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.

20160203_201948.jpg

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!

20160203_194709.jpg

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!

Brie And Green Apple Grilled Cheese

20160131_201326.jpg

I took some thin slices of prosciutto and laid them on a cookie sheet with some foil. I drizzled some grape seed oil, brown sugar, and cayenne pepper on top and baked at 400 for about 5 minutes, tops.

20160131_201905.jpg

Once they came out of the oven, I put them inside 2 slices of sprouted grain bread with fresh slices of Brie and Gouda cheeses, fresh slices of Granny Smith green apples and arugula. I heated the sandwich in a skillet with a little butter and flipped once it began to brown and the cheeses began to melt. Once the sandwich was browned on both sides, I removed from the heat and sliced the center.

20160131_204141.jpg

On the side, I sliced some English cucumber and plum tomato and put them together in a bowl with a little Red Wine Vinegar, Grape Seed Oil, fresh Dill, salt and pepper to taste. This was a DELICIOUS dinner and I would recommend it for any time of the day!

I enjoyed this dish with Napa River Sauvignon Blanc, which was perfectly paired with the green apple!! Every single ingredient from this dish was from Trader Joe’s, down to the wine!

A Little Moisture Trick!

Sometimes gluten-free ingredients are a little on the dry side, which if you’re a gluten-free goddess, you are well aware of! I made my favorite pancakes the other morning and decided to add a little almond milk..AFTER they were cooked..I poured a little bit of the milk over the pancakes like it was whipped cream and it was JUST what they needed:)

I still put some fresh berries and a little pure maple syrup..I think I’m gonna go make some more!

I ate these a lot pre-wedding in the morning to start my day. They are filling but won’t make you feel bloated or like you’ve over-indulged.

My Secret “Perfume”

When I go to work in my Spa room each day, I understand that fragrance and aroma are extremely important to people, whether they know it or not…

Your sense of smell is directly correlated to your sense of memory and emotion. Have you ever walked by someone in the grocery store and whatever perfume or cologne they were wearing stopped you in your tracks? It probably made you think of someone or maybe even made you scrunch your nose and wonder where you knew that from.

I walked into an old school and it was almost like I got hit by a bus. The smell reminded me SO much of my preschool, it was like being thrown back in time. How the hell did I know what my preschool smelled like from almost 30 years ago?? I guess I never forgot.

I’ve also smelled certain things that have made me happy, excited, sad and smells that make me want to crawl back into bed, or worse, smells that make me feel nauseous or agitated. The reason for all of this is in our brain anatomy, more specifically, our Olfactory Nerve. It is part of our nervous system that begins in our noses and travels to our brain.

The reason this is so important in what I do as an Esthetician is because I don’t want to have an artificial fragrance. I don’t want anything overpowering that would take people’s attention away from their service whether that be a relaxing facial or a Brazilian bikini wax. I want my clients to enjoy their experience with me and make their noses happy, even if they don’t know why:)

Here’s my tip/trick: I try to stick to subtle, calming, relaxing and even energizing aromas that people might get a slight hint of during their service with me. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked “what is that faint smell I smell? It’s really nice!!” Or when someone hugs me and asks what I’m wearing because it’s so subtle and welcoming. I try to use a body lotion with little to no aroma OR something with a natural scent and no added fragrance. I use natural, essential oils of all kinds and mix them into my body lotion and apply all over, especially on my arms, wrists, chest and neck. These are typically Lavender, Patchouli, Bergamot and Sweet Orange oils. I never mix more than one and I use a few drops in about a pump of the lotion. I’ll use Eucalyptus or Peppermint when I just can’t quite wake up for the day.

If you’re looking for a fresh, new scent or something inexpensive to play around with, I recommend this method! Maybe you’ll find out what makes you happy or sleepy, nostalgic or awakened. I get the majority of my essential oils from Whole Foods and try to stick to the oils that range anywhere from $5.99 to $12.99 per mini bottle. They’re highly concentrated, so you really only need a few drops.

Go smell yourself!