Gluten Free Breads?

January 7, 2015

Julian Bakery Gluten Free Bread

Julian Bakery Gluten Free Bread

photo 4

If you’re trying to eat gluten-free, be careful with breads and baked goods because a lot of the time, grains are replaced by starches and they are very carb-heavy and you just end up trading one problem for another.

There are only two gluten-free breads I like.  Canyon Bakehouse Cinnamon Raisin Bread and Julian Bakery Paleo bread (Coconut Paleo Bread pictured above – it also comes in Almond, which is in a brown package).  I also like to substitute bread all together for a delicious Julian Bakery Coconut Wrap (I actually had no idea that my favorite paleo bread and my favorite coconut wrap was made by the same people until I started writing this post and looking for links, because I never use the brand name when talking about them!)

The Canyon Bakehouse bread is a nice, tasty treat, but a bit carby/starchy, as most gluten-free baked goods are, because most use starches to replace the grains that have gluten in them.  So, this isn’t the kind of bread I’d eat every day or anything.

The Paleo Bread is low carb (because it’s not starchy), is moist, has a fairly strong baking soda taste (which is well-tempered if you eat it with something, as opposed to eating it with nothing on it), and really needs to be toasted, IMHO.  The Coconut “flavor” does not taste like coconut at all to me.  It just doesn’t have any nuts (as opposed to the Almond one), and is made with coconut flour.  It is sold as a frozen bread, so I let half a loaf thaw out at a time in the fridge.  If you try to toast a frozen piece, it takes forever, and will likely be unsuccessful.  Even thawed, I don’t usually crisp it up like regular toast in the toaster, it just kind of gets warm.  I like it moist for sandwiches.  My diet-twin and BFF Joe B. (hi, JOE!) says he likes to put the slices in the oven for 15 min at 350.  I don’t know if that’s frozen or thawed, though.  If you’re looking for a grain-free, gluten-free, low carb, fairly low-sodium bread (that is also yeast-free, starch-free, soy free, GMO free, and nut free), Coconut Paleo Bread is the one!

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Boneless, skinless chicken breasts?

April 30, 2013

I’m not sure what you’re asking exactly, but in general, I disagree with boneless, skinless anything. If you cook meat, then you should cook pastured, organic meat with bones and fat. I think the minerals from the bones are important for balancing acidity and nutrition, and the fat helps protect the lining of your small intestine, and helps you to absorb fat-soluble vitamins. But keep in mind these are mere opinions and I am not presenting them as fact..

However, every so often, boneless, skinless chicken breast is on sale, so I buy it and make something with it. In the past, my usual dish was chicken fingers, but now that I no longer eat grains and have adopted a paleo / specific carbohydrate diet, I needed a new way to make chicken fingers, but I was bored out of my mind with boneless, skinless chicken breast in general.

Enter Chicken Ennui.

I created this recipe out of sheer boredom (thus the name) and it’s easy and quick, and can probably be made with stuff you already have in your kitchen. As usual, I didn’t measure anything, so here are some pictures.

Preheat oven to 350 and put your baking pan in there to get hot. Gather dried herbs that go together, such as these:

Dried herbs and peppercorns

Rosemary, basil, fennel seed, thyme and black peppercorn.

Other herbs that would work well with all or some of these are: oregano, sage, parsley, and corriander. You can use any kind of peppercorn, but you can’t skip it. Add some salt, and grind all of these in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder to a fairly fine powder. Don’t use pre-ground pepper, because it’s gross. Always grind your peppercorn fresh. Trust me. I’d use about a tsp of each for each pound of chicken breasts, because I like a ton of herbs, and chicken breast needs flavor. Oh god, it’s just so dull.

Slice up chicken breasts so they’re evenly sized for even cooking. I usually make them between 1/4 and 1/8 inch thick. Slather mayonnaise on every slice (you’ll only need about a tablespoon per pound), then press them into the herb/salt/pepper mixture.

Place the coated chicken strips on the hot baking pan (I used a slotted pan) and bake for about 10 -15 minutes.

