Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Chicken lettuce wraps are low calorie, low carb, low fat and low cholesterol but I promise you won’t mind that it’s missing all that bad stuff.  The bean sprouts and water chestnuts add a great crunch to the meat mixture and the sauce gives it a great Asian flavor.  (I bet it will be dripping down your arm by the end of the meal.)  These lettuce wraps make for a quick dinner or a healthy appetizer.  It’s one of my husband’s favorite meals and I am sure it will become a repeat on your dinner menu as well!

Prep Time:  15 Minutes                     Cook Time:  15 minutes                     Serves 4

Ingredients

2 lbs ground chicken

1 red bell pepper diced

5 oz can of peeled and sliced water chestnuts (chopped)

2 heads of Boston Lettuce

12 ounces of fresh bean sprouts

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp fish sauce

2 tbsp hoisin sauce

2 tbsp corn starch

2 tbsp soy sauce

Salt and Pepper to taste

Place 1 tbsp of sesame oil in a large non-stick skillet and add the chopped bell peppers.  Cook for 3 minutes until softened.  Add the ground chicken and stir for 5-8 minutes or until cooked through.  While the chicken is cooking cut the stems off of the heads of lettuce and peel away each whole leaf and pile onto a plate.  Mix together the soy sauce, fish sauce and corn starch and add to the chicken along with the bean sprouts and water chestnuts.  Stir to combine.  Add the hoisin sauce and bring to a boil while stirring.  Serve in a bowl so that each person can make their own wraps with hot sauce, siracha or chili sauce if desired.

 

 

Sweet and Sour Chicken

You can make this meal using condiments that you have in your pantry and it’s a delicious and healthy dinner that you can feel good about serving to your family. The basmati rice has a lower glycemic index than your basic white rice and the chicken is a great lean protein.  Coconut oil is a healthy fat that has been shown to reduce inflammation and it also imparts a great flavor to the dish.  Once you become more familiar with the recipe you can add any vegetables that you’d like – mushrooms, bok choy, carrots, zucchini, etc.

Prep Time:  30 minutes                       Cook time:  15 minutes                Serves 4

1.5 – 2lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into bite sized pieces

3 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 tsp ground black pepper

1/3 cup rice vinegar

1/4 cup ketchup

2 tbsp honey

1 tbsp coconut oil

3 – 4 bell peppers in assorted colors cut into 1-inch pieces

6 scallions cut on the bias (white and green parts separated)

1 20 oz can cubed pineapple with 1/2 cup of the pineapple juice reserved

2 cups of dry basmati rice cooked to package instructions (optional)

  1.  Cook the rice according to package instructions.
  2. In a large bowl toss the chicken with 1 tbsp each of soy sauce and cornstarch.  Add 1 tsp ground black pepper. Stir to combine.
  3. In a small bowl combine remaining 2 tbsp soy sauce and 1 tbsp cornstarch, vinegar, ketchup honey and 1/2 cup pineapple juice. (If you forget to reserve the juice or wish to use fresh pineapple simply use 1/2 cup of water in place of the pineapple juice.)  Whisk to combine and set aside.
  4. Heat one tablespoon of coconut oil in a large non-stick skillet and cook the chicken until browned – 5 minutes.  Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
  5. Add the peppers and white parts of the scallion to the pan and cook until softened – 5 minutes. Add the soy sauce mixture to the pan along with the chicken and green parts of the scallions.  Bring the mixture to a boil to thicken the sauce – 3 minutes.  Serve immediately over rice.

 

Zucchini and Pepper Egg White Quiche

This is the easiest recipe and so versatile but also presents well.  It can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  Make it the day before and all you have to do is cut a slice and warm it up.  Serve it with a salad and you have a healthy lunch or have it for breakfast with a crispy hash brown and a side of ketchup.  This quiche is full of lean protein and veggies so there’s no guilt.  If you would prefer to use whole eggs simply substitute the egg whites with 4 whole eggs.  Going to a pot luck?  Need to make something for the teacher luncheon?  Have a friend who just had a baby?  You get the idea……..

Prep Time:  10 minutes                  Cook time:  60 minutes                   Serves: 8

 Ingredients

1 cup liquid egg whites

3/4 cup plain unsweetened almond milk

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup grated Romano cheese – optional  (Romano is a Sheep’s milk cheese that some lactose intolerant folks can tolerate much better than cow’s milk)

1 small zucchini small diced

1 small red pepper small diced

1  frozen pie shell (bottom only)  I prefer 9″ deep Oronoque Orchards, which is dairy free

https://www.mrssmiths.com/products/pie-crusts/pie-crusts-oronoque-orchards.htm

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place egg whites, almond milk, cheese, salt, pepper, zucchini and red pepper into a medium bowl and whisk together to combine.  Pour all of the ingredients into the frozen pie shell on a lined baking sheet.  Place in oven for 1 hour.  Remove and serve hot or cool and store in the fridge covered for up to a week.

