Healthy(er) Gluten-Free Shepherd’s Pie

In the spirit of St. Patty’s day this past week, I decided to make a shepherd’s pie. I didn’t have any ground lamb, as traditionally used in the Irish recipe, but I did have ground turkey, so I went with it. Cutting back on the calories and fat isn’t a bad thing!

Here’s what I did:

  • 1 lb. Ground Turkey Meat
  • 1 Tbs. Grape Seed Oil (or olive oil)
  • 2 Carrots
  • 1/4 Yellow Onion
  • 1/2 Cup Beef Broth
  • 1 Tbs. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Parsley
  • 1/4 tsp. Thyme
  • 4 Russet Potatoes
  • Butter
  • Almond Milk (or regular milk)
  • S&P to taste

Preheat oven to 375.

In a medium-sized pot (on medium heat), I poured the oil and allowed it to heat a bit while I chopped my onion and carrot. I added those to the oil and allowed them to soften while I got the rest of the ingredients ready. I added the thyme and parsley and mixed together.

In a separate pot, I began heating salted water to cook the potatoes. I washed, peeled and chopped the potatoes and added them to the boiling pot of water.

Once the carrot and onion mixture had begun to soften, I added the ground turkey and mashed down with a fork, mixing all the ingredients together. I added the 1 tsp. of salt, Worcestershire sauce, covered, and allowed to cook together for about 5 minutes. I stirred the mixture and added the beef broth, covered again and allowed the turkey to brown completely, stirring a couple more times and removing from heat.

Once the potatoes could be punctured with a fork, I drained and moved them to my mixing bowl. I added some butter (about 1/4 Cup, give or take) and about 1/2 Cup almond milk. I beat with a hand mixer and added salt and pepper to taste. (Feel free to add more butter/milk to your liking).

In a glass pie pan, I poured the meat mixture evenly as my base coat. I then scooped the mashed potatoes into dollops on top and then evenly spread to the edges.

I baked the pie for about 15  minutes, just until the mashed potatoes began to get a little crisp along the edges of the pan.

Slainte and ENJOY!!!

Homemade Granola!!

Do you love cereals and granola but worry about the sugar content and other additives? Try this SUPER easy recipe and trust that you’re consuming delicious, natural ingredients without the preservatives or additives.

This granola was SO easy to make and probably the best I’ve ever had. I have enjoyed it for breakfast and as an after-dinner snack, both with unsweetened almond milk (you could also use regular milk or yogurt).

Here’s what I did (in approximation):

  • 2 Cups Organic, Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
  • 1/4 Cup Melted Coconut Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Grape Seed Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Raw Honey
  • 1/3 Cup Dried Cranberries (unsweetened)
  • 1/2 Cup Mixed Nuts (almonds, walnuts, pistachios and pumpkin seeds)
  • Sprinkle Cinnamon (to your liking)

I preheated oven to 300. In a mixing bowl, combine oats, coconut oil, grape seed oil and honey. Mix together well, you want the oats to be completely coated but not drenched. Sprinkle a little cinnamon, add the mixed nuts and mix together once more.

Spread this mixture out on a baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees (mixing a couple times) for 20 minutes. Lower heat to 250 degrees and bake for another 10 minutes, mixing again in between (you don’t want the granola to burn or cook unevenly).

Remove from oven and pour the dried cranberries on top. Mix together and allow granola to cool completely before eating.

*Tip* You can use any nuts you want, bake them the same way I did. You can use any dried fruit you want, just add it at the end the way I did when the granola is out of the oven but still warm.

*Skin-care tip* Oats are great for many skin conditions! Ever heard of an oatmeal bath? Known to sooth and calm the skin, lower blood sugar levels and prevent heart disease, oats are good for the inside out! Healthy skin starts within!

Spicy Red Curry Chicken

Are you ever in the mood for Thai food but don’t feel like leaving the house? Maybe you don’t know all the ingredients that the restaurant is putting in your food and that bothers you! Well, here you go!

Here’s what I did:

  • 2 lbs. Boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 Cup Unsweetened Coconut Milk
  • 3 Tbs. Red Curry Paste
  • 1 Tbs. Curry Powder
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. Fresh Chopped Ginger
  • 1 Diced Garlic Clove
  • 1/4 Cup Fish Sauce
  • S&P To Taste
  • Dash Cayenne Pepper (to your liking)
  • Fresh, Steamed Broccoli (about 1 cup with stems removed)
  • 1/2 Cup Steamed Edamame
  • Brown Rice or Riced Cauliflower
  • Grape Seed Oil (about 1/2 Tbs.)
  • Fresh Sliced Mango and Cilantro to garnish

I sliced my chicken into short strips and heated them over high heat in a skillet with the oil. I seasoned with salt and  pepper, added the ginger, mixed together and allowed to cook about 1/2 way through.

