pumpkin, and I bet you could even pass it as such for the dairy-free friends. It isn't too sweet and isn't too bitter either. Such a great flavor combo to enjoy just a few bites ;) after a celebratory dinner or meal with your loved ones. I hope you give it a try and ENJOY...Happy Fall!!!!
Chocolate Pumpkin Pie Recipe
{gluten, dairy, egg, soy, nut, and seed-free}

1/2 cup gluten-free oats
1 cup of shredded unsweetened coconut
1 cup of gluten-free oat flour ground 
(1 cup of oats in ground in high power blender to make 1 cup of flour)
2 TB of maple syrup
dash of sea salt
1 TB of organic extra virgin coconut oil
1 TB of organic Spectrum Palm Oil Shortening

In a mixing bowl, mix the oats, coconut, salt and flour all together well and then add the syrup and coconut oil and shortening and mix with a fork. You should get a sticking pie crust batter that you will use your hands to press into a 9 inch glass pie pan. You will have to pressed firmly up to the tops of the pan and press firmly along the bottom. It doesn't have to be perfect looking, but do try and make the crust spread evenly over the pan. Then bake the crust in a preheated 350 degree oven for 16-18 minutes until golden brown. You may need to press a fork up to the sides again after you pull from the oven while it is still hot if the crust slide down a touch while baking. Then, let the crust cool on the counter until it is cold.

Chocolate Pumpkin Filling:
1 cup of dairy-free chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life brand)
1 can of full-fat coconut milk, just the cream, save/discard the water
1 cup of pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)
2/3 cup of date puree (1/2 cup of boiling water poured over 1/2 cup pitted dates and blended)
1/3 cup of softened organic coconut oil
2 TB of cacao powder
1/4 cup of maple syrup
1/4 cup of coconut palm sugar
1-2 ts. of pumpkin pie spice blend (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves)
1/2 ts. of sea salt
2 TB of tapioca flour
juice from 1/2 of lemon (1 TB)

In a medium saucepan, pour in the above ingredients and use a whisk to soften and melt all the ingredients together well.  I like to add 2 ts of spice to the pie, but you may not want it to be too strong to just use a little bit then and start with 1 ts. You can taste the mixture as you go to see if you want a little bit more spice or not. Do not let it boil or get too hot, just let it get warm and whisk together. Pull off the heat and let it sit for a few minutes and then pour it into the cooled pie crust and let it sit for a few minutes and then you can transfer the pie into a safe and flat spot in the fridge and let it sit overnight or for 6-8 hours for it to stiffen well. 

Serve with Coconut Whipped Topping and ENJOY!!!

Much love and light to you as we journey into this new autumn season!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Whole-Grain Cinnamon Crunch Crackers

Another simple, but enjoyable, cracker recipe. This one is made without any white flours or starches and is purely whole grains and sweetened with dates and fruit. So this one is for all my special friends avoiding any form of sweetener besides fruit, and is a great detox treat or snack if you need something more than just apples and carrots ;) It is not impossible to enjoy something even while on an elimination or detox diet. This little recipe is just an example how you can get creative with whole grains and a bit of fruit and spice. Don't give up on your food journey, give yourself grace, and take one step at a time to the next. These crackers should be a part of that journey ;) I hope you ENJOY!

Whole-Grain Cinnamon Crunch Crackers
{gluten, dairy, egg, soy, nut and seed-free}

1 cup of buckwheat flour
1 cup of millet flour
1/2 cup of quinoa flour
1/2 cup of GF oat flour
1/2 ts. of sea salt
1 ts. of ground cinnamon
2/3 cup of date paste
1/3 cup of applesauce or peach butter
1 ts. of apple cider vinegar
2-3 TB of avocado or olive oil

optional topping:
1/4 cup of coconut palm sugar
1 TB of ground cinnamon

First of all, you can grind your own whole grain flours by using the grains from raw form and grinding them in a Vitamix or other high powered blender like it. This is the flours I use, and I grind them fresh for each recipe so the flavors and texture is at it's best. 

In a large mixing bowl, mix together all the flours, salt and seasoning. Then fold in the wet ingredients and use a spatula to mix it all together well. You will use another 1/2 cup of flour to roll out the sticky dough. I used GF oat flour, but you could use any of the above used flours too. Roll out with a rolling pin to around 1/2 inch thick. 

