Grain-Free Chocolate Crunch

by Susan on February 5, 2016

I have a rather dangerous relationship with all things resembling homemade granola. Basically, I inhale it while I’m making it, while it’s supposed to be cooling and for as long as it lasts afterward.

Since I have a soft spot for the stuff, I tend to not make it too often. I also try to minimize my grain intake, so prefer to make nontraditional granola using nuts and seeds in lieu of oats. This “crunch” is based on a Cooking Light recipe I used to make years ago, adapted to suit. If preferred, you can make it as originally written (click through the link).

My adaptation of this treat is grain and dairy-free.

Grain-Free Chocolate Crunch
adapted from Cooking Light

3 cups raw mixed nuts
1 cup seeds (I used sunflower seeds and hemp hearts)
1/2 cup packed palm sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 cup raw honey
2 tbs. coconut oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 oz. bittersweet (at least 60% cocoa) chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries (ideally juice-sweetened)

Preheat oven to 300°.

Cover a jelly-roll pan with parchment paper.

Combine nuts, seeds, palm sugar, salt, and ground cinnamon in a large bowl.

Combine honey and coconut oil in a small saucepan over low heat; cook 2 minutes or until warm. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and chocolate; stir with a whisk until smooth.

Pour chocolate mixture over nut mixture. Gently mix chocolate mixture and nut mixture until combined (I used a silicone spatula).

Spread mixture onto prepared jelly-roll pan. Bake at 300° for 20 minutes, stirring after 10 minutes. Cool completely on pan; stir in cranberries.


Asian “Zoodles”

by Susan on February 4, 2016

Asian "zoodles"

I haven’t broken out the spiralizer in a while, so thought a veggie noodles recipe was overdue. I went a little crazy and threw some butternut and sweet potato into the mix, so I suppose it’s wrong to call my dish “noodles.” Zucchini is the easiest to spiralize, though, and the “z” makes for a much more fun name to say. So make this one with whatever veggie noodles you want, as I’m sure it will be delicious however prepared.

I made this one with almond butter because that’s what I had on hand, but any nut butter would work. If you have a nut allergy, stick to sunflower seed butter and top it off with sesame seeds rather than almonds. You can also tinker with the heat by using more sriracha (I kicked mine up by drizzling some on top).

While I usually include some kind of protein with dishes like this, I actually ate mine as written for an easy meal that was both gluten-free and vegan. Hope you enjoy as much as I did!

Asian “Zoodles”

2 zucchinis, spiralized
1 tbs. coconut or olive oil
2 chopped green onions (or 1/2 of a yellow onion, chopped)
2 tbs. water
3 tbs. almond or sunflower seed butter
1 tbs. gluten-free soy sauce
1 tsp. rice wine vinegar
juice of 1/2 lime
1 tsp. natural sweetener (stevia, honey, etc.)
1 tsp. sriracha
possible toppings: sliced almonds, sesame seeds, minced cilantro)

Put spiralized noodles into a colander over the sink. Sprinkle with a little salt and allow to sit for at least 15 minutes for excess water to “sweat” out.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet or wok over medium. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes or until soft. While onion is cooking, combine water, nut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, lime juice, sweetener and sriracha in a small bowl.

Lower heat under skillet and add nut butter mixture. Cook for about 2-3 minutes or until thick and smooth. Add spiralized zucchini and toss to coat. Cook for a couple of minutes more to soften the zucchini.

Remove from heat and taste for seasoning. Serve with your choice of garnishes.


Lemon Frozen Yogurt

February 3, 2016

We love all things lemon and citrus in this household, but my daughter in particular is obsessed with the flavor. Everyone made a request for a dish this week and she asked for lemon sherbet. Sherbet? Hmmm. That one is a little outside my wheelhouse, but I sold her on frozen yogurt which is pretty [...]

Read the full article →

Middle Eastern Pizza

February 2, 2016

The recipe I adapted for this meal is called Lahmahjoon pizza, but I was worried the title might be intimidating. Likewise, I know some people might be a little wary of lamb as the starring ingredient, so before you write off this recipe please keep in mind it would be just as tasty made with [...]

Read the full article →

Chocolate Green Smoothie

February 1, 2016

I usually just wing it when it comes to green smoothies, but I wanted to make and share this one just as written. Angela from Oh She Glows is a fantastic vegan blogger whose recipes never fail to satisfy. What I love about this smoothie is that it’s high in protein without added protein powder. [...]

Read the full article →

Zucchini Noodle Lasagna

January 30, 2016

My husband doesn’t really like zucchini, and he’s also not a huge fan of lasagna. It’s ironic, then, that this is one of his favorite meals. I love using vegetable noodles in lieu of traditional pasta, and this one is a clever way to make lasagna grain-free and low carb. He doesn’t care about carbs [...]

Read the full article →

Crock Pot Sweet & Sour Pork

January 29, 2016

This one is an especially easy crock pot meal, as it doesn’t require any precooking and contains a nice dose of fruit and vegetables right in with the meat. The marinade doesn’t even need to be stirred before it’s added to the crock pot, so dinner can come together in a flash. I based this [...]

Read the full article →

Gluten-Free Cobb Salad Pizza

January 28, 2016

This week I’m featuring family-friendly ways to incorporate extra vegetables into dishes. One of my favorites? Salad pizza! Since we had a pretty busy evening planned, I adapted this Cooking Light recipe using my favorite frozen pizza crust. I first sample Smart Flour‘s crusts at the Gluten-Free Expo last fall, and I’ve been utterly smitten [...]

Read the full article →

Chicken Fajitas

January 27, 2016

One easy way to get your kids to eat their vegetables is to wrap them in a tortilla. This traditional fajita recipe from Cooking Light includes both onion and peppers, and tastes even better with a dollop of fresh salsa on top before serving. The recipe is naturally dairy-free and easily made gluten-free by using [...]

Read the full article →

Crock Pot Jalapeno Popper Chili

January 26, 2016

I’ve never eaten a jalapeño popper in my life, but I totally dig the concept. I love spice, and the thought of a pepper stuffed with cheesy goodness and then deep-fried sounds over-the-top delicious but a little scary. This chili is NOT at all scary, as it’s obviously not fried and you don’t even have [...]

Read the full article →