Blog Archives

Make-Ahead Slow Cooker Apple Cranberry Oatmeal

I’m sharing a recipe for make-ahead slow cooker apple cranberry oatmeal over at The Balanced Platter today! If you need a quick-and-easy solution to breakfast, head on over there to check it out!

Chia Pecan Peach Parfait

Check out that title – say that five times fast! Love me some alliterations.

Almost as much as I love the prettiness and simplicity of a yogurt parfait. (Okay, kinda corny segue, I admit.) There’s just something about taking just a few minutes to layer fruit, yogurt, and nuts and making it look like dessert that makes a morning feel special. But this dessert-for-breakfast isn’t like sneaking a slice of pie the day after Thanksgiving for your morning meal (although pie does go really well with coffee…). It’s actually healthy for you, offering a good dose of fiber, healthy fats, and probiotics.

A bonus? It’s easily made in advance and can be made totally portable. Just take a glass jar or container and prepare it in there instead. It’ll keep just fine overnight. In fact, I recently made little parfaits like these in small jars to take on a road trip. I made them the night before, and they were a lovely little breakfast treat for us on our ride. Of course, they’re not just for breakfast – you could totally pack one in a lunchbox as dessert or afternoon treat.

While I love the combination of chia seeds, pecans, and peaches, this parfait is endlessly adaptable. Cherries and almonds? Apples and walnuts? Bananas and chocolate chips? (What, chocolate chips can be part of a healthy diet, right?) They all sound good to me. Use whatever is in season or whatever you like. But whatever you do, take a moment to treat yourself to “healthy dessert” for breakfast!

Print Recipe

Chia Pecan Peach Parfait (gluten-free, vegan)

1 6-oz container plain non-dairy yogurt (I like So Delicious or Amande)

1 peach, cut into large dice

1/2 T chia seeds

About 10-12 pecan halves (1/2 oz)

In a parfait fish (or glass jar), spoon a third of the yogurt in the bottom. Top with a third of the diced peaches. Sprinkle a few chia seeds and pecans over. Repeat this process twice more. Refrigerate if not served immediately.

Serves 1.

This post is linked to 5-Ingredient Mondays over at The Daily Dietribe.

Rhubarb-Walnut Muffins

Fresh Rhubarb

Rhubarb isn’t a really common food around Texas. Apparently, if you mention rhubarb around these parts, the response you are likely to get is “What’s that?”, or “You’re not from around here, are you?”. I also got “Isn’t that green?” as a response from more than one person. (Well, yes, sometimes it’s kinda green, with some red…) While I didn’t grow up eating this vegetable-parading-around-as-fruit, I do have a very fond memory of my great aunt, who lives in Washington, making us a rhubarb crisp when we visited one summer. Actually, I have quite a few fond memories of that summer. You see, my great aunt and uncle live in this little house on the southern portion of the bay, a ways from Tacoma and Olympia. Their house is a drive from any major city, and you’d get lost if you didn’t know where you were going trying to find the place. But as you pull up, the tall, evergreen trees are everywhere. The front of the house is across the street from what feels like endless amounts of forest. It’s quiet, except for the sounds of birds. As you walk around the side of the house, there are trees and huckleberry bushes. The back of the house is on stilts, and below is a rocky beach. As a young girl, this was paradise. I remember spending all day outdoors while we were there, playing. I’d go down to the beach and watch gulls and peer at distant neighbors, digging for clams in the sandy spots. I’d catch as many hermit crabs as any one girl could carry. I even helped a hurt baby chipmunk (I say helped, I might have simply frightened him more by picking him up, showing my Mom, and eventually releasing him back into the woods). I remember going out on their deck, and how relaxing and beautiful the entire place was. But I also remember meandering into the kitchen, hungry from playing, to find my grandmother, great aunt and Mom working and talking. And that rhubarb crisp! It was slightly tart, sweet, and so delicious. Unbelievably so.

And then I proceeded to not eat rhubarb again, that I can recall, for 20 years or so. But still the wonder of this vegetable, and that memory, holds its grip on my attention.

