Have you seen how many varieties of Cheez-Its there are now? I’m rarely at any store other than Whole Foods and Natural Grocers, so when I am, I am always in awe at all the new junk food…it really isn’t worthy of being called food! Is anyone else guilty of looking at other people’s carts and wondering what they are thinking and how did they miss that soda, boxed fake meals and corn syrup laden goodies are so horrible for you!!! I realize not everyone is so fortunate to shop at Whole Foods, but come on, make better choices with what is available to you!!!
OK, enough of my rant! Here is a recipe that uses nutritional yeast for a dairy free cheesy cracker recipe that you can feel good about eating! I almost didn’t get a chance to take a picture of these before they were gone. Someone was sneaking them off the pile of my setup for the picture…they are that good!!! These are the perfect cracker to dip or break up into my Bacon Chili Recipe!!!
Recipe: Grain Free “Cheez-Its”
- 1 3/4 cup almond flour*
- 3 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
- 1/2 tsp sea salt, plus more for sprinkling on top
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp butter or coconut oil, melted
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- Combine the flour, salt and yeast in a bowl
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk the egg with the melted butter/oil and lemon juice
- Combine the two bowls and stir until dough forms
- Place the dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll out to about 1/8 inch thickness
- With a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut dough into desired cracker size (I use a ruler with a pizza slicer to get them straight and even) and sprinkle the top with more sea salt
- Slide the bottom piece of parchment and crackers onto a cookie sheet
- Bake at 350 fro 12-15 minutes until golden
- The outer crackers will brown the fastest, remove those and continue to cook the remaining crackers
*Honeyville or Bob’s Redmill will work just fine for these crackers.
I used melted butter to make these a bit “creamier” tasting, but expellor pressed coconut oil will work for dairy free option.
I love Whole Foods, wandering around seeing what new products have been granted self space and what local products are new to market as well. I spend a lot of time in Scottsdale, Arizona and a lot of time at the Whole foods there. Every time I go, I have to take some extra time that first trip to the store to see what’s new. Arizona is part of the western region for Whole Foods that includes California, where Colorado is part of the mountain west region, so we get different products. Arizona gets a lot of products that originate from California and if they sell well, we will be lucky to hopefully see them on the shelves in Colorado and vice versa.
There are a couple things I can’t find at my local Whole Foods that I love to get down there. One item in particular, Quite Cheezy Kale Chips made by Alive & Radiant Foods (my Whole Foods only sells two of the flavors as of late and the Quite Cheesy is not one of them). The entire line of their products are delicious. I think I seriously bought a bag every trip I made to the store (that is often) and ate the entire bag! Serving size is 2.2, that’s a joke…I eat the whole bag wishing I had more! After looking at the ingredient list, I knew I could make these at home when I got back to my dehydrator. This recipe is pretty darn close…close enough for me!
I know not everyone has a dehydrator, but you should (in my opinion), since there are so many great things you can do with them and they are reasonably priced (I have this dehydrator
and it works great). I have not tried this in the oven on the dehydrate setting, but if you do, please leave a comment on how they turned out. This spread would be awesome as a “cheese” spread for crackers (I have numerous grain-free cracker recipes) or as a dip for vegetables. So if you don’t have a dehydrator, you can still enjoy this recipe!
Recipe: “Cheesy” Kale Chips
- 1 cup raw cashews (soaked overnight)
- 1/3 cup roasted red bell pepper*
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons Nutritional Yeast**
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 bunch kale (I used Dino, but any Kale will work)
- Wash the kale, pat dry and tear into pieces, about 1 1/2 inches and place in a bowl
- Drain the water off of the cashews and place all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth
- Pour the spread into the bowl and massage it into the kale to cover each piece
- Place kale on dehydrator trays and dehydrate at 125 for 8-10 hours or until desired crispiness
- Store in an airtight container, I prefer glass
*I used roasted peppers for additional flavor. The Alive & Radiant Foods is considered raw, so a red bell pepper is what they used. Either one will work.
**Nutritional Yeast is something a lot of vegetarians use to make things taste cheesy. It is full of B vitamins, some protein and lots of flavor. It can be found in the baking section of a health food store or may be sold in bulk. It looks like yellow flaky fish food to me:)
To make these a bit spicy, add some cayenne pepper or other seasonings you like.
If you are looking for ways to get more greens in your kids, this recipe will work!