Brush/sprinkle more ground cinnamon on top, or if you want to add in some sugar, use 1/4 cup of coconut palm sugar to 1 TB of cinnamon and mix well together and then rub into the rolled out dough. And then cut into squares or triangles or even use a cookie cutter shapes if you desire. 
Use a blade to cut the crackers BEFORE you bake them. I tried to cut a 3x3 squares, and then triangled them for the cracker and it made about 30-36 crackers. 
As you can see I did not cut perfectly, and they still taste and even look good after they are baked so don't stress too much about the cracker cutting. They will be fabulous however you cut them. 

These are a great snack, but could also be added to a fruit-dish appetizer. Imagine fresh fruit, some coconut ice cream or whip and one of these cinnamon crunch crackers. A great snack to enjoy and have on hand to share and be creative with :)

Hope you give this simple recipe a try and ENJOY! Happy baking, friends, xoxo

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Savory Pumpkin Seed Crackers

Sometimes you just need a nice... crunchy... salty... full-of-flavor snack, amiright?!? Why not make it packed full of protein, whole grains, minerals and so much good from the earth nutrition? Well this recipe is here to help you not be left out!
It is just nice by themselves, but you could easily make this to be the perfect match to any appetizer delite. Maybe hummus or salsa, or cut up fresh veg from the market or backyard. A nice little topper might be a cracker, hummus, a cucumber slice and a basil leaf. You can't go wrong with these! The added pumpkin and chia seeds are what give it the nutty flavor without the nuts and this is one recipe almost any allergen-striken friend can eat. I hope you give them a try and ENJOY!
Savory Pumpkin Seed Cracker Recipe
{gluten, dairy, soy, egg, nut and sugar-free}

1/2 cup of quinoa flour
1/2 cup of millet flour
1/2 cup of buckwheat flour
1/2 cup of garbanzo flour
1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1/3 cup of chia seeds
2 TB of olive oil
2 TB of date paste
2 TB of water
1 ts. of apple cider vinegar
1 ts. of ground rosemary powder
1 ts. of ground garlic powder
1 ts of dried onion powder
1-2 ts. of sea salt

extra flour for rolling out....
1/2 cup of GF oat flour

In a large mixing bowl, mix together all the flours and seeds and salt and seasoning. Then drizzle in the wet ingredients and use a spatula to mix it all together well. You will use another 1/2 cup of flour to roll out the sticky dough. I used GF oat flour, but you could use any of the abouve used flours too. Roll out with a rolling pin to around 1/2 inch thick. Then use a blade to cut the crackers BEFORE you bake them. I tried to cut a 2x2 square for the cracker and it made about 35-40 crackers. As you can see I did not cut very evenly- I was in the middle of a few other things and didn't focus on making it even. Still turned out fabuous and maybe I should just say I was going for the more "rustic" look anyways ;) 
Sprinkle a little extra salt before baking too.... then put in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until it gets crispy and golden brown. Let them cool completely before you eat one and this also helps them crisp up as well and get crunchy. 

Serve with hummus, salsa, veggies, even fruit, and can be used with soups, stews, and just about anything and everything. Once you try one, you will keep going back for more... I can almost promise you ;)

This recipe is especially for all my allergy-striken friends that long for a crunchy savory snack :) I hope you find ways to enjoy and nourish yourself through food, MUCH love as always, friends!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Fresh Heirloom Salsa

Hey loves, I know it's supposed to be the 'first of fall' everything this week, but the weather is forcasted to be one of the hottest weeks of the summer (haha!),  well of what is left of summer. The forecast is upper 80's and even maybe 90's for the rest of the week. Soooooo my hopes of making some soups, stews and fall comfort food just doesn't seem appetizing anymore. And I don't feel like standing over a steaming pot in the steaming heat either! So, I re-worked the food plan for this week and made simple ingredients to basically make your own grain/salad/protein bowls. Kinda like the Abundance Bowls idea. They are easy, can please many types, and can be easy pull-out of the fridge and warm-up (or not) kind of food. So perfect for a busy and hot week of September!

So I made some baked chicken nuggets for the kids, turkey meatballs and even some BBQ beef too. I also made a large batch of smoky cumin and paprika kidney and black beans dish and a large batch of basmati rice. Basically make yourself a batch of a grain (rice, quinoa, millet, ect..) and a batch of meat protein, and a batch of legume protein and then chop up all the fresh veggies and herbs you got (basil, cilantro, lettuce, kale, ect)  and roast or saute some other veggies you got (beets, zucchini, carrots, sweet potatoes) and then layer it up and drizzle with dressings or salsa.