In a small mixing bowl, I combined the coconut milk, curry paste, curry powder and fish sauce (I actually used a little less than the full 1/4 cup, I filled it about 3/4 of the way to 1/4 cup, if that makes sense).

I poured the mixture over the chicken, covered and reduced heat to medium/low. In my steamer, I steamed the broccoli, then the edamame. After about 15 minutes, I added them to the chicken, covered again and allowed to cook for another 10 minutes or so.

I served this dish over brown rice (gluten-free) but you can also use riced cauliflower (paleo) and sliced mango, which really complimented the flavors. Enjoy with a glass or 3 of Medaloni Cellars Sauvignon Blanc! (If you prefer red with this dish, I’d suggest a Pinot Noir)

*Skin-care tip* Tumeric is found in curry. Tumeric is essential in anti-inflammatory issues and is great at healing acne and even psoriasis!

 

 

Paleo Chicken Marsala

This dish is so savory and satisfying, I absolutely recommend making this for yourself, family and friends! I served mine over pureed zucchini and avocado.

Here’s what I did:

  • 2 lbs Boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • Marsala Wine
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • S&P to taste
  • Almond Meal
  • Arrow Root
  • Eggs
  • Grape Seed Oil
  • Dried Parlsley
  • Sliced button mushrooms

In a large skillet, heat about 1 Tbs. grape seed oil over medium/low heat. Dice about 1 large garlic clove and add to oil.

In a bowl, beat 2 eggs. In another bowl, combine 1 part arrow root and 2 parts almond meal (I had to add some to finish coating the chicken, I used about 1 cup almond meal and 1/2 cup arrow root). Slice the chicken breasts in half (so they’re thinner), dip in egg wash and roll in flour mixture. Place each breast in the skillet evenly.

Sprinkle parsley, salt and pepper and once the chicken begins to cook on the edges, flip over and repeat. Pour the marsala wine over everything, enough to come up to the chicken but not cover it.

Dice 1/2 yellow onion and add to the chicken. Add about 12 ounces of sliced mushrooms, cover and allow to simmer for about 25-30 minutes.

For Zucchini mash: 1 large zucchini, 1/2 avocado.

Slice one large zucchini down the center the long way, turn each half on it’s side and slice once more, each. Cut into small cubed pieces and add to a small skillet heated with a little grape seed oil. Cover and allow to cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat, or until you can puncture with a fork. Add the zucchini and avocado to your food processor (leaving an opening on the top so heat can escape). Blend until completely smooth.

Serve your marsala over the zucchini mash! Enjoy!! I had Old Moon Zinfandel with this dish.

 

Paleo Chicken Piccata (DELISH!)

20160216_195446.jpg20160216_194216.jpgOk, so eating healthy can sometimes be a challenge, am I right? Sometimes you just want the yummy, buttery dish that your grandma used to make or that they served at your favorite Italian restaurant…WELL, you’re welcome in advance because not only is this dish Paleo, Gluten-Free, AND healthy, but it is DELICIOUS! My very picky husband inhaled it and didn’t even ask if it was paleo or gluten-free.

Here’s what I did:

  • Almond Meal
  • Arrow Root
  • Marinated Artichoke Hearts
  • Lemon Juice (and fresh slices)
  • Garlic
  • Chicken Breast (boneless, skinless. I used about 2 1/2 breasts)
  • Capers
  • Butter
  • Eggs
  • Grape Seed Oil
  • S&P to taste

In a small mixing bowl, beat 2 eggs. In another, combine 2 parts almond meal and 1 part arrow root. Mix together with a fork.

In a large skillet, pour a small amount of oil over medium heat. Cut your chicken breasts down the center so they’re more thin, (you might even want to cut twice, depending on how thick they are). Mince some fresh garlic cloves (I used 1, large) and place in the skillet (careful not to burn).

Coat each piece of chicken in the egg and then roll in the almond meal mixture until completely coated and place in the skillet. Once all the chicken is in the skillet, allow to heat until the edges begin to cook through and squeeze some fresh lemon over everything (I like a lot of lemon, so I used 2 lemons). Sprinkle some salt and pepper to taste. Flip the chicken over and repeat.

Once the chicken is about 1/2 way cooked, pour your marinated artichoke hearts, juice included, over everything and add some capers (I used 3/4 of a 12 oz. jar of artichoke hearts and about 2 Tbs. of capers). Slice some lemon and place them on top.

