Island Carrot Cake Muffins

These muffins are a delicious and healthy morning treat that will distract you from the fact that cake isn’t an acceptable breakfast food.  With only a 1/4 cup of oil and a cup of flour in the entire recipe not only are these dairy-free but they are heart healthy.  The protein from the almond flour will keep you feeling full longer and using egg whites reduces the fat content.  I like to use avocado oil, but feel free to use any light tasting oil you may have on hand.  If you like nuts add a cup of chopped pecans for some added crunch.  If you prefer to make a cake pour the mixture into a 9X13″ pan instead of muffin tins.

Prep Time:  15 minutes         Bake Time:   20 minutes        Makes 17 – 20 muffins

Ingredients:

3 cups of grated carrots

1 cup of flour

1 cup almond flour

1 cup white sugar

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1 cup canned crushed pineapple with juice

2/3 cup egg whites

1/4 cup avocado oil

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup shredded coconut (optional)

1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a standard muffin tin with cupcake liners for easy clean-up.  You may hand grate the carrot on a box grater but I find it faster to place the carrots in a food processor.  (It will require approximately 5-6 small carrots to equal 3 cups of grated carrots.)

In a large bowl combine the grated carrot, flours, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and ginger.  In a separate bowl whisk together the pineapple, egg whites, vanilla extract, oil, pecans and coconut (optional).  Combine the wet and dry ingredients and stir until combined.  Take a 1/4 cup measuring cup and scoop the batter into the lined muffin tins for uniformed muffins.  Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool before removing them from the pan.

If you use a 13X9″ pan cook for 40 minutes at 350 degrees.

 

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Healthy Orange Chicken

This easy and healthy orange chicken is a great way to spice up your usual chicken meals.    The orange marmalade gives the dish a sweet and tangy bite and the sesame seeds sprinkled over the top give it amazing crunch and texture.  Be sure to buy organic and raw sesame seeds.  They have amazing health benefits, which include lowering blood pressure, cancer and diabetes prevention, increase heart health, improve digestion, reduce inflammation, strengthen both oral and respiratory health, detoxify the body and eliminate depression.  The chicken can be served over rice but if you want to reduce your carb intake serve it over riced cauliflower.  Easy, delicious and good for you!

Prep Time:  10 minutes                  Cook Time:  15 minutes                    Serves:  2-4

Ingredients:

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

1/3 cup orange marmalade

2 tsp soy sauce

2 tsp lemon juice

1 tbsp honey

1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast cut into bite sized pieces

1 tbsp oil

1 tbsp sesame seeds

Whisk together the first 5 ingredients and set aside.  Place the oil in a non-stick frying/sauté pan on medium high heat and add the chicken breast.  Cook until opaque and then add the sauce over the top.  Cook and stir for another 5 minutes until the sauce thickens.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve over rice or riced cauliflower.

Salmon Maki Rice Bowl

This rice bowl has all of the components that go into a Maki roll except for the seaweed.  It’s healthy and delicious and most importantly it’s easy to make.  I like to use Basmati rice because it has a lower glycemic index.  The avocado and salmon both have healthy fats and important vitamins and minerals.  Eat the rice bowl warm or cold and garnish it with soy sauce, ponzu sauce, wasabi or picked ginger.  All of these items can be found in the asian food aisle at your local supermarket.  Enjoy!

Prep Time:  10 minutes                           Cook Time 15 – 20                         Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

1 tbsp sesame oil

2 tbsp ponzu sauce (a less intense soy sauce with citrus)

1 tbs honey

Juice of 1 small orange

1 lb fresh or frozen salmon

1 cup of dry basmati rice cooked according to package instructions

1 avocado chopped into cubes

1/2 english cucumber peeled, seeded and chopped

 

Mix together the first 4 ingredients in a small bowl.  Place the salmon skin side down in a casserole dish and pour the marinade over the top.  Bake for 15 – 20 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish.  In the meantime, cook the cup of dry rice per package instructions.  Chop the avocado and cucumber.

When the fish is cooked through place it in a bowl over a scoop of rice and spoon the marinade over the top.  Add the avocado and cucumber to the top and garnish with ponzu sauce, soy sauce, wasabi or pickled ginger.

Dairy-Free Chocolate Truffle Cookies

These soft and chewy cookies have very little flour and no dairy.  The sea salt adds a hint of salty goodness which compliments the chocolate nicely.  You will feel like you are eating a sinful chocolate brownie, but with much less guilt.  They are surprisingly simple to make and require very few ingredients.  Be sure to cook them for no more than 10-12 minutes to ensure a soft and chewy center.  A 1 inch cookie scoop will result in consistently sized cookies and even baking.  They also freeze well if you want to avoid eating the whole batch yourself.