Coated chicken strips ready for oven

I put the chicken strips on a pre-heated slotted roasting pan. You can bake them on any kind of baking pan. Pre-heating it will help them to not stick.

I like it to be a little browned, so I leave it in for a while.

Chicken Ennui is done!

See, I didn’t cut all of the chicken breast the same size. Uneven cooking! Learn from my mistakes, people!

I served my Chicken Ennui with spaghetti squash with a dollop of Artisana coconut butter, and arugula with Kerry Wood Lemon Tarragon dressing. If you’d like to see pretty much everything I eat, you can follow my meals on Tumblr.

Dinner

Dinner! Yum!


Decadent but healthy holiday treats?

December 13, 2012

Before I go into listing my favorite decadent but (relatively) healthy treats, I need to mention the new holiday tin from Hail Merry.  This past February, I posted about how much I loved their Chocolate Mint Miracle Tart and today, I sampled their Choco Macaroons in the First Love Blue tin tonight at Organic Avenue and they are ridick delish.  They were not overly sweet (but just sweet enough) and the shredded coconut was not overwhelming.  You know how sometimes a large amount of dried, shredded coconut can make something taste a little like soap?  Well, these chocolate macaroons had no trace of that.  Plus, they’re vegan, gluten free, kosher and non-GMO certified.  According to the website, the tin is $20 and includes shipping!  If you want to try them first, you can buy a small four-macaroon (less festive) soft-pack ($3.99 at Organic Avenue).  I bought one of the small packs after sampling one in the store.  That’s right — money where my mouth is, yo.

Hail Merry Choco Macaroons

Gerry from Hail Merry is even prettier in person. You think there’s something to this “raw oils” thing? Duh.

Here are some ideas for some really decadent, but (relatively) healthy treats (in no particular order).  WARNING: all of these are ridiculously rich and decadent and I would STRONGLY advise you against eating an entire package  of any of this stuff at one time.  Seriously, it’s too much.  I’m a big eater, and I’m used to a very high raw-fat diet, and they’re even too much for me.  Portion it out before you start.  If you’re the kind of person who can’t stop yourself half way through a package, don’t even get started with these treats.  Trust me.

  • Sweet Mama’s cheesecake – I buy it at Integral Yoga and my favorites are drumstick, berry, and black and white cheesecakes. 
  • Rockin’ Raw – I like their chocolate cake with vanilla frosting, cinnabuns, mocha cheesecake, banana cheesecake and vanilla pumpkin pudding.   Pity me because I’ve never been to their Sullivan Street store, but I usually buy their stuff at Integral Yoga (chocolate cake exclusive) or Organic Avenue (banana cheesecake exclusive).
  • One Lucky Duck / Pure Food and Wine – Tiramisu.  It’s expensive and it’s small.  I don’t know how often they have it at the restaurant, but it’s usually available at the takeaway shop.  This is the dessert that will make you believe in time travel, if you are prone to believe that some omnipotent, nutritionally benevolent version of yourself from the future is bothering to alter the space/time continuum in order for you to taste miracles.  Yeah, I said that.
  • One Lucky Duck / Pure Food and Wine – Thumbprint cookies – probably available only at the takeaway shop.  I doubt they would have these at the restaurant.
  • Hail Merry Chocolate Mint Miracle Tart – I buy these at Integral Yoga, but I’ve seen them all over the place (some Whole Foods, Lifethyme, Organic Avenue, etc.).  These are good enough to give to someone who claims to hate health food and/or a picky kid.
  • Rawlicious cheesecake – pretty much any flavor.
  • Gnosis chocolate – Fleur de Sel bar – 70% raw dark chocolate, dairy free, gluten-free, organic and refined-sugar-free, with big salt flakes in it?  Yes.  Yes, indeed.  Integral Yoga tends to have better prices than Whole Foods on these.

Where can I find great paleo food?

November 30, 2012

Hu Kitchen

Hu Kitchen

People, let me tell you about a little slice of heaven called Hu on 5th Avenue between 13th and 14th Streets in Manhattan.  It’s all familiar looking food – meatloaf, rotisserie chicken, great looking veggies, soups, coffee, muffins, wine, beer.  But it’s better sourced, more unprocessed, healthier, and more thoughtfully curated.

