Monday, December 27, 2010

Blanched Kale Salad with Pomegranate and Green Apple Dressing

Are you in the mood for something a little cleansing after the holidays? Me too. This blanched kale salad is uber nutritious and easy on the digestive system. Pomegranates are almost out of season so eat 'em up while you still can. Our children go through one to two every morning this time of year.

This salad can also be used as part of Phase 2 on our Elimination Diet. It makes a great quick, healthy lunch. Blanch the kale ahead of time and keep it in a container in your fridge. Use leftover salmon or none at all. I toss all ingredients for the dressing into my Vitamix without ever measuring and blend it up in a snap. Toast some sunflower seeds and season them with coconut aminos or use raw seeds. It's a basic salad with great flavors and textures, plus it will keep you energized all afternoon!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Maple Caramel Corn

If you are craving something sweet and simple this holiday season then this recipe might be quite perfect. Making your own carmel corn using maple syrup is quick and easy! Bring a bowlful to your next holiday party or place it in a holiday tin and give it as a gift to a teacher. All you need to make this is an 8-quart pot, a small saucepan, two large bowls, and a large cookie sheet.

I've made this recipe using both butter and coconut oil. Using butter creates a more traditional caramel flavor, however, using coconut oil creates a bouquet of flavors that makes the caramel corn quite addicting.  Pictured here is the recipe made using coconut oil.

I have two more giveaways to share with you today, so please scroll on down and leave a comment to enter to win one of these amazing cookbooks!

Maple Caramel Corn

Serve a large bowl of this tasty popcorn at your holiday party. It also makes a great gift for a teacher! If you double the recipe then make it in batches. Popping one cup of popcorn will nearly fill an 8-quart stockpot!

2 to 3 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup organic popcorn kernels

1/2 cup virgin coconut oil or butter
1 cup grade B maple syrup
few dashes sea salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Heat an 8-quart stockpot over high heat for a minute or so. Add oil and salt, then popcorn. Cover and cook for a few minutes, moving the pot vigorously, until the popping has subsided. Then quickly remove from heat to prevent burning and pour popcorn into two large bowls (or one really large bowl if you own one)!

In a small to medium saucepan heat the coconut oil or butter, maple syrup, and a few dashes sea salt over medium heat. Once small bubbles form begin timing for 4 to 5 minutes. Cook, whisking occasionally until thickened and foamy. Quickly pour over popcorn in bowls and toss together using two large spoons. Spread into two shallow baking pans or cookie sheets and place in the oven.

Bake for 10 minutes stirring half way through. Let cool completely. Caramel corn will crisp up as it cools. Store in a tightly sealed container once completely cooled to keep it crisp.

And now on to the giveaways! I am giving away two amazing cookbooks today. The first one is Silvana Nardone's new gluten-free, dairy-free book, Cooking for Isaiah. And the second is Alisa Flemming's book Go Dairy Free! I reviewed Alisa's cookbook last April here on this blog and included her dairy-free nacho cheese sauce. You can read my review for more info on her book.

Enter to win one of these cookbooks! In the past when I've done giveaways such as this one, sometimes the winner doesn't respond. Since your email address is not embedded in your comment it is up to you to check back to see if you've won. If you subscribe by email or RSS you will be notified in my next post.

To enter, just 
leave a comment with your name or initials.
To enter twice, share this post on Twitter, then come back and leave another comment.
To enter a third time, share this post on Facebook, then come back and leave another comment.

This drawing is open until 10pm PST on Thursday December 16th, 2010

This drawing is now closed, thanks for participating!

Update: The winner of Go Dairy Free is: hoopyscoopsmom! Could you please email me with your shipping address? Thanks!  And the winner of Cooking for Isaiah is an Anonymous commenter who left their email address and have already been contacted! Thanks everyone for entering!

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Friday, December 10, 2010

Salmon Puttanesca

Today I am sharing my mother's Puttanesca sauce recipe. Nearly every Christmas Eve that I can remember, she makes this sauce to serve over pasta. Can you imagine what it would be like to not be able to feed your family this Christmas? I can't. This is why I am excited to tell you that I am one of over 60 food bloggers participating in a campaign to increase awareness of childhood hunger this holiday season.

Share Our Holiday Table is a virtual, seven day progressive dinner to help raise funds for children in need. Did you know that nearly 17 million children, or one in four, live in homes without sufficient food. As a mother of four, I want to make sure that my children are well-fed daily with healthy, nourishing foods and I know that I am not alone. All parents want this for their children.

Children need proper nutrition for their immune systems to function well, for proper brain development and growth, to be able to pay attention and learn in school, and to be able to run, skip, hop, and jump all day long!

Now we all have a chance to help nourish a child in need. Donate today. Even five dollars if that's all you can do. Every little bit helps.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Curried Root Vegetables

Our pantry and refrigerator are brimming with root vegetables this time of year. What better way to enjoy them than with a savory curry sauce? This recipe is vegan though it could be modified to add chicken or beef if desired. Another option would be to add a few cups of cooked garbanzo beans. Mmmmm, yum!

To continue on with the spirit of the giving season I am giving away another wonderful cookbook today. Stephanie O' Dea has written a bestselling slow cooker book entitled, Make it Fast, Cook it Slow. It is the perfect book if you are looking to eat healthier, are on a gluten-free diet (yes, all recipes are gluten-free), and don't have much time to prepare home-cooked meals. I have one signed copy for one lucky winner! Just leave a comment below to enter.

If you would like to preview some of her recipes you can go to her very popular blog, A Year Of Slow Cooking, which began in 2008 as a resolution to cook everyday that year using her slow cooker! Stephanie also has a new cookbook being released later this month, More Make it Fast, Cook it Slow: 200 Brand-New, Budget-Freindly, Slow-Cooker Recipes. The following curried vegetable recipe is one of mine, though Stephanie has a number of fabulous-looking curry recipes in her book.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Grain-Free, Dairy-Free Coffee Cake

This scrumptious gluten-free, grain-free, sugar-free, and dairy-free coffee cake recipe comes from Kelly Brozyna's new cookbook, Grain-Free Baked Goods and Desserts! It is one of those recipes that is nutritious enough to stand alone at breakfast time, though I prefer to serve it with a Green Smoothie! It is filled with cooked white beans, coconut flour, eggs, and a little honey and stevia! My children love this recipe and as the neighbor girl who was visiting today said, "I can't believe this is gluten-free, it is so good!"

As a kick-off to the giving season, I have one signed copy of her book that I am giving away today! In fact, every post in the next three weeks will have a book or product being given away to one of you! All you need to do is leave a comment below to enter.

Last year I reviewed Kelly's first book, The Spunky Coconut Cookbook. A year later, I am back with more praise for her second book! I love how nutritious and kid-friendly all of Kelly's recipes are. As the title describes, this book is grain-free, but also completely casein-free, soy-free, and refined sugar-free. Many of the recipes are also egg-free. If you are vegan or are sensitive to eating eggs then you will still find plenty of recipes in this book to suit your needs. This book also works well for diabetics and others with blood sugar metabolism issues.

Both of Kelly's books are filled with beautiful, color photos. My children like to sit down with the new book and page through it picking out all of the recipes they want me to make! They also think it's pretty neat that I wrote the foreword for her book. Below is one of our favorite recipes from her book, enjoy!