Prep time:  20 minutes                   Cook time:  10-12 minutes                Makes: 2-3 dozen

2 cups dairy-free chocolate chips or chunks

1/3 cup coconut oil

3/4 cup sugar

3 whole eggs

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup almond flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

Melt the dairy-free chocolate chips and coconut oil in a pan over low heat.  Set aside and allow to cool for 10 minutes.  Whisk together the flour, almond flour, baking powder and salt to combine.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and vanilla until well combined.  Add the chocolate and flour mixture to the eggs and stir until completely incorporated.

Cover and chill the mixture for at least 3 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Using a 1 inch cookie scoop roll into balls and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet 2 inches apart.  Bake for 10 -12 minutes.  Allow the cookies to sit on the cookie sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire cooling rack.  Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

 

 

Dairy-Free Luscious Lemon Squares

These lemon squares will melt in your mouth.  They are sweet, tart and buttery with absolutely no dairy.  The glaze reminds me of the homemade lemon slush that I ate as a child growing up in East Boston.  It’s a struggle for me not to eat the glaze by the spoon full – it’s that good!  With a few simple ingredients you can make these delicious and refreshing lemon squares.

Prep Time:  15 minutes           Bake Time:  25 minutes          Makes 9 large squares

Ingredients:

Lemons Squares:

1 1/2 cups of softened or melted coconut oil

2 cups all purpose flour

2 large eggs

3 tbs lemon zest

3 tbsp lemon juice

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 tsp salt

Glaze:

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

2 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp lemon zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9×9″ baking pan with cooking spray.  Zest and juice 2 lemons and set aside.  Strain the seeds out of the lemon juice.  (Be sure to only take the yellow skin off when zesting the lemons and not the white pith, which is bitter.)  In a medium bowl beat the flour, sugar, salt and coconut oil with a hand mixer.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, 3 tbsp juice and 3 tbsp zest until combined.  Pour the liquid into the flour mixture and beat until smooth (2 mins).  Pour the mixture into a baking dish and bake for 23-25 minutes until edges are browned and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Allow to cool completely before glazing.  Whisk together the confectioner’s sugar, 2 tbsp lemon zest and 2 tbsp lemon juice until smooth and creamy.  Spread the glaze over the top of the cooled squares with a spatula and allow the glaze to set before cutting into 9 equal squares.

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Gluten Free and Dairy Free Oatmeal Bars

These bars are a great after school snack or breakfast on the go.  The allspice combined with the cinnamon and oats makes this bar taste like a bowl of oatmeal with no spoon required!  The oats add a chewy texture and the dates and brown sugar add a subtle sweetness.  Indulge in this comfort food with zero guilt while fueling your body with wholesome ingredients.

Prep Time:  10 minutes            Cook Time:  20-25 minutes           Makes:  9 large bars

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup of old fashioned rolled oats finely ground in a food processor until it resembles flour

3/4 cup almond flour

1 1/3 cup old fashioned rolled oats (reserve 1/3 cup of these oats for the topping)

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground allspice

1 cup packed brown sugar (light or dark will do)

3/4 cup softened coconut oil

1/2 cup egg whites

2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup of dates pitted and chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9 x 9 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.  In a medium bowl stir together the ground oats, almond flour, 1 cup of whole oats, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and allspice.  Set aside.  In a separate medium bowl place the brown sugar and coconut oil.  Use a hand mixer to beat the two ingredients together until combined.  Add the egg whites and vanilla and beat until completely combined.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and add the cup of chopped dates.  Mix until just combined and transfer to the baking dish.  Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the edges are browned and a toothpick inserted in the center is clean.

Allow the pan to cool completely before cutting the bars into 9 equal squares.  Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.  Enjoy!

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No Cook Dairy-Free Oatmeal

I know that oatmeal is good for me and all but I used to dread cooking it on the stove each morning.  The last thing I wanted to do was to clean another pan at 7am!  The old fashioned slow cooking rolled oats or steel cut oats are the most nutritious.  The instant oatmeal that you buy in packets or cups at the supermarket is over processed so that it cooks quicker in the microwave plus there’s a lot of added sugar (more than you would think).  Oats have been proven to lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and regulate blood sugar levels.  It’s also a great way to start your day because your stomach will be full for hours due to the fiber content.  As if all that isn’t enough, it’s also gluten free!  If you can measure and stir then you can make this simple and healthy breakfast in minutes and it will be waiting for you in the fridge the next morning.  The oats soaking in the almond milk overnight soften them so that they don’t have to be cooked.  It’s one of the most exciting short-cuts I’ve discovered and I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do.

Prep Time:  5 minutes                       Cook Time:  0 minutes !!!!                 Serves 1

Ingredients:

1/3 cup dried old fashioned slow cooking rolled oats or steel cut oats

1/3 cup unsweetened vanilla flavored almond milk or coconut milk

1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp pure maple syrup

8 almonds chopped

1 tbsp dried cranberries

Combine all ingredients in a small microwave or oven safe dish.  Stir until combined.  Cover and store the dish in the fridge overnight.  The next morning you can eat the oats cold or warmed in the oven or microwave.

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