It seems that most of the west is about to experience a bit of a cold front. I thought this would be the perfect time to share this recipe! I’m fortunate enough to still be in Arizona where a cold front means it’s going to be in the 50′s! I live in Colorado, so listening to the weather forecast here cracks me up!! What these people think is cold is definitely a hot winter day at home!
Even if it’s not cold where you are, this is a delicious soup recipe to enjoy for lunch or dinner. I served it with bacon pieces and used the bacon grease for flavor. If you’d prefer, you can certainly skip the bacon, but who skips bacon? This would also be good with shredded chicken as well.
Recipe: Creamy Roasted Cauliflower and Mushroom Soup
- 1 head of cauliflower, cut into pieces
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 2-3 pieces of bacon (optional)
- 2 tbsp bacon grease, butter or coconut oil
- 1/4-1/2 cup white onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp fresh thyme or 3 tsp dried
- 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 3 cups homemade chicken broth (or canned)
- 3/4 cup full fat coconut milk
- 2 tbsp grass-fed butter (optional)
- sea salt and pepper
- Place the pieces of cauliflower in a bowl and coat with the 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Place single layer on a parchment lined cookie sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast at 400 for 25-30 minutes
- Cook the bacon in a skillet, reserve the grease, cut the bacon into pieces and set aside
- Place the bacon grease, coconut oil or butter in a large sauce pan with the onion. Saute the onions until slightly browned
- Add the garlic, thyme and mushrooms. Saute until the mushrooms are tender, about 5-10 minutes
- Add the white wine and de-glaze the pan
- Add the chicken broth and cauliflower and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer for 5 minutes
- Place the soup, coconut milk and optional butter in a food processor or blender and combine until desired consistency
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Sprinkle the bacon pieces on top (optional)
I served this tonight and when I told Tom what I had made, this was his response: “If I saw that on the label of a soup can, I would not think it sounded very good.” About two bites into it, he kept telling me how awesome it was! I knew he was going to like it! Butter, bacon and mushrooms, who wouldn’t love this!!
I have been sitting on this recipe for quite some time. It is one of my favorite granola recipes, but I get hesitant to share my recipes that I use a dehydrator. I know only a few of you have one and this can certainly be done in the oven, but the dehydrator always tastes best.
This is the perfect flavor for this time a year and can be enjoyed plain or with milk! The added protein powder makes this the perfect high fat and moderate protein breakfast!!! You may also like to try my other grain free granola recipes, Almond Nut Joy, Banana Nut and Pumpkin Spice.
Maybe a dehydrator should be on your holiday wish list!!! The Nesco that I have is very reasonably priced.
Recipe: Cinnamon Apple Granola
- 2 1/2 cups raw nuts, chopped (I used almonds and walnuts)
- 1 apple, diced
- 1/3 cup almond flour
- 1/4 cup vanilla protein powder* (I used Jay Robb’s Vanilla Egg White Protein)
- 2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp lucuma powder, optional
- 1/2 cup apple sauce
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tbsp almond butter
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- couple dashes of sea salt
- Combine the chopped nuts, apple pieces, protein powder, almond flour, lucuma, cinnamon and salt in a bowl and mix well
- In a separate bowl, combine the apple sauce, almond butter, honey and vanilla
- Combine the two bowls and stir until all the dry ingredients are coated
- Place on dehydrator sheets in clumps and dehydrate at 145 for 2 hours, then turn down to 115 until desired crunch is obtained. I left it in there for 24 hrs.
- For oven method, place on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake at 175-200 until desired crunch is obtained. Stir every so often to cook evenly
*Substitute the protein powder for an additional 1/4 cup almond flour.
I used Nature’s Hollow Xylitol Honey for a lower sugar option.
For those of you that try this in the oven, let us all know how it turned out!
So let’s be honest, what isn’t delicious when it’s wrapped in bacon…can’t think of anything!! I don’t eat it that often, but when I do, I savor every last bite. I am not worried about bacon fat, or really any healthy fat for that matter. As long as your bacon is from a hormone free source and not full of sugar, treat yourself to it here and there! I get mine from a local butcher, but I highly recommend US Wellness Meats for their bacon and all things meat! Trusted family farm raising animals right!!
This is such an easy recipe and may remind you of a popular appetizer that calls for water chest nuts wrapped in bacon. This is just as good, but lacks the crunch of the chestnut, so feel free to add them to each bite as well. I used bay scallops, it’s what I had, but diver scallops cut in half will work just fine. You may need a bigger piece of bacon for the diver scallops halves or if you are adding a water chest nut.