That is why this recipe came into play.  Last weekend at the farmer's market, I picked up a few pounds of heirloom tomatoes and some cute and spicy peppers. And that basically the base of any good garden blender salsa... so here's my recipe, and it's super wonderful this time of year while the tomatoes are absolute perfection! My bowl that included this salsa was a scoop of rice, meat, beans, lettuce, suated zucchini, cilantro, avocado, and this salsa- so basically a taco bowl, but you could add in and out what you got and what sounds good. It's my version of fast food ;) And now for the easy peasy wonderful fresh salsa...
Fresh Heirloom Salsa Recipe
{gluten, dairy, egg, soy, seed and nut-free}

1-2 pounds of a mix of fresh heirloom tomatoes
(I choose a yellow, red, orange and green variety to add to my mixture...)
I like to add in the yellow and orange because they are less acidic and help balance it out
I usually just cut out the tops if they are overly tough or dried out

2 small jalapeno peppers (or you can use any favorite heirloom hot pepper)
If you are not into too much heat, then use a knife to cut and scrape out the seeds and do not use the seeds in the salsa. If you enjoy a little spice then I would just chop off the tops and throw in the pepper. If you use one large pepper- then you will want to chop up before you put in the blender to help it blend more evenly.

1 small sweet onion, roughly chopped

2 ts of ground dried garlic powder
2 ts. of sea salt
1/2 cup of coconut palm sugar
1-2 cups of fresh chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime squeezed
1 lemon squeezed

Put all of the above in a blender and blend well until thick and all equally chopped.

Serve over a taco bowl, salad, grain bowl, or just eat by the gallon-full with your favorite tortilla chips and guac. I don't eat corn, so my absolute favorite chip is the Beanfield's White or Black Bean chips with this salsa. These chips are my chip of choice!!! I could eat these every day :)

Hope you give it a try- Hope you eat and enjoy this beautiful food that can nourish you and show your body love. Enjoy and MUCH love to you as always, xoxo

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Coffee Cookie Chocolate Birthday Cake

It was the husband's birthday this week :) So we had lots of treats and goodies and celebrating and of course it involved cake :) My hubs always asks for a coffee- chocolate- raspberry combo and this year I added in some Glutino Chocolate Cream Sandwich Cookies (think oreos) as a topping and it added the right crunch and finished touch. 
It was hard to get a decent photo of this cake because of all the excitement, but I did get a few shots because I wanted to share it with you too ;) Just in case your looking for a birthday cake for that special somebody in your life, or perhaps that somebody is you :)
It's dates again that make this cake so moist, decadent and creamy textured. I swear dates are revolutionary to GF/vegan baking and once you start- you just can't go back! I buy my dates from Costco (Made In Nature is the brand)- You can get a 2 pound bag for around 7-8 dollars and you can use them for just about everything you would use sweeteners for... in smoothies, baking and snacks. If your a follower here you know how much I love and use dates ;) But enough blabbering... let's get to the recipe and sharing and celebrating LIFE with all of your loved and dear ones...
Coffee Cookie Chocolate Birthday Cake Recipe
{free of gluten, dairy, soy, corn, nuts and seeds}

1 1/4 cup of gluten free oat flour
1/2 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup of tapioca flour
1/4 cup of potato starch
1/4 cup of coconut flour
3/4 cup of coconut palm sugar
1/2 cup of cocoa powder
2 ts. of baking powder (I use Hain brand)
1 ts. of baking soda
1 ts. of sea salt

1/3 cup of maple syrup
1 1/4 cup of date puree ***This involves pouring 1 cup boiling water over a heaping cup (1 cup) of pitted dates and letting it sit for 5-10 minutes and then blending in a high powered blender to whip up a creamy date-pudding like substance.

1 ts. of pure vanilla
1 cup of warmed coconut oil (or avocado oil works here too)
1 cup of coconut milk beverage (I use So Delicious)
1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar

***1 1/4 cup of chocolate chips morsels (Enjoy life brand)
melted in a saucepan with 2-3 TB coconut oil and 2 TB of finely ground decaf coffee

First grind your GF oat flour and mix well with all the other dry ingredients. Then mix in the wet ingredients, and date puree. You can add in the warmed oil as well and then lastly add in the melted chocolate and coffee...

Lastly, melt together the chocolate chips with some coconut oil and the ground coffee. Do not let the heat up above low and once it starts to melt you can almost turn off the heat and just keep stirring and it will continue to melt as you stir. Use about 1 cup of the melted chocolate mixture for the cake batter and save 1/2 cup or so of the mixture for the frosting later on...

