Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Conscientious Cowboy Beans - Vegan & GF

 Here is a great bean dish for those of you wanting to reduce the amount of fat you are consuming. (And a delicious way to increase your fiber.)  Kids will like these beans too because there are no onions.

This recipe has one added tablespoon of brown sugar in the entire dish of beans, which is uncommon for a baked bean dish. I would even feel comfortable leaving that one tablespoon of sugar out, since there is some sugar in the can of  Bush's Vegetarian Baked Beans.

Weight watchers can estimate the entire dish has 38 points. Divide the dish into 8 servings for example and count 5 points per serving.

If you are a Forks Over Knives follower, this is perfect.

Conscientious Cowboy Beans - Vegan & GF          Makes 6-8 servings
1 28oz can Bush's Vegetarian Baked Beans, or any other brand you like
1 15oz can red beans, any brand. Drained and rinsed.
1 15oz can  navy or small white beans, any brand. Drained and rinsed.
1 15oz can tomato sauce
1 medium apple, any variety you like. Peeled and finely chopped.
2 tsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp brown sugar, may be omitted

Combine all ingredients in a 2qt casserole dish and bake for 1 1/2 hours at 350. Or use a slow cooker and let them cook all day.

Simple, healthy and delicious.


Thursday, June 15, 2017

GF Pumpkin Delight Muffins

Here is a great way to get into the "pumpkin" season. Try these little tasty, yet heathy muffins. I used the Forks Over Knives Cookbook again...making changes to fit my gluten free needs.

I love them!! Great pumpkin flavor, just what I was hoping for. The recipe was for a pumpkin bread, but I prefer muffins so the baking time was changed as well.

I also made them with whole wheat pastry flour as the original recipe suggested for my husband. He liked them too. So whether you make the gluten free or regular muffins I think these are going to be gobbled right up!

If you count weight watcher points... count each muffin at 2.6 points whether you make them gluten free or with whole wheat pastry flour. Points with nuts added 3.3 for each muffin.

GF Pumpkin Delight Muffins            Makes 14 muffins (15 if nuts are added)
2 cups gluten free flour mix or any favorite GF flour combination you have will work.   * *See below
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp cloves
1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum (only for gluten free, do not need in whole wheat version)
2 cups pumpkin puree
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup apple butter (see below my super quick & easy method)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup raisins (original recipe uses golden)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional) I used nuts in my husbands but not in mine.
1/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, (optional) I use Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Mini Chocolate Chips.

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare muffin tins with paper liners or a non-stick cooking spray.
In a large mixing bowl add flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and cloves. Mix well.
In a smaller mixing bowl add pumpkin, maple syrup, apple butter, and vanilla. Mix well.
Pour the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture and mix. Stir in raisins (and nuts if choose) be careful not to over mix if using regular flour.
Spoon into prepared muffin tins.
Bake for 23-25 minutes.
Remove from muffin tins and let cool on wire racks.

Serve some up and enjoy your Fall.

Freeze in good quality freezer bags or containers - perfect for a quick breakfast or snack!

**Special Tips
If you don't have apple butter on hand use this quick and easy method:
In a microwavable dish add 2 cups unsweetened applesauce, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, and 1/2 tsp cloves, mix well.  Microwave until bubbly - about 3-5 minutes. Instant apple butter. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

An easy homemade gluten free flour mix that is nice for this recipe is:
2 cups brown rice flour
2/3 cup potato starch
1/3 cup tapioca flour

Sunday, June 4, 2017

GF Pumpkin, Quinoa Pancakes

Here is a quick and simple way to add a little variety to a pancake mix or any homemade recipe.

Simply add 1/4 - 1/3 cup canned pumpkin to your favorite pancake batter. Then add about 1/4 - 1/3 cup quinoa flakes. Mix well. Add more water if needed until desired consistency is reached. Cook pancakes as you normally would, on a hot griddle allowing bubbles to form on top before flipping.  This is an easy way to add some extra nutrients to your pancakes too.

Sometimes I just like the convenience of a readymade mix...but it has to be good!
My favorite pancake mix is The Cravings Place, Gluten Free, All-Purpose Pancake & Waffle Mix. There is no added sugar or fat and requires no eggs and dairy. Allergy friendly and delicious.

You can make them thinner as shown here...using more water.

                     or maybe you prefer a thicker pancake as shown here...using less water.

These pancakes freeze well and can be quickly reheated in the microwave or toaster. I've even packed them in my lunch as a substitute for bread with peanut butter and jam.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Gluten Free Oat & Hemp Frozen Cookie Sandwich

For my ice cream sandwich I used GF Vanilla Soft Serve I wanted to keep it low fat and healthy. Any flavor would be delicious, chocolate soft serve or peanut butter.   

Freeze cookies and add your favorite ice cream or use one of my healthy soft serves. Here I used GF Vanilla Soft Serve.   Make some ahead and keep them in the freezer for a refreshing treat!

Here is the recipe I used for my frozen cookie sandwich.