Take about 1 Tbs. butter and cut into small pieces, place in between chicken. Reduce heat to low/medium/low, cover and allow to simmer for about 25 minutes.

I served this over steamed/mashed cauliflower with Napa River Chardonnay!

Perfect Paleo Banana Bread

This is THE MOST moist and delicious paleo bread I’ve had yet! I made it on a whim and was absolutely amazed at how good it was…Here’s what I did:

  • 3 Ripe Bananas
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 4 Tbs. Honey
  • 1 Cup Almond Meal
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut Flour
  • 1/4 Cup Arrow Root
  • Palm Shortening to grease pan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease the bread/loaf pan with palm shortening.

In my food processor, I put the bananas, eggs, vanilla and honey and blended until smooth. I transferred the mixture into a medium-sized bowl and added all remaining ingredients and ,mixed well. I poured the batter into my loaf pan and baked for 45 minutes.

Remove, allow to cool slightly and slice. Enjoy warm with a cup of coffee:)

Mini Paleo Fig Muffins With Vanilla Frosting

These are THE YUMMIEST muffins ever!! I got the great idea from “Eat Drink Paleo”

I made a few modifications, but didn’t use their topping recipe at all. I wanted something creamy and less sweet, so I made the paleo frosting, which is SO good and makes these muffins a real treat for dessert or with a cup of coffee in the morning (I did both:)

MUFFINS:

  • Palm Shortening to grease the muffin tins
  • 1/2 Cup Water (to soften figs)
  • 6 ounces of dried figs (about 3/4 cup or 10-12 figs)
  • 1 1/2 Ripe Banana
  • 3 Tbs. Coconut Flour
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Tbs. Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder

Preheat oven to 365. Grease your muffin tins with the palm shortening. Cut the little stems off of the figs and put them in a small pan with the water. Heat on medium until they begin to enlarge and soften while you prepare the rest of your ingredients (stir occasionally).

In your food processor, combine the eggs, bananas, coconut flour, vanilla and baking powder. Blend on high until completely smooth. Remove the figs from the heat, take them out of the water and add to the other mixture in the food processor. Pulse on high again a few times until the figs are blended evenly in the batter.

Pour the batter in 6 of the cupcake holders (I add water in the empty holders). Bake for 22 minutes and allow to cool.

FROSTING:

  • 1/2 Cup Palm Shortening
  • 1/4 Cup Honey
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Tbs. Arrowroot Powder
  • 2 Tbs. Coconut Flour
  • 1/8th tsp. Salt (I used pink Himalayan sea salt)
  • 2 Tbs. Melted Coconut Oil
  • 2 tsp. Cashew Milk

In your mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except for the coconut oil and cashew milk. Blend on high speed until the batter becomes thick, like frosting. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the coconut oil and cashew milk until blended completely.

Once the muffins have cooled a little bit (you don’t want the frosting to melt off) lather your preferred amount of frosting on each.

If you want to get REAL crazy in the morning, enjoy these with a mimosa, minus the O.J.

Paleo Plantain Honey Bread

If you’re dieting or trying to eat better in general, you may be missing that “starch” in your diet. I know when I’m trying not to eat many carbs or starchy foods like breads and pastas, I feel like I’m being deprived and never really feel full or satisfied.

This bread was really delicious in the morning, toasted with organic peanut butter and a cup of coffee. You can have my pasta but leave me my coffee!

Here’s what I did:

  • 3 Green Plantains
  • 5 Eggs
  • 1/3 Cup Coconut Oil (plus extra to grease pan)
  • 2 Tbs. Coconut Flour
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 Tbs. Raw Honey

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees. Grease your bread loaf pan with a little coconut oil. Peel and cut the plantains and put in your food processor and pulse on high until completely blended. Add the eggs, honey and coconut oil and blend again. Finally add the coconut flour and baking powder and mix one last time.

Pour mixture into your greased pan and bake for 40-45 minutes. Allow to cool, slice and enjoy with some peanut butter and coffee:)20160206_225023.jpg20160206_232823.jpg

Healthy, Gluten-Free Chicken Carbonara

So, as you probably know by now, I LOVE to eat! If food is involved, I’m there. If I ate the way I want to eat, I’d be extremely unhealthy and I’d be concerned with my blood pressure and cholesterol. That’s why I re-create these recipes so I can enjoy everything I WANT to eat without consuming an absurd amount of calories and fat.

I was so completely satisfied with this dish, even without the pasta! I poured the cabonara over mashed cauliflower and thin zucchini noodles, which turned out to be the perfect combo.

