Saturday, January 19, 2019

Dairy, Soy, and Wheat Free Macaroni and Cheese

The original take on Vegan mac and cheese.

One of my favorite foods is Kraft Dinner, or as they call it south of Canada, "Kraft Macaroni and Cheese".  But I'm seriously cutting down on dairy as I just find, the older I get the less I can digest it and the Vegan mac and cheese box meals from the Health Food store have an ingredient list that sounds like a science experiment.

I've tried two different versions of vegan mac and cheese recipes and I think the one below is the best one.  The first batch was made roasted red pepper with lemon juice and baked in the oven but I preferred the stovetop version with the carrot and ACV - it had a sweeter taste without the red pepper and garlic and a creamier texture. You don't have to bake it in the oven, just heat up the "cheese sauce" and stir in some cooked macaroni - or if you are doing low carb or keto - serve it over some steamed broccoli or use it as a dipping sauce for raw veggies. If you are doing carbs but not gluten the Tinkyada Pasta Joy brown rice pasta is the best of all the brands I have tried, very consistent in texture and it doesn't get mushy if you overcook by a minute or two.  I buy it from Amazon.
Vegan Mac and Cheese (soy, gluten, and wheat-free)

1/2 cup raw cashews (I used NOW Foods brand)
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
4 Tablespoons Braggs Nutritional Yeast
2 small carrots(about 80 grams) peeled and steamed until soft (do not use "baby carrots" - they are cut out of large, tougher carrots and to me they taste bitter)
1 teaspoon Braggs apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons Earth Balance "buttery spread"
1 tsp lite salt
2 pinches black pepper or 1 toothpick swirl Young Living Pepper Vitality Oil
1/8 tsp  plus one pinch of ground nutmeg or one toothpick swirl Young Living  Nutmeg Vitality Oil
When you get up in the morning, cover the nuts with water in a bowl or food processor and soak until you are ready for lunch or dinner (minimum two hours) Drain completely and discard the water.

In food processor blend cashews and 1/2 cup water until smooth.  Add remaining ingredients and blend until carrots and chopped onion are incorporated into the liquid and it's smooth. If it's thick and not pourable add another couple of Tablespoons of water. Heat in a saucepan until steaming while you cook enough pasta for 3 servings (I used about a cup and a half dry macaroni). Mix pasta into the sauce and serve immediately.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Einkorn Popovers

Though I've seriously been cutting carbs and sugar to lose those holiday pounds, Saturday is my "cheat" day where I have some healthy carbs for breakfast and some wine with my supper.

Lately, we've been doing Swedish waffles with the Young Living Einkorn Pancake and Waffle Mix.  Einkorn is an ancient grain that has never been genetically modified like all other types of flours.  It's also naturally lower in gluten (the gluten in einkorn lacks the high molecular weight proteins that many people can't digest), and even though regular flour does a number on my IBS, I can eat Einkorn with zero issues.

The waffle mix isn't a mix such as "Bisquick" as you have to add leavening.  Rather it's a flour blend and as I discovered this morning, it makes tasty things other than waffles. With a blend of low gluten Einkorn with gluten-free brown rice flour, Amaranth flour, Ta[pioca flour, Sorghum flour,, and Dhokla flour (Indian flour made with chickpeas) it makes a light and nicely textured baked good.

Today we did popovers.  Popovers are an American version of Yorkshire pudding but made without any animal fats and baked in an individual tin.  They turned out really well, crisp yet tender on the outside and light and custardy on the inside.  You can cut this in half easily to make just three popovers (they don't reheat well).  Just decrease the ingredients by 1/2 and use 2 medium or large eggs (and add five minutes to cooking with the extra egg).

Young Living Einkorn Popovers (Made with Y.L. Pancake and Waffle Mix).

They rise beautifully, are full of healthful whole grain and have a soft custard-like interior that’s so good with butter and/or honey. My husband ate 3 of them.

Preheat oven to 375 F.

In a bowl mix:

3 large eggs (at room temperature) or equivalent of veggie egg replacer such as EnerG (but add 1 Tablespoon of vegetable oil to the mix
1 and 1/4 cup milk (at room temperature) or nut milk

In another bowl mix:
1 and 1/4 cup Young Living Einkorn Pancake and Waffle Mix
1/2 teaspoon salt (I used reduced sodium).