Mix well and you will start to see the vinegar and baking powder do it's work and make the batter poof up a bit. split batter in half and pour evenly into a coconut-oil-lined baking pans. 

I bake mine in (2) 9x9 circle pans in a 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes or until it is no longer wet and giggling. The cake should show a clean toothpick from the middle of the cake and firm, but soft. no wetness. Pull from the oven and let it cool completely.

When it is cool completely, it will be ready to frost. 

Coffee Chocolate Frosting Recipe
{gluten, dairy, egg, soy, nut, and seed-free}

1 1/2 cup of Spectrum Organic Palm Oil Shortening
1/2 cup of organic powdered sugar (with tapioca starch)
1-2 TB of maple syrup drizzle
1-2 TB of honey drizzle
1-2 TB of cocoa powder
pinch of sea salt

***1/2 cup of the warmed chocolate chips (Enjoy life brand), coconut oil and coffee mixture

In a large mixing bowl, put in all of the ingredients and then use a hand held whisk mixer and whip of the frosting on HIGH for 1 minutes until soft and creamy. Then frost the cooled cake. I transfer a cake to a plate and then cover with frosting on the top and spread thin and then place the second cake on top and spread on more frosting on top of that. You can spread frosting around the edges too and then sprinkle and decorate with the following...

1 cup of cookie crumbles (Glutino Chocolate Cream Sandwich Cookies)
1-2 TB of finely ground decaf coffee grounds 
1 pint of fresh, washed and dried raspberries 

Hope you ENJOY! Happy Baking :)

Much love and light to you, xoxo,

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Spiced Banana Sharing Bread

I made two. One for enjoying and one for sharing. What if I looked at all my life like this?!? There is always someone who needs. A neighbor... a dear notice it more once you take a moment. Whether it comes to the extreme of those who lost everything in a recent storm or hurricane, fire or flood. Or maybe it is someone you know that is going without. Without health care, medicine, food, or daily needs. Or maybe it is someone you know who lost someone close to them, or a baby, or the list can go on and on when it comes to loss and grief. The moment I had today thinking of all those in my own arms length going through hard things- and thinking of my own anxious heart- we are all in this together. We can do these hard things together. And sometimes it starts with sharing a loaf of bread.
So this bread officially is being called 'sharing bread' :) Because you can make this recipe and easily pour it into 2 pans. One for you... And one for your neighbor...Or a friend. It is an easy loaf to whip up on the whim if you got a mountain of ripened bananas that need either to get frozen or baked. It is spiced and topped with love and shared with even more love. You can't go wrong with a warm banana bread in my opinion ;)
We're all going through hard things, so let's do this together. It is always so easy to focus on your own hard things, but if we practice sharing you can start to see beyond your own weary heart and share in an other's weary heart. And why not share with some bread to, amiright?!? Happy baking friends and also...happy sharing! xoxo
Spiced Banana Sharing Bread Recipe
{gluten, dairy, egg, seed, nut and soy-free}

1 cup of mashed ripe banana
1/2 cup of date paste puree
2/3 cup of plant based milk (I used coconut milk beverage)
1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup of maple syrup
1/3 cup of avocado oil
2 TB of molasses
2/3 cup of coconut palm sugar
1 ts. of ground cinnamon
1 ts. of ground nutmeg
1 ts. of ground ginger
1 1/4 cup of finely ground certified GF oat flour
1/2 cup of white rice flour
1/3 cup of tapioca flour
1/4 cup of potato starch
1/4 cup of coconut flour
2 ts. of baking powder
1 ts. of baking soda
1 ts. of sea salt

1/2 cup of my Cinnamon Crunch Granola Cereal

In a large mixing bowl, mashed up the ripened bananas and then add all the rest of the wet ingredients. Then fold in the dry ingredients and whisk together well. Pour half the batter into a parchment lined bread pan, and then pour the rest into pan #2. Cheap foil baking pans are a great one to use with this recipe because you can easily wrap up and share. You can even wash out these pans and reuse again too. I topped my loaves with some of my Cinnamon Crunch Granola Cereal as a topping and then baked in a 350 degree oven for 50 minutes on a middle shelf. 

Let cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting into or wrapping up for best results. This loaf is a warming and comforting treat or gift as we transition into the fall months. 

And now I get to share ;) this recipe with you :) Hope you enjoy, bake, and share...
Much love and light to you as always, xoxo