Salmon with Dill Sauce

salmon_dill

Here’s a tasty fish dish for lunch or dinner: Salmon with Dill Sauce. This low-carb, gluten-free meal is part of my clean eating challenge to each better and healthier by avoiding processed foods and hidden sugars that are found in many prepackaged sauces. This dish is simple to make and you can serve it with a side of veggies or brown rice.

RECIPE

  • 2 T plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp dill weed, fresh (preferred, but dried is fine)
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1-1/2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1-1/2 tsp white rice vinegar
  • 1/2 T green onion, chopped
  • 4 ounces salmon
  • 1/2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil
  1. Preheat grill or broiler.
  2. Prepare dill sauce by combining yogurt, dill, pepper, mustard, vinegar, and onion.
  3. Brush salmon with olive oil and grill. Serve salmon topped with dill sauce.
Advertisements

Caramel Sauce

I did it (Thanks to my cousin in Switzerland who made the many attempts to perfect it)! My Christmas present to you! I made some gluten-free Caramel Sauce. Oh, how I missed you on my desserts! I wouldn’t say this was completely guilt-free. Definitely indulge but eat moderately. It’s sooooo good over some Creamy Vanilla Ice Cream or Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream. And sometimes I sprinkle a bit of rock salt to get my salted caramel fix. Mmmmm!

RECIPE

  • 1/4 cup of agave nectar
  • 2 tbsp of heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup of butter (1 tbsp. and the rest cup up into 1 tsp. portions)
  • pinch of salt
  1. Combine agave, cream and 1 tbsp of butter in a sauce pan and cook over medium-high heat.  Let it cook for 10 minutes, stirring CONSTANTLY!!!
  2. Take it off the heat and keep stirring to cool it down. Whatever you do, don’t leave it alone because agave burns just like sugar does when it is too hot. It will brown and look just like caramel. Once it starts to cool down, it will thicken. (When it’s cold, it will solidify. You don’t want it to solidify.)
  3. Add the rest of the butter one teaspoon at a time until it stays at a sauce consistency. Cool for a bit and serve over ice cream. You can also store this in the refrigerator. Just place in an airtight glass jar. It will solidify. When you’re ready to use it, just place the jar in a warm water bath until it liquifies. (DO NOT MICROWAVE! I made that mistake and the whole thing separated into clarified butter and brown goo. No bueno, people. Not good.)

Chocolate Banana Cupcakes with Whipped Banana Frosting

I’m on a chocolate and banana kick lately. I can’t seem to get enough bananas these days. Maybe my body is in need of potassium thus the craving. I found these Chocolate Banana Cupcakes from Elana’s Gluten-Free Cupcakes book. I made this dessert for my parents and in-laws when they came for dinner. They were hesitant at first because I told them these were “guilt-free.” But who can resist chocolate? I even served them up with a scoop of Coconut Vanilla Ice Cream and dusted the top with some cocoa powder. So after they polished off their plates, I found my Dad in my kitchen making a second serving for himself. He even tried to “dust” it with cocoa powder himself but it was more like an avalanche stormed his dessert plate!

CUPCAKE RECIPE

  • 1/2 cup of coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 2-3 very ripe bananas, mashed
  1. Preheat oven at 350˚F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs and agave nectar.
  4. Stir wet ingredients in the flour mixture until thoroughly combined, then fold in the mashed bananas.
  5. Fill each muffin cup with 1/4 cup of batter.
  6. Bake for 18-22 minutes.
  7. Cool for an hour, then frost with Whipped Banana Frosting.

WHIPPED BANANA FROSTING

  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp agave nectar
  • 2-3 very ripe bananas, mashed
  1. Whip the cream and agave in a mixer until you get stiff peaks.
  2. Mix in banana and whip for 20-30 seconds.
  3. Use immediately or store in a the refrigerator for 3 hours and use before the bananas turn brown.

Low-Carb Hamburger Bun

It’s summertime and who doesn’t love a barbeque with the FamBam? We love grilling burgers and hotdogs out in our backyard, especially when you just don’t have time to prepare a gourmet meal for lunch or dinner. I can usually just eat the hamburger by itself with a side salad or grilled veggies, but sometimes I want a bun! Something to hold my juicy burger and melted cheese and sink my teeth into. I found this recipe online for a Low-Carb Hamburger Bun. Totally guilt-free! It hits the spot and is very filling. I couldn’t even finish the bread and ended up just eating the rest of my hamburger by itself. This is also perfect for other sandwiches as well.

RECIPE (for 1 bun)

2 T melted butter
1/2 pinch salt
1 egg
4 T flax seed meal
1/2 tsp baking powder

Mix all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl.
Nuke for 1 minute (or until center is set). It will billow up in the bowl.
Leave in the bowl for another minute then turn it out on a cooling rack. Let cool.
Slice in half and make your burger as usual.