Spray popover pan with non-stick spray. (I got mine from William Sonoma but you can find them on Amazon for as little as $15). Divide 2 Tablespoons of dairy butter or vegan butter (I like Earth Balance sticks) into the six popover tins and place pan in oven for 4-5 minutes to melt the butter.

Combine wet and dry ingredients until just combined (there will be some small lumps - do not overmix).

Pour batter into prepared tins of melted butter. Do not stir.

Bake 25-30 minutes (don’t open the door to check on them until at least 25 minutes).
Serve immediately. (If you aren’t serving immediately poke the top with a toothpick so they don’t collapse). These are great for a hearty breakfast or a nice side to soup or stew in the winter.

Note:  If you'd like to order the mix - Young LIving ships to 133 different countries as they have offices, and farms all over the globe. Click on the Young Living Link on my right sidebar to order retail.  If you want to sign up to be a member to get the discount drop me a line at cliodna58 at gmail dot com.  I don't sell the products (between work and authoring it's like having two full-time jobs) but love the discount for the many products my household uses and I get a lot of "freebies" when ordering for my family and extended family.  If you do become a member and decide to just go back and order retail there's no penalty, you just change your ordering preferences online.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

KETO Quiche

This crustless Quiche is so light and fluffy it's almost like a souffle.  If you don't do dairy - substitute vegan shredded cheese for the cheddar or simply add an extra cup of sauteed veggies.

Preheat oven to 350 F and spray a pie pan with non-stick spray.

In a bowl whisk:

6 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream (or 1/3 cup almond or soy milk mixed with 2 and 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil)
1/2 cup coconut or almond milk
2 Tablespoons finely ground almond flour or coconut flour
dash of black pepper
dash of crushed red pepper
pinch of nutmeg
shake of Mrs. Dash salt-free seasoning or your favorite salt blend
half of a small sweet onion sliced thin and sauteed until soft
1 cup of low carb veggies, nuked or sauteed until just starting to soften -I used broccoli, red pepper and a couple of baby carrots (not low carb but it was either the quiche or the trash for those two).
1 cup shredded cheese - 3/4 stirred into the quiche, the remaining sprinkled on top in the pan.

Cook in pie pan 40 minutes or until firm and lightly brown around the edge.  Excellent reheated as leftovers.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Gluten-Free KETO Waffles

At my last check up my blood pressure was high, even though I'm not more than a few pounds above my normal summer weight. The Doctor asked if I'd changed my diet and I said I'd been eating a lot more carbs and vegetarian meals (heavy on the bread).  I'd also been eating quite a bit of sugar, as once I had something sweet I'd continue to crave sweet things the rest of the day.

She said to cut back on the bread and eat a lot more non-starchy vegetables along with eggs and lean meat and fish (or low carb veggie protein such as tempeh, tofu, or seitan) and low sugar fruit and she'd retest in two weeks.  If it didn't go down, I'd have to go on blood pressure medication, NOT something I wished to do.

Essentially her recommendation is the KETO diet (minus the dairy which I'm sensitive to) though she didn't call it as such. I did that, as well as added some essential oils to my daily beauty ritual that reduce stress (that will be a separate post) and my blood pressure did stabilize, but I wanted to keep up the diet plan to see if I could stay off the sugar bandwagon.

It's really worked, I just don't crave sugar like I used to and have been able to avoid the cookies and sweets that come with the holiday season.

But I was really missing my Saturday waffles so I did a KETO version and my husband gave them a thumbs up.  I had a similar gluten-free recipe I posted earlier this Winter, but this version uses less eggs and is dairy free.

Gluten Free KETO waffles

In a medium bowl mix:
1/3 cup coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder (I used Hain sodium free)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
5 individual serving size packets of Spenda

In another bowl:

With a hand mixer mix 3 large room temperature eggs until fluffy (about one minute)

Fold in carefully to retain the fluffiness:
1/3 cup dairy-free "milk"
1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 Tablespoons melted coconut oil  (mix it in in a very thin stream)

Mix wet and dry ingredients and bake in a waffle iron that's been sprayed with non-stick spray.