Being a food blogger is a funny thing. Over time, you read a lot of other food blogs. A LOT. I’ve been blogging for nearly four years, and I’ve learned so much about seasons and all types of foods from all areas of the world and even in my own country in that time. For instance, in spring, people in the Northeast part of the U.S. rave about ramps and fiddleheads, two things I’ve always been curious about, but have never even seen in person before. Of course, I imagine there are quite a few of those bloggers that have never seen purple hull peas, okra, or nopales (cactus), things that are pretty common around here. It’s part of what I love about food – there are still some delightful things that can only be found in certain regions. I hope it stays that way – it makes food special.

However, that doesn’t mean I don’t want to try to experience foods outside my region. Like rhubarb. I’ve only recently seen it in grocery stores in the past few years, but that’s only in frozen bags. However, this summer, all of a sudden, I’ve seen it everywhere – at higher-end groceries and even the normal Kroger down the street from me. Big, juicy red stalks of rhubarb. So I set aside my “I usually try to eat local” mindset, and viewed it as a sign. I’d have to try my hand at making something with rhubarb.

And so I did. First on the list? A rhubarb crisp, of course. It wasn’t anything special, and not much different than this peach-pear crisp – only I substituted chopped walnuts for the almonds, and threw some quinoa flakes in there. But it was tasty. Not as good as the memory of my first (Isn’t that the funny thing about food memories?), but good nonetheless. The real challenge (and success), though, was muffins.

These muffins were based on a gluten-full recipe. If any of you have tried to convert a regular recipe to a gluten-free version, you know it’s not always just about substituting one flour for another. Besides, I have to throw dairy-free in there as well, so I have to exercise a lot of freedom in my adaptations. This means that my recipes don’t always turn out the first, second, or even third times. However, this one was perfect right out of the gate. Fluffy, moist, lightly sweet muffins, studded with sweet-tart rhubarb and chopped walnuts. They make the perfect hearty breakfast or afternoon snack, and they showcase this lovely vegetable in a way that makes my heart smile. My coworkers have been enjoying them all week long (many of which were the same people wondering what rhubarb was). They also freeze well, so feel free to bake some up and then store some away for future breakfasts. This recipe makes 2 dozen muffins, so there will be plenty of extras. Feel free to halve the recipe as well.

While I’m not likely to start buying rhubarb often, it’s lovely to find it once a season, bake up these muffins, and relive those childhood memories.

Rhubarb-Walnut Muffins (gluten-free, dairy-free)

1 1/4 c brown rice flour

1 1/4 c sorghum flour

3/4 c potato starch

2 T ground flaxseed meal

1 T psyllium husk

2 t baking powder

1 t baking soda

1 t cinnamon

1 t kosher salt

2 eggs at room temperature

1 c non-dairy milk (I used coconut milk beverage, but almond milk or hemp milk could also be used)

1 T apple cider vinegar

3/4 c coconut oil, melted and cooled

2 t vanilla extract

1 1/4 c coconut palm sugar

1/4 c agave nectar or honey

1 c chopped walnuts

2 c diced rhubarb, frozen or fresh

About 4 T coarse turbinado sugar, for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 muffin tins with cupcake papers. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the brown rice flour, sorghum flour, potato starch, flaxseed, psyllium, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the non-dairy milk, apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, vanilla, coconut sugar, and agave nectar.

Add the wet ingredients into the dry and stir well to combine. Add the walnuts and rhubarb and stir again thoroughly.

Spoon 1/4 cup of batter into each cupcake paper. Sprinkle the tops with turbinado sugar. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Makes 2 dozen muffins.

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays over at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free.

Whole Food Spicy Green “Juice”

Did you happen to overindulge this weekend? I did, just a bit – too much barbecue, and one too many helpings of dessert. I don’t regret it one bit, but now my body is craving lighter, fresher fare. This morning, as I woke up, I knew what I needed was some raw greens.

I am no stranger to green smoothies. I have them several times a week, at least, as part of my breakfast. You often don’t see them here, as I’m usually throwing random fruits and vegetables in the blender at 5:00 AM so that I can take it with me to the office. Not a lot of time to photograph during my morning routine. Furthermore, there are rarely “recipes” I follow when making my smoothies – it’s a “little of this,  a handful of that” and a bit of blending, and breakfast is ready. But since today is a day off, I figured it would be a great opportunity to share with you one of my favorite refreshing smoothies.

It’s almost not a smoothie. A juice, really - only the pulp is not removed. (I don’t have a juicer; if I did, I’d certainly use this combination to make a great juice as well!) I figure I’m getting my fiber in this way, so it’s a win-win, right? But rather than the creaminess that often accompanies smoothies, this one is lighter and thinner, so it’s more of a “whole-food” juice.

