Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Zucchini nacho hashbrowns

Zucchini shreds loaded with guacamole
What do you do with that basket of zucchini you just picked from the garden? How about making Zucchini Nacho Hashbrowns, loaded with guacamole, but no cheese, of course?

These zucchini nachos are healthy, ACD-friendly and trick your tastebuds and brain into thinking your eating the real thing.

Here's what you need for one serving:

1 medium to large yellow zucchini
1 medium to large green zucchini
1/4 red onion
1/4 red pepper
1/2 avocado
juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 tomato, diced
Handful of mixed baby greens
1 T. olive oil for grilling the veggies
Dressing: juice of 1 lime, splash of olive oil and water, 1/2 tsp. cumin, 1/4 tsp. Mexican oregano, drop or 2 of liquid stevia
Here's what you do:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with olive oil. Use a mandolin cutter with the shredding attachment in place to shred zucchinis. Place the shredded zucchinis on the baking sheet and toss with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in the preheated oven  for about 30 minutes or until shreds are crisp.

In the meantime, grill onion and red pepper slices in a grill pan. Dice your tomato. Mix up the dressing. Mash the avocado mixed with juice of 1/2 lime.

To assemble, place a handful or two of mixed greens on your plate. Pile on the zucchini shreds. Add the onions, diced red peppers and tomatoes. Finish with a generous scoop of guacamole. Drizzle on dressing, if desired.

Recipe contributed to: http://dietdessertndogs.com/2013/08/01/wellness-weekend-august-1-5-2013/
"We love zucchinis. Okay, just me, not the cat."


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Zucchini pile-ups with cilantro pesto

Zucchini pile-ups with cilantro pesto
Do you have a deluge of zucchinis coming from your garden? You can use up a lot of zucchinis by making Zucchini pile-ups with cilantro pesto and grilled Belgian endive. It's healthy, delicious and ACD-friendly!

 Here's what you need for one serving:

1 yellow zucchini, sliced lengthwise
1 green zucchini, sliced lengthwise
1/4 red onion, sliced into thick pieces
1 Belgian endive, sliced lengthwise in half
Handful of mixed salad greens
1/2 avocado
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
Juice of 1 lime or lemon
1 bunch of cilantro, washed and chopped
1 tsp. olive oil
salt and pepper
Splash of water
Optional toppings: sprinkle of pumpkin seeds, chopped cilantro

 Here's what you do:

First, prepare the cilantro pesto. Toss into a food processor or Magic Bullet-type device, 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, bunch of cilantro, juice of 1 lime or lemon, 1 tsp. olive oil, salt and pepper, and splash of water. Pulse until thick and creamy. Transfer to a small container and chill in the fridge.

Grill your veggies on the grill or in a stovetop grill pan. Mash the avocado with a fork. Assemble your pile-ups. Start with a base of greens, alternate layers of zucchini strips and cilantro pesto, finish with grilled onion, avocado, and optional pumpkin seeds and chopped cilantro.
Now dig in!

Ready for more zucchini recipes? Zucchini hashbrown nachos is coming up soon.

"I thought this was a good snoozing spot. Boy, was I wrong!"
Recipe submitted to: http://dietdessertndogs.com/2013/07/25/wellness-weekend-july-25-29-2013/#more-18497

Friday, July 26, 2013

Zucchini pile-ups and more recipes for this bountiful veggie

This is where I'd prefer to be on a hot day.

Yes, I'm still dreaming of escaping the heat by moving to the mountains! In the meantime, I'm dealing with a bountiful crop of zucchinis from the garden. I also discovered Chancy, our horse, loves zucchinis. She gets all the big ones.

Here's a peek at all the ways I've been eating zucchini, a delicious, versatile veggie for anyone but especially those of us who must eat low glycemic.

Zucchini pile ups: grilled yellow and green zucchinis, red onion, Belgian endive, cilantro pesto and avocado

Zucchini hashbrown nachos: yellow and green zucchini hashbrowns; guacamole,; diced red peppers, tomatoes and red onions

Zucchini lasagna: yellow and green zucchini, tomato/red pepper marinara, grilled cauliflower

Zucchini-radicchio slaw on grilled broccoli: yellow zucchini, sliced into matchstick pieces, shredded radicchio, grilled red pepper and sunbutter dressing
First recipe coming up soon.

