Sunday, February 27, 2011

Almond Flour Scones

Today I am excited to share with you a wonderful cookbook using almond flour. The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook, by Elana Amsterdam. I have one signed copy to give away, see details below.

Have any of you baked with almond flour before? If not, it is a luscious gluten-free flour made from blanched almonds, also called blanched almond flour. It is a high-protein, low glycemic flour that creates rich, moist, and tender gluten-free baked goods. Blanched almond flour is not the same as Bob's Red Mill almond meal/flour. So be sure not to interchange the two in Elana's recipes.

You can purchase almond flour online at Lucy's Kitchen Shop or Honeyville or Benefit your Life. I feel lucky that Lucy's is right here in Bellingham, Washington! I call and place my order and then go pick it shipping charges!

These scones are out of Elana's cookbook and are entitled, Orange Apricot Scones. I love that they are predominately sweetened with pureed dried apricots and orange juice. I was busy working on my new cookbook when these scones were baking and forgot about them. They were supposed to bake for only 10 to 15 minutes but I baked them for over 30 minutes! Every timing device I have purchased has been dismembered or dunked in the toilet by one of my toddler twin boys so I go by the clock and my sense of smell. This time I was distracted and you'll notice the burned bottoms and golden color of the scones. Totally my fault, not the recipe's.

The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook is filled with healthy grain-free recipes from cakes and cupcakes to salmon burgers and quiche. The Olive Rosemary Bread and Pancakes are next on my list to make. The photos in the book are so enticing! A good portion of the recipes use eggs but there are also many vegan recipes. If you are egg-sensitive, please still consider this book, you'll find many outstanding, nutritious recipes to choose from.

Elana also has a gluten-free, whole foods blog: You'll find simple, healthy, grain-free recipes there that are all family-friendly.

To be entered in this giveaway to win a signed copy of The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook, please leave a comment below. Be sure to include your name or initials. Anonymous comments with no name attached will not be counted. Also, be sure to check back later this week to see if you have won! I have no way of contacting you, unless you have an email address in your Blogger profile (if you have one). The giveaway will be open until this coming Thursday, March 3rd, 2011 at 9pm PST.

Please Note: all blog comments go into moderation which means once you add your comment below it won't appear until I publish it. I do this to avoid the gazillion spam comments that come through every day from appearing on the blog. Thanks for understanding! :)

Update: This contest is now closed. We have a winner! Joy Gilraine can you please email me with your mailing address so I can get this wonderful cookbook sent to you? Thanks everyone for entering! Here is the winning comment: Goldwood Gardens said...Thanks for always leading me to great new cookbooks! I would love to win this book! Joy Gilraine

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Friday, February 18, 2011

Healing Chicken Ginger Soup

I have been making this soup a lot these days. It is spicy, warming, and healing....just perfect to help kick this cold I've had. First I make a simple broth using bone-in chicken breasts, a bunch of chopped fresh ginger, a whole head of garlic, fresh lemongrass, and a few cups of chopped shiitake mushrooms. Once this has simmered for a few hours, I strain it and add fresh vegetables, the cooked chicken, and some thai rice noodles into the pot. We top each bowl with chopped napa cabbage, basil, and cilantro. And for the grown-ups only, sliced fresh thai chiles!

Shiitake mushrooms provide polysaccharides that stimulate white blood cell function allowing them to be more efficient at combatting bacteria and viruses. Ginger is healing on many fronts. It is anti-microbial, anti-viral, and a natural anti-biotic, killing bacteria and viruses both internally and externally. It can help sooth a sore throat, eliminate congestion, and help combat fevers and chills.

The soup itself is not too spicy and perfect for young children to eat. All of our children love this soup and have fun adding all of the toppings, except for the chiles. The broth is very nourishing and will have you feeling good almost immediately. I've been making double batches lately so I can have leftovers. Hot, clear foods are very beneficial for colds and upper respiratory infections. Try hot tea with ginger and lemon, warm quinoa porridge, or our Healing Quinoa Cabbage Soup. Cold foods can increase congestion so it is best to avoid them until you are feeling better.

Healing Chicken Ginger Soup

My mom always made homemade chicken soup using a whole chicken when I was growing up. I've never made chicken soup using a store-bought chicken broth. Once you make soup this way, you'll never want to go back. The broth is just so fresh and delicious! If you would like to use a whole chicken for this soup instead of the two chicken breasts, simply double the ingredients for the broth and the soup and use an 8 or 12-quart pot instead. Be sure to add the rice noodles to each individual bowl if you plan to have leftovers. Adding them to the whole pot and then reheating the soup the next day can cause the noodles to get quite mushy. This soup also freezes very well, just don't add the noodles or the raw toppings to your freezable portions. Fresh Thai chilies and lemongrass can be found at places like Whole Foods or at your local Asian Market. 

