Zucchini Brownies

zucchinibrownies

What?! Zucchini Brownies? It doesn’t sound appetizing but I can tell you that it is very good. It’s moist, rich, super dark, not too sweet, and yes, guilt-free (gluten-free, no refined sugar, no butter or oil, nut-free, and wheat-free). My 9-year old daughter loves them. My 4-year old son won’t try anything with the word “zucchini” it in no matter how chocolatey it is. If you’re lucky, it’s a great way to get veggies in your child or husband’s diet. 🙂 Perfect for dessert or a snack.

The recipe is from cookingalamel.com but I made my own changes because I want it EXTRA DARK!

RECIPE

  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup Peet’s unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup plain Fage Greek yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 1/2 t liquid stevia (or 1/2 cup more coconut sugar, added to the dry ingredients)
  • 2-3 zucchini squash, shredded
  • One (1) 3.5 oz. of 85% or higher dark chocolate bar, roughly chopped
  • Optional: 3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease or line an 8″x 8″ pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the almond meal, cocoa, salt, baking soda, and coconut sugar.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the yogurt, eggs, vanilla, and liquid stevia together, until smooth.
  4. Slowly add the dry ingredients until fully incorporated.
  5. Fold in the shredded zucchini, chocolate pieces, and nuts.
  6. Pour into a greased 8×8 baking dish.
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool before cutting.
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Roasted Eggplant Lasagna

eggplantBake

I love Italian food and I’m a sucker for anything eggplant. The other day, my Swiss cousin said she making millefiore. I asked, “What’s that?” She explained it to me and my mouth just watered. We happened to be texting at midnight (which was about the time she was waking up) so I went to bed hungry. The next day, I ran to the grocery store and bought my ingredients for this tasty dish. I wish I could have eaten this for breakfast, but I waited till dinner before serving. And leftovers are perfect for lunch the next day!

She doesn’t put the ricotta-spinach layer so I couldn’t really call this millefiore. Instead, the best thing to call this dish is Roasted Eggplant Lasagna. No pasta, no flours, no sugar. It’s low-carb, gluten-free, wheat-free, vegetarian, and cheesy good! Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

RECIPE

  • 2 large eggplant, sliced thinly (about 1/4″)
  • 1/2 bag of frozen chopped spinach (or use fresh spinach, chop first)
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tsp. chopped garlic
  • salt / pepper
  • 1 lb of ricotta cheese
  • 1-2 eggs
  • 1/2 c of grated parmesan and/or romano cheese
  • 1/2 grated mozzarella cheese
  • 2 c spaghetti sauce (I used half a jar of Trader Joe’s Tomato Basil spaghetti sauce.)
  1. Preheat oven at 350*.
  2. Slice eggplant. and lay on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Salt eggplant and roast in oven till they turn brown. (About 15-20 min.) Set aside.
  3. While you are roasting your eggplant, you can sauté spinach with olive oil, garlic, chopped basil, salt and pepper. Let it cool. Then mix the spinach in with ricotta cheese, parmesan/ricota cheese and egg(s).
  4. Grease the bottom of an 8×8 square.
  5. Layer like a lasagna (eggplant, sauce, mozzarella, eggplant, ricotta, mozzarella, etc.
  6. Top with more tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. Bake covered in foil for about 25 minutes. Remove the foil, and cook for another 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted. Let cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

Bagels

Before I get to the bagel recipe, I’m so sorry that I haven’t been posting in a while. I’ve been bitten by the “workout bug” and have delved into the land of fitness. My life has been consumed by daily exercise so I haven’t been cooking as much or trying out new recipes but I am still eating clean and always refer to my recipes for weight maintenance.

If you’d like to see NEW Before & After Pics, click here.

Now on to the Bagel recipe…

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I love bagels! I practically salivate when I smell their delicious aroma when I pass by the bakery at Costco or when they’re toasting in the toaster! BUT… since I stay away from bagels because it’s full of carbs, I only eat them very rarely. And when I do, I will only eat half, and eat is ever-so-slowly so that I can enjoy it. Then I found this gluten-free, grain-free, paleo, lower-carb bagel recipe from Elana’s Pantry. Ok, so it doesn’t have the chewiness and texture of a bagel, but it LOOKS like a bagel, it has a hole in the middle, and I can eat it with cream cheese for breakfast. So, I’ll take that over nothing. 🙂 You can also use this to make bagel sandwiches for lunch or dinner. Yum, yum!

I altered the instructions a bit since I don’t have a food processor. I used a mixer and the bagels came out fine.

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RECIPE

  • 1-1/2 cups of almond meal
  • 1/4 cup of flax meal
  • 1 T of coconut flour
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 T apple cider vinegar
  • 1 T of poppy or sesame seeds (optional)
  1. Preheat oven at 350˚F. Grease and dust a donut pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients (except for the seeds).
  3. In a large bowl, beat eggs and vinegar on a medium setting using a mixer. Then slowly add the dry ingredients a little bit at a time mixing with a spatula until you form batter.
  4. Place the batter in a piping bag or a plastic bag, and snip off one corner and pipe the batter into the donut pan.
  5. Sprinkle the seeds over the bagels.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the bagel comes out clean.
  7. Cool the bagels for an hour, then serve.
  8. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Toast to reheat.

