Monday, August 31, 2009

Falafel and Tahini sauce

This is the only vegetarian dish my husband approves of! He and my toddler both liked these fried, crunchy bites. Only make the tahini sauce if you know you like tahini, because the yogurt is equally good. I got this recipe from the healthiest cookbook ever, Nourishing Traditions.

Note: If you want more nutritional value, use dried chick peas and soak them as instructed. But if you are in a hurry, the canned ones work just fine :)

Falafel Ingredients:
2 cups dried chickpeas or 2 16oz cans
filtered water and 4 tbsp whey or lemon juice (if doing the healthy soaking step)
4 cups parsley leaves, loosely packed
4 medium onions, coarsely chopped
4 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 t cumin
1 t coriander
1 t pepper
1 t sea salt
1 t cayenne pepper
1 t baking powder
about 1 c EVOO or lard or palm oil or coconut oil

If soaking the beans: Bring a pot of water to boil and pour over chickpeas. Stir in 2 T whey and leave in warm place for 12 hours. Pour off excess water and add 2 T whey again. Leave for another 12 hours.

Directions: Place 1 c parsley in food processor and pulse until chopped. Add 1/4 chickpeas, 1 onion, 1 garlic, and 1/4 of the spice mixture. Pulse until it is a coarse paste. Repeat 3 more times and add the batches together. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Form into patties and saute in oil. Serve with plain yogurt or home-made tahini sauce.

Tahini sauce:
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup tahini
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

Directions: process in the food processor until the consitency of heavy cream.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Coconut Flour Cupcakes (muffins)

This was my new recipe for the week. I have a Mom, a nephew, and a sweet friend who cannot eat wheat, so I'm going to be trying out a lot of coconut flour recipes in the future :)

I found this recipe at one of my favorite nutrition blogs, The Nourishing Gourmet. I'm still getting used to the more dense consistency of coconut flour in recipes, but I really enjoyed these cupcakes. I will say that they seemed more like muffins than cupcakes, but they are definitely the closest to cupcakes I have gotten without using white flour :)

Red, White and Blue Cupcakes-makes 10-12 muffins
You can also use all blueberries for a delicious blueberry muffin. I used all frozen berries.
(To make these GAPS friendly, just leave out the baking powder, to make it SCD substitute baking soda. )

    1/2 cup coconut flour
    1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    3 eggs, gently beaten with a fork
    1/3 cup of honey
    1/3 cup of coconut oil
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
    1/2 cup of fresh or frozen raspberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

1-In a medium size bowl, place the coconut flour, sea salt, and baking powder. Whisk to remove any lumps.

2-Melt honey and coconut oil in a small saucepan, just until melted (if you have over-heated it all, let it cool before combining it with the eggs so that it won’t curdle it. Combine wet ingredients (eggs, honey, coconut oil, vanilla), and whisk thoroughly into dry ingredients.

3-Fold in fresh or frozen berries. In papered or lightly greased muffin tins, put about 1/4 cup of batter in each muffin tin. Make sure to have some of the blueberries and some of the raspberries in each muffin

4-Bake for 375 degrees until the muffins are lightly browned on the top and a toothpick comes out clean when poked into the middle of the muffin (20-28 minutes)

Cool and enjoy!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Coconut Flour Pancakes

Coconut flour is incredibly good for you and gluten free. It has a high fiber and protein content and is naturally sweet so it doesn't require as much added sweetener. It also doesn't need to be soaked like grains, so its easy to cook with. I've been wanting to try it out and thought this great pancake recipe from Cheeseslave (an awesome blog for healthy recipes!) would be a great place to start. I love the fact that it contains lots of eggs because I'm always trying to get my family to eat more of that nutrient dense food. Coconut flour is pretty expensive but dense, so a little goes a long way -- you'll notice that this recipe only requires 3 Tbs of the flour. So I have plenty left for other recipes that I want to try out! We really liked the flavor of these pancakes, although the texture/consistency is a little different from normal flour pancakes.


3 eggs (preferably pastured)
3 tablespoons butter (preferably butter from grass-fed cows; I use Kerrygold butter) or coconut oil, melted (plus extra butter or coconut oil for cooking the pancakes)
3 tablespoons coconut milk or whole milk (preferably raw, from grass-fed cows)
1 1/2 teaspoons rapadura ( I think you could also use raw honey or maple syrup)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons coconut flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder (Bob’s Red Mill)


1. Using a wire whisk, mix together eggs, melted butter, milk, rapadura, and sea salt.

2. Continuing to whisk, add the baking powder and coconut flour until thoroughly mixed.

3. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter (or coconut oil) in a skillet on a medium flame.

4. Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of batter onto skillet making pancakes about 3-4 inches in diameter.

5. Serve with lots of butter and real maple syrup.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Crustless quiche

This has been a throw-together meal for me the last couple of weeks when life has been so busy and I didn't make time to meal plan (gasp! :) or even go to the grocery store regularly. My toddler loves "pie" and anything cheesy, so its a good combination for her. She loves the random dollops of cream or ricotta cheese. I make it "crustless" because I don't have time to make a pie crust and it's healthier without it :) You can really vary the ingredients a lot -- I seriously NEVER measure any of it so I'm guessing here to write it down:)

1/4 to 1/2 cup milk
5-8 eggs
shredded cheese (I love sharp cheddar but any kind will work :)
meat of your choosing (cooked bacon, luncheon meat, sausage, etc)
dollops of cream cheese or ricotta cheese

Directions: Whisk eggs and milk together; set aside. Butter a glass pie pan; throw in as much of the other toppings as you desire, ending with the shredded cheese on top. Pour eggs/milk mixture over top. Bake at 350 for about 35 min, until eggs are set.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Lezlie's Feta Salmon

This is one of my husband's favorite meals! What's even more impressive is that I like it because I don't typically like seafood. But the feta is so yummy and drowns out the fishy taste :) I actually drenched the salmon with a bunch of garlic butter before throwing it into the oven :) And we didn't use many capers because we don't absolutely love them :)

feta cheese

Easiest directions ever: Put a slab o' salmon on a broiler pan, cover it heavily with feta cheese & capers (adds a salty touch that accents the feta perfectly,) and stick it in the oven at 375, cook it til the feta starts turning brownish, about 15 -20 mins. depending on the size of the slab. EASY & Kids will CHOW IT DOWN! Even the picky ones! (usually!) Really tasty & elegant if you need it to be!

I’m very excited to be part of the Whole Foods for the Holidays Progressive Dinner, hosted by Stephanie at Keeper of the Home today.

This recipe is part of Kelly's Korner SUYL

Meg's Top Five Tips

I know that it is really hard to get a healthy dinner on the table every night. In fact, if I didn't do these 5 things, it probably wouldn't ever happen for me! So I thought I'd share :)

  1. Make a menu each week: If I haven’t made a complete meal plan for the week, dinner just won’t happen! Instead, we end up wasting money and eating unhealthy food by going out to eat or buying frozen dinners. But as long as I plan ahead, I know what I need to do ahead of time and it is always possible to give my family a healthy, yummy, home-cooked meal!
  2. Double and Freeze: Home-made freezer meals are just as easy as store bought ones, but so much more healthy and frugal! Any time a recipe freezes well, I double it and save it for a day when I just don’t have the time to cook. Most casserole, meatball, soup, and cookie dough recipes freeze really well!
  3. C.O.R.N: Clean Out the Refrigerator Night! This is my most important time-saver and money-saver yet! One night a week I don’t have to cook and my family gets to eat their favorites. No need to waste those yummy leftovers – just spread them out on the counter and everyone picks what they like they best!
  4. Meat Day: I usually buy all my meat for the month at the Farmer's Market. The next day, I have a meat day. If I bought fresh chicken, then I put most of it in the crock pot with some water and cook it so I can freeze shredded chicken ready for my casseroles. I will usually also make some freezer bags full of "dump" chicken -- uncooked but trimmed chicken ready to go in the crock pot, oven, or grill with marinade, barbq sauce, etc. If I bought ground beef, I go ahead and brown most of it and make the rest into meatballs. Some of the browned ground beef I'll leave unseasoned just to have on hand, but most of it I'll go ahead and make into home-made sloppy joes, taco meat, lasagna meat, etc. I freeze it in tupperware or freezer bags so it’s ready when I need it.
5. Baking Day: I try to set aside one day to make all my bread, tortillas, and pizza dough for the month and then freeze it so it is ready to go! I also take another day to make all my pancakes, waffles, granola, and cereal for the month. I usually try to do this on a day when my husband is off work and can help with my little ones :)