Recipe: Bacon Wrapped Scallops
- 1 lb bay scallops (or diver scallops cut in half)
- 8-10 pieces of bacon
- 1/2-2/3 cup Coconut Aminos (found online or Asian aisle of natural grocery stores)
(Gluten Free Soy alternative)
- can of water chest nuts (optional)
- tooth picks or bamboo skewers
- Marinate the scallops (and water chestnuts) in the Coconut Aminos for at least an hour
- Cut the bacon into half or thirds depending on what scallops you are using or if you are adding chestnuts
- Wrap the bacon around the scallop and hold it together with a toothpick or skewer
- Place the wrapped scallops on a broiler pan. If you don’t have one, a cooling rack placed on a cookie sheet that is lined with foil works great too
- Broil for 3-4 minutes on each side. Watch these so they don’t burn
- Serve hot and crispy!
It’s definitely soup season here in Colorado!!! I just returned from ten days in Arizona and can’t believe how cold it feels here now! I’ve decided I prefer the warmth and the idea of never having to scrape ice off my windshield!
While I was in Arizona, I made this soup for Tom’s (my boyfriend) grandmother. She is 93…reminds me of Betty White, love her!! She hasn’t been feeling great and I think dehydration is playing a role in her tiredness. Old people don’t want to drink so they don’t have to go potty. She of course thinks she drinks a ton of fluids. It’s hard to convince her that her coffee with Starbuck’s Ice Cream in it in the morning and her Vodka on the rocks at night just doesn’t cut it!!! Needless to say, I was on a mission to get some fluids in her! I had her drinking coconut water and kombucha along with some homemade bone broth. I figured soup would be a great way to secretly increase her fluid intake. She loooooved this soup and ate it everyday for lunch and raved about it every time I dished it up for her. Hope you enjoy it as much as sweet Verna May did!!!
Recipe: Coconut Curry Carrot Soup
- 1 tbsp grass-fed butter or coconut oil
- 2 heaping cups of thickly sliced carrots (about 4 carrots)
- 2 thin slices of fresh ginger root
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 5 cups chicken broth (I prefer homemade*)
- 3/4 cup full fat coconut milk
- 3/4 tsp red curry paste (add more if you want it spicier)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 scallion, sliced
- 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
- 2 chicken breasts (optional)
- Heat the butter/oil in a large saucepan and stir in the carrots and ginger
- Cook over medium heat until the carrots start to brown, about 6-8 minutes stirring constantly
- Add the onions and cook until they are translucent
- Stir in the broth, coconut milk and curry paste
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer covered for 25 minutes
- If you want to add chicken to this recipe, add it to the simmering soup. Remove chicken once it’s fully cooked and set aside
- Strain the solids so you can remove the ginger root and discard
- Add the solids plus 2 cups of the liquid to a blender and puree
- Add the remaining liquid and process until completely pureed
- Pour soup back into saucepan to add shredded chicken or pour into soup bowls (Use a fork to shred the chicken once it has cooled enough to touch. Add it to the soup and stir)
- Serve with some scallions and cilantro sprinkled on top and additional salt and pepper if needed
*I prefer to use homemade chicken broth for all of the health benefits. Store bought will work, but may be higher in sodium so be careful when you salt the soup. I use this recipe for broth. I also add onion, carrots, celery and garlic cloves to my pot for flavor. I use a large crockpot and let simmer for 24 hours to let all of the gelatin out of the bones.
Tiss the season for lots of cinnamon…and pumpkin spices! Here is another easy recipe for a quick sweet treat similar to my Coconut Vanilla Bean Dough Bites Recipe and the Coconut Brownie Bites Recipe. I used a dehydrator, but it’s not necessary. If you have been thinking of buying one though, I’d bite the bullet and do it, so worth it!!
Cinnamon has some amazing health benefits so why not incorporate it into your day! A few of those benefits include: regulates blood sugar, reduces LDL cholesterol levels, has natural anti-infectious compounds, reduces pain linked to arthritis, may reduce the proliferation of cancer cells, serves as a natural food preservative, contains fiber, calcium, iron, and manganese, can be effective for menstrual pain and infertility. Wow, I might have to make more of these bites or another batch of my Apple Cinnamon Upside Down Cakes!
Recipe: Cinnamon Maple Coconut Bites
- 1 1//2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/4 cup vanilla protein powder (I used Jay Robb’s Vanilla Egg White Protein), sub for almond flour if you prefer
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 3-4 tbsp maple syrup*
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp lucuma powder (optional)
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- dash of sea salt
- Pour the coconut into a food processor and blend until small pieces are produced
- Add all of the remaining ingredients and blend well.