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No dish is complete without a glass (or bottle) of wine, in my professional wine-drinking opinion, which is why I decided on the chardonnay, pinot grigio blend. I wanted the buttery flavor of the chardonnay with the light/crisp taste of the pinot grigio.  Let me tell you, Villa Cerrina knows their stuff!

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Here’s What I Did:

  • 1 1/2-2 lbs. Boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1/4 Onion
  • 4 Slices uncured turkey bacon
  • 1 tsp. oil (I used grape seed oil, but you can use olive oil or other)
  • 1/4 Cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 Cup half and half
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbs. arrow root
  • 1 Tbs. butter
  • 1/2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • S&P to taste
  • 3/4 Cup steamed, cut green beans

 

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat and add the onion, chopped. Allow it to cook alone for a couple minutes while stirring occasionally. Once the onion begins to soften, slice the turkey bacon into small, 1/4 inch pieces and add to the onion. Let this combo cook for about 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken, cut into cubes, and sprinkle all seasonings including S&P.

Once the chicken has cooked 1/2 way through, add the chicken broth and lemon juice and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the half and half, butter and arrow root, mixing well. Turn heat to medium/low, cover, and let simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked and sauce has thickened.

I cut and steamed the green beans at the end and tossed them into the mixture so they were a little crisp.

For the cauliflower, I literally just steamed the crowns, drained and pulsed on high in my food processor. You really don’t need any seasonings or fillers in this because you want to enjoy the flavor and sauce from the carbonara.

For the zucchini noodles, I peeled the zucchini with a potato peeler on 4 sides until I hit the seeds. I put the noodles in a small skillet with a tiny bit of oil and tossed around frequently with a little salt and pepper. These noodles cooked very briefly because you don’t want them to get soggy, which they will very quickly.

Pour your mixture over the cauliflower and place the zucchini around the outside. Pour yourself a MUCH deserved glass of wine WHILE you cook AND while enjoying this delicious light version of a favorite dish!

 

If You Have A Spoiled Husband…

Homemade BBQ Sauce…Hand-rolled honey wheat AND white pizza dough (for the spoiled husband)20160201_203207.jpg BBQ Chicken Pizza!!!

Because I love my husband…(and don’t feel like listening to him whine) I made him his own “white” pizza, while I enjoyed my honey wheat bbq pizza and here’s what I did:

(Same bbq sauce recipe from the paleo chicken bbq dish, but doubled this for 2 pizzas):

  • 6 oz. Can Organic Tomato Paste
  • 1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 1/4 Cup 100% Maple Syrup
  • 2 Tbs. Honey
  • 2 Tbs. Molasses
  • 1 Tbs. Grape Seed Oil
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Minced Onion
  • 1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1/8 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. 21 Season Salute (Trader Joe’s)
  • 1/8 tsp. Ground Cloves

For Honey Wheat Pizza Dough (same recipe as the pizza I made with veggies)

  • 1 lb. Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast
  • BBQ Sauce (from above)
  • 2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour (plus extra for kneading)
  • 1/4 oz. Pizza Crust Yeast (“Fast and Easy”)
  • 2 tsp. Honey
  • 2/3 Cup Hot Water
  • 3 Tbs. Grape Seed Oil (plus extra for greasing baking sheet)
  • 1/8th Purple Onion (sliced)
  • 1 1/2 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (part skim)
  • Cilantro (for garnish)

In a small sauce pan, combine all ingredients for BBQ sauce, step by step, mixing as you go on medium/low-medium heat. You want the contents to simmer but not boil. Allow this to simmer, mixing occasionally, for about 10 minutes.

Cut the chicken into strips and cook in a skillet with a little oil over medium-medium/high heat, mixing occasionally to cook evenly. Once the chicken is about 3/4 way cooked through, remove from heat.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease your baking sheet (mine was 17 x 12 1/2). In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, yeast and honey and mix together. Slowly add the how water and mix until it forms a “sticky ball”. Remove from bowl and place on a cleaned surface, dusted with flour. Begin to knead the dough, adding more flour as you need so the dough doesn’t stick. Once the dough has been kneaded for about 4 minutes, or until it becomes “elastic”, begin to roll out into a rectangular form. Place on the greased cookie sheet and begin to press down and into the edges (I brush a little oil around the edges).

Bake the dough for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and pour scoops of the BBQ sauce to evenly spread, leaving a little room for the crust. Sprinkle the cheese, then the chicken strips and onion. Bake again for another 10-13 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle cilantro to garnish. Slice and serve!

We enjoyed this with Blue Fin Petite Sirah!