Other variations:  Lean turkey breakfast sausage, chive and cheddar / Spinach, feta (Sheep’s milk cheese) and chopped tomatoes / Zucchini, carmelized onions and grated Romano cheese / Ham and Swiss cheese / Bacon, goat cheese and mushroom / Mushroom, bacon and chopped tomatoes / Asparagus, red pepper and grated cheese

Dairy-Free Chicken a la King

This dish immediately brings me back to my childhood.  My Italian mother would try out American recipes from a magazine or a cookbook and this was one that we all loved.  The flavor that the canned mushrooms gives the dish is very distinct and the silky texture of the sauce sits elegantly atop white rice.  I’ve adapted the recipe with almond milk and coconut butter and I have to say I don’t miss the butter and milk at all in this dish.  It tastes exactly the same as my mother’s but it is a whole lot healthier, plus this one pot meal can easily be made in 30 minutes. The red and green peppers make this dish a festive choice for the holidays but you won’t want to wait until Christmas to try this recipe.

Prep Time:  10 minutes                      Cook Time: 20 minutes                     Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 tbsp avocado oil

1 cup of basmati rice cooked according to package instructions (Makes 3 cups)

1 4oz can of mushrooms drained, liquid reserved

1/2 cup coconut butter (such as Olivio in the dairy case)

1 green bell pepper cut into chunks

1 1/2 – 2 lbs of chicken breast chopped into chunks

1/2 cup all purpose flour

salt and pepper to taste

1 1/2 tsp chicken bouillon powder

1 1/2 cups unsweetened plain almond milk

1 1/4 cups hot water

4 oz chopped pimentos (found in a glass jar in the condiment aisle)

Cook the cubed chicken in avocado oil in a large pan until opaque in the center.  Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.  Then add the drained mushrooms, green pepper and coconut butter.  Cook for 5 minutes or until the pepper is softened.  Add salt, pepper and flour and whisk into the butter.  Cook the flour mixture for 2 minutes then add the bouillon, almond milk, water and reserved mushroom liquid.  Heat to boiling stirring constantly until the sauce is smooth and free of lumps.  Finally, stir in the pimento and cooked chicken.  Heat through for 2 minutes and serve over rice.

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Dairy Free Healthy Breakfast Muffins

I promise that you will not miss the butter in this delectable muffin.  In fact, you won’t even notice that there is absolutely no dairy and most of the white flour was replaced with almond flour.  They are a great choice for a healthy breakfast and can be made quickly and easily with no mixer at all.  If you aren’t a fan of blueberries feel free to substitute apples, raspberries, peaches or pears.  Also, these muffins freeze well so make them ahead for a Sunday brunch or a sick friend.  Enjoy every tender crumb!

Prep Time:   10 minutes           Cook Time:  17 minutes         Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients:

1/2 cup melted coconut oil

1 cup of almond flour

3/4 cup white flour

1/4 tsp salt

1 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup sugar

2/3 cup almond milk

3 tbsp liquid egg whites

1 1/4 cups of washed fruit (if you use apples peel and cut them into a small dice)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line muffin tin with cupcake liners for easy cleanup.  Combine flours, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; whisk to combine.  In a separate bowl, combine sugar, oil, almond milk, extract and egg; whisk to combine.  Fold the wet ingredients into the dry and add the fruit.  Mix just until combined (mixing too much will make for a tougher muffin).  Fill each muffin tin 3/4 of the way full and bake at 350 degrees for 17 minutes or until the tops begin to brown.  Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for 15 minutes then remove them and place them in a sealed container or store them in the fridge to prevent spoilage.

 

Dairy Free Date (Nut?) Bread

This is an adaptation of my mother’s beloved date bread recipe.  I substituted coconut oil for the butter to make it dairy free and half of the flour has been replaced with almond flour to decrease the carbs and increase the protein.  The use of egg whites in place of the whole eggs reduces fat and cholesterol.  The dates are so sweet that there is very little sugar needed and the dates are an excellent source of B6, fiber, potassium and iron.  This date bread serves as a great breakfast or snack.  It also freezes well, so tuck a few slices in a resealable bag for a quick breakfast whenever you are fresh out of ideas.  Plus, it’s so easy to make you won’t even need a mixer.  Now, that’s my kind of baking!

