Category Archives: nut free

Cinnamon Raisin Quick Bread

You know when you buy a carton of buttermilk but you only use one or two cups and you don’t want the rest to go to waste? Well-now you have your answer! This quick bread is so delicious. We have been eating it plain, smeared with butter, topped with peanut butter and toasted with honey.

The original recipe calls for white sugar and white flour.  I easily replaced the white flour with white whole wheat flour but wasn’t sure what to use to replace the sugar.  I have been using honey a lot and that would probably have been delicious as well, but instead I wanted to try something with a slightly different flavor profile.  Jaggery! Jaggery is also known as coconut palm sugar.  Read more about jaggery here (thanks Wikipedia!).  This specific brand of jaggery I buy  is a very damp sugar, which is why I feel that you could easily replace it in the recipe with honey or even maple syrup.

feeding brian: cinnamon raisin quick bread

Cinnamon Raisin Quick Bread

Adapted from The Kitchn

Ingredients:

1 cup buttermilk

1 large egg

1/4 cup salted butter, melted

1/2 cup jaggery (palm sugar) or honey

2 cups white whole wheat flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 Tablespoon cinnamon

1/2 cup raisins

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 325º.

2.Grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan with butter or spray with cooking spray.

3. Whisk together buttermilk, egg,  melted butter, and jaggery or honey.

4. Add in remaining ingredients and stir until well combined.

5. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minutes.

6. Let bread cool in pan for a few minutes before turning it out on a wire rack to cool.

7. Slice and enjoy!

Makes 1 loaf, but recipe easily doubles (then freeze your extra loaf)

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Filed under bread, breakfast, nut free, snack, toddler approved, vegetarian

Slow Cooker Chicken Stock

I typically make stock right after I cook a whole chicken in the slow cooker. After we have eaten and I have taken the rest of the meat off the chicken bones I put the bones and skin back into the slow cooker with the liquid that was leftover after cooking.  Yes, this is mainly fat, but it will add flavor to the stock and then it will be skimmed away later.  Next, add all those carrot peels and onions skins you have been saving.* This is also the time to add in the giblets you saved from inside the chicken.  Next, cover all this yummy goodness with about 8 cups of water.  I like to let my slow cooker cook on low for 10-12 hours.

In the morning, I turn the slow cooker off when I get up to allow the stock to cool a bit.  I then strain the stock, allow it to cool some more and put it in the fridge.

When I get home at night, I skim the fat off the top of the stock, then I put it into mason jars to store in the freezer.  That it, unless I plan on using it for another recipe later in the week.  Then I just store what I need in the fridge!

This chicken stock tastes a million times better than store bought and it is SO EASY to make. Enjoy!

cooking brian: slow cooker chicken stock

*Tip: any time you cut onions, celery, garlic, or peel carrots or parsnips, save all the skins and ends and peels in a bag in the freezer.  That way, when you are ready to make homemade stock, you won’t have to waste any vegetables, you will be able to use all these odds and ends.  You’re stock won’t taste exactly the same each time you make it, but it will still be delicious!

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Filed under dairy free, egg free, gluten free, grain free, low sugar, nut free, paleo, slow cooker, soup, toddler approved

Whole Chicken in the Slow Cooker

I LOVE my slow cooker and I am super excited because I just got this new Crock-Pot Slow Cooker after my old one died.  Slow cookers are amazing tools for busy cooks, and I love that I can set mine up in the morning and come home to an incredible meal after being at work all day.

Just about once a week, I cook up a whole organic chicken in the slow cooker.  Not only does that mean we have a delicious roast chicken dinner once a week but it also means that I can make sandwiches with the chicken for the rest of the week or use the chicken in another meal.  I love doing whole chickens in the slow cooker because it is easy and it gives me control over what I put on my chicken (as opposed to buying a rotisserie chicken at the store). I also have control over the type of meat I purchase.  The final reason why I LOVE roasting chickens in the slow cooker is because I then get to use all the bones and skin and other little non-edible bits to make my own chicken stock in the slow cooker.  Not only is homemade chicken stock better for you than the stuff in the cans or boxes, but it tastes a million times better too!