Raw nutterbutter cookies

I'm dreaming of a high mountain lake to escape the heat.
It's so hot! Why are the weather people so perky when they tell you we can expect more days in the 100s or that maybe we'll break an old record for most days 100 degrees or above?

How am I dealing with the hot weather? I've been dreaming of escaping to the mountains. It cools me off a bit to look at my pictures from my last backpacking trip.

I've been getting up every day at 5:30 a.m. to dodge as much of the heat as possible during morning walks and exercise sessions with pooch pals who wear their big furry coats all year round. And I've been eating lots of no-cook frozen treats, like Raw Nutter Butter Cookies. These are quick and easy, and they are ACD-friendly for all stages. They are refreshing when eaten mostly frozen. And you can get some of your daily coconut oil that Dr. Oz says is so healthy.

No-cook Nutter Butter Cookies

 Here's what you need for 3-4 sandwich cookies:
Note: 1/2 a cookie is a serving.

3/4 cup raw sunflower seeds, organic, if possible
3 T. finely shredded unsweetened coconut
2 T. coconut oil
1 T. raw coconut flour
1 T. coconut milk
1 T. unsweetened sunbutter (or peanut butter if not doing ACD diet)
1 T. coconut butter
Vanilla liquid stevia, to taste

 Here's what you do for the cookies:

Add your sunflower seeds, coconut flakes, 2 T. coconut oil, coconut flour, coconut milk and drop of liquid stevia to a high-powered food processor or Nutri Bullet. Process until dough forms. To make the cookies, drop dough by tablespoons onto a wax-paper lined baking sheet. Flatten the dough into cookies with your moistened hands. Put the pan into the freezer to harden the cookies.
As an option, add a touch of chocolate by adding 1-2 T. cacao nibs to the dough.

Here's what you do for the filling:

Soften the sunbutter and coconut butter, and blend in a bowl. Add stevia, to taste.
As an option, make a chocolate filling by adding 1 tsp. of raw cacao powder.

Here's what you do to assemble the cookies:

Spread filling on three cookie bottoms. Top each cookie bottom with another cookie. Cut cookies in half, if desired. Store in the freezer until ready to eat.

Recipe contributed to:

Friday, July 19, 2013

Raw peppermint patty bars, ACD-friendly

Raw peppermint patty bars
Last summer, I made these raw peppermint patty bars. These bars were pre-Paleo Autoimmune Protocol, which doesn't allow seeds or nuts. Now, that I am post-AIP, these bars are once again calling my name, especially with St. Patty's Day coming up.

This recipe is highly adaptable to many eating plans. The bars can easily be made AIP-friendly by omitting the bottom layer completely or making it out of coconut flakes and coconut butter and leaving out the seeds and sunbutter. Or just use coconut oil, if you are like me and avoiding foods like coconut butter and flakes that are high in fermentation potential (FP).

Easily adaptable to many eating plans!
First, we need to talk about bacteria. That may not be the topic you had in mind but bacteria is vital to our well being. I've been reading All About Bacteria, a book by Ravi Mantha, who describes himself as a health activist. http://www.amazon.com/All-About-Bacteria-Ravi-Mantha/dp/9350294044

Mantha calls each one of us "a bacterial soup" because 90 percent of the cells in our bodies are bacteria. The word, "bacteria," usually makes people cringe because bacteria have gotten typecast as bad. But these microbes, or bacterial symbiote, are valuable allies that work to keep our bodies and minds healthy.

 I, too, am a firm believer  in the importance of bacteria to our health. I have spent years trying to restore the balance of good-to-bad bacteria in my body which was badly derailed by antibiotics. According to Mantha, antibiotics temporarily weaken the bacterial symbiote which may lead to various autoimmune diseases.

You can help keep your bacterial allies happy by avoiding antibiotics, keeping iron levels at an appropriate level, maintaining a robust immune system and eating a healthy diet.  I've been working on all of those things.