It’s my blog, I can call it what I want, right?

Anyway. Again, it’s not truly a recipe, more of a guideline. I didn’t measure. If you don’t have something, just omit it or substitute something else. I opted to not make it sweet – if you want it sweeter, feel free to throw some apple in there. Or stevia. Whatever floats your boat. My version is spicy, refreshing, and invigorating. I like it that way – it’s an excellent way to jump-start my morning.

Whole Food Spicy Green “Juice”

2 big handfuls of spinach

about 1/4 cup parsley

1 stalk celery, cut into chunks

1 small cucumber, peeled

1 inch piece of ginger, peeled

juice of 1 lemon

6 ice cubes plus enough water to blend

Place all ingredients into a high-powered blender. Blend until everything is smooth and frothy.

Drink immediately, as this “juice” will separate.

Note: If you don’t have a high-powered blender, you can use a regular blender, but it may take quite a bit longer to get everything smooth and all of the small bits might not be blended completely. However, you can definitely make smoothies in a regular blender – I did for a long time before dear hubby gave me the VitaMix!

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays over at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free, Friday Foodie Fix over at The W.H.O.L.E. Gang, and Wellness Weekends at Diet, Dessert and Dogs.

Looking for more gluten-free smoothie ideas? Check out this conversation over at Udi’s Gluten-Free Living Community!

 

Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Bread (Grain-Free, Dairy-Free)

Remember cinnamon raisin toast? That warm, slightly sweet slice of bread, swirled with cinnamon and studded with raisins, slathered with butter, made the best breakfast. We didn’t have it often when I was growing up, but it was a treat when it was around. I didn’t realize just how special it was until I went gluten and dairy-free, and could no longer enjoy it.

Then it became another one of those fond food memories, forever tucked away in my brain, pulled out only every once in a while for reminiscing.

Then one day, I decided that I needed to bring back a version of that breakfast treat. I don’t often make or eat breads anymore, but an exception needed to be made for this. But I wanted to make it both full of nutrition and full of that cinnamon-y goodness. I also wanted to make it grain-free, since I feel best when I’m not consuming too much in the way of grains (and subsequently, that also makes it paleo-friendly and lower-carb).

I wasn’t sure the best way to go about making a grain-free bread, but then I remembered the bread I’d made based on AndreAnna’s recipe a while back when I adopted her for Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger. That recipe used almond butter. The wheels started turning. Could I do the same with this loaf? I started to play around with the batter.

After 3 tries, I got it down. It’s a lovely, hearty little loaf that rose well, had a subtle sweetness packed with cinnamon, and in every bite, a raisin or a walnut. I love that baking with almond butter brings a gorgeous brown shine to the top of the loaf. The slices held together beautifully as well, and were moist – quite a feat for gluten-free baking. I decided to spread a little coconut spread on a slice, heat it up a skillet, and toasted it on both sides. Heaven.

Print Recipe

Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Bread (Grain-Free, Dairy-Free, Paleo)

½ c almond butter

1 T coconut oil

2 medium eggs at room temperature

1 t lemon juice

2 ½ T arrowroot powder

½ t salt

¼ t vanilla extract

¼ t baking soda

1 T plus 1 t cinnamon

¼ c Medjool dates, chopped

¼ c raisins

½ c walnuts, toasted and chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a small/mini loaf pan with coconut oil and set aside. In the bowl of a mixer, blend the almond butter, coconut oil, eggs, and lemon juice until well-blended. Add arrowroot powder, salt, vanilla extract, baking soda, cinnamon and date. Blend again until well-blended. Add the raisins and walnuts and stir in.

Scrape batter into prepared loaf pan. Smooth out on top with spatula.

Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely before slicing.

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free.

 

Portobello Mushroom Egg Pizza

Sometimes, dinner (or breakfast, or lunch) just has to be fast. Easy. A no-brainer. And sometimes, you just didn’t adequately plan ahead of time so that you could make this happen. Then what do you do?

This was my story, the evening after I ran Warrior Dash. I came home and scarfed a bit of leftover salad from the fridge, showered to get rid of the 1,000 pounds of mud from my body, and made myself presentable enough to take the kids out for a promised pizza dinner. (Yes, sometimes the kids get junk food.) By the time we got back home, I was suddenly famished (obviously, my salad “snack” wasn’t enough) and craving pizza. I hadn’t made plans for a meal beforehand, since we were taking the kids out. I figured I would rummage something up for myself. Only for some reason, I’d underestimated a) how hungry and b) how tired I would be.

