Saturday, May 13, 2017

Asparagus, Leek, and Mushroom Frittata



Frittatas are just about one of the easiest, nutrient-dense meals you can make....and they can be whipped up in minutes! Serve a frittata for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I frequently make frittatas to use up the odd bits of leftovers or random veggies in the fridge. I love using leftover salmon and roasted potatoes in a frittata. Green onions, chives, sausages, red bell peppers, yellow or red onions, olives, zucchini, basil, and broccoli are also wonderful ingredients to add to your frittata!

A frittata is made by first sautéing some vegetables in a little butter or olive oil in a 10-inch cast iron skillet, then you add 8 to 10 whisked eggs (sometimes grated cheese too) and pop the whole pan in a preheated 375 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes. It will puff up as it bakes, then fall as it cools. Cut your frittata into wedges and serve with a salad. So easy!

This frittata recipe uses some in-season spring vegetables, plus fresh tarragon to create a complex-flavored meal that will remind you of French cuisine! Asparagus and tarragon pair so well together! Yum! Serve it for Mother's day brunch with a salad and some sparkling mineral water.

If you or a family member cannot tolerate eggs then I would suggest baking a salmon fillet and serving it with a salad for Mother's day brunch. Salmon for brunch is a great egg-free option!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Carrot Cake Muffins (gluten-free, egg-free, nut-free, vegan)



Yay for gluten-free carrot cake muffins! I call these healthy little treats muffins, but once frosted they sure seem like cupcakes to me. They are packed full of carrot-goodness, as well as being very moist and light, even without the eggs. What a perfect treat for Mother's day or a Springtime gathering!

I've frosted them here using a Honey-Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below) but if you are dairy-free or vegan then use my Sweet Potato Buttercream Frosting recipe. Just be sure to use white-fleshed sweet potatoes (they have a light-tan skin), and stir in some finely grated orange zest at the end. This recipe is a perfect dairy-free, whole foods replacement for cream cheese frosting (and it looks like it too as long as you use the white sweet potatoes).

The trick to making these egg-free muffins light and fluffy is to add the carrots on top of the whisked dry ingredients, immediately then pour in the blended wet ingredients, and then mix them all together at once. If you stir in the carrots at the end, after your batter has been mixed up, then you will lose some of the trapped air that is formed from the reactions of the baking powder, baking soda, and acid ingredients (apple sauce and orange juice). Then you must bake them right away in your preheated oven. Starting the baking process immediately after mixing the batter together helps to trap air and create lift! Both of these steps will help give the muffins the rise and lightness you normally get with eggs.

If you want to add other ingredients such as chopped walnuts and raisins, go ahead. A half cup of each should work well. Also....did I mention that these muffins are Elimination Diet friendly for Phase 2 and beyond (without the cream cheese frosting and citrus of course)! Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Dairy-Free Vanilla Cashew Creamer Recipe


Are you working to eliminate dairy from your diet and in need of a creamy "milk" to add to your morning coffee or tea? I've been making this dairy-free cashew creamer for over a decade and never get tired of it! I don't drink coffee but like to add it to turmeric-ginger spice tea, Dandelion Root Chai, roasted dandelion root tea, and sometimes a maca hot chocolate drink I make.

I know many people who follow a paleo diet and like to add coconut milk or coconut cream to their tea or coffee, but every time I try this I'm quite repulsed by the overwhelming coconut flavor! This cashew creamer does not overpower the beverage that it is added to, yet still offers a warm, rich flavor. If you own a high-powered blender then you can whip up this recipe in minutes, if not you will need to soak your cashews for a few hours in a bowl of water (and then drain) before blending. Another option, if you don't own a high-powered blender or are out of raw cashews, is to add a large spoonful of raw cashew butter to your blender along with 1 to 2 cups of water (plus the other ingredients below) and blend into a creamy milk! I do this on occasion if I'm out of cashews and the milk is so smooth creamy.

Even though this dairy-free cashew creamer is so rich and creamy, it is actually full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats! In fact, 82% of the fat in cashews is unsaturated, and about 66% of that is monounsaturated. Cashews are also a great source of some very important minerals, including magnesium, manganese, copper, phosphorus, and zinc!

If you are following the Elimination Diet, then this recipe can be used in Phase 3 during the reintroduction of nuts.