Gluten Free Coconut, Oat & Nut - Hemp Cookies        Makes 21 Cookies

1/3 cup butter, or any dairy free option.

3/4 cup sugar, I use beet sugar. Coconut sugar is another option.
1 egg, or egg replacer equal to one egg.
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup gluten free flour of your choice. I suggest  purchasing a gluten free pre-made mix, or use one of your own favorite gluten free flour mixes. See my suggestions on the link that follows,  Gluten Free Flour Combinations For Baking.
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp xanthan gum or guar gum
3/4 cup gluten free rolled oats
1/2 cup hulled hemp seeds
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut (optional)
3 Tbsp finely chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners. Using a non-stick spray is ok too.

In a mixing bowl, cream butter or butter substitute and sugar. Add vanilla and egg or egg substitute. Mix well.

In a small bowl stir together flour, oats, hemp seeds, baking soda, xanthan gum, nuts, and coconut.  Add this to butter and sugar mixture. Mix until well combined. 

Form dough into about 1 inch balls and bake for 12 minutes. Cookies will flatten. Let sit a couple minutes after removing cookies from the oven. Then cool cookies completely on wire racks.

Weight watcher points plus followers count 3 points for each cookie.



Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Just Like Pulled Pork - Easy Barbecued Pork Roast. (Gluten free option too)

Have you ever thought you came up with something new in the food world, just to find out everybody's already tried it?

Well that happened to me when I thought I came up with this great idea for pork roast. No one in our family really liked pork roast, including myself. So we never ate it.....I never cooked it. But after having pulled pork in Hawaii, a few years ago I absolutely fell in love with it. I had never tasted anything so good. I will admit, they have a magical way of cooking it, but it also got me curious.

So I bought some really nice cuts of pork roast and started experimenting.  I tried sauces, rubs, herbs, but nothing came even close to what I had eaten in Hawaii.

One day I had some left-overs in the fridge that nobody seemed to want, and I was seriously considering giving them to our dog, Charlie.

My teen-age son hadn't had lunch yet and I got this idea.....what if I added some bbq sauce to the left over pork and tried to make it look like it had been shredded and served him a hot bbq sandwich? I gave it a try, and he loved it. He even said, "I didn't know we had any of this stuff, I just had this over at a friends house too."  And then a light bulb went off in my head and I thought, why couldn't I add the bbq sauce to the roast while it was in the slow cooker?

Apparently everybody already does this.....jokes on me. Oh well. Huge success, so I decided to share my new revolution with you anyway. And the best part is a lot of bbq sauces are made gluten free now.

The only thing you will need along with a pork roast is some bbq sauce. I purchase my pork roast  from Costco, Premium Pork Sirloin Tip Roast, 98% fat free. I like the way they are packaged, and I always cook two at a time. Left overs are never a problem, in fact there are usually not enough left overs. Yes,...it's that popular with my family.

 Since I cook two at a time I use a larger slow cooker. For one roast the smaller size is perfect.

Rinse and pat dry the pork roast and place in cooker.  Pour a fair amount of bbq sauce over the roast.
My favorite bbq sauce is, Sweet Baby Ray's. Exact measurements aren't that important, just get a nice covering on the roast.

Cover and cook on low for about 9 hours. Check to make sure it's all cooked inside. 
The finished product will look like this.

At this point I remove the roast from the slow cooker and place in a large dish and cover with foil. Let sit for about 10 minutes. Or until you are ready to pull apart.
While you're at it, this would be a good time to remove any meat that you don't want extra bbq sauce on, for example if you are following weight watchers. Remove some of the meat from the inside not the outside edges where the sauce is and each ounce of meat will still be 1 point. If you then want to add some extra sauce to your serving, then you can easily add a measured amount. Two tablespoons of this bbq sauce is 2 points. The roast is delicious with or without the extra sauce.  But it's nice to enjoy what everyone else is eating. 

Grab a knife and start slicing and pulling apart the meat starting at one end, and just slowly work to the other end.  On the edges I cut that area up into small pieces, but the rest will shred nicely.

I like to add even more bbq sauce to moisten and flavor all the meat. Keep tossing and stirring until the meat is evenly covered. Taste as you mix.....yummy!

I use a large serving fork to mix the sauce with the meat, it seems to work well.

Cover with foil to keep warm. I actually keep the prepared bbq pork in the oven on warm until ready to eat.  Toast up some buns, these make a great sandwich. Perfect for a crowd.

These work great on gluten free breads and rolls as well, The Best Gluten Free Sandwich Rolls

Lunch the next day is easy with these left overs!  Just reheat in the microwave and you've got a tasty and hearty sandwich. My husband likes them with shredded cabbage or coleslaw. Try my grandma's recipe.

If you want to make your own barbecue sauce check out this recipe,  Memphis-Style Barbecue Sauce  it's delicious too.


Thursday, March 2, 2017

Asparagus…A Tasty Mood Lifting Vegetable!