So my “rummaging” turned up some portobello mushrooms that needed to be used up, some eggs, and a few pantry ingredients – tomato paste, olives, and a bit of Daiya cheese I’d stashed in the freezer. I was going to make some sort of pizza, I’d decided. It might not be traditional, but it would be nutritious, easy, and hopefully tasty.

Indeed it was. I had the “pizzas” ready to go into the oven in about 5 minutes (although it took longer than that to allow the oven to heat up) and could relax for a few minutes while they baked in the oven. In less than 30 minutes, and with the few dishes I used already washed (a bonus!), I had dinner – two gigantic portobello pizzas, enough to serve 2 people (with a side salad, perhaps). I paused just long enough to get this somewhat decent photo taken for you before both were gone. And I’m not apologizing for that.

These indeed hit the spot. They were delicious. The portobello provided a lovely, meaty base for the “pizza”, and the olives and seasoned tomato paste gave it the “pizza” flavor I was after. The egg just gave it a delicious, rich sauce, as I only baked it long enough to set the whites, leaving the yolk all warm and runny. So. So. Good.

All of a sudden as I’m writing this, I’m hungry for another one of these. I might have to accidentally-on-purpose make some more this weekend.

Portobello Mushroom Egg Pizza

2 large portobello mushroom caps, stems hollowed out

Olive oil or baking spray

salt and pepper

1/3 c tomato paste

1 t Italian seasoning or pizza seasoning

1/2 t garlic powder

1/2 t onion powder

8-10 black olives, sliced (I used Kalamata)

1/4 c dairy-free cheese (such as Daiya)

2 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray or brush mushrooms with oil and season the insides with salt and pepper and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. In a small bowl, stir together the tomato paste, Italian seasoning, garlic and onion powder. Spread the sauce over the inside of the mushrooms. Sprinkle olives and dairy-free cheese over. Carefully crack one egg on top of each.

Place baking sheet in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until eggs are set to your liking. Remove and serve.

Serves 2, or one very hungry person.

Note: You can use any toppings you like on these pizzas. Roasted red peppers, pepperoni, cooked crumbled Italian sausage, ham, jalapenos, artichokes – anything goes!

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free.

 

 

 

 

Daring Bakers: Grain-Free Croissants

 The Daring Bakers go retro this month! Thanks to one of our very talented non-blogging members, Sarah, the Daring Bakers were challenged to make Croissants using a recipe from the Queen of French Cooking, none other than Julia Child!

Yeah, when I read that, I got a lump in my throat. You know the kind – it was exactly like a cartoon character, facing imminent doom, swallowing that lump with the audible “gulp”. Scary.

Why so scary? Well, in addition to making gluten-free croissants (Kate over at Gluten-Free Gobsmacked has successfully made those, and they look amazing), since I really haven’t been consuming grains lately, I wanted to make them grain-free. And who has heard of grain-free, dairy-free, yeast-free croissants? Not me. But I figured I’d give it a shot. They wouldn’t be flaky in the traditional sense, but I’d try my best to make something edible and resembling a croissant.

And so I got started. I made a stiff dough and chilled it. I pounded out butter and chilled it too. I then read through the instructions posted on the Daring Bakers challenge, and in the spirit of how Julia Child makes her croissants, I folded over the dough multiple times, rolled it out, and eventually (very carefully) rolled up my croissants.

How did they come out? Well, like I said, not flaky in the traditional sense. However, they were edible. Tender even. I would have liked them a touch sweeter, actually, but overall, I was surprised that they came out. They’d definitely be tasty to dip into a sauce at dinner. It’s definitely a recipe worth investigating further.

I’ll consider this a win for me!