That's why I would recommend eating this version of  peppermint patty bars, made with healthy ingredients, including avocado, spinach, pear, sunflower seeds and just a smidge of cacao nibs (omit the cacao nibs, seeds for AIP; omit the pear, coconut butter and flakes for FP diet). These bars are kind of a knock-off from my Raw Lemon Blueberry Bars http://catsinthekitchen.blogspot.com/2013/07/lemon-blueberry-bars.html. They also have three incredible layers of yumminess.

Here's what you need for the bottom layer:

3/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (I used finely shredded coconut.)
2 T. coconut butter
1 tsp. sunflower seed butter
Dash of sea salt
2 T. cacao nibs or more, if desired (omit for ACD-Phase 1)
Note: Double up the coconut flakes and skip the cacao nibs and seeds for AIP

For the middle layer:

1 avocado
1/2 pear, unpeeled (omit for ACD-Phase 1 and replace with 1/2 avocado)
6 mint leaves
2 handfuls organic spinach
1/2 tsp. alcohol-free mint extract
1/4 cup coconut butter
Vanilla stevia (alcohol free), to taste
Note: skip the pear and coconut butter for FP diet

For the top layer:

1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk
1/2 tsp. alcohol-free mint extract
3 T. coconut oil
3 T. coconut butter
Optional: dash of liquid stevia
Note: For FP diet, use 1-2 T. coconut oil mixed with 1-2 cocoa powder, stevia, mint extract and drizzle on top.

He nabbed me trying to get to the peppermint patty bars first!

Here's what you do:

For the bottom layer, grind the sunflower seeds in a powerful food processor or nutri bullet. Add the other ingredients and blend until crumbled and combined. Spread this dough in the bottom of a silicone bread pan or other similar pan.  Place in the freezer to firm the bottom layer up. Make recipe adjustments as needed for your dietary needs.
Note: Not necessary to clean the food processor for the middle layer.

For the middle layer, scoop the meat out of the avocado and add to your food processor. Add the other ingredients and blend until smooth. Spread this mixture evenly over the bottom layer. Return the pan to the freezer. Clean you food processor for the final layer.

For the top layer, soften the coconut oil and coconut butter. Add to the coconut milk and mint extract and blend until thick and irresistible in your nutri bullet or food processor. Spread the minty frosting evenly on top of the middle layer. Allow the bars to firm up a bit before cutting into approximately 12 bars.

I haven't figured out how to drive this contraption but it makes a great napping place.

Recipe contributed to:

Friday, July 12, 2013

Raw key lime energy bites and more backpacking adventures

A high mountain lake is chicken soup for the soul.
The mountains were calling my name last weekend. It was my way of celebrating being done with 10 days of antibiotics to kill off a bad bacteria, normally picked up from raw shellfish or other contaminated food or water. Taking the antibiotics was pure torture because of side effects. That's why I needed my high mountain chicken soup for the soul.

Brian and Nika head to Marten Lake in the Idaho Sawtooth Range.

My son, Brian, and I set out for some backpacking adventure with our two furry pals, Misha and Nika, setting the pace. We anticipated hordes of mosquitoes but we didn't anticipate "swarms" of deer coming into our camp.
Daylight finally arrived after a sleepless night with numerous deer visitors.

Once darkness fell upon the forest, one deer after another strolled through our campsite. They were completely oblivious to our presence, the barking dogs, the campfire, etc. They continued making their visits into the wee hours of the night which made sleeping with two predatory dogs all but impossible. 

Misha uses a pile of rocks for his headrest.
Misha looks so innocent and relaxed here but trust me, he was not when Bambi and all his friends were paying their respects at our campsite.
Backpacking cooking equipment
 Night seemed to last forever with limited sleep but finally morning arrived. It was time to break out the cookstove and get breakfast started, backpacking style. Backpacking cooking is all about boiling water to add to pre-packaged meals which are rehydrated.
Breakfast: rehydrated pudding of butternut squash/carrot/granny smith apples
In my case, I prepare all my own meals at home from freeze-dried veggies and fruit. The butternut squash pudding wasn't bad with some sunbutter stirred in and coconut butter drizzled on top.