I have heard that  foods can actually be mood lifting, and that asparagus of all things, is one of the best.  Ok, I am slightly sensitive to this food at a moderate level, which means I can rotate it in if I don't find it to cause any problems. So I sat down and started taking some notes.

I tried two new ways to eat asparagus. One is in scrambled eggs, duck eggs for me. (I am highly allergic to chicken eggs) And the other way, is one I came up with on my own. I was roasting some brussels sprouts the other night and had some left over asparagus, so I just added them to the pan. WOW! They were so good I ate them all before I ate the brussels sprouts, they were like tasty little crunchy straws.

With my eggs and asparagus I decided to add a little ham and a touch of cheese. Ok…yes! I am cheating a little! But sometimes I just crave a flavor or am curious about a food…like now.

First I cut up 1 oz of  ham and a nice handful of asparagus tops. I sauteed them in a small amount of Smart Balance Light.

Then I added my scrambled duck egg mixture of 1 whole egg, 2 whites and a couple Tbls soy milk.

When eggs are done top with 1/2 serving of Weight Watchers Mexican Style Blend Reduced Fat Cheese.   If you are very careful about rotating foods you are sensitive to, sometimes you can get away with this once or twice a week. I don't suggest rotating allergic or sensitive foods until you have followed a strict diet of elimination for a full year first. And remember, some foods you will find can never be rotated. Believe me, you will know which ones when you try. For yeast free diets, no cheese.

Ok, back to this dish…because it's ready to devour!

This was so amazing I got up early to make it for my husband before he left for a meeting. He also loved it. The asparagus really blends nicely with the egg. I hope you give it a try....it is sure to make you smile!

Weight watcher points with ham and cheese, this dish has 5 points. Ducks eggs are an extra point due to their larger size.

The other way I mentioned preparing asparagus was with my roasted brussels sprouts.
Here they are seasoned and cooking.

I usually just rinse the brussels sprouts and remove loose outer leaves, and dry them off on a towel. For the asparagus after rinsing and drying I broke them in half using the top half. The goats got the bottom half  : )

I roast my brussels sprouts on the pure convection setting at 400. If you do not have a convection oven set to 425.

Place fresh vegetables in a large bowl add toss with 1 Tbl olive oil. When they are well coated shake some sea salt over them or McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak and toss again.

Place vegetables on a large baking sheet prepared with Pam, even though there is oil on the vegetables I still coat the baking sheet with Pam.

Bake for about 20 min, maybe check after 15, for preferred doneness. Also turn them over and roll them around a bit for even browning. The more browning on the vegetables the better in my opinion. Depending on your taste, you might like the asparagus at this point.

 As I mentioned I like them really brown, so I continue to bake everything for 5 min or more.

These are so good you won't even need butter! But if you do Brummel & Brown is an excellent low fat alternative. I have found occasional use of this product, and Smart Balance does not bother me even though I am very allergic to all dairy.

Even if you do not like brussels sprouts, try them roasted. I actually find them very offensive prepared any other way. Roasting some how makes them less bitter.

Weight watcher points will only count the oil you add. I find 1Tbl of oil goes a long way. For each Tbl of Olive Oil you add 4 points plus, and by tossing the vegetables in a large dish you can get enough coating on the vegetables with that small amount. Divide that by 4 servings and you have 1 point for each.

Brummel & Brown has 1 point plus for each Tbl. so if you add a teaspoon on top of your serving vegetables and let it melt over all, you have just 1/3 of a point. I really like Brummel & Brown because of it's great flavor and it actually does melt!


Thursday, February 2, 2017

Perfect Salads - Dressing Up An Every Day Salad With The Fresh Fruits Of The Season

I love to add fresh fruits to my greens.
I try to eat a giant salad of greens and raw vegetables for one meal a day. I like to add a large variety of raw vegetables to my salads. I combine about 7 or more different raw vegetables including romaine lettuce, spinach, kale, zucchini, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, green pepper, mushrooms, cabbage and purple onion.

I also add garbanzo beans, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds. During the winter months I enjoy grapes and oranges on my salads, but in the summer my salad rises to a whole new level with fresh berries, cherries and kiwi. The variety of flavors and textures are fantastic, sweet, crunchy, chewy.... and this is so great for our bodies.

Instead of unhealthy croutons, I crunch up Trader Joe's Lentil Chips, Sea Salt & Black Pepper flavor.  These chips are full of flavor and baked with only 3 grams of fat per serving.

I make a giant salad once or twice a week and store the whole thing in a recycled lettuce or spinach container or fill mason jars, as you can see in my Food Tips. This keeps my salad as fresh as the day I made it. I don't add the beans, sunflower seeds or fruit until ready to serve.

Meat eaters can add cut up leftover chicken and turkey with some cheese as another addition to a salad.

And finally in this salad I've added sweet peppers cut in rings, mushrooms, garbanzo beans, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, and a yummy quinoa & brown rice mix from Seeds of Change. Love this one! 

There are so many options it's fun to experiment, and the salads are gorgeous as well as nutritious!

So, come on!    Eat those greens!!