Grain-Free, Dairy-Free Croissants

1 c almond flour

1/2 c coconut flour

1/2 t baking soda

1 t salt

2 eggs

1/4 c non-dairy milk (I used So Delicious unsweetened coconut beverage)

1/4 c vegan butter*

1 egg white, for brushing

1 t turbinado sugar

Whisk together the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs until frothy and add the non-dairy milk and whisk in. Add the wet ingredients to dry and stir to incorporate. The dough should be barely sticky; add additional almond flour as needed. On a large sheet of parchment paper, pat out dough to about 1/2 inch thick. Place another sheet of parchment paper on top and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, take another sheet of parchment paper and stick the butter on it. Place another sheet of parchment paper on top, and using a roller pin, pound out the butter until it’s about 1/8 inch thick. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and sprinkle with a bit of almond flour and roll out into 1/4 – 1/8 inch thick rectangle between the two sheets of parchment (if you’re having difficulty with the parchment sticking to the dough, sprinkle with a bit more almond flour. With some care, you ought to be able to peel away the parchment and leave the dough in one piece). Scrape butter from the paper and spread out onto the top two-thirds of the dough.

spreading out butter on my not-so-rectangular rectangle of dough

Fold the bottom third up. Fold the top third over the bottom third.

dough folded into thirds

Turn the dough 90 degrees, and roll out again to 1/4-1/8 inches.

turning dough 90 degrees

Repeat the process of folding in thirds and rolling out 4 times. After it’s rolled out for the final time, cover with parchment and stick in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Remove the dough from refrigerator and cut into about 9 squares with a pizza cutter. Cut each square in half diagonally to make two triangles out of each square.

cutting dough into triangles

Carefully roll up each triangle into a croissant shape, and place on a lined baking sheet. Curve the ends.

rolling up croissants

Brush each croissant with the egg white, and sprinkle a bit of turbinado sugar over each.

Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.

 *vegan butter such as Earth Balance isn’t entirely grain-free, as it has ingredients derived from corn and soy, but you could possibly substitute shortening for the vegan butter. I’d be interested to see how it turns out.

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays over at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free.

Curried Squash Hash and a Meal Plan 9/19-9/23

 Before August brought the seemingly endless heat, I planted some butternut squash. It started out so well – it grew  by leaps and bounds every day, started blossoming, and gave promise of much delicious winter squash. Then the heat got the best of it. In spite of my watering, my butternut was just no match for 105-110 degree days. (I guess squash isn’t a desert plant!) I had three small butternut squashes from one plant before they all shriveled up, like just about everything else in the garden.

All but one, that is. A few weeks ago, seemingly from nowhere, I had one last plant that got a second wind and started to grow again. I was unsure whether it would be strong enough to set any fruit, but yesterday, when I went out to water, I noticed two blossoms on it. So I’m hopeful that we’ll get a few more butternut squash from my garden before the season is over.

These three small squash were used in this hash for breakfast yesterday morning. Along with some zucchini, a bit of onion, and some spices, this was a hearty, wake-up-your-tastebuds change from the usual morning fare. I topped mine with some perfectly fried eggs.

This week is back-to-reality time for us, as we go back to work after taking a week off and traveling. I started to get prepared by boiling some eggs for our lunches, and hoped to make some more granola bars (recipe will be in my book!) for my husband. However, my usual marathon Sunday cooking was short-circuited by some air conditioning issues we started having. The oven was turned off (along with just about every light in the house) when the house started heating up. We had it working for a while, but I already deviated from the meal plan, swapping meatloaf (Sunday’s planned meal) for a cooler, simpler option planned for Monday night – grilled chicken with salad. Here’s to hoping the A/C is in full working order later this week so I can still use the oven. Meatloaf will have to wait until this next weekend – good thing I have room in the freezer for the meat!

Monday:

Breakfast: hard-boiled eggs, leftover asparagus, carrots, and spaghetti squash

Morning snack: pear

Lunch: garden salad topped with grilled chicken breast with a homemade honey mustard dressing

Dinner: leftover curried chicken wings, mashed potatoes, green beans (A/C guy is coming this afternoon, so this may be very up in the air!)

Tuesday:

Breakfast: leftover chicken breast, spinach-blueberry-banana smoothie

Lunch: leftover curried chicken wings, carrots, spinach, pear

Dinner: chicken piccata, spaghetti squash, broccoli

Wednesday:

Breakfast: eggs, spinach-peach smoothie

Lunch: leftover chicken piccata, spaghetti squash, broccoli

Dinner: pumpkin shepherd’s pie (if this is successful, I’ll share the recipe!), braised cabbage

Thursday:

Breakfast: eggs, braised cabbage

Lunch: leftover pumpkin shepherd’s pie, tangelo

Dinner: roasted whole chicken, zucchini and sun-dried tomato casserole, mashed sweet potatoes

Friday:

Breakfast: leftover chicken and sweet potatoes

Lunch: leftover zucchini casserole, eggs

Dinner: out – it’s Brandan’s 15th birthday, so we’ll be celebrating!