Muffins

Should I still even bake when I can just buy stuff this good? Srsly, $hi+ just got real here.

You can take your Grandmother, your girlfriend who’s in that Greenpoint noise band, your supplement-popping and highly allergic uncle, and your pretentious college roommate here.  You’re going to be very sorry regarding your choice of dining companions, and they’ll balk at the prices (it’s not cheap), but they will all end up finding something delicious and they will love what they’re eating.  There are actual greens on the juice bar AND they have alkaline water, okay?  And the bread and the muffins are grain-free AND delicious.  What the what?!  I mean really delicious, not just some strange, dense, cardboard-y imitation of a pastry item like grain-free or even gluten-free bread tends to be.  Your grain-loving friends will like it.  Just trust me, fool.

Kale and Ridick Delish Cauliflower Mash

The cauliflower mash (left) is stupid good.

Hu has no table service.  It’s all take-out and self-serve, but there’s plenty of seating.  The design is wood-focused modern minimalist and the music was late 90s Kruder and Dorfmeister-esque slo-beat trip hop (but really, what the hell else are they supposed to play?), so it can be welcoming to some and off-putting to others, but no matter how you view the superficial parts of this place, try the food.

A lot of variety, great combinations.

A lot of variety, great combinations.


Alert: Great Snack Food

October 5, 2012

Flamous Falafel Chips

I found these at Integral Yoga. I’ve also seen them at Whole Foods occasionally. If you’re going to eat a chip, this seems to me to be your best option, nutritionally.

It’s that time of the year when I go evaluating snack foods to bring in to The Kid’s classroom, and I am very impressed with Flamous Falafel Chips in Original Flavor (they have a spicy flavor as well).  Due to my nightshade intolerance, I can’t eat them (they contain bell peppers, tomato and cayenne), but The Kid and husband loves them, and I am impressed with the organic non-GMO ingredients, as well as their dairy-free, gluten-free, preservative-free, artificial color/flavor-free status.  I’m not a fan of corn (it’s the Dick Cheney of the nutritional world), and these are corn-based.  However, they at least made it organic, non-GMO, whole kernel corn, so the presence of (at least good quality corn) is more than mitigated by the other benefits, in my opinion.

Flamous Falafel Chips Ingredients

This is one impressive set of ingredients!

Flamous Falafel Chips Stats

The stats are not bad. I like to see zero sugars, a bit of protein, reasonable sodium and good numbers for Calcium and Iron (especially considering the serving size is only 10 chips).


What did you bring in for snack week this week?

October 1, 2012

This week was our family’s turn to bring in snacks to The Kid’s classroom.  We’re not allowed to bring in anything with nuts or coconut (the coconut ban at our school is new and kind of crazy in my humble opinion, even in spite of the FDA misguidedly – again, in my opinion – reclassifying coconut as a nut in 2006).  Given the restrictions, I still tried to bring in healthy snacks.  I brought in:

  • Organic celery, totally washed, trimmed and cut up into sticks.  Hey, don’t teachers have enough to do than have to prep snacks?
  • Oikos (by Stonyfield Farm) single serve yogurts – organic vanilla – I am usually not a fan of fat free yogurt (it’s more than just a taste thing… fat is important in your diet), but this had a nice size container for class snack, it’s organic, and it had one of the more favorable sugar to protein ratios I’ve seen in the organic, dairy-based, flavored yogurt single serves (11:15 g).
  • Cabot Creamery Serious Snacks Sharp Cheddar Cheese packs.  I’d prefer it if these were organic, but I like the Cabot cooperative farmers products, so I don’t mind non-organic on this one so much.  Great size – .75 oz each and I think the individual packages make it a lot easier on the teachers during snack time.
  • My Super Snack Soft Granola Bites in Blueberry Banana Acai flavor.  I just recently tasted these, and liked them.  They have a sugar to protein ratio of 2:1 (which is not bad – I try to keep it as far under 3:1 as I can) and best of all, The Kid liked them.
My Super Snack in Blueberry Banana Acai

These are tasty, nutrient-dense snacks that are new to NYC!