- Using a small cookie scoop, place each bite onto dehydrator sheets
- Dehydrate at 125 for 2-4 hours depending on how soft you want them
- Oven option: Set temp to lowest possible setting or use dehydrator setting. Bake for 1-2 hours depending on heat setting
*I used Xylitol Maple Syrup as a reduced sugar option.
*For more information on Lucuma, read this post
I like to reheat mine each time I treat myself to one or two or maybe three!! Store in an airtight container.
This may sound very similar to a recipe from a few months back, cause it is. I basically took my recipe for my Raw Beet Sunflower Seed Pesto and made a few changes to create this delicious cracker! If you are a beet person, this is a must try! I used my dehydrator, but I believe this should work just fine in the oven. Many ovens have a dehydrator option or just bake these at the lowest possible setting.
Recipe: Raw Beet and Sunflower Seed Crackers
- 2 large beets, peeled and chopped (about 5 cups)
- 4 garlic cloves
- 3/4 – 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp psyllium husk*
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Place the chopped beets into a food processor and blend until pureed
- Add in the remaining ingredients excluding the sunflower seeds and blend until well combined
- Add the seeds to the mixture and combine. Do not let the seeds get so small they disappear.
- Dehydrate at 145 for 2 hours. Reduce the temp to 105 and dehydrate until crisp. Once the top is completely dry, I flip the crackers to finish. this is the best time to cut or score the “dough” into desired cracker size.
- Oven Method: Bake on a parchment lined cookie sheet at lowest temperature setting or dehydrator setting until desired crunch. You may want to turn the crackers over part way through to cook evenly. You can try cutting or scoring the crackers at that time as well.
*Psyllium husk powder helps to bind the ingredients, like an egg does or flax meal mixed with liquid does. It can be found at most health food stores in the supplement section. It is a powder that is high in fiber and when consumed in high amounts, it can cause intestinal distress. I promise the one tablespoon of it in this entire recipe will not cause a problem for you!!
For those of you that don’t know me, I am a huge sushi fan! Yes, I love raw fish! I like cooked salmon, but raw salmon sashimi does not taste fishy at all, and if it does, it’s old or bad quality! I buy sushi grade salmon and tuna from Whole Foods and have never had it be bad. They have it already portioned out in slices and pack it fresh on a regular basis. Raw fish does not stay fresh for long, so please buy it to use that day or possibly the next. So if you are someone that avoids sashimi because you can’t stand how fishy cooked salmon is, give it a try, you might be surprised!!
One of my favorite sushi restaurants in Scottsdale that we frequent a lot, has four different lollipop rolls on their menu. I just love how refreshing they are with the cucumber wrap and they are free of rice for all you grain free friends out there! The roll I order consists of salmon, yellowfin tuna, crab and avocado wrapped in cucumber and served with a ponzu dipping sauce. Being gluten and dairy free tends to mean you can not enjoy any sauces at sushi restaurants. I love these as is with some wasabi on top, but for my lollipops I decided to dip them in my Avocado Vinaigrette. I love the mixture of avocado and sushi so this is the perfect match!! The other option is to eat it like a traditional roll and dip it in a mixture of wasabi and some Coconut Aminos (gluten free soy sauce alternative that tastes great!!).
I was so excited to post this recipe that I didn’t want to wait any longer as I experimented with a gluten free ponzu sauce. I will work on one, seems pretty simple. I am also going to work on a pesto dipping sauce that many places serve with rolls as well. These may look complicated, but really take no time at all!!!
Recipe: Lollipop Rolls
Makes 12 rolls
- 3/4 lb of sushi grade fish (I used salmon and tuna, but crab or shrimp will also work)
- 1 large cucumber
- 1/2 of an avocado, sliced into 6 strips
- 12 bamboo skewers
- wasabi powder
- Using a mandoline, slice the cucumber lengthwise into 1/8 inch thick slices
- Lay out a slice of cucumber vertically. Place fish slices and a slice of avocado horizontally across the cucumber. Set all of them right next to each other. You may need to trim off and pieces that are hanging over the edge of the cucumber
- Roll the cucumber tightly until it overlaps itself.
- At the overlap spot, poke a bamboo skewer into each side so you can slice it right down the middle to form two rolls.
- Repeat the process until you have 12 finished rolls.
- Combine wasabi powder with a bit of water to create desired consistency
Don’t like sushi, enjoy these with chicken or beef strips and some raw veggies! Don’t be afraid to get creative!