Serve with sugar-free syrup or sugar-free jam

Makes 4 Swedish waffles

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Best Beef Stroganoff - KETO friendly

Young Living Beef Stroganoff. (Delicious and less than 20 mg sodium per serving - created for my Dad who has hypertension). If you don't have the Young Living food grade Vitality line of cooking essential oils I've added the amounts for dried herbs in the post.

This was SO good and works for Keto and Low Carb diets, gluten-free (add gluten-free noodles) or vegetarian (use Seitan, Tofu, Gardein "beef" strips instead of the steak though that will add to the sodium content. ) I made it for my husband last night and he gave it an enthusiastic two thumbs up!

Best Beef Stroganoff

Slice 1 and ½ pounds of strip or round steak into thin bite-sized pieces. Put in a ziplock bag with 2 Tablespoons of Balsamic vinegar and 2 tsp. of minced garlic. Seal and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours but no more than 8.

When ready to prepare, remove steak from marinade retaining the marinade in a bowl.

In 2 Tablespoons of butter, brown steak until lightly browned on all sides with 1 drop of Young Living black pepper essential oil. Add marinade plus 1 additional teaspoon of balsamic vinegar and 1 drop of Young Living Basil Vitality essential oil,1 drop of Young Living Nutmeg Vitality oil, 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper, and cook through (but don’t overcook, it will be reheated again) Remove steak from pan, retaining liquids in cook pan.

In liquid sauté medium onion (chopped) for 5 minutes.

Add ½ cup dry white wine
1 and ½ cups button mushrooms chopped

Cook for approximately 5 minutes until mushrooms are softened and liquid is slightly reduced.

Stir in a mixture of:
1 Tablespoons Young Living Einkorn flour
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard. Stir thoroughly until incorporated and smooth.

Add meat back in and reheat on low until meat is warmed through.

Stir in ½ cup sour cream, heat on low for a few minutes then serve.

Note:  If using dried herbs:
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper (2-3 pinches)
pinch of nutmeg

Monday, November 19, 2018

Keto Kream of Chicken Ranch Casserole

I was making dinner for a diabetic friend that also has high blood pressure and wanted to use a  family favorite super easy recipe that calls for Cream of Chicken soup as one of the main ingredients.

So I did a KETO Kream of Chicken and it worked great!

Note:  If making to eat as soup as opposed to a casserole substitute for canned cream of chicken increase heavy cream to one cup and increase chicken broth to 3 cups

4 Tablespoons butter
3 teaspoons jarred minced garlic
1/2 small sweet onion, diced
2 and 1/2 Tablespoons coconut flour + 2 and 1/2 Tablespoons almond flour
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 cups chicken broth (I used a low sodium chicken bone broth)
1/2 cup finely diced cooked chicken
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon Jane's Krazy Salt (or your favorite low sodium salt or seasoning blend.)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add garlic and diced onion and sauté 2-3 minutes

Whisk in the coconut/almond flour combo and continue whisking as you cook for 2-3 minutes (roux should be slightly golden in texture and thickened),

Add broth, chicken and seasonings.  Increase heat and bring to a boil. 

Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes

In small batches, pour the soup into a blender and blend on low until smooth.  When all the batches are creamed pour back in the saucepan, add the heavy cream and heat on low until heated through.

If using for the casserole recipe, let cool before mixing.

To Make The Johnson Favorite Ranch Chicken

In crockpot place 1 pound boneless chicken breasts.

In a bowl mix :
1 batch Keto Kream of Chicken (cooled)
1 cup full-fat sour cream
1 (dry) package Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning Packet *
pinch of crushed red pepper
3 pieces of chopped cooked bacon (cook six total so you have some for a topping).

Cook on low 6-8 hours.  Shred chicken or serve breasts whole over riced cauliflower. (also great on mashed potatoes, rice, or gluten-free pasta if you are not watching your carbs.)

Top with additional bacon and/or green onion

* DIY Hidden Valley Ranch Dry Seasoning (3 Tablespoons equals one packet, the recipe makes enough for 5).

1 1/2 cup dry buttermilk (available at Walmart and other grocers)
1/3 cup dried parsley
1 tbs. dried dill weed
1 tbs. dried chives
1 tbs. garlic powder
1 tbs. onion powder
1 tbs. ground black pepper

Mix and store in a jar with lid in a cool, dry place