Flax Seed Focaccia Bread

Since cutting carbs out of my diet, what I have been missing sometimes are sandwiches, like grilled cheese or a turkey and avocado panini sandwich or even just a slice of bread with butter smeared on top. Sometimes I just miss BREAD! There really is no replacement. If I do eat bread, it has to be VERY GOOD BREAD. None of this sliced bread or enriched bread you buy at the grocery store. I’m talking sourdough roll or sweet French bread or a multi-grain baguette piping hot out of the oven. Then it would be worth being bad. Right?

My Swiss cousin sent me this recipe for gluten-free, low-carb Flax Seed Focaccia Bread. If she likes it, then I’ll probably like it too. After baking my bread, I took a bite and fell in love immediately. Then I had my husband try it. He said it was good and would like to know if he could have another slice. Sure! Then I had my kids try it. My 2-year old will eat just about anything, so maybe his opinion doesn’t count, however my persnickety 6-year old will snub her nose at crackers if they don’t meet her standards. Well, guess what? They both gobbled this stuff up! My daughter ate her slice AND the rest of my slice because she thought it was really delicious. I think I need to make more. 🙂

RECIPE

2 cups of flax seed meal
2 tbsp of blanched almond flour
1 tbsp of baking powder
1 tsp of salt
2 tbsp equivalent of sugar substitute (I used 2 tbsp of Stevia in the Raw, not extract.)
5 beaten eggs
1/2 cup of water
1/3 cup of olive oil

  1. Beat the eggs then throw the rest of the ingredients in with it.
  2. Let it sit for a couple minutes to thicken.
  3. Pour it onto a flat jelly-roll pan lined with parchment paper.
  4. Bake at 350˚F for 15-20 minutes or until it springs back to the touch.
  5. Eat as is, or cut into sizable squares to make sandwiches.

The bread comes out looking like one big flat bread. I used a pizza cutter to make my “slices.” If you’re not going to eat it all the same day, you will need to store your bread in an airtight container or a plastic bag and place it in the fridge, otherwise it will go bad fast. Put a couple slices in your toaster to reheat. It will still taste as good as when you baked it.

I’ve lost the weight, now what?

Here are my before and after photos. I might as well start with that because people are going to want to see. I’m not going to go into detail on how I lost the weight. There are different approaches and I’m not a doctor, so I don’t want to tell you what diet works best. Whether you’re exercising, counting calories, counting points, low-carbing, all-twinkie dieting, detox dieting, cleanse dieting, doing Shakeology, doing the latest Hollywood fad diet, etc.—the point is, it’s whatever works for you.

I was never a thin person and I wouldn’t call myself small by any means. But I also never thought I was fat until I saw pictures of myself last summer. When did I get so big?! I almost surrendered and accepted that I will now always be “this size.” But I just couldn’t accept that. I don’t want to be “this size.” I had to do something. I went on a hard-core diet and got off my butt and started walking my daughter to school at least 3 times a day (It’s a good 25 minutes one way!). I started eating right and watching how much I ate. The dieting part was very hard, and sometimes I really had to muster all the will power I could to stay on track. I had to learn how to say, “No, thank you. I don’t want a slice of ooey-gooey chocolate cake with a scoop of French vanilla ice cream,” while I sulked and bit into my boring apple. I stayed strong, stayed focused, and kept my eye on the prize! And in the end, it DID pay off.

So I’ve lost the weight, now what?

Yeah, yeah… dieting is hard but what’s really difficult is the maintenance. How do I stay “this size” now? Like I said before, you do whatever works for you. I’ve changed my eating habits and continue to walk at least 3 times a day. I’ve removed sugar in my everyday eating (no more caramel macchiatos with whip, no more sodas, no more baking brownies just because I’m bored). I now eat foods low in carbohydrates most of the time (sayonara white rice, white bread, and mashed potatoes) and eat more brown rice, whole wheat pasta, and quinoa. I am also eating more fruits and vegetables. And lastly, I started reading food labels. (There are lots of hidden sugars in our everyday foods!)

Don’t get me wrong. I still eat my faves like pasta, chocolate, and ice cream—just not everyday. And I’m not going to deny that every once in a while, I will have some mashed potatoes or an occasional Sprinkles cupcake. Hey, I’m not a saint! What I’m saying is that I changed my dysfunctional relationship with food. I started “eating to live” instead of “living to eat.”

The purpose of this blog is to post interesting “guilt-free” foods (mostly treats) that I’ve come across and made. I’ll let you know how they turn out and how they taste. To be honest, these foods cannot replace the real deal when it comes to taste, however some of them do taste pretty dang good, especially if you haven’t had the real deal in a long time! If you’re low-carbing, not eating sugar, or going gluten-free, and you want to eat a batch of peanut butter cookies, knock yourself out. I will not say you won’t gain weight, or it’s a healthier option, or you won’t get a face full of zits from eating a jar of peanut butter. But if you eat in moderation, it is somewhat guilt-free. In my case, I know that if I eat one gluten-free, no sugar, low-carb vanilla cupcake with vegan chocolate frosting, the scale will be kind to me the next day. 🙂

Enjoy and happy reading!