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

cauliflowerpizzaDoesn’t this Cauliflower Pizza Crust look like a REAL pizza crust?! I finally found a recipe for this gluten-free, wheat-free, low carb crust that doesn’t turn out soggy and is actually a decent guilt-free substitute for pizza crust. This is based from a recipe from GoSuperSisters.com. The trick is getting ALL THE EXCESS WATER OUT! And it’s best to make this a personal-sized pizza vs. a regular family-sized pizza because then the center will be soggy. I couldn’t bake it longer without burning the edges. And look at those edges! Yup… there is a little crunch with this crust!

RECIPE

Crust:

  • 2 cups of rough chopped cauliflower
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tbs coconut or oat flour
  • 1 T Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp of dry Italian herbs or seasoning
  • Pepper (optional)

Toppings

  • 2 T tomato sauce or sugar-free pizza sauce
  • 2 T Parmesan cheese
  • 1/8 cup of shredded mozzarella
  • Your choice of toppings
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place cauliflower in a food processor (or in a blender with a bit of water) and process until “riced.”
  3. Put the riced cauliflower in a microwave safe bowl and heat in the microwave for 4-5 minutes or until soft.
  4. Once cauliflower has completely cooled (a couple hours?), pour the cauliflower “dough” in a clean kitchen towel or cheese cloth and squeeze the excess water out. I’m talking SQUEEZE! There is a lot of water in cauliflower and when you think you’ve squeezed it all out, SQUEEZE some more! You’ll be thankful you did.
  5. Place cauliflower back into a bowl and add your egg white, flour, cheese, garlic, salt, seasoning and pepper. Mix well and form into a ball.
  6. Place the dough on your lined baking sheet and flatten into a round circle with your hands. Place in oven for 15 minutes, then remove and carefully flip (I used another lined baking sheet on top to support the crust and make sure it didn’t fall apart).
  7. Put it back into oven for 5-10 minutes or until golden brown (more if you want).
  8. Once your crust is done, top it with sauce, cheese and any other toppings.
  9. Place it back into the oven for 5-10 minutes or until cheese is golden.
  10. Buon Apetit!

Pita Bread

I love making this gluten-free wheat-free Pita Bread from glutenfreefix.com. It’s quite simple to make, and it tastes pretty good. This is perfect for sandwiches — just stuff it with your favorite cheese, meat and veggies! One recipe makes 4 pita pockets, but you can make couple batches at a time and refrigerate the pita pockets for future sammies.

RECIPE

  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon oil or melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour, firmly packed
  • 1/4 cup almond flour, firmly packed
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  2. Whisk together egg, water and oil.
  3. Add dry ingredients then whisk well.
  4. Pour into 2 equal portions onto a well greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet or  on a Silpat.
  5. Spread each portion to a 5-6 inch round.
  6. Bake for 18-20 minutes, it will be darker in color, and slightly crisp around the edges.

Let cool. Cut in half. With a small serrated knife, slice carefully down the center, creating the “pocket.”

French Toast

So I took slices of the Coconut Flour Bread and made them into guilt-free French Toast. What a fantastic surprise for breakfast. One word: Wow!

RECIPE

  • 6 thick slices
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
  • salt to taste
  1. Beat together egg, milk, salt, desired spices and vanilla.
  2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle of skillet over medium-high flame.
  3. Dunk each slice of bread in egg mixture, soaking both sides. Place in pan, and cook on both sides until golden.
  4. Sprinkle with a little coconut palm sugar or Stevia, or drizzle with agave nectar. Top with whipped cream and fruit. Serve.

(I placed 3 slices on a plate for my serving but I could only eat 1 slice because it’s a bit heavy. This breakfast is gluten-free, wheat-free and nut-free.)

Coconut Flour Bread

I was looking for a guilt-free sweeter kind of bread that I could eat for breakfast or maybe smeared with some peanut butter, almond butter or cream cheese for a snack. I found this Coconut Flour Bread from nourishedkitchen.com. It’s gluten-free, nut-free and very simple to make – with only 5 ingredients – and it’s satisfying. It’s dense, almost like a pound cake but with a slight similar texture to shortbread. I’m not sure if I would use this for savory sandwiches but definitely for a PB&J (sugar-free jelly?) or drizzled with a bit of agave nectar, or maybe something to dip in my coffee.

RECIPE

  • 3/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup of melted butter or ghee
  • 6 eggs
  • 1-2 tbsp of agave nectar
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  2. Combine flour, butter/ghee, eggs, agave and salt together in a bowl with a whisk – or a mixer or food processor. (I used a bowl and whisk.)
  3. Mix all ingredients until it’s smooth with no clumps.
  4. Pour batter in a greased loaf pan. (I used a regular-sized loaf pan. The bread doesn’t rise to the top so you may want to use a smaller or loaf pan.)
  5. Bake for 40 minutes.