 

…and now, for the curried squash hash.

Curried Squash Hash, inspired by Everyday Paleo

1 T coconut oil

1 1/2 c diced butternut squash

1/2 c diced zucchini

1/4 c diced red onion

2 t Madras curry powder

1/2 t cinnamon

A couple pinches of salt

Heat a large, heavy skillet to medium-high heat. Add coconut oil and allow to melt, swirling around the pan to coat. Toss butternut squash, zucchini, onion, curry powder, cinnamon, and salt together in a large bowl. Add to skillet and saute, allowing to cook undisturbed for a minute or two at a time before stirring, so that the pieces of squash get browned and crisp. When squash is tender, remove from heat and adjust seasoning as needed. This should take about 6-8 minutes.

Enjoy unadorned, or toss in crumbled, cooked bacon, and top with fried or poached eggs.

Hope you have a great week!

 This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays over at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free and was shared at Gluten-Free Detroit Metro for GF Menu Swap.

Menu Plan June 27-July 1, plus a Summer Squash Chicken Frittata

Where have the menu plans gone? You might be asking. They haven’t been posted on my blog for a few weeks now. Well, long story short, I was on vacation for 2 weeks. While I had vague ideas of what I planned on cooking, I was in the midst of testing so many recipes for my upcoming book, and our schedule was so lax, that I didn’t have an actual “plan.” (In fact, there were evenings where, after hours of cooking and testing recipes, my husband asked what was for dinner, and my only plan was something like “There are brownies, a cake, crackers, bread, some tomato jam, and I’m working on a meatloaf. Would you like any of that?”  I had tons of food around, but often, there wasn’t a cohesive meal in sight.) Last week, I was still in post-vacation recovery mode, and a lot of the meals were last-minute compilations of what we needed to use up. Finally, this week, we’re back into the swing of things.

One of the recipes I was testing during my time off was a recipe I debuted last year, albeit in a slightly different form, as an appetizer for a crowd of guests (gluten and dairy eaters) that were visiting. Originally it was called an “appetizer square”, and was made with zucchini and crumbled pork sausage, rather than summer squash and chicken. It obviously went over well, as the pieces were gobbled down fairly quickly. When I came across it again, I remembered the abundance of squash in the refrigerator, and decided to make a different version. It turned out to be even better than the first, in my opinion.

What’s lovely about a recipe like this is that it’s versatile. Zucchini or summer squash can be used – and this time of year, most of us have more of both of these veggies than we’d like, so it’s a great way to use it up! Any leftover cooked meat can be used – or even beana (I could imagine black beans tasting scrumptious here!). Spice it how you’d like. Serve it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or as an appetizer. The sky is the limit here.

Summer Squash Chicken Frittata (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)

½ c olive oil, divided

½ c diced onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 t minced fresh sage

½ lb diced cooked chicken

½ t ground cumin

1 t herbs de Provence

1 t chile powder

4 whole eggs

½ c almond flour

¼ c coconut flour

1 T baking powder

3 c grated summer squash or zucchini

½ c Daiya cheese (or other non-dairy cheese)

1 T nutritional yeast flakes

½ t salt

¼ t ground black pepper

Heat a skillet to medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add onions to skillet and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add garlic, sage, and chicken and sauté for another minute. Remove and allow to cool while you prepare the rest of the dish.

Grease a 13X9 baking dish and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk eggs until blended, and add the rest of the oil and whisk. Add in the flours, baking powder, onion-garlic-chicken mix, grated squash and remaining ingredients. Spread into prepared baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until browned on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool for 5 minutes and cut into squares. Makes 16 appetizer servings.

And now, for the menu for this week!