Whole Chicken in the Slow Cooker

This is more of a method rather than a recipe.  Please feel free to play around with it, add spices of your choosing and most importantly, have fun!

Ingredients:

1 5-6 lb chicken (preferably organic)

kosher salt

white pepper

garlic powder

onion powder

Directions:

1. In a clean sink, rinse chicken thoroughly.  Make sure to remove the giblets for a later use (chicken stock!). If you are not using the giblets right away, you can freeze them.

2. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels.

3. Place the chicken breast side down in the slow cooker.  I have done the chicken both ways, breast up and down.  I think that breast down keeps the breast more moist, but then the skin from the breast side will not get crisp.  It’s your call!

4. Generously sprinkle the chicken with seasonings.

5. Cover and cook your chicken for about 8 hours on low.  It is done when juices run clear.

6. Remove from slow cooker and enjoy! Mine usually falls apart a bit because it has been sitting on the warm setting for a while after it finishes cooking.  The presentation isn’t the most amazing but the taste is outrageous! 

DO NOT throw away the liquid in the bottom of the slow cooker or your bones, skin and other little bits of the chicken you are not going to eat once it is cooked.  This will all be a part of the slow cooker chicken stock.

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Filed under dairy free, egg free, gluten free, grain free, low sugar, main dish, nut free, paleo, slow cooker, toddler approved

Soft and Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Bars

Hello there! It has been quite some time since I last posted but I am excited to be back! A lot has happened in the past year and a half.  I gave birth (yeah-thats him up there…all 14 amazing months of him!), we moved to Massachusetts, and both Brian and I got new jobs.  But, enough about me…on to the new recipe!

I have always made most of our food from scratch, but recently, I have become more committed to a clean eating lifestyle.  For the past few months I have been baking homemade granola bars for Brian to take with him to work and the baby loves them.  The problem is, the daycare the little monkey attends is a nut free zone and these granola bars are made with peanut butter.  So I set out to create a nut-free granola bar that the monkey and the rest of the family would enjoy and could take to school/daycare.  Well-the little man highly approves of these bars and so does Brian!

While technically these are granola bars, we all think they taste like oatmeal raisin cookies! Enjoy!

Soft and Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Bars

 Ingredients:

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

2 medium ripe bananas, mashed

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup raw honey

4 cups old fashioned rolled oats

scant 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/3 cup ground flaxseed

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/2 cup raisins

1 Tablespoon cinnamon

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 325 °F and line a 9 x 13 baking dish with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, mix all wet ingredients together.

3. Add dry ingredients and mix until combined.  Do not worry about over mixing.

4. Press mixture into lined pan and bake for 25 minutes.

5. Allow bars to cool completely before cutting (makes 16-24 bars…I usually cut it into 20 which lasts the three of us about a week!)

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Filed under dairy free, egg free, nut free, snack, toddler approved, vegetarian

Spinach Egg Cups

I love eggs! Particularly now that I’m pregnant, I have been eating eggs almost every morning for breakfast.  They are low carb, gluten free, full of protein and good for the little one growing inside me!

Brian and I were having a friend over for breakfast and I wanted to make an egg dish that I had never made before.  Brian thinks it’s funny that I often try out new dishes on company before trying them out on just him, but it usually seems to work!  I have always wanted to bake eggs in cups because then you don’t have to watch over them on the stove or take care to put them carefully into poaching liquid.  So I did a little research on baking eggs in cups and found a whole bunch of recipes that looked appealing.  I took a few ideas from others and then added in my own twists. If you would like to make these dairy free, just leave out the cheese and they will still be delicious!

It would be easy to play around with this recipe…I was thinking of doing an egg baked with tomato or one with mushrooms.  You could add all sorts of different spices or different cheeses to change things up a bit as well.  So many possibilities!

For the brunch we had:  spinach egg cups, blueberry multigrain pancakes, maple apple chicken sausage and fruit salad.

FYI-these still taste great re-heated the next day for breakfast (although the yolk will firm up a bit more).

Spinach Egg Cups

Ingredients:

1-2 T extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
12 oz baby spinach (2 bags)
4 eggs
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Salt
Red pepper flakes to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Spray 4 ramekins with cooking spray. Set aside.