Yield: 6 servings

For the Broth:
2 bone-in organic chicken breasts (about 2 pounds total)
8 cups water
1 large onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 whole head garlic, cut in half cross-wise
1/4 to 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh ginger (or more!)
2 to 3 thai chiles, chopped or 1 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
2 cups chopped shiitake mushrooms
1 stalk fresh lemongrass, chopped
cilantro stems
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
3 teaspoons Herbamare or sea salt

For the Soup:
1 medium onion, cut into crescent moons
3 to 4 stalks celery, sliced into diagonals
3 carrots, cut into matchsticks
2 to 3 cups sliced shiitake mushrooms
cooked chicken pulled from the bone and chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Optional Additions/Toppings:
rice noodles
chopped fresh basil
chopped fresh napa cabbage
chopped fresh cilantro
chopped fresh thai green chiles
lime wedges

To make the broth, place all ingredients for broth into a 6-quart pot. Cover and bring to a boil, reduce heat medium-low and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Strain broth into a large bowl or another pot using a colander. Place chicken breasts onto a plate to cool. Pour the broth back into the pot. Once chicken is cooled, remove the skin, pull the meat from the bone and chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces.

Place all of the veggies for the soup (onion, carrot, celery, and shiitake mushrooms) into the pot with the broth. Cover and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes. Add the chicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer a minute or two more or until vegetables are cooked to your liking. Ladle soup into bowls and serve with a handful of basil, cilantro, and cabbage on top. Sprinkle with thai chiles if desired. You can also add a handful of cooked thai rice noodles to each bowl if desired. Squeeze a little lime juice over each bowl. Make sure to have some tissues handy if you are using the thai chiles! Source:

More Healing Recipes:
Spiced Pumpkin Soup
Summer Vegetable Kitcheree
Soothing Tummy Tea

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Monday, February 14, 2011

Almond Goji Berry Truffles

Happy Valentines Day! I wanted to share this luscious truffle recipe made with goji berries. The filling is a deep red color covered in dark chocolate. What could be better on a day like today? Oh, and it only takes about 10 minutes to prepare!

I shared this recipe last Monday at my gluten-free dessert cooking class. Our goji berries were very dry so we decided to soak them for about 10 minutes in warm water. The filling turned to a watery mush! It was a great learning experience for me and the whole class! We started over with a fresh batch of very dry goji berries and it worked out. I was planning on saving this recipe for the next cookbook I'm working on right now, but I just couldn't resist sharing it with you today.

Dried Goji Berries

My recipe testers have given me feedback on this recipe and one of them told me recently that she used raw almond butter which didn't hold the filling together very well and they turned into flat rounds instead of balls. I use a lightly roasted creamy almond butter when I make them. Having fresher, chewier goji berries also changed the outcome. Coconut nectar is thicker than maple syrup so this can also slightly change the outcome. I used maple syrup in the truffles pictured here, though I normally use coconut nectar, which is very thick. If you don't eat these all within a few days, feel free to freeze them and take one out at a time when a chocolate craving arises!

Almond Goji Berry Truffles

Goji berries are a truly remarkable superfood. Ounce for ounce goji berries contain more vitamin C than oranges, more beta-carotene than carrots, and more iron than spinach. They also contain over 20 trace minerals and 18 amino acids! These beautiful truffles contain a flavorful red filling and a rich chocolate exterior, making them a special treat for a Romantic Valentine’s Day evening.

1 cup dried goji berries
½ cup creamy almond butter
¼ cup coconut nectar or maple syrup
1 teaspoon almond flavoring

Chocolate Coating:
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla, optional

Place all ingredients for the filling in a food processor fitted with the “s” blade. Process/pulse for a few minutes until ground and sticky. Roll filling into small balls and set onto a plate. They will feel oily. For some reason the oil from the almond butter begins to separate every time I make these. Once they are covered in chocolate no one will notice it.

Place a piece of parchment paper onto a large plate, set aside for your finished truffles.

In a small saucepan add the ingredients for the chocolate coating. Use a double boiler or place the saucepan into another slightly larger pan filled with a few inches of water. If you don’t do this, the chocolate with burn and become unusable.  Melt over very low heat, stirring, until the chocolate is completely melted. Turn off heat and immediately drop the first truffle into the chocolate, gently swirl the melted chocolate over it using a spoon. Lift up and place onto the prepared plate with parchment paper. Repeat with remaining truffles.

Once you are finished, place the plate with the truffles into the freezer to set the chocolate for about 30 minutes. Once set, remove truffles from plate and place into a sealed glass container and store in your refrigerator for up to a week. Source:

More Valentine's Day Recipes:

Valentine's Day Recipes from Other Bloggers:
Gluten-Free Chocolate Dessert Waffles from Kim at Cook it Allergy-Free
Almond and Spice Bean Pie from Kelly at The Spunky Coconut
Chocolate Raspberry Bars from Nancy at The Sensitive Pantry
Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Balls from Hallie at Daily Bites

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Friday, February 4, 2011

Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Super Bowl Recipes!

I have to admit, we don't watch football at all and never go to Super Bowl parties! But I know many of you do, and so I wanted to share a round-up of healthy gluten-free party recipes that you can choose from for this Sunday's big game. Who is playing, I don't even know? Packers, right?

I have been completely involved with working on this next cookbook lately, which is why you've seen a lack of blog posts. I will share more info on the upcoming book soon! If you have been following me on Facebook, you probably have heard a little about it already. Have a great weekend!

Healthy Super Bowl Party Recipes:

Dairy-Free Nachos














You can find more great gluten-free Super Bowl recipes from Diane at The Whole Gang and Elana at Elana's Pantry! Yum!

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