Raw key lime energy bites
 I also packed along some Key Lime Energy Bites that I prepared at home. They were a yummy taste treat for a sleepless backpacker, thanks to the deer visitors and energetic pups. Another plus, the key lime energy bites packed well.
Here's what you need:

3/4 cup raw sunflower seeds, ground into a flour
3 T. fine coconut flakes
2 T. coconut oil
1 T. coconut flour
Juice and zest of one lime
1/2 cup freeze-dried pear chips (You can try freeze-dried apples or bananas instead if candida is not an issue.)
1 T. sunbutter
1 T. coconut butter
Optional: stevia or other sweetener, to taste

Here's what you do:

Use a food processor or nutri-bullet device to prepare the dough from start to finish. First, grind your sunflower seeds into a flour. Add the pear chips or other optional freeze-dried fruit and continue grinding into a flour. Repeat with coconut flakes and coconut flour. Add the juice and zest of one lime and blend. Finally, add the coconut oil, coconut butter and sunbutter to create a thick dough.(Note: if needed, add more coconut flakes to thicken the dough or conversely, add a bit of coconut milk to thin the dough.) Shape the dough into approximately six balls. Store the energy bites in the fridge or freezer until ready to eat or pack along for a hike or camping trip.

Recipe contributed to:

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Raw lemon blueberry bars

No-cook lemon blueberry bars, nut free
 Lemon-flavored desserts have become the new chocolate for me. It's not that I'm not wild about chocolate. It's just that candida continues to sabotage my love for it.
Recently, a medical test revealed that I still have a candida overgrowth after months of battling it with medications, supplements and a low glycemic diet. That would be discouraging enough but I also found out I have been playing hostess to a rather bad bacteria that potentially can damage one's liver. This bacteria usually is found in contaminated food or water.

The treatment plan was not something I wanted to hear. First, there would be a 10-day course of fairly strong antibiotics to kill the bad bacteria, along with all my good bacteria. Under these conditions, the candida would flourish, gain a major stronghold on me and my symptoms would come roaring back.

Raw nut-free lemon bars from http://nomyumfree.com/raw-nut-free-lemon-bars/

Well, guess how I have been spending the past 10 days. The antibiotic course is almost over and yes,  my candida symptoms have come roaring back. Next up will be more treatment to kill off the candida overgrowth and restore my good-bad bacteria balance. The bad bacteria sounded pretty serious or I never would have agreed to put myself through all of this again.

The blueberry version of the lemon bars
At least, I can still enjoy a delicious but low glycemic treat now and then. I have been alternating between a lemon bar recipe (free of nuts) from http://nomyumfree.com/raw-nut-free-lemon-bars/
 and my version, Raw Lemon Blueberry Bars, nut free. Both of these treats are ACD-friendly, all stages.

Here's what you need:

Bottom Layer

3/4 cup sunflower seeds, ground into a flour
1/4 cup fine unsweetened coconut flakes
2 T. coconut butter
dash of sea salt
zest of one lemon
1 T. unsweetened sunbutter

Middle Layer

Meat from one large avocado or two small
1/2 cup fresh or thawed frozen blueberries
Zest and juice of one lemon
1/4 cup softened coconut oil or coconut butter
Optional: Stevia, to taste

Top Layer

3 T. coconut oil plus 3 T. coconut butter, softened
Zest and juice of one lemon

Here's what you do:

For the bottom layer, grind the sunflower seeds into a course flour in a food processor or spice grinder. Continue adding the other ingredients to form a grainy dough. Press the dough into the bottom of a regular-sized loaf pan. I opted for a silicone loaf pan. Place the loaf pan in the fridge or freezer to harden up the bottom layer.

Without cleaning your food processor, add the middle layer ingredients and blend until smooth. Spread the lemon blueberry filling evenly over the bottom layer. Return the loaf pan to the fridge or freezer.

For the top layer, soften the coconut oil/coconut butter mixture in a microwave or over a pan of warm water for a raw version. Stir in the lemon zest and lemon juice. Continue stirring until the topping is thick and creamy. Use a spatula to spread the lemon topping over the filling. Return to the fridge or freezer for a few hours to harden. When ready to serve, cut into bars. Store leftovers in the fridge or freezer. 

 Recipe contributed to: http://siftstirandsavour.com/

This is the life!