My Super Snack in Blueberry Banana Acai

Here are the ingredients and some stats.

  • Go Raw Organic Sprouted Pumpkin Seeds.  I don’t know if there are any dairy-free kids in the classroom, but even if there aren’t, a high protein, nutrient-dense food like pumpkin seeds are a wonderful classroom snack.
Go Raw Organic Sprouted Pumpkin Seeds

I don’t know why Go Raw doesn’t have their expanded nutritional information on their website, but they don’t show this many stats there, so I took a picture. Pumpkin seeds are an amazing superfood. Plus, they’re anti-inflammatory!

  • Organic Sunbutter – look at the stats!  It’s another great high protein source, and it’s nut free!
  • Happy Herbert’s Spelt Snack Sticks  – these are tasty, filling, organic, and have turmeric!  I am all about turmeric these days.
  • Edward & Sons Organic Brown Rice Snaps in Unsalted Plain – I love these things, plus, it’s a nice gluten free platform for the Sunbutter!  Besides, now that I don’t have any priest friends anymore, the chances of me getting my hands on unconsecrated hosts for snacking is pretty much nil.  These are my substitute.

Other great classroom snack ideas:

  • Washed and thinly-sliced organic fennel
  • Roasted Nori packs (Trader Joe’s has good ones)
  • Homemade gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, refined sugar-free energy bars (see recipe here) – just be sure to provide teachers with complete ingredient list, so they don’t have to go crazy wondering if there are nuts in it.  It tastes nutty.
  • Bananas (the less ripe they are, the less sugar they have – I try for one day away from any visible green)
  • Washed and chopped organic red pepper (great source of vitamin C without the big sugar rush)
  • Freshly cut sunflower sprouts (I get these at the Union Square Farmer’s Market from The Grassman, who is awesome, BTW)
  • Flamous Falafel Chips – (see my post about them)

Recipe for chia pudding?

May 7, 2012

My dear friend Marcy, just texted me to get my chia pudding recipe!  Natasha had just asked me for it a few days prior!  Fate has brought this recipe for chia pudding to you!  I could not escape blogging about it for much longer!  Please note: my recipe is extremely plain.  Google around to find some more interesting recipes.

All amounts are based on the amount of total coconut (meat and water) you have.  See instructions below.

  • Chia seeds (I usually order them from Natural Zing, Live Superfoods, or buy Navitas brand at the store)
  • Fresh coconut meat
  • Fresh coconut water
  • Dates (or sweetener of your choice)
  • Cashews (optional)
  • Spices (such as vanilla – I love to put freshly grated nutmeg in, but that’s not to everyone’s liking)

Put the amount of coconut meat and coconut water you want to use in your blender (use meat and water in approximately equal proportion).  Note how many ounces of coconut you have total and add the dates to the blender [I use 1 date for every 8 or so oz of coconut (meat and water together)] and add the cashews to the blender (you don’t really need the cashews – it’s fine without them – but if you are adding them, add about 15 for every 8 oz of coconut).  Blend this until it is perfectly smooth.

Put a layer of chia seeds in a glass container with a lid (use about 2-3 TBS per 8 oz of total coconut).  You’ll be putting this container in your refrigerator for a few hours to overnight, so that the pudding will set.

Perspective on amount of chia seeds to blended liquid.

Pour the blended mixture over the chia seeds.  It should seem like there is a lot more liquid than chia seeds.  With a spoon, mix the liquid and the seeds together in the container.

Chia seeds and blended liquid mixed – side view.

Chia seeds and blended liquid mixed – top view.

You can mix your spices in now, or wait to sprinkle them on the finished pudding.  Put your covered container in the refrigerator for 3 hours to overnight and mix it up when you can.  The chia seeds will plump and absorb much of the liquid, and your chia pudding is ready for eating!

Your pudding may look a bit like this after it thickens up and you stir it.

Chia pudding is a lovely breakfast, and like revenge, it’s best served cold.  Yes, the kid likes it – although I have to blend it again for him, so he can’t feel the texture of the chia seeds.

 


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