Monday

Breakfast: Healthy chocolate zucchini muffin, scrambled egg whites with spinach and tomato

Lunch: Roasted turkey breast, leftover veggies from Sunday dinner (grilled asparagus, green beans)

Dinner: Chicken with mole sauce, steamed brown rice, steamed broccoli

Tuesday

Breakfast: Smoothie with strawberries, spinach, protein powder, almond milk and chia seeds, scrambled egg whites with Daiya cheese

Lunch: Roasted turkey breast with baby carrots and steamed spinach, unless there are leftovers from dinner

Dinner: Garden salad, Meatballs

Wednesday

Breakfast: Healthy chocolate zucchini muffin, scrambled egg whites with spinach and tomatoes

Lunch: Garden salad with roasted turkey breast or tuna

Dinner: Brined pork chops, roasted sweet potatoes, steamed cauliflower and spinach

Thursday

Breakfast: Smoothie with acai berry, protein powder, banana, spinach, and chia seeds, scrambled egg whites

Lunch: Tuna, shredded carrots, and spinach in a brown rice tortilla wrap

Dinner: Grilled salmon, okra and tomatoes, grilled potatoes

Friday

Breakfast: Healthy chocolate zucchini muffin, scrambled egg whites with spinach and tomatoes

Lunch: Creamy tomato tofu soup, gluten-free crackers

Dinner: Fried brown rice with shrimp, green beans

Snacks this week will include fresh peaches, black bean dip on brown rice cakes, and apples with peanut or almond butter. I also have Tanka bars on hand if I need a bit of protein.

Want more great menu ideas? Check out Celiacs In The House and the Gluten-Free Menu Swap!

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free.

Southwestern Omelet and a Call for Recipe Testers

I love eggs. They’re not only healthy, a great source of inexpensive protein (even happy, free-range eggs don’t cost much), and one of the speediest things to cook, they also are SO tasty. One of my favorite ways to enjoy an egg is simply cooked sunny-side up, followed closely by poached. But sometimes, I want something with a little more flair, and more ability to incorporate the plethora of veggies in my kitchen. This is when an omelet is just the thing.

Omelets don’t need to be complicated. Of course, mine aren’t as delicately fancy and thin as some, but for my everyday breakfast, that’s fine by me. Just a single fold – enough to allow the filling inside to get all warm, melty, and mingled with the egg – works for my quick and healthy breakfast. I’ll save the fancier stuff for fancier occasions.

Another bonus about omelets – each one is customizable. That way, if you’re making omelets for other family members, everyone can pick out their favorite fillings. Today, I opted for a Southwestern style – a sauteed mix of shallots, diced tomato, serrano pepper, and spinach, topped with just a tiny bit of Daiya cheese. It was spicy, fresh, and packed with powerful flavors, but light enough so that I had energy to get on with my day. My kind of breakfast.

Southwestern Omelet (makes 1 omelet)

1 T olive oil

2 T sliced shallots

4-5 slices fresh serrano pepper (or more if you’re daring – my chile was HOT!)

1/4 c diced tomato

1 large handful of baby spinach

2 eggs, scrambled

2 T Daiya (or other non-dairy) cheese, or omit

1 T fresh chopped cilantro

Heat a small skillet (mine was about 8 inches) to medium heat and add half of the oil. Saute the shallots and serrano chile for 2-3 minutes or until softened. Add tomato and spinach and continue to saute until spinach is wilted. Remove and set aside in a small bowl. Wipe out the skillet and add the rest of the oil. Swirl to coat well. Lower the heat to medium-low and add the eggs. Allow eggs to sit without stirring for a minute. Once eggs start to cook on the bottom, take a flexible spatula and carefully pull the edges of the eggs away from the skillet and allow the runny part to fill the space underneath. Do this all the way around the omelet. Repeat this once or twice more, or until the egg is starting to set up more. Once nearly set, add your veggie mixture on one side of the omelet and top with Daiya cheese. Top with a bit of cilantro. Then carefully flip the empty side of the omelet over onto the filling, holding the top in place for a moment or two, if necessary, until the egg stays folded. Allow to cook for another 30 seconds or so, and carefully remove from pan and put onto plate.

Enjoy.

Okay, by announcing it here, this makes it official, right? Are you ready? (Am I ready? Eeek!)

I am working on my first e-book! This book will be filled with gluten and dairy-free recipes that are tasty and healthy for the whole family, made from whole foods and real ingredients. But I need your help to make this happen. I will be furiously working on recipes here at home, but I need testers! If you’re interested in testing out recipes, please send me an email at alta2924 (at) hotmail (dot) com. I hope to be able to have recipe testing start in the next month or so. Thank you in advance for all of your help! This is a huge step for me, and I have so many dreams for this book – I certainly hope it’s as exciting for you as it will be for me!