Prep Time:  20 minutes             Cook Time:  45 minutes         Makes:  2 loaves

Ingredients:

1 package of pitted dates chopped into thirds

2 cups of boiling water

1/2 cup coconut oil

1 1/2 cup of sugar

1/3 cup liquid egg whites

2 cups of white flour

2 cups of almond flour or almond meal

4 tsp baking soda

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Place the chopped dates in a bowl with the sugar and coconut oil and add the 2 cups of boiling water.  Let the bowl sit until cooled.  When cooled, add the egg whites, vanilla, nuts and dry ingredients.  Stir until combined and pour the mixture into two greased loaf pans.  Place them into a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.  Wait until they are completely cooled to remove them from the loaf pan.  Slice and serve.

 

Heart Healthy and Dairy Free French Toast Casserole

Prep Time:  10 minutes          Cooking time:  35 minutes         Serves:  6-8 ppl

This casserole is the perfect make-ahead brunch or special Sunday morning breakfast that you don’t have to feel guilty about.  The egg whites and almond milk bump up the protein in this dish to keep you full longer.  Make it the night before and pop it in the oven when you wake up.  It will be ready before you are finished getting dressed.  I like to use a sprouted grain bread in this dish, but use whatever good quality whole grain bread you enjoy.

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 loaves of a good quality whole grain bread

1/2 cup of coconut oil

1 tsp cinnamon

a few grinds of fresh nutmeg

1/4 tsp cardamom

1/4 tsp ground cloves

2 cups almond milk

1 cup of liquid egg whites

1 cup of maple syrup

Melt the coconut oil in a 9X13 pan in the oven for a few minutes.  Remove the pan and add the cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom to the oil.  Place the pieces of bread in 3 even layers over the spices and coconut oil.  Mix the egg whites and almond milk together in a  bowl and pour over the bread.  Cover and let sit overnight in the fridge.  The next morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake french toast for 30 minutes.  Once done, pour the maple syrup over top and place under the broiler until the syrup is bubbly.  Serve warm with fresh fruit.

Healthy Lactose Free Chicken Stroganoff

One dish meals are fabulous, aren’t they?  This one is quick, easy, healthy and tastes delicious.  I use lactose free sour cream to add  richness to this dish, while still keeping it lactose intolerance friendly.  I like to serve this dish over egg noodles, but you can certainly choose rice if you prefer.  The substitution of the chicken instead of the traditional beef cuts down on fat and cholesterol.  If you don’t have fresh dill, the dried dill will be just as tasty.  Enjoy!

Prep time:  5 minutes          Cooking time:  20 minutes          Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

1 pound of chicken breast cut into bite sized cubes

Salt and ground pepper

3 tbsp of avocado oil (or other oil)

1 shallot diced

1 lb of sliced white mushrooms

1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/2 cup lactose free sour cream

Chipped fresh dill for garnish or 2 tsp dried dill weed

12 oz of wide egg noodles

Add oil to the pan and the chopped shallot at medium heat ensuring that the shallot doesn’t burn.  Add the mushrooms and chicken to the pan and sauté for 8-10 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  When the chicken is no longer pink add the chicken stock.  Simmer uncovered for 8 minutes until the liquid has thickened.  Stir the mustard into the liquid and cook for another 2 minutes uncovered.  Remove from heat and stir in sour cream and sprinkle with dill.  Serve over cooked egg noodles.

 

 

Almond Joyous Cookies (Dairy-Free, Gluten Free and low cholesterol)

These cookies could not be any easier to make or more delicious.  My kids honestly cannot tell the difference between these and the regular full-fat chocolate chip cookies I used to make.  I use almond flour to get the look and texture that is most like ordinary homemade cookies, but you can certainly substitute almond meal with or without the almond skin and get the same great flavor.  The almond flour increases the protein content and decreases the carbs significantly.  The coconut oil and egg whites are much healthier fats and the oil imparts a slight coconut flavor that will remind you of that almond, coconut and dark chocolate candy bar everyone loves.  No mixer is needed for this recipe.  Beware, your family will want you to make this recipe again and again.

Prep time:  10 minutes            Cook time:  13 minutes           Makes about 20 cookies

Ingredients:

3 cups of almond flour or almond meal

1/2 cup of coconut oil

1/2 cup of sugar

1/3 cup of liquid egg whites

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (dairy free)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Melt the coconut oil in a pan or in the microwave.  Set aside to cool.  Combine the egg, oil and vanilla extract in one bowl.  In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients together and whisk.  Combine the wet and dry ingredients and stir in the chocolate chips.  Spray a baking sheet with non-stick coconut oil spray and drop golf ball sized mounds onto the sheet.  Bake for 13 minutes or until the bottom of the bookie begins to brown.  Place on a cookie rack  to cool.  dsc_0193