3. Heat oil in large pan over med high heat. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add spinach to pan. Turn heat down to medium and cook until all spinach is wilted. Salt spinach to taste.

4. Divide spinach into ramekins.

5. Crack an egg over each pile of spinach.

6. Sprinkle tops with grated cheese and red pepper flakes (if desired).

7. Place ramekins inside of a small glass baking dish.

8. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Yolks will be runnier at 20 and firmer at 25.

~Serve with toast or eat on its own~

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Filed under breakfast, gluten free, grain free, low sugar, nut free, vegetarian

Ginger Teff Muffins

Mmmmm….muffins.  Have I already shared how much I like muffins?  I think I may have back in my post about my lemon blueberry muffins I made with almond flour.  One of the reasons I love muffins so much these days is that I have a hard time eating a real breakfast in the morning, what with being a teacher and getting up so early.  Muffins are the perfect on the go breakfast food, as long as they are not laden with sugar.  For me, muffins need to pack some nutritional and delicious goodness into each bite to be worth eating.

If you have ever eating Ethiopian food, you have had Teff flour.  It is the main ingredient in injera, the Ethiopian flatbread served alongside delicious meats and vegetables and is used in place of silverware.  You can read more about teff HERE. (Thanks Wikipedia!)

You can purchase teff flour at Whole Foods and I buy my arrowroot powder from Penzey’s Spices.  Enjoy!

Ginger Teff Muffins

Ingredients

1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons teff flour
1/4 cup arrowroot flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons ginger
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 Tablespoons grapeseed oil
4 Tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 Tablespoons agave
4 Tablespoons molasses
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 medium overripe bananas, mashed

Directions

1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F.  Spray 6 muffin cups with non-stick cooking spray.  If using a 12-muffin cup tin, use the outside edges.

2. In a medium mixing bowl stir together teff flour, arrowroot powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt.

3. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients.  Add oil, water, vanilla, agave, molasses, eggs and banana to the center of the bowl.  Stir all ingredients together to combine.  Do not over mix. The mixture will be liquidy.

4. Evenly distribute batter between 6 muffin tins.  The tins will be full to the top.

5. Bake muffins for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Enjoy!

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Filed under bread, breakfast, gluten free, nut free, snack, vegetarian

Vanilla Coconut Flour Pancakes

So, I wasn’t originally going to post this recipe but a few friends were insistent upon it!  That is why I only have one picture (and the picture was actually taken WAY after we ate the pancakes-I did a little re-staging).  I recently bought some different flours at the market: quinoa, coconut, and teff.  I have been reading a lot of blog posts recently about the use of coconut flour for people who are gluten free, low carb, and who follow the paleo or primal diet.  From my reading I discovered that coconut flour is a very dense and fiber filled flour.  I also learned, though my cooking, that the sweetness of the coconut really comes through and very little extra sweetner is needed.

For those who have not cooked with coconut flour before you can find it at markets like Whole Foods or you can order it from online purveyors.  For this recipe I used Bob’s Red Mill coconut flour that I bought at Whole Foods.

Just in time for breakfast…

Vanilla Coconut Flour Pancakes

adapted from Fluffy Coconut Flour Pancakes and Coconut Flour Pancakes

Ingredients

4 large eggs
1/4 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon agave (or honey)
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

About 2 tablespoons coconut oil (or butter) for the pan

Directions

1. In a medium bowl whisk eggs until frothy.

2. Whisk in almond milk, vanilla and agave until well combined.

3. Stir in coconut flour, baking soda and salt.

4. Let sit for 5 minutes or so while you heat up coconut oil in a large non-stick pan or griddle on medium heat.

5. Pour batter by 1/8 cup (2 tablespoons) into frying pan or griddle. I found that a large Cookie Scoop worked well for this.

6. Cook for 2-3 minutes, flip, cook for 2-3 more minutes, repeat with the rest of the batter.

7. Serve with maple syrup, butter, coconut oil, jam, or your favorite pancake topping!

Makes 10 small pancakes

Side note: While these are very small pancakes, they are VERY dense.  I ate 3 and Brian ate 4 and we were both satisfied.



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Filed under bread, breakfast